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How to Make a Pumpkin Planter

17 Oct

how to make a pumpkin planter

Some of my favorite things about this time of year are pumpkins – and mums – so I thought it was the cutest thing ever to put them together!!!

Most of the supplies that you will need to make this planter are pretty obvious – a pumpkin, and a plant.  You can certainly use any plant you would like, but I think the mum is the seasonal favorite…  You will also need something to cut the pumpkin with, something to scrape out the pumpkin with (forgot to put this in the pic below), and the supplies to make a bow – or use a pre-made bow.  Instructions for making a bow can be found in last weeks post: https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/step-by-step-how-to-make-a-bow/

pumpkin planter - supplies needed

Step 1:  Cut the top off the pumpkin and clean out the guts.  It took me a little while to get the diameter of the circle right so that the pot fit in the pumpkin snugly.  Start a little smaller than you think and gradually make the hole bigger until you’ve got it right.

pumpkin planter - clean the pumpkin

Step 2:  Bleach the inside of the pumpkin to attempt to keep the mold away… and hopefully keep the planter from rotting right away.

One note of caution – to avoid the pumpkin from rotting prematurely, take the pot out of the pumpkin before you water the plant.  Let the excess water drain away for just a few minutes and then replace the flower pot back in the pumpkin.

pumpkin planter - preserve

Step 3:  Put it all together

Once the inside of the pumpkin has dried out a little, and once you made your bow – come on, you can do it – here are the instructions…  https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/step-by-step-how-to-make-a-bow/

Put the flowerpot in the pumpkin – add the bow – and put it somewhere where you can enjoy it for the season!

pumpkin planter - put it together

What do you think?  Will you try to make one of your own?  Please share what type of planter you will make and where you will put it in the comments section.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the Owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation Apparel for both boys and girls.

Step by Step – How to Make a Bow

10 Oct
Make a bow - step by step guide

Ever wonder how folks make beautiful bows out of ribbon? Turns out, it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. Here is a step by step guide for you to follow so you too can make beautiful ribbon bows for every holiday or occasion.General things to consider before you begin:
• How many ‘loops’ do you want in your bow? When making a bow, you make it from the center outward (and backwards) – the more loops, the fuller the bow
• What kind of ribbon do you want to use? Wired ribbon can be molded and will keep its shape
• Is your ribbon one sided or two? One sided ribbon means that there is a front side (with a pattern or glitter) and a back side (that is plain). Two sided ribbon is the same on both sides. In the instructions below, two sided ribbon doesn’t need to be ‘twisted’ between loops since both sides are the same. 

make a bow - supplies needed

• Spool of ribbon
• Scissors
• Floral wire – green or silver – I prefer to use the wire that blends the best with the ribbon

Make a loop with the ribbon and then twist the one sided ribbon a 1/2 turn so it's ready for the next step.

Depending on how large you want your bow to be, make the center loop by making a circle with the ribbon that will be proportional and hold it with your fingers (front side of ribbon showing). For one sided ribbon, you will need to make sure that the top of the ribbon is facing upward before you start the next step. Where you are holding the ribbon loop together, you need to twist the ribbon a ‘half turn’.

Make the left side of the loop - like when you make the loop when you are tying your shoes...

This first loop will sit on the top of the bow – next to the center loop – so it should be the smallest of all the other loops. Other ‘left side loops’ will be slightly larger than this loop and will sit ‘behind’ this loop. This loop of ribbon is similar to the loop you make while tying your shoe. Hold the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.

If you are using one sided ribbon, you need to twist the ribbon a 1/2 turn so that when you do the next step the pretty side of the ribbon is face up.

On the back side of the bow (the side away from the center loop), twist the ribbon so that the front side of the ribbon is facing upward and ready to make the right side loop. If you are using a double sided ribbon, you can skip this step.

Make the right side of the loop - remember - like tying your shoes...  and don't forget to twist!

From the back side of the bow, make the loop for the right side of the bow – same loop as when you tie your shoe. Hold the loop with your thumb and pointer finger.

Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 to add as many loops as you would like to your bow - the more loops, the fuller the bow.

Continue to make as many loops as you want for your bow
Repeat steps 2,3, and 4 as many times as you want (left loop – twist – right loop) for your bow.

Make a large loop with the ribbon which will eventually represent the "tails" of your bow.  The loop will be cut in half so make the loop as large as you'd like so that 1/2 it's length will become one "tail".

