Posted 11-26-2017 at 04:37 PM by Jessica
Some kids love to take baths. For others, bath-time can be a real struggle. If your toddler does not get excited at the prospect of getting into the tub each night, you should give a few of these ideas a try!
Homemade & Natural Bath Crayons
Your kids will love these. They get to color all over the tub, their toys, themselves, and the best part is they’re actually getting clean at the same time!
All you need for this easy creation is:
- natural bar soap
- a few tablespoons of water
- non-toxic food coloring!
- Grate the bar soap into a medium bowl
- Add the water and a few drops of food coloring
- Stir, and once incorporated, knead into a paste
- Invite your kids over to help you mold these into fun shapes (placing the mixture into a cookie cutter or other mold for at least one day will help the crayon keep its desired shape)
- Let dry for an additional 2-3 days
- Once they’ve fully dried, they can be played with in the tub for hours!
Creative Bath Toys
A few new toys can work wonders in motivating your little man or lady to hop into the tub. If there are specific toys used exclusively for bath-time only, they may be more excited to take a bath if that’s the only time they get to play with that particular toy.
Make sure that the bath toys you do buy for your little one are PVC, phthalate and BPA free. So many bath toys on the market now contain harmful toxins that can easily be ingested by a toddler who loves to try drinking the bath water, or who often places the toys in his or her mouth.
Bubbles may be all you need to entice your kiddo to take a bath! Make sure to look for a Bubble Bath that is natural and free from harmful ingredients, or try making your own!
All you need is:
- 1 cup liquid Castile soap (make sure it’s the tear-free version)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp. vegetable glycerin (this makes for more bubbles, and moisturizes their skin!)
- essential oils of your choice (lavender is great for soothing crazy kiddos before bedtime)
Here comes the hard part… add the ingredients to a bottle and shake a few times to incorporate. (Just kidding, that’s not hard at all. Unless you don’t have the cap screwed on tight enough and you end up with a luxurious-smelling slippery mess…)
Add a couple tbsp. of your bubble bath solution to the running bath, and BOOM! You’ve got a relaxing, all-natural bubble bath for your toddler. He or she will love playing in the bubbles, and you’ll love that they’re playing in safe water that is cleaning and moisturizing their sensitive skin.
Give these ideas a try and see just how quickly your toddler finds that taking a bath can actually be a lot of fun!
**Remember, never leave your child unsupervised in the tub. Even just a couple inches of water and a few seconds alone can prove to be fatal.**
Posted 07-23-2017 at 07:18 AM by Jessica
This is the perfect recipe for the Busy-Bee.
If you’re like me, you find yourself working a lot and spending less time at home. I wanted to cook more, so I found this great dessert option that doesn’t bust my bank or my schedule! It is very quick and easy, with only 3 ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store, and since it’s so fast, you don’t have to worry about time!
These Orange Cream pops are perfect for an extremely hot day, and if you can bring yourself to share, I’m sure your family and friends will love them, too! I love coming back to these after a day at the pool, being outside, or just to have as a snack at any time of day. They are a great go to for me because I just don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day for me to make my own food, so this is one of the best recipes for dessert I have found!
Servings: 6 popsicles
- 1 c. of SunnyD or orange juice
- 1 c. of heavy cream
- optional: 1 tbs. of orange extract for more orange flavor
- Mix together the cream and SunnyD or orange juice, and taste. Add in the orange extract as needed.
- Pour your mixture into popsicle molds or paper cups, and freeze overnight!
Posted 07-19-2017 at 04:43 PM by Jessica
Need a summer-boredom cure?
Make your own sidewalk paint! It’s messy (but washable) and oh so much fun! Your kids will spend hours painting driveway masterpieces.
All you need are a few simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand. What I love most about this recipe is that the colors are so bright and vibrant – perfect for summer!
- ¼ Cup Cold Water
- ¼ Cup Cornstarch
- 1 T. Washable Paint (in your color of choice)
The paint-making process:
To start it off, get a bowl and stir together the water and washable paint until it reaches a smooth consistency. Next, slowly add in the cornstarch to this mixture. And that is it folks!
Yay! That’s it, you have now made washable sidewalk paint! If you’re interested, another option for mixing the paint together would be to get some jars and put all the ingredients into them and shake it up! I’ve always used popsicle sticks to stir but you can always use paintbrushes as well! Use whatever works best with the resources you have in your home, and enjoy! Once your kids are done painting all you have to do is rinse it off with water – it’s that simple! Have a blast!
Posted 07-10-2017 at 03:59 PM by Jessica
When life gives you lemons… make lemon-pie popsicles!
Hate the heat and love all things lemon? Then these are the recipes for you! I’m currently experiencing temperatures of 100 to 102 degrees, so these refreshing delicious recipes are what I will be living off of this hot summer! Not only do these taste good, but there is plenty of flexibility on the amount of healthiness in the ingredients.
The first recipe is for lemon pie popsicles. Popsicles are always a great go-to in the summer, and will feel much better than actual lemon pie because it is cold!
