gallamore west

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Family Movie Night: Hotel Transylvania 2

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItaMovieNight #CollectiveBias

One of my favorite things to do as a family is stay home, get cozy and have a Family Movie Night. It truly is one thing that we ALL love to do, and every once in a while I love to go all out for a movie that I just know my family will love. A lot of times it ends up being a sequel because I already know a bit about the movie and its characters, so I can plan some themed, special treats to go along with the movie. That's just what we did here this past weekend and I'm so excited to share our Family Movie Night with you! 

We all loved the first Hotel Transylvania movie so I knew the kids would love Hotel Transylvania 2. To make it a special Family Movie Night, I set up a table full of movie night goodies to snack on during the movie. I set up containers of popcorn (Orville Redenbacher, of course!), 

canisters of M&M’S® Chocolate Candies (Milk Chocolate for the kids, and Peanut for the adults), 

and a very special treat... Coca-Cola in bottles. 

I love finding fun ways to serve popcorn, so since it was a "monster" movie I made Monster Popcorn. 

Here's the recipe to make your own Monster Popcorn.

-1 bag Orville Redenbacher Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn, popped and cooled
-4 ounces green melting chocolate
-1 cup Milk Chocolate M&M’S® Chocolate Candies
-12 candy eyes

In a large glass casserole dish, spread popcorn evenly then drizzle with melted green chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with M&M’S® Chocolate Candies and top with candy eyes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until chocolate is firm and then serve immediately. 

I also made these little "Scream Cheesecakes" using a store bought cheesecake that I cut into circles using a cookie cutter, then added faces with candy eyes and black gel icing for the mouths. I sprinkled Milk Chocolate M&M’S® Chocolate Candies round the platter to brighten it up.  These were a hit! 

Hotel Transylvania 2 is such a fun movie and we all loved our Family Movie Night! 

Right now you can get a $10 VUDU credit for a movie night at your house too when you buy these 4 participating products in a single transaction at Walmart between 12/22/15 and 2/9/16: Orville Redenbacher, Coca-Cola, M&M’S® Chocolate Candies and Sony. Snap a picture of your receipt and upload your picture here and get a $10 VUDU credit emailed to you for a future movie night. Limit 1 per person, while supplies last. And find great ideas for a movie night here

Find all of your goodies for to #MakeItaMovieNight at Walmart. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

3 easy ways to get kids to eat vegetables!

I don't know about you, but sometimes getting my kids to eat their vegetables can be quite a challenge! As a mom of four little ones, I'm always looking for fun, easy ways to get my kids to eat their vegetables.  Here are 3 easy ways that we've found that work in our family... maybe they'll work for you too!

1) Disguise vegetables. Yes, I mash them, blend them, chop them... and if the kids don't know there are hidden vegetables they gobble them right up. If I make a fruit and yogurt smoothie, I oftentimes add in a carrot or two.

2) Make vegetables fun! When I display vegetables in a fun way, my kids eat them. I sometimes serve vegetables in mini muffin tins or on kabob sticks. For some reason, kids think food in mini servings or on a stick is super fun and they devour it all. Or like these veggies that I put in mini flower pots with a cup of ranch dressing at the bottom- the kids loved this. 

3) Add some flavor! My kids love steamed broccoli with some melted cheddar on top, or corn on the cob with a little spice on it. Birds Eye has made this easier than ever by transforming veggies with bold, on trend flavors that your family will love. Plus the convenience of Birds Eye steam fresh packaging makes serving healthy veggies for dinner every night of the week a convenient, FUN way to eat veggies. Ready to try Birds Eye Flavor Full Vegetables? Click here for a $1.00 off coupon! 

There you have it! Three EASY, simple ways to get more vegetables into your child's diet. Don't forget to get your $1 off coupon for Birds Eye Flavor Full Veggies here

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hello, Fall!

Oh my goodness, how have I been away from my precious blog for so long?! 

To catch you all up on why I've been absent from here, I went back to teaching!!!! After nine wonderful years of staying home to raise our four boys, I have returned to the classroom and I am LOVING my job! I teach first grade part-time (2 days a week, sometimes more) at my boys' elementary school. Between that and driving all over town because my 4 boys are spread out at 3 different schools, I'm definitely staying busy. Oh, and we are also currently in the middle of re-doing all of our flooring, painting the inside of our entire house, picking out some new furniture and getting ready for a birthday party. Whooooosh!!! Life is busy and time is flying by! And I've been busy decorating classroom doors...!!

Now that I'm back in the classroom, my Pinterest boards are filling up with amazing classroom decorating ideas, classroom management tips, and most of all, wonderful ideas for teaching content to my cute little students. And one way that parents can help their children start off on the path to success before they even enter their first ever classroom is by simply talking, reading and singing to their children at home. You as a parent have so much power over your child's future success just by reading, talking, and singing to your children at home. Science tells us that 90% of the brain is formed by the age of 5, and more recent research  reveals that more than 80% of a child’s brain is formed by age 3. 

Our house is BUSY with four boys and all of their different interests, activities, homework assignments, etc. But we make sure to fit in at least 30 minutes a day of actively reading, talking and singing together. Who am I kidding?! We spend pretty much 24/7 talking over here. It's a zoo! 

Here are some ways that I incorporate reading, talking, and singing into our daily routines:

1) Give your little ones choices. Pick two breakfast items and ask them to choose between the two items. This gives them the freedom to choose and a chance to talk about what they like. Give them two outfit choices, two free time choices, two drink choices... anything that gets the conversation flowing. Even if they're too little to respond, their brain is busy absorbing your voice and your words. 

