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4 Fun Family Recipes to Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

In celebration of National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month, take a look at these 4 yummy recipes from Bridgette!

national peanut butter lovers month

4 Fun Family Recipes to Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Now, if there is one celebration I can get behind… it’s the celebration of peanut butter! I personally am a peanut butter lover (as are most Americans), and if there is a way that I can sneak some good old p.b. in a recipe, I’m game!

Peanut butter may be loved by many but, sadly, not all can enjoy it due to allergies. So, keep in mind all of these recipes can be substituted for other nut butters. According to peanutbutterlovers.com, Americans will consume more the 65 million pounds of peanut butter this month. That is A LOT of peanut butter! So, in honor of National Peanut Butter month, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite (and easy) peanut butter recipes!

 

#1 Peanut Butter Sushi 

Peanut Butter SUSHI?! It’s not what you think! My kids love this and it is such a fun snack or lunch idea! All you need is whole wheat bread, peanut butter, bananas and honey (optional).

  • Cut crust off two slices of bread. Lay edge of one slice on top of the other. Using a rolling pin, flatten the two pieces of bread.
  • Spread peanut butter evenly across the bread
  • Place one peeled banana at top and roll tightly.
  • Slice banana into “sushi rolls”

 

#2 Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies can really be enjoyed ANY time of day. These are one of our go to snacks especially when we need to use up some bananas! All you need is oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter and chocolate chips.

  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • 4 really ripe bananas
  • 3 tbsp. of peanut butter
  • Chocolate chips

Mash bananas until there are minimal lumps. Then add in oatmeal in parts to while mixing to make sure all the oats are covered. Add peanut butter and chocolate chips into the mixture. Spoon “cookie mix” onto baking sheet and press to even out. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. I recommend making as many as you can because these will go… FAST!

 

#3 Peanut Butter Smoothie 

One smoothie that is every peanut butter lover’s dream!

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • Ice

In a mixer, add 1 serving of protein powder (usually 1 scoop), 1 cup of almond milk, peanut butter and ice. Blend until smooth. If you want to change the consistency, you can add ½ banana (for thicker) or more almond milk (thinner)to your smoothie.

 

#4 Peanut Butter Treats 

We all know and love the classic Rice Krispy Treats! They are a staple treat for every childhood, picnic and sweet tooth. But for all my peanut butter lovers out there, this is a peanut buttery twist on a classic!

  • 1 Bag of marshmallows
  • 1 box of FROSTED Rice Krispies
  • 4 tbs of butter
  • ½ cup of peanut butter

Heat butter and marshmallows in pan until melted. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Add in 4 cups of Rice Krispies and stir until covered. Lightly spray cake pan with cooking spray and add the mixture. Smooth out mixture until even. Allow treats to cool before cutting and serving.

Well there you have it! My absolute favorite peanut butter recipes! What are your family’s favorite peanut butter recipes? Let us know so we can try them! Looking for more fun on the go?! Connect with iFamilyKC for family fun, recipes and ideas, and more!

From iFamily to Yours,


10 Family Fun Activities to try this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great time to take advantage of having the family come together for some quality time.  Try these 10 family fun activities from Ruth and make the most out of your Thanksgiving family time!

 

fun family activities thanksgiving

10 Family Fun Activities to try this Thanksgiving

Once a year we have an opportunity for structured thankfulness, Thanksgiving. We gather together, work hard to clean and prepare a meal and then fight sleep from turkey induced comas. While many are thankful for their families, lives, jobs and so on… We tend to focus solely on that day and then for many the ominous and potentially daunting Black Friday adventure. As a mom and a teacher, I think it’s important to explore Thanksgiving a little deeper and have some family fun while you’re at it. Thus I have created a bucket list of ideas so you can do the same.

