My Favorite Summer Time Snack or Side

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pringles® Summer Jam.Tracking Pixel

 

 

Pringles Summer Jam Sweeps

 

Our family seems to travel quite a bit during the summer months.  So far, this summer alone, I’ve been to 3 different theme parks with my kids.  That’s not a normal thing for me, but this summer, that’s just the way it worked out.  On many of our trips, we tend to pack lunches to save money.  We discovered that 2 of the 3 theme parks are so incredibly family friendly that they let you bring food in!  Pretty cool, huh?

 


We typically always bring sandwiches and chips, but we’ve found that if we ever bring bagged chips, they get crushed.  So….instead, we always pack Pringles®.  We love the variety of flavors and just love that we don’t have to eat smashed chips.  But another fun thing, we love how we can make music with the cans.  Have you ever taken a Pringles can and used it as a drum?  Or taken the last little bit of chips in there and used it as a shaker?  Yeah… me, too.  In fact, I used to do it when I was little, too.  As soon as a can of Pringles® was eaten, I’d grab the empty can and stash it in my room for some drums.  I think I borrwowed some of my mom’s pots and pans for this drum set as well.

 

Pringles Drummers

 

 

 

Pringles & Colton

 

Funny enough, I never went on to play the drums.  I did however learn to play the piano and the flute.  My mom was a piano teacher and instilled the love of music in our lives at an early age.  She’s even taught my kids to play the piano and my son is now taking guitar lessons.  Music has long sense a part of our lives!

 

We were having a Pringles® party outside, trying out our can drums and the baby (toddler, really) kept stealing them.  She just happens to love Pringles®, too!

 

Pringles & Quinnly

 

 

Pringles Runaway

 

It turns out that I’m not the only one to ever try out playing the drums on my Pringles® cans.  Apparently, it’s an online sensation.  Pringles® has challenged Percussion Prodigies to try out their Pringles® cans as drums and you should see some of the pieces they put together.  Here’s a video that was shared on the Pringles® website.

 

This one is probably my favorite….

 

 

But there’s several more good ones on their site here.

 

If you’re looking to make the most out of summer, Pringles® is offering you and a friend the chance to win a VIP experience to a Live Nation concert in the U.S.  (There’s lots of different concerts to choose from on the Live Nation site)

 

  • Just pick up a specially marked can of Pringles®, enter your code online and you could find yourself on an adventure of a lifetime.
  • Sweepstakes is open until 7/31/15 at 11:59pm ET.

 

If I were to win this sweepstakes, I’d take my husband to one of his favorite country music bands.   Maybe Tim McGraw or Kenny Chesney…..we’ll see.  What would you go to?

 

Would you like some Pringles®?

 

Pringles & Savannah

 

 

Abbreviated Rules. No Purchase Necessary. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry, and are a registered Twitter user. To enter and/or for complete Official Rules, go to https://www.pringles.com/us/promotions/summer-jam-2015/percussion-prodigies/official-rules.html. Promotion ends on 7/31/15 at 11:59:59 PM (ET). Subject to complete Official Rules. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Kellogg Company, One Kellogg Square, Battle Creek, MI  49016.

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pringles® Summer Jam.


Multi-age Playrooms: How to Set Up a Space Everyone Will Love

 

If you have more than one child, you will know that toys seem to multiply at an alarming rate. The family playroom quickly turns from your kids’ playtime haven into a chaotic hovel, mismatched toys strewn about with no sense of order or organization. Baby toys and chemistry sets sit alongside each other and you know something has to change. If this situation is currently happening in your house, know that there is hope. Here are a few tips to help you create a playroom children of all ages will love.

 

Designate zones

As with any good playroom, it’s a smart move to have designated areas for different kinds of play. For multi-age playrooms, creating a space for each child will help everyone easily find their own toys and feel like they have their own room. If you need to, use room dividers or cleverly placed storage to physically separate the room into different areas. Otherwise, keep arts and crafts materials in one corner, dressing up and other imaginative play toys in another, and puzzles, board games, and building toys stored neatly in boxes and shelves. An organized playroom is much more functional and low maintenance than one with piles and piles of random toys.

 

This clean, organized playroom has dedicated spaces for imaginative play, arts and crafts, and plenty of storage!

 

Playroom 1

via Modernize

Space to relax

Just because your playroom is full of toys and stimulating projects, this doesn’t mean your children won’t need somewhere to relax and sit, too. Find a functional piece of furniture or two that all your kids will enjoy, or have smaller versions for younger members of the family. Bean bags, oversized cushions, and comfortable sofas or armchairs work perfectly for all ages. Combine this relaxation space with your story/quiet corner if you like, but make sure it remains accessible for everyone.

You can just imagine your kids curling up with a good book in the comfortable, inviting window seat and bean bag chair in this playroom.

