Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ring in the New Year with King Julien and Netflix #StreamTeam #KingJulien

I am a Netflix Stream Team member and have been given a Netflix membership to help facilitate my posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

New Year's is not really a big event in our household. The kids are still too young to stay up and to be honest, it is a struggle for me to even stay awake for the Times Square ball drop. However this year I wanted to make it a bit more fun and special for the kids and I received some help from King Julien.

If you have watched any of the Dreamworks Madagascar films, you know how wacky and hilarious King Julien can be. My five year old absolutely loves his Christmas special and we've watched it repeatedly on Netflix this season. Well now he is back in his very own Netflix original series: All Hail King Julien.

King Julien is back and shaking his booty harder than ever! Discover the wild world of Madagascar as the king takes on the jungle’s craziest adventures in this comedy series. With his loyal sidekicks Maurice and Mort, they meet a whole new cast of colorful animals, including ambitious head of security Clover and the villainous Foosa. No one can stop this king from ruling with an iron fist...in the air...wavin' like he just doesn't care.

Season one just premiered on Netflix on December 19 with 5 episodes. This series takes place before Alex and the other zoo animals arrived in Madagascar and shows how Julien becomes king. We have watched a few trailers and we already know we are going to enjoy it. Now that we have gotten a little taste for it, we are planning on a New Year's Eve King Julien marathon to finish up the episode. It will  be an early night for sure, I need to have my kids in bed by 8:00pm for my own sanity, but it will be filled with laughs and yummy snacks. We even have some All Hail King Julien goodies to make it even more fun.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Get the Latest Cameras at Best Buy #CamerasatBestBuy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. This post contains affiliate links and the site owner will earn a commission if you make a purchase via the links.

Whether you are in the market for a new camera for yourself and family this holiday or you are looking to purchase one as a gift, Best Buy has all types of cameras for everyone. I love my DSLR, a Cannon that is a few years old now, however I can't help but drool at some of the newer cameras out there. As a blogger, it is no surprise that I am a social media junkie and I upload a photo to at least one social media site daily. So I often default to taking photos with my iPhone since it allows me to instantly share wherever I want, something I can't do with my camera. I love that these cameras here come with WiFi capabilities for instant sharing.

Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens

This Nikon camera which comes with a 18–55mm lens that uses VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization to limit the effects of camera shake and vibration. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you wireless connect to compatible mobile devices, so you can easily share captured footage with friends, relatives, clients and more.

Available in black, red or grey.

Price: $799.99
More Details

Features a 24.3-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor and includes a lightweight 16–50mm lens. Connect your devices via the camera's built-in Wi-Fi to share photos with loved ones.

Available in black, white or silver.

Price: $599.99
More Details

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2

Has a 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor and a 4.8" touch screen with built-in WiFi makes for easy photo sharing.

Available in black and white.

Price: $347.99 (reg. $449.99)
More Details

Visit the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center to see check out great cameras and find the perfect one for you!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Protect your Identity with the Fellowes M-12C Shredder #IC #GiftFellowes

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Fellowes Brands. I received a product sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. This post contains an affiliate link.

In this day and age where identity theft is a huge issue, one can never be too safe when it comes to their personal information. That's why we really have to be diligent when disposing of paperwork that someone could use to get access to our lives. Tearing up your mail and tossing it in the garbage or recycling bin is no longer a good option. I am a firm believe in "better safe than sorry" so when it comes to papers, receipts, mail, etc. that contain our information on them, they go in the shredder pile.

Now until recently, I had this tiny cheap shredder sitting in my home office to use for this. However, it was so slow which means shredding papers took some time and in turn that meant that I would just let the "to shred pile" grow and grow. Then I received the Followes M-12C Shredder to test out and in all seriousness, it changed this menial task for me.

Fellowes M-12C Shredder Features:
  • Cross-Cut blades that shreds up to 12 sheets of paper at a time 
  • Each sheet is shred into approximately 302 particles
    SafeSense® Technology automatically disables the shredder when hands touch the paper opening
    Shreds credit cards, paper clips, staples and junk mail
  • Shreds for 5 minutes before automatic cool down

As you can see, there is that stack of papers I mentioned earlier. Now if I sat down and used my old shredder to do all of these, it would literally take me several hours. Obviously, I don't have that kind of time to spare which is why said pile grew so tall. However, I was eager to get started with the Fellowes M-12C to see what kind of difference a more powerful shredder could make.

