Fresh Baby – Toddler Products Review

I was contacted by Fresh Baby to review their baby products.  Their focus is on healthy meals for toddlers.  Since I have 1 picky eater and 1 than will pretty much eat everything, I jumped at the chance to check out their site and products. 


Here’s my dilemma: My grandson is picky, no veggies and few fruits. My granddaughter who was born a 2 lb. 10 oz. preemie will eat you out of house and home with the exception of veggies. If it’s green, it’s mean in their eyes and they’re not allowing it to get close to their lips. My grandchildren also love snacks, especially my granddaughter. By 8:00 am she’s ready to start her journey through the snacks and meals of the day. Yummy in her stomach is how she describes the experience.  


I was anxiously awaiting my package from Fresh Baby, and finally the box arrived.  You know I’m like a kid at Christmas when I’m waiting for my review products. I was excited about the selection of products when I opened the box. Lets start with this plate. It’s perfect for my granddaughter.  Here’s why: 

  • The plate allows you how to control portions without guessing.  
  • The plate shows you what you should be serving.  
  • The plate is fun, of quality, and colorful.  
  • The plate can used to teach your toddler about food and what is good for them. Children learn by what they see as well as what they hear.   

I love that it is sectioned, my grandchildren do not like their food to touch, lol. My grandson does fine with his portions, it’s the vegetable side of the plate that is normally bare unless it’s corn. 





How adorable is this apron/mock! It was included in the box, and I love it for several reasons:

  • Toddlers can relate to those adorable little chefs at the top. 
  • It also helps teach children about fruits, veggies, dairy and meats. 
  • I love to put white on my 3 year old granddaughter. I know crazy, right. My daughter has a fit when it’s time for her to eat because of spills and drops. This covers her completely when she’s sitting down. Fresh Baby knows toddlers. 
  • It’s easy to wipe clean.  
  • It’s great for those little ones who like to help in the kitchen. 
  • Fits most kids 3 – 5. 
  • It can be folded and placed in a gallon plastic bag and carried in your purse for outings. 






Here’s another problem. How many cookbooks have you come across that was created with toddlers in mind?  Right, not many. As parents, we all know how difficult it is to come up with easy recipes that kids will eat. So Easy toddler food is a winner. The book is written by Cheryl Tallman, one of the founders of Fresh Baby. The book has quite a few recipes that my toddler would eat or I could modify for her. For example, a fresh banana and strawberry smoothie. My daughter does Beach Body, so my grandchildren are no strangers to smoothies. I need to get on board, bahaha!  There’s recipes for apple and chicken kabobs, deviled eggs, my grandchildren love these, home made pizza, great way to use my homemade tomato sauce and cinnamon apple slices. There’s a recipe for Pink Potatoes that’s at the top of my list now. It’s mashed potatoes that uses a combination of sweet and white potatoes that turn pink. What toddler wouldn’t love these.  


 




I have a story for you about my granddaughter and her appetite. One of her favorite places to eat is Golden Corral. She loves to eat mashed potatoes and mac and cheese there. At one outing she ate so much that the gentlemen sitting behind me stopped by our table on the way out and said, “She can really put it away”. My response was she will eat until the bottom falls out.  She was 2 at the time. Another time she wanted peanut butter crackers. She loves them. She wakes up in the middle of the night asking for them. I remember her eating so much one day that I was afraid to give her anything else. I thought she was going to get sick. Of course, she protested. My daughter came in to see what was happening and laughed so hard. She said mom she’s not going to get sick. Give them to her.  Her doctor has approved her eating as much as she wants, so we let her. She’s not overweight and apparently just burns it up. I stressed that healthy eating was a must for her.   


These tips from Fresh Baby on how much she should be eating was right on time. When I looked at the portions, I realized that she’s not overeating. I just have to make sure that she’s eating healthy meals and snacks and spread them throughout the day from the recommended food groups. 


I would highly recommend that you head over to Fresh Baby and check out their products. They also have a blog that you may want to check out and subscribe to.  I did. The blog offers a food database and clever ways to use their Fresh Baby products. Both sites are truly worth the trip. 

Blogging Tips From Pro Blogger – MomDot #BloggerInterviews










I’m here today with one
of blogging’s elite, Trisha Haas, from the blog MomDot, the MomDot Forum and Community. MomDot has been featured in Country Living,
Cosmopolitan, and Today’s Parent. I have personally seen Trisha on CNN as well.
She’s also been featured in the New York Times and Washington Post. Let’s begin
the interview…………….


