How to Keep the Kids Entertained This Week

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HELLO friends! I hope you had a very merry Christmas!  We had the best one yet, but now I am TIRED. December can take a lot out of a mom. I am really looking forward to laying low this week and hanging out at home. Minimal running around if I can help it. However, that only lasts for so long with my kids. So, if yours are like mine, I wanted to share 10 ideas to keep kids entertained over break.

1. Make Your Own Hair Ties – If you have girls, this is a darling activity to do with them. Easy, fun, and super useful. Because, in a house like ours with three women, you can never have enough hair ties.

2. Plan a Party for a Stuffed Animal or Special Doll – This activity can take up the better part of a day.

3. Print Your Own Personalized Coloring Pages – Something about the kid’s name on the picture makes it extra intriguing.

4. Make Your Own Peppermint Play Dough – Easy to make and the peppermint gives it an extra something special. Feel like getting extra fancy? Add some glitter!

5. Hold a Stand for Charity – Have your kids figure out something to sell and make a front yard stand.  It can be lemonade, cookies, rainbow loom bracelets, donuts, anything! Decide what charity has meaning to your family and donate the proceeds with your kids. Hint: Make the stand “donation only” instead of charging a certain price ~ you will make more money for a good cause.

6. Organize Your LEGOS – Have your kids help you get your LEGOS organized, the sorting can be a fun activity for everyone.

7. Make Your Own Scarves – You can make your own fleece scarves for cheap!

8. Go on a Scavenger Hunt – Create a list of items for your kids to find and go on a scavenger hunt around your neighborhood. Too tired to leave the house? Do it indoors!

9. Create Your Own Cards – Have your kids color and decorate blank note cards for sending out throughout the year. Even better, have them write thank you notes to relatives for their Christmas gifts.

10. Hire a Babysitter – Kidding, but not really. Hire a sitter for a couple hours and take some time for yourself while the kids are getting entertained by someone else!

Anyone else have good ideas to keep kids entertained over break? Please share! 

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Wishing You a Juicy Holiday

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All of us at Tiny Oranges want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We hope your holiday is filled with love, cheer, and happiness.

We are taking next week off of posting to enjoy some time with our own tiny oranges. See you back the following week for some fun New Year’s posts and juicy finds. 

We are so incredibly grateful for your support. Thank you for reading and for making Tiny Oranges a part of your day. 

Lots of love,

Jen & Team 

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One of my all time favorite quotes

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Last month my husband and I took a solo vacation for our anniversary and the grandparents stayed at our house with the girls while we were gone.

Upon our return, my mother-in-law shared with me a quote my 7-year-old daughter busted out I had to share.

The impetus for the quote came one night when we called from Mexico and she happened to be eating dessert. She asked if we could call back? That in itself was funny, because, God forbid we interrupt the sacred eating of dessert.

I guess a few other things happened during the course of the stay, and my mother-in-law pointed out how you have to also think about others because it isn’t all about “me, me, me.”  The word “selfish” was used in this conversation and she looked at my mother-in-law and said,

quote Of course at first when I heard that I laughed so hard tears came down my face. The brutal honesty killed me. At the same time, I was sort of mortified, because, my GOSH, that sounds awful!

Then, the more I thought of it, the more I LOVED it, because isn’t that an AWESOME quote?

But please don’t get me wrong, because I am not encouraging self-indulgent or selfish behavior in my kids, but what I loved is the fact that she was honestly viewing it as “taking care of herself” in her 7-year-old mind.

Wouldn’t it be great if us moms looked at it this way sometimes? At some point as we get older, we lose this perspective of just how important it is to take “really good care of ourselves.”

I believe ALL moms could benefit from taking the time to take really good care of yourself, and realize, it is NOT selfish.

So the next time you want to say “no” to an obligation or take an hour to get your nails done, or basically do SOMETHING you want to do, think, “I’m not selfish. I just like to take really good care of myself.”

Photo credit: www.kristineldridge.com

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Help for the Rainbow Looney

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As I am sure we all know, or at least all moms with school age kids know, the Rainbow Loom craze has taken over America, and the mini rubber bands have taken over our house. Trying to learn some of the designs started to make me a little rainbow looney, so when a friend suggested checking out the Rainbow Loom classes at Michaels, I signed us up.

My 7-year-old daughter got her Rainbow Loom before Thanksgiving and the entire weekend was spent on the iPad watching the Rainbow Loom You Tube tutorials in an attempt to learn some of the fancier designs kids had been sporting at school.

It’s not easy moms. Not easy. Even with pausing the how to video over and over again, inevitably we would mess up SOMEWHERE in the process, which would sabotage the entire design. Even my husband who can assemble anything, had trouble. We needed help.

The Rainbow Loom classes at Michaels are called Rainbow Loom Meet Ups. Our local Michaels in Costa Mesa had a Rainbow Loom Meet Up on a Sunday morning from 10am – 12pm. The 2 hour class is for kids ages 6+ and only puts you back $5.

You bring your own loom and rubber bands and our darling instructor, Selina, a Rainbow Loom Goddess, was there to help the children learn any design they wanted. She would walk around to answer questions, get kids started and fix the mishaps. Thank you Selina. Thank you. Thanks to her we FINALLY mastered the Rainbow Loom Starbust!! Victory!

rainbowloomclasses

So, if a Rainbow Loom in under your tree this year, have no fear! There is help for the rainbow looney. Contact your local Michaels to see if they have the Rainbow Loom meet ups. It will be the best $5 you ever spent.

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3 Super Easy Crock Pot Dinners

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I know we are all super busy this week. Class parties, Christmas shows, teacher gifts, oh my!  My friend Melanie recently shared three super easy crock pot recipes with me, because in busy times, the slow cooker saves me.

Here is what she wrote…

Winter is my favorite season. I love the change in the weather, even if it is just slight!  It always feels like time to bring out the slow cooker for EASY and SIMPLE meals.  Also, we have a few weekdays this fall that are jam-packed. I’ve been trying out some delicious super easy crock pot recipes I’d love to share to save you time and energy!  Sometimes I double the recipe to freeze some for another night.

Salsa Chicken Tacos Crock Pot Recipe

This is so easy but so tasty that my husband asks for it regularly!

1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can use breasts as well)

1 jar salsa (any kind will work, I am going to try mango salsa next time)

You literally put both items in the crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Then shred and mix it all up in the crock-pot so the salsa covers the chicken.  Serve with tortillas and taco fixings, beans and rice for a complete meal! Doesn’t get any easier than that, does it?

Drip Beef Crock Pot Recipe 

My friend from the midwest told me about this a few years and then I just saw it again on the Pioneer Woman.

2-4 lb Beef Chuck Roast (the more you make the more leftovers!)

1 jar Banana Peppers (make sure check the spice level, my kids don’t like spicy)

1 cup beef broth

Put in the crock-pot on low for 8 hours.  Serve with bread as sandwiches with salad, or on top of rice or noodles with a veggie.

Carnitas Crock Pot Recipe

Another versatile Mexican recipe your family will love!

Pork Shoulder

Green Salsa

Same idea.  Put everything in the crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with tortillas or on top of rice.

Then ENJOY your weekday peace with dinner ready when you get home with these super easy crock pot recipes. 

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