Throwing the Best Backyard Birthday Bash Ever

Pictures from Birthdays Party

Pictures from Birthdays Party (Photo credit: martin_kelley)

If you are lucky enough to have kids with summer birthday parties, you have the option to throw a backyard birthday party for your kids. No messy house parties, expensive excursions to arcades or jump houses. . .

Backyard birthday parties allow for a lot of fun, minimal mess, and a safe place for handfuls of screaming children to get their energy out. Besides, in the backyard, you have a chance to be as creative as you want. Fun themed birthday parties can be just the ticket for a memorable birthday bash!
 

First Rule

But before we get into themes and ideas for these backyard celebrations, there is one important thing to remember: kids are simple. So keep your plans simple as well. There’s no use in spending lots of money, planning extravagant schedules and activities, and preparing detailed decorations because chances are, none of the kids will notice or appreciate it.

So don’t stress out. Big themes and fun activities won’t be missed. So as long as you’ve got some exciting activities, bright decorations, and yummy food these kids will be thrilled!

Water Park

The first thing our minds go to when we think of summer is water water parks, watermelons, water balloons, and water guns. You don’t really need to buy super fancy equipment. Just get some of those tiny cheap water guns, a small plastic pool, an inexpensive slip-n-slide, and a nice big sprinkler, and you’re set!

Just make sure all the kids get some sunscreen and hand out cheap beach towels as party favors/seat protectors for the car ride home.

Carnival

Another easy, but exciting theme to go with is Carnival! As far as decorations go, anything that comes in bright colors, no matter how much they clash, work together just fine for this theme. So scrounge around for cheap plates, banners, napkins, table cloths, party favors, prizes, and frosting.

Fun simple games like bean-bag tosses, fishing for rubber ducks, bag races, and flicking bottle caps can all be thrilling, inexpensive, and be used to distribute prizes. Add colorful cake and ice-cream to the mix, and these kids will have so much fun!

Messy Party

To every mother, this sounds a bit scary, but your kids will love you forever if you let them do it. And fortunately, if you do it in the backyard, the mess won’t be too bad. Just make sure you buy disposable decorations, table cloths, plates, and napkins that you won’t have to worry about later.

Some fun, messy ideas include pudding slip-n-slides, decorate-it-yourself cupcakes or cookies, whip cream fights, cornstarch and water goop, tie-die shirts, and whatever else you can come up with. And at the end of the day, hose them down and send them on their way with a nice beach towel party favor to protect the seats of cars.

Preserving the Memories

While this fantastic party is going on, make sure you snap some photos to remember glory forever! Your kids will love looking back on these priceless memories as you flip through your professionally printed photos from one of the many printing companies in Denver.

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The KIA Sorento, My New FAVORITE Car!!!

Disclosure
I was recently given an AMAZING opportunity, I was able to test drive a KIA Sorento for 1 week.  The funny thing is that I had recently created a Vision Board and one of the things I had on it was….you guessed it….a KIA Sorento!!  2 Days after I created the board, I was asked if I wanted to do the review so of course my answer was yes!  On my board I have a gorgeous dark blue one and that is what I was hoping to receive, however I was pleasantly surprised when I got this beautiful red.  Now I usually am not a fan of red cars, but this is a darker red with sparkles!!  SPARKLES!!  Fits my personality I think!  Sooooo, I think I now want a red one!!

The KIA Sorento

Seriously, how beautiful is this car?

Now my car is a 1997 Chevy (Geo?) Tracker, so I am not used to all the fancy schmancy stuff, like key-less entry and ignition, self opening and closing trunk, and all the gadgets, but now that is all I think about and wish my car was that cool!

OK, so onto all the great features.  As I stated above, key-less entry and ignition!!!  I love the key-less entry part because it makes it easier to unlock all doors at once for my family to get in, but the key-less ignition to me is awesome, I don’t know why I love it so much but I do!!

Driving the KIA Sorento

One of the first things I learned about the car was the trunk.  As long as you have the key fob with you, all you do is push the hatchback handle button and let er rip!!  She opens on her own, and then there is a little button on the inside, you push it and it closes, again on her own!  Yes, my temporary Sorento is a female, an unnamed female, but still.  And the best part is, it doesn’t slam, it closes gently and then latches gently.  I think it is perfect for when you have sleeping children in the car.  Granted mine are older and rarely sleep in the car, but imagine going on a long road trip and they fall asleep and you need to get something from the trunk but fear waking them.  That won’t happen with the KIA!!

