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Household Organizing Made Simple: Tips for Busy Moms to Stay Organized

 Are you the organizer in your home?! Household management can feel overwhelming at times but we’re here to help. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is here to offer up some great tips to keep your home organized this year in honor of National Get Organized month…

Household Organizing Made Simple

Tips for Busy Moms to Stay Organized


Let’s Get Organized! Can you believe it is already a new year? Besides all the chaos from the end of the year activities, there is one thing I love about starting a new year and that is having a fresh start! January is National Get Organized (GO!) Month and I couldn’t think of any better way to start a new year! I personally love organizing things around the house, it really makes our day-to-day life run a lot smoother. So, to help you get your January started off on the right foot, I have compiled a few of my favorite organizing tricks!


Invest in a good set of baskets to serve as a home organizer for each room! I have several of these around my house and they are full of extra sheets, blankets and towels. You never know when you will need to grab that extra blanket for company or cuddle up on the couch.  I suggest having one for each!

Name Cards

When you have a lot of kids like I do, laundry and where it goes can be complicated. My step daughter and I made these super cute name cards on Canva (ps, it’s free) and I had them printed and laminated at Office Depot. I simply placed the cards on the drawers so when they go to put up their laundry, they all know which drawer it goes in! This keeps clothes organized and in the correct place.

Sole Mate Bag

Another tip for keeping laundry organized is a “sole mate bag”. This has helped me keep up with those missing and lost socks in such a great way! When doing laundry, all the socks that are missing their “mate”, go into the bag. At the end of each dry load, all the socks that were not paired get pulled out to find their “sole mate”. My 4-year-old loves going through the bag to find pairs!

Mom/Dad Binder

I know I have talked about this before, but it truly keeps my house organized! I have checklists for bills, my daily cleaning schedule, and everything else I need to keep my life organized. Having a binder to keep all your tasks and reminders allows you to maintain organization for your house and your life! And since you’re likely the organizer in your household – you should be able to find things that work for YOU.

Throw it away

Sometimes the best way to get organized it to just throw stuff away or make a donation to your local charity. Of course, if something has sentimental value you should find a place for it. Most of the items in our home really don’t have a purpose! I mean let’s start with that infamous junk drawer. I never understood it as a kid, but once I was an adult… it made perfect sense. A drawer to store all those odds and ends you may or may not need lol. To start getting organized, start with something simple like that dreaded drawer! It is quick and not overwhelming. This will keep you in a positive mind frame when getting ready to tackle the rest of the house!

Tackle this National Get Organized month with a few of these tricks and you will definitely be able to tell a difference in your home! Let us know if you have any special tricks you use to get organized!

From iFamily to Yours,

10 Best & Easiest K12 Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

Are you considering homeschooling or have homeschoolers that need a fresh start?! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is back with her two-part series sharing her top 10 homeschool curriculum ideas for families today on the blog. Take a look…

homeschool ciriculum

Hello, Kansas City! Last year (relax, it was only a few weeks ago), I shared several different homeschooling programs that are available to your family in the first part of my two part series on homeschooling. Today, I’d like to share some of the best and easiest homeschooling curriculum options to get you started. When my family started homeschooling, there were already many k-12 homeschool programs out there but, to be honest, I feel that number has likely trippled in the short time my homeschoolers have been learning.

Starting a journey like this can be overwhelming in many different ways. You will begin to question your every move (and so will onlookers who are watching you). Knowing that you have a solid, well-rounded, and liked curriculum will take so much of the pressure and self-doubt off of your shoulders. So, let’s get the ball rollin’! Here are 10 of the best and easiest homeschool curriculums to start with!

10 Best & Easiest K12 Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

homeschool ciriculum

#1 All in One Homeschool

I debated if I would let our curriculum choice be known, but I love it so much I had to just tell you! This was our third curriculum choice and it had been perfect for us! Most of the work is online but there are options to print a lot of it out. This curriculum is free and is fitting for grades Prek- HS. I am able to keep track easily with their daily tracker and layout.

#2 ABCMouse

This is another favorite in our house! This is designed for toddlers- 3rd grade readiness. While this one is not free, it is very reasonable and  has a lot of “life learning”. Kids can take care of pets, clean rooms and even dress their avatars. ABCMouse has a learning path for each level to ensure they are learning age appropriate lessons. Students can even head to their classroom to pick their own interests!

