Review: Music Together Classes

instruments MMoms

By Carrice Quinnie

Music and movement are very important to my family. Both of my school age children, Special K and Lady B, both play musical instruments. I also played the viola for several years. My children know when Mommy plays music; she’s in a good mood. I brag about how I beat my oldest daughter at the Just Dance Video game, while I was 8 months pregnant. So when I was asked to visit a local music class for kids I didn’t hesitate.

Music Together® Columbus brings an international music and movement enrichment program to the Columbus and Valley areas. Music Together Columbus was started by Elizabeth Hostetter. Elizabeth wanted to give the area families the opportunity to learn how early music, rhythm and movement instruction benefit’s total brain function in children. She hopes, “Music Together will bring active music making back into the homes of families, so children will learn basic musical skills through their environments.”

music together MMoms
Photo Credit: Carrice Quinnie

I decided to tag along with my two year old, The Duchess. I was encouraged to sign up for a Demo class. I simply went to the Music Together® Columbus website, then under the Classes tab, I clicked the Demo Class link. The process was easy! I very shortly after received a confirmation email with directions to the center and class instructions.

The instructions were very good and it took me directly to my destination. I arrived with another mother and her two children, so she greeted me and we walked to the class together. She mentioned how much her children enjoyed the class. She knew The Duchess was in for a treat!

The other parents were very friendly, all greeting us with waves and smiles. They were taking their shoes off, so I asked The Duchesses if she wanted to get ready for class and take her boots off. She looked at me the way only a duchess could and plopped her thumb in her mouth and grunted, “No”.

OK here we go…

Music Together MMoms
Photo Credit: Carrice Quinnie

I took my shoes off and lead this royal thumb sucker to the circle. Elizabeth guided the rest of the class to the circle and began to lead parents and little musicians in a morning introduction song, greeting each child by name as we went around the circle. The Duchess was shocked when she was greeted by name! This made her feel welcomed, she slowly began to relinquish her thumb and join the musical adventures. After the third song, she finally decided to take her shoes off and participate independently.

The children were given the opportunity to ad-lib portions of songs and move the song along with their imaginations. Elizabeth facilitated and encouraged the little singer-songwriters to explore various musical instruments also. During the entire 45-minute class the children could move freely with the music and songs, with limited restrictions. This was an enjoyable time for them to let loose and experiment with various instruments and to use their imaginations and discover musical rhythms and count.

The Duchess enjoyed the class and it was a little morning workout for the parents. I was able to sing and dance with my daughter and the closing song was a lovely lullaby. The lullaby subdued some of the maestros into relaxing and calming some of their musical energies before class was dismissed. This would be a great morning starter for any mother, father, and grandparent or child caregiver. After class give them lunch or a snack and I guarantee, you will have about two hours of free time shortly afterwards.

The Duchess and I give Music Together 4 tiaras out of 5!

Music Together Columbus was a wonderful experience. The Duchess told everyone, “I played the drums and sang songs!” for the rest of the day. I could hear her humming some of the tunes, even later in the evening. The class most definitely had a positive effect on her. The Duchess and I give Music Together 4 tiaras out of 5! It was easy to schedule classes and the website gives detailed information. The environment is welcoming and the children are free to participate in this experience with minimal pressure. I would’ve enjoyed a couple of more cultural diverse song selections, but the children did enjoy one Hispanic influenced selection.

Music Together Columbus
Photo Credit: Music Together Columbus

Susan Darrow, CEO of Music Together® goes in depth illustrating the importance of experiencing music as a family in her recent blog Holiday Family Sing-Alongs: Making Music Together. Music and movement gives families’ the opportunity of being silly together, will help alleviate stress and facilitates family togetherness.

The spring 2016 semester starts early March, so sign up for a demo class today. Let your little ones discover all their musical talents with Music Together Columbus!

Carrice Quinnie is native of Columbus, Ga.  She is a divorced, single-mother of three girls, ages toddler to teen.  Through college, marriage, motherhood, divorce and single-parenting Carrice has learned valuable, maturing life lessons. Increasing in her own self-awareness, Carrice hopes her words will bring enlightenment and healing to women and their families.

The Scarf

the scarf

Guest blog by Sara Alexander

Everyone knows that parenthood is a learning experience for both the parent and the child. Patience, self sacrifice, anger management, patience….. all lessons that are worked on during those blessed 18 years. However, the greatest lesson I learned recently didn’t come from the afternoon triathlon of homework, sports and dinner, but came from a simple scarf.

Yes, a silly, poorly constructed scarf that I made for my 7 year old daughter, Ava. I “learned” to crochet in high school from my best friend, Emily. Learned is a term that I use loosely because I never managed to complete any project I started. Emily, however, went on to create numerous beautiful scarves worthy of an etsy store all the while becoming valedictorian of our high school, graduating with honors from college and conquering medical school.

