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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child

Most of you have not met our Teagan but if you have read any of our family updates you know that this little miss is undoubtedly a strong willed child.  Teagan is the complete opposite of Jude, sweet, over emotional and sensitive Jude.  Teagan is in your face, tell it like it is, make no mistakes who the boss of the family really is!  

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After years of just dealing with the emotional and sensitive child, we are a bit perplexed on how to deal with this spitfire little lady.  Let me be clear, we are not experts in this field but have done a lot of research and reading on how to parent a strong willed or spirited kiddos.  Below are a few tips that we have either found really helpful or that seem to be a great option to try in the future.  


Tips on Parenting a Strong Willed Child


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1.  Give your strong willed child choices.  When you tell a strong willed child an order, they will not listen, instead offer them choices to meet their goal.  This allows them to feel like they are making the decision rather than following an order. Offer only choices that the parent is okay with.  

2.  Routines and Rules are your friend!  Power struggles are the worst with a strong willed child.  Avoid those struggles by following good healthy routines and rules.  This helps the parent not be the bad guy! 

3.  Listen.  Stop...remember that this child is a growing person. She is ready to discuss life choices and it is your turn to listen. She has a viewpoint that is making her hold fast to her position, and she is trying to protect something that seems important to her.  Validate that feeling and make sure you take time to respond to her feelings. 

4.  Let them learn.  Strong willed kiddos learn through experiences.  Even if you are telling her over and over again that the stove is HOT, she may not believe you until she finds out for herself. This is why strong willed children test your limits on the daily. It is important to keep your child safe but the fact is, it is more effective to let them learn through experience, instead of trying to control
them.

5. Praise good behavior!
Strong willed children often times struggle horribly with confidence. Encouraging and recognizing your child playing well with a friend will do wonders to her behavior.


6. Reward systems. Find a system that your child is excited about. We use stickers and prize boxes for good behavior days. When a strong willed child can see their accomplishments they are encouraged, pleased, and will continue building confidence.

7.  Keep calm.  Yes, I know this one is hard. Yelling and screaming accomplishes zero with a child who is attempting to get her way. On top of that it is though you are saying that type of behavior is okay because mommy and daddy are doing it too! It is okay to take a time out if needed. 

8.  Empathy goes a long way.  Switch places with your child.  What are they feeling?  What are they losing control of.  Step back and empathize with what is happening in the moment.  Use this time to paraphrase and let them know that you GET it.  Our kids deserve our respect at every age.


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While parenting a strong willed child is full of challenges, take heart in this character trait. Your child will more than likely grow into a terrific young adult; a self-motivated and in control young person who loves to learn through experiences. Strong willed adults think for themselves, resist peer pressure, and stand for what they believe in! Amazing characteristics if you ask me!

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I cannot wait to see the person Teagan becomes, I know she will move mountains and make big dreams reality.  For now, we just have to get through these challenges and grow from them - all of us.  

What tips do you have for parents of strong willed children?


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring White Chocolate Crack Toffee

Last Christmas I was introduced to "Christmas Crack", terrible name for a delicious treat.  Over the last few months I have been craving that treat but since it wasn't Christmastime I didn't think I could make it.  Well, one of my coworkers got me thinking in a whole spring fashion and that gave me an idea. 

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Make the Christmas crack - spring crack! DONE and done!  Same ingredients just different types of chocolate and sprinkles!

Spring White Chocolate Crack Toffee 

Free printable recipe here. 


Ingredients:

Saltines - I used a sleeve and a half 
1 cup butter - 2 sticks
1 cup brown sugar 
1 pound almond bark - vanilla
Spring candies and sprinkles 

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2.  Layer large baking pan with foil or parchment paper. 

3.  Place saltines on foil side by side. 

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4.  In a medium sauce pan add butter and brown sugar and heat over medium heat.  

5.  Let mixture come to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes while constantly stirring mixture.  It will burn so keep stirring! 

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6.  Pour butter mixture over crackers. 

7.  Bake crackers for 8 minutes. 

8.  While waiting for crackers to be done, melt the almond bark. 

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9.  Remove pan from oven and pour melted almond bark over the crackers evenly. 

10.  Decorate with sprinkles and candies. 

11.  Let toffee cool completely and carefully break into pieces. 

12.  ENJOY!!


I love this creation.  It is the best dessert to bring to a party or the office.  Everyone loves this recipe and now that I have created a spring option I cannot wait to make a few other seasonal options.  YUM!!  

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Tell me your favorite "Christmas Crack" recipe?


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Glass Bottom Boat - Beaches Resort & Spa Negril

Disclosure: We received a conference rate for our stay.


There are many reasons why we love traveling to Beaches Resorts, probably too many to name but one of the best perks of visiting any of the Beaches Resorts is the opportunity to enjoy some excursions and water activities. 

Last year while visiting Beaches Resorts Negril, Jeremy enjoyed a few days of snorkeling and saw so many creatures and amazing parts of the ocean.  I am not a snorkeler, I just cannot get the hang of it, but lucky for me one of the included water excursions at Beaches Negril was the Glass Bottom Boat.  This is an excursion that is a must try for everyone.  

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Glass Bottom Boat - Beaches Resort & Spa Negril


If you are like me and you want to see those amazingly bright colored sea life and the beautiful coral reef but cannot handle the snorkeling or scuba options this is the perfect way to spend a piece of your time while at the resort.  Plus, who doesn't enjoy a nice boat ride out in the beautiful waters of Jamaica?  

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The Glass Bottom Boat is large enough for groups of about 15 people.  The boat is exactly what you would expect, a boat with a glass bottom!  This allows you to see the sea as the staff takes you out into the ocean.  Our tour lasted about 45 minutes and it was perfect.  

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While seeing the sea life was the goal, I have to say that feeling the sea breeze on my face while heading out to sea was my favorite part.  Just seeing the beach get further and further away brings a bit of excitement to this pretty calm excursion.  

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Once we reached our destination our guides hopped into the ocean and did a little snorkeling to find some sea creatures for us to hold and learn about.  Our guides were fantastic.  They took a lot of time to make sure we all got to hold and see different sea life as well as see some of the great coral reef below us.  

We got to hold star fish, sea cucumbers and even a blowfish.  The blowfish was so interesting, when they brought it to us it was full of water but then slowly "spit" out the water.  Oh nature, you are incredible.  

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This is the photo of our guide holding the full blowfish, you can see the water starting to come out of him a little bit.  So cool!!  

What To Bring For Your Glass Bottom Boat Tour:

  • Sunscreen 
  • Wear a swim suit
  • Go Pro Camera 
  • Swim shoes or shoes that will not slip on wet surfaces


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Go into this excursion with an open mind, chances are you may never have the opportunity to hold or feel these amazing creatures again.  Enjoy this time and make sure you encourage your family and friends to do the same.  

The Glass Bottom Boat Tour is perfect for all ages.  Obviously, if you get sea sick easily this may not be your first choice!  We enjoyed this trip because it gave us a chance to be out on the ocean and enjoy a boat ride as well.  Being that we live in land locked Colorado we do not have these ocean opportunities.  

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I hope that you get to experience this amazing tour.  Have you booked your trip to Beaches Resorts Negril yet?  Put it on your to do list!



Have you ever experienced a Glass Bottom Boat Excursion?


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big

Disclosure:  My family and I were provided with complementary tickets to the show in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.


Disney on Ice is quickly becoming one of our favorite live events to take our kids to.  Both Jude and Teagan love seeing their favorite Disney characters come to life on the ice.  Over the years we have really enjoyed having family dates to the Disney on Ice show so when I saw the newest production "Dream Big" was coming to Loveland Colorado I knew we had to add it to our calendar.  

There is plenty of time for you to add it to your calendar too!  Below you will find more info about the performance and how to purchase tickets.  I hope we see you there!


Disney On Ice presents Dream Big show information:

Believing is just the beginning when dreamers from Loveland witness the empowering tales of Disney’s most courageous leading ladies told through artistic skating and acrobatics in Disney On Ice presents Dream Big. Audiences are invited to join eight Disney Princesses – Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White – as they embark on incredible adventures, determined to make their dreams come true. In addition, experience the sisterly love that has captivated millions as Disney’s Frozen is brought to life on the icy stage.

Through enchanted pixie-dust, Tinker Bell takes audiences on a journey of beloved Disney tales. Make a splash with the fearless dreamer Ariel as she yearns to explore life above the waves. Watch Rapunzel, Cinderella and Belle as they learn about the power to make their own magic. Travel to the wintry world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and the hilarious snowman Olaf from Disney’s Frozen as they learn that true love is the greatest magic of all. Be there to discover a whole new world with the daring Jasmine, and join Snow White, Aurora and Tiana as they remind you that strength and kindness go hand-in-hand. High-flying jumps, daring acrobatics, breathtaking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget!


Budweiser Events Center Loveland Colorado Performance Schedule:

Thursday, March 30: 7:00 PM
Friday, March 31: 7:00 PM
Saturday, April 1: 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM
Sunday, April 2: 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM

Budweiser Events Center Loveland Colorado
5290 Arena Circle
Loveland, CO 80538


Ticket Information:

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big will be performing in Loveland at the Budweiser Events Center Thursday, March 30 – Sunday, April 2, 2017. 

Tickets start at just $15! (Additional fees apply. Excludes Front Row and VIP seats) All seats are reserved, and tickets are available at Disney On Ice.


We are really excited to be attending the performance that Erika Craven will be performing in. She is a native of Fort Collins Colorado! Love supporting our local celebs!  

Bio of Erika Craven:


What age did you begin skating?
I started skating at age four.
Why did you start skating?
I started skating because my brother had begun to play hockey and as a little sister I wanted to do everything he was doing. As soon as my feet touched the ice a life-long passion was born.

What are some of your industry achievements (competitions/awards/tests)?

I am a double gold medalist (Passed my Senior level free skate and moves tests). I also have placed in the National Artistic Showcase and earned the ISCFC Sportsmanship Award.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Are there any cities/towns you have a close connection to? (i.e. family vacations, place you grew up in, etc.)
I was born in Klamath Falls, OR, and I went to school in upstate NY. I have family in Chicago and Seattle.

Did you train/perform at a hometown club or studio? If so, where?
Ice Skating Club of Fort Collins

If so, who was your coach/instructor?
Heidi and Paul Thibert, Gordon Harrison, Shelby Lyons

What high school/college did you attend? If applicable, what degree did you receive?
I attended Rocky Mountain High School (CO) and Hamilton College (NY) where I received my B.A. degree.

What year did you join Feld Entertainment?
2014

What Feld production are you currently skating in?
Disney On Ice presents Dream Big

In what other Feld productions have you performed?
Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream, Disney On Ice presents Princesses & Heroes

Where did you audition?
Rochester, NY

What did you do prior to joining Feld Entertainment?
I was in college at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. I graduated in 2014.

What countries have you traveled to while working for Feld Entertainment?
I have traveled to the U.S., Canada, U.A.E., Qatar, Peru, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.

Have a great performance Erika!  We will be cheering on our hometown gal!




What has your favorite Disney on Ice performance been?

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