Donate Your Unwanted Plastic Toys to Second Chance Toys

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This is no April Fool’s joke! If you have unwanted plastic toys that your kids aren’t using anymore, don’t put them out at the curbside, donate them to Second Chance Toys!

If you are a mom, I’m sure at one point or another, you’ve wondered what to do with all the toys that your kids have outgrown. I know I am in the same position now that my kids are getting a little bit older, their interests are changing and we just have SO MANY TOYS in our house, that we just need to clean out a little.

Well I just heard about a very special charitable organization called Second Chance Toys. They rescue, clean and redistribute gently used plastic toys to children in need.

In light of Earth Week, Second Chance Toys is planning pick-ups all around the country along with a huge toy drive in Times Square in May. Click here to find a drop-off location near you or you can register as a collector and get started in your own town.

They have a goal to put toys in the hands of more than 100,000 underserved children who have humbly asked for a toy through various organizations and homeless shelters. Not only is this a great chance to help kids in need, but it’s an awesome way to unload some of that clutter!

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ABOUT SECOND CHANCE TOYS:

Second Chance Toys was started by then high school student, Sasha Lipton, who was tired of seeing beautiful plastic toys on the curb on garbage day. It upset her to think that these perfectly good toys were being thrown away when at the same time there were so many kids in the same and other neighborhoods who couldn’t afford to have toys. She began collecting them one at a time with her mom. Soon she filled her basement with them! She cleaned them off and donated them to local churches, food pantries, and children’s organizations.

Now a college graduate, Sasha has continued to grow Second Chance Toys, which now partners with the Kohl’s employee volunteer program as well as 1-800-Got-Junk, who transports toys for Second Chance Toys. To date, they’ve collected and donated more than 150,000 toys to children in need.

Please visit www.SecondChanceToys.com to see how you can get involved!

 

Another Snow Day: How to Keep Your Kids From Driving You Crazy

   another snow day

 

It’s another snow day. You should be excited about the snow, but the kids are home with you all day. You love your children, but they’re a little hyperactive when there’s nothing to do. So, to keep yourself sane, and your kids occupied, here are a few things you can do with them (or have them do on their own).

 

1. Plan Activities

 

Make a plan. When you hear that school has been canceled, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. Don’t do this. Get up and make a plan for the day. Have activities that your children can do either alone or with you. These activities should be something that will keep your child’s mind engaged. Check out our DIY & Crafts Pinterest Board for ideas!

 

So, for example, you could set up an “arts and crafts” day with supplies around the house. You could also set up a game day where your kids play board games with you or each other (if you have more than one child). This could also be a perfect time to set up a chore list and get some housework done – be creative with it, and turn cleaning into a game with points and even a reward. Perhaps your child could earn a night out at his or her favorite restaurant if he cleans up his room or gets a certain amount of housework done during the day.

 

2. Send Them Outside

 

If the weather isn’t too bad, send them outside. Sometimes, schools will cancel classes because it’s unsafe to drive. But, that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to go outside and throw snowballs, build a snowman, or just play around.

 

You could even get in on the fun yourself if you’re up to it. Remember what it was like to make snow angels as a kid? What about building a snow fort and throwing snowballs? These are traditions you could pass onto your kids – take every opportunity you can get.

 

Of course, you might be tired. Sending the kids outside can give you the peace and quiet you need. Kids have a lot of energy. Even when it’s cold out, they can run around for hours. And, when they do come inside, they’re tired so they’re much more likely to be quiet and peaceful.

 

3. Have Them Watch Videos

 

Watching videos online is an unusual activity for a snow day, but it might be necessary if the weather is terrible. If you can find copyright-free videos online (i.e. on YouTube), you could have your children download them using a YouTube video converter.

 

That way, if the Internet service goes down, or if the power is out, your child can still watch them on a mobile device or something which is battery powered. Most devices these days can sustain on battery power for 7 or 8 hours, so your child will be able to entertain himself for most of the day. Failing that, you can always make sure that you have a batter pack extender or backup battery that doesn’t require electricity to charge the device. Remember to respect IP when using downloaded content.

 

GUEST BLOGGER: Steven Young is a grandfather of five. He enjoys sharing parenting tips with others by posting a various blogs.

