Archive | Moms

Best Apps for Busy Parents

As parents we know that our day can vanish as quickly as a bowl of popcorn on family movie night. We all have 86, 400 seconds in a day and that’s time that can’t be retrieved once it’s passed. Thankfully there are “helper tools” available to busy parents to help them gain back some precious seconds and keep their hectic lives on track.

Animal Sounds: You’re trapped in the doctor’s office with your restless child. The doctor is taking forever to come in and your child has lost all interest in books and tongue depressors. Its times like this that the Android app Animal Sounds can come in handy. This fun application is for kids of all ages and offers more than 35 pictures and sounds of both domestic and wild animals. Animals include: horse, cow, goat, cougar, donkey, lion, gorilla, penguin, frog, elephant, sheep, rooster, owl, alligator, turkey, baboon, raccoon, panther and lynx. Simply swipe the screen to go to the next animal and use the Play/Stop sound button to produce animal sounds. This free app may buy you enough time to keep your little monkey from resorting to swinging from the light fixtures to stay occupied.

Out of Milk: Picture this; you are at the grocery store aimlessly roaming the aisles trying your hardest to remember, “What else was on the grocery list?” Where is your grocery list? At home, on the kitchen counter, of course. Thanks to the ultimate list making Android app Out of Milk, you can avoid the “doh!” moment of forgetting your list at home. This app also eliminates the need to a pen with for checking off items on your shopping list. Simply tap on any item in your list and hold for about one second. The item will be crossed off with a single line. You can repeat this action to uncross an item on the list and Out of Milk will remember the history of your most frequently purchased items.

Chaos Control – GTD task management and To-Do lists: Need some help organizing your business and personal activities? Simple and effective, Android app helps to boost your productivity helps to prevent overwhelm and overload. This free and simple Android app helps create task lists which lead to clearly defined outcomes. A Project is a simple to do list, but it consists of actions related to a particular goal like “Double check softball schedule”, “Order new business cards”, or “Mail birthday invites.” Chaps Control also lets users differentiate between personal, family and business projects by allowing the grouping of projects and tasks in folders. Those lists of tasks can be review daily by using the Due Today option. If you are on the run and pressed for time, Chaos Control allows users to save all the incoming tasks, ideas or thoughts in Chaos Box to process them later.

These great mobile apps are just the ticket to relieve stress, get organized and gain back those precious minutes in your day.

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Cool (And Healthy) Summer Snack Ideas

Last summer our family fell victim to the “too much crap eating” syndrome. The over abundance of  tater tots, chips and mac-n-cheese soon became evident on everyone’s waistline so this year we have committed to finding some better Summer Snack Ideas and eating better during the summer months.

Honestly, this is no small task for our family of four incredibly picky human beings. Lucky for me, our 11 year old is going through a stage where he will eat virtually anything as long as it’s deemed “food.” In fact, he wears his new nickname of The Eating Machine with pride. The other two (hubby and 8 year old) not-so-much. Both are picky as heck and would be happy dining of mac-n-cheese and toast 365 days a year.

Undeterred, I have set off on a mission to find some fun new foods that are easy to prepare and healthy too. Here are some of my favs.

This Fruit Sushi from the The Kids Activity Blog is off-the-hook cool and I think is even something my fam would eat! I know I will scarf it down. We plan to make some this weekend.

DIY Fruit sushi, frushi.

Grab the recipe HERE.

Encourage your family to Eat Bugs! Here’s another sweet idea for The Kids Activity Blog:

healthy snacks

Yummy, Healthy Easy had the motherload of snack ideas too:

20+ Healthy Snacks for Summer! A great collection of guiltless treats you can enjoy all summer long!

I honestly don’t know if my 8 year-old would eat this, but this recipe made ME DROOL! Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

 Luckily, all four of us like yogurt and fruit so this might be a winner from Pillsbury

Berry Pie Trifle Shots

Crumbled pie crust layered between sweet yogurt and fresh berries, perfect for a tiny summer treat.

Berry Pie Trifle Shots

  • 1 Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 container (6 oz) Greek honey vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 container (6 oz) Greek blueberry or strawberry yogurt
  • 4 strawberries, sliced

Get directions here.

Trail Mix! We love trail Mix! Foodie Family has a great “GORP” Trail Mix idea that involves some of my kids favorite components (cereal, pretzels, choc chips). This is good road food and with one child with a peanut allergy, a safe one too.

Gorp, trail mix, scroggins... It's a delicious, quick pick-me-up no matter what you call it.


Summer Snack Food Grocery List

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Hummus
  • Fruit (and lots of it)
  • Canned baby sweet corn
  • Black Olives
  • Rice Cakes
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cheerios
  • Yogurt
  • Brown Rice or Jasmine Rice
  • Eggs (boiled eggs)

What great snack ideas do you have to share? Comment below!

