Earth Day Inspired Baby Names

Today is Earth Day and if you had a baby today or having one soon, you may want to consider these earthly names for your little one.

Girls

1. Sage
2. Clover
3. Olive
4. Flora (the Roman goddess of flowers)
5. Coral
6. Luna
7. Ivy
8. Willow
9. Peony
10. Avani (of Sankskrit origin, meaning "earth")

Boys
1. Storm
2. Pax (Latin for "peace")
3. Hunter
4. Garth (of English origin, means "garden")
5. Condor
6. Stone
7. Cyrus (of Persian origin, means "sun")
8. Ash
9. Basil
10. Forest


This list is from Cafemom.com

Earth Day Themed Books For Kids

Happy Earth Day everyone! 
Every year on April 22nd over 100 different countries celebrate the planet we all live on. Today, we all stop and appreciate nature and learn to protect our environment more.   If you want to learn more ways to help our planet please visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency at epa.gov.  Today it has a special Earth Day welcome page where you can share some tips with your family. 

I wanted to share some Earth Day themed books for kids. 

(Circle the Year With Holidays)
        written by Janet McDonnell and illustrated by Diana Magnuson.




 written by Norman Bridwell




        written by Nancy Luenn and illustrated by Neil Waldman




         written by William H. Hooks and illustrated by Kate Duke




  written by David Morichon





 written by P.K. Hallinan

Earth Day Activities

This Friday, April 22 is Earth Day. Here are some fun activities you can do with your kids to teach them all about going green. Since you probably don't have time to do all these on just one day, you can start tomorrow and make this Earth week!

*Plant some flowers - Pick out some fun colors, some non-toxic gardening soil and get your hands dirty!

*Homemade flowerpot - Use a tin can from a canned food item, paint it for decoration, add soil and flowers!  Good craft for a pen holder too! 

*Check out books from a Library - what a fun way to show how easy going green can be! Be sure to use a recyclable bag to carry them home in!

*Laundry Bottle Pet Food Scoop - Have a grown up cut off the top of a used, but cleaned out laundry detergent bottle.  Add some felt stickers or paint to decorate and start scooping food for Fido!  What a fun way to teach that new pet feeding chore too!  (wink wink!)

*Turn it off! - take your toddler from room to room saying "lights off" while letting them turn it off if they are able. You might even add how it's good for the planet and your pocket book. You can do the same with the appliances and water faucets for the older kids too.


*Earth Day printables - Click HERE for easy coloring pages, word scrambles and puzzles.

Autism Spectrum Awareness Month

The Autism Society has been celebrating National Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The US recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate the public about autism and issues within the autism community. The last 20 years have witnessed a huge increase in autism numbers.  Please check out the Autism Society's website for more information or visit AutismSpeaks.org to learn more about the disorder.

Did you know that the Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House, the Pyramids in Egypt plus more are all lighting it up in blue in celebration of United Nations World Autism Awareness Day today! To show your blue please click Light It Up Blue.

Not only is Autism Awareness month  important to help educate everyone about Autism, but these wonderful blogs are too. Babble.com has created a list of the top 30 Autism Spectrum blogs and I thought I would share a few of them with you. Please click HERE to see all 30.

Adventures in Asperger's - This blog is about the busy life of Tom Hibben, an EMT, professional photographer, and father of three boys, the oldest of whom has Asperger’s.  Unlike many text-heavy blogs, Hibben’s blog is essentially a yearbook of gorgeous photographs and witty captions.

Adventures In Extreme Parenthood -
Four years ago, Sunday Stilwell was igetting divorced, had a fulltime job and two young sons both on the severe end of the autistic spectrum. She is now remarried, a SAHM, and her husband helps her care for the “Trouble Brothers.” What has remained constant is her sense of humor, her grace under pressure, her love for her kids, and the excellence of her blog.

Autism and Empathy - Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s site, which operates as a hub of science-heavy posts featuring well-informed guests — researchers, parents of ASD children, and autistics themselves — seeks to dispel prevailing myths about autism, such as the widely-held belief that autistics lack empathy.

