Be Impulsive to Save a Life





As a busy mom, my time to volunteer for my community is at an all time low, but my drive and need to help is stronger than ever. With small children in my care and a packed schedule, my opportunities to make the world a better a place often fall within the walls of my home.



If you are like me, you might be struck by an urge to Be Impulsive from time to time. Blood donation is the ultimate way to be impulsive and change the world, for people in need of life saving blood.




Did you know that every 2 seconds, a transfusion of blood is needed? Donated blood helps save so many lives; pregnant women and babies, patients with major illnesses and accident victims to name a few.


It is a fact that one of seven people entering the emergency room needs a blood transfusion. With such a need for life saving blood, there is always a good time to donate.




Blood can be donated every 56 days. That means 6 times a year you and I have the opportunity to save 3 lives. In addition to donating blood you can also donate plasma, which has the same lifesaving effect and is in even greater need. Plasma contains important proteins and nutrients which help treat severe
burns, traumas, blood clotting disorders, organ transplants and premature infants.


This year, as the kids go back to school and busy parents find a moment for themselves, please let me urge you to take a few moments out of your day and do something good, for people in your community. How can YOU get involved? Find out at BeImpulsiveRSVP.com. #BeImpulsive."Be Impulsive and donate blood. Be Impulsive and help to save a life.

My Little Pony Fluttershy DVD Release and Giveaway!

My 3 year old Harper is a serious My Little Pony fan! She loves the cartoons and the toys!
When we got a chance to watch the latest from My Little Pony, Harp was ecstatic!


Thanks to Shout Factory for providing us an advance copy of the dvd.


Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that’s what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they’re her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature everypony’s lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy.

This was a great way to introduce the subject of differences to my daughter before she enters preschool. We discussed how both Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash are different, yet both wonderful. This was a fun way to get our pony fix and talk about life on a level Harp could understand.

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy carries a suggested list price of $14.98 and is now available for pre-order at amazon.com, amazon.ca, and shoutkids.com.

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy is coming to DVD on September 12 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios.


If you feel lucky you can enter to win a dvd! This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older.

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Lazy Mom's Day Guide

The kids are back in school and moms everywhere have been busy; we have had schedules to coordinate, supplies to gather, clothes to purchase and of course, all of the cleaning that is needed after a summer with the kids home! It is exhausting! That's why September 1st is the official Lazy Mom's Day. We have earned it, and we are going to enjoy it!

This year, why not give yourself a break while keeping the kids busy? I have the scoop on a few awesome products that are perfect for this special day!


From feeding to snacking on the go, making bath time less stressful and of course, all important play time! I have the scoop on the best things for Lazy Mom's Day! Thanks to my friends at Brilliant PR for sending products or compensation to inspire this Lazy Mom's Day Guide! Affiliate links may be used.

Snack in a Box has become a must have for my purse. I love that I can pack 2 snacks, one for each kid in this sturdy container. It prevents smashing and it is easy to open! 

Dinner is so much easier when you make it fun. Marcus & Marcus has that covered! The offer amusemats for fuss free dining with tiny ones. I LOVE that the mats are soft and durable, and also easy to clean. My daughter loves to have lunch with her amusemat and make it a fun affair.

If you are heading out and about for a lazy afternoon lunch, you can carry all of the important stuff while looking great without breaking the bank, ZipIt is reversible, meaning you can switch between looks! It has a built in laptop case and a lifetime warranty for under $40.





If you need to relax and want the kids to be happily entertained, Gears! Gears! Gears! Motorized on the Move Set is perfect! This set from Learning Resources lets your kids build their own working car! This is so much fun and encourages learning! You can get lost in the pages of a book while the kids are busy creating the car of their dreams!

If the fun of cars hasn't wore off yet after that building session, You can offer them a fun roll of roadways or train tracks with this one of a kind play time option. It needs basically no clean up and you can roll out a road and reposition it as desired! This is such a fun way to play cars! We love both the hot wheels and Thomas the train tracks options!

If the kids need a little leaping action, the Learning Resources Leap & Launch Rocket is sure to send them into an orbit of fun! This is a great educational option for kids 3 and older.  Budding scientists get ready to blast off! Young learners will enjoy countless adventures in early space science while building gross motor skills with this perfect first rocket. Can you make the rocket land on the sun or moon target? Just stomp on the wide, “leap-on” launch pad featuring adjustable navigation, and see how far the rocket can go. My kids absolutely loved this and wanted to leap long after the day was done!

When playtime is over, Soapsox is ready to help get the kids into the tub with no fuss. These soft and friendly friends also help scrub, making bath time a fun affair for all!



