Reader Meetup: April 16, 2014

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Published: 04/10/2014
Hey friends! The Little Gym of Gainesville has kindly offered to host us for our next Reader Meetup! We'll be making a simple spring craft (it's going to be bunnies/eggs, so if that is going to bug you feel free to bring your own craft), and then we'll have some play time in the gym space!

Plan on playing from 1pm-2pm.

This family-friendly meetup will be geared towards ages 3-6, although younger siblings are welcome.  Older siblings will want to schedule a playdate elsewhere so no little ones are getting trampled. Thanks!

If you'd like to get involved in our meetups to showcase your business, shoot me an email! If you'd like to bring snack for this meetup (a great way to show off your business!) or you'd like to drop off some swag for our participants, also email me :)

I can take 25 children, not counting non-mobile infants.  PLEASE DO NOT TAKE SPOTS if you're not going to come.

Thanks :)

I'll pull winners one at a time on Friday afternoon, so you'll need to email me back by Friday at 10pm to save your space so I can fill all the spots.

Good luck :)

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Can't come on the 16th? Check out The Little Gym's Summer Camps!

January 20th "Day Off" Recap

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Published: 01/21/2014
We don't typically follow the PWCS schedule in our homeschool, but we decided we'd take yesterday off with the rest of you and have a little fun :)

We started the morning off with my reader meetup hosted by The Animated Child, which my kids were SO excited about, especially the boys, because, in a word, Minecraft.  Am I the only mom out there who really has no clue what Minecraft is? My kids were totally addicted to it before we even had it at home.  I'm so thankful to The Animated Child for hosting all the kids at such a special discount.  Their Parents Night Out programs are typically $35/child, and they had us out for $10/child, plus $3 for lunch.  It was such a fun opportunity and I hope that everyone enjoyed learning more about the center!
I have to remember to invite a photographer for every event I host.  My iphone pictures are horrid :)
As for our moms, we had a pretty good crowd- I should've counted- but I think there were about 25 of us.  Not too shabby for a Monday lunch! If you haven't made it out to one of these reader meetups, I do hope you'll join us in the future. In March I think I'll start doing a playdate type meetup and a moms night type meetup, but we'll see if I survive Silver Sparkles first ;)

After we finished up at the reader meetup, we had to drive to Stafford.

Stafford is usually where I draw the line.  I know that it takes me just as long to get there as it does to get to the other side of the county, but for some reason there's a block in my brain about going south! However, today there was a really great reason for me to man up. 

Sweet Scene Photography hosted a "Tea Time with Belle" which, for $15, included snacks, crafts, pictures with "Belle" and a small goody bag for each girl.  My daughter, Savannah, is almost 6 and she'd been looking for an excuse to get some girl time with a few friends.  While she's definitely mine (she shares my appreciation for pink and sparkles) she would rather wear pink jeans than a dress, but she did humor me and dress up for the occasion.
 There were plenty of coloring sheets, along with a decorate your own crown craft, and the girls seemed to have a lovely time.  I appreciated that the photographer took pictures before she let the girls start in on their teatime snacks (mini cupcakes, fruit snacks, and a few candy options).  It definitely helped keep the pictures frosting-free.
All of the girls got a few professional snapshots of them with Princess Belle (there was a library-themed backdrop) and there was also time for- you guessed it- iPhone pictures!! Yay!  I think if I did this again, I'd ask to have my daughter's group get their pictures together with the photographer rather than her alone- they were sweet, but the fun part of the day for her was being with "her girls".  All four of the ladies that came with us had a really fun time, and I definitely think this was a fantastic special treat, especially with the bonus princess time.  Sweet Scene hosts these fairly regularly with various princesses and they also do "Diva Parties" for birthdays. 

One note- if you decide to go, the studio is on the left hand side of 610 across from the Arby's.  If you pass Sherwin Williams you went too far.  There's a sign for the studio (it's in a shopping center) but it's at the bottom of the sign, and if you are me, you will be late because you passed the Sherwin Williams several times....on both sides of the road...

