I have two beautiful, smart and full of life little girls! They are always testing the waters and pushing the limits when it comes to the rules and doing things they know can get them in trouble. Don’t get me wrong, they are very good and well behaved most of the time but they like to have fun and explore so that gets them in trouble. Over the summer we had slipped into a very bad routine where we would have to ask them 5 times to brush their teeth before they would listen or repeat ourselves over and over again when it was time for them to do their chores. They were not listening and doing whatever they wanted to do. I was spending so much time trying to catch them doing something wrong or critiquing the “bad” behavior and was at a breaking point. Something had to change, and it did, I tried something else and it is working much better for us!
Catch Them Being GOOD
I recently discovered the Boys Town Email Series which is several FREE emails to help you with your parenting challenges. Each series consists of weekly emails that run 4-6 weeks and discuss a specific parenting issue, include a teaching activity and a relevant social skill. Boys Town is backed by 100 years of research and experience and their content is developed by psychiatrists, psychologists and parenting experts, so I felt confident in their information, tips and advice. There are many topics to pick from so I picked the Parenting Principles series and the topics hit home right away with the first one being “Offering Effective Praise.”
Parenting Techniques that Work
This series taught me to look for and identify good behavior frequently and consistently. Wow, I never thought of that! I mean I did a little bit but not frequently and consistently. I noticed when I told them “Thank you so much for helping Mommy put away the dishes, it really helps me” or “I like how you are being so nice to your sister, it makes me so happy” that they started going out of their way to do NICE and appropriate things to get more praise. Boys Town suggests in their email series that you praise your child four times for every one time you correct him/her.
Boys Town Email Series
Parenting is hard and sometimes we just don’t have all the answers! It is awesome to know that there is help out there when we need it! Boys Town email series has a lot of tips at your fingertips on important topics such as potty training, toddler tantrum, teen disciple, success in school, sleep issues, kids and technology and so much more! I am going to spend a lot more time trying to catch my girls being good from now on that’s for sure!
Check it out here and sign up for your free email series and build up your parenting tool box! Let me know what you think of it! It takes a village, that’s for sure! #Parentingwin
Brought to you by Dr Pepper® and Albertsons Companies.
3 Ways to Prepare for a House Party for the Big Game
Are ya’ll ready for some college football!? This is one of my favorite times of the year because it means three things: food, fun and football! I love any excuse to get together with friends and family to eat, visit, and play. Excitement is in the air as teams face off all around the country and there is no shortage of them to pick from on TV or to attend!
There are 3 things that I always do to prepare for my house parties!
Follow these tips and your party will go off without a hitch!
- Make sure you have great food and enough of it! People like to eat finger foods, typically chips, dips, and BBQ while watching the big game. Hot dogs and/or sausage are a great, inexpensive choice that can feed a lot of people! Fruit and veggie trays are always a big hit as well. Find a great store like Tom Thumb that carries a large selection so you have variety to pick from.
2.Make sure you have all the tableware such as cups, silverware, plates, napkins etc. It is a bummer if your guests don’t have what they need to eat all the yummy food you prepared. Make a list before you go to the store of everything you need and everyone coming. Tom Thumb carries some really cool tableware if you want to do something besides the plain jane white plates and cups too!
3. Have plenty of ice cold Dr Pepper®! It is a must have for our game day parties and get- togethers. Everyone always asks for the Dr Pepper® at my house so we always make sure we have plenty on hand! We always stock up when we are at Tom Thumb, plus it’s a great time to get the Dr Pepper rolling right now, you can get a $5 Fanatics promo code with purchase of select sizes. Buy any 2 Dr Pepper 12-Pack 12oz Cans, 6-Pack 16.9oz Bottles or 8-Pack 12oz Bottles and text FANGEAR to 811811. Follow instructions to send a photo of your receipt to get a $5 Fanatics promo code. For more info about the promo check out GameTimeFanGear.com.
Enjoy your parties and may the best team win on Saturday!
Here is a free tip for you. Put your food up high, don’t let this happen to you!
We seriously love Target in my household!
They carry the best products and cutest stuff for kids (and Mom too!)
Why not save 5% every time you go? Get the Target REDcard!
I had heard about the REDcard and was asked about it for years every time I was at Target but never wanted to do it because I thought it was a credit card or something! It’s not! It is simply hooked up through your bank account and when you shop at Target, you use your REDcard, and its just like using your debit card. The money comes directly from your bank account and you get to take advantage of the 5% every time you shop at the store on anything! You can also apply for a credit card if you want but we just have the debit card option and LOVE it!
What’s really cool is on my receipt is the running total that I have saved using the REDcard and let me tell you, it is up there!!! Like hundreds of dollars I have saved! What can you buy with all the money you saved??
MAK says- Get yours today! Super easy to get one plus you get a 10% coupon every year on your “Red Anniversary!” That’s even more savings! You can apply here on the Target website and get your very own REDcard!
Other reasons why you should have a REDcard:
Enjoy the convenience of online card management on your computer or mobile device.
Credit: Check balance, make payments, review statements.
Debit: View transactions and manage your PIN.
Apply for the TARGET Redcard and receive 5% OFF Today and Everyday, FREE Shipping @TARGET.COM and +EXTRA DAYS for Returns.
*This post contains sponsored links from unsafefoods.com
If your children are like mine, they are so excited that the summer is here. We have water park plans and trips to some of our favorite amusement parks scheduled. We may even stop at a festival or two, which are sure to have plenty of yummy fair goodies, for that mid-afternoon sugar rush. As a mom, self-professed foodie, and a food safety advocate: food is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of our day outside. I know all too well that food and outdoor events can be fraught with bacteria that could make my children sick. As foodborne illnesses are especially at their peak in the summer months, caution is a must to ensure food poisoning is not a buzzkill for your summer holiday fun.
4 Handy Tips to Prevent Food Poisoning
As a parent, you can take several precautions to help prevent your kids (and you) from coming down with the tummy troubles. Here is a handy list of four easy things you can do while still enjoying all of the culinary delights your outdoor event has to offer:
Be on the Lookout.
Food poisoning from mobile food vendors and even restaurants happens most often because of a sick employee. While you wait to order, see if anyone who is making the food seems to be complaining about their stomach or being sick. If so, seek another vendor.
Gloves in Check?
When I talk to health inspectors, many have told me this is a huge pet peeve of theirs. Sometimes a food service worker will take your payment while wearing gloves, and not change them to make your food. Just think about how many people have touched that dollar! Even worse, have they changed that pair at all that day? When in doubt, you can ask the worker to swap out for a new pair of gloves.
Check out the Food Before Your Kids Eat it.
I check everything my kids eat. Food has a “danger zone” between 40°F and 139°F where bacteria grow best. I make sure what should be hot is hot, and what should be cold is cold. If you order a hotdog, and it is lukewarm or room temperature, do not feel bad about sending it back. I personally would rather inconvenience a vendor than spend a night at the emergency room.
Everyone needs to wash their hands. I will not bore you with stats, but the reality is, most people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. Less wash their hands after touching animals. And sadly, if your hand sanitizer is not at least 60% alcohol content, most likely it won’t kill bad bacteria that causes food poisoning. Handwashing is by far the best practice for fending off disease.
Let’s Quick Talk About Food Poisoning
There is a common misconception that food poisoning happens right away and is the last item eaten. In most cases, food poisoning bugs that have a quick onset are usually less severe, like Norovirus and Staph. However, the scarier food poisoning bacteria, say E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella, have longer periods needed to incubate in the gut. It may take 2 to 10 days for the symptoms of an E. coli infection to show. As you can imagine, they also take longer to recover from. It may be a good idea to keep a short log of what your children ate during a trip to an amusement park in the off chance of illness.
As always, if you suspect your child has a severe form of food poisoning, urgent medical attention is recommended.
We at UnsafeFoods wish you and your family a very happy and healthy summer!
*MAK did receive compensation for this post.
Summer is meant to be fun for kids! We played, swam, toured and rested! However, something that is very important in my household is learning, especially year round! There is such a gap between when school lets out in May to when the kids go back in the fall! We did our best with short lessons and learning sessions but I needed something more! I didn’t want my kids to forget everything they had learned at school over the summer so I was so excited to receive 1 month free membership and tutoring from Explore Horizons in exchange for this review!
My Kids became fearless learners at Explore Horizons
Explore Horizons provide enrichment and tutoring in math, reading and writing, for children of all abilities in Pre-K to 8th grade. Their specialty is elementary & middle school education, so I was very excited to get my girls in as I have one starting Pre-K and one starting Kinder in the fall.
We had a great experience at Explore Horizons from start to finish! Our first step was the free in-person assessment. When you arrive at the center, you are greeted by a tutor at the door and sign in! Everyone is always so friendly and welcoming and knows your child! That is comforting for sure!
At the parent assessment we talked about my girls requirements, met the tutors and staff and toured the center. It took about an hour and all my questions were answered! The girls were even asked about their likes, dislikes, interests, etc. They felt very important. : )
My kids were excited, to say the least, about the chance to earn prizes in exchange for “lizard cards” and the board game on the wall. If they ask questions or for help they get to move their game piece at the end of the session. Same with the “lizard cards” which were earned at the end of each tutoring session. What a great way to engage the kids in play while they learn! When you make learning fun, the sky is the limit!
