What We Love Right Now February 29, 2012: Celebrating Dr. Seuss!

February 29, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

This Friday, March 2 marks the birthday of the one and only Dr. Seuss! As a former teacher March 2 was always a fun and special day to celebrate with my students. Now that I stay at home, I spend time with the my own children celebrating this super seussical day. Friday is also national Read Across America Day and a great time to focus on a few of your child’s favorite books and set aside some special reading time.

Wit the hype of The Lorax opening on Friday as well, we thought we would dedicate this post to everything Seuss! From our favorite books to party ideas, here are a few things we love from Dr. Seuss.

Top Seuss Book Picks

Some the of the funniest and most engaging books for children are these witty rhyming tales.

green-eggs-hamcat-hathorton-hears-whohop-popsif-ran-circus

{all books can be purchased at Barnesandnoble.com}

Dr. Suess Game

We love this fun boardgame based on the book Horton Hears a Who! Your child saves the Who’s while working on memory skills, cooperation, and more!

hortongame

{Purchase this game here}

Our Top Seuss Party Planning Ideas

You don’t have to have a birthday to have some fun Seuss-style! Celebrate this Friday with a few of these cute supplies and ideas.

“We looked!
Then we saw him
step in on the mat!
We looked!
And we saw him!
The Cat in the Hat!”

The Cat in the Hat is one of the most beloved Suess stories. This hat is perfect for everyday play or for your next Seuss themed party.

catinthehathat

{via}

Planning a Seuss themed birthday party? We loved these great ideas from Stylish Children Parties.

We especially like those party hats! They look like a pretty simple project.

  • If you’re party planning on a budget, try doing simple DIY projects for table decorating. A few yards of red and white striped fabric makes a great table cloth or runner. Another new fad is using a roll of wrapping paper as a table runner. What a clever idea that is!
  • Check craft stores or teacher supply stores for large Cat in the Hat cardboard cut out or other displays. They are usually inexpensive (or free if the store is changing out products/displays for the season!) and make a great addition to party decor.
  • If you’d like to add a little One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish fun to your party Swedish Fish make a fantastic party treat! Add them to small fish bowls and use them as centerpieces or party favors for your guests!
  • Seuss party plates are fun for any day or your a special gathering. We love these from birthdayexpress.com.

partyplates

  • Don’t forget lots of balloons! Add an Oh The Places You’ll Go touch to your party by filling a room with helium balloons!
  • If you have younger children, read Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? Little party goers will love repeating all the sounds from the story.
  • Like Green Eggs and Ham? Your kids will enjoy waking up to a plate of their very own green eggs and ham. Just add a little blue food coloring to your eggs before you scramble them up!

We can’t end our blog on Seuss fun without noting that The Lorax opens in theaters this Friday! What a fun tale coming to life on the big screen!

TheLoraxCover

And did you know there’s a Lorax app? Yep, you should download it for your kiddos!

Fun Ideas for Celebrating Leap Day

February 28, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Leap Day only comes around once every four years so why not have a little fun with it?  Usually at this point in winter everyone in my house is itching to get moving and have a change of pace and scenery. What might be an otherwise dreary winter day can now be a day of full of fun activities for you and your kiddos!

leapday

Take a Leap

Well, don’t do anything too drastic, but literally leap for Leap Day! Find a indoor gym to go to or do some fun leaping and jumping contests at home. This will get you all energized and will probably wear your kids out (making for a nice Leap Day rest time later in the day!).

Frog Fun

When you think of creatures that leap usually frogs come to mind first. Try playing a frog themed game like Leap the Lily Pad. Just make some lily pads out of green tagboard or construction paper and hop from pad to pad, much like musical chairs.

Read some Frog and Toad books. If you don’t have any at home, visit your library for an afternoon outing of reading fun.

If you have a local aquarium nearby, plan a visit to check out the frogs and other amphibians.

Create a Leap Day Time Capsule

timecapsule

{via}

What a neat idea–a time capsule your child can create and bury to dig up later and recall all that was going on in the world on February 29, 2012!

Do Something Extra Special

Since Leap Day only happens once every four years, use it as an opportunity to do something our of the ordinary. Here are a few ideas:

  • Visit some place you’ve never been before–a museum, zoo, or nearby town
  • Have ice cream for breakfast or dinner
  • Catch an afternoon movie at the theater
  • Pick your kids up early from school to do something out of the ordinary (although getting to leave school early for no reason would be pretty special in itself!)
  • Let your child dictate the day; play the games they want to, watch what they’d like to watch on TV, etc.

Happy Leap Day!

Best Baby Shower Gifts: Our Top 10 Picks

February 27, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection, Pregnancy

If you’re heading to a baby shower and trying to find a great gift for the mom-to-be we’ve got a few ideas. While it’s always nice to get something for the expectant mom of her registry of choice, something a little personal makes a great gift too. This can be in addition to some of her wanted items or you can create a unique basket of goodies yourself! Finding just the right gift might be a little hard, but we have a few ideas to get you started.

