3/29/18

10 Things All Toddlers Have In Common

Since I'm currently dragging my family and three hundred pounds of shit across the world, I thought I'd republish an oldy but a goody to keep the laughs alive. 

Oh the good ol' toddler-days... I was sure they were going to kill me.


Here are ten amazing facts about toddlers. Facts I wouldn't have believed unless I witnessed them myself...




1.     Toddlers are one big mess making factory. They can stand still in an empty white room and still figure out how to make a HUGE FREAKING MESS! I sometimes think my Toddler has a magnet for crap embedded in his body, so the minute he walks through a room all kinds of crap comes flying out from every corner, and lands at his feet.  Even though I watch it happen, I cannot wrap my head around the fact that something so small can completely wreck everything in 3.2 seconds! 
2.     Toddlers think everything is awesome... for five seconds. The attention span of a toddler has to rival that of a blowfly. Every single new thing my toddler comes across is bad ass.  He HAS to have it. Then five seconds later, he is on to the next awesome thing.
3.     Feeding a toddler is like feeding a monkey. A picky, drunken monkey. Between the flailing arms, the poor spoon/fork usage, the food launching and the occasional bite that actually makes it into their mouth… yeah it's monkey business. Frustrating patience-testing monkey business.

4.     Toddlers have NO use for clothing. – My kid thinks shoes, pants and socks are the dumbest damn inventions. He has no use for them. My toddler would prefer to live as a free ballin’ nudist, and that’s all there is to it.
5.     Toddlers Have NO Shame. They will stop in the middle of a large crowd to concentrate on crapping their pants. They will fart in the arms of President. (I bet at least one has done it before… this year.) They will scream bloody she-is-kidnapping-me murder the minute you pick them up to leave the park and best wishes to those that think errands will be run in a timely clam orderly fashion. They have no shame and are happy to prove it. 
6.     Toddlers are 24/7 wrecking balls. If you love something or it is just expensive, a toddler will destroy it. DESTROY. IT. Again with the magnet theory. Toddlers have a homing beacon that seeks out expensive things, danger, and trouble.  
7.     Toddlers only have an ON switch.  The minute they learn something, that new function stays on! Walking, running, dancing, talking, repeating bad words… they learn it, and Man, it's SO ON!
8.     Toddlers like everything on repeat. I have read, and re-read, the same book for days in a row.  I have watched the same Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows so many times I know the words. Why, yes, I have tried other books and shows. He doesn’t want those, he wants his Trucks and Diggers book read front to back, then back to front...  OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Don’t even get me started on the books with buttons, but only one button will do OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I have also stood by while my toddler has gone up and down the slide four hundred thousand times. Repeat I tell you. Repeat.
9.     To a toddler, ‘No’ means proceed at your own riskThey know better, but if they really want to do something, they are going to do it. Toddlers invented the theory: It's far easier to ask forgiveness, than permission.
10.  Toddlers ensure that there is never a dull Day. EVER!  For example, yesterday morning we needed a few things from the grocery. So I made my iced coffee, got Ollie and I dressed, and left for the store. Once at the store, (shoes already off of course) the second I unbuckled him from his car seat he lunged into the front seat, knocking my iced coffee into my driver's seat, (MY seat!) then he sat in it to drive the car. (Yes. Yes, I did want to shed a tear.) With no towels on hand, I used a diaper to sop up the coffee. Then, I turn my sights to him. Of course, while I was focused on cleaning up the coffee, he was climbing around the car turning on every button and emptying out my bag. When I finally caught him, I somehow missed him crapping his pants between leaving the house and that moment. Did I cry? No. Did I lose my temper? No. This is just another day in the life of a parent of a toddler.   





Call me certifiable, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Want more images of, Life With Kids Vs Life Without?

3/28/18

Let's Just call This One Birth Control 101: Your Life With Kids Vs. Life Without

Since I'm in total freakout-mode about our trek across the world coming up in less than 48 hours, I thought I'd share some good ol' fashion humpday parenting humor. It's a perfect illustration of where I'm currently at mentally.  Enjoy... 

3/27/18

10 Spring Inspired Money-Saving Life Hacks

We are a family that lives by our budget, and when I can squeeze it a little more, I do. Being that I'm a first-time parent, I feel like each season we start over with buying new clothes and season appropriate toys and snacks, all can be big budget busters. So, for today's top 10 Tuesday, I'm sharing a few of my favorite ways to save big on Kid's things for spring... and summer too!



