Special Memories: Making A Little One’s Birthday Magical

When it comes to your kids birthdays; the most important thing is to make some lasting family memories and to ensure that they feel special. If you’re thinking of throwing your little one a birthday party, there are several areas that can help them enjoy their day. You might feel a little daunted by everything there is to organize, but don’t; simply check out the following tips and ideas to help you plan the perfect celebration for your child. Get your notepad and pen ready to make a list, and let’s get going.

Lighted Happy Birthday Candles

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lighted-happy-birthday-candles-1415557/

 

Make It Personal To Them

If your children love a particular character, movie, book, or story at the moment; you already have an awesome theme to run with for their special day. The theme may influence the venue, the food, and who, or what, the kids arrive dressed as, so it’s worth putting some thought into. Whether it’s superheroes, Disney princesses, or Lego, that your child wants the party to revolve around; if you’re making it fancy dress, you’ll need to send out the invites in good time and write what’s expected clearly. You could always provide a box of masks and costumes for the children to grab, especially if you don’t want to put any pressure on the party guests, or it’s a last-minute decision to run with a zoo animal theme.

 

Keeping Memories

It’s always a treat to take home a treat or a prize from a party, whether it’s for winning a game or simply for attending, so start thinking about those little things that you can hand out. This is an area that doesn’t require loads of money and you can be creative with what you give to guests. Party bags are a lovely memento to take away from the party, and kids will be excited to open them up in the car on the way home. You can fill them will edible treats, personalized birthday party favors, small bags of candy or raisins, or maybe a selection of what you’ve been serving throughout the day (a great way to save money). As for small games and toys; there are always options to buy little party bag fillers in bulk to save money, and kids are usually just excited to grab what’s inside their bag, so don’t put too much stress into your decision.

 

Tasty Treats

The party guests will all need some sustenance if they’re running around and enjoying the fun of the day. Therefore it’s important that there’s plenty of options for little hands to grab and nibble on. Whether you’re making everything yourself, buying food from the grocery store, or hiring in caterers, you’ll need to provide a variety of options. Firstly; check that there’s the right balance of sweet and savory edibles and a good mixture of healthy nibbles and naughty treats (it is a party after all). Cupcakes, lollies, ice cream, and cookies are all classic delights that will appeal to everyone, young and old. You don’t have to provide the whole lot; however, you can serve a variety upon paper plates around the table, or venue so that guests can pick up a pretty cake or iced cookies whenever they feel.

How To Enjoy Life From Home This Winter

Winter can be a depressing time, but the cold weather doesn’t have to mean that you can’t do anything fun. If you’ve re-watched every episode of Friends, and you’re really stuck when it comes to how to spend the winter months, then look no further! We’ve put together this guide, so that you can still have fun, without leaving the comfort of your home. Of course, you’re still going to want to go out and make a snowman. But don’t let the rest of your days be boring this winter.

Brown Wooden Door

Image credit

 

Have a pizza party

Ok, we can all agree that having some warm, fulfilling food when it’s cold outside is the best antidote to those winter blues, and the good news is that you won’t have to go out and buy ingredients, or even leave the house, to get the best cuisine in town. With modern technology comes a new world of food, so check out some of the best meal prep services on https://budgetboost.co/best-meal-prep-home-delivery-service-review/ if you don’t want to move from the couch to get the best ingredients. Yes please!

 

Try some new recipes

Winter is the perfect time to try out that new recipe you’ve been thinking about for a while. There are plenty of winter warmers to try your hand at if you’re looking to make something delicious for your family, so don’t fret when it comes to what you could cook up. Not only will you have a great time making it, but your family and friends will love to do the taste test afterwards. Win-win!

 

Get creative

Ok, so not all of these are food-based, we promise. You can also spend some of your spare time in winter making some new home interiors, if you want to bring a new lease of life to your home and exercise your creativity. You can make your own cushion covers if you want to change up your living room or bedroom, and this cheap and easy idea could really make a difference in your house. Everybody will be asking where you got them from, and you’ll have a great, and unique, item.

 

Check out some new series

Winter is the perfect time to catch up on some Netflix series, or start binge-watching something new. Game of Thrones is perfect to set the winter mood, but there are so many new and exciting things to watch, you won’t be able to choose. Get the family together, get some popcorn, and get into some interesting TV. Losing yourself in a different world is a perfect way to get rid of those winter blues, and if you don’t fancy a series, you can always go with a classic Christmas film (we love The Grinch).

