Category Archives: Parenting Tips & Tricks

Home Decor - Parenting Tips & Tricks

DIY Hot Wheels Storage & Display for all your Die Cast Cars!

April 11, 2019

Is your child obsessed with Matchbox Cars and you don’t know where to put them? I’ve got an easy way to make your own Hot Wheels storage display that any cars crazed kid will love.

Hot Wheels Storage Ideas
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Malakai is crazy for his cars and he has a bit of OCD tendencies when he wants to arrange them. They’ve got to be facing the correct way and he wants to know they’re going to stay that way. My husband and I came up with this toy car storage solution so that I won’t have cars all over my desk and they can be displayed just how he likes them. Create this Hot Wheels storage to make your life a little easier like it’s made mine.

If you didn’t know, Malakai was born premature so he really does have OCD tendencies when it comes to really anything. He will cry for longer than I like to admit and so for my sanity this had to happen. We also have about a 1500 sq. ft. house and so a large toy car storage solution isn’t very practical for us.

We used some inexpensive 3X.5″ planks and some L brackets to set this up. My husband also decided to give his brother my Ryobi nail gun so this was done the old-fashioned way with some nails and good ole elbow grease and some math. I’m glad it’s up though because his toy cars were getting out of control. 

Supplies for your DIY Toy Car Storage

  • 3X.5″ Wood Planks
  • L Brackets
  • Nails and Hammer or Nail Gun
  • Wood Putty
  • Mouse Sander and Sand Paper
  • Wood Stain
  • Cheesecloth
  • Drill
  • Wall Screws

How to make a Display for your Diecast Cars

We began by measuring the small area of our corner. Our cutout on this wall is 34″ high and so we began by figuring out how high we wanted it to go. I didn’t want it to be exactly where the wall cut off so we measured and cut two boards 32″ high as our endcaps.

We then measured how wide we needed the wooden planks for your car toy display. The other side of this corner wall is a large window so one side was longer than the other. The width on the smaller length of the wall is 34″ wide and on the longer side we cut the boards to be 50″ wide.

Cut your wood planks to those lengths and then cut one side on each board on a 45-degree angle to create the corner pieces and so that they’ll match flush.

The base of our toy car display is right on top of our baseboard. He can have cars on the floor and then build up the car display case and place them on each shelf having their eyes look right at him and he’s as content as can be.

How to attach your Hot Wheels Storage to the Walls

In the corners, we used the L Brackets so that the boards would not bend and they were supported. You can use a Kreg Jig but don’t ask me how to do it. This isn’t so much a permanent fixture in our home so I wanted it just to be up and something that can easily be taken down for when we move.

Secure one side of the bracket to the board before you assemble completely. Put two on each corner piece. Each board is 3″‘ apart, Use some finishing nails and secure the wooden planks together and then use your wood filler to fill in the nail hole and seams.

Wait for it to dry and then sand the wood filler as smooth as possible. Use a mouse sander because that’ll cut your time in half with that tool alone.

One thing we didn’t do while it was off the wall was stained it and that was the worst mistake we made. Stain your wood using some mixed stain and a cheesecloth. Wipe it on your wood and let it sit for a few minutes then wipe with a clean cloth.

​​​​​​​And just so you know, I did have to wait until Malakai was at the babysitter before I could arrange the cars the way I wanted them to look. They’re already on the floor. LOL

Christmas - Electronic Crafting - Parenting Tips & Tricks - SVG Files

FREE First Aid SVG File and How I Keep Us Healthy in the Winter

December 6, 2018

Winter is busy enough as it is but you’ve got to learn ways to help you combat sickness so you won’t add more stress to the holiday season. Here are some tips & tricks to help you stay healthy in the winter months and how to get your Vick’s Holiday Fix.

This conversation is sponsored by Vick’s available at Walmart. All opinions are my own and this post does contain affiliate links.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, you’ll know that my son Malakai was born 16 weeks early. That’s right on the cusp of survival. In fact, he only had a 10% chance of surviving. He was born at the end of September and so going into the winter months we had to be conscious of us staying healthy so he wouldn’t get sick.

Washing your hands in the NICU was just like a doctor scrubbing in for surgery. You’re given their anti-bacterial soap and a one-time use scrub brush. Wearing jewelry was not recommended and fake nails were also a no-no. Things like those can harbor germs and just add to an already complicated journey.

