Is this food still good?

August 31, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

When food passes the expiration date, you are probably left wondering if you should take the risk and keep the item or pitch it? Here are few things you might have in your kitchen that get a pass to stay or should head straight to the trash can.

milk

MILK-It’s good in your fridge at least one week past the expiration date. You can always give the jug the ole sniff test to be sure.

EGGS-Eggs stay fresh 3 to 5 weeks after the purchase. To ensure extra freshness be sure to keep the eggs in the body of the fridge and not on a shelf door.

BANANAS-You can store this fruit for up to five days in your refridgerator. The skin may turn brown, but when peeled the fruit is still fresh.

BREAD-It’s best stored on the counter for up to week after purchase. Avoid putting your grains in the fridge because they will go stale faster.

STEAKS & GROUND BEEF-If they have turned brown but have been in the fridge they are safe to cook and eat up to five days after thawing. Anything past five days is questionable and should probably be disgarded.

What We Love Right Now: 2011 Do It All Mom Calendar

August 25, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

We love, love, love this very functional calendar by Orange Circle Studios. Why? Well, it is perfect for busy moms, just like us. Here’s what’s to love about this calendar…

calendar

  • Unique Hanging Features – Hang your calendar on a bulletin board on right on your refrigerator.
  • Built-in Pen Holder with Pen – No more scrambling for a pen to note your son’s next Dentist appointment.
  • 17-Months of Organization – The calendar starts in August as you are getting ready for Back to School and runs until the following December (and is already offered for 2011)
  • Individual Tabs – record the activities for up to five family members! (need we say more?!)
  • Make Notes – Side columns for room for making notes the calendar doesn’t allow for
  • Organization Pockets – keep business cards, stamps, receipts, a good coupon-all in one handy place
  • 616 Fun, Colorful Stickers – Mark days visually with fun stickers for birthday, holidays and other events (we really, REALLY like this feature).

And last, but not least, another added bonus… The calendar version may not suit you, but it is also made as a softcover planner to-go. WE LOVE IT!

Where can you find this calendar? Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com

Get Back to Nature with These Crafts Inspired by the Outdoors

August 25, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Girl Talk, Kid Connection

The weather outside is cooling down, it’s back to school time, and that means one thing: Autumn is approaching! This is a wonderful time of year to get outdoors with your family. While you’re out playing and exploring, you can pick a few things mother nature has to offer and use them for crafts later on. Not sure what to make? Read up on our craft ideas.

Pinecone Birds

We’ve all heard of making pinecone bird feeders (which is still a great little craft), but what about a pinecone bird? It is so simple and the kids will love displaying them or playing with them when they are complete. You’ll need pine cone birdsorange pipe cleaner for feet, orange and brown felt for the wings and beak, wiggly eyes, small pom-poms, and a glue gun or craft glue.

To make the bird, glue the wiggly eyes onto the pom-poms and glue them onto the top of the cone. Then cut a small triangle out of the orange felt. Cut two trianlges our of the brown felt for wings and bend the pipe cleaner to make two feet and wedge into the cone. Let all glue dry before your children use them for forest fun!

Pumpkin Seed Art

Besides roasting the seeds, do you ever wonder what you can do with all those pumpkin seeds you’ve scooped out 9.02.04_Pumpkin_Seed_Artafter all the carving is done? Seed art is a great way to have some fun and use those seeds wisely. Wash all the seeds and let them dry out completely. Then using green, orange and black paint, let your children color and then glue the seeds onto paper to make a seed pumpkin. You can also use other paint colors and use your imagination to create other things too-an apple tree, tractor, flowers…the possibilities are endless!

Shell Creatures

It may be too cool to head to the beach, but if you traveled to the beach over the summershell creatures and picked shells you have all you need for our next craft idea. Use shells and wiggly eyes to create shell creations. Your child can use their imagination and think outside the box, creating any kind of creature of the shells. Use craft glue or assist with a glue gun to help your child make these cute creatures.

rock paintingRock Painting

Kids seem to love rocks and even start their own rock collections. Jazz up some of those boring stones with a  little paint. All of a sudden the rocks become wonderful works of art and can even become an added decoration to mommy’s garden or potted plants or a new desk paper weight for dad’s office. There so easy to make: paint, let dry, and enjoy!

Fun Playgroup and Play Date Ideas

August 25, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Play dates can be a wonderful tool for both the child and parent. Children learn to socialize, share, and just have fun with other kids their age. Play dates will help your child become more comfortable in group settings with other children and help boost your child’s imagination. If you brainstorming for fun, creative ideas for your next play date, here are a few for you to consider.

Play-doh and Pretzels Play Date

This theme is probably most ideal for ages two and up. It may get messy, but a good time will be had by all the kids. Purchase play-doh in different colors and let their imaginations go wild! You can even let them use some cookie cutters or a play-doh kit for making animals, squeezing and building. For snacks, you can keep can keep with the “P” theme. We chose pretzels, but the possibilities are endless…pancakes, pizza, popsciles, cheese puffs.

