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 »

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 »

Apr 182016
 

Easy DIY Resuable Swiffer Pads

If you are anything like me, your Swiffer is your best friend. I use mine every single day of my life.  Between the dust that my forced hot air heat blows out in the winter, the dog and the messes my boys track in – I would be completely lost without my Swiffer.  Ok, maybe not lost, but my house would be in a constant state of messiness.  Since I use my Swiffer daily, the disposable pads that are needed to clean with them were adding up fast. Even when I bought in bulk, I was spending tons on the disposable pads and since my house gets so dirty, there was no way I could use them more than once.

But I recently came up with the solution for that problem.  I made my own reusable pads to use and love all the money I am saving not buying the disposable pads.  The reusable pads are really easy to make and you can use any cute fabric you like to make them.

Here’s what you need to make your reusable Swiffer pads:

  • Any flannel fabric
  • Any cotton fabric
  • Sewing pins (optional)
  • Sewing scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine

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 »

Feb 072016
 

cherry chocolate face mask with watermark

It’s that time of year again. Ladies you know, that time of year when our summer tans are completely faded and our poor skin is all dried out from the cold.  It’s not pretty, but you can rejuvenate your skin easily with this Homemade Cherry Chocolate Face Mask. The beauty of it is that you only need 3 ingredients and chances are you already have them in your cupboard.

Here’s what you need to make your Cherry Chocolate Face Mask:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons 100% cocoa (cacao)
  • 10 Maraschino cherries

Continue reading »

Jan 312016
 

DIY Valentines Day Banner

I am going to be honest, we’re not big on Valentine’s Day around our house.  In fact, my husband and I refuse to celebrate it, but that doesn’t mean that the kids can’t have a little Valentine’s Day fun.  I generally adorn my house with a few small decorations to acknowledge the “holiday” and this year I decided to make a fun Valentine’s Day conversation heart banner to hang up.

The banner is wicked easy to make and it will make a lovely addition to anyone’s decor. You can get as creative with the sayings on the conversation hearts as you want and believe me when I say, it can be real fun to come up with some out of the ordinary sayings. Because of the kids, I kept mine family friendly, but you can go in just about any direction you want with yours. Continue reading »

Jan 272016
 

Natural Cough Remedies That Actually Work

Dealing with a cough is not only monotonous it, can take a toll on your body. While sometimes my coughs don’t seem to lead to anything but annoyance, I have found several natural ways to help remedy my cough.

Honey Works Wonders

Although spooning down honey isn’t ideal, it really does work. I often use this remedy when I’m trying to go to bed. I just eat a spoonful of honey and most of the time it works, the honey sooths my throat enough to allow me to sleep through the night.

Warm Drinks

There’s nothing that remedies a cough more than a nice warm drink. Add a tad bit of honey to warm tea and that is like the ultimate cough soother. Usually when you’ve been coughing a lot, your throat is sore and that’s why drinking something warm feels so good. Continue reading »

Jan 062016
 

10 Ways to Use Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most versatile items to have in your home. From cooking and cleaning up, to home remedies and even gardening, white distilled vinegar is a rock star. Grab a gallon at the store for under $5 and try these 10 ways to use vinegar.

10 Ways To Use Vinegar

1. For poached eggs add a tablespoon (tbsp) of white distilled vinegar to the water. This ensures the egg whites form better and helps the eggshells from cracking.

2. Tenderize meat by using vinegar in the marinades. Perfect to add to the slow cooker if using inexpensive, tough cuts of meat. Continue reading »

Dec 282015
 

How To (1)

Isn’t it time your pantry stopped looking boring and started looking snazzy? I love storage ideas that are brilliant, but that help keep my pantry as organized as possible. I’ll be the first to admit that I love wowing people with my snazzy storage ideas.

Patterned Wallpaper

One of my favorite ways to make the pantry look snazzy is by placing wallpaper behind the shelves. This really helps bring personality to my pantry in so many ways. The tough part for you will be choosing patterned wallpaper that you and your spouse can agree on.

Unique Storage Units

You know, there are simple storage units and then there are snazzy storage units. When choosing storage options for your pantry, you don’t need to go boring. I’ve seen some amazing organizational tools at places like Ikea, Walmart, and Target.

Always Go Up

I’ve learned that to keep my pantry looking snazzy and uncluttered it’s best to “always go up.” What I mean by this is always take your storage up to the top of the ceiling. You can always place new shelving within a pantry by stacking on top of each other. Drawer organizers are a great example of this, they help you have tons of storage, but they can also be placed vertically in your pantry. Continue reading »

Nov 032015
 

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

5 Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy Reading

Reading is one of those “things” that kids either seem to enjoy or dislike. Luckily in my case, both of my boys truly enjoy reading, but I know that’s not the case with every child. Even if your child seems to dislike reading, there are things you can do to get your child to actually enjoy it instead.

#1. Try Community Reading Programs

Sometimes just reading for your own sake isn’t enough. Kids want to be recognized for their hard work and determination. Community reading programs are perfect for helping kids get excited about reading and making it more enjoyable. During these programs, kids get rewarded for the amount of hours they read… It’s pretty exciting!

#2. Try Reading Together

Sometimes adding a little bit of fun in with reading makes it more enjoyable. Parents, read with your children to spruce up the idea of reading. Spend time talking about the book and even using goofy voices while reading. Take the time to teach your child about how high or low inflections in their reading voice can add a little spin to their reading fun. Continue reading »

Nov 012015
 

5 Insider Tips For Viewing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1

Did you know that over 3 million people head to New York City to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person each year.  Like every one else, I love watching it on television every year, but actually going to NYC to see it live had been on my bucket list for many years.  Since we’re only a few hours from NYC, last year my hubby, Chris and I headed down to Manhattan to see the parade.  Before we went down, I did my research and wanted to pass on my best tips for surviving the experience to you guys.

IMG_6683

1. Know the parade route!

This is going to help you in a few ways.  First of all, I highly suggest you plan where you want to view the parade from ahead of time, so obviously you will need to know which way the parade goes. Plus, that way you can tell your cab driver exactly where to drop you off at when you get there.  Secondly, if you are watching the parade from near the beginning of the route, you will not walk into the crowds still watching it when you leave. Continue reading »

Oct 282015
 

Mini Travel Pouch For Kids

Over the weekend my family and I traveled to NYC by train to visit Comic Con! It takes us just over 2 hours by train for us to get to the city. I was worried about how to keep the kids occupied and reasonably quiet during the ride. I also do not like carrying a ton of stuff so I had to make sure I had all our essentials covered and that everything was light weight and portable.

Thankfully, my kids carry their own back packs. I knew we had a lot of walking ahead of us so I didn’t want to overload the packs. I packed a change of clothes and left enough room for an extra sweat shirt, some snacks and a mini activities pouch. I carried my own light weight pack filled with small snacks and my own essentials.

I knew after the initial excitement of the landscape whizzing by our train wore off the kids would start getting antsy. That’s when I planned to pull out these mini pouches filled with small, quiet activities and require only the power of their imagination. Continue reading »

Oct 192015
 

Easy Ghost Puzzle Craft

It’s no secret that It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is my favorite cartoon of all time.  As soon as I see Linus and Lucy walking towards that pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin, I am transported back to my own childhood.  I remember as a child (before DVD’s and even cable), my mom would let me stay up late every year to watch it when it came on tv.

It’s not just It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, either.  I have loved so many of the Peanuts gang specials and movies over the years and I was excited to hear that they have a new movie coming out on Friday, November 6th, 2015: The Peanuts Movie. You can view the trailer here: http://www.peanutsmovie.com.

I was even more excited when I heard that Shaw’s stores was going to be the exclusive grocery partner for the upcoming release of The Peanuts Movie and that they were going to have two exclusive reusable Peanuts branded shopping bags / trick-or-treat bags that are free (with purchase, while supply lasts).

Do you remember the scene in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when all the kids go trick or treating.  With the exception of Lucy, who is a witch, and Charlie Brown, who just wears a sheet with a lot of holes in it, the rest of the gang were all dressed up as ghosts.  My kids and I decided to recreate those cute ghosts by making a craft out of some old puzzle pieces.  It’s super easy to make and you only need a few things to make your ghost (and you probably already have them). My kids got a huge kick out of it.

Here’s what you need:

  • Old puzzle
  • Any black craft paint
  • Any white craft paint
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Paint brushes

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by painting the back of about 30 puzzle pieces white (more or less depending on how big you want your ghost to be). Let them dry completely. Continue reading »