 

So, there are many ways to have a great time this winter, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Get yourself a fluffy throw, and your freshly made winter food, and watch something amazing with your family and friends. Have fun!

A Tight Christmas Budget Doesn’t Mean You And Your Partner Can’t Treat Each Other This Year

With Christmas fast upon us, the majority of us are tightening our belts. If we don’t, we stand no chance at affording the gifts we need for the big day. That’s why November and December are often times of scant spending and going without. All the better for weathering the festive period.

The only trouble is, these cutbacks often mean that our gift exchanges with our partners are pretty lacking. Some couples are so set on saving that they don’t buy each other gifts at all. Others cut costs so much that the things they do buy aren’t worth their effort. It seems a shame considering our partners are the people we love most in the world. Why, then, do we forget to treat them at this giving time of year?

christmas, country, couple

 

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Money is at the root of this, of course. But, what if we were to tell you that it is possible to treat your partner without breaking your Christmas budget? Keep reading to find out how.

Look online first

It’s no secret that shopping online usually works out cheaper. As such, it’s worth checking here for presents to and from your partner before anywhere else. By doing so, you may even find you can splash out on seemingly large gifts. If you want a diamond ring, for instance, online retailers like Blue Nile allow you to achieve the goal for less. If that appeals, try this Blue Nile review or others like it to judge how much you could save. If your partner wants a new laptop, online retailers like Amazon are a fantastic option for more than halving the cost. This way, you can splash out on each other and save at the same time.

Focus on meaning rather than value

Another fantastic option would be to focus on meaning over value. This may seem like a cliche, but it’s a step well worth taking. Focusing on meaningful options could see you both saving and securing better gifts at the same time. Something like a picture book would be a fantastic bet here. They’re cheap, but your partner is sure to cherish something like this for a long time to come. Equally, homemade items are always winners here. That hand knitted hat is sure to see more use than a shop bought computer ever could

Sometimes, less isn’t more

As we’ve already mentioned, many of us focus on expensive large gifts at this time of year. But, when it comes to your partner, that may not be the best way to go. Instead, you may find it better to fill stockings for each other. Stocking fillers are generally pretty cheap. As such, you’ll find you can do this for less than you would spend otherwise. You’ll also see that lots of fun little gifts can make your partner smile more than a large present they knew you were getting anyway would. They’ll make your bank balance much happier, too. So, why not give this a go this year?

Copycat Olive Garden Bread Sticks

My son is 4 years old and always asks if we can eat at Olive Garden.  He loves their chicken alfredo and breadsticks. I found this recipe and thought it would be a good idea to surprise him with Olive Garden copycat breadstick!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water warm
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon yeast or one package of active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour plus extra for the board
  • 4 tablespoons melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano

Instructions

  1. Combine warm water, sugar, oil, and yeast in a large bowl of a mixer or a food processor. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and salt and process until the dough forms a nice uniform ball. Place dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

  2. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in size (this should take about an hour) place dough on a well-floured board and roll out the dough. Roll out dough into a large rectangle. Cut in half horizontally, and then cut vertical strips of dough about 1 1/2 inches thick.

  3. Roll the strips of dough into sticks. Place dough on a greased baking sheet, and allow them to rise until they have doubled in size (this should take about 45 minutes). You should get between 20 and 24 breadsticks from this recipe. Melt butter, and stir in Parmesan cheese and oregano.

  4. For best results rub the oregano between your fingers as you place it into the butter. This will help release the oils of the oregano and make it taste even better. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Just before baking breadsticks brush them with butter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush any leftover butter topping on these just before serving.

 Prep Time 2 hours
 Cook Time 15 minutes
 Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

5 Housework Shortcuts

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When it comes to housework, there aren’t really shortcuts as such, for, unfortunately, such physical tasks involve time and effort.  Whilst there are some things you can do automate certain tasks, for instance, getting a dishwasher rather than washing the dishes yourself, when it comes to the majority of tasks it’s more about optimizing your efficiency by using the best products and techniques rather than taking shortcuts.

 

Indeed, some shortcuts might seem like they are saving you time but often result in you having to do something twice.  Of course, the best housework shortcut is to hire someone to do your housework for you.

 

Whilst this might seem like an expensive option, it depends how you look at it, for if you were to pay $10 per hour for a cleaner to come and clean your house – but you have a business where you earn $20 an hour, for your time, it would make financial sense for you to outsource your cleaning – meaning it’s not such an extravagant expense as some people think; indeed, it can be quite a frugal step to take.

 

In the alternative, akin to how a dishwasher takes care of your dirty washing up, and a washing machine takes care of your dirty clothes, a robotic vacuum such as the ones you can find on this site here can reduce one of the most time intensive and physically arduous aspects of cleaning.

 

Rather than provide “housework shortcuts” in the sense of tips on how to clean your fridge and oven quicker, this article looks at a process of getting your house in order, so that when it comes to cleaning it’s more of a maintenance task that takes just a few minutes a day.  

 

After all, the majority of “untidy” houses tend to be cluttered and full of junk, rather than dirty, as cleaning the oven tends to be a pretty simple process compared to sorting out your house from the perspective of making it less messy and chaotic.

 

Once you have given it a really deep clean, from there, you can feel much less overwhelmed when it comes to keeping on top of your housework.

 

  1. DECLUTTER

If you are always searching through clutter to find items such as your car keys, or perhaps when it comes to packing for your holiday you are left frantically going through drawers in a hurried attempt to find your passport… there’s a good chance your home is too cluttered and disorganized; causing practical and emotional chaos in your life.

 

The first step, therefore, is that of decluttering which naturally leads onto the next phase of ‘getting organized ’… as it’s very challenging to get organized if your home is full of clutter everywhere.

 

  1. GET ORGANIZED

From an emotional perspective, most people have a psychological need for order within their home in order to feel calm and grounded.  This feeling of emotional stability, rather than instability is closely tied in with how organized your life feels, particularly within your home.

 

When you have decluttered your home and become more organized, the next step is to get rid of the junk in your home – as the process of getting organized usually means shedding a lot of paperwork and items you no longer need.

 

  1. GET RID OF JUNK

Whether it’s removing the clutter from your house in terms of old clothes and paperwork or removing garden waste or even heavy rubble, this process can be time consuming and arduous – meaning you might want to outsource this aspect, or perhaps, hire a van for a weekend and use this van to cart your trash to a local refuse site.  

 

This should be an emotionally cleansing and cathartic experience which links in with the next step of cleansing your home.

 

  1. CLEANSE

The act of cleaning your home isn’t a purely physical experience; whilst cleaning is a practical activity it is also an activity that can benefit you emotionally and spiritually.  It can be cathartic to go through your home and clean every corner of it as this process will cleanse the energy and emotion stored within your home, and can be a very soothing experience.

5. RENEW

Now that your home is fresher, you can focus more on the interior design of your property And inject some new vibrancy into your home with a lick of paint, upgrade of the carpet, or purchase of a few new items.   In the alternative, if you’re on a budget, then consider upcycling some of your old furniture and revamping it to freshen up the feel of your home.

Wedding Planning Tips that will Help you to Have the Perfect Day

Getting married can be an exciting experience, but it does involve a lot of planning. You may also find that along the way, some things get forgotten about or just overlooked, and this is the last thing you need. If you want to have the perfect wedding day, then take a look below to see some top tips that will really help to reduce stress.

 

Plan Early

If you have set a date for your wedding and it is two or even three years away then you need to start planning right now. If you don’t then you risk rushing around at the last minute and this can cause you even more stress. You may find that your florist is not available, that your DJ is double-booked or anything else of the sort, but all of this can be avoided if you just book as far-in-advance as you can. Things that you need to plan out right now include your insurance, rough guest numbers and the budget that you have for your wedding. Once you have your guest list sorted, don’t forget about wedding invites as well.

 

Budget

It’s so important that you don’t spend anything unless you have a realistic budget. After all, it is very easy to overspend when you are planning something as important as a wedding and you may even overlook some of the finer details as well. For this reason, it’s a good idea to go through absolutely everything so you can work out how much you can spend on each item. You never know, you may have some money left over at the end and this could mean that you end up getting the dress you’ve always wanted!

Bride and Groom Walking Down the Aisle

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bride-and-groom-walking-down-the-aisle-794254/

 

Helping Hands

Sure, it’s your big day but your friends and family are always going to be there to support you. It’s important that you accept their help and that you really involve them in the planning. When you do this, you can take some of the stress off yourself and you can also feel more confident knowing that everything is being taken care of.

 

Midsection of Woman Making Heart Shape With Hands

https://www.pexels.com/photo/midsection-of-woman-making-heart-shape-with-hands-256737/

 

Plan B

It doesn’t matter how much you don’t want to think about it, because something can, and probably will go wrong on the day. It’s so important that you have a Plan B in place in case something like this happens. After all, rain can strike at any time and you may even find that your venue falls through. If this is the case then you have to make sure that you have a backup in place so that you are not left too stressed out if something does happen.

 

Pick Carefully

It’s your big day, so you do need to make sure that you have a maid of honour or even a best man who can help you to get everything sorted out. It’s important that you don’t choose anyone who you have recently met for this role or even people who you barely see. The main reason for this is because it could cause drama that you just don’t need.

 

Simple Ways You Can Help Your Child’s Development

Baby Lying on BedImage Source

 

Every parent is very familiar with the phrase “they grow up so fast.” It’s a complete and total cliche, and yet it’s often hard to deny that it’s also incredibly true as well. It can often feel as though time is leaving you behind and that your little one is growing up at such a speed that you can’t really keep up. Of course, the best thing that you can do is not only to try and keep up but to try and encourage your children through many of the milestones that often come with growing up.  With that in mind, here are some ways to help your child’s development.

 

Leaving the cot

One of the first milestones that many parents and children both find themselves struggling with is the moment where your child outgrows the cot that they’ve been sleeping in since they were an infant. You’ll usually get a decent amount of warning that this is coming because you’ll find that your child is able to climb out of the cot without any help and that they are finding themselves feeling someone cramped while they’re sleeping in it. The most important thing for you is to try and make this transition as fun and exciting for your child as possible. Little kids don’t like change, that’s just a fact of life, and many young children treat their cot as a place where they feel very safe and protected. The space that’s offered by a lot of toddler beds can often make them feel a little exposed. Luckily a lot of beds for toddlers can be incredibly fun, with a whole host of different designs and themes. Get your child involved in choosing the bed and they will feel a much stronger sense of ownership over it, making them incredibly excited to sleep in it.   

 

Potty Training

This is something that many parents dread more than just about anything. As much of a pain as changing nappies can be, the idea of transitioning from them to your child using the toilet can be seriously daunting. The single most important thing to remember is that you don’t put too much pressure on your child. Potty training is something that should be done gradually, and you should never get angry when your child has accidents, even if it is incredibly frustrating to have to wash their clothes so much more frequently. Be as upbeat and positive as possible so that your child doesn’t become self-conscious about it. By offering as much positive reinforcement as possible, you’ll actually find that the whole process takes a lot less time than you might initially assume.

 

Learning independence

Helping your child, even as a baby, become more independent is pretty essential to their development and there are plenty of ways to do that. From swimming lessons to letting them spend time in the hands of friends and relatives without you, to taking them to baby and toddler groups to develop social skills, it’s essential that you teach your baby that, while you’ll always be there for them, it’s okay for them to spend time without you. This can often be just as hard for you as it is for them but it’s the kind of thing that really does help you both in the long run.

No matter what, you’re never going to be able to be completely prepared for every milestone that comes up in your child’s life. Things are always going to come as a shock, and there will be things that you’ll both simply have to play by ear. But the most important thing is to remember to be as patient as possible with your child and make sure that they always know that you’re there to offer hem a safety net as they navigate the incredibly complicated and treacherous waters of life. After all, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so they are sure to make mistakes along the road. It’s your job to be there to catch them when they do and help them get back on the right track.

No Carve Pumpkin Contest

My son started Pre-K in August and his school is having a no-carve pumpkin contest tomorrow. Here are some ideas we are considering. I’m not very creative so we have been looking on Pinterest for ideas.

Oscar the grouch pumpkin. Pumpkin decorating contest. Ping pong ball eyes and painted flower pot trash can.

citrouilles gentilles qui ne font pas peur Halloween

For the ones who love movies and popcorn!

These are very cute and do not look like they require too much creativity. We will be making one tonight hope it comes out cute!

GOOEY MONSTER COOKIE RECIPE

 

These would make great cookies for a Halloween party. Plus the kids will love to help make these colorful cookies and have a blast adding the eyes. I look forward to making these soon!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 c butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 egg
  • powdered sugar
  • food coloring I used NEON food coloring to make them more vibrant
  • candy eyeballs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat butter, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until fluffy.

  2. Mix in the cake mix. Divide batter into bowls for the number of colors you want.

  3. Add food coloring to each individual bowl and mix until all combined.

  4. Chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Roll into balls and dip in a bowl of powdered sugar.

  6. Place on greased cookie sheet and pat down a bit.

  7. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

  8. Add candy eyeballs while cookies are still warm. ENJOY!