Easy Classroom Party Food Idea

I'm so happy that schools across the country are taking the initiative to try and fight childhood obesity. This past week, I needed to bring in a healthy snack for my son's classroom, and, I came up with an idea for a simple classroom snack that satisfied the kids and made my life a lot easier!

My son wanted to bring grapes and strawberries for his classmates. But, how  do you 1) pack a healthy snack for 18 kids, 2) get it all to school in a simple way and 3) portion it all out so you don't have to fuss with it once you get into the classroom?

Easy... Use your cupcake carrier!

I have a two layer cupcake carrier which holds 24 cupcakes. Instead of filling it up with cupcakes, I filled plain paper muffin liners with fresh grapes and a strawberry for each child. This was so easy to prepare, everything got to the school in tact and the kids really enjoyed it.

Motherhood is filled with challenges, so it's always nice when you have an idea that just clicks.

It's simple, healthy and it works!


Organizing The Family Calendar 2012 

In an effort to simplify 2012, I'm making things even more complicated.

Instead of having just one calendar, I'm having 4. I mentioned in my previous post how I love using the new Google calendar, but I still can't let go of my good ol' traditional paper calendar too. And, I'm trying something new this year by giving both of my son's their own personal calendar too. 

My little guy used to wake up every morning and ask "What are we going to do today?" Now, ever since he started preschool in September, he wakes up and asks "Do I have school today?" Even though he's been going the same 3 days since the start of the school year, he still needs extra reassurance about this routine. He's trying so hard to understand his new school schedule, and I think having his own personal calendar will help tremendously.

Do you have any other ideas or tips for helping kids with their schedule or routine?


Sticking To New Year's Resolutions

First of all... Happy New Year! 

I know a lot of people don't believe in New Year's resolutions, but think that's sort of sad. What's so bad about a New Year's resolution? A resolution is defined as a "firm decision to do or not to do something." For the record, there are things I'm absolutely determined to do this year. It doesn't mean that there's a 100% chance I'm going to accomplish all of my goals.  But, why not try? 

So, I am excited for 2012 and I'm making resolutions.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Here are a few of my goals:

1) Get more organized. Thanks to Google for giving me a good jump start on this. If you haven't tried Google Calendar and Google Documents, you have to try them. My husband and I share an online calendar which syncs up to our phones. And, now that I use Google Documents, I never have to worry about my computer crashing and losing all my important work stuff. But, I also want to try and come up with a better system for keeping things organized off-line too, especially budget-friendly ideas for organizing our home.

2) Excercise more and weigh less. I've been battling my weight ever since I was a little girl, and for a while, I was winning. Then, along with babies came the baby weight, and now that my youngest is almost 4 and it's time to lose it. I know how hard this is, so I'm starting off slow. But, I am absolutely determined to make this a priority in 2012, and, I will definitely keep you posted.

3) Spend less time on the computer.  I could spend hours and hours on the computer... learning, working, chatting, creating. But, because my top two resolutions involve getting more organized at home, losing weight and exercising, that means less computer time is a must! I feel like so much of the personal contact we have with friends is on-line, and most of the time that's great. But, a good old-fashioned phone call is nice too. I apologize in advance if the kids are screaming in the background... but that's a resolution all to itself.

4) Give back. This has been on my mind a lot recently. And, this year, I really want to demonstrate to my kids that volunteering to help those in need is an important part of life. The economy isn't the best, and there already aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. But, we need to look at the big picture and care for those who are less fortunate than we are. 

5) Work on my "Parent Talk." A few years ago I stumbled across this book, Parent Talk, while I was on a weekend getaway. Every kid is different, and I don't think there is any magic formula to making kids behave perfectly all of the time. But, this book promotes talking to your children in language that builds self-esteem and encourages responsibility. There's something about this style of parenting that just makes sense.

So, those are a few of my resolutions.  Are you anti-resolution or do you have a list of them like I do?


Do you still have a little elf lurking around your house?

Are you all elfed out yet? 

Our elf is lovingly named "Joey Snowy." My 3 year old tried so hard to follow the elf rules, but he couldn't keep his little hands off of Joey.

I've heard a lot of stories about mischievous little elves who kept very busy over the past few weeks. But, ours was pretty low key. Joey Snowy didn't leave orange peels or cheerios all over the table. He didn't throw any wild parties in our living room. It sounds like fun, but my kids give me more than enough to clean up without adding elf mischief to the mix. Sorry guys.

But, Joey was treated to a a few big adventures including a trip to Trader Joe's and Total Wine.  What elf wouldn't want to go to America's Wine Superstore? Both times he went out, my son kept him hidden in a Christmas box, so he didn't spoil the elf magic for other kids. Joey even slept next to my son several nights before Christmas

But, our little elf hasn't left yet.  My son loves him so much it was hard to make him fly away at Christmas. So, our little rebel elf is changing the rules and will fly away on New Year's Eve instead.

Rules are made to be broken, right?  Did your elf fly away yet?