5 Ways To Reuse Gift Bags

recycle, repurpose, gift bags

Did you know that you can reuse gift bags from birthday, Christmas, baby showers and any other occasion. I replaced my wrapping paper with gift bags years ago. Check out my 8 Reasons to Use Gift Bags post. They’re easy to use, colorful, and come in a variety of sizes. I purchase mine from the Dollar Store, so we can throw in expensive too. 

I have saved tons of gift bags for reuse.  Here’s 5 ways that you can reuse your gift bags too:

1.  Reuse the bag for another gift giving occasion. 

2.  Donate to churches or other organizations that give gifts for Christmas or other occasions. 

3.  Use as a decorative piece for canning jars. The jars can be filled with Christmas candy, party mix etc. Just cut out a piece of the bag in the shape of the center of the top and glue down. Adds a nice decorative touch to the jar.  

4.  Use as gift tags. 

5.  Use to decorate scrapbook pages.

Try a few of our tips or come up with your own uses.  Ask family and friends to start saving gift bags for you. Having a few gift bags around for emergency gifting or when you’ve running short on time can be a life saver too.

Sunday’s Best Linkup #41

linky party, blog hop, linkup

Welcome to Week 41 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup. Things have dried up and the sun is shining in my part of the world. I’m looking forward to seeing the leaves turn and the beautiful color fall put on a show. We’re still enjoying our Spooktacular theme this week. We’re looking for fall and Halloween posts, crafts and decorating, recipes, photos with fall colors, and anything you would like to share on the season.

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Moscow Ballet Performs The Nutcracker

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I love the ballet. I’ve big a fan since my daughter starting dancing 25 years ago, and I am excited to share that the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is coming to town!  The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker s coming to Baltimore Dec. 18-19! My Readers Can Save on Tickets Now with this exclusive offer from US Family Guide.  The Nutcracker is one of my favorite ballets, and we have a special offer for our readers for the ultimate holiday tradition.  The Nutcracker is the perfect holiday family outing. Right now you can receive the Deepest Discount of the Season (up to $30 OFF!) with this exclusive PROMO CODE for US Family Guide Readers: CODE: JOY  CLICK HERE for ShowTimes and Ticket Information. Order your family’s tickets today and fell free to share this exclusive savings with your friends.
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Disney’s – The Good Dinosaur

 

A TRIO OF T-REXES — An Apatosaurus named Arlo must face his fears—and three impressive T-Rexes—in Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” Featuring the voices of AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott as the T-Rexes, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

A TRIO OF T-REXES — An Apatosaurus named Arlo must face his fears—and three impressive T-Rexes—in Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.” Featuring the voices of AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott as the T-Rexes, “The Good Dinosaur” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 25, 2015. ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


“The Good Dinosaur” asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

Young children will be able to relate to Arlo.  Arlo has been afraid of everything since he was born.  He has two siblings, Libby and Buck.  He was the runt of the three.  Libby and Buck are successful on the farm, but Arlo’s timid nature causes him to have trouble adjusting to farm life.

Henry, Arlo’s father, tries to build up Arlo’s courage and gives him a task to help boost his confidence and self-esteem.  He puts him in charge of guarding their silo.  He helps Arlo set a trap.  It catches a cave boy, but Arlo doesn’t have the heart to kill him. Instead he sets him free.  Henry is disappointed in Arlo.  He decides to take Arlo with him to catch the cave boy.

During their journey, Arlo and Henry get caught in a flash flood.  Henry saves his son, but he is swept away and dies.  After his father dies, Arlo finds alone.  He becomes more responsible on the family farm.  One day he spots the cave boy in the silo.  He chases the cave boy, and they both fall into the river.  This time Arlo is swept far away from his home.  He must find the courage to face his fears and find his way home.

Save the date and head out to see the Good Dinosaur.  Until than enjoy the Good Dinosaur activity pack. Print, color and enjoy. Print the activity sheets here.

 

 

 

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Good Dinosaur coloring pages

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #40

 linky party, blog hop, linkup

Welcome to Week 40 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best LinkupThanks to  Hurricane Joaquin, we’re getting lots of rain in my part of the world. It’s been raining for a week. I’m looking forward to sunshine and the beautiful colors of fall. We’re still enjoying our Spooktacular theme this week. We’re looking for fall and Halloween posts, fall crafts and decorating, recipes, photos with fall colors, and anything you would like to share on the season.

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18 Colorful Fall Nature Hunt Ideas

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Fall has arrived, and it’s a perfect time to go on a nature hunt with the children.  It’s an exciting time of year. Leaves will be changing colors, pumpkin patches will come to life, and corn field maizes will appear. Children will be excited about Halloween and picking out their customs for the year.  Lets not forget about football season, tailgating and delicious recipes for parties and family gatherings.  

What’s even better, it’s still warm enough for the children to go outside and play.  A fall nature hunt is a great way for you and them to get exercise and explore nature. Plan a day of hiking, walking the neighborhood or spending the day at your favorite park is the perfect place to play a nature hunt game.  It can be a great opportunity for the children to ask questions and learn about nature. 

