A Smart Consumer’s Guide to Smart TVs

If you have spent any time in an electronics store or department – or done any research on televisions – in the past few years, you’ve likely noticed the increase in televisions described as “smart TVs.” No, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get smarter by watching them (although you might, depending on what you watch.) Smart TV simply refers to the fact that the television has the ability to connect to the internet built right in. With a smart TV, you don’t need to connect to any sort of device, whether a streaming stick, gaming system, or cable box to access content online.

Given the proliferation of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, owning a TV that offers this connectivity seems like a, well, smart thing to do. Before you shell out for a new set and hire a professional Phoenix TV mounting company to install it, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and understand exactly what a smart TV can and cannot do.

smart tv guide

Smart TVs: The Upside

The biggest advantage to smart TVs is their simplicity and convenience. In most cases, you simply need to turn it on, connect to your home network (most people use WiFi, but if you stream 4K content or play a lot of games, directly connecting via the ethernet port tends to give better results) and start streaming. You’ll still need to subscribe to the services you want to use, but generally speaking, smart TVs already have the most popular apps already installed on their operating system.

Streaming content isn’t the only capability of most smart TVs, though. Some models will also coordinate with your smart home devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.  This allows you to control other devices or complete other tasks right from your TV. Some TVs even come with a voice remote, so you don’t have to spend time scrolling through listings or hunting and pecking to search for your favorite shows – or find the news you’re looking for, weather reports, or sports scores. If you have your TV connected to a home assistant, you can even order a pizza or see who is at the door without getting up, for the ultimate couch potato experience.

Generally speaking, smart TVs only cost about $100 more than “regular” sets, and for the average family, offers all of the bells and whistles that they want. That doesn’t mean they are ideal for everyone, though.

Smart TVs: The Downside

The biggest drawback to smart TVs is one word: security. As with any device that is connected to the internet, smart TVs are vulnerable to security risks, and have been hacked and taken over by criminals, who have stolen information, spied, and used the devices for nefarious purposes. Some of the security issues are easily avoided by using passwords and installing updates as they are released, but it’s important to understand that a smart TV can put your personal information and privacy at risk. At the moment, TVs that are powered by specific streaming platforms like Roku or Android tend to have the most regular security updates.

Another drawback is the availability of content. While all smart TVs offer the major streaming apps, the availability of other content varies by TV. Some TVs don’t offer apps for free content, or connect to other smart home devices, limiting their functionality. In general, more expensive TVs have more content options (as well as better picture and sound) so you need to carefully review the smart features before you by to ensure that you are getting everything you want.

best smart tv buying tips

 

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, it’s reaching the point where all TVs sold are going to be smart TVs in some form or another. It’s quickly becoming the standard for manufacturers. That being said, if your current set works well, there’s really no need to invest in an upgrade yet. You can “upgrade” your existing set by using a set-top box or streaming stick, like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, or Chromecast. These devices generally run anywhere from $35 to $150 and allow you to stream the major services to your TV, and in some cases, offer additional functions. Carefully compare each of your options to ensure you get the apps and functions you want and expand your TV viewing options.

New Smart TV

This is a collaborative guest post. The ideas expressed do not necessarily represent those of Mommy Ramblings.

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The 828 Movement Bracelet Meaning & Giveaway #828Movement #MakeADifference

I am proud to share the 828 Movement with you. The 828 Movement is a non-profit organization where 100% of the product proceeds go directly towards supporting education in underfunded schools across the USA.

The organization started when two friends came together in May 2017 with the hopes of making a small impact. It expanded from there to honor the President, Margot Sandy’s recently passed Grandmother who was a humanitarian, college graduate, teacher, community leader and advocate for change.

Margot who is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author, Product Development Engineer with 10+ years experience in industry and has been traveling the world while running an entrepreneurial enterprise hopes to raise awareness on some of the persistent unequal issues in our school systems, provides examples of career paths for students and recognize the efforts of our teachers.

The 828 Movement continues to spread positive images of people past and present that are doing great things in the community. They also offer a way for everyone to participate in the fight for education equality, by introducing stylish new jewelry items to proudly wear and hopefully make a difference with the school donations and upcoming college scholarships.

