I Want My Kids To Know They Can Mess Up

boys smile

As a mom, I mess up ALL THE TIME!

Before having kids, I knew exactly how parenthood was going to be, exactly how I would handle problems, melt downs, etc.  And honestly, with my first son, things were going pretty smoothly and according to my plan.  Then came my second son-and everything went out the window.  Our oldest began competing for attention, and by this, I mean he started making some pretty bad behavior choices.  And as an exhausted mommy, so did I.

It’s not everyday that I feel proud of my parenting ability.  Sometimes it takes a few days to go by to feel as if I’m doing anything right.  Have I cried myself to sleep after a stressful day full of meltdowns? Absolutely.  Have I gone to sleep with my last thought being how my sons showed amazing manners to a complete stranger?  Yes.  As we all know, there are good moments and there are bad moments.  On days when the bad outnumbers the good, it’s HARD to feel like you’re doing anything right.  But I know I try.  And I try, and try and try…but the patience runs out and other life stresses take their toll.

There is one thing I know I am doing right.  I am letting my kids know it is ok to mess up.  Every single night I talk to my boys about the day and I make sure to apologize if I’ve lost my temper or handled things the wrong way.  We also review our day together and discuss what was the most fun, what we thought was best, and also we talk about situations that went wrong, how they could have handled things differently to make things better, and what choice they can make the next time.  I make sure to also discuss how we all could have handled things differently in certain situations.

We talk EVERYDAY about how it is ok to mess up.  That EVERYBODY does it.  That every single person on the face of the earth makes bad choices and/or has a bad day.  But how you handle the mess up defines who you are.  You can fix the mess up and make things better or you can throw a tantrum (or a toy) and make things worse.  You can try to blame someone else (“but he hit me first”) or you can take responsibility for your own actions and FIX THEM.  You can be the solution to the problem or make the problem even bigger.

So yes, I probably raised my voice today.  Yes, I may or may not have threatened to take away a Christmas toy or a future playdate-BUT-I said I was sorry and I FIXED the problem.  I talked it out, kissed it out, and hugged it out-and we moved on.

My kids know it’s ok to mess up.  But they also know they need to fix their mess ups and try to make things better.

 

Free Book: 7 Day Smoothie Weight Loss Plan

smoothie weight loss

I’m a huge fan of smoothies!  My family has one every single morning for breakfast and it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients-and they are delicious enough that even the kids like them!

Right now you can get 7 Day Smoothie Weight Loss Diet Plan – How to Construct a Perfect Smoothie & Use it to Lose 2 Pounds Every Week [Includes 29 Smoothie Recipes]for FREE!  Don’t have a Kindle, no problem!  Simply download this appto read the book on your phone, PC, or iPad!

7 Day Smoothie Weight Loss Diet Plan” provides you with the 3 exact steps you need to take to do this diet, as well as a quick start checklist to make sure you are armed with everything you need to be successful, and start losing 2 pounds of unwanted body fat every week as long as you use the plan. 

Also included in this guide as a bonus is a Smoothie Lifestyle Diet Plan for you to use when you transition off of the 7 Day Smoothie Weight Loss Diet Plan, as well as 29 weight loss smoothie recipes to help keep you inspired and motivated.

Remember, Amazon can and will change prices at anytime!

Free Book: How To Stick To A Diet!

stick to diet

I hear a lot of complaints about how hard it is for some people to stick to a diet plan, especially during the holidays.  Perhaps this free book will help!

Right now you can get the How To Stick To A Diet: The Ultimate Guide To “Hacking” Your Brain For Unstoppable Motivation And Lifelong Diet Successfor FREE!  Don’t have a Kindle, no problem!  Simply download this appto read the book on your phone, PC, or iPad!

In “How To Stick To A Diet”, you’ll discover what the most recent psychological research has uncovered can be done to unlock the motivation you need to reach your health, fitness and weight loss goals – regardless of willpower.

You’re about to discover…

* Why losing weight through dieting can backfire causing a person to end up more overweight down the road, and what is essential if you want to keep fat off FOREVER.

* The truth about why “diets don’t work” is both true AND false! (The truth may surprise you!)

* How 4 core emotional wants (that dictate your behavior) can make it impossible to stick to a diet unless you start to use them the right way.

