Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Breakfast to Smile About . . .

Looking for a new and fun way to make waffles?  You can get this Animal Friends Waffle Maker here and your kids will love it!

They turn out so cute! I put any leftovers in a ziplock sandwich bag and give them to my kids after school as a snack, or the following day in their lunch as a bonus surprise.

Here is the recipe I use:

Ingredients ***
1C organic all purpose flour
1T sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1C organic milk
1 organic egg
1 tsp vegetable oil

Powdered sugar

Instructions ***
Put all of the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl first, then put the wet ingredients on top and mix well with a fork.  Spray the waffle maker with spray butter or oil and cook.  I remove the waffles with a small rubber spatula (using anything metal may scratch the waffle maker).  Then dust with powdered sugar and serve.  

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Basically a Free Math Tutor . . .

Have you heard of the app called Photomath?  Well, it is the bomb! Now that you know about it, you need to get it asap.

Photomath is a FREE mobile app that will read and solve mathematical problems by using your smartphone camera.  What is cool about this app is that it doesn't just give you the answers, it provides a step-by-step guide showing exactly how each of the problems are solved.

This is SO extremely helpful when helping your kids with math homework and prepping for tests.  I don't know about you, but it's been a while since I did a lot of math and this is like having a free tutor right at your fingertips!

The older my kids get the more difficult it's becoming to help them with their math, so we are loving this app at our house!  Just be careful that your kids don't use it to simply get the answers.

I always sit with my son and go over it with him and make sure he's understanding each step.  If you download this app, I'd love to know what you think!  Post a comment!

You're welcome!

-Karin XO

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Impact of Reading . . .

This shows WHY reading at least 20 minutes a day is SO important. Keep your kids reading over Christmas break, and show them this photo so that they can understand the WHY as well! 

It's incredible how important reading is.  My kids are amazing little readers, but when I found these stats on the impact of reading, I was amazed and inspired to make sure they are reading every day for 20 minutes.  

However, there are times that my kids will look at a book and get overwhelmed, so I love to take turns going back and forth reading pages with them.  That really takes the pressure off of having to read it all themselves, and it's great for them to hear you read because they hear you pause for commas and use enthusiasm, which helps them become better readers.  

I also incorporate silent reading time . . . set a timer and let everyone grab a book . . . including you!  It's a great example for kids to see their parents enjoying a good book of their own.  And often as busy parents, we don't have the time, or make the priority to read ourselves, and this will give you that time.  It's a win-win!

-Karin XO

Monday, November 19, 2018

Great Dairy-Free Alternative for Cool-Whip

I threw a birthday party for my husband this past weekend and because I have recently gone dairy-free, I needed an alternative to my usual fruit dip that normally contains yogurt mixed with cool-whip.

I went to my local Sprouts and found this in the frozen section, near the ice cream. Just let it thaw IN THE FRIDGE for 4 hours and it's ready to serve.  Whether you are lactose intolerant or not, this Coco-Whip is so delicious! It even works frozen - scooped over fruit like you would with ice cream.

I am working on healing my gut, and dairy is really hard for our bodies to digest.  So... if you are avoiding dairy but still want that same goodness, I highly recommend trying this.  I dare to say it's even better than cool-whip.  It's pretty much the bomb, and I'm addicted.

Here  is an article about the 10 absolute worst foods for your gut (yes dairy is one of them), if you are interested in learning more about gut health.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cortisol . . .

Did you know???
Cortisol regulates at midnight. That, my friends, is why it is SO important to get to sleep BEFORE midnight. If you are not getting enough sleep BEFORE midnight, your body will have difficulty regulating stress levels which can dramatically effect your well-being.  

Cortisol is a vital component to your health. It helps control blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, reduces inflammation, supports memory, keeps hormones in check, and so much more. So... let's all just pretend that we are Cinderella and make it a goal to get to sleep before the clock strikes twelve!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sleep Consultant

Have you heard of a sleep consultant?  Well it's a real thing!  Lullaby Little One Consulting uses a research-based program to guide your child into healthy sleep habits.  Brooke is a trained, pediatric, sleep consultant who can work with you virtually (from anywhere in the world) or in person (if you live in Oklahoma) with almost any type of sleep challenges your child is having.  She works with newborns and children up to 5 years old.

