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The little book with BIG resources!

Sharing Our History: Meeting Mamie “Peanut” Johnson at the Negro League Museum

Hello, Kansas City! We have a GREAT giveaway going on right now at iFamilyKC — you can enter to win Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson’s book, “A Strong Right Arm.” Peanut was the first women pitcher in the Negro Leagues and is an inspiration to us all. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, was able to get a glimpse into her life at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Check it out and be sure to enter to win an autographed copy of “A Strong Right Arm.”

Sharing Our History: Meeting Mamie "Peanut" Johnson at the Negro League Museum

Sharing Our History: Meeting Mamie “Peanut” Johnson at the Negro League Museum

If you have been in Kansas City for more than a month or so, I am sure you have heard of the iconic Negro League Baseball Museum. I remember when I was growing up, our school would take a yearly trip to the museum and we would get to see the world famous Buck O’Neil! It was like history was taking us by the hand and guiding us through remarkable times.
Sharing Our History: Meeting Mamie "Peanut" Johnson at the Negro League Museum

 

The Negro League Museum is so rich in history and full of legends but there is one in particular I would like to introduce you to! iFamily please meet Mrs. Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, the first ever WOMAN pitcher to play in the Negro Leagues. Mrs. Johnson along with 2 other women not only played in the league, but they played with and against the men as well!
Mamie was one remarkable player! She lead the Indianapolis Clowns to a 33-8 win/loss record from 1953-1955 and standing at only 5’3 and around 100 pounds, she was given the new nickname “Peanut.” Not to mention, she had a hand that gave all of her opponents a little added competition.

 

Sharing Our History: Meeting Mamie "Peanut" Johnson at the Negro League Museum

 

After her time playing in the Negro League, Peanut became a nurse for over 25 years. Peanut has since then had a book written about her life called “A Strong Right Arm”. And we just so happen to have an actual autograph copy available for one lucky readers! Go to iFamilyKC.com to Enter2Win our autographed copy now!

Sharing Our History: Meeting Mamie "Peanut" Johnson at the Negro League Museum

 

The Negro League Baseball Museum has been an icon staple in the Kansas City area! With so many schools, families and historians visiting, it has not only been educational but empowering. Teaching everyone at any age, that you can do anything!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun Pajama Party!

Hey Kansas City! Sometimes, we all need to be a little more creative and have some fun with the kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, and her daughters came up with these 10 great ideas for a fun (and simple) pajama party at home! Check it out…

10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun PJ Party!

 

10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun PJ Party!

 

A couple nights ago, I was cooking dinner when my four-year-old came in and told us she was hosting a pajama party after dinner. It being a week night, I was a little nervous about this plan. As we ate I told her that we didn’t have enough time for me to organize our usual PJ Party staples (popcorn, living room tent, board games…). She told me that was fine she would plan everything, we all just needed to be in our pajamas after dinner for the party. She also told me this would be “fantastic for my blog,” so here we are. As I was cleaning up dinner, she began getting restless; so, to distract her, I asked what was on her itinerary for the night. She asked what itinerary meant. I told her it was a planned list of activities. She decided to write one up and I scored another 15 minutes of uninterrupted clean-up time.

Since she can’t write many words yet, she decided to write numbers 1-10 and drew a check box and a picture next to each one. Here’s her list, translated.

10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun PJ Party!

#1 Tell scary stories

#2 Tell jokes

#3 Make shadow puppets

 

10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun PJ Party!

 

#4 Brush and style hair

#5 Read a book while eating a snack

#6 Pillow fight

10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun PJ Party!

#7 Brush teeth

#8 Sing a song

#9 Jump on the bed

#10 Pick a stuffed animal to sleep with

10 Kid Approved Ideas for a Fun PJ Party!

The family went through her itinerary and it ended just a few minutes past bedtime. We all had a really fun time and I was so impressed with the ideas she had. It made me think that maybe I should turn more of our ‘fun evening’ planning to the kids. We all know how much time and effort it can take for us parents at times to plan and execute a special evening for our families, and this worked out perfectly for all of us. Ask your kids to plan you family’s next night in and see what they come up with. And if they need some ideas to get started, feel free to use some of my daughter’s.

