5 Of The Best Healthy After-School Snacks

Posted on August 29th, 2016 by Uncategorized

Raw Organic Homemade Trail Mix with Nuts and Fruits

After a long day at school kids tend to get very hungry. The hours between the end of school and dinnertime are usually filled with frantic snacking and the persistent “what’s for dinner?” Kids are not likely to spend time putting together a healthy snack, and most often want to go for what’s most convenient and fast. Most of those quick options end up being bags of chips or cookies, which are not great choices. I have put together a few of my favorite after-school snacks that are easy enough to be thrown together quickly (whether you do it for them, or you teach them how to make it) and are filled with nutrition to get them through their homework before dinner-time.

Peanut Butter Banana “Sushi”

This is so simple, it won’t take you longer than a couple minutes to spread peanut butter on a banana, roll it in Rice Krispie cereal, and slice! Here is a great post that has some visuals.

Ants on a Log

If Ants on a Log don’t scream after-school snack, I don’t know what does. The standard peanut butter and raisin variety was always my favorite, until I discovered all of these other variations of the classic snack. It doesn’t get much cuter than “Ladybugs on a Log!”

 

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

This is probably the easiest one yet! Skewer some grapes, strawberries and kiwi along with a few cubes of your favorite cheese!

Apple “Cookies”

Another cute finger-food to add to the list with protein-packed peanut butter! Check out the simple recipe here.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

This isn’t just your standard strawberry banana smoothie, it’s made with both almond milk and almonds to add some protein into the already fiber and vitamin-filled smoothie. 

 

It doesn’t have to take much time to put together something healthy to tide your kids over until dinner is done. After a long day of classes they’re in need of an energy boost, and these simple recipes all provide that for them.

 

Let us know what your kids’ favorite after-school snacks are in the comments!


Save Money On School Supplies

Posted on August 25th, 2016 by Uncategorized

 

Shopping cart with school supply and apple in front of blackboard. Back to school concept

Summer has almost come to an end, meaning School is about to begin! Do you have visions of pencils and folders floating in your head? Does the school-supply section give you anxiety when you pass it in the grocery store? Do the outrageous price-tags on backpacks keep you up at night?

If so, you have come to the right place. Do not worry, I have compiled a list of different ways you can score big on school supplies this year so you can have some peace-of-mind during your school shopping.

 

See What You Already Have

Lots of school supplies can be re-used. Resist the temptation to buy the brand new sparkly pink scissors if your daughter already has a pair from last year. Instead of buying a bunch of new mechanical pencils, just stock up on some led and re-use the ones you already have. Rulers, pencil cases and backpacks can all be re-used if they’re still in good condition.

Shop At The Dollar Store

Dollar Stores have a wide variety of school supplies and organizational tools for a much better price than the typical store. You can stock up on dollar pencil cases that may normally be $5 elsewhere!

Head To A Garage Sale

This time of year there are lots of garage sales each weekend. Stop by a few of them and see if you can grab some gently-used supplies. Lots of times they will even have brand new items!

Coupon, Coupon, Coupon!

This time of year there are loads of great coupons out there for school supplies. Before heading out for your shopping trip check our coupon section for the best deals on school supplies. That way you’ll head to the store feeling prepared and ready to snag the best prices!


The Do’s And Don’ts Of Flying For Cheap

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by Uncategorized

View from eye to eye on the plane on taxiway

 

I am not a driver. Even a destination that can be reached in 5 or 6 hours of driving is usually reached by plane if I can help it. Of course, airline tickets can be expensive and in some cases it is smarter and easier on your wallet if you simply drive. In the cases when driving is not possible, or you just can’t stand the thought of sitting in the car with screaming kids for hours on end, go ahead and book those airline tickets! But keep in mind that you don’t always have to pay an outrageous amount. Here are a few do’s and don’ts I’ve found helpful for keeping flying affordable.

1. DO: Book your flight early

For in-country flights prices usually skyrocket within 2 weeks from the departure date. International flights usually see increases from about 3 months prior, so be sure to book as early as you can to avoid a price increase.

2. Don’t: Book your flight too early

Yes, I’m contradicting myself here. While it is important to stay out of that last 2 weeks or few months for international travel, the prices on tickets fluctuate so much that prices may drop if you wait a bit. This unpredictable waiting game was the worst until I discovered Hopper. It’s an app that sends you notifications for price fluctuations. It also lets you know if it expects prices to drop lower in the future! There may be other programs out there that do the same type of thing, look around and try them out!

3. Do: Shop around

Just because one site has a great price doesn’t mean another can’t beat it! Make sure you check multiple sites and airlines before committing.

4. Don’t: Rule out other airports

Simply flying into Orange County vs LAX could save you quite a bit of money, you just may have to drive a little further to your hotel. But if the price is right, you could still end up saving!

5. Do: Limit checked bags

This varies between airlines, but most airlines will allow each person one carry-on and one personal item (a laptop or small bag). Try to pack all of your necessities into the carry-on’s and avoid paying for checked bags. If you do need to take items that need to be checked, try to keep them to a minimum so that you’ll only have to check one bag. If you end up getting on a flight that is full often times they will allow you to gate-check your carry-on bags for free to clear up overhead space. Take advantage of this!

 

Please leave me a comment about what tips you have for flying on the cheap!

 


Ever wonder how old you REALLY are?

