Jan 272015
 

Monster Burger Fun Kids Meal

When it comes to eating, we are a fairly simple family.  Some of us are fussy, so there are only a handful of meals that everyone in the house agrees on that they like.  Burgers happen to be one of those meals. We all love a nice juicy burger in our family, but sometimes Chris and I like to have a little fun in the kitchen.  We recently made these monster burgers and the kids absolutely loved them.

The thing is, if you’re making a burger anyways, you don’t need anything extra to make these (well, unless you don’t normally have a jar of olives on hand).

All you have to do is cut “teeth” into your cheese slices before you melt them onto the burger in the pan. Continue reading »

Jan 212015
 

10 Insanely Clever Organizational Tips For The Home

Are you tired of a not so organized home? There are a few simple things you can do to make your home more organized than ever. Check out these ten tips for an insanely organized home.

#1. Spend time deep cleaning your house first, so you’re not dealing with a mess the whole time you’re organizing.

#2. Take everything out of the area that you are organized, get rid of the non-usable stuff, giveaway some of the items you’ll never use, and then reorganize the area.

#3. File important papers away in one area of the house, instead of having it spread all over the homestead.

#4. The closet? No one wants to organize the closet, but it’s time to tackle that beauty. Take everything out, get rid of clothing you haven’t worn in over a year. I always hang up my shirts and fold my pants. You can choose what works for you!

#5. Are you out of organizational spaces? Go thrift shopping to find some inexpensive organizational furniture you can up-cycle. You’ll be able to get organized and still stay on budget. Continue reading »

Jan 152015
 

6 Tips For the Picky Eater in Your Family

Does your child have a hard time eating the food items you’re making for them? My boys sometimes struggle with what I put in front of them, so I decided to try several different things.

#1. Patience is Key

I know that you want to move onto the next activity instead of watching your child slowly eat their peas, but you need to be patient. A child isn’t going to eat the food in front of them faster, just because you want them to. Try to be as patient as possible to make things easier for your child.

#2. Introduce New Foods

You may try 101 foods before you find a food your child will like, and that’s okay. I sometimes feel guilty for “wasting” food. Instead of feeling bad, I just make smaller portions now. If they love the food, I can always make more, instead of throwing tons of it out.

#3. Fresh is Best

It can be so tempting to give our children chicken, pizza, fries and lots of other processed foods. One of the best things you can do for your child is to offer them fresh foods. It’s healthier for them and you’ll love it if they grow up enjoying these types of foods.

Picky Eater

#4. Add Choices Continue reading »

Jan 102015
 

5 Winter Energy Efficiency Tips For Your Home

Are you ready to start prepping your home for the winter months? One of my “main” things during these winter months is to try and save as much energy as possible. I’ve learned that the more energy I can save, then the more money we also save in the long run. Check out these five energy efficiency tips for the home.

Use carpet or rugs on wooden floors.

If you have hardwood floors, it may be harder to keep your flooring warm. I always use carpet or rugs when possible because this helps to add heat retention, which means warm air will stay put longer.

Set your thermostat to 68 degrees.

It’s funny because in the summer time I keep the air conditioner at 72 but in the winter I keep the heat marked at 68 degrees. The heat bill seems to really add up during those winter months. I have found that keeping it at 68 degrees is a smart financial move. You can always put more clothes on while my house if you’re cold (just no taking clothes off, please)! Also, don’t forget to change your furnace filter at least every month. Continue reading »

Jan 082015
 

Have you ever gotten a delicious looking cupcake, you know one like this:

The Right Way To Eat a Cupcake #yum

You look at it in all its delicious glory and think to yourself “how the heck am I going to open my mouth wide enough to take a bite?”.  Unless you’re a boa constrictor, most people’s mouths don’t open that wide.  Plus, you end up getting frosting all over yourself when you try to take a bite.

So, here’s what I do:

I slice the cupcake in half. Continue reading »

Jan 052015
 

5 Tips for Prepping Your Vehicle for Winter

Getting your vehicle ready for winter is probably one of the most important things you can do over the next few weeks. Having your vehicle prepared for winter can give you peace of mind. Check out these five tips for prepping your vehicle for winter. Yes, girls care about this topic too! I mean, I haul my precious cargo around in my vehicle, I need to have it ready for winter.

Make sure the vehicle has plenty of fluids.

Just like any person needs fluids, so does your vehicle. You really can’t skip out on this part. Whether your car needs an oil change or needs windshield wiper fluid, this is a vital part of prepping your vehicle for winter.

Don’t forget about ensuring the tires are good to go.

Tires are one of the most important parts of winter driving. I know some people who get special tires just for winter. I just try to make sure my tires are nice and blown up for winter driving. The last thing I want to deal with is a flat tire on the side of the road with six feet of snow staring me in the face. Continue reading »

Jan 032015
 

5 Tips for Getting Back into a School (1)

I don’t know if it’s just our family, but getting back into a routine after vacation is really hard. It takes us at least a week to fully get back to normal. There are some things we do to help get back into a routine and I thought I would share those tips with you.

#1. Easy Does It

Some people love to come home, get everything unpacked and then relax. Our family prefers to just bring everything into the house and then slowly unpack. We’re not in a hurry when it comes to unpacking and getting everything put away. Do what works for you to help keep the stress to a minimum.

#2. Always Give Yourself a Day

You see, we try not to get back late at night and then head back to work and school. We’d rather have a whole day off to get back into the routine of things. My kids always seem to be well rested after they’ve had a day to recuperate from traveling or having a few busy days in a row.

#3. Skip the Fast Food

When we are traveling or not into a routine with school, it can be easy to eat out a lot. When it’s time to get back into the routine, we try and focus on eating at home and as healthy as possible.  Sometimes eating fast food can make us feel sluggish and give our bodies an even harder time of recuperating. Continue reading »

Dec 252014
 

Holiday Returns - 21 return policy links to your favorite stores

It might be the thought that counts, but you can keep the thought and still return the Santa brought you that you don’t like or need . Trust me, you won’t be the only one. If you’re like me, you’re probably itching to get to the store with (or without) the receipts and return the unwanted gifts. The most important thing to know before you get in line at the stores is the exact return policy. It’s going to save you time and quite possibly a hassle.

To get you started, here are the holiday return policies for a few of the biggest retailers.

Walmart
http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9/~/returns-policy

Game Stop
http://www.gamestop.com/gs/help/Returns.aspx

Target
http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=Return+policy&parentcat=Returns+%26+Exchanges&searchQuery=search+help Continue reading »

Dec 162014
 

Are you looking to have a little Elf on the Shelf fun this holiday season? If so, take a look at these fun and frugal Naughty Elf ideas a try! You will find that it can be so fun and easy to help your Elf on a Shelf get into some holiday trouble. Here is how you can get started!

1. Clubbing Elf
This elf loves to get down to the beat and dance until the dawn. Grab a pack of glow sticks at your local dollar store, activate them, and then tie them around the elf. He will look like he is ready to party in no time. Cue the house music!

Clubbing  Elf on the Shelf

2. Boozy Elf
Uh oh! Looks like someone found the booze! Boozy Elf looks great when set out with a bottle, wine corks, and a wine glass. For extra fun, stuff him inside of the glass. Bottoms up! Continue reading »

Dec 142014
 

How to Wrap Gifts Almost Perfectly

Every birthday and Christmas I try my hardest wrap my gifts perfectly. I’ve never wrapped them perfectly, but I have learned to wrap them almost perfectly. Check out my tips below to follow along in my secret wrapping.

#1. Pick out wrapping paper you love.

I’ve learned that the secret to wrapping a gift almost perfectly is picking out wrapping paper that I love. I take some serious time choosing several types of wrapping paper that will help me wrap my gifts. I especially love finding incredibly beautiful wrapping paper for Christmas. The shinier than the better when it comes to Christmas wrapping.

#2. Grab your supplies.

There’s nothing worse than starting to wrap a gift and you realize you forgot scissors or tape. I always have everything ready before I start wrapping any gifts. The more prepared you are than the better your gifts will turn out. Continue reading »

Dec 102014
 

**Disclosure: I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**

I have to admit that the holidays seem to bring out the hustle and bustle in all of us. I strive so hard to keep my family happy and healthy during the holidays albeit I sometimes fail miserably. I wanted to share my best tips for managing some of the holiday craziness while still on the go.

Plan Ahead

One of my best tips is to plan ahead for the day. You can’t predict every single thing that will happen, but you can plan ahead for what might happen. I write my day down and add a few notes to what I can do to help stay on track and keep things running smoothly.

Tone Down the Schedule

If I feel like things are getting too busy during the holiday season, I pull back and tone things down. It’s important to remember that spending time with family and friends is more important than anything else this holiday season.

Wholesome Fast Food Choices

As much as I love everything on the McDonald’s menu, I like to make the best choices possible and offer those same choices to my kiddos. I’m so excited that McDonald’s is adding fresh fruit items, like Cuties, to their menu! Beginning December 1, 2014, customers nationwide can choose to enjoy Cuties as a side in Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals, as well as “a la carte,” or just purchasing the side option itself Cuties are a sweet and delicious kid-sized fresh fruit choice providing an excellent source of vitamin C and providing about one-quarter (1/4) cup of fruit; they are small and easy-to-hold and peel! Make sure you try the Cuties in your Happy Meal because they will only be served while they’re in season (thru March 2015).

J-Mcdonalds-cuties-happy-meal

Happy Meal Evolution

The traditional Happy Meal is amazing, but I love the chances that are happening! McDonald’s continues to evolve the happy meal to help keep their smallest customers happy and healthy. Want to know more about the Happy Meal? Continue reading »

Dec 092014
 

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There’s nothing worse than spending a ton of money on Christmas decorations year after year. Whether you’re looking to purchase new Christmas decorations for a first time home or replace your old decorations, there are some ways you can save money.

Borrow Christmas Decorations

There’s nothing weird about borrowing someone else’s Christmas decorations. Let’s say a person is no longer using something fabulous, decoration wise, and it’s just sitting in their basement. It’s best to ask  to borrow it than just watch it sit there.

Garage Sale Christmas Decoration Finds

Garage sales are some of the BEST places to find Christmas decorations. Whether you’re looking for a tree or lights, it’s best to find them for the lowest price possible. There’s no use in spending your whole Christmas bonus on something like this. Look around during the summer months for decorations that you can use during the winter months. Continue reading »

Dec 072014
 

Perfect Christmas Pranks for the Kids

Every year I have to be THAT mom and have a little fun with my kids. Life just isn’t the same if you do not spend time having fun. I think Christmas time is the perfect time to have a little good clean fun with the boys. I wanted to share some of my best prank ideas to pull on the kids.

Empty Box Wrapped Up

Okay, this one might be just plain mean, but it’s hilarious. Wrap a huge box with wrapping paper and place it under the tree. Don’t say anything and let your kids open it Christmas morning. I’m just saying that you have to have something amazing for them to open after pulling a prank like this.

Early Christmas

Take things from around the house and wrap them up. Surprise the kids about a week before Christmas and tell them you are having Christmas early. They may just love opening a box of brownie mix a week before Christmas.

Wake Them Up Early Continue reading »

Dec 032014
 

Snowman Donuts NOM

The holidays are filled with gift shopping, whipping up feasts that will please a crowd, putting up decorations, planning festive gatherings, cleaning up after the festive gatherings, making lists, and checking them twice. It can all be overwhelming, but the fun in the season is worth every moment of making magic.

These Snowman Donuts are incredibly easy and quick, so you can get back to making three different kinds of mashed potatoes to suit your guests’ desire. They require no baking, but just a little imagination that will have your family wanting to join in.

You Will Need:

*Powdered sugar donuts – You can make your own by frying up some pre-made biscuit dough. Just use a small circular cookie cutter to create the shape. Double-dip them in powdered sugar and let them cool. Or, you can buy a bag. I won’t tell.

*One small piping bag of white-hued frosting

*Candy orange slices

*Chocolate chips (Regular M&M candies work well, too.) Continue reading »

Nov 302014
 

Monsters Inc. Mike Wazowski Holiday Ornament

Do you love Monsters Inc. or know someone who does? If so, this Monsters Inc. holiday ornament is the perfect craft. Simple and inexpensive to make, this Monsters Inc. holiday ornament is the perfect way to add a little monster fun to your tree or holiday décor. Take a peek below at how to get started crafting your own Mike Wazowski ornament and see how much fun you can have!

