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The little book with BIG resources!

Octonauts LIVE on Stage At The Midland!

Good Morning, Friends!

If you’re on our e-news list, you were among the very first to know about the BRAND NEW show coming to Kansas City in October. We are SO thrilled to announce OCTONAUTS LIVE at the Midland Theatre downtown! This show is going to be an absolute blast for the little ones and we are excited to share it with you! Tickets JUST went on sale and this show will sell out FAST so grab yours today and don’t miss out on all of the fun. Take a look…

For the first time ever:

OCTONAUTS LIVE

in the U.S.!

Tickets on SALE
TODAY 10am!

BUY HERE

The Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure!

Calling all Octo-Cadets! For the first time ever, The Octonauts are bringing their live stage show to the U.S.! The Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure features brand new and fan favorite songs from the entire crew of beloved underwater explorers, led by the intrepid Captain Barnacles, Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso. Join them as they embark on an exciting new quest through an aquatic world full of adventure, interactive opportunity, and “must-sea” surprises from coast-to-coast! Octonauts Live promises to be the perfect theatre show for all fans of the Disney Jr. series!

Playing at The Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland

Saturday October 15th, 2016.

Octonauts Live

We hope to see you at the show where your little ones will witness their favorite characters come to life before their very eyes! Stay connected with us here on the iFamilyKC blog, on social media, and through our email news list for exclusive discounts, offers, special activities, and MORE.

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli & The iFamilyKC Team

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam


7 Eye-Opening Tips For Leading A Healthy, Happy Lifestyle!

Good Morning, Friends!

Words like kale and diakon were foreign to me until a few years ago when my husband and I decided to start incorporating healthier options into our family dinners. The process of leading a healthier lifestyle is still, admittedly, sometimes a struggle for me and I know so many of you share similar struggles as well. That’s why I’m so thrilled to share an exclusive interview that I had with Shelly Summar, a registered dietitian at Children’s Mercy. Shelly’s tips for incorporating healthier foods into your everyday meals has been a tremendous help for me in packing school lunches for my daughter and making better choices together as a family. Take a look…

7 tips for leading a healthier lifestyle

Be Healthy, Be Active!

“Everyone in the family can learn new healthy behaviors together. Start with one goal to work on together and support each other throughout the process.”

-Meredith Dreyer-Gillette, PhD, Developmental & Behavioral Sciences

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5 Tips For Leading A Healthier Lifestyle

Summar

From Our Exclusive Interview with Shelly Summar
Registered Dietitian at Children’s Mercy

Q1- We know how crazy life can get and sometimes it feels like dinner on the go is your only option. What advice do you have for on-the-go moms who want to incorporate healthier options into their meals but don’t feel like they have time?

A1- Focus first on the ultimate fast food – fresh fruits and veggies. Fruit like apples, oranges, bananas, raisins, kiwi, etc. make great, on the go, quick additions to a meal or snack. So do carrots, celery, cucumber slices, broccoli & cauliflower to name a few. These can be taken on the go and added to a fast food sandwich to round out the meal (ex. hamburger with apple and carrots). Keep quick sources of protein on hand like canned beans, already cooked, shredded chicken breast, ground beef that has been cooked and frozen. These can be used in a wide variety of ways (ex. quesadillas, tacos, additions to soups, salads, etc) for quick, easy, healthy meals.

Q2- Younger (and older) kids can be picky at mealtime. What advice do you have for parents who want to introduce (or re-introduce) healthier options into their picky eater’s diet?

A2- Don’t make a big deal about adding a new food and be sure to be good role model. Kids pay more attention to what we do than what we say. Encourage interaction with new foods. This can be as simple as touching and smelling the food. If we can’t stand it in our hands or near our face, trying to eat it will that much more difficult.

Q3- What should the ideal meal look like for families?

A3-  In general, this plate is what a meal should look like. Half of the plate should be filled with fruits and/or veggies. When we make sure to include fruits and veggies, we will feel full eating fewer calories.

tips for leading a healthier lifestyle

Q4- What are some delicious alternatives for favorite foods for kids (like mac n’ cheese, pizza, and tacos)?

A4- My advice would be to keep these favorite foods as regulars for family meals. Be sure to include fruits and veggies with those as indicated in the previous question. Pizza can be packed with lean meat like ham and multiple veggies or the popular ham and pineapple. Make pizzas at home – that way kids can get creative with their toppings. Same thing for tacos – don’t forget the lettuce, tomatoes, salsa (try fruit salsa!). Try vegetarian options that include beans. Making pizza at home also prevents unnecessary calories from cheese in the crust or deep pan pizzas; making tacos at home allows you to choose leaner meats and make plenty of veggies available.