Let me tell you, this is one serious shredder. From start to finish, it took me about an hour to get through my pile and I sat there in amazement as it gobbled up 12 pages at a time and even staples. I absolutely love the fact that it can handle staples. While this shredder can shred up to 12 sheets of paper, I prefer to keep it around eight. Once you start getting up to 10 and 12 it does slow down a little bit.

One of my favorite features of this shredder is the pull out drawer that catches the pieces. This makes it so much easier to dump the shredded paper in a trash bag. There is a little window on the front so you can see it filling up. I recommend letting it fill about 2/3 of the way and then dumping it, if you wait till it is completely full, paper will go everywhere when you open it up.

Now if you have kids in the house like I do, an important feature of this Fellowes M-12C Shredder is the SafeSense Technology. When you are shredding paper, the light next to the SafeSense logo is green. If your hand (or any piece of skin) touches the silver area around the opening to the shredder, the light turns yellow and the shredder stops. Pull your hand away, and it resumes shredding. This will prevent little fingers, or even your own, from getting injured.

While a shredder might now seem like an overly fun gift to give someone this holiday season, it is a useful one. And I don't know about you, but I would prefer to receive something that would actually be useful to me. And this shredder is certainly useful. A shredder like this is something everyone should have in their home to help protect their information and identity. It could make the perfect gift for a young adult just going off on his/her own, new homeowners, newlyweds and even your spouse. Or honestly, its a great gift for anyone who hasn't take this step to protect themselves.

Fellowes M-12C Shredder is available at Target with a suggested retail price of $99.99

Connect with Fellowes
Website: www.fellowes.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Fellowes
Twitter: @FellowesInc

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey Official Movie Poster #Giveaway #OfficialFifty

I know there are some of you out there who are just as excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie as I am! February really needs to hurry up and get here already. So I am really excited to share this giveaway with you all! Thanks to Universal Pictures and #OfficialFifty, I have FIVE (5) Anastasia official movie posters to giveaway. Each poster is also tied with an exclusive Fifty Shades of Grey satin ribbon. Open to US residents only, giveaway will end on December 16, 2014 at 12:00am EST. Scroll down to the Rafflcopter form below to enter.

There are also two other posters being given away by other blogs out there, so be sure to follow #OfficialFity on social media for a chance to win all three!

Gift Your Family a Canon Camera from Best Buy This Holiday #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeason

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

As parents, aren't we always following our kids around trying to snap as many photos as possible so we can hold onto all of the memories they create? I'm sure it must drive our kids crazy, but it can't be helped. Snapping a quick picture with a camera phone is great but sometimes, you really want and need a high quality photo. Like for holidays, special occasions or maybe for your son's first hockey game, which happened for us over this past weekend. I still remember when my husband bought me my Canon Rebel XS a few years back. I was thrilled and admittedly overwhelmed by it since I had never used a DSLR camera before. Even now I don't know what I am doing half the time, but it still takes way better photos then any of our phones or point and shoot cameras ever took. And years  later it is still going strong. I feel like every family should have a DSLR in the house.

Best Buy is your go-to store for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories. The Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of the best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression.
• Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video
• Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
• Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
• The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*.  Visit Best Buy to learn more.

*offer valid 12/7/14-12/20/14

Friday, November 28, 2014

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. My boys and I can't wait for this movie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Celebrate Friendship this Thanksgiving with Netflix #StreamTeam

I am a Netflix Stream Team member and have been given a Netflix membership to help facilitate my posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

I am still in a bit of shock that Thanksgiving week is here already, I just do not feel ready for it at all. Where did this year go? As we get ready for the big feast and perhaps some shopping, it is important that was talk to our kids about being thankful. And you know what, us adults could use a reminder as well. Sitting down and discussing all the things we are thankful for with our children is an excellent way to bond and teach and just a really nice parent/child experience. Something we all should be thankful for are good friends. Now a friendship could be a BFF from school, a sibling or maybe even a pet. While my boys all have friends at school, they are all so super close with each other, and I know that I am very thankful for that.