#1 Read the Story

Read up on the history of The First Thanksgiving. You can check out a book at the library (check with Mid-Continent Public Library to see if they have it) that is family friendly and talk about what happened during that time. One that I found, The Very First Thanksgiving Day By Rhonda Growler Green is a kid friendly non-fiction book geared for kids pre-k to grade 5.

#2 Take in a Classic 

Watch or rent A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Bill Melendez and Phil Roman. It is not fully historically accurate but it does make the story a little more palatable for little ones and of course an Emmy Award winning family classic!

#3 Support a Solider 

Support a soldier and/or their family this holiday season as a way of thanking them for their service. Here is a link to get your started.

#4 Learn a Prayer 

Learn a new Thanksgiving Prayer to share at the dinner table. Each year I have my kids recite a prayer to share at the holiday meal. Here are some ideas:

#5 Take Time to be Thankful 

Start a family thankfulness jar. Each day until Thanksgiving or you can add into it for the next year to read on Thanksgiving in 2018!

#6 Try a New Recipe 

Learn new Thanksgiving recipes to share at the family meal. Check out some retro recipes for fun too!

#7 Learn About History 

Visit the Mahaffi Stagecoach Farm and learn about living in the 1860’s. This experience can give you a sense of appreciation for all of the fancy amenities we have these days. The day after Thanksgiving they are opening their doors to families for exploration from 12pm -4pm.

#8 Do some Thanksgiving Yoga with Yoga Stories 

Thanksgiving yoga is a great way to burn off some post-dinner calories with your family!

#9 Spend Time Outside 

Play in some leaves! Get outside and make a leaf pile and have a little fun. You can be thankful for all the fun memories!

#10 Play a Thanksgiving Game 

After dinner, you can play a Thanksgiving game! This is another great way to bond with your family and friends, make memories and just have a little fun!

No matter how you slice it, Thanksgiving is more than just a big meal. It is a time for family and friends. Take some time and share the love and thankfulness this year.

From iFamily to Yours,


Five Fall Flavors Better than Pumpkin Spice

When the leaves start turning what’s better than a nice warm pumpkin spice drink from your local coffee shop?  Gabrielle shares a few of her non-pumpkin spice faves for fall.  Give them a try!

fall flavors

Five Fall Flavors Better than Pumpkin Spice

Everybody waits for that first bit of chill in the air, so they can run to their favorite coffee shop and order that first pumpkin spice latte of the year.  I had my first one last week, and it was delicious, as always.  People go nuts over pumpkin spice.  You can get it in pie form, or donuts, and of course, in coffee.  Starbucks has a whole marketing campaign advertising the arrival of this seasonal favorite.  But, there are other fall flavors I enjoy more than pumpkin.  Here are my top 5:

Honeycrisp Apples

Autumn is pique apple-picking season.  Apples of almost every variety are available in your local grocery store. Take your pick. My favorite variety has always been the honeycrisp apple.  They are the perfect combination of sweet and tart. They are delicious as a stand-alone snack, but they also are great dipped in peanut butter or caramel.  If raw apples are not your thing, bake them up in a pie, or if you are like me, you can saute’ them up in butter, and use them to top a sundae.

Chai

If you love pumpkin spice, I implore you to try a chai latte.  The cinnamon and cardamom of chai are as comforting as your favorite winter blanket.  You can usually order a cup of chai at your local barista, or you can buy a box of tea at the grocery store as well.  You will not be disappointed.

Eggnog

I know what you are thinking.  Eggnog is a winter flavor.  But grocery stores start stocking the shelves with this delicious holiday staple just before Halloween.  Eggnog by itself is delicious, but there are recipes out there for eggnog french toast, or you can use it as a creamer in your coffee.

Spice cake

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for those Little Debbie’s spice cakes to come out.  They are rare now, but if I find them, I always buy (and hide) a couple boxes for myself.  This delicious dessert takes all the warmest, most comforting spices, and bakes them into cake form.  What is there not to love?  And to kick it up a notch, some people throw in rum and make it a spiced rum cake.  Never had it?  Think carrot cake without the carrots.

