Feb 262015
 

Age Approrpriate Easter Basket Ideas: without all the junk! who needs it anyway?? - massholemommy.com

It’s never too early to start thinking about Easter! It’s coming soon so I’ve started thinking about what I can do. What exactly do kids need in an Easter basket? Probably nothing, but what would they like? Every single year I go all out. Last year I started toning it down a little bit and making sure there was a lot less candy and chocolate involved in all Holiday’s and I try to shop as frugally as I can when it comes to Baskets, Gift Bags and Treats for special days.

What I will buy my 11 year-old I most definitely won’t buy my 5 year old or 3 year old, so there’s lists I make to ensure I fill up the baskets with age appropriate toys, books, trinkets and gadgets that they will actually use. So, I sat down and came up with some ideas after looking around the dollar store and two other stores.

Ages 1-3:

  • Board Books
  • Blocks
  • Bunny Stuffed Toy
  • Puffs Baby Food
  • Socks
  • Cars
  • Light up toys

Continue reading »

Feb 252015
 

GE

Dr. Seuss’s birthday is quickly approaching on March 2nd.  Can you believe he would have been 111 years old this year?  His books are timeless classics and my boys both enjoy reading many of his stories.

One of my favorite books growing up was One Fish Two Fish by Dr. Seuss. This book came out in the 1960’s and continues to be a huge hit today. I love taking the concepts of Dr. Seuss and turning them into something fun for the kids to do. The craft we did is a spin off One Fish Two Fish by Dr. Seuss.

Supplies:
Construction Paper
Various Color Paint
Glitter
Paint Stampers
Paper Plates

Directions:
1.  Spread paint out on paper plates. We chose to use red, blue, and green because those are the only paint colors we had on hand. Dr. Seuss would want you to use your imagination, so go ahead and give it a try! Use whatever paint you have on hand.
2.  Dip your hand in the paint. If your kids are younger, they will need some direction. Your “fish” can go to the left or to the right. Whichever you choose.

GE
Continue reading »

Feb 212015
 

Homemade Snow Ice Cream Recipe

To say that we have had a lot of snow here in the Boston area is an understatement.  I am just south of the city and we currently have about 4 feet of snow on the ground here.  I wish I were exaggerating about the snow total, but sadly it’s not joke.  Since we’ve been trapped in the house a lot this winter, one thing we like to do is make homemade ice cream out of snow.  Yes, snow.  It’s super easy to make and the kids love it.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • CLEAN Snow
  • Optional:  Food coloring and/or sprinkles

Continue reading »

Feb 182015
 

How to Create a Rockin' Kid Friendly Chinese New Year

Many of you may not know that one of our favorite holidays to celebrate as a family is Chinese New Year. I love it because it’s such a unique holiday that not everyone celebrates. It’s a time to break out of the bubble and celebrate something on our own.

Check out these 5 ways we celebrate Chinese New Year with our kids.

#1. History Lesson

You don’t have to agree 100% with everything behind the Chinese calendar to have fun with this holiday. I use this as a learning experience for my kids and we go through why Chinese New Year is celebrated. Buddha has a rich history and it is fun to read up on it.

#2. Fortune Cookies

Since we don’t know everything about Chinese New Year, we do what we love best. We make our very own fortune cookies. Of course, you know my history with cooking; things don’t always turn out right. We have fun coming up with our own fortunes. I will tell you the boys have come up with some very interesting fortunes in the past.

#3. New Chinese Recipe

Every holiday deserves FOOD! Our family finds a recipe that we’ll love and we try to make it every Chinese New Year. Everyone in the family has to try it, even if it doesn’t look appetizing. Over the years, we’ve made some very interesting Chinese concoctions. Continue reading »

Feb 172015
 

How to Help Your Child Through the Mid-School Year Slump

Most kids get the “mid-year slump.” It’s that time in the middle of the school year where they’ve had their fill. The holiday break seems to help with this slump, but it doesn’t solve everything. It’s important to take the time to address this issue and help your child through it, so it doesn’t become an even bigger problem later. Here are some tips to help your child through the mid-year slump.

Be Motivating

As much as you can, try to motivate your children to do their best. I don’t think a child ever gets tired of hearing “you can do it.” I try to remind my kids that they can do anything with a little perseverance. You might be surprised as to how motivating something like this can be for a child who has lost all passion and motivation.

Create an Incentive Chart

We all know that when we get a reward out of something, we’re going to do better. Well, the majority of the human race is like this anyways! I like to create an incentive chart for my kiddos. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, but a little incentive goes a long way! Continue reading »

Feb 122015
 
Baby books are cute...until there are two to fill in.

Baby books are cute…until there are two to fill in.

Being a twin mom is hard. That first year is especially difficult as you adjust to the demands of two newborns. One of my challenges that first year was keeping up with recording everything in two different baby books. By the time I remembered to write things down the moment has passed and I couldn’t recall every exact detail. So, I switched to a calendar.

Calendars are great until your kids find where you stashed the pen.

Calendars are great until your kids find where you stashed the pen.

I hung both calendars right over the changing table so I would NEVER forget to document every sweet detail. Then I stopped documenting once the kids could reach the pen. *Sigh* Continue reading »

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 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 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 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 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 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 »

Oct 302014
 

9
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 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.

IMG_5963

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 292014
 

Best Halloween Costumes for Boys

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to start thinking about what you will dress your child for Halloween this year. My favorite part is trying to find the perfect Halloween costumes for my boys. I wanted to share some of my favorite costume ideas with you because it’s one of the best times of the year.

Superhero Costumes

I’ve noticed that it’s incredibly hard to go wrong with a superhero costumer. If you’re having a hard time deciding what your child will be for Halloween, consider going with a superhero costume. My kids love anything superhero, so that’s always a favorite. Which superhero character would your boy pick?

TMNT

If there’s one costume that’s perfect for the boy in your life, it’s a teenage mutant ninja turtle costume. There are several turtles to choose from, so if you have multiple boys—everyone can still be their favorite TMNT. I also love this idea because you can make your own costume or buy one from the store. There’s FLEXIBILITY—which I love. Continue reading »