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Activities Parenting Problems/Tips

9 Tips to Spend Less at Theme Parks

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Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch shares her tips on how to save money if you’re planning a trip to an theme park!

amusement-park-ride-1421329706hGZ
Every summer, millions of Americans flock to amusement parks with friends and family for some fun and adventure.

What most people don’t anticipate is the rollercoaster of spending they will experience on everything from admission to parking to food.

Considering the average entrance fee for 13 major theme parks nationwide is hovering around $84 per guest, with some pushing the $100 mark (ouch!), the costs are becoming too much for many consumers to afford.

Luckily, you don’t have to let a tight budget keep you and your family from having fun. Just follow these nine tips to spend less on your next theme park trip. Read More »

Activities Parenting Problems/Tips

7 Tips to Survive Swim Lessons

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Swim lessons can be terrifying for kids who haven’t done them before, so here are some tips to get through them!

Outdoor_Swimming_Pool_on_a_Sunny_Day
Swim lessons. I dreaded them as a child. I am just not a good swimmer.

My husband is an excellent swimmer, however, so he has expectations for our kids. My only expectations are that they learn how to swim so one day (probably many, many years from now) I might actually be able to “lounge” in a lounge chair at the pool.

My three-year-old and five-year-old are now on their second round of swim lessons for this summer.

Here are some tips I’ve come across to help you survive swim lessons. Read More »

Activities Food Healthy-ish Parenting

5 Tips for Throwing a DIY Pizza Party

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure policy here.Curious Chef sent me products in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

Throw a DIY pizza party for National Pizza Party Day with these tips!

FB 5 Tips for Throwing a DIY Pizza Party

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this but since moving to Virginia I’ve had a really big problem to overcome…

No one delivers to my neighborhood.

No Chinese food. No grocery store. NO PIZZA DELIVERY.

Yes, you heard me right. NO PIZZA DELIVERY! Read More »

Activities Food Healthy-ish Parenting

Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Berries

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Cool off with this healthy, refreshing treat your kids will love to make AND enjoy!

FB Frozen Yogurt-Dipped Berries

Confession: I really don’t like cooking with my kids. It pains me. I know, I know, I’m a terrible person.

But they are just so messy. Every time we bake together it ends up in a disaster zone in the kitchen and lots of tears. And the kids get a little upset, too.

That’s why I love this recipe. It’s easy and doesn’t cause a huge, disastrous mess. There will be no cracked eggs on your floor or flour flying through the air and coating your clean dishes on the drying mat. I promise. Read More »

Activities Parenting Pregnancy

Baby Registry Essentials

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Find out what you NEED and what you definitely DON’T NEED when making your baby registry!

Baby Registry Essentails
Over the years I’ve had many a friend and relative ask: What do I put on my baby registry?!

I finally decided to put it in a helpful post for you to use, Pin, and share with your friends. You can even print it out! (Printable version at the bottom of this post.)

What’s great about this list is that it doubles as a list of ideas for baby shower or new baby gifts.

Now, I’m not saying that you need EVERYTHING on this list. Much of it depends on what kind of space you have in your home, whether or not you’re breastfeeding (there’s a few nursing accessories on here), and whether or not you want a lot of the baby “stuff.” Some people don’t want a vibrating baby chair. Some swear by it! So peruse through the list at your leisure and decide what among this makes up your essentials list. Read More »

Activities DIY/Household Stuff Guilty Pleasures Parenting Problems/Tips

Print Your Own Elegant Easter Menu

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The final step in your Easter celebration preparations…a pretty menu to display for your guests!

Elegant Easter Menu

Truth be told, I saw an ad online for a local restaurant that was serving a mouth-wateringly delicious Easter lunch for four to six adults for $64.99…and was thisclose to cancelling my plans to cook for Easter.

But alas. 

I already have all my recipe ingredients and taking three kids to a restaurant after being in church for an hour sounds less than relaxing to me. Read More »

Activities Parenting Problems/Tips

The Potty-Training Chronicles: Day 2

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Day 1 is officially in the books. Here’s hoping there will be less accidents and more poop (in the toilet) today!

