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World’s Greatest Farter Father’s Day Gag Gift Tutorial

In our family, we love to pick on each other and have a good laugh.We love to give gag gifts and funny cards. Every family should laugh together and have some fun because life is to short to always be serious.

In typical Dad fashion, my husband spends lots of time in the bathroom which is usually when I need to pee. Doug loves to gross Danyella out by farting next to her and then blame it on her. So she decided she wanted to create a gag gift for him for Father’s Day.

After doing some searching on gag gifts, Danyella decided she wanted to give him a roll of toilet paper and write her jokes to him on the paper. Well you can’t just write on toilet paper. So we came up with the idea of taking one joke and painting it on the toilet paper.

I am sure you will get different results with different toilet paper with different thickness and ply. We used what we had on hand which is soft, thick, double ply toilet paper and acrylic paint. She had to go over the words twice to get the letters to stand out. The black seemed to be thinner which was hard when it soaked into the toilet paper faster than the blue.

If you are looking for a quick and easy gag gift for father’s day or a birthday all you need is: Toilet Paper and Acrylic Paint!

Paint your message on the toilet paper, let it dry, wrap it up and give your gift!

joy

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Going Back to Public School plus June Student Writing Prompt

May Writing Prompt (3)

It is June and for most students that means the school year is coming to an end. Also, June is the start of the Summer season which kids look forward to but parents who need to occupy the kids do not. Whether school is still going or has ended for your student, it doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop when school stops.

Danyella’s homeschooling school year ends at the end of June but she is will be going back to public school starting the end of August. We will be using the month of July to prepare for her testing back into public school. Which she is fighting every step of the way.

This decision to go back to public school was not an easy one because of Danyella’s anxiety and difficulties in Math. At home, I am able to take the time to explain the work to her but at school the teacher may not have that time to go one on one with her. I am scared she will get lost between the kids in the school especially going into 6th grade and they will be switching classes and having multiple teachers.

On the other hand, I don’t think she is truly thriving in a homeschool setting because she fights me on doing anything and everything. I have tried to find subjects that she enjoys but she loses interest. She just wants to rush rush rush through all of her computer and written work. She tries to put the minimal amount of effort into whatever she is doing and it has caused fights between her and I.

Danyella feels that she should just be unschooled and learn when and what she wants to learn. That is not my style as a homeschooling parent. Don’t get me wrong, if unschooling works for you and your family that is great but for my child she needs the structure of a school environment. If I left her to unschool, she would sit on her iPod or watch tv all day and learn nothing to succeed when she is an adult.

In New Jersey, there is no structure for homeschooling and no monitoring unlike our neighboring Pennsylvania. So, I have had to create all of her lessons and pay for all of the materials to teach her at home. That adds up just on ink and printer paper alone. Then add the monthly fee for the homeschooling school that I found for her, workbooks, field trips, projects and other things and we easily put out $2000 a year on homeschooling.

When she goes back to public school, she will be going with her best friend and back to the first elementary school she attended where the students and teachers still remember her. I know she has anxiety about this big change in both of our lives but I think going back to this school will help her with the transition.

One thing that I will continue to have Danyella do, even when she is back in public school, is daily writing prompts. I think it is important that kids have time to write everyday whether it is journal writing or prompt writing. They need that outlet to get things out. Writing prompts have been a great way to get Danyella’s creative juices going and she doesn’t realize that she tells me things through the prompts like things that she likes/dislikes. These are things that she wouldn’t just tell me if I asked her.

Here is the June Writing Prompt which is good for 3rd-5th probably even 6th graders: June Writing Prompt PDF

May Writing Prompt (2)

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One Pan Baked Ziti Recipe

I found a new obsession… my new cast iron skillet pan!

On Mother’s Day,  my mom and I took the girls shopping at Marshal’s and Home Goods. I was searching for a good cast iron pan but wasn’t a fan of what they had so we went to Walmart and I found a basic 12″ pan which is what I wanted. I won’t lie…. I have been intimidated to actually use the pan but this is my second dish and wow is it easy and delish! (The first dish is my signature Chicken Paprikash which was amazing too!)

This Baked Ziti dish is so easy and yummy that I had to share it with all of you!

One Pan Baked Ziti

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Great One Pan dinner for the family to enjoy.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic; sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can/jar tomato sauce
  • 1 16 oz box of pasta (ziti/penne/rigatoni)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Move the oven rack to the middle and Set oven to 450 degrees. Heat cast iron or another oven safe pan with your oil.
  2. Brown your ground meat.
  3. Once the meat is browned, add the garlic, basil and oregano and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Lower the heat to low/medium and simmer for 10 minutes; occasionally stir.
  5. Add the water and pasta. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and leave at a low boil for 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream, 1/2 the cheese, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the rest of cheese over the noodles.
  7. Place the pan in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is browned.Be cautious that pan is hot when serving the meal to your loved ones.
  8. Enjoy a dinner with the people you love.