I decided then, and we still implement them today, that we needed to take precautionary steps to avoid illness and the spreading of germs in the winter months.

For two years he got a Synagis shot which geared up his immune system to fight off RSV. It worked but still when he would get a cold, it just takes him longer to fight it off. A cold for me lasts 7-10 days, he takes over two weeks to get over it.

Supplies for your DIY First-Aid Kit

Depending on what surface you’re going to put your first aid SVG file you’re going to want HTV for fabric and be sure to mirror the image before you cut, or you’ll want standard vinyl if you’re putting your first aid image on plastic or wood and you do not need to mirror your image.

Cut your image and weed off the excess vinyl and then place your image on your surface and press. Use these tips for using iron-on vinyl with your Iron.

Be sure to follow manufacturers instructions before you apply your vinyl to make sure you’re using it correctly.

Gather your Vicks Nyquil with VapoCOOL and your Vicks VaporRub and place it inside your DIY First-Aid Kit. Don’t forget your band-aids, gauze, and some Bacitracin so that you’re covered for any cuts.

Tips & Tricks for Staying Healthy in the Winter

  • Stay inside as much as possible –

I know this is hard with little ones but the more you stay inside, the less you are susceptible to catching germs. You can easily do this more nowadays with Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service.

Shopping online and choosing online grocery pick-up is so convenient. I just add items to my cart from grocery.walmart.com and choose when I can pick it up. Walmart will have everything ready to go for me and load it up in my car right in the parking lot. I haven’t been the same since I was introduced to Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service. Find ways to save on Vicks products at Walmart below.

  • Keep your medications organized –

When you are sick, the last thing you want to be doing is looking for the medication that you need. Organize your medications using some bins in a closet or under your sink in the bathroom. Use a label maker and mark each bin with what they contain. Be prepared before you get hit with the cold bug.

  • Use Vicks’ new VapoCOOL formula –

Grab some of your go-to Vicks products with the new VapoCOOL, available at Walmart, to get the relief of your illness with the rush of Vick’s vapors. Keep your symptoms at bay so that you can get all you need to get done this holiday season. My go-to is Vicks NyQuil with VapoCOOL so that I can get a good nights rest before the festivities start gearing up.

  • Wash Your Hands –

This one is a no-brainer but we still need reminding when it comes to keeping our hands clean. Keep some mini hand sanitizer bottles in your purse or your desk so that you can kill germs at all times. This small bottle of sanitizer cost me less than $1 at my local Walmart. I grabbed a few to keep in the car and my bedside table.

  • Stay Warm – 

I see a reflection of my mother in myself when I’m constantly telling the kids that they shouldn’t wear shorts when its 30ºF outside. Grab some cozy socks that are just for slipping on when getting into bed at night or a comfy pair of thermal pajamas. Winter gloves are also a must-have and also be sure to keep spare pairs in your car or your purse so you’re never without them.

  • Humidifier – 

The air is so dry in the winter and since I live in Utah, it’s dry all year-round. I like to use a humidifier in all of our rooms to keep from having our throats dry up and our grossness wet so that we can cough it up. I prefer the cool-mist humidifiers and we have them on almost all winter long.

I use the Vicks VapoRub in addition to the humidifier so that we can have some relief on our chests and I am able to get some good deep breaths in.

Ways to save on Vicks at Walmart:

  • $1 off any Vicks product at Walmart (except drops, Sinex, and ZzQuil) – BrandSAVER coupon from the 11/25 newspaper
  • $1 off Vicks Nyquil at Walmart – iBotta offer
  • $0.75 off Vicks VapoDrops at Walmart – iBotta Offer
  • Bonus $1.25 rebate when you use both iBotta offers

I love using the Ibotta app to get rebates on my shopping. Just scan in your receipt and see the savings start rolling in. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vicks. The opinions and text are my own.

Kids Crafts - Parenting Tips & Tricks

DIY Alphabet Magnets for your Toddler

August 23, 2018

Do you love alphabet magnets but hate the look of them? Create these easy DIY alphabet magnets and be stylish as your child is learning how to spell. This post contains affiliate links, thank you for your support.

DIY alphabet magnets are easier to make than you think. I’ve included a free printable for you or if you have a Cricut or Silhouette, I’ve got the .png images of the individual letters. Use your Xyron Creative Station with the Laminate Magnet cartridge and create these in a matter of minutes. 

Supplies for your DIY Alphabet Magnets

So, how do you make your own alphabet magnets?