The Potty-Training Chronicles Day 2 Pin

Hopefully Day 1 was the hard part and Day 2 will be a breeze? Here’s how Day 1 went.

Still no poop, and he is a regular every-day pooper. It’s going to be very warm today so we will be outside, where not wearing pants isn’t an option. But maybe he will learn to pee outside? Is that a no-no?

Wish me luck!

5:29 A.M. “Wahhhhhh!” My little potty-trainer is in his room wailing. I went in and got him so he wouldn’t wake up his sister or the baby. I let him lay in our bed with us for approximately two minutes before the sound of him sucking on his pacifier was too loud. Then I kicked him out. 

5:40 A.M. Set him up with a Bob the Builder movie on Netflix. He is still in his diaper, because I still need more sleep. Read More »

Activities Parenting Problems/Tips

The Potty-Training Chronicles: Day 1

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It’s Day 1 of potty-training for my two-and-a-half-year-old. Here’s the play by play of how it went down.

The Potty-Training Chronicles Pin

Ugh. Potty-training. I’ve been dreading this day. I don’t even remember doing it with my daughter, but I assume it went quick and easy.

Something tells me it won’t be that way with my son…perhaps it’s the fact that the first time I tried to potty-train him, he shit on my laptop.

Also, he has repeatedly told me that he doesn’t want to wear underwear. 

When I tell him we are going to throw all of his diapers in the trash, he says, “They won’t fit.”

He poops in his diaper, lays on the ground, and tells me to “clean up the poop.” So yeah– I think it’s time to potty-train, whether or not he agrees with me. Read More »

Activities Guilty Pleasures Parenting

The Very Best Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These cookies are the perfect wintertime treat! The combination of mint and chocolate in a warm cookie is delicious and refreshing.

The Very Best Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I make regular chocolate chip cookies, I don’t mess with the best. I always use the original Nestle Toll House recipe. 

In my opinion, nothing beats that recipe. I almost know it by heart at this point. (Although I usually halve the recipe to avoid eating the whole lot myself.)

But back to the mint chocolate chip cookie recipe. 

Up until a few years ago, I had been living my life, minding my business, baking and eating plain old chocolate chip cookies. And then one day my sister-in-law made me some cookies. Read More »

Activities Parenting

Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Early with Kids (NJ, PA, DE)

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Want to do something fun on New Year’s Eve with your kids but they can’t make it til midnight? Check out these NJ/PA/DE locations where the celebrations start (and usually end!) early so you can all be home in bed before dark!

where to celebrate new year's eve early

I never viewed New Year’s Eve as a holiday for kids to celebrate, maybe because I’ve only had kids for a few years now.

Since mine are only 3.5 and 1.5, they will still be going to bed at 7:00 and will miss the festivities. #MeanMommy

Hell, I’ll still probably be in bed by 10:30! Maybe 11:00 since it’s a special occasion OR if someone buys me this “Happy New Year” light-up tiara. Then I’ll stay up.

But if you’re a cool mom or your kids are just older and wiser and realize that New Year’s Eve is supposed to be a fun holiday, here is a list of places where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids (early!) in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Note: I wrote this post for New Year’s Eve 2014 but have updated it with information for all the 2015 New Year’s Eve celebrations. Read More »

Activities Parenting

Second Chance Toys

secondchancetoys

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As the holiday season approaches, I am inspired to focus on charitable giving.

Last year I was trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of toys we had that were in great condition but my kids didn’t play with much anymore. A quick Google search led me to Second Chance Toys.

Second Chance Toys is a non-profit organization that collects your gently-used plastic toys and donates them to children in need. Collections are held twice a year, for Earth Day and during the December holiday season. Read More »

Activities Parenting Places

Long Beach Island, NJ: Our Favorite Spots

Long Beach Island NJ: Our Favorite Spots

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We are now in our third week of living at the beach before our big move to Virginia.

Experiencing Long Beach Island, NJ with kids is something entirely different than experiencing it in my twenties. Instead of looking up fun bars, I’m Googling new playgrounds and ice-cream shops. 

