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Instagram Do's and Don'ts

Instagram Do’s and Don’ts Plus Safety tips for your teens

I decided to write this blog post because I was sitting at my youngest sons baseball game and was talking to a friend of mine about our business Instagram accounts.  I was giving her ideas how to use Instagram to benefit her company.   As we continued to talk, we start talking about our older sons and their Instagram accounts.   Well, this sparked interest with many moms and dads sitting around us and they wanted to know how I was monitoring his account.  They all asked if I could write a blog about it…hence, this post 🙂   So if you have a teen with an account I will go over some tips to make sure you know what is going on with their account plus a few tips to keep them safe.   I will also share a couple of tips for business and personal accounts.

So your teen is on Instagram!   What is Instagram, you asked?   Instagram is a photo-sharing app for your phone.   If you have a teen with a phone my guess is they have Instagram.   The first thing you want to do is talk to them about the World Wide Web.   I know, this may seem stupid but believe it or not most kids do not think about what they put onto the Internet stays on the Internet!  I know a lot of cyber bullying goes on with Facebook and Instagram.   Remind them that once it’s on the web it stays out there!  So think before you upload!

Here are a few tips we use with our son and his instagram account: Teen accounts

  • I follow my son’s account.  Yes, I am one of his followers on Instagram.  If he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t get to keep the account.
  • Never post your location.   This is just for his safety.   Being a teen, he is not with us a lot and we don’t want him posting his whereabouts.
  • Never shoot a picture wearing school names.   Again, I just don’t believe people that I don’t know need to know where my son goes to school.
  • Never be cruel, mean or degrading to anyone.  If you do, you lose the account.
  • He has to hand over his phone anytime we ask and we can take a look around.  If he doesn’t, the phone is gone.
  • I would prefer my son’s account to be private (yes, that’s an option) but all the kids love to get followers and its kind of a game to help everyone get followers.   Hence, the rules above for safety.
  • Make sure you check what your teen’s friends are uploading.  Yes, I will go check to see what his “friends” are posting.  If I don’t like it, you can block a user.   I will give more details later on this.
  • Most importantly, just talk to your teen.   Keep communication open.   As of this blog post, my son had only one picture of himself on Instagram.

Be sure to check out Yoursphere for Parents.   This is a great website all about how to keep our kids safe on the web.

Now the fun stuff!  I have to admit I LOVE Instagram.   I do have both a personal account and a business account.  Instagram to me is a great way to share photos without the extras of Facebook.    I will admit it’s a pain to log in and out of each account.   So some people choose to have just one account.   Remember, if you have a business account, I would keep your account public.   If you are using the same account for both business and personal.  Again, I would keep it public.   If it’s not public, the only people seeing your business related photos are your friends!   That is no way to gain new clients or customers.  Also, if you are #hashtagging your photos and your account is private.  No one but your friends will see them!!  Again, #hashtagging is a great way to gain new followers who will hopefully one day turn into a customer.

Dos and Don’ts for your instagram account(s):

  • Do match your instagram and twitter account username.   Important for business users.
  • Do be social.   Remember instagram is a social media so like and reply to photos.  If you are replying to someone’s comment remember to tag the user with @username so that he or she gets the notification.
  • Do use filters.  Filters are fun and can enhance the photo.
  • Do use hashtags correctly.   Again, if your account is private, no one will see your #hashtag photos.   Using popular hashtags like #instagood #tbt #photooftheday will earn your more likes and comments which is good for business!
  • Do write captions and locations that explain the photo.
  • Do take advantage of add ons.   An example would be PicFrame.  This is where you can combine more than one photo together for a collage of photos.   Love this app!
  • Don’t take horizontal photos.   Instagram automatically squares your photo so it’s best to use your phone camera vertically.
  • Don’t ask people to follow you.
  • Don’t like every photo.
  • Don’t flood the feed.    It’s best to upload one photo a day.  You don’t want to overwhelm your followers.

“ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt

Remember to follow My Baby Pajamas on Instagram

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken

My family and I eat a lot of chicken.   So I am always looking for new ways to marinate chicken to grill.   We grill often here in Phoenix because the weather is nice plus it’s easy clean up.   I love that!  Not only do my family and I like chicken but we also love Thai food.  This recipe was simple and I mean simple.  It’s only 4 ingredients.   My husband absolutely loved the recipe and has asked for me to make it again already (I just made it on Saturday)!

Here is the recipe:

Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken (serves 4)

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons asian fish sauce or 1 tablespoon of GF soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Place all the ingredients above in a food processor and process until smooth.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Pour marinade over chicken breast and let flavors sink in for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Prepare your grill or broiler. Cook until temperature registers 165F on the meat thermometer. Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before serving, this prevents the meat from drying up.

