#WW w linky Summer Nights

There is a little magic in summer nights isn’t there?…
#WW w linky Parent Club

 

As always comments appreciated and links to your own #WordlessWednesday posts most welcome!

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Boredom Busters Idea Jar

Harry Potter had the sorting hat. Katniss Everdeen had the reaping. I give you the Boredom Busters Idea Jar! This is an activity and plan-for-the-day in one! Kids will love it…and parents will too because it brings an end to the question “Mom…what are we going to do today?…” during school breaks. Whatever boredom buster you pick is the activity du jour!

Boredom Busters Idea Jar

This activity was previously published on Parent Club but I thought it timely to bring back – because it is a fantastic summer boredom buster!

You will need:

  • Jar (recycle a clean jam jar or pasta sauce jar!)
  • Boredom Buster ideas (see printable pdf below)
  • Scissors
  1. Using scissors cut out Boredom Buster ideas (Free printable below or make your own)
  2. Fold Boredom Buster ideas in half
  3. Place in jar

Everyday during school break (or P.D. Day) have one child close their eyes and pick one Boredom Buster idea. Whatever is picked is what you do for the day (no whining or fighting! – everyone gets a turn picking an idea on different days – and this activity teaches kids to be open to new experiences).

Boredom Buster ideas

Boredom Busters Ideas

Kids can take a regular sheet of computer paper (just as long as it isn’t different coloured paper because then kids would figure out which colours to choose to get the activity they wanted) and write up their own Boredom Buster ideas. Make your own or use this FREE PRINTABLE pdf of Boredom Buster Ideas (yes, it’s the pdf of that image above) which offers 10 different Boredom Busters.

Some ideas for your Boredom Busters Idea Jar…

  • Host a play date (that way kids can entertain themselves with friends)
  • Family field trip (this could be something free like going to a library or something paid like an indoor trampoline park)
  • Movie day (I have some suggestions for 8 Great Kids Movies)
  • Baking (my Easy Chocolate Trifle recipe is kid-friendly!)
  • Arts n’ Crafts (yes, I have a post or two on crafts for kids)
  • Science & Adventure (from mentos & coke to a scavenger hunt)
  • Board games (twister anyone?)
  • Dance party (always a favourite here!)

You could even pick from your Boredom Busters Idea Jar the night before and that way you have a plan for the next day (we are big planners here and the kids always want to know “What are we doing tomorrow?”).

A Boredom Busters Idea Jar takes the guess work out of activities for school breaks.

Recycle Upcycle Glass Jar Idea

This is a great Boredom Buster for big kids. And it’s a perfect summer activity because you have to make it outside. Check out my Recycle Upcycle Glass Jar Idea. From glass salad dressing jars to glass jam jars – this project turns something meant for the recycling box and upcycles it. My big kids were all over the Recycle Upcycle Glass Jar Idea…Recycle Upcycle Glass Jars

 

What you will need:

  • Glass jars (salad dressing jars, jam jars, bottles…)
  • Spray paint (I opted for silver but gold would look funky)
  • newspaper
  1. Clean and dry glass jars.
  2. Go outside.
  3. Lay newspaper on a flat surface
  4. Lay glass jars opening-side-down on newspaper (this is so that the paint can drip down the sides should there be extra paint).
  5. Lay glass jar tops down on the newspaper.
  6. Check which way the wind is blowing (important because you don’t want the wind to blow spray paint back on your clothes)
  7. Follow the spray paint directions (mine said: shake paint can, hold it 3-4 inches away from what you want painted, and spray).
  8. Spray the glass jars from side to side and top to bottom.
  9. Spray the glass jar lids from side to side and top to bottom.
  10. Allow recycle upcycle glass jars to dry.
  11. Once dry, put lids back on (if you choose – they look nice without lids too)

Recycyle Upcycle Glas Jar Ideas

  • desk organizer
  • flower vase
  • pencil holder
  • hair tie organizer
  • idea jar for Boredom Busters
  • flower pot

And of course, remember that spray paint is – in fact – toxic. So you do want to do this activity outside where there is lots of fresh air (no breathing in spray paint thank you very much). And this is a big kid activity.  Pssst…older kids will also enjoy my How To: Sock Bun tutorial. 

