Book Giveaway!

If you’re looking for a new book you can dive into and get a whole lot out of, you need to check out Kathi Lipp’s and Cheri Gregory’s “You Don’t Have to Try So Hard: Ditch Expectations and Live Your Own Best Life.”

I love the mini-quizzes packed inside the book for a real hands-on, applicable approach to the advice they give. I also appreciate their personal stories as ways to exemplify living in a world where we’re conditioned to try harder and harder rather than find peace, contentment, and truth in the only one who can possibly provide that; God.

This book is too good not to share with you and that is why I’m giving away one copy to one lucky friend. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog about something that overwhelms you that you’d like to let go of. I will choose a random winner by Monday, September 17th, 2018 by 8pm CST. Winner will be announced here so be sure to check back in to see if you’ve won!

5 Fun Back-to-School Items to Get Your Kids Excited About Their New Year

It’s the beginning of August, which means fall publications are out with fun back-to-school articles and all-things new and trendy are on full display. My writing is no different. You’ll see that my posts, articles and talks are focused on things I’m currently using or doing with my own kids. My newest article in Connection Magazine, “5 Fun Back-to-School Items” is hot off the press and ready for you to read.

Some of the items I recommend are currently on sale. If you happen to buy the Bentgo Lunchbox I talk about in the article, you should check out my piece in San Diego Familyl Magazine on “52 Easy School Lunches” to get your creative juices flowing on what to put IN the lunchbox.

Happy Back-to-School shopping!

Xoxo,

Meagan

How One Mom’s Idea Became a Fast Growing Franchise Opportunity

 

One of my favorite things to watch my kids do is use their imagination. Put aside the iPad, the iPhone and the Xbox and pull out the Legos. There’s nothing quite like listening to the sounds of a pretend fire truck coming from my son’s mouth and the enchanting sound of a rainbow-colored unicorn from my daughter. My kids think they’re playing (which they are) but they’re also spending precious time doing hands-on learning.

From the time my oldest was able to play with Legos, I would encourage him to build things to help him develop his fine motor skills. I realized the importance early on of allowing my kids the room to create and explore using the ideas they came up with. Not only did it occupy them with something fun to do, it gave me some quiet time!

As my kids have gotten older and entered elementary school, I have learned a lot about the different learning systems like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Both of these programs are now state mandated which means they are a required part of our child’s educational curriculum.

Laura Coe, a mom from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, came up with the idea to incorporate STEM-based learning through Legos in a company she and her sister created called Snapology. Laura came up with the idea to develop a brick and mortar store where kids could come and learn through play. With two sons of her own, she said she felt like there wasn’t anything like this for them to experience so she started her own company in 2010.

Each activity at Snapology is themed: computer animation, sports, robotics, animals and outer space are examples of what they offer their students. Their goal is to “stimulate creativity and spark an interest in learning,” explains Laura. “Activities are designed to reinforce the state core standards being taught at every grade level.” U.S. News & World Report released an article about a study that showed the importance of emerging technological programs having a positive impact in the classroom.

Snapology has become so popular that it’s now become a franchise opportunity. There are 56 franchises in the United States and in five countries and Little Rock, Arkansas has just been added to the list of areas where there will be one available to open.

Opening your own business can be a scary thought but with the right mentoring and sufficient amount of support, you too could open your own Snapology location. Snapology currently offers 60 different programs, including birthday parties and camps. If you’re interested in owning a piece of this company but you don’t think you’re ready to commit to a brick mortar you have the option of developing a mobile site where Snapology takes its hands-on learning program to schools, day cares, after-school clubs and so on.

I love the idea of doing “Birthday Parties to Go” where the folks at Snapology come to you. They bring all of the necessary materials, guide your children through the programs and voila! You have an-house, built-in birthday party.

What I love most about the idea behind a company like Snapology is the inclusiveness with the special needs community. There is a direct link between STEM-based learning and children with special needs that creates a positive experience. In this article, you can read about the many different benefits this type of environment has the development of special needs children.

So, what are you waiting for? Have you ever thought about opening your own franchise? This might just be the perfect opportunity.

 

A Mom’s Survival Guide to Simplifying Your Summer With Special Needs Kids

Happy Summer!

I had the privilege of writing a guest post for Michele Cushatt last week. My post, “A Mom’s Survival Guide to Simplifying the Summer With Special Needs Kids”, was a therapeutic one to write. While I love and enjoy each summer I have with my kids, the unstructured time can throw us for a loop at times; especially for my son, Dylan.

