Cool Ideas

Monthly Meal Planner (FREE downloadable and customizable document)

monthly meal plannerSo now that we are finally settled into our new home and know what our expenses are like, we decided to get back to our monthly meal planning which will help us track our food and lessen those “extras” that we tend to buy every time we go to the store.

**This is what works for us. You can customize this so it suits your needs and budget. This post is simply to suggest some ideas that might work for you and your family.

Our kids typically just enjoy cereal or Pop-Tarts for breakfast with the occasional pancakes or muffins on the weekends when I have time to cook a large breakfast. That’s why I have those listed at the bottom of the document.  Lunches for the kids are either PB&J or pepperoni and cheese, with the occasional chocolate/coconut/almond butter (my own recipe) sandwich or Nutella sandwich or frozen pizza on the weekends. The “other” is there for other ideas that I might have for the month for any one of us in the family.

This document can also be used as the shopping list. Once we write down what we want for the month, we know what we need to purchase. We write the “extras” on the back such Continue reading…

Create a New Year’s Eve time capsule with your child

time capsule questionnaire

Start a new tradition and capture your child’s personality each year. On each New Year’s Eve, have your child fill out this printable questionnaire. Try to have them write as much as they can or if they are too young to write, have them tell you what to write. Regardless of how young they are, they can still sign their name at the bottom whether it’s really their name or just a picture.

You can download the document below.

New Years Even Time Capsule Questionnaire

Go here for the full article and suggestions about what you can do with the questionnaire each year.

Re-pin this on Pinterest here.

Elf on the Shelf: Our Ziggy in 2013

Ziggy is our Elf on the Shelf. Our kids definitely now understand his purpose.  They know he reports back to Santa every night and returns in a different place each morning. They know that sometimes he can cause trouble. Most of all, they know that he is always watching and it is a constant reminder to have them think about the choices they make and the things they say. I don’t think they will ever forget the night two years ago when he painted all of their noses red! Ha ha!

They even know that sometimes Ziggy has some “favorite places” he likes to hide. (The result of Mommy and Daddy forgetting to move him) Yes….it happens more than I’d like to admit.

Like last year, I am going to chronicle the places we find Ziggy this year.

Our Ziggy returned today hiding in our gumball machine. The look on my kids’ faces when they were trying to tell me that he was INSIDE the machine was priceless. My oldest was literally jumping up and down while telling me (she was clearing a good foot off the ground…lol). He came with a note for them all explaining why he came back and to encourage and remind them that they are wonderful children.

ziggy

photo

Check back each day to see what Ziggy will get himself into. Most of all, I hope you enjoy the pictures. Please feel free to comment if you have any other ideas for our elf or to tell me what trouble your elf has gotten into.

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Snowball fight!

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Daddy’s little helper.

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Smack!

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Underwear thief! Almost got away!

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Caught in the act!

1014219_10201166036381418_308756203_n“Santa, you can put all the toys right here.” “At least you know that I’ve been good.”  Ziggy drew portraits of the kids (Slimey, Poopy and Stinky)

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Dance party.1520698_10201200392000287_1900839462_n

Watching Rudolph.1505358_10201206684637599_1954855476_n1491727_10201212252856801_331275991_n

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Underwear zip line……with friends.

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Paint the walls!

Do you want to find a way to capture the moment of your children’s youth and creativity? We found a way to do this in one of our extra rooms that we appropriately call the toy room. We decided that the best place would be in their reading corner since it needed some decorations anyway. You don’t need an extra room to do this. You can designate a spot in your child’s bedroom where they can paint their masterpiece.

Continue reading the article here to see how you can successfully do this with your children (including them following the rules you have set to keep any paint disasters from occurring).

Re-pin this here.

 

From A to Z, 115 Non-Candy items to put in Easter eggs

I always cringe around Halloween and Easter when I think about how much candy my kids will be getting. Since I am secretly the Easter Bunny…shhhhhh….don’t tell, I can control what appears in their baskets. I compiled a list of 115 items from A to Z to hide inside Easter eggs that are not candy. I hope some of these inspire you.

Please click here to see my full article and the list of 115 ideas.

Re-pin this here.

Elf on the Shelf- Our Ziggy in 2012

Ziggy is our Elf on the Shelf. This year, it seems like the kids understand his purpose a little bit more. They know he reports back to Santa every night and returns in a different place each morning. They know that sometimes he can cause trouble. I don’t think they will ever forget the night last year when he painted all of their noses red! Ha ha!

They even know that sometimes Ziggy has some “favorite places” he likes to hide. (The result of Mommy and Daddy forgetting to move him)

I decided that this year, Ziggy is going to be a bit more mischievous in our house. I also decided that I am going to chronicle his whereabouts each day.

Ziggy started out hiding in a place where the kids didn’t notice him for a week. We told them the we heard he was coming earlier and pretended not to know where he was for a few days. Then, I suddenly spotted him. That drove the kids nuts. Then, a few days later, my husband spotted him. This is when things got serious. Finally, my oldest spotted Ziggy in a chicken crate full of my childhood belongings.

Continue below to see other places Ziggy found this year.

Aw….he gave the kids some new toothbrushes.

Check back each day to see what trouble Ziggy will get himself into. Most of all, I hope you enjoy the pictures. Please feel free to comment if you have any other ideas for our elf or to tell me what trouble your elf has gotten into.

 

Make your own Reusable Paper Towels

So I saw something online that was very interesting. Reusable paper towels. Awesome! We go through SO many paper towels in this house that I cringe every time I have to throw it away. I feel like I am wasting it.

I found these reusable eco friendly snapping paper towels. They really are not paper but you get the idea. So I checked out the price…..$52 plus shipping………..NO. I began to think…..and shop. I went to Continue reading…