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Games with your kids – 1

[…]it, I will start a weekly linky. This week, I decided to pick one of my favorite songs to sing with my kids.  Maggie and I have been doing this since she was just a few months old, and we sang it with Charlie the other day and got lots of smiles from him.  Warning:  Your baby should have decent head control, otherwise, be sure to hold your hands behind baby’s head. Hold your baby facing you and sway back and forth while singing: Tick Tock, Tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock Tick tock, tick tock, now I’m striking one o’clock Coo coo! (Gently raise baby into the air and back down one time) Tick tock tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock Tick tock, tick tock, now I’m striking two o’clock Coo coo!  Coo coo!  (repeat actions 2 times) Tick tock, tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock Tick tock, tick tock, now I’m striking three o’clock Coo coo!  Coo coo!  Coo coo!  (repeat actions 3 times) I hope your kids enjoy singing this as much as we do! Feel free to comment with a favorite song or game you play with your little ones.  And let me know if you would be interested in a linky each week to share songs and games with […]

Games with your kids – 1

[…]it, I will start a weekly linky. This week, I decided to pick one of my favorite songs to sing with my kids.  Maggie and I have been doing this since she was just a few months old, and we sang it with Charlie the other day and got lots of smiles from him.  Warning:  Your baby should have decent head control, otherwise, be sure to hold your hands behind baby’s head. Hold your baby facing you and sway back and forth while singing: Tick Tock, Tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock Tick tock, tick tock, now I’m striking one o’clock Coo coo! (Gently raise baby into the air and back down one time) Tick tock tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock Tick tock, tick tock, now I’m striking two o’clock Coo coo!  Coo coo!  (repeat actions 2 times) Tick tock, tick tock, I’m a little cuckoo clock Tick tock, tick tock, now I’m striking three o’clock Coo coo!  Coo coo!  Coo coo!  (repeat actions 3 times) I hope your kids enjoy singing this as much as we do! Feel free to comment with a favorite song or game you play with your little ones.  And let me know if you would be interested in a linky each week to share songs and games with […]

Design a Creative Art Space Kids Will Love

[…]to paint it first, I also wanted a more functional art space so pink it is. I stock the top shelf with coloring books and art books the kids can use for inspiration and new ideas. Some days, they use them a ton, other days they just use their creative minds. Some days for homeschool, I introduce a famous artist to the kids and we work on a painting that he/she has done. The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas may be their favorite. It is a great way for me to just leave a new art idea out for them and let them explore. The middle shelf is full of different types of papers. Printer paper, construction paper, watercolor paper, cardboard and more. There are also various different writing utensils. Pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers, oil pastels, watercolors, acrylic paint, tempera paint, bingo dobbers, wax crayons and more. I change up what I have on the shelf periodically. I add in more fun things to go with the holidays or seasons. Keeping it updated and fresh keeps the kids excited and makes their art projects more fun. The bottom shelf has different scissors, glue sticks, glue bottles, glitter glue, stickers, art stamps, stencils and more. I keep a basket with various things to use – craft sticks, yarn, hold punches, pom-pom balls, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, art aprons, paint brushes and whatever other random art things we have or find. The kids’ favorite part is having a place to hang their artwork when it’s finished. The cutest part is that Henry – who is four-years-old – asked me one day to build him a thing to hang his pictures on. So I am working on that – I will share it as soon as it’s finished. That is how we built an awesome creative art station the kids love to spend time at. If there is an art medium that the kids recently learned about, I try to add in those supplies and encourage them to experiment with it. Hours of fun every day and the table is the perfect size for all of the kids. Do you have an art center in your home? What items are your must-haves? What are your kids’ […]

What shall I do with the kids today? *Giveaway*

[…]own BabbaBox or order it for a niece or nephew, friend, busy mom that wants to do these things with the kids.   Right now, you can enter to win a years subscription of BabbaBoxes or a $500 gift certificate to crew cuts by J. Crew!  Head on over and like BabbaCo on Facebook and post your family’s holiday photo for a chance to win!  Give the gift that keeps giving all year long!   *Disclosure:  This article is sponsored by BabbaCo..  All opinions are 100% my […]
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Summer #BlogChallenge July 29 – Life in a nutshell

[…]of them since they were with us 40+ hours a week).  I am a Realtor, I work from home, take the kids with me to show houses, and get to spend my days with my little ones.  This means the world to me.   I did expect to have John home helping me, but the only way it works right now, is if he stays at his job, which means a lot of traveling out of state.   Odd as it may seem, I feel like life is way better than I ever could have imagined when I was growing up.  How about you?  How does your life compare to what you expected growing […]
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Our quest on raising drug free kids