#3 MobyMax

This was our first curriculum and since we started using it, it has undergone some major improvements! MobyMax is great for elementary middle school students. MobyMAx was designed to fill gaps in subjects and to help students learn at a faster pace. With this program, you are in charge if picking subjects, time frames and how often it should be completed. While they do track progress in subjects, you will need to keep a daily log of subjects to make sure your child is working on all the appropriate lessons.

#4 Time 4 Learning

This program is for Pre K HS. Time 4 learning is also mostly online but does offer printable lessons as well. With this program, you can change grade levels on individual subjects to fit your child’s needs. They even keep track of your child’s work for your HS portfolio.

#5 Abeka

This is a Christian based curriculum and can be done in 3 ways. Abeka offers “School in a box”, digital curriculums and video lessons. With Abeka, you really can’t customize each subject for your kids. If they are ahead or behind on a specific subject, you may need to use a different resource for supplemental materials.

#6 Sonlight

This is also a Christian based curriculum set. Sonlight is for those wanting to only use book and can be used for Prek- 12th grade. They even include college prep lessons as well. Sonlight is a little more customizable than Abeka as you can purchase individual subjects. If you are not sure which lesson to purchase, they even have a shop by level so you can ensure you are selecting age appropriate material.

#7 Starfall

Starfall was a program we used when Thai was in kindergarten. We used the free version to help with her reading and it was wonderful! Starfall also has a membership program which opens up more learning activities. Starfall is designed for Prek-2nd grade and is 100% online with the option to create printables to supplement.

#8 Alpha Omega Publications

This is a one stop shop for Christian homeschooling. They offer options for book learning, online learning and student or teacher led learning. You can select which style works best for you and your family.

#9 K12

This is a public school at home option. Even though you will be at home, K12 offers teacher led classroom lessons, projects and check ins with you! K12 is designed for students in Kindergarten – 12th grade. K12 offers private school education or public education and they provide you with most of your materials needed for learning.

#10 Create Your Own

This method may or may not work with your family. All of the planning, teaching, reading and record keeping is your responsibility. While it may take more time organizing lessons and projects, you will be able to fully customize your child’s own curriculum. This will ensure your child in interested and you know what and where their strengths and weaknesses are.

All of these homeschool curriculum ideas have been used for years by many families. Each one loves one for their own reason! When picking a curriculum, keep in mind that it’s not about the most expensive, the most elaborate or the one with the most books. The best curriculum is one your child loves to work on, keeps them interested and pushes them to do more! I hope this 2 part post has helped you get ready to start your homeschooling journey!

From iFamily to Yours,

9 Apps That Will Help You Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s time to check in on our New Year’s Resolutions list, Kansas City?! 8 days in, how’s it going?! Are you worried that you’re not going to make it? There’s an app for that! Burton, our resident tech expert here at iFamilyKC shares 9 great apps that will help you reach your resolutions this year. Take a look…

New Year's Resolutions

9 Apps That Will Help You Reach Your New Year’s Resolutions

Ready or not, the new year’s here! The beginning of a new year always presents new challenges and adventures for all of us. Many of us want to be better than we were the year before. Thanks to technology, there are hundreds of apps that are designed to make our lives easy and help us achieve our goals. To help you get off to a great 2018, here are 9 apps I recommend to help you improve your life and rock your new year’s resolutions.

#1 LastPass

One best New Year’s resolution all of us needs to make is to protect your digital information. LastPass allows you to create complex, multi-character passwords for all of your online accounts and not even have to remember them. It syncs between all of your devices so you can store your login information, credit card numbers, personal identity information, and more.

#2 Credit Karma

Credit Karma allows you to look at your credit scores for free. It gives you weekly updates and gives you access to daily credit monitoring. It will also give you tips on how you can improve your credit score and tools to help you keep track of all of your accounts.

#3 Coach.Me

Coach.me is a coach that goes everywhere with you, helping you achieve any goal, form any habit, or build any expertise. Whatever your goals for 2018 are, Coach.me will help you stay on track with some encouragement. It sets you up with a one-on-one pro for whatever area you’re interested in and they will then help you devise a plan of action and  check in with you to see how things are going and motivate you along the way.

#4 Brightnest

BrightNest helps you tackle important tasks around your house with home tips, a personal scheduler and helpful reminders. From simple cleaning tricks to interior design ideas, this app will help you with everything you need to shape up your home and simplify your life.