100% OF THE NET PROFITS GO TO UNDERFUNDED URBAN AREA SCHOOLS IN AMERICA. 

828 Movement Bracelet

 

 

EACH RING AND COLOR CHOICE HAS A MEANING TO HONOR THE PAST EFFORTS FOR EQUALITY, SUPPORT THE PRESENT PURSUITS FOR JUSTICE AND STAY HOPEFUL FOR THE FUTURE.

 The Past: 13 metal rings
To remember the 13th amendment and lives lost
in the struggle to abolish slavery.

 The Present: Engraved ring for August 28th
To honor the date 8/28, when important events in the fight for equality line up in history.

 The Future: a single ring for hope
The pursuit for educational equality continues

MISSION

EDUCATION IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE WE ALL CAN SUPPORT TOGETHER. BY BUYING AND WEARING AN 828 BRACELET WE ARE STANDING UP AGAINST INEQUALITY IN OUR SCHOOLS.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller

“SOMEWHERE INSIDE ALL OF US IS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD” ~ROALD DAHL

Giveaway:

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Little Swag Pack Giveaway #LittleGlowUp Challenge

This giveaway and post is sponsored by NBC Universal. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

 

Girls Trip’s Regina Hall and Black-ish’s Marsai Martin both star as Jordan Sanders — Hall as the take-no-prisoners tech mogul adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self’s penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation.

Insecure’s Issa Rae plays Jordan’s long-suffering assistant April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. Little is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up — and glow up — right.

Check out the trailer below:

Will Packer, blockbuster producer of Girls Trip, the Ride Along franchise, and ten movies that have opened No. 1 at the U.S. box office, including Night School, No Good Deed and Think Like a Man, brings an all-new perspective to the body-swap comedy.

Little is directed by Tina Gordon (writer, Drumline) with a story by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) and a screenplay by Oliver and Gordon, based on an idea by teen actress Martin. The film is produced by Packer and his producing partner James Lopez and by Kenya Barris (Girls Trip, Black-ish), and is executive produced by Preston Holmes (Night School), Hall, Marsai Martin and Josh Martin.

Take the #LittleGlowUp Challenge on Instagram

Little is on Instagram as “LittletheMovie” and use the hashtags #LittleGlowUp and tag @MommyRamblingsBlog.

Giveaway

The Limited Edition Prize packs contains:

1 – Little “I Woke Up Like This” Promo Custom Tank.
1 – Little Promo Eye Sleeping Mask (As seen in the film)
1 – Little Promo Nail File

Limited Edition #LittleGlowUp Challenge Prize Pack Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!

Open to US residents. The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Please note that the assets included within this message were delivered to you to promote NBC Universal . Any actions (including contest and competitions) that you complete with the provided assets are your liability, and should comply with both local and international laws. Also, please remember to disclose that you are working with NBC Universal , or that NBC Universal supplied these materials to you if required by local law.

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Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Blu-ray Giveaway! #NancyDrew #TheHiddenStaircase

**“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”**

Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase is available now  on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD!

I am excited to share this Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Escape Room & Mystery Match Blog App so you can solve the mystery and help Nancy out of a jam! How long do you think it will take you to crack the code and escape the room?


Check out the trailer below:

Uncover the Mystery When Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on
Digital and on
Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & DVD

Based on the Bestselling Book! The iconic mystery solving teenager from the classic Nancy Drew books is back with an all-new feature-length film that will keep you guessing until the very end!  Executive Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the film stars Sophia Lillis (IT and “Sharp Objects”), Sam Trammell (“True Blood” and “This is Us”), and Linda Lavin (“The Good Wife” and“Alice”) and follows Nancy Drew in her new town, making new friends and on a mission to solve the case!

After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter in River Heights. But for 16-year-old Nancy Drew, life in a small town is mighty dull. She longs for excitement, adventure, and the chance to make a difference. Nancy gets that opportunity when she is asked to help solve the ghostly activity at the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case!

Giveaway:

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase on Blu-ray! Thank you to Warner Bros. for the review Blu-ray and for sponsoring this great giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. Open to US residents.

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase Blu-ray Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!!!