From iFamily to Yours,


Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

Hello, Kansas City! Mamas, this one is for you. No matter how great you are, you will need a break once in awhile! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has a list of 10 GREAT ideas for an ultimate girls night. So, mama, get comfy and find a time to get your girls together for some fun and relaxation. Check out the ideas below!

Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

 

As we have all gotten older, had our families, crazy jobs and just dealing with life in general, I’m sure like myself, you desperately need a night out or in with the girls! So check your calendar, plan for the hubby and kids to spend the night or day out of the house and get ready for your ultimate girls night in our out!

Hey YOU NEED IT!

#1 Potluck

Host a pot luck with your pals! Everyone can bring a dish of their own or if time permits, everyone cook a meal together! Cooking is such a fun bonding moment. Do it up big or just make your favorite finger foods.

#2 Watch party/ Series Binge

Netflix and Hulu are perfect for binge watching! They tend to have most seasons of shows and plenty to choose from. Pick a new one or a group favorite. Don’t forget the snacks!

#3 Spa party

This is probably the most needed among busy moms lol. Head to the Dollar Tree and load up on nail polish, face masks and lotions. Add in some spa essentials like warm towels and cucumbers and you are set.

#4 Pinterest/DIY Night

This could go one of two ways. Either you find out someone’s hidden knack for crafts or you all end up laughing at the failed attempts. Either way it’s a fun way to be creative and destress.

#5 Baking Party

This is always fun! Go crazy and make all your favorite treats. Add some character by decorating them before you enjoy. The ones that are left, make gift baskets for everyone to take home for their families to enjoy!

#6 Games

Pull out a classic or the newest game on the shelf, the amount of games seem to be endless. Cards are always a winner or games where you have to act something out. Either way games are perfect for a little friendly competition or for making complete fool out of yourself.

#7 Makeovers

This is another fun idea. Have your pals bring over their favorite makeup products. Draw names and whoever draws your name you do their makeup. That way everyone gets pampered and not just the resident beauty lover.

#8 Cocktail party

If you are over 21, try a cocktail party! As the host you can whip up light snacks and have everyone bring an alcohol of your choice or theirs. Have fun trying mixing up cocktails with your girls! Don’t forget an awesome throwback playlist!

#9 Chick Flicks

Again, Netflix and Hulu have great options but not every classic. Try VuDu for a wider variety or your local Family Video. Add in some wine and comfy blankets and enjoy!

#10 Slumber Party

Take it back to your teen years and have an old fashioned slumber party! Stay up all night, talk about boys, do hair and eat pizza! Let your inner adolescent self-shine for the night.

 

I hope these ideas will help you plan your next ultimate girls’ night in!

 

From iFamily to Yours,


Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

Howdy, Kansas City! Spring is almost in the air and while you’re prepping for some more of the weather we had earlier in the week, maybe try out this fun craft from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy. Her kiddos and her made these awesome DIY Bird Feeders. Great for a fun activity or adorable gift on Mother’s Day. Take a look…

 

Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

 

When that groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter, he must not have meant Kansas City. The weather lately has been gorgeous! We all keep talking about it, and I will keep talking about it because although it is February, it feels downright spring-like and I am giddy for spring!

February is National Bird Feeding month. I’ll be honest, I am not generally thinking about birds in February. This year though, my family has been spending a ton of time outdoors. It has been great because it has us really thinking about what we’d like to accomplish in our yard this spring. One thing we all would enjoy is some lovely bird watching. I knew I wanted to add some bird feeders to the yard, and I really wanted it to be a fun craft the whole family could get in on. When I looked up DIY birdhouses and feeders though, there was a lot to be desired. Many were way too tough for my kids, or only involved painting a premade house. I ended up working together a couple examples I found, and I think our bird feeders turned out fantastic!

To make these birdfeeders you will need:

  • Rope (pay attention to thickness; you want it to fill the holes in the pots)
  • Drill with masonry drill bit
  • Terra Cotta pots (1 per feeder)
  • Terra Cotta saucers (2 per feeder)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Clear spray sealant
  • Birdseed

Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

 

I picked up some pots and saucers from my nearby home improvement store. You can pick whatever size pot you want, but the saucers need to fit the pot well. One for the lid, and one for the dish, large enough for birds to perch on. My large pot was actually an orchid pot and already had three holes around the base, as well as one on the bottom, so I did not need to drill it at all. The other two pots needed holes drilled around the base for the birdseed to come out. Each saucer needs a hole in the center, to string all the parts together.

Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

 

After the holes were drilled. I washed and dried all of the pottery to remove any dust. Once dry, it’s time to paint. When looking up bird feeders, I found a lot of examples where people made fountains out of clay pots and they painted and sealed all areas of their pottery. I was worried though about the materials breaking down over time and what that may do to the birds, so we did not paint, nor spray sealer, anywhere the seeds would be. So, we only painted the outside of the pot, the top of the lid and the bottom of the dish. I put a bit of tape on the areas we did not want paint to help the kids to remember. After the paint dries completely, spray with sealant outside. I did a couple light coats, and the pieces were ready to handle in just 30 minutes.

Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

 

The kids and I worked together to string all of the pieces onto a rope. At the bottom I tied a knot using the same technique I use on the girls’ bead necklaces. I made a loop and wrapped the end three times through the loop before pulling it tight. Allow enough rope on top to tie to the tree. If your rope isn’t thick enough and the pieces are too wobbly, or the seed falls out, fill with some hot glue (not the lid).

 

Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

 

DO NOT FILL WITH BIRDSEED UNTIL YOU HAVE HUNG IT UP. These are not super sturdy and took two people to fill. I held the pot level while my daughter lifted the lip and poured in the birdseed. I’m hoping the fact that they’re a little precarious will keep squirrels and my cats off of them. I don’t think the little birds we usually have around will weigh enough to disturb the pot. I will keep you posted though!

Crafting for Spring: Check Out This DIY Bird Feeder

These were very fun to make and are so cute in the tree. I love that they were easy to make (it only took one afternoon) and they are easy to refill. If you don’t have time to make these for National Bird Feeding Month, they would still make a fun Earth Day activity or a very cute Mother’s Day or Grandparent’s Day gift. I am planning how to paint my next one already!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


10 Ways to Amp Up Your Fitness Game as a Busy Parent

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We are happy to introduce you to our newest Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie! She is a fitness instructor, with several classes around the metro, and has some great tips to tackling your fitness regimen as a busy parent. Give her a big ol’ Kansas City hello and check out her tips below!

 

10 Ways to Amp Up Your Fitness Game as a Busy Parent

 

Fitness. To a lot of busy moms, that is a dirty word. A word no one has time for. That annoying thing that your annoying Facebook friend is always posting about. That thing that you miss so much from when you used to have time to spend on it. That thing you have always been afraid to try, or that you tried once, but hated. However you feel about fitness and working out, I think we can all agree that it’s an important part of a healthy life. Luckily there are lots of options and tricks and tips to make time for (and gasp—even enjoy!) fitness and working out.
Here are some tips to get you motivated or to help keep you motivated to get in a workout.

#1 There are a million different ways to workout.

You have to find what you enjoy. If you hate what you are doing, eventually, you won’t do it anymore. So if you hate running, don’t run. Maybe you like to dance, check out a Zumba class or dance fitness class. If you’re intimidated by the thought of a gym, there are tons of Zumba routines and workouts on YouTube. Search for a song you like the beat of with the word Zumba behind it (i.e. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars Zumba) and get yourself moving. If you love the water, find a gym with a pool and take an Aqua class. They’re not just for old people! If you don’t want to take a class, you can just swim laps in a lap pool or walk in a more shallow pool to get in your workout. If you are motivated by group settings, find a gym that offers lots of classes and try them all until you find something that you like. If you are more self-motivated, find workouts online and take them with you to the gym. There are tons of apps that have workout routines that you can put yourself through.

#2 You are your own worst critic.

No one knows your story but you. Fitness and exercise take time. Don’t be discouraged if the person next to you is able to run further or faster than you or lift heavier. The only person you are trying to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Everyone you compare yourself to had to start somewhere. Remember that.

#3 Drink water like it’s your job.

It is so important for muscle recovery for you to stay hydrated. If you hate plain water, add some fresh fruit for a bit of flavor. Drink water even when you don’t think you are thirsty. This one thing will help boost your metabolism, aid in muscle recovery and growth, and help flush toxins out of your system.

#4 Find an accountability buddy.

This can be a person you actually workout with, it can be a Facebook group, it can be a journal that you write your workouts down in. It just needs to be someone or something that helps hold you accountable. Become that annoying person on Facebook who posts about their workouts everyday if that helps you. There will be less people annoyed than you think, and you will be surprised how many other people you may help motivate.

