One Tip To Stop Yelling At Your Kids

I’m a yeller and I have to admit, that is one thing I really hate about myself. Not only does it make me feel bad, it makes the kids feel bad and it really doesn’t do a darn thing when you are trying to discipline a situation and you are yelling your way through it. More times than not, it either gets the kids yelling or they tune you out altogether. The worst is when you yell in the morning before school. That is something I have really tried to not do. I don’t want to start my day like that and neither do they.

Unfortunately though, there comes a time when we need to discipline. Usually our go-to is to take away ALL electronics. So no television, no video games, no computer…but it started to become apparent that they didn’t care. We even had one instance where one of the kids shrugged their shoulders, grabbed a book and then proceeded to read for awhile. Now I know it’s great that they went to a book, but a punishment should matter. Right?!?

stop-yellingMr. DGoddess was talking to a friend of his and expressed how frustrated I was with yelling at the kids and not really having a punishment that seemed to matter to the kids and he told us something very, very smart. Are you ready for this? It’s pretty good.

Have them write an essay.

What? At first I kind of balked at the idea. However, it works. Not too long ago, the two kids were fighting and Bella said something snotty to Zack and he smacked her. I almost went to yell at him for hitting her. Instead I looked at him and said, “You have a 200 word essay on why you should not hit a girl“. He looked at me for a minute and then walked out of the room, grabbed a notebook and a pencil, and he began writing and counting. His sister wasn’t off the hook, though. Since she is younger and writing an essay is not something she could do just yet, she had to write 5-7 sentences on why you do not speak meanly to people.

Both kids went to separate areas of the house and wrote what they were supposed to write. Using writing in this way allowed for both kids to cool off and take a break from one another; it allowed me to calmly hand out a punishment without getting all riled up; and it’s helping both of them with their writing skills! Total win-win! Oh and believe me, I am saving all of their essays! I think they will be fun to look back when they are older!

What’s your punishment go-to?

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Squash Paleo Dinner

Last week I told you about my new lifestyle change using the Real Life Paleo book. In just one short week, I’ve lost 3 pounds! It’s been relatively easy. After three days of no grains, dairy or sugar, I did have a few headaches, but I just upped my water intake (with lemon or grapefruit essential oil) and I was good to go!

With my new lifestyle change, I am starting to eat things I’ve never made or eaten before. One of those things is spaghetti squash. It’s always been one of those things that I thought was rather weird. However, my family really likes to eat spaghetti and well…on my new lifestyle change, I can’t eat pasta noodles. So I decided to make a swap…spaghetti squash for pasta.

Spaghetti-squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Quickly

Since I had never cooked spaghetti squash before, I watched a few YouTube videos and asked my friends for the best way to make spaghetti squash. I got a bunch of different ways that used the oven. But then I came across a YouTube video that talked about making it in the microwave. That was right up my alley (though next time I do want to make it in the oven).

Steps

  1. Pick up your spaghetti squash at the store. I learned, throughout all of my spaghetti squash research, that you want a spaghetti squash that is heavy and when you knock on it, it’s loud. <–I will say, they all sound the same to me!
  2. Peel off the stickers. Don’t do what I did the first time I made the spaghetti squash!
  3. Make 8-10 slits in the squash with a knife. DO THIS! You do NOT want to clean up your microwave after a spaghetti squash explodes inside of it!
  4. Put the squash into a microwave safe dish and cover it with microwave safe plastic wrap. On high, cook the spaghetti squash for 6 minutes. After those 6 minutes, carefully unwrap the plastic wrap (there will be A LOT of steam), flip the squash back over, recover and cook for another 6 minutes. If the spaghetti squash slightly dents in when you touch it, it’s ready. If not, cook for an additional minute or two.
  5. Remove the spaghetti squash from the microwave and let it sit for a minute before cutting the end with the stem off. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the spaghetti squash in half, long ways (hot dot style…remember that from elementary school?!?).
  6. Gently scoop out the seeds and then using a fork, start at one end of the squash and pull towards you. You will start to see long, stringy pieces starting to form.

Everyone told me that you need to heavily season it, etc…I personally don’t think you do. I like it the way it is or with a little salt and pepper. You can use this squash in a variety of ways. Eat it as is, use it in place of pasta noodles, in stir-fry, etc.

**This post may contain affiliate links**

I’m pretty excited about this new lifestyle change. The Real Life Paleo book has a lot of different recipes that I am excited to try. But most of all, I am so happy that I no longer feel bloated after meals. Definitely check out that book!!

Do you follow the Paleo lifestyle? What’s your favorite recipe?

Elementary School Mini-Society Project Ideas

If you have a 4th grader, you’re child is probably working on their final project for the year…their Mini-Society project. In my sons class, they have the option of working alone or partnering up. They then need to “buy” their space for their store and start brainstorming about what they wanted to make and sell. Each person is required to make 100 items for their store. If they are partnered up, they are required to make 175-200 items. Below I have outlined my son and his partners idea for their “Mini-Society” project.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Elementary School Mini-Society Project

Product

  • Level Up Game, using stress balls

Supplies Needed

  • Balloons
  • Flour
  • Funnels
  • Spoons for each person
  • Containers to put flour in


Instructions for Making the Stress Balls

  1. Open the flour and pour it into the individual containers.
  2. Take a balloon and place it over the end of the funnel.
  3. Using a spoon, scoop a little bit of flour into the funnel and tap the side of the funnel so the flour will go into the balloon. Remember, less is more. My son put WAY too much flour into the funnel and it took him a long time to fill the balloon.
  4. Once the balloon is full (make sure you don’t have flour in the tube part of the balloon…it will spray out into your face…trust me!), tie a knot and move on to the next one!

