Monday, November 30, 2015

How To Make Your Home Kiddie Friendly

Having kids is wonderful, however it does mean making some drastic life changes! One of which is your home. Before kids, you could have whatever you wanted in your home! But once you have children, you need you think more tactfully. For everyone to be happy, a family home needs to be safe for children, as well as easy to clean up for adults! Here is how to make your home kiddie friendly.

1. Stair Gates

A vital addition to your home as they are important safety mechanisms for kids. You should put them on any doors for you rooms you don’t want your little ones entering, as well as at the top and bottom of any flights of stairs. The last thing you want is your kids try to clamber up and down stairs on their own!




2. Leather Sofas

Although fabric sofas might be more trendy or fashionable - they just aren’t practical around kids. Leather ones are much more practical because accidents and spillages can be easily mopped up. Rather than staining your expensive suite! La-Z-Boy furniture stores have a range of leather sofas to choose from, which could replace you unpractical fabric suite.

3. Wooden Floors

Though carpets are comfy, wooden floors are much easier to clean mess up from. If you’re worried about kids falling onto the hard floor, buy some cheap rugs to maintain a level of comfort and soften any blows. If you are adamant in keeping carpet, go for a darker colour as a cream carpet definitely won’t be saved after a spillage.

4. Toy Boxes

Get yourself some big toy boxes where you can easily chuck all your child’s toys away when they’re finished playing. Why not choose some trendy looking wooden boxes, instead of the usually plastic containers? These will look more appealing in your house. Also, make sure you pickup big enough boxes, you don’t want to be playing Tetris trying to put the toys away!

5. Plastic Tableware

Many kids will go through a phase of hating dinner time, so if a tantrum occurs and a plate is thrown on the floor - you don’t want it to be a ceramic one! Mainly for their safety, and your hassle. Purchase some plastic tableware to avoid any breakages or unwanted mess.

6. Higher Shelves

Young kids will want to mess with everything they can get their hands on, so if you’re installing shelves or units - make sure they’re out of reach! This means that expensive equipment or dangerous items can be stored safely. Let older children know that they should put anything they don’t want messing with on these shelves or out of reach somewhere. Otherwise it’s their fault if something happens!

7. Locks On Cupboards

There may be cupboards that you don't’ want kids getting into, like tech cupboards or treat cabinets - so get locks installed on these door! This is both for their safety and your time!

Try out these tips for a kiddie friendly home! Got any more ideas? Let me know with a comment.


Seasonal Selections from Candlewick Press #Review

Seasonal titles from Candlewick arrived at our door!
Whether you've got some shopping to do or just want to stock up your child's bookshelf with reading material related to the festive season, Candlewick Press has you covered!


We were thrilled to receive four beautiful hardback books to review and share with you. Books are one thing I think there should never be a limit on! (Does anyone else remember carefully marking your selections in the school book fair pamphlet and agonizing over the decision for hours? Maybe that was just me...). 

WHOOOSH! BEEP! The book is full of good sound words.
Mr. G immediately opened up The Little Snowplow and wanted me to read him the classic "I think I can" story. This wonderful preschool title by Lora Koehler and illustrated by Jake Parker, will last all Winter!

The embossed cover of Snow
Next up, we peered into the pages of Snow, which explores the magic of a snow day and the importance of family. 

What's that white stuff in the sky?
Mr. G has just learned to call grandpa "Papa" so this story, by Sam Usher, was fun for us to read. Next up as a whimsical illustration book based on the idea of home, which is also the title. 

No matter what it looks like, home is home!
I absolutely adored this book, and had so much fun telling Mr. G about all the types of home. Carson Ellis' lovingly drawn collection of visuals is great for older toddlers, school kids, and adults. 

Is your home under the sea?
I know we will treasure Home for years to come and I highly recommend picking up your own copy!

Roar!
Mr. G has a stuffed lion that is basically the size of him, so I knew Counting Lions would be a hit. 

Featuring beautiful charcoal drawings of ten endangered creatures
Written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Stephen Walton, this gentle counting book will be fun for any age. Mr. G was keenly aware of the highly realistic sketches and wanted me to name each one. 