Luckily my friend told me she did the same thing, so at least I was in good company!

I hope you enjoyed your scheduled holiday- and that you enjoy your unscheduled break today, too!!  I know a few businesses are planning to open- but if you go please call first to confirm and use caution when you drive!


Disclosure: I paid for my lunch, just like everyone else, as well as for my daughter's tea time with Belle.  The Animated Child is an advertiser with PwcMoms.com.  However, all opinions are my own and were  not requested by any company/business. 

Mommy Meet Up- Animated Child/Mateo's

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Published: 01/12/2014
I'm so glad that someone asked me to start doing reader meet ups :) It ends up they're a lot of fun!! Our December meet up was at Bar Louie, and to change it up a little, our January meet up is going to be a daytime event- but it's on a holiday for many of you, so I hope you'll be able to join us!

Please make plans to be a part of our Mom's Day Out on Monday, January 20th (MLK Day) from 11am-1pm!!  (And yes, if hubby is off and wants to come, bring him on along!)

Mateo's Santa Fe Cafe is offering members of our party $3 sangria and $5 appetizers, or you can choose from their regular lunch menu, as well.  I've been once and the food was delicious.  They have a 3.5/4 stars on Yelp which is practically impossible to do- Yelpers like to complain ;)

Need childcare? No problem!  Animated Child is going to be offering PwcMoms who are joining us at Mateo's a special deal!! Their MNO program is typically $35, but for us, it's going to be just $10!! Lunch for the kids is $3 and will be sunbutter and jelly, organic milk, and an apple.  Due to allergy concerns, outside lunch isn't allowed.  Classes will be:
-Ages 3 to 5 (potty trained only!) Art and Open Exploration
-Ages 5 to 8 Science Project and Open Exploration
-Ages 8 to 12 Minecraft

If you'd like to join us, I just need to have a count for the restaurant, and you'll need to register for childcare in advance as spots are limited and filling fast.  You can use this link to register (click here) just make sure to use code PWCMOMS to take off your $20 savings!! However, if you're coming and don't need childcare, please email me (click here) so I know to save you a seat at the table!

Hope to see you there!!  





Recap: Open Exploration at The Animated Child

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Published: 01/01/2014
When I was first able to actually sit down with Alejandra Hall, owner of The Animated Child, and chat face to face for the first time, I was so impressed with her vision.  I'd read the website and tried to understand everything that was going on over there- a preschoool, indoor play area with drop-in hours, language classes, art classes, social skills coaching (they're an inclusive center), memberships with special members-only benefits, parents night out, annnnd....I think I'm skipping something, too.

Minecraft- they have Minecraft camps and classes- how could I forget that? My boys have talked about NOTHING but doing Minecraft camp since we walked in the doors. 

They've got a TON of things going on over there, and understanding it just by reading the website is almost impossible, you really do have to drop in.

That's why I was so excited that The Animated Child invited us to bring a few readers over for a free open-exploration so they could experience it for themselves.  It was a great way to spend New Years Eve Day!
 Our target age was K-3, and I would say that Open Exploration is best aimed at ages 2-7. That being said, my 10 year old had fun when we came with just out family, but I think preschool-grade 2 would have the most fun. 
 My daughter had a blast at the tangram wall.  It's completely magnetic, and there are tons of patterns.  I think these two built a rocketship and a centipede before moving on to something else!
 The space that you play in for Open Exploration is divided into sections based on Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (I told you that they impressed me with their planning!!).  There's are areas for playing with animals (guniea pig, lizard, and multiple fish tanks), a touch table, a train table, all sorts of building materials, body puzzles, a dress-up/pretend play area, and water bead station.  The space is open and inviting, and everyone (parents, too!) wears socks and uses hand sanitizer before playing to keep it clean!
 While the kids were playing, Mrs. Alexy took the time to let parents find their child's top intelligence and gifted everyone a shirt with "Music Smart", "Body Smart", "Math Smart", whatever their top match was. 
I think everyone left happy, and had a great time playing.  We had a few kids that did NOT want to leave!  I love that Open Exploration is engaging, quiet, and less rowdy than inflatable places (aka Bounce Houses), which I love, too, but with very small children who get hurt easily, or a child who can't bounce for whatever reason, there are few fun indoor options for cold/rainy/winter days, and I'm really glad that we've got one in Montclair!

