Family, Uncategorized

Managing the TikTok craze πŸ˜–

We are both raising girls, quite a few between us actually! I have two girls with a good amount of years and one brother in between them. Erin has 3 girls…… 3 girls 😳….ALL girls and fairly close in age. I pray for her often 🀣. And whether you want to admit to it or not, it’s definitely different raising boys and girls. And I’ll be honest, I am for sure stricter and more protective in many ways of my girls. Don’t misunderstand, I am still very strict with my son and no doubt he would back me up on that. I expect good behavior, manners and have rules for all of them. But danger seems to be lurking around every corner for girls these days, which is why I feel setting boundaries and ground rules from the get-go is so important. But this social media stuff is crazy hard to manage and stay on top of. It takes a lot of time and management which is why I think most parents don’t pay much attention to it. Unfortunately for my kids I’m not most parents lol!

The newest App on the scene around here these days is TikTok. It started out as kinda cute. All of our girls (kids really because my son even made an appearance in a few) were doing dances whenever they were together and my daughter would have to show me all of the videos before she could share them on her private account. After a while it just sort of took off and somewhere along the way I feel like I lost the reigns. (I think Erin can probably say the same with her girls.) Life just got so busy that we didn’t monitor it the way we had originally planned to. Since our kids are so close in age and spend a good amount of time together going back and forth to each others houses, we thought it would be best for us to be on the same page. And me in all my over-organized obsessiveness decided we needed rules…..in hard copy of course! I did a quick search and couldn’t find much online from a parents perspective. There are tons of rules and contracts out there that parents have made and shared for cell phone usage, video games, texting, etc. but I didn’t find anything specific to this App. So I decided to make my own. Rules are my favorite πŸ€— so it was a piece of cake!!

Here are the rules:

Rule #1. Accounts must be private. ~No exceptions.

Rule #2. Users can only follow you if they allow you to follow them. ~Meaning no nosy bodies and it will be checked regularly so that if somebody continues to follow but changes it so you can’t follow them then buh bye! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

Rule #3. Anyone commenting inappropriately must be removed and unfollowed.

Rule #4. Parents can access your account at any time and must have login info & password.

Rule #5. ALL videos must be parent approved before posting.

Rule #6. Songs with foul language, explicit or inappropriate contact can not be used. ~Even if you’re not saying the words the songs are still not to be used.

Rule #7. Dancing and gestures must be appropriate.

Rule #8. Clothing worn must be appropriate for all videos.

Rule #9. If any of the above rules are broken you will lose use of the App for 1 week. ~That means no posting and no viewing!

Rule #10. Three strikes you’re out and the App must be removed.

Wellllll, the kids didn’t love my rules. Some felt a little stronger about them than others 😬 We gave them time to go through their accounts and tidy it up so we can move forward and really stick to it. The funny thing is when my daughter can’t post immediately… she rethinks a lot of her video or song choices. When that initial moment passes there isn’t an urgency to share the videos anymore, which is really the point any way right?! It’s often the case that when we take a moment and don’t say or do what we feel so strongly about in that particular moment, it doesn’t seem to be so important later. It’s also making her filter what she puts out there, because once it’s out there there’s no taking it back!

I guess we’ll see how this works from here on out. I’m always welcome to advice on how to handle all the social media stuff. Message us if you would like a printable copy or if you have any rules we should add….I love a good rule! 😜

~Elena πŸ’–

Books

Young Adult Books πŸ“–

Ever since my first born started reading chapter books I read whatever she read. It started out so that I could help her prepare for her quizzes. At her old school they did AR and had to take a short computerized quiz after finishing every book. So I would read her books to help her with comprehension. I would get emails throughout the day with her scores on those quizzes and she was doing great! Then it turned into more of a parental control…. as her reading flourished the levels she advanced to included a lot of books I wasn’t ok with my elementary student reading. Therefore I would read many of the books before her or try to stay a chapter ahead of her. This way I could steer her clear of inappropriate books or be prepared to have to explain some iffy content. By the end of elementary school her reading level included books that I definitely didn’t approve of, often times sending books back to school with a note to the teacher saying I wasn’t ok with this particular book choice. Last year when she started middle school we went to the school library during summer hours to stock up for summer. I came to realize there were no more levels and many of the books there were books I had read myself and wasn’t quite ready for her to read. At this point she’s pretty good about weeding out the junk and we both can do a quick google search to find age appropriate levels. But she’s 13 now and many young adult books nowadays are read by adults as well…. i.e. The Hunger Games Series, Divergent Trilogy and The Fault In Our Stars just to name a few.

Recently I heard about Book of The Month Young Adult and I was super interested. I love that you get to choose which book you receive from new reads every month. I decided to be an affiliate and logged in to get my September choice. I was able to read a little synopsis of each book that way I can choose something I know my daughter (and myself 😜) would like and what would be appropriate. The choices were great across the board and included books for younger teens to college/adult age. Honestly I would’ve enjoyed all of them myself!