* How changing one word you say can flip a switch in your brain to generate willpower on demand.

* 3 “mind hacks” that instantly changing your feelings towards any foods! With these tricks in your tool belt, you’ll know exactly how to stop any food addiction.

* Why it’s almost impossible for you to fail when you take the one simple approach most people don’t even try!

Remember, Amazon can and will change prices at anytime!

Homemade Gift-Hot Cocoa Mix

Yesterday I asked for frugal, fun, and easy Christmas gifts and I got some great responses! Above is one sent in by Grace B!

This recipe makes a lot! It could probably easily fill four jars like the ones in the picture.
1 box (1 lb, 10 oz) nonfat dry powdered milk
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
16 ounces Amaretto flavored non-dairy creamer
11 ounces plain non-dairy creamer
1 box (1 lb) powdered chocolate milk mix
1/2 tsp salt
Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl until well blended.
Store in airtight containers.
To serve: Mix 3 heaping tablespoons into 6 oz hot water (or milk, if you prefer)

DIY Santa Christmas Ornament

santa ornament

We love making and giving Christmas ornaments during the Holiday season!  Here is an easy DIY Santa Christmas Ornament that was super easy to make!

DIY Santa Christmas Ornament

Materials:

Round Clear Plastic Ball Ornament
Red & Black Paint
Gold Glitter
Glue
Paint Brush

Directions:

1.  Paint the entire ornament red to create your Santa suit.

DSCN6579

2.  Have your child paint a black line all the way across the middle and allow to dry.

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3.  Using glue, draw a square in the middle of the black “belt” and then cover in glitter.

4.  Shake off extra glitter and allow to dry.  It’s now ready for your tree or a gift box!

These ornaments are easily personalized-simply paint your message on the front or using a Sharpie marker write on the back.  We leave the back of our ornaments paint free if we are planning on using a Sharpie marker because the marker will take the paint off.

Christmas Crafts For Kids-Lots Of Ideas!

christmas crafts for kids

If you’re looking for Christmas Crafts for Kids, look no further than this list!

 

My friends and I have come up with a huge list of awesome Christmas crafts for kids this year!  Don’t forget you can find more crafts for kids under my Kids Frugal Fun page and if you’re looking for Elf ideas, check out my Elf on the Shelf Ideas page!

 

Paper Plate Santa

Christmas Mouse

Countdown to Christmas Bell and Chain

Christmas Handprint Wreath

Snowmen Handprint Ornament

DIY Snow

Snowman Lightbulb Ornament

candy cane ornament

Candy Cane Ornament

Homemade Gift Tags and Bags

Thumbprint Ornaments

Footprint Reindeer

santa toilet

Toilet Paper Santa and Rudolph

Mistle”Toes” on Canvas

Gingerbread Man Candy Dish

Twine Candy Cane Ornaments

Graham Cracker Santa Snack

DIY Snowman Shirt

 

More Christmas Fun:

Christmas Jokes for Kids

Christmas Traditions and Fun Ideas

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

The Mavens of Money group is comprised of 11 bloggers: MadameDeals | The Coupon Challenge | Mom On Dealz | Coupons are Great | This Mama Loves | A Frugal Chick | The Centsible Family | Stretching Your Budget | Penny Filled Pantry | Freebie Spot | Saving Toward Better Life

DIY Candy Cane Tapers

candy canes tapers

I love Christmas and decorating the house.  The kids love candy canes so I thought…”Why not create some candy cane tapers?”

Candy Cane Tapers

 

Materials:

  • 2 Taper Candles ($ store)
  • 2 Candle holders ($ store)
  • Red Tape, Ribbon, or Paint ($ store)

 

Directions:

1. Paint candle holders red.  Allow to dry.  You may need to paint several layers on the holders depending on the type of paint you use.  I used acrylic and one coat seemed fine.

2. Apply tape or ribbon to the taper in a striped pattern.  I used tape from the craft store (only 99 cents) but I recommend ribbon.  When we turned on the heat this week, the tape kept peeling off.

That’s it-easy peasy!   This craft cost me a total of $2.99 to create.  I already had the taper candles and paint on hand so I only had to buy the red tape and candle holders!

Be sure to check out my easy Thanksgiving Craft using the same idea!