As a busy Mom, I never know what my schedule will be from week to week so the ability to come in twice a week anytime with no appointment was truly a benefit. Another plus is since you drop them off and the session last 75 minutes that is ample amount of time to run to the grocery store, pay some bills or take care of whatever errands you might have kid-free!
My daughters are different ages and at different stages of learning so I love that Explore Horizons provides an individualized learning plan for each child. They use a range of fantastic online tools and can really tailor it to suit your child. They track your child’s progress and each time they come back to the center, they are able to sign in and pick up where they left off. My kids love that their lessons were on the computer and being computer savvy we all know is a plus these days as well!
The Tutor to student ratio is 6:1 so 1 tutor is available to help 6 kids if they need help. The tutors stay in one station and help all the kids sitting in those stations with whatever they are working on.
When you arrive to pick up your kids, you are given an assessment card of what they did that day and what area they might of had trouble in or need work in so you can help at home too! My kids favorite part of the day was the handing out of the famous lizard cards as well as seen below which are filled with more learning tips front and back and redeemable for prizes also once you get so many. At the end of each session, you usually earn 3 or 4 of these as well.
Final Assessment of Explore Horizons:
Explore Horizons is the perfect partner for academic success. My kids were excited to go to each one of their sessions this summer and learned several things. I feel it helped them gain confidence to prepare them to be ready to go back to school! We will for sure keep Explore Horizons in mind if and when my kids start to slide backwards in school or just need an extra boost as they progress through their school career! I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a tutoring center for their kids!
Their programs teach children to:
* Define Problems
* Ask Questions
* Hunt for Answers
* Capture Thoughts Clearly
* Tackle Tests Fearlessly
* Exude Confidence
Why not schedule a free in-person assessment at your nearest Explore Horizons tutoring center, and find out how they can help your child become a fearless learner. Find out more at Explore Horizons today!
Want to save $50 on tutoring?
Just for my awesome MAK readers from US Family Coupons —Hurry expires 9/30/2017- Back to School Coupon!!
Join Explore Horizons before Sept 30th and save $50 on registration. Here is a link to the COUPON!
Want more back to school tips? Check out our Questions about Starting Kinder!
Wow, what a crazy week it has been getting the kids ready for school! Work, Hair-cuts, school clothes, school supplies, meet the teacher night, paperwork, and shopping for the right kind of groceries for their lunches! This week has been hectic with more to come as we roll right along into the upcoming school year! There were times I felt like I was going to lose my mind but I kept my cool.
Busy Moms can survive back to school with these tips!
Don’t try to cram everything into one week!
You still have your normal activities, job, other kids, housework and everything else you do that makes you crazy to do. You can’t possibility do everything you need to do to prepare for back to school all in one week/day. Pace yourself! We started a couple of weeks before school and conquered one task every couple of days!
Plan before you purchase
This is a big one! We spent a lot of time going through the kids closets, shoes, supplies, etc to see exactly what they needed. Don’t just go to the store without a plan as you will end up spending way more money then you intended. One of my daughters needed a couple more pair of shoes then the other. My oldest needed things the youngest didn’t. After I figured out what I needed, I wrote it all down. Since you now know what you need, you can go online to Groupon or whatever site you like and see what coupons and sales are being offered. You can truly save big if you do a little planning and preparation before you go out!
Start Preparing for the first day of school
Your kids might not like this one too much but don’t wait until the first day of school to get up early. Explain to them what you are doing and why, you can even make it a fun game for the younger ones. Start again about a week before school starts and do several trial runs. Start putting the kids down to bed at their new bedtimes, get them up at the time they would if they had school that day, eat a healthy breakfast, set out clothes and shower them the night before. Do everything you would do if school had really started. This way you can see what works for your family and what needs some fine tuning. There is no reason why back to school has to be chaotic. It just takes a bit of planning ahead of time and structure.
Enlist everyone’s help
Now that the kids will have somewhere to be everyday at a certain time it is time to make sure you have some help! Get that chore chart out and revise it. What could the kids be doing more of to help you out and make things run smoother in your household? Perhaps you have to be at work in the morning early as well and don’t have time to make lunches. Older kids can make their lunches the night before to help out, empty the dishwasher, fold towels and sweep floors. There are plenty of age appropriate chores that everyone can do to help out! Hubby around? He can help out with dinner/baths a few nights a week while you help the kids out with homework. Like the crock pot? Now is the time to get it out, since it is super easy and produces great home-cooked meals! The point is, everyone needs to be involved.
Set a positive tone for the upcoming school year
I feel this is so very important. Will life get crazy? Oh yes it will! If you have multiple children they will soon be going in 5 different directions all the time but as a parent one of the most important jobs you have is to set structure and a positive tone for your kids towards life so the same applies for the upcoming school year! Start a few weeks before school is set to start and talk to you kids about their goals, needs and fears about the upcoming school year. Be positive even if you aren’t! You want them to develop a love for learning and they look to you and value your thoughts! Have conversations with them about the importance of a structured routine and how it benefits them.
You are character building, Mom, even if it doesn’t feel like it one day at a time. Kids strive for structure and routine which in turn helps them develop responsible decision-making skills. When its all said and done, you will survive! You will figure out your routine and what works best for your family! It might take some rearranging and re-do’s but it will happen (hopefully by Christmas break!) : )
Do you have any great back to school tips for us? Please let us know in the comments below!
Need more help? Check out tips for going back to school HERE!
Get these Free Baby & Toddler Coupons!
Why pay full price? Just clip and print! Enjoy!
Save $0.50 OFF any ONE (1) Frigo Cheese Product
Save $1.00 on One (1) Pearls Olives To Go! 4-pack
Save $0.75 on ONE (1) PHILADELPHIA Cheesecake Cups
Save $0.80 on any ONE (1) bag of Werther’s Original Caramels 4.51 oz. or higher
Save $0.50 OFF any ONE (1) Treasure Cave Cheese Product
Save $3.00 any one (1) beano 100 ct (Available at Walmart)
Save $4.00 on Non-Drowsy Claritin RediTabs for Juniors (30ct)
Save $4.00 on any ONE (1) Zantac product 24ct+ (Redeemable at Publix)
Save $0.75 ONE Bounce Product 34-60 ct (excludes Bounce sheets 25 ct and trial/travel size)
Save $2.00 ONE Bounce Product 70 ct or larger (excludes Bounce sheets 25 ct and trial/travel size)
Save $3.00 on one (1) BIC Soleil Bella or BIC Soleil Bella Sun-Twist™ razor pack (excludes trial & travel sizes)
Save $1.00 on ten (10) Pouches of Fancy Feast Broths Gourmet Cat Food, any variety
Save $1.00 on ten (10) trays of Purely Fancy Feast Gourmet Cat Complement, any variety
Save $1.00 on ten (10) cans of Purina Fancy Feast Medleys Gourmet Cat Food, any variety
Save $1.00 on six (6) 3oz cans of Purina Fancy Feast Creamy Delights™ brand wet cat food, any variety
Save $1.00 on one (1) bag of Purina Fancy Feast brand dry cat food, any size, any variety
Here’s a great deal for you Moms! We know you love Legos!
What a great event to go to with your kiddo! Free Lego Dinosaur!
Registration is now open to build and take a free LEGO Dinosaur! The monthly mini build takes place on September 5th & 6th.
Sign up HERE!
Lego Monthly Mini Model Build
Come build this LEGO® Dinosaur model and take it home for FREE after!
Please note that you are registering for a building event. Guests must participate in the event to receive the free set. Guests will not be permitted to collect the set and immediately leave and may not pick the set up at a later date or time.
Quantities are limited to approximately 120 per store per night and time reservations are on a first come first serve basis. Models are not for sale and cannot be purchased. One registration with a maximum of 4 children per household. One free set per child. Due to safety restrictions, this event is open to children ages 6-14 only. Event Dates: September 5 & 6
Next Month: October registration begins September 15 at 9am EST.
Make sure you check out our Giveaway page for all our current offers also!
This is a sponsored post from That Baby Brain that contains sponsored links. Clicking on them costs you nothing.
6 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Baby Gear That you Need to Know!
Now that I’ve been a mama for six whole months now, the No. 1 tip I would give other mothers is that you probably don’t need as much stuff for your child as you’re buying. And you’re probably not stocking enough on the stuff you do need.
For example, did you know that elephant teething toy at Target is just as effective as Sophie the Giraffe, but it’s much cheaper? With all this said, here’s how you can save tons of money when you’re preparing for your baby’s arrival.
Family and Friends
The best thing that you can do is tell your family and friends what you need for your little one. Most of the time family and friends are going to jump at the chance to buy cute and fun clothes and baby items (especially if it’s your first). Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends what you need and see what they get you. Also, make sure people know that you are also welcome to hand-me-downs. Don’t be the person that is “too good” for hand-me downs.
Of course, there are some things that you don’t want; clothes with poop stains, things that are broken or have foul smells. And you should NEVER take used car seats or cribs from anybody. Both of these items have recalls sometimes and if you get them used you will not have any idea if they’ve been recalled. You also don’t know about their history (once a car seat has gotten in a crash it cannot be used). So, if somebody wants to give you either of these items you can politely decline. A crib and a car seat are two things you need to buy new!
