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Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

June 24, 2017 at 7:11 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Food, HolidayNo comments yet

Looking for some quick and easy recipes for your fourth of July cookout? Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, has compiled a list of her favorite mouth watering summer favorites that your family can make today. Take a look… quick and easy recipes

Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

Nothing says summer like the 4th of July! Fireworks, swimming pools and everything red, white and blue. When I was younger, I always loved a few things about the 4th of July and that’s the picnics and fireworks. Getting together and spending a day eating summer favorites, popping fireworks and fighting your exhaustion from the day just to see the big ones go off at night made it all worth it.

Now that I am older, and have a family and an obsession with Pinterest, I get more excited to host the picnics and get togethers more than anything. Once the fireworks go off at night, I feel like it is the “ta-da” moment of the day lol.

The 4th of July is such an awesome holiday and it can be the highlight of any summer. But I also know that it can become complicated, overwhelming and just downright tiresome. So this year, have no fear! Here are some of my favorite quick and easy 4th of July recipes!

#1 Red, White, and Blue Salad

When it’s hot, you don’t really want a whole lot of piping hot food. This red, white and blue salad is so easy, light and perfect for summer!

#2 Patriotic Popcorn

I love sweet popcorn and this one is perfect for the 4th of July! Check out this easy recipe for some of the best sweet and salty popcorn yet!

#3 American Pride Ice Cream Sandwiches

I am definitely doing these this year! So quick and easy plus very patriotic! Who knew that 2 simple store bought items could become something so creative! Check out the how to here

#4 Red, White and Blue Strawberries

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES… need I say more lol?? Who doesn’t love chocolate covered strawberries!? Give them a patriotic twist by using a few ingredients! Check out these super cute ones from

#5 Jello Snacks

Jello is one of the easiest snacks to dress up. By adding a few items to it, you can use it for just about every holiday. Try doing this with your kiddos for a quick 4th of July treat!

** pro tip, pre made jello snack cups if you are short on time or simply can’t make jello like me lol**

#6 Firecracker Dogs

Possibly the cutest hot dog you will ever see! These firecracker dogs are sure to please everyone! Check out these simple dogs perfect for the 4th!

#7 Grilled Chicken Berry Salad

One of my FAVORITE salads! I love everything about this salad, the sweetness, the crunch and the fact that it is healthy. Plus it is easy to whip up for a crowd. Check out how easy this amazing and easy this salad is!

#8 Veggie Flag Tray

When it’s summer time and especially when it is a holiday, you can be surrounded by nothing but sweets and treats. So to make sure you get those veggies in check out this super cute and delicious veggie tray idea!

#9 Red, White and Sangria

This is the perfect adult beverage for the 4th of July! Check out how simple and crowd pleasing this is.

#10 Patriotic Punch

And in case you haven’t had enough sugar or cool treats for the 4th, check out this awesome kid friendly patriotic punch! Not only does it look cool, but it screams HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

All of these recipes are super easy and can definitely be modified to your own liking. Enjoy your 4th of July!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3

Crafting Art & Fun Memories Right Here in the Metro

Good Afternoon, Kansas City! If you’re anything like me, you love crafting fun creations with your little ones but don’t quite have all of the materials (or the space to store everything) it takes to make something truly unique. We’re excited to share a fun iFamilyKC Kids Club event recap with you today that solves that very issue. Sarah, from our Mom Squad team, attended one of the sessions this past Saturday at Create 2 Day and shares her experience with you today on the blog. Take a look…


iFamilyKC Kids Club

iFamilyKC Kids Club Event Recap!

You all know how much I LOVE Pinterest – I think I mention it in almost every week! I am notorious for seeing something and then getting obsessed with making it; the problem is the cost of buying all the materials to make this project probably costs just as much as if I went and bought the finished product at the store. Finally there’s a solution to the problem! On Saturday, the husband was working so my mother-in-law and I took the girls on  a little trip up to Bonner Springs for our iFamilyKC Kids Club event at Create 2 Day.