To make the part of the ribbon that hangs down, you need to make one larger loop from the back of your bow. This single loop of ribbon will become 2 ‘tails’ that hang from the finished bow, so the length of this loop should be twice as long as a finished ‘tail’. Secure this loop to the rest of the ribbon by using approximately a 5 inch length of floral wire. The floral wire should be thread through the center loop of the bow and twisted several times (10x or so) at the back of the bow. The bow can be cut away from the remaining spool of ribbon. Any excess floral wire can also be cut away.

To separate the ‘tails’ of your bow, stretch the bow, press the bottom of the tail flat, fold in half(so there are 4 layers of ribbon) and cut the ribbon diagonally from the center of ribbon toward the outside edge.  If you are working with a wired ribbon, you are cutting from the plain edge toward the wired edge.  When you unfold the ribbon, you will have 2 tails that have a triangular cutout.

To separate the ‘tails’ of your bow, stretch the bow, press the bottom of the tail flat, fold in half(so there are 4 layers of ribbon) and cut the ribbon diagonally from the center of ribbon toward the outside edge. If you are working with a wired ribbon, you are cutting from the plain edge toward the wired edge. When you unfold the ribbon, you will have 2 tails that have a triangular cutout.

Did we inspire you to get creative and make your own bow for something special?  Please share what type of bow or where you are planning to add one in the comments section.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the Owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation Apparel for both boys and girls.

I’m In Love! And I Made An ABC Box

19 Sep

I’m in LOVE!!!                 with chalkboard paint.

chalkboard paint

I’ve seen so many cute projects on Social Media that use chalkboard paint and I finally decided to give it a try.  I figured I better start pretty small since my interest in crafts far outweighs my crafting ability….

I found an old index card box lying around in our office and thought that this would be something I could work with.  When I think of chalkboards, I think of school (when I went to school and they actually had chalkboards…) and then I thought of learning to write.

My niece Molly is 2, and can recognize her letters.  She can’t write properly yet, but she loves to put pen/pencil/crayons/markers to paper.  She once even demonstrated her artistic ability on my sisters freshly painted walls at home!!!  I thought this little box would be something she could carry around with her and play with.

Even though I was a little nervous (going back to my ‘crafting ability’ comment above), I jumped right in and gathered some supplies:

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The bottle called for 2 coats of paint and it certainly had good coverage – even on the first coat.  After waiting an hour, I applied the second coat.

ABC box - painting cover

Because the box has texture, I was afraid it may have needed a third coat – to fill in the tiny crevices and make a smoother writing surface.  I decided to test it out after I let it dry overnight.

testing ABC box

If it was for an extra special project that was going to get a lot of use, I would have probably added a third coat.  This project is for a two year old that will play with it for a few minutes and probably forget about it as she goes on to the next toy so 2 coats of paint is enough.

I finished the project with a little personalization so she could see the letters in her name.  Voila!

ABC box - final touches

Update:  Here is Molly with her finished ABC box…

Molly with ABC box

Have you ever used chalkboard paint?  What did you think – yeah or nay?  Share your thoughts with us by commenting on this post.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.

Summer Activities for Toddlers

25 Jul

Summer is a busy time of year, and toddlers are always busy, so what can you do to entertain them during the summer?  Here are a few fun ideas I found from some crafty bloggers:

Fluffy Shaving Cream Paint

http://www.sweethappylife.com/2012/activities/toddler-games-activities/toddler-indoor-activities/fluffy-shaving-cream-paint/

shaving cream paint

Such a simple idea, but one you should probably do outside where you can hose the little kids down after they are done!

Supplies:

Shaving Cream (I used an inexpensive on-sale brand)

Food coloring

Small bowls

Kids paint brushes

Paper (or something to paint on)

Put 3-4 drops of food coloring into the bottom of each bowl. Squirt shaving cream into each bowl and mix with the end of a metal spoon until the color is mostly incorporated. Add a couple more drops of coloring to the shaving cream as needed to intensify the color.  That’s it!

Note: You might be able to do this with whipped cream from the can too! (I haven’t tried it.)

– See more at: http://www.sweethappylife.com/2012/activities/toddler-games-activities/toddler-indoor-activities/fluffy-shaving-cream-paint/#sthash.p0S6tWz8.dpuf

Make Your Own Sidewalk Paint

http://kimmccrary.blogspot.com/2012/06/summer-fun-last-day-of-school.html#.Ue_Tsm086W1

sidewalk paint

Supplies:

1 part cornstarch (1 c.)

1 part water (1 c.)

food coloring (we used neon colors)

sponge brushes

Mix corn starch and water. Add food coloring and mix.

