Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer Fun

So far this summer my kids are really into:

Pete the Cat. We can't stop singing some of his songs from the books.

They have also been crazy about Traffic cones we got from Oriental Trading Company. They love making bike trails and obstacle courses with them.

They also have added selling candy to their lemonade stands but of course they end up eating most of it themselves.

Oriental Trading always has the best products for summer fun!

What have you been up to this summer? 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

More Play and Imagination with Hide-a-boo Hideouts

Have you noticed that kids these don't seem to play and use their imagination like we did as kids? With the ever increasing technology, gadgets and growing schedules playtime just isn't what it use to be. If you want to change this then check out Hide-a-boo Hideouts!

Hide-a-boo Hideouts are here to encourage play for all kids. Hideouts are forts that slip over a card table for easy set-up and are a home base for adventure. Created with a puppet backdrop on one side and on top, an aerial view map that's also a play mat. Hideouts are incredibly versatile, giving kids endless opportunities for creative and imagination inspired play.
Included with the Hideouts are printables called Teachables. They give busy parents on the go a built in and pre-planned way to encourage play and learning. Simply print out the Teachables from the website and Hide-a-boo provides lots of fun activities to keep kids imagining.
If you want a Hide-a-boo Hideout hurry and head over to Kickstarter and place your order because they will only be available there for the low price of $29 until July 14th.

Monday, June 20, 2016

How to Cook Ribs

Here is the quick, easy way to make ribs according to my husband (Trav the Butcher). He thinks this is the best way to make them.

First season your ribs using your favorite rub.
We were excited about trying this new
Smoky Bourbon Spice Set. It comes with three different seasonings. Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt, Bourbon Smoked Paprika, and Bourbon Smoked Pepper.

Cover ribs and bake in the oven for 2-3 hours at 200-250 degrees. Temperatures and time vary based on your oven. Then brown the ribs on the grill on medium for about 10 minutes.

Easy right?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Make Your Own Olympics T Shirt

Since the Olympics are just around the corner I thought I would share this free printable so you can make your own Little Olympian t shirt. Brody and I made this one for the last summer Olympics and he loved it!

All you need is a printer, iron on transfer paper, a shirt and an iron. Simply follow the instructions that come with your iron on transfer paper.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Finding Dory Lunchtime Favorites Sale

Tupperware has put together the perfect summer lunch set for the new upcoming release of Finding Dory. Plus the Fridge Stackables Family Set is perfect for summer picnics. I love mine!

To place an order email me at

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friends of Friends Sale

I just want to share with you that Graphic Image and GiGi New York are having their friends of friends sale. 15 % off site wide June 6th- 12th.
Go check it out!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

7 Money-Saving, Kid-Friendly Home Renovation Strategies

Children are Great Home Helpers! 


7 Money-Saving, Kid-Friendly Home Renovation Strategies

            When it comes to home renovating, saving money, and children, most people simply hire a babysitter while they work on a DIY project. There are fun ways to ditch the babysitter and save money by including your children as little home helpers.

            Every home project should be aimed at increasing home value. Without cutting corners, make the most of your next project by taking advantage of the situation. Make your next home renovation project enjoyable, lucrative, and family-friendly with these child-centered home renovation activities.

Project 1: De-Stash for Cash
Enlist your children to help with the renovation ‘clear out’. Save money by listing unwanted items on Craigslist, and have them help you decide what to list and for how much. Your children will love throwing around some old toys and home items, it will bring in some extra cash, and save you the headache of bringing unwanted items to the donation sites. Need help with the Craigslist process? Check out this guide.

Project 2: Play ‘Shop Owner’
Children love to play ‘shop’ no matter what age group. Let your kids be a part of the renovation process and save some money by having a yard sale, and putting in some of their items, along with some of the renovation cast-away items up for sale.

If you’re shopping for items to install or food for a quick meal, visit your local co-op for eco-friendly, lower cost items to bring into the home, and include them in the choosing and purchasing process.


Project 3: Play Decorator
When choosing what materials to use, or what colors to paint a room, invite your child’s input. Beforehand, let them know they are participating in a group decision, and you want everyone to make a vote. Helping to decide what will go into the home empowers them and helps build ‘teamwork’ experience.

Moreover, depending on the project, you can also allow your children to pick one aspect of the renovation project that is ‘theirs’. Choosing one item for a new room, for example, will provide valuable critical thinking experience as well as decision making practice.

Project 4: Enjoy the Chaos
Renovations can be a difficult time for everyone involved. Turn a chaotic situation around by embracing it. Rather than escape the house for fun excursions during the renovations, save some money by taking advantage of the mess.

Have an impromptu living room camp-out, complete with tent, flashlights and ghost stories. Plan a fort-building session with painting tarps, stepladders, big buckets and pails and other safe items you can find, either in the area about to be renovated or in another room entirely. You can always organize later!


Project 5: Construct and Destroy
Home DIY renovations can be fun, cost effective and very rewarding. For your DIY projects, give the kids some items that are safe for them, in a safe space, to allow them to feel what it’s like to use their hands, get dirty, and have some construction fun. Check out this resource for more fun tutorial ideas!

Children learn from every experience they encounter. Take advantage of this process for them to learn about tools and the rewards from a job well done. Let them find their plastic toy hammer, and hand them an extra plank of wood. Let them smash, pound and be loud! Give them a paintbrush and some paint and let them paint on the wood at a safe distance while you work. Talk to them about what you’re doing and why. Let them put on safety goggles, put on work boots and, even get them an apron to be a part of the home construction project.

Project 6: Rent Your Extra Rooms
Whether you are going away for a period of time or have extra rooms in your home, renting a room is an amazing way to earn some extra money and build home value. Get the children involved by having them be the breakfast ‘cookers’ of the home. Guests love breakfast, especially free breakfast, and including your kids is a perfect way to keep the money flowing in.

While I love this tip, it is important to make sure you know how to find the best renters. Especially with a family, it is important to know who is going to live in your home. Airbnb, HomeAway and Craigslist are good places to start. However, when trying to find out more information about a renter, there are great resources out there, like this one, that keep all information private and still show any history of violence or bad rental outcomes.


Project 7 (A&B): Start a Kid’s Garden
Whether the renovations are outside or inside, offset some improvement costs by starting up a community or private garden. It’s an excellent way to save money and get kids involved in a home project. Furthermore, a garden itself is a huge home value builder!

A.      Home Garden. A home vegetable garden can provide food for the family for a whole summer, or even through a winter, at a fraction of the cost of regularly purchased grocery produce. One bag of potatoes, can cost anywhere from $2-$5 dollars, but a few potatoes planted in the garden will make more potatoes for years to come. Include carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, spinach, lettuce and beets, and you have an array of healthy foods for the initial cost of just the seeds some dirt, and a few hours or family fun.

B.      Community Garden. If you have ample space, convert landscaping in your front or backyard, and start a community garden. Post an ad in you online community bulletin, or just a sign in your yard, and offer up backyard or front-yard space to neighbors to come in and plant for a monthly fee. Include your kids in the planning, advertising, communicating and pricing process for an exciting family home-business adventure!

Need more garden help? Check out this resource for a great place to start!

Renovating to improve your home value doesn't need to be an emotionally and financially draining ordeal. With these tips, and some creativity, patience, and resourcefulness, you can save money and offset a portion of the costs, while also creating a great bonding time and learning opportunity for every member of the family.

Author Bio: Hank loves ice cream, Sour Patch Kids, and DIY projects that save money. He is a new landlord and loves to blog about the home. He hangs out on Twitter @hombyhank when he is not in the garden or working on a new project.