#5 Curiosity

This app helps you learn new stuff a few minutes a day. You can watch hand-picked videos on five fascinating topics or look at infographics to learn something new in seconds.

#6 Mint.com

Mint.com is another fan favorite when it comes to money managing apps. It helps you manage your spending, saving, budget, and earnings, and can even sync to all your accounts, from your 401(k) to IRA to savings accounts.

#7 Map My Fitness

When you first start a fitness routine, you always want to keep track of your progress. Thanks to Map My Fitness, tracking your distance is a breeze. This app keeps track of how far you’ve traveled, and how many calories you’ve burned during your routine. You can also connect your smart shoes and fitness bands which allows you to keep track of your workout routine in one place.

#8 Yummly

This app has a search feature that looks through food blogs to find healthy food choices.  You can create shopping lists for each recipe and access or organize them on any device. Yummly will also find recipes that fit your nutritional goals and help you avoid you are allergic to.

#9 Libby

If you’re looking to read more books this year, Libby will give you access to hundreds of ebooks and audio books that are in your local library. Now there’s no excuse not to keep up with your favorite books.

What apps do you turn to to help you achieve your new years resolution?  Drop me a line and let me know. Thank you for reading. Please share this information with everyone.

From iFamily to Yours,


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

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, InstagramLinkedIn , 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 


Winter Activities for Kids: 10 Fun Things to do at Home

It’s hard to believe that Christmas break is already upon us here in the metro area. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been wondering what kinds of winter activities to do with the kids while they’re out of school this season. You’re in LUCK. Ruth, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, has put together ten great ideas for fun things to do at home over break. Take a look…

winter break fun

Winter Activities for Kids: 10 Fun Things to do at Home

Winter break activities make for fun times to enjoy family over the holidays between parties and get-togethers. After a few days your child may start to get stir crazy or maybe you don’t want them spending all their time playing video games or decorating your floor with playdoh crumbs. I’ve put together your winter bucket list of fun things that you can do over break.

Winter Activities for Kids

#1 Make Paper Snowflakes

Since winter is here but the snow has yet to make an appearance, you can decorate your place with paper snowflakes. Your kids will love creating crafts that range from simple homemade snowflakes to more labor intensive crafty snowflakes.

Winter Activities for Kids

#2 Blow Frozen Bubbles

If you want to add a little science into your break, try out this fun activity and make frozen bubbles on a really cold day. Try other fun science activities at home, too!

Winter Activities for Kids

#3 Have an In-Home Drive-In Movie

If you save some of those larger boxes from holiday gifts, then your kids can make their own cardboard box cars. After they are done, then you can park them in front of a movie and sell concessions with monopoly money. Use a tutorial for making a car to take the guess work out.

Winter Activities for Kids

#4 Make Some Healthy Winter Snack Crafts

If you want to make some edible crafts, try some healthy and fun options that can be done at home.

Winter Activities for Kids

#5 Indoor Obstacle Course

If your kids are getting stir crazy here is a fun way to burn off some energy. You can create an indoor obstacle course with everyday items.

Winter Activities for Kids

#6 Winter Sensory Play Activities

You can try your hand at making some winter sensory play activities. Kids of all ages love to play and get a little messy. Sensory play is a great learning opportunity.

Winter Activities for Kids

#7 Play Outside

Outdoor play in winter is important for your child and there are so many activities that they can try. So bundle up and have a little adventure!

Winter Activities for Kids

#8 Be Your Own Weather Reporter

The weather changes so much this time of year. It is a great time for kids to learn about the weather. They can make their own back yard weather station and report on the weather each day!

Winter Activities for Kids

#9 Do Some Exploring & Make Winter Murals

This is a great time to head outside and explore. You can look for any objects that they can collect and turn them into a craft project. This activity is for winter murals using real outdoor items. It’s so fun, that they can do it more than once and each time the outcome will be different!

Winter Activities for Kids

#10 Do a Snow Dance

If you are reaching the end of break and your kids are looking for an extra day or two off or maybe a bit of snow is on its way, then you can do a snow dance. There are a few fun rituals that you can do in hopes to bring on a snow day!

Winter break has so many opportunities for fun. I hope that you find some enjoyment in these family fun activities!

