LOGIN
Home Current Issue Events Goods & Services Advertising Articles Where Do I Get It? Contact
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest

Check Out 18 of the Best Children’s Books by Age Group

January 18, 2017 at 1:36 PM • Posted in Educational Fun for KidsNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! With all the time spent indoors during the winter, it’s an excellent time to reignite a love of reading in our kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has a great list to get you started of great books for children from very young to teen. Take a look!

Check Out 18 of the Best Children's Books by Age Group

Check Out 18 of the Best Children’s Books by Age Group

 

My topic this week is supposed to be 18 of the best children’s books. But what does that mean? Most popular? Of all time? For ages 3-5, newborn, (ugh!) teens? Honestly, I was lost and didn’t know where to start. So where do you go if you need answers…yes first I went to Google but then went back to my roots and actually went to the library! Yep! An honest to goodness brick and mortar with windows and doors library. When I walked in, a very nice woman introduced herself as a librarian and said that she could help me find what I needed. I thanked her and tried to remember her name so I could send her a fruit basket later and headed to the children’s section.

I’m joking—at least about the library part. I am actually a passionate advocate for reading and the library is one of my girls’ and mine more popular date spots! But I was still lost about the topic, so here is my attempt of a list of the best books for kids. Some I did find on lists of well-respected journalists and papers, some from those in the “biz” of teaching kids and some I just had from my own list of loves. I am by no means an expert and I haven’t even come close to reading every book on the planet. But one thing I do know, I am a passionate reader and I want to instill that in my kids. I would much rather build their personal libraries than give them gifts and hope that one day they will appreciate that. Hopefully you can take this list and add it to your own families’ reading list.

 

Younger kids

 

Check Out 18 of the Best Children's Books by Age Group // iFamilyKC Blog

 

#1 Owl Moon by: Jane Yolen

When I was a kid, I thought it would be the coolest thing to go out on a snowy night with my parents. I can just imagine the cool air and the quiet. Now that I am older it seems this could be the thing of nightmares! What if I freeze? What if I come across a serial killer or a rabid wolf? Still, it’s a beautiful book—and a classic!

 

#2 The Giving Tree by: Shel Silverstein

ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES! And no one understands why. I think because the relationship between the boy and the tree can be taken so many different ways. Is the tree taking care of the boy? Or should the tree have told the boy to go out, get a job, and figure out how to do things for himself? It’s up for interpretation, but such a great quick read!

#3 The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by: Jon Scieszka

My girls love this book. Every night this is on our list. And I think I like it too because of the different viewpoint—from the Wolf. He just needed a simple cup of sugar for his dear granny’s birthday cake! There is always two sides to a story!

 

#4 Harold and the Purple Crayon by: Crockett Johnson

 

 

#5 Make Way for Ducklings by: Robery McCloskey

I always remember this one from school and I am not sure why, the simple story of a family of ducks in a Boston park and their journey to find a new home that is safe to raise a family. What was kind of cool is when I visited Boston last year for work, I took a whole bunch of pictures of the same park (they have a statue for the ducks and everything) and then made kind of a photo album out of the book and my real pictures for my girls, they thought this was so cool!

 

#6 The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Back by: Drew Daywatt

 

#7 There’s a Giraffe in my Soup by: Ross Burach

 

Just a fun read. And really great for those younger kids because they can interact with the story by naming the animals and making the animal sounds.

#8 The Paper Bag Princess by: Robert Munsch

 

If you have a daughter or if you just need a reminder that we are strong independent women then give this one a read. Just another view of the typical princess story and gives a fun interpretation. Definitely on my list of favorites.

 

#9 School’s First Day of School by: Adam Rex

#10 Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by: Virginia Lee Burton

 

A classic that still speaks to modern themes. Industrialism, new machines and technology taking over for older models. If you find a copy it is guaranteed to have that old book smell, but worth it!

 

#11 Bedtime for Frances by: Russell Hoban

 

Young Adult

 

Check Out 18 of the Best Children's Books by Age Group // iFamilyKC Blog

 

#12 Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by: Astrid Lindgren

From the author of Pippi Longstocking, this is a good one for those aged 8-12, again it’s an oldie but a goodie. A wild-haired girl, a forbidden friendship and a war just to top it all off. Great, quick read for a book report if you teachers want something that maybe hasn’t been done over and over again!