The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Please note that the assets included within this message were delivered to you to promote Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Any actions (including contest and competitions) that you complete with the provided assets are your liability, and should comply with both local and international laws. Also, please remember to disclose that you are working with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, or that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment supplied these materials to you if required by local law.

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What To Expect When Renting Your Property Out To Tenants

Renting Your Property

Many property owners consider the idea of renting out their houses to tenants. However, whether it’s for the benefit of gaining extra income or paying down your debt for the family’s needs, becoming a landlord can be indeed a big challenge. It can even become big trouble when specific considerations aren’t made. Whether you’ve inherited property or your family have decided to live abroad for good, here’s what you should expect when you’re planning to put your place up for rent, especially for families searching for new homes:

There are specific landlord-tenant laws you have to understand.

When it comes to becoming a landlord, the first thing you should do is to know and understand the landlord-tenant law. Most states observe specific landlord-tenant laws that can help rent your property out to tenants. Before doing anything, it’s essential to follow the procedures and processes about security deposits, the number of notices you have to give tenants when you want to evict them, and the extent of access to your property. By understanding the law, you’ll be able to manage your rental property and your tenants properly.

You have many responsibilities as a landlord.

 After understanding how the law works, you need to figure out if being a landlord is a responsibility you can handle on your own. From staying on top of repairs and maintenance to collecting rent and looking out for your tenants’ housekeeping skills, you have to understand all of these things to get started. So, try to ask yourself if you’re ready to perform all the responsibilities involved when deciding to rent your place out to other people.

Once you’ve decided to become a landlord soon, start looking for websites like Gumtree Real Estate where you can post ads about your rental properties. That way, you’ll get more prospects coming in to inquire about the rental.

 You need to prepare your property before renting it out.

 With several competitors in the market these days, you don’t want to rent your family’s property as it is since tenants tend to be choosy, especially if there’s an increased availability of rental properties. Below are the things you need to do to prepare the place for renting and improve the overall look of the property:

  • Clean your home and ensure that all appliances are in good condition.
  • Give your property a fresh coat of paint if the existing paint starts to peel off.
  • Make sure that the place is well-lit.
  • Check the electrical and plumbing systems if they’re working correctly.
  • Make sure all windows and have appropriate locks for safety purposes.
  • Ensure that your property is free of hazards, such that both your interior and exterior don’t have unstable handrails or broken steps.

Painting Rental Property

You need to set the right price.

Once you’re done with the preparations and you’ve already determined your responsibilities as a landlord, then it’s time to set a competitive price for the rent. You can start by getting to know the rates of other rental properties in your neighborhood or community. As mentioned, tenants have a variety of rental properties to choose from. Thus, consider giving some good deals and be sure you pinpoint the best features of your place.

You have to screen potential tenants.

Once your property is ready to be shown, begin searching for the right tenants who will occupy your place soon. By renting out your property to them, it means you expect them to take care of the place and pay the rent on time without delays. Get the best tenants through the following:

  • Collect references for prospective tenants and review their credit histories. The potential tenants’ credit scores can be a helpful screening tool to determine whether to accept or deny a rental candidate.
  • Do an interview with your candidates to ensure you’ll be comfortable dealing with them.
  • Perform a background check by checking references from previous landlords and employers.

Once you’ve got the right tenant, discuss the reasonable security deposit you’re going to ask. From there, make necessary arrangements for the appropriate payment schedule.

Preparing a contract of lease is a must.

When you already find your tenants, you need to prepare a contract of lease to get started. Under these circumstances, you may opt to hire an attorney or a project manager to customize the lease. If you decide not to ask help from anyone, you can utilize the standard lease form that you can find on the Internet. However, it’s important to review the form and see if there’s a need to tweak it to suit your situation. An example of a provision you may want to customize is whether you allow pets and the applicable rules you’re going to follow.

Renting Your Property

Conclusion

Renting your property out to tenants can be a massive undertaking. It’s also the kind of business that you’re going to have for yourself and more importantly, your family, thus careful consideration is required. By knowing what to expect in the rental process, you’ll get yourself in the right direction with the least amount of headache and best possible results. Not only that but you can also get to help some families looking for a new home within your area.

Australia, energy, gas, electric

This is a collaborative guest post. The ideas and views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.

