Jun 292016
 

Easy Teacher Appreciation Gift

So we would all love to be able to get our children’s teachers a gift at the end of the year, but lets face it when you have more than one child or more than one teacher it gets expensive. And if your like me you want your gift to mean something not just a flower or another keepsake to collect dust on a shelf. I found the cutest idea for a gift for my daughters teacher this year and cost me right at $10!!!!!!!

gift1

Our theme….. “Orange you glad it’s summer” Continue reading »

Jun 252016
 

My Child Got Diagnosed With ADD - Now What

Last week I told you the story of how my son got diagnosed with ADD. If you didn’t read it, I suggest doing so before you read on – just so you have the backstory. It was a long process and definitely not an easy one. What I didn’t mention before was that when my son got his ADD diagnosis from the neuropsychologist, he was also diagnosed with depression & anxiety. Not only that, the neuropsychologist recommended that my son needed some OT (occupational therapy) and speech therapy. She explained to his father and me that our son had some auditory processing issues and was only catching every one out of 16 words that were spoken to him. The ADD diagnosis was expected when we got the results of his testing and I suppose it wasn’t a huge surprise that he had auditory issues, but the depression and anxiety were certainly news to his father and I.

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But now that we had an official diagnosis, we could start getting our son the help he needed. A copy of the neuropsychologist’s report was sent to me, his father, his school and his pediatrician and once everyone had a copy, things started happening pretty fast. Appointments were set up with both his school and his pediatrician and I am going to break each one down. Continue reading »

Jun 202016
 

How to Save Money on Theme Park Souvenirs

If you have ever been to a theme park, you know that there are very few ways to do it super frugally. The food can cost a lot, getting in the gate can be ridiculous and then, of course, there are all the things kids (and adults) will want from all the gift shops. If you don’t want to spend far out of your budget on these items, here are some tips on how to save money on souvenirs at theme parks.

How to Save Money on Souvenirs at Theme Parks

Look for discounts at area grocery stores. Many times, you will find discount tickets for getting in the gate, but you can also find park “bucks” (some parks offer them) to use in the park with tickets as a package that you can use to buy your souvenirs.

Buy souvenirs before you go to the park. If you are heading to a place like Disney World, you can buy all kinds of merchandise that could be souvenirs if you buy them right before you go to the park. Buy fun T­-shirts to wear to the park to help stave off the ‘I wants’ when you come across them in stores and gift shops. Continue reading »

Jun 202016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TenaTips #CollectiveBias

5 ways to workout at the beach

I have been really trying to help my family live a healthier lifestyle lately. We have been eating better and getting more exercise and honestly it feels great. I have started working out a few times a week and we also do things together as a family, like hiking and bike riding. It’s been a wonderful way for my family to spend some quality time together. I have been really making an effort to be more active and it’s become something that I enjoy and look forward to. This weekend I had some free time and I decided what better way to enjoy the nice weather than doing my workout on the beach.

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So picture this – me on the beach in a bikini with perfect hair and makeup, working out while looking flawless and barely breaking a sweat. Okay, okay, you got me – I really did go to the beach to work out but I definitely wasn’t looking like a supermodel in the process, haha. I did get in a nice workout though and it felt amazing to be out in the sun with such a beautiful view of the water. Continue reading »

Jun 192016
 

Getting An ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) Diagnosis

My youngest son, who is going on nine in August is the sweetest little boy I know. He is thoughtful, caring, considerate, polite, adaptable, shrewd, kind and absolutely hilarious. He is definitely one of a kind and frankly, he has so many endearing qualities that I could never possibly list them all.

In case you missed it, his birthday is in August. In the town we live in the cutoff for the school year is September 1st meaning that if you are born by August 31st, you are eligible to start school at age 5, but if your birthday falls after the cutoff, you have to wait a year. Kids born on say September 2nd (and after, of course) end up turning six while they are in kindergarten while my son was barely five when he started and didn’t turn six until right before he started first grade. He’s been the youngest in his class since he started kindergarten, but my other son – who also has an August birthday- did just fine going to kindergarten so young.

