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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

Check Out These Memorial Day Events at the National World War I Museum

May 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in Family Events & Activities, HolidayComments Off on Check Out These Memorial Day Events at the National World War I Museum

Hello, Kansas City! Can you believe that Memorial Day is already upon us? Here in Kansas City we are so lucky to have the National World War I Museum and they have a ton of great events (good for families!) this upcoming weekend. There’s something for everyone, so definitely check it out!

Check Out These Memorial Day Events at the National World War I Museum

 

Check Out These Memorial Day Events at the National World War I Museum

 

As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend. Additionally, the Museum invites the public to “find your World War I connection” and discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and more with a variety of programs throughout the weekend.

Admission to the Museum is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while admission for the general public is half-price all weekend (Friday-Monday, May 26-29). The Museum offers several events during the course of the weekend for people of all ages and interests, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day featuring renowned photographer Michael St Maur Sheil. St Maur Sheil’s exhibitions of contemporary photographs of World War I battlefields have been seen by millions of people across the world and are currently featured in the exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918 at the Museum.

 

Free admission for veterans and active duty military personnel is made possible by U.S. Bank. Half-price admission on Friday is courtesy of Sports Radio 810 WHB. Additional support for Memorial Day Weekend activities was provided by Armed Forces Insurance and the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo.

 

WORLD WAR I RESEARCH STATIONS

When: All Day, Friday-Sunday, May 26-29

Where: Outside J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby

What: Find your connection to World War I during Memorial Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to multiple databases including, Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and much more. FREE to the public.

 

VIETNAM ERA BELL UH-1 IROQUOIS “HUEY” HELICOPTER DISPLAY

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 29

Where: Rectangular Drive at the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will provide an iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for display. FREE to the public.

 

 

VINTAGE MILITARY VEHICLE DISPLAY

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 27

Where: Southeast Lawn outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will display nearly 20 vintage military vehicles from World War II, Korean War and Operation Desert Storm. MVPA members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Availability subject to weather. FREE to the public.

 

 

FIELDS OF BATTLE, LANDS OF PEACE TOURS

When: 10:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28; 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 29

Where: Tours begin at Guest Services inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: Join award-winning photojournalist and curator Michael St Maur Sheil on a brief walking tour of the special centennial outdoor exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918. Hear the stories behind the incredible contemporary photographs. Book purchase suggested and reservation required. Limited space available. FREE to the public.

 

 

2017 BATTLEFIELD TOUR: THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME

When: Noon, Saturday, May 27

Where: R.A. Long Education Center

What: What’s it like to experience the battlefields of World War I in person? Find out details of the upcoming commemorative journey to breathtaking places in Europe with the National World War I Museum and Memorial and Battlefield Tour guide/photojournalist Michael St Maur Sheil. Museum staff will be on hand to answer questions. FREE with RSVP.

 

 

HANDS-ON HISTORY

When: 2 p.m., Saturday, May 27

Where: Near Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: History is brought to life during this family-friendly program, where kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts.

 

 

35TH INFANTRY DIVISION BAND CONCERT

When: 2 p.m., Saturday, May 27

Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: The Museum proudly welcomes the 35th Infantry Division Band for a rousing concert to commemorate those who have served and perished in our country’s armed forces. Comprised of professional musicians, educators, and college students, the 35th ID Band performs for more than 100,000 citizens annually, sharing the Army’s story with the public through music. FREE to the public.

 

 

BANK OF AMERICA CELEBRATION AT THE STATION

When: 3 p.m., Sunday, May 28 (concert begins at 8 p.m.)

Where: North Lawn outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: Kick off your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. The Kansas City Symphony, led by Music Director Michael Stern, performs patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Kansas City’s historic Union Station. Celebration at the Station concludes with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. FREE to the public.

 

 

FINDING YOUR WWI CONNECTION

When: 2 p.m., Sunday, May 28

Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: Many Americans had family members who served overseas during the Great War. Others had family members who were German or Austrian immigrants affected by U.S. immigration policies during wartime. In this introductory session to WWI research, Dr. Mitch Yockelson will offer some hints and tips on how to go about researching relatives that may have served or been affected during the war. Information on how to request copies of military service files via the National Archives will also be available. Presented in partnership with The National Archives at Kansas City. FREE with RSVP.

