Endless Hours of Fun with the Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I have to admit that I have always wanted to own my own bounce house.  Something about a bounce house is just so fun that it made me want to jump on and go for a spin.  The thing is that I had just not bought one because I could not figure out which would best meet my family’s needs.  Then I saw the Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer and knew instantly that my search for the perfect bounce house was over.  I thought I would share a short story with you about how as a mom the Big Ol Bouncer is my saving grace.

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Moms Everywhere Unite, You Need a Little Bounce in Your Life

As a mom of four children I often find that someone is always crying and at least two kids are always fighting.  I go crazy during the day listening to them cry and scream all of the time.  Thankfully now that I own a great bounce house I am able to just let them jump that energy out.  Yes, that is true they literally bounce all of the time and when they are bouncing no one is crying and no one is fighting.  Now I will also admit that as a busy mom of four I rarely have time to exercise like I should.  I would have never guessed that bounce houses could be such a great workout either.  You are going to love the toning and weight loss that you see from simply jumping around and having fun.  Word of warning….jumping in a bounce house is much harder than it looks and it does require a bit of athleticism.

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How to Choose the Perfect Bounce House for Your Family — 5 Tips You Can Really Use

Choose a Bounce House that Will House Your Whole Family

One thing that is great about the Big Ol Bouncer is that it offers you twice the standard square foot space as other bouncers.  This means that my whole family can bounce together and we are not packed in there too tight where it would hurt the bounce house.  We are also not close to breaking any weight limits.  So make sure that you pick up a bounce house that your kiddos are going to be comfortable jumping in.  Had I purchased a regular size bounce house, which I contemplated before doing this review, I would have been disappointed because the four of my children would have never been able to bounce together.  It just would have been too small.

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Look for a Brand You Can Trust

I am sure that you have all seen the YouTube videos of bounce houses breaking while people are in them.  I was excited to work with Blast Zone because they are one of the top rated brands for inflatables.  I love knowing that we have a great brand and one that I am not going to be worrying the whole time while the kids are bouncing.

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Choose a Bounce House with Added Safety Features

Finding a bounce house that has all of the safety features that you are looking for can be tough.  I love that the Big Ol Bouncer has a secure closure on the net and that the bounce house has nice tall sides.  Even when my kids accidentally bounce into the walls, they just tumble right back onto the bounce area.  Safety precautions are important to me with this type of toy because of the potential for accidents.

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Look at the Power Source for the Bounce House

One of the things that we really love about the Big Ol Bouncer is the fan and how it works.  It is a nice high quality fan and it stakes into the ground so that you do not have to worry about accidents.  The bounce house also has a ton of stakes so you can be sure that it is secured as well.  I love that there have not been any issues with the fan nor have I noticed it making any weird noises even after prolonged bouncing.

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Check Out the Warranty

Now when I have been looking at other bouncers I was surprised by how many of them did not have warranties.  Thankfully Blast Zone offers you a full one year warranty on the fan/motor and the inflatable.  This means that you have got nothing to worry about for a full year which is something that I really appreciated.

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As moms we all struggle to find the things to entertain our kids.  Now if you are feeling extra adventurous or just love water sports then you should check out all that Blast Zone has to offer by following this link:   http://www.blastzone.com/shop/pc/Inflatable-Water-Parks-c3.htm.  The brand also has a full line of commercial bounce houses which you can check out through this link if you have considered owning your own business: http://www.blastzonecommercial.com/shop/pc/home.asp.

Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead #Dead50

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Recently I was asked to write about what the Grateful Dead meant to me for the Campfire blog as one of the Summer Camp counselors.  I will admit that the music of the Grateful Dead has meant more to me than any other music and has carried me through so many of the events in my life.

I described a defining moment in my life where I understood that the music of the Grateful Dead was more than just music.  That even occurred as I listened to the song Ripple which is still my favorite song to this day.  I was not lucky enough to get tickets to any of the Dead50 shows which left me saddened.  However I was blessed enough to head to Park West on Friday night for the opening show of the three day run to see it on a live feed and to see Leftover Salmon play the set breaks and the after show.  It was a great night full of memories that I will treasure and a certain sense of a new beginning that I will not let go.