[…]that we have kids of our own, I have noticed our dislike for people that want to give kids drug for everything.  We have given our kids medicine, but are trying to find more natural remedies.  I am becoming more knowledgeable.  There is a lot I still don’t know.  I love that we have a doctor who understands and respects our choices and doesn’t try to get us to give our kids medicine when it is something that isn’t necessary.  Our goal?  To be 100% drug free.  If you are looking for a  naturopathic physician in Scottsdale, be sure to check out Dr. Krystal Tellier.  We have a house down in Arizona, and I know that I would definitely give her a phone call if we needed a doctor in the area.   *Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post from […]

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Broccoli with a Twist

[…]broccoli from the giant stem so that it’s all in small, bite size pieces. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Add broccoli to pan. Drizzle olive oil over the top of broccoli. Dice garlic and sprinkle over the broccoli. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the broccoli as well. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. {About 5 minutes in would be a good time to start cooking your LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Collection Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese Empty into a serving dish if desired. Sprinkle with fresh shredded parmesan cheese. Go ahead – eat it all, we aren’t judging you. On a side note, I really contemplated adding bacon to it, wouldn’t that be amazing?! I love that it only takes minutes to prepare. It only takes minutes to eat too. Pairing this roasted garlic parmesan broccoli with the LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Collection Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese made dinner a snap on busy nights. I love that there are organic ingredient options so I know we are getting a more balanced meal. We are using the LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Collection to help us keep up with a balanced, satisfying meal plan for 2016. I’m telling you – this is going to be the best year ever. Print Yum Roasted Garlic Parmesan Broccoli with a Twist Ingredients3 bunches of broccoli 4 tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 4 cloves garlic, mincedInstructionsLightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut broccoli into bite size pieces and spread onto baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil onto broccoli. Add minced garlic and sunflower seeds to broccoli. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh shredded parmesan.Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes0.1 How are you ensuring that your family has balanced meals this year? I’d love to hear your tips, ideas and quick meals. For more ideas, you are going to want to check out the Flavorful Moments Pinterest Board. Before you go though, leave a comment with your favorite tips for balanced […]

Save Now with Banquet and Chef Boyardee Rollback at Walmart

[…]#CollectiveBias I won’t say that I love cooking, but I do enjoy having a home cooked meal with the family.  But the fact is, it’s a busy time of year {well, it’s always a busy time of year} and I’m making it easy in the kitchen with Banquet dinners and pot pies and Chef Boyardee. After all, everybody needs a night off from dinner duty, and the rollback prices on frozen Banquet dinners and pot pies and Chef Boyardee cans makes it easy to save and spend less time in the kitchen. The rollback prices are just $0.80 for each frozen Banquet dinner and pot pie now through February 24, 2015 and $0.75 for each 14.5-15 oz can of Chef Boyardee February 9 – April 6, 2015. Tasty meals like Banquet salisbury steak and Chef Boyardee raviolis make dinner easy and delicious! Be sure to head to Walmart and stock up on this great deal while supplies last! See the entire list of meals on rollback price: Frozen Banquet dinners:   Chef Boyardee cans:   While shopping at Walmart, be sure to look for the Rollback signs for Banquet in the freezer section and Chef Boyardee in the Canned Food […]
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5 Ways to Explore Pretend Play

[…]so we have had a lot of picnics. Encourage conversation and role play.  I use to fight bedtime with the kids and wanted them to just be quiet.  Soon enough I realized that just wasn’t going to work.  We started having bedtime chats where we talk about what made us happy, sad and mad.  Then we talk about absolutely anything else.  My kids spin some crazy tales when they get going, and sometimes, 20 minutes later, I have to tell them it is time to stop.  We have the plush toys from the Inside Out movie that we use to talk about things from our day and role play through our feelings.   Play workshop.  Or hair salon.  Or spa day, etc.  Our tool bench is always a favorite, especially when we are using real tools for a project.  The kids will run and get their tools and try to help us out.  This is always a favorite and I love when they continue on with the workshop long after our projects have been completed.  We have spent the last few days playing beauty salon.  Today, I saw clumps of my hair on the ground from the {not really all that} gentle brushing.  It’s alright though, I have plenty and they have a blast!  Charlie gave me a beauty makeover for a solid hour.  The good news?  He kept telling me how pretty and beautiful he was making me.   Just talk with them.  Start a story and let them take over.  You will love where the adventure takes you.  And read.  Reading encourages creative thinking and will always be a favorite reason to snuggle around here. How about a doctor kit?  Doc McStuffins really brought that to life in our house.  The kids will spend endless hours fixing up their toys, each other, I get a check-up quite often too.   There are endless ways to encourage pretend play.  All you really need is your imagination.    So, put on your chef hat and let the fun begin.  What are some favorite ways to pretend at your […]

