The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Trina

5 Benefits of Music Lesson for Kids and Why We Choose Guitar Center

This post is sponsored by Guitar Center and The Motherhood,  All opinions are my own.

Girl playing guitar for Music lessons

Top Benefits of Music Lessons for Kids

Music has always been a part of my family life.  All of my uncles play the guitar while one is in a band, and several of my cousins play musical instruments and DJ.  Unfortunately, I never got into playing an instrument as a child, and it is something I regret now, so when Anthony came to me asking to take guitar lessons I didn’t hesitate to run to Guitar Center and sign him up.  Anthony has always been a very shy child and building up his self-esteem has not been an easy task, he also has generalized anxiety, so when I learned the benefits of music lessons for kids I realized this was a lot more important than some of the other hobbies we’ve tried in the past.

Boy Playing Guitar

Taking music lessons provides countless benefits for kids from hand-eye coordination to cultural awareness and many of the life skills it provides are phenomenal.

5 benefits of Music Lessons

Increased Social Skills:

When a child plays in a group setting, they need to learn to work together to create the musical goals they are working towards.  Learning to have patience with others and to cheer on their peers will help build stronger social skills 

Academic Improvement and Retention:

Learning to play an instrument is an exercise for the brain and helps teach them how to store and retrieve memories.  This skill can have a profound impact on your child’s academic performance.

Lowers Anxiety:

By building a child’s self-esteem, social skills, and confidence, they are able to feel more relaxed in a social setting. 

Gives a Sense of confidence and self-esteem:

Working hard on something and seeing it through to fruition generates a sense of pride and confidence in everyone including children.  

Helps Create Discipline:

Learning to play an instrument requires patience and hours of practice.  Learning a single note can take countless tries which teaches children to keep trying even when things get hard.

 

Guitars on display for children

Lessons at Guitar Center

The Curriculum

Guitar Center has created a custom curriculum focusing on teaching theory through contemporary music. All curriculum programs are approved by the National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization. They can also help tailor curriculum to your goals and interests with a database on thousands of songs to learn.

The Convenience

With over 200 locations nationally, brand-new facilities Guitar Center Lessons is a one-stop shop. From lessons to retail to instrument repairs to supplemental learning materials, Guitar Center can cover any aspiring student’s needs. Plus, their program gives students the ability to continue learning on the go with online resources and the ability to schedule at any location.  

Pro Instructors with a Passion for Music

All Guitar Center Lessons instructors are passionate, playing musicians who want to help you reach your musical goals. Based on your needs and wants.  You are paired with the instructor that is right for you!

Contemporary Instrumentation

You can take any instrument, anywhere. They make sure you have the musical foundation to achieve any level on any instrument.

The Achievement Program

They offer a 6 tiered program to help students monitor their progress.

 

Give the Gift of Lessons with Guitar Center’s Holiday Promotion!

This holiday season when you buy 3 Lessons you’ll receive the 4th Lesson FREE!
(New students only. Not to be used in conjunction with any other coupons, promotions or lessons offers. No cash value. Buy 3 lessons at current Guitar Center market pricing and receive the 4th lesson complimentary. Offer valid at Guitar Center Lessons locations only. Valid November 23-December 26. Registration ($30) must be paid at the time of purchase.)

Boy playing guitar after music lessons

Lego Themed Birthday Cupcakes Recipe

LEGO Themed Cupcakes

“Only the best is good enough,” – Ole Kirk Christiansen, toy manufacturer and founder of The Lego Group

LEGOS are a classic toy and I am sure and certain that they will never go out of style. Sure, they’re a pain to step on (both literally and figuratively), but they help kids build their imaginations, and I can stand behind that 100%. (No matter how many LEGOS I end up standing or stepping on!)

All jokes aside, when I heard about the second LEGO movie coming out, I was ecstatic. Immediately, I was inspired to make these LEGO Cupcakes. Safe to say, they did not last long in our household. Not only are they ultra-cute but they are incredibly delicious. The edible LEGO pieces are made of rice cereal treats and fondant: so you get a moist cake, cereal treats, fondant, and buttercream all in one dessert. Yes, please!