KIA Sorento Back

I myself prefer SUV’s but not the large ones and the Sorento turned out to be the perfect size for me and the bonus is that it is technically a 7 seater, although MOST of the time we only need 4, every once in awhile Lexi has a few friends over and we do need more space.  Luckily, when the third row is down, there is a ton of space for groceries, luggage, and anything else we may need to store in the trunk!!

KIA Sorento Third Row Seating

KIA Sorento Trunk

Now, the first thing I look for in a new car is the spare tire and tire changing tools, but for the life of me I could not figure out where they could be, so they told me the tire goes UNDER the car…..WHAT?  OK, so I didn’t take a picture of that mainly because the chances of me laying on my back on the driveway are ZERO but I assumed that it was there!  The tools however are in this small little cubby behind the third row seat.  It’s a perfect place for any tools you want to keep in the car for emergencies.

KIA SOrento Jack Storage

OK, on to my favorites!!  The dashboard, or more specifically the GPS-Sirius Radio-Media display!!  This was my first time dealing with GPS which I always thought I would never need and now I want it all the time.  And don’t even get me started on the Sirius radio!!  There are soooo many other channels out there that I never knew existed that are amazing!  Although I have to say that while the King is awesome, I think that the 20 different Elvis stations I came across was a little excessive!!!  I mean WOW!!

KIA Sorento GPS

I never actually went anywhere that week that I had never been before, yet I still used the GPS, it was just too much fun to NOT play with!!

GPS on the Move with KIA

Now, you want to hear something funny?  At first we had NO IDEA that the Sorento had a sun roof (or is it a moon roof?  How do you tell the difference?) and I had just picked Lexi up from school, and we pulled in the driveway when she reached up and was messing with the fabric on the ceiling and I freaked out because I thought she had ripped it.  It was too straight an edge to be a rip so I investigated further and lo and behold, sun roof!  Now I just needed to figure out how to open it because there were just so many buttons to choose from.  Thank goodness for the manual in the glove box.  I figured it out and opened it up and Lexi asked if we could go for a drive.  UM YES!!  So we went to the grocery store and she waved to everyone we passed THROUGH the roof.    LOVED the guy that smiled and waved back though, we laughed so hard.  Yes, we ARE that lame!!

KIA Sorento Sun Roof

There are sooo many other features that I absolutely cannot write them all, I suggest you head on over to the KIA website and find all the amazing features, like the many cup holders, sun screens in the back seat, rear access to AC/Heat controls and so much more!!  For now, I will leave you with a few more pics of the Sorento.  Beautiful isn’t she?

KIA Sorento Side KIA Sorento Front-Side

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Jimmy Dean Sausage Crumble Breakfast Bowl

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Jimmy Dean. This could include Jimmy Dean providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

One of our favorite meals is breakfast for dinner.  Hubby and I don’t really eat in the mornings and the kids prefer cereal, so in order to eat yummy breakfast foods, we need to do it at dinner instead.
When it comes to scrambled eggs, we like to do bowls rather than regular eggs, so we decided to try out Jimmy Dean’s Sausage Crumbles to see how well they work in our breakfast bowls.

It’s super simple, cheap and yummy with only 3 ingredients, 4 if you count the butter used to scramble the eggs.  Sausage, of course, eggs and cheese! Jimmy Dean Title First, scramble and cook the eggs!!
Scramble the Eggs

Then add the crumbles.  I added them frozen because I forgot to take them out to thaw, see the steam??  It still turned out perfect though. Add the Crumbles

Then add the cheese!!  I would have rather used cheddar jack, but hubby wanted to use the mexican blend.  Super cheesy goodness ensued!! Add the Cheese

And voila, yummy breakfast bowl!!  Don’t you just love the bowl?  My  parents bought a full set back in the 70′s and still had 2 left so they recently gave them to me, I LOVE them.  One because I love retro dishes and two because they remind me of my childhood! Breakfast Bowl

So, if you are looking for a cheap, fast and easy dinner (or breakfast) idea that is delish, try out the sausage crumbles, I mean it’s Jimmy Dean so you know the quality is good and precooked saves time.

Find out more info about Jimmy Dean, including many other recipes at their Website, and on Facebook, Twitter,and Pinterest.

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Karate for Kids: How Young is too Young?

English: Rhee Tae Kwon-Do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Da...

English: Rhee Tae Kwon-Do 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Dan black belts in October 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Everybody was kung foo fighting, da da da da da, da da da da da….” Just thought we’d start out with a little fun. Now that you’ve got your jam on, let’s talk about how young everybody should start “da da da da da”-ing.

Too Early

A lot of really ambitious parents (parents mind you, not children) try to sign up their kids in karate super-duper early, like age 3. While there probably is a small handful of successful martial artists out there who did start that early, they are the rare exception.

Children age 3 and younger are 99.9% of the time too young and too underdeveloped to start karate. And this is why:

First of all, three-year-olds can barely hop from one step to another and can only maintain balance on one foot for a very short time. Additionally, their head is still disproportionately larger to their body, which makes performing some of the necessary moves very difficult.

Besides, no child at age 3 really knows what they want long-term. Starting early (at an age that makes learning difficult) can be disastrous to long-term karate goals. They don’t master basics as well, and as they get older, they almost always burn out.

Acceptable

While ages 4 or 5 are better than 3, safer age ranges are closer to 6-8. At this point, children are emotionally more capable of understanding essential concepts like control, discipline, and self-control. Their bodies are more developed and they have a better idea of their likes and dislikes and what they might want in the future.

Ideal

However, the majority of the martial art greats began in the 10-20 age range. Most modern instructors agree that students that start around 10-12 years old seem to produce the most successful and long-term martial artists.

At that age, they have much better control over their bodies and emotions, but are still young enough to be fireballs of energy and sponges to new physical and mental lessons. Students that are talented and dedicated who start in this age range often achieve black belts very quickly and continue on for years. They go from participating in Children’s Martial Arts in Provo to teaching it.

Age Limit?

Happily, there is no age limit to learning karate or any martial art. Even fifty- and sixty-year-olds can learn if they want. Of course, older students will have to adjust their training because older bodies are simply not as strong and energetic as young ones, sadly. But if anyone wants to learn karate, they certainly can.

Quick Warning

For all you parents out there, you’ve probably heard this before, but listen up again! If you really want your child to be happy and successful DON’T PUSH TOO HARD. Do not try to live vicariously through your child or impose your wishes on them. Make sure that karate is really what they want to do. If you push too hard, they will start to hate the sport and give up as soon as they can. So just don’t. Ok? Great!

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Join the Kohls and Peter Som’s Watch & Shop Google Hangout on Friday

I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Kohl’s. I received a gift card as a thank you for participating.

Kohls and Peter Som

Kohls and Peter Som

With a teen in the house, I need to make sure I keep up with all the latest trends, and there are SOOO many of them.  Luckily Kohls has all that for me and at great prices, woohoo!!  Well, Peter Som, a renowned fashion designer, has partnered with Kohls to introduce the DesigNation collection.  With bright colors and a beachy feel, the collection is perfect for spring and of course summer.

If you want to be one of the first to shop the DesigNation collection, head on over and RSVP to Kohls Peter Som Watch & Shop Google Hangout.  The event starts at 12:00 PM EST this Friday, April 4th and Peter will be talking to fashion bloggers and showing us pieces from the collection.  Be sure to RSVP ahead of time, I’m heading there now!!

 

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Helping Your Children Cope with Moving

Moving can be a stressful endeavor for just about everyone involved, but often we forget the toll it can take on our children. As you prepare for your next move, remember your children and follow these few steps to ensure that your children will adjust as easily as possible to the new move.

For many children, their first move is extremely stressful, it is a time in which they will be leaving their home their friends and their school. And all of this change can lead to some negative reactions when you let them know about the mood.

Whatever their reaction there are a few tools you can use to help them see the positives in a situation that may at first seem pretty negative. Take a look at these ideas and see how they can help you in your new move.

Keep T

Boxes in an Office Corridor

Boxes in an Office Corridor (Photo credit: mattcornock)

hem Informed

One of the best things you can do to ease the burden of the move is to let your child in on the reasons behind it. Whatever the reasons are, your child will appreciate understanding and will have a much easier time adjusting if they know you are giving them the inside scoop.

Help Your Child Maintain Connections with Old Friend

For most children, leaving their friends is one of the most difficult parts of a move. If you help them to maintain their meaningful relationships then they will have an easier time with the transition. From phone calls to weekend visits or skype, technology is making long distance communication much easier.

So even with hundreds of miles between your children and their friends, they can still maintain their friendships and have fun together. Make sure to give them time every week to talk to their old friends so they can feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

Talk About the Benefits of Their New Home

Research the new city and find the best things to see and do. If you do this, you will be able to ensure that your child has something to look forward to in the move. Whether there are great places for hiking playing or visiting, make your new home seem as exciting as it truly is.

