How To Give The Best Kids’ Party Ever

Your darling little one has been pestering you for weeks to have a big Christmas party with all his friends invited. Where has it come from? Nobody knows, but you know if you don’t at least try to hold a good one, you will never hear the end of it! Having a festive party for kids needn’t be as hard as you think it is. Our childminders are all at it this year, having the kids make little hats and help with the nibbles. Getting the kids involved in the party planning can be a huge part of the process.

When your children are excited about the party, make sure they are helping you with all the work too. Simple tasks like clearing away all their toys to make room, can be enormously helpful to you on the day. Your little one could help cut out the shapes for the rest of the kids to stick on to their party hats later on. He could even dress the table ready for the food to be laid out too.

 

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Image source Flickr.com

If you have jelly, stirring the mix is a task even the tiniest tots love to do. Home baked cookies can be mixed up, baked and decorated by your children to be added to the party spread. Balloons are a huge part of any kids’ party. If you are blowing them all up yourselves, make sure they are kept out of reach of under threes, who may put them in their mouths and choke. You could use a balloon company like www.balloonsgalore.co.uk to supply you with as many as you require.

Party games are central to any kids’ party too. Remember your party only needs to be an hour or so long, so pick three or four games that most kids will know. Favorite games include dancing to Christmas music for musical statues and pass the Christmas sack, where everyone gets a chance to take one small present. This is much like pass the parcel.

Food can be quick and simple party food, much like a birthday party, but instead of birthday cake, have some Christmas cake or Yule Log cake on hand. Your home baked festive biscuits will go down a treat too. Pizza fingers can be decorated with toppings to look like Christmas crackers. Drinks can be served in festive cups that can be found in places like your local supermarket at this time of year.

Of course, once the party is over, your little one may be too tired to help with the clean-up! Try to encourage him to get involved, as it is a great life lesson for your child to learn that great things require great work. Hopefully, things will run smoothly, and your kids will be happy with the outcome of their party. Having your children getting involved with all aspects of the party will also help them feel they have contributed greatly to the household. It will give them a sense of responsibility and make them feel quite grown up.

Amazing Ways That You Can Make Your Daily Life Easier

Daily life, combined with kids, can be difficult. It’s often hard to know where to begin when you are doing the school run coupled with chores, dinners and homework. Of course, you wouldn’t change being a parent for the world, but there are some times when you need to stop being mommy and start being you.

Making your daily life easier is important. Of course, we all have our routines, but there are some great life hacks that you can use to make sure that you are getting the best from your time.

So, between the school run, work and mommy duties, you can make sure that you are making life easier in the long term. What will you do with this extra free time?

Do More Online
Let’s face it; the internet is an excellent thing. You can make sure that your daily tasks are completed, without having to leave the comfort of your chair. You can buy stamps online – right from your computer. You can order your weekly groceries online. You can shop for clothes via the internet. You can manage your banking from your desk. You don’t have to leave the house if you don’t want to! The great thing about managing these tasks online is that you can set up an online calendar or use something like Google Tasks. This can help you manage your time more effectively and allow maximising your time in-between mummy duties. Take the helm of your entire life via the online world. Organise and plan using an app or planner. Set aside one hour per day for your personal administration tasks. You will be on top of everything in a jiffy.

SqueezeballBottled Void: Flickr

Setting Aside Time to Clean
When it comes to cleaning, it’s like vacuuming in a tornado with kids around. It can be difficult. But, having a clean home is vital. You don’t have to spend hours per day cleaning your house. On the contrary, all you need to do is set aside one hour per day to get the vitals done. You can spend that hour focusing on one room so that every room in your home is done at least once per week. Alternatively, you can do a full range of small jobs. Take 15 minutes to clean down the kitchen. Take another 10 minutes to wipe around your bathroom suite. Vacuum throughout the house using another 15 minutes. You don’t have to go for a deep clean every time, but utilising your time little and often is important.

Making Use of Technology
Apps can help you organise your life a little more clearly. There are a wide range of apps orientated at mommies for organising their time. You can plan your kid’s events and make sure that they are on time and punctual for everything. While calendars and diaries have a place, apps are downloaded straight to your phone and are armed with alerts. You can set these alerts up as and when you need them.

Being a mommy doesn’t need to be stressful. It’s all about using the right tips and tricks to make your life easier.

Stop by Best Buy to find the best gifts this #HintingSeason #OLEDatBestBuy @BestBuy

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I know it’s not *quite* shopping season yet, but I am sure many of you have already started shopping or at least thinking of who you need to buy for and what you want to get them… or better yet… What about what YOU are going to get?  I know… I know… it is the season for giving, but it can also be the season for hinting at what super awesome gift you want under the tree this year.  :-)

If you are like me, you want the latest and greatest in technology and anything techy is definitely on my list.  I don’t even watch much TV, but when I heard about the new LG OLED Television, of course I wanted it.  The Ultimate Display?  Umm YES PLEASE!  And Best Buy is the best place to find these high tech gifts.

