Enough Time Moms: Helping Kids Set Attainable Goals



Recently, BabyGirl’s been talking about wanting to do big things. She want to raise money for charity, start a class about green living, collect toys for abused kids. It’s my job to help her succeed in doing these. Join me over at Enough Time Moms to learn how you can help your kids set goals that set them up for success.

Disclosure: I am a compensated blogger for Enough Time Moms. This post reflects my views and opinions and was not reviewed or edited by a third party. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Image credit: Image: Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Studio Movie Grill: Olivia Wintertime Cheer only $2 until 12/31

BabyGirl and I went and had lunch! It was terrific fun and the food was very good. Not your typical movie fare, more like a family restaurant with burgers, pizza, nachos, and hot dogs. And dessert too! Prices are typical of going out to a chain restaurant. If you’re in one of the Texas cities or in the Phoenix-metro area definitely give this a try. BabyGirl and I both laughed and enjoyed the movie shorts, even though she’s now 9. Definitely for the younger set, but still entertaining for the family.

Through Saturday, December 31 – Olivia, Wintertime Cheer at Studio Movie Grill

Studio Movie Grill presents family movie days every school holiday and on weekends!

 The best part—admission is only $2 per person for every member of the family.

Where: Studio Movie Grill


When: aprox 11:00 AM (see location for exact time)

Who: Families

How: Just Show Up.

Cost: $2 per person

Olivia Wintertime Cheer:

Three featurettes together – Olivia’s Snow Day, Olivia Builds a Snow Lady and Princess for a Day.

Olivia’s Snow Day (11 mins)

On a snow day, Olivia and her friend Julian form a news crew and track down the real story behind an alleged sighting of the legendary abominable snowman.

OLIVIA Builds a Snow Lady (11 mins)

Olivia is thrilled when she’s chosen to build the mascot snowman—or in her case, snowlady—for the annual Maywood winter festival. She’s determined to build the biggest snowman anybody’s ever seen! But when all the snow melts away, Olivia has to build her snow lady out of something else: cotton candy!

Princess for a Day (22 mins)

When a real live Princess comes to town, Olivia can’t wait to meet her. But Olivia gets to do more than just meet her—when Olivia and the Princess realize that they look almost exactly alike, they make a plan to trade places! Olivia initially takes to life in the castle, but she soon misses her family, and realizes that being a Princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When the royal family cuts their visit short, and decide to head home, can Olivia and the Princess swap back before it’s too late?

Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. I just wanted to share it with you.


Cube Dog iPhone App Review

Summer is under way so we’re up and at ’em very early. Swim team practices starts at 7:30am and that means mom’s not really in the mood for a big conversation for the short drive to the pool. So when the Clever Girls asked me to review this new app called Cube Dog I figured BabyGirl would have time to try it out to and from the pool for a couple of days.

I gave the phone to BabyGirl and had her search for the Cube Dog App and download it. I do have a MiFi I carry with me so she was downloaded and creating before we got to the corner! In a matter of a few minutes I was informed that her virtual dog was pink (big surprise!) and it’s name was Bubble Gum. No need for mom to help! Shortly after that all I hear is laughter and excitement coming from the back seat.

By time we got to the pool, BabyGirl had created several virtual 3D dogs, which are now appeasing her need to ask me every hour if we can have a real dog. Bubble Gum is pink and she has since created about 4 or 5 additional Cube Dogs to see all the features. Her only disappointment is that within a few hours she wanted to buy the add-on additional features and I said no. I wanted her to try out all the features. And she figured out quite a few.

So far I’ve received about 15 emails of Bubble Gum doing silly things around the house. This is because within the app BabyGirl was able to take a ‘screen cap’/photo and save it to the phone and then email it to me. Lucky me! So now I have several pictures of a crazy pink Cube Dog playing sports, sticking out its tongue, dancing, being a ninja as well as trying to hide.

Here’s a little video introduction. Overall it’s a great FREE app and kids and adults alike will enjoy creating and playing with their Cube Dog. My only disappointment was that within the first few hours of playing with the app BabyGirl wanted to buy the add-ons, saying she was bored.


To use the app you need an iPhone4, iPhone3GS, iPod Touch 3G, iPod Touch 4G and all need to have iOS 4.0 or higher running on the device.

From June 13 – 17, Cube Dog will be running a promotion on the Cube Dog page. So head over and Like the Cube Dog Page now and be ready to learn about the promotion as soon as it launches!

Get started today and download the free Cube Dog app from iTune to begin creating your virtual 3D dog.

Disclosure: While Cube Dog provided me with the app to review, the opinions I’ve expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Cube Dog, Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.


The Sharing Lie

Sharing Lie

Sharing. A single word that supposedly means we’re a nice person. I’m going to say it, because I’ve been thinking it for a very long time. Sharing is a huge lie we tell our children! It’s the same lie our parents told us when we were kids.

I’m not talking about the charitable aspect of sharing. That’s not a lie. We need to share our money, things, talents to help those in need. What I’m talking about is the sharing that is about letting other people use our stuff.

My brother and I didn’t have a lot of toys but we had plenty. And while most would clearly fit gender stereotypes there were those toys and games that belonged to both of us. Those things we had to share. Not hoard or hide or covet, but share.

And even better we were supposed to let other people play with our toys. Most of the time these were friends, but every once in awhile someone would come over to visit and bring their kid and we’d have to let this new kid use our things.

It was in college when I conceptualized this sharing lie. Because sharing only applies to kids. Adults rarely share. And it was when I moved away to college that I fully realized the gravity of this lie that is perpetuated on kids from a very early age.

Once I was in college, I didn’t have to share. Nope! My stuff was my stuff. Roommate? Let her get her own hair spray. And, don’t touch my hotplate or microwave or boom box. *insert crazy girl head waggle*

Grown ups don’t share. When was the last time you let your friend use your car? Would you really allow your BFF to use your Coach bag or your gemstone cocktail ring? Uh, no way! We don’t share our “toys”.

“Dude, let me borrow your iPod?” Don’t think so! Not unless your friend is running the Ironman and theirs broke while being chased down on their last training by wild boars. And even then, probably not because I don’t know about you but I don’t want my iPod being eaten by wild boars.

Sharing is the one thing that we as adults tell kids, but don’t often demonstrate. Sure we may loan our neighbor the edger or the mower. But the entire time they have it we’re mumbling under our breath about how they better not break it or use all the gas or whatever it is that they could possible do to them. We don’t do it with the generous spirit we ask of our children.

Just think about loaning books. Thank goodness for the Kindle! Now we don’t have to let our friends borrow our books any more. Because they keep them too long or the bend the binding or fold the pages. They’re touching our book and it makes us uncomfortable. But now, a-ha! We get to say “Sorry, I only have it on Kindle.” (insert fake smile)

While I say this with a bit of humor, it’s very real. Adults don’t share. That’s not to say we’re not kind or generous or helpful. I am a very giving person. But I’m not loaning out my purse, my car, my phone, my iPod, my noise-canceling headphones.

Yet, every day, parents across the country and around the world are asking their children to let other kids use their belongings. We ask our kids to do something we, ourselves, aren’t all that willing to do. Like I said, this isn’t about the generosity or charitable giving part.

Sharing is a very important concept because it teaches kids many lessons. I’m not here to say we shouldn’t teach kids about sharing. I just find it to be an interesting sociological phenomenon that sharing in adulthood is very different than that of childhood.

What do you think about adults sharing. Are we setting good examples? Or is it just one of those things that is different for adults?

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Sharing is a Lie


Budget Friendly Summer Fun, Is It Possible?

Wildlife Garden image

When I was a kid there were no big family trips. No amusement parks. I’m not whining or complaining, just stating facts. We weren’t the camping type of family and we didn’t have the money to take major trips.

My mom always found a way to get my brother and me to scout camp though. I remember looking through the brochure and figuring out which week I was going to go. My brother and I went different weeks. That alone was like a vacation. For as much as I love my brother now, we were constantly at each other during the summers of our youth. Fortunately for my mom, she worked full time.

Now that I’m a mom, summer activities are a big concern for me. As a homeschooler, for me summer is just more time to learn. But in the paradigm of kid activity, summer is high tide. Activity overload, overloaded. There are entire magazines devoted to sleep-away summer camps. And oh, boy, are some of them pricey!

Sleep away camps? Let’s just say that’s not happening! Sure, I went to sleep away camp for the first time when I was 7. But I had been getting myself to and from school by myself since I was 5. And, well, truth be told, I’m not ready for BabyGirl to go yet. There, I said it! I’m trying to psych myself up for when she is accepted into the youth symphony and has to go on the overnight retreat. I need a few months, so just go with me on this.

Day camps aren’t cheap either. One of the camp I wish I could go to, I mean send BaybGirl to, is $795 for a week. Well, not really a week, week. Rather it is 6 hours for 4 days and then 3 hours for the 5th day. So you don’t have to do the math, that’s about $88 per hour. For $88 an hour, when she’s done BabyGirl better be able to get a part time job! That being said, she won’t be doing that camp this summer.

We do a lot throughout the year, so for us summer is a time when I look forward to less activity. BabyGirl will be on a summer recreational swim team and she’ll attend a week of music camp. There may be one or two other scheduled camps but at $200 – $300 per week it’s expensive.

I was talking with my friend, Sally, at lunch about this. We figured that summer activities for the kids would run about $1,000. That’s crazy! OK, maybe not, but I can’t imagine where a family with a few kids would come up with several thousand dollars for summer activities.

As a frugalista, I’m into finding quality activities that fit my budget. One of the biggest changes I’m making this year is that I’m looking to the city aquatics program for our summer swim rather than the private swim program. I’ve researched it and have heard good things. And for 1/4 the price, I think we can manage for 7 weeks.

We’re pretty fortunate to live about a mile from a terrific community college that offers a summer Kid’s College program with activities that range from art and theater to math and engineering. The classes are very reasonable and are kept small to allow the kids to both learn and have fun.

And although we don’t have a pool, we have a very gracious neighbor who extends an open invitation for us to come over and swim. Some days it’s just nice to know we can go over there and BabyGirl can play with a friend and I can have adult conversation.

I know there are many options to use our garden membership and museum passes, making for inexpensive summer fun. There is always the Stuffington Bear Factory and Cerreta Candy Company, both of which are free and pretty decent. And indoors!

It is possible to have a budget friendly summer with kids at home. It take planning, something I’m probably late to doing right now. And it takes the understanding that fun can be had at home too. Even if it means ones house will likely be covered with glitter by time August rolls around.

How do you plan for summer in your home? I know y’all have great suggestions on how mom can avoid going insane because the kids are bored.