Having a craft area is great to inspire creativity in your kids. And it’s easier than you might think to get an area set up. I’ll let you know why and how I set up a decent craft area for my daughter. 

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Whether you’re into crafts or not having an area for your child to be messy and creative is a must. No matter what age they are a craft can fit them. Sometimes it’s best to try out a few different things depending on the age of your child. In my case my daughter is only 3 so we stick to watercolor paint, washable markers, crayons, and maybe glitter! Only when mom is feeling extra brave smile However if your child is bit older consider puzzles, a calligraphy kit,  oil paints, sewing, knitting, felting, the list goes on and on. 

In my home I made the decision to turn the living room pretty much into a playroom. So this is the space I chose to make my lovely craft area. 

That’s the first thing you’ll want to consider is where the craft area should be. Now IF you do not have a lot of space, the craft area can totally be on the kitchen table. It just means mom, you need to keep an organized storage area somewhere to keep all the craft stuff. 

Next important factor to consider when creating a craft area is exactly how much crafting, art, whatever supplies do you have? I have way to much, so I dedicated to turn the nearest coat closet into a puzzle/game/art supplies closet. I also went to my local dollar store and grabbed 3 medium size plastic totes, and 3 small plastic baskets. I used the totes under the table to organize the big stuff, and the 3 small baskets on the top of the table for the little cute stuff. 

The table is an extra folding table we had in that random coat closet. So I washed it up and found a very large piece of fabric to cover it up so you can’t really tell it’s a folding table. 

That was it! Move the craft stuff in, organize it, and start crafting! I hope you and your children have fun with this smile

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What happens when one of your family members comes home with a cold? Can you possibly avoid the entire family getting sick too? Maybe not always, however I would like to share some tips on how to try and ward off the nasty cold. 

The BIGGEST most obvious way to ward off a cold is wash your hands often! If the germs can't get to you they can't get you sick right? There are a lot of other factors that can help, but keep washing your hands on the top of the list. 

The next most important thing is to strengthen the body's immune system. If your fist defenses of avoiding the germs don't work and you actually end up coming in contact with cold germs; your body needs to be able to fight off the virus. Eating protein-rich foods helps your body make antibodies that fight colds. So what are protein-rich foods? 

Here is a starter list to go by:

  • lean meats, turkey, wild game without skin

  • poultry

  • fish

  • pork

  • beans

Some other great protein rich snacks are:

  • Nuts, especially pistachio nuts.

  • Yogurt

  • Egg salad

The point is eat healthy and your body can fight off a normal cold. Also please drink plenty of water, just straight clean clear water. The suggested amount per day is eight 8-ounce glasses.

Lastly I will say just clean your house a little extra. Hit the every single handle you can think of in the house with some kind of anti-bacterial cleaner. 

Okay that's it, let me know what else you do to keep from getting those nasty colds!

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Create a daily schedule that works the best for you and your family. The most beneficial schedule for each of your family members... or just you if you want! 

Why? When you choose or plan what you want to do in your daily life, you’ll usually want to do things that make you happy or that gives you the most utility. The point is planning things out creates a productive daily routine for you and your family. 

So how do you start creating the lovely productive daily schedule to better your life? 
You’ve got to start with what is most important to you and your family. Just sit down and write that list. Not in any specific order, just as you think of them. For example I think it’s important to plan a set meal time and plan my meals, but I’m TERRIBLE at doing that. So my list started with a regular meal time serving at least a somewhat healthy substance.  

Once you’ve got a great list of important things to work on, prioritize all of them. 
Once prioritized, start thinking about how each task best fits into your life the way life is currently. We are not trying to change too many things, just trying to start good habits. Think of this as the overall theme for your schedule making. Good habits that benefit you and your family. 

I suggest purchasing or creating each month a daily calendar for that month. Each month your priorities can change so it’s important to stay updated. 

I would love to hear what you prioritize for your family, or how schedule making has benefited you and your family.

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Frugal Bruschetta is a delicious start to our meals but it can also save you money by filling up hungry tummies before a main meal. If tomatoes are in season, then this truly is a frugal starter – delicious and refreshing too!  I like to use sourdough bread for frugal bruschetta, but I usually buy it at the end of the day when it is on sale. As you will be toasting it anyway, it doesn’t matter if it isn’t super fresh! Now I do always suggest having a garden and then you’ll be flush with hopefully all these veggies and more!




Ingredients:
1 Sourdough Loaf Or French Bread Stick cut into thick slices 
3 large Tomatoes diced 
2 tsp Garlic crushed 
1 Red Onion diced 
1 tbsp Shallots sliced 
3 tbsp Olive Oil 
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

How I Make It:

Line up the slices of bread on a baking tray and toast very lightly on one side under the grill. Turn over the bread. Mix together the garlic and olive oil and lightly brush the top side of the bread with the mix. Place back under the grill and again very lightly toast the remaining side. Remove from the grill and allow to cool. (IF you don’t have a grill you can do the same steps using the broil option on your oven.) Add the finely chopped red onion and shallot.  Chop the tomatoes roughly and mix together in a bowl.  Splash with the balsamic vinegar (only enough to just 'dampen' the mix) and place a heaped tablespoon on each piece of toast. 

Tastes best when served immediately.

This is one of my favorite snacks and my kids love it too! Let me know how it comes out, or different variations used.

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Taking care of the common bellyache can be hard. You'll want to make sure it really is a "common" stomach ache and does not require medical attention. Something like maybe that ate a food that upset their stomach, or have a 24 hour flu. 

*Keep an eye on how often and specifically what your child ate that made them sick. This will help in ruling out any allergies. 


Keep them hydrated with good liquids. Water and real juices, broth is also a great option. If you have a homemade broth recipe share it here! I know at least I would love it smile 

If your child is of potty training age this can be a hard time. If your child has an accident while they are sick to their stomach do not scold them. Let them know accidents happen and to try to make to the potty as soon as possible every time. 

Resting is key, and not jostling their bellies. Sometimes this is hard when they are little and just want to play. An even harder task if you have an infant. It may seem they are crying for no reason. You know your baby, so you'll figure out they could be crying of a bellyache. Water and comfort.

I swear by bellyache tea. It always helped me and my daughter. Start kids off at a young age drinking tea and they will appreciate it as the years go on. 

Chamomile tea is another great natural soother for a tummy ache. 

Kids are resilient and feed off of your energy. They will usually feel better within 24 hours, however during the time the are not feeling well still try to go through your normal day with them as much as possible. Don't make them WANT to be sick because they get waited on hand and foot if you get what I mean.

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Have the kids walk the dog. It's fun, helpful, and gets them exercising!

Staying active is so important for the development of your child. In young children,
lack of physical activity is a risk factor for many health problems like high blood pressure, weight gain, excess body fat, bad cholesterol, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular diseases and bone health problems. As a parenting the best way to get your kids active is to show them! Be active yourself, and in turn your child will follow by example. 

With younger kids just bringing them to the playground for an hour or two is a fun event, and gets your kids plenty of exercise for the day. 

As children get a little older it can be fun to explore the backyard, or local parks. With some planning you can even turn exploration into a learning experience. Play games like how many tree species you can name as you walk through the forest. Going out to explore sounds way more fun to a kid than going out to exercise. 

Something else that is important to consider is exercise by gender... this shouldn't be a thing. However research has shown that boys tend to be more active and less often obese than girls. Parents should remember that girls need to spend just as much time and energy being physically active as boys do. 

Once your children are into school years and especially high school years it is important to encourage sports. This is one of the best ways for your kids to get in daily exercise and have something to dedicate their time to. 

If not sports then stay spontaneous! Head out on random trips to the park, beach, or hiking trails. 

Remember the most valuable to tool to get your kids to exercise is to lead by example. So get out for a walk, your kids will come along smile

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What are the best toys at this age?

Well the first questions is what is your baby doing at this age? At this point your babies abilities can really vary. Most likely your 9 month old is crawling and getting into, that is common. This means your baby really has the ability to play more! They have some coordination skills and may even be able to clap! 

I absolutely LOVED this age. I have so many videos of my daughter when she first started crawling, and getting into cupboards, and pots & pans. It's just so cute, enjoy it while you can.

Because babies at this age are becoming so interested in their surroundings, toys that encourage interaction and reaction are great. For example a toy with buttons that plays music, or makes a funny sound will be appealing, and encourage your little one to hit the button again. 