Chili dogs

Nothing signifies the start of fall to me more than a big bowl of steaming hot chili.  Sure, you can top chili with whatever you like.  I like cheese and guacamole.  The kids like theirs covered in corn chips and served with a cinnamon roll.  But there is no better way to enjoy the flavors of chili, than atop a hotdog, covered with cheese and mustard.  (The chili replaces the ketchup.  No need to double up on the tomato flavor…unless of course, that’s your thing.)

So, there you have it.  The best flavors of fall, and the most magnificent thing about this list is that almost all of them can be paired with a slice of pumpkin pie, if you just have to have your pumpkin spice fix.

Happy eating!

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


Make The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner With These 5 Great Apps

Thanksgiving is nearly here!  Which means plenty of cooking, entertaining and spending time with loved ones.  Here are 5 Great Apps that will help you prepare a Thanksgiving Feast that will knock everyone’s socks off!  Take a look…

thanksgiving dinner

Make The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner With These 5 Great Apps

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is almost here, which means Christmas and all of the other holiday seasons are just around the corner. I’m excited, aren’t you?  It also means it’s to get your pots, pans and ingredients together get ready to dig in and spend hours of cooking to create a Thanksgiving banquet that everyone will enjoy. I love to cook but the challenge with Thanksgiving meals is that it is so much work and it is always a challenge to come up with different meal ideas because frankly turkey and stuffing can just be boring.  This year, consider turning to cooking apps.  The Internet is full of them and many can help you plan your meal, create shopping lists and help you find new recipes to try.  Not sure where to start? Check out my five favorites:

#1 Yummly

Looking for Thanksgiving meal to fit your lifestyle eating habits, Yummly has your back. You have a ton of recipes to choose from, but Yummly allows you to customize your food searches so you can prepare a meal that fits your family’s dietary needs. Doesn’t matter if you have food allergies, are on a diet or want to plan a vegetarian meal, Yummly will make it happen. The added bonus is Yummly will learn what types of foods you like and make recommendations based on that.

#2 Butterball Cookbook Plus

I think most of us who is eating turkey for Thanksgiving will be eating a Butterball. In addition to that great turkey is a pretty awesome app that offers hundreds of recipes based around … you guessed it turkey.  The app great ideas of how to cook ole Tom Turkey in addition to tips how to create a feast fit for a king or queen. If you struggle with what to do with all of that leftover turkey, Cookbook Plus has a ton of recipes that will help you create meals that won’t have you burned out on Turkey after the holiday has passed.

#3 AnyList

Getting organized is important to make sure your Thanksgiving meal goes off without a hitch. That’s where AnyList comes in. This useful app allows you to easily make shopping lists and helps you organize your recipes. You can import recipes from popular food web sites and you can share your shopping lists and recipes with family and friends.

#4 Epicurious 

This app has been offering online recipes since 1995. Geared for those who love to cook at home, Epicurious makes it easy for you to find Thanksgiving themed recipes, cooking tips and videos that you can pull up on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

#5 BigOven

Offering 350,000 recipes, BigOven not only allows you to find recipes for Thanksgiving.  You can also use the app and web site to create grocery lists, map out your Thanksgiving meal with the meal planner, and find ways to turn those leftovers into great meals.

Is your Thanksgiving Feast planned?  What processes do you use to create a Thanksgiving meal experience your family and friends will love and remember? Drop me a line, I would love to know.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Want to keep up with the latest tech tips and cyber security alerts? Subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Burton Kelso’ There are hundreds of videos designed to help you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or business.

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

 


iFamilyKC Kids Club Event Recap: Kick It Foos!

