Thursday, September 18, 2014

5 easy ways to drink more water

My husband and I have been on a mission to drink more water for the passed few years.  Here are 5 simple things you can do to help drink more water.

1. Get a fancy/cute cup.
 I love smoothies mostly for the cup they come in.  I got a reusable drinking cup with a lid and a straw and I use it all day long.  I even used vinyl to put my name on it. If you use outdoor vinyl it can go through the dishwasher.

2. Use a straw and put ice in the water
I drink so much more water when i use a straw. I also drink more water when it is cold.  I buy 100 straws for $1 at target.  My kids LOVE to drink from straws too so they are drinking more water too.

3. Add Fruit to it
If you need a little flavor add some fresh or frozen fruit.  The fruit that I like the best is: Lemon, Lime, strawberries and raspberries.   I love to add frozen raspberries, they act like an ice-cube and taste good too!

4. Don't buy pop or juice.
We only have water or milk at our house.  We have no choice but to drink water when we are thirsty.  It has actually saved us a lot of money since out tap water is pretty good.

5. Use a filter pitcher
I was able to sample the CamleBak Relay.  When it was sent to me I wasn't sure I was going to love it.  We have used other filtered pitchers and have not loved them... but we do really love the Relay.  It filters water fast and it double filter's it too, on the way in and out of the pitcher.  It is available at, Target and Amazon.

How It Works:
CamelBak has been developing innovative hydration products for 25 years. Their newest product, Relay, takes a new approach to the water filtration pitcher and is designed for the active person. Relay utilizes a unique filter with Double Filter Technology; it filters the water twice, once as you fill the pitcher and a second time as you pour. Relay's filter is pleated and contains plant-based activated carbon which delivers great-tasting water 10X faster than the leading competitor. The filter only needs to be changed every four months, twice as long as the leading competitor. Relay’s lid features side-locking latches to create spill-proof pouring and ensure that the lid stays in place while moving between the sink and the fridge. The pitcher shape is streamlined for better ergonomics and fits 10 cups of filtered water in a surprisingly small pitcher that easily fits in most refrigerator doors. CamelBak Relay is BPA free and dishwasher safe. Like all CamelBak products, Relay is covered by the CamelBak Got Your Bak Lifetime Guarantee. 

How do you drink more water? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 ways to make back-to-school easier for Mom

We have been back to school for a little over 2 weeks now.  We are in the swing of things now.  The newness has worn off and we are in a routine.  I have tried a few things this school year to make things run smoothy for me as the mom as I get the childern off the school.  

Here are 5 things that are making my morning run a little bit better.  These are not rocket-science ideas, just simple things that have helped me, so I thought I would pass it on. 

1. Wake up before the kids.  
For me that means 6:30 AM.  We have a rule that the kids need to stay in bed until 7AM.  I get myself all ready so when the kids wake up I can just focus on getting them ready, instead of trying to put my make-up on while the kids are brushing their teeth. 

2. Pick out clothes the night before and lay them out. 
This is to stop the battles I had with my 4 year old daughter.  Now we talk about her outfit before she goes to bed (when she is more agreeable - in the morning she is quite crabby).  Then she can wake up and put the clothes that she picked out.  Some times she wants to change the outfit but I tell her she can wear it tomorrow.  We used to spend a lot of time in the morning over what she would wear and now it is hardly any time at all.  I some times pick out her clothes for the whole week.  

3. Wear Play Proof Clothes
I was sent some Play Proof Clothes from Nano-Tex to have my kids put to the test.  These clothes release stains in the wash, resist wrinkles, breathes easy, looks great wear after wear!  Perfect to send off to school.  Having easy washable clothes makes my life easier, not having to stain-treat everything!
Right now they are available at Gymboree. 

4. Put frozen food (that will thaw out by lunch) in their lunch. 
Did you know that there are several things that you can freeze that will thaw out by lunch time?!  On-the-go yogurts, apple sauce/fruit sauce pouches, PB&J sandwiches, Mayo&Meat sandwiches (no lettuce or tomatoes), and Apples to name just a few. Put them in the freezer and they will be ready to pack in your lunch and you don't have to worry about them getting too warm before lunch, and they will keep other things cool in the lunch box as well.   We call the frozen yogurt pouches Popsicle Yogurt... the kids love to eat them frozen for breakfast too  

5. After School Snack Bowl
Every day, when the kids come home, they want/need a snack.  My kids are too young to be trusted with an open snack cupboard and they cannot get the food by themselves yet.  I would have to stand and tell the all their choices and then make a baggie for them once the made a choice.   Now, I  put pre-portioned, mom-approved snacks in a bowl for them the choose from after school.  I let my kids pick 2 snacks before dinner.  They feel like they have control over their snacks and I can get stuff done without having the stop and get a snack for them all the time.  

What are some ways that you make your life easier at school time? 