 

NATIONAL  WWI MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL BENEFIT PANCAKE BREAKFAST

When: 9-11 a.m., Monday, May 29

Where: Over There Café, inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: Enjoy some flapjacks (with hashbrowns and sausage/bacon) in a unique setting during a pancake feed with proceeds benefiting the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The meals are $9 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under) and include a beverage.

 

MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY

When: 10-11 a.m., Monday, May 29

Where: Memorial Courtyard outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: A formal public program to include remarks from dignitaries, including U.S. Missouri Fifth District Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II, Kansas City and Missouri Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James (a former U.S. Marine), a keynote address Michael St Maur Sheil, musical performances from the Heartland Men’s Chorus and the 1st Infantry Division Wood Wind Quintet and an Honor Guard presentation from Ft. Leavenworth. FREE to the public.

 

 

WALK OF HONOR DEDICATION CEREMONY

When: 2 p.m., Monday, May 29

Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial

What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. Entertainment includes a performance from the Heartland Men’s Chorus, remarks from archivist, military historian and author Dr. Mitch Yockelson and an Honor Guard presentation from Ft. Leavenworth. The Walk of Honor, now more than 10,000 bricks strong, is divided into three sections: bricks dedicated solely to those who served in World War I; bricks dedicated to veterans of any military service; and bricks that honor civilian friends, family or organizations. Walk of Honor bricks are dedicated twice each year during Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. FREE to the public.

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND HOURS AND PARKING

The National World War I Museum and Memorial will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday and from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday. To accommodate expected high Memorial Day weekend attendance, a parking shuttle service will be available Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. from the West Yards Garage at Union Station and on Monday, May 29 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

 

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

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,

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

April 7, 2017 at 1:22 PM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

Can you all believe it, Kansas City? Easter is right around the corner! As the weather finally warms up, and the sun is finally out, we’ve got some fun ideas coming from our Mom Squad. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has a cute (and free!) Easter themed printable to share with you today. Check it out!

Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

 

Spring Fun with these FREE Printable Easter Lunch Notes

 

Hi guys! Easter is around the corner so I wanted to find something fun to add to the blog this week for your kiddos to look forward to before Easter break! Lunch time was one of my favorite parts of the day in school! My mom used to pack my lunch a few times a week and I looked forward to the notes she would lovingly create and put in my lunch box.

 

I LOVED seeing the notes when I opened my lunch every day, It was a little way for my mom and I to stay connected when we were apart. So, I wanted my daughter to experience the fun and love of lunch box notes just like I did! Now, I am not an artist and I never claimed to be BUT using a computer, I was able to make some pretty cute little notes and I wanted to share them with you! Print them, cut them out and add them to your child’s lunch! They will love it!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

March 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM • Posted in Family Events & Activities, HolidayComments Off on Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around
Kansas City

 

Easter Sunday is right around the corner on April 16th! There are tons of activities and events around the KC leading up to the Easter holiday! But don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Here are handful of super fun ideas your family is sure to enjoy!

 

Union Station Easter Eggstravaganza

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

 

Science City April 14th at 10am. Price includes all day Science City admission

 

Zona Rosa Easter Parade

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

 April 15th 11am-4pm

Powell Gardens Easter Eggs and the Breakfast Bunny

April 15th 8:45-noon

 

Summit Stables

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

The Stables is having an Easter themed Kids Club event with iFamilyKC on April 8th that will include an egg hunt.

 

Midland Railway Easter Egg Hunt Express

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

 April 8th, 9th and 15th. Easter Egg hunt, train ride, photos with the Easter Bunny. Look for the iFamilyKC discount code!

 

Ceramic Cafe 

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

Easter Egg Festival March 31-April 2

 

Paradise Park

Ollie’s 10th annual Egg Hunt! April 8th and 15th

 

Independence Square Easter Egg Hunt and Shop Hop

April 15th 10am-6pm. Free Easter basket for the first 200 kids, candy, and an egg hunt.

 

Big Bunny Bash  

Your Family Fun Guide to Easter Activities Around Kansas City

Liberty Hospital April 8th 10-12pm

 

Country Club Plaza Bunnies on display! 

