Personalized Wine. Delivered. This mommy's dream come true! EveryMomDay.com

Wine: Delivered!

Personalized Wine. Delivered. This mommy's dream come true! EveryMomDay.com

This post contains affiliate links – see full disclosures here.

Subscription boxes are popping up like daisies.  Wherever your passions and interests lie, chances are there is a subscription service to fuel your fun.  It’s no secret that I am a wine lover.  Not a connoisseur by any means – just a mom who enjoys a sip of a semi-dry after a long day of mommy duties.  Discovering Club W and their personalized wine delivery service was a dream come true.  I waited no time at all to get started exploring their wine options.

I'm just a mom who enjoys a sip of a semi-dry after a long day of Mommy duties! @ClubW #wine #EveryMomDay Click To Tweet

Club W offers a little quiz asking questions about how you like your coffee, salt, citrus and more to build some initial recommendations for you – or you can opt to explore on your own.  I enjoyed taking the quiz and also had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for (semi-dry, no oak).  I selected 2 chardonnays, a rose, and a white blend.

Personalized Wine. Delivered. This mommy's dream come true! EveryMomDay.com

My wine arrived quickly (within a week) and the box is well made with a sturdy and convenient handle on one side.   Because it’s alcohol, someone 21+ must sign for the package when it’s delivered, so it’s recommended that you ship to work if someone is not typically home during the day.  I love that so much thought went into the box it’s shipped in.  It’d be easy and convenient to receive it at work and transport it home.  Without that handle, I know I’d be clumsily trying to carry the box through the parking lot and something bad would likely happen (lol).

CLUB W- $20 OFF

All my wine arrived safe and sound, and I uncorked bottle #1 last week, and bottle #2 this weekend!  I was able to go back into my account on Club W and rate the wines (I definitely preferred one over the other) and Club W will take my ratings into consideration as they continue to make recommendations for me!  I also love that each wine comes with an information card which includes a recipe it pairs well with, which will help me when I am entertaining.

Personalized #wine delivered is a #DreamComeTrue #EveryMomDay @clubW Click To Tweet

Getting wine delivered to your door is quite possibly the best thing ever – and I am so glad I gave Club W a try!  I am looking forward to trying new wines and finding a couple favorites to order by the case and always keep on hand, too!  They have a great promotion going on now – you can save $20 off your first order!  Plus, if you order 4 or more bottles you receive free shipping!  And, they have great referral perks too – so after you try it, you can share your referral link with your friends and you both will benefit from discounts!

CLUB W- $20 OFF

After you try your first wines, come back and let me know what you think!

EveryMomDay Coloring Calendar April 2016 - EveryMomDay.com

Celebrate April!

EveryMomDay Coloring Calendar April 2016 - EveryMomDay.com

No foolin’ – April is Poetry Month!  So, in addition to these fun holidays to celebrate, take some time to teach your kids some poetry – whether it’s Dr. Seuss or Ralph Waldo Emerson!

Check out this list of fun and unusual holidays, along with some suggestions on how to celebrate with your kids – and scroll all the way to the end for a FREE printable PDF calendar when you subscribe to our weekly updates!

Celebrate a silly & fun holiday with your kids everyday in April! #EveryMomDay Click To Tweet

1 ~ April Fools Day!  Read about this holiday HERE.

2 ~ Children’s Book Day ~ It’s Hans Christian Anderson’s Birthday and in honor of him we celebrate all of our favorite children’s books!  Head to a library and pick out a favorite, and a new children’s book to enjoy!

3 ~ Chocolate Mousse Day ~ You could try making your own Chocolate Mousse – or, I think I will head to the Cheesecake Factory for my favorite Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake YUM!

4 ~ Vitamin C Day ~ Boost your health and snack on foods high in Vitamin C today, like oranges, berries, and green veggies!

5 ~ Read a Road Map Day ~ These days we rely on mapquest and other apps for that – but show your kids a road map… see if they can help direct you to some of their favorite places!

6 ~ Caramel Popcorn Day ~ enjoy this sweet snack and have a family movie night!