When I found out about Brooke, I was bummed because I didn't know about her when my kids were that age.  My daughter had night terrors, waking up screaming at least once, but usually twice a night until she was 5 and a half.  No amount of consoling I did would help, let's just say we were grumpy and tired for years.  Night terrors are actually a form a sleep walking and children who have them aren't even aware they are doing it.  It's a sad and frustrating thing. Oh if I'd only known about Brooke sooner!

Luckily for you, if you've got little ones, you don't have to have the same regrets that I have. Having your child professionally 'sleep trained' will not only help your child, but will help you be a better parent because you'll be getting the rest you need too.  If you are interested, Brooke offers a free 15-minute assessment call to go over the options she offers to see what would fit your situation best.

You can follow Brooke on Instagram and Facebook where she shares helpful sleep tips and offers a free, live Q&A every month.

Contact Brooke here for more information.  You're welcome.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The differences between Norovirus and Influenza . . .

When people get sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea, they usually jump to the conclusion that they have the flu.  However . . . it may actually be norovirus, which isn't talked about very much.

The flu is a virus that affects the respiratory system and has sudden onset of fever (but can also include vomiting and diarrhea).

Norovirus affects the stomach and intestines and has sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (and can have low-grade fever).  It can be confusing to tell which virus you have.

Here is a link that shows all the differences between the two.  My kids were recently sick, and before I had seen this information, I would have said they had the flu.  But after seeing this, I definitely would say they had the norovirus.  Know you will know too.

**Update; I just was sent this amazing information from my kids' pediatrician's office.  It has fabulous information about this subject, even more detail along with suggestions for keeping the rest of the family from getting sick.  Check it out here.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Common Sleep Problems and Tips for Better Sleep

Establishing good sleep habits for infants and toddlers is a job in itself, along with everything else a parent has to do.

All kids are so different.  My son was the best sleeper until we had a flood a few years ago, and hasn't slept the same since.  My daughter had night terrors until she was 5; waking up screaming at least twice a night, and no amount of consoling would calm her down.

Not sleeping well doesn't just affect kids, it dramatically affects parents.  I know I am a much better Mom when I get the sleep I need.  I know my kids are much happier and fight less when they get the sleep they need too.  Being a sleep-deprived zombie is no fun!

Tuck has a Parent's Guide to Healthy Sleep which is full of great tips for establishing good sleeping habits for your kids.  Check it out!


Friday, October 5, 2018

My Pregnancies and Health Tracking

Do you track your health using an app?  I do, using the app (Period Tracker Plus) that my husband created for me while we were trying to conceive.  Here is how it all started....

My two younger sisters both got married about 10 years before I did.  One of them got pregnant and shortly after finding out that they had a bun in the oven, they got married. She and her husband continued to have four more children over the years, eventually having five total.  My other sister got married not long after our other sister.  She finished school and worked for a couple of years and then started their family, having four kids.  Once they decided to have kids, they did the deed and.... bam! They were pregnant!!!  That's how easy it was for my Mom too.  Me?  Not so much...

For some reason, I didn't want kids.  That's right, Know It Mom did not want kids.  I mean I really did not want them. I didn't feel the desire and I didn't feel like I had a maternal instinct.  I had even once spoke with my OBGYN about having my tubes tied.  He said he would do that for me whenever I wanted, but something told me to hold off.  Even as a kid, I played with Barbie dolls, but didn't play with baby dolls.

When my husband and I were dating, he'd often tell me how much he wanted to have kids someday.  I was very honest and told him that I really did not want them, and I was sorry that I felt that way but it was the just how I felt.  People would often say to me "One day your biological clock will start ticking, and then you'll want them", but I was very confident that would never happen to me.

