iFamilyKC Search

Search our Blog Posts:

Search our Calendar:

Search our Directory:

Select a Directory Category:

The little book with BIG resources!

What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

It’s hard to believe that the end of July is sneaking up (quickly, like a tiger) upon us and it’s time to seriously start thinking about back to school shopping for clothes, shoes, supplies, and everything else that the kids need to get through another year. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad is here to help with some fantastic tips to make your shopping experience a little bit easier this year. Take a look…

 What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

Yes, we are really talking about back to school shopping! Even though we started in the beginning of July (we home school), seeing all these sales really makes the “Back to School” season feel real! All those awesome backpacks, locker decor, and crayons really seem to say summer is over.

So this year as you get ready to pick up all your school essentials, Check out these local places for insane deals and all the things you and your kids will love!

Office Depot

Office Depot has one of the best deals. And by deals, I mean .01 deals! During certain times, they will offer items for only .01! You just have to keep track of the ad. But most of their school supplies is under $5 and backpacks are only $10. You can pick up the paper ad or even see you current stores deals by checking them out online.

Staples

Staples is another great place for cheap Items. Currently, Staples has all of their writing and coloring supplies for .97. They even have Crayola (my family’s fave) Marked down. Compared to 2.50- 4.00, that’s a huge score!

Target

Target was one of my first stops last year! They had almost everything you need for on .50! Notebooks, glue, index cards… you name it! We were able to stock up well into this year with the awesome deals they had. Not to mention, they have a wide variety of colors and package sizes as well.

Dollar Tree

Over the past few years, Dollar Tree has really stepped up their merchandise! Before, I would be hesitant to buy certain things from there because of the quality and also the style as well. But the other day when I was perusing around my local Dollar Tree, I found some of the trendiest notebooks, folders and journals! Perfect for kids of all ages along with more traditional composition notebooks.  Not to mention they have an outstanding teacher corner as well! Plus, you can never really break the bank there because everything is a dollar!

Walmart

Walmart tends to be a lot of people’s go- to store. When I was there last week, they had everything for every grade. Especially some really cool printed notebooks for your trendy teen. I even bought several to have for myself! I mean rose gold foil prints?!?! I’m sold! Not to mention they have a lot of 1.00 or less items as well. Once major steal was a Scotchtape pack of 2 for only $1. That is a pretty good bargain! Plus tons of glue sticks for .25-.50 and folders for only .97!

So, as you get ready to venture out, into the crazy world of back to school shopping, keep these places and deals in mind!  Happy shopping!

Pro-Tip: Check several ads throughout the metro area. Not all cities and counties have the same deals. Last year, I found small price differences that not only saved me money, but saved me time from driving all around!

From iFamily to Yours,

b

emailsignupforblog3


Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

We all have one, the mom bag…the thing we hurriedly pack on our way out the door for the day.  Have you ever stopped to think about what you need to be packing just for an outing with your kids?! Gabrielle, from our Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts on what you need to pack in your mom bag! Take a look…

mom bAG

Let’s Talk About Your Mom Bag – What Should You Have In It?

There are a lot of changes that come with motherhood.  Physical and emotional changes are to be expected, but there was one change that caught me completely off guard.  The more children I had, the bigger my purse got.    I started off with a convertible planner that had an attachable purse strap.  I transitioned to a bag that was a large enough to carry my planner and a make-up pouch.  Not long ago, I was shopping in a department store and found what I thought was the perfect bag.  Then I looked at the price.  I could not figure out why the not-a-name-brand bag was so expensive.  Then I looked up at the overhead sign.  Apparently, I had wandered into the luggage section in search on my perfect purse.  So basically, I’m wandering the streets with a carry-on bag hanging from my shoulder.

With a bag that size, the surprises are unending.  It is not unusual for me to reach down in my purse and find anything from an Arizona Iced Tea to Zoo passes from two weeks ago.    It is also not unusual for me to turn my purse upside down only to find that the one thing I’m looking for is not in there.  My purse manages to be both a vacuum and a black hole.