#5 It does not have to be a huge time commitment.

When I was dieting and trying to lose weight before my wedding, my husband and I spent 40 minutes a day at the gym, 5 days a week. That’s it. And it made a huge difference for us. Any time you spend moving and breaking a sweat counts. If you wake up late one day and only have 20 minutes, use it. Pick up the intensity a bit since it’s a shorter amount of time, and get that workout in.

#6 Make it a family affair.

Take a walk with your kids, or a family bike ride. Play a game of soccer or catch in the back yard. Find a gym that offers kids classes as well as classes for you. Have a 30 minute dance party in your living room. No one is allowed to stop dancing until the time is up.

#7: Try everything.

(Anyone else singing the Shakira song from Zootopia in their head right now, or is that just me?) I was the queen of cardio for years at the gym. 40 minutes on the elliptical every day and that was it. I never ventured away from that machine. It was my jam, and I wasn’t changing it. But your body needs to be challenged and surprised. It needs change. So try everything. Try lifting some weights. Try using the weight machines at the gym. Get on the stair stepper one morning. Get in the pool. Changing it up will keep you and your body from getting bored.

#8: Stick with it.

There will be times, especially if you are just beginning, where you don’t want to do it anymore. You’re sore, and you’re tired, and you had a long day at work or a rough day with the kids. Stick with it. That workout is going to help so much with the stress of everyday life. The endorphins released will make you calmer, more patient, more able to cope with the stress of the day. Eventually, when you find what you like to do, working out becomes something you look forward to, something that you need in your day.

#9 It does not have to be about the scale.

So many times we make working out about losing weight and not about being healthy and feeling better. Scales can make you crazy. Base your fitness goals around how you feel or how your clothes fit, rather than solely on what the scale says and you will be more successful. Scales are a great tool for weight loss and motivation, but they can also hinder your progress. They are only part of the package. Take before pictures, pay attention to how your clothes fit, and more importantly, how working out makes you feel. Then use the scale to keep track of your progress. I haven’t weighed myself regularly in over a year because it was making me crazy. If it went up I was frustrated and mad, and if it went down I would obsess over what I did and try to duplicate it again. Find the healthy balance and stick to it. I workout 6 days a week because I feel sluggish and tired if I don’t. I get up before my kids do so that I can get it in, even if they don’t feel like going to the gym with me that day. I do not workout so that the scale will get to a certain number. I want to feel healthy and be fit, and that looks different on everyone.

#10 Fitness looks different on everyone.

Body types, genetics, bone structure, etc, all play a part in how we are built and how our bodies look. Not everyone was meant to be a size 2, and that’s okay. Working out and being healthy are a personal journey and one that you have to do for you, regardless of how it looks to other people. So do your thing, and remember that everyone is built differently. Everyone has different lifestyles and different tastes and approaches to fitness. Find what works for you and what makes you feel the best, and stick with it. You’ve got this!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Connie

 


How Adults Can Make an Impact for Dental Health Month

Good Morning, Kansas City! February is Dental Health Month and is a great way to peak the kiddo’s interest in taking care of those pearly whites. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, shares what some adults in the Metro are doing to help keep our smiles happy and healthy. Check it out!

How Adults Can Make an Impact for Dental Health Month

 

How Adults Can Make an Impact for Dental Health Month

Welcome to February! By now the groundhog has seen his shadow (filthy rodent!), our tables and floors are covered with glitter, glue and little red hearts from our kids’ valentines boxes and we have given thanks and recycled all our old batteries on National Battery Day (February 18). But have you raised a flag or had a sugar-free cupcake to honor Dental Health Month? Chances are probably not, but I am here to give you the hard truth on dental health, how it affects us, our kids and our lives.

Once again I have to preface— I am no expert when it comes to dental health; my personal dental health is probably a C+ at best and that is obvious when I tell the story of the time that I fell, busted out my front three teeth and they disintegrated instead of just breaking. Now with my amazing sparkling veneers, my smile is at least a 100 grand—no really! So although I can’t add dental expert to my resume, I can do research; which is exactly what I have included here with a little help from our amazing dentist, Dr. Julie Humphries at Humphries Family Dental in Gardner, KS who just happened to speak to my oldest’s class last week!