Best Buy is more than just televisions though, it is music, surround sound, video baby monitors (okay another thing on my #HintingSeason list), computers and laptops, Cameras (like a GoPro Camera), Cell phones, appliances, and the list goes on.  What I love about going to Best Buy when I am ready to find something new and techy either for me or as a gift, I know I can go in and talk to someone and they will help me find exactly what I want and explain the differences between products.  When I do make my purchase- I feel confident about it and know I got what I wanted or an awesome gift for someone else.  :-)

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What is OLED TV?

The stunning design of LG OLED TV is only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point. Picture quality is spectacular, with Infinite Contrast that ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks. And, LG’s exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors. Learn more here: LGOLEDatBestbuy.com

Your first kiss. A baby’s first steps. The majesty of a desert sunset. Some things in life defy all explanation and must be experienced to be believed. Such is the case with LG’s latest display technology. With deeper and richer colors, stunning contrast and ingeniously curved screens, it is unlike any technology you’ve ever seen, and it delivers a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination.

LG  55EC9300 SKU# 7846019 – OLED TV  Best Buy’s everyday price of $3499.99 (save $500). 
·         Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color – delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.
·         4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.
·         Super thin design (consider how to show visually)
·         Find content faster with webOS

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Do you love twitter parties? Best Buy is hosting an LG OLED Twitter Party on Thursday December 4th at 7PM CST. Feel free to join this party for a chance to receive Best Buy gift cards and other great prizes. Tweet #HintingSeason with your top gifts that you want this Holiday from Best Buy.

FTC Disclosure:The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  All my opinions and endorsements are my own.  

Check out Santa HQ at a Macerich Mall near you @HGTV

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This year 10 Macerich Malls across the country will have a one of a kind, Santa HQ designed by HGTV.  At Santa HQ your family will have a visit with Santa Claus like no other with a jingle-filled, interactive journey for all ages.  You can check out Santa HQ November 4th, through Christmas Eve, December 24th at these Macerich Malls:
Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CN
Deptford Mall in Deptford Township, N.J.
Vintage Faire in Modesto, CA
Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA
FlatIron Crossing in Broomfield, CO
Washington Square in Portland, OR
Lakewood Center in Lakewood, CA
Tysons Corner Center near Washington, D.C.
Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, AZ
Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, AZ

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When your family visits Santa HQ you can expect this visit with Santa to be unlike any other you have had before.  HGTV and Macerich have paired cutting-edge technology with an authentic holiday experience to bring you the ultimate visit with Santa.  You can take an ELFIE selfie, star in your own holiday video, explore Santa’s Observatory using ELF-RAY Vision, test out the ‘Naught O’ Nice Meter’, and of course enjoy a memorable photo with Santa.

“Santa HQ provides a unique twist on holiday festivities, while offering fans a chance to touch and feel the HGTV brand in a whimsical way,” said Shannon Driver, senior vice president, media strategies and partnerships. “We’ve enhanced the holiday experience at these top malls by creating a state-of-the-art venue for visitors to explore.”

The Experience

HGTV set LRWhen you enter Santa HQ your family can enjoy the wonder of Santa’a Workshop and Observatory.  You have the option to download the ELF-RAY Vision app or use a provided tablet to immerse in the enchanting world of Santa HQ to see the night sky, the secret inner-workings of clocks and gears and to meet a playful pair of elves.

Once you are in Santa HQ and all set up, your handheld device becomes a portal where you can see and interact with stunning digital scenes all around in Santa’s Observatory.  You will also enjoy a custom photo opportunity and complete your adventure of Santa HQ with the ultimate moment with Santa inside his modernized sleigh.

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You can reserve your experience in advance on the Santa HQ website.  If you want to ensure your family will get to enjoy this experience, you definitely will want to make a reservation before you head to the mall :-)

 

“Santa HQ reinvents the Santa experience at the mall for a new generation of digitally savvy, always-connected kids and their families,” said Ken Volk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Macerich. “With HGTV, we are bringing a dramatically new and engaging holiday attraction to shoppers.  We know that people come to the mall for one-of-a-kind, in-person experiences they can share in real time and through social media – and the exciting new Santa HQ delivers exactly what families want today.”

Santa HQ Media Night 1Santa HQ is a one of a kind visit with Santa experience.  If you have the opportunity to get to one of the Macerich Malls hosting Santa HQ, I hope you will take full advantage!  

