Motherhood Defined http://www.motherhooddefined.com There are no boundaries in motherhood! Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:27:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Violence. Anarchy. Absurdity. Heartbreak. Hilarity. Redemption: Substitute Teaching In 25 Manhattan Public High Schools. http://www.motherhooddefined.com/substitute-teaching-in-25-manhattan/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/substitute-teaching-in-25-manhattan/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:26:12 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49815 Violence. Anarchy. Absurdity. Heartbreak. Hilarity. Redemption: Substitute Teaching In 25 Manhattan Public High Schools. ~ by: Elizabeth Rose So I had this cool gig in Manhattan, teaching song- and creative writing in a small public high school. I also raised $330,000 for classroom smart boards and a shiny new iMac lab for the kids, most from […]

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Violence. Anarchy. Absurdity. Heartbreak. Hilarity. Redemption: Substitute Teaching In 25 Manhattan Public High Schools. ~ by: Elizabeth Rose

So I had this cool gig in Manhattan, teaching song- and creative writing in a small public high school. I also raised $330,000 for classroom smart boards and a shiny new iMac lab for the kids, most from the projects (S. Bronx +). The NYC Department of Education cut my position (too artsy?) and in September 2011, assigned me to substitute teach in a different school every week in hopes that I (and 2500 other teachers) would resign.

I figured I’d go back to my freelance life as a performer. I was developing a one-woman musical comedy for Off Broadway. But when I went to my first substitute assignment (for the paycheck) it hit me like a tossed eraser:

The DOE is going to send me to a new public high school every week for a year! Hello! The Universe is handing me a gift on a gold platter. Stories! It’s irresistible! If I leave, Comus, the god of comedy, will drown my sense of humor in a torrent of his tears.

So I stayed. And I wrote “Yo Miz! (1 Teacher + 25 Schools = 1 Wacky Year)

From el barrio to Wall Street, from our most gifted to our most challenged students, I chilled with the kids. We talked physics, we rapped, solved Rubric cubes and prepped for standardized tests. It was hilarious and heartbreaking. Especially when I was given a class of English Language Learners from the Ivory Coast, Yemen, and Mexico who hadn’t gotten their land legs yet. How they wanted to fit in, like other American teenagers they admired. Instead, they were given 5 Regents exams every January and June that they inevitably failed…every time. “Thanks, Miz. I not gonna pass. Sorry, Miz. You nice lady.” Guess who doesn’t get a high school diploma? Guess who falls through the cracks when they have to leave the public school system at 21 years old?

So why care about these “marginal” kids? For me, as we struggled and laughed together, they crept into my heart. As if they were my own kids, I want them to succeed. I want them to love learning. I want them to be happy, new Americans, enjoying our extraordinary freedoms and unfathomable possibilities.

Elizabeth Rose“Edu-tainer” Elizabeth Rose, who has created music and comedy for stage, film and TV, swore she would never follow the advice of her parents, both teachers, and become a teacher. But she took a gig teaching songwriting in a NYC public high school. When the job was cut, she was asked to sub in a new school each week, a temptation no storyteller could resist. During this same wacky year, she performed her one-woman musical comedy, Relative Pitch, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Off Broadway.

Connect with Elizabeth on www.yomizthebook.com and www.twitter/yomizthebook.

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Redefining Grief for Our Children http://www.motherhooddefined.com/redefining-grief-for-our-children/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/redefining-grief-for-our-children/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:50:03 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49810 By Tiffany Papageorge, author of My Yellow Balloon  One of the biggest joys of being a parent is that we get to be the ones to introduce our children to new, often monumental, experiences and by doing so we get to relive the wonder and importance of those experiences ourselves. The same is true of […]

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By Tiffany Papageorge, author of My Yellow Balloon 

One of the biggest joys of being a parent is that we get to be the ones to introduce our children to new, often monumental, experiences and by doing so we get to relive the wonder and importance of those experiences ourselves. The same is true of the not so wonderful experiences. Out of deep love and a longing to protect our children we try to rescue them from unpleasant or difficult life situations. However, life is both good and bad. The bad things are every bit as much of our life experience and are just as important.

Life teaches us over and over again about loss and we grieve over those losses. Some losses seem small to us: the loss of a beloved toy that breaks, the loss of a tooth, the loss of a teacher at the end of the school year. Then there are the losses that are bigger and more difficult: a friend moving away or changing schools. Finally, there are big losses: divorce, illness, and death.

I believe it is important not to minimize any loss, even though it may seem insignificant. Each one provides our children with the opportunity to learn how to navigate through the terrain of grieving. Small losses help to prepare for bigger losses.

As a parent, a few ways we can help our children are to be present and to give opportunities for their questions and emotions to come through. Don’t be afraid to give them answers that are honest, true, and, of course, age appropriate. Teach them that loss andgrief is a part of life and you have to know the bad to really know the good. By learning this, they will grow through the richness of all of their life experiences.  We get to be the ones to be there for them, wrapping them in the safety of our love as we stand strongly by their side.

Tiffany Papageorge

Tiffany Papageorge is an author, speaker and works with parents, teachers and mental health professionals whose mission is to find new ways to reach, capture and engage children who are dealing with the issue of loss.

Her extensive theater background spans a 25-year period, and includes work withCBS, Disney and The Sundance Institute. Tiffany holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater. She is a member of the Healing Story Alliance, the National Storytelling Network, SCBWI, and SAG-Aftra and has spoken for such prestigious organizations and events as Head Start, The National Alliance of Grieving Children and throughout Pennsylvania for Children’s Grief Awareness Day, to name a few.

