Keeping it Simple

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Screen Time Tickets with DIY Sign {Free Printable}

Summer time is almost here and that means that the kids are going to be home all day.  My kids get pretty bored easily and immediately turn to the computer or to their devices.  As they get older, they have a little more freedom on the computer, but I have to be careful with them because there is so much bad stuff on the internet that  I don’t want them to be exposed to. One easy fix for that is setting up WebSafety.  Another thing that I am going to do this summer is limit their time on the computer and devices.  They are going to have to work for their screen time.  And in order to keep track of how much time they have, I made up some screen time tickets and this super fun board to display them on. 
Here’s how I did it:
I took a regular wood board and painted it.  Then I printed out the printable {here}.

I painted the clothes pins white and then covered them with fun washi tape.
Using a hot glue gun, I glued them onto the board.

Then using my Silhouette, I cut out my kids’ names and put it onto the wood.

And that’s it!!  Super easy and super fun! 
The screen time tickets are the perfect size to hang onto the board.

Here it is all put together and on my wall.
I’m thinking that they will have to do a chore to earn the minutes.  The smaller the chore, the smaller the amount of minutes.  Like if my son mows the lawn, then he can get 60 minutes of screen time.  Another thing that I might do is put a ticket of a chore (like vacuuming) onto the sign, to show the kids what chore I expect them to do that day.  When they do it, I will replace the chore ticket with a screen time ticket.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lots of Yummy Brownie Recipes {MMM #278 Block Party}

Do you have a sweet tooth like me?  If so, you're going to love all of these amazing brownie recipes!

Tons of easy and delicious brownie dessert recipes. All these brownies look so good.
Is there anything better than a delicious warm piece of brownie with an ice cold glass of milk? Apparently I'm not the only one that thinks brownies are a food group because you guys have linked up TOOOOONS of brownies in the link party. Peekaboo Brownies | Flourless Mexican Brownies | Peanut Butter Whip Brownies| Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake | Twix Brownie Trifle| Toasted Coconut Brownies| Molten Lava Cake | Cheesecake Brownies | Strawberry Brownies | Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownie | Mint Brownie Trifle | Cookie Brownies | Brownie Dirt Cups | Brownie Tower | Gluten Free Brownies | Mint Brownies | American Smores Brownie |Thin Mint Brownies | Avocado Vegan Brownies| Chewy Caramel Brownies | Ice Cream Brownie Cake   Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings here and as you can see I can't stop thinking about brownies!

  Rae Gun guest posting picture

I've been a blogging machine lately. Here are a few of my posts that I'm extra excited about!
Now let’s see what your favorite things are that you have been posting! It’s time for the block party! Link up here and be linked up to 4 fabulous blogs all at once!
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  • Don’t link posts you’ve linked before.
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

3 Ingredient Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe

Since I've starting to eat more healthy, I have been eating more and more smoothies.  I just love them and they have been a great snack and/or meal for me.  This strawberry banana smoothie is probably my favorite one that I have made so far.  They are so good!

All you need is:
1 banana
2 cups frozen strawberries 
1 1/2 cups almond milk

Put it all into the blender and blend until smooth.  This makes 2 servings. 
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teach Kids How to Rhyme with DIY Rhyming Words Notebook

My kindergartner has had reading problems this year.  He has a fairly bad speech problem and because of it it has set him back in his reading.  When we went to his first parent teacher conference, we learned that he was in below reading level group, it was so sad.  Read more about his speech and tendencies of dyslexia here.  

 A few months ago I was emailing my son's kindergarten teacher and asked her how I can help him at home to get him to where he needs to be with reading.  One area he was having problems with was rhyming.  It just wouldn't click for him. I  would say a word and ask him what rhymes with it and he would give me a very random answer.  He didn't get what I meant when I said that the end of the word has to be the same.  Since he learns things visibly, I knew I needed to make him something that he could see the words and understand why the words rhyme.  This notebook was the perfect solution for the problem.  He got to see that by changing the first letter of the word and not the end of the word he could make two words that rhymed.  This helped him a lot because he was just moving the first letter and not the end and that physical motion made it easier for him to understand.

This notebook is so easy to make and you can make the words as hard or as easy as you would like.  I stuck with 3-4 letter words and pretty common endings.  All you need to is a notebook, any size will do.  Then you cut the papers down the middle. 
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For each set of rhyming words, I used a different color of marker, so he knew when to turn the ending sounds.
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I went through the alphabet and wrote each letter that made a word with the ending letters.  The left side of the notebook will have a lot more pages than the right side.
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And finally I put some fun vinyl onto the notebook so we can find the notebook easily :).  
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The first time that I made this for him, he was so excited that the very next morning he grabbed the notebook and read the whole thing by himself.  It was so fun to watch.
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And here he is using it!  He does a good job.  One of things that he struggles with are the vowel sounds, as you see when he read the "an" sounds as a "on" sound.  We are still working on that :).  But as for rhyming, he's a pro now! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tips to Make Cleaning More Enjoyable For the Whole Family #CleaningUntangled