Let them Feel

This time is undoubtedly going to be difficult for your child, so let them be upset if they are. It won’t do anyone any good to skip over the bad feelings on the way to the good. Rather, your children must experience their feelings along the way.

And Tell Them How You Feel

If you are also honest about your difficulties, your child will be much more willing to talk to you by the time you are calling one of the Utah moving companies to get your move on the road.

So, as you prepare for your move, remember to keep your children in mind. With them on board, your move will be much more comfortable and exciting for the whole family. Keep your children a top priority, and it will make the best difference in your move.

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How to reach out to your depressed teenager

child-helpme

In psychology adolescent is the most challenging phase that people go through. It is that point in your life when a person is fighting a very difficult battle of trying to identify himself. It is this time when it is so easy to get confused and emotional about everything.Generally, depression in adolescents starts at around age 14, sadly parents don’t see the tell tale signs of depression because they think it’s just all part of growing up and eventually they will get over it.

The number of teenagers who are never treated get past adolescence and become ill-functioning individuals often depressed or develop manic depression and other psychological issues. It can be treated easily if only we know where to look and what to look for. Believe it or not there are symptoms and if you look closely enough and long enough you won’t miss it.

Here are some signs your teenager is depressed

  • Drastic weight gain or weight loss
  • Sudden drop of grades or poor performance in school
  • Becomes withdrawn and doesn’t want to socialize or spend time with family and friends
  • Irritable, hyper-sensitive and emotional
  • Complains all the time about feeling sick
  • Being morbid and saying things like I want to die or go away

Teenage depression is not without signs and these teenagers are waiting for someone to save them it’s just sad that most often by the time the parents and family realize that the child was depressed it is already too late.

If you know that your child is showing signs of depression, whether or not he is showing very odd behavior or not; you need to pay attention. Depression among teenagers are not just a result of hormones but also made worse by family and pressure, family problems especially those from divorced parents, pressure in school and home, as well as social acceptance.

The best thing you can do is not wait for the signs to show. Children needs constant reassurance and children who are secure in their family’s love and knows they are loved are better able to face challenges in life. If you suspect that your child is going through something, probe deeper; get involved in his life and try to find out what is happening. It is also very important to make them feel that they are loved and understood.

Remember not to get paranoid though because teenagers do act strange especially in our eyes and they have a tendency to makes us feel we don’t need them; if this is the case, let them know you are there anyway. Befriend your child’s friends so you know what is going on and you know who to talk to in case situations get worse.

Depression is treatable, you can live a normal life after depression, so don’t despair. You can help your teenagers get past it as long as you both agree to it. Communication is very important and knowing that you truly care will help them overcome the phase and prevent worse things from happening.

Learn more about this topic by visiting calm clinic.

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Obesity in Children

English: McDonald's patron, 2006.

English: McDonald’s patron, 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obesity is sweeping the country like an epidemic and children are far from immune. Depending on the study you read, anywhere from 20% to 35% of the country’s children are overweight or obese. Before you go placing your child on a strict diet, there are several things that you should understand about childhood obesity first.

Childhood obesity can be caused by a variety of factors and the recommendations for managing the issue will vary for each individual situation. Any kind of drastic management like the kind that many adults use may end up doing more harm than good. If you are worried about your child’s weight, you should take them first to their doctor.

Causes

It is important to understand that for most children, the fat that they have on their body is actually necessary. Some children don’t even grow out of their body fat until they reach their pre-teens. On rare occasions obesity may be caused by a medical condition that your doctor will diagnose, and most parents are aware of these types of things from an early point in the child’s development.

With technological advances and the advent of the television, children have begun to spend more and more time inside either in front of the TV or playing video games. This increase in and development of a sedentary lifestyle and habits is one of the leading factors in childhood obesity.

While these activities are not inherently bad, when a child is not encouraged to engage in active pursuits alongside them, they can take over. If prolonged, it will become more difficult for them to develop healthy and active habits that they can carry with them throughout their life.

If sedentary habits are combined with a poor diet, you can be sure that your child will develop some kind of weight problem. The body reacts the same way in children as it does in adults when it is not fed properly or given enough exercise to stay strong and healthy. It will slowly increase fat stores.

Any parent that is concerned about their child’s weight should tread carefully. Your first step should always be to consult your child’s pediatrician. You want to know immediately if the weight gain is the result of a genetic or other medical condition that needs to be diagnosed and addressed.

