Aug 202014
 

10 Back to School Tips For Parents

Parents, are you tired of all of these “back to school” tips for kids— what about the PARENTS? The parents need back to school tips too! Well, here are 10 tips to help you stay on track with your kid this summer. (Warning, some of these may be a bit sarcastic).

#1. Stop staying up so late

As you are reading this, it’s probably already past your bedtime. Waking up earlier than usual is going to be harder than you thought, so get to bed when you can.

#2. Take your vitamins

This is no joke. If you want to have energy to help your kids get up for school, then you will need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

#3. Keep a full gas tank

You don’t want to make anyone late in the morning. When your gas tank is empty, fill it up. Don’t procrastinate on this, you’ll regret it later.

#4. Pack lunches the night before Continue reading »

Aug 172014
 

5 Apps That You Need If You're Traveling

Going on vacation or travelling for business can be very exciting, but it can be a stressful experience, too. Thankfully, apps exist for just about everything and that includes making traveling easier for you. These free mobile apps are ones that just about any tourist needs to make sure their trip is the best it can be.

1. TripIt  (Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows)

If you like to be organized, this is the app for you! This one app keeps all of you confirmation emails at your fingertips, and it creates an itinerary for you based on information you enter into it. You can even use the app to book reservations or reserve tickets for events.

2.  ImedJet (Available for iPhone and Android)

There are many times you may find yourself without Internet reception and you are in need of using an app. ImedJet allows you access without a connection and gives you info to help you stay safe and healthy as you travel with a medical guide, first-aid information, and the ability to store your personal medical information (such as emergency contacts, allergies, medications, and more). Continue reading »

Aug 152014
 

Mint Minecraft Rice Krispie Treats

Are your kids as obsessed with Minecraft as my two are?  If that’s the case, they may get a kick out of these Minecraft Creeper Rice Krispie Treats. They are easy to make and they are a big with those little Minecraft fans!

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp butter

10 oz Bag Marshmallows

½ tsp peppermint extract

Green food coloring

5 cups crispy rice cereal

What you will need: Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

How to Teach Your Child About Oral Care

Teaching a child about oral care can be like pulling teeth. They would rather go play with their friends, not brush their teeth. Considering your child will need those pearly whites for many years to come, it’s important that you help them take care of them now.

#1. Monkey See Monkey Do

This is so true in the oral care world. Your kids need to see you brushing your teeth before they’ll consider brushing theirs. Mom and dad, they need to see you get excited about brushing your teeth. Trust me, just like any other area in life, you are their role model. Try to stay positive about anything that revolves around oral care.

#2. Cause and Effect

I believe that brushing one’s teeth is a great way to teach about cause and effect. If a child doesn’t learn to brush their teeth now, they’ll have a lot of issues later. Luckily, kids’ teeth are a little resilient when they are kids, but it’s so important to make this a routine. Plus, if you teach them how to care for their teeth now, you will save a lot of money later. Continue reading »

Aug 132014
 

Dining at Disney World - Fun Without Characters

Disney World is a magnificent place to visit with your family. There are many things for the entire family to enjoy, including exhilarating rides and delicious dining. Many visitors choose to make Disney a family tradition year after year (like my family does), and even then, it can be hard to explore all of the wonderful options Disney has to offer. If you’re going to visit Disney this year, you should take some time to appreciate many of the unique experiences offered, especially when it comes to dining options. For a unique experience, try dining at these fun Disney restaurants that don’t include the traditional Disney characters.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Looking for an interesting and unique dining experience? You’ll need to head to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant if you’re spending some time over at Hollywood Studios. This fun restaurant has memorable booths shaped like classic ‘50s cars. This décor gives you the feeling that you’re actually experiencing a drive-in theater. The dining experience is made complete with tasty food and fun movie clips. If you have boys, they are going to love this part of Disney, I promise! Continue reading »

Aug 122014
 

Disney World Character Meals

At Disney World one of the most coveted things to do is to eat with the characters.  My family travels to Disney World every year and we have dined at most of these restaurants – some more than once!   If you want to eat amongst the characters, fear not,  they happen all over the Disney Kingdom! Advanced reservations are highly recommended and can be made at some restaurants up to 180 days in advance. The meals are either served buffet-style, family-style, or plated. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your meal as the characters will make their way around to each table. If you chase them, they might run away! Enjoy a variety of meal options and have fun checking out Disney World’s Character Meals.