Painting Play Date

This might be a messy acitvity too, but sure to be fun! All kids love creating and expressing and painting is a great way for them to do it. Cover a table with newspaper and use watercolors as your painting tool. For smocks you can use some old t-shirts.

Meet Someplace

The park is a great place for a playdate. There are playgrounds for the kids, you can play freeze tag, or even a good game of red light, green light. After all the playing is done you can have a lunch picnic with your playgroup. Fast food restaurants, while not the healthiest choice, also offer a great playdate scene. You can eat, let your kids play at the playground (which is often indoors, so this is a great idea for rainy days), and also socialize with the other moms while the kids play.

Do Something That Goes Along with the Season

Try visiting a pumpkin patch in the fall or seeing a holiday play in near Christmastime. In the spring you can hit the zoo or a local splash park in the summer. These activities may not be free, but will definitely provide a great experience for the kids.

Free=Fun: Look-Up Free Activities in Your Area

Many local libraries and some bookstores do a free story time as often as once a week. It is a great 30 minute activity. Afterward you can take the kids to lunch or to the park to play. During the summer months, Regal Cinemas offers free movies once a week. Check your local venues and see what your city has to offer!

What Kind of Mom Are You?

August 23, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

What is your Mommy Style?

Take our fun, quick Mom quiz to identify your “Mom Type”. Keep up with your answers and see your results at the bottom of the page.

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1. What song best describes your life?

a) I’m Every Woman b) Material Girl c) I Got You Babe d) The Gambler

2. What is your must have accessory?

a) day planner b) designer handbag c) bubble bath and must have relaxation products d) refillable water bottle

3.  Which baby gear item is your favorite?

a) Ergo Baby Carrier b) Pram or Chic European Stroller c) Organic Sling/Wrap d) BOB Jogging Stroller

4. Which vacation seems most interesting to you?

a) Kiawah Island-It’s clean, family oriented, and has great shopping

b) Paris-Who needs a beach when there is great cuisine, sight seeing, and a 5-star hotel calling my name?!

c) Disney World-I’m a big kid at heart so this would be great for me as well as my kids.

d) Whistler-I love the outdoors and this could be a great getaway for me and my hubby.

5. What would be your dream job?

a) CEO-Not only am I organzied, but every one takes me seriously and what I say goes.

b) Fashionista-I already keep up with all the latest trends so this would be not only easy, but very interesting to me.

c) Teacher-I already love my kids so much what’s another 15 more?

d) Olympian-I’m very competitive and sporty.

6. What do you love the most about your family?

a) We know how to stay organized and keep up with all our hectic schedules.

b) Our sense of style. All of us know how to accessorize!

c) Keeping up with our memories. I love to scrapbook and keep a digital book up to date with all our yearly happenings.

d) A family that plays together, stays together. Our bike rides and trips to the park create wonderful family memories.

7. What’s hanging on your fridge?

a) This week’s to-do-list and the grocery list for the week

b) An inpirational clip from a magazine-It’s never too late to redecorate or dream to be 10 lbs lighter.

c) Family photos and the kid’s artwork

d) Our family calendar packed with this week’s Zumba class times and the kids’ soccer game schedules.

If you answered mostly a’s…You’re a multi-tasking mom. You are organized, can run the carpool, and drop off an pick up at various places in a flash. You make time for everyone’s activities, including your own, and still look good in the process.

Your celebrity mom match up: Brooke Burke

If you answered mostly b’s…You’re a hip mom. You love looking your best and keeping up with all the latest trends for yourself, your famiy, and your home. You might let looking good come before your kids sometimes and ordering in for dinner every night doesn’t bother you-as long as it is from the best restaurant in town.

Your celebrity mom match up: Victoria Beckham

If you answered mostly c’s…You’re a classic mom. You may not be June Cleaver, but you’re pretty close! You love keeping up the house, aren’t afraid to drive the latest mini-van, and you love doing things to better your family. You’re the room mom of your child’s class and have a great sense of style.

Your celebrity mom match up: Jennifer Garner

If you answered mostly d’s…You’re a sporty mom. You make motherhood look good with your casual, sporty style. You and your family enjoy the great outdoors. You make time for workouts and keep up with a good routine. Your kids enjoy team sports and you’re there for them, every game, cheering on the sidelines.

Your celebrity mom match up: Kendra Wilkinson

Tips for Making the Most of the First Days of School

August 18, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

It’s hard to believe that summer vacation is ending and it is time to send kids packing back to the classroom. This can be an axious time for not only your child, but yourself. We’ve got some great advice to help you and your child start the school year off right.

backpack_girls

Routines

This is an important part of everday parenting, but after a lazy, care-free summer getting back into a good morning routine and bedtime routine. Start adjusting about a week before school starts by putting your child to bed at a good bedtime so you know they’ll be rested for the day. If your school doesn’t use uniforms, work with your child the night before on picking out clothes for the next day. This will really cut down on decision making in the morning.

Throw a Back to School Party

Give the kids a reason to celebrate! Have a back to school party at your house, community pool, or park. You can host your party just before the school year begins or you can wait until the first week of school and invite all your child’s new friends in the class!

Getting To and From School

This can be a big worry, especially for young children. If they will be riding the school bus, make sure your child knows where the bus will pick up and drop off. Riding the bus can be overwhleming-lots of noise, frustrated drivers, mixed age groups-so be sure to listen to your child. If they seem afraid or frustrated with riding the bus, be sure to address it with the driver or their classroom teacher.

Make it Fun

The first days of school should be memorable, all axieties aside. Pump your child up about a great school year. Choosing a new backpack or school supplies together is a good way to get them a little more excited about the school year starting. Don’t forget your camera if your child is entering Pre-K or Kindergarten. Snapping a picture of your child on the first day of school is a great keepsake (don’t forget to take one with their teacher too!). You can even send a disposible camera to school with them to take a few pictures of friends during recess time. Your child will love looking back on the photos later (plus they can be used for a collage craft later).

Quick Tips to Stop Yelling Today

August 6, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection, Mental Health

When your child is driving you crazy, it can seem as though they are always misbehaving. Whether you have one child or three, disciplining remains one of the hardest parts of parenting. Here a free tips to kick yelling to the curb!

1. Breathe. You know people say to do this all the time, but it really does work. When you asked your child to pick up their toys for the millionth time and everything is still laying just where you last saw it, you are probably on the verge of exploding. Instead of ranting take a minute to inhale, exhale and repeat. Breathing techniques have been known to really reduce stress levels and can even help the onset of a headache. Once you taken a moment to breathe you’ll be ready to deal with your child in a much calmer manor.

2. Address the Issue. When you teach your child to write, ride a bike, or even use the potty, you teach them in a very positive way. So when your child hits, kicks, or bites you should do the same. Address the issue with your child-young or old-and talk about why the behavior is wrong and shouldn’t be done again.

3. Mean Business without Being too Mean. You can still speak a firm tone without yelling at your child. Get down on their level and speak face to face in a soft, but firm voice about what happened and why it was wrong.

4. Have Clear Rules. If you are constantly making threats such as, “If you don’t eat your peas, you’ll go to time out” or “If the room isn’t clean by the count of 10 you’re not getting a snack” but you don’t follow through, your child will continue to test you. Say what you mean and mean what you say! This will let your child know that you are boss and will carry through with your words.

5.  Give Praise for OK Behavior. Maybe not every toy was picked up when asked, but it was a good attempt. Doing it right the first time is great, but doing some of the job is progress as well and should not go unnoticed.

How do you keep your cool when disciplining your child?

Yummy Lunch Box Ideas!

August 6, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection, Meals In Minutes

It’s that time of year. The kids are heading back to school and if you are a working or a stay at home Mom the thought of coming up with lunch ideas is looming over your head. From daycare to the school cafeteria, we’ve got your covered!

First things first, you’ll need to start with a sectioned dish/tupperware container. This will make packing a lunch much more simple. You’ll probably also want to get a thermos if you do not have one already. Second: Don’t stress! Last night’s left overs can make a great meal the next day for your child’s lunch. Sandwiches be gone!

Idea #1: Wraps. These are great alternatives to sandwiches. We suggest whole wheat wraps, topped with your child’s favorite meat, shredded cheese and condiment. Roll it into a tight log and slice in half. For sides slice some strawberries or peaches and baby carrots with some dipping sauce. For big eaters you can also pack a thermos of tomato soup-yummmmmmmm!

Idea#2: Meat and Cheese Skewers. This lunch idea is very simple and will take just a few minutes to prepare. All you’ll need a meat and cheese pack from your local grocer’s deli section. Many times the cheese is already cut into cubes and the meat in bite size pieces also. On toothpicks alternate meat and cheese, add wheat crackers, fruit and a hard boiled egg as sides.

Idea #3: As fall approaches and the weather cools soups are a great lunch option. Pack their favorite soup in a thermos and add cheese and crackers as a side.

Idea #4: Veggies and Pasta. We love this idea because it can be served hot or cold. Rotini pasta and broccoli topped with Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella. For sides create a trail mix and add a simple fruit such as grapes.

Idea #5: Classic PB and J. Every child loves a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Throw in a cheese stick, orange slices and cucumber bites for a very nutricious lunch.

Idea #6: Left over sandwich tray. If you hosted a party over the weekend, use left over sandwiches for your child’s lunch and serve with apples, baby carrots and your child’s favorite snack cracker.

Idea #7: Spaghetti Night Done Right! Left over spaghetti in a thermos will make a delicious lunch! Send a yogurt cup and granola bar as sides.

Idea #6
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Idea #4
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Idea #5
Idea #5

We loves these lunch ideas and hope you do too. Not only are they great to pack for school lunch, but they are easy to make for lunch at home too. Do you have a lunchbox idea? We’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment at the bottom of this post. We can’t wait to hear from you!