 

 

Bashing Other Moms – Yay or Nay?

Maria Kang

Img Source: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/11/27/fit-mom-maria-kang-banned-from-facebook-over-obesity-comments/

HuffPost Parents hits the nail on the head with their latest article What’s Your Excuse for Bashing Other Moms?.

I guess I live under a rock and I hadn’t noticed that once again, the beautiful fitness guru and mother to three, Maria Kang was getting flack again for… *gasp* being herself.

So here is my two cents on the issue. I think Maria is the bomb.

In my honest opinion… the only reason why ANYBODY wouldn’t like her and would choose to hate on her is simply because of their own guilt. I’m not saying that her lifestyle and fitness level is “right for everyone” but don’t we all want to be healthy? Don’t we all want to strive to do what’s best?

I can see where her claim to “not making excuses” and taking time to take care of herself could definitely make other moms feel bad about themselves because they either like to make excuses of why they can’t look like her and get back into shape OR they are already so overwhelmed in life that they don’t even want to think about how they SHOULD be taking care of themselves. I get it! I’m a mom! I’m 7 months pregnant! Do I want to be thinking about exercising and staying in shape while I’m having a hard time keeping up with my two children, homeschooling them and making my business continue to run smoothly?! NO! I’m having trouble even peeling my ass out of the bed in the morning to start another day!!!! Does that mean that I hate Maria Kang for looking great after having three kids, running her own business and staying fit and healthy at the same time? Of course not! I look to her for inspiration!!!

Shouldn’t we all????

Why is it that we want to condemn those who “do better” than us? Ridiculing others and putting them down doesn’t bring them down to our level, it just makes us look worse and feel worse. Why is that our human nature though? I mean, I feel like we think it’s corny and sappy to be “cheering each other on” as moms. Why is that? Why can’t everyone just BE NICE OR SHUTUP?!

What do you think about bashing other moms?

 

Cold Season Is Here! Stock Up On This…

too damn cold meme

Considering I have been out of commission for almost 2 weeks because my entire household had the flu, I can safely tell you what all natural cold remedies actually work! (I won’t bother mentioning all the things that don’t work in this post, let’s just focus on what is actually helpful and worth buying and trying!)

First off…

STUFFY NOSES & BOOGERS

Nothing worse than a kid with boogers all over their face. I don’t like seeing them all over my own kids faces, never mind on some stranger’s grubby little kids!

nosefridaIf you have an infant or a toddler that can not blow their own nose yet (or even understand the concept of trying to blow) then you absolutely NEED to get Nosefrida!

Okay so I know it sounds gross, but seriously, this one of those absolute must-haves and a life saver. Nosefrida Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator will save you and your baby a LOT of frustration during boogie season.

The Nosefrida retails for about $15.99 (less on Amazon) and you can read more info about the product and how it works by clicking here.

 

boogie mistFor everyone else, there is Boogie Mist! It’s a gentle saline nasal mist that helps soothe and clear nasal passages. Sterile saline helps flush blockage from the nose while moisturizing the tender skin inside your nostrils. Available in grape and fresh scent Schnozzles.

Whether you are dealing with a cold, the flu or just seasonal allergies, Boogie Mist can help. We use it a lot in the winter because our wood stove really dries out the air and gives us all painfully dry noses and congestion. It’s just not practical for us to have a humidifier in every single room of the house, so Boogie Mist has helped us get through these last few winter months. It’s natural and can be used as often as needed for relief throughout the day and night.

Boogie Mist is available at retailers nationwide including: Target, Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Walgreens, Kroger and Buy Buy Baby. Boogie Mist retails for around $6.29 per bottle. For more information, visit: www.boogiewipes.com.

 

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What You Need to Buy to Childproof Your Nursery

Whether you are still waiting for the arrival of your bundle of joy or you have already had your newborn baby, one of the biggest items on your priority list is more than likely preparing and childproofing your nursery. Several steps need to be considered when it comes to achieving this goal.

nursery

Buy a Quality Crib

One of the very first things that you need to purchase when decorating and preparing your nursery is the crib for your baby. There are a wide variety of colors, sizes and types to choose from. Make sure that it is a good fit for your budget and for your child. Keep in mind that in many cases, the vast collection of available bells and whistles really are not necessary or required, especially if you cannot afford them. Therefore, the best route to take would be to focus on the basic, bare necessities that are essential and play a vital role in keeping your child safe throughout the night.

