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”

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)”
Cheapskating, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, momlife, Momsquad, Salty Mama Lists, Saturday Six, Tips & Hacks, vacation

6 Things You NEED To Bring on a Cruise

Trying to figure out what to bring on a cruise? We’re heading away for our annual MomSquad weekend away, and we’ve got 6 things that will help you pack for your cruise like a pro. And also, maybe make it just a little more fun. (Which, it’s a CRUISE. So that’s saying something).

Wondering what to bring on a cruise? These 6 Essentials will have you sailing like a pro! #cruisetips #cruisepackinglist

Continue reading “6 Things You NEED To Bring on a Cruise”

Salty Mama Lists, Saturday Six, Tips & Hacks

Saturday Six

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal page. Thank you!

It was one of those looooong weeks where it felt like we might just not make it to Saturday. Here’s what helped keep us sane this week.

1. We are FIVE days away from our #momsquadcruise2018 and each minute feels like an hour. I’m basically packed and ready to go. Which leaves me with nothing left to shop for the trip. So I thought about family vacations and summer and swim and I fell down the rabbit hole of little girl bathing suits. So they are SET with ruffles and polka dots and this adorable owl suit – OH MY! If you see any bathing suits my kids need, drop a link 😉

2. Sometimes when things seem at their worst, Christine goes against her natural inclination (read: tv forever). This week she took all the kids to the California Science Center. What’s your favorite museum to take the kids to?

3. After a few days of taking care of three kids AND a sick Daddy, Christine snuck out for $1 Bahama Mamas at Applebee’s, our new hot spot for cheap drinks and awkward conversations with bartenders. Which begs the question: where’s our sponsorship yo? I mean, “The Salty Mamas – brought to you by Applebee’s” has a nice ring to it. Call us Applebee’s!

4. While we may have differing opinions on the Olympics (one of us watches 18 hours a day and the other is like “what are you doing with your life????”) we can both agree on Celebrity Big Brother. Both The Salty Mama’s are BIG fans of Big Brother, so add in a Real Housewife and we are happy forever. Anyone else watching?? Who are you rooting for to win???

5. This may not be popular, but we are both REALLY happy we’re not pumping anymore. That may have pushed us over the edge this week. But Jaymi spent a bunch of time as a busy, pumping, working Mama. One of her tips made it into this awesome post from This Mom Life. Check it out!

6. Let’s face it. This:

Having something to look forward to is NO JOKE. Do it.

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”

momlife, Tips & Hacks

Get Better Sleep in 5 Easy Steps

This post was sponsored by VitalSleep. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Also, this post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal page. Thank you!

As a Mom, getting quality sleep is like the Holy Grail. Elusive, hard to find, and just when you think you’re about to get it – someone pees their bed. Okay, maybe the analogy went a little off the rails there, but you know what I mean. Between our kids’ nightmares, midnight feedings, bed wettings, growing pains and the classic “need to snuggle,” we are fighting an uphill battle. We just end up more tired and more desperate to get better sleep.

Then I realized that I was not helping the cause with my own bad habits. I thought to all the times I begged for advice on how to get my babies to sleep and came to the conclusion that I didn’t follow any of that advice for me. I had no routine. My sleep space wasn’t ideal. I just wasn’t setting myself up for success. All the things I did to help my baby, I should have been doing for myself as well.

So here are our top tips to help you sleep like a baby. Or at least how we dream our babies will sleep. Continue reading “Get Better Sleep in 5 Easy Steps”

Chick-Fil-A, Crafty Mamas, Holidays, Kids' Art Projects, Married with Children, momlife, Momsquad, Recipes, Saturday Six, They Said WHAT?, Tips & Hacks

Saturday Six

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal page. Thank you!

This week was full of love, mom-wins, and sunny Southern California weather.  So we’ve got LOTS to celebrate! Here are the six things that rose above to make this week a great one.

1. Jaymi is still gluten free, and not all Gluten-Free Foods were created equally. However, she’s finding that lots of her favorite recipes are easily modified. One of the best has been this Carnation Café Copycat Loaded Potato Soup. It is seriously AMAZING. Like, “We Serve it to Company” good. Sub in some 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour, and it’s a GF version that doesn’t taste gluten free (thank goodness).

