Oral B’s Disney Timer App Review

Disney Princesses

I was contacted to review the new Oral B Disney Timer App.   If you’re unfamiliar with the App it was designed by Oral B, Disney and Crest to help children brush for 2 minutes, which is the recommended time frame by most dentists.  With a 2 and 5 year old I jumped at the chance.  I thought this App could make brushing interesting.  They may spend more time brushing rather than playing in the water.  As parents I know you can relate.  


The App features Disney and Marvel characters, which is perfect.  Zarriah loves all things Disney and Xavier loves the Marvel characters.  Another feature of the App was that it rewarded the children for brushing for 2 minutes with stars and stickers.  


Our Oral B and crest products arrived, and they were adorable.  I received age appropriate toothbrushes from Oral B (Winnie the Pooh and Cars) and Crest toothpaste featuring Disney Princesses in Bubble Gum and Cars in Fruit Burst.  We’re off to a good start.  

It’s time to download the App and get this party started.  The App is available on Google Play and the App Store.  I checked out the directions at the Oral B Disney Timer site and decided to download the App on both the ipad and my Android phone.  The App is quite large and takes quite a bit of storage, so it is recommended that it be downloaded using Wi-Fi only.  




I was unsuccessful downloading the App to my phone.  It looked like it was installing, but it never downloaded.  First time for this issue.  We moved to the ipad and downloaded the App successfully.  We were able to scan the products as instructed, however the App freezes before the timer starts.  We have yet to use it successfully.  The concept is great, but it needs some work.   Thankfully the kids love the new toothbrushes and toothpaste, so it wasn’t a total disappointment.    
I’m a big fan of Oral B, Crest and Disney, so I’m hoping they will work out the bugs and promote this App again.  It could a vital tool for parents in getting their kids to brush appropriately.  I think the idea is one of the best since sliced bread.  They came up a little short on this endeavor.  It’s like having an empty sandwich.  


5 Benefits of Playgrounds

early childhood development
Do you take your child to the park or playground?  I’ve often wondered if they have become obsolete and replaced by video games.  I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve taken the children to park and there has been other children there.  Do parents know the importance of a playground and its benefit to our children.
Children are encouraged to engage in free play on playgrounds.  Free play is simply children playing, running, climbing and using their imagination.  We may not think of early childhood development while we’re at the playground, but developing our children must be considered in just about everything that we do as parents.   Although we have a swing set in the backyard for Xavier and Zarriah, we do take them to the park for exercise and interaction with other children. 

There are multiple benefits to children playing on slides, monkey bars, climbing and jumping.  Here are a few:

  • Physical benefit – All children need to exercise for good health and to fight obesity.
  • Helps develop children emotionally – Children can learn to understand and control their emotions on the playground.  They may fall and cry, they may find something funny or get angry. This is a perfect opportunity to teach them about being happy, sad or whatever they’re feeling.
  • Helps develop social skills – Children must learn to socialize to be successful as an adult. Playing on a playground allows children to join in with others, share, and learn how to be a good sport.  They may be teased, have another child cut in front of them etc., but it’s a perfect opportunity to teach them how to resolve problems they may encounter.  
  • Helps develop large motor skills – Children develop and strengthen motor skills from birth to 6 years.  This includes rolling over, walking, learning to hold a pencil or crayons, using scissors, these are fine motor skills. Large motor skills are developed by using muscles in the arms, legs etc. Climbing, jumping,  using the monkey bars etc. will help with these skills. It will also assist children with learning to keep their balance and playing in organized sports.
  • Helps develop cognitive skills –  Children need to develop their brain so they will learn how to remember, solve problems, work on perception and it assists them with their attention span. 