Dinosaurs In The Sink & Other Things This Mommy is Grateful For.

I came across this story I wrote over two years ago (July of 2008, to be exact) and to this day it’s one of my favorite posts I’ve written. I thought a little “blast from the past” would be fun today. Enjoy 🙂

p.s Sunday Spotlight will resume next Sunday and I have an awesome Mom-In-Business interview to share with you!

Something happens to us humans when we become parents. Our world becomes narrow and completely focused on our squirmy pink bundles of joy. It doesn’t change much as they grow either. Everything they do is exquisite..monumental…. the coolest thing we’ve ever seen. As parents, we have so many things to be grateful for…but sometimes it’s hard to remember that when your 2-year old defies keeping her clothes on, and your five-year old mouths off for the 567th time that day.

There was a dark and sad time in our life when being a parent seemed to be out of reach. After years of trying, our dreams came true and we were blessed with a child. That seven year wait has (I think) taken our gratitude to a new level. I always try to look on the bright side of life, even during the difficult times. Parenting is no different. There will be ups. There will be downs. There will be times that all you want is five minutes with someone NOT saying your name. When those moments/days hit, I remind myself, this too shall pass..and these are the things I am grateful for: for:

1. The honor of frantically racking my brain at 5 a.m….trying to think of something we have in the house that starts with “Q” that our son can take to show-n-tell that day.

2. That car seat seat belt strap that never seems loose enough, and has enough twists in it to double as phone cord, may make me mutter under my breath…but at least I have a kid to put in that car seat.

3. As the baby wakes up for the third time in one night, I remind myself I would gladly go without sleep for the rest of my life as long as I never have to feel the empty ache of childlessness again.

4. As I face-plant on the living room floor in the middle of the night, I remind myself how empty my house would be without that plastic Stegosaurus I just busted my foot on.

5. As we rewind Elmo In Grouchland for the 16th time that day, I remind myself there is nothing good on TV anyway, and these days of snuggling on the couch with our toddler while watching a furry red monster will too soon be gone.

6. As my four-year old hangs on me, whines and basically becomes my third leg, I try remember that, though she wants and NEEDS my attention me now, there will come a day when she will be too cool to even give Mom and Dad the time of day.

7. Even though part of me silently groans at the price of Pull-ups and kids shoes, I am just grateful I have little butts and feet to put in them.

8. In ancient B.C. times (Before Children) getting 8 hours of sleep was a priority and I would go to great lengths to make sure I got it. Now, I will gladly forgo sleep completely just to make sure my child’s fever stays in check in the middle of the night. Tomorrow is a new day and another chance to get a better night’s sleep.

9. I quietly cuss under my breath every time I take one of my children to the Doctor and wait in the waiting room for 45 minutes, only to be told; “it’s only a virus. It just needs to run it’s course”. But at the same time I silently say a big “THANK YOU” that it isn’t a diagnosis that involves a specialist, biopsy, or surgeon.

What are you grateful for?

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The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings in Mom Squad Country

The other night, I read this book to our 7 year old. It’s an old fav in our house.

It’s a great kid’s book about being grateful about what you have, and not to worry so much about “keeping up with the Joneses”..Bear Country style, that is.

BUT apparently I wasn’t paying much attention to the message in the book because just an hour-or-so later, I was stomping about the house in TEARS (can you say PMS???) I had decided to throw myself a full blown Pity Party For One. I was miffed at myself, my world, my hubby (poor dude), and anyone else who dared cross my path.

 If the fish could have gotten out of the tank, I would have been pissed at them too.

I was P.O’d because I was “sick of our house”. SICK of the tininess. SICK of the 1/2 story with slanted ceilings, SICK of one bathroom for four people. Biotch, Biotch, Biotch.

For everyone’s safety..I went to bed.

The next morning with a clearer head I realized how petty & selfish all thinking that really was. How I needed to “count my blessings” like the Berenstain Bears.  I got up, kicked myself in the pants, and thanked God I HAD a nice house and roof over my head. That I HAD a beautiful family to share that roof with me.

Attitude Adjustment.. ACTIVATE!

I knew I needed to be grateful for what I already HAD and stop wallowing in “what should be”. I’m lucky. I really have very little to complain about. Don’t even get me started on stories of friends who have lost jobs, then houses over the last few years. Or loved ones.

Then I read an absolutely amazing post from friend, fellow blogger, and future Mom Squader Laura  over the The Rad Life . WOW, girlfriend. She really reinforced my whole little “Mama Drama” scene that sometimes we need to stop, re-adjust, and re-remind ourselves that though our lives are not perfect, what we have it still a blessing. Please give it a read. It is SO worth it.

Good job Laura

Now back to YOU..o’valued readers….

What are YOU grateful for??

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