Hope Saves The Day - Hopes Saves the Day is a weekly podcast on the Autism Network. Paul Cimins, who has a son with Autism, is a self-styled Autistic Spectrum Chef, and is a strong proponent of the theory that the effects of autism can be mitigated by a gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet. Not only does he share GFCF recipes, but he is a great interviewer. This is a great podcast for listeners interested in varied autism-related topics.

From Inside The Heart -
Miranda is the 16-year-old daughter of the author D.S. Walker and the inspiration for Walker’s novel Delightfully Different, whose protagonist, Mia, like Miranda, has Asperger’s. But Miranda and Mia are not one and the same. What became of the character in the book, the pat happy ending, Miranda explains, “is what my mother wishes had happened. I find it my duty to tell my story and to give my opinions so that hopefully I can prevent at least one other kid from going through the same things.” Miranda’s frank dispatches suggest that while art may mirror life, the latter is always more complex.

Best Baby Products of 2016

Baby Center asked its readers to vote for the best products for their Moms’ Pick Awards and 95,000 readers voted!  If you are like me, you want to know what products everyone loves, so here are some of the winners...


Best Baby Bathtub


Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Safety Duck Tub 
$23.93






Best Baby Bottle









Best Baby Carrier











Best Baby Monitor









Best Baby Toy











Best Breast Pump

Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump 204.99







Best High Chair

Fisher-Price Spacesaver High Chair $49.99










Best Infant Car Seat











Best Play Yard








Best Swing or Bouncer









There are many other winners and you can check them all out HERE.  Happy shopping!







Spring Inspired Baby Names

Spring is a wonderful time of year, especially if you are about to have a baby. If you are looking for a baby name that captures the season, be sure to check out these spring inspired names from babycenter.com. 

Girl Names
April
Blossom
Chrysalis
Clover
Daisy
Dewi/Dewy
Easter
Flora
Honey
Lily
March
May
Nectaria
Pastelle
Petal
Robin
Spring
Sunny
Tulip
Windy

Boy Names
Branch
Bud
Chrisilis
Cloud
Dewey
Greene
Leaf/Leif
Nectarios
River
Springer

Unisex Names
Bird/Byrd/Birdy/Birdie
Breeze/Breezy
Brooke/Brook
Dew
Rainn

Any other names you would add to the list?  Happy Spring everyone!

Date Night Conversation {Just for Parents}

You have a great Valentine's date night planned with your significant other, but you want to talk about something other than the kids, money, work, stress.....  

If you are ready to change up your conversation, then check out this "Date Night Cheat Sheet" from Parents Magazine.  I saw this and put the questions right to work on my husband.  I actually learned something new!  Hopefully these questions or your version of them will give you a fun night out.  I'm not going to list all the questions, but be sure to check out the magazine if you want to see them all.  Enjoy asking!

Over drinks and appetizers
*Name 3 countries you'd like to visit.
*How would you spend 10 million dollars?
*If you could try out any occupations for a year, what would it be?

Over the entree
*How would you spend a perfect day alone?
*If you could rewind to any point in your past, what would you want to relive?
*If you could take lessons to become an expert at anything, what would it be?

Over dessert
*Hollywood called. They want to make a movie about your life. Who would play you?
*What's the one item you own that you know you should get rid of but never will?
*What's something positive about me that you don't say often enough?

Children Books About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Monday we celebrate and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Here are a few books for your kids that may help them understand the important role he played in the civil rights movement.



                                         Age Range: 4 - 8 years   Grade Level: Preschool - 3





Age Range: 2 and up




Age Range: 5 and up




Age Range: 4-10




        I Have a Dream (Book & CD)      
                   Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12       

Santa Is On His Way!

Have those cookies ready and don't forget to leave water for the reindeers because...Santa is coming!  You can track Santa using these fun sites!

NORAD
You and the kiddos can track Santas whereabouts using the Official Santa Tracker.


Google
Check out their Santa tracker HERE


Google Maps
This year you can also use NORAD to track Santa's flight from your phone. On December 24th, open Google Maps for mobile and do a search for "Santa" to see his latest location.


Google Earth
In addition to tracking Santa on the NORAD Tracks Santa homepage, you can also track his flight in Google Earth.  Google Earth plugin is not installed on your computer. Download it by clicking HERE.


