Let’s Be Chefs Meal Planning App

Looking for a great meal planning app?

This meal planning app post is sponsored by LetsBeChefs.com – all opinions are 100% My Own And Not Swayed In Any Way

Let's Be Chef's Meal Planning App

Figuring out meals for the family can be frustrating at times-as a SAHM, I worry about being repetitive. But, even I have busy days where I find it hard to decide exactly what to put together (so I can imagine working full-time and having trouble with time). Meal planning apps can be one of the most useful items in your phone! And today, I want to share this one!

Stop worrying about what’s for dinner

The new Let’s Be Chefs app is pretty simple, but very unique – each week, you will have a new menu of meals to Choose from. The meals themselves are fairly easy to make, and pass the “Kid Test.” What makes this meal planning app unique, is the rating system – it uses the ratings you provide, and learns your tastes. So after using it for a few weeks, the app will give you more options that are more suitable to your personal preferences. You don’t have to worry about getting complicated dish totally out of left field – or too expensive to prepare! Let's Be Chefs Meal Planning App

Help with preparation & grocery shopping!

Another really cool feature-when you select the meals you wish to cook this week, the app helps you prepare a grocery list. It will also let you set a time specified for dinner, and send you reminders of when to start cooking! Which, is incredibly handy – especially if, like me, you forget that you need X amount of time to prepare something you really want until it’s almost dinner time. And with the grocery list, you’ll never forget that you need onions for that meatloaf (before you start cooking).Let's be chefs meal planning app

Easy Recipes

The recipes themselves aren’t hard to accomplish. Everything is well detailed, and while cooking times may slightly vary, it’s really only depending on the actual user. None of the recipes are overly fancy, or expensive to prepare – Let’s Be Chefs is designed for families! So no need to worry about all your suggestions falling into the “fancy 5 star restaurant” category, or being unaffordable.  Everything recipe offered is also “kid Let's Be Chefs meal planning appfriendly.”

And the menu is completely customized to your specific preferences (based on your ratings), unlike a lot of other meal planning apps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grocery Lists Can Be Synced!

Another awesome feature, is that you can share and sync your grocery lists with your partner across multiple devices! Making it so much easier to add things to your grocery list for your spouse to pick up on the way home. No need for extra texts, phone calls, or paper lists you’ll leave on the breakfast bar.

Try Before You Buy!

Let’s Be Chefs allows you a free 30-day trial, so you can try it out before committing! And it’s available through both iOS and Android devices!

I want to take the time to thank let’s be Chefs for working with me, and I want to ask you-have you tried this app? Let me know what you think!

Let's Be Chefs Meal Planning App takes all the frustration out of putting dinner on the table - available on iOS and Android

Imagine Dermatology Anti-Aging Beauty Products Review

This is a sponsored post/giveaway in coordination with Imagine Dermatology, in which I received Free Products in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine, and not swayed in any way.

Looking to fight wrinkles?

I have teamed up with Imagine Dermatology to try out some of their new anti-wrinkle products. Aging is but a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow the process! With that in mind, if you’re looking to reduce some of those fine lines around your face, check this out!

Imagine Dermatology

Now in case you haven’t heard of them by this name, you probably already know their creators. They’ve made products for Ulta, Sephora, and Nordstrom (just to name a few!). Now, they’ve created their own line of products – and they are amazing!

Anti-Aging Skincare from Imagine Dermatology

First, the Smoother Skin Anti-Aging Renewal Complex. I apply twice a day after washing my face (and a while before I decide to do makeup). This helps diminish wrinkles, firms, and makes everything smoother overall. It’s full of really powerful moisturizers! When they say “apply liberally”, you won’t have a problem, because a little goes a long way! My skin is instantly smoother, and feels so much more hydrated when I use this.

Then, I’ll use part two of this system (because they work best together), the Instant Lifting Wrinkle Fighter.  Also full of vitamins that really aid in keeping your skin moisturized. It also contains an ancient extract that is similar to Botox, (but way safer!) that helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Again, a little goes a long way, but I apply until my skin absorbs it all.