*Note*  These candles are “looks” only.  I do not suggest burning a candle you’ve put any other material on or around!

Easy Thanksgiving Crafts-Thanksgiving Candles

thanksgiving candles

Looking for an Easy Thanksgiving Craft?  These Thanksgiving Candles are super easy and make beautiful Thanksgiving centerpieces!

Thanksgiving Candles:

Materials:

  • Taper Candles
  • Orange Ribbon
  • Orange, Red, Brown Paint
  • Masking Tape & Scotch Tape

 

Directions:

  1. For the ribbon candle, directions are very simple.  Wrap each candle with the ribbon and secure with scotch tape.
  2. For the painted candle, you’ll need to first cut and wrap thin pieces of masking tape around the candle.

DSCN6366

3.  Using your 3 colors of paint, alternate painting the colors the entire length of the candle.

4.  Allow paint to dry.  This part is important.  I didn’t the first time and it was  a MESS that resulted in me having to redo the candle.

Good Temporary Hair Dye

hair dye

My friend Tracey posted this sort of “homemade hair dye recipe” on her Facebook page and I just had to share!  This is a good temporary hair dye if you have blond hair and very frugal also!

Directions:

(preface)Only use washable markers. These cost $2 at Dollar General.

tracey 1

 

1.  Break open the chosen color and take out the inside color that is wrapped in a clear tube.

tracey 2

2.  Drop it inside of a spray bottle ($1 at Dollar General) filled with warm water about 1/2 way (the less water you are able to use the more concentrated the color will be).


tracey 3

3.  Shake and shake and shake until it turns the water a dark color of your marker.

4.  Sprayed where you want the color. Note the towel placed under the hair to protect clothing/skin.

5.  Blow dry.

6.  Done!

How To Make An Easy and Inexpensive Thanksgiving Wreath

 

turkey wreath

 

How To Make A Turkey Thanksgiving Wreath 

 

 Are you looking for a super easy and frugal Thanksgiving Wreath? This is IT!  This craft only cost me $4 and took me about 20 minutes to make! All materials were from the Dollar Tree except for the glue gun and tape that I already had around the house.

Materials:

materials

Foam Wreath Circle
Pilgrim Craft Kit
Fake Fall Leaves
Ribbon With Fall Theme
Hot Glue Gun
Brown Crayon and Black Marker

Directions:

1. Wrap ribbon around the foam circle and secure in place with hot glue.
2.  Color the back of the ribbon label and create a turkey face.

turkey head process

 

3.  Attach the leaves from the craft kit to finish the turkey face.  Glue the  leaves on the face to create the turkey tail.
4. Attach the turkey to the wreath and it’s complete!

turkey wreath

Halloween Party Recipes: Halloween Dipped Pretzels

dipped pretzels

Everyone loves dipped pretzels but not many like the hassle of melting chocolate.  I have found a solution to this dilemma that everyone raves about.  In fact, I made these at the beginning of the school year last year and my son’s teacher requested them for every party for the remainder of the year!  The awesome thing about these Halloween Dipped Pretzels is that you can use this recipe for ANY holiday or occasion, just change the colors of the sprinkles and frosting!

Halloween Dipped Pretzels:

Materials:
Pretzel Rods
Canned Frosting (your choice)
Sprinkles (to fit your holiday)

Directions:
1.  Open frosting at room temperature (do NOT use refrigerated frosting, your pretzel will break).
2.  Dip pretzel in frosting and swirl until about half of it is covered.
3.  Cover frosting with sprinkles and enjoy!

How easy is that?  These literally take me less than 10 minutes to make an entire class set!

Love this? Check out my other other Halloween crafts and the Popcorn Jack-o-Lanterns!

Maybe you’re looking for an appetizer recipe?  You’ll love my Weight Watchers Appetizer Recipe:  Mozzarella Sticks

 

5 Ways To Make Extra Money From Home

coins

With the economy still in its ever so comfortable rut, it has been gaining difficulty for families all across the country to build a savings or even make a sufficient household income. Due to this level of difficulty many have been bombarded with stress and worry in regards to their current financial standing as well as future finances. Luckily there is a little hope in this regard and many individuals and families all over have been slowly building back their finances with a little creativity and innovation. Here are 5 great ways to make extra money from the comfort of your own home!

