Eating Our Way Through The Alphabet

Meal planning and even just getting my kiddos to eat what I make is usually a fight in our house. I swear I make good food, but it gets frustrating when every night someone (I’ll keep names out this time!) sighs, “this again”  or “do I have to eat this?” One week I was determined to change the mood at dinner time. Things are always appreciated more when the complainer is involved in planning, so we decided to  ”Eat Our Way Through The Alphabet.

I am sharing our plan and how it turned out over at Rusty and Rosy. Go check it out and please share in meal survival with kids tips in the comments!

photo 5Eating your way through the alphabet

Going to an Easter Egg Hunt? You will L.O.V.E. this simple tip!


Easter is so close and we have already received invites for a couple different gatherings that will include an Easter Egg Hunt and want us to bring a dozen pre-filled eggs per child. I love this because Easter Egg Hunts are a lot more fun with a lot of people. What I do not love…the lose candy that falls out of the eggs a long the way and the kiddos picking them up stuffing them back in the egg or worse, eating it anyways. Gross!

Luckily, I have an excellent solution thanks to the Amazing Debra who dropped off my niece to hang this morning. My niece had a bag of plastic Easter Eggs to share at preschool and she just HAD to show us what was inside. Genius!

Easter Candy Tip

No seriously, Genius!

No more melted chocolate M&M’s stuck to the inside of a plastic egg. No more Jelly Beans scattered all over the grass to only be discovered later and maybe eaten. No more super gooey, sticky, colored covered hands from simply opening an egg, that sat in the warm sun a little too long, just to see what is inside. No more catching a bug from candy that has been touched by tons of little hands as it has been passed around…you know, the kids who open the eggs and decide they do not like the contents, so they “hide” it again.  ;-) My own kiddos have probably been guilty of that!

And I have never seen plastic Easter Eggs from my kiddos with  this, yet. So, I am pretty excited to be able to spread the word. “SAVE THE CANDY!”


What You Need:

  • Plastic – plastic sandwich bags, saran wrap, whatever you already have on hand
  • Yarn or string
  • Scissors



Step 1: Gather candy…If you are using any loose candy like Jelly Beans, M&Ms, or anything with a thin tear-away tinfoil wrapper that will leak once the candy starts melting, you will want to use this tip!

Step 2: Use plastic baggies (sandwich, snack, bread, etc) or even plastic wrap and add the candy to the corner. Test your first one in a plastic egg to make sure you are not adding too much candy. After the first one, you will know how many pieces are needed. Debra used about 5 or 6 Jelly Beans, but they were the larger kind.

Step 3: Once you have the right amount tie it with a little yarn or string and cut the plastic. Use the other corner and or create your own “mini bag” by using a flat section and tying up all the corners. (If I confused you, Sorry! Look at the picture…it speaks a thousand words!)

Easter Candy Tip 1

Step 4: Stuff your plastic eggs and Enjoy knowing that you will make another parent very happy!


Do you have any Easter Survival Tips?



National I Pity The Fool Day – A Great Day To Start Rocking Those New Years Goals!


Hello! This is Michelle’s husband and I have a great idea I wanted share…

Okay, so by now I am sure many of us have stopped going to the gym that we were so excited about in January. Maybe it was this great new eating style that we were going to totally own and make it the new us. Let me add a new idea that we all can implement and that might allow us to have more success in our healthy goals.

I Pity The Fool Day! - A new day to start working out and hitting those new years goals

When Is The Best Time To Start Those New Year Goals?

Start your healthy eating goals on April 1st. Yes, I know that sounds like I am trying to play you all like a bunch of “fools”, I am not! Think about it, we have all of these goals right as we encounter some of the worst weather months of the year. We are also trying to pay off all of those great deals for Christmas and the Holidays that we found on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Spring is when the birth of many new animals to the world occur. A lot better time to have a rebirth of our own. Yes, there might be a couple showers here and there, but they only help bring the May flowers to come.


You Have No Excuse!

Now if it is only the fact that you do not want to start a new goal on April 1st because you would feel like a “fool” (pun intended) then start on April 2nd instead. Maybe we can call it National I Pitty the Fool Day and hang up a picture of Mr T to remind us! However you want to go about doing it, I think we need to get together and make this the real day to start all of our Healthy Goals.

In fact, my wife and I put a badge/pic together for anyone to use…

I Pity The Fool Day! - A new day to start working out and hitting those new years goals

Happy April Fools Day to everyone and I Pitty the Fool that does not make it to the gym that day or work out in any way!