Source for recipe: Artsy-Foodie

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget to where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, My Baby Pajamas

Tips for Cleaning Windows

My supplies for cleaning windows

It’s getting to be that time of year here in Phoenix, AZ.   The weather is nice and most of the rain is done until the summer monsoon season (I hope).  So I decided to clean the windows.   Now this is a big task in my house.   The back of the house is all large sliding glass doors that is in our bedroom, living room, family room and the kids toy room.   It’s basically a U shape of windows! UGH!

So with yesterday being the first day of spring, I tackled the windows.   Doing the windows yourself can be very easy and doesn’t have cost that much at all.   In fact, I make a homemade window cleaner and it works better than any store bought brand.    Plus, you probably have everything you need already at home.

Here are a few tips to make cleaning the windows easy:

  • Don’t clean windows in direct sunlight – the window may dry too fast and streak.
  • Exterior windows should be cleaned first.   Use a hose to remove grease, dust and grime first.
  • Wash windows side to side on the inside and up to down on the outside. If there are streaks, you will know which side they are on.
  • Outside screens can be scrubbed with warm water and rinsed with clean water. Allow to air dry.
  • Squeegees do not work on textured or stained glass windows.
  • Choose a “hard” paper towel (soft ones leave lint) or cotton cloths such as old t-shirt or socks.

Homemade Window Cleaning recipes:   I like recipe #1 the best!

#1

2 cups water
3 TBS vinegar
1/2 tsp dish detergent (liquid)

#2

2 cups rubbing alcohol (70 percent isopropyl)
3/4 gallon of water
–mix together than add
1/2 cup ammonia
1 tsp dish detergent (liquid)
top with water until you have 1 gallon

#3

1 gallon water
1/4 cup vinegar
2 TBS lemon juice
squirt dish detergent (liquid)

#4

2 TBSP cornstarch
1/2 cup household ammonia
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water

  • Mix the ingredients in a bucket, make sure cornstarch is thoroughly dissolved before using.

#5

1 gallon water
1 cup vinegar
2 TBS cornstarch

  • Mix until cornstarch is thoroughly dissolved.
Tips for Cleaning Windows

Tips for Cleaning Windows

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (Levain Bakery Copy Cat Recipe)

This week My Baby Pajamas is featuring the famous Levain Bakery Double Chocolate Chip Cookie from New York (of course it’s a copy cat recipe so who knows if it’s the real thing).   But I will tell you this; these cookies are delicious!   The recipe makes about 12 of the giant double chocolate chip cookies.  However, I didn’t want to have these huge cookies lying around the house so I made the cookies smaller and reduced the cook time.  They turned out perfect!  The cookies are very rich cookies so I could not imagine having a huge cookie.   All I have to say is if you like double chocolate chip cookies, you definitely need to make these, your family will thank you 🙂

Here is the recipe:

Yield: 12 very large cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces).  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make 30 smaller cookies:  I measured about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough onto the baking sheet.  I then cooked the cookies about 12-14 minutes.  If you want the cookies gooey I would cook around 12 to 12 1/2 minutes.

Enjoy baking!

Source: My Baking Addition

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget to where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, My Baby Pajamas :)

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Right from the oven 🙂

Top 10 Books for Babies and Toddlers

Top 10 Books for Babies and Toddlers

Did you know that literacy begins at birth?  I know it seems crazy but when reading to your infant, your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills. And your baby improves language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing pictures, and learning words.

But I feel the most important benefit to reading out loud to your infant is that it makes a connection between you and your baby.  Your baby benefits because he or she loves hearing your voice and loves being close to you.  I believe this is a win win for both mother and child.

Did or do you read to your baby?  If so, what are their favorite books?  My husband and I read to both our boys starting at birth.  It was our favorite time of day with them both.   It was part of their bedtime routine every night.   Bath, pajamas and book.  In fact, we still love to read with them.   Our youngest is now reading to us at night and our oldest loves to spend time in our room reading with us after our youngest goes to bed.   Don’t know what books to buy to start building your babies library?  Here is a list of the Top 10 Books for babies 0-3 years old according to Scholastic.com.   If you know of another great book to add to the library, please leave in the comment area.

1. Goodnight Moon – Written by Margaret Wise Brown

2. Where the Wild Things Are – Written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Written and illustrated by Eric Carle

4. Pat the Bunny – Written and illustrated by Dorothy Kunhardt

5. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale – Written and illustrated by Mo Willems

6. Corduroy – Written and illustrated by Don Freeman

7. The Runaway Bunny – Written by Margaret Wise Brown

8. Freight Train – Written and illustrated by Donald Crews

9. Moo, Baa, La La La! – Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton

10. Good Night, Gorilla – Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann

Happy Reading!

