All in Parent Hacks and Tips

The Beginners Guide to Having a Food Allergy

Your child has a food allergy.

Your world just turned upside-down, and you may be feeling like you have no idea where to start.

I’ve been there too.

I remember the day the allergist confirmed my son had a food allergy.

I was so confused as to what a food allergy would even mean to my child. To me. To our family. What in the world is a food allergy and why am I now carrying this thing called an EPI pen?

I was so confused that I didn’t even notice the car backing out of a parking spot behind me.

That’s right. Just diagnosed food allergy, EpiPens, and now a fender bender. I was literally walking in circles trying to understand my next step.

And the good news?

I found the next step. And the next one after that, and I want to share these steps with you to help you feel less confused and less overwhelmed.

It may never become easy, but having a child with a food allergy will definitely become more manageable over time.

This guide will help you find your next step, and the one after that, upon learning your child has a food allergy.

Back to School - How to Celebrate the Teacher

Last week as my boys and I were shopping for back to school supplies, I found myself daydreaming about how fun the paperclips and new color selection of PaperMate pens looked. (None of which I needed.)

And that is when it hit me!

I placed the items in a basket, and included a simple note for the new teacher.

Thank you for taking care of Greyson this year. I appreciate all you do.

And that’s all I needed!

A small little something to help begin the new school year with a smile.

Road Trip Activities for Kids

Road trip activities for kids

Traveling with kids?

Gasp! Traveling with kids is a task that needs to earn a badge upon arrival.

Road trips with kids can be messy.

Road trips with kids can be long.

But before you wave the white flag and surrender, I have some simple tips to help your next road trip be as peaceful as possible. - You may even get to press play on that podcast you downloaded weeks ago. ;)

Inside has my tips and tricks for traveling with kids on road trips. Take what works best for you and your family and try something new the next time you pack the car.

Inside you will find:

  • Packing snacks - what to pack and how to pack it

  • Packing toys - what to pack and how to pack it

  • Unique rest stop ideas

  • Down time in the car

LEGO Organization Closet

Legos had taken over our dining room. 

Multicolored little bricks were now more predominant than our bold curtains. 

Half opened bags exploded onto the floor with the manual laying helplessly upside-down. 

Legos. were. everywhere. 

Something had to be done to help organize all of these parts and pieces that were taking over the one room I had left in the house to claim as my own.  We had to think of a better way.

A Letter to My Son's Preschool Teacher

To my son’s first classroom teacher,

I saw you waiting for my child.

Every day you knew he was coming. And every day my preschooler jumped out the back seat ready for you as well.

I saw you welcome his learning, his humor, his self; allowing him keep his tower up longer and longer each day…

I saw everything you did this year and I want to say thank you.

It didn’t go unnoticed.

Your Breakfast Invitations Startup Guide: Cranky to Creative in Six Steps

Looking for a way to begin your day with less morning television and more creative kids?

Getting our children to play more on their own can be a challenge. We wake up and are immediately on with a million tasks.

What if it didn’t have to be that way?

This is a startup guide to better understand how to plan your day, minimize screen time and roll out your next ten Breakfast Invitations. Because like bread and butter, these all seamlessly fit together.

I am a mom of three little boys five and under. Mornings were not my favorite and I felt overwhelmed by cranky kids watching morning television. TV seemed to zap their imagination for anything that followed.

Truth is, I just wanted to wake up being able to drink my tea HOT, and have children that were able to use their imagination and play.

So I dug deep into my teacher brain and found a solution.

We all crave balance between being able to take on parenthood, and enjoy the days that come with that tall order.

I am here to help you achieve this balance with this startup guide.

The Best Travel Gear for Spring Break

Do you have plans for spring break?

Traveling as a family can be tricky. How much gear is too much, and which essentials are needed so the suitcase will zip with ease?

What is it that helps spring break with young children go just a little smoother?

Which bags help store all the the things?

And which item helps your baby sleep a little better as they share a room with the entire family.

Now you know, I’ve got you.

I am going to compile this list with not only things you need for spring break, but items that will last all summer long. Items that your kids can use again and again and gear you can pass down to family members when your children outgrow them.