#13 Inspector Flytrap by: Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell

A really cute series for ages 6-9 years old. It’s got everything, humor, mystery but still silly enough to be interesting to younger kids. I have heard from several kids in this age group that these are just “awesome!”

#14 The Wild Robot by: Peter Brown

 

#15 The Serpent King by: Jeff Zentner

 

Teens

Check Out 18 of the Best Children's Books by Age Group // iFamilyKC Blog

#16 The Girl from Everywhere by: Heidi Heilig

Leave an anonymous note to your teen to check out this book. This is the first in a series about a time- traveling sixteen year old who travels the globe and has to fight for everything, including her very own existence. It may even get your teens interested in history again.

 

#17 Outrun the Moon by: Stacey Lee

 

#18 The First Time she Drowned by: Kerry Kletter

 

I found this one on a “Teen” list but warning: it deals with some pretty heavy topics including mental health and family issues. I suppose I can’t be that naïve to think that teens don’t go through this every day! It is a beautifully written story about an eighteen year old just trying to control the demons of her present to untangle the past. I would recommend, reading this too; could be an eye opener to how we interact with our own teenagers!

What are some of your family’s favorite books? Please, share in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

10 Simple & Fun Date Night Ideas For This Weekend

January 14, 2017 at 1:44 PM • Posted in Creative FunNo comments yet

As most of us are gearing up for the Chiefs game and staying in to wait out the ice storm, you may be planning your next outing with your significant other. Our Mom Squad Ambassador has a great list of easy and fun date night ideas to blow that cabin fever away. Check it out…

 

10 Simple & Fun Date Night Ideas For This Weekend

 

10 Simple & Fun Date Night Ideas For This Weekend

 

Date nights can be kind of stressful. You may have kids to plan around, work schedules that may have you running around for more than 12 hours a day and just a lot of things that seem to happen at the worst time. So when you plan your next date night, try these simple ideas to avoid the added stress of planning!

#1 Date at Home

I know this probably doesn’t seem like a “go to” idea, but when the kids are out of the house, it is perfect! You can still dress up, get amazing takeout and enjoy each other’s time. Plus you can stay up late and not have to worry about commuting back home.

#2 Museums

Museums are a great place for a date. You can explore new and old treasures, get to know each other while walking around plus they are FREE!

#3 Sip &Paint

Sip and paints are the latest craze in outings. These are classes allow you drink and paint in light friendly atmosphere. Plus, it gives you a gift to give each other at the end of the night!

#4 Dance Class

Taking a dance class is something most adults don’t do on a daily basis. So taking a class that lets you take down your hair and loosen up for the night will help you relieve stress from your week and pretty much guarantee a night of laughs.

#5 Walks in the park

This may sound like a typical scene from a RomCom, but there is so much to see in a park. Plus if you are walking you are probably not being distracted with your phone or social media ( unless it’s iFamilyKC then you are ok lol).

#6 PubCrawl

This may sound out there but a good pub crawl is so easy you really only need one plan. When and what time are we meeting? Once you get to where you are, you can check out other places, get some food and hear some music. You don’t have to worry about reservations, dress codes or having to wait for an open table.

#7 Events

Local events are great! You can enjoy music, poets or your favorite sports teams. Plus it will give you plenty to talk about after words too.

#8 Traditional dinner

If you like having something set in stone and not too stressful, make a quick reservation at your favorite place!

#9 Playing Games

Playing games is also a great idea for having date night at home or with a group! There are so many games out there, all you have to do is pick one up or pull out a deck of cards. Have a competitive team game? Try girls vs guys for some friendly competition!

#10 Wine Tasting

Take a tour of a winery and try some out! If you are too busy or tiered to plan something then a wine tasting is perfect! Let the guides do all the talking and planning. You just show up, look around and have a few drinks and snacks! Simple as that.

