2014 Teen Gift Ideas

2014 Teen Gift Ideas

As the boys get older, their wish lists seem to get smaller and more expensive. No more asking for Matchbox cars–we’re on to iPads, iPhones, and Bluetooth headphones. I’m sharing what’s on Michael’s wish list this year, and adding in a few products of my own. I’d love to know what you’re getting for your teens! Please leave your comments below. iPhone and iPad Cases Amzer CRUSTA Rugged Case ($45.00) Michael isn’t easy on his phone, so we require that…

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Kia Sedona Parent's Review

Kia Sedona Parent Review

I think I should start by telling you that we’re not a minivan family. We’ve never had one, and I just don’t see us in one. But then the Kia Sedona came along and make me rethink that.   The Sedona didn’t feel like a minivan with all of the luxurious bells and whistles it came with. The boys have decided they want one now because it’s such a comfortable vehicle. While not looking like a typical minivan is awesome, that’s…

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Video game rules for tweens: How we tackle the never-ending battle for screen time

Video Game Rules for Tweens

“Mom, can I play a game?” It means something completely different now than it did when I was little. It used to mean Chutes & Ladders. Now, it means PS3. Or Wii. Or XBox. How do you do it in your house? Does your son or daughter have free reign over video games? Are they allowed to play whenever they want, or do they have to ask before touching anything electronic? My tween used to ask us to play video games…

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day Parent Review

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Parent Review

Jack (10 years old) and I had the chance to watch a preview of the movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day last weekend, and we loved it! If you haven’t seen the preview yet, take a look:   Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum…

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Back to school tips for parents of teens

Back to School Tips for Parents: Help Your Teen Succeed

Getting ready for school at any age is trying, but the teen years seem to be especially difficult for many parents. Kids want freedom, but they need guidance. They want to monitor their own school work, but are they ready to yet? Here are some tips to help your teen succeed in school: Get organized with technology Whether your teen is at a “no textbook school” like mine is or not, kids love technology. Get them organized with cool apps…

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Target has all of your back to school needs!

Head to Target for All of Your Back To School Needs #BTSWithTarget

Whether your child is in elementary school or high school, wears street clothes or uniforms, or likes super stylish or super sporty, Target has everything you need for back to school. Jack’s favorite place to buy clothes is Target because they carry the Shaun White line of apparel. Their colorful skinny jeans fit him perfectly, and there’s always a fun selection of t-shirts to choose from. During the summer, Jack is all about wearing basketball shorts and t-shirts. It’s his…

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Energy Drinks and Teens: Which ones are the worst?

Energy Drinks and Teens: Which Drinks Are The Worst?

Michael is 14. He’s in the middle of learning who he is what he likes. He thinks his parents are totally uncool. Actually, most things are totally uncool when you’re 14. Most things except video games, skateboarding, smartphones, and energy drinks. Our philosophy is everything in moderation, and that carries over to our parenting philosophy too–we let the boys have soda & sweets, but not too much. I resisted against energy drinks for a long time, and then I realized…

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Target Backpacks and Lunch Kits for Back to School

Target Backpacks and Lunch Kits #BTSWithTarget

  Have you heard? Every little thing is a really big deal at Target! The kids are back to school here in Tucson, and we were able to grab every supply we needed at our local Target store. They had a huge selection of backpacks and lunch kits for kids of all ages. We loved this bright one from the High Sierra GRIP QUAKE line, which is a slim profile backpack designed to appeal to teenage boys: We loved that there really was something…

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Road Trip Activities to keep your little ones busy!

Road Trip Activities for Kids

Summer is all about spending time with your family, and what’s a better way to get closer than being cooped up in a car for hours on end? Although going on a road trip can be a great way to get some quality family time, it can also get a little boring after the first few miles. The kids start to get bored and we all know how much trouble bored kids can get into. You can keep this from…

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SMS Audio announces new Sport headphone line

SMS Audio Announces Sport Headphones

It’s no secret that I love SMS Audio Headphones. I have reviewed them here on my blog as a sturdy and better-sounding alternative to other headphones for teens and have added them to every gift guide I’ve put together both here and over at iPhoneLife.com. SMS Audio makes an amazing set of headphones, and I was pretty excited to see this addition in a press release last week. I love working out with music playing and the only downfall of the SMS…

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Let's be an example for our teens and put down our phones. Nothing is worth it.

Let’s be an example for our teen drivers. #DecideToDrive

In just 18 short months, Michael will be able to get his learner’s permit for driving. While this makes me nervous, what really scares me is the state of other drivers “out there.” It seems that most of the people I see while driving are busy–too busy. Applying makeup, staring (literally) at their phone while texting or surfing the internet, eating lunch. The Virginia Transportation Institute reported that teen drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved…

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Construction Birthday Party Ideas

Construction Party Ideas

I’m excited to have my friend Stephanie from Spaceships and Laser Beams here today sharing all about construction party ideas. We sure had our share of them when Michael was younger–he LOVED vehicles!  _____________ Hey Mom! Are you hoping to build fun birthday memories for your little guy? Consider hosting a construction themed birthday party. Almost all young boys (and some girls!) enjoy playing with trucks and the activities that go along with this theme. Once you’ve decided how to…

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When should I use a home drug test kit?

When should I use a home drug test kit?

This post is sponsored by Touch&Know®. The content is my own. Being a parent these days is tough. And by these days I mean the days of internet and smart phones. Parenting is more difficult now than it was 30 years ago, and it’ll only get harder. It’s easier for our kids to get into serious trouble and to find access to things they shouldn’t be around–I’m thinking about drugs. Thirty years ago it would be a little tougher to get access to…

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In defense of Snapchat: Why I allow my teen to use the controversial app

In Defense of Snapchat

I’ve written about the Snapchat app before. I’ve told you about why you should monitor Snapchat and other apps, and I’ve written about how it could be a dangerous app for kids. In this time of new technology, technology that we didn’t have as kids, it’s important to be flexible. I have no previous experience with teenagers, kids who use iPhones, or even kids who use Snapchat. I’m literally making it up as I go along, as I bet you…

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5 ideas for a summer scavenger hunt

Go on a Summer Scavenger Hunt!

Scavenger hunts are not only fun, they’re educational, too. Get creative and develop your own ideas, or modify any of these to make it fit for your local area and the age of your child. This is also a great idea for picnics or family reunions where there are teams working together. Mix things up and provide some more difficult items for tweens and teens and easier items for younger children so they don’t lose interest.  Nature Scavenger Hunts The…

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Parent's Review

Captain America Parent’s Review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I had the opportunity to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier this week and I loved it! It was filled with action, suspense, and everything you expect from the Marvel Superhero movies! Here’s my Captain America parent’s review: After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack,…

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