Moms’ Timeout Show: Happy New Year!

This segment discusses: Great tips for New Year’s Eve Parties, ways to accessorize your New Year’s Eve attire, and fun ways to celebrate the New Year!

Moms’ Timeout Show: Christmas Special (includes a Giveaway)!

…..and now for the Giveaway!

We are giving away 4 of McDonald’s Seasonal favorite beverages to one lucky person! We want you to slow down and truly savory the season with 2 Small French Vanilla Lattes and 2 Small Peppermint Mocha or Small Peppermint Hot Chocolates.

How to enter:

Follow Mom on the go in Holy Toledo blog

Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo Facebook page

Like McDonald’s twitter https://twitter.com/McDonaldspage

Once you have done all three post a comment stating so as well as an item on your Christmas wish list (silly or serious).

Winner will be randomly selected Jan. 1st 2013

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Homemade Gift

There is so much to do during the Christmas season that sometimes we become overwhelmed and lose sight of the true meaning.  For me Christmas is a special time; a time to forgive, rekindle, love, a time to serve those less fortunate, a time to give, and cherish all the family and friends in our lives.  

I think as parents we become sidetracked, or even distracted, by the “things” our children have asked to receive for Christmas. But, as parents we do have the opportunity to refocus not only our attention, but our children’s attention too, to the true meaning of Christmas. After all, think back to your Christmas when you were a child, what do you remember? What are your fondest memories, how many revolve around gifts and thing?  I know my fondest Christmas memories are of going out to cut down the Christmas tree with my family, Christmas Eve at the Cathedral, singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, my father reciting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, playing games with family members at my grandparents, and one of my favorite, waking up early and placing the baby Jesus in the manger Christmas Day.

So, in an effort to refocus our attention and reignite the true meaning of Christmas here is a fun activity that will have you spending quality time with your children, making a truly priceless homemade gift, and hopefully making a fond Christmas memory in the process. So, turn up the Christmas music and grab your aprons, it’s time to make some Apple Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments!

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Apple Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Ingredients/ Items you will need:

  • 2 cups Cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon (to use for rolling out the dough)
  • 2-1/4 cups Applesauce
  • Cookie cutters
  • Straw
  • Rolling pin

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Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Mix Cinnamon and Applesauce together until it is the consistency of playdough.  Roll out dough, you might need to use cinnamon like you would flour so that dough doesn’t stick to the surface or rolling-pin.  Cut out Christmas shapes with cookie cutters.

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Then use the straw to make a small hole where the string will go later so that the ornament can be hanged on the tree.

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Place cutouts on cookie sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a drying rack for a couple of days until they are completed dry. 

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Once dry add string or ribbon to each ornament and hang on tree or give as a gift.

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I am curious, what are your fondest memories of Christmas, or whichever holiday you celebrate this time of year?  Does your fondest memory revolved around a gift?

 

 

 

http://www.anoriginalbelle.com/search/label/Make-It-Yourself%20Monday

 

Win an iPad Mini or Tickets to Six Flags!

I am sure all moms can agree that a child’s first haircut is a huge deal.  I can recall our eldest daughter’s first haircut like it was yesterday.  She was two years old and I dressed her in a cute outfit so that she would look adorable in the dozen of pictures I took before, during, and after her haircut. I shed a tear or two as those gorgeous baby locks were cut. Thankfully we got to go home with a long strand of her golden curly baby fine locks tied with a beautiful pink bow. As soon as we got home I rushed over to her baby book and carefully placed the lock of hair and certificate she received in her baby book so she, and I, could treasure it for years to come.

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Fast forward 4 years, our eldest child is now 6, our son is 5, and our baby is 2 years old. We were contemplating going for our 2 yr. olds milestone first haircut in the near future. That is until someone beat me to it.  Our 5-year-old son and 2 yr. old were quietly playing in the family room while I was in the kitchen, key word being, quietly.  Moments later my son came running in the kitchen sporting a new hairdo and confessing to also cutting his sister’s hair.

I had missed my baby’s first haircut! And what a haircut it was, he had cut all the fine baby hairs framing her face as well as the long hair that was pulled back in piggy tails.  She was now the proud owner of one messed up mullet.   I was heartbroken but some time has passed and I have grown comfortable with the fact that I will never get that first haircut back. And, though I did not get a before, during, and after picture of the milestone event I will always have the Christmas pictures to treasure and commemorate the year our 5-year-old gave his sister her first haircut.