Once you have ruled out genetic and health problems, it is time to tackle the lifestyle issues that are contributing to your child’s weight gain. Begin by speaking with your doctor and getting recommendations. Slowly increase your child’s activity level and moderate their diet a bit at a time until they are eating much healthier foods.

The best way to do this is to make it a family affair. A child who feels singled out will develop insecurities and poor self-esteem if they feel that they are somehow inadequate because they are overweight. Doing this for the whole family will work to improve not just your child’s health, but the overall health of every sing person in the family.

If you are looking for a fun way to get active, Jumptown Inflatables has jump house rentals in Utah. Give us a call or visit our website for more information.

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Life Skills You Should Be Teaching Your ADHD Child

Life Skills

People who are not suffering from ADHD symptoms may find themselves forgetting too often some life skills or maybe it is because they just choose to ignore the importance of learning some of these life skills. But, for people with ADHD not being able to master these life skills might spell a life with difficulties. Experts reveal that children with ADHD will most likely to learn some skills that are crucial to life in a slower pace compared to their classmates and other kids within their age level. But, if you want your ADHD child to grow up with a complete understanding on the importance of waking up early, taking medicines at a time specified by the doctor and why it is crucial to save something for the rainy days then you need to teach him as early as now the following life skills:

Time Management

Most kids with ADHD are often seen having difficulty judging time correctly. They find it hard to know exactly how much time has passed such as how long they were able to complete a certain task. As your child reaches middle school, make sure that he already knows when to finish his assignment and other daily tasks because when he reaches college you will no longer be there to do it for him all the time. It would also be wise if you teach him how to use a timer. This way, he will eventually learn to estimate time and will have an idea as to how many minutes or hours each task will take for him to finish.

Independence

As a parent of a young ADHD child it is pretty much understood why you need to do everything for your child. But, keep in mind that you should not be doing this for the rest of your life. Perhaps you are already aware of the fact that children with ADHD know those things that they need to accomplish in a day. But, the only problem is that they are having trouble getting it done completely. So, as your child grows, you must also start breaking the habit of preparing and doing everything for your child. You must slowly introduce him to the world of independence by gradually exposing him to several responsibilities. These may include preparing his own things for school, cleaning his bedroom, knowing when to set appointments with his doctor and knowing when to have his haircut. Your child badly needs to master all these things as soon as he becomes a full-blown teenager and left on his own to grow and cope with his environment outside home.

Organization

Parents, especially mothers may find the task of picking up the clutter a habit that has become something that is so difficult to break. But, if you want your child to grow up as a person who knows how to organize the things around him then you should start learning how to resist the urge to pick up those cluttered school materials and toys. If you will always be the one to organize and arrange everything in his room your child will never be able to learn how to do it on his own. He will never have an idea what works for him or not when it comes to organizing his own place.

Rearing up a child with ADHD can be a real source of stress for parents. But, know that you can always find helpful information when you check out Calm Clinic Youtube videos.

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Dear 2014, Take your BLECH BACK!

Dear 2014

As far as my family’s health is concerned, 2014 has NOT been a good year so far.  In January, hubby got hit with a pretty bad cold that he of course passed on to me.  What lasted only 3 days for him, lasted almost 3 weeks for me.

Then things started to get better but then on Valentines Day, my son got pinkeye and a bad cold.  Last week was absolutely a horrible week.  I spent the entire time trying to make sure that no one else in the family got pinkeye and luckily I was successful.

However, I must have worn myself too thin and caught his cold, because today, the first day back to school for my son and the first day back to my normal routine, I end up with another bad cold, my glands are swollen, it hurts to swallow, post nasal drip, earache, headache, body aches, fever, the list goes on.  I even have 2 tooth aches, one on each side of my mouth!  Really?

Hubby has even been complaining that his throat is sore again.  This man gets sick once a year and it seems that his good luck is ending!

Lexi seems to be OK for the most part, a few tummy aches here and there but so far she has avoided the worst.  I think it’s because she holes her self up in her room.  Typical teenager!!

So PLEASE, 2014, I am done!  It’s only been 2 months, why is this dragging on and on?  I have a lot to do and I can’t do it if I am sick or caring for sick kids.  Not to mention that I am trying to lose weight and get healthy.  It’s hard to exercise when you can’t breath!

Oh my bed is calling me…….can’t sleep yet…….hubby come home and take care of me……….

Any tips on how to get all these illnesses out of my family?  I have sanitized EVERYTHING till my hands hurt.

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