- 2 cups nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar
- For more lemon flavor, add ¼ cup of lemon extract
- Optional: 2 drops of yellow food coloring
- 2-3 crushed shortbread cookies
How to make:
- Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, and food coloring with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- With a spoon, scoop up equal servings of the mixture into paper cups or popsicle molds.
- Scatter about 2 teaspoons of the crushed cookies on each popsicle, and stir. Make sure to pack the crumbs on top (or bottom!) of the popsicle.
- To finally make them actual popsicles, place popsicle sticks or fun straws in the middle of each popsicle. Place them in the freezer for 4 hours, or overnight. When frozen, remove them from the cups or molds and then you have a yummy summer treat!
The second recipe is one for lemon pie milkshakes. I like to switch off between the two, or it’s just nice to have options for whatever you’re feeling at the moment. If you master the popsicles and want to try your hand at another nice cool treat, try the lemon pie milkshakes!
- 1 ½ cups of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
- 3 tbsp. of lemon pudding mix
- ½ cup of milk
- Crushed Nilla Wafers or shortbread cookies for topping
How to make:
- Put the ice cream, pudding mix, and milk in a blender and blend until there are no more chunks.
- Pour into glasses and top each glass off with the crushed cookies!
Posted 07-6-2017 at 04:28 PM by Jessica
I don’t think I’ve ever typed out the word “dawdling” before. I had to double check that I even spelled it correctly. I think it’s just one of those words that you use often when you’re speaking, but hardly ever when you write. It’s a fun word though, I really like it!
Anyways… I love the word, but I hate the action. Dawdling is a huge problem when it comes to kids and getting things done. With so many fun distractions though, you can’t really blame them for not getting things done as they should. Suddenly wiping down the counter has taken them a solid 15 minutes, and you don’t know that they’ll ever get through the dishes. This is where a timer comes in.
Almost everyone thrives on friendly competition. When you have the clock counting down while they’re doing the dishes, they’re racing against the clock to get everything done before time runs out! Truly, it’s so simple, but so effective.
You’ll have to play around with the timing a bit to see just how long each particular task may take that person, but in no time you’ll have the timer set to 30 minutes and everyone will be quickly getting through all their tasks.
Of course, the issue of quality may come up. You’ll want to let everyone know ahead of time that even though they are wanting to get their chores done fast, they need to be done correctly or they’ll have to do them over again – impacting their time greatly. And you may wonder what happens when the time runs out. No, that doesn’t signify that they’re done, everyone keeps going even after time runs out to finish their jobs.
Having the timer running brings in the element of competition, which seems to make everything a bit more fun; even folding laundry! It cuts WAY back on dawdling, and gets everyone through their tasks faster – freeing up lots of time! Even if it’s just me doing some basic tidying up, I always set the timer so I can stay focused. Give it a try and let me know how it worked for you!
Posted 06-22-2017 at 09:52 AM by Jessica
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a successful and fun birthday party! Here are 10 tips for planning a party on the cheap…
1. Set a budget: The most important thing about starting a party is your budget. Set the maximum limit of your budget and do not spend more than budgeted.
2. Guest list: The amount of money you spend can vary greatly depending on the number of guests. If you do it only for a small group of children your expenses will be much lower and if you consider that there will be adults, obviously the expense will be greater.
3. Date and time: The schedule is very important, plan it after lunch or after dinnertime so you can prepare only snacks, appetizers and other light foods. That way you can leave more free room in your budget for other things.
4. Location: The cheapest option is your house or in the house of a family member or friend – or if weather-permits at an outdoor park. If you choose to rent a place like a club house or a party room do it during the week and at earlier hours, as that will also reduce rental costs.
5. Using disposables: If you want to use disposable items for cups, plates, utensils, and tablecloths try to buy them at your local dollar store, or buy with coupons during a sale. And don’t throw out the extras, save them for the next time.
6. Food options: If you decide to have a lunch or dinner party ask your close family or friends to help you by bringing a favorite dish or snack. That way you aren’t spending as much and you will have a larger variety of foods. Plus, the dishes can be a great conversation-starter!
7. Drinks: Do not consume soda if you have the option of preparing fresh waters with flavors. Aside from being healthier, it can also be less expensive. Also, put names on the cups so the children and adults will keep their own, and prepare ahead of time to make your own ice.
8. Cake: Instead of shelling out a fortune on a cake from a bakery, try your hand at making your own! You can snag a box of cake mix for a couple bucks and whip up your own frosting from ingredients in your pantry. A couple dollars worth of sprinkles and fun candles will be all you need to make a cute cake.
9. Invitations: Do not spend money on paper invitations. Instead, use social networks like Facebook to create your own event with all of the details on your party. It’s easier to see who can attend this way, and all without spending a single dollar.
10. Decorations: Get creative with finding decorations for your theme. Balloons are fairly inexpensive, and can make a room feel very festive. You can also use decorations from a previous holiday or party, or ask to borrow decorations from a friend or family member. Remember not everything has to be of excellent quality; if your budget is limited there are always good options that don’t break the bank.