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Marvel Universe Live – Coming to Orlando December 5th-7th

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Are you looking for the perfect gift for the Marvel fan in your house? Whether your Marvel fan is 12 or 50 they are sure to enjoy the new show coming to Orlando this December. Marvel Live will combine 25 Marvel icons for epic quest. Because it is an original story it will be a new experience for the Marvel fan and their families.

Are you wondering what Marvel Universe Live will be about? Here is a short synopsis.
The Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Uniiverse, has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. With the pieces scattered across the globe, Thor’s villainous brother Loki devises a scheme to clone its powers, inciting a threat that could not only decimate Earth but also obliterate the Universe. 

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There are also cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles, and so much more combined with the story to make this an amazing night out!

Do you want to go?

Marvel Universe Live will be running December 5th at 7:30 PM, December 6th at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM, and Sunday December 7th at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM.
Ticket prices are $40, $60, and $120 depending on the seating choice you make.
*Ticket prices are subject to change based on market demand.
Buy tickets at Amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000, or at Ticketmaster.com.

Do you want to learn more about Marvel Universe LIVE?
Go to Marvel Universe Live’s Website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Yoga Dog a new Children’s TV Show to Enrich Your Child’s Life

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like a lot of the television programs that are directed toward young children right now.  I know they have come a long way from the shows WE used to watch, but as a pretty conservative parent, I am finding myself flipping the channel when certain shows come on ((Cough… cough… Spongebob)).  As a mom, the fact that these shows are directed toward my child’s age group ((OR ON THE AIR AT ALL)) just baffles me.  This is why when I learned about the possibility of Yoga Dog, I got VERY EXCITED ((YES!!  A children’s television program that will ENRICH my child and not waste his life away watching another mindless cartoon)).
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A little about Yoga Dog:
Yoga Dog™ is a 22-minute children’s edutainment program which engages the imaginations, emotions, and mobility of 3-7 year olds. It follows the adventures of “Yoga Dog,” an innocent, fun-loving pup who discovers the imaginative world around him with the help of his friends. Together, they overcome challenges, learn more about themselves and others by interacting with others and exploring the exciting world around them.
When your child is watching Yoga Dog, he or she will be using their thinking skills to help Yoga Dog overcome challenges, getting active because he or she will be doing the yoga along with Yoga Dog and his friends, and learning self-control and coping mechanisms.
It is important to note that while Yoga Dog is extremely beneficial to children that are differently abled, on the spectrum, or overweight, Yoga Dog is also a great show for children without these health concerns- ALL Children can benefit from a POSITIVE and ENRICHING show.
Bullying in school is a huge concern and Yoga Dog has an aim to assist with that issue as well by teaching self control and coping mechanisms, and help kids who feel lonely find a friend.
Kids Yoga VS Adult Yoga.  The Yoga that will be shown on Yoga Dog is not like adult yoga.  Shakta Khalsa, a well know child yoga instructor, is the content matter specialist and is ensuring the yoga is appropriate for children 3-7 years old.
Image Credit: Karen Sayre

Image Credit: Karen Sayre

As said by Shakta, “Children will get up and move through the practice of yoga, and learn self-help tools to take with them into everyday life. Yoga Dog will be learning right along with the children.  So, for example, when Yoga Dog is angry or sad, he will breathe in new fresh energy, and breathe out his strong emotions, and he will ask the kids at home to join him.  It’s pure genius!”

Check out Yoga Dog for yourself, watch this short video:

Yoga Dog is still in the planning phase, but enough support and funding they are hoping to make Yoga Dog available to ALL children.  The hope is that enough funding will be raised to put Yoga Dog in every classroom in the US.  I am hoping they are able to accomplish this because our children do need more shows like Yoga Dog.  You can check out the Yoga Dog website for more information.

Managing LBL, Light Bladder Leakage with Poise

I am going to be completely upfront and honest about a fact of life while you are pregnant… Light Bladder Leakage.  During my first pregnancy I had NO issues and would wonder why everyone everyone talked about having to pee a lot while they were pregnant.  This must have been because Colton wasn’t all that low and did not use my bladder as a punching bag (good kid LOL).  Well… THIS baby… is not so kind so mommy.  He is very low and pretty much anytime I drink anything, within the hour I am running to find the nearest restroom.

Colton has started calling me “Mommy pees a lot” because when we are out I am running to the bathroom more than him… which he is 5, so that is already a lot.  Between rushing him to get to the bathroom, winter coats, wresting with maternity jeans, the freezing cold (which makes me have to pee, pregnant or not lol), and all the other factors along the way…. I have been wearing the Poise Micro Liners because if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s going to soon I’m sure :-X  I would rather be protected than have that embarrassment happen for sure.