If you decide to visit the park pack a lunch filled with our fall snack items ideas.  You can enjoy each other’s company after the nature hunt.  Talk about a funny moment that you encountered during your walk.  You can also take pictures of the kids hunting for items or other scenic items that you find along the way.

While your walking and taking pictures look for the items on the Nature Hunt list. We’ve added different color leaves, pumpkins, a stick, acorn, pinecone and more.  They’re all  easy to find and common in all most areas across the country.  If you need materials for a fall craft project, this would a great time for you to gather items as you walk along too.  This can include fall leaves of various colors, acorns, pinecones and more.

 

Fall Nature Hunt Game
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Feel free to print on cardstock, and enjoy.  Download the Fall Nature Hunt Printable here.  You may also like:
 
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt Game



12 Picky Eater Tips

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Do you have a picky eater?  Check out our picky eater tips, and get your little one to eat. My grandson was a picky eater.  Needless to say, meal time was a struggle. His mother, my daughter, was a picky eater too. To the point where she couldn’t stand for her food to touch.  If it did, I had to fix another plate if I wanted to get some nourishment into her.  

kids in the kitchen


I had to come up with a plan to get him to eat and I thought I would share my tips with you:

  1. Get your child involved in the meal preparation.  Kids love to help, so why not let them help with preparing the meal. They’re more likely to eat what they’ve helped prepare.     
  2. Incorporate 1 – 2 items that you knew they will eat into the meal plan.    
  3. Serve fruits and veggies for snacks instead of chips and cookies.  I serve apple slices and peanut butter, spinach dip and carrots or cucumbers.  He loves to dip things.  I invested in a vegetable cutter that will make crinkles in the carrots and cucumbers.  They’re more exciting than regularly cut cucumbers and carrot sticks.
  4. Kids love animals or alphabet shaped foods.  I now have a cabinet full of molds for pancakes and waffles.  What kid doesn’t want a cow, pig, dinosaur or zoo animal on their breakfast plate.  
  5. If your child is a pasta lover use wagon wheels, corks, or spaghetti.  I remove the green from cucumbers before placing them in the pasta.  My grandchildren love pasta with lite Italian dressing.   I get a “Happy Plate” every time I serve it.       
  6. Make zucchini or banana bread or muffins instead of cake and cupcakes.  Top with a little whipped cream.  You can add food coloring to the whipped cream to make it interesting.   
  7. Invest in sandwich cutters for P & J or grilled cheese sandwiches.    
  8. Limit snacks before meals.  
  9. Make eating out and fast foods a treat rather than the norm.      
  10. Eat meals together rather than placing your child in front of the TV.  They’ll see you eating and may be willing to try something new.  
  11. Encourage your child to try new things.  Start with getting them to taste rather than forcing them to eat anything.  After all, they are picky eaters.  
  12. Make fresh fruit smoothies together using Almond milk.  My grandchildren love Almond milk.    

What tips do you use for your picky eater?  We would love to hear from you.  

18 Places To Travel Off Season

vacation destination tips


I love to find travel bargains.  First, off season travel gets you the most bang for your travel buck.  So, I start planning my summer vacation off season.  As a result, planning is essential. Deciding where I want to go, and then coming up with a ball park figure on how much it’s going to cost are essential in my planning.  So, I look for places that have great deals off season.  Enduring crowds is bearable, but my preference is for the crowds to be small and the prices reasonable when I travel.

Next, I put together a list of 18 Places To Travel Off Season and when the best deals are offered:

New York in January – It’s the city that never sleeps. You can find great shopping, Broadway shows, sight-seeing, and dining in so many places.  For example, Harlem, Manhattan, China Town, Soho and the list goes on.

Montreal in February – Brush up on your French.  Because Montreal is considered to be cosmopolitan and is the second largest French speaking city in the world.  Also, it is second only to Paris.  Montreal is known for its museums, shopping and great food.

Italy in March – Next, Rome, Sicily, Naples, Venice, and Milan are places that I wish to see.  Milan is famous for it’s designer shops and Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper.  Also, there’s the canals in Venice.  Italians are known for great pizza and pasta.   

Rio de Janeiro in March –  Rio is known for it’s world famous Carnival, beautiful beaches, and the infamous Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Rocky Mountains in April –  You can enjoy the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.  This includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico in the U.S.  The mountains are approximately 3,00o miles from Canada to the U.S. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are popular in April.

Australia in May – If you like wildlife, Kangaroo Island is the place to go.  Additionally, you can meet sea lions on the beach, kangaroos, koalas, penguins and more on the beach.  Furthermore, you can also snorkel, dive or swim on one of the beaches. While you’re there, head to the Australian Alps and spend your time hiking.

Lake Tahoe in May –  For me, either North or South Lake Tahoe will suffice.  The choice is yours. Lake Tahoe borders the Sierra Nevada, state borders of California and Nevada. Tahoe South is great for skiing, boating, bike trails, and bar hopping.  Tahoe North is great for biking, hiking and golf.  Either way you will enjoy this freshwater lake surrounded by beautiful mountains and alpine trees.  Lake Tahoe is the 6th largest lake in the United Sates.  Great family vacation spot.
 
