Posts Tagged ‘JR’

My 2 Cents

Friday, May 9, 2014 @ 08:05 AM
posted by mrscaz

parental control

 

I’m not one of those parents who let’s technology babysit my kids all day, but I am a mom who uses technology to my advantage. I feel like time on the iPad, iPhone, and so on, can be beneficial, especially the plethora of educational apps out there.

My kids get to hang out at the toddler belt office for a few hours after school most days and while I think this is the most magical place ever, they aren’t as impressed. They get bored and I don’t blame them, so they get tech time to entertain themselves.

Here’s the thing, though, I monitor what they are watching/playing/reading. There are apps out there that look cute and innocent, but are far from it. I know my kids are a little too young for social media, but I still try to keep up with the ones out there. The most recent one that I’ve heard of is SnapChat. Spoiler alert: Keep this app away from your kids (PS: don’t google it either without safe search activated).

snapchat

 

So, the idea was that you can take a picture, any picture, and post it and in a few seconds it magically disappears forever! So no need to be shy or worry about being embarrassed, very few people will see it. Sound too good to be true? That’s cause it is. I read an article today (courtesy of CNN) that stated the following:

“The heart of the issue is Snapchat’s assurance that customers’ messages were safe and private. Snapchat’s whole business was built on that promise.

For instance, Snapchat photos have a self-destruct timer. But recipients could get around the auto-destruct by saving an image of what was on the screen.

The company also had said it took appropriate security measures to keep the information safe. However, “disappearing” videos don’t actually vanish. They were stored, unencrypted, on phones. That meant anyone could just plug a device into a computer and play the files.

Snapchat was also quietly collecting information about its customers. The company promised it wouldn’t track users, but it surreptitiously followed an Android phone’s every move. It also uploaded entire contact lists from iPhones without letting a customer know.

That blew up in the company’s face when hackers stole the contact information for 4.6 million Snapchat users and posted their usernames and partial phone numbers online.”

So, basically, be careful and pay attention. Little ones (even not so little ones) don’t tend to have the best judgement (or common sense for that matter), that’s what us parents are for, to protect them.

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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Breakfast Pizza Recipe

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 10:04 PM
posted by mrscaz

breakfast pizza

Who’s looking for a super simple, super yummy, super kid friendly recipe? Ooo ooo oo! Me! Me!! By now all of my loyal kids belts blog readers know that I am all about simple and quick! I mean, we’re busy people with important lives, who has time to schlep around the kitchen preparing a 5 course meal? Oh… you do? Well, no offense then, but I know I don’t.

One thing my family loves is breakfast for dinner. It’s quick and the kids think it’s funny when the day seems backwards. I saw this idea on Pinterest (seriously, waaaay too many of my conversations start with that phrase) and I thought I’d run with it. Here’s my interpretation of a breakfast pizza.

breakfast pizzaBreakfast Pizza

Ingredients
4 Eggs
6 Bacon Slices (either cook the bacon first or buy the precooked)
1 Pkg Crescent Rolls
Shredded Cheddar (to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Open the package of crescent rolls and pull the first 2 out, but don’t pull them apart. Instead, leave them in a rectangle shape, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and press the seam together to make one solid piece. Press the dough out to make it thinner and a little bigger. Now take the edges and and fold them up to make it sides to hold in the egg and toppings. This is where you get to decide how to fill it. You can whip up the egg (one egg per pizza)  so it’s all blended, you can leave it sunny side up or you can just crack it and break the yolk. Add a little salt and pepper, cheese and top with a slice and a half of bacon. Bake until the crescent roll has browned some and the egg is done to your liking.

The cool thing is that you can top them with really anything. You can add some spinach, onions, broccoli, whatever you like in your omelets! Get creative with this one and tell me how you did it!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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Native American Festival

Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 09:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

native american festival

It’s always nice to take a brief break from the kids belts office to unwind and decompress. What a great time for that! It was absolutely beautiful here all weekend.

