Shopping Tip 1

Today, I bring you a purchasing tip.

Wait and buy stuff on clearance, especially after holidays.

Now, you may be thinking that a gingerbread haunted house is not something you can use until the following year. True, so check the expiration date. With items like tablecloths, food dyes, sprinklers, pot holders, and baking cups (aka muffin liners); however, there is no expiration date.

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“But, what about when the cupcake wrappers literally say, ‘Valentine’s Day?'”

Dude; that’s when you use them for just your family. I pulled these puppies out for cornbread muffins. My kids don’t care; they just throw them away after sucking the crumbs out of them.

I’ve also found that holiday items that look like Christmas or V-Day or Halloween can be more versatile than I originally think. For example, some of the wrapping paper I bought last year (green and red) actually didn’t look that Christmas-y when I used it for a birthday.

Just shop smart. Look for universal colors and patterns.

And remember: chocolate is always in season.

Breakfast Tip 1

When I was a smaller Chelsea, I recall my mother telling me about a woman she knew. “She makes breakfast every day for her children,” she said with incredulity.

Now that I’m a mother, I understand the surprise. Now that I am a mother to older children and I value my time in bed, I wonder at the sanity of that breakfast-baking woman. Did she know the benefits of (empty calorie) cereal?

Independence is important to teach children, for a variety of reasons. And independence doesn’t have to be about fetching crackers or applesauce packets when the need arises. It can also include making one’s own breakfast.

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My breakfast tip for this week is to buy a few breakfast items the kiddos can ‘make’ themselves.

My favorites are bagels, yogurt, cereals, bread (for toast), and Costco muffins. Sometimes I enter Super Mom mode and bake muffins of my own. Other times, I have leftover waffles or pancakes.

Pancakes are great snack items or morning-after breakfast foods, by the way. Some days I grab a few and make PB&J sandwiches for an on-the-go breakfast.

Most mornings, I wake to the pleasant tinkle of spoons on cereal bowls or the smell of reheated waffles. Up until they get into a fight over the syrup, it’s a very pleasant morning.

We Aim to Please

I am a mother of four boys. And I have a husband.

I really like boys. They’re honest, scientific, obvious, succinct, and often more fun.

Still; I hadn’t realized, when the pregnancies kept turning out to be male, how much the smell of urine would come to dominate my bathrooms.

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