Kids' Activities

Chuck E Cheese Hacks

Ohhh, Chuck E. Cheese. If you were a child in the 80s or 90s, you can likely remember the joy, the excitement, and the thrill of this place. They had pizza. They had tokens and games and tickets. And the prizes, good grief, THE PRIZES. It was like heaven for kids. And now that I am on the other side of it, I know the dark, seedy side of the Chuck. Namely, that parents hate it as much as their kids love it.

Not everything is awful about Chuck E. Cheese, of course.  Their pizza has improved greatly, and the ball pits only exist in the nightmares of germaphobes everywhere.  But as they have improved, we’ve noticed that their prices have crept slowly up.  Which, if you’re trying to limit the amount of time you have to spend there, might be a good thing. But if you’re desperate to show your kids a good time, the cost of the place can be a problem.

Lucky for you, we’ve scoured the internet and our local CECs to find the best collection of Chuck E. Cheese hacks, money saving tips, and upgrades to help make your trip to Chuck E. Cheese a little more bearable- or at the very least, a little less expensive.

Kids LOVE Chuck E. Cheese- but parents? Yeah, usually not. Hacks to make your visit easier (and cheaper!) from TheSaltyMamas.com.

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Terrible Twos, Tips & Hacks

Tips to Get All Smiles at Your Toddler’s First Dental Appointment

When my first was little, I remember hearing that you were supposed to take baby to the dentist when they got their first tooth or when they reached one year old, whichever happened first. Being the dutiful first time Mom, I checked with our dentist to see if they had a pediatric dentist on staff and made that first dental appointment. On the big day, I brought my son in and then the disaster started. He wouldn’t open his mouth – at least without screaming – and when he finally did, they counted his teeth, reminded us to brush and sent him to get a toy. It was half an hour of thrashing, screaming and fighting for 3 minutes of “dentistry” that I could have done on my own at home. I was ready to swear off of the dentist until my kids were old enough to actually have something done. Or at least until I had a diaper bag full of toddler tips to surviving the dentist. Whichever came first.

Well, I never got the tips, but my kids needed to finally go to the dentist. So now I’ve got three kids, and a bunch of dentist appointments under my belt – including appointments for my 18 month old! So I’m here to tell you that you can have a successful trip to the dentist with a toddler. You just need these tips.

#toddlertips #toddlerhacks #raisingtoddlers #dentisttips #dentisthacks #firsttriptothedentist #pediatricdentist #whenshouldmykidgotothedentist #whenshoulditakemykidtothedentist #scaredofthedentist #dentistforkids #bestkidsdentist #kidsdentist #happysmiles #1sttriptodentist #scaredofthedentist #overcomingfearofthedentist #howtonotbescaredofthedentist #goingtothedentist #firsttimegoingtothedentist #talkingtokidsaboutdentist #booksaboutdentist #momlife #mommyblogger #saltymama #saltymamatips #saltymamahacks #thesalties #toddlermom #babymom #preschoolers #preschoolmom

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Mom Humor

Laugh Your Way Through the 10 Levels of Parenting Desperation

Being home with my kids is a blessing.  I know it. Most days, I’m grateful. Most days are fantastic. And then there are those OTHER days. The days where you’re bored, and the kids are bored, and everyone is just a little bit off. The fact that the day is SUPPOSED to be a blessing somehow makes the whole thing worse, and you find yourself with a case of the Mondays on a Wednesday morning.  The toddler schedule isn’t working, you’re not the fun and funny mom you usually are, and you’re questioning your ability to actually parent these tiny little monsters. You start to spiral, and then decide that, come Hell or high water, this day will be salvaged. You will BEAT these stay at home mom problems. You pour yourself a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and begin your journey through the various levels of parenting desperation.

