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The little book with BIG resources!

Family fun Ninja Warrior Course comes to town!

Family fun Ninja Warrior Course comes to town!

Am I the only one who watches American Ninja Warrior and thinks “I could so totally do that?”  Or at least “I would so love to try to do that?”  Well, good news—your ninja dreams are about to come true.  Sky Zone Lee’s Summit has just remodeled and added an all new Ninja Warrior section to their already amazing facility.  I was psyched to try it out, and so were my kids.

Family Fun in KC

My family and I attended Warrior Weekend earlier this month.  My kids were literally jumping up and down as soon as they saw all the cool new attractions.  Not to mention, they got to meet an American Ninja Warrior contestant “in real life MOM!!!”   The Classy Ninja was hanging out and helping participants through the course and completing it himself to the delight and awe of the crowd.

The first obstacle we attempted was the Ninja Warrior course, which included some hanging barrels, ropes, swings and all sorts of assorted upper body challenges.  It was a little tough for my 5 & 7 year old, but they enjoyed attempting it.  The staff was fantastic about helping them though and encouraging them to keep going.  For older kids and adults, it was challenging and fun.  The Classy Ninja basically made the course look like a cake walk, but that’s why he’s awesome, right?  The course allows you to jump through/past some of the more difficult obstacles if you have the legs for it, giving adults and older children an advantage.  Upper body is not my strength, so I pretty much gave myself an A for effort on this one.

Next, my son wanted to attempt the Warped Wall.  There are three different heights at Sky Zone’s new warped wall, and if you can make it to the top, you get to push a fun button like the one on the show and some fog comes out, making you feel like the Ultimate Champion.  Or at least that’s what people told me who made it to the top.  I’m going to blame my bum knee for this one, because I can, but in reality, I clearly haven’t done enough ninja training to master this one yet.  But it was really fun to attempt it and watching my son do a little happy dance when he made it up made it all worthwhile.  The fireman’s pole you get to slide down once you make it is definitely an added bonus.

I knew better than to even attempt Free Climb, the rock climbing wall, but it looked like a fun challenge.  There was plenty of staff there to help get people safely on and off the wall and my 7-year-old made it about half way up before he decided he wanted to move on.

Our final stop was the foam pit that houses both the Sky Joust and the Sky Ladder.  This was by far my kids’ favorite spot.  My 5 year old was determined to master the Sky Ladder by crawling, and she never made it past the second rung.  It’s a rope ladder suspended at varying heights across a foam pit.  This was another one I did not attempt, but looked like what I imagine it must be like to try to wrestle a pig.  Lots of trying to balance and hold yourself upright, while the ladder constantly shifts underneath you.  My kid couldn’t get enough.  My 7 year old’s eyes lit up when he saw the jousting.  Probably because I rarely let him play with swords at home.  You balance on a Bosu Ball on top of a pillar and try to knock your opponents off into the foam.  Let me just say, this was my favorite.  Something about being up so tall and getting to knock people around with a jousting stick made my day.  And my son giggled so hard he snorted, so that was a win for me.

You have to go check out the new attractions.  They add some much needed variety to an already highly entertaining venue.  My kids did get worn out after about 40 minutes in the “Ninja Zone” as they called it and spent the last bit of our hour jumping on the trampolines and playing dodgeball, but again, isn’t that the point?  They were sweaty and tired by the time we left.  They slept well that night and thanked me profusely for taking them.

