do you feel about snakes?
For me, it was just yesterday that when discovering 2 big fat snakes in my garden I had to face some facts. Upon the first meeting of these new inhabitants, deep inside me there definitely lived a strong but irrational fear of snakes.  Instinct of course took me directly to Google in an attempt to learn how to eliminate them.

 Unfortunately, most of the advice found online pertaining to the subject of “getting rid of” snakes was not helpful. Often mothballs were advised, but then actually found to be ineffective. Commercial snake “repellents” which can be purchased are usually made of the same chemical.

What’s a snake fearing girl to do?

It was suggested that mowing or cutting away all of the vegetation and brush in your yard would help, but this also removes the important habitat for birds, butterflies and other backyard wildlife. This certainly will not happen in my garden as the wildlife is what the garden it is all about.

What I gathered is that I must learn to enjoy and appreciate the snakes. My deep seated fear is just a psychological phobia that our culture helped instill in us. Oh joy!
And yet, as a group, snakes are some of the most harmless and important wildlife that we can attract to our gardens. In fact, the vast majority of snakes are 100% harmless to people. I am not alone though, as the most common reaction most people have when they see a snake is to want to kill or eliminate it.

What I also learned is that I am doing something right.

When snakes show up in your yard, it means the yard is a healthy ecosystem that is helping wildlife of all kinds to survive.

Shissy the Snake, shown above, might be a good way to desensitize kids a young age. She may be the only boa constrictor that likes to be hugged back! Professionals do recommend help in overcoming the fear of snakes, is exposure to an actual snakes. Starting out with Shissy could be the ticket before moving on to the real ones.

So today, on World Snake Day 2016 we will celebrate them.

Enjoy those snakes! Like all of the many mammals and birds that visit my garden, the new snakes will be given special names.

New mantra: snakes are beautiful and important wildlife.








Krispie Stars

Celebrate America’s Independence Day with this week’s Recipe for Fun.  It’s another easy peasy to cook together with the kiddos.  It’ll be fun making and taking these tasty stars on a stick.


  • 2 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 bag (10-1/2 oz.) Miniature Marshmallows (6 cups)
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 24 wooden popsicle sticks
  • 1 tube each: red, white and blue decorating gels
  • red, white and blue sprinkles
  • Large star cookie cutter

LINE 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan; lightly grease foil


1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan coated with cooking spray. While warm decorate with alternating rows of red, white and blue sprinkles. Cool slightly. Using cookie cutters coated with cooking spray cut into star shapes. Insert wooden stick into each, if desired. Best if served the same day.
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.
For best results, use fresh marshmallows. 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme can be substituted for marshmallows. Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended. Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Have a happy Father’s Day with Pancake Pops for Pops, this week’s Recipe for Fun. We found this to be a true win win for pancake lov’n Dads and their kids. Melissa from Number-2 Pencil blog, will show you how to make these bite size pancakes from scratch using creamy Greek yogurt, cooked on a lollipop stick. We know Pops for Pops will be a favorite at our house, and not reserved just for Father’s Day breakfast.


Thank you so much Melissa for sharing your fun recipe just in time for Father’s Day


The Blue Basket has a fantastic DIY that even mom will want a turn wearing. Now, what dad would not enjoy this Father’s Day gift?

Socks, Men's or women's funny - If you can read this....bring me a beer, or bring me wine, or bring me chocolate Fathers Day Mothers Day

This looks like a funny and easy hack we found from Stoneridge Road. Pick up some men’s cushion comfort crew socks. Size 6-12  should fit most men plus a black waterproof permanent marker. Use your best penmanship, and there you have it a  quick and easy Father’s Day gift and real conversation piece.

Dig out a mason jar. Then pick up a gold ribbon and some Hershey’s Nuggets, gold wrapped Rolo’s, Ferrero Rocher, chocolate gold coins, or Werther’s Original and fill your jar. I Dig Pinterest was the inspiration for this gift. You will find the printable tag over there.


Nearly Crafty has the 411 on this way cute bookmarker idea, hop on over. Think Grandpas and all of his grandkids with this one. How many markers could he receive?

We wish all of the fathers out there a very happy Father’s Day!

