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).

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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 »

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.

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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 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 »

Oct 282014
 

Pumpkin Carving With Kids - How to Stay Safe!

The little ones are probably excited about carving a pumpkin this year. How do you keep things safe but still have fun at the same time? Well, you can’t just hand your child a knife and tell them to start cutting. You need a plan in place and these tips will help you out.

#1. Always Supervise the Kids

Even if you think you can walk away for a moment or two and your child will be safe, you’re probably wrong. Kids do the most damage when you’re not looking. Try to have two adults helping out if possible, this will help you really keep an eye on what’s going on.

#2. Use Guided Instruction

Instead of doing everything for your child, you can guide them in the process of pumpkin carving. You don’t have to give your child a knife to carve a pumpkin, there are pumpkin carving kits out there. Although each pumpkin carving kit is bound to have something sharp in it, so make sure you go over safety tips with the kiddos. Continue reading »

Oct 262014
 

How to Embarrass Your Child This Halloween

Embarrassing your child is fun and Halloween is the perfect time to do so. Are you looking for some ideas to start embarrassing your children? I’ve done all the hard work for you by giving you the following ideas:

#1. Talk Loud

There’s nothing more embarrassing than a parent who talks really loud and there’s nothing your child can do about it. When they ask a question, just talk as loud as you can. Talk especially loud for the really embarrassing questions.

#2. Don’t Match

Matching your clothes this Halloween is easy, go on your Halloween adventure wearing the craziest clothing you can find. It’s Halloween so you need to really try extra hard to make this task embarrassing.

#3. Ask for Candy

At the last minute, whip out a grocery bag and ask random doors for candy. This is hilarious because your child won’t be expecting it. The key is to make sure you keep your face as serious as possible. Continue reading »

Oct 212014
 

Spooky Owl Wreath Dollar Store DIY

If you love the haunting look of owls, you will love this easy DIY owl wreath! This spooky owl wreath can be crafted using just a few dollar store materials, and the end result is the perfect Halloween décor piece to spruce up your space. Take a peek below at how you can craft up your own spooky owl wreath in just minutes and for just a couple of dollars.

Here is what you will need:
Halloween themed ribbon
Grapevine Wreath
Owl cut outs
Black twigs
Scissors
Craft or hot glue, glue gun Continue reading »

Oct 152014
 

How to Have a Gluten Free Halloween

Halloween is one of the most scrumptious times of the year. You have access to handfuls of candy and deliciousness. One of the only problems is having to deal with a gluten free diet while enjoying this awesome holiday. If you’re nervous about trying to eat gluten free during this holiday, have no worries because with these tips you can have a gluten free Halloween.

Homemade Treats

If you’re unsure of what’s gluten free and what’s not gluten free, then consider homemade gluten free treats. There are tons of yummy gluten free recipes online that you can bake for your own Halloween fun. Here are ten treat recipes to get you started.

Read the Package

You might be surprised at how many candies are actually gluten free. If you’re not sure if the package has gluten in it, email the company yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to just have that reassurance that you can’t get anywhere else. If you’re looking for a gluten free candy list, then this list might help you out a little bit. Continue reading »

Oct 092014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #15, Alexis!
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**This post is sponsored by McDonald’s.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about how we survive going back to school and in case you missed it, you can read all about it here.  As I mentioned, we are always on the go after the kids get home from school and sometimes I just don’t have time to cook the boys dinner.  That’s where McDonald’s comes into play.  I love that I can swing by McDonald’s on the way home from the soccer field, grab the boys each a Happy Meal and be able to feel good about what I’m serving to my kids.

Each Happy Meal provides wholesome options such as Apple Slices and Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry yogurt. Additionally, 1% low-fat while milk, fat-free chocolate milk and 100% apple juice are the perfect beverage pairing for your kids Happy Meal.  In case you haven’t heard,  later this fall Cuties clementines from Sun Pacific are going to be included as a Happy Meal side as well.

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Since this time of year is so hectic for many of us, I wanted to share a few more of my best back to school survival tips. Continue reading »

Oct 072014
 

How To Make This The Best Halloween for the Kids

Halloween is just a few short weeks away and the kids are pumped about the event. It’s time to make this the best Halloween ever and here is how you can do it.

#1. Dress Up Yourself

If you’re going to dress the kids up for Halloween this year, make sure you dress yourself up as well. The kids will love it if they see you get excited about this fun event that only rolls around once a year.

#2. Go Candy-licious

Halloween is all about the candy! Don’t forget that candy makes the holiday so try and let the kids have a little fun with it. Some parents want to limit the candy their children eat to only once piece. At least let your kids have two! Continue reading »

Oct 012014
 

This contest has now ended. Congratulations to #201, James.
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**This post is sponsored by McDonald’s. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

School is back in full swing and you know what that means…. It means days filled with packing lunches and driving kids to sporting events, all while trying to take care of your daily duties. All of those school year extracurricular activities can fill up your day, making it seem like you don’t even see your kids despite being in the car with them for what seems like hours. As our family is out running around from activity to activity, sometimes it’s been a challenge to grab the kiddos a quick bite of food to feel good about.

And that is exactly why I love McDonald’s.

Each Happy Meal provides wholesome options such as Apple Slices and Go-GURT Low-Fat Strawberry yogurt. Additionally, 1% low-fat while milk, fat-free chocolate milk and 100% apple juice are the perfect beverage pairing for your kids Happy Meal. And guess what? Later this fall, be on the lookout for Cuties clementines from Sun Pacific included as a Happy Meal side as well. My ten year old is already super excited about that – Cuties are his favorite snack.

I am so happy that McDonald’s gives me nutritious alternatives and it’s food that I can grab quickly if we’re in a hurry to get to karate class or the soccer field. Continue reading »

Sep 262014
 

Dollar Store DIY Halloween Ghost Treat Bucket

If you are hosting a Halloween party or just looking for a fun and frugal Halloween craft, look no further than this ghost treat bucket. Made from dollar store supplies, this ghost treat bucket is perfect for holding sweets and other Halloween favors. Take a peek below at how to make your own in just minutes. Perfect for kiddos or adults, this is a Halloween craft you won’t want to miss out on.

Here is what you will need:
White favor buckets (sold 2/$1 at Dollar Tree)
Googly eyes
Halloween ribbon
Black craft paper or craft foam (you can also use a black marker if you wish)
Craft glue
Scissors Continue reading »

Sep 222014
 

Tailgating With Kids

If you have children, you might wonder how you can make tailgating possible. However, there are some things you can do to make tailgating a lot of fun for the whole family.

#1. Kiddy Foods

Bringing the kids tailgating means you need to have kid friendly foods! You can bring along kid friendly tailgating foods like dip & chips, pigs in a blanket, veggies, or fruits. Anything that’s simple to put together and easy to eat will do. Just think like a kid when it comes to these types of foods and you should be good to go.

#2. Simplicity

If there’s one tip I can give you on tailgating with kids it’s to keep things simple. It’s hard for children to focus when there is a lot going on around them. Tailgating requires a lot of activity, so if you plan on bringing kids, then it’s important to keep things simple. Continue reading »

Sep 172014
 

Fantasy Football Isn't Just For Guys

Okay, so I am the queen of a house full of boys and I don’t think normal women love football as much as I do. I’m not going to lie—I’m in love with it! I’m especially in love with fantasy football. Since the whole family is going to get involved I decided that I might as well too. Here are some of my best tips as a woman to survive like a man in the fantasy football world.

Take Chances!

If you’re going to do the whole “fantasy football” thing the make sure you take chances. You can’t sit back and play it safe, you have to give it everything you got. If you’re holding back, it’s time to give a little more. In my opinion, you have to play as well as the real football players out there on the field.

The Right Team

You can’t play fantasy football without putting together the right team. You’ve really got to sit down and think about this for a moment. Think about putting a team together that will give you the best advantage. Don’t pick a football player just because you feel bad for him, pick him for your team because you know he’ll do a great job. Continue reading »