My future husband and I had several conversations about how we felt about having kids.  At one point he told me that he loved everything about me except the fact that I didn't want kids, threw a wrench into things.  He didn't bring it up again, and lucky for me, he did end up asking me to marry him anyway - whew!

I'm really close with my Mom and we would often go shopping together.  She would always stop and comment on the cute baby clothes that we'd pass by.  I'd always say "Yeah, yeah, cute.  Let's get shopping".  Until one day, I was the one commenting on the cute baby clothes and I started going ga-ga over the cute baby in the stroller at the mall.  What was happening to me?  I guess my biological clock really was starting to tick.

To my great surprise, a couple of years into my marriage,  I suddenly really, really, REALLY, wanted to have kids.  It was like someone had flipped a switch, or started a clock - haha!  I was in such shock that I felt this way.  Had I been possessed? I truly thought I'd never see the day!

So, the decision was made, we were so excited to finally start a family of our own.  Let me just say, now that I am am Mom, I am very maternal and love my kids immensely.  I feel bad hat there was ever a time where I didn't want kids, but there was, and, I am SO glad that changed.

Once we started trying, I was surprised that it didn't just happen right away, like it had for both of my sisters, and my Mom.  I wondered what was wrong with me?  Was something wrong with my husband? We had some tests done and everything looked fine.  We continued trying for a year and then finally got pregnant.  We were ecstatic!!  My husband's 40th high school reunion was that weekend, and we were telling all of his former classmates that we were expecting.  I told my Mom that day, but not any others yet, as I wanted to be further along, just to be safe.  I went to see my doctor and he calculated that I was about 6 weeks along.  Wow!

Just a couple of days after the reunion, I woke up one morning and was bleeding.  I was so worried! I called my doctor immediately and they had me come in for some tests.  Sadly, I was miscarrying.  I was heartbroken.  I was so excited to have my first baby.  From the moment I had found out that I was pregnant, I saw a whole new future ahead of us, and we both pictured what it would be like having this child in our lives.  Suddenly, all of those dreams were gone in an instant.  It was SO hard.

But after a little while, we started trying again.  My doctor had instructed me to keep track of several different things, on a calendar.  I was tracking my basal body temperature each morning to see if I was ovulating, I was tracking our intimacy, cycle days, periods, etc.  During this time, Apple had just announced that developers could start making these things called "Apps".

My husband was a computer programmer and knew that he wanted to try making an app, but wasn't sure what kind of app to make.  One night, after I had just hopped into bed, I got frustrated because I had forgotten to write down all of the things I was tracking for that day.  My husband then asked me if I'd like to have an app to track all of these things with.  "Yes!",  I exclaimed.  And that is when Period Tracker Plus was conceived.

My husband began learning how to develop apps (self-taught), and began working on it right away.  Meanwhile, we continued trying to conceive, with no luck.  My doctor told me that I was AMA.  My doctor explained to me that AMA means Advanced Maternal Age, and because of that, he started me on a fertility drug called Femara.  After taking Femara for 9 months, with no luck, he prescribed me one round of Clomid (another fertility drug) and told me to give it a try for the next month, and if it didn't work, he wanted us to go to a fertility clinic.

I was taking the Clomid but wanted to be ready to start IVF as soon as possible (when my next cycle started).  So we went to the fertility clinic. My husband and I both had tests done and we were ready to start the IVF process.  However . . . my period never started.  I took a pregnancy test and was SO relieved to find that the Clomid had worked - we were pregnant!!!

 Not long after I found out I was pregnant, I was at work one day and went to use the bathroom and found that I was bleeding again.  My heart dropped and I was so worried.  I called my doctor and went in right away.  He put me on prometrium (progesterone) to help thicken the uterine wall and hopefully sustain the pregnancy.  For the next 8 weeks I continued to bleed, and I was terrified every day.  It was so hard to feel excited about my pregnancy because I was worried that I could lose this child any second.  My doctor kept a close eye on me, and luckily after the 8 week mark, the bleeding stopped.  Then I got excited.