Posted on August 22nd, 2016 by Uncategorized


Have a messy kid? Enter them in this contest! Win big!

Posted on August 15th, 2016 by Uncategorized


Ebates – Get Cashback for Shopping

Posted on August 14th, 2016 by Uncategorized

Think of Ebates as a local mall with over 1,200 different stores but with one huge difference. Online stores pay Ebates a commission (think of it as a finders’ fee) on every sale and they split this amount with the consumer. Each store pays a different commission so users will save different amounts at different stores; users just have to look at the percentage next to the store name to see how much they will save.


Inexpensive Birthday Morning Surprises

Posted on August 12th, 2016 by Uncategorized

chevron birthday candles on pancake stack

Nothing is better in a child’s mind than waking up to it finally being their birthday. This is a day that they’ve waited 364 days for. Even though it’s bound to already be super exciting, you can help to make it even more fun with a few surprises that they can wake up to.

1. A Banner. You can make your own “Happy Birthday” banner, or you can buy a cute one from the store. String it from the ceiling or across the window. When they wake up to your message reminding them (as if they really need reminding) that it’s their birthday, they’ll be extra excited.

2.  Balloons Everywhere. If they open their eyes and see colorful balloons all over their room, maybe a few helium on the ceiling and a bunch tossed on the floor and dresser, they’re going to definitely wake up on the right side of the bed.

3. A Surprise Outside Their Window. Toss rocks at their window until they wake up and look out. Have a big banner outside, a chalk mural, or a bunch of balloons. (If it’s still dark outside, stick glow sticks inside the balloons, they’ll glow!)

4. Birthday Pancakes. Waking up to the smell of homemade pancakes is always what I remember from my birthdays growing up. My parents would always make mine into a Mickey Mouse shape, and then top it with candles. Then everyone would sing “Happy Birthday” and I’d blow out the candles just like I would on a birthday cake. Regular pancakes would work just fine, but these Cake Batter Pancakes would be a hit!

5. Confetti. Nothing beats waking up to the popping of those little confetti shooters. Though you’re sure to startle them at first (which is part of the fun) they’ll love the raining down of confetti everywhere.

6. Scavenger Hunt. Place the first clue by their pillow, and then have it lead them, clue by clue, to a present they get to open that morning!

 

Whether you do just one of these or a combination of a few, you’ll make their day for sure. It doesn’t have to cost much money, it’s just the thought you put into it and the element of surprise that they will cherish in their memories forever.

 

Do you have any fun Birthday Morning Surprises? Let us know in the comments!


30 Of The Best Parent-Child Date Ideas

Posted on August 11th, 2016 by Uncategorized

Young man and his daughter making pastry in the kitchen

Some of my fondest memories are when I got to have one-on-one time with each of my parents. I remember going to see the Lizzie McGuire Movie when I was 8 with my mom, and it was one of the most fun memories I have. We were the only ones in the theater, and we saw a showing that was later than I was usually able to stay up for. After the show we headed to the grocery store to grab some treats, and we had such great conversations the whole time! My parents made it a point to have time with each of us kids individually as we were growing up, and I think that it is so important that every parent does that at least a couple times. It’s just so crucial that kids can have the full attention of that one parent, even if it’s just for an hour. It presents an opportunity for that child to open up to that parent and feel more comfortable asking questions and talking about things that are personal to them. No matter what the age, one-on-one “dates” can help forge stronger relationships and form great memories.

It’s not always easy to come up with something that can be fun for both the parent and the child, so I’ve compiled a list for you! They could be big things that you need to plan ahead of time, or impromptu activities that can be done any day at home. Pick a few of these and start planning the dates today!

1. Go Pokemon-Go Hunting (trust me, your kids will think you’re the coolest if you take them to look for a rare Pokemon)

2. Take a class together (cooking, painting, dance… etc)

3. Walk to a park

4. Track down a favorite food truck for lunch

5. Ride scooters or bikes around the neighborhood

6. Get dinner at their favorite restaurant

7. Let them stay up past their bed time as you do an activity at home together

8. Finger paint masterpieces together

9. Buy a bunch of LEGOS and build something together

10. Cook a meal (pizza is always a fun one)

11. Go volunteer somewhere together

12. Head to the movies (make sure to plan time to talk about the movie afterwards, as there isn’t much talking during the movie itself)

13. Fly a kite

14. Hike a fun trail together

15. Get all dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant (this is a great opportunity to teach manners)

16. Pretend to be photographers and take pictures around the neighborhood

17. Mini Golf

18. Challenge each other at an arcade

19. Play your child’s favorite video game with them

20. Paint each others nails (dads, I’m sure your daughter would love you to paint her nails and let her return the favor!)

21. Go to the museum

22. Picnic at the park

23. Create your own slip ‘n slide in the Summer

24. Board game night

25. Go horseback riding

26. Go to an amusement park

27. Head to the bookstore and pick out a book for each other

28. Have a tea party

29. Watch a baseball or basketball game together

30. Pick fruit at an orchard

 

These are just a handful ideas compared to the hundreds of fun activities that are out there! If you’re feeling stumped, you can always ask your child what they’d like to do, I’m sure they have lots of great ideas. These dates don’t have to be planned out completely, they don’t have to cost money, and they don’t even have to last all night. Just spend some quality time with your kids doing something that you both enjoy, one-on-one, and you’re sure to make lasting memories.


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