Toys that encourage your baby to crawl or “power crawl” are also a great option. For example a battery powered robot dog or cat is fun. Especially ones that light up or sing songs to get your little one chasing it around the room. If you don’t want to buy such an obnoxious toy there is a second option to encourage the power crawl. At this age you’ll know your baby's favorite toy. What I would do is get your little one's attention with their favorite toy, then move to the other side of the room so they have to chase you. Have fun with it, but be careful not to annoy your baby. 

Baby instruments can be a huge enjoyment for your little one as well. It may get a little loud, but the stimulation is great!

Lastly I would suggest getting into learning toys. The 9 - 12 month range is a great time to start learning colors, shapes, noises, animals, feels, you name it! There is so much to learn, and you mom are here to help them.

So no matter what toy you have interaction and playtime with mom is the most beneficial thing you can give your child.

No mom ever wants to deal with that moment when her kid gets hurt. However it's bound to happen. So it's best to be prepared.

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As soon as the hurt happens whatever that may be, figure out if they are REALLY hurt. That's the most important part, is this an emergency room visit, or just a bump on the head? As long as it's just a bump on the head or similar here's some good tips to comfort your upset hurt child. 

Fortunately my daughter is all into doctor stuff right now so she really to be tough when she gets hurt. Although she has her times when she just breaks down crying, sometimes it's because she got scared as well she fell, or just getting hurt sucks. So as a mom it's our job to be there and try to help our little ones through their tough times. 

Once you know they really are not that hurt, hug them, hold them, comfort them. Kiss their boo-boo better. Help them breath, just breathing in and out to calm the crying. 

That is the goal here, to calm the crying! Breathing usually helps and then if she's up to it I do try and take the time to explain why she got hurt and how maybe she could avoid that in the future. 

If breathing does not work, I skip to plan B! Distract. Change the subject, and the mood. Find their favorite book, toy, or show and get their minds on to something else. Sometimes I will just start singing a song I know she likes. Moms have to get creative, especially in times like this. 

If none of that works... good luck!

smile 

Are there any other tricks moms use in this situation?

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I try to keep my daughter's toys and crafts organized. Once I really organized all her craft and art supplies I found that she had a ton of extra crayons that did not fit in their container. At some point you have all the colors. You really don't need any more crayons. Every time I have extra of something I always try to figure out a way to 'Upcycle' it. Or do some kind of fun project. In this project you can use up all the duplicate colors and even the broken crayons. This project is probably best to do without your child or with an older kid. The most helpful thing about making this can is it cleans out the art box! 

So preferably you'll want to have a hot glue gun and get that warmed up. If you don't I'm sure you could improvise with a glue stick. Find some kind of pretty ribbon you want to use as well and you'll use that to wrap around the can and crayons once finished. 

So first get your crayons all laid out. If you are super picky you can lay them out in a pretty pattern. I think it's fun to just place them at random. 

Get your can out, whatever can you want to use. Glue the crayons upright onto the outside of the can. As soon as all the crayons are glued all the way around the can use the ribbon. Tie the ribbon around the can and make a bow. This will also help hold all the crayons in place. 

At this point let set for a while before using it. The fun part is once this can is done you could use it to store the remainder of your crayons!

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How to Be a Good Mother? It is a question every mom asks probably more in the beginning. The thing is if you are already asking that question you are a GOOD mom. The fact is if you are worried about being a good mom you are already showing your care. Your kids only need love. When you love your kids you'll always want to fill their bellies, keep them clean, teach them to be good people as they grow up. Really your love for your child will provide them with everything they need. 


There is sometimes a little bit more I can do to be a great mom…

First you'll want to understand the basis of raising a child revolves around that LOVE i'm talking about and learning boundaries. The best first example of setting boundaries is when mother is breastfeeding her child and he bites. Human nature is to react to pain with a physical retaliation. However you cannot do that as a mom, so we navigate that boundary with a firm "NO" possibly. Learning to navigate those boundaries as they grow is a key to great mothering!

There have been numerous studies to prove that maternal love and care especially at the early stages of a child’s life improves brain development. 

So as a new mom, just know your love for your little one goes a long way.