You may have heard it a million times; but I doubt many of us take it to heart that our dental health affects every part of our being. Last year, the FDI Dental World Federation (sounds like a Star Trek episode doesn’t it?!) published a new definition of oral health: ͞Oral health is multifaceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without pain, discomfort and disease of the craniofacial complex.͟

Basically, the most important part on our bodies is our teeth and mouth and keeping those clean and healthy are most important. That may be easier said than done, especially when we are trying to get our kids into bed with no arguments and off to school in a timely fashion. But this is the key time to start working on those habits and lucky for us, the dental industry has made it a lot easier!

My aunt gave my girls toothbrushes for Christmas; she is also that house that gives away toothbrushes and toothpaste at Halloween, not sure how many times she has been egged but I will get back to you on that. Can you tell she is an expert; she told me the girls would love their new brushes. When I opened them they weren’t brightly colored and they didn’t have Cinderella or Trolls on it. All they really do is vibrate and they have a little beep that tells them when to change location (bottom or top teeth) and then when to stop. I decided to only open one of them and use the interchangeable head for each girl since I knew they were going to hate them. Lo and behold, they love it! I had to open up the other so they could both use the ͞Tickling beeper brush͟ at the same time! One point for Aunt Nanny I suppose! I guess that story should illustrate that we need to make brushing fun for our kids, make it into a game or competition. Maybe have a ͞tooth brushing chart͟ on the wall where for each time they brush they can add a sticker. When 14 stickers are earned (twice daily for a week) then an award is given. I vote for candy or fruit snacks, just kidding Dr. H!

To get back to Dr. Humphries’ presentation to the kids in A’s class. She does such a great job with them, she is exciting and fun and her smile makes you just light up so when she comes to visit it is always a treat! She explained a lot about the health of teeth and showed some nasty pictures of decay and made an enlightening comparison of fruit snacks to gummi bears. Truth time! How many of us lean on our fruit snacks for a quick on the go snack or treat in the car? And how many of us think these are although not the healthiest choice, but because I buy the organic or the 100% fruit juice ones they are healthier than candy?

Right now half of you are getting ready to turn me in for child abuse but it’s the other half that I am really speaking to—those of you who are lowering your heads and nodding in agreement. It wasn’t until last Monday morning when I reached for the fruit snacks that my daughter started yelling at me that ͞fruit snacks are just like gummi bears! They are candy and we shouldn’t have them anytime except as a special treat!͟ As I am racking my brain thinking of what show she could have been watching that would give her such crazy ideas and it hit me! Dr. Julie spoke to their class last week! I sent her a stern yet humorous post on Facebook that what she says did resonate with the kids and I guess now the jig was up! She responded that she already knew from A’s last appointment but wanted to wait until the perfect Monday morning when we were already late to drop it on me! One point for Dr. Julie I suppose!

She did do an excellent job and had a lot of great tips for the kids to brush and not be so afraid of the dentist, now I think she just needs to do a seminar for us parents and what we can do to keep that up! (hint, hint!) An idea that I know that we can all have fun with, was a demonstration of those foods that may hinder our dental health and those that may help our dental health. She took two baskets and had various pictures of foods and drinks like soda, fruit, cake, cookies, cheese, etc. then she asked the kids to put those foods that would be good for us in one basket and those that would be bad in another. The kids had a great time with it and something they can easily bring home with them to teach us parents! Going to the dentist and remembering to brush are not high on my list. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have two little girls who are watching everything I do and say about brushing. We lead by example, so maybe when we change our attitudes about it our kids will start to change as well.

Regular dental checkups are also important and should start as early as age 1; if you start to go early that apprehension will get so much better in later years. Cost can always be an issue here, and some of us forget to check the box for dental insurance because we don’t think we will need it or it just never comes up; but we wouldn’t treat our health insurance that way. There are always free dental clinics all over the city offered to those that may not have insurance or may not be able to afford it. We are lucky and blessed to live in a city with great volunteers who go and do these clinics. A big thank you to Ms. Leslie’s preschool class and to Dr. Julie Humphries for sharing their day and ideas about dental health—some happy (and healthy) little smiles there! And one ashamed momma who is putting up the fruit snacks and not pushing the snooze so many times, so she can get up and make her kids proper morning car snacks!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


