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Encouraging Kids’ Kitchen Creativity

This post about creativity with kids in the kitchen is sponsored by Mom it Forward and Toca Boca, and I am part of the Mom it Forward Blogger Network. All opinions, overuse of the word awesome, and silliness are our own :)

I love to cook. And bake. And create fun stuff.. I love dinnertime dance parties as we get our evening meals ready. But – my skills don’t always match my enthusiasm, if you know what I mean. But in our home, having fun is more important than having perfection. Which is why I’m a big fan of Abby helping me in the kitchen. Sure, I end up with even more imperfect recipes, but we have a great time, and she learns a ton. This is also why I am a HUGE new fan of Toca Boca’s new app, Toca Kitchen 2. Check it out:

[Read more…]


When it Comes to Girl Scouts – Together Counts!

Big thank you to Together Counts and the Girl Scouts of the USA for giving the compensated opportunity to share my thoughts about the new #HealthyHabits campaign!

I think that it’s super important for kids to be active. Not just physically active, but also active in their communities, active in their world. Which is why a new partnership between the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and the Girl Scouts makes perfect sense to me. And, as a former Girl Scout, I might be biased, but I do love the Girl Scouts. {I was a rockstar Girl Scout, and sold the most cookies in our county. Now, I eat the most Girl Scout cookies in our county. But that’s a separate blog post….} I love that it gives little girls a sense of belonging, a role model, in case they don’t have one at home, and a set of goals and adventures to embark on. {The experience stuck with me so much that about a year ago I bought You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls, which I can’t wait to finally get started on. I’ll be blogging it, don’t worry :)} And next year when Abby is old enough to start, I’ll be leading our own Daisy troop. I can’t wait! {They can become a Daisy Scout as early as Kindergarten.}

Little girls, scouting, and healthy living tips! [Read more…]


Free Books and Cheeseburgers

In my house, eating healthy is important. Abby is starting to learn the difference between “healthy foods,” and things like candy and cookies. I have a big veggie garden, fruit trees, and am learning to can and freeze some of that delish harvest for the winter months. But, even though I am on a big mission to help my family live cleaner and greener, I still think there’s room for fun foods – things that aren’t that healthy, but sure taste good.

As with all things in life I try to live by the 80/20 rule – 80% healthy foods, 20% splurges. And one of Abby’s favorite splurges is a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. Like, it’s her F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E. You know that scene from Cinderella, where they sing the “Sweet Nightingale” song? {The video below can jog your memory if you need it…}

Well, Abby was watching this recently. And you know how little kids will try to fake sing a song? {She just turned 3 in late July.} They’ll kind of silently move their mouths, getting a word in every now and again, as they try to learn the song? Well, I’m watching Abby do that, thinking how cute it was, when suddenly she starts singing along, with her own lyrics….

“Sweet, sweet Happy Meal. Sweet, sweet, Happy Meal. I-a-a-a-aiiii, I love you….”

Seriously, I was like Ron Burgundy. I was in a glass case of emotion – so many feelings going on…. It was the most precious little moment watching her sing so incredibly serious and sweet. It was also one of the funniest things I’d ever heard in my life. I was laughing, crying, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing all at the same time. This silly girl is definitely my kid. :)

McDonald's Happy Meals have books in November

Well, we recently stopped at her beloved McDonald’s to get her favorite – a cheeseburger Happy Meal, with fries and apple slices {lucky for me, the apples are her favorite part!} – plus a low fat chocolate milk. Did you know that McDonald’s has dedicated the whole month of November to supporting the importance of reading in kid’s lives? Yep, every day this month they’ll be encouraging kids to read by including a book in every Happy Meal sold. [Read more…]


Supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s Talented Kids

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop… I am very passionate in my life about giving back. Whether it’s a small thing like dropping change in the Ronald McDonald house donation box when I pick up a Happy Meal for Abby – or something big, like helping to organize a charity benefit here in town {we’ve helped with several now!} – I think it is so important for each of us, every day, to find ways to give back to the world around us. Everyone complains about so many things – “Why doesn’t someone do something about that?” Well, for most problems, all of our small actions combined can really make a difference. Which is why I get super excited when big brands use their power, influence, and funds to do good things. Let me tell you about a new initiative from White Cloud that makes me smile…

 photo 01f0897f-6a91-4a61-95fb-94759c6ebeea_zps51f4bbe6.jpg [Read more…]


