With all of this extra time we have been experiencing, we’ve found a love for baking as a family. From pies to cookies and more, baking has been something that’s brought my girls and I together. We wanted to find a way to make a tasty treat for our dog Perla, and I think we found the perfect recipe! This is totally human friendly, and you probably have most, if not all of the ingredients in your pantry already! So get prepared for your dog to love you even more, and your house to smell delicious too!
What you’ll need:
4 cups of oat flour
2/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
2 large eggs
Cookie cutter of your choice
Take your ingredients and combine together in a bowl. I found my oat flour at Smart and Final for under $5 and that is a steal! You can also make your own oat flour by taking rolled oats and putting them in the food processor. One cup of rolled oats equals 2 cups of at flour. Once you combine your ingredients together, take your dough and roll it out with a rolling pin until the dough is about 1/4 inch in thickness. Use your cookie cutter to cut out the treats and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they start to darken on the edges and dry out. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
Once they have cooled, you can serve them to your fur baby. Our dog has a bit of trouble starting to eat her meals, so we also like to use these treats and crumble them onto the top of her meal to entice her a bit. If your dog likes peanut butter, and most dogs do, they will absolutely love this recipe! There was very little cleanup, and the kids helped me with the entire process, minus the oven parts. I hope your pup enjoys this treat, and you enjoy this fun quarantine activity as well!
Okay, let’s face it. Things have been tough lately. With the ongoing quarantine that will last us for goodness knows how long, to this constant rain, we can’t catch a break as parents to help our kids release this energy. What can we do? The parks and beaches are closed. Play dates are a thing of the past. Yet, we still long for our children to have fun days filled with activities that enrich their minds and stretch their imagination. To be clear, I’m not one to encourage that we simply buy our children’s entertainment. There are so many free options we often forget. In this case, I’m trying to fill the void that physical education, field trips, and gymnastics class once did. So, if you’re like me and simply need a bit of help creating a more imaginative space, feel free to shop the links below! All of these items have brought a ton of joy since the lockdown. Some of them have helped burn some necessary energy, and some have helped expand the mind in a fun way! I hope you find this post helpful, and above all, stay safe. The virus can live on cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours, so be sure to leave the your goodies alone on the doorstep for a bit before opening.
The beauty of our current state of living, is that we get to slow down and notice the beautiful things around us. With all of the nature walks the girls and I have been doing lately, I’ve been able to notice just how many fun ideas come from what’s around us! We’ve been collecting sticks on our frequent walks to contribute to our family fireplace. It’s been so cold at night lately, so anything helps. When we were walking back one day, the girls pointed out how they also make excellent fairy wands. I thought to myself, “hmm with a little sparkle, I think you’re right.” So we got to talking about what our ideal fairy wands would look like. Colorful and sparkly we’re consistent in the pitch. So I got to Amazon hunting and found the perfect additions you need to help make your backyard wands shine! I’ve listed a how-to below, as well as linked the places I found my supplies. The goal is to not have to leave your house to create, unless it’s to find something in nature or grab a delivery box. Let’s get to wand making!
First, you’ll need to take a nice long walk. Find some sticks that can handle some serious spell casting. It would be sad to go to all that trouble, just to have it break. Once you’ve found a few good ones, bring them home and inspect them for splinters, etc. Once they are safe, it’s time to create!
The supplies you grab are really all based on your unique taste and style. For the sake of the post, I will go through how we made ours, as well as provide links in case you want to create something similar. The following supplies are needed to create this craft:
Sticks found in nature
Glue gun sticks
After you have gathered your supplies, plug in your glue gun and wait for it to heat up. While it is heating up, select the ribbon you would like to use as your base color, as well as a few other complimentary colors for the top. Grab your base color and start gluing it to the stick. You can make a small dot of glue and start to wrap the ribbon around the stick, gluing little by little as you go. Once you have reached the top, glue it in place, then start to add decorative ribbon around. Glue as you go. These steps should be done by an adult, as the gun is easy to burn little hands and arms.
Once you have glued the ribbon on, gather your gems and decorate however you wish! This is the fun and creative part, that if you have older kids at home, they are okay to help in this. Feel free to be creative or even customize it to make it a gift for someone special! You can also use things like glitter and sequins if that is something you have better access to.
After you’re done creating, it’s time to take your wands and do some magic! Find your cutest fairy outfit and go explore the world with a bit of magic in your hands! The girls loved their wands and played with them for hours. I hope you have fun creating magic with what’s around you as well!