1. Make a list: I learned very early that kids do not need half as much stuff as I think they do. Before my baby was born, he had enough clothes to go a month without wearing a new outfit. Most of which, he never wore because he grew too fast! I quickly learned that I need to make a reasonable list of what I actually needed for my son, taking into account mid-season growth spurts! I cannot recommend this enough, make a list of the number of shorts, shirts, and shoes that you actually need to start the season, also include seasonal toys and future big buys like bicycles, ride on toys or backyard trampoline if you're brave enough. Having a list early will allow you to do online shopping for better deals as well as put feelers out with your family to look for things on sale.

2. Shred those winter clothes: When it comes to outside playtime, kids get to get dirty, so the last thing you want them to do is grime-up the nice new clothes. Go through those winter clothes that have holes in the knees or tears in the sleeves, and cut them off to make shorts and t-shirts. Then, deem those play clothes so you won't cry when you can't get the grass or ketchup stains out.



3. Borrow Budget Busters: For those one-off family portraits or special occasions where you normally end up buying an incredibly expensive outfit, your child will most likely only wear once, check out Etsy, eBay, and your friend's closets before paying full price for anything.

4. Secondhand Shops: Places like Once Upon A Child and other children's secondhand shops are full of clothes and everything else you need to cover an entire winter or summer wardrobe, for under $20. (Shoes too! Did you know Crocs are machine washable?)

5. Facebook Finds: Every city has at least one Facebook mommy group that has clothes exchanges and lists where big family sales are taking place. To find them, on your Facebook page ask your friends if they know of any great mommy groups on Facebook. I bet you'll get plenty of replies!

6. Garage Sale Heaven: Garage sales are a great place to pick up those big toys that people want to get rid of because they take too much space, but you desperately need because it's time for your toddler to start riding a bike. On Fridays, go to Craigslist, or wherever your city list garage sales, and find ones close by. Look for multi-family sales then grab a friend and some coffee and start shopping!



7. Discount Dealers: I love Groupon, ZuLily, Plum District, Living Social, Overstock, and other sites that can offer great things at a huge discount. All will be fighting for attention this season, so capitalize on it!  Most are even offering free shipping on the smallest orders.

8. Daily Deals: Did you know there are hundreds of websites that crawl the Internet daily for the best online daily deals? They do, and then list them in an easy to search format so you can quickly search for items on your must-have list. My favorite is DealNews.com.

9. DIY For Family Health: When it comes to springtime treats and healthy fruit snacks, the budget can bust very quickly. I make our Popsicles, grow our fruit and cut out juice and soda, we are water drinkers during the warm months. If you have a sunny spot in your yard, patio or balcony, you have a place to grow your own fruit! Did you know strawberries grow well in a pot? Go to your local nursery and ask for help finding the right fruits to grow for where you live (Grower's Zone).









For a total of $20 I have strawberry plants, blueberries and grapes thriving in pots and around my yard. The best part is that I can use that fruit to make Popsicles! (For my Posicle DIY post, Click here.)

10. Price Shop From Home.  There are way too many apps and websites available today that make price comparison shopping from home a breeze. Gone are the days of driving from store to store or waiting for the Sunday Paper deals. Pull out the list you made of spring must-haves and start going through each item online and list where the best deal is, for that item. Once you've gone through your list, check the entire list for stores that overlap to save you a bundle on shipping and time. Between the coupon apps and the compare-and-save apps, there is no reason to pay full price anymore.

If you have any great tips, please leave a comment below, or join my Facebook discussion, here. 

3/26/18

10 Easter Hacks and Crafts You Gotta See! #Easter








Below are some of the most brilliant Easter Hacks EVER!


I LOVE THIS! I can't wait to see my little guy's face when he see the Easter Bunny hopped into our house!



Crafty Morning's Easter Bunny Fruit Platter is my new favorite Easter treat!




Another little gem from Crafty Morning are these Rice Crispy Treat Easter Bird's Nest.


                           

Mmmmmm Breakfast. Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls from Betty Crocker..




I absolutely LOVE, The Idea Room's Easter Bunny Bread Bowls. SO CUTE!