Sadly, it was a completely different story for my little guy.

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Before I tell you about what’s going on with school, I want you to know that my son went to preschool for two years prior to starting kindergarten and even though I saw signs that led me to think he might not be ready for kindergarten yet, his preschool teacher insisted he’s do just fine. I should have went with my gut. Continue reading »

Jun 142016
 

Homemade Aloe Ice Cubes For Soothing Sunburn Relief

If you’ve ever gotten a sunburn, you know that they are really painful.  I’ve had my fair share of sunburns over the years, some worse than others, and they are no fun. And once you get a sunburn there is no way to cure it. Once the damage is done, it’s done.

Using aloe vera for sunburn relief is easy and popular home remedy to soothe some of the pain associated with the burn.

Aloe vera gel contains salicylic acid (which is also found in aspirin) which helps to relieve the pain and reduce swelling.  It also contains polysaccharides, which promote cell rejuvenation, vitamin E, which helps moisturize your skin and my favorite benefit of using Aloe vera gel is that it’s antibacterial, so it helps to keep you burned skin from getting infected.

If you’ve ever tried using Aloe gel on a sunburn you probably noticed the cooling sensation you got when you first put it on the burn. You can take that instant comfort to the next level by freezing some Aloe gel in ice cube trays.  It will help to numb the pain while the aloe does its magic.

Here’s What You Need to make your aloe ice cubes:

  • Aloe Vera gel
  • silicone star mold
  • Freezer

Homemade Aloe Ice Cubes For Soothing Sunburn Relief3

Here’s What You Do:

Continue reading »

Jun 132016
 

Why It's Important To Keep Up A Routine During The Summer

School is finally out for summer and it’s time for some fun in the sun! The end of the school year brings a welcome relief and well needed break from waking up at the crack of dawn, doing homework and early bedtimes – not only for the kids but for the parents as well. I mean, let’s face it, by the time summer vacation begins I am ready to break out a bottle of wine and celebrate, I can only imagine how great my boys feel when the last day of school is finally here.

So, I completely understand the temptation to let the whole school year routine take a backseat to having a super fun summer. You may consider forgetting bedtimes, chores, curfews and the regular rules of the household and let the kids just be kids and enjoy their summer. You may even think this is a pretty good idea; after all, the routine will always be there when you’re ready to go back to it, right? Now, the routine may still be there, but your sanity as well as the sanity of your children may not be there at that point. That’s why it’s so important to keep up a routine during the summer months.

Like I said earlier, we all need a break. Parents and children deserve to have a break and enjoy their time while they take that break, so I am not saying that you have to stick to the same routine that you follow during the school year. It’s okay to to keep the rules in place and modify them a bit. This allows you to keep the structure that you work so hard on while school is in session while still cutting you all some slack and taking time to experience the joy of a carefree summer. With some of these simple changes to your normal routine you can make it happen easier than you think. Continue reading »

Jun 072016
 

So lets talk laundry detergent… I don’t know about your house, but in ours we ALL have sensitive skin. Trying to find a laundry detergent that all of our skin agreed with was very painful to say the least. It can not have any scents or dyes added to it. No parabens or sulfates…. It is a headache to stand in an aisle and read label after label so I decided to make my own.

DIY Laundry Detergent

I started my research and asked some friends locally who made their own and what they liked. Right away I knew I did not want to mess with the liquid form. Seemed like a lot more work than I wanted to do. So powder it was. Now which of the thousands of recipes did I want to try.

My first recipe contained the Fels Naptha soap in it (picture below). With that recipe you had to shred the bar of soap into your laundry detergent….. So I grabbed the cheese grader…. And lost half of my knuckles I swear. This is a very tough hard bar of soap. But success, between me and my hubby we got 2 of them shredded. Mixed up the recipe and fail. The fels naptha did not dissolve in the water. Instead it stuck to the clothing and I had to run an extra rinse to get it all out. NOPE!! Back to the drawing board. Continue reading »

Jun 062016
 

7 lawn mower safety tips

There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of a lawn mower and the smell of fresh cut grass, but did you know that thousands are injured each year as a result of mowing their lawn? While lawn mowers give us gorgeous yards, they can also pose many dangers which is why it is always important to practice safety around them. If you are unsure about where to begin, take a look below at 7 lawn mower safety tips that can keep your lawn looking great while keeping you safe at the same time.

