2/10/20

This Star Wars Lightsaber Valentine Will Win Your Child's Heart And The Class Party




Last year, I made Star Wars Lightsaber Valentines for Ollie's class that teachers and a few parents complimented me on! They were pretty cool if I do say so myself, and super cheap to make! I thought I would share the idea for the other parents out there with Star Wars obsessed littles. 




I'm going to keep this short and sweet because this valentine is so easy, your child can help! Four simple steps. 

1. Find the Star Wars Valentines that suit you. I picked ours up at The Dollar Tree, but have seen them everywhere else! Look for a design that will be easy to incorporate a lightsaber. 





2. Have your child fill out the valentines. I know it can be annoyingly slow process having your child fill them all out, but chill out, this is a great learning opportunity and penmanship practice! 





3. Pick out red/yellow/blue/green glowsticks from the pack. Use those first. You can either crack them the day of the class Valentine exchange, or wait, and let the child crack the glow stick. The latter is my son's preference. 






4. Cut a small slit where you want the glowstick to slide in the card, and that's it.





There you have it, one trip to the Dollar Tree and the Super Cool Star Wars Lightsaber Valentine can be yours for under five bucks!



PIN ME FOR LATER!

Valentines Day DIY Crafts and Treats #HappyValentinesDay

Can you believe Valentine's Day is almost here?! I'm still getting over Christmas.  In an effort to get in the Valentine's Day mood, I hit up Google and Pinterest for the latest and greatest 2020 Valentine's Day Treats and Cute Ideas.  I found a few too good not to share. 


Still a classic favorite of mine. This little gem is something anyone would love. Create the document in a Word program leaving room for those little fingers and toes.  

Print on a heavy paper stock. Then dip those tiny fingers and toes in non-toxic paint.

Or this... 
This one too. So easy and so cute! 


#LOVE


This is a classic, that you can do year after year. Fill grandma's garden perhaps?
Salt Dough Stepping Stones
This is so easy!
Mix:
1 Cup of salt
1 Cup of Flour
1/2 Cup of Water
Roll out like dough then form into a heart.
Get those little toes and a butter knife!
Once the footprints are made, use a butter knife or thin end of a fork to PRESS in the letters,  DO DO NOT drag, letters will get screwed up.

Bake @ 200F (or 100C) for 3 hours. 
Once completely cool, paint and let dry.


Since so many of us have to make a class Valentine box, 

I thought I would remind you how easy it is. 

Three things: Old box. Wrapping paper, tape. 
Feeling wild, add your imagination to the mix...

Speaking of a class party, here's a cheap ad easy heart hat. 



TIP: forget the white plates. Use pink/red plates. (pictured above)


Feeling all crafty? Kick the heat up a notch or two.




Here's another great party idea, check out these super easy heart cupcakes.


Do a family dinner everyone will love! Heart-shaped Pizza!
     Roll out the dough, then shape into a heart. 


Wanna know the fastest way to your man's heart? 


Two words: Bacon Hearts


NOTHING says, I Love You, Man, like bacon hearts!

For perfect hearts, cut strips in half, then shape half a heart at a time. 

Speaking of guilty pleasures, you could always make a Cork Heart!
(I might have to do this. ON a smaller scale.)

           


And for desert, Rice crispie kisses!    


                                



Or, maybe peanut butter cookie hearts.



But what I really want...



1/21/20

16 Valentine's Day Boxes That Will Win The School Party

To the first-time parents about to experience their first valentine's day class party, get ready. This is the holiday that requires the most parent involvement. My best advice is to start early. Waiting until the last minute to make the Valentine Box and the Valentines is No Bueno! Picture it: You up until 2 am making the box and signing your child's name on 25 class Valentines.

NOTE: If the idea of making Valentine's Day box makes your sphincter spasm, no worries go to Target and buy a ready-made box. Yes, they totally exist. I did that last year. This year, We're making the BB8 Trash can. I picked up the stuff at the Dollar Store. I'll post the tutorial asap.

If you feel adventurous and crafty, it's really easy to make the box, and your child will probably love making it with you. All you need is either a shoebox, cereal box or tissue box, construction paper and an imagination. Below are 16 super easy to recreate Party boxes to get you thinking.









To see the step-by-step tutorial for any of the boxes or to see more Valentine's Day box ideas, Check out my Valentine's Day Pinterest Board. 

Getting Prepared for the Teenage Years


When your child enters their teenage years, the family is likely to undergo some changes. In addition to new problems with parenting and other challenges, you will have to make some adjustments to things you might never expect. Here are some of the preparations you should make for the teenage years.



More Freedom

As your child gets a little older, they will want a little more freedom. Though it can be very difficult to let them begin to head out by themselves, you have to accept that this is a natural part of growing up. If you try to restrict them too much, this could result in them acting out and disobeying you.
If they are responsible enough, you might consider giving your teen a car. The best car for your teen will fit in with their lifestyle and will allow them to begin to take on responsibilities without you. From getting themselves to school to being a designated driver for parties, there are many things they can do once they have a car. Make it clear the car is a privilege and not a right, and that you won’t be afraid to take it away if you feel they are not behaving responsibly.

Expect Them to Pull Away

A big part of the teenage years is your child trying to find out who they are. This will come in many shapes and forms but it will always result in them pulling away from you slightly. They might not want to enjoy activities that they once did as children. 

You have to be prepared to let them go, as difficult as it might be. Trying to keep them close will only result in them pushing away from you instead. Try to persevere through tantrums and bursts of anger; before you know it, they will be adults and much nicer to be around than in the years previous.