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Do You Need A Lifestyle Audit?

Have you Audited Your Life Lately_

I am sure most everyone has heard how you will repeat the same bad habits or cycle until you do something to change it. How do you change those habits or the cycle of life you are in? You need to evaluate and audit your lifestyle!

What is working in your life?

  • Do you love your job and it brings you happiness?
  • Do you love being a mom and taking care of your kids?
  • Do you love the hobby you participate in?
  • Do you love taking a walk everyday?
  • Do you love to take the time to read?

What isn’t working in your life?

  • Do you love your job but not your hours?
  • Do you love being a parent but need other adult interaction?
  • Do you dread going to play basketball with your league?
  • Do you look for excuses to get out of something you used to enjoy?
  • Do you avoid doing things because you know you won’t enjoy them?

These are all questions to ask yourself when you are doing a lifestyle audit!

For myself, I am a creative person so I am having the same routine everyday feels like it kills my creative brain cells. I do not thrive in that situation and end up never finding the time to be creative because I lose that drive from focusing on my routine. Its a fine line to be a creative work at home mom and have the same daily routine with kids. Evie loves having a routine where she is fed, takes her naps, baths and bedtime at the same time everyday. With holidays and summer parties, there are days where her schedule is messed with and boy do we pay for it with a baby that refuses to sleep.  With Danyella being homeschooled, she has to have a routine or she will try to get out of doing her schoolwork (common occurence with a sassy tween). So what’s a creative mom to do when her kids need a routine? Find little ways to break up my routine so I don’t get into that blah feeling and avoid my creative side like changing up how I do my day each day. Plus, I tend to end up staying awake way to late after the girls are asleep to accomplish some of those mundane chores on my list that I avoided earlier in the day.

Now it is your turn! Print out the Lifestyle Audit PDF that I created for you to take a look at what is good and bad in your life. This will help determine what you need to change and what can stay the same to make your life the best it can be for today.

Lifestyle Audit

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3 Ways to Recycle an Old Shirt into No Sew Headbands

25 Poppasome Tokens of Appreciation (1)

If you have read some of my other Teach Me Tuesday posts, then you will know that I LOVE to upcycle other things into a new thing… especially clothing! Clothes can be given new life as something else if you put a little creativity into it.

Today, I am showing you how to take one shirt that is stretchy like a t-shirt or something similar and make it into 3 headbands. You don’t need to sew or glue anything just tie some knots and you are good to go. This is also a great way for a child who is learning how to tie knots to practice and make their own headbands for the summer.

Headband #1: The Turban Style Headband

Headband #2: The Tie a Bow Headband

Headband #3: The Double Braid Headband

Happy Crafting!

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5 Kid Friendly Summer Activities That Won’t Break the Bank

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Don’t break the bank this Summer trying to keep your kids occupied and entertained. Here are 5 activities that will get you and the kids out of the house but won’t cost a lot of money. Bonus points for the air-conditioned activities to keep you cool while the kids are having some fun!

**Please note that I did not receive any compensation or anything in return for the suggestions and links that I provided. This is just helpful information from one parent to another parent or caregiver.

Fly a Kite: Let’s go Fly A Kite, Up To Its Highest Point… yes I totally had to sing that for you! On a more fun note: kids love to accomplish things and feel that wonderful feeling of doing it. Flying a kite can be a challenge that you can both do together because it requires getting that kite up in the air and keeping it up there. On a really windy day, flying a kite is a fun activity and you can find kites at walmart for $5.

Visit Your Library: Another great place to stay cool and keep the kids occupied is your local library. Both our local library and county library hold summer programs for free or a small fee. The local library has a reading program that the kids have different activities that they need to accomplish every week, bring the sheet to the children’s librarian and prove they accomplished these tasks. Then they get a sticker and small prize. They also get entries into a larger weekly prize or the big end of the summer prize (last year was a gift card and a tablet). Our county library holds different crafts and other activities throughout the summer which the kids love to make and take home.

Watch a movie: I mean go to the actual Movie Theater and watch a movie in their air-conditioned facility. The Regal Movie Theater hosts $1 movie days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am throughout the summer which is awesome on the budget. The movies are all kid loved movies and some are from the current year. This summer they have Paddington 2, Despicable Me 2 and 3, Sing, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Trolls, and a bunch of other awesome movies. Here is the link to see the schedule for the one closest to you: Summer Movie Express

Visit a museum: Many museums either allow kids in for a discounted amount or free as an educational encouragement for families. We love to go into New York and visit the Met which has suggested rates but kids under 12 are free and students with an ID can pay what they can which being an adult college student, I qualify for which is great. Check out museums near you and see what they offer for kids/students/families.

