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The little book with BIG resources!

The Five Minute Mom Face

Good Evening, Moms!

I, like many of you, struggle with finding the time to complete my morning routine before rushing out the door for the day. More often than not, I find myself foregoing my own hair and makeup for the sake of helping my four year old prepare for her day. If you’re sitting here saying to yourself, “girlfriend, I can relate!” this post is for you. iFamilyKC Mom Squad contributor Jayne is a rockstar and she’s perfected a quick routine that helps her get ready in the mornings that we’re calling: The Five Minute Mom Face. Take a look…

FiveMinuteMomFace

A while back, I shared that getting dressed in the morning is a huge part of caring for myself and taking time for me as a mother. Since that time, I’ve also implemented a “five minute” mom makeup routine that has been going really well for me additionally. I don’t know what it is – but there’s just something about having at least a little makeup on to make me feel more put together. Here’s my routine in a nutshell:

– Foundation/Moisturizer

So, I cheat a little on this one. I have immensely dry skin, and haven’t ever really found a BB/CC/tinted moisturizer cream that is cool toned enough for my skin. To circumvent this, I buy moisturizer and mix foundation into it. That way, when I go to apply moisturizer, it cuts out the extra step of foundation. I do this quickly by just using my fingertips to blend.

– Concealer

As a mother, I find that under eye concealer is my number one go-to for makeup. If I leave the house with no other makeup on, I almost always have a bit of concealer. I’ve found several products recently that come in pen/pencil or roll-on form that go on easily and quickly and require minimal blending at the edges of where I apply.

– Blush

After years of not wearing blush, I’ve found it almost necessary in my routine as a mother. Without blush (and with my deep, tired under eye circles and in general tired looking face), I tend to look washed out and sickly pale. A simple swipe of blush on each cheek livens me up and gives me just a bit of color – and I’ve found a good quality brush is key to a fast application. I also look for highly pigmented color that I don’t have to layer to get the desired look, as that also takes more time.

– Mascara/Eyeliner/Eye Shadow

I put all three of these together, because typically on any given day I don’t hit all three. Most times, I will hit one or two but not the rest – depending on my timing. I find that a bit of mascara is almost always in my routine, but eye liner and shadow, again, depend on the day. Tips to make this part of your makeup routine easier? I’ve found that eyeliner made in gel form or in a pot are a lot easier and smoother to apply than stick eyeliners, so I spend less time fixing mistakes or in the application in general. Also, I keep very neutral shades of eye liner and eye shadows around that blend closely to the colors of my skin. For me, having neutral grays and soft navy colors tend to highlight my eyes in very small doses without having to layer on the makeup. A good eye shadow brush is also key here, and I find crease brushes to be my top pick when only applying one shade of color in haste as they make blending a bit faster.

I am able to get through the routine mentioned above in 5 minutes or less most days, but it does take some prep work. Instead of having a full bag of makeup, I keep my five minute routine makeup (including ONLY the brushes I use to apply) in a separate bag. This cuts down on the amount of time you spend sorting through your makeup bag or case trying to find specific items or brushes. Only what you need is there, and if you use a see through bag or baggie even, you can see exactly where everything you need actually is.

Also, as mentioned, all of the makeup I have is neutral in color and goes together. It’s easy to say, just quickly apply some eye shadow – until you sit looking at your palette for five minutes just trying to figure out what color you want to wear. Everything I have for my five minute face is pre-selected and I know exactly what colors I’ll use before even getting started.

Having an easy, seamless makeup routine has been key to feeling like a real person again some days and a big part of my self-care routine.

Do you put on makeup daily? What are some tips you’d offer to streamlining the process of a quick makeup look?


Quick & Easy Chicken Stew

Good Morning, KC!

It looks like old man winter has FINALLY made his way into the metro and with the anticipated snowfall we’re expected to get, I know many of you are thinking about making stew (which is, in my opinion, the PERFECT food for cold weather). iFamilyKC Mom Squad team member Emily M. is sharing HER favorite recipe for quick and easy chicken stew. Take a look…

Quick And Easy Chicken Stew

Quick and Easy Chicken Stew

The month of December is one of my favorite months. Everyone is in a festive mood after Thanksgiving and gearing up for Christmas. I love that unlike most holidays, I feel that Christmas lasts the whole month and can even carry on into the New Year. I love the ideas of families coming together and focusing on one another. I love how communities come together to provide for the needy, the sick, and the hungry. Christmas lights twinkle in the black sky. Tinsel, wreaths, candy canes, everything about Christmas is my favorite. One thing that comes hand-in-hand with this season is the Christmas rush. Everyone rushes from store to store and traffic is at a stand-still in some places. One thing that I run short on at this time of the year is time.

