Summer Fun Issue Available Online & Around Town!


The July-September 2017 Summer Issue of Mama’s Lil’ Guide is now hot off the presses!

We hope you are enjoying your summer and this issue is filled with events to keep your whole family having fun!

This issue features Altomonte’s Italian Market, stocked full of fresh homemade goodies to fuel your summer dining!

Enjoy the ONLINE version of Mama’s Lil’ Guide or visit one the many places around your area  to pick up a printed copy of your own!  

We would like to thank our sponsors, advertisers and fans for helping us continue to bring you our ’Lil Guide!

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A “Moment”with my dogs

I recently noticed that not only have my dogs taken over my house, my bed, my couch, and well let’s face it my life.   But I also know I have ODD  Obsessive Dog Disorder.     Not a bad thing to have, after all I love my fur babies. The problem is I was starting to see some behavior issues with my pack. Having had many dogs with training in the past, I knew
I needed a refresher course and something that I could actually follow through with. Most of the training that I  have been through has worked, but was hard to stick to. Things like not having your dog on the couch or your bed rules just weren’t going to work with us. We are a dog cuddling, pet hair wearing,  get up here and get under the covers with me kind of family. Another training method was using a “prong” collar that when used properly has many advantages and does work, but I just hated putting it on my dogs even though I knew it didn’t hurt them. I was aware of all the things I should be doing and implemented a lot of what I learned in the past but nothing seem to resonate until I met “THE ONE”! The one trainer that spoke my language, was upfront truthful, and told me what I needed to hear. I was ready for this new journey with my dogs.      

Mindfulness is something I understand, meditating and being in the moment is something I try doing everyday. Focusing on positive and letting go of the past is my way of living but, I wasn’t doing that with my dogs especially Hazel, our rescue. She was a mama ,bred at her first heat, very young and rescued from a cruelty case. We fostered her, but soon fell head over heals with her and decided to adopt. We loved her up, healed her wounds and showed her the way she should have been treated but after a while she was showing signs of behavior that we know we needed to address.    

Once we met with the trainer, I suddenly realized that once again, we were the problem. My daughter and I babied Hazel too much, not correcting her when we knew she was doing wrong and not showing her how to properly behave because of what she’d been through(we didn’t want to scare her or trigger anything from her past). We were not living in the moment with her, we were living in her past, a past she had long forgotten, but that we could not. We were hurting her by not showing her the right way to be. Not on purpose but because we didn’t know any better.    


Our other dogs also had some issues, that we imposed in them. Zeus had separation anxiety, (ok, let’s face it, It was me and he played on it) and Toby “The Alpha Puggle”, thought he owned the pack, the house, and everything in it, even though he was the smallest dog.     

It was time to love these dogs in a way I never did before. I had to give them what they really needed, which was to be a dog rather than a child all the time.    

The exercise was to individually take each one into a room, with a specific leash that went around there snout and neck allowing control through applying slight pressure (a slight tug on the leash upward). We were to just have them sit with us for 20mts every day and just “BE”, occasionally moving but slowly letting them move at their pace and then after putting them in their crates to take in all they learned. After about 3 days of doing this with them, I started to put on meditation music and diffused some soothing essential oils for them as well. I began looking at them in a whole new way and felt more connected with them the more I did the exercises.    Zeus had the hardest time with it, he couldn’t sit still and whined a lot. Just a slight bit of pressure on the leash brought him back to himself and in the moment. I slowly began to see him resist then breathe and accept it. It takes time and patience, but he eventually will learn to relax and I will learn to relax with him and let go of all “our” anxiety.  


Hazel is also having a harder time relaxing and even sitting still when we put the leash on. She just couldn’t calm down, which was one of the things causing her behavior issues.   After about a week, I started seeing a change in her, a softening in her eyes and almost a breath of relief that someone was helping her in a different way. She has an injury to her knee so at the end of her session I added a massage to her knee with some essential oils and now she actually puts her leg forward to get in position to receive the massage and I really feel that I am helping her heal in more ways than one. She seemed like she had such pent up energy in her and didn’t know how to get rid of it. The sitting still in calmness slowly brought her back to herself and she seemed to embrace the everyday training.


Toby, my hardest to train and loudest barker in the world has proven to be the best so far at all of the sitting still stuff because lets face it , it’s what he loves to do. He loves attention and being with just me for that 20 minutes alone everyday is just soothing his soul. His favorite part is when he is finished and he goes to his place. They are given a little rub on the snout to remove the leash, a reward for a good day’s work and the look in his eyes is priceless. He always falls right to sleep when he is in his crate. We have great moments in our 20 minutes of just us time in the morning and we are all learning more and more about one another.


Learning to relax and be calm is the answer to most things we see as issues in life and like us, dogs need down time/calm time and play time to be happy and content. The wonderful training, combined with the music and essential oils is like having a doggie yoga session with them. I am truly grateful that the right people come to you when you most need them. Even though they need to be off the couch and bed while in training, I am being taught that everyone should have boundaries in order to live a balanced life. It is all about balance. My dogs have proven to be one of my greatest teachers in life and continue to teach me in so many ways.  When you are open to receiving lessons in life, they come in ways you may never have thought they would.   




For more information about fostering, or adopting a rescue dog contact 

For more information about training contact:  In Good Faith Dog Training


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Homemade Vanilla Extract


This time of year I feel the most creative and love to make homemade things.  One of my favorite things to make is homemade vanilla extract.  It’s so easy , and not only will you have a nice supply for yourself, with a few added extras’ , you can have a great last-minute gift to give in a pinch!   All you need are Vanilla beans, (purchase below)  Vodka of your choice Earn $3.00 when you purchase SMIRNOFF™ Vodka, some pretty bottles (purchase below ) and if you want to get fancy and buy or make labels you can get them at your local craft store. I also tied some cute ribbon on top to pull it all together.

Cut your Madagascar vanilla beans in half, then carefully take a knife and slice down the middle of the bean.  Place about 5 to 6 beans in the jar and fill to top with vodka.   That’s it!  Store in dark place (in your cabinet) for about 5 weeks until dark and it is ready to use.  Place your ribbon and stickers on and its ready to be given as a gift!

You can leave the beans inside the bottle or take out. I leave in for more flavor





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Hacks for the Busy Mama… from cleaning, to fixing, to cooking…. Things to make your life a Lil Easier!

We all seem to be so busy.  Running around with the kids, taking them to all their activities, school, homework, dinner, etc.     I am always looking for ways to make everyday life easier.   I have put all my favorite hacks that I have used, or found over the years into one easy post for all moms to use whenever they need it.    I hope you enjoy and use these as much as I have!   More time for family and fun and less time trying to figure out the small stuff!  Enjoy!

50 Hacks Every Mom Needs to Know!

Cleaning Hacks

  1. Use an old sock to clean your blinds.   Just put over your hand like a glove and wipe away the dust.   Easy Peasy!
  2. Dust your Lamp Shades with a Lint Roller
  3. Use fuzzy socks as reusable dusters..simply pull the stretchy sock over the base and you’re ready to go!
  4. Clean the grime off your cabinets with an old toothbrush and 2 things you have in your cabinets. Mix 1 part Vegetable oil with 2 parts Baking soda.   Make a paste, apply with hands, let sit for a few minutes and rub with toothbrush… Whoo hoo…  Gone
  5. Clean toys, pet toys, brushes, combs, knobs, soap dispensers, flip flops, in your dishwasher.   As long as they are dishwasher safe, let it do the work for you.   Then to clean your dishwasher, place a cup of vinegar in a glass measuring cup on top rack and run again at highest temp!   
  6. Old cookie sheets can be new again .  Use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, let sit a few minutes and rub all over pan then  wipe away all that gook
  7. Use vinegar to remove grass stains from clothes
  8. Lemon and some salt to clean a wooden cutting board
  9. Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on your carpets before you vacuum for a nice smelling rug
  10. Use leftover coffee grounds to add to your garden for nice growing boost

