Fun Family April Fool’s Day Pranks!

I’m totally writing this article in June of 2015, so it will be scheduled, of course, but I found some adorable April Fool’s Day pranks and I wanted to share them while I was inspired!

Most of these are from the April 2015 edition of Parents magazine. They’re seriously awesome, and if you don’t have a subscription, you can get one now!

Cake and Berries – I mean, “Toast” and Berries

This prank is super fun for super healthy households. Karen Cicero, a contributing editor to Parents, replaced her daughter’s toast with pound cake! She said that her daughter was “so excited” that Karen had fooled her because sweets were not a breakfast food in her home. This is an easy and quick “prank,” but remember to add protein to the dish to make sure your child is ready for a fantastic school day.

Sticky Milk – It’s Not as Gross as it Sounds

This prank takes a tiny bit more planning, but is a really cute idea. Gail O’Connor, the current senior editor for Parents, froze a glass of milk overnight. In the morning, she topped it with fresh milk so that her daughter could take a sip, but the rest of the milk was stuck!

“Bloody” Hands

This is a prank I remember from my childhood. After my sister and I went to bed, my mother stuck Crayola colored bath water tabs under the sink faucets in the bathrooms, so when we went to wash our hands or brush our teeth the next morning, the water was red! My sister screamed and then started giggling, while I, in all my insomniatic glory, was so exhausted I didn’t even notice the change.

Where’s the Water?!

Another prank my mother played on us was turning off the water to our sinks in the morning. I have no idea if they still work this way, but you used to be able to turn the water off to just one sink at a time. My dad would turn his on and it would work just fine, while I couldn’t get a drop!

I’ve Got My Eye on YOU!

I love this idea, whether it’s April Fool’s Day or not. Kara Corridan, the health director of Parents magazine, glued pairs of googly eyes to everything in her daughter’s bathroom. This is a fun and easy laugh for any time of the year!

I hope these have inspired you to get in the mood for the first of April! Post your favorite pranks or your kid’s reactions below – I can’t wait to see how your pranks turn out!

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Moms: Creating “Me” Time in a Busy Home

I see it allllllllllllllllllll the time.

The moms that come in to school with their hair in a rough bun, clothes wrinkled, and circles under their eyes. I’m not judging them – I totally get it, and I’m impressed they’re here at all. In today’s ultra-parenting age, so many moms don’t get time to themselves, like, ever. In every home I visit with small kids, there’s this overwhelming feeling that if their parent or sitter isn’t constantly with them, the kids will destroy the home or themselves.

Moms, that’s simply not true.

Your kids are kids. Yes, they need your support. Yes, they want your attention. But no, they will not perish or be permanently damaged if you let them play in their room unattended for an hour or so.

(Note: I’m not advising parents to leave children under the age of two unattended, unless they’re napping. That’s just stupid. But four, five, or six year olds? They’ll survive.)

As I was finally reading through my April edition of Parents, I saw a quote from divinesecretsofdomesticdivas.com:

In motherhood there’s so much love, joy, and laughter… However, there’s no place in my home that’s exclusively mine, and really there’s no place I can hide.”

Although I completely understand where this mom is coming from, I think it’s kind of crazy that so mperson-409127_1280any parents feel that way. When did having kids mean giving up yourself completely? As a nanny, I often see moms who are just absolutely desperate for some time to themselves. I’ve been paid before to simply keep the kids away from mom while she took a nap.

As you all know, I’m not a parent, so I haven’t been around and responsible for a child 24/7. I’m going to give my advice anyway, though, because I have a blog and I can.

Instill in your kids the idea of quiet time. It can and will be difficult, but it teaches them a valuable lesson about patience and self-control and provides mom with some time to herself, even if it’s just a bath without kiddos popping in and out. Start with just fifteen minutes, around four in the afternoon. Say “it’s quiet time now, so until four fifteen, you need to play quietly in your room.” If you’ve done girl-511883_1280away with nap-time, this might be a difficult concept for older ones to grasp, but it will become a valued part of their day over time.

On the first day, the kids will fight. They won’t stay in their room. They won’t play by themselves. Try to suppress the urge to turn on the TV; just keep sending them back to their rooms, Super Nanny style. Make sure they understand it is not a punishment, but it is something they have to do. Encourage elementary school age children to play with toys or read a book, while older children should use this time for homework or resting.