You can find encouraging words and a few tips on how we not only make it through the summer but how we make memories doing so.

I’d love to hear some of your summer tips!

xoxo, Meagan

 

“Dad Rocks” Paperweight Recipe for Father’s Day

Father’s Day will be here before you know it! Check out my article here, to read about this Paperweight Craft as well as 10 other fun and free things to do for Father’s Day this year.


Paperweight Recipe 

¼ cup salt

½ cup flour

¼ cup water

Bowl

Cookie sheet

Tiny rocks or pebbles

 

Mix first three ingredients together in bowl. Roll into a ball and then flatten out about ½ inch thick. Place pebbles in dough to spell out ‘Dad Rocks’ pressing firmly but not too hard. Bake at 250 degrees for 2-2 ½ hours. Let cool on cookie sheet.

The Mother’s Day Dare

One of my favorite publications to write for is right here in northwest Arkansas. Peekaboo Magazine is a great resource for parents who are looking for up-to-date events and parenting advice. My latest article about The Mother’s Day dare has been a favorite among my mom friends. See if you’re ready to take the dare.

xoxo, Meagan

Delicious Recipes Using Peanuts

March is National Peanut Month which means, of course, I needed to write about all-things peanuts. I polled my friends on Facebook to find out what their favorite recipes were and one came through my feed from Rebecca Lesue. She recommends adding peanuts to your stir fry and says this recipe from the Minimalist Baker is one of her favorites.

I love to add peanuts to my trail mix. Here’s my personal recipe:

dried cranberries, peanuts, plain m&ms, popcorn

For recipes using peanut butter…I received quite a few.

Marguerite Perry makes Energy Bites:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3tbs cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Roll into little balls and refrigerate for 2 hours! Store in an air tight container. Good for 2 weeks!

Amber Tillman makes Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
Cook at 350 for 8 minutes

Danielle Schaum makes Avalanche Bars:

1 cup Rice Krispies
I bag of white chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup marshmallows
I handful chopped salted peanuts

Melt chocolate and mix everything in.
Pour into pan and then cut into squares.

How about you? What’s your favorite recipe using peanuts? Add it in the comments and I might just make it!

Don’t Give Up On Your Bucket List

This Christmas, my mom gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. She mailed me my gifts this year like she does every year since we live in different parts of the country but the feeling I got when I opened the gift was one I’ll never forget.

I picked up the gigantic box from my doorstep and carefully cut it open. Stockings galore stared back at me when I lifted the flaps to look inside. My mom had made a stocking for each one of my children. I pulled out Dylan’s and Hannah’s and Elinor’s and handed each one out to my kids who were jumping up and down at this point. At the very bottom of the box was a big, furry stocking in all of its glamour with three little mice figurines taped to the outside of the stocking. I peeked inside the stocking and pulled out a black book with the words “My Bucket List” on the cover. A huge grin covered my face and immediate feelings of love, gratitude and understanding came over me.

I had my mom on Duo so she was able to watch me open the book. If you know me you know how excited I get about talking about my bucket list, checking things off my bucket list and encouraging others to start their own bucket list. She told me she found the book in a little store while on vacation at the beach and knew I had to have it.

On the front of the stocking those three little mice figurines I told you about were actually holding money. I didn’t see it at first but my mom had rolled money and tucked them inside the mice. It was the cutest thing ever and so meaningful to me. Her message, “Here’s some money to start your next bucket list item.”

It’s never too late to start working on your bucket list. Start by writing down at least one thing you’ve always wanted to do and go from there. Start taking little steps towards making it happen.  I promise you – it’s one of the most thrilling and exciting feelings to see your bucket list dreams come true. I devoted an entire section in my book, “I See You: Helping Moms Go from Overwhelmed to In Control” to the idea behind bucket lists and there is a fun bucket list sheet for you to write in your own ideas.

Learning guitar was on my bucket list and I’m about to start my sixth month of lessons. I’ve been trying to decide what’s next. I guess we’ll see 🙂

 

Teaching Your Kids About New Year’s Resolutions

As the New Year approaches, I find myself thinking about my kids and trying to gauge how much they really understand about the idea behind making New Year’s resolutions. I wrote this article that appears in January’s edition of South Florida Parenting Magazine to teach (myself) and others how to get the message across.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Have you talked about them with your kids? I bet you’d be surprised to hear what your child’s resolutions are. I know I was!