Thursday, September 29, 2016

School Apps

So school is now in full swing. We have settled into our routine. In our house my oldest went from homeschool to full-time junior high this year. It was a big transition but she is doing great and loving school. The charter school she is at uses the website PowerSchool to record grades and communicate with parents. There is even an app for my phone.

The app is up to the minute and even will send a notification to me through my phone if my child's grade has gone up or down. I thought this was going to be awesome and a great way for me to make sure my junior higher is staying on track and see what things she is studying and what assignments are due and when. 

And this is a great idea, but when left in the hands of a completely obsessive Mom like me it is too much. There was one time when a teacher must have been inputting grades at like 11 at night because at the time, my phone dinged and I got a notification that my kids English grade had dropped from a 100% to an 80%. This was a big drop and I had to get up and look over her assignments and even email the teacher. Yes all this at 11pm. 

When I was in school my Mom only knew what my grades were when reports cards came out. I am seeing my kids grades in real time! I find myself opening and checking this app as much as I do my Instagram! Although this app is suppose to help parents stay informed. It's stressing me out! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Are Donut Walls the New Cupcake Wedding Cake?

Thanks to Pinterest people are planning beautiful and over the top weddings. We have seen trends like wooden signs, puzzle piece guest books, cupcake wedding cakes. Of course things have to evolve and new trends are showing up all the time. So if you planning a wedding or fancy party in the near future let me introduce you to.....

The Donut Wall

Yup by using a wall and pegs you can display these yummy fried treats in a super cute way. Gone is the pink pastry box on the table.

You can color coordinate frosting with your wedding colors.

Now I don't recommend frosted donuts outside on a hot day. You're just asking for dripping chocolate.

And you can believe that you will find lots of selfies with the donut wall when you look through your custom wedding day hashtag on Instagram!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Homework Organizer and Other Tips to Keep you Sane!

For the first time ever I have all of my children in grade school. Once I got over the initial sting of melancholy,  I was already running to keep up with three sets of homework, three teachers' announcements, two separate elementary school drop-offs,  and a flurry of emails. On top of having to keep up with it all, I am a firm believer in volunteering in my children's classrooms. This means carving out time in my workday to be in each of the their classrooms once a month, for some grade levels, even more!

As homework assignments began to flood my virtual and "living room inbox" I began to get myself organized which is the KEY to keeping everyone sane. First things first, for only a few bucks you can buy wall hooks, multicolor maniela folders and a large dry erase wall calendar. Next, dedicate any corner of your home to hang backpacks using wall hooks and empty out backpacks. Then use the folders to have you (or your children) engage in the daily ritual of sorting paperwork. Quite easily you or child should get in the habit of ensuring whatever paperwork is homework is placed in the urgent red folder with their name written in big bold letters or announcements such as picture day order forms are placed in yellow folder (again with their name on it if you have more than one kiddo in school). You can also use a green folder to store all completed work that comes home. For even a few more bucks you can install hanging wall files (one per child)  to store folders, but that's not absolutely necessary.

Next, take time to visually map out important due dates and commitments on a dry erase calendar placed in the same homework sorting corner. How easy is it to on the spot write due dates on a calendar as you read notices? My three children have gotten to the point of having daily assignments and larger one-time due dates that are scattered through the week, which means we have to write it down for all to see or we will all it forget.

This sounds simple enough but having these simple rituals unfold in one centralized place of your home makes everything feel smoother in the mornings and organized through the week.

Other tips to staying organized?

• Create email inbox folders per child or a color coded flagging email system (you'll thank me later). Teachers are great with email these days but so are principals, classroom parents, and so on.  With so much to keep track of feel free to sort that system, too! I have so many school emails to sort every single day. I am sure you do too.

• Create a sharable calendar on google! I know you've written down due dates on your written calendar if you're folllowing along, but what about school commitments such as extra-curricular functions or meetings. To keep your household in the know set up a family calendar that's shared and make sure to set up a default reminder warning you of important commitments beforehand. Multiple children means multiple picture days, award assemblies, and so on! Don't miss an important commitment and use this system with built-in reminders to keep more than one important family member in the loop!

Share your best tips too!

Use the comment section below and let us know what's keeping you organized.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fróse: Because summer is not over yet!

Technically we still have a week left of summer. Before we say goodbye to Summer 2016, you need to try this sweet frozen treat.

Fróse= yes frozen róse

And the best part is you can change up the flavor by adding any fresh fruit you want! If you have a blender and a bottle of róse you are good to go.

Add 1 cup of cut up frozen watermelon chunks, half a bottle of róse, 1/4 cup of raw sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Then blend away.

Mix it up with different frozen fruits! Think strawberries, kiwis, pineapple or blueberries!

You can even take some yummy róse and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Thanks to the alcohol the wine will not freeze completely. Then you can smash up and make am "adult" snow cone!

I want to shake the hand of the genius who thought of this!

Enjoy the last week of summer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Anti-Cellulite Cream... does that stuff really work?

So with summer involving plenty of pool time I decided to invest in anti-cellulite cream. Yup, you read that right. I was desperate to tone those troublesome areas. Turns out there's a huge market for these creams online. With Amazon reviews picking one turned into a pretty easy task.