 

 

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“Parenting First Aid” For When You Feel Like You Are Failing

Do you struggle with parenting your children? That’s a silly questions because we all do at some point. Some days we can feel like we are on our last nerve or dangling at the end of our rope. At times when you feel you are failing at raising your children, you need a pep talk and some insight. Cue Marty Machowski’s, Parenting First Aid and brew a cup of tea.

Parenting First Aid

This uplifting and faith-strengthening devotional book for parents,  will help to encourage you in the midst of  your trials. Full of Scripture, testimonies of faithful parents, and insightful meditations, Parenting First Aid equips moms and dads to run to God and trust his ability to do what they can’t.

Parenting isn’t getting any easier, especially with the introduction of insta-porn on electronic devices, the ease of access to drugs, and the ever-increasing blurring of sexuality. This useful resource is for the weary and overwhelmed parents struggling with their children’s choices, and the culture that wars against their souls.

For families with small struggles or weighty parenting trials—such as children involved with drugs, sexual sin, and teenage rebellion—Parenting First Aid is full of personal, real testimonies of God’s faithfulness to those experiencing hardship.

The easy-to-use format provides encouragement to turn to God in the midst of family difficulty. While God does not promise happiness and ease in parenting, all can find comfort in God and peace beyond understanding through the Scriptures and meditations found in Parenting First Aid.

About the Author

Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for more than twenty years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the gospel-centered children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He and his wife Lois and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

He is the author of The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, the Gospel Story Curriculum, Prepare Him Room Advent curriculum and devotional, Wise Up family devotional and curriculum, Listen Up family devotional and curriculum, Dragon Seed, and The Ology.

I was provided with a copy of this book to facilitate my post. As always, my words and views are 100% my own.

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Get Ready for Spring Gardening

Right about now, you may be feeling that winter will never end, but spring is definitely on the horizon — and with it, the renewal of everything fresh and green. Now’s the time to start thinking about preparing your lawn and garden for warmer months of lush grass and beautiful flowers. Here are the things you should put on the to-do list for a gorgeous landscape that will last through the summer. Do what you can when weather permits:

garden, spring, plants, compost

Start With Your Tools

While it’s still cold or wet outside, you can take some time to get your tools ready.

  • Scrub off dirt. Soap isn’t required, but a stiff brush will help to get all the old dirt out of crevices. Be sure to rinse and dry tools thoroughly.
  • Remove rust. If blades are rusty, soak them in a container of vinegar for a day or two. Most or all of the residue should scrub off with a steel wool pad or rough sandpaper.
  • Lubricate pivot points. Just a few drops of WD-40 or a similar product will keep tools operating smoothly.
  • Sharpen blades. Use a whetstone or knife sharpener on all your cutting tools and mower blades. Dull blades make your work a lot harder and can mangle stems and branches.

Lawn

Prepare the Lawn

Harsh weather and foot traffic on snow-covered lawns can cause the soil to compact and make it uneven in spots. It can also alter the pH, making the soil less conducive to healthy grass and more welcoming to weeds and disease. Work through these steps over a few weekends:

  • Rake vigorously. Give yourself and the lawn a workout to remove surface leaves, debris and dead grass as well as to disentangle matted areas and thatch.
  • Level the surface. To equalize drainage and avoid low spots that will become soggy, take a shovel to lop off raised places and fill in those that are sunken.
  • Aerate the soil. Compacted soil needs to be opened up so oxygen, water and nutrients can reach grass roots. You can rent an aerator at a garden center, but they’re bulky, heavy and difficult to transport and use — better to hire a professional lawn aeration service and get the job done right.
  • Correct the pH. Grass thrives in soil with neutral pH, so use a simple test kit to tell you how yours rates. Apply lime to acidic soil and sulfur to soil that’s too alkaline. But get some expert advice before you use either or you could do more harm than good.
  • Sow grass seed. You can seed bare spots alone or overseed the entire area for a lusher lawn overall. Seeds won’t germinate, though, until the soil temperature reaches about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pre-treat for weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide will take care of weeds before they start, but it will also stop grass seeds from germinating, so be mindful of where and when you use it.
  • Feeding your lawn gives it a stronger root system and the energy for a long growing season. Follow directions for whether you have warm or cool season grass and for the part of the country in which you live.

