Saturday, November 26, 2011
Just keep giving thanks! That's right. Don't let up. Instead, allow that feeling of gratefulness to gain momentum because the holiday season is a wonderful time to reflect. Think about the many blessings God bestowed on you and yours this past year alone. Food, clothes, health, shelter, family and friends. What, didn't you have all those things? How about some of them? One of them? I challenge you to start your celebration with a notion of already being blessed and creating that holiday joy inside your own heart. When you do that Christmas and New Year's won't just be about spending. They won't even be about receiving gifts or making resolutions. As you begin to reflect on God the season will come alive with love and true thanks. Thanks to the Father for the gift of his son, Jesus Christ.
Here's to the most wonderful time of the year!
Monday, November 7, 2011
This year we are learning more about Native Americans. During the month of November our public library system is offering several free programs and activities where all ages are invited to learn about America's first inhabitants. It's not just what is taught in school about the first Thanksgiving but much, much more. So far the children and I listened to colorful stories from a Native storyteller, checked out some great books and will be attending a program featuring Indian art. There is even a science lesson were the kids can make an interactive project while they learn. I don't know who's more excited, them or me.
This is a wonderful opportunity to learn real history instead of the history many would like to portray. When we can respect and embrace other people's cultural differences, then it means we are comfortable in our own skin. Loving ourselves is the big step toward loving others. That's my hope for my children and also for the world.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
In order for anything to grow, or be harvested at all, a seed first has to be planted. Once planted, that seed must be nutured. Next? Trust God for the bounty. God is always faithful, so maybe we should try being more like Him. If we only have the faith of a mustard seed, before long we will be walking in the season of His blessings. Some walks are longer than others, so let's make sure our hand is in God's hand while we stroll.
Enjoy the harvest and share the overflow,
Monday, September 26, 2011
Everyday as we walk to and from the bus stop my daughter points out the changing colors of the leaves. A few red and gold ones sprinkle the ground and she gasps in awe that fall is finally here. She's not alone because as autumn gains momentum I feel myself coming alive. I'm not upset over shorter days and cooler temperatures. No, that's my hubby. For me fall is a favorite because of the beautiful scenery, fuzzy sweaters, comfort food and county fairs/festivals (with more yummy food)! On top of that my birthday comes and I get to bless the Lord for giving me another year of happiness and health. It's that perfect balance of not too hot and not too cold and the promise of pumpkins then soon, Thanksgiving turkey. There's apple picking (I've already had my share of Honeycrisp this season) and plenty of cider and pie to go around. Sweet potato prices are dropping and the evenings get lovelier as the sun lowers in the sky. I breath a sigh of relief at the whole predictable order of nature and just relax into the lazy days of fall.
What are some of your favorite fall activities? Post a comment to share.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
So school's back in session and it's time to whip the household into shape. Try these tips to get off to a good start:
1. Use an alarm clock- Everyone including our 4-year-old has one. It helps if you put it across the room so they have to walk to turn it off. But make sure they get enough sleep regularly. Even the buzzer gets ignored if they are overly tired.
2. Pre-made breakfast - I love this! On the weekends I double up on batches of pancakes, waffles, french toast, biscuits and bacon. The result is a frig full of homemade food I can pop in the toaster or oven and heat quickly while I do something else. Bacon goes in the microwave and wa-lah! I also keep instant grits, oatmeal and cereal on hand.
3. Nighttime Prep- Teach kids to choose their clothes before bedtime. Make sure shoes, jackets, etc are where they can grab them quickly the next morning. Backpacks should be set and lunches already made. If you're sending a hot lunch like soup, then pack all the other items the night before.
4. Carefree hair - Brushing hair is a lot easier than combing at our house. On the weekend I do hairstyles that will last for about 1 week. My hubby keeps the boy's hair cut low. Each morning I just brush over all their heads, add accessories to the girls and go. 5 minutes tops! I redo it on the weekend. Even if you shoot for 2-3 days free from styling you'll save precious time. Just restyle in the evening, not the morning.
5. Set a reminder - My smartphone starts chiming when we have 5 minutes before departure time. Sometimes it's annoying but at least we have a warning bell to help us wrap it up. The kids know what to do when they hear the bell.
6. Check in- Sometimes kids need encouragement to get going in the mornings. I check on my 3 every ten minutes or so to make sure they are on task and not goofing off when they should be brushing, getting dressed or eating.