Here’s our first box:

I chose the book Frankly in Love by David Yoon. No spoilers, but it’s about a Korean American boy who’s parents are insistent he find a nice Korean girl. Needless to say he has other plans but comes up with a plan to appease his parents. I’ll definitely post a little review after finishing!

And let’s not forget the goodies that came in the box 😍 My girls devoured the cookie immediately! I haven’t decided if I plan to share those bookmoji pins yet πŸ€” we’ll see.

I’m really excited for future boxes. I know my daughter is looking forward to it and already has plans to pass the books along to friends. Here’s my link below ↙️ if you’re interested in giving it a try, I think you’ll love it!!

Book of the Month YA

~Elena πŸ“š

Home

Super Easy Stain Trick!!! πŸ§Ί

My oldest has started cooking more these days and especially enjoys making breakfast for everyone. It really does make mornings easier so I can workout early and when I’m finished breakfast is ready, as opposed to the usual begging for food the moment I walk into the kitchen…before I’ve even had coffee β˜•οΈπŸ˜³ And she’s even getting better at cleaning up after herself which is a definite win!

Last week after she finished cooking she realized she had this round stain on the front of a new Vineyard Vines T-shirt she had just gotten a week or so before. After much thought we figured the stain was from closing the Pam spray by pushing the can against her stomach to pop the lid in place. And we all know how nearly impossible it is to get grease or oil stains out of clothing!!! 😳 And this stain was super noticeable!

Here’s what we were dealing with:

And this was after I had spot treated and washed the shirt twice with laundry stain removers. At this point I figured we were out of luck and she can just wear the shirt around the house, but she was pretty upset about it. Then I decided to give a quick online search and see what other stain remedies I can find as a final attempt. I read articles and watched videos, and I was overwhelmed. I read about everything from aloe vera to baking soda with vinegar and even WD40. I wasn’t looking for a big ordeal with seventeen steps, just an easy cleaning hack with products I already had at hand.

A few articles I read mentioned plain old Dawn soap. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. So I rubbed Dawn dish soap (which by the way I get at the dollar store because the small container is perfect size for filling up the pump by my kitchen sink!) all over the stain and let it sit for about 3 hours.

After a few hours I did a quick warm wash cycle in the washer and then hung the shirt to dry. At this point it was too wet to tell if it had worked. But later that evening when it was mostly dry….πŸ₯³πŸ€© success!!! Totally gone!

I love super easy remedies like this!! And the best part is it even works after the garment had been washed multiple times, because sometimes you don’t notice those stains right away.

πŸ“Another good one is boiling hot water for berry stains. And yes it absolutely works! My daughter had gotten blueberry stains on a white dress once when she was dressed for a special occasion. A quick google search and I read to just pour boiling hot water right into the stain and poof πŸ’¨ it disappears right before your eyes!!

I would love to know what other simple stain removing hacks people have tried! Comment or message us and let us know!

~Elena πŸ’–

Books

2019 Reading Challenge Update πŸ“š

Summer has been way busier than I imagined it would be. I pictured lots of quiet time relaxing & reading poolside, finishing books left and right …. but it hasn’t worked out that way yet. I’ve had some time here and there, but otherwise we’ve been doing a lot of running around with camps, swim lessons, summer baseball, errands, workers at the house and a recent 13th birthday that took up quite a bit of time as well!

Needless to say I’m averaging about a book a week -give or take a few days.

So here’s my most recent dozen:

I can honestly say I really liked them all!! I’m not going to spoil anything but here are some thoughts of mine on just a few of the books:

The Looker was a quick and easy read if you’re looking for something speedy. But left me with a lot of questions.

The Silent Patient definitely surprised me. It was one of those books that has an amazing twist in the end that you never saw coming, sooo good!

My Lovely Wife was not at all what I expected!! I try not to read too much about books beforehand because I don’t want to read spoilers by accident, so this was disturbing and intriguing all at the same time. The story was so different than anything I’ve read before.

No Exit was intense because there is not much back and forth time wise. Most everything pretty much takes place in a day or two period of time. So this one was really hard for me to put down once I got in to it.

The First Mistake I was sent as a prerelease and this one is definitely a good summer read. I thought I knew where the book was going but I had it all wrong. Can’t wait for her next book!

Honestly, We Meant Well- I was sent through an Instagram giveaway and had to put on hold for a bit because I had a few library books that were only 2 week holds. But once I got started I loved it! I love seeing the points of view of all the family members and the fact that everyone has secrets, thoughts, memories and hidden agendas that the others aren’t privy to. This is my first Grant Grinder book so now I really want to go read the others!

I have a long queue at the library, about two dozen screenshots in my phone and a Barnes & Noble order coming this week, but if there is something you’ve read lately that I must read please let me know!!