1.    I would like readers to get to know you, so please tell them a little about
yourself and your blog, Mom Dot.

MomDot actually started back in
2008 as an extension of a boutique I owned. As I really got into blogging I
started interviewing other bloggers and really formed a personal bond with so
many other women. MomDot is two main parts- its my blog but it also hosts a
forum and an active Facebook group where I have a community- the community is
the heart of what we are.
2.   You’re
married with 2 adorable children. In addition you blog, manage your forum, and
speak at blogging conferences. What time management and organizational tools do
you use to accomplish your blogging goals?

Oh wow. I do not want to pretend I
am organized. I am not. A few years ago I partnered with Lynsey Jones from
PartyPlanDivas. She had a fantastic planner for Direct Sales consultants and we
worked together to do a very comprehensive Blogging Planner. I use a copy of
the desk blogging planner to stay organized and truthfully a lot of
backtracking. I barely have my gmail folders set up. The struggle is real.
3.    It’s
important that bloggers understand Branding. What advice can you give them on
creating and establishing their Brand?  


I am a non-niche gal. I wasn’t raised on a blogging
niche and that is something that primarily came later in the big wild world of
blogging. Bloggers now that start out can come out full force with a logo, a
matching social page and more- its all matchy and perfect. There is a lot of
truth to being recognized but at the end of the day, if you have great content
and a good logo, you can go pretty far. Don’t get so caught up in Branding or
the Brand that you forget what really matters- the content.

4.     One of the first things that I look at is a
blogger’s About Me Page. What advice can you give bloggers on creating a Page
that will stand out?

I use images actually on my About
Me page. I love using Canva.com which is a free service to make it look
beautiful. My best advice is to keep it updated. I once spent a year not
looking at mine and then realized my kids were totally different ages then my
page said. That is not a great idea when looking for sponsors. I also recommend
putting a call to action for your About Me page in your sidebar if you have
room. People love to see your pretty face- it seems more personal. I recently
had a nice one at the bottom of my posts but then realized that not everyone
reads that far down, so I am in the process of altering my pages to put it back
on the sidebar.

5.     What tips can you give readers on how to
market their blog?  

My number one tip is to join a
community of like minded bloggers. There are hoards of them out there and if you
find a good one you will deal with not support, sharing, trips, referrals- I
can only say I have gotten as far as I have because of those I surround myself
with.

6.  Engaging
followers on social media is important as well. How can bloggers create or join
a tribe? 

Blogging has changed so much the
past few years. It used to be that we hosted a contest and we got 20K entries-
in the comments. Now most conversation is on social media so its not something
you can ignore. That being said, do not get caught up in being EVERYWHERE at
once. Its stressful and trying to engage that much is exhausting. Figure out
where your audience is and be the best at THAT. If all else fails, hire a VA.
7.  I would like to focus on your Mom Dot Forum.
Can you tell readers how your forum could benefit new bloggers or not so new
bloggers who wish to grow their readers and social media platforms?  How can readers join the Mom Dot Community?

We have, and this is not a brag (ok a little
brag), one of the finest and most established blogging communities online. I do
not push numbers or recruit members. We simply add people via word of mouth and
solely work on maintaining those relationships. Being a part of a group with
50,000 people make you 1 of 50,000 but being part of something where everyone
knows YOU- that’s where the magic happens. MomDot is just that place. We focus
on monetization, community effort for PR, assist in getting bloggers work and
PR agents connected to bloggers, advertising and support of branded posts and
simply act as a sounding board for bloggers to meet up daily. While the forum
conversation has given away to our Facebook group over the years, our PR portion
is still thriving and our conversation has just altered to social media. If you
would like to join our impressive group of professional bloggers (new and
established is fine, we just ask everyone to be kind), you can do so by messaging
me personally at Trisha@momdot.com for an invite into our private space. 






When Trisha isn’t blogging on MomDot or overseeing her forum and community, she spends her time on the Gulf Coast of Alabama with her husband of 13 years and their 2 children. 




Sunday’s Best Linkup – #23



Welcome to Week 23 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup Our theme this week is It’s All About The Strawberry.  It’s the time of year to pick fresh strawberries from backyards and strawberry fields. If you’re like me, you will be looking for ways to use these these mouthwatering and healthy treats. We would love for you to share them on Sunday’s Best. It’s also the time of year to plant vegetables and flower gardens, open pools, fire up backyard grills, makeover outdoor spaces, and turn the kids loose in the back yard. 