Let Netflix help you and your children explore lessons about friendship with these titles.

New on November 26!
http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/80011539?trkid=13752289VeggieTales in the House - a NEW Netflix Original Series

The beloved faith-based brand hits the small screen with a fresh new look and all-new adventures. Join Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and all their veggie friends as they explore new areas of their wondrous house while singing catchy, original songs included in each episode. Perfect for young families, this laugh-out-loud comedy seamlessly weaves good moral values into each episode in a fun, exciting way for Veggie lovers of all ages.

Watch Now!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

LG's New OLED TV Available at Best Buy #HintingSeason #OLEDatBestBuy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I am a lover of all things technology, whether it is the best new smart phone to fit in my pocket or a new beautiful television to mount on my living room wall. The science and innovations behind all of these gadgets fascinates me and I love seeing, and playing with, it all. Television technology seems to be constantly evolving and continuing to get better and I feel like every holiday season is when we see the next big thing in TVs. I have come to look forward to the season just to see what some of the new TV technologies are. This year I am pretty excited about the new LG OLED TV.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars Free Activity Sheets

It is no secret that my boys and I are huge Star Wars fans. HUGE. And thanks to Netflix, they also became big fans of Phineas and Ferb this year as well. So we were thrilled about the Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars special. Unfortunately, we don't have cable so we have yet to see it. But it is finally available on DVD, so Santa will be dropping this in a stocking at my house this Christmas.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Little Remedies All-Natural Products for Kids #MC #LittleRemedies

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Little Remedies. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It seems that once my kids go back to school in the fall, we are constantly battling some ailment in out house. With four young kids in four different classrooms, they are exposed to all kinds of germs and they bring all of those home each day to share with each other. I just wish they were as good about sharing toys as they are about sharing germs! So it was late October and early November when I found that all four boys had either sniffles, a runny nose a cough or congestion. When it comes to over the counter medication for kids, I will give a fever reducer or cough soother when needed, but I like them to be dye-free and with as little nasty stuff in them as possible. Luckily Little Remedies has an entire line of over the counter remedies just for kids that meet those requirements.

"Everything they need, nothing they don’t."

Tips for Busy Moms to Break Free

Busy Mom? Need to Break-free?

If you are a mom, you are definitely a busy mom. Taking care of the house, your kid’s homework, your hubby’s favorite dish and what not. You are the best and there is no better mom than you.
But even the best needs rest. And that should happen before your body goes into the grave. So, break-free today and have a great time!
If you are looking for some tips to break-free, here are some;

Friday, November 7, 2014

Virgin Mobile Custom Plans Are Great For Families #VirginMobileMom #MC

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Virgin Mobile. I received a sample device to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating. This post may also contain affiliate links.

We are approaching that age where cell phones for kids are a topic of discussion in our house. Our oldest son will be 10 in February and while we aren't ready to give him a phone yet, it will probably be happening within the next few years. Almost definitely when he hits middle school. Since I like to start my research early I'm already looking at best plans for kids. The Virgin Mobile Custom Plans stood out to me because not only can you build a cellular plan that suits your family and child but it also gives parents a lot of control over what a child can use the phone for.

Best Buy Holiday Shopping Event #BBYShoppingEvent

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


We are already a week into November and do you know what that means? It means the holiday shopping season is in full swing. With my boys getting older and wanting mostly more expensive gifts, I am always looking for good sales this time of year. This Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 1:00pm-4:00pm, Best Buy is having a one day in-store sale and shopping event. I'm excited for it and the chance to preview and shop the Holiday Collection from some of the biggest brands including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Have a Spooktacular Halloween with Netflix #StreamTeam

I am a Netflix Stream Team member and have been given a Netflix membership to help facilitate my posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

My kids and I really enjoy watching holiday themed movies and shows. Our Christmas movie collection is somewhat out of control. However what we don't have many of are Halloween movies. So when they saw the movie Curious George A Halloween Boofest pop up earlier this month, they were excited to watch it.

