Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Creative Bloggers Got Talent Round Two

Okay people, this is the big moment... Round 2 of voting at Creative Bloggers Got Talent. I made it through Round 1, thanks to all of you. This is an anonymous voting so I can't tell you which one is mine, but please vote lots and often. 

Friday, 24 February 2012

Caught You Being Good

 We are huge supporters of reinforcing good behavior around here. If you do something you are not supposed to, there are consequences and when you do something good, there are rewards. We have tried many different approaches over the years, either starting with points and losing them, or starting with none and gaining them. At the moment, we are using the start with none method. Here's how it works. Each child needs to gain 10 marks in order to receive an award. This number can be adjusted due to age of course. My son is 5, he needs to get 10 marks.

He gains marks by doing good things, like, not whining in the grocery store and staying close, having a no time-out day, helping his little sister when he is asked or even if he hasn't been, being extra kind, following rules he may get stuck on sometimes. For example,  if your kidlet mostly takes a toy from someone else without saying 'share please', when they do use their words, they get a mark and the proper behavior is rewarded. See?

When the kidlets earn a point, they get to mark it on the chart. I laminated ours, hung it on our fridge and we use a dry erase marker take tally. Once they receive 10 marks, they get to pick a reward out of the reward jar. Again, adjust according to age. Write all your rewards down on craft sticks and place them in the jar. I Mod Podged my label onto the jar, and put in the sticks, done! Easy peasy!

This is what is in the jar at the moment:

-Choose from the treasure chest (these are just dollar store items, stickers, stamps, toys, pencils etc.)
-Backwards lunch (they get to eat their dessert first!)
-Go to Library (This is supposed to be above and beyond regular library time, maybe we borrow a movie or go just the two of us)
-Picnic Dinner (Eat dinner on a blanket in the living room or outside)
-Movie Rental
-Trip to variety store
-Pick dessert (we don't typically have dessert, so this is a big deal)
-Play computer game
-New colouring page print out
-Ride at mall (you know those rides you put a quarter in?)
-Download new book
-Go to museum
-Chew some gum
-Make a fort 
-Go to indoor jungle gym
-Make jello together
-Date night with Mom or Dad
-$5.00 for the store or piggy bank

Not all rewards go through every reward round, if my son picks Date Night, that comes out of the jar for a month. All small rewards go back in the jar for rotation again.You can come up with any type of reward and determine what qualifies. Use your own judgement! Come up with your system together as a family and the kidlets will be more excited to follow along. As always, make a big deal and praise, praise, praise! Reward jar labels and charts are available here.

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Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

As of March 1, 2012, Google is retiring Google Friend Connect.

"Google Friend Connect—Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We're retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012."

In order for us to all stay in touch, please follow me under LINKY FOLLOWERS, right over there on the right-------->

Leave me a comment that you have followed under LINKY FOLLOWERS and I will follow you right back!

Thanks so much, hope to see you real soon ;)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mamarazzi Monday That Turned Into Tuesday

Didn't get to post my pic of the week yesterday because it was Family Day in these parts, and I spent it enjoying my family. So a day late, but here none the less!

A surprise 'heart' Rice Krispie on my sons cereal bowl on Valentine's Day!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Teacher Appreciation Day-Apple Brownie Cake Pops

It was my little guys Teacher Appreciation Day at school this week and parents are asked to bring something in for the teachers, as a thank you for all their hard work. As a wife of a part-time Professor, I can only imagine the amount of work our teachers do for our kidlets. We sure do appreciate them around here! As I typically make healthy snack choices when we bring in treats for the class, I throw that rule out the window for the teachers. They deserve a few sweets now and then! So this year I decided to try my hand at Apple Brownie Cake Pops. I have never made a cake pop before but did my research and decided I was going to take it on. Since it was Teacher Appreciation week, I figured what better symbol than apples, right? So here's what I did to make my Apple Brownie Cake Pops.

Things you'll need:
2 bags of red Candy Melts
Cake pop sticks
pretzels (for stems)
green Air Heads (for leaves)
Strofoam (to hold pops up)
Flower pot (optional)
Construction paper (optional)
Graham cracker crumbs (optional)

I started by making the brownies and allowing them to cool over night. Use any brownie recipe you like, homemade or from a box, doesn't matter.

Next, I crumbled all the brownies up into tiny crumbs. The outer edges of the brownie were hard (which I think is the best part of the brownie), so we ate those parts. I melted a tablespoon of butter and poured it over the brownie crumbs, stirred it until combined and started making balls. Roll up equal size balls and place them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put them back in the fridge.

