Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: 31 Mom Hacks

hero.jpg

Just a few household items, some creativity, and you can make those long summer parenting days just a little easier while keeping the kids happy, too!

Did you know according to a NEW Groupon survey, most parents are ready to send their kids BACK to school after 13 days of summer vacation?  Are you one of those parents?  I would have to disagree with this survey.  When Belinda was growing up, I loved summers.  It was a nice break from the craziness of school, sports, competitions and more.  When she was younger, she spend mid-week in Ocean Grove with family and weekends at home.  Once she got hooked on gymnastics – life changed but summers were fun.

These hacks may not change your life, but they might save your sanity – and give you more time for the things which really matter.

  1. Save time in the morning by putting your children to bed in their school clothes. (Boy moms, especially, swear by this one!)  Would you do this?
  2. Recycle used coffee creamer containers or use our Hide & Peek Pouch for on-the-go snacks. They fit perfectly in diaper bag bottle pockets and car cup holders.
  3. Place two layers of fitted sheets and waterproof mattress pads over your little ones’ beds for easier cleanup of overnight accidents.  Genius!
  4. Keep a portable, Cinch Sac or a Picnic Thermal Tote in your car for wet or soiled baby clothes.
  5. Did you know the shoulder tabs on infant bodysuits are meant to help you pull a soiled outfit down instead of up over the baby’s head? Who would know this? LOL!
  6. Save trips from the car to the house by keeping a Deluxe Utility Tote in your trunk for all of your shopping bags.
  7. Use a makeup brush to apply diaper rash cream to help keep your hands clean.
  8. Poke your ice pop’s stick through a cupcake liner to catch drippy messes and keep hands and clothes clean.
  9. Cupcake liners are also an easy way to protect kids’ drinks from bugs during picnics. Just put one over a plastic cup and pop a straw through the top.
  10. Make more room in your diaper bag by keeping an Essential Storage Tote, packed with an extra blanket, toys and a change of clothes, in the car.
  11. Lay painter’s tape over your door locks to prevent toddlers from locking themselves in their room.
  12. A pool noodle under the fitted sheet makes a great impromptu bedrail.
  13. You can also cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise and wrap it around a door to prevent slammed fingers.
  14. Line a collapsible Stand Tall Bin with a garbage bag to create an on-the-go trash can for camping trips.
  15. Use a hanging shoe storage bag to organize blocks and other small toys.
  16. Keep a sliced apple from browning before lunch by wrapping it in plastic wrap.
  17. Detangle doll hair with a little dish soap and conditioner. OMG!  I wish I knew this before….
  18. Use a pizza cutter to slice pancakes and waffles into bite-sized pieces for little fingers.
  19. Make any footed PJs slip-proof with a little puffy paint on the soles of the feet.
  20. Sunshine can be a surprisingly effective baby stain remover. Just leave the item of clothing outside to dry and watch the stain fade in just a few hours.

 

  1. Fill a Double Duty Caddy with art supplies so it’s ready to go on rainy days.
  2. You can machine wash your kids’ plastic building blocks and other toys in a mesh delicates bag. (Just don’t put them in the dryer!)
  3. Hang bibs on the back of a highchair using removable hooks.
  4. Free up space in your child’s lunch bag by using a frozen juice box as an ice pack.  Did you know lunch thermals were on sale this month????
  5. In a pinch, you can quickly childproof cabinets with hair ties.
  6. Store ice pops vertically in the freezer to make them easier to cut open.
  7. An empty blow-up kiddie pool makes an impromptu play pen indoors or outdoors.
  8. Pack kids’ outfits – tops, pants, socks and accessories – in individual bags or Zipper Pouches for easier travel.
  9. Give each child his or her own Large Utility Tote to carry their laundry to the washer and back from the dryer.
  10. Freeze homemade baby food in an ice cube tray for perfect portion sizes.
  11. Create a giant dry erase mat with a dollar-store shower curtain.

What are some of YOUR favorite mom hacks? Share them with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips

Travel on a Shoestring

Are you itching for a vacation but tight on cash? I know I am….We usually travel to North Carolina in May but this year with all of the doctor appointments, there was not time.  I will be celebrating in my “pink bubble” in July and am planning some trips for the fall.  One will definitely be to North Carolina and maybe even surprising hubby with a trip to Maine.  SHHHH!  It is a surprise!!!

12670435_992124804160005_3448945827771432141_n

So this week, we are going to talk about travel tips – from saving money to being organized ensuring that you don’t forget anything.

Here are just some tips quick tips to help you save money on your next trip:

#1 Airfares:  I don’t know about you but I feel like every time I turn around there is a change in airlines – mergers, acquisitions route adjustments and more. It may not seem it but the airlines are vying for your dollars. I know the additional charges for EVERYTHING is crazy but you can still get some good deals.  Finding the best fare is the trick. I have been checking rates on Hipmunk.  I have found some of the BEST rates there.  Let’s SQUASH the myth that round-trip tickets are the least expensive option today!  I have found that one way tickets are sometimes better – combining airlines can be cost effective.  Finally, purchasing up to 6-8 weeks before your trip will most likely result in the lowest price. PLUS flying mid-week and at off-peak times like early morning or late evening will result in cheaper fares.

12801356_1001136959925456_1220516230879520487_n

#2 Hotel Rooms:  I know that you have seen all of the commercials about the difference in hotel room rates, right?  Just like flying, sometimes the cheaper option is to arrive mid-week and depart before the weekend rush.  Maybe you can’t afford that 5-star hotel BUT  you may still be able to enjoy some of their amenities during the day. They may sell day passes to access the pool, spa or gym. Their restaurants and bars are also an easy to way pamper yourself even if you are not a guest of the hotel. There are lodging alternatives like airbnb.com or VRBO.com that offer vacation rentals at cheaper rates.  Just be sure to do your homework.

13124936_1043041379068347_863603400563668619_n

#3 Meals:  Eating out and exploring new restaurants can be part of the fun while in a new city, but it can also be very expensive. We have always either brought our own snacks and breakfast when driving OR when we fly,we find a local grocery store and stock up on snacks, easy breakfast items and bottled water.  Booking a hotel that includes breakfast or even afternoon snacks in your room rate is a great option too.  Simply eating “in” for one meal a day will save you a lot of money over the course of your vacation.

12670878_1024779637561188_1321091515813670305_n

If you like to pack your vacation with activities and excursions, planning ahead is also a smart way to save money.  Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounts on tours, activities and show tickets. When doing things online, be sure you are set-up with Ebates.  This will give you money back every time you shop online with one of their stores, including Groupon and Living Social.

What is your best tip for saving money when you travel?  Share it with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

.