Your kids will always remember the fun that they had spending time with family and friends while doing something active. From kids birthday parties to family fun outings, the owners of Kick It Foos in Shawnee, have come up with a unique concept to help your family create lasting memories while you explore good old fashioned fun. We’ve got the scoop for you today on the blog AND a special OFFER that you’re not going to want to miss. Take a look…

family fun

At our recent iFamilyKC Kids Club event at Kick It Foos, attendees got to take part in some of their favorite classic family-fun games that have been transformed into life-sized versions that allow individuals to literally step into the game and test out their athletic skills.

Life-Sized Human Foosball, Connect 4, Kurplunk, Yahtzee, Foot Pool, and Tick-Tac-Toe!

Mention iFamilyKC and get 25% OFF Your Private Rental!

The kids just LOVED playing game after game of Human Foosball, a fun competitive activity that lets the kids use their own athletic ability to compete with and against friends.

Human Foosball

  • No age restrictions; however, participants must have a minimum shoulder height of 40 inches
  • Each team consists of six players: 1 goalie, 3 defenders and 2 attackers
    • Players face the opposite team’s goal
    • Players must place and keep both hands on their pole
    • Players must only move side to side – no player is allowed to move forward or backward on the court
    • Contact between players is prohibited
  • Play will begin by dropping the ball at mid-court
  • Play continues until a penalty occurs, the ball is out of reach or out of bounds, or a goal is scored
  • A penalty will be called and a goal awarded to the non-offending team if any of the following occur…
    • A player touches the ball with their arms or hands while the ball is in play
    • The ball is played above the foosball poles at any time
    • Any player jumps, leans or climbs over the foosball poles
  • When the ball goes out of bounds, the ball will be returned to the place it left the court and rolled towards the non-offending team
  • The winning team will be the team that scores the most goals when time is called
    • Each goal is worth 1 point
    • When a goal is scored, the game is restarted by dropping the ball at mid-court towards the non-scoring team

Participants also enjoyed playing games of foot pool, where they used their feet in lieu of pool cues to play the game!

Foot Pool

  • Break – Starting the Game
    • the first player places the white ball wherever they like behind the starting line to break
    • a break is valid when the #1 ball is hit first
  • When the first ball is pocketed, the player who pocketed it chooses a group of balls
  • A player’s turn lasts as long as they keep legally pocketing balls, until they miss a shot, commit a foul, or win the game
  • The game is won when:
    • a player legally pockets all of the balls from their group and, in the next shot, pockets the 8 ball
  • The game is lost when:
    • the 8 ball is pocketed in the middle of the game
    • the 8 ball leaves the table
    • the white ball is pocketed or leaves the table in the same shot the 8 ball is pocketed
  • Fouls – when a player commits any of the following fouls, the opponent can place the white ball wherever they want, although they only get one shot
    • pocketing the white ball
    • hitting any ball off the table

More About Kick It Foos!

Is there an age requirement?

  • No. However, for safety reasons, there is a HEIGHT (40″ shoulder height) requirement to play Human Foosball. This allows the players to be able to reach the poles and still be able to see the field in order to play the game. This requirement is typically met by 8-9 years old. Smaller children are more than welcome to play the other life-size games if accompanied by an adult when the use is included in the purchased package.

Do people that are not playing have to pay?

  • Yes and No. For any event that does NOT include private facility rental (Amateur, Rookie, and Semi-Pro), all non-paying spectators will be asked to remain in the spectators waiting area at the front of the facility to minimize congestion and increase safety for all the participants. If it is an ALL youth party, then they will allow 1 adult for every 6 children in for free as chaperones.  However, if chaperones decide to play, they must pay.

  • Events that include a private facility rental include access to all games for the entire duration of the event. So, any guest of a private facility rental event who is old enough to walk must pay when they are a part of a group participating.

Do they have staff that watch the kids during parties?

  • Having fun is their #1 priority at Kick It Foos. With that being said, they must make sure they provide a safe environment for everyone to have fun in. We provide a game facilitator / referee during rentals. They are there to enforce rules. However, please keep in mind that they are NOT there to watch your children.

