Posted 02-17-2017 at 01:06 AM by Jessica
I know that not everyone has to deal with driving in the snow, some people are lucky and never have to brave a winter storm to head to the grocery store or work. Though these tips are specifically for driving in the snow I think that a lot of them work just as well with extremely rainy conditions as well. If you can avoid driving altogether when the conditions get rough, please do! But sometimes you absolutely have to drive, and in those cases please remember these tips.
1. Give yourself plenty of room to stop. It can be easy to revert to your sunny-day driving and trail behind the car in front of you without giving much room. But when the roads are icy you won’t be able to stop as quickly and may end up rear-ending the other car! On dry pavement you should follow someone by about 3 to 4 seconds. When there are winter conditions present, you should increase that to 8 to 10 seconds at least.
2. Drive slowly. This one seems so obvious, but there are so many people who must forget because there are so many accidents caused by cars going way too fast. Even if you do end up hitting another car or running into a fence, if you’re going a slow speed there likely won’t be much damage.
3. Don’t come to a full stop, if possible. If you can slow down way before a stoplight and be going slowly enough that you can continue through as it changes to green before you fully approach it, go ahead and do that as you may otherwise get stuck on the ice.
4. Understand your brakes. If you have ABS (anti-lock brakes) then you simply need to push the brake all the way down when you’re trying to stop quickly. It is normal for the pedal to vibrate quite a bit when you’re stopping, that means that the ABS is working! If you do not have ABS you’ll need to pump your brakes in order to come to a quick stop.
5. Accelerate slowly. You can’t expect your car to accelerate as quickly when the roads are icy. If you get the wheels spinning too quickly off of the get-go you won’t gain enough traction and may end up digging yourself holes in the ice and snow that your wheels will get stuck in.
6. Check your tires. Before the first snowfall comes make sure to check your tires to see if they have sufficient tread to handle icy roads. In order to test your tread take a penny and hold it so that Mr. Lincolns head is facing down. Insert the penny in between the tread on your tires and if you cover the top of Mr. Lincolns’ head, you’re good. If the tread doesn’t reach the top of his head then you probably need new tires.
If the conditions are too bad, please try to stay home and wait for the weather to lighten up and for the roads to be plowed and salted. If you must venture out, please be safe!
Posted 02-16-2017 at 01:05 AM by Jessica
Making homemade slime is one of the easiest and coolest projects you can do with your kids. It’s a great science experiment if you explain how the liquids and powder “magically” turn into slime, if you want to launch into a discussion on polymers with your older children. If not, you can just explain that sometimes when you mix things together they change forms, and that is what the study of “chemistry” is about! When kids can relate a word that may seem scary and difficult, like “chemistry,” to something fun, they’re more likely to become more interested in it, and may end up finding that they love science!
Okay, on to the recipe!
1 teaspoon borax powder
1 ½ cup water
½ cup Elmer’s glue (clear or white)
- Dissolve the borax powder in 1 cup of the water. In another bowl pour in the glue and add ½ cup water. Stir in the food coloring and optional glitter and mix it all together until it’s well incorporated and smooth.
- Pour the borax mixture into the bowl with the glue mixture and prepare to be amazed as it forms into slime once mixed!
- Now for the fun part; ditch the spoon and use your hands instead to knead the slime together! When you’re finished playing with it store it in a Ziplock bag.
Posted 02-15-2017 at 01:05 AM by Jessica
For some reason my dogs have always loved playing with items that aren’t necessarily dog toys. When my Aussie spent a solid 15 minutes throwing an empty sour cream container around the house today I honestly couldn’t figure out why on earth I’d spent so much money on his heaping pile of toys in the doggie toy basket. $10 squeaky elephant vs. empty sour cream container that would’ve just ended up in the trash…
Sour cream container for the win.
Honestly though, dogs do not care in the slightest if you spent 20 bucks on a fancy new toy. They may like it for a little bit, but often end up playing with a random object that just makes you want to roll your eyes and double check the pet stores’ toy return policy.
If you’re low on cash but still want to provide your pooch with fun new toys that will spark their excitement and help them to get some exercise you really don’t need to look any farther than around your own home. Here are a few simple ideas for fun toys your dog will love.
Water Bottle in a Sock -For the dog that loves the noisy crinkly toys. The sock will help it last longer, protect them from any sharp edges once the bottle is punctured, and to provide better grip.
