5 Things You Need To Know About….Ticks

THM-5-Things-Know-About-Ticks-Tick-SmartThis week’s 5 Things You Need to Know About column is talking all about ticks. Where ticks live, how to avoid bites and what to do if you happen to get bitten….

Summertime means outdoor play, hiking and gardening. But it can also mean tick bites. Ticks are common throughout the United States. They live outdoors in grass, trees, shrubs, leaf piles and wild animals.

Ticks are small, blood-sucking bugs. They can range in size from as small as a pin’s head to as large as a pencil eraser. They have eight legs and can range in color from shades of brown to reddish-brown and black.

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What It Was Like When I Was A Child….

In a lot of ways, my kidlets have it a lot better today than I did growing up. They’ve got more opportunities for education, better fashion as well as a multitude of technology, information, communication and entertainment options available instantly at their fingertips. But is all this advancement at the expense of igniting the creative spark within our children?

10376276_10153109189569595_4284187600267633178_nAccording to a 2010 study by the College of William and Mary of about 300,000 creativity tests going all the way back to the 1970s found that creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas.

To me, my kidlets have short attention spans and tend to bore easily. Sometimes they have a hard time inventing their own play. Though they have rooms full of toys, games, art supplies and books, they still come and ask “what can I do/play?” I used to think they didn’t have enough options, but now I’m thinking they might actually have too much to choose from and don’t know what would actually satisfy them….

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Teaching Kids To Save For A Rainy Day #teachkidstosave

This post is sponsored by Boiling Springs Savings Bank.  All opinions are my own.

THM-Boiling-Springs-Saving-Money-Is-CoolThis past week was a big one for my five-year-old daughter.   She lost her first tooth! She was so excited that she did a crazy dance that had her jumping about and rolling on the floor which had me laughing hysterically. It certainly was a rite of passage, but my daughter wasn’t as excited about becoming a “big girl” as much as she knew that the Tooth Fairy was going to pay her a visit.

Now when I was a kid and I lost a tooth, the most I ever found under my pillow was a quarter. Apparently, those days are long gone; the Tooth Fairy no longer leaves kids loose change!

The established (via our seven-year-old son) Tooth Fairy rates in our house are $5 for the first tooth and $1 for every subsequent tooth – or else we’d go broke! So before bed that night my daughter carefully placed her little tooth under her pillow and awoke in the morning to find that her fairy friend left her a nice, crisp five dollar bill.
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“Which Came First, The Chicken or the Easter Egg” Kid Craft

THM-Chicken-Egg-Easter-Kid-Craft-Multi-chicksIt’s that age-old question that has been hotly debated for centuries – “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Well, luckily for this craft you don’t have solve that problem; you just have to make a fun decoration for Easter!

Last year for an Easter craft – the kidlets and I dyed eggs using onion skins and used tiny botanicasl to decorate them with for a natural, eco-friendly holiday (click here to see that craft).

The year before that we made a wacky looking Easter bunny and chick garland (click here to see that one).  So this year I wanted to find something fun and easy for the kidlets to make to add to our growing collection of handmade Easter decorations.Continue reading ⇒

Lovable Labels The Ultimate Camp Pack #Giveaway

THM-Lovable-Labels-Ultimate-Camp-Pack-Kids-CanoeMy son’s been going to summer day camp for the past few years and it’s something he looks forward to. I mean, who can blame him, he’s not in school and his days are filled with carefree fun!

Every night during the months of July and August he comes home and excitedly tells us all about his adventures in swimming, sports, cookouts, woodworking, ceramics, photography and go carts. His little sister is always a captive audience. She listens intently, with wide eyes and then sadly laments, “I wish I was old enough for camp!”

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How To Get Kids To Talk

Does this conversation I recently had with my son sound familiar to you?

Me: Hi honey!  How was your day today?
Son: Fine.

Me: What happened at school today?
Son: Nothing.

