10 Best Hair Styles for Mom on a Busy School Morning

Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Hey Mamas,

Are you perpetually running late? I was a very punctual person before I had kids.

Remember those days? I knew exactly what was on my schedule for the day, I had an organized to do list, and everything that needed to get done did get done.

There were just more hours in the day before my cute family got bigger. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I strongly encourage moms to dress up and look nice on a regular basis. It’s so great for our emotional well being, our self-confidence, and our sense of purpose! I love to feel like I look good, even if it’s just a day at home.

But… If I can’t even get my kids to school on time in the morning how am I supposed to take the time to do my hair and makeup?

Here’s some gorgeous mamas who know what to do!

Comment below- What is your favorite quick hairdo? How do you do it??

1) A Messy Bun

This is my favorite how-to for a beautiful messy bun. So quick, so easy, and so classy!

Not only does it save you time because it’s easy to do, but it saves you time because your hair doesn’t have to be clean! Perfect for those crazy mornings when you don’t have time to shower.
Here’s the simple steps to a perfect messy bun.
-Flip your hair over your head.
-Gather hair into a high pony tail.
-Twist the pony tail.
-Wrap the twisted hair around the pony tail into a thick bun.
-If desired, pull hair in different directions to make the bun messier.
That’s it!! Done and done! Grab your kid’s backpack and be on your way!

2) The Knot

Image result for low knot bun
This style looks so cute and fresh, but it only takes 5 minutes to complete!

Here’s how to do it:
-Separate hair into two strands in the back of the head.
-Tie the two strands together twice into a double knot.
-Secure the bottom of the knot with a pony tail.
-Tuck the pony tail under and around the knot.
-Secure with bobby pins.

You’re gorgeous!

3) Knotted Pony Tail

easy-ponytail

Look at this amazing twist on a boring pony tail!! This is so clever and unique, and it can be done in the same amount of time it takes your six-year-old to eat a bowl of cereal on the way to school.
That’s right, you could be done with your hair by the time your kid is done eating in the morning.
Here’s how:
-Separate your hair into two strands off to the side of your head.
-Tie the two strands into a knot twice to create a double knot.
-Secure with a ponytail.
-Spread out the hair in the lower sections of the knot to cover the pony tail.
You’re done! Hurry off to work!

4) Hair Tied into a Bow

hair bow hairstyle
Want something creative? Something new? Something unique?

Try the literal hair bow. As in, your hair is the bow. So cool!

Check it out!

-Separate one thin strand of hair on the right side of your head and one thin strand of hair on the left side of your head.
-Pull both strands of hair to the back of your head.
-Tie the strands of hair together into a bow- just like you were tying your shoe.
-Secure the bow with bobby pins.

So easy! And so adorable! You’ll be the coolest mom at the PTO meeting!

5) Face-Framing Twist


This is a beautiful look, but it takes no effort at all! You can be done in time to grab a cup of coffee before you have to run out the door!

Here’s the trick!

-Choose what size of a section you want to twist. Pin the rest of your hair back so it is out of the way.
-Out of the chosen section, begin at the top of the head. Section out two small strands.
-Twist the front strand over the back strand of hair.
-Section out another small strand of hair.
-Twist the next section into the existing twist.
-Slowly section out additional small strands and add them to the twist one at a time, until you have twisted the whole section.
-Secure with a bobby pin.


Other Great Reads: 

5 Tips to have Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

What About Me? Parents- Take Care of Yourselves!

A Rockstar a Day Keeps the Children At Bay…. Healthy and Natural Tips to Keep Your Energy Up


 

6) Bangs for a Day

pantene_howto_25-fakebangtopknot_step7
Do you ever wish you had bangs, but are you too scared to take the plunge?

Try bangs for a day, enjoy the fresh new look, but you don’t have to stick with it if you don’t want to.

And you’re done with plenty of time to drive your kiddos to school.

That’s the best deal I’ve heard all year!

