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Spring Break Fun For Kansas City Families!

Happy (Brisk) Friday Morning, Kansas City! It’s hard to believe that Spring (BREAK) is almost upon us here in the metro. I got a text this morning from a friend who was looking for ideas for where she could send her kids over break this year. Like many of you, she’s balancing work and parenthood and there simply haven’t been enough hours in the day to plan out activities until now. You’re in luck, Erin, one of our iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassadors, has come up with a list of fun camps and activities that your family can take advantage of this month. Be sure to also check out the current issue of iFamilyKC as well as our online events calendar for more fun ideas of family outings and activities going on around the metro. Take a look…

Spring Break Activities For Kansas City

Spring has almost arrived in Kansas City! Ignore the fact that this is the Midwest and we have snow in the forecast over the weekend! Along with spring comes spring break for the kiddos. If you’re like me you’re probably looking for some activities and ideas to entertain them (our break is 10 days long) for the duration.   Check out these fantastic places around the KC Metro area offering spring break camps and/or activities:

Union Station  – Spring Break Blast! Da Vinci: The Exhibition, Science City, Planetarium Shows, Zootopia, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice at KC’s BIGGEST SCREEN, Junie B Jones The Musical, Model Rail Experience

Science CityInternationally awarded science center featuring 80,000 sq feet of activities to explore. Will be open every day through March 27th.

We Rock the Spectrum  – Spring Break Day Camp offered March 20th-March 24th. The deadline for registration is March 10th at 7pm. Call 816-844-9580

Sunset TrailsSpring Break horseback riding camp offered March 20th-March 24th. Campers will learn safety, horse care, play games and be able to show off their skills at the fun show at the end of the week. http://www.sunsettrailsstables.com/kids-horseback-riding-spring-break-camp

Champion Gymnastics AcademySpring Break camps offered March 13th-March 17th, Mon-Fri 8am-4pm.

Elite Gymnastics and AquaticsSpring Break Swim and Gym offered March 13th-March 16th, 1pm-3pm.

Learning2FlySpring Break camp offered March 13th-March 16th. Mon-Thurs, 8:30am-3:30pm.

Sky Zone SkyCamp is offered during spring, summer and fall breaks. Half day and full day camp available.

Looking for some more ideas? Look no further!

Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Details HERE!

Make a bird feeder

Bird Feeder, DIY Projects, Kids Crafts

Learn How HERE!

Explore the City Market  – Shop all the seasonal produce and homemade goodies! And while you’re at it take a ride on the KC Streetcar  which runs daily and offers FREE rides around the area!

And you won’t want to miss out on these amazing places:

College Basketball Experience

Gymboree Schedule a FREE class for your little one

Xtreme Gymnastics  Every Friday night is kids night out from 7pm-10pm, $13

Emerald City Gymnastics  Friday, March 17th is a special open play session from 1-3pm, ages 4-12

Paradise Park Has fun activities and special savings all month long! Take advantage of their exclusive coupons in this month’s issue of iFamilyKC!

Urban Air has an array of fun activities going on during Spring break and all month long. Be sure to check out their online calendar for family fun details.

KidsPark St. Patrick’s Day party March 17th, Don’t Bug Me March 25th

SEA LIFE Check out Doodle Reef and the new CLAWS exhibit! Kids go FREE with promo code: iFAMKC         

LEGOLAND Open daily

WWI Museum  Check out Hands on History family event every Sat at 2pm

Ceramic Cafe  Check out their fun classes!

Paint, Glaze & Fire  Family Fun Night 2nd Friday of the month!

Summit Lanes Back to the 50s every Sun 12-5pm AND be sure to check out Mommy & Me Bowling specials on Mondays and Wednesdays (details are in the current issue of iFamilyKC!)

Create2Day  Family, Friend, and Fun Friday

Jump City Ninja Turtles Party! March 24th 5:30pm

From iFamily to Yours,

Erin

emailsignupforblog3

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

February 18, 2017 at 5:21 PM • Posted in Mom Resources, TechnologyComments Off on Weekly Tech Talk: Yes! It’s Okay to Snoop on Your Kids

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

#1 Check Your Child’s Surfing Habits.

