Archives for June 2016

Summer Cocktail Ideas

“Milkshakes, margaritas, smoothies and more…share your favorite summertime drink recipe.” That’s one of Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts this week, and I happen to have some summer cocktail ideas that I think you’ll love!

Looking for some fun summer cocktail ideas? From vodka to wine to sangria popsicles, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes! I've even got some delicious water recipes that your favorite liquour can be easily added to.

Summer Cocktail Ideas

I’ve got the recipe for my favorite summer drink, a refreshing vodka cocktail perfect on a warm summer evening or to sip at a party. I’ve also got recipes for a Perfect Summer Cocktail that is smooth and refreshing, but with a flavorful kick, a Peach and Orange Sangria, and even a One-Glass White Sangria!

Looking for some fun summer cocktail ideas? From vodka to wine to sangria popsicles, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes! I've even got some delicious water recipes that your favorite liquour can be easily added to.

I know not everybody is crazy about cocktails. I also have some of my favorite water recipes here. You’ll never want to drink soda again.

Looking for some fun summer cocktail ideas? From vodka to wine to sangria popsicles, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes! I've even got some delicious water recipes that your favorite liquour can be easily added to.

And if you’re looking for an icy treat to cool down with on a warm day, my friend Betsy shares a recipe for Sangria Popsicles!

I’ve also got lots of other cocktail recipes here for any time of the year. Want even more? Visit my Happy Hour board on Pinterest!

What is your favorite summer cocktail? I’d love to try out some new ones!

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".

 

I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #2: Milkshakes, margaritas, smoothies and more…share your favorite summertime drink recipe.

Sunscreen Tips To Avoid Sunburns & More Summer Skin Care Tips

A couple of years back, I wrote a post about the best sunscreen tips and how to get it on the kids without too many complaints. I thought since 4th of July is right around the corner, it was a good time to revisit them. So I’m going to share some sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns and other tips for keeping your skin healthy this summer.

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

While my first post was aimed towards sunscreen tips for kids, they really apply to adults, too! These sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns work, whether you’re a kid or an adult.

Sunscreen Tips To Avoid Sunburns

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

NO Sunscreen Is 100% Waterproof or Sweatproof

This is a great tip because lots of people make the mistake of only applying sunscreen before the kids get in the water or are running around. Once is not enough. “Water-resistant” and “sweatproof” sunscreen will last longer than regular sunscreen, which tends to come off faster when it gets wet.

Did you know that water-resistant sunscreens have a time limit? Sunscreens that claim to be “water-resistant” must state on the label whether they remain effective for 40 or 80 minutes. After that, it’s like you don’t have anymore on. That means you need to reapply, reapply, reapply! Anytime the kids take a break I try to reapply more sunblock.

Tip: I know that the spray sunblock has gotten a bad rap, but…

I slather on the sunscreen lotion before the kids hit the sun, pool, or beach. Then as the day goes on, I spray them. It’s much quicker and receives less complaints than rubbing in lotion. It works for us!

Another tip for applying sunscreen: Get a sunscreen stick for the kids’ face. It’s less likely to get in their eyes.

Make Sure You’re Applying Enough Sunscreen

The Skin Cancer Foundation (skincancer.org) recommends that adults use at least an ounce (that’s a shot glass) of sunscreen, but don’t set an amount for growing children. The important thing is to cover all exposed areas.

You’ll want to pay special attention to those easy-to-miss spots like earlobes and any body part that will stay submerged, like feet (Fun Fact: UVA rays can penetrate water.) I found this fun way to help you remember these areas: Teach your child to spell BEENS to help you remember to cover forgotten spots: Back of knees, Ears, Eye area, Neck, and Scalp.

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

Sunscreen Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Safety From the Sun

Whether the kids are out playing or running through the sprinklers (remember they should get 60 minutes a day!,) or hitting the pool or beach, sunscreen is definitely a great way to block them from the sun, but that’s not all you need. Hats, sunglasses, bathing suits with built-in SPF coverage, and swim shirts are also a must. Take an umbrella to the beach or pool Avoid midday sun. All these things will help prevent skin damage and sunburns.

Keep Everybody Hydrated

Make everybody take a hydration break. Water, water, water! Watermelon, grapes, berries, carrots and celery are all great ways to keep everybody hydrated. So pack a fruit salad or some veggies with ranch dressing. Ice in the ice chest to keep everything cold is also a great way to get the kids some hydration…kids love chewing on ice.

Since my kids complain about drinking water, I found some fun ways to wake up water!

water After Sun Care

So we know how to keep everybody sunburn free, but what about your skin after being in large amounts of sun, water, and chlorine? It’s needs some love too! After showers, using Hawaiian Tropic Lime Coolada Lotion with Shea Butter & Aloe Vera is my favorite lotion to slather on the kids and I! It smells so good and it’s like a party for your skin. It leaves it feeling cool, soft, and tingly.