For more information on Sky Zone’s brand new attractions, visit them online at SkyZone.com/LeesSummit

From iFamily to Yours,


10 Cool Christmas Gifts that Won’t Clutter the House 

Merry Christmas Kansas City!  If you’re searching for gift ideas that are unique, affordable and won’t clutter the house you’ve come to the right place!  Ruth has put together a list of 10 cool Christmas gifts that won’t clutter the house.  Take a look…

10 Cool Christmas Gifts that Won’t Clutter the House 

(Read with a little bit of sarcasm. :))

Every year, it seems like there is an endless toy parade in the living room. Kids unwrap Christmas gift after gift and the mountain grows adding to what they already own. The kids are excited to be rolling in presents. They are more excited about the opening process than the actual toys themselves. After they have shredded the wrapping paper like the wild animals that they are, they (of course) want to open all the boxes at once. They beg to have us cut every twist tie and release every miniscule piece from its plastic prison. As good parents, we ask them to wait and open only one at a time. This leads groans and complaints. The world must be ending. Their fragile emotions are shattered because we are obviously the meanest parents in the world.

Following Christmas day, we are left with a sea of tiny parts ready to be lost and toys they are already bored with, because they weren’t as exciting as they believed they would be. The trash overflowed into a series of black trash bags that will puzzle the sanitation worker and our neighbors who don’t realize that hosting a holiday means 14 plus people will be exchanging gifts. So what can we do to mitigate this mess?

This year my husband and I are requesting a change of pace. We are asking for less tangible gifts. While we appreciate the thought put into the gifts and the joy put on tiny faces, we know our kids are spoiled at Christmas. We are requesting gifts that won’t clutter the house and add to the waste.

Here are a few Cool Christmas gifts to give the kids that won’t clutter the house:

  1. A gift card to a restaurant or store that they enjoy.

Ideas: Sporting Goods Store, Outlet mall,

  1. A gift certificate to a fun and educational place to visit.

Ideas: History Museum, Bowling Alley, Human Foosball, Coding workshops, Language or music lessons, dance classes, Create 2 Day,

  1. Tickets to see a play at an area theater.

Ideas: The Storybook Forest

  1. Memberships to local attractions.

Ideas: Union Station, College Basketball Experience, Legoland, SeaLife,

  1. Tuition for a camp or activity they want to participate in.

Ideas: Gymnastics Classes, Ceramic Café,  Piano Lessons, Sports Programs, Horseback Riding, Ceramic Studio,

  1. Gift certificate to a local play center or indoor park.

Ideas: Urban Air, Sky Zone, Paradise Park, Aerial Yoga, Gymboree, Jump City

  1. A donation to a charity organization in their name.

Ideas: The Farmer’s House, Charlie’s House

  1. A weekend getaway to a fun place they would enjoy or a waterpark themed hotel.

  2. Gift card for movie rentals.

  3. Practical items that they may need but with fun characters on them, bath wash, soap, tooth paste and a brush, a new loofa, etc.

Whatever you choose to do this holiday, these ideas can be family fun that everyone can enjoy together.

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Fun in Kansas City: New Year’s Eve Family Guide

The countdown to 2018 is officially underway here in Kansas City! If you don’t have plans yet for a safe New Year’s Eve for the whole family, don’t fret! We have the inside scoop on some pretty awesome New Year’s Eve parties throughout the Kansas City metro area! So, pull out that calendar and get ready to start making plans for some fine holiday fun with our New Year’s Eve guide!

New Year's Eve

Fun in Kansas City: New Year’s Eve Family Guide

 

Family Fun for New Year’s Eve

Paradise Park

Located in Lee’s Summit, Paradise Park has one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations for families. This New Year’s Eve, you and the family can celebrate early with an awesome Ball Drop at Paradise Park’s Foam Factory!  This kid- friendly New Year’s Eve party is from noon to 6pm and includes awesome door prizes you can use all year long at Paradise Park!

Union Station

Practically the most popular pic for metro area families is the science city noon year’s eve celebration! Another safe kid- friendly New Year’s Eve party fit for the whole family! Located inside Union Station near Downtown KCMO, Science City’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration offers hands on science experiments, stage shows and even some cool science items you can take home. Join other families from   12-7pm on December 31st! Plus, it’s free for Station Members!

Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit

Roll in the New Year with Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit from 9:30pm-12:30am. They’ll be offering Glow in the Dark Bowling! Party favors and shoe rental are included for $20/person (4 people per lane). Reservations are required and space will fill up FAST. Call to secure your spot (816) 524-3322.