*Disclosure: I was supplied with the Play-Proof clothes for free, however all opinions are 100% mine*

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Barbie Doll Sleeping Bag DIY

Look what I am sharing over at Skip To My Lou today! 

It is a super easy sewing project for the beginning sewer.  It would be great to do with a little sewer like you daughter or grand-daughter!  Hop on over there to check it out!  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kindness Week: Activities to Teach Kindness to kids {#StreamTeam}

Thank you to Netflix for sponsoring this post.

I love my kids.  But lately they seem to only be thinking about themselves.  They are acting very selfish and were getting mean to each other.  It's probably because we have spend the whole summer together, still, I knew I had to get this turned around.  So I came up with KINDNESS WEEK.  A week with activities to focus on kindness and service and not on selfishness!  

We used the verse as our theme: 

Matthew 7:12 

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you

I choose different people groups to focus on each day and then we spent some time doing kind things for those people.  

Day 1: Be Kind to Friends.
We wrote letters to their friends to mail to them.  While they were writing their letters and drawing their pictures we talked about what it means to be a good friend.

Day 2: Be Kind to Family:
With each kid, I sat down and we made a list of 3 things we could do for their siblings that would be kind.  Then during the day we made sure that they did those 3 things.   Our lists included: Give hugs, help clean their room (our kids rooms are always messy!),  share your favorite toy.  And all day I would have to remind them: "We are being kind to our family today!"  And I wanted to add: "And your going to LIKE it!" :) 

Day 3 Be Kind To Service People:
We made goodie bags with different candies and gave them out to the people with help us with our day. We left one in our mailbox for our mail man, gave some to the Child Care workers at the YMCA, gave some to the bank tellers.  And we just put a simple note on it that said "Thanks for all you do!"  I kept them in my purse and we gave them out as we did errands on our day.

Day 4 Be Kind to People in Need: 
We had a family friend who lost their baby recently.  It is so sad, and I knew I wanted to help out some how,  so we brought them a meal.  I had the kids help me make some cookie-brownies (from a box mix) for dessert, and come along to deliver the meal.  Bringing a meal to a family who needs it is a great way to show your kids how to show love to others.  It can be any need, a busy week, having a new baby, lose of a job... anything, there are always people who could use a meal! 

Day 5 Be Kind to Your Neighbors:
We made a bunch of the cookie-brownies and we made little goodie bags for our neighbors and attached a note that said "We are so glad you are our neighbors!"

Day 6 Be Kind to People Who Have Less: 
We took a trip to our local dollar store and picked out items for Operation Christmas Child Boxes.  We talked about how there are lots of kids in the world who don't have toys like we do, and they don't get Christmas gifts like we do. We talked about how we were going to pick out toys and things for a little girl and boy to have (we don't get to keep it) we are going to give it away.  I got a lot of "Mommy can I have one too" while I was at the store but I just brought it back to the fact that we have toys already and this child did not.  Both my 4 and 6 year olds did great with it. 

Day 7: Be Kind to Strangers.
We also did some Random acts of kindness one day as we were out and about.  We happen to be going to a park that had rides.  You could buy a card of points to get on the ride.  On one of the rides we paid the points of the kids behind us with our card.  We also opened doors for people, and let people go in front of us in line.  Just little things to be kind.  

As we were going about our kindness week we watched some shows on Netflix that promote kindness.  I notice that when my son watches too many super hero shows he ends up acting more violent and mean.  So we were careful about what we watched this week.
We love Netflix because there are no commercials!  Commercials often lead to selfishness! 
Here are some of our favorite Kindness shows:

We had a good time during Kindness Week and I think we may make it a regular event around here!  How do you teach kindness at your house? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Easy Paper Towel Butterfly Craft

This post is sponsored by Viva Vantage and Walmart
but my love for their stretchy towels is all my own!
Here is a super easy kids craft that used things your probably already have: Paper towels and markers!  
Also below I put Viva® Vantage Paper Towels to the test when I clean I messy stove top!  Check it out below! 

Here is what you will need:
Pipe Cleaners
Spray bottle

1. Have your kids design their butterfly wings using markers.  Try to get them to cover most of the paper towel with color.

2. Spray the Paper towels with water.  We did ours outside

Here are our designs and how the came out after we sprayed them with water. 

3. Fold accordion style, wrap a pipe clean around the middle and puff out the wings. 
If you want you can wind the pipe cleaner around a pencil to make fancy antennas.

The Viva® Vantage Paper Towels are Awesome!  
I was skeptical that they would live up to all the hype.

So I put it up against my stove top.  Tough, burnt-on stains.  With my other brand of paper towels I could go through 6-10 paper towels and I only used 3 of the Viva® Vantage Paper Towels (it is select-a-size so it is 3 small ones that make 1 big sheet)  and it lasted the whole time.  I was able to rinse it out and reuse it several times.  I also used baking soda and natural cleaner to help too. 

And if you have a baby that eats dirt like mine does... you know you need a good paper towel!  

Check out 

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