Epcot:

The Garden Grill

If you love Chip and Dale’s, you have to come to the Chip and Dale’s Harvest Feast. It is located in the Land Pavilion of Future World. This restaurant features dinner with Mickey’s gang including Chip and Dale, and of course, Pluto. They are all dressed in their farmer’s best too. The kid’s menu has chicken tenders and mac and cheese on it. Reservations are recommended here.

Princess StoryBook Dining Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 

10 Easy Ways to Get Your Boys to Clean Their Rooms

If you’ve ever stepped on a Lego, then you are probably eager to read this blog post. Getting our boys to clean their rooms can be like pulling teeth. Check out these ten ways to get your boys to clean their rooms.

#1. Rewards

We all know that you can get your boys to do anything as long as you reward them. Let them have anything they want as long as they get those dirty socks and Lego’s off the floor. You’ll be one happy mama when you can see the bottom of their floor.

#2. Bright Colors

You can get your boys motivated to clean their rooms by using bright colors. What I mean by this is using bright bins to help get them a little excited about cleaning. Of course, you get to let them choose which colors they prefer.

#3. Divide and Conquer

Honestly, they may not get anywhere without your help. You may have to jump in there and help them divide and conquer. As long as you make it out alive that’s all that matters. Just keep in mind though, if your child is old enough to do it on their own, let them! Continue reading »

Aug 102014
 

**Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op**

Sometimes I feel like breakfast is a struggle in my house.  It seems like everyone has different tastes and combine that with my little picky eater – forget about it.  There is one thing that everyone agrees on, though, and that’s oatmeal. We are really big on oatmeal in our house.  That’s why I was pretty psyched when we got to try out the new Nature Valley Bistro Cups where I would be able to make the oatmeal with my Keurig instead of with the microwave.

Introducing New Nature Valley Bistro Cups #BistroCups #PlatefullCoOp

Available in two delicious flavors – Apple Cinnamon Almond or Brown Sugar Pecan — Nature Valley Bistro Cups are not only a smarter breakfast option for you and your family, but also easy to prepare!

Simply pop the Bistro Cup into your Keurig, pour the 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats and Fruit & Nuts pouch into a mug, brew, stir, and enjoy! Continue reading »

Aug 082014
 

How to Fail at Making Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

You ever want to just whip up a batch of cookies for your kids and watch their faces light up? That’s what I had in mind when I decided to make these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies! Here is my delicious recipe (well, my mom’s actually)!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 cups of instant oats
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate

Directions Continue reading »

Aug 072014
 

10 Ways To Sneak Exercise In

Exercising everyday can sometimes be hard to do in between taking care of the kids, working like a madwoman, and balancing life with family and friends. If exercise isn’t part of your everyday routine it might seem impossible to add it in to a schedule that is already busting at the seams. Here are 10 Ways to Sneak Exercise In so that you can get the benefits of regular exercise without losing your mind in the process.

1. Before you get out of bed in the morning, raise your arms above your head and point your toes. Making your body flex every muscle and stretch out helps to wake you up and preps your body for the upcoming day.

2. Once you are out of bed take two minutes to really stretch. Reach for the sky and then bend at the waist and touch your toes, repeat this three times. This one move has almost the same impact on waking your brain up as a cup of coffee. It also stretches your backside out and helps you move more freely throughout the day. Continue reading »

Aug 062014
 

HomemadeRanchDressing

Seriously, I made a salad to go along side a spaghetti dinner I made one night. I went to pull out the ranch dressing only to find we were apparently all out. Thankfully no one told me and I came up with this recipe with the ingredients that I had on hand. I seriously will never buy Ranch dressing again because this Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe is far beyond what I had expected to taste that night!

I have been keeping a mason jar of the Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe in our fridge. I have found the kiddos dipping their celery and carrots in it so I can honestly say that this recipe is kid approved!

Ingredients:

1/2 c milk
3 tbsp sour cream/ranch packet mixture
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp dill weed/cloves/parsley
1 tsp spicy mustard
Pepper to taste

Before you begin you’ll need to use a Ranch Dressing Dip Packet along with a 12 oz. Tub of sour cream and mix together. We just happened to have this on hand as I’ve been munching on it throughout the day with veggies….hey Momma needs a quick snack throughout the day, so don’t judge!

Aug 052014
 

Closeup image of a yard sale sign

With the warmer temperatures finally here, many of us are heading out to our local yard sales to find some deals. If you’ve never shopped a yard sale or garage sale it can be tough to know what is a good deal. Here are some great tips for How To Find Good Deals At Yard Sales this summer. Find the treasure in someone else’s junk for the best deal this year!