I'm making these for The Kid's Easter Party at school.



Tea Light Eggs!




Easter Egg Planters!





Not into DIY dye? McCormick Spice has every recipe and design idea imaginable for DIY Easter Eggs 



3/17/18

I'm Seriously Sad For People Who Shop Online Without This...

Before I get started, I want to be very clear that this IS NOT a sponsored post in any way. I am not being paid to say a word about the following company, nor was I asked, prodded, threatened or forced to write this post. I am sharing the following information with you because I am seriously sad for people who shop online without this...



I am currently shopping my brains out online for an extended trip to Australia coming up soon. I have to buy clothes, gifts, travel crap and a bunch of other stuff. Rather than drive all over hells-half-acre to get the stuff, I'm shopping for it all online. Being an online shopping budget pro, I'm comparing prices and jumping between multiple websites. I'm also comparing cash back amounts for each retailer and available coupon code without having to do any extra steps.

How?

Ebates. 

Please, read these next words carefully, I swear them to be 100% true.

LOOK!  22k five-star reviews and 1.7 million users... This shit is legit!
From the Ebates website, I added the Ebates Safari and Chrome plugins with the click of a button, so every time I shop online, I am automatically prompted with how much cash back I will receive for shopping at that retailer.

Then, at Checkout, the plugin auto-runs multiple coupon codes looking for the best one. It's super cool to watch! 

In the end, I buy exactly what I want, save money with a coupon code that I didn't have to search for, AND get cash back-- paid into my PayPal on a quarterly basis. (Bank account optional)

I promise, EBATES the greatest thing ever for people who shop online! Shop as usual, get cash back and save money without having to do more than click two buttons. There's no need to go to the website while shopping or search for coupon codes, the plugin notifies Ebates your shopping at the particular store, so you don't have to!



Knowing what I know, there is absolutely no reason not to have Ebates on your browser. It's FREE MONEY! Sure, maybe there is tracking of your shopping preferences--I'm really not sure, because I don't give a shit. Everything does that already, even my credit card company.

Please, GET EBATES! It's free, takes a minute to set up and that's it. All that's left is to bank cashback and use the coupon codes. (Think: Extra money for the holidays.)

DO THIS! And don't just sign up, add the browser plugin so you don't have to do any extra crap while shopping!



Get $10 CASH just for signing up click, HERE!

3/14/18

12 iPhone Hacks Parents Praise


According to 2014 Statistical estimates of approximately 164 million smartphone users, more than 63.2 million users were projected to own an iPhone. I'm one of those owners. I'm also addicted to finding new iPhone hacks to make my life easier. Below are a few of my favorite hacks for parents.

1. FAMILY SHARING IS KEY!


You know how your family has 14 devices total, and between them, multiple downloads and purchases? Get this... You can access all of your purchases with all of your devices by setting up Family Sharing! Up to six family members share each other’s content, best of all, without sharing accounts.


Family Sharing also gives parents a host of parental control options and device tracking. Imagine, if a device is lost or stolen, you can find it, immediately. You can set up age and purchase restrictions and so much more! But first, set up family sharing.

       How to set up, Family Sharing

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > Set Up Family Sharing
  2. Invite other family members to join, and create Apple IDs (usernames) for younger kids
  3. Set up a shared payment method

2. Give everyone a username


Assigning a username to family members allows you to set separate controls for what they can use, without impacting your own access. With Family Sharing, you can create Apple IDs for children under 13, then monitor and manage what your kids download.

      How to create an Apple ID for your child:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > Family > Create an Apple ID for a child
  2. Enter the child’s birthday and tap Next
  3. Review the Parent Privacy Disclosure and tap Agree
  4. Confirm a payment method and tap Next
  5. Enter your child’s name, tap Next, then create their Apple ID (username@icloud.com) and tap Next
  6. Follow the instructions to set a password, choose security questions, and set up your child’s account

3. Speed charge your phone in Airplane mode!



Is your child literally sucking the life out of your iPhone? Mine too. Thankfully, there are two ways to reduce charge time:

Airplane mode-Putting your phone in airplane mode while charging essentially puts your phone's life sucking operations to sleep, while still giving you access to apps.