YellowBalloonArt vertical

The multi-award-winning My Yellow Balloon is her first picture book and was recently featured on the cover of Foreword Reviews. 

Learn more about Papageorge at and My Yellow Balloon at www.myyellowballoon.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

My Yellow Balloon can be purchased from Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, Booksamillion.com, Chinaberry.com and through all major booksellers.

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World Showers Charleston With Amazing Grace http://www.motherhooddefined.com/world-showers-charleston-with-amazing-grace/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/world-showers-charleston-with-amazing-grace/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:28:27 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49807 THE WORLD SHOWERS CHARLESTON WITH AMAZING GRACE; AUCTION FOR COMMUNITY UNITED CHARLESTON INCLUDES ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME LUXURIES 100% of Proceeds from July 9 Event to Benefit Families; Online Auction Opens July 3 Organizers of the Community United Charleston fund and event have been showered with auction items best described as extraordinary. The fund sprang up hours after […]

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THE WORLD SHOWERS CHARLESTON WITH AMAZING GRACE;

AUCTION FOR COMMUNITY UNITED CHARLESTON INCLUDES ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME LUXURIES

100% of Proceeds from July 9 Event to Benefit Families; Online Auction Opens July 3

Community United

Organizers of the Community United Charleston fund and event have been showered with auction items best described as extraordinary. The fund sprang up hours after nine individuals were shot in the historic Mother Emanuel AME church.

Auction bidders can pre-register and participate from anywhere at www.bidr.co/communityunited and are invited to bid on hundreds of auction items ranging in value from $50 to $50,000. The auction opens at noon on Friday, July 3 and closes at midnight on Thursday, July 9. Bidders need not be present to participate. Rare items that will be auctioned off include:

· A City and Safari package with round-trip business class tickets to Capetown, featuring stays at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and one of Belmond’s safari reserves. Business class airlines tickets for two included.

· More than 100 pieces of original art, valued from $500 to $15,000.

· A weekend for two in New York City, including all-access tickets to the New York Wine Experience. Business class airlines tickets for two included.

· Tickets to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, an event that typically sells out.

· A ticket package including access to the Grammy Awards.

· A Brazilian Bucket List from the Belmond Group, offering round-trip airfare and nine nights on the iconic Copacabana Place and the Hotel das Cataratas in Iguazu National Park (named one of the seven wonders of the world.)

· 75 hotel stays.

· 52 weeks of dining out in Charleston’s world-class restaurants.

· A Tuscan Grand Tour featuring eight nights in the Italian wine region, including a three-night stay at Belmond Hotel Splendido. Business class airlines tickets for two included.

Organizers place the total value of auction items collected thus far to be in excess of $500,000.

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Top 7 Baby Shower Menu Ideas http://www.motherhooddefined.com/top-7-baby-shower-menu-ideas/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/top-7-baby-shower-menu-ideas/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:32:26 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49803 Cheryl Seidel, etiquette expert, and regular contributing writer for the Huffington Post, shares her expert advice on the coolest trendiest items to put on a baby shower menu! Summer is a great time to host a baby shower! If you’re planning one for your bestie and her new bundle of joy we know that you […]

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Cheryl Seidel, etiquette expert, and regular contributing writer for the Huffington Post, shares her expert advice on the coolest trendiest items to put on a baby shower menu! Summer is a great time to host a baby shower! If you’re planning one for your bestie and her new bundle of joy we know that you have a lot to think about- location, theme, décor, games and food. We’ve created this cool and easy menu to help you check something off your list. Because it’s hot outside, everyone wants cooler, lighter fare, and we know you don’t want to spend days working over a hot stove. We kept that in mind as we selected these great recipes that require little to no heat!

Top 7 Baby Shower Menu Ideas

Veggie and Dip Cups

These portable little appetizers can be customized to your specific party. Fill the bottom with humus or ranch (or any dip!) and add in whatever fresh veggies you’d like.

Sandwiches are a popular choice at baby showers because they’re easy to prepare and easy to eat. Though we like the ever popular chicken salad, we also love unique recipes and thought you might want to try something new at your next event. Both of these sandwiches are family favorites and we’re sure your guests will love them too!

Roast Beef and Arugula Sandwich

1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dried Onion Flakes
1 Tbsp. Spicy Mustard
1 Tbsp. Horseradish Sauce Or Straight Prepared Horseradish
2- 8oz. focaccia loaves
1 lb. thin sliced roast beef
2 oz. Fresh Arugula
1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan

  • Combine the mayo, onion, mustard and horseradish to make the sandwich dressing.
  • Toss the arugula with the olive oil and parmesan.
  • Cut the focaccia bread horizontally so that you have a top and bottom piece.
  • Spread the dressing on the cut side of both pieces. On the bottom piece, layer the roast beef, top with arugula and the top piece of bread. Cut each focaccia into small sandwiches and serve. Enjoy!

Dressing adapted from Pioneer Woman Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

Caprese Sandwich

If you’d like to offer a lighter or vegetarian option to your guests, try this simple Caprese Sandwich. Start with a French baguette or ciabatta bread, layer fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Top with salt, pepper and balsamic glaze. Click here for a more detailed Caprese Sandwich recipe.

Mango, Watermelon, and Tomato Salad

How’s this for a summer salad? It’s a colorful array of mango, watermelon and tomato in a tangy, but sweet dressing- sure to delight your guests!