I really love to get out and see what’s going on locally. You know, give the kids a sense of the community and all. Sunday we had a chance to spend the day at a local Native American Festival. The cool thing was that it was at a park that is just down the road from us, so we were able to bike there.

bike

 

The kids had so much fun. The event was really put together well. So many people attended and were opened up to a beautiful culture. We saw traditional Native American dancing and of course Bug and Daddy had to join in on the fun.

dance

Super Dude was more interested in the weapons training portion. He really got into that and now he’s begging for a blow gun. I feel, however, that it may be considered bad parenting if I give in and get him one. The tomahawk, though…. that one I may indulge in. (I seriously hope you know I am kidding about that one!)

festival3

festival2

I am also happy to report that I was totally able to stick to my newly adopted gluten free diet which is a bonus. Turkey legs are gluten free, right??

turkeyleg

Now, I am not one to paint a rose colored picture of our life, because we are by no means perfect, but occasionally, we manage to have a perfect day. Today was one of those days. I cherish these days. These are the days that make all the not so perfect ones worth while. You know those days, we all have them. When the kids won’t get ready in time for school, when the house is a mess, when you are on your 7th “stop that now!” and nothing is working, that’s when I reflect on days like today.

What does your perfect day consist of? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

 

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Tips

Friday, April 11, 2014 @ 09:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

GF

So, that’s what’s new with me… no more gluten. Super Dude, Bug and I are all going gluten-free. Fun times, I tell, ya. I mean, really, it’s all the rage, everyone is doing it, I’m about to follow them off a bridge too…

But, seriously, we are trying the whole gluten-free thing for a while for health reasons. I feel like it can’t hurt to try and if it doesn’t work, we haven’t lost anything, except maybe money. Yes, definitely money, gluten free can be expensive and quite frankly, a tad overwhelming, too, I mean not everything can be as easy as our kids belts! There are sooooooo many choices out there for gluten free products, but just because it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Technically, potato chips are gluten free, but that doesn’t mean they are a health food. With all of the options out there, how do you know what to get or how to even start being gluten free?

Gluten-Free-Just-Another-Fad-DietGood question, I’m glad you asked because I’m going to give you a few tips for going gluten free!

  1. Get reacquainted with your kitchen. Eating out is a huge risk towards breaking your gluten free diet. There is hidden gluten in sauces and breading and so many other foods that it makes it very difficult to stay on track.
  2. All meals don’t have to be gourmet. You know what’s gluten free? Chicken, broccoli with cheese (even Velveeta) and homemade beans & rice (add black beans to cooked brown rice add some chopped tomatoes, onions and garlic). Meals don’t get much easier than that. Keep it simple so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. If I try to aim for the moon with every meal I cook, I know I’ll fail because that’s too much work and all the prep work… ain’t nobody got time for that!
  3. Stock up on good fats. Beef up your diet with heart healthy fats that will fill you up, avocados, nuts,
  4. Make the produce store your best friend. Enjoy all of the fresh seasonal fruits and veggies you can stomach! Throw in some starches like potatoes  (white, gold, red, blue) and sweet potatoes they are also gluten free.
  5. Keep snacks simple and handy. Hummus and veggies are great, applesauce, almonds, homemade popcorn (not the microwaved stuff), cheese slices…
  6. Finally, plan. That’s right, plan your meals, including snacks and make a list. Do a little research and study up on the brands that are gluten free. Take it slow and easy…

If you are making the switch, I’d love to hear what worked for you. Share your tips and tricks!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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BLT Bites

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 @ 03:04 PM
posted by mrscaz

images

Baaaaacon…. Who doesn’t love bacon? No, seriously, who doesn’t? I’d like to know so I can be their friend, that way there will always be extra for me!

Anyway, I’ve been sitting here at my desk, staring at my computer, trying to come up with a recipe to post to this kids belt blog. Normally, this comes to me pretty easily because I just yell down the hallway at Jen, “JEN! I need a recipe!” and she yells back “That’s not all you need!”  and we laugh and laugh… She’s sassy like that.

Actually, she usually just puts a recipe on my desk (or sneaks into my WordPress account and posts it for me) on Wednesday mornings. The recipe I chose to share today is a super cute party pleaser (and gluten free which is a plus considering I now need to be gluten free, but more on that later), BLT Bites.

blt bites

Aren’t these just the cutest little things? If you make them for your next pot luck, everyone will be super impressed.

BLT Bites

Ingredients
2 Packs of Cherry Tomatoes
1 lb of Bacon (thick cut)
Romaine Lettuce

Dipping Sauce (optional)
2 tbsp Mayo with Olive Oil
Chili Powder
Cumin
Salt & Pepper
Hot Wing Sauce
Hot Sauce
Garlic Powder

Preheat the oven to 400. Place bacon slices on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. While that’s cooking (and making your house smell like a carnivore’s dream), work on the tomatoes and lettuce. Take the romaine and cut it into about 1 inch strips. Slice off the top of each tomato and remove all of the seeds. When the bacon is done, place the slices on paper towels to drain. Once cooled, break them into about 1 inch strips. Now take the lettuce (rolled into a cylinder) and the bacon and stuff it into the tomato. Voila! It’s that simple folks. You can eat them as is, or top them with a dab of mayo, guacamole or mix up a little dipping sauce. My dipping sauce includes all of the above ingredients. I added the spices sparingly until I got the flavor I was looking for.

Hope you enjoy these super simple little bites!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

 

 

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I’m hooked

Friday, April 4, 2014 @ 09:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

doterraHow’s this for a random Friday topic, essential oils. Yes, I have passions other than my glorious kids belts, shocking, right? I’ve gotten hooked on the essential oils. After extensive research, it’s my opinion that doTerra is the best brand for quality and consistency.

The other day I got a sun burn at the local BalloonFest. Now, normally I would suffer through it or try product after product to help it, but with doTerra, I just made my own burn relief oil with 10 drops lavender, 5 drops peppermint, and filled the rest of the 10ml bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Sweet relief! And the next night when I broke out in HIVES because I decided to put Shea butter on my sunburn to give it extra moisture, I was itching like crazy. After I mixed up a little Basil, lavender, peppermint, and melaleuca, my chest now looks MUCH BETTER.

OilSingles
I love my oils and I love knowing that I am doing something really great for my family. I have totally made over our medicine cabinet and gotten rid of the man made chemical and all of their crazy side effects!
modern essentials
With all of that being said, the hubby was skeptical at first but then the most AMAZING thing happened! The other night he was having a mild asthma attack and we couldn’t find his inhaler. I did the only thing I know how; I consulted my Modern Essentials book. I found out that the best way to treat asthma was with Eucalyptus, Frankincense, and Peppermint. I put 5 drops of Eucalyptus, 5 drops Frankincense, and 2 drops of peppermint in the diffuser (this is a LOT of oil at one time people! Way more than you should use, but I was stressed out about his wheezing and I needed to help him quick.) Within a minute, his chest opened up and he could breathe easier. The next morning he was shocked to say that he had the BEST. SLEEP. EVER. And, he came into my office that afternoon, took a deep breath, and asked, “Did you hear that?” Of course I heard nothing. He said, “That’s me NOT wheezing!”
So, like I said, I’m hooked and I can’t see going back now!
Blessings and good health,
Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

 

Mexican Spaghetti Squash

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 @ 09:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

spaghetti squash

 

I kind of have a “thing” for spaghetti squash. I shared a Spaghetti Squash Greek Salad recipe a while ago on this kids belts blog and now I have a new one to share, Mexican Spaghetti Squash (replacing like a beans and rice type dish).

I like this squash because it’s so flexible and a great pasta substitute without any of the guilt and who doesn’t love a little guilt free eating? In this recipe, I roast the squash. You can boil it or microwave it (both of which are faster), but I like the flavor it gets from the roasting process.

It's not beautiful, but it's tasty!

It’s not beautiful, but it’s tasty!

Mexican Spaghetti Squash

1 Small Spaghetti Squash
1 Can of Low Sodium Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/3 Chopped Onions
1/2 Frozen Corn
1/3 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper
1 Pint Stewed Tomatoes
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Ground Cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the whole squash on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. While that’s cooking, place the oil in a saute pan and add the onions, garlic and peppers. Saute the veggies until translucent. Transfer the veggies to a bigger pot and add in the tomatoes, corn, black beans. Season this mixture to your taste with the chili & garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Keep cooking and let it reduce to thicken some. Use an oven mitt to check the squash. It’s done when its tender when you squeeze it. Let the squash sit and cool for a few minutes. Once it’s cool, cut it in half, remove the seeds, and then use a fork to pull the “spaghetti” apart. Take all of the spaghetti and add it to the bean mixture and fold together. Serve warm just a few tortilla chips and top with a little fresh sliced avocado and fresh chopped cilantro.

