February 28, 2014

Well Beginnings For Children and Babies

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Well Beginnings. 

If you're a regular reader of our blog than you know that at the Kerr house we generally use cloth diapers. There are times however, that I do use disposables on my kids. These tend to be times of high stress, like the first week we have a new baby, or when we are traveling, because many members of our family are not cloth diaper friendly. Because of this, I have learned that there are some brands of diapers I prefer over others. One of these brands is Walgreens Well Beginnings.

well-beginnings-diaper-bagThere are so many reasons we love using Well Beginnings diapers when disposables are in demand. The first is that there are two convenient locations to buy them near our home plus one near Grandma's. I just love how fast and easy it is to run into Walgreens and grab a package of diapers. Because we aren't using disposables every day I only buy what I need so this is an easy way to avoid a line and know that I am getting a great diaper at a great price.

Well Beginnings diapers are not only convenient for our family but they are also a trustworthy brand. Walgreens diapers offer great leak protection with their stretchable waist and sides plus they are super soft and include natural botanical, vitamin E and aloe to help keep your active baby's skin soft. Right now both of my kids in diapers wear size 4 and as you can see, they fit very well. In fact, we will be taking these on a weekend trip later this month and I love knowing they will hold up for the long car ride ahead.

If you are looking for amazing disposables for your child(ren) then make sure you check out the Well Beginnings brand. Even if you use cloth for everyday like we do it's great to know that at those times when you just need a little help that there is an option that will work for your child and help you out a little too.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Well Beginnings.

February 25, 2014

Sinners' Garden by William Sirls + iPad Mini Giveaway

Meet William Sirls: Once a senior vice president in a large investment firm, he was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. The Sinners’ Garden is his second novel.

I had a chance to read Sinners' Garden and it was not what I expected. I actually ended up really loving this book but it kept taking turns just when I least expected it. All together this was a great book full of amazing discoveries and wonderful people. I highly recommend this one to anyone who wants a great Christen read with a lot of mystery and some crazy adventures. This is one you won't want to miss!

William is celebrating the book's release with an iPad giveaway.

  One winner will receive:
  • A brand new iPad Mini
  • The Sinners' Garden by William Sirls
But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 1st. Winner will be announced March 3rd on William Sirls' blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by William’s blog on the 3rd to see if you won.

February 18, 2014

National Children's Oral Health Month with Firefly

It's National Children's Oral Health Month, in case you haven't already heard, and that means it's an extra good time to check in on your children's teeth! Here at Kerrific we are making that happen with a visit to our local dentist, something that's not nearly as horrible as my kids pretend it is, and new toothbrushes and mouthwash from Firefly.

There are so many great things about Firefly that I can't even begin to tell you about them all but I'm going to try anyway. Probably my favorite thing is their awesome toothbrushes. Since teeth brushing is an ongoing habit at our house, we've been through lots of different toothbrushes and the Firefly brushes are my favorite yet.

So why do I love the kids' Firefly Toothbrushes? The number one reason is because of their lights. That's right, I love them for the same reason my kids like them. They have buttons and lights. But it's so much more than that. These innovative toothbrushes have eliminated the need for me to keep a timer in the bathroom for oral care. That also means that I don't have to start all the kids brushing at the exact same time. Each toothbrush has a lighted timer that goes from green, to yellow, to red, to help the kids know how long to brush their teeth. They simply have to follow the lights twice, once for the top and once for the bottom. Even my two year old can do it and loves watching in the mirror.

So what else is there to love? Firefly has partnered with Oral Health America (OHA) and is donating thousands of toothbrushes to underserved children through the "Smiles Across America" program. I just love that this program serves over 400,000 children. I know when you make a difference in the life of a child you create change and I just love that Firefly has taken the time to do just that.

If you aren't yet celebrating National Children's Oral Health Month there is still time! Call and make an appointment with your dentist today. Then leave me a note and let me know how you plan to help make a change for better oral health!