There are awesome baby consignment stores across the United States such as Once Upon A Child, Goodwill and True Value. You can find some amazing things there. Children grow up so quickly and sometimes parents buy brand new clothes, toys and gear that they never actually use and then they sell it (or give it away) to different stores and you get to benefit! Before you buy any new items, check these stores first. Consignment stores are great for traditionally pricier items like double jogging strollers and jogging stroller and car seat combos.
Take advantage of social media when it comes to finding awesome items. You can join Facebook “For sale” groups or even “Baby sell” groups that you can check out and find some great deals on some killer items like kitchen playsets that would otherwise cost a small fortune. When you find an item you want, you can ask if it’s still available. Once you agree on a price you can then meet with the seller and grab the item.
The best thing to get from coupons is wipes and diapers! You will find that you go through so many diapers a day that you’ll lose count. If you haven’t had your baby yet, the best piece of mom advice I can give you is to start stocking up NOW! Start clipping those coupons and become a coupon crazy lady (or man)! Also, baby wipes can be used for anything – and this will make you tear through them even faster.
Check Insurance First
Before you purchase some things make sure you check your insurance first. Most health insurance companies will cover your breast pump and some may even cover your car seat. They may cover nothing, but it would make you very upset at yourself if you bought an expensive item if it could have been for free.
Shop Around Before Buying
The worst mistake you could make in buying baby items is to purchase the first item that you see (especially for the larger items). Instead, be sure you’re doing your research on Amazon. Don’t make the mistake of buying the first item you see from the first store. I have made the mistake of buying something in the store on impulse, then realizing I overpaid. For example, instead of rushing to buy my Graco Snugride and matching Elite Stroller at Target, I started watching them on Amazon. Then, I pounced during the holiday shopping season and bought them at deep discounts. I also did this with our Pack ‘n Play and car seat bases. Unless you have a baby in your arms and you don’t have a car seat, then you don’t need to hurry up and purchase right that second.
They Probably Don’t Need As Much As You Think They Do
I know that having a baby is overwhelming and everybody will tell you how expensive babies and children are. However, you will be surprised about how little babies need. They don’t need all the fancy and high-end equipment. They don’t need 3,000 toys. In fact, you’ll find that your child would rather play with your shoe than their expensive toys.
Want more ways to save? Check out our coupon page HERE!
I am a coupon queen! I love saving money on items I use and I love telling my friends when I find an amazing deal or coupon! Most of all I love sharing amazing finds with my friends on MAK! Good thing for me and all of us there is not a shortage of sites out there offering coupons!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post which contains affiliate links.
Coupons are a great way for a family to save quite a bit of money and I use them daily!
One of the best sites I use that offers serious savings on items we purchase all the time is Groupon , ever hear of them? Of course you have! The best part, is its FREE to use the coupons and you can use the them online or in-store and the app makes it so easy to see what is available while you are out and about SHOPPING!
I often look on Groupon first before we go on an outing to see if that particular outing is already listed on Groupon with a coupon or promo code. It has saved me big at restaurants, events, activities, getting my hair done and more! You will be surprised what is listed on there! I mean where else are you going to find all in one place 82,395 free coupons at 12,075 stores. Go ahead and just play around on the search bar and see what you can find!
Check them out! Be prepared to save some serious cash!!
Think of everything you can do with it! Let us know below in the comments what you bought and what you saved!
Some of our favorite sites that list their coupons on Groupons are as follows! Every busy Mom and money- conscience family should know about these and use them as much as possible! These 6 retailers cater to Moms and offer some of the best Mom/kid-related products in our opinion.
Today on Groupon: (I am just listing 6 sites I use out of thousands of retailers to chose from)
62 Coupons from BabiesRus. This includes promo codes, 15% off purchase, diaper deals and more.
92 Coupons from Walmart. This includes promo codes, grocery and baby deals and more.
71 Coupons from Target. This includes a $5 off, free shipping, 10% off back to school and more.
We love Target and shop there regularly because of their red card which offers us 5% off every time we shop there! Make sure you sign up for the Red card from our side bar to help support our blog!
48 Coupons from BuyBuy Baby. This includes a 20% off, free shipping and other promo codes.
44 Coupons from Disney Store. This includes 10% off site wide, free shipping, 25% off backpacks and more.
92 Coupons from Sam’s Club. This includes $10 eCard, $10 Cashback, grocery and tire deals and more.
Make sure you check it out and tell them we sent you! Go now and save big!
3 Tips for Buying the Best Double Stroller
This is a sponsored post from Mommas Baby that contains sponsored links.
If you are looking for a double stroller that can work for your kids, you are going to have your options. There are a variety of double stroller options on the market that you are going to be able to choose from. The key to choosing the right one is going to come down to knowing what factors to consider in order to successfully narrow them down.
In this article, we will be going over some of the top ways to narrow down your options when you are investing in a double stroller.
Investing In a Double Stroller:
1. Which Type of Double Stroller Do You Need
What will you be using the stroller the most for? If you like the outdoors and jogging, consider a jogging stroller. If you have kids that are several years apart, perhaps you will need a sit and stand stroller which is perfect for a toddler and infant. Check out our review here.
One of the top things that you are going to want to do when it comes to finding the best stroller to consider purchasing for your needs is to look at the reviews. You want to make sure that you are able to find a product that has great overall reviews on the marketplace because the more positive reviews the product has, the better the chances it is a good stroller. Finding a stroller with exceptional reviews is going to really help you narrow down your options and find the best double stroller on the entire market.
Another major thing that you are going to need to look at and consider when it comes to finding the best stroller on the market would have to be the pricing of the stroller in question. Not only do you want to be sure to find a stroller that is competitively priced, but you also want to make sure that you are able to find one that is going to provide you with everything that you need. Look for a fair price on the market based on the features that it has and its competition. Obviously, no one wants to overpay for a stroller. Therefore, it is critical to look at your options to ensure that you are finding one that is actually going to provide you with the most value.
Another major thing that you should be considering is the overall size of the stroller. A lot of people like to travel or perhaps they like to take their strollers in their vehicles. If you are someone that travels frequently with your strollers, you are likely going to want to figure out how big the stroller is and whether or not it meets your portability standards. There are some great Double Umbrella Strollers out there that work really well for traveling.
By factoring in everything above, you should be able to identify and pick the right stroller for your needs.
*** I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, we strive to bring you information that all Moms can benefit from.
Summer time is in full swing and many of us have our vacations planned or are feverishly planning the perfect family vaca! Kuddos to you Mom! We know it’s not always easy! There are many hurdles we face when vacationing/road tripping with kids and toddlers so this week we wanted to bring you some tips from a special Mama who has been there and done that! You can check out Ayana and her blog at Little Prince Leopold if you want to stay up to date with the adventures of her little Prince! Thank you for being here with us this week, Ayana!
Enjoy and write these tips down! We loved her idea of wrapping up items for kids to unwrap! Brilliant Mom Hack! (hand clap) Make sure you comment below with your best tip for traveling with a toddler/kids!
Blessings and Happy 4th of July!
Road Trip Survival Tips for Traveling With a Toddler
We recently took a road trip to New Orleans from South Carolina to visit some family.
I was really nervous about this road trip because as far as road trips go my son has always been a hit or miss type of baby.
We have gone on short car trips (3 hours or less) where he is unhappy and cries for at least half of the trip. On a recent trip into North Carolina I spent the last 30 minutes singing the ABC’s in different ways to keep him happy. Every time I stopped he would start fussing again!
Sometimes, he is content the whole way there!
So my first piece of advice to you would be:
Prepare and plan ahead
Don’t just ‘wing it’ if you are about to go on a long road trip. Heck, it’s smart to plan ahead for even the shortest of trips! I started planning and gathering supplies a couple of months ago when we decided to go. My cousin was going to be visiting my aunt with her new baby and I wanted to meet him! She lives in Colorado and chances are we won’t be out there anytime soon. Plus, my husband really wanted to explore New Orleans and find out what all the hype was about.
Whenever we were out shopping I would look for things that I thought would hold my son’s attention without being TOO messy.
I wanted to get stuff that he hadn’t played with before so that it would be fun and exciting for him too.
I collected snacks and drinks for all of us. We borrowed an ‘ipad holder’ so he could watch movies on our kindle. There was a lot of time spent on Pinterest getting ideas from other moms who had been brave enough to try a similar road trip.
Be ready for something to go wrong. Take a deep breath and get through it if it happens.
No matter how much you do prepare for the road trip, often times things don’t go perfectly like you planned for. Don’t let this mess up your whole road trip. Try to think of it as something that gave your trip character…maybe even something you will laugh about later!
We got our ‘uh oh’ out of the way only two hours into our road trip.
I’d packed our stuff into the van the night before, everything was ready to go. The dogs were at their ‘camp’, lists were checked off, clothes were set out for the morning. We were all set!
At 4:15am we got up, packed the cooler and the ice, loaded the baby into the car and hit the road. 5 minutes down the road we thought, ‘let’s make sure we have our wallets! Wouldn’t that be awful’! So we checked and yes, wallets were both there.
Right after we crossed into Georgia (around 6am) one of us randomly thought it would be terrible if the debit card wasn’t IN the wallet.
So just for fun I checked. NOPE. It was NOT in there! We frantically checked all over the car and it was gone. My husband got gas last night and we both forgot to put the card back in his wallet. It was in the pocket of his jeans back at home.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream and hit things.
But at the same time we were both relieved that something made us check right then and not when we needed to stop for gas.