Research by The Shasta Children and Families First Commission (SCFFC) has shown that brain development is crucial in a child’s earliest years. It’s imperative that children develop interaction through free play in the first six years of their life, and playgrounds are an appropriate area to develop these skills.  Research also reveals that children who have poorly developed motor-skills by age five will most likely never have efficient motor-skills.  


benefits of playgrounds

The paternal grandparents purchased a play ground set similar to the one at the park for the backyard when time isn’t on our side.  Xavier is getting older now, so he’s more into organized activities like football, basketball and swimming.  We’ll be using the set for Zarriah, she’s 2 now.  I believe my grandson  is advanced in many areas, and I believe a big reason he is advanced is because we focused on all of his developmental skills. We will be using the same plan for Zarriah. Utilizing the playground to develop skills is not a new concept.  I used it for my daughter, who is shown in the pictures.  She was and still is a social butterfly, she excelled in dance and cheerleading (organized activity) and higher academics.

Early childhood development is essential for all children.  If you can’t afford a backyard set, know that it is imperative that you set time aside during the upcoming spring and summer days to work on your child’s developmental needs.  The physical, emotional, cognitive, motor and social skills in your child’s early years will affect everything they do later in their life.  Do you spend time at the park with your children?

Using Eggshells In The Garden

 

 

using eggshells in the garden

 

Don’t throw those eggshells away.  Eggshells are beneficial in the garden.  Start using your eggshells in the garden.  Your tomato and pepper plants will thank you.  So, grab a container and save them throughout the year.  Ask your family members or neighbors to save them for you if you don’t consume a large quantity of eggs.  Explain that using eggshells in the garden will benefit the tomatoes they will receive in exchange.  This will give them an incentive to save the shells for you.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips before you leave.

However, before you store the eggshells I recommend rinsing them thoroughly and than drying them in the oven on a low temperature. You can also set them outside on sunny days or leave them in an open dish on the kitchen counter. When your dish becomes full, have the kids crush them and than store.  Check out my other backyard vegetable garden tips.

 

using eggshells in the garden

If you decide to dry them in the oven, remember they don’t need to be in the oven long or on a high temperature.  Just long enough for them to dry on your lowest setting.  Once cooled, crush them and put them in a plastic bag or container. You can store them in your refrigerator if you don’t have counter space.  A rolling pin is a good way to crush mine or have the kids crush them with wooden spoons.

So, when garden season arrives place a generous dose of the crushed eggshells in the hole when you plant your tomatoes.  They are a great source of calcium for the plants.  Furthermore, I also sprinkle the shells around the plant once I get the tomatoes in the ground.  I actually do this throughout the growing season.  The eggshells will help give your tomatoes a calcium boost, and help fight off blossom end rot.

Secondly, I mix the crushed eggshells in with my birdseed.  Bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers and Barn Swallows love eggshells.  You can spread the eggshells on a log or on the ground if you don’t have a platform feeder.  We hope that you enjoyed our tips on using eggshells in the garden, and you will start recycling your eggshells.  You may also like 20 Flowers to Use in a Wildflower Garden.

Toddler Dental Emergencies: 8 Tips to Save Your Toddler’s Tooth

todder dental emergency tips

 

Do you know the proper steps to take for toddler dental emergencies or even an older child?  My grandson has lost his front tooth twice.  When the first accident occurred, it dawned on me that I didn’t have a clue on the proper steps to take in the event of one of the kids hitting or getting their tooth knocked out.  As a result, I waited anxiously for my daughter to call me.  We discussed the necessary steps, just in case a dental emergency occurred while the children were in my custody.   Here they are:

  • Take your child to a hospital or pediatric dentist immediately if a tooth is knocked out or damaged.
  • If the child is young and the teeth or tooth is loose enough, remove the tooth or teeth to prevent the child from chocking.

If a permanent tooth as been knocked out, it can often be saved if you take the following steps immediately:

  • Find the tooth
  • Handle the tooth by the part you normally see, not the root
  • Gently rinse the tooth under water in a closed sink.  Do not scrub the tooth
  • If possible, place the tooth in the opening it fall out of
  • Hold the tooth in place or have your child hold the tooth in place while you’re in route to the hospital or doctor
  • If the tooth can’t be placed back into the opening, place it under your tongue or in milk

Because parents could experience toddler dental emergencies at any time.  Therefore, knowing what steps to take is imperative in saving your child’s tooth or teeth.  This is crucial, especially if it’s one of the child’s permanent teeth.  Knowing these steps worked for my grandson twice.  So they will work for you too. 