I know that many Deadheads were upset with the announcement of Trey as the addition to the band.  I think that this sadness comes from a front man of any other band being put into Jerry’s spot.  For me, I chose to look at it in a new way.  I looked at in the way that without the music of the Grateful Dead there would not have likely been Phish, because admittedly their music and their scene was greatly influenced by that of the Grateful Dead.  Trey was not there to replace Jerry.  This is the first thing that you have to remember.  Trey was there to be Trey to try and reverently respect the music of the Grateful Dead and to really give the fans his own spin on the songs.

I personally think that Trey was the best possible choice.  I might be biased since I love Phish.  The symbolic passing of the torch between old and new, generations past and generations to come…a perfect melting pot of what was and what is yet to become.  The remaining members of the Grateful Dead know that this is the end of the road for them.  Their long strange trip has reached its end, but that does not mean that it is the end of the scene and the music.  There can never be another Grateful Dead.  Their journey is one in its own and it has been an amazing journey that has touched so many lives.  I do not believe that any other band has brought together a group of people in the same way that the Grateful Dead have.  People from all walks of life flock to them.  However I believe that you can find new music that you can become a fan of as well.

For me, the closing of this first night with the encore of Ripple made me feel as though my trip had come full circle.  It has been a long strange trip for me as well.  I married way too young and had my first son.  For months we contemplated over names, me wanting to name him Jerry, his dad eventually won out on this fight.  I can still remember listening to the music of the Grateful Dead in the delivery room and for a month while I was in the hospital on bedrest with nothing to do.

The music of the Grateful Dead is what kept me sane during that time.  When I got my first divorce it was Touch of Grey that reminded me that I would survive this part of my journey.  During college I became very interested in the sociological impact that the Grateful Dead had on its fans and followers.  I was lucky enough to have a sociology professor who believed in me.  She allowed me to have an entire semester course where I got to research and write about the impact that the music of the Grateful Dead had on its fans.  I loved working in that environment and getting to meet so many wonderful Deadheads, some of whom I am still friends with to this day.

Years later I would make another poor choice in choosing a mate and would go through a second divorce.  Again it was the music of the Grateful Dead that kept me moving forward and knowing that I was worthy.  When I felt like no one else in the world believed in me, I was able to gain inspiration and love through the music.  To simply say that I am a fan would be so misleading.  The music of the Grateful Dead has literally guided  me through my life.

When I met my soul mate and we found out that we were expecting a baby girl, it was no question that she would be named after one of our favorite Grateful Dead songs.  Althea seems to embody the song for which she was named after.  I tried for months to get tickets to tonight’s show in hopes of having her see her song sung live, but as of now it looks like we will be sitting on the couch cuddling as we await what I think is going to be played.  Shane and I also had an amazing connection to the song Doin’ That Rag which has since been our song.  So much of our life has been influenced by the amazing music that I am very emotional as I see it all coming to an end.  We will always have the songs to cherish but there simple will not and can not be another Grateful Dead, a band that embodies this spiritual connection to their music that has the power to change your life.

From the bottom of my heart I am so grateful for everything that the band has meant to me over the years.  Much love and let’s remember that the music will never stop.

Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival 2015 Lineup Announced #Phases2015 #SeeyouatPhases

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

A short while ago the Phases of the Moon Music and Art Festival announced the exciting 2015 line up and I sure hope that I will be able to be in attendance this year.

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Last year I was very fortunate that I was a part of the media team for the first year of this exciting festival.  I really had the time of my life even though the weather was some of the worst that I have seen at a festival.  The promoters did an amazing job and I will share more with you in a follow up recap where I can show you some of the amazing things about the festival that I have enjoyed.

Some Things You Need to Know

Of course before I share the line up with you there are some things that I think that you should know.

