Monday, June 30, 2008

Jammy Rides

How fun does this concept sound??!! I want to try it with my boys tonight!!!

Precious vases!

I'm in love with these place card holders... aren't they so cute?  They're $9 for 6 of them, and they include the bases, tubes for flowers and placecards.   I'm thinking they could be so cute in a line down a table for a centerpiece!

They're from a company called BlumeBox, and they make all different shapes and sizes of these little cardboard box vases for flower arrangements.   They're very inexpensive and WAY cute!    They're even doing these darling ribbons now!

It makes me want to throw a party!   (Now, if only I'd recover those ugly maroon loveseats...)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Free Audio Books!

I was reading about this on Money Saving Mom today, and I looked into it. Really neat! This site has a list of books that you can download onto your computer..even onto your itunes and then make a CD of them--ALL FOR FREE! Librivox is the place. I found some Thornton Burgess and some Beatrix Potter. There are tons!

This reminded me that there is something else like this called Lit2Go where you can download books for free. If memory serves me, they also have a nice selection of nursery rhymes.

For us, audio books are a great way to pass time driving in the car, to make rest time fun for my five year old, or to make sure to get a little reading into an otherwise full day.

I better get to shopping for some more titles!

Yummy Fish Recipe!

Here is a GREAT summer recipe and our whole family loved this. I have made it with both orange roughy and halibut, although I think the kids liked the orange roughy better. I hope you enjoy!,1717,154188-246192,00.html

25 Free (or Cheap!) Things to Do with the Kids This Summer!

Check out this post at for 25 free (or inexpensive) things to do with our kiddos in the Dallas area this summer!

A couple of my favorite new ideas:

Free workshops for kids ages 5-12 beginning at 9am until noon, the first Saturday of the month at all area Home Depot Stores!   Next up, is July 5th, where the children can make FREE birdhouses!

My Kind of Mom calls it a "hidden sanctuary" in West Plano, with:  " amazing 200-acre park, with a large playground, over 4 miles of paved hiking/biking paths, large pavilions, a creek, and even an observation tower. Take your kids with a list of “evidence” to search for (a particular plant, a type of tree, etc.) and have them collect it in a picture, a drawing, or even the object itself. A list is available here, you can check out “Are You an Outdoor Kid” for other nature trail ideas, or you cold make a list of your own."

Check out the rest of her list - there are ideas for super-cheap movies (for really hot days), and lots of other really interesting things to do around the area!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

THE eyelash curler

Shu Uemura Friends & Family Discount...

This is supposed to be THE eyelash curler...the best one! So, here's a coupon for 20 percent off...wouldn't this be a fun gift for a sister or mom. Click here for the skinny.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Developing Small Motor Skills

I have a child who is getting ready to go to kindergarten. I know that learning to print is just around the corner, so I'm always looking for good ideas for developing my child's hand muscles. Conscious Play is a wonderful blog that is always full of good ideas for just this kind of thing. Develop the Small Muscles of Your Child's Hands is her latest post. Take a looksee.

What's the Deal with Acai?

A lot of talk about Acai....I knew it was good for you, but now it's being touted as the number one super food. I've bought a package of acai at Central Market. It was in the frozen food section and was packaged in 6 individual mini packets. We put it in smoothies and it was tasty. I googled it today, and here's what I came up thinks I should go get some more of this magic wonder juice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The MOTHER LODE for crafts!

Okay, so I know I'm the over-poster today, but I couldn't end the day without sharing this CUTE website with lots and lots of simple activities and crafts for kids.  

You.  Must.  Visit.  This.  Site.  Today.  GO!  NOW!

Family chore system!

These charts and schedules are sooooo cute and functional!  The creator's name is Angela, and would you believe she has a blog called The Creative Homemaker!    (Bet you'll never guess how I came upon her website!)   

Anyway, this clever gal has come up with something she calls her "Summer System."  You've just GOT to visit her blog and check it all out.    This tiny picture just doesn't do it justice.   She's actually beginning to customize and sell these - you can see "buy" links on the right side of the page.

While you're there, she's got another post about a wheel she uses to assign rules for her "Family Home Evening" - which, incidentally is a pretty neat Mormon tradition.  (She's LDS) 

I googled "Family Home Evening" and found tons and tons of great ideas for Bible stories,  crafts, visuals, etc. that could easily be used for our own families.     Like this site - when you click on "Obedience 1", there are some ideas about Jonah and how to discuss obedience.    So many of them don't even mention the Book of Mormon,  and simply use the Bible.

We've been intending to do a little family night for a while now, where we could read a Bible story and discuss as a family... but I'm the queen of "do as I say and not as I do."   Maybe this will get us started!

These Plates are SO Cute!

I've always wanted to have a "You are Special"  or "Happy Birthday" plate to use at the dinner table to celebrate big achievements, birthdays, milestones, etc.

These are too cute - albeit a little pricey at $20 each.   But if you were going to give a fun birthday present - a set of preppy monogrammed plates would be so FUN to give... and receive!

They're melamine (dishwasher safe!) and about as cute and preppy as it gets.   Love 'em!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Inspiring Words...

Read this wonderful list from Proverbs 31 called "10 Ways to Make Your Home a Haven"
by Mary E. DeMuth. It is precious. What a great website that is.

Those new CFLs.... (compact fluorescent light bulbs)

In case you haven't heard, fluorescent light bulbs are filled with mercury vapor.   Both the long tubes, as well as the new energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Mercury is neurotoxic - especially for children and pregnant mommies, so be careful never to break one!    They are considered hazardous waste, and have to be taken to a special recycling center to be disposed - not put in the regular trash.