1. Service the mower at the start of each season.
Before you mow for the first time of the season, take your mower in to be serviced. Most hardware stores offer this service, and it is a great way to make sure your mower is functioning correctly. The specialist will inspect it and fix any issues that could pose a hazard, helping run not only at its best but safely.

2. Never remove the hazard and warning stickers.
You might like the clean look of a shiny new mower, but keep the warning stickers in place. These serve as important visual reminders of where the blades are and where other hazards are. They can also serve as warnings to children or anyone borrowing your mower. Continue reading »

May 232016
 

Marshmallow Boo Boo Ice Pack

I am a boy mom and while they are not so little anymore (le sigh), boys are naturally prone to all sorts of cuts, scrapes and bruises. They love playing outside all summer long, so we definitely see our fair share of boo boos.  I have to bust out an ice pack at least once a day every day from the day they get out of school in June until they go back to school in September.  I’m not exaggerating at all.

The thing about ice packs is that they can be messy.  They drip everywhere once they start to melt and if one of the kids hurts someplace like their knee or elbow, ice packs aren’t flexible so they don’t really work well for jointed areas.  Well, here’s an awesome summer hack for you.  Make a cold pack out of marshmallows!  Yes, I said marshmallows.  Marshmallows get cold, but won’t be hard so they can mold to the body. Plus they are way more fun for the kids.

It only takes a few minutes to make and trust me, it will make the kids forget all about their boo boos in no time.

Here’s what you need:

  • Ziploc bag
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups of mini marshmallows (will depend on the size of your bag)
  • Food coloring in choice of color
  • Masking tape or washi tape (optional)
  • Bowl for mixing
  • Plate or cookie sheet

Continue reading »

May 182016
 

How to Talk to Your Child About Strangers

From tackling peer pressure to learning to achieve five whole minutes without a cell phone in hand, addressing tough topics with your kids head-on can be hard. Even with the littlest ones, it’s not always easy to explain why you can’t get them that cute puppy and why they need to be nice to their sister. But with Netflix, your kid’s favorite shows can open the door for these tricky, sometimes awkward (hello parents of tweens and teens!), conversations.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids came with a stranger danger warning attached to their brain? Every parent wants to instill the common sense of staying away from strangers into their children. However, every parent knows that isn’t possible. I wanted to share some tips with how you can talk to your children about the danger of strangers.

Talk about adults you can trust.

Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for, but it’s still important to talk to them about adults they can trust. Talk to your child about who they can trust and who they can’t trust. I’m pretty straightforward with my kids and tell them that no one else will pick them up, unless I tell them that personally. I tell them that if they don’t feel right about something, then go with their gut instinct.

Talk about acceptable behavior.

It’s best to be honest with your child than to sugar coat anything. Stranger danger doesn’t just happen when your child is on his or her way home from school. Stranger danger can happen anywhere. It’s important that kids know what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Continue reading »

May 172016
 

5 Ways To Take Control of Your Laundry

Do you have piles of laundry on your closet floor? Behind your bedroom door? Under your children’s beds? Are your laundry baskets overflowing? Do you find yourself questioning which pile is the clean pile?

You need to take control of your laundry… yesterday!

Taking control of your laundry can only be accomplished if you have a fully functioning washing machine and dryer. If either of your machines are misbehaving frequently, the first step you will need to take is to find a replacement. Failure to work with proper equipment will result in laundry failures despite your best efforts.

Now that you are up and running, let’s get started!

1. Purge Your Closet

The top signal that it is time to do laundry is when there are no more clothes to wear. When this happens, you are forced to pull out the spray freshener or do a load of laundry (dire situations may require you do both – wink).