**The festival has been moved from Danville IL to Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, AR.  (Although many festivals have taken place on these grounds it is one place that I have not previously been before!)

**The festival is taking place October 16-18. 

Lineup Announcement 1.0

Now here is the good stuff.  You are going to see some amazing bands and a few that are family favorites in this house.

STS9**The Disco Biscuits**moe.**Yonder Mountain String Band**Lunar Conspiracy Landing**Beats Antique**Xavier Rudd & the United Nations**Leftover Salmon**Brett Dennen**Lettuce**Lake Street Dive**Rusted Root**ALO**Papadosio**The Werks**Wookiefoot**The New Mastersounds**Everyone Orchestra**Larry Does Jerry**The Motet**Dirty Dozen Brass Band**Larry Keel Experience**Pimps of Joytime**The Bright Light Social Hour**Kung Fu**Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band**Earphunk**Turkuaz**Andy Frasco & the UN**Pink Talking Phish**Mingo Fishtrap**Cabinet**The California Honeydrops**Poor Man’s Whiskey**Pert Near Sandstorm**The Giving Tree**Roadkill Ghost Choir**Samantha Phish**The Brothers Comatose**David Gans**Rumpke Mountain Boys**Sophistafunk**Spoonfed Tribe**Head for the Hills**Mountain Sprout**Spoonfed Tribe**Head for the Hills**Dirtfoot**Horseshoes & Hand Grenades**Family Groove Company**Old Shoe**The Coop**Wood and Wire**Dustbowl Revival**Good Gravy**The Ballroom Thieves**The Hillbenders**Jon Wayne and the Pain**Levon Helm Tribute**Indubious**Useful Jenkins**Henhouse Prowlers**Afternoon Moon**Gypsy Moon**Strung Like a Horse**Heartbyrne**Earl & Them Mouth**Pigeons Playing Ping Pong**Roxy Roca**Rowdy Shadehouse**The Way Down Wanderers**El Dub**James Jones Trio**Coyote Union**Charliehorse

As you can see, this year there is definitely going to be a little something for everyone with a vast array of different styles of music.

 

Isn’t Life Hard Enough??

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

We as moms have it tough.  In fact, while many non-moms won’t agree, I would say that we have the toughest job that there is.  We are completely responsible for making sure that our children are well cared for and that they have everything that they need in order to grow into healthy and successful adults.  One thing is for certain, mom bashing needs to end.

I don’t usually make posts about this stuff but lately there seems to be more and more mom bashing from moms who are supposed to be on our side.  Seriously, if you can not stand up for other moms then how the hell do you expect us all to make it through the day.

Earlier this week, a Florida ICING store manager was caught mom bashing in the worst way.  She posted a picture of a mom babywearing her child and then blasted her for her choices as a mom.  I personally do not feel that the mom has a need to defend herself.  I have a 7 year old who I still occasionally wear sometimes when she is tired.  However this mom was wearing her 5 year old and had her toddler in a stroller.  The manager did a few things that I feel are completely unacceptable.

She posted a picture of someone else’s child online on social media without her permission!!!

That’s right, she took it upon herself to snap this picture which was distasteful.  However when she chose to post that picture on a social media website without the mother’s permission it went in a completely different direction.  I am seriously appalled by this happening and it freaks me out to think about someone posting pictures of my children without my permission.

However that is just the start of this.  She used very crass language and demeaned the mom for her choice.  Then she admitted to being a step parent.  Isn’t being a step parent hard enough?  Why would you ever question or judge another mom’s decision to raise a child.

Can’t We ALL Just Get Along!!

I will admit that I have a diverse group of mommy friends.  I have friends who are far harsher than I am.  I have a tough love approach sometimes that might seem harsh to other moms.  I have mom friends who vaccinate and those who do not.  I have mom friends who breastfeed and those who could not.  I have mom friends who babywear and those who choose not to.  I have mom friends who cloth diaper and those who think that cloth diapering would be gross.  I have mom friends who stay at home and those who work full time.  I have mom friends who feed their children only organic foods and those who often feed their children processed and/or fast food.  I have mom friends who pierce their infant’s ears and those who never would.  I have mom friends who had natural unassisted home births, those who have had c-sections, those who have had minimal medical interventions, and those who have had the full treatment with meds and epidurals in the delivery room.  I have mom friends who are devout Christians and choose to take their children to church each week and those who do not believe in God.

