Tiny Tips

Sleep Help for Kids

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Sleep Meditations for Kids 

sleep meditations for kids

The end of the day is an exhausting time for everyone, especially moms, so there are few things more frustrating than bedtime struggles with kids. If I am being honest, there have been more times than I can even count when I have screamed to myself in my head, “Just go the BLANK to SLEEP!!!!” when bedtime shenanigans have prolonged the process more than I can tolerate.

The past year, in addition to the typical “do anything possible to prolong the bedtime routine”, my oldest daughter was also having a lot of problems going to sleep.

She told me she couldn’t fall asleep because she couldn’t stop her mind from worrying.  Oh, how we all can relate to that.

My sister was having the same issues with her son, and ended up researching sleep meditations for kids and sent me this sleep mediation she found.

We downloaded the app to an old phone and although resistant at first because she thought it was kind of silly, she listened to it and went to sleep without issue the first time trying it.

She then asked for it again the next night, and she now listens to it every night to go to sleep.  It has been amazing for our family, which is why I wanted to share it with you.

It’s called Sleep Meditations for Kids by Christiane Kerr.

It would be my dream that it might help you too.

Sweet dreams mamas.

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Help for Allergies with the Honeywell Air Purifier

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Disclosure: Product sent for review. All opinions are 100% my own (or actually 100% my daughter’s!)

Millions of people suffer from spring allergies, my daughter included.  This post includes tips on how to help spring allergies and a Honeywell air purifier review we recently tested to see if my daughter got any relief from her symptoms. Hint: she did. Big time! 

help for your spring allergies

I have never experienced nasal allergies and didn’t know just how miserable they can be until my oldest daughter suffered with them.

Mornings typically are the worst for her symptoms and breakfast is accompanied by lots of sneezes, Kleenex, coughs and the famous rub the back of the hand across her nose move.  Springtime seems to magnify the symptoms two fold.

There are however, some things you can try to help relieve spring allergies.  Here are some tips sent to me from Honeywell, the maker of air purifiers and other products to help make your home more comfortable.

Tips to Help Spring Allergies 

* Save outdoor exercise for the afternoon and evening

* Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes outdoors

* Shower and change clothes after being outside

* Keep windows closed and pollens out

* Try a HEPA Air Purifier

Honeywell Air Purifier Review 

Honeywell-Air-Purifier-Review-

Our family has never used an air purifier so the nice people at Honeywell sent us their Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover for medium sized rooms to see if it would help my daughter’s allergies.

I was a little skeptical that it would make a big difference. However, I was completely and very pleasantly surprised at how much better my daughter has been in the mornings after sleeping with the air purifier in her bedroom. She even noticed a difference after only one night!

Things We Like About the Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover

* Small, compact and energy efficient

* There are 4 different levels you can set for cleaning (Germ, General Clean, Allergen and Turbo) and a delayed shut off time of 2, 4, or 8 hours.

*  Quiet. We use the Allergen setting at night, and it sounds like a quiet air conditioner. She describes it as “soothing” – like a white noise.

* Dimmer option. This is huge. My daughter has to have the room COMPLETELY dark when she sleeps. Unusual I know for a kid. To have the option to have the light completely off was huge for us. If your child likes a night light however, the dimmer light would be perfect.

* Her room smells so good! It has made her room smell so clean and fresh! I will also be using this in our guest room before we have overnight guests because our guest room can tend to get a little musty.

* Electronic filter replacement reminders.  This will be good for me to be automatically reminded to replace the filter.

* It’s MOBILE! She has the worst allergies down at her grandparent’s house due to dog dander, which is one of her greatest offenders.  I am so excited to be able to take our Honeywell air purifier down to their house to give her relief when we visit.

I noticed the first morning after sleeping with it in her room that she seemed better at breakfast.  I asked her if she noticed a difference and she said she noticed a “big difference,” most noticeably she was not sneezing as much when she woke up.  She also said she has not been as stuffy in the mornings.

