Posts from July 2015

Tips For a Happy and Safe 4th of July

July 4, 2015
family, motherhood

Tips For a Happy and Safe 4th of July! #joyofmom


Summer is in full swing with the arrival of 4th of July, which means it’s time for sparklers, parades and a glorious long weekend with your friends and family. Not only do I want you all to enjoy yourselves, I want your family to be safe, so I culled the best tips to keep your kiddos (and pets) protected while they have fun. Have a fabulous holiday everyone!

At the Parade:
~ Crowds can create confusion. Of course, we’re always hyper conscious about having our children at our side, but in the event someone gets out of our site for a moment, there should always be a meeting spot. Make it a public place that’s super easy to locate and remember. Quiz (in a fun yet important way) that your children know that spot – and that you’re sure they do. Also, especially if your children are young, make sure they know your cell phone. Quiz, even make up a little tune with your cell number, just be sure they know it by heart so it can easily repeat it, if needed.
~ Create a buddy system between your children and their friends. Buddies always make sure the other buddy is there…if not, go get a mom – ASAP.
~ Sad to say, but do not eat candies thrown from floats. You really don’t know who is doing the throwing. And most candy is simply not healthy. There are lots of fabulous and healthy choices for sweets and you and your family can enjoy them, back home or you can bring them with and enjoy at the festivities.

In the Pool:
~ Make sure that an adult is always keeping an eye out even if there are lifeguards. Take turns with the other moms. Never just rely on lifeguards. There can be many children at the pool and, simply, too many for the lifeguards to appropriately watch.
~ Remind children to stay away from pool drains and pipes.
~ Remember that a child who isn’t moving in the pool could be a drowning child. Drowning isn’t usually accompanied by thrashing around, but by stillness.

~ When using sparklers, make sure your kids are always standing. Don’t hold your child and allow them to hold a sparkler. You can both get burned. Don’t allow your kids to throw, run or wave sparklers when holding them.
~ Make sure that the kids are far away from the people who are setting fireworks as they’re often unpredictable and can launch in the wrong direction.
~ Never try to relight a firework that isn’t working as it can immediately blow up. Wait 20 minutes to even handle it and then put it in a bucket of water.
~ Keep your hose on with the sprayer turned off, so it’s ready for emergencies.
~ You can call your local authorities if neighborhood fireworks become a M-80 show or anything else you feel is dangerous.

At the Grill:
~ Create a fun perimeter around your grill with a little white fence. Make it a no-kids or pets zone.
~ Clean your grill more than once to avoid any greasy fires when cooking a large amount of food. But keep a big jug of water by the bottom of the grill for emergencies.
~ Make sure there’s always an adult around a hot grill. If you have to leave it ask another adult to stand watch.

Clean Up:
~ If someone else’s firework remains land in your yard then throw them in a bucket of water to soak before you throw them out, so the trash isn’t set on fire.
~ Do a walk around your backyard the following morning and throw away any remnants of fireworks or a party. To avoid any possibility of your child picking them up or your dog eating them.

For Your Pets:
~ While fireworks may be fun for people, the loud, unexpected sounds of fireworks cause a lot of stress and anxiety for our furry friends.
~ Keep them indoors at all times. If you or your neighbors are doing home fireworks, a curious pet could run toward a lit firework or run away from the loud bang.
~ Make sure your pet has up-to-date tags and a microchip in case they are lost.
~ Don’t allow your pets around that glow jewelry your kids love. The inside causes stomach irritation and could create intestinal blockage if ingested.

Here’s to a Happy and safe July 4th and holiday weekend!

Popcorn & Pics: Batkid Begins

July 3, 2015
entertainment, family

Popcorn & Pics: Batkid Begins #joyofmom


“BATKID BEGINS” What makes up a superhero? Strength. Courage. Defeating the odds. Those words fit an amazingly heroic child named Miles Scott. He’s a cancer survivor in remission and the star of a new film that we can’t recommend highly enough called “Batkid Begins”. A feel good news documentary the whole family will love. The film beautifully displays that when an entire city comes together it can show a child that love is everywhere, and heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

When Miles was sick, his dream was to be “Batkid,” the sidekick of the iconic Batman. Once Miles’ wish hit social media, thousands of volunteers, city officials, businesses and supporters came together to turn San Francisco into Gotham City for one of the biggest and most amazing Make-A-Wish projects ever done.

Batkid got to fight his way out of “crimes” and received the key to the city of San Francisco by Mayor Ed Lee for his heroism, best wishes from President Obama, and the San Francisco Chronicle produced a Gotham City Chronicle with the headline: Batkid Saves the Day.

Behind the Scenes: Miles actually waited until he felt better to have his special “Batkid Day,” so he’d be strong enough to really enjoy it. “This wish has meant closure for our family and an end to over three years of putting drugs in our son’s body,” said Miles’ Mom. “He was always fascinated with superheroes. They were crime fighters and saviors. And they always won in the end.”

In fact, Miles didn’t know he was having the special day. Instead, his mom said they were going into town to buy him a new Batman costume. When he got to the city, he found himself called to duty as the sidekick to an actor dressed like Batman. Then, he watched a broadcast where during a special news announcement from San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr asked for “Batkid” to come to the rescue.

Fun Fact: His reward was a flash mob dance to “Don’t Stop Believin”…which was interrupted by the chance to capture another bad guy, The Penguin, who had stolen the San Francisco Giants’ mascot. After he captured this villain, Batkid hit SF City Hall where he received a video tweet from President Obama thanking him for his efforts.

Now, the heartfelt story of Batkid comes to a theater near you in a documentary – it’s a lovely must see that you will touch, move and inspire you and your beautiful family!

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Ent.

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki

July 1, 2015
by vicki, family, motherhood

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki! #joyofmom


This recipe originally caught my eye because it claimed, “even the kids will eat this!” I thought of so many of my friends whose kiddos are picky-eaters and the recipe sounded delish and so healthy, that it was on my must try and share with you list!

I recommend using ground turkey with a bit of fat in it. I have used the 99% fat free variety and the burgers were a bit dry in the end, even 97% had a preferable texture. Instead of using sliced red onion on the burger I prefer to chop it up and put it in the burger – it tastes even more savory. And I use big leaves of Bibb lettuce to wrap it in instead of using a bun (my husband isn’t the biggest fan of bread).

When I started making this recipe I did not have a grill so I baked them in the oven on a broiling pan to drain off the fat. Now that I do have a grill I still bake them! Also, the tzatziki recipe is incredibly simple, but if it’s not your thing the burgers are still delicious without it. Or, here’s a secret– Fage makes a super tasty tzatziki. It can be a little tricky to find though.


Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4-6

For Burgers:
1-pound ground turkey
4 ounces crumbled feta
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen spinach
Sliced tomato and red onion (optional)

For Tzatziki (yogurt sauce):
6 ounces plain yogurt
1-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced peeled cucumber
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8-teaspoon dill
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425° (or fire up the grill).

1. Combine turkey, spinach and feta in a bowl. Mix well, season with salt and pepper.

2. Form six patties and place on a broiler pan (or on the grill).

3. Bake on center rack for 25 minutes. If you’re grilling, cook about 7 minutes on each side.

4. Meanwhile, combine all tzatziki ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and adjust flavors to taste.

5. When burgers are cooked through, stick ‘em on a toasted bun and top with tomato, onion, and a hearty dollop of tzatziki. Or make smaller patties and serve two on a bed of lettuce.

Accompany with one of your family’s favorite veggies dishes ~ a nd that’s dinner!

Courtesy of DailyWorth

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