This is worth watching - it's funny and very informative, and lasts 5 minutes.   It's Congressman Ted Poe addressing this issue.

The best kids' multi ever!

I don't know about you, but my picky kiddos don't always eat all their fruits and veggies.

Okay, so run right out and get these for your kiddos - Nordic Berries.  They're chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - this is no Flintstones vitamin - but they are DELICIOUS!   They look like little gumdrops (kiddos take 4 per day), and they're chewy and taste like orange/berries.

They're pectin-based, with no artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives.    And my 3 year old begs for his "fruit chewies" every morning!

You can either order off the website, or buy them at Roy's at Preston and Royal in Dallas.  

P.S.  Roy's is closed on Saturdays and open Sundays.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Do Not Miss

This is showing now at the Dallas Children's Theater. Here is what Anne had to say:

"We went to see "A Year with Frog and Toad" at Dallas Children's Theater, and it was just precious. I just thought I'd pass along that it is playing there for another month or so. I do not think that it is sold out. I am not saying that the story has any deep meaning of any kind, but it was just a sweet and fun story to go and see with your children on a hot summer day. Frog and Toad are such sweet friends to each other!"

Anne's word is good enough for me!

Cherries with Caramel Dip

For a couple of anniversaries, my husband and I spent the night at the ever-so-swanky W Hotel in Dallas. For a special anniversary treat, the hotel sent us a bottle of champagne along with a beautifully presented tray of cherries surrounding a bowl of caramel dip. That was such a summery and delicious treat. I've copied them before but had forgotten about it until just yesterday. It's so easy to duplicate. You can purchase caramel dip in the produce section of most grocery stores. Put it in a pretty bowl, set that on a tray, and surround it with fresh cherries. Be sure to provide something where the seeds and stems can be discarded. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Going Bonkers! A great place to go when your kids are going bonkers....

So we've probably been swimming about a third of our waking hours for the last two weeks.   Well, maybe not a third, but at some point, on these hot days, there's got to be something else to do with the kiddos when they're crawling the walls and it's 150 degrees outside.

Enter:  Going Bonkers!     
This is some serious fun.    It's totally safe, with netted-in climbing platforms made out of a material that reminds me of seat belts.   They're big about how clean and sanitized the structures are, and there's a separate 3 and under play area that my 3 year old loves.  Plus, the word is, it was designed by a physical therapist.

It's 16,000 square feet of open-air climbing and sliding fun, and toddlers all the way to young teens love it.    Oh, and it's pretty dang cheap.    Adults  are $1,  Kids 3-18 $5.   Under 3, $2.50.

What's great:  
  • There a a whole bunch of booths situated right in the middle (I'm sitting in one now actually) that give you good line of sight to pretty much anywhere in the play center except the arcade upstairs.  (More on that later)
  • There's free wireless internet, so you can bring your laptop and check email, catch up on other moms' blogs, and keep yourself entertained.    That, or you can bring a magazine.
  • There's pretty cheap food, or you can bring your own in.    Huge cheese pizza, $15, feeds about 25 people.    OK, maybe not 25, but 4 at least.    They even had salads (which of course I didn't try) and several variations on kids' meals for $3 to $5.
Some tips:
  • Be sure and dress your kid(s) in a really bright, and ideally striped shirt.   It makes it wayyyy easier to keep up w/ your wigglers.   Except not pink, since every little girl in here has on a pink shirt.   Seriously.
  • Saturdays are REALLY busy.   If you're okay with that, or forget (like I did today), it's still fine, but a little harder to keep watch.     Weekdays are usually best, and they're open most days until early evening.
  • Meet a buddy here - it's like a grown-up version of Tots Towne, for all of you who remember that.  Easy to chat and still watch your kids.
  • When you get here, tell you kiddos they're not allowed to go upstairs to the arcade.    It's just easier.    It's the only area you can't see (without actually getting up and walking upstairs) and who knows who's lurking up there.    I know, I'm paranoid, but it's a crazy world these days.
To get there:   head up I-35 past the Bush, and you'll see Vista Ridge mall on your left.  I think it's called "Round Grove Road".    Go west on Round Grove over the highway, then make a left on MacArthur.   Watch for Going Bonkers on your left.

So, that's about it!    More than you ever wanted to know about Going Bonkers. 

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pancakes, Pancakes here's my idea for the weekend. This is what I'm going to do. My husband is going to help me..he doesn't know it yet, but he is! I'm going to buy the ingredients for some super healthy whole grain pancakes. Then I'm (code--we;re) going to start cooking. We have a griddle that is a hand-me-down from my dad. We're going to cook stacks and stacks of pancakes. Then, I'm going to freeze them in baggies--four per bag--two per child. This way, breakfast will be a breeze and oh, so much cheaper than buying a box of frozen Aunt Jemimas.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Monogrammed Twin Bed for $299?

Oh my goodness!     So it's 10:34 am, and since our field trip to the berry patch got rained out this morning, I'm working on potty-training my (very resistant) 3 year old.    Translation = I'm still in my pajamas surfing the net and running in there every 15 minutes or so for a pee/poop check.   Ahhh... the glamourous life of a stay-at-home-mom!

Anywho, I was on the DominoMag blog, and eureka!   I found this DARLING bed!   

Seriously - isn't this the cutest bed ever?    The whole thing, monogrammed is $299!
I wish I hadn't already bought the boys the Cargo Kids wooden bunk beds on CraigsList, because I'd be all over these!