Summer Learning Guide

Okay, so summer is here and the kids just want to play. They are done with school and don’t want to see a flash card or worksheet until September…realistically the end of August. But, as a parent, you know they need to continue to read and do “school stuff” at least a little bit to keep their little heads in the game. You really don’t want them to be a victim of the so-called “summer slide”.

So, what’s a momma to do? Well, call me the “mean mom”, but I’m carving out about a half-hour four days a week for a little summer school, if you will. What does this entail?

1. Reading a book– For my older daughter, this means reading a book to me. For my younger daughter, it means reading a book to her. No TV. No electronics. Just us and the books. Sometimes the reading to me part takes a bit longer depending on how many words we need to stretch out. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times when I just want to shout out the word. But, I control myself and remember that she has to do it if she wants to become a better reader.

2. Summer Packet– This one is just for my soon-to-be first grader. Her school sent home a packet of little learning activities to reinforce some of the Kindergarten lessons. From rhyming words to addition, there is plenty to do here. We’re just taking it page by page.


3. Workbook Bonanza– Okay, so the bargain shopper in me went a little crazy here. I found a great dollar store that had tons of workbooks for pretty much every age group. So I bought a bunch for each of my kids. These are great to freshen up skills already learned as well as to learn some new ones. The best part is that each fab book was only a buck.


4. The “Write” Stuff– My older daughter writes in a summer journal that was sent home while my pre-schooler practices her letters. This way both kids are writing at the same time so no one feels left out.


5. Done in a Flash Card– From sight words to simple math, we love flash cards in my house. This is a quick way to know what your child actually remembers. You can make games out of them by seeing how many they can get right. If you can’t find what you need in a store, you can easily make them yourself with index cards so that you can customize them to your child’s needs.


So, this little curriculum isn’t so bad, right? I mean, it’s not like I’m bombarding my kids. There is still plenty of time for fun.

What do you do to keep your kids learning over the summer?

A Letter to My Daughter on the Last Day of Kindergarten

Dear Mariella,

Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that I wrote a letter like this to you as you were starting Kindergarten. I was so excited for you as you started “big kid” school. I couldn’t wait for you to begin your little journey.

Now, here we are at the end of the school year. I am amazed at how much you have learned and how much you’ve grown. You can now write your name so much neater. It doesn’t look like a rainbow of letters searching for a home. You’ve mastered those pesky 2’s and 5’s. I can’t even remember what your old numbers used to look like. You can count to 100 without skipping a number. You were so proud this year once you made it to the “100” club. You made me proud too.

The reading. Oh, the reading. It has been wonderful to watch you discover words and sound them out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been frustrating too. Sometimes Mommy forgets just how hard it is to learn to read. I’ve been doing it for so long I don’t remember what it’s like not to know words. I know it gets you mad when a “y” sounds like an “e” at the end. You can’t stand the fact that it’s just the way it is. Nevertheless, you read the words. I absolutely love when you read to me and your sister. It makes my mommy heart do cartwheels.

You’ve also came out of your little shell during this Kindergarten year. Gone is the little girl who used to hug my leg like a stage-four clinger. Gone is the little girl I would have to force to go play with the other kids before the school bell rang. Now, you just run off, never looking back. You’ve become quite the social butterfly, spreading your beautiful wings. Although it makes me a little sad inside, I know this is the way it’s supposed to be.

You’ve learned what it is to win and what is to lose. You’ve learned that just because you don’t get an award doesn’t mean you haven’t done well or accomplished your goals. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. Sometimes other people win. That’s a part of life. Be happy for them and be proud of yourself at the same time.

On a lighter note, you’ve learned that it’s okay to use the school bathroom. It’s nearly impossible not to during a six hour day. I hope you are washing your hands like you claim. But, if you’ve noticed, when you get home I make you scrub like a doctor preparing for surgery…just in case.