7 ~ No Housework Day ~ My mom has a favorite quote:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow, For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow, So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.

Let the housework slide a little bit today, and focus on enjoying the little moments with your family!

8 ~ Zoo Lovers Day ~ Head to the zoo today, or schedule your next trip!  The weather is warming up, and the kids will be happy to see all the animals.

9 ~ Name Yourself Day ~ If you could pick any name in the world what would it be?  Have fun with the kids picking your new names and being silly today.

10 ~ Sibling Day ~ cherish and appreciate the siblings in your life.  If you do not have any “blood-relation” siblings, then show appreciation to the friends who are like a sibling to you!

11 ~ Pet Day ~ celebrate the pet you have – or the pet you WISH you had!

12 ~ Walk on your Wild Side Day ~ This made me think of the book “Where the Wildthings are.”  Read the book, make some Monster Feet

13 ~ Scrabble Day ~ play this classic game with the kids – what a great way to practice spelling!

14 ~ Look Up at the Sky Day ~ spend some time cloud watching – what shapes do you see?  Have the kids draw pictures of what they saw!

15 ~ Banana Day ~  make these fun and easy banana pops (if you have a nut allergy, use sprinkles instead!)

16 ~ Wear your Pajamas (to work) Day ~ The official day is to wear your PJs to work, but why not just wear them all day!

17 ~ Bat Appreciation Day ~ Bats are mysterious animals that we don’t see very often, why not create a fun bat craft and learn some facts about bats!

18 ~ Auctioneers Day ~ When you think of an auctioneer, you probably think of someone talking incredibly fast!  See who can talk the fastest in your family.

19 ~ Bicycle Day ~ Take a bike ride today.  Make it a fun trip: to the playground, or the local corner store for an ice cream (my kids’ favorite!)

20 ~ Chinese Language Day ~ Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language…learn some new phrases with the kids!   learn some new phrases

21 ~ Bulldogs are Beautiful Day ~ the only bulldog I could think of is from Lady and the Tramp – so I think we will watch the movie today!  You could also head down to your local Animal Shelter and see if there are any bulldogs to visit in person…

22 ~ Earth Day ~ Get some ideas from our Earth Day Pinterest Board!

23 ~ Talk Like Shakespeare Day ~ It’s Shakespeare’s birthday today, so talk like Shakespeare!

24 ~ Teach your Children to Save Day ~ My favorite system for teaching the kids to save is the “Save, Spend, Give” jars.  There are TONS of ideas on pinterest if you search for “save, spend, give!”

25 ~ Go Birding Day ~ See how many birds you can identify today!

26 ~ Pretzel Day ~ Make pretzels at home – they do sell kits at the grocery store, or you can use a recipe like THIS ONE.

27 ~ Morse Code Day ~ learn the Morse Code and practice sending messages without using words!

28 ~ Blueberry Pie Day ~ Make this easy blueberry pie – or buy one from the store.  Enjoy it with some ice cream and whipped cream!  Mmm…

29 ~ International Dance Day ~ Set Pandora to your favorite channel and have a dance party with the kids.

30 ~ International Jazz Day ~ Introduce (or reintroduce) the kids to some smooth jazz music today!

 

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EveryMomDay Coloring Calendar April 2016 - EveryMomDay.com

Apple Pie Cupcakes are pretty easy to make, look fancy, and taste amazing! EveryMomDay.com

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes are pretty easy to make, look fancy, and taste amazing! EveryMomDay.comI received product and/or compensation in consideration for this review, all opinions are my own. Read full disclosure here. (Originally posted at Pittsford.MacaroniKid.com)

Do you have the best recipe using Eggland’s Best Eggs? Our friends at Eggland’s Best are searching for the most creative and delicious recipes from your kitchen that celebrate Eggland’s Best eggs. Does your recipe highlight the best local ingredient from your state PLUS Eggland’s Best eggs? Enter your original recipe in the “America’s Best Recipe” Contest. Each recipe must contain at least two whole Eggland’s Best eggs, and highlight an ingredient from your home state. Whether it’s a recipe using Georgia peaches or Maine lobster, Eggland’s Best is looking for America’s Best.

