1/17/2017

How Well Do You Know 2017 Slang?

I recently read a tweet that made me realize, I'm slipping. Hard. I'm out of touch with slang. It's so bad when I did some research on 2017 slang and read,  "Snatched" is officially the new "fleek," my inner-awesomeness died a little. Fleek? What the hell is that? And I'm guessing "snatched" has nothing to do with stealing something. So, I did more research. 




It turns out, On-Point, became Fleek which is now, Snatched. Think: "Damn, girl, your outfit is Snatched!" (Instantly it makes sense why all those years ago my mom laughed at me when I told her "Bad" really meant, "Good!" and other assorted slang terms that I now get were totally laughable.)

If Fleek and Snatched stumped you too, then keep reading. Below is a break down of the hottest slang words, terms and abbreviations of 2017, so far. (In alphabetical order) 


  • About It- 100% all in. 
  • AF- As F*ck.
  • Canceled- Over it. Deleted out of your life. "I canceled our relationship."
  • Bae- your boyfriend/girlfriend 
  • Boots-if someone adds the word, Boots, to the end of a word or statement, you can thank the viral maniac Todrick Hall. It's meant to drive home the statement. Think" Damn, I'm Tired Boots! 
  • Extra- Means you are trying way too hard.
  • FB-Follow Back
  • Fleek- Perfect. On point. 
  • FR-For real
  • Hundo P- I agree one-hundred percent.
  • Hunty- Combo for Honey and C*nt-some use it for their Friends others for foes. It goes both ways.
  • High Key- Real. Straight-Up Truth.
  • LB- Like Back 
  • Lit- Amazing. (Warning: word on the street is that Lit on it's way out with Fleek.)
  • Live- describes something that was an Amazing time/party/event. It was Live! 
  • OTP- One True Paring. Refers to your favorite couple or a super couple. 
  • Ship- Describes two people who should be in a relationSHIP, but are not.  They should be Ship.
  • Slay or Slayed- Award winning performance no one can do it better. Think every time Beyonce gets on stage. 
  • Stan or Stanning- Obsessed fan. Relates to the Eminem song, Stan, about an obsessed fan. 
  • SUH- Think: what's up? Say it like it looks- suuuuuh. 
  • Sus- short for Suspect. Internet/text talk for shady, sketchy, watch out for that person.
  • TD-To Die
  • Turnt- Turned up to a whole new level of awesome/crazy
  • V- Short for Very. 
  • Watch Netflix and Chill- Means, you wanna hook up. Seriously. It's text talk for let's get it on.
  • Woke- describes a caring, thoughtful, sympathetic and/or knowledgeable person. 
  • YOLO- You Only Live Once


And last, a pinable/printable image for parents to keep on hand to make sure their children are not tweeting/texting/gramming/facebooking/snapping about innapropriate things. 


Did I miss anything? If so, please add it in the comments! 

1/16/2017

10 Fun + Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Summer With Kids

That's right, I said, Summer. Glorious, warm, wonderful, colorful, Summer. Being that I do have a strong readership in Australia and New Zealand, and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere, I thought I would send a fun post your way, today. For all of the rest of us freezing our butts off in the miserable depths of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought I would send you a reminder that, soon summer will be here again! 


Without further ado, 10 Fun and Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Summer with Kids:

1: Any game that requires a ball!

Ball games are fun for all ages. Whether it be kicking, catching or throwing, you never get too old for Balls! Think: Monkey-in-the-middle, kickball, backyard baseball, volleyball with an imaginary net...
Make your own rules and have fun. (Just don't let your littles change the rules every step of the game!)

2: Hopscotch with Sidewalk Chalk!

Grab the chalk and head outside. Start with a fun game of hopscotch, and end with a sidewalk chalk art show.

3: Splashing in Pools!

