Morning Sickness Hacks

MAMAS! Oh em gee! I have never experienced the whole “horrible pregnancy puking thing” …. until now.

My first two pregnancies were a walk in the park, this third one is giving me a run for my money. Being desperate for answers I started doing research and reaching out to my doctor for help! I mean I do have two other minions to chase through this first trimester WOO!

The most natural and beneficial cure I have found is B6. (They say to mix it with Benadryl but I just feel weird doing that so I went for the straight B6 with my morning smoothie.) It is not a cure-all but my goodness it has saved me on more than one occasion.

I’ve always taken a B Complex but the direct B6 is so different, I have more energy, focus, and ability to get work done – which was a huge struggle. They are super easy to swallow and small (Which let’s be real is a big deal right now!)

Some other hacks I have found helpful

  • Preggie Pops
  • Seaband Mama
  • Pregnancy Morning Chews
  • Gingerale
  • Frozen Coke
  • Soda Crackers

These subside it, but the B6 has allowed me to continue to work through my first trimester and for that it was too good not to share! 

Get Yours Here

7 Easy Last Minute Easter Activities

 

YOU GUYS, I totally let Easter sneak up on me and didn’t prep amazing crafts and activities for my kiddo to do this weekend!! But hey, this happens to most of us at some point.  Honestly, it happens to me quite often and I’m okay with that.  Because, ladies, we are creative, flexible thinkers. Whether we like it or not 😉  Here are some simple, on-the-fly-but -super-fun Easter activities to do with your kids when you didn’t plan in advance…

Make “bunny rabbit tails” by blowing bubbles.  Try to catch 2 bubbles on the bubble wand…those are bunny ears!

gray3

Take construction paper and draw egg shapes or crosses.  Next, cut out strips of different colored construction paper.  If you have a hole punch, use it to make tiny dots from colored paper.  If you have decorative paper punches or craft scissors with wavy lines, score!  If the kids are old enough, let them draw, cut, and use the punches. They are having fun with an Easter craft while you are sneaking in hand strengthening and visual motor coordination.

gray4

Use sidewalk chalk in the driveway or yard to draw Easter eggs, crosses, an angel, or the tomb with a stone rolled away.  You can work on simple patterns as well (example: 1 pink zig zag, 1 green zig zag, 2 polka dots, repeat).

If you have plastic eggs, use them to make an awesome Easter activity. Write a variety of directions (mostly movement activities) on strips of paper and place 1 into each egg.  For example, you could write, “Hop like a bunny rabbit”, “walk and cheep like a baby chick”, “roll like an Easter egg”.  You could also include things like, “Draw a carrot in the dirt.  Draw it with your eyes closed” (did you know you just worked on awareness of the body in space?).  You are rockin’ it momma!

Use sidewalk chalk to draw a picture of a bunny head with ears but leave out a few body parts (maybe 1 ear and half the whiskers).  Have your kids fill in the missing parts (this addresses visual perceptual skills).

If you forgot to buy the egg coloring kits at the store, no worries.  If you have food coloring, eggs, vinegar, and a spoon & cup at home, you’re good to go.  (Just like when we were kids, am I right?) You can also draw or write on the eggs with a white crayon before dying.  The dye won’t cling to the white crayon…it’s like magic to little kids!  You can use this as a way to work on writing their name or words.

If you have plastic eggs (or the ones you dyed are dry), you are all set to hide Easter eggs.  This will entertain the kids for a long time!  And no, you do not have to put candy in those eggs.  There is a joy in finding the eggs just as they are.

And that’s all there is to it.  It doesn’t matter that you didn’t plan ahead. You are creating wonderful memories with your kiddos while having a blast!

Happy Easter!

— Kristen Rodgers

How to Survive Your Kids’ Spring Break

How to Survive Your Kids’ Spring Break

It’s that time of year again.  Spring break for the kids!  It can feel daunting at first, but don’t worry.  I have a plan.

The first thing you should do is lie down in a quiet spot where you can focus uninterrupted.  Now take a deep breath and let thoughts of Pinterest-inspired crafts, intentional learning through outdoor kinesthetic play, and scavenger hunts with witty yet child-appropriate poems waft through your head.  Take several minutes to feel the creativity and intentional parenting flow through your body. Bask in the solid foundation and lifelong memories you and your children will make.

Now- and this is an extremely important step-

Pour a glass of wine and forget that shit.

Yep, let it go.

