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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,

 

 

 

Work It Wednesdays: How This Mom Embraced Her Swimsuit Body

April 26, 2017 at 10:09 PM • Posted in Mom FunComments Off on Work It Wednesdays: How This Mom Embraced Her Swimsuit Body

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! Although the weather says otherwise, swimsuit season is upon us. Just the thought of it might make your stomach turn, but our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie shares how she embraced her swimsuit body on her recent vacation. So, while you’re dreaming for warmer weather, take a look!

Work It Wednesdays: How This Mom Embraced Her Swimsuit Body

So I just got back from a 10 day long cruise to the Caribbean. And it was absolutely every bit as fantastic as I thought it was going to be. When you take one vacation every 8 years, its bound to be great, right? So, anyway, I found myself, as a lot of us do, sort of dreading the whole swimsuit part of being on a cruise.

I have come to peace with my body in recent years, but swimsuits are just something I am not naturally comfortable in. My large muscular thighs, nicknamed Thelma and Louise, are way too good of friends and chat with each other all day, which makes chaffing an issue. And then my smallish chest for my build, again something I have come to accept and even love, makes it hard to find the right fit. The swimsuit struggle is real. So I ordered some suits that I loved from Amazon and packed a couple of my old ones from last summer, and took my overly exhausted, desperately in need of a break self to Puerto Rico and got on a boat.

I love warm weather and I love the water. I love hanging out on a beach with my feet in the sand and a good book. This is my idea of heaven. And my idea of heaven includes swimsuits. Ironic? Yes. But there you have it. I have always admired people who have the confidence to rock suits that I never would. Tiny bikinis, one piece suits with tons of cut outs, you get the idea. I have also always admired people who had the confidence to take pictures in their swimsuits. I am the self-proclaimed queen of the selfie, but full body pictures fully clothed are not always my jam, let alone in a swimsuit. I tend to take lots of pictures of the view from my beach chair, or pool chair and then a festive selfie that at most shows off my shoulders with a fun caption like “Summer has arrived!” Now my love of selfies doesn’t necessarily stem from a lack of body confidence, but more of a “I know the best angle from which to take a picture” sort of mentality.

I’m getting to the point of this post, I promise. Day three of our cruise we got to spend the day in gorgeous, breathtaking, awe inspiring St. Lucia. Our excursion for the day included a tour on a speed boat and a day at the beach with lunch and rum punch provided. While we were enjoying our rum punch on this gorgeous beach with the Pietans in the background, a man rowed up in a canoe filled with fresh fruit he had picked himself that morning. Now, blame it on the rum punch or on the thrill of vacation, but as the day went on, and after I had purchased not one, but two delicious fresh fruit and rum smoothies from said fruit man, I asked if I could have my picture taken with him.

And I was in my swimsuit!

Gasp—shock—awe—what?!?!? And then, without even a second thought, thanks to free wifi on the beach, I posted that picture. A full length shot of me in a swimsuit standing next to a man who easily could have won physique competitions. Now, in years past, I would have looked at that picture and decided that my legs looked too big or it was from an unflattering angle or that I looked sad and out of shape next to a man with that physique. This time, I posted it! On Facebook! For people to see!

And do you know what happened next? Nothing. Well, not nothing. People commented about the caption about the beautiful man and his cancer fighting fruit smoothies and the rum involved. Not one comment about my suit and how I shouldn’t be posing in it, or what I looked like in it. And it was liberating. I didn’t overanalyze, I didn’t question, I just posted. I was enjoying my vacation and wanted the world to know. I was not a model in a suit, but I was me, in a suit on a stunning beach in St. Lucia. And I looked happy. I looked relaxed. Thelma is out there in front, showing off her muscles and her strength, but instead of cringing or wondering if I looked too big, I smiled and thought “I love this place!”

I am not saying I will spend my entire summer taking full length swimsuit shots for the world to see, but I am telling you that I am done obsessing over how I look in pictures and what I look like in a swimsuit. My body is mine, and its been through a fair share of battles and surgeries and yo yo diets and sizes. But its stuck with me so far. 15 years from now, I’m going to wish I had the body I have today. I’m not going to spend the next 15 years wishing it away, or hiding it. I am healthy and I am happy and that is what I see when I look at this picture. And what I see is really all that matters. It took a lot of time to get here, but I have arrived!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

February 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Mom FunComments Off on Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

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

Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

Check Out These 10 Great Ideas for an Ultimate Girls Night

 

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

Hey YOU NEED IT!