Looking for a way to turn your bad day around? Come laugh through the 10 levels of Parenting Desperation with the funny mom behind TheSaltyMamas.com. Continue reading “Laugh Your Way Through the 10 Levels of Parenting Desperation”

Tips & Hacks

Nighttime Hacks, for Smoother Mornings

Having a Miracle Morning as a Mom sounds like a great idea. However, the miracle at my house would be being physically capable of waking up before my kids. I was blessed with three children that are so excited to start their day that they are running down the hall and into my room by 5:30. So the idea of getting up in the middle of the night to get my miracle morning on is less than appealing. Since the morning would not be the time for me to prep for my day, I had to turn to the night before. Thankfully, there are some super helpful nighttime hacks that have helped me get myself, my kids, and even my husband started on the right foot in the  morning.

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Mama Mojo, Uncategorized

Achieving Great Results with At-Home Hair Dye

About a year ago, my daughter asked me why my hair was turning white. I proudly told her that my hair had sparkles, and that I was proud of my silver. But increasingly, I began to feel that my hair was just looking dull.  The ratio of brown-to-grey was just not working for me, and I decided that I needed to color my hair.  I consider myself to be a frugal mama, so I was not about to start dropping hundreds in a salon on a regular basis (let alone find child care while I went). So I partnered with eSalon, and received the full diva treatment in their studio. They have the best semi-permanent hair dye, and I was thrilled to receive in-studio advice about which color to choose. While I was initially a little shocked by the transformation, I soon grew to love it. I WAS thrilled with how the hair color held up, and the self-confidence boost the change brought.

And then the time came- I was gonna need to color it myself.  My eSalon shipment came right one time, but me? I stalled.

I’ve heard so many horror stories about at-home hair dye- tales of women spending hundreds to fix their color, and unintentional light or dark streaks, and poor coverage. I’ve heard of girls who have had their hair turn orange and girls who have had their scalps stained black. So do you really blame me for being nervous to do it on my own?

Well I am proud to say that I freaking NAILED it in the at home hair dye department. It was nowhere near as scary as I’d thought, and the in-studio lesson at eSalon really did teach me everything I needed to know to get the job done.  So if you find yourself as scared as I am, I’m here to tell you- I know you can do this. And here’s how.

Ready to take the plunge and try at-home hair dye? We've got tips to help you be successful at TheSaltyMamas.com. #esalon #hairdye #hairdyehacks #hairdyetips #dyeyourownhair #haircolor #brunette #boxdye

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Mom Humor, momlife

Mother’s Day Fantasy vs. Mother’s Day Reality

I’ve got a Mother’s Day hangover. And not the good kind that implies that I spent the entire day relaxing and drinking too much champagne. No, I’ve got the kind where I find myself asking, “What happened yesterday??” Now, I’m not the kind of person that traditionally builds up holidays. I’ve never had high expectations for a life changing New Year’s Eve. I’ve never thought that Valentine’s Day was going to be the most romantic day of the year. But somewhere along the line I saw one too many Mother’s Day commercials with happy kids showering their Moms with love, crafts, coffee and breakfast – even if it was poorly, yet comically, made with egg shells hidden in the omelet.

That was not my Mother’s Day. And as I scrolled through Facebook, I started to think maybe I was the only Mom that didn’t have that picture perfect Mother’s Day….crafts everywhere, Moms thanking their families for the outpouring of love, and me feeling more and more empty. Then I remembered I was on Facebook and decided to go to Twitter, where complaining is more accepted. And I found my people.

But you might be my people too. So here’s what I fantasized for Mother’s Day, and how my day differed dramatically.

What happens when your Mother's Day Fantasies just don't happen?

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momlife

Going to the Aquarium with Kids- How to Let Them Be Little

We have the most fabulous aquarium here in Long Beach, and we take our kids on a regular basis. We go so often that we are familiar with almost all the creatures that live there, and we are past the point where I need to direct my kids attention. We go for an hour or two at a time and I let their interest and attention spans guide the day. Sometimes we gravitate towards the sea lions, and others they just want to sit in the little cutout under the penguin habitat and watch the birds swim above them.  On our most recent trip, they were all about the touch tanks. We looked, we touched, we tried to keep Abram from injuring the poor little creatures, and we splashed a bit in the water. I pointed out a red sea anemone with white polka dots to my daughter. “Look Lila! This one looks like it’s wearing Minnie Mouse’s dress!” She giggled and touched its bumpy surface.