I hope that on Lazy Mom's Day (September 1!!) You get a chance to relax and celebrate this well earned and deserved day! What is your ideal way to spend this chill day? I would love to hear about it in a comment!

Leap!


Check out the brand NEW trailer from The Weinstein Company’s  LEAP!, featuring Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song from the soundtrack, “Cut To The Feeling.”

In LEAP! 11-year-old orphan, Félicie has one dream – to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor, an imaginative but exhausting boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own - to become a famous inventor. The two friends flee their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But Félicie quickly learns that talent alone is not enough, but determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars.

This charming animated comedy will inspire the whole family! Parents, kids, anyone who has ever dreamed of following their heart will fall in love with LEAP!. The entire cast captures the spirit and humor of the story and the music will have you dancing all the way home!

Make sure to get your tickets early!

LEAP! opens in theaters nationwide on August 25th and stars Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff and Maddie Ziegler alongside Mel Brooks, Kate McKinnon and Carly Rae Jepsen.

#LeapMovie

 This sponsored post is brought to you by The Weinstein Company and coordinated by Wendy’s Bloggers 

Best Toy Finds at the Bookstore

In my part of the world, the hot days of summer have passed and I am eager for fall! Strolls in the freshly fallen leaves, hay rides, hot cocoa and of course curling up with a good book and a blanket.
The kids and I love to head to the bookstore to find something exciting to read, but these days I am finding bookstores aren't just for books! They have some of the cutest toys there too!

My son has discovered something fabulous at Barnes and Noble! Thanks to my friends at Brilliant PR for providing samples or compensation.




The Crazy Scientist Lab sets by The Purple Cow will turn any summer afternoon into crazy fun. Choose from lab sets like Water Gel Science and Young Detectives, which both come with more than a dozen cool kid-friendly experiments and the materials needed for hours of fun. MSRP: $20. Available at www.BarnesandNoble.com These are perfect for my inquisitive child and keep him busy learning, experimenting and discovering.

Harper loves all things animals, so naturally she was drawn to the Peekaboo Barn™ from Educational Insights gets little ones working together in this farmin’ fun game. Take turns with the barnyard spinner to see which sleepy animal needs your help to hit the hay. Say the animal sound out loud and MOO-ve your animal to the barn for bedtime. Beware, if you spin the rooster, your sleepy animals might wake up! Help all of the animals to bed and win. Includes a 3D barn, 8 farm animals, and easy-to-learn instructions.  For Ages 2+.  MSRP: $24.99 www.BarnesandNoble.com We loved that this was easy to play, making it perfect for her to play with friends and that it has so many cute as can be farm animals included! 

This fall, will you head to the bookstore with your kids? I will be looking for titles to keep me company until spring arrives again, so we will likely make a few visits. I am sure my kids will discover books to fuel their imaginations and toys that bring the story to life on each visit! I hope we can share them with you!




A Day at Malabar Farm with the Kids

A few Sundays ago we decided to re-visit Malabar Farms in Richland County, Ohio. We have been numerous times in the past, but it seems that since the kids were born our visits have grown fewer and further between.

As a Louis Bromfield fan, I love to not only check out the house but also to stroll the scenic, Pleasant Valley farm.  The property has a lot to offer, making it a destination that can appeal to everyone.

When we arrived, we had to visit the playground area. The kids were entertained by the large tractor, slide, and swings. After a few moments of leg stretching and playing, we took a walk to the barn, where we petted cats, cooed over baby goats and checked out some lazy cows.



From there we admired the house, from outside.



We strolled to the Pugh Cabin and continued back to the cave formation.  The walk was ideal on a late Sunday afternoon as traffic was minimal. As a parent, I truly appreciate a walk in the woods, so this was one of my favorite parts of the adventure.



The kids were tired upon arrival of the gift shop. We chatted up the lobby bird, strolled the shop and picked up a snack of fudge.

Snack excluded, this was a completely free adventure. They do not charge admission to visit the grounds of Malabar farm, but the house tour does hold a fee.



If you go, plan to drive to the top of nearby Mount Geez for a breathtaking view of Plesant Valley. Stop by the cemetery on the farm to pay your respects to Bromfield, and don't forget to check out famed Pugh cabin from the film, the Shawshank Redemption. You might also want to peek at the infamous Ceely Rose house.



You might also enjoy this guide on activities in the Richland County area for kids.

Making Lunch Healthy and Fun for Kids

School is back in session and that means I am as busy as ever, my duties every day include packing lunches and planning snacks. Last year I lost my steam early on into the school year and fell into a rut. It is easy to grab a few lunchables and consider lunch done.



