Tag Archives: Tips

5 Easy Spring Lawn Care Steps #ILoveMyLawn


This is a sponsored post through the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

We are transitioning into spring in New York and the massive snowfall we were buried under, is finally melting away. As the ground becomes visible, I am filled with excitement about being able to see green grass again.

Grass evokes so many emotions, there are songs about grass, we relish the smell of fresh-cut grass and love the feel of grass beneath our feet. Our yard has a large lawn and it is where we spend a great deal of time. It is a place where our children practice their baseball skills, we gather on a blanket for a picnic, our dogs happily sprawl out for an afternoon nap, we watch the squirrels and birds frolic, entertain our friends and family and sit at night gazing up at the stars.

Lawn games are fun too, our neighbor just gave us a bocce ball set and my kids cannot wait to play. Our lawn adds beauty to our home; it is like a gorgeous carpet that compliments my perennial flower gardens. I am so thankful to live in a community where lush, green lawns are plentiful.

Lawns are beneficial too! Living on a hill at the top of a mountain, our lawn helps prevent erosion from heavy rains and wind. Beyond that, grass is beautiful and naturally calming. The visual appeal of green grass helps our mental health and reduces stress levels.

Having a nice lawn does not mean you need to be a slave to it. Sure, lawn maintenance is important for a healthy-looking lawn, but it does not have to consume your life. Did you know that the best season to revive and repair your lawn is spring? If you follow five simple steps now, you will ensure an amazing, summer ready lawn!

Rake

I like to enlist the whole family for this. We each grab a rake and get to work removing old leaves, dead grass and other debris that accumulated over the winter. Raking allows us to easily see any areas that need attention as well as providing more soil contact when seeding, which helps grass grow more easily.

Aerate

This is very important if your lawn is like ours, and has been buried under snow which causes the soil to compact. My dad used to joke that by walking on the grass wearing his golf shoes, he was doing his part to aerate the lawn. Seriously, there are core aerators you can rent or you can hire a professional lawn service to do this for you. Aerating will pull small plugs of soil out of your lawn which allows increased movement of water, nutrients and oxygen into the soil. It will also help to promote growth of new seeds by providing more soil contact.

Seed

Spring is the ideal time to seed any spots that are bare or thin. If you are planning on expanding your lawn, spring is the best time for that too. When you start in spring, the grass has ample time to grow healthy and strong before summer. Selecting the right seed for your area is imperative, ask a turf specialist at your local garden store or university extension office for guidance. After seeding, water lightly and regularly to ensure the area stays damp until the new grass grows.

Control Weeds

Did you know healthy lawns will squeeze out weeds? They will, but damaged lawns that are overrun with dandelions and crabgrass may need some help. Talk with your local garden specialist to decide what weed control options are right for your lawn and your family.

Tune up That Lawn Mower

Get your mower in top shape with an annual service including changing the oil, replacing the spark plug, cleaning or replacing the air filter and sharpening the blade. When the grass is about 3 inches high, it is time to mow. Newly seeded areas should be mowed when they reach 2 inches in height until the new grass is established. Mow with a frequency that allows you to cut less than one-third of the height of the grass. An easy-to-follow rule is to not let grass grow taller than 3 inches and not to cut it shorter than 2 inches.

Following the steps above will leave you with a lush, green lawn to enjoy this summer. I can’t wait to kick off my shoes and feel that grass between my toes! What do you love most about your lawn?




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Do You Feel Like You Are Failing As A Parent? You Are Not Alone!

Raising children is not for the faint of heart. Have you ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated to the point you lose your temper and yell or scream at your kids? Do you feel at your wit’s ends fighting the same battles, day after day with your children? Is it hard for you to wrap your mind around how they cannot stop doing the things that are getting them in trouble?

frustrated-child

No matter what you do, the same behavior is repeated again and again. Does it leave you so frustrated that you count the hours until bedtime? Do you feel guilty for sometimes not wanting to be around your kids because of how they behave? Do you feel terrible for this and feel you are a failure as a parent? Do you think you must be doing something wrong?