I continued on to have a healthy pregnancy, and at the age of 36 I gave birth to a heathy baby boy. During this time, my husband continued to work on the app.  A few months after my son was born, the app was finished and released into the app store.  The app has many features, one of which is an ovulation tracker that predicts when you are most fertile (based on the period information you enter).  Once our son turned one year old, we decided to try for a second child.  Based our past conception trials, and being at Advanced Maternal Age, we wanted to get started.

I used the fertility predictions in the app and after only four months of trying, we got pregnant with our second child, without having to use any fertility drugs this time around.  We were so excited, however, only a little while after finding out I was pregnant, I began bleeding, just like the previous pregnancy with my son.  My heart dropped again, and I put the brakes on my excitement.  I immediately went to see my doctor and put me on prometrium again, as we hoped for the best.  I continued bleeding until the 8 week mark (just like the previous pregnancy), and I got excited again. At the age of 38, I delivered a healthy baby girl.

Besides my very first pregnancy where I miscarried, both of my other pregnancies were identical.  Bleeding for the first 8 weeks (to the exact day), and delivering both babies on exactly on the 39th week.  It's almost like I had twins, but two years apart.  Because it took a year for each of my first two pregnancies, and that I had to use fertility drugs for the conception of my son, I was surprised how quickly we conceived our daughter.  They say that once you have a child, it's easier for your body to conceive, but I also really believe the app helped us get the timing just right.

The app tracks everything you need to conceive a baby, and it also tracks weight, exercise, sleep, moods, and so much more.  It also has custom items so that you can track anything you desire.  The app is free, or you can subscribe (monthly or yearly) to track even more.

I love this app, and it's predictions are spot-on.  Now that I'm a little older, I am in perimenopause and have super heavy periods. I NEED to know when to expect my period because I usually can't go anywhere the first day or two of my cycle.  It also really helped me track my weight while I was pregnant and when I was trying to lose the baby weight.  The app also has daily affirmations (which I collect and write), helpful articles, period polls that you can take (and see what others experience), a fun game, and even music (DJ sets by my husband, aka DJ Flatcracker).

I love how we got the inspiration for the app and that it helped me conceive my little girl so quickly.  It really is an amazing app which you can use in any stage of life, and it's free.  It's on the app store under Period Tracker Plus.  You can also visit us here.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Technique for Administering Meds

Last February, my son got so sick with the flu.  It opened the door for some other nasty bacteria to get in and turned into peri-orbital cellulitis around his left eye.  He had to be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics.  Luckily he responded well to the antibiotics and didn't need to have surgery (which would have been extremely scary because he had bacteria that was close to the brain).  Luckily I got him there just in time... His doctor said we dodged a HUGE bullet.  Whew!!!

When we got home, it was overwhelming because he needed to take two different antibiotics (one was 3x a day and the other 2x a day, totaling 5 doses per day).  In between that (at least 2 hours before and after his antibiotics he needed probiotics separately so that they didn't interfere with the antibiotics, and he had to do nasal flushes 2x per day as well).

It was rough because one of the antibiotics tasted exactly like hand sanitizer (yes I tried it).  I could have opted for a liquid or a pill of that particular antibiotic.  The liquid would have been 3 full syringes for one dose.  He already had so much to take, so ... I opted for a capsule that I could mix in with something.

My kids hate applesauce, but thought it would be the best thing to mix it with.  Well when we got home and had to do it, my son barely got it down without throwing it up.  So the next time he needed it, I tried to get him to swallow a pill (for the first time) and it wasn't working.  We YouTube'd it, but the pill was kind of big and he was afraid- which I don't blame him- he had been through so much.

With the help of some friends, we finally came up with what worked.  It worked so well that he started excitedly asking me if it was time yet for his hand sanitizer medicine.  When does that ever happen?  Well this technique worked, let me tell ya! Check out what we did, in this video.  Yes, I now have a YouTube channel where I will be doing some vlogging! Here is the video.

