Momma Told Me

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Embracing The Tween To Teen Transition With The #NaturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NaturalGoodness #CollectiveBias
Momma Told Me: Naturally sweet is the best kind of sweet.

When I was growing up the term 'tween' didn't exist. While most of my generation was reading Harry Potter novels and scrubbing their face with ProActiv, I was awkwardly thrown into high school 2 years early. Momma's only advice for the teenage years to come was, "You'll be lucky to get out alive," something she said in jest, but always with a hint of dark sarcasm. Needless to day, I spent the majority of my teenage years face down in books, my Friday nights filled with study groups and pre-SAT training courses. The fact that my body was constantly emitting strange new odors an my facial topography was changing more rapid than the melting glaciers never seemed to bother me.
Flash forward to today, and my beautiful niece, Sabrina. A part of my heart aches, looking back at her first few appearances her on the blog in contrast to the woman she becomes more and more each day. Like I was, she is very much a nerd- playing Minecraft on the Xbox360 into the wee hours of the morning and donning lens-free glasses simply to achieve 'the look.' Unlike me, however, she is very social and into the current trends of fashion, music, and celebrities. With her nose buried in her smartphone on YouTube during most off-school hours, we spend a great deal of time worrying how she will foster her own unique image.
 
This year has brought many new changes in Sabrina's life, including her first school locker, first year in Junior High, and an immediate obsession with all things girly- from dresses to handbags. Our little fashionista is beginning to take notice of the multiple changes her body will undergo as she transitions from tween to teen this year. And, while her mother fights the battle of adjusting loose straps, and wearing a bra properly, those less attentive notice the strange cloud of tween to teen aromas she is beginning to develop. Yes, her body is literally waging war, and it was at long last time to have 'the talk' of a different kind; keeping fresh and clean, naturally.
Encourage your tween to make the teen transition with the #NaturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine personal hygiene products. Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry™ Fluoride Toothpaste, Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Whole Care® Peppermint and Spearmint Fluoride Toothpaste, and Unisex Long Lasting Apricot Deodorant offer a natural freshness that is gentle on your tween to teen's skin while providing long lasting results. Build a Tween to Teen gift basket and include their favorite products to help get them excited about staying fresh naturally! #ad
When one walks down the personal hygiene aisles it's easy to get distracted by talking displays, colorful packages, and 'free bonus' gimmicks. Tweens and teens are easily swayed by packaging with bright colors and celebrity endorsements, but we know that their developing skin is perhaps the most sensitive. Sabrina's mother doesn't allow harsh fragrances or artificial ingredients on her daughter's skin, but recently expressed her frustration at the thought of doing nothing at all. I was happy to point out the #NturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine personal hygiene products, sold at her local Walmart. In particular, the long-lasting, aluminum free, Apricot Deodorant that harnesses all natural ingredients, such as zinc, for all day freshness, up to 24 hours.
Encourage your tween to make the teen transition with the #NaturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine personal hygiene products. Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry™ Fluoride Toothpaste, Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Whole Care® Peppermint and Spearmint Fluoride Toothpaste, and Unisex Long Lasting Apricot Deodorant offer a natural freshness that is gentle on your tween to teen's skin while providing long lasting results. Build a Tween to Teen gift basket and include their favorite products to help get them excited about staying fresh naturally! #ad
I recommend Tom's of Main personal hygiene products for tweens to teens (and the whole family, really) because of the brand's dedicated mission to providing quality personal and skincare products with all natural ingredients. Not only is their range of skincare and oral hygiene products Earth friendly, but people friendly as well. Each and every ingredient in their collection of products is clearly listed, with a complete breakdown of purpose and source, online. That means I can rest assured that the natural Carageenan extract in their Flouride Free Antiplaque and Whitening Toothpaste is there for the express purpose of thickening. You'll never see a needless or frivolous ingredient on any of the Tom's of Maine products!