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

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

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

#3 Use Your Router to Snoop.

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

 

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

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

YouKnowKids

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

NetNanny

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

 

TeenSafe

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

 

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

 

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

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

February 16, 2017 at 10:10 PM • Posted in Mom ResourcesComments Off on A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

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

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

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

 

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

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

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

 

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

 

A Creative Way to Teach Your Son about Dating

 

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

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

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

For more information about Leah feel free to follow her at

http://www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

February 15, 2017 at 11:38 AM • Posted in Mom ResourcesComments Off on 5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

Good Morning, Kansas City! Money habits start forming from a young age, and there’s a lot of little things parents can do to help them become good habits. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great tips for teaching your kids about money. Take a look…

5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

5 Easy Tips on Teaching Kids About Money

 

So.. I know it’s actually “a penny saved is a penny earned” but I never really believed that. I always felt like money was something that was taught in one fashion. Pay bills and save the rest. As I got older and my circle of friends and mentors grew, I learned so much more than just paying bills and saving money. I learned how to make money stretch, how to make it grow and how to share the wealth.
Now that we home school, we talk about different ways to not only make money but budget, plan and save money.
Here are a few guidelines that we use with our kids when talking about money.

#1 Teach them value

From an early age we always talked to our kids about money. When we head out to shop, we always show the kids options when looking at toys, clothes or other things that interest them. We allow them to browse, check prices and see if there are any other options that would allow them to get more and spend less.

#2 The difference between want vs. need

Something that I’m sure kids barely grasp the true understanding of lol. I always allow my kids to make choices when it comes to their money. I think the best way for them to learn is to experience it for themselves. Any time they want a new toy, candy and something that is not a “parent duty” I allow them to decide if they want to purchase it or not by asking them if they need it or not and why.

#3 Saving & investing from an early age

we are pretty old school when it comes to this one. No, we don’t have an account set up for them ( though we probably should), we use a good old fashioned piggy bank. Well this day in age it’s a Paw Patrol bank and Emoji banks lol. Any time they earn, receive or find money, it has to go into the piggy bank before they can spend it. Once it’s been in the bank then they can decide where it needs to go. When it comes to making investments, they really don’t have many options. They can buy something that will benefit them in return. Even though they don’t “invest” much, my husband and I always talk to them about it when they are trying to decide.

#4 Budgeting

Ok this one is more my line of work. I budget for EVERYTHING! I am horrible at math, but money…. I know. When shopping, I tell the kids my budget and what I have to get first off my list. Once my list is checked, I show them if I am over or under my budget. If I am over, I allow them to look around the store to see what else I could get without going over.

#5 Tithing/donating

This may or may not be something that your family practices, but in ours it is our golden rule when it comes to money. Even though they don’t tithe as frequently as we do, they pay their tithes on Holy Days and keep a portion for the feast. If we are out and about and they have some of their coins on them ( they usually sneak a few) , if we run into a homeless person they give. Donating money to someone is something that they take pride in. Helping those in need will make you feel richer than you already are.
Everyone lives, spends and saves differently, so these tips are what we do. I hope you find them helpful when talking to your kids and family about money!
Brigette blogs at www.bybrigettedanielle.com

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling

February 4, 2017 at 7:56 AM • Posted in Mom Resources, Safety Tips, UncategorizedComments Off on 14 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling

Howdy, Kansas City! Many of us have to travel for our jobs, vacations, etc. And while it’s great to get out and see the world, it’s also important to remember: safety first! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has some great tips on staying safe and smart while traveling. Check it out!

14 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling

14 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling

 

The world is a scary place and it gets scarier with every news story that scrolls across the screen. I am at the point that I won’t even turn it on in the mornings for fear that I won’t leave my bed! And the worst part is these news reporters don’t even have to travel to find these stories—they are happening right next door!

Now I am a strong advocate for not living in fear and showing what an independent, strong and brave woman I am, but sometimes even I need to check myself (and my ego) at the door! My husband is constantly trying to get me to realize that I need to pay attention to my surroundings at all times. I will be honest, at first I didn’t listen but now, especially that I have kids; I have to do it more. But when I travel for work, I find myself doing things that are probably a little dangerous, i.e. walking to the restaurant in Boston which happened to be on the other side of the Public Park!