We need  recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, spring organization tips, and ideas for indoor flower arrangements.  

We’re starting our Father’s Day posts this week and would like to say Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads. We’re looking for stories about your dad, your husband and his relationship with your child or children, crafts, dad’s favorite dessert or dinner recipes, scrapbook ideas, cards and any other Father’s Day posts you would like to share. 

Blow the dust off your old posts and link those too. They’re great for inspiration. Don’t have posts that fit into the theme, link up whatever post you would like to share. We would love to have parenting tips, DIY projects, homesteading, homeschooling, and your posts on family and life. Your linkups and giveaways are welcome here too. Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on my blog the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best featured blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts Pinned to the Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board.   


What’s New: We would like readers to select their favorite posts. Voting will start at noon every Friday until mid-night. We will be adding the post with the most votes from our readers to our Sunday’s Best featured bloggers. Be sure to have your blog readers and social media followers head over to vote for your post on Fridays. 

In addition to the reader’s and hosts selections, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well. 

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts. 


                                                           Your Hosts Are:

            Rhonda – Mother 2 Mother                Kim U. – Pinterested Parent         Kim M. – Life In A House of Testosterone

  
Here’s the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:  

Mother 2 Mother: Please like my 
Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter,  Google+, PinterestBlogLovin or subscribe/join my blog on the right before you leave.   



The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.  


Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave. 


Mother 2 Mother Blog


Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. If you are selected as a Featured Blogger please let your readers and followers know. They may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. I appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now lets party! 



The Sunday’s Best Posts are:


Kim U. selected  How To Make A Garden Clock  from Worthing Court 






I selected My Summer Patio!  from A Pretty Life 





Kim M. selected 4th of July Roundup from  The Jenny Evolution 

The Readers Selected: 




What It’s Really Like To Be A SAHM from The Money Mom  

and

The Favorite Theme Post 



It’s All About The Strawberries  

Sweet Strawberry Recipes from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess

Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and I appreciate each of you linking up. I would like to invite all of you back to linkup your post(s) again, it could be selected this week. While you’re here take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love. 




Inspirational Quote – Determine Your Worth

9 Benefits of Preschool

 

Mine, mine!  Those words were etched into my brain at one point.  They’re the words of a toddler claiming everything that belongs to them, you, the neighbor and anyone else who has possessions that are visible. That was my grandson years ago. Sharing with other children was simply out of the question. We believed part of the problem was him being an only child and not having to share.  We knew that he would encounter problems if we didn’t expose him to other children and adults. 

Did you  know this? The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) shows that children who attend Preschool for at least 1 year have stronger reading, vocabulary, and math skills than those who don’t attend. We researched and checked out several schools in the area that we believed would benefit him the most and had stellar reputations.  Unfortunately they had waiting lists. Rather than sit around and twiddling our thumbs waiting for an opening, we decided on a Preschool and took advantage of their child care facility.  The facility would transition him to Preschool once there was an opening. 


Many parents don’t realize that there is a difference between Child Care and Preschool.  He’s 2 in the picture below, it’s his first day at Child Care. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He was 3 when he entered Preschool. Prior to entering Preschool, he was weened from his Nip Nip and completely potty trained. 
To eliminate any confusion here are some differences between Child Care and Preschool:

  1. Child Care facilities will take children at a young age, some places as young as 3 months when mom returns to work. Preschools normally don’t take children before ages 2 or 3.  
  2. Child Care facilities will assist with potty training and weening from the pacifier. Preschools require children to be potty trained and off the pacifier. 
  3. Preschools normally have set hours and summers off like regular schools. 
  4. Child Care facilities focus on playing, napping, happy and healthy. Preschools focus on education. 
  5. Preschools have Parent and Teacher conferences as well as plays and recitals.
When we were making a decision as to whether we should place him in Preschool, we weighed the pros and cons. I honestly couldn’t find any cons, but I found plenty of benefits for Preschool:
  1. Your child will have an established bedtime and get into a routine of getting up in the morning at a specify time. 
  2. Your child will learn to play with other children and be exposed to a group experience.
  3. Your child will have an established nap/rest period during the day.
  4. Your child will learn how to share, compromise and respect other children.  
  5. Your child will learn to be independent and learn confidence. 
  6. Your child will understand the concept of homework. He will be given homework every evening to ensure he learns his shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet etc.
  7. Your child will have experiences from field trips with his classmates.
  8. Your child will learn social skills and make new friends. 
  9. Your child will be better prepared for the next level of education, Kindergarten. 