Super Foods: 7 Different Avocado and Banana Recipes for your Family

Hello, Kansas City! Did you know February is Avocado AND Banana month? My family and I love both of those foods a ton, and we’re so excited to try these 7 awesome recipes from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, to give a little umph to your banana and avocado tastes! Take a look…

Super Foods: 7 Different Avocado and Banana Recipes for your Family

 

Super Foods: 7 Different Avocado and Banana Recipes

for your Family

Although Valentine’s Day gets all the attention, February has a lot going on. National Nutella Day is February 6, National Pizza Day is February 9, National Margarita Day is February 22 and the entire month is dedicated to Avocados and Bananas. Can you handle all the deliciousness?
Bananas and Avocados are staples in our house, and I’m sure they are in many of your homes as well. Delicious and nutritious to eat as they are, I thought you all may appreciate a few recipes to perhaps shake up your menu options when it comes to this month’s favorite produce.

 

AVOCADOS

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. One of our daughters had a low birth weight and still struggles to gain weight as she’s growing, so avocados are a great food for her. Our favorite use for avocados is on toast. Here’s some of our favorite spins on it.

#1 Avocado Toast, 4 Ways

P’s favorite:
White toast, buttered with mashed avocado on top. Place two slices of bacon on top of that.
E’s favorite:
White toast, almond butter, with mashed avocado on top
Dad’s favorite:
Wheat toast, mashed avocado, salt, pepper and a fried egg on top
Mom’s favorite:
Rye toast, mashed avocado with salt and pepper topped with tomato and bacon slices

We also love Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad, which is similar to guacamole, but no chips needed.

#2 Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

1 English cucumber
4 Roma Tomatoes
3 Ripe Avocados
½ Red Onion
¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop up all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and toss into bowl. Toss with olive oil, juice, salt and pepper. There’s a video of this recipe on Tasty.

My final recipe comes from my lovely sister. She made these for us once, and I crave these about once a month.

#3 Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas (makes 4 quesadillas)

8 Tortillas
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
2 Cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1 Avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 Green onions, sliced
2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. Butter
Heat skillet over medium high heat. Assemble Quesadillas by dividing the toppings (except butter) among 4 tortillas. Top with another tortilla. When skillet is hot, melt butter and then place 1 quesadilla onto skillet. Heat for a couple minutes, until cheese starts to melt. Flip and cook for a minute more, until tortilla is browned on both sides. Continue, one quesadilla at a time until all are cooked. Cut into slices and serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

BANANAS

Now for some fun banana recipes! Bananas work themselves easily into things like smoothies, Nutella on bread, crepes and on top of waffles. We make banana, flax seed bread often too. Here are just a few of our most used and beloved recipes.

 

#4 Mama’s Breakfast Smoothie

1 cup water
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
Add all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.

 

#5 Frozen Honey Banana Pops

4 just ripe bananas, peeled
8 craft sticks
½ cup honey
About 1 cup of finely chopped nuts, coconut flakes, mini chocolate chips, dried fruit or graham cracker crumbs
Cut bananas in half cross-wise. Insert a craft stick into each cut end. Freeze for at least 30 minutes on wax paper lined tray. Spread desired toppings onto separate plates. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of honey over each banana. Roll banana in toppings. Press with fingers if necessary to adhere. Place back into freezer for about 10 minutes. Enjoy! (Parents- these are nice to eat outside. They can get messy and sticky quickly with little ones.)

We seem to always buy more bananas than we can reasonably eat before they start to brown. Here are two recipes that are perfect to use on those last couple bananas that are too ripe to eat on their own.

#6 Banana Pancakes

2 ripe Bananas, mashed
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, oil and bananas. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle or pan. Cook until pancakes begin to bubble and bottom is golden-brown. Flip and cook until golden-brown on both sides.

 

#7 Banana Ice Cream

Also, the healthiest and easiest ice cream known to man. Whenever you get to the point when you realize those bananas aren’t going to get eaten soon enough, peel them, slice them and toss into a freezer-friendly Ziploc bag. Just keep adding bananas until you get at least a cup’s worth. This was also great when the kids were young and didn’t always finish the banana. The leftovers can get tossed in the bag so you don’t just throw food out. Blend in your food processor until smooth. Scoop into bowls and top as you’d like to.