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Not into fancy lotion? No worries. Just don’t forget to moisturize!

And for all you busy moms out there, I’ve got some tips on how to keep your skin healthy all summer long.

skin-tips

What sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns or other summer skincare tips do you have to share?

Lots of sunscreen tips to avoid sunburns, how to get sunscreen on kids without (too many) complaints, and how to keep your skin healthy all summer long!

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

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My Life In Pictures: June 1 – 15, 2016

Over the past six months or so, twice a month I share my Instagram pictures since I can’t seem to find time to write! I call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here.

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I always know summer is on its way when the kids start asking to have dinner on the lawn. Their friends from down the street come down too, and there’s usually popsicles after. If you don’t already have a water resistant picnic blanket, I suggest you get one. I use ours almost every day!

Summer!!!

A video posted by Natalie H (Mommy of a Monster) (@nataliehoage) on

Nothing says summer like hanging out at the pool with your friends!

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Obligatory first and last day of first grade for the girls and third grade for Ethan. Look how much they’ve grown!

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This is what Mia’s NOT TIRED looks like after spending hours at the pool with friends.

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The girls picked up a new hobby…making knot bracelets! Lila is a pro at it now while Mia is more like me and doesn’t have the patience for it.

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My brother is a real funny guy. He calls my sisters and I and his girlfriend the Real Housewives of Corona since he thinks all we do is shop and lounge around the pool all day. He forgets that between the four of us we have 12 kids (and one on the way). That’s a lot of kids to take grocery shopping, to run errands with, and to keep track of at the pool…not to mention that we all work too.

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Summer always leans lots of family get togethers! Here are my sisters and I with all of our girls (minus one!)

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Between my four siblings and I, my mom has 14 grandkids and one on the way. This is most of them, in order from blondest to brunette-est.

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This is what quality family time in our house looks like. Damn electronic devices.

Lots of us moms took our kids to a free family movie night in our neighborhood. We asked to take one picture. Just one. It was like herding cats. No idea why they’re all chanting “father.”

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And of course nothing says summer like a good old fashioned neighborhood water balloon fight! The kids were out for over four hours filling up balloons and fighting. It took them much longer to fill up the water balloons then it took them to actually have the water balloon fight, but it kept them busy and getting along for hours!

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

Fuel Up To Play To Keep Kids Healthy And Active!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on how to keep kids healthy and active and was written by me on behalf of Real California Milk. All opinions expressed are mine.

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Quality family time if I’m not careful.

One of my kids’ favorite things to do is eat a snack (usually popcorn or potato chips) while playing on their iPads. “Playing” means using their fingers to build worlds made of blocks or playing games that require thinking ahead and considering the bigger picture. Those are good things; they are using their brains and imaginations to solve problems. But they are also eating potato chips and trying to turn themselves into couch potatoes. Trying to keep kids healthy and active over summer break is a challenge, and I like a good challenge! That’s where Fuel Up to Play 60 comes in.

Fuel Up To Play To Keep Kids Healthy And Active

I’ve told you about Fuel Up To Play 60 and why it’s so important during the school year to keep kids active and eating healthy during the school year. It’s also important over summer break, too! Real California dairy families have continued activation of Fuel Up to Play 60, the campaign created by the NFL and National Dairy Council that promotes physical activity and good nutrition in schools.

The campaign encourages kids to fuel up with nutrient-rich foods: low-fat and fat-free dairy (dairy is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D.,) lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains AND to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Easier said than done over lazy summer days.

Fueling their bodies with the right nutrition gives them the energy they need to get out their and play with friends and family all year long and the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign gives you everything you need to make it happen!

It’s easy to just let the kids eat junk food and lay around, especially if it’s super hot outside. Staying active over the summer starts with nutrition…a healthy meal doesn’t have to be extravagant or difficult to make.

Keep kids healthy and active year round. Keep nutrition a priority this summer, and get them outside and playing for at least 60 minutes a day! #FuelGreatness #CADairy

It can be as easy as Mia’s favorite Tropical Fruity Yogurt, perfect for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack…

Keep kids healthy and active year round. Keep nutrition a priority this summer, and get them outside and playing for at least 60 minutes a day! #FuelGreatness #CADairy

….or a quick and easy dinner like these yummy un-stuffed bell peppers with ooey, gooey cheese.

Don’t forget, helping your kids succeed both in the classroom and throughout their lives starts with YOU being a role model. Look for ways to encourage healthy eating all summer long. Ask the kids to find a new recipe they’d like to try for dinner. Get the kids to help you in the kitchen. Visit a farmer’s market and let them pick out fresh produce. Get outside and help them get  physical activity this summer…it doesn’t have to be “exercise”…have a water balloon fight or races in the pool. Keep nutrition and physical activity top priorities over summer break and see the difference when school starts in the fall.

Visit Fuel Up To Play 60‘s website for information and to get your kids and local school involved.

For more great recipes and to learn more, visit the Real California Milk website and on social media!
Real California Milk Facebook page
Real California Milk on Twitter
Real California Milk on YouTube
Real California Milk on Pinterest
Real California Milk on Instagram

How do you keep kids healthy and active over summer break and year round?

Mom Stress Sucks, But NIOXIN Can Keep You Looking Great!

This post was sponsored on behalf of NIOXIN. All opinions stated are my own.

I’m gonna be honest: Between the kids being home all day, every day and hearing “I’m bored” at least 500 times a day, I’ve already had it with summer break. Mentioning this to a group of friends lead to a conversation about different things all moms experience at some point during the motherhood journey. Things like hearing “I’m hungry” every day of summer break or daydreaming about having more “me time.” Mom stress, y’all

When you bring home your first bundle of joy, your idea of motherhood is picture perfect, though that idea is quickly crushed as you realize that motherhood is nothing like what you thought it would be. It’s wonderful, absolutely. But it’s also messy and a ton of work and frustrating and often takes every bit of of patience that you have.

So I thought it’d be fun to share some things that lots of moms I know stress out about on a daily basis.

Being Tired. Beyond Belief. New moms quickly learn that what they thought “tired” was before kids is nowhere near what tired really is. Oh, and say goodbye to sleeping peacefully throughout the night, like ever again.

Going To The Bathroom Alone Actually Is Me Time. Kids will follow you everywhere, even into the bathroom. So if you want to poop alone, you gotta shut (and lock) the bathroom door. I’ve got an 8 year old and two 6 year olds and this still holds true. Shutting and locking the door when I use the bathroom or take a shower is sometimes the only time during the day that I get a few minutes alone.

You Will Ignore Your Kids. When you hear “Mom” a million times a day, you start to tune it out. The funny thing about this is that if your kids say it, you’ll ignore them. If someone else’s kids say it, you’ll respond.

You Have To Let Go, And It’s Scary. Kids want independence. They want to do things on their own, without your help. They want to pick out their own outfits and do their own hair (and sometimes in doing so they’ll end up looking ridiculous, but you’ve got to let them do it anyways.) They want to get on the computer without you standing over them watching what they’re doing. They want to walk down the street to a friend’s house, alone. It’s hard to give them independence, but it’s something we have to do.

Some Days, They’ll Make You Want To Pull Your Hair Out. We all have those days! And guess what? After having kids, some moms like me literally start losing their hair. It thins out and becomes hard to manage. After brushing your hair, you’ll be surprised you have any hair left in your head and wonder if you may be going bald.

Thinning hair affects men and women of all ages. Sometimes the cause is genetic, but it can also be triggered by certain life stages, like after having a baby (or in my case getting older.) But there is a solution…NIOXIN.

Why NIOXIN?

NIOXIN uses advanced technologies to deliver thicker, fuller, denser-looking hair. NIOXIN provides a real solution for making the most of the hair you have, and they help make it even better. There are 6 different systems to chose from, depending on your hair type and the condition it’s in. Each  3-part System Kit includes Shampoo, Conditioner & Treatment. Each kit includes an easy to use daily regimen consisting of just three steps. Use the kit for 30 days and you’ll get thicker, denser-looking hair, guaranteed.

I put NIOXIN to the test by taking the 30 Day Challenge. For the last month, I’ve been using the #5 System for normal to thin looking chemically treated hair. I also used the Night Density Rescue as well as the Bodifying Foam.

Momming is hard! These 5 things are some of the things that makes being a mom hard. Mom stress can make your hair thin out, but no fear! Nioxin can help.

To find which System Kit  would best fit my needs, I used the NIOXIN Consultation Tool. Then, I started using the products daily. I love the smell and tingle of the shampoo and conditioner. After my first use, my hair felt softer and I noticed less frizz.

And after just 30 days, WOW! What a difference! I have a head of full, frizz-free hair. Check out this before and after pic of how much hair used to come out of my head when I brushed my hair versus the amount I’m losing now.

Momming is hard! These 5 things are some of the things that makes being a mom hard. Mom stress can make your hair thin out, but no fear! Nioxin can help.

Barely any hair comes out now! And the best part about NIOXIN’s 30 day money back guarantee challenge was that I can now hop out of the shower, put in some bodifying foam, and let my hair air dry. I would never be able to leave the house without blow drying or straightening my hair before, but now I can!

Momming is hard! These 5 things are some of the things that makes being a mom hard. Mom stress can make your hair thin out, but no fear! Nioxin can help.

No frizz, no fuss, and it has body that it’s never had before! I’m hooked on NIOXIN!

I encourage you to give it a try for yourself – you’ve got nothing to lose because if it doesn’t make you happy, you can get your money back. So take the Challenge! Don’t forget to share your results with #NIOXINChallenge on NIOXIN’s Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on NIOXIN products and to locate a NIOXIN salon, please visit www.nioxin.com.

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