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Kid’s Academy is all about helping children learn verbal, writing and math skills in an easy and fun manner. Apps such as 123 Tracing and Bingo ABC have been top-50 educational apps in the App Store, and Kid’s Academy has also brought the well-known stories and nursery rhymes The Three Little Pigs and Five Little Monkeys to life with interactive apps.
 
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The simple interfaces of the apps allow children to take the reins and play on their own, but the sing-a-longs and other activities are perfect for parent or teacher engagement, as well. Research has shown that singing along with nursery rhymes has cognitive and physical benefits for children. Not only are children learning new words and the context in which to use them, but strengthening tongue and mouth muscles at an early age will help with pronunciation skills.
 
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Kids Academy is hosting an awesome giveaway!  Head over, download the app, and write a review in the App Store.  At the end of August, Kids Academy will randomly choose 2 lucky winners who will each win a $100 Amazon gift card!
 
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CONTEST RULES:
2. Write a short honest review on the iTunes App Store. If you have already reviewed this app, simply update your review and you will be entered!
 
Good Luck!

 

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

 

If you have followed along with my Family Talk About Drinking series of postsyou may be wondering how it is going with my son now that he has concluded his senior events and graduated high school.  We utilized the Anheuser-Busch Family Talk About Drinking parent guide over a course of several months so when he was faced with situations were drinking may come into play during senior celebrations, he would prepared to make smart choices. (You can catch up here, here and here).

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Using the guide, I was connected to a wealth of information – like opportunities to communicate with him regarding alcohol underage drinking. I am happy to say our training paid off and these events went well without any issues.  Now my son has moved out of the house and is living on his own.  The opportunity to drink without parental consequence and influence is greater.  What now? 

With the help of the parent guide and MJ Chorcoran, Parenting Coach, I was able to advance our underage drinking talks to another level. I was concerned about maintaining the lines of communication open with my son, in addition to how he would be reacting now that he isn’t so concerned about parental consequences. In other words, how do we make this transition?

The Family Talk About Drinking has some great tips including setting expectations, building trust, staying connected and staying on track. I think the hardest part for us is the communication and one I am trying to keep consistent.  Naturally, I worry when I don’t know what he is doing but so far, he is staying on track and making good decisions…or just not getting caught.  That worries me.  It’s such a delicate balance letting a child be a grown up, yet knowing they are still a child.

I recently sent some question over to MJ voicing my concerns about my son and she had some excellent advice.

How can I keep communication open when my child is living far from home?

Establishing a routine can help open lines of communication and will allow you to create conversations around school events and activities. Always ask open ended questions, ex. How does it feel to live on campus, what do you like the most?

How do I encourage my “adult” child entering college to make the right choices when his father thinks drinking is a right of passage and him being “one of the boys”?

It’s a challenge when parents don’t see eye-to-eye on underage drinking, but that doesn’t mean your message can’t be heard. Let your son know that he’s the one at choice and he can deicide for himself what he wants to do.

Resist the temptation to bend your rules and compromise your values. Even if you suspect that your son has been experimenting with alcohol, you should not change your behavior or position regarding underage drinking.

How much involvement should I have with my college student when they do make poor choices? Let them learn without getting involved? Bail them out?

The more you bail your college-aged child out, they more they will expect that. Work with them to solve the problem by being a support, but don’t take over and fix the problems.

MJ had some wonderful advice and with the help of the Family Talk About Drinking Guide, I feel I was able to make this transition easier for both my son and I. I know there is still a long road ahead of us but I am confident we can keep our conversations open and honest. 

You can download the Parent Guide here and learn more about the program and how to talk to your kids about drinking.

Connect

Family Talk About Drinking Website and Facebook Page

I received a SwimWays Spring Pool Float set to facilitate my review, however all opinions are my own.


Last week, the kids and I were stuck in the house as it rained outside for days.  We wondered if summer had left us but this week, it has returned full force.  100 degree days have had us scrambling with daily visits to the lake to cool off.  The kids love taking swim toys along to the beach, but I am not fond of packing huge, blow up toys to and from the car. Thankfully, we have our pink hibiscus pool float from Swimways!

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The Swimways Spring Floats are mesh hammock beds for use in the water. They are fabric-covered and include an oversized, built-in inflatable pillow 

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They are compact, making them easy to carry to the beach. They come in their own flat carry case – just unzip, pull out the float and it springs open. 

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After about a dozen puffs of air to fill the rim and pillow (no air pump needed!), the spring float is ready for use. 

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Here is Kinsley enjoying the Swimways Spring Float.  Don’t worry, it’s not just for little kids.  This float will hold up to 250 pounds so even this 7 month pregnant mama can float with ease!

IMG_0517Getting the spring float packed and ready to go is as easy as one, two, three.  Let the air out of the rim and pillow, twist into a circle once again and put it back in it’s carrying case!  Easy as pie!