Seasonal titles from Candlewick Press

Want it? Buy it!

Seasonal titles, as well as essential titles for your bookshelves, are available at candlewick.com.







Handcrafted Gifts that Make a Difference from World Vision + Turquoise Jewelry Set #Giveaway #Holiday15


Thank you to World Vision for providing me with product, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

Yesterday at my church, we, along with churches around the world, rang in the Advent season- the start of the Christmas season in the church. They showed an awesome video, which really put things into perspective for me, as I have been consumed by sale ads, Christmas lists, the constant 'I want' from my five-year-old, and more. Needless to say, I am a bit overwhelmed, and I needed this reminder:


Right? Now, this isn't to poo-poo gift giving... we give because we love to show our love and appreciation for others, and there's nothing wrong with that. But when we give 'whatever gifts,' as I call them, for the sake of just having something to give, the gifts are sort of empty and meaningless. When I worked for a local real estate firm, my favorite gifts to receive were the ones where someone had made a donation in my honor to the local helping ministry... the gifts that I knew would make a difference in someone else's life.

World Vision International aims to do the same- offer handcrafted gifts that when purchased, or a donation is made of a certain amount, will go toward providing things like clean water, clothing, food, and livestock for those who need them around the world. When I think about all of the things that my child has- the countless toys, the food that winds up wasted, new clothing every few weeks, and a warm and cozy house to call home, my heart breaks for the children around the world who don't have the same experience, and for their families who work so hard for the very little they have. If we all give a little- we can change the world, and that's the truth.

When you make your donation to World Vision, which is a non-profit organization, you are helping the lives of those children and their families. We received the 2015 Holiday Gift Catalog from World Vision, and I purposefully left it laying out where I knew my son would see it. He picked it up and started flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures of the children of the world, and began asking questions. I did my best to explain that most children in the world don't have privileged lives like we do, and many need our help to have their basic needs met. That's why our gifts are so very important.

We received this gorgeous Turquoise Jewelry Trio from World Vision, which is available in their 2015 Gift Catalog.

This elegant jewelry trio provides the perfect pop of color for holiday outfits. Add a vibrant twist to a classic black dress or complement your favorite trendy work outfit with this necklace ($85), drop earrings ($55) and bracelet ($75). These unique and nickel-free pieces were designed by Delhi artisans and are available individually.

These beautiful earrings include a pop of turquoise, and silver embellishments.
Click to see these Turquoise Earrings.


A beautiful addition to the Turquoise Drop Earrings would be this stunning Turquoise Bracelet.

The bracelet includes turquoise stones, aqua colored beads, green and silver beads, as well. It has a toggle closure, and would make a beautiful gift as a part of this set, or individually. 

My favorite in this jewelry trio- the Turquoise Necklace.

This necklace is so lovely. It'll look great any time of the year, Pair it with black and make any outfit pop, or wear it with white or like colors in the spring!

Approximate size: 20" long

Nickel-free.

The best thing about each of these items, is that they are hand crafted, and each is uniquely their own. Each item is made lovingly by a skilled artisan in Dehli, and when you purchase this gift (suggested donation amount is made available on the World Vision website), you are helping others, and supporting these artisans through Fair Trade opportunities, making sure they receive fair wages for their hard work, and that they are able to support their families.

The World Vision Gift Catalog

This catalog is filled with lots of wonderful gift ideas, and handcrafted items.

The catalog shares some incredible stories of artisans, the lives of those who are touched by generous gifts given through World Vision, and even shows what your donations go toward- like goats, chickens, ducks, clean water, and more! You heart will be so full, knowing that you have richly blessed the life of someone else this Christmas.

Want to help?

Head on over to World Vision to browse their 2015 Gift Catalog, or to make a donation in any amount. Every gift helps. Browse the World Vision site for touching stories, updates, and more ways that you can help spread the love around at Christmas, and all year long! You can also learn more about sponsoring a child through World Vision. Connect with World Vision through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.



Want it? Win it!

One lucky MBP reader will win their own Turquoise Jewelry Trio from the 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog. Set includes Earrings, Bracelet, and Necklace. This giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Just use the RC entry form below to enter to win! MBP is not responsible for prize fulfillment, which will come from the sponsor. Please see our policies page for complete details.