Reducing the amount of clothing your family owns will help you to maintain the greatest amount of control. No, your son doesn’t need seventy-five collared shirts, and your daughter doesn’t need thirty pairs of jeans. Trust me, I’m a recovering thrift store-oholic that had a son with over seventy-five collared shirts, ten pull overs, and more than fifty t-shirts! That was just the bulk of one of my child’s closets! (Shameful, I know) We have since adopted a twenty shirt rule with an additional requirement that before new clothing comes in, old clothing must come out! Continue reading »

May 092016
 

How to Throw an Outdoor Movie Party

Spring and summer are a great time to mix up your party styles. You can easily move your typical parties outside to enjoy some fresh air after being cooped up during the dreary winter months! One great way to have some fun outdoors is by hosting an outdoor movie party. If you need some tips on how to throw an outdoor movie party we’ve got you covered! These tips and tricks will have you set up and ready to go in no time; your party is sure to be the talk to the town and a big hit with all your family and friends!

Supplies:

  • Projector
  • Screen (Use a flat white garage door or the side of your house!)
  • DVD Player or Laptop
  • Movies
  • Speakers
  • Extension Cords
  • Snacks
  • Blankets (to sit/lay on)

Continue reading »

May 032016
 

8 Signs You Are Not Ready to Have Kids

Last week I had a conversation with someone and what they said to me literally made my jaw drop. That conversation is what ended up inspiring me to write this post today. This person is a married adult in his mid 30’s and the conversation progressed from talking about how he wants kids of his own to taking about changing diapers.  As soon as I said it he said that he doesn’t have to worry about changing diapers because his wife will be changing them all.

What??

I tried telling him how that’s completely ignorant, unfair and just plain immature.  His response was, and I quote: “I can’t deal with poop.  I will end up puking all over the baby”.  So, what, he can never be alone with his own child because he won’t change a diaper?  I am sure his attitude will change if he ever becomes a parent himself, but frankly I hope he thinks long and hard before procreating – especially since this same person can barely take care of himself.

Being a parent is the hardest job there is and it’s not for the feint of heart. I was infuriated when I walked away from that conversation and as a result I compiled this list of other signs that someone might not be ready to have children of their own. In addition to not being able to deal with poop.

1. You cringe when you go out to eat and get seated at a table next to a family with small kids.

I’ve been on both sides of this scenario (hey, I was young and immature once upon a time), so I truly do understand how loud kids can get under someone’s skin.  With that being said, I have also been that mom who had to take her child out of a restaurant and wait with him in the car until the rest of her family finished their meals.  It’s one of those things that you don’t fully comprehend until you are a parent and find yourself in that situation. And if you think for one minute that it won’t happen to you – BWAHAHAHA!!!!!! Continue reading »

Apr 272016
 

7 Creative Ways to Use Old Crayons

Do you have a bucket of old crayons sitting around? If so, you might be wondering what to do with them. Well don’t pitch them just yet. Instead, take a look at these 7 creative uses for old crayons. You will find that old crayons can actually come in handy. Take a peek!

1. Make your own rainbow crayons.
Peel off the paper and place the crayon bits into cupcake tins. Spray the tins with non stick spray before you do, then bake them at 300 degrees until melted. Remove and allow them to cool. Pop the crayons out and you now have your own crayon discs in all sorts of colors!

2. Make your own fire starter.
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to start a fire, you can use crayons to make your own fire starter. Simply melt the crayons (remove the paper first) in a microwave safe dish. 20-30 seconds in your microwave on high heat should do the job. Then, pour the wax over pinecones. When you are ready to start your fire, just light the pinecone and set it on top of the wood. It will work great!

3. Make some melted crayon art.
Hot glue some peeled crayons to the top of a canvas. Use the hair dryer to melt the crayons, allowing them to drip down the canvas. The end result is some out of this world melted crayon art. Continue reading »

Mar 312016
 

Time Saving Cleaning Hacks

This review was made possible by iConnect and Mr. Clean.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are my 100% mine.

Okay, let’s be very real right from the start: Cleaning Hacks are amazing. They save me time, effort, and they get me done with the cleaning faster. Who doesn’t love to be done cleaning faster?!? Anyone? I think just to be safe I am going to assume that EVERYONE wants to be done cleaning faster and proceed with the list of cleaning hacks!

