22 Beach Hacks for a Perfect Day at the Shore

What’s not to love about the beach? You’ve got the soothing and gentle roar of the ocean, soft sand to dig your toes into, and a perfect panoramic paradise on all sides. Still, even when you’re in your happy place, you can usually find a few sneaky tricks to really improve the experience. Consider these seashore savvy beach hacks to keep your day going your way.

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15 Things to Do with Kids on Rainy Days

Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

Ah, not rain again! Finding things to do with kids on rainy days isn’t always easy, especially if the showers keep on coming. Gloomy days can put a major damper on your plans. You’ll have to think twice if you had hoped to do something outside, like go to the beach or go for a hike. When making plans with toddlers, rainy days can be especially problematic. If you are unprepared, many toddlers won’t understand why they can’t still do whatever activities you originally planned together. A thoughtful conversation can help. Thankfully, you can still find a variety of fun and memorable rainy day activities to enjoy with your little one. Consider these suggestions for fun rainy day things to do with toddlers age one and up.

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20 Fun Father’s Day Ideas: Gifts of Experience

Father’s Day is almost here! Are you ready? Most of us are not. Father’s Day always seems to sneak up on us in the shadow of Memorial weekend, graduations, the end of school, and the start of summer. Somehow it seems Dad’s day doesn’t have quite the same commanding presence as Mother’s Day. What’s up with that? Dad is just as loved and just as important, and thankfully the time is almost here to show him.

You did get Dad a gift, didn’t you? Oh, you didn’t? That’s okay – we have some ideas to help you along.

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Where to Get Boxes for Kids’ Activities

From birthday party props to rainy day fun, parents can find so many creative uses for cardboard boxes. Most of the time the problem isn’t coming up with exciting ideas—it’s more along the lines of figuring out where to get boxes for kids activities. The good news is, as long as you give yourself enough time, you can usually find some boxes in time for your project.

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Fun and Delicious Easter Cocktail Ideas

The weather is finally getting warmer, the birds are chirping and the trees are blossoming. The grass is green, the sun is shining brightly and it’s as if the whole world is saying: spring has finally come. Spring is here, and with it soon will come a favorite springtime holiday – Easter. To celebrate, consider sipping some fun and delicious Easter cocktails with family and friends!

Whether you’re relaxing with friends while the kids are out hunting for Easter eggs, having an Easter brunch or dinner, or if you decided to go celebrating with family or friends, there is no better way for you and your loved ones to commemorate this special day than with some delicious, refreshing and fun Easter cocktails. Mixing your own cocktails is always fun and easy to do ,and you can always add something new to spice up the flavor. On several occasions, we tried to help you with some of our Easter cocktail ideas, and this year we are back with lots of new and interesting recipes you’ll definitely be needing for a refreshing Easter drink. For teens and designated drivers, we have a whole array of tasty non-alcoholic Easter beverages that will look and taste just like the real thing. Take out your cocktail mixing equipment and read carefully because here we go!

Easter Cocktail Ideas – Fun and Beautiful!

Peep-tini

This is a really special Easter cocktail – it’s both yummy and insanely refreshing and just the thing you need to help you relax.

 Ingredients:     image001

1 ½ oz. Sobieski Lemon Meringue Vodka
½ oz. white chocolate liquor
1 oz. cream
Sugar
Peep for garnish

How to:

Dip rim of chilled martini glass into sugar to coat.  Add Sobieski Lemon Meringue Vodka, white chocolate liquor and cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into sugar coated martini glass.  Garnish with a Peep and serve.

 

Spring Fling

Looks stylish and elegant, tastes heavenly and is the hit at any cocktail party. Definitely one of our favorites!

 image002Ingredients:

1 ½ oz. CAMUS VS Elegance
¼ oz. pomegranate syrup
1 oz. cranberry juice
3 fresh strawberries
red rose for garnish

How to:

Muddle strawberries and liquids in a shaker tin. Fill shaker with ice cubes, and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a rose.