Savannah Cheesecake Cookies

These little cheesecake cookies aren’t really cookies at all, but mini bites of scrumptious cheesecake! They can be prepared one week prior to your event and only take 20 minutes to make.

Strawberry Country Cake

There’s something about strawberry shortcake that just screams summer. And the addition of the lemon and orange zest give this cake an extra dose of summer! The cake is easy to make and will be a lovely addition to your table.

Summer Peach Tea Punch

Summer days are hot so be sure that you serve a beverage that’s cold and refreshing. With hints of mint, peach and lemon, this sparkling iced tea will get the job done! If you’re looking for a summer cocktail, try one of these recipes from Pottery Barn. They’re wonderful for a large crowd!

About Cheryl Seidel:

Seidel is a sought after etiquette expert and regular contributor for The Huffington Post and author of the popular Ask Cheryl blog. She helps advise readers with handy tips on how much to spend, when gift giving is appropriate and other would-have-loved-to-know-that-when moments in gift giving, She is also the founder and President of www.RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.  Seidel  has 22 years of business experience, with concentrations in new product development and consumer advertising and promotion.

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10 To-Die-For Kahlua Recipes http://www.motherhooddefined.com/kahlua-recipes/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/kahlua-recipes/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:35:16 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49800 It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy some fun with Kahlua. Sweets to cocktails oh my! Here are a few of our favorite recipes including Kahlua: Spiced Eggnog Cocktail | A Family Feast Kahlua and White Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread | SusieQTpies Cafe Nutella Cocktail | What’s Cooking, Love? Kahlua Chocolate Torte with Coffee Whipped […]

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Kahlua-recipes

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy some fun with Kahlua. Sweets to cocktails oh my!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes including Kahlua:

  1. Spiced Eggnog Cocktail | A Family Feast
  2. Kahlua and White Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread | SusieQTpies Cafe
  3. Nutella Cocktail | What’s Cooking, Love?
  4. Kahlua Chocolate Torte with Coffee Whipped Cream | Turning the Clock Back
  5. Chocolate Espresso Bean Cookies | Beyond Frosting
  6. Extra-Fudgy Kahlua Brownies with Kahlua Icing | Wall Flour Girl
  7. Peppermint Mocha Kahlua Truffles | My Baking Addiction
  8. Chocolate-Malted Mousse | A Family Feast
  9. Almond Latte | Call Me PMC
  10. Kahlua Tiramisu | SusieQTpies Cafe
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Getting Starstruck at the Hollywood Wax Museum in Branson, MO! http://www.motherhooddefined.com/hollywood-wax-museum/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/hollywood-wax-museum/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:21:22 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49786 Hollywood Wax Museum is a wonder-filled landmark located on Highway 76 in Branson, Missouri and the only wax museum in the country devoted solely to celebrity figures. A recent multi-million dollar renovation *que – wow!* brought more star power and glamorous style to the attraction. Located in the Hollywood Entertainment Center on the strip, visitors can go all […]

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Hollywood Wax Museum is a wonder-filled landmark located on Highway 76 in Branson, Missouri and the only wax museum in the country devoted solely to celebrity figures. A recent multi-million dollar renovation *que – wow!* brought more star power and glamorous style to the attraction. Located in the Hollywood Entertainment Center on the strip, visitors can go all fangirl and fanboyed out, getting up close and personal to some of the most famous people in show business.

King Kong Hollywood Wax Museum

One of the most surprising aspects of the Hollywood Wax Museum was the ability for patrons to step right into the spotlight with their favorite icons and even some of those not so so well-loved. Each character was recreated so completely that my daughters and I would swear they are were alive. In fact, the horror room found inside the Hollywood Wax Museum in Branson MO houses several terrifying replicas that will have you looking over your shoulder and those with fear will refuse to enter *aka – my daughter Natalie whom walked through attached to my side with her eyes closed*.

Horrors of Hollywood Wax Museum

It is rare that you will get to meet a celebrity figure. Even more so for you to get to make faces and cozy on up the way you would in your mind when doing so. An easy stroll through this attraction will have you getting into the action and even occasionally fighting along beloved stars like Star Trek, Johnny Depp, Charles Angels, and the Terminator.

Hollywood Wax Museum Branson, MO

I even had a chance to get into the fun and act younger than my years. The Hollywood Wax Museum definitely has a way of bringing out the humorous side of us all. Oh, Hugh!

Hugh Hefner Hollywood Wax Museum

Get back to the kid at heart and act silly with classic entertainers like The Three Stooges. Even though my Natalie had no clue who these guys were, she definitely could tell they could spark a laugh along the way.

The Three Stooges Hollywood Wax Museum

Then, go back in time with the classics: Loyal and Hardy, Marilyn Monroe, and John Wayne.

The Classics Hollywood Wax Museum

While the Hollywood Wax Museum was not on our preplanned travel itinerary, it was certainly worth the evening we spent exploring. The girls and I arrived around 10pm and there were only a few others present. So the attraction was quiet and we got to spend as much time as we wanted in each section. I will say that this is one place that I stress you should add to your must see list. I never imagined I would have such a great time. Every corner was a surprise waiting to be found. The figures were so lifelike and often you could find props available to assist you in striking the perfect photo pose!

Deal Alert – The best value in Branson is a Hollywood Entertainment Center All Access Pass, which includes admission to Hollywood Wax Museum, the world’s first 5D ride Castle of Chaos and Hannah’s Maze of Mirrors!