Special thanks to World Vision for allowing us to share about these wonderful giving opportunities this holiday season, and for offering this lovely giveaway for our readers. World Vision is a sponsor of the MBP Holiday Gift Guide.



Wacky, Imaginitive Fun for All with #Zolo! #Holiday15


Thanks to Zolo for providing me with product, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In our house, we love to spend time playing and using our imaginations. From dress up games to action figures, anything goes. B also loves to play with toys that he can build with. Sometimes, however, we run out of patience and blocks and bricks become more of a problem than they are fun. So when we were recently introduced to a new way to play and build together, we couldn't wait to check it out!

Zolo

ZOLO is a fun, colorful way to play! ZoLO® began with a dream to make the most wildly fun toy ever. Something that went back to basics and would inspire creativity in everyone. Armed with felt-tip markers, color pencils, and paper, designers Byron Glaser & Sandra Higashi cooked up the idea for ZoLO around the kitchen table in their small Chelsea design studio in New York City. Today you can enjoy an ever-growing mix of creativity-based ZoLO items for home, work, or afterschool. And with our new mobile apps, you can let your imagination take you wherever it goes! So who knows…it just might be YOUR quirky perspective or far-fetched inkling that begins the next big shift. A flying ham? An uber-avant-garde garden? A lopsided whatchamajiggitchotchke? Where will your creativity take you? That’s what ZoLO is all about.

B was so excited to come home to find a set of ZoLO A-GO-GO!

Our new Zolo play set was packaged in a soft container, with a zip top. All of the contents and pieces fit nicely into this container, for easy clean up and take along, wherever we want our Zolos to go! B loved the colorful pieces peeking through the container, and was eager to dump them out onto the floor to play with them, and see what they were all about.

Look at all of these wacky pieces!

Zolo a-go-go is so much fun! The set comes with several wacky shaped, and colorful pieces to build with. Zolo encourages kids and grown ups to use their imaginations to create some wacky characters to play with, or sit upon a shelf or desk to look at and enjoy. It's the perfect chilly or rainy day toy, or office brainstorming session stress buster!

B couldn't wait to start building!

To build with Zolo, simply connect pieces together- any way you'd like! We love the bright colors, and funky designs. The shapes are so wacky and fun to put together, and they fit together with ease! B and I had a blast playing with our Zolo set for hours the day we received it. We started with a base piece, and then started adding other pieces, silly eyes, arms and legs to make funny looking characters.

The set includes these pieces and many more!

B, building away and making a Zolo pal to display in his room.

Meet Zorp, B's Zolo creation!


Not all of our Zolo creations were creatures!

We had a blast, just making silly flying ships, crazy shapes, and using our imaginations to see what we could come up with. This is an awesome toy to have at home, and I love that it comes contained in an easy to pack along container. It even has a handle, so we can just grab it and take it along to Grandma's house, or elsewhere. We love sharing our Zolo set with friends and family, and having wacky creature competitions. Everyone is a winner with their funny Zolo creations!

Features of Zolo a-go-go

This classic ZoLO•a•go•go plastic playsculpture set lets you create your wildest imaginings! 48 durable plastic pieces come in an 11” high reusable vinyl carrying case for on-the-go creativity. For ages 5 and up. 2009 Creative Child Magazine Toy of the Year Award.
$54.00

Zolo A-go-go would make an awesome holiday gift, especially if you're looking for something a little outside of the box. It's great for kids 3+, and for older kids and adults, too! Give the gift that will encourage others to unleash their creativity this holiday season- give them Zolo!


Want it? Get it!

Head on over to Zolo to learn more about their super fun toys, and more! Connect with Zolo on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Special thanks to our friends at Zolo for allowing us to try out and share about one of their awesome play sets! Zolo is a sponsor of the MBP Holiday Gift Guide.


