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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
  • read all shaktoids!
    May 21, 2015
    Spring Activity: DIY Wind Chimes

    I’m a big fan of kids’ activities that let them develop their creative side. Whether it be through play, art, crafts, music, dance, or any other form of expression, creative activity is essential for kids. Well, this post by Jackie at Happy Hooligans has the perfect summer craft that combines both art and music- DIY, kid-friendly wind chimes. I love the look and sound of wind chimes! I think they’re just really relaxing, and they make your yard look whimsical. I can’t wait to try some of these myself- the wooden rainbow chimes are gorgeous.

    -Coffee can wind chime 

    -Rainbow wind chimes

    - Summer Stars

    -Water bottle whirligig

    Photo Credit: Richard Elzey 


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    May 20, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Toddler Kitchen Tower

    Photo from Pinterest 


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    May 19, 2015
    Dealing With Spoiled Kids

    No one wants to admit it, but the fact is that some kids are straight up spoiled. It can be even harder to admit it when it’s your own kid! You probably didn’t notice it happening, but one day you realize that your child acts disrespectful to you and other adults, whines, and throws fits over not getting what they want. Well, congratulations. Realizing there is a problem is the first step in fixing it. Don’t despair, your child doesn’t have to be like that forever. There are actually plenty of ways to de-brat-ify your kid. Check out this post by Becky at Your Modern Family for tips on “un-spoiling” a child:

    -Be consistent. Every time that they ___, they get ___.  (ex: every time that they talk back to you, they get put into time out.)

    -Set expectations for your child before starting the day.

    -Don’t buy your child unnecessary things, and cut back on what you have.

    -Use chores and allowance and teach them to buy things for themselves.

    -Teach your child to give to others.

    Photo Credit: Greg Westfall 


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    May 18, 2015
    When Morons Feel The Need To Comment On Your Pregnancy

    I don’t know what it is about pregnant women that attracts so much unwanted “advice,” but for some reason, people think that a baby bump is public domain for criticism. While most of these comments are well meaning, pregnant women often find that their body is constantly policed. Is the food you’re eating healthy enough? Too much stress will hurt the baby! And let’s not forget about strangers who suddenly think it’s okay to touch your belly.

    Seriously, what? If you’re pregnant, be sure to read this guide by Zoe Williams at The Guardian on how to put these “well wishers” in their place. She deals with the struggles of people calling attention to weight gain, alcohol intake, and other rude comments that are leveled at pregnant women, all with humor and grace. Read it here!

    Photo Credit: Frank de Kleine 


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    May 15, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: How To Make Bracelets Out Of Plastic Bags
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox1l3rur

    Take your look from “trash” to “fash…ion”. :) A fun way to recycle plastic bags!


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    May 14, 2015
    Helping Your Child Develop Healthy Self Esteem

    When you feel good about yourself, you’re happy. That’s just a simple fact of life. But, if you constantly feel criticized, and are told you aren’t good enough, you aren’t going to be happy. And the number one person who influences your child’s self esteem is you! Having positive self esteem helps you deal better with negative circumstances in life, allows you to be more resilient, and allows you to know yourself better. For tips on raising kids with positive self esteem, read this post by Sue Lively at OneTimeThrough:

    -Respect all feelings, even the sad or angry ones. Your children have a right to feel them.

    -Fulfill needs for attention, love, and connection so they feel valued. Children do not spoil from receiving too much time and attention.

    -Parent in an authoritative, not authoritarian way. Be firm, but still do your best to respect your child’s wishes.

    -Encourage rather than praise. Instead of calling them smart, say, “Wow! You worked so hard on that assignment!”

    Photo Credit: Kiran Foster 


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    May 13, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Out-Of-This-World Nursery

    Photo from Refurbished Ideas


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    May 12, 2015
    School Lunch Ideas

    Even though the end of the school year is so close, school-related ideas are never unwelcome. I’m a part time substitute teacher, and I’m always looking for inspiration on what to bring for lunch. You can’t eat a sandwich every day of your life! And your kids feel the same way. There are tons of ideas out there for healthy, non-sandwich lunches for your kids (or yourself!). Check out this post by Jennifer at Jennifer P. Williams for inspiration:

    -Mac and cheese

    -Tacos

    -Spaghetti

    -Soup / Ramen in a thermos

    -Chicken nuggets

    -BBQ

    -Breakfast for lunch

    Photo Credit: US Department of Agriculture 


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    May 11, 2015
    How To Set Up A Treasure Hunt Game

    For my last anniversary, I set up a treasure hunt game for my boyfriend. I left presents all over the town where we met, and each present had a clue to where the next one was. I was waiting at the end with his real present- a weekend trip to Gatlinburg. It was so much fun, and I know it meant a lot to him. You can play a variant of this same game at home, with your partner, or with your kids. Kids will love solving the clues and finding little toys and treats everywhere. Check out this post by Catherine Holecko at Family Fitness for tips:

    -Pick a prize and find a place to hide it

    -Write out your clues. Draw pictures for younger players, write out riddles and math problems to challenge older kids.

    -Hide your clues- make it challenging, but not enough to end up in frustration.

    -Hand over the first clue and set the wheels in motion!

    Photo Credit: Tom Garnett 


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    May 7, 2015
    (Edible) Paint Recipe

    When watching infants and young toddlers, it can be easy to fall into a rut. Wake up, breakfast, nap, lunch, play, watch tv, nap, dinner, bath time, bed. While it’s good for all children to be on a dependable schedule, it’s also important to vary what you do every day. I try to take my nephew outside, read him books, play silly games with him, and sing and dance with him as often as possible. But more often than I like, I end up just letting the TV babysit him. I’d love to introduce more activities to him. That’s why I really like this post by Clarissa at Munchkins and Moms. Here is her recipe for infant safe, edible paint. PS, be ready for a MESSY activity! :

    -Mix rice cereal and water together until it reaches the consistency of finger paint. Add a few drops of food coloring and you’re done! Let your baby go crazy!

    Photo Credit: Stephanie Sicore 


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