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The little book with BIG resources!

BIO-NIHILATOR Carpet & Hardwood Floor Cleaners: Get Rid of Stains!

Messes are unavoidable. Kids spill juice, animals pee on the carpet…parents really don’t get a break. Until now! BIO-NIHILATOR™ is here to clean up your stains for good.

Specially formulated by carpet cleaners in Kansas City, these carpet & hardwood cleaners will effectively get rid of your family’s and pets’ stains. (I would know…we have daily stains in this house)

Need it now? You can purchase BIO-NIHILATOR™ online or shop locally at an authorized Kansas City retailer.



Get Rid of Stains…Really

BIO-NIHILATOR offers a carpet cleaner and a hardwood floor cleaner to tackle both kinds of stains.  BIO-NIHILATOR™ uses bio based, environmentally safe ingredients to effectively clean fecal matter, urine and vomit stains, while offering a natural and pleasant fragrance. There are no strong smells or odors either.


Local, KC-Based Company

Support KC and clean your home in the process. BIO-NIHILATOR cleaning products are locally created and support people in OUR community. Find their products around KC at many different stores!

We love KC based companies; give them a big boost of local love.


Professional Strength Cleaners – Environmentally Safe

Clean with true Professional Strength products that are also ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE. It is important to keep our kids safe and this product does just that. While cleaning your stains!

Professional carpet cleaners developed BIO-NIHILATOR™ when an effective solution couldn’t be found. For years they used professional strength enzymes already on the market, but had mixed results. AFC Cleaning & Restoration (the carpet-cleaner-creators of BIO-NIHILATOR™) was often called to clean homes to clean tough pet stain and odor issues, so they had to find a solution.

The carpet cleaners began creating their own uniquely compounded products, which turned out to be more effective. Faster, with better results. And so, BIO-NIHILATOR™ was born!

BIO-NIHILATOR™ wants to share their cleaning powers with the world, so they bottled their special sauce for you to use in YOUR home. 🙂

Find both a carpet cleaner & hardwood floor cleaner to tackle any stain your pets and family throw your way. You can purchase BIO-NIHILATOR™ online  or find a local, authorized retailer in Kansas City.

Easter Basket Ideas for Every Family [Candy Alternatives too!]

Easter is nearly here and the hunt for Easter baskets & things to fill them has begun. Every year my kiddos look forward to Easter egg hunts in the yard & coming down to an overflowing basket sitting on the hearth. There are many varieties of basket themes and fillers; traditional Easter baskets, religious baskets, and some are just for fun.

43 Easter Basket Filler Ideas

Every parent could use Easter inspiration!

Enjoy the season with loved ones without gorging your kids on candy. Find inspiration for the perfect Easter basket for your family below. Happy Hunting!


The religious basket

If you want to focus on the origin of the Easter holiday then this basket is for you. We found kid friendly things that keep the spirit of the season. Bring some joy and learning to your morning with our basket suggestions:


  1. Resurrection Eggs-In this package you will receive 12 eggs that you can either put in the basket for learning or you can set them out for the morning hunt. Inside each egg is a religious trinket. The package also comes with some reading material describing the story of Easter. This great item is prepared by Family Life.
  2. The Beginner’s Bible: Come celebrate Easter sticker and activity book-This fun item is fun for elementary age kids. Find this item, written by Kelly Pulley.
  3. The Glow in the dark religious Easter Egg hunting kit-This kit is said to help your child find the ‘light of Jesus’. It comes with glow eggs with stuffers, religious sayings, and an Easter DVD.
  4. He Lives! Finger puppets- These would be a fun learning toy to go along with any basket. Your kids can have lots of fun reenacting the Easter Story. You can check out this item by Fun Express.
  5. My First Rosary An item ideal for babies and toddlers that can be played with and chewed on. It gives your tiny little loves a first exposure to the Rosary by Sacred Heart Toys.
  6. Catholic Baby’s touch and feel book This book written by James m Cafone is a great item for your little one and a great way to introduce early literacy skills.
  7. Personalized Fabric tote bags– These are great for your kids because they are multi-purpose and can be reused for other occasions. There are several designs to choose from.


Easter Egg Themed Baskets

This basket focuses on everything related to Easter eggs; ideas for decorating and incorporating them in an Easter basket.


  1. Faux eggs to dye If you are looking for some eggs that don’t have to be boiled or eaten then these would be a great alternative. They are ready to go and made from plastic so they can be used as decorations.
  2. DIY Egg shaped string basket- This basket is a fun thing that you and your kids could prepare in advance and set out for Easter morning. Here are the directions.
  3. Egg shaped toys, puppets, tattoos, stickers and more at US Toy – in the store AND online at USToy.com and save 15% on your purchase with coupon code 18IF03.  Give the code at the store or enter at checkout online, and get free shipping on orders over $35 online. Monthly coupon is always available here.
  4. Easter Egg Fry Rings If you want to have eggs for breakfast with fun shapes then check out these fry rings from Williams Sonoma. These are a cute addition for the little chef in your family.
  5. Unpainted Wooden Nesting Dolls- If you are familiar with the Russian nesting dolls then you might enjoy this activity. These pre-cut wooden dolls are blank so you and your kids can paint and customize them. Afterward, your child will have hours of fun stacking and unstacking the dolls while building up their problem solving skills!
  6. Egg Shaped Easter Chalk- This one is for your little artist. The chalk is large and perfect for any size hand. Kids can then have a great time making doodles all over the sidewalk.


The Candy Easter Basket

This doesn’t mean you give the kids an endless supply of candy. For this one, I got a bit more creative.