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How to Blast Booger Picking http://www.motherhooddefined.com/booger-picking/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/booger-picking/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:05:50 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49778 It seems that every time you turn around in the car, your little one has their finger so far up their nose you are afraid it might get stuck. No matter how many times you tell them no they just continue and continue to dig for gold. You must stop this booger picking madness! Hold […]

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It seems that every time you turn around in the car, your little one has their finger so far up their nose you are afraid it might get stuck. No matter how many times you tell them no they just continue and continue to dig for gold. You must stop this booger picking madness!

Hold a Booger Picking Intervention – Gather all the members of your family and calmly explain to your little one that booger picking is not an appetizing thing to witness. Explain to them that although many kids do it, it is not a good habit to have.

Break the Cycle – Chances are if your little one is digging for gold than they are developing a bad habit. Break the cycle! Begin a new habit by waking up and adding nose blowing to their morning hygiene schedule. A fun way to get them excited is by buying fun products. Boogie Wipes are great wipes to use on little ones; they have fun smells like grape and are super gentle saline wipes.

Keep Their Hands Busy

Keep Their Hands Busy – Breaking a habit takes time and distractions. If your child picks their nose while riding in the car, begin by introducing new tasks they can do to distract them from digging for gold. Hand your child a tissue every time you see her put her finger in her nose. Chances are she’ll get so frustrated with having to wipe her nose every time you catch her picking she’ll turn to the tissues more often instead.

Check that thing out – Take a look at their nose, if it is red and itchy no wonder they run for the hills at the site of a tissue. Invest in some nasal TLC products that will get their little honker up and running. Run a humidifier in your home or in your child’s bedroom. If your child’s nose itches, he might be picking it at to relieve the itching. A humidifier increases the moisture in the air, which can help with the dryness in his nose.

If All Else Fails – Take charge and keep your kid’s nose clean. Use a suction bulb, tissue or cotton swab to remove boogers and crust. When nothing’s in your their nose to pick out hopefully your kid will get the hint and move on. Plus they will hate being treated like an infant and will begin to take on cleaning their own noses.

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Kickstart Your Day With a Dose of Positivity http://www.motherhooddefined.com/kickstart-your-day-with-a-dose-of-positivity/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/kickstart-your-day-with-a-dose-of-positivity/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49764 By Deborah K. Heisz Co-founder, COO and Editorial Director, Live Happy As we move through the day, we know life is going to throw all kinds of curveballs at us: one of the kids is expelling green slime from her nose; a tropical storm decides to blow through, even though I live in a landlocked […]

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Deborah Heisz headshotBy Deborah K. Heisz

Co-founder, COO and Editorial Director, Live Happy

As we move through the day, we know life is going to throw all kinds of curveballs at us: one of the kids is expelling green slime from her nose; a tropical storm decides to blow through, even though I live in a landlocked state; and when I get to the office, presentation notes have walked away by themselves.

One thing we can do to take control of our own happiness, however, is choose to start the morning on a positive note. This sets us up—not to avoid difficultiesbut to handle them with a better attitude.

How can you build positivity into your morning? Start with these 5 excellent tips, including the all-important message of getting a good night’s sleep. In addition, you might try adding some mindfulness to your morning, whether that comes in the form of mindfulness meditation, or simply sitting quietly with yourself, unplugged, and being in the present. This will reset your brain for a better day.

Another surefire way to start out your day feeling great? Exercise. Get those endorphins flowing first thing in the morning, and not only will you feel physically great, but your well-being will soar, setting you up to accomplish the rest of your goals.

If you’re not quite ready to hit the gym or the pavement first thing in the morning, there are other science-tested ways to exercise your positivity muscles. You can read something positive, whether it’s a book of beautiful poetry, a volume of positive affirmations—or of course, Live Happy magazine.

Finally, try writing down three positive goals for the day. Make sure these are small and achievable things that you will be able to accomplish without pushing yourself too much. Would you like to reach out to an old friend by email? Have you been meaning to thank a coworker for his or her help? Does your spouse deserve an extra hug this week? Think of this as a “Gratitude Goals” journal. Then go back and check it at the end of the day to see if you were able to accomplish what you set out to do.

Pick and choose which one of these practices works for you. Whichever you choose, if you start out your morning with a jolt of positivity, your whole day will settle into place. Your will have a greater sense of well-being, and that positivity will spread to those around you.

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Marveling in the Dixie Stampede Experience http://www.motherhooddefined.com/dixie-stampede-experience/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/dixie-stampede-experience/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:47:06 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49767 Dixie Stampede began as a dream for Dolly Parton. Today it is one of the most spectacular dinner and show attractions in the country. We recently experienced this wondrous event first hand on a family adventure in Branson, MO. To be honest, I am not sure if I was more wowed by the show, the […]

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Dixie Stampede began as a dream for Dolly Parton. Today it is one of the most spectacular dinner and show attractions in the country. We recently experienced this wondrous event first hand on a family adventure in Branson, MO. To be honest, I am not sure if I was more wowed by the show, the atmosphere or the meal.

Tango - Dixie Stampede

Tango – Dixie Stampede

With 32 horses, dozens of cast members and family-style seating for 1,100 in a giant 35,000-square-foot arena, Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction is a true vision from Dolly Parton herself. In true Dolly fashion, nothing is to be but the best for each attending guest. From the moment you begin to walk up to the entrance passing by the stalls of strong, stunning horses to the moment you leave with a smile from the kindness of the servers and doggie bag in hand, your senses will be happily overwhelmed with a magically tingling planting memories for years to come.

Service with a smile - Dixie Stampede

The show beings with a comical chatter separating the audience into the North and South. He explains that each team will have it’s own army of sorts to fight for the win of the show. Of course, it is all in good fun and the win/lose aspect of the series of events is lost along the way. I see this is a good thing keeping the environment playful yet expectant and exciting.

Dixie Stampede pre-show look

From barrel races to tests of strength, each side’s fighters battle it out to claim a flag for their side *aka – the audience*. The hoops and hollas of an excited crowd to see the action swore all around us as we smile looking on at the action below. We did have a few favorites though: the Roman Ride of Fire and humorous chicken dance was two skits that will not be forgotten and make me wish I could see the show again soon. Everyone needs a healthy does of suspense and laughter while on vacation.

Roman Ride - Dixie Stampede

As if the show wasn’t nearly enough (though be sure to know that it was), the meal was something right out of grandma’s kitchen. Mouth-watering, all eat with your hands goodness. Really, imagine cooking 1,100 whole rotisserie chickens, 250 pounds of hickory smoked pork loin, creamy, delicious vegetable soup, corn on the cob, potatoes, biscuits and crispy apple turnovers each day. Now imagine serving it up to 5 times daily. Wow! Now really, wow. I can only imagine each time being magnificent perfection as the last.

Dixie Stampede Meal

In the this show like Branson itself, celebrates spending time with one another, the way it once was before the fascination with electronics emerged. A reemerge of family value and speaking to one another. I am so glad that my daughters and I experienced this show and more while in Branson, MO. I never realized how much we need to just get away and be mom and daughter(s) once again. For anyone considering a vacation to regain some of just being a family again, Branson is definitely the place to be!

I wanted to share what my youngest daughter thought of Dixie Stampede in her own words. This is a great example of no matter your age, this show is one all will enjoy.

For Dixie Stampede tickets and additional information, visit: dixiestampede.com

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Art Filled Chicago, What To See and Where To Go http://www.motherhooddefined.com/art-filled-chicago-what-to-see-and-where-to-go/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/art-filled-chicago-what-to-see-and-where-to-go/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 18:40:57 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=31631 Chicago is known around the world as a great architectural city, with special attention being given to public art for Chicagoans to see and experience. Throughout Chicago you can see works of art on public display, and then enjoy private museums and historical houses. Everything for docent tour guided to self guided tours to tours […]

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Chicago is known around the world as a great architectural city, with special attention being given to public art for Chicagoans to see and experience. Throughout Chicago you can see works of art on public display, and then enjoy private museums and historical houses. Everything for docent tour guided to self guided tours to tours that focus on including children in the art scene can be found throughout the city of Chicago. Even if you have already seen some of the art Chicago has to offer, there is always more art, and new exhibits displaying art in a different way.

For an art filled Chicago adventure, use this guide to lead you to the best that the city has to offer.

Image: wikimedia.org

Image: wikimedia.org

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago houses many great works of art, including paintings, sculpture, ancient relics, photography, textiles, and ceramics. If you enjoy modern art, or contemporary works, the new Modern Art wing puts together rotating exhibits that feature some of the best work from around the country and world. As a world renowned institution, the AIC is able to bring several traveling exhibits to Chicago each year, so patrons can see works from other great art houses around the world.

Image: wikipedia.org

Image: wikipedia.org

The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is located on Chicago’s famous Navy Pier. The Smith Museum is dedicated solely to stained glass in the United States and includes secular and religious windows. The museum includes works by famous artists Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge and the beautiful displays are lit up for guests to enjoy. There are no entrance fees or even an established gallery hall, but the windows are worth checking out if you are at the Pier for other attractions.

Image: uchicago.edu

Image: uchicago.edu

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Located in beautiful Hyde Park, the Oriental Institute of Chicago is situated on the University of Chicago campus. Archeological treasures from the Near East that have been excavated by the University of Chicago’s archeological team constitute a significant portion of the museum. Sculptures and textiles from the ancient worlds of Mesopatamia, Egypt, Syria, Nubia are all on display for guests that travel out. The famous archaeological department is also rumored to be where fictional character Indiana Jones was created.

Image: businessweek.com

Image: businessweek.com

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago is where you want to go if you want to see something new, something provocative or something entirely different. You never know what exhibits will feature from one month to the next, but those exhibits are always the talk of the town.

Where will your art filled journey begin?

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Wonton Cheese Poppers Recipe http://www.motherhooddefined.com/wonton-cheese-poppers-recipe/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/wonton-cheese-poppers-recipe/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 13:47:46 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=31027 One of my favorite restaurant appetizers is fried cream cheese wontons. They are so creamy and the perfect amount of crunch. The amazing thing is there is not alot at goes into making them: a few easy to find ingredients and make 15 minute cook time for a large batch. These little yummies are best […]

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One of my favorite restaurant appetizers is fried cream cheese wontons. They are so creamy and the perfect amount of crunch. The amazing thing is there is not alot at goes into making them: a few easy to find ingredients and make 15 minute cook time for a large batch. These little yummies are best served as a party snack {hot} or along side of stir-fry dinner.

