Sunday, April 26, 2015

5 Tips for Helping Children Build Good Hand Washing Skills + Dial Review/Giveaway

I have two Dial products to share with you today: Dial Baby body + hair wash (fragrance free) and Dial Kids Foaming hand wash (watery melon).  You might not know that Dial has a baby body/hair wash, that's because it is new.  Yes, this is Dial's launch into the babies' personal care line.  It is recommended for babies 0-2 years old.  This product is tear free, hypoallergenic, has no parabens or artificial dyes, pH balanced and was developed with Pediatric Dermatologists.  How does Baby/Toddler F like it?  Check out the photos below!

Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash

F loves splashing so it was a bit difficult to get him to look for a photo.

There we go, clean baby looking up at last!

I love that Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash is tear free so I don't have to worry about it irritating his eyes when we wash his hair.  Baby F had no problem when I dumped the bucket of water on his head to rinse off the wash.  He was so busy playing, he barely noticed it!  This wash is fragrance free so it doesn't have a strong odor other than clean freshness.  

And what about Dial Kids Foaming hand wash.  It too was developed with Pediatric dermatologists, is hypoallergenic, has no artificial dyes or parabens and is pH balanced.

 B using Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash

Say Cheese!

The formula is gentle on hands and skin and helps make hand washing fun for all ages!  This got me thinking, how do you help your children develop and maintain good hand washing skills?  See my tips below.  And make sure you enter the giveaway as well.

5 Tips for Helping Children Build Good Hand Washing Skills

1. Have a good set up

Make sure that your child can get to the sink and have soap readily available.  Have a step stool - necessary if your youngest child cannot reach the faucet handles.  We have one available in/near both of our bathrooms and sinks.  Make sure the child knows how to turn the faucet on and off.  If these basic steps are overlooked it may not be possible for younger children to actually wash their hands without assistance and develop poor habits, like not always washing their hands when it is needed.

2.  Practice with them.

Have a system and practice it with them.  Tell them to rinse their hands, soap them up on both sides, scrub and then rinse and dry.  Whatever you choose, make sure they know what the system is.  My kids also know to always wash their hands after they use the bathroom and before they eat.  We also wash our hands after playing outside as a general rule.

3.  Make it fun.

Have them sing or hum a song.  We do this with teeth brushing as well.  It helps my children brush longer, the same applies for hand washing.  Our favorite is the ABC's.  You can also reward children when they are first learning if needed.

4.  Have good hand washing skills yourself.

If your children or other kids see you exhibiting good hand washing skills they will be more likely to do what they see.

5.  Explain to them why we wash our hands in the first place. 

Share with your children about germs and staying healthy.  If they understand why you are asking them to wash their hands, they will be more likely to do it.

What other tips would you add?  I would love to hear them!

Ready for a flash giveaway?  Three readers will win a free product coupon for one free Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash OR one free Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash (expiration 6/30/15).  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  I was selected to participate in this campaign as a Purex Insider.  Thanks so much to Purex and Dial for providing me with a sample of both Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash as well as Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash to facilitate my review and coupons for this giveaway.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe Book Review

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger, Affiliate, and Max Lucado blogger.  I was provided with my own copy of Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Higher ground, what does that mean to you?  Is it simply ground that is elevated in some way making it higher than surrounding lower areas?  Does it have a spiritual meaning for you as well?  For me I think of raised alters, places of worship and holy ground - like when Moses removed his sandals.  These places have a connection and closeness to God.  Now imagine a modernized "higher ground", like your local coffee shop and you have the backdrop for Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado.  How does this cafe have a connection and closeness to God?  An internet connection taps into the divine and everyone is alloted one question to ask God - thus the God Blog is born.  Of course the "grounds" reference is clever.  Chelsea Chambers, the owner of the new Higher Grounds Cafe, is known for her amazing cupcakes and baked goods.  Similarly, I have a friend who loves to cook!  In fact, she is known for making yummy treats.  Her creations are always delicious and creative!  I was even able to snap of few photos of her goodies.

 Yummy treats

So, what if you could ask God one question?  Only one question - that is what customers who flock to the Higher Grounds Cafe have the opportunity to do from the "God Blog".  I wonder what I myself would ask.  I have to think hard about this one, my question cannot be wasted, right?  How can I be the best wife and Mom that I can be?  Yes, I think that is it.  And I hear Him saying, "Trust Me".   And I do!  It is not always easy, in fact, often life is downright hard but I do trust the Lord and His promises.  Do you?

You may know and love Max as a nonfiction author but this book is definitely fiction and it is wonderful.  I devoured it like a baked good and my palette is indeed content.  Max, you truly have a way of sharing Biblical truths throughout your books, even fiction ones and I love you for that.

 Grab your book and treat to boot!

