Saturday, February 9, 2013

20 Inexpensive Winter kid Activities

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My little one is suffering from what usually happens in Western New York around mid February, "cabin fever". We both want outside so bad! Frankly one can only make snow angels and sled down a hill, so often before well it's too cold. We have hit that mark and really need to get out and see the sun again, feel the warm and just run some of our energy out. But obviously with a snow and winter adviser AGAIN, we cannot. So here are some winter kid friendly activities to hopefully help you out because we all run of fun ideas after this much housebound, crappy weather.
1. Visit a local Humane Society and help wash a kitten or play with some of the animals. They need extra loving too!
2. Let them ride one of those 25 cent rides in your local Big Lots or grocery store. I love doing this one because it's cheap entertainment and he is happier entering the store making shopping easier and less of a hassle to just get it out of the way so there is no begging.
 3. Let them help you re purpose furniture or house items. Let them choose the color or fabric or "read the directions".
4. Let them help you gather food to donate to a local food bank. Take them with you when you drop it off as well teach them the benefits of donating and helping others.
5. Sled down a hill or make snow angels.
 6. Break out a apple peeler and let them use it with your help of course. My son love doing this. It's free and fun entertainment plus he is eating healthy without really knowing it, Ha!
7. Let them help you put the dishes away. You can also let them start the water before you do dishes. This is a start to chores and after all this is the first step, we all have to start somewhere.
8. Let them help you cut out your Christmas or holiday cookies. We usually do a gathering of kids and do a bunch of them at the same time. Everyone rolls, cuts, bake and decorates cookies.
 9. Let them start their bath or shower. This really helps them learn responsibility in a simple way. Or let them pick out their next day outfit, or PJs.
10. Allow them to roll out your dough for pies, pizza or hand print making.
11.  Let them see you sort laundry. My son actually asked to help but he is 3 so he wants to be Mommies little helper. So I let him put the dryer sheets in, dump the prepared detergent and push the buttons to start the washing machines. Kids need to learn to do their laundry, why not make it fun before it's considered a chore?
12. Art time! We love this time in the house. We break out the trash bags cut some arm and head holes to create smocks. Set up everything before we start any painting helps from forgetting anything. I use a box, newspaper or whatever we have laying around to lay underneath the paper project. I lay the paint out on a disposable plate to prevent an messes. I always have wet wipes on hand just in case. I also join in on the fun it is fun and helps bond by making "master pieces".
 13. Make funny faces in a mirror. Entertains for only a few seconds that's ok take out some toothpaste and an old art brush. Paint the mirror. Creating artwork on new surfaces with different medias really is fun and exciting. Plus, to kids using toothpaste for paint is like going against so "set rule" So go ahead and break some rules. Clean up is so easy why not?
14. Incorporate kids in any house project that requires tools. Even girls love grabbing a tool and trying to turn a screw on their own or read directions.
15. Color with your children. name the color crayons and then date the pages when you are done. through the years you will have a book full of dates and art work you can store and keep as a memory keepsake. Just another great memory for you and later on your child to savor.
16. Read books to your kids. I know everyone says that but it is such a good idea to start when they are young! get them used to hearing your voice read to them, it's soothing. I love reading the Dr. Seuss Learning Library additions. They rhyme but also focus on educational material. They tend to be hard to find in stores but so educational.
 
17. Let them help you water the house plants, feed the fish, cat, dogs or any other living being you might have. Teaches responsibility and it's fun.
18. Watch a movie. You might want to prescreen I have found many "children" shows or movies claiming to be appropriate for younger views BUT that does NOT mean they are to your personal standards. Have a hand it what they watch on TV.
19. Grab a puzzle at a local thrift store or Dollar tree. Try and get a puzzle you know they can put together by themselves and watch them problem solve.
20. Have fun with your kiddo. Being stuck in the house at all can be so boring and sometimes it is hard to find things to do that are fun. Keep your chin up. Just the other day I started making up songs from the addition chart to entertain my 3 year old. "One plus two equals Three, One plus two equals Three, take one out and set it down three minus one equals two". See, totally off the wall idea but he laughed for hours listening to me make up song ditties.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cheap or Free Date Night Fun

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Since valentine's day is right around the corner. I thought it would be nice to go over some great cheap date night ideas. I suggest having a date night every week to two weeks especially when you have children. Keeping your relationship healthy help you and your spouse but it also helps your children. Let's face it if you are fighting and not really connected how on earth to appear to little one's around you? So stay connected and hey if you don't have a lot of extra cash here are some great ideas that will help you stay close and not pinch your wallet!

