Friday, November 13, 2015

Minecraft - Story Mode!

Over the summer, my seven year old daughter spent a lot of time with a friend of mine, and her two teenage children while I was working.  My friend also watched a few younger children.  She loved when the younger kids were napping, because she got to go play Minecraft on the Xbox with the teenagers. When I picked her up, I heard stories almost every day about what she built and what they did while she was playing.

As a result, when I found out that they were coming out with Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode, I was excited to get this for her for Christmas. You see, my daughter really likes Minecraft, and my husband enjoys role playing/story games, so I got this for his playstation 4 (you can also get it for Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, and coming soon to Wii U).   I try each Christmas, to include at least one item that's for both of them to do together and I think this is that item this year.  You can see in the trailer below, how it will be perfect for my father/daughter duo to play together.

This series starts in the world of Minecraft, while introducing you to new characters and themes, while also including things that you are familiar with and look forward to when playing Minecraft.  You're building your empire, while navigating your way through, and deciding how your story plays out, based on the decisions you make in the game.

Think of it like a television show starring a character named Jesse.  In this particular case, YOU are Jesse.  You're the star of the show.  You're also the director. The story is based on the decisions you make, you decide how it plays out and how it ends.  After deciding Jesse's appearance (including Jesse's gender.), you are tasked with saving the world.    

With the upcoming Christmas holiday coming up, this would make a great gift!  It's versatile and available for almost any device that can be used for gaming.  It's now available in stores, but you can also buy it here, as a digital download directly from Telltale for only $24.99.  I am also really excited, because I have, in my possession, a pc code for a free download for one lucky The Mom Show reader!  Make sure to share this post, to let everyone know that this weekend, I will be holding a giveaway for this special free game code!      

Disclaimer: I received one or more products above for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions as always are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. The Mom Show's giveaways are not affiliated with Facebook or any other social media networks. The sponsoring company is responsible for all shipping unless otherwise stated. The Mom Show is not responsible for sponsors not upholding their promises and cannot reimburse you for items or the value of products. Should this occur, please contact The Mom Show and I will do my best to help you achieve promised winnings.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just over a week away (can you believe it?!)!  A week from tomorrow, there will be children walking up and down the streets in cute and scary costumes acquiring goodies that will have them trading candy riding that sugar high late into the night (Halloween does fall on a Saturday this year, after all!), and sharing stories with their friends at school into the next week.

Naturally, as always, keeping our kids safe is always a number one priority for all of us, so I have compiled a few tips for making sure that the only scariness you or your children see this Halloween are costumes and decorations.

- Trick or treating is a really fun tradition, but my family has actually skipped it for a few years now, and instead visiting "trunk or treats" and our church's Annual Fall Festival instead. Using this as an example, it's mostly indoors, they have potluck dinner and we bring home just as much candy as we would roaming the streets.  This is a great option.

- You can easily and creatively add reflective tape or strips to almost any costume to make them safer when out in the dark at night.  This will help cars, and other trick or treaters see them coming and going! A flashlight or glow-stick will be helpful in making sure they can see where they're going also. Make sure that any costume is well-fitting to avoid any tripping or other possible hazards. Make sure any sword, knife or similar props are the flexible kind.

- Make sure you and your children are watching where they're going. You wouldn't have them thumbing through their new-found treasures while walking down the street on any other day.

-Walk with your kids!  Again, especially if you wouldn't let them roam the streets alone on any other night.  If they're young enough to get excited to dress up and go, than they're probably young enough to need you there.  (I know this is most likely a given, but I remember being allowed to go by myself with friends at a far younger age than I'd let my own.)

- Make sure, if you're driving that night, that you're extra cautious of little people in the streets.  Preach this to your teenage drivers as well!

-If your child has autism or another sensory processing disorder, check out this post from Richmond Mom for some costume tips!

Did I miss anything?  What are some tips you would share to keep our kids safe this Halloween?

Most importantly, have a safe, fun and Happy Halloween, however you celebrate!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Closet Organization Tips for Independent Kids -- Guest Post

Closet Organization Tips for Independent Kids

Kaitlin Krull

Every parent wants their child to grow up to be confident and independent. Giving children small, manageable self-care tasks on a regular basis helps foster independence while freeing you up to do other things. Getting dressed in the morning is an important step on your child’s journey to self
sufficiency, and this particular step begins at the bedroom closet. Here are some clever tips from Modernize to help you create a child friendly, accessible kids’ closet.


The first step to an organized closet is, you guessed it, organization! Work with your child to sort out clothes into different drawers and onto different hangers according to item (dresses on one rail, dress shirts on another, jeans in one drawer, etc.). If your child knows where each item belongs, then she
will spend less time finding clothes and more time getting herself dressed and ready to go.

via Modernize

Make it accessible

By setting up your child’s closet at eye level, you can let her keep her independence when choosing outfits without sacrificing safety. Choose kid-sized plastic hangers and teach your little one how to use them, and keep the clothes rail at child height. If you’re worried about little fingers in drawers,
consider using open baskets or bins instead. This not only eliminates pinching risks but also helps your child to see exactly what is kept where.

via Modernize

Plan ahead

Designate a space in your child’s closet for daily outfits and encourage her to plan ahead. Hang a shoe rack on the closet door and label each slot with a day of the week, encouraging her to pick out outfits a few days in advance. This will help her to think ahead independently and will save you outfit
planning time in the morning.

via Modernize

Limit choices

Instead of keeping every single item of clothing in the closet, put away out-of-season items and rarely worn clothes to eliminate physical and emotional clutter. If your child has too many clothes (and whose child doesn’t?), rotate items occasionally to save space and make the most of everything you have.

via Modernize

Keep it tidy

A tidy closet is a happy closet, so encourage your little one to clean up any messes she might make during the dressing up process. Label your storage bins and drawers with picture labels if your child needs the occasional reminder as to where items belong. If your child is independently dressing
herself and clearing away when she’s finished, you shouldn’t need to intervene too much here. Just make sure to remove damaged clothes and items your child has outgrown occasionally to keep her closet neat and tidy.

via Modernize

Once you’ve set up your child’s closet, they will be all ready to go.

Just be prepared for more than a few interesting outfit choices!

Disclaimer:  This was a guest post written for Modernize.  The Mom Show does not hold responsibility for the thoughts reflected in this article, nor do we claim ownership over it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Sausage Eggplant Ratatouille Crockpot Recipe

One of my favorite things about recipes like ratatouille, is that you can make it out of different things. Its basically vegetables in sauce.

Last week, my husband and I took a trip to a local "pick your own" farm, in order to grab some last minute, end of the season produce.We had a wonderful time, and got some great stuff.  As you can imagine, however, we are getting to the point where we really need to use what we got before it goes bad.  I made preserves and had a few things canned.  The rest, however, we now really needed to use. We also had some ground sausage in the freezer, so I decided to take what we had left and had to use, along with a few new groceries and this is what I came up with, and I'm excited to share it with you!

I used:
one pound ground sausage (no casings.)
one medium eggplant, cubed, not peeled.
four large banana peppers, sliced
two carrots chopped
one yellow onion, diced
one small or medium sweet potato (I had an enormous one that I cut in half) peeled and cut into small cubes
two cups jarred tomato sauce (or you can use homemade, this is just what I had on hand)

First, brown the sausage, and drain the fat.
Than you're going to cut, slice, and dice your veggies.
Put the veggies and sausage into the crock pot, and pour in the sauce
Mix it up.  At this point, it will look like this:

You can cook it either on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8. The fun part about this, is it is really yummy just on it's own, but you also have the option to serve it over rice or even spaghetti.

Given the fact that I am trying to limit my carbs a bit, I preferred to just eat it as is in a bowl.

My husband and daughter, however, absolutely loved it over some spaghetti. Spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice are options also.  You really can't lose either way!  Enjoy!

Back and making changes!

I wrote this post a while ago about coming back. I have since shared some of my other, more popular posts on Facebook and Twitter.  

What I haven't done since then, however, is write new blog posts.  There are a few reasons for that.  

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been in the process of closing the business that took me away from blogging in the first place. This has and is still taking some time. I have also been communicating with other bloggers (a lot has changed in this game, it turns out!)  that I have worked with in the past.  I am also working on making some changes to the blog.  I have changed a lot in the past two years, it really only makes sense that my site should also.  

One change that I am excited about, is that it looks like my husband is going to be working with me a bit also.  We are going to add a "Dad's Corner" to the site.  This will be his space pretty much.  He will write some things from a man, for a man, so to speak.  We will have product reviews and giveaways that you can share with the man in your life as well.  Don't worry.  The rest of the site really is for you, but this way, both you, and I will have something to share with our husbands!  

Since I still intend on adding a lot of recipes (I have been working on a few just for you guys already!  Be on the lookout in the coming days, for a sausage, sweet potato soup, and an eggplant and sausage ratatouille!)  there will be a place just for that.  My whole paging system is going to be redone.

Keep on the look out as well, as I have two writers writing guest posts for us already!

I will be sharing a bit what it's been like to not only be a working mom, but a working mom running a business.  Since I will soon once again be a working mom, expect some posts about that also.

What other changes would you like to see?  What else do YOU as a reader, think I need to know now that I'm back in the game?