XO Karin

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Precious Cargo

In the state of Utah, it is the law (now) to buckle up.  The state seatbelt campaign's slogan is: Click it or Ticket.  Unfortunately, in 1991, when I was 18, buckling up was not the law.  My family (my mom, my two younger sisters, and my little brother) decided to head to St. George, Utah (about 4 hours from where we lived) to see a family friend run in the annual marathon.

One of my sisters had recently gotten her driver's license and was going to get in some practice and drive us there.  As we hopped into our brand new station wagon, my mom told us all to put on our seatbelts.  She and my sister were in the front seats and they had automatic seatbelts (which were a thing back then).  Those of us in the back, opted to not wear them, as they were not comfortable.

We were on the freeway and after about an hour or so on the road, my sister somehow overcorrected the car.  Our car rolled 4 times. We were headed south and ended up on the opposite side of the freeway facing north.  Luckily, we did not hit anyone else, but my youngest sister and my brother and I were ejected from the car going at least 55 mph (the speed limit back then).

I believe it was no coincidence that here happened to be an emergency room doctor traveling right behind us.  He had one bottle of saline solution that he poured into an open wound in my leg.  I broke both of my femurs; one was a compound fracture (where the bone comes through the skin) and the opposite femur was broken and my hip was displaced, making that leg have no pulse.  The doctor was able to push it back into place and it gain a pulse.  When he first walked up to me he thought that if I were to survive, I wouldn't have my legs.  But somehow, I survived, and my legs survived, and I am grateful that he was there.

I also broke my nose, shattered my left orbital floor, cracked the back of my skull (which makes your eyes swell), broke my left clavicle (which punctured my left lung) and broke my left knee - many of my injuries were on my left side, as I was told that was the side that I landed on.  Along with many scrapes and road-rash that left behind many scars.  They also found that a rock was blocking my windpipe, once I was admitted to the hospital.

My other sister who was ejected, broke one of her femurs and had a hairline fracture in her pelvis on the opposite side.  She also received an internal head injury, which was temporary (luckily).  My mom and other sister were alright because of their seatbelts. Unfortunately, my little brother (who was only 9 years old), did not make it.  They actually were able to revive his body at the scene and he was then life flighted to the children's hospital, but sadly, he did not have any brain activity.  The following day, my dad (who was not with us in the car because my parents are divorced) had to make the most heartbreaking, toughest decision of his life - to have life support turned off.

It was a long recovery.  When I first became somewhat conscious, I heard my dad's voice telling me that I was in a really bad car accident.  He told me that I already had rods in both legs, a plate under my left eye, and tubes breathing for me and feeding me.  I was in ICU for a while and in the hospital for a total of two weeks.  Once I was able to be released from the hospital, I was was transferred by ambulance to a local rehabilitation center. I lived at the rehab for the next 3 months, and got around by wheelchair.

My sister who was ejected also was admitted to the rehab for a while, and it was nice for us to have each other there.  It was a long road to recovery; A LOT of physical therapy and eventually learning to walk again.

That day changed my life forever and I am a different and stronger person because of it. Since that day, there hasn't been a day that has gone by where I haven't worn my seatbelt.  My brother's picture was used in Utah's Hold on to Dear Life seatbelt campaign, and when wearing seatbelts finally became a law I was so happy.

I always make my kids buckle up and they know the "Click it or Ticket" slogan.  The other day, we passed a billboard that said "Buckle up your precious cargo".  That phrase really hit me in a new way.

Of course I have shared the story of the car accident with my kids and I stress how important it is to wear their seatbelts, but seeing that billboard gave me an idea of another way to help my kids understand the importance of buckling up.

I pointed out the billboard to them and then gave them the example of when a truck is carrying items in the back, the items are strapped in tightly with rope to keep things from flying out of the truck.  I asked them "If you were to put your favorite stuffed animal or toy in the back of a truck, you would want to buckle it up and protect it, right?" They agreed.  I let them know that THEY are my precious cargo and that I would never want them to fly out of vehicle because they weren't buckled up.