Sleepover: noun: Also known as a “slumber party” when multiple participants are included. A social gathering with the purpose of entertaining  and promoting interpersonal bonding among those involved. Generally enjoyed by children and teens. Greatly feared by many adults. Beware: Usually a contradiction in terms, as very little sleep actually occurs during the event.

Summer Sleepovers could be so much more fun with this dual function bunk bed.

Spice up your summer sleepover parties with these entertaining games for girls:

Nail Polish Spin Game
Place several colors of nail polish in the middle of a circle of girls.  Have the first girl spin a bottle of nail polish.  Who ever the cap is pointing to when it is done spinning must paint one of her fingernails that color.  Then that person spins the next color of nail polish …. and so on.  Paint your toes also to make the game last longer.

Foil Make Over
The object is to create the best outfit out of aluminum foil.  Crazy game and lots of fun.  This can be played individually or if you have a lot of girls separate into teams.  Give each person / team 1 or 2 rolls of aluminum foil.  You can also use rubber bands or pieces of string if you want.  Create the most fabulous outfit you can using the aluminum foil.  Tops, pants, skirts, shorts … and don’t forget the sunglasses, jewelry, hats, flip-flops, tiaras booties, belts …anything your imagination can dream up.  Be sure and take pictures of your creations.

Blind Make Over
The first person puts on a blindfold and does the makeup of the second person.  Then when they are done the second person puts on the blindfold and does the makeup of the third person.  Draw numbers to determine the order.  Really funny – take pictures so you can keep the memories.

She Knows has some helpful advise and tips for parental survival like – inviting kids that you know, keeping it small, plan it for a Friday, be clear about the rules and don’t sweat the small stuff.

We wish you the best of luck and you may join us renaming this event to NO-“sleep”over.





It’s finally here!  National Doughnut (Donut) Day! Either way you spell it, today is the day to celebrate them.

Friday, June 3, is National Doughnut Day and doughnut makers across the U.S. will celebrate by offering free doughnuts.

This tradition was established in 1938 by the Salvation Army to help raise funds for people in need. According to the Salvation Army Chicago’s website , the idea started on the battlefields of France during World War I when the Salvation Army served coffee and doughnuts to soldiers in the trenches.

And now for the really good news! Krispy Kreme is offering customers a FREE doughnut of their choice at all participating U.S. stores on Friday, June 3. No purchase is necessary for the free doughnut at Krispy Kreme. Go on….feel the love on !

Dunkin’ Donuts is celebrating too, you’ll get free doughnut with the purchase of any beverage at participating stores on Friday, June 3. Their offer is good all day long.


Pretend Play Doughnuts

Making a doughnut selection has never been so much fun! The “yummiest” decision your little baker will have to make is which of the twelve delicious-looking, self-stick toppings to place on the six doughnuts in this wooden pretend food set. Young chefs will love changing the toppings on the wooden doughnuts to make Doughnut specials every day!

Last night, Kate and Michelle visited our Little League Baseball team for a game filled with sun, cheering, sunflower seeds and of course, plenty of mosquito bites — but it was all well worth it!

The team started the season off with a hit — recording two wins and one loss to date.

20130611_18124220130611_180244However, it’s not as much about winning, rather about supporting the team, making friends, and exercising, all while having fun.

Exercise for children is very important that’s why we take pride in being a sponsor. Nowadays, children are spending more time in front of a screen than they are being social and active. This decline in movement is detrimental to the health and motivation in children and that’s why physical activities are so important for kids.

Did you know Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday? So how do you keep your kids moving? Check out some of our tips!Tips to get your kids moving!

  1. First and foremost, set a positive example by being an active role model
  2. Make physically activity fun — team sports, running, skating, biking, swimming or playground activities
  3. Limit sedentary time so kids have to find something to do
  4. Make physical activity part of your family’s daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together

Fun ACTIVE-ities for kids!

Stomp Walker Boy largegold markwort-speed-sensor-9-baseball-500x500 SONY DSC scootcase Skuut_bike_2 squap


Summer brings more kids outside to play, often times independently, which means there’s no better time to talk to your children about stranger danger.

This for many children this can be confusing. Some very good advice that I heard for talking to kids about stranger danger was to teach them “you can talk but never walk.” They see us talking all the time to people we don’t necessarily know, so never talk to “strangers” always seemed like a confusing message. But saying “never walk” seems so much more real.
The International Crime Prevention Council offers this information.