2) Put flashcards on a keyring so they are portable. When we're in the car waiting for older brothers, the little guys and I can practice our letters, numbers, and sounds.

3) Download your kids favorite songs onto your phone. When we're in the car or in the kitchen, you can find us singing and dancing to our favorite learning songs!

4) Story Time... find a good time of the day and read to your child. It doesn't have to be bedtime, just anytime during the day that fits into your routine.

5) Night-time talk time... or anytime! I make it a habit to ask my kids questions all the time to get them talking and staying open with me. 

By following these 5 simple tips, you are starting off your child on the right path to success! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Tips for a Successful Road Trip!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TwizzlersSummer #CollectiveBias 

 Summer time is the perfect time for vacations, especially road trips. And with four little ones, I've learned some tips along the way to make our road trips successful... well, as successful as it can be with four kids asking, "ARE WE THERE YET?!" from the back seat. 

 Here are five simple things that work for us in making traveling with kids a fun, successful experience. 

 1) Be realistic! The best way to ensure that things will NOT go your way is to set unrealistic expectations. So if an occasional meltdown is part of your everyday routine at home, you can probably figure that the same will happen while traveling. 

 2) Be prepared! Let's go back to #1- if you're prepared, you can handle that meltdown so much better than if you're unprepared. Prepared to me means that I've gotten a good night's sleep so that I'm able to take a deep breath, patiently talk to my child, and work through the situation calmly. 

 3) Pack smart! We just got home from a super fun, whirlwind trip across the country. We didn't drive, but this tip works great for any type of traveling with kids. Pack only what you need, plus some fun things, and make sure that what you need while traveling is within reach. When we travel, I pack an OPEN TOP bag within my reach so I can grab whatever I need while we're on the road. Then I pack our clothes smartly, with the first thing the kids will need when we reach our destination packed ON TOP. For example, when traveling cross country last week I knew we'd be arriving at our destination late at night so I packed the kids' pajamas right on top of the suitcase. 

 4) Pack fun, smart snacks! It's vacation so I like to make it fun and buy special treats for the kids. To avoid chaos in the back seat though, I package everything individually for the kids so there is no fighting over "But he got more than me!" or anything like that. Some of my favorite snacks to pack are little bags of grapes, crackers, trail mix, puff snacks, and Twizzlers Twists. 

I love packing Twizzlers Twists because unlike other candies, Twizzlers don't melt so they're the perfect road trip treat for Summer Fun! 

And they look so cute too, wrapped up with washi tape.

 5) Have fun! Making memories is what Summer Fun road trips are all about. Even though it isn't always the most relaxing with little ones, the memories made are worth it. So load up that minivan, grab your Twizzlers Twists from Walmart (there's even a cool Summer Fun display of them right when you walk in the door) and hit the road!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Expressing Feelings with Inside Out!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias

Summer is in full swing here at Gallamore West! My blog is slow, my days are busy, and my boys are home with me ALL.DAY.LONG. And I love it... I really do :) My boys and I love the lazy days of summer, but I also like to add in some fun activities for us to do occasionally too. So we made DIY Glitter "Calm Down" Jars, and decorated cookies this week. All with Disney's Inside Out movie in mind.

First, we went to the drive-in movie theatre to see Inside Out. We've so lucky to live about 5 minutes from a great drive-in theatre! 

But things aren't all peaches and cream here every day. We definitely deal with our share of arguments, disagreements, differences of opinion, etc. I try to let the boys work out their issues as much as they can without my intervention, but sometimes tempers flare and Mom has to step in. So, taking all of the boys to see Disney's new summer movie, Inside Out, has been a great way for us to talk about expressing our feelings appropriately. Inside Out is all about an 11-year old girl, Riley, working through her emotions after a cross-country move away from all of her friends, her hockey team, and all of her favorite memories.  Her emotions get all out of whack and she spends a lot of time feeling sadness. 

After watching the movie, the boys and I talked about how to handle it when they feel sad- that it's okay to feel sad sometimes, that it's normal to feel sad sometimes, how to best express our emotions to others, and how to overcome negative feelings. We even decorated cookies to look like some of our favorite characters from Inside Out. 

Here's Sadness...

And Joy... (she must've tasted too good to wait for a picture!) 

And Anger. 

We also made DIY Glitter "Calm Down" Jars for those times when we really need to take a deep breath, relax, count to ten, and watch the glitter fall down to the bottom of the jar. I'm telling you- that Calm Down Jar has been a wonderful calming thing... for me :) 

These DIY Glitter "Calm Down" Jars are so great and easy to make. Just fill your jar with vegetable oil, pour in your favorite color glitter, and seal the jar (you can hot glue it sealed also if you think little hands may try to open it). 

I bought a multi-color pack of glitter at Walmart, where I also picked up some fun toys that go along with the Inside Out movie! I bought Joy- one of the main characters and my personal favorite emotion. 

And my little guy couldn't resist Bing Bong, who happened to also be a favorite character in the movie. Bing Bong talks too, and says some of his cutest lines from Inside Out. 

Have you seen Disney's new movie, Inside Out, yet?

 It's an adorable movie, and brings up the importance of discussing our feelings. It was a great way to kick off summer here at Gallamore West, especially because we were able to talk about expressing our feelings AND do some super fun things along with the movie, Inside Out! 


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