Don't have a big fancy in-ground pool? No worries! There are so many fun, inexpensive and easy-to-set-up above ground pools on the market today. However, when you choose a pool make sure that you read the best above ground pools reviews and find the best one for YOUR backyard.

4: Indoor Games

Rainy days got you down? here are a few indoor games to the rescue. Playing dress-up is always exciting for kids. It can be those fancy unicorns, dragons, fairies, astronauts or any creative thing that comes to mind. It’s fun as long as it keeps the kids engaged. Hide-and seek is always a winner, too. When all else fails, throw a big blanket on the floor, have a picnic and finish with coloring or arts and crafts.

5: Movie Night!

Kids always love to savor their summer nights with family and watching their favorite TV shows or movies. Have a make-your-own pizza dinner followed by a family movies. Still have the blanket on the floor? throw down pillows and get cozy with the fam.

6: Hosting a Neighbor Potluck

Have an open weekend ahead? Invite the neighbors for potluck. Tell the even numbered houses to bring savory dishes, while the odd numbers can bring beverages and deserts! You bring the grill items and voila, party.


7: Make Healthy Popsicles

If you follow my blog then you know, I love making healthy Popsicles, and the best part is my son doesn't know they are healthy! All he knows is that his favorite fruits go in the blender. Making healthy Popsicles is as easy as tossing fruit, yogurt and a little juice in the blender. Blend until well mixed then pour in paper cups with Popsicles sticks, or buy Popsicle molds, they are cheap and make getting healthy treats in your child all year long!


8: Jump Rope!

Talk about a fun butt blasting, (& energy-zapping for the Little's!), way to spend a few minutes! Put on a fun music, and see who can last through an entire song!

9: Outdoor Arts and crafts!

Outside arts and crafts take on a whole new meaning. Big fun and big messes! Get old cardboard boxes and some finger paint, or make a decorative garden pots. Grab some terra cotta pots, turn them upside down, get some fun acrylic paints and let the kids go nuts! BONUS: plant an elf sunflower seed in the pot and place outside!

10: Play in the dirt.

Don’t deny it, we all loved to play in the dirt. I do it every time I go in my garden. I highly recommend it! Go outside and get dirty with the kids. Make mud pies, plant flowers, splash in puddles... just go outside and get dirty and enjoy it. After all, that's what summer is about, outside fun in the sun!

1/11/2017

Childproofing Room-by-Room: Easy Tips + Tricks To Avoid Going Viral On YouTube

** Today I'm partnering with MIRAS to share my best tips for Childproofing room-by-room.


With the recent viral video of the twin boys climbing a chest of drawers in their room, leading to one of the boys being crushed underneath, I thought I would reiterate the importance of child-proofing.  Especially, for the parents who have spy-like children that get into, and climb, everything!




With my wild kid running, jumping, climbing and pulling things down from new heights every day, I've been in a solid state of child-proofing for five years.

Seriously. Five. Years.

My kid is capable of spy like tactics when it comes to getting what he wants.  Something tells me, I'll be babyproofing for many more years to come. Basically, as long as it's needed to keep my son (and me!) safe, I'll be doing it. The knives are still on top of the refrigerator.

Without further ado, CHILDPROOF! Below are my best tips for keeping your family safe.

Babyproofing 101:

Things to do around the entire house: 