*I used a muffin tin for extra large muffins to hold the paint. One cup of cornstarch and one cup of water filled them about half way. The paint stretched further than I thought. I also included a sponge brush for each color–just simpler.

Edible Candy Necklace

http://blondieandbrownies.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/edible-candy-necklace/

edible candy necklace

I love this idea because of its double duty nature – First – it’s a craft and Second – it will serve as a traveling snack.  This one is nice for snacking in the car since I hate to give a little bowl of crackers to my niece to munch on.  As soon as I pull out of the driveway, I usually hear “Uh-oh” as the bowl slips out of her hands and hits the floor.  Before I give it to her in the car, I will certainly make sure she can successfully bite the snacks off the string without sucking on the string.  I wouldn’t want her to choke.

Since it has been so warm out, I think I will be looking for cookies and pretzels without chocolate.  That’s a mess just waiting to happen.

goldfish crackers

Oh, how I wish Goldfish crackers had a hole in them so they could be included in this activity!!!

Water Play

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2013/07/one-inch-water-play/

Water Play

I love how this Early Education grandmother takes such a simple concept (a little water and small objects you can put in the water) and lets her grandson explore what he wants to do with it.  I am definitely going to do this with my niece.  She will especially love to wash the ‘dishes’ or ‘toys’.  She loves to wash things in the sink, and I never thought to make her very own ‘sink’ with a tub of soap and water.

washing the toys

Learning in a Tub of Rice – more educational than I thought!

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2012/06/early-writing-skills-can-be-found-in-a-tub-of-rice/

tub of rice

At first I assumed that this was a dry version of the Water Play (above) because I’ve seen this activity done with lots of rice and the kids burying toys and feeling the textures.  Who knew, less could actually be more?

I definitely plan on trying all of these simple activities with my niece.  Do you have any more ideas you can share?

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.

Schools out for the summer – but I still have to work!

24 Jul

Working Parents!  Check out this article I wrote:

Schools out for the summer – but I still have to work!.

mother and daughter working

Heat Wave… How to Stay Safe from De-hydration

18 Jul

It seems like the whole country is battling a heat wave – and it’s not over yet.  With the temperature expected to hit 96 degrees on Thursday and feel like 105 degrees here in CT, it makes you wonder what you can do to stay safe?

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We ended up in the emergency room after baseball practice a few weeks ago with my son.  It was a very hot spell (not sure if it was during an actual heat wave or not), and he was dehydrated.  Since then, we have obviously been taking a lot of precautions to be sure it doesn’t happen again.

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I am not claiming to be any type of medical professional, nor am I attempting to give medical advice to anyone, but in the hopes that you or your family don’t suffer the same fate, here are some tips and tricks we have learned along the way.

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Symptoms of Dehydration (per the Mayo Clinic)

Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:

Dry, sticky mouth

Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual

Thirst

Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens

Few or no tears when crying

Dry skin

Headache

Constipation

Dizziness or lightheaded

Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:

Extreme thirst

Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults

Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes

Lack of sweating

Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber

Sunken eyes

Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold

In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head

Low blood pressure

Rapid heartbeat

Rapid breathing

No tears when crying

Fever

In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

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Tips and Tricks to avoid getting dehydrated:

You need to hydrate well BEFORE you participate in any demanding physical activity.  If you will be out in the heat and will be active, you really need to start hydrating that whole day – and possibly start the day before if you will be active for an extended period of time.

Before exercising, drink 1 to 3 cups of fluid – water is best.  And continue to drink fluids regularly during, and even after, the activity.

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Eating lots of water based fruits – like watermelon – counts toward your fluid intake during the day.  Avoid soda and caffeine based drinks.

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It’s important to eat well before you are active.  We have found that eating protein helps my son feel the best during his sports.  We have been known to grill chicken breast in the morning so he can eat it for breakfast before baseball.  His teammate told me that he had lamb chops for breakfast the other day before their ‘big game’.  He said he would have had mashed potatoes to go along with his lamb but his mom didn’t have time to cook them in the morning!  Like it’s not hard enough to get a well-balanced dinner on the table each night – now we need to do it in the morning too???  J

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If you are very thirsty while participating in an activity, you may already be dehydrated.  You need to start consuming liquids right away.  If you are dizzy (lightheaded) or you have a headache, you should try to drink Gatorade or even better, Pedialyte, to get the electrolytes back in your system quickly.  Pedialyte has less sugar than Gatorade, and more sodium.  WORD OF WARNING – Please don’t take my advice on this to be the final word… please check this out with your doctor before you start feeding your kids Pedialyte before they head out the door to play.  What I have read seems to indicate that this is meant for the most serious of athletes, or folks actually experiencing dehydration.