Encourage your tween to make the teen transition with the #NaturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine personal hygiene products. Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry™ Fluoride Toothpaste, Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Whole Care® Peppermint and Spearmint Fluoride Toothpaste, and Unisex Long Lasting Apricot Deodorant offer a natural freshness that is gentle on your tween to teen's skin while providing long lasting results. Build a Tween to Teen gift basket and include their favorite products to help get them excited about staying fresh naturally! #ad
But how do you get your tween to teen to embrace a natural freshness over the glitz and glamor of artificial colors and fake fragrances? I put together a Tween to Teen gift basket perfect for any young woman learning how to tackle their bumps, bodies, and smells like a dignified lady. Of course my favorite Tom's of Maine natural oral hygiene and deodorant products made the cut.  It didn't hurt that the Antiplaque and Whitening Peppermint Toothpaste had a pink colored label either. Knowing this was Sabrina's favorite color I found and adorable toothbrush holder and matching washcloth, while shopping at Walmart, to add to my basket. I also included some natural facial cleanser wipes, hand sanitizer, and a purple paddle brush for after P.E. freshening. For at home motivation, I was sure to add a mini speaker and a flame-free wax warmer to keep up the funk-fight in her bedroom at home.Encourage your tween to make the teen transition with the #NaturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine personal hygiene products. Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry™ Fluoride Toothpaste, Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Whole Care® Peppermint and Spearmint Fluoride Toothpaste, and Unisex Long Lasting Apricot Deodorant offer a natural freshness that is gentle on your tween to teen's skin while providing long lasting results. Build a Tween to Teen gift basket and include their favorite products to help get them excited about staying fresh naturally! #ad
As any parent, or loving Aunt, knows, the best way to reach a tween to teen is with a gift, and this gift basket was a big hit. Personal hygiene is closely associated with beauty in our home, and Sabrina was immediately excited to explore the new products and learn how they could help keep her smelling, and looking, her best. I'll admit I was a little hesitant to see if she would accept the Apricot deodorant, with it's neutral unisex fragrance, but she immediately exclaimed how soft it was to apply and how she liked the 'natural' scent. That's a big win in our house, where we have had to wrestle our tween down at times just to apply deodorant!
Encourage your tween to make the teen transition with the #NaturalGoodness of Tom's of Maine personal hygiene products. Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry™ Fluoride Toothpaste, Antiplaque & Whitening Peppermint Fluoride Free Toothpaste, Whole Care® Peppermint and Spearmint Fluoride Toothpaste, and Unisex Long Lasting Apricot Deodorant offer a natural freshness that is gentle on your tween to teen's skin while providing long lasting results. Build a Tween to Teen gift basket and include their favorite products to help get them excited about staying fresh naturally! #ad
By creating a simple gift basket of personal hygiene items themed to fit our tween we were able to get her excited about her changing body and personal care without the gimmicks and extras of artificial products. Thanks to Tom's of Maine we can feel confident we are continuing to foster good Earth practices and natural living habits in our slightly dramatic, but always loveable, tween to teen. For your younger family members, pick up Tom's of Maine's Silly Strawberry flouride-free toothpaste. Learn more about Tom's of Maine natural products and explore the selection available at your local Walmart with this $1/Any Tom's of Maine product printable coupon, available for a limited time. Now, share with us, what was your biggest struggle, as a tween to teen, and how did you get motivated to overcome it?

What Daughter Says: Teach your tween to teen to be naturally sweet with the Tom's of Maine range of natural hygiene products.



Friday, April 24, 2015

Spaghetti And Meatballs Cupcakes

These Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcakes would make the perfect family dessert prank or Lady And The Tramp party treat! Use Strawberry Jam for the sauce, Ferrero Rocher chocolates for the meatballs, and shaved White Chocolate for the parmesean cheese.
Momma Told Me: If you don't stop playing with your food you're going to end up wearing it!