Clean up the Flower Beds

All kinds of old foliage and debris accumulates in the garden during the winter, making a handy home for insects and disease as the weather warms. Clear it all out so your plants have room for a fresh, new start.

Prune Woody Plants

If you haven’t pruned your rose bushes yet, get to it at the first chance you have. As for trees, It’s best to prune branches while they’re dormant but after the coldest weather has passed, though dead branches can be removed any time. For some great information about trees, check out the Arbor Day Foundation.

Divide Perennials

Daylilies, Agapanthus, peonies and other varieties of clumping perennials that have gotten too big for their spots in the garden should be divided ahead of the coming warm weather, so their roots have time to establish themselves.

Start Flower and Vegetable Seeds Inside

Seeds won’t sprout in cold soil, so even in temperate climate zones, starting seeds indoors gives them a head start. Seed packets will tell you how many weeks it will take for each variety to get ready before the optimum time to transplant them outdoors. It’s also fun for the kids to help pot the seeds and watch them sprout.

This is a collaborative guest post. The ideas and views expressed don not necessarily reflect those of Mommy Ramblings.

 

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Saint Patrick’s Day Bamboo Cheeseboard Giveaway

March is the time to celebrate the life of St. Patrick, he is the patron saint of Ireland who helped introduce Ireland to Christianity. I don’t have one bit of Irish in me, but they say everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day.

I love the way my childrens’ school celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. They have a leprechaun that leaves little clues throughout the school. They go all out on this and the custodial staff joins in. They complain about all the little leprechaun footprints they had to clean up and kids design all kinds of leprechaun traps. My son designed a very clever trap last year with a little cage that dropped down. This is something they really look forward to because no one has caught him yet.

My daughter loves to bake Irish Soda Bread as well. How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you have any special traditions? Check out the ideas below if you want to try something new.  It contains some fun ways you can celebrate the Shamrockin-est holiday of all!

 photo shamrock_image_zps1pwdw1k4.png

You might also want to check out the video below from Catholic Central.

About CATHOLIC CENTRAL:
You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers. Using a team of witty writers, appealing hosts, and even some learned theologians, we’ve created shareable, snackable videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CATHOLIC CENTRAL entertains, enlightens and inspires.

Giveaway

Catholic Central is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Enter for your chance to win a Saint Patrick’s Day Feast Kit! Open to US Residents.

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Saint Patrick’s Day Feast Kit Product Details:

  • Bamboo Cheese Board Set
  • Slide-Out Drawer with Four (4) Stainless-Steel Cheese Knives
  • Four (4) Bamboo Wine Coasters
  • Stain and Odor Resistant
  • Naturally Hypoallergenic and Antibacterial
  • Ecofriendly, Sustainable Materials
  • Hand Wash Recommended

Catholic Central, Giveaway, Cheeseboard

Giveaway:

You can enter for your chance to win a Saint Patrick’s Day Feast Kit below. This is sponsored by Catholic Central.

Saint Patrick’s Day Feast Kit Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Cannot win if you have won this Catholic Central sponsored St. Patrick’s Day Feast Kit Giveaway on another blog. Enter below for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget. Good Luck!

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Fun St. Patrick’s Day Treats and Crafts to Make With Your Kids

If you are looking for a fun St. Patrick’s Day craft or delicious snack to make with your kids, you might like these ideas. To help little leprechauns get in the spirit for classroom parties or family celebrations, Juicy Juice has a selection of green-themed crafts that can be completed in 4 steps or less and recipes, including a better-for-you Green Goodness Smoothie made with Juicy Juice Organic Splashers.

Find these recipes and crafts in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – or on JuicyJuice.com – for St. Patty’s day inspiration:

Green Goodness Smoothie

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Little ones love cool drinks, and this beverage fits that bill. Juicy Juice Green Goodness Smoothie tastes so good they’ll be asking for seconds before their last slurp!

Estimated Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

2 cups blueberries
2 cups pineapple
1 cup spinach
1 cup ice
2 cups almond milk
2 pouches Juicy Juice™ Splashers™ Tropical Twist

Directions

Gather your ingredients. Add blueberries, pineapples, spinach, ice and almond milk together in a blender. Pour in Juicy Juice Splashers Tropical Twist. Blend until smooth (add more juice for your desired consistency). Pour into a chilled glass and toast to all things delicious and nutritious!

