Enjoy Natural, Organic Candy this Easter! {giveaway, too!}

This organic candy post was brought to you by YumEarth.  All opinions are mine.

yumearth organic candy

I always have issues with the holidays.  Candy and treats are the center of holidays for kids, and the majority of the candy they get is full of weird, man-made ingredients.  This Easter, the boys will be getting YumEarth Organics candy and fruit snacks in their baskets!  The Captain's favorite YumEarth candy are the gummy bears, while D prefers gummy worms.  Daddy is a fan of sour candy, so I would have to say his favorite are the sour beans.  

YumEarth candies and fruit snacks are always made with high quality, all natural ingredients.  This chart from the YumEarth website sums up the high quality of their awesomely delicious lollipops, drops, gummy bears, gummy worms, fruit snacks, and sour beans!

YumEarth Organics

Pick up some natural Easter treats for your little ones at Walgreens, Amazon, or the YumEarth website!  Check out other retailers that sell YumEarth, too.

Enter to win an assortment of YumEarth candy in the Rafflecopter form below and then hop out to the store to pick up some better-for-you candy to enjoy this Easter!

 

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Delicious Strawberry Recipes for Valentine’s Day

All pictures in this post have been used with permission and may not be reproduced.

strawberry recipes

Strawberries are one of our family's favorite fruits.  Strawberries are the fruit of Valentine's Day.  Last year at our favorite grocery store, there was a huge area set up for workers to solely make chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine's Day.  They're pretty expensive, though, so last year I made Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries and Daddy and I loved them.  The Captain and D just wanted to eat the strawberries.  So, I was looking for great strawberry recipes for Valentine's Day this year…that all of us would enjoy.  Take a look at this long list of great strawberry recipes from some of my favorite bloggers!

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30 Days of Thankful Tree -Thanksgiving Craft for Kids

My brilliant and creative cousin, who is a nanny for two precious girls, shared this awesome Thanksgiving craft on Facebook, and I had to share it with you (with her permission, of course!)  I have been looking for something to do with the boys, that incorporates the beauty of fall and being thankful to God for our blessings!  

thanksgiving craft

Directions:

  1. Use brown paper or white paper painted or colored brown, crumple it up, and make the trunk and branches of the tree.  
  2. Staple or pin the tree to the wall.
  3. Fringe cut some green or white paper, colored green, and attach it to the wall for your "grass."
  4. Use fall leaf colored paper to trace and cut out handprints.
  5. Explain to your child what being thankful really means and how we all have so much to be thankful for.
  6. Each day in November, ask your child what he or she is thankful for and write it on a handprint, then attach it as a "leaf" for the tree.

I LOVE this idea and I'm positive my kids would love it, as well!  Being thankful and appreciative of what we have is a major lesson for kids and adults, too!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Do you think your child(ren) would enjoy making a 30 Days of Thankful Tree?

Grand Old Flag!

The Captain has been singing "Keep your eye on the grand old flag!!!" for a week or two now and loves this flag his Grampy gave him!

Happy Fourth of July!

fourth of july

Top 5 Ways to Kick Off Father’s Day Weekend… Starting with the “Man of Steel”

This "Man of Steel" post was written by me on behalf of Warner Bros.  All opinions are mine.

Man of Steel Horizontal Billboard Image

Father's Day is coming…..and so is the "Man of Steel" movie!  I know my husband has been talking about this movie since last year!  He and the boys are big Superman fans, and while it is rated PG-13 so the boys will not be attending, you can bet that we are!  In fact, we have already picked up our tickets from Walmart for the exclusive prescreening on June 13th at 7 p.m.

man of steelThe tickets were super easy to buy.  We just went to the electronics section at Walmart, asked the employee about tickets (he made it easy because he was wearing his Superman cape!) and bought as many as we needed.

father's dayI'm excited about "Man of Steel," too!  The trailer looks awesome and hubby and I recently watched the original Superman movie to get the background on the characters!  Check out the trailer:

Purchase tickets to the exclusive pre-screening of Man of Steel [PG-13] on June 13th, 2013 at 7 PM at your local Walmart! Tickets can be purchased in the Electronics Department and include an exclusive digital comic book written by David S. Goyer, author of “Man of Steel”, as well as an exclusive opportunity to pre-order an HD digital download or Blu-Ray copy of the film.