Studies have shown that Early Childhood Development is the foundation for a strong education. I recommend that you create a list of what you’re looking for in a Preschool and do your homework. Check out several facilities and make comparisons on the pros and cons. Make sure the building or facility is up to code, clean, has a safe playground, and has a stellar rating for early childhood education. 


Xavier completed 2 years of Preschool, ages 3-4, and excelled when he entered Kindergarten. He is now in the second grade and is an excellent student with strong academic skills. What’s your thoughts on Preschool? 





Sunday’s Best Linkup – #22



Welcome to Week 22 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup Our theme this week is It’s All About The Strawberry.  It’s the time of year to pick fresh strawberries from backyards and strawberry fields. If you’re like me, you will be looking for ways to use these these mouthwatering and healthy treats. We would love for you to share them on Sunday’s Best. It’s also the time of year to plant vegetables and flower gardens, open pools, fire up backyard grills, makeover outdoor spaces, and turn the kids loose in the back yard. 

We need  recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeovers, spring organization tips, and ideas for indoor flower arrangements.  

We would like to also honor our 2015 Graduates, so we’re looking for posts on party ideas and any post graduate advice that you can share with other mothers. Congratulations to the class of 2015.
Blow the dust off your old posts and link those too. They’re great for inspiration. Don’t have posts that fit into the theme, link up whatever post you would like to share. We would love to have parenting tips, DIY projects, homesteading, homeschooling, and your posts on family and life. Your linkups and giveaways are welcome here too. Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on my blog the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best featured blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts Pinned to the Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board.   


What’s New: We would like readers to select their favorite posts. Voting will start at noon every Friday until mid-night. We will be adding the post with the most votes from our readers to our Sunday’s Best featured bloggers. Be sure to have your blog readers and social media followers head over to vote for your post on Fridays. 


In addition, a posts for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week. 

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts. 


                                                           Your Hosts Are:

            Rhonda – Mother 2 Mother                Kim U. – Pinterested Parent         Kim M. – Life In A House of Testosterone

  
Here’s the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:  

Mother 2 Mother: Please like my 
Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter,  Google+, PinterestBlogLovin or subscribe/join my blog on the right before you leave.   



The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.  


Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave. 


Mother 2 Mother Blog


Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. If you are selected as a Featured Blogger please let your readers and followers know. They may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. I appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now lets party! 



The Sunday’s Best Posts are:


Kim U. selected  DIY Bug Umbrellas For Party Drinks from Life With Lorelai






I selected DIY Raised Garden Beds from Hello Nature







Kim M. selected 200 Free Summer Activities for Kids from The Jenny Evolution 

The Readers Selected: 





Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie from The Frugal Foodie Mama 

and

The Favorite Theme Posts 


Remembering Our Fallen Soldiers 


Patriotic Yarn Wrapped Mason Jars from Albion Gould Albion Gould

May Flowers




Summer Front Porch from Clean and Scentsible 

Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and I appreciate each of you linking up. I would like to invite all of you back to linkup your post(s) again, it could be selected this week. While you’re here take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love. 



Old Navy Bargains – 6 Reasons I Love Their Children’s Clothing

I spent last week-end shopping for some of the grandchildren’s summer clothing. I decided to head to Old Navy. As with all children, they don’t stay in clothing or shoes very long.  I have become an expert on getting the most for my money when it comes to children’s clothing. I seek quality, but I want it within my budget. 



                                                     Miss Muffin wearing an Old Navy dress

When I shop, I’m on a mission. Both of my grandchildren are picky about what they wear. Yes, at 3 and 7.  They will both tell me, Mawmaw this doesn’t look good on me. It’s imperative that I maximize my dollars to the fullest extend to ensure they feel good about themselves and what they wear. Old Navy is at the top of my list for summer casual wear. Here’s why: 


  • Great Prices –  I was able to grab toddler tees for $4.00 – $5.00. 
  • Quality – Their clothing doesn’t shrink and the colors don’t fade. 
  • Large Selection – They have a large selection in tees, shorts, dresses, pants and shoes for both boys and girls.  
  • Great Styles – Their clothing is stylish. 
  • Free Shipping – Old Navy offers free shipping over $50 if you order on-line. They have deals on-line that they don’t offer in the store, so check on-line for additional savings. 
  • Great Customer Service – The customer service is great when I have to make an exchange.  
                                        Miss Muffin wearing Old Navy swimwear & accessories

My grandson will be turning 8 in September. He has come into his own with style, so he likes to either select his own clothes or approve them once I get them home. Here’s a few items that I picked for him.   