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Cheese and Chicken Stuffed Shells

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Cheese and Chicken Stuffed Shells

Welcome to My Baby Pajamas Tuesday Cook Off!  This week I am featuring Cheese and Chicken Stuffed Shells.   It really is such a simple recipe and not that time consuming for stuffing shells.  In fact, my husband helped me with this dish and we had a great time making it together 🙂  It could have been the wine we were drinking while we were cooking but nevertheless we had fun!

For the sauce, I used my homemade sauce I make and freeze.   I usually make a big batch and then freeze for recipes like this one.   I will share my sauce recipe in an upcoming post.   It’s not a family recipe at all because my mom still hasn’t shared it with me !!  She says it’s not written down it’s all in her head.  Anyway, I hope to get my hands on that recipe soon.   I think using a homemade sauce just adds to the recipe.

Here is the recipe:

12 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 c pasta sauce
2 large egg whites, gently beaten
1 1/2 c part skim ricotta cheese
4 oz. chicken, cooked and diced
1 c frozen spinach (chopped) thawed (drain all excess water)

2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp chopped basil
3/4 c part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Cook shells in boiling water according to the directions on box.
Rinse with cold water and set aside for later use.

Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and spread 1/2 c of pasta sauce evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

For filling: Stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, basil, and seasoning. Stir in 1/4 c of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

Fill each shell with mixture and place filled shells in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Cheesy Chicken Shells via weightwatchers.com.   9 WW points for 3 shells

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget to where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, My Baby Pajamas :)

Cheese and Chicken Stuffed Shells

Full Tray of Cheese and Chicken Stuffed Shells!

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Pretzel Bread

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Pretzel Bread

Today’s Tuesday Cook Off, My Baby Pajamas is featuring pretzel bread.   As you know, my family is crazy for anything pretzel.  In fact, I am starting to run out of ideas featuring pretzels.  There is a steak house here in Scottsdale that makes the best pretzel bread.  One night my husband was craving it but wanted it for a sandwich…the pretzel bread sandwich was created.   I found this easy recipe for the pretzel bread and next thing I knew we had dinner.    You can also make these into pretzel sticks with butter. YUM!

Here is the recipe for the pretzel bread:

In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Let sit about 5 min, until its foamy. Then add:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Get the dough hook going and gradually add 4 C flour. Let the machine keep going until the dough looks a little bit shiny and totally flexible (about 4-5 min)

Let it rest in the bowl, covered with a towel for an hour, until doubled in size.

Divide dough into 6 for rolls, or two for baguettes and shape accordingly.. Let those chill out, covered while you get a large pot of water boiling with a hefty dose of baking soda. (about 1/2 C) . Preheat your oven to 375 and lightly coat a baking sheet with EVOO.

When the water is boiling, cut little slits in your rolls, then slip them into the baking soda bath :)

Flip at 2 min on the first side and take them out after 3-4 min. Oil them up with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with maldon (or coarse  sea) salt.

Bake until perfectly browned (12-15 min) and eat warm!

Do you have a great recipe you would like to share?  Just email us at Linda@mybabypajamas.com.  Please attach a photo if you can.  If your recipe is chosen, you will win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to our website :)  Who doesn’t want free kids pajamas?  Please share this contest/giveaway!

Don’t forget to where to find great footie pajamastoddler pajamas and more, My Baby Pajamas :)

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Pretzel Bread

Tuesday Cook Off ~ Pretzel Bread

My Baby Pajamas March Freebie Friday Giveaway

This month My Baby Pajamas is giving away one (1) Sara’s Prints Zebra Ruffle Nightgown.  Summer will be here before we know it and these pajamas will be perfect for spring and summer.  The nightgown is flame resistant and loose fitting.  What to know how to win these pajamas?

Here is how to enter to win:

  • Main entry: Answer the question on this blog post: Did you sleep train your children?  And Why?
  • extra entry: subscribe to our newsletter for our website ( already subscribe, let us know).
  • extra entry: Follow us on Twitter
  • extra entry: Like us on Facebook
  • extra entry: Follow us on Pinterest
  • extra entry: Follow us on Instagram
  • Must have a U.S. Mailing address and be 18 years or older to enter.   Good Luck!

This giveaway will end on Friday, March 29, 2013.    We will announce the winner a couple days later.   The winner is selected by Random.org.

Good Luck!

My Baby Pajamas March Freebie Friday

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

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