For younger kids I suggest making an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt For Kids (always a hit!).

TRIVIA: this project almost made it into my next book (coming February 2015!). The reason why it didn’t make the cut? I had more  Boredom Busters than pages! 

Activities for Kids on a Hot Day

Thought it might be timely to share some Activities for Kids on A Hot Day. Screen-free, no admission type of activities the kids can do around the house. Keep the kids busy my friends – it will save your sanity!…

From the Parent Club archives but always  timely

20 Activities for kids on a hot day

Activities for Kids on a Hot Day

  1. run through the sprinkler
  2. read a book
  3. draw a picture
  4. listen to music
  5. dance in the living room
  6. play with your toys *insert kid groan here*
  7. draw a hopscotch game outside
  8. swing (we have the swingset outside remember)
  9. Paint the sidewalks with a paint brush and water
  10. play in the shade
  11. swim in the pool
  12. play soccer
  13. play hopscotch
  14. build a fort
  15. make popsicles
  16. stamp
  17. colour
  18. play a card game
  19. Clean your room *insert another kid groan*
  20. hula hoop

Summer is the season to disconnect from screens  *she hypocritically typed from her laptop* (C’est la vie).

You might also want to pick up a copy of my book Boredom Busters  which has 50+ activities, recipes, science experiments, crafts, and more to bust boredom at home, in the classroom, on on the go. All of the activities use items easily found around the home or classroom making it a fun and frugal. Boredom Busters by Caroline Fernandez

Seventh Generation Home Detox Tips and #Giveaway

My windows are open. Every. Single. Summer. Day. I always thought this was a “good for the soul” idea but now I know it’s a natural home detox tip. Now because I have read up on Seventh Generation Home Detox Tips and I am sharing them with you…and teaser: there’s a #Giveaway below to help make your natural home detox a little easier…

Natural Air Freshner cinnamon and hot water

Proof knowledge sharing on the Internet is a good thing. I had seen @weewelcome and @SeventhGen tweeting about natural air freshner ideas for the home and decided to give it a try. So EASY! I boiled water, added cinnamon and nutmeg into a mason jar and placed it onto my mantel (right next to my son’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar craft).  My house smelled like Christmas!

7 Steps For a Do-It-Yourself Home Detox

  1. OPEN THE WINDOWS. Air inside is often more polluted than outdoor air. Monitor the quality of the air inside your home and open your windows daily to ventilate, and avoid room fresheners or sprays that contain synthetic ingredients and fragrances.

  2. LEAVE SHOES AT THE DOOR. Roughly 70 percent of household dust, pests, pollutants and dirt (which often contains lead and chemicals) are tracked indoors on the bottom of shoes.

  3. PLANT MORE INDOOR PLANTS. Plants don’t just brighten your home; they can also help absorb impurities in the air

  4. CLEAN WITH PLANT BASED OR DIY CLEANERS. Choose plant-based household cleaning products that are free of harsh solvents, dyes and synthetic fragrances. From floors to dishes to the air inside your home, clean the surfaces kids play on and the things that can end up in little mouths with toxin-free products.

  5. SLEEP ON ORGANIC AND OR NATURAL FIBRES. When purchasing blankets or bedding for your family, aim for certified organic and/or natural fibres that are lighter in colour (less harsh dying) and avoid those marked as permanent press, easy care or no iron – all of which can contain formaldehyde.

  6. DETOX YOUR HOME FROM THE OUTSIDE IN. Tackle weeds and pests without chemicals. Spray your lawn with white vinegar or spread a natural mulch over affected areas

  7. CHOOSE TOYS MADE FROM NATURAL MATERIALS. Purchase toys, cribs, and bedding made from natural materials, like solid woods with non-toxic finishes and natural textiles like organic cotton or wool.

Source: Seventh Generation

GIVEAWAY!

SEVENTH GENERATION GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win this amazing Seventh Generation Home Detox Kit. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. 