Unfortunately the second we pulled in the driveway at home, Leopold woke up. So much for getting a head start so he would sleep! There went four hours of our trip. I felt sick to my stomach about it until we passed the point where we originally turned around in Georgia. After that it didn’t seem so bad anymore.
Here are a few of the things that kept Leopold occupied, even if it was just for 5 minutes!
Kindle loaded up with movies I downloaded from Netflix
This boy loves computer animated films! He was hooked on ‘Animals United’ and ‘Ribbit’. Leopold surprised us by being really interested in the movies I put on for him. He would even talk to the characters or react out loud to things that happened, which is relatively new for him!
I made him ‘threading’ toys out of cardboard and ribbons. I think this is still a little advanced for him but I made three and cut them into shapes he knows and painted them bright colors. He liked messing with the ribbon and naming the shapes and colors!
I wrapped a few of the things I brought for him in wrapping paper. That way not only was it a fun new toy, but unwrapping would be half the fun! Well, my kid just got frustrated with the wrapping paper. But once it was off he enjoyed ripping it into tiny pieces. It wasn’t a total fail!
Dollar store flash cards
Leopold has always loved flashcards. He likes collecting them in his hands and then mixing them up like a crazy person. I found some new ones at the dollar store and when I introduced them in the car I would hand him one at a time and we would talk about what was on the card. After we got through the box he enjoyed looking through the pile in his lap and then throwing them around the car. This activity actually lasted for a while!
Crayola double sided washable board
I loved this because he could color on one side and ‘finger paint’ on the other. We also used it later for a different activity.
Books and more books
I brought as many books as I could without taking up too much space. Leopold loves to look at books so I used them as ‘filler’ between activities and movies. He loves his Disney babies books (they used to be mine)! We have a lot that are paperback and super thin (but very durable) so I was able to bring a lot.
Color wonder sets
This would probably last longer for an older child but I was trying everything I could! I love these since the markers only work on the paper that comes with the set. I got this small pack and he used it for a while!
Pom Poms in a coffee can
This one kept Leopold occupied for quite a while. Leopold loves putting things in containers so I knew this activity would be a hit. I held out a handful at a time and let him put them in the coffee container. Then when it was full we would start over again. This one is better as a supervised activity so your toddler doesn’t try to eat the pom poms! My kid doesn’t put stuff in his mouth all that often but he did try to taste these a time or two.
I grabbed these window clings from target’s dollar section as well and they were a HIT. I think he played with these longer than just about any other activity. The feeling of them is different than just about anything he has ever played with and he loved sticking them to his crayola coloring board and then eventually stretching them until they ripped apart.
Some favorite toys from home
I brought some of his favorite little dinosaurs and he played with them for a while. He loves making them kiss and talk to each other. I set him up with his pillow as a space to play on.
In case he was fussy but didn’t want to play or watch a movie. Bubbles are always a nice distraction.
A Wallet filled with old cards
Exactly how it sounds. He enjoyed practicing opening and closing the Velcro and then pulling all the cards out and looking at them before throwing them on the floor.
A couple of new toys
I got him two toys from Once Upon a Child that have batteries. He really doesn’t have any battery operated toys at home so I thought they would be fun and interesting for him. They didn’t last too long but they did occupy him for a few minutes at a time. I got this alphabet dog and this remote.
Very important. Leopold runs on snacks a lot of the time so I got some of his favorites to eat during snack times. If he started to get extra fussy and nothing else was working I would give him a more special snack, like fruit snacks or goldfish.
Go ahead and plan an extra couple of hours just for making pit stops. Our travel time was 10 hours on the GPS but in reality it took us an entire day to get from point A to point B. I loved the road trip though. I got quality time with my husband and Leopold surprised us both by hardly fussing at all and just being a champion the whole time. It only makes me more excited to travel with him some more!
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Digital Citizenship and the Importance of Kids Online Safety: What Parents need to know
Read the Guide
This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my 100% my own.
What in the world is digital citizenship?
I had never thought much about it until I was asked to write this post. Whether we like it or not, the internet and everything that comes along with it is here to stay, including digital citizenship. My parents and their parents before them didn’t have to worry about “digital Citizenship” or wonder what their kids were doing online like the parents of today and the future will have to.
Digital Citizenship is defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. It means we all have a responsibility to be appropriate and responsible when we are online. As an adult, you already know (or should) what it means to be responsible and appropriate for the most part but have you ever thought about the internet through your child’s eyes? It is a colorful playground with sounds and sights and many times, unfortunately, full of people who are not good digital citizens.
Children as young as 2 can operate tablets and 6-yr-olds have cell phones and Facebook pages in the world we are raising. As a parent it is your job to teach your child to be a good digital citizen and also to protect them from those who are not. A day does not go by that I don’t hear something on the news about hackers, online predators, cyber-bullying and other web safety issues; it is more important now than ever to remind your kids to stay safe online. I have 2 little girls so this issue is very near and dear to my heart as they are starting to ask for their own phone and are learning more and more about their ipads.
Thankfully there are several resources out there available to you as parents to help you understand online safety and how to talk to your child about it. A great resource is the Parents’ Survival Guide To Online Safety. I found it very informative as it covers many topics that you will want to know!
This comprehensive guide covers topics such as:
UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S TEENS
DO’S AND DON’TS ON ONLINE SAFETY
HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD/TEEN
HOW-TO’S FOR PARENTS
If you want to make sure your child fully understands why rules regarding internet use must be followed and how specifically online predators can compromise one’s safety then this is the guide for you!
Aside from the internet, cell phones are great and in many families on the go, a must have but pose another set of issues for parents to be aware of. Did you know that text messaging and phone calls can cause distraction in areas of your child’s life as well as sleep deprivation? Did you know that online predators and bullying can also take place over cell phones just through text? How to Monitor & Spy on Text Messages of your Child is another guide that is packed with info that you need to know about when it comes to cell phones and text messaging in our world today. It explains a step-by-step process as to the importance of not necessarily spying on our kids but having honest conversations with them about what they are doing on their cell phones and what we will do as parents to protect them.
Both guides above are written and provided by KidGuard, a technology services company that provides information & tools for parents to keep their kids safe online. If you are interested in “spying” on your kids text messages, monitoring their gps locations, tracking phone logs, chats, and staying on top of issues such as cyber-bullying, online predators, teen depression, and other risks to your children arising from the internet, check out The KidGuard Phone Monitoring service.
Diapers Diapers Diapers!
Where do you start!? So many brands with so many claims! Leak-proof, eco-friendly, fragrance- free and the list goes on and on. I know this may seem exhausting if you are a soon-to-mom or new mom but never fear….we have looked near and far and found the perfect DIAPER GUIDE for you. You need to be equipped with the best considering those little whipper snappers will go through about 5000 of them (diapers) before they are fully potty-trained.
Wow, that is crazy!
Our friends at Reviews.com, a small group of obsessive consumers with a passion for the truth, and the desire to find the best have done all the work for you! Needless to say, your Aunt Bertha and best friend Sally will also have their two cents to throw in on EVERYTHING baby-related but hopefully this diaper guide can take something off your plate. You have more to worry about now!
Shop for Diapers here from our friends at Amazon. We do recieve a small commission if you buy to help support our blog!
To find the best diapers For a Life Less Messy, Reviews.com started with 33 contenders focusing simply that a diaper should work, fit, absorb and be safe for your baby to wear. Diaper experts, nurses, midwives, and, of course, parents were interviewed and only 4 companies/brands stood up to the test!
Don’t think I am going to give it away but I will tell you the brand I used for both my daughters, Pampers, was one of the 4! Whoo hoo!
I always loved my Pampers! : )
Head on over and check out the results and review yourself HERE!
Need to save money on baby gear? Read our 6 Surprising ways how to do that Now!
Tell them we sent you!
Traveling this 4th of July or summer? We are and I am always looking for ways to ease the pain of packing! Being Mom, the responsibility falls on you whether it’s packing for the week, weekend or even an overnight. Well this little hack can make your life easier- and cleaner!
Mom Hack—- IntelliDent Toothbrush Shield and Mouth Guard Shields.
We all take toothbrushes/mouth guards with us when we travel but how do you transport them? Do you have one of those plastic cases? Do you put them in a Ziploc baggy? Whatever your method is, I promise you, it is not clean.
*I received a set of the pictured Intellident Toothbrush and Mouth guard Shields in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Studies have shown that plastic caps and covers retain moisture and constrict air flow making them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The Center for Disease Control discourages the use of plastic covers. A damp dental device stored in a dark place can breed germs also leading to risk of contamination. Yuck!
The IntelliDent Toothbrush Shield was tested to be a 99.9% effective barrier against airborne and surface bacteria, by the Nelson Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT. Nelson Laboratories is a leading provider of full, life-cycle microbiology testing for the medical device, pharmaceutical, and natural product industries.
The Toothbrush and Mouth Guard shields come in boxes of 10 or 12 (1 shield last 7 days) and can be purchased at Rite Aid & Walgreen’s Stores. Wal-Mart sells the Toothbrush Shields at $1.96 a box so they are actually less cost then your traditional yucky plastic cover since there are 10 in a box. They are small, light and perfect for travel. Just open wrapper and put on toothbrush or mouth piece. Easy Peasy!
