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About the author  ⁄ Carrie Beth & Jen

Carrie Beth and Jen are both 30-something mothers and wives, who happen to be best friends. They both love all things preppy, southern, and just plain pretty. Between the two of them, they have 5 precious little ones and constantly have a text conversation going on about the day-to-day of their lives and the crazy adventure that is motherhood. Whether it's trying to keep up with current fashion trends, finally getting around to that DIY project, or just dealing with everyday life with kids, it always keeps them laughing and it's always real life. They share their ideas and stories on their blog, The Magnolia Mamas.

Apple season is in full swing and while frolicking in those gorgeous apple orchards this fall, set aside some apples for yourself to craft a yummy cocktail. We love apple cider this time of year and we love sangria year-round, so we decided to combine the two for a delicious sparkling apple cider sangria. It tastes just like fall and is the perfect drink to compliment hayrides, falling leaves and the crisp cool air.

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria Recipe

A fall twist on the traditional sangria

Traditional sangria is made with red wine, juice, fruits and spices. We decided that our sparkling apple cider sangria should be made with white wine instead of red. Then, we swapped apple cider for the juice and used apple slices for our fruit. The only thing left to figure out were the spices and we figured spiced rum would have to do because it’s totally the same thing, right?!?

Fall Cocktails: Apple Cider Sangria

Sparkling apple cider sangria

Prep time: Less than 5 minutes
Mix time: Less than 5 minutes
Yields: 1 pitcher full (8 servings)

Apple Cider Sangria Recipe

Ingredients: 
1 Bottle non-alcoholic sparkling cider (found on the juice aisle)
1 Bottle sweet white wine (we used Riesling)
1 cup spiced rum
2 Apples, sliced
Cinnamon sticks

apple.cider.sangria.pitcher

Directions: 
1. Combine sparkling cider, wine, and rum in a pitcher. Stir to mix well.
2. Slice apples and add to sangria.
3. Add two cinnamon sticks.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors from fruit and cinnamon to combine with the sangria.
5. Serve over ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
6. Enjoy!

sparlking.apple.cider.sangria

What is your favorite fall cocktail?
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Kids are so proud to have their parents helping out in their classrooms… and they aren’t the only ones who get excited to see parent volunteers walking through the door. Teachers absolutely love when they have a little extra help in their classroom. Some teachers might have parents come into the class help with centers, while others might want volunteers to help with putting up a bulletin board. No matter what the job, there are a few things to keep in mind so we’re here to give you our six tips for being an awesome classroom volunteer.

6 Tips for being an AWESOME classroom volunteer

1. Have your credentials

Sometimes, just getting into schools can feel like going through airport security, but remember it is all for the safety of our kids. Your school might buzz you in when they see you or others might require ID to be admitted to the school. No matter what system your school has in place, just be sure you know what is needed ahead of time so you don’t show up unprepared. Oh, and be sure to keep on that visitor sticker so everyone knows you are supposed to be there!

How to Help in Your Child's Class

2. Be on time, but be flexible

The school day can move pretty quickly, so be sure to be on time (or a little early) so that you are ready to jump in and help when the teacher is expecting you. With that said, lesson plans are made with the best intentions, but when you are working with kids you have to learn to be flexible. Sometimes those plans don’t always work out so there is a chance that things might start early or end a bit later than you had expected. Be sure to plan for a little extra time built into your volunteer day, just in case.

3. Dress appropriately for the job

If you are just helping in the teacher workroom, it probably doesn’t matter what you wear, but if you will be working with the kids there is a chance you might end up on the floor. Especially in the younger grades, if you are assisting with a literacy center, playing math games or even just reading with the kids, the floor becomes your friend, so wearing a dress or skirt might not be the best option.

4. Leave little ones at home

While you think your toddler is well behaved and can hang while you are volunteering, chances are having them with you will become a distraction to the class. Some teachers are more lenient with this and others have strict guidelines on siblings in the classroom. Check with your teacher before bringing other kids in the class, but when in doubt, arrange for a babysitter so you can really focus on the kids in the class and the task at hand.