To learn more about The Animated Child, visit their website, or better yet, visit them in person.  Open Exploration times are listed on their website, but are currently:
Open Exploration Scheduled Times:
 (Monday-Friday)
9:00am-10:30am                
11:00am-12:30pm
3:00pm-4:30pm
5:00pm-6:30pm
Open Exploration Scheduled Times: (Saturday)
10:00am-11:30am
11:30am-1:00pm      

You can also find Open Explorations listed on our calendar.    Open Explorations are $9 for non-members.  Thanks again to everyone who came out to play with us!!


Disclosure: The Animated Child is one of our advertisers, but all opinions are our own.  You can find out more about advertising with PwcMoms, or about hosting an event for our readers at your venue under the "advertise" tab, or by emailing us. 

Come Play at Animated Child!

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Published: 12/27/2013
Hello, everyone!

You guys have gotten so good at giveaways/contests on the website that you all are terrible at the newly-legal ones on Facebook.

Horrible ;)

So, I'd like to invite you do join my daughter Savannah and me on New Year's Day at The Animated Child in Montclair for a 9am Open Exploration for FREE! We'll pick 10 random winners to join us.

Please note that each winner will get ONE free spot for a child in grades K-3. Luckily, though, there are lots of people home on December 31st, so if you have older/more kids, they can enjoy a playdate elsewhere! We'll have coffee, hot cider, and a fun giveaway for the mommas, and kids can play and enjoy the space. (Dads, grandmas, whomever enters)

To enter, head over to the Animated Child Facebook page and be sure that you "like" it. Leave them a comment saying that you want to come and play on New Year's Eve Day with PWC Moms. (I know their page doesn't allow you to just "post" but if you use this:

You can just comment on what they already wrote.

I'll pick winners on December 28th. AND NO WORRIES!! If you were able to enter on Facebook, you'll be included in my random drawing, too (although if you want to enter again here, you absolutely can!!) If you aren't picked, Animated Child has daily open explorations, as well as the ability for moms groups, playgroups, MOPS, and preschools to schedule their own private open exploration sessions on Mondays!


Can't wait to see you there!
Kristina

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As always, by entering you agree to be bound by our official rules.  If you win a spot and cancel at the last minute, you will not be eligible for our next reader meetup contest.  I know I'm a big meanie head, and I know stuff happens, but it is amazing to me now that I'm doing events that 20 people's grandfathers can all have a heart attack at the exact moment they're supposed to be at an event.  There are lots of people who would like to come, and I only have so many spaces, so if you take a spot, please plan to attend, or cancel no less than 24 hours in advance.  

Meetup Giveaway: Engineering 4 Kids

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Published: 06/06/2013


Engineering for Kids® was born right here is Stafford, Virginia! Founder Dori Roberts began her teaching career in 1999.  During this career, she saw a dire need for math, science, and engineering enrichment programs.  To remedy this, she ran an after-school club that participated in various engineering and science-based competitions.  After membership hit 180 students, and the group won multiple state championships, she decided to tailor her own program and apply it to a wider age demographic.  Engineering For Kids® offers programs for homeschooling, scout troops, and birthday parties, as well as regularly scheduled classes and camps throughout the school year.  Engineering for Kids (R) will even come to your school--a great opportunity for PTA/PTOs who are looking for activities that will help students foster a love of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

We're really excited about Engineering for Kids® and they've got a great giveaway/meetup scheduled for us!