Braided Shirt Rope Toy -For the dog that loves tug of war. Take that old t-shirt and cut it into strips. Braid them together for a sturdy tug-toy.
Tennis Ball Treat Dispenser -For the food-obsessed or bored pooch. Cut a slit into a tennis ball and fill with treats. The ball will rattle, which is oh-so-cool to dogs, and when bitten properly, treats can be released.
Apple Kong – For the peanut butter lovers. Kong’s are great, but they’re really pricey! Instead of dishing out money for one of those, simply dig out the core and seeds in an apple and fill up the middle with peanut butter. They’ll spend a good amount of time licking out the peanut butter, and they can chew at/eat the apple as well for some added nutrition!
What are some of your dogs’ favorite homemade toys? Please share them with us!
Posted 02-14-2017 at 01:14 AM by Jessica
The winter months can be hard ones to get through when you have kids. Unless you plan on having snow-ball fights or will brave the cold temperatures for outside play time each day you really need other activities. I’ve found that it doesn’t take much to help bust boredom with kids indoors; it’s just a matter of creativity and novelty.
Here are just a few ideas to get you inspired!
- Bake a new recipe.
- Create homemade slime or kinetic sand. There are lots of great “recipes” you can Google or find on Pinterest. Imagine all the “cool parent points” you’ll earn if you tell them you know how to make slime!
- Find a bucket of old toys they haven’t played with in a while.
- Build a blanket fort.
- Get involved in a game of hide-and-seek. The game becomes infinitely more fun as soon as mom or dad start playing.
- Craft something new with unexpected supplies.
- Wash the dog together.
- Have a competition to see who can build the tallest Lego “building.”
- Fill up a bubble bath and give them finger paints (simply add some food coloring to bubble bath) to decorate the tub with.
- Set out blankets and pillows on the floor and watch a movie together.
- Have a board game day.
- Try some simple kid-safe yoga stretches and moves.
- Have an indoor photo shoot with stuffed animals and toys.
- Learn some phrases in a new language.
- Take turns reading new books together.
Posted 02-13-2017 at 01:03 AM by Jessica
One thing that really bugs me is when I wake up late and the morning is extra hectic, and I end up either skipping breakfast (leading to lots of unhealthy snacking until lunch) or I grab a cookie and call it good. I often eat whatever is convenient, not what is best for my body. So when I was introduced to overnight oats, I fell in love. I could easily throw it all together in a couple minutes the night before and could simply take it out of the fridge and take it with me in the morning! And the best part is that it would be a breakfast packed with nutrition! This Coconut Berry Overnight Oats recipe is super filling and tasty, giving you the perfect start to your day!
Coconut Berry Overnight Oats
½ cup minute rolled oats
¾ cup Silk coconut milk (I use the sweetened kind)
1 cup assorted berries (I had blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries this morning)
2 Tbsp Chia seeds (these babies are packed with nutrition!)
Optional: Shredded coconut
Combine ingredients in a mason jar and shake until incorporated. Place in fridge overnight and enjoy the next morning! (If you don’t have a mason jar you can always use a mug or bowl and just be sure to cover it once it’s in the fridge.)
How simple is that?
Let me know what your favorite Overnight Oats recipes are in the comments! I always love trying new flavors.
Posted 02-11-2017 at 01:12 AM by Jessica
Doing crafts with your kids is so important as it helps to fine-tune their motor skills and provides them with a creative outlet! Crafting doesn’t have to be complicated or pricey, there are so many great projects that require only a couple supplies, and they’re usually things you can find around the house!
Here are 3 of the easiest and most fun crafts I’ve found that you can do with your toddler.
I used to do this Golf Ball Paint Craft as a kid and I remember loving it. It’s super simple, but super fun and a really unique idea.
What could be better than finger painting with lots of different colors? Especially when stickers are used to leave white shapes behind. Get the full project instructions here.
I have to admit that this project has me really wanting to find some bubble wrap so that I can try it myself. There is just something so mesmerizing about the pattern of dots from the bubble wrap! Think of all the fun designs that could be made with this craft!
What are some of your kids’ favorite crafts? Let us know in the comments!
Posted 02-10-2017 at 09:02 AM by Jessica
Need something to keep your little one occupied and happy during tummy time? Or are you hoping for a quick fix to your 2 year olds’ meltdown? Try making a sensory bag! It’s super simple, only requires a few supplies, and it’s guaranteed to wow your kiddo.