Step2 Great Gourmet Kitchen Set Giveaway

[…]Viva Veltoro recently posted a review of the Step2 Great Gourmet Kitchen Set in Neutral and her kids have been cooking up a storm. Be sure to check out her full review to see more photos and all the great details of this set. Information about the Great Gourmet Kitchen Set from Step2: Little ones will be cookin’ up smiles for years to come with the Great Gourmet Kitchen Set. With a spacious countertop, youngsters will be able to share the pretend play fun of their play kitchen with friends. This kid’s play kitchen features a contemporary, upscale design to match today’s modern home décor, including a double oven for twice the make and bake fun! The imaginative play fun never ends with this sturdy Step2 play kitchen. Made in USA of US and imported parts. Electronic stovetop burner features working lights and sounds, adding to the realistic role play. Modern-style kitchen features a double oven for extra pretend play fun! Play kitchen features a chalkboard for little ones to keep track of their grocery list. Realistic microwave, refrigerator and oven doors enhance the imaginative play. Large storage bins and extra cabinet space make clean up time quick and easy! Available in Neutral or Pink Requires 2-AA batteries, not included Recommended age: 2 and Up Exclusively available at Toys “R” Us for $129.99 Open to the continental US only. Ends 8/19/16 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good Luck! Entry-Form Disclosure: Viva Veltoro, Thrifty Nifty Mommy and the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Images and item description are courtesy of Step2. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Please allow 4-6 weeks for prize delivery. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where […]

Raising Healthy Kids to Become Healthy Adults

[…]water volleyball.  Better yet, do it together and it will always be fun. Eat well.  I struggle with this but I’m always doing my best and keep our fridge stocked with lots of fruits and veggies.  Get your family in the kitchen together cooking, it’s more fun that way. Drink up.  Water, water, water.   Take the right supplements.  This can be the hardest part. Do you ever walk down the vitamin aisle and feel completely lost?  My friend, you are not alone.  I’ve felt that way so many times.  Whether I’m going in for one specific vitamin or stocking up, I’m always looking for the healthiest option but sometimes I have no clue what that means.  The labels can be so confusing.  Just last week, I went to Walmart to get some more and the number of options is very overwhelming. Click through the link below to find out more.  Whether we are talking food, vitamins or something else; labels should be easy to read and understand. Well, I have good news!  Now it is easy.  Nature Made, my favorite brand {and the #1 Pharmacist recommended vitamin and supplement brand*} is making finding the right product AND knowing what’s in it easy with their new labels.  I’ve been purchasing Nature Made Omega-3’s for years now and I absolutely love that they are rolling out new labels to make it very clear what you are purchasing.  They are taking the guesswork out of buying your Omega-3’s. The omega-3s naturally found in fish oil (EPA & DHA) have been studied extensively for their important roles in supporting heart health.1-2,† Not only that, but they are making them better.  Nature Made now features a variety of “burpless” Omega-3’s.  The special coating means no more fishy odor or aftertaste.  Nature Made® Omega-3 Full Strength Mini, 500mg EPA+DHA, Burplessare my new go-to. Nature Made® fish oil supply only comes from wild caught ocean fish, not farm raised fish.  With no added colors, artificial flavors, yeast, starch; gluten-free and purified to remove mercury‡, you can feel confident in your vitamins.   You can {and should} text OMEGA3 to 555888and watch a quick video from Nature Made to learn more about your Heart Health and Omega-3s at Walmart.  After all – you matter and so does what you put into your body.   †These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. * Based on a survey of pharmacists who recommend branded vitamins and supplements. ‡State-of-the-art purification processes to remove PCBs, dioxins andfurans, and mercury to ensure purity levels below 0.09 ppm, 2 ppt WHO TEQs, and 0.1 ppm respectively. 1 Delgado-Lista J, et al. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. British J of Nutr. 2012;107:S201-S203. 2 Mozaffarian D, Wu JHY. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. […]