You may also like:  How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth


Resource: www.pediatricdentistorlando.com 





10 Tips On How To Choose and Wear Flip Flops

flip flops

Summer’s around the corner lady.  We will be storing our hose, socks, and boots, yeah baby. I like winter simply because I love boot season, but I love summer for the cute dresses, flip flops and sandals too.

As I was thinking of warmer weather on the horizon, I also thought about some of the ladies last summer who could have used a few tips on purchasing sandals and flip flops.  Lets not leave out the pedicure.

If you’re going to wear flip flops and sandals this summer, please purchase ones that fit.   Although flip flops are cute and go nicely with casual wear, they lack support.  Here are a few tips you need when you pick a pair or two this summer and ensure you will remain injury free:


1.  Purchase shoes where your toes don’t hang over the edge.
2.  If they’re thongs, ensure the piece between the toes won’t give you blisters.

3.  Purchase as high quality as you can afford since they lack support.
4.  Make sure they bend at the ball (upper part of the flip flop).    
5.  Purchase leather instead of plastic or rubber.
6.  Do not wear flip flops if you plan to go on long walks.  You will need more support than they will provide.
7.  Do not perform yard work in flip flops.
8.  Check your flip flops from last season.  If they are worn, replace them.  Because they lack support and are thin, they should only be worn 1 season according to The American Podiatric Medical Association. 

 9.  Be sure to wear flips flops in pool areas to avoid infections and Athletes Foot.    
10.  Please get a pedicure and lotion your feet.  (This should probably be the first step that you take before purchasing or putting on a pair).

There’s nothing worst than seeing ladies with jagged toe nails that could slice bricks, chipped polish and calloused, crusty feet.  If you can’t afford to get a professional pedicure, give yourself a home pedi.  Please, do it for me.  Thank you.

What do you like about summer?  Do you have a favorite pair of flip flops or sandals, and what do you usually wear them with?

(Photo courtesy of http://webclipart.about.com)










When You Start to Mirror Your Mother

 

 

parenting tips, mother and daughter relationships, grandparents

 

When I became a mother, I vowed to do things differently from my mother.  After all, who wants to be their mother. Did you swear that you would never turn into your mother?  Even as she was baking wonder breads,  maintaining a perfect house, sewing on a button or placing a band aid on a scrapped knee, I didn’t want to be my mother. I had no idea what motherhood entailed at that point in my life. Over the course of the years, I have learned that parenting and keeping a marriage together are tough jobs. Once you step into the arena of parenting and marriage, it changes your life forever.  There’s no manual on parenting or how to have a successful marriage.  Life is simply trial and error.  

I grow up in a traditional household, my father worked and my mother took care of 7 children and the home. Yep, I said 7.  She cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and made sure homework was done.  Additionally, she attended PTA meetings, got us to bed on time, and sent us to Sunday School every Sunday.  She washed clothes in a wringer washer, hung them on a clothes line, ironed, cleaned windows with vinegar and water, and cooked meals in stockpots.  

I remember taking clothes off the line when they were stiff as boards because they were frozen. I also remember the best smelling sheets.   It was a good life for the most part.  Nevertheless, I still did not want to be my mother.  I just wanted to be me whoever that was.

True to form I kept my word.  I stayed home with my daughter for awhile, but Corporate America was calling my name.  My mother thought my choices were awful. Microwaved food, traveling around the country, and divorcing was not something a traditional woman did. As time went on she accepted my choices, and I didn’t feel guilty about not becoming my mother.  We both realized that times change; where I come from doesn’t make me who I am.   

Many woman were breaking the traditional ideology.  When my daughter was in ballet, dads were bringing their daughters to class.  Men and women were sharing the responsibility of getting kids to their destination and managing the home.  Men were cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry and women were mowing lawns.  Women were entering the workforce, bringing the bacon, frying it up and still taking care of their homes. 
Some were bringing in more money than their husbands. Many were holding it down without a husband.   

