Movies or music + baby or toddler = fun…

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a movie, or dance the afternoon away, yeah right?  LOL…

If you haven’t experienced it already check out, “Reel Moms” at www.spendora.com to see movie listings, as well as, Baby Loves Disco” at www.babylovesdisco.com to see dance venues.

These are two extremely FUN things to do with babies and toddlers which is also a great playdate, or party venue too!  Check it out!

Enjoy!

Danielle

Just 2-5 minutes a day can = a peacful mind!

Our lives as parents can be so rewarding, and yet can be so hectic, that  we too need to clear our minds…

From taking Yoga three days a week, I have learned that for just breathing through the nose, (with your eyes closed) for 2-5 minutes, has many advantages.

It can give you that, “recharged feeling”, and clears the mind to focus on, “just you”.

Whether it be in the car waiting to pick up your child from school, or at home, in a place you feel like sitting comfortably, you deserve that, and watch how your body reacts!

Enjoy!

Danielle

Great stationary for kids!

While shopping for Valentine’s Day crafts at Michael’s, I stumbled upon these “Create Your Own Greeting Cards” by Darice. They come in fun shapes (cars, princess crowns, dinosaurs, flowers, and many more to choose from) that are blank, and include 8 cards with envelopes and are under $2!

I bought a few packages for my children to use as their personal stationary, as well as for when we go to parties, for they love to color.

Check them out!

Danielle

Amazing beverage product for kids!

As most of you know I LOVE to share great products!  I stumbled upon this amazing beverage called,  “Y Water”.  Go to www.ywater.us for nutritional information, as well as where to find it.  The come in many natural flavors with names such as, “Bone Water”, “Immune Water” “Brain Water”, & “Muscle Water”.  It is Organic, and is delicious, for I tried them myself!  I purchased a water pouch, but the sell it also in reusable y-shaped plastic water bottles that your child can recycle as a toy (see the demo on YouTube)!

In Jersey City I found them at Morton Williams Market, and from what I can see, most Whole Foods and Fairway Markets sell this product as well.  When I looked at the sugar content, it was much less than juice boxes, and is packed with many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients!

Check it out… and enjoy!

Danielle

How to gain 10 minutes each morning…

Every morning can be tough, to get the kids dressed, pack lunches, get breakfast on the table, and get out the door in record time right?  I have found that by setting up for the next day, has made my morning routines run smoothly, which gives me a few extra minutes, & is less stressful.

A few helpful tips:

1.) Set out your childs clothes for the next day in their room, so that he/she knows what they will be wearing, or have them set out their outfit. (This helps with battles in the morning, and makes things so much easier.)

2.) See what the weather will be like for the next day, and have their jackets, accessories, lunch boxes, shoes, and book bags by the door, ready to go. *If your child is at the homework stage, then after they complete their work, have them check that they put back everything back in their school bag.  (This way everyone knows that their things will always be in the same spot everyday, so no one is running around the house looking for gloves, books, etc.

3.) Set the table the night before for breakfast, as well as set out lunch boxes to prepare lunches in the am, or make lunches the night before. (This cuts a few minutes time for your morning routine, and gives you a few minutes.)

These simple steps makes things less stressful for everyone, and I swear by this method, for we all could use 10 extra minutes to actually sit with your children and take a sip of HOT coffee for once right, lol…

Hope this helps!

Danielle

Why buy Playdoh, when you can make it better at home…

During an art class with my daughter, I was discussing how she just loves Playdoh, and I go through a few containers a week. A friend of mine proceeded to tell us  about this fun way to make homemade Playdoh.  It is so easy to make with your child, makes a large quantity, and best of all… smells amazing!

Easy Playdoh:

1 package of Sugar Free Jello any flavor (Note: You can not substitute to regular Jello.)

2 cups of flour

1 cup of salt

4 tablespoons cream of tartar

2 cups of boiling water

2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil

wax paper

Ziplock or airtight container to store the Playdoh

Directions: Combine all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Afterwards add the water and oil.  Next, pour the mixture into a pot over low heat until a ball forms.  Then knead on wax paper, and let cool down before letting your child play with it.  For best results, store the playdoh in either a ziplock, or an airtight container.

*I have had mine for almost a month and it is so much fun for the kids, and best of all it is NONTOXIC, like some other brands.  Young children always like to put things in their mouth, and at least you will have the peace of mind knowing that this is a safe, and fun product to make with your child.

Have fun!

Danielle

What to make on Valentine’s Day, hmmm…

With only a few days away I have a few fun ideas for all to enjoy…

(Willams Sonoma and Micheal’s Craft Store have a heart cut out set that has at least six different size hearts in the container to use for recipes listed below.)

Breakfast:

For those on the go:

1.) Bagels with strawberry cream cheese (store-bought strawberry Philadelphia cream cheese) or homemade (take a tub of cream cheese with 6 fresh strawberries and mix in either a blender, or Cuisinart.  To make it sweeter add 1 tablespoon of Agave nectar.)

2.) Waffles (either homemade or frozen minis) with strawberry or raspberry syrup. (Prepare the waffles then slice a few strawberries, or raspberries or both, and place them in a pan with maple syrup on medium heat until it bubbles.  Remove from the heat and check the temperature until it is warm, then serve over waffles.

3.) Heart shaped eggs made using Egg heart rings (See Williams Sonoma’s website, or go their store). Serve with turkey, or regular bacon and toast.

4.) Strawberry or Vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries on top (about 3 per person).

Leisure breakfast:

1.) Heart shaped pancakes with regular or strawberry/raspberry syrup (see above recipe) Follow the directions from the mix, and add my secret ingredient is the zest of 1 orange, to add when you are mixing all of the ingredients together.  It gives such an amazing flavor which everyone loves!  Next, ladle the mix like you are making a V which turns out to look like a heart-shaped pancake!

2.) Heart fruit salad: seedless water melon, cantaloupe or honeydew (or both), strawberries, and the juice of one orange.  With a small heart cookie cutter slice all melon in rounds, then cut out heart shapes and add to a mixing bowl.  (If you do not have one then you could cut out hearts freehand.)  Next, cut a V on top of the stem to remove (which makes a heart) then make slices and add to the melon mixture. Then cut an orange in half and squeeze the orange over your hand so that any pits wont make it into the fruit salad.

3.) Omelette with red pepper & zucchini hearts:  Using a small cookie cutter (the size of a Silver Dollar) cut out small hearts from 1 red pepper and 1 large zucchini.  Whisk 6 eggs in a bowl and add salt/pepper and set aside.  Take 1 teaspoon on Canola or Olive Oil and heat in a frying pan on medium heat, and lightly cook peppers and zucchini until semi soft for about 5 minutes.  Next add eggs into the pan and cook to your liking.  Serve hot with toast, and put out butter, strawberry or raspberry jelly.

4.) (Adults only beverage) Mimosa garnished with strawberries: Pour orange juice in a champagne flute halfway.  Next fill the flute to the top with champagne and garnish with a sliced strawberry.

Lunch For Kids:

1.) Sandwich’s cut out with cookie cutters: Make your child his/her favorite sandwich and cut them out with a large cookie cutter.  If not cut out a heart by hand after the sandwich is prepared.  Add, “Terra” brand, “Beet Chips” as a surprise, they are delicious!

Lunch For Adults:

1.) Panini with fresh mozzarella & roasted peppers 2.) Panini with fresh tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella 3.) Panini with imported prosciutto, mozzarella and fresh basil:  Purchase good brick oven bread and slice in half.  Add the combination of your choice and put aside.  Heat either a Panini maker (spay with cooking spray) or heat a large frying pan and add 1 tsp of Olive Oil.  Add sandwich and cook according to the Panini grill light indicator, or if using a frying pan press a spatula really hard, and check until golden brown, then flip and do the same.  Cut in half and serve with the beet chips, or a small salad.

Dinner: For Kids

1.) Penne or ravioli with red sauce (Pastosa ravioli in Staten Island (they have 3 locations) sells heart-shaped ravioli which are delicious, or contact a local pasta shop in your area.

2.) Chicken cutlets cut out into a large heart.  Prepare the chicken as you would then cut it into a large heart.

3.) Pizza (Some pizzerias make a heart-shaped pizza just for Valentine’s Day, call you local pizzeria to check it out!

Kids drinks: 1.) Seltzer with cranberry juice frozen hearts (Go to www.kitchencrafts.com for heart ice-cube tray) 2.) Pink lemonade (Newman’s Own, great tasting!), 3.) Water with sliced strawberries

Dinner: For Adults Check out, www.Epicurious.com for recipes listed below.  A good friend of mine turned me onto this amazing website that rates recipes on levels, and gives you a variety of one recipe.

1.) Penne arrabiatta

2.)  Store bought Lobster ravioli with Vodka sauce

3.) Fillet mignon with truffled mashed potatoes, or truffled mac and cheese, accompanied by string beans almondine

4.) Shrimp oreganata over linguine

5.) Chicken Marsala with either rice or roasted potatoes, accompanied by string beans almondine

6.) Glazed Pork tenderloin

7.) Lobster bisque

8.) Paella

9.) Chicken Parmesan and serve over linguine

10.) Eggplant Parmesan and serve over pasta

11.) Salad with balsamic vinaigrette

12.) Sushi is fun from your local Japanese restaurants too:)

*Epicurious is so easy to use, and is affiliated with Bon Appetit Magazine, love it!  For example, you could type in for example chicken and if will list every possible recipe. Or type in the ingredients you have at home and it will list all of the recipes! Amazing right?

Desserts ideas: Chocolate souffle’, chocolate lava cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate fondue with sled fruit and pound cake, red velvet cupcakes, heart-shaped linzer tarts,  vanilla ice cream with melted Nutella, strawberry ice-cream with sliced strawberries, raspberry or strawberry sorbet with chocolate sauce, or fruit salad (see above in the breakfast idea section).

There are also so many beautiful store-bought desserts from local bakeries, or chocolate shops, as well as store bought items, which all will love, so don’t stress!

Enjoy!

Danielle

Cool new reusable bag for Mom’s on the go!

Now that supermarkets are trying to do away with plastic, as well as department stores, I discovered a lightweight, and functional bag for shopping!

I was in the city and saw this woman with this cool bag on her shoulder called a, “Baggu”.  They come in a variety of colors, designs, sizes, as well as are great for the environment!  Some of the styles are great to go out to lunch or a casual dinner, not just for the supermarket lol.

Go to www.Buggubag.com to view.

Enjoy!

Danielle

What are great parent guide books for a new parents to be?

There are two books I highly recommend which are, “Baby Bargins” by Denise & Alan Fields 2010 Edition, (as seen on Oprah) which rates every possible baby product you could ever imagine.  It fits right in your bag, which is great for when the parents begin their registry adventure.  It is a wonderful guide, and I think it is the best tool for new parents, for it can be so confusing having your first child!  The internet has a world of information, but this book is so organized  by categories, which is the best gift of all!

They also have, “Baby 411”, written by Denise Fields and Ari Brown MD 2009 Edition, which was my personal Bible when I had my son seven years ago, as well as the sequel, “Toddler 411” written by Denise Fields and Ari Brown MD 2010 Edition. They answer every possible question, regarding illness, immunizations, are great guides and quick reads when you are left puzzled.

There were many nights when I needed help while waiting for the pediatrician to call back, and this book was right on! Or in the toddler edition to learn about teething, when to potty train, or how to handle tantrums, etc.

Parenting is an ongoing learning process, and books are a great way to guide us on how to handle everyday situations…

Enjoy!

Danielle