For anyone with spring allergies, or anytime allergies, I would highly recommend trying out one of Honeywell’s HEPA air purifiers.  I think you will notice a big difference too!

 www.HoneywellPluggedIn.com

Follow Honeywell on Twitter | Like Honeywell on Facebook

 

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Babysitting 101

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how to be a great babysitter

This post is for any young girl (or boy) looking for tips on how to be a great babysitter from a mom’s point of view.  It is actually pretty simple, but some things might not be obvious, that’s why I am giving you the scoop. For my moms reading this with girls coming into babysitting age, please share these tips with them. Moms everywhere will thank you.

How to be a Great Babysitter

(and get hired over and over again!)

1. Be Punctual

Always, always be on time, if not, a couple (not 10, a couple) minutes early. Most times parents have somewhere to be.

2. Put Your Phone Down

Once they are old enough to talk, kids will tell exactly what went down when you were there.  If you sit on the couch looking at your phone, we will know.  We don’t want to pay you to sit on your phone and ignore the kids.

3. Be Game

The most fun thing about a great babysitter is the opportunity for kids to be able to “play” with an older kid or young adult.  If the kids want to play beauty salon, be game and play along! As a bonus, the 50 small pigtails in your hair just might be your new favorite look.

4. Come Up with Something Novel to Play

Kids love new games. Whether you bring a new coloring book you picked up at the Dollar Store, teach them a new game, or how to build the best fort, novelty wins you big points with the kiddos.

5. Take the Bedtime Seriously

If I tell you to please have the kids in bed at 8:00pm, please do it. There’s nothing worse than walking into a house after an evening out to find your kids awake when they were supposed to be asleep long ago. You might not realize what a kid on one hour less sleep might look like the next day because you don’t have to deal with them but we do. We are paying good money to bypass the bedtime routine and antics for a night, please take this seriously.

6. Provide a Brief Food/Sleep Summary 

I appreciate a recap of anything regarding food or sleep.  When kids went down, how long they napped, what time they last ate, etc. Any info that might help us as far as sleep or food is concerned helpful to a mom. For example, if Johnny didn’t eat much of his lunch, tell me. That way I will know he might need a snack soon.  Moms rely on food and sleep to assess their kid’s moods a lot of time, help us fill in the blanks while we were gone.

7. Use Common Sense 

Safety is of course number one. If something is unsafe, please don’t let the kids do it. If a child tells you they usually get seconds on their ice cream, don’t give it to them. Just use your common sense and don’t hesitate to tell the kids NO when needed.

8. TIDY UP!

It is a mom’s dream to return to a home more tidy than when she left.  We are not talking deep cleaning. We are not talking about completely organized.  Just picked up and tidy. Put the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the pots you used to cook dinner, pick up the toys/art crap/books, whatever.  Even if it is “fake clean” and in a neat pile against the wall because you don’t know where it goes, we don’t care. The illusion is that the house is picked up is enough for us.

If the kids are old enough to help, make it a game 1/2 hour before the parent is due home. You can bring along stickers as incentive. It’s silly what kids will do for a sticker.  Have them show you where things go.  For a mom to return home to a picked up house is like a slice of HEAVEN. We might just shed a tear of gratitude.  It means that much, seriously.

Do these things girls (and boys) and you might just be the most sought-after sitter on the block! Your turn mamas, what do you look for in a great babysitter?

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Tackling a Massive Project: The Family Photo Book

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howtodoafamilyphotobook

Confession.

The last family photo book I did was 2010. My 2nd born’s baby book goes up to her 5th month. It has plagued me with guilt!

My lack of being able to manage my family photos and create books where my kids can actually enjoy the photos has at times, kept me up at night. Ridiculous? Yes. True? Yes!

I loved looking through my mom’s albums she did for our family when I was young. And although we now have the cool factor of being able to create some amazing books on our computer, I truly think it was way easier to do albums back then!  You printed your photos, glued the best ones in an album and you were done!

Now I have thousands and thousands of photos, many of which are 10 shots of the SAME thing, so to organize them and put them into a book is a massive project if you get behind. But mamas, I tackled the family photo book project this month, and I am 3/4 done! Can I get a Hallelujah?!  Not done with the past 6 years, but 3/4 done with ONE year, which was my goal.

