All posts in Parenting

My Best Energy Saving Idea

My Best Energy Saving Idea

I live outside of Boston and our house energy bill surges in the winter. And our winter lasts a long, long time! It’s not just three months, but the snow will start to fall as early as Halloween (ok, that only happened once) and last though April. We typically get a White Christmas.

Saving money on energy is always on our mind because our rising energy bill to heat our home coincides with the holiday spending season! My best idea to save energy is pretty simple yet very effective. It’s really to block the gaps in the doors of your house that let in the cold air.

The fix can be expensive — get new doors and door frames — or inexpensive. We go for easy and inexpensive by using this cold air blocking device called a door sweep by Frost King that my husband bought from Home Depot.

My Best Energy Saving IdeaRead more…

New York Life Keep Good Going Twitter Party

Do Good, Share Traditions and Win Prizes

I’m so thrilled to be co-hosting a Twitter party on behalf of New York Life‘s Keep Good Going on Monday, November 24th at 5pm PST/8pm EST.  What does that mean exactly — Keep Good Going? To me, it means many things:

  • Gratitude for what is in my life.
  • Celebrating family traditions.
  • Remembering those who aren’t with us.
  • Giving back during the holiday season.

My kids are concerned about children who don’t have enough food and so we dug into our pantry for the school food drive which will help our local food pantries. Do you need a book list to help kids learn about hunger? I wrote a book list for Let’s Lasso the Moon and here are a few of my picks:

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen (Reading Rainbow Book) by Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan

A little boy wants to learn more about the people he sees on the street so he accompanies his Uncle Willie to the soup kitchen where they work with other volunteers to help feed the hungry and homeless. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Rory Gardiner, Yee-Haw new country music album for kids

First Country Music Album for Kids GIVEAWAY!

I met country musician Rory Gardiner on Twitter. He wrote me saying:

I think music is incredibly important in the development of young minds. I am a recording artist who just released my first children’s album. After becoming a parent myself, I couldn’t resist the direction my song writing was taking me! I think your readers would could connect with it because it inhibits inspiration, fun and an artistic outlet for their kids.

I agree and after listening to his music — he’s seriously talented! — I wanted my readers to meet him! Today’s guest post is from Rory Gardiner. What children’s music are you enjoying? Rory’s is the world’s FIRST country music for kids! Read more…

Petz Beach 3DS game

Petz Beach 3DS Game for Kids Who Want a Pet!

My son, now age 10, is the serious gamer. He goes from screen to screen if we are not careful: iPad, computer, TV, Wii, and 3DS. But lately, the 3DS is rarely used; he’s waiting for the newest Pokémon games to come out, so his device is untended and uncharged.

I had purchased other Petz games in the past for his older sisters when they were younger. PickyKidPix (now 12) and Grasshopper and Sensei (now 14) both have DSi that they don’t use at all. When Petz Beach arrived, I was surprised by how my kids pounced on it. Petz Beach 3DS game Read more…

positive affirmations for kids

Positive Affirmations for Kids

Every year, Grasshopper and Sensei‘s sleepover summer camp has a mother/daughter weekend where we set up our own tent and spend two days together. The idea is for me to shadow my daughter and participate in her life at camp; meeting her friends and their mothers, eating meals with her cabin, and participating in all her activities.

Positive Affirmations for GirlsRead more…

printable fill in the blank thank you notes for kids

Writing Charming Thank You Notes (FREE Printable) : Day 12 of 12 Days of Shopping

We are closing out our 12 Days of Shopping with the necessary thank you notes: Day 12 Etiquette of Thank you Notes. Thank YOU so much for joining us in this series. Jeanette and I really enjoyed your company! Thank you again! What gift categories would you like us to cover next year? How about for Valentine’s Day?!

Today we will cover:

  • How to write a thank you note
  • DIY printable thank you note for kids

Read more…

Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts

Giving and Receiving Unwanted Gifts: Day 11 of 12 Days of Shopping

For Day 11, I am exploring the art of giving and receiving unwanted gifts and Jeanette has 15 DIY holiday gifts you can make with your kids.

I doubt anyone would ever reject a handmade gift made with love (hence going DIY shows you really care), but are you inadvertently giving gifts that are being regifted? Do your kids know how to react when receiving a gift that does not excite them? What is the etiquette of handling an unwanted gift? I don’t have the answers so I went exploring…

I really liked what The Grio had to say about regifting.

Exchanging at the Store: She says it’s tacky to return for money but exchanging for something more suitable is ok.

Here’s what you say to the giftor (I thought this was genius): “I took the [insert gift] back to the store because it had a [insert defect], but they didn’t have anymore *look really sad for this part *, so I got a [insert much cooler gift] instead.”

The Perils of Regifting: You can’t get caught so you have to think 6 degrees of separation when you decide to regift. Does your intended gift receiver have any connection to the originator of the gift? If there is any hint of that, then No, No, No!! You will get caught and it will be ugly.

Donating Unwanted Gift: Find a local charity and get a two for one. You get rid of it and you get a tax deduction.

Here’s what you say to the giftor (again, pure genius): “Gosh, you know me so well! I already have a [insert gift], so I went ahead and donated the one you gave me to [insert awesome charity]. I know that will make someone really happy.”

Read more…

Gifts For New Year's Resolutions

Gifts For New Year’s Resolutions: Day 10 of 12 Days of Shopping

Hannukah is late this year, ending on December 24th, so holiday gifting can also roll right into New Year’s Resolutions. Why not gift someone something to help them kick off their goals for the new year? Jeanette and I thought we’d find gifts that help teach something new and help you reach your New Year’s resolution goals.

Jeanette’s New Year’s resolution goals include: personalized volunteer match, exercise trainer, photography class, public speaking like TED, cooking and knitting. I love hers! How about you? Would you give gifts for someone’s New Year’s Resolution? And how do you figure that out?

 

Artistic New Year’s Resolutions

I’m trying to return to watercolor painting. I used to take a lot of art classes before kids and now I’m ready to start back up. This is my first attempt in nearly a decade. It took me a month to rebuy art supplies, set up my watercolor palette and get myself to sit down and paint again.

poppies watercolor painting by mia wenjenRead more…

Gifts for the Forgotten

Gifts for the Forgotten: Day 9 of 12 Days of Shopping

Jeanette and I thought we’d try to remember those who are easily forgotten because … sometimes we forget about them. A small gesture goes a long way. Jeanette has Unique Client Gifts … helpful because one year, I forgot to gift my clients during the holidays so I had to do the late thing which is not very impressive.

If this list of the forgottens is too long, maybe this is a good list to DIY with your kids?! Everyone loves this granola recipe from Nigella Lawson. I’ve gifted it year round to teachers who love it!

best homemade granola recipe from nigella lawson Read more…