One of my favorite recipes is chicken stew. It is quick, easy, and filling; especially on a cold winter’s night. I always make a huge batch for my family of three just for the leftovers. The best part is that I can make it quickly over the stove or I can put it in the crockpot ahead of time. Dinner will be ready when the day slows down and I won’t have to spend an hour in the kitchen making a meal for my family. Below you will find my quick stove-top recipe for an easy chicken stew your family will love.

Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cans (14 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies
  • Optional: chopped onions and celery to taste

Directions:

  • Remove meat from the rotisserie chicken and shred into a large pot.
  • Add cream soups and chicken broth into the pot and stir well.
  • Heat soup over medium-high heat.
  • While the soup is heating, heat your vegetables in separate pan. I typically use steam-bag vegetables and heat in the microwave.
  • Combine vegetables into soup mixture and stir well.
  • Season to taste with ingredients of your choice. I sometimes add ground black pepper, dashes of onion powder and garlic powder, or I add creole seasoning to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is super easy and quick to make on busy nights. The ingredients can all be combined and added to crockpot ahead of time on low for 4-6 hours or high for 6-8 hours. One thing we enjoy is turning this into chicken noodle soup or chicken and dumplings. Boil roughly a bag of egg noodles and drain. Add the noodles to your completed soup for a delicious pot of chicken noodle soup. Alternatively, after your stew is finished, cut up a can of Pillsbury biscuits into quarters and add to stew. Cover for about 15-20 minutes until biscuits are finished for chicken and dumplings. I love this recipe because it is so versatile. I can add or remove vegetables at will and my daughter will eat it all up!


Outdoor December Fun: The Ice at Park Place Leawood

Good Afternoon, Friends!

With the warm December weather we’ve been having here in the metro area, we’ve had a lot of people asking for fun OUTDOOR activities for families here in the area. So we sent out one of our Mom Squad team members, Brandi, to check out the outdoor ice rink at Park Place (near Town Center in Leawood). Take a look…

The Ice at Park Placelogo

Me and two of my favorite little ladies laced up our ice skates for a fun day at The Ice at Park Place. There is something magical about ice skating outside. Located in Leawood, KS and the only outdoor ice rink in south Johnson County, The Ice is in the middle of it all! We were surrounded by holiday shopping and the smell of festive foods and the weather could not have been more beautiful.

Ice-skating is the perfect way to get children and adults together and enjoy each other as you glide hand-in-hand on the ice trying to hold each other up. My girls and I laughed our mittens off as we fell a few times and helped cushion other amateur skaters around us. Once you get going on the ice you feel like a real skater. I was able to take a break and rest my quads to grab some hot-chocolates for us and sit next to the rink watching everyone spin around with joy. It’s a cozy place to take in the picturesque scene for your holiday cards too! Don’t be afraid to ice skate, I saw so many people holding on to the wall/gate for support. You will not be alone and I promise you will eventually get the hang of it. The laughs you will have with your family and friends is worth a few falls. Admission is $8 (all ages) and Skate Rental: $3 (but you’re welcome to bring your own skates!). You can save $1 on admission – Find out details here: https://madmimi.com/s/d747f6 

For more information visit http://www.parkplaceleawood.com/events/ice 


DO Try This At Home: Christmas Craft Ideas!

Happy Thursday, Kansas City!

What a stunningly beautiful day here in the metro, right?! It’s hard (for me) to think that Christmas is only 15 days away when the weather has been so unseasonably warm but, as we all know, time does NOT slow down no matter what the weather and the holiday will be here before we know it. Today we’re sharing some great Christmas craft ideas that our Mom Squad team member Leah has put together for you. Take a look…

Christmas Craft Ideas

I don’t know what is about glitter, glue, and paint that makes me warm and fuzzy. Yet, every time I am around them I find myself at peace. However, many of us may find that combining these things with children can sometimes result in anything but peaceful.

I know it is easier said then done but, during these times just allow yourself to simply enjoy the moment. You are making memories for your children. These are memories that will be looked back on for years to come. You are giving your child the gift of self- expression.

I have so many beautiful women in my life. I have been blessed with spiritual teachers all around me. I enjoy seeing them as mothers and watching them with their children. I have collected a few easy craft ideas to do with your children from my personal friends.

I hope that this Christmas you too can give your child the gift of art and personal time.