 

Bunny’s Tail

Ingredients:       image003

1 ½ oz. Lucid Absinthe
½ oz. orange flower water
1 tsp. white or clear crème de menthe
1 large egg white
Ice

How to:

In a cocktail shaker, combine the ingredients and shake vigorously until frothy and well blended. Strain into a tall chilled cocktail glass and serve.

 


Mimosa MistMimosa Mist  

Ingredients:    

1½ ounces Florida orange juice
5 raspberries
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce simple syrup*
Ice
Champagne

How to:

Muddle raspberries in cocktail shaker; add Florida orange juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake and strain into champagne flute; top with chilled champagne. Garnish with Florida orange twist and raspberry.

*For Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water in saucepan; heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely and refrigerate in covered container for up to 1 month.

Next – Fun and delicious non-alcoholic Easter cocktails for youngsters

Exercise Ideas and Fun Outdoor Activities for People and their Dogs to Enjoy

Puppies love playing outside in the summer!Staying fit and healthy is just as important for people as it is for dogs. A daily dose of exercise can positively impact one’s health, not to mention mood and outlook on life. Different breeds of dogs often benefit from different types of exercise. Certain intense exercises may not be appropriate for all breeds of dogs, while other types of exercise, like going for a walk, can be just perfect for people and dogs of all ages.

The right amount of exercise can help improve the quality of life as well as increasing the lifetime of dogs and humans. Consider these exercise ideas for people and their dogs to enjoy together:

•    Go for a walk. Try different walking routes a couple times a week to keep things interesting.

•    Go running or jogging together. Training for a 5k race or just trying to get back in shape can be a lot more fun when you have company. If your vet approves, consider taking your pup along for your jog.

•    Play fetch in the yard. Sticks, tennis balls, and other toys can serve as the perfect distraction from a dull day. Play fetch in the yard to give your pup some much-needed exercise. Toss the toys in different directions and teach your dog to bring the items all the way to you with commands like “closer” and “all the way”.

•    Play Frisbee. Teach your dog how to do a number of Frisbee tricks, whether you make them up as you go or you watch YouTube videos for the coolest tricks to replicate. Remember to keep your dog’s safety in mind at all times.

•    Run around at the park. A trip to the park can be fun for any dog. Explore a park with a lake or reservoir, a boat landing and marina, or a lot of ducks, fishermen, or other interesting features. A park with a running trail or course can be a lot of fun to experience with your dog.

•    Check out a local dog park or dog beach. Your dog will likely love a trip to the local dog park or a dog beach, even if you have to drive a little bit to get there. You can meet other dogs and allow your pup to be as social as he wants.

•    Host a puppy play date. Get the neighborhood dogs together or have your puppy’s friends over for a fun day in the yard. Set up a doggie obstacle course or plan for some Frisbee throwing, ball, and plenty of water and treats.

•    Try out a dog sport like agility or fly ball. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a center that offers agility courses or maybe even sheep herding. It can be a fun experience for you and your pet, so give it a shot.

•    Go for a hike. Find some trails or a mountain that has popular hiking trails. Take your dog, along with a picnic lunch, and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

•    Take a swim in a nearby lake. Some dogs love to swim, but you’ll never know if yours is one of them if you don’t give your pup a chance to try it. Toss the Frisbee a few feet out into the water to get your dog to brave it, but expect you might soon have a tough time getting your dog out of the water, too, once she sees how much she loves it.

These are just a few ideas for fun activities you can enjoy with your dog as a form of exercise. Before you begin an exercise regimen with your pet, consider speaking to your dog’s veterinarian. A good vet can advise on whether you dog can keep up with your mile pace or your preferred distance, as well as commenting on other activities you may tend to enjoy with your pet.

