We Are Going Green!

We are going green…or at least for the month of March! With St. Patrick’s Day coming this month I decided to take full advantage of the “Green theme” to experiment with my children and trying new fruits and vegetables (and for some, giving them a 2nd or 3rd try).

The Plan

With every dinner we are having at least one green food and quick browse of the produce section at the store tells me we got a lot to choose from!

And guess what?…

Going Green for St. Patrick's Day Ideas for Kids

 

…They did not even complain or throw a fit, at least not yet! They are either getting used to Mom’s crazy ideas or, I am going to go with, they actually like idea.  :-)  My daughter has already discovered that she likes green peppers after years of requesting them to be removed from her pizzas. And now, she is the first one to remind me we need to add green to our dinner plates. Gotta love it!

How to get your kids to eat vegetables

How Do You Introduce New Foods To Your Kiddos?

5 Great Potty Training Tips with Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


I will be the first one to admit that I do not know everything, but boy do I love a good tip or idea. Through my own experience potty training 2 children and through other moms around me, I have learned some fantastic potty training tips that I would love to share!

 

Start Practicing When You See Signs of Readiness

Watch for those signs of interest/readiness and slowly move forward with training. My youngest started showing signs of readiness around 13 months. I thought I was making it up in my head, but she did it every day (i.e. bring me diapers when she needed a diaper change or she would hang out near the bathroom when she was doing her biz). I think it is a bit early to start full on potty training, but I can start practicing. Every morning when she wakes up, I will have her sit on her potty chair and she will usually “go” within a few minutes. We make it fun by singing a few songs while we wait and definitely shouting for joy when she does “go”.

Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess

 

Pick the Right Potty Chair For Your Child

Take your time to research a good potty chair that will work for your family and more importantly one that your child will love to use. When it was time to start potty training my first child, I rushed to my local store and picked what I thought would work best for him from the three options there. We went through 2 different potty chairs and he never really liked using them, but they made great stools!

Times have changed quite a bit in the last 7 years and technology has improved. There are plenty of ways to research for a good match on a seat and you are definitely getting more bang for your buck if you can find something like the Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System by The First Years that is a 3 in 1 (a potty chair, removable seat to be used on the family toilet and a stool that can be used for years to come). It is available on Walmart.com.

This particular chair is perfect for my youngest. She loves everything girly and with the pink, purple and the added “magical twinkle” sound at the push of a button, this fits her just right. An added bonus is that her big sister is so excited that it has princesses on it, she is always around to cheer our toddler on in her potty training efforts! Big sister was always a fan of the Huggies Princess Pull-Ups Brand Training Pants and this chair matches perfectly.

2014-02-25Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess

Other features that I really like is that is comes with a padded soft-seat that she seems to like. We have tried another chair and I simply cannot get her to sit longer than 10 seconds on it. I do not have that problem with this chair. It also comes with a lift-out pot for easy emptying and cleaning, which  is also awesome because I can see if and how much she went. And finally, I love that it can be used on the adult seat, too. I was a little confused on how to do this at first, but you basically remove the entire lighter pink part of the seat. And, at least on our toilet lid, the potty chair has some clasps that hooked under the rim of the toilet seat to prevent her from wiggling the potty chair around or accidentally tipping the whole chair forward.

 

Make It Exciting

Make potty training an enjoyable experience for everyone involved! If everyone is stressed out, nothing is going to get accomplished. So, find their reward button. For some it is treats, for other’s it is praise (i.e. shouts of joy and sticker charts), little toys or some other creative reward. Since I am starting my youngest daughter a lot younger than her siblings, we are aiming for the fun and praise and hope it will be enough. It took me a lot longer to figure out the magic reward for him was that he was banned from wearing shorts and flip flops unless he went on the potty. Ha! I guess he really loved his shorts and flip flops a little too much.

 

Think Ahead and Take It With You

This is a fantastic tip that I learned from watching a good friend potty train her oldest. At some point in the potty training journey we all have to leave our house and when we do we may be leery of trying a public bathroom. Instead you should just keep one with you in the car. A potty system just like the one above is perfect to keep in your trunk and use when you are on the go with your potty training child in hand. Before you leave your car you can have them sit and do their “business” (hopefully parked in a discreet part of the parking lot away from the public). Keep a couple plastic bags and bottle of water in the back of the car with the chair to help rinse and dispose of any potty “treasure”. This will be so much easier on you and your child.

P1110299Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess

 

Every Child Has Their Own Time Schedule

Most importantly you need to remember that every child has their own schedule, Even though you may want them to be potty trained yesterday, they may not be as eager or ready to start. My eldest was not ready to fully potty train until he found out at 3.5 years old that his boy cousin, who he thought was the coolest, could go to the bathroom on his own. My 2nd was on a schedule of her own. It drove me bonkers! No matter how much we bribed, pushed and encouraged, she took her sweet little time and was ready to be potty trained when she decided. My youngest, thank goodness, is a way more eager and so I am encouraging her at slow speed. She has some great examples around her, a seat she enjoys and a ton of encouragement, so I am hoping we will have an early, or at least earlier than her siblings,  potty trainer!

 

What Are Your Favorite Potty Training Tips?

 

**I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

5 Tips To Decorating a Room On a Budget with AllTapestry.com

 

We moved into our house over 2 years ago and I am slowly moving from room to room. So, when I had the opportunity to review a tapestry from AllTapestry.com, I knew this was a perfect opportunity to focus on another room makeover! I have come up with 5 tips that have helped me to decorate our Family Room on a budget.

Room Makeover

 

Find Something That Inspires You

This past month my focus has been on our Family Room. This room has been bare walled and neglected since it is a back room in our house and rarely visited by anyone outside of our family. But that has recently changed when we took over the Living Room with a Play Room for the kiddos and with this change we now needed to make our Family Room something I am excited (and comfortable) inviting guests into!

I am excited to announce that I found the inspiration for my Family Room decor at AllTapestry.com, where I found this Poppy Tango Wall Hanging.

Alltapestry.com review

It is large enough to help fill my large wall and has a lot of bright colors, including the right shade of green that matches the paint of the nearby Kitchen. I love that it is a tapestry because I do not have to worry about  one of the kids bumping it off the wall when they “accidentally” do a headstand on the couch or throw a ball in the house.

Before:

Family Room redecorating on a budget

 

After:

How to redecorate on a dime

There are hundreds of options to choose from at AllTapestry.com of varying sizes and themes, including classical artwork that I grew up looking at in museums and books. The tapestry was easy to hang once we got our hooks for our rod level. We could not find our leveler to double check, but lucky for us there is an app for that!

 

Paint

Painting is not always necessary, but is a cheap way to make a big change to a room. This room before we painted it, were all orange. Although orange can be a great color, it was not for us! So we opted for our current Crouton color and that is what we have had until I found our large tapestry for the wall.

 

Create Something Unique

Making something unique to go into the room is always fun. For this room I wanted to create some pillow that would bring in some more color to the room and the brown couch. I was afraid that my kiddos would ruin them by turning them into wrestling pillows, but came up with a great solution! To solve this problem I had my children help me make the pillows and make them something personal.

How to make a handprint pillow

 

Now they think they are something special and are really careful with them.

How to make a pillow

 

Borrow and Reuse

Finding items in your house that you can repurpose or make better use of in the room you are decorating is a great way to save money on decor. We had a tree that no longer had a home in our Living Room that was perfect for our Family Room just behind the couch. I think it helps create a soft break between the Kitchen and the Family Room. The added perk is that our toddler can no longer reach the base of the tree to spread the fake grass around the house!

 

Clean and Organize

Giving the room a good clean and reorganization is a great way to help the room feel fresh and bright. That added layer of dust can really dull the color of our book shelves! I forgot how much I loved their color until I gave them a good dusting. Moving the books around really helped keep the not so kid friendly books from being torn and scattered all over the house by my busy toddler’s hands.

 

We still have a little bit more work to do, but overall I think we have a really great start!

How to redecorate on a dime

 

 **I received product to help facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own!

 

How To Save Time On Facebook {Tutorial}

Have you found yourself caught up in the Facebook wormhole before? You know, when you try to get on Facebook to check to see if your friend announced anything about their new baby and you end up sucked into reading all the other statuses on the top of your list for the next 10+ minutes? Hate that! OR maybe you are tired of seeing status updates from “that person” who is going through a rough time and always complaining and you are now considering giving your “Friends List” a good clean, but do not want to offend anyone nor spend the time doing it?. OR maybe you never see status updates from who you really want to see updates from?  Really hate that! Well, I have a tutorial that will help you save time on Facebook by showing you exactly what you want to see and save you from having to weed your Friends List. And best of all, it will only take you a few minutes to do! Ready? Let’s go!

How to save time on facebook - Pinterest Pin

 

Save Time On Facebook Tutorial

What this tutorial will help you do is create a folder or folders on your sidebar where you can view all your “want to see people/friends/pages” without getting lost in what Facebook wants you to see. I love this! My main reason for starting my Facebook account was so I could keep up with my sisters and other family members that are not the best phone callers. I can separate them out from my main Facebook page and can see all their updates in one space without searching them out and then I can get off without distractions.

Directions:

Step 1: First, you will want to create a new folder for your left sidebar where you will see if there are any updates. You will do this by hover over your “Friends” section on your left hand sidebar. “More” will appear. Click on it.

Save Time on Facebook Tips

 

Step 2: You will then be taken to this page. Sometimes there are preassigned folders there, but I like to create my own to use.

How To Save Time on Facebook Tutorial

 

Step 3: Create your desired list by clicking the “+Create List” button at the top of the page. (Forgive my watermark over the main portion…I used photoshop to help me for the first time!)

How To Save Time on Facebook Tutorial

 

Step 4: Name your list. For this tutorial I am naming it “My Family”, but you can use whatever else you would like, For example,  Family, Friends, Friends from High School, Favorite Pages, etc.

Save Time on Facebook

 

Step 5: This is the next screen you will see. They give you multiple ways to add people, so if you do not add them now, you can always add them later. Add away …

Save Time On Facebook

…OR the easiest way, especially with family, is to search by last name and then they will be all together. Press Finish when you are done.

Save Time on Facebook Tips

 

Step 6: Once you click finished you will see this below. Do not worry! Click refresh and all recent updates from your selected peeps will appear. AND if you forgot to add someone or want to add someone later, you can add them in the box the red arrow is pointing to at anytime.

Save Time on Facebook

 

This is what it looked like after “Refresh” was clicked… Lots of updates!!!

Save Time on Facebook Tips

 

And the next time you get on, you can glance at your left sidebar to see if any in your “My Family” folder or any other folder have updated. See? I have 12 updates! I can get on, check them out and get off!

Save Time on Facebook Tips

 

I also love this because I can choose to share updates with just that certain folder of friends or family. No go, create and enjoy your new free time! ;-)

 

What To Do With Your Saved Time?

I know you are now wondering what you are going to do with all the time you are going to save on Facebook, right? Read that favorite book, get in a good workout, join my 6 Week Fresh Start Fitness Challenge? The possibilities are endless!

20 Things the Rich Do Every Day

How to be rich and successful

I came across this list from DaveRamsey.com within the last week and it has been rolling around in my brain. With the New Year approaching, I always like to set a few goals and when I saw this list it has given me something to think about. There is always room for improvement and we could all use a little less debt and a little more change in the bank, right?

 

20 Things the Rich Do Every Day

What do you do everyday that makes you successful? What are your goals for the New Year?

 

**Top photo courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Grab Your Hard To Find Seasonal Items Early!

If you are like me, I always think I will get what I need just before the holiday is here. BUT the past couple of years I have learned the hard way that I need to get somethings early to get them. In this case it is Christmas cereal. I know, it’s crazy, but it is our Christmas morning tradition to have a box of Christmas themed cereal. I have lived in two different states and have discovered that I usually cannot find any Christmas cereal in any of the stores after December 1st. In fact, I will usually see the cereal near the beginning of November and think I will get it next time AND guess what? It is not there “next time”. So, if you have something special that is seasonal, grab it!

Christmas Cereal - Holiday Traditions

 

Another item I find that goes on sale just before the end of November and then is at a high price during December…bags of chocolate chips! You can find a great deal towards the end of November, so make sure you stock up for all that seasonal baking.

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