Q5- What advice can you offer to parents who maybe have never sent home-packed lunches to school with their kids? Is it a healthier option than a hot lunch from the cafeteria?

A5- Sending meals from home is not necessarily healthier than what is in some school cafeterias. There is, however, always the challenge around what kids actually choose to eat. My best advice is to engage the kids in packing their own meals. Using the MyPlate model above, kids can be allowed to decide which foods they will pack in each category helping to ensure they will eat what is packed.

Q6- Do you have any advice for parents to encourage their children to choose healthier snack options?

A6- The best thing parents can do is role model healthier snack options and ensure those options are readily available at home.

Q7- Do you have any other words of wisdom for busy families to make healthier choices both at home and on the go?

A7- Check out the 12345 Fit-Tastic! website at www.fittastic.org as well as our (Fit-Tastic!) Pinterest boards and follow us (Fit-Tastic!) on Facebook and Twitter. There are lots of ideas for healthy meals and ways to be active.

Get Movin’ (With One Hour Or More Of Physical Activity)

Unplug (2 Hours Maximum of Screen Time)

Moo More (3 Servings Of Low or Nonfat Milk or Yogurt)

Drink Up (4 Servings of Water Not Sugary Drinks)

Eat Right (5 Servings Or More of Fruits & Vegetables)

Tips for leading a healthier lifestyle

Learn more about the12345 Fit-Tastic Initiative and feel free to share by forwarding this blog post to a friend whose family may benefit. Visit Children’s Mercy for more information.

Stay up to date with all of Children’s Mercy’s resources for parents and families:

Online, on social media, and with Children’s Mercy Moms.

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli & The iFamilyKC Team

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam


This Weekend At The Box Office: “Mother’s Day” In Review!

Happy Friday, Friends!

It’s hard to believe that Mother’s Day is coming up in just over a week! We celebrated a little early with some of you this past Tuesday for a special screening of the brand new movie with the same name that hit theaters nationwide TODAY. After reading Renee’s review of the film, I’m excited for the opportunity to go see it with some of my gal pals this weekend. Curious as to what she thought?! Take a look…

mother's day review

“Mother’s Day”

Release Date: April 29, 2016

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis
Rating: PG-13 (for language and some suggestive material)

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“Mother’s Day” is the newest star-studded ensemble from comedy director Garry Marshall and is a celebration of all sorts of mothers.  There is sure to be at least one of the leads that any woman can relate to.  From the career driven Miranda (Roberts), to the divorced Sandy (Aniston), Jesse (Hudson), who is struggling in her relationship with her Mom, and Kristin (Robertson) who has self-proclaimed abandonment issues.  This movie covers it all.  This celebration of mothers everywhere brings laughter, tears, and all kinds of emotions in between.

Miranda is a home-shopping mogul whose life entwines with Kristin a young Mom who is worried about marrying her baby’s Daddy despite being proposed to several times.  Sandy, a stressed mother of two boys gets a shock after learning her ex, whom she thought was going to propose to her again, has just eloped with his gorgeous, much younger, girlfriend.  Sandy’s BFF Jesse is hiding the fact that she is married and raising a son of Indian descent from her over-the-top conservative racist parents.

With quite a few laughs along the way that include school plays, emergency room visits, extravagant birthday parties, karaoke, a wedding and all kinds of hilarity in–between “Mother’s Day” is sure to make you laugh, maybe even cry, just like I did.

Happy Mother’s Day!

From iFamily to Yours,

Renee

Renee


Be Part Of The FUN @ KC’s #1 Vintage & Handmade FAIR! You’ll Love It!

Hi Friends!

Can we just talk for a minute about how ridiculously excited I am for the 2nd Annual Spring Swing THIS weekend?! I just LOVE The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair and it’s really not surprising that they’re rated as one of the top craft fairs IN THE WORLD to attend. From the local artisans to the fun activities including food trucks, live music, photo booths, and kid’s crafts, the swing is truly a family event and I’m pretty thrilled to be going on Sunday! Take a look…

Free Admission
To KC’s #1 Craft Fair!