Juicy Shamrock Smoothie

As we know all too well, it’s always a challenge to get the little ones to eat their greens. Juicy Juice has a strategy? Get them to drink their greens! Easier said than done, right? With this Juicy Shamrock Smoothie, I bet that you will hear slurping sounds in no time, not to mention requests for seconds!

Try it using Apple Juicy Juice™ 100% juice! 

2 Fresh Kiwis
1 Peeled Orange
1 Cup Green Grapes
1 Cup Baby Spinach
1 Cup Apple Juicy Juice 100% Juice

 

  1. Slice the kiwi in half and scoop out the fruit from the skin
  2. Add kiwi, peeled orange, grapes and baby spinach to blender
  3. Pour in Apple Juicy Juice 100% juice
  4. Blend until smooth (feel free to add more juice if the blend is too thick)
  5. Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!

Leprechaun Spotting Binoculars

Spotting leprechauns is a demanding job, and it takes the right equipment to get the best results. Juicy Juice developed these precise leprechaun binoculars made of materials you have right at home. We hope this craft helps you find leprechauns, and we wish you the best of luck!

Materials
2 Juicy Juice boxes or toilet paper rolls
Green construction paper
Pipe Cleaners (we chose green)
String (we chose orange)
Tape
Glitter Glue or paint

Step One
Gather your materials.

Take your empty Juicy Juice boxes and unfold the tabs on the bottom and top. Then, shape the Juicy Juice box into a cylinder. You may need to cut any tabs that poke out. After that, measure the length of construction paper you will need to cover the tubes. Next, cut the length of construction paper you will need, making sure to leave some paper to tuck into the ends of the tubes. Tape the ends down inside the tubes and tape down the long edges.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Next, decorate your tube with glitter glue or paint. You’re going on a magical quest, so have a lot of fun with your designs. Next, get some pipe cleaners and cut them to the circumference of the tube’s ends. Shape the pipe cleaners to the ends of the tubes and tape them into place, making sure to cover the ends of the wires.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Once you’ve finished decorating the tubes, tape them together side by side. So your binoculars don’t get too far from you, we suggest creating a neck strap with a piece of string. We measured the length we needed to comfortably fit around our necks, and then we punched holes in the binoculars and tied the string to keep it secure. Once you have completed this step, you are done! Go out there and find some leprechauns.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Lucky Leprechaun Juice Box

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Trying to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? This leprechaun Juicy Juice box craft is pure gold! This craft will be a great treat at any party!

Materials
Construction paper (black, green and yellow)
Scissors
Juicy Juice box

Step 1

Gather your materials.

Step 2

With your green construction paper, measure how much paper you need to cover the face of your juice box. Then, cut the construction paper along those measurements. Tape the construction paper on.

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Step 3

Next, take your black paper and cut it into a belt shape.

 

 

Step 4

After cutting your belt, cut your buckle out of your yellow construction paper. Then, cut another square from the inside of your square.

Juicy Juice Cr

Step 5

Once you’ve cut both the belt and buckle, glue the buckle on top of the belt. Finally, glue your belt onto the front of the juice box. Enjoy your leprechaun Juicy Juice and have a happy St Patrick’s Day! Please share your crafts with Juicy Juice  on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

St. Patrick's Day Crafts by Juicy Juice

Lucky Leprechaun Craft

St Patrick’s Day can be a fun holiday for you and your little ones. Juicy Juice has put together an interactive craft that will have kids jumping for joy, clicking their heels and smiling for the camera. Take photos of your little ones dressed up as festive Lucky Leprechauns and share them with Juicy Juice on Facebook!

 

Step 1: Gather your materials. You will need colored construction paper, a washable glue stick, a pen or washable marker, tape and wooden craft sticks. You can also replace the wooden craft sticks with popsicle sticks or wooden drink stirrers.

