Making Memories: “Hunting”

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz

Hunting with kids?  Yes!  Each week I teach my sons, I focus on a different letter.  At the end of the week we always go on a “letter hunt”.  Will LOVES this activity and always makes his daddy go on the hunt with him when he gets home from work.  This is such a fun activity and besides making awesome memories with your child, you’re helping them make connections at the same time!  It doesn’t have to be a letter hunt, it could be a toy hunt, a food hunt, even a book hunt!  Make possible tantrum situations into a fun experience by hunting for the toothbrush, hunting for the pillow your child will sleep with at night, the sky is the limit!

American Baby Magazine

Making Memories: Taking Funny Pictures

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

I am not a great photographer but since having kids I have become sort of addicted to trying to capture as many memories on camera as possible.  I know time flies and am amazed I already have a 3 year old and a 13 month old. How did that happen?!  In addition to snapping lots of pictures, every once in a while I try to have a silly photo session where I may have the boys pose with a funny sign, make faces, or just do something off the wall while the camera clicks away.  Here is a shot from the most rescent goof off.

I love that not only do we get to laugh while creating these pictures, but the memories will always be there to look back on and giggle at when they grow older!

Toddler Tip Tuesday-Don’t Say “No”


“Toddler Tip Tuesday” is my new weekly series I have started for 2012. I am in no way a toddler expert but since I am going through the joys of toddler hood right now, I will bring you tips that will hopefully make your life a bit easier!

While completing my master’s degree in early childhood education, I learned many more positive ways to deal with discipline rather than the “old school” way of just saying, “No!”.  Although that word does come our of my mouth sometimes, I rely on other sayings and tools, and almost always get a better result with the more positive ones. Here are a few of my favorite:

  • When/Then: Instead of telling Will, “No you may not play with your trains at the dinner table”, I say “When you finish eating, then you may play with the trains”.
  • Redirect:  Instead of telling Zack, “No, we don’t throw our food”. We say, “Food is for eating”.
  • Refer to a posted or known rule: We have a handprint chart at our dinner table with proper table manners listed.  Instead of telling Will “No” when he stands on his chair, we simple ask him, “What does the green hand say?”
  • Offer choices:  When Will wants to play ball in the house I offer him 2 other choices instead of saying no such as “Would you like to play puzzles or color a picture?”. He often forgets about his original request!

Manage Your Mess-Your Schedule

This is the second installment of my new series “Manage Your Mess Monday”. This series will focus on organizing your life and home. My goal is to have the series last 2 months with one post per week. I hope you find some useful tips to help you manage any “mess” you may have in your life. Visit here for my past Manage Your Mess posts!

Week 2-Your Schedule

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My New Year’s Goals


Last year I shared with you my personal and professional goals for the year.  I am pleased to say I met all of goals and have decided to share with you my goals for 2012.  I am holding myself more accountable by sharing these with you and will keep you updated throughout the year.

Personal Goals:

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Making Memories-Ornaments

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

They are out of school. Now what? I say make some salt dough ornaments. The best part is they are cheap and easy to make and my children had a blast. We just rolled out the dough and then we used to cookie cutter shapes. We plan on using them for gift tags for our holiday gifts. We even made hearts to put on our valentine gifts. We had a super time and we will be able to look back at our handy work for years to come.

They do take 2 hours to cook at 250 degrees

You will need:

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Ask A Blogger-Starting A Blog


I was out the other night and I was asked if I would teach a how to blog class. That is an interesting idea. I am actually a terrible blogger. I am however a great business woman. If I had it to do over again. This is what I would do. I would buy a domain. Then I would get a word press account. I would have my site built for around $150. Then I would go to work for a successful blogger. I would post once or twice a day on my site. I would spend time learning about the business. I would offer to intern for free or for a profit share and I would become more knowledgeable. I would write down what worked and what doesn’t. I would spend my time as a student.

I know that Madame Deals spent a lot of time not making a profit. I define not making a profit as the hours worked on the site do not equal minimum wage after expenses are paid. I define being successful as being able to earn more than what I made at the job I quit for the amount of time I spend working on my business. I believe if I spent 6 months learning the business that it would not have taken the time it took to turn a profit. I built my site in way that most bloggers have not. I built my site so that my side bars pay all of my expenses. I do not have to sell one item to make a profit. I just have to keep my fans coming to my site by providing great content and deals and awesome giveaways.

If you are looking to intern fill out this document below!
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Making Memories: Elf on the Shelf


Christmas is all about creating traditions and memories with the family and this year we added The Elf on the Shelfto the list of our traditions.  We have read the book several times with the kids and my husband remembers each night to move our elf (Buddy) around the house.  My 3 year old hasn’t really gotten into the whole “good behavior” aspect of the book, but he certainly loves to find the Elf in the morning.  Although we aren’t nearly as creative as many of my Facebook friends seem to be with the Elf, we still enjoy this family moment everyday.  Below are some of my favorite ideas I have seen for The Elf on the Shelf Mischief.  Please feel free to leave comments with any ideas you may have!