March 20th – April 23rd

Dexter’s Egg-cellent Easter Adventure

At the Legends T-REX cafe  April 15th 8-10am

 

And for all you dog moms and dads, here is a special event happening just for you and your pup:

 

Easter Dog Event

 At Rock & Brews April 9th 1pm-3pm Meet the Easter Bunny and each dog gets a 4×4 paw print tile from Paint Glaze & Fire Ceramics

 

From iFamily to Yours,

A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

March 11, 2017 at 4:06 PM • Posted in Food, HolidayComments Off on A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

Top o’ the morning to ya, Kansas City! One of my favorite spring time treats are milkshakes/smoothies. Truthfully, I can drink them any time of year! With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has a simple recipe to make Shamrock Shakes at home. Yum! Take a look…

 A Fun St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

 

I love Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s! Since they are only offered during early spring, I decided to concoct a recipe so myself and my family could enjoy them all year round! They were super easy, yummy, and were a big hit in my house!

A Fun St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

Ingredients

 

3 scoops mint chocolate chip ice cream

1/4 c. heavy cream

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

4-6 drops green food coloring

Whipped cream, for topping

 

Toppings

Maraschino cherries, sprinkles, chocolate chips

or any other fun green things you can come up with!

 

Decorations

Decorate with plastic rings, fun straws and serve up in a fancy wine or martini glass

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

6 Ways to Have an Unconventional Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017 at 5:40 PM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 6 Ways to Have an Unconventional Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, Kansas City! Love is in the air, but not all of us “love” the conventional holiday. Instead of going the “anti-Valentine’s Day” route, Sarah, our Mom Squad Ambassador, has some great tips to be a bit unconventional this holiday. Check it out…

6 Ways to Have an Unconventional Valentine's Day

6 Ways to Have an Unconventional Valentine’s Day

 

In my single days, I can remember having to push people out of the way in order to avoid the Valentine’s cards, physically gag when I saw yet another couple holding hands at the movies and restaurants being so busy there was no way to even get in the door!

I attended my share of ͞Anti-Valentine’s Day͟ parties and badmouthed the opposite sex with my friends while we drank women empowering drinks and sang men bashing songs. I won’t lie it was pretty nice when my now husband and I first got together and I was the one that was rushing for reservations at our favorite restaurant or planning a romantic dinner with wine and candles. The history of Valentine’s Day and it’s patron Saint Valentine is shrouded in death and destruction and it is obvious by the number of ideas for anti-valentine’s day parties on Pinterest that the theme (although not literal death) is still quite dark and dramatic.

So yes, for many people the thought of an anti-Valentine’s celebration is attractive and many will still partake, however; why not squelch the idea of hate and anger we hear so often these days and try a few of these alternate ideas?

The Valentine’s I remember in elementary school the first time that we were encouraged to give a valentine to each student in our class; today this isn’t given as a choice—you give a card to EVERY CHILD. I did enjoy going to the store and finding my favorite character cards, filling out each one (maybe secretly kissing the one that went to my crush) and then the terrible taste of the envelope glue as I carefully sealed each one. I took my girls last week and realized the two or three choices I used to have are now filled with aisles and aisles! It took much longer than it should have because there were so many of my daughter’s favorite characters that they wanted two or three boxes; you may think you are popular, Miss 4 year-old but not 75 cards worth!

#1 Skip the Candy

From a mom that is still finding candy in the pantry from Halloween circa 2014, look to the non-candy options. Don’t be a statistic! Over 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent every year!

 

#2 Go the boxed card route

If you do decide to go the card route—buy! You can’t beat $2.48 per box, and you certainly can’t make them!

 

#3 Make it a day of kindness

Valentine’s Day is for lovers, right?  Make it about sharing your love with everyone around you by smiling at that lone person in the street, make some cookies for the customer service group at work or bring doughnuts for the school office staff. You have no idea how much this means to them and you really have no idea how happy and loved it will make you feel too.

 

#4 Spruce up the goodness of home.

At home– sure, make a nice meal if you have time, give extra hugs and kisses and say ͞I love you͟ more than you ever have, but make a promise to yourself to do this more and more everyday not just on February 14th.