Caring for Your Child's Eyes


There are lots of aspects of your child's health you have to pay attention too. They range from their diet to their feelings. It can feel a bit overwhelming, but they need the same care as adults do. One of the things people of any age need to look after is their eyes. It's important to have regular checkups to check for problems with your vision. Your eyes can also sometimes give indications of other problems. Your child should have their eyes tested regularly. There are a number of options to correct problems. Use these tips to make sure you look after their eyes.

Eye Exams

It's a good idea to have your child's eyes tested regularly to check for any problems. Every one to two years is a good timeframe to use. However, it's also important to watch out for signs that could indicate any issues. Firstly, you should get their eyes tested if there's a history of conditions such as squint or lazy eye in your family. If others in your family have had to wear glasses from a young age, a test is a good idea. Children with special needs should also have their eyes tested. You should watch out for signs such as one eye turning in or out. You child might also rub their eyes a lot or avoid reading and writing.

Common Eye Conditions

There are a few conditions that could affect your child's eyes. Being long sighted or short sighted is nothing to worry about. Usually, it's corrected with glasses. Some children get a lazy eye, when one eye is weaker than the other. They might also have a squint, which affects around one in 20 children. It can lead to a lazy eye if it isn't treated. There are other problems that can affect your child that are less common, such as nystagmus, where the eyes are always moving.

Correcting Problems

The are several ways an eye problem might be corrected, depending on what it is. Your child might wear glasses for long-sightedness or short sightedness. Glasses are also used to help correct squints and lazy eyes. Eye exercises are used too, and in some cases a doctor might use botulinum toxins (Botox) to inject into the eye muscles. This method weakens the muscles to help them realign. Surgery is also sometimes an option to correct squints and lazy eyes.

Kids and Contact Lenses

Some parents and kids who are tired of wearing glasses wonder about contact lenses. Young children aren't able to wear them, but teens and some preteens can. It's mostly about maturity, rather than their eyes. They need to be able to look after their contacts and wear them responsibly. But once they can, you can use a site like lensdirect.com to keep a stock of contacts for them. However, it's still important to have their eyes tested regularly to keep their prescription up to date.

Looking after your child's eyes is part of making sure they're healthy. Don't forget to protect them from the sun and any contaminants too.


Mickey is my motivation for this Monday!! #mondaymotivation


Happy Monday friends!!  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving with the ones you love!  My motivation this morning is Disney!!  We are here for the week and headed to Magic Kingdom this morning!  So it was easy for me to get up and get going this morning...even though I'm exhausted from a big day yesterday at Hollywood Studios! We will sleep next week when we get back home!

I hope you all have a great Monday and even better week!  Enjoy every second!





Have a marvelous Monday!



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Goody Hair Accessories: Festive & Adorable Stocking stuffers for girls of all ages #Review




 
My girls LOVE hair accessories, and Goody hair products are some of our favorites!
 
I think hair accessories always make great stocking stuffers. The new Goody Winter Wonderland collection is perfect for Holiday parties or stocking stuffers. There are ultra soft lace headbands, pastel elastics (LOVE the new colors and glittery ones!) and sparkly bows.
 


 
These Goody Ouchless elastics are all part of the Winter Wonderland Collection. There are 30 elastics on each long on with a bonus included. Each elastic is said to last through 100 ponytails! That is A LOT of pony's!
 
I love these because they don't have the metal in them to get your hair stuck in. The girls and I all have our hair pulled up in them today. Super comfortable and hold pony in place =)
 
We also got Ouchless Goody Winter Wonderland Headwraps.
 
 
They are soft and stretchy and made of textured lace fabric. A trend driven piece perfect for dressing up or dressing down.
 

 
Miss M and I LOVE it! It looks adorable with her sweats and would be just as cute dressed up at a holiday party!
 
Also included in the Winter Wonderland collection are Ouchless Ribbon Elastics, Winter Wonderland bows, and a Goody Value Pack that includes 20 elastics, 4 ribbon elastics, and 10 bobby slides.
 
WANT IT?!? BUY IT!!!
 
Goody products are available for purchase at all major retailers such as
Wal-Mart
Target
Walgreens
Meijers
CVS
Krojer
Bed Bath & Beyond
Safeway
K-Mart
and
Many More!!!
 
Keep up with all things Goody and follow them on
&