5. Go the extra mile

Maybe you were just signed up to be a center parent, but if you have time before leaving it doesn’t hurt to ask the teacher if there is anything else you can help with. A lot of teachers don’t like to ask for help, but if you offer they will gladly take you up on it. It might just be that they need a few extra copies made or something laminated quickly. Whatever it might be, they will be grateful for your help because it means on less thing they have to do after school.

6.   Soak it up

Ever want to know what it feels like to be a rock star? Just show up to volunteer in your kid’s classroom. They are so proud to show you off and announce to their friends, “That’s my mom!” We all know it won’t be like this forever and soon they will be teenagers who would rather not be seen in public with their parents. We are all busy and the never ending to-do list can feel overwhelming, but don’t let it keep you from becoming a classroom volunteer every chance you get.  Make it a priority while your kids are young and you have the chance. The days are long, but the years are short so soak it up while you can.

Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again Cup

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Now that school is back in session, many families are dealing with busier than normal schedules.  It seems that when the kids aren’t in school, parents are either busy helping with homework or driving the constant carpool to after-school lessons, extra-curricular activities, and sports. This is certainly the case for our families and we feel like we are always on the go!

With all of these added items on the calendar, sometimes eating healthy falls by the wayside. That’s why we were so excited to discover the Ready Pac Foods line of Bistro Bowl salads and Ready Snax snack options. They are healthy, on-the-go meals and snacks that are perfect for our busy back-to-school schedule.

On-the-Go Meals and Healthy Snacks from Ready Pac (Giveaway)

Making snack time easy

Like most kids, ours would snack all day long if given the chance. Because of this we like to make sure our fridge is stocked with healthy options. We also know that kids love anything in a package, so they get really excited about Ready Pac Food’s snack cups that are filled with sweet, fresh fruit. The single-serving sizes make them perfect for a snack at home or in lunch boxes.

Ready Snax from Ready Pac are an After School Lifesaver for Moms

There are days we spend a lot of time in the car. Right after school, the kids quickly get homework done and then change before we rush out the door on the way to sports practices. The snack packs are easy and quick to grab on the way out the door. Plus, they are filled with good-for-them foods that will fuel their little bodies all the way through those hot soccer practices and hold them over until dinnertime. Our favorites are the veggies, flatbread and hummus, or the apples, yogurt and trail mix.

The Best Ready-Made Salads

On-the-go salads

Sometimes we avoid salads for lunch because the prep-time is more involved and messier than other lunch options. However, we love a good salad with flavorful toppings and the Bistro Bowl Salads make it simple to enjoying delicious, restaurant-style salads at home.

Want to win up to $3,000 in prizes in the Ready Pac Foods We’ve Got Your Back Back-to-School Sweepstakes? That $2,500 Amazon gift card could sure come in handy!

 

Bistro Bowl Salads are the BEST! (Giveaway)

Everything you need is packed into one bowl — even the fork — so that you can easily enjoy a savory salad, even on the go. These have been our go-to lunch option recently and even our older kids have started asking to take these to school for lunch.

ready.pac.lunchbox

Healthy eating for busy families

It’s so easy to fall into the fast food trap and make the drive-thru run, but just because we are busy does not mean that has to be our only option. Ready Pac Foods has so many options to keep us eating healthy during the hustle and bustle of back to school and flavors that the whole family can enjoy! Make sure you use the Ready Pac Foods store locator to find where these products are carried in your state.

Enter to win a $150 Visa gift card

We’re giving away a $150 Visa gift card, thanks to our friends at Ready Pac Foods. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. One winner will be chosen and announced Monday, September 19, 2016. US residents only. You must be at least 18-years-old to enter and win. Please allow 4-6 weeks for prize delivery.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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As a parent, back-to-school means the daily tasks of folder checking, homework monitoring, and the dreaded lunchbox packing also resume. Packing lunch is tough enough as a parent —  Are you sending in enough lunch? A healthy lunch? A sandwich in the shape of a princess with a sparkly cheese crown? Throw in a food allergy or two and that task can sometimes seem overwhelming. Whether its your own child you have a concern for, or a classmate, packing an allergy-free lunch to keep everyone safe, happy, and fed during the school day is always on your mind. From gluten-free to completely allergy-free, we have found some simple and yummy ways to pack that lunch box.

