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As I write this, I am in my car driving to Disney World. I have been a Disney fan for as long as I can remember. As soon as I turned eighteen I applied for a job at the Disney Store (they don’t hire anyone under eighteen). I can sing a long with any Disney soundtrack and no one I know will play Disney trivia with me because I always win.
I have passed this love onto my children. My son’s first in theater movie was Wall-E. Since then he has seen every Disney movie that has come through the theaters. My daughters’ own just about every Disney Princess book they sell at Barnes and Nobel. We took all of them to see Tangled opening weekend last November. My daughters’ are begging me to transform their Fab 5 (that’s Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto for anyone who does not know) room into a Princess room. They are Disney enthusiasts to say the least.
Last summer we took the kids to Disney World for the first time. In preparation for the trip I decided I was going to make the kids Disney wardrobes. All three kids had a Disney outfit for every single day. It was so fun. Plus, I kept it a secret and surprised them with it on arrival. I had a lot of fun making things that fit my kids’ personalities. I was able to make things that you just can’t find anywhere. I made my daughter a Lightning McQueen dress and a Buzz Lightyear dress. This summer not only do the girls have "boy" character dresses but each of my (now) four children have matching outfits of Mickey, Pooh and McQueen. You just can’t find that anywhere. It’s fun to turn the traditional "boy" characters into something for the girls. And one day I will figure out how to "boy up" princess things for the boys, like my son, who like them as well.
They got many compliments the whole week. Many people asked where I got the dresses or the shorts. People seemed surprised that I had made them. Some asked if I sold them. We came home and I spent time making different things for my children. Trying to hone my skills, to improve and feel like I actually could sell these things I make. After several months, many different internal debates and some cold feet. I opened up an etsy shop – My Fun Clothes.
I have had so much fun over the last few months making things for my children (they did, of course, need a whole new wardrobe for this Disney trip) but for other children as well. I have been proud of the fact that other children are wearing clothes I originally designed for my kids. As a matter of fact their is a little girl who will be in Disney while we are there who has two dresses that I made. I have had the opportunity to make many custom things that have been designed by parents to be the perfect fit for their children. A Tinker Bell dress – specifically green fabric Tinker Bell because the mom wanted green and Tink, a Nemo dress made from Nemo fabric I had on a different style of dress and ruffle pants with the fabric from the Tinker Bell dress – I didn’t even make that style of pants yet but the mom emailed me and we designed it together. Mostly, I have enjoyed getting to do something I love while being able to bring people exactly what they want – characters, colors and designs.
Whether your children are Disney enthusiasts as well or you are just looking for something different than everyone else has please come on by and check out the shop. I have recently added some fall and Halloween things. If you do not see exactly what you are looking for just get in touch with me and we can make anything you like. It just takes a little magic and some pixie dust to make your wish upon a star come true.
I am Upstatemamma and I blog over at Our Life Upstate. I tend to write about a little of everything – from life with four kiddos to sewing to homeschooling to marriage stuff to breastfeeding to the occasional political rant and anything else that pops into my brain.
TechyDad and I take a lot of photos (shocking isn’t it?!). Of course, in the summer time we seem to take even more. When the kids are riding on a boat at the lake, playing in the sand, at the amusement park or visiting with relatives – we capture them all. There definitely seem to be more in the summer than almost any time of year. If you are the same, you may want to hear about a new contest from Rayovac.
Snap, Share & Win! Rayovac Summer Photo Contest:
The Snap, Share & Win! Rayovac Summer Photo Contest will begin August 2, 2010 and will conclude . Each week will feature a different photo theme. Eligible contestants will be able to complete the entry form on Rayovac’s website, upload a photo and specify the theme. Contestants may upload 1 photo each week for a maximum of 3 photos. Once photos are posted, viewers can vote for 1 photo a day and add an unlimited number of comments. Contestants and viewers can share the contest with their friends (eighteen years old or older) utilizing the “Invite Friends” button or by sending an email. The photos receiving the most votes for each theme will win prizes. Rayovac Powers Fun, have fun and be creative with your photo entries! All levels of photography welcome!
For each of the three themes there will be:
Grand Prize- a Digital Camera Package, complete with a and Rayovac Rechargeables and a for three of the Grand Prize Winner’s friends.
Second Place Prize- Photo Printer
Runner Up Prize- Digital Photo Frame Keychain.
Phase One: Submit photo entry
(Week 1: Fun with Water Photo. Week 2: Fun Pet Photo. Week 3: Summer Fun Photo)
Phase Two: Public Vote
Phase Three: Winners Announced . .
Rayovac Summer Photo Contest Blogger Promotion Rules: http://www.rayovac.com/snapsharewin/rules.html
I know that we will be entering this contest, it looks like a lot of fun. Be sure to like Rayovac on Facebook to keep up to date and if you have a blog share the contest widget like I have above.
Disclosure: The first 50 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Summer Photo Contest won a prize from Rayovac. No other compensation was given. I simply wanted to share this contest with my readers.
Over the last few weeks, JSL has decided to spread his wings. He does not want assistance with anything and is trying anything/everything on his own. It ranges from putting shoes on, taking his coat/hat/boots off, climbing into the carseat, putting a cap on JSL style and building with LEGOs.
If you had asked me 3-4 weeks ago if I liked to get the little guy ready in the morning I would have said NO WAY!. Seriously, JSL would fight me over everything. He did not want to stop playing, he was interested in a show, he wanted to stay in his PJs. There was always a two year old excuse. Then I noticed something before a recent bath. JSL wanted to get undressed alone. He watched big brother do it and wanted to be a big boy. We let him do it. He refused any assistance until he could not figure out how to get long sleeve shirts off. This made the wheels spin.
Hmmm. . . could I use this technique in the morning?
What did I have to lose? I tried it out one morning not too long ago. He jumped down and started to strip off his clothing. He ran after each piece to put them into the hamper (one of his favorite things to do – even with clean items). I was floored with the excitement of this activity. The next morning he shocked me more. JSL actually ran out of my room and screamed it was time to get dressed and change diaper. WHOA! Next thing I knew this was what I saw:
JSL kept parading around the living room and dining room with his PJ "hat" on his head. He was hilarious. The little guy’s personality has been coming out more and more lately. He was even all smiles and fun when it was time to get the onesie off and go for the diaper change. Time for a little Peek-a-Boo first:
At this point he went to a blanket to get a diaper change and get dressed. As usual lately, JSL was transformed into "Baby JSL Pup-Pup!" Seriously, he will not reply to you unless you call him by this name. The silly "pup-pup" kept rolling around like a puppy and panting and pretending to give kisses like a dog.
This independence thing is nice. The only down side is when we are late getting out the door and a tantrum begins when I try helping JSL put on his shoes. Oy! I will cherish these fun and silly moments because I know they grow up way too quickly.
For over a month, we have been telling the boys that we are going to see The Wiggles soon. That day finally arrived. NHL understood what we were talking about. He is a pro and has seen The Wiggles twice before this. JSL had no idea. This was his first Wiggles live experience (Six Flags does not count). He probably figured we were taking him to watch a DVD in a new location.
When we arrived at the venue, we bought the program for the show. We really did not need shirts, we have tons of DVDs/CDs, and can get the stuffed toys from Wiggles World at Six Flags if we need/want them. The boys were thrilled with this. While the little guy looked around the theater, NHL and I browsed through the program. Then JSL saw it and well, it was his from this point on.
The theater filled up pretty nicely. Of course before the show, TechyDad and I joked that tons of sick kids would probably be there to spread things like the flu and more. Sure enough, a group sat next to me. As I was feeding JSL a snack I heard her on the cell phone telling someone that her child had been sent home from daycare. Why? Oh, because the child had a fever. The best part – several other kids in the facility had already tested positive for H1N1. GRRR!
About 20 minutes before the show, they put on a DVD that was advertising The Wiggles and their affiliation with Sprout.
The sad part is, anyone in our area that has Time Warner Cable does not receive Sprout – like us. JSL was so thrilled. When it was over he was upset. We tried to explain that this was not the show and The Wiggles were really coming. They played this video one more time and then the show started soon after.
JSL sat on my lap so he could see over the railing near our seats. His body stopped cold in it’s tracks the second he saw Jeff come onto the stage. Of course, this was nothing. Each time a new Wiggle arrived onto the stage he grabbed my hand and just kept staring and the smile got bigger and bigger!
The part that really got him was when the Big Red Car came onto the stage.
While JSL took it all in and watched The Wiggles, big brother NHL was up dancing and singing the entire concert.
He had a fabulous time watching this very different Wiggles show. At the end of the night, as we were walking to the car, I asked NHL which was his favorite Wiggles show. He said this one since he did not remember the others too much and then complained. Why was he complaining – the poor kid had no voice from singing along with The Wiggles for an hour and a half!
TechyDad and I both loved the show. Not only was it wonderful watching the boys as they enjoyed the show, we thought it was a great production. The Wiggles Go Bananas tour was like a Cirque du Soleil and Wiggles production combined. Confused? Not to worry more photos coming soon to explain what I mean. TechyDad took some amazing photos and fun videos that I will share to tell the store. The Wiggles actually encourage their fans to take as many photos and videos as you like – sweet!
As an educator and mother, I am always looking to find new and exciting online resources to use with my boys. I am a firm believer that integrating technology is crucial with children these days. Recently, I was asked by Mom Central to explore and review a website called BrainFuel. To participate in this Blog Tour, I was given a one month trial to use the Brain Games on Luminosity.
When you go to the website, it is broken down into four sections.
In this section, a lot of attention is put on how certain foods are important to help your child maximize their brain, concentration and memory during the day. Articles are available to read about different topics and research is integrated into them to explain the rationale behind the findings. A few examples are:
- Mom Was Right – why breaskfast is the most important meal of the day
- Why Vitamins - research from studies that show how vitamins from a balanced and healthy diet can make kids perform at their best and do better in school.
This portion of the website is broken down further into areas that talk about Brain Facts, Exercise the Brain, Protecting the Brain. There are a lot of facts and ideas in this section to help to understand your brain better. Some examples:
- Family Walk - Do you know why a simple walk after dinner can be beneficial to your brain? This little article explains why.
- Avoid Brain Drain – Admit it, you have suffered from this more than once in your life. This explains what you can do to prevent it from happening.
We all know that it is important to exercise our body, but it is also crucial to train our brains. This section points readers to Luminosity.com which hosts the special games. These have been developed to help and increase:
- Quicker thinking
- Improved memory
- Increased alertness
- Elevated mood
- Better concentration
You do have to be a member to use the games and track your program benefits. The nice part is you can sign up for a free 14 day brain training trial and if you like it then get 50% off a one year subscription by using the promotion code 50BRAINFUEL. I just activated my month long complimentary membership (part of the Blog Tour) and hope to start letting my son use it more. I have to say that many of the games look like something that would keep my brain moving. Some game examples are:
- Word Bubbles - Works on Processing Speed, Verbal Fluency Head on over to test this out!
- Speed Match – Helps to focus on Processing Speed Another game that you can test out on their website.
So far, I like what I see in these games and hope to explore them more with my son. He loves these types of items and will be intrigued with the concept of helping to make his brain bigger and better. I am interested in seeing if we will notice an improvements in his scores.
In this portion of the website, you have the chance to connect with others to ask question, look for advice and see what others are doing. There are four main branches that people can leave topics/questions within. These are:
- Ask a registered dietitian – Submit a question regarding brain healthy nutrition to our registered dietitian.
- Food and Diet – Submit your child’s favorite brain food breakfast ideas/recipes
- General Discussion – General Discussion is a place for General topics that do not fit into the categories of other forums on Brain Fuel.
- Share with us
The forums look like they will be a nice resource as more people learn about this website. At this point, there are not a lot of posts and it is pretty quiet. The perk with that is if you post a question people respond to it rather quickly.
As previously mentioned, I am still exploring all that there is to offer on BrainFuel and Lumosity. I believe that helping children to be the best that they can be is part of our responsibility. This website has a lot of information that will be a nice resource for many parents.
Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of BrainFuel and received an insulated lunch bag from California Innovations to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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