5 Easy Leprechaun Trap Ideas

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Easy Leprechaun Trap Ideas

Top of the morning to you! Today’s post is on easy leprechaun trap ideas. Emphasis on easy. Well, maybe not easy, but doable!

I searched on Pinterest for leprechaun trap ideas that seemed like any family could make. The last thing anyone needs is a Pinterest fail on a trap project.

I was happy to find five easy leprechaun trap ideas that hopefully can be deemed a Pinterest success.

Here are the five ideas, numbered in graphic above along with the how to’s.

1. Rainbow Canister Leprechaun Trap 

This cute rainbow canister leprechaun trap is easy enough for little ones to make and uses materials you might even have lying around the house. I especially love the coffee filters that are used to make the “cloud” on the end.

Click here for the how to.

2. LEGO Leprechaun Trap

I thought this LEGO leprechaun trap would be a cute project for any kids who love LEGOS.  The green stairs make a fun assembly project, and you can do any of a number of different things to use as bait at the top. Plus, gotta love the simplicity of a box decorated with a hole cut out!

Click here for the how to.

3. Popsicle Stick Leprechaun Trap 

This colored popsicle stick leprechaun trap would be right up my daughter’s alley. Anything rainbow colored makes her eyes twinkle.  The craft includes assembling your own popsicle stick box, and filling with tempting leprechaun treats.

Click here for the how to.

4.  Canister Ladder Leprechaun Trap 

This easy canister ladder leprechaun trap can be made using many things you likely already have …oatmeal canisters, coffee canister, etc.  The popsicle stick ladder can be assembled easily by the kids and then any number of items can be used for the bait that can be hung from the stick on top, but I loved that they used a piece of rock spray painted gold.

 Click here for the how to.

5. Rainbow Restaurant Leprechaun Trap 

The Rainbow Restaurant Leprechaun Trap was made by yours truly, a family project for my daughter’s 1st grade class last year. We assembled a “restaurant” out of a cardboard box, the kids painted it green, and then my daughter decorated the outside with rainbows and cut outs from a Lucky Charm box. Inside we had a little cardboard table with a bowl of Lucky Charms and a cup on a string above to use as the trap.

Click here for the how to.

Happy trapping mamas! Have any fun ideas to share? Please comment below!

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S’mores and Snores

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Rancho Bernardo Inn Family review Disclosure: My family received a complimentary room to facilitate this Rancho Bernardo Inn family review. 

This Rancho Bernardo Inn family review is for anyone looking for a fun and easy So Cal destination to take your family. Or, your husband. Or, your girlfriends. Or anyone, really.

The property is only a little over an hour drive from our neck of the woods in Orange County, but when we arrived at this charming San Diego resort, we felt as if we were in a different world.

The property has a long history, dating back 50 years to be exact.

My parents remember visiting the resort on their honeymoon, and they will be celebrating their 45 wedding anniversary this year! I love a resort with this kind of history because you can feel the charm of all the years in its architecture and surroundings.

We chose the resort based on its family-friendly reputation and S’mores and Snores special for kids, which includes mini in-room tents and complimentary s’more kits for nightly roasting. Fun, right?!

Snore Space 

rooms

We had a double queen room in the Greens building overlooking the golf course. We liked this building for its easy access to our car in self-parking and for the roaming space directly outside our ground floor patio for the girls.

The room was nice, clean and I particularly enjoyed the complimentary Wifi and Keurig coffee in the morning!

The property also boasts four separate guest suites which include fireplaces, dining rooms and large private balconies if you are looking for spacious accommodations.

One of my friends had a family reunion last summer at this property and they had an incredible time. She mentioned to me how incredibly accommodating the staff was to their group.

Pool Time 

santiagopool

When my girls go to a hotel all they really want to do is swim, swim, and then swim some more. I am often afraid they might grow gills.

There are three pools on the property: a family pool, separate adult pool and the private spa pool. Oh, the spa pool. I will get to that in a minute.

The Santiago Pool is the one for families and my girls had a ball splishing and splashing there for hours on end. It was heated to a nice temperature and there was a large adjacent Jacuzzi when they needed to take a break.

Onsite colorful deck chairs for kids along with some pool toys made for a fun pool time experience. 