I hope you find these ideas helpful when planning your next date night!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

January 12, 2017 at 9:33 AM • Posted in Creative FunNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! As we all prepare for the impending ice storm, many of us will be inside surrounded by our families. To keep you and yours from going completely stir crazy, why not settle in for a good ol’ fashioned family game night? Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, gives her family’s 10 top favorite games to play on those nights where you want (or have) to stay in. Check it out!

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

I love a good family game night! Snacks, laughs and memories are always present and a guaranteed fun time! Family game night is a great way to connect and challenge those in your family, especially the younger ones!
I wanted to share with you my top 10 favorite games that I grew up with or that I play with my family! So here they are! (in no particular order lol)

 

1. Heads Up

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

This game is super fun! You can use the app or buy the box game at most retailers. We use the app (free) and let me tell you this, it gets pretty serious! After you pick a category, the other players on your team will give you clues and you must answer as many as you can before time is up!

 

2. Spoons

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

This game is another game that gets serious lol. Placing 1 less spoon than there are players in the circle, the dealer passes out 4 cards. Everyone passes one card to the left simultaneously, the dealer draws one card and the person right of the dealer discards one into a separate pile. The goal is to get 4 of a kind (4 aces, 4 queens etc.). Once you have your 4 pick up a spoon or if someone else grabs a spoon quickly grab one! You don’t want to be the last one to grab a spoon!

 

3. Life

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

My kids love playing Life. Giving them the option to choose their own paths lead to pretty interesting outcomes!

 

4. Uno

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

Another game that gets serious in my family! Now that I think about we may take games a little too serious lol. Uno is a classic game that just about anyone can play! Just remember this, trust no one in UNO! No alliance is bigger than a draw four!

 

5. Family Feud

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

You can buy this game at most retailers. We love the show and while this may not be as fun as the show or Steve Harvey, we still have a good time.

 

6. Mad Gab

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

This game is guaranteed to get you thinking. Players read cards with random words on them and when they read them out loud, you try to guess what they are saying. Example, “Wander Her Womb Hen” that would sound like Wonder Woman. This game is such a fun one!

 

7. Catchphrase

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

This game is very similar to Heads Up. The only thing that is different is going fast so you don’t end up with the device! The team that doesn’t have the device when the timer goes off gets the point!

 

8. Minute To Win It

 

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

This is where you can get really creative! Think of small tasks like trying to get a cookie from your forehead to your mouth with no hands, and try to complete it in less than a minute! This game really has no rules so you can do whatever you want! Just make sure it’s less than a minute.

 

9. Phase 10

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

This game is perfect for older kids or for those that like a challenge. This deck comes with a phase list. Each phase has a different requirement. The first one to get all the Phases wins! You can also find this at most retailers.

 

10.Go Fish

10 Fun Games for a Great Family Game Night

 

If you have younger kids, this will be one of their favorites! I know my kids love it! Instead of using number cards, opt for the themed ones. Most stores have them for $1!
I hope these games will give you some ideas for your next Family Game Night! What are some of your favorites? Share with us in the comments!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Check Out This Easy Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

January 10, 2017 at 2:55 PM • Posted in Creative FunNo comments yet

Hello, Kansas City! We’re on our way through January, and some of us are still recovering the craziness of the holiday season. January offers a lot of motivation to start the year off on a good foot, but also gives us all an opportunity to wind down from the previous season. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, shares her low-key, free, and easy remedy to renew yourself and spend some time with the family. Check it out!

Check Out This Easy (and FREE) Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

Check Out This Easy Way to Wind Down from the Holidays

 

After a month of marathon shopping, cleaning, cooking and hosting duties, I said farewell to my final group of holiday visitors Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day sick in bed. At first, I was so frustrated. Feeling ill was not how wanted to finish off my weekend. Around noon, my eldest daughter came in to check on me and asked if I’d like to watch a movie. I agreed and we spent the rest of the day in bed burning through Netflix and munching on crackers. She told me it was the best day and I had to agree.

The funny thing about the holidays, is that I ran myself ragged for my family and spent a lot of time with extended family, but my kids and I did not get much one-on-one time. It’s ironic really, that we spend so much time making the holidays magical for our kids, but we may just be missing the mark.

