How Much Time Do You Spend Playing With Your Kids?

“Mommy, can you play with me?”

I hear these words either more times than I can count in one day or not any at all.

It’s weird.

Some days my kids, or more so my younger daughter, want to play with me 24/7, other days, they don’t even know my name.

It’s weird.

They like playing together, but sometimes they want me too.

There are days when I feel like I’ve spent all my time playing. That means I’m ignoring the clothes that need to be put away, the toilets that need to be scrubbed or the dishes that are whispering my name from the sink. I’m surprised those dishes aren’t screaming at me by now since it feels like I’ve been ignoring them for so long.

There are days when I can spend hours playing “Go Fish”, “Crazy 8’s”, Barbies, or even school. It still amazes me that my daughter wants to play school after being in school nearly all day, but she does.

We play.

They’re happy.

I’m happy too but sometimes I’m secretly twitching on the inside, thinking of all the things I probably should be doing rather then pretending I’m in a student in my daughter’s Kindergarten class.

I know there will be days when my kids will probably not want anything to do with me. So, I should cherish these days when they actually want to spend time with me. Right?

Then why do I feel like there are days where I’ve done nothing at all? Having only a few “Go Fish” wins under my belt and one beautifully dressed Barbie seems like anything but a productive day. At times, it feels like I’ve even wasted my day. There is still a list of chores that need to be done, articles that need to be written, e-mails that need to be answered, etc.

When these feelings start creeping up, I try a little game with my girls. I play something of their choice for awhile, praying it’s not school! After a half hour or so, they have to let Mommy do what she needs to do. This little pattern continues until I feel somewhat accomplished for the day. It’s all about finding balance, right?

I stay home with my girls so that I can spend extra time with them and help them as much as I can, but I don’t want to lose myself in the process. While it may sound a little selfish to some, I think those of you who are in the same boat know what I’m talking about.

So, how much time do you spend playing with your kids? How do you find a balance?






Jem is Truly Outrageous for My Girls in 2015

If you’re now a mom who grew up in the 80’s, chances are you rocked out to at least one “Jem and The Holograms” episode in your life. Okay, admit it, probably dozens more!



In case you were living under a rock during the 80’s, Jem is the alter ego of Jerrica Benton. Jerrica has these super-cool star earrings and an out of this world computer named Synergy that help transform her to the pink-haired rocker Jem, lead singer of the totally rad Holograms. Jerrica’s little sister Kimber is part of the band along with friends Aja and Shana.

Of course the Holograms have an enemy…The Misfits. These girls look like a cross between KISS and Poison, but with a bad girl attitude. They’re no Debbie Gibson or Punky Brewster. Pizzaz is the lead singer of The Misfits and would love to pull a Karate Kid on Jem and her little Holograms. Her little crew get into it with Jem in every episode. It’s fan-flippin-tastic. And who could forget Rio! Rio is Jerrica’s boyfriend/Jem’s stage manager. I think every little girl had a crush on Rio growing up!

Jem & Rio!

Jem & Rio!

So, why am I going on about an 80’s cartoon that has long been canceled? Because my girls are now rocking out to Jem too some 25 years later! One morning during their spring vacation last week I was flipping through the kiddie channels and stumbled upon Jem on the Discovery Family channel. Transported back to my electric youth, I made my girls watch it with me. They asked a lot of questions about this Jem person. Why is she two people? Why is Pizazz so mean? Why do they all have different colored hair? I could go on, but you get the point.

After about ten minutes, they were hooked, cheesy music and all! Another episode followed and they sat down and watched the entire thing, then asked for more when it was over! This was truly outrageous!

On Saturday morning they woke me up at 7:15 to ask for Jem or as my three-year-old calls her “Hem”. They were actually disappointed that it wasn’t on during the weekend! This was so “out of the blue”! I felt like this could happen “only in my dreams”. But, I really was reliving my “Electric Youth”. It was so refreshing and such a nice change from our usual “Lalaloopsy”, “Kate & Mim-Mim”, and ” Max & Ruby” cartoons.

This morning I even had to yell at them to leave “Hem” on the screen to eat breakfast before school. Bring back ALF and this 80’s obsessed mama would be one silver spoon away from taking out her old Kirk Cameron posters from BOP magazine! (Come on, I know I’m not the only one out there who had them!)

Needless to say, I’m ready to relive my 80’s childhood with my girls. I even hear a Jem movie is in the works! Now, if I can only find my Jem dolls! Hmmm….