“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.” – Master Yoda
When it comes to our current world’s state, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fear. Worrying about what could possibly come next, and when we can finally get back to our normal routines. For me, that involved sending the kids off to school, regular Target runs, and definitely some alone time. As those things have become memories of the past, it was a hard transition for me at first. You see, less than a year ago, I moved away from most of the things and people who brought me joy. So I was already feeling like I was living a life of social distancing. Target runs and Starbucks we’re all I had. All of the sudden, I was quarantined in the house, expected to become it ALL. Home school teacher, online shopping expert, full time mom and house cleaner. It was all too overwhelming. I found myself motivated in the morning, and struggling to keep my head above water by noon.
I wanted to motivate others with my ability to “juggle it all” and the pressure alone in that had me feeling overwhelmed. Not to mention, I had a nighttime job that kept me up until midnight, and a toddler who woke me up by 5 am every morning, i was burnt out. About a week into the stay at home orders came in by the Governor, I got a call from my employer, letting me know I was being let go. I went into sheer panic. How was I going to afford food? Stuff for the kids? Both my husband and I we’re out of a job, with no way to change that. After a restless night of sleep, I had a CLEAR picture of what was going on. God was trying to get me to slow down. To realize none of this is in my control. To appreciate this incredible gift we have all been given, and that is the power of now.
For the first time in what feels like forever, life was meant to slow down for me. To slow down for all of us. I get to spend more time with my girls, watching them grow and see the world. To be honest, most of us parents are doing activities we would never do unless quarantined with time on our hands. Looking for bugs and flying a kite was never on my list for the week, but I’m so lucky that it happened. For what will be a small part of our life story, our kids get our full attention. And for a small time in life, we get theirs. We don’t have to compete with sports schedules or play dates. Their time is all ours, and if we do this right, we will see this whole thing as a GIANT blessing. You see, perspective is everything. From their points of view, they don’t see the scary numbers. They don’t know about the pandemic and it’s worldwide devastation. All they see is that mom and dad are doing some pretty cool stuff with them lately, and they will remember that forever. I’ve gotten to learn so much about my girls in this small amount of time. I’m also not embarrassed to admit, that if our lives we’re what they used to be, spending this much time together wouldn’t happen.
So, for however this time lasts, I’m going to make a choice everyday to live in the NOW. Embrace every uncomfortable step, because I know the end of this will lead to a better me. I’ll get to finally take a nap, color in a coloring book, and look for ladybugs. I’ll finally be able to try out some of those Pinterest recipes I’ve been collecting for years but never tried. I’ll get to show my kids the world in a way I grew up knowing it. It was a slower time, but I believe it was a better time. We got outside and explored the world around us. We got dirty and scraped up. We asked questions about the world around us. I honestly can’t wait for the next few months ahead!
Does this mean we need to be completely positive all the time about our current situation? No. At times, no matter how you look at it, the Corona Virus SUCKS. Allow yourself moments to take that in and face it head on. But do NOT allow yourself to live in that space. The world has been knocked down, yes, but we aren’t supposed to stay there. We will bounce back. So for now, take it day by day and breathe. If you have children, enjoy them. We will never have this kind of dedicated time to them again. If you’re without children, find moments in the day to try something new and embrace these moments of rest. I know with the job market being as it is, it’s hard to motivate yourself to find joy. You will find work again. What you won’t find is this kind of selfish time to love on yourself. Learn a second language. Find a love for bird watching. Join Tik Tok. Before we know it, this will be all over. We’re going to be okay.
Oh, and to add, after I shifted my mindset, I received an offer for a better job than the one I previously had. All within 48 hours of losing my job in the most uncertain time in our lives. I am blessed, but I firmly believe mindset is everything. You got this, I promise. We will all come out of this thing more appreciative and loving. All we can control is what we have now. And what we have now is time to slow down and enjoy the things we would if time and money we’re not an issue.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and can cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress can be easier with a little bit of help, and there is a website full of sources that can help. Just click on the link below if you or someone you know needs help coping with it all:
The Corona Virus has taken completely over our lives, and it’s time to turn something negative into a fun project that sparks joy. In normal circumstances, I would encourage art projects that might require an errand for supplies. With the way things are at the moment, I wanted to create projects in which the supplies are easy to order online, or you may already have them around your house. The world may not have a ton of toilet paper at the moment, but we all have a roll or two that is empty, so collect those and set them aside for this cute craft! Here we go!
For this craft project, you will need the following supplies:
Toilet paper roll
Small amount of potting soil
First, you will take your toilet paper roll and decorate it with the markers. This is where the kids can make their own unique design, and explore their creativity. You can also have them write down on the roll what they are grateful for, draw images of things they see in nature, etc.
