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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friday Faves Oldies But Goodies XV

Xavier's first Christmas! I cannot believe this is his third!


      I notice that many of you have children at different ages, or are even grandparents caring for children of all different ages. Plus, you may not have read some of my previous posts. Please note most of my posts are in the above tabs of About This Blog (basically our story as a family), The Parenting Area (inspirational and informative tips and tricks),Party ThemesRecipes (from appetizers to baby food, check out all my yummies), Reviews (we review everything from places, technology, beauty, fashion, and of course baby and toddler items), Sponsor Information (if you are considering being a sponsor of Next Generation Stay At Home Mom) and Contact (if you want to shoot me an email for whatever reason, all are welcome, so are comments on the blog and social media). You can find other posts by searching or looking through the months and years. However, I thought it would be much easier for you to highlight stories and items every Friday so here you go! I hope you enjoy and all have a great weekend!

Friday Faves Oldies But Goodies XV

Still need some great gift ideas? Check out our 
2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Remember to keep your family healthy throughout the holidays
10 Healthy Winter Habits For Your Family

Return to the magic of the season
Just Say No, to Elf On A Shelf

Stay Strong Through the Holidays with tough interactions 
12 Ways To Bring Out Your Inner Strength

Remember the Reason for The Season 
Saying Grace


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend filled with love and laughter!

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Toddler Christmas Fun

 

    Once a month we get together with our friends and have toddler play dates. We try to have some sort of theme or activity planned. Last weekend we had a toddler Christmas party. We thought it would be fun for them to make hand print ornaments, play around a Christmas tree and learn to give gifts to each other.



      There is only one predictable thing about toddlers; it is that they are unpredictable. They are adorable, and great at greeting each other now. They were enjoying the Christmas cookies, decorations and having fun.




       Our craft was a Pinterest fail. The idea was to put your child's hand in white paint, have them grasp a ball ornament, let go and wash their hand. Once the paint was dry, the parents could tie a ribbon on the ornament and make cute snowman out of their child's finger prints with Sharpie markers. Xavier went first. Right away before I even had the ornament in my hand he put his hand in the paint. I then tried to grab it, and told him to hold the ornament. He thought it was great. In fact, he thought it was so great, he smeared his hand almost all around the ornament and it ended in a big white mess on a blue ornament. As I was taking the ornament out of his hand and putting it in the egg carton to dry, he proceeded to dry off his hand on his shirt before I could grab it and put it into the water. Not to mention we got not very washable paint by accident, as it did not come out of his shirt, and I am still trying to get the last of it out of his hair and my nails.





      We had one toddler ornament with some remnants of a hand print on it as the moms decided to double team him and hold his hand. However, we called it a bust and ate some more Christmas cookies and let them play. It was a beautiful December day here in the south. We decided to let them go crazy outside. It was the best we have seen them play in a long time. They played together with balls, frisbees, and cars. They even took turns on the swings and slides.
         We have been doing these play dates since they were only a few months old. It is amazing to watch each one grow. They each develop their own unique personality, charm and sweetness. If parenting has taught me nothing over the couple years I have been blessed to be a mom, it is that life is unpredictable and it is always best, to just go with the flow.

Enjoy the fun photos of our day, courtesy of my talented friend Diana. Thank you Diana! Also, don't forget to enter our giveaway for the Ballroom Dancing Mastery System (7 DVD Set)!









Monday, December 15, 2014

Peppermint Bark

  


     If you are looking for an easy, delicious, holiday treat to make with your kids or bring to a holiday party; try this delicious Peppermint Bark! I got this recipe from Kiwi Magazine.
         You may have noticed a new badge on the side of the blog that says "I Am A Moms Meet Mom Ambassador Blogger"; I am happy to be an ambassador blogger for GreenMomsMeet.com which is also, Kiwi Magazine which always has wonderful stories, crafts, ideas and delicious and nutritious recipes.
       The Peppermint Bark does not even require a stove, just a microwave and refridgerator! I hope you and your family enjoy it, as much as we do!

Peppermint Bark
- makes about 40 pieces

Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups peppermint candies
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray generously with nonstick spray.



Unwrap the peppermint candies and put them in a plastic sealed bag (preferably a freezer bag, I tried a good grocery bag and it ripped a little). Let your kids stomp on the bag a few times to break up the candies. You could use a food processor as well. You want mostly broken pieces not as much powder. Although I found a little powder really made the bark glisten and shimmer which looked really nice when they were done.




Melt the semisweet chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. I found it best to heat for one minute, stir, and heat for another minute. You want the chocolate very soft, easy to stir and spread.


  Spread the chocolate out on the cookie sheet and let it sit to harden, as you melt the white chocolate in the same way.




Pour the heated white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate layer and allow your kids to swirl it in with a skewer and make swirls for designs.




While the chocolate is still warm and soft, sprinkle the peppermint candies all over the top.



Slide the cookie sheet into the fridge to harden.



 I found it best when you did it over night. When the bark is firm, break it up into random pieces. Also, beware when putting it out for a party that it melts quickly under lights or hot environments so you can put it on ice or keep it in the fridge as much as you can. Enjoy!






source: Kiwi Magazine Winter 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Faves Oldies But Goodies XIV

   




    I notice that many of you have children at different ages, or are even grandparents caring for children of all different ages. Plus, you may not have read some of my previous posts. Please note most of my posts are in the above tabs of About This Blog (basically our story as a family), The Parenting Area (inspirational and informative tips and tricks),Party ThemesRecipes (from appetizers to baby food, check out all my yummies), Reviews (we review everything from places, technology, beauty, fashion, and of course baby and toddler items), Sponsor Information (if you are considering being a sponsor of Next Generation Stay At Home Mom) and Contact (if you want to shoot me an email for whatever reason, all are welcome, so are comments on the blog and social media). You can find other posts by searching or looking through the months and years. However, I thought it would be much easier for you to highlight stories and items every Friday so here you go! I hope you enjoy and all have a great weekend!

Friday Faves Oldies But Goodies XIV

Check out some cute Christmas photo mess ups from Xavier's first Christmas 
Christmas Photo Mess Ups

Remembering the past with 
Xavier's First Yule

Be inspired to give back this season 
Angel Tree

See the fun of last year
The Holidays

Cook up some delicious and easy to make
Asiago Cheese Pasta With Spinach and Tomatoes

Don't forget to enter to win Ballroom Dancing Mastery System (7 DVD Set)!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with fun, laughter and love!

  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Guide

   
      

     This is the season for giving, and if you have not finished your shopping, or are blocked on ideas, here is a great guide of gifts that are Next Generation Stay At Home Mom approved, and used regularly in our house. Click on the name of each one to read a review and find out where to get it!


2014 NEXT GENERATION STAY AT HOME MOM'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE




For children under 3 years old 
Every child needs some Play- Doh
Make your photos into your own book with Twig Tale Books
Get the baby in your life My First Book Series
Give back while you get the wonderful book, Two Bobbies
Every little one loves LeapFrog My Pal Scout/Violet
One of the best shape sorters Infantino Jumbo Shape Sorter
Awesome for learning and keeping your little one amused in the car V Tech Little Apps Tablet
Your child's first game to play as a family with you Think Fun Move & Groove



For him 
Give him some fun for barbecuing with Tonguespank Spices
Get your tech guy a great JVC WiFi HD Flash Camcorder
All guys need protection for their cell phones get them the Subtech Sports Dryskin, it makes a great stocking stuffer!
For your outdoor man get him a Grandtrunk Hammock made from parachute material all of Grandtrunk gear is made to fit in a pouch!




For her
For the young mom in your life try the book Their Name Is Today
For every woman try a Dead Sea Mud Mask
A great stocking stuffer is EnvyDerm's Conditioning Mascara and Lip Plumper






Gifts suitable for everyone
Old Factory Candles Gift Set an impressive set of three soy candles in a variety of mixed scents for everyone!
Pajamas and Slippers for kids to grandparents they have something for everyone and you can even get some matching sets!
Ballroom Dancing Mastery System for your workout buddy that you think needs to try to loosen up a little from the intensity of workouts.




Gifts throughout the year 
Some of the best gifts are not a big box, but something they could use throughout the year and create memories.
For children under 8 try a membership to ABCmouse.com, they will love it and so will the parents.
Never underestimate how valuable a museum membership or theme park pass for a year is to parents with children.
If you know someone who wants to take up music, dance or art lessons, why not get them started by paying for a few.
One of the best things you can give is a family vacation. Florida is a great, affordable, family friendly vacation spot. Check out Disney World or go on a cruise there is something for everyone!

I hope you all find all the gifts you need and remember to give them with love! May you have a happy holiday season!

Don't forget to enter our giveaway for the Ballroom Dancing Mastery System 7 DVD Set!
Click here to enter!



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