  • Go to your local Walmart
  • Visit the electronics department
  • Purchase your EXCLUSIVE Man of Steel prescreening tickets (available in 2D or 3D)
  • Take your family to the theater location noted on your ticket and watch the EXCLUSIVE 7 p.m. premiere of Man of Steel on June 13th!

Learn more here!

After the movie, there are still three days to celebrate Father's Day weekend!  Here are my top 5 suggestions for celebrating Father's Day weekend and making it one he won't forget:

  1. Watching "The Man of Steel" on Thursday night.
  2. Friday – take Dad somewhere HE wants to go – a baseball game, his favorite restaurant, or send him with a friend to play a round of golf.
  3. Saturday – Give Dad a great experience – let him feel like Superman and race a ferrari (under the safest of conditions!!)
  4. Saturday night – Shower Dad with gifts and homemade cards.
  5. Celebrate Sunday by bringing him breakfast in bed and letting him do whatever he wants!

We will be celebrating on Sunday by heading to church and then we will have a great lunch and let Daddy have a nap, watch his favorite movie, and just staying out of his hair!

Happy Father's Day!  Leave me a comment if you are going to see the "Man of Steel" or doing something special!  I'd love to hear about it.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Warner Bros.

 

Tone It Down, Parents.

Yesterday was Easter.  We don't do the Easter Bunny at our house although I see nothing wrong with him.  I just was a bit obsessed with Santa and the Easter Bunny as a child and would rather my kids not be greedy little boogers like I was.  I have two older brothers that were not as obsessed as I was, so it was all me, not my parents or anything else.  It was all me.  We do still celebrate holidays and our boys get candy and gifts.  After seeing some of the HUGE Easter baskets in stores and online…..I really gotta say….tone it down, parents.

Easter eggs are one thing.  Plastic pieces strewn all over my floor after the hunt is over, candy wrappers, then later, broken plastic eggs on the floor and hurt feet after I have stepped on these awful booby traps.  I was smart yesterday, I helped the boys empty their eggs and then I scooped them all up and put them in a bag for next year.  But I still can guarantee you that I will be finding eggs for the rest of the year, hidden under the TV, in the playroom, and under the refrigerator.

I always had Easter eggs with candy in them.  This was fun.  But now, every kid not only gets a million Easter eggs, but they get elaborate Easter baskets, filled with MORE candy, small trinkets, toys, and even more junk to pick up off of the floor.  Why do parents do this to themselves???  Unless your child is an amazing cleaner-upper, I don't know why anyone would subject themselves with more…for lack of a better term….crap!  My kids get enough crap without ever celebrating a holiday.  They were thrilled with their coin filled eggs that they found in our backyard yesterday.  (They were also thrilled with the chocolate, berries, and cold hard cash that Grandma brought to them for their savings.)  The Captain asked for a chocolate bunny for Easter  so I got the boys a small one and they got to eat it before church.  This was special.  And they were both so surprised and both kept saying "thank you for my chocolate bunny!"   Well, Baby D's was more like "tat too" but I knew what he was saying.

Maybe my kids are just young and I don't know what I'm in for.  Maybe the madness peaks at about 8, and they won't be satisfied with one small chocolate bunny and a little money.  I'm not sure, but I do know that if they got a huge Easter basket, each, after getting coins and chocolate for St. Patrick's Day, after getting a huge box of chocolates and red dyed lollipops for Valentine's Day, after getting a gazillion gifts for Christmas, (which really, they did,) after getting a huge bucket full of Halloween candy, they would never, ever, be satisfied and next year I'd have to outdo this year.  I don't want to be cheap, I don't want to be lazy, I don't want to be compared to other parents, but I have already realized that kids as young as three do remember last year and they will expect the same thing plus more next year.  Plus, there are always pictures.  That's why I'm always AMAZED that parents willingly take so many pictures of their first child's first birthday with the gazillion of gifts that they're sure to get (because it's exciting to spoil your first child on his first birthday, I know!)  Start small, don't take a picture of all the gifts they got, and they'll never have to say "why don't I get as many gifts now as when I was a baby??"

It's not too late to tone it down.  I promise.  And if you really want to spoil your kids, at least go today and buy up all of the unsold Easter candy, toys, or clothes and give it to them a day late (or next year, in the case of toys and clothes) instead of paying ridiculous prices for….well, crap.  ;)  Or buy something a little bigger that is more eco-friendly, educational, nutritious, longer lasting, and/or useful!