Break It Down

One of the best cleaning hacks out there is to divide up the cleaning chores. Not only does this make life so much easier and organized but it makes you feel better about the whole cleaning process. There is never going to be a time when I want to give up an ENTIRE day to get everything done at once so work it out however it suits your schedule but definitely break it down. Cleaning one room or one floor or just completing one task everyday will make your whole process easier and more in the long run, more efficient too! Continue reading »

Feb 222016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ActiveFitForMe #CollectiveBias

5 Ways to Get Your Booty Bikini Ready for This Summer

The holidays are officially over and spring is on the way! The groundhog says that warmer weather is on the horizon and that means it is time to stop shoving those discount chocolates in your mouth and get pumped for bikini season! If you need a little motivation, here are 5 ways to get your booty bikini ready for this summer!

1. Water

We started out easy on ya! Start flushing out all that excess salt and sugar from the long cold winter. You will be amazed at how much better your skin, body, and booty will look if you start making water a big part of your day! Try challenging yourself to drink a gallon of water every day. It’s really not hard to do and you can find TONS of breakdowns on Pinterest about how to time it out so you aren’t chugging a half gallon of water at ten o’clock before bed! Water helps not only flush toxins but it also helps keep your muscles hydrated so you can recover more quickly from your workouts! Continue reading »

Feb 142016
 

St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas for Kids

St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun holiday for the whole family! It can sometimes be difficult to come up with ideas to make a St. Patrick’s Day party fun for kids. It’s easy with adults but just in case you are looking for some great ideas for St. Patrick’s Day kids parties you’ve come to the right place! These ideas are sure to be a hit with all of your little leprechauns!

Green Food

This is a classic for St. Patrick’s Day and can’t be overlooked at a kid’s party! Some great foods that go green easily are rice crispy treats, cupcakes, jell-o, and sugar cookies! You can even make some green savory treats like popcorn and the chip dip! Try dying the ice cubes for a fun, fizzy, surprise in the soda!

Games

St. Patrick’s day is all about gold coins and leprechauns so try putting a classic spin on some themed party games! You can pin the hat on the leprechaun, or pin his gold coins in his pot! A great way to keep kids busy during a St. Patrick’s Day party is to set up a fun scavenger hunt! You can have the kids hunt for the rainbow or a pot of gold; chocolate coins make a great prize for figuring out the clues! Continue reading »

Feb 092016
 

Helping Your Child Succeed At Math

Do you have a child that seems to have trouble with math? You’re not alone. Many children and adults alike struggle with math, but just because math doesn’t come easily doesn’t mean it won’t come at all. Here are a few simple ways you can help your child succeed at math.

Start with the Basics

Although your child might not agree, math is really a simple subject. There are rules for everything, and if you know those rules, you can solve any problem. If your child is struggling in math, you might want to take a closer look at the basics. At some point, your child might not have properly learned an important rule that serves as a foundation in math. If you can start with the basics and work your way from there, your child will be much more successful at math.

Take it Slow

Some math concepts are more difficult than others. Your child might breeze through addition, but struggle with multiplication. Don’t be afraid to take it slow when your child gets stuck on a skill. Slowing down on those tricky skills will give your child the time they need to actually learn what’s going on. Since advanced math skills usually build on the basics, it’s important to make sure your child had a solid foundation to work from. Continue reading »

Feb 082016
 

7 Kitchen Pantry Beauty Wonders Celebs Love

Beauty on a budget and naturalists rejoice! These items you can probably find in your kitchen pantry right now are cheaper than your average one-trick pricey product and work so well, celebrities swear by them.

Olive Oil – Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett and Sophia Loren are just a few of the many celebs who swear by olive oil.  The ‘Pretty Woman’ star told Glamour that she soaks her hands in the kitchen cupboard staple to conditioner her cuticles. Cate credits it for her gorgeous complexion according to In Style magazine, while Loren once stated in an interview that she uses the oil from head-to-toe in a bath. Continue reading »