  1. Candy Craft Chocolate Pen with molds- This is a kit that allows for some creativity. While the outcome will be candy, your kids will be involved in the process of creating it. Once they create the candy, then you can have gifts for the entire family.
  2. Color Scented Smencils- These pencils have a candy scented smell and would go create with a fun coloring book.
  3. Shopkins Coloring Book- If your kid is into these characters then it will be a great accomplice with the Smencils.
  4. Chocolate Scented Erasers- What are pencils without erasers? These erasers smell like chocolate and will be fun to add to this basket.
  5. Candy Chemistry- Add a little bit of science to your basket with this candy making science kit. They will learn about the chemistry involved in cooking and make some really fun treats!
  6. Playdoh Sweet Shoppe Colorful Candy box-This is a fun playdoh kit that your kids can use to make candy that won’t be eaten. There are many accessories to create different shapes and types. What a great way to avoid the sugar at Easter but still have some candy fun!


The Little Chef Cooking Easter Basket

So often our little ones observe us cooking and preparing meals but giving them their own tools can get them involved and learn some valuable life skills!


  1. Find great cooking items that would be perfect for this basket at curiouschef.com. (Measuring spoons, Nylon kids knives, mixing utensils, mitt sets, aprons that include utensil sets and little chef hats)
  2. Babycakes Cake Pop Maker- If your kids love cake pops then this would be a fun way to get them involved in the kitchen.
  3. Plant a Pizza Garden- This is a spring friendly kit that gets your kids started on growing some of the items you need for a pizza.
  4. Melissa and Doug Play Food Cutting Set- For the little ones that aren’t quite ready for the kitchen then this play set it perfect. Kids can pretend to chop wooden foods and prepare them for a tasty feast.
  5. Melissa and Doug Sushi Slicing Wooden play food kit- This kit looks fun. Do we have any little sushi lovers out there?
  6. Disney Related Cookbooks for afterschool snacks- This 4 piece book set will give your family some fun ideas for things you can make at home relating to favorite characters!


The Homemade Basket

A fun way to prepare an Easter basket without buying pricey toys or other store bought items.


  1. No Cook Homemade PlaydohHere is a quick recipe that you can prepare for the basket or you can separate the ingredients so your kids can prepare it themselves!
  2. Easter CraftsIf you want to set aside some craft supplies then your little ones can make some fun crafts. Here are 40+ homemade craft ideas.
  3. DIY Treats: If you are looking for a sweet treat to add to the basket as an alternative to candy then here is a link with some fun treats that you can prepare without too much effort.
  4. DIY Stuffed Animals: If you are curious about making your own Easter animals then check out this link for some patterns. These cute gifts will be a great addition to any basket.
  5. Painted Rocks- If you want to get a little artsy then add in some rocks, paints and brushes to the basket for some crafty fun.
  6. Finger Painted Flower Pots- Prepare for spring with these pots. Add in a flower pot, paints, dirt and seeds into your child’s basket for some growing fun.


The Easter Bunny Basket

This basket idea is inspired by no other than the Easter Bunny himself. Check out these ideas!


  1. Bunny Easter Tote bagsThese tote bags will be eggcellent for holding those colorful eggs. There are a few different styles but I liked the burlap version best.
  2. Peter Rabbit This bunny is would be a cute addition to the basket and a fun new bedtime friend.
  3. Reeces Pieces Easter Candy Carrot Bag- Carrot shaped bags of candy are a fun bunny friendly treat.
  4. Give an Easter Movie– An Easter related movie such as Hop or It’s the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown would be a fun addition to the basket.
  5. Give an Easter Bunny Book-You can gift The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter or The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.
  6. Easter MadlibsMadlibs are not only fun but great for learning too. Here is the link:


Sensory Easter Basket

For kiddos that benefit from extra sensory input, check out these sensory based basket ideas that are both fun and beneficial!


  1. Sensory play bag-Fill up an Easter or zip lock bag with related items such as grass, eggs, chick toys, scoopers..etc that can be used in a bucket or sensory tray with water.
  2. Tactile Easter BookYou can buy a touch and feel book or you can make your own using everyday items with an Easter theme. Here is a link to an egg based book idea for Braille readers. However, it can be adapted for anyone.
  3. Decorate Tactile Easter Eggs-Here is a great idea for kids with visual disabilities but it can also be a great activities for kids with sensory needs.
  4. Edible Peeps Playdoh-Here is a fun recipe for sensory play that is safe and edible for little explorers.
  5. Spring Flower Rubber Ducky Set- Perfect for bath time and for sensory water play. Check it out!
  6. Funky Egg Splat Ball- This item is great for stress relief and sensory exploration.

Easter is right around the corner and one of these ideas are sure to brighten that special morning! We hope your family has a great Easter, surrounded with loved ones. 🙂


Until next time,

Mommy Ruby


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The 25 Best Places for the Family Photos in Kansas City [Picture Time!]

When it comes to finding the perfect place for family photos, picturesque locations are in no short supply around Kansas City. From the stunning scenery in Loose Park, to the beautiful city views at Liberty Memorial, KC truly offers the perfect backdrop for every family.

But what parents have time to search for the best photo spot…? I can’t find 30 minutes to shower in peace, let alone time to search the internet. But hey, do it for the memories. Right?

Your hunt is over! Mom Squader Leah explored KC to find 25 picture perfect locations for beautiful photos with the fam. So, stop searching the internet and scroll on down to find picture perfect locations all across the metro. Take a look…


family photos and family portraits

Picture Time….Say Cheese!