Just print off the free printable and cut out the letters individually or you can do it by line. You’ll see that cutting out individual letters first isn’t really necessary because it all gets covered by the laminate protector and backed with the magnet sheet. 

After you’ve run your letters through the Xyron Magnet Laminate, cut them out individually. The magnet sheet is thin enough that regular scissors do the trick. 

What is the Xyron Magnet Laminate Cartridge?

The cartridge has two sides that runs through the Creative Station. It has the top side as a laminate and the bottom section is a thin magnet sheet. The Xyron Laminate Magnet cartridge comes in a 5″ size. You can use it on your 9″ Creative Station or a 5″ Creative Station. It is a refill cartridge that comes in a sturdy box so when you have it in storage, you won’t damage your cartridge. 

Parenting Tips & Tricks

Summer Styling and Sun Care tips for Toddlers

May 9, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

Learning how your child reacts to the sun is always a fun experiment! Even though they share the same genetics, siblings often times react differently to the sun. My older three brown right up and then you have my baby who burns just like his mama. I’m going to give you some of my best sun care tips for toddlers so buckle up!suncare tips for toddlersLearn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.Learn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.

We were in Tonga over the winter (their summer) and we had to leave early because Malakai couldn’t handle the heat. It was so hot, like Arizona heat but with 85% humidity hot. No fun. I’ve never experienced heat like that and hopefully I never will have to again. Malakai was extremely sensitive to the heat there too. I’m not sure if it had to do with his prematurity or if he had somehow contracted a mosquito-borne illness. He’d toss-and-turn all night long, never napped and he was pretty much the grumpiest he’s ever been. I needed to learn quickly how to take care of him in the sun.Learn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.The only thing he ended up loving was being dipped in the ocean and then laying down in the shade. Obviously that wasn’t always an option so we had to get creative with how we dealt with him overheating. Some of my favorite ideas are:

  • Sunscreen and a higher SPF than you think you’ll need. Toddlers skin is still so fragile and thin that they need extra sun protection. Don’t be afraid to try the Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen out for yourself. How you take care of your skin when you’re young will determine how it looks when you’re older.
  • Rompers and lots of them. The fabric in these rompers are fantastic. They’re extremely breathable and come in different sleeve and pant lengths. These were a huge lifesaver in the heat and I ended up buying more of them once we came home.
  • Hats and large ones too. The wider the rim of the hat, the more area it’ll cover. I do like those hats that look like a towel is hanging down, but fashion over function for me and so I like to stick with bucket hats. Be sure that there is a strap to secure it on your baby’s head. But also make sure that the secure tab can easily come off, like a velcro one.
  • SPF proof swimwear in addition to your sunscreen. There is never too much sun protection and get all the coverage you can find. I love that swimwear now is available with additional SPF because you can’t always swim in long sleeves and pants.
  • Water, water, and more water. Toddlers need hydration as much as adults and they’ll feel miserable too if they don’t stay hydrated. There is always that rule of drink before you’re thirsty. Stay on top of it and be sure they’re getting the amount they need.
  • Washcloths. Dip these in the cool water and place it around your child’s neck. This has an immediate effect on how your body feels and it can help them get the energy they need so that you can get them out of the heat.

Learn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.Learn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.Babies and ourselves need a lot of sun coverage for our skin. In the last few years I’ve had moles removed which were on the cusp of being cancerous. I’ve been more diligent to cover myself and my children more because of this. Tonga was by far my worst sunburn and so while we were there I made sure to cover them in Blue Lizard® sunscreen before they even started for the day. I knew they’d run off to the beach and sunscreen would be impossible for them to remember.Learn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.I love the Blue Lizard® Baby Sunscreen especially for Malakai’s sensitive skin and you can easily find it at your local Walmart. But the most important feature I love is that the Patented Smart Bottle™ technology – bottle changes color when exposed to harmful UV sunlight. This can be used as a great teaching tool for your kids on when to re-apply sunscreen (only the bottle will change colors). Just remember to consult your pediatrician before applying sunscreen to children younger than 6 months.Learn the best sun care tips for toddlers and all the essentials you'll need for the sun.Tell me, what are your favorite sun care tips for toddlers? Also don’t forget to download the Ibotta app where you can get a $4 rebate just for purchasing Blue Lizard® Baby Sunscreen.

