momlife

How to Create a Toddler Schedule That Will Help Them THRIVE

With limited patience and BIG energies, it can be very difficult to find toddler activities that will keep your kids engaged all.day.long. And with the first three years being crucial to kids’development, the pressure is on to find activities that will keep your kids happy, playing, and growing the way they should. Making up a toddler schedule can seem overwhelming- there are so many suggestions about how to keep a toddler busy, with each activity lasting for about three minutes- but by sticking to basics and establishing routine daily activities for toddlers, you can really help to create a toddler daily schedule that will leave both you and your child feeling fulfilled.

Creating a daily routine for your toddler helps to make sure that they are progressing in the key areas of language, cognition, gross motor, and fine motor skills.  They seem like heavy concepts (and they are), but when you break them down, there are super fun and simple ways to help toddlers learn the basic skills they need to be successful in preschool and beyond.  We think you’ll find that by fitting each of these activities into your toddler’s daily schedule, you’ll be nurturing their growth, and having lots of fun at the same time.

So without further ado, here are the ten things that you should fit into your toddlers’ schedule every day.

Looking for a toddler daily schedule that will help your child THRIVE (without a ton of prep?) Get your copy now, from thesaltymamas.com.

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Cheapskating, Chick-Fil-A

How to Save Money With Easy Chick fil A Hacks

As mothers of young children, we spend an embarrassing amount of time at Chick-fil-A. From taking over their play area to sleeping in their parking lot, we’re there a TON. As in, we know the owner and many of the employees by name. We also know ALL the Chick Fil A money saving hacks, and all the ways to cheapskate your way to a free lunch or two. And we are equal parts proud and embarrassed by these facts.

Even though it’s fast food, those dollars spent at Chick-fil-A add up quickly, especially when your kids keep growing and insist upon eating their own food.  I keep a VERY tight cash budget, which means that I can only eat out with the kids about once a week- and that’s if I keep our total under $10 for the three of us. So how do I fuel our obsession with CFA while keeping our costs down? We’ve got a few Chick fil A money saving hacks for you to help you make it work.

Looking for ways to save money at Chick-fil-A? These genius Chick fil A hacks will get you discounts- and even free items!- on a regular basis. Read our pro tips at thesaltymamas.com. #chickfila #chickfilahacks #savemoneyatchickfila Continue reading “How to Save Money With Easy Chick fil A Hacks”

Pregnancy

Celebrate YOU With These Amazon Baby Registry Hacks

I know this is not a popular thing to say- but when I was having my first baby, I felt a little left out. Yes, I was getting a lot of attention- cue the unwanted belly rubs and the great debate over the name we had chosen- but people weren’t really concerned about me.  Even trying to get my Amazon baby registry in order was a constant reminder that from here on out, it was going to be all about the baby, all the time.  And frankly, I was a little jealous.

I remember the first time ­I tried to create a baby registry.  I walked the halls of Target with my older sister (and baby nephew!) trying to find all the things on the baby registry checklist and weed out the baby registry items you don’t really need. I was overwhelmed by all the recommendations, from booger-sucking-devices to nipple cream. When what I really wanted? Lots of Diet Coke. And coffee. And a pretty nursing cover that I wanted but probably wouldn’t need. My sister laughed it off, but I am here to tell you- I registered for the damn Diet Coke. Which is exactly what my best friend rolled up with when she came to meet the baby. Because she’s my best friend, and she knew that a unique baby shower gift- like a case of Diet Coke!- was the key to my heart.

So as you troll the aisles of Target, weird scanner-gun-thingy in hand, we’d like to give you a few reminders. First, do everyone a favor and create a registry on Amazon, too.  That way everyone, from your Grandma in Portland to your Aunt in Law in Minnesota, can ship you a unique baby shower gift without the added stress of shipping fees. And secondly, remember that YOU are having a baby. Your role in this cannot be understated. Things will be changing for you, too- mostly for the better!- but it wouldn’t hurt to sneak a few items for yourself on to your registry. Celebrating yourself could easily be one of the best Amazon baby registry hacks of all time. Below, a list of items we humbly suggest you add to your Amazon Mama Baby Registry.

When creating your Amazon baby registry, don't forget to include items for yourself! FInd out what to include at thesaltymamas.com. #babyregistry #babyregistrychecklist #amazonbabyregistry

When creating your Amazon baby registry, don't forget to include items for yourself! FInd out what to include at thesaltymamas.com. #babyregistry #babyregistrychecklist #amazonbabyregistry
Continue reading “Celebrate YOU With These Amazon Baby Registry Hacks”
Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, School, The Salties, The Salty Mamas Bookclub, Tips & Hacks

How to Teach Your Toddler (or Preschooler!) to Read

With kindergarten becoming increasingly academic, I’ve noticed a push for parents to teach their kids to read before school even begins.  As a certified teacher, I can say that I  do think there are other skills that are more important– like independence and kindness, to name two-but the need for early reading skills cannot be ignored.  The Salty Mamas are all about raising readers, which means that we start them young. But rather than focusing on just letters and phonics, we encourage you to teach your child to be a reader– and that means going beyond the basics. Here are 8 easy reading strategies you need to teach your toddler to read- or teach your preschooler to read! We promise their future teachers will thank you for it.

Trying to teach your child to read? Might we suggest that you teach them to be a READER instead. Find out easy tips to make it happen, from thesaltymamas.com. #learningtoread #teachingkidstoread Continue reading “How to Teach Your Toddler (or Preschooler!) to Read”

Crafty Mamas, Kids' Activities, Recipes

How to Make This Summer’s Best Lemonade (Kid Approved!)

Nothing says summer like lemonade- even though here in sunny Southern California, the lemon season is happening now, in this little space between winter and spring. My sweet friend Cynthia gifted me dozens of lemons over the last couple of weeks, and we are definitely making use of this little burst of sunshine. We got the kids involved in washing, cutting, and juicing the lemons (using these kid safe knives and this juicer). Then we put some of the juice in the freezer, placing one-cup portions in Ziploc bags, and froze them flat for future, less-lemony seasons. Finally, when the big jobs were done, we celebrated by making a big pitcher of our favorite homemade lemonade recipe.

Get ready for summer with this sweet, homemade lemonade recipe. Kid (and adult!) approved, from thesaltymamas.com. #lemonaderecipe #homemadelemonade Continue reading “How to Make This Summer’s Best Lemonade (Kid Approved!)”

Cheapskating, Hair and Beauty, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, Tips & Hacks

Why You Need to Try eSalon- IMMEDIATELY

I’m only thirty-two years old, so maybe you can understand why I am so offended by my gray hairs. I look around at my contemporaries, a sea of blondes, brunettes, and red heads, all of whom seem to have not a hint of silver in their luxurious tresses. And then I look at my hair, which used to be a warm, sunny brown and is turning more mousy and dull by the day. I had always thought I would age gracefully, but as my ratio of browns to grays changed, I knew I needed to make a change, too.

I didn’t want expense and time commitment of a salon visit every six weeks, and I found myself terrified at the prospect of figuring out how to dye my hair at home. I needed professional advice, like, yesterday. So imagine my excitement when I found a company who felt my pain, and were ready to help me through it, one step at a time. You might have seen ads on the internet for a company called eSalon, which boasts of “award winning hair color, made just for you.” And ladies? It does NOT disappoint.

Wondering about the eSalon hair color you've heard so much about? Read an honest review of this revolutionary at-home hair dye from thesaltymamas.com. #hairdyeathome #esalon #esalonreview #esalonhaircolor

Continue reading “Why You Need to Try eSalon- IMMEDIATELY”

Effing Four Year Olds, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

How to Brush Your Child’s Hair (Without a Battle)

I used to LOVE styling Lila’s hair.  It took just a minute to brush, and then we’d spend some quality time putting it in the cutest little updos.  I’d section it off, put it in cascading ponytails, or braid it. At the very least, she had sweet little pigtails (with matching bows, obvi). I was pretty sure I would be that mom- you know, the one whose daughter always has perfect hairstyles, the mom who doles out hair brushing tips for kids to all the other moms. I was going to NAIL this kids’ hairstyles thing.

Then her hair got longer. And wavier. And drier. And more tangled. All those sweet memories of styling? They were replaced with a fight equivalent to trying to wrestle an angry baby possum. And at the end of it, her hair still looked like this.

I found myself with no choice but to up my game.  You can spend a year or two figuring it out, or you can do yourself a favor- follow my tried and tested hair brushing tips for kids to get your little lady’s hair in check without the fuss.

Tired of fighting with your son or daughter every time you need to brush your hair? We've got six hair brushing tips for kids that will end the battles once and for all! Check out the best products and strategies to make hair brushing easier, from thesaltymamas.com.

Continue reading “How to Brush Your Child’s Hair (Without a Battle)”
Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, Salty Mama Lists

7 Moms That Will Make You Laugh at a Kids’ Indoor Playground

It’s winter, and the weather is pretty disagreeable these days. Moms everywhere are desperate to find somewhere-anywhere!– where their kids can run, yell, play, and burn off some of that ENDLESS energy. En masse, we all flock to the nearest kids’ indoor playground, which quickly turns into a roiling mass of noisy, busy, happy kids and toddlers- and their mothers. In no particular order, here are the seven types of parents you can expect to see while you’re there.

There's 7 types of moms you'll find at a kids' indoor playground- read on to find out which one you are! thesaltymamas.com

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Married with Children, The Daddys, They Said WHAT?

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Their Job

I am a smart girl. That’s just a fact. My school counselor once called the six year old version of me, “severely gifted,” which if I’m being honest, I thought was a little rude. Over the years, the rest of my class caught up with me, and I’m sure I’m mildly gifted at best these days- but I’m just saying, I’m not dumb. But when I’m talking about work with my husband? Daaaang, but it can sure make me FEEL dumb.

 

My husband is a Chemical Engineer, and specializes in Process Development. I barely know what that means, let alone when he actually tries to describe one of the processes he’s developing (is that even the right way to say it? I have no idea). But after years of looking at him sitting silent across the table at dinner parties, and watching him look at me with just a touch of envy while I regale our guests with stories of rambunctious first graders, I realized that he needs an outlet, too. He needs to deconstruct his day, and muddle through his work-related issues, and to have a sounding board for the problems he faces in the eight eleven hours a day that he’s not with me.

 

So I decided to take on the daunting task- to learn how to actually talk to my husband about what he does. (Shudders.) Here’s my tips for how to talk about work with your spouse- even when their job is not the kind of career you understand the ins and outs of.
Stumped about how to talk to your spouse about a job you don't understand? Five easy tips from thesaltymamas.com. #relationshipgoals #wifelife #marriedlife

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Crafty Mamas, MicroLuxuries, Momsquad, Tips & Hacks

DIY Custom Cruise Tumblers

We are gearing up BIG TIME for an upcoming cruise with our MomSquad, and we are so excited we are pretty much beside ourselves. And thus, we are buying alllll the things. We like to go all out with our Girls’ Trip Swag- we’ve got matching pajamas, we’ve got matching shirts– and we’ve got matching cruise tumblers, handmade by yours truly.  If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you might know that bringing your own tumbler is kind of crucial, both for bringing your complimentary water and lemonade with you wherever you go, as well as making your adult beverages easier to drink in the hot tub.  And honestly? It’s just more fun when you match your girlfriends.

So if you’ve got a Bachelorette Party, or a Girls’ Trip, or a Moms’ Weekend Away coming up, snag your cups here and then ask your ladies which color they want to claim. Then pick your path- the Time Saver or the Creative Cricut Type– and you’ll be sipping pretty in no time.

DIY Cruise Tumblers- A Step By Step Tutorial to Get You Ready for Your Girls' Trip in No Time, from thesaltymamas.com. #girlstrip #CruiseTumblers #CruiseCups #GirlsTripCups Continue reading “DIY Custom Cruise Tumblers”