From iFamily to Yours,


Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Winter Break is nearly here and our iFamily Squad has got some fun things planned!  Take a look at this great holiday fun guide from Erin!…

winter break

Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Before we know it, the kids will be home from school for 10+ days!  If you’re like me, you are already trying to figure out what to do during winter break and planning fun stuff to do when bored at home!  Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do at home to beat the winter blues!  What’s on your winter bucket list?  Be sure to let us know in the comments what winter break activities your family has planned!

#1 Pajama & Movie Party

Put on your coziest pair of pjs, pop some popcorn, and watch family Christmas movies! We’ve got your holiday movie guide, broken down by age group, ready to go for you so be sure to check that out as you plan to watch your favorite family Christmas movies this season.

#2 Bake cookies!

Before Christmas, I love to get my kids together and bake cut out sugar cookies and decorate them!  They never turn out “magazine perfect” but my kids LOVE doing it and they are perfect in my eyes!  Here’s the recipe I use to our Christmas cut out cookies:

  • 1cup butter softened
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1large egg
  • 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons orange juice
  • 1tablespoon vanilla
  • 1teaspoon baking powder

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar, and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in each plastic food wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

#3 Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

I hear we are supposed to get around 2 feet of total snow in KC this year! If the forecast rings true, it sounds like we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out and play in the snow! Sledding, snowboarding, snowball fights, and snowman building are all things I’m going to add to our winter to do list!  Snow ice cream, anyone?  Check out this simple recipe for snow ice cream:

10-12 cups of snow

1 tsp of vanilla extract

10 oz of condensed milk

Mix together and enjoy!

#4 Host a Classic Board Game Night

Invite some friends over and bring out the classic family board games and compete against each other! Our Squad loves to host game nights at home and we’ve got your guide for fun games the whole family can enjoy. Let us know what your favorites are!

#5 Start a Book Series

Start a new book series to read aloud with your kids! Choose a series above their reading level to challenge them a bit!

#6 Make Your Own Fun

Make slime/goop/floam! There are so many recipes out there so the possibilities are endless!  Here’s a recipe we made recently called “Frozen Silly Putty”

1 bottle of Clear School Glue (147ml)

The same amount of water (147 ml)

1/2 teaspoon of Borax

1/2 cup hot water

A few sprinkles of silver & blue glitter

A few drops of blue food coloring

#7 Make Ornaments 

Homemade ornaments are such a wonderful gift idea for parents and grandparents. We made some super cute trees out of salt dough with food coloring and dipped their fingers in shiny paint to resemble lights on the tree!  You could also do handprint salt dough ornaments.

#8 Make a Winter “I Spy”

Create your own winter themed “I Spy” sheet with clip art images that the kids can find inside or outside the house!  See who can complete their list the fastest!

#9 Declutter the House

Make room for new toys and clothes and clean out closets/rooms.  Donate unused toys and clothes to charity.

#10 Get a Head Start on 2018

Work on your “Summer Family Bucket list” and come up with a list of ideas to do when school is out for the summer!


From iFamily to Yours,


10 Ways to Balance Life, Work, and Kids’ Activities… Or Atleast How To Fake It

Having a busy schedule is part of life when you’re a mom.  Finding ways to balance life, work, and kids activities will help you keep the chaos to a minimum!  Connie shares a few tips with us on how she balances her crazy busy, wonderful life!

balance life

10 Ways to Balance Life, Work, and Kids’ Activities

…Or At Least How to Fake It

Life is busy.  Crazy busy.  I thought maybe life would slow down once I had kids (nope!). Then I thought it might slow down a little bit once the kids were in school (nope, again!).  The truth of the matter is, as far as my own crazy life, a lot of it is my own fault.  I want my kids to be active and involved in sports and activities if they want to be.  I want to play volleyball.  If my husband wants to bowl, I want my husband to bowl.  I want to be busy.  I want to enjoy life—all of it—time with friends, and family and activities.  Balancing it all—now that’s a challenge.

Currently, I work 5 different part time jobs.  Some are as little as 4-5 hours a week, some are every other week jobs, but all of them are jobs that I enjoy doing.  I do all of these during the day while my children are in school.  I play volleyball one night a week and coach my daughter’s t-ball team as well.

Currently, my son is playing both baseball and soccer.  This means he usually has two games per week of each sport and at least two practices.  Sometimes we miss practice for a game, but we make as much as we can. My daughter is playing t-ball and taking dance and tumbling classes.  Again, this means one night a week at the dance studio and usually two games a week. My husband works full time and bowls one night a week. Most weeks, we have at least one activity per evening, many times, two.  On especially rough weeks, we have three in one night and have to miss something.