1.  Go to sales in higher end neighborhoods.  Not to be stereotypical, but most of your expensive homes have higher quality products within them, thus the better deals at yard sales. This can vary from time to time so know that some of these items will cost more. You can however get some great deals on name brand gently worn jeans, purses, shoes and more. While typically paying no more than $5 for a pair of jeans at a yard sale is my rule – these sales could include $100 jeans for $15 that are like new. Continue reading »

Aug 042014
 

21 of the best bacon recipes

Who doesn’t love bacon?  For all you bacon lovers out there, here is a roundup of 21 of the best bacon recipes out there!

1.Macaroni and Cheese Pizza with Bacon and Green Onions/Rachel Cooks

2.Bacon Double Cheeseburger Stuffed Meatload/The Slow Roasted Italian

3.Bacon Chicken Jalapeno Dip/Call Me PMC

4.Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza Rolls/Six Sister’s Stuff Continue reading »

Aug 032014
 

Bedroom modern design with furnishings

One of the biggest expenses of going out of town for a weekend or a vacation is the hotel. It can eat up a huge portion of your travel budget if you are not careful and if you go too cheap, you might end up staying somewhere less than ideal. Since it is hard to know what is a good deal and what is a scary location in a new town or location, here are some tips for finding a hotel at a great price that won’t leave you scared to park your car out front.

How to Save Money on Hotels without Sacrificing Quality

Join rewards points programs. Many chain hotels offer programs that work kind of like a punch card. If you stay so many nights within a certain time period, you get free night’s stays. There are lots of blackouts and restrictions with these types of programs, though, so make sure to be aware of these when reserving your room.

Be flexible on dates you intend to travel. Many times, mid-week rates are slightly cheaper than weekend rates. If you are flexible as to when you will be staying, you can save more money. Continue reading »

Aug 012014
 

Ways to Turn Family Travel into a Fun Learning Experience for Kids

Summer vacation may mean school is out, but learning takes place year-round. A family vacation may be about fun and relaxation, but there is no reason it can’t be a learning experience as well. It has been said that there is no greater teacher than travel, and it is true. On a vacation, there are opportunities for kids of all ages to learn history, language, geography, culture and customs, even arithmetic and economics. Here are some easy ways to turn family travel into a fun learning experience for kids: Continue reading »

Jul 312014
 

10 Ways to Eat Healthier

Eating healthier is one of those things that we all strive to do, but sometimes have a hard time actually doing. It shouldn’t be so hard to eat better and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are 10 Ways to Eat Healthier starting today.

1. Eat Lemons. Lemons are a great for your digestion system and are packed with Vitamin C. Each time you drink a glass of water, squeeze a couple wedges in and help out your liver and kidneys.

2. Speaking of water, fill up a gallon jug with water. This is how much you need to drink daily. You can separate it out into smaller containers and fill those with fresh fruit to naturally flavor your water. Continue reading »

Jul 302014
 

5 Tips to Help Children Organize Their Toys

If you’re like any other parent, you might be slightly annoyed with the number of toys lying on your floor at the moment. There are several things you can do to help kids learn how to organize their toys on their own with limited assistance from you. Check out these five tips to help your children organize their toys.

#1. Set a Timer

In case you forgot, kids aren’t born to sit and organize for hours. Set a timer and let the kids get busy. A timer is great because the kids know that once the timer goes off, they are good to go. Adults should even set timers for organizing and cleaning, it helps you stay focused on the task at hand.

#2. Color Coding

I think color coding a toy room is pure genius. For example: All cars go in the red tote, you can even put a red dot on the bottom of all of the cars to signify that the cars go in the red bin. You could even color code the toys to coincide with who it belongs to. Place all girl toys in a pink bin, all boy toys in a blue bin, and all gender neutral toys in a yellow bin. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 

**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Adventure Center at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

While we were staying at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire a few weekends ago, one of the things we did was take a gondola ride up to the summit.  We’ve stayed at Loon numerous times over the years, but it wasn’t until we got a Super Adventure Pass for their Adventure Center that we actually went to the top of the mountain.

Gondola Skyride

There are a few things to do up on the summit of the mountain, including the Glacial Caves.  There you can crawl, squeeze and climb your way through the really old caves & boulders that date back to the ice age.  Seriously.

More than 12,000 years ago, the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet covered Loon Mountain in more than a mile of ice. When the ice melted, it left behind a whole bunch of ginormous boulders just below the summit.  Now-a-days you can explore the small caverns and passageways tucked into the that area because they’ve built a  wooden walkway throughout it. Continue reading »