February 17, 2014

Spring Cleaning With Children Task #1 - The Toy Room

It's spring cleaning time (and nesting time) at the Kerr house. The bad news, E is working or at school all the time so that means this year the household jobs are all left for me and four toddlers. The result, I've had to do some brainstorming on how to get the kids to help me, safely, get things done because at our house letting the TV babysit is not a oft used option.

So how are the kids helping? There are lots of ways so today I want to share our first, and most frequent spring cleaning job.

The first job I'm tackling this year is the toy room. Now see, normally I would leave the toy room for last (heaven knows we'll find more toys in every other room of the house) but in our current house the toy room lies in a place where I have to walk through it to get to my office so that means that this is one room that takes priority. Here are our before and after photos along with the top five Kerrific tips on helping your toddlers clean, organize, and maintain their toy room.


Five Tips To Maintaining A Clean Toy Room

1. Avoid Traditional Toy Boxes - Yes, these can be perfect for some things, we have one we keep doll clothes in in F's room, but they tend to be a gathering spot. The biggest tip for keeping things clean is to organize and that is very hard to do in these catch alls.

2. Label - I created my own labels simply by finding a photo of the set of toys and then lamenting and sticking them on the buckets with an outdoor strength double sided decorating tape. This has worked awesome! Not only do the kids know exactly where things go but I also know where I should find a toy when someone makes a request. I have also found that this is a great tool during clean up time because it is easy to hand each child a bucket and tell them to find everything that goes in the bucket and put it away. Sometimes the fasted cleaner, or person who fills the most buckets, gets a special treat too.

3. Don't be afraid to put things up high - If there are toys that tend to cause a fight, or are just too little to be played with without supervision (craft items are #1 at my house) then put them up high, with a lid, and teach your children to ask when they want to play with them. Not only does this help with the mess but it also gives you something that is "special" for when your kids need something that is out of the normal. More on this when I show you the cleaning of the kids' room.

4. Plan ahead - if there is a toy that your child really likes make sure you reserve room to grow when you choose which side bucket it goes in. Our car bucket, for example, was huge when we first got it 2 years ago but now it's three quarters full. So glad I got the big one to start with.

5. Make them do it again - cleaning a toy room can be hard work, just ask my kids. Just because it's hard doesn't mean it shouldn't be done right. If you want to keep a clean toy room that you don't have to do yourself then don't be afraid to be a mean mom. No, I'm not doing anything drastic but I do require my kids pick up the toy room once a day, generally right before bed, and if they don't do it right (aka put things in the correct buckets) I dump the buckets out and make them start over. It didn't take them long to figure out it was easier to do it correctly the first time. I'm not saying it's perfect but 90% off the time even my two year old can get things where they go and I know it is easier to teach him now than it will be in a few years.

What is your best toy room tip? Give me a shout out and let me know!

February 9, 2014

Valentine Mailbox Creation

One of the joys of having a child in school is that we have to make fun things like a Valentine mailbox for homework. Since this is B's first year with this type of a project he's having a hard time deciding what style of mailbox to make so he is asking for your help. Which mailbox do you think he should make?

February 8, 2014

Valentines Dinner

It's time to start thinking about what to cook for Valentines this year.  I know lots of people will choose to go out for dinner but, since I am still little introvert me, we'll be staying home for Valentines again this year and I will cook something special for the family.

So what do I have planned? This year I'm planning a fabulous dinner of meatloaf, baked potatoes, broccoli, and fruit salad. This is one of my family's favorite meals, that is that it's one of the few all the kids will eat, and it is one that is fairly simple to cook without a ton of preparation time.

The potatoes and broccoli are pretty simple, I'll leave that part of the meal up to you to figure out. For the fruit salad there are lots of options, our favorite is simply grapes, watermelon, and pineapple cut up and mixed together. So now lets focus on the meatloaf.

Kerr's No Fail Meatloaf:

1 lb ground beef (or other game)
1 package onion soup mix
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350* F. Make sure your meat is thawed and then put everything in a bowl. Stick your hands in and smoosh until everything is combined. Then form into a ball or loaf and put in pan. Drizzle with more ketchup. Bake for 1 hour. Serve & Enjoy!

Note: For the Valentine heart adaptation I followed the same procedure but after putting the ball of meat into the pan I squished the bottom into a point and then made the heart shaped top with my hands. Nothing scientific about it, just until it looks like a heart.

Sustainable and Upcycled Giveaway Coming Soon!

In celebration for 1 full year of blogging at Squishablebaby.com, Lauren at The Median Mommy and Lisa at The Squishable Baby are hosting a sustainable and upcycled giveaway hop. We have put together an amazing grand prize featuring bamboo diapers, wool, dryer balls, bamboo, and more - valued at over $150. We are looking for participants who want to giveaway sustainable and upcycled prizes valued at $15+. Since this is a sustainable or upcycled hop, please sign-up only if you have a sustainable or upcycled item to giveaway. The item can definitely be homemade - and we welcome creativity!  

If you want to participate...

1. Please sign-up in the linky below. At the end of your blog name, please place (US, US/CAN, WW) for delivery options.

 2. Fill out the Google Doc form which is located here.

 3. Post the HTML and linky (contained in the google doc) on your own blog.  

 A week before the hop, we will email you a bit of HTML, which you can put anywhere in your post. If you have any questions, please email Lisa (before signing-up) at lisa {at} squishablebaby {dot} com Thank you for helping us make this planet a better place - one blog at a time!

February 7, 2014

Ruth Reid’s “A Miracle of Hope” Kindle HDX Giveaway - A Perfect Valentine Gift!

miraclehope-400A Miracle of Hope is the first book in Ruth Reid's new series, Amish Wonders, and she is celebrating the release with a Kindle HDX Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party! That means it's time to go enter to win the perfect Valentines gift for yourself!

One lucky winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid
Enter today and hurry, the giveaway ends on February 11th. Winner will be announced at the A Miracle of Hope Facebook Party on February 11th. Connect with Ruth for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, prizes, and more!

A Miracle of Hope is an enchanting story of a young girl, Lindie, who is unwed and pregnant. Her main concern is to protect herself and her child and so she decides that an arranged marriage is her hope to survive. Lindie is soon married to Josiah, a widower with a young special needs daughter. The story as these two families are brought together is amazing! It was so fun to read about how these two individuals learned to work together and became a true family. This is a great story of love and hope perfect for Valentines Day, or any other day of the year!

So grab your copy of A Miracle of Hope and join Ruth and friends on the evening of February 11th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

February 6, 2014

Share Some Love With Spot this Valentines

Sharing our love with our family is super important during the Valentines season. This year, as you share the love don't forget your furry friends. We have five of the four footed family members at the Kerr house and we love them all! If you haven't read about us recently you may not know that each of the Kerr pets was adopted from a local rescue. We are so happy with the help we have received finding the perfect pets for our home!

If you're looking for the perfect pet for your family one place you should check out is Power of the Paw. They are an amazing rescue organization that, although small, does amazing things for the animals. The founder is a wonderful woman who will always do anything in her power to help you find the perfect pet for your family. The easiest way to find Power of the Paw is to follow their Facebook page where you can find all the latest updates on the available animals and any other projects the organization is working on.

Right now one of the animals Power of the Paw is working with is Spot. Spot is an orange tabby who was hit by a car. He had surgery to fix a broken leg and currently has a fixator on his leg. He's currently healing and getting some TLC with Power of the Paw. Spot is very grateful for the two individuals that paid for his surgery and for everyone else involved.... the good Samaritan that brought him into the Emergency clinic, those at the clinic who gave him a chance, the staff at River City Animal Hospital who performed and were involved in his surgery, Heath's Haven for posting that he needed a foster and all those who shared in hope of finding his family and those who called in donations.

If you're interested in helping Spot and other animals in need of some TLC make sure you check out the Power of the Paw page today!

February 5, 2014

A Boogie-Woogie Valentines + Giveaway

If you haven't figured out already I'm a big fan of unique Valentines. This year some of my friends, the Boogie Bugle Girls, and I wanted to give you a little preview of the fun Valentines we have planned for the special people in our life.