Pro tip…Pick up these CHEAP plastic funnels. It will make it much easier getting the flour in the balloon! 

Nopro Plastic Funnel, Set of 3Nopro Plastic Funnel, Set of 3

Directions for Playing “Level-Up”

**In order to play, each player will need at least one stress ball each and two coins**

  1. Each stress ball starts out with 100 points.
  2. Decide how many stress balls you and your opponent will battle with. You will need to have the same amount.
  3. Figure out who is player 1 and who is player 2 by flipping a coin.
  4. Choose an active stress ball and take turns.
  5. Player 1 flips their coin (they are the attacker). If they get heads, player 2 will have a chance to defend by flipping their coin.
    1. Heads= successful attack or block.
    2. Tails= failed attack or block.
  6. If player 1 is successful (i.e. attacker flips heads and the defender flips tails), then player 2 subtracts 10 points from their score.
  7. If player 1 is unsuccessful (i.e. attacker flips tails), then player 2 gets a chance to flip heads. If successful, player 1 subtracts 5 points from their score.
  8. It is now player 2’s turn. Repeat rules 5 through 7 until one player is all out of points.

**If playing with more than one stress ball, each player will have ONE opportunity during the game to switch out their stress balls. You can only do this once per game. The new stress ball will start back with 100 points**

mini-society project

Other Project Ideas

  • Bookmarks
  • Flowers planted in Dixie cups
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Stress balls (to use for stress relieving!)
  • Marshmallow shooters <–this is a neat one!!

Do you have a child that is or has done a Mini-Society project? What did your child do??

Summer Projects and Utilizing Small Spaces

Yes I realize it is still winter (especially since we just got a bunch of snow dumped on us), but I can’t help but dream about our backyard and what kinds of things we can do to make it better. We moved into our house 10 years ago and for the last 10 years we’ve talked about putting a deck in. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. Hopefully this summer.

We have a rather large backyard, but the actual space for a deck is minimal…but doable. We have a very large tree back there that will eventually need to come out. We were told it has a disease, however we were also told that it is about $1000 to have it removed.

Gulp. Maybe if I find some of that black gold on my land

Back there is also a play structure that the kids don’t play on anymore that I would love to have taken out since it takes up SOOO much room, but the mere mention of it leaving our backyard and my daughter’s head starts spinning around. So we need to figure out what to do that will still leave space for that tree and the play structure that is never used.

*This is a partnered post. All opinions are 100% my own.

We have two sliding glass doors; one in the kitchen and one in the family room. We only use the one in the kitchen right now. I would like to have a wooden deck coming off the house from the sliding glass door in the kitchen. This deck could go out pretty far into the yard since it is no where near the play structure. On that deck we would have our grill, patio table set and an outdoor storage box, something like this:

outdoor storage boxGetting a storage box/bench like this, we would be utilizing the space well AND creating more storage. Who doesn’t need more storage, especially of outdoor items?

In front of the other sliding glass window, I would like to have a paver patio. It doesn’t have to be that large, especially since it would need to stay a certain amount of feet away from the play structure (darn play structure. Let’s just get rid of it). On this patio I would have rattan furniture. I have ALWAYS loved this outdoor furniture. Not only are they cute and comfortable, but they also hold up outside very nicely, or so my friends tell me…I don’t have any…YET!

keter120512P_474I love this set, though I would get darker cushions. I would have to imagine light cushions would always be dirty.

What about you? What are your summer plans? Any projects you are itching to get started?

 

 

How to Carve your Pumpkin for Halloween

My son is forever trying to come up with creative ways to carve his pumpkin each year.  Usually it is super elaborate and hard for me to help him with.  A few years ago he begged my husband to help him make a storm trooper…so they did it:

14533_171176542623_2284065_n

 

Honestly…I don’t see it.  But look at that smile!  He’s happy!  Halloween is quickly approaching and we are all trying to come up with a neat way to carve or decorate our pumpkins.

Bella is pretty simple in what she likes, but I know that she would be thrilled to have a Hello Kitty pumpkin:

Hello Kitty Witch Pumpkin

 

Zachary, on the other hand, will want something much more difficult.  I could see him asking my husband to help him with this particular design…

Star Wars Darth Maul/Savage Opress Pumpkin

 

Personally, I like simply, yet funny.  That’s why these next couple pumpkins are something I would totally do!!

Cannibal Pumpkin eats unfortunate coworker.

pumpkin pi

 

Get it?!?  Pumpkin pie!  OK so this particular pumpkin would totally make me a nerd!

Trick or treat, smell my feet

 

 

Now this is one Bella would like!  She just learned “Trick or Treat, smell my feet.  Gimmie something good to eat” this year and thinks it’s absolutely hilarious.  She even tried to teach my two year old nephew…that…not so hilarious!

How do you usually carve your pumpkins?  And most importantly, do you bake the pumpkin seeds??