Is there anything to do besides Human Foosball?

  • ABSOULTEY! They currently have Foot Pool, life-size Connect 4, Kurplunk, Tick-Tac-Toe, and Yahtzee.

Can we bring outside food or drink?

  • Some of their rental packages allow you to bring outside food and non-alcoholic drinks. This is clearly labeled on the description of each package. If this is something you’d like to do, please be sure to select one of those packages when booking.

You can book your kids birthday party, neighborhood “block party”, scout or church group, or friend group at Kick It Foos and save 25% when you mention iFamilyKC (making a 2-hour party rental just $225!). For more information, Visit them online at KickItFoos.com and be sure to sign up for our FREE eNews list so you don’t miss out on fun iFamilyKC Kids Club events just like this one every month!

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iFamilyKC Kids Club Re-Cap: The Language and Music House

Music is a universal language spoken all throughout the world and studies show that exposure to foreign languages during childhood makes it easier to learn a new language as an adult. What better way to give your child exposure to both than with the Language and Music House in Westport.

We recently had the chance to check it out with some of you at our recent iFamilyKC Kids Club event with them (and be sure to get on our FREE eNews list so you don’t miss out on future invitations), and have a recap for you today on the blog. Take a look…

iFamilyKC Kids Club Re-Cap: The Language and Music House

language-music-house

The Best Time to Introduce Kids to Language & Music is when they are still very young.

In case you missed it, we had a wonderful iFamilyKC Kids Club event at Language and Music House.  The kids got to try an instrument petting zoo, meet a real author and learn about multiple languages.  iFamilyKC readers get 50% OFF registration when you mention iFamilyKC.  Learning a language or instrument is a wonderful way to grow your child’s mind.

The best time to introduce kids to music and language is while they are still very young;. By the time they reach their teen years, many people have lost the ability to hear specific tones or accents. The mission of Language and Music House is to grow minds through music and language.  They offer kids classes in German, French, Spanish and Japanese, plus piano lessons for kids, voice, flute, violin, oboe, recorder and clarinet lessons too.
They also provide specialty help for Dyslexic minds as well, which are powerful but need to be taught reading and languages in a different way.  Language and Music House successfully tailors each class for the individual, whether they are a child or an adult.  Weekly kids classes are available as well as Winter Break, Spring Break and Summer Camps for expanded learning.  Call LeighAnn at 913-707-3134 to learn more about all that she and her team offer for students of all ages.

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Thanksgiving TO GO in Kansas City: The Only Way To Go!

Don’t let the pressures of the holiday season overwhelm you!  Kansas City has some great Thanksgiving To-Go options that will give you some peace of mind and your family some full bellies!  Take a look…

Thanksgiving Meals TO GO in Kansas City: The Only Way to Go.

I always thought the day I hosted Thanksgiving dinner was the day I’d become a real, certified adult. To be honest, it’s the sole reason I registered for china when we got married. Well, spoiler alert, I still don’t qualify for my official Adult Card. Place settings, stuffing a turkey, double ovens going around the clock, real cranberries, homemade pies? Let’s face it, I’m never going to be an adult.

Of course, the downside is, if I don’t cook, I don’t have any leftovers. Wait, is that good or bad? I suppose that’s why I always have 4 servings of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving every year so I’ll be so stuffed I won’t want them again for another year.

Regardless, if you’re looking to get your adult card the easy way (CHEATER!!!) or you want leftovers without any of the hassle, here are some places in KC offering turkey dinners to go:

Fritz’s Meats & Superior Sausage

10326 Stateline Rd, Leawood KS  66209

913-381-4618

Home of the smoked turkey. This place always has a line wrapped around the parking lot the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, so you know it’s good.

French Market

6947 Tomahawk Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208

913-362-0803

This isn’t your grandmother’s Thanksgiving meal (no offense, grannies). This place is packing up dishes even Martha Stewart would salivate over. Creamy butternut squash with Hazelnuts and Sage, anyone?