Together, my face feels incredibly refreshed when using these products. The slight, but citrusy fragrance is a nice, invigorating touch. It just makes my face feel totally ready to take on the day!

Anti-Aging Skincare Products from Imagine Dermatology

Imagine Dermatology Uses Natural Ingredients

They also don’t test on animals, don’t use parabens, and are made right here in the USA! You can check out more about them on their website, Imaginederm.com. But as always, I only give out an HONEST opinion, and I have to say-I love this stuff!

Enter To Win!

imagine dermatology has been so gracious to also join me in a giveaway! So you can be one of TWO winners to receive sets of this anti-aging system! Entries are marked below in the rafflecopter giveaway – you MUST be 18 and within the Continental US to win! This giveaway will conclude on Jan. 30th at Midnight, EST. May the odds ever be in your favor!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Anti-Aging Skincare Products from Imagine Dermatology

5amily Personalized Coffee Mug Gift Idea & Review

Perfect Gift Idea for the coffee lover in mind…

As we all know, Mothers need coffee. I have a few select favorite coffee mugs, and cherish each one for the job it does. Hey, #CoffeeLove is real.

So I was super excited to receive this personalized coffee mug, from 5amily.com – and I think this would make an excellent gift for that special coffee addicted woman in anyone’s life!

This is a sponsored product review by 5amily.com -All opinions are 100% my own and not swayed in any way.

Personalized Coffee Mug By 5amily.com

The coffee mugs 5amily.com makes are of a high quality ceramic, and are microwave and dishwasher safe. Which is ideal – because Moms are usually too busy to actually enjoy a warm cup of anything! That coffee is repeatedly nuked until it’s consumed.

personalize Coffee Mug By 5amily.com

I Love its design, because it’s perfectly appropriate for any age – this is something you could get your wife, girlfriend, grandmother, best friend – its super cute, and very well-printed. It’s not overly romantic for Valentine’s Day, but would still fit the bill. Not to mention Mother’s Day, which will also be here before you know it.

Personalize a Coffee Mug!

Just the fact this can be personalized, gives the coffee mug a nice touch. Perfect gift idea! And the site has a variety of other designs to choose from, and all can be designed with any name you choose. Which is perfect for those of us (like me!) who never find their name on anything!

You can also find an array of t-shirts, phone cases, and other awesome gift ideas. But, I’m totally loving my new mug! I no longer have to fight over “which cup of coffee” is actually mine, because Yes Dear Husband-mine does have my name on it!

You can order this super cute coffee mug here, and be sure to check out the other great products available at 5amily.com!

Things To Remember About Postpartum Intimacy

Have you just had a baby?

You’re probably still dealing with a lot of changes! A new little person living in your home. Healing from childbirth. Getting used to the “new you” that is inevitable after becoming a Mother. All of this is perfectly natural! And you will be (as close to as, anyway) back to your old self soon. But one question you may be asking yourself… can I still have intimacy, while in the postpartum stage?

The answer is yes. Here’s some things to keep in mind, and tips to help out…

You still need time to heal and adjust

For some couples, it’s the first thing next to having a alcoholic drink for the first time in nine months, that you want to do. But slow down! It’s recommended that you wait at least six weeks (if you had a vaginal birth, 8-10 weeks for a cesarean) and get approval from your Doctor, before becoming intimate again. That’s because you still have a lot of recovery to do. The risk of infection is still present, and it probably won’t be entirely comfortable. If you had an episiotomy, or cesarean section, you also need to wait for those sutures to heal completely. Not to mention, that you will want to be on some kind of reliable birth control! Be safe, and wait for your Doctor to give you the A-OK, before you attempt intimacy again.