And let’s get REAL on how to survive your kids’ spring break.

IMG_0807

First of all, each night of break, keep your child up waaay past their bedtime.  That way, you can sleep later in the morning.  To prevent this from ruining your evenings, tell your kids you have to do the laundry in your bedroom.  Then shut and lock yourself inside your bedroom while watching scary movies.  Before you start that movie you DVR’ed a year ago but haven’t had time to watch yet, stuff towels into the space between the bottom of the door and the floor.  This prevents tiny fingers and Toy Story characters drawn on paper from slipping through that space and inadvertently terrifying you during your scary movie.

Now, get your chocolate from one of the hidden stashes and savor every rich creamy bite of decadence.  Important note, have a piece of broccoli on hand to eat before leaving your room.  Not only will the kids not be able to smell chocolate on your breath, but if they check for food crumbs or pieces of food stuck in your teeth, they will only see broccoli and will not want any.  Well done, momma.  A tiny piece of broccoli is a small price to pay for the continued concealment of your chocolate stash.

The next morning, let your children sleep as long as possible.  To encourage this, put up black-out shades the day before break begins.  Keep insisting to the kids, “It’s not time to get up.  See? (pointing to the window) It’s still dark outside; the middle of the night.”  This may buy you an extra hour.

Daytime plan: Before break begins, you will have contacted 5 different moms from your kids’ classes.  To each you say how much your kids have been begging for a play date with their kids and can you bring them over Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday, you get the idea). Since you have this set up ahead of time, you are ready to drop the kids off each morning at a different house.  Just remember which house so you can find your kids at the end of the day.  (Turns out if you don’t find the right house before nightfall, some parents call the cops).

Pick your kids up after lunchtime.  Now you won’t have to feed them a meal.  Score!  But, there’s still an afternoon ahead of you.  Don’t worry, you’ve got this.  Here’s what you do… Take the kids directly to the nearest park.  Make sure you have your “lemonade” with you to start sippin’.  (During spring break you are in survival mode therefore not required to wait til 5:00).

Now you have reached the point where rookies frequently mess up.  Luckily, you’ve got me to guide you through this extremely crucial step. You MUST pick the right place to sit at the park.  Yeah, it’s that important. After all, you don’t want to be too close to the kids (they’ll ask you to play or push them on the swing).  Equally as important, though, is to discourage other people from talking to you.  Or making eye contact.  ‘Cause ladies, it’s just too “peoplely” out there during spring break.  The best trick I’ve learned is to wear a face mask (you know, like the kind you wear at the doctor’s office when you have a contagious disease).  Also, don’t wear undereye concealer that day.  No one will come near you. Quite possibly not even your own kids.

Once it’s getting dark, take your tired kids home.  Put out slices of deli meat rolled up (we call them turkey or ham sticks to make them sound fancy). Put out pickles and cheese. Done.

Repeat previous steps.

And that’s it.  The key to surviving your kids’ spring break.

You’re welcome.

*Please note this is entirely written for humor and not to be used in real life. Well, except for the chocolate stash part, ‘cause that’s a necessity.  This post will be followed shortly with a round-up of awesome spring break and Easter crafts to do with your kiddos. (For real).

-Kristen Rodgers 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck Inside Creativity

This week I had two sick little’s home for a week and had to get real creative with keeping them busy as the energy level was still there and we were stuck inside. I love projects that not only are fun but also have some sort of learning or character building behind them!

Little Hands Change the World Project

What you need:

  • Craft Tray – (I try to make clean up as easy as possible.) Washable Craft Trays
  • Paint
  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

unnamed (1)

I traced their hands on the paper and had them each cut out their hands on construction paper. We then placed the little hands in the craft tray and went crazy with abstract paint style on the hands. 

unnamed

Second we took a bowl and traced the circle on the second piece of paper. The kids cut this out as well and repeated the steps above. 

unnamed (2)

We then let it dry for about an hour and glued the hands to the world and came up with 3 different ways we were going to make a difference to help the world and our community. 

Water Color Crayons

unnamed (3)

Switch it up

Sometimes all you need for some kid motivation is a little change up of the normal routine. I found these amazing watercolor crayons that seriously glide and are super fun to color with in general….Ready for the best part you dip the crayon in water and grab a paint brush and it turns into mess free coloring and painting. I let them use these instead of a pencil for homework and I have never seen my son more focused on his school work! Getting creative does not have to be hard sometimes the simplest things the kids enjoy the most!

unnamed (4)

Home made Puffy Paint

What you will need: 

  • Shaving Cream
  • Food Coloring
  • Elmers Glue

Lets Make it!