After a successful few days of the fifteen minute quiet time, move it up to thirty. Eventually, with enough patience, your kids will leave you alone for an hour every afternoon. They will learn to value the time when the house is quiet, and you will be able to treat yourself to what you want to do, or catch up on something important. Embrace the quiet, don’t let it bother you!

If your kids don’t wear wristwatches or have non-tablet clocks in their room, invest in some cheap digital clocks. Show little ones what 4:00 and 5:00 look like on the clock, and teach them to recognize when it is time for quiet time and when they can play outside their room againalarm-clock-590383_1280. This technique also works for little ones who get up too early – set a time, like 7:15, and make sure they know what that looks like on the digital clock. If they come out before then, send them back until the clock reads 7:15.

All of this takes time, and planning, but it will be worth it in the end. You’ll end up with an hour to yourself, and the kids will learn the importance of being quiet.

If you’ve tried this technique, let me know! I’d love to hear about how it worked or didn’t; I’m always on the lookout for new tips about quiet time in the home. If you want to chat with me more about how to make this work in your home, let me know! I’m happy to chat.

Arts & Crafts: Box House With Garden

Nerdy Mama Does It Best

Sorry for the late post. It has been a hectic day.

In this previous post I talked about toddlers and their love of boxes. I also showed you how to make a cardboard box train.
In this post I will show you how you can make a cardboard box house with a small window garden for your toddler.

What you need:
A large cardboard box
Small cardboard box (like a shoe box)
Tape (Duct tape is best)
Glue
Construction paper
Pipe cleaners
Colors (crayons, markers, colored pencils)

Pro Tip: While you are setting up for this fun craft set the little one(s) up with something else to do so they don’t bug you while you are holding sharp objects. They could be watching a movie, having a snack, playing with dolls, bugging another family member, sleeping, anything really so long as they are involved in that activity.

Step 1:
In…

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Writing Masterlist!

As most of y’all know, I’ve recently delved into the world of paid – yes, paid!! – writing! I’m having lots of fun, but unfortunately right now a lot of my income relies on people actually reading my stuff. So if you have the time or interest, check some of these out! I’m focusing on Food and Shopping, since I love those, but there are plenty of articles about technology and travel as well.

volkswagen-569315_1280Traveling:

Benefits of Commuting on a Bike with a Trailer
Top Schwinn Brand Bike Trailers
Top Three Websites for Travel Insurance
Top Three Most Affordable Caravans

Education:

Study Abroad Options from Atlanta Culinary Schools
Finding Financial Aid for Culinary Schools in Atlanta
Best Atlanta Culinary Schools for Latin Cooking
Choosing a Culinary School in Atlanta to Fit any Budget
Top Ten Tips for Making the Most of a Culinary Education
Best Atlanta Culinary Schools for Baking and Pastry Arts

Shopping:business-15721_1280

Top Three Ways to Buy a Down Coat Online
Top Five Places to Buy A Coat Rack
Best Occasions to Wear Diamond Watches
Top 10 Celebrity Diamond Watches
Wearers of Diamond WatchesTop Calculators for Truck Loans

Home Improvement:

Top Three Water Softeners for Small Spaces
Innovative Gutter Styles
Industry Leaders in Warm Air Humidifiers
Top Low Maintenance Warm Air Humidifiers

Technology:mouse-583579_1280

Buying, Installing and Using External Speakers
The Importance of Keywords when Choosing a        Domain Name
Choosing the Right Tablet
Sales Techniques for the Modern World

Other:

Legal Concerns for Small Businesses

Date and Nut Candy… Probably Better than it Sounds

I found this recipe by Catherine McCord and thought I’d share it. It looks cute, although I would personally ignore the dates and maybe ditch the cashews and the walnuts too… I don’t really like any of that stuff. But then I guess it’s basically oatmeal and honey, which does sound good!

Date and Nut Candy

Credit to Avery Powell
Credit to Avery Powell

Active Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Makes: 27 Pieces

Ingredients:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
2 Tbs. hone
1 tsp. coconut or canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions:

**Preheat Oven to 350*F**

1. Spread the oats and nuts on a baking sheet. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes and let them cool. Then grind the mix in a food processor (keep the kids away) for about two minutes. Then chuck in the rest of the ingredients and process them until everything holds together like a cookie dough.

2. Create little cookie balls and coat them with coconut.

3. Eat.

4. Store them at room temperature for up to three days.

I’m not super sure why I numbered that list. It was totally unnecessary because these are like the easiest “healthy” cookies I’ve ever seen.

If you give them a try, don’t forget to let me know!