Don’t miss out on the 2nd Annual Spring Swing including live music, kid’s crafts, food trucks, a fun photo booth, and shopping from over 95 local vendors offering handmade and vintage items for families!

This Saturday & Sunday
10am-4pm

Alexander Majors Barn
82nd & State Line Road

craft fair

I hope that you’ll take a little bit out of your weekend to attend and support the local KC area vendors who work so hard to bring us incredible handmade and vintage items for children and adults of all ages! We can’t wait to hear about all the fun finds you pick up while you’re shopping!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli & The iFamilyKC Team

 


A DIY StarWars Birthday: Tips That Will Inspire You!

Hello, KC!

Happy Tuesday! Birthday parties are always such a fun thing to plan (and execute) and sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. Our newest member of the iFamilyKC Mom Squad team (Hi, Becky) is sharing some GREAT ideas for throwing a StarWars Birthday for your little Jedi! Take a look…

StarWars Birthday

A StarWars Birthday

May His 4th Be With You

Our son is obsessed with Star Wars. He literally eats (Star Wars snacks), drinks (from Star Wars cups) and sleeps (in Star Wars pajamas) Star Wars. So it was a no brainer when choosing a StarWars Birthday theme for his 4th this year.

If you’ve got a Star Wars fanatic in your family, here are some idea on how to throw a birthday party that’s out of this galaxy:

Invites:

Paper is so 2016. We went digital with these invites. I created his own Star Wars movie crawl here and emailed out the link. We customized it with “Episode IV: Captain’s Birthday” (get it?) and all the party details.

Entertainment:

We had kids both young and old coming to the party, so we wanted to make sure our activities could scale to a range of abilities. All of these ideas are cheap and easy!

  •  A “Tattoos from Tatooine” booth — all Star Wars, of course
  •  Build your own droid station with R2-D2 and BB-8 materials
  •  Find the Storm Troopers — I turned empty milk cartons from Costco into Storm Trooper helmets and hid them around the party

Food:  

In addition to pizza, we had lots of fun shopping for all kinds of Star Wars treats (fruit snacks, crackers, cookies, even cereal) — there’s no shortage out there! I made little water bottles look like R2-D2s and offered “Jedi Juice.” For dessert it was a Death Star cake made with a Wilton 3D Sports Ball Wilton cake mold. Unless you are crazy like me, do yourself a favor and just order a cake!

Games:

After the cake, we took the party to a nearby gymnastics studio for some Jedi-Knight training. If you want to keep the party contained to one location, it would be very easy to come up with a few obstacle courses in your own backyard.

Party Favors

At the end of the party, every child received their own Jedi Knight certificate and a bubble wand lightsaber along with a “Yoda best” thank you note.

The level of effort was minimal on this one (sans cake) and the party was a big hit with the kids, parents and —most importantly— the birthday boy. For even more Star Wars party ideas, check out my Star Wars Party board on Pinterest. May the force be with you.  

From iFamily to Yours,

BECKY_iFamilyKC_Mom_Squad


iFamilyKC Ask Us Anything {ENTER TO WIN 4 Tix to Harry Potter & The Magic Of Music}

Hey guys!

We just got our hands on 4 TICKETS to THIS SUNDAY’S Harry Potter & The Magic Of Music presented by the Kansas City Symphony at Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and we want to give them away to YOU!

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Entering is SIMPLE.

All you have to do is drop a comment on THIS blog post with a question about iFamilyKC.

You can ask us ANYTHING. We’ll answer your questions LIVE tomorrow morning on Facebook and we’ll notify the winner both THERE and through email! HURRY – This FLASH GIVEAWAY ends tomorrow (Saturday 4/23) at 11:30am! We can’t wait to answer your questions!

 

 


This Weekend At The Box Office: “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”

The story of Snow White has been a favorite of mine since childhood and I’m thrilled with the new live action films that are being released this year that tap into the classics we’ve all come to know and love. Today’s release of “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is no exception but does the new film, with such a stunning cast, hit the mark or fall short of expectation? We sent iFamilyKC online contributor Renee to catch an early screening of the new film and are excited to share her thoughts on the movie with you today right here on the blog. Take a look…

The Huntsman

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”

Release Date: April 22, 2016
Rated: PG 13 

Starring: Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Chris Helmsworth, Jessica Chastain

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War” is both a prequel (to “Snow White”) and sequel (to “The Huntsman”) to movies following a similar storyline. I can’t help but feel the movie fell flat in covering either of them.  The story tells how Eric, The Huntsman (played by Chris Helmsworth) and his future wife, Sara (played by Jessica Chastain), begin a quest to stop Freya when her reign threatens Snow White’s kingdom. Freya has one rule during her reign as the snow queen: Do not love…Ever. This cold persona was learned by unspeakable act at the hands of her sister, Ravenna (played by Charlize Theron) in the early part of the film.  