I’m at about 50 books so far for my 2019 Reading Challenge, not too bad. 😊 πŸ“–

Happy Reading! πŸ€“

~Elena πŸ’–

Food

French Toast Casserole- with buns πŸ€ͺ

Last weekend we decided kind of last minute Friday afternoon that we were going to grill up some hot dogs for dinner with friends. So when my husband got home from work I quickly ran out to get hot dogs, buns, sides and toppings. Hot dog buns were on sale 3 packs for $4. Does anyone else struggle with these deals the way I do? I mean I know I might not need the amount offered but I can’t seem to say no to a good deal πŸ˜–. Needless to say we had so much food that I wound up with 2 full bags of buns leftover.I hate freezing and thawing buns, I just don’t ever feel like they come out the same so I never do it and then they just go bad before I think of using them for something else.

The next morning I had a totally unconventional idea to make hot dog bun French toast casserole! Sounds crazy and my kids thought I was pretty nuts when I told them, but it turned out pretty amazing.

I sprayed a pan with nonstick spray and just broke up all the buns into pieces. In a large bowl I mixed 2 cups of milk and 6 eggs (because I only had 6 eggs 😬), a little bit of vanilla, about 2 tablespoons of sugar and some cinnamon. I poured the liquid over the pan and mixed really well until each piece was covered. Then I made sure it was evenly spread out in the dish, sprinkled the top with more cinnamon and then some brown sugar.

I baked at 350 Β° for about 30 minutes. I used a larger casserole dish but would probably use an 8×8 or similar in the future so it’s a bit thicker. When it was done I sprinkled with some powdered sugar and drizzled with syrup!

It was seriously so good! I love a quick & easy breakfast idea that doesn’t require me standing over the stove forever. A simple and easy way to use up extra bread and you can probably do this with pretty much any type.

Sometimes you just have to think outside the box. I hate wasting food and I also can’t turn down a good deal😬

~Elena πŸ’–

Uncategorized

My top 10 favorite Netflix series.

I know everyone is super excited about summer and it finally being warm enough to be outside again. Trust me when I say I am too!! It was a long, miserable winter here in New England and we didn’t have much of a spring. But I also know even in the summer we’ll have some rainy days. So here are my top 10 most favorite Netflix series you should check out when you are stuck inside.

1. What If

2. You

3. Ozark

4. Dead to Me

5. Designated Survivor

6. Stranger Things

7. 13 Reasons

8. Pretty Little Liars

9. The Society

10. Ted Bundy mini series

As you all know I’m spending a lot more time alone with the whole divorce and all. So on my down time I often read or binge watch shows on Netflix. Lol! I am always looking for new shows to watch, so if you know of any good ones let us know. I love having a nice distraction while I’m working out or folding the dreaded laundry!

It is what it is πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

-Erin πŸ“Ί

Home

Product Review: Tom & Sheri’s Iron in a Bottle πŸ‘•πŸ‘š

I’m not a huge fan of ironing. Well that’s not entirely true. I thoroughly enjoy the actual act of ironing. It’s kind of relaxing and I’m a bit of a perfectionist so seeing the wrinkles completely gone really feels satisfying (⬅️my preteen uses that word all the time πŸ™„). Ok but seriously, if I start ironing I get into it and want all the clothing items at once to make them look perfect. But the actual chore of taking the ironing board out and warming up the iron for one item often when I’m hurrying to get out the door- drives me insane. Because it usually happens that it’s last minute that I change my outfit and what I want is wrinkled, or I see my kids dressed in something that they must’ve had rolled up in a ball in the corner under their bed 😳

Recently I saw a few people mention this clothing wrinkle releaser spray. After a few mentions I finally googled it and watched a little video on QVC that had me a little intrigued. I bit the bullet and ordered. Here’s the link:

Wrinkle Releaser Spray

I purchased the combo which included the large bottle with sprayer and the travel size. I tried it a few times myself and was seriously amazed!! Let me first say that I ordered this myself and paid full price and I am not someone who is easily impressed by things. For me to share something it has to really be awesome. So after trying it myself I asked the kids to each get something really wrinkle from their room and give it a try.

Here we go:

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByoYPFHFE3U/?igshid=rr41ai45kurg

This is our first ever video share so go easy on us πŸ˜‚. My littles were a bit camera shy but my oldest loves the spotlight πŸŽ₯lol. And I hate seeing myself and hearing the sound of my voice πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰

Seriously try this product, it is such a time saver!! My only notes are that once you spray the item shake the fabric and stretch it a bit to get the wrinkles out. If it’s really wrinkled you may have to do it a couple of times. The item will then be a tiny bit damp but dries quickly and smells like fresh, clean laundry!

Try it and let me know what you think!!!

~Elena πŸ’–