Wonton Cheese Poppers

Wonton Cheese Poppers

Recipe yields 50 wantons

Ingredients:

  • 8oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup mexi blend cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
  • 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced (to make them hotter 3-4 peppers)
  • 1 package 50 count small wonton  wraps

Wonton Cheese Poppers IngredientsDirections:

  1. Mix the cream cheese, mexi blend cheese, mozzarella cheese, ranch and peppers into a bowl, mix well.Wonton Cheese Poppers process
  2. Open your wonton wraps, place them on a flat surface put a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each wonton.
  3. Dip your finger in water and wet the edges of the wonton, fold it over in half and press the edges together. The water will act like glue and seal them shut.
  4. Fry the wontons in oil over medium- high heat. Cook them for 15-20 seconds on each side, take out of hot oil and let drain on a paper towel.Wonton Cheese Poppers process 2
  5. Serve alone or with rice and stirfry.
4.6 from 22 reviews
Wonton Cheese Poppers Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 25
Ingredients
  • 8oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 cup mexi blend cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning
  • 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced (to make them hotter 3-4 peppers)
  • 1 package 50 count small wonton wraps
Instructions
  1. Mix the cream cheese, mexi blend cheese, mozzarella cheese, ranch and peppers into a bowl, mix well.
  2. Open your wonton wraps, place them on a flat surface put a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each wonton.
  3. Dip your finger in water and wet the edges of the wonton, fold it over in half and press the edges together. The water will act like glue and seal them shut.
  4. Fry the wontons in oil over medium- high heat. Cook them for 15-20 seconds on each side, take out of hot oil and let drain on a paper towel.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 wontons

Let’s Eat!

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The 4 Most Important Summer Safety Lessons for Kids http://www.motherhooddefined.com/summer-safety-lessons-for-kids/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/summer-safety-lessons-for-kids/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:28:20 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49751 It’s finally summer! The warm weather coupled with vacation from school means loads of time spent outside for kids all across the country. More time outside means more exposure to potentially dangerous individuals, so this annual transition offers the perfect opportunity to refresh your child’s self-defense knowledge by reviewing these four very important summer safety […]

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It’s finally summer! The warm weather coupled with vacation from school means loads of time spent outside for kids all across the country. More time outside means more exposure to potentially dangerous individuals, so this annual transition offers the perfect opportunity to refresh your child’s self-defense knowledge by reviewing these four very important summer safety lessons.

I teach these lessons to kids as young as 3. Modify topics and contexts depending on the age, maturity, and sensitivity level of your child.

The 4 Most Important Summer Safety Lessons for Kids

1) Teach Your Kids What to Do if Approached

I bet you already teach your kids that they shouldn’t talk to strangers. But how often are you reminding them? How would you like your child to respond if approached by an adult stranger? Do you want them to run away? Do you want them to ignore the stranger? Do you want them to say loudly, “I don’t talk to strangers!” and find a trusted adult? One thing is for sure, role playing different scenarios with your child is a must, and simply telling them without hands-on practice is not enough. Think your child knows this lesson inside and out? Watch this video on a recent social experiment to see how kids did when tested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGIDHrYKJ2s

2) Teach Your Kids How to Ask for Help and Whom to Ask

Who can your kids go to for help if you’re not with them? Other adults they know (neighbors, teachers), moms with kids, dads with kids, grandparents with kids, somebody in a uniform (police officer, fireman, doctor, postal worker), or an employee at a restaurant or store. It’s really important that you teach kids that when they need help, being polite is a non-issue. They can yell, scream, interrupt, and even push an adult in order to get their attention quickly, and once they have it, explain why they are scared and point out the person they are scared of or trying to get away from.

3) Teach Your Kids What to Yell if They Need Help

Very often parents teach their children to yell if they need help or if they are in danger, but don’t specify the actual words they should yell. Whether at home, at the park, at school, or a playground, hearing kids yell doesn’t usually raise red flags for adults. We tend to assume kids are either screaming in play or throwing a tantrum. But imagine hearing a child yelling, “Help!” “Stranger!” “He’s not my Dad!” You’d immediately take action, wouldn’t you? Teach children specifically to yell action words if they need help. “He’s not my Dad!” “She’s not my Mom!” “Help!” “No!” “Stranger!” “911!” and “Fire” are all good options. Hands-on practice of this skill will make it more likely they’ll successfully yell these words when adrenalized, so have them practice at home (yelling into a pillow if you’re worried about alerting the neighbors).

4) Teach Your Kids To Fight Back if They Must

The most common concern that I hear parents express regarding this lesson is that they worry their child will begin fighting with their siblings or other kids. Fighting and fighting back are completely different however. I’ve been teaching kids to fight back for over a decade and I’ve never had a single student of mine begin fighting. Explain the difference between the two and be very clear about when they’re allowed to fight back and against whom. But this lesson is truly an essential one. We tell our kids on a consistent basis that punching, kicking, biting, scratching, etc. are unacceptable, so most often they believe that they shouldn’t do these things under ANY circumstances. Children who physically struggle and fight back against predators are much more likely to get away however, so be sure to teach kids the emergency circumstances under which striking is not only acceptable but necessary.

Follow-up article: The Most Powerful Tool Parents Have to Keep Their Kids Safe

Find out more about M.A.M.A. Self-Defense, including articles, videos, and tips.

Jarrett ArthurJarrett Arthur is the founder of M.A.M.A. (Mothers Against Malicious Acts), the first self-defense system of its kind designed exclusively for moms, as well as all women responsible for the well-being of children. As one of the highest ranking female Krav Maga Black Belt Instructors in the U.S., Jarrett has been featured as a self-defense and safety expert on many national platforms including Ellen, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, Forbes. com, Glamour. com, Parents .com, Babble, Yahoo!, Shape, Fitness, The NY Times, Real Simple Magazine, and more.