It’s no surprise that Kansas City is filled with endless picture possibilities, but do you know them all? My quest for the perfect family photo led me to discover many new places around the metro I would love to share with you! Every parent and grandparent wants to best family photos, so grab your camera (or your phone) and head to these beautiful locations around KC. There is something for everyone!


Explore the Most Beautiful Family Photo Places in Kansas City

A list of the Best Picture Places in Kansas City. They all have one thing in common: they’re fabulous places to take your family pictures. 


 #1 Burr Oak Woods Conservation (Blue Springs)
family pictures kansas city

Burr Oak Woods is a great place to hike and explore, but also take family photos! They have a nature center that offers indoor and outdoor exhibits, picnic areas, six hiking trails, viewing decks, and bridges. Burr Oaks offers many family oriented activities to do in the summer. Visit their website to find location, hours, activities, & all the info you need.


 #2 Lake Remembrance (Blue Springs)Family Pictures Kansas City

I absolutely love Lake Remembrance. You can take the family  for a picnic, fishing, scavenger hunt, bike ride, walk, or a jog. There are three walking trails to choose from as well as a dog park. Lake Remembrance has such beautiful views and is so peaceful. I like to go there and escape day to day stress by just breathing in it’s beauty. Learn more about the lake at their site.


#3 Rotary Park at Railroad Lake (Blue Springs)Family Pictures Kansas City

Rotary Park at Railroad Lake is such a pretty place for family photos. Throughout the summer  it hosts free summer concerts in the park. Take advantage of them for some free fun. Rotary Park is a total of 12 acres and is located in central Blue Springs. There are two playgrounds, a walking trail that surrounds a small lake, tennis courts, and a basketball court.


#4 Powell Gardens  (Kingsville)
Family Pictures Kansas City

This 915-acre botanical garden is open to the public and does cost a fee to enter . However, it is worth it. They offer countless activities  for the entire family. There really isn’t a place in Powell Gardens that isn’t picture perfect. I highly recommend you go there and make a day out of it. You could play “I spy,” go on a self -made “treasure quest,” or make a list of items to find. The options are endless.


#5 Unity Village  (Just Outside Lee’s Summit)

best places to take a picture

Unity Village is absolutely breathtaking. It truly is one of the most serene places I have ever been. You can find peace in one of the many gardens, get lost in the landscaping, or  relax  at  one of several fountains. I have photographed my niece there for her prom as well as enjoyed picnics there with a dear friend. I highly recommend you check out Unity Village if you have not yet.


 #6 Kansas City River Market (Kansas City)

There are more than 25 merchants, markets, grocers & shops. The City Market is so much fun. It allows you to travel the world without a passport. I could get lost there. There are so many amazing  places to eat, beautiful fresh flowers for sell, cultures from all around the world, and just beautiful people in general. I love showing my son all the family ran produce stands. However, my favorite thing to do there is to taste food that is made by hand, passed down from generation to generation.


#7 Country Club Plaza (Kansas City)

best places to take a picture

What is not to love about the County Club Plaza? There are high end shops, food prepared by world class Chefs, an amazing toy store, live music, carriage rides, and fountains galore! We love going there and making a whole day of it. I encourage you to get out there and explore The Plaza together.


#8 West Bottoms (Kansas City)

The popular West Bottoms’ stores and restaurants offer one-of-a kind quality vintage items, antiques and lots of places to find great gifts . There are so many cool places tucked away waiting for you to find them. The West Bottoms offers artistic architectural views, hip and fun locally owned shops, and lots of unique places to take photos.


#9 Loose Park (Kansas City)

Best places to take a picture

Loose Park is the third largest park in Kansas City. The  rose garden at Loose Park is worth the visit alone. There are so many great things to say about Loose Park. The Rose Garden and ponds are perfect family photo opportunities. The beauty it carries is rare to anything else in the area. The park is perfect for playing Frisbee, catching a live  drum circle in action, watching the geese in the pond , letting the kids play, eating lunch while people watching, etc. Loose Park is a Kansas City staple.


#10 Nelson Atkins Art Museum Of Art (Kansas City)

The Best Places for Family Photos in Kansas City

The Nelson is such a remarkable asset to Kansas City. It provides so many opportunities to bond as a family. The outside area is ideal for taking family photos.  I think sometimes people forget about what a great place this is. Not only is The Nelson aesthetically beautiful it is a necessity to show to your children. Most children see the beauty in art and see it as inspirational.


#11 Union Station (Kansas City)

The Best Family Photos Spots in Kansas City
There is something almost magical about Union Station. It maybe the nostalgic charm that comes from the history of so many people who have stepped foot there before me. I like to sit on the former train station benches and think back of what it used to be like there. I can imagine lots of busy travelers, people kissing their families goodbye, people excited to return home, etc. Whatever it is I feel it takes me over every time I am there.  I honestly could get lost in the beauty Union Station holds. It has an exotic beauty that is so classy. What better place to take a family photo.


#12 National WW1 Museum & Liberty Memorial (Kansas City)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

The Liberty Memorial, located at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, is a memorial to service men and women who served in World War I. The museum overlooks downtown Kansas City; the perfect backdrop for family photos! Stand atop the overlook to see a vast Kansas City skyline. 


#13 Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

One of my favorite things about Kansas City is the passion we have to see others succeed. The love Kansas City has for The Royals is evident everywhere you look. Their story is a true example of where hard work and determination leads you. Why not take the opportunity to express your love for the team by taking a picture in front of the stadium ? Although many of the Royals billboards displayed around town will never be as cool as the “Salvy” billboard there are still many to choose from. What a great idea for your next Christmas card.