#1 Potluck

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

#2 Watch party/ Series Binge

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

#3 Spa party

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

#4 Pinterest/DIY Night

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

#5 Baking Party

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

#6 Games

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

#7 Makeovers

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

#8 Cocktail party

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

#9 Chick Flicks

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

#10 Slumber Party

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

 

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

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One

January 28, 2017 at 8:02 PM • Posted in Coping, Mom FunComments Off on Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One

Happy Weekend, Kansas City! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has some great advice on the necessity of having a mentor. I think a lot of us can agree that life really does take a village, and Sarah has some great ideas on not only why we need a mentor, but how to find one. Check it out…

Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One.

 

Why We All Need a Mentor and How to Find One

 

Do you ever wonder how someone else would handle this situation? What other parents would do to combat the crying child in Target? Maybe you just want to bounce ideas off another person at work; someone who won’t judge or criticize you for badmouthing the guy who keeps stealing your lunch! I think about these things all the time. With my best friend 3 hours away and my Mom, Aunt, cousins and other wonderful women a phone call away, it is really hard to get that much needed face time with them; unless you actually use Facetime, which we all know can sometimes freeze if we go into bad reception!

The human resource department in my office is always about us getting this person that we can talk with; the biz calls these people mentors. As I was listening to another presentation about how we all need one of these I started thinking about all the “mentors” in my life and the fact that I have needed several and at different stages.

To begin, let’s define what a mentor is so we are all on the same page. According to the dictionary a mentor is 1. Experienced advisor and supporter, usually older and more experienced who advises and guides a younger person. A counselor, guide, or teacher. 2. A trainer, a senior or experienced person in a company or organization who gives guidance and training to a junior colleague. So why is it that we need mentors…?

…At age 20?

 

What an age! Think about it you are going through so much. It could be college and then getting a job, finding love and having babies. And that isn’t even the order most of us go in! Those 10 years of your 20’s are so dynamic. And you can argue with me till you are blue in the face but everyone is going to change during this time. What a perfect time to have a person that maybe has been there before, or someone going through the same things that you are.

…At age 30?

 

Thirties stink! And I would have never said that in my 20’s. I was positive that when I got to the big 3-0 that everything would change. My colleagues at work would start to treat me as an adult instead of a crazy, drinking-all-night, coming into work hung-over 29 year old. I would be married by 30, have kids at 31 and 33 and we would be a perfect family. Ha! I am not too concerned with the timing of everything; it is how all of those things changed me yet again. Living with someone who saw me pluck my eyebrows and bleach my upper lip was a huge thing to get used to. Pretty sure I wore makeup to bed the first few months of our marriage. I won’t go into how kids changed me (we will save that for another article!). Work was still the same, only now I had this pressure of what I was going to do in 5 years and I had no way of knowing. This is when I was blessed with a wonderful boss who actually realized before me that I was floundering and talked to me about it. I hated crying in her office; but it was a breakthrough. She became my mentor that I still talk to today about everything. And she still has the best advice and “open door” policy. Does it matter that she is in an entirely different point in her life? No! She has been through what I am going through, she has had the arguments and heard the comments from the corner office, she has been at the point of force-feeding her kids (not really, but close!) and I get all the benefit from it! I get it, you still know it all in your 20’s so you don’t need someone to help you through; but take this advice—get a mentor in your 30’s!

…At age 40?

 

Made it through! A few more wrinkles, maybe a little extra weight that creeps in, a strange ache in your head after just one glass of wine—welcome to “over the hill”! If you have kids they are probably doing things on their own now or at least spending he majority of their time in their rooms! In any case you have a little more time on your hands. Maybe work takes up a little more of that time; and now that you have the time to devote are the options still there? This mentor (and maybe it is a totally different person than at age 30) will come in handy to have those conversations with about a possible reentering of the workforce. In your 40’s you are starting to get to that place in your life where you are taking care of two generations and possibly under the same roof! You still may have kids in the house but as parents get older they are going to need a caretaker as well. This is going to require some counseling and support from someone who has been through it before.