Here are some of my favorite stores and attractions on Long Beach Island, NJ…whether you have kids or not. I hope to add to this list every summer. Feel free to comment with your favorite hotspots on L.B.I.! Read More »

Activities Parenting

35 Dr. Seuss Books You Might Not Have Heard Of

Dr. Seuss Books

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How many Dr. Seuss books can you name? The obvious ones come to mind first…

The Cat in the Hat. Green Eggs and Ham. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 

But did you know that there is a long list of other Dr. Seuss books that you probably haven’t even heard of? 

If you’re looking to expand your Dr. Seuss collection or celebrate his birthday (a.k.a. National Read Across America Day) on March 2nd, here are some of his lesser-known titles… Read More »

Activities Parenting Problems/Tips Products Reviews

18 Best Apps for Kids (Kid-Tested, Mom-Approved)

Best Apps for Kids

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As I struggle with keeping my two older kids (3.5 years old and 20 months old) out of my hair while dealing with my newborn, I’ve been seeking advice from other moms.

This week I inquired about the best apps for kids and received many helpful suggestions from parents on my blog’s Facebook page

Here is a list of the best apps for kids, as suggested by parents. I’ve included whether each app is available for iOS/android, the price, and what age child might like it. Read More »

Activities Parenting Products

25 Adorable Children’s Valentine’s Day Books

 Children's Valentine's Day Books

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It’s just about one month until Valentine’s Day! One of my family’s favorite ways to get into the spirit of a holiday is to read books about it.

We have several of the books on this list and I’m excited to add a few more to our collection this year. 

I definitely want the Little People Lift the Flaps one, because my kids love the other book we have in that series.

Here’s a collection of 25 Children’s Valentine’s Day books that will be great additions to your child’s library. Read More »

Activities Parenting Reviews

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place

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On Saturday, my three-year-old daughter and I attended A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place for the first time. 

We met my friend and her four-year-old son there for a fun-filled afternoon of rides, twinkly Christmas lights, and the Imagination Movers show.

If you’re considering making a trip to experience A Very Furry Christmas, here are some things you should know before going.

Read More »

Activities Parenting Places Reviews

Adventure Aquarium Hosts the Weeki Wachee Mermaids

adventure aquarium mermaids

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure policy here. Adventure Aquarium provided me with free passes to attend in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

In case you hadn’t heard, the Weeki Wachee Mermaids traveled up from Florida for a special week of performances at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.

I was lucky enough to receive a set of tickets for my family to attend. This is all my daughter talked about this week (other than Halloween)! Read More »

Activities Places

Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium

Mermaids at Adventure Aquarium

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As soon as I heard about the Weeki Wachee Mermaids appearing at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ, I knew that this was an event for my family. Well, mainly my three-year-old daughter, who loves anything mermaid-related.

We have Mermaid Barbie, Ariel dolls, and the Sofia the First DVD “The Floating Palace” is one of our favorites. Read More »

Activities DIY/Household Stuff Guilty Pleasures Parenting Problems/Tips

DIY Halloween Window Silhouettes

DIY Halloween Window Silhouettes
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This is my second year making Halloween window silhouettes. They are such a fun, cheap, easy way to get your house festive for Halloween!

Last year I made googly-eyed monsters and aliens but when selecting this year’s images, my three-year-old begged and begged for me not to do anything scary.

I tried to sketch out a friendly witch, but couldn’t get the head to look right. So I opted for some animals. Read More »

Activities Books Parenting Products Reviews

Fun & FREE Children’s Storybook Apps

Fun and Free Children's Storybook Apps

I don’t know how this happened, but I missed the boat on having my three-year-old daughter play with educational (ish) apps on our tablet.

(I call it a tablet, because we are one of the only families left in existence to not own an iPad. My husband hates Apple, so…I just have to deal with it. Don’t get me started on the Droid phone he convinced me to get.)

Anyways, the only thing my daughter does on our tablet is watch her shows on YouTube. Over and over.

Recently, I thought, there must be something better she could be doing. Right?

I decided to look into some free storybook apps, because my daughter loves to read. Here are some that we are currently enjoying…

Read More »