Should my family see PAN: The movie?

Pan movie review -- should I take my kids to see Pan?

I first became transfixed with PAN during the Cinderella trailers earlier this year. I remember a captivating preview, complete with sprawling, colorful imaging.  It took me back to my time at Disney Social Media Moms conference, when I met with Ridley Pearson and learned of his research and creativity in writing children’s books. Pearson had teamed up with Dave Barry to discover how Peter got to Neverland. Their series, Peter and the Starcatchers, was later made into a Broadway show, Disney’s … [Read more...]

Is Reading a Low Priority? 9 Ways to Encourage Reading In Your Home

9 easy ways to help your family learn to love to read, no matter their ages

"I assign 30 minutes of reading each night," said my 6th grader's reading teacher at Back to School Night. Then, he shrugged and finished his sentence. "But we all know that reading is the lowest priority for the kids and they aren't doing it." Say what?! Nope. My husband and I weren't happy with that at all. Reading is what comes first in our family, and there's a good reason for it: we've always embraced and encouraged reading, and a reading teacher who isn't going to do that is a genuine … [Read more...]

Independent Reading: Using the Goldilocks Method to Determine If Your Child Is Reading an Appropriate Book

Independent Reading Can she actually read and understand that book!

There is never an age that is too young to encourage independent reading. Even the youngest child benefits from “quiet reading time” where they can page through books, look at the pictures, and create a story in their heads—or recall stories they’ve heard before. But as a child gets older, parents need to insure that their child is reading books that are on the child’s reading level—books that are appropriate both in comprehension and in word awareness.   While there are many … [Read more...]

How I’m refreshing my back-to-school cleaning routine

How I'm refreshing my cleaning routine at back to school

With Little finally back-to-school (she started Kindergarten eight days after her brother), it's time to reassess what we're doing around the house. So while my house project list continues to grow (what's that?! A bee's nest at the top of the roof?! Oh!! And a broken light fixture that needs to be replaced!), our every day neatness could use a little refreshing, too. But the absolute number one rule, it has to be an easy refresh... because I am not working on something that makes my life more … [Read more...]

How she does it all: momAgenda

mom agenda is a dream come true for a mom managing a busy family. Read how the products are used by a busy mom of three

MomAgenda has created a mom-organization overhaul for many moms I know, including me. As a mom of three very busy children, I rely on momAgenda products to keep me organized. While I was once a retailer for momAgenda, I now represent momAgenda as a member of their COMM team. As such, I'm compensated for writing for their blog, receive product samples and use an affiliate code for sales on my website. This post is not sponsored, but I am including affiliate links. Thank you for supporting JMP … [Read more...]

Bond with Your Kids While Spending Time Outdoors

Awesome list of outdoor activities to do with your kids

It sounds easy — go outside and do something fun. Well, sometimes you get there and things don't go as planned, or your kids get bored and ask to go home. The good news is that if you plan ahead and have a few different activities in mind ahead of time, you can have tons of fun and grow closer as a family while enjoying being outside. Here's a great list of activities for warm to moderate weather days. Go camping Whether you want to stay in your backyard or head out to an actual … [Read more...]

Back to School Lessons: Being Kind to the New Kid

one of the greatest tips every parent needs to teach her children: kindness

A year or two ago, I asked Facebook friends, “What are the things you do to prepare your kids for their first day of school?” I expected answers like get started on the back to school routine, buy a new lunch box, clean backpacks, get haircuts and many of the other tips I've covered in Back to School articles. But the first answer from a mom, Nicole, threw my entire purpose: Boom! She said it. This mom shared the single most important thing parents can do to help their kids get ready for … [Read more...]

Switching to a New School? 5 Things to Do Before the First Day

5 things to do before starting at a new school -- great resource for families transferring to a different school

Transferring to a new school will be stressful to both children and parents. There are steps you can take, now, to help make your family’s the transition smoother. Whether it’s a week before or two months before, take the  time to get the following in order so that your switch will run with ease.   Paperwork Many schools now have new student paperwork available online, and if yours does, download your papers as soon as possible and begin completing it. Do not wait until the day of … [Read more...]

FabKids: Buy 1 outfit, Get 1 Free when you join

Why you should be a VIP at FabKids

A few months ago, while I was checking out Fabletics, I noticed a tab at the top of the page, taking me to FabKids. Always the curious one for new fun finds, I explored. With Little's birthday around the corner and a few dressier events this Spring and Summer, why not try a new shop and selection of clothing? [This post contains referral links. Thank you.] What is FabKids? FabKids is a membership program that offers a lot of choice, which, as a mom of picky kids, I appreciate. Join, and … [Read more...]

What your child’s teacher wants you to do before school starts

checklist of things you need to do before the first day of school

With school about to start, your child’s teacher is getting just as many butterflies as you and your child. Here’s a list of things you can do to prepare your child for the big first day.   Fix your sleeping routine It’s so easy to allow the lazy days of summer to take over your routine. With just a few weeks left before school starts, try putting your kids to bed earlier so that they are alert and ready earlier in the morning. (You too!) If you have a few weeks, start moving bedtime … [Read more...]