Dear Parents, It’s Not Our Fault!

My kids tell me all the time when I embarrass them. I’ve got news for them – while I love them with everything I’ve got, they’ve also found ways to embarrass me, too!With reflection, it’s not my fault, and I don’t blame my kids either. The times we live in now are much different than when the parents of today were kids themselves. Digital technology has taken over nearly every facet of our lives, for us and our kids. Lost in the shuffle is the development of social skills and manners. Yet, these capabilities are still just as important as ever (ask any college recruiter, employer or someone new to your neighborhood)!Maybe that’s what drove me to write The SMART Playbook. It took years of researching and drafting, but I did it. I’m not an expert, I’m just a Mom – that is a Mom with … [Read more...]

4th of July Tissue Paper Craft for Kids

When I think of Summer, I think of all things red, white, and blue. With the 4th of July coming up I thought it would be great to make some decorations for the house that are perfect for the patriotic Summer holiday! Today, I bring you a fun and easy craft that can keep kids of all ages entertained for quite some time. Surprisingly, it held the attention of my 5 and 7 year old kids, as well as my 12 year old son. With only a few supplies you will have a piece of art that can hang anywhere in your home that needs a touch of patriotism.First, gather your supplies. You'll need:white school glue red, white, and blue tissue paper {cut in to 3x3 inch squares} scissors white cardboard a ruler a pencilNext, make your template. You could eyeball it as you go along, but since … [Read more...]

Easy Fourth of July Crafts for the Entire Family

In most areas around the country school is out for summer. For me, when school is out I need lots of activities to keep the idle hands of my little ones busy. What better way to do that than to decorate your home with red, white and blue!? After all, the Fourth of July is right around the corner!Today you'll find a craft for all ages. And ALL in preparation for our nation's Independence Day!/1/ Pop Rocks Marshmallow Pops - Pop Rocks were such a fun candy when I was a kid! Who am I kidding? I still love them! Combining Pop Rocks and marshmallows just seems genius. See for yourself!/2/ Hidden Flag Cake - Don't be intimidated by it's complicated appearance. This Flag Cake is really simple. What's more? Ice this cake with plain white icing, light some sparklers on top {like … [Read more...]

The SMART Back to Basics Summer Project. Bring it ON!

I’ve spoken to hundreds of moms and everyone seems to have the same complaint. How do we get our kids off electronics and back to basics? How do we teach them to connect with people on a deeper level? How do we teach them to search for a solution using their minds and not just with a push of a button?Sometimes I just want to shout, “Stop looking down and take the time to look up, connect and enjoy the moment.” I am determined to teach them the amazing benefits of life unplugged!And voila, that inspired me to set up my summer of getting back to basics plan begins! It’s time to look up, connect and experience real feelings, real emotions, real people, real nature – everything REAL and NOTHING electronic.I’m calling it 'My SMART Back to Basics Summer Project'. The goal is to … [Read more...]

Rise and Shine with Wholesome Choices!

This post was Sponsored by ShopRite but the opinions are all my own. Looking for healthy food choices?I always tell my kids that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. With our busy lives, it’s tempting to skip breakfast. STOP! Don’t do it. Instead, find ways to fill your pantry and refrigerator with wholesome choices that make breakfast easy and nutritious!ShopRite is the perfect store to help you fill that pantry with oh so yummy healthy choices. First off, did you know that ShopRite has launched a private label called Wholesome Pantry? It’s fantastic! It has a mix of organic and non-organic frozen, private, dairy and snack products. Everything has no artificial additives flavors or preservatives. The organic foods are USDA certified organic … [Read more...]

5 Reasons to Color and Create with Your Kids!

Ah, the power of the great box of crayons and the ordinary act of coloring! Is there anything better than watching your children doodle and create. Coloring is not just a way to occupy the kiddos but also a great way to teach valuable lessons and so much more. Here’s what I have come up with as my top benefits to coloring:Unleash CreativityWhether it is a blank piece of paper or a coloring page, it’s a chance to get the creative juices flowing! An opportunity to see what you can make with your kids or to challenge them to create on their own. There're no rules. No limits. Only a piece of paper as a starting point and then you choose your direction. Your kids will eventually even learn that they can map out a plan as they decide colors and the order.Teach Valuable … [Read more...]