Talking to your kids about strangers {Tuesday’s Toddler Tales linky}

[…]but especially dogs.  If we go to a park, or sporting event, or anything, where there are people with dogs, the kids immediately run up and ask if they can pet their dog.  Okay, not quite immediately, Maggie always tells me she wants to pet the dog, and I tell her she can go ask.  In these situations, I know that they are safe, but what about when I’m not always right there?  How can I really talk to my toddlers about this? One thing we do A LOT, is point out safe strangers, like police officers, fire fighters, or if we are at school, teachers.  Lately, we have had many opportunities to use these situations to show the kids what we mean.  We have been out and about and seen a few police officers over the last few weeks.  My kiddos love to say hi to people, and most of the time, people say hi back.  The police officers we have run across lately have also stopped and taken a second to say hi, which allows me to say…..Maggie and Charlie, this is a police officer.  If you are ever lost, or scared, or need help, you can go to a police officer and ask for help.   Bad strangers come in all shapes and sizes.  They don’t have to look scary to be dangerous.   Teach them to follow their instincts.  If somebody is making them uncomfortable, tell somebody they trust, right away.     Teach them to be assertive – NO, GO, YELL, TELL from the National Crime Prevention Council.  If they are uncomfortable or being put in a dangerous situation, teach them to say NO!  Run away, yell as loud as possible, and tell somebody they trust.   Talking to your kids about these things often to help them remember them if they are ever in a situation where they need it. Each week, we are linking up for Tuesday’s Toddler Tales.  This week’s topic is Stranger Danger.  Next week’s topic is Calling All Sports Fans.   How do you teach your children about stranger […]
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Orange and Lemon Essential Oil #Giveaway

[…]Up in March Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by Lindsey Blogs and Viva Veltoro. We’re mixing up March, with a host of other bloggers, by bringing you fun (and in some cases delicious) giveaways in this Food and Kitchen themed Giveaway Hop! Be sure to hop around to them all and don’t miss the amazing Grand Prizes – a Born Free Bottle Genius™ on Lindsey Blogs and a Step2 Mixin’ Up Magic Play Kitchen at Viva Veltoro!   MY GIVEAWAY One lucky reader will win a 15mL bottle of Young Living Orange and Lemon oils.  2 of my favorite scents for so many things around the house.  Cooking, cleaning, or adding to water.  What will you use it for?  Can’t wait?  Need a bottle now? Entry-Form So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, and the Mix It Up in March participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize […]

Holiday Gift Guide: Learning Resources Review

[…]out, Henry LOVES the broccoli {but beware with children under 3 because of choking hazards}.  The kids love this set that comes with peppers, peas, onions, carrots, celery pieces, broccoli, a fortune cookie, tongs, spoon for stirring, and the wok to cook it all in.  But, it wouldn’t be complete without the container to put it all in.  All three kids are always in the kitchen cooking it up, and Maggie never complains she doesn’t like something when it comes from their kitchen! While I think these 3 things are awesome gift ideas, there are a few other things from Learning Resources that I’m adding to the kids’ wish list for this year.  The Mental Blox and the Create-a-Maze.  What is on your kids’ wish lists from Learning […]

Home School in the Woods Review

[…]penmanship quotes, note booking activities, lap book activities, maps, movies, activities that fit with the time period, fact file cards, cooking activities and so much more.  We use the vocabulary words as part of a matching game.   We begin each lesson by reading the text for the day that covers that day’s topic. Then we do the timeline and choose one or two other activities for that day. Maggie loves the timelines because it is simple and I love it because she always wants to talk about it as she adds them to the timeline. We always add in living books that we can read together and love finding videos that fit what we are learning about. I really love using The Daily Bugle as part of our daily writing.  I love that it also suggests for them to write a first draft on a regular sheet of paper, edit it as many times as necessary and then write it on the newspaper.  My daughter really loves that at the end of the unit, we get to have a Tribute to the Revolution party. Home School in the Woods has so many different topics to learn about.  Click the picture below to see  reviews on some of the other topics – I can’t wait to check them out myself!  Leave me a comment below and let me know what topic you want to study […]

Baby Brezza #Giveaway

[…]participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or Instagram. Please contact thriftyniftymommy{at} with any questions about this giveaway. Information and images are courtesy of […]

Grilled Garlic and Red Pepper Potatoes Recipe

[…]was no stopping me.  I sat outside while the coals got white hot and played tennis and softball with the kids.  When it was time, I threw the Smithfield Garlic & Herb on the grill, put the cover back onl and went back to playing for awhile.  About a 45 minutes later I sliced up the potatoes by slicing each potato multiple times but not quite cutting all of the way through and placing them on some tinfoil.  Then I sliced up a stick of butter and placed it throughout the potatoes.  I mixed together some olive oil, garlic salt and Italian seasoning and brushed it onto the potatoes, making sure to get it into every slice of the potatoes.  Then I chopped up a red pepper – some I diced, some I cut into strips – placing them throughout the potatoes.  Then I wrapped it all up tight and added it to the grill for another 45 minutes.   I went back to playing with the kids and enjoying the gorgeous weather we have been having. And – the verdict is in – it tastes every bit as delicious as it smells.  I can’t wait to check out some of the other Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork to cook again.  It is perfect for grilling.  No mess, no fuss and I don’t have to sacrifice taste.  I am a believer and hope to pick up the Smithfield Peppercorn Garlic Sirloin next time. You can do so much with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork.  Check out this delicious Smithfield Pork and Potato Planks Recipe! What are your favorite no fuss grill recipes?   Print Yum Grilled Red Pepper and Garlic Potatoes Ingredients12 Red Potatoes 1 Stick Butter 5 TBSP Olive Oil Garlic Salt Italian Seasoning 2 Medium Sized Red Peppers InstructionsSlice potatoes 3-4 times most but not all the way through and place on tinfoil Slice stick of butter and place throughout potatoes Mix olive oil, garlic salt and Italian seasoning in small bowl. Brush onto potatoes, getting into each slice Slice red peppers into strips and place throughout Cover in tinfoil Grill for approximately 45 minutesSchema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich […]

Books We Love: Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean

[…]your kids will love!  While the giveaway may be over, I am so excited to share one of those books with you.  Henry and I have been reading the Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean as a bedtime story.  He is five, almost six and absolutely loves our bedtime story time ritual.  If he had his way, we would read all night long! We read about two or three of the ocean creatures listed in this book.  You will first notice the gorgeous pictures throughout the book.  The ocean creatures are presented by the different oceans they are found in.  We are reading through the Pacific Ocean creatures and absolutely loving it!  Throughout the pages are fact boxes with details about the specific kind of animal, home, size and other amazing facts.  There are interactive questions in each section that lead to great conversations about the different animals.  There are also pop-up facts with other interesting facts about each of the animals. The parent tips in the back give you fun activities to do with your children to enhance your child’s learning. The colorful ocean map lists the animals found in each of the oceans.  There’s also a glossary in the back. We love love love the National Geographic Kids books and love adding new ones to our collection.  The First Big Book collection is definitely one we want to own all of!  This will be a great addition to our marine biology unit for this year. Each week we share a different book we love – see you next […]
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Doc McMaggie

I love when I catch the kids doing something adorable.  I love it even more when the camera doesn’t stop them from it.  I happen to like Doc McStuffins, so watching Maggie give Charlie’s new toy tractor a checkup was the cutest thing.   Are your kids big Doc McStuffins fans? Do they love to fix their toys […]

A Fun Way for One on One Bonding Time with Kids

[…]quiet activity for our one on one bonding time during nap.  I love having the one on one time with my kids and am so excited to share one way we have fun and bonding all at once. Let me share a secret with you.  You can thank me later.  Ready?  Spending one on one time with your kids, even with other kids in the house, doesn’t have to be difficult.  Amazing, right?!  It’s true.  Maggie and I tend to play games while the boys are napping, but I have to get a little more creative to have that time with Charlie.  Sometimes Maggie is playing games online, sometimes she is busy playing with her horses or princesses.  Another thing we do is each kid gets to stay up late once or twice a month to play a game, watch a movie, color, etc.. with me for some extra one on one time.  Charlie will just randomly come up to me with a game and ask me if I have time to play.  I DO!  If I don’t, I’ll make time.  These moments matter so much.  Not only are we making memories that will last a lifetime, we practice taking turns and he gets to learn how to be a good winner and a good sport if he loses the game. I made the kids some fun little tic-tac-toe bags for Christmas and we love to take them wherever we go.  They each have one and we switch out what we use for x’s and o’s every now and then.  Well, this time, we were going to be playing some serious tic-tac-toe and I was ready.  I picked up a package of OREO double stuf cookies that I knew the kids would be thrilled about, we had plenty of milk – GAME ON! What I didn’t tell them about yet was the #OREODunkChallenge but I knew they were going to love it.  I told them that we were going to have an #OREODunkChallenge so we had to try dunking our OREO in different ways.  The reality of it all – I have dainty dippers.  I didn’t know that was a thing.  It was hilarious to watch them dunk their OREO in their milk.  I am NOT a dainty dipper, in case you are wondering.  Usually they hear me telling them to get their fork out of their milk or something else just as silly, today I told them do it, do it.  We all had fun playing our one on one games. It’s a good thing I always have a package of OREO double stuf in the cupboard because I guarantee, the next game day, they will be asking for more.  Grab yourself some OREO’s from your local Supervalu using this store locator and let the #OREODunkChallenge begin.  How will you […]
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