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VERSUS

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If possible, postpone your activities until it is cooler outside.  I actually saw a few people running yesterday in the hottest part of the day.  I know folks are loyal to their exercise program, but really?  There must be some other alternative….

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Swimming in pools, lakes or the ocean can easily dehydrate folks.  While playing in the water, folks tend to drink less than they should and they risk getting dehydrated in the process – physical activity, high temperatures and less access to beverages is the recipe for dehydrating your body.

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Stay cool everyone – and stay safe out there!

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.

Summer Sports – Survival Guide – Post #3

11 Jul

One of the best things about kids being on a team is seeing them start as a bunch of individuals and seeing them build friendships throughout the season and really come together as a team.  Kids make friends so easily when they share common interests.  A little help from coaches and parents can go a long way in helping this process along.  A team that plays together stays together.  In this post I’d like to share some of the things that my son’s baseball team did to turn individual boys into friends.

Making New Friends

Parents talking at practice/parties – Parents and kids are both required to dedicate themselves to the team.  Kids are required to be at every practice and game (commitment is for 7 days a week).  The fact that every family supports the kids is a wonderful example of how we as parents are committed to the team and shows the kids that they should also be as dedicated.  One of the biggest examples of this is the fact that many parents actually bring their kids to practice and stay for the 2+ hours watching every practice.  Many friendships among the parents begin during these practice times.

parents in bleachers

Team Van – Our team mom was able to secure a 15 passenger van that she decorated with the kid’s names & jersey numbers as well as ‘Berlin All Stars’ (we live in Berlin, CT).  We meet at our home field before every game and all the kids piled into the van to ride together.  The kids love to get to travel together and it showed a real team presence as we drove up to the field in a decorated van.  The coach would give the kids a pep talk while they were in the van before we left our home field and revved the kids up for the ride.

van1

Team Song – Each year the kids come up with a popular song that they all sing in the van on the way to the games.  Last year the ‘team song’ was “Call me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.  The kids had the best time with this song because this was a song that the Harvard baseball team had made up some arm movements to go with the song.  Each day, the kids would sing and ‘dance’ in their seats on the way to every game.  Our kids had the best time with this song!

singing in van

 

Equipment Truck – As a simple form of team unity, my husband would pile all of the kid’s baseball bags and the team equipment in the back of his pickup truck and follow the team van to get to the games.  The kids would pile out of the van and go over to the equipment truck to get their gear.  This is something that didn’t go unnoticed by the other teams…

equipment truck

 

Caravan to the games for parents that could travel early – In addition to the Team Van and the Equipment Truck, we have a Caravan of parents that drive behind these vehicles to get to the games.  This shows part of our families’ commitment to the team because we travel to games together at least 2 hours before game time.  Many parents need to leave work very early (like taking a ½ vacation day) to travel to every weekday game.

caravan of cars

“Fan Shirts” – One of the best ways to show team unity is for the fans to show their team spirit with team shirts.  Last year the mom’s on our team got matching All Star tank tops when our kids won the District championship.  We wore these tanks at every game while the team played on in the next round of play.  The funny thing is, the dads were far too superstitious to wear fan shirts.  They had to wear same shirt they had been wearing and even had to stand in same order next to each other at fence as long as kids were winning…)  This year we ordered fan shirts before the season started with their kids name and number on the back so now our dad’s can wear the same clothes AND show their team spirit!

fan shirt frontfan shirt back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going out to dinner – One of the easiest ways for team building was the picking a local restaurant and a bunch of families go to dinner after the games.  Since we would meet so early before the games, everyone would be starving by the time the game ended.  Since there would be so many of us, we would generally get seated at multiple tables.  The kids would all sit together and the parents would sit nearby.  This gave the kids time to decompress and relive the game and the parents would have the same opportunity to relax and have some fun.