Representing NY State is the apple! The apple is the state fruit, and we’ve collected some amazing recipes for you here – make sure you only use NY Apples and Eggland’s Best eggs for the BEST results! I love Eggland’s Best eggs because of all the added nutritional benefits: they have less saturated fat and calories, and more Omega 3’s, Lutein and vitamins D, B, and E than other eggs. I’d like to share my nomination for America’s Best Recipe: Apple Pie Cupcakes!

Apple Pie Cupcakes are pretty easy to make, look fancy, and taste amazing! EveryMomDay.com

My kids and I have recently gotten into the TV show Cupcake Wars (it’s on Netflix!) so I knew I wanted to make cupcakes and incorporate Apples (New York City is called the Big Apple for a reason, right?!). I found out that not only are apples the state fruit, but apple muffins are the official state muffins! Who knew? If New York were to have a state cupcake I’d be willing to bet THIS would be it!

And they are not difficult at all! You could be creative with the type of cake you use for the cupcake – but we love the butter recipe yellow cakes – they have them in store brand and name brand varieties). Check your specific box for ingredients but mine called for butter, water, and Eggland’s Best eggs. Eggland’s Best Eggs can be found in most supermarkets across the country. Click here for a store near you. Cook the cupcakes as directed. While they are cooking open a jar of apple pie filling and dice it up with a knife so that the pieces are small and you can use it to fill your cupcakes when they are ready.
Apple Pie Cupcakes are pretty easy to make, look fancy, and taste amazing! EveryMomDay.com
I also like to make my frosting now – while the cupcakes are cooking and cooling – so it’s ready to go! You will blend the butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla until it is light and fluffy. Then add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time. The milk should be added at the very end.
Apple Pie Cupcakes are pretty easy to make, look fancy, and taste amazing! EveryMomDay.comAfter the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a knife to core out a piece of the middle – don’t go too deep or too wide – you want the cupcakes to hold together! Spoon a little pie filling into your cupcake and place the cored middle piece back on top. Then you are ready to frost the cupcakes and garnish with (optional) cinnamon and/or an apple slice. See the full recipe below!
Apple Pie Cupcakes are pretty easy to make, look fancy, and taste amazing! EveryMomDay.comEnter today and you could be the Grand Prize Winner and win $10,000. One winner from each state will compete for a $1,000 “Best in Region” prize, and the winners of “Best in Region” will go head-to-head to determine just who has America’s Best Recipe. For complete Contest rules, click here. Entries are being accepted from Feb 8 – April 29. Click here to enter now!

Eggland's Best is looking for America's Best Recipe - Enjoy this Apple Pie Cupcake for some inspiration! EveryMomDay.com

Make a spring-themed flower clock to teach kids about telling time! EveryMomDay.com

Spring Learning Clock

Make a spring-themed flower clock to teach kids about telling time! EveryMomDay.com

This Learning Flower Clock helps teach kids how to read and write the time, when looking at an analog clock.  The petals help them remember what minutes correspond with each number on the clock, and the leaves help them remember what the big and little hands represent.  And it is a cute addition to any wall!

For this project you will need:

  • One clock – preferably one with a yellow frame, the one I bought at Walmart is only available in stores… you could paint a clock if you cant find yellow, or just get creative with colors!
  • 4 Sheets of construction paper in colors of your choosing. (2-petals, 1-stem, 1-leaves)
  • Marker
  • Tape

What you need to do:

STEP 1 ~ Cut your petals: Pick out 2 pieces of construction paper in the color that you would like to use for your flower petals.  You want your petals to be slightly wider than the distance between neighboring numbers on the clock.  For me, cutting each sheet into 8 equal pieces and rounding them out on one end, worked perfectly.  I “played” with it on a scrap piece of paper first, then cut 12 petals out of my pink paper.  Do not label the petals just yet – you will want to wait until after you attach them to the clock to make sure they all “read” the right way.

STEP 2 ~ Cut your leaves: Find the piece of construction paper that you want to use for the leaves.  Fold/cut in half width-wise.  Out of one half of the paper cut a big leaf, and then cut a smaller leaf out of the second half.  I also preferred to wait to label my leaves until I glued them onto the stem later.

STEP 3 ~ Cut your Stem: Take a piece of paper in the color that you’d like your stem, and cut out a straight or curvy line diagonally across the paper – so it is as long as possible, and I like how it looks to have the point of the corner on the “finished” end.

Make a spring-themed flower clock to teach kids about telling time! EveryMomDay.com

STEP 4 ~ Attach your petals: You will want each petal to be centered with each number on the clock.  I began with the 12, 3, 6, and 9, and used tape to secure them to the back of the clock.  The tape should be on the back of the petal and will stick to the back/inside of the frame of the clock.  Then you can carefully crease each petal so its not sticking up in the back.  Fill in all the other numbers on your frame – overlapping the other petals, spacing them evenly, and keeping each petal centered with a number on the clock (not as tough as it sounds, promise!).

Make a spring-themed flower clock to teach kids about telling time! EveryMomDay.com

STEP 5 ~ Label the petals: Take your marker and write the minutes that correspond with the number on the clock, on the petal centered closest to that number.

STEP 6 ~ Assemble and label the leaves and stem: Tape (or glue) the leaves to the stem – one on each side.  I decided to place one behind the stem, and one in front of the stem.  Label the small leave with “hour” and the large leaf with “minute”

STEP 7 ~ Assemble on the wall: Hang your clock on the wall, then use tape to secure the stem/leaves in the correct spot, under the flower and tucking the top edge behind one of the petals.

Make a spring-themed flower clock to teach kids about telling time! EveryMomDay.com

The kids will love how fun and colorful this clock and wall decoration is, and you will love that it will help them learn how to tell time with an analog clock!

It's important to involve kids in the election process - why do candidates make it so difficult?

Kids & the Presidential Election

Kids and the 2016 Presidential Elections - EveryMomDay.com

My state Primaries are coming up this week and I will exercise my right to vote, but only when my 4 children are accompanying me.

Voting has always been a topic I feel strongly on.  It is the way in which our nation allows every eligible citizen the ability to influence government decision making.  From the time my first child was born, I always tote them along with me because I believe it is important for them to see me participate in the voting process and learn about it first hand.  We talk about it throughout the experience:  why we vote…  why it’s important.  It is my job to shape these children into model citizens, and I personally place a high value on the importance of exercising your right to vote.  I don’t value the local elections less than the Presidency, however my children are very familiar with the President and so this year should be a very educational year.

Bring your kids with you to #vote - teach them how important it is! #Election2016 Click To Tweet

I want my children to learn about the voting process beginning with the importance of educating themselves about the candidates objectively.  Even at a young age, I enjoy listening to who they would choose to vote for, and the explanation as to why they made the choice that they did.  I want them to watch some of the debates and campaigns – but I want that to happen without having to worry about the participants acting like toddlers fighting over a green sippy cup, and I don’t want to worry that “The Hunger Games” may erupt at anytime.

There has always been mudslinging – and I have always wished that the candidates and the media would place more focus on what makes them the best candidate without putting other candidates down.  When you interview for a job you arrive prepared to discuss your accomplishments, not to trash talk the other prospective candidates.  I understand the need for debates – however there should be a higher focus placed on positive self-promotion than discussing your opponent negatively.

This year though – things are different.  There is violence, fear, and ugliness unlike campaigns I remember in my lifetime.  Issues aside & candidates aside… I am finding it difficult to expose my children to to the Presidential Campaign this year.  Considering how interested my 8 year old is in current events, this truly is a shame.

Make the Presidential elections more family-friendly! #Election2016 Click To Tweet

I asked my 8 year old about the qualities she would find favorable and unfavorable in a presidential candidate and these were her answers:

The things an 8 year old seeks out for her ideal Presidential candidate... unfortunately we have no one that meets her expectations.

I can not say with certainty that she would be able to apply her current standard to ANY of the current candidates, and I believe many Americans feel the same way about the candidates this year.  We should not be voting for the lesser of the evils (something I have heard frequently).  We should be nominating the best of the best.

It all makes me wonder: How can we raise our children to be the kindness in the world when our nations (potential) leaders are so cruel?  How many children, at one point or another, aspire to be the President of the United States when they grow up?  I can remember walking through the hallways of my middle school, thinking how neat it would be to be the first woman President.  (Back then, I thought it would have happened by the time I was old enough, lol)  My kids think the President is “so cool.”  And as the leader of our nation, the President should be a strong and capable leader, which should not include instigating violence,  name-calling, assigning blame, and putting others down.

We are quick to demand zero-tolerance policies towards bullies in school – yet our election processes reward bullies with Presidential nominations.  I have not heard any of the candidates asking citizens to calm down or act rationally. The politicians just keep adding fuel to the fires.  It’s a contradiction that my child will not understand, and to be honest, I don’t know how to explain it to her.

Bullying: Why the double standard?! #Election2016 Click To Tweet

Bullying has no place in our schools - or in the Presidential Elections! EveryMomDay.com

My husband reviewed a portion of this post and mentioned that it was reading very “Anti-Trump” and believe me, it is NOT meant to be.  While most of the media coverage does seem to focus on concerns within the Trump campaign, this is by no means an issue unique to Trump, Trump-protesters, or any specific political party.  I am not trying to start a political debate – because my concerns and questions are on a much deeper level.

The stereotypes we accept as “normal” for politicians are shameful – especially considering the extent to which our children idolize those in elected office, especially the President.  The leader of our nation should reflect the core values of a model citizen, while fulfilling the numerous responsibilities expected of that role.  Obviously, the President is human, so perfection is not to be expected – but we should be able to expect professionalism.

I wish that there was a way to improve the election process to optimize the candidates’ positive strengths, while placing less of an emphasis on making competitors look bad.  We should not expect less from the Presidential candidates than we would expect from a job interview, and we should have no reason to classify the election process as anything but “Family-Friendly.”

I am not sure what the answer is… but this years Presidential Election leaves me uneasy about the path which we are on (as a nation).  I will be voting on Tuesday – with my kids – and spending some time thinking about how to approach this topic with my children to get us through the next 8 months.

What do YOU think?  How do you handle involving your children with the election?

Save 25% on AdormaPix Hexagon ‪#‎Metal‬ Prints! EveryMomDay.com

AdormaPix Hexagon ‪‎Metal‬ Prints

Save 25% on AdormaPix Hexagon ‪#‎Metal‬ Prints! EveryMomDay.com

Whether you are looking for a gift idea or something special for your own home or office, these AdormaPix products are unique, versatile, customizable – and we have a promo code for you too!

AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their contemporary metal prints capture memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Because your images are infused right into the metal, and not painted on the surface, their metal prints are extremely durable. Not only will your metal image be water and weather proof, but scratch resistant as well. You can even clean it with glass cleaner. Your memories deserve to live in true, archival luxury with AdoramaPix metal prints.

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DIY Maracas using Easter Eggs, spoons, tape and macaroni! Easy and the kids will LOVE it! EveryMomDay.com

Easter Egg Maracas

What do you do with your Easter Eggs after Easter?  This craft is inexpensive, quick & easy – and the best part is how much the kids LOVE it.

I thought it would be fun, but I had no idea how big of a hit this craft was with kids of all ages.  My 10 month old and my 8 year old both loved their maracas, so did all the kids at our play date: boys & girls ranging in age from 1-8.

This Easter Egg craft is a hit with kids of all ages! #DIY #Easter Click To Tweet

What you need (per maraca):

  • One Easter Egg
  • 2 Plastic Spoons
  • Masking Tape
  • Dry Elbow Macaroni (you can also use beans, popcorn kernels, rice, etc.)

The materials needed to make Maracas: An Easter egg, spoons, tape and macaroni

Fill half of your egg with macaroni.  Close the egg tightly and sandwich it between the 2 spoons.  Take a small piece of masking tape and tape the handles together and a larger piece of masking tape to tape around the spoons and the egg, making sure to tape over the opening of the egg so that it has extra reinforcement to stay closed.

Maracas: A great DIY craft the kids would enjoy after they find their eggs! EveryMomDay.com

You can leave your maraca like that – or cover it completely with tape for a different look.

DIY Maracas made with an Easter egg, spoons, tape and dry macaroni - the kids will LOVE them and they're easy to make! EveryMomDay.com

I found some fun patterned masking tape at Target – but you could also use plain masking tape and decorate it with markers!

*Shake* *Shake* *Shake* your #EasterEgg Maracas! #DIY Click To Tweet

DIY Maracas made with an Easter egg, spoons, tape and dry macaroni - the kids will LOVE them and they're easy to make! EveryMomDay.com

Cheddar Bunny “Carrots”

Easter comes early this year and we are beginning to have Easter fun with our crafts and snacks!  I saw an idea I loved on Pinterest, and it looked simple enough, so when it turned into a Pinterest-fail I was pretty bummed.  I debated scrapping the whole project and just tossing the snack in a bowl… but my 4 year old came to the rescue.  She took one look at my failed project and exclaimed, “Is it Easter?!”  Other images you see of the same idea may be better/prettier… but my kids did not know the difference.  All they saw was a super special Easter treat – one that was inexpensive and simple to execute.    Lesson learned!

Even if you don't think you're crafty - your kids think you are amazing and love anything you make them! Click To Tweet

The idea I wanted to duplicate involved using a piping bag filled with goldfish crackers and tied with green ribbon so that it looked like a carrot!  But, I am cheap frugal and I did not want to purchase 2 dozen piping bags (since we were bringing this snack to a play date), plus, the kids are all little and surely they would not eat that many crackers.  So, I altered the idea and bought small flip-top sandwich bags, planning to simply add some crackers, hold them in one corner, twist and tie off.  Instead of goldfish crackers, I picked up some of the Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies crackers – they seemed more Easter-y to me!  Problem was, the bag corner was not a hard/defined point, and my “carrots” ended up looking more like strawberries.  Boo!

How to assemble these adorable "baby carrot" snacks with bunny crackers!

But, the kids loved them and I decided they were actually Baby Carrots!  Those little guys are stumpy and not defined like their full-sized versions.  Less expensive, less waste, and a big hit with the toddlers and preschoolers at our play date!

These adorable snacks are packaged to look like baby carrots and are full of cheddar bunny crackers! What a great idea for Easter baskets or just a simple spring snack!

What is your favorite Easter-themed snack?

 

I do not have a cell phone. I do not want a cell phone. How to get rid of your cell phone.

I Don’t Have a Cell Phone

Why I don't have a cell phone - and I don't want one!

I don’t consider myself “old” yet.  Maybe that is silly – maybe no one realizes how old they really are?!  I remember back when pagers were the thing.  I had a big ol’ white pager that was handed down from my mom.  My friends and I would page phone numbers as well as “codes” (143 = I love you).  At that time my mom also had a car phone that was stored in (what can only be described as) a suitcase in the trunk of her car.  Over the next 20 ish years cell phones got smaller – then bigger – styles changing to suit the changing demand.  One trend that was clear is that everyone was making the move to mobile phones.  Now a days, most people I talk to don’t have a landline anymore, relying on their cell for everything from phone calls and texting to social media and web-surfing.

A friend recently posted this on his Facebook page:

Have you ever monitored how often you are on your phone? I noticed that on average I am using some sort of social media app upwards of 3+ hours a day, 7 days a week. In one year that’s 45.5 days straight of being on my phone. 45.5 days a year that I don’t notice my kids, I forget about responsibilities and use excuses when I can’t “find the time” to get something done. Social media isn’t free if it costs you the only thing we can never get more of… Time. I’m restricting myself to less than 1 hour a day going forward. (Dave S. – Rochester, NY)

The calculations are shocking, and I am willing to bet that they are not unusual for most people these days.

Interesting - EveryMomDay.com explains how she saves $150+/month and gets more time with her kids.

Here is the part that seems to shock everyone – my household does not have a cell phone (or a landline, actually).  It has been 2 years since we closed our contracts.  At first, I felt naked and lost.  Like a baby forced to give up the pacifier that comforts her when she’s sad, and occupies her when she’s bored.  Many people tell me the reasons why they could never give up their cells – and honestly, if you don’t want to unplug then don’t – but many of the reasons I hear make me smile, because those things all apply to me too – and I thought them all before we unplugged.  I have 4 children, children with special needs, in school, multiple service providers, job contacts, babysitters, family, friends… we survived without cell phones when I was a kid and we survive just fine without them today.

Without my cell phone, I am forced to be more present and “in the moment” with my children, friends, family, and people in general.  I feel like I am able to be more of the mom that I want to be when I don’t get wrapped up in social media while I am out and about.  I don’t check my phone at the playground, the waiting room at dance class, or in the line at the grocery store.  Instead I watch my kids play if I am not pushing them on the swings.  I chat with other moms/people in the waiting room, playgrounds, or lines.  I flip through an occasional magazine.   I have plenty of time to be social on the phone/online when I am home – during nap times and bed times and when I designate “work” time (still a balance for sure)!

So what do we do?

I have an app (Talkatone) installed on our iPad and the deactivated iPhone that provides me with voice and texting capabilities using wifi at little to no cost.  With the deactivated iPhone, it will still work to call 911 so I typically keep it charged and with me in case of an emergency, and I will occasionally use it for the camera while I am out and about.  I simply tell people that my phone is not a traditional cell phone and that it can only be used with wifi, so it’s more like a landline but I can make calls at locations with free wifi as well if needed – and so many places have free wifi these days from the grocery store to doctors offices and restaurants.  Even though I have access to the apps anywhere there is wifi, eliminating the phone/data plans 2 years ago changed the way I rely on the phone and I find I rarely reach for it.

We save a bunch of money this way.  Our internet bill is about $40/month and if I need to purchase minutes to make outbound calls (the Talkatone app provides 60 mins free a month) it’s only .99/60 mins.  We also use the FaceTime on the iPad to further reduce the need for using the phone app.  When we had cell phones through one of the leading national companies, we were paying upwards of $140/month on our cell phones alone – plus we had separate wifi charges as well – and the rates are only rising.

Getting rid of cell phones has saved us money, and gave us time to be present with the people in our lives and really enjoy the little moments.  As strange as it sounds these days, my household does not have a cell phone – nor, do we want one.

How do you feel about your cell usage?

Mom Hack Monday: Saving our Screen Door

Mom Hack Monday Baby Gate Save Screen Patio Door

I do not think I have enough Mom Hacks to make this a weekly post – but I have one THIS week! Now, this may be old news to some of you – but you have to understand that this solved a big issues we have been dealing with for a while now – the kids push on the screen of our patio door and it causes the screen to detach from the frame leaving gaps for bugs to get in.

If your kids are as completely terrified of bugs as mine are (heck, I am too!), then you know how serious this can be.

Often times it means we can not leave our sliding door open to enjoy the breeze. Or, dad has to remove the door and use our handy dandy screen repair tool to repair the screen. Now this tool is amazing and the best home repair purchase we’ve made recently – we had no idea how easy it is to repair a screen! BONUS: It looks a lot better than duck tape!

But even though its an easy fix – no one wants to repair the same project every. single. day.

MomHackMonday

My mom hack? One of the inexpensive and adjustable wooden baby gates! It easily fits right into the door frame and keeps the baby and the little ones away from the screen. Even though my big kids COULD just reach over it and still touch the screen – they don’t! Just giving them that additional boundary 3 inches from the screen keeps them away from it.
Mom Hack Monday Saving our Screen Door

It’s such a simple fix – I am just bummed we did not think of it sooner!