I’m excited to hang out and do things with you over the summer before first grade starts.  I hope you are too. Please stop growing up so fast, my mommy heart just can’t take it.






Parents’ Summer Survival Guide

It’s that time of year. It’s not Christmas. It’s not your child’s birthday. It’s summer. Your kids are out of school. They are home.

All. The. Time.

If you’re a working parent, summer can be a nightmare….trying to find a babysitter, a camp…whatever it takes. If you’re fortunate enough to have the summer off and don’t have to find childcare, then your kids are probably with you 24/7. This can also be a nightmare in its own right. That is, if you let it.

I’m probably in the minority here, but I actually enjoy when my kids are off during the summer. It’s actually easier than all the drama during the school year. I don’t have to do school drop offs and pick-ups. There’s no running to activities and “Soccer Saturdays”. Although these are enjoyable in their own little way, they are exhausting. Anyone else agree? It’s nice to not have to inhale breakfast and rush everyone out the door. It’s refreshing to just be able to breathe a little.

While I don’t have to worry so much about childcare during the summer. I do have to worry about keeping the kids occupied and maintaining my sanity at the same time. I’m here to tell you, it can be done. Seriously.

Here’s a little survival guide:

1. Find Free Activities: Summer is full of free, “tire out your kid” activities. Designate one day (or two) as a beach day. Get the kids involved in packing snacks and toys to make it fun for them. If you can, change your beach location so no one gets bored. Build sandcastles. Pick sea shells. You can even paint them when you get home.


Spend another day at a park. Take a bike ride or nature walk. There are so many free outdoor activities that will keep the kids out of the house and happy. Take advantage of what’s nearby so you’re not shelling out a lot in gas money.

2. Keep ‘Em Learning: We all know it’s called summer break, meaning no school. That doesn’t mean your kids don’t pick up a book or practice letters and numbers until September. Designate a half-hour a day to do school stuff. Whether it’s reading, writing, or math…do something! Check out your local library for summer read programs. Many offer incentives based on the number of books your child reads over the summer. Keep their little minds learning. At least it will keep them occupied for awhile.

3. Teach Them to Tag Sale: This is a great way to clean things up and make some cash. Get some friends to join in and pick a good weekend. Make it fun. Let the kids keep some of the money you make. Your house is getting clean, you’re teaching your kids the value of money, and you’re getting outside. It’s a win-win all around!

4. Discount Movies: We all know you could buy a trip to Europe for the price of going to the movies these days. During the summer, many local theaters offer $1 movies at the theater. Granted, they’re re-releases, but still it’s in the movie theater. This is a great way to catch a movie you and the kids may have missed or re-watch one you really love!

movie tix

5. Just Play: The whole idea of the summer is to relax, isn’t it? Take some time to just play in the yard. Blow bubbles. Run the sprinkler. Draw with chalk. Throw a frisbee. Let kids be kids. Be a kid yourself! You may be surprised at how much fun you’re having and how much less yelling you’re doing.

Don’t forget to carve out some time for yourself. Some time at Grandma’s isn’t going to hurt if you want to have a kid-free meal or get your nails done. It’s all part of keeping your summer sanity!

What do you do to keep it all together during the summer?

WalMart Gift Card Giveaway

Giveaway Sponsored by P&G

This month P&G is working to spread some awareness to the amazing work that they are doing to assist Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! Pampers has joined together with Walmart to donate $200,000 in the month of June! When purchasing products such as Pampers Swaddlers at Walmart, a portion of proceeds is donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to provide comfort and treatment to millions of sick children. The Mommy Rundown is helping to get the word out. Head to for more information and to make a donation!  Enter below for a chance to win a $25 Walmart gift card!

$25 Walmart Gift Card Sponsored by P&G

Magic Bullet Giveaway


My household has always been one to buy a lot of fruit and veg, snack healthily and to cook from scratch, yet it is so easy for me to forget that while I have been feeding the kids fruits and nuts and veg and all the things you’re supposed to eat throughout the day, I haven’t been eating them all the time, myself! 