After your toilet paper rolls are decorated, it’s time to attach the wooden base to the roll. I found a pack of wooden craft pieces on Amazon and was able to have them shipped directly to my door, so there is no need to head out for supplies. Take your glue gun and run the glue around the base of the toilet paper roll. Then stick it to the wooden base.
Once you have glued tour toilet paper roll to the wooden base, fill the toilet paper roll about halfway with some soil. If you don’t have potting soil on hand, head to your backyard and snag some soil from the ground. It’s all about social distancing at the moment, so minimizing errands is key. After it’s filled about half way, set it aside and grab your pipe cleaner and beads. Have your kid string the beads on in any pattern they like. Once they are done, take the decorated pipe cleaner and twist it around the toilet paper roll.
Now that the toilet paper planter is decorated, it’s time to add the plant to the top. Before things in the world got crazy, I headed to Home Depot and snagged a few succulent plants for another project I had planned. So I happened to have some ready to go. IF you don’t have these just laying around, don’t worry! We’ve been encouraged as a society to take walks in nature, so go take a walk! Once you come across a succulent plant, take a piece off. Succulent plants thrive, even when being broken off. So, this backup plan is more than efficient to complete this project. Take your succulent plant and gently push it down into the toilet paper roll. That’s it! Now you have a cute way to display our planet’s most prized possession: The toilet paper roll. Enjoy and be safe! Don’t forget to wash your hands.
It’s almost St. Patty’s Day, which means it’s the perfect time for a yummy and festive treat. Kid approved as always, my recipes are never hard and always contain some element in which the kids can help. This time, we’re on the hunt for some gold! Jell-O gold coins are the easiest things to make, and along with a few inexpensive additions, you can really get creative with your setup. Here are a list of ingredients you will need:
Two boxes of lemon flavored “Jell-O”
9×13 glass pan
Small glass jar
Coin shaped cookie cutter
Rainbow striped candy (optional)
After you have gathered together your ingredients, take 2 1/2 cups of water and set it to boil. Once it’s boiling, remove from the heat and gently add your two packets of Jell-O. Do not add cold water. Once it’s mixed in, take the yellow liquid and pour into your 9×13 dish. For thicker coins, you can use a different dimension. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Once your yellow Jell-O has firmed up, take your coin shaped cookie cutter and cut out your coins. This process can be tedious if the Jell-O isn’t firm enough, so make sure it’s completely ready before you do this step. Cut out your coins and stack them into your glass cup. I found a cauldron shaped bowl at the Dollar Tree in the floral section, but you can choose any container you like.
Once you’ve filled up your glass jar with gold Jell-O coins, take your shamrock stickers and decorate the jar. You can also add the rainbow candy strip on top as a faux rainbow by shoving the ends down on each side of the jar. At that point, you are ready to enjoy your pot of gold! The kids are capable of helping you with each step of this process, but you may want to hide your hard work and have your little leprechaun search for it! The hunt can be equally delicious! Enjoy!
Do you ever have a day at the parks planned, and then the weather comes and ruins all the fun? How about not knowing that rain was in the forecast, and being stuck at the parks unprepared? I’ve been in BOTH of those scenarios, and let me tell you, it’s not fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain! The smell of the earth after the showers stop. The warm and cozy feels it brings. What I don’t like, is my stuff getting soaking wet, and that includes my kids. So is it actually possible to enjoy Disney with a rainy day forecast ahead? Absolutely. As long as you’re prepared ahead of time.
When it comers to rainy day park preparation, the first place i suggest starting is the stroller cover. Each stroller should have a coinciding rain cover for sale. I have made the mistake of traveling to the parks without my stroller cover and using a blanket instead. Spoiler alert: It’s NOT the same thing. Investing in a rain cover for your stroller is worth every cent it costs. Why? The cover is designed specifically to snug around your stroller, keeping everything, including your child, dry and happy. Most also come with a zipper on the side to allow your child to get in and out, without having to uncover everything else. I use the Joovy “Zoom 360 Ultralight” stroller and I swear by it. Hands down, best stroller I’ve ever had. They make a rain cover for it as well. I’ve linked both below:
If you need additional dry storage, I would suggest taking advantage of the lockers they have available around the parks. If you are enjoying Disney’s California Adventure Park, there are full body dryers for $5 next to Grizzly Rapids. The water is a part of the process, but these options are here to help eliminate ruining your things, or creating a damper on your fun. Pun intended.