  • Plug up the outlets-Plug 'em up with child-safety plug covers before your baby tries to do it for you. Make sure you plug up EVERY outlet in your house, even the ones above the kitchen counter/bench tops. 
  • Cut the hangman's noose- all drapery cords with loops must be cut open to prevent strangulation. And the little plastic pulls at the bottom should be removed to prevent a choking hazard.
  • Cover the cords- EVERYTHING finds it's way in your child's mouth, it's a fact of life, so make sure to secure all electrical cords with electrical tape or those fancy wire tube jobs.  We ran a bunch of cords under the rug, or used clear duct tape along the bottom of the baseboards.
  • Alert the glasses-Put bright colorful stickers on glass doors so your crazy runner will know to stop! Seriously, do this, or face daily forehead goose eggs. Also, some screen doors can pop out super easy, so if you leave yours open often, look into a safety gate or restraint system for your sliding glass/ screen doors. 
  • Doors- Keep the front door locked at all times. And NEVER leave the key in the lock. Even if your little one cannot reach the door knob or deadbolt today, a toy or growth spurt can change that overnight. NOTE: There are door knob covers available, but all three of my nephews outsmarted them and so did Ollie, so you may just want to add a latch to the top of the door or 
  • a gate. 
  • Remove the rubber tips from the door stoppers- They are a HUGE choking hazard. It all starts when your baby realizes he can pull them and they will make a funny noise. Eventually, the rubber cap comes off and makes it into your child's mouth. That sucks, so be proactive on this one. Trust me. 
  • Windows- There are all kinds of child proof locks and bars and such for childproofing the windows and screens. Most of all, make sure all chairs, or things your child can use to as a step, are far from the windows, ESPECIALLY when open! Windows are often an overlooked point of danger, make sure you secure them one way or another.
  • Know your house plants- House plants are a huge poison danger.  Make sure you know what kinds you have and if they pose a threat to children and pets.
Living room
  • Soften up the edges-Cover the corners of the coffee and end tables with specially made corner and rail covers. (Or, go ghetto like we did and use the crib bumpers. I mean, since you are not allowed to use them in the crib, might as well use the somewhere else! We just tied them around the table.)  The rubber table edges below are easy to connect and don't damage the furniture
  • Cover those Cords, Outlets & Power Strips- Enough said. 
  • Secure the TVs, Bookshelves, and Hanging Frames to the wall.  Anchor those suckers down like you expect an earthquake at anytime... because really, an earthquake is the same thing as a toddler.
Kitchen
  • Lock up the Oven-Ollie actually pulled the door down on his head.  Needless to say, the latch is ALWAYS in the lock position now.
  • Cook on the BACK burners first- Cook on the back burners first, with the handles facing away from you.  If you have to cook on the front burners, of course set the pot handles away from you, but you might want to be on the safe side and use a gate to keep the little bugger out if you can.  NEVER hold your baby while you are cooking, one kick of the foot and it's o.v.e.r.
  • Latch everything that opens- Latch all of the cupboards, doors and drawers.  Luckily the latches are not that difficult to install, and become second nature to use after a few days.
  • Hide your knob-Cover the oven knobs with specially made knob covers so bub doesn't decide to start cooking before you do!
  • If it's hot, hide it- Don't leave anything hot on the edge or even a few inches from the edge of the counter tops. Also, I have to say this... don't carry your baby while holding anything scalding hot. 
Bathroom
  • Slippery when wet- Best to limit walking in bathrooms for new walkers, and use slip proof rugs. Also, install a slip proof surface in your bathtub.  There are really cool slip proof stickers available for tubs and showers.
  • Put the toilet lid on lock down-Unless you are particularly fond of fishing, get a toilet lock. 
  • Soften the spout-Get covers for both the tub spout and knobs.  Get good ones, you will need them for many years.
  • Hide the soap- Get a shower head hanging basket or something that keeps the soaps high and out of reach.  
  • Keep the door closed- While doing the above is important, make it a point to keep the door closed whenever possible to avoid, slips, bangs, toys in the toilet and soap chugging. It only takes 5 seconds for a toddler to achieve all of those things!  
 Bedrooms/nursery-
  • Keep the door open-Slip a cloth diaper over the top of the door to keep your child from shutting the door. This will also help to prevent both slamming fingers in the door and pinching them in the hinges.
  • Clear the decks-Keep all surfaces including end tables and dressers free of clutter. Small items (Dads that means coins!) and heavy items should be pushed to the back, and don't forget to secure those bedside lamps!  
  • Crop the curtains-Be mindful of the curtains becoming a climbing rope, or worse pulling the blinds and window treatments down.  Remember: Cut the cord loops on blinds and remove the plastic pulls. 
My absolute favorite off the wall (free) babyproofing tips. 
  • Stoop to their level-Get down on all fours so you are at toddler eye level, then crawl around on the floor from room to room, looking for things to choke on, pull down, or cause havoc with.
  • Lean it back-Use furniture shims or door stoppers to tilt furniture back at a slight angle so your little 007 cannot pull it forward.
  • There is no such thing as common sense-It's important to note that babies and toddlers have no common sense, so never let your guard down.
  • You can never be too safe- Full Stop.
  • Childproofing is a process, not an event-According to a good friend and mother of four adult children, she insists that babyproofing becomes toddler-proofing, which becomes childproofing and then ultimately teen-proofing.  She warned that you will not be finished kid proofing until the last one moves out... but not to let your guard down for too long because they will have kids, and you will be back at square one, babyproofing...
  • Look for complete Childproofing kits, you can save a bundle in the long run. 