Create 2 Day Fun!
ifamilykc kids club event

Create 2 Day is a little “old time experience” in “The Big Blue Building” in downtown Bonner Springs. The idea around this creative space is two-fold: being creative and going back in time to when life was just a little slower. As you walk in you are hit with nostalgia. They have knick knacks from the 50’s and 60’s allow you to leave everything else outside the door and just relax.

ifamilykc kids club event

Walking through you will see an old fashioned Soda Jerk (not a person by the way!) which prepares fountain drinks in the traditional way! There is also a stage which is perfect for live music; which they have often! Check out their Facebook page for details! The stage is also great to use for birthday parties or bachelorette parties to make it even more special for the guest of honor. The back of the store is where the creative magic truly happens!

Do you remember that amazing Pinterest post you saw online? Remember how, when you priced it, the materials would cost way too much to justify the expense?  At Create 2 Day you can bring that idea with you, I will almost guarantee they have the majority of the materials you will need to make it!

Everything from wood frames to letters to cut off jeans to make a new purse! And every kind of decoration that you could imagine to decorate them with! If they don’t have the materials readily available they are sure to have something that would work in store or in the storage area. And the best part, everything is done by donation so cost is never an issue!

Create 2 Day is always taking donations of arts and craft supplies for their collection, which is why they consider themselves to be a “make and take” location! When the girls and I went they decided to decorate a cardboard letter for their doors while others in our session made jean purses and one even made a fairy house which could double as a nightlight!

ifamilykc kids club event

After working out some of that creativity it was time for ICE CREAM from the Soda Jerk counter! Kate worked to make sure that every one of us got a cone—even got to test her memory work when a few kids decided to change their minds! We didn’t enjoy the food they prepare on this visit but all the food is made from scratch and is sure to please! Roberta and her family are enthusiastic, so helpful and obviously love a good challenge to their creativity. If you are in the area, I highly suggest a visit and if you want to get out of the city for an afternoon make a day of it and visit downtown Bonner Springs but make sure to finish your trip at The Big Blue Building and Create 2 Day! Be sure to sign up for our iFamilyKC Kids Club online so you don’t miss out on any fun activities happening all around the metro area!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

May 23, 2017 at 12:08 PM • Posted in Creative FunComments Off on 10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

Howdy Kansas City! The school year is probably wrapping up for many of the kiddos, it’s time to start looking for some fun activities for the family. Summer doesn’t have to mean expensive vacations and extended amounts of traveling. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great ideas for for a staycation here in the Kansas City metro. Check it out!

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

 

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For
Kansas City This Summer

 

Can y’all believe it will be summer soon!? No school, stores are open late and one of the best things ever created… VACATION! Who doesn’t love that?! We rarely take a summer vacation in our house because we take a long one in the Fall (10 days, so worth it!). So we try our best to do our very own family staycation! If you are unfamiliar with a staycation, it is basically vacationing at home but you do special things you wouldn’t normally do during the year.

There are so many fun things you can do during a staycation. Kansas City is a very family friendly city and there is always something for everyone to enjoy. So, get out your planner, pens, highlighters or whatever you use and start planning your family staycation.

 

1. Amusement parks

Take a day and visit one of Kansas City’s parks! Check out Worlds of Fun for exciting rides and games, Oceans of Fun, Schlitterbahn and Paradise Park are a few!

2. Museums

Kansas City is rich in history and art. Plan a day or week to venture off to see various museums for all ages and interests. There is the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Negro League Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, National WWI Museum and MORE!

3. Downtown Restaurants

Living Downtown gives you an advantage when it comes to exploring. Everywhere you go you are seeing something new. The are so many amazing restaurants downtown, I know everyone will be happy! Start with a family favorite like Chipotle or Jason’s Deli. Fritz’s or Crayola Cafe at Crown Center. Or you could venture a little further south towards the Plaza for Seasons 52 or Fogo de Chao!

4. Exhibits

Exhibits are always fun because they are only around for a limited time. This really makes you feel like you are on vacation lol. Union Station has different exhibits throughout the year. Currently they have a Pompeii exhibit (ending soon) but starting June 23, you can explore real mummies from around the world!

5. Campouts

Plan a campout in your very own backyard! Pitch a tent, fire up a grill or fire and enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own home.

6. Movie under the Stars

Throughout the summer, Crown Center and other suburbs around the metro area host movie nights outside. You can plan to head out to a free show, the drive in or if able, watch one in your own yard!

7. Water Park DIY

Sometimes, it’s just too hot to go anywhere, wait in lines and really just leave the house. So turn your backyard into your own water park! Using pools, hoses and a few other miscellaneous items, you can bring the party to you! Check out Pinterest for some super easy ideas for all ages.

