Disney’s CARS 3 Road to the Races in San Diego

Are your kids’ huge Cars fans? Well, you’re in luck! The CARS 3 Road to the Races Tour is in San Diego tomorrow June 6th! 

This is an amazing FREE event for San Diego families at Belmont Park in Mission Beach. It’s going to be HUGE- with tons of freebies and photo opps with your favorite CARS 3 characters.

You won’t want to miss this fun event! 

Before the event, check out these activity sheets including a “Race to the Finish” board game, a build your own Race Course activity and a delicious Corn Fritters recipe!

Click below to download activities! 

Piston Cup Race Maze

Memory Race

Spot the Difference

Make Your Own Race Course

Miss Fritter’s Corn Fritters

Not in San Diego? Check here to see if there’s an event in your neighborhood! 

Disney Pixar’s CARS 3 opens everywhere June 16th! 

Mini Dessert Pizzas with Creamy Glaze

In preparation of the fun camping trips we have planned this summer, I made this delicious mini dessert pizza to enjoy with a cup of coffee. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DunkinCreamers #CollectiveBias

Whether you’re camping in in the wilderness or in your own backyard, there’s nothing like a delicious, slightly sweet treat to begin (or end) your day. And what else tastes better with a sweet treat than a deliciously caffeinated cup of coffee? With a little Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer stirred in, of course. 

These mini dessert pizzas are so fun to make! Plus, they’re so versatile. And I love that we can make them on the grill when we’re out in the wilderness or at home in the oven. We always bring fruit and creamer with us when camping and occasionally have pie crust for hand pies and other desserts but usually only use one of the two crusts that come in the package. I love that this recipe uses up that other pie crust AND can be made with the creamer we already have on hand. 

Another bonus about this recipe? the fact that the kids can help make it. While they try and sneak my coffee in the morning, I can distract them by asking them to help make these with me. That means I get to enjoy a HOT cup of coffee while they work on finishing up the recipe. And then I can enjoy another cup when we’re eating these up. Yum! 

Since the recipe is so simple, it’s important to layer on the flavor. From the dough to the strawberries to the glaze, we kick up the flavor at every step. Cinnamon is the perfect addition to sprinkle onto the dough, and macerating the strawberries in sugar and vanilla just add a little extra boost. But then when it comes to the final touch… the glaze… we save the best for last! 

Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer is made with real sugar, milk, and cream for a wonderfully rich and smooth taste. The perfect choice for coffee purists. And it tastes amazing in this simple glaze. You can also sub Dunkin’ Donuts® Vanilla Creamer for another pop of flavor. 

We’re sharing one flavor – strawberries and cream – but there are endless possibilities when it comes to making these. Looking for more flavor options? 

Here are a few of my kids’ favorites: 

  • S’mores – mini baked pie crust round topped with marshmallows and 1 square of chocolate placed under the broiler until golden then drizzled with creamy glaze made with Dunkin’ Donuts® Vanilla Creamer and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs.
  • Apple Pie – mini baked pie crust round topped with diced granny smith apples that have been cooked up in a skillet with sugar and cinnamon and drizzled with creamy glaze with Dunkin’ Donuts® Caramel Creamer
  • Bananas & Cream – mini baked pie crust round topped with a little banana pudding and sliced bananas and drizzled with a creamy glaze made with Dunkin’ Donuts® Caramel Creamer.

5 from 2 votes
Print

Mini Dessert Pizzas with Creamy Glaze

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 package pie crust
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees. 

  2. Using a round cutter, cut pie crust into circles and place onto pizza stone or parchment-lined cookie tray. Sprinkle a little cinnamon onto each round. Place in oven or on grill and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

  3. Dice strawberries and place into a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and add vanilla. Stir until sugar dissolves. 

  4. Mix together powdered sugar and Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer until smooth and glaze forms. 

  5. Once pie crust has cooked, let cool 5 minutes then layer mini pizzas. Add 1 tablespoon strawberries to each round then drizzle with glaze. 