My tip for handling sticky situation such as this one; first, be cautious if the room suddenly grow quiet.  Second, find the humor, whatever the mishap there is humor there somewhere.  Motherhood is messy and humbling, and the kiddos are not little for long so enjoy every moment, even the sticky situations.  

Sticky Situations Contest

Do you have a sticky situation you have found yourself in?  Ever feel like you deserved an award or an iPad Mini or Six Flags Tickets for the way you so cleverly handled yourself during the sticky situation? Well now you can! Wet Ones wants to hear our tips for handling those sticky situations through their Facebook Contest!

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Simply log on and share your story and tips, and you can be entered to win an iPad Mini or one of 3 sets of prize packs with tickets for 4 to Six Flags! I just entered, it doesn’t take long at all, here’s the link to enter: https://www.facebook.com/momcentral/app_248884015238315

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Homemade Christmas Treats for Dogs

Doggy Treats

I have made my lists of gifts to be purchased or made and I am slowly checking them off as the shopping days before Christmas are closing in.  I have to be honest; my attention is usually focused on the family, extended family, close family friends, teachers, and neighbors. Those individuals, who love, forgive, nurture, watch over us, help us, illustrate patience with our children, watch over our children when we are not there, and who comfort us when loneliness begins to creep in.  Funny thing is people are not always all those attribute, but, do you know who is? Do you know who acts as security when my husband is away, who is patient with our 2-year-old when she drapes clothes over him, who pretendes to be a lion or horse depending on our 5 year olds imagination, who knows all our 7 yr. olds deepest secrets, is happy to see me even if I forgot to feed him that morning, who loves our entire family unconditionally, our dog!

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Our yellow Labrador has been a part of our family since before we had children. In fact, truth be told, we brought him home on our way home from our honeymoon. So he has been a part of our family since the very beginning and I cannot imagine my life without him.

So this year for Christmas the kiddos and I have decided to show our gratitude, appreciation, and love for the best four-legged friend a family could ask for (shh…don’t tell the cat) by making some yummy Dog treats!

Doggy Treat Recipe

This recipe yields: 3-4 dozen treats (depending on the size of cookie cutters used)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup natural Peanut Butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 eggs

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together all the ingredients. Knead dough on floured surface and roll dough out with a rolling-pin. Have kiddos pick out some of their favorite cookie-cutters to use. Place cutouts on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and cool for at least 20 minutes, they will firm up as they cool.

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Recipe source: The Scrumptious Pumpkin.  Checkout all the amazing people recipes the blog has to offer too!

These also make adorable gifts to give to your family and friends’ four-legged friends.

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Be sure not to mix up the dog treats and human treats.  Also, remind your kiddos to put up any of their chocolate treats so that your four-legged friends do not get a hold of them. I speak from experience, our poor dog, well, a puppy then, ate a bag of Rollo’s his first Christmas, colorful foil wrappers and all! We had to induce vomiting, and trust me; it was an experience none of us, my hubby, me, or the dog cared to experience.

Do you have a special treat you give your four-legged friends?

Save batteries! Give the gift of Experiences: Tickets to Harlem Globetrotters (info in post)

I don’t know about you but it seems like as each year passes my children are accumulating more “stuff” than I have space for.  It has gotten to the point where we almost have to rent out a storage unit if we accumulate much more this Christmas.  Also, let’s be honest, most of the toys, puzzles, and games that our children receive for Christmas are hot commodities in the house for all of two weeks. Then it is up to mom to find a place to store “more stuff” and that storage location is often that toys burial ground because we know it’s seen its last days of being the “it toy”. 

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However there are a few that slip through the cracks and do end up being your child’s all-time favorite, we’re talking can’t go anywhere without it, toy.  And that toy is often the most obnoxious thing since Budweiser’s “What’s Up” campaign. Oh, and did I mention, the “it toy” often also requires 4 AA or AAA (or fill in whichever type of battery you never have on hand) batteries that it eats up in a similar fashion as Cookie Monster eats up cookies (well he used to eat cookies when I was a kid, I think he sneaks the occasional cookie these days, poor guys is probably a diabetic from all the sweets).