MAK approved. We use Intellident Toothbrush Shields and it is so much easier then having to remember if I cleaned my plastic toothbrush case (for all 4 of us) or not the last time we used them. They also take up less room in my make up bag then the plastic containers did so that is a plus!
What are you waiting for! Go get one!
Check out our review of Truewhite Sonic Toothbrush HERE!
Tacos for All: A Wholotta for a Wholitta
Living in Texas, of course, my family loves us some Mexican food! I have been hearing about this Wholotta Box so I had to check it out for myself! $10 to feed my family? Who can beat that? I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by what we were in for with the Wholotta Box. It truly is a WHOLE LOT of great food! And oh by the way, the best part about this was I did not have to cook! As a busy working Mom, I sure appreciate that!
This is a sponsored post for Taco Bueno. All opinions are 100% my own. I did receive compensation to share my opinion of the Wholotta box.
Pictured above is the box with all tacos but you can get all burritos or mix and match 6 and 6. We chose to get 6 and 6 so we could have some variety for dinner! You even get sides of rice, beans, chips and salsa. We chuckled when the counter staff gave us a big box. Yes, it really comes in a box, like a pizza box; think if you ordered an extra large pizza! That was the size of the box! (Service with a smile below, of course.) The food was hot and fresh and a great variety. The kids ate the chips, rice and burritos and we ate everything! I love love love their salsa! For a drive-thru chain restaurant, it can compete with a traditional sit down restaurants with their salsa for you salsa lovers! : )
If you are having a party, get together, meeting or just need a budget-friendly way to feed a large group of family, friends or co-workers then this is your answer! While we were there I watched a woman pick up and walk out with 3 Wholotta boxes! Wow! That’s a lot of food! : )
We didn’t finish the box, there was plenty left over. Enough that 1 or 2 more adults could of ate with us for sure. Any takers on our left-overs below?! : )
My #Buenoheads approve of the #WholottaBox for anyone looking for authentic fresh Tex-Mex food and who are really hungry(because its a lot of food) or have a lot of mouths to feed! Go ahead and go get you one! Available at participating stores at Taco Bueno’s 183 restaurants located in Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. A big shout out to Taco Bueno!
Giveaway for Taco Bueno Gift Card
Want to try your very own Wholotta Box for free? We are giving away a $25 gift card to 1 lucky participant! It’s easy to enter! Click the Entry form below and Like us on Facebook! A random winner will be picked by Giveaway Tools. Good Luck! Oh and let us know in the comments what you think of the box!
This giveaway over? Check out our current giveaways and sweepstakes HERE! Good luck!
Awesome advice for New Mamas
Mother’s day is next week- whoo hoo! My first Mother’s Day I was beaming from ear to ear with a happy healthy 7-month-old in tow but I was also struggling at the same time to learn this thing we all call motherhood. Fast forward 5 years and 5 Mother’s Day’s later, I have learned so much and much of it from other Mama’s who have been there and done that. I wanted to share some encouragement and advice geared towards other new Mom’s who might be struggling right about now!
We enlisted 26 other Mom’s and are bringing it straight to you! Make sure you stop by and see some of them for more advice, coupons, printables and all sorts of goodies! Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!!! We hope you have a wonderful day!
This post contains affiliate links to help support our blog. Clicking on them or any of the sites below does not cost you a thing.
♥27 Amazing Bits of Advice♥
- Cara at Jazzie Beans– Being a mom is wonderful, but it is hard as all get out 😉 It is okay to take time for yourself, even if it is only 5 minutes. It truly is better to just put your baby in the crib if he/she is crying and walk away for a few minutes to regain your sanity!!
- Nicola at For the Love of Jars– My best piece of advice is to paint your toenails. I don’t care if you do it yourself or if you get a pedicure but no matter how crap, tired, useless, exhausted you feel everyone will think you’ve got it sorted if your toenails are painted!!_
- Summer at Summer Price – The best advice I’d give to new moms is … Give yourself some time to adjust to this new life. The desire to “do it all” might be strong, do your best to ignore it. Take time to just sit on the couch. The housework will be there when you are ready, you can shower tomorrow. Don’t rush back into “real life” Take a moment to enjoy this time.
- Jessi with BohemiMama – Stay IN bed until you’ve gotten your usual number of hours actually sleeping! If you normally need 8 hours sleep to feel rested and healthy, then stay in bed as long as it takes to get those 8 hours, even if it takes 12 or more. Then, get up, shower, dress, and face the new day.
- Karen at The Momma Chef: 6 Ingredients 6 Minutes Prep – It gets easier, I promise! I remember counting down the days until my newborn was 3 months old so I could start letting him cry a bit at night, well that newborn just turned 12 years old! It’s hard to cherish the time when you are so sleep deprived but just remember that all the exhausting newborn crap is only temporary and let yourself get used to being a parent, it takes time!
- Melody at DosMommas – Don’t wish for future milestones to come sooner! Your little one grows up so fast and you can take the day-to-day for granted, especially as a new mom. Take a mental (or real) picture of your little one every day because they won’t be your tiny little baby forever! And learn how to change a diaper in under 10 seconds- especially if you have a boy!
- Ashley, Founder/CEO at The Sharing Exchange – Do what works best for you, your baby and your family. No one else’s opinions matter.
- Take time for yourself at least once per week. Get out of the house for an hour or two, read quietly in your bedroom, take a long shower. Self care is so critically important!
- Poop alone once per day. Kick your little ones out of the bathroom and enjoy your time alone without someone grabbing at your leggings and begging to be picked up. If hubby’s can take 30+ minutes in the bathroom, we moms certainly deserve 10 free uninterrupted minutes too!
- Tracie at Trace Office Solutions – Not everything needs to be perfect!
- Leah from Cedar Street -Find time for yourself everyday, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Reach out to friends and stay in community if you don’t have family nearby. It can be hard with a newborn to have the energy to socialize, but being yourself with a newborn all the time can be lonely and lead to depression. Nap when the baby naps. Lastly, ask for help!
- Elna from Twins Mommy – The best tip I can give you is to listen to yourself. You’re going to get a lot of tips from other moms and your mom and everyone’s mom. But only you know your own child. As a mom to twins I had everyone telling me what to do and not do. In the end, I trusted my instincts. They’re four years old and thriving J
- Stephanie at You are my Sonshine -Swallow your pride and let others help you. I have a hard time letting other people, even my husband, do things for me. You will be tired, exhausted, in pain, and recovering. Your primary focus should be on letting yourself heal from birth and taking care of your new child. If someone offers to do the dishes, let them. If someone offers to fold the laundry, give it to them. You have time to be your “super mom” self later, once you are sleeping better and feeling better.
- Talia of Living Sowell Blog – I think, a big thing to remember is that your main job is to prepare this little person to live and function in the real world. If you remember that little sentence and apply it to certain situations, you will be golden. Think about it, when they’re newborns you have to train them to sleep and eat (real world stuff). Plus, that rule can be applied throughout their whole upbringing. I haven’t raised a teenager yet, but I’m thinking remembering that little tidbit will be crucial. Wink, wink. When in doubt, think “how can I best prepare this little person (with love and kindness) for the real world?”
- Sheyla from The Momma Chronicles – Try to clean while baby sleeps. It will be so tempting to sleep while baby sleeps during those first few weeks, but the housework will pile up quicker then you know.
- Elizabeth of Mom Always Knows – Just breathe! You got this! God won’t ever give you more then you can handle and you can handle this! Let the housework pile up, who cares about that! Take care of you and that new baby. Learn about each other and enjoy! It goes so quick! Seriously! Take pictures and videos of everything! My girls are 4 and 5 now and love love love watching the videos when they were little! We put them on the laptop and loop them and they seriously entertain themselves watching for hours! : )
- Lori at How She Quits – It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, how many children you’ve had nor what you tell yourself…..every time you hold your newborn baby in your arms and sniff the top of their sweet little head, you will swear on your mother’s grave that you will never, ever again set foot in your office or a job of any kind. There is some kind of anti-work hormone released when you go through childbirth. It slowly wears off. For some people it’s a couple weeks. For others its a couple month or even years. So don’t make any drastic decisions while those anti-work hormones are racing. You will be able to balance it all. You will find some sanity and purpose outside of your home. I know this so well as a mother of 4 kids. With #4 I even knew it was coming and told myself to be ready for those moments of crunching spreadsheets with my newborn in my arms trying to figure out exactly how our budget could work with one income. I knew it and I couldn’t fight it! So do yourself a favor and don’t call your boss until cooler heads and hearts prevail. In the meantime, snuggle up that infant!
- Daisha at Daisha Renee -It may seem like a good idea at the time to get chores done while the baby / kids are down for a nap or spending the day with grandma. NO! You need rest. This is so important, because we need time to recharge our mom batteries and be ready for the next wave of tantrums. Wearing yourself down to the brink of exhaustion is never a good thing.
- Poorvi at Happy Mommy -While taking care of your new born baby, don’t forget to take care of yourself. I know it’s hard with all the sleepless nights, breastfeeding struggles, but your baby needs you the most, so you have be as healthy as you can. Household chores and other stuff can be taken care by your spouse or family members or other help. Mama needs her rest.
- Tamara with Parenting 2-Home Kids -Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you are nursing awesome, but if the baby is not sleeping much, it is ok to allow someone else to feed the baby. Even if they give the new babe formula once in awhile, it is ok. Many people have survived to adulthood, after being fed formula.
