Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Goodbye Snacks?

I know that I posted a wonderfully well written post on how to present snacks to kids.  If I do say so myself.  But I was presented with a problem and therefore had to find the solution.  My husband presented the problem to me.  He said that we had entirely way too many snacks in the house and he wanted them gone!  Now if you know my husband he is most generally joking.  So I initially shoved it off and kept buying snacks and organizing them like I did.  Okay it was not just initially it was for years.  He began to get persistent so I figured he must be serious.  I asked him about it a bit more and he was very serious about it.  We were spending a lot of money on snacks and the kids were eating too many snacks and not eating their dinner well.  So I said we would give it a go and I would stop buying snacks.  I know what you are thinking.  "Poor women!"  Or poor kids whoever you feel more sorry for.  I did too.  At first it was hard not to just have handy snacks to reach for especially on the go.  I have to admit that I had a bit of a laugh when one of our kids asked to have a snack and dad said yes. hummmm. I wondered what snack fairy had come to visit and ran to the pantry.  No, but really what was he thinking this was his idea after all.

Surprisingly no one wilted away and died.  No one went starving.  We even were satisfied actually.  I, most of all, because everyone ate their dinner!!! What?  I know, now you're jealous!  They were hungry and well fed at dinner, imagine that.

Here is what I did to make it work:
1.)  Vegetables and fruit anytime you want.  "Don't Even Ask!"  That is my response.  If you are hungry you know what you can have.  After all, if you ruin dinner with a carrot I'm not going to be that upset.

2.)  Make treats!  Okay okay a bit counterintuitive but they had healthier home made treats once or twice a week not processed snacks everyday.  We eat them for dessert or for a family home evening snack.

3.)  Eat dinner early!  Dinner is more at 4:30 or 5:00.  The kids are usually pretty hungry after school.     So instead of making them suffer we just eat dinner.

4.)  Put any foods that need to be eaten out on the counter.  It is surprising how fast food is eaten when it is visible and easy to eat.

5.)  Homemade bread!  I also made bread and my kiddos enjoyed it with jelly.  Or I'd make over ripe banana's into banana bread.  There always seems to be a nighttime "snack"  even when I'm not buying snacks.

If you are spending too much money on snacks or your kids are over snacking and they won't eat their dinner.  Try it! At least for awhile and it will change your mindset to what is really essential snacking.  Thanks hubby for the great idea!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fly Lady Fly

My new favorite website...you have got to check it out.  This lady is a genius and so positive and encouraging.  Housework and organizing your home can get overwhelming half the time I feel like I don't have enough time she makes it doable without the stress and guilt and pressure.

Each day of the week she gives specific tasks to do in the home that take 15 min.  Each week is a different room.  These tasks help with the deep cleaning but it is only 15 min. a day.  Then on Monday you do an hour of quick clean 10 min. for vaccum, dust, etc. this used to take me hours and I obsess about getting things "just right."  And now I just do it, it feels like I have succeeded and it didn't take me all day and it's not perfect but my house is clean and organized and I'm just taking it one step and one day at a time.  A timer is key...set the timer for 15 min. and then stop when it goes off.  I don't need to stress about it because I know I'm going to get to it, she has it all mapped out for me and she helps me establish healthy daily routines.


Sign up for the emails and check out the Launch pad for daily tasks, routines, and tips.

Let's Fly Ladies!!! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Online/App Chore Chart

Our warm fuzzy jars worked great for rewarding good behavior but didn't really give us any structure and organization when it comes to chores.  Especially since my kids are getting older now and can handle a daily chore chart.  I came across this wonderful app on my iphone and I have it also on my ipod and my ipad and you can also access the app from the internet so I have it on my favorites list on my desk top and my laptop.  The app is also available on android devices. So if you are interested in using this chore chart those are a few of the ways that you can use it.   You can reach the program online here at myjobchart.com.  If you are searching on your app store search "my job chart."

One of the great advantages of using the online program is that it automatically updates everyday.  Sometimes that was the downfall of other charts that I've tried at home. Mom malfunction.  I would forget to update or get a new sheet or count points and start over.  This program will do all of that for you.  Not to mention the fact that you can personalize chores for each child and days of the week and you can assign points to be allotted for jobs done.  The jobs can be divided into daytime and night time jobs too.

The kids just login and then check of the chores when they are complete.  Then when they complete the chores they are given points and then they can choose how to spend their points.  You get to pick the rewards that they choose from and I usually let the kids help me pick too that way they are more motivated to do their chores.  Then they organize their points and can either save, share, or spend.

It can also be a way to let the kids learn responsibility and less yelling.  If they don't do it they don't get the points and if I have to do it then I don't have the energy or time to do other things for them.  So if they asked, "Can you do ____  for me?"  you could reply, "I really tired so I can't because I had to do your chores."

My kiddos love earning points and using electronics for their chore chart and this one had all the features that I wanted.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Top 16 Gift Ideas and Recipes Using Essential Oils

I love the Holidays and I love making people happy with gifts and goodies so I have put together a list of links of some of my favorite ideas:
1.) Peppermint Patties!  I love her blog everything I've made off of her blog is really good!

2.)  5 Gift ideas from Doterra blog including the easy Bath Salts and sugar scrub

3.)  Dryer Balls with a bottle of oils (For dryer sheets)

4.)  DIY Diffuser Necklaces

5.)  Travel tin/ small gift set of oils
6.)  Roller Bottles...You could make up a group of your favorite oils into roller bottles and tie a ribbon around them
with some oils info.  When I fill the bottles I fill with a 1-1 ratio essential oil to Carrier oil (Fractionated Coconut oil)
for adults and a 1-2 ratio essential oil to carrier oil for kids.  This is such an easy way for kids to put on their oils.
This is where I buy my bottles great site...https://www.aromatools.com/Glass_Plastic_s/3.htm

7.)  Room Spray or Monster Spray!  Room spray is a great replacement for air freshener that is non-toxic.  Also Monster Spray
is pretty much the same thing only I use Lavender for my scent and it is the perfect remedy for monsters at night. 
I even let my kids spray it to put them in control of getting rid of the monsters.  Not only do they think it gets rid of monsters it is
full of lavender which will help them calm down and sleep.

8.)  Bath Bombs/bath fizzies
....There were many more recipe's for them when I searched bath bombs under Google. 
......Also as a tip: you can substitute Citric acid (which can be hard to find) for half the
amount of Cream of Tartar.

9.)  Tub truffles
...This is only one of the many recipes when I was searching.
The main idea that I got was equal parts of coconut oil and a butter i.e. like Cocoa or Shea
and then and a little bit of fractionated coconut oil to combine and some of your favorite essential oil
for scent and then freeze and package.

10.)  DIY Whipped Body Butter

11.)  Hot cocoa recipe and popcorn... doTerra Holiday Magazine recipe ideas and prices for holiday oils and specials.

12.)  GingerBread Men....I just added oils in place of spices i.e. Cinnamon oil, Ginger oil, and Clove oil and add it into the wet ingredients instead of the dry...This dough seemed really dry when we were rolling them out but we rolled them out pretty thick and didn't over bake and they turned out really nice and chewy yummy!
13.)  Cranberry Chutney...This was really good what a great dip for any holiday party!
14.)  Cheesecake swirl Peppermint Brownie's....I just added a drop of peppermint to the brownie mix you could
do this with your favorite brownie recipe to give it some holiday flare.  It makes an easy classic into something
for the holidays and an easy yet yummy filler for those Holiday Cookie Plates.  Also try adding a bottle of oils to
the top of your plates with a ribbon or a cookies cutter or an ornament.  Always a nice Touch!

15.)  Pinterest Doterra Oils recipes

16.)  Fruit Dip and other Yummy and Easy Food and oil recipes.  The Fruit Dip with Wild Orange is delicious.
....She also has some great spa product recipes and other ideas so search her blog for more ideas!