…at age 50?

 

Welcome to an empty nest! Oh yeah and for women that amazing time of body changing called puberty in your 50’s aka Menopause. And for men, these changes that are coming with this full 180 are going to change him as well! Kids are probably out of, or close to being out of, the house and now it’s just you and your spouse. You have been dreaming about this for years and what you would do! But on day one you are sitting on the couch just staring at each other! Most will run and hide, some may find a hobby, those still in the workforce start burying themselves in work. All these activities may seem to help for a while but it isn’t going to last long term and in actuality most people don’t want it to. Start having coffee once a week with your mentor and talk these things out. It gets you out of the house and gives some direction to the changes going on in your life.

So here are some of the things that I am sure you are thinking.

 

“I don’t need a ‘mentor’ I just need to talk to my best friend.”

 

Ever heard the term “It takes a village?” We need mentors (counselors, guides, teachers—whatever you want to call them) at every point in our lives. Best friends are great and are needed just as much, but they know what happened in the village before it became a village. In other words, they are too close to the situation in some cases. A true mentoring partnership typically is someone older who has been there and can be that unbiased opinion.

“No one is calling to mentor me!”

 

“I checked my email, made sure my cell was on and still no one is calling me to ask to mentor me!” Yeah because it is up to you to make your village! No one is going to probably knock down the walls to try and get in and vice versa. You are going to have to ask to let people in. Trust me, this gives me more anxiety than anything, but a great place to find these people? At school drop-offs, playdates, at work cafeterias or PTA meetings, you have a room of men and women who are there just like you with shut doors so they can’t get away! I would have to guess that most will be more than happy to talk with you. I probably would advise not starting too in depth but eventually getting up to that point. In the long run this relationship and friendship will be worthwhile.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique Baby Shower Game

January 20, 2017 at 9:50 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Mom FunComments Off on Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique Baby Shower Game

It’s Friday, Kansas City! Do any of you have a pregnant friend or family member in your life? Maybe you’re planning a shower for them in the upcoming months. Well, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, has a great baby shower game that puts a little spin on the traditional shower game. Take a look!

Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique Baby Shower Game // iFamilyKC Blog

Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique
Baby Shower Game

 

 

As much as we all groan at the thought of baby shower games, they do serve a good purpose. In a room full of people who don’t always know each other, a game is a good icebreaker and adds something to the agenda besides just opening gifts.

 

When my husband’s cousins and I threw a baby shower last weekend for our cousin-in-law (is that an official family tree title?), I was nominated to come up with a game. Challenge accepted.

 

Most of our friends have had kids by now so I’ve been to my fair share of showers (including my own), so I’m very familiar with some of the more popular baby shower games that are on heavy rotation in the baby shower world, so I really wanted to bring something new to the party and (spoiler alert..) mix things up.

 

I was inspired by the fact that the parents-to-be did not know the sex of their baby yet. So I decided we would play a game where we not only revealed the baby’s sex, also but got to sneak a peek of what this baby would look like.

 

Here’s what you’ll need

 

Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique Baby Shower Game // iFamilyKC Blog

 

Pink and blue construction paper

Tape and scissors

Headshot of mom-to-be

Headshot of dad-to-be

Headshot of the “milkman” who looks nothing like the dad-to-be (optional)

Rent a Prize Wheel

 

How to prepare ahead of time

 

Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique Baby Shower Game // iFamilyKC Blog

 

  • Cut the headshots horizontally nearly all the way so facial features (hair, forehead, eyes, nose, lips and chin) can all be easily separated.

 

  • Alternate the mom-to-be and dad-to-be names on the prize wheel. For extra fun, make one section “Milkman.”


How to play

 

Mix Up Tradition with This Fun & Unique Baby Shower Game // iFamilyKC Blog

 

Starting with hair and working down to chin, have a host announce a facial feature and have the mom-to-be spin the wheel to see whose feature the baby will have, mom’s, dad’s or the milkman’s.

 

Once the baby’s face has been built, spin one last time to see what sex the baby will be and use the construction paper to create a blanket around the “baby’s” head.

 

This game provided lots of laughs and lots of fun as we all got a sneak peek at the baby.