After weeks of parties and gifts and playdates, my daughter’s favorite thing was hanging out and watching movies with me. Now I’m sure a part of that was in its uniqueness. A nagging part of my mom brain worried about screen time several times, but I let it go and I’m glad I did. It was a really fun day and one that didn’t cost a thing.

It reminded me of another thought I had the other day. My mom was commenting on how quickly time goes by, and it does- for adults anyway. Commenting on the speed of time is one of my mother’s favorite things to note and in agreeing with her now, I remembered that I didn’t always. I remember when I was a kid and the days seemed long and a school year felt like forever. In the hustle and bustle of getting through our weeks and months- we may be once again missing something.

Perhaps kid years are a bit like dog years in that there’s less to mark time and so they’re just on a different scale. Maybe when I think to myself ‘twice a month I have this moment with my child and that is a lot,’ really isn’t true. It’s certainly something to consider. And I hope to find more time in my schedule for lazy hang outs and focusing completely on my time with my kids. Apparently, those are our best days.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 https://app.robly.com/subscribe?a=5d6de430c4902a05822eb0085d13159c

This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

January 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in MoviesNo comments yet

Happy Winter, Kansas City! I know most of us are (hopefully) cozy in our homes, but if you get a little stir crazy and are looking to get out of the house — why not check out this upcoming film, Hidden Figures? It’s about 3 African-American female mathematicians who helped get NASA astronauts into space. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the film, and raves about it below. Check it out!

This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

 

This Weekend at the Box Office: Hidden Figures

Rating: PG
Run Time: 127 min
Release Date: January 6th, 2017
Director: Theodore Melfi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae

 

This week I had the chance to see another movie that I had put on the top of my list, simply because Hans Zimmer did the score (love his work). Offhand I knew it would at least be entertaining through music, but once I saw the trailer, I knew it was something that had to be seen! I just had no idea how amazing and truly impactful this movie would really be!

 

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson (Katherine Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Dorothy Vaughan) and Kansas City KS native Janelle Monáe (Mary Jackson). These women alone are a reason to get excited! Not only are they award winners, but they have various awards for different styles of roles. They alone are well worth the price of admission. It also stars Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons who themselves have an amazing list of credentials!

 

The film is a true story of 3 remarkable women. Set in the ‘60s, a time of segregation and so much hate. During the “race to space” between America and Russia, 3 black women changed the face of NASA by not only their skills and knowledge, but also by their passion and desire to be great! Starting off as “computers,” these ladies were able to work with some of the most brilliant minds in America as they set forward to launch John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth! This movie does a great job of shining light on these women and their brilliant minds as well as what they really had to fight against in the early 1960’s.

 

I really loved everything about this movie. There were only a few curse words (I think 2) and one scene where two characters kissed but even that quickly faded away. It is definitely a family movie night must!

 

As a mixed woman and mom of 3 black girls, I honestly cannot think of a more important movie for them to see that’s coming out. And not just black girls but young girls everywhere! Not only is it about women that have excelled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), but it showcases courage, knowledge, and strength. It teaches them that no matter what someone thinks of you, how they treat you or how hard it may be….to never give up! To fight for what is right and never let someone tell you, you can’t achieve your goals!

 

I will gladly give Hidden figures a 10/10 rating! Trust me as soon as it comes out, GO SEE IT!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

January 1, 2017 at 8:53 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

Well, it is finally here, Kansas City! 2017 has shown up at our doorstep. We here at iFamilyKC are so excited for a new year and grateful for all of you that continue to support us year after year. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, reflects on the challenges that 2016 brought and the goals she and her family have going forward. Check it out (and Happy New Year!)

A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

A New Year Reflection from a Kansas City Mom

 

A New Year is here and I, for one, am very ready for the calendar to change. Much like my type A brain relishes a clean new notebook, an empty drawer or an organized email inbox, a New Year feels like a clean slate. I like to empty my mind and heart of old sorrows and recalibrate.