8. Parents Night Out

A lot of places around town offer parents night out. From churches to rec centers, theses are becoming more popular for both parents and kids. So why not finally take them up on that offer and plan a night out with your spouse and go dancing, eat at a fancy restaurant or meet up with friends! Parents Night Out usually lasts for about 3-4 hours so take a breather and enjoy some adult time!

9. Go Hiking/Biking

Nothing beats free during the summer time. With so many trails and parks around the metro area, got for a hike or ride through some trails. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of water!

10. Spend the night in a hotel

Just because you are not leaving your area doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the comfort of a nice hotel. Check out the rates of some of your favorite ones and enjoy a night away from the house. *Pro tip, make sure your hotel offers free wifi and breakfast to avoid extra costs*

I hope these ideas are enough to get you in the zone for planning your family staycation. I know my kiddos and I are already packing out our calendar!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come Find Our Mom Squad This Summer Around Kansas City!

May 22, 2017 at 4:31 PM • Posted in Creative FunComments Off on Come Find Our Mom Squad This Summer Around Kansas City!

Howdy, Kansas City! Our Mom Squad has a busy few months ahead with all of the great events we have going on around the metro. There is something for every person and every family, so why don’t you come find us and explore a little bit of the city? We look forward to seeing you!

 

 

Come Find Our Mom Squad This Summer Around
Kansas City!

 

Clear your schedule and get ready for some awesome events this summer/ early fall throughout Kansas City! The iFamily #MomSquad will be out at some of the most anticipated events of the year and I for one am super excited! So make sure you mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

1. Lee’s Summit Downtown Days

June 2-4: This weekend long event is filled with music, food, craft vendors and even a Carnival! Prices do vary based on the vendors but Sunday is wristband day, you can purchase a wristband for $20 and get unlimited rides all day! Head over to their website for daily hours!

2. KC Baby Fair

June 11: Tickets to this event are $8 in advance or $12 the day of the show. Kids 12 and under are free! The KC Baby Fair will be located at the Overland Park Convention Center from 10:00am- 3:00 pm. This event is a must for expecting, or new moms! There will be great giveaways, freebies, learning tools and everything you need for your new little one.

3. Just for Her Expo

June 23-25: This event is perfect for the women in your life! The Just for Her Expo has everything from fashion & accessories to food, beauty and wellness. This event will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center. Tickets are $5 online or $8 at the door. They even have a few VIP tickets left for even more fun ($25 online only). Kid 12 and under are welcome and free to attend. Head over to their website for more information on daily hours!

 4. Docks Dogs at Scheels

July 29-30: The fun filled DockDogs, premier canine aquatic competition! This free event is located at Scheels of Overland Park, home of the giant ferris wheel! Come out and enjoy the competition, see cool tricks and meet some pups!

5. Chick Event: Handmade & Vintage

September 15-17: The ultimate craft event will arrive early this Fall! Head out to Johnson Farms in Belton, Mo September 15th-17th for unique handmade and vintage items from over 100 vendors! You can also enjoy live music, food & drinks plus fun kids activities. You can buy your tickets starting 13th. General admission is $5 or you can grab a weekend pass for only $8. Kids 12 and under are free!

 

We will be at so many more events throughout the year so make sure you keep checking back for updates and announcements! See y’all soon!

 

From iFamily to Yours,
Your iFamilyKC Team

 

Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

May 20, 2017 at 4:37 PM • Posted in Creative FunComments Off on Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!
Are you a Hello Kitty fan? Our very own Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has a great suggestion for a “Kitty” experience. Town Center has welcomed a Hello Kitty food truck, with great theming, and great fun for anyone who has an infinity for the cute little character. Check it out!
Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of Hello Kitty! If you know someone who is even close to a fan of this mania that is Hello Kitty then you probably were at the same place I was on Saturday—The KC stop of the Hello Kitty Café food truck. Making its annual stop in Kansas City and, in particular Town Center in Leawood, I was amazed at the popularity. Hello Kitty is part of the Japanese company, Sanrio.
Appearing over 40 years ago with just one tiny coin purse, this massive empire now boasts over $600
million in revenue each year. Most of you will probably remember this craze during the 80’s and 90’s—and it has never lost its speed. The Hello Kitty US headquarters, located in Irvine, CA is considered the mecca to all things Hello Kitty and also a large player in the annual Hello Kitty Con located in Los
Angeles.
The Hello Kitty Café was born to bring the brand and this celebrity in her own right to the rest of the country. Depending mostly on social media and Town Center to promote this visit in particular, I was greeted by over 500 people waiting in line to purchase their goodies from the truck. I saw people decked out in their Hello Kitty merchandise, taking pictures, laughing and purchasing their collectible merchandise. The café’s menu is fairly simple; cookies, small cakes, bottled water, and merchandise
including a bow (of course) a mug and t-shirt. I spoke with one woman whose husband brought her for
Mother’s Day; but I am not sure if they were standing in that line! Another said they were there to line
up an hour before the café even opened at 8AM, she said the line had already formed and although their wait wasn’t too long, those that decided to make a last minute trip were probably met with at least a 2 hour wait.
Honestly I didn’t know that Hello Kitty was still this popular, and especially not in the Midwest. I remember always having to make a trip to Bannister Mall to the Hello Kitty store and oh how I wish I
would have kept some of that merchandise! Looking through the crowd you can see that Hello Kitty
appeals to so many and from so many different age groups, one of the most recognizable characters in
the world is truly an understatement. It was fun to take a step back into this sense of nostalgia and
introduce my girls to it. What an amazing event, one that I am sure a lot of people hope to make an
annual stop on the Hello Kitty circuit!
From iFamily to Yours,

Check Out the 14 Hour May Challenge for Moms!

May 7, 2017 at 10:21 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Holiday, Mom FunComments Off on Check Out the 14 Hour May Challenge for Moms!

Alright, mamas – this one is for you. Don’t be intimidated by the title. This challenge isn’t a way to add more to the to-do list. Instead, it’s a way to find some time and treat yourself. So, in the month of May, when we’re celebrating motherhood anyway, why not find some time to care for you. Take a look at the 14 hour challenge our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has up her sleeve.

Check Out the 14 Hour May Challenge for Moms!

Check Out the 14 Hour May Challenge for Moms

 

Hey Mommas! It’s May and Mother’s Day is coming up soon.  As moms our crazy chaotic days start as soon as we crack open our eyes.  Mine usually starts with my 2 year old bouncing on my bed saying “watch TV!” “eat breakfast!” or my very favorite, “I pooped!”  From sun up to sun down, we are working – whether it be inside or outside the home.  There are lunches to pack, dishes to do, mountains of laundry (that I swear breeds overnight!), errands to run, back and forth from sports to dance to music lessons to school activities, homework to check, reading to do, agendas to plan and then there’s dinner and bedtime.

Shhhhew! I’m totally exhausted just thinking about it all!  Moms, we are the glue that holds our family together and I know we are prone to putting ourselves on the back burner, A LOT.  So, this is my challenge to you for the month of May. Do something for YOURSELVES! This is not about your kids, your husband, your mother in law, your grandma, your sister, the neighbor, the kids teacher, or your beloved dog. This is about YOU!  I am going to try my best to do this challenge along with you and I’d love to hear from you in the comments on how you took care of you this month!  Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

Daily Challenge

Plan 15 minutes of your day doing something you like to do.  Write it down in your planner, calendar, phone or wherever you keep track of things just like you would any other planned activity.  Sleep, take a long hot bath or shower, run, read something besides a screen, meditate, watch the sun come up, write in a journal or watch a sitcom (Life in Pieces is on Netflix currently and is hilarious by the way!)

 

Weekly Challenge

Plan 1 hour of time for you. Are you sensing a pattern here? This isn’t about anyone but you. Take a few ideas from the daily challenge and extend those out a bit. Or call your bestie (not text), get a haircut, schedule a massage, get a pedicure, go to the library or bookstore- enjoy the silence, or go on a Target run and splurge on delicious Starbucks while you’re at it.

 

Monthly Challenge

Plan one night (4 hours) of kid-free or maybe even significant other-free time (you decide!) to go out of the house.  Go to a free concert at P&L or pack up some snacks and have an adult picnic or bonfire in the country. Go to a movie or drinks with a friend or significant other. If you can’t get out at night, go to breakfast or brunch and shopping. Try hard to stay out of the kids section!