Curious George A Halloween Boofest

Hang on to your hats and get ready for a spook-tacular good time, with Curious George. Autumn is here, bringing colorful leaves, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and the annual Boo Festival.

Watch Now!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Delicious Taste of Fall with Teavana #TeavanaFallFavorites #MC

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Teavana. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

It is only recently that I discovered there is more than just simple black tea that I buy at the grocery store. When it came to hot beverages, I always went for flavored hot coffee, especially on a chilly morning. My first experience with different teas was when I tried out the Teavana Oprah Chai Tea back in the Spring. While enjoyed the Chai Tea, it isn't something I would drink on a regular basis. However, when I saw the various fall flavors that Teavana offered I knew I would have some yummy tea sampling in my future. Pumpkin and apples and cinnamon are some of my favorite flavors!

This fall, Pumpkin Spice Brulee and Spiced Apple Cider seasonal teas have returned to Teavana stores, Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars and Teavana.com. They are both perfect for enjoying on a brisk, fall day.

Pumpkin Spice Brulee(Oolong)
A bountiful harvest of sweetness and spice, this warming oolong is an impeccable accompaniment to crisp autumn days. A balanced swirl of rich pumpkin and flavors of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and creamy vanilla, this rich and smooth cup is a sublime indulgence for the body and mind any time of day.  Price: $12.98/2oz

Spiced Apple Cider (Rooibos)
Capture the soothing and inviting essence of hot apple cider with this aromatic rooibos filled with fruits and spices. Crisp apple and juicy plum blend temptingly with cinnamon, chicory, and sweet carob for a cup full of flavor that envelops the senses in comfort and joy. Price: $8.98/2oz

I was super fortunate that Teavana sent me everything I would need to steep some of their lovely fall teas right at home, including:
     •Spiced Apple Cider Tea
     •Pumpkin Spice Brulee Tea
     •A Perfectea Maker
     •Angle Infuser Mug

All natural ingredients.

Now one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to try these, in addition to how delicious they sounded, was the fact that there is no junk in Teavana teas. Looking at the ingredients I only see natural ingredients and that makes me beyond happy. I love my flavored coffees but I am also well aware that those flavors are usually anything but natural. So I like that I can indulge in these teas without worrying about what I am putting in my body. All of the ingredients are listed on the website and on their packaging for you to easily see.

The beauty of the Angle Infuser Mug is that it lets you easily steep a single cup of tea. Since I am the only one really drinking these in our home, that is perfect for me. The Perfectea Maker will allow you to brew one to two cups of tea in mere minutes and is perfect if you are sharing with a friend or loved one. For some reason, I love seeing the tea leaves and ingredients floating about in the hot water while it steeps, it is pretty in its own way.

The first tea I tried was the Pumpkin Spice Brulee. I simply placed 1 teaspoon of the tea into the Perfectea Maker, added 8oz of hot water and then lit it sit for 3 minutes, no stirring. Oh the smell that filled my kitchen while I was doing this was delightful. It was so easy and in mere minutes I was sitting at the kitchen table reading on my Kindle with a delicious tea to sip at.I have to say I was a bit surprised at all the flavors mingling in this tea. it was both spicy and creamy and just so very fall. I loved it!

The whole scooping out the tea and steeping part might seem a bit daunting to you, but I promise it is easy. Each tea comes with specific instructions of how much tea to use, the temperature the water should be and how long to steep for. There are even instructions for making iced tea which would be so refreshing in the summer. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully to get the best tasting tea. I did not steep my first batch of the Spiced Apple Cider long enough and it came out a bit weak. Once I did it correctly though, it was perfect.

Shop & Save
Now through October 31, 2014, you can save $10 off your $30 order or more at Teavana.com by using coupon code Prudent10off30 at checkout!

Marvel Studios Unveils Phase 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe

On the morning of October 29, 2014 Marvel Studios announced the films that will make up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now not only do I love Marvel films, but my kids love them too. So this list below made for one very excited household. The year of waiting for some of these is going to be torture!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Captain's Wheel Hook Pillow #Giveaway

I was compensated for sharing this giveaway.