7. Turn off the TV - Television turns my children into zombies. They can't hear or function when it's on. If I need to check the weather I do it at night or turn it on briefly then right off again, keeping it as low as possible so they don't hear it. Instead, each day I play upbeat music to get them moving.
If you have more tips, then please share! A pleasant start vs. a hurried one can make a huge difference in how the day unfolds --for everyone.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
What's a mommie to do?
Give her my undivided attention and let her know that there is nothing more important than her. She needs that and I can see and feel it. When I drop what I am doing to attend to her wants, needs or just plain give her the eye to eye, one on one attention she desires, I can see that it means everything to her.
As parents we get busy with our daily chores, but we have to remember our little ones need us. They need us to edify them and acknowledge them and to reassure them of our unwavering love for them. Sometimes its easier to do than others for me. But I remind myself that the day is coming when my baby WILL want that independence and won't much to do with mommie and I stop and regard her.
Kids....just gotta love them.
Photo courtesy of http://www.communitymemorial.com/
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
After having a Fotolia account for nearly a month I must say I just love their services! It is exactly what I was looking for to add fresh photos to Polly&Meek websites and blogs. Fotolia meets our business needs and helps me feel confident and professional while blogging.
Setting up an account is easy and choosing images is fast! Even better -- the flawless shopping cart. It allows me to see all my selections and download straight to my PC. I can only smile at the speed and organization of everything. That's important to me as a small business owner working within time and resource constraints. And best of all, no more uncertainty while copying images off the Internet. Fotolia nails it! I am a very happy customer.
Try Fotolia today and let their services take your presentation, newsletter or blog up a notch. We did!
Monday, July 25, 2011
1. Sliced pepperoni, cheese squares and crackers
2. Yogurt, granola and nuts
3. Sliced hot dog, heated and kept warm in a thermos
4. Homemade chicken nuggets, heated and put in a thermos
5. Turkey and bacon sandwich
6. P, B and J (for those not allergic)
7. Soup with meat and veggies
All of these choices are paired with fresh fruit, applesauce or a fruit cup, nachos, chips, pretzels or the like. We usually add a small treat of some kind like a cookie or cinnamon and sugar glazed popcorn. They drink water or milk and it's a wrap!
Do you have more lunch ideas? Then share them with us!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,
Monday, July 18, 2011
Yesterday, I purchased 4 packs of Pampers Thick Wipes 72 count for $.97 each. I purchased Breyer's Ice cream for $1.75. How? With Pampers $1.00 off coupons and a store coupon for Breyer's Ice Cream for $2.49 and an additional manufacturers coupon for $.75 off. Yeah baby!
Check out this blog for some additional saving tips.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Interested in great photos for your blog, newsletter, or presentation? Then visit Fotolia online! You'll find royalty free images, HD videos, and lots more. With rates starting at $0.75 per download as well as subscriptions, Fotolia is sure to please. Say goodbye to the threat of copyright infringement and hello to beautiful, legal photos that make your blog pop. Get this! Fotolia is offering our readers a free two week subscription to their site so you can try it out firsthand. The first 3 people to follow us on Twitter will each receive a free trial.
Polly & Meek
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
1. If you're using camps, to stretch your dollars further seek out those camps provided through your county or city's parks and recreation department, public school system or neighborhood daycare centers. Girl Scouts and YMCA are usually reasonable choices as well.
2. Turn an ordinary day into super fun by letting the kids have a few friends over for pizza and a movie or water play in the backyard. The kids will love it and there's no need to make dinner that night.
3. Visit a local museum on the weekend. If you plan a short trip on Saturday, Sunday is an automatic day for rest and reflection. Why not make a scrapbook of the pictures from your visit?
4. Look for free shows, events and storytimes at the public library. There is usually a wider variety during the summer and while you're at it, sign everyone up for the summer reading program!
5. Plan a meet and greet with relatives you hardly get to see. Whether it's a family reunion or just visiting Auntie Elle, kids always glean more from a trip than you'd imagine. Think of neat things to do in the area and double up on family fun.
6. Capitalize on the long days of summer and fit in 30 minutes of school work. Practice will keep the material fresh and your child will be on target when the school bell rings this fall.
7. Take a day off and let the kids plan the activities. Maybe you go out, stay in and play, cookout or have a pajama day. Whatever they choose, just roll with it. Bring yourself down to their level and enjoy the view!
Have a happy summer,
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
This is a snapshot of the latest addition to my freezer. Ice-cream. Homemade treats are front and center because I have a child with food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, rice and corn - (think corn syrup) which is in everything including hotdogs and deli meat. Every since she was tested and our fears confirmed, we've carried an epi-pen everywhere, learned to read food labels and ask questions. She's only six now and claims that these allergies have already ruined her life. She even cries about it sometimes. She shows self-restraint now because she knows what happens if she ingests those foods. So in an attempt to make it better and safer for her to enjoy eating, I make as many things as practical. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Otherwise I buy lots of organic products and spend most of my time dissing processed foods in general.
Once I got her to try the home version of things she began to smile. Then the light bulb came on with the rest of us. We realized that thanks to Lauren we're actually eating better. Although the rest of the family doesn't share her allergies we try to buy things that she can eat too or we cook and bake things together. The result is no allergic reactions for our girl and pleasant, healthy meals and treats for us! Lauren still feels jipped at times because there's something she can't have. But she's knows I've got her covered with some type of delicious alternative or new recipe that we can try out. No mystery ingredients or suprise allergens to ruin her day, just the blessing of being well fed.
Here's to good eats,
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Just as I was focused in on the Old Spice Fresh deoderant I heard a lovely voice say 'Your hair is beautiful'! I thought of my twist out style and stopped my cart and smiled at two young natural beauties. We struck up a conversation about my hair routine and gave each other tips and inspiration. Questions like 'what products do you use, how long did it take you to get the length, how did you achieve this style' were bounced around. I gave up all the details. One young lady wanted to touch my hair and I happily obliged. Shoppers were looking at us wondering what all the lively conversation at the end of the aisle was all about. Our conversation drew the attention of another natural beauty who begin to smile from afar as she realized what was happening and stopped to give her take on everything. She told us about her experience, her children's reaction to her big chop from waist long,permed hair to a teeny-weeny afro. She gave us tips and styles and spoke of the Jamaican hair style that is similar to the bantu knots we use here in the states. I loved every second of it. My little one enjoyed it too, playing with the Jamaican natural beauty's children and chiming in every now and again. The two young, natural beauties said they needed this talk and it was so awesome that it happened right there in Walmart whilst they were there for a hair emergency.
At the end of it all, I walked away very happy to have come to Walmart on that day and at that time...when the world was supposed to be coming to an end. I made meaningful connections with sisters who needed it at that moment. This is the start of something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined!
Peace & Blessings,
Photo compliments of www.celebhairstyle.net
Monday, May 16, 2011
Aw! Look at the cute little goslings out for a morning walk with Ma and Pa. So little, so fuzzy, so precious. Awww.
After school was out we loaded our pockets with bread, grabbed the camera and rushed down to the pond. At first we couldn't see the geese anywhere, then just as we were about to go my oldest spotted them. So the kids tiptoed closer so they could feed the family and, you know, take part in nature. I stayed put to let them enjoy themselves until I noticed them getting a little too close.
The mama goose began shuffling her babies away. My own maternal instinct kicked in, and I called for the children to come back to me. Several times I called them and they ignored me, too enamored by the goslings to heed. Finally I hollered again and the kids decided to turn and go. Just as they were leaving the Daddy goose got fed up with this triple threat to his babies. He stretched his huge wings and raised up in the air to a height just above the kids' heads. My babies tried to run for it. But it was no use. They screamed and shrieked in terror but that goose just kept coming -- intent on giving them a flogging! (I can't even type for laughing so hard!) I could only watch in horror and humor as they fled. Daddy goose got the oldest one and gave her a good flapping. Then he settled on the ground and calmly walked off with his family. In all of it my middle child lost her shoe and I had to send her baby brother back into goose territory to retrieve it. I was laughing but terrified and there was no way I was going after that shoe! Thankfully my 4 year old saved the day. We all ran away from the pond quickly, some in tears, some chattering excitedly. Oh, and the child who according to Daddy goose, deserved and provoked the whole attack? Well she was thrilled that she'd have new material to write about and share at school. Like mother like daughter I suppose.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Here's a great way to entertain and teach at the same time. I came across these DVDs as I researched different methods of teaching my middle child who just happens to be a visual learner. These DVDs are awesome and they work! Each word is introduced through music along with animation. The kids love it!
At the time we used this product my daughter was five years old and in kindergarten. My four year old begged to watch the program too and he learned quite a few words along with his sister. Although my younger one didn't absorb the material nearly as quickly as my five year old, I still think this product is great for learning all sorts of sight words which don't following the traditional rules for sounding out and deciphering as most words in the English language. We used 3 different "Meet the Sight Word" DVDs which covered about 45 sight words. My daughter learned 40 words in 10 days and my son learned 22. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this product.
If you're unable to purchase this DVD through Amazon, then visit your public library. They may be able to put you on a wait list if this is a high demand item. It's worth it until you can get your own.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
We've packed these baskets with lots of love and goodies to help your child enjoy the occasion without losing the message within. Each basket has a boy or girl theme and contains a variation of the following:
Pail with shovel
1small cross for decorating
15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs
1 chocolate bunny
2 eggs pre-filled with candy
12 magic markers with a Disney/Disney Pixar theme such as the fairies, princesses, Toy Story3 or Cars
hair bands for girls
stuffed animal or toy
* 1 softcover copy of our children's picture book, Sisters Are From Heaven (optional)
TAXES and S&H INCLUDED!!!!
View images below to select a basket. Happy Easter from Polly&Meek!
001 - Spidey and Friends Basket
Contents of Spidey and Friends basket: Marvel Super Hero Coloring & Activity pad, toy monster truck, water gun, Disney Pixar Cars jump rope, Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 glider, Disney Pixar Cars set of 12 markers, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida Natural, bucket with shovel.
002 - Purple Lamb Basket
Contents of Purple Lamb basket: 1 Purple stuffed lamb, set of 3 pink butterfly hair bands, Disney Fairies set of 12 markers, 1 small notepad, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.
003 - Bug Kit Basket
Contents of Bug Kit basket: 1Bug Kit containing a net, tweezers and bug keeper, Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 set of 12 markers, Marvel Super Hero Coloring & Activity pad, 1 toy monster truck, 1 Disney Pixar Cars glider, 1 water gun, small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.
004 - Teapot Basket
Contents of Teapot basket: 8 piece teapot set, 1 Disney Fairies jump rope, 1 set of 3 blue butterfly hair bands, 1 small notepad, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, bucket with shovel.
005 - Small Rabbit Basket
Contents of Small Easter basket: 1 small green/white stuffed rabbit, 1 small cross for decorating, .84 fl oz. bubbles, 1 chocolate bunny, 15 Hershey's milk chocolate eggs, 2 pre- filled eggs by Florida's Natural, decorated cardboard bucket or collapsible bucket.
008 - Boy's Spring Basket
Contents of Boy's Spring basket: toy monster truck, water gun, Disney Pixar Cars jump rope, Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 set of 12 markers, .84 fl oz. bubbles, candy, decorated cardboard bucket or collapsible bucket.
009 - Girl's Spring Basket
Contents of Girl's Spring basket: 1 Disney Princesses jump rope, 1 set of 3 butterfly hair bands, 1 small notepad, .84 fl oz. bubbles, candy, decorated cardboard bucket or collapsible bucket.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Celebrate new beginnings with us! Our 5 x 7, magnetic, 2011 Red Rose Calendar is laminated for durability and allows you, our valued customers, the ability to showcase on your locker, refrigerator etc. for quick reference. Ecclesiates 3:11 is prominently displayed. The verse reads "He has made everything beautiful".
This calendar is handcrafted and sold exclusively by Polly & Meek. It is only available by special order, so please contact us via email @ email@example.com, via this blog or on facebook to place your advance order. And at $3 plus S&H its a steal!
Peace & Blessings!
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Spring is finally here. But while cherry blossoms and daffodils are blooming all around us, allergy suffers beware. Pollen is lurking. If you're wondering how to cope when the sunshine is beckoning, then I've got a tip for you. The pollen numbers started rising several weeks ago, you know getting cranked up for the main event, so you have to follow suit. Start taking your allergy meds NOW! Even if your're not feeling the effects of hay fever yet, you need to get your body ready to do battle. Nowadays you can purchase allergy medicine over-the-counter. And here's the best news yet, brands like Claritin and Zyrtec are available in a children's formula. So get the whole family out and enjoy the fresh spring air without fear of the yellow stuff and don't forget to stop and smell the flowers.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
If you are seeking ways to protect your flowers, take a look at this link for tips. I'll be sure to report back in in a few weeks to let you know how the plants are doing.
Stay warm yall & as always continued blessings,
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
I recently upgraded two of my skillets and now the whole family is reaping the benefits. The pans are so sleek and beautiful, I make an extra effort to cook healthier meals each time I use them. Even the kids are excited. They love being able to help stir food in those shiny new things. (They also tend to eat a lot more when they help cook!) In addition to the scrumptious food, it takes less time to clean up after dinner because the new pans don't normally have to soak overnight. Now that's a product worth it's salt! And here's a tip-- preserve those non stick surfaces by using wooden or plastic spoons and stirrers. Umm, I can taste the yummy stir-fry already!
If you're ready to cook it up in style then describe a mouth watering dish of your own and you could win a $25 gift code redeemable at any CSN online store! Post your dish here as a comment to this blog or on our Polly&Meek Facebook page. All entries must be posted by 6pm on Sunday, March 20, 2011. The most delectable dish wins. No desserts please. We'll read the entries and announce the winner on our blog on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Please note that CSN only ships to the US and Canada, and that there may be international shipping taxes to Canada that the gift code cannot cover.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I had attempted to 'give up' something in years past...maybe in my mid twenties, but always seemed to fail at the task. Most times it was chocolate or something along those lines and every time I failed. Back then, it was me giving up something just to give it up and had nothing to do with the true reason for Lent. I did not fast and pray or ask God to guide me. Now that I am in my mid thirties, I am happy to say that something has happened in my life, sort of like a switch going off or a turning point. Whatever happened I am a much more spiritual person, one who knows without a doubt where my help and strength come from and one striving everyday to be more and more like Christ. This is the reason that I am committed to observing Lent and committed to staying the course. Jesus made the supreme sacrifice for me by dying on the cross and before that he wandered in the wilderness for 40 days without food. He was tempted by Satan at every turn, but he held fast and relied on the Scripture to keep him near to God. This is what I do when temptations arise. I hold fast to God and instead of reaching for a steak or chicken breast (smile), I reach for the word. It fills me up and keeps me whole. It motivates me to trust in God and continue to watch and pray. It gives me great peace.
My husband joined to support me this year, as I joined last year to support my sister. I pray that each one of us observing the season can motivate others to do the same. This is what God loves and we will be blessed beyond reason during this season and always.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The Tag comes in two versions Tag Jr. for children ages 2 to 4 and Tag for ages 4 to 8. This product is great because children can do self guided learning as well as work with a parent's help. However to reap the benefits of this niffy gadget, a PC and internet connection are required. That's because the audio file for the each Tag storybook must be downloaded before the child can enjoy it. Access to a home computer makes this quick and easy to do.
The Tag's premise is an electronic pen which serves as the reader and a book that responds to a touch of the pen. So when the child touches the pen to the book pages, it will read the story aloud, read one word at a time, test reading comprehension, play fun story-based games and more. To find out exactly what your child is learning you must plug the item into your computer and log on the Leapfrog site. There you can see your child's personal learning path, collect rewards and check out even more awesome learning toys and accessories. I give the Tag reader 5 out of 5.
Questions or comments on my children's experience with this product are welcome.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
- Lent season begins on Ash Wednesday March 9th.
- Daylight Savings time begins on March 13th. We spring forward and lose an hour of sleep, but gain an hour of daylight!!!
- First day of Spring is March 20th and this coincides with Purim.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
-- Midwest Book Review
“This is a sweet treasure that pays homage to sisterhood...
To sisters everywhere...you are a gift from heaven.”
-- Mary Rand Hess, Children’s and Young
“Tamika has done an exquisite job of turning everyday moments
into lifetime treasures that anyone can enjoy.
Onjeinika’s simple yet elegant writing style delights
me and my young children and has provided
countless hours of enjoyment.
“Sisters Are From Heaven” shows what can happen
when we wisely invest our time and talents
to the glory of our Creator. A timeless representation of
sisterly respect and affection.”
-- Donna Maria Coles Johnson, Founder and CEO, Indie Business
Media, LLC and host of the Indie Business Radio Show
“Love shared between sisters transcends the familial
connection and ultimately serves as a model for other relationships.”
-- Brooke Kenny, Staff Writer, The Gazette
Monday, February 7, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I use my phone to provide more accessibility to my electronic calendar and any important emails I may receive when I'm not at my desk. And when it comes to texting, I now have a full keyboard so I can say it fast or even send a short email in seconds. It's not the latest or fanciest smart phone but it allows me to use my WiFi service at home as well as other free hot spots. That saves me money! Another feature I love are the free apps for all kinds of things like my favorite radio morning show, workout plans, and shopping lists. The bells and chimes are the best. Reminders that I program into my phone help keep me on time for appointments and events.