DIY Cereal Gift Box

This DIY cereal gift box idea sponsored by Cheerios is a great way to wrap up any gift AND upcycle those cereal boxes you have laying around!

Father’s Day is right around the corner and the kids are happily making fun gifts for my husband at school. But since I know my husband, and know he needs more than just the cute gifts, I decided to pick up a few other necessities for him as well. Including his favorite Cheerios cereal and a polo shirt (his signature look). 

Since my husband does so much for us at home, I thought that we could shower him with a little more love all wrapped in a DIY cereal gift box we upcycled from our cereal boxes. Plus, in addition to making gift boxes out of our empty cereal boxes, we can also give back even more with the help of Cheerios

 

Making these gift boxes are easy! And with a few simple supplies found around the house, you can make a few up yourself in no time. Plus, you won’t have to worry about pulling down the big storage bin of wrapping supplies to gift wrap. Easy peasy! Here’s how! 

DIY Cereal Gift Box

What you’ll need: 

  • empty Cheerios cereal box
  • sharpie or pen
  • box cutter
  • scissors
  • colorful duct tape
  • twine

What you do: 

1. Using the straight edge of one box, line where your gift box opening will be on the top of the box. We measured around 1-2 inches from the shorter side of the box in. Then make a line at a 90 degree angle on the long side of the box from the top edge to the bottom edge inwards. Repeat on the other side. (see video below for details)

2. Using the lines you just drew as guides, carefully use a box cutter to score the lines. Then go over them again once more to cut all of the way through. Open up the lid to make sure it works properly. 

3. Using tape, seal the top of the box where you open to remove the cereal. 

4. Continue to tape box until outer shell of box is covered. 

5. Line box with tissue paper and place present inside. Cover with more tissue paper and tie lid down with twine. Add a card and give your gift! 

Right now you can give the gift of Cheerios by participating in the buy a box, give a box promotion. Simply purchase a specially marked package of your favorite variety of Cheerios, enter the code found inside here, and send a coupon for a free box of Cheerios to someone you love! 

Now, not only can Dad get a delicious box of Cheerios with his gift, he can also choose to gift Cheerios to someone else. Spreading the love, one box at a time. 

Who would you share a box of Cheerio’s with?

Love this idea? Check out these other great gift ideas: 

How to Teach Kids To Be SMART Savers + an easy DIY Save Spend Give Piggy Bank

We’re sharing how to teach kids to be SMART savers plus an easy DIY Save Spend Give Piggy Bank for them to make for their earnings.

Do your kids always want to spend everything they get? Or are they more cautious with how they use the money they receive? Whether it’s a weekly allowance, money from birthdays, or money they earn selling lemonade on the corner, kids are never too young to start learning about how to be smart savers. 

With three kids at home, we knew we needed to come up with a simple plan that each of them could understand. From our 2-year-old to our 8-year-old, we use the same system. And it’s broken down into the simplest form for them to grasp. We’ve come up with 3 categories for them and it all has to deal with three simple words: save, spend, give. 

3 Categories of a Budget

Step 1: Save money of your own, 

Step 2: Spend your money wisely by determining what you need versus what you want, 

Step 3: Give your money, time, or things with people who need it.

How to be a SMART Saver

Once you have that broken down, it’s time to start thinking of what or why you want to save. There are 5 steps to putting together a smart savings goal:

1.     Specific: What exactly do you want to accomplish?

2.     Measurable: How will you know you met your goal?

3.     Attainable: Can you really achieve your goal?

4.     Relevant: Why is this goal important to you?

5.     Timely: How much time do you need to accomplish the goal?

Try to talk with your kids about these goals and see if they can come up with their own! 

Get Started! 

Let the kids construct their own Save Spend Give Piggy Banks by gathering 3 containers, decorating them as you prefer, and labeling each one of the following – “Save, Spend, Give.” Put your money in the appropriate bank as you receive it and watch it add up.

We simply grabbed some containers and labels from the dollar store and kept it simple! But you can get as creative as you’d like. To see how we made ours, watch the video below: 

video here

Are your kids learning to manage the money they’re receiving? 

Love this project? Read more! 

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Why Crafting Breaks Are Necessary plus a Mother’s Day Gift Idea for Grandma

Need a Mother’s Day gift idea for Grandma? Look no further! These adorable bouquets are sure to put a smile on her face just as finding the time to craft alone will put a smile on yours. 