Birthday Cupcakes with Lego bricks on top

Ingredients needed for LEGO Themed Cupcakes

12 of your favorite vanilla cupcakes (we used a cake mix)
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp yellow gel food coloring
Store-bought/ready-made rice cereal treats
4 oz. red fondant, divided
4 oz. blue fondant, divided
4 oz. green fondant, divided
Cornstarch for rolling
A small bowl of water

Ingredients for making lego themed cupcakes

Yields: One dozen Lego cupcakes

Ensure that your cupcakes are completely cool before decorating. With an electric mixer, mix together butter, sugar, and milk, gradually increasing the speed to high. These ingredients will make your buttercream and you’ll know that it’s complete once it’s smooth and forms semi-stiff peaks.

Save about 3 tbsp of the buttercream in a separate bowl. Color the rest of the buttercream with yellow food coloring.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and cut your rice cereal treats into small, rectangular shapes (about 2in x 1in). Spread entirely with white buttercream. You’ll need 24 of them.

Roll each fondant color to be about ¼ of an inch thick. Using the tip of a #12 Wilton icing tip, cut out 16 circles of each fondant color. (Hint: cornstarch will help the fondant from getting too sticky.)

Creating Candy Lego Bricks

Cover each rectangular cereal treat with fondant. You should have 8 of each color.

Use a paintbrush to brush a dab of water on the back of each minicircle fondant. Place 2 per rectangle.

Yellow frosted cupcakes for Lego Cupcake Recipe

Frost each cupcake with yellow buttercream and place 2 “Lego pieces” on top. Enjoy!

Candy LEGO brick topping on cupcakes

Cupcakes with Lego Brick Topping

Hey MUGGLES, Check out the New HARRY POTTER Dolls at Walmart!

This post is sponsored by Mattel, but all opinions are my own.

Harry Potter Dolls at Walmart

New Harry Potter™ Dolls at Walmart

Do you have a family full of HARRY POTTER fans like me? My children are huge Harry Potter fans, they have all 8 movies, multiple copies of each Harry Potter book, and quite the collection of wands. Anthony, my oldest son even saved up every dollar he made for over a year to buy an authentic GRYFFINDOR Robe. Now the new Harry Potter dolls are being added to our wizarding collection.

new harry potter dolls at walmartI remember the first time I walked in on Anthony reading one of the Harry Potter stories to his twin brother and sister, my heart melted! As a mom, I love seeing my children bond over their mutual love for this story, however, Aidan certainly has a disappointment coming his way in 2 years when he doesn’t get an invitation to attend HOGWARTS School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on his 11th birthday.

harry potter dolls colection

Collect all 6 Harry Potter Dolls at Walmart

We were thrilled to hear about Mattel’s new line of Harry Potter dolls that are available at Walmart. These dolls give my children a creative outlet while they enjoy alongside each other with their favorite Gryffindor best friends, Harry, and RON WEASLEY.
They spend hours playing with these dolls, either recreating their favorite movie scenes or imagining their own battles against VOLDEMORT while Harry protects all the MUGGLES!
(Muggles is a term used for non-magic users in the Harry Potter universe)
6 Hogwarts friends are together again in this line of Harry Potter Dolls.