You don’t have to tell me the answers to these questions. If you are a parent, it is safe to say that you nodded your head in agreement to most of these things, maybe even all of them. I want to tell you, that it is okay, you are not the only one. We will fail as parents, many times.

I picked up a really good parenting book the other day. The book is titled, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principals That Can Radically Change Your Family. The author, Paul David Tripp, is the executive director for the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth, Texas. More than that, he is a dad, a dad who has felt those same things.

parenting-book

I will admit when I picked up the book, I expected it to be preachy and written by a man who was a “perfect” parent, who would tell me everything I was doing wrong. I could not have been more wrong. Right from the Introduction, I saw this was a parent I could relate to, one that struggled in the same ways I did. Nothing was sugar-coated, he was real and the pages are full of wisdom. It is real, he writes about situations of parents who are struggling through parenting. If you are like me, you may find their stories very familiar. Sometimes it is nice to know we are not alone.

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One of the things I think will resonate with most parents is the chapter on authority. The author says to never exercise your authority over  your child in an angry, impatient, abusive or selfish way. This means, you do not let your anger at your child’s disobedience control you so you do things you should not. For example, it means that you do not pinch, poke, slap, yank or shove your child. It also means that you do not combine your discipline with berating, condemning or demeaning talk. That means you don’t say things like; “What are you, stupid?” “I can’t believe that you’re my daughter!” and other similar phrases.

mother-angry

He does not say this as a perfect parent who has never done this but as one who openly admits doing this to his son after a particularly grueling day. He admits his shortcomings but lets us know that through God’s grace we can always start new. Facts are, we will fail many times as parents and that is okay, we don’t have to feel guilty because we have that grace.

parenting

The chapters are the 14 Gospel Principals as they apply to parenting; Calling, Grace, Law, Inability, Identity, Process, Lost, Authority, Foolishness, Character, False Gods, Control, Rest and Mercy. The author’s favorite passage in the Bible about parenting is one you might not expect. It is one of the final commandments Jesus made to his disciples.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and          make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,                teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the                age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)

There is so much in this book that is just profound and really hit home for me. You can read an excerpt HERE or listen to an audio click HERE. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think. You can also enter to win a copy below in our giveaway.

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Giveaway:

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principals That Can Radically Change Your Family Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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This Elephant Can Help Your Child Fall Asleep-#Giveaway

Do you ever feel like you are fighting a losing battle trying to get your kids to sleep? If you are like most parents, you probably do some of the time. I recently found a book by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, a behavioral scientist who is also a life coach and leadership trainer. Carl-Johan has combined all these skills and experiences in developing the techniques in The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep. This book is his follow-up to his #1 International bestseller, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. 

the-little-elephant

The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep was a runaway success, exceeding 1.6 million copies and widespread media attention for its reported success in lulling children to sleep by employing positive-reinforcement techniques to promote relaxation.

The Rabbit garnered coverage far and wide for its reported success in helping children fall asleep using relaxation techniques. The New York Times featured the book in the “Letter of Recommendation” column back in April, with the writer stating: “A book whose powerfully soporific effects my son is helpless to resist.”

The Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep has the same objective of lulling children to sleep and improving families’ bedtime routines using all-new child-tested, parent-approved techniques. Beautifully illustrated by Sydney Hanson,  this book is recommended for ages 3-7. There are prompts in the book where you insert your child’s name into the story.

The book follows Ellen the Elephant on her journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep. Along the way she meets different creatures and has soothing experiences that are designed to help children relax and slip quickly into sleep. Ehrlin even gives tips for how to use the techniques successfully to help children get to sleep.

child-sleeping

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this great book? Enter the giveaway below.

