Friday, March 16, 2018

Easter Gift Guide: Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas for All Ages

I have some great Easter gift ideas for you this year! If you're looking for fun ideas for Easter baskets or just some new, unique gifts for kids this Easter time, you've come to the right place. Read on for my favorite choices, as well as some ideas for non-candy egg filling.

The Great Big List of Spring Break DayTrips (in New Jersey and Beyond!)

Planning a staycation for Spring Break this year? Wondering where to visit in the wonderful state of New Jersey (and its surrounding areas)? Well, here's a list of over 50 of the best New Jersey day trips, as well as an interactive map to help you find them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

How to Make Rainbow Rice Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are one of the best things about childhood. What better way than to promote creative play and independent discovery? There are some amazing ideas for sensory tables/bins all over Pinterest, and when The Jersey Momma's Boy was about 2 or 3, I would change up the sensory bins every few weeks for him. He's a little too old for them now, but he still enjoys playing with the rainbow rice. Because, well, let's face it, it's cool. Rainbow rice is perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any old time of year. And don't worry, it's not as hard to make as you think!

Monday, March 12, 2018

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes: A DIY Tutorial

If  you're wondering how to make rainbow cupcakes, you've come to the right place! I've been experimenting with this for a while now and I think I've finally come up with the best combinations of colors and methods. It's not as hard as you think!

Everyone Matters: Sponsoring HEALium Hugs

March is a special month at The Jersey Momma. This is the month I pay tribute to a fellow blogger named Melissa Matters, as well as to my beautiful nephew, Joey Johnson. Melissa Matters passed away in November of 2015. You might remember my post about her , when I participated in Operation Christmas Child in her honor. Melissa ran a popular blog called Wading Through Motherhood, where she talked about her adorable children and shared family advice. Her death was sudden and she is sorely missed by many. My nephew, Joey, passed away from brain cancer in 2013, just shy of his 4th birthday. He was a funny, loving boy who left a huge hole in the world when we lost him. I created a movement called Everyone Matters as a way to honor and remember Joey and Melissa. Every March, I choose a cause to focus on as a way to honor their memories. You can read last year's Random Acts of Kindness post here.  This year I once again chose HEALium Hugs as my focus. Read on to find out more about HEALium Hugs and what they do!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Take a Peek Inside Nordstrom Rack - Opening Soon at Chimney Rock Crossing in Bridgewater, NJ

Want to take a peek inside the new Nordstrom Rack, opening March 8th at Chimney Rock Crossing in Bridgewater (Bound Brook), NJ? Of course you do! Read on for more!

Make Your Own Peeps Houses: More Fun with Peeps

Wondering what to do with Peeps besides eat them? Peeps houses are one of our favorite Spring projects! Check out how we made them in these easy steps!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Easy St. Patrick's Day Crafts: Paper Plate Rainbows

Here's an easy St. Patrick's Day craft you can make in a flash. There's not much to it, and chances are you already have all of the supplies on hand! We also used this craft as an easy craft activity at The Jersey Momma's Boy's 5th birthday party, which was an Art Party. You can read all about that here.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Easter Egg Hunts and Activities in New Jersey (with an interactive map)!

Easter is almost here! If you're wondering where the best Easter egg hunts, Easter events and Easter activities are in New Jersey for 2018, look no further!  I've picked out some of the best events in New Jersey, complete with an interactive map, website links, and zoom in/out features!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Review of Liberty Science Center : What Age is Best for My Child to Visit?

Every kid should have a chance to visit Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what age to bring them. What age is right for a science center, after all? Well, that all depends on your child. But hopefully you can read through my description and some of the reader comments below to help you make your decision. There's a lot of information here, but my post is designed for easy reading, so scroll through to find the headlines you're looking for.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Enter to Win a Family 4 Pack of Tickets to the Easter Bunny Train Ride!

Have you heard of the Easter Bunny Train Ride? Are you looking for tickets or information about  the Easter Bunny Train Ride? Never fear, I have you covered! The Easter Bunny Train Ride and Egg Hunt is a fun event in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Read on for more details, and see how you can win a family four pack of tickets to the Easter Bunny Train Ride!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Crafts: Simple Shamrock Angels

Here's a quick and easy St. Patrick's Day craft that anyone can do. I used to make these paper shamrock angels (also called Leprechaun Angels!) in my classroom and they looked so cute 'flying' around the windows. They don't take much time and you don't need many supplies.