Seventh Generation Home Detox Kit:

  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear Automatic Dishwasher Powder
  • Seventh Generation Granite and Stone Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Stain Remover
  • Seventh Generation 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent in Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender
  • Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid in Lemongrass & Clementine
  • Seventh Generation Cypress & Fir Toilet Bowl Cleaner

[Read more...]

#WW w linky – Vin de Merde

My girls were the ones who spotted the curiosity on this sign…who wants to try le vin de merde?…

#WW w linky vins de merde

As always comments appreciated and links to your own #WordlessWednesday posts most welcome!

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Pictures From France #NikonMOMents

I have been eager to share with you my Pictures From France #NikonMOMents – but it took some time to go through my 570+ pictures to decide which ones were share-worthy. Honestly, all of them are share-worthy! I thought it would be cumbersome taking my new Nikon HDSLR D3300 with a 35 mm lens with me (a smartphone is a whole lot smaller to pack!)…but you know what…the pictures I took are fantasticreally fantastic…and I don’t think another camera (or smartphone) would have done near as nice. What do you think?…

Panorama - Les Beaux

Panorama - Les Beaux

Panorama Aiges-Mortes

Panorama - Arles

Pictured above panaromas (great feature of the Nikon D3300 – so easy to capture an impressive sweeping view when you travel): The village of Les Beaux du Provence (1st two pictures), the impressive medieval wall surrounding the village of Aigues-Mortes, France, and the roman amphitheater in Arles.

The purpose of our trip was to visit family…and show our kids their French culture…I mean you don’t capture pictures like this in North America…

Arles, France

Uzes France

Pictured above: Arles, France.

And of those 570+ pictures I took some amazing close up photos of my family. Like…I-am-printing-them-and-framing-them type of photos. Professional quality (and I’m no professional!).

As you know, I don’t share pictures of my kids’ faces for privacy reasons…so please accept these “back pictures” to show a representation of my print-worthy pics…

France and a boy

boy jumping in water

Two above pictures were taken using the color pop mode on the Nikon camera. I must say – these are my two most favourite pictures of the whole trip. I love my son’s blue shirt popping out of the picture while we waited to tour a Duke’s grande house in Uzes, France. And the picture of him jumping in the waves of the Sea in Saint Marie de la Mer?…priceless.

Oh and that boy-jumping-in-the-sea picture inspired me to take a chance with another action shot

man jumping from bull

No bulls nor men in white outfits were hurt in the process of taking this shot ;-) 

And no it wasn’t a bull fight (we’ve had the bull fight discussion before)…it was a spectacle where the men had to try to get rings off the bulls horns. Very action packed.

And then…there were the quieter moments in France…

France by candle

And the quiet moments were often just before food moments in France…

France food

And I am the only one in the world who goes to France and loses 6lbs! But I added loads upon loads of family moments to our camera…and our memories. ;-)

Disclosure: I am part of the Mom Central Canada Nikon MOMents team and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi’a

Teaser: the following healthy muffin recipe is fantastic. And easy. Check out my recipe for Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi’a  (and new breakfast favourite here!).  Introducing Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood – it’s a new and a must-buy to add to breakfast, baking, and smoothies…

Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi'a

What is Qi’a?Nature's Path Qi'a

Qi’a (pronounced Kee-ah) is our NEW Superfood Cereal made with Chia, Hemp and Buckwheat. This power trio of seeds and grains is chocked full of plant-based protein, fiber and Omega-3’s.

 

  • Certified gluten free
  • Vegan
  • No added sugar or salt
  • High in protein (6 grams per serving)
  • Heart healthy
  • Certified organic
  • Non GMO Project Verified

(Aside: as sometimes-writer-of-French I keep wanting to type Qui’a)

For a quick and healthy breakfast you can mix 2 Tbsp of Qi’a cereal with 5 Tbsp of milk (wait 5 minutes and the Chia seeds soak in goodness).

You can also sprinkle this superfood cereal on top of cereal, in yogurts or smoothies or into salads for an added boost.

I decided to develop a kid-friendly baking activity with Qi’a; making it a boredom buster and snack in one. And proof it was a hit?…my son ate FOUR Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi’a in a day!