This makes a great side dish, but if you want it to be a main course, add some diced chicken to the mix. If you like it a little spicier, add a small can of diced green chilies. There are so many options!! Enjoy and make it your own!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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On the Cover of a Magazine

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 @ 10:03 PM
posted by mrscaz

IMG_5848Sort of, but not really… Ok, so we aren’t on the cover of the magazine, but our kids belts are on the inside of the magazine!

You can see our spread in Baby Maternity Retailer here on page 28. You can also see it by simply scrolling down a little bit…

dsusa

See how easy I made that for you? I’m such a giver! I’m really excited about the exposure we will gain from this magazine. You know me, I’m all about branding. I want Dapper Snappers to be a household name (aren’t you shocked that it isn’t already, me too) and this puts us another step closer to that dream. And really, what better market than baby & maternity? I mean we do make a pretty awesome baby/toddler product and… ahem… we also make a fantastic maternity belt as well!

In this article, we chose to talk about how we are making this product in the USA. That’s always been one thing that has been very important to me. I have always wanted everything that we produce to come from the USA so that we would be helping out the economy. In addition to our day to day employees, we also work with a local behavioral health service to help package our product. How cool is that?

 It still amazes me when I sit back and think about how we started this in our garage. I was in charge of sourcing materials, manufacturing, shipping, distribution, etc, and by that I mean I went to the store and bought the elastic and snaps, came home sewed, capped and packaged everything in the garage, boxed it up and then delivered them to local stores. My… we’ve come a long way, baby!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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Giggles

Friday, March 14, 2014 @ 09:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

kids-on-grass-2

Some days I get so wrapped up in life and in what’s going on in the world of kids belts, that I totally forget to sit back and enjoy life (not that I don’t enjoy kids belts). I know I’m not the only one who does that, at least, gets wrapped up in life, not the world of kids belts, that would just be weird if you were all wrapped up in kids belts, too.

Anyway, the point is I get caught up in rushing through the day to day and hurrying the kids along that I tend to forget to sit back and just watch them being kids.

Last night as was putting the kids to bed and I let them tell me jokes and stories, I tickled them and we cuddled. It was pretty great and it made me think of a poem that Jen wrote a few months ago on her blog, titled I Am Made. I hope you enoy it!

i am made for smiles
made for laughs
made for giggles
i am made for hugs
made for snuggles
made for wiggles
i am made for dirt
made for rocks
made for balls
i am made for scrapes
made for bruises
made for falls
i am made for running
made for jumping
made for biking
i am made for digging
made for building
made for hiking
i am made for soaring
made for flying
made for reaching
i am made for loving
made for caring
made for teaching
I am made for helping
made for doing
made for giving
I am made for serving
made for aiding
made for living
Now, go do something child-like with your little one. I promise you won’t regret it!
Blessings,
Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor
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Deceptively simple…

Thursday, March 13, 2014 @ 09:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

lyne…Infinitely complex. Or so they say. Who says? Why, the developers of the App “Lyne“, that’s who. I know it’s been a while since I reviewed an iPhone app here on the kids belts blog, but my love for them has not wavered!

One of my very favorite apps (because I get free stuff, well… free after I purchase things, so I guess not technically “free”) is the Starbucks app. I’m not going to take the time to review this app, but one of the cool things about the Starbucks app is that once a week or so they usually send a free app or song download, which is how I got Lyne. (Did you see it come full circle there?)

lyne2The premise of this game is simple, connect the shapes. As with most games, the first few levels are relatively simple, basically getting you used to how the game works.

Lyne3

Then they get more difficult. The lines can’t go through other shapes, meaning you can’t get from one triangle to the next by going through a diamond (or as my son calls it, a rhombus). There is an exception, though, you can use the octagon as a conduit to the other shapes.

Lyne4

 

This game is challenging but surprising calming. It’s almost zen-like. So grab your phone, find a quite spot and relax while you work out your brain!

Features
- Hundreds of pre-built puzzles
- An infinite number of procedurally-generated puzzles, released daily
- No in-app purchases. No ads.
- Slick, intuitive interface
- Soothing dynamic audio
- Unlockable colour palettes

Let me know if you check it out and what you think!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

 

 

 

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