Making More Time for Things That Matter

As a Mom who decided that sending my kids with a school lunch from home was a more feasible and healthy option, I have found some nights that I simply do not want to make these kids lunches. The problem is that my oldest was gaining a lot of weight years back from eating school lunches, so I won’t ever go back that route. I had a dilemma, I wanted to continue to make home school lunches for the kids, but I didn’t want to be spending hours every night making all three kids lunches. What is a Mom to do?

I turned to Google after recently hearing about a local Mom saying she made uncrustables for her kids at home. This was a brilliant idea! I went off to search the Internet, I searched high and I searched low. I came across ways to make uncrustables and found some snacks that I could make too, this would save money and time during the week.

Making School Lunches From Home in Less Time

How you make Uncrustables at home is relatively simple. I made Turkey and Cheese (plain without condiments) and PB&J for the kids. I took two pieces of bread, the sandwich ingredients and a coffee cup.

  • Place one piece of bread down upon a flat surface.
  • Place the meat & cheese or the PB&J in center of the bread.
  • Place the second piece of bread on top.
  • Use coffee cup or heavy glass circle shaped household item, or a sandwich press to push and hold on the combined sandwich for about 30-40 seconds.
  • Once you have held the item to press the sandwich for the allotted time frame, pick it up and voila you have a home made uncrustable!

You can freeze these for each week ahead of time and then not have to make sandwiches every single night for your kids! It’s a perfectly awesome time saver for the week nights. I heard that you can store the PB&J ones for up to a month, so feel free to make these for a couple of weeks ahead of time at once if you have the ambition! Oh and in case you are wondering, the meat uncrustables do not taste bad at all, you wouldn’t even know one had frozen them. (I had my fiance taste test over weekend for his work day on Saturday to confirm if that turkey & cheese was a good idea or not)

Making School Lunches From Home in Less Time

Next I moved onto home made snack ideas, above this text you will see an image of funky looking apple pies. These were derived from the recipe Lunchbox Sized Apple Pies, but made into my own unique shapes.

Making time for what matters

Pictured above are the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins I made as a snack for school lunches too. This is an easy to make recipe and since I had all but the pumpkin and chocolate chips at home, it was really not that expensive. I had fun making 48 muffins for the kids school week and the fiance’s work week lunches, The fiance was rather skeptical about pumpkin as he hasn’t ever had much luck with pumpkin flavored food, but he LOVED these.

Making time Efficient for School Lunch Creations

Pictured above is the home made chex mix crock pot recipe I found and decided to test out, but in all honesty, this was a bad idea. Next time we will use the recipe provided on this page, but will not use the crock pot. It didn’t come out great at all, not enough flavor spread through the mixture, but we will eat it.

To me, spending all of this time taking over the weekend while my kids were with their Dads made sense. It took up time while they were away rather than taking away from time that could have been spent with them, for those who don’t have shared visits of children, you can do some of this baking after the kids are asleep. This will keep yo from you having to do some made dash to make lunches every night and allow for more time where it matters; with the kids enjoying family time!

What are some ways you save time with school lunch prep that allow you more family time?

 

My Doll House Game Android App #Android #app #free

Today I share with you another app, an Android doll house game for girls on Google Play store. Just what my kids needed, another app, right? Well they do. These days it’s great to have a wide range of apps on your Android device so that your children can 1) learn technology for both fun and educational ways and 2) have a wide range of apps to engage them. I know long car rides are great places to let the kids go app crazy, with a two hour drive to Maine during our Summer trips, apps save us from a headache!

Dolls House

My Doll House Game is a great way to encourage your child’s creativity, what fun it is to watch them as they design and build a house on their own. Watch their face light up as they beam with pride for creating an amazing, beautiful home on My Doll House Game App. As a mother to a daughter who loves to design various things; mainly clothing, she loves this app where she can arrange flowers, furniture, carpet and more to her specifications.

There are 30 houses to choose from and as you collect smiles along the game you are able to unlock more houses and categories. If you prefer to buy smiles, instead of earning them, that’s an option too. I personally never buy extras like that for my children in their apps, I’m mean and make them work for it ;-)

My dolls House Android App

If you are persistent you will find that some of these things do things when they are tapped! I know with so many hundreds of extras to put inside your house, this keeps the kids busy building and creating. The kids will love it so much they will want “just one more minute” when you tell them it’s time to shut off electronics! At least that’s how my kids are.

I personally think you should check out this app because when an app like this, that encourages such creativity is free, it’s so worth checking out Android doll house game for girls on Google Play store

If you download this to your Android device please come back and tell me what you thought of it! I would love to hear what other children say about this app!

EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest {Free app on Android Devices} #app #android

Today I am sharing with you all a free app that you can download from Google Play on your Android device. The app is called EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest and is rated for every age, that means my youngest can enjoy this app as well as my oldest.

EyeSpy App

One type of game that works for all three of my children is a memory game, in the past I had a leapster 2 to take along in the family vehicle on road trips, it had a fun memory game, however, the memory game was old school and not as engaging nor fun for my technologically advanced children. It seems the kids now want to use my Android device in the car because 1) it has a charger for the car and 2) it has more options of apps and games to download.  That is why when the company sent me an email about EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest, I knew it was the app for us. I hope it’s an app you all will enjoy too, especially since it’s free.

EyeSpy Game Level Challenge

Challenge yourself and your friends when you play this memory and concentration skill testing app. Colorful and bright graphics to keep the children engaged and occupied for a long road trip this holiday season. With 50 different levels, you are able to race to victory while you try to find certain items that are in your list to find. It’s like EyeSpy road version but on your Android device, no more worrying about the typical “Eye Spy” car game as you drive past the item you “spied” and leave the family frustrated. EyeSpy will eliminate the need to slow down while driving to allow the kids time to see what you “spy”, and keep the children engaged working their brain cells instead of working their sibling rivalry skills.

 EyeSpy Storyline

EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest Features:

  • 50 unique levels
  • Diverse challenges and rewards for accuracy, quickness and other spy master feats!
  • Intuitive controls and easy to understand yet endlessly entertaining gameplay!
  • Mentally engaging fun that doubles as an awesome learning experience!
  • And much more!

Why I recommend EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest:

  • Fun but educational: I’m all about teaching kids in a tricky so to speak way, they are having fun but learning without realizing it.
  • Great for Long Road Trips: Keeps the kids entertained while using their brain power on long road trips this holiday season.
  • Fun for all Ages: Even parents can enjoy this game with the children, engaging our adult brains is important too.
  • Free of Cost: There’s nothing to lose when something is free to download.

Ready to give EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest a try? Head over to your Google Play store and download EyeSpy: Hidden Objects Quest today!

 

Kid Safe Email – Freedom with Parental Watch

Free Product

I am all for giving kids freedom, the freedom to make choices on their own but with the parent watching “in the background”. Some things in life are things our children are going to have to learn how to work with properly and one of those things that are vitally important, are email. A kid safe email account with parental controls/access “in the background” is very important to me and that is why I recently tested out a service called KidsEmail.org!

kids email

Kids Email is really easy to setup, basically you will go the KidsEmail.org website and click to sign up, they will have you feel out the parental details and then you get to fill out your child’s information. There is an option for more than one child on your one parental account too. The child can be chosen to be a “younger kid” or an “older kid” which means they will get different controls, looks and feels about the email account. I choose “older kid” as my daughter is familiar with email accounts & usage of email.

I love the parental features you can set and restrict things to, and get this, you can ground the child. There is an area where you can click to ground your child from their email which means they will not be able to access email. I love that idea too, not that my daughter is ever really grounded from such things as she is a well behaved child, but I am sure when she starts those teenager years she may have instances when I have to pull out the groundation card from things.

kids email time restrictions

The parental features for KidsEmail.org really help you to stay on top of when your child is allowed to check email, what type of email they can receive. You can limit what they are allowed to attach to outgoing emails and what is allowed to be attached to incoming emails. Another cool function is that you can have a copy of all outgoing and/or incoming emails be sent to you as well. This means you can heavily monitor your child’s email account without them feeling like you are constantly hounding over their account. I believe this is a great way to build trust between your child and you with them being allowed to have a “big kid” email account but also allows you to teach them at a young age how to properly deal with email.

Connect with KidsEmail.org on Google +, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to keep up to date with their latest news and reviews!

I started at a young age teaching my children about email and the internet because of my job, I have learned more than most of the average parents I have run into are aware of, so in turn I always try to take time to educate parents as well as child on how dangerous even an email account can be. You do not want your IP address received to a predator for your family or child, not at all. KidsEmail.org is a great way to encourage independent responsibility while still keeping a solid eye on things.

Now that I have shared details with you about this great kids email account option, I want to take a moment to share a bit about KidsEmail.org’s First Semi-Annual Young Author Competition. The winner of this competition shall have their book illustrated and published. Click here to learn more.

What do you think, would you use KidsEmail.org for your child to have a safe email account? Why or why not?

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How to Export Shutterfly Group Calendar to Google Calendar

I found myself sitting at my daughter’s cheer practice as the other parents started to say how one game was cancelled and another practice was cancelled but I had no clue. When I asked how they knew, their reply was that it was on the Shutterfly Group page for our cheerleaders. This is a group that I don’t usually log into for I get email notifications, well apparently I do not get an email notification when the group calendar events have been cancelled or edited. This is where I realized there was going to be an issue. I wanted to know how I could import my Shutterfly Calendar into my Google Calendar as that is what I use from my iPhone.

Shutterfly Calendar

While I do not believe importing my Shutterfly Group Calendar into Google will automatically update edits, this is something I will only find out if the Coach edits any current September dates/events, I am still able to have the current dates in my iPhone while I am on the road at soccer and cheer practices or while I am on the road making appointments for the children. Having the schedule in my iPhone really helps me to stay on track. I am a scatter brain with all I have to be responsible for, so having any way to keep better organized, I am game!

If you are like and found yourself wondering how can I import my Shutterfly Group Calendar into my Google Calender, this is how to do it:

  1. Click the options drop down menu, located in the upper right side of your calendar in Shutterfly.
  2. Click the Export Calendar button.
  3. You will be prompted to save the file, for me the webpage gave an “error loading” but the file still popped up for me to click to save it to my laptop.
  4. This means you have now exported your current Shutterfly Group Calendar onto your laptop or PC.

Google Calendar

How do I import my Shutterfly Group Calender into Google Calender:

  1. Open your Google Calender and beside the “Other calendars” area you will see a little drop down arrow.
  2. Within the drop down menu you will see an “import calendar” option, click that.
  3. You can then find your Shutterfly Calendar file within your files on laptop/pc and click it.
  4. Google Calender will then ask if you want to add this as a new calender or sync with a current one. Choose which fits what you want. I wanted it to be added to my  name calendar as it’s a personal calendar I was importing, not a client’s calendar.
  5. That is all, now you have successfully transferred your current Shutterfly Group Calender into your Google Calendar.

I do not believe by importing a Shutterfly Group Calendar into your Google Calendar means it will sync up when there are changes, so remember to check your Shutterfly Group page often and when there are changes import the calendar again following the above steps.

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