Managing Your Kids Summer Screen Time with OurPact

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OurPact.

How To Manage Kids Screen Timesummer is finally here! just a few more days till my kids are out of school for the summer. it’s going to be so nice to finally have lazy mornings with nowhere to get to by 8:00 a.m. And although the boys and I have a lot of adventures planned this summer, we are also hoping to have plenty of time to hang around the house for some much-needed downtime. For the boys, downtime means electronics. lots of electronics! They love their tablets and phones. Playing Minecraft and Road Blocks with their friends is their favorite.

Summer Cell Phone Contract

i don’t mind my kids having screen time, in fact, i do feel it has many benefits…however, I don’t like them playing for hours and hours on end. And I especially don’t like it when they are playing on their iPads and their rooms are messy, they’re still in their pajamas and they haven’t done their chores. It’s nearly impossible to get them to do anything once they are playing on their devices. I almost went mad last summer…the screen time felt out of control. no one would listen to me!!!! and all they wanted to do was play their games. It became a habit to just play on the iPad instead of finding other things to do.

i told myself that would not happen again this summer. there are going to be rules set in place so that the boys can still play their electronics, but in exchange, their rooms will be clean, chores done and whatever else i feel is important.

Kids Cell Phone apps

how am I going to do this?

two ways. one, i’ve created a Summer Screen Time Contract. and two, OurPact – an amazing app that empowers parents to guide their children through the balanced use of technology.

here is the Summer Screen Time Contract that i created! if you like it, i have included a free printable so you can use it as well. hopefully, this chart will help keep the house organized and in control this summer. I haven’t set a limit on the amount of screen time as of yet. i figure if the boys have completed everything on this list, then I am fine with them playing. plus, we aren’t home a lot during the summer.

Summer Screen Time Contract

on the printable, i’ve included a place for their name, and a checklist of the jobs I want completed before they can have screen time. there is also a place for their signature so that they can take responsibility for their actions. I plan on hanging a chart on each of the boys rooms.

click here to download the Summer Screen Time Contract printable

and now about the OurPact app! OurPact is an easy-to-use app for your iOS or Android phone that helps parents guide the mobile device habits of their children. The OurPact team, along with help from hundreds of parents and industry experts, has carefully constructed an essential application that keeps the functionality of family life in mind. Not only does this app let parents help control the use of electronics, it also helps teach responsibility through technology. Finally, the tools and resources needed to bridge the gap between parenting and technology are here! OurPact gives families these tools – it isn’t just a parental control tool, but family guidance like never seen before. Best of all, OurPact is Free! You can download the OurPact app here.

this simple app gives parents to power to:
•  schedule internet and app use according to your child’s daily routine, and among the weekdays or weekend.
•  set the number of hours your children spend on the Internet and within apps.
•  block internet access and apps at the touch of a button.
•  allow website and app access, whenever you feel your child “needs more time”, at the touch of a button.
•  block all apps (e.g. Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), as you see fit.

OurPact App for Parents to Monitor Cell Phone Use

in addition, OurPact provides recommendations:
•  based on child research we can recommend the best Internet and App blocking schedules for your child’s specific age.
•  with the help of industry experts and child development professionals, OurPact has the ability to tailor appropriate guidelines and tips specifically for each member of your family, allowing optimal parental control and guidance.

Benefits of OurPact App That Allows Parents to Monitor Cell Phone Use OurPact App Allows Parents to Monitor Cell Phone Usethe fact is, the average child spends almost 50 hours per week in front of screens. This is the average use outside of school. that’s more time than if they were working a full­time job and accounts for more hours in the day than any activity other than sleep. this is approximately 36 hours above the weekly recommendation for screen time set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

OurPact Logo

the vision of OurPact is to advance the future of parenting and enrich the lives of children through the responsible use of technology. It’s very important for parents and children to be involved children in determining proper mobile device use, which whether we want to admit it or not, is a huge part of their lives, and their future.

i am very excited to see how my Summer Screen Time contract and using the OurPact app helps the boys and I manage the technology in our lives. i know this will help them become more responsible in their usage and cut down on the constant nagging from us parents to put down the devices. i will definitely let you know how it goes!!!!