Then here comes Hyper Academic mom.

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momlife

How To Be a Better Mom in 10 Easy Steps

First of all, let us be clear- YOU ROCK ALREADY.  Your kids don’t care whether you made homemade brownies for the bake sale or whether you spent 1,110 hours creating cut-out dinosaurs on the Cricut for their birthday party.  You keep your kids fed. You keep your kids safe. You kiss them and hug them and love them and sometimes they eat candy and sometimes they eat kale and THAT IS ENOUGH.  So if you’re asking yourself how to be a better mom, lady, we’ve got news for you- you are the best mom your kids could ever have. Period.

We asked a lot of amazing mommies just like you to tell us about the mothers in their lives- their mamas, their friends, their kids’ aunties and the random mommies they pass in Target who are keeping their cool while their child goes feral.  And we were so, so happy to see that it isn’t always the BIG things that make a person a great mother. It’s the little things, done sweetly (or even begrudgingly!), on a regular basis that shows your kids that you are there for them.  And if your kids don’t notice it? Well, WE notice it, and odds are, the other people in your life do, too.

So keep on keeping on, Mama. You are doing an AMAZING job. Here are twelve ways that you are probably rocking this #momlife without even knowing it.

Are you looking for ways to be a better mom? We just want to remind you- we think you're already amazing. Read why at TheSaltyMamas.com. #howtobeabettermom #mothersday2018 #mothersday #momlife #motherhood #unitedinmotherhood

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Kids' Art Projects

Baby’s First Edible Fingerpaint- Made from Yogurt!

I spent some time as a preschool art teacher, so you better BELIEVE I was bound and determined to get my kids excited about art from an early age. I had big ambitions about art projects for babies, and I expected I would spend much of my time coming up with cute crafts for toddlers. I even pictured them with little paint brushes in their chubby little hands. And then the day came when I handed Lila her first paintbrush, lovingly dipped in non-toxic red paint- and she stuck it right in her mouth. We THINK these things are going to be amazing. But when it comes to art for babies, sometimes we need to tone down our expectations just a little. Or, at the very least, come up with alternatives that won’t have our toddlers spitting red paint all over the living room floor.

One of the easiest compromises to make is by swapping out typical paints with edible paint for toddlers. Pinterest abounds with plenty of non-toxic options to make your own paint (often involving flour, corn-starch, and the like). We wanted to move beyond paint that simply won’t hurt them. We’re bringing you an art experience that integrates sensory play, taste exploration, and color experimentation in a truly edible fashion.  Our yogurt fingerpaint art  activity is sure to fill some time with yummy fun for your littlest Picassos. It’s a process-based art project your babies will love.

I mean, they're gonna eat the paint anyways....might as well make sure it's delicious! Try this yogurt paint baby art project from thesaltymamas.com. #ediblefingerpaint #artforbabies #artfortoddlers #toddlerartproject #babyartproject #yogurtpaint

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Mama Mojo, Married with Children

5 Ways to Make Date Night a Priority

From the moment you have a baby, people will start giving you advice. One of those helpful tips is to make date night a priority. Everyone tells you that you need to not just be “Mommy and Daddy” but need to find a way to remain husband and wife, or to some degree, boyfriend and girlfriend. When this happened to us, we’d smile and nod and agree in theory. And then every Friday and Saturday night, we’d be on our couch, in sweatpants, watching some crap on TV before sloughing off to bed. Now, I’m not going to lie. That’s borderline my perfect night. But at some point it got to be so routine and so impersonal. It was then that we started to understand why date night is so important.

It was one thing to make date night a priority in theory, but it was time to make it a priority in practice. Here are 5 ways you can.

#datenight #datenightforparents #fundatenightideas #cutedatenightideas #romanticdatenightideas #fundateideas #romanticdateideas #mommydaddydatenight

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