This recipe is bookmark/print worthy!
Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi'a

Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi’a
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Healthy Muffins Chocolate Blueberry Qi’a are packed with goodness and super easy to make. Great for breakfast, school lunch, and afternoon snack!
Author:
Serves: 24 muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ⅓ cup Nature’s Path Qi’a
  • ½ frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • egg substitute equivalent to 2 eggs
  • 300 ml of applesauce (I used 3 individual snack size applesauce containers)
  • **use organic ingredients wherever possible
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and Qi’a in large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add in chocolate chips.
  4. Add in egg substitutes and applesauce.
  5. Mix well.
  6. And in frozen blueberries and mix.
  7. Pour into lined muffin containers. Makes 24 muffins or one 9 x 13 pan.
  8. Bake for 30 min at 350 degrees. Great for breakfast, school lunch, and afternoon snack! Kid friendly recipe!

 

 

 

House Of Botori Review and #Giveaway

Fashion, function, comfort…these are all the things I look for in a diaper bag. In this House of Bortori Review we review the Amara Shoulder Bag…does this diaper bag have everything baby and parent needs to make life easier?…PLUS a #Giveaway below you will not want to miss!

 

House of Botori Review

ABOUT HOUSE OF BOTORI

House of Botori was born from the desire to bring bright, bold patterns to chic and style-lovin’ moms and babies everywhere. We’re setting the fashion bar just a little higher, but keeping it well within your reach. Our high-quality and affordable gear is designed to get you through your busy days with class, sass and panache.

The first takeaway you need to have in this House of Botori Review is what you’ll find inside the bag: Baby Zone and Mom Zone. Unlike other diaper bags – the House of Botori has taken into account that parents and kids require seperate and organized sections in a diaper bag. This is a fantastic feature.

House of Botori Review

The Amara Shoulder Bag

With eleven compartments this bag is organized. In the Mom Zone you will find a zippered pocket for valuables. Key fob, 2 wide expandable pockets for cell phone and other necessities.  And 2 pen pockets. In the Baby Zone you will find 2 extra wide bottle pockets (insulated with eco-friendly PEVA and fits multiple bottle sizes). Alson with 2 extra large pockets for diapers and wipes and a very roomy middle area of bag for change of clothes, toys, blankets and more.

The Amara Shoulder Bag is fully zippered (so nothing will topple out) and comes with tote handles as well as a long shoulder strap (allowing you to carry it as a tote or messenger style or sling).

The Amara Should Bag also comes with (and all matching the vibrate fabric of the bag): an insulated bottle holder (great for keeping water cool!), change pad, wet clothes bag, and mini pouch (great for soothers). It also has four feet at the base.

Of all the reviews I have done…this House of Botori Review probably had the most work…no only was it tested for a day at the park…it was tested as on a family vacation…

House of Botori Review

That’s me and the House of Botori bag in France. If you have ever taken a diaper bag on a plane and then on vacation – you know the kind of testing it went through. It had to be the diaper bag, Mom tote, snack bag, change of clothes bag, activity bag, and purse all in one. And my findings?…

GREAT DIAPER BAG.

Very comfortable to carry (and that is #1 when I look at reviews). The pockets kept everything organized and within arms-reach (I used the magnet pockets to keep small toys handy for the “I’m tired” kid meltdowns).  I wore it both as a tote and messenger style (and I add: Papa also carried it messenger style; proving this is a solid Dad bag). The colour was netural enough to go with any outfit. Recommend!

GIVEAWAY

Eneehi Roving Nursing Clutch - Adire Sand

Enter for a chance to win Eneehi nursing clutch (colour choice at discretion of House of Botori). This clutch opens into a nursing cover; providing privacy and comfort to both you and nursing baby. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Also open to residents of the U.S., excluding Alaska, Puerto Rico, Western Territories and Hawaii. 18 yrs and older. 

  [Read more...]

