Television free for a whole week – can we do it?

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

This week is Screen-Free week. The purpose of the week is to encourage families to turn off the tv, unplug, and spend the week “free” of the screens in their lives.

From the Screen-Free Week website:

“Screen-Free Week is a national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend seven days turning off entertainment screen media and turning on life. It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends.”

My family isn’t a TV-free household, and I don’t want to give that impression, especially as we do have a family ritual of having a Friday Night Nest and watching a movie together every week, after all.  However, we do limit the television we watch, especially for the kids.

Aside from football season and IndyCar, and my love of watching Once Upon a Time and Bones, the TV isn’t a main source of entertainment for the adults in our house and so therefore it isn’t for the kids.

But, computer screen time and cell phone screen time are both things I could probably stand to give myself a more restrictive diet of. Ahem. (I was going to call this a side effect of being a blogger, but I have to admit that would just be making an excuse.)

However, we do observe TV-Free week every year as a family. I cover up our television with a tablecloth and the set stays off all week long.

This week, I challenge you to consider covering up the TV, or even moving it to another part of the house (can it live in the garage until the end of the week?) and unplugging for a week.  Can you do it?

I’ll be honest, even though we talk about it ahead of time, my family isn’t  exactly thrilled at the start of the week. If your family is like mine, they might need a bit of coaxing to accept the idea.

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Weekend links

Queen for a Day extended!

Thank you to all of you who let us know that there were some issues in entering the Simple Mom giveaway.  We have the problem fixed now and have extended the giveaways on all six sites, so if you have not yet entered the Queen for a Day giveaways, you have until midnight EST tonight (Sunday).

Be sure to check out the coupon codes and vendors if you’re starting your Mother’s Day shopping this weekend, too.

Good luck!

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Queen for a Day giveaway 2012

Welcome to our second annual Queen for a Day giveaway! I”ve been bursting at the seams to share this with you for weeks now and I”m so glad the day is finally here!

Today we’ve got six gift baskets full of treats to celebrate the mom in your life (or maybe the mom you”re going to celebrate is YOU), just in time for Mother’s Day on May 13.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

Personally, it has always bothered me that there really isn”t a Mother of the Year award.  Not because I think I”d be in the running (trust me, I wouldn”t) but because, well, we have Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys – we celebrate lots of super stars and I know a few super star moms who should be celebrated, too.

Because moms are rock stars in their own right, doing amazing things on a daily basis and shaping the future (not to mention dealing with oh, about a thousand details each and every day),  we wanted to do something special for them.

Some very kind and generous sponsors agreed with us that moms are awesome and they are helping us to make someone a Queen for a Day.

The six Simple Living Media channels (you have been by to see our newest sister blog, Simple Design, right? Isn”t it lovely?) are celebrating by blessing six moms with a gift basket full of goodies! Each item we’re showcasing would make a fabulous Mother”s Day gift for the mom in your life—and most are priced right around the $20-$50 range.

Let”s hear it for the moms! Read on to find out what”s in the Simple Kids gift basket this year.

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Welcome Ari and Simple Design to the Simple Living Media family!

Oh, friends, I am no good at keeping secrets and I have had a wonderful one that I have been keeping mum about for some time now.  Today I finally get to spill the beans: Simple Kids has a new sister!

Today we welcome into the Simple Living Media family Simple Design!

The new site will be edited by the lovely Ari, who I cannot wait to get to know better, and hosting a plethora of talented contributors (I bet you’ll recognize some familiar names if you go take a peek at the lineup).

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Hosting an Outside Art Group

The following post is by contributor Vanessa Brown.

Hosting an art group is not as scary and messy as it might sound. Okay maybe it”s a bit messy that is why it is called an outside art group. My girls and I really enjoy having art group out in our front yard a handful of times during the spring and summer months. I feel like it gives us a chance to get to know the neighborhood kids, is a nice break from the routine hot days when kids are out of school, and the kids really enjoy themselves.

I promise it is doable, even for a parent that is not an artistic in the slightest (which would be me), the following are some simple tips to set you up for success:

Hosting an Outside Art Group

1. Chose projects that will be inexpensive, you don”t want to break the bank doing this. For example most of the paint I use is powdered tempura paint, that I buy in bulk and can be added to cheap things like; water, shaving cream, salt water, corn syrup, etc. Then I make sure the art projects can all be done with paper just from a large butcher roll. Also you can buy cheap bags of brushes from the craft store or get rocks, leaves, branches, etc to have them paint with.

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