You know what the beauty of this is?  That we can all get along.  I do not have to worry about my mom friends chastising me for how we are different.  In a world that seems to pray on differences, my mom friends and I have found a support and love for each other based on the common grounds that we are moms.

So let’s rally together.  Let’s stand together as moms in love and admiration rather than choosing to chastise and treat one another poorly.  In a world where there are few things good going on, let’s be a light to one another and stand in the amazing sisterhood that brings us together as mothers.  We are all just trying to be the best that we can be and if we work together that is only going to help us all to be a bit more successful in the end.

New Mexico Style Hormel Chili Cheese Baked Potato Cup

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Living in the Southwest is a fantastic region for food diversity. In New Mexico, we love our green chile and pair it with pretty much every single thing we eat. When we have Hormel Chili for dinner, that doesn’t change. Whether we enjoy some chili dogs or some Frito pie, topping it with some diced green chile is a must. My family wanted something fun and different and so we took a simple idea and added a is delicious. Baked potatoes are hearty and versatile. And who doesn’t love cheese? So, the Hormel Chili Cheese Baked Potato Cup was born.

It was really a basic concept of a delicious baked potato that we often have with grilled steaks. Our baked potatoes often have several different toppings. Cheese, sour cream, onions, bacon, green chile, and of course Hormel Chili. It is fun to build the baked potato how the kids want it, but sometimes a whole potato is way too much food for their little tummy, and our own. So, we decided to downsize and came up with this easy to make recipe that are individual size portions that still pack all the awesome flavors of the toppings. Grab your coupon and save $1 on Hormel Chili and follow these simple steps with just these few ingredients and your troops will be screaming for more!

New Mexico Style Hormel Chili Cheese Baked Potato CupNew Mexico Style Hormel Chili Cheese Baked Potato Cup

The ingredients for this recipe ae very few and can even be made fewer depending upon your tastes. Start with these few items to begin:

  • 1 can Hormel Chili (with or w/out beans)
  • 2 ½ cups hashbrowns (frozen thawed or fresh)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • 1 can diced green chile (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Now that you have all your ingredients, get ready by greasing up a muffin tin with canola oil or coconut oil. Preheat your oven to 350 and gather your ingredients. (*Hint: toss your muffin pan in the oven about 5 minutes before you start building your cups.)
  • In a small saucepan, empty Hormel Chili into pan and heat on low-medium heat until slightly bubbling and turn off. Leave the Hormel Chili covered on the burner to keep warm.
  • In your muffin pan, fill each cup about half way full with the hashbrowns. Drop a hearty spoonful of the Hormel Chili on the hashbrowns in each cup. Top the Hormel Chili with about ½ Tbsp of diced green chile and ½ Tbsp of bacon  in each cup.
  • Bake in your 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove your pan and sprinkle with the sharp cheddar shredded cheese. Then, return your cups to the oven for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and melted.
  • Remove the cheesy chili cups and set aside to cool for about 5-7 minutes or until able to handle with utensils when removing.
  • Serve alone on a plate or with your entrée and let the troops add the sour cream and onions as they desire.
  • Grab a fork, dig in, and wait for the compliments to flood your ears!

This easy New Mexican twist on a traditional idea is definitely a fun way to mix things up this summer. If you wanted, using aluminum as a buffer, we could easily throw this on the grill next to those juicy steaks we spoke about at the start. Hormel chili gives the Potatoes that perfect and signature spice that only Hormel can give. Adding the green chile makes it our own here in New Mexico. So, give this recipe a try, leave us some comments, and if you have any other ideas, feel free to share! Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

Be sure to swing by Hormel’s Website .