2016 was a year of immense change for me, and while most of those changes have been for the better- stress is stress. My oldest started Kindergarten, we moved in with my sister’s family while we were between houses, my husband switched jobs, I began working again, we got a new cat, a new fish, two chickens and a tractor! Our new home is incredibly unique and brings all sorts of challenges. I’m exhausted just thinking about it all! Which is exactly why I am happy to let go of the anxiety change can bring and adjust to the way things are now.

2017, for me, is going to be about living in my new normal. Renovating our house, building up a farm and seeing my youngest off to Kindergarten are all on my new agenda. Family time is going to be my biggest priority. With everything going on last year, my children were often handed iPads or crayons and told to entertain themselves while my husband and I talked and planned and worked. This year I want us to be working on things together. Part of the reason we wanted to get some land was to give our daughters the opportunity to explore and play and appreciate nature. All of us seem so much happier when we spend more time outdoors. So, while plenty of time will be spent riding bikes and having picnics, some of the time will also be spent building chicken coops and planting gardens as a family.

Along a similar vein, I asked my kids and husband if this year we could make a family resolution. We all agreed to spend less on ‘things’ and more on ‘experiences.’ This means everyone is taking a break from buying clothes unless necessary (I’ll miss you Madewell!) and toys (only one toy per kid for birthdays and holidays). The money we save can be put towards family outings and hopefully a vacation too! I eyeballed the children while giving my cutting back speech, but I actually think it will be the toughest for me. My husband had a pretty sweet holiday haul so he seems happy. Hopefully this will help make family time a bit easier and more fun.

All in all, I am pretty darn excited about 2017! I hope you all feel the same. Happy New Year!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdDarcyv2

emailsignupforblog3

5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year’s Goals

December 30, 2016 at 12:23 PM • Posted in Holiday, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on 5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year’s Goals

Good morning, Kansas City! As we say goodbye to 2016, many of us are looking forward with goals for the new year. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great strategies to set your 2017 year up for success. Check it out (and have a great and SAFE New Year!)

5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year's Goals

 

5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year’s Goals

 

It’s no surprise that when the New Year rolls around, everyone will have their resolutions underway, or they are setting their goals in place. But one thing about the New Year is for sure. How you start it will set a tone for the remainder of the year!

When I start thinking of the upcoming year, I like to think about all the things that went wrong, went right or I didn’t get to do! In case you don’t know me, lists are like my little mind saving, stress reliving life saver! I make lists for just about everything, so why not for the upcoming year?!

 

#1 Find a Calendar

When I start planning, the first thing I do is find a super cute calendar! In my mind, if it’s pretty it will keep your attention lol. I find a cute calendar that I can place in my “mommy binder” (how I keep my #momlife in order), and I fill it with our set in stone dates i.e. birthdays, Holy Days, anniversary and so on. Knowing the dates and seeing those written keeps me from double booking our days and allows me to work other schedules around them!

 

#2 Set Goals for Yourself

Second, I set my goals for ME. I set my weight loss goals by dates, my blogging and promoting times and anything else that I need to take care of that are for me, (hair, threading, girls night etc). Once I have those dates marked down, it gives me some peace of mind knowing that no matter how crazy or hectic my life is, I can plan my “escape” and enjoy a little me time! I’m sure you also get wrapped up in what your families have going on and often forget or neglect time for yourself. I chose to put my dates second because I know that they are needed and if I put them in last or after my family’s dates, my calendar will fill up without me!

 

#3 Add plans from the other people in your family/life

Third, I add everything dealing with my kids and husband. We home school so most of what I plan for them are school dates, field trips and fun days to kind of get them out of their routine and have a little extra “school free” time. I also add in appointments for the Dr. Office, dentist and I make little notes to ask for referrals for specialists so I won’t forget!

 

#4 Reflect on areas of improvement from the past year

Fourth, I think about all the things that went wrong during the year, my short comings or things that I need to get better at. Once I know what those are, I hit up Pinterest for a little motivation. Pinterest has great motivational articles, pictures and tips.. so go crazy! I have two boards specifically for motivating me as a mom and wife and they truly have helped me more than I would have thought.

 

#5 Set the Tone

Fifth, I set the tone! I tell myself that the upcoming year will be great! I remind myself of all the things that I want to accomplish in my home or in my business and I burn it into my brain! My husband and I sit literally for an hour or so and talk about how things are going to get better or change for us in the New Year. The more I talk about the things I want to change or accomplish the easier they become to achieve them!