I made a conscious effort to pare down the number of items in my purse.  I did a web-search for “What should I have in my purse?” What I found is that some of you are magicians and are fitting twice the amount of items I have in my bag into your cute little clutches.  I also found at that I’m missing a few essentials, and I’m carrying some things I might not ever need.  Anyway, after a couple of searches, I narrowed it down to a few essentials.

Some form of Picture ID

This one is self-explanatory.  The day you leave it at home is the day you’ll be pulled over for speeding or  the day your favorite cashier asks for your ID when you try to buy that bottle at home.

Money

Paper or plastic?  I strongly suggest both, and a little pocket change wouldn’t hurt either.  That way when the mom in front of you is fishing around for two pennies to cover her groceries, you can swoop in and be the superhero.

Cellphone

This item is to remain in your purse until you have reached your destination. Absolutely no texting and driving!  It can also be used to make a call to explain that you’re running 10 minutes late if necessary.  (It’s almost always necessary at my house.)

Breath Mints

Another no-brainer.  They can be actual life-savers (See what I did there?) Ranch dressing breath is not attractive.

A Mirror & Lip Gloss

You can do wonders with fresh breath, a sparkling smile.  (Just use the mirror to make sure you got the remaining spinach out of your teeth.

Hand Sanitizer

Because you’re a mom, and public restrooms are just gross.

Facial Tissue

Because you’re a mom and kids are just gross.

Personal Care Items/Toiletries

This category is broad on purpose.  Tailor it to fit your needs.  Just be aware, accidents and emergencies do happen.  Be prepared.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 

 

emailsignupforblog3


Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City!

We are so excited to share today’s Work It Wednesdays post with you because, like many of you, we each struggle with finding the motivation to get to the gym (or out for a neighborhood walk, or downstairs to hop on the treadmill) on a regular basis. Connie, from our Mom Squad team, is sharing the ugly truth about fitness and heading to the gym with you this morning on the blog because, guess what?! You’re not alone. Take a look…

 

work it wednesdays

Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

I go on and on about how much I love working out, how great I feel after I get a good sweat on, and how centered and calm I feel when I’m ready to face the day.  But let’s be real.  The gym, my fitness journey, working out, all of it is not always sunshine and rainbows.  Some days are just plain hard.  There are times when I feel defeated.  Some mornings it’s the last thing I want to do.  Now, while these days are few and far between for me now, they are definitely still there and should be addressed and talked about.

Sometimes I’m tired.

I get up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning to get a workout in before my family wakes up and needs me to Mommy.  And most mornings I wake up before the alarm even goes off.  I am ready to get my day started and get my sweat on. And then there are those mornings every 3 weeks or so when I audibly groan when my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze three times and it’s not enough because I am tired and don’t want to leave the warm comfort of my bed and my pillow.  My head feels cloudy and I don’t want to get up.

Sometimes my body is tired.

I work out twice a day 5 days a week.  Some days I work out three times in a day between my own workouts and teaching classes.  And then I teach on a 6th day during the week.  Which leaves Sunday as my rest day.  And I love it. But I’m not 20 anymore.  My 35 year old body desperately wants to be 20 again, but it’s just not.  So sometimes my body is done.

Sometimes I just want to be lazy.

I feel fine physically, I got enough sleep the night before, but I just want to be lazy.  Lay in bed all morning (and by all morning I mean until 7 or so when my kids get up) and then lounge around with them on the couch all day watching cartoons.  I want to be a human slug.

Sometimes, I just need a change.

I get annoyed with someone or something at the gym and I just need a change.  I need to not see that person or do that thing that is annoying me for just a bit.  Just long enough to get over the irritation.

Sometimes the weather makes me want to curl up in a ball and stay under the blankets all day.  I hate cold, so winter is especially hard for me, but I am also not a huge fan of rain.  Dreary days seem to dampen my energy and often times my mood, which can make it hard to get motivated to get done what I need to do.

The Solution

What’s the solution (and the point of this post), you ask?  Well, the answer varies.  Sometimes I give in to whatever excuse I have that day.  If I am exhausted and need sleep, I take the day and I sleep in.  I can always hit up the gym later in the day when I am feeling more rested.

If my body is really tired and telling me it needs a break, I listen then too.  I can’t afford to injure myself, not to mention, I am a horrible patient and just basically loathe being sidelined.  If it is just a lazy day, I try to make myself go anyway.  Once I get there I always feel better and shake off the urge to be a slug.  Or I can go home and slug it up after I’ve burned some calories at the gym.  When I need a change, I find a new workout or try some new machines, or a new class.

Luckily I have a membership to multiple gyms just because I am on the staff, so I can move around if I need to.  And the weather issue, that one is tough.  We live in the Midwest, so winter and rain are inevitable.  I try to prepare myself with fun winter workout gear, and remote start on my car for those cold winter mornings.  And I remind myself that the rain doesn’t have to drain me.  In fact, a couple of friends and I finished our outside run the other morning in the rain.  It was fun.

Sometimes I just have to get out of my own head.

Working out is something I love and yet I still sometimes struggle to stay motivated.  What I will not allow to happen again is my lack of motivation for a day or two to turn into a week or two and then into quitting.  I take my rest days, I listen to my body, but I don’t quit.

I’ve quit too many times before and starting all over is the hardest part.  I can’t go there again, so I keep going.  And I remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect and get every workout in to be fit.  I can give myself a little grace and a little space to get my head right on the days it doesn’t feel like what I want to do.  I don’t ever want to let a day of feeling defeated completely throw me off track.  So in your own routines, when you find yourself feeling like giving up, or being tired or sore or just plain over it, embrace that feeling, take that day, make whatever change you need to and then get back at it.  You’ll be glad you did.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


6 Simple Ways To Make Life Easier

As moms, we are always looking for ways to make life easier and more simplified. As our little ones continue to grow (and grow, and grow!), life doesn’t seem to slow down no matter how much we wish it would. If you’re like me, and you’ve been trying to find ways to get more organized, you’re in luck. Today, on the blog, iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Sarah shares some simple ways to make life easier and you happier along the way! Take a look…

make life easier

6 Simple Ways to Make Life Easier – And You Happier!

I am constantly looking for ways to make my families’ life run smoother. And from my recent round of Facebook stalking, I can see that everyone else could benefit from this as well. And what a great time to start getting in these habits—summer! So when school starts up again you are ready to go!

I have tried all the Pinterest posts about posting a calendar for the family, running a chore chart, and organizing to your schedule but something always happens—one of the kids spills something on her dress which sends us all into a code 10 freak out mode or the dog chews up my razor and I can’t seem to find the other two blades which means a code 10 call to the vet. Whatever the issue our best laid plans don’t always go on schedule, so I am sharing with you just a few tips and tricks that I have found helpful. Will these all work for you? No. Will you be able to use all of them? Probably not. But hopefully adding a few things will create just a few more minutes and feel free to use those minutes for you. Cleaning the dog slobber off your black dress pants or something!

1. Sunday-Funday

Or as I like to call it Sunday-Plan Day, this usually means an hour or so planning out the week. My family did well at this for a little while, then we stopped, then we went back to a few things. Basically when it all works we can organize several things in this hour: we plan the weekly meals, pickup schedules, clothes, and after work/school activities. It basically gets my husband and I on the same page so we aren’t making the 4:45 in the afternoon call as to whether or not you can pick up the girls.

2. Planning Weekly Meals

If you buy for the week you know that everything is defrosted and in the fridge instead of the moment of panic when you realize you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer! It can also save a lot of money too; when you realize said chicken is not defrosted then you won’t spend additional money going through the drive thru on the way home! Everyone who knows me knows that I am huge proponent of the online grocery and pickup or delivery service. I can still find the best price and I trust the associates at my store to pick out the freshest items on my list. It makes me so happy that I don’t have to spend my weekend at ten grocery stores or drag the kids to the store only to strategically plan not to go near the candy or toy aisle. And you purchase right from your meal list no more and no less!

3. Planning Clothes For the Week

I personally can’t do this. I am what you can call an emotional dresser. I wake up and then decide what I want to wear; I get anxiety if I plan what to wear and then it doesn’t look right or it is just one of those days that black looks better! But for my girls I can still do this! I have learned to let them help with this planning, for anyone that asks it’s such a good learning tool to help them learn organization, days of the week, weather—but really? I can’t do the code 10 freak out when one is wearing a dress and the other wants to wear one too but that is not in their Monday box. Invest in 5 small plastic shoe boxes and a label maker and get to planning—make sure to include underwear and socks too!

4. Money Is The Root Of All

I am not the expert in financial planning. My husband and I have an “awkward financial discussion” about every month. So I refuse to give you tips on what works or what you can do. I will say that right along with that Sunday Plan Day is a Money Date. Communication and discussion about upcoming debits to the finances can save on many “AFDs” and this will help work into your budget as well. On our money date we look at the month, look at the budget and then always communicate in a non-judgmental and supportive way. We also take a look at last month and see where we need to improve. We can also look at any extra monies we may have coming in or going out.

I also may have an addiction to online shopping. Confession—there have been some months that packages have shown up on our door and I couldn’t tell you what they were! First of all take all those apps off your phone and disconnect the one touch buy on Amazon! When you have something that you just aren’t sure would fit into the budget this month and could be considered frivolous go ahead and add it to your cart but wait 48 hours before you click “buy”. If in that time you still feel like you need this then buy; most of the time though that 48 hours puts some perspective on if you really need the patriotic pillow covers!

5. Time Is Never On Our Side!

I am not one for clocks; I have never really been a fan of having them and especially not in the bathroom. I find myself checking everything and then hurrying and causing more chaos than it is worth. However, when my girls get up in the morning and are waiting for me to get ready I turn on a show for them, don’t judge me! Have you ever put mascara on while one is going in and out of your legs and keeps turning on the water in the bathtub to give the dog a drink? That morning I only put mascara on one eye—everyone at work thought I had pink eye! In any case I always put on a 30 minute show which means that I can time myself without having the use of a clock. Another tip along this same vein is creating a playlist for the time that you want to spend getting ready; once that playlist is running down you should be dancing out the door!

6. Outsource

Such a bad word in this day and age, maybe delegation sits a little easier.  It is okay to ask for help. A mantra that I am trying to learn myself but relying on your village to help with little things around the house or picking up something you forgot on your online grocery list is perfectly okay. Summer is the worst for things like this; even though it is summer break we are almost busier on weekends and in the evenings than we ever were when school was in session. My girls’ birthdays are both in the summer and from previous blog posts I am sure that you know I don’t go small when it comes to birthdays so planning and preparing for these starts in May. Right now I have my mom tying together silverware packets! Something that isn’t much but would have taken more time than needed to when I could be focusing on other things.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Beat The Summer Slide: A How To Guide

Avoiding the summer slide can be difficult, especially when your children are eager to get out and enjoy pool time, run around with friends, and get away for that much needed family vacation. Make sure that your child doesn’t fall behind before the new school year starts with these six simple (and fun) ideas from Erin. Take a look…

beat the summer slide with six steps

 Beat The Summer Slide: A How To Guide

School is out for the summer!  My kids and I are embracing summertime full force with picnics, parks, pool time, and nature walks. We are loving summer and I know the “official start” to summer may be up for debate but it has definitely started in our house!  I definitely plan on sharing some super fun summer activities and boredom busters later on this season! However, I thought it was important to share with you some tips on beating the summer slide, where knowledge and skills are lost over the course of summer.  I read a statistic recently that said when kids go back to school in the fall that teachers will spend around six weeks re-teaching old material to make up for lost time.  My kids’ education is so important to me, so hearing that stat made me think about some ways to beat that summer slide and keep the kids learning and on track for the next school year.  Take a look at some ideas here and feel free to add your own ideas below in the comments.

#1 Read

Read 20 minutes a day. Read aloud. Have your child read to you. Listen to audio books. Lead by example and encourage your kids to read by enjoying a book yourself. Let your child pick out a book based on their own interests.  Read outside on sunny days or build a fort on rainy days and read inside the fort. Make it fun and engaging!