Monday’s Mommas: The Mama from “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows”

This week’s Monday’s Momma comes to us from Thailand. She’s a funny lady who tells us a little about things getting lost in translation.

Lost in Translation

I had IVF treatment, was pregnant and am raising a baby with my wife in Bangkok, Thailand, which is approximately a million light years from my little Scottish hometown. Oh, and my geography isn’t great.

I thought I had adjusted well, having been here for 3 years before I started on this journey.  I was wholly unprepared for the new cultural differences which would present themselves.

  1. Telling someone they’re fat is not taboo.

‘ Wow, you got your hair cut,’ carries similar weight to ‘Wow, you got fat.’ I knew this but was still surprised that when I was six months pregnant, complete strangers would stop me to point out how fat I was.

you're fat

          2.       Some Thai people assume foreigners are crazy.

My cleaner saw that we (when I was seven months pregnant, and she saw me every week) had installed a crib and decorated a nursery. Her response:

the dogs crib

       3.       Pregnant people are seen as very delicate.

I had to work really hard to convince my wife I wasn’t going to lose the baby if I lifted something or kneeled. Then I realized that I could have a nine month excuse not to clean the house, so I stopped trying.

pregnant docs appt


      4.       People have different ideas about health and safety.

This is not limited to Thai’s. Plenty of Westerners think it’s a great idea to have their first go on a moped in Thailand. Wearing shorts and t-shirts. With their kids. With no helmets.

family motorbike


5.   They have their own set of weird stuff they do to kids.

No cheek pinching or hair ruffling in Thailand, which are also pretty odd, if you think about it.

hom feet


6. School photo days could put ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’ to shame.

Who wouldn’t want to remember their 4 year old child wearing more make-up than a $10 stripper?

school photo

I think the biggest thing which I wasn’t prepared for is how bizarre some of our own cultural ideas and practices are, when seen through someone else’s eyes. Christening gowns (‘Boys wear this? Boys?’), the Easter Bunny (‘It’s a giant rabbit that lays chocolate eggs?’) and the tooth fairy (‘A creature sneaks into a child’s bedroom and buys their old teeth?’) have all, rightly raised an eyebrow here and there.

What are some odd cultural differences you have come across?

About the Author

high res head shot

The Mama from “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows” survives, sweatily, in Bangkok Thailand with the Mummy, the Baby and the Dog. The Mama is a part time amateur blogger, a part time teacher and a full time toilet humor enthusiast. She started writing “My Kid Doesn’t Poop Rainbows” as a way to share the funny which happens to her family on a regular basis and give other exhausted parents a laugh or two. She trained for a year as an illustrator in kindergarten and decided to put these hard earned skills to use with this blog. She loves connecting with people from all walks of life- be sure to stop by and say hi! You can also connect with the Mama on Twitter and Facebook: Poop Rain



Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

We all know how hard it can be to get your kids to eat healthy. No matter how you try to sell it, sometimes they would rather go to bed early than eat their fruits and veggies. As a mom, this can become extremely frustrating. We all want our kids to eat right, but at times it seems impossible.

So what’s a mama to do?

Well, here are a few ways to get your kids on the right eating track:

1. Eat by Example

If junior doesn’t see you eat any fruits or vegetables, chances are he isn’t going to want to eat any either. When it’s snack time, encourage a fruit or veggie by sitting down and eating one with your little one. This will not only help them, but also help you eat healthier too!

2. Make it Look Good

If it doesn’t look good enough to eat, chances are your kids are not going to eat it. Sometimes making a smiley face out of apples and blueberries may make a fruit plate look more appetizing rather than just throwing it on the dish. Another idea is to find healthy foods in great packaging.

Chobani Tots

Chobani Tots


Chobani Greek Yogurt, which I love for smoothies, is also available for kids. Chobani Tots & Chobani Kids is one of those products that looks fun for kids. Many of the Chobani products for kids have fun characters and are good for on the go. This makes it a win-win for both moms and kids!



Chobani Kids

3. Sticker Charts

When my daughter wasn’t eating enough fruits and veggies, her pediatrician suggested keeping track of exactly what she was eating everyday. Each time she ate a fruit or veggie, she got a sticker on her chart. My daughter loved seeing how many stickers should could rack up by the end of the week. Once and awhile I would reward her with something small like a coloring book. Sometimes a little incentive goes a long way!