If you have a room with a nautical theme in your house, then you will want to enter this giveaway for this cute Captain's Wheel Hook Pillow. It could also make a great gift for the upcoming holidays. Retail value of over $50.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GoPro Cameras at Best Buy #GoProatBestBuy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

As a mom, a good camera to capture all of my kids special moments and silly moments and just every day moments is an absolute must. It may be a cliche, but they really do grow up so fast and I want to be able to capture those memories for us to hold onto forever. And you know, possibly embarrass them down the road as teenagers. We are also entering a new phase of parenting and that is sports. Sure my kids have been playing hockey for years, but my nine year old, for the first time, will be on a travel hockey team. So a camera that can take fast paced action photos is absolutely going to  be on my Christmas list this year.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Family Movie Night with Netflix #StreamTeam

I am a Netflix Stream Team member and have been given a Netflix membership to help facilitate my posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Part of getting back into the swing of the school year includes getting our Friday night traditions up and running again. This consists of pizza for the family, so mom gets a break from cooking, followed by popcorn and a movie (or show) on Netflix. Generally we try to select something we have never seen before, but sometimes we like to pick an old favorite.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

Gah! I am beyond excited for this movie! It has been a while so I think a reread of the book may be in order.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Parents Can Use Netflix to Teach Kids About Empathy #StreamTeam

I am a Netflix Stream Team member and have been given a Netflix membership to help facilitate my posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

With schools around the country either already starting or about to start any day now, this can be a good opportunity to talk to our kids about kindness and acceptance. Bullying is a worldwide problem, and not just amongst kids. Without a doubt we don't want our own children to fall victim to bullies. But just as importantly, I don't want my child to be the bully either. Talking to a child about how all people are different and everyone should be accepted and treated fairly is something everyone should do; and having the aid of a movie to lets kids visualize that can be very helpful.

DIY Nintendo DS / 3DS Game Card Storage

Second only to LEGOS, Nintendo DS game cards are the bane of my existence. Each of my 4 boys has their own DS so in turn we have a lot of games. A lot. And those little suckers are so very easily misplaced. They fall between couch cushions, get pushed under furniture, etc. Since the kids all share their games, I wanted a central storage piece where we could neatly keep them all. However, we have over 40 games and and the most I have seen storage for is in the 20s. And the individual DS cases that hold the system plus a handful of games are just so overpriced. So I decided, I'm just going to make something myself.

Here are the materials I started with:

Now I already had the Avery Business Card Pages so this project only cost me $1.94. You can also substitute the Business Card Pages with the Trading Card Pages.

After snapping in 4 sheets and the pencil case, I had my storage binder all ready to go in less than a minute. Now they have one single place to store and share their games and I am no longer searching the house for misplaced ones.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Digital Eye Strain & Your Child #AOA #MC

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for the American Optometric Association. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

In the digital world we live in these days, it is very easy to overlook the effect that all the various screens we stare at have on our eyes. I know I felt it way back when I was working full time and I even feel it on days when I spend too much time device hopping. But do we stop to think about how this might be hurting our kids? Is digital eye strain something we should be concerned about.

Do you remember the original Nintendo Gameboy? That ridiculously bulky thing with the awful
graphics and miniscule screen? Well when I got mine, and don't ask me to remember when that was, (middle school maybe?), I was hooked on it. I mean I spent way too much time staring at the awful colorless screen. Probably a few weeks later I started complaining about increased headache So my smart mom, who has worn classes since she was a young child, took me to the eye doctor. And do you know what he said? Too much time on the Gameboy. All the time I was spending looking at the screen was causing eye strain which was then causing the massive headaches so I was told to cut down my screen time. (Note: I did not need glasses at that time, but did go on to get them in high school for minor near sightedness).

Now take a moment and think about all the screen time our kids get. I admit that when you combine the amount of time my kids watch TV or are playing in their Nintendo DS's, it is higher than it should be. Then once they are back in school in a few weeks, that time might drop, but they will also be adding computer screen time. No matter which way we slice it, today's kids spend a lot of time looking at one screen or another. And we parents need to make sure we are taking the steps to keep protect their eyes.