Stroud’s

8301 W. 135th, OP, KS 66223

(913) 499-0135

For those who think turkey is overrated, Stroud’s is taking orders for just the sides like, mac and cheese, chicken or turkey gravy, yams, corn and cranberry fruit salad. Yes, their famous mashed potatoes, too. Duh!

Hen House

Turkey (or Ham), traditional sides, rolls and a Tippin’s pie to boot, starting at just $59.

Hyvee

Get even more bang for your buck with Hyvee’s affordable turkey, ham or prime rib Thanksgiving dinners to go. Although their 4-person meal only comes with “one small-size of mashed potatoes” which would not be something I would be willing to share with others.

Sprouts

For those looking for a healthier option, Sprouts has natural turkey dinner with sides like creamed Kale & Spinach for 6-8 starting at $69.99.

Whole Foods

A little something to please everyone on this menu, including your vegan cousin Fred— like vegan pumpkin pie and Rutabaga-Potato Mash.

Williams Sonoma

Ok, for the ultimate cheat, you don’t even have to leave your house because you can get your (supposedly “world’s best Willie Bird”) turkey and all the fixings delivered right to your door. I mean, even I can do that.

From iFamily to Yours,

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog


Things NOT to Do on Thanksgiving

We all have that hectic Thanksgiving To-Do list… from cooking to entertaining.  It’s important that in the middle of all of the chaos that we remember what the holiday is truly about… enjoying your loved ones and all of the things that you have to be thankful for.  Here is Garbrielle’s list of things NOT to do on this Thanksgiving holiday.

thanksgiving

Things NOT to Do on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  I love it for several reasons.  It almost always guarantees that I’m getting a four-day weekend.  I get to enjoy time with friends and family, and there is a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  That being said, there are a few holiday traps involved that you should try to avoid. Here are a few things you absolutely should not do this holiday:

#5 DON’T Spend all your time shopping

A few years ago, it was all the rage to start Christmas shopping immediately following the Thanksgiving meal.  That’s not the case this year, as many stores are closing so that their employees can enjoy time with their families.  The “bad” (actually AWESOME) news is that means you get to spend time with your family, too.

#4 DON’T Spend all day cooking and/or cleaning

I usually cook Thanksgiving dinner.  My stove only has two burners (don’t even get me started!) so, this means I usually get up at 4:00AM to start meal prep.  This is not recommended.  You’ll be so tired by the time dinner is served, you won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Also, it is absolutely ridiculous to expect one person to cook the entire meal, and expect that same person to have to clean up when everyone leaves.  Consider potluck options, ordering pre-cooked holiday meals, and supplementing as necessary.  I know your grandmother did it all.  But you are not your grandmother!

#3 DON’T Sleep the day away.

I know the tryptophan hits us all.  I am the last person to deny anyone their afternoon nap, but please don’t spend the entire day napping.  Watch the parade.  Try to figure out the recipe for grandma’s rolls. If you doze off during the game, just know that smart phones are everywhere, and someone is bound to catch you with your mouth wide open, and your eyes wide shut.

The next two traps are an incredible balancing act.  You will likely find yourself teetering on the edge of one or both.

#2 DON’T Count calories.

This is a set up for certain failure. Thanksgiving is not the time to go on a fad diet.  Leave your calorie counting apps at the door, the macaroni and cheese I baked a few years ago had something like a gazillion calories per serving (and it tasted amazing).   It’s a time to enjoy yourself.  So do just that!

But…

#1 DON’T over-indulge.