You can find fun and exciting, active things to do with your dog all year long. Some of the most fun activities seem to take place in the warmer seasons. Consider these suggestions to enhance the quality of life of your favorite pet.
Keep Reading: Top 10 Summer Activities to Enjoy with Your Dog…

Puj Snug Ultra Soft Spout Cover Review

Puj Spout CoverThe older my daughter gets, the more she loves bath time and playing in the water. Now that she’s been crawling and pulling herself up to stand, we’ve taken extra measures to ensure her safety and to protect her from potential mishaps. Bath time is no different – we have a soft foam spout cover for our bathtub to protect our baby from injury. We received a sample of the Puj Snug Ultra Soft Spout Cover free of charge for the purpose of review.

The Puj Snug Ultra Soft Spout Cover is made of a soft, durable, high quality EVA foam material that is protective and forgiving. The one we received is a pretty green color and all Puj made of 100% reclaimed material, making this product a nice choice in favor of green living. This spout cover is shaped like an adorable elephant whose trunk hangs down over the spout to protect baby’s delicate head and skin from bumps and scrapes.

The Puj spout cover is very easy to install onto the bathtub’s spigot and it has a hole at the top to allow you to adjust the shower and water settings. The foam is very easy to clean, yet it seems to stay relatively dry and clean on its own. A good wipe and rinse every so often keeps it clean and hygienic.

I did not notice any unusual odors or anything that could be considered a “con.” This spout cover took only seconds to fit over the spout, and I highly recommend it.

You can find this product in a pretty green (Kiwi) or blue color (Aqua), and also in white. The Puj Snug Ultra Soft Spout Cover retails for around $9.99 to $15 at Puj.com, Amazon.com, Diapers.com, BabyEarth, AlbeeBaby.com, and Newegg.com, to name a few. For additional information on this and other Puj products, check out www.puj.com.

Why a Pacifier Clip Is Absolutely Necessary for Your Baby

Pacifier Clip ReviewI don’t know why I didn’t register for a pacifier clip when I picked out all those other things for our baby daughter on the way. I guess it probably blended in with the 85 different styles of pacifiers at the baby stores, to the point where I didn’t even realize I was missing it. By the time my daughter hit the seven month mark, I’d lost enough paci’s to see the errors of my ways. I swiftly added a pacifier clip to my online shopping cart and life has certainly been a little easier ever since.

I think sometimes a pacifier clip can be one of those things you don’t realize you are missing until you have one. Similar to, how did we ever life without cell phones? Now that we have them, we seem to feel naked if we leave the house without ours or if we misplace it. The pacifier clip I bought offers so much convenience to my life now. I almost can’t understand how I survived without it.

I have personally lost pacifiers at the supermarket and countless other places, sometimes having to buy them on the spot or being reduced to my daughter’s “least favorite” paci’s while waiting for the new ones to come in the mail.

I’ve also lost them in the car while driving, and either had to pull over or listen to a screaming baby all the way to where I was going. Or if my husband was driving, I’ve climbed into the back seat to retrieve a tossed paci.

Pacifier clips come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, making it fun to choose a special one for your little one. You can pick a design you like (I chose pink cupcakes ), or simply get a colorful one you think the baby will enjoy.

Now that my daughter is into the fun throwing and tossing stages, she often throws things out of her car seat or stroller without me even knowing. Can’t tell you how many times this has happened at a drugstore, supermarket, or other location. And, to be honest, some places are just too gross to pick up the paci and reuse it, even if you do sterilize it. At least as far as I’m concerned…

So there you have it, from my own personal experiences, the reasons why I believe a pacifier clip is truly a necessary baby accessory. If you still aren’t convinced, you can get a pacifier clip for $5 to $7 on Amazon with free shipping and that easily saves you the cost of replacing just two pacifiers. And, my friends, if you think your baby isn’t going to lose just two pacifiers, please invite me to your dream world, because I could sure use a vacation like that. J

Top 10 Places to Take Your Kids during Their Childhood

Top 10 places to take your kids during their childhood

Time keeps rushing by, no matter what we try to do to slow it down. Suddenly our infants become toddlers and then our little girls and little boys become teenagers. Where does the time go? Sometimes we need to take a breath, and even more importantly, a break from the craziness of the whirlwind called life. Even if it’s only once a month or once every couple of months, families can have a lot of fun by planning a special outing together. Consider these top 10 places to take your kids during their childhood so you can show them the world and make some great family memories.