As alwasy be a social butterfly and check out Hormel on Facebook  and of course save yourself some money by grabbing your Hormel on Facebook.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — 10 Things Every Dad Needs in His Backpack at Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
As a father and follower of the music scene, it is important to be well prepared to ensure that both you and your kids have a great and memorable festival. I have found that stuffing the following items in my backpack reduce trips back to camp and keep everyone happy in most cases.
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Water and Juice

 I carry a CamelBak backpack and will stuff some juice boxes or pouches in it in the case of sudden misbehavior. If we sit down and have a drink we can generally diffuse the situation.
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Glow Sticks

 Who doesn’t love glow sticks.

Protective Ear Wear

We need to protect our kids from damaging their ears so they can have a long future of enjoying music and continuing to create a positive experience at music festivals.

Small Toys, Playing Cards, or Dice

Preferably something cheap that they have never played with before. This will keep their attention longer and won’t be a tragedy if they lose it while you are watching a band.

iPhone

A brief game of Minecraft or Jetpack Joyride can often times allow you to finish that concert that your kids have obviously become bored with.

 

Insect Bands

Wearable insect protection will ensure they are not devoured by insects causing an uncomfortable and long bedtime.

Sunscreen

We need to keep them from getting a sunburn to prevent the aforementioned long bedtime.

Camera

Don’t forget to grab lots of pictures of the memory that you shared.

Schedule/Map

Make sure to protect this as my kids seem to take delight in ensuring that gets lost.

Snacks

Something like peanuts or a snack mix is perfect. Something that won’t be messy or be crushed in your backpack.
Most of all, have patience which will help you have a great and positive experience that you and your kids will never forget.
This post was written by Shane Walton for Simply Shawn N Jenn.  (I have to admit that I am pretty proud that my hubby included sunscreen on his list.  He’s a keeper!)

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Dad’s Ultimate Guide to Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
Be sure to have a memorable year at Summer Camp with your kids, but also make sure to see some of the local bands along with the big names that are playing Summer Camp Music Festival this year.  Below is a small portion of my to do list to be sure my kids are raised with knowledge of great music.
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-Keller Williams & Grateful Grass
-Trampled by turtles
-Umphrey’s McGee
-Con the wife into taking them for a bit to enjoy Godboner meets Gene Ween
-Family groove company
-Old Shoe
-Bruce Hornsby and the Noise Makers
-Brainchild
-Chicago farmer
-Victor Wooten
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As the kids are sleeping, be sure to trade the wife kid sitting time so you can both enjoy a mixture of Keller Williams, Greensky Bluegrass, STS9, Moe, theNEWDEAL, and the Everyone Orchestra or just have a relaxing time listening to the closest stage while your kids get some sleep.
This post was written by Shane Walton for Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide: A Dad’s Favorite Summer Camp Memories with His Kids @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure
This year looks to be another great music line up that will be sure to create some good memories for you and your kids.
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There are also many activities to do with the kids to keep them entertained and happy. Plus, the extra activities generally makes bedtime easier and faster.
Kids Camp has always been a family favorite and they generally get to express their creativity and create some unique crafts, see interesting people, and play with new camp-oriented toys.
Head to the Soulshine tent and check out a number of activities such as Stepping Into the Hoop, Victor Wooten’s Nature set, Speakeasy art center, Live Art Gallery, or Amazeballs.
Be sure to get some relaxing time with the kids at your camp with kites, frisbee, or glow stick construction of something you can haul to their late night show before bedtime.
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The more activities you are able to do with the kids at the festival will keep them from getting bored and allow you all to have a memorable experience.
This post was written by Shane Walton for Simply Shawn N Jenn.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Feeding Your Kids at Summer Camp @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

“Mom, I’m hungry.”

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“Hey mom, I need a snack!”

Anyone else dread these words from their children’s mouths?  If so, I will promise you that you are not alone.  I HATE hearing from my children that they need a snack and are hungry because if it were up to them they would never eat a meal and would live completely off of crappy snacks.  (Sadly they like all of the bad stuff that I HATE buying for them.)