So how do I keep it all together?!

Create a visual

In order to keep my life straight, I sit down every Sunday and write out all of the things I have to do that week, starting with Monday.  I make a daily list, and then try to check items off as I get them done every day.  Having this visual helps me keep side tasks in mind as well.  For example, if Monday says Bailey—dance 530-615, Tumbling 615-645 and Mason—Baseball 6pm—this will remind me that I need to find someone to take Bailey to dance class so that we don’t miss Mason’s game and that I need to make sure Mason’s baseball uniform is washed and ready to go.

Get Some Help (When You Need It)

I often enlist the help of my mom if there are more activities going on than I can handle.  She will take my son to practice while I coach a t-ball game or take him to a baseball game while my husband bowls and I coach.  Friends will take my daughter to dance with them so that I can go watch my son’s baseball game.

Have a Plan for the Day 

Even if you don’t always stick to it.  I try to at least know what I have coming up that day and make a mental plan for how I am going to get everything done.  We usually have at least an hour of down time between picking the kids up from school and getting them to their activities.  I use this time to go over any school work they might have, talk about how their day went, get them a snack and just spend some time with them.  We use the time to decompress and just hang out.

Use Extra Time to Your Advantage

Yes, there are days where using time to my advantage means sitting down for 30 minutes and just taking a breather.  But that can also mean using a free moment to switch laundry or read a book to your kids or helping my son with his spelling list while my daughter is in dance class and we’re in the lobby watching.

Take Time for Yourself 

For me this means getting up before my family at 5am and hitting the gym.  I have to have time for myself in order to be a happy and sane mother and wife.  It took a long time for me to adjust to getting up before the sun, but now that I am used to it, I miss it when I sleep in.  I use the gym as my time to focus on me and my mental and physical health.

This also means playing volleyball one night a week.  Volleyball has been my favorite sport since birth I feel like and I love that I can still play it as an adult.  For you, me time might mean getting up early and reading a book and having a cup of coffee before the tiny humans need you to start getting them ready.  It might mean a massage or a manicure or a night out with your friends.  Whatever it means for you, make it a priority.  Schedule it.


I have to keep my husband updated on all of our activities.  We share a calendar so we know what is going on.  We are a team, we help each other out in whatever ways we can.  I don’t add anything to the calendar without making sure there isn’t a conflict.

Know When It’s Too Much 

There are times when I am overwhelmed.  When I feel like I can’t keep it all going or get it all done.  There are times when I am stretched too thin.  Those are the times when I reach out to friends for help or I try to slow things down a bit.  I try to work a little less at some of my more flexible jobs, or I put in some late night time on some baking I’ve committed to and sleep in the next morning instead of hitting the gym.

Plan Ahead 

When I know I have big commitments coming, whether it be an event I am helping host, or a baking gig that requires a lot of time, or a week that I know will be crazy at work, I try to plan ahead and get as much done as I can ahead of time.  I buy the ingredients for the cupcakes the week before I have to bake, I make some of the props/decorations for the Halloween party in September so that I know they are done and I am not rushing through last minute.

Try to Enjoy It 

Yes, being busy means being tired and little to no downtime and stress.  But it usually also means your kids are playing sports they enjoy and getting exercise and making friends, and you are getting to watch them do that.  It means that you have a job that you enjoy, maybe multiple jobs that you enjoy and that are helping provide for your family.  That you are taking care of yourself so that you are able to take care of your family.  It means you are living life.  Enjoy it!

Embrace the Crazy 

While I feel like I have a decent hold on things for the most part, there are days and sometimes weeks where I am just along for the ride.  Know that no one is perfect, no one has it all together, and that everyone messes up sometimes.  Learn to find the funny in the fails and move on.  You’re human, and you’re raising tiny humans who are soaking up everything you do.  Let them see that while you are their superhero parent, you are also a person who gets overwhelmed or who forgets a water bottle for soccer, or who feeds their kids chicken nuggets at 830 because they just now had time for dinner.  They’ll love you for it.

From iFamily to Yours,

4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

If there’s one thing that we, as moms, need more of (and just can’t get enough of), it’s balance. Between managing your household, working around your children’s school routines, getting to and from extra curricular activities, and everything else that life seems to throw your way, balance can become overwhelming (and sometimes feel too time consuming).  Bridgette, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has 4 easy ways to help balance your crazy busy schedule!


