Category: Parenting

Link Round-up: DIY Disinfecting Wipes, Photo-to-Fabric, Quinoa Cookies, and More

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has quinoa cookies, photo-to-fabric tips, DIY disinfecting wipes, and more.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom taught us how to make disinfecting wipes with tea tree oil.

Tone It Up shared a delightful quinoa cookie recipe for a healthier spin on a sugary favorite.

Aunt Peaches taught us how to make coffee filter tulips using leftover egg dye.

link ru sun photo
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to use the sun to print photos onto fabric.

Kenarry shared 14 colorful ideas for St. Patrick’s Day.

Sugar Swings shared a recipe for Cat in the Hat cookies with surprise sprinkles inside.

Homemaking Hacks shared tips for keeping a clean and organized home.

Photo credit: Confessions of an Overworked Mom and A Beautiful Mess

Multi-Generational Family Vacations

Posted on Mar 4, 2015 by No Comments

I suppose I could also call this, How to Survive a Vacation with the Whole Family.

Last year, we took my kids that live at home (ages 20, 18, 15,13,10), my eldest daughter, son-in-law, and three grandkids (ages 12, 10, 5) on a week long cruise.

It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and an unexpected book deal in January was the answer to my prayer. We booked a family suite and an inside cabin on Royal Caribbean and excitedly counted down the days.

Taking twelve people on a cruise is an adventure. The logistics of keeping everyone together and in good spirits is daunting  but don’t let that stop you. The magic of making once in a lifetime memories is worth the anxiety and the expense.

There were some tense moments but in retrospect much of that could have been avoided if we had talked about expectations and ground rules before we left. Here are some things I learned that will help make your multi-generational vacation less stressful whether you are the grandparent or parent.

  • Let everyone do their own thing as much as possible and meet up for a family dinner and retelling of the day’s events.
  • Make a list of the things everyone wants to do. My husband likes to shop but the kids just wanted to hit the beach once we were in port. A plan that included everyone’s priorities would have made things much easier.
  • Don’t let one grumpy person ruin your mood. In a large group someone is always going to be disgruntled. It’s OK and it’s probably not your responsibility to fix.
  • Be considerate of each others’ privacy.
  • Let the parents parent. If you are the parents then don’t abdicate your parenting responsibilities because the grandparents are there to cover. If you’re the grandparents do not usurp the parents’ authority.

Have you ever taken a family vacation with multiple generations? What are your tips?

P.S. Yes that is us at dinner. We’re missing our grandson in that picture so you’ll only count eleven.

image: Marye Audet

Link Round-up: Muesli, Traveling with Kids, Movie Night, and More

Posted on Mar 3, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has a muesli recipe, tips for traveling with kids, movie night ideas, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for customizable muesli bowls.

Aunt Peaches shared 16 messy DIY projects.

Kenarry offered ideas on what to take with you when traveling with small children.

link ru wire baskets
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to customize wire baskets.

Homemaking Hacks shared a St. Patrick’s Day hot cocoa jar gift idea.

Simplee Thrifty gave us five quick tips about food expiration dates.

A Day in Your Shoes shared seven movie night theme ideas.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

How to Choose the Right Bike for Your Child

Posted on Mar 3, 2015 by No Comments

Choosing the right bike for your child may be more complicated than you think. You’ll want to make sure that your child is ready for a bike, that it’s the right size, and it’s right for the type of riding that Junior is going to do.

Back when I was riding bikes the choices were style and color. I had a purple Schwinn with a design that was extremely cool in the 60s.

We used to use clothespins to hook playing cards to the spokes on the wheels to make a cool sound when we were riding.  No one wore helmets or protective gear.

Now your choices go way beyond those things. Color, style, type (off road biking or normal riding?), gear…

The choices are overwhelming. Here are some tips for choosing the right bike and equipment for your child.

  • Children aren’t usually physically ready to ride a bike without training wheels until they are around four to eight years old — they just don’t have the physical coordination and balance.
  • They have to want to ride. It takes a lot of practice and falls to master the ability.
  • Consider your child’s age and maturity level. Does he run into the street without looking for traffic? Is he responsible? Is he ready for a bike?
  • Choose the correct size when it comes to protective gear and make sure it fits well. Don’t scrimp on this or buy it used. Keep in mind that in case of a bad fall, the protective gear needs to be dependably protective.
  • Make sure the protective equipment is designed for your child’s age.
  • Between ages four and six you can expect your child to need a 14-inch bike, around age seven he’ll need 16-inch, and so one. Keep an eye on your child’s growth and make sure his bike fits him well.
  • Will he ride on dirt roads and through the countryside or on mostly paved areas? If you live in a rural area you may want to choose a more rugged mountain bike.

As always do your research and get the best that you can afford.

photo credit: Tobyotter via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Crafts for Kids, Cute Treats, Tips for Keeping Produce Fresh, and More

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has crafts for kids, cute treats, and more.

Kid Things showed us how to make a four-leaf clover butterfly with the kids.

Munchkin Munchies showed us how to make cute “I’m Bananas for You” monkey and banana cookies.