When it comes to being at Summer Camp Music Festival I will admit that I like to plan ahead for my kids.  For one they are not going to eat a meal sized snack so vendors are generally out when it is snack time.  For another they are kids so, while there is tons of kid friendly foods (more about that keep reading!!), there are times that they just want their favorite.

I try to choose goods that are not going to have damaging effects on the environment and most of the time we use BPA free containers and such for everything but sometimes I need to be more convenient.  I also like to feed them whole foods or organic snacks but sometimes I relax and just pick up their favorites.  Festival time is one of those times when I let them choose what they want and let them have all of their favorites.

Suggestions for Feeding Kids at Summer Camp

Feeding your kids at Summer Camp is a necessity.  How you do it is up to you.  90% of the time in life we eat whole healthy foods.  90% of time we choose snacks that we can put in recyclable bags and containers.  Summer Camp is not one of those times for us.  I am all about convenience when it comes to Summer Camp and feeding my children.  I want it to be easy.  So I choose a lot of convenience based products.

I am a list person so for those of you are like me, creating lists is going to help you stay on top of things.  If you are not a list person the following “lists” might annoy you.  I prefer to group my lists into categories.  Then I prefer to list the things that I need to buy and pack.  I will admit that I do allow the kids to eat some of their less than healthy favorites (so please no judgements!).  These are not foods that they get to eat often.

Breakfasts

*Mini Cereal Boxes (For some reason these are one of my kids most exciting things about camping…weird, huh?)

*Fruit (I will have a big bowl of cut up watermelon and a big bowl of mixed berries and grapes this weekend!)

Lunches

*Lunchables (I know, I know…these are awful but my kids have honestly not had one in over three months so I don’t feel bad letting them have a few this weekend!)

*Pasta Salad

*Veggies and Dip

*Fruit

*Sandwich stuff

Dinners

We eat dinner at the festival because that means that we do not have to pack grills or anything to cook on.  This is one thing that we take a little extra money for.  The convenience alone is worth spending a bit and one great thing about Summer Camp is that there is a wide variety of foods that are healthy and affordable.

Snacks

*Snack Packs (I get the small cracker and cookie snack packs because they are easy to throw in the kids’ bags and take with us anywhere in the festival.)  Remember to teach your kids not to litter.

*Small Bags of Chips (Yes I bought a big box of the small bags of chips as well.)

*Goldfish (I know that these are not that healthy either buy all four of my children love them and I try to avoid buying them as a general rule of thumb but this time they are a special treat for them.)

Drinks

*Gallons of Water (my kids each have a few water bottles and a Camelbak that we will take with us)

*Gatorade/Powerade/Sports Drink (each kiddo will have a water bottle that is dedicated to Gatorade throughout the festival)

*Juice (I prefer to take in jugs and use the Gatorade bottles for this.  I do pick out bottles without a straw because I do not want to have to clean out a straw or mouthpiece that has been used for anything but water.)

*Sprite (My kids do not get soda very often but they love it so why not offer them a little special treat each day that we are enjoying the festival.)

Remember that it is very important that your kids stay hydrated.  Keep them drinking all day long and make sure that they are getting enough to drink.

Treats

Okay, so who doesn’t love a treat every once in a while?!?  I know that I still enjoy a treat from time to time.  These are the treats that I take for my kiddos.  Keep in mind that you do not want to take treats that could melt so that is a lot of the reason for the specific treats that I choose.

*Twizzlers

*Chewy Sweet Tarts

*Blow Pops

*Tootsie Roll Pops

*Caramel Apple Pops

*Tootsie Rolls

I will admit that mommy really likes candy after having a few drinks, so on my late night some of these might be mommy treats too!

