Subscription Boxes You’ll Want to Gift (or Receive) This Holiday

the best subscription boxes to gift

Subscription boxes are growing in popularity and, therefore, growing in availability. A quick Google Search for "Subscription Boxes" overwhelms you with choices. Here are 5 of our favorite boxes (some with discounts) to make your holiday shopping easier. Click on either the links or the images to take advantage of the listed discounts. (Links are affililate or promotional links. Thanks!) Love Goodly What will you find in your LOVE GOODLY Box? Every other month receive 5-7 full-size … [Read more...]

Matilda the Musical Review: Should you take your kids to see the show?

Matilda the Musical National Tour Review

I'm in awe of the talent of a 10-year-old girl. Last night, I took Big to see Matilda the Musical in Philadelphia and you have to know that Mabel Tyler, who is cast as one of three Matildas (the actresses rotate each night) was just so incredibly phenomenal that I can't stop talking about her. To think that a ten-year-old from Atlanta can seamlessly pull off a very strong British accent through lengthy monologues and songs blows my mind. She's magical on stage, convincing the audience … [Read more...]

How to Survive When Teens Travel

maybe traveling with my teen will be easier if I look at it as an opportunity for growth

This post was co-written by Julie and SocialMonsters, offering ideas for teen travel with families and independent teen travel Traveling during the developmentally crucial stage of adolescence can help your kids become smarter, more successful and more compassionate as they grow into adulthood. Taking advantage of opportunities for adventure and exploration is key to children learning to adapt to new environments, seek questions and answers and learn to communicate with and become sensitive … [Read more...]

12 Things Parents Need in their Homes 12 Weeks Before Their Child Reaches Puberty So You Don’t Freak Out and Call the Fire Department

parents' puberty primer -- here's a checklist of everything parents need in the home before kids start puberty

Puberty hits, fast. Sadly, there's no warning sign that appears above tweens' heads saying "WARNING!! PUBERTY APPROACHING IN THREE... TWO... ONE" So, as parents, we take our chances and wait on the edge of our seats. It's best to be prepared, don't you think? It's far better to stock up on everything we need, early, before our puberty stress-levels get so high we're hitting emergency buttons and calling the fire department in panic.   For this post, I polled parents of teens, … [Read more...]

Matilda is coming to Philadelphia! Here’s how to prepare your kids to see the show

Matilda the musical comes to Broadway Philadelphia -- here's what you should do before taking your kids to the show

On my lengthy list of things I dream to do with the kids, is taking them to a musical. Each year when the Broadway Philadelphia schedule is announced, I dream of enjoying a special day in the city. But, until now, the boys have always said "no thanks" and Little hasn't been quite old enough. Until now. Because, suddenly, all three kids want to enjoy Broadway and I'm excited to start this month with Matilda The Musical. Big and I received tickets to Matilda for Media night, in exchange for … [Read more...]

Family Friendly Activities So Easy You’ll Be Asking Why You Never Thought of Them Before

Easy family friendly activities that will encourage creativity and self-expression

Family game night doesn't have to involve board games. While sitting down at the table to play is an excellent way to get quality time with your family, consider trying out these ideas to encourage creativity and self-expression. This guest article was submitted by SocialMonsters. Create a Scavenger Hunt Kids love scavenger hunts, and creating your own is exciting for the whole family. Each week, select a different family member to design a scavenger hunt. For younger kids, pair an … [Read more...]

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...]