 

I hope you had a great year and I hope your 2017 is even better!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

 

 

 

 

emailsignupforblog3

 

 

10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

December 26, 2016 at 6:11 PM • Posted in Mom ResourcesComments Off on 10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

Hello, Kansas City! We’re now less than a week away from the new year, and many of us are ready to tackle a new year, or perhaps make a few changes. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has an awesome list of 10 ways to kick your new year off on the right foot. Check it out!

10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

 

10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

 

The new year can be something that you either look forward to or not. You can be over stressed, over worked, and completely out of order. So why not take the remaining few weeks of the year to plan out how you will attack the upcoming year!

Here are 10 tips that are sure to get you focused, organized and ready to start a new chapter in your life!

#1 Clean

A lot of people do their annual deep cleaning in spring, but what about all the stuff that gets accumulated during the summer and fall? New school clothes, summer camp and family vacation souvenirs have filled your home and now it’s time to break out the winter coats and make room for all the upcoming holidays, birthdays and new family pictures! Doing a deep clean in the winter not only makes your spring cleaning easier but it will get you ready for a fresh start in the New Year.

#2 Organize your house

Along with cleaning, organizing your house takes away so much stress! You can what you have too much of, need more of and it gets your new year started off in an organized way instead of total chaos!

#3 Finish projects

Another thing that goes along with cleaning and organizing, finishing projects! Take a week or weekend to finish up all your Pinterest projects!

#4 Set new goals

This speaks for itself! Create a brand new bucket list, weight loss/gain plan or whatever task you have been putting off. Make a plan to get it done before the new year or if it’s a really big one, set a date in the new year and start a countdown.

#5 Organize your life

One thing people forget to do outside their home, is to organize their life! Weather it’s setting up a bill paying schedule, a family menu or even planning a family calendar. Organize all those small things in your life to keep it as organized as possible.

#6 Get rid of negativity

This can be people, a job or habit. Get rid of it! If someone in your life is always negative, a lot of times it’s necessary to remove them. Job causing unnecessary stress or negativity in your life, look for a new one or change your career path. Have a bad habit? Use the remaining time of this year to get ready and kick it. Don’t go into the new year with a habit that causes you stress, creates negative emotions or so on in your life.

#7 Start a vacation fund

Saving for a whole year can really pay off! So why not start a vacation fund and take a winter vacation or visit distant family.

#8 Pick up a new hobby

Unless it is a true passion, drop the old and pick up a new hobby! There are so many things out there that you could experience why only stick to one?!

#9 Start a journal

This is something that I love to do! Journaling is very freeing and relaxing! Having a journal where you can pour all of your emotions, thoughts and goals into is a great feeling. Try challenging yourself by writing in it every day for the year and see how you have changed at the end!

#10 Create a vision board

This is my favorite! I am a pretty artsy person so vision boards are definitely one way I can get myself focused on starting off on the right foot. You can make one about anything or as many as you want! Keep it somewhere where you will have to see it every day!

I hope you found some inspiration from these tips on how you can start your new year off right!

From iFamily to Yours,
brigettev8

 

 

 

 

 

emailsignupforblog3

25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

December 24, 2016 at 11:56 AM • Posted in Coping, Holiday, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on 25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

Christmas Eve is upon us here in the metro area and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably frantically getting in those last minute errands that you’ve been putting off forgotten about, baking holiday treats, and cleaning the house in anticipation of loved ones later this evening (or in my case, first thing tomorrow morning). It’s okay, we can all be superheroes from time to time, right?! Don’t stress out, it’s all going to be fine…right? RIGHT? Thankfully, our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad team member Leah shares her 25 tips for managing holiday stress with us right here on the blog. Take a look…

25 Ways to manage holiday stress

25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

If you are anything like me you are guilty of trying to do a thousand things at once. I find myself being  pulled between trying to locate the “perfect gift”, attempting to stay on budget, pull money out of thin air, working more hours to afford “the perfect gift”, ordering things online, and trying to create time to wrap gifts all while trying to balance my daily tasks. Needless to say this momma is wore out.