Every Mother’s Recovery Time Is Different…

Remember that when you have a baby, you have done something incredibly extraordinary with your body (and mind). Plus, your hormones are going haywire, not to mention the psychical and mental strength it will take to care for a newborn. So if you aren’t quite ready to return to intimacy, then don’t. Having postpartum relations can be an awkward, undesirable experience if you don’t feel up to it. Maybe you’re overtired, burnt-out on baby snuggles to think about anyone else touching you, or just not comfortable with yourself yet. It’s ok! Give yourself, and your partner, the opportunity to adjust to this new chapter called parenting, and the rest will come. If it’s been a while, and you’re genuinely worried about your lack of desire, it never hurts to talk with your doctor.

Be comfortable with yourself & don’t worry about criticism

One of the hardest things a Mother will encounter during the postpartum phase, is becoming acquainted with her post-baby body. You spend nine months growing a tiny human inside you, and then have to readjust to life with that human finally outside of you. So don’t be surprised that even months after you’ve had your baby, you don’t look quite like you did before pregnancy. Spoiler alert – you aren’t supposed to! You just created, and delivered, a tiny human!! That’s not to say you may never get your bod back to it’s original glory. But don’t feel like it’s a rushed, or unattainable goal. And frankly-so what if it is? Doesn’t change the fact you can be are a beautiful woman.

Many women don’t feel comfortable with their bodies after having a baby, and worry what their partner will think. But this is the thing – your partner will never see the “flaws” you see. Your partner still thinks you are smokin’ hot. So if you’re ready to become intimate again, don’t let your perception of your post-baby body hold you back. Because your partner certainly won’t.

And if by a slim chance they do, then stop and reevaluate your relationship. Because you deserve way better than someone who will criticize your Mommy Pooch (I have one!), stretch marks, or a little extra junk in the trunk.

 Postpartum Intimacy Is Nothing To Be Afraid Of

You’ve gotten through the long trial of pregnancy, and you’re readjusting to life with a new baby. If you’re healed, rested and de-stressed, and ready for intimacy again-go for it! Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you aren’t human anymore. 

 

Things To remember About Postpartum Intimacy

How to Embrace Independence While Setting Boundaries Through the Toddler Years

Once your baby has grown to a toddler, you might be surprised by the amount of independence they exude! But how do you allow them to explore and grow that attribute, while keeping them safe, and within boundaries? This guest post by Caitlin Kennedy, has some insight on allowing your toddler to explore their newfound freedom (but keep them within your safe guidelines)…

While this may seem like an impossible task, there are things you can do to make your life easier, and your toddler’s more enjoyable as well!

 Now You Have An Independent Toddler…

Toddlers are imaginative, affectionate, exuberant, often fearless, passionate and stubborn people. Right when you think you have them figured out, they go ahead and surprise you.

 

“I used to like peas, Mommy, but now I think they would look much better rolling around like tiny marbles on the floor.”

 

“I know I used to sleep through the night in my beautiful, expensive crib, but now I think I’d rather interrupt your sleep and refuse to leave your side. Ok with you?”

 

While some days it may seem that you can’t catch a break and others a big hug from your toddler makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, the truth is that toddlers lack the brain capacity to think before they act. Not to mention that during the toddler years, their language is growing exponentially, which is difficult for them to keep up with and understand. Navigating these tumultuous, yet remarkable, years can be frustrating at times, especially if your child is particularly strong-willed. As a teacher, literacy specialist, and mommy to two, there are a few things I have learned through the years that may make these tiresome toddler years much more enjoyable for you and yours.

Embracing Independence

Here are some ways to embrace independence while setting boundaries through the toddler years:

 

  1. Present new opportunities while setting expectations.

Toddlers all have different personalities. My son, for example, is very confident and curious, and is not clingy at all when we venture out and try new playgroups and story times. He is one of the children that you see in the front of the group, clapping and singing, looking back at me once and a while to make sure I am there. While giving your toddler space, but making sure you are their security blanket, it enables them to explore the world on their own time. They need to know that you are giving them the ok to safely explore, but are always there if you need them.