Parenting Tips & Tricks

Kids Springtime Fashion with OshKosh B’Gosh

April 18, 2017

Kids Springtime fashion is one of the funnest seasons to dress them for.
See how Oshkosh B’Gosh has all the essentials you’ll ever need.
Kids Spring Fashion TrendsThis post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

I love dressing Malakai in dapper clothing – I mean, nothing is cuter than a little boy in suspenders. Am I right?DSC_0662Some of the best fashion I have found for toddlers comes in the form of comfort. Yes people, babies like yoga pants as much as their mamas! But when they make adorable little clothes that average sized people would look ridiculous in – we just have to buy it. DSC_0671DSC_0677These suspenders were by far my favorite find from OshKosh B’gosh and they are now Malakai’s Sunday pants. I love that I can pair it with a nice shirt or just a standard polo and it’s giving him a new look. Did I mention he loves peanut butter sandwiches? 😉_DSC0807Another style I love are jogger pants. Whether their in Jean form or sweat form, they just look adorable and I can’t get enough. Malakai seems to be drawn to them too because he never tries to take them off like other stuff he wears. We paired this pair with a nice henley one-piece and these crib shoes. IMG_3406 DSC_0689Malakai is almost walking and is getting more confident by the day to take off on his own. He loves these crib shoes because he can naturally curve his foot when he’s trying to take steps. I love all the designs that OshKosh B’gosh offers. I wish too that I could have gotten him these sandals but that’ll just have to wait for now. DSC_0674OshKosh B’gosh is a great brand for kids because they sell practical clothing and stylish clothing. You can find everything you need from affordable comfort to great Sunday clothing and especially holiday clothing.  DSC_0682Now you can save 25% using this Oshkosh Coupon and get your Spring shopping on! Shop online or find your local OshKosh B’gosh store here. 

Parenting Tips & Tricks

Family Game Night Fun

November 18, 2016

Create a fun family game night using Headbanz ElectronicLeila and Penny are the best of friends and they can laugh for hours on end. I don’t think they’ve ever fought, ever! We had a get together at my mom’s house and the girls had so much fun having family game night, alone, while their brothers played by the fire pit.Create a fun family game night using Headbanz ElectronicWe started with unwrapping the Hedbanz™ Electronic and I love that it comes in its own case that holds the cards and also has the ability to hold the Hedbanz™ Electronic bands.  My previous experience with Hedbanz™ was positive but there was nowhere to store the items neatly. The Hedbanz™ Electronic solved that.Create a fun family game night using Headbanz ElectronicLeila and Penny were able to play the three essential ways –

  • Ask “Yes” or “No” questions
  • Describe It
  • Act it out

They were also able to utilize the five questions that is included with the  Hedbanz™ Electronic. The questions were easy enough that they were able to read them on their own and the pictures included in the  Hedbanz™ Electronic were so clever.Create a fun family game night using Headbanz ElectronicAs you can see by their expressions, they had so much fun together. I think that’s so essential for family game night. Include games that all ages can get involved and include all those who want to be included. When kids get older, they seem to not want to do family game night. I always try to find games that include older and younger kids. Hedbanz™ Electronic is the perfect game for all ages and it has you act silly which is a smile maker.Create a fun family game night using Headbanz ElectronicWe had so much fun having family game night that we left it at our Grandma’s so it can be played every time we’re there. To purchase  Hedbanz™ Electronic on Amazon, go here. Now tell me, what is your favorite game for family game night?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Parenting Tips & Tricks

Summer Trends in Nail Polish and how to take a moment for yourself.

July 12, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OREOTHINSideStory #CollectiveBiasMaking time for mom and summer nail polish trendsBless my kids – they try so hard, I try so hard and never live up to any of my expectations and I feel like I never live up to theirs. They’ve endured a lot these last 12 months from a pregnant mom and a sick baby brother, they deserve to have some fun time with me but it’s really just a ploy to get them to help me out. Making time for mom and summer nail polish trendsI’ve compiled some summer trends in nail polish because we need to look good when we don’t feel good. I ‘suckered’ Siaki and Leila into polishing my nails while I just sat by and ate OREO Thins and life was good for ten-minutes again.img_1099We headed over to our Kroger banner store, Smith’s and grabbed the polish and OREO’s in one visit, that’s why I love shopping at Smith’s. Malakai was in his saucer toy – being content – and although it was just a moment, it was a good moment and I’ll cherish that I got to spend it with my three youngest children.Making time for mom and summer nail polish trendsNow on to color trends…pastel everything is in. I love the mix of the muted pinks and purples but my favorite is the mint color of nail polish that’s been popping up everywhere. You also can’t go wrong with metallic but copper and rose gold are the new black and gold. Go out of your comfort zone, get ones that you normally wouldn’t try and give yourself an update. You never know which one of the new ones you’ll love. Making time for mom and summer nail polish trendsAdd some glitter to your routine and make the sheen different. My favorite combo is matte and the muted lavender color. OREO Thins are available in more flavors than ever so check them out at www.oreo.com/thins and tell me which one is your favorite, I love mint. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below and good luck!Making time for mom and summer nail polish trends