These activities should be suitable for kids of varying ages, and in most cases, should be enjoyable for both boys and girls. You might even find your children’s cousins or friends might enjoy these same activities and venues, so consider planning group outings as appropriate.

Here are our top 10 places to take your kids as they’re growing up:

1. The Beach – Sand and sea should be a part of every kid’s childhood.

2. The Mountains – Get the best of both worlds by vacationing for a few days on a lake in a mountainous region.

3. An Amusement Park (Or Disney World or a similar vacation if you can afford it!) Kids love this stuff!

4. A Museum – It is important to teach our youths about where we’ve come from as a society, related to culture, history, and more.

5. A Carnival or Fair – These memories live on longer than you might expect – choose one with rides, games, and great carnival snacks like funnel cake.

6. The Circus – The attractions at the circus can even amaze adults! Don’t forget your camera.

7. A Charitable Event – We should all teach our children to be thankful for what we have, and compassionate towards others who may be dealing with more challenges in life.

8. Camping – Outdoorsy fun can be great for the whole family. Make sure you plan enough time to go on a hike, fishing, and to cook over the campfire!

9. A Surprise Party for a Grandparent – These kinds of memories can help shape children’s futures and how they treat others, often by showing extra love and appreciation even when it isn’t always commanded or expected. Also, it’s a great opportunity to make even more memories with all the generations in your family.

10. A Family Reunion – Keep those family bonds strong and don’t get into the habit of seeing those in your extended family only at weddings and funerals. Let the kids enjoy playing with all their cousins, second cousins, and getting to know their aunts, uncles, and everyone else.

Remember, not all the things that you do as a family have to be costly. You can make some of the best memories of all doing things that are very affordable or free. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a nice sample of things that are social, playful, active, and educational. Please share your own favorite places to take your kids in our comments below!

Top 7 Things to Do with Your Baby during the First Year

Ask any parent and they’ll probably tell you that the first year flies by in a flash and you’re celebrating first birthdays in no time. We all mean to stop and smell the roses during that first year, but sometimes it goes by so fast we don’t even realize just how fast until that first year is almost gone. Sometimes a checklist or “To Do” list can be a great way to keep track of important things you want to do with your infant son or daughter before the first birthday arrives.

To help you ensure you capture some of those special moments or take advantage of some fun activities, we’ve compiled this list of things to do during your baby’s first year of life. Feel free to print this out, add this to your Pinterest page, or bookmark it for future use.

1. Take a picture every month with cute onesie stickers.

2. Make keepsake handprint and footprint artwork. They’ll only be this small for so long!

3. Get a photo with Santa Clause at the very least, and maybe with the Easter Bunny, too, if you like.

4. Get a family portrait done or be sure to take family photos around the holidays when everyone is dressed up.

5. Take a few videos of your little one doing something cute. You should also have your video camera or smartphone handy to shoot videos of first time crawling, first steps, laughter, singing, first words, and other important moments.

6. Write down the dates or rough estimates of when your baby met important milestones like laughing, smiling, crawling, sitting unsupported, and of course, first word, and first steps!

7. Make special time to visit grandparents and especially great grandparents. Capture as many generations as you can in a single photo. (And take lots of photos in general!)

These ideas are just some of the sentimental things you should do for memories and good times with your little one. Make sure you do all the day-to-day things as well, like singing, teaching ABC’s and 123’s, visiting friends for play dates, and playing together, among countless other important moments.

Do you have other special things to do in a baby’s first year of life? If so, please share your suggestions in our comments below!