In our family photo album is a snapshot of a strawberry blonde, 2 year old me, in a booster chair that has somehow managed to work it's way out during every first 'dinner with the boyfriend,' throughout my life. There I sit, in nothing but my Pull-Ups alone, smeared head to toe in tomato sauce. The story goes; Momma turned around for but one second and I decided to flip my Barney bowl on top of my head, resulting in a wig made of spaghetti. It's not a moment on film I'm particularly proud of, but it does foster my fond memories of childhood and spaghetti. Honestly, whether you are a fan or not, you can't deny the fun in a dish like Spaghetti and Meatballs.
These Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcakes would make the perfect family dessert prank or Lady And The Tramp party treat! Use Strawberry Jam for the sauce, Ferrero Rocher chocolates for the meatballs, and shaved White Chocolate for the parmesean cheese.
As you all know, I bake something new each week for my Thursday night bowling league. In the beginning it was an on and off kind of thing- I'd only bring in leftovers from recipes for the blog if I had them on hand. Now I search out specific treats to attempt, and even take requests from my fellow league-mates. Since April Fools just happens to be one of my favorite 'holidays,' I decided, this month, I would make some sweet imitations. What that means for you, my darling readers, is the proceeding 4 weeks of fun and zany 'faux' food concepts being rolled out here on the blog; starting with my Spaghetti + Meatballs cupcakes.
These Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcakes would make the perfect family dessert prank or Lady And The Tramp party treat! Use Strawberry Jam for the sauce, Ferrero Rocher chocolates for the meatballs, and shaved White Chocolate for the parmesean cheese.
These Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcakes would make the perfect family dessert prank or Lady And The Tramp party treat! Use Strawberry Jam for the sauce, Ferrero Rocher chocolates for the meatballs, and shaved White Chocolate for the parmesean cheese.
As if spaghetti wasn't a fun enough dish already, these sweet treats are entirely, well, sweet, and have absolutely no 'trick' other than they're playful look. Not only were these a blast to make with some readily available baking items, but I now have the intense desire to stage an entire Lady And The Tramp themed party. Of course these would also be great for any fans of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, or general Italian food lover's birthday; but we prefer the final option- making them just because.
These Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcakes would make the perfect family dessert prank or Lady And The Tramp party treat! Use Strawberry Jam for the sauce, Ferrero Rocher chocolates for the meatballs, and shaved White Chocolate for the parmesean cheese.
While I'd love to take credit for being a foodie mastermind, these playful cupcakes are pretty simple to replicate. First, choose whether you want to go the traditional 'white noodle' route, or the more tongue in cheek yellow noodle route and make your cupcakes accordingly. A cream cheese frosting will work great for white or off white noodles, while a few drops of yellow food coloring will give them a more dramatic pop. Place your frosting in a piping bag with a narrow tip and simply zig-zag, swirl, and twist ribbons of icing across the top of your cupcake. For your spaghetti sauce, strawberry jam or preserves will do just fine. (I found preserves have a more rich red color, but tend to require thinning with a little fruit juice.) Plop some 'sauce' atop your noodles and dip a Ferrero Rocher chocolate hazelnut ball in some remaining 'sauce' and set it atop. Shave a white chocolate bar through a cheese grater for Parmesan cheese; it's as simple as that!

Making sweets that look like savory food items is sort of a thing in our household- just ask my father who has received cakes shaped like a sandwich, pizza, hamburger, and more. What favorite dish or meal would you get a kick out of seeing turned into a sweet treat?

What Daughter Says: Maybe you can't get away with playing with your food anymore, but you can enjoy the playful presentation of these cupcakes!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Best Buy's HP TouchSmart #AMDFX APU Processor Was Designed With Gamers Like Me In Mind

This #AMDFX reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Momma Told Me: Soon you'll be a video game character!

When I was a little girl, my parents were just starting their life together and, we lived in a small 2 bedroom condo. As far back as I can remember Pop was always fascinated by modern electronics, especially those consumers could own and bring into their home. We were early adopters and though we didn't have room for an office, Momma knew how important it was for my Pop to have a recreation space all his own. In our dining room (which was really just the other open half of our living room) sat a giant oak scroll-top desk with a massive computer monitor inside it. The desk, which still sits in my father's home today, not long after had a smaller version placed directly beside it at my demand.

