Reviving the art of Free Play

by Jessica Lieb on April 22, 2014 · 1 comment

Reviving the art of Free Play

Between video games, tv shows, scheduled play dates, Pinterest crafts and extracurricular activities it seems that children are having a difficult time understanding and participating in free play. What should come naturally to a child has now become foreign.

After we moved into our current house I encouraged Jude to play independently in our new fenced in back yard. He struggled with “what to do” for weeks. I bought new outdoor toys, tried to initiate new games and we even added a play set but he would typically only last about 10 minutes before he was bored and wanted to come inside to play a game or watch a show.

Over the next several months I remained persistent in teaching Jude the art of creative, free play. During the cold winter months I heavily relied on Legos to help inspire his free play. We limited screen time (tv, computer, video games, etc) and whenever possible I removed myself from the room so as not to be a distraction. I found that giving him a safe space where he felt in control sparked his imagination and enabled him to play without a lot of need for interaction on my part.

As the days grew longer and the warm sun pushed away the winter chill I immediately rushed him outside so he could explore a new world of imaginative play. The addition of a new neighbor boy about his age didn’t hurt either. He will now spend endless hours outside playing without much direction from me. I remain within close proximity so I know that everyone is safe but I give him space which has really opened up his ability to play freely. Now he asks to play outside as soon as we walk in the door from school and doesn’t come in until it’s time for dinner.

Scheduled activities are fun but I want my children to just be kids. I’ve read that children who lack the opportunity for free, unstructured play are more prone to have stress and anxiety. Kids shouldn’t be stressed or anxious. What happened to the “care-free” days of our youth?

I want my kids to feel free to explore the world around them.
To see the beauty in the simple parts of life.
To slow down and enjoy life for what it is.
To grow and develop in a way that is unique to them and no one else.

I believe free play is important for my kids so I’m making a conscious effort to schedule time in our hectic lives for free, unstructured play.


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Sweat Less This Summer {Giveaway}

by Jessica Lieb on April 21, 2014 · 49 comments

tips to sweat less this summerI love summer but I don’t love sweating. Living in North Carolina means a lot of hot, humid summer days and lots of sweating. I hate feeling sweating so I have a few tricks for keeping cool and sweating less this summer.

Tips to Sweat Less this Summer

1. Drink More Water – Keeping your body well hydrated lowers your body temperature. Be sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.

2. Eat healthy foods – Whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy protein are much easier for you body to break down which means less stress. Avoid processed foods, fried foods, and lots of sugars.

3. Wear loose, cool clothing – Avoid nylon, polyester and heavy or tight clothing that limit the airflow around your body.

4. Relax – A calm body stays cool. Reduce your stress, take up yoga or mediation.

5. Use a Clinical Strength Antiperspirant – Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant is proven to give you 4X the protection against stress sweat. Secret Clinical Strength is moisture activated, and formulated with odor neutralizing ingredients that release a fresh scent.

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Secret Clinical Strength is available in three varieties and four scents:


  1. New! Clear Gel
  2. New! Invisible Solid
  3. Smooth Solid


  1. Completely Clean
  2. Powder Protection
  3. Ooh-la-la Lavender
  4. Sport Fresh

I really enjoy the light, fresh scent of the Completely Clean Invisible Solid. It goes on smooth and clean with now greasy feeling or strong scent that overpowers me.

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Secret Clinical Strength is available at Walmart stores or

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One lucky reader will win a $25 WalMart Gift Card. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 5/8/14. US Residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on May 8 , 2014. The winner will be chosen using and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.


The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by Secret. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.


5 Sun Safety Tips for Kids

by Jessica Lieb on April 17, 2014 · 25 comments

sun safety tips for kids

With the temperatures warming up we are spending more and more time outside. Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV Rays increase the risk of skin cancer. Protecting your child’s skin is important since a blistering sunburn in childhood increases a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. There are a few simple sun-safe habits that children should learn when they are young to ensure life-long healthy skin.

  1. Seek Shade – Encourage children to play in shaded areas especially during the middle of the day when UV rays are the most intense.
  2. Protective Clothing – Hats, high-UPF swimwear, UV-blocking sunglasses. The more skin that’s covered the better.
  3. Apply a Safe Sunscreen – Not all sunscreens are created equally. Look for sunscreens that contain no parabens, no phthalates, no SLS, no artificial fragrances, and are free of oxybenzone.
  4. Reapply – Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating
  5. Set a Good Example – Children mimic what they see so set a good example and follow all of these tips for your own skin safety.


I use Kiss My Face Kids Defense with Air Powered Spray SPF 50 on my boys. I like it’s quick and easy application for hard to reach places with the angle Air Powered Spray. It is also formulated with a unique blend of Antioxidant Defenders for advanced protection.

Kiss My Face Spray SunscreenI love the easy to use spray for the Kiss My Face Kids Defense Spray, with three busy boys it greatly reduces the amount of time it takes me to apply and reapply sunscreen.

Disclosure: I received the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.


Great Giveaway Links

by Jessica Lieb on April 17, 2014 · 1 comment

Great Giveaway Links at The B Keeps Us Honest

Great Giveaway Links is a place where you can link up your giveaways or enter new giveaways. When linking your giveaways please be sure that you link directly to the post and not just to your site. Thank you!

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Miss You Like Crazy – Children’s Book Review


April 24th is Take Your Child to Work day. If you are a mom (or dad) who works outside of the home I’m sure it’s difficult to leave your little one during the day. Miss You Like Crazy is a wonderful book by Pamela Hall that provides parents an opportunity to let their little ones […]

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Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium


Joe and I took the boys on a little day trip to Charlotte last week to visit the new Sea Life Aquarium. The Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is located at the Concord Mills Mall. The Sea Life Aquarium is specifically designed for kids with a touch pool, an interactive quiz, a 180* ocean tunnel & learning […]

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Raleigh’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt – April 12th


Raleigh Easter FREE Saturday, April 12th 10am – 1pm Halifax Mall – Raleigh, NC On Saturday, April 12th join thousands of visitors at Raleigh’s largest Easter egg hunt, Raleigh Easter. Hunts will take place every half hour between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. this year, with separate zones for children with special needs. Visitors will also […]

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The Perfect Kindergarten Spring Break


Jude’s spring break was last week. I tried to plan some fun, low-key activities for me to do with the boys while Joe was at work. We also planned a fun day trip on Saturday to Charlotte to check out the new Sea Life Aquarium (review coming soon). The weather finally decided it wanted to […]

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