Fast forward 8…9…ahem, let’s just say many years, and I found myself picking up that cursed crochet needle yet again. It was Christmas break and my new pair of hot jeans weren’t looking so hot anymore. I blame the 6 Christmas parties we attended.  Simply ignoring the tempting Christmas candy and rich party food (hello cheese dip!) was not going to work. So I reasoned that keeping my hands busy with a craft project would do the trick. After all, M&Ms do actually melt in your hands (and onto your hips, but that’s a different post altogether).

Watching the Orange Bowl was the perfect opportunity to test my “keep your hands busy with yarn and not stuffing your face theory”.  You see,  I married into a Clemson loving family, and a football party at my in laws house meant not having to cook dinner that night, but it also meant lots of tempting foods.

the scarfMy daughter Ava immediately noticed the yarn because 7 year old girls are drawn to all things pretty and crafty.  As she flitted around me in her adorable and joyful way, she innocently asked, “Are you making something for me?”  While I knew my pitiful skill level would never create anything wearable, nor would she understand my new diet plan (not until she has 3 babies and a thyroid condition), I sweetly smiled and said “Of course, honey. This is going to be a scarf just for you.”

The pressure was on. I now had a greater purpose for my busy work. Y’all, I tried my best, I really did, (only 2 breaks for Rotel dip!) , but the scarf I created was pitiful. My store won’t be launching on Etsy any time soon. But my girl put that scarf on, wrapped it around her neck and danced like it was the most beautiful accessory in the whole world.

I learned that day that practice does in fact not make perfect, nor is sloppy crocheting a perfect dieting plan. But most importantly, I learned my daughter doesn’t want perfection from me to make her happy; she just wants me. They say that it’s the little things in life that matter and while I know that  Ava won’t be wearing that scarf forever, I hope she will always know that I love her as I try to daily show her that with my time, my unconditional love and an imperfect scarf.  

 

Tasty Cooking: Making Slow Cookers Work for You

slow cookers

Guest blog by: Victoria Recchio, ACES Extension Daily

Slow cookers are a great way to prepare a meal with little effort and time. January is National Slow Cooker Month and is a great time to put this kitchen tool to work for you.

slow cookers“It is an excellent way to prepare a meal without having the time constraints of having to ‘tend to’ your meal to keep it from burning,” said Janice Hall, a regional agent in food safety and quality with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

While it is fun to create memorable meals in the slow cooker, it is also extremely important to remember food safety precautions. For example, when food reaches a certain temperature (“the danger zone”) of 41 F to 135 F, it can cause foodborne illnesses.

Here are some tips and tricks for you to remember when using a slow cooker, to ensure your food is prepared safely.

Defrost meat before putting it in the slow cooker

If frozen meat is used, the meat will not reach the proper temperature of 140 F quick enough and that could result in illnesses. Roasts need to reach 145 F and poultry needs to reach 165 F, to be considered a safe temperature. Another important thing to remember is that larger pieces of meat will take a longer time to reach the appropriate temperature.

Cook vegetables near the bottom and outside areas

Vegetables cook the slowest and to cook them properly, they should be placed near the heat. Set the vegetables at the bottom of the pan and near the outsides of the cooker. In addition to properly placing the vegetables, you should cook meats in the middle of the pan.

Leave the lid alone

Although cooks are often tempted to lift the lid of their pot to smell and check on their food, it is best to resist that urge. Lifting the lid can lower temperatures by around 15 degrees and slow cooking time down by 30 minutes. If you must sneak a peek, do it toward the end of cooking when you are checking the temperature and doneness of meat.

Properly cool your food before storing leftovers

“Proper cooling is critical because if it is not done correctly, it can cause someone to get sick or in some cases cause death,” said Hall.

When hot food is placed immediately in the refrigerator, it can cause temperatures inside the fridge to rise and bacteria to grow. It is not safe for foods to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

According to Hall, the proper way of cooling down food is to divide food into smaller portions, place the food in stainless steel containers (if possible) and place the containers in a sink of ice water. You should stir the food periodically, to distribute and cool down the food evenly.

Crockpot image by Lighttraveler/shutterstock.com

Extension Daily is the official blog of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). Reprinted with permission.

2016 Choice Awards Finalists are in: Time to Vote!

The nominations for Muscogee Moms 2016 Choice Awards have been tallied, and we have determined the top five finalists for each category in the Chattahoochee Valley area. These are the businesses who received the most nominations. These finalists are now in the final voting round which begins today!

Click the image to cast your votes!

Choice Awards Finalists logoFeel free to share today’s blog with others via email, Twitter, or your Facebook. Voting is open to the public and will continue through January 27th. Winners and Runner-Ups will be published on February 1st.