 

How do you like your avocados and/or bananas? Share in the comments

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It’s Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

Howdy, Kansas City! It’s time for our weekly tech talk with Burton Kelso of Integral Computer Consultants. This week, he’s giving all of us parents permission to snoop. More importantly, however, he’s giving us all ways to keep our kids safe when they’re surfing the web. Check it out!

Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It's Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

 

Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It’s Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

 

Parents, let’s face it. It’s your job to make sure your kids are safe from harm offline and online. Many of you struggle with how your kids will react when they find you are snooping on their digital habits and worry how that will affect their relationships with their children. How do I know this? We get calls every week from parents wanting to know what’s going on in their kids digital lives, but they don’t want the child to find out that they are keeping tabs on them. Well, I’m not that parent. When it comes to my kids, I’m like the Gestapo. In today’s digital world, there are too many dangers on the World Wide Web to let your kids use the Internet without some type of supervision. Consider theses facts:

1. 42% of kids admit they have seen online porn. One in 16 have been exposed to hardcore pornography.
2. One in 12 have exchanged messages with sexual content to other people, while one in 25 have sent graphic photos of themselves.
3. 25% of children get away with pretending to be older to get an account online.
4. One in 20 children admitted arranging a secret meeting with someone they met online.
5. Almost three in 10 parents let their kids use the Internet without any restrictions or supervision.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you need to keep up with your kids’ digital lives. So what can you do? There are several things you can do to snoop on your kids.

 

#1 Check Your Child’s Surfing Habits.

If your family still uses a desktop or laptop computer, or if your child has a Smartphone or tablet, the best way to see what your child has been up to is to check the browser history. All web browsers save a record of the sites that have been visited. However, a child could easily delete items from the history, so consider other ways of monitoring your child’s Internet usage.

#2 Put Your Hands On Their Devices on a Regular Basis.

It’s important to keep your hands on your child’s device so you area aware of their digital lifestyle. Keep the family computer in a common area. Take away computers, tablets and Smartphone at night and keep them in your room. Don’t allow your kids to put passwords on any of their devices. You should be able to see what’s going on at any time.

#3 Use Your Router to Snoop.

Depending on your model of router, you can setup it up to monitor your kids Internet habits. You can track what websites they visit, you can block web sites you don’t want them to visit and you shut down Internet access for them completely.

 

#4 Using Software to Monitor Your Child’s Internet Usage

There are several programs you can use to monitor your child digital lifestyle. Here are some of the best tools available to help you monitor and protect your child online.

YouKnowKids

This service provides comprehensive support for Apple and Android Devices. It tracks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, as well as tracking calls and texts. It can also track your child’s location with GPS location services.

NetNanny

NetNanny offers the best content manager out there. It supports Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It gives you email notifications so you can keep up with what your child is doing.

 

TeenSafe

This app and website also provides you comprehensive coverage of all your kids devices. Like YouKnowKids, it will track social media and calls and texts from smart devices and offers GPS location services.

 

Always remember to teach your kids (and yourself) that privacy is privilege, not a right. It’s important that you kids understand that trust isn’t something that can be taken lightly. In the end, it’s not snooping when you take extra steps to keep your kids safe from the dangers that lurk online, it’s you doing your job as a parent.

 

Burton Kelso is the Owner and Chief Technology Expert at Integral, an on-site technology repair company for consumers and businesses. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Better Kansas City, Kansas City Live, and the FOX 4 morning show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com


This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

Happy Weekend, iFamily! We here at iFamilyKC love to bring you the best and most honest reviews of current films. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, had the opportunity to check out the new movie, A Cure for Wellness. Before you head to the theater, make sure to take a look at her review, and be aware that this is not appropriate for the kiddos. Take a look…

This Weekend at the Box Office: Cure for Wellness

Release Date: 2017 February 17

Run Time: 146 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Gore Verbinski

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Lisa Banes, Ivo Nandi, Susanne Wuest

In Gore Verbinski’s latest psychological thriller, A Cure for Wellness, a businessman, played by Dane DeHaan, is sent by his company to the Swiss Alps to bring the CEO of the company back to close a merger who has checked into a mysterious wellness center. After an accident, he finds himself recovering in the place he was headed to pick up his boss. Throughout the movie, DeHaan discovers that this place of relaxation and healing isn’t at all what it appears to be.