- Adree at The Keele Deal– Enjoy each moment, your kids grow so fast. That’s what I keep telling myself! Also, don’t worry if “take a shower” is something that doesn’t get crossed off your to do list in the morning, we have all been there. Midnight showers are one of my favorites! ?
- Corinna of The Mommy Clause – Establish a buffer zone of time after your baby is born. The first few days and weeks can be a one way ticket to Crazy Town! You will need space to get your bearings. It’s okay to put off visitors for a few weeks. The baby will still be “new” and you’ll have a much better chance of filtering out everyone’s “advice”.
- Meagan at Our Poetic Chaos – Be kind to you, all days won’t be perfect. We are all moms with different talents, different backgrounds, and experiences. We will have good days and bad, it doesn’t mean one is inferior to another, but each of us are resources to one another. It took me a long time to see that some of those mamas I would feel intimidated by are some I could learn and those who seemed to have it all together we’re the ones who like me challenged their mothering skills. No one has it all together all the time.
- Tracy at Frugal Florida Mom– Give away your kid whenever you can. 😉 Yes, that sounds harsh, but if I had let my screaming newborn baby sleep in the hospital nursery the first few nights I wouldn’t have been on the verge of losing my mind and would have been able to enjoy my new, precious baby more. And when they get older, leave them with family or babysitters to go on a date, get a pedicure or just take a walk. Self care is vital to sanity
- Maryam with Blazing From Home – Don’t waste these special moments wishing that your kids will grow up fast, leave your house and do stuff for themselves. Embrace this phase, cherish it, take photos, make videos and celebrate special events and do all you can. Make them happy, and make yourself happy too. You’d one day wish for these moments, but can’t get them back, only memories
- Natasha at The Viecco Vault – People are going to have so much advice to give you, don’t let it overwhelm (or annoy) you. Just smile, nod, and take everything with a grain of salt. At the end of the day you know what is best for you and your baby. Trust yourself!
- Stephanie of Blended Life Happy Wife – To remember Moms need and deserve a break. If you are breastfeeding you aren’t a cow. You are a wonderful source of nourishment for your baby and you don’t always have to go visit people, they can come to you.
- Emily and Sherrie at Forever Young Moms – Trust your instincts, you know what’s best for your baby. And, they’re more durable than you think! Keep up the great work, you can do it!
- Mae with The Gospel of Beauty – Don’t wish for future milestones to come sooner! Your little one grows up so fast and you can take the day-to-day for granted, especially as a new mom. Take a mental (or real) picture of your little one every day because they won’t be your tiny little baby forever! And learn how to change a diaper in under 10 seconds- especially if you have a boy
Free Printable!! Proverbs 31:25 Verse! Frame it, email it, save it! Just know it! Be Strong Ladies! You got this!
Download Free “Just Breathe” Printable Here!
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I think we have all earned a break! I hope your family is good to you on this special day and chips in and helps out with the dreaded housework! Ha!
Here is a great idea by Summer Long to get the kids involved with the housework not just for Mother’s day but perhaps all year long! You can read more from Summer and her tips for a simple and healthy lifestyle HERE!
By Summer Price
The other day I was talking to a friend about trying to keep a clean house with lots of little kids around. Sometimes it certainly isn’t easy and more than once I have had people “stop by” when the house is a disaster zone. That is for sure!
One thing that has helped me tremendously is finding a system that works really well for me and my kids. I came up with 12 chores that needed to be done on a regular basis and I purchased a 12 sided die.
Each kid takes turns rolling the die until all of the #’s have been rolled. It works out for us that each kid does three chores each day. If you have fewer kids they could do more than three chores each or maybe just use a regular die and have fewer chores.
This is my list of chores if you need some ideas.
- Living Room
- Family Room
- Play Room
- Kitchen Floor
- Kitchen counters
- Parent Choice (I usually choose some type of “spring cleaning” item like wash one wall, or clean the baseboards in this room, or things that don’t need to be done on a daily or weekly basis.)There are some chores that my four and six-year-old can’t quite do yet on their own. So depending on how strong and patient I feel that day ? I either have them roll until they get to a number they can do on their own or I “supervise” them while they do one of the more challenging ones. I try to let them do the work as I instruct them so that they can learn to do it on their own.We write our chores on my Boogie Board, which I absolutely love! It is like an erasable notebook so it is easy for us to keep track of what chores have been rolled and we don’t have to get a new piece of scrap paper to write them down on anymore.Hopefully, if this is something you struggle with in your home like I did you will find some benefit with this option. I like it because the kids like doing a different chore each day, they like playing with the die and there is a lot less nagging from me.
Plus I think they have a clearer understanding of what is expected of them.
Wishing you a clean home!
Does your child suffer from anxiety? My daughter did after a very bad hail storm (think softball size) that we had in the town we live in so I know all about having a child that is terrified to the point of making her self throw up! No fun!
Don’t let your child’s anxiety continue to get in the way of the life they deserve. Learn how you can help your child BREAK the cycle of fear and take back the happy childhood they deserve!
The Anxiety-Free Child Program is an award-winning and comprehensive system designed to quickly help your child overcome the anxious feelings that are holding them back from reaching their potential and show them how to be the secure, confident, and HAPPY kids they were meant to be!
The award winning Anxiety-Free Child Program was developed with Doctors of Clinical Psychology and other experts to give you the information and resources to help your child overcome their anxiety and restore their happiness and confidence. As seen on:
How the Program Can Help Your Child
The Anxiety-Free Child Program combines information and resources for parents with tools designed specifically to be used by children so you can work together with your child to help them overcome their anxiety and quickly change their lives for the better. It’s an easy to follow and affordable system you use privately in your own home that teaches your child how to slow down their body, quiet their mind, and change their anxious and habitual thought patterns so they can respond with calm and confidence in situations that may currently be challenging for them at home, at school, with friends, or anywhere!
Want more info? Visit Anxiety Free Child Now! Let us know if it helps! Comments welcome! : )
- ♥Since Mother’s Day, one of my Fav holidays is right around the corner, I wanted to offer you some timeless advice. Not from some expert who went to school for a zillion years or read about it in a book but from real life Mama’s, who are living it and breathing it and perhaps going through it, with you right this very minute! I took to the streets and gathered up the best advice I could and am bringing it to you hot off the press!
This Mom grind is hard! We all know that! So if you are a new Mom, old Mom, young mom, single mom, Step- Mom or whatever your situation…I hope you can find some knowledge or at least a bit of humor in the wise words below!
This post contains affiliate links to help support our blog. Clicking on them or any of the sites below does not cost you a thing.
♥25 Amazing Bits of Advice♥
- Cara at Jazzie Beans– When you have a chance to rest, do it! It is better to be a bit rested so that you can be a better mama. 🙂 It is okay to not always entertain your kiddos. Giving them the freedom to learn on their own will help them later in life. Sometimes you just have to figure things out on your own and it is okay to teach your kiddos this when they are young and you need a break.
- Nicola at For the Love of Jars– Make lists and realize that you can’t do everything. If you children are fed, loved and happy then they are fine. If you house is a mess then it doesn’t matter. If you would like a housekeeper but can’t afford one then consider getting someone just to clean your kitchen and bathroom(s.) These are the important bits…everything else can wait!
- Summer at Summer Price – Give yourself some grace. Prioritize. I have a sign hanging in my family room that reads “Great Moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens, laundry piles and happy kids” If you just can’t handle having a messy home it won’t kill your kids to do a chore or two.
- Jessi with BohemiMama – It is healthy to have other interests. Your kids are great and we know you love them, so do yourself, and them, a favor and take time away from them to do the things you’re passionate about. It might be work or volunteering or it could be a hobby or time with friends. If it makes you joyful, your kids will benefit from seeing you prioritize it.
- Karen at The Momma Chef: 6 Ingredients 6 Minutes Prep – The best advice that I was given when my son was born was to read the book “This isn’t what I expected”. We all give birth and feel like we need to love every aspect of parenting a newborn, some of us do love it all, but it’s hard for us to admit that we might not love it all and just want a break and want our old life back! Trust me, if you let yourself know this is just a normal feeling, this will pass with time and you will forget that weren’t a “pro” the whole time!
- Melody at DosMommas – Remember that it’s all worth it. Everything that you are doing will help your little one grow into a strong, healthy little human. And don’t try to do everything at once!
- Ashley, Founder/CEO at The Sharing Exchange – Keep your sense of humor, totally necessary with young kids, and remember “this too shall pass”. Everything is a phase. Find your mom tribe and surround yourself with people who are going through the same stuff. Share your ups and downs. When you are feeling overtired, over-touched, and had enough, know that your little ones love you on your best days and worst days. You are doing a great job, mama!
- Tracie at Trace Office Solutions – You are doing everything right! You know more about your baby than you think you do!
- Leah from Cedar Street – You are amazing. Motherhood is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Keep persevering through the long, exhausting, never ending days. If you feel like all you are doing is giving of yourself, try to find a hobby or something that gives you life. Make time for yourself but also try to find joy in the mundane and in little moments throughout your day.
- Elna from Twins Mommy – The best advice I can give to tired hardworking moms is to let your husband help! Don’t think that you have to do it all. Let your husband do a feeding, change a diaper, bath your baby and take the baby on a stroller walk. This was hard for me as I had strong mama bear instincts and it took almost six months for me to accept help.