#14 Briarcliff Waterfall Park (Riverside)

Come enjoy the lovely waterfall and capture beautiful pictures of your family. The waterfalls are the perfect backdrop for your next family photo op!


#15 Old Downtown Overland Park

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Old Downtown Overland Park equals charm. It is a great place to spend the day, go shopping, bring out of town guests, or eat brunch at. You can take cooking classes, art classes, explore an awesome art gallery, have yummy desserts, smell fresh spices, run through kid friendly fountains, go to the local farmers market, etc. There is so much to do there.


#16 South Lake Park (Overland Park)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

South Lake Park holds a special place in my heart. It is the park I walked around while I was pregnant with my son. I also had his first three birthday parties there. It is a gorgeous park that is literally centered around a lake. South Lake park offers picnic areas, a play ground, basketball courts, and beautiful place to walk.


#17 Prairiefire (Overland Park)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

I personally have not been inside of the Museum at Prairiefire. I’ve just been awestruck by the beauty of the outside of it. I have seen many people make the drive simply to see the building itself. I have heard a lot of great things about the museum. Their stained glass wall is perfect for your family photos.


#18 Deanna Rose Farmstead (Overland Park)

The Top Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Deanna Rose is a child favorite among many. Children can feed animals, go fishing,  go” mining”, ride horses, and much more. The amount of fun your child can have  is  endless. What a great place to take personality reflecting photos of your children.


#19 Shawnee Mission Park (Lenexa)

Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Shawnee Mission Park is home to a number of fantastic amenities as well as a beautiful 120-acre lake. The beautiful scenic lake is a very popular spot for boating, fishing, sail boarding, family photos and much more. The park also has eleven spacious shelters, numerous picnic areas, nature trails, play areas, an archery range, a 53-acre dog off-leash area, a disc golf course, and is a great place to enjoy mountain biking and horseback riding. The park is also home to The Theatre in the Park, Shawnee Mission Park Beach, and Shawnee Mission Park Marina. In season, there are canoes, pedal boats, and fishing boats available for rent at the marina. Please see the SMP website for more information.

 #20 James A Reed Memorial Wildlife Area (Lee’s Summit)

Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Expansive woodland & wetland hunting grounds features picnic spots, trails & fishing lakes & ponds.


#21 Antioch Park (Merriam)

Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

A 44-acre park featuring a playground, 2 fishing lakes, tennis & basketball courts, trails & shelters. There are many great places for your family to take photos! Come explore today.


#22 Lake Olathe Park

Lake Olathe is vast, with tons of different areas for pictures. The park has a playground to keep the kids entertained and smiling (we all know the struggles of a screaming child during pictures) and trails to walk. Find many choices for cool forests and creeks. And of course, there is the lake!


#23 English Landing Park (Parkville)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

English Landing Park is a 68-acre facility with several amenities, including; 3 miles of walking trails, a large playground area, a boat ramp, picnic shelters, sand volleyball court, and a disc golf course. This park is sure to satisfy anyone wanting to take advantage of the great outdoors. English Landing Park attracts a wide variety of users from bicyclists to walking or running enthusiasts; there is a recreation outlet for all to enjoy. Or the perfect natural backdrop for family photos;)


#24 Tryst Falls Park (Excelsior Springs)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Tryst Falls is a scenic waterfall, one of the only natural waterfalls in the area. This natural park includes a playground, shelter houses and picnic tables. Grab your family and capture adorable family photos you will treasure forever.

#25 Watkins Mill State Park (Lawson)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Fascinating intact civil war era factory and farm. Wonderful camping grounds as well as a great walking and biking trail around a beautiful lake. There are many great events like campground trick or treating and living history events. Check out reviews of Watkins Mill for more info.

If you have a strong desire to capture great family photos, just go to a place that allows your family to simply be your family.  I hope through this article you’re able to find just that place. Thank you to all of the people who helped make this article possible.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Winners of our iFamilyKC Readers’ Favorites Awards [Best of KC]

Congratulations to all the WINNERS of our iFamilyKC Readers Favorites 2018 Awards! After thousands of votes, below are the entities that our readers voted #1 in each category.

Winner of iFamilyKC Readers' Favorites

Stay tuned for our official Awards Guide with more details.  It will be provided online, on our social media platforms, in our eNews  AND in print in our May 2018 issue of iFamilyKC. Winners, want to upgrade your listing? Email us today and let us know you want to reserve your upgraded spot.


AC Repair A.B. May
Plumber Bob Hamilton
Appliance Repair A.B. May
Best Consignment Shop Once Upon A Child
Best Pop Up Consignment Sale Just Between Friends
Electrician AB Electrical
Handyman Handyman Connection
Lawn Care Ryan’s Lawn & Tree
Place to Give Birth Shawnee Mission Medical Center
ER for Children Children’s Mercy
ER for Adults St. Lukes
Urgent Care for Children Children’s Mercy
Urgent Care for Adults St. Luke’s
ENT Children’s Mercy
Allergist Children’s Mercy Allergy Clinic
Pediatrician Pediatric Care Specialists
Dermatologist Kansas City Dermatology
Chiropractor Gray Chiropractic
Doula Welcome Baby KC
3D Sonogram Prenatal Imaging
Local Baby Store Babies-R-Us
Local Toy Store Toys-R-Us
Local Children’s Boutique Wild Child
Local Women’s Boutique TeaElla
Farmer’s Market City Market in the River Market
Family Restaurant Texas Roadhouse
Coffee House Starbucks
Mexican Restaurant Mi Ranchito
Chinese Restaurant Bo Lings
Brunch Big Biscuit
Sushi Kona Grill
Seafood McCormick & Schmick’s
BBQ Jack Stack
Fried Chicken Stroud’s
Donuts Lamar’s Donuts & Coffee
Bakery Hy-Vee
Pizza Minsky’s
Photographer for Family Portraits Amber Nixon Photography
Hair Salon for Kids Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids
Hair Salon for Adults Beauty Brands
Massage Massage Envy
Spa The Elms Hotel & Spa
Nail Salon Nail Perfection
Pediatric Dentist Jenkins & LeBlanc
Family Dentist Preferred Dental
Orthodontist Fry Orthodontics
Family Friendly Festival RenFest
Ceramics or Pottery Place Paint, Glaze, and Fire
Indoor Play Place Sky Zone
Movie Theater AMC
Enrichment Program Mad Science
Playground Penguin Park
Workout / Fitness Center Planet Fitness
Library with the Best Children’s Programs Mid-Continent Public Library
Gymnastics Emerald City Gym
Dance Studio Diane’s School of Dance
Sports Programs YMCA
Martial Arts Elite Martial Arts
Drama Classes Storybook Theatre
Art Classes Paint, Glaze, and Fire
Summer Sports Camps Sky Zone
Toddler Play Place Monkey Bizness
Summer Theater Camp The Theatre in the Park
Swim Lessons YMCA
Private School Oakhill Day School
Daycare LaPetite Academy
Preschool The Montessori Academy
Mom’s Day Out / Part Time Preschool Brookridge Day School
Montessori School The Montessori Academy
Birthday Cake Costco
Birthday Party Place Main Event
Party Entertainment Sky Zone
Bounce House Pump It Up
Best Local Place to Buy a Birthday Present Crown Center
Veterinarian Blue Springs Animal Hospital
Sporting Goods Store Academy Sports
Shopping Mall Oak Park Mall
Bowling Alley Main Event
Horseback Riding Classes Sunset Trails Stables
Groomer Petco
Pet Sitting/Boarding Service Pet Ranch
Local Hotel Great Wolf Lodge
Local Attraction Deanna Rose Farmstead
Place to Get Your Child’s Ears Pierced Claires
Car Wash Green Lantern
Travel Agent Destination Fun Travel
Date Night The Country Club Plaza
Museum Nelson Atkins Museum of Art


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Why Ignoring Software Updates Can Harm Your Devices

Everyone needs a great tech expert in their lives. We are fortunate that we can share tech guru Burton Kelso’s with you right here on the iFamilyKC blog. We’ve recently gone over the most important things you need to know to protect yourself from cyber criminals and how to clean your tech to stop the flu from making its rounds but, today, we want to talk about something very important. As parents, it is our job to ensure that we’re protecting our family online and at home; But, did you know, there’s one simple thing you’ve probably been ignoring that’s putting your family at risk? Let’s talk about why ignoring software updates can harm your devices (and your family). Take a look…

ignoring software updates

Why Ignoring Software Updates Can Harm Your Devices

It never fails. You’re working hard on your computer, smartphone or tablet and that annoying message pops out of nowhere saying “a software update is available”.  In most cases you click “cancel” instead of “install”, saying to yourself “I’ll get to it later. But you never do them. Does this sound familiar?

The truth is it’s easy to get in the habit of skipping software updates because they don’t seem that important and they take so darn long to install. But not doing them allows cyber criminals access to your personal information, putting you at risk for identity theft, loss of money, credit, and more.

How do they do it?

You remember the Equifax data breach, right? Well did you know a hackers were able to access Equifax’s data because they failed to perform software updates?  It’s true.  Hackers were able to break in through a known vulnerability in a web application. The sad part is that a fix for this security hole was actually available two months before the breach.

Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to security holes.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for Microsoft Office, your computer, or an update for your browser, updates do more than just give you new features or make changes to your software that sometimes do more to confuse you than help.

Computer manufactures are constantly bombarding you with updates to make your software run efficiently and to protect you from vulnerabilities that hackers find and try to exploit. The bonus is software updates can add new features to your computer or smart device that allows them to have new features that will make your tech work with the latest stuff on the market.

When vulnerabilities are found, software developers release an update or a patch. These patches are important and should to be installed as soon as they pop up on your device. If you ignore them, it opens the computer to cyber-criminal compromises because of the “un-patched” vulnerability. This becomes dangerous because the vulnerability can then be exploited by hackers who don’t need to use Internet scams to get into your computer; they can simply take advantage of the flaw to get your information.

Here are some tips to follow to keep you safe.

Understand that keeping your Anti-Virus software up-to-date is critical. This protects you from the latest threats.

Enable auto-update for software on your computers, smartphones and tablet. If you can’t enable auto update, make a habit to regularly check for and apply  updates.

Before downloading any software or apps, read the reviews first to make sure it’s safe to install. Hackers love upload fake programs that are designed to steal your information.

Keep on top of the latest threats so you know how to protect yourself from online threats.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

From iFamily to Yours,

I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet.

I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets.

You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

When is My Spring Break?

We all anxiously await Spring Break, but breaks differ between school districts in KC. The kids keep asking, “is it Spring Break yet?!” and iFamilyKC is here to help you find out, “When is MY Spring Break?”. Check out our list of Spring Break dates below & plan your kids’ activities with our Kansas City Spring Break Camps & Activities Guide.


Spring Break Camps and Activities


Already know your school district’s Spring Break dates?

Check out our FULL Spring Break Guide for activities, events, classes & fun things to do in Kansas City with your kids over the break. 😊 Or visit our 100 Things to do During Spring Break post for inspiration on fun AND affordable activities!


Kansas School Districts:

Baldwin CityMarch 9th to March 18th

Blue ValleyMarch 9th to March 19th (Teacher ONLY days- 3/9 & 3/19)

Bonner Springs EdwardsvilleMarch 16th to March 25th

DesotoMarch 10th to March 19th

EudoraMarch 9th to March 18th (3/9 Teacher Work Day)

Gardner EdgertonMarch 9th to March 19th (3/9 Teacher In Service Day)

Kansas City, KansasMarch 9th to March 18th (3/9 Teacher Work Day)

LansingMarch 16th to March 25th

LawrenceMarch 16th to March 25th

LeavenworthMarch 17th to March 25th

OlatheMarch 10th to March 19th (Professional Day 3/19- NO school)

PiperMarch 16th to March 25th

Shawnee MissionMarch 9th to March 18th (Teacher Work Day 3/9- NO school)

Spring HillMarch 9th to March 18th

TurnerMarch 9th to March 19th (3/19 Professional Day- NO School)



Missouri School Districts:

Allen Village Charter SchoolMarch 30th to April 11th

Belton- March 24th to April 2nd (4/2 Teacher Work Day)

Blue SpringsMarch 10th to March 18th

Cass MidwayMarch 10th to March 18th

CenterMarch 17th to March 25th

ClintonMarch 24th to April 2nd (4/25 Teachers in Service)

DrexelMarch 27th to April 1st (NO school 3/26 too)

East LynneMarch 24th to April 2nd (4/2 Possible Make Up Day)

Excelsior SpringsMarch 24th to April 1st

Ft. OsageEarly Release March 22nd to April 1st

Grain ValleyMarch 9th March 12th

GrandviewMarch 24th to April 1st

HarrisonvilleMarch 28th to April 1st

Hickman Mills March 24th to April 1st

IndependenceMarch 23rd to April 2nd

Kansas City Public SchoolsMarch 24th to April 1st

Kearney March 24th to April 2nd

LawsonMarch 30th to April 2nd

Lee’s SummitMarch 17th to March 25th

LibertyMarch 24th to April 1st

Lone JackMarch 10th to March 18th

North Kansas CityMarch 17th to March 25th

Oak GroveEarly Release March 9th to March 12th

Parkville– March 16th (Teacher Work Day) to March 25th

Pleasant HillMarch 24th to April 1st

Platte CountyMarch 17th to March 25th

Raymore PeculiarMarch 24th to April 1st

RaytownMarch 17th to March 25th

Smithville- March 17th to March 25th

Sherwood CassMarch 24th to April 2nd (4/2 Teacher Work Day)


We hope this list of Spring Break dates for Kansas City area School Districts will help make your life (a tad) easier. The majority of private and charter schools follow the dates of nearby public school districts. Check with your local private school for specific closings or which public school district to follow.

Got any cool Spring Break plans? Leave ’em in the comments!



Kansas City coupons and affordable events


Five Ways to Stop the Flu in its Tracks

Flu season seems to be hitting everyone hard and, for my family, this year has been no exception. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, understands what a hardship the flu can have on families and is offering up five ways to stop the flu in its tracks today on the blog. Take a look…

Five Ways to Stop the Flu in its Tracks

stop the flu

The flu epidemic has hit our nation hard this year. Unfortunately, the Kansas City area was not spared. As caregivers, we are often hit the hardest when illness enters our homes.  There is no way to completely germ-proof our homes, but there are a few things we can do (besides washing our hands).

#1 Disinfect Common Surfaces

Sure, we all wipe down our counters when we clean the kitchen.  But there are a few places that even the tidiest of moms could forget about.  For instance, wiping down the refrigerator door handle should become a common practice.  Every person in my house has their fingerprints on that surface.  The same goes for door knobs, and cabinet door handles.  Electronic devices are another place where germs might be passed amongst siblings.  Disinfect phones and other handheld devices.  Wipe down those video game controls and the TV remote while you’re at it.  Use the dishwasher to disinfect silverware and cups if you have one.  If not, tossing a little bleach in the dishwater might not be a bad idea.

#2 Take it Outside

Wastebaskets fill up fast when someone in the household is sick.  Take the garbage out as often as necessary, and don’t just empty it all in the big waste basket.  Tie it up in plastic and place it in a bin away from the house.  So many of these illnesses are airborne.  One misplaced tissue could cost you a week’s work of down time.

#3 Keep Remedies in Stock

Many pharmacies are sold out of common flu and cold remedies now.  It’s a good idea to pick some up if you see it, even if no one is sick at the moment.  I’ve heard tales of parents driving to 3-4 different pharmacies trying to find medication.   If over-the-counter medications will work to soothe your ailing loved ones, absolutely take advantage of them.

#4 Stay Away From Sick People

It seems obvious, but the best way to not get the flu is to stay away from people who have the virus.  The CDC and every health agency in the world is screaming at people to stay home if they are sick.  As a caretaker, if you have to care for someone who is fighting the illness, wear a mask and gloves and whatever protective gear you can find.  Don’t share food or drinks with sick kiddos, no matter how badly the toddler tries to feed you some of her Cheerios.

#5 Don’t Ignore Symptoms

If you think you might be sick, go to the doctor.  Early detection and treatment are extremely important when fighting the flu.

Stay healthy.  People are counting you.

From iFamily to Yours,


A Library Lovers Guide to Family Activities Near Your Home

Can you believe it is already February? It honestly feels like I was just talking about things to do for New Years Eve! February may be a short month, but there are tons of fun “National Day/Months” One that I absolutely love is National Library Lovers Day!

A Library Lovers Guide to Family Activities Near Your Home

National Library Lovers Day is February 14th and in honor of this day, I thought I would highlight our own fascinating libraries around the metro area. I for one love the library. They always have fun and FREE things to do. Not to mention, anything you want to learn, perfect, or just fact check, it is all available right there at your fingertips.  The metro area has great, history rich libraries that are an adventure in their own right. So, even though you may have already visited  your  local library, here are a few things that these branches offer that you may not know!

library lovers

Mid-Continent Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library’s mission is to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.

Mid-Continent Public Library is the largest library system in the metropolitan area, operating 35 libraries and serving nearly 800,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties. The Library strives to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.

With the 19th largest public library collection in the nation, over 10,000 live programs per year, and constantly expanding resources, Mid-Continent Public Library has been providing world class customer service to the area since 1965.

Antioch Branch

6060 N Chestnut Ave, Gladstone, MO 64119

  • Storytimes for toddlers and babies
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Quilting Classes
  • Tax Help
  • Computer Classes
  • Book Clubs
  • Interior Design Classes

Blue Ridge Branch

6131 Raytown Rd, Raytown, MO 64133

  • Storytime for kids and families
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Kids Create Workshops
  • Kids Shows
  • Kids Games

Blue Springs North Branch

850 NW Hunter Drive, Blue SpringsMO 64015
  • LEGO Events
  • Read to a Dog
  • Storytime for Families
  • KC Magic Man

Blue Springs South Branch

2220 S. 7 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO 64014

  • Storytime
  • Kids Create Workshops
  • Kids Lab

Boardwalk Branch

8656 N Ambassador Dr, Kansas City, MO 64154

  • Homeschoolers at the Library
  • Storytime
  • Kid Reads
  • Sensory Lab – Play & Learn
  • Yoga Tales
  • Brixology


309 E. U.S. Highway 69, Claycomo, MO 64119

  • Read & Draw
  • Lego Time
  • Kids Create
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Zoomobile Visits

Colbern Road Branch

1000 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s SummitMO 64086
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • Storytime
  • Play & Learn Time
  • Family Night

Lee’s Summit Branch

150 NW Oldham Pkwy, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081

  • Gardening Workshops
  • Storytime
  • Play & Learn Time

Liberty Branch

1000 Kent St, Liberty, MO 64068

  • Homeschoolers at the Library
  • Play & Learn Time
  • Storytime
  • Read to a Dog
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • STEAM Program

North Independence Branch

317 US-24, Independence, MO 64050

  • Kids Create
  • LEGO Robotics
  • Yoga for Kids
  • Pet Safety Classes
  • Art Classes from Nelson Atkins

Kansas City Public Library

Lucile H. Bluford Branch

3050 Prospect Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64128

  • ABsolutely Amazing Abs
  • Cardio Kickboxing with NickiFit
  • Full Body Chair Fitness with NickiFit
  • HIIT Training with NickiFit
  • Kids Café ( free healthy snacks for kids 18 and under)
  • Strength Training with NickiFit
  • Tech Coach Drop In at Bluford
  • Teen Tabletop Gaming and more!

Central Library

14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105

  • Storytime at Central
  • Citizenship Interview Practice
  • Graphic Novel Book Club at Central (7-15)
  • FREE Tax Preparation
  • Coffee & Conversation
  • Ukes on the Roof Monthly Meetup
  • Coffee Tastings and Pairings

Irene H. Ruiz Biblioteca de las Americas

2017 West Pennway Street,Kansas City, MO 64108

  • Lego Time

Plaza Branch

4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112

  • Baby Bounce
  • Tales for Tiny Tykes
  • Preschool Story Time
  • Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic
  • Wildcard Wednesdays
  • Book Club (topics vary)
  • Tabletop Gaming

Sugar Creek Branch

102 South Sterling Avenue, Sugar Creek, MO 64054

  • Walk with us
  • Teens After Hours
  • Low Impact Cardio Workouts
  • After Lunch Book Group
  • Preschool Story Time
  • Kid’s Craft Time

Trails West Branch

11401 East 23rd Street, Independence, MO 64052

  • Rockin’ Ramblin’ Readers
  • Tuesday Family Fun (every Tuesday)
  • KC Kids Create: Kitchen Science
  • Coffee and Coloring (adults and seniors)
  • Teen’s Group

Waldo Branch

201 East 75th Street, Kansas City, MO 64114

  • Teen Gaming Club
  • Tabletop Tuesdays
  • Stories for Ones (12-24mo)
  • Preschool Story Time (2-5)
  • Read to a Dog
  • Lego Club
  • Parents as Teachers Playgroup

Westport Branch

118 Westport Road,Kansas City, MO 64111

  • Preschool Story Time
  • Library Yoga
  • Grown Up Game Night
  • Between the Lines Book Group

Kansas City Kansas Public Library

Main Library

625 Minnesota Avenue,Kansas City, KS 66101

  • Working Wednesday
  • Baby Story Time
  • Computer Training
  • Kids A Cookin
  • Kids Cafe
  • Family Story Time
  • STEAM Story Time
  • Anime Club
  • Book Clubs

South Branch

3104 Strong Avenue,Kansas City, KS 66106

  • Quilting
  • Little Learners Story Time
  • Teen Time
  • Conversational Spanish
  • Movie Night (varies in rating)

Turner Library

831 S 55th Street,Kansas City, KS 66106

  • Anime Club
  • Friday Story Time
  • Cubs Corner Crafts

FL Schlagle Branch

4051 West Drive,Kansas City, KS 66109

  • Homeschool Adventures (weekly age varies)
  • Project Feeder Watch
  • Nature Story Time

All of these libraries host recurring clubs and activities that vary in age. They also host a wide variety of special events that take place only once! To make sure you get the full details on age ranges, times and if a reservation is needed, you can check out the full list of events on the library’s websites! So this National Library Lovers Day, head to your local library!

From iFamily to Yours,






Save $20 with Kona Ice & Bring the Fun to YOU! Fundraising Options for Your School

It’s hard to believe that we’re already a month into the second semester of school here in the metro area. Like many other across the metro, our school is looking to plan our upcoming Spring carnival in May and we’re on the hunt for fun ideas that a) don’t break the bank and b) help set us up for a great 2018-2019 school year. Our friends at Kona Ice have the solution and they’re offering you a pretty sweet deal to boot. When you book a Kona Day (details below) now through May 1st and mention iFamilyKC, you’ll save $20! Kona Days are incredible ways to fundraise at your school and, because Kona’s treats are smart snack approved, you can know you’ve made a good choice in bringing them out…

Save $20 with Kona Ice & Bring the Fun to YOU!

Fundraising Options for Your School

Save $20 When You Mention iFamilyKC

Kona Ice & School Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly!


We’ve raised over $30 million dollars for local communities and organizations since 2007. So yeah, you might say that fundraising is our thing. The best part about it truly is that it’s so easy – for you AND for us. Fundraising should be a great experience for everyone involved – it should be fun! That’s where we come in – we put the “fun” back in fundraising.

We can fundraise for just about anything – schools, sports teams, band programs, etc. We have pre-paid Kona Cards that you can sell OR you can have us out at any event and we’ll donate a portion of the sales back to your program. Basically, if you have need, we’ll try and meet it as best as possible. We’re a fundraising machine…literally.

Bring the FUN to YOUR party, event, activity, fundraiser, or school function by booking the Kona Entertainment Vehicle TODAY. You just tell them where to park! Save $20 when you mention iFamilyKC (Expires 5/1/18). Call Kona Ice at (913) 709-3370 or reach Eric by email at KCKonaIce@gmail.com.

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

Like so many of you, my family has been battling the flu lately. Whether you’re dealing with the common cold or full blown influenza, it’s important to disinfect to prevent the spread during cold flu season. Don’t forget to disinfect your tech! Expert Burton Kelso is here to help with 4 steps to make sure your devices are cleaned and ready to go. Take a look…

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

Cold and Flu season is here with a vengeance. We are in the midst of a flu epidemic and many experts predict it hasn’t reached it’s peak.   Public health experts recommend you stick the basic steps to avoid the flu such as washing your hands, getting a flu shot, and disinfecting surfaces you touch on a regular basis.  One of the most ignored surfaces we touch are our smartphones and our keyboards.  We place our smartphones on many surfaces (such as the bathroom counter) that can have many forms of bacteria and viruses. If you come in contact with people day to day, what are the chances you wash your hands every time you sit down at a keyboard? How can you protect yourself? Follow these simple steps to keep your phone and other gadgets clean during cold and flu season.

The most common way that the flu is spread is from person- to- person contact, as well as from dirty hands that come in contact with your face, eyes, nose and mouth. These areas are points of entry for the flu virus. Did you know the average person touches their face up to 16 times per hour? Even more disturbing is that if you don’t clean your smartphone, computer or laptop keyboard on a regular basis, it can contain more germs than a toilet?  Now you can see the concern. Here’s what you can do:

#1 Use cleaning products designed for technology

You don’t want to use harsh cleaning chemicals on your devices, including water. Remember these are delicate gadgets. While you can use Anti-bacterial wipes on your computer keyboard, you want to avoid using them on your smartphone. They are very abrasive and can leave scratches on your phone. My suggestion is to run to the store and get Wireless Wipes (www.wirelesswipes.com) or the Tech Armor Cleaning Kit (www.techarmor.com)  These handy wipes are guaranteed to keep your smartphone and tablet germ free.

#2 Make Your Own Cleaning Solution To Clean Your Devices

If you want save a few pennies, you can create your own mixture using You could also make your own cleaning solution using a 50-50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and distilled water. When wiping down the surface of your keyboard, smartphone or tablet, always use a microfiber cloth.  Never use paper towels or other standard cleaning clothes.

#3 Get Some Tech that Will Clean Your Tech

If you want a high tech solution for sanitizing your phone, consider the PhoneSoap Charger (www.phonesoap.com).  This device will make your smartphone and tablets germ free and charge them all at the same time. It might be a little pricey, but PhoneSoap will also clean things such as keys, credit cards and watches.

#4 Get a Cover that Will Minimize Germs on your gadgets

Use a surface cover or case for your smartphone or tablet that has antimicrobial protection.  One of the best products you can get is from BioArmor (www.bioarmortech.com). These products offer 24/7 protection from the germs your tablet and smartphone encounter.

Some more things to consider during cold and flu season:

  1. Do not share Smartphone with others.  If you do, wash your hands before handling your device or use a hand sanitizer to kill germs.
  2. Keep your smartphone out of the hands of your children. You take the risk of infecting your child and they can be can be a major factor for spreading the flu to you |
  3. Consider using your phone ‘hands-free’ or use ear buds for phone conversations.

Following these tips can help keep you and your family safe from germs during cold and flu season.

Do you have tips to disinfect your tech devices, drop me a line and let me know. Please share this information with everyone.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

From iFamily to Yours,


I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com