The first idea comes from my dear friend  Juli.   Juli and her family made their own advent calendar. Juli says ,” I just used envelopes, stickers, and filled them with candy and a small toy from the party section at the dollar store. I also bought 25 books from the dollar store , wrapped them, and will let o pull one out every night to read.”

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The second idea comes from another amazing friend, Peggy.  Peggy does something similar to Juli’s idea listed above. However, Peggy rents her books from the library. She wraps each book then  as a family they  read them out loud. Peggy stated that she does give them a choice to read them separately. Yet, the children tend to pick to read them together. I thought that was beautiful.

The third idea comes from my friend Stefanie. Stefanie and super cute daughter love doing crafts together. She said she just went to The Dollar Store and picked up a Snowman craft. It came with glitter, stickers, and five snowmen.

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As you can see most of these crafts / ideas are very simple. Yet, they are a way of bringing your family closer together.

The next idea is from http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/

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SALT DOUGH FINGERPRINT TREE ORNAMENTS…for a Christmas Keepsake! So much fun for the kids to make & would also make great gifts to Grandparents! via I Heart Arts n Crafts

http://www.learningandexploringthroughplay.com/…/salt-dough…

My final craft idea comes to you by http://www.powerfulmothering.com

Egg Carton Jingle Bells – Christmas Ornament Craft

http://www.powerfulmothering.com/egg-carton-jingle-bells-christmas-ornament-craft/

I hope you found an item or two to enjoy together.I suggest you blare your favorite Christmas music, make some cookies, and sip on some hot chocolate.

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours,

Leah Nickole


Outing Ideas For The Stir Crazy Parent

Good Morning, Friends!

I am so excited to share today’s post with each of you because it’s a post that I think many of us (myself included) really need. Sometimes, as parents, we get stuck in a rut and all it takes to get out of it is a little inspiration. My hope is that you’ll find some of that here. Today, iFamilyKC Mom Squad team member Jayne is sharing her outing ideas for the stir crazy parent!

Outing Ideas For The Stir Crazy Parent

Since recently moving into not only this town, but also this state – I’ve had to seek out entertainment for my young children as a stay at home mom.  That’s not to say I feel the need to constantly entertain my little ones, but that there are just some days and weeks where it is better for all parties involved if we can get out of the house and interact with people other than ourselves!

As I know there are many parents in this situation who are getting bored with the same-old, same-old, I thought I would share the different places I’ve found to be fantastic opportunities year round at relatively low price points – if not free!
– Parks and Trails
 
Yes, this is probably understood.  But one of the first local options I looked into were the availability of both indoor and outdoor parks.  When my kids need to run off some steam, this is the first place I look.  We’ve been able to find both outdoor parks that fit our needs (bonus if they have any nature aspect to it – rocks to climb, leaves to collect, sticks to compare, etc.) as well as indoor parks that work well for inclement weather situations (such as mall play places, restaurant play areas, or either free/small fee based open gym opportunities).  If you’re looking for new ways to get in some gross motor activity – check out your local trails, gymnastics arenas, bounce/jump related businesses, and restaurants, as many offer free or low cost options.
– Special Interest Groups
 
By becoming active (even intermittently!) in specific interest groups, you increase your child’s ability to get out and make friends as well as your ability for the same purpose!  I’ve found babywearing groups, La Leche League meetings, MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) groups, and Meetup websites can increase your weekly get together log by leaps and bounds.  Finding a group that holds your same interests can be as simple as a quick internet search based on your preferences!
– Library events
 
This may also seem like a no-brainer, but your local library system most likely has a fantastic list of offerings for family and small-child events.  Our library hosts two different story times per week based on age, in addition to special concerts, animal shows, plays, and much more on a frequent basis.  We also will typically travel to other libraries in our local vicinity to partake in their special events as well.  If all else fails, going to the library and checking out a few new books can be just the boredom buster your children need!
– Local gems
 
Most places that I have lived have had at least one or two local or semi-local options for families to get out and explore in.  This could be nature centers, museums, splash pads, zoo’s, skating rinks, gardens, etc.  Even if it doesn’t seem like your little one may be super interested at their age – you’d be surprised how the change of pace and scenery of a local garden can change their mood.  I find these options perfect for those days when we’re all having meltdowns!
– Classes
 
While these tend to cost a bit more, introducing your child to classes such as swim class, dance, sports, gymnastics, art, and many more can be a great way to enrich your child’s life while at the same time getting out of the house consistently.  I’ve found that my children do best when they choose their activities and outings, as they’re most likely more apt to participate when they’ve made the choice to do, say gymnastics vs. soccer.
What are some ways in which you get out of the house?  Can you add anything to my list?


