SUMMER VACATION IS OVER!!!!

I guess I can say SUMMER VACATION is pretty much over!!!!!!! Some kids have already started classes, and teachers are back in the classroom.

Hopefully everyone had a great summer break either if it was traveling with the kids, or just simply staying home and relaxing.

My little one goes to daycare(school) everyday Monday thru Friday 7am-5pm yes I know he is there all day, but his momma and daddy need to work. I personally don’t think daycare is bad thing, a lot of them now have a lesson plan setup  every day for the kids.

Kevin is 2 and will be turning 3 years old in November !!

He already has down his ..

  • Number’s 1-10
  • Days of the week
  • ABC’s
  • Months of the year
  • Colors
  • Senses
  • Matching & Sorting

You name it he probably already knows it!

He basically is preschool ready which to me is an awesome thing.

He still has things he needs to improve on, but one more year in daycare and he will be good to go.

Singing songs that have movement  seem to help a lot.

He learned the months of the year by doing the famous Macarena dance !! Try it out with your kids

Reward Charts are going to be a  new thing with Kevin.

chart

Stickers are the most coolest thing to him even if he just sticks them all over the place. Hopefully earning a sticker will encourage him to do the task  =) Let’s cross our fingers on this one !!!!!

Pinterest happens to be the best place to look for toddler learning styles & charts!

Let me know what you find.

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livelifetexasmomma

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5 Kid-Tested Tips for Healthy Eating

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve healthy eating, but then again, so do some of my worst memories.  So how do you get your kids to remember eating their veggies as a good memory instead of the traumatizing them for life?

Bad childhood memory time…please don’t serve Lima beans straight out of a can on a regular basis or mounds of steamed brussels sprouts the size of golf balls. Why not?  Because of you do this I can almost guarantee that all of your efforts to get your kids to eat healthy will be in vain.  Think about it, even if they manage to stomach them now, of all the vegetables you will serve them in their lifetime these bad experiences will probably be what stands out in their minds when they are adults, making them shy away from nutritional powerhouses like brussels sprouts in the future.

Even myself who pretty much loves eating every fruit or vegetable still struggle when I get to lima beans and ugh steamed whole Brussels sprouts really…can I get a side of cheese sauce with that.  The smell of Brussel sprouts steaming alone is enough to clear the table.  Try a fresh shredded brussels sprout and apple salad or even sautéed chopped brussels sprouts with onions and garlic as a sandwich topping instead.

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My husband liking his Brussel sprout salad….30 years later and a Sauteed Brussel Sprout Sandwich mmm…

So what else can you do to make healthy eating a good childhood memory?  The following 5 tips are what worked for my parents when they were raising me and what has worked for me so far with my kids, check them out.

1.  Get cooking…..together.

My best childhood memories are set in the kitchen, cooking with my grandma.  Not that everything she taught me to cook was “healthy” but it sure was fun.  All kids want to “help.” Yes, I know 6 year olds may not seem like the best helpers, especially after they spill a pitcher of fresh squeezed juice all over the floor, but that is just part of being a parent.  When learning about food and healthy eating it is important to know what goes into your meals. What better way to teach kids what is in their meal than by having them help prepare it.  Kids are more likely to taste something new if they had a hand in making it because not only are they are proud of their creation but they are curious.  A few ways my son helps me in the kitchen are…

  • gathering ingredients from the pantry and refrigerator.
  • washing the produce.
  • chopping soft foods (such as mushrooms) with a butter knife.
  • mixing and measuring.
  • layering ingredients (sandwiches, pizza, lasagna…pretty much anything that has to be assembled in layers).
  • pressing the button (on the blender, toaster, food processor, juicer, etc) with adult supervision of course.
  • setting the table.
  • and my favorite, cleaning-up.

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My oldest son “helping” make fresh squeezed juice

2.  Serve the rainbow.

You hear this over and over but what does it mean? No you don’t have to spend hours making your food look like perfectly sculpted rainbows, animals and such. Just add a splash of color to each meal. How do you do this?

  • Serve a side of fruit or veggies.
  • Add finely chopped veggies to family favorites.  (Put some avocado or diced tomatoes next to your quesadilla.)
  • Use a variety of fruits and vegetables. (After a while even favorites get boring, you can only eat broccoli so many ways in a week.)
  • Make burgers.  After-all, eating burgers and fries is not the unhealthy mistake most people make, scarfing down greasy take out on a regular basis is the mistake.  Burgers should be layered with color green guacamole and lettuce, purple onions, and juicy red tomatoes, and surrounded by crispy baked sweet potato fries.

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Dinner and some lovely rainbow chard at the farmer’s market

3.  Take your kids shopping.

Who loves going grocery shopping?….Um not me. But for some reason picking, counting and weighing produce is fun, to my son. That is probably because he doesn’t notice the 1,000 other people trying to get to the tomatoes on Sunday evening at HEB. Yeah, I go to the grocery store and not everything in my house is organic because really I do have a life and driving to 20 different places to buy the things on my list is just not realistic.

The goal is to know what to buy when you are at the store, if it comes in a box with a long list of ingredients you don’t understand….it is probably not the healthiest choice.  You should shop for ingredients to make meals; not packaged meals.  Frozen veggies are a better substitute for fresh than canned veggies.  For one, they just come out looking better plus they don’t have as many preservatives.

Make it a goal to go to the local farmer’s market (as a family) at least once a month, taste what the vendors are offering, and buy a couple of your fresh seasonal favorites.  Click here for a listing of RGV Farmer’s Markets.

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Fresh cherry tomatoes and serrano peppers.

4.  Make eating a family affair.

Who really likes eating alone, come on, that is just sad and you know it. Even if it is just me and my 11 month old at home and he is not hungry but it is lunch time for mama, guess who is going to sit in his high chair and have a bowl of diced fruit. Yeah it may mean your meal is not very peaceful and that you will slip on a slobbery piece of apple when you stand up but seriously they are so cute even when they are a mess. Make a goal for how many times you will eat as a family this week.

Teach older kids how to set the table and and enjoy mealtime conversation without the TV blaring. Yeah, it may take some time before your 6 year old learns how to eat with his mouth closed and not to speak with a jaw full of spaghetti; but this is the time to teach them.

Eating together also means eating the same food together. I know lots of parents who let their kids eat first because their food is ready first….because what they serve themselves is different than what they serve their kids….sorry guys but this is not cool. It is just more work for you now and more importantly, in the long run because bad habits are hard to break. Growing up if I said I wanted frozen chicken nuggets instead of wherever was cooking, it would not have been received favorably because my mom and dad were not short order cooks. Plus, if you want your kid to eat a variety of foods and have a sophisticated palette….serve them real food that you want to eat too and eat it together.

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My two little boys at the dinner table

5.  Be a food role-model.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to go on a strict diet.  A healthy relationship with food is beneficial for every member of the family. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too….just not at every meal. So what could you do?

  • Model eating a well-balanced diet throughout the day.
  • Choose fresh local foods when you can.
  • Make good restaurant choices
  • Enjoy meal time as family time.
  • Plan your meals. Not that you have to stick to a rigid plan but having an idea of what you are going to cook saves a lot of shopping time and money spent on things that sit in the pantry unused before getting sent to the food bank before it is too late.
  • Educate yourself.  For you this may mean learning about the food pyramid on choosemyplate.gov, taking a cooking class  at the McAllen Culinary Academy or making a new recipe board on Pinterest.  Whatever you do, take some time to reflect on your eating habits and make a couple healthy goals for you and your family.

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Orange Cranberry Muffins and Breakfast crepes are oh so sweet!

Check out my food blog and follow me on Instagram for more of my healthy eating ideas.

 Enjoy!

Audrey Cisneros

www.chileylimon.com

www.theimaginaryshop.com

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the McAllen Culinary Academy

2900 N 10th St McAllen TX 78501

(956) 683-0021

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Nuzzle Hug my New BFF

NuzzleHUG large taupe D-H cup

Nuzzle Hug I love this product. I dealt with major engorgement issues so I used it both hot and cold. Being able to remove the individual breast pads helped too so I could have one in the freezer if I needed it. The size of each pad is really perfect too, I had engorgement up into my underarms and the pads gave great coverage.

NuzzlePODs worn123 RBG-01

The warmth on my neck was also such a relief!  You forget how heavy a newborn can seem in those first few days of constant carrying.  Cuddled up on the sofa with a cold glass of water and the nuzzle hug warming my breasts and neck, best feeling of relief!  Overall it’s a great product!

Review by: Monica Black

BellyView 4d/3d Ultrasound

 

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Winner of the 2014  Preferred Choice and  Top Choice Award!!!

Nuzzle Hug is available at http://nuzzlemom.com/index.php/shop/. Pricing starts at 49.99.

Another great product we found at the ABC Kids Expo!

 

Lulu Hanke

www.tots-tweens.com

 

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The Magnificent Sprinkles- NEA

The Magnificent Sprinkles:

For over four years our son has been afraid to sleep or be alone.  He claims there are monsters and shadows in the house.  We had many talks with him and it’s all in his imagination.  As parents we know fear is just part of childhood.

This year we attended the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas.  As we began our first day we saw a booth with these colorful troll looking things called The Magnificent Sprinkles (trolls with standing hair was a common toy in my generation).  A kind lady at the booth walked up to us and explained her neat and unique product.  Her name was Vicki and she was the author and creator of The Magnificent Sprinkles.  She began to read the story to us.  Sprinkles the troll would get powers by swooshing and spinning to help kids feel safe and brave.  What an incredible concept. With a spin and a song, the Magnificent Sprinkles bring comfort and joy to you!

 the-magnificent-sprinkles-book

The Magnificent Sprinkles comes with a soft a band on its leg to for kiddos to rub, a great soothing mechanism.  Needless to say I ended up buying NEA (Never Ever Alone) for my seven year old.  One of the best investments we could have made.  We read the story together and he LOVED It.  Three weeks have gone by and every time he is scared he finds NEA and feels great.  While at school NEA protects his room!

 nea-plush

For any parent having a child with fears, whether it’s going to the doctor, dentist, monsters in the closet or being bullied, there is The Magnificent Sprinkles to help! The Magnificent Sprinkles: Growing up Sprinkleliciously!

NOW available on Amazon!  For more information, visit http://www.magnificentsprinkles.com or visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheMagnificentSprinkles. 

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Just in time for the  Holidays or Just because.

Make to visit our Face Book page post for  your chance to win a Magnificent Sprinkle OR  Click on the link to Enter: Enter Here !

Happy Mom,

Lulu Hanke

RGV Tots-Tweens.com

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KeepSakes with Traditions!

Ifamily KC and  Tots-Tweens  attended the  ABC Kids Expo  in Las Vegas for the 2nd time!  We attended one of the largest shows for juvenile products in one place. Over 1 million square feet for back to back products and it some was AWESOME! Here are 2 great keepsake books kids and parents will enjoy

Help your kiddos with their FEARS:

Kids will always be afraid of something and why not help them cope with their fears with The Magnificent Sprinkles! Winner of the 2014 Creative Child Magazine Product of the year award and 2014  Creative Child Magazine Media award! The Sprinkles NEA, CAZI, SAM and LACI are each blessed with a special power that helps children to be brave and strong. With a spin and a song, the Magnificent Sprinkles bring comfort and joy to you! Now Available on Amazon!

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For the Holiday Season:

A must for all families that LOVE tradition! Heartfelt Letters from Santa To You.  Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards! Take milk and cookies to the next level and get feedback from the kiddos! Take a peak on what the author’s has to say Letters From Santa.

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Awesome books to start a traditions and spend quality time with the kiddos! Stay Tuned for your chance to WIN one of these Keep Sakes!

Photos Credit: Heartfelt Letters From Santa To You, The Sprinkles

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WINSday GiveAway!!!

Napinol

Enter to win this Natural Dual Purpose Ointment!

To enter visit  our Face Book page and enter our  WINSday contest!! Here is another product we found @ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas and it can be yours!! Simply visit us www.facebook.com/RGVTotsTweens… find the WINSday GiveAway #1 post and Comment and Like the post to Enter. Winner will be announced on MONDAY!

 

NapiNol :  Booty Balm & Beyond is a patented dual-purpose ointment that’s made with the safety and purity of only
5 all-natural ingredients. Booty Balm & Beyond has a smooth, elegant feel, with the pleasant scent of natural vanilla. And it’s cloth-diaper safe. This product is great for Baby’s Bottoms, Mommies Boobies and it can used ANYWHERE you need it! For more info and see other NapiNol products visit www.napinolnurserytherapies.com or visit them at www.facebook.com/NapiNolOrganic!

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Are You Managing Your Tasks or Are They Managing You?

As a mom of a four year old and another baby on the way life gets busy and hectic. Managing a household, business, work, school, dr.s appt, ect.. sometimes getting our daily tasks out of whack! Here is a great article for RGV parents with some great tips to get our task in check!

Are You Managing Your Tasks or Are They Managing You?

Are you making the most of your time or are you a daily “fire fighter”, running around putting out “fires” all day? It is one thing to understand the principles of time management yet task management seems to be elusive to many. We all have the promotional notepads with the To Do list boxes already printed on them, but do they really help? Maybe if you are going to the grocery store.

The best way to manage your tasks is to first understand how you think. If you forget anything that you can’t see, a notepad isn’t likely to work. For these thinkers, I recommend the Sticky Method. With this type of task management, you write your tasks on 3×3 sticky notes. You place the sticky notes on a large dry erase board mounted to the wall. The board should be divided into realistic time frames (i.e. Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, etc). Place the sticky notes into the appropriate category. Move them around as necessary. Take it one step further by color coding your papers.

Here is an example: today you have an appointment to take your children to the dentist but the office calls to tell you the doctor is out sick today. You will take the dentist paper and move it to the coordinating day of the rescheduled appointment. When you are away from your office, take the sticky notes with you. These can easily be placed into a pocket calendar or a day planner.

How you manage your tasks isn’t nearly as important as the fact that you do it. Your system doesn’t have to look like your neighbors, and if you read about one in a book and it doesn’t work, it’s ok. Take a system that sounds good then make modifications where necessary to make it your own. You are the only you in the world, only you know what will work for you!

Have a Neat day!
Jennifer Snyder
Owner & Organizer
Neat as a Pin! Organizing Experts
(254) 715-3888
www.neatasapin.net

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