How to Make a Family Photo Book  

If you are plagued with the same lack of photo album guilt and the massive project that ensues, here’s how I made it into a manageable project.

1. Start Now and Work Backwards

The thought of going back to 2011 and working up was overwhelming, so I decided I am going to do ONE year, 2015, from January – New Years Eve, and make a book for both of my girls individually.

2. Give Yourself a Deadline 

I have been unsuccessful in the past because it has not been a priority and there was no deadline to get it done.  I decided starting this year, I am going to make a book of the previous year for both my girls, and give it to them on Valentine’s Day.

3. Work in Small Chunks of Time to Edit and Create 

I have found working on the project in chunks of time has helped.  For example, when I sit down, I will decide to do a month or two at once, like Valentine’s to Easter, that sort of thing. Makes it easier to get my head around a small block of time.

4. Edit, Delete and Organize 

To start, go through all your photos in that time period and edit. Delete all of the shots of the same thing, with the exception of the best one, etc. so you can pare down the number of images.  Your computer storage will also thank you.

I then created two folders for both girls and then dragged the images I wanted to use in their books into their individual folders. This made it easy to upload since they were all in one place.

5. Pick Your Photo Book Site and Create Your Project

I went with Shutterfly (affiliate link) because I am familiar with the site and it is pretty user-friendly. But there are a ton of sites you can choose from. Once you pick a company, select the photo book you want, and create your project.  Then upload the photos from the chunk of time you are working on and start designing.

I find that it is good to mix up the editing and organizing with the creating, because it gives you a break and avoids project burn out. Going through a year’s worth of photos to edit at one time is a nightmare, but doing a couple months of editing, and then putting your favorites from that block of time into a book and getting to create is a nice balance. Then, back to editing the next chunk of time.

6. Schedule Time Each Day to Work on It 

Schedule little bits of time each day to chip away at the project has helped. Once you get on a roll, it’s easy to keep up with momentum.

7. Stay on Top of it Throughout the Year

Doing one year for two girls at one time has been a LOT of work.  Once 2015 is done, starting next month I am going to try to stay on top of it and do the project throughout the year so I can be working on the book as the year goes on.

Maybe then I will have some time to go back and tackle 2011. Ugh. And my videos. Hold me.

Hope this helps! If anyone else has any tips on how to create family photo books I would love to hear your advice!

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Thank You Note Tips for Kids By Emma

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Thank You Note Tips for Kids

Thank You Note Tips for Kids

My name is Emma and my mom let me write this guest post for her. I hope you will share it with your kids. I am 9 years old and in 4th grade. I noticed that adults get really happy when you show that you appreciate your gift. When we receive gifts my mom is always asking for me to write a thank you note. I have had lots of experience writing thank you notes, so I decided to write a post on how to write the perfect thank you note for kids.

Step 1.

When you write your thank you note you always have to write the date in the top right hand corner. Not just 1-6-16 you want to actually want to write it out. For example, January 11, 2016.

Step 2.

To show that you are writing to them you want to start with dear. Like this, Dear Emma. After you write your dear whoever you are writing to you add a comma. For example, Dear Emma,. Then you skip a line and indent. Indenting is when you don’t start at the end of the line, you start your word two fingers in from the edge.

Step 3.

To start your thank you note you start with an opener. For example, Thank you so much for whatever they got you. After that you could just go on and say why you like it, but I think it is nice to say something like, I appreciate you getting it for me, or I use it all the time. So the person that is reading it will think that you really enjoyed it!

Step 4.

You should always tell the person why you loved the gift so much, or what you love to do with the gift. You could say, I wear my new dress all the time! Or I love to draw with my markers all the time! But don’t just copy me, say what you loved about your gift.

Step 5.

You need a closer. A closer is a sentence that wraps up your writing. You could say, thank you so much again! Or you could say, I hope I see you again soon. Whatever you want to say to wrap your writing up.

Step 6.

End you writing with Love, Emma, but with your name. You could also say sincerely, gratefully, your friend, or yours truly. There are so many other things you could say but I couldn’t name them all because there’s so many. Thank you for reading my post! I hope you share it with your kids!

Here is an example of one of my thank you notes:

thanksnote

 

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