Practice dinners – Because of the time commitment of practices every day with practices ending after 7:30 pm, we have been organizing dinners after practices.  Each night, one family organizes a dinner to bring to the field so the families can eat dinner right after practice.  What a huge help it is to not have to start making a dinner after 8:00pm!

team dinners

Pool parties / Lake House party – Summer means hot weather, and summer fun.  Weekend games are often followed up by a family offering to have the families back to their house for a pool party.  These parties are often kept simple by ordering pizzas – allowing the kids to relax and be kids in a pool.  The adults can hang out and talk while enjoying a few drinks.

pool party (2)

Sharing Memories – One of the easiest ways to capture the memories is to share pictures with the team families on a shared website.  I have used Shutterfly for years and have set up a free ‘Share Site’ for many of the teams my son has been on through the years (this is also great to do if you are a room parent for your child’s elementary school class – lots of nice features for a classroom).  At the end of the season you can easily pull together a commemorative book for families to buy, or to give as coaches gifts.

Shutterfly Share Site

What are some of your favorite ways to bring a team together?  Share them with us by commenting on this post.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.

Summer Sports – Survival Guide – Post #2

27 Jun

Beat the Heat

Possibly one of the most difficult things to deal with during summer sports is the weather.  Protecting the kids (and spectators) from the high heat of the summer is so very important. My family found out just how important it is to ‘plan in advance’ for hydrating for summer sports.  This past weekend, my son was invited to an End of the School Year pool party.  From there, he went to baseball practice. By the end of practice, he was lightheaded, nauseous & vomiting.  From the ball field, we went straight to the emergency room for IV fluids….

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We just had 4 days of 90+ degree heat in CT, and it’s still June.  The real heat usually hits at the end of July and into August.  Here are some simple tips to help you survive the summer.

Wet cloths – It seems so simple, but wet cloths can be very effective to cool folks off on the hottest of days.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought the cheapest stack of washcloths they had – that way if they are lost, it’s no big deal.  Before practices or games, I put each washcloth in a Ziplock sandwich bag and add water.  I stick these washcloths in a cooler.  When needed, these washcloths are used to wipe down your forehead or can be draped on your neck.

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Cold Packs for injuries – This is a Pinterest find that I love… these cold packs are very clever because they are so easy to make and are so versatile.  In a Ziplock sandwich bag, combine 3 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol and freeze.  The rubbing alcohol doesn’t let the water freeze completely so you end up with something that resembles an Icee frozen drink.  These are great for injuries, bug bites or the like.

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Hydration – After my intro paragraph about ending up in the ER with my son for dehydration– enough said….  For each game, our team mom arranges to have coolers filled with water and Gatorade for the team in the dugout.  This is to supplement the water jugs each parents sends with their kids.  At all of the fields we play at, there are fully stocked concession stands so parents either pack their own coolers or buy their beverages at the field.

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Shade – Depending on the location of the All Star games, some of the fields we visit have some sort of shady spots, but others don’t.  This summer we will be playing at a facility with no shade at all.  Knowing this, my husband got a pop up tent for Father’s Day.  These tents go up quite easily and even come with a storage bag on wheels for easy travel.

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Sun screen – I think it goes without saying that everyone should wear sunscreen while outside for any period of time.  My son and many of the other boys tend to resist getting sunscreen applied.  A couple of years ago, I was insistent that my son let me put sunscreen on him as they were getting ready to warm up.  One of the coaches asked if he could borrow the sunscreen.  As he was putting it on, one of the other moms asked if I would put sunscreen on her son as he was also resisting.  Since I wasn’t his mom, he didn’t dare say no to me.  Before I knew it, before each game, I was lining the boys up to apply sunscreen on them before each game that year.  It became so automatic, they would see me coming with the spray bottle and would stop what they were doing and put their arms out to get sprayed.

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Bug Spray – with the summer, come the bugs.  For evening games, or games after a rain, make sure you have bug spray at the ready.  As with the sunscreen, I have been known to line the kids up before a baseball game to put bug spray on them.  One of the moms on the team swears by the ‘Off’ personal bug repellant fans because they work and there is no sticky bug spray all over you.  I’ve never used them before, but I did buy them recently to try them out.

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Working for a Living

Just because your kids are playing summer sports, doesn’t mean you can give up going to work for the summer.  As we tend to travel as a team and caravan to each game, we often have to meet at our home ball field in the middle of the afternoon to travel to an evening game.  Here are few ideas that may help you ‘stay connected’ with work while ‘staying connected’ with your summer athlete:

Smart phone with a data plan – Anyone with a smart phone knows the possibilities that their phone provides.  Business apps and internet access help make doing business on the go a reality.

iPad / Laptop – In order to actually do business, you may need to have an iPad or a laptop handy so you can do more than just answer phone calls.  I usually line up a project or two that I can work on offline while we are waiting to travel to a game, or while the team is warming up.  Since ball fields don’t generally have a lot of electric outlets lying around, make sure you have a fully charged battery before you leave home!