I think that gave them some more understanding (by putting it into their perspective of thinking about their precious things).  If your kids are struggling with not wanting to buckle up, maybe explaining it to them this way will help them too.

My kids are pretty good about it, but they like to get unbuckled when we are 'almost' home - which is not ok. I've been stressing that just because we are close to home doesn't mean that you can't still get into an accident (and then I tell them the story of one of my best friends who got into an accident just down the street from her house).

Do you know what the seatbelt laws are in your state?  Can you get pulled over for simply not wearing one (primary offense), or do you have to break another law first (like speeding, etc), in order to get ticketed for not wearing one (secondary offense)? In Utah it is a primary offense.

Click here to check out what the laws for seatbelts are in your state.  But whether it's a law or not, I urge you to please, buckle you and your loved ones up - EVERY TIME you get into the car.  It's also so important to follow the car seat laws for your state and have your littles properly restrained.  Click here to see what those laws are in your particular state. Stay safe out there and always protect your precious cargo!

-Karin (aka Know It Mom), XO

Friday, August 3, 2018

Sun Protection on-the-go + Best Sunscreen EVER!

Sometimes, you end up outside when you didn't plan on it.  You are running errands and the kids are restless and you hit a park or you go to an activity and part of it ends up being outside, or you are planning to be outside for just a little bit and it ends up being a lot longer, etc.

I don't like being caught out in the sun for longer than expected without protection for my kids and I (and husband too), so I bought this cute travel container (see the blue/white striped bottle) at Target and I put sunscreen in it.  I tossed it, along with sunblock lip balm (Sun Bum is my fav), into a ziplock sandwich bag and keep it in my purse all summer long.

Now I won't get caught un-prepared for the sun, and none of us will get an accidental sun burn.  Although I don't think we've ever gotten one on purpose either - LOL!

My favorite sunscreen of all is DeVita.  I use the DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer for our bodies and kids' faces, and I use the Solar Protective Moisturizer for my face in the mornings- because it blends amazing under makeup.

These DeVita sunscreens received a #1 ranking (which is the highest) on the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website, where they test and review safety for sunscreens.   I always check the EWG's sunscreen guide before I buy any sunscreen.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Birthday Interview

Every year on our kids' birthday, we like to video tape a little birthday 'interview' with the birthday kid.  It will be fun for them to look back on and see what their favorite things and people were back when they were that age.  This has been a fun tradition and I encourage you to make it a tradition as well.

Here are a list of some ideas for the interview questions:

How old are you?
What grade are you in, or going in to?
Who are your best friends?
What do you like most about school?
What is your favorite subject in school?
What are some fun things you have done lately?
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite song?
What is your favorite movie/show/YouTube channel?
What is your favorite game to play?
What are your favorite books?
Are you taking any classes or lessons?
What are some of your most favorite things to do?

This will get you started.....  Have fun coming up with some of your own questions too!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Happy 4th of July!!

I hope you all had a happy 4th!  We celebrated with neighbors a couple of days beforehand with an annual BBQ potluck and swimming.  Then on the 4th, we had another BBQ potluck with extended family, which was so fun!

On the evening of the 4th, we stuck to our own family tradition of lighting some smoke bombs and waterfall fireworks in the driveway, and letting the kids do sparklers.  I love this picture that I captured of my husband and my son putting their heads together to plan out the next firework to light, while my daughter ran around with her sparklers.

Later that evening, some nearby fireworks were going off (really big ones) that we were able to enjoy from our backyard (thank you neighbors!) and several groups of military jets flew right over our house (on their way to the stadium of fire), which was SO cool!

I love family traditions!  What are your 4th of July traditions?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Amazingly Moist Salmon . . .

Here is a recipe I found, years ago, from Taste and Tell blog.  It is SO easy and SO good!!!

A couple of changes that I do with this recipe are; I leave the parsley out (because my kids won't eat anything with green specks), and I squeeze a tablespoon or two of fresh lemon juice into the mixture before spreading it onto the salmon.  I serve this with steamed broccoli and rice (or quinoa) and my kids always eat it up.