Zoo Year’s Eve

Celebrate the new year in true “zoo-style”. Come see all the animals and enjoy an interactive DJ, make noise makers and have fun with festive enrichment activities! Plus, check out the Kansas City Zoo’s photo booth to create special memories!

Wonderscope Children’s Museum

Wonderscope is always an excellent choice for family fun. But another great thing they offer is their early New Year’s Eve party! Their WonderEve activities start at 9am on SATURDAY, December 30th and end with the big countdown to noon! Kids can enjoy a balloon artist, story time, art activity and treats including doughnut holes and juice.  A special performance by Mr. Stinky Feet himself will be at 11am where he will lead the countdown. Plus, there will be noisemakers, hats and a confetti shower! All of these activities are included with admission which is only $6-$7. If you have questions or want to purchase tickets you can give them a call at 913-287-8888.Or, visit them online.

Dave and Buster’s

Games, Food and a ball drop! Dave and Buster’s offers two package deals for families this year! Each including food, drinks and games!

 

Adult Festivities

New Year’s Swingin’ Eve

Located at Union Station, this 21 and older New Year’s Eve party will be one to remember! Enjoy big band swing style music from 8pm- 1am! Plus, your ticket includes live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and a midnight champagne toast!

NYE Live!

Located on the Kansas City Live block in the Power and Light district is Kansas City’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration! There will be access up to 12 bars and nightclubs, special bar packages, live DJ’s, party favors, Champagne toasts, confetti cannons and a Times Square ball drop!

Harrah’s 

Check out the VooDoo Lounge inside of Harrah’s Casino in North Kansas City. This years theme is Havana Nights! With different styles of music, party favors and a toast, you will be sure to have a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration! To get tickets head over to Ticketmaster now before they sell out!

New Year’s Eve at the Temple

Worried about the cold and prefer to stay indoors this New Year’s? Then the NYE at the Temple is perfect for you! Located at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo, you can enjoy 4 floors, 8 party areas, DJ’s and unlimited drinks! Enjoy the night with family and friends in an amazing venue.

We have rounded up some of the best and safest locations for you and your family to enjoy ringing in the new year! As always, when heading out at night always take caution of your surroundings. If you are attending an event which serves adult beverages, please drink responsibly! I hope you found this list helpful with making plans for your New Year’s Eve in Kansas City! I hope you have a great rest of the year and see you in 2018!

From iFamily to Yours,


10 Family Fun Activities For Your Christmas Eve

With Christmas Eve quickly approaching you may be trying to find some traditions to begin! Take a look at this list of 10 family fun Christmas Eve activities from Ruth…

Christmas Eve

10 Family Fun Activities For Your Christmas Eve

December is in full swing and there are so many events that you can attend during the month to show your holiday spirit. There are visits with Santa, cookie decorating events, holiday parties, and photo sessions.  By the time you reach Christmas Eve you may be looking for some fun things to do at home. I always like to relax at home and do some fun family things without the crowds of people and have a chance to chill before family comes rolling in the next morning. I decided to compile a countdown of fun holiday things you can do from home.

#10 Give the Gift of Holiday PJ’s

A fun tradition is to give your kids a gift early in the evening and have a pajama party. Last year I found some pajama sets at target that had Christmas coloring pictures on them. It was complete with fabric markers. They loved designing their own PJ’s. If you are into Elf on the Shelf, then they could even leave the gift for your kids as they say good bye.

#9 Have Take-Out for Dinner

Chances are that you have done or will be doing a lot of cooking for the holiday. Take the night off and enjoy someone else’s cooking.

#8 Sing Some Silly Carols

There are plenty of traditional Christmas songs circulating the radio and playing in every store. If you would like a good laugh, then sing some silly, non-traditional holiday tunes.