Local fairs and events: The town next to ours has a free Music in the Park one night a week. We can take a blanket or chairs and snacks or they sell snacks and ice cream for $1-$2. It’s nice to watch the sun go down while listening to a local band that’s kid friendly plus we support our local bands.

What free or budget friendly activities do you have planned for the Summer?

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Gardening Essentials to Buy at the Dollar Store

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When you are living on a budget but want to expand your garden, then you need to go to the Dollar Store! Over the past couple of years, I have seen the Dollar Store expand their garden supplies from tiny pots and watering cans to decent sized pots, watering cans with the longer spout, seeds, tools, gloves and even small bags of soil! This is where I needed to be shopping to get my garden going for this year.

The must have that I picked up first was the watering can with the narrow spout. I prefer this kind of spout for my small indoor pots because I can control the water flow. To buy this type at Walmart or Lowe’s will run you at least $10.

Next, I picked up some pots for my seedlings. The ones I picked up are 6″ pots which after I am done with transplanting my seedlings to bigger pots, I will use these pots to transplant my herbs. There were bigger pots that I plan on picking up this week once I have my garden plans set. At Home Depot, a 6″ pot starts at $2  so you can basically get one free at the Dollar Store.

Then, I found a hanging basket and liner which will be great for the wild flower seeds that I purchased as well. I love the look of a hanging baskets on porches to bring out the colors of a house. What I don’t like is the price at Walmart starting at $8 for a small one. I can’t wait to watch my flowers bloom in my new hanging basket!

Other things that you can find to get your garden started is gardening tools like a shovel and rake, gardening gloves and kneeling pads. I have all of these from previous years of gardening so I didn’t need to buy them this year but it is a great resource for someone just starting on their green thumb journey or someone needing to replace their tools.

Last week, I talked about the variety of seeds that you can buy at the dollar store. Out of convenience, I picked up seed packets for carrots and lettuce at Walmart which were $1.49 and $1.69 each so I could have picked up a third packet if I bought them at the Dollar Store! If you want to read my post about starting from seeds here is the post: Plant Seeds to Save The Earth

The only thing that I did not purchase at the Dollar Store was my soil. Since I will be doing my gardening from pots, I prefer to use Miracle Grow potting soil because it has the added nutrients my plants will need.

I can’t wait to continue to journal my garden as the season continues! Fill me in on some of your gardening tips below!

To

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Kind Kids Start At Home

kind kids

If you sit back to watch and listen to a group of kids and/or teens, you will be able to pick out the rude, mean kids and kind kids. Week after week, a few parents at the dance studio sit back to watch these kids and how they act to be able to pick out these different kids. The sad thing is that the mean kids outweigh the kind kids. Not only are these kids mean to the other kids but to adults and most of all their parents! This plays right into the big internet controversy this week….

The big internet controversy this week is the episode from the Roseanne reboot where she sticks her granddaughter’s head under the kitchen sink and sprays her with water. (The clip is below if you missed it) Roseanne did this in reaction to the fact her granddaughter, Harris, is acting rude, disrespectful and entitled to everyone around her. This behavior has become common place among kids, tweens and teens which these kids feed off of each other.

 

These kids, no matter their age, will throw a temper tantrum of sorts until the parents allow them to get what they want. This behavior from the parents teaches the mean kids that their bad attitude and behavior is acceptable not only at home but in public and among other people and kids. Since when do parents step tip toe around their kids and show them fear of their temper tantrums?

Now, I will admit that Danyella has her moments. Yes, she is 11 and has learned from other kids that she should be entitled to whatever she wants and shouldn’t have to do anything for it. Boy is she wrong! Currently, we are working on undoing the bad habits her dance classmates have tried to teach her by giving her a chore chart and reward system (check that post out here: Tween Rules and Reward System). She knows that her bad behavior will not be tolerated and taking points away from her earning her New York City trip means it will be even longer before we can go. Plus, for Christmas she received an iPod which is the cause of most her throwing a fit because she doesn’t want to put it down. She will get mean, say nasty things and throw a fit when its time to give up her iPod for either a time limit or bad behavior. With the promise of points being taken away for this behavior, these tantrums have dwindled slowly.

On the other hand, kind kids are started at home with being given boundaries that help shape them into responsible, respectful kids. These parents don’t allow the kids to get away with bad behavior because there are consequences to that type of behavior. Now, I am not talking about the types of discipline in this post but I am saying these kids know that if they behave badly there will be a downfall/consequence to it.