The holidays tend to add so much stress and chaos to our already over packed lives. Yet, their intention is to the opposite. This year I am determined to approach things differently. I don’t want my son to judge holidays based around how well I may or may not handle stress. We all know that kids see everything even when we think otherwise. I want to make sure he sees me handle things with grace. After all I cannot expect him to if I don’t.

It really is my goal to learn how to master stress so it does not master me. I know that I will not be able to completely avoid stress. However, that doesn’t mean that I cannot try to handle it better when it arrives. I have found some pretty simple ways to help make your holidays a little less hectic. I hope that you can find one or two them useful.

#1 Take an Epson Salt bath – for an added stress relief add essential  oils

#2 Create a daily gratitude journal- use this to remind yourself what you are grateful for in yourself and others

#3 Go outside for a walk or run- being around the sunlight can improve your mood

#4 Instead of stressing out over dinner give yourself permission to order out

#5 Turn on some good music

#6 Have a glass of wine

#7 Have a cup of tea- there are so many teas out there to help you relax

#8 Give your partner a massage then have them return the favor ( or just book an appointment at a salon)

#9 Go get your hair done… I always feel better after a good hair cut

#10 Set a budget and stick with it

#11 Schedule a lunch date with a friend  and share a good laugh

#12 Turn off your phone so you can get stuff done without being distracted

#13 Try to give out “group gifts” when you have to buy for a family. This will help you stay on budget. You can buy them a movie, popcorn, snacks, etc. Plus this encourages them to do something as a family.

#14 Pace yourself- you do not have to do everything in one day. I find it useful to break my to do list down to a daily list instead. This also helps me feel less overwhelmed.

#15 Take a break and go do something fun as family

#16 Go see some Christmas lights and get yourself back into the Christmas spirit

#17 Light some candles around the house

#18 Meditate – this is an amazing stress reliever

#19 Go to the gym

#20 Call a friend or a family member that puts you in a good mood

#21 Get some sleep

#22 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

#23 Don’t sweat the small stuff

#24 Remind yourself that if something does not get done there is always tomorrow

#25 Listen to yourself- only you know your limits

To follow Leah further please go to her page at  www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

From iFamily to yours,

Leah

leah_ifamilykc_momsquad25 tips for managing holiday stress

emailsignupforblog3

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

December 23, 2016 at 8:00 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

Happy Friday, Kansas City! We know many of you may be scrambling to gather the last minute presents for friends, family, and neighbors, so our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, came up with a quick (and easy) list of gifts you can purchase from the comfort of your own home. No need to battle the crowds and traffic, just a couple of clicks and you’re taken care of. Take a look…

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

For your favorite family

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

 

Friends of the KC Zoo Family Membership — By far the best deal for families in the city. For just $109 ($169 if you live outside of Jackson County), your family can get 15 months of zoo access PLUS unlimited rides of the train, tram, carousel, boat and sky rides.

 

For your favorite kids

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

Surprise Ride Subscription — This box has a different theme each month and comes packed with fun and educational activities to keep your kids busy. My three kids shared a box and we were still able to milk the content over two evenings. $28/month.

 

For your favorite gal

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

Fair Trade Friday — This is my favorite go-to gift when I want to give something unique. The Fair Trade Friday box includes 3-4 items that are fairly traded and provide employment and empowerment to impoverished women all over the world. Items include things like jewelry, soaps and coffee. Prices vary.

For your favorite guy

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

SprezzaBox Subscription — Don’t worry about fit, this box is full of one-size-fits all stylish fun for dudes like sunglasses, socks, grooming products and ties. It’s just $28/month and is guaranteed to have over $100 in products.

 

For a stranger

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

Kindness Cards — KindCraft KC started this trend and I love it. Make (or buy) Kindness Cards and pair each one with $5 to give to friends and family so they can enjoy bringing joy to a stranger’s day: Pay for a drive-thru order, tape some money to a vending machine, etc. It’s a gift you’ll both feel great about.

 

 

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

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdBeckyV2

 

 

 

 

emailsignupforblog3