Leave them there for about an hour and then you are ready to insert your sticks. Take about 1/2 cup of melted red candy melts per brownie recipe (approx. 20 brownie balls). Dip your sticks into the candy melts, about 1 cm up stick, and push the stick into a brownie ball. Place pop back on cookie sheet and continue with the rest of the balls. Once you have all the pops constructed, put them back in the fridge to harden.

While they are hardening, construct your display/holder for the pops. I used a flower pot. I cut Styrofoam to fit my pot and then placed a piece of construction paper over the foam and poked starter holes for my pops. They are now ready for the pops, but not quite pulled together yet, we'll get to that in a minute.

Once you have that ready you need to prep your pretzel 'stems' and Air Heads 'leaves'. Break your pretzels into stem shape and use kitchen scissors to cut out leaf shapes from the Airheads. Once your sticks have hardened, melt the remainder of candy melts.

Get your brownie pops and one by one dunk pop straight down into the melts, covering the balls all the way up to the sticks. Tap the excess coating off by gently flicking the end of the pop stick. Immediately attach your 'stem' and 'leaf'. Place in Styrofoam and continue with remainder of pops.

Once complete, refrigerate.

Before you are ready to serve pops, I sprinkled some graham cracker crumbs on top of the construction paper to resemble dirt and I added a lady bug for cuteness ;)

Viola! You've made a brownie pop!

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I Heart Nap Time

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Love Poem From My Hubby

I woke up to this poem that my hubby wrote for me and posted on my Facebook page. Please excuse me while I gush about my hubby for just one moment ;) Happy Valentine's Day Babe! I Love you more, every second of my life! xoxoxoxo 
Close your eyes, mushy gushy photo coming...
Its been almost 12 years in time
Since you kissed me driving down Bog Line
You found out “Girl of My Dreams” was for you
I was happy that you felt the same way too

From that cool day in March, the 27th to be exact
I’ve spent every day loving you fully, that’s a fact

We’ve experienced New food, new friends, new faces
New music, new movies, new games, new places
I can’t remember my life without you by my side
and no matter where I go with you, I feel pride

You make me want to be the best man I can
Your caring heart and good will, your always ready helping hand
You see life with a fresh and pure sense of delight
You make every day great, from Good morning to Goodnight

I’m still not quite sure what I did on that day
that made you see me in the same light, the same way
I had a feeling inside from our very first date
One day you’d be My best friend, My wife, My soul mate

Happy Valentines Day, to my beautiful Wife.
I married a great one huh? Ok, brag session over, going to spend V-Day with my hubby & kidlets, Happy V-Day everyone!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mamarazzi Monday-Feb 13

My 2.5 year old daughter drew this of her Daddy. He has spiky hair, can you tell? ;)

Saturday, 11 February 2012

22 Ways To Entertain Your Kidlets

Are you ready for this?? 22 totally fun things to do with your little kidlets. This may be the longest blog post EVER, it has to be a least a couple of feet long ;) I focus a great deal of our time during the day on free play. Granted we do have a schedule we stick too, there is no set-in-stone/must-do ritual to our activities. If we wanna paint, we paint, if we wanna read, we read. The day itself is set up into 'times', we have snack time, outside time, creative time, nap time and the rest flows around that. 

We all have those moments where we get ourselves into a rut and we just need a little inspiration to help us wiggle our way out. Anyway, I wanted to compile a list of the fun things we like to do around here and also give some shout outs to other awesome blogs that have inspired some of our fun activities. Having fun doesn't need to cost money or require a big planned extravaganza, you just need the tools necessary and always handy for when their little moods change. Here we go...

Up North & my in-laws, skating on the bay.
1. We happen to live in Canada and we get snow...alot, and our lakes & rivers freeze good and thick. So we get out the good ol' hockey sticks and hit the ice. So stereotypical eh?? ;)
 2. It's too cold to go swimming but a bath will do. Gather the gang and get them in the tub with bath crayons. They think they are living life on the edge every time, they get to colour on the walls!

 3. Go to a local children's museum.

4. Read books, all day, every day. There is nowhere you can't go in a book.
 5. Paint with things other than brushes. We used q-tips here. Put your different paint colours in empty egg carton trays for easy cleanup.
 6. Craft with anything you have around the house. (I'm not talking about my Grandma)
 7. Colour! Use all different forums. Crayons, markers, pencils, pencil crayons. I found these cute snowmen printouts at What the Teacher Wants.
 8. Cook something and dress up for the part while your at it. It will get messy, but the best part is, they came washable so you're good!

9. Do a science experiment. You can get tons of experiments on the web. We used our Doctor Dreadful kit for this one.

 10. Practice shapes, numbers or letters by tracing the item using stickers.
 11. Build the biggest train track you can. If you don't have a train track set, see tip #15.
 12. Get your dance on! Galaxy on Rogers has a great kids radio station we play all day and we just crank it up and get out the instruments and have a good ol' dance party!
 13. Get some toilet paper and wrap yourself as mummy's. We got this great idea from Six Sisters Stuff.
 14. Put some food colouring and water in a spray bottle and go make art in the snow. We had several bottles and mixed primary colours to get a secondary colour lesson in while we were at it. This idea was adapted from Really Quite Lucky.
 15. Make a car track out of painters or masking tape to go around the room and up and down furniture. We got this idea from The Mother Huddle.
 16. Make an indoor slide with your legs. Prop them up on the couch, ottoman or table and they are ready to go!
 17. If you have a tent, no one said it's only for outside. Pop it up and let them go. My kidlets will spend hours inside when we pop it up, they think it's a jungle gym or something. Throw some soft balls in there and it's even more fun!
 18. Make a snowman!
19. Have a concert. My kidlets will perform what they call a 'Silly Town Concert'. You don't need to know how to play a specific instrument, a lot can be said for the shakers or triangle, trust me!

 20. Go tobogganing.

21. Body paint with washable body crayons. This is another rebel activity ;)
 22. And last, but certainly not least...snuggle, snuggle, snuggle.

Hope you found some inspiration, go have fun!

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Surprising Day-Thank you

Today started out as an ordinary day around here. I woke up with my little guy asking if it was time to hop in our bed for a morning snuggle, I love these days. On Wednesdays my hubby doesn't start teaching until mid morning, so we have a little extra family time together before Daddy gets to do school drop off.

I didn't get up early and work out this morning due to our treadmill not working, when you're running it speeds up and then completely shuts off abruptly after 5 minutes. Ouch! So anyway, slightly different but still pretty normal day. After Daddy & my little guy left, we got busy with our usual playing, reading, eating, etc. Then came nap time. I took a few minutes to catch up on some emails and link up to some parties. My ritual is, browse the links, open a gazillion tabs and get back to them later when I get a minute. I get linked up to today's parties, as I do everyday, and I found it to be kind of a quieter day in blog land, not many emails not too many link ups yet, just quiet. Got on with my housework and the day.

Later on, I get a message. I'm over the moon just from this message, and then I get another and then...another. WHAT IS GOING ON??? In one day, somehow, my ideas were being featured in THREE separate places, how am I even writing this? This blew my mind! Quick, pinch me!

I started blogging in December 2011 to share my ideas and hopefully, maybe, give someone an idea or tip that they could find helpful. I can't express how much I LOVE being a mom, and I thought maybe through blogging, I could share my own ideas, experiences, joys & trials, with all these other great moms. Also, I wanted somewhere I could just gush about my kids & my hubby, no rules, no guidelines, just whatever I wanted to put out there. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would receive acknowledgment for doing just that.

So, with all that said, just saying thank you doesn't seem like big enough words.

But I hope it will do. I really appreciate EVERY reader for visiting, following, participating, commenting and sharing.

I want to send a HUGE thank you to the three amazing bloggers/women, that featured me today:

Kristyn from Lil' Luna -THANK YOU!
Rebekah from Just For Daisy -THANK YOU!
Danielle from Blissful and Domestic -THANK YOU!

Please check out these AWESOME blogs that I am a follower of (which makes this the icing on the cake;)).

Monday, 6 February 2012

PLEASE vote for me over at Creative Endeavor for my chance to become a contestant on Creative Bloggers Got Talent! I'm #74, just click 'Like' and your done. Thanks so much, I really appreciate it. 

No-Mess (Kinda) Spiky Ball Painting

The first great thing about this project is that it is a No-Mess activity...for the first part anyway. You are welcome to omit the second step if you want it to be a completely clean paint extravaganza! We first learned of this idea when we went to a  Family Literacy Day event at our local library. It was such a brilliant idea, the next day we went and got all the materials to do it again.

Here is what you'll need for Step 1:
Large zipper bags
Pieces of white or coloured paper or construction paper
Small ball with 'feet' all over it (see pic)

1. Find some spiky balls like these ones.

2. Place paper (we made heart shapes), blobs of paint & spiky balls inside zipper bag. Seal almost to the end, insert straw to blow a little air into bag & seal.

3. Let kidlets have at it rolling and shaking balls around in bag.

Can you see the little 'foot prints' everywhere?

Here is what you'll need for Step 2: 
Crayons, markers, pencil crayons
Glitter glue 
Pom poms
OR Any kind of craft supplies you have!

Once paint is dry (next day for us), let kidlets decorate with Valentine themed colours and shapes.

 And the finished product!!!

May be Linked at the following FABULOUS Parties! 
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