White+Kidsroom

via Modernize

 

Rotate toys

Regardless of age, all children go through phases with toys. Most of us have far too many toys for keep track of, and if we parents think there are too many, our kids will also struggle to play with all of the toys lying around. Once you’ve organized the playroom, take out any broken, unused, or unwanted toys and discard or donate appropriately. If you’re still left with too many toys to store, take a few out for a month or two and rotate them back in when you sense your kids are bored with the ones they’ve been using. This will encourage your children to enjoy the toys they have available (and will also help immensely at cleanup time).

 

There are few toys on display in this playroom, so they are more likely to be enjoyed often.

 

Yellow Kids Room

via Modernize

 

 

Keep it safe

If you have toddlers or babies using your playroom, make sure any small or potentially dangerous toys are kept out of their reach. Consider storing older kids’ craft and building materials on higher shelves or closed away in bins, and make sure big brothers and sisters know not to leave their Legos lying on the floor. Speaking of storage, make sure any heavy storage units are secure and bolted to the walls if needed, because we all know that every toddler becomes a climber at some stage. Encourage daily tidying with a schedule or regular routine and you are less likely to have any accidents.

 

This playroom uses clever box shelves and counter space to store delicate and smaller items.

 

Fidi+Kids+Loft+Bedroom

via Modernize

 

Once you’ve reorganized your playroom to suit everyone, your kids will be ready to get playing. Now comes the really hard part: sharing!

 

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

 

Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.


My Photography Story – An Improving Beginner

My Photography Story

(This post contains affiliate links)

How does a girl who doesn’t really pay attention to details get interested in photography?  She has a bunch of kids!  7 of them to be exact.  I am one who absolutely hates taking the kids to a photo studio to get their pictures taken.  We used to do it regularly when I had less kids, but as my family grew, I decided we’d have to take pictures of them at home and use those.  Only one problem… my photos weren’t that great.

 

I had seen pictures that I loved that I thought looked really good, where the main subject was in focus and the rest had a blurred background.  I studied and studied how exactly to get that affect and discovered I had to get an SLR camera.  It’s funny to me now looking back that my measure of a good photo was the blurred background.  I now know that there are plenty of great photos without that affect as well.  But, I was a novice, nonetheless, and decided I must have the camera that could help me do that.  Of course, having the blurred background is still pretty cool……

 

Quinnly by Autumn

 

We were on vacation when the urge hit.  It was time to upgrade that camera so we could get some great vacation shots.  My birthday was that week and my husband decided that we could buy the camera for both of our birthdays and Christmas and our anniversary, too, in order to justify paying for it.  Although I think we may have overpaid (being the ultimate deal shopper that I am), I’m so very glad to have my little Canon t1i DSLR camera.  While I can still take pretty normal, not so great pictures when it’s set on “auto” or when the lighting isn’t so great, I have the capability to take much better pictures when I want to or need to.  I’m learning as I go and it’s been a lot of fun!

 

Since we bought the camera, I do use it a lot for taking pictures of the kids, but I actually use it more for blogging.  I’ve been learning about using light and how to change the settings of the camera and how to shoot photos in manual mode.  I sometimes feel like it’s a huge learning curve and don’t want to mess with it, but when I do, I get some pretty great photos!  I’ve also learned a lot about how to edit my photos to enhance them, making them even better than they were, or to cover up any mistakes I made.

 

Because of my budding fascination with photography, my oldest daughter also developed the urge to learn photography.  In fact, we just bought her a new DSLR camera for Christmas.  She’s been practicing like crazy and has taken some beautiful shots.  She took this beautiful sunset photograph with her new camera and won 2nd place in a local kids photography contest.

 

sunset by autumn

 

Last year I bought a digital photography course for my daughter so that she can enhance what she’s learning.  We were going to use it as a course in school, because she is hoping to eventually start a photography business.  But….I learned about something even better than that course that we started with.  It’s called The Ultimate Photography Bundle and I’m going to use this as a thorough education in photography for both of us!  There’s 3 different levels to it, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.  We’ll have to start in the Beginner section, but there’s some things in the Advanced section I’d like her to learn as well, so I think I’m going to buy all 3.  The 3 things in the bundle that I think will help us the most in the Beginner’s section are:

 

  • Photography Masterclass: Your Complete Guide to Photography ($199 value)
  • Seeing the Light: Making the Most of Available Light and Minimal Equipment ($12.00 value)
  • iPhone Only Photography ($29.00 value – because sometimes I don’t want to lug my big camera)

 

If you’re interested in learning more about photography or just improving your photography skills, let me suggest you start with this free gift:  Free Guide to Photo Composition and perhaps join me in buying the Beginner’s Photography bundle.

 

What about you?  What’s your photography story?