I Glimpsed Heaven

The second morning I went for a workout in their nice fitness center next to the Spa and there, beyond a bubbling fountain, I found a slice of heaven calling to me,

spapool2

“Jennifer! Come! Sit! Bring your magazine. Bring your book. Enjoy the peace and tranquility! Savor this setting. Order a cocktail. Take a snooze.” 

spapool1 But my girls were waiting back at the family pool for me to throw diving toys and play Marco Polo. Not this trip Spa Pool, but, I will be back to see you, with my girlfriends and booked spa appointments. I promise.

Eats at the Inn 

There are multiple onsite dining options at Rancho Bernardo Inn.

AVANT is their signature fine dining restaurant specializing in farm-to-table wine country dining using the freshest seasonal ingredients.

I went and peeked in one afternoon before opening – gorgeous! They have a beautiful open air patio as well as a beautiful dining room and bar overlooking the golf course.

My girls are too young for fine dining, especially after a long day of swimming, so we didn’t get to experience AVANT firsthand. Although I would have liked to, really liked to.

AVANT

Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant is the property’s more casual dining option with an fabulous patio and a great menu for both kids and adults if you like more laid back fare. The menu offered just the kind of food we like to enjoy when vacationing with our kids.

We dined at Veranda both nights in the lounge section which was great with kids because it gave them some wiggle room.

The best part about Veranda is the ambiance. Pretty twinkle lights, fire pits, comfy lounge furniture and a large fire place made the space radiate with warmth.

The live music on Thursday and Friday night was an extra surprise bonus!

Both nights we had amazing meals at Veranda but we did find the service to be really slow. Just a heads up if dining with little ones.

I would absolutely recommend dining at Veranda on the patio for the delicious food and unbeatable setting, but be armed with extra activities or small snacks if your kiddos get antsy when dining out.

veranda

And, for your morning Starbucks or a quick grab-and-go sandwich, Cafe Grenada had just the right mix of quick bites and beverages.

One of two breakfast nook areas even included a small table and chairs for my girls to sit and enjoy their breakfast treats.

cafegrenada

Finally…the S’mores

At the front desk you can request little baggies of s’more fixins along with pokers for your roasting pleasure.

We chose to do our s’mores at the Santiago Family pool fire pit and we were actually the only ones there at night.

Nothing like making s’mores under the stars. 

S'MORES

Rancho Bernardo Inn Spa

I know this is a Rancho Bernardo Inn family review and I am focusing on its family-friendly features, but I would be amiss if I did not mention the Spa because it was simply spectacular.

Spread out over a large area, the spa was like a private secret garden with fountains, seating areas, a tranquil outdoor Jacuzzi and a space that just oozed relaxation.

This Spa is on my must-visit list. Again, next time!

ranchospa

We loved staying at Rancho Bernardo Inn. On the first afternoon my husband looked at me and said, “It’s really peaceful here.” Which was the perfect description.

So if you are looking to get away from your same ‘ole same ‘ole for a few days, Rancho Bernardo Inn might be your perfect spot.

Join their email list for upcoming spring and summer specials and thank you RBI for our special stay!

Follow Rancho Bernardo Inn on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

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Light Up Your Bath Time

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Make Bath Time More Fun

This idea was sent to me from my sister Suzanne, OC mommy of two boys, ages 1 1/2 and 4 1/2, she writes…

Every time we try to get our 4 1/2 year old into the bath, WWIII ensues.  I’m petty sure it’s just the reality setting in that bedtime will be soon after. It can be a complete and total nightmare, so I wanted to share this idea to make bath time more fun.

Now that he has discovered Star Wars, everything has been turned into a lightsaber.

Even the old pool noodles from summer have been cut in half and fashioned into the perfect (and mom-approved) lightsaber.

My son is also obsessed with glow anything, so we took glow sticks and turned them into glowing bath time  lightsabers. This idea to make bath time more fun, has (dare I say?) WORKED!

So, next time you are placing an order on Amazon, stock up on glowsticks like these (affiliate link) and stash them away.

We dim the lights (and leave the hallway one on, for safety of course) and the glow sticks are the perfect entertainment.

I am pretty sure girls will get a kick out of this too – just make them into bracelets and necklaces.

(Note: Children should always be supervised while using glow sticks.) 

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Taming Playdate Disasters

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playdatedisasters

Has this ever happened to you?

You pack up your kiddos, load them into the car, arrive at your scheduled playdate, and then…your toddler or preschooler has a complete and total meltdown? It’s the worst, isn’t it?! So today I want to talk about taming playdate disasters.

I don’t have a lot of great answers. What I do have is a few tips I’ve picked up along the way that work (most times) for our family.  I’m asking for your best tips, too!  Let’s start a dialogue and share about what works for our kiddos.

Tip #1 – Set yourself up for the best chance for success (maybe.)

I try to not schedule playdates after other big activities, or when my kids are likely to be cranky or hungry.

Best case scenario, my kiddo is ready for fun. BUT, if my little man is in a mood, overtired, or already throwing fits about this or that, why start the whole playdate out on a sour note?

Being a “Type A” personality, it’s difficult for me to alter plans at the last minute, but depending on where we’re going and what we’re doing (and if the timing is somewhat flexible), I will sometimes hold off until he is in a better frame of mind.

This may mean we’re a little late…and that we have a better playdate!

Tip #2 – I stay consistent with my own “house” rules.

Consistency has been key for our kids. This means that our rules at home are the same rules wherever we go. And believe me, my kids test me, especially if other families have different house rules.

I simply explain that every family has different rules, and that’s absolutely okay.  But our rules are _______ (insert applicable rule).  This.is.so.hard. Especially at someone else’s house. But, I’ve found in the long run, consistency has worked better for our kiddos. They know what I expect of them, and vice versa.

Tip #3 – I leave special lovies or toys in the car.

I have made the fatal mistake of letting one of my kids bring their lovey into someone else’s home for a playdate. I mean, it’s their security, right?

Ummmm, guess what happened?

My baby was easily distracted by the “new” toys their friends had, left their lovey on the floor…and minutes later, freaked OUT because another kid was wondering around with it (on the floor = fair game, with a group of kids.) Ensue major meltdown.

From that disaster on, our lovies and special toys stayed in the car. We strap them into their carseats so they are waiting and ready for us when we return to the car.  Major tantrum avoided right out of the gate.

Tip #4 – I make an effort to listen. 

I know this seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes I get so involved in talking with my other mama friends or helping with something to do with a craft or snack, I don’t always stay tuned in to the conversations going on with the kiddos.

If I hear fighting or yelling between my kiddos and their buddies for more than a few minutes, I’ll wander over, listen and observe.

If I need to intervene, I’ll ask them to use their words and explain what’s wrong. The majority of the time, it’s a quick fix. An apology, hug and change of activity usually does the trick.

And, if it’s not?  If appropriate, my kid gets a time-out for the infraction (our main form of discipline) – even though we’re at a friend’s house.

Tip #5 – I’m not afraid to abandon ship.

And, if all else fails (after several attempts to appease the situation), I’ll give my fellow mama a hug, apologize for the speedy exit, and take my kiddo home.  Hey, we all have bad days, right?! Plus, it likely makes the other mom feel grateful she is not the only one.

Sometimes we need our space…and this is true for our children, too.

What do you do when a play date turns disastrous?  Any great tips to share?
Please comment below!

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Rancho Bernardo Inn

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Rancho Bernardo Inn

My girls are off school this week and I have been wanting to take them to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park so we thought, why not make it into a little SoCalCation and enjoy a few days away from the same ‘ole same ‘ole?

When looking for places to stay close to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, I came across the Rancho Bernardo Inn, and I remembered hearing this property is very family-friendly.

Upon further investigation, I came to find out The Rancho Bernardo Inn offers a special Family Package which includes a one-night stay, $50 resort credit in addition to a milk and cookie amenity for the kiddos.

Done deal.

You had me at milk and cookies.

S’mores and Snores

But then it got better.

The very best part about this package is what they call “S’mores and Snores,” or, in-room camping for the kids.

Yes, I think there will be a tent set up in our room, and I think my girls will go crazy. What is it about a tent or small space that is just oh so appealing to little ones?

They also offer s’more making on the Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant outside on the terrace. There is nothing better to me than relaxing with the hubby with a glass of wine after dinner while the kids make themselves s’mores.

Happy parents. Happy kiddos.

So we are heading off today! Follow our Rancho Bernardo Inn experience to see photos and updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following #TOTravels.

Disclosure: Rancho Bernardo Inn will be hosting our stay so I can report back on it in detail to share a Rancho Bernardo Inn review post. Stay tuned.

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