Baby Showers - Parenting Tips & Tricks

How to pick the perfect diaper bag

July 11, 2016

This post is brought to you by our friends at The Baby Cubby.Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.Diaper bags are so hard for me to get right. I’ve had several through the years and I finally made the perfect choice with the Ju-Ju-Be Be Classy and guides like this one from The Baby Cubby helped in that search. I’m going to be answering questions that I’ve often wondered about in how to pick the perfect diaper bag. I’d love to hear some of your feedback as well.Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.How many pockets will you need? You definitely want one or two on the exterior to hold your bottle. I like that the Ju-Ju-Be has insulated pockets so that you don’t have to take a separate insulated bag to keep your water warm. I also like them to be easily accessible for everyone involved. If you have to dig through your bag just to find the bottle, it’s not worth it. On the interior it’s great to have 2-4 more so that diapers, medicine, Copper Pearl bandanna bibs and pacifiers all have their own dedicated space.

How large should it be? I am a big bag lady – not the Erika Badu kind – the larger the purse is, I’ll buy it. I personally think that no bigger than 18″ on the base is really needed when it comes to diaper bags. You want it to be large enough to carry all your essentials and yet easy enough to carry. 

Should I get the backpack or purse style? I prefer backpack style so that your arms are free to do the heavier duty things. Backpack style bags are great for traveling and walking around but it’s a little harder to keep on if you don’t have both straps around each arm. Purse style diaper bags are great for convenience. Their zippers are easily reachable and you can grab and go and not worry about other straps dragging on the ground. Look for a purse style that has a strap that can be added to convert it into a tote, I think you’ll love that.

What will I put in it? Your life! It’s so important to have the little things available when you need them and you’re not always going to be home. I like to stock up my bags with at least 10 diapers and a pack of wipes. I always have an extra change of clothes on hand because they’re babies we’re taking care of. I also keep some medicine and always a spare pacifier because I lose those all the time. I’ve already lost 4 pacifier clips and I’m surprised I haven’t lost my baby…yet. Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.What material is best? I go for a material that I know will not get holes easily (that’s obvious) but there are so many options when it comes to material it just is really about preference. I’ve had a real leather bag that to-be-honest wasn’t worth spending all that money on. I have a faux leather backpack style one and I do appreciate that one because the pleather is on the inside and out. I personally prefer the Teflon protection that the Ju-Ju-Be bag offers. It’s easily cleaned and it has my favorite ‘crumb drains’. You have no idea how much you’ll use that feature. Get one that can be wiped down or washed easily, that’ll make life so much easier than having to walk around with a giant stained bag. 

Should I buy a gender-neutral bag or go all in on patterns? When you invest in an item, you want it to be timeless. The same thing is true when buying diaper bags. Get one that suites your style and can be carried by both you and your partner. Get one that most people can’t tell it’s a diaper bag. You’re already tired from having a baby, you might as well feel like your style is somewhat amped up with a stylish bag. 

How much should I pay? I would rather pay once for a good quality bag than have to buy 2-3 bags at $50 a pop. You end up getting the one you want in the end anyways. Be sure to try it before you buy it. Don’t be afraid to see if there is a local boutique that carries the bag and try and bring what you think you’ll carry in it to give you an idea of functionality. If you buy online like I do, be sure to buy from a company that has a good return policy and don’t throw anything away until you’re sure it’s the right one. 

Will I use it as much as I think I will? Answer for me was yes. I did opt for the neutral patterned bag and so I use it as my purse and my diaper bag at the same time. Look for bags that serve a dual purpose and ones that have places for mom, not just baby. Be sure to get the style that you will like as in the tote style, backpack style or purse style. Get one that you actually want to carry around and your investment will be well used. Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.