Easter Egg Hunts for Toddlers and Older Babies

baby easter egg huntEaster brings a bunch of fun traditions for little ones, from dyeing eggs to pictures with the Easter bunny, decorating the home with bunnies and baskets, and of course, the annual Easter egg hunt. Even toddlers can participate in an Easter egg hunt, as long as the eggs and prizes are sized appropriately. My daughter is going to be just about 11 months when Easter arrives this year, so I am planning to do a little Easter egg hunt for her. She’s an older baby and I really think she will enjoy crawling around and opening up the eggs if she can figure it out!

Easter egg hunts for toddlers and older babies may be a bit different than your average plastic egg hunt for kids of any age. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan a fun Easter egg hunt for your baby or toddler.

· Be vigilant about choking hazards and include only appropriate prizes in the plastic eggs.

Baby and Toddler Easter Egg Hunt· Still keep a close watch on your baby or toddler, even if you think the prizes are safe.

· Look for jumbo eggs that are way bigger than standard plastic eggs. You can fit much bigger prizes inside these eggs!

· Think about small (but not too small) prizes that you can pop into the eggs to entertain your little one.

· Remember that less is more. At this age, your older infant or toddler will likely be amused and delighted to play this fun egg hunt game with all the bright colors and surprises, but don’t be surprised or disappointed if he or she loses interest before you do.

· Hide the eggs in obvious places where your baby or tot can crawl over and easily get a hold of the plastic egg.

· If your child doesn’t pick up on the purpose of the game right away, help him by opening p one of the plastic Easter eggs to reveal a fun prize! Play with the prize or offer it to your little one to get him excited.

· Even if you don’t have the greatest prizes for your baby, you can still have a lot of fun introducing her to an Easter egg hunt. Make it a fun game, spinning the eggs, dropping them a short distance, or letting them roll down your arm.

· Consider fun and age-appropriate “prizes” inside the eggs, like Puffs (baby cereal pieces), cute animal finger puppets, or little bath toys, for starters. These are my current prizes of choice for our daughter’s first Easter.

In all the excitement of your son’s or daughter’s first Easter egg hunt as a toddler or older infant, don’t forget to snap a few pictures! Have fun playing together and get some good shots of your little sweetie picking up the plastic eggs. (And be sure to send a copy of your favorite photo to all the grandparents or aunts and uncles who couldn’t be there to celebrate with you!)

© Danieldupuis | © Aberenyi | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images, respectively

Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl Review

Bamboobies Nursing CoverI tend to think of myself as more of a modest new mom, keeping breastfeeding as more of a private time between me and my baby. I appreciate the ability to see to her needs when and where she needs me, but I don’t really like to flaunt it or go crazy with everything in plain sight in restaurants or in public. It’s just not my style. I much prefer the comforts of home or a semi-private location like my car, if I get desperate. But that’s just me. To each her own!

With this desire of privacy in mind, I find it beneficial to keep a nursing cover on hand whenever possible in case a spontaneous feeding happened. I recently learned of the Bamboobies brand Chic Nursing Shawl, available in black or purple, which is a fashion statement as much as it is a great modesty accessory for breastfeeding moms. I received my own black Chic Nursing Shawl to try out free of charge for the purpose of this review.

First, the fabric is so soft and comfortable, made from Organic Eco-Soy material. I really enjoy how it hangs and moves easily to suit your needs and baby’s position. I received a size M-L, so it is a bit big for me to wear as a fashion statement. The pictures I’ve seen of other people wearing it that way do look quite nice, as the style resembles more of a shawl than the customary apron style.

I like to tuck the nursing cover inside the diaper bag or in my tote bag when we go anywhere that I might need to nurse the baby on the fly. It is super convenient, well-made, and it looks nice and discrete when in use.

The creator of the Chic Nursing Shawl is Kerry Gilmartin, a mother of three who dreamed up this stylish mommy accessory that serves a great purpose. The fabrics her company, Bamboobies, uses are sustainable and top quality, and she employs local seamstresses in Colorado to assist with production. These purple and black nursing shawls retail for $34.99 and you can find the Bamboobies Chic Nursing Shawl in more than 300 stores across the globe and online. For more information, check out www.buybamboobies.com.