Aug 222016
 

Tips to Improve Interaction on Twitter

Twitters’ true value is engagement, while sure the search engines index it and you will have a Google Page Rank for your Twitter profile, without interaction you are wasting your marketing time. It is super easy to get intertwined with Twitter and being a broadcaster. When you have blog posts scheduled to go out live, content to get out there on a regular and your feed is full of information, you are half way there to improving interaction on Twitter.

Getting the content out there is not as tedious as working to improve interaction; after all you want your followers to engage with you because it reaches a wider range of viewers. When someone @ replies to you, their followers get to see your name and read the conversation. Having that interaction with people on Twitter helps to build your online brand, personal character and shows that you are a real person seeking to engage with others.

Twitter tiles

As a blogger on Twitter, it’s all about building the person behind the brand because people want to follow bloggers who keep it real, are approachable and maintain a loyal interaction online. If you are seeking to improve interaction on Twitter, then please follow the below tips to ensure your interaction increases on a steady basis: Continue reading »

Aug 162016
 

Opened First Aid Kit

When someone thinks of a first aid kit, perhaps only band-aids come to mind. However, a first aid kit is much better off if it has more of the necessities in it. Summer is here and it’s time to ensure you have everything you need in your first aid kid. Here are some ideas:

25 adhesive bandages in various sizes
If you are like me, you go through A LOT of them, so if you are prepared with different sized band-aids, you will be covered for boo-boo’s of all sizes.

Antiseptic Wipes or Alcohol Pads
It’s important to clean the wound before you put on a bandage and keeping wipes in your first aid kit will help you do this quickly and easily.

Antibacterial Ointment
Whenever your child gets a cut or an open wound, it’s important to clean it before putting on a bandage. Using an antibacterial ointment such as Neosporin can help clean the cut and keep the bacteria out. Continue reading »

Aug 082016
 

Back to School Morning Routine Hacks

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Tyson Foods, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JDgreatdays  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Guys, it’s happening – back to school that is.  The kids are going to be out there waiting for the bus before we know it and trust me, I know how chaotic school mornings can be.  It’s important to find ways to cut back on the chaos and make everyone’s lives a little easier and I believe I’ve found the secrets to a smooth morning.

1. Lay out clothes the night before.
Picking out clothes seems like something that shouldn’t take more than five minutes in the morning, however, when you’re in a hurry it can take forever. If you take five minutes the night before and lay out yours & the kids clothes, you will eliminate having to worry about it in the morning.

2. Set the alarm for a few minutes early.
Try getting the family to wake up at least 10-15 minutes earlier than normal on school mornings. Kids can be slow getting around because they are struggling to get used to a routine, so getting up a few minutes earlier will give them a little more time to wake up and get going. This might mean sending the kids to bed a few minutes earlier as well. Continue reading »

Aug 012016
 

8 great grilling hacks

As summer is here, it’s time to dust off the outdoor grill and get busy.  My friends at Scotties asked me to share my favorite soft summer moments that make me slow down and savor this wonderful summer season.  Without a doubt, having cookouts with friends and family tops the list. I love hanging out with good company and enjoying some great food while I’m at it. You don’t have to be a gourmet “grillmeister” to enjoy grilling and produce an amazing summertime meal. Check out these 8 great grilling hacks to help you out.

Super clean. Although, not the most favorite part of the process, but a necessary one after each use. Keep your grill covered and then break out the grill brush and give it a good scrub so you have a great grilling surface all times.

To marinade or not marinade? Take a few extra minutes in the morning, and simply add a nice marinade or a brining liquid to your proteins. Then, save time when you get home and fire up the grill. Make sure to use a little cooking spray or olive oil over the grates to help prevent sticking. Marinades high in sugar, like some barbecue sauces, tend to burn and stick, so be careful.

One tool to do it all. You really only need one good long pair of tongs for all your grilling needs. Keep it handy and keep it clean in between uses and it’s all you’ll need. Continue reading »

Jul 262016
 

Helpful Things I Learned from MacGyver

MacGyver is one of the best guys when it comes to “life hacks”! There are so many great things that I learned from MacGyver; he really does give out some of the best tips and tricks! Some of these can really come in handy, others are just really clever, and some I can’t believe are even real. I suppose this is kind of tribute to the master…In today’s day and age we’re all pretty obsessed with life hacks and MacGyver was the OG of life hacks! If you’ve ever needed to remove a stripped screw, unlock a door from the outside, or turn a chip bag into it’s own bowl then this is the post for you. If you’ve never needed to do any of those things this is still the post for you, you’ll likely rest A LOT easier knowing that you CAN do all of these things just like MacGyver!

Remove a Stripped Screw

You can use a rubber band placed over the top of a stripped screw to remove it without the screwdriver slipping!

Never Leave Home Without a Swiss Army Knife

Okay so maybe leave it at home when you go to the airport but other than that you should have one. It’s got everything you need for all kinds of situations! Continue reading »

Jul 262016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Scott100More #CollectiveBias

How To Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home

I love, love, love having people come to stay at my house – whether it’s just for one night, a week or even longer. My husband is one of seven and since a few of his siblings have relocated over the years, sometimes when they come “home” they need a place to stay. I am the first one to raise my hand when one of them needs a place to stay. My brother in law, his lovely wife and my super cute 1 year old nephew are regulars at my house and I get so excited whenever they tell me they are coming up. They live in Astoria (Queens, NY), so since they are fairly close, they come back to Massachusetts pretty often.

When they (or anyone else) stay at my house, I want them to be comfortable and feel completely at home. Just a few extra touches here & there can really make your overnight guests feel special.

1. Clean and/or Pick up your house.
Give your house a good cleaning. If your house is already clean, go through your house room by room and get rid of clutter. I am a parent and that means that there are toys all over the place. Take an afternoon to pick up all of those things laying around and put them back where they belong. Why not get the kids involved while you’re at it? I do!

How To Make Overnight Guests Feel at Home3

In addition, I always use having overnight guests as an opportunity to cross things off of my to-do list. Have a doorknob that’s wiggly and needs for the screws to be tightened? This is the time to get those little things done. Continue reading »

Jul 112016
 

7 ways to prevent and treat poison ivy

Summer is here, which means you might be spending more times outdoors. Whether you are hiking, camping, or gardening, your chances of running into poison ivy are likely, so knowing how to protect yourself from this poisonous plant is important. Instead of spending the summer itching from head to toe, take a look below at 7 ways to prevent and treat poison ivy. When you keep these tips in mind, you can keep yourself itch free and enjoy summer in the way it is meant to be enjoyed!

1. Remember the old saying, “Leaves of three, leave them be.”
Poison ivy is easily identifiable by the three leaves, a red stem, and vine like characteristics. However, poison ivy may lack one of these traits which may lead you to assume the plant is safe. Instead, keep the rule in mind that if a plant has three leaves, leave it be. Don’t touch it and instead play it safe.

2. Use a prevention spray.
Head to your local gardening center or Amazon where you can find poison ivy killing sprays. This is perfect for banishing poison ivy from your yard without having to touch the plant. If you notice any in your yard, treat it quickly before it has the chance to spread.

3. Cover legs and hands when working in the yard.
Wear long pants, sleeves, and gloves when working in the yard. This way should you come in contact with poison ivy, the oils from the plant won’t have the chance to touch your skin. Immediately remove and wash the clothing in hot water when you come indoors. Continue reading »

Jul 052016
 

Cinnamon Rolls the easy way

We all have been there. You open the fridge door and there are those delicious little packs of cinnamon rolls staring at you. But it is 95 degrees with 90% humidity and you really do NOT want to turn the oven on. Oh but those cinnamon rolls look soooo goooood….. Well I have your solution…..

Grab your waffle maker!!!!!!!

cinnamon rolls waffle iron

Pre heat the waffle iron. Once heated put on your cinnamon rolls and press the lid close. Give it a good push close to smash them down a little. Continue reading »

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.

nathan1

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.

IMG_9772

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.

nathes

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 »