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Get Dino Interactive at the Science Museum of Minnesota http://www.motherhooddefined.com/science-museum-of-minnesota/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/science-museum-of-minnesota/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:31:45 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49735 My family took a week long exploration of the Minneapolis area recently. Being the nerdy, how it works family we are the Science Museum of MN was at the top of our must see list. Not to mention, the Science Museum of Minnesota is labeled as the Upper Midwest’s most popular museum attraction. First of […]

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My family took a week long exploration of the Minneapolis area recently. Being the nerdy, how it works family we are the Science Museum of MN was at the top of our must see list. Not to mention, the Science Museum of Minnesota is labeled as the Upper Midwest’s most popular museum attraction.

First of all, I want to be clear that this is no simple hour long run though attraction. If you plan to visit as part of your travel itinerary, please allow at least 3 hours to explore the museum and an addition 2 if you plan to see an IMAX film and any additional special exhibits.

science museum of mn

Founded in 1907 as the Saint Paul Institute of Science and Letters, the Science Museum of Minnesota welcomes more than one million visitors each year to see its world-class collection of dinosaurs and fossils, the nation’s only convertible IMAX dome Omnitheater, its trademark hands- and bodies-on science exhibits, and a blockbuster slate of traveling exhibitions.

omnitheater

The United States’ only convertible dome IMAX theater—the William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater. This theater has two screens: a 90-foot diameter domed screen that can rotate back behind the audience seating area to reveal a 90’x 70′ flat screen.

While the foot traffic is great in number, the immense amount of room including numerous floors, educational rooms and even the lobby together seem to allow for ample spacing and well thought out station placements that will not have you waiting long if at all to see the next exhibit. Making it a good choice to visit no matter the day or time of year.

However, do know that the Omnitheater shows and special exhibits will need to be purchased in advance and will provide a time on the ticket for entry. I for one appreciate this approach as it keeps a reasonable number of people in these special areas and allows everyone enough time to engage in the experience.

There was so much to see at the Science Museum of Minnesota that we had to break-up our experience into 3 different posts. Today’s feature is from the dino-lovers point of view.

Science Museum Lobby

The Science Museum has occupied several locations in its 100+-year-history, and opened its current, state-of-the-art museum facility in 1999. The Science Museum is the most-visited museum in the five-state region and consistently ranks first in Twin Cities rankings for favorite museums and favorite family outings. They even can host weddings onsite. Now, how cool would that be?

T-Rex Science Museum of MN

There are so many things that made this experience one that will carve our memory. This one visit created a family of mini-me monsters that are already begging to return. While for three of the younger ones it was all about playing scientist, spaceman and dinomaster, my older daughter who has won awards for her science education and projects at the age of 10 took this to experience right to the heart.

At every turn, a new how to experiment or educational station appeared. If we would have allowed, Aryka would have spent an entire day on each floor soaking up the information like a sponge. Upon asked, she quickly informed me that her biggest interest was the vast amount of dinosaurs and fossils found about the museum. It was almost like a silent seek and find to see where one would appear. From ceiling to floors, bits of our prehistoric history could be seen throughout the rooms.

Dinosaur Hunt SMMN

The Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery covers 11,000 square feet of exhibit area adjacent to the Science Museum’s scenic atrium, where three-story tall glass walls give panoramic views of the Mississippi River and provide streams of natural light.

Among our favorite pieces, the T. rex Jaws Interactive: The Tyrannosaurus rex was a formidable predator with massive, powerful jaws capable of taking down much larger prey. In the Dinosaurs and Fossils gallery, visitors can operate a giant set of T. rex jaws, recreating the T. rex’s trademark giant-sized bite. A bit of a warning, these require a little strength to operate. My five year old son was not able to move them on his own and dad gladly stepped in to help him get the chompers to working. The others however (ages 8, 9 and 10) had no trouble at all.

Another and very hard to ignore favorite is the Science Museum’s Triceratops. This beauty if one of only four mounted Triceratops anywhere in the world and is also the largest complete Triceratops specimen on display. It is noted to be one of the most treasured pieces in the museum’s collection and you can clearly see why they are proud of this scientific gem.

Triceratops

It simple amazes me each time I get face to face with Earth’s history and that of those who came before we did. It is beyond imagination how far we have come even in the last 100 years. My daughter has asked would humans have ever emerged if the dinosaurs had lived. To be honest, I don’t know and have begun to wonder myself what would have been if things had went another way. What would happen if it ever happened again? Don’t you?

The Science Museum of Minnesota is located at 120 West Kellogg Boulevard in downtown Saint Paul, right across from RiverCentre. Visitors may purchase tickets at the Box Office on level 5, via phone at (651) 221-9444, or online at www.smm.org. Advance reservations are recommended for Omnitheater shows (reservation fee applies for non-members).

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5 Hot Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer http://www.motherhooddefined.com/5-hot-tips-to-keep-your-dog-cool-this-summer/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/5-hot-tips-to-keep-your-dog-cool-this-summer/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:30:42 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49381 Bow WOW it’s Hot out There! 5 Hot Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer Summer’s here with the temperatures rising and sidewalks steaming. If the weather isn’t comfortable for us, imagine how our pets feel. Summer brings a host of dangers for our dogs – primarily the risk of overheating. But, the American […]

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5 Hot Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Bow WOW it’s Hot out There!
5 Hot Tips To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer

Summer’s here with the temperatures rising and sidewalks steaming. If the weather isn’t comfortable for us, imagine how our pets feel. Summer brings a host of dangers for our dogs – primarily the risk of overheating. But, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has ways to protect your four-legged friend from the heat.