It would be crazy town to think you need this entire list!

Consider which items help your travel plans go a little smoother. Finding the right gear is everything and I want to make sure you buy one thing once rather than buying dozens in search of finding the holy grail.

7 Tips for Your Kitchen Renovation with Kids

I have 3 children, 5 and under, and I recently finished remodeling our kitchen.

That’s right!

For 6 weeks, we cooked dinner on a hot plate and ate breakfast in the playroom. The main floor pretty much looked like a college dorm room.

And guess what?

I am still alive to blog about it. - Yahoo!!!

As we were in the thick of things, I jotted down what worked, and how I can share these tips with you. This wasn’t a blog post I had planned on adding to the collection, but knew I needed to share once we were finished. Renovations can be chaotic and messy, and I am here to help you prepare. Extra perk? See the final product.

Rethink Your Playdough

Ah, Playdough.

We've all been here, right?

Mixed colors being stuffed back into containers, texture hardening because it was left out from the night before, and little fingers forcing endless amounts of Playdough into the cracks of our kitchen table. 

"Do we really want to take out the Playdough again?" 

Consider this.

What is a childhood without Playdough?

In my opinion, it is the foundation of every young blooming mind. I am not here begging you to mix your colors. To each their own on that. But what I am asking you to do is to break out your playdough and consider integrating some every day items to the mix.

Perhaps playdough needs a makeover.

Here's how to use it to boost creativity.

Smart Playroom Ideas and Organization

It was time.

It was weeks after Christmas and the room looked more like a walk-in closet than a playroom.

Duplos lingered into the hallway, and pictures were beginning to hang sideways; mostly due to me haphazardly nailing them to the wall.

Now, I wasn’t about to fully Marie Kondo this room.

But I was about to go in strong. My goal was to get rid of things that have been lingering for years and have the room become more intentional.

2 kids ago there was a rhythm to this room that had been lost. Since then, we have been overloaded and it was time to get organized.

Time to seize the day!

Press restart.

And give this room a serious makeover.

Do all families need a playroom?

They certainly do not!

My intent is to help you organize ideas, share uses for storage and inspire design wherever that may be. Take this post and make it work for you and your space.

How to Minimize Screens and Promote Playtime

We all seem to want it.

We want our children to spend less time on tablets, and more time playing.

But there are some struggles that come along for the ride.

How will I transition away from so much screen time?

How can I encourage child-led learning?

How do I get my children to stop arguing over the same toy?

After spending the week in NYC with Melissa and Doug, I’ve collaborated with a group of play experts, influencers, and moms that feel overloaded to discuss ways we can #takebackchildhood.

READ ALL ABOUT WHAT WE DISCUSSED HERE!

25+ Activities to Improve Pencil Grip

“Help! How can I help my child hold a pencil?”

This can be one of the trickiest habits to correct.

WHY?

Because children do not always want to be helped.

Go figure. Here we are, teaching them to be independent thinkers, and then swooping in to correct everything.

My three-year-old is full of independence and absolutely does not want mom to rearrange his marker. GASP! Doesn’t he know I am a preschool mommy blogger?!

So what do I do? I find subtle ways to have him practice. These activities suggest he rearrange his grip to create lines and movements in order to complete the task.

And you can do this as well.

Here’s How.

9+ Ideas when Feeling Overwhelmed

Oh, hey there! Guess who else sometimes feels defeated and exhausted?

ME!

That's right. Some days get the best of me.

I am tripping over Picasso Tiles , the boys are on their 12th snack of the day because they are staaaaarviiiiing and laundry is on its third wash. Nope, no mildew smell over here. We are smooth sailing. (Don't tell my husband I admitted that.)

Sound familiar? 

Most of these things can make me want to hop in the car and peel out of the driveway.

I wouldn't even go very far. Probably just around the block a couple times listening to the birds as the windows let ALL the air in. 

But we all know. That just isn't possible.  

These little people inside need me to be home. They need me to be present.

And so, I try to find little ways that I can make myself happy so we can all hang together in harmony.  A little for me, and a piece for them. 

I call these, "Mom Needs a Minute" stress-free life hacks.