All posts in Parenting

How Early Learning Resources Can #SparkAMind of a Child

How Early Learning Resources Can #SparkAMind of a Child

This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

How do you as a parent encourage a lifelong love of learning in your child? Houghton Mifflin Harcourt believes that everyday moments of curiosity can spark an interest in kids, motivating them to dig for answers. Asking questions and learning how to find answers is the key to creating a desire to learn.

As a mom with three kids, I’ve found that my children are polar opposite when it comes to what drives their curiosity. My oldest, now 16 years old, has always had a love for art. For her, we brought her to art museums, got her art books, and provided her with art materials so that she could draw, draw, draw every single day. Her progress is captured here: Grasshopper and Sensei. It’s no surprise to us that she wants to attend an art and design college.

Early Learning desire in my child lead to her interest in art

A recent drawing by my oldest. Read more…

Lunch Box Love, free lunch box notes printable

Lunch Box Love: FREE Lunch Box Note Printable

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

I’m not the mom who makes beautiful bento box lunches for her kids though I fantasize about that. I am usually the one scrambling in the morning to pack lunch for my son who is the last to go to school. My teen girls are up and out of the house before I am awake (thanks hubby!), and they pack their own lunch.

Show Love in the Lunch Box

It’s not surprising then that Valentine’s Day has passed and even Chinese New Year and I didn’t do anything special for my kids. I’ve decided that 1) it’s never too late and 2) baby steps. Read more…

Naruto, Guko drawings by 5th grade boy

Naruto Inspired Learning for my 5th Grade Son

NarutoMy son has always had his obsessions:

  • Age 3: Dinosaurs and Angry Birds
  • Age 4 and 5: Pokémon
  • Age 6: Bakugan, Ninjago
  • Age 7: Magic Cards, Minecraft, Mario Brothers Video Games
  • Age 9, 10: Minecraft, Dragonballz, Injustice Video Game
  • Age 1o and 11: Dragonballz, Naruto

naruto first coverRead more…

International Book Giving Day

Today is International Book Giving Day!

Today is International Book Giving Day! The aim? To get books into the hands of as many children as possible.

Today I will be giving away a diversity book bundle on my Instagram @PragmaticMom. Follow me and tag two people to win my giveaway!

14th February is about sharing the love of books! #bookgivingday

International Book Giving Day is a 100% volunteer initiative aimed at increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books because:

  • Most children in developing countries do not own books.
  • In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.
  • In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.

International Book Giving Day Read more…

how not to get your wordpress blog hacked

How Not To Get Hacked: My Advice after 2 of My Blogs Were Hacked

Two of my blogs got hacked recently. I think the hacker used the same means for illegal blog entry: an old theme that I had tried out years ago and rejected. That particular theme was probably not updated over time, and it became a Trojan Horse for hackers to enter my blog.

It turns out that WordPress users are more vulnerable to hackers since it’s a big community. Don’t worry! Here are some FREE tips and action items to lockdown your security.

Trojan Horse

How about you? Have your blogs ever been hacked? What else did you do? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Giveaway: Botanical Cards from Bottle Branch

Giveaway: Botanical Cards from Bottle Branch

I discovered Elizabeth on Instagram @ehpyle and was delighted to discover that lives near my neck of the woods, one town over. Her Instagram feed is gorgeous — she’s a recovering botanist, mother, semi-professional mess maker who is obsessively learning to take better photos. Her obsession has paid off. Her photos are amazing.

Bottle Branch @ehpyle

Now she has a store called Bottle Branch where she turns her botanical collages into gorgeous thick notecards. The envelopes are equally luxurious. I received this collection from my husband for my birthday. She’s my guest blogger today and we are doing a giveaway of her beautiful cards in time for Valentine’s Day! Here’s her mompreneur story:

I was delighted when Mia asked me to do a giveaway with her on her blog, and I’m thrilled to offer a set of six botanically inspired greeting cards from my etsy shop, Bottle Branch. Read more…

Year of the Monkey Bookmark Craft

Year of the Monkey Bookmark Craft

February 8th is Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Monkey, my son’s year! This is what Chinese astrology has to say about people born during the year of the monkey:

Monkey years are believed to be an unlucky for people born in a year of the Monkey. A year of one’s birth sign is believed to be the most unlucky in the 12-year cycle. “Monkeys” (who take Chinese astrology seriously) are particularly careful about their health, love lives, career, and investments in Monkey years. from China Highlights

It’s not all bad news for those who are born in the Year of the Monkey:

People born in a year of the Monkey are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality. Personality traits, like mischievousness, curiosity, and cleverness, make them very naughty. Monkeys are masters of practical jokes, because they like playing most of the time. Though they don’t have any bad intentions, their pranks sometimes hurt the feelings of others. Monkeys are fast learners and crafty opportunists. from China Highlights

It sounds like this is a good year to lay low and read books. To help keep your place, make this Year of the Monkey bookmark craft from author Jennifer DeCristoforo of Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts: Over 100 Projects & Ideas Celebrating Chinese Culture. She’s my guest author today.

Year of the Monkey bookmark craft Read more…

The Dumpling Mama's Chinese Red Envelope GIVEAWAY!

The Dumpling Mama’s Chinese Red Envelope GIVEAWAY!

The Dumpling Mama Chinese Red EnvelopesI met Chrissy Jee of @thedumplingmama on Instagram and I was thrilled to know that she decided to open her own business designing and printing really nice Chinese Red Envelopes. I like to have them on hand. I’ve used them for my son’s 2nd grade China unit as a guest presenter. I don’t know how to speak or write Chinese so the characters always confound me. Chinese Red Envelopes are used for many things besides New Year’s.

Chrissy Jee of The Dumpling Mama

Chrissy Jee of The Dumpling Mama  Read more…

My Daughter's Cooking New Year Resolution

My Daughter’s Cooking New Year Resolution

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Grasshopper and Sensei is now a sophomore in high school and we talk a lot about how there are just a few more years to enjoy her company here at home. She likes to bring this up to make us appreciate her more. It works every time!

My Daughter's Cooking New Year ResolutionThis past winter vacation, she announced her intention to learn to cook. I thought it was a great idea since she will need cooking skills when she goes away to college at some point! She decided that she would learn by acting as my sous chef. She would chop for me and get ingredients. She was very helpful when we made a complicated Bolognese sauce together. Read more…