The TODAY Show is one of my favorite places to spend my mornings–especially when I get to share parenting hacks that I really LOVE. For my latest segment, I shared a few fan favorites and a few of my own favorites with Hoda and Jenna. Check out the segment below because I know you are going to LOVE the marshmallow boo boo pack and the burrito roll! Also can we talk about my hair and makeup? I swear the hair and makeup team have magical powers over there!
Eating out sure does change quickly when you have kids. But you don’t have to say goodbye to eating in a restaurant with your kids. You just need a few of my Restaurant Hacks. Here’s the latest from my Life Hacks web series TLCme LifeHacks. From games you can play with things that are already at the table, to mom hacks to remember for a quick exit if you need it, check out my latest video.
Sure your kids are cute but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they are super messy too. So to keep all that cuteness but cut down on the mess, here’s my latest from TLC–Messy Kid Hacks.
Grab those eggs (gently, very gently), round up the kids, and prepare to make a huge mess–maybe a few tears–but mostly fun, mostly. If you’re getting ready to dye eggs with your kiddos, don’t do a thing until you read my 7 Mom Hacks for dying Easter eggs over at TLC. Click right here to read the post!
I’m a firm believer that if your Mamma doesn’t make a HUGE fuss over your birthday, then who will? Now I’m not saying break the bank on every single birthday for over-the-top parties, gifts galore, and food better than what you had at your wedding, but here’s a few super special traditions that let your birthday boy or girl know you think they’re the bees’ knees and some easy Mom Hacks to take the stress out of throwing a birthday party.
The Big Day Hacks
Decorate Their Door– More than any party or gift, my kids are beyond ecstatic when they wake up on their birthday to find their bedroom doors covered in balloons, crepe paper, and a birthday sign. Decorating the birthday boy or girl’s door while they sleep is inexpensive, super easy, and so worth the payoff when they wake up to see their surprise. Decorated doors are now expected in this house and this year my kids decorated my door for my birthday—seriously, how sweet is that?
Cupcake Breakfast- Around here, if it’s someone’s birthday, you can bet there will be cupcakes for breakfast. Is it over the top, yes. Is a cupcake a good food choice for the morning, absolutely not. Is it a special treat your kids will love, you betcha. I have grand visions of sending cupcakes to my kids when they grow up and are off at college. Maybe it will be a reminder to call their Mom Every Single Day.
Birthday Present Scavenger Hunt– Make their birthday morning an adventure by leaving clues so the birthday kiddo has to go on a scavenger hunt in your house to find their present. The first clue can be waiting on their decorated door.
Birthday Party Hacks
Use What You’ve Got- If the party theme is also your child’s favorite toy, use those toys as part of the décor! Put those Octonauts in the punch bowl and let them go for a swim. Create a Hulk Smash cake with a Hulk action figure. Got a Minions crazed kiddo? Use their Minion figures to decorate the food table.
Pain Free Piñata– Confession: I loathe piñatas at parties. I know, I know, that’s a major kid party foul. Bring out a piñata and the kids get all Hunger Games and that paper candy holder usually isn’t the only fallen tribute. Save everyone a few black eyes and tears by filling your piñata with goodie bags rather than individual candy. When the piñata breaks, everyone grabs a bag and I can breathe a sigh of relief the piñata part is over.
Ice Cream Hack- Don’t get mobbed by ice cream hungry kids at your next party. Pre-scoop ice cream into cupcake liners, place them on a cookie sheet or metal baking tray and pop them in the freezer. When it’s time to serve cake and ice cream, you won’t be up to your elbows in the dessert.
Jazz Up The Balloons– Don’t spend a fortune on decor when you can grab bags of balloons from the Dollar Store and get a little crafty by:
- Adding tiny pom poms to the balloons
- Putting glow sticks inside for a glow-in-the-dark surprise
- Attaching the balloon strings to golf tees and lining the yard or driveway for a grand entrance.
Give Store Bought Cakes a Facelift– Save yourself a lot of money by using these tricks to turn ordinary store bought cakes into extraordinary birthday treats
- Make Glitter Sprinkles with ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoon of food coloring. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes on 350 degree and you will get Glitter Sprinkles! Yes, glitter sprinkles! Cover cakes, cupcakes, and cookies with this sparklely treat.
- Make fun designs on the cake using a cookie cutter or a Play-Doh Cutter as a stencil. Lay the cutter on the cake and fill the inside with colorful sprinkles. So cute!
- Add Jell-O to white frosting to change the flavor and add a rainbow of colors to your next cake
- Make your own cake topper by finding free images online and printing them on cardstock. Cut the images out, attach tiny skewers, and place the skewers in the cake for a special 3-D look
Balloon Drop- Want to hear the sounds of sheer joy? Create a balloon drop by taping two a plastic table clothes together with painter’s tape (the kind that is sticky but not too sticky). Attach a few long strings on the end of the seam. Attach the table clothes to the ceiling or a ceiling fan and fill with balloons. When you are ready for the drop, one good pull on the strings will make it rain balloons. Yay balloons!
