Another Snow Day: How to Keep Your Kids From Driving You Crazy

   another snow day

 

It’s another snow day. You should be excited about the snow, but the kids are home with you all day. You love your children, but they’re a little hyperactive when there’s nothing to do. So, to keep yourself sane, and your kids occupied, here are a few things you can do with them (or have them do on their own).

 

1. Plan Activities

 

Make a plan. When you hear that school has been canceled, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. Don’t do this. Get up and make a plan for the day. Have activities that your children can do either alone or with you. These activities should be something that will keep your child’s mind engaged. Check out our DIY & Crafts Pinterest Board for ideas!

 

So, for example, you could set up an “arts and crafts” day with supplies around the house. You could also set up a game day where your kids play board games with you or each other (if you have more than one child). This could also be a perfect time to set up a chore list and get some housework done – be creative with it, and turn cleaning into a game with points and even a reward. Perhaps your child could earn a night out at his or her favorite restaurant if he cleans up his room or gets a certain amount of housework done during the day.

 

2. Send Them Outside

 

If the weather isn’t too bad, send them outside. Sometimes, schools will cancel classes because it’s unsafe to drive. But, that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to go outside and throw snowballs, build a snowman, or just play around.

 

You could even get in on the fun yourself if you’re up to it. Remember what it was like to make snow angels as a kid? What about building a snow fort and throwing snowballs? These are traditions you could pass onto your kids – take every opportunity you can get.

 

Of course, you might be tired. Sending the kids outside can give you the peace and quiet you need. Kids have a lot of energy. Even when it’s cold out, they can run around for hours. And, when they do come inside, they’re tired so they’re much more likely to be quiet and peaceful.

 

3. Have Them Watch Videos

 

Watching videos online is an unusual activity for a snow day, but it might be necessary if the weather is terrible. If you can find copyright-free videos online (i.e. on YouTube), you could have your children download them using a YouTube video converter.

 

That way, if the Internet service goes down, or if the power is out, your child can still watch them on a mobile device or something which is battery powered. Most devices these days can sustain on battery power for 7 or 8 hours, so your child will be able to entertain himself for most of the day. Failing that, you can always make sure that you have a batter pack extender or backup battery that doesn’t require electricity to charge the device. Remember to respect IP when using downloaded content.

 

GUEST BLOGGER: Steven Young is a grandfather of five. He enjoys sharing parenting tips with others by posting a various blogs.

 

 

My Living Room Makeover: The Perfect White Console Table

My Living Room Makeover
PART 5 – Target Threshold Horizontal Bookcase / Console Table

I’ve put together a lot of cardboard/MDF furniture in my day and have had a range of experiences. That said, I was expecting a the usual challenges that comes with putting these types of things together but was more than pleasantly surprised with this piece I got from Target.

target threshold console table

After days and days of searching online and in stores for a white console table the exact width of my TV AND less than 14″ deep, I finally found this Threshold Carson Horizontal Bookcase on Target.com and was so happy it fit into my budget too!

Once I got to the checkout and saw how much the shipping was going to be, I quickly signed up for a Target REDcard so I could get 5% off my order AND Free Shipping. I ended up buying a few other things for my living room as well which I will tell you about next week!

I ordered it on Monday and it got here by Friday. I quickly opened the box and laid all the pieces out on the living room floor and then got out the dreaded instructions. For once I didn’t feel like saying, “did anyone actually READ THIS before they ok’d it?!” I mean, not only were the directions clear, precise and easy to follow, but the package of hardware is clearly labeled according to the coordinating step in the instruction manual! GENIUS!

Target instructions

The shelves on each side are adjustable while the center shelves are fixed. Talk about someone that knew what they were doing… there are actually little foam circles on the top of the pegs for the adjustable shelves so that they don’t slip or scratch.

adjustable shelves

Admittedly, there would normally be lots of swearing, sweating and overall very unlady-like behavior on my part during such a project as this, but it took me less than 2 hours to put this one together, all by myself and that was just leisurely taking my time too. No swearing! (Yay me!) It looks fantastic and was exactly what I was looking for, so I’m quite pleased. And proud of myself.

console tablet

(Click here to read about my hand-painted Moroccan Quatrefoil Accent Wall!)

Now I’m going to buy the coordinating Threshold Carson 5 shelf book cases to match so I can make a library on the other side of the room.

Let me know what you think!

My Living Room Makeover: Quatrefoil Moroccan Painted Wallpaper

My Living Room Makeover
PART 2 – Quatrefoil Moroccan Painted Wallpaper

First off, I love wallpaper. I grew up in a eclectic bungalow that my parents built themselves in the 70′s that was primarily of rough-cut lumber. There wasn’t a single wall in our entire house that could be painted, wallpapered or anything. You also had to be careful what you put up against the wall because the rough cut lumber was… well, ROUGH! Just about anything, including curtains, would catch on it and make pulls so interior decorating of any kind really wasn’t an option. “Rustic” was the style you had to work with.

Because of that, I’ve always been a little obsessed with wallpaper and couldn’t wait to get my own house someday so I could wallpaper a wall! FINALLY!

Well between children, marriage, my business and life, I haven’t had a chance to wallpaper any room in my house yet. When we decided to do My Living Room Makeover, I knew I HAD to have an accent wall.

At first I was dead set on retro wallpaper and had this very eclectic theme in mind. After about 19 days on Pinterest though, I started leaning towards Moroccan stylings and decided to go with a quatrefoil pattern.

I searched high and low for the perfect wallpaper and I didn’t find anything in my budget. I just couldn’t spend $100 on ONE roll of wallpaper! And all the wallpaper I could afford was not what I was looking for. Luckily, I came across Jones Design Company Painted Wallpaper Tutorial and after I finished reading the instructions and seeing how easy it was, I immediately downloaded the pdf quatrefoil template.

The Accent Wall

peach wall

The entire living room was originally a boring and drab sage green color that I repainted to match the rest of the downstairs (so the rooms would flow better and feel more uniformed). The color “Sliced Melon” which is like a warm peach color, is absolute perfection in person. I’m so in love with this sunny, warm color.

Once I decided to do the moroccan quatrefoil painted wallpaper on the accent wall, I painted it with two coats of Benjamin Moore Regal Select Eggshell finish in Tangy Orange.

tangy orange

This was my first time using Benjamin Moore paint but it certainly won’t be my last. I was extremely impressed with how well this covered with just one coat. I only did a second coat to cover a few areas and to make sure the color was really perfect and BOLD. Really awesome paint though.

The next morning, after letting it dry overnight, I got right to work stenciling the wall with the template I downloaded here.

jones design company

stenciling

It took me about 2 hours to stencil the whole wall and I only had to stop and erase a small portion of it. It was challenging doing the pattern around the smoke detector hole and electrical outlets. Had there not been so many obstacles to work around, I think it only would have taken me about an hour and a half.

orange quatrefoil

I spent the entire day on Mother’s Day painting in the lines and doing this wall. It took me approx 13 hours total from start to finish. I stopped for a 20 minute break around lunch time and a 45 minute break at dinner time. That was it! I was extremely sore, tired and burnt out after painting that long. I was going up and down the ladder, my wrist was getting sore, my eyes were fried from staring at that orange color for so long, but when it was finished, I felt SO SATISFIED!

me painting

It was probably one of the most satisfying and fulfilling things I have done in a while. I listened to music the entire time and that is probably the most music I have listened since I was 17 years old. That was probably my favorite part… I felt like ME again. Weird what music can do.

I can’t show you the whole room yet because I still have SO MUCH left to do, including

  1. Painting the trim and doors glossy white
  2. Painting the rest of the walls “Sliced Melon” – the peach color
  3. Updating the fireplace
  4. Paint the side tables
  5. Hang curtains or shades
  6. Put in recessed lighting in the ceiling
  7. Buy a new couch or refinish an old one
  8. Find a moroccan style area rug I can actually afford
  9. Spend at least another 78 hours on Zulily and Joss & Main

Well, at least I can check the Quatrefoil Moroccan painted wallpaper off the list!

quatrefoil painted wallpaper

Back to my work in progress… So much left to do! It feels like my living room will never be done! At least the hard part is done. *cough cough*

Check out PART 1 of my living room makeover to see how it all started and stay tuned for Part 3 to see what else I accomplish!

My Living Room Makeover: Taking Down The Wall

My Living Room Makeover
PART 1 – Taking Down The Wall

You may have noticed I haven’t been answering emails, keeping up with Twitter or posting as often on the blog or Facebook. I’ve been extremely busy, totally out-straight working on our Living Room Renovation.

We’ve been wanting to do something with our living room since we bought this house 3 years ago, but never had the time (nor the money). We finally just got sick of waiting and decided to do it anyway, sans time and money.

Here is the offending wall that was separating the hallway from the living room. There was really no point in having a hallway since it was only 2 feet wide and served no real purpose. Once we confirmed the wall was not a supporting wall, we dived right in and started demolition on April 20th, 2013.

the offending wall

My husband and his brother took great care to take the sheetrock down neatly and cleanly so we could save as much of the materials as possible for future use and to not make a huge mess and get drywall dust everywhere.

sheetrock / drywall

Taking the wall down went surprisingly quick. Totally made us think this whole project would be a piece of cake…

bye bye wall

The instant improvement it made to the room gave us the energy to keep going. We knew it would be worth it!

boards gone!

We managed to save all the frame work so we would have wood for other projects. The awkward hole in the floor looks super awesome.

wall GONE!

The electrical is going to be a nightmare but the whole room looks SO much bigger now with that wall gone! Definitely brighter, more spacious feeling and it will be easier to arrange furniture too.

Douglas Ballard III

Thank goodness for my brother in law. He was a huge help.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my living room makeover and see how I styled my accent wall! It took me 14 hours, but it was totally worth it… Wait till you see it!