I always keep a stocked fridge and fruit bowl, each meal comes with some kind of nutritionally beneficial element and snacks usually include fruit or a small cheese and grape plate etc, but I knew that I could do more to keep myself on track and to get my body those key elements needed to make it right through the day without a bump! 

Well, as luck would have it, summer is here, and with it I have acquired a Magic Bullet! The Magic Bullet is just what I needed to kick start myself into better eating habits and since it arrived at my door it has become the most used gadget in my kitchen, to date! 

The Magic Bullet is fast and comes with 2 different blades for various shredding and chopping needs from blending carrots, apples and bananas to grinding nuts and coffee beans! You can make shakes and smoothies with the touch of a button or throw out some salsa or sauces in seconds to suit your mood and desire! 

I have started to experiment with smoothies, mostly, this past week, and have been looking for fruits and veggies that go together and hosting some taste tests with various friends and family members to see what they think and to make a note of the concoctions that hit the right spot! 

I have found that apple, carrot and pineapple with a little orange juice thrown in, makes a delicious tasting treat, and a great way to make a sorbet (with a little more ice). Sweeten or sharpen with added agave or lemon/lime and add a little flax seed to finish it off!

I have also found that anything with ice cream, milk or yogurt in it makes a sweet, tempting treat for kids and because you can choose how much to add in, and see the fruit or veg that you combine it with, you know exactly what your kids are eating, which isn’t always so with store-bought treats! 

To sweeten up a juice or a smoothie, I like to add monk fruit or agave and forgo other sugars or sweeteners and most of the time the fruit is sweet enough that there is no need for anything extra at all! 

I have also been able to up my children’s vegetable intake by providing them with home-made carrot, apple, pineapple, grape and juice blended Popsicles! They are getting nothing but goodness in the Popsicles and the pineapple makes it a little sweeter and so there isn’t even a real need to add agave either, though fine if you have a sweet tooth for that extra kick! 

You can pick up a Popsicle container for about $1 in many stores and it is always handy to have a couple in the freezer when you want to switch up recipes and to cool the kids down in the summer, while knowing they are getting the nutritional benefits as well! 

The Magic Bullet has really kicked things up a gear, here, and I can’t even explain enough how wonderfully simple this product is to use and how versatile it is at the very same time! 

With 4 serving cups, 1 tall mixer, 1 short cup, 1 flat blade, 1 raised blade, shaker and storage lids and the unit itself, you do get a lot for the money you spend. 

You simple gather up your fruits, veggies or other goodies that you’d like to mix and add water, ice, juice, milk or whatever liquid compliments your other selections and screw on the cap with the blade and turn upside down to connect to the unit. The unit won’t start until the edges are aligned and you push down on it to pulse it and to start combining your selection. 

The pulse feature is a simple one, and if you don’t want to keep pulsing you can lock the top into place and have it blend for you without having to continuously press down. You should watch what you are blending though as you don’t want to over-do it and turn your delicious smoothie, drink or side into a mushy, over-processed mess! 

The Magic Bullet unit is easy to pick up and shake if you need to get that stubborn piece of ice and is safe to do so as long as you follow all of the guidelines. The unit is easy to wipe down and the attachments are easy to rinse and clean with hot, soapy water – just, again, follow the instructions to keep your Magic Bullet in the best possible condition for longer! 

The Magic Bullet comes with a recipe book that gives you a great start, with tips and tricks and ideas for the things you can make in minutes with the power it has behind it, and even shows you how to make sauces that go right from the grater to the microwave and then to the table! 

You can make sauces, salsa, mix up cookie, grind beans and whip cream, it is all possible with the Magic Bullet, but my favourite thing is by far the smoothies!