    1. Put down your craft tray to protect your table. Wearing an apron is also a good idea.
    2. Mix equal parts of shaving cream and Elmer’s glue.
    3. Add food coloring ( a few drops at a time til desired color.)
    4. Apply the glue to a heavy paper. (You can also sponge it on if easier.)
    5. Let the Paint Dry.
    • Window Clings: Add puffy paint to wax paper in small shapes and designs. Let the paint dry overnight and then you can peel off the puffy paint and it will stay in its shape. You can place them on the window and they make super fun window decorations. These are great to do for holidays!
    • Puffy Paint Shirts: Add puffy paint to t-shirts or sweatshirts in fun and cute designs. Let the paint dry overnight on the clothing, then it will be time to wear it in style. Be sure to hand wash only.
    • Puffy Paint Greeting Cards: Add a little puffy paint to a folded greeting card to add a cool 3D look. Kids will love to make different shapes and creations with puffy paint and then gift their cards to friends and loved ones.

Happy Crafting Mama Bears.

When I became a work at home mama, I had this image of everything happy and peaceful. The thought never arose of becoming a victim of everything needing to be perfect in my home, the ocd ness of clean floors, laundry done, dishes put away…AT ALL TIMES. I had become so materialistic. If only I had this head-board, this tile, this picture frame….It kind of made me become a little sick to my stomach. I am not this person. In 2018 I wanted experience, memories, life to have a spark of excitement again with my family. These are the things that matter not the materialistic things of life. I started a jar….(yes going back to piggy bank style) of savings for nothing other than adventure, vacations, and memories.

Knowing I am not the only mama that may struggle with this I wanted to create a list of free or in expensive adventures to do with your family in the area (and some adventures you can create any where!)

IMG_3013.JPG

  1. Take a hike….Literally. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the country (in my opinion.) Nature is our backyard. Many people are not blessed with this opportunity. An app I recently learned about is AllTrails. This app tells you trails around you, directions, and has over 50,000 trails to explore.
  2. Gaze at the stars…In majority of the cities in our country you truly can not see the stars. Right here in Cool we have a camp ground you can set up your tent for free and star gaze with your littles.
  3. Rockin Jump and REI…. For active little ones (such as mine) sometimes you need a good old fashion energy burner. Rockin jump has trampolines, rock walls, stunt areas, and dodge ball for $15. REI runs activities every weekend such as rock climbing, bike riding, etc for free or next to it. Just hop on their website and view upcoming events that are kid friendly.
  4. California State Railroad Museum… Amazing experience for littles. Three stories of history and exciting education. Best to go on a week day though when you have the place to yourself!
  5. Coloma Gold Panning – $10 per kid and you get to Gold Pan for an hour, the littles get to have a vile with their pyrite and gold they take home. (This is one of our family favorites) we also get to parooze this quaint little town after the event which is about a mile walk of history including live blacksmith action, etc.
  6. Sacramento Zoo – Fairy Tale Town – Folsom Zoo… All are so exciting for kids! Folsom zoo is small but nice because they are never overwhelmingly crowded and have the cutest train ride which the littles really get a kick out of. The Sacramento Zoo has a nice park you can picnic at after the Zoo Experience and feed the ducks! Fairy tale land is fun for 3 and under!
  7. Aquarium of the bay – Super amazing experience. The underwater tunnel is pretty amazing and they have several stories to adventure up of different themes along the way! We were shocked that all 4 of us were able to go for under $50.IMG_2519
  8. Lay in a hammock and get lost in a good book. There is something special about a good old fashion story….Remember sometimes a staycation is the best vacation. Get creative.
  9. Folsom Lake is a great and safe swimming area to go on a hot summer days with the littles. Thow a frisbee, toss a football, have some snacks. Spend the day getting sand in your toes.
  10. PowerHouse Science Center…My son is OBSESSED with anything science so this is on our go to list! Its $60 for a membership of 2 adults and 3 children. They do hands on science projects, experiments, robot races! (Basically the ultimate science kids dream.)
  11. McKinley Park is loaded with gorgeous rose gardens for miles. This is also located in walking distance of the Capitol and a fun little history walk for free with the kids in a blocked off area!
  12. Sacramento children’s Museum… 2701 Prospect Dr. Rancho Cordova…. www.sackids.org This is another science exploration one! They currently offer science Sundays, Sound Explorers, and library days for the toddlers!
  13. Greenwood Splash Pad Park… Our family loves this little gem during summer! They have a splash pad, park, and adorable creek and tunnel for kiddos to adventure in during the heat! IMG_3397
  14. Lake Tahoe Parasailing… This is one of my best memories thus far! So fun and beautiful! This cost $100 and we were out on Tahoe Parasailing for well over an hour! A little more expensive but worth the experience for sure! IMG_3712
  15. Make a scavenger hunt…IN YOUR BACK YARD. Get creative… give your child a compass and map and lead them to bugs, fake gold, fun letters, special key notes, you get the point! We did this last year and the boys were entertained for hours trying to achieve the treasure!
  16. Make some slime!!!! It’s the rage!!!! This is a solid two hours of free entertainment with a little investment in Elmers glue… (Helpful tip) DONT BUY IN STORES! They have jacked up the prices so high on glue with the slime rage! Go on Amazon and you can get a gallon for $10.IMG_4417
  17. Lake Lahontan…Locals call this the “mud hole” as the water is well…a little less than clear. BEST MEMORIES EVER! This is a camping site you can go and truly escape reality for a few days.
  18. Sequoia National Park..The trees are to die for and truly magical. This is open year round with nature walks, in park lodging and amazing views.
  19. Winchester Mystery House… Groupon currently offers a discount for $30 per ticket of this eccentric mansion which is also “haunted” yet kid friendly adventure.
  20. Berry Haven…My littles absolutely LOVE THIS. We go on a berry picking adventure for organic fruits and veggies that the kids get a solid labor of love experience. IMG_5073Adventure and experience life. Make memories and remember to ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS because as corny as it sounds….they really are the BIG THINGS.