Turn off the phone- By far, the fastest way to charge an iPhone is by turning it off until fully charged. It takes a fraction of the time compared to just plugging in your phone fully operational.

4. Make the most of your battery life.

Only have 10% left, and miles from home or the nearest charger? Don't fret! You can extend the life of the battery in 3-steps: Go to Settings-->battery---> Low-power mode. iPhone's low-power mode, you can disable non-essential tasks to give your battery up to four more hours of life.






5. iPhone's 'HEALTH' Medical ID App is a real lifesaver. Literally. (It comes with your phone. No Download Necessary!)

Did you know, your iPhone came with an app that could save your life or a family member's? The 'Health' app that comes preloaded on your iPhone allows emergency responders to access vital information about you or a family member: full name, date of birth, medical conditions, allergies, blood type, and emergency contacts. 






The best part is that emergency responders are trained to look for it, and no worries if your phone is constantly on lockdown, the app is accessible even when the phone is locked! The app also has super cool features to help you get your health in check and has an Apple watch and multiple app crossover features that sync everything. Below is a viral post an ER nurse posted about the 'Health' app and how important it is to use it.










6. Make Do Without a Selfie Stick 

Taking a selfie is difficult with your iPhone if you don't have a selfie stick. However, all you need are headphones. When you connect your headphones to your phone, the volume control function duplicates the same selfie-stick function when in camera mode. Simply plug your headphones into your iPhone and use the volume button on your headphones to take your selfies. Your reach just extended by at least a foot!

7. Need to take control of your child's device? Done. 

  1. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions
  2. Enable Restrictions and create a passcode
  3. Choose the apps and features that you wish to restrict


8. Frequent Locations. It's watching you... Or your kids.

Can't remember what you did yesterday or where you went? What about your kids? Your iPhone does. Your iPhone has a record of frequent locations visited by the phone's owner, including the dates and times at those places.


Don't want to be tracked? Go to settings-->privacy--> location services-->system services and way at the bottom, find the 'frequent locations' menu. You will see your home address and other addresses you have visited. Once viewed, you can clear the history, then turn off the frequent locations option. 


9. Guided Access 

Want your child to play one app, and one app only on your phone? Or block YouTube access? With Guided Access, you can temporarily limit your device to a single app, as well as letting you control which app features are available to your child. Once turned on with a triple-click of the Home button, your kids won’t be able to open other apps or content.

How to set up Guided Access


  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access
  2. Turn Guided Access on
  3. Enter a passcode and re-confirm it


10. Set Purchase requests. Even for the free stuff.

How to turn on Ask to Buy:

  1. You’ll be asked to enable Ask To Buy for any under 18’s when you first set up your Family Sharing group
  2. Go to Settings > iCloud > Family
  3. Tap your family member’s name
  4. Tap Ask to Buy

How to review a request:

  1. Open the notification on your iPhone or iPad to see what your child wants to download
  2. Approve or decline the purchase
  3. If you approve, you need to sign in with your Apple ID and password to make the purchase


11. Block in-App Advertisements in Games

Disable pop-ups on your iPhone by switching to airplane mode. It's that easy!

12. Set a Timer, So You Don't Have To Be The A$$hole.

Guided Access also lets you set a time limit on how much longer your child can use an app.  Which, is fantastic since I LOATHE the "Time's Up" battle. What's more, the iPhone gives a 30-second warning, signaling it's sleepytime, then will  "go to sleep" when time is up. <Insert Evil Mom Laugh)
  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access
  2. Tap Time Limits
  3. Choose a Sound to be played when their time is up
  4. Open the app you want to use
  5. Triple-click the Home button to turn on Guided Access
  6. Tap Time Limit Options to set a time limit
  7. Tap Start



3/12/18

The 19 Safest Sunscreens For Kids + Sensitive Skin #SpringBreak #Travel

WhooHoo! It's time to start talking spring, family vacations, sun, fun, and sunscreen! Thank goodness, too. #SoOverWinter
If you've been a long time reader, then you know, I was diagnosed with skin cancer at 22 years-old. As a child growing up in Miami, the sun was a part of life. What wasn't a part of my life was, sunscreen. My sensitive skin would burn from the first drop of the PABA loaded, chemical concoctions that doubled as sunscreen in the early eighties. My mom tried to keep me out of the sun, but in south Florida, it was pretty much impossible.

