The Minecraft Guide For Parents

My son has been playing Minecraft for well over a year.  Since he started playing I have felt as if he is often speaking a different language.  I needed help and along came The Minecraft Guide for Parents, Down-To-Earth Advice for Parents of Children Playing Minecraft from Peachpit Press written by Cori Dusmann.  The day it arrived I dove right in and  it quickly gave me the confidence to start playing alongside my son.  We logged on to the Rawcritics server and were able to play alongside the author!

The Minecraft Guide For Parents

From The Author

Over the past few years, a small independent video game has been capturing the hearts of players young and old. What started as a relatively basic, open ended program has grown into a complex, constantly evolving game that is infinitely adaptable, and as many parents, myself included, can attest, rather addictive.

My son Xander, now 14, introduced me to Minecraft back in its early, pre-release alpha test days, when he was 11. I’m a gamer myself, but I was skeptical about this new game that he was so excited about. The pixilated building block squares that formed the game, from the landscape right down to the sheep and pigs, seemed simplistic and unexciting, to say the least. But the early release was low cost, and seemed popular right from the start, so after we both did some research, Xander had his own account. It didn’t take long for both of us to see the creative potential in the game, as well as the challenges of obtaining, creating and managing resources — the mining and crafting indicated in the game title, as well as the farming, building, exploring and other activities that were necessary for survival.

Minecraft Zombie

From The Publisher

Is Minecraft a game? A computerized construction toy? This book helps you to understand exactly what Minecraft is, why kids love it, and why it may offer much more than what you’ve come to expect from a game. The Minecraft Guide for Parents is written for parents, caregivers, educators, and anyone else who has kids swept up in the Minecraft phenomenon.

This handbook explains how to install, set up, and play the game, so that even adults with minimum computer literacy can step in and help their children—and even play alongside them. Moving beyond the basics, this practical guide explores larger questions such as online safety, be it playing in multiplayer worlds or posting on forums or YouTube. It also examines the social and academic advantages to be found in Minecraft and offers realistic solutions to challenges such as time management and conflicts over computer use.
With a simple, friendly, and open style, The Minecraft Guide for Parents is inviting and accessible to all, regardless of computer or gaming skills, and offers practical help and new ways to connect with children who play this exciting and creative game. You’ll learn to:
  • Make playing Minecraft a rewarding experience for your kids—and the entire family.
  • Set limits and ensure the computer doesn’t become a source of conflict.
  • Take advantage of the social aspects of Minecraft and keep your kids safe online.
  • Gather supplies, craft items, and build structures.
  • Avoid monsters—or remove them from the game altogether.

Table Of Contents

Let’s Talk About Minecraft

Basics of the game

Introduction to types of worlds

Making Minecraft Fit Your Family

Online Safety Resources

Basic Game Play

Digging Deeper: Technical Specifics

Playing the Game: Beyond the Basics

See What I Made? : Sharing with the Outside World

The Bigger Picture




Why I Love This Book

This book helped to demystify the world of Minecraft for me.  It explains what Minecraft is, how to play it and how to keep your child safe while playing online.  It truly leaves no stone, or should I say block, unturned.  It explains building, mobs, servers, creepers, skins and more.  It gives parents the knowledge they need to communicate with their Minecraft addicted child.  As an educator, it has also helped me in the classroom.  Minecraft is not just a fad, it is here to stay for a long time and my students all know about it or play.

So, go on on order your copy of The Minecraft Guide for Parents, Down-To-Earth Advice for Parents of Children Playing Minecraft or enter below for a chance to win one of 3 copies provided by PeachPit Press.

A copy of this book was provided to facilitate the review. All opinions are my own.

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend #CookieBoss

 I am being compensated by GSUSA for my participation in the  National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend campaign as part of my affiliation with the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.

girl scouts logo

I’m in my third year as a Girl Scout Leader. My little Brownies are actually selling their cookies now.  I can remember all of the fun I had learning as I went through Scouts as a kid- songs, crafts, camping, dancing, but I always loved selling cookies.  Actually, if I’m really honest, I loved the badges and delivering the cookies.  It was always so fun to bring those boxes and hand them over. That was my first experience selling anything, when I sold cookies, and while my parents did bring cookie sheets to their respective offices, I did a really great job every year on my own, making calls and visiting neighbors to sell my cookies.  Often times, we’d sit and have a cookie together when I did finally deliver.