Santa App
Yes, there is an app for that...Santa that is! You can download the Santa Tracker HD app HERE. For $1.99 you can count down the days until Christmas with daily messages from Santa Claus and his elves and then track his flight around the world from the North Pole to your town on Christmas Eve!


Santa-T
Games, Santa tracker and you can send Santa a wish list.  Click HERE


Santa Update
Give out pre-launch updates and the latest headlines from the North Pole.  Click HERE.


To add more Santa fun....

Have your kids get a phone call from Santa! Check it out HERE or another website HERE.

Your kids can email Santa HERE.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Top Baby Names of 2015

 
The list is out!  The top baby names of 2015 are out and the top spots are repeat winners. 
They are...

GIRLS - Sophia
 
BOYS - Jackson 

 
Sophia has topped the girls' list for the sixth year in a row and Jackson leads the boys' list for the third year. This list comes from Babycenter.com and their data comes from more than 340,000 parents who shared their baby's name with Baby Center thorughout 2015.
 
*The names that moved up the list the fastest were Paisley for girls and Muhammad for boys.
 
*The most popular gender-neutral names were Wyatt for girls, while Piper for boys.  Other popular gender-neutrual names were  Riley, Lincoln, Karter, Maxwell and Carson.
 
*Formal names were also on the rise. The most popular were Royalty, Duchess, Reign Sultan, Princess and Tiara.
 
Instagram inspired names were also rising the lists.  For girls-  Lux, Ludwig, Amaro, Reyes, Hudson and Kelvin.  For boys - Valencia, Juno and Willow.
 
*Other big trends were names after the "Empire" tv show characters and names from the planets, such as Venus and Jupiter. 
 
Here are the top 10 names from this year. Did your baby make the list?

10 most popular girl names of 2015

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Ava
  5. Mia
  6. Isabella
  7. Zoe
  8. Lily
  9. Emily
  10. Madison
See all top 100 girls' names 



10 most popular boy names of 2015

  1. Jackson
  2. Aiden
  3. Liam
  4. Lucas
  5. Noah
  6. Mason
  7. Ethan
  8. Caden
  9. Logan
  10. Jacob
See all top 100 boys' names

Christmas Inspired Baby Names

The holiday season is officially here and if you're due on or around Christmas, the folks at about.com put together some names that might be perfect for your baby.  The site said they had a little tougher time coming up with the boys names versus the girls names.  Maybe one of these names will be the one for your little Christmas baby!

Girls
•Holly - Anglo Saxon for the ivy tree. Think Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy

•Gloria - Latin for glory. Also the name of a famous Christmas carol.

•Natalie (Natalia) - Latin meaning Christmas day.

•Tasha - From Natasha/Natalie in Russian for Christmas day.

•Mary (Merry) - Bitter from Hebrew. Mother of Jesus.

•Noel - Means Christmas in French. The First Noel is a famous Christmas Carol.

•Joy - The emotion. Also a Christmas carol - Joy to the World

•Angel - The heavenly being who spread the news of the birth of Jesus.

•Carol - English for hymn or song.

•Ivy - Old English for the plant. Think Christmas carol The Holly and the Ivy

•Star - The famous star over Bethlehem to guide visitors to the manger.

•Winter - Named after the season.



Boys
•Emmanuel - God is with us from the Hebrew.

•Christopher - Hebrew for God has judged. Could be spelled with a K for the popular character Kris Kringle.

•Noel - French for Christmas.

•Christian - Latin for follower of Christ.

•Timothy - Revering God from Greek.

•Gabriel - The Angel who announced the birth of Christ.

•Joseph - From the Hebrew - he will add. Father of Jesus.

•Nicholas - Greek for victorious people. Popular character - Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, also a Christmas carol.

A Princess Dream Come True Giveaway!

princessgiveaway


The Holidays are officially here! Santa and his elves are busy finishing up toys, trees are getting decorated and I can already smell the sugar cookies! We want to celebrate the Holidays with you! We're giving away a set of 7 Disney Princess Dolls! Read on to find out how to enter! This giveaway is being hosted by 12 bloggers who are full of holiday cheer! Please be sure to visit their sites.