Hello Spring Giveaway! Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card

Happy Spring! Well, almost Spring. I'm ecstatic that winter is almost over, so I thought I'd celebrate with a fun Spring giveaway! I've teamed up with Review Wire Media in this fun blog hop to offer a $20.00 Amazon gift card! Check out the details below and enter some other exciting contests in the Hello Spring Blog Hop, too!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Dr. Seuss Day Games for Read Across America: Yertle the Turtle Stacking Game

Looking for a fun Dr. Seuss game to play for your Read Across America celebration? This one involves the book, Yertle the Turtle, one of our favorite Dr. Seuss stories. It's a fun stacking game for any age! If you're not too keen on making the game yourself, then scroll to the end of the post for a short cut!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Easy Dr. Seuss Inspired Cupcakes for Read Across America Day

If you need easy, quick cupcakes for Read Across America Day or a Dr. Seuss inspired theme party, I've got just the recipe for you! Do they remind you of Thing 1 and Thing 2? I hope so!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

10 Fun Finds from Toy Fair NY 2018: Highlights from TFNY

The hottest toys from Toy Fair New York are all over the internet these days. Turn on any news station and you can see fun highlights from the show, along with the top toy picks for 2018. I had the great pleasure of visiting Toy Fair NY this past Sunday, and it was a blast!! I'm so excited to share my fun finds with you - toys and items that were unique, well-made, original, and fun. Oh, and feel free to revisit my picks from Toy Fair NY 2017, too! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dr. Seuss Party Games for Read Across America: Easy Ring Toss

Each year I search for fun games to play during our Dr. Seuss Read Across America party. You might have read about my Yertle the Turtle Stacking Game, remember? This year I threw together a character ring toss. Draw or print out your images and then stick them on colored cones (I used clear packing tape). A few rings and you're good to go!

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Review of ABCmouse - Is It Worth It?

Before I tell you about, let me just point out that this is my honest review from a mom's point of view.  I was not  asked by ABCmouse to review their service and I paid for their service just like anyone else!! This post has become very popular, so I try to keep it updated with accurate information and suggestions.

*Added note: Be sure to read the comments left by my readers at the bottom of this post. Their experience and advice is just as helpful as mine! And feel free to add your own comments about successes (or failures) with ABCmouse.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

New Jersey's Best Birthday Party Locations and Interactive Party Map

If you're looking for a kid's birthday party venue and you don't know where to start, relax, The Jersey Momma is here to help! I've joined forces with a fabulous Pennsylvania blog called Been There Done That With Kids to bring you a map of the best locations for birthday parties in the tri-state area. I've also chatted with oodles of local parents to get some advice and suggestions about these venues, so toss some confetti and rest easy, this party is going to be a piece of cake!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Checking Out the Hershey x LeSportsac Collaboration in New York City

There's a hot new collaboration between LeSportsac and Hershey (Hershey x LeSportsac) and this Hershey lovin' momma has been dying to see it!  I was so excited to hear the LeSportsac's Madison Avenue location in New York City was throwing an event to celebrate the line. So I called up my bestest bloggin' buddies over at Kid Congeniality and Picturing Disney so we could get a better look at what I've affectionately dubbed, 'the sweetest collaboration on earth.'

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Easy Ladybug Lovebug Lollipops

Making lollipops is easier than you think! You can make your own lollipops with only one main ingredient- Jolly Ranchers! Whether you're throwing a Valentine's Day party or a ladybug themed party, these little lovebugs are bound to be a crowd pleaser. And they're SO easy to make, trust me!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Valentine's Day Party Ideas for Kids: Games, Food and Fun!

Looking for some fun Valentine's Day games and food? What do you think about throwing an impromptu Valentine's Day party? I'm sure the thought is causing collective gripes and sighs from moms everywhere, but hear me out. What if the games were quick and easy? What if the food was simple? Let's give it a try! And if you don't want to throw a party, these games and snacks are great on their own, too. They're perfect for the classroom or just plain indoor fun.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Flashback to 15 Fun Finds from Toy Fair 2017 : Stay Tuned for This Year's Show Coverage!

Toy Fair New York 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. I walked through oceans of adorable stuffed animals and hugged life-sized versions of my favorite characters. I saw stickers, toys, electronics, educational games, collectibles and prototypes. I learned so much about the world of toys! So what should I do with all of this new and wonderful information? Share it with you, of course!!  Here are 15 of the coolest, most awesome finds from Toy Fair 2017.

**Don't forget to stay tuned to The Jersey Momma and my social media channels for coverage of this year's Toy Fair New York, beginning on February 18, 2018!**

National Geographic's Welcome Little One: The Perfect Baby Gift - Enter to Win a Copy!

Are you looking for baby gift ideas? Do you want to find a thoughtful and unique gift for a baby shower? I found the perfect gift, trust me! National Geographic contacted me and asked if I wanted to see their new keepsake baby book, Welcome Little One by Kristin Baird Rattini. Of course I said yes. Scroll below to see how beautiful this book is, and enter to win a copy of your own!