What’s your favorite dessert pizza flavor? 

Looking for Dunkin’ Donuts® Extra Extra Creamer to make your morning extra special? Head over to Walmart and pick up one or two containers from the Dairy aisle. 

Love this post? Check out these great recipe ideas you can use creamer in: 

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Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

The fair opens next week, Friday June 3rd and runs until Monday, July 4th and my family couldn’t be happier to once again attend the fair and make awesome memories. But with so many things going on right now, and so many other activities happening, we have to be frugal when we think of the activities we’re doing over the summer. And that means looking for some great deals and ways to save at the San Diego County Fair.

Luckily I’m a pro at this by now with experiences from past fairs since having kids. And I’ve gotten a little savvy on ways to save and maximize my fair-going experience without shelling out big bucks. Here are a few great ways to save at the San Diego County Fair without skimping out on the fun stuff… or the food!

San Diego County Fair Carousel 2013

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Buy a Costco Fair Pack

For around $60 we picked up a San Diego County Fair package. It included the following:

  • 4 admission tickets
  • 1 free Passport to Savings book coupon
  • 1 parking pass
  • 4 drink coupons
  • 50 ride tickets

We always purchase one of these so that we can go to the fair on a weekend – crazy busy! – or one of my husband’s off Friday’s and not have to worry about taking the bus in or spending a whole lot on food because we have the coupons. It also gives the kids just enough ride tickets to satiate their need for carnival attractions while distracting them from the carnies who try to lure them into tossing rings or darts in an attempt to get a 25 cent stuffed animal.

Some years we do purchase additional tickets there because 2 kids go through 50 tickets quite quickly! Most rides average between 3-6 tickets each. And that includes adults as well if you have to ride with your child.

Get the Best Pass Ever!

You know you can’t see everything at the Fair in just one day, so here’s your opportunity for big savings with the Best Pass Ever! Just $26 buys one person admission to all 26 days of the Fair; regularly $16 each day (adult admission). On sale online, now through July 3 (one day before the Fair ends). You also can buy the Best Pass Ever at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores, now through June 3. For more info see the Best Pass Ever page.

Kids Free Tuesdays at the San Diego County Fair - Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair selfie sticks

Take Advantage of Kids Free Tuesdays

Children 5 and younger are admitted free every day and do not require tickets. However, if you have kids older than 5, Tuesday, June 27 is Kids’ Day; children 12 and younger are admitted free. (Admission for ages 6-12 other days is $11.)

Free Kids Tickets for Reading Logs
Children 12 and younger who read 10 or more books, verified by a teacher or librarian, get free admission any day of the Fair. (Regular child’s admission is $11.) Download your Reading Certificate [PDF] before school gets out!

Discount tickets at Albertsons and Vons

Albertsons | Vons $5 Fair Days — Come to the Fair for just $5.00 on Friday, June 2; Saturday, June 3; and Wednesday, June 7, 2016. These tickets are available only at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores with a $10 minimum purchase. They are not sold at the Fairgrounds.

Save on 20% adult admission tickets: Discount adult admission tickets for $15 (save $3.00 off the regular adult admission price) are available at Albertsons and Vons stores. Albertsons and Vons also will have regular-price senior ($11.00; 62 and older) and children’s ($11.00, ages 6-12) tickets.

The nearest stores to the Fairgrounds are Vons at 2606 Del Mar Heights Road (one exit south of the Fairgrounds) and Vons at 931 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach (one exit north).  And remember – there is a $10.00 minimum purchase required.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - save money on food at the fair with Taste of the Fair Tuesdays
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - kids meal deals

Save Money On Food

Taste of The Fair Thursdays

On Thursdays, from 12noon until 5:00PM, you can buy $3.00 taste-sized portions of some of your favorite Fair foods, such as corn dogs, fudge, fish tacos and cinnamon rolls, on Taste of the Fair Thursdays. So many choices! You guys… it’s the PERFECT way to sample everything you love in little bites. Especially if you’re like me and your husband won’t share 5 different dishes at one time and suggests you choose only 1-2 treats.

Kids Meal Deals
Look for the Kids’ Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food booths. The meal includes an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a free child’s admission, with paid adult admission, to 10 local attractions, for only $5.99.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - ride tickets packages and other discounts

Get Bussed In or Take Mass Transit!

Save On Parking And Transportation

You can find free parking at the off-site lots and then get bussed into the fair to save money on parking. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Get a discount on Fair admission if you’re a regular transit rider. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Ride the train, take the bus, save money!: During the Fair, shuttles transport bus and train passengers from the Solana Beach train station to the Fair’s West Gate (you must present a train or bus ticket to board the shuttle). You can buy the Fair Tripper, a Fair admission-and-public-transportation-fare package; or present a same-day transit ticket or monthly pass at the West Gate window for an admission discount on adult, senior or child admission.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - teachers and educators discount

Are you a Teacher/Educator?

School Staff Appreciation Days presented by Mission Federal Credit Union
Everyone who helps to educate the next generation are all VIPs in our book, so we want to reward your dedication with a discount day at the San Diego County Fair.

Head to any San Diego County Mission Federal Credit Union branch (starting June 1), present your school employment ID, teaching credentials or pay stub, and receive four $5.00 admission vouchers to the Fair. These vouchers enable you to buy admission tickets on School Staff Appreciation Days, valid for any age, for $5.00.

School Staff Appreciation Days

Friday, June 16
Friday, June 23
Friday, June 30

Tickets are available ONLY at the 27 Mission Federal branches, while supplies last. These tickets will not be available at the Fairgrounds. Find the Mission Federal branch closest to you

Plan to attend Teacher Appreciation Receptions. Teachers and Educators: Please join in for an evening of networking and idea-sharing in the student exhibits, where you can meet the exhibit coordinators and learn how to highlight your students and their work at the San Diego County Fair.

  • K-6 teachers: 4:00-7:00PM in the Best of K-6 Schools Exhibit, Creative Youth Tent, Family Funville
  • 7th grade to community college teachers: 4:00-6:00PM in the Student Showcase Exhibit, 1st Floor, West Grandstand

Saving on Multiple Trips

Free Return Ticket 
Every year we’ve been able to receive a free return ticket back to the Fair just by completing a survey while there. You also get a free return ticket in your Passport to Savings book. So here’s what we do! I go for the Albertson’s $5 day with the kids. Then I turn in my coupon from the Costco pack for the Passport to Savings when I’m there and I take the survey.

That means I have a return ticket for me and the coupon for a return ticket in the Passport to Savings. Then I have my kids’ teachers sign off on his Reading Log to get free admission so everyone in the family can go again before we even use our Costco passes! That’s 3 trips to the fair in one season. Pretty awesome deal!

There are also a few other ways to save that you can find on the Fair’s website here

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - enjoying the fair skyline

Are you going to the fair this year?

Pirates of the Caribbean Activity Sheets

We’ve ben waiting with anticipation for the release of the latest Pirates of the Carribean movie and the time has come! I was invited to attend the screening and was able to treat my dad to a sneak peek at  Johnny Depp’s return to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” Basically, I gave him his Father’s Day present early because he is a HUGE fan of Pirates. 

This latest rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack (what’s new!) feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.

Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth, a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry, a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

The story that unfolds not only sucked us in but kept us at the edge of our seat the whole time! I may or may not have literally jumped in my seat (with arms raised up) at least 2 times. While this movie was fantastic for adults, I wouldn’t suggest taking your kids if they’re under 12. Maybe 10 if they’re mature. 

The best part about this movie is how wonderfully it weaved into the previous films. If you loved the first Pirates movie, then you will absolutely love this one. And please remember to stay seated until after the credits are done! You won’t be disappointed. Cannot wait for the next one! 

Download the Pirates of the Caribbean activity sheet here! 

 

Visit the official Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales website here. And follow along on social! 

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES opens in theaters everywhere today, May 26th!

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: 

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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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6 Ways to Enjoy Butterbeer at Universal Orlando

As I’m sure you saw on my Instagram account recently, I had the chance to head to Orlando, Florida sans kids for a few days to attend a conference. While I was in the great state of Florida for the first time, there was one thing I knew I had to do… visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and try all of the butterbeer varieties I could! So when Universal Orlando was kind enough to offer me 2 guest passes, I kindly took them up on their offer. 

Did you know there are 6 ways to enjoy Butterbeer in the park? Yup! 6 ways to enjoy the delicious sweet treat that is famous amongst Potter fans. To be able to taste the deliciousness we once only read about and watched on the big screen goes hand in hand with the awe I felt as I walked up to Hogwarts and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time in Universal Orlando. 

So without further ado, here are the 6 ways to enjoy Butterbeer at Universal Orlando. Try all 6 and let me know which you would rate as #1 on your list! 

6 Ways to Enjoy Butterbeer at Universal Orlando

1. Cold Butterbeer – 

At the top of my butterbeer list is the classic cold Butterbeer. Closest in recreation to what the characters enjoyed in the series, it’s smooth, creamy, and super sweet. Plus, since it was in the mid-90s when we visited, it was the perfect treat to enjoy while trying to stay cool as we waited in line to visit Ollivander’s Wand Shop and pick out our wands. 

The best part was the butterscotch-flavored cream on top that we enjoyed with every sip as we made our way down to the bottom of the cup. Such deliciousness. If you’re a cream soda fan, you will fall head over heels for it! 

2. Butterbeer Potted Cream – 

Runner-up has to go to the amazingly smooth butterscotch-esque Butterbeer potted cream found in Diagon Alley at The Leaky Cauldron. It’s the essence of perfection when it comes to butterscotch pudding and paired well with my fish and chips as a not too sweet treat. It would also be perfect paired with one of their beers on tap as a fun afternoon snack if you aren’t too hungry for a full meal. 

3. Butterbeer Soft Serve Ice Cream – 

We headed over to the end of Diagon Alley for this next sweet treat. When you’re there, make sure to head into the Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour right across from Gringotts Bank. They have quite a few varieties of ice cream but only one soft serve… this delicious Butterbeer. But be careful! In the Florida heat, the soft serve melts fast! 

4. Frozen Butterbeer – 

If you don’t like your drinks super sweet but still want to get the great flavor of butterbeer, definitely grab a pint of frozen butterbeer. Because of its slushy state, it is a slightly milder version of the cold butterbeer and is absolutely perfect to help cool oneself down on a super hot summer day at the park. I suggest using a straw to enjoy this delicious variety. But make sure to lift up the straw to get the cream with each sip. 

5. Butterbeer Fudge – 

At the bottom of our butterbeer obsessed list is the butterbeer fudge found at Honeydukes sweet shop. While in theory it sounded lovely, it was just too sweet for this sweet tooth. If you have friends to share with, just one square will go a long way! While you’re at Honeydukes, pick up a few quill suckers (that actually write!) and some chocolate frogs as well (if it’s not too hot out). 

6. Hot Butterbeer – 

And last but not least is the hot butterbeer variety. Sadly, due to the heat, we were not able to try this variation so we have no way to rate it against the other options. However, if you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying this version, please let us know your thoughts!! 

Now that we’ve made our way through this amazing list of all things butterbeer, I do want to dispell a myth that a few individuals (not to be named) mentioned to me before going. Sadly, there is no alcoholic version of butterbeer in Universal Orlando. 

After visiting every butterbeer dealer … er… dispenser, we received the same answer to our question. Nowhere in the park can you order the alcoholic version of this bubbly delicious drink. However, you CAN enjoy some great alcoholic drinks like Wizard’s Brew or Dragon Scale in Diagon Alley at The Leaky Cauldron or The Hopping Pot

What’s your favorite variety of Butterbeer? 

Thank you to Universal Orlando for inviting me to enjoy your parks and experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

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

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