Eric, Sara, and a few of their dwarf companions begin a quest to find the magic mirror and restore order to the kingdom.  I felt we saw more of the dwarves than we did of the sisters.  Good thing, because the comic relief, although predictable, was much needed.  Also, Theron seemed to be missing for most of the film, not sure why she wasn’t used more.  I had hoped to see more of Blunt and Theron together on-screen.

I did enjoy the special effects, but found that the majority of the scenes I had enjoyed, I had already seen in the previews for the film.  I had high hopes for this one, maybe that is why I was so disappointed. 

We’re curious to find out what you think of the movie. Check back with us and let us know whether or not you enjoyed it.

From iFamily to Yours,

Renee

Renee


An Insider Look At The Non-Traditional Family (That Will Make You Think!)

I ran across one of those quotes a few years ago, the kind that just sticks with you. It was next to the image of a woman and her daughter and said, “Normal?! Don’t worry, honey, that’s just a setting on the dryer.” If there’s one thing I’ve discovered over the last several years, especially since becoming a parent myself, it’s that families come in all different sizes and structures and it’s okay to be the “non-traditional family”. This morning, here on the blog, one of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team members, Stephanie, is sharing her family’s journey with us. Take a look…

It’s Okay To Be The Non-Traditional Family

Non-Traditional Family

This week’s blog post topic is more personal in nature but it something I want to share with you all in case it’s something you have thought about! I think in order to fully understand everything I need to start at the beginning.

My husband and I met in college and have been together ever since. We’ve always agreed that we both wanted a big family with lots of kids but had never really sat down and thought about the specifics…you know, the expensive childcare, numerous activities the kids would be involved in, the list goes on and on.

My husband has always worked for a company that has offered great insurance/benefits but would work very long hours. I can’t tell you how many family activities, soccer games, etc. that he has missed because of his crazy work schedule. However, because of his work schedule, I’ve always been able to do what I wanted! I’ve done the whole stay at home mom bit. I’ve worked part time so I could be home with the kids more, and I’ve been a full time student – all because of his hard work and dedication.

Now that I’ve gotten into a career that allows me to properly provide for my family, we finally had the talk about making some major family changes. For those who don’t know, I’m a registered nurse and I work night shifts. Working long 12+ hour nights and racing home to relieve the babysitter from our 4 children (all under the age of 6) is exhausting! There were many days I would come home exhausted from work only to get a couple hours of sleep just to wake up and take care of the kids all day and return to work that night to take care of very sick patients. Needless to say, no one was getting me at 100% and I wasn’t happy.

When I first started nursing school a few years ago, we decided my husband would be a stay at home dad once I became a nurse. Well, during my time in nursing school and our family living on one income, we racked up some debt and we just couldn’t afford to have a stay at home parent. Now that it’s been a few years and we’ve worked really hard to pay off debt, we’re finally in a place where we can go back to our original plan of having my husband be a stay at home dad.

When people ask what my husband does and I say he is a stay at home dad, I’ll admit I get “the look” and the “you don’t think that will actually last, do you?” Yes, yes I do! We’ve worked really hard to make this happen and we couldn’t be happier! We’ve had to make some changes with the way we save and spend money, but these changes have made our family much happier!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some drawbacks – some we knew would happen and others we didn’t anticipate. The major issue we had to work with was that we would no longer be covered by his insurance. We’ve had to research different insurance companies and find an alternative to employer-provided insurance. We’ve also had to cut back on our eating out. We still go out and have fun, just not as often. A personal issue is that I struggle with wanting to stay awake to spend time with just my husband while the kids are at school/day care when I know I should be sleeping to prepare for my night shifts. These things will take time to get used to but it’s nothing we can’t handle!

What I’m getting at is that every family is different. What works for one family may not work for another – and that’s ok!! I’ve learned there is no such thing as “normal” anymore. Growing up, I thought everyone had happy, mom-dad, two parent homes where both parents worked 9-5 jobs. While that may work for some families… that would not work for us at all!!
So, if you’ve been thinking about making some major family changes, I recommend doing some research about the pros and cons of the change as well as having a serious heart-to-heart with your family. Being honest has been the only way we’ve gotten through this change and it will continue to be the best way to ensure my family is happy and everything is working how it should.  

