Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Diego's Safari Animal Cheese Snacks

2 tbsp. soft vegetable cream cheese
6 pretzel sticks
3 tbsp. parsley or celery leaves
2 slices cheese, cheddar, or provolone
2 slices ham,  salami or turkey

You will also need:
Assorted animal-shaped cookie cutters

Step 1  Shape 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into a small ball and insert a pretzel stick. Add a few parsley or celery leaves to the cheese to look like a palm tree and arrange on a serving plate.

Step 2 Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes in the cheese and ham, turkey or salami slices. Place the ham and cheese cutouts under the palm tree pretzels.

Servings: 3   Prep: 10 min


Monday, April 18, 2011

20 Great Quotes to Use for Mothers Day ( via Oprah.com)

"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary." —Dorothy C. Fisher

"Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same." —Pearl S. Buck

"The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children." —Elaine Heffner

"How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must first know our mothers' names." —Alice Walker

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." —Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

"There is... nothing to suggest that mothering cannot be shared by several people." —H. R. Schaffer

"Sometimes the laughter in mothering is the recognition of the ironies and absurdities. Sometimes, though, it's just pure, unthinking delight." —Barbara Schapiro

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million was to be a good one." —Jill Churchill

"What children take from us, they give... We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply." —Sonia Taitz

"I... have another cup of coffee with my mother. We get along very well, veterans of a guerilla war we never understood." —Joan Didion

"More than in any other human relationship, overwhelmingly more, motherhood means being instantly interruptible, responsive, and responsible." —Tillie Olsen

"I cannot forget my mother... she is my bridge." —Renita Weems

"Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one." —Jodi Picoult, from House Rules 

"Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life." —Sophocles

"Did you ever hear of a great and good man who had not a good mother?" —John Adams

"To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power." —Maya Angelou

"The joys of parents are secret: and so are the griefs and fears." —Francis Bacon

"To a child's ear, 'mother' is magic in any language." —Arlene Benedict

"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." —HonorĂ© de Balzac

"Mothers are the most instinctive philosophers." —Harriet Beecher Stowe

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PCM in the community

I have had the opportunity to meet several female entrepreneurs over the past month.  I am truly excited to work with them as we prep for the very 1st PCM Mommy Expo!  More details to come, however, I would love to recognizes the fabulous women we have met:
Monica- Monkey Hooper 
Teresa - Satsis Creations
Minnie- Busy as a bee concierge
Sarah- Leap Realty
E'magine weddings and events 
Catherine- Reynolda Farm Market
Your Pilates Place
Nu Expression
A Step Ahead tutoring and consulting 
Gina -Accessorize this
Renee- The Coupon Contessa 
Leesa Robins of Sweetest Expressions
Alexandria-  Deraye Natural Bath and Body products 

I truly enjoyed meeting you all and can not wait to work together in the future! 
Inspire, Uplift and encourage all women! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love your childs ART!

10 Cute Ways to Display Your Kids’ Art

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
 By Katie Moosbrugger

Does this happen to you? Several times a week your child comes home with piles of art and other paperwork for you to adore, compliment, and select which pieces you’ll hang on the fridge. Later that evening, you sift through the entire mound of paper and decide which pieces make the cut for a future keepsake and which ones get tossed. You think you have it all figured out, and then the next morning your child discovers his masterpiece in the trash. Oops. You apologize profusely, dust off the coffee crumbs, smooth out the wrinkles, and add it to the last remaining spot on the fridge.

If this happens to you as much as it does to me, then keep reading. I discovered 10 really cute and clever ways to keep and display your child’s art without cluttering your home.

1. Hang the art on curtain wire. This is an idea submitted by Marybeth Barrett with Addressing Spaces. She found this set from IKEA. "It’s actually made to hang drapes but it makes a great place to hang art too. The complete set is $14.99. Hang it within arm’s reach so your child can pick and choose the art they want to display. If you don’t feel like making the trek to IKEA, you can make your own with 2 cleats or hooks, rope, drapery panel clips or clothespins and some anchors and screws. You can hang art or cute baby clothes you can’t part with.  That would cost under $10.00," she says.

2. Hang the art on a clothesline or fishing wire. This is an cheaper option which looks cute if you use the big art clips or clothespins to secure the hanging art. See a pic from my playroom artists to the left.

3. Put the art in frames. Not only will it really make the art look fabulous, but your budding Picasso will feel really proud too. Another spin on this idea is the Dynamic Artwork Frame which opens to store up to 50 pieces of art. What an easy way to switch out the art!

4. Group your frames. Find several matching frames in different shapes and sizes. Try plain black or white frames with opposite mats. Michaels and AC Moore carry inexpensive frames like these. Hang them together on one wall and let the colors of your children’s art pop!

5. Try magnetic paint. This is one thing I have been dying to do in our playroom. You can create a whole art wall or just a special area, and be sure to use strong magnets to ensure everything stays put. Home Depot sells this type of paint for $20.

6. Tape it in. If you child happens to draw directly on the wall (happens all the time in this house!), don’t panic – embrace it. Surround your child’s art with Do-Frame tape. Of course try this in areas of your home that you aren’t so picky about! You can get this really cool tape for about $15.

7. Create a calendar. Marybeth Barrett of Addressing Spaces also suggests taking photos of the art, scanning it, and using it to create a calendar. You can see her son’s artwork featured in their new 2011 calendar to the left. They make great gifts too!

8.  Create a digital scrapbook. Along the same lines of a digital calendar, scan the art (or photograph it), upload the images to a site like Shutterfly or Snapfish, and create memory books of the art. By going digital, you know the art will be preserved for ages unlike paper scrapbooks.

9.  Create a hanging mobile. Make a fun and whimsical mobile from simple wire hanger and thread, and then have your child choose art that she can cut up and add to the mobile.

10. Make trading cards. This idea comes from Allyson Bright Meyer, a scrapbooking expert and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Scrapbook Projects. Resize your child’s art on a printer or computer (after scanning) to 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches, the same size as trading cards. Print on heavy stock, and cut. For extra durability, laminate them. Encourage your friends to do the same with their children’s art, and have your kids trade cards. They’ll have a blast!

I love all these ideas and cannot wait to incorporate them in our home. One small organizational tip I have is to store your favorite art in plastic bins if you’re not ready to display them. I’ve been doing this for years. The bin is in my attic. It’s getting really full so it’s a perfect time for me to break out the bin and start displaying these masterpieces.

What other ideas do you have?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whine? Not! Four Ways to Deal with Whining Children We've got advice about teaching your preschooler to find less annoying ways to get what she wants. By Caroline Schaefer

Step 1: React
Put away the earplugs and take action. "Kids can whine all day, easily outlasting a parent who is trying to tune it out," says Rene Hackney, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist in Alexandria, Virginia. "The longer you let your child complain, the more determined she'll become to get her way." Instead, help your child understand that her whining voice is very hard to listen to. You can say, "I can't understand you when you whine. If you want to tell me how you feel, then I need you to use your regular voice." Don't assume she knows what it means to whine. Demonstrate how it sounds by whining back at her, suggests Hayward. Also, take stock of whether she may be whining because she's tired or hungry. Sticking to a nap schedule and stashing a snack in your purse for outings can help prevent a major meltdown.

Step 2: Relate
Try to get to the bottom of your kid's bellyaching. Is he whining because he's trying to control a situation? If that's the case, give him a job that relates to that specific scenario. For instance, if he whines about how long you're taking at the supermarket, let him choose which apples to bag or how many bagels to buy.

Is he simply venting? Just as you like to gripe to your partner about a bad day at work or a stressful exchange with another mom, 3- and 4-year-olds need to express themselves too. You might start by saying, "I know you really want to have an extra balloon, but each child gets only one at the party," Dr. Hackney advises. This will validate his feelings and also give him a reason why you're rejecting his request.

Step 3: Rephrase
Whenever I take Avery along to the drugstore, she pleads at the top of her lungs when she sees the seductive selection of candy at the checkout aisle. To keep her quiet (and to avoid the cashier's scowls), I usually give in to her squeals for chocolate within a nano-second. Dr. Hackney suggests a better strategy, which will keep both me and the dentist happy: "Ask her to use her nice voice and to say please, and demonstrate exactly what to say and how to say it. Once she does that, you can then respond to her request with a yes or a reasoned no."

Although you may be tempted to punish your child if she continues to whine, that's not the best solution, says Hayward. "Taking away something like a favorite toy or a special privilege doesn't teach kids how to engage in a positive way in order to get what they're after and just ends up adding to their feelings of powerlessness."

Step 4: Reward
When your preschooler does ask you for something in a calm, sweet way ("Can I please have a cookie?"), it's a perfect opportunity to recognize and reinforce his good behavior. "Don't be afraid to gush! You can say, 'Wow, what a lovely way to ask. That sounded so nice,' " says Dr. Hackney. Even if you refuse his request ("We are going to save our appetite for dinner and skip the cookie now"), pointing out how well he used his good voice will make him less likely to resort to whining next time. You'll be relieved you've silenced the din, and he'll have learned how to make himself heard.

Originally published in the January 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quote of the month

"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it."

Chinese Proverbs