 

Pro Tips:

 

The Prize Wheel makes a great conversation topic at the party and gives the game a very fun Price Is Right feel, but if you don’t want to rent one, you can still play this game by rolling dice (pre-selecting numbers for mom and dad) or simply drawing names from a hat.

 

Get the dad-to-be to hook you up with headshots of them both before the party. This couple had amazing shots of their wedding but it would work just as well for them to send you shots taken on their phones.

 

Send mom home with the picture of her “baby” as a fun memory for her baby book.

 

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

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

November 1, 2016 at 12:00 PM • Posted in Holiday, Mom Fun, Mom ResourcesComments Off on 5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

Happy Tuesday, Kansas City! I hope you all are recovering from Halloween last night. I can hardly believe it’s November! The great part of this month is that it often reminds us to be grateful. Sometimes, with all the hustle and bustle of life, it can be difficult to keep perspective with this. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette has some great tips to help you encourage gratefulness in your kiddos. Check it out!

5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

 

5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

 

As a mom of 4, I know what it’s like to go all day, all week feeling underappreciated. Even the embarrassment of apologizing for your kid’s attitude, rude comments or just being straight up ungrateful. And over the years, I have learned that raising kids is not some cookie cutter fantasy land where everyone is perfect. Let’s face it, kids will be kids! But does that mean that we just let them flow freely trying to figure out how “they” want to treat others or how “they” want to respond to certain situations? Of course not… we want our kids to be well mannered, respectful, wholesome children.

As a seasoned mom, I know that a child who is grateful, tends to ease a lot of pain in the parenting world. So, I have decided to share with you my top 5 tips on how to encourage gratefulness in children.

Be a GRATEFUL parent

Our kids are like little sponges and they soak up everything. We must lead by example at all times… and because we are human, when we know we are not showing respect or being ungrateful, we must correct ourselves. How can we expect our little ones to be appreciative if we aren’t?

Don’t give in.

No matter how cute they say “mommy/ daddy please” or how many times they flutter those lashes, we can’t always give them what they want. No matter how much they whine, cry or if they are like mine, bargain, just say no! It’s ok, look at it as character building. Which leads me to…

Allow them to “adult” i.e. work for it.

Chores and responsibilities are a major deal in our house. The more they work to earn something, the better they will take care of it and appreciate it. When they are older you can start making things even more clearly by going over a budget with them. Let them see just where everything goes and how much time and effort goes into making the whole family comfortable. Every grocery trip I tell my kids our budget and we get what we need first. Then, if we have room in the budget we can throw in a few wants too.

Remind them of all the blessings you have.

You don’t have to throw it in their face every single second of the day, but when it’s clear that they are just not getting the full picture, don’t be afraid to remind them! Let’s be honest, with kids we want to paint the world for them as sunshine and rainbows. But the reality is, it’s not and them being reminded that whatever they have, someone somewhere doesn’t is ok.

Last but not least,

Please and thank you!

I tend to go overboard with this one lol. A please and Thank you is required for just about everything! Not only does it show respect, but it shows that you are kind and grateful for what some has done for you or what they will do for you. You can honestly never say it enough.

Well there it is folks! My top 5 tips on encouraging your child to be grateful. Does it happen overnight? Nope! Will it be constant work? Yep! Will it be worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

What do you do to encourage gratefulness in your kids? Let us know in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,brigettev8
5 Tips for Encouraging Gratefulness in Kids

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Date Night At The Movies: “Inferno” Review

October 30, 2016 at 8:25 AM • Posted in Mom Fun, MoviesComments Off on Date Night At The Movies: “Inferno” Review

This weekend a lot of us will be busy with our families doing Halloween activities. If you and your significant other find yourselves needing some adult time (and who won’t) a movie date may be in order. Hitting the box office this week is Inferno and it could be just what you’re looking for. Take a look…

“Inferno”

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are back with another film adaptation of another one of Dan Brown’s wildly successful novels. Inferno is the third movie where Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon, a famous Harvard professor and symbologist. Langdon wakes in a hospital with amnesia and immediately jumps into action with the aide of his ER doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to find a virus that will wipeout half of the world’s population. With pain and horrifying visions due to a head trauma, he takes off to remember what he’s doing in Florence and to save humanity while racing the clock and outside forces.