Feeling lucky? Then check out the blog hop at the bottom of this post! There are over 20 other blog contests going on in the Love is in the Air Blog Hop, sponsored by Review Wire Media, and you can jump around to each blog and enter their contests, too! Good luck!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

DIY Valentine Milk Jug Card Carrier: Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids

One of my favorite holidays to celebrate as a teacher was Valentine's Day. I used to have my students make adorable teddy bear card holders so that they had a place to put their cards and an easy way to bring them home. Plus, this was a project they could easily do in school (or even at home) without much mess or hassle. They look adorable all lined up and can hold a large number of valentines and trinkets. Here's an easy tutorial on how to make them. And scroll below for free pdf printables of the bear and heart patterns!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Star-Shaped Snowflakes : The Day it Snowed Stars

I often say that one of the greatest things about winter is being able to play in the snow with our son.  And then I joke that one of the worst things about winter is having to play in the snow with our son!  It is easy to forget how magical snow is to kids.  As adults, we have so many responsibilities- we worry about driving in the snow, shoveling the snow, dressing for the snow, school in the snow, etc.  And although playing in it is fun, I don't have the stamina to roll around in it for hours anymore like my son does.  For kids, snow is amazing white stuff that falls from the sky and blankets the earth!  And sometimes even closes school!  I mean, what more can a kid ask for?  Well, how about stars?  How about star flakes?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Let's Visit Dream Dinners in Flemington! A Jersey Momma Review

If you're looking for a review of Dream Dinners then you've come to the right place. I visited my local Dream Dinners in Flemington, New Jersey and I have so much to say about it! Never heard of Dream Dinners? You're in for a treat! If you're like me and constantly asking yourself, 'what am I going to make for dinner tonight?' then read on about this amazing experience!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Easy Oreo Penguin Cookies for Valentine's Day!

I didn't plan my Valentine's Day dessert menu very well this year. Valentine's Day is only a few days away and I don't have the energy to whip up a cool cake or cupcakes at the last minute. But these simple Oreo penguin cookies were easy enough, and they sure do look cute on a plate!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Empowering Girls Through Reading: Penny Powers and the Work of Charles C. Dowd

It's a little disheartening to see how many princess and fairy books there are in the world. Don't get me wrong, I like princesses and fairies, but sometimes a girl just needs a change- something bigger, something inspiring. As a former teacher and current momma, I know how important it is to empower girls these days (and boys, too- check out my post on inspiring boys to read). That's why I was so happy to come across the work of Charles C. Dowd.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

DIY Valentine's Day Suncatchers: Easy Valentine's Day Crafts

You can learn how to make your own suncatchers, and it's not as hard as you might think! My Easy DIY Suncatchers post is one of my most popular on Pinterest, so I figured I would show you how to make a Valentine's Day version of this fun craft project! It's great for kids and classrooms, too, so why not give it a try? It also makes a nice handmade valentine gift for someone special in your life.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Enter to Win 2 eMovie Tickets to 12 Strong Starring Chris Hemsworth, and the Book!

One of the best things about being a blogger is promoting movies and offering giveaways. I love it. Especially when the movie is an anticipated one and deals with important subject matter. Read on to hear about the new Chris Hemsworth movie, 12 Strong, and see how you can win the book and 2 e-movie tickets so you can see it on your own!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Easy Three Ingredient Chili Cheese Dip Recipe

If you're looking for a quick and easy dip for Super Bowl or any time of year, check out this yummy three ingredient chili cheese dip! It is one of the best dip recipes around, and SO SIMPLE to make. You need three (yes, three!) key ingredients, and some Tostitos.  That's IT!! I try to always keep these ingredients on hand in case I need a dip for guests or parties. So here it is...behold! The Chili Cheese Dip Recipe! 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Jeepers! It's January! Minecraft Book Giveaway and Blog Hop Contest

It's time for my first giveaway of 2018! Aren't you excited? I am!  I teamed up with  The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It  again to bring you a fun Minecraft book contest (get ready for some winter reading!). There are also a ton of blogs listed below that you can hop around to and enter their contests. Blog hops are so much fun because bloggers offer great prizes, and your odds of winning are always pretty good.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Winter Day Trip Ideas in New Jersey and Beyond: Indoor Winter Fun in NJ

Winter day trip ideas are a big topic of a discussion on message boards and in Facebook groups. It's hard to figure out where to take the kids when the weather is bad. Finding fun indoor play ideas is hard enough, but entertaining kids on the weekend or during a vacation when it's too cold to do anything else, well, that ain't easy! So here's a list of over 25 fun things to do in and around The Garden State during the winter months. From play mazes to museums, I've got ya covered!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

10 Epic New Jersey Bakeries You Need to Visit

Epic is a word that seems to get people's attention these days. Bakery is a word that gets mine. So I thought I'd put the two together to bring you a post about some of the best, most epic bakeries in New Jersey. Now, I know this is New Jersey, so that means we have a ton of amazing bakeries out there. This is just a small sampling of what our state has to offer. If you want to tell me about your favorite in the comments, please do!!