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Brace Yourself, There’s A New Breed of Grandmothers

Oh how times have changed! I don’t know about you, but this is the picture I get in my head when I think about grandmothers.

Grandmothers
When Grandmothers Looked Like Grandmothers

Memories of my own grandmother include feeling terrified the first time I found her teeth in a glass, hours of gin rummy, and absolute giddiness anticipating her visits. I also remember she had breasts so pendulous you hesitated to hug her if you knew she wasn’t wearing a bra. (I could really do without that memory.) Continue reading “Brace Yourself, There’s A New Breed of Grandmothers”

$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Enter to Win $100 Amazon Card

What Would You Do with $100 Amazon Gift Card?

Some posts may contain affiliate links. Please review our disclosure policy for details.

Maybe one of the Paperwhite Kindles? The anti glare makes it a perfect beach, lake or pool accessory. Spring is only 33 days away. Hallelujah!

Or maybe an Echo – which just happens to be on sale right now. These things are amazing.

Or maybe one of those Instapots you didn’t get for Christmas.There are so many options, but one thing is for sure. Whether you buy groceries, necessities, or splurge – winning $100 Amazon Gift Card would be awesome. But you have to enter to win.

 

I’ve partnered with some pretty cool bloggers to offer this $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway for you. Use the contest widget below to choose as many of the optional entry methods as you wish. The giveaway is open worldwide and ends on February 27th at 11:59pm ET.  Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Augmented Reality Technology is Child’s Play

Curious about Get Qurious? Augmented Reality Technology is Child’s Play

Who can forget that Pokemon Go craze of 2016? For most of us, this was our first glimpse into Augmented Reality Technology (and we probably didn’t even know it). It sounds so futuristic and complicated, but basically it’s where the virtual world and the physical world meet. This is exactly what you get with Get Qurious.

You know that feeling you get when you’re in the drive-thru and you get to the window and the clerk tells you that the car in front of you has paid for your meal? Well that’s the same kind of feeling I get when I receive goodies in the mail. It’s not life changing, but it feels good. Needless to say, I was delighted to be asked to review the Get Qurious Explorer Box .

The box we received is designed for 4-8 year olds. My oldest grandson is just 3, but he was able to catch on quickly – in fact, quicker than I did. I’m still amazed at how intuitive kids are about technology. However, at this age, he still requires a little adult assistance, especially since it involves a phone or an iPad. Before you start, you’ll need to download the Get Qurious Explorer Box app. (I’m one of those kool-aid drinking Apple fans so I didn’t even check to see if it was Android compatible).

Get Qurious PackagingThe first thing I noticed is how vibrant and colorful the box is. The packaging is fantastic and only added to the excitement of unboxing it to discover what was inside.

Get Qurious Explorer BoxIncluded in the box are story cards; masks, and treasure maps. There are four different activities – Build a Story, Build a Spaceship, Mask Play and Treasure Hunt. All of these are designed to support and strengthen problem solving, reading, communication, science, math, art, engineering and, of course, technology.

Augmented Reality TechnologyBuild a Story was definitely our favorite. A story begins and the app prompts you to choose your character, transportation, location, a friend, and a problem to solve. These are all chosen from the story cards. The fascination with the animation, combined with the hands on activity, makes this a pretty engaging recipe for learning. It was fun to watch him ponder and make choices about who and what to include in his story. It turns out Manu is well liked and gets to be involved in most of the stories.

The Treasure Hunt was the most challenging but once we got the hang of it, it became a runner up for his favorite. Well, I suppose it was really a tie between Treasure Hunt and Mask Play. Although he enjoyed Build a Spaceship, the associated cards look similar enough to a 3 year old that it was sometimes confusing.

Finding products designed to build critical thinking skills yet also keep the cool factor can be a challenge. I love that this is not just a digital “toy”, but is a real avenue to foster creativity, curiosity, and imagination. The fact that they have blended technology and traditional story-telling to inspire learning is clever and very appreciated. At $15.99 for a single box purchase, the value far exceeds the price. It’s worth a quick visit to Get Qurious to learn more about this innovative way to combine learning with play. You won’t be disappointed.

I’m a big fan of products that integrate nuggets of science, technology, engineering, art and math into everyday play. It’s like adding broccoli disguised as “trees” to their dinner plate. Make it fun and attitudes will change. You can read more about STEM activities for preschoolers on a previous post.