Rainy Day Bored Jar

On cold rainy days, when your children are at the point of a wold war 3 break down, the bored jar will be a saving grace! Being a mom of two very spirited little ones, I have learned the art of parenting strategically with attention changing ideas. I found this little gem on pinterest a few years back and have put a few spins on it, but Im telling you what Mama bears…..Every time I run out of ideas this is my go to. Lets get to making!

        You will need:

  • Mason Jar
  • Wooden Craft Sticks (Big enough to write on.)
  • Sharpie

I have a list of activities Ill include below, however add your childrens favorite indoor games, crafts, a favorite movie, all of these things can be written on the stick as suggested ideas!

  1. Watch a movie and make popcorn.
  2. Bake cupcakes.
  3. Have a dance party.
  4. Make a fort.
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt.
  6. Play a board game.
  7. Play Simon Says.
  8. Lazer Tape – Take masking tape and create a maze – each child has to make it through without their body touching the tape.
  9. Childrens Yoga.
  10. Finger Paints.
  11. Make Slime – Amazing Recipes in this book.
  12. Play Hide & Seek.
  13. Make mud pies.
  14. Cozy up with blankets and books.
  15. Make Super Hero Capes.
  16. Make a Volcano – Baking Soda, Vinegar, & Food Coloring.
  17. Draw a picture.
  18. Put together a musical or play.
  19. Home made bowling with plastic water bottles.
  20. Make a list of dream vacations to do as a family.
  21. Lay down masking tape and create a race track.
  22. Stage a tea party for stuffed animals and dolls.
  23. Make an indoor sand box of rice, rubbing alcohol, flour and baby oil.

Chicken, Bacon, Cream Cheese? YASSS!

With these three ingredients you truly can not go wrong? Am I right?! Ok this one lets just dive right in, because its mouth-watering! My kids even loved it! That is a huge 5 star for me right there!

What you need….

  • Cream Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Chicken Broth
  • 4 Chicken Breast
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Turkey Bacon (1 Pack)
  • Egg Plant Noodles or Rice *Pick  your favorite*

Lets get cooking……

Heat your crock pot to high if your inpatient like me… Put in the chicken breast and in a separate bowl put 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 full cube of cream cheese. Pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and whip together. Add salt and pepper. Lay over the chicken in crock pot.

Let sit for about 3 hours or until chicken is white in the center.

While this is cooking, at about hour 2 1/2 put bacon in over on 400 for about 15-20 minutes or until nice and crispy.

When the Bacon is a Baking (see how I did that!) hehe. Start the noodles….or rice…which ever you want. Cook as instructed.

To serve.