He loved the boat shoes. Who knew, he loves Niki, Jordans, KDs, and Kyries. I don’t know who was happier about the shoes, him or me. Big difference from $80 for each pair of sneakers to $20 for the boat shoes. Guess who’s heading back to see if they have them in other colors. I can never go wrong with the sports tees at $12. The polos run around $8 and up. They look great with the boat shoes and a pair of shorts. 


I also purchase some of their shorts from Old Navy. They make their children’s shorts and pants with elastic on the inside that can be adjusted, so both of the children get lots of wear out of their shorts and pants. Most are in good enough shape to pass to a family member, take to a thrift shop or Goodwill after a year or two. This is quality on a budget, and why Old Navy is my go to.   


Head to Old Navy, and get your shopping on. The kids will love you for it and you will love the savings. 

You may also like:  8 Back to School Shopping Tips

                                  Thrifty Shopping – Holiday Dollar Store Deals

Inspirational Quote – Charlie Brown

Blogging Tips from Pro Blogger – Mom Maven #BloggerInterviews

We’re continuing our interviews with pro bloggers who are sharing blogging tips that help take their blogs to a professional level. Today we’re interviewing the lovely and talented Cindy Schultz from The Mom Maven. 
Let’s begin the interview…………….


1.    I
would like readers to get to know you, so please tell them a little about
yourself and your blog, The Mom Maven. 



I’m a happily married mom of 2 grown men
Aaron is 22 and he married Summer last November. Jordan is 19 and he is a full
time missionary to the youth of America with a ministry based out of Tulsa, OK
called The 99. I started blogging in the summer 2008 on a homeschool blogger
site. I was sharing our journey of homeschooling through high school through. I
quickly moved to Blogger and then to WordPress as my blog’s popularity began to
grow. Now that my children are grown I focus on easy recipes, parenting tips,
entertainment, travel and product reviews and giveaways. I try to speak as the
big sister who has been there and survived that as I share my thoughts with my
readers.

2.    I
really love your time management posts. You have suggested that bloggers use an
editorial calendar to plan. I have adopted the idea.  Can you explain the benefits of using a calendar
to manage and organize blogging tasks?  



Thanks,
Rhonda, I’m glad you found that helpful. By using an editorial calendar it is
easier to plan what you are going to write about when. It is much easier to sit
down and write when you know what you are writing about. Having a schedule of
what type of post I’m going to write each day is also helpful. For me, Monday
is travel, Wednesday is my giveaway linky and Friday is always a recipe. That
leaves Tuesday and Thursday for sponsored posts, or posts on other topics that
I don’t write about weekly. I have my calendar written out at least 2-4 weeks
in advance. I always leave some wiggle room so that when a time sensitive post
crops up I can fit it in. Since I have been using my editorial calendar it has
made blogging much less stressful and time consuming for me.
3.    You
used the term “Tribe” in one of your posts regarding social media and sharing
content. Can you explain to readers what a Tribe is and how they benefit from
joining or starting one? 



Currently, I am not in a tribe but if you can find 4-5
other bloggers who you can work well with and grow with, a tribe is a great way
to grow your blog. Most tribes meet regularly via Skype or Google hangout. They
set goals and work together to reach those goals by promoting each other’s
content and teaching each other new skills..     

4.    You
have certain times of the day that you are on social media and you also set a time
limit for each of those sites.  Can you
tell readers about your routine? 



Every month I re-evaluate my schedule and
tweak it as I deem necessary. Currently I spend the first hour of my morning
doing my social shares throughout the different groups I am in. Then I spend
about 90 minutes on the blog post I need to write. Next up is 15 minutes each
on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Instagram liking and sharing content I find
interesting and responding to those who have commented on my posts. Next it is
time for lunch and housework I give myself 60 minutes. I find taking a mid-day
break away from the computer helps me be more productive in the afternoon than
when I eat at my desk and work through. Back to the computer for another 90 minute
blogging session then back to catch up on my social shares and maybe spend time
hanging out on social media. By 4pm I am usually off the computer for the
night, except for a quick after dinner check-in to see if there are more shares
I need to get done.