Shop Competitively for Prices

Make sure that you shop competitively for pricing, because purchasing all of the items that you need for your nursery can quickly become very expensive. Check out a wide variety of furnishings and other quality products for every room within your home, including your baby’s nursery and bathroom. If you would like to save even more money on their competitive prices and promotional specials, there are a host of Bed Bath and Beyond discount codes that can be used in order to do so. You can save by shopping at department stores for good deals on a wide range of products.

Safeguard All Furniture

Whether you decide to load your nursery with many different furniture items or not, every single furnishing needs to be secured and stabilized so that it will not tip over and fall. It is highly recommended for you to make sure that all bookcases, dressers and changing tables are secured to the wall if possible. This is especially the case when your children start to crawl and walk around the room on their own. You definitely do not want your child to endanger himself or herself simply by trying to climb up on a changing table or dresser. Therefore, when shopping for your furniture for the nursery, make sure that you keep these points in mind. By shopping at a department store or renowned retailer you will be able to explore a wide variety of cribs and furnishings that can coordinate well with your existing decor and color themes for the nursery while keeping your baby safe at the same time.

All Power Outlets Need Covers

Even though it might seem outdated and ineffective, it is imperative for you to make sure that all of the electrical outlets throughout your child’s room are covered with a plastic outlet cover. This will protect your child from becoming electrocuted and prevent any unnecessary damage caused to the outlet itself by your experimental baby. It is recommended that you take the time to cover all outlets with furniture or toy boxes to prevent children from playing with the covers themselves.

Do Not Forget about an Area Rug

Perhaps one of the most important things to purchase in addition to a crib for your nursery, especially if you have carpet, is an area rug. It truly does not have to be a large area rug; several small rugs strategically placed throughout the nursery will do just fine. The target objective of these items is to make sure that your carpet is not excessively abused by your child. These rugs will also make it easier for you to maintain the appeal and appearance of the carpet that was in place even before your child was born.

 

Don’t forget to check out these Five Tips To Feng Shui Your Nursery!

Brought To You by Fashionable Media

New Baby? Five Tips To Feng Shui Your Nursery!

I’m not due until mid May, but I’m definitely nesting right now! I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to store my cloth diapers this time, what’s the best laundry detergent for baby clothes (which I will post about soon) and how to get organized before I’m too fat and tired to do anything!

TishaI was lucky enough to get some very helpful tips straight from Feng Shui Consultant and Interior Designer, Tisha Morris who recently released her latest book titled, Mind, Body, Home: Transform Your Life One Room at a Time.

Mind Body Home is geared to educate us on the energetic connection made between you and your home. Whether you believe in “Feng Sui” or not, her helpful tips offer an easy and comprehensive path to creating a holistic home. Whether you have a new baby on the way (like I do!) or you simply want to start over fresh for the new year, this book will help you improve the stability of your health and relationships just by changing some of the things in your surroundings. Tisha uses Feng Shui methods to connect every aspect of the home, from the basement to the roof, to the physical and mental state of the mind and body. Mind Body Home is available for purchase on www.amazon.com.

Mind Body Home Book Cover

Five Tips to Feng Shui a Nursery

Because babies are developing all five senses, they are extremely sensitive to the energy of their environment and are therefore quite the feng shui enthusiasts. In fact, good feng shui engages all five senses. For babies, it is important to engage the senses, but to not overwhelm them. In doing so, the nursery should feel safe, peaceful, and nurturing. Here are some tips to create the ideal nursery environment.

Engage the Senses:
Play soft or classical music in the nursery is recommended.Include textured items for the baby to touch and feel. Use gentle and natural aromatherapy in the nursery, such as lavender in an oil diffuser. Use a mobile above their bed is recommended to give them a sense of something around them as opposed to vast open space. Clearly, mobiles serve other functions as well, such as developing eyesight.

Reduce the Clutter:
Although a baby may not be able to see clutter in the room, he or she can pick it up energetically. In fact, their sixth sense is the strongest, which makes them extremely sensitive to their environment. Although babies like small spaces, the room shouldn’t feel crowded due to clutter. It is important therefore to have the baby nursery neat and organized. In other words, it shouldn’t be a room that is also used for storage or other functions. Do not store items underneath the crib, except for soft linens. (This goes for adult beds too!)

Practice Organization Early:
Despite their actions at times, children love organization. It gives them a sense of boundaries and therefore safety. Organization is a learned behavior that is picked up at early ages so set a good example early. Have designated places for clothes and toys. As your child gets old enough, start teaching them how to pick up after themselves and where certain items go. They will start to feel an ownership over their belongings and a sense of taking care of themselves that will continue to benefit them as they get older.

Choose a Soft Color Palette:
Stick with soft pastels and avoid primary colors. Colors emit a lot of energy, particularly the wall color of a room. The bolder the color, the more energy it emits into a room. The softer the color, the calmer it will be on a child’s energy. Since the primary function for a nursery is sleep, use colors that promote sleep. Pastels, such as soft yellow, blues, and greens, and monotones are calming to the nervous system.

Choose Furniture Mindfully:
Avoid large furniture items that give the appearance of towering over the bed. Babies want to feel safe, protected, and cradled, but oversized furniture can feel overbearing. Also avoid furniture pieces with harsh corners. Also be conscious of the history of the furniture that you place in a nursery. For example, an antique crib from the Civll War era carries with it the energy of its past. Consider the energy contained in family pieces and whether that it is positive or negative energy that you want carried forward for your child.

I don’t have a nursery for the new baby since we only have three bedrooms in our house AND we co-sleep with our babies anyway. (Oh don’t act so shocked, you knew I was a little crunchy!) However, I am working towards making a nursery “corner” in my bedroom this time around. Hopefully I can employ some of these tips to make my bedroom more inviting and welcoming for the new baby. Luckily, I redecorated my bedroom last year (with the help of Target) and now have a calming yellow and gray theme in my bedroom that I absolutely LOVE. I think that will be perfect for the new baby. :-)

Great Hair Day For A Great Announcement!

A couple months ago, I tried out Dove’s new Intensive Repair Hair Care Shampoo and Conditioner. After 2 months of use, I have intensely refreshed and uber moisturized hair that is shiny and full of life. I can’t believe how a never-ending “bad hair day” (which lasted about 2 years) suddenly turned around! I now have softer more manageable hair that doesn’t feel dry, brittle or unmanageable.

The best part? My hair is back to it’s original color! I mean, just look at it…

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(Click here to see this #DoveGreatHairDay on Instagram)

It’s a great hair day for a great announcement!

Baby #3 is due May 2014!!

My son (3) and my daughter (6) are super excited to welcome a new member into our family this coming Spring. I struggled quite a bit with morning sickness for the first 11 weeks and then it started to subside. Now that I’m in the second trimester, I’m feeling a lot less nauseous. So if you were wondering about the lack of posts (especially outfit posts!) in the past 3 months, well now you know why. If you’ve emailed me and I haven’t replied yet, that would also be because sitting at the computer checking emails hasn’t been high on my priority list considering my physical condition at the moment.

I’ve already done this whole “being pregnant thing”, twice now, so I feel like a pro. I knew what morning sickness would be like and I already knew what remedies worked best for me. The only thing that has really surprised me this time around is how everyone asks me (including my midwife), “Was this planned?!” My parents, uncles, aunts and cousins all had two kids and that’s it. However, my grandparents, on both sides, came from families of 7 or more children. Both my husband and I have always imagined ourselves having a large family. However, as we’ve recently learned, having more than two kids these days is considered bizarre and out of the ordinary! Oh well. I guess you can’t please everyone. We’re absolutely over the moon about our growing family, regardless!

You can have a great hair day too! To enter to win a sample from the Dove Hair Care product line click here. The first 500 entrants will win a sample!

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Dove understands that having beautiful, healthy-looking hair gives you the confidence to feel your best. Whether your hair is dry or damaged, Dove has a tailor-made solution for your hair care needs. After just one wash hair is shiny, healthy-looking and full of life. Thanks to Dove, you can look and feel beautiful from the inside out.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Dove via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dove.