Try to get a small amount of all your favorites, and if there is room after that, go back for the rest.   Leave room for dessert… because dessert is awesome, and somebody will make a peach cobbler, and a pumpkin pie, and an apple pie…

Seriously, the best thing about the Thanksgiving holiday is that we all have so many reasons to be thankful.  Do not let these little things ruin a perfectly good day, and a perfectly delicious meal.  Spend time with the people you love, and be grateful for the chance to do just that.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


10 Ways to Balance Life, Work, and Kids’ Activities… Or Atleast How To Fake It

Having a busy schedule is part of life when you’re a mom.  Finding ways to balance life, work, and kids activities will help you keep the chaos to a minimum!  Connie shares a few tips with us on how she balances her crazy busy, wonderful life!

balance life

10 Ways to Balance Life, Work, and Kids’ Activities

…Or At Least How to Fake It

Life is busy.  Crazy busy.  I thought maybe life would slow down once I had kids (nope!). Then I thought it might slow down a little bit once the kids were in school (nope, again!).  The truth of the matter is, as far as my own crazy life, a lot of it is my own fault.  I want my kids to be active and involved in sports and activities if they want to be.  I want to play volleyball.  If my husband wants to bowl, I want my husband to bowl.  I want to be busy.  I want to enjoy life—all of it—time with friends, and family and activities.  Balancing it all—now that’s a challenge.

Currently, I work 5 different part time jobs.  Some are as little as 4-5 hours a week, some are every other week jobs, but all of them are jobs that I enjoy doing.  I do all of these during the day while my children are in school.  I play volleyball one night a week and coach my daughter’s t-ball team as well.

Currently, my son is playing both baseball and soccer.  This means he usually has two games per week of each sport and at least two practices.  Sometimes we miss practice for a game, but we make as much as we can. My daughter is playing t-ball and taking dance and tumbling classes.  Again, this means one night a week at the dance studio and usually two games a week. My husband works full time and bowls one night a week. Most weeks, we have at least one activity per evening, many times, two.  On especially rough weeks, we have three in one night and have to miss something.

So how do I keep it all together?!

Create a visual

In order to keep my life straight, I sit down every Sunday and write out all of the things I have to do that week, starting with Monday.  I make a daily list, and then try to check items off as I get them done every day.  Having this visual helps me keep side tasks in mind as well.  For example, if Monday says Bailey—dance 530-615, Tumbling 615-645 and Mason—Baseball 6pm—this will remind me that I need to find someone to take Bailey to dance class so that we don’t miss Mason’s game and that I need to make sure Mason’s baseball uniform is washed and ready to go.

Get Some Help (When You Need It)

I often enlist the help of my mom if there are more activities going on than I can handle.  She will take my son to practice while I coach a t-ball game or take him to a baseball game while my husband bowls and I coach.  Friends will take my daughter to dance with them so that I can go watch my son’s baseball game.

Have a Plan for the Day 

Even if you don’t always stick to it.  I try to at least know what I have coming up that day and make a mental plan for how I am going to get everything done.  We usually have at least an hour of down time between picking the kids up from school and getting them to their activities.  I use this time to go over any school work they might have, talk about how their day went, get them a snack and just spend some time with them.  We use the time to decompress and just hang out.

Use Extra Time to Your Advantage

Yes, there are days where using time to my advantage means sitting down for 30 minutes and just taking a breather.  But that can also mean using a free moment to switch laundry or read a book to your kids or helping my son with his spelling list while my daughter is in dance class and we’re in the lobby watching.

Take Time for Yourself 

For me this means getting up before my family at 5am and hitting the gym.  I have to have time for myself in order to be a happy and sane mother and wife.  It took a long time for me to adjust to getting up before the sun, but now that I am used to it, I miss it when I sleep in.  I use the gym as my time to focus on me and my mental and physical health.

This also means playing volleyball one night a week.  Volleyball has been my favorite sport since birth I feel like and I love that I can still play it as an adult.  For you, me time might mean getting up early and reading a book and having a cup of coffee before the tiny humans need you to start getting them ready.  It might mean a massage or a manicure or a night out with your friends.  Whatever it means for you, make it a priority.  Schedule it.

Communicate 

I have to keep my husband updated on all of our activities.  We share a calendar so we know what is going on.  We are a team, we help each other out in whatever ways we can.  I don’t add anything to the calendar without making sure there isn’t a conflict.

Know When It’s Too Much 

There are times when I am overwhelmed.  When I feel like I can’t keep it all going or get it all done.  There are times when I am stretched too thin.  Those are the times when I reach out to friends for help or I try to slow things down a bit.  I try to work a little less at some of my more flexible jobs, or I put in some late night time on some baking I’ve committed to and sleep in the next morning instead of hitting the gym.

Plan Ahead 

When I know I have big commitments coming, whether it be an event I am helping host, or a baking gig that requires a lot of time, or a week that I know will be crazy at work, I try to plan ahead and get as much done as I can ahead of time.  I buy the ingredients for the cupcakes the week before I have to bake, I make some of the props/decorations for the Halloween party in September so that I know they are done and I am not rushing through last minute.

Try to Enjoy It 

Yes, being busy means being tired and little to no downtime and stress.  But it usually also means your kids are playing sports they enjoy and getting exercise and making friends, and you are getting to watch them do that.  It means that you have a job that you enjoy, maybe multiple jobs that you enjoy and that are helping provide for your family.  That you are taking care of yourself so that you are able to take care of your family.  It means you are living life.  Enjoy it!

Embrace the Crazy 

While I feel like I have a decent hold on things for the most part, there are days and sometimes weeks where I am just along for the ride.  Know that no one is perfect, no one has it all together, and that everyone messes up sometimes.  Learn to find the funny in the fails and move on.  You’re human, and you’re raising tiny humans who are soaking up everything you do.  Let them see that while you are their superhero parent, you are also a person who gets overwhelmed or who forgets a water bottle for soccer, or who feeds their kids chicken nuggets at 830 because they just now had time for dinner.  They’ll love you for it.

From iFamily to Yours,


Free Admission to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City and SEA LIFE Kansas City

How does FREE admission to Legoland KC or FREE admission to SeaLife KC sound for something fun to do with your kiddos during the upcoming holiday break? We’ve got an EXCLUSIVE discount just for you! Be quick – this offer is good through the end of the year. Take a look…
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FREE Admission to Legoland KC & FREE Admission to SeaLife KC!

Plan a visit to SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium with our iFamilyKC discount! Get one free child admission with each paid adult admission using our exclusive code, can be redeemed in person or online and stay tuned to iFamilyKC for more coupons for SeaLife Kansas City!

Say hello to graceful rays, majestic sharks & hundreds of tropical fish inside! An underwater world awaits at SEA LIFE Kansas City, located in Crown Center.

Now through the end of 2017, meet the armored division of the marine world with CLAWS! The Claws exhibit showcases incredible crustaceans from around the world, featuring the giant Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) with legs reaching up to 12 feet in length when fully grown!

To redeem, present this discount code to SEA LIFE Kansas City to the Admissions counter staff for walk-up purchase.  Or, redeem online with our iFamilyKC Kids Go FREE Promotional Code: iFAMKC HERE!

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Train Station Adventure is now open.
Climb aboard the all new play-zone inside LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City this year!
Climb, slide, jump and roll around train obstacles inside this all-new play zone! Families can use their imaginations to build their own LEGO® trains together and then test it on the tracks through the city to the countryside- all on a 15 foot long build table!
Hop into the Conductor’s chair and take a ride through the virtual world of Kansas City. With over 10 play interactives, discover something brand new inside Train Station Adventure!
To redeem, present this discount code to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City to the admissions counter staff for walk-up purchase. Or, redeem online with our iFamilyKC Kids Go FREE Promotional Code: iFAMKC HERE!  Stay tuned to iFamilyKC for more discounts and coupons for Legoland Kansas City!
From iFamily to Yours,
Your iFamilyKC Team

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