***When cooking with essential oils make sure you are using good stage oils such as doTERRA!****

Happy Holiday's and fun gift and treat making!!!
Helpful links for Essentail Oils info:
Remember for the month of December if you sign up with a 200pv order (Product value is usually equal to the dollar amount)  you get a free 15 ml bottle of Frankincense a 93$ value.  Great deal!  I'm also looking for someone to join my team so let me know if you are interested and I would love to build you your own team!  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"There's nothing to eat!"

Do your kids complain that there is nothing to eat?  I myself personally hate this, however I also remember saying it when I was a kid.  So I'm guessing that this is a common problem.  The second my kids say it I can list off a number of snacks that they could eat.  So what did I do help aid the snack dilemma and stop the, "There's nothing to eat!"

1.  I emptied out one of my crisper drawers in the refrigerator and designated it as a drawer for snacks.  It was the bottom drawer because I'm tall and my kids are short! :)  This has been a huge improvement for the kids finding a snack.  No more standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open trying to decide what to eat.  They go in, open their drawer, and pick something.

This is what kind of snacks I put in the drawer:
 - string cheese
 - baby carrots
 - cleaned grapes
 - gogurt
 - cut up fruit, vege's, i.e. catalope, pineapple, berries (just clean and place in airtight Tupperware)
 - oranges, apples, and pears
 - mini manadarin oranges or applesauce

The key is to make the snacks ready to eat, without a lot of work for you or the kids to do when snack time comes along.  I love it too because you can have healthy options for the kids, a place for the snacks to go, and the kids know exactly where to go when they are hungry.

2.) Have one place in the pantry for dry snacks.  If you don't have a pantry use one shelf in the cabnets.  One small place.  If I make big trips to cosco/samsclub then I will put extra snacks somewhere else.  Only the snacks that I want them to eat are on the snack shelf.  It limits choices and helps the kids see the available options and helps them make a faster choice.

These are the kinds of snacks I put on the snack shelf:
 - Fruit snacks
 - Crackers
 - Nuts
 - Granola Bars
 - Nutrigrain bars
 - Healthy homemade snacks

I do not put candy or other dessert items here I save these for dessert or family night or just plain snacks they have to ask for.  But with the other snacks I just let the kids help themselves, a little freedom is good and they don't eat me out of house and home either.  If they haven't had freedom with snacks yet they may over eat a bit at first but their body will tell them when they've had enough. Well, I do have one daughter that could eat as many sweets treats as she wanted, thats why I limit those snacks.

3.) I had a friends mom who would put out bowls of snacks on the table for the kids during snack time and they could pick what they wanted.  I like that idea but I could never keep up with it.  But it might work for you too!

*Now what about the opposite dilemma?  Too many treats at Halloween!!!!!!  When I was a kid we had maybe an hour party at school and then trick or treating that night and that was it.  I feel like there is soooo much going on for Halloween.  Downtown trick or treat, Harvest party/Carnival, Library story-time party, ALLLLLLL day Halloween Party, parade, and trick or treat at school, and trunk or treat and trick or treats.  It is too much.  Well anyway, needless to say next year we will be boycotting half of the activities.  Yah I say that now! ;)  Anyway,  my husband is against taking all the candy away that makes it home so I steal all their bags and then I can at least limit how much they eat at a time.  My kids really have learned when enough is enough and I do see them stop most of the time when they've had enough.
A couple tummy aches and even the thing that follows.  But now one of my daughters always says, "I've had enough!"

1.)  One of my friends gives the kids a sandwich size ziplock bag and says what ever fits in here you can keep and everything else either gets thrown away or put away!

2.) My sister-in-law makes a type of advent calender with the candy.  She wraps a piece of candy for each day until Christmas in plastic wrap individually and then let's them eat a piece a day as a count down to Christmas!

3.) Always take some pieces for yourself when you're inspecting the candy as a tax for the taxing service you provided on Halloween! :)

How do you get your kids to eat healthy and stay away from too many sweets for the holidays?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall Decorating

I love to decorate for each season it is one of my favorite things about changing season's.  It gives me a wonderful feeling to have the feel of fall in the house and out!  I love to do it and so do the kids.  Sometimes I feel like I just want to be creative and then then let the kids do something themselves.

