The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Series

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m a strong believer in giving to charities that will help people and animals in need.  I donate to charities like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , Autism Speaks, Feeding America, PETA and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a student series and I’m proud that schools in my area are participating with this campaign.  I set up a page and you can click on the link below.  Any donation and I mean any is greatly, hugely appreciated!  THANK YOU!

http://events.lls.org/pages/cpa/PaxtoniaElementarySchool/AMercado

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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A Dream Come True Playground

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

What if all playgrounds had a name like this?

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Or were developed in this manner?

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I think the world, at least the parenting world, would be a much happier place.  My sister-in-law, Vera, found this playground while searching for places to visit during our vacation in Virginia.  We couldn’t get out of the car fast enough to explore this place and yes, there was a huge parking area.  Brilliant!

I greatly appreciate a well thought out and constructed playground.  This place was so visually beautiful with the rainbow colors.  The play areas were age appropriate and even had a square umbrella on top that shielded the sun.  Again, brilliant!  There’s absolutely nothing like this where I live so my girls had a blast here.

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I love the names of each area.

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My youngest, Sophia, enjoyed making sounds in the musical area and perfecting her balance.

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There was your traditional swings as well as these that are for children who need additional support.  I love that concept as well as the safety guard that goes over the child (Sophia was getting off the swing so you can’t see the guard, which is in the back).  There was even a swing for children in wheelchairs.  I had never seen that before and I immediately thought, “That is so wonderful!”  Sorry, I totally flaked on this one ’cause I didn’t take a pic of the swing.  I was just too mesmerized with this place and running after Sophia.

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My oldest, Olivia,  and her cousins, AJ and Victoria loved the hammock.  I mean, c’mon, look at those smiles.  They’re beaming!

Of course, there’s a great story on how this playground came to life and if you would like to check it out then go here:

http://playandpark.com/news/press-releases/play-park-structures-helps-make-dream-come-true/ and here

http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/dream-come-true-playground

I say, “GREAT JOB!” in making this playground and including all of these features for all kids.  I hated leaving it behind and wished that something as beautiful as this was closer to me.  I can’t wait to visit it again and hopefully go more than once.

This place is definitely a dream come true and worth a visit.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Funny face friday and congrats are in order

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

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I made this funny face lunch for my oldest daughter today.  It consisted of a mini raspberry muffin/doughnut, two mayo and cheese sandwiches, apple slices (in a bowl to look like a hat), mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, a big cherry tomato, and green salad.  I wasn’t able to make another one for my youngest because she was resting due to a fever. 😦  Once she woke up I gave her liquids, Cheerios, and apple slices.

I also wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to my lil’ sis whose been a great supporter of my blog (reading and liking my post entries).  She was promoted today to Detective in the NYPD!

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We’re very proud of you Detective!

Keep shooting for the stars and hitting them hard, but always stay safe!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Mini doughnut pan

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Here in New York City, we are battling a heat wave.  The temperature is above 90 degrees, but the humidity makes it feel like 100 and above.  It’s horrible and disgusting.  We’re doing our best to entertain ourselves at home with the AC at full blast.

Enter our newest purchase, the Wilton mini doughnut pan, which we got at AC Moore craft store with a 50 percent coupon.  My husband fell in love with this pan along with the savings (the current plan is to get a second pan to make it less time consuming).  He tried it out first with Jiffy’s chocolate muffin mix, but he forgot to take pictures.  When it was my turn, I tried the raspberry muffin mix and it was definitely a learning experience.

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I was able to make two batches (24 total).  The first batch I put too much batter in the pan so the muffin/doughnuts came out like little bowls (open on one side, which is cool because you can put something inside for example whipped cream and eat/present it like that or just eat it as is).  The second batch I put less batter but I still got some that came out like bowls.  It’s a trial and error kind of thing.  I’m figuring that with more batches I’ll get the right consistency one day.  I’m looking forward to making cake doughnuts, that’s next, and of course finding a good doughnut recipe to try.  Duh!  In the meantime, these muffin doughnuts were delicious and a big hit with my daughters.  I also like that they’re small so consumption can be kept under control.