Let Them Make Choices

There are so many simple choices you can hand over to your teenagers that will allow them to live happier lives. Choosing to express themselves through clothing and makeup will always be a big one. They may want to dye their hair an odd color and wear clothes they probably should not. 

Try to be as supportive as possible through these choices but don’t be afraid to step in if necessary. If you feel like your teens are dressing inappropriately, try to tactfully have a chat with them about it. They are still young and it is down to you to make sure they are always dressing in an age-appropriate manner.



Entering the teenage years can be scary but it can also come with a lot of rewards. You need to find the right balance between letting your children grow up while making sure they don’t get into trouble early. With an open and trusting relationship, you and your children should both be able to navigate their teenage years in a way that is positive for both of you.

1/9/20

2020 Budget Planning: The Best Time To Buy Cars, Dishwashers, Baby Crap + More


As a homeowner, it never fails that every few months something leaks, squeaks, breaks or dies. For the things that can't be fixed, kicked, patched or rigged, knowing when to buy a replacement could save you hundreds of dollars, even waiting a week could make all the difference. There really is a, best time to buy a car.

According to Consumer Reports:

"In these high-tech times, you might think the days when the calendar dictated when consumer goods would go on sale are behind us. Not so. Consumer Reports' market analysts have found that deep discounts for many products are still tied to a particular month of the year: Some sales are timed to the introduction of new models, while others are long-standing traditions, such as January white sales.  Consumer Reports' market analysts have found that deep discounts for many products are still tied to a particular month of the year: Some sales are timed to the introduction of new models, while others are long-standing traditions, such as January white sales." 

Below is a list of the best time to buy various big-ticket items according to consumer reports. 




For the best time to buy a car and the free Consumer Reports Car Buyer's Guide click, here.

For the complete Consumer Reports Buyer's Guide click, here.



Happy Budgeting in 2020! 

1/3/20

How to Survive Being Married... With Children.





I once heard the leading cause of divorce is marriage. I'm now convinced, it's children that lead the pack to divorce. It's so hard to stay connected mentally and physically to your partner when your children are physically stuck to you while mentally destroying you.

We have watched many happy couples during the first few years of becoming new parents struggle with balancing their relationship and being parents. Sadly, many of those couples are now divorced. Now, infidelity, abusers, liars and fu@kwits are one thing, but for the couples that just fell out of love, I get it. The Aussie and I have had many, many ups and downs in our relationship since becoming parents.

Today, we are celebrating seven gloriously years of marriage. (Think: War & Peace meets dirty porn. Kidding... maybe...) It's been amazing, hard, annoying, fulfilling and as much as I want to throat punch the fu*ker sometimes, I am so happy and blessed to call him my partner in life. In honor of our seventh wedding anniversary, we wanted to share a few tips we've learned the hard way about being married with children.

1. It takes so much friggin' work. During the days leading up to our wedding, we asked people about the secret to a long marriage, all of them answered almost word-for-word, It's not easy, it takes work. They were right. Marriage is anything but easy. Marriage takes loads of compromise, putting yourself second, but not all the time, accepting an opposing opinion, alternating weekend days so you both get a morning to sleep in... Basically, when times get tough, you have to work through the issue as a team. You know, the whole United We Stand, Divided We Fall, thing, it applies to marriage big time.

2. Talk to each other, not at each other.  Communication is Key. You have to talk to each other, and not just about the shit that annoys you about each other. Talk about your day, current events, the neighbors, whatever, just talk. A couple of years ago we fell into a nonverbal funk. We both knew we were drifting apart, so we agreed to spend at least 10-15 minutes each night after our son went to bed talking. We migrated out to the porch, sometimes walked around the house, sometimes had a beer. To this day, we go outside together at night regularly. It's really nice.

3. Affection is what sets you apart. Nothing beats hella good intimacy in a marriage. I once read that the fastest way for couples to reconnect is to have sex every day for 30 days straight.  I can definitely get down with that. The couples that stick together, well, stick together.

4. Date Nights Are Not Optional. Date nights are essential for staying connected. Especially, if you have children. You have to get out monthly and be human together. Not parents, humans. The people you are deep down inside underneath the baby spew, yoga pants, football games, practices, and recitals. Leave all that shit at the door and go out like two kids about to wreck the town. TIP: Can't afford a babysitter and dinner? (Who can anymore?) Order takeout and have a picnic in the yard, set the patio table with candles or make a carpet picnic and play music.

5. Be Independent. There is more to life than each other. It's unhealthy for one half of the partnership to live only through the other. Both of you need friends, events, and hobbies outside of your marriage. No one likes to be smothered. TIP: At least once a month go out independently with friends, retail therapy, a walk...

6. It's Not Supposed To Be Onesided. It's not fair for one half of the partnership to be in charge of dealing with all the crappy stuff. No friggin' way should only one person always cook, clean, change diapers, drop off, pickup, control the TV, wake up early with the kids on the weekend... Nothing brings on resentment faster. Write out everything it takes to keep the ship sailing smooth and work together to share the responsibilities. Both of you deserve to sit down at the end of the day.

7. Say, I love you and makeout, every day.  Love and affection are such an integral part of marriage. Every single day take at least a moment to appreciate each other and your relationship.  Tell your partner in life, I love you. Look into each others eyes and reconnect. Makeout. Be there in the moment with each other. Let everything else fades away. Because, in the end, that's one of the magical things about your partner, when you're together, the world melts away.


How do you keep the marriage fresh? Were you surprised about the huge amount of stress children put on the happiest of marriages? Me too. I've written many articles over the years about the ups and downs of marriage here.






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