This year for Valentines I am excited to be able to gift some fun Boogie Wipes packages to my children's schoolmates, teachers, and other friends and family. I know the sugar high will already be great so I'm thrilled to be able to share something just as fun without the sugar content, especially at school where I know the sugar will be much to high for learning to occur.

The best part of this Boogie challenge is that we get to invite you to participate in the fun. Each of our Boogie Bugle Girls has created a Valentine idea for you. Your job is simply to pick your favorite for your chance to win an amazing Boogie Valentine basket of your very own! Good luck!

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She's Getting Away!

February 4, 2014

The Perfect Little Gifts

Now I know some people spend a ton of money on Valentines Day. For my family that just isn't an option but I still like to get a special gift for each of the kids and share the love with everyone else I possibly can too.

This year I am gifting to all the little ones I love thanks to Oriental Trading. If you haven't checked out Oriental Trading yet then you should. They have a ton of novelty items at amazing prices. My favorite part, you get items that are nice enough to gift to those you love most.

In fact, this Valentines we are putting together gift baskets for some local moms in need and came up with some great baskets plus some fillers like journals and some adorable toys for their kids without breaking my bank at Oriental Trading.

I order all my party items, stocking stuffers, and other small gifts from Oriental Trading. As a practical mom I've found there isn't a better way to go!

February 3, 2014

Dressing Up for Valentines

At the Kerr house one of our favorite things to do is dress up for the holidays. My kids are still little and their sense of time can be a little off (everything either happened last week or will happen tomorrow) so we have found that getting them ready for the holidays early can be lots of fun! One way we do this is with fun church outfits. For my boys that means that each month they get a novelty pair of suspenders to help celebrate the season.

For February we had a hard time finding a print that wasn't too girly but these Conversation Heart Suspenders turned out awesome. For church the boys wear them with a bright solid color tie but they have fun wearing them around the house with their jeans and t-shirts too!

Do you want to get in on the fun? We are having such a blast with our suspender collection that we want to share the love! You can now purchase these, and soon some of our other fun suspenders, at our Etsy Shop. Orders placed through Wednesday (the 5th) are guaranteed for arrival by Valentines day so you'll want to head over and check it out soon. And if you like these make sure you stick around because I will have some fabulous lucky suspenders ready for March next week!

February 2, 2014

Gifting for Valentines

Gifting seems to be part of most peoples' routines for Valentines Day. In fact, CNN says that they expect $18.6 million to be spent before Valentines Day. That is a whole lot of money!

This year our family is working on a special donation for Valentines Day and want to invite you to help us. As a family we are getting ready to participate in our local March of Dimes event. March of Dimes is a special organization who's mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality

The Kerr Babies
As you may know, at the Kerr house we have three children that were born prematurely. This can make a huge difference in the start of a child's life but we know from experience that this rough start can be ok when your child has the right help and we want every child to have that chance. 

This Valentines we would like to invite you to join us in our march to help babies. If you are local you can join our team and walk with us on May 31, 2014. If you are not local, or can't walk that day, we would invite you to support this amazing cause with a donation. This year our goal is to raise $5,000 for the cause so head on over and help get us going today!

February 1, 2014

Getting Your Family In The Mood For Valentines with FlattenMe Books

It's time to get in the mood for Valentines (YIKES, where has the year gone?). This year, we are helping our children understand the word love with the amazing new book Owl Always Love You by FlattenMe.

FlattenMe makes unique books using your favorite person's name and/or photo. The Owl Always Love You was perfect for Baby F because it has amazing pictures and the story is a sweet lullaby.

The next book on my list from FlattenMe is the My Super Someone book. I can just see this being awesome for a father, uncle, or even a child. My kids are way into superheros so I think it would make a great gift from them!

If you want the perfect valentine for your special someone this year make sure you check out FlattenMe. You have until 2/4/14 to order for Valentine's delivery so there is still time and you will love whatever book you choose!