You can read more about this book and/or purchase it from Family Christian here!  Please enter the giveaway below and check out the amazing video of this book as well, it is so fun!

Ready for a giveaway?  Family Christian is generously providing one of you with a $10 Appreciation Certificate.  Just enter the form below and good luck!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Time to Get Wild Throughout 2015

 The older four kiddos with Shamu

I have some amazing news, squeal - I have been chosen as a SeaWorld Texas Wildside Ambassadors for 2015!  I am beyond thrilled and honored to have been chosen to work with some amazing bloggers and a truly inspirational park.  And of course, the kids are over the moon excited.  Ready to hear about our first adventure this year - let's dive right in!

Saturday we left the house early to make it to SeaWorld's Kids Fest including a hearty Sesame Street Breakfast.  E was really excited to meet Elmo himself.  For those wondering, the Sesame Street Breakfast is an extra attraction that opens before the park.

We found our seats and the kids dove in to our breakfast buffet.  Breakfast included scrambled eggs, warm tortillas, French toast, breakfast potatoes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, assorted cereals, and assorted muffins as well as juice, milk, coffee, tea and water to drink.  The food was great and we were oh so hungry from our drive.  This was just the thing to fill us up for our day!

E loved her food.

A and D enjoyed their breakfast as well.

Then the real fun began.  Elmo and friends came to see the kids.  They met Elmo, Zoe, The Count, Cookie Monster and Big Bird!  The characters all came around to the tables (except Big Bird who was too tall) for a visit and there were lots of opportunities to take photos together.

Elmo at our table.

Zoe was next.

I love their faces in this photo.

 Zoe giving F high fives!

 Pure, pure joy!

D ran to Cookie Monster when she saw him.

These two were pals from the beginning.

 B and Cookie Monster

 Here I am with Big Bird and B and D.

David and F with Big Bird

 E wanted one more photo with Elmo

If your kids love Sesame Street and you are planning a trip to SeaWorld Texas I would highly recommend their Sesame Street Breakfast.  And right now for the month of April (on weekends only), when you purchase 1 adult reservation, you get 1 FREE child reservation.  You can see more details and purchase your reservations here.  You can also find out more about SeaWorld's Just For Kids activities here.

Disclosure:  I am a SeaWorld Texas Wildside blogger.  I received complimentary passes for myself and family and have the opportunity to receive other perks throughout the year.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thinkfun Maker Studio Propellers Set Review & Our Original Submarine

I know you are most likely familiar with Thinkfun but are you familiar with their Maker Studio construction sets?  There are three different sets: Gears, Propellers and Winches.  Each set includes complete instructions for creating four different builds as well as Engineering Challenges which will encourage young makers to experiment with friction, torque, propulsion and more!  These sets are designed for anyone ages seven and up who likes to create.

Thinkfun Maker Studio Propellers Set

Thinkfun recently sent us their Maker Studio Propellers Set to see what creations the kids could make.  First I had them build the Windmill and the Potato Chip Chopper (two of the suggested builds) to get a feel for all the pieces and what they had to work with.  I love that this set encourages using recycled items and creativity along with education and learning - a win for everyone!  And then the girls came up with their own original creation, a submarine!  They completely decked it out with fins, side windows with people, ladder, functional periscope and lots of fun decorations.  If you have children I would definitely recommend this set.  I love that it encourages young minds to think outside the box!

First, A and B made the Windmill.  We didn't have chip containers or longer containers at the time so they just used a toilet paper roll!

Following the directions

Adding the final touches

Yes, it works!  It would be a bit better if it were taller but it was still functional.

Posing with their finished Windmill


Close up view

Next, they made the Potato Chip Chopper.  By this time we had a few empty chip containers so they used one of these to build their final product.

Working on the Chip Chopper

Love the concentration



Close up view

And finally, their one of a kind submarine - this one they came up with all on their own - no instructions!  For this they used a milk jug, the top of a water bottle, 3 small bubble balls from prize machines, their Thinkfun Maker Studio Propellers Set, small people and decorations from around the house.  First they made and added a propeller.  Then they made a functional periscope (it goes up and down) and added a ladder with people complete with bubble on top.  Next, the girls added side fins and windows with people.  Finally they decked it out with decorations.  What do you think?  I think it is awesome!!

Making and adding the propeller

Creating the functional periscope

Their ladder complete with people

Here you can see the periscope and ladder

Side fins were added and bubble windows with people

They liked the way it looked with three side windows.

The bubble on top, created with the top of a recyclable water bottle.

In mid creation

Top view of their finished submarine.

Top, side view of their finished submarine.

Close up view of the top

Side view of submarine

A and B with their finished fully decked out submarine!

Disclosure: Thanks so much to Thinkfun for sending us their Maker Studio Propellers Set to see what the kids could create and facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.