4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

I remember, back when I was in school, how exhausted I felt after sporting games, work, and pageants (sorry mom!). But now that I am a mom and a wife, I can fully see just how important plans, balance, and organization really are to a family. So, if you, like pretty much the rest of us moms out there need to incorporate a little or a lot more balance into your life, try incorporating these four small ideas.

#1 Get a Mommy (or Daddy) Binder

I know this may sound crazy but my life is basically written out into multiple organizing items. But my binder is my “go-to” strategy for keeping everything together. Inside, you will find everything from mail that needs to be sent, monthly bill paying spreadsheet, grocery list, to do list and way more. Seeing everything written out on a calendar or a check list makes me feel more organized and able to keep school tracking and home life more doable.

#2 Get a Family Command Center

Lately I have been getting hip to the idea of a family command center. Since I don’t always need my binder just a quick reminder, I can take a glance at my command center to make sure I am on schedule for the day and EVERYONE can see what is ahead.

#3 Get a Planner, Be a Planner

Similar to my binder but more for “mom stuff”. If I plan a girl’s night or have a doctor’s appointment it goes into my planner. I know it may seem a little extra to have a planner as well, but my binder is so big and bulky, It would never be ideal to carry it around with me every single day. A planner is a lot smaller to carry around but big enough to write things down.

#4 Use Your Cell Phone

Last, I have my cell phone. Nothing is worse than writing everything down and forgetting an appointment because you have been hustling and bustling all day. Adding events and dates in my phone allows me to set a timer so I can ensure that I am on time.

Now, you may be thinking this is a nice idea to get organized but how can I balance everything. Well, on top of being organized with dates and times, you will be able to see what you are doing a lot of and what you need to do more of. Are you doing too many extra-curricular activities after school? You can see what days you can rearrange or let go of to allow more family time or time with your spouse. Working too much outside of the house? This will also help you add in those much-needed vacations and breaks from the stress. Having a balanced life makes not only you, but your whole family, happier! The saying is true, happy wife, happy life.

I hope you find these ideas helpful and are able to incorporate them into your life!

From iFamily to Yours,



Pack A Smile With These Creative School Lunch Ideas!

Are you feeling stuck in a PB & J rut already this school year? It can be tough finding new and yummy ideas to send with your kiddos to school!  Here are some creative school lunch ideas from Liz, with the iFamily Mom and Dad Squad!  Take a look…

creative school lunches


Make life easy on you by grocery shopping for these simple and cost effective foods.  You will have more lunch ideas that will offer your kiddos healthy, tasty and fun meals! Just choose one item from each category, make additions as desired and change it up daily. Remember, high protein foods will help your kids stay full longer. Here are just a few ideas:

Step 1


  • Grilled Chicken
  • Pasta Salad
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Sandwich
  • Quesadilla
  • Hummus and Pita Bread
  • Tuna Salad
  • Tortilla Roll-Ups
  • Pizza Muffin

Step 2


  • Apple Slices
  • Avocado
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Pear Slices
  • Grapes
  • Celery Sticks
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Bananas

Step 3


  • String Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Rice Cake
  • Crackers
  • Goldfish
  • Pretzels
  • Trail Mix
  • Applesauce

Step 4


  • Fruit Snack
  • Cookie
  • Brownie

Give your kiddos some extra smiles at lunch by cutting their food into shapes! If you are thinking this takes too much time, it will literally take you 5 seconds and most likely increase the odds of your kid actually eating their sandwich. Use cookie cutters to also jazz up fruit or cheese! If your kid isn’t into sandwiches, try skewers!  Use cupcake liners to create cute little compartments within food containers.

Take an extra minute to add a note or a joke to their lunch. This will let them know you are thinking about them and will definitely brighten their day.  If you are feeling uncreative, hop on Pinterest and find free printable jokes. Print off a bunch and have them ready to throw in.  What do you call a fake noodle? AN IMPASTA …. Come on you know you are laughing. What’s the difference between a fish and a guitar? YOU CAN’T TUNA FISH. Ok, I’ll stop, but you get the picture.

A few tips to keep you moms sane is to try freezing individual portions of rice or pasta and reheat before you pack lunch. Freeze drinks the night before and they will double as ice packs the next morning. Print out a list of lunch ideas and keep it on the fridge to stay inspired and organized.