So this year instead of breaking the bank to purchase a storage unit, or a toy burial ground, or enabling a toy’s addiction to batteries, why not regain your mental state. This year request and give the gift of experiences

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The Globetrotters play at the Huntington Center, Dec. 27, 2pm & 7pm

Looking  for an awesome event the whole family will enjoy?  Get your  tickets to  the Harlem Globetrotters brand new “You Write the Rules”  tour.  Your  family’s smiles will start before you even get to the game  as the  Globetrotters take kid participation to a whole NEW level.  Your  family  can vote at harlemglobetrotters.com and decide rules for the game  that  could affect the final outcome.  With rules like double the points  for  every basket, and two balls in play at the same time, there’s an   exciting rule that every kid will enjoy.  After the game, Globetrotter   stars will stay on court to sign autographs and take photographs with   your kids.  The only thing better than finding an awesome event for the   whole family, is getting a great deal on it.  Use the promo code   “USFAMILY” when you buy tickets for your family to save $7 on each   ticket purchased http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets*.  Get ready to experience the show your family will remember for a lifetime!

You can get your tickets here http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/tickets and don’t forget to use the promo code USFAMILY to save $7 on every ticket!

*Discount available on select seating levels “

For more experience suggestions click here!

So, do you agree with this post? Has your home become over run by toys from Christmas past? Do you find yourself running to the store to get more batteries, or worse, stealing them from another gadget? Do you have an experience you would suggest to other moms? Please share…

St. Nicholas Activities for Kids

So it is the first week of Advent and like many other families we are finding ourselves becoming quickly overwhelmed.  It seems like the month of December, though not the shortest month of the year, flies by the fastest due to the numerous events, festivities, gatherings, etc. I am finding myself checking off Christmas traditions, such as decorating the tree, the house, getting out our Elf on the shelf and moving it to a new location every morning, seeing Santa, seeing lights, etc.  like items on a “to do” list, as opposed to quality family time together making memories to be treasured.

So, in an effort to slow down and truly get back to the real meaning of Christmas I am simplifying by minimizing the commercial or more secular festivities and focusing more on tradition Christmas. This means we will be focusing our attention on the Feast of St. Nicholas and the birth of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I am not forbidding anything, but rather trying to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas more.  So, this past week in an effort to refocus our attention this Christmas season we have been preparing for the Feast of St. Nicholas. 

Here are a few of the fun activities we are doing in preparations for the Feast of St. Nicholas.

Watching Veggie Tales Saint Nicholas A Story of Joyful Giving which is currently on Netflix.

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St. Nicholas Center  has a great story about the Real Santa that I read to the kiddos while they worked on the numerous kid friendly activities I found on St. Nicholas’ Center for Kids, including their St. Nicholas Puzzles….

Click here for puzzles to print off for your children.

Click here for more puzzle options.

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While our toddler and preschooler worked on their puzzles our first grader worked on a crossword puzzle and then started making a St. Nicholas ornament out of beads from her craft bin. 

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Then all three kiddos helped put together a fun St. Nicholas memory game. The older two helped cut out the memory squares and all three helped glue them onto cardstock.

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Another activity our preschooler really enjoyed was The Ship Game, where he had to circle all the items in the picture that began with the letter “s”.

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I have printed out St. Nicholas’ for the children to color and cut out.

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Our St. Nicholas Tradition…

When I was a child my brother, sister, and I would sit our shoes outside our bedroom doors the Eve of St. Nicholas Day and in the morning we would rush over to the shoes to see what St. Nicholas had left us.  We would often find an orange, apple, candy, and other small trinkets of interests for children (cool pencils, stickers, etc.).

Now that I am a mother I am finding so much joy in continuing these traditions with my own children. I have everything ready for St. Nicholas Eve, apples, oranges, chocolate coins, and cute St. Nicholas pillow ornaments that the children can color and then hang on the tree.

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I am so enjoying sharing the story of Saint Nicholas and all these fun activities with my children and am looking forward to St. Nicholas Eve!

Here are some additional interesting links I came across:

Checkout this new tradition, instead of a shoe why not a shoe bag for St. Nicholas day that you can have embroidered?