First Aid Kit Tips and Polysporin #Giveaway

I’m the Mom who always carries a mini first aid kit. I have one in the van. And one in my bag. For the falls at the park, the scrapes while bike riding, and the stumbles in stores. To take care of the everyday wounds that my kids get in the summer – here is my list for what to pack in a first aid kit…and a little Polysporin #Giveaway below to help stock your own first aid kit.

fIRST AID KIT TIPS

First Aid Kit Tips

And aside: these are my own, personal, first aid kit tips…I am not a medical professional…

First off, stay calm. I know we all tend to freeze and then freak out when our kids get hurt. Take a deep breath. Assess the situation. Is your child breathing? Conscious? Bleeding profusely? If this is the case…call 911 immediately.

Secondly, if it’s a minor cut, scrape, burn, or other wound reassure your child that they will be fine (and yes, a hug goes a long way too).

Clean wound as best you can (I always pack a water bottle in my day trip bag – handy for sips as well as cleaning cuts). A spare baby wash cloth in a clean zip lock bag is also a great item to use to clean a cut. Next I spray some Poly-TO-GO First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Reliving Spray (I love how it is compact to carry yet provides the protection you need against infection). I then follow up with a kids’ band aid (band aids make everything better right?).

Depending on how grave is the wound - I might follow up with some Polysporin Kids Cream for a few nights to speed up the healing. And yes, whether we are home or on vacation…I have my first aid kit with me…because hurt happens.

ABOUT POLYSPORIN PRODUCTS

  •  Heals 4 days faster
  •  Product line is best suited for minor cuts, scrapes and burns
  • Soothing ointment forms protective coating
  • #1 Doctor Recommended anti-infective brand
  • Non-stinging & odourless

GIVEAWAY!

polysporin Giveaway

Polysporin and Parent Club want to help you build a great first aid kit to help make your healing easier. Enter for a chance to win this awesome Polysporin bundle. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, only. 

  • POLY-TO-GO First Aid Antiseptic / Pain Relieving Spray
  •  Polysporin Complete Ointment
  •  Polysporin Kids Cream
  • Polysporin Plus Pain Relief Cream
  • Kids BAND-AIDS

[Read more...]

#WW w linky France

So guess where I was last week…

#WW w linky Parent Club

As always comments appreciated and links to your own #WordlessWednesday posts most welcome!

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Steak, tomato, and lettuce wrap

Too hot to cook and too much fun to want to leave the back yard to spend even an hour in the kitchen..I had an idea to bbq dinner with a twist…this Steak, tomato, and lettuce wrap. It was easy, healthy, and oh so yum! They are so good…you will want to eat at least two!

steak tortilla 2

Oh and I strongly recommend adding my Easy Vinaigrette Recipe as the sauce to this wrap. It. Is. So. Good!

It was kinda fun to eat a hands-on dinner (the kids LOVED it). And it was fast. From bbq to table it really took minutes. That’s the kind of summer dinner I need. Less cooking. More play.

Steak, tomato, and lettuce wrap
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Sirloin Steak
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Vinaigrette (see link in post for easy recipe)
  • Dempster’s Tortilla Wraps
Instructions
  1. bbq steak (I like medium rare)
  2. Cut steak into strips
  3. Cut lettuce into strips
  4. Cut grape tomatoes in half
  5. Lay out Dempster’s Tortilla Wraps and assemble wrap (steak, lettuce, tomatoes, and vinaigrett). Roll and enjoy.

Assembly turns into a family activity as everyone gets to build their own dinners. Tender steak, crisp lettuce, soft tortilla (I crave carbs so the tortilla is a great alternative to rice, pasta, and potatoes). I will make this again and again.

Steak, Tomato, Lettuce Wrap

For other wrap ideas…this Black Bean, Corn and Quinoa Wrap look delish – it uses all the staple ingredients I have sitting around my kitchen.  Black beans (always have a tin for last-minute salads), corn (the #2 fav vegetable of my kids), Quinoa (right next to the corn in the freezer, and Dempster’s Tortillas (’cause I’ve told you how my kids love Breakfast Wrap Ideas).

Tortilla

 Disclosure: #spon and the steak wraps were a true hit. As always, the opinions in this post are my own.