Hopefully, these tips will save you from a few of the bumps, bruises and close-calls I've already dealt with thanks to Agent 007 Ollie Bond. And of course, having such a catastrophe, you feel the need to share it with the world on YouTube.



       

1/09/2017

Protect Your Children With This Total Tech Takeover


**Today I'm partnering with the complete parental control app, Boomerang, about ways to protect your children from the wild and wicked world of technology, apps, and video streaming.

There's no way around it, technology is our children's future. So trying to shelter my son from it, or stand over him every second he's on his iPad or my phone, is no way for either of us to live. Thankfully, some super smart parents, with no desire to helicopter parent their children's tech-time, built a solid solution, Boomerang, a parental control app that runs in the background, making sure your child does not use and app or watch something that's not age appropriate.


I can bash technology and the crazy monster it turns my son into when I try to take it away from him, but truth be told, during the cold winter months, my son gets way more tech-time than any other time of the year. It's not only the cure for his cabin fever but also my best shot at any quiet time during the day.

I rationalize the extra tech-time by limiting my son to only, learning apps. Of course, I stay within earshot, so when the kid breaks away from spelling to watch Lego builds on YouTube, I can cut him off at the pass.

Well, now, thanks to Boomerang, I can leave the room knowing my son is restricted to ONLY the apps I've approved. Seriously, this app is fantastic. The first time I downloaded Boomerang and set up Ollie's restrictions, I thought I somehow did something wrong and deleted all of my apps because they were missing. It turns out, Boomerang hid them from him!


The Boomerang app gives me total tech control, so when my son is on my phone, apps he is not to use are hidden. (Finally, my social media accounts are finally safe from him unfriending people, or worse, friending random strangers!



One of my favorite features is the ever important timer! Sometimes I'm not sure who needs the timer more, the kid or me. Both of us can get carried away and before I know it, and hour has passed. Just by looking at my son I can tell he hasn't blinked in twenty minutes. SO BAD!  The timer is key. Plus, it kind of fights the end-of-tech-time-battle for me. 


Boomerang is easy to set-up, and in a way, takes on the tech battle with your child, so you don't have to.  The app even tracks devices, so at all times, you know exactly where your family is. 


I really can't stress it enough, get control of the Tech-monster in your house as early as possible. The sooner boundaries are set up, the less of a struggle you'll have keeping your child from your apps, games, age-inappropriate material and dodgy YouTube videos of dumbasses riding in the bed of a truck through a car wash. Seriously, my son doesn't need any more bright ideas. 


To protect your child(ren) with a total tech takeover, download Boomerang for iOS or Android, then follow the prompts. The app will run in the background at all times, so it sets up in your phone's settings and will ask for control of the device, click Ok, because really, you're the one gaining complete control...