What to Teach Kids About Strangers

Information about the differences between strangers kids should look out for and strangers kids can trust

Kids see strangers every day in stores, in the park, and in their neighborhoods. Most of these strangers are nice, normal people, but a few may not be. Parents can protect their children from dangerous strangers by teaching them about strangers and suspicious behavior, and by taking a few precautions of their own.

Image result for stranger dangerWho is a stranger?

A stranger is anyone that your family doesn’t know well. It’s common for children to think that “bad strangers” look scary, like the villains in cartoons. This is not only not true, but it’s dangerous for children to think this way. Pretty strangers can be just as dangerous as the not-so-pretty ones. When you talk to your children about strangers, explain that no one can tell if strangers are nice or not nice just by looking at them and that they should be careful around all strangers.

But don’t make it seem like all strangers are bad. If children need help–whether they’re lost, being threatened by a bully, or being followed by a stranger–the safest thing for them to do in many cases is to ask a stranger for help. You can make this easier for them by showing them which strangers are okay to trust.

Who are safe strangers?

Safe strangers are people children can ask for help when they need it. Police officers and firefighters are two examples of very recognizable safe strangers. Teachers, principals, and librarians are adults children can trust too, and they are easy to recognize when they’re at work. But make sure that you emphasize that whenever possible, children should go to a public place to ask for help.

You can help your children recognize safe strangers by pointing them out when you’re out in your town. Also show your children places they can go if they need help, such as local stores and restaurants and the homes of family friends in your neighborhood.

Recognizing and Handling Dangerous Situations

Perhaps the most important way parents can protect their children is to teach them to be wary of potentially dangerous situations – this will help them when dealing with strangers as well as with known adults who may not have good intentions. Help children recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior, such as when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them feel uncomfortable in any way. Also tell your children that an adult should never ask a child for help, and if one does ask for their help, teach them to find a trusted adult right away to tell what happened.

You should also talk to your children about how they should handle dangerous situations. One ways is to teach them “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” If in a dangerous situations, kids should say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away. Make sure that your children know that it is okay to say no to an adult in a dangerous situation and to yell to keep themselves safe, even if they are indoors. It’s good to practice this in different situations so that your children will feel confident in knowing know what to do. Here are a few possible scenarios:

  • A nice-looking stranger approaches your child in the park and asks for help finding the stranger’s lost dog.
  • A woman who lives in your neighborhood but that the child has never spoken to invites your child into her house for a snack.
  • A stranger asks if your child wants a ride home from school.
  • Your child thinks he or she is being followed.
  • An adult your child knows says or does something that makes him or her feel bad or uncomfortable.
  • While your child is walking home from a friend’s house, a car pulls over and a stranger asks for directions.

What Else Parents Can Do

In addition to teaching children how to recognize and handle dangerous situations and strangers, there are a few more things parents can do to help their children stay safe and avoid dangerous situations.

  • Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
  • Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
  • Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
  • Encourage your children to play with others. There’s safety in numbers!

What’s your take on strangers and safety? Do you let your kids talk to strangers?


Triskaidekaphobia  is the fear of the number 13. Are you afraid of the number 13?

So if you’re still not convinced this date lives up to the hype, think about this for a while: In a study done by the British Medical Journal of 1993 it was found that while more people opt to stay home rather than drive on this dreadful day, there are still more automobile and transportion accidents on Friday the 13th.


How many elevators allow you to exit on the non-existing 13th floor?  Most ships do not have 13th deck.

Apollo 13 is the only unsuccessful moon mission. An oxygen tank exploded and the survival of the astronauts on board was touch and go for several days. Luckily, they did all come home safely in the end, but no moon landing.

Do you know the old superstition that says if you have 13 letters in your name, you’re bound to have the devil’s luck? Don’t believe it? Can you spell Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo?

There were 13 people at the Last Supper. It is said that Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th man to take his place at the table.

According to Catholic belief, one of the most significant events in their religion is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which took place on Friday the 13th.

Well, we could go on with all of this bad luck talk. Now, on the lucky side, think of the bakers dozen! If you visit Totally Kids fun furniture on Friday the 13th, make it your lucky day.  Tell them that the Black Kat said that you can take 13% OFF anything & everything in the showroom and online.