You can make whatever you like, and however you like it, too – you want to make a chunky salsa? Throw in your ingredients, pulse a few times and voila, chunky salsa! Want to make smooth salsa? Blend away, make it a little thinner with more liquid and/or blend longer and boom! Smooth salsa or even soups for the taking in seconds! The Magic Bullet really is that awesome!


We have ONE (1) Magic Bullet up or grabs, and all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter, below! The Mommy Rundown is helping to get the word out!  

You must be 18 or older, or have parental permission to do so, and you must reside in the U.S.A. All entries are verified so please use a valid email address and enter as many of the entry points as you like, nothing is mandatory! 

This giveaway ends at midnight on June 30th and a winner will be chosen within 24 hours. The winner shall be informed and shall have 48 hours to claim their prize! If no winner claims their prize, then a new winner will be selected until we have confirmation and a prize claimed!

It is that simple! Have fun and GOOD LUCK! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Neither Mom’s Gone Bronson, nor any participating bloggers are responsible for this giveaway or prize fulfilment, this falls to our giveaway sponsor. Thank you!

Review & Giveaway: Stickerkid

Your child goes to school and two other kids have the same lunch bag as she does. The “sticky” label you put on falls off. The other kids don’t have a label on their bags. The kids don’t know which bag belongs to who until they start going through what’s inside.

It’s a Kindergarten nightmare.


You could keep trying to put on your own “sticky” labels or you could try something new. For some reason every time I put a label on a lunchbox, book bag, or something else, it comes off. It’s annoying!

So, what’s a momma to do?

How about trying some new personalized stickers that work and look cool at the same time?


I recently tried out some labels from Stickerkid. These labels are great because not only do they stick well, they are also fun to design. You can choose labels for belongings or clothing. I chose ones for belongings. Once you choose which ones you’re going to go with you can customize them. You can pick your own design to suit your child’s personality. You can even add your child’s photo. There’s no mistaking who belongs to what items if you do this!

Stickerkid labels are great for school, daycare, and even camp. They’re even good for inside the house if you have more than one child. This way you can tell who belongs to what minus the arguments.

If you want to try labels from Stickerkid, here’s your chance. The Mommy Rundown is partnering with Stickerkid to give away $20 worth of labels plus free shipping. Enter here! Good Luck!

*I was compensated with products from Stickerkid to complete this review. The Mommy Rundown is not responsible for distributing the prize. The prize is being offered and distributed by Stickerkid.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Why We Need to Tell Our Kids They’re Special

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time telling your kids to stop fighting, stop coloring on the floor, stop being fresh, etc. I’m sure you can insert your own “stop”. When they don’t listen, that “stop” goes up by about four octaves along with your blood pressure. This scenario probably happens a few times a day so that by the end of the day you’re tired of hearing your own voice. You’re counting the minutes until bed time only to start the day and do the same thing all over again.


I was thinking about all of this the other night while my girls were peacefully watching “Caillou”. (See, he does come in handy for something.) Anyway, I was thinking about all the time I spend telling my kids “no” or “stop” or just let out a sigh in frustration to some annoying behavior that’s going on. Then, I thought about all the time I tell my kids I love them or tell them something positive. Sure I always tell them I love them when I drop them off for school and before bed. I always tell them they’ve done a good job when they bring home a piece of artwork or finish a hard puzzle at home.

But, how many times do I tell them how special they are “just because”?


Obviously not enough.

So, I’m making it my mommy mission to make sure they know.

That night, I took each of them on my lap and asked them if they knew how special they were. They nodded their head “yes”. But, I still told them again. I also told them how smart they are and just how wonderful overall. They needed to hear it. I needed to hear myself say it.

They smiled and gave me a hug.

Mission accomplished.

It’s so hard to get caught up in the craziness of each day that we sometimes forget how big the little things are. Things that may seem silly…like telling your kids how special they are. Kids need to hear those positive things, just as much, if not more than hearing what they’re doing wrong all the time.

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that they are just kids…kids who need to hear they’re special.