Sales – From yard sales to the ability to sell your jewelry and everything in between, there is great money to be made from selling unwanted items and there is almost a buyer out there for everything. Places like eBay and Craigslist are also a great place to get rid of unwanted or unused items for a great price in return.

Freelancing – Also known as moonlight, freelancing has been gaining huge success for people everywhere. If you are trained in a specific skill, writing, computers, etc., there is almost always work available. What’s the best part? You can do it right from your own home!

Education Aid – Tutoring is still an extremely popular necessity amongst grade school aged individuals all the way up to college aged. If you have knowledge in math, language, or any other subject put a flyer up around a local school or campus and see what comes around.

Personal Services – It’s seems these days almost everyone needs a helping hand with something and if you have exceptional skills as a stylist, dog walker, organizer, nanny, etc. then there is someone out there looking for your help.

Food – That’s right food! If you love to cook and/or bake then why not put those skills to use! Place an ad in your local paper or school board and see what kind of requests come in. From birthday cupcakes to party appetizers, the possibilities and the profit are endless.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post

Ways To Save During Government Shutdown/Furlough

furlough

We can pretty much all agree that things in Washington are a hot mess.  I don’t ever get political on the site, but things are really just ridiculous!  Living in a military community, I know far too many families being affected by the disgrace that is happening.  The only way I can think to help these families is to offer a few ways to save money during a government shutdown/furlough.

1.  Create A Budget On Your Reduced Income:  Budgets are not fun but they are necessary.  I have a few tips on my budgeting page that can help you get started.

2.  Cut/Trim the Budget:  This is the “no fun” part but also necessary.  Cut out any unneeded expense such as eating out, gym, cable, etc.  As sad as this can be, just remember this step does not need to be permanent. You can always add back these “luxury items” when income increases.

3.  Save on Groceries:  Use coupons and store matchups to save BIG money on groceries.  You can snag coupons here, here, here, and here.

4.  Menu Planning:  Create a menu and stick to it.  Use your stockpile, sale ads, and remember to include leftovers at least once a week! I’ve got an entire Menu Plan Monday series that can help you come up with easy and frugal recipes here.

5.  Make Extra Money: There are a variety of ways to make money at home. You can complete surveys, have yard sales, and even sell homemade items.  I have 2 friends that make a nice supplemental income from selling homemade items.  I’ve often considered selling my diaper cakes for a little extra cash.  Also, don’t forget about creating a change jar.  Spare change can really add up!

What are your favorite ways to save?

Halloween Crafts For Everyone!

halloween crafts

I’ve teamed up with a group of lovely ladies called The Mavens of Money and we have brought you a round-up of our best Halloween Crafts.  These are all awesome and a great way to have fun with kids or by yourself!

  1. How to Make a Rag Wreath by A Frugal Chick
  2. Frankenstein Monster Box by Coupons are Great
  3. DIY Halloween Marquee Letters by Madame Deals
  4. Toilet Paper Pumpkin Decor by Mom on Dealz
  5. Handprint Pumpkin Craft by Saving Toward a Better Life
  6. Spooky Sparkle Spiders by The Coupon Challenge
  7. DIY Glow in the Dark Skeleton Halloween Shirt by This Mama Loves

If you missed it, take a look at our Apple Round-up for more Fall ideas!

The Mavens of Money group is comprised of 11 bloggers: MadameDeals | The Coupon Challenge | Mom On Dealz | Coupons are Great | This Mama Loves | A Frugal Chick | The Centsible Family | Stretching Your Budget | Penny Filled Pantry | Freebie Spot | Saving Toward Better Life

Everything Apples: Get Recipes and Crafts All About Apples!

TOP APPLE POSTS ROUND-UP

apple roundup

 

Get ready for a new Fall Series!

Together with my friends from Mavens of Money we bring you our hottest posts this fall. This week we’re sharing all about APPLES.

The Mavens of Money group is comprised of 11 bloggers: MadameDeals | The Coupon Challenge | Mom On Dealz | Coupons are Great | This Mama Loves | A Frugal Chick | The Centsible Family | Stretching Your Budget | Penny Filled Pantry | Freebie Spot | Saving Toward Better Life | [Read more…]