I wanted to write this article to just bring it to our attention that we are strong men and women but just a small thing can turn you into a victim. So below are 14 tips for traveling alone and in some cases just leaving our house!

 

#1 With hotels – smaller can be smarter

When it comes to finding a hotel, smaller can actually be smarter. Hear me out, the staff is more likely to know you and call you by name. There is also not so much of a chance of loiterers in the lobby or in common areas. Course let’s face it, these boutique hotels can sometimes be way outside the price range. So if you do find yourself at a large chain, just get to know the day and night shift front desk person. It can make you feel safe and they really enjoy it as well!

 

#2 Be aware when working out at hotels

Speaking of the hotel, who doesn’t want to keep up our workout routine while on vacation? Okay so maybe not on vacation but when we are traveling for work sometimes it is a great stress reliever. Just pay attention if there is an attendant or if you need a key to get in to workout area. If not, it could be a good idea to call someone before and after you go.

 

#3 Be weary of the “Do Not Disturb” sign

Please don’t be my husband when he travels! He always puts the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. That just tells people that you aren’t there and if they are really paying attention they can track when you come and go! Most hotels will let you just call housekeeping instead to ask for your room not to be cleaned. This way it won’t cause additional attention to your empty room.

 

#4 Handle important documents & money wisely

Carry just one credit card and photocopies of important documents. Divide money for small and larger purchases so you don’t have to expose a wad of bills. And try not to carry large bills when possible. Become familiar with foreign currency before you need to use it so that you aren’t fumbling or accidentally give them too much or too little.

 

#5 Let your concierge know when traveling alone

When you ask the concierge to make any restaurant reservations, have him or her say, “Please take care of our guest, she’s coming alone and will need a taxi home.”

 

#6 Women traveling alone — check out these sites

I wasn’t aware of this– for all our female travelers, I guess there are a lot of great networks to connect female travelers all around the world. Be cautious, of course, as you would on any internet connection site. But what a great way to ask about customs, where to stay and eat and things to do in their area. Check out: The Travelettes, Go Girl Travel Network, Pink Pangea.

 

#7 Get creative in storing your valuables

Have you heard this one yet? Store any extra cash in a wrapped up diaper? Another one I saw was a tampon box. Unfortunately, now that everyone had heard of this then every thief will look there. So how about a shoe or in a soap box that you get from the hotel. Just think like a thief for a moment!

 

#8 Consider portable security features

Portable security features. Door alarms that can easily be carried on as well as door jams that are a lot easier than using a chair jammed under the door knob. Think of this too if you happen to have adjoining rooms with someone you don’t know. Or a door that faces into a parking lot or courtyard.

 

#9 Get a second key

The front desk always asks me if I want one or two keys. I usually say one because it is hard enough keeping track of everything unless I am traveling with someone else so they can keep track of one too. But I came across a good tip. Keep two hotel keys with you — one in your bag and one on your person. That way if your bag is taken, you change wallets or purses or you leave it somewhere, at least you aren’t locked out of your room!

 

#10 Keep only one headphone in your ear

We all take our travel time to listen to music, an audiobook, or if you are like me I constantly have a podcast streaming in order to pass the time. Although it may be difficult to hear it is a great idea to only keep one headphone in your ear, this way you can always stay alert.

 

#11 Snap a photo of your taxi/Uber license plate

Snap a picture of your cab’s license plate before you get in it. Or take a picture of the license inside the cab (THAT IS REQUIRED) to be in full view of the passenger. You may think taxis are the safest thing, even if they are arranged by a concierge or restaurant host but even they are not safe in some instances. And please don’t even get me started on Uber! Please check the license plate and person BEFORE you get in with the app, if it isn’t the same then don’t be afraid to pass! This happened to me while traveling, the Uber driver showed up in a different car and obviously different license plate—he told me it was his wife’s car that he was borrowing. I politely declined, he was angry but I felt a lot safer that way!