Dallas in June
– So, if you’re a Cowboys fan this is a perfect city to visit.  And there’s plenty of beef and history in Dallas too.  To name a few, Sixth Floor Museum and Southfork Ranch, which is about 25 miles north of Dallas.

Thailand in June – Thailand is located in Southeast Asia’s Indochina peninsula. Known for its tropical beaches, royal palaces, ancient ruins and displays of Buddha.  Add Asia to your vacation list.

Palm Beach in July – Great beaches, shopping on Worth Avenue and a tour of celebrity homes.  Howard Stern, Tiger Woods, Serena & Venus Williams, and Rush Limbaugh are a few celebrities living in the Palm Beach area.

Caribbean in July
– Choose from the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas or Aruba to name a few. Turquoise water, white sandy beaches snorkeling, diving and great food for reason enough to vacation in the Caribbean.

Las Vegas in August –  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  There’s plenty to do in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. Gambling on the Las Vegas strip, catch one of your favorite celebrity’s show, visit Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon or the Colorado River.

New Orleans in August –  Looking for a diverse city with plenty of French, African, and American cultures?  Head to New Orleans.  It is located on  the Mississippi River and near the Gulf of Mexico.  It provides plenty of action around the clock.  Likewise, if you like it hot, there’s plenty of spicy food to be found there as well.

Martha’s Vineyard in September – Martha’s Vineyard is only accessible by boat or air. Namely, vacationers head to Martha’s Vineyard for its beaches, lighthouses,  farmland, and celebrity sightings.

Vancouver in October – Known for whale watching, Grouse Mountain, ziplines, Capilano Canyon  and horse dawn carriages.

Riveria Maya in November – Next, Riviera Maya extends along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from Puerto Morelos to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.  Notably, its beautiful white beaches and the bluest water that you can imagine is a major attraction too.

Napa Valley in December –  Last, San Francisco has hundreds of vineyards.  Take a ride on the infamous Napa Valley Wine Train.  In fact, it’s actually a restaurant in vintage Pullman railcars with views of the vineyards.

Finally, select your dream destination and start planning your next vacation today.  Most importantly, you can save hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars traveling off season.  In conclusion, Pack light and enjoy your time relaxing and enjoying the sights.  What’s your dream vacation destinations?

 

 

Teaching Children Responsibility

tips to teach children responsibility

 

Teaching children responsibility starts at an early age and it starts at home.  A child learning to be responsible will will increase their chances of being successful.  Learning responsibility started at an early age in my house.  We had conversations on why it was important and demonstrated negative results when being responsible wasn’t taken seriously.  Here are 5 ways that I used to install responsibility:

Assigning Chores This includes putting toys away, helping with dishes, cleaning their room and eventually getting a job around the age of 16 for the summer.  Yep my daughter had a job. Did she need to work, no.  I could financially support us, but it was a great way for her to learn about what it takes to hold down a job and build confidence. Getting to bed timely, getting up timely and reporting on time is a life long lesson.  Additionally, these skills need to be learned and embraced. Doing chores also included going to school and doing home work. In my home you  either go to school or get a job.

Playing Team Sports/Activities I put my daughter in organized activities at the age of 3. It was a little majorette group with drummers, so cute. At the age of 5, we switched to ballet. Ballet dancing requires discipline, and so does being successful in life. Organized sports or activities can include football, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, whatever your child likes.  If your child is not into sports, try a painting or karate class. The important thing is that they learn about discipline and being a team player.

Volunteer Work – Doing volunteer work is a good way to learn about responsibility. Feeding the homeless, working at a food bank, reading to seniors at a nursing home is a good start. If they like farming, horses or gardening, have them volunteer on a farm or equestrian center.

Serving As A Role ModelBeing a role model can be rewarding. Children learn about leadership, and the importance of setting an example so others will want to follow their lead. Being a tutor, mentor, active in the church etc. makes a great community role model.

Having A Role ModelBeing your child’s role model is just as important as teaching them to be a role model. Children look at everything we do. We just think they aren’t listening.  Furthermore, it’s important that your child see you doing the things that you wan them to do.  For example, reading, taking courses on-line or at your local university, cleaning, cooking, handling money wisely, and most importantly spending time with them. It’s important that boys have a positive male as a role model and girls have a positive female as a role model.

Finally, how do you teach your children responsibility?  Do you use the same techniques for your sons and daughters?  We would love to add your tips to our list.  As we know, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. 

 chore charts for girls football-chore-chart-1 super-heroes-chore-chart-1

Finally, motivate your child with our chore charts.  We have ballerina, football, basketball, a princess, princess castle and superman.  You can download the charts here.  Print them and lets start getting those room cleans, toys put away and everything else on their lists.  Check back, I will be adding other charts.

 

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #39

linky party, blog hop, linkup

Welcome to Week 39 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup. It’s hard to believe that school is back in session and fall is around the corner. We’re beginning our Spooktacular theme this week. We’re looking for fall and Halloween posts, fall crafts and decorating, recipes,  photos with fall colors, and anything you would like to share on the season.

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