Me: Did you know that  there’s a new Skylanders Trap Team character coming out?
Son: Yeah, his name is Love Potion Pop Fizz and he’s this wild and crazy mad scientist! He loves making potions and he got caught up in a raspberry soda blast that turned him pink and made him smell all pretty.

How come my son can describe to me in great detail a Skylanders character that hadn’t even come out yet, but when I ask him about his day/school he suddenly becomes an introvert?

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How To Host A Successful Playdate #DisneyKids

I received free products in order to host the #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate.
The opinions expressed here are my own.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-playdate-blocks-image23559451As the mom of two kidlets under the age of 8, playdates are a big part of my life.

Playdates are great opportunities for children to interact with other children in small settings. Aside from being fun, playdates help a child the chance to develop their social skills, build their self-esteem and broaden their views on how people are different and alike.

I also find that playdates are a great opportunity for parents, especially working moms like myself who aren’t as visible at local activities or school events, to build relationships with other parents of similar aged children. It’s always helpful and reassuring to have friends who can share and commiserate in both the challenges and joys of raising children.

There are no hard and fast rules to hosting a playdate. All you have to do is remember that a kid playdate is not a star-studded gala. You don’t have to go all out to impress, all that work and detail would just be lost on the kiddie crowd anyway.  All you really have to do is make sure your playdate is packed with lots of fun!

Here are my tips and trips to hosting a successful playdate:

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The Harried Mom’s “Perfect” #SundaySauce

One of the moms from my book club recently had twins.  Between recovering from giving birth, taking care of two newborns, tending to her older daughter and oh yeah, don’t forget her husband and the house, I know it’s been an exhausting and overwhelming few weeks…and it’s just starting!

To help our mommy pal out our book club organized a meal train.  I had never heard of a meal train before, but I love its purpose.

A meal train is organized meal giving.  For example if someone is ill, elderly or has a new baby (or two!), caring friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or pretty much anyone who wants to show their excitement or compassion prepares and brings a meal to the family in need on an assigned day.   These are “drop off” ready meals – ones that the family can either pop in the oven to reheat or just stick in a fork in and start eating.

Taking into consideration my friend’s family dietary restrictions/preferences, I settled on making a spinach lasagna since I know it can freeze well if they decide they don’t want to eat it that day.  It’s also easy to prepare so I could double up on ingredients and stash a lasagna in my own freezer for a tasty homemade meal to reheat in less than an hour on a crazy weeknight.

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I think the secret to making a great pasta meal — whether its spaghetti, lasagna or ravioli — is that is has to have a great sauce.  Being Italian I’ll admit that I’m pretty good at making #SundaySauce.  It’s so good that it’s been known to be called “perfect” by my close friends and family.

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Holiday Gift Picks for Kids – Introducing “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” Video Series

I’m so excited to share today’s post with you!

Over the past year I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to check out great toys, books, electronics, gifts, clothes, events and activities at various blogging events which I’ve shared with you here at The Harried Mom. At these events I would always run into my friend Lisa Pisano from Mom A La Mode.

I love hanging out with Lisa. Why?  Because we’re two like-minded blogging moms who love to talk about products and our experiences. We figured if we liked talking about these things together, you might too and we’ve created a new series that we hope you’ll find both informative and entertaining.

So I’m proud to introduce you to “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” our new monthly vlog series that gives you the scoop on the latest in toys, trends and fun from two bloggers with an all access-pass to what’s hot and happening!

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For our inaugural episode we’re getting into the holiday spirit with a holiday gift guide for kids. Our picks are focused on items for both boys and girls and ranging in age from pre-K thru elementary school.

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What Marriage Is….

THM-WeddingOSBlog6-10-13Today The Hubs and I are celebrating a milestone. It’s our 10th wedding anniversary.

YAY for us!!

Before I got married I used to romanticized about it.

My marriage was going to be just like a fairy tale. Our love would be effortless and our lives would always be filled with romance, chirping birds and never any unhappy endings.

But here’s the reality….

Marriage is not a fairy tale. Marriage is hard word. Having a good marriage is even harder work.

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