Gymboree Story Time Featuring “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Eric Carle books have long been a favorite in our house. From The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See, to Pancakes Pancakes all my children have loved these books. In fact, we’ve actually had to replace books because they were so well loved that over the years they fell apart!

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We’ve incorporated our favorite Eric Carle books into school lessons and the kids have also enjoyed reading them on their own. They are often the first books our children find at the library and we always end up checking out several whenever we make a library trip.

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I was very excited to learn that Gymboree is currently selling sleepwear  and playwear featuring the World of Eric Carle.

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Cora was excited too!

These sets are super soft and comfortable, which is important when you have kids that often tell you things are too scratchy or itchy! icon smile Gymboree Story Time Featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar They are also very well made so they can be worn for years and passed down to younger siblings or cousins, which has always been important for our big family.

Our Gymboree clothes usually last through all three of my younger girls making them a great value!

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They even have adult styles available, so if you are looking for a fun Christmas morning pajama photo of the whole family, the Eric Carle collection would be great.

If your children love Eric Carle books as much as mine you’ll want to head to your local Gymboree store on September 5, 2014 for a story time reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Eric Carle themed craft. This event is happening at all Gymboree locations from 10am – noon.

If you have a preschooler or toddler who is feeling a little left out now that school has started this is a great mommy and me activity to end your week!

Visit your local Gymboree store this Friday, September 5th,  from 10am to noon for some free Eric Carle fun with your little one!

This post is in partnership with Gymboree all opinions are my own.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Keeping Kids Healthy and Active During the School Year

School is starting for most families around the country and kids, who may have spent the entire summer playing, swimming, climbing trees, and generally being active will now sit in classrooms for several hours every day.

Not only will they be sitting in classrooms, they will come home with backpacks full of homework. When I was a teenager all I wanted to do when I got home from school was sleep! My brother played video games and my sister loved to watch television. The business-ness of our lives seemed to take over and our main goal in life was to eat chips and hangout on the couch!

Today’s kids are no different. With school demands on children increasing it is sometimes hard to keep kids active and healthy during the school year. Or parents compensate by over scheduling their children to keep them active and the kids can become run down and exhausted!

It can be hard to find a balance but it is possible!

Here are some tips to help keep your children active and healthy without stressing yourself or your kids out!

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Make extra curricular activities – active

Our children have always enjoyed organized activities like soccer, basketball, or dance. When choosing what our children are going to participate in each year, we try to focus on things that will help them burn off energy (they have a lot of it!) and build character at the same time. We also try to find activities that includes all family members in some way.

For our family we found soccer worked best. Most of my kids played on a team and Cora was always a helper at practice when she was too little to play. My older children also were involved in coaching some of the younger teams which kept them very active.

Schedule family fun time

Not every family is a sports family, and if your family prefers activities that are a little less active remember to schedule in some active time on the weekends. Hiking, swimming, walking, bike riding and bowling are fun activities for the entire family which can be done on a budget!

Schedule buffer time before bed

It can be hard for kids to go from activity to activity and then fall asleep. Unless of course they fall asleep from exhaustion in the car on the way home! Schedule thirty minutes of down time before bed for children to unwind and decompress from the day. My kids love to read or listen to audio books in their room.

This is a great way for them to relax and hopefully get a good night’s sleep!

Start the day with a healthy breakfast

Kids need a well balanced, low sugar breakfast in the morning to help them concentrate on their studies.

We have a tradition of making/ getting donuts for someone’s birthday in our house. While I love this tradition, my kids can be crazy sugar monsters after a breakfast of like that! Donuts are perfect for a special day, but for every day help your child succeed in school by providing him healthier, high protein options for breakfast.

Make healthy choices easier

My kids love convenience so whatever food is easiest for them to eat they will grab. I’m convinced that if peas came in a plastic pouch my kids would be eating them like crazy!

To help my kids make smart choices at snack time I cut fruit and veggies and keep them in small containers in the fridge. I also try to keep cheese sticks/ slices, and yogurt in the fridge for a quick snack. My kids know that they can always have fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt, milk, and cheese whenever they are hungry.

They don’t need permission, they can just grab it for themselves. Of course if it is 5 minutes before dinner that’s a different story, but I’ve found that if I make healthy snacks available to my kids they are more likely to choose them over chips or candy.