 

#12 Trust your instincts

 

Speaking of which—it is always okay to turn down help with your bags, an invitation to dinner or a drink! Don’t be afraid to be rude if it means feeling safe. And trust your instincts about when to accept help.

 

#13 Remember — well lit & public areas

Along those same lines, do you know that it is your right if you get pulled over by a policeman that you can wait until you are in a well-lit and public area to actually stop. Now you can’t just floor it to try and get to the closest mall; you have to make an effort of slowing down and signaling that you are intending to pull over. You can also ask to see his/her credentials (badge, ID) before you roll down the window. Just keep in mind that you need to explain what you are doing as you are doing it, otherwise you can look a little sketchy. There are so many stories out there of people traveling alone being pulled over by someone impersonating a police officer.

 

#14 Take a full-body selfie & send it to someone

To wrap this up, there was a great idea posted to the comment section of the article. “I make a point of taking a full-body selfie every morning before I leave the hotel & posting it to Facebook, along with texting it to my husband. If anything happens, there’s a recent photo that also documents what I was wearing that day.” I am not too sure if you need to post to Facebook because that will indicate you are traveling. But not a bad idea to send it to someone just in case!

 

Now that you are truly scared and probably will never leave your house, let’s take a step back. Chances are nothing will probably happen to you, but I promise that those chances skyrocket when you aren’t protecting yourself with just little things that you do on a daily basis. Don’t take for granted that “this is a small town” or “we are in the Midwest, what could happen here!” These types of phrases are usually the first thing that get us into trouble. I found a lot of these tips in two really great articles; feel free to check them out. 50 Tips for Female Travelers and 46 Incredibly Useful Safety Tips for Traveling Alone.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

January 24, 2017 at 12:43 PM • Posted in Educational Fun for Kids, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

All of us are back to school, and hopefully, find some sort of groove as we find ourselves at the end of January (can you believe that?!) However, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great tips for easing back into a schedule after winter break for homeschoolers. Take a look!

 

How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

 

Since summer 2016, I have seemed to ask myself daily many questions that I have yet to answer. How long should we focus on one subject? Are they lacking in one subject? Is this too easy or too hard? All of these questions and more are constantly swimming around in my head when I start to think of our home school progress. But one question seemed to literally pop in my head during my kids “winter break”. How do we prepare to get back in the swing of things after winter break?! My eldest daughter still attends traditional school and when my youngest were in school they all just kind of got thrown back into the lion’s den. I knew how it went! So we had a routine, the day before would be a lot similar to the very first day. We would lay out clothes, pack lunches, do hair and make sure they were in their beds on time! But now that we home school, there really is no rip off the Band-Aid approach. There is no prep day, butterflies or first day excitement to worry about.

 

 

So after an hour+ rummage through Pinterest, I found that there was no guide, step by step or tips for going back to school after winter break. NOTHING! I was so lost and worried at the same time. I didn’t want to throw them back into fact fluency and tests on properties and matter after they just had a great time off. My goal was to allow them to adjust themselves back into our routine as quickly as possible so they wouldn’t feel over whelmed or get the “back to school blues”. The truth is when you home school, a lot of the “rules” seem to go out the window. Unless you choose to stay on a strict daily schedule, you find yourself moving times, shifting lessons and even taking an unplanned day off for you and your kids sanity.

 

How to Get Back in the School Year after Winter Break: Homeschool Edition

 

So, as our first, first day back from winter break as a home school family I have learned this. There are no great expectations, there are no ways to really get prepared and there are really only a few complaints. Once I told the kids they would start back on a certain day, they grumbled of course and a few times before starting our first round of lessons. I found even a change of scenery made it a lot more comforting. So, instead of logging in and getting to work, we headed downstairs to our loft’s business center and set up stations. One was on a computer and the other two were working in their books. Plus our residence has a coffee bar down stairs which includes hot cocoa so…. Yea they were happy!

I’m sure as our years continue with home schooling things will change, I will become more confident and the kids will be a lot more use to how things work. So to all you homeschoolers out there, remember this. As long as you and your kids are growing in love and knowledge, IT WILL ALL WORK OUT!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year’s Goals

December 30, 2016 at 12:23 PM • Posted in Holiday, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on 5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year’s Goals

Good morning, Kansas City! As we say goodbye to 2016, many of us are looking forward with goals for the new year. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great strategies to set your 2017 year up for success. Check it out (and have a great and SAFE New Year!)