Place noodles or rice first on plate. 

Top with smothered Chicken.

Top with Bacon and Sour Cream.

Bon appetite! 

By the way this takes about 20 minutes of effort.

How to Prepare for an Appraisal

As promised my friends….The ultimate guide to prepare for an appraiser. We decided to go conventional after months of debating it and going back and forth. We decided we no longer wanted to pay $200 a month to an FHA PMI Insurance and took the leap!

After completing a ton of “google” research and reaching out to everyone I knew who had been through the appraisal process before, I received so many different things of feed back in which none added up… I heard everything from make sure your windows are spotless to that you need new linen on all of your beds. (None of this is accurate.)

First and foremost….COMPS. What the comparable pricing is where you live is one of the most crucial points of an appraisal. I also learned the house does not need to look anything like yours. They go off of square footish, how many beds, how many baths, etc. when doing their compariables.

Second. PROJECTS…If there not finished. Finished them. My husband and I did a whirlwind home remodel in 8 days! Whew…My hands are still sore. The one thing I have learned through this experience is there is nothing…and I mean nothing. A fresh coat of white paint can’t fix. (Quickly)

Floors. Are huge and add value to your home, make sure they are cleaned and ready for inspection upon your appraisers arrival. You want the overall condition of your home to be “Sellable” and well cared for. This needs to be clearly apparant to your seller.

This one through me off and I only did it by pure chance of rushing before our appraisal arrived and forgetting to turn the lights off. THEY WANT THE LIGHTS ON IN EVERY ROOM. They cant take clear pictures of your home unless this is done. The appraiser not only thanked us for having the lights on, but also noted it in our appraisal.

When our appraisal came in I paid attention to key notes and things they look for. Also I asked him EXACTLY what they look for while he was here. My response received was “The overall well being and condition of home, that its liveable and taken care of. Any upgrades, remodels all add value.”

  • Lights on in every room of your home.
  • Any unfinished projects are finished.
  • No wood showing through on baseboards.
  • Fresh Paint.
  • Curb Appeal.
  • Comps.
  • Clean & Inviting.
  • All alarms, fire, etc. are working and hooked up correctly.

Hope this helps a person or two! 

 

Colorful Explosions

This project was so simple and fun. My littles LOVE hands on science projects and the eruption ones are always a mom win! This particular project is very hands on and the child can do almost all of it by them selves. My two-year old even could go solo on this one!  Science, Sensory and Fine Motor Skills all rolled into one activity you really can’t beat! Ok mama bears…Ready for the kicker? This science project is a self-cleaning agent so clean up for you is easy breezy! 

image2

         What you need:

  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Warm Water
  • Citric Acid
  • Baking Soda
  • Food Coloring

Starting out you want to get a baking sheet and place 4 or 5 small Tupperware containers filled half way up with dawn soap and water so its nice and sudsy! I put a few drops of different colors (food coloring) in each tub to make it a surprise of color explosion! Get two separate containers. Fill container one with baking soda and container two with citric acid. (I totally didn’t measure and just gave my kids a teaspoon each to scoop and add as desired.)

 

Once your all set up and ready to roll, have the littles put 1 tbs of baking soda in each container (They can add more) have them mix with small mixing spoons. It should become a pasty slimy fun consistency.

After you finish the baking soda fun repeat the same step with the citric acid and the most amazing colorful foam gets created and last FOREVER! Think of the baking soda and vinegar explosion x100000 and for 5 minutes longer!

 

The more your little’s stir the mixture up the bigger it gets. Now for the better part if you dump out the containers on your tray or tub you chose to use the little’s can feel it and poke the foam which is chilly because of the combination of ingredients!

 

Happy Creating Mama Bears~

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Treat – Buttered Beer

Its Halloween and a Magical Time for fun little recipes to make with the kids! My husband had a whim last week to make this Buttered Beer Recipe from Harry Potter and it was to good to not share.

  • What you need :
  • 1 quart of Apple Pie Ice Cream
  • 1/4 Cup of Caramel Butter Scotch Syrup
  • 32 oz. Cream Soda
  • 2 tbs. Butter
  • Whipped Cream

Place glasses in freezer for about 2 hours before creating.

Mix Soda and Ice Cream together in a blender.

Divide between the frosted glasses.

Blend Syrup, Butter and Whip Cream and Poor Blended Mix on top of the drink.

Throw on your favorite Harry Potter and Enjoy the Magic!

IMG_1469.JPG