Remember, sometimes the most important thing is packing the lunch your kids will actually eat, rather than the one you want them to eat. And if you have to do PB & J every day, that’s totally ok. They will not go hungry. Happy packing!

From iFamily to Yours,

Tips to Surviving the First Week Back At School

Summer has come and gone and Back to School time is here once again!  Getting back into the routine of begining a school day can be a little chaotic that first few weeks… Liz, from the iFamily Mom Squad, is here with some tips on Surviving the First Week Back to School!

Back To School


The lazy days of summer are fading away and the mornings will now be filled with school runs, finding lost shoes and attempting to get out the door on time.  Thankfully, it does not have to be as stressful as it could be.

Here are a few tips on surviving the first week back at school!

Make Ahead Dinners

One of my favorite things to do to add ease to our evening is freeze dinners ahead of time! Take time to make your families favorite meals or make extra portions in the days leading up to school. Cooking dinner will be one thing you can check off of your to do list!

Plan Lunches

Plan your child’s lunches for the week ahead and stock the fridge accordingly, eliminating any unnecessary shopping trips. Even better, have your kiddos help you with your list (with guidelines, of course). If buying lunch is an option, give them a chance to choose a “special day” to buy lunch.

Plan your outfits the night before

…even for you mom! It seems so easy, but I think we forget how this little step can make the morning routine a breeze.

Give your kiddos a to-do list in the morning!

Make a chart that will make it fun getting all tasks their completed. Getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast and gathering up their jacket, lunch and book bag!

Homework Space

Make a dedicated homework space so your child knows exactly where they should do their school work each day. This should be an area separate from the TV or any other distractions. Another idea is to set them up in the kitchen next to you while you are reheating your freezer dinner or making lunches for school tomorrow, because you are on top of it mom!

Start the first days of school with a positive outlook!

You could make your kiddo their favorite breakfast while talking with them about their first days of school. Take advantage of this time and ask them about what they are looking forward to about their day. Also, make sure to check in at the end of the day and ask specific questions about school. This also helps out in case you need to make any changes in their routines.

Whether your kiddo is starting a whole new school or just jumping up a grade we need to remind our kids that everything is going to be ok and we have their backs.  Give them your time, attention and extra hugs this week.  I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration for starting school on the right foot.   Have a great first week back to school!

From iFamily to Yours,


Planning Fun Family Outings With Your Kids In 7 Easy Steps

Is planning a fun family outing a chore in your household?  Today Liz, from the iFamily Mom Squad, shares some tips on how you can eliminate the chaos and put the FUN back into planning those FUN family outings!  Take a look…

Family Outings

Planning An Outing With Your Kids In 7 Easy Steps:


The splash pads of Kansas City are some of the easiest and fun places to take your kiddos this summer! Here are 7 tips I have found that help make this summer outing a success.

1- Avoid morning chaos by packing the night before. That seems so easy but that one extra step saves much time and frustration in the morning when everything is ready to go out the door.

2- Beat the heat! A great time To head out is around 9 am before the mid- summer sun hits its peak. Also, it’s not as crowded giving you the option to choose your bench or table in the shade. The same goes for the later in the afternoon when the sun starts to fade.

3- Timing is everything! Allow enough time to play & splash before you head home for lunch and the littles need their naps.

4- The best news, splash pads are free! Just in case things don’t go as planned you will not feel guilty spending any money.

5- Give a good pep talk. I have found with my toddler, getting her to jump up out of bed in the morning is easy when I tell her we are headed to the splash pad! She is so much more cooperative In the process of heading out the door.  She also enjoys knowing what’s going on ahead of time. I let her know where we are going, how long we will stay, what I’m bringing for snacks and what else she can expect from the morning there. In turn I let her know what I expect from her.

6- What to pack.  Snacks and more snacks. I swear my daughter is only hungry when she sees other little people around her eating.  In our bag is her swimsuit, water shoes, swim diapers, hat, towel, sunscreen, water, snacks or lunch in a small cooler & an extra change of clothes for the ride home. If you don’t want to carry an exhausted child to the car after the fun than make sure you bring the stroller.

7- What does mom wear? Be comfy, it’s hot out! You can find me in a tank, shorts and flip flops and often taking my turn to cool off in the water.  If you want to wear a suit and jump in with your kiddos, go for it mama!

There are a few great splash pads around the Kansas City area! Find one that’s convenient for your family, cool off and have fun!

From iFamily to Yours,