59_7_IMG_0511The Swimways Spring Float is a favorite of ours to take to the beach.  The kids love to float and I love that they can carry their own floats, leaving me waddling my pregnant belly behind them. 

This isn’t the first Swimways spring float we have owned (we even own a baby spring float!) and we even saw a couple others on the beach that day. They are just so much fun!

I have teamed up with Swimways to offer a Spring Float to one lucky winner!  Enter on the widget below.  Good Luck!

Connect

Swimways Online, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and G+.

Buy It

Check out the Pool Floats page to find a retailer near you.

Win It

One lucky reader is going to win a Swimways Spring Pool Float!

US Only.

Ends August 9th

I received a SwimWays Squidivers set to facilitate my review, however all opinions are my own.

Summer is in full swing and between our pool membership, numerous lakes and of course, our back yard kiddie pool, the kids are spending the hot days in the water! We just grab a friend and some cool water toys and away we go! Swimways has us covered with their wide variety of toys and games for the pool.  While my twins are long fans of diving toys, Kinsley has recently discovered the joy to be found in this water treasure hunt game. 

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Kinsley is doing great with her swim training but one of the kids recently taught her to plug her nose while going under water.  While I wanted her to be comfortable diving in water without plugging her nose, she really has developed no fear of diving with this method and is constantly under water.  Diving is her favorite thing to do in the water right now so naturally Swimways Squidivers are her favorite water toys!

IMG_0393Designed for ages 5 and up, Squidivers are for children who feel comfortable diving and retrieving.  They come in a pack of three, colorful toys shaped like squids. The heads have an opening that are a perfect for fingers to toss in the pool.

IMG_0394Squidivers are also weighted so they balance on their heads when they are at the bottom of the pool. The soft, flexible tentacles float upright making them easy to grab.

Kinsley loves playing with these in her kiddie pool.  Even though it is only two feet of water and not much of a hunt, she dives right under to retrieve her squids. 

IMG_0395When she gets a little better at swimming, we are going to try these at the lake with her.  Right now, she isn’t a strong enough swimmer to dive in deeper depths.  My 14 year old twins, on the other hand, adore diving and have for many years.  Now, if only Kinsley would share her Squidivers!

SquiDivers are great swim training dive toys!  Here are some great game ideas for Squidiver play from the Swimways website!

8 Fun Games You Can Play With Squidivers

Diver Down: Wait in the water while the SquiDivers are dropped into the pool. The aim of this dive game is to get as many SquiDivers as possible – before they hit the bottom. Go one at a time, or work as a team!

Open Hunt: For this pool game, wait poolside while someone places the SquiDivers in different parts of the pool. When all the water toys are placed, race against friends and family to get as many SquiDivers as possible. The player that collects the most wins!

Color Call: Wait poolside while someone places the SquiDivers pool toys in different parts of the pool. Get a supervising adult to call a color, then players just need to find the called out color and return it to the color caller. The winner is the person who gets the most SquiDivers.

Map the Pool:

What you need:

  • Snorkel, mask, and fins.
  • This pool game is the most advanced of the eight SquiDivers games.
  • Wait poolside while the SquiDivers are distributed into various parts of the pool.

 Players can then swim around the pool to memorize the SquiDiver map and return to the start area. What is the best route to take to retrieve the highest valued SquiDivers? Then just decide on a game format: Number Hunt, Open Hunt, or Color Call.

Number Hunt: Similar to our other pool game, Open Hunt, except the value of the SquiDivers is added up to determine the winner. The points are located on the head of each SquiDiver. Orange is 30 points, green is 20 points and yellow is 10 points.

Falling Squid: Have a supervising adult throw the SquiDivers in the water. Wait poolside until the dive toys hit the bottom, then dive down to retrieve and return to the pool surface – how many can you catch in one dive?

Squid Poker: This game combines a great mix of memory and critical thinking skills and can be played in the water or poolside. Each person has a full set of SquiDivers. The more sets of SquiDivers, the more combination of “hands” can be gathered. Hands are rated from lowest to highest:

  • One pair of same color
  • Two pairs
  • Three of a kind
  • The mix
  • Full house
  • Four of a kind

Hide & Seek: Stand poolside with your eyes shut while your friends and family hide the SquiDivers in and around the pool. When they shout “Ready” open your eyes. It’s now up to you to find them all! Where will they be?

 

Connect

Swimways Online, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and G+.

Buy It

Check out the Swimways Squidivers page to find a retailer near you.

Check out all the cool Swimways Pool Toys here!

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It’s meal time! Do I choose fast food from the corner shop or a quick healthier option? I opt to choose a quick healthier option for myself and my family.  There are so many options to choose from that it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to go, to purchase what I need or want.  I look to companies who have been around for a long time, have quality products and also give me a variety of choices.  Out and about on social media I came across a,new to me, company that has been around since 1882, Hodgson Mill.DSC05697 (1) AC pic Hodgson's Mill UltraGrain with Quinoa Penne for KNK- 600 pixelsHodgson Mill began it’s tradition of producing some of the finest, all-natural, whole grain milled products from America’s heartland, otherwise known as, the rolling hills of the Missouri Ozarks, in 1837.  Today, with over 90 employees, owners Bob and Cathy Goldstein are still committed to maintaining the close-knit, family business values that made the company a success.  I admire and love a business that has and keeps those family values. Their values shine through in everything they do.

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When looking for healthy meal options I like to think variety is the spice of life! Hodgson Mill has got you covered for not only healthier choices, but a large variety of ways to incorporate those, good for you grains, into your daily diet. I was so excited to receive a most generous box full of Hodgson Mill products to review for y’all! As you can see from the picture below; I was given a terrific variety and several choices of products. I chose to make my meal plans around each product.  It was fun to plan my meals for the week and try out each item with my family. 

DSC05577 Hodgson Mill products sent for KNK review- 600 pixelsPictured below are a few of the meals in which we enjoyed Hodgson Mill products. My absolute favorite was the UltraGrain with Quinoa Penne pasta (pictured bottom left).  I don’t consider myself a connoisseur of pasta, but I really do love my pasta. Perhaps it’s my Italian genes calling out but, I also tend to think I have a penchant for choosing quality pasta products. This pasta was wonderful! I loved the taste; the texture; I loved everything about this pasta. A bonus was the quinoa. For those who have not heard of quinoa it is high in protein and doesn’t contain gluten. This pasta product from Hodgson Mill is a perfect choice in our household.  

We also tried several flavors of their Quinoa and Brown Rice. Pictured below are the Spicy (top left photo) and the Lemon Pepper (main right photo) flavors.  We all agreed we’d prefer that the rice was more flavorful and we also agreed the texture of the rice was perfect. I tend to have trouble making rice and it being fluffy. I had no trouble at all with achieving the desired fluffiness of the rice. Excellent, spot on directions.

Hodgson's Mill pic collage for KNK

Another terrific product that was included in the review box were the Travel Flax Brown Milled Flax Seed packets. I cannot tell you how excited I am about these packets.  Milled flax seed is an excellent way to get your Omega 3′s. Being one who has arthritis and other inflammatory issues I rely on supplements that help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Another plus is that it lower cholesterol levels as well.  These travel packets are perfect for anyone on the go or who just likes things measured out ahead of time. I can add a packet to my oatmeal, yogurt, etc. and not have to take a pill, which I abhor.  I didn’t even know this option was out there til I received these packets to try. I am a new fan of the Hodgson Mill Travel Flax.

DSC05587 Hodgson Mill Travel Flaxseed packets for KNL review- 600 pixelsAs you can see Hodgson Mill gave me a wonderful opportunity to try out many of their products and share my experience with you. Thank you Hodgson Mill!! The products you see here are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. To get more information on Hodgson Mill and to purchase their natural, gluten- free and organic products you can find them at:

 Find:

Hodgson Mill website

Connect:

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram

Shop:

Online or at a store near you.

bikeChillafish, home to the world’s coolest balance bikes for kids, is celebrating and you don’t want to miss it!

“We’re heading towards 50 000 LIKES on Facebook,  HOLIDAY is knocking on the door and BMXie has a NEW TOY AWARD! All equally good reasons to CELEBRATE! That’s why we invite you to celebrate with us and win a Chillafish BMXie!!”

Available in four colors, The BMXie balance bike features a real BMX-styled bicycle frame and oversized tubing but is extremely lightweight. The BMXie has a cool design, adjustable seat without tools and a removable footrest. detachable front number plate with various stickers.

indexIn July, Chillafish is  giving away 31 BMXie balance bikes and one of those winners will be a Kate n’ Kaboodle reader!  Are you ready to win?  

Enter here!

Connect with Chillafish OnlineFacebook and Twitter

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Shire. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Raising a child at any age is challenging, and when it comes to mothers and daughters, the dynamic can be even more complex. What some may dismiss as “typical tween girl behavior” can sometimes be symptoms of something more serious. Research suggests that girls are more likely than boys to report having mostly inattentive Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Since inattentive symptoms can be less noticeable than hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, it is important that moms know what to look for.

That’s why I’m pleased to be joining Shire, CHADD and Holly Robinson Peete to announce the launch of keep momming, a new public service initiative geared towards the moms of tween girls to raise awareness of ADHD.

The campaign is anchored within a new digital hub, KeepMomming.com, where you’ll find tips, tools and other go-to resources for moms, including a checklist to help recognize the symptoms of ADHD – inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity – and then encourages moms to talk to their daughter’s doctor. The keep momming initiative can help moms learn about ADHD and provide ideas on how to spark a conversation and stay connected with their tween.

Check out Holly’s message about how she keeps momming http://goo.gl/MR8HL2, and don’t forget to visit KeepMomming.com.

June was a busy, busy month for us – eight birthdays, three graduations, father’s day and an anniversary!  I am exhausted from celebrating!  For our out of town family, like my mother-in-law, we send the gift of flowers for special day.  Teleflora is a perfect gift for birthday’s and anniversary’s.  Why do I love Teleflora?  Their flower bouquets are unique and the selection has something for every taste!

About Teleflora
At Teleflora, we’re proud to have been connecting customers with the nation’s best florists for more than 78 years. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Teleflora has over 16,000 member florists throughout the U.S. and Canada, with an additional 20,000 affiliated florists outside North America. This extensive network, coupled with our commitment to exceptional customer service, means that when you send flowers from Teleflora, you can be confident that you’re sending the best. As a service organization rather than a florist, Teleflora makes it easy to select beautiful florist-delivered products by investing in the most modern technology, seeking continuous innovation and improvement in services, and providing the best people in the business to ensure your confidence that your order will be placed easily and filled by a Teleflora florist quickly and professionally to your complete satisfaction.

Teleflora has a great selection of flower bouquets for the birthday guy or gal on your list this summer.  With many creative styles to choose from, the Teleflora birthday flowers are fun and festive!  You can sweeten any bouquet with balloons, chocolates or a stuffed animal, too!

 

birthdayflowersFor those looking to order anniversary flowers, you won’t be disappointed with the selection of elegant and sophisticated flower selection.  From Roses to Lilies, the lovely couple will adore their Teleflora flower arrangement!

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To help you celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries this summer, Teleflora is providing a 20 percent off coupon code!  Not only that, you can enter for a chance to win a $75 gift code in the widget below!

Connect

Teleflora Online, Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.

Buy It

Save 20% off with the Teleflora coupon code JULYRG .

Enter promo code at checkout or click the link and 20% off discount will be automatically applied.

Coupon valid until 10/16/14

Win It

One lucky readers is going to win $75 Gift Certificate to Teleflora (plus the $14.99 service fee is waived)!

We have discontinued the weekly “WINsday Link Up”. Instead, there will be an ongoing monthly link up that will be reset the first day of every month.  You can find the link up under the “giveaway links” tab for easy access.  It will be shared every week on our social channels as usual.  Thank you for understanding.

 

Time for another Wednesday Link Up! List your giveaways and enter some too.

Make sure you check out the “giveaway links” tab above to see other sites that link up!

For a list of the current giveaways here at Kate n’ Kaboodle, see the sidebar.

Bringing a new baby into the family is an excited time!  It can also be expensive.  Fortunately, there is a slew of resources out there for free baby products – if you know where to look.  Everything thing from magazines to samples, it pays to know how to get free stuff for baby!
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Baby Registry

Many stores offer free baby packages when you register with the store.  Items may include baby wipe samples, pacifiers, magazines, coupons, etc. You can register online but free items must be picked up in store.  Many stores also offer additional percentages off items that were not purchased from your registry.

Free for Shipping

These items you can get free for shipping using a code. 

Mother & Baby Items

Sites that offer free items for mom and baby.

Diaper Rewards

Many diaper brands have reward programs where you can collect codes for free stuff.  Sign up and watch for the codes on packaging.

  • www.huggies.com
  • www.pampers.com Pampers Gifts To Grow Codes to get started: PRWELCOMEU10PTS (10 points), DM13PA4NRWPRE14 (50 points), JOINNOW4REWARDS (50 points), TWIT58FA76DY014 (5 points), FBTNSK8FA876014 (10 points), NL9SEPTFALL13PA (10 points)

Formula

  • www.enfamil.com$250 in free gifts for mom and baby.
  • www.similac.com Similac StrongMoms membership is free and includes: Up to $329 in membership benefits, Expert nutrition guidance and support from pregnancy through baby’s first year and A free $35 Shutterfly pregnancy journal photo book when you enroll.
  • www.gerber.com Gerber Nutrition Kit includes samples, coupons and more.

Books & Magazines

Discount Codes

Stores and sites that offer discount codes.

  • www.simplewishes.com Hands Free Pumping Bras.  Codes: “WIC” for 15% off, “SIMPLE50″ for 50% off, “SWBOGO” free special edition bra with purchase of signature bra, “MILK” for $9 off and “SIMPLE50″ for 50% off.

Giveaways

Giveaways for baby items are everywhere.  You can find a database of giveaways at Online Sweepstakes.  Cloth Diapering mom can take advantage of the weekly cloth giveaway list located at www.change-diapers.com.  Parents Magazine always has giveaways listed here.