Birthdays should just be really, really, really fun. After all, you’re a mom and that means you probably won’t get to blow your own candles out ever again. And, I’m OK with that.
This post originally ran on my other blog AmandaMushro.com
When you were a kid, was there anything better than hearing the words “SNOW DAY!”? I still feel that way when I have a snow day with my kids, but then that snow day turns into more snow days, and icy cold days, and just plain yucky days where it takes so much effort to leave the house. And then it happens, Cabin Fever sets in, and, friends, it’s not pretty.
Even if you’ve played all the games, crafted all the crafts, snacked all the snacks, and logged more hours in front of the TV and iPad than you will ever admit in public, the only true cure for the dreaded Cabin Fever is to get outside! But with young kids, that’s not always easy. It’s cold, they need so many layers, and inevitably someone will have to pee the minute you’re outside. So here are some Mom Hacks to make everything from getting out the door to settling in with hot coco a breeze.
Before Heading Out
Ditch the basket and organize everyone’s scarfs, hats, gloves and mittens in an over the door shoe organizer. This way every piece has a place and everyone can quickly grab what they need and put their pieces away when they come home.
Does your little one need help putting on their jacket all by themselves? Here’s a kid hack perfect for them!
No snow gear for your kiddo? Make warm and cozy leg and arm warmers for kids out of adult, wool knee socks (no cotton!) Cut off the toe and slip them on their arms or legs for warm, snuggly kids ready to hit the snow.
We want our babies warm and we know they need layers, but no one wants our kids like this…
Instead think like a fireman! Place their rain or snow boots inside the bottom cuffs of their snow pants. Roll the top of the pants down past the boots. Once your kids are dressed in their long underwear and second layer of clothing, have them step into the boots and pull up the pants (we always get the kind with the suspenders to make it even easier). We pretend that we’re fireman and play “firedrill” to see who can get dressed the fastest.
Mittens keep tiny hands warmer than gloves and are easier to put on. Save yourself the headache and buy packs of the same color mittens in case one goes missing.
The Great Outdoors
Let your kids get creative by mixing water and food coloring in spray bottles. Take the kids outside and let them “paint” the snow.
Did you put away all the sand buckets and shovels until next summer? Get them back out! These are the perfect tools for snow forts and castles.
Bubbles aren’t just for summer fun! Bring them back out when the weather is below 32 degrees. The bubbles will actually freeze! A little frozen science fun.
Warm hands and feet can help the good times outside last! Easily make DIY warmers from kids socks (infant socks are perfect!). Fill them with rice, tie the end with a ribbon, and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. The heat will last for 20 minutes. If you’re kids aren’t playing close to home, you can toss them in a tiny cooler. They’ll stay warm until you need them.
Never worry about slippery steps or sidewalks with this homemade and natural deicer
1 teaspoon dish soap
1 Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
½ Gallon of warm water
Mix and pour on sidewalks and steps for ice free days!
After All The Fun
Toss pajamas and blankets in the dryer before you head out to play in the snow. When you get back, everyone has warm, toasty clothes to put on!
Mittens and gloves stay wet and soggy if you just put them in a basket. So try placing them on an old curtain road with clothes pins to dry, or to speed drying time by placing a raised wire stacking shelf over a heating vent. Lay the mittens on top for a quick and easy dry.
Wet boots are no fun but will dry quickly if you put wads of newspaper inside the shoes. You might have to replace the newspaper if the boots are really soaked.
Cut down on the mess from those wet boots by leaving an old baking sheet by the door to set wet boots on.
Ouch! Chapped noses and lips are no fun. But a little bit of coconut oil on both soothes, heals and protects. Seriously, is there something coconut oil can’t do?
So when faced with Cabin Fever, don’t be scared or threaten to sell your kids to the highest bidder because every trip outside ends with hot chocolate for everyone, especially Mom. Plus chocolate fixes everything, and chocolate and Nutella REALLY fixes everything.
A basic rule of being a mom is that you are prepared for anything.
Kid hungry? No worries, you have a million snacks on hand at any given time.
Baby not feeling well? You’ve got this covered with mom hacks to make your little ones feel better ASAP.
Out at the mall and your kid finds a way to totally destroy their clothes? Well, lucky you, you’re in a mall. Just go buy them something!
So when you are driving around with precious cargo all day, you need an emergency kit in your car as well. They are easy to put together and if you ever need it, you’ll be so glad you took the time.I’ve got a great list of must haves for every mom that drives their kids here, there and everywhere! Click here to be transported to my How to make A DIY Car Emergency Kid