Now, as a leader, I’ve tried to challenge my little Brownies. We have tried to role play, and I encourage them to sell cookies.  I challenged them this year and instead of working on the “Meet my customers” badge together, I wanted them to try and earn it at home.  Several of them have already proudly reported to me that they’ve earned the badge all by themselves, by following the guidelines and working with their families. That makes ME so proud. Why do I want to challenge kids who are in school all day already?  Because in the activities we do in Scouting, especially cookie sales, the girls learn important LIFE SKILLS.

girl scout cookie weekend thin mint

The Girl Scout cookie program aims to teach girls five essential life skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills.

Life skills are important.  The Girl Scout cookie program makes learning those life skills FUN.

girl scout cookie weekend #cookieboss

My little troop and I are looking forward to National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend– taking place from February 5-7, 2014. I WISH I could head down to walk the green carpet, at the Grand Central Terminal this Friday, February 7, but I know our Girl Scout sisters will do a fabulous job and sell tons of cookies! There’s even a Girl Scouts Cookie Championship Sweepstakes. So, for those of us who can’t be on the green carpet in NYC, we can at least take part virtually and enter the sweepstakes!

girl scout cookie weekend win  #cookieboss


Follow the Girl Scouts on Social Media:

GSUSA on Facebook –

GSUSA on Twitter –

GSUSA on Pinterest –

I do have to ask- what’s YOUR favorite Girl Scout Cookie variety?

gs cookie #cookieboss


5 Myths about Gluten Free Eating and Celiac Disease

5 Myths about Gluten Free Eating and Celiac Disease   

myths about gluten free eating and celiac

There has been a lot said in the last few years about gluten-free eating. While a lot of people are making the choice to eliminate gluten as a lifestyle choice, much like becoming a vegetarian or vegan, for others the need to eat gluten-free is due to having been diagnosed with celiac disease. Here are five common myths about gluten-free eating and celiac disease.

Having a “Gluten Allergy”

How often have you heard or said, “I can’t eat that, I have a gluten allergy”? This is a misnomer as there is no such thing as a gluten allergy. Someone can have a wheat allergy, and gluten is present in wheat, however it is not possible to be allergic to gluten itself.  People who have celiac disease have an inability to break down the gluten protein when it’s present in the small intestine, this can then prevent nutrients from being absorbed. It also can lead to gastrointestinal issues, bone pain, and even skin rashes.

If You Are Gluten Free You Can’t Eat Whole Grains

Yes many of the whole grains we know best like wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten but there are still many others that do not.  Some of the other whole grains that are gluten-free include;

  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats (make sure to check that it’s not been cut using flour)
  • Sorghum
  • Amaranth

Buying the highest quality and purest forms of these grains will give you the best health benefits.

Gluten is a Grain

Gluten is a protein found in seeds. It helps nourish plants as they’re growing. Once plants that contain gluten are harvested gluten is the component of flours that make dough elastic and chewy.

Meat Has No Gluten

If you’re purchasing meat that has been processed in anyway, such as sausages, hot dogs, chicken nuggets etc, then there is a good chance gluten is present. Many manufacturers use gluten as a binder in foods such as these. Even lunchmeats sometimes have gluten present.  There is mixed opinion about normal meats such as hamburger or chicken. Some people with celiac disease report feeling ill after eating grain fed meat. If you’re concerned, it’s best to stick with grass fed, organic meats.

I Can Diagnose Myself with Celiac Disease

Many people who suspect they may have celiac disease try a gluten free diet for several weeks to determine if they feel better. If they feel better then they believe they have celiac disease and go forward. The truth is the only way to know you have celiac disease is to be tested. A doctor can complete a simple blood draw to view your levels. If elevated they most likely will then order a biopsy of your small intestine to verify. It’s important to do this as there is no other way to really know. If you have celiac disease your healthcare professional may want to monitor you more closely for other health problems such as malabsorption, vitamin deficiencies, and malnutrition all of which can occur in people with celiac disease.

Many people experience very positive benefits from eating gluten-free. However, it’s important to distinguish between the choice of a gluten-free diet and the seriousness of having celiac disease for long-term health.

Time Management Tips

I am blogging about time management tips on behalf of Ingo Money and received compensation for my time from Ingo Money for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Ingo’s. Learn more about the Ingo Money mobile app at, or connect with the Ingo community at

Here’s the thing.  There’s 24 hours in a day and in this society, that’s apparently not enough.

But really, it is.

And here’s me, living in the rural suburbs of the suburbs, who forgets her wallet at home when she’s gone 20 minutes to get to the store… or the bank.  That’s ALWAYS fun.  Waste of time and gas, which costs…money.  The irony does not escape me, my friends. (Totally serious, our closest bank branches are 19 and 20 minutes away from our house, respectively.  It’s like it’s own event, going to the bank).

But, when I’m not managing my time well, I do stupid stuff like leave to go grocery shop WITHOUT MY PURSE OR WALLET. Also, it’s not a good idea to rely on a 4, 6 or 8 year old to always remember that you should have your wallet.  The day they forget, you will too.  Or so I’ve heard.

So here are some time management tips from ME.

time management tips

1. Get off of Facebook.

2. Get off of Pinterest

3. Stop laughing, and since none of us is going to get off either of those, not soon anyway, make a pointed decision to LIMIT your time on those sites and stick to it.  2 minutes turns into 2 hours FAST, my friends. I’m living proof.

4. Use a calendar.  Use COLOR on your calendar.  Colors for people who live in your house, or colors by what kind of thing you are entering. Write things down.  Don’t schedule 14 things on one day. It’s not healthy.

5. Delegate (if you live with 7 cats and no other humans, you can skip this one. I understand). I’m still working on getting better with this. But really, delegate, ask for help… whatever. I’ve started asking friends if they want to each drive one way to  parties, activities, sports practices instead of all of us following one another in our cars.  It’s kind of silly).

6. Make lists. USE the lists. I even make lists of lists. I love lists. Make lists of what you have to do for the day or week, and figure out how much time it will take to complete the tasks.  If you have to go to a laundromat to do laundry, clip your coupons and sort, file etc while there.  Pay your bills while there.

7. Plan ahead- for meals, shopping errands.  Seriously. See the above comment where I, the moron, get all the way to the bank without my wallet?  Unfortunately for me, I DO plan ahead for errands, because I hate to drive 20 minutes for one thing. So, I do them at once. Which of course is pointless when I forget my wallet. But on the other days when I’m not a moron, it works out well. Instead of zigzagging all over town or making three trips, I knock 4-5 errands off of my list (see #6!) and get them all done when I’m already in that area. Less time spent, and time spent efficiently.

Time is money.  If you waste all of your time, you don’t have much left at the end of the day, or week, or month. So why not spend a little time planning ahead so you aren’t wasting time?

And, remember, Facebook will still be there a few hours after you log off.  I promise.  Or maybe shut down. I’m not sure the last time I logged out was….

Oh, and don’t forget to include some “you” time in your planning.  A little downtime, playing games, reading a book, exercise- something you enjoy, to recharge YOU.


ingo money

I’m looking more into Ingo Money, the mobile app that lets you load funds from approved checks directly onto your participating Visa Prepaid card. In with a check, on with your life. I could totally skip the bank sometimes!! One less errand = more time for ME. Ingo Money is available on the App Store and Google Play Store app.

ingo money instant win

Be sure to check out the Ingo Money Minutes Instant Win Game. You could win one of 4 $20 eGift Cards daily and/or be entered to win a $500 grand prize.  Share with friends on Facebook and Twitter for extra entries. Takes a few seconds to enter (I’m not a winner today so I upped your odds, you are welcome!)


What are your best time management tips?



When’s the last time you jumped in front of the camera? #CameraCourage

I love taking photos.  I love capturing moments with my kids, my husband and the kids, and of friends and family. Photos of me?  Notsomuch. I’ve spent so much time avoiding the camera that I’ve managed to have just a handful of photos of me with my kids, and I did get a selfie of hubby and me at a Red Sox game this fall but that’s the first one in yearS.  When the folks at Lunchbox asked me if I’d write a post talking about the lack of photos of myself for a Dove campaign, I readily agreed.

It’s not just me lacking camera courage. It’s genetic, at least in my family.  I’ve never actually seen a photo of me with my Grama Hitchcock, although she had dozens and dozens of photos of me all around her house. A picture of me with my mom?  I have one.  I was 5.  We both got so used to her avoiding the camera we both forgot to get a photo of just the 2 of us at my wedding.  That’s really just sad. In my family, and I know in many others, women hide from the camera…unless we’re “just so” or our hair is good, have makeup on, etc.

But you know what? It’s time to change that. My kids aren’t going to want to see pictures when they are older of just mommy when she had her hair and makeup done.  (Seriously, they’d be all “that’s not what you looked like mom, you didn’t even have yoga pants on in that picture!) It’s time for me to find my #cameracourage.

They are going to want what I am missing.  Photos capturing moments of our everyday life.  Photos of our memories.  Photos of them with their mama.


Show us your Camera Courage

When did we become camera shy? Dove® wants all women to feel beautiful in front of the camera. Find your #cameracourage, and fall in love with the camera again.

Come to the Camera Courage events at Walmart

Join Dove® in their efforts to help women all over the country feel courageous around the camera at their in-store events in January.

During Saturdays (January 18th and January 25th), visit a Walmart near you to participate in the Camera Courage Photo Booths! Find a store near you here.

Strike a Pose

Join the #cameracourage movement. Instagram a photo of yourself and tag the photo with #cameracourage. Share with your friends to spread the #cameracourage message.

Shop All Dove® at Walmart for Everyday, Low Prices

Shop all Dove® products today at to get the best value!

dove camera courage

To give you guys a little kick in the pants to stop being camera shy like me, I’m giving TWO of you each a $50 Walmart Gift Card.  To enter? Share a photo of yourself on any social network and include the #cameracourage hashtag.  Leave a comment with the link to your share.  

Want extra entries?  Share a recipe or craft with your friends on Facebook or Pin something from my site on Pinterest…. show some love!  Then leave a comment with the link to it.  That’s it.  Easy peasy.  Each time you share the love it’s going to count as one entry. 

The giveaway will end on February 2nd at midnight, EST.  Winners will be picked randomly. Good luck!  Open to US only.

How to stay safe on Facebook

This post about How to Stay Safe on Facebook is brought to you through my Ambassadorship with Hotspot Shield.  Opinions are my own.

 how to stay safe on facebook

When it comes to Facebook, virtually everyone is joining in the fun. (Except my husband). In world where your Grandma is just as likely to have a profile as your best friend, Facebook has truly gone global. Along with that excitement comes a potential for danger as well, however. The web is full of examples of Facebook scams, phishers, identity thieves and the like. Add to that your garden variety burglars and criminals that have learned how to use Facebook to their advantage and you are at risk if you are not savvy about it. Here are some tips to shift the Internet safety factors back in your favor:

Set your privacy settings logically

If you don’t set your privacy features to “friends” you are allowing a whole lot of information about yourself to move about. To change these features, simply go to the little gear symbol at the top of your Facebook page, choose “privacy settings” from the drop down menu. From this page you can say exactly who and what can see or use your information.

facebook privacy

Understand that Facebook can and will make changes

Facebook has always been a fluid entity and they will occasionally make changes that can affect your security. Keeping up with these can be a headache, but a good place to start would be your privacy and account settings. Always stay aware of them and how they might change.

Never post personal information

Posting your personal info like your phone number, address and so on can be great fun when you hear from your bestie you haven’t seen since high school. When you start hearing from that creep that stalked you, it is no longer fun. It is also not fun at all when strangers start calling or an identity thief uses that info. Keep that stuff close the vest and share it individually with those you think should have it. (I just don’t have it visible in my account at all.  Problem solved).

privacy on facebook

Beware the revealing status update

When you post that you are out, others can use that information against you. When you post you are going on vacation, burglars can take note. What better place for a criminal to hang out than on Facebook? Be smart and always keep that information to yourself. Never ever post that you are alone or that you will be gone for a period of time. Even “friends” are sometimes not what you think they are.

unsafe facebook update

Use the same “friending” caution you would use in person

Be very cautious about who you link up with on Facebook. You would not go out to a bar and give out all your personal information and address. Why give out your life story to a stranger that may or may not have ulterior motives? Be wary of friend requests from strangers.

Skip the apps and games until they proven

Many of these are developed by small, independent companies that want your information to sell. Wait until they are proven safe and then enjoy after safely researching.

Change your password regularly

Choosing a different password often is a great way to thwart many online scams. The key is to not only change them, but to make them good. Choose a mixture of letters, symbols, upper-case and lower and numbers to put together a truly good password. This is perhaps the best and easiest way to make yourself safe there is. Nothing is foolproof but this is an easy win for anyone.

Check links with a malware/virus checker

Before you ever click on any link, you should run it through a link checker at a minimum. While this won’t be a perfect option by any means, it is a way to lower your risks. A very good one to try is This site will run it through various checks and give you some good information. Remember to right-click the link on Facebook and choose to “Copy” so that you can paste it without actually going there.

Although you can’t eliminate all risks on Facebook, these simple steps can make your risk very slim. If you do all of the above, most criminals will move on to easier pickings. The one thing you can count on about criminals is that they will always take the easiest road. Make it hard for them…even on Facebook.

 hotspot shield

One way you can make things harder for criminals to get your information? Use a VPN like Hotspot Shield. Benefits of using a VPN like this include:

  • Anonymous surfing – Because of privacy and security concerns, you may want to browse the Web anonymously. Hotspot Shield Free VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and our servers to let you conduct your online activities (visit the websites you want, make online transactions, download files) anonymously, without being tracked and spied upon.
  • Hide your IP address – The Internet is infested with spammers, snoopers, and hackers. They silently monitor your online activities and steal your sensitive data like credit card information and passwords when you least expect it. If you connect with Hotspot Shield enabled, you get a new US IP address to mask your actual IP address and surf the Internet anonymously.
  • Private & secure browsing – VPN offers an enhanced level of security online. Whenever you connect to the Internet through Hotspot Shield VPN, your data, including passwords, financial transactions and instant messages, is secured and encrypted. Additionally, all of your personal information is hidden from web spies.
  • WiFi security – If you browse the Internet at a public WiFi hotspot like the Starbucks in your town, anyone on that network can monitor and spy on your web activities. Irrespective of where you connect from, a personal VPN secures your web browsing session and keeps your private data considerably more private.
  • Malware protection – Hotspot Shield VPN will alert you if you visit sites that are known to contain malware, and then block the site. It detects and blocks more than 3.5 million malicious, phishing and spam sites from infecting your device.

How do YOU stay safe on Facebook?

Immunity Boosting Smoothie Recipe

 Here’s an Immunity Boosting Smoothie Recipe for you all.  We live in a small town, with a prek-8 school.  Yesterday, about 4 dozen kids were either home sick or left school early sick.  I want to give ALL of us any boost I can to keep us healthy – or at least minimize the symptoms.  I like this recipe because it has easy to find ingredients that you don’t need to go to multiple stores for. immune boost smoothie ingredients

Immunity Boosting Smoothie Ingredients

2 cups fresh greens, we used baby spinach and baby Swiss chard
1 clementine
2 cups organic frozen strawberries
½ to ¾ cup pure coconut water

immune boost smoothie blender


Carefully wash all of the greens and rinse the frozen berries.  Add the peeled clementine into the pitcher of the blender first, pour in the coconut water.  Follow with the baby spinach and baby Swiss chard and top with the frozen strawberries.  Our Vitamix spun this into a delicious smoothie in seconds after waiting about 5 minutes for the berries to soften a bit.  You may choose to process right away or wait up to 20 minutes. Most blenders work at different speeds so some might take an extra minute or two.   Serve immediately and enjoy!

immune boost smoothie done

What kind of smoothies do YOU like?

Immunity Boosting Smoothie Recipe
Immunity Boosting Smoothie with greens, berries and clementines
Recipe type: Smoothie
Cuisine: American
  • 2 cups fresh greens, we used baby spinach and baby Swiss chard
  • 1 clementine
  • 2 cups organic frozen strawberries
  • ½ to ¾ cup pure coconut water
  1. Carefully wash all of the greens and rinse the frozen berries.
  2. Add the peeled clementine into the pitcher of the blender first, pour in the coconut water.
  3. Follow with the baby spinach and baby Swiss chard and top with the frozen strawberries.
  4. Our Vitamix spun this into a delicious smoothie in seconds after waiting about 5 minutes for the berries to soften a bit.
  5. You may choose to process right away or wait up to 20 minutes.
  6. Most blenders work at different speeds so some might take an extra minute or two.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!


First Aid Kit Necessities (with savings) #Moms4JNJConsumer

This first aid kit necessities post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Some of you probably don’t know that I lovingly joke to my husband that he’s Safety Man.  (If you are ever in Manchester, CT watching the Thanksgiving Road Race, there’s no correlation). He’s just a very safety conscious guy, and one of the things he’s really insistent on is having fully stocked first aid kits around.  I have one in my van, he’s got one in the boat, we have one in the bag for the pool club, and we have one here in the house. I have a mini one I keep in my purse.

first aid kit necessities

First Aid Kit Necessities:

Instant Ice Packs

Bandages- various sizes

Antibiotic Ointment




Benzocaine (for bee sting relief)

Motrin or Tylenol


Cortizone cream (for itch)

Elastic Bandage

Small scissors

Medical Tape


Get Significant Savings from Healthy Essentials this Month to help you stock up your own kit!