Tips for Parents of Kids with Allergies

I am hoping to publish an allergy guide that can serve not only for this festival but that I can pull from for pre-festival coverage in the future.  I attempted to figure this out beforehand but it was kind of impossible.  I will be walking around to food vendors on Thursday night and Friday so that I can get this allergy guide posted and linked up to the social media feeds.  This should help parents who are worried about allergies and you can access it from your phone to have on hand.

Know What is Being Served

*If your child has severe allergies you might want to ask if that food is served from the vendor.  Cross contamination at a festival is very likely and no parent wants to deal with an epi-pen level emergency at a festival.  So it is my opinion that if a food is served by a vendor that you choose to not feed your child food from that vendor.

Don’t Forget to Ask About How It Is Cooked

*Ask how the items are cooked.  If your child has a peanut allergy there is a chance that foods could still be cooked in peanut oil (actually our zoo cooks all fried foods in peanut oil so it is something real that you have to be aware of!).  This is a HUGE lesson that you should learn now to avoid issues in the future.

Ask Staff if They Have Eaten the Allergen in Question

*This is a question that might feel odd and will feel unnatural to you.  When it comes to figuring out how to avoid your child having an allergic reaction at the festival you have to be proactive.  You have to be willing to figure out everything that you can about the food being cross contaminated with something else.  Taking this extra step is really going to minimize any issues that you might have.

Summer Camp Music Festival Guide — Babywearing vs Strollers — The Good and the Bad that You Should Know @SummerCampFest #SCamp15

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

We all know that I am a HUGE fan of babywearing but I am not a big fan of strollers.  I have been lucky enough in the past to have both of these handy items at Summer Camp  and I will explain the good and bad of both!!  To be honest I use both daily when I am at the festival and my husband does too.

Summer Camp logo

This year when it comes to strollers I will be taking the Britax BAgile with us.  This is a handy little stroller but I do feel something with wheels that were just a bit bigger would be easier on the festival grounds.

As for baby carriers there are three that will be making their rotations throughout the festival.  I have a Toddler Tula, a Toddler Lenny Lamb wrap conversion, and a MOM Tai.  I LOVE all of these for different reasons so depending on the time of day, you will see one or the other.

All About Babywearing at Summer Camp Music Festival

Babywearing Pros

*If you are traveling where you have to carry everything in to the festival grounds then it is really convenient to put your baby on and walk through the gates.

*Baby carriers take up very little room when you are packing.

*Babywearing is a great way for you to dance and let baby sleep during shows.

*Even older kids can appreciate “baby”wearing when you are walking around for long periods of time.

*Touching your baby and being close to your baby is good for you both.  Plus it will help ease your little one’s anxieties if they are not used to being in a crowd.

*Babies are happier when they are being carried and held.

*Your baby is going to develop faster.  It is proven that their central nervous system has benefits from being held.

*Your baby can feel your cues when you are nervous or happy so they know who to interact with safely.  This can be HUGE in a big crowd of people.

*You can comfort your baby when you are wearing them.

*Plus it is going to be way easier on you all the way around if the weather should turn a little gray and there is mud.  Strollers suck in the mud!!  Even the best ones that I have owned suck in the mud!!

So as you can tell I will be babywearing (well technically childwearing and toddlerwearing) all weekend long.  I have my three carriers ready to pack and I even have a special carrier for a new friend that my littles are all too big for.

All About Strollers at Summer Camp Music Festival

Stroller Pros

*Strollers can haul other stuff for you…toys, picnic blankets, small coolers with water and snacks for your kids, and a change of clothes for your kids.

*Strollers help you maneuver through crowds, generally no one wants to be the person that ran into the stroller!

*Strollers are a comfortable place for your little ones to sit.

*Strollers have protection from the sun and other weather elements like rain.

*Strollers can be a great place where your little one can take a nap while you are walking around.

*Strollers offer you a break if you have a kiddo that just wants to be held or worn all of the time.

While I will admit strollers are not my favorite, I will be bringing my go to stroller with me to Summer Camp.  I also will have the three baby carriers and a collapsible wagon (daddy’s favorite!).

I can’t wait to see you there and if you see me please come say hi to us!!