Category Archives: Parenting

Monster Pop Big Time Butter Popcorn Is The Perfect After School Snack

The new school year is in full effect, and if your kid is anything like mine, the first thing they want once they get home is an after school snack.

My son’s new favorite snack is popcorn from Monster Pop!™ Snacks.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Monster Pop Popcorn As After School Snack

What Is Monster Pop!™ Popcorn

Monster Pop!™ is popcorn made for your little monsters. It’s a healthy, natural snack that your kids will love.

Made with only four ingredients, each bag is only 90 calories, is non-GMO, and contains no artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup.

Save 25% on any product on monsterpopshop.com with promo code MOMSMEET25. Expires 10/31/21.
Treat Yourself To Some Monster Pop

Why I Love Monster Pop!™

Monster Pop!™ Big-Time Butter Popcorn has become my son’s go to as an after school snack. He loves the fresh, delicious taste, I love the fact that it only contains four ingredients, including real butter.

We were recently gifted some of their popcorn from Moms Meet. It comes in two yummy flavors – Cheeseriffic Cheese, and Big Time Butter. I myself am a fan of the Cheeseriffic Cheese – hey, us moms love snacks too!

The bags are the perfect size for snacking, and I feel good knowing that my kiddo is getting a snack that’s non-GMO, and not loaded with added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients or trans fats.

Bags Of Monster Pop Popcorn

Another thing I love is that I can slip a bag or two in his backpack for a convenient snack when we’re out running errands.

Monster Pop!™ Big-Time Butter Popcorn is not only delicious, the half ounce bags make them an excellent choice for tossing in a lunch box, as an after school snack, or when you’re on the go.

Monster Pop!™ can be enjoyed by adults as well as kids. My husband and I like sharing the large size bag when we have movie nights.

Try Monster Pop!™ for yourself by visiting monsterpopshop.com.

Save 25% on any product on monsterpopshop.com with promo code MOMSMEET25. Expires 10/31/21.

40 Positive Back-to-School Affirmations For Kids To Help Boost Confidence

And just like that summer break is over, and it’s time to head back to school. I mean, where did the summer go?

This time of year can be either exciting or bittersweet for us as parents. Especially for those who have kids starting school for the first time.

But whether you are a mom of multiple kids, or a first-time mom I know you tend to worry (we all do) about your child’s well-being. We want to make sure that all is well and that the school year is a success for them.

One of the ways that we can help to ensure a successful school year is by helping to boost our child’s confidence.

I am a firm believer in the power of words ( Proverbs 18:21 ), and I believe that by speaking positive words out loud daily helps to not only boost our confidence, but change the way we view a situation.

We often hear of affirmations for adults, but reciting positive affirmations also works for children too. Affirmations help by affecting the way they view themselves and their abilities.

The following words of affirmation are simple, yet relatable to children. They will help your child develop confidence for learning and also help them build positive relationships.

Repeat these often with your child and watch how their confidence grows.

Pin It!

Positive Affirmations

Today is my day.

I am ready for school.

I am eager to learn.

I am ready to work hard.

I am a good friend.

I am a great listener.

I am an awesome helper.

I am confident.

I am worthy.

I am attentive in class.

I ask for help when I need it.

I am brave enough to try.

I stick to things and do not give up.

I strive for progress, not perfection.

It might take time and effort, but I will achieve my goals.

I stick with things and don’t give up

I can find the light in even the darkest space.

I do the best I can in difficult situations.

Hard work pays off.

I am smart.

I am unique and special.

I am an excellent student.

I can do hard things.

I make my parents proud.

I like my friends, and I am ready to make new friends.

I am courteous and kind.

I can remember new things.

I am excited about learning today.

I am excited to learn something new.

Learning is my superpower.

I am a leader.

I am confident, brave, and friendly.

I am going to take a deep breath, and I will do great.

I can learn anything.

I learn from my mistakes.

Mistakes help me learn and grow.

I am a problem solver.

When I don’t succeed I will try again.

I will always do my best.

I believe in my dreams.

How To Use Back to School Affirmations

Affirmations work best when they are said aloud every day. Repeat them on a consistent daily basis.

You can say them while brushing your teeth, getting dressed for school, while in the car (this is what I do with my son) or you can write a few and place them in your child’s lunchbox.

The goal is to get into the habit of saying them daily so that you are helping to build up your child’s confidence and self-esteem.

Prepare For The New School Year With These Free Printables

Free Back To School Printables

Summer break is almost over (I know, the time flew by didn’t it), and it’s time to make preparations for the new school year. The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time for kids. As a parent, you’ll want to make sure that you’re ready for the new school year as well.

Now is the perfect time to start planning. We have daily planners, a chore chart, menu planner and more.

There is also an all about me keepsake printable. This is a fun way to look back at how much your child has grown over the year.

Help your kids get off to a great start, and ensure that you stay organized with these free printables.

 

6 Easy Ways To Save Money On Your Back To School Shopping

It’s back to school season, and you’ve got a lot to buy. Whether it’s new clothing, school supplies or, computers, just thinking of all of the money you may have to spend can send your stress levels through the roof.

But with some careful planning, and these simple tips, you are sure to save some dollars on your back to school budget.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


How To Save Money

Re-use supplies from last year

Before you plan your shopping trip, take a look at last year’s school supplies, and see if they are in good condition.

Backpacks, lunchboxes, sporting equipment, binders, and other supplies can often be reused this school year.

During your search, you may even find unopened packages of pencils, ink pens, crayons, markers, and other useful items that you may have forgotten about.

 

Black Boy Going Inside School

 

Purchase items in bulk

You can multiply your savings by purchasing supplies in bulk. When items go on sale, purchase extra items and set some aside to use later in the school year. I like to purchase extra’s for the next school year as well.

 

Use coupons and cashback apps

Save extra cash by using paper coupons, or online coupons. If clipping coupons isn’t your thing, maximize your savings by using cashback apps like Ibotta.

This back to school season, Ibotta is excited to be giving away FREE items to send kids back to school the right way. That’s right – 100% cash back on a variety of school snacks and supplies. Ibotta has teamed up with some of our favorite brands to celebrate the new school year.

When you download the Ibotta app or browser extension, get 100% cash back on back-to-school essentials to start your kid’s year off right with full backpacks and lunchboxes!

How Ibotta’s Back to School Free-for-All works:
  1. Download Ibotta to start earning cash back on things you buy every day. Get the app on your phone or the browser extension for your computer (better yet: both!).
  2. Choose where you want to shop for school supplies: Walmart Pickup & Delivery, Target Online, HEB Online, Instacart, or Shipt.
  3. Link your retailer account, then add back to school offers to your list (from the browser extension window).
  4. Shop and check out like you always do. You’ll get your 100% cash back 24 hours after your grocery order is picked up or delivered!

Using apps will give you cash-back just for signing up and shopping! Rakuten and Ibotta are a couple of my favorite apps to use, and the cash back savings really add up.

 

Buy generics or store brands

Swap those expensive brand names for generic or store brand products whenever possible. Generic doesn’t automatically mean less quality. The quality of store brands is typically as good as brand name products, and you can save several coins.

 

Recycle those clothes

What child doesn’t want new clothes when they head back to school? But before spending money on an all-new wardrobe, take inventory of what’s in your child’s closet. If clothes from last school year fit comfortably, they can wear those at the start of the school year.

Remember that prices typically go down around September, so you may want to put off shopping for new clothes until then. Simply purchase one or two outfits, along with accessories for your kids to wear when school starts.

Another way to save is to check out your local thrift stores and consignment shops. You can often find good quality clothing at really low prices.

Lastly, recycle clothing among siblings. If one child has outgrown certain items, simply pass them down to the younger ones.

 

Take advantage of tax-free weekend

If your state participates, take advantage of the tax-free weekend for your back to school shopping. Below is a list of tax free days by state, along with the items that you are allowed to purchase.

  • Alabama: July 16-18, 2021 (clothing, computers, school supplies, and books)
  • Arkansas: August 7-8, 2021 (clothing and accessories, electronic devices, school supplies, art supplies, and instructional books)
  • Connecticut: August 15-21, 2021 (clothing and footwear)
  • Florida: July 31-August 9, 2021 (clothing and accessories, footwear, school supplies, and computers)
  • Iowa: August 6-7, 2021 (clothing)
  • Maryland: August 8-14, 2021 (clothing, footwear, and energy star products)
  • Massachusetts: August 14-15 2021 (most purchases under $2,500)
  • Mississippi: July 30-31, 2021 (clothing, footwear, and school supplies)
  • Missouri: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, computers, and energy star products)
  • New Mexico: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, computers, computer equipment, and school supplies)
  • Ohio: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing and school supplies)
  • Oklahoma: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing and footwear)
  • South Carolina: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, and computers)
  • Tennessee: July 30- August 1, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, computers, food, food ingredients, and prepared food)
  • Texas: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, backpacks, and school supplies)
  • Virginia: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, and energy star products)

 

With some or all of the tips that I’ve outlined above, I’m sure you’ll find a few ways to save and cut down on your back to school shopping bill.

Wishing you and your family all the best this school year!

 

7 Fun And Festive Fall Crafts For Kids

It’s that time of year friends.

Celebrate the season by making one of these fun fall crafts with your kids. I’ve rounded up seven of our favorite arts and crafts that I’m sure you and your kids will enjoy. 

Happy crafting!

 

Craft Supplies Laid Out On Table

 

Leaf Painting

Source:  Growing A Jeweled Rose

Turn fallen leaves into beautiful works of art with this paint craft.

Painted Leaves

 

 

Pumpkin Craft

Source:  Simple Everyday Mom

Welcome the season with this cute and easy pumpkin craft for preschoolers.

Pumpkin Craft

 

 

 

Fall Windsock

Source: I Heart Crafty Things

Celebrate the beautiful colors of the fall season with this simple fall windsock craft.

 

Sunflower Suncatcher

Source:  Fantastic Fun and Learning

These sunflowers are perfect for hanging in the kitchen window to catch the morning sun.

Sunflower Sun Catcher

 

 

Autumn Handprint Tree

Source:  Arty Crafty Kids

Explore simple color-mixing techniques within a seasonal theme with this Autumn Handprint Tree art project.

 

Autumn Handprint Tree

 

 

Puffy Paint Caramel Apples

Source: I Heart Arts N Crafts

Who doesn’t love caramel apples? Your kiddos will have fun making this puffy paint craft. 

 

Puffy Paint Caramel Apple

 

 

Paper Plate Scarecrow

Source: No Time For Flashcards

Gather up some materials with various textures, along with a plain old paper plate and you get this adorable scarecrow.

 

Paper Plate Scarecrow

 

Happy crafting!

PAW Patrol: Jet to the Rescue DVD Giveaway!

 

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

 

Winner Will Receive a:  

 

PAW Patrol: Jet to the Rescue DVD! 

 
 
 
 

About the Prize!

 
PAW Patrol: Jet to the Rescue episodes: 
Jet to the Rescue
Pups Save a High-Flying Skye
Pups Save Skye
Pups Save a Flying Kitty
Pups Save an Ace
 
 
 
 
PAW Patrol: Jet to the Rescue synopsis: 
 
Get ready to zoom back to Barkingburg with the pups in this all-new TV movie. When the scheming Duke of Flappington steals a powerful levitation gem from the royal castle, it’s up to the PAW Patrol to jet to the rescue before the town is lost forever. Then, join the PAW Patrol for even more high-flying adventures where they’ll save a stunt pilot, one of Mayor Humdinger’s kittens and even Skye when she breaks her wing flying to Jake’s Mountain.

 

 
 
PAW Patrol: Jet to the Rescue fast facts: 
Amazon Street Date: September 3, 2020
National Street Date: September 8, 2020
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
 
 
 
 
 
Open to entrants from the United States only! Must be 18+ to enter.

 

Giveaway Dates ~ 9/5 9:00AM EST through 9/30 11:59PM EST

Click on entry form to enter giveaway.

Entry-Form

 
 

 

Best of luck! I certainly hope you win.

 
 
 
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Ten Deliciously Healthy Breakfast Recipe Ideas For Back To School

Busy school mornings call for simple, yet healthy breakfast ideas.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But between getting the kids out of bed, their teeth brushed, dressed and out of the door each day — breakfast is often the last thing on your mind.

Lucky for you mama, I’ve rounded up 10 easy to prepare breakfast ideas for those busy back to school mornings.

 

Homemade Breakfast Hot Pockets

These homemade breakfast hot pockets are perfect for a healthy breakfast on the go and way better for you than the store-bought variety.

 

Full recipe here.

 

Brainy Breakfast

Packed with nuts, berries, cinnamon, and Greek yogurt, this Brainy Breakfast recipe socks a big protein punch.

Full recipe here.

 

Breakfast Egg Cups

Leftover veggies will never go to waste if you use them in these breakfast egg cups. Red bell pepper and spinach help to give the “muffins” their bright colors.

Full recipe here.

 

Double Berry Breakfast Parfaits

To make this breakfast parfait, you need greek yogurt, strawberries, and blueberries (or your favorite fruits), honey, and cinnamon.


Make a few ahead of time and grab them from the fridge each morning.

Full recipe here.

Spiced Carrot Bread

Spiced carrot bread is made with real food ingredients like carrots, walnuts, and raisins – and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. You can bake this on Sunday night for breakfast Monday morning.

Full recipe here.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Mmmm burritos.  Simple to prepare, easy to customize, and delicious! You can prepare a batch of these beforehand and freeze. Simply remove from freezer and heat before serving.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos
https://www.gimmesomeoven.com

Full recipe here.

Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is a warm breakfast casserole made from oats, milk, and other kitchen staples.

You can add berries for a juicy burst and walnuts for a crunchy topping.  This breakfast recipe is a texture lover’s dream and your oven does all the work.

Full recipe here.

Crockpot Sausage & Cheese Egg Omelet

You only need a few simple ingredients and about 5 minutes to assemble this sausage & cheese omelet, and you have a delicious meal ready in just a few hours!

Full recipe here.

Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

This oatmeal breakfast smoothie is a good choice for breakfast because it has a good mix of whole grains, fiber, and protein.

Full recipe here.

Sunny-Side Up Pizza

A fun breakfast pizza that will bring everyone to the table.

Full recipe here.

BONUS

Okay, so this recipe may not be all that healthy, but it’s perfect for a weekend treat. My family absolutely loves it! I think you and your kids will enjoy it too.

Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake

Full recipe here.

 

What are some of your favorite breakfast recipes?  

 

Twelve Fun Activities To Enjoy With Your Family During Quarantine

Having to quarantine and socially distance ourselves during this coronavirus pandemic is by no means fun for any of us – kids and parents alike.

While we’re normally able to come and go as we please, we are now having to steer clear of groups and outdoor activities such as going to parks, shopping malls and any other extracurricular activities.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or you’re working from home now, there are plenty of ways to keep the entire family from going stir-crazy while having to remain indoors.

Here are twelve activities that are sure to help keep your kids entertained, and your sanity intact while in quarantine, and socially distancing yourselves. 

 

Let The Fun Begin

 

1. Fly Paper Airplanes

It’s super easy to make paper aircrafts. Learn how to make the perfect airplane with this tutorial. Have some friendly competition and see who can fly their plane the farthest. You can also create a cool landing strip for your airplanes. 

 

2. Scavenger Hunts

This is a game that can be done either indoors or outdoors in the backyard. If you have younger kids, keep it simple, and have them search for items that are based on color, or basic shapes.

For the older kids, items can be collected based on letters of the alphabet, animals or insects and even riddles. 

 

3. Host A Family Movie Night

This is a great time for you to enjoy some of your favorite films as a family. So that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy their favorite movie, allow one family member to choose a movie each evening, until everyone has had a turn. 

 

4. Give Each Other Makeovers

Take turns giving each other makeovers. Pull out all of your old makeup, nail polishes, and wigs, and see who can come up with the most creative style. Don’t forget to snap a few photos to have as a keepsake! 

 

5. Have An Indoor Picnic

Push back the couch, spread out a comfy blanket and enjoy lunch from the comfort of your living room. Allow the kids to choose the menu and invite them to help with meal prep. 

 

6. Read Out Loud

This is a favorite in my household. My son loves story time. As a matter of fact, I think most kids enjoy being read to. Gather up some of your kiddos favorite books, snuggle up on the couch together, and take turns reading a page. 

 

Fun Family Activities Pinterest Pin

 

7. Build A Fort

Get creative when helping your child build a fort. You can keep it simple with just a few pillows and blankets or make it a little more extravagant by adding different fabrics and some lights. Don’t forget to stock the fort with several books, toys and lots of snacks. 

 

8. Enjoy Outdoors

Social distancing away from groups is important but you and your family can still spend time playing in the backyard. We can all benefit from some daily fresh air. Going for a walk has been one of my family’s favorite activities.

You can also roller blade or go biking around the neighborhood  as a way to help break up the monotony of time spent indoors. 

 

9. Create Your Own Masterpiece

Pull out all of your craft supplies – markers, glue, construction paper, paints, feathers, buttons and whatever other odds and ends you have lying around, and let the kids go to town. When their masterpieces have dried, be sure to display them in a prominent place around the house. 

 

10. Dance

This is a super fun way for kids to burn off excess energy, and parents to burn some excess calories. Crank up your kids’ favorite songs and everybody bust a move. 

 

11. Break Out The Board Games

Board games are a great way to bring the whole family together – young and old. Whether classics like Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, Scrabble or Clue, a great time is sure to be had by all.

You could even add a few puzzles to the mix. Puzzles are a great way for the family to problem solve, and work together, all while creating lasting memories. 

 

12. Bake Together

Who doesn’t enjoy a sweet treat? Round up the kids, and whip up some of your favorite baked goods. How about turning it into a dessert bar. Just set out the toppings – frosting, sprinkles, M&Ms, gummy bears, nuts, you name it, and let the kids (and parents) pile on their favorites.

 

Beautiful Black Family At Home

 

 

Perhaps the most important thing of all is to actually enjoy this time at home with your family. Our everyday lives can be filled with numerous distractions, so take some time to simply relax and enjoy time spent with those you love most. And don’t forget to wash your hands! 

How are you and your family spending your days while quarantined?

 

Ten Clever Mom Hacks To Help Simplify Your Back-to-School Routine

The start of a new school year is often stressful for both parents and kids. But there are ways that you can alleviate some of those stresses.

Now that you’ve completed all of the back-to-school shopping, how about implementing a few mom hacks to help make your mornings a little less chaotic.

Trust me, getting​ ​your back to school routine in order ​is​ ​by no means easy, but I believe these clever hacks can certainly help to smooth the transition.


Wake up before everyone else does

I know it can be hard to crawl out of bed in the mornings, but taking a few moments to enjoy some quiet time before everyone else wakes up will do wonders for your day.

Go ahead and enjoy your coffee in peace, look over your calendar, or maybe get a quick shower. Just remember that those few minutes belong to you.

 

Simplify your breakfast routine

Choose breakfast items that are quick and easy. Keep a bowl of fruit handy. Cereal is also a good choice. Try whipping up a batch of pancakes or even a breakfast casserole on the weekend and freeze it to have later in the week.

And by choosing a meal that is quick, doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy.  Try one of these healthy breakfast recipes. 

 

Prepare your kids wardrobe for the week

I try to iron my son’s clothes for the week on Saturday nights (or Sunday’s). I typically will iron a week’s worth of clothes and hang them on the back of his closet door. That way he can help choose what he wants to wear each day.

Allow your kid’s to help pick out their clothes for the week. Iron each piece and either hang them or fold them neatly and place in a drawer so that they are easily accessible.

 

Wash a load of clothes daily

Am I the only one who hates doing laundry? To avoid massive loads of laundry at the end of the week, toss in a load every day. That way you can wash, fold and put away a basket each day.

Menu plan

Planning our meals for the week is one of the biggest time savers for me. I mean, who wants to spend time every day trying to decide what’s for dinner? I typically take a little time on Thursday’s to write out my menu for the next week as well as my shopping list. You could also menu plan for the entire month if that works better for you.

I love quick and easy meals. I typically opt for casseroles or crockpot meals because they are simple to prepare, and I can just toss the ingredients into a crockpot or baking dish and relax while it cooks.

Create a backpack zone

Give your kids a defined space to hang up their backpacks, coats and other items when they walk through the door. This way no one is complaining that they can’t find their backpack when it’s time to head out the door in the morning.

Add a family command station

We have a centralized area in our home where we keep a family calendar, home notebook, bills, and important papers.

This area helps to keep everyone organized. We are able to keep up with keys, Dr.’s appointments, important school dates, homework and even charge our phones.

Need ideas for a command station? Read this post by The Turquoise Home.

 

Keep after-school snacks readily available

If your kiddo is anything like mine, they are hungry as soon as they walk through the door from school.

I keep a variety of snack choices ready in a basket in the pantry. There is also a snack tub in the fridge with fruit cups and apple slices (his favorites). You can add yogurt cups or any other type of fruit that your kids may like.

Prepare lunches the night before

If you send your child’s lunch to school like I do, you’ll save so much time by assembling everything the night before. Prepare sandwiches, fruit or veggies and snacks along with a drink choice and you’re all set.

The next morning, your child can just grab their lunchbox and they are ready to go.

Tidy up daily

Take a few minutes each day to put items back where they belong. Clean the kitchen as you cook. Wipe the bathroom sink and toilet with disinfectant wipes daily, and do a major clean twice a week.

At one point in time, I spent my entire weekend cleaning.  Not anymore!  I learned that by tidying up daily, I lighten my load for the weekend. That leaves me with more time to spend with my family.

Share some of your favorite hacks for a simplified back-to-school routine.

 

Five Ways You Can Teach Your Special Needs Child To Be Independent

Raising a child that has special needs can be, and often is a lot of work. Children with special needs learn differently from typical children. And because of this, we as parents tend to be a bit overprotective in an effort to help ease our child’s burden.

Often times, it will seem easier for us to perform everyday tasks for our children simply because it takes less time (such as when you’re preparing for school in the mornings). But by doing everything for them, we wind up doing more harm than good to our kids.

As a special needs parent, you have to learn to let your child take over the reins so that they can learn to be more self-sufficient. It’s extremely important to start building independence when they are younger so that they will be equipped for adulthood.

Just because a child has a disability does not mean that they can’t learn to do things on their own. You can help your child gain the confidence that he or she needs by trying the following tips.


Young Black Boy Putting Away Laundry

 

Allow them to make their own choices

One easy way to start building independence is by giving your child choices. You can apply this to different scenarios throughout the day. Start by offering them choices at mealtimes. I may offer my son a choice between pizza or chicken for dinner.  And pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast.


You can also have them help pick out their own clothes.  Ask what color shirt or pants they would like to wear to school. Or even what program they would like to watch on television or what game they’d like to play on the Ipad.

My son has a tendency to choose the same things over and over (whether food, TV shows or games), so I will sometimes take his favorite from the list of choices just to add a little variety here and there.

Allow your child the opportunity to make their own choices as much as possible.

 

 

Avoid the urge to do things for them

Trust me, I know that this can be difficult. But if your child is capable of doing certain things themselves such as showering on their own, brushing their teeth, or getting dressed by themselves, then, by all means, let them do it.

You may have to get up a little earlier in the mornings so that you’re not late for work or school – which is what I do, but it is so worth it.


It may seem easier for you to do things for them, but it really doesn’t help them in the long run. They may not master a task in the beginning, but continue to work with them until they’ve perfected it.

 

Challenge your child

Resist the urge to make everything easy for your child. Give them activities that will provide a challenge for them every now and then. That way they will learn that by working hard and putting forth some effort, they can achieve a goal.

If they struggle with a task, in the beginning, make some minor adjustments so that it fits their skill level. Continue making adjustments as needed in order to help build their independence.

It is so worth it to see the pride in their eyes (and yours)  when they master a task.

 

Young Black Boy On Playground Equipment

 

Work with your child’s instructors

Schedule an IEP meeting with your child’s teacher or sit down with their therapist so that you can talk about ways the two of you can work together to help foster your child’s independence.

I like to incorporate a lot of the things that are covered at school into my son’s activities at home.  It helps him to master new skills a lot quicker when he’s putting them into practice both at home and at school.

When you communicate learning strategies openly and freely, it helps to ensure that all parties involved are on the same page.

 

Learn to let go

The road to independence for children with special needs is often more challenging than it is for their peers. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We just have to be willing to let go and allow our children to make mistakes so that they can learn from them.

It took me a while to master this one. My son can do so much more than what I often allow him to do. As they say – old habits die hard. I am learning more and more each day to let go and allow him to spread his wings and soar. I know that it can be hard watching your child stumble, but how will they know what they can accomplish if we don’t allow them the opportunity?

The earlier we start to foster independence, the easier it will be for our kids to learn to stand on their own two feet.

How do you encourage independence in your child?

Summer Art And Craft Ideas For Kids

 

Summer break is in full effect! When school is out, one of my favorite things to do with my son is crafts. He absolutely loves making things with his hands.

Each summer I try to come up with fun crafts and other activities that I think he will enjoy.

I have rounded up ten crafts that are perfect for rainy days, when the kids get bored, or simply when they want to be inside out of the heat. I’m sure your kiddos will enjoy these activities as much as mine does.
 

Sponge Sailboat Craft

These sailboats are not only fun to make, but they are also extremely fun to play with.


Sponge Sailboat Kids Craft

 

Paper Plate Butterflies

This butterfly craft is simple and easy and perfect for any age!


Paper Plate Butterflies

 

Homemade Wind Chimes

The perfect craft for those who love to recycle.


Homemade Wind Chimes Craft

 

Squirt Gun Painting

A cool art experience for kids.


Painting With Squirt Gun Arts and Crafts

Paper Plate Frisbee

Simple, easy and loads of fun.


Outdoor Paper Plate Frisbee

Stained Glass Jars

The perfect place for those hand-picked flowers.


Summer Art And Craft Ideas For Kids Glass Jars

Sun Catcher

Kids will enjoy hanging this in their rooms.


Sun Catcher Craft Idea

 

Cool Kaleidoscope

Super cool science toy.
Summer Art And Craft Ideas For Kids

 

Washer Necklaces

Simple, yet fun jewelry that kids will enjoy wearing.


DIY Washer Necklaces

 

CD Wind Spinners

Turn your old CDs into art.


CD Wind Spinners Craft Activity

 

These are some seriously cool crafts, huh? Which ones did your kids enjoy the most?

Keeping Kids Safe During Summer

Summer is upon us, and the kid’s (adults too) are ready for some outdoor fun!  Whether we spend it swimming in the pool, riding our bikes, playing in the backyard, or hiking in the woods, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

We as parents should be mindful of the potential dangers during the summer months. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to summer safety.

 

 

Practice Water Safety

Adult supervision is one of the most important water safety rules. Parents should always be focused on their children 100% of the time. Please be mindful of the fact that children can drown in just one inch of water.
According to the CDC, drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.

  • Be sure your child wears a water safety vest at all times.
  • Backyard pools and spas should be surrounded on all four sides by a fence that is at least five feet high, with gates that close and latch automatically.
  • While swimming, make sure that an adult is within an arm’s length of the child being watched.
  • Learn infant and child CPR, and keep rescue equipment, a phone and any emergency numbers near the pool.

 

Little Black Boy Floating In Pool With Goggles

 

Beat the Heat

 

Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke.  By taking the proper precautionary measures, most heat-related illnesses can be avoided.

  • Limit outdoor activities during mid-day sun hours (10 am – 4 pm).
  • Make sure that your child is well hydrated when playing outdoors. Keep water on hand at all times. Drink before, during and after being out in the heat.
  • Always wear sunscreen on both sunny and cloudy days. Choose products with UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15 (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics).
  • Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before going out into the sun and reapply every two hours – sooner if swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses.
  • Look for shade whenever possible, and take inside breaks so that you can cool down.

 

Helmet Safety

Bike helmets reduce head injuries by 85 percent and brain injury by 88 percent.  A helmet is the most important device available that can reduce head injury and death from a bicycle crash, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

  • Make sure your child wears a helmet whenever they are riding on any type of wheels.  This includes bicycles, rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards, and scooters.
  • Be sure that the helmet is the proper fit. Helmets protect your child from serious injury and can be life-saving.

 

Prevent Playground Injuries

Emergency departments in the US treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries every year.

Parents can take actions to help prevent injuries on playground equipment. Make sure that your backyard play equipment is safe and the play areas at your local parks or playgrounds.

  • Actively supervise your children to make sure they are safe at all times.
  • Make sure kids are properly dressed and wearing shoes at all times.
  • Make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are soft and well-maintained.

 

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Poison Sumac

Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can cause a severe skin rash when touched.

  • When hiking or camping outdoors, avoid bushy, overgrown areas where these plants tend to grow.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks to protect from possible exposure to these plants.
  • You can learn to recognize the visual differences in these plants here.

 

Insect Bites

Protect you and your kids from insect bites by using an effective insect repellent. When we spend time in our backyard, I always have citronella candles burning to keep mosquitoes away. I also use bug repellent to keep those and other pesky critters away.

Keep in mind that most insect repellents are made with DEET, an effective insecticide that is toxic or even potentially deadly if swallowed. If you do use a product containing DEET, it is important not to apply the product to a child’s hands or face to avoid possible ingestion.

It is also important to shower or bathe before bed to remove all of the product so that you avoid overexposure to the chemical.  If you prefer an all natural version of insect repellent, Wellness Mama has a great recipe on her blog.

If you spend any time in the woods or areas that are prone to ticks, keep these safety measures in mind:

  • Always wear protective clothing (long sleeves and long pants that are tucked into socks).
  • Wear some form of tick repellent.
  • Perform a tick check on your children daily.

 

Final Thoughts
 

Every family should have a first aid kit at home that is well stocked and easily accessible.  It’s also helpful to keep a first aid kit in the car and to take one on road trips. I keep a small one in the glove box and a larger one in our trunk.

Be sure to keep a list of emergency numbers that include 911, your family’s doctor, the dentist’s number, poison control, and any other important phone numbers, such as close relatives.

We all want to enjoy the warm weather, let’s just be sure that we stay safe as well.

Have a great summer!

 

 

A Work At Home Mom Morning Routine That Will Help Transform Your Days

As a work at home mom, are your mornings typically chaotic? Does it seem as if you never get as much accomplished as you’d like to each day? Do you often forget to complete specific tasks? Maybe there are days when you feel completely overwhelmed. If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you could certainly benefit from a morning routine.

Getting the morning off to a positive start determines what type of workday you’ll have. It is definitely worth it to put forth the extra effort to ensure that your morning goes as smoothly as possible.

If you are one who feels that starting and sticking to a daily morning routine is a complicated process, honestly, that’s not the case. You actually get more accomplished, and without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. Best of all, your days will flow so much smoother.

Once you develop a plan and put it into practice each day, it will soon become a habit. The key is that you have to practice it daily. Another important point is that you want to create a routine that works for YOU. By creating a daily routine for yourself, and sticking to it, your level of productivity will definitely increase.

Here’s a sample of my morning routine that you can tailor to fit your specific needs.

WAKE UP EARLY

Start getting up about 30 or 45 minutes earlier than you normally do. I like to get up before my son so that I have some time to myself before having to go into mommy mode.

Upon waking, take a few moments to stretch your body. Stretching always helps me to fully wake up, and feel as if I am ready to face the day.

I like to open my blinds first thing in the morning so that the natural light flows in. I then make my bed and head to the kitchen for a glass of water and a cup of coffee.

TAKE TIME FOR PRAYER/DEVOTION

Starting your day with prayer enables you to focus your attention on God and His purpose and plan for the day ahead. If you have a devotional, you can read the devotion for that particular day. I like to have my cup of coffee (or tea) as I read my bible and devotional.

 

JOURNAL

After I finish my daily devotion, I spend about 10 minutes journaling. Some days I follow a journaling prompt, but there are times when I feel a need to just let whatever it is that’s on my mind flow onto the pages. I find that writing in my journal is very therapeutic.

 

GO OVER YOUR TO-DO LIST

Take a quick glance at your tasks and the important “to-do” items in your calendar so that you are familiar with the tasks that you need to get accomplished for that day. Make any necessary adjustments to your schedule if needed.

I also take a few minutes to scan my email to see if I have received any important messages from the previous evening.

EXERCISE

We all know that exercise is important to good health. We should aim for at least 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day. I know some people prefer to work out in the evenings which is perfectly fine.

If you don’t have a gym membership, go for a quick walk through your neighborhood. You can also watch an exercise DVD or even YouTube videos from the comfort of your home. I personally love this walking video by Leslie Sansone that’s on YouTube.

PREPARE BREAKFAST

Make breakfast for yourself and your family members. Be sure to clean up as you go. Afterward, load the dishwasher, wipe down stovetop, counters, and sink. If you take just a few moments each day to clean as you go, you can avoid the unnecessary clutter, and sink full of dirty dishes.

You can also prepare breakfast items the night before and have all of your non-perishable items laid out so that you are not rushed in the morning. It is also a good idea to prepare lunches the night before.

If your kids are old enough, you can have them help you with this task.

GET DRESSED

The last thing that I do is take a quick shower and dress. I then make sure that my son is dressed so that we can head to school.

START YOUR DAY

On school days, I drop my son off and if I have any errands, I try to get them all done after I drop him off at school. I then head home to start my workday.

If you have smaller kids at home, you can set them up with activities, or have them watch cartoons for an hour or two while you get some work done.

Make sure that you factor activities for your kids into your day so that they are busy while you are working.

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CONCLUSION

It is actually a good idea to prepare as much as you can for the next day each evening. Place all of the items that you will need for the day in a central location (purse, keys, jacket, kids book bags, homework assignments, etc).

It’s also a great idea to lay out your wardrobe the night before. I personally do this right down to my underwear. I cannot tell you the number of times in years past that I have wasted precious time by standing in my closet trying to figure out what I was going to wear to work that morning.

Even though I am a WAHM now, I still lay out my wardrobe the night before. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s typically only leggings and a tee, but hey, it saves me precious time each morning by having my clothes already laid out.

When you establish a daily morning routine for you and your family, you create an environment of consistency. By establishing consistency, each person is fully aware of his/her role or responsibility.

A good morning routine will help to alleviate those feelings of overwhelm so that your days are calm and less stressful. It has definitely made a difference in my everyday life. But remember that the key to a successful routine is actually finding one that works for you and sticking to it.

Do you have a morning routine in place?

18 Children’s Books To Add To Your Child’s Reading List

With the school year over, what better time to squeeze in lot’s of reading than during the summer

I have always loved reading. I try to foster that same love in my son. He has an extensive collection of books, although he typically tends to read the same few over and over. But, that doesn’t stop me from adding new ones to his library.

Reading helps to spark a child’s imagination and broadens their minds. It also helps to develop their language skills.  This is why I make it a point to spend time reading to my son daily.

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you choose to shop using my link.

The more time that children spend reading, the more they will develop a love for reading. Make sure that they have a variety of books available to make their reading experience enjoyable.

With summer break on the horizon, here are a few books that your kids, from toddlers to teens, will enjoy reading.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.

Albert Einstein

*Links are clickable

1. LLama LLama And The Bully Goat

Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do.

And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST

 

2. Grow Up, David!

Laugh-aloud humor abounds when David can’t resist bugging his big brother. In this funny romp, David careens from one mischievous antic to the next… until he finally wins his brother’s approval.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST

 

3. Home Is A Window

Home can be many things–a window, a doorway, a rug . . . or a hug. At home, everything always feels the same: comfortable and safe.

But sometimes things change, and a home must be left behind.

Follow a family as they move out of their beloved, familiar house and learn that they can bring everything they love about their old home to the new one, because they still have each other.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST
 

 

4. Where’s My T-R-U-C-K?

Tommy’s not himself today. He’s lost his T-R-U-C-K! And no matter what Mom, Dad, sis, brother, and Grandma offer, it’s just not as fun as his best red truck.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST

 

 

5. Big and Little: A Story of Opposites

A simple book that introduces the important concept of opposites to the very youngest readers. Loveable Big and effervescent Little opposite in size–and the way they see and navigate the world–as they follow a butterfly.

Their journey is told entirely through pairs of opposite words and gentle artwork, and it’s full of surprises, including an unexpected run-in with a cranky bear.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST
 

 

6. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.


Escape From Mr. Lemoncello;s Library
 

 

7. Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

When a magic book appears on Polly’s doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, she is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. However, Polly soon learns that what you write and what you mean are not always the same thing.


Polly Diamond and the Magic Book
 

 

8. Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas

Juana’s life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogotá with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas.

Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. Mami has a new hairdo and a new amigo named Luis with whom she has been spending a LOT of time. He is kind and teaches Juana about things like photography and jazz music, but sometimes Juana can’t help wishing things would go back to the way they were before.

When Mami announces that she and Luis are getting married and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change — like how much Mami loves her.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST
 

 

9. As Brave As You

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY!

The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck, Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he hides it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER.

And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.


As Brave As You
 

 

10. One-Third Nerd

Fifth grade is not for amateurs, according to Liam. Luckily, he knows that being more than one-third nerd is not cool. Liam lives in the Bay area near San Francisco with his mom and two younger sisters.

Dakota is fascinated by science and has a big personality but struggles to make friends; Izzy, a child with Down syndrome, makes friends easily and notices things that go past everyone else. Dad lives across town, but he’s over a lot. And then there’s Cupcake, their lovable German shepherd, who guards their basement apartment.

Recently, Cupcake has a problem–she’s peeing in the house. The kids need to make enough money to take her to the vet before their landlord upstairs finds out. And Mom and Dad have said if Cupcake doesn’t stop, they will find her a new home. But the kids will never let Cupcake go. Can they save her?


One Third Nerd
 

 

11. Peekity Boo: What You Can Do!

This sweet rhyming picture book flows smoothly through the motions of a bedtime routine, starting with an energetic bath and then moving on to choosing jammies, reading a book, cuddling with a favorite toy, and snuggling with loved ones before gently falling asleep. It’s a soothing prelude to bedtime that celebrates the special bond between parent and child.


Peekity Boo What You Can Do!
 

 

12. The Parker Inheritance

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it.

It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets.

Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST 

 

 

13. 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo : A Counting Book

This board book combines simple counting with Carle’s unusual illustrations of animals. Early learners will find the whimsical pictures appealing as they learn the beginning rudiments of numbers and counting.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST

 

 

14. Pay Attention, Carter Jones

Carter Jones is astonished early one morning when he finds a real English butler, bowler hat and all, on the doorstep—one who stays to help the Jones family, which is a little bit broken.

In addition to figuring out middle school, Carter has to adjust to the unwelcome presence of this new know-it-all adult in his life and navigate the butler’s notions of decorum. And ultimately, when his burden of grief and anger from the past can no longer be ignored, Carter learns that a burden becomes lighter when it is shared.


Pay Attention Carter Jones
 

 

15. A New Home 

Moving to a new city can be exciting. But what if your new home isn’t anything like your old home? Will you make friends? What will you eat? Where will you play?

In a cleverly combined voice — accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations depicting parallel urban scenes — a young boy conveys his fears about moving from New York City to Mexico City while, at the same time, a young girl expresses trepidation about leaving Mexico City to move to New York City.


A New Home
 

And let’s not forget a few of the classics:

 

16. The Hardy Boys Collection

Join the Hardy Boys for mystery-solving action in a boxed set of the first ten books in this classic series. This collectible set is a great gift for aspiring detectives, or longtime fans of the series.

This 10 volume boxed set of hardcover books includes: – The Tower Treasure – The House on the Cliff – The Secret of the Old Mill – The Missing Chums – Hunting for Hidden Gold – The Shore Road Mystery – The Secret of the Caves – The Mystery of Cabin Island – The Great Airport Mystery – What Happened at Midnight


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST

 

 

17. Judy Blume (Essentials 8 Book Set)

The ideal antidote for angst at any age, this boxed set of seven classic Judy Blume books makes a great gift for yourself or someone else.

From Margaret and her crisis of faith in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret to Karen and her coping with her parents’ divorce in It’s Not the End of the World, the characters of these cherished novels feel like more than characters—they feel like friends.

This boxed set includes paperback editions of the following Judy Blume classics:

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Blubber
Deenie
Iggie’s House
It’s Not the End of the World
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST
 

 

18. Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Collection

An ideal gift for new parents, birthday celebrations, and happy occasions of all kinds, this collection of five beloved Beginner Books by Dr. Seuss will be cherished by young and old alike.

Books in this boxed set include:
The Cat in the Hat
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Green Eggs and Ham
Hop on Pop
Fox in Socks

Originally created by Dr. Seuss himself, Beginner Books are fun, funny, and easy to read. These unjacketed hardcover early readers encourage children to read all on their own, using simple words and illustrations.


18 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO ADD TO YOUR CHILD’S READING LIST
 

What are some of your child’s favorite books? 

 

Preparing Your Child For Back To School

It’s almost time to head back to school.  Those lazy, carefree days of summer are about to be over, which means no more staying up late and sleeping in.  Help get your kid’s school year off to a great start by establishing a back to school routine.

To get them back into the swing of things, you will need to implement your plan as early as possible.  The longer you wait to get your children into the habit of going to bed at a set time, the harder time they will have getting up for school the next morning.  

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you purchase through my link.

You as a parent will also want to make sure that you are prepared as well.  Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies and other school essentials.

Before you get overwhelmed, consider these tips for easing back into the school routine.

 

 

A good day starts with a good night’s sleep

 

Preparing Your Child For Back To School

It’s not unusual for parents to allow their children to stay up later during the summer than during the school year.  My son stays up past midnight on occasion during the summer and then, of course, sleeps late the next morning.

If possible, have your child start going to bed earlier two weeks before school starts.  Explain to your children the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help them have the energy they need to stay awake during school. It will also help them focus on the tasks before them.  

Wake up at the same time every morning   

Most experts agree children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best. Make sure that your child wakes up in time to wash, dress and have breakfast without feeling rushed.  

Stock up on school supplies

Most schools will give you a specific list of supplies that will be needed, but you can make sure you have the basics on hand: pencils, paper, erasers, and for younger kids, you will need to add crayons, markers, and glue.

Preparing Your Child For Back To School

Prepare your wardrobe the night before

By preparing your wardrobe the night before, your child won’t feel rushed or waste precious time in the morning by trying to decide on what to wear.  I am a huge advocate of preparing for the next day the night before.

Have your child gather clothing, shoes, and any accessories that they plan to wear at night so that things will go smoothly the next morning.

Arrange carpools or other transportation

Know how your child is getting to and from school and any after-school activities. Make sure that transportation arrangements have been made ahead of time.

Register for after-school activities

In order to ensure that your child gets to participate in the activities of his/her choice, remember to sign up before the deadline.

Stay on top of paperwork

Go through any papers sent home with your child on a daily basis.  Read each piece, then decide if you should trash it, or put it in a “to do” or “to file” pile.  Mark significant dates on your family calendar.

Image Via StyleandDwell.com

Create a command center or calendar central

Create a centralized place or command center like the one above by Style & Dwell , for all family calendars and schedules in order to avoid over scheduling. I personally use the Day Designer as my family’s calendar. 

Choose a calendar format that works for your family. Include a family event calendar to track all after-school activities and any special school programs. Be sure to include school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, and sports practice schedules. Post your family calendar in a place that is easily accessible to all family members.


We as parents want the best for our kids.  By getting your kids re-adjusted to a routine before school starts, they are more alert.  When kids are more alert, they are able to function at their best, which of course is our ultimate goal. Here’s to an awesome school year!

Preparing Your Child For Back To School
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