This year, I start off with a renewed goal of making better choices for my family. Lunch is an important part of the school day and I want my son to fuel his growing body and be prepared to learn. Packing healthy options is vital to his development! Providing good choices for my preschooler is also important.

I have a few great products to share with you, thanks to my friends at Brilliant PR and Stoneridge Orchards that are helping us to take back our lunches and make them healthier. These are all great ways to make packing a lunch easier and offering healthy choices more fun.

My son likes to take a bottle of apple juice in his lunch, but I have a confession. I am one of those parents that waters down juice. Drastically. I always have, and I will for as long as I can get away with it. That means that a prepackaged juice is a no go in our lunches. I turn to the Drink in a Box to keep him hydrated while limiting the sugar my son gets from his drink. I love that this is a durable and sturdy option that keeps his drink secure and leak free and it is so much better for the planet than adding 5 juice bottles to the trash each week.

We also love the snack in a box for reducing waste and keeping things secure and smash free. This is a sturdy, food safe box that holds 2 snacks. This is a good size for kids and helps me to save a ton of baggies each week!

For Harper who still has lunch at home with me,  Marcus & Marcus Divided Plates are a great way to keep portions kid sized. The plates are super flexible, unbreakable and easy to clean. Harper loves her Marcus & Marcus dishes for meal time!

Harp loves to help in the kitchen, so when she saw the Learning Resources Little Sprouts Smoothie Maker Set she was excited to try it out. After playing for a while she told me she wanted to drink a real smoothie. Getting so many nutrients in her growing body is always a win. We now have a routine, she makes a smoothie for me while I make a real smoothie for her. This is so much fun to play with that kids will never know you are laying the foundation for healthy eating with cool toys!



Lunch should always include something deliciously sweet. We love the dried offerings from Stoneridge Orchards. The kids love the blueberries while I can't get enough of the chocolate dipped varieties! These are a perfect way to indulge and feel zero guilt.


When packing lunches I offer small portions and a variety of flavors. As my kids are small, a few mini twist pretzels, a few dried blueberries or cherries, a few apple slices, and a half sandwich are more than enough to fuel them for a few hours. How do you keep packed lunches healthy? Give me the dish in a comment!




School Bus Snack

This easy school bus snack is the perfect way to welcome a new school year!

This post contains affiliate links.



Back to school is an exciting time for both kids and parents! This year my youngest is excited to begin her first year at preschool! My oldest, he says he must be most excited about lunch or the bus, he can't decide. I appreciate his honesty.

To take their excitement to a new level, we made a delicious and easy school bus snack to the delight of the kids!

This is so easy you guys! The kids can build these and they will love munching on them too!



Ingredients:
1 to 2 teaspoons of yellow frosting, any kind will do!
2 Nilla Wafers
1 Graham Cracker
4 Rice Chex pieces


Instructions:
Spread the frosting on the graham cracker
Add the Nilla Wafers as the wheels for the bus


Add the Chex cereal pieces as the windows


Enjoy!


This was a fun way to get the kids involved in making their own snacks and we might have played with our food just a little!

Do you have a fun back to school snack idea to share? I would love to hear about it in a comment!


You might also like this fun handprint fish puppet craft.

Rev Up Your Engines With Mickey

My kids have been head over heels for Mickey Mouse from the moment they laid eyes on him. We are seasoned in the fun of the Clubhouse, the Bowtique and the classics too! When my kids got a peek at Mickey and the Roadster Racers, to say their engines were revving for more is an understatement!

We got to preview the latest DVD Start Your Engines and the kids were speeding off to new adventures with familiar friends from the first scene.



Join your favorite characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy  – and their high-speed transforming Roadsters as they compete in thrilling races stretching from Hot Dog Hills to Hawaii…and all the way to London, England!  You’ll meet the world’s greatest spy, zoom through the skies in a revved up hot-air balloon race, and even return the Queen’s stolen Royal Ruby!  It’s all about great friendship, teamwork, a little competition and humorous high-spirited adventures!

This dvd contains a total of 7 fun fast paced episodes {this includes the bonus episode!} The dvd runs for 72 minutes of Mickey Mouse and the Gang style fun that gets kids revved up for racing fun. The plot of the cartoons are light hearted and fun and they offer a great escape as Mickey and the gang travel the world in their hotrods!

You can find this fun title in stores starting on 8/15.

Do you watch Mickey and the Roadster Racers with your kids?

Help Buying a Second Car

As my children grow, I realize that the days of lazy afternoons at home, feeling content with coloring or building a fort are fewer and farther between. The kids are busy; there are practices, games and appointments, play dates and parties to make it to. Errands to run and of course, events to attend.