Last week I took some time for myself to get my hair done. Not only did I get my hair cut, I gave in and got it colored, too. At first, I wanted to go a bit crazy. It was the first time I’ve ever colored my hair so I wanted to have some fun with a dusty rose or lavender color. But then after talking with my hairdresser, I decided on a more subtle change for the first time. 

I got to thinking why I wanted to change things up. Change of pace? Wanting a break from the same old, same old? Or was it something else? 

Finally, after much thinking, I came to a conclusion. I needed to do something for me. While I love being a wife, a mother, an employee, most of the decisions I make are based on thinking of others first. So, in partnership with Cafe Breaks, I decided to take a bit more time for myself  (and think of myself first) to take a craft break.

Most of the time while I craft, I’m doing it with the kids. Something fun and exciting for them to create with me. Now, sure I get enjoyment from crafting with them, but I forgot how much I love crafting for myself. Or, in this case, crafting for my MIL. I was able to create a fun gift for her out of a few simple supplies we had in the craft room. And I now want to make a few more with the 

While I enjoyed my crafting break, I also took the time to indulge a bit in a Cafe Breaks pudding. The mocha latte is so delicious! Crafting AND a snack all for myself? Yes, please! 

If you haven’t taken a moment or two for yourself lately, take a step back and think about what would bring you joy or happiness! It doesn’t have to be something expensive. It could be as simple as heading to Walmart and picking up a pack of Cafe Breaks pudding packs from the pudding aisle to enjoy without someone else asking for a bite. 

Mother’s Day Gift Idea for Grandma

DIY Photo Flower Bouquet

What you’ll need:

  • flower vase
  • twine
  • silk flowers
  • 1 piece of foam (similar shade to flowers)
  • wooden dowel
  • ribbon
  • chalkboard sticker with message
  • scissors
  • glue gun
  • photos of kids

What you do: 

1. Wrap twine around vase and secure in place with glue gun. Repeat, securing the twine every few rows, until the vase is completely covered. 

2. Add ribbon to the vase with glue gun. Cover seam with chalkboard sticker. 

3. Arrange flowers in vase, set aside. 

4. Cut kids photo around their faces in a circle. 

5. Using the photos as a template, cut a flower out of the foam sheet with the photo in the center. 

6. Glue photo to center of flower then glue flower onto wooden dowel. 

7. Add flower photos to the silk flowers in the vase and gift away! 

Check out the video we put together for this project: 

Need a break? Enter to win one of 3 Mother’s Day Sweepstakes prizes including a $500 Spafinder gift card + a case of Café Breaks or a $100 Visa gift cards + a case of Café Breaks! 

Details are below:

Café Breaks Spa Weekend with Mom

What are the kids making Grandma for Mother’s Day? 

Love this project? Read more! 

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Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Tips for Working At Home with a Toddler

When I started working from home full time, my kids were already in preschool and I had at least a solid 4 hours 3 days a week to get things done. As business picked up, so did the hours my kids were away at school and I was none the wiser of how lucky I truly was for this.

Then we got pregnant with my third and I was confident in my ability to continue working from home and rocking it even with a baby on the way. Once the baby got here, things seemed to work out. I was able to work while she napped, or put her on the floor next to me and let her play beside me as I worked. But then she became more mobile. And more demanding of my time while she was playing. She didn’t want to just play with a ball, she wanted me to play with her.

Today started as most mornings start. I got the big kids ready for their day, and we all got out the door for morning drop off. But when we came back home my youngest was ready to play instead of nap like she normally does. So we had to shift gears a bit and move our schedule around to accommodate her needs. She’s always throwing a wrench into my routine so I have to learn how to be flexible with my work hours to make things flow well throughout the day. Working at home with a toddler is hard. But it’s not impossible!

Here are some tips for working at home with a toddler so that you can stay focused but still spend time with your child.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - ways to make life easier when working with a toddler

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Create Work Hours

Over the past years the biggest change I’ve found between working outside of the home and working at home is office hours. In an office setting I would come in at a certain time, take lunch at a certain time, and leave at the end of my work day. But at home it’s hard to think along the same lines. So I’ve set out time throughout the day dedicated to working.

This doesn’t have to be fancy. My office hours are written down on a post it note and stuck on my computer screen. By scheduling my day, I not only am aware of when I should be working and when I’m playing with my little one, I also take the time to feed myself and give myself the breaks I need.

Be Flexible

I’m very aware of the fact that toddlers are finicky. They can be fine playing with their train table one moment and absolutely need you RIGHT NOW the next. So I’ve grown to learn how to adapt to the quickly shifting focus of working on a task I have and then spending time with my toddler.

If I’m in the middle of working on something, I take a moment to note that in Google Keep so that I can pick up where I left off without spending time remembering where I was at.

I’ve also been able to schedule important work that needs my complete focus in the evening hours when she’s either sleeping or with my husband. This gives me peace of mind during the day because I know that I can stop and start when needed to focus on her.

Find Other Work At Home Moms

Whether it’s a neighborhood mom who also works from home with her kids, or mamas around town who you meet on meetup.com, finding other moms who work from home can help you in a variety of ways. Whether it’s socializing with them on a weekly basis and letting your kids play together, or exchanging care can help when a last minute meeting pops up or if I need to have a chunk of time during the day that I focus on getting a project done.

Schedule Play Time

I know my daughter’s routine most days and have been able to schedule play time so that we’re doing fun, interactive things throughout the day. Before I had my third, I found that I was hardly ever getting outside the house during the day when I worked. So I’ve now scheduled outdoor play in the mornings and afternoons. Since it’s warmer out, I’ve been able to set up her water table and sand box and while she plays, I can work outside. Fresh air does wonders for morale!

We then take an afternoon walk before picking up the older kids so we can explore other areas around the neighborhood and get out and about. I’ve found that I’m more productive in the afternoons after our walks than I was when we stayed home all day.

Rock Nap Time

As soon as my daughter is down for nap time, I have a pre-made list of tasks in Google Keep to tackle that I’ve made the night before. This is anything I need done without interruption that has to be completed before the end of the work day. Since I’m working with people in different time zones, I need to make sure that I’m aware of the tasks that need to be done by end of day depending on the time zone.

Utilize Tools Available

As I mentioned before, I use Google Keep for a lot of my tracking and accountability. I keep notes of my daily tasks and check them off throughout the day. I also utilize my Google Calendar and put everything on there. Whether it’s a meeting, a deadline, or even volunteer time at my son’s school, I keep it on the calendar and set notifications to pop up.

I also use IFTTT and have created recipes to help me be more efficient with my time. I can automate a lot of the tasks I have to do by using schedulers and tools built for my needs. Spending a little money is worth it when my time is used efficiently.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - letting go of perfection

While working from home with a toddler is hard, it’s not impossible. By staying organized, being flexible, and knowing my limits, I’ve been able to find a groove and continue working from home with success.

What are your tips for working at home with a toddler?

DIY Bouncing Ball

Make DIY bouncing balls with your kids and share the fun of science in the process!

Have you ever wanted to make your own toys? See your creation unfold from idea to reality? My kids absolutely love balls. They always ask to buy more and our front yard is filled with them. So when I saw this tutorial on About.com on how to make polymer balls I had to give it a try.

Result? A pretty fun experiment and toy all in one! And while the ball doesn’t bounce quite as high as the ones you buy from the machine outside of the grocery store it still provides hours of entertainment for children and adults alike. Whether you are looking to teach your kids about a little chemistry or just ready to make a fun toy, this is the perfect craft for a lazy afternoon. 

This post contains affiliate links.


DIY Bouncing Balls

What You’ll Need:

  • borax (found in the laundry section of the store)
  • cornstarch (found in the baking section of the store)
  • white glue (makes an opaque ball) or blue or clear school glue (makes a translucent ball)
  • warm water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • measuring spoons
  • spoon or craft stick to stir the mixture
  • 2 small plastic cups or other containers for mixing
  • marking pen
  • watch with a second hand
  • ruler
  • ziploc bag

[Read more…]

Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND California

It is a deal in more ways than one. LEGOLAND California is partnering with the Carlsbad Educational Foundation again to provide an opportunity for local residents and their families to enjoy a fun-filled day to support education for only $30. We hope to see you at LEGOLAND California for a giant pep rally!

This year, more than ever, we need to build morale and share with our community how much we appreciate our schools! 

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the proceeds from Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation in support of science initiatives for students in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

San Diegans can visit LEGOLAND® California Resort April 29 for just $30!

The Carlsbad Education Foundation (CEF) is hosting their annual ‘Celebrate Carlsbad Day™’ at LEGOLAND California Resort.

  • What: Specially-priced $30 LEGOLAND tickets
  • When: Saturday, April 29
  • Time: Enjoy extended Park hours 12pm-8pm

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Foundation to support district-wide science initiatives for students at all CUSD Schools.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.CarlsbadEd.org

Tickets cannot be purchased at the LEGOLAND gate.   

To learn more about this very special event, please visit our website at www.CarlsbadEd.org.

General Info: www.CarlsbadEd.org     Phone: (760) 929-1555

To learn more about CEF, please visit their website at www.CarlsbadEd.org   To read and see more, visit and “like” them on Facebook. To see CEF’s programs in action, check out their videos on YouTube!

$1 Movies for 2017 Summer Movie Express

Just like last year, the Summer Movie Express will be making an appearance in Regal Cinemas theaters all around the US! 

The nine-week film festival takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  The start dates for Summer Movie Express vary based on local school schedules. A portion of each $1 admission goes to assist the Will Rogers Institute.

“With a wide variety of films this summer starting with The Lego Movie and ending with The Lorax, we know families will be boarding the Summer Movie Express at Regal,” said Ken Foreman, Vice President of Film Marketing at Regal Entertainment Group. “This annual program provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the movies together week after week.”

$1 Movies for 2017 Summer Movie Express

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Each week both movies play on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

The titles for this year’s Summer Movie Express are:

In San Diego? Click on the link below to print a PDF of your local theater’s schedule.

Edwards Mira Mesa

Regal Parkway Plaza

Edwards Rancho San Diego

For a full list of participating locations, local festival dates and for more information, please visit www.REGmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express.

What movie will you be heading out to see with the kids?

Love this post? Read more! 

Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Want to make your life easier? Try these hard boiled eggs in the instant pot and watch the shells slide off! Plus no more grey ring around the yolk. 

One of the biggest uses I get out of my Instant Pot when I am not making dinner is making hard boiled eggs. I use the 5/5/5 method where I cook them for 5 minutes with a cup of water, let the pot naturally release steam for 5 minutes, then put the eggs in an ice bath for 5 minutes.

The shells fall off and the eggs are cooked beautifully! When I make them on the stove I always end up with gray rings around my yolk. No more gray rings! [Read more…]

Classic Homemade Brownies The Kids Can Make

These classic homemade brownies are the perfect dessert to let the kids help make! They’ll love mixing, cracking eggs, and baking from scratch. 

One thing I absolutely love doing with the kids is watching them learn how to bake. And my 6-year-old just graduated from baking brownies from a mix to baking from scratch. Her suggestion! 

After talking about how easy it was to make homemade brownies with my husband, she asked me if I could help her make them. So we got all of the ingredients out and started baking. 

What I love about this recipe is its simplicity. 

The fudgy goodness is absolutely perfect and the brownies pair so well with a glass of cold milk. Sure you can dress them up or add in some fun flavors, but these can stand on their own.

You can also add some espresso to enhance the chocolate flavor. We just didn’t have some on hand right now so we went without.  [Read more…]

Smurfette’s Secret Succulent Fairy Garden

This secret succulent fairy garden would make a perfect gift for Mother’s Day or any other special occasion. Plus, it’s super easy to put together when you have the right tools!

A few weeks ago we were invited to a screening of Smurfs The Lost Village and boy did my kids love it! The movie took us through the story of Smurfette’s creation and her struggle with finding her unique talent. Since she was made out of clay and different from the other Smurfs, she grew sad and frustrated with her lack of being able to master one skill. 

As the story unfolds, she and a few Smurf friends head off on an adventure that brings her to realize who she really is and the power she holds inside. 

Well… my kids were quite inspired by the movie because as soon as we got home they wanted to create their own Smurf village in the back yard! The fun plants that came alive and the various creatures found along Smurfette’s journey were all they could talk about. 

So I pitched a fairy garden but instead of fairies, we used Smurfs! And how perfect did it turn out? Plus? It was so easy for the kids to make! 

Watch the video at the end of this post for more details! 

[Read more…]



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