Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rewarding Good Behavior with Screen Time

Lately there's been lots of talk on the blog and here in our home about behavior, mostly Cohen's behavior. Just a few weeks ago I posted about our new behavior chart. Over the past few weeks the chart seems to have been working. But, there was one thing that we couldn't quite get control of and that was Cohen's lack of good behavior when we'd deny him screen time. 

Our kids don't have any tv time on weekdays. Between homework, dinner, showers, reading, and play time there just isn't time for tv on weekdays. We'd much rather see the kids playing, crafting, etc. However, Cohen has been allowed 15-20 minutes of iPad time in the afternoons as long as he gets his 20 minutes of reading (on the Raz kids app) finished. For a while though, he wanted more time and it was causing a problem. He had also been begging, relentlessly for Wii time. The Wii is brought out once a month or so. It's up in the closet and totally out of sight, yet Cohen would be and beg and throw a fit when we'd say no. 

Because the behavior chart didn't solve this issue in ways that we had hoped it would, we decided to add in "Electronics Money". Today I'm sharing with you how it will work for us and a free printable so that you can have your own!

Good Behavior = Rewards for Screen Time! #kidsbehavior #screentimeforkids #allowance #freeprintable
When Cohen behaves especially well and when he clips all the way off (up) the behavior chart he'll be given Electronics Money (each is worth 10 minutes). If he clips down, all the way off the chart he will have to give us one of his Electronics Money bills. Our rule is that he can redeem a maximum of 3 per day (on weekdays) for iPad use and on weekends up to 6 (for either Wii or iPad). He won't be allowed to redeem them for Wii time on weekdays at all. 

Fingers crossed that this will work like magic for us. We're proud of Cohen's recent behavior. The kids were just home for a week for spring break and I was pleasantly surprised at how well he behaved most of the week. Hopefully this will get him excited about taking the time to calm down and listen, to behave and be kind. 

We are all about our kids using electronics for educational purposes (and for some fun is ok too), but using an electronic device just isn't the same for young kids as turning the pages in a book, solving a problem with hands on activities, etc. And it's important for their speech development for them to have interaction with something other than an electronic tablet or such. 
Good Behavior = Rewards for Screen Time! #kidsbehavior #screentimeforkids #allowance #freeprintable

have you used a similar system to help with behavior, screen time or something equivalent? 
do you have strong feelings about kids and screen time?

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Best Turkey Burger ever

We are big fans of grilling out in this house. Though, i have to say that matt & i both grew up saying "bbq". Here in Wisconsin, we've been advised though that we're now to refer to it as grilling or grilling out. And honestly, if possible we'd probably cook all of our meals on the grill. There is just something about the way the food tastes. Better for some reason! 

Years ago when we gave up eating red meat in our home (we still indulge when we're out) I knew that I'd the given the task of creating a delicious turkey burger. Because Matt loves his red meat. He grew up on it. Meat & potatoes. That is so far from how we eat now though. Over the years I've somewhat perfected a recipe for turkey burgers and everyone who's ever had one has loved it. And, as far as I'm concerned turkey has so much more flavor than ground beef even if you don't add much seasoning. Read on for the best turkey burger recipe, ever!
Turkey Burger Recipe: the best turkey burger ever #turkeyburger #grillout #bbq #hamburger #summerrecipes
what you'll need:
3/4- 1lb of (lean) ground turkey
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp BBQ sauce (I prefer Trader Joe's Kansas City BBQ Sauce)

Beat the egg in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix all ingredients well and make patties. This recipe should make 4-5 patties. Grill until cooked through and remember that you don't want a turkey burger done "rare" like you might with a ground beef burger. 

Garnish with your choice of fixings! My burger here has mashed avocado, grilled onion and some cheddar slices. Usually I also like to add lettuce and tomato slices, but we were out. 
Enjoy! And, eat outside if you can. There's not much better than sitting around the table with family or friends outside in the fresh air!

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Does your family eat red meat? Or, do you, like us prefer turkey? 
What's your favorite thing to top a burger with?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

It's a Wonderful Parade: Matilda Jane Clothing Giveaway

A big thank you to Matilda Jane Clothing for sending this dress to Brookelyn. All opinions belong to me. 

Spring! Glorious spring! 
Today was the first day that our temps have hit the 70's since October! I'm not sure that words can describe how wonderful it felt today to be outside in the fresh air & warm sunshine. 

A few weeks back when Brookelyn and I set out out to find her a cute dress for Easter, we failed. There was nothing that we loved. And then, Matilda Jane sent us this Emilia dress and we both knew it was perfect for her. She has always looked lovely in all shades of aqua, this one being no exception.
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Matilda Jane Gift card giveaway! #girlsstyle #fashion #matildajane #giveaway
The fabric is soft as can be and Brookelyn raved about how comfortable the dress was, all day long. Summer days in Wisconsin can be h-u-m-i-d, and the light weight fabric of the Emilia dress will be great for those days especially. 
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As always with Matilda Jane dresses, it twirls wonderfully! Because, that's important you know? Most little girls, mine included, think so anyway. I just love all of the little ruffles on the Emilia dress. They keep it very girly
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This dress rates up there, high. It might be one of our favorite dresses that Brookelyn has ever owned. The style and simplicity are what Brookelyn was immediately drawn to. She loves the details and how pretty it made her feel. Once again, Matilda Jane has done well. Very well. 
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There are so many beautiful pieces from the new It's a Wonderful Parade line. Lots of bright colors & prints, fun styles for spring and warm weather. And of course, all of the Matilda Jane classics like Benny's & Shorties, Straightees and so much more. 

The best part? One of my lucky readers is going to win a $50 gift card to Matilda Jane Clothing! Just enter the giveaway below for your chance! Lots of luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, April 18, 2014

four eighteen fourteen

another friday, friends. are you ready for easter? i'm not, at all. we have no plans and no family close by so that makes it a bit easy.

how cute are those 2 little faces? ohhh how i love them both. this was from #tbt (throwback thursday) last week. hayden is my bff amanda's little boy. those 2 are 11 and 10 now. not so little anymore. they're both such awesome kids. i can't wait to see them again, hopefully this summer we can make a trip to tennessee or meet halfway. these two, amanda and i have grand plans of them marrying one day. #wishfulthinking 
national sibling day was april 10th. i participated by sharing this photo (that I took) of my sister caryn and brother in law carlos. i miss them so much and to know that the next time i see them will probably not be for another 3 years just breaks my heart. :(
saturday morning we loaded up and made our way to chicago for the weekend. cowboy hat and all. 
the four of us spent a fabulous day at the brookfield zoo. the weather was beautiful, warm and the kids were happy. there was no arguing, no complaining, no fighting. it was a perfect day.
after the zoo we went out for pizza. because when in chicago you've GOT to have some deep dish. yum. lou malnati's is our favorite! and that girl, she's my favorite too.

after dinner the kids spent some time in the hotel's swimming pool. they loved that, after such a long cold winter! and, we all had our very first milkshakes from steak & shake. yum, we were impressed. milkshakes in bed, while watching happy feet.. spring break!
remember that auction i mentioned last week? and that my cousin krysten was selling cupcakes to raise money to buy supplies for children who lost everything in the super typhoon in the philippines. i hosted an auction on instagram last week with the help of lots of blog friends and we were able to raise another $250 for krysten to use toward supplies for the kids. my aunt & krysten were blown away by everyone's kindness! as was i. thank you all, so very much!
so this week my krysten, my aunt cecille and brian (krysten's brother, my other cousin) are IN the philippines and they delivered supplies by hand to children! krysten (and brian) were both interviewed (along with my aunts sister, marides- who lives in the philippines) on a morning show in the philippines, their version of "good morning" america. the day before that? the president of the philippines met with and personally thanked krysten for all of her efforts. how amazing is that? i have said it a million times.. i am SO proud of the young lady she has become. that girl is going to move mountains! love her and miss her! you can see the interview here
a playdate for cohen = crafting time for mama! cohen was happy playing with his sweet friend lindsay and so i got some crafting in this week. i made the blanket, burp cloth and washcloths below, a wreath for brookelyn's room, and draft guards for our bedroom doors! so much, in one day. it's been a long time since i've gotten that much craftiness finished up. it felt good!
so we've had a busy, fun week. not the spring break we'd imagined, because the weather has been crap. but, we've had some great family time together and are looking forward to more this weekend. 

what are your weekend plans? do you go all out and have a fancy easter, or a simple laid back one?

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