Ice Cream Sundae Waffles

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! – Ok, this recipe doesn’t even use actual ice cream, lol. But it’s super fun, which makes sense, since it involves you Eggo waffles. And what’s more fun than Eggo’s? I know that most of us think of frozen waffles as a pretty basic meal – freeze, throw in toaster, heat, serve. But if you think out of the box a bit, you can come up with all sorts of fun ways to use Eggo waffles…. Like this healthier version of an ice cream sundae, perfect for weekend breakfast time – and it takes less than 5 minutes to make. Check it out:

ice cream sundae waffles [Read more…]


Why the Baby Genius Ultimate Children’s Library is a Smart Buy – #DealsofTheDay

These are definitely the days for deals, right? The big day is quickly approaching, and it’s time to wrap up all of that holiday shopping before it’s too late! {And of course, make sure to grab a few gifts for yourself too. I wrap ’em up and put ’em under the tree, with a note to me from Santa… Lol.} And, to help you find some of the sweetest savings this week, from now until Thursday, I’ll be sharing the newest Deal of the Day from Sears with you!

Sears’ Deal of the Day offers exclusive one day promotions on different products at amazing prices. Check back daily for the best deals on products. Sears is your online destination for last-minute gift ideas at super affordable price-points. And, these deals will be pulled from every category Sears carries – like jewelry, electronics, tools, clothing, toys, furniture, and more. That means there’s something for everyone! Get ready for today’s rockin’ deal –

Baby Genius DVD set [Read more…]


Cyberbullying Twitter Party: #uknowkids

Tweet Tweet!… We are thrilled to announce that we are throwing our second Twitter party! We are dedicating our entire party to cyberbullying because it was such a major problem during the Olympics.  With kids going back to school, we want to ensure child safety and offer tips to parents.  Our hosts, Tim and Steve Woda are Internet and mobile safety experts and will be available to answer your questions. We will be giving away 4 three-month subscriptions to uKnowKids to those who actively participate throughout the party.  In addition…

The two participants who refer the most friends will receive:

First Prize: $75 Target Gift Card

Second Prize: $50 Target Gift Card

stop cyberbullying - olympics twitter party

@Who,What, When and #Where?

  • Who: Hosted by @timwoda and @stevewoda.  Tim is an Internet and mobile safety expert and was recently a guest on two daytime talk shows and Steve is the CEO of and an Internet safety expert.
  • What: A Twitter party dedicated to cyberbullying! Due to the number of athletes that were cyberbullied during the Olympics we want to educate parents on how to keep kids safe this school year.
  • When: Thursday, August 23 at 3PM EST(1 hour only)
  • Where: Just follow the hashtag #uknowkids
  • RSVP: To be eligible for prizes during the party, or for the referral prizes, you must RSVP to the Cyberbullying Twitter Party. {You can mention that Meagan from Sunshine and Sippy Cups sent you if you’d like!}

I was bullied terribly as a little girl… We moved to a new “better” neighborhood the summer before I entered 5th grade. I had loved my old school – I was class president in 3rd and 4th grade {seems funny now to think of having officers at such a young age – but it taught us SO much.} I had great friends. Loved my teachers and all of the school staff. But at my new school, the kids didn’t like that I wore dresses. They thought I was totally not cool because I wouldn’t say cuss words like they did. I liked to sit under a tree and draw during recess, instead of playing sports. That was 3 strikes too many, and I was branded the outcast. They would follow me as I walked the two blocks home each afternoon, calling me names and throwing rocks at me. I cried So – I know first hand the damage that bullies can do. I can only imagine how much worse it must be for kids these days, with technologies like smart phones and iPads, and sites like Facebook and Twitter that can spread rumors like wildfire

What can you do about bullying?

We all have a responsibility to stop bullying. It might mean taking steps to prevent it from happening to your own child – such as teaching them how to respond to bullies, or educating school staff on stopping it. Or it might be recognizing that your own child is a bully, even if that’s super hard to admit. Then learning how to teach your child compassion and empathy for others. It might mean owning up to your own bad behavior – the gossip that the kids hear you spreading when you have lunch dates with a girl friend, or the negative way that you and your husband speak to each other during disagreements. The more that we all ensure every child grows up feeling cared about, respected, and valued – the more we can help prevent some of the tragedies that occur far too often, like school shootings or other violence committed by angry kids. Joining this great Twitter party will help you learn new tips and skills, and about other resources to help you end bullying in your community too.

Join us for the Cyberbullying Twitter Party – RSVP today!!