I’ve enjoyed my years in the workforce, but I’m entering a new chapter in my life.  I have decided to leave the work force within the next year.  My career has been a journey.  I’ve learned many lessons along the way. Working outside the home has taught me leadership skills. It has also allowed me to become a better business woman. Most importantly it has taught me that I no longer want to be apart of the work force.    

My mother is aging, but I hope she remembers some of the yummy recipes that she fixed when we were children. I’m looking forward to making jams, getting my grandchildren for the summer, and traveling across this great country.  I’m looking forward to scrap booking the thousands of pictures that I have stored.  Last, I’m looking forward to enjoying a cup of coffee on my deck as I’m listening to the birds tweet and bunnies play.  

 

Personalized Pacifiers As Seen On Kendra Wilkerson Show

personalized pacifiers

Looking for a great baby shower gift or a gift for your little one?  Try these adorable personalized pacifiers.  They come in an array of colors and styles and can be found at, My Pacifier.   Kendra Wilkerson and Kourtney Kardashian have used these personalized pacifiers for their sons, Hank and Mason.  They have also been featured on Today.  
Not only are they adorable, endorsed by celebrities and their babies, but they are reasonably priced.  The Designer pacifiers, shown below, are only $5.00 and the Personalized pacifiers, above, start at 3 for $15.00.  Really not a bad price for a unique gift.  I wish I had found this site when my Xavier was small.  He actually used his pacifier for 2 years, so I would have definitely gotten my money’s worth for the price.  Zarriah never used a pacifier, she was content with her fingers.  

The site offers Orthodontic pacifiers.  You can actually see what the personalized pacifier with your child’s name will look like on the site.  They have a variety of colors and symbols to choose from.  You can choose the same color or mix it up for a little variety for the personalized pacifiers.  This site is worth a visit, the pacifiers will make a great baby gift.        

5 Benefits of Teleworking/Telecommuting Jobs

teleworking


I work outside the home, and I am a telecommuting/telework mom.  Allowing employees to telework was implemented into my agency several ago.  By trade, I am an IT Specialist Supervisor.  The ability to work from home is not an option for all employees, especially those who do phone work, but for techies that can log into systems remotely and perform their duties from home it is heaven sent.  Most employees are required to report to the office at least 3 days per week for staff meetings and to sign paper work; however, we make exceptions if we need to.  We offer toll free numbers for them to call into meetings.   

I allow my staff to work from home on days that the kids are sick, deliveries are being made, medical appointments are on the agenda or they just need peace and quiet to complete a project. I take advantage of these liberties as well.

I have several requirements for my employees:  1) No kids interrupting calls, 2) No dogs barking while we’re on the call and 3) they must be signed on to their computer and get their assigned hours in for the day.  It’s a great way to be able to work in sweats and PJs in Corporate America. There are other benefits for employers and employees who implement this concept.  Here a few:


1)  Cuts down on employee’s absences.
2)  Allows employers to cut down on the expense of having a cubicle for each employee.  They can share space according to their schedules. 
3)  Cuts down on gas and parking expense for employees. 
4)  Boosts employee morale.
5)  Reduces employee stress.

For those who are interested in returning to the workforce and still being at home several days a week, this could be the perfect option for you.  Search for companies who offer this option.  You can bring home the bacon and still be a work at home mom, at least part time.

Note:  Photo courtesy of stockvault.net

How To Make a Sundae Bar For Kids

sundae bar for kids

 

First, I found these adorable ice cream bowls at my local Dollar General on the clearance rack.  They came in a set of 4, which included blue, green, white and pink with matching spoons.  I quickly grabbed them.  And thought they would be perfect for making ice cream sundaes with the grandkids.  Additionally, I loved the colors and the spoons.  It helped that they were nice and study for lifting a big scoop of ice cream covered with yummy candies from the bowl.