Here’s how to do it:

-Put your hair into a high pony tail (We used to call these cheerleader ponies.)
-Use a small section of hair from the pony tail. Bring it forward. Fan the hair so that it falls across your eyes and forehead to make fake bangs. Use bobby pins to secure your fake bangs in place- adjusting for the appropriate length of bangs.
-Twist and wind the remaining hair in the ponytail into a thick bun. This will hide the origins of your fake bangs, keeping everyone wondering where your gorgeous new look came from!

Viola! A beautiful new look! Love it or leave it- no harm done! And you’re on time to your first appointment of the day.

7) Two-Minute Tuck

This two minute tuck tutorial is SO easy. It totally transforms my bad hair day to a flawless hairstyle! I love to do the two minute tuck on really busy days!
This is genius! It’s so fancy, and yet you can be done in TWO MINUTES! It’s even in the name!

Can’t argue with that.

And this is another great hairdo if you don’t have the time to shower in the morning. No problem!

This sweet style is so simple. Try it today!

-Part your hair in the middle or off to the side. Use a cute elastic headband- placed with the front of the headband on your forehead.
-Take thick sections of hair around the back of your neck, leaving out just a little hair to frame your face.
-Tuck the strands of hair into the headband. Loop the hiar up and under the headband.

You’re done! Time to get on with your busy day… and with a look like that, it’s sure to be a great day!

8) Criss-Cross Twist

This hairdo looks like it took all day but it’s actually only a few seconds! I could get this done before my child finds her shoes!

And it looks so classy! Absolutely beautiful.

This hairdo works best with short to medium length hair.

Here are the steps:

-Separate hair into two strands.
-Twist the first strand and pin it to the opposite side.
-Twist the second strand. Loop it over the first strand and pin to the opposite side.

Beautiful, quick, easy. It’s perfect for a school day morning rush.

9) Braided Bun

Another gorgeous bun, just as simple to create and soooo cute.

This looks so professional, but it doesn’t take all morning to look like this.

Here’s how!

-Pull your hair into a low pony tail in the back of your head.
-Braid the pony tail.
-Wrap the braided pony tail around itself.
-Secure with bobby pins.

You’re ready to go! Lookin’ hot!

10) Half Up Twist
Hair Romance - Easy half up twist tutorial 2
I love this look. Gorgeous and classy, but not time consuming.

Your hair is out of your eyes and face. You look stunning, but not too fancy to run errands.

You’ll be looking perfect before your kids even start arguing this morning! That’s right, and for my kids that’s about the first 10 minutes of being awake.

And again, no clean hair necessary so this is a great solution if you just need a few extra minutes to push snooze.

-Separate one small strand of hair on the right side of your head and one small strand of hair on the left side of your head.
-Twist each strand individually.
-Pull back the twisted strands of hair.
-Secure with an elastic band.

There you go moms!

Simple, quick, and easy.

You can get your hair up while your kids are eating breakfast, while they’re searching for their lost backpack, or finishing that last homework assignment.

You’ll look so wonderful with any of these tricks without any hassle.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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AMAZING Miracle of Moms- YOU Have Something to Offer Moms in Need

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/13/2019

 

I was touched today when I stumbled across an article that told the beautiful story of a mom who needed some help, and all the women who immediately came to her rescue. 

This poor mom was pregnant, traveling all on her own- with a toddler.

It was time for her to board the plane, but the child was having none of it. He ran, flung himself on the ground, cried, screamed, kicked. She couldn’t pick him up because of his flailing.

She was trying to hard, doing everything she could, and nothing was working.

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Related Titles- 

How to Handle a Tantrum Without Destroying Relationship

How to Survive a Tantrum in Public

When Life Is On a Parent’s Side- Natural Consequences

Shut Down the Mommy Guilt- Teach Kids Through Your Own Mistakes

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We all know how that feels!!!

And then, it was just too much for her. She sat down on the floor next to her son and cried. 

I know that hopeless feeling. I know how frustrated and overwhelmed she must have been to be at the point of breaking down in front of an airport full of strangers.

And so did the women around her.

That’s the amazing part.

Several women gathered around. They all kneeled down in a circle around the crying child and mother.

There wasn’t much talking- just genuine comfort and help. Each had something to offer- a bit of food for the child, some water for the mother, a toy for the little one, good ideas and support for the mother.


Resources- Are you traveling with children? Click the images below! 

Travel Journal

Travel Lap Desk Tray

20 Piece Activity and Games Bag

Transportable Potty Seat

Magnetic Board Games

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How wonderful are women!!! I wish I could have been there to witness such a beautiful moment. 

This story inspired me.

Please comment below- when have you needed help from women around you? How did others support you?

I want to be that mom who supports the women around me. 

We all need it, don’t we? It doesn’t matter how many kids we have, how many times we’ve dealt with it all before, or how much we know about raising children.

We all need help and love from each other.

Mom and Child.jpg

Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

What holds us back from helping?

  • I worry that someone might not want my help, or that I will embarrass them by acknowledging the problem.

I always think this about other people, and yet, if a kind stranger offered help to me I would never be offended! I would be so grateful and glad at their kind heart!

This must be my own brain playing tricks on me.

Next time I feel this way, I’ll remember this quote, “Never suppress a generous thought.”

-Camilla E. Kimball

Image result for never suppress a generous thought

  • I worry that I will cause more problems by helping.

This makes no logical sense when I really stop to think about it, but it legitimately holds me back when I have to make a split second decision on whether I will help someone or not.

Of course showing love will improve a situation! How could offering a kind word or a pat on the back not help someone feel better? 

I can do better. I won’t allow myself to miss out on opportunities to bless other peoples’ lives so easily. 

  • I worry that I don’t have anything to give.

This is the hardest thought for me to overcome.

I often just don’t know what to do. I feel so unprepared, my mind draws a blank, and I freeze. What could I possibly contribute?

But you know what? I bet that mom loved each and every person who stopped in to help her- and they each brought something unique to the table.

All things combined, it was the perfect solution to the problem. 

people's hand overlapping on center

What if the child was hungry, and the woman who shared her snacks didn’t stop to help? She might have thought, “There’s plenty of people there to help. They don’t need me.”

But she was needed and she did stop!

What if the woman with the toy in her bag hadn’t stopped? That resource would have been lost. 

“Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.” -Christine Todd Whitman

There’s no excuse why we can’t all help each other! 

Let’s all decide now that we will help the next mom we see who needs a hand. Then we won’t be stopped by the thoughts that hold us back from helping. Make a plan now to be a support to others around you. 

Can you image the power we all have?? We can lift each other’s loads, make this tough job of parenting so much easier, and keep each other smiling. 

Let’s do it today- one little act of kindness at a time.

Women have amazing strength. Time to put it to work!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Please share this post with all women and parents! Let’s all band together to help each other!

Please comment, like, and subscribe to my weekly email list for updates on the world of parenting!!Free Self Care Guide 2

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Helping Your Toddler Understand Time and Routines- Less than $20 DIY Resource for Parents

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/13/2019

Hey Parents,

Did you ever notice that the concept of time is really tough for kids to understand– all the way from birth up until they are like 7 or 8?

It’s a real problem, because we use time to manage everything in our lives!

  • When to wake up,
  • when to go to daycare or the babysitter’s,
  • when to the store,
  • when to eat,
  • when to nap,
  • when we come home from work,
  • when to celebrate holidays,
  • when to go to parties,
  • when to take a bath,
  • when to go to bed….

And through all this, our poor children don’t even know what we’re talking about when we say, “We will get to have bath time at 7 o’clock. Please wait til then.”

How can we help kids understand what’s coming next in the day?

It’s no fun to be thrown into things without any warning or understanding. What would that feel like to have NO IDEA what is going to happen next until someone else decided for you? And you HAD to do it?? 

I would throw a fit too!

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Case in point-

I was feeling so sad for my poor daughter the other day. She was getting so frustrated because she couldn’t understand why it wasn’t time to eat dinner.

Having a family dinner is very important to us, so I was hoping she would wait until dad got home from work. We do this every day, but those last 15 minutes are always a battle! 

There’s got to be a way to fix it. I’m done fighting this every single day! 

I did what every mom does- I complained to my friends about our problems. My awesome sister-in-law Monica (an amazing mother of four who I really look up to) gave me the best idea!

She said that she had heard of a tool that you can make at home, DIY, for less than $20 that will help children better understand time and routines.

Ummm…. YES PLEASE!!!

I took her suggestions and added my own twists. I call it our “Routine Clock.”

I’m focusing on two parts of our daily routine- eating times (snacks and meals) and sleeping times (nap and bedtime) by marking those events on the face of an analog clock for my child to see.

img_20181128_1245258072.jpg

Do you have any great ideas on how to improve this “Routine Clock”? Tell us about it! Comment below!

Step 1: Gather materials.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cheap analog clock

Mainstay Sterling & Noble Wall Clock – Black


  • Sharpies

Sharpie 30078 Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Classic Colors, 8 Count

  • Scissors

AmazonBasics Multipurpose Scissors – 3-Pack

  • A screwdriver

TEKTON 2796 6-in-1 Screwdriver

  • Stickers, paint, or any other fun decorations your child might like!

RENOOK Stickers for Kids 1500+, 20 Different Sheets, 3D Puffy Stickers, Scrapbooking, Bullet Journals, Stickers for Adult, Including Animals, and More,Christmas Stickers for Kids.

Crayola Washable Kids Paint, Classic Colors, 6 Count, Painting Supplies, Gift

  • Not required… But there were tiny screws that are easy to lose, so my husband’s magnetic tool tray might have come in handy. I wish I had thought of it beforehand.

Titan Tools 11061 Mini Magnetic Parts Tray

Step 2: Remove the minute hand (or at least mark the hour hand).

The overall goal with this clock is for my child to watch the hour hand approach a marked time for a snack or a meal or nap time in order to visualize when those events are getting closer.

The problem is that the minute hand crosses each of the marked time slots every hour of the day, while the hour hand only crosses them once per day (once per day during the hours that my child is awake anyways…).

So I really need my child to watch the hour hand, not the minute hand. By removing the minute hand or at least marking the hour hand, my child knows which one to keep an eye on.

You’ll have to remove the clock face for this step. It was super easy to do- just take out the screws on the back of the clock.

The minute and second hands were easy to cut with scissors. I did leave a small bit of each hand so that I could set the time on the clock.

If you would rather not cut the minute hand, just mark the hour hand with a sticker or by painting it or using a sharpie to change its color. This will help it stand out so that your child knows to watch the hour hand.

Step 3: Use a sharpie to mark the times of various daily activities on the face of the clock.

Replace the face of the clock. Again- so easy, just screw the face back on.

img_20181128_130937044.jpg

I tried light-colored sharpies so that my child could still see the numbers under my markings.

As my child practices with the clock, I would like to start teaching her how the numbers correspond with the time, which corresponds with our daily activities. I really didn’t want to cover up the numbers with dark colors.

I found that the light green and yellow sharpies were TOO light. You could hardly see the color. But the darker pink and darker green were perfect!

img_20181128_131142352

****Idea- One limitation of this clock is that it still only works to help my child understand the daily routine, not to prepare for curve balls that life throws when the routine is thrown off.

If you want the clock to change based on what your plans are for the day, don’t use sharpies. Try using dry erase markers so that you can add different tasks or activities based on what new things are going on for the day!

Then just erase your clock at the end of the day so that you can put the next day’s tasks on the clock!

For my purposes, I color coded the clock using green and pink. Pink marks are for meals and snacks. Green marks are for naps and bedtime.

My child usually goes to sleep at 7pm and wakes up at 7am, so I marked from 7 to 7:15 in green to mark bedtime/wake up time. Her nap is around 1-3, so those times are marked in green.

Breakfast is between 7:15-8, lunch is between 12-12:45, dinner is between 5-6, and snacks are from 10-10:30am and 3-3:30pm. Those times are all blocked out in pink.

Marking a range of time during which we generally eat or sleep rather than marking one specific time allows some flexibility.

For example, we start lunch any time between 12:00 and 12: 45.

img_20181128_131646909-e1543527079187.jpg

Step 4: Decorate it!

I have not been blessed with a talent for drawing, especially on a curved surface like the face of a clock, so it was surprisingly difficult to make my clock look cute!

In the end, I decided I’d better go simple. I outlined each different task in black sharpie to make the time slots nice and defined, added a boarder around the face of the clock, and called it good.

But let’s be real- kids aren’t judgmental. They love you no matter what, and they’re excited about new things with pretty colors. So I had nothing to worry about.

If my little one were a little older, I would probably invite her to decorate it herself.

Oh, and I also added labels on each routine so that my awesome husband knows what’s coming up next. He always wants to help but doesn’t always know how. Win Win!

img_20181128_133807252

Step 5: Set the time.

Just follow the directions on the package!

Step 6: Put your new tool to work!

Well, we completed our clock about a week ago.

My daughter is catching on fast. I make sure to show her the clock each time a snack, meal, nap, or bedtime comes up. She is starting to point to it all on her own when we are getting close to one of those times in our day.

I chose not to hang it on the wall. Rather, I keep it on the counter.

  • Giving My Daughter a Heads Up

When a meal or nap is coming up, I hand it to my daughter (she loves to hold it) point to the color coming up. I ask her, “Do you know what’s going to happen soon?” or “Do you know what’s coming up next?”

Then we talk about it and I give her a 5-minute opportunity to finish up whatever she’s doing before it’s time to transition.

  • Helping her Understand When She Needs to Wait

It’s so much easier to tell her that she needs to wait to eat! (She doesn’t mind waiting to take a nap….)

If she’s getting hungry just a few minutes before dad gets home from work, I just show her the clock and say, “It’s not time for dinner yet, but look how close it is! Almost time!” 

Then she can hold the clock and check back to watch as dinner time gets closer and closer.

I have noticed frustration levels for both me and my child decreasing every day! It’s so nice to have a simple way to help her look forward to what’s coming up next in her routine.

img_20181128_150940892

Did you try out this “Routines Clock”? How did it go?? Comment below!

Do you have any great ideas on how to make these clocks better? Tell us about it! Comment below!

I hope this resource helps some cute kids out there!

And parents, as always, keep up the good work!

(As a total side note, I recently learned about another amazing tool to help children with time! This one is a clock that lights up green when it is “wake up time.” If the child wakes up too early, the light is off so he knows to keep resting or engage in a quiet activity until the light turns green signaling that he can begin his day! AMAZING!)

Click on the image below!
Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Night-Light

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Please share this post with a parent who could use some help teaching their kids about time!

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Mamma’s Turkey Tips for Beginners (Like Me)

Photo by Cayla1 on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/13/2019

My mom is one of those people who make amazing turkey every year for Thanksgiving.

Whenever we have potluck Thanksgiving dinners, she’s always asked to cook the turkey. Year after year. Turkey after turkey.

And it’s always so delicious! Her turkeys are moist inside, and yet crispy on the edges.

I looked forward to her turkey every Thanksgiving…. Until I got married and moved off to Idaho. I couldn’t always get home for Thanksgiving. I was faced with a real dilemma- How in the heck am I supposed to cook a turkey for my own Thanksgiving dinner??

It’s not like you can have Thanksgiving without a turkey!!

But I quickly figured out that my mom made it look much easier than it really is.

  • My first turkey got burnt on the outside but was not fully cooked inside.
  • My second turkey was cooked at least, but it was as dry… Like nasty wannabe jerky. Yuck.

So I finally swallowed my pride and asked my mom for help. Thanksgiving 2018 is gonna be better!!!

I told her that nobody made turkey like her and I needed some help.

Do you know what she said???

Nothing!

She just laughed!!

Yep, laughed- because her turkeys are SOOOO easy. In her loving words, “Maybe you should have your toddler help you get it done right!”

Here’s what she told me, and a step by step view of how my first attempt went:

  • Buy the cheapest, fattest turkey you can find, a turkey bag, and a turkey pan.

Gibson Home 89134.02 Broxton 2 Piece Non-Stick Turkey Roaster, Black

REYNOLDS G10510 Oven Bag 2 CT

McCormick Garlic Salt, 9.5 oz

McCormick California Style Onion Powder, 2.62 oz

One shopping trip, everything you need. Done and done!

Oh well, you’ll also need butter, garlic salt, onion powder, and pepper. Make sure you grab those things too if you don’t have them at home!

img_20181120_090506641

  • Defrost the turkey.

Most turkeys come with directions on how to defrost.

My mom recommended putting the turkey in the fridge for up to 3 days to ensure that it thaws completely or putting the turkey in a cold water bath for several hours before cooking.

In my case, I put the turkey in my sink with cold water in the morning the day before Thanksgiving. (Always clean out the sink well before putting the turkey in there!)

It took most of the day for the turkey to defrost. Then I put the turkey in the fridge overnight and it was all ready to cook Thanksgiving Day!

  • Preheat the oven.

Just follow the directions on the package! My turkey cooked at 325 degrees.

  • Rinse the bird, removing the extras inside.

Usually there are things like the turkey neck, the heart, and the gizzard (what is that anyways??) inside the hallow of the turkey. Remove those before cooking.

My turkey had a turkey neck and a package of turkey drippings.

Well… at least that’s what I thought until after I cooked the turkey.

Once we cut open the turkey and started removing the meat, I found the other extras hidden inside the turkey. Just like my mom said they would be. Woops.

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  • Place the turkey bag in the disposable turkey pan, then put the bird in the bag, leaving the bag open.

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You’re all set to season the bird!

  • Sprinkle garlic salt, onion powder, and pepper generously on all surfaces of the turkey, turning the bird as you go to reach all areas.

This will add delicious flavor to the exterior of your turkey.

img_20181121_080517540

My mom said the she even seasons inside the hallow of the bird sometimes! I didn’t worry about that this year. I’m just a beginner after all.

I tried to use one hand to turn the bird (not easy!) and one hand to season with to avoid cross contamination. I didn’t want to stop to wash my hands several extra times. Nobody wants raw turkey juices on their cooking stuff!

It didn’t always work, so I did have to wash my hands a few extra times during the process of turning the bird to season all sides.

img_20181121_080633069

I did run into one hiccup.

The first seasoning I applied to the turkey (onion powder) stuck to the turkey because the bird was moist.

But the second seasoning I applied (garlic salt) didn’t stick because the onion powder was already covering the bird.

Solution? I added butter flavored cooking spray to help the other seasonings stick.

  • Add big chunks of butter all over the top of the turkey.

Be generous- Just like Paula Deen!

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  • Tie the bag shut and place the turkey in the oven.

img_20181121_081451935

I needed to adjust my racks to make the turkey fit. Make sure the plastic turkey bag does not directly touch the top or sides of the oven.

I will always choose a turkey with an internal thermometer that lets me know when the turkey is done cooking.

That was my saving grace! I would be totally lost without that little red thermometer.

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My mom took it to the next level!

She told me to turn the bird upside down. That way, when the yummy juices collect at the bottom during cooking, the breasts and other meat get nice and soaked in all that flavor! 

It also keeps the turkey from drying out.

The only down side is that you can’t see the little red thermometer this way. 

I chose to leave my turkey right side up this year to avoid over-cooking. I still need the little red thermometer for help! Maybe next year I’ll be advanced enough to try this!

  • Use the turkey package to determine how long the bird should cook.

My turkey was about 14 pounds. The package estimated it would take 3.5 to 4 hours to cook.

Another bit of clever ingenuity from my mom- check the bird a little earlier than the package recommends. Keep checking the bird every 15 minutes as it gets closer to the recommended time. This will ensure that the bird doesn’t stay in the oven for any extra time- which could cause it to dry out.

This tip saved me this year!

Kick back and relax because this takes a while. Or you know, slave over the rest of your Thanksgiving meal… Whatever applies to your situation. 😊

Watch for the red turkey thermometer to pop out. You’re almost done!

My turkey went into the oven at 8:20am, so I planned to start checking it at 11:20am. That’s 30 minutes sooner than the package recommended.

By some strange luck and due to my own impatience, I started checking my turkey at 10:30am instead of 11:20.

To my surprise, the turkey looked almost done!

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By 10:40, the thermometer popped and the turkey was done! That’s only 2 hours and 20 minutes of cooking time!

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Come to find out, the package on the turkey and the package on the turkey bag had different cooking instructions.

The turkey bag instructions were more accurate. That’s weird…. Watch out for that when you cook this year!

  • Once the thermometer pops, cut open the top of your turkey bag.

If your turkey needs more color, allow the turkey to cook for another 15 minutes or so without the turkey bag in order to brown the top of the turkey.

This also helps the skin of your turkey get nice and crispy!
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It looks great and tastes delicious!

Your turkey will be a show stopper at your next Thanksgiving party!

My family loved the turkey! They ate the entire thing, down to the bones. Thanks mom!!!

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Fun tip from my mom- The turkey drippings are all contained inside your turkey bag. The drippings make excellent turkey gravy for your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes!

All you have to do is strain the turkey drippings and add a roux (flour mixed with water or butter). Bring it up to a rolling boil and you’re done! Delicious, homemade gravy!

Wow, I’m starting to think my mom knows everything.

I hope my genius mom’s tips simplify your turkey-cooking this year!

It really saved my Thanksgiving!

Cheers to people who are smarter than me who share their wisdom!!!!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

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Gifts For Kids (Ages 0-18) That Will Meet Their Developmental Needs

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Please comment below- What was a Christmas or birthday gift that  your child loved? How old were they?

 

Christmas is right around the corner! It’s time to start shopping!

There are lots of things parents could get for each child on their list… but lots of toys are just noisy or obnoxious, without really contributing anything positive to the child’s life.

This holiday season, give a lasting gift to your child (and a bonus reward for yourself!) by teaching the child something useful through your gift. Understanding the child’s developmental needs will help you choose a thoughtful and educational gift. 

For your shopping convenience,

CLICK ON ANY OF THE IMAGES BELOW for a quick link to Amazon! 

Babies (0-18 months)

Babies have two main developmental goals: 1) learn how to use their bodies (fingers, hands, sitting up, crawling, walking, eating, etc.) and 2) build a relationship with loving adults around them.

Click on any of the images below for some great gifts that tailor to those needs:

  • Sensory Objects

  • Activity Cube

  • Walkers

  • Shape Sorters/Stackers


  • Soft Blocks

  • Plush Books


Toddlers (18 months-3 years)

Toddlers have mastered a few skills during their baby stage- such as walking, some talking, eating, etc.). Now that they are more capable, the big struggle for a toddler is to find ways to use these skills independently…. But this usually gets them into some trouble. Toddlers are exploring the world around them, learning their own limits, and learning their parents’ rules.

One important way that a toddler gains independence is through toilet training.

Learning to communicate through speech helps toddlers accomplish these developmental goals.

  • Buckles, Snaps, Dressing


  • Blocks


  • Nuts and Bolts (Builds fine motor skills)

  • Thick Cardboard Toddler Books



  • Potty Seat



  • Puppets


Early Childhood (4-6 years)

Children in early childhood are beginning their school years- bringing new challenges such as learning to sit still, wait their turn, stand in lines, listen and attend to the teacher, play cooperatively with friends… Not to mention academic demands like learning the ABC’s and reading.

Having mastered basic communication skills, they are able comprehend basic logic, such as cause and effect. Children at this age often struggle to comprehend abstract concepts.

Play really expands during early childhood as children’s imagination allows them to pretend with their friends.

  • Dress Up/Pretend Play


  • Color Coordinated Tea Set (Builds color recognition and matching skills)

  • ABC Fun



  • Beginning to Read Books


  • Coloring Set (Promote artistic expression)
  • Musical Instruments

Middle Childhood (7-10 years)

Children in middle childhood are beginning to understand abstract concepts. They are ready for more advanced learning- in school (such as in math) and outside of school (such as in learning to use money).

They have excelled in their communication enough to grasp irony and humor.

With more understanding of why’s and how’s, these children are ready for advanced teaching about moral character. They can start deciding for themselves who and what they want to be. They can plan for the future and start setting goals independently.

These children have more awareness of their surroundings, so they start to catch on to social norms and expectations. Children start to take on roles at home and at school that define themselves. They are ready for a little more responsibility.

  • Comics or Joke Books


  • Geometric Blocks

  • Chapter Books


  • Pets or Pretend Pets


  • Money Management Tools


  • New Skills (Playing an instrument, sewing, cooking, etc.)



Late Childhood (11-12 years)

In late childhood, children are in a transitional phase. They are beginning to outgrow younger children and prefer to interact with older youth. They are looking for ways make themselves more accepted by teenagers.

This is a time of parental teaching and warning. These children usually haven’t hit the rebellion that often comes with adolescence, so they are still willing to listen to their parents. It is an important time for talking about peer pressure, sex, drugs, alcohol, bullying, how to use technology responsibly, porn, and other major topics that will arise during adolescence.

  • LIFE Board Game

  • Lessons or Materials to Play an Instrument, Dance, Play a Sport, etc.



  • Dream Boards
  • Family Friendly Games




Adolescence (13-18 years)

Adolescence is surprisingly similar to the toddler stage. The main challenge for adolescents is to find independence, while still operating within their parents’ rules. Adolescents push boundaries, trying to find the limits.

They are almost adults- and need to be prepared for every situation that they will encounter when they hit adulthood. They need to be prepared for: cooking their own meals, managing their own money, keeping track of time, working a job, cleaning their own home, balancing work/school and play, having positive friendships, having positive romantic relationships, organization, being a responsible citizen, and graduating college.

Adolescents are also finding their own unique hobbies, interests, life skills, and exploring possible future careers.

Teens are strongly influenced by their peers, so any gift that will make the adolescent feel “cool” will help your child in their social skills.

  • Cash (Encourage them to save some of it!)
  • Appropriate Clothing/Shoes/Jewelry/Accessories



  • Money Management Tools


  • Time Management Tools


  • Things for their Future Apartment/Dorm (Some teens are weirdly more interested in “boring” practical gifts when reminded that they will get to move out someday soon….And that this gift will help them do that!)





  • Products to Care for the Car/Safety in the Car



  • Tickets to the Movies, Gift Cards for Restaurants (For hanging out with friends)




  • The Gift of Making Your Home “Teen Friendly”

Making your home “teen friendly” depends on your child’s interests and the interests of his friends. Adding perks to your house that appeal to them will encourage your teen and their friends to want to hang out at your house. This is awesome because you can get to know your child’s peers- and keep an eye on things to make sure they are being safe and responsible.



  • Vacations/Family Time Rather than a Physical Gift

I’ve known families who go on a cruise, rent snowmobiles, or go for a hot air balloon ride with their teens instead of buying gifts for Christmas! This builds your family togetherness, and is a ton of fun!

Enjoy your new gift-giving confidence, knowing that your gift will be loved and useful.

Please comment below- What was a Christmas or birthday gift that  your child loved? How old were they?

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Please share with a parent who needs help shopping for Christmas!

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