All You Need:
A gallon sized Ziploc bag
Large bottle of hair gel (you can find one at the Dollar Store!)
Trinkets for inside the sensory bag (beads, buttons, rubber animals, marbles… just don’t use anything that could puncture the bag)
All You Do:
Fill the bag with the hair gel and the little items, then squish it around so that the toys are well incorporated into the hair gel. You can always add some sequins and glitter to give it a more interesting effect!
Then seal the bag and reinforce all of the sides with duct tape, folding it over each side so that no amount of pushing on the bag by your little one can burst it at the seams.
Viola! You’re all done! See how easy that was? Though it requires such minimal effort and costs no more than a couple dollars it will probably end up being your childs’ favorite toy for a while. The way the little toys or beads move around when the bag is squished is going to be so entertaining for them, and also has a really big calming effect as well!
Let me know how your kiddo liked their sensory bag in the comments!
Posted 02-9-2017 at 01:01 AM by Jessica
I’m not quite sure what it is about granola that makes it so darn expensive, but each time I’m in the cereal aisle looking at it I end up deciding to not grab any after looking at the prices or reading the ingredient list to see things I wouldn’t think are necessary in granola. Despite being a huge granola lover, I’ve gone without for a while, simply deciding to grab a box of Honey Bunches of Oats instead. Why it didn’t occur to me that I could make my own granola, I don’t know. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a recipe that I decided to try it myself, and it was so simple that I was embarrassed.
Here is the peanut-butter-honey version I made for breakfast this morning:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large cookie sheet.
Mix the oats, cinnamon and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Melt the peanut butter and honey either on the stove top or in a microwave safe bowl or mug. After they’re melted and mixed together add in the vanilla and stir well.
Pour the peanut butter mixture into the oats and mix until it’s all incorporated, then spread evenly on the greased cookie sheet. NOTE: the thinner the layer the more quickly it will get crisp, but if it’s too clumped up, it won’t cook evenly.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, checking on it frequently during the last few minutes as it can burn easily.
It’s that simple, really! I’m not sure why I thought that homemade granola would be a difficult process, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! This granola pairs really well with some yogurt and berries for a healthy breakfast, or just by itself for a healthy snack!
Posted 01-4-2017 at 11:42 PM by Jessica
When thinking of inexpensive meals Ramen has got to be on the forefront of that train of thought. A package usually sells for less than half of a dollar and it’s probably the easiest meal to make. You open the package, boil water, add the Ramen and seasoning packet, stir, wait a couple of minutes, and you’re done.
Top Ramen gets a bad rap though. It’s usually known solely as the meal reserved for broke college-students, and rarely is seen in a more positive light. Honestly, though, those crunchy Ramen noodles can be used in so many different recipes as they’re simply fast-cooking noodles. One of my favorite recipes that I’ve stumbled upon is this Ramen Noodle Stir Fry. It ditches the flavor packet and uses fresh ingredients like garlic, shiitake mushrooms and broccoli! That way you’re still keeping the meal inexpensive as the bulk ingredient is the Ramen noodles, but you’re not just consuming empty carbs and sodium, you’re adding some healthy vegetables in there, too!
For the full Ramen Noodle Stir-Fry recipe by Soup Addict click here.
I’m really curious though; do you prefer your Ramen to be just as it is, or have you found a variation that you like most? I used to think that I liked the standard way best, but that was before I tried a few different Ramen recipes, and now my mind has been changed.
Let me know what you do with your Ramen in the comments. Bon Appetit!
Posted 12-31-2016 at 11:43 PM by Jessica
It seems that each year the prices on party hats and decorations goes up more and more, making it difficult to get cute party supplies unless you have a big budget. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to fork up a lot of cash to have a festive celebration to bring in the New Year; you can easily make your decorations out of things you may have around the house or find some really inexpensive ones.
Something about New Year’s just screams glitter. I’m already obsessed with glitter, so I fully take advantage of any opportunity to use it in my New Years’ décor. Click this link to see how Something Turquoise made these cute glasses sparkle like this.
All you need are some balloons and markers for this one! Popping a balloon each hour is sure to be a huge hit! I really like this gold and black clock set up by Suburban Mom. Head over here for the full idea.
There’s no need to spend money on confetti if you already have paper on hand to use (which you likely do after Christmas)! Follow the easy instructions here if you want to make your own pretty confetti.
This one is really cute because it only requires some tinsel and cardboard! Get the full instructions here from Ruffled Blog.
Have a Happy New Years!