Now onto the Giveaway! Here’s what the winner will get!
  • 1 winner will win a set of 7 Disney Princess Dolls. (Retail Value: $79.99)
This Giveaway will run from 11/17 – 11/23 11:59 PM EST. Make sure to complete as many of the entries below as possible for the BEST chance at winning! We also have a bonus entry you can do every single day! (Bonus Entry: Tweeting a message about the Giveaway!) No entries are mandatory.
Enter below and Good Luck! (This giveaway is NOT being sponsored by Disney) a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Giveaway Disclosure: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories and wherever prohibited by law. Subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Decisions of the Sponsor are final on all matters pertaining to Sweepstakes. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and decisions of the Sponsor. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in association with, Facebook, Twitter, Disney, or any other social media network. Chances of winning vary based on the final number of entrants. Giveaway ends November 23rd, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email on November 24th, 2015. Each winner has 48 hours to respond or they may forfeit prize. Sunshine N Savings will be responsible for prize fulfillment. If you have any questions, please contact girlnamedjax {at} gmail {dot} com.

Easy Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Hosting a big dinner next week?  Be sure to add a craft table and it will keep the kiddos busy while having fun too!  Here are some ideas I have found....



This fun craft from Crafts For All Seasons is not only fun for the children to make, but it gets them thinking about things they are thankful for. Besides the child adding their thankful thoughts, another nice tradition is to have a feather at each person's place setting, have them write what they are thankful for, and the feathers can then be added the turkey.
 

 

Better Homes and Gardens shows this fun one.  You take a white work glove and color in the feathers with markers.  Then add some felt for the wings and beak and a button eye. 





AmazingMoms.com shows off this cutie! Add red, yellow and orange tissue paper to the pine cone for the feathers and felt for the face.  Don't forget those button eyes too! 





Spread a dollop of vanilla frosting on a round cracker. Place a chocolate kiss near the bottom of the cracker. Add candy corn pieces above the kiss for the turkey feathers. Spread a small amount of frosting on one side of another candy corn piece and "glue" to the top of the kiss for the beak. Let frosting dry, then attach a caramel square to the back with frosting to help the treats stand upright.



 
 
Busy Bee Kids Crafts showed off this fun one! Trace and cut out the child's hand on different colored construction paper.  Glue them to the back of the TP roll so it looks like feathers.  Add the button eyes  and cut out 2 slits for the triangle beak.  So cute!





 

Scary Baby Names Inspired By Halloween

If you need a little baby name inspiration you may want to think of some fun Fall inspired names, but if you want to keep the name close to a Halloween theme, then check these names out!  These names from babble.com are inspired by spooky, dark themed movies or the stories they come from. 

Girls
Clarice - from 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs

Rosemary - from 1961 horror film Rosemary's Baby

Blair - from 1999's The Blair Witch Project

Carrie - from 1974's Carrie

Regan - from 1973's classic horror film, The Exorcist

Samara - from 2002's evil-video-tape horror film The Ring

Sidney - from 90's Scream movies

Esther - from 2009 thriller Orphan

Emily - from 2005's The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Violet - from Lemony Snicket's spooky, entertaining YA novellas, A Series of Unfortunate Events

Wednesday - from the TV show The Addams Family

Raven - bleak baby name, made famous by the inventor of spooky tales, Edgar Allen Poe

Ophelia - from Shakespeare’s Hamlet



Boys
Jason - from the Friday the 13th films

Freddy - from Nightmare On Elm Street films

Norman -  from Hitchcock's 1960 classic, Psycho

Shaun - from a British film, Shaun of the Dead

Chucky - the doll from 1988's Child's Play

Hyde - from the classic 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Damien -  a central character from The Omen horror movie series

Edgar - Edgar Allan Poe was practically the original creepster

Todd - the demon barber Sweeney Todd, from the 1936 and 2007 films of the same name

Lestat - Anne Rice's character from Interview with the Vampire

Draco - Harry’s archrival at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series

Dante - Medieval poet Dante Alighieri takes readers on a terrifying trip to hell in his epic poem, The Divine Comedy

Michael - most famous serial killer in horror movie history, in nine of the 10 Halloween flicks.

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