To help families usher in a healthy New Year, HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® is offering amazing printable coupons, tips & tools and so much more. Here’s the deal: you can save over $45 by visiting in January and signing up for extra-special HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® coupons and offers.

Now is the perfect time for a fresh start to your healthcare routine and to create healthy resolutions. From pain & allergy relief to dietary & digestive health to products for kids & babies, there are significant savings on items for every member of the family! Visit to sign up!


Ring in the New Year with Healthy Essentials at the #Moms4JNJConsumer Twitter Party

We are excited to join Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies for a Twitter party to talk about HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® for the New Year, resolutions, family wellness and how to score great deals on health and hygiene products! Learn how HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® can help you reach health-related goals for 2014.

When: Tuesday, January 14, 1 p.m. ET

Hashtag: #Moms4JNJConsumer 

Prizes:  15 prizes awarded randomly throughout the party, from all eligible correct responses to trivia questions. Each prize includes an assortment of Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® products with an estimated retail value of $50.

Prize Eligibility: No purchase necessary. Entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States + D.C. 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited.

Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @TheMotherhood25


Want to go to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™? Visit and see if your wish could come true. Plus, get tips and coupons to save on your favorite products for the New Year.

All you have to do is share a picture or story of a moment of caring in your life and you could scream “GOAL!” from Brazil.

Visit for more information on this amazing opportunity!


8 Internet Safety Tips for Kids, Tweens and Teens (This is TO the kids)

It’s past Christmas, and many kids have shiny new devices that access the internet.  I figured it might be a good time to share some reminders for all of us to think about and share with our kids.  We have to protect them and teach them to protect themselves! Here are 8 Internet Safety Tips for Kids, Tweens and Teens.


1. Never post your personal information (cell phone number, address, name of your school, etc) – even on Facebook. The same goes for your friends’ or family members’ information.

2. Be aware that anything you put online is online <b>forever</b>. Even if you delete it, it’s accessible and can be used against you for many things – including jobs in the future!

3. If you don’t know someone in real life, you don’t know them online, so you shouldn’t add them to your friends list. You might <i>think</i> you know them, but it’s very easy to lie! Never meet someone in person that you’ve “met” online.

4. Keep your password private – nobody except you and your parent(s) should know it. Period.

5. Photos, photos, photos… your photos can be stolen and used for other (read: perverted) purposes. Also, someone could steal your photos and pretend that they are photos of themselves! So, when you post photos, keep that in mind. <b>Never</b> send photos to people (even through text) that you wouldn’t want the entire world to see. Wouldn’t send the photo to your parents? Then don’t send it to anyone else!

6. Lock it down – if you’re on Facebook, have your parent(s) check over your privacy settings to make sure nothing is public. You don’t want strangers accessing your (or your friends’) information.

7. Before you open an email attachment, be sure to scan it for viruses – or if you’re not sure how to do that, talk to your parents about it so they can. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know.

8. If you receive a rude text or email, do not respond to it. Let your parent(s) know about it, so they can keep an eye out if it turns into something more serious. If someone posts something rude on your social networks, delete the post – and possibly delete the friend.


How do you keep your kids safe online?

My House Rules for 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends. I can’t believe that 2013 is coming to a close! Our year was full of ups and downs as each year has been, but nothing overly exciting.  Which is a good thing. Many of our friends had some devastating  years and for them, I hope 2014 brings a quieter year full of peace and healing.  2014 will bring changes in our lives, that’s for sure- we’ve been purging and organizing like crazy this past week and I think we’re finally ready to start saving towards our next big change- adding on to our home so that we aren’t pushing the seams of this house to the limit like we are now. Of course, no planning or discussion happens in this house without coffee.  Especially in the early hours of the day (any before noon).  I’m not sure I can function anymore without coffee in hand in the morning hours!

This post about our house rules is brought to you by our friends at Lunchbox.  Opinions are my own. 

Big Taste in a Little Cup

Your favorite “good to the last drop” coffee is now available without ever leaving your home. All new Maxwell House Café Collection Single Serve Cups are easy to use and the perfect pick me up in the morning. You can find these new single-serve cups at Walmart for an everyday low price!


…and that size is LARGE!

House Rule: The best cup of coffee is one that’s on the house.

Maxwell House rules will help you get back to coffee basics. Visit to create your own house rule on the Maxwell House magnet board. Please share the link they give you so we can all see!! It’s fun to make them. I’m actually going to print ours and hang it on the fridge later today (It needs to be cleaned first)

 So tell me, what are YOUR House Rules?