4. Take Unhealthy Snacks Out

If your child opens a cabinet and only sees cookies and chips, you can pretty much expect that’s what they’re going to want to eat. Why not stock the fridge and pantry with healthier options? This way they have plenty of good food to choose from instead of just junk.

Besides these tips, get creative and see what works for you and your family. If you get them on a healthy eating track now, you’re setting the pace for a lifestyle full of good food and habits.

How do you get your kids to eat healthy?

Spring into Savings

Decorating On A Dime

Tired of the same old boring or outdated home décor but living on a dime? Not everyone has the type of cash needed to replace countertops, redo flooring, and buy new furniture, so here are a few cheap and easy home makeover tips for busy moms who can’t afford a full home makeover. Of course, my first tip is to always, and I mean always, search for coupons, deals and promotions online. If you’re new to couponing, I suggest that you go to and you’ll get every coupon you’ll need in one place. Every penny counts so saving just a little bit now may mean you can spend a lot later!

Start with the walls

Your walls are the most prominent feature of your home so start with them. Adding a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any room and you can work out how much you’ll need by visiting DIY sites that offer pretty accurate calculators. It’s best to choose neutral colors when painting a whole room but if you like bold colors then painting just one wall is a good idea. You could also paint the top half of the wall in one color and the bottom in another with some sort of border between the two halves.

If painting is something you avoid at all costs then consider a feature wall. Your family pictures have more impact when they’re grouped together and it doesn’t matter if the frames are all different. Create box frames using old crates or egg boxes and add a 3D element to your photos by pinning small items that tell a story inside the frame. You could paper the wall instead or even create a mural with self adhesive stickers which are durable, easy to replace and don’t leave any residue.

Unique artwork is an answer

Unique and unusual artwork is easy to come by and can instantly liven up a room. Get a few arts and crafts ideas and get your kids to create some quirky pieces for you or else head out to flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales to find something you like. It doesn’t matter what the art looks like, grab a few pots of acrylic paint, throw a few splashes of color at a piece of paper and voila you have a painting that looks just like the ones hanging in art galleries!!!

If you have any then use the off cuts from old wallpaper to line drawers, shelves and even the inside of cupboard doors to give them an arty feel. Use a corkboard or fabric covered pin board above a desk to display anything that catches your eye such as pretty greeting cards, interesting postcards, cutouts from magazines, fabric swatches, a motivational print, and your children’s drawings. It doesn’t matter what goes up there and the best part is that it changes as you do.

Jazz up items you already own

Use leftover paint to give the legs of a banged up wooden chair a stylish look then use it as a side table in the sitting room, bedroom, dining room or kitchen. Create a display with layers of different colored sand, pebbles, a small ornament, and silk flowers inside an old jar of instant coffee (or any kind of glass jar) and place it on windowsills for a whimsical decoration. Arrange mismatched tableware on a mirror that you’ve turned into a tray to organize the toiletries that always litter your vanity.

Sometimes all you need to do is rearrange the furniture a little. Place the sofa at an angle or move it into a different corner and the whole focus of the room shifts. If you’re getting tired of a piece of furniture in a certain room, think about a way to repurpose it or else move it to another room where it might work. Create a new headboard by folding a beautiful quilt or knitted blanket over the bed frame or else make your own with plywood, some fluffy batting and an attractive fabric.

As you can see a few of these ideas won’t cost you a cent, never mind a dime and they say that a change is as good as a holiday so what are you waiting for? For all things with a price tag, get a coupon from Discountrue and you’ll save lots. Give in to the spring fever and give your home a makeover that won’t break the bank.

*This is a sponsored post.


Monday’s Mommas: Marina Vesela from Parental Journey

When it comes to deciding what to cook for the family, I’d rather poke my eyes out with a spork at times. That’s why it’s great to plan ahead.

This week’s Monday’s Momma, Marina Vesela from Parental Journey shares five great tips. Check them out!

5 Great Tips for Easiest Menu Planning

When you have kids, you have to be all about planning or you won’t make it. Without strict plan you will not be able to focus on anything. Having a plan helps me to remember all I have to do and to do more in my short day.

One thing that I find really useful is weekly menu planning, so I wanted to share my tips with you.

1. Every Monday, Thursday, Sunday or any other day that works for you sit down, take a piece of paper and a pencil and write down lunch ideas for every single day.

2. Try to include one new meal every week. You can find ideas for new meals on numerous food blogs that you can find on internet. It’s easier to do that if you decide that one day a week will be your “New Meal Day”. When I read food blogs, I bookmark all the recipes I like, so when it’s my New Meal Day, I just browse through my bookmarks and find something I like. If the meal is successful then I put it into my cookbook.

3. When you finish your menu plan, put it on your fridge, so you can’t forget about it. And then, when you go shopping for groceries, buy only what you need for that week planned meals. I guarantee you that you will spend less money and the less food will be wasted!

4. At the end of the week, when you have to write new menu plan, look into your fridge and see what groceries can you use for next week meals.

5. If you want to save more money, then look online what kind of sale does your supermarket has this week, so plan your meals in the way that you include things on sale. My favorite supermarket has sale on chicken, so I will definitely have chicken two times this week!

That’s it! Simple as that! And don’t say: “I will do it next week!”… Do it now!! Now is a perfect moment to start a new habit!

*This post originally appeared on The Parental Journey.

About this week’s Monday’s Momma:


Marina Vesela is from Croatia, born and raised, but planning to move soon, probably to UK, her favorite country in Europe. She has been blogging for 10+ years. Parental Journey is her new project where she wants to share interesting activities she does with her 2 year old girl. So, just another mommy blog 🙂 She is a work-at-home mom, ideation researcher, freelance writer and a journalist. Jack of all trades! Journalism was always her biggest love, but at the moment she is working in the marketing field. She loves new experiences and is always looking to try and do something new and exciting.

Overheard at Bedtime Prayers

About a year ago, I decided it was time to start having my girls say prayers at night. We go to church every week, but I honestly don’t know how many prayers are being said in between coloring and shoving goldfish down their throats. I figured night time would be best since it is the quietest and most low key part of our day.

Although we go to church, I can’t say I’m an overly religious person. That’s why when it came to saying prayers, I was looking for a little guidance from above. I knew we were going to start with the sign of the cross. After that, I honestly drew a blank! I knew we could go into an “Our Father” or “Hail Mary”, but I didn’t want my girls to just memorize and recite a prayer. I wanted it to mean something and come from their little hearts.

As I sat in bed with them, I guess God was answering my prayer when he gave me a little inspiration. For some reason I told them to start this way:


“Dear God,

Keep my family safe. Thank you for everything.”

Then I told each of them to think of one special thing to be grateful for each night.

This is where it gets interesting.

“God, thank-you for letting me FaceTime my (fill in the blank with the family member.)

“God, thank-you I had ice cream today.”

“God, thank-you I colored today.”

“God, thank-you we went to the movies and ate popcorn today.”

“God, thank-you I went to my friend’s house today.”

“God, thank-you I pooped today.”

“God, thank-you I played with chalk today.”

“God, thank-you I made cookies with my mom today.”

“God, thank-you I watched Peppa Pig today.”

“God, thank-you I played with my Barbies today.”

And the list goes on. These are just some of the ones that stick out because they are so sweet, innocent, and funny sometimes. I don’t know how many adults thank God that they poop everyday!

Although they give me a good laugh, I know they are really thinking about what to be thankful for, and for that I am thankful. In the end, the little things truly are the big things and that’s all that matters.

Review & Giveaway: Meat Tenderizer Mallet

Go into any kitchen store and there are rows and rows of gadgets used for just about anything you can imagine. Some are worth the money and some are definitely not. Trust me; I have a few of those that are definitely not. So, when you find a product that does what it says, it’s refreshing.

With that said, one of the “must have” kitchen items is a meat tenderizer, especially if you are making chicken cutlets. If the chicken is thick and tough it not only tastes bad, it takes longer to cook and can burn in the pan.

Chicken is usually a bit thick when you take it out of the package.

Before the Meat Tenderizer Mallet

Before the Meat Tenderizer Mallet

So, I tried out the Meat Tenderizer Mallet from Cave Man Tools to see if it would make my chicken cutlets thinner and easier to cook.

After just a few uses, I could tell the chicken was thinner than other times when I cooked it without using the mallet. It was thinner and easier to bread and fry. The chicken cooked faster without burning.

After the Meat Tenderizer Mallet

After the Meat Tenderizer Mallet

Once it was cooked, it was also easier to cut up for my kids to eat. Many kids (at least mine!) tend to shy away from meat when it is too thick for them to chew. This benefit alone is worth it!