Controlling Kids Technology

so what do you think about the Summer Screen Time contract and the free OurPact app? how do you control your child’s screen time?

 
Giveaway time!!!! 

Here is your chance to WIN an iPad Air 2. Enter to win below… 

OurPact iPad Air2 Giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OurPact.

Fun with PEEPS – and a free printable Easter gift tag

Free Printable Peeps tagwhen it comes to Easter and springtime, Peeps® are an iconic candy brand. when we received a big box in the mail this weekend labeled “PEEPS” on the outside, my kids were over the moon. we figured it was full of the traditional colorful chicky and bunny Peeps®, but we had no idea that we would find such a variety of Peeps® candy as well as some fun PEEPS inspired gifts and other candy from the PEEPS & Company brands such as Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales.

all these varieties made me want to head over to the Peeps & Company® website and check out what they offered. WOW. i was excited to see not only candy, but fun gifts, toys, home decor, and apparel. and not just for Easter. now you can enjoy PEEPS all year long. there are peeps and candy for all occasions and also in every color scheme. so if you are looking to match a certain color, i highly suggest checking out everything peeps has to offer.

to celebrate my love for Peeps®, i thought it would be fun to make a fun Easter basket to give to one of my “peeps”. i just filled a spring bucket with some paper grass and a bunch of varieties of Peeps® including Peeps Chick Ear Buds and a Peeps® Bunny Plush and attached a cute tag that says “to my PEEP!” i wanted to make sure i included the free printable for you to use if you decide to make a Peeps® gift for one of your peeps. click here to download the Peeps gift tag.

Fun Peep Easter PrintablePeeps Gift BasketPeeps gift basket

click here to download the Peeps gift tag.

just for fun, i also wanted to share some of the Easter PEEPS that i think would be fun for the kid, tweens, teens and even adult Easter baskets or for a fun spring treat. check them out below!

Fun Peeps Gifts for Everyone

1. Peeps Chick Earbuds |  2. Chocolate Dipped Mousse Flavored Peeps | 3. Peeps Bunny Socks and Candy Sets | 4. Peeps Plush Bunnies | 5. Rainbow Pops Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Chicks | 6. Peeps Decorated Marshmallow Eggs | 7. Peeps Rainbow Pops  | 8. Orange Creme Flavored Chicks  | 9. Party Flavored Marshmallow Chicks | 9. Peeps Keychains | 10. Party Cake Peeps | 11. Peeps-a-liscious Cookbook  |  12. Peeps Socks

and don’t forget about Peeps & Company’s other fun brands – Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike. there are lots of fun candies in different flavors and themes to satisfy that sweet tooth!

Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike1. Mike and Ike Zours  |  2. Hot Tamale Juniors  |  3. Hot Tamales Licorice Bites  | 4. Mike and Ike Jelly Beans |  5. Mike and Ike Easter Treats6. Mike and Ike Minion Mix  |  7. Hot Tamales Earbud Gift Set  |  8. Mike and Ike Lollipops  | 9. Mike and Ike Jurassic World  |  10. Mike and Ike Cotton Candy

{Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own! The PEEPS & COMPANY® products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by PEEPS & COMPANY®}

How to Throw a Fun Backyard Movie Party and Free Printable

This post is sponsored by Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn.

DIY Movie Party with Free Printablethere is something magical about watching a movie outside under the stars. it may be the fresh air or the twinkling stars or the relaxed atmosphere – i’m not sure what it is, but everyone seems to love a backyard movie party. our family sure does.

our family has had many backyard movie parties over the years: some with our neighbors that are very low-key – simply watching a movie over pizza and popcorn – and some full-blown backyard movie parties where we invite lots of people and decorate the place. but no matter what kind of backyard movie party we have, there are a few things we always make sure to have at all of our parties.

Best Popcorn Party Ideas

How to Throw a Fun Backyard Movie Party

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MOVIE
first thing’s first: when you have a backyard movie party, you must make sure you pick a movie that is right for your guests. consider your youngest guests and what they would be comfortable with, and go from there. if the party is for both kids and adults, make sure you pick a kid-friendly movie that adults will enjoy too. If the party is only adults, consider everyone’s interests and choose a movie that would fit the majority’s likes. you might also want to have a few movie choices and take a vote for which one you will watch. or how about a double feature?

POPCORN
besides the movie, this is the most important thing you will have at a backyard movie party. you want your party to feel like you are at a movie theater, where you can get buttery movie-theater popcorn. our family’s popcorn of choice is Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Buttered Popcorn. YUM! you just can’t watch a movie without snacking on some popcorn, and Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Buttered Popcorn is our family’s go-to brand. It pops up in minutes, giving you a delicious, light, and fluffy snack that’s perfect anytime. plus, it tastes just like movie-theater popcorn.

Popcorn Party Ideas

and if you are looking for different popcorn varieties, make sure to check out all the Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn choices. there are a lot of great varieties.Orville Redenbachers Popcorn Flavors

CANDY AND DRINKS
along with the popcorn, you are going to need candy and drinks. making a concession stand will make your backyard movie party feel like a real movie theater. either put a bunch of candy bars on a platter and set up the drinks in a nice display, or do something like we do and keep the food indoors so people can come in and get what they please. a DIY concession stand is always the highlight of a movie party.

How to Have an Awesome Popcorn Party

my personal favorite thing to make is a DIY popcorn mix-in station. guests can fill a personal tub with popcorn and mix in their favorite candies, such as chocolates, gummy candy, or jelly beans. that way, you get a bit of sweet and salty, and guests can pick and choose their favorite candy to enjoy during the movie.
Fun Popcorn Party IdeasPopcorn with Candymake sure to have a variety of drinks, including bottled water. using the old-fashioned bottles is a nice touch.DIY Concession Standand of course, don’t forget to put out the popcorn. i like to buy the value pack of Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Buttered Popcorn and pop it just before the movie so the place smells like a movie theater. everyone’s taste buds will be excited.Orville Redenbachers PopcornBest Movie Theater Popcorn

OUTDOOR MOVIE SET-UP AND DECORATIONS
it doesn’t matter whether you buy a fancy movie projection system or hang a white sheet on the wall or garage door, as long as your movie is large enough for all your guests to see. you can have it on grass and guests can sit on blankets, or my personal favorite is the driveway because the garage door makes a perfect backdrop to project the movie onto. you could also carefully set up your big-screen television outside—just make sure the weather is nice. party-rental places also often have setups that are inexpensive to rent for an evening.

Backyard Movie Screen

as for decorations, you can find lots of cool things at your local crafts store or on Etsy. vintage signs are fun too. i found this sign that i thought was perfect for our movie party.

Best Vintage Movie Signs

CONFY SEATING AND BLANKETS
you want your guests to be comfortable, make sure there is plenty of seating available. lawn chairs work great, especially if they can recline. sometimes we move our sofas to the backyard just for the evening. it is nice to have a bunch of blankets and pillows available for your guests to use.

How to Throw a Movie Party

finally,

INVITATIONS
you want people to come to your party, so how about sending them a special invitation. i created this fun invite to send out to my guests. it can be used in an email or sent in the mail. i am including the free Movie Party Invitation Printable so you can download it to use at your own backyard movie party.

Movie Party Invitationclick here to download the FREE Movie Party Invitation Printable.

now that you have the perfect movie, popcorn, concessions, the backyard set-up, and comfy seating, you are all set to host a fun backyard movie party. all you need now are the guests!!! it now #PopcornPartyTime!

#PopcornPartyTime

Orville-Logo

Orville Gives You More www.facebook.com/orvilleredenbachers

 

 

Easy Father’s Day Superhero Gift with Free Printable

Superhero Fathers Day Gift IdeaI’m so happy that I was finally able to make a Father’s Day printable to share with you this year. We’re cutting it close to Dad’s Big Day, but this is actually a very easy gift to create! Hopefully you’re able to make one for the dad in your life too. This year’s theme is SUPERHERO. I got an overwhelming response from people asking for a superhero theme this year, so that’s what I went with. Here is the Superhero Father’s Day Kit with free printable that I designed for our dad this year.

To make your own Superhero Father’s Day Kit you need:
• mason jars with 3″ inch lids, any size is fine.
• cardstock
• box or container to put jars in.
• scissors
• candy, snacks or items that will fit in the jars
• Superhero Father’s Day Printable

I made 12 different superhero jar toppers that you can pick and choose from. Luckily, I found this great box at Michael’s craft store that holds 12 small mason jars in it perfectly. It was under $8, and the 12 jars were only $8 as well from Target. Mason jars are awesome because they are reusable. There are many things you can use them for after dad is finished with them.
Free Printable Superhero Mason Jar Toppers

Just print out the toppers, cut them out and slip the ones you like between the jar lid and the jar ring.

Easy Superhero Father's Day Gift IdeaFill each jar with something dad loves. Candy, snacks, gift cards, photos, etc. I chose to color coordinate each treat with the superhero’s colors….but that is not necessary.Father's Day Superhero Printable Gift IdeaMake sure to also print out the 5 x 7″ fold-over Superhero Card. I included a few different versions in case you want to give one to Grandpa, too. Just cut out the card, fold it in half and write a special message inside for dad.

Superhero Fathers Day Card PrintableSuperheroes Free Printable
Here is an example of another container option that uses only 4 superhero jar toppers, and larger pint sized mason jars. It is just as cute!

Father's Day Superhero Free Printable Free Father's Day Superhero Free PrintableHopefully this is a fun and easy gift to make your superhero dad this year!

Superhero Free Printable

Check out these other great Father’s Day Gift Ideas!
DIY Father’s Day Zombie Kit with Free Printable
Star Wars Father’s Day Kit with Free Printable
Father’s Day Mustache Jars with Free Printable
La Lucha Libre Father Day Gift and Free Printable
Angry Birds Father’s Day Kit and Free Printable

Baseball Rice Krispies Treats Tutorial

Tracking PixelGame Day Treat Printablesas you know, we are a baseball family. with three boys playing Little League this season, we are on the field most days of the week. this of course means hungry little baseball players and that’s why i have partnered with Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats® to share some fun treat ideas.

Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®Major League Baseball® and legendary shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., have teamed up to help families unlock the fun this baseball season with their favorite snack. packaged Rice Krispies Treats® make it easy to share this favorite treat without the fuss of making them at home. this is very helpful during this busy baseball season.
baseball snack ideas

it is especially fun to take my boy’s baseball teams special baseball themed treats. i thought the kids would love these chocolate dipped Rice Krispies Treats® baseballs, especially when packaged in these paper baseball gloves. i created the printable which i will include on this post.

to make Rice Krispies Treats® baseballs, you will need: Rice Krispies Treats®, paper straws, white and red melting chocolate.

first, place a straw into each of the Rice Krispies Treats®.

Baseball Rice Krispie Treat idea next, melt the white chocolate into a cup. dip each Rice Krispies Treats® into the chocolate.Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treat idea once it is fully coated, gently tap the excess chocolate off.Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treat recipe place onto a piece of foil or wax paper to harden.Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie recipe next, melt the red chocolate in a plastic zip bag and cut the tip off. pipe on the baseball stitching onto each of the chocolate dipped Rice Krispies Treats®.Baseball Dessert Recipes Baseball Treat Recipes to make the baseball gloves, you will need some brown card stock. click here for the Baseball glove printable and print it onto the card stock. cut out each glove…also cutting the two lines at the bottom.Baseball Treat Ideas next, overlap the two sides of the glove over the middle flap, and punch a whole in the middle of all three overlapping sections.Baseball Treat lastly, thread the straw of the Rice Krispies Treats® baseball to place it into the glove.Sports Treat Ideasif you would like, wrap each treat up in a cellophane bag and tie with ribbon or twist tie.
Game Day Treat

i am absolutely thrilled about how these treat turned out! i hope it inspires you to get creative with Rice Krispies Treats® as well. you can find a year-round inspiration for family fun with Rice Krispies Treats® at www.KelloggsFamilyRewards.com. you can also vote for your favorite creations for the chance to win more exciting prizes.

click here for the Baseball glove printable

Game Day Treat Ideasbaseball Rice Krispie Treats

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats®.