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CleaningUntangled #CollectiveBias

Cleaning is one of those things that our family struggles with.  No one loves cleaning in our house and it is definitely a big chore for all of us.  I'm always trying to come up with new ways to make it more enjoyable for us to do and less of a burden and more of an everyday thing that we all just do, without really thinking about it.  Lately these few tips have been working really well for us and I would say that our house is cleaner than it has been for a long time.  Plus the kids are even doing it too and it's not such an awful thing for them to do every day after school.  I thought that I would share some of these tips with you! 
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• Daily cleaning tasks
There are several tasks that I have to do every single day just to keep up with my family.  These include dishes, laundry and vacuuming.  I'm sure that you all have had a day where one doesn't get done and then the next day it just piles up (especially laundry, for some reason my kids have to wear clothes every. single. day. what is up with that?!?!).  I have found that if I keep up with just those three tasks daily, my house is much cleaner.
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•Set a timer 
This is something that is great for me and for my kids.  For me it's a nice way to just quickly get a room done.   Please tell me I'm not the only one that has done this before: I start cleaning a room and then I put away something in another room.  While in that room I see some dirty clothes on the floor.  So then I start a load of laundry, but of course I then have to fold the clothes that are in the dryer and put away all the folded clothes.  By the time I've done all of that it's been 30 minutes and I had forgotten what I was doing when I began and the house doesn't look like I've done anything.  This happens to me ALL THE TIME!  So this timer trick is a great way for me to focus on one room.  I set it for 15-20 minutes and just do as much as I can in one room.  You can make a game out of it too, see how quickly you can clean the room and beat the timer.

It's also a great trick to do with the kids.  Sometimes I have to set a timer for my kids because they will not get motivated to clean or they will be playing with the toys they are supposed to be cleaning.  The timer makes them hurry and do it, especially if there is a reward when the timer goes off :).   
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• Make a game out of cleaning
My kids love to vacuum.  It's one of their favorite chores (mine too, I love it!).  But the whole picking up the stuff before that is hard for them to do.  So I make a game out of it and time them.  Whoever cleans up their room the fastest, or does a certain chore the fastest, gets to vacuum the room.  This actually works pretty well because it becomes a race and gives them a reason to clean.  Or you can see who can vacuum their room the fastest and then give the winner a prize.  
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•Blare the music and dance
Music is a wonderful thing.  I makes so many things so much more enjoyable.  I always clean better when I have music going and I can sing and dance.  My kids are the same way.  We have a little dance party as we are cleaning and it's so fun to watch my kids get down with their bad selves.  
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• Make a cleaning schedule 
For me when I think about having to clean my whole house every single day, it gets overwhelming and quite frankly, it just doesn't get done.  So I focus on doing those daily tasks and then I have one other chore that is more a deep cleaning task that will help me get really clean my house.  I made a cute printable for it too, so I can display it in my kitchen.  Because for me, the second I write it down and display it, it makes me actually do it.  Rather than just thinking about it and it's just an idea.  Ideas don't always get done but if I write them down, there is a bigger chance they will get done.  
#ad Tips-To-Make-Cleaning-More-Enjoyable-For-The-whole-Family #CleaningUntangled (25)
•Get a vacuum that works really well
For the past year my vacuum has been struggling.  It just hasn't worked very well and has lost a lot of suction.  Well then I tried the new  Eureka Brushroll Clean™ with SuctionSeal® was so surprised by how much stuff came out of my carpets.  I vacuum frequently and I thought that I was getting everything, but boy was a wrong.  Just look at how much dirt is in the vacuum after vacuuming my boys' room.  And this was after I had already emptied it out!  It's amazing the difference a good vacuum can do.  
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The huge difference that this vacuum has is that it self cleans its brush roll.  Yes I said that it self cleans!  No more having to go in there with scissors to untangle the brush roll after all of the hairs gets vacuumed.  With my hair and my daughter's hair, it's get tangled pretty easily and quickly.  With my last vacuum, I would use the scissors to get rid of it and then having to pull it out of the vacuum, it was just plain gross.  So half the time I forgot to do it and it got really really bad.  So the idea of just having to push a button and it does itself, sounds AMAZING!!  

So here the brush roll after vacuuming 4 rooms.
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And here it is after I used the self cleaning button.  All you have to do is turn on the vacuum and hold down the button for 10 seconds and it does the rest.  It's so awesome!  And so easy that it will be an easy thing to do every time I vacuum, so I don't have to worry about it getting super tangled.  No more having to pull out gross hair! 
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You can get this awesome Eureka Brushroll Clean™ with SuctionSeal®  at Walmart nationwide.  Plus you can enter to win  one and some Walmart gift cards, woohoo!!!

What are some of you favorite cleaning tips?  What do you do to make cleaning more enjoyable?  I would love to hear them, leave me a comment!