  • HARRY POTTER
  • RON WEASLEY
  • HERMIONE GRANGER
  • GINNY WEASLEY
  • ALBUS DUMBLEDORE 
  • MINERVA MCGONAGALL

Each Harry Potter doll is ready to fully play in any scene you want. All dolls come in their Hogwarts uniform with their own personalized wands! When I saw that even the wands were made to replicate there storyline I knew these dolls were impeccably made down to the littlest detail, even featuring Harry Potter’s Lightning bolt scar.

harry potter dolls magic duel

The Harry Potter dolls are also made with eleven moveable joints in the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, elbows, and wrists. This is important when a child is acting out a magic duel!

walmart harry potter dolls magic duel

We currently have both the Harry and Ron dolls, but Harry Potter and his friends are better together. So, I have a deal going on with my kids, I agreed to get them an additional doll for each week they do exceptional at school.
Are you excited about these new Harry Potter dolls? Which doll are you planning a trip to Walmart to get first? Make sure to collect each of your favorite characters and participate in even more of the Harry Potter fun!

harry Potter dolls wizard wanted sign DIY

Creating the Harry Potter Scene

If your children are like mine, they will be creating broomsticks to ride on with their dolls, Bulbadox powder, Spells, Butterbeer, and more to create the scene with their favorite characters by their side. Last weekend they were creating a scene where Harry was being sent to Azkaban Prison for no reason, so they asked me to print out a wanted sign. I did them one better and created a photo prop, so they can all be wanted by the Ministry of Magic and Azkaban Prison.

Harry Potter Azkaban Prison Wanted Sign Photo Prop DIY

Supplies to make Harry Potter Wanted Sign

A thick piece of beige Poster Board
Black Sticker Letters
Black Paint
Scissors or Exacto Knife

Harry Potter Dolls DIY

First, cut out a large square in the center of the posterboard. Make sure it’s large enough for the prisoners face to be seen in the mugshot.
Next, use the large letter stickers to spell out “Have You Seen This Wizard?” on the top of the square, and “Wanted” on the bottom of the square.
After finishing up with the stickers, I used some black paint around the edges of the square to cover up any imperfections in my cutting job. Also, if you have extra space on the board writing “Warning: Use Extreme Caution – Do not attempt to use magic on this Wizard” would look extra magical!
That’s all, this prop only took me about 30 minutes to make but the kids love it and it is adding some extra fun to their magical playtime.

muggles harry potter dolls diy

© & ™ WBEI. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)

Why My Teen Loves the New Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Headset for PC Gaming

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Turtle Beach.  We are sharing why my teen loves the new Turtle Beach® Elite Atlas Headset.

Turtle Beach Headset being used

My teen loves PC gaming with Turtle Beach® Elite Atlas! 

Online gaming became a major hobby for my son as he became a teenager and we simultaneously moved over 1000 miles away from his friends and cousins.  Our move from Boston to Tampa was a relatively smooth transition and he constantly talks about how much he loves Florida, however, I know that he still misses his friends and family that had been a huge part of his life.  Luckily, PC gaming has been the perfect way for him to maintain his old friendships despite the distance.  It gives him a way to play with old friends, chat about games and life while playing and even gave him a way to bring his old friends and new friends together.

Perfect Headset by Turtle Beach

A quality gaming headset is important when playing online. 

While I fully support the social benefits and the creative impact that PC gaming has had, I don’t want to listen to sound effects and overexcited teenage boys talking about the newest game features.  So a quality gaming headset like Elite Atlas is a must have for my gamer! 

PC Gaming with Turtle Beach Headset

Why Turtle Beach® Elite Atlas the Best Headset for Gaming

Durability and Comfort

The Elite Atlas headset is built for players at all stages of PC gaming. The metal headband with a suspended pad provides durability while the swappable memory foam ear cushions made out of athletic fabric and synthetic leather provide comfort and block out external noise. Best of all the ProSpecsTM glasses friendly design removes pressure on your glasses while playing, this is one of my son’s favorite feature.

Audio Performance

The Elite Atlas’ sound quality is impeccable.  Featuring pro-tuned 50mm NanoclearTM speakers that deliver Windows Sonic surround sound and the high-sensitivity mic with TruSpeakTM technology is removable and provides flawless communication with other players.  The sound is so crisp and clear that I have stolen them while my son is at school to use for recording videos!  If great Audio performance is what you’re looking for, then this is the headset you need.