Disclaimer: I was provided a free product in return for an honest review. This in no way influenced my thoughts and opinions. This review is based on my personal experience along with my grandson.

The Blogging Grandmother’s Holiday Giveaway

The Blogging Grandmothers Holiday Giveaway

I’ve partnered with some of my favorite blogging grandmothers for a holiday giveaway.

We have come together to give one grandmother who blogs a $50 Amazon eGift Card. Who couldn’t use that, right?

The hostesses for this giveaway are:

⦁ MiMi Clearissa – Clearissa Coward’s Command Center

⦁ Grammy Dee – Grammy’s Grid

• Nay Nay Renee – Grandmommin

• Ninny Nikki – Gwin Gal’s Inside and Outside Adventures

• Grandma Teresa – Aging Like a Fine Wine

• Nonna Marci – Stone Cottage Adventures

• Mamal Diane – Mamal Diane

Giveaway ends November 20, 2017. Enter now!

If you’re looking for a place where you can brag about your grandchildren, discuss life at a particular age, just be yourself, make friendships, get blogging help and for networking then how about joining us the Blogging Grandmothers group at Facebook? It’s a private group exclusively for grandmothers that blog. We grandmothers have to stick together you know!

Disclosure: One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The hostesses have not received compensation for this post and giveaway. This giveaway is not endorsed by Amazon nor with Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This Giveaway is Void Where Prohibited and No Purchase Necessary.

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STEM activities

Kiwi Crate: STEM Activities for Preschoolers

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means (at no additional cost to you) I receive a small commission when you purchase through these links.

Because we’re a blended family, our grandchildren have multiple grandparents. Four of them are even blessed with very active and involved great-grandparents. And then there’s the doting great-aunts. Needless to say, there is a lot of love and a LOT of toys. You can never have too much love, but you can have too many toys.  So when the oldest grandchild’s birthday rolled around, we wanted to do something different (and we were forbidden to buy more toys). If we couldn’t buy toys, we wanted to make sure we got something that was at least fun. It was by accident that I stumbled across Kiwi Crate  STEM activities for preschoolers, but I’m so glad I did.

Play and learn

This was my first experience with a subscription type of product (except for my beloved Rodan and Fields). Unsure of what to expect I chose the 3-month package.  Right from the beginning it was a hit. This is the first time he had gotten a package in the mail.  I could have sent an empty box and he would have still squealed with delight. This may be a genetic quality that I passed on to him as I also get pretty excited when a box comes in the mail.

His first crate was the ocean crate, which was perfect because we spend a lot of time talking about octopuses (I have no idea why). The items are really quite simple, but they have been thoughtfully chosen to inspire learning through play. The box included creative materials for craft activities, a little magazine just for kids, and a parent guide. More related DIY resources are also available online which is a nice way for us to extend the fun until the next crate arrives.

STEM activities for preschoolers isn’t novel or new.

Science, Math and Engineering concepts may seem more suited for the big kids, but truthfully, preschoolers just naturally do STEM things. Building forts, playing with Legos, helping in the kitchen, etc. all are opportunities to connect those Science, Math, Engineering and Technology dots.  This type of play helps them build critical thinking skills and goodness knows we all need more of that.

Unboxing the crate

Unboxing Kiwi Crate
Unboxing the Crate

We had almost as much fun opening the box as we did doing the activities. Not being a very crafty person, I really appreciated that everything we needed was already in the box.

I didn’t have to spend hours on Pinterest trying to find age appropriate crafts. Yes, hours because who can jump on Pinterest and jump right back off? Best of all, no trip to Michaels (the store where I would rather remove my eyelids, douse my head in honey then jump into a fire ant bed, rather than go).

I also like that it’s not a one trick pony. The  crate contains mutliple activities that kept him engaged much longer than I anticipated.

There’s also the added bonus that “crate time” is a reprieve from playtime with the very realistic sounding fire trucks. Yeah, there’s that!

Yay or Nay?

Kiwi Crate Fan
Happy Kiwi Crate Fan

We’re a Kiwi crate fan for sure!