- Stephanie at You are my Sonshine -Give yourself a break. Take some time to make sure you are taking care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t give what you don’t have. Let someone else watch your child(ren) for an afternoon and take some well-earned me time. Go get a massage, maybe a pedicure, or keep it low-key and just go to a park and read. Alone. By yourself. If you have a trusted relative nearby, see if they can watch your child(ren) for a night so you can get a full night’s sleep. It’s amazing what just a few hours of rest and relaxation will do for you both physically and mentally.
- Talia of Living Sowell Blog – The best advice I’d give to a new mom is trust your maternal instinct and take a deep breath. I know that sounds silly, but I really wish I had chilled more as a first time mom. I was so anxious about every little thing (which is totally normal, and most first time moms are). I would say that you’ve got it, sister! Try and make sure to have that precious one-on-one time as often as you can and truly engage with them. Put the phone down!
- Sheyla from The Momma Chronicles – Meal prep is your best friend, utilize it! Whether its meals you prep before baby is born, frozen dinners from the grocery store, or friends bringing over meals every couple of days. Having that extra bit of help will save you so much time and effort. That’s time you can spend sleeping, or taking a nice warm shower!
- Elizabeth of Mom Always Knows – Don’t worry about the small stuff! Everything will be okay! The laundry and the dishes will still be there tomorrow and again even after you get them finished so don’t sweat it. Do the best you can, every time and remember- you kids are watching. You lead by example, do it right, so you don’t have to do it again.
- Lori at How She Quits – This advice goes especially to the mamas who are working hard inside and outside the home. I know your mind is half in the office and half at home and you feel a bit scattered and like you aren’t putting you best self forward. Guess what? You are already an over-achiever taking all that on!!! Most likely no one else in your office knows these thoughts are running through your mind. They probably look at you and say “wow! she gets a lot done!”. Keep being reliable. Keep showing up like a professional. The occasional milk stained shirt is quickly forgotten when you nail that proposal. And your biggest cheerleaders that matter are those little curtain climbers waiting for you at home. The days are long but the years are short. You’ve got this.
- Daisha at Daisha Renee – Start meal planning. Creating a meal plan so far in advance can seen a little daunting at first, but planning ahead can really pay off. You’ll get both peace of mind and have better time management. It may take a little time to get use to, but the benefits are definitely worth it.
- Poorvi at Happy Mommy – Hi mama, you should be proud of yourself, managing everything at home or work, with kids is real hard. Be proud of yourself. Remember you are a human after all; you don’t have to be perfect in everything. You are going to have both good and bad days as a mother, just remember you are doing your best, and it’s all that matters.
- Tamara with Parenting 2-Home Kids – Streamline your parenting rules. Your kids need only two: 1. Respect the parents. 2. Get the grades you are capable of getting. If you can only handle one rule, defer to rule one. Being respectful covers a lot of ground. When kids are respectful, they pitch in to help with chores, they let you know where they are, what they are doing and who they are with. Showing respect to the parents is also striving to make good decisions. When you focus on developing respect and good decision skills the parenting part of your life becomes infinitely easier.
- Adree at The Keele Deal– Make sure you take time for yourself. I have noticed that when I get some me time, even if it’s only a few minutes, I’m a much happier mom.
- Corinna of The Mommy Clause – Be more intentional with your time. Don’t spend it on things that aren’t obviously beneficial! Clear out your email inbox and unsubscribe from everything that doesn’t thrill you or help you. Set a timer for social media each day. You’ll be more aware of the time you’re spending scrolling. Time flies! Don’t waste it!
- Meagan at Our Poetic Chaos – Accept help from others, put pride aside for there’s a moment all of us have that moment, that time we feel we need rest and need rest. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it does mean your humble enough to lean on another to learn from and to renew yourself.
- Tracy at Frugal Florida Mom– Take time to enjoy the little moments. Sadly I missed a lot of my kids’ first milestones like their first smiles and first words because I was working so hard. So be really present when you can, as much as you can to capture those moments you will cherish later.
- Maryam with Blazing From Home – A new mom is a very tired human being. Oh my! I found out that the best way to do it is by taking one step at a time, one day at a time. Rest when you can, go out when you can. Spoil yourself once in a while and never neglect your body. Take care of it. Ask for help when you need it. You get to master it with time. Kudos!
- Natasha at The Viecco Vault – It might not feel like it at the time but the days, weeks, and months are going to fly by. You’re going to miss this, so take a moment to breathe and soak it all in. Hold your baby a little tighter and rock them a little longer. Live in the moment. Be present!
- Stephanie of Blended Life Happy Wife – Being a working Mom is the hardest job ever. You are not letting your baby down, you are affording your baby a chance to meet some new people and make some new friends.
- Emily and Sherrie at Forever Young Moms – Lean on your village! Don’t be afraid to ask for help- you don’t have to do it all alone!
Free Printable!! Proverbs 31:25 Verse! Frame it, email it, save it! Just know it! Be Strong Ladies! You got this!
Download Printable HERE!
You know you want to! : ) Lots of Mom Hacks here!
6 Must-have Office Items for a Professional Appearance by Jolene Blackbourn.
There are a million things I could recommend you keep in your desk at work. I always have to have back up food, socks, you name it. But really, there are 6 items that really, you just need. And you should also have these items in your car so that if something happens on the way to work, you can enter looking professional.
Stain removal stick/wipes
Seriously, a must. It will happen, it is just a matter of time. They have travel sizes for both options so you don’t have to spend much more than a few dollars to maintain this professional aspect. I prefer the stick because you can blot on that liquid and it really concentrates on the stain and gets it out.
Also, a must. Seat belts can ruin an outfit. Wrinkles look so unprofessional. Spray a little wrinkle release on your outfit, even while wearing it, and you will look 100% better. Even if you only get out some wrinkles, it will make a difference. This can also be purchased in travel size which is perfect for the car.
Just trust me. Maybe you forgot. Maybe it’s just a bad day. There will come a time where you will really wish you had this. And you only need a travel size because hopefully this is just a backup.
Breath refresher (gum, mints, whatever!)
You don’t want people to think you have bad breath. And if you are working on a project with someone, sitting close, or sharing office gossip, they will notice bad breath. So just have something handy, just in case.
Febreeze and/or spritz
Sometimes the room smells, or you smell or someone ate smelly food. I don’t know, but if you want to ensure that you aren’t embarrassed down the road, just get some. Again, a travel size will do. And don’t buy a room spray. Those things over do it for something as small as an office/cubical. A light spritz or Febreeze, which is neutral, works much better and won’t bother your neighbors.
Mostly for women but really, it keeps clothes in place. You never know when something unexpectedly does not fit right, pops off or whatever. A little bit of tape could really save you. Keep it, just in case.
Until next time…..
I used to be the kind of Mom that liked to do everything myself because I liked it done a certain way and no one could do it right but recently as more demands have been placed on me at work and at home, I have had to adjust my thinking. My husband has been suggesting the last few months that we institute a chore system with our daughters with an allowance but I always thought that they were too young and I thought they were not capable of doing anything that would be of real value.
When my siblings and I were young, we always had chores so the more I thought about and researched it, I could come up with nothing but positive outcomes to having our kids start doing chores around the house. My husband and I got together and implemented 5 easy chores that our 5-yr-old daughter could do and earn an allowance each week if her daily chores were completed. See my post here for our 4-yr old’s chore list.
Some families I know set certain days for certain chores while others have their child do all the chores in one setting, it is up to you, that is the beauty of your chore list. Allowance amounts can range from actual cash amounts, trips to get ice cream, chore bucks or nothing at all. I like the allowance idea because it is a good head start on teaching about currency and earning, but that’s okay too if you decide not to offer an allowance and make it an expected part of your routine. That is good for them also. Parents.com has a great article here about allowance and chores as well.
♥P’s Chore List♥
- Empty the Dishwasher. Do a quick visual sweep for any sharp knives or breakable objects and grab those yourself but then let your child go to town. They probably can’t reach the high cabinets to be able to put things away but I have my daughter put everything on the stove for me and I put it up from there. She is a master at the silverware as well as plates. She is learning organization skills and doesn’t even know it.
- Empty the Trash. I am not talking about the big trash in the kitchen but all the small trash cans throughout the house. At this age they are more than capable of going around and bringing them all into the kitchen to dump. Hey, it is saving my husband and I a few minutes a week.
- Making their bed! I recently splurged and purchased my daughter a Beddy All in one Bedding so they could make their bed. I suggest this 100%(My Beddy’s Review) but even if you don’t have one, teach them how to make their bed. It will probably be sloppy, well it will be sloppy, but will get better with age and a good habit for them to start.
- Hang up their clothes– This was one that helped me immensely. Their hang-up clothes would just sit around until I had time to hang them. My daughter now hangs many of her own clothes. I give her 5-10 every few days or so and this has really been a life saver.
- Sweep the floors. We have tile and hardwood throughout so I usually just have her do a room or 2. Yes, I have to go back behind her but she doesn’t know that. : ) She is just learning and learning to do it with a happy heart. Many times we talk about helping and how Jesus likes when we help.
(Bonus Chore on our list) Being kind and Respectful every day.♥♥♥♥
This post contains affiliate links from our partners to help support this blog.