Like every Dan Brown novel, this story is a maze and a calculus problem wrapped in a riddle and played out scavenger hunt style. However, the film did a good job of connecting the dots for viewers who may be a little behind on their Dante (like me). I had read Dan Brown’s Inferno years ago, and I only remembered a bit of it. My friend who joined me had not read the book at all. We both really enjoyed the film, and ignorance may have been key as many other moviegoers were griping about the inconsistencies. Even if the movie didn’t mirror the book’s storyline, it was still enjoyable.

The plot had many twists and it was fast paced, but it had to be to get the large novel into a two-hour film. The locations were beautiful. Most of it was filmed in Italy and it served as a reminder that I need to travel more. The movie is rated PG-13, but it is gory. There were a lot of disturbing images. It is about Dante’s Inferno after all. I think the Halloween release was a wise one, though maybe it should have come out a little sooner. This would be a great date movie for people who are tempted to do a spooky movie, but don’t really want a horror film. This did toe the horror line at times- especially in the beginning, but it is a true thriller, and it worked for the material.

The cast was good, which it really needed to be as there were a lot of people and organizations at play and they did not get very thorough backstories. Diverse and strong actors kept this enigmatic roster of characters easy to keep track of. Tom Hanks was amazing, as always. He even provided a bit of comic relief- a nice break in an otherwise heavy two hours. Overall I give a B. I would go see it in the theater, but I wouldn’t buy it.  

From iFamily to Yours,

Darcy

Inferno Review from Darcy of the iFamilyKC Mom Squad

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Think Out of the Box for Your Next Date Night at SoT Bar!

October 15, 2016 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Mom FunComments Off on Think Out of the Box for Your Next Date Night at SoT Bar!

We here at iFamilyKC spend a lot of time posting ideas for you and your families, but sometimes the parents need a night to themselves! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, had a chance to check out SoT bar and has a great interview with the owner. So, if you’re looking for a unique date night, this is your place. Check it out!

Think Out of the Box for Your Next Date Night at SoT Bar!

 

Think Out of the Box for Your Next Date Night at SoT Bar!

It’s not often my husband and I get a night to ourselves, so when we do have the chance to get out of the house sans kids, I like to make it count by doing something fun and different. If you’re like me, I’ve got a date night recommendation for you. I recently checked out SoT, a new bar near the Power & Light District. Owner Ron Berg, a photographer in KC, teamed up with some seriously talented folks and together they’ve created a new twist on date nights—and cocktails. Forget about dinner and a show, at this bar the drinks are the show.

I was able to connect with Berg after my visit for a little Q&A to learn more about this bar that appears to have invented its own category in KC.

Q: Ok, first explain the name SoT:

A: We were running thru dozens of names and they all sounded like the typical bar name or hipster name. Then we started thinking of acronyms like Soho or Noho. We are just south of Truman Road, and first played with with Soto but it sounded to much like Toto the dog. So I googled Sot. And the term “sot” came up as a “drunkard” in old British English. So at that point it was a slam dunk to call it SoT, and if people want to call it “Sot” we’re fine with that as well.

Q: What’s the vibe like inside?

A: We would like to call it a bit of gritty glamour with Moroccan/Italian/arabesque touches. There are also little nods to Harry Truman here and there. Even though the bar is not about him.

Q: I think the cocktails your bartender, Erik Mariscal, created are like mini works of art. How do you describe them?

A: Elevated cocktails that take an unpretentious approach to creative molecular gastronomy. I know that sounds pretentious, but we are trying to bring something different to KC that you may see in other cities, but not quite here yet.

A: I’ve tried the Interactive Dirty Martini and the Clarified Milk Punch. Both were like delicious magic potions. What’s your favorite cocktail on the menu?

I like boozy cocktails so I’m partial to Erik’s current interactive drink, The Cocktail in the Rocks, which is a cocktail inside of a large round ice cube that you break open with a small bar tool that we serve with it to unleash your cocktail from the ice sphere. Very fun to do!

A: Chef Mark Dandurand, previously from the Local Pig, created the snacks/apps menu. So, it’s a no brainer to try the food, too, right?

Yes indeed. He also has mad skills. SoT’s snacks are the perfect size, but hearty. And there is something on our snacks menu for everyone, from vegans to meat eaters.

A: What else is happening in SoT’s neighborhood that you would recommend as part of a date night out? 

The Record bar is across the street, you are just a block from Sprint Center and both Midland Theatre & Performing Arts center are just a few blocks away. The light rail is 2 blocks away and, of course, being in the Crossroads you have all the wonderful art galleries throughout the district.

SoT is located at 1521 Grand Blvd in KC, MO. It’s open Monday-Saturday 4PM-1:30AM. The cocktails and small plates menus change seasonally.

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

From iFamily to Yours,
iFamMomSqdBeckyV2

 

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Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

October 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Mom FunComments Off on Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

The weather is (FINALLY) cooling down, and fall is here! It’s the best (in my opinion) time to get out and active, especially for those of us that aren’t exactly thrilled with working out. Our Mom Squad Ambassador has a few creative suggestions to get us all out and moving this fall! Check it out!

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

3 Simple Tips for Staying Active This Fall

I love working out. I love getting up in the morning before anyone else and just sweating out all the stress and toxins. It is my favorite thing after a long stressful day to put on my running shoes and just run for miles and then for good measure round it off with a few burpees—the perfect ending to my day. I am also lying to you—every single word of this is a lie. To me, a burpee was a rag that I used to save my work clothes when I had to throw one of the kids on my shoulder before putting her in the car seat! Am I anti-working out? Of course not!

I appreciate those women and men who make it a part of their routine to get in workouts before and after work. I have a good friend that is now in the best shape of his life—it took a lot of work and dedication but he did it. I personally, just don’t have it. I can’t think of any part of it that I do like and you know what, that is okay because I have found other ways to be healthy and keep my sanity in the process. So while you are running on the treadmill tonight feel free to take a glance at some ideas to stay healthy this fall and winter!

 

First of all, put the candy down!

 

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

Yep, I realize that it is just sitting there; the Halloween stash, the Easter stash, the Halloween stash still from last year—all of it going to waste right before your eyes. It’s okay to throw this away, in fact it will help on organizing as well. I would love to give you a tip on somewhere that you could donate it to but it’s just better to go ahead and throw that out. I once used leftover (and on sale) Easter candy in a St. Patrick’s Day parade (yeah, a year later) and to my surprise, chocolate does go bad! Throw it out!

 

Get outside!

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

I don’t know about you but I have been waiting for this weather for about four months now, so the excuse of “It’s just too hot outside” won’t work any longer. It’s amazing how much better you feel when taking in some of that fresh autumn air. Bring the kids and spouse, or don’t! If I had to guess there will be other people outside as well—don’t be alarmed, they are good people called neighbors! No place to walk around your house? No problem, there are also a number of amazing parks and outdoor shopping malls in this city, getting out and walking some of them wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

 

While you are outside, you may notice there is some work to do in the yard.

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

Take a Saturday and do some honey-do’s around the house. The average person can burn about 350 calories in an hour of leaf-raking, and then they will burn another 350 calories raking them up again when the kids come and jump in the piles! And just you wait for that first snow! 400-600 calories per hour shoveling snow! You will be at the window hoping for snow just as much as the kids!

Ever carried a pumpkin across a field that is “somewhat” cleared of corn stalks and vines? To some this may make them very angry—to me this is my work-off-the-caramel-apple-croissant- donut-from-this-morning-workout! Those pumpkins can sometimes be 10 pounds or more which is a pretty good little arm workout! Plus when you are dodging vines, other pumpkins and children it adds a whole other dimension to the workout. And you have to take that pumpkin to the car, then take it out and either decorate or carve it when you get home—all calorie burners!

All joking aside, working out is essential to keeping our bodies healthy so we can do the everyday things we need to do. But I get it, it is really hard with life getting in the way and taking time out for a class is sometimes the last thing on our minds. However, it is also really important to take some time for ourselves. The everyday things can pile up quickly and that health can go away just as quick. Consider making a 4th quarter resolution to yourself– paying attention to that inner voice that keeps everything in check. And if you can squeeze in a Zumba or Yoga class when possible; there are always Groupons for studios around the city improving the health of your wallet too.

Enjoy this time of year, pretty soon we will be complaining about how cold it is or how much snow we are expected to get. But remember those 400-600 calories burned! Makes you kind of want to do a burpee doesn’t it?!

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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13 Mouthwatering Brunch Ideas Your Family Will Love

October 9, 2016 at 8:51 AM • Posted in Food, Mom Fun, Mom ResourcesComments Off on 13 Mouthwatering Brunch Ideas Your Family Will Love

Autumn has officially settled into the metro area and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store for your family this season. One of my favorite ways to bring in the weekend is with a relaxing morning at home and our family loves to brunch – and we are not alone! Check out these 13 mouthwatering brunch ideas your family will love from fellow foodie and iFamilyKC Mom Squad contributor Leah. Take a look…

brunch ideas for busy families

13 Brunch Ideas: Falling Into Food

Raise your hand if you don’t love food. I dream about food and find myself thinking about it all day. I have a crush on food – I’ve even seen tacos wink at me (right before I ate them). All jokes aside, food is seriously magical. It makes life better. I’ve compiled several recipes that will add to your (food) happiness because who can go wrong with brunch? Imagine a sleep-in kind of Sunday followed by getting up to create some of these yummy recipes below. Grab the family, grab some coffee, and get cooking! If you have any left, feel free to drop them off to me. Enjoy!

#1 Cheesy Egg White Breakfast Muffins

Easy cheesy egg white muffins for your morning. Low carb, gluten free, and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups egg whites
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheese of choice (I love cheddar, Colby jack, or pepper jack)
  • 2 tablespoons of skim milk or plain Greek yogurt (not necessary, but gives them a bit of fluff)
  • salt and pepper

Find full instructions for this mouthwatering recipe over at The Ambitious Kitchen.

#2 Quick Breakfast Egg Wraps

Use leftovers from your Saturday night dinner to create a simple brunch in just under ten minutes! Combine a healthy fat (like ghee or coconut oil), eggs, and leftovers (like meat and veggies) for a delicious morning pick me up.

#3 Overnight Cinnamon French Toast Cupcakes

“Mini-cakes conquer breakfast! These individually sized cups feature cinnamon swirl raisin bread and a crumbly streusel topping. Prep the day before to make this dish a brunch-time breeze. “

Find the full instructions online at Betty Crocker’s website.

#4 Apple-Bacon Cheddar Mini Breakfast Pies

“Don’t be fooled by their small size. These individual pies combine a harvest of hearty flavors—cheddar, apple and bacon—for a flavor-packed breakfast treat.”

Grab the recipe online now and save it for your next brunch!

#5 Brie, Bacon, and Spaghetti Frittata

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 pound spaghetti
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 ounces Brie cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Find the full recipe online at SaraMoulton.com

#6 Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 Thomas English pumpkin spice muffins, cut into 1 ½ inch

Find this recipe over at The Girl Who Ate Everything

#7 Breakfast Bread Bowls Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped pancetta
  • 4 crusty hard rolls (4 inches wide)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere or fontina cheese

Grab the full recipe at TasteofHome.com

#8 Potato Bacon Cheddar Frittata

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced roasted potatoes
  • ½ pound crisp cooked bacon, chopped
  • ½ pound diced aged cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • 10 large eggs (preferably at room temperature)
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)

Visit Rocket Recipes online for the full details.

#9 Perfect Popovers

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk or half-and-half, warmed
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Grab the recipe online now at What’s Cooking America?

#10 Bacon-and-Cheddar Grits Quiche

Ingredients

  • 6 thick bacon slices
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cupes half-and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions

Grab the whole recipe online at MyRecipes.com

#11 Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • onion (optional)
  • chives (optional)
  • cheese (optional)
  • oil or Crisco for frying
  • sour cream or applesauce (optional) for garnish

Food.com has the full recipe for this brunch idea.

#12 Chili Cheese Omelet

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can of chili
  • 12 eggs (3 per omelet)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup onions – diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers – finely chopped
  • salt and pepper – to taste

Grab the recipe over at MrBreakfast.com

#13 Repurpose Last Night’s Dinner

Hungry for more? Check out this Huffington Post article that gives you great tips for re-purposing your leftover stew, rice, vegetables, meat, and other foods into a fantastic brunch for your family.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

ifamilykcmomsquad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leah


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