  1. Just the excitement of getting a special package in the mail was worth seeing.
  2. The activities really inspired his creativity. You could almost see the ideas bouncing around in his head.
  3. The crate is our little thing. It’s bonding plus learning plus playing. Win. Win. Win.

Seeing it first hand inspired me to become one of their affiliate partners. This means I make a small commission every time someone orders through my links – but it doesn’t change the price for you. In fact, occasionally I’m able to offer special pricing through our partnership like this 40% discount on your first order. Just use the promo code BDAY17.

STEM/STEAM is so much more than just educational buzzwords. These Kiwi Crates have done a beautiful job of integrating little snippets of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math in to everyday play and keeps their little STEM minds churning. It’s worth a visit to Kiwico.com to see all of the options. There is something for almost every age group, even newborns.

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Eat Free on Your Birthday: Morning, Noon and Night

Yay! It’s my birthday month. I love, love, love my birthday and try to stretch out the celebration as much as I can – like all month long. This year I decided to pay a little more attention to all those birthday freebies available and be more strategic in my pursuit. Whoa! I’ve truly been missing out. So you don’t miss out too I’ve created this How to Eat Free on Your Birthday Guide.

The days of just a corny off-tune birthday song with chocolate syrup over vanilla ice cream are over. I mean, it’s my birthday and a  girl’s gotta eat. So why not eat for free?  All. Day. Long! Continue reading “Eat Free on Your Birthday: Morning, Noon and Night”

Sign Language for Babies: Pre-verbal Communication

Sign Language for Babies
Signing “More”

You may be wondering why anyone would want to teach sign language for babies. When I first heard about it, I wondered the same thing. Several years ago I met a woman who was quite passionate about educating people about the benefits of sign language for hearing babies. Her passion piqued my interest enough that I began to research it more. It turns out that there are quite a few benefits not only for the child but for the parents as well.

Recently I had a very frightening experience. My car lost complete power without any warning. It was early morning, still dark and I was stranded at an intersection without headlights, brake lights or emergency flashers. Worse, I couldn’t unlock the doors or even roll down the windows to get out of the car. Needless to say, I had a total freak out moment not knowing if the cars coming behind me would know my car was stopped at a green light. Fast forward…. $800 and a new alternator and battery and I’m back in business. Or so I thought. A week later, my car was being towed back to the dealership.

What does this have to do with sign language for babies? Nothing, but it has to do with communication. As hard as I tried, I could not adequately explain to the mechanic what happened to my car before it shut down. Between my lack of vocabulary for the correct terms, my limited knowledge of proper names for the gauges and equipment affected, and my “post traumatic stress” from the initial incident the communication was less than effective. When the person you’re speaking with doesn’t understand what you’re trying to tell them, it’s frustrating, even stressful. The natural reaction is to keep repeating the same thing over and over, just louder. As you know, this only results in increased frustration, not resolution. Continue reading “Sign Language for Babies: Pre-verbal Communication”

Join Amazon Student Prime – Free 6 months Trial!

Join Amazon Student Prime now and get a 6-month trial free!

You can cancel at the end of 6 months but if you decide to keep it, you get 50% off of Amazon Prime including all Prime benefits for four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first.

Here’s a list of all of the goodies you get with your membership:

  • Free 2 day shipping (holla)
  • Prime Video: Unlimited streaming of  thousands of movies and TV shows
  • Prime Photo: Unlimited photo storage
  • Twitch Prime: I’m not even going to pretend I know what this is. (Free game content and exclusive emotes) -What? Anyway, I’m sure it’s good.

After the trial, you get 50% off of Amazon Prime which unlocks all the goodies.

You get all of the above plus Prime music. You also get the ability to refer a friend to Prime Student and receive $10.

Join Prime Student FREE Two-Day Shipping for College Students

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Best Gifts for New Grandmothers – Your Search Begins Here

Best Gifts for New GrandmothersAre you looking for a thoughtful pregnancy reveal gift or new Grandmother gift? Whether you’re making the announcement to your own parents or celebrating the excitement with one of your friends, your search for the best gifts for new grandmothers begins here. Either is certainly an occasion worthy of a “grand” gesture.