Cooking/Baking Hacks

  1. Need to soften butter quickly?  Use a large glass, fill with very hot water.. Let sit for a few minutes.  Dump out water and put glass on top of  wrapped butter stick or sticks.  Wait a few minutes and whoola… softened butter
  2. Used too much salt?  Double up the recipe or add a starch.. Rice ,potatoes and they will soak up the extra salt.
  3. Add a Tbsp of baking soda to the water when you hard boil eggs to make them easier to peel
  4. Make any boxed cake taste like a bakery cake.  Follow directions on package, but add 1 extra egg, replace water with milk, replace oil with melted butter but double amount, YUM!
  5. Use a cupcake liner under a pop sicle to keep your kids from getting messy
  6. Use cookie cutters to make cute fried eggs or make shaped pancakes
  7. Sprinkle salt in your pan when frying something.. It will keep the grease from splattering
  8. When using honey or something sticky.. Spray your measuring cup with cooking spray
  9. Turn your muffin pan upside down, spray with cooking spray  and place cookie dough around the cup.  Bake according to directions.  You now have cookie cups for ice cream!
  10. Keep lemon slices in freezer for instant cold lemon water

Traveling with Kids Hacks

  1. Fill a binder with printable, coloring pages, puzzles ,seek and finds, scavenger hunts so you always have them when you are traveling
  2. For long car rides use a closet shoe rack.. Cut in half and put one on each back seat of car and fill with toys, markers, blocks, dolls and all their favorite things so they won’t be bored (use shoe laces to thread holes on top and tie around head rest of seat)
  3. Re use a wipes container and fill with tissues, medicines, wipes,first aid things,a needle and thread,bug spray, bandaids etc.  You never know when you will need these things
  4. Use snack size baggies and fill with all their favorite snacks so they are ready to go when needed
  5. Bring Baby Powder with you to the beach, it’s the best way to remove sand off of your skin
  6. Need to leave early and won’t have time for breakfast.  Make travel necklaces the night before, fruit or honey cereal, donuts with holes, pretzels, anything you can string on  a long string and put around their necks to munch on.  They will love it!
  7. Turn any cup into a traveling cup using Press and Seal.  
  8. Use clothespins and put certain times on each and reward every so many hours of being good with a prize that they can also play with while on the ride.  
  9. Pack a wrinkle remover with you to spray on packed clothes
  10. If you have to stay in a hotel that is not baby proofed… a band aid is a great makeshift socket cover

Organizing Hacks

  1. Use shower curtain rings with a clip to clip on your face wash, shampoo, etc
  2. Use Big Binder clips to store your charging cords for your computer, phone, internet
  3. A pillow case is a great way to store sheets in the closet,  Everything together and ready to change
  4. A  shower rod under your sink to store cleaning products
  5. An old ice-cube tray makes a great organizer for your earrings and other jewelry
  6. Label small totes Monday thru Friday and put outfits for the week for your child.. Great to use for back to school
  7. Clothespins are great for keeping toothbrushes off the counter
  8. Silicone cupcake insert in your car cup holders is a great way to prevent gunk from happening in your car cup holders and nice to keep your change and things in
  9. Keep a blackboard in your kitchen to write on when you run out of something .  Paint one of your cabinets with chalkboard paint to make it easier.   Great for writing to do list on to.
  10. Label laundry baskets for each child, use when you are cleaning the house and fill each with their stuff.  Maybe make a prize for the one which has the least amount of things in it at end of week!

Just Good to know Hacks:

  1. The summer months mean sparklers… poke a hole thru a red plastic cup with sparkler, so the kids can hold it inside the cup and not get burned
  2. Clean out a clogged drain with baking soda and vinegar.. And it’s fun to watch the bubbles
  3. Make your own bubbles with dish soap and some water
  4. Put pancake mix in an old ketchup bottle for no mess pancakes
  5. A razor is great for taking lint or piling off sweaters or clothes
  6. Save your condiment containers with lids from take out.. Great for storing pacifiers
  7. Ankle weights on front of a stroller to keep it from tilting over
  8. Binder clips are great for clipping blankets over strollers or pack and plays to keep the sun out of the kids face or make shade
  9. Pack shoes in a shower cap to keep dirt and germs off the rest of your clothes
  10. Sleep with your car keys next to your bedside table. If you ever do hear a noise that you suspect is an intruder, you can simply set off your car alarm to alert everybody in the vicinity, and scare away any would-be intruders.


We hope you enjoyed our  50 must know hacks.   Let us know your favorites and if they worked for you.   Have one we forgot?  Post it here for other moms to see!  Visit us on the web at for blog posts, our local magazine for moms, how to video’s ,recipes and more.



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Wildflower Express

Spring is here and what better way to enjoy a nice day with the kids by taking a ride on the Wildflower Express at New Hope Railroad.  Each child gets a pack of seeds, a coloring book and crayons,and a  flyer about wildflowers .


Mama is running a contest for a FREE 4 pack of tix this week on our facebook page.. check it out and be sure to enter. your tickets Here:

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Great Family Events!

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Get inspired, educated, and entertained with LEGO bricks! Play with huge attractions built to set your imagination free and witness mind-blowing creations made entirely of this timeless toy at Brick Fest Live.

Be sure to be watching Mama’s Facebook page for chances to WIN tickets!

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Getting Everyone to eat more fruit and veggies


It has always been a struggle to get everyone to eat more veggies and fruit.   One of the best ways this mama has found is to hide them, in as much as I can.   These little delicious bites are yummy and have apples and zucchini in them.    I made little baggies of four and put them in the fridge to grab for a quick healthy breakfast in the morning.    Now, while I was making these, my other kids.. the fur babies, were staring at me with those eyes… So I adjusted the recipe and made them some healthy snacks to.   Now everyone is happy and healthy!  Enjoy.


Zucchini  Apple Muffins

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

3 Tbls butter melted

1/2 cup local honey

1 Egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup apple chopped into small pieces

1 cup Zucchini, grated

Pre-heat oven to 350 and coat mini muffin pan (I used my pampered chef mini muffin pan.. get yours here with coconut oil spray.

Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.    In a large bowl stir together slightly beaten egg, butter, honey, and vanilla, add in flour mixture, zucchini  and apples until gently combined.

Fill each muffin cup to the top and bake for 15 to 20 mts



Doggie Treats

1 Cup Whole Wheat flour

1 Cup shredded Zucchini

1 Apple diced in small pieces (cored and seeded)

1 Large egg

1 Tsp Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together until combined.   Flour surface and press to about 1/2 inch high.  Use cookie cutter and place on lightly sprayed cookie sheet ( I use coconut oil spray)  Cook for about 15 mts or until brown on bottom.  Let cool and serve.   Store in fridge for up to a 7-10 days.      Be prepared for lots of doggie kisses!!!  For more Dog friendly ideas and recipes Visit House full of paws on facebook.   20160329_112650


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Tall Tales of the Little Woman,Mama About Town

Tall Tales of the Little Woman, Mama About Town

by Annie McCourt Makaron

Every once in a while we get invited to attend something (and blog about it) that actually makes me forget the list in my head. I suspend the, “to-do,” mentality and give in to the kind of fun I had before kids, mortgage, job…

The Harlem Globetrotters were that level of fun! Seriously, I giggled! From the throwback uniforms celebrating their 90 years on the courts to the poor bedraggled referee, it was an evening of good, family friendly fun!

We had great seats, thank you MLG and GTs; however, in reality, there are no bad seats! Ant, the crown prince of basketball, literally comes up into the crowd to make mischief and generate laughter!

Stretch, all seven foot plus of him, is the gentle giant of the game. He brings children onto the court and soars high about the opponents head while making baskets and clowning on the hoop!

Sweet J, only the 12th female to ever play with the Globetrotters gets the fans involved while rocking the awesome throwback uniforms! During a break in the game, this powerhouse gave a sweet speech about finding your

dream and sticking to it before she brought Little League World Series pitcher, Mo’net Davis

on the court to make some baskets in front of her hometown crown of Philadelphia, PA.

During halftime local dance teams from the Philly burbs took center court over before, “Big G,” the GTs mascot made Wells Fargo his own personal laugh tank!

The tickets are affordable; the cotton candy was only $5 and delicious; parking is close to the entrance and actually isn’t too pricey for a three hour event at Wells Fargo at $20; therefore, we rate this an affordable fun family event! Four people could attend, eat, laugh and go home happy for around $100!

Seriously, the antics are so silly and family friendly, you can’t go wrong spending time with Ant, Stretch, Sweet J and the rest of the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters!globetrotters stretch (1) globetrotters big g (1)

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How to Lose 10 Pounds Fast by Fostering Puppies!

After several weeks of fostering 2 puppies, I started noticing my jeans were loose, my arms, legs and glutes were sore, and I was so busy that I didn’t feel the need to snack or eat between meals.  So I got on the scale and voila…I was down 10 pounds and I didn’t even try… Follow my quick and easy plan to drop weight fast.  Program and Exercises included.

Step 1:   Foster puppies from a local rescue such as Bella Reed Pit Bull Rescue

Step 2:  Fall in love with puppies nd care for them each and every day

Step 3:  Have fun dressing them up, cuddling and receiving endless kisses and love

Step 4:  Dedicate the time to get them ready for their furever home by teaching them basic skills: how to go potty outside, sit, and  walk on a lead

Step 5:  Go to Meet and Greets with potential adopters and make sure they are a good fit

Step 6:  Say Goodbye and Repeat Step 1 thru 6 as many times as you can because their are so many to save!

Exercises: These workout biceps, triceps,legs, back, and your core!

Curls: Pick 2  10 -12 pound puppies up over and over again… be sure to bend your knees so that you don’t hurt your back and to kiss and hug them every time to let them know they are loved.

Hurdles:  Constantly lift legs over baby gates,  through barriers, chairs and whatever other means you need to keep puppies safe and secure.

Bent Over Rows:  Bend to pick up any accidents that may occur, pieces of things that may be on the floor, and clean up their puppy space to make sure it’s clean several times a day.

Squats:   When puppies start making circular motions, pick up, run down stairs as fast as you can and get them outside to potty… follow up by bending at knee and saying good boy or good girl!

Sit Ups:  Reach for toys, bones, and squeaky toys while laying on the floor with the puppies.  Crawl around on knees with stomach in tight while they smother you with kisses and try and take the toys from you.

Walks:   Teach puppies to walk on a leash while showing them off to everyone you see so they can get extra love. If you have other dogs, walk them extra long because they may need just a little extra attention with other dogs in the house.

Not only are these good for your overall body, but fostering puppies, kittens, dogs and cats can help save lives, and will fill up your heart with so much compassion and love, not only will your body be healthier, but your heart will be too~

Disclaimer:  Results on weight loss may vary based on how many puppies you foster but all the Love and compassion is endless!

Fostering doesn’t cost you a thing but your time and love!  Everything you need is provided by the rescue.

For More Information about Fostering thru Bella Reed Pit Bull Rescue visit: and fill out a foster application

Written by:  Sharon Cowell  Mama’s Lil Guide

Pictured below are Chive and Rosemary from the Spice Bunch.  Both have been adopted!    Photo Credits:  MGC Photography Maddie Cowell

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January-February 2016 Issue Hot off the Presses!

January-February 2016 Issue

The January-February 2016 Issue of Mama’s Lil’ Guide is now hot off the presses!

Filled with fun things to do this Winter, and creative ideas for Valentine’s Day, you won’t want to miss this exciting issue!

This issue features Lil Angel’s Consignment, “Bargain Shopper’s Haven and a Cluttered Closet’s Dream!!.

Enjoy the ONLINE version of Mama’s Lil’ Guide or visit one the many places around your area  to pick up a printed copy of your own!  

We would like to thank our sponsors, advertisers and fans for helping us continue to bring you our ’Lil Guide!

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