#2 Visit The Local Library

The MCPL branches have a fantastic summer learning program going on now until July 31st for ages birth to 19 years!  Kids can earn points by reading, doing small various activities at home and attending programs throughout the summer. Book prizes are awarded with each completed level and drawings are taking place throughout the summer for tickets to the Royals, Legoland, Powell Gardens, Coco Key, and much much more! Check it out and sign up online.

#3 Sharpen Math Skills

There are some awesome math apps out there like Reflex, which uses fun games to practice math skills.  You can also create good ole fashioned flash cards for addition and subtraction, multiplication and division facts.  Workbooks and activity books can be fun for road trips or for the daily commute. I’ve found some great flashcards and workbooks at Dollar Tree and Five Below.

#4 Take Field Trips

KC has SO many things to do for kids! Make it fun and educational by visiting fun places: Union Station and Science City, Money Museum, SEALIFE, KC Zoo, Harry S. Truman museum, Burr Oak Woods, National WWI Museum and the list goes on and on.

Pro Tip: Check out FieldTripGuideKC.com for inspiration on enriching activities for your kids! 

#5 Learn Around The House

Use everyday tasks you can encourage your kids to learn different things.  Take the kids grocery store and give them a chance to practice math skills, cook together, do fun science experiments with everyday household items, measure things inside and outside the house, chart the weather highs and lows and different weather patterns.

#6 Play Board Games

Uno, Monopoly, Bananagrams, Battleship, Memory, Hi Ho Cherry-O, Checkers and Chess, Dominoes are all great games to boost brain power!

By providing opportunities for your kiddos to keep learning throughout the summer months, you will give them an excellent head start to school in the fall and have some fun in the meantime!  And the teachers will thank you for it too!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Organize Your Family Chaos with this Simple & Cheap Calendar!

Helllooooo, Kansas City! I don’t know about you all, but I am ALWAYS looking for easy (and cheap) ways to get organized. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, has a fantastic calendar that has helped her reign in the chaos of every day life. Check it out!

Organize Your Family Chaos with this Simple & Cheap Calendar!

 

Organize Your Family Chaos with this
Simple & Cheap Calendar!

 

Fall is always a time of change. School is back, sports are in full swing, the holidays are on the horizon and wardrobes need to be adjusted. I don’t know about you, but it seems to take me awhile to get used to my family’s new schedule. Having young ones in the house makes it a bit tougher. My kids are too little to read a calendar, and anyway their sense of time isn’t the best. (My littlest says everything, from her latest nap to her last birthday, happened “yesteryear”.)

 

Around the time I was getting dizzy explaining when gymnastics was (tomorrow’s tomorrow’s tomorrow) our French teacher gifted the girls with a train depicting the days on the week. (Merci, Madame Zoé.) It was large, with each car the size of a sheet of paper, and the kids and I dutifully colored it and hung it on the wall. Staring at it, inspiration hit and I decided it could help me keep the kids (and me) aware of our schedule.

 

Organize Your Family Chaos with this Simple & Cheap Calendar!

 

I went online and found free clip art that worked for our activities. We had a girl with a backpack for school days, girls doing gymnastics, an Eiffel Tower for French class and we even found an elderly couple for when grandparents were coming to visit. (Not that you are in any way elderly Mom and Dad!) I also printed of a sun, which symbolized ‘today’.

 

Organize Your Family Chaos with this Simple & Cheap Calendar!

 

Every morning my kids move the sun and they can see what they have going on. If they want to know how far away something is, they can count the train cars. It has worked out AMAZINGLY for us. Granted, it only represents a week, but my kids don’t really understand more than that.

 

Organize Your Family Chaos with this Simple & Cheap Calendar!

 

The best thing about this is it is FREE and totally customizable. Do a theme, size and activities that work for you. We keep our spare clip art in an envelope and I update the train as needed. Also, now that my eldest is learning to read, we have labeled some things, to help her learn. What do you think? Could this help in your home?

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdDarcyv2

 

 


Become a member of our inner circle! Receive exclusive access to events, freebies, COUPONS, enter2Wins AND tons of Family FUN!