If you want to try the Meat Tenderizer Mallet for yourself, here’s your chance. The Mommy Rundown is hosting a giveaway for one of these mallets from Cave Man Tools. Giveaway ends April 15, 2015 at midnight!

Enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



*I was compensated with one Meat Tenderizer Mallet from Cave Man Tools to complete this review.





Review & Giveaway: The Knot Genie

We all know getting a child to sit still to brush hair is more than difficult. Add a few tangles and knots in the mix and it’s a nightmare.

The brush gets stuck in their hair.

They yell “ouch”.

They don’t sit still.

They get annoyed.

You get annoyed. All in the name of not looking like they just rolled out of bed and haven’t brushed their hair in a week.


If you have little girls, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s why I was super excited to try out The Knot Genie.  At first, my girls looked at me like I was crazy. But, when I told my older daughter, who is notorious for tangles and knots, she got excited too.

So, after getting dressed one morning, I put The Knot Genie to the test. I was amazed at how easily I was able to brush out the nasty tangles!


Before The Knot Genie

Before The Knot Genie


I didn’t have to give the brush an extra tug nor did I have to hold the top of my daughter’s head. The secret is in the brush’s different shaped teeth. This allows the knots to come out without pulling the hair out from the root. This has happened to us countless times; thus all the screaming.

After The Knot Genie

After The Knot Genie



The Knot Genie glided down my daughter’s hair until all the tangles were gone and her hair looked lustrous and smooth.  My daughter was extremely happy because it was a painless and quick process! She liked it so much she started to brush the back of her hair too.

Now, the Knot Genie has become part of our morning and night time routine. It can become part of your’s too!

Just enter below for your chance to win one for yourself! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Great News! Some of my friends are also hosting a Knot Genie giveaway. Enter for more chances to win at these blogs:

Planning Playtime

Our Daily Craft

Adventures of a Frugal Mom

Sand and Snow… and Everywhere in Between

Our House Now a Home

Knock-it-off Crafts

Mommytime 365

Sensitive Mommy

Carrie Ann Tripp

Breastfeeding Needs

Life in Every Limb

*I was compensated with the product to complete this review


What’s in Mommy’s Easter Basket?

So, Easter is just a few days away and I’m sure a lot of you out there are busy putting the finishing touches on your children’s Easter baskets, if you do the bunny thing. My girls are old enough now to get “it” and look forward to a basket on Easter morning. Gone are the days of fearing the freaky little rodent at the mall. This year, they practically wanted to invite him over for dinner…but I digress.

When it comes to kids’ Easter baskets, there are plenty of staples. Chocolate bunnies, eggs, bubbles, jump ropes, stickers, chalk…they all are great basket fillers for the little ones.

But, what if mommies got baskets too? We don’t…or at least I don’t…and it’s totally fine…really it is. But, I can’t help thinking what I would ask the Easter bunny for if I, too, got a beautifully wrapped basket Easter morning. Hmmm…

Well, since you asked, I’ll tell you.

One (or Two) Bottle of Pinot Grigio- Yep, that’s my favorite wine; I don’t drink red. It would be great if the bunny would bring some, but he would probably get carded.

Flavored K-cups- French Vanilla, Hazelnut, etc. I like flavored coffee, but for some reason, I never buy the flavored cups. Maybe the Easter bunny could hop to it and grab me a box.

Spa Gift Card- It doesn’t matter what holiday it is, a spa gift card is always appreciated. It always fits, never goes bad, and is, by far, one of the best gifts. I always opt for the massage or the nails…I’m not a big fan of facials. There’s just something that’s not relaxing about someone squeezing your face until you’re red and ruddy. But, that’s just me.

Golden Ticket for 1 Good Night’s Sleep– It seems as though no matter what happens, there’s always the pitter patter of little feet around 3 a.m., followed by one, if not two, children climbing over me and into my bed. I just don’t have the energy to kick them out! It would be great to just sleep all night without getting a knee in the ribs or an elbow in the forehead. I guess that’s what sleepovers at grandma’s are for!

New Sneakers– I hate shopping for new sneakers. I never know what color I want, what brand, what style, etc. I usually end up liking the shoes designed for running, but never know if I should buy them because I don’t run. Ever. It would be great if the magical bunny could figure it all out and pop a pair in my basket. Just sayin.

So, that’s it. That’s what would be in my basket.

No chalk.

No jump ropes.

No candy. Please no candy!

So, what would be in your Easter basket if the bunny came your way?