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These shockingly thin and surprisingly absorbent liners feature SAM (Super Absorbent Material) to provide discreet Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) protection that helps keep you dry and comfortable all day long so you can manage life’s little leaks with confidence. Poise Microliners are the thinnest liners in the light incontinence category and are designed to absorb wetness, neutralize odor and stay three times drier than period liners.

You can try out a sample for yourself and see how the new Poise Micro Liners can change your life.  GET YOUR FREE SAMPLE

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FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but my story is true and all opinions are my own, honest opinions.

Could a Pet Make the Perfect Addition to Your Family?

With Christmas a mere matter of weeks away, if you have young children, you’ve probably already been given a list as long as your arm of things that they want. Being a mom myself, I know how challenging this time of year can be. You want to be able to give your kids everything they want, but as parents it’s our job to know where the line must be drawn. So, if one of your little ones has been begging you to get them a cat or a dog for Christmas, you may be going back and forth about whether it’s the right thing to do.

CatCourtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Well, we’d never recommend that you give a pet as a Christmas present. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not something that you can consider in the New Year. But before you decide if a pet would make the perfect addition to your family, we’d strongly suggest that you read this post first.

Lifestyle
Whether you decide to get a pet, and what pet you choose, should be determined by your lifestyle. If you decide to get a dog, for example, and you don’t have the time to take proper care of it, this is as unfair to the dog as much as it is to your family. We must be realistic about what level of responsibility we are able and willing to take on. You may think that a goldfish would make a low-maintenance pet, and when you compare their care needs to that of a dog’s then in many ways you’d be right. However, a goldfish still needs to be fed and have its tank cleaned on a regular basis.

fishCourtesy of Flickr

So, it’s important that you sit down as a family beforehand to decide whose responsibility such jobs will be. It’s important to clarify the role that everyone in the family will be expected to play. Otherwise, you may find that rather than bringing you together your pet will cause arguments and conflict.

Cost
Depending on what pet you plan on introducing into the family, you may find that it can be quite a costly affair. There’s the initial cost of the animal itself; then there are vaccinations to consider, as well as food, toys, grooming and healthcare. So, if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, we’d suggest that you think very carefully before introducing another dependent into the family. You can visit websites like www.365vet.co.uk to give you an idea of how much such pet products are likely to cost.

Parental Responsibility
Sadly, all pets pass away eventually, and as adults we know just how devastating this can be. So, if you have younger kids, you need to ask yourself whether the loss of a beloved family dog, for example, is something that they will be able to cope with. All children mature at different rates; some are far more sensitive than others. So, it’s up to you to decide as their parent, whether they’re emotionally prepared for such an experience.

dogCourtesy of Flickr

We hope that this post has helped you to ask the right questions and weigh up the pros and cons so that you can make the right decision for you and your family.

New Intel Technology Zone at Best Buy @BestBuy #IntelatBestBuy

 

Have you ever needed a new computer, or other piece of technology and other than what you hear on TV or see on advertising you really have no direction of what computer or tablet to buy.  This is ME 100%!  I need a new computer and I am not sure what one to buy, what one will suit my needs.  Luckily Best Buy and Intel have teamed up to help us out.  Putting experts on hand to help us find what we need and putting technology right at our finger tips to play with and try out.
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Even for those of us that do feel like they are pretty familiar with technology- the Intel Technology Zone is definitely something you want to check out.  I will admit I totally geeked out over seeing the 3D Printer and some of the cool things that were made on it.  Colton loved playing with the little robots and changing the colors of the robot on the computer.  The 3D Printer wasn’t “in action” when were there, but it was really cool to see it in person.

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Intel_432x288_Static_MarsAnother cool thing was a game where you got to test drive a Mars Rover.  Using a Windows Tablet you aim it at “Mars” the game comes to life on the screen of the tablet, using the real life image as a part of the game.  It was really cool, once you think about the technology behind that to make it work.

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Averaging 240 square feet, the Intel Technology Experience will show customers the power of Intel: the technology behind these new, innovative activities is the same power behind the devices like tablets and laptops we love and rely on every day. Customers can build and print their own 3D robot, show off their racing skills on Mars in an augmented reality world, master beats and remix tracks by Ne-Yo as a digital DJ, and check out the latest PC and tablet devices powered by Intel processors.

The area will be staffed by specially trained Best Buy Blue Shirts to answer questions and help customers make the most of each area within the experience. Each season, Intel will refresh the venues with a new array of technology experiences.

For more information about the Intel Technology Experience areas, including a list of stores, visit www.bestbuy.com/intel.

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Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for Men

2014 Holiday Gift Guide for men

Okay ladies, I am sure you have already started thinking about what to buy for the men in your life.  Check out this great list of gifts and I am sure you will find something your hubby, dad, brother, uncle, and friends will love!

For consideration to be included in the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, please email mommyhasalife@gmail.com