If you’re wondering what to do on a rainy day, the answer is everything you would normally do, but slightly altered. Some attractions are closed when the weather gets wet. Some of those are as follows:
Storybook Canal Boats
Mad Tea Party Spinning Teacups
Tom Sawyer’s Island
The Golden Zephyr
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
There are also a list of rides (not all options listed) that stay open regardless of the weather. Those rides are as follows:
Most Fantasyland Rides like:
Alice in Wonderland
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
It’s A Small World
King Arthur’s Carousel
Other rides in various lands including:
Winnie The Pooh
Splash Mountain (hey, you’re already wet)
Tiki Tiki Room
The Little Mermaid
Just head to the nearest information desk or City Hall on Main Street to ask what is available for the day. It often changes depending on how bad the weather actually is. Sometimes they will have the fireworks show in the rain, as long as wind isn’t an issue. Most of the time, they will replace it with a light show. Most often, parades are cancelled due to the rain. Character meet and greets are still available, but locations to where the characters are might change. If you are on the lookout for a certain character, ask the information desk at City Hall as to their whereabouts.
Above all, HAVE FUN and don’t worry if things don’t go as planned. Maybe you didn’t know it was going to rain. Maybe you’ve had this trip planned for months and there is just nothing you can do about the timing. The fact of the matter is, we’ll wait in line for over an hour for a water ride during the Summer. So as long as we’re prepared, a little water never really bothered anybody. You’re at the Happiest Place on Earth regardless of the rain. It’s still a beautiful day no matter what. Embrace the unexpected, but try to pack and plan ahead if possible. These are the things I always take with me for a rainy day:
Ponchos (they also sell them at the Parks)
Stroller Cover (I keep it in the car at all times)
Rain boots & Extra Shoes (I keep in the locker)
Towels and Extra Clothes
Portable Hand Warmers
Thermos of warm water or soup
Large waterproof bags for wet clothes. I love Bumkins Wet Bags:
If you’re staying in a hotel around the area, take a break and change. Sometimes all that constant rain pour can tire you out. So take a break and warm up, then head on back. If you’re not staying local, maybe just plan for a half day. The absolute best time to go to the Disneyland Resort is in the rain because there are virtually no lines for rides. The parks are empty and you can still enjoy a variety of shows and attractions. Just know your limit and come as prepared as possible. There are various fun buildings to explore that are completely covered. My favorite spot is the Animation Academy, specifically “Turtle Talk With Crush.” Utilize those spaces to wait out the storm and try something new.
I hope some of this helped. Like i said, above all, have fun and roll with the day and how it unfolds. This type of thing is not in our control, so it’s best to enjoy what we can. The rain can be really fun for the kids, and kids at heart. Don’t forget that umbrella!
When it comes to where our family goes to “get away for a bit,” there is only one place we head to. The Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim is located just a few minutes away from the Disneyland Resort. It is a family friendly hotel that is stacked with things to do! From the balloon swords that are given at check-in, to the adventurous “Castaway Cove” water playground, everything is themed around pirates! My kids love to snag a chocolate treasure coin when we arrive, along with a pirate hat. The staff is always so nice to the kids and are there to help with anything we may need. Traveling with an infant or small child? No need to worry. They have cribs available to use in the rooms for your stay. We used the cribs when Kensey was smaller and it was a huge life saver to not have to bring our travel crib!
Once you’ve checked in, you get to head up to your room if it’s ready for use. The rooms in building one are fully renovated, complete with an Alexa in every room! That means dance parties on command and that is really what life is all about, right? The other buildings are being remodeled as well, and in time the entire hotel will be modernized, but still have their throwback flair. Each room around the property has a vintage feel to their decor. Scattered around the rooms are old artwork of popular rides and attractions in Disneyland Park, as well as a Mickey or two. The bathrooms also come equipped with a rubber ducky, as the rubber ducky is a HOJO staple, and often displayed in artwork around the property.
Let’s talk water play! Castaway Cay is a pirate themed water playground that has something for every age level. Are your kids more on the smaller side? The have a one foot wading pool located to the side of the water park, along with a smaller water slide option. Got bigger and taller ones? This water park comes complete with a bigger slide and the best dump bucket around! I love watching the kids rush to the center as they hear the ticking of the bucket turning over. TIDAL WAVE! What would a pirate themed water park be without some water guns! Those babies are scattered around, making it easy to shoot your target without being caught! It’s easily the best time in the late Spring and Summer, when the temperature spikes and heading to the pools is a must! I would say, it’s a better option on those days than the parks! There are some trips where we will spend the majority of the day at Castaway Cay than head to Disney, and we love it!