Cheap or Free Date night ideas:

1. Rent a movie from your local library. They have grants to help fund their facility and many provide the new releases! Often times they have movies in our area that our Family Video does not have!
2. $5 game. You can really play this in many places but just to give you some examples. Take $5 each to a Arcade and see who wins the most tickets. Or to a Antique shop, Thrift store, dollar tree. I love this game and honestly have won several of these games. They are a great competitive game that appeals to your inner child!

3. Print the Restaurant coupons and use them for free or cheap appetizers, desserts or meals
4. How about a nice relaxing bath for two? Got Milk?  The lactic acid in milk acts as a mild yet effective exfoliate (which really means it removes dead skin leaving you silky smooth). Just grab your powdered milk from the kitchen and make up a batch of 1 cup (any type of powdered milk you have will work). Just pour the already made cup of milk to your bath water and relax and enjoy. Also add some lavender if you want a fragrance.
5. Play Bingo! Yeah I said it play bingo. It doesn't really cost much to play and you could win! I love playing bingo gets you out of the house, you could win big and a great way to chat and meet other couples.
6. Read a book together out loud to one another. This is great for those of you who like to read. And you can rent a book and it will be free. Or download a free Ebook on amazon.com.
7.Check out local coupon booklets or brochures and be a tourist in your town. Explore new places and do new activities.
8. Hit up a local winery or wine trail. They also have Brewery tastings for those of you that do not enjoy wine. This is a great way to meet local business and also taste local wines. In my opinion my local wines in western New York are my favorite. Some even have coupons for wine!
 
9. Got to an open skating at a ice or roller skating rinks.
10. Go for a bike ride. You can rent one from a local shop or buy one at a thrift store.
11. Hike, walk or rock climb. How easy it is to pack a couple lunches,  a blanket and backpack? Hit the trails for some fun nature watching, or just exploring. In many cases some places even have river tubing, horseback riding or rock climbing for pretty cheap.
12. Have a cozy camp fire. Hot dogs and smores are cheap and easy to make!
13. Treat yourselves to a matinee movie. Signup for local theaters newsletters and score free popcorn printable coupons. Students also get a discount by showing their cards. (great for those of us going to back to college online).
14. Make dinner or a recipe together. Pizza, quiche or tacos for examples.
15. Visit a car or motorcycle show. I know ladies you are not impressed BUT they have vendors including jewelry, purses etc. They also have funnel cakes, wine and beer vendors!
 
 16. Game night: Try Skip-bo , Yatzee or Apples to Apples with another couple.
17. Visit Groupon.com and pick some activities or overnight stay. This can be pricey BUT you don't have to choose one that's expensive. They come with restaurant gift cards and gift cards to local attractions.
18. Hop in Auctionzip.com and locate an auction in your area. Nothing is more bonding then rummaging through someone Else's junk and finding treasures together. Or visit local yard sales.
19. Hit a Karaoke night. This is free entertainment and can be very amusing to watch each other make fools of their selves trying to sing greatest hits. Just try and remember not to use hurtful words keep it friendly.
20. This one I saved for last because I truly feel is one of the most important ideas. Have a date with other couples. Being around other couples helps you realize your strengths and weakness'. It can also make you thankful and admire your partner. Seeing how other couples react and are with one another can really help you evaluate and appreciate your situation.
Plus its a great bonding experience socially with friends. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On the Fly Recipe

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On the Fly:
You will need:
Peppers ( I used 3 multi colored)
1 roma tomato
1- McCormick seasoning packet
1-package of tortillas
Some meat ( I used Italian sausage we sliced open and chopped into hamburger consistency) But you can use chicken or hamburger up to you
Sour cream ( if you like it)
Vegetable or olive oil
Now the trick is to use a Non stick square griddle.
Place some oil onto the pan and let heat for a few seconds. I usually load the tortilla with all the fixings at this time. Gently turn the tortilla around with your spatula to keep it from burning on the bottom. Then once the tortilla starts to bubble fold it in half and press down. 
I usually serve immediately after they come off the pan. They are the best when they are hot! So if you are planning on making side have them ready to serve once these babies are done! Enjoy!