Little House Living taught us how to make fresh produce last when you only shop once a month.

link ru cheddar chive popovers

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make cheddar chive popovers.

Sarah Halstead shared a delicious buffalo chicken dip recipe.

Better in Bulk shared a recipe for roasted Cajun cauliflower and sausage.

Spaceships and Laser Beams taught us how to make Lego soap.

Photo credit: Kid Things and A Beautiful Mess

Link Round-up: Crafts, an Easter Printable, a Chore Jar, and More

Posted on Feb 24, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has crafts, an Easter printable, recipes, and more.

Kid Things shared a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow craft to do with the kids.

Mama of 3 Munchkins shared tips for hosting an American Girl themed party.

Munchkin Munchies taught us how to make mini melting snowmen cookies.

link ru piano makeover
Muslin and Merlot shared a piano makeover that involves chalk paint.

Better in Bulk shared an applesauce and blueberry muffin recipe.

Spaceships and Laser Beams shared a cute Easter printable.

Simply Wright showed us how to make a chore jar.

Photo credit: Kid Things and Muslin and Merlot

Measles Parties Unconfirmed Rumors

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 by No Comments

Measles has been in the news since last fall. Back then they were talking about the disease making a comeback. By January, I was hearing about 51 cases being linked back to Disneyland in California.

Since then, the once-common childhood disease is in the news regularly and the debate over vaccines has reared to the forefront with the two sides butting heads over the hot button topic.

Along with the spread of measles are rumors of “measles parties” adding fuel to the disagreement. The thing is, that’s all they are at this point. Nothing confirmed, just rumors.

This type of virus-exposure party isn’t something new. They even had measles parties back in the 50s and 60s.

Back in 80s, I remember people throwing “chicken pox parties” so families could expose their kids to the virus in hopes they would get the chicken pox and retain their immunity through adulthood when the virus is more dangerous.

It’s a planned event in which parents who haven’t vaccinated their kids hope to intentionally expose their children to the measles (or chickenpox) virus thinking it will help them to develop a natural immunity.

Before the vaccine, measles was a pretty common thing, so many people think of it more like getting a cold, but the disease can have serious consequences.

California’s health officials have warned parents against intentionally exposing their kids to the measles. At this point, no actual measles parties have been confirmed, but they are still making the news.

It seems to have all started with a radio show in the Bay Area when a mother of two unvaccinated kids called the station to say a friend offered to help expose her kids to the virus. The mom said no thank you, but it sparked the rumors and the warnings issued by California Department of Health.

At this time, the current U.S. measles outbreak has infected at least 166 people in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The virus has a 90-percent transmission rate so if measles parties were to happen chances are great that a child exposed would come down with measles.

But why would you want to risk the possible side effects? One in 20 kids who get the measles will develop pneumonia. One in 20 are odds I wouldn’t want to take.

Even more serious, 1 in 1,000 measles patients experience brain swelling which can have long-term consequences like hearing loss, blindness, or mental impairment. There is even a risk of death.

When it comes to measles parties, I hope they stay nothing but rumors making headlines.

Photo credits: DNews

Link Round-up: Decor Ideas, Activities with the Kids, Cookies, and More

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has décor ideas, activities to do with your kids, and more.

This Little Street showed us how to make fabric dolls from your kids’ drawings.

Honestly WTF showed us how to wear bandanas.

Happy Hooligans shared a paper plate jellyfish craft.

link ru peanut butter toffee cookies
Positively Splendid taught us how to make peanut butter toffee turtle cookies.

Kenarry shared rose petal crafts that will help you figure you what to do with your Valentine’s Day gift once it starts to fade.

…love, Maegan shared seven easy decorating ideas to save space.

Saved by Love Creations showed us how to upcycle a table runner into pillows.

Photo credit: This Little Street and Positively Splendid

Disney Announces First Latina Princess

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 by No Comments

Disney has announced their latest Disney princess. Her name is Elena of Avalor, and she is the first Latina Disney princess. The Latina 16-year-old princess will be the star of an upcoming Disney Junior show slated to premiere next year.

According to Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, Princess Elena of Avalor will be a “confident and compassionate teenager.”

Young kids around the world will be inspired by this princess as the show will be translated into 25 languages and air in more than 150 countries. The target audience will be kids between the ages of 2 and 7 years old, but I think she’ll inspire others, too.

Like the princesses before her, Elena will deliver songs about her adventures that are sure to be sung in homes around the world. However, along with the entertainment factor, the show also plans to feature a curriculum designed to help children develop in other ways.

Ideas include things like promoting ethical development to sharpening cognitive skills. Along with that, the program will present stories “influenced by culture and traditions that are familiar to the worldwide population of Hispanic and Latino families and reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale.”

The storyline finds the teenage princess trapped within a jeweled amulet for decades. When she is released she journeys throughout her kingdom to find her parents and to take her place on the throne.

In the process, Elena of Avalor meets up with magical creatures and friends to help her deal with her arch enemy, an evil sorceress. Sounds like a perfect blend to keep kids watching.

While your kids probably can’t wait to see Disney’s first Latina princess, she won’t be introduced until 2016 when the show launches. It can be one of those lessons in waiting.

Photo credits: iO Trendz