Allergy-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids

What’s on the allergy-free menu

Long gone are the days of scouring each and every label in the grocery store to find even just a few items that might be free of gluten, dairy, peanuts, or any of the other common food allergies. Now, entire aisles are dedicated to allergy-free foods, and several allergy conscience brands have emerged to help make the task of packing allergy free lunch boxes much less daunting. We’ve found that brands such as Enjoy Life, Go Organically, and Go Raw (just to name a few) are kid-tested, kid-approved when it comes to even the pickiest of eaters, and that, my mommy friends, is lunch box gold.

In addition to creating yummy grab-and-go allergy-free foods, we love that certain allergy conscience brands, like Crispy Green, are creating community awareness with amazing back to school programs. Crispy Green has the Produce for Kids, Power Your Lunchbox campaign. This program is in its second year and helps promotes proactive eating habits while donating $1 to Feeding America for every parent that takes the Power Your Lunchbox pledge. Knowing that you are able to help others while helping your own children enjoy allergy-free foods simply makes lunchtime that much sweeter.

Here are just a few of our favorite easy allergy free lunch box ideas.

Allergy-Free Lunch Ideas

Lunch Idea #1:

– Non-peanut butter roll ups (made with Sunbutter & Udi’s Fajitas)
– Go Raw Sprouted Flax Snack in Zesty Pizza
– Go Organically Fruit Medley fruit snacks
– Blueberries
– Enjoy Life Crunchy Minis in Chocolate Chip

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, tree nuts, soy, & wheat

allergyfree4

Lunch Idea #2: 

– Turkey meatballs
Ginger’s Healthy Habits Veggie Trail Mix in Pepperoni Pizza*
– Enjoy Life Caramel Apple granola bar
– Strawberry and blueberry fruit mix
– So Delicious Yogurt Alternative

Allergy free:  gluten, dairy, peanuts, soy, wheat, & egg
*contains almonds and cashews

allergyfree6

Lunch Idea #3:

– Turkey and ham roll-ups
– Raw baby carrots and hummus*
– Red grapes
– Go Raw Apricot Chewy Bars

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, tree nuts, wheat, soy, & egg
*look for hummus without the ingredient tahini

allergyfree3

Lunch Idea #4: 

– Turkey roll-ups
– 1 serving of strawberries
– Enjoy Life Plentils in Garlic Parmesan
– Go Organically Tropical Fruit Snacks
– Go Raw Lemon Sprouted Cookies

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, tree nuts & egg

allergyfree5

Lunch Idea #5: 

– Faux peanut butter and jelly sandwich (made with Sunbutter and All But Gluten Bread)
– Crispy Greens Fruit (We mixed the apple and bananas, but there are SO many good flavors available!)
– Watermelon
– Enjoy Life Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
– Enjoy Life Fruit and Seed Mix

Allergy free: gluten, dairy, wheat, & tree nuts

In addition to our lunch box ideas, check out our allergy free lunch inspiration board on Pinterest.

allergyfree7

What are some of your allergy free lunch box ideas?
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Summer is officially coming to a close after this weekend and that means back-to-school is in full-swing, from coast to coast. Whether you’re just diving into your child’s meet-and-greet to kick off the school year or you’re already a few weeks in, these back-to-school gift baskets for teachers are a simple way to show your new teacher just how excited you are to be in their class.

Easy and Quick Teacher Gift Basket Ideas

Setting the tone

Being a former teacher, I think I really have a greater appreciation for teachers and love to spoil them with little gifts throughout the year. They have such an important job to help shape the future of our little ones! Going a little above and beyond is our way to show them how much we appreciate all of their hard work and dedication to our kids. Lots of people do holiday gifts and end-of-year gifts, but we like to set the tone for a new school year with a back-to-school gift. We’ve come to learn that Meet & Greet can be a pretty hectic day, so what better way to leave a lasting impression with your new teacher than to leave them with a special treat!

What goes inside

I began making these back-to-school gift baskets for teachers a few years ago and they were such a hit that I have made it a tradition every year. The kids and I pick out items like fun pens, colored notepads, hand sanitizer, gum, chapstick and really anything else that we think they may enjoy.

What to include in a back-to-school teacher gift basket

Mini bottles of pain reliever are also always included in our baskets. I’d like to think that my kids’ classrooms will be quiet and calm at all times, but chances are that at some point during the school year the kids are sure to give the teacher a headache. Hopefully the teachers will stick these away somewhere in their classroom so that they will be prepared for that day!

After all of our items are gathered, I let the kids help put them in cute plastic containers or baskets. I also have my kids write a note telling their teacher just how excited they are to be in their class. We include the notes in the basket and then I wrap it up in clear cellophane and tie it with a cute ribbon.

Back-to-School Teacher Gift Basket Ideas

Ice breaker

Some kids might feel nervous about going back to school, starting a new grade, and meeting a new teacher. These teacher gift baskets are a great ice breaker! Holding the basket gives the kids something to do with their hands and it gives them motivation to walk into their new classrooms proudly because they are excited to give their teachers the gift.

Teacher Gift Baskets are a Great Back-to-School Icebreaker

It is always a pleasant surprise for the teachers and they are just delighted to be given something by one of their students. They love being shown how much we appreciate them from day one and it puts a smile on their face, which is exactly why we do it!

backtoschoolgiftbaskets

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As a mom, now that school is back in session and fall activities in full swing, your car has once again become your second home. Carpools can be hugely beneficial when it comes to saving both time, money, and your sanity. Here are five easy tips to help you not only organize, but rock, a carpool.

Tip #1: Rules aren’t meant to be broken

Seems simple enough — follow the rules. As carpool mom you need to pick your child’s carpool-mates wisely. Make sure everyone knows the rules and that they are consistent across the entire carpool. Rules of the school. Rules of the carpool line. Rules once you get into everyone’s car. Know them. Learn them. Communicate them. Use them. This will make the school year (and your car rides) much smoother!

What to Read in the Carpool Line

Tip #2: Embrace the line

Now, a large part or being a carpool mom is sitting in the carpool line. If you are lucky, your line moves fairly quickly and takes only minutes (If this is you, send me your zip code please!). However, for the majority, you spend a fair amount of time in line waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more.

Now a huge no-no is looking at your cell phone while in line… even when you are parked. Before you start to hyperventilate — or think that it is okay to sneak a peek occasionally — refer to Tip #1. Take a deep breath, realize that you can answer all those PTA emails in just a few short moments, and be prepare to use the line to your own personal advantage.

Use this time to reflect and embrace the quiet. Read. Eat… and slowly enjoy, a snack that you might not want to share with the little bundles of heaven about to enter your car. Or, our personal favorite, touch up that mani with the latest polish shades that fall has to offer.

Don’t fight the line — embrace it!

5 Tips Every Rock Star Carpool Mom Needs

Tip #3: Be prepared for extras

The fun thing about being a carpool mom is getting the chance to be involved with your child and their social circle. Be flexible, and, if you have room, be prepared for any last minute additions to your carpool for the day.

Keep an extra car seat seat or booster on hand. Pick a seat that is comfortable, safe, and versatile so that you are able to accommodate whomever might be popping in for a ride that day.

Car Seats that are Awesome for Car Pools

The Aidia Pathfinder High Back Booster (shown in Endeavor; $140) has proven to be our carpool favorite. With its lightweight aerodynamic feel, and its easy to adjust 7-position headrest, we know that we are able to quickly, easily, and safely accommodate any additional children who we might be transporting for the rest of the day.

You can win your own Aidia High-Back Booster and $1250 in other prizes in our Savvy Sassy School Days Giveaway! Hurry, it ends this week!

Tips for Making Carpools Easy

Listen, when you rock at carpool everyone wants in on your minivan

How to Survive Carpool Days
Tip #4: Snacks

Need we say more? OK, we will. Any mom knows in most situations snacks are an integral part of survival. As good carpool mom, have these prepped and ready to go, because the moment that last click of the seat belt occurs, you know you are going to hear, “I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?”

And then five minutes later, “I’m thirsty! Can I have some water?” So go ahead and have the water bottles prepped, too.

Carpool Survival List for Moms
Tip #5: Have FUN!

While spending large blocks of your day/week/month/year driving might not be the top activity on your list of fun things to do, take a moment chose to enjoy this time with your kids. Make the best of it and have fun. Like, seriously have fun. Play silly games. Make goofy jokes that they can’t help but laugh at. Have their favorite play list on hand and rock carpool karaoke so well that James Corden would be jealous.

By having fun you create an atmosphere both you and the children look forward to each day. Because not only do you carpool, you rock it! (Water bottle microphone optional.)

What are some of your tips on how you rock at carpool?
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Who doesn’t love stylish clothes? Or better yet, stylish kids’ clothes? Between you and I, some days, I am slightly jealous of my children’s closet. It is so hard showing restraint when you are blinded by tiny little clothes and an uber-adorable mini-human gracing your side everyday. What’s tough though is more often than not, those tiny little clothes don’t come with a tiny little price. Not to mention those adorable mini-humans sometimes don’t always want to play dress-up in a store… no matter how cute those baby skinny jeans or ruffled rompers are (but seriously though, SO CUTE!). Well, moms and mini fashionistas alike can rejoice — Runchkins has created an affordable way to have stylish children’s clothes delivered straight to your doorstep.

Runchkins Fashion Box Delivery for Kids

What is Runchkins?

Runchkins is a curated collection of the latest in kids’ fashion that are hand-picked by a stylist for your little one and delivered straight to your doorstep.

Runchkins creators have taken the time to ensure they are partnered with brands that are known for their stylish, yet high-quality, long lasting pieces, such as Hatley, Nano, and Tom Tailor, just to name a few. Runchkins wants families to be able to get adorable style, not only at affordable prices, but with the ease and comfort of never having to leave your own home.

Style Box Deliveries for Stylish Kids

How does it work?

Setting up a Runchkins order could not be easier. Customers create a personalized style profile for each child by answering a few fun questions: What is your child’s favorite color? Do they like animals? Do they like polka dots or stripes better? You get the idea.

Once you fill out the style profile, you arrange for how many outfits you would like to receive and at what frequency. You can receive 3-10 outfits once, monthly, or seasonally.

For a limited time, Savvy Sassy Moms readers will receive $20 off their first Runchkins delivery! Visit Runchkins for details.

The BEST places to buy clothes for kids

Now, here’s our favorite part — just before your shipment is set to depart, you receive an email preview of your box. Unlike other similar subscription services, Runchkins allows you to exchange out any pieces from your curated box, before it ships. As a result, you know that you are getting pieces that both you and your child already approve of. Amazing and time saving!

Preschool Style for Back-to-School

Once your Runchkins box arrives on your doorstep, you and your child can try on the items at your leisure. You have five days to decide which pieces you want to keep and, if desired, which pieces you want to return. The $20 styling fee is credited towards any of the items that you decide to keep.

Have you tried this kids' clothing subscription yet?

Returns are a breeze. Anything that didn’t work for you can be shipped back for free with already printed and packaged shipping labels in your box.

As an added bonus, Runchkins has created a wonderful “Buy Back” program for its customers. Runchkins will later buy back any items that you purchase through your box. Once your child outgrows your previous purchase, Runchkins will purchase back the items (up to 30 percent, based on condition) with store credit.

Give the gift of fashion

Always struggling to figure out a unique gift to buy for the latest baby shower or your next birthday party? Try out Runchkins’ new gift service! The service allows you to set up a style profile for yourself or for another recipient. Guests can then preview, contribute, and vote on what items are their favorites, and then the gift recipient will receive the top voted item as their gift. Such a trendy idea for your fashion loving little one!

RunchkinsBox2

What style will your child have delivered to your doorstep?

This post is sponsored by Runchkins. All opinions are our own.

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Summer is officially in full swing. That means days filled with fun in the sun and beating the heat by playing in the water. Since we spend the majority of our time in or around water during the summer, one of the first orders of business each summer is scheduling our little ones for swim lessons. We want to make sure that while our children are making those summer memories of splashing or perfecting the perfect cannon ball that they are also being as safe as possible. For this year’s lessons we turned to the Sunsational Swim School.

Sunsational Swim School Swim Lessons That Come to You

Convenience meets comfort

The Sunsational Swim School is a unique swim lesson experience that partners a play-based learning environment with a water safety awareness program, all with the convenience of in-home lessons. That’s right, Mom. No more trekking to a swim center across town!

What Age Should You Start Swim Lessons?

With Sunsational Swim School, you are easily able to coordinate swimming lessons with a trained instructor at the pool of your choice, at a time that works best for your schedule. Simply visit their website, enter your zip code, and within a few clicks you are provided a list of certified instructors to choose from.

Safety first

Drowning can occur in just a matter of seconds and is the second leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of 14. The Sunsational Swim School understands the importance of teaching young children and their parents water safety right from the first lesson.

Tips for Starting Swim Lessons

Our Sunsational swim instructor not only shared important information and facts to keep our kids safe, but they made it a priority to incorporate safety into each lesson. Everything was covered from not running around the pool to what to do in the event that your child fell in the water.

From Tadpole to Seal

The Sunsational Swim School owner Sarah Sebe has created a fun and progressive swim program. With seven instructional levels to choose from, your little swimmer is ensured a swim program that will help them prepare for their water filled days ahead.

swimskillchart

When presented with children at a variety of ages and skill levels, our instructors were quickly able to assess and tailor lessons unique to each child’s needs. Lesson length depended on age and skill level, and always concluded with a fun homework task for the children to practice in between lessons. This was great to reinforce their new skills!

kicking

jumping

As our Tadpole, Starfish, and Jellyfish wrapped up their time with the wonderful Sunsational instructor, they received a special reward and certificate. As moms of busy little ones who spend most of their time waterside throughout the summer, the biggest reward was seeing our children gain both skill and confidence at one of their favorite summertime activities.

Water Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Swim lessons were provided by Sunsational Swim School. All opinions are our own.

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If your kids are anything like mine, they love sleepovers. It’s like a play date that never ends! Summer sleepovers are the best because everyone’s schedules are a lot more flexible making scheduling them a lot easier. While my kids love sleepovers, here is what I have discovered: sleepovers are a lot of work for moms. You want everyone to have fun, get along, and feel safe and comfortable in a new setting… especially at bedtime. These tips will help you host successful summer sleepovers and make things run smoothly for you and the kids!

Summer Sleepover Ideas and Tips for Moms

Tip no. 1: Have an organized activity

I always try to invite at least one friend over for each of my kids. While this does mean a lot more kids at one time, it also means no one is feeling left out and everyone has a playmate. It’s great to let the kids have time to create, make believe, and play on their own, but I have found that left with too much time they can start to argue or disagree over silly things. Having an organized activity helps refocus everyone. Simple games or crafts are perfect and most recently, I created a simple scavenger hunt that led them around the house. They loved this activity! I had about 12 clues and wish I would have done twice as many.

Sleepover Scavenger Hunt for Kids

They were all so great about taking turns and working together to figure out the clues. It was a simple activity, but by far their favorite. At the end of the hunt, I had a special prize waiting for them. I did matching pajamas, but you could do a special candy treat, or even a new movie for after dinner.

Sleepover Tips for Moms

Another organized activity that is always a part of our summer sleepovers is movie time. The kids love getting all cozy in their pajamas and settling in with popcorn to watch a movie for the night.  It’s also good way for them to calm down so this is usually the activity right before bed.

Tip no. 2: Simple, but special, meals

Summer sleepovers are exciting for kids so I want their mealtimes to be special, without spending too much time in the kitchen. I almost always order pizza for dinner and add a special element by letting them pick a fun drink.

Waffle Bar for Summer Sleepovers

For breakfast, I usually do a waffle bar so the kids can pick their favorite toppings. It’s something special they don’t usually get to do on a regular morning, but takes no time to set up and prepare. Plus, it’s a sweet way to start their day!Sleepover Sleep Solutions

Tip no. 3: Prep comfortable sleeping spaces

Bedtime is often the hardest a sleepovers. While I want them to have fun, I don’t want them up giggling all night long. I also want everyone to feel comfortable and safe in their new space.

OoRoo Bed Folds into a Pretty Ottoman

One of the greatest ways to do that is with an OoRoo portable folding bed. When it is not in use as a bed, this luxurious mattress folds up and fits into a cover so that it serves as an ottoman. Setting it up as a bed takes only seconds — simply unzip the cover and unfold the mattress into a bed! It’s so comfortable, and so much nicer than asking our sleepover guests to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag. It’s also really lightweight, so folding it up and moving it back into place after the sleepover takes no effort at all. Best of all, these beds ship for free to anywhere in the Continental US.

Ooroo Folding Bed is the BEST for Sleepovers

When it is finally time to sleep, I let the kids set a timer for 15-minutes so they can talk and then the deal is that everyone has to go to bed. I want them to wake up happy and ready to play the next morning!

Tip no. 4: Think about the morning after

No matter how much or how little sleep the kids get the night before, chances are you are going to wake up feeling tired. I always suggest having parents pick up their kids shortly after breakfast. That gives them a little time to play and get dressed before heading home. Then it’s time for a nap! When you ask your kids if they had fun, huge smiles are sure to spread across their faces. You may be tired and it was a lot of work, but it’s all worth it to see those smiles!

Do you host summer sleepovers?  What are some of your favorite tips for other moms?

Thanks to OoRoo for sending us a bed to try!

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Independence Day is right around the corner and that means it is time for 4th of July fun! This is probably one of our favorite holidays. Food, fun, family, friends, and fireworks, all together in the middle of our favorite season… what’s not to love?!? Maybe you are hosting a festive gathering or perhaps just attending one this year. Either way, we’ve got your style and sweet snacks covered!

4th of July Style for Kids

Dressing the part

One thing we love most about holidays is theme wear. Dressing our kids in adorable red, white, and blue outfits for the 4th of July is a must and The Children’s Place has quite a variety of options.  From babies to big kids, they have it all!

The CUTEST 4th of July Outfits for Kids

Adorable onesies and baby accessories make dressing your little ones a breeze.

4th of July Style for Boys

How to throw the COOLEST 4th of July party

Our boys love the comfortable and casual graphic tees that can be thrown on with shorts or swim trunks. We also couldn’t resist these coordinating shades to help complete their looks.

4th of July Style for Girls

Sweet sundresses are the perfect way to keep girls cool in the summer. Lots of stars, stripes, and ruffles adorn the cute options at The Children’s Place.

4th of July Swimsuits for Girls

Chances are that you’ll be around some sort of water for the holiday. Maybe the beach or pool, or maybe just enjoying some old fashioned backyard fun in the sprinkler. Your kids can still dress the part and show their patriotic pride in swimsuits featuring stars and stripes.

Cooling off with Star Spangled Ice Cream Sandwiches

With all that 4th of July fun in the sun, you are likely to be looking for ways to beat the heat. What better way to cool off than with these festive ice cream sandwich pops. Putting a patriotic twist on classic ice cream sandwiches only takes a few minutes and we promise your kids (and you!) will love them.

4th of July Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients: 
Ice cream sandwiches (we used the miniature ones)
Red, white, and blue sprinkles
Popsicle sticks

4th of July Desserts Your Kids Will Love

Directions: 
1. Unwrap ice cream sandwiches.
2. Push popsicle sticks in one end of the ice cream sandwiches.
3. Cover edges of ice cream sandwiches with sprinkles.
4. Store in freezer until ready to serve.
5. Enjoy!

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