From iFamily to Yours,

Stephanie

Stephanie_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


iFamilyKC Kids Club Event Recap: i9 Sports FUN!

Our team here at iFamilyKC loves hanging out with your families each month at our iFamilyKC Kids Club events. We’ve gotten to know so many of you and enjoy seeing your faces across town. This past weekend was no exception to that – we had a BLAST getting active with you at the Line Mill Creek Park in Lenexa for our Kids Club event with i9 Sports of Overland Park and Liberty. As many of you saw over on our Facebook page, the event was a ton of fun, and we were thrilled to have iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Erin join us for the afternoon. In case you missed out on this event, take a look at Erin’s recap below and don’t forget to stay connected with us so you don’t miss out on all the fun next time! Take a look…

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iFamilyKC Kids Club Event

With i9 Sports & Kona Ice

Over the weekend, my kids and some friends of ours had a chance to check out one of the awesome iFamilyKC Kids Club events that the team organizes!  If you haven’t been to one of the Kid’s Club events yet, I highly recommend it!  Last Sunday, we headed out to Little Mill Creek North park in Lenexa, KS (which by the way is a FUN park complete with a zip line and cool slides) for an event with i9 Sports. i9 Sports is a youth sports league that has many opportunities for kids ages 3-17. They offer flag football, soccer, basketball, T-ball and cheerleading.  Check them out at www.i9sports.com

My kids and our friends had a fun time going from station to station with different sports offered. The different stations included flag football, soccer, T-ball and an obstacle course. My daughter’s favorite was the soccer station and the obstacle course.  My toddler wanted to join in the fun so much!  It was a great way for my kids to burn some energy (which we are never short on in my house!).  Kona Ice was at the event as well and the first 75 kids who came to the event got a free treat!  It was a big hit! The kids loved adding there own flavors to their snow cones.  

I checked out the i9 Sports website and it looks like they have some spots open for Spring sports and they are taking registration for summer leagues.  It looks like they have leagues offered in Shawnee, Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Parkville and Liberty.  I may just have to get my daughter involved in a sport this summer so we can avoid the “MOM, I’m soooo bored!” comments that I have a feeling are coming my way real soon!  

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin

ErinB_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


Join Us At MelRoe’s School of Dance For Our Next Kids Club Event!

Good Morning, Friends!
We are SO excited for our next iFamilyKC Kids Club event THIS Saturday at MelRoe’s School of Dance in Liberty! My husband and I started our daughter in dance this past fall and the experience, so far, has been so far beyond anything we could ever have anticipated. Not only are her teachers wonderful, patient, and incredible with her age group but the team atmosphere and level of commitment she has to her group exceeds our expectation with each passing class. I can’t wait for your family to experience the same joy we’ve found through dance and invite you to come out to our event on Saturday so that we can introduce you to our friends over at MelRoe’s. Take a look…

JOIN US for our FREE iFamilyKC Kid’s Club Event
this Saturday 2pm-4pm:

MelRoe’s School of Dance!

Tons of FUN with activity stations for ages 3-12
+Big Kid Area for ages 12-18 too!

Prizes! Refreshments! Fun!

One lucky attendee will WIN 2 tickets to see KC Ballet’s Rite Of Spring
at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts!!
PLUS: Tour the facility and all who enroll during the Kids Club event will receive$10 OFF registration AND a free dance bag or T-shirt!
MelRoe’s School of Dance!
951 Sutton Place
Liberty, MO 64068
816-781-6989

MelRoe's School of Dance

Saturday April 23rd 2pm-4pm!

Get in on the action! The kids will have a BLAST 🙂
Activity stations for ages 3-12 and prizes awarded
for each station completed!
Tumble Trak big kid area for ages 12-18!
Refreshments will be served.

-REPLY TO THIS EMAIL TO RSVP-
Include number of adults and ages of kids that will be attending

More info about the MelRoe’s School of Dance HERE

It’s not too late to join us for this fabulous event, including the FUN door prizes that are in store for you when you attend. If you’re interested in coming, email us NOW with your name, and the ages of your children who will be coming with you, and we’ll get you set up! Hope to see you there!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli & The iFamilyKC Team

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam