Pool Party Checklist

Thanks to Bananna Boat® for sponsoring this pool party post!

There’s nothing better than playing in water with friends on a hot summer day!  A pool party is a staple of summertime.  A kids pool party isn’t only great for birthday parties but they’re perfect for any summer get together with friends!  There’s no reason to rent out the local pool when you can have a fun (and less expensive) pool party at your home.  Read on for my tips to throw a stellar, low-stress pool party.

Pool

The Pool:
With the wide variety of pools today you can have a splash pool for babies, a kiddie pool with a slide built in for toddlers, and a deeper one for the big kids all in the same yard.

Activities:
The great thing about a pool party is you really don’t have to hire entertainment or plan games. Kids of all ages will have a great time just playing, splashing and creating their own games.  A sprinkler, water toys, and a few inflatable balls wouldn’t hurt though.

Banana Boat Sunscreen

Sunscreen Station:
How many times have you gone somewhere that’s right out in the open sun and kick yourself for forgetting sunscreen?  I know I have!  Set up a sunscreen station for kids and adults to use.  Trust me, parents are going to truly appreciate this favor.  I love Banana Boat® because it’s tested in 7 different conditions – sun, wind, sweat, sand, and extreme heat to provide safe and effective UVB protection for your family.  Banana Boat® even has baby sunscreen!

Justin Roberts

Music:
One of the best ways to create a fun and festive pool party is to add music. Create a playlist or just turn the radio on.  A few summer songs that I think should be on every pool party playlist include: Justin Roberts‘ (pictured above with my daughter!) Kickboard, Baby, Yeah, “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin, “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vendellas, and any number of songs by the Beach Boys.

Food:
In my experience kids don’t really eat much at parties because they are so distracted.  Have a few snacks set out so they can come by and munch without wasting a whole plate of food.  Snacks like grapes and watermelon can be a hydrating and refreshing treat, while peanuts can give them protein.  Whatever snacks you serve don’t forget to leave out pitchers of water or lemonade for your guests to enjoy.

Party Favors:
Party favors aren’t a must-have by any means but sometimes they are a nice way to tell your guests that you appreciated them coming.  Sending home each guest with a bottle of Banana Boat® sunscreen is a sure-fire way to give them a gift that they’ll use again!  Other ideas could be goggles, beach balls, or sunglasses.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Banana Boat® . The opinions and text are all mine.

Wasting Time + Puddle Jumper Review

This post brought to you by Stearns Puddle Jumpers®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Embracing Homemaking.

I firmly believe that it’s important to occasionally “waste time.”  Kids young and old need to take time and just “be.”  When I reflect on my summers as I child I remember swinging, swimming, exploring, studying the clouds, and joking with friends.  We never wore watches but when it started to get late we listened for the call for dinner.  Be it good or bad, times have changed.  Kids don’t wear watches because they all carry cell phones.  As a parent, I want to be intentional about my parenting this summer.  I greatly desire to slow down and enjoy life.  I want my daughter to spend time reading, playing with friends, building things, going for walks, getting wet, and to learn new things about the outdoors that surround her.

During the childlike season of summer, I hope to embrace the simple moments.  I only wish my parents and grandparents lived closer so that they could spend a lazy summer afternoon with my kids, just as I spent time and learned invaluable lessons from the “downtime” with my grandparents and great aunts.

While I wish for nothing but smiles I giggles I have to plan ahead to keep my kids safe.  Among other preparations, I think having a good flotation device for each child is imperative if you plan on going near the water.

Puddle Jumper

Do we plan on getting wet, this summer?  Ooooh yea!

My daughter above is sporting an adorable vintage Janie & Jack swimsuit (check out other cute little girl swimsuits!) and her brand new, Coast Guard approved, Puddle Jumper.

Puddle Jumper Turtle

Unlike a standard bulky life vest that can inhibit their swimming, the Puddle Jumper allows for a wide range of movement.  Each arm has a buoyant band and across the chest is another flotation device.  All three sections are connected with a soft but sturdy material and then it buckles in the back.  This genius design allows youngin’s to float with their head held up completely out of the water.  While it’s secondary to the huge safety benefit, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t require time to blow it up!

The Stearns Puddle Jumper is the perfect accessory to ensure safe water play in either the backyard or public pool. Visit StearnsFlotation.com for more information.

Blue Puddle Jumper

It’s adorable and affordable.  I don’t know a mom who doesn’t love these!  Check out, my friend, Trisha’s little guy sporting his cute Puddle Jumper!

Do you plan on slowing down this summer?  Besides playing with sidewalk chalk and looking for dinosaurs in the clouds, what simple moments do you look forward to creating?

Summers fly by when children are young – mark this one with the intention to grow closer to those you love.

Happy summer!

Visit Sponsors Site

Turkey Hill’s All Natural Gelato

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Turkey Hill Dairy.

“My love for ice cream emerged at an early age – and has never left!” -Ginger Rogers

This quote was once uttered by Ginger Rogers but it is most certainly true for me as well!

All Natural Gelato

I love ice cream.  It’s my favorite treat year round but especially in summer.  There’s nothing like having ice cream in the summer!  …or is there?  Meet gelato.  Gelato is the smug cousin of ice cream.  Sure, they may come from the same family but one is richer and certainly creamier.  It has less air than most ice cream, giving it it’s dense, smooth texture.

Turkey Hill

If you’ve never tried gelato before, now you can!  I’ve only had gelato at specialty shops but I’ve just recently learned that they now sell it everywhere!  Who knew?  Turkey Hill, my favorite brand for cookie dough ice cream, now makes a delicious All Natural Gelato.

Turkey Hill Dairy is the first major ice cream brand to offer an all natural gelato.  It’s made with simple ingredients like milk, cream, sugar and vanilla.  This is a treat that I’m able to feel good about giving my daughter on occasion.

Turkey Hill Gelato

I bought the Coffee Chip flavor and it is absolutely delicious!  Perfect coffee flavor, unbelievably smooth, and it has chocolate chips!  Who doesn’t like chocolate?  It makes everything better.

Turkey Hill All Natural Gelato also comes in Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Hazelnut, Mint Chocolate Chip, Peach Mango, Purely Vanilla, and Sea Salted Caramel flavors.  I’m excited to try them all this summer!

For more information on Turkey Hill All Natural Gelato, please visit their website, Facebook page, or Twitter account.  To snag your own tub of Turkey Hill All Natural Gelato visit their website to see wherever Turkey Hill products are sold.

Ice Pop Recipes: 101 Homemade Ice Pops

101 Must Have Ice Pop Recipes

Besides maybe a cool glass of water, nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than a homemade ice pop!  You don’t have to settle for the store bought ones or ice cream truck varieties that are loaded with refined sugar and artificial colors.  You can make your own!  Just grab your favorite ice pop mold {I’m partial to the BPA free Trovolo brand}, blend your favorite fruits and veggies, pour them in and freeze.  If you need some ice pop inspiration, I’ve gathered 101 different ice pop recipes for you.  I’ve included everything from Raspberry Vanilla to Avocado to Chocolate & Salted Caramel.  Enjoy!  Oh, and if you found this post helpful please pin it so others can see it too!