Fun Activities for Families in Arizona and a Great Discount #PogoPass

“Mom, what are we going to do this summer?”

What to do with kids in Phoenix, Arizona - Pogo Pass

Wondering what you are going to do for Spring Break or already planning your Summer Break Activities? I know I am and my kiddos are already asking that very question, “what we are going to do this summer?” Well, let me give you a HUGE suggestion that includes HUGE savings…POGO PASS!

Visit the Pogo Pass website and use the exclusive code: FUN (Fun On a Dime) to get your Pass for $40, a 60% discount!


What is a Pogo Pass?

To sum it up: a Pogo pass is $1500 worth of FUN for an entire 12 months!! Two visits to the Phoenix Zoo for 1 adult is the entire cost of the pass and you will get so much more! We have loved using our pass!

1 Pass (per person) Includes The Following:

  • Two admissions to the Phoenix Zoo (anytime)
  • Admission to two select Diamondbacks games (available dates to be announced)
  • Admission to three select Arizona Rattlers games (available games are listed via online and open 2 weeks before game to register)
  • Two visits to the Arizona Sea Life Aquarium (anytime)
  • Two admissions to the Arizona Museum of Natural History (anytime)
  • Admission to ASU Athletics home games, select sports (Soccer, Women’s Basketball, Gymnastics,Wrestling, Volleyball, Track and Field)
  • Two games a visit, once a week (for 52 weeks) at Brunswick Bowling (available regular business hours excluding Saturdays/Some Holidays due to league play. Shoe rental not included)
  • One general admission to Sunsplash (anytime after May 10)
  • Two visits (1 hour jump session each) to Jump Street (available Mondays and Wednesdays)
  • Two visits to Phoenix Rock Gym (excludes equipment rental)
  • Four visits to Enchanted Island (available Fridays and Sundays)
  • Six shows at the National Comedy Theatre (Friday and Saturday shows. 7:30 & 9:45. Thursday shows 2x/month)
  • Two admissions to Stratum Laser Tag (Mondays and Wednesdays 4:30-9:00 pm)
  • Twelve Visits – One per month to Tempe Paintball (includes gun rental, air and 100 paintballs. Excludes Saturdays)
  • Two visits per month to USA Skateland  - also known as Great Skate in Glendale (anytime at their 3 locations, skate rental not included)

Visit the Pogo Pass website and use the exclusive code: FUN (not case sensitive) to get your Pass for $40, a 60% discount!

*Some restrictions apply. I have tried to include all of them here, but make sure to visit the site for complete details.


Do You Think You Can’t Afford It?

Wait, you have a family of 4 or more and spending $160+ in one month is not in the budget? My thoughts exactly! UPDATE 4/20/14: If you want to use a gift code, please email me michelle (at) pogopass (dot) com. It has been temporarily taken off the Buy Now page.

Here is a tip that may help you ease the pain on your pocket book: Spread out the purchase by buying 1 or 2 passes a month as a “gift card”. (see below)

Pogo Pass Discount Code Coupon Code


Then when you have purchased all the passes for your family you can activate them all at the same time. That way all your passes will expire at the same time…12 months from when you activated them.


Win an iPad Mini:

(This special is over, but keep your eyes open for more specials. I will definitely let you know!)

If you have been on the fence about purchasing a Pogo Pass, now is the perfect time! Every Pogo Pass purchased in the month of March will be automatically entered into a drawing to win an iPad Mini!

How to win an iPad Mini #pogopass pogo pass coupon

Visit the Pogo Pass website and use the exclusive code: FUN (not case sensitive) to get your Pass for $40, a 60% discount!


*I am an affiliate for Pogo Pass and can’t stand the idea of families missing out on affordable fun. We bought our own passes for the kiddos and love them! 

We Are Going Green!

We are going green…or at least for the month of March! With St. Patrick’s Day coming this month I decided to take full advantage of the “Green theme” to experiment with my children and trying new fruits and vegetables (and for some, giving them a 2nd or 3rd try).

The Plan

With every dinner we are having at least one green food and quick browse of the produce section at the store tells me we got a lot to choose from!

And guess what?…

Going Green for St. Patrick's Day Ideas for Kids


…They did not even complain or throw a fit, at least not yet! They are either getting used to Mom’s crazy ideas or, I am going to go with, they actually like idea.  :-)  My daughter has already discovered that she likes green peppers after years of requesting them to be removed from her pizzas. And now, she is the first one to remind me we need to add green to our dinner plates. Gotta love it!