Use your lists Moms! I love the Cozi App and use it for all sorts of things (Cozi review ) and this is one of these things that the lists come in handy! P’s Chore list is there and as it changes I can edit it and even assign it to my husband and will to my daughter once she gets old enough to have a phone. You should Try the Cozi Family Organizer today. It’s FREE! We also have the chore list hung up on the fridge for everyone to see, especially my daughter! She loves marking off what she has done and asks about what her chores are for the next day! The chore chart we use is pictured below and you can print your own FREE here from our friends at The Gilded Pear.
Keep up the juggle Moms, Blessings♥
You know it’s coming…the dreaded evening routine when it’s time to make dinner, clean up dinner, give baths, do homework, read books, say prayers, pick up the house, tend to your husband and all of a sudden you look up at the clock and already 10pm. You have done nothing that you wanted to do and feel like you have accomplished nothing for you. You are so exhausted from working all day or taking care of the kids all day and you just want a break but now it’s time to shower and go to bed.
Here are 10 tips for exhausted moms that will hopefully help you make it through the dreaded evening routine and other parts of your day! We have all heard the “if Mom is not good then no one is good” saying so we have to take of ourselves! : ) Forget Stella….Mom needs to get her groove back!
Tip 1- Drink lots of water and then some more! People reach for coffee or soda thinking this will perk them but actually this is counterproductive! Water will rehydrate your body and keep your muscles working and keep you more alert! Plus it does wonders for your skin!
Tip 2- Have a social life! Moms need friends to talk to, vent to and share the good bad and ugly with! Studies show that people with friends and who stay active are happier so it is imperative that you make time even if it is once a month to get out with the ladies—that means no kids and no husband! Everything is more fun with a friend!
Tip 3- Go to bed on time and/or early! This is a hard one for me as sometimes once I finally get everyone to sleep this is the only time I have to myself or to get things done but our bodies need time to rest and wind down! Plus it is a chance to cuddle and visit with your Husband before he drifts off to sleep. Having a routine, not just for your kids, is a good idea for Mom as well to stay sane and healthy!
Tip 4- Eat Right! I know it sounds clique but junk in is junk out! We need to treat our bodies like the temples they are! Remove sugar and caffeine from your diet where possible and insert fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Take a good woman’s multivitamin also. Drink yummy homemade smoothies loaded with Antioxidants. Remember we don’t want our kids to see us popping Twinkies into our face daily now do we????
Tip 5- Take a power nap– We all need an energy boost from time to time! If you are lucky enough to have kids that still nap then nap with them. If your kids are at school, nap. If you work full time even if you can get a power nap on your lunch break it can make a huge difference in your mood.
Tip 6- Exercise- A great chance to have some alone time or even socialize with other Moms. We need to take care of our bodies and this goes along with eating right. Even if you are so tired, get out and take a walk. Exercise improves your overall health and mood! Find a short workout video on YouTube or even go play with the little monsters and get them tired!
Tip 7- Calgon take me away. Take a bath. Bubbles and candles are always a nice touch. It is hard to find time in my house to do this but I try every chance I get. If my kids know I am taking a bath, they want to jump in so many times I just lock the door and tell my husband that Mommy needs 20 minutes. A bath makes me feel like a new “me.” I always feel rested and ready to go after I take one and sometimes even have a chance to catch up on my latest issue of People Magazine.
Tip 8 Ask for Help– Never a sign of weakness but of strength! Everyone needs help and no one can do it all. It takes a village nowadays so ask your friends, husband, children, parents etc for help. If you need to hire a cleaning lady for awhile or longer, do it. When I was pregnant with my 2nd baby, I did just that because I was having back problems. That was 4 years ago and she still comes monthly to help me out! Let your various village helpers empty the dishwasher, walk the dog, take out the trash etc. so that you can rest for a minute.
Tip 9- The power of positive thinking! Adjust your thinking and thought process! Have a positive outlook and attitude no matter what. Even when you are tired and down! Remember your kids are watching and you are leading by example! I have found “fake it till you make it” really works! Tell yourself this is going to be a “Good Day” and make it happen to matter what!
Tip 10- Do Life and all of this in Christ’s Strength– We saved the best and most important for last. You cannot do this alone like I talked about in tip #8. Don’t convince yourself that “I” can do this but learn to lean and rely on our heavenly father to walk you through this life and Motherhood. Pray daily over your kids and with your kids, place bible verses around your house, and sing praises. We cannot do this alone and why would we ever want to?? Here is a link to some special bible verses from sites we love that you can pray with your children and for yourself to prayer for strength and protection for your family. You will be amazed in the power of prayer and God’s grace in your daily life if you lean on him.
Great Mom Resources to check out!!!
Awesome Free Printable just for you! Get it now HERE!
Some other great resources can be found below:
Trying to juggle it all and be super Mom in today’s world can be super demanding and stressful bringing the best of us to our knees for sure. There are bills to pay, carpool lines, sick kids, lost remote controls, bad report cards, deadlines at the office, a husband that needs attention and the list goes on and on for us! Are you spreading yourself so thin and always falling short in every area of your life? Read on!! Don’t despair, we have comprised a list of 5 things you must do or know to do to make it as a working Mom in today’s world! Don’t worry, if all else fails, hide in the bathroom and lock the door…it can wait. : )
#1—You are not in control of all things even though you think you are! If you can master this as a Mom then that is a great start. You will never be able to control how other people act or what they think. Your boss, your friends, your kid’s teachers and so on and so forth! You can control, however, how you react to them and your feelings and actions. So be calm and in control of YOU. Do your very best at all times in all situations.
#2—You are Woman, hear me Roar! You can do it! You are strong! You gave birth didn’t you? You will feel overwhelmed, you will be sick and tired and you won’t want to do it at times but you can! You have to choose with intention the life you want and then live it through. One step at a time. It doesn’t happen all it once, life is a journey of steps and special moments. Each new day renews your mind and spirit and you get stronger and stronger. Tell yourself this daily!
#3—Delegate Delegate Delegate- Okay Mama’s, We all know that we do it all the best and the right way but you have got to figure out a way to give some of it away! Ask your Mom, ask your husband, ask your kids. Everyone else is perfectly capable of doing many of the tasks that we take upon ourselves especially the trivial ones that don’t really matter. If you can find a way to free up extra minutes, these will translate in to lots of extra minutes that you can spend relaxing or playing with your kids and being happier and more rested!
#4—Have a strong set of core beliefs and values– This is a must, not only because you are striving daily to be seen by everyone that you come into contact with that you a Christian and teaching your kids through your actions but because you are personally measuring your success in life (at work and home) against those core beliefs and values. Forget what the world tells you about Success, use your own scale of measurement and those come from what is truly important to you.
#5—Listen to your Intuition—Some call it your “gut.” Some call it woman’s intuition. Some even call it the Holy Spirit talking to you throughout the day. You know what I am talking about; that little voice that tells you something is just not right or that feeling in your tummy about something. You meet a co-worker and fee weird about them or a new parent you just don’t like. Listen to it and don’t let your head argue with it. I have found after years of going against it, it is usually right on. For whatever reason, Mom’s usually know. Women have a special gift. Use it! It will come in handy in every area of your life at home and the office!
Ya’ll can do it! Keep on the juggle! Take it from many great moms I know that say one day these will all be sweet memories that you will miss dearly! : )
“It’s not fair she got more cereal than I did!”
“It’s not fair he got more TV time then me. ”
“It’s not fair he always gets to go to his friends house and I don’t”
Does this sound familiar? There are some things that children say that send us running for cover. “It’s not fair” is one of those phrases parents hate to hear. We try so hard to make things fair to no avail.
Here is something you should know. We can’t fix the injustices of life, even in our own house, to make it fair for our kids. I hate to sound cliche, but life is unfair. Children need to understand this truth. Parents so badly want to create a perfect world for the kids and we can’t.
There is one thing we can do which is more effective and helpful to children. We can accept our children’s negative feelings that it hurts when life is unfair. This will help our kids have realistic expectations of the world we live in. It will help us avoid conflict, and power struggles and redirect them to the situation at hand.
So instead of trying to always make life fair for your kids, try this:
Acknowledge their feelings:
“It can make you feel bad when someone gets more than you.”
“It can hurt so much when your brother gets to watch more TV than you.”
“You want to be able to go to your friend’s house just as many times as your sister does.”
Redirect your child to what needs to be done:
“It is time to eat breakfast. When you finish your cereal, I will get you more.”
“Right now it is time to go to bed, tomorrow we can discuss our TV rules.”
“Children who are five stay home with their mother after school. When you are eight you can make play dates with your friends after school. Lets find something for you to do.”
Life is not fair but it is easier to bear when you have people who love you and validate your feelings. When we are thrown curve balls we need to take a moment and collect ourselves and then dive back into what needs to be done. When we accept our children’s feelings and redirect them to the situation at hand we send them the message, “Life sometimes hurts, but you are capable of handling it and doing what needs to be done.” Teaching them this philosophy of life is not only right but also very fair.
To learn more skills like these join us for our highly informative parenting workshops. Visit us at here for more information.
Adina Soclof, a certified Speech Pathologist, received her masters degree from Hunter College in New York in Communication Sciences. Adina developed TEAM Communication Ventures and conducts parenting, teacher and clinician workshops via telephone nationwide. You can visit her website at http://www.ParentingSimply.com