Here is the recipe :)


Monday, July 2, 2018

The easiest and quickest way to blow up your kids' pool floaties and balloons!

Seriously, every parent NEEDS this!  It will save you so much time and energy.  With every pump, it fills your floaties and balloons in no-time!

With this tool, you will never have to blow up another floatie or balloon with your mouth again! This has been one of the very best purchases I've ever made.  It's easy enough that your kids can use it to blow up their inflatables from now on. What are you waiting for?  #justdoit

Get yours here.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Free Shoe Tying Class for Kids? Yes Please!!!

Did you know that Nordstrom offers free shoe tying classes for kids?  Well now you do!  The kids shoe department offers them on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 9:30 am (a half hour before the store opens).

My sister told me about this and told me that her kids went in not having a clue on how to tie their shoes and they left totally knowing how to.  So, I took my kids and that was totally true for my son who is 8, but my 6 year old daughter didn't quite get it down, but came pretty close - she just needs a little more practice.

My son is tying his own shoes now all the time by himself.  He is helping his friends and his sister tie their shoes, and feeling proud.  When the class is over, the kids get a fun little print-out with the shoe tying instructions (see picture), a fun prize bag, and a balloon too.

This was totally worth it.  Just call your local Nordstrom and ask for the kids shoe department o get your littles signed up for this fun, FREE, class.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quick time saving tip for dinner!

Tonight I made beef tacos for dinner, and as I reached for the spice jar that I made specifically for beef tacos I was thinking about what a time saver it is to have the spices already mixed and ready to go.  So I thought I'd share this recipe time saver tip with my followers.

We all have some recipes that require a bunch of spices, right?  Well instead of measuring out the spices for the recipe each time I make it, what I've been doing to save myself time is so simple.

I just triple the amount of spices needed, and then I put it all into a spice jar, give it a stir and then label it for whatever recipe it's for, like "Fish Taco Seasoning" or "Beef Seasoning" and then I just sprinkle it onto the meats that I'm cooking and don't have to measure it out each time.

Here is the seasoning mix that I did tonight, which I use on my beef tacos:

2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Triple it, put it in a jar, and you get to skip measuring it out the next few times you make beef tacos!  You can save old spice containers or buy some spice containers here on Amazon.

Enjoy getting dinner on the table a little bit faster :)


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Beat Summer Boredom!

Here is a list of ideas to beat summer boredom and most of them will help you to beat the heat too!  It's so true that time flies when you are having fun.  So try some of these things and get out there and enjoy summer before it's over!!!

Go to the park with with friends
Go out to lunch with friends
Go on a staycation - stay overnight at a local hotel and swim
Bring earplugs and go to some outdoor concerts
Check out local art festivals
Decorate your driveway or back patio with chalk
Set up some playdates with friends
Go get some slushy and enjoy at a park
Go roller skating
Go to the bowling alley
Visit your local museums
Try a new shave ice shack
Make home made ice cream
Do a puzzle together
Download and print out some coloring pages
Build Legos
Go to a waterpark or swimming
Clear out the clutter and have a yard sale - spend the money you make on a family activity
Think of a person who might need cheering up and bring them flowers
Make smoothies, come up with fun recipes of your own
Hit a splash pad
Do a YouTube workout (for kids) with your kids
Run through the sprinklers
Pull out the squirt guns
Check out some books from the library
Visit the aquarium
Make cookies or homemade popsicles
Make some slime!!!
Download some math pages and do one at least once a week
Play a memory game
Print out your favorite pictures and scrapbook them (my kids LOVE to do this)
Write in a journal
Get hand-held white boards and give your kids words to spell
Learn to play an instrument
Go indoor rock climbing
Take a walk
Sign up for kids cooking classes
Check out what programs your local recreation center has to offer
Take funny pictures / dress up
Invite friends over for dessert - strawberry shortcake anyone?
Have everyone choose a song, learn the lyrics, and perform for each other
Go on a picnic
Draw pictures together
Take a hike in the mountains
Go for a bike ride
Jump at a trampoline park
Choose a book together and have everyone take turns reading a page
Enroll in swimming lessons
Hit the zoo
Plan a BBQ and invite friends or family
Go to an arcade
Play some laser tag
Go miniature golfing
Go to an amusement park or a county fair
See dinosaur fossils at a dinosaur museum
Gather some rocks from a walk and paint them
Brainstorm things you want to learn about and YouTube it
Learn origami
Sign up for a fun summer camp
Go to a field or park and play frisbee
Visit a farm
Play kick the ball outside
Go see a local play
Introduce your kids to some of your old favorite classic movies on DVD or Netflix
Take a road trip
Chase your kids around the house and tickle them
Play some hide & seek
Pull out the board games
Play tennis
Sing karaoke at a family-friendly karaoke place
YouTube your favorite songs to see the music videos
Experience Disneyland rides on your couch by watching your favorite rides on YouTube
Put on some music and have a dance party with your kids
Take summer gymnastics
Play some badminton (we bought a set at Costco this year - so fun!)