I enjoy a good scare from a film but this movie was extremely disturbing to say the very least. There were several scenes that I was so uncomfortable and the so-called “thrilling conclusion” left me with a sick and disgusted feeling. I wanted to be able to provide a complete review for the iFamilyKC readers, but in all honesty I would have preferred to walk out with the three other individuals who did just that. This movie is not for children, whatsoever. Maybe not for parents either. I would recommend, if you are a parent, that you understand this movie gave me nightmares for 2 solid nights (and I am 34).

I give the sickening and unforgivable, A Cure for Wellness, a solid 3 out of a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best. I probably would have given it a 1 or a 2 had it not been for the awesome visual effects throughout the film. I wish there was a button I could push to get 146 minutes of my life back. I think the movie could have easily earned an NC-17 rating, especially with the disgustingly unforgivable conclusion. A Cure for Wellness is in theaters February 17th and you will be longing for cure from the disconcerting feeling this film leaves you with.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

Hello, Kansas City! Dating can be a confusing and intimidating subject to cover with your kids, as they get older. Luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, has a great idea on how to teach your adolescent or teenage boy about dating. Take a look…

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

Nine years ago I was blessed enough to make an amazing friend named Lora. At the time, Lora and both had sons playing on the same T Ball team. I knew upon first meeting her that her friendship would impact my life. I was so right. Lora is an amazing mother who truly inspires me on a daily basis. I come to her often seeking advice on raising my teenage son. We meet up usually once a month, have dinner, let the boys hang out, and catch up on life.
During those times we often exchange stories about parenting, talk about ways to better our lives, exchange cooking tips, encourage each other, laugh a lot, and simply just get each other through whatever we are going through at that time.

 

Since our boys were born literally a day a part they are often going through similar situations … which typically gives us a lot to talk about. Lora and I often talk about how to give them tips and support on being a teenager, how to treat others, how to teach them responsibility, friendship, education, etc.

 

During one of our discussions we got on the topic of when they will start dating. We both discussed how important it is that our boys learn how to “date” first. We wanted to make sure they knew how to treat a date properly, how valuable a woman’s reputation is, how to respect her, how to hold the door for her, how to hold a conversation, etc.

 

Lora came up with a beautiful idea to take our boys on a series of dates. We both wanted a way to show them how to date properly. We knew this would take more than one date and more than one talk. We also knew that this would truly teach them life skills most men are never taught. We wanted the boys to see that dating is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The boys both surprisingly were excited about the idea.

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

On our first “date” we took the boys to the movies. We instructed them on proper behavior while being on a date at the movies. While we drove there we also gave suggestions on how girls like to be treated, talked to (in person and on the phone), and tips on how to ask a girl on date, to let the girl pick the movie, etc.

 

We also on our own went over tips on knowing if a girl is worth pursuing, how to treat a girl once you decided you liked her, and things to never say to or about a lady.

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

On our second “date” we took the boys to a fancy dinner. We let the boys pick where we ate. I had my son call and make us dinner reservations. He decided he wanted to put on his “best outfit” for our date. It made me smile to see how excited he was it.

 

While on the “date” we encouraged the boys to open the restaurant door, pull out the chairs for us, proper dining etiquette, to let us order first, to wait to eat until we started eating, gave them topics to talk about, things to never say on a date, how to break the silence if that were to happen, how to greet her parents, how to treat her friends, how to act as a couple in public, etc.

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

I feel that both boys learned a lot from our dates. Honestly, I think we all did.

We both plan on continuing to teach our boys how to be gentlemen. We are planning on having a series of ten date’s total. On each “date” different topics will be covered on how to “date”. We will be going over how to act on group dates, what to do if a date suggests things you aren’t ready for, how to break off a bad relationship, how to know if they are not right for you, things you should not accept from a date, how to resist peer pressure in dating, how to know you are ready to date, etc. I am personally looking forward to many more dates with them.

I think one of the most important jobs as a mother is raising a man that you can be proud of. I think it is safe to say we both have done that or are trying our best to do so. I am so blessed to not be alone on this journey of raising a man who knows how to treat a lady. Thank you Lora for the beautiful idea and for our beautiful friendship.

For more information about Leah feel free to follow her at

http://www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

 

From iFamily to Yours,