1. Guess How Much I Love You

guesshowmuch

This book was first published in 1994 and is one of the sweetest stories. Big and Little Nutbrown Hare share such a love for one another, much like the new mommy-to-be and her little one will share as well.

2. Robeez

No matter the season these cute little shoes will be a big hit! With styles for boys and girls you’re bound to find the cutest little shoes for your friend’s baby. Best of all, they have a variety of sizes. What a cute addition to an outfit or two and–whala!–your baby gift is complete!

robeez

3. Bouncy Seat

Many first time moms think they can live without a baby bouncy seat or a swing and then when the baby arrives and they are sleep deprived they’re wishing they had one–or both! If the mom-to-be doesn’t have a bouncer on her registry or if it has not been purchased yet, get it! She’ll be thanking you later! We love this one from Fisher Price. It plays songs, vibrates, lights up…All the bells and whistles! ($59, amazon.com)

bouncy seat

4. Lucy Socks

These cute socks speak for themselves! So super cute. The mom-to-be will love putting her little girl’s feet into these! ($26, uncommongoods.com)

lucysocks

5. Dr. Suess Gift Basket

These super cute Dr. Suess bath towels are cute for either gender. Create a gift basket by adding some bath toys and a couple of Dr. Suess book for the newborn’s book collection. (pottery barn kids)

drsuesstowels

6. Toy Cars

Many moms don’t think about registering for smaller items, like toys. These cars are a great gift for moms expecting baby boys. They are easy to hold and come in bright, vibrant colors. (12.95, land of nod)

car

7. Clifford the Big Red Dog Ring Stacker

Who doesn’t love Clifford the Big Red Dog? A favorite for years, and sure to be for years to come, this toy is soft, safe and great for baby boys or girls. Again, the book lovers in us say to add a Clifford book or two to complete your gift. (9.99, amazon.com)

cliffordtoy

8. Beach Romper

Is the mom-to-be expecting a summertime baby? These beach rompers are cute for those warm beach days and can be personalized with the baby’s name! (19.95, personalizationmall.com)

beachromper

9. OXO Tot 4-piece Feeding Set

Babies always need bibs and bottles so why not add this to your gift of feeding essentials? This feeding set is perfect for mom to use as baby gets older and then great for baby once they begin self-feeding. ($20, amazon.com)

feeding set

10. Sophie the Giraffe

This teether has been around for over 50 years and is a favorite of both babies and their mommas! Make this giraffe an addition to some great things on the mom-to-be’s registry like burp cloths, diapers, pacifiers, bottles…The possibilities are endless! (under $20, amazon.com)

sophie

Super Easy Garlic & Ranch Chicken

February 23, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Meals In Minutes

Keep this one in the recipe books for years to come because it’s sure to be a family favorite! The chicken is juicy and tastes great too!

ranchchicken_sharpmoms (800x484)

Super Easy Garlic & Ranch Chicken

What You Need;

1 3 pk. boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 cups mayo

1/2 packet Hidden Valley Ranch ranch dressing mix

1 sleeve Ritz Crackers

garlic powder to taste

parchment paper

Fix it Fast

1. Mix garlic powder, ranch mix, and mayo in a shallow bowl.

2. In another bowl, crush Ritz Crackers.

3. Dip chicken in ranch mixture. Then dip in cracker crumbs.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this is non-stick and works so well!)

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes.

Goes well with mashed potatoes, veggies, and garlic rolls.

**To make 2 packs of chicken (6 breasts), use the whole pack of dressing mix and 1 cup mayo.

Celebrate National Margarita Day! Easy to Make Margarita

February 22, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

It’s National Margarita Day! When it’s 5 o’clock somewhere in your town, kick back with this yummy mix courtesy of Allrecipes.com. What a easy to make margarita (and delicious, too)!

Speaking of margaritas, have you seen these super cute cups made by Tervis? Order yours here.

terviscupterviscup2

Happy Margarita Day!

What We Love Right Now February 22, 2012: 50 Frugal Finds for Spring

February 22, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

Come on warmer weather! We’re ready for spring, sunshine, and a few fresh looks for the new season! You don’t have to deplete your bank account to add some color and newness to your wardrobe and home. We ran across Redbook’s 50 Frugal Finds Under $50 and couldn’t resist sharing!

A few of our favorite finds from the list are…

bracelet

Can’t Make it to the Gym? Burn Calories with these Household Chores

February 20, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

cleaningmom_sharpmomsFinding time to work out can be tough, especially when you’re a busy mom. Those jam-packed schedules and never-ending chores tend to leave little to no time for yourself, but with a little creativity you can turn your everyday chores into a nice little workout. Best of all, you’re probably already doing most these things around your house, so why not add a little calorie burning into the mix!

1. Add Speed to Your Sweeping

If you’re sweeping or mopping, turn on some up beat music and add some speed to your step. Give yourself a finish time goal as well to help challenge yourself and intensify the activity, making it more of a workout.

*For an even better workout, scrub your floors the old fashioned way, with a bucket and scrubber, and burn upwards of 190 calories.

2. Backyard Clean Up

Raking the leaves is something most homeowners dread, but if you do it consistently for about half and hour you will burn around 170 calories!

3. Pick up the Pace When Vacuuming

If you have indoor pets and or small children, you probably find yourself vacuuming a few times a week. Don’t shy away from this chore! Try vacuuming at a faster speed. You’ll work out your arms and legs and burn about 85 calories each time you run the vac.

4. Don’t Put Off Car Duty

Pick a sunny weekend afternoon to wash your cars yourself. It’s great for your arms and burns about 150 calories!

5. Make Your Windows Shine!

Cleaning windows and glass cabinets is a great workout for your arms. You may not clean your windows every week, but if you add it to your cleaning routine just twice a month you’ll lose shed 150 calories.

Uses for Leftover Valentine’s Day Candy

February 16, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

It’s inevitable. It seems with every holiday candy is a staple. Valentine’s Day is definitely one of those holidays. Between class parties, goodies from grandparents, plus what we buy our children there can be an overwhelming amount of candy laying around. Rather than consuming it all in one fellow swoop (which is not a totally bad idea), think about using those sweet treats in other ways. Here are our top five ways to use your leftover Valentine’s Day candy.

chocolates_sharpmoms

1. Turn conversations hearts into art. Let your kids use them to glue onto drawings. They can be used as the words in conversation bubbles on their artwork.

2. If you have a lot of milk chocolate leftover, consider melting it and use it to make chocolate covered strawberries or pretzels.

3. Still have even more chocolate? Melt it to use as a dip for bananas, strawberries and graham crackers.

4. Chop up filled chocolates and add them to your next batch of brownie or cake mix.

5. Spray paint conversation hearts green and use them to make shamrocks–St. Patrick’s Day is up next you know!

How do you use your leftover Valentine’s Day candy?

What We Love Right Now February 15, 2012: Bright and Bold

February 15, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Fashion Trends, Girl Talk

If you’ve been watching fashion trends for spring then you’ve probably noticed the brighter the hue, the better! Don’t shy away from bold colors. Make a statement with your wardrobe and accessories this spring. If you’re ready to try this trend, here are a few of our favorite pieces to get you started.

We love these bright shorts from Ann Taylor Loft. They are just the amount of color so if you’re not too sure about wearing such a bright shade then this is a good way to ease into the trend.

loft shorts

Pink has always been one of our favorite colors. This hot pink chiffon dress is perfect for a spring night out or a sunny summer day. If it’s too bold for you try toning the color down with a cardigan or denim jacket.

hotpinkdress

If you like stripes, try this boat neck tee that incorporates the pattern, plus a bright color!

brightstripes

If you’re still not feeling brave enough to wear a bright colored piece, then give your outfit a ray of sunshine with accessories that have a pop of color. Here are some of our favorite finds:

earrings

Betsey Johnson Red Stripe Earrings

bracelets

Enamel Multicolored Bangles


necklace1necklace2necklace3

Three great necklaces all at very affordable prices (bonus!)

{all images via retailers website}

What We Love Right Now February 1, 2012: Spring Yard Sale Tips

February 1, 2012 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

yardsale_sharpmomsWe know, it’s only February, but spring is just around the corner and when it gets here you might just get spring fever and want to declutter your home by doing some spring cleaning. If you’re like us, you’ve got things lying around that you no longer need. If you’re in an area that lends itself to an outdoor yard sale this could be a great way to get rid of a few unwanted items (and if you’re not, then you can always gather up those things and donate them to charity). If you’ve never held a yard sale, you might be a little unsure of just where to begin. Our tips will help you get started!

1. Go through your home room by room and collect unused items.

2. Once you’ve got the items collected, begin sorting by categroy (home items, clothing, toys, etc.). You can but each category in its own box.

3. Price your items. Some folks like to do a blanket price for some things i.e. All stuffed animals $1.00. You certainly don’t have to do this, but it makes shopping for your buyers a little easier.

4. Set a date. If you live in a larger neighborhood, you might be doing a sale together. In that case, this will be taken care of. If not, pick a weekend that looks to have a good forecast. Be sure to put signs up at the front of you neighborhood, as well as on near by roads. If your home is the only one hosting a sale in you neighborhood, balloons on the mailbox are always a good idea.

5. Be sure to have a lot of small bills and coins on hand for making change.

6. Recycle your old plastic grocery bags and use them for purchases.

7. Set up your sale the night before (in your garage or under the carport). If it rains, at least things will be in a covered spot.

8. Be ready for early shoppers. Even though you stated your sale won’t start until 8 a.m. there will always be a few early birds.

9. Stay firm on your prices early on, especially on bigger items. You can always come down on your price later in the day.

10. Be sure to place your larger items towards the front of the sale as an eye-catcher. Many yard sale regulars will do drive bys to see if the sale is “worth” visiting.