Inside Pediatrics: An In Depth Look at Children’s Mercy Hospital

Good Evening, Friends!

As a first time mommy still adjusting to parenthood, I watched in fear as my four month old daughter was rushed to Children’s Mercy from her pediatrician’s office after what we thought would be a simple appointment with the doctor. More than four years later, my heart is still full of gratitude for the care that our family received in the short time we were there. Like many parents who are blessed to have healthy children, I can only imagine what it must be like to be a frequent guest at Children’s Mercy but am so proud that KC has such an incredible network of medical professionals who improve the lives of children all across our community.  It’s no wonder why some Kansas City’s favorite stars like Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Eric Stonestreet return year after year to support one of their annual fundraisers. This passion for CMH is not only evident in their yearly contribution but also in the ongoing support they provide to the hospital. Now in its second season, Paul Rudd narrates an incredible documentary that gives us all an in depth look at the lives that are touched by Children’s Mercy. Take a look…

Inside Pediatrics Season One Trailer 

InsidePediatrics

Narrated by actor Paul Rudd, Inside Pediatrics is a prime-time documentary series that gives viewers an unprecedented look behind the walls of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. The series follows real life stories of patients and families they serve providing an inside look at the specialty programs, operating rooms, and medical transport teams that provide care for patients with conditions ranging from the most common, to the most complex.

Children’s Mercy’s 700+ pediatricians don’t dabble in treating kids, they are the kid experts. The entire Children’s Mercy team — from admitting nurse to orthopedic surgeon — is specifically trained to treat only children. As a mom, it is comforting to leave it to a full team of pediatric experts who treat only kids 100% of the time — whether it’s a simple diagnosis or something more complex.

Join us to watch the season premiere of Emmy-winning “Inside Pediatrics” and get a behind-the-scenes look at the medical journeys of families and the life-changing experiences that happen at Children’s Mercy. Tune in to watch season 2 on Wed., Dec. 16th at 7:00 p.m. on KMBC-TV and again on Dec. 23rd.

Inside Pediatrics Season 2 Trailer

 

"Inside Pediatrics" narrator Paul Rudd and Aveon Oct. 2015
“Inside Pediatrics” narrator Paul Rudd and Aveon Oct. 2015


Stocking Stuffer Ideas For The Family

December is upon us, Kansas City! Can you believe it?! If you’re anything like me, you’re probably working towards completing your holiday gift giving lists and struggling for ideas of what to put in the stockings this year. Today on the blog, iFamilyKC Mom Squadder Emily M. shares her ideas for items we can add to the family stockings this year. Take a look…

Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas

Growing up, Christmas was my favorite holiday. It still is, but for different reasons. I love the lights, decorations, smells, sounds, and the joy of Christmas. I love that during the cold weather months, families still get together and celebrate. I love that everyone focuses on others this season instead of themselves. My favorite tradition on Christmas is the Christmas stocking. I absolutely love watching my daughter open up gifts with a huge smile on her face on Christmas morning. But the stocking is my favorite part.

As a kid (and now with my own family), we always got the plain red stocking from the dollar tree. Some years the would be bigger than us, but most of the time they weren’t. Each year, we would make gingerbread houses out of cardboard milk cartons and decorate our stocking. Glitter glue, pom poms, markers, rhinestones, stickers, you name it. It would be on it. I love this tradition so much for my daughter because I plan on keeping them throughout the years and looking back at what she likes and how she’s grown. The best (and sometimes hardest) part is what goes inside it. Here’s a list that gives you ideas on what to stuff your stockings with this year.

Healthy Treats

Every Christmas my stocking was stuffed with a huge Christmas apple and orange. I’m lucky enough to still get a stocking with these from my mom every year. Along with those you can include:

Nuts

Trail mix

Individual boxes of crackers or raisins

Applesauce pouches

Homemade fruit snacks/leather

The Good Stuff

I try to limit the amount of sugar my daughter gets, but for the holidays we make some exceptions:

One or two Reeses Christmas Tree candies

M&Ms (or other small candies) in a plastic candy cane shaped container

Marshmallow candy

Other Ideas

Small Fillers

Matchbox cars

Tattoos

Stickers

Coloring book and crayons

Small dolls or action figures

Bubbles

Lipgloss/Chapstick

Bath fizz/ mini soap bottles

Bathtub crayons

Pair or two of Christmas socks rolled into a ball

Jewelry and accessories

Slinkies

Yoyo

Pocket sizes Bible

Gift Cards can be stuffed in here for older children