So try doing something for you and then something for them.  

For You:

*I love using items that are naturally found around in nature for the season.
     - Corn stalks, Hay bales, pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, branches, leaves, apples, branches, pine cones...
*Burlap is also nice this year, and it can go with everything.
* I made this vase of flowers that I found in my yard, I snipped some of the mums and vines from the honey suckle and then the tops of the day lillies after the lillies fall off are a really nice shape.
*Another Hint would be to decorate for the season rather then the holiday.  I do have a few Halloween decorations that I like but mostly I put out fall themed decorations so that I can leave them up a little longer to enjoy!

For the Kids:
* They love the window clings and you can find them for a dollar pretty easily at Wal-Mart or the Dollar store.  Give them a page of those and it will keep them busy while you decorate the rest of the house.
*Give them some craft projects to do that they can hang up and then you can do new ones each year. - Search Pinterest for Halloween Crafts for Kids there are tons of ideas

This Year we made these pumpkins.  We put pumpkin pie spice in the kids paint and then they painted the back of a paper plate.  We let it dry and then they glued on shapes to make faces.

I found the idea on... Growing a Jeweled Rose...

Well this post is a little late, it's been in the works for a bit. :)  So if you've already decorated you can also use these ideas for Harvest dinners or your thanksgiving center piece.  Also, this will give you some ideas to think about when you are at estate sales or shopping after season sales.  It is a great time to buy stuff for next year.

Happy Decorating!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Organizing Children's Art Supplies

I have got a plethora of art supplies at the house.  And they are driving me nuts.  Not to mention the fact that my children would get into the supplies and leave them laying around, or color on the walls or furniture or their friends would get into them.  I needed to stop complaining about this and fix it...
Here is a picture of all of the supplies that I gathered up and decided that I no longer liked my attempts to organize.  Sometimes I get really irritated at how much it costs to buy organizational material so that's why I put it off for awhile until it is driving me so crazy that I have a mini freak out on the kids, my husband, or myself.  So what I decided to do was:
1.)  Looked at what I had that could work for what I needed.  I had this older hutch that I held just little extra kitchen things in that I decided they would fit somewhere else.  I measured the hutch and then I searched for some plastic bins that would fit in it.  I found some at Hobby Lobby for a descent price.
2.)  I went through all of the supplies and I got rid of the things that we no longer used or that I had more of one thing of and then I went ahead and organized the supplies by categories.  You will need to choose categories that fit your needs.  As you can see I picked categories like Ribbon and Yarn, Stickers, Paint...Or you could organize your supplies by child.  Give everyone their own bin and let them take responsibility for their own supplies.  Then I placed them in the bins and into the hutch.  Use this as a guideline of how much supplies you want to have once they don't fit get rid of something.
3.) This has worked really well for us.  Our children know where to go when they want something and they know that it goes back there when they are done and I also showed them how to respect and use their supplies.
4.) Don't forget to Label them!
5.)  Think about what you have and how you can use it to hold supplies.  Or look at a garage sale for an old hutch or shelving and see if you can make it useful for you.  Here are some other ideas that I found online:

  • Hanging Shoe Holders
  • Put Paper over canned foods jars and place markers, crayons, etc.  Try a magnet and put it on a chalkboard.
  • Use coffee cups (we always get a lot of these)
  • Use Mason Jars and hang them on a wall or attach it to a desk
  • Overhaul your kids closet.  Hand up peg boards and hang up supplies and add shelving and some of the other ideas from above.
  • Use an old Book Shelf.
  • Containers and pull out drawers labeled on their desk (It's amazing what a label or picture will do)
  • Old Metal Filing Cabinet

  • This Cabinet Makeover is from a book I just love about using and reusing things you have.  The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule.
Be creative and come up with a solution that fits your space and your families needs!