Travel-Friendly

The Elite Atlas is able to go wherever gaming takes you!  The 3.5mm and PC-splitter cables that are included are able to connect to any PC setup.  We are a family that loves to travel so having a headset that is travel-friendly is a huge plus, he is able to play a game from his laptop during a flight or on my parents PC when he’s having a sleepover.  They also work great with XBOX One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Mobile devices, so everyone in the family is able to enjoy the amazing sound quality and headphone comfort. 

PC Gaming Headset by Turtle Beach

After experiencing the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas my Teen and I highly recommend them. 
Do you have a gamer on your holiday shopping list this year?  If so, get the gift of great sound for under $100 here!

Why My Teen loves the New Headset

Why Inclusive Play is Important – Landscape Structures Inclusive Playgrounds

This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Boys Climbing in Inclusive Playground

Why Inclusive Play Is Important

I remember the painful thoughts that ran through my mind when Aidan was diagnosed with Autism, and then again when Lilly’s diagnosis and weak muscle strength began.  Would they be able to make friends and participate in play?  Would they be able to ride a bike?  Would they be able to play with other kids?  These are questions I never imagined thinking about with my oldest son, but they are the never-ending thoughts a parent of children with disabilities has.  When Anthony was a preschooler, I didn’t think twice about spending an afternoon at the playground or think twice about the play equipment, however, when the twins were that age I suddenly needed to think about play structures in an entirely new way.  Which is what makes Landscape Structures Inclusive playgrounds so special to my heart.

Girl at Inclusive Playground

Landscape Structures Inclusive Playgrounds

Kids learn so many life skills on the playground and the foundation of those skills begins at an early age so it is extremely important for children of all abilities to participate in an inclusive play space. Inclusive Play is not just focusing on accessibility,  it brings age, developmental appropriateness, and sensory-stimulating activity into the equation which results in social equity and increasingly diverse social communities.

Lilly’s muscle tone has improved after years of hard work and physical therapy and Aidan’s Autism is high functioning, however I truly believe that the social skills they have now has a lot to do with the inclusive play that they had available throughout the years and now we continue to spend out playground time at Inclusive Playgrounds because I want them to always understand that everyone is made different and beautiful and deserves to be included.

Boy at Inclusive Play Space

3 Important Life Lessons Children Learn on the Playground 

Kids learn how to make friendships by working together and helping one another.

The first place my children made friends, outside of the family, was on the playground. There is something heartwarming about a child being able to run onto the playground and within the blink of an eye, they are jumping around with a group of kids. They help each other and encourage each other to cross the monkey bars or face their fears and go down the high slide. Children learn that working together will make the see-saw work and build sandbox villages faster. They learn that climbing as high as you can is a lot more fun with someone to enjoy the view with.

Kids learn to use their imaginations and collaborate with each other.

The play structure becomes a pirate ship and the slide is a plank into the alligator waters. The climbing dome is a princess castle that is protected by magic. They learn to use their imaginations together and create some amazing play time as each child adds a different aspect to the story.

Kids learn to be leaders and make decisions while celebrating each other.

As they play children learn to make decisions for themselves, which leads them to become leaders and builds their confidence. From deciding who is going to be the captain of the ship to figuring out who is going down the slides together, decisions are made and leaders are built.

Children at inclusive playground

Children learn so much on the playground!  Landscape Structures believes that through inclusive play, kids learn life lessons such as leadership, persistence, support, and empathy.  Which I also believe wholeheartedly making Inclusive Playgrounds so important.

Playground for inclusive play

Find an Inclusive Playground Near You

October is Sensory Awareness Month!  So why not head to a great Inclusive Playground today?  One of our favorite Landscape Structures Inclusive playgrounds is Sims Park in New Port Richey when we are close to home.  We also love to stop at Common Ground Park in Lakeland as a car break on our drives over to Orlando.  Want to find an Inclusive Playground close to you?  Visit the Landscape Structures site and search for the playground that fits your needs!

Inclusive Playground Structure

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