Do you ever find yourself looking at your child and wishing you could just stop time? When I saw this question this morning I immediately thought of a wonderful hour or two spent on vacation in Lake Como. Our very special vacation was filled with memories but there is one that I treasure more than any other.
So rarely do we get to spend time and just do absolutely nothing so it was very special to me to watch my 3 children just lying on the grass in the beautiful garden of the house we rented overlooking Lake Como staring at the sky. They were just so happy to be with each other, sharing jokes and watching the clouds go by.
The folks at Gymboree want you to join them in celebrating and sharing cherished moments in childhood. Gymboree has created an amazing new video to help kick off this campaign and I am thrilled to share it with you.
This video is truly touching and must be watched by all parents. So watch and enjoy, then share your favorite cherished childhood moments in the comments! Be sure to use the hashtag #cherishchildhood when commenting or if you share this video with friends! Without further ado, I present to you “Today we’ve got to play!” sponsored by Gymboree:
Remember to share your comments!
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If there is one thing that it is certain it is that the prices of food seem to be constantly rising and it is becoming increasingly expensive each visit to the grocery store. So what are some ideas as to how to cut costs at the grocery store?
After all everyone has to eat so it is essential that we learn some strategies to cut costs at the grocery store. It is possible to save money if you develop a strategy.
But, it’s more than clipping coupons. It takes hard work and planning.
Making a List
For years I used to set out with the good intentions of doing a list but really never did and would just browse around the store and buy what caught my eye. I am now an avid list maker and realize that this saves me a small fortune each week. I have cut down so much what food I throw out. It also has the added benefit of making me much more efficient about meal planning. No more arriving back at home after driving the kids around and wondering what on earth I am going to make for dinner!
So the first rule is make a list and stick to it. Write things down as you run out, and check what you already have. Really learn to limit those impulse buys and you will save.
I much prefer shopping by myself. It isn’t just the distraction of the kids wanting to add to the shopping cart but my husband does this as well! It really helps in sticking to the list if you are alone.
Only Shop When You Are Not Hungry
This one is true – you buy more on impulse if you are hungry. Your ability to think rationally is reduced and you will probably be much more tempted to not stick to the list.
Confusing Unit Pricing
Grocery stores are not in the business of helping you to save money. They spend a lot of time and money tempting you to buy! One element of the confusing is the different unit pricing. But stores do have to show the unit price of each item on the shelf labels (it’s usually tiny but it will be there). Compare the unit price and buy a larger size if it’s less per ounce or per pound – but only on items that you know you will use in time. So don’t buy a huge stock of something only to find out that you haven’t used it by the sell by date.
Grocery stores will usually put higher priced items are at eye level so look up or down for lower priced foods. More expensive items are also usually on the high traffic aisles.
Thinking ahead and buying larger amounts and then freezing can work out well. Many items can be frozen and the shelf life extended if you do not want to eat them straight away.
Bulk cereal is usually a lot cheaper, as are the generic rather than big label brands. If you have a store with the bulk item bins this can also save you quite a bit.
Cook From Scratch
Prepared foods will usually cost you more and not be as healthy as the make from scratch you can cook at home. If you are not used to cooking give it a try. Just learn some basic recipes and you may be surprised at how easy it is to switch to cooking your own.
Look For Bargains
Always look for the bargains in the mark down areas. You might find items which are just about to go out of date but if you plan ahead and eat them quickly this will not be a problem.
Check You Receipt
Always check your receipt for errors. Mistakes happen frequently. You will be surprised how often once you start checking! It could be entered incorrectly on the computer scanner or the checker could be rushed and enter the wrong amount purchased. Be sure to politely point the error out and you will almost certainly get a refund.
Often you can find great prices online for every day items which you would buy at the grocery store. Using Subscribe and Save on Amazon is also a great way to save and you get free shipping too.
It is possible to cut costs at the grocery store. Just use a little advanced planning and you will soon notice the difference.
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Looking for a Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends Review? If your child is a fan of the new Disney Junior series Sofia the First then they will love this talking Sofia doll! The price is now down to $28.99 on Amazon.
The Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends has a very unique feature which the other Sofia the First dolls don’t have. This Sofia doll is able to actually have a two-way conversation with her favorite animal friends. Robin the Robin, Clover the Rabbit, and Mia the Bluebird are all included!
Kids love this kind of interactive feature! But of course this means that this toy is a little more expensive than the other toys (it was up to $35 but right now is available for $28.99) so is this toy worth the extra cost?
Key Features of the Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends
• Based on Disney Junior’s new animated television series, Sofia the First
• Includes 10 inch Sofia doll
• 3 animals are included – Robin the Robin, Clover the Rabbit, and Mia the Bluebird
• Sofia can recognize and talk to her animal friends
• 36 months – 9 years recommended age range
Is the Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends Worth Buying?
If your child is a dedicated fan of the Disney Junior series, Sofia the First, there is no doubt that your child will enjoy this toy. Children love it when television shows come to life for them and Sofia is a huge favorite. The innovative talking feature makes this a huge hit.
The Disney Sofia The First Talking Sofia
doll is meticulously made to be a complete replica of Disney’s animated series.
The Sofia doll really is absolutely beautiful – moms out there will love it too! Sofia is dressed in her long purple dress, a purple glowing amulet, a sparkling tiara with a purple stone on the top center, and shoes. So she looks just like she does on the show.
With a toy like this you are always looking for good detail and you will find it here with the Sofia doll. The dress is very well made with a multi-layered skirt that holds its shape. It is very detailed and has a white underskirt, purple skirt, and petal-hemmed overlay with decorative detailing.
So that Sofia can interact with Robin the Robin, Clover the Rabbit, and Mia the Bluebird you have to hold the chosen animal close to her amulet. There are 30 different phrases available so this is a good amount to keep you child interested in the doll.
Children usually have a lot of fun recreating scenes from the television show and your child can easily do this with this beautiful Sofia doll. The Disney show, as you would expect, promotes honesty, loyalty, grace, and compassion so these are great themes for your child to learn.
You do need to treat the animals gently though. Sofia is very well constructed but the animals are not quite so well made. This is not a major thing though as they will withstand all but the roughest of handling – a good lesson for your child to learn anyway.
We would highly recommend the Disney Sofia the First Talking Sofia and Animal Friends doll. Sofia will keep you child entertained for many hours of imaginative play and we think that the price is worth it.
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Eating out used to be a rare luxury. Your stay at home mom would cook almost every meal at home. Eating out was a very rare treat and when you did get to go to a restaurant it was a special event. But times have changed considerably since then. A 2011 poll found that Americans eat 4.8 meals per week in restaurant.
But eating out is most often more expensive than eating at home so those on a budget are looking at ways to save. Rather than having to cut down on the amount of times you eat out, you can look at how to save money whilst dining out. You and your family deserve to eat out if that’s what you enjoy.
How can you save money when dining out? Some people read a menu from right to left checking prices first and then scan back to the left to see what it is. This doesn’t work for us at all with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free requirements you usually have limited choices! So fortunately there are other ways to dine out and stay within your budget.
Set a Budget
When I look back to the days when I was a student we ate our sometimes but we always had to stick to a budget. We didn’t have a choice. Going back to this frame of mind can save a lot when dining out.
This may seem obvious but choose a restaurant you can actually afford! When it comes to actual enjoyment of a meal it doesn’t have to be gourmet to be enjoyable. Some restaurants are just way over priced for the quality and experience they offer. You can get just as full in a reasonably priced café on quality food with friendly service.
Look For Special Deals
Some restaurants offer specials on certain days and discounts for eating early. Happy hour can often save you a lot on dining out as restaurants offer specials not just on drinks but food as well.
Check online, in newspaper ads or give the restaurant a call. Many chain restaurants offer special deals. If you’re a senior citizen they may have senior specials that offer smaller portions for a smaller price.
If you’re eating with no children in tow, try the happy hour lounge specials. For the price of a drink you can usually sample the heavy hors d’oeuvres. If you do have kids, some places have kids eat free nights.
Buying an Entertainment Book that usually offers buy one get one free can be real savings for the whole year.
Restaurant.com also has great deals where you buy vouchers (usually for around $10 for $25 worth but can be as low as $4 for $25) and you can redeem these at select restaurants. These are a great deal if you can plan ahead a little.
Portions can be large so you can often order one dinner and share an appetizer. This can not only help your budget but your waist line too. Some charge for split plates but many restaurants don’t.
Take home the leftovers. This is still very much an American tradition so take advantage of it! Have your leftovers and eat them for lunch or dinner the next day.
Watch Out For The Drinks
Drinking water in a restaurant saves you a fortune. Yes of course you get free refills on soda but you do have to buy them in the first place! Drinking water saves a lot of money and a lot of calories. Drinks are usually at least $2 and usually closer to $3 for soda so this saves a lot.
Water tastes a lot better with ice and lemon. Even the kids will soon get used to it!
Save The Dessert
The kids know that most of the time they just don’t get a dessert. Kids desserts do tend to be lower priced in restaurants but even so it all adds up. If you don’t feel that you can get away with this then strike a deal to have dessert one time but not the next. Or promise them that you will pick up a half gallon of ice cream on the way home for dessert the rest of the week – it is often cheaper to do this than just to pay for one dessert at a restaurant.
Fast food can be a good choice for a family as it needn’t be unhealthy these days. Fast food chains usually offer healthy options such as salad, soup and fruit. Check the nutritional information though – it may inspire you to make healthier choices when you realize you are consuming more than a days calorie or salt content in that one food item.
Check Your Receipt
Always check your restaurant receipt. Mistakes happen.
Also some restaurants offer free meals or a reward if you take a survey about your dining out experience.
It is more than possible to save money when dining out. You deserve to be able to dine out when you want – so enjoy but just be a little more smart about your choices and you will reap the benefits.
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