  1. Cherries & Cream {Zoku}
  2. Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pudding {Bakers Royale}
  3. Cranberry Orange {Zoku}
  4. Avocado {Food Republic}
  5. Plum Smoothie {Country Living}
  6. Coconut and Mango Rice {TheKitchn.com}
  7. Raspberry Vanilla Parfait {Tastebook}
  8. Fruit Pops {Country Living}
  9. Lemonade Stand {Somewhere Splendid}
  10. Orange Julius {A Night Owl Blog}
  11. Pina Colada {Loves Food and Art}
  12. Boston Cream Pie {Something Swanky}
  13. Girl Scount Samoa {My Baking Addiction}
  14. Kiwi {Country Living}
  15. Nutella {Daily Waffle}
  16. Rainbow {Kitchen Corners}
  17. Blackberry Lime Cheesecake {Simple Bites}
  18. Orange Banana {Country Living}
  19. Strawberry Vanilla {The Cutting Edge of Ordinary}
  20. Pomegranate Raspberry and Nectarine {Good Life Eats}
  21. Orange Creamsicles {Oven Love Blog}
  22. Strawberry Shortcake {Bakers Royale}
  23. Mint Chocolate Cheesecake {Good Life Eats}
  24. Strawberry Lemonade {Pass the Sushi}
  25. Blackberry Rose {Country Living}
  26. Blackberry Honey & Yogurt {Lottie and Doof}
  27. Peanut Butter & Jelly {Mama Loves Her Bargains}
  28. Dark Chocolate Pineapple {Got Chocolate}
  29. Sweet Tea {Food with Family}
  30. Strawberry Ricotta {My Baking Addiction}
  31. Pumpkin Pie {Kitchen Corners}
  32. Minted Watermelon {Food and Wine}
  33. Herb Infused {Babble}
  34. Pistachio Cream {Little Inspiration}
  35. Butterscotch {Chow}
  36. Cereal & Milk {The Little Foodie}
  37. Mango & Salted Coconut {The Design Files}
  38. Strawberry Spinach {Kate’s Creative Kitchen}
  39. Pineapple {Veggie Wedgie}
  40. Pomegranate Limeade {Jerry Stone’s Blog}
  41. Coconut Milk {Hybrid Rasta Mama}
  42. Kiwi Orange Cream {Desserts for Breakfast}
  43. Spring Flower Bouquet {Family Fresh Cooking}
  44. Oreo {Little Inspiration}
  45. Dark Chocolate Pudding {Craving Chronicles}
  46. Blueberry {Rooted Wellbeing}
  47. Daphne Oz’s Breakfast Smoothie {The Chew}
  48. Red Azuki Bean {Craft Passion}
  49. Strawberry, Banana, & Spinach {Lost Garden}
  50. Rosemary Infused Orange {Dishes From My Kitchen}
  51. Cookies & Cream {Just Baked by Me}
  52. Blueberry & Yogurt {Food0licious Pictured}
  53. Apple Cider & Rosemary {Bon Appetit}
  54. Mexican Coffee {Taste for Adventure}
  55. Watermelon Jalapeno {Jerry Stone’s Blog}
  56. Cardamom Rubarb Sorbet {A Good Appetite}
  57. Jello {For Food}
  58. Yogurt {A Mom’s Take}
  59. Cantaloupe & Cherry {Honest Cooking}
  60. Coffee & Milk {Anne Jisca’s Healthy Pursuits}
  61. White Chocolate & Berries {David Lebovitz}
  62. Rocky Road Fudge {Dinner’s On Me}
  63. Peach & Sour Cherry {The Whole Kitchen}
  64. Chocolate Mocha {Beyond Wonderful}
  65. Lemonade Cucumber {Family Fresh Cooking}
  66. Watermelon Mint {Eating Out Loud}
  67. Orange and Vanilla Cream {Taste of Home}
  68. Peach Coconut {Mother Thyme}
  69. Lemon Dream {Whipped the Blog}
  70. Chunky Peach {Eating Well}
  71. Raspberry & White Cherry {Verses From My Kitchen}
  72. Balsamic Strawberry {Style at Home}
  73. Strawberry & Cream Cheese {Dairy Goodness}
  74. Cantaloupe & Cranberry-Orange {Martha Stewart}
  75. Red, White, & Blueberry {Serious Eats}
  76. Triple Berry with Lemon {My Recipes}
  77. Mango Orange {6 Bittersweets}
  78. Caramel Popcorn {Zoku}
  79. Honeydew {Baker Gal}
  80. Raspberry Lime {My Pantry Shelf}
  81. Peach & Mango {Whole Foods Market}
  82. Watermelon & Blueberry {Eating Well}
  83. Maple Mocha {Taste of Home}
  84. Snowy Peak {Martha Stewart}
  85. Banana & Coconut {Wandering Chopsticks}
  86. Strawberry Banana {Williams-Sonoma}
  87. Fudge {Taste of Home}
  88. Macaroon {Cooking with Alison}
  89. Raspberry & Yogurt {Martha Stewart}
  90. Honey Yogurt Berry {Joyilicious}
  91. Strawberry Coconut {Oh My Deer}
  92. Cucumber & Cantaloupe {Rookie Cookie}
  93. Veggie {Care2}
  94. Lemon Buttermilk {Smile Monsters}
  95. Soda Pop {Growing a Green Family}
  96. Banana Chocolate Chip {Fix Me a Snack}
  97. Spicy Pineapple Coconut {Fine Cooking}
  98. Maple & Squash Pumpkin Pie {TheKitchn.com}
  99. Green Tea Peppermint {Vanilla Garlic}
  100. Cherry Peppermint {Meghan Telpner} 
  101. Vanilla Tofu {Growing a Green Family}

That’s all, folks!  I hope you are able to try out and enjoy a few of these yourselves.  If you do, please come back and tell everyone which ones your family enjoyed!