To learn more about the Boomerang app, visit the website, here



















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1/06/2017

Repealing Obamacare Is NOT The Answer. There's A Much Darker Evil To Blame

**Sorry, but I have to climb back on my Damn-You-Health-Care Bitch Box. There is a serious problem with the Health Care System In the U.S.A, and unless we keep talking about, and pushing for, change, it never will happen.



It's time STOP blaming Obamacare. There is a much deeper, darker, soulless evil to blame; Insurance Companies. 

Repealing Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) is not the answer. It's not the problem. In fact, Without it, hundreds of thousands of US residents would NOT have insurance. It saves lives every day. What's driving the system into the ground is the insurance companies and the astronomical monthly premiums they charge. 

A recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), acknowledged insurance premiums are "increasing more than they have the past two years." The report shows only minimal increases on plans. Even going so far as to say, "This year, with two years of cost data available, issuers are adjusting their premiums to bring them in line with costs."

Costs? What costs? The seven-figure salaries the bosses are making? The call-centers costs for routing thousands of daily calls from disgruntled members? Surely not the health care costs. I read my Explanation of Benefits. I see the deep "discounts" my insurance provider receives and the fraction they end up paying the doctor.  

The real story behind the unprecedented twenty-five percent increase, I learned while speaking with an insurance broker. In particular, we were talking about Helthcare.gov and the Government Marketplace. I asked how it was possible for insurance companies to raise premiums by an average of 25% in 2017.  He said, "There's very little competition anymore. Some states only have one or two providers. You're lucky you're in Kentucky, there are multiple providers, which causes a little more competition."

I also learned that some Marketplace plan premiums increased by 80% from 2016-2017. Mine increased a whopping 64%. Not the "average premium increase of 25%," reported by the DHHS. 

From private employer health care coverage to individual plans, to government marketplace plans, monthly premiums have reached an all-time high in 2017. Many are finding it impossible to feed their family and pay the insurance premiums. Which, is why so few signed up. The country is back where it was before the Affordable Care Act; affordable health insurance does not exist.

It's important to also remember, just because there are 'employer insurance guidelines put in place by Obamacare, many, many US companies don't offer affordable health care plans, leaving the Obamacare Marketplace the only hope for semi-affordable health care coverage. 

For example, the least expensive family health care plan offered through my husband's employer cost $960 a month. Not only could we not afford to have it, thanks to the eleven-thousand-dollar deductible, we also couldn't afford to use it! That is by no means affordable health care. So absolutely, my family would be in big trouble without Obamacare. Bottom line: we would not have insurance. We in no way can afford it.

Then there are the families who make just enough to not qualify for help. They may actually be the worse off. Recently, I spoke to a mother of two about the hike her insurance premium took in 2017.  Her family now pays close to $1200 a month through her husband's employer. In other words, her husband makes to much to qualify and is forced to take the company plan. Did I mention,  the plan has a seven-thousand-dollar deductible? How does a family, with two young, healthy girls pay that much a month and cover the deductible each year? So much for a thriving college fund for her girls. 

THIS IS NOT RIGHT!

When do we rise as a nation and say enough is enough? Because one day, we will. There will come a time when the majority of Americans can no longer pay the monthly premium. A time when only the infamous 1% will be able to afford health care. 

Is this when things will change? 

Or will it take hundreds dying of minor ailments that could've been cured, if only they had health care coverage?

Why do we have to wait for that? 

Why can't we say enough is enough, now? 

1/05/2017

Parent Perfect Body Blasting 30-Day Challenges (DO THIS!)

Ok. It's the new year. Time to put the holiday madness behind us, get our life and the routine back on track, and, somehow, shed those extra holiday pounds.  If only, there were enough time in the day, right? Well, if you have a few seconds I think I have a solution!  Below are a few of my favorite 30-day challenges to get you moving and toned in a few seconds a day.