Congratulations to the Finalists

Best Birthday Party Venue/Service

  • Action Builders Party Zone
  • Hollywood Connections
  • Chuck-E-Cheese
  • My Gym Columbus
  • Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt

Best Bakery for Birthday Cakes

  • Columbus Corner Bakery
  • Midtown Cakes
  • How Sweet It Is Cakes, Candy Buffets & More
  • Pat-A-Cakes Bakery
  • Publix Bakery

Best Caterer

  • Chick-fil-A
  • Country’s Barbeque
  • Girlfriends Restaurant & Catering
  • Jamie Keating Culinary Inc
  • Twelfth Street Catering & Deli

Best Local Veterinarian Practice

  • Second Avenue Animal Hospital
  • Northside Animal Hospital
  • Weems Road Animal Hospital
  • Macon Road Veterinary Clinic
  • Double Churches Animal Clinic

Best Pharmacy

  • CVS (any location)
  • Publix (any location)
  • North Columbus Pharmacy
  • The Village Apothecary
  • River Road Pharmacy

Best Place for Dessert

  • Freeze Frame Yogurt Shoppe
  • Bruster’s Real Ice Cream
  • Gigi’s Cupcakes
  • Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt
  • Columbus Corner Bakery

Best Restaurant for a Date Night

  • 11th and Bay Southern Table
  • Caffe Amici
  • Carrabas Italian Grill
  • Mabella’s Italian Steakhouse
  • EPIC Restaurant

Best Restaurant for a Ladies Lunch

  • Atlanta Bread Company
  • Chicken Salad Chick
  • Midtown Coffee House
  • Wicked Hen
  • Meritage

Best Restaurant with a Kid-friendly Menu

  • Fudruckers
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Jason’s Deli
  • Applebees
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

Best Local Gift Shop

  • The Cherry Zebra
  • Galleria Riverside
  • RiverRoad Pharmacy & Gifts
  • Traditions
  • Flowers Plus

Best Children’s Clothing Store/ Boutique

  • Children’s Place
  • Ruffles & Rompers
  • Mickayla’s Place
  • Kiddie Shoppe
  • Once Upon a Child

Best Seasonal Consignment Sale

  • Just 4 Kidz Consignment Sale
  • Columbus Kids Market
  • Kids Clothing Connection

Best Consignment/ Resale Store

  • Mickayla’s Place
  • Clothes Mentor
  • Encore Boutique
  • Once Upon a Child
  • Second Time Around

Best Ladies Hair Salon

  • D’Allens Hair Studio
  • Haven Salon
  • Salon NG
  • Swank Salon
  • The Beauty Shop

Best Place for a Kid’s Haircut

  • Sports Styles
  • Sports Clips
  • Salon NG

Best Local DaySpa

  • Southeast Regional MedSpa
  • Sunday’s Ultimate Day Spa
  • Wildwood Day Spa

Best Local Photographer

  • JE Hedges Photography
  • Southern Exposure Photography
  • John Pyle Photography
  • Ker-Fox Photography
  • Holly Tye Photography

Best OB/GYN

  • William B. Simpson MD
  • Montgomery E Thorne Jr. MD – OB-GYN Associates
  • Serena D Tidwell, MD – Midtown OB-GYN
  • Thomas R Stewart MD – Regional OB-GYN
  • Ruthann F. Rees MD – OB/GYN Specialists

Best Family Dentist

  • Family Dentistry of Columbus
  • Gentle Dentistry of Columbus
  • North Park Family Dentistry
  • William B. Denamur, DMD
  • Adams Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Best Pediatric Dentist

  • Mark A. Lawrence, DDS, PC
  • Thomas E. Lee, DDS
  • Alberto Lugo, DMD
  • Matthew Keller, DMD – Columbus Children’s Dentistry
  • Christie McCarley, DDS – Pediatric Dentistry of Columbus

Best Orthodontist

  • Blake Lane, DSD, MSD
  • James I. Lopez, DDS, MS
  • Jay Harris Orthodontics
  • Jeffrey M. Serff, DMD
  • Sammy A. Caves, DMD

Best Pediatrician

  • Susan McWhirter, MD – Rivertown Pediatrics
  • Donna Yeiser, MD – Columbus Pediatric Associates
  • Mark Oliver, MD – Rivertown Pediatrics
  • Paul Steinwachs, MD
  • Richard Mansfield, DO – Pediatrics at Brookstone Centre

Best Chiropractor

  • Dr. Ryan Overton – St. Francis Integrative Medicine & Wellness
  • Marcus B. Edwards DC
  • Dr. Jay Brodwyn – Brodwyn & Associaties; Brodwyn Military Chiropractic
  • Dr. Catherine Fulton – Columbus Chiropractic
  • Dr. Michael Beres – Beres Chiropractic Center

Best Private School

  • Brookstone School
  • Calvary Christian School
  • Wynnbrook Christian School
  • St Anne Pacelli Catholic School
  • St Luke School