Much to Momma's dismay, once I was old enough to move from Pop's lap to my own computer desk, I quickly adopted the gaming interests of my father. We played Monkey Island, DOOM, HEX, Myst, and pretty much anything we could dual screen or server share on. You might even say these extended interactions on my Pop's 'team' even made me favor PC gaming over the emerging console trend, as I grew up.
As you know I went to college to work towards a degree in Game Arts and Design fueled by the memories of late night co-op missions and many anti social hours spent on the SIMS in high school. Unfortunately, the past 10 years haven't left me much time to follow my passion of gaming. It turns out going to school, and working 3 jobs to pay off said school (loans,) is quite time consuming and exhausting. The last thing I had time for was clock out of my management job and into another managing role as a raid leader. Thankfully, I've grown, and I've found my own financial stability- which has enabled me to resume my favorite PC MMORPG game, World Of Warcraft. And boy have I ever resumed it- in about a year I have logged over 40 days of cumulative time logged into my server and toon (character!)
Serious gamers need serious gaming PCs. They demand a device that can handle extended, continual, use and extreme multitasking, as well as one that's versatile enough to keep up with the latest graphics cards, peripheral devices and communication accessories. I own multiple computers- a very expensive and advanced desktop for photo editing and image manipulation/web design, a gaming device strictly for the extended hours spent logged into WOW (World of Warcraft) servers- with very specific specification and device modifications for optimal communication and in game use, and a 'thrasher' laptop meant to keep me connected and (for the most part) working during travel and on the go. Unfortunately, my gaming laptop recently bit the big one and I've been logging some serious hours on a device that is not intended for intense graphics and network processing, let alone the online communication needed for live chat.
When I log on to my gaming platform (which right now is 24/7 as a background process on a thrasher computer) I also run a game add-on client and TeamSpeak (online chat) application, as well as several browser tabs of game guides and references. The add on client is essentially patching my game to modify it's interface appearance and operation WHILE I am using the game, so the PC is essentially processing the functions of 2 games simultaneously- and this isn't your Momma's 8 bit Atari, folks! I often experience crashing and lags regularly, which can really annoy the people I'm playing with. It's clearly time for me to replace my old gaming PC with a new dedicated device.

In our household we like to invest in compatible products, that means printers, tablets, laptops, and desktops that all made by the same parent brand, which so happens to be HP. We recently upgraded our old HP printer to an Envy- and have been blown away with how easy it communicates with and interfaces with our other household HP devices. Naturally, the HP #AMDFX special edition SPU ENVY TouchSmart 15.6" laptop is at the of my list for potential gaming PC replacements.
Featuring AMD's most powerful mobile processor the new FX APU powered notebook delivers the processing power of 10 computer cores for lightening fast, responsive multitasking and productivity.
The AMD FX Special Edition APU 15.5" HP ENVY TouchSmart laptop is exclusively available through Best Buy, where I know I can get a hands on try before you buy experience guided by knowledgeable staff, free of commission. We are already planning our visit to the Best Buy showroom where we'll get to put the audio and video processing (necessary for elite gaming) to the test. Of course if you can't quite make it into the store to check out this amazing gaming and multitasking PC in person, you can also take advantage of free shipping on order $35, year-round at Best Buy.com.
Of course you don't have to partake in PC gaming to find the value in this Best Buy exclusive laptop- The AMD FX APU processor is a must have for anyone who does extensive graphics or video editing, or heavily entertainment streaming! Who in your home would get the most use out of having an HP laptop with AMD's most powerful mobile processor inside? Would they be gaming? Streaming? Creating?

What Daughter Says: The only thing silly about gaming is time wasted trying to actually play a game. Upgrade your PC today to stay connected and make the most of your time logged in.
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

An Ode To Sprinkles: Try Our Gooey Sprinkle Bars Recipe!

Try these simple and fun Gooey Sprinkle Bars for your next birthday, book club night, or kids in the kitchen time. Similar to blondies, these colorful bars are chewy and melt in your mouth with a generous white chocolate sprinkle layer.
Momma Told Me: Everything I make can't look like a unicorn exploded!