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Hot spot – For the most productivity, you can get a ‘hot spot’ on your Smart phone.  This ‘hot spot’ will be able to provide you internet access wherever you are.

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Business Phone – To be sure you don’t miss any important business calls, be sure to forward your business phone to your cell phone.  Of course, depending on the types of calls you get in your business, this may not be appropriate.  It’s one thing to answer calls from your boss or co-workers since chances are, they will know where you are.  It would not really be appropriate to answer calls from customers – it wouldn’t make the best impression for customers to hear parents cheering in the background while they are trying to conduct business with you.

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What are some of your favorite tricks to beat the heat?  Or work outside the office?  Share them with us by commenting on this post.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.

Summer Sports – Survival Guide – Intro Post

22 Jun

School just got out, but Summer Sports has already started.  What??? Yup, you heard me, summer sports begin before school gets out!!!!

school-s-out-written-on-a-chalkboard

Translation: parents that commit to summer sports commit to give up any chance of a normal summer vacation.

In order to participate in All Star Baseball in our town, the parents must sign a contract that you are committing to the team and you agree that your child cannot miss a practice or a game for the duration of the teams eligibility to play.  Aka – the better the team is, the longer your child will play and the longer your baseball commitment is.

sign contract

We’ve been through this before so it’s not new to us…. last summer, my son was chosen to play on our town’s 10 year old All Star baseball team.  The teams were declared before school ended and daily practices start THAT SAME DAY.  Lucky for us, the team did well and won their District championship.  This put us on the path to play in the Sectionals for our state.  They were eventually eliminated from the tournament so they turned around and played in a local tournament – you know, for good measure…

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Baseball finished at the very end of July – but NO WORRIES, Football started on August 1st.  But that commitment is only 4 days a week.  Can you say ‘Long Weekend’ for a family summer vacation?

weekend getaway

This may drive some folks crazy, but we consider ourselves fortunate for the opportunity for our son to experience the honor of getting to represent our town in the best of baseball.  What this does mean though is family life changes quite a bit, and we are more ‘on the road’ than ever.  Between the busy schedule and the heat of summer, we have come up with some ideas that make life a little easier – for all the baseball families involved.

baseball

baseball (Photo credit: theseanster93)

In the next few posts, I will share with you some of the things that worked for us last year and will hopefully help you survive the summer sports season – or any other summer activities you and your family participates in….

Checklist

Stay Tuned for our suggestions, and we are anxiously hoping to hear from you with tips & tricks you have employed to survive the Summer Season!!!

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

 Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.

Father’s Day Memories

13 Jun

by Rich Dunn

Many men will tell you that the gift that they would desire on Father’s Day is 5 – 6 hours of uninterrupted couch time with the clicker in hand in front of any sports event on TV… however that is just not the case.  The real gift that most REAL Dads want is to spend some good time with their families…

There are many fun and interesting things to do on Father’s day … A trip to the Beach … a trip to a Museum … or a trip to a Movie … BUT my favorite Father’s Day was the visit to our local Minor League team game.  The New Britain Rock Cats (the Minor League affiliate to the Minnesota Twins) have an event every Father’s day where the Dads and the Kids can have a catch on the field before the game.  One such Father’s Day remains one of my best memories.  In a homage to the movie Field of Dreams and as baseball is one the cornerstones of American culture, a day like this is a great Father’s Day idea.

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My wife, son and I went to a game one father’s day a few years back and we were able to have a catch on the field with a bunch of other Fathers and Sons. My son was around 4 years old when we did this.  He is now 12 but it was a great day to spend with my family.

… The Dads gathering on the field with their boys hunting out a good spot for a catch …

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Once we got or spot out in Left Field we had our catch … it is fun to compare the 4 yr old version vs. the 12 yr old version … I think that his form has not changed much even though HE has changed a bit …

… In the blink of an eye things change; He is now 12 … but his form is about the same …

First is The Wind-Up …

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… and then The Throw …

and the throw

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Once we finished our catch we got our seats on the 3rd base line …

ready to watch a Rock Cats game

To this day I don’t even remember who won the game … that is not important … but it is one of my favorite days …at the end if it is baseball … fishing … a movie … or the beach … hanging out for a few hours together on Fathers Day is the way to go!!

What special days have you shared with your family?  Share your favorite Father’s Day memories with us.

Rich Dunn is the husband/co-pilot/co-owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.

Please feel free to visit our website or send us an e-mail at Support@BaptismalGownsPlus.com to let us know what you think.