These kind kids are the ones that will welcome a new kid into their friendship circle, open a door for a stranger, share their lunch with a kid that forgot theirs, pick up something someone else dropped and smile when someone looks at them. It is these kids that grow into responsible adults that want to help others. They are the adults that help with charities, listen to their friends talk, help when anyone needs help and smiles with someone looks at them.

Danyella has been writing her affirmations of kind words and her writing prompts are about being kind to herself and others. Plus, I have been teaching her to stand back and watch how these mean kids act when she is around them and think about how they look to others. Then, she was taught to think about whether she wants others to see her act like that and does it benefit her to act like that. Last, I have been teaching her to say something nice to someone everyday because sometimes someone needs to hear kinds words. You never know when someone else is having a bad day and those kind words just helped them feel better.

These are the kind of kids we should be raising today! The kids that learn at home to be kind to others, to be responsible for their obligations and actions and to respect other people, no matter their age or relation to them. Let’s all strive to be the parents that teach our kids to be a Kind Kid and change the world one kind kid at a time!

Teach Kids to be Kind Everyday and watch the world grow in Goodness

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Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Tin Cups with Printable Recipe

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffins

Lately, I have been on carb OVERLOAD… the more breads, pasta and sweets fed/fueled my emotions the better I thought I would feel. Well we all know that is far, far from the truth! The carb hangover has been horrible and just fed with more carbs. Let’s just say the weight I have lost from breastfeeding the baby has come back with every delicious carb I eat.

If I am going to change my mindset and emotions, then I need to change my eating habits as well. I need more proteins to keep my energy level up with being on the go, raising an infant and running a business. In the mornings, I just don’t have time to make breakfast so my go to is/was toast with peanut butter or an english muffin but that’s more carbs and I need to stop my carb addiction!

This egg muffin recipe is one that I loved in the past because I would freeze them, heat them in the morning and run out the door. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add anything you want… sausage, bacon, ham, spinach, peppers, onions, really the possibilities are endless and easy!

 

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Cups

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy breakfast recipe you can make ahead for your busy week.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 6-7 slices of bacon, cooled and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to liking

Directions

  1. Set over to 350 degrees. Generously spray the muffin tin with spray oil so that the cups come out of the tin easily.
  2. Place one egg in each cup and whisk with a fork, if easier you can do this in a separate bowl and divide among the cups evenly.
  3. Sprinkle the bacon in a cup.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes on bottom rack.
  6. Top each cup with cheese, return to the oven. Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before taking them out of the tin.
  8. Serve for breakfast, place in the fridge for easy on the go breakfast for the week (heat for 45 seconds in the microwave) or place in a freezer bag, place in the freezer and eat in the future (heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.

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Struggling With My Gratitude

Struggling with My Gratitude

With everything that has occurred this year, I have been struggling with my gratitude and thankfulness, hence the many missing Thankful Thursday posts. It has become difficult to be grateful when I am so angry at so many people and at the Universe.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my kids and supportive family and friends through these difficult times. The problem is that I draw a blank when I think about what I am grateful for in my life. I will find something I am grateful for and then think about what I don’t have or how I got screwed out of something related to this grateful thing, and I am back to being angry again.

This mindset of anger has effected every aspect of my life where I am not striving to be the best I can be. My business has been slow going because I feel like I just run out of time to do anything. Instead of doing what I need to do, my mind wanders and before I know it I have been thinking and engrossing myself for over an hour. Poof that time I had while the baby is sleeping is now gone and I can’t get it back. The rift in my already damaged marriage is just increasing in size because if I can’t control my anger towards things then I can’t be in a good place to work on bridging the gap. Even my poor supportive friends are being neglected because I know that when I speak, all I do is spew negativity so I have just stopped talking at all. The only ones that I have tried to protect from my ungratefulness is my children because no matter what they are my main priority in life and I don’t want them to feel my anger.

This all means that I need to go back to the beginning and work on myself. I need to make working on my self care and self love a priority because dwelling on my anger is only bringing myself and everyone around me down.

My top 5 things to help me work on my self care:

  1. Write and recite daily affirmations
  2. Write 5 things I am grateful for every night, even when I am not feeling grateful
  3. Listen to/Read the Secret and my other go to self care books
  4. Write out my feelings in my journal, even if it is multiple times a day
  5. Give myself time to love myself

In the past, I have gone through these periods which were triggered by a stress factor and in the past few months since Evelynne was born there has been multiple stressors. I know I can’t beat myself up for needing to start over in my self care journey (trust me I have been beating myself up for months now) because I am only human. As humans, we will go forward and have our setbacks but that is what makes us grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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Do you have any tips to get out of your funk and back to self care?