I apologize if this post offended you.  I'm not judging, I promise.  I'm just saying that you could totally have it a million times easier and raise a less greedy child, as well, or at least have a shot at a less greedy child.  ;)  I'll honestly tell you that my kids are greedy and have too much junk, but, we're working on that.

Easter

Easter Games and Activities for Older Kids

Easter games and activities for older kids
 
It is easy to keep your toddlers and younger kids involved on Easter with all those interesting activities and fun filled games. But, what about the older children? How do you keep them involved in the spirit of Easter and spend some quality time together? You will likely need to put in more efforts to plan out something special for your older children this Easter.  After all, you cannot keep these bigger children happy with painting or hunting for Easter eggs.   Read on to learn about some Easter games and activities that you can plan for the older children.

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Make Your Easter Meal Special with Ecce Panis Gourmet Artisan Breads!

eccepanis

Easter is a very special time for our family.  We enjoy spending time together, going to church, and yes, even hunting eggs!  After church on Easter, we love to sit down with a delicious Easter meal, which usually includes a ham, vegetables, and bread.  I am always on the lookout for simple, easy to prepare foods that aren't full of unhealthy stuff.  Last year, I read about Ecce Panis on one of my favorite blogs and we have been enjoying their products throughout the year.  Ecce Panis breads are different because they are "Bake At Home" breads, which make them taste better!  We love to use the breads for sandwiches, dipped in olive oil, or for the perfect side item.

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Wordless Wednesday: Dyeing Eggs

IF

The Captain and Baby D loved dyeing eggs with our eco-friendly kit

Eco-Friendly Easter Gifts

 

eco-friendly gifts

Since becoming a parent, I've become amazed at all the candy and gifts we parents give our kids at every possible opportunity.  We like to celebrate Valentine's Day, Easter, birthday, Christmas, Halloween, and more, all with candy and stuff our kids don't really need.  Here are some of my suggestions for the best eco-friendly Easter gifts this year!

1.  Rainbow Plush Fabric Alphabet Letters from Crunchy Farm Baby  – $38 – handmade with 100% cotton fabrics – super cute, educational gift for toddlers and preschoolers!  Get the magnetic version for $50.

eco friendly Easter

2.  Bunny Natural Wood Teether from Montana Solar Creation – $10.95 – Handmade with natural, untreated hard wood, and will not splinter.  What a great eco-friendly gift for a teething baby or toddler!

eco-friendly Easter gift

3.  Nature's Magic Egg Dyeing Kit from Wee Can Too – $16 – The dyes are all natural and edible, made with fruit and vegetable powders.  

 

we can too

4. Organic Easter Honey Bunny Soft Doll from Jen Galaxy Designs – $24 – This adorable little bunny is handmade with organic cotton and filled with poly-fill and rice.

 

Jen Galaxy Designs

5.  Travel Chalkboard Mat from Mommy Loves Maddy – $9-$15 – Super cute way to keep the kids entertained in the car!  It rolls up nicely for storage and you can pick out the fabric, too.  Just add chalk and imagination!

 

Mommy Loves Maddy

6.  Eco Kids Natural Plant Dye Molding Dough – $17 – This dough is made with plant, fruit, and vegetable extracts.  It contains no chemicals, artificial dyes, or metals.  

 

Easter

7.  Indie Candy large chocolate bunny – $10 – allergen free, free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

 

easter chocolate

8.  Resurrection Eggs – $11 – Okay, maybe this is a stretch because these plastic eggs aren't really "eco-friendly," but when you compare them to other Easter gifts we give, these Resurrection Eggs are loved and well used by my kids, to teach the story of the true meaning of Easter.  Each egg contains a small "trinket" to teach different parts of the Easter story of Jesus' death and resurrection.

 

gifts

9.  Haba Wooden Eggs in a Carton – $10 – These wooden eggs are perfect for pretend play!

 

eggs

10.  Organic Easter Egg Blend Radishes from Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. from – $2.25 for 100+ seeds – I love these beautiful heirloom, organic radishes that look like little Easter eggs!  Any gardener or child would love to grow these pink, red, purple, and white radishes!

 

seeds

11.  Lastly, if you need a few eco-friendly gifts for yourself, your child's teacher, or a friend, Tropical Traditions carries Organic Fair Trade coffee at only $8.99 a bag.

 

eco friendly

 

 

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