Do you have any ideas to add to this list?  If so, please comment below.  I'd love to hear what you do to make summer fun.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Need a yummy chicken recipe? Well here it is . . .

I found this Bang Bang Chicken recipe a while ago and have been making it regularly ever since.  My husband is a picky eater and so are my kids, and they rarely has seconds, except for when I make this recipe.  I don't put the sauce on my kids' chicken, because like I said, they are picky, and we just call them chicken nuggets and they love it.

I serve with rice and broccoli and it is always a hit around here.  When I mentally can't handle coercing my kids to eat, I make this meal because they eat it with no complaints.  I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as well.  I always find that I have to double the 'breading' ingredients.  This recipe feeds my family of four just great, with some leftovers (sometimes), which I use on my salad the next day.


Bang Bang Chicken

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Some tips for avoiding getting sick

To make a long story short, my son was admitted to the hospital last weekend.  I had the flu a couple of weeks ago, then my daughter got it, then my son.  His lingered and ended up turning into a very serious sinus infection and periorbital cellulitis around his left eye.  Thankfully and luckily he is on the road to recovery now, but he had to be monitored closely, have IV antibiotics, nasal sprays, etc. 

His doctor told me that we usually don’t get sick by breathing something in, we get sick from being out in public and touching things and then touching our eyes, nose, or mouth.  It’s so important to wash hands often, especially before eating.  He also said that germs tend to stick more to our shirts, and said that it's a good idea to have kids change into a new shirt when they get home from being at school all day. 

I am already a bit of a germaphobe, and its hard not to become extra paranoid about germs after your child becomes hospitalized because of sickness, but my son's doctor also stressed that we can't stop living life.  When we have challenges in life, it makes life more precious.  It's true, it's part of life.  Our trials make us stronger and that's why we are on this planet.  So be cautions but don't be so paranoid about germs that it keeps you and your family from living life. Create some good habits that will keep you and your family free of a few more germs.

My kids are already in the habit of washing their hands when they walk into the house, but now they will be implementing the new rule of also changing their shirts, during the flu season.  The flu and bugs out there this year are extra harsh, so it doesn't hurt to play it safe and do all we can to keep ourselves and our little ones healthy. 

Also keeping hand sanitizer in the car and having them use that when they hop into the car (and still washing hands when they get home) is another good rule-of-thumb.  I keep a small bottle in my purse too, and use that when we can't get to a sink for some reason.

With all the laundry we Moms do, it can also be really easy to forget to wash our kids' coats on a regular basis. Coats are hung in the mud room all the time and they are just not as visible when we are doing laundry, simply because they are not in the hamper with everything else we have to wash.

Make a little sticky note or set a reminder on your phone to wash them at least once a week because they can be a real magnet for germs.  Think about it.... the playground at recess, runny noses being wiped on the arms of their coats, and they wear them everywhere and every day during the winter.   Let's live life to the fullest and let's fight these germs at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!