Giveaway

Random House Kids is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a copy of The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep. Thank you to Random House Kids  for the review copy and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Are You Having Trouble Achieving & Maintaining Balance In Your Life?

I’m really excited to let you know about The Balance Project!  Did you know that research has shown that 98% of Americans believe that reaching and maintaining a balance in their lives is important but only 14% say they always feel balanced.  That’s a huge gap!  Balance Bar Company wants to help fill that gap and so the makers of Balance Bar, a uniquely balanced energy nutrition bar, launched The Balance Project.  The Balance Project is a multi-year, multi-platform program that is designed to open a dialogue that will help improve America’s level of balance.

Do What Matters

The Balance Project is an online hub to share ideas, day-to-day victories and challenges while having fun and joining others on a journey to sustain balance.  Did you know that research shows the most common ways Americans try to achieve balance is by keeping their finances in order and through activities that improve overall health like getting more/enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.

Despite this, 2 in 5 Americans believe it’s difficult to find balance. Gabrielle Reece is the exclusive guide of The Balance Project.  Gabrielle, a worldwide fitness and wellness role mode, entrepreneur, wife and mom of three, will provide tips, advice and personal insights for addressing and achieving balance in these areas. Visit project.balance.com for Gabby Reece’s tips & videos on staying balanced.

Gabby
“One the biggest reasons I see people fail at achieving their health and wellness goals is because they don’t go into a program with a balanced approach,” explains Reece. “I’m thrilled to share my perspective on balancing busy lives, families and work with healthy diet and exercise habits that anyone can incorporate into their lives.”

“One the biggest reasons I see people fail at achieving their health and wellness goals is because they don’t go into a program with a balanced approach,” explains Reece. “I’m thrilled to share my perspective on balancing busy lives, families and work with healthy diet and exercise habits that anyone can incorporate into their lives.”

Balancing Act
Balance is a very fluid goal, as our levels of balance are always fluctuating, even day-to-day and season-to-season. For example, Americans report being the most balanced on Saturdays, and the least balanced on Mondays. They also indicate that they are most balanced during the summer months, and least balanced during the winter months, when 61% of Americans report feeling unbalanced.

Gender Wars
According to the survey, 70% of male respondents indicate that they are more likely to feel balanced, while only 63% of women indicate the same. What are men doing differently? Staying calm. When looking for balance, ladies should take the idea of “don’t sweat the small stuff” to heart. In nearly every area tested, women are more likely than men to admit something has a significant impact on throwing them off-balance, including finances, sleep, health, and family.

Maternal Instinct
A mother’s work is never done, but at least she knows where to focus her attention to find balance. Nearly every single mom agrees that health (99%) and family and personal relationships (99%) are important to achieving balance in life. How can the busy mom get to a Zen state of balance? For starters, get outside. Enjoying nature (67%) and taking vacations (66%) are the top actions that have a significant impact on achieving balance for moms. Spending time with a significant other (63%) was revealed as the next most impactful way for moms to try to achieve balance.

Want to see and learn more?  Visit The Balance Project by clicking HERE!  Let me know what you think and how well you are achieving and maintaining a balance in your life.

The Balance Project Infographic

 

This is a sponsored post and I received product as part of a collaboration with Balance Bar.  As always my words and views are 100% my own.

*This study was conducted by KRC Research via an online survey of 1,002 American adults ages 18-64 from November 11-14, 2014.


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It’s National Painting Week! For Inspiration, Check Out Some Color & Project Ideas at Sherwin-Williams!!! #SWPaintingWeek

#SWPaintingWeek

Happy National Painting Week!  Are you working on any painting projects?  You know I have a bunch in the works with all the home improvement we are doing.  Next on the list  for me is to pick the paint color for the new master bath and master bedroom projects.  I will update when I make a decision but in the meantime check out Sherwin-Williams helpful tips, color ideas and projects at SWPaintingWeek.com.

#SWPaintingWeek

Sherwin-Williams Color of the Month April 2014

Sherwin-Williams Color of the Month April 2014

#SWPaintingWeek Sherwin-Williams-National-Painting-Week


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Disney, Pixar: Monsters University Tips For Surviving School!!!


disneylogo

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 Rush to get Digital HD and Digital HD 3D Versions

Available for Purchase October 8, 2013

MonstersUniversity3DBlurayComboArt 

Celebrate MU’s Homecoming on Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand

on October 29, 2013.

This Fall, Disney•Pixar celebrates homecoming with the release of  “Monsters University” on Digital HD and Digital HD 3D on October 8, 2013, followed by the 4-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack3-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack,

3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 29, 2013.

After scaring up big laughs in theaters, the in-home release of “Monsters University” opens its doors to the movie in stunning high-definition Blu-ray, and provides hours of all-new bonus material, in-depth behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, the animated theatrical short “The Blue Umbrella” and much more.  Directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”), and written by Dan Scanlon and Robert Baird & Dan Gerson (“Monsters, Inc.”), “Monsters University” marks Pixar’s 14th consecutive film to debut at number one at the box office.

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike’s plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, “Sulley” (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair’s out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University’s elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. “Monsters University” bravely explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up.

Joining Crystal and Goodman as part of “Monsters University’s” monstrously talented voice cast are Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy Boggs), Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble), Alfred Molina (voice of Professor Knight), Charlie Day (voice of Art), Sean P. Hayes (voice of Terri Perry), Dave Foley (voice of Terry Perry), Nathan Fillion (voice of Johnny Worthington) and Aubrey Plaza (voice of Claire Wheeler). Featuring a score from recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3“), MU also includes music from Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia.

Are your little monsters apprehensive about the start of the school year? Professor Knight is here to help with his Top Tips for Surviving School:

Download Professor Knight's Top Tips

 

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

 Digital HD

 Digital HD

4-Disc Blu-ray 3-D Superset (3D + 2BD + DVD + Digital Copy)

3-disc Blu-ray 2-D Superset (2BD + DVD + Digital Copy)

3-Disc Blu-ray 2-D Combo Pack  (2 BD + DVD)

 

High-Definition & Standard Definition Digital

  • Bonus offerings vary per select digital retailers

Includes:

  • Campus Life – What’s it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes.
  • Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike.  We’ll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.
  • Scare Games At Pixar, we play hard while we work.  The same people who keep the film production moving – producers, managers, coordinators and artists – are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions.
  • Welcome to MU – Sets aren’t just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore.  This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves.  .
  • Music Appreciation – Randy Newman’s scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process.  We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session. including special college-themed recording sessions.
  • Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time.
  • Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We’ll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film.  Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.
  • Paths to Pixar – MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
  • Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.”
  • Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” – are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.
  •  “The Blue Umbrella” – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of “Monsters University.” “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
  • Additional Bonus Features – Audio Commentary, Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign, Set Flythroughs, Art Gallery and more!­

 

Download Professor Knight's Top Tips

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Get Some Great Tips On Capturing Better Baby Photos!!!

One of the most common things moms ask me when they see some of the portraits I have taken of my children is for tips on how to take good pictures of their kids. Photographer, author and educator Erin Manning provides her Top 3 Tips for capturing better baby photos. Erin gives you advice on setting the scene and getting close to the baby for those perfect images, as well as using a SanDisk Ultra SDHC card to make sure she never misses a shot.

I can tell you sitting on my desk right now are multiple SanDisk Ultra SDHC Memory Cards.  It is truly a product I use and I mostly by the 32 GB cards because I don’t ever want to be out of room when I am shooting.  These cards give me beautiful high quality images that I can easily transfer right to my computer for editing and sharing.

Ultra_SDHC_30MBs_Class10_Writeable_Front_16GB_HR

 

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom CentralConsulting for SanDisk. I received a product sample to thank me for participating”
 

 

 

 

 


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