Now that I'm a mother, and totally freaked out about my son having the same skin issues I do, I am the queen of safe fun in the sun.

3/9/18

What Every Parent Should Know About The Tooth Fairy #Wordsofwisdom

Dear parents of the world, whatever you do, don't get caught slipping like I did...

GIF: From the movie, The Tooth Fairy


Up until a few days ago, my stout fifty-five pound, four-foot tall, six-year-old had a mouth full of baby teeth. Life was good. Rolling along business as usual. Then, after dinner, while having strawberry shortcake dessert, he started screaming bloody murder. Naturally, I shit my pants from the bloodcurdling scream and ran to his side. There, in his little hand was a tiny little tooth.

3/6/18

This Superfood Side Only Takes a Minute To Make



**Last week, I shared one of my favorite breakfast go-to's, GardenLites Superfood muffins. #SoGood #SoWholseome Today, I'm partnering with my long-time favorite, GardenLites, to share their newest creation, Superfood Veggie Cakes. All opinions are my own.


One thing most parents have in common is picky eaters. I hear horror stories daily about parents at their wits end over their kid refusing to eat anything but pasta, pizza, and chicken nuggets. My little guy goes in cycles. He also cycles through vegetables. Most, he hates, but from time-to-time, if he's hungry enough, he'll eat them.

If you read the post on our morning muffin go-to, then you know, I have to hide vegetables to get my son and husband to eat them without the compulsory bitching. I have gone so far as to blend up veggies and mix them with spaghetti sauce. #Whateverworks.

3/5/18

Food Intolerance Caused My Migraines #pinnertest

Today, I'm partnering with Pinnertest to start a conversation about food intolerance. All opinions are my own. 
Right around the time I turned nine, I started getting terrible migraines. They would just come on out of nowhere and sent me to a dark room until morning. My mother took me to my pediatrician, and since it was twenty-something years ago, he pretty much said, That’s sucks. Here, take theseTylenol3 when you feel a migraine coming on. 

The next few migraines, I took the Tylenol3, but it DESTROYED my stomach and didn't fix the migraine. Inevitably, I would throw up within thirty minutes of taking the medicine. But strangely, the headache went away after I'd get sick. I got so tired of having my stomach destroyed I refused to take the Tylenol three and willed myself to sleep. FYI: The stomach pain was so bad, to this day I tell doctors I'm allergic to codeine. 

I’ll never forget this time my family was visiting friends in Washington DC and we went to a Thai restaurant. The food was so good, I ate myself stupid. Within an hour of eating, I had the migraine of migraines. It was so bad, my mom and I had to split off from the group so I could go lay down. The second we walked into the hotel room, I threw up my guts--Sorry, total TMI, but I’m getting somewhere here-- When we got home, my mother took me for a slew of tests. 

10 Fun Facts About The Upcoming Daylight Savings Time Shift

Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins this Sunday, March 10th at 2:00am. 
In honor of the sleep snatching event,  I thought I would share 10 fun facts to shed some light on why we even bother.



Without further ado, 10 Fun Facts About Daylight Saving Time...

1.  Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins this Sunday, March10th at 2:00am and ends at 2:00am on November 9, 2018
2. Officially, it's Daylight Saving Time, not daylight SavingS time. That's right, NO 's'!
3. Daylight saving time, in the modern sense, was first proposed by an English entomologist, George Vernon Hudson, in 1895. However, another English born gentleman by the name of William Willett, independently thought it up during a morning ride on his horse; he was completely annoyed by the fact that Londoners slept through much of the morning.  But since Hudson submitted a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society in New Zealand first, he gets the bragging rights for coming up with DST! Too bad no one listened to either of the men and acted on DST for many years...

3/1/18

This 30-Second Breakfast Will Be Your New Go-To

I'm a firm believer in the benefits of breakfast. Especially, on school days. 

**Today I'm partnering with GardenLites to discuss the benefits of a healthy breakfast, and how to pack as much goodness as possible into every bite. All opinions are my own.



Some mornings, it's definitely a struggle to make time for breakfast, but I do. Always. I see how crazy my kid gets on the weekends when he doesn't eat breakfast soon after he wakes up. I like his teacher, no way am I going to send her a grumpy beast!

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