2. You may have heard that we won free Chick Fil A for a year, but we ALSO won a free Valentine’s Day Meal. Seriously y’all, we are SWIMMING in free chicken.  You may not be willing to sleep in a parking lot for free chicken (because…well…REASONS), but PLEASE tell us you have the Chick Fil A One app installed on your phone. All you have to do is scan when you order, and you’ll get points that add up to free items.  And if you’re anything like us, those orders- and those points!- add up fast.

3. Have you done one of those kid interviews that’s been floating around Facebook recently? We did them with our kids, and the answers were equal parts hilarious (Q: What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? A: A grown up. So I can make the rules) and so sticky sweet we could die (Q: What Makes You Happy? A: Hugging You). Our friend at All in A Dad’s Work asks his kids questions like these on the regular, and their answers are super insightful, and also sometimes super funny. We particularly liked this week’s questions. Go check them out!

4. We found out Cricut makes a heat press, and now we NEED it so we can make some Salty Mama swag. I mean, can you just imagine the salty goodness we could create if the kids all agreed to nap at the same time? Whoa.

5. We busted out our  Marbled Shaving Cream Art at a playdate this week and it was a HIT. Each kid made five or six hearts a piece, and it totally stopped them from fighting was a great way to get some art in. And can I say, I kind of felt like super mom handing it off to their Mamas when they got picked up. We recommend busting out the green paint and some shamrock-shaped cardstock to bring it into the new season.

 

6. Our cruuuuiissseee is coming uuuuuuup! Look for some themed posts that will be going up this week, and get your rainbow tumblers ready. We’ve got a fun DIY headed your way so you can either A.) Cruise with your momsquad in style or B.) Have a virtual drink with The Salty Mamas. 

Bouncing Babies, Effing Four Year Olds, koefoe party of 5, momlife, Momsquad, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids

I was at the Aquarium, Izzie on my hip, one eye on Cole and the other on Evie. Wait – where’s Evie? Oh, there she is! Yes, one eye on Evie. Check. A woman with a toddler caught my eye and exclaimed, “Wow! I’m not even brave enough to bring both my kids to the Aquarium and you’re here with three!”

I never know how to respond to these confessions from other Moms. As a Stay-at-Home-Mom, if I didn’t brave the outside world and leave the house with three kids, I’d never leave. So hiding inside doesn’t seem like much of an option. And sure, some places we go are much more painful than other places. (Yes, I’m looking at you Costco and Trader Joe’s). But a place specifically made for kids? It’s not always fun and it’s basically never easy, but I promise you that if I can do it, so can you.

Here are some tips to help you get through it. Continue reading “Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids”

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

5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler

‘2017 was a tough year in the KoeFoe house. My husband’s uncle passed away from terminal cancer. My husband’s grandma passed away from complications from surgery. And then my Nana….just…..passed away. Wave after wave hit us, but seemed to miss our children, who weren’t close to these family members. Until Nana.17554077_10212883284503227_440700337261823782_n

Every Tuesday night, since before our son was born, we had Taco Tuesday’s at Nana’s. We ate, watched Jeopardy, the kids did somersaults, sang into microphones, performed and were given chocolate and ice cream and cookies, oh my! At 93 years old, Nana even “babysat” Evie (with the help of her home health nurse) every Friday for a couple hours. She was a constant fixture in our lives, until one day, she wasn’t.

We knew we had to talk to the kids, but didn’t know quite how. Izzie, at 8 months was too young to know anything was going on. Evie, at 2 years, knew something was up, but certainly couldn’t comprehend. But Cole? Cole, we found, was a wise – albeit brand new – 4 year old. He had questions, and we didn’t always know the answers.

When the end was eminent, I remember sitting with Nana. Tears in my eyes, she told me that crying was okay, that she was going to be fine, that this was God’s plan. I told her, “I know it is….I just don’t know what I’m supposed to tell Cole and Evie.” My pain was so profoundly compacted by the idea that I would also have to manage their loss, that at times it felt suffocating.

I’m not sure what we did was best, or right, but here are some tips that worked for us. I hope that you don’t need them, but if you do, that they help. Continue reading “5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler”