Oct 12, 2015

Organizing Your Kids’ Closet to Foster Independence

Teaching your children how to care for themselves is an important part of their physical and emotional development. Learning how to brush, wash, and get dressed every day is a big step that requires lots of help from adults. One of the best ways to teach children how to do these everyday tasks themselves is to make their environments accessible and familiar. Here are some tips for creating a bedroom closet that will help your little ones help themselves during their daily dressing routine.

Make it accessible

Most furniture companies now produce child friendly beds, dressers, and wardrobes that sit lower to the ground and allow for maximum accessibility. Built-in closets, on the other hand, aren’t generally fit for purpose when it comes to kids. Set up your own closet with clothes rails, shelves, and storage bins that are lower and easily reached by your children. Make sure any bins are open so your kids know what goes in each space, or choose clear or wire baskets so they can see directly into them from the sides.
via Modernize


After you’ve set up your child friendly closet, affix labels to each shelf and/or bin to help your kids remember which items of clothing go where. For younger children, large print labels with photographs of the type of clothing work best and can be made easily at home. If, like us at Modernize, you like to take your organization a step further, create sections for each day of the week. This way, your kids can choose outfits ahead of time and save you time in the morning. 

Keep it tidy

Probably the most important part of a functioning, independence-building kids’ closet is cleanliness. Finding clothes in a disorganized, cluttered space is next to impossible for adults and will feel positively overwhelming for children. Because kids grow so quickly, regular reorganization of their closet space is a necessity: make sure to remove clothes that are too small, out of season, or no longer worn for one reason or another. Encourage your children to put away their own clothes after they’ve been washed, and remind them to keep the space the way they would like to find it. 
via Modernize

Set a routine

In addition to keeping a regular cleaning schedule, it’s a good idea to encourage your kids to choose their school or activity outfits the night before. If you’ve set up day-of-the-week hangers or shelves, put these outfits in their designated spaces, or hang them on the door of the closet so they’re ready in the morning. After you’ve completed this task together a few times, your children should get the hang of it and hopefully repeat the exercise every day. This routine is not only great for your children because they get to choose their own clothes (within reason, of course), but also great for you because you will save yourself a regular morning struggle of choosing outfits. 

Guest article courtesy of Kaitlin Krull. 

Oct 6, 2015

Dress Your Kid Like An NFL Pro For Halloween

My son is so excited for one of his most favorite days of the year, Halloween. He loves getting dressed up as his favorite character each year. Now that he's older, he has really gotten into football. William was in for a big surprise when he opened up a box with a Halloween costume of his favorite NFL team, the Carolina Panthers. I really should have recorded a video of his reaction. He screamed with excitement and almost cried!

This Franklin Sports Official NFL Kid’s Costume came with a helmet (not intended to play the actual sport), jersey, pants, chin strap and iron-on numbers. William is 7, so I went with a size medium. Although the costume is slightly big on him, it still looks great. Isn't he adorable?

I love that we were able to add the number 1 on the back of the jersey, just like his favorite player, Cam Newton. I think William will want to wear this costume every time the Panthers play. Actually, I'm lying. He wants to wear it EVERY DAY. This is what makes it so good that it's slightly big, because he can wear it for a long time. I think I will order the youth shoulder pads to complete the look since they are only $9.99.

Franklin Sports Official NFL Kid’s Costume sets are offered in multiple sizes, which accommodate most kids ages 4-9. You can choose from 32 NFL teams to outfit every little football fan in your house! They retail for $49.99 and you can purchase them here. These costumes are not only great for Halloween, but also make a great gift for the holidays for your favorite little football enthusiast.

Be sure to follow Franklin Sports on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates.

I received a product sample in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own as always. 

Oct 5, 2015

DIY Dog Treat "BOO"quets For Halloween #TreatThePups

Today's post is sponsored by Lunchbox

It's hard to believe that it is already October!  This month is generally dedicated to Halloween and I can already see decorations around town. At our house, we get our pumpkins carved, costumes picked out and of course, the mountain of candy to hand out to the cute trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. Many times, the kids are not only accompanied by an adult, but also their dog. There's nothing cuter than a dog in costume. How nice would it be to have a special Halloween treat just for them? Check out this cute idea for an easy goodie to hand out to the furry visitors-- Dog Treat "BOO"quets.

What you will need:
Halloween ribbon
Lollipop sticks and small wooden skewers
Cellophane bags
Assorted dog treats. I used Milo's Kitchen, Pup-Peroni and Milk-Bone treats.

The key to this fun project is to have a bundle of dog treats on sticks that can be gathered into a bouquet or as I call it, BOO-quet. I start with cutting the treats down just a bit so they fit better on the sticks. You can leave some whole if you want to make a bigger bouquet,

For your cellophane bag, you can trim the top to the size you want. I then fill the bottom of the bag with small size Milk-Bone treats, about 6 of them. I add enough of the chewier type treats that were skewered on sticks and gather them in the center and tie off with a bag tie. Those generally come in the package of cellophane bags.