The Facts
According to the American Optometric Association, 83% of children between the ages of 10 and17 say they use an electronic device for at least three hours every day. Now 40% of parents agree that their children have that much screen time, though I think that is a pretty accurate number for my k ids as well. Most children also say they experience burning, itchy and/or tired eyes while or after using electronic devices for extended periods of time. All of these are symptoms of digital eye strain. Some other symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. My nine year old will sometimes complain of a headache, thankfully not often, but I have to believe that he is experiencing digital eye strain. Do your kids complain of any of these symptoms after spending a long time on their digital devices?

What Can We do?
Well first and foremost, everyone needs to cut down on screen time. Obvioulsy we can't change what happens at school, but at home we should make an effort to get the kids outdoors, interacting with one another or even reading in place of all the digital time. Believe me, I KNOW this is difficult, especially when we spend just as much time on digital devices. Even if you can cut back a few minutes each day, its a great first step.

It is also very important for kids to take frequent breaks by using the 20-20-20 rule pictured above.
When using technology, make sure they take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away. Some other steps to take are:
  • Check the height/position of the device. 
    • Computer screens should be 4-5 inches below eye level and 20-28 inches away from the eyes. 
    • Handheld digital devices should be held a safe distance away and just below eye level.
  • Check for glare on the screen. 
    • If necessary, turn the desk or computer or reposition your body and device to prevent glare on the screen.
  • Reducing the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen. 
  • Adjust the font size. A  larger font size will make it easier on your eyes when reading. 
  • Keep blinking.
All of these are good for combating temporary digital eye strain, but it is always a good idea to have your child's eyes checked yearly even if they do not have any complaints. There is no way for us to tell if they are having trouble seeing unless they tell us. And most times, the child doesn't even realize it. For me when I was in high school, I went in for my routine eye exam sophomore year with no complaints and walked out with eye glasses. So make sure you schedule yearly exams. For the little ones, I know most pediatricians will do a quick eye test with some cards, but that might be enough. The American Optometric Association recommends every child have an eye exam by an optometrist soon after six months of age, before age three and every year thereafter.

For More Information
AOA website: www.AOA.org
AOA Twitter: @AOAConnect
AOA Facebook: facebook.com/American.Optometric.Association

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fun Summer Learning with Netflix #StreamTeam

I am a Netflix Stream Team member and have been given a Netflix membership to help facilitate my posts. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

With summer break in full swing, sometimes it is hard to get our minds into learning mode. What kids wants to sit down when their is running around and fun to be had? The great thing is there are so many learning opportunities right in our own backyards! Using nature to educate can be fun for both adults and children and is super easy to do. Take a nature hike around your property or nearby woods searching for flowers, insects and animals. You can even turn it into a scavenger hunt! Or you can try a summer long nature project like having the kids start their own veggie or flower garden.

On those summer days filled with rain and thunderstorms or when it is just too hot to be outside, take the lessons inside with the help of Netflix. For the older children, there are plenty of entertaining documentaries available. My nine year old LOVES these types of shows and was thrilled when he saw Walking with Dinosaurs on there.  He even got the twin seven year olds excited for it.

Enjoy these and more documentary titles with your big kids:

1. Lewis & Clark: The Journey Out West
2. Walking with Dinosaurs
3. Secret Yellowstone
4. The Blue Planet
5. When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

Of course my four year old isn't really all that interested in documentaries just yet. Thankfully Netflix has plenty of pre-school/kindergarten age educational shows as well. Mine is partial to PBS shows like Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Super Why! He also recently discovered Busytown Mysteries and thankfully, all the other boys love it too. I get a kick out of this because I so loved Richard Scarry books when I was a kid myself. You're little one might enjoy some of these titles while staying cool on a hot day:

1. The Great Mouse Detective
2. Busytown Mysteries
3. LeapFrog: Math Adventures to the Moon
4. Turtle: The Incredible Journey
5. The Magic School Bus

It is so easy to forget about education and learning during the hot summer break. But I think it is important that we keep our children's minds active and stimulated. While hands on activities are always awesome, especially outside in the fresh air, the TV can be a wonderful tool as well. And when it is 95 degrees outside with 85% humidity (bleh), Netflix is there to educate us all on space exploration, dinosaurs and so much more!

Snack Idea!
Stay cool with these Brain Booster Strawberry-Yogurt Swirl Popsicles.


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