 

sundae bar ideas

 

Furthermore, did you know the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla.  Yes vanilla.  Second is chocolate, followed by strawberry, chocolate chip and butter pecan.  You should know, my favorite is butter pecan.  Yum, yum!  Also, children ages 2 – 12 and adults 45 plus eat the most ice cream.  I don’t indulge often, but I do enjoy a good bowl of ice cream occasionally.

sundae bar ideas


Needless to say, the kids love bananas and strawberries.  And  I love cherries.  So, we decided to use fruits on our sundae bar.  I was happy that they were receptive to add fruit to the bar.  Even if, it would end up covered with gooey chocolate.

In addition to the fruit, we added peanut butter pieces, walnuts, sprinkles, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup to the bar. Because the grandchildren love  vanilla ice cream, it was the ice cream of choice.  We had some much fun assembling our bowls.  But it looks like I forgot to include the bottles of sprinkles on the tray.  They were the attraction for the kid’s sundaes, lol.

Most of all, the sundaes were delicious and cheaper than going to Sweet Frog, lol.   Also, I let the kids add their own fixings and pour the syrup over the ice cream.  It makes it much more exciting.  Use your imagination, add whatever you wish.  Making a sundae bar for kids is a great family activity.

What is your favorite flavor?  We hope that you enjoyed our sundae bar for kids idea.  Leave us a comment, and let us know what other items you would add to your sundae bar for kids.

How To Make Bottle Greenhouses

bottle greenhouses, mini greenhouses, winter sowing

                                                      
First, I increased the number of sunflowers for the garden.  As a result, I decided to make bottle greenhouses out of 2 liter soda bottles.  Also, milk containers or any bottle that is clear can be used.  After I complete the setup, the bottle greenhouses on set on my deck to germinate.  I grew my sunflowers using this method last year and they did great.

Additionally, the American Goldfinch picked every sunflower seed off the flowers last year.  They’re such beautiful birds, I couldn’t get mad.  I decided to plant some for them and some for me to roast and store for the winter.   I have marigolds and Blue Buttons planted in the tray above.  Here’s my list of sunflowers.  Be sure to check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips too:

  •  Lemon Queen Sunflower  (My fav)
  •  Autumn Beauty Sunflower
  •  Evening Sun Sunflower
  • Mammoth Sunflowers
  •  Mexican Sunflowers
  •  Marigolds (French Dwarf mixed)
  •  Blue Buttons
  • Cosmos

 

winter sowing. mini greenhouses, bottle greenhouses


As a result, if you want to try this method this is what you will need:

  • 2 liter or other large bottles that are clear
  • a box cutter
  • seed starting mix  ( I use Miracle Gro, just make sure it’s quality)
  • selection of sunflower seeds
  • duct tape
bottle greenhouse, winter sowing

Most importantly, bleach your bottle greenhouses to ensure all liquid has been removed and the bottle is sanitized. Allow to air dry.  Next, cut the bottle at the half way point all the way around with the box cutter leaving a small hinge. Leaving the hinge will make it easier to tape the bottle closed.  Also, once you have your seed starter mix ready, place a few inches in the bottom of the bottle and plant the seed the depth recommended on the package.

Once you complete this task, use the duct tape to close the bottle.  And you will want to mark the bottle with the name of the sunflower with the permanent marker.  Place the bottle in a location where it will receive sun, rain and close to your house to help shield from wind gust.   You may have to gently water the seeds if you don’t receive enough rain.

Last, once the seeds germinate and reach the height of the cut, remove the duct tape and top from the bottle by cutting the hinge.  You may need to add potting soil to the bottle once the plants takes off to ensure that the roots are covered.  Just remove the tape and add the soil to the bottle.

Finally, make sure the last frost has passed before removing the top permanently.  It serves as protection from those cold, frosty nights.  I’m in Zone 6B, so the last frost date is usually mid-May in my area.  I hope that you have been inspired by my bottle greenhouses.  Save a few throughout the year, and start your seeds in them next growing season.