No doubt, times have definitely changed. Today, nearly all of life’s major (and minor) moments are celebrated in elaborate fashion. From prom proposals to gender-reveal parties and everything in between. Maybe you’re thinking that things have gotten out of control. Some may even argue that these events have become over the top exaggerated but the truth is our brains recall memories with the most emotional connection. When these occasions are commemorated, our mind bookmarks these memories and files them in the “save for later” folder. That’s why things like photos, videos, and gifts trigger those warm and fuzzy feelings. They allow us to re-live these happy times again and again. Lucky for us there’s scientific evidence to support parties, picture taking, and gift giving. Continue reading “Best Gifts for New Grandmothers – Your Search Begins Here”

The Best Lotion for Feet – How to Keep Your Feet Baby Soft.

baby feet on sand
Baby Soft Feet

Are you always searching for the best lotion for feet?

It seems as though I’m forever on the hunt for the best lotion for feet. I’m not difficult or hard to please, I just want a lotion that will keep my feet baby soft, but isn’t too watery, too greasy or too perfume-y.

Hallelujah! I just had a total Goldilocks moment! I have finally found the one that is just right. And…. it only cost me $76,485.00.

The $76,485.00 Foot Lotion

Let me explain. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to drive for about 2 weeks following a recent surgery, I tried to stock up on our everyday essentials ahead of time. Unfortunately, lotion didn’t make it to the shopping list.

There is nothing like a hospital stay to make you appreciate and crave the familiar. Your own clothes, your own shower, and especially your own bed feels even more comfortable than you recall. Eager to get my regular routine back on track, disappointment set in when I realized I had forgotten to replenish the lotion I keep on the nightstand. Silently cursing the empty bottle by my bed, I suddenly remembered that “complimentary” bag the hospital sent home with me. Included in the bag were sample size toiletries. There it was. Wait for it. Johnson’s Baby Lotion. Yes, Johnson’s Baby Lotion. It’s not greasy, it’s not smelly, it’s just right! With a fast absorbing formula, it actually soaks in quickly and leaves my skin and feet feeling  – well…. baby soft.

Why, why, why have I not thought of this before? With 5 grandchildren there’s certainly no shortage of baby lotion at my disposal! Face palm! It only took a moment of desperation, and unfortunately, an accompanying $76,485.00 hospital bill to realize the perfect foot lotion has been right under my nose.

Baby Lotion
Johnson’s Baby Lotion

Under different circumstances, (or for the rest of you) this lotion is actually very inexpensive, just over six bucks for 27 ounces.

The moral of the story:

Don’t dismiss the simple things. Sometimes we overlook the simple things right in front of us to chase after something unknown that we think might be better. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll remember it doesn’t always have to be fancy, shiny, or expensive to get the job done.

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Easy Valentine Crafts for Kids – Tic Tac Toe Snacks

Easy Valentine Crafts for Kids
Valentine Tic Tac Toe Craft Snack

Don’t you just love it when an idea comes together better than expected? When you find easy Valentine crafts for kids that also double as snack time – you know you’ve got a winner.

This little crafty snack (or snacky craft) is so simple, but so genius. We can even cover sight words, counting, shapes, hand/eye coordination, fine motor/pincer grasp skills and sharing with this little activity. Truthfully, these will probably be gobbled up long before we get any educational benefit – but hey, it sounds good.

When my children were small, there never seemed to be enough hours in the day for this kind of “time stealer”.  I still don’t consider myself a very crafty person, but I have to admit I enjoy these activities more than I thought I would. Now that I have the luxury of interacting in a role that is mostly removed from the day to day grind and responsibilities of parenting, these stolen moments feel pretty special. Laundry, supper, and homework aren’t competing for our time and my brain isn’t secretly screaming “hurry up, there’s still so much to do”. Like the cookie icing needed for these tic tac toe crackers, our play time is the glue that’s building our bond.

The moral of the story:

The old saying is true. Time is money, but more importantly, time is precious and time spent with grandchildren is priceless!

I can’t unscramble eggs. But if I could, I definitely would have spent more time saying “yes, we can play a little longer” and less time saying “not right now, I’m really busy” when my own kids were younger.  Thankfully, I get a chance to do it better.

There’s a reason, this phase of parenting is called grand – because it is!

Tic Tac Toe Graham Crackers – What you’ll need:

Graham Crackers

Wilton Cookie Icing (red, pink, blue or white)

Candy Conversation Hearts

 

 

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