5.    You
reached a milestone on Twitter last year. You reached 10,000 followers. What
tips can you give bloggers on how they can grow their social media sites? Consistency
and conversation are key.



 Social media is meant to be social. If all you are
doing is dumping links and running, don’t bother. Be on the sites a few times a
day for a few minutes and leave comments and share interesting content from
other people more than you share your own. Use a time so you don’t get sucked
in.
6.     What tips do you have for bloggers on the
importance of keeping their blog organized and clutter free? 



Every quarter I do
a blog overhaul. I check my sidebars etc for things that have gotten cluttered.
We all have different styles but I feel a clean blog with not too much going on
in the sidebar is more welcoming. Also, please make sure you use an
easy-to-read font-nothing too small or frilly. White or light backgrounds are
best. You want readers to stay on your site so make it easy for them to read
and to navigate.

7.     I see you are a co-host of a link party, and a
participant in others.  Can you tell
readers why they should participate in blog linkups?



Linky parties are a great way to get your
content discovered by new readers. It does take time to link up to a bunch of
parties so I suggest trying a few and seeing if they bring traffic your way.
Make sure you follow the rules for the linky, they are all different. If a
linky is bringing you even a small amount of consistent traffic, post there
weekly it is worth the time and effort.

Rhonda, thank you so much for inviting me to join
you today!





When Cindy isn’t blogging on Mom Maven. She spends time with her husband, children and does volunteer work. 





Guest Post – 6 Reasons to Buy an Instrument for Your Toddler

Toddlers are easily
attracted to things that make a sound. It comes as no surprise that they enjoy
musical instruments. Whereas you as a parent will probably shudder at the
thought of equipping your little one with a drum set (for obvious reasons), but there is actually a good reason to do so. Here are a few benefits.



  1. It can teach your
    kids discipline –  Learning an
    instrument is not an easy task. As any other skill you want to acquire in life,
    it requires patience and persistence. Unless you are devoted to it, you won’t
    be able to master it. Likewise, your children will learn to be patient and
    disciplined. They will understand that if they don’t spend time practicing,
    they won’t be able to learn the instrument. If they want to succeed, they will
    have to dedicate some time to it.
  2. Your children will
    build confidence –  No matter how
    advanced they are, they will be proud of their progress. Even if they are not
    extremely successful at learning the instrument, your kids will build
    confidence. Mastering a new skill is always an opportunity to learn new things,
    no matter how old you are.
  3. This is a great
    opportunity for your children to make new friends – Children are exposed to instruments in Preschool, Kindergarten, and elementary school. Many move on to play a musical instrument in high school. When they grow up, they can join music clubs and meet other people with common interests. There are a few things that can
    bring people together and music is among them. Your children will be able to
    build social skills. Children want to communicate with their peers too. Consider inviting other parents
    with their kids so that they can show off their
    skills and socialize.
  4. Music is a
    stress-reliever – Unless you listen to
    gloomy songs, music can lift your spirits and relieve stress. The same thing
    will happen to your kids. Don’t disregard your children’s dramas. Anyone at any
    age has problems. No matter how inconspicuous your kid’s problems might seem to
    you, to them they are pretty stressful. Children have many fears. Learning an
    instrument can take their mind off the drama. Before they start worrying about
    bad grades and problems with peers they will learn that there are many great
    ways to shake stress away and music is one of them. If you are lucky enough,
    they will choose to play the piano or the guitar over the drums.
  5. Here are a few to consider buying –   A pair of rhythm sticks, maracas and classic xylophone seem
    very appropriate for your toddler. There is even a complete band available if
    you want to buy your small one more than one instrument.
  6. Music is great. It is
    food for the soul –  There are no
    disadvantages of good music. It has a whole host of beneficial effects on
    living creatures. For example, in human beings, it is shown that relaxing music
    can lower blood pressure and is good for the heart. Music can make you dance.
    Everybody enjoys music. No doubt your small one will too.
Most
toddlers have short attention spans. They may get bored quickly, but is wise to encourage your children to take up a hobby. This will help them discover what they like doing and what they don’t. Nobody knows if they
will enjoy a particular activity unless they give it a try. Someday your kids will thank you.



Patricia loves to play along with small children. She has two beautiful nieces
who teach her new things every day. She is keen on topics related to DIY, home
improvement and sustainable living.  Patricia is co-owner of HomeCleaing Chiswick