TIPS:

1. Tell yourself to do just one day. RIGHT NOW!  Chances are, you will do tomorrow's reps too...
2. Pin or print your favorite plan, put it on the refrigerator/wall and check off each day.
3. You will actually see results, but it wouldn't hurt to keep going after your reps. Walk in place for five minutes, or climb the stairs a few times. Maybe add a few lunges or sit-ups. You'll be amazed how when you start... you can't stop!
4. Recruit a friend, then make a pact to celebrate in a fun way if you BOTH complete the challenge.


Without further ado... Parent Perfect Body Blasting 30-Day Challenges:

Of course, there are the Squat and Plank challenge you've probably heard about. (Great to do together!)







If you want to target more than your butt and core, the following 30-day workouts will give you all over results, inspire you to work out every day and only take a minute a day!



Want a Brazilian Butt?  Try this:





 Thighs keeping you down? Try this:



(Credit: This plan was created by Cassey Ho for blogilates.com. Cassey is an award-winning fitness instructor, knows her shit and has the most amazing monthly workouts. If you are looking for more workout/nutrition/inspiration ideas, check her out, here. #LoveHer)

Do your abs make you sad? Try this:





 Are your arms causing your self-esteem harm? Do this:




Butt AND Gut have you in a rut? Never fear, help is here!



Looking for a whole-body 30-day challenge plan? Look no further...



If you already have a workout routine, here's a more advanced program that starts Day-1 with higher reps. 



or, this one:

Here is a four-month plan you can follow each month, or combine into one month:


If you have injuries or physical limitations, and none of the above will work, here is a 30-day food challenge. If it's too restrictive for you, break it up and try to avoid one-or-two foods for the day or week... 










Don't forget to Pin or print your favorite challenges!

1/03/2017

Parents, We Made It. High-Fives All Around.

This morning at school drop off, I have never seen so many happy parents. Smiles, all around. Cheery, Good mornings, were being passed between parents I've never even seen talk before.  Even the snobby bitches were handing out high-fives.  It was clear, not only was winter break, finally, over, every single parent was just as happy and relieved about it as I was.  




Oh my gosh, kids can be such assholes during the holidays.

I just spent two weeks either fighting my child off presents or explaining to him why there were no more to open. All while reminding him, a four-year-old, to be humble and thankful. NOT! Pull a pair of Darth Vader slippers out of a gift bag and say:

1. "I hate gift bags. I want to unwrap the present. Can you go rewrap it for me, and never use bags again?"
2. "Aww.... It's not a toy? You should've gotten me a toy."

Over the last two weeks, I learned that there will never be enough presents and children will never be happy. The more I learn not to take it seriously or even care, the happier my holidays will be. 

So next year, fu*k it.

Why even try so hard at getting the perfect gift, when it's really just a matter of wanting to open 1000 gifts, just because, "unwrapping presents is so much fun." 

I digress...

YAY!  Parents, we made it. Parents, We Made It. High-Fives All Around.




Over the holiday break, the routine ceased to exist, we ate nothing with any real nutritional value, including, brownies for breakfast. Being so Type-A, at first, it was hard for me to let go, but for the sake of my family and my happiness, I decided to chill out so we all could have a true family staycation. It had taken about a week before we all realized how important the routine is. But, by that point, we were too far gone, so we kept eating brownies for breakfast until the holidays were over. 

Needless to say, by New Year's Day, we were all ready to get our routine back in full swing. I announced no more cakes, cookies, candy, juice or carbonated beverages. 

TYPE-A ME IS BACK! 

So happy it's over it's over.

So happy I'm sitting here in my office and it's quiet for the first time in WEEKS. 

So happy the holidays are officially over. The kid is back at school, and I'm back at work. Let the decompression and return to normalcy begin.  

Happy 2017. Let the journey begin... Cheers to the next 365 days being the best yet! 

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We are FAR from childhood development professionals. We cannot and will not be held responsible if you take us seriously. Especially, because we don't even take ourselves seriously.