Juicy Juice Crafts

Step 2: Begin by sketching the basic shapes of your Lucky Leprechaun kit. Your shapes do not need to be perfect and feel free to use whichever colors you wish. Who ever said that Leprechauns only have orange beards? Cut out your shapes after sketching and place the shapes that go together nearby each other. Glue the gold coins to the back of the black pot, the rainbow arches to the clouds and the buckle and band to the green top hat.

Juicy Juice Crafts

Step 3: Once you have glued all the right pieces together. It’s now time to attach the stick so that the little ones can hold their new creations. Lay a wooden stick on the back of each creation and tape it well at the top and at the bottom. You can add a third piece of tape for extra sturdiness.

Now the fun really begins! Grab different combinations of the props you just made and have a Lucky Leprechaun photo shoot! Encourage silliness and share your little Lucky Leprechauns with Juicy Juice on Facebook. They can’t wait to see!

I received product samples to facilitate my post.

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Important Ways You Can Give Back to Your Community

Giving Back, Community, Doing Good

Have you ever wished you could do more to help others out? That is a feeling that many people share. The problem is, many want to help those less fortunate, but don’t know where to start.  Randy Lewis, author of “No Greatness Without Goodness,” believes that everyone—including businesses—are responsible for making the world a better place. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, “happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop (with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more).”

Fortunately, you don’t have to travel far and wide or donate to organizations that you don’t fully trust in order to give back. You may be able to find some opportunities right in your backyard. Here’s a few ways you can get started with giving back to your community:

 

Donate Some Items

Many families in neighborhoods around the world struggle to support their daily lives. When you donate household goods, you’re helping another family create a better home and environment for their children. Comb through your house and put a sticky notes on everything you don’t use or need. This could be anything from an old coffee maker to a pair of shoes.

Once you’ve gathered all the items you no longer need, you can choose to donate it to local organizations or host a yard sale and donate the proceeds to a local charity. Alternatively, you can consider hosting your own clothing or food drive, and donate the items you receive in bulk.

Giving Back, Community, Doing Good

Visit a Senior Center

Visiting an assisted living home is a great way to give back to the community and make a difference. Many seniors are forgotten or don’t have families of their own to keep them company and spend quality time with them, and visiting them enhances their quality of life, giving them something to look forward to.

Just like everyone else, seniors need some compassion and company too, especially those who don’t have family members to visit them. Many senior homes have programs and events that create the perfect opportunity for you to get involved. If you aren’t sure what to expect, you can visit the home ahead of time by scheduling a tour and letting the admin team know that you’re interesting in doing a volunteer visit. You can even come up with your own ideas and pitch it to the senior home in question. For example, why not gather a few friends and have a game night at your senior center?

Giving Back, Community, Doing Good

Serve at a Food Kitchen

Food kitchens aren’t just popular during the holiday season. In many neighborhoods around the world, people rely on them for daily meals. According to DoSomething.org, 1 in 6 Americans face hunger. Furthermore, more than 1 in 5 children are at risk for hunger; for minorities, the statistics are even worse.

The USDA defines “food insecurity” as the lack of access or inability to feed all household members at all times. Households with children are significantly more likely to experience food insecurity than those without. If you do a little research, you’ll find that there’s likely a food donation center not too far away. Contact your local food kitchen about what you can expect as a volunteer, what you can do to prepare, and whether you can bring anything to aid the process.

Soup kitchens and food donation centers rely on people who are able to donate their time, and you’ll meet many interesting people, from those that you serve food to, to the other volunteers helping beside you.

Giving Back, Community, Doing Good

 Visit a Homeless Shelter

Like a soup kitchen or food donation center, a homeless shelter is a good way to gain a deeper understanding of how other people live, and to make a contribution to their lives. Research homeless centers in your area; you may have to travel a bit more to find the nearest center, but it will be well worth your time.

One thing you may learn about being in a homeless shelter is that many of the preconceived notions you have about homeless people are wrong. As you learn about different people and start to hear their stories—especially if you come back time and time again—you find out that there are many reasons people end of homeless. Some people had no family to guide them, while others were hardworking people who lost jobs and were never able to pick themselves back up. The more you work with homeless people, the more likely you are to learn gratitude and humility.

Giving Back, Community, Doing Good

This is a collaborative guest post. The views and ideas expressed are not necessarily those of Mommy Ramblings.

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