Next I add a couple decorative picks. I was lucky to find some cute ones from the Halloween cake decorating section of the store that matched my theme perfectly. You can also make them very spooky by using little skulls, spiders or ghosts.

The final touch is tying the bouquet with Halloween themed ribbon. The end result is super cute BOO-quets that dogs will love! I am quite sure their pet parents will love you for thinking of their fur baby.

This is a very easy craft that you can do with your kids. You can also use alternate materials like tulle, tissue paper or paper you want to repurpose. Be creative, it's all about treating our doggie friends! There are many varieties of Big Heart Pet Brand of dog treats available at Walmart stores to add to your special DIY Halloween dog goodies.

If you need some inspiration, be sure to check out the Walmart site dedicated to DIY Halloween dog treats. There are so many simple ideas. So go ahead and take a peek. How will you #TreatThePups?

Sep 30, 2015

Pumpkin Pancakes at IHOP until January 3rd

For all the pumpkin lovers out there, IHOP has the perfect menu item just for you. Pumpkin Pancakes, IHOP restaurants’ most popular seasonal item, will once again, be available at participating restaurants throughout the country. Guests of all ages can enjoy this Halloween treat, made with real pumpkin, long past the end of the spooky holiday from now until they vanish – like ghosts – on January 3.

Each order of IHOP restaurants’ signature pumpkin pancakes, made with real pumpkin and spices, comes crowned with creamy whipped topping. Guests can order pumpkin pancakes alone, or as a combo served with two eggs, any way they like ‘em, hash browns, and a choice of crispy bacon, pork sausage links, or sliced ham.

And, for the first time ever, guests at participating IHOP restaurants can order a cup of piping hot pumpkin coffee that combines IHOP restaurants’ 100% Arabica International House Roast Original™ coffee with a touch of pumpkin syrup, made with real pumpkin, and then crowns the cup with whipped topping and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice sugar.

“Whether you carve or crave pumpkins, IHOP has you covered this Halloween season and throughout the New Year,” said Marie Grimm, Vice President, Menu Development and Innovation, International House of Pancakes, LLC. “The warmth and delicious, sweet flavor of our new pumpkin coffee with the return of our seasonal favorite pumpkin pancakes will have pumpkin lovers everywhere beaming – like a jack-o-lantern – with excitement.”

Both pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin coffee are available at participating restaurants until January 3.

Don't forget, IHOP gift cards make the perfect gift for any occasion!

Sep 21, 2015

6 Immunity-Boosting Herbs for Fall

Guest Post by: Dr. Christopher Hobbs Ph.D., L.Ac, A.H.G. from Rainbow Light

With cold and flu season only weeks away, below are 6 Immunity-Boosting Herbs for Fall from world-renowned herbalist, Dr. Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D., L.Ac, A.H.G of Rainbow Light. With over 35 years of experience in the field of herbal supplementation, Dr. Hobbs has compiled a list of the top powerhouse herbs and their health benefits that will keep you healthy and strong all year long.

Echinacea - Echinacea is a popular herb that has been identified to boost immunity. Combined with goldenseal, another herb, or enjoyed alone as tea, this member of the daisy family has been found to prevent and treat upper respiratory tract infections as well as the common cold.

Ginseng - This herb has many varieties ideal for boosting immunity and overall health. Its main active component, ginsenosides, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Clinical research studies have demonstrated that it may improve immune and psychological functions as well as conditions related to diabetes.

Garlic - This spice has had a long history of medicinal value. Studies have shown that garlic promotes overall immune health, that it is active against specific bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, and that it may bolster the ability of the respiratory tract to defend against viral infection. What’s better? It’s also a great tasting spice to use while you cook!

Ginger - This herb has been shown to reduce inflammation, cardiovascular conditions, blood clots and cholesterol. Also a great ingredient to help aid digestion, we include ginger into many of our Rainbow Light products, such as the Women’s One and prenatal line of products, to help those with a frequent upset stomach.

Turmeric- This spice contains curcumin, which has notable antioxidant properties. It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and stomach soothing benefits. It reduces inflammation by stimulating the adrenal glands to increase the hormone that lessens inflammation. It is also used against headaches, bronchitis, colds, fever and menstrual problems.

Spirulina – worth a discussion, as this natural ingredient is often misrepresented as an herb. Although technically a marine organism, this ingredient is a powerhouse of immunity. Amino acids make up 62 percent of spirulina, making it a complete protein. It's one of the few known plant sources of vitamin B12 and it's full of amino acids, enzymes, and probiotics that help to enhance your immune system and digestive health. It’s a key ingredient in our Rainbow Light products – that’s how much we love it!

Dr. Christopher Hobbs, is an internationally renowned herbalist, licensed acupuncturist and botanist, has been formulating market leading natural supplements exclusively for Rainbow Light® since 1985. With more than 35 years of clinical experience in herbal medicine, Hobbs has authored 25 books, including Herbal Remedies for Dummies and Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health. He shares his knowledge of herbal medicine with consumers and educators all over the world through lectures, and utilized his expertise in this field to found the Institute for Natural Products Research. He also serves as a consultant to the herb industry.
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