People may refer to me as a 'living rainbow' for my ever revolving choices in hair-color, fashion, food, and more, but my obsession with all things fun and colorful began at a very early age. No, I'm not referring to the challenge of picking out a thrift store ensemble during one of Momma's famous runs to Goodwill, I'm referring to my love of Sprinkles. Let me tell you, as a child I would have put sprinkles on my pizza if it was kosher. And now that I'm thinking of it, Momma did have a great dessert pizza recipe that involved such gratuitous use of colored sugar specks- but that is a recipe for another time.
Gooey Sprinkle Bars Ingredients
You see Momma wasn't much of a kid person- she would have much rather spent her time grilling me for multiplication tables of local historical facts than try to decipher the sordid tales of the Barbie Wives of Southern California with me.Yes, my childhood was fairly strict, but Momma was all about creativity. When it was time to pick up a paint brush, pair of scissors, or wooden spoon, there were no rules. And Momma knew, for me, any recipe could be made magical with sprinkles (which we dubbed fairy poop for quite a while.) You see, Sprinkles are cheap, and not just for ice cream sundaes, my friends.
Most traditional Sprinkles are soft and will gently melt away if given the chance; leaving but a little blur of color as a reminder of their presence. For me, sprinkles were just as much about the rainbow of colors as the texture- Sprinkles come in all shapes and sizes, but the classic, ice cream shopper style sprinkles, those are the best. I'd stand there, barely able to peer over the kitchen counter, and watch the river of colors slide from one end of the sprinkle shaker to the other. Even the sound was playful, and there was nothing more fun than watching them pour onto my favorite dessert.
Gooey Sprinkle Bars recipe GIF
Spring is the perfect time for Sprinkles. While many will be celebrating the Easter holiday this weekend, you don't have to be any age or faith to appreciate a sweet, gooey, colorful, recipe like these Gooey Sprinkle Bars. this recipe has it all, chocolate, a candy rainbow, and a chance to play with your food as you spread the dough into the bottom of the pan. You most likely have all of the ingredients on hand right now- we all have a sprinkle stockpile, right? Give this favorite recipe a chance, and relieve a little bit of childhood wonder today. Now, tell me the truth, when was the last time you used sprinkles in a recipe or as a topping, and what was it?

What Daughter Says: Cooking with colors, whether a delicious vegetable ratatouille, or birthday cupcakes, will always be a thrill of mine.



Try these simple and fun Gooey Sprinkle Bars for your next birthday, book club night, or kids in the kitchen time. Similar to blondies, these colorful bars are chewy and melt in your mouth with a generous white chocolate sprinkle layer.
Gooey Sprinkle Bars
***Click here for printable Sprinkle Bars recipe.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How To Stay Cool This Summer With A NewAir AF-520B Misting Fan And More- Giveaway 5/5

I was provided a NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan for the following feature. Regardless all opinions remain my own. All images below are copyright Momma Told Me 2015.
The NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan provides ultra quite cooling with 3 adjustable feeds. Us it with or without a mist to cool an outdoor space up to 500 square feet. #sponsored
Momma Told Me: The best way to beat the heat is to stay indoors.

Growing up, in Southern California, I spent the majority of my Summer days indoors, confined to the comforts of air conditioning. Momma refused to go outside until shortly before dusk, when the day's heat finally began winding down. At that point we'd often grab out flip flops and migrate down to the community pool where Momma could sit under the patio misters, in the shade, and watch me work out my excess energy in the pool. On afternoons, when I'd get especially restless, a trip to the local strip mall, and it's ice cold a/c was in order, complete with a matinee showing in a nice, dark, cool, theater.

Today, as I listen to my friends, back East, complain about how the snow is finally beginning to melt, and they cannot wait to escape Winter, I am left reflecting on the other half of the country. In Southern states, like Florida, Texas, and the Pacific Coast's California, our temperatures are already climbing towards 100 and the dry heat can quickly become unbearable. But what is the use in being in a warm weather state if you can't enjoy the warm weather and beautiful sun, outdoors?
The NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan provides ultra quite cooling with 3 adjustable feeds. Us it with or without a mist to cool an outdoor space up to 500 square feet. #sponsored
Whether you're already basking in the sun/hiding in the shadows, or still longing for that first vision of Summer, make no mistake; warm weather is on it's way. Don't get caught hiding indoors when the temperatures start to climb, prepare your outdoor spaces for sunny weather early so you can enjoy the warm weather months when they come. Try these simple tips for outdoor cooling and reclaim your backyard as a personal oasis today;