Best Preschool

  • Calvary Christian School
  • Pierce Chapel Preschool
  • St Luke Preschool
  • Wynnbrook Baptist Preschool
  • St Anne-Pacelli Catholic Preschool

Best Childcare Facility or Service

  • Growing Room CDC
  • Joyful Journeys CEC
  • St Luke Early Learning Center
  • Child Care Network

Best Local Summer Camp

  • Activ8 Summer Camps at CSU
  • Brookstone Summer Camps
  • Camp Viking at St Anne-Pacelli Catholic School
  • Springer Theatre Academy
  • Calvary Christian School Summer Camp

Best Local Kids Sports Program

  • YMCA sports programs
  • Columbus Youth Soccer Association
  • CORTA Tennis
  • Upward Sports

Best Health Club/ Fitness Studio

  • Novo Fitness Studio
  • Planet Fitness
  • Stroller Strong Moms
  • YMCA

Best Fine Arts Facility for Kids (painting, sculpture, music, photography, etc)

  • Britt David Studio
  • Columbus Museum
  • CSU Schwob Music Preparatory Division

Best Performing Arts Facility for Kids (ballet, dance theatre, etc)

  • Academy Dance Center
  • Springer Theater Academy
  • Toni’s Dance Studio
  • Performance Dance Center

Favorite Annual Family Event (spring/summer)

  • Callaway Garden’s Azalea Festival
  • The Rock Ranch’s Fun in the Summer Time
  • Oxbow Meadow’s Reptile Fest
  • Uptown Columbus’ Spring Concert Series

Favorite Annual Family Event (fall/winter)

  • Callaway Garden’s Fantasy in Lights
  • Columbus Children’s Book Festival
  • Pumpkin Destruction Day at The Rock Ranch
  • Ludy Christmas Spectacular
  • Steeplechase of Callaway Gardens

Best Local Museum for Kids

  • Columbus Museum
  • Coca Cola Space Science Museum
  • National Infantry Museum
  • Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center

Best Housekeeping/Cleaning Service

  • Mini Maids of Columbus
  • Maids in Pink

Favorite Local Rainy Day Destination for Kids

  • Carmike Cinemas
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Chattahoochee Valley Libraries (all branches)
  • Hollywood Connections
  • Barnes & Noble
  • The Columbus Museum

Best Real Estate Agency (business)

  • Remax Champions
  • Keller Williams
  • Waddell Realty
  • Coldwell Bankers (Kennon and Parker)
  • Flournoy and Calhoun

Best Real Estate Agent (Individual)

  • Bo Durham
  • Ashley Pezold
  • Garrett Groce
  • Jeanne Martz
  • Kristy Watkins
  • Vicky Traywick

NEW – Best Home Improvement Business (interior design, contractor, builder, etc)

  • Ron Lucas Construction and Design
  • Hobart Builders, Inc

Disclaimer: This contest is provided for informational purposes only as a service of Muscogee Moms LLC. The businesses listed here do not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Muscogee Moms LLC. 

Our Top 5 Blogs you liked most in 2015

blogs you liked most 2015We have compiled a list of our blog posts you liked most in 2015.  If you’re new to Muscogee Moms, or haven’t visited our Blog, this will give you a good idea of what our blog is about!

1. Indoor Toddler Activities in Columbus, GA

It’s common knowledge that summers in Georgia are scorching hot.  But being stuck at home for too long can lead to cabin fever — especially when you’ve got little ones underfoot. For your convenience (and sanity) we have compiled a list of our favorite indoor (fully air conditioned) play areas for toddlers. Visit one of these venues when its too hot for the park, too sunny for the beach, and you’ve already been to the pool.

2. Tasty Cooking: Candy Corn Pudding

When the fall weather hits, every ghoul, ghost and goblin knows that Halloween is lurking around the corner. Candy Corn Pudding is a kid-friendly dish that is almost too spooky to eat. The secret ingredient is Limited Edition TruMoo Orange Scream milk. Check out the recipe

3. Guide to Teenage Slang 2015

With school back in session, it’s time to brush up on the latest teenage slang. Young people are notorious for speaking a language of their own. If you need help translating the latest lingo, here is a partial list of teen slang to get you through a new school year.

4. Traveling the Black Heritage Trail

February (Black History Month) is a great opportunity to teach your children about the historical accomplishments and struggles of Blacks and African Americans. Take them on a tour of Columbus’ very own Black Heritage Trail.

5. Stitchfix and Bad Relationships

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, Stitchfix is an online seller, stylist, trend-setting company that takes your tastes and price point and uses that information to send you a box with five items. Featured Blogger Alexa Anderson-Johnson share her love-hate relationship with this online clothing company.

Photo Credit: Graphicleftovers.com

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