Supplies needed:
Clear holiday ornament (opt for plastic)
Green craft paint (Hot green or a vivid green is perfect, typically less than $1 at most craft stores)
White, black, and blue craft felt or construction paper
Black marker
Craft glue Continue reading »

Nov 262014
 

**Products were received at no charge in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

If there’s one major thing I love about having boys it is how snazzy I can dress them, even on a budget, even the big “boy!” There’s something about a bow tie and how fabulous it can make any outfit look.

IMG_6509

Truth be told, Chris had never worn a bow tie before, so he had to watch a YouTube video to learn how to tie it correctly. Continue reading »

Nov 182014
 

How To Prepare a Boy's Closet For Winter

Getting the family’s clothing ready for winter is a true task. I have all boys, so I feel as though it is a lot of work prepping their closet for winter time. I wanted to share my tips for preparing my boys’ closets for winter time.

Go through what fits and what doesn’t fit.

My boys grow like weeds during the spring and summer. It takes me a while to go through their closets to see what still fits and what doesn’t fit. I will admit that some of the clothing they outgrow during the school year and that’s easy to take care of.

Add at least five pairs of jeans and 7-10 long sleeved shirts.

I know there are guidelines to which you should follow when it comes to how many pieces of clothing your child has in their closet. However, knowing what boys are like and how fast they go through clothing, I go ahead and stock up. Five pairs of pants and 7-10 long sleeved shirts are just the basis for me. I try to add on where I can. I also make sure the boys are stocked up on socks and underwear as well. Continue reading »

Nov 112014
 

5 Tips For a Thinner Thanksgiving

Don’t you love that after thanksgiving feeling where you feel too full to move? Well, that feeling is probably what has made you gain a few pounds over the years. Thanksgiving doesn’t need to be full of all of the fatty-ness, you can have a thinner thanksgiving by checking out these tips.

#1. Less Carbs

Little did you know that you can make Thanksgiving a big hit without all of the carbohydrates. Try adding a little less carbs to the meal and a few healthier options. Instead of mashed potatoes, try sweet potato fries or mashed potatoes made out of cauliflower.

#2. Leave the Soda Behind

When it comes to those sugary drinks, avoid them over the holidays. Honestly, you’re probably not paying attention to how much you’re drinking. It’s best to drink water anyways, especially if you’re looking to have a thinner Thanksgiving holiday. Continue reading »

Nov 052014
 

Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Doesn’t the thought of eating turkey and mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving make you feel a little traditional? I feel as though it’s time to step out of the box and think non-traditional this year. That’s why I’m letting you know about several different non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas that will have you smacking your lips.

#1. Chinese Food

I’ve always thought this would be a great idea for a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Who says you need to have a table full of turkey, pasta, and potatoes? I’m thinking along the lines of Chinese Food this year. It tastes delicious and I know everyone will love it.

#2. Healthier Versions

I am frankly tired of gaining weight over the holidays and that’s why I’ve thought about just being completely healthy about Thanksgiving this year as well. Instead of mashed potatoes, I like the idea of sweet potato crisps. Don’t worry about the #1 in this post though because Chinese food is naturally healthy and those calories don’t count (insert wink here). Continue reading »

Oct 302014
 

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Keeping our kids safe is one of the most important jobs a parent has. That’s why it’s important to establish safety rules for trick or treating.

Isn’t it ironic that trick or treating basically goes against everything we teach or kids? (Don’t talk to strangers, don’t go up to houses, and don’t play in the street). For those couple of hours they’re trick or treating all kids should have some sort of guidelines. Check out these safety tips:

#1. Have Your Child Wear Bright Colors

Bright colors are a must if you’re going to go trick or treating this year. Make sure your child isn’t wearing all black and drivers can see them as they’re walking. If your child is going to wear all black, in the dark, it’s a good idea to have them wear a bright vest.

#2. Pick a Safe Route

My kids and I hit up the same route every year. It’s important that your family picks out a route that’s safe for you as well. Remember that during October the days get shorter and it can be harder to see. If you’re not sure of where you’re going it can be hard to see in the dark and can make for a dangerous situation. Continue reading »