St. Nicholas Chocolate Coin Printable

St. Nicholas Day Spice Cookies

St. Nicholas Day Blessing of Candy Canes

Does your family celebrate St. Nicholas day? If so how do you celebrate?

Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music” (Win a Family four pack of Tickets)

Mark your calendar for a musical event like no other—monsters making music!

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Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends are taking to the Fox Theatre stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music” for 41 performances from Thursday, Jan. 24 through Monday, Feb. 18.

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New this year, families can come one hour early to move and groove with some of Sesame Street’s favorite fuzzy monsters. Imagine your child popping up in Oscar’s trash can or visiting Elmo’s World. Don’t miss a single picture-perfect moment because you never know who’ll make an appearance! The new interactive pre-show activities are FREE with each Sesame Street Live ticket and opens one hour prior to every performance.

Register here to win a Family Four Pack of tickets to the opening night!  http://usfamilyguide.com/Sesame_Street_Live/?blogid=612

Save $3 on Sesame Street Live! tickets in Detroit with this Promo Code:  http://detroitkidsguide.com/coupon.php?bid=10921&lid=13391&dealid=1015®ionid=402

Tuesday’s Tip: Be Aware of Your Influence

Take a moment to sit back and reflect on your life.  Ask yourself these questions;

Am I a happy person the majority of the time?

Am I a positive influence on others?

Who or what are the positive influences in my life? (Family, friends, media, music)

To be honest I never really even considered a correlation between the people, media, music, etc. in my life and who I am as a person. Or the impact that my media, music, etc. decision had on my children. Shoot, I thought it was cute when my child started singing Poker Face by Lady Gaga and music in that same genre. That is until I had the opportunity to attend a very inspiring presentation, and it was during that presentation that I had an authentic aha moment!

A couple of years ago at a MOPs meeting two DJs from YES FM gave an amazing presentation about the pest, weeds, and chemicals that can harm your psyche.  I am sure you are familiar with the expression, ‘you are what you eat’.  Well this presentation addressed the fact that you are what you listen to, watch, and whom you choose to keep company with, mind-blowing right!?!

As we entered the room there was three different items on a table.  There was a basket full of fruits and vegetables, a box of Twinkies, and a bottle of Roundup.  They began the presentation by explaining that the fruits and vegetables represent the healthy or nutritious media for the soul. 

The examples they listed as good, or positive influences were, Veggie Tales, PBS programs, Christian radio (Matte West/Amy Grant), and a few others. When it comes to relationships, the vegetables and fruit represent those that nourish you, the positive and encouraging individuals and relationships.  Then attention was directed to the box of Twinkies on the table.

 

 
The box of Twinkies represents the media information, music, and relationships that are not necessarily good or positive, but not exactly negative either, but neutral.  The examples given were Sponge Bob and family friendly music (The carpenters/Frank Sinatra) and shows.  With regard to individuals in your life the box of Twinkies represent the relationships you have with individuals who perhaps focus more on the superficial things in life, while not bad, it isn’t positive either. As they moved down the table and focused their attention on the spray bottle of Roundup they indicated that it, without a doubt, represents the negative or toxic influences in the media, music, and the like. 

The examples they gave were MTV, Lady Gaga, violent games, etc. The presentation really struck a nerve with me. I had never realized just how influential even the background music or television shows could be not only to a young child, but me as well.  In terms of relationships this is where those individuals who talk about other’s behind their backs, who feel the need to tear other’s down in order to build themselves up, who attack the person as opposed to the issue, who live by motives, games, and manipulation.  These are the toxic relationships.

After that presentation I made a conscious effort to only listen to positive, uplifting music in the car and at home.  The result was surprising, my mood, as well as the children’s, seemed to be more uplifting.  I illustrated more patience with the children and them with each other.

With regard to relationships I feel it is important that we take each person’s situation into consideration and understand that sometimes we have been placed in a relationship with a Twinkie or a Round-up/toxic individual in order to be the positive and encouraging influence. But this can be a slippery slope, be cautious how much time you spend because they can also be influencing you.

So, from time to time take a moment out of your day and reflect on the influences in your life and consider who you are influencing. And always remember that we all have the potential to be a nourishing component in someone’s life or a toxic one, be the veggie in a world filled with Twinkies!