Recipe for DIY Tropical Mango Body Scrub

In My Mind, I’m Somewhere Tropical
DIY Mango Body Scrub

Mango Body Scrub

With kids screaming and one million and one household chores to complete, sometimes it’s nice to take a moment, close your eyes and imagine you’re somewhere tropical. This month is Pregnancy Awareness Month, and whether you’re currently expecting or have passed the days of baby showers and infants, it’s the perfect time for each and every mom to take a second to take care of herself and de-stress with a gorgeous DIY beauty treatment that will leave her glowing and rejuvenated.

This DIY treatment is inspired by the tropical beauty of Honolulu – specifically the Na Ho’ola Spa at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. This gorgeous island destination is home to some of the most tropical and luxurious pampering spa treatments in the world. The masks and treatments are all-natural and inspired by the reinvigorating ability of a tropical getaway. During the LomiLomi Facial, estheticians harness the natural exfoliating properties of fruit acids – in this case, the fruit acids found in mangoes. Mango does absolute wonders for the skin, leaving the complexion purified and deeply exfoliated and cleansed.

Even if you aren’t jetting off for your own LomiLomi Facial anytime in the near future, you can steal this Tropical treatment inspired by one of the more popular hotels in Honolulu, for yourself in the form of this DIY Mango Body Scrub. It’s incredibly easy to make and use and is the perfect way to experience the relaxation of a spa day in an hour or less in your own home.

DIY MANGO BODY SCRUB

You’ll Need:

salt
1 Finely Chopped or Pureed Mango
1/4 Cup Instant Oats
1 Cup of Castor Sugar
1 tbsp Sweet Almond Oil
4 Drops of Essential Orange Oil
1 tbsp Pineapple Juice

What To Do:

Place the peeled mango and oats into a blender and mix. Next, add the remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated. If you want a deep exfoliate, increase the amount of sugar used. The finished product will have a thick, gritty consistency and a very fruity, tropical smell. Take the scrub into the shower with you, and slowly rub in circular motions over damp skin to exfoliate, cleanse and tone the skin. When you rinse off, be sure to put some sort of covering over the drain to capture the remnants of the scrub. This treatment is luxurious, but can be a little messy. Remember to also wipe down the shower or tub after using any body treatment that contains oils, as they can make surfaces slippery. Enjoy!

Beauty Tip: 10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is really gaining in popularity, especially in the kitchen. It’s commonly used for cooking, especially in Paleo recipes, but what you probably didn’t realize is that it also offers some amazing beauty benefits for your hair, skin and nails!

10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil!

Here are 10 ways to use coconut oil that I bet you haven’t tried yet!

  1. Excellent all over body moisturizer for dry skin.
  2. Great for shaving legs and it leaves them silky smooth.
  3. Makes a great leave-in hair conditioner and works wonders on split ends.
  4. Can be used it as a moisturizing lip balm.
  5. Use it to make your own homemade body scrub. (Recipe here)
  6. Great for removing eye makeup.
  7. Use a dab to highlight cheek bones.
  8. Use a dab of it under your arms as a natural deodorant.
  9. Try it as a styling agent for extra dry hair.
  10. Massage into bare nails to keep them healthy and strong.

How do YOU use coconut oil? Tell us in the comments below!

If you want to try some of these beauty tips for coconut oil, consider Carrington Farm’s pure organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. It now comes in a convenient, recyclable 12 oz. container (MSRP $8.99). The smaller container allows you to experience all the perks of coconut oil without having to buy a bulk size or break the bank. Carrington Farm’s extra virgin coconut oil maintains a pure white color, a yummy coconut taste and does not require refrigeration.

raw coconut oil

Buy It:
Carrington Farms Coconut Oil, 12 oz on CarringtonFarms.com for $7.99 + Shipping (calculated at checkout)

Carrington Farms Coconut Oil, 54 oz on Amazon.com for $26.19 + Free Shipping

Must-Read: DIY Recipe to Reduce Cellulite

CoffeeHow many of us suffer from embarrassing and unsightly cellulite? Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely get rid of it, but there are things we can do to temporarily minimize its appearance.

Indie Lee, founder of the all natural skincare line Indie Lee & Co has shared one of her DIY recipes with us. This at-home scrub not only works as a natural exfoliant, but will help reduce the appearance of cellulite as well.

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1/2 oz sweet almond oil
  • 2 tbsp coffee grinds (Lee recommends espresso roast)
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup arrowroot powder (a natural alternative to talc)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine coffee grinds and sweet almond oil until thoroughly mixed.

2. Add the coconut oil; mix well.

3. Fold in the arrowroot powder, making sure to get rid of any clumps.

Bonus Tip: Indie Lee recommends keeping the mixture refrigerated for one day to make it easier to scoop out.

That’s it! With just a few ingredients and a little time, you can have a home-made recipe to help exfoliate skin naturally while minimizing the appearance of unsightly cellulite.

Will you be giving this DIY recipe a try? (Also, check out Anti Cellulite Shorts for an added boost to your skin care routine!)

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