At the same time, set clear expectations of what you need to get from them. For example, if you are in a wide open space, your toddler needs to know that they need to either stay close to you, or come back to you to let you know when they are walking away, etc. Whatever your expectation is for the time and place, let the child know in advance and give constant reminders so that they are not blindsided and can enjoy their exploration.

  1. Be Consistent.

This is probably my favorite tool for navigating my strong-willed toddler’s world. I understand that sometimes our children are taken care of by various people and family members. And I value their opinions and understand that they are not always my own. Flexibility is a great skill to show toddlers as well!

On the other hand, when you are the sole caretaker and with your child for the majority of the day, you need to be consistent. There is nothing more frustrating to me than when we are out and about and a parent says to their toddler, “Do that one more time and we are leaving.” Then the toddler proceeds to do it again, and guess what? The adult does not stick to their consequence and they don’t leave. Talk about mixed messages! This teaches the toddler that their parent doesn’t always tell the truth so they don’t always need to listen.

Toddlers are smarter than we think. In order to celebrate their independence while setting boundaries, choose logical consequences (time-out is not always the most logical option) based on the toddler’s behavior. For example, my son is beginning to know that if he chooses to dump all of his crayons out, he must help me clean them up. Being consistent with a child of any ages encourages strong moral reasoning and promotes independence.

  1. Empathize and talk it out.

In their own little egocentric world, toddlers lack the self-awareness to know when a tantrum is coming on or why something is upsetting them so much. As they get older, encourage your child to use their words to talk out the situation. Empathize with them and let them know that you understand they are upset. Encourage them to count to 3 or take a breath. Remove them from a hostile situation if need be, in a calm and loving way. Help them come up with a solution, and although it may seem silly at times, giving a hug can go a long way as well.

Also, you can foster and nurture their independence by letting them know that you are proud of them for something they accomplished. Using positive reinforcement and not always focusing on what they did wrong can be enlightening and can curb unwanted behaviors in the long run. For example, say, “That was very nice that you let that little girl have the ball. Thank you for sharing.” I think sometimes we go overboard in rewarding children with physical things, like toys or more screen time etc. Although there is a time and place for rewards, sometimes toddlers just need to know that you care by hearing it from you.

  1. Embrace and encourage play!

Role-playing is a great way to help toddlers establish their independence in a safe and fun way, and also creates a bridge to being able to verbalize what they are feeling in time. Nourish their creativity and present real-life situations to them. Giving toddlers access to non-electronic toys such as a play kitchen, dress-up clothes, a toolbox, and blocks encourages them to use their brain and think for themselves. Household objects such as spoons, boxes, and paper are also easy and non-expensive ways for toddlers to explore and use their creativity.

 

Playing with your toddler as well as letting them play independently builds a toddler’s confidence and allows them to become more independent. If your toddler is having a difficult time interacting with other children, role-play with them using dolls or stuffed animals. Instilling character education through play can be a powerful and fun activity for you and your toddler!

  1. Pick your battles and always have patience.

If a toddler consistently hears the word no and is used to being punished, chances are that “no” will become a meaningless word that they don’t pay attention to anymore in time. In our house, I try to keep a strong “no” ready for dangerous situations, such as when my son reaches for the stove, or starts climbing on a chair, or anytime he uses his hands to hit or throw. Otherwise, I use positive reinforcement or redirection, and I always choose my battles wisely.

Finding Balance

Giving toddlers ample time to explore will create a comfortable environment for them to feel confident and secure. Therefore, always give yourself extra time! I learned the importance of patience with children long ago, when I was a kindergarten teacher. When I had 22 little faces staring at their coats, boots, hats and mittens before recess in the winter, I realized that they needed to learn how to put these things on themselves, and I needed to give them time and my patience while they learned. These days, my son loves to use a spoon to feed himself. Would it be easier and cleaner for me to just feed him? Of course. Would that encourage motor skills and independence that he needs to practice and implement on his own? Nope.

As parents, it is our job to provide a safe and loving environment for our toddlers to learn. Whether we are enjoying a quiet book in bed with our kids, or witnessing them stomp their feet because they can’t have a cookie in the grocery store, the above tools are necessary for navigating this rollercoaster ride of the toddler years. As a parent of a toddler, I urge you fellow mommies to have compassion for your babies, have patience and love for them, and always have one of their favorite snacks in hand ;).
Caitlin KennedyCaitlin is a former elementary teacher and current stay-at-home mom to two babies, just 13 months apart, living in upstate NY. She enjoys coffee, wine, and quality time with family. After all, life is better with babies! Follow her blog at www.betterwithbabies.com and Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/betterwithbabies.

How To Embrace Independence While Setting Boundaries Through The Toddler Years

Things You Learn As A Single Parent

The following is a guest post by Susy Richards. I cannot speak on the subject, being that I have never been in this situation. but she provides some insight on what can be, a tough subject! Being a PARENT isn’t easy, and being a Single-Parent is even harder!

Living The Single Parent Life…

Women never think that once they would witness divorce in their lives. However, sometimes life is not a bed of roses. Staying without a man for a woman means actual freedom although it is covered by the veil of fear and loneliness. But when a woman stays alone with children it’s a different ballgame. In order to face this challenge woman needs maximum courage, persistence, and even heroism.

Single mothers are far not a rarity and even some of them deliberately do not marry anymore. This is a conscious decision and sometimes caused by a lack of suitable gentlemen. After all, single women feel that it is much better to live alone with their children and without their husbands.

Believe me or not, but the time of my life without husband became a wonderful start for self-realization and self-confidence. I do not appeal anyone to file for divorce after reading my post, I just want to help single mommies to benefit from this situation and take a positive look at the life that surrounds them.

Things You Learn Living A Single-Parent Life

So what tips have I learned from being a single Mommy?

  1. There is no need to cook complex meat dishes anymore that will disappear till midnight. I know many women who spend their evenings near the stove in order to prepare a nice dinner. Kids are not so choosy in food and cooking for them is not hard and takes less time. Experienced mommies can prepare the menu for the whole week gaining some time for themselves.
  2. Household chores are greatly simplified especially if your children are grown up. There is no need to wash and iron men’s suits, to seek out his socks under the bed or shake the crumbs out the bed. Some men are so dirty that their wives start to relax after leave. (Like meJ)
  3. Equip your home like the house of your dreams! You never liked this lamp in the form of a soccer ball? Feel free to get rid of it. For example, I added more plants, pictures and radically changed the colors of the walls after divorce. You can create a design that has always attracted you but your husband was against it. From now you are the hostess of the house and you can change everything following your own taste.
  4. Your life would not witness “His mommy’s” boring conversations and other relatives’ stories anymore! There is no need to smile through force, to bear tips or biting words to your side. You will be able to do household chores as you want and not as “His mommy” wants. After all, your soup is actually much tastier than if it’s cooked according to “her lovely” recipe.
  5. You do not need to wait for him to come in the evening after his friends’ parties. Seriously.
  6. More space in the bedroom. Now you can sleep safely on the whole double bed instead of your half’s nestling. No one will pull the blanket, push you during sleep or get up an hour earlier than you need to. In addition, say “hello” to more space on shelves where you can place your clothes, lotions, and cosmetics.
  7. You do not need to give an account to anyone. You overstayed with friends and came too late? It is enough to pay the babysitter extra or to apologize to your mother. Say “goodbye” to long speeches of a jealous husband. The same situation is with flowers from colleagues or talks with a neighbor.
  8. You can choose an interesting hobby for yourself and kids and spend less time at home alone. How to start? Just visit theaters, museums, premieres and meet with friends. You can make new acquaintances even through the Internet.
  9. A visit to a competent psychologist is not scary as it seems. I have visited special psychological groups where divorced women discussed their problems in order to find its solution. Divorce with a husband is a tremendous trauma for any woman. Women experience the feelings of blame, guilt, uncertainty and the destruction of everything that had previously been accustomed. Even friends who have passed through this reality situation cannot give you the advice that an independent psychologist can give. Who wants to bear the burden of a frustration until the end of life?
  10. In addition, there is freedom of choice in sexual terms. You can forget about thoughts like how to adjust to his mood or how to close my eyes to the fact that I do not like his look. An attractive woman can easily find a nice man to spend a good time. You can control the communication and when you want you can easily write or call and if there is no desire you can just keep quiet and enjoy your loneliness at home.

The Single-Parent Life Can Be Just As Rewarding!

To be honest the lack of money, chronic fatigue and vile men cannot compare to the happiness that kids can give to their mommies. Children are the incentive for mothers’ growth and triumphs! Sooner or later all troubles would pass but your kids will stay with you. For me being a mother is real happiness and rest of the world can envy-I don’t really care!

Things You Learn Living A Single-Parent Life

Susy Richards is a lovely mother of 3 girls (3 years, 4 years and 5) and simple woman who is ready to share her priceless experience with other mommies around the world. She is an Advanced Practice Provider who passed birth doula and postpartum doula courses at Childbirth International in 2013. She is passionate about providing holistic care and is involved in pregnancy research. Susy enjoys trips to the beach with her children, and spending time with family and friends. 😉 She is a fresh mommy blogger and currently publish her articles concerning pregnancy on Rocket Parents.com

Things I Learned Living The SIngle Parent Life, After Divorce

Co-Hosting Mama Mondays Pin Party #1

Welcome to the Mama Monday’s Pin Party- where every link that’s left gets pinned!

This is a mom blog link up party. So If you are a blogger, please join in the party with us! if not, please check out what some other bloggers have been up to!

I love link-up’s because it gives me the opportunity to read what other’s within the blogging community have been working on. I have found some really awesome blogs this way. There is a vast wealth of information ranging from just about every topic, so no matter what you are into, a blogger is sure to have covered it!

I am co-hosting for the first time, with the creator of the Pin Party, Andrea from Messy Nest Mama.

Here is how the party works:

1.Add the Mama Monday’s Pin Party badge seen below to your blog post that you link up.

Messy Neat Mama Pin Party

2. Share the features from last week & the co-host feature below! You can share their post on the social media channel of your choice! *You must complete step 1 & 2 to be eligible to be featured next week!*

Messy nest mama Pin PartyUltimate Diaper Stockpile Guide– The Creator and Co-Host of the Party, Andrea – Messy Nest Mama
Pressure Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe– Five Little Bears
Red Ripe Strawberry Fun With The Little Mouse– Babies to Bookworms
3. Leave a link to a blog post that you want people to visit & you want the host to pin! Yes we pin each link left- but please only leave one link each week
4. Party! Hop around to your fellow mom bloggers who have linked up & make some new friends!



Mama Monday's Pin Party- Where Every Link Gets Pinned

EiVi Panties by Genial Day Review

Guys, take a seat. Ladies, let’s talk about Aunt Flo…

Not something we necessarily want to talk about – but it is a part of life. And honestly, having your period sucks for a variety of reasons. But it really sucks for your panties. This is a sponsored review in which I received free product in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own and not swayed in any way. This page also contains affiliate links.

And aside from ruining your favorite pair, it also sucks during this time of the month if you have skin allergies. Or PH balance issues. Not to mention if you just went through childbirth, or gynecological surgery!

So, as I’ve been hearing a lot about the new line of feminine products that Genial Day offers, you can imagine how excited I was to do an unboxing last week!

Check out the awesome package I received from Genial Day!

Pads, Liners…and “Period Panties”

I received Regular liners, Low Flow pads, and Heavy Flow pads, to use with the EiVi panties. They are specifically designed to help reduce odor and bacteria growth. A Tourmaline Mineral is used within the inner strip of the pad, protecting the reproductive system from harmful bacteria found in what the liners catch. This mineral aso helps balance your PH level, boosts your metabolism, and is said to help the body naturally repair and heal faster during “that time of the month.”

So just the pads and liners themselves, are great for those who suffer from irritation, heavy flow, and painful/irregular periods. I thought they were super thin, but actually did a great job!

The EiVi Panties themselves (available in several models and colors) are made of organic cotton, with a special finish that blocks the spread of bacteria as well. They are also designed with little pockets that help hide the wings of the pads/liners.

EiVi Period Panties by Genial Day

What were the EiVi panties like?

Extremely comfortable! I thought they were very well made, and wouldn’t mind wearing them all the time. The pocket for the wings, is actually quite genius. I’m not sure if you could use any kind of pad/liner with these, since I used specifically the Genial Day brand products together, but I can say at least one thing. As far as Aunt Flo goes, her visit wasn’t entirely uncomfortable using these products.

Another plus for the eco-conscious;these products have been tested for harmful chemicals, and contain none!

The EiVi Panties by Genial Day and the GENIAL DAY Organic Cotton Pantiliners With Anion Strip Kit ( 9 Packs) are availible here, and you can also order, and check out more info on these great products at Genial Day.com (Hint: You can register and receive FREE SAMPLES from their website!)


Super big thanks to Genial Day for letting me review these awesome products! Have you tried them yet? Let me know your experiences, or questions below!

An honest review of the feminine products offered by Genial Day, including their new EiVi Period Panties!

Why I Stop Everything To Play With My Son

Parenting Teaches You What’s Important…

And believe it or not, Play is definitely high on that list! Playtime isn’t just important for your child, but it’s important for you too! And it’s vital to the both of you, that time be made for it. I’m going to explain why it is that I “shut off” the world, and make time for my son…This post contains affiliate links. Please see full disclosure page for more details.

Why Should Kids Play?

Even as young as a few days old, and until they are adolescents, children need play for a variety of reasons. Physical play will…

  • Strengthen Muscles
  • Develop Fine and Gross Motor Skills
  • Promote Brain Development (In Infants)
  • Improve creativity, problem solving, & social skills (In All Children)
  • Decrease risk of developing serious health complications & conditions (Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc)

Actual “play” is vital to a child’s well being all throughout their life! But first, they must actually learn how to play…

Playing with my baby

Of course when you have a brand new litte baby, you can’t help but play with them. I mean, they can’t do much at that stage but lay there and look at you-but any kind of interaction still translates into a “play” for them. Then, once they can hold things, and focus their little eyes on objects easier-EVERYTHING is play! We started Tummy Time from the day we came home from the hospital (Bruce was pulling up in the baby bassinet in my hospital room) and it didn’t take long for him to start pushing up into a crawl position, rolling over, and sitting up. We collected all the early baby toys we could, and now at 18 months, he has progressed into “Big Boy” toys. But we first needed to teach him how to play.

Whether you’re reading a book together, building a block tower, batting a ball across the floor-it’s all play. And it teaches an infant to grasp, lift, place, throw, crawl, toddle, climb…I could keep going but you get my point. They are learning everything they know of the psychical world by playing! And whatever toy they have isn’t as important to these lessons, as is the factor of having their parent play with them. 

I taught my son to throw the ball. I taught him to “drive” the toy car around. And I taught him to beat his hands on the toy drum set to “play music.” yes, the toys did help facilitate that-but he learns just as much if not more, from watching me show him how to play, rather than just giving him the toy and leaving him alone.

How do you find the time?

Yes, I’m a SAHM, so it probably seems like I have a ton of time to dedicate to “playing with my kid.” But, as any parent should know, even if you are at home, your day is usually full of a lot of other responsibilities; cooking, cleaning, errands, whatever-it-takes-to-keep-kid-alive, then you might have a husband to deal with later on in the evening. it’s time consuming!

And if you’re a working mom, you probably have way less time at home for all the same things the SAHM is responsible for, anyway!

But even when I have a ton of stuff on my plate, I make a conscious effort to dedicate solid time to playing with my son. And, it’s really not that hard to do!

Here’s a few tips that help me delegate the time amongst the responsibility…

  • Make a “Must-Do” List for the day, and add “Play” as a chore

Today, for example, I planned out an hour dedicated to laundry in the morning (which means “free play without Mommy” for the baby), followed by an hour of “Baby Play.” If it’s on my list, it needs to be done. Having the list helps me not worry about what else is on the list, because time for other chores will be just as dedicated as this one is. Now, one option that you can utilize, should you choose…

  • Combine “Work” with “Play

Yes, laundry needs to be folded and put away. While he does sometimes completely un-fold the towels, it’s more of a game for him (and learning experience, once he is older) if I pile all the clothes on the bed-and let him “fold” with me. As he’s older, we can incorporate more tasks into a type of “game”-like carrying groceries, picking up toys (right now he just scatters them out five seconds later), sweeping…you get the idea.

  • Make someone else do the work

Yes, sometimes I will make my husband finish up the dinner dishes and run the vacuum around, just so I can spend time playing. Parenting is a teamwork effort, and Daddy can’t always be the one to wrestle in the floor while I cook every dinner. We divide things up, and it keeps both of us grounded, and avoiding become burned out.

I don’t want my son to grow up remembering that Mommy was always too busy” to read a book, drive toy dump trucks, or participate in a splash war during bath time. He’s not only going to learn and grow so much from actual play time, he’s going to make memories. So at the very end of the day, if it’s necessary, I will…

  • Bump chores to another day

He’s the biggest priority. Not organizing my pantry.

 



Why I Stop Everything, And Make Time To Play With My Son

#BabyLove:My Toddler Life Book Review & Giveaway

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life, by Corine Dehghanpisheh

Does your toddler love to play with your phone? The new book, #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, may be just the addition you needed to your home library!

This is a sponsored post in which I have received a copy of this book for free, in exchange for a review. My opinions are 100% my own and not swayed in any way. This post also contains affiliate links. See full disclosure policy page for more info.

The new book by Corine Dehghanpisheh with a simple reminder: To put down our phones

 

Summary

This is a really cute story, about a little boy who loves playing with Mommy’s phone. Because of course, what toddler doesn’t? That is, until something happens. Then the little boy, and readers, learn a pretty valuable lesson in something I think most parents are guilty of from time to time. Sometimes, even though we use our phones to document our family life, and the milestones our children reach; every so often, you just gotta put the phone down.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated, and very well written. My son loved reading this with me, and it’s rhyming structure makes this a great book to practice reading with your little one. Granted, my son is really more into the pictures, which are bright and eye-catching!

There’s also something to learn for both parent and child. Kids will be reminded of how we really shouldn’t play with an adult’s phone. And their parents are reminded of just being mindful, and enjoying the moments (without necessarily whipping the phone out to document every second).

For parents Who Enjoy Special Moments, #BabyLove

The author herself, Corine Dehghanpisheh, is a Licensed Creative ArtsCorine Deghanpisheh, author of the #BabyLove series Therapist, in New York City. She has written several children’s books. This is the second in her series, the first being BabyLove: My Social Life

You can check out her website here!

 

Giveaway!

With huge thanks going to Corine for allowing me to review this awesome book, I am so happy to announce we will be joining together for a Giveaway! You can enter below to win a free copy of this great book! Remember, even if you don’t have a toddler at home, this makes for an excellent gift! The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter, so be sure to fill out each entry to increase your chances of winning! This giveaway will end at Midnight, EST on January 22nd!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Alternatively, if you just can’t wait, you can also get the book here, also available in eBook, and start building your collection of this series!

The new book by Corine Dehghanpisheh with a simple reminder: To put down our phones
#BabyLove: My Toddler Life#BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully illustrated book that teaches children not to play with their parents smartphones, and reminds parents to be mindful, and to put the phone down! A great tool for also teaching children to read with it’s rhyming scheme!

View all my reviews