For 12 bucks or so, I settled on something called Hot Cream! And boy does it live up to its name. It's almost like wearing tingling icy-hot all over your thighs. It promises best results once lathered and covered which really elevates the heat intensity. It's tolerable heat, but odd. It also has a very strong smell that can only be compared to a minty eucalyptus odor. It's not a bad smell, but definitely strong. Funny enough this product boasts about being 87% organic.

After a month of use (not consistently but used) I'd say I've seen results. Though I know these results are temporary. If you're interested in a cellulite cream solution know this one works, it takes time, and results aren't permanent.

What are your best beauty tips?

Share yours in the comment section below.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Apple's Special Event: Introducing the iPhone 7

First off...

Super Mario is coming to the Apple App store!!! Yes we are going to be able to play Super Mario Run on our iPhones sometime before the end of the year!  

Next up there was talk about all the good things Apple is doing. Specifically the ConnectEd, a program that helps bring technology into schools that could otherwise not afford it. Apple is supporting 114 school and donating more than 50,000 ipads to students. They have also created the "Everyone Can Code" program that teaches everyone to code through the Swift Playground app.

There was some talk about iWork and new features on the Apple Watch. Oh and Pokemon Go will be coming to Apple Watch! Also there is a new hiking app called ViewRanger that works even without a signal.

But what we really all wanted to know was..


Well lucky for you I watched the entire event and I have the highlights on the latest and greatest in apple products. 

  • Apple will be releasing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+. So just like with 6 you will have the gigantic, doesn't fit in your backpocket option.
  • It will come in 5 colors. Yes 5! Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Black and a new super fancy super shiny Jet black. 
  • It will come in 3 storage options: 32G, 128G and 256G! 
  • The design of the phone is much more sleek and seamless. 
  • Super awesome feature is that it will be water and dust resistant. Very cool. 
  • The weak speakers of the old iPhone are gone. The new speakers on the 7 and 7+ are two times louder than the old ones! 
  • The camera will now be a 12 megapixel camera and the forward facing one will be a 7 megapixel. Your selfies just got a whole lot better.
  • Now every new iPhone boosts the camera is better and 7 is no exception. What is pretty awesome is that with the 7+ you get 2 cameras. Yes 2. One is a wide angel and the other is a telephoto lens. This always for smooth and crystal clear zoom up to 10 times! Your stalker photos of celebrities will no longer be fuzzy! 
  • Earpod have been changed to a lightning cord, you know like the power cord on 6. So the same jack you plug in your power cord will be the plug for your earpods. Apple will also include a earpod adapter so that you can use old earpods with the new phones. How nice of them, 
  • Now you are probably wondering... what if I want to use my earpods and charge my phone at the same time? Well in late October, Apple will be coming out with "Airpods" and yes they are wireless earpods for your iPhone. They look amazing and come in a cool case that charges them for you. One charge will give you 5 hours of listening time. These babies will set you back $159!
  • The new iPhone will run off the latest in processors. The A10 is twice as fast as the processor in the iPhone 6 and 240 times faster than the processor in the original iPhone! 
  • They have also improved the battery life. The new iPhone 7 will have an average of 2 more hours of life than the 6. 
You can order your new iPhone 7 for $649.00 or 7+ for $769.00 as early as Friday, September 9th. Phones will start shipping out on September 16th. 

So will you be ordering a new iPhone 7? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Netflix Review: Stranger Things

Everyone is binge watching on this one. I mean everyone. Okay, if you haven't stared, you must. Stranger Things premiered midsummer and apparently it took Netflix by storm. This tale is based in the 1980's and hits all the right notes of suspense, 80's nostalgia, and creepy sci-fi.

The story hooks you from episode 1, and with only 8 episodes, it's a weekend take down. I likely finished the series in 36 hours. It's that good. Granted, I didn't sleep much.

Stranger Things tells the tale of a mysterious child disappearance, government conspiracies, and one kick ass little girl named Eleven or "El" for short. The story told weaves mystery, suspense, and real life emotions all into one. It keeps you on the very edge of your seat and every episode is better than the last. It's that good.

I must say its a refreshing story line that brings back the powerhouse that is Winona Ryder and a band of youthful newcomers that steal every scene they're in similar to the classic, ET, Stand by Me, or the more lighthearted, Sandlot.

Tune in and thank me later. Oh and get ready! Season two is slated for a 2017 release that includes 9 sure-to-be thrilling episodes.

What's your favorite Netflix show?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Alicia Keys is Make Up Free

I first noticed it when she performed at the DNC. Then I started seeing commercials for the new season of The Voice. The I watched the season premier of The Voice and I figured out what was different. She didn't have any makeup on.



And she looked beautiful.

My first thought was "how brave". My next thought was "her skin must be so healthy". I have never been really good at applying makeup, but I still cannot leave my house without mascara and blush. Like ever. Even when we go camping I put on makeup on every morning.

Why? Why do I have this need to cover my face everyday. Alicia Keys stated,

“I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

She feels that makeup has a negative impact on women's self esteem, especially young women. This desire to be perfect and the makeup industry make millions on girls covering up their faces. It's amazing how makeup can change your face. I have to admit that I am obsessed with makeup artists snapchat stories. They can completely transform someone. But I think what Ms. Keys is trying to say is, what's wrong with ourselves that we want to transform ourselves. This #nomakeup revolution that Keys is starting is a great reminder to love ourselves.