Bon appétit!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Think Breakfast

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Yesterday was my daughter’s last day as a Kindergartener!  It’s definitely amazing how I can feel as if time flew on by, but at the same time the jitters and anxiety over the first day of school are still fresh in my mind.  Like they say, “it was just yesterday…”, and that’s how I’m feeling.  With time, the unknown (school/Kindergarten) became familiar, but now we’re full circle and back to the unknown (1st grade).  I say unknown because I have absolutely no recollection of my time in the early years of school and this is my first kid entering the school system, so there you go.  Now, I can only hope that some of her new friends are placed in her new class and she’s given a great teacher like the one she had before, whom by the way I want to thank once again for writing a lovely message in my daughter’s Dr. Seuss “Oh, the places you’ll go! ” book.  Her message made me cry because it was so nice of her and I couldn’t wait to show it to Olivia.  I did debate on whether or not to keep the book and its messages a secret for a great surprise in the future, but then I don’t think the memory of each teacher would be fresh.  At the end of every school year I’m going to do my best to get a personal message from each teacher written in that book just for Olivia.  It’s a great idea and I knew once I heard about it that I was going to do it.  I’m very happy that I did.

Changing subjects and making the title of this post relevant, I wanted to share with you a great program that was introduced to my daughter at school.  It brings awareness to eating a healthy breakfast.  There’s even a song and dance called “Think Breakfast,” which Olivia performed with her class at her school during their annual festival dance.  She also received a water bottle and a pedometer (promoting hydration and exercise).  The pedometer was a hit with Olivia.  It simply fascinated her that this little gizmo could count her steps.  Of course, she put it to the test by walking around our apartment and stopping every so often to see the latest number.

Olivia: What number is this?

Me: Two hundred and fifty-eight

Olivia: Whaaaat?  That’s a really big number.

Me:  It sure is.  You’re walking a lot.

Olivia: I want to walk until it says 1 mile.  What number is that?

Me: Ten thousand, one, zero, zero, zero, zero.

Olivia: Whaaaat?

🙂

Check out the website for recipes, videos, activity pages, and games.  I had both girls watching the video, learning the dance steps and singing the song.  A funny and wonderful memory just for me.

http://www.thinkbreakfast.com/

Take good care all.

Until next time…

A glance at last weeks school lunch from home

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

Here’s a glance at what I made/put together for my daughter, last week, for her school lunch.  We try our best to send her off to school with a nutritious, balanced meal.  I’m glad to say that there are more days where her food containers come home empty.

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I try not to repeat the main dishes, but if I have to it’s usually the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or the pizza bagels, which are my daughter’s faves.  I give her nuggets once a week because we all know process food is not exactly healthy.  I also abide by the  recommended serving sizes.  In regards to the serving size for the nuggets I take one away (serving size is 5 nuggets, but I give her 4) because I also give her tater tots (serving size is 9, but I give her 6).  It’s all about moderation, plus including the veggies and fruits that we need.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Double the fun

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

The other day I made my first double “happy faces” lunch.  Since my youngest, Sophia, is getting bigger, I decided to surprise her and her sister with this special lunch.  Unfortunately, Sophia, who’s a picky eater one day and a hungry little monster the next, decided that it was a “let me torture my mom by not wanting to eat anything day!”  At least, my oldest, Olivia, enjoyed her plate.

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Food used to make these happy faces:  strawberries, apples, bread w/ cream cheese, PBJ sandwiches, banana, raisins, and cheese sticks

Take good care all.

Until next time…

30 Day Spring Cleaning Plan

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking a look.  I really appreciate it, especially when you guys LIKE a post or leave a comment.  It’s quite addicting I have to admit so thanks, for the likes, that is. 🙂

It’s springtime and you know what that means: SPRING CLEANING.  I know, “Ugh,” but it has to be done (in my case for the sake of my children and the air they’re breathing in) and I’ve been looking for plans on how to spring clean my home little by little because that’s how I like to do things.  I tackle one big thing, one day at a time or maybe two days.  It depends on my mood or level of laziness.  Luckily, I received an email from homemadesimple.com with a great 30 Day Spring Cleaning plan that looks pretty good and I’m going to try to check things off day by day.

If you want to take a glance at this plan, check it out here: http://www.homemadesimple.com/en-US/Cleaning/Pages/30-day-spring-cleaning-plan.aspx?utm_source=email&utm_medium=single%2Bfocus&utm_campaign=30%2BDay%2BSpring%2BCleaning

Take good care all.

Until next time…

When will it end?

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Hello everybody.  I hope you guys are well.

I currently have two cute, snot faces at home.

Here we go again, and again, and yup, again.  My oldest is miserable because she’s missing school and her nose and upper lip are red and swollen from blowing and wiping away boogers.  Fun times!  When will this insanity end?  We’ve been sick before, but this is ridiculous.  We’ve even been to the pediatrician twice!  I’m giving medicine every four hours, applying Vick’s vapor rub, going through numerous tissue boxes, and the current phrase being declared in the house every ten minutes is, “I have boogies!”

I’m also very conflicted with the fact that I’m keeping her home from school.  I hate that she’s missing her lessons, but at the same time I don’t want her to be miserable and spreading germs in her class.  She knows how to fully blow and wipe her nose, but as soon as she steps into school she starts doing things differently like blowing softy into the tissue and constantly wiping at her nose, hence why when I went to pick her up yesterday (mind you she didn’t leave the house with a runny nose in the morning and I was shocked to see how she looked in the afternoon) her nose and upper lip were RAW.  Today, she woke up the same way and I thought it best to let her clear out as much boogies as she can at home.  It’s amazing how much keeps coming out and I can’t see the light at the end of the snot tunnel.  How much can there be left?

My youngest is faring better.   She doesn’t let a stuffed up or runny nose stop her from playing, torturing her sister, ignoring my demands to stop making a mess, or sleeping.  She’s currently walking around the house with her magnifying glass telling me that she’s looking for dinosaur footprints.  I just want to scoop her up and give her a thousand kisses, but I don’t want to get sick again, or in my case, again!!

Here’s hoping that I can QUIT writing about us being sick (please!) and banish all yucky snot away from my household.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Pink (freaking) eye!

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Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

Before and after my daughter entered Kindergarten, I was informed by friends and family members that I should prepare myself for the numerous of germs that she was going to start bringing home.  My husband and I shuddered at this fact.  Shuddered!  We knew and hated that this was going to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.  I try my best to teach and remind my daughter to wash her hands as many times as possible in school, especially after using the restroom and before eating lunch.  I also tell her to steer clear from any kids who are coughing their brains out without covering their mouths.  The germs and the viruses still prevail though.

Yesterday evening, my husband noticed that our daughter’s eye was kind of pinkish.   He asked, “Is that pink eye?” and I immediately thought “What? Noooooooo.”   I took a look and yup, her eye was pinkish and I knew.  He knew.  We knew.  It was pink eye.  “Maybe she rubbed her eye too hard,” my husband said.  “Maybe,” I replied.  “Let’s see how she wakes up in the morning.”

Guess what?

It’s pink (freaking) eye.  Of course, she stayed home from school, which is no problem, and we’re seeing the doctor, just in case, but darn those viruses and germs.  They’ll get you no matter what.  Since pink eye is contagious, I was curious to see if there were some home remedies for it online and came across a blog post (www.adailydoseofgrace.com/2012/02/coconut-oil-and-pink-eye.html) where coconut oil was used to help with the discomfort.  On YouTube, there are several videos with people testing out remedies using lemon juice (ouch!), eating garlic cloves, honey, etc. to cure their pink eyes.  My daughter hasn’t complained about her eye once and it’s not producing any mucus so I haven’t tried any of these home remedies on her.  Plus, I’m a little too scared of dropping anything into her little eyeball or making her eat something that won’t go down well.  I’ll save the experimentation for myself if I happen to catch anything, which I hope not to.  Fingers (constantly washed) crossed.

Take good care all.

Until next time…