Join us for a FREE 2-hour LEGO® Robotics workshop! PwcMoms is teaming up with Engineering for Kids® to offer your child the best in fun, challenging, hands-on education.  Children are natural engineers, and we want your child to be part of the experience! "Like" the Engineering for Kids® Facebook page and comment on this post.  When you do, you'll be eligible to win a spot in our free LEGO® Robotics workshop!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widgit below.  There's room for 20 kids in our meetup class, which will be held Thursday, June 20, from 10am-12pm in Southlake.  When you enter, please keep in mind that the appropriate age group is 7-14.  Boys and girls will both enjoy this event! We can't wait to see you there!

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Max Muscle Update

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Published: 09/19/2012
So as part of this process with Max Muscle, a large part of my work has been cleaning up my act where eating is concerned, which means making changes in how frequently I eat and what I choose to chomp on.

There've been some winners and some losers in this process.  I thought I'd share and see if you all have any input as to what works for you when it comes to eating healthy.

Suggested Food:  Egg Whites
Losing: Plain Egg Whites

Winning!: Egg whites are actually not that bad! However, I need my food to taste like something, and I've found that 1 tablespoon of hot salsa, a few shakes of Tabasco Sauce, or 1 tablespoon of feta cheese and some spinach if you're trying to be fancy, makes them amazing.  I usually go for the Tabasco.  Buying them pre-separated makes using them a lot easier, too.
Suggested Food: Protein Bars
Losing: Luna Protein Bars in Peanut Butter.  Y'all.  I am a fat girl.  I love food, and I love peanut butter.  I couldn't get one bite of this sucker down. Not One.  I think that's funny because the Luna White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies Bars are amazing.
Winning!: 1/2 of a Cliff Builder Bar in Chocolate is amazing, as is any variety of Kind Bar I've ever had.  They sell the Kind Bars in Max Muscle, too, although they're not really high in protein but they have a lot of healthy fats.  Max Muscle also has Power Crunch bars, if you can get them- they're frequently gone because they're so popular. They taste like wafer cookies, if you used to eat those as a kid. Yum :)


Suggested Food: Max Muscle Protein Shakes
Winning: Chocolate IsoMax Powder.  It tastes like coconut to me when mixed with almond milk (not like chocolate), but it's pleasant.  

Winning!: Max Muscle Triple Whey in Chocolate.  I like Chocolate, don't judge me.  This stuff seriously does not taste like protein powder.  It tastes like Nestle Quick.  The only reason I didn't buy this was because I'm slightly dairy sensitive and I wanted the isolate.  I've come to love this as a quick breakfast.  Before starting this process I always skipped breakfast and now I'm actually hungry in the morning if I do that, but with kids and commitments speed is king. When you go in to Max Muscle, they'll actually do a tasting for you, just like a winery but proteiny-er.  Which is totally a word. 
Suggested Food: Meat.
Losing: I don't really love meat.  I eat it, but I don't love it.  When I eat it, at least in the past, I've typically used it as a conduit for getting more sauce.  Bread works equally as well.  I do not love meat without sauce. No sauce is a fail.

Winning!: I also love Middle Eastern food, though, and they've got the solution.  Greek Yogurt is a happy food on my plan, and if you put three crushed garlic cloves into a large container of low fat or fat free Greek Yogurt overnight, you have made sauce! Delicious, creamy, garlic sauce! Win.  Garlic, cilantro, parsley, jalepeno and red wine vinegar pureed in the food processor also works.  (Do you see a theme here with spicy things?) 

What helps you keep your diet healthy? Do you need some tips, too? (Or maybe you already have the fitness thing down? That's cool, too!) Come out and join me for our next Mommies Night Out at Max Muscle! Corry, who as I've mentioned a few times has been amazing, is promising that cupcakes and wine go with losing weight, and I'm willing to buy what she's selling ;) 

We'll have vendors and raffles (if you're interested in coming, let me know) and some great time together! If you're planning to join us, please RSVP to my email so we know who to expect.  Newbies to fitness, new moms (especially new moms!) and fitness divas are all welcome!