Posted 06-14-2017 at 10:00 PM by Jessica
Summer is officially HERE! Well, in terms of school being out it is. The first official day of summer according to the calendar is the June 20th, so we’ve got just a bit longer to go. As soon as the weather gets warm enough I transition from my boots, flats and sneakers to nothing but flip-flops. I’m honestly a very lazy person. So much so that even the thought of taking a few extra seconds to strap on sandals is enough to keep me wholeheartedly addicted to flip-flops.
Even if you aren’t a huge flip-flop wearer like I am, I doubt you’ll be able to resist how cute these flip-flop wreaths I’ve found are! They are the perfect symbol of summer, and you can usually score them for super cheap at Walmart or during a sale at Old Navy! Take a second to look through the following tutorials – then get crafting!
A few of my favorite flip-flop wreaths…
You can make this fun flip-flop “wreath” welcome sign in under 30 minutes! Now that’s my kind of craft! Head here for detailed instructions.
Head here for a tutorial on this style of flip-flop wreath. There are 6 different flip-flop wreath themes that A Day in the Life with TJ has crafted, from Patriotic to Wild Colors!
This last wreath is also super inexpensive to make, and has a cute flower in the middle! Check it out here.
Posted 11-12-2015 at 04:40 PM by Jessica
Growing up we always had a “kids table” on Thanksgiving. Being the youngest of 9 kids, I was always at the kids table, so I consider myself an expert. I’ve learned how to make the kids table, the most fun spot in the house on Thanksgiving Day. Here are a few ideas I’d like to share:
Make your own place mat:
Have a canister of crayons in the middle of the table. have a large rectangle sheet of paper under each plate. Let the kids make their own place mat. They can decorate it with their name, make a hand turkey, and more. More ideas for decorating: stickers, stamps, markers!
I am thankful for…
Have each child write a few sentences about the items they are thankful for.
Have a hand-turkey drawing contest. Have paper and crayons available. Have the kids trace each others hands (or their own if they can) and decorate their “hand turkey”. Put names on the BACK of the turkey. Let the adults choose their favorite!
Have a few crafts on hand. Beaded necklaces with Fall colors (beware of any choking hazards for the younger kids), pilgrim hats, and more.
We always used a white paper table cloth so the kids could doodle on the table. The younger kids loved tracing their plate and utensils right onto the tablecloth.
Have small books and toys readily available to squash boredom when the kids are done eating.
Waffle cone cornucopia:
Let each child have a waffle cone. Set candy corn (with pumpkins!) in the middle of the table and let them create their very own “cornucopia”
Posted 10-10-2015 at 12:33 AM by Jessica
Halloween Candy and Treats are delicious. I am not going to lie and tell you that I don’t look forward to a good handful of candy corn. But, all that sugar!!! I am not a huge fan of giving processed sugary foods to the kids. Halloween is one of those days that kids can get overloaded with junk. There are alternatives to sugar laden candy and treats. You can still celebrate with fun activities and fun healthy treats.
Packaged Healthy Treats
If you’re handing out Halloween goodies at your door, and want to steer clear of the heavy sugar candies, stop by big box stores for prepackaged healthier foods. Head to the aisle that you buy lunch box snacks. Options are endless. individual bags of popcorn, pretzels, goldfish, raisins, and more. You may want to steer clear of nuts if you’re handing out to other children.
I have found great deals on Halloween and Fall themed pencils at our local drugstores. And, pencils encourage writing, which is important for kids!
Another great inexpensive and educational item to hand out to kids on Halloween.
Most kids, even as young as toddlers, enjoy stickers. Have fun with them by choosing Halloween themed stickers that the kids will love.
Growing up, we had neighbors that would hand out quarters! It doesn’t have to be quarters, consider dimes or nickels too!
Many party stores offer toys for as little as 10¢ each if you buy a large lot. This is a great alternative to candy. And, they can keep it much longer as well!
Do you have any other ideas on alternatives to Halloween Candy?
Posted 09-14-2015 at 06:41 PM by admin
Over the years we have accumulated thousands of photos, souvenirs, trophies, awards, favorite clothes, stuffed animals, and more. I have boxes upon boxes of items to go through. I never knew how much a child could have….times four! Below are my 3 favorite ways to keep those memories organized and even on display!
Create a shadowbox: There are so many great themes for shadowboxes. One idea is to make one with all the items from the hospital. The hospital bracelet (moms and baby’s), first outfit, hospital hat, and fingerprint card! Shadowboxes can be hung on the wall or placed on a shelf. And, if they are preserved correctly, they can be given to the child when they have their first baby!
Scrapbooks: Scrapbooking has come a LONG way over the years. There are so many options and digital scrapbooking has become very popular. Scrapbooks can be made for each year of your child’s life. Or, make one for each month until they are one, and then one per year. Once your child is old enough, he or she can help create them!
Memory Quilts: Head on up to the attic and grab that box (or boxes) of baby clothes that you can’t bear to throw away and turn it into a beautiful and useful quilt! You can do this yourself or if you’re like me, head to a crafty friend’s home for some help.
Do you have a favorite way to save memories?