Stay Indoors

Breeds with pushed-in faces like Bull Dogs and Boston Terriers can find it tougher to breathe in warmer weather, so leave these pets indoors and only take them on very short walks to keep them safe during hot days.

Keep ‘em Groomed

Animals with thick and heavy coats definitely feel the heat, so groom your pets to keep them comfortable as temps rise. If you plan to shave away some of the coat, makes sure to leave at least 1 inch of topcoat to protect your pet from the sun. Their skin can burn too!

Hydrate your Pets

Always take fresh drinking water on walks or outings for your pets. This is especially important if you bring your four legged friend along on trips where they may be sitting outside for a long time. Also, make sure their bowls at home are always filled with cold water, especially when Fido hustles inside from being in the great outdoors.

Protect their Paws

Walk your pets early in the morning or at dusk when the sun isn’t out and the ground has cooled. If you decide to bring your pets to summer events like parades or carnivals, provide them with plenty of shade, the hot asphalt can burn their paws, just like it burns out feet if we walk on hot concrete or sand.

Prevent Overheating

Because dogs do not sweat, they release extra body heat through panting, so definitely check out the way your pet is breathing. And keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Common signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include:

  • Loud, heavy panting, gasping for air, and/or huffing and puffing
  • Abnormally rapid heartbeat
  • High body temperature over 104 ®
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Anxiety or agitation, confusion, dizziness, uncoordinated walking, and/or fainting
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Muscle tremors, shaking, and/or seizures.

And if you notice any of the above, call or take your pet to the vet immediately.

For more pet-friendly advice and news log onto www.avma.org.

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Parenting on Vacations, Plan or Not to Plan? http://www.motherhooddefined.com/parenting-on-vacations-plan-or-not-to-plan/ http://www.motherhooddefined.com/parenting-on-vacations-plan-or-not-to-plan/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 14:17:26 +0000 http://www.motherhooddefined.com/?p=49376 Why Plan Vacationing with the family is an exciting and fun time. The question is, do parents need to plan with their children to help them know what behaviors are expected of them or do we let them figure it out for themselves. Vacations can be a challenge for children because there is so much […]

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The Parent – Child Dance Strategies for Staying One Step Ahead

Why Plan

Vacationing with the family is an exciting and fun time. The question is, do parents need to plan with their children to help them know what behaviors are expected of them or do we let them figure it out for themselves. Vacations can be a challenge for children because there is so much stimulation and new situations that can draw their attention. Everything around them is a potential plaything and the whole world is a playground. It is natural that children wonder off to see something that is irresistible. Running when they should walk, yelling when they should be quiet, touching things that are labeled “please don’t touch,” and climbing on dangerous structures are normal for children unless told otherwise. Without a plan these things are likely to occur. Planning with your children assures that the family vacation is fun for all.

Parenting in Public

Performing in front of an audience is challenging. It’s normal to have stage fright. It doesn’t matter if we are out and about. There should be some expectations of how we all behave together. If we don’t have a plan we may become stymied as to how best to handle our child’s behavior when their behavior becomes unacceptable. To avoid being embarrassed we may find ourselves trying to ignore the problem. Praying that it will go away. We sometimes let our child get away with some negative behaviors because we don’t want to arouse more negative attention. Eventually the behavior escalates until we can no longer ignore it. At this point we may overact and regret our actions.

Unfortunately, the family vacation is no longer fun and exciting. Having a plan for the best and worst case scenario can avoid these pitfalls.

Planning ahead

As we plan our vacation we need to consider first what we expect of our children. Often we assume that they know what we expect. When they don’t meet our expectations we become disappointed. The best way to avoid problems is to plan ahead. Here are suggested steps for planning a successful vacation.

The first step is to write down exactly how we expect our children to behave in the settings that we are visiting. What would we see them doing if they were doing what we expected. The expectations can be written as rules for the activities. Once you have clearly written rules go over them with your children. Make sure they can verbally repeat the rules. Next role-play the rules and let your children ask questions so your children are clear on what you expect.
Let them know what will happen if they follow the rules and what will happen if they break the rules. If they follow the rules they should receive a reward and praise. If they break the rules they do not get a reward. They can also loose a privilege for a brief period of time.

Consider how you can structure the activity to increase the likelihood that the activity will go well. For example, if there is down time you might want to create a backpack with activities they can entertain themselves with while they wait. If you are going to a restaurant you might make sure they are not starving when you arrive. If you have two children who fight you might separate them at the dinner table. The more situations that you can anticipate and plan for the fewer problems you will have.

Practice, Practice, Practice. To become comfortable parenting in public we need to practice. Try going on short trips with a plan before your vacation. You are going on the trip to practice implementing a plan when there is no stress. You can end the trip any time you want. After each trip spend some time modifying your plan as needed.

Vacationing with a Plan

Now that we have a plan we are ready to go on vacation. Pack the bags, gas up the car, and get ready for fun. Don’t forget to grab to your plan.

Ronal Kotkin, Ph.D.Ronal Kotkin, Ph.D., is the co-author of
The Parent – Child Dance: Strategies for Staying One Step Ahead
Skyhorse Publishers

Bio: Dr. Kotkin is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. He served for twenty-six years as a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Director of the University of California at Irvine, Child Development Center Day Treatment Program for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California.

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