  • Elf Makes A Snow Angel-Lay a cloth down and sprinkle rice over it.  Have your elf making a “snow angel” in the rice.
  • Elf Acrobat-Have your Elf hanging from the ceiling.
  • Elf Face Painting-Have your Elf holding a sign telling your child to “look in the mirror”.  Your child will look in the mirror and see that the Elf painted their nose red while they slept.Elf Artist-Have your Elf create a Christmas themed picture overnight.


This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

Making Memories-Go Bowling





This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

I hate bowling. I do. I am horrible at it. I have played in the dark during glo bowling. Yet I still go because my kids have a great time. I also like for them to see how awful I am and how I handle that fact that I will never be a pro bowler. I often think we gravitate towards our strengths when we plan activities for our children. I think it is just as important to create experiences that will also challenge your comfort level. We ask our children to try and to complete the task no matter what. We do not live up to our words. I often tell my children about deficits in my abilities and how I handle them. The running joke is mommy will sing to you if you are not good. I am fine not being the best singer because I am secure in my abilties. The purpose is to create memories and those memories may not be the actual event but the underlying message which is don’t be afraid to be who you are. Have fun and enjoy life.

Making Memories-Baking

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz.

One of my favorite things to do with my 3 year old is bake.  Since the holiday season is upon us, there is now plenty of opportunity to practice this skill.  My son LOVES to fill the pan with liners, use the mixer, and look through the oven window to check progress.  Of course his favorite part of the baking is testing the final product! 

Baking with my son is not only fun and delicious, it can also be turned into an educational experience.  You can discuss how solids turn into liquids, practice reading skills with recipes, and measuring ingredients is the perfect way to practice math skills in a less stressful manner!

What are your favorite recipes to create with your child?

My Pictures With A Dinosaur, Alligator, & A Hot Dog Doggie!

As I told you last week on the Facebook page, we drove down to Florida to visit family we hadn’t seen in 3 years (I know, shame on us for letting it be that long).  As a sentimental mom, I wanted pictures of the boys’ first “big” car ride and really wanted pictures of them posing in front of each state’s welcome sign.  Well, since we drove down at night, this didn’t happen.  However, on the way back to Virginia, we did get some of the state signs but also stopped at South of the Border and got these fun pictures!

Making Memories-Story Time

This series on how to make the most out of the time you have with your children is brought to you by Amee at Madame Deals and Sharon at Mom on Dealz. 

The best time for a story is anytime. We love to tell stories at our house. We start with a story starter and then each child adds to the plot. We do this in the car in the restaurant and even in a store. We also read to our children every night before bed. I can say the difference between a child who is read to and one who isn’t is apparent in the academic career. The typical child who is read to will excel in school. This is one of the most important things you can do for your child is read to them and with them. I do not care if they read baseball cards or comic books. It really doesn’t matter I have even told parent to turn off the sound on the TV and put on the close captioning. I know that some of you have older children. I suggest reading with them. You should put away your digital devices and grab a book or a magazine. The habit of reading is a great one to have. This is a time when you can connect with your children no matter what age.

These are a couple of my favorite books to read to my children and to have my children read to us.

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How Do You Welcome Fall?

I am a beach girl at heart so I love my summers but I have to say the activities and weather during the Fall make it a very close second favorite season!  Cooler temperatures allow for a lot more outside time with the boys running around (well, Zack crawling) and there are always a TON of activities to participate in and attend.

One way we always welcome Fall is by attending the annual Fall Festival at our local Farmer’s Market!  They have animal exhibits, mazes, inflatables, crafts, hay rides, and most importantly-pumpkin picking!  It is always such a fun time and the boys love seeing the animals, riding on toy tractors, and enjoying treats that we always get at the “sweets” store located at the market.  Here are some pictures from our day at the festival last weekend!

How do you and your family welcome Fall?

Making Memories-Play Some Golf

Amee at Madame Deals and I have teamed up to bring you this weekly post about how to make the most out of the time you spend with your children.

We love Fall because it provides weather that is perfect for outdoor memories.  One fun thing to do outside is to play putt putt golf with your kids!  Not only is it fun, it also helps to increase their eye-hand coordination!  If you don’t feel like going to an actual putt putt golf course, simply have a game in your backyard! Your child will love it-just look at Will go!

Even if you don’t have golf items, think of any game you can play outside with your child.  Some ideas are baseball, football, soccer, or just good ol’ catch!  Everyone will feel better after having some fresh air and exercise and if your child is like mine, they will beg for more afternoons like this (and take really good naps)!