5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year's Goals

 

5 Quick and Easy Strategies to Help Your New Year’s Goals

 

It’s no surprise that when the New Year rolls around, everyone will have their resolutions underway, or they are setting their goals in place. But one thing about the New Year is for sure. How you start it will set a tone for the remainder of the year!

When I start thinking of the upcoming year, I like to think about all the things that went wrong, went right or I didn’t get to do! In case you don’t know me, lists are like my little mind saving, stress reliving life saver! I make lists for just about everything, so why not for the upcoming year?!

 

#1 Find a Calendar

When I start planning, the first thing I do is find a super cute calendar! In my mind, if it’s pretty it will keep your attention lol. I find a cute calendar that I can place in my “mommy binder” (how I keep my #momlife in order), and I fill it with our set in stone dates i.e. birthdays, Holy Days, anniversary and so on. Knowing the dates and seeing those written keeps me from double booking our days and allows me to work other schedules around them!

 

#2 Set Goals for Yourself

Second, I set my goals for ME. I set my weight loss goals by dates, my blogging and promoting times and anything else that I need to take care of that are for me, (hair, threading, girls night etc). Once I have those dates marked down, it gives me some peace of mind knowing that no matter how crazy or hectic my life is, I can plan my “escape” and enjoy a little me time! I’m sure you also get wrapped up in what your families have going on and often forget or neglect time for yourself. I chose to put my dates second because I know that they are needed and if I put them in last or after my family’s dates, my calendar will fill up without me!

 

#3 Add plans from the other people in your family/life

Third, I add everything dealing with my kids and husband. We home school so most of what I plan for them are school dates, field trips and fun days to kind of get them out of their routine and have a little extra “school free” time. I also add in appointments for the Dr. Office, dentist and I make little notes to ask for referrals for specialists so I won’t forget!

 

#4 Reflect on areas of improvement from the past year

Fourth, I think about all the things that went wrong during the year, my short comings or things that I need to get better at. Once I know what those are, I hit up Pinterest for a little motivation. Pinterest has great motivational articles, pictures and tips.. so go crazy! I have two boards specifically for motivating me as a mom and wife and they truly have helped me more than I would have thought.

 

#5 Set the Tone

Fifth, I set the tone! I tell myself that the upcoming year will be great! I remind myself of all the things that I want to accomplish in my home or in my business and I burn it into my brain! My husband and I sit literally for an hour or so and talk about how things are going to get better or change for us in the New Year. The more I talk about the things I want to change or accomplish the easier they become to achieve them!

 

I hope you had a great year and I hope your 2017 is even better!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

brigettev8

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

December 26, 2016 at 6:11 PM • Posted in Mom ResourcesComments Off on 10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

Hello, Kansas City! We’re now less than a week away from the new year, and many of us are ready to tackle a new year, or perhaps make a few changes. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has an awesome list of 10 ways to kick your new year off on the right foot. Check it out!

10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

 

10 Ways to Start Your New Year Off Right

 

The new year can be something that you either look forward to or not. You can be over stressed, over worked, and completely out of order. So why not take the remaining few weeks of the year to plan out how you will attack the upcoming year!

Here are 10 tips that are sure to get you focused, organized and ready to start a new chapter in your life!

#1 Clean

A lot of people do their annual deep cleaning in spring, but what about all the stuff that gets accumulated during the summer and fall? New school clothes, summer camp and family vacation souvenirs have filled your home and now it’s time to break out the winter coats and make room for all the upcoming holidays, birthdays and new family pictures! Doing a deep clean in the winter not only makes your spring cleaning easier but it will get you ready for a fresh start in the New Year.

#2 Organize your house

Along with cleaning, organizing your house takes away so much stress! You can what you have too much of, need more of and it gets your new year started off in an organized way instead of total chaos!

#3 Finish projects

Another thing that goes along with cleaning and organizing, finishing projects! Take a week or weekend to finish up all your Pinterest projects!

#4 Set new goals

This speaks for itself! Create a brand new bucket list, weight loss/gain plan or whatever task you have been putting off. Make a plan to get it done before the new year or if it’s a really big one, set a date in the new year and start a countdown.

#5 Organize your life

One thing people forget to do outside their home, is to organize their life! Weather it’s setting up a bill paying schedule, a family menu or even planning a family calendar. Organize all those small things in your life to keep it as organized as possible.

#6 Get rid of negativity

This can be people, a job or habit. Get rid of it! If someone in your life is always negative, a lot of times it’s necessary to remove them. Job causing unnecessary stress or negativity in your life, look for a new one or change your career path. Have a bad habit? Use the remaining time of this year to get ready and kick it. Don’t go into the new year with a habit that causes you stress, creates negative emotions or so on in your life.

#7 Start a vacation fund

Saving for a whole year can really pay off! So why not start a vacation fund and take a winter vacation or visit distant family.

#8 Pick up a new hobby

Unless it is a true passion, drop the old and pick up a new hobby! There are so many things out there that you could experience why only stick to one?!

#9 Start a journal

This is something that I love to do! Journaling is very freeing and relaxing! Having a journal where you can pour all of your emotions, thoughts and goals into is a great feeling. Try challenging yourself by writing in it every day for the year and see how you have changed at the end!

#10 Create a vision board

This is my favorite! I am a pretty artsy person so vision boards are definitely one way I can get myself focused on starting off on the right foot. You can make one about anything or as many as you want! Keep it somewhere where you will have to see it every day!

I hope you found some inspiration from these tips on how you can start your new year off right!

From iFamily to Yours,
brigettev8

 

 

 

 

 

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25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

December 24, 2016 at 11:56 AM • Posted in Coping, Holiday, Mom Resources, Organizing Family ChaosComments Off on 25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

Christmas Eve is upon us here in the metro area and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably frantically getting in those last minute errands that you’ve been putting off forgotten about, baking holiday treats, and cleaning the house in anticipation of loved ones later this evening (or in my case, first thing tomorrow morning). It’s okay, we can all be superheroes from time to time, right?! Don’t stress out, it’s all going to be fine…right? RIGHT? Thankfully, our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad team member Leah shares her 25 tips for managing holiday stress with us right here on the blog. Take a look…

25 Ways to manage holiday stress

25 Tips For Managing Holiday Stress

If you are anything like me you are guilty of trying to do a thousand things at once. I find myself being  pulled between trying to locate the “perfect gift”, attempting to stay on budget, pull money out of thin air, working more hours to afford “the perfect gift”, ordering things online, and trying to create time to wrap gifts all while trying to balance my daily tasks. Needless to say this momma is wore out.

The holidays tend to add so much stress and chaos to our already over packed lives. Yet, their intention is to the opposite. This year I am determined to approach things differently. I don’t want my son to judge holidays based around how well I may or may not handle stress. We all know that kids see everything even when we think otherwise. I want to make sure he sees me handle things with grace. After all I cannot expect him to if I don’t.

It really is my goal to learn how to master stress so it does not master me. I know that I will not be able to completely avoid stress. However, that doesn’t mean that I cannot try to handle it better when it arrives. I have found some pretty simple ways to help make your holidays a little less hectic. I hope that you can find one or two them useful.

#1 Take an Epson Salt bath – for an added stress relief add essential  oils

#2 Create a daily gratitude journal- use this to remind yourself what you are grateful for in yourself and others

#3 Go outside for a walk or run- being around the sunlight can improve your mood

#4 Instead of stressing out over dinner give yourself permission to order out

#5 Turn on some good music

#6 Have a glass of wine

#7 Have a cup of tea- there are so many teas out there to help you relax

#8 Give your partner a massage then have them return the favor ( or just book an appointment at a salon)

#9 Go get your hair done… I always feel better after a good hair cut

#10 Set a budget and stick with it

#11 Schedule a lunch date with a friend  and share a good laugh

#12 Turn off your phone so you can get stuff done without being distracted

#13 Try to give out “group gifts” when you have to buy for a family. This will help you stay on budget. You can buy them a movie, popcorn, snacks, etc. Plus this encourages them to do something as a family.

#14 Pace yourself- you do not have to do everything in one day. I find it useful to break my to do list down to a daily list instead. This also helps me feel less overwhelmed.

#15 Take a break and go do something fun as family

#16 Go see some Christmas lights and get yourself back into the Christmas spirit

#17 Light some candles around the house

#18 Meditate – this is an amazing stress reliever

#19 Go to the gym

#20 Call a friend or a family member that puts you in a good mood

#21 Get some sleep

#22 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

#23 Don’t sweat the small stuff

#24 Remind yourself that if something does not get done there is always tomorrow

#25 Listen to yourself- only you know your limits

To follow Leah further please go to her page at  www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

From iFamily to yours,

Leah

leah_ifamilykc_momsquad25 tips for managing holiday stress

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How Safe Hearts Makes Hard Conversations Easier

November 8, 2016 at 8:05 AM • Posted in Coping, Educational Fun for Kids, Family Health & Wellness, Mom ResourcesComments Off on How Safe Hearts Makes Hard Conversations Easier

Good Morning, Kansas City!

Take a moment to think about the five most important women in your life. Now think about this: Statistically speaking, one of those women will be a victim of sexual abuse at some point in her life. It could be your mother, your sister, your best friend, or your child. It could have been you. Among the many roles and responsibilities that we have, as parents, keeping our children safe is among the top. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to having tough conversations with your child. That’s where the new Safe Hearts program from Damsel in Defense comes in.

Safe Hearts

Safe Hearts is a proactive program that helps parents talk through tough conversations with your kids about creating boundaries – and it’s a lot easier than you think. Damsel In Defense, in conjunction with a team of mental health experts and abuse survivors, have come up with a series of colorfully illustrated books to help you introduce these topics to your child. I recently had the opportunity to share the first two stories with my five year old daughter, Charlotte, and found the books to be a really effective way to communicate with her about such an important topic.

As a mom, I always try to balance the line between encouraging Charlotte to view the world from her naturally pure perspective while also helping her to understand that there are tricky people who might not have her best interest at heart. As someone who has been in tricky situations myself, I get the importance of teaching her how to prevent someone from taking advantage of a situation. I found the Safe Hearts books to be really helpful in my mission to help my daughter protect herself. I can rest easier with the confidence that my child can identify tricky situations and that she will know what to do if she encounters one.

The first book, “My Friend’s New Toy” follows the story of Olivia, a little girl who meets a new friend in her neighborhood. While over for a play date, Olivia finds herself in an uncomfortable situation when her new friend tries to encourage her to take off her clothes while playing dolls. The request leaves Olivia feeling unsettled and unsure of how to handle the situation and that’s where the Heart Defenders come in. This team of kids (the Heart Defenders), spanning all ages, help kids to identify when something isn’t right and remove themselves from the situation. The material presents tough topics to children of all ages in a way that isn’t overwhelming for young readers. Charlotte resonated with the Heart Defenders and felt encouraged to defend her own heart after reading the story.

The second book, “Madison’s Big Brother” follows a similar journey for older readers. Isabella, the main character, finds herself in a situation where an older boy that she cares about and trusts tries to force her to kiss him. The Heart Defenders step in to help guide Isabella toward making a safe and sound decision that she can walk away from while feeling proud. I read this book to Charlotte and she understood the storyline, but I definitely think that this book skews towards older readers. All in all, though, both books can be read by children of all ages with their parents. The question prompts at the end of each story help parents and caregivers to reiterate the messaging throughout the books.

Safe Hearts Heart Defenders

The Heart Defender series currently has these two books available with more stories rolling out over the next year or so. I strongly encourage each of you to look into getting these books for your family and sharing them with friends and relatives with children. They also have a parent guide to help you understand each book, suggestions about how to effectively communicate with your children, and the overall goals that you should have going into your conversation.

For more information on the Safe Hearts program or Damsel In Defense, call Mary Hiesberger at (816) 309-3348 or email prepare2prevent1@gmail.com.

From iFamily to yours,

Holli

holli_ifamilykcteam

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