Make snack time fun

Make snack time fun by offering your kids cheese sticks, grapes on a toothpick, apple slices with peanut butter, celery with cream cheese, frozen banana slices, or yogurt Tuberz™.

My kids are more willing to try new things or make healthy choices if those choices are presented to them in a fun way.

Remember kids are more likely to succeed when they get plenty of exercise, rest, and healthy food (and so do adults). Jump start your school year by getting a plan together now for how you can make it happen in your family.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

HTH Makes Summertime Fun

It’s no secret we LOVE our pool. I’ve always said I would never buy a house with a pool, especially in Maryland, but now I don’t know if I would ever buy a house without one.

We are in the pool every day. Most days it is the first thing we do after breakfast. There are many days where the kids spend the entire day in their bathing suits and they are swimming from morning until bedtime.

When HTH® Pool Care was interested in partnering with me, it was an easy fit because we’ve been using their products for the past two summers!

While we love to spend time in the pool, we don’t like to spend a ton of time cleaning the pool! We prefer for our time to be spent hosting parties so people can cool off in this crazy summer weather.

Or sometimes just cool off. No party or bathing suit needed.

With HTH® Pool Care products we can focus on the kids, not taking care of the pool. We use the HTH® test kit to check the pH levels and make sure we don’t need to add anything to the pool.

Since we have a saltwater pool, we are very careful about what products we use because replacing the chlorine generator is not cheap. All HTH® products are compatible with saltwater pools so we use them to keep our pool beautiful and blue.

Our pool isn’t normally “that” blue, that’s a fun HTH® Party Potion. My kids absolutely loved it and the girls asked if it came in pink, of course!

It is this blue though.

Since summer only lasts about four months in Maryland, we try to spend as much time having fun and enjoying our backyard before it turns into a snowy playground again.

If you have a pool and are not using HTH® Pool Care products it’s time to start. Our time this summer has been spent enjoying our pool (as those of you who follow me on Instagram have noticed) not taking care of it thanks to HTH®.

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For more information about HTH® Pool Care products visit them on the web.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HTH Pool Care via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Building Strong Bones Together – Viactiv Yours and Hers

Three weeks from now we’ll be preparing to celebrate as our oldest daughter get’s married. It seems like just yesterday we were teaching her how to read, tie her shoes, ride a bike, and drive. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world! (well maybe the learning to drive moments)

One of my favorite mother/ daughter traditions is going to New Your City. We’ve been fortunate to take two trips in the last few year to explore the city, visit thrift stores, eat awesome food, and see some amazing shows.

While I love creating fun traditions with all my girls, I really want to create healthy habits as they grow up and eventually leave our nest to start their own.

Even though she is getting married in a few weeks, I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying that she is eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of herself.

In fact, 86% of teenage girls have calcium-deficient diets (overall, 68% percent of adult women are calcium deficient). For teen girls, however, this deficiency comes at a crucial time for bone health, since 95% of bone building occurs by the time she’s 20!

Since she works crazy retail hours, many of her meals are on the go, and probably not the healthiest. Unfortunately, she’s just like me in that it’s hard to get us to take vitamins on a regular basis or even at all!

Last month we tried Viactiv® Calcium Soft Chews. They are delicious and come in flavors like chocolate and caramel which is pretty much awesome. I’m not sure what teenage girl would pass on chocolate or caramel, so getting them to try Viactiv® should be pretty easy.

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These calcium chews are a great way to supplement your daily intake of calcium and help strengthen bones without having to swallow a gigantic pill.

It is extremely important that women get enough calcium, it helps strengthen bones and teeth and if your body is not getting enough calcium it begins to take it from the bones, decreasing bone mineral density which can eventually lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis.

If you are wondering if you are getting enough calcium this helpful chart shares how much calcium is in the food we eat every day.

I prefer chocolate, which delicious flavor of Viactiv® Calcium Soft Chew would you choose – Milk Chocolate or Caramel?

Get the latest information on Viactiv® Calcium Soft Chews at and their Facebook page.

. #ViactivYoursandHers

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received two full-sized canisters of Viactiv® Calcium Soft Chews and a picture frame for my own personal use. All opinions, text and experiences are my own.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.