How to get your kids to eat vegetables

How Do You Introduce New Foods To Your Kiddos?

5 Great Potty Training Tips with Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I will be the first one to admit that I do not know everything, but boy do I love a good tip or idea. Through my own experience potty training 2 children and through other moms around me, I have learned some fantastic potty training tips that I would love to share!


Start Practicing When You See Signs of Readiness

Watch for those signs of interest/readiness and slowly move forward with training. My youngest started showing signs of readiness around 13 months. I thought I was making it up in my head, but she did it every day (i.e. bring me diapers when she needed a diaper change or she would hang out near the bathroom when she was doing her biz). I think it is a bit early to start full on potty training, but I can start practicing. Every morning when she wakes up, I will have her sit on her potty chair and she will usually “go” within a few minutes. We make it fun by singing a few songs while we wait and definitely shouting for joy when she does “go”.

Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess


Pick the Right Potty Chair For Your Child

Take your time to research a good potty chair that will work for your family and more importantly one that your child will love to use. When it was time to start potty training my first child, I rushed to my local store and picked what I thought would work best for him from the three options there. We went through 2 different potty chairs and he never really liked using them, but they made great stools!

Times have changed quite a bit in the last 7 years and technology has improved. There are plenty of ways to research for a good match on a seat and you are definitely getting more bang for your buck if you can find something like the Disney Princess Magical Sparkle Potty System by The First Years that is a 3 in 1 (a potty chair, removable seat to be used on the family toilet and a stool that can be used for years to come). It is available on

This particular chair is perfect for my youngest. She loves everything girly and with the pink, purple and the added “magical twinkle” sound at the push of a button, this fits her just right. An added bonus is that her big sister is so excited that it has princesses on it, she is always around to cheer our toddler on in her potty training efforts! Big sister was always a fan of the Huggies Princess Pull-Ups Brand Training Pants and this chair matches perfectly.

2014-02-25Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess

Other features that I really like is that is comes with a padded soft-seat that she seems to like. We have tried another chair and I simply cannot get her to sit longer than 10 seconds on it. I do not have that problem with this chair. It also comes with a lift-out pot for easy emptying and cleaning, which  is also awesome because I can see if and how much she went. And finally, I love that it can be used on the adult seat, too. I was a little confused on how to do this at first, but you basically remove the entire lighter pink part of the seat. And, at least on our toilet lid, the potty chair has some clasps that hooked under the rim of the toilet seat to prevent her from wiggling the potty chair around or accidentally tipping the whole chair forward.


Make It Exciting

Make potty training an enjoyable experience for everyone involved! If everyone is stressed out, nothing is going to get accomplished. So, find their reward button. For some it is treats, for other’s it is praise (i.e. shouts of joy and sticker charts), little toys or some other creative reward. Since I am starting my youngest daughter a lot younger than her siblings, we are aiming for the fun and praise and hope it will be enough. It took me a lot longer to figure out the magic reward for him was that he was banned from wearing shorts and flip flops unless he went on the potty. Ha! I guess he really loved his shorts and flip flops a little too much.


Think Ahead and Take It With You

This is a fantastic tip that I learned from watching a good friend potty train her oldest. At some point in the potty training journey we all have to leave our house and when we do we may be leery of trying a public bathroom. Instead you should just keep one with you in the car. A potty system just like the one above is perfect to keep in your trunk and use when you are on the go with your potty training child in hand. Before you leave your car you can have them sit and do their “business” (hopefully parked in a discreet part of the parking lot away from the public). Keep a couple plastic bags and bottle of water in the back of the car with the chair to help rinse and dispose of any potty “treasure”. This will be so much easier on you and your child.

P1110299Potty Chair Review - The First Years - Princess


Every Child Has Their Own Time Schedule

Most importantly you need to remember that every child has their own schedule, Even though you may want them to be potty trained yesterday, they may not be as eager or ready to start. My eldest was not ready to fully potty train until he found out at 3.5 years old that his boy cousin, who he thought was the coolest, could go to the bathroom on his own. My 2nd was on a schedule of her own. It drove me bonkers! No matter how much we bribed, pushed and encouraged, she took her sweet little time and was ready to be potty trained when she decided. My youngest, thank goodness, is a way more eager and so I am encouraging her at slow speed. She has some great examples around her, a seat she enjoys and a ton of encouragement, so I am hoping we will have an early, or at least earlier than her siblings,  potty trainer!


What Are Your Favorite Potty Training Tips?


**I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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