1. Add Some Shade: In most cases, getting out of the direct sun will cool contact temperatures as much as 15-20 degrees instantly. Consider adding an awning, patio set with tilting umbrella, gazebo, or yard tent to help create shaded areas in your backyard. Also growing quickly in popularity are yard sails. Resembling an actual boat sail, and made of a similar fade resistant canvas fabric, yard sails can be installed with easily mounted stainless steel frames for instant shade structures that quickly go up and come down during the cooler Winter months.
The NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan provides ultra quite cooling with 3 adjustable feeds. Us it with or without a mist to cool an outdoor space up to 500 square feet. #sponsored
2. Plant A Tree: While this can be a more gradual, but long term, backyard cooling solution, trees also add shade. Many adolescent trees can be purchased at the local nursery and provide sweeping shady spots as well as the subliminally cooling effects of rustling leaves and the 'sound of wind.' If your climate allows, palm trees can make excellent backyard trees for privacy, ambiance, and atmosphere. Dwarf palms will grow no taller than 6'-7' and are often short an stubby, while other varieties of palms can remain pot bound for years until final transition. Adding plants to your backyard should not be done exclusively for shade but also to increase oxygen presence and water retention which will help keep even concrete focused patio spaces cooler over time.
The NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan provides ultra quite cooling with 3 adjustable feeds. Us it with or without a mist to cool an outdoor space up to 500 square feet. #sponsoredThe NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan provides ultra quite cooling with 3 adjustable feeds. Us it with or without a mist to cool an outdoor space up to 500 square feet. #sponsored
3. Outdoor Misting Fan: If you've ever been to a theme park and found yourself eagerly awaiting the strip of line covered in tarped misters then you know the value of fine water distribution in a hot, dry, environment. Introduce artificial wind to your backyard space with a durable and high powered outdoor fan. The NewAir AF-520B Outdoor Misting Fan is ultra quiet and provides three speeds of cooling both a dry and wet operation. With a tilting head and adjustable height the AF-520B 18" Misting Fan is an affordable and quick cooling solution for any outdoor space with a single unit covering up to 500 square feet in ultra fine,cooling mist. Operation is simple with the included hose hook-up, and extra long power cord.

An outdoor misting fan is also a wonderful, portable solution. The AF-520B can easily be moved from it's grill-side spot on the patio to a misting position poolside. It's lightweight frame is durable enough to withstand outdoor use and water contact, while it's sturdy base stands up to environmental factors like gusting wind. While we primarily use ours on the patio, the fine mist produced by the 3 water nozzles is equally appropriate for the kids to cool off in while playing in the yard, or even lounging in the hammock on a warm Summer day.
The NewAir AF-520B 18 Inch Misting Fan provides ultra quite cooling with 3 adjustable feeds. Us it with or without a mist to cool an outdoor space up to 500 square feet. See more tips to stay cool this Summer on our blog post. #sponsored
4. Go Artificial: If your space doesn't allow for the introduction of new plants and trees, sometimes the best thing to do is go artificial. Opting for 'fake' plants and decor will help cut down your time in the sun providing seasonal maintenance, while still providing the optimal atmosphere for a much needed retreat and oasis.

5. Add A Pool Or Pond: My last tip, and perhaps the most obvious, might also seem like the most most impractical. However, if you are not ready to commit to an in-ground or above-ground pool structure, or landscape pond; consider adding a small table or bird fountain to bring the presence of water to your outdoor space. Believe it or not, the sounds and sights of water, especially moving water, can be just as cooling and relaxing as soaking in the water, itself.

Is it starting to warm up in your part of the world? How do you and your family stay cool outside when the Sun decided to come out to play?

What Daughter Says: Don't let the sun keep you from enjoying your backyard- that's what it's there for! Begin working on creative cooling solutions for your yard, today.





One Momma Told Me reader will win a NewAir AF-520B Misting Fan to help stay cool this Summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stimulate And Grow With The Little Tikes Activity Garden

***Thanks to Little Tikes for providing the Activity Garden for feature here on Momma Told Me. All photos are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
Help your child develop important motor skills- Simulate and Grow with the Little TikesActivity Garden for Ages 6 months- 3 years. #sponsored
Momma Told Me: You have to learn to walk before you run.

