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Tuesday
May062014

My Little Sister: The Beekeeper

If there was one word to describe my little sister, it would be "passionate." When she firmly believes in something, you know about it. She doesn't care if you agree with her and she's more than happy to beat to a different drum if it means doing the right thing. 

Now in her second year of backyard beekeeping, she is, once again, showing everyone how passionate she is. When she told us she wanted to become a backyard beekeeper, we weren't quite sure how it would turn out. "You have little kids" we said. What will your neighbors think? Are you sure you want to do this?

She did it. After reading about the decline of bees throughout America, she realized she could help. She knew that if more people decided to become backyard beekeepers, collectively, they could make a difference. It hasn't been without challenges. There has been hours of reading, building hives, gaining insight from mentors, joining Philadelphia area beekeeping groups, and learning all that she could about honey bees.

Being a backyard beekeeper requires a commitment. A honeybee hive is perennial which means that although quite inactive during the winter, the honeybees live through the winter months by clustering for warmth in anticipation of spring. My sister has learned that maintaining a healthy hive isn't always easy, but seeing them flourish is a reward in itself.

This spring and summer, I will be sharing stories and updates about these adventures in beekeeping.  I am also very happy that my older sister has joined in the adventures as well.  There are now two backyard hives (in our family) that will be helping the local farms, orchards and vegetable gardens throughout the Philadelphia suburbs.

Thanks to all the local beekeepers who are working to make our world a better place! 

Sunday
May042014

Win a Safety 1st Genesis Digital Color Video Monitor!

 

I remember the excitement of shopping for baby products during my first pregnancy. I'd stroll through the isles and think about having a baby of my own in those strollers, beds, and baths. Now that my eldest is 8 years old, I truly feel like a veteran mom, but I still get excited hearing about friends who are preparing to bring their first baby home. Those last few months of pregnancy can be a wild combination of magical and stressful, and the end result is life-changing!

Mother's Day is almost here and my friends at Safety 1st are thinking about all the moms out there. On their behalf, I'm sharing some of Safety 1st products that make mom’s life a bit easier and I have a very special giveaway too!

The Safety 1st Custom Care Modular Bathing Solution is the only infant to toddler bathing solution on the market! The ergonomic design adapts to your growing baby and eliminates the need for multiple tubs. Three easy to change positions promote physical closeness to your baby and proper support. Positions fit the newborn, infant recline and toddler stages.

It's amazing how much technology has changed since I had my first son. I wish I had a Safety 1st Genesis Digital Color Video Monitor when he was little. Using the remote controlled camera, parents are able to pan, tilt and zoom to get the best view of their child. It is also equipped with a special Talk Back function allowing parents to soothe baby. This would have been a lifesaver when my sons were infants!

If you know me, you know that I'm serious about car seats.  The Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air +  convertible car seat ensures your child is safe from 5-65 pounds, and, it meets the new requirements for the new 65 Pound LATCH rule, which is so important!

Whether you're bringing home your 1st baby or your 5th, it's always good to know about modern essentials for motherhood. My friends at Safety 1st want you to have a wonderful Mother's Day, and they have offered to give one of my lucky U.S. readers a new Genesis Digital Color Video Monitor. Enter using the rafflecoper widget below & Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday
May042014

50% off Mabel's Labels - May 4th only!

 This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

 

I don't post too many deals here, buy this one is too good not to mention. I snagged the 50% off Mabel's Label deal the last time they offered it and I'm so glad I ordered them when I did.  I especially love these labels for my kids' pricey sports gear. I personalized my labels with our last name and phone number, which would make it easy for anyone to contact us if they find something one of my kids lost.
So, on May 4th, 2014, in honor of the Star Wars Trilogy, Mabel's Labels is offering 50% Off Robot, Rocket, Princess and Star Sticky Labels  today only from 10am EST until 11:59pm EST. IF you've been thinking of getting labels, this is a great deal!

Just click the image above to order labels today!
Friday
May022014

Eastern Pennsylvania Girl Scout Camps

Did you know that 80 percent of women in leadership and executive roles in the U.S. were Girl Scouts and Girl Scout alumnae comprise 70 percent of women in the U.S. Congress?

Clearly, there is so much more to Girl Scouts than than just the cookies! The Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania operates six local campgrounds with numerous camping opportunities for girls between the ages of 5 to 17.


 They have overnight camps at three different locations:

  • Camp Laughing Waters in Gilbertsville, PA
  • Camp Mosey Wood in White Haven, PA and
  • Camp Wood Haven in Pine Grove, PA

At overnight camp, some of the activites include:

Athletics, Hiking, Archery, Horseback riding, Swimming, Arts and crafts, Cookouts, Campfires, Nature activities, Singing, Games, Boating, Science, singing, Teambuilding activities, and Wishing candles.  

Not ready for sleepover camp yet?  They have day camps too!

  • Camp Mountain House in Allentown, PA
  • Shelly Ridge Day Camp in Miquon, PA and  
  • Valley Forge Day Camp in Valley Forge, PA

Some of the activities at day camp include: 

Swimming, Arts and crafts, Archery, Sports, Art, Cooking, Sports, Outdoor exploration and More! 

The 2014 Camp Guide is now available! Click here to download a PDF copy of the guide. 

Friday
May022014

See Super Grover at the Philadelphia Science Festival

Have you heard about the Philadelphia Science Festival?  It's a nine-day celebration of science featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages.
 
This weekend, on May 3rd, 2014, the festival’s signature event, the Science Carnival, will feature a very special guest.  It's a bird...  It's a plane... No, it's Super Grover!!!
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, will be at the Carnival to showcase Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More. The initiative focuses on the importance of teaching young children the principles of science, technology, engineering and math (aka STEM), and (stationary) Super Grover will be on hand for photo ops. 
Philadelphia Area Parents: Learn more at www.philasciencefestival.org/carnival
Not in Philly? You can teach your children about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with tips from: http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/stem
Friday
Apr252014

Uniquely Greek: Creamy Feta Spreads

Among other things, Greek food is a weekness of mine. I adore feta cheese, roasted red pepper, and kalamata olives to name a few. So, when I was invited to lunch with the owners of Uniquely Greek, I couldn't resist!  

What is Uniquely Greek?  It's a feta spread with a unique blend of domestic feta cheese, garlic, cream cheese infused with fresh produce.  Of course, you can dip your pita in it, but there are so many other ways to use this spread. The ideas our endless!

Uniquely Greek is owned by a brother and sister team, Jessica and Jon Gill. Jessica is the owner of family-operated “Grecian Delights” Greek Deli/Restaurant in Boothwyn, PA.  This place serves up amazing Greek food in a casual farmers market environment.  This brother and sister team, not only prepare delicious Greek food, but they are also warm and friendly that when you're eating with them, it's like eating with family.

I stopped by Grecian Delights” with some of my friends, and here's a taste of what we had:

Greek Dip Sampler

 Sampling of Three Delicious Homemade Dips and Spreads: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Uniquely Greek Kalamata Olive Feta Spread, Tzadziki, (Greek Garlic and Cucumber Dip)

Core Courses

Petite Salmon and Grilled Chicken: Served with warmed Uniquely Greek Spinach Feta Spread and warm Uniquely Greek Buffalo Feta Spread

Brown Basmati Risotto: Creamed together with Uniquely Greek Roasted Red Pepper Feta Spread, Parsley, Roasted Red Peppers and Feta

Roasted Asparagus: Drizzled with Uniquely Greek Kalamata Feta Spread

Dessert

Baklava Ice Cream: Vanilla Ice Cream blended with Baklava and topped with Chocolate and Honey

Everything that Jessica and Jon served at this lunch was phenomenal! I'm always looking for creative ways to serve up salmon and chicken, and their spreads are such a simple way to jazz up dinner. I was also blown away by how delicious the Brown Basmati Risotto was.  Serving plain brown rice is never a hit with my kids, but I know they would love the Uniquely Greek version of it.

Is your mouth watering yet?  You can find Uniquely Greek at some Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Mom's Organic Markets and Sunset Foods. Check here for the full list of Uniquely Greek distributors.  If you live in the Philadelphia area, check out Grecian Delights (located in Booth’s Corner Farmers Market) 1362 Naamans Creek Road, Garnet Valley, PA 19060.

Saturday
Apr192014

Spring Break at Longwood Gardens 

 

 

What can I say about Longwood Gardens that I haven't already said before? Longwood is one of my favorite places to go with my kids. It's our happy place.

My kids love being able to run around and explore the treehouses, flowers, and exhibits that change with each season. There really is something magical about this place. Yet, I know my words don't do it justice, so I want to share some photos from our trip to Longwood during Spring Break.

If you've never heard of Longwood Gardens before, it is one of the premier botanical gardens in the U.S. where visitors can enjoy live events and performances, seasonal attractions and exhibits, as well educational lectures, courses, and workshops. It consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows and is located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (just outside of Philadelphia.)

Longwood is incredibly kid friendly. Their events calendar is packed with fun family events and performances througout the year, but even on a day without a special event, we can spend hours there exploring the gardens. 

Here's a peek at the towering bamboo in the Children's Garden at Longwood. This area is filled with hands-on water features, a variety of sculptures, a secret stairway, and lots of lush foliage and bright flowers. 

A good tip is to save the Children's Garden until the end of your visit, or make sure your kids are wearing short sleeved tops. There are so many cool water features in the Children's Garden, and my kids always get wet!

This is just one reason why my kids love this place as much as I do. It truly is a feast for the senses. They can touch the statues in the Children's area, listen the music from the bell tower, see the gorgeous flowers, and climb the grassy hills. You can see above that they really enjoy painting the sculpture with paint-brushes dipped in water.  

At Longwood Gardens, there is literally something around every corner that captures your attention. If you haven't been there yet and live in the area, I suggest you put in on your spring or summer to do list. We have been there more times than I can count, and I hope this is just the beginning of our Longwood memories.

Go to longwoodgardens.org for more information about this amazing place!