#5 One is the Loneliest Number – Not Really

Well maybe. I am an only child and secret be told, I love being alone. Not just because of everything that I do now; running around two kids, making sure the new dog has enough exercise and working on keeping my marriage running smoothly. I really liked being alone when I was younger; I just may not have realized it. So here’s an idea for all you single people; go to that movie that you have been waiting to see but go by yourself, put on something other than sweats and head to a nice restaurant, sit at the bar and strike up a conversation with someone. Or just enjoy the day shopping and exploring how you want to. If that is a little too much and you are breaking out in hives just thinking about the stares and sad looks that you will get, then head to the grocery store and splurge on whatever you want for dinner—whether that is crab legs or just cereal!

 

#6 Think outside the box of gifts…

The Gifts Oh the gifts! Raise your hand if you are still paying off Christmas gifts! And here we have to turn right around and buy something else that is either going in a drawer somewhere or head straight to our bellies that we are still trying to shrink from the overeating at Christmas! I won’t turn this into a rant on how Valentine’s is a conspiracy to boost the economy, just think wisely about gift giving. Yes I love to get gifts, just like all of you probably do, but I also purchased a purse from the 75% off sale last week so let’s be honest—maybe that was my Valentine’s gift. So this year just take a step back, take a deep breath. Realize that maybe this holiday is needed to remind us of all the love we have around us whether that be from a significant other, a child, a neighbor, or a friend who lives 3 hours away (I miss you!).

Love comes in many forms and should be celebrated as such. So I choose to teach my girls to spend Valentine’s Day just being happy, spending time with their friends, so hopefully, one day, if they don’t have anyone to spend the day with and they start to feel those dark and dramatic anti-Valentine’s day thoughts coming through—look at something beautiful; trees, artwork, or just take a glance in the mirror! It’s still just a day, you probably will gag at the hearts and hand holding but keep this in mind—Reese’s Hearts, the perfect amount of chocolate and peanut butter, come around just once a year!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

4 Tips to Planning a Fun Holiday Party for Your Kid’s Classroom

February 13, 2017 at 11:32 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 4 Tips to Planning a Fun Holiday Party for Your Kid’s Classroom

Happy Valentine’s Day Eve, Kansas City! A lot of parents will be running around, running classroom parties, and treatin’ the kiddos to something special. For those of you getting last minute details for the classroom party together, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has some great tips to help those holiday party plans along. Check it out!

4 Tips to Planning a Fun Holiday School Party

4 Tips to Planning a Fun & Simple Holiday School Party

 

Are you planning a class party for your child’s classroom? I’d like to share some ideas with you to make it a super fun and unforgettable party! When I was in school, we had “room mothers” that planned all of our holiday parties. Some of the best memories of elementary school I have, include all the awesome parties we had throughout the years! And now here I am planning my own child’s parties. Here are a few things to keep in mind when assisting or leading a party:

 

#1 Keep it simple

Most schools only have a short time allotted for a party. Our school allows 30 minutes for a snack, craft, and a game. There are so many fabulous ideas on Pinterest but definitely keep in mind that you might not have much time to do the intricate projects that Pinterest is known for. Kids are simple. They will appreciate a fun, easy craft, game and snack.

 

#2 Divide into small groups & stations

Divide children into small groups and rotate through different stations. Have someone watch the clock or set a timer to let everyone know when it’s time to rotate. This helps things run smoothly and easily.

 

#3 Keep clear communication lines open

Communicate with your child’s teacher and other parents. Don’t try to take on all the duties of the party yourself. You can use an online signup sheet like Signup Genius to keep track of who’s bringing what. Delegate responsibility and ask for volunteers to help purchase supplies, decorate and run the different stations. Let the teacher know the specifics of the party. She may have some supplies on hand that can be used. I like to have at least 4 parent volunteers, including myself, to help out at the party and that usually allows the teacher to wander around and take a little break from running the show.

 

#4 Plan details ahead of time

Plan small and big details ahead of time. Make a note of how many students are in the class, how many small groups you’ll have and how many children are in each group. Make sure the parent volunteers know exactly how to make the craft and how the game is played. Gather all of the supplies together and make sure you’re not missing anything for each station.

My Party Plan:

Candy Hearts Relay Race

4 Tips to Planning a Fun Holiday School Party

 

You’ll need: 4 plastic cups, 2 plastic spoons, a bag or two of conversation hearts.
How to play: Divide the group into two teams. Fill two cups with candy hearts at one end of the area and leave twos cups empty on the other end. Children will take turns putting candy hearts on spoons and racing to the other cup to fill it up. The team who has the most hearts in the cup at the end of one minute WINS!

 

Hot Pink Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

4 Tips to Planning a Fun Holiday School Party

 

Super simple to make! Stir pink or red food coloring in your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe and bake! You can add the special Valentine M&M’s in the mix for more fun!

 

Picture Frame Magnet Craft

4 Tips to Planning a Fun Holiday School Party

I purchased these cute little owl picture frame craft kits from Oriental Trading. You could also make your own heart cut outs if you have more time. I took individual pictures of the students a week before the party and cut them to size. The kits come with foam stickers to assemble the magnets together. No mess! Super easy!

 

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!! The kids will have great memories of their class parties for a long time!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care

February 1, 2017 at 6:31 PM • Posted in Creative Fun, HolidayComments Off on 28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care

It’s officially February and love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you may be scrambling for ideas of what to do for your honey. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, has some great ideas of how to make your significant other feel special this time of year. Check it out…

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care // iFamilyKC Blog

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care

#1 Have a stay-in date night

You could Netflix a romantic comedy, grab the air mattress and put it in the living room, make a huge fort, light candles, have a pillow fight, look at photo albums together , pull out items you may have collected of places you have went together over the years,etc.

 

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care // iFamilyKC Blog

 

#2 Recreate your favorite restaurant in your own home… have the kids be your “servers/ waiters”, have them hand write the menus, use their art work for place mates, light candles, have the whole family dress up, play romantic music or make a play list of “your songs”, slow dance, and exchange homemade cards.

#3 Make your partner breakfast or dinner in bed- Who wouldn’t like that?

#4 Drop off your partner and or kids their favorite meal at their work / school- make sure you include a heartfelt note <3.

#5 Make a scrapbook filled with photos and memorabilia

#6 Print out screenshots of your cutest text messages they probably forgot about- You could either make a book out of them, or hang them up around the house for them to find.

#7 Surprise them with an indoor picnic

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care // iFamilyKC Blog

#8 Leave surprise notes in their car along with some of their favorite snacks

#9 Fill up their gas tank – You could clean out their car for them too!

#10 Make or order a heart-shaped pizza

#11 Send them a flirtatious text or email

#12 Wear their favorite outfit and send them a picture of you wearing it- say something like, “I am so lucky to have you. I can’t wait to see you tonight.” Or “You make our lives better. Thank you for everything you do for us.”

#13 Take a bath or shower together – or join them while they are in the shower… 😉

#14 Re-create your first date- I personally would melt if someone did this for me!

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care // iFamilyKC Blog

#15 Make them a list of all the reasons why you love them- make it very detailed and include things you may not say to them all of them. Don’t just say I love your humor…. Tell them why or how they make you laugh… Include specific examples

#16 Take a whole day without being on your phone! Just be in the moment….

#17 Make them their favorite dessert

#18 Mail your in laws a card and tell them what you love about their son / daughter… thank them for raising such a great man/ woman.

#19 Have the whole family make each other cards and include what you love about each other

#20 Complete another “chore” your partner usually tackles

#21 Book a couple’s massage

#22 Have their favorite take-out delivered to the office, and pre-pay, of course.

#23 Hire a maid to come and clean the house.

#24 Surprise them with tickets to their favorite band, sports team, or movie they have been wanting to go to.

28 Ways to Show Your Valentine You Care // iFamilyKC Blog

#25 Take their car to have it serviced – get the oil changed, have it detailed, get new tires, etc.

#26 Book them a visit to the spa or their favorite hair dresser.

#27 Plan an outing with them and their closest friends while you stay at home and watch the kids.

#28 Grab them for no reason at all and kiss them passionately.

 

To learn more about Leah or follow her – please check out

http://www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

 

From iFamily to Yours,