It seems so simple.
You go to the store, pick up a few bags of candy (on sale? even better!) hand out treats on Halloween, and save a few for later.
But there is some serious thinking involved in picking out Halloween candy.
Some parents buy mini versions of their favorite candy bar because, heck, if they're going to have leftovers, they might as well be something they love. Other moms and dads get the latest, trendy candy that kids will dig.
Maybe you try to be somewhat healthy and offer fruit gummies or fruit roll-ups.
Or? You avoid candy altogether, and hand out Halloween-themed pencils, erasers and/or any other generally ghoulish-looking trinket you can find.
What's your Halloween candy purchasing strategy?
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Fri, Oct 7, 2011 9:04 PM EDT
It seems so simple.
Now that we're a few weeks into the school year, routines are fully in effect. Sort of? Okay fine, it's still a work in progress. Things that you thought would make pre- and post-school routines run more smoothly? Well, they don't always make sense for your family. And the trial and error process is a huge pain in the arse.
In our house, it's the simple things that make a big difference and remarkably, we seem to have developed a nice flow. (See, now I jinxed myself!) We also try as much as I can to make sure the kids are involved.
So what might work for you?
- Wake up an hour before the kids. Get yourself ready first, and when the kids are up they can help get breakfast ready.
- Make sure the kids' backpacks are packed the evening before school. Will they have an activity after school? Have the kids get their soccer gear, piano materials, instruments, etc., ready and set them with their backpacks.
- Same goes for lunches. Put non-perishables in lunch bags/boxes the evening before.
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Moments Of Motherhood – Fri, Sep 23, 2011 6:20 PM EDT
Even the idea of sneaking a veggie or fruit in your child's meal feels so dishonest, as if you're trying to trick them into eating healthy food. Sure, there are those who kids are downright stubborn: "Veggies? ICK!" But some children have true food aversions, where from a sensory perspective, they can't fathom putting certain foods into their mouth because of a texture or smell.
So let's put the "sneaking" bit aside and look at this from a different perspective: How can you prepare fruits and veggies in a way that your kids will enjoy them?
Here are five favorites where you can mix in a fruits or vegetable in a way that it blends into an overall dish, versus serving a stand-alone item:
- Smoothies. Some kids are hesitant to eat certain fruits, but when you blend them all up with a little coconut milk or orange juice and serve a smoothie in a tall glass with a straw? They're asking for more. You can blend strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, nectarine or peach slices with
I've been seeing lots of Twitter chatter about how the weather is already changing. An early morning chill followed by a warm day. Leaves are falling from trees. It's pitch dark at 6am. And pumpkin spiders are setting up shop with gorgeous webs they spin, seemingly in minutes.
All telltale signs that fall is approaching.
I'm on the West Coast, and while the first signs of fall are definitely apparent, I know we still have a heatwave or two coming in a few weeks. But I'm digging the way the seasons blending into each other. And I'm excited about how fall will change our family weekends.
Add these fall favorites to your to-do list:
- Stroll the local farmers' markets. In addition to a change in weather, fall brings new fruits and veggies, flowers, and of course gorgeous (and creepy!) gourds to farmers' markets. Take the kids for a leisurely stroll through your farmers' market -- or visit one in a nearby town and sample seasonal favorites. While you're at it, bring home some fresh
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Moments Of Motherhood – Fri, Sep 9, 2011 8:52 PM EDT
You already know breakfast is the meal that's going to fuel your kids through a morning flurry of activity at school. We love dishing up oatmeal; it's hearty, healthy, easy to make and yummy.
But kids? They get bored with oatmeal. They complain that it's too mushy, too hot, gooey, bland, or just plain yucky.
You might not be able to change their minds, but you can try by adding some flare to a morning oatmeal breakfast:
- Make it fancy. Serve oatmeal with sides of maple syrup, honey or brown sugar and a little pitcher of milk. Stores like Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond sell tiny bowls and inexpensive creamers that are perfect for these add ons. You can include fresh fruit (slices of banana, strawberries, blueberries) and dried fruit (cranberries, pineapple) and nuts (almonds, pecans), too! For an extra special treat, include chocolate chip morsels.
- Vary the oatmeal flavor. When you're cooking the oatmeal, try using coconut milk or vanilla-flavored milk in place of water
Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer for many of us. I'm still not ready to call it quits with this summer, so I'm doing everything I can to maintain that carefree summer spirit for as long as I can!
I know if I'm having a tough time with the end of summer vacation, chances are high that my kids miss the fun experiences, adventures and chill time they had over their break, too.
I came up with a few simple ways that we can all savor summer memories:
Include a summer memory in your child's lunch. Write down a favorite summer moment -- riding a new roller coaster with your daughter, splashing around at the beach with your son -- on a note and tuck it in his or her school lunch.
Frame photos. Pick up a few basic frames and show off some of your best shots from summer. Swap them out every week until you're ready to bring on autumn decorations (sigh...when you really do have to give up on summer).
- Create a summer vacation notebook. If your child is in third
- Include a summer memory in your child's lunch. Write down a favorite summer moment -- riding a new roller coaster with your daughter, splashing around at the beach with your son -- on a note and tuck it in his or her school lunch.
The first day of school is checked off your list. Even though the kids are back at school, it doesn't mean "I'm bored" moments will cease to exist until the next holiday or school break. Think of days without homework, after school sports or activities. Or those moments when you're just trying to sneak in some quiet time.
You know all of those school supplies you bought for your kids? Break out your extras because they'll save the day.
Share your child's back to school photos and any other fun, embarrassing or incredible moments that you have captured on the Moments of Motherhood Flickr Group. While you are here take part in discussions with other moms.Read More »from 6 DIY crafts using school supplies
Yes, I'm serious!
Even though I've been telling you how to gear up for the new school year, I'm already thinking about next summer! As in, how can I take advantage of summer clearance sales now so that I don't have to buy clothes for my kids next summer?
When I was back-to-school shopping with my boys, I was floored at how many deals I found on summer clothes. Where I live, our weather is just starting to heat up! So it seems odd to find swim trunks on sale for $5. Or good quality swim shirts selling for $10.
The big question: What size will the kids be in 9 months? I usually buy one size larger than what my kid is now.
If you're like me, you'll want to know where you can find sales for next year's summer clothes. Check these out:
- Old Navy. Girls' tees for US$12, shorts for US$6? Clothes for boys, toddlers and babies are just priced to go as well.
- Gymboree. I don't buy anything at Gymboree unless it's on sale. And while sale prices may be higher than say, Old Navy or
It's amazing to see how classrooms have been transformed over that past few weeks as teachers prepare for the first day of school. It's impossible to not feel like everyone has a new start, with clean desks, fresh classroom walls, and a general fresh slate.Read More »from Support Yahoo! Homepages for Homerooms!
But even with a fresh start, some teachers and classrooms still need more support to help provide students with a successful, memorable -- and fun -- learning experience.
You can help. And it's as simple as making Yahoo! your home page.
Yahoo! has partnered with DonorsChoose.org for a program called Homepages for Homerooms. Now through October 16 th , public school teachers who place a project on DonorsChoose.org will be eligible to receive funding for their projects from Yahoo!.
Yahoo! will donate $200,000 across the projects that generate the most support.
Here's where you can help: Anyone can support a project by making Yahoo! their homepage, and additionally, by participating in bi-weekly extra credit challenges.
With the new school year upon us, you'll see lots of talk about what's cool and new for kids, especially as this relates to backpacks. I'm all for cute or neat-looking bags, but really? I support practical backpacks.I love backpacks that will last kids years, not months. Most important, the backpack