 

If you start the challenge May 8th, by the end of May you will have given yourself (no one else!) nearly 14 hours of time.  14 hours in 3 weeks.  I think we all deserve that at the very least! Give yourself the perfect gift this Mother’s Day.  The gift of time for you, mom.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

30 Fantastic Gifts for Mother’s Day This Year

May 5, 2017 at 9:49 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Holiday, Mom ResourcesComments Off on 30 Fantastic Gifts for Mother’s Day This Year

Happy Spring, Kansas City! We’re finally moving into the nicer, warmer spring weather which means it’s also time for Mother’s Day. We here at iFamilyKC love our moms, and one of our Mom Squad Ambassadors, gives us all a great list of gift ideas to treat our moms like the queens they are on their special day. Take a look!

30 Fantastic Gifts for Mother's Day This Year 30 Fantastic Gifts for Mother’s Day This Year

Finding a gift for the woman who deserves the world has always been a challenge. What do you get someone who gives her soul so freely to others? How can one gift reflect everything she means to you?

You want to capture her value, how you see her, her beauty, her love, her inner strength, and everything she has taught you. Yet, you have no idea where to start. Well, rest your head, my dear, we are here to help. Most of us know that all moms really wants is to be shown how YOU see them. If you find a gift that reflects the light in her that shines through you… then you’re golden.

My best advice is you simply think the gift through.

What does she truly like? What does she truly LOVE doing?

Give her a gift that reflects what she loves the most. She truly just wants to be seen, understood, and shown that you pay attention to her. Honestly who doesn’t want that? I have included a list of gifts that reflect thought, passion, and love. I hope at least one of these help capture the essence of the wonderful person she is.

Good luck my loves. Channel your love for her, and I promise she will see and feel that, regardless of what the gift maybe.

#1 Help her relive a memory

…from your past that reflected what an amazing mom she is. Find old pictures from a childhood vacation and turn them into a photo album, have a quilt made out of old family photos, make a video for her of your favorite pictures of her, have artwork made out of a picture of the two of you, make a coffee cup of family photos, or simply make her a gift card to take her back to a place the two of you holds a special memory. Let her relive the love you felt in that moment. Trust me …. She will melt! <3

#2 Take her on a picnic

Make a picnic basket that includes her favorite foods, a blanket, a playlist of her favorite songs, and take her to her favorite park or garden. Let her keep the picnic basket and the playlist.

#3 Enroll her in a class

what is something she has always wanted to do? Yoga, paint, bake, dance, sing, sculpt, etc.… find her a gift card to a class, buy her some of the supplies she would need for it, and let her live out her dreams. Think of all the classes she let you be in when you were a kid… it is now her turn!

#4 Coffee & tea

Does she love tea or coffee? Why not update her mugs…. Get her some fancy tea cups with saucers, loose leaf tea, fancy coffee, or gift cards to her favorite coffee house.

#5 Items to entertain

Does she like to entertain others? Why not get her new serving dishes, new place settings, etc.

#6 Cooking utensils for the cooks

Does she like to cook? How about a personalized cutting board, new tea towels, new knifes, cooking classes, etc.

#7 Monthly subscription

Enroll her in a monthly subscription club of something she loves, there truly is a club for everything. They have Cheese Clubs, Wine Clubs, Cookie Clubs, Soap Clubs, Plant Clubs, etc. If you enroll her in a  monthly club she can receive one of her favorite items every single month. You just pay a small monthly fee and in return mom gets a gift once a month.

#8 Jewelry

Does she love jewelry? Well if so there are so many options online… you could get something custom made for her, get her a gift card to her favorite place, or just make her a piece of jewelry.

#9 Baking items

Does she bake…. Get her new pans, measuring cups, new supplies, etc.

#10 A cookbook of her recipes

Turn her recipes into a cook book … literally… or, take family recipes and turn them into a family cook book. There are many options online available.

#11 Yoga items for the yogi mom

If she is a yoga lover get her a new yoga mat, yoga music, a yoga bag to carry her mat, or new yoga clothes.

#12 Workout gear for the gym mom

If she loves going to the gym get her some new workout clothes, a new water bottle, iTunes, headphones, etc.

#13 Tech gadgets for the tech savvy

If she is always on the computer … you could get her a new laptop stand, bag to carry her lap top, speakers, gift card to her favorite online store, etc.

#14 Spa treatment…at home

New soaps, bath products, new robe, new towels, sheets, etc.

#15 Spa Treatment…away

A day out at the spa that includes a massage

#16 Pictures, pictures, pictures

Picture frames filled with your favorite pictures

#17 Family portraits

A family portrait session including the WHOLE family

#18 Take care of her feet

A pair of new shoes and a pedicure

#19 Concert or play tickets

#20 Tickets to a comedy show

#21 Some alone time

A weekend by herself- let her have the gift of solitude.

#22 A clean house

Hire a cleaning crew for three months and let her simply enjoy a clean home without having to be the one to clean it.

#23 Make her favorite meal

A home cooked meal prepared by the family- recreate her favorite meal for her.

#24 A Date night

Get them a gift card for somewhere fancy… maybe get her something to wear too.

#25 Girls Night Out

#26 Plan a family reunion for her

#27 Surprise her with someone who lives far

Fly in someone to visit she has mentioned she has wanted to see for a long time.

#28 Plan a family vacation

#29 Mail her a thank you cards every day for a month

Include everything you have ever wanted to thank her for but haven’t.

#30 Most importantly SPEND TIME WITH HER

After all, that is all she truly wants!

For more inspirational content, connect with Leah directly on Facebook at Living Life With Leah.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

May 2, 2017 at 7:28 PM • Posted in Coping, Creative FunComments Off on How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

Hello, Kansas City! Emotions can be tough to navigate, and even harder for kiddos. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, shares some tidbits of a rough patch in her and her son’s life, and what they did to cope. They opted for simplicity with a Calm Down box. Take a look!

 How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a
Calm Down Box

Several months ago I was looking back through some old photos and was brought back to the photo below.

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

The photo served as a bitter sweet memory….. it reminded me of when my son and I became just the two of us and no longer the three of us. This was a very hard time for the all of us… he lost his comfort, his familiarity of having both parents under the same roof, his routine, his home, and feeling of being a family unit. His whole world was torn apart without his say so.
For the first time ever he had to deal with adult emotions within himself, yet was still only a child.
I attempted to create a place for him to feel comfortable talking, expressing emotions, and being able to be heard. He attended weekly check-ins with the school counselor, went to a divorce support group, had very supportive grandparents and aunts and uncles, and his father was amazing with communicating with him. Yet, he was still struggling with a web of confusing emotions.

Who could blame him?

I wanted to let him know he was not alone. None of us wanted this, and we would still be a family — just a different family then what he was used to. I spent hours thinking of what I could do to create a safe place for him to express himself. We lived in a very small apartment, so I knew space was an issue. However, I knew this was a necessity for his emotional well-being.

While I was attempting to find a solution I remember my favorite childhood hiding place was my closet.
The moment I thought of that it was as if a light bulb went off….. so just like that we created his Calm Down /Chill out closet. I put a little art table in there and then took him on a “Calm Down Mission”.

We spent the day finding things here and there that made him feel calm, safe, understood, and loved. We had so much fun together. I wanted him to know that emotions are normal… it is okay to be pissed off, to cry, to be angry, and not understand why things are happening.

He went into store after store, finding things to put in his “calm place.” We returned home with smiles on our faces and a memory that would last us forever. We both agreed that all of the items we bought would be strictly for his calm down space. They could only be used when he felt frustrated, angry, sad, etc. They were not meant for everyday use. He did a great job at sticking to this.

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box
We also agreed that he could access his calm down place on his own at any time (no explanation needed).
After all, this was his place to escape not mine. He absolutely loved this idea. He used this “safety zone” for over a year. We added things here and there… but for the most part his comfort items remained the same.
I am so glad that we created something that allowed him to feel but more importantly allowed him to heal.

If you are thinking of creating a “Calm Down Space” or “Calm Down Box” for your child I highly encourage you to make it with them. Remind yourself this is for their comfort, emotional health, and for THEM to come to terms with things. This is not for you to pick a part. Let them be in control. Trust me, that in itself will help them heal.

Here is what my son put in his calm down box…

How to Help Your Kids Deal With Emotions Using a Calm Down Box

• Bubbles
• Puzzles
• “I Spy Book”
• Scratch and Sniff stickers
• Stress balls
• Blank journal
• Colored pencils
• Special writing pen
• Silly putty
• A pin wheel
• Doodle books
• Activity books
• Framed Family picture
• Family photo album ( mostly of pictures of us laughing and having fun)
• Blank index cards

I am looking forward to hearing what you and your children come up with! Here’s to building happy and healthy hearts through one family at a time! Connect with me on Facebook for inspirational posts over at Living Life With Leah.
From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out These Cheap Ways to Enjoy Movies This Summer

April 30, 2017 at 11:16 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Family Events & ActivitiesComments Off on Check Out These Cheap Ways to Enjoy Movies This Summer

Summer is just around the corner (even though the weather may be saying otherwise), and that means some of you may be looking for some budget-friendly activities for the family. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, has some great ideas for cheap ways to enjoy movies this summer. Take a look!

Check Out These Cheap Ways to Enjoy Movies This Summer

 

Check Out These Cheap Ways to Enjoy Movies This Summer

 

If you’re like us, your family was way too busy during the school year to stop and go to the movies. This summer, several places are making it easy (on you and your wallet) for your family to enjoy some movies on the big screen. From passes to pools, this is the ultimate guide for family-friendly movies in KC this summer.

Watching on the big screen

See some new-ish favorites on the big screen without paying a big price.

B&B Theatres Summer Kids Series (Northland, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, Shawnee): $3 movies (or just $2 for Backstage Members) Tuesdays through Thursdays (June 6-July 27) at 10am and 12:30pm.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse Merriam: $1 movies Mondays through Thursdays (June 5-August 10) at 10am and noon. Or buy a 10-movie pass for $5 while supplies last.

Cinemark Summer Movie Clubhouse Palace on the Plaza: $1 movies Wednesdays (June 7-August 9) at 10am. Or buy a 10-movie pass for $5 while supplies last.

 

See some real stars

Enjoy a movie under the stars this summer with these outdoor movie events.

Johnson County Libraries: Movies in the Park
Free. May 19, June 10, July 8 and August 12. Locations vary. Family-friendly classics. Local concerts start at 8pm, movie starts at dusk.

Moonlight Movie on the Square (Independence)
Free movies every Thursday (June-early August) at 9pm in the Pharaoh Theater parking lot.

Legacy Park Amphitheater (Lee’s Summit)
Free movies the first Thursday of each month in June, July and August. Gates open at 7pm, movies begin around dark (8:45pm). No outside food or beverages but concessions will be available.

WeekEnder (Crown Center)
Free. July 7, 14, 21 & 28, August 4
Enjoy local bands and food trucks starting at 6pm. Movies start about 9pm. No outside alcohol.

 

Make a splash

Watch a movie with your feet in the water or the sand.

Dive-In Movie: Moana (Fairway)
$3 per person. July 22, 2017.
Bring your own floatie. Plenty of pool furniture available. Free popcorn included. Doors open at 8:30pm, movie begins at dark.

Sand Cinema (Long View Lake Beach)
$5 per car. June 23 and July 21. Gates open at 7:30pm, movies begin around dark (8:45pm). Bring your own blanket or chairs for beach seating. No outside food or beverages but concessions will be available.

 

Pro Tips:

• Arrive early for best seats, especially if you’re going in a large group

• For outdoor movies, pack blankets, chairs and plenty of pillows

• For evening movies, dress your kiddos in PJs ahead of time so you can easily get them to bed when you get home

• Create your own movie memories for your family and friends by hosting your own backyard movie night.

 

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

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

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“Camp Out” This Summer at the Nelson Atkins!

April 11, 2017 at 11:00 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Educational Fun for KidsComments Off on “Camp Out” This Summer at the Nelson Atkins!

It’s that time of year, Kansas City! The time of year that you realize summer will be here before you know it! If you have a little family member who loves all things art, consider a summer camp at the Nelson-Atkins this summer. They have something for nearly all ages (3 and up), so get on it and check out what they have to offer!

“Camp Out’ This Summer at the Nelson-Atkins!

From knights, dragons, and animation, to cartoons, animals and nature, camp and classes at the
museum have something for everyone!
Full-day camps, multiple week classes and one-time workshops allow you to personalize your art-making experience.
Complete listings and details available at:
*Museum members receive a discount

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamilyKC Team