We had always prided ourselves on being a one car family. It worked for us when the kids were tiny and mommy was their entire world. But these days, being a one car family is a big inconvenience! The time has come for us to consider a new car, one that is roomier and easier on gas, and of course that can handle all of that running!

This post has been sponsored by cars.com, but the chit chat is all mine!

Mom! Can we buy this one?!


Buying a new car is a big deal! It can be an overwhelming big deal too! As soon as you step foot on a car lot, you know that they want to sell you something you might not want. That alone can deter the bravest shoppers. With those 2 growing kids, shopping for daily needs can be tough, let alone shopping for a major purchase! Car shopping seems to make me anxious. Can you tell!? You can get the scoop on the best dash cams here.

When I got to know cars.com, a lot of my worries subsided. I can actually shop for a car on my terms, from my house.  This is a game changer to say the least. There are so many ways to find the car of your dreams on the site. From new and used cars, to a color, make, or style. You can even narrow it down by distance. If I don't want to drive more than 20 miles to get our new family car, I don't have to!

We are still dragging my feet  browsing, it has been 7 years since we bought a car, so maybe we are out of practice. If you have any tips for buying the car of your dreams, please leave a comment. If you have used cars.com   let me know how it helped you find a great deal on a great car!

How to Rock a Hurricane Like a Boss

This most may contain affiliate links.

Hurricane season is here and many of our readers are in the path of the latest storm. While it is a major pain in the hiney to face a tropical storm or a hurricane, have no fear wonderful people. I am going to share a few of my tips to help you handle this hurricane and any others that come your way like a boss in reasonable style and comfort, given the situation.



Stock Up!
Ok, I know the experts are going to say buy things like bottled water and tuna fish, but come on people. Drastic weather calls for comfort. Instead of getting in a fist fight over the last cans of spam on the store shelves, let's get real. No one wants to eat spam in good weather, let alone terrible weather. Buy all of the pop tart's, granola bars, cold cereal and snack cakes you can get your hands on. Buy soda, booze and single serve fruit juice drinks. Buy candy, coffee singles that are like tea bags, and shelf stable milk. Buy the damn doritos and bean dips like there is no tomorrow.

Kiss Your Ice Goodbye
Accept that ice is going to be something you want, but don't have. Do not stand in line at the gas station for an hour for a bag of ice, just will yourself to go without it. I once paid $10 for a bag of ice and got a handful of laffy taffy as my change. Never again. Ice ain't worth $10, no matter how hot it might be outside.

Run, Don't Walk, to the Sporting Good Store
No, I am not crazy. But I am going to give you a tip to help you keep your cool. Buy as many cooling towels as you possibly can. There are these great ones out there by Mission that will make life feel a little cooler in the sweltering temps while you wait on your power and beloved air conditioning to return.

Dust Off the Board Games
In 2004 we lost power for a week during a hurricane, 2 weeks later we lost power for another week during a second hurricane. We played board games with reckless abandon. We battled it out over every game we could get our hands on and somehow we survived a week without electric, air conditioning, television and gasp even our phones as charging them was nearly impossible.

When In Doubt...
Fondue
Get your booty to the hardware store for denatured alcohol right now if you have a fondue set. If not, Get. One. Now. You can heat soup, make ramen noodles and even brew hot coffee if you have a handy dandy fondue set. You will be the envy of your friends and neighbors if they get a whiff of some hot soup, oatmeal or whatever cooking. If they smell your hot coffee, look out  cause you might just become block president or something if you are willing to share. I am not certain, but I would be willing to guess that in a pinch votive candles would heat a fondue pot nicely if you can't get the Denatured Alcohol easily.

What are your pro tips for riding out the storm? Do tell so that everyone can hunker down with minimal annoyances and maximum comfort!

Pie Crust Cookies

If you need a treat in a flash that is low in sugar but packed with buttery flavor, this pie crust cookie recipe is one that you will want to check out!






When I was a kid, sometimes my grandma would bake a pie. That was always nice, but the true treat was her pie crust. After she trimmed her crust to fit her pie plate, she would sprinkle to excess with cinnamon and sugar and bake it up. She called it cracklins and let me tell you, this is the flavor that I reminisce on as an adult.
The only bad part about cracklins was how few and far between they were! 

A few months ago, my kids were begging for treats, so I stood in my kitchen surveying the options. We were low on baking supplies, but my mind wandered back to this simple treat for childhood. I decided I would just make a pie crust and make something fantastic.


While at first, my family was skeptical that pie crust cookies could actually be good, now they beg me to make these at least once a month! The recipe is similar to a shortbread, it is so easy to make that anyone could make these!
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of ice water
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball.
Roll dough out until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick
Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar and slice into chunks, strips, wedges, whatever!
 Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.