It's hard to believe Nathan is already 8 months old- during my visit over the holidays the most trouble he could manage to get himself into was rolling himself up in his blanket- now he's just about mastered the art of crawling. It's adorable to watch him scoot along with mini hops, yet hard to watch the frustration as he works out the finer mechanics of the task on his own. He knows what he wants, but he hasn't quite figured out how to instruct his body to get him there fastest. For a toddler every experience is a chance to learn and grow; and stimulating fine motor skills through solo play and cooperative interaction help build valuable pathways for cognitive functions from those first words to those first steps.
Help your child develop important motor skills- Simulate and Grow with the Little TikesActivity Garden for Ages 6 months- 3 years. #sponsored
While every child moves at their own path, speeding through some skills, while taking time to work on developing others, the Little Tikes Activity Garden offers a plethora of skill building opportunities for toddlers as young as 6 months, through 3 years. This 2-Stage play set offers interactive play from every angle and converts from a confined play station (great for kids just learning to crawl and sit on their own) to a stretched out interactive play-scape that encourages climbing, standing, and elementary role-playing. While Nathan is just learning to use many of the elements of the Activity Garden we especially love that there are several new things for him to discover as he continues to build those motor skills, and many of them can be removed and taken on the go!
Help your child develop important motor skills- Simulate and Grow with the Little TikesActivity Garden for Ages 6 months- 3 years. #sponsored
Your child's first activity center should foster a sense of security and confidence while engaging the senses with bright colors, new shapes and sights, and interactive sound makers. The Activity Garden first converts to an enclosed play structure toddlers 6-18 months will enjoy sitting in and playing with. The colorful walls of varying heights help provide stability and security young toddlers need to establish comfort in solo play. This is especially great for dependent toddlers who have anxiety about separating  their toys from the people behind them, and also particularly useful when your baby is still mastering the finer skills of balance and self support.
Toddlers are very sensual, as they learn through exploration of their senses- touching, poking, pinching, and smacking are the first skills your baby will master before moving on to stacking and shape recognition. The Activity Garden's dual sided toy tray is perfect for transitioning to basic motor skill development (textures, mirrors, spinners, and buttons) to more complex language development and sound recognition. The flip side of the tray above has a 3 language interactive phone to help build preschool skills as your baby moves from age 2 to 3. We especially love how this play tray is entirely removable from the play center, itself, for road trips and travel play.
Help your child develop important motor skills- Simulate and Grow with the Little TikesActivity Garden for Ages 6 months- 3 years. #sponsored
Remember how we said Nathan was beginning to crawl? He is equally excited to stand on his own, and the many heights of the Activity Garden's walls allow for him to practice pulling himself up and supporting his own weight. From this vantage point he can discover the shape sorter mailbox, moving telescope, and mini slide. There's even a working door with a Tap-A-Tune piano his mother's relieved he hasn't quite discovered on his own yet.
Help your child develop important motor skills- Simulate and Grow with the Little TikesActivity Garden for Ages 6 months- 3 years. #sponsored
While you may not realize it, moving, or placing, objects at a point of desire, no matter how unintentional it may seem to you, is a big milestone on the road to building important motor skills. Your baby will love the many shape blocks and colorful balls that come with the Little Tikes Activity Center. Picking these up and placing these somewhere else is the first step to the intentional habit of stacking and sorting. It also helps build pathways to recollection and memory, as your infant grows and learns to retrieve the discarded object later. Expect these skills to develop somewhere between 9-12 months, with the skill culminating in shape stacking. At this point you'll start to see your baby enjoy the art of scribbling- so keep those crayons up and away from the walls, Mom!
Help your child develop important motor skills- Simulate and Grow with the Little TikesActivity Garden for Ages 6 months- 3 years. #sponsored
While every day is a new milestone in your toddler's growth, having an all-in-one play station like the Little Tikes Activity Garden will help expand the importance of small tasks and basic learning to bigger triumphs and achievements. You'd be surprised what you baby can teach themselves with a little time given to discover on their own. Of course, you're certainly allowed to play and discover with them, just be sure to ring the doorbell first!

What Daughter Says: Celebrate small milestone on the road to great developments.