#7 Make Homemade Gifts

Put everyone’s name in a hat and then draw one name each. Send everyone to different parts of the house to make gifts for the person they drew. They can be simple crafts that you make for that person. Make sure to keep each gift a surprise, NO peeking! Be sure to wrap them and put them under the tree for Christmas morning.

#6 Play Some Unique Holiday Games

If you want a break from the traditional board game then you can try something new. You can play the candy cane pick-up game: hold a candy cane in your mouth and race against someone to see who can pick up the most without using their hands. You could play marshmallow toss: Hang up a couple wreaths dangling in the doorway with a bucket on the other side. Toss giant campfire marshmallows through the wreath and see who can get the most in the bucket. For other ideas, head to Pinterest!

#5 Watch a Humbling Holiday Movie

I really enjoy watching Mr. Magoo’s a Christmas Carol By Abe Levitow. It is based on the story by Charles Dicken’s but it is an animated family favorite that is great for the whole family to enjoy. It still covers the great moral concept of the original story but is less scary for those little ones. The music is also very catchy.

#4 Bake Cookies & Make Reindeer Chow

Making cookies with kids is a fun project. I really like these 12 fun recipes for homemade cookies.

Reindeer ChowYou could just set out carrots for the reindeer but I bet by the time they reach your house, they will want a treat. Here is a fun recipe for reindeer food that is 100% edible and your kids can toss it out in the yard.

#3 Gifts for Santa and the Reindeer

Take those cookies you baked earlier and set some aside for Santa and treats for the reindeer. You could decorate a special plate for Santa to set the treats on and leave your letters too! If your kids aren’t tired of activities yet, then you can also make a present for Santa since he rarely gets one in return!

#2 Christmas Story Time

Each year I like to set out all of my Holiday books and read a story or two that night before bed time. Another fun thing would be to gift a new holiday book each year.

#1 Norad Tracks Santa

The Norad Santa tracker is a weather service that is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. Each year they put up videos and give regular reports of Santa traveling around the world all evening long on Christmas Eve. They reach the United States between 10pm-midnight to help your child know when to head off to bed.

From iFamily to Yours,


Christmas Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers for the Family

Finding fun stocking stuffers can be tricky!  Gabrielle, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad, has put together a list of some great stocking stuffers that are sure to be a hit!

stocking stuffers

Christmas Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers for the Family

Stocking stuffers often get a bad rap. They are usually the last things to be opened after we’ve unwrapped all the big colorful boxes, and tossed aside all the carefully tied bows… But good things can come in small packages.  Here are few Christmas gifts that can fit inside the “stockings hung by the chimney with care.”

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids 

School supplies– pencils, pens, erasers and crayons make great stocking stuffers.  Kids have often lost or destroyed many of the items you purchased for back to school.

Virtual pets–If your kids are begging for a pet for Christmas, but you’re not ready to commit, this is a great way to buy yourself some time.  Have your kid take care of the virtual pet for a few months to show that he is responsible enough to handle pet ownership.  I know my children would either lose the pet, or at least lose interest after just a couple of months.  If your kids are more responsible, use that time period to save up cash to buy an actual puppy.

Cold Weather Gear– Socks, gloves and mittens work as stocking stuffers for kids (and adults) of all ages.  This is the perfect time to stock up, as many of them will be going on clearance soon to make room for Spring clothing.

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers 

Christmas shopping for toddlers can be tricky.  Many toys are too dangerous or delicate for their tiny hands.  Stuffed toys are often good for little bitty hands. Also, DVD/BluRay Disc featuring their favorite characters would be a hit.  Board books also make great stocking stuffers for kids.  Cute little hair accessories might work for girls, and toddler safe toy cars might be a good idea for little boys.

Stocking Stuffers for Teenagers 

If you have teenagers to shop for, you can make their Christmas wishes come true by stuffing their stockings with gift cards to their favorite stores, or even better, cash.  Teenagers also would appreciate more technologically advanced stocking stuffers, like earbuds/headphones, USB Drives, or wireless chargers

Affordable Stuffer Ideas 

Some of the best Christmas gifts can be bought at your local discount store.  Spend a dollar or two on favorite boxes of candy, toys, and kitchen gadgets.  Cruise the aisles of your local dollar store and stock up.

D.I.Y Christmas Gifts for Your Christmas Stocking 

Finally, there is nothing as sweet as a homemade gift.  Your homemade triple chocolate brownies taste better than anything you could buy at the store.  Scarves and slipper socks are warmer when they are knitted or crocheted with love.  Be creative.  Give from your heart, and the work of your own hands.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


Holiday Giving 2017: Help International Military Families

The holidays are a great time to do good things for others and, when it comes to supporting military families, there are lots of options to support our troops. Ruth, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her experience in helping International military families today on the blog. Take a look…

military families

Holiday Giving 2017: Help International Military Families

Living close to a military base, I have been exposed to a lot of different cultures, religions, and traditions. I have made military friends from all over the world, sponsored officers from a variety of countries, and shared my holidays with them. In turn we learn a little bit about them too! For the last several years our family has participated in the International Military Sponsorship Program. It is a program designed to give foreign officers some companions to make their year at Fort Leavenworth a little bit easier. Each officer involved in the program is provided with a Kansas City Area Sponsor, a Leavenworth Area Sponsor and a Fort Leavenworth Sponsor.

What does the program entail?

As a sponsor, your role is to help them get acquainted with your sponsor area, socialize with them and assist them with important services and needs if they have not set it up already. They may need assistance setting up a bank account, obtaining a cell phone, obtaining furniture for housing, getting a car, choosing a school for their child and so on. Other services you can provide to them can include introducing them to area events, fun activities, joining them at military social engagements, sharing holidays and traditions and helping them to make new contacts.

Each officer that comes to Fort Leavenworth arrives with a new class of officers in the spring or summer semester to attend twelve-month training program at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Many officers have their families join them for their time here. The sponsorship webpage states that “Sponsorship” does not involve financial support, but does include the commitment to develop and nurture a personal relationship with officers and their families. Simply put, sponsorship is spending time with officers as their time allows and extending hospitality to their families.

What’s in it for you?

I have found sponsorship to be very rewarding and I have made many life-long friends over the last several years. My own kids have gained new friendships and though each family is only here for a year we always have a great time getting to know each new family. As a sponsor you have the opportunity to make a request for countries that you are interested in sponsoring. There are 120 countries to choose from and some are more popular than others. Our family has sponsored those from Bulgaria, Morocco, Pakistan, Ukraine, Mexico to name a few.  If you are not particular, those from the Middle East sometimes have a more difficult time getting sponsorship due to the stigma associated with them. I encourage you to help sponsor this coming Spring or Summer. Be sure to get your application in early if you have a preference for a particular country. Applications and requests are first come, first serve.

How can you get involved?

Go online to learn more information on becoming an International Sponsor. Becoming a member of the Greater Kansas City People to People Program is free and only takes a bit of your time to get started. Once you have become a sponsor and assigned to an officer or a few if you choose, then you will have an orientation meeting to discuss your responsibilities based upon your role and during the year there are a few events that you can attend with your officer. It is a great program!

From iFamily to Yours,


Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Winter Break is nearly here and our iFamily Squad has got some fun things planned!  Take a look at this great holiday fun guide from Erin!…

winter break

Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Before we know it, the kids will be home from school for 10+ days!  If you’re like me, you are already trying to figure out what to do during winter break and planning fun stuff to do when bored at home!  Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do at home to beat the winter blues!  What’s on your winter bucket list?  Be sure to let us know in the comments what winter break activities your family has planned!

#1 Pajama & Movie Party

Put on your coziest pair of pjs, pop some popcorn, and watch family Christmas movies! We’ve got your holiday movie guide, broken down by age group, ready to go for you so be sure to check that out as you plan to watch your favorite family Christmas movies this season.

#2 Bake cookies!

Before Christmas, I love to get my kids together and bake cut out sugar cookies and decorate them!  They never turn out “magazine perfect” but my kids LOVE doing it and they are perfect in my eyes!  Here’s the recipe I use to our Christmas cut out cookies:

  • 1cup butter softened
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1large egg
  • 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons orange juice
  • 1tablespoon vanilla
  • 1teaspoon baking powder

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar, and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in each plastic food wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

#3 Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

I hear we are supposed to get around 2 feet of total snow in KC this year! If the forecast rings true, it sounds like we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out and play in the snow! Sledding, snowboarding, snowball fights, and snowman building are all things I’m going to add to our winter to do list!  Snow ice cream, anyone?  Check out this simple recipe for snow ice cream:

10-12 cups of snow

1 tsp of vanilla extract

10 oz of condensed milk

Mix together and enjoy!

#4 Host a Classic Board Game Night

Invite some friends over and bring out the classic family board games and compete against each other! Our Squad loves to host game nights at home and we’ve got your guide for fun games the whole family can enjoy. Let us know what your favorites are!

#5 Start a Book Series

Start a new book series to read aloud with your kids! Choose a series above their reading level to challenge them a bit!

#6 Make Your Own Fun

Make slime/goop/floam! There are so many recipes out there so the possibilities are endless!  Here’s a recipe we made recently called “Frozen Silly Putty”

1 bottle of Clear School Glue (147ml)

The same amount of water (147 ml)

1/2 teaspoon of Borax

1/2 cup hot water

A few sprinkles of silver & blue glitter

A few drops of blue food coloring

#7 Make Ornaments 

Homemade ornaments are such a wonderful gift idea for parents and grandparents. We made some super cute trees out of salt dough with food coloring and dipped their fingers in shiny paint to resemble lights on the tree!  You could also do handprint salt dough ornaments.

#8 Make a Winter “I Spy”

Create your own winter themed “I Spy” sheet with clip art images that the kids can find inside or outside the house!  See who can complete their list the fastest!

#9 Declutter the House

Make room for new toys and clothes and clean out closets/rooms.  Donate unused toys and clothes to charity.

#10 Get a Head Start on 2018

Work on your “Summer Family Bucket list” and come up with a list of ideas to do when school is out for the summer!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Christmas Morning Breakfast: Healthy and Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

These healthy and gluten free cranberry orange scones are full of sweet orange flavors and tangy cranberries leaving you wanting more!  Take a look!

Christmas Morning Breakfast:

Healthy and Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

These scrumptious scones are ready in just a quick 30 minutes!  Make them in addition to your Christmas brunch recipes or healthy brunch recipes all year long.

Ingredients: Makes 8 scones

  • 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (7g) orange zest (about 1 large orange)
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) honey
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (82g) fresh cranberries, diced
  • 2 tsp nonfat milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Greek yogurt, honey, orange juice, and vanilla. Fold in the diced cranberries with a spatula.
  3. Using a spatula, shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the milk. Slice the circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. Bake at 425°F for 18-21 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes.

Notes: Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

For a gluten-free version: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends will work as well, if they’re measured like this. And any milk will work in place of the nonfat milk.  Pure maple syrup or agave may be substituted in place of the honey.

Coconut oil may be substituted for the butter, but the texture of the scones may be affected. Cold butter is required to achieve the tender texture, and since coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature, the results will not be the same.

It’s important to dice the cranberries finely or use frozen and thawed cranberries to ensure that the scones bake evenly. You are sure to be left with a scrumptious breakfast treat to share with your friends and family for your Christmas morning breakfast!

Enjoy!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


10 Cool Tech Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

If you’re on the hunt for the best new tech gadgets on the market look no further!  Burton, iFamily’s resident tech expert, has put together a list of 10 cool tech gifts for everyone on your list!  Take a look…

tech gifts

10 Cool Tech Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

It happens every year.  The Holiday season creeps up and the panic of trying to find the right gift for your loved one sets in.  Cool gadgets and techy gifts are always appreciated, but with so many new devices hitting the market this time of year, it’s hard to keep up with which piece of technology will make the perfect gift.  One of the challenges I face, is finding innovative gifts that won’t become dated by the time the New Year rolls around.  I know everyone reading this wants to get cool-tech that will be enjoyed long after Christmas day is over.  Fear not. To save you some frustration, I put together a list of 10 tech gadgets I know that are hot this season and that are sure to be enjoyed for the months to come for every member of your family.

Gifts for Kids:

Amazon Fire Kids Edition

Yes, it’s another tablet and who needs one right? The great thing about the latest Amazon Kids tablet is you get a two-year worry-free guarantee.  If your kid breaks it, Amazon will replace it for free for up to two years. So, feel free to add it to your Amazon Christmas list this year!

The Nintendo Switch

Since the Switch was released in March, it’s been almost impossible to find one in stock. The best feature about the Switch is that it’s a hybrid portable home console. Which means you can play it on your HD TV at home and take it with you and enjoy games on the built-in HD display. Our boys have had one from the start and they say it’s the best console they’ve played with.

Gifts for Her:

Fitbit Flex 2 Bangle

It’s an activity tracker, but it’s also a beautiful piece of jewelry. You have all of the great features of a Fitbit, but now keep up with your daily activity in style.

Everpurse Kate Spade Small Harmony Tote

A good black tote bag that will hold a 13-inch laptop and has a charging dock for a smartphone is a cool thing for Christmas for most women. The bag will even recharge by placing it on a charging mat.

Gifts for Men:

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera

Drones are all the rage now, but the best ones are not cheap. Not everyone needs to spend thousands of dollars on a device you might end up smashing into a tree. The DJI Phantom is a great all-purpose drone and one of the best tech gifts for men.  I got one as a birthday gift this year and I can’t put it down.

Samsung UHD TV Curved Screen Smart TV

The Samsung is one of the best TVs on the Market and one of the best gifts for tech guys.  Hands Down. The Samsung Smart UHD TV is hard to beat.  Beautiful curved screen, tons of built in apps and a picture that’s hard to take your eyes away from.

Gifts for Everyone:

The Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo made the list for popular gifts for techies last year, it’s hot again this holiday season.  You can get everything from the Echo, theDot, the Spot and the Look.  All great products that will transform any standard home to a smart home.

Google Home Smart Speaker

This is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo,it can control the same smart home accessories as Amazon’s smart speaker, in addition to members of the Google Chromecast family. The bonus with this device is you have access to Google’s data base for information.

Apple Airpods

Get rid of those messy cables with AirPods. The AirPods connect with any iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth.

Philips Hue Bulbs

Perennially popular, Philips’ Hue bulbs are many people’s first smart home accessory. Since smart homes are becoming more common, there’s a good chance these bulbs will become harder to find than usual this season.

The Google Pixel 2 Smartphone

The Pixel is Google’s response to the iPhone running the Android OS. If you don’t like the iPhone, check this out.

The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X

All three of these cool gadgets support fast charging, wireless charging, have improved internal components (especially the camera), and run iOS 11 out of the box. The iPhone X has a new design, better camera system, and a pair of front-facing cameras, which are used to unlock the phone using facial recognition.

The Amazon Fire Tablet

The Fire Tablet is the ultimate choice for casual tablet users. You can use it to read ebooks, browse the web, watch Netflix, or play light games. It’s not the most powerful or capable tablet on the market, but it’s definitely the best choice under $50.

The Sonos One Smart Speaker

The Sonos One is an updated version of the audio company’s popular PLAY: 1 speaker. It sounds better, has the intelligence of Amazon’s Alexa baked into it, the One will also work with your current Sonos system without requiring a new app or hub. Whether you’re already a Sonos fan, or want to start your collection, this is the right time and place.

Nest Smart Home Products

With the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm and Nest Cam security camera, Nest is creating a home that’s better than smart.

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

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

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


Moving To Kansas City? 5 Things You Need To Know

Happy holiday season, Kansas City! When I think about the upcoming new year, I think about the opportunity it brings for new experiences. Sometimes, for a family that has recently experienced moving cross country, the turn of the calendar can mean adjusting to a new year in a new place. This guide is dedicated to you, the brand-new Kansas City family! Welcome!

Moving to Kansas City

Moving To Kansas City? 5 Things You Need To Know

A little back story about meI was born and raised in the metro area until I graduated from high school. Afterwards, I relocated to Texas and lived there for several years before experiencing cross country moving once again back to KC. I’d been gone so long that I’d forgotten everything about the city I grew up in. I couldn’t remember street names, areas I’d once known, and wasn’t able to find my local Chick-Fil-A without using GPS to help me. I honestly felt like a stranger in the town I’d spent the first 18 years of my life.

When I moved back to Kansas City with my family, I wanted to find everything that we could do together in the metro area. We had kids on the move and wanted them to experience life in their new home. So, to save you (the newcomers and even those who are coming back and trying to adjust) the time and hassle of trying to figure it all out on your own, I’ve put together a few tricks that I learned as I was finding my way back into Kansas City life.

#1 iFamilyKC 

Ok yes, I am a #MOMSQUAD ambassador so I am a little biased.  But seriously, this little magazine (website, blog, and group) have really helped my family and I get out and see what Kansas City has to offer! I never knew that so many new and fun places existed. Not to mention, moving across states can cost a lot of money so I was always looking for deals on family activities. iFamilyKC was, and is still is, the first place I look for discounted fun and cool family events.

#2 Instagram 

Instagram has become the norm for finding new and exciting things around the world. All you have to do is search a hashtag and tons of info, pictures and opinions will pop up. When we first came back, my husband and I were obsessed with finding a great taco place! We asked friends on facebook and family members that still lived in KC but they all suggested the same places. Once I took to instagram, I was able to find all those hidden gems that we were craving! I suggest looking up #kcfoodie, #kcblogger and #kclife to find a few hotspots. Plus, you can always just search #kansascity.

#3 Online Groups 

These days, it is pretty much easier to just meet new friends online. To avoid that awkward “mom dating” I joined a ton of Facebook groups (like the iFamilyKC Parents Group!) to find other families in the area. Moving to a new city, whether you know a lot of people or not can be stressful and at times disheartening. You are now living a new life with an unknown path and it can be downright lonely. Finding friends in KC is definitely a way to get you out and experiencing what KC has to offer.

 #4 Be a Tourist 

YES, YES and YES! I don’t know what it is, but everyone loves to meet “out of towners”. Don’t be shy to let people know where you are from and that you are new in town. KC natives and long timers love to tell you the inside scoop on restaurants, events and local hangouts for the family or mom and dad’s night out. Next time you are at the gas station or store, don’t be afraid to ask the person assisting you what some of their favorite things are to do. I think for the first 5 months of being back, I asked EVERYONE!

#5 The Local Library 

For a while, the kiddos and I spent almost every day at the library. They always had some type of event going on and it was great seeing them meet new kids. We met a lot of other homeschooling families through our library. They helped me adjust to the laws in Kansas City and other places that my kids would love. The library was really an unexpected source for me!

Pro-Tip: Mid-Continent Public Library has tons and tons of valuable resources for children and families. 

There you have it – Five easy tips that will help you adjust to moving to KC in no time! I really hope that these tips help you as much as they have helped me this past year. Kansas City has changed so much from the time I had left and it is still changing and growing. Being a blogger myself, I was able to really connect quickly with locals and experience a whole new side of Kansas City! All you have to do is get out there!

Want to stay ahead of the loop and know the scoop, check out our iFamilyKC Parents Group!

From iFamily to Yours,