Looking for a more relaxing experience at the pool? There is a second pool location that is not centered around the water park. It’s a nice and relaxing option where they have towels on site for your use, as well as many lounge chairs to take a nice nap by the pool, or catch up on a good read. There is also a Jacuzzi located next to the water park side, and both locations are open until 10pm. It is hands down the coolest experience to watch the Disneyland fireworks from the Jacuzzi in Castaway Cay, I highly recommend it! A great second option for a hotel fireworks viewing is your hotel balcony! Lots of rooms have a perfect view of the show, and weather permitting, you don’t need to be inside Disneyland to enjoy one of it’s major attractions!
Aside from the walking distance to Disney parks and great entertainment the hotel has to offer, this mom especially loves that there is a Keurig coffee machine in every room! Complete with little coffee pods, it’s the absolute best thing to have when you need to be up at dawn for a Rise Of The Resistance boarding pass. Another favorite amenity of mine is the beauty ring that surrounds the mirror in the bathroom. I have never looked more glam getting ready in my life! The lighting makes the perfect tool for getting ready in the morning and looking your best!
Whether you’re looking for a fun getaway with the family, or are trying to map out your next Disney trip, be sure to make the Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim your home base for it. If it’s Disney you’re there for, they have all you need to make your stay enjoyable. If you’re looking to explore other things besides Disney, they offer shuttles to fun places like Universal Studios, Los Angeles and Hollywood, and more. The hotel is also located very closely to things like the Anaheim Packing District, Downtown Disney, the Honda Center, and Angel’s Stadium. Save a ton of money by not booking at a resort property, and stay at the HOJO! To book now, click on the link below:
It’s officially March! Time to get festive with this homemade play dough recipe that your kids can help make too! Most of these steps are completely kid friendly, but they do require some adult supervision. To begin, you will need to gather the following ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. cream of tartar
2-4 drops of green food coloring
1 cup of water
festive cookie cutters
Once you have your supplies, combine the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and water, and oil and mix well with a whisk. Once mixed, add a few drops of food coloring and continue to mix well. If you prefer a more vibrant colored play dough, add a few more drops of food coloring. These steps are easy and fun ways to get the kids involved. Depending on their age and abilities, have them help pour the ingredients into the bowl, or help stir together! Not only will it be a great bonding experience for you, they will learn just what goes into making play dough!
Once you have mixed the ingredients together, scoop up the dough mixture and drop it into a cooking pan or bowl. Cook on low to medium heat, stirring constantly. The play dough will begin to thicken and form a ball. Remove the ball of dough from the stove top and let it sit out to cool.
Once the play dough has cooled, it’s time to add the sparkle! Grab your kiddo and have him or her knead the dough until the cracks and bumps start to disappear. Once it starts to resemble the store bought thing, slowly add gold and green glitter to the center of the play dough. Have your child start to knead in the glitter until it has spread to all the parts of the dough. After that, it’s time to play! I found the cutest set of St. Patrick’s Day themed cookie cutters on Amazon, and I’ll be sure to link it at the end of this post.
I had a blast making home made play dough with Emma! It completely took me back to my childhood during the Summer, where we would make it all the time! The smell of home made play dough is just something of pure magic, don’t you agree? Plus, this activity is a really fun way to get your kids involved in something crafty, with minimal mess involved. I hope you have a blast making this shamrock colored creation! Happy March!
When it comes to throwing any type of party, I’ve officially got a GO-TO Team! The company is called Magic Jump Rentals, and they truly are magic and more! Magic Jump Rentals is a party rental service that covers the Los Angeles County and surrounding areas. Come March, they’ll be servicing the Antelope Valley and San Diego areas! When it comes to customer service, product quality, and safety, there is no one better!
I’ve had the pleasure of using Magic Jump Rentals for both of the girl’s parties this year, and each time I’ve had nothing but positive and memorable experiences. Not only is the process to order online so simple, they are thorough at making sure you are satisfied with your experience! They are always on time with your order, and for me they we’re flexible with pick up time! Each party we we’re able to enjoy the bouncers a bit longer than originally agreed upon, which the kids LOVED! The bouncers always showed up completely clean and they were inflated within minutes of arriving! Safety is of the highest importance to Magic Jump Rentals. The day of Emma’s party, there was a small chance of rain. Policy states that they cannot deliver if the weather calls for rain, due to safety. As much of a bummer as that sounds, the safety of the children attending our party was the most important thing to them. Did i mention that they are more than just inflatables?! Like, WAY more! They have everything from carnival games to rock walls and zip lines, concession machines, photo booths and more! There are endless possibilities to how you can amp up your next party with Magic Jump!
To learn more about Magic Jump Rentals, or to book them for your necxt party, head to: