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Thursday, April 17, 2014

{They All Call Me Mom} Taking Time for the Kids When You Don't Have Spare Time

Over the past month and a half, I have been trying to figure out how to balance three kids to one mommy.  Mr Napping was able to take the entire month of March off of work and I was spoiled in having an extra pair of hands to answer the "Mooooommmmm... I need you"s.  But, he went back to work at the beginning of this month and I have had to figure out this juggling act all over again.

Do you ever feel guilty for not playing with your kids?  I have had more than one afternoon where I tuck my older boys in for nap time, sing the shortest lullaby I can think of and them blow them kisses as I back out the doorway to my wailing infant that is insisting he will perish if not fed in the next 30 seconds.  I didn't always love the nap time routine, but I did it and it always took more than 2-3 minutes.  And my boys loved it.  That's what mattered.  So, now that there is a smaller, more dependent upon me person taking up the time that used to be theirs, I try to make special moments with each of them every day.  But, that's harder than you might think.

Today, Katrina is here from They All Call Me Mom to share some of her secrets and tips on taking time for the kiddos when you don't have time to spare.  Take it away, Katrina!


"Mommy...will you play with me?"

As a mother, I adore hearing those sweet words come out of my three year old's mouth.  But as a busy mother of many children who is trying to get everything she needs to get done in a day, those words always tug at my heart strings because as much as I'd love to, the fact is that there are many times in my day that I simply cannot stop what I'm doing to play.  

Lucky for me, Aria is very into playing "house" lately.  I can hear her playing house with her older sisters.  The scene always goes something like this:

ARIA:   Okay, I'm the baby and you're the mommy, 'kay?  And you are going shopping, 'kay?  And then you feed me, 'kay?  

And then after she sets the scene, the dialog starts up between the "mommy" and the "baby" ... and the house play begins.  It's so darn cute.

So lately whenever Aria comes up to me and asks me to play with her when I'm doing housework or making lunches or cooking dinner,  instead of saying "No, not right now.  Mommy is busy."  I say,  "Yes, I can play with you.  Let's play house...and YOU'RE the mommy and I'M the daughter...and you tell me to do my chores or I can't go to the dance with the handsome prince, okay?"

And then a huge smile spreads across her little face.  I've entered her world and she gets so excited about that.  

"Honey, do your work or you can't go to the dance..."  she says, in her best high-pitched mommy voice.

And I say, "Ugh.  Okay, mom!  I will.  Ugh!!"

And then I go about doing the laundry, vacuuming, washing dishes (whatever it is I'm doing) and every now and then I call out to her, "Mom?  Do I still have to clean?"  

And she answers, "Yes, honey...you're not done yet.  Remember, you want to go to the dance."

And that is how I play with my three-year-old when I'm too busy to play!

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Thanks for sharing with us, Katrina!  That's too funny.  I love the idea and will have to try to implement it with my boys... although I might have to want to go to the park or go-kart racing instead of the dance.  Hehe.  Check out all the fabulous things going on over at They All Call Me Mom.  

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

{Printable} Kid's Easter Basket Stuffer Coupons

I am constantly trying to come up with things to keep my kids from bouncing off the walls and bickering with each other.  Both things they can do by themselves and things we can do together.  I've also been debating Easter baskets this year.  And then an idea struck.  Let's kill two birds with one stone.  Since I don't have time, energy or the budget to make some super awesome baskets this year, I decided to make something for their Easter baskets that can double as a sort of bucket list for us too.

They can trade in their coupons when they get bored.  I don't have to come up with the entertainment all the time and it's an easy way for me to know that my older boys are feeling like they need a little attention.  Sometimes, I get busy with the baby or crossing things off my to-do list for the day that I don't give them a lot of my time and attention.  This is an easy way to do a quick re-assessment of tasks and priorities for the day.

You can use this free template page with 5 complimentary activities for your kiddos this Easter.  Print and write in the activities and rewards that best fit your family.  To download, simply right click on the image and open in a new tab or window.  Right click the image again and "save as" to your computer.  You may then print these on your home computer.  Make as many copies as you like, but please don't share the file.  Send your friends and family here to download their own copy.  All digital files are for personal use only.  This image, nor any variation of it, may be copied or sold.  Thanks and enjoy!

If you'd rather let me do all the work for you, there is a set of 45 activities plus a full blank template page available in my Etsy shop.  Coupon code BUNNYEARS will get you 10% off until 04/21/14!  All you have to do is print and cut the eggs out.  Bam, they are ready for gifting!

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Sew Crafty Cat} Onion Dip Recipe

Today, Kelly from Sew Crafty Cat is here to share her o  nion dip recipe with us.  Oh, my goodness... it looks amazing.  I'm gonna have to try this... or leave the recipe for hubby to find and hope he'll make it for me...  Take a look!


Onion Dip Recipe Whenever we have any sort of family gathering for a party or holiday, this onion dip is always requested. The recipe calls for cayenne pepper, which gives it a little kick. If you don't want it spicy, I have also made it without. Mostly because I forgot to buy a new jar at the store; but the dip is still delicious nonetheless. When slicing the onions, I have done both larger slices, as well as using the food chopper to get smaller pieces. It all comes does to how big you want your onion chunks to be when you go to dip. And watch out for the watery eyes! I got some really strong onions and I think even Loucy the Cat's eyes were watering! It does needs to be chilled before serving, and since I think it tastes even better the next day after everything soaks together, I do recommend making this the day before you plan to serve it. However, it only needs to be chilled for a few hours before serving, so it can be made day of, as well. Serve with pretzels, pita chips, or veggies for dipping. My personal favorite is to eat it with celery sticks. And because this is such a hit at parties, I usually double the recipe to make sure there is plenty to go around!

Onion Dip Recipe
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Sew Crafty Cat
  • 8 large yellow onions
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  1. Cut the onions so you have about 3 cups
  2. heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan on medium heat
  3. add the onions, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper and saute for 10 minutes
  4. reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 more minutes until the onions are brown and caramelized
  5. allow the onions to cool
  6. place the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in a bowl
  7. use an electric mixer and beat until smooth
  8. add the onions and mix well
  9. refrigerate for a few hours, serve cold
  chopped onionssautéed onions Onion Dip Recipe Onion Dip Recipe


Doesn't that look delish!?  Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly!  Head over to Sew Crafty Cat and have a look around at all the other awesome things Kelly has going on over there!

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How Safe Are You Online?: {Printable} Password Keeper & the Heartbleed Bug

Presumably, by now you've heard about the Heartbleed Bug that was discovered last week.  You know, the one where we found out that a whole lot of the internet wasn't as safe as we'd thought.  Mr. Napping came home the day it was discovered and described it to me in all the technical and geeky terms he could think of.  One of his friends at work had spent a lot of the day patching their servers and the two of them had commiserated the problem while getting their 'geek high' at the same time.  I got the residual effects of the high and a whole lot of computer jargon I didn't completely understand. While I understood the basics of what he was saying, the magnitude of the issue didn't really hit home at that point.  So, if you're still a little confused about just what the issue is, let me see if I can break it down for you.

Basically, there was a problem with OpenSSL.  This is the open source (anyone can use it) software that a lot of sites use to transfer encrypted information - like passwords.  There was a flaw in the software that would leak some of the data, now decrypted.  The data being returned could vary from passwords and credit card numbers to the actual key used to decrypt the data.  This would allow hackers to grab small pieces of information from transfers without detection.  After enough of these small grabs, they would eventually have the code needed to decipher all the information and could decode any and all transfers encrypted with OpenSSL.  And this has been possible for the past two years.  Plenty of time to do some major damage.  And it was undetectable.  Make sense?  See why the entire tech community was hysterical?  Think of all the encrypted information you send... passwords, credit card numbers, bank information, personal identification numbers... not really stuff you want just anyone to have access to, am I right?  So, now what?

Well, the good news is that the problem was discovered by a Google security team employee and a software firm, not hackers and bad guys with terrible intentions.  There's no evidence this was a known issue to anyone before the discovery last Monday; meaning even though the information could have been stolen, it probably wasn't.  The bad news is there's not a lot you can do if your info has been snagged already.  Keep a watch on your accounts (bank, email, social media, and the like) for any unauthorized use and report it immediately.

To prevent any further problems, though, there are things you can do.  First off, find out what sites you use were effected by the issue.  There is a gigantic list of websites HERE you can scan through and see if any of the ones you use were affected.  Don't want to go through all that (can't blame you there!), Mashable put together this list of popular websites and their vulnerability.  They also have other articles that can help you understand Heartbleed and what to do now.  The Mashable list will tell you the passwords you need to change now to make your accounts as secure as possible.  Still have questions about a particular site?  You can use LastPass' "Heartbleed Checker" to check individual https:// urls and their vulnerability.  And, if you use LastPass, you can click on the security check in your vault and it will tell you what sites were vulnerable and give you suggestions on what to do now.  I'm thinking I'd rather be safe than sorry (and I should have changed my passwords probably three times since I last did), so I'm just going to change all my passwords.

Bloggers, (well, everyone actually, but bloggers especially) should change all social media site passwords.  Picmonkey is a site commonly used by bloggers for photo editing.  It was vulnerable.  Change that password.  Etsy was vulnerable.  Yahoo, Imgur, Flickr, Madmimi, Dropbox, Copy, a large majority of online retailers, 1001 Free Fonts, weather.gov, ucsd.edu... all were vulnerable.  There isn't a safe "type" of website out there.  And, just because your banking site was safe doesn't mean your info couldn't have been pulled from somewhere else. If you entered credit card info on a site that was vulnerable, so was your information.  So, be careful and keep a close eye on your accounts.  All of them.

Other common sites bloggers use often could have been affected.  Several advertising and media sites (Social Fabric, Pollinate, the IZEA network, Clever, Mom it Forward, Collective Bias, and Klout to name a few) may have been affected.  Some of those sites have applied patches and some have not.  Changing your passwords is probably the safest thing to do.  If there are sites that share passwords (yeah, the big naughty no-no we all do), change the other site's password too.  Pollinate was one of the sites they aren't sure is safe yet.  They haven't updated their SSL certificate yet so they may still be running a vulnerable version of the software.  If your Pollinate account was hit and had the same password as your bank account, the hackers now have your bank account password as well, even though most banking sites weren't affected.  If you change your Pollinate account password, there is still a chance your information can be stolen until they update their SSL version and it's certificate and a confirmed patch is announced.

(Side note: most banking sites were not hit by the Heartbleed bug, however, you should check with your financial institution for confirmation.  Our Wells Fargo accounts weren't vulnerable, but my USAA accounts could have been.  Double check to make sure your bank wasn't one that was vulnerable.)

Looks like we've got a lot of passwords to change... and to make it easier to keep track of all these new passwords, here are a couple printables for you to use.  Right click, open in a new tab or window.  The right click the image again and "save as" the image to your computer.  You can then print from there.  Feel free to print as many copies as you want/need.  Please do not post these files on your own blog, other pages or share via email.  If you would like to share the printable, send your family and friends to this post, where they can download their own copies.  Thanks!  The white background allows the pages to be printed on any paper, including colored papers.

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

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