8 Fun Easy Party Games for Kids

If you’re wanting to do a birthday party for your child from home to skip out on the expenses of hosting parties in other locations, you don’t have to break the bank to do it.

Planning a birthday party doesn’t have to take a ton of work or money. There are plenty of fun games that are cheap and fast to set up.

1. Pin the tail on the donkey- this is an older game, available in many variations and works well for any party for birthdays or holidays. The rules are simple- blindfold the child, spin and they have to stick the tail on the poster as close to the proper location as possible. The closest child wins.

This game only costs a few dollars, unless you’re able to print it off or draw it yourself. Sometimes you will get the board as a pull out in a magazine for free.

2. Treasure hunt- Create fun maps around the house/yard and mark various locations. Hide small prizes and send the kids in two teams to try to be the first to find the treasure.

You can also have each child follow slightly different maps to try to find their own personal treasures. The possibilities are endless.

3. One game played at my 7th birthday that was a huge hit was scooping cotton balls into a jar blindfolded. The child who scooped the most balls in the tub won.

I’m not sure the name of the game, but all of us had a blast and that particular birthday party was one of my most memorable.

4. Freeze dance- play music and have the kids dance. When the music stops, they freeze. There is no winner but kids do have a lot of fun

5. Simon says is another old classic that costs nothing. You have all kids line up and

6. Telephone- have the children stand in a circle. Tell one a “secret” they have to pass on to the next. When you get to the last kid, have them say it outloud and have the first kid tell everyone what the actual message is.

7. Pass the ball- this will take some prep and some money, but wrap a large ball of plastic wrap. While wrapping, put small favors and even change and have each child pass. When a child gets the ball, have them unwrap until you tell them to stop and they get any little favor that drops out.

8. Another physical game that can help kids run off the energy from cake is doing a relay race. Group the kids and have them line up- you can have the first kids race with spoons while the next two have to race with their feet tied together while the final kids have to do a wheelbarrow race. They could just pass a baton, like other games, the possibilities are endless.

There are tons of other games- from classics like Red Rover, musical chairs to games you make up. Birthday parties don’t have to cost hundreds, kids can have a lot of fun in the front yard playing games with their close friends.

What Should You Get to Start an Emergency Stockpile?

This is something I’ve been reading up on for about a year- ever since a tornado rolled through and we had to take our customers to shelter in place at work. Our house lost electric for a little bit but having it come through at all had me starting to research. WV isn’t exactly known for tornadoes.

Now, with people running out and panic shopping, it is leaving people with little to actually sort through and buy.

Due to shortages, the preppers are the ones most prepared in times like this.

What would be the best thing to make sure you’re stocked up on just in case of something like this happening again?

Foods

If you are able to keep cans of fruits and vegetables stocked up, they last longer than fresh but a lot contain preservatives, salt and added sugar so it would be best to keep those for emergencies.

Same goes for canned meats, not healthy to eat on a regular basis but they work well if something happens and you’re unable to get fresh meat.

Canned fish (salmon and tuna) are exceptions, they are healthy and last longer than fresh.

Canned beans work in place of dried beans, they are a great source of protein.

You can also get shelf stable milk for baking and nutrition.

Grains like wheat flour, enriched flour, almond mill, gluten free flour, rice, quinoa, amaranthe, etc can sit sealed for months so they are good to have on hand. That way, if you run out of bread or any other baked items you need and can’t make it to the store, you can make it.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are a given when it comes to regular keeping up with your home as well as cold and flu season. They are especially important when new diseases come around.

Which ones and how much depend on the size of your family, home and your normal routine. The best way to figure it is to try to keep an extra 3-6 month supply in case things get serious.

It’s easy to build, all you need is to buy a few extras on normal shopping trips.

Same goes for toilet paper, paper towels and other necessities. You can make reusable (see here, I mention some ways to replace. I can do a tutorial if wanted)

You can buy the larger packs of generic brand, unless you have a Sams or Costco membership, then you can easily stock up. Paper towels can be easily replaced with old rags or you can take some fabric and make them yourself.

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Bath and Body

Try to keep an extra bottle or two of your normal shampoo and conditioner, same with an extra stick of deodorant, lotion and soap/body wash.

It’s also a good idea to stock some extra cold, flu, allergy and pain killer medications. If you have kids, keep an extra container of vitamins.

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Miscellaneous

First aid kit, dehydrated food supply- enough for 3 days for each member of the family is the typical recommendation. It’s a bit pricier, but

We have a propane camping stove and found it came in handy when we lost electricity for over a day. We were able to cook without electric.

Try to keep at least 3-6 months of expenses saved back in a savings account. You can start with building a cushion of 1000 then move on to saving higher amounts.

Lighters and matches- anything you can use to start a fire, camping multi tool as well as fishing or hunting gear if there is a chance you could need to hunt for food and a set of camping eating items (cups, plates, the multi tool etc) and some recommend a tent.

Some people recommend keeping a bag in your house with 3 days- 2 weeks worth of everything you would need in case you have to evacuate.

Extra water- bottled, gallons or a way of purifying but some chemicals won’t be filtered out so keeping a few extra cases of water won’t hurt.

Flashlight and extra batteries of all sizes your items take.

 

Those are some recommendations for beginners that I have found around the web. If the Corona is teaching us anything, it’s that preppers are really getting on to something. Some of the stuff may seem a bit extreme, but with the crazy weather and diseases, keeping extras of some items don’t seem too bad an idea.

Another tip people keep saying- if you start a stock pile, don’t tell people. If people know, make sure you have it on lock and have ways to defend yourself if things get bad and people start looting.

 

 

Tips to Get Better Sleep

It’s a common theme- getting too little sleep. People joke about living on coffee and we are all familiar with the groggy feelings on first waking up, the 2:00 crash and other problems that come from getting bad sleep or lacking sleep.

If you have no medical problems like Sleep Apnea, insomnia or other disorders, you should get enough sleep to wake feeling refreshed despite lack of caffeine.

If you feel like no matter how much sleep you get is never enough and medical testing has ruled out any medical option, here are some tips on getting better- real sleep.

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  1. Set a sleep routine. Try to create the same routine every night before you go to bed. It could be as simple as reading for a little bit before you turn in or it could be something more detailed. Whatever you decide, make sure you stick with it so your body will notice that you do it, then you sleep.
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  2. Try to go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time. It isn’t always easy. If you work shift work, retail, food service or any other area that involves an unstable schedule, you may try to get in bed by 10 every night but have random 11PM, midnight or even overnight shifts tossed in.
    It has actually been found that shift work (different hours by the shift) is bad for employees’ health. In fact, there is a term for it “Shift Work Disorder” and it’s found to be linked to various medical conditions like obesity, heart disease and other related diseases.
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  3. Turn off your phone, TV, computer and other electronics an hour early. Do some gentle stretches, and unwind without electronic (blue light) interference. Same with bright, overhead lighting. Keep a gentle lamp turned on instead. Blue light from screens has been found to keep your brain awake and bright overhead lights also trick your brain into thinking it’s daylight instead of night. That’s good for morning but bad for bedtime.
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  4. Make some hot, decaffeinated tea- I personally use peppermint or earl grey. Pick a blend to help you relax and settle on your couch or bed with a good book.
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  5. Do some gentle stretches and read a good book right before bed.
  6. Make sure to have an easy to follow routine you can do nightly. The routine will start triggering your brain to know when it’s going to be time to wind down.
  7. Avoid caffeine after 12. A lot of people will go to 3, but I found it gives me insomnia unless I stop around noon.
  8. Avoid nicotine before bed.
  9. Avoid alcohol. It may make you “pass out” but it also has a bad affect on your REM sleep- which is the type of sleep you need to truly feel rested.
  10. Try to only take 30 minute “power” naps instead of long naps and don’t nap too late in the day.

There are many other things you can do, but these are the tips I found best help me get full nights of sleep.

Anyone have any other tips they follow?

 

 

New Years is Coming Up

I’ve been extremely busy. Every year I do resolutions, just for fun but most of the time I keep them to some degree.

I have been extremely busy with my Etsy, working retail- the holidays had me slammed with hours at work and orders on Etsy. I’m still catching up but I’m manageable now.

I’ve been thinking (and my main listing on Etsy is astrology, so I have a large idea of how the astrological energies are going to be this coming year)

I have some major plans coming up- so I have financial goals set. Hobby Lobby just opened right down the street, so I have more options in person for candle supplies- I have a line I’m going to be working on and adding to Etsy in January but I never talk financial goals publicly. (or with other people, they stay between me and my husband)

I have been working overtime now that hours are cut on organizing and minimizing my stuff at home. I finally have my closet pared down- 5 jackets (I wear jackets almost daily, I wear them until they are filled with holes and destroyed), 1 winter coat (here in my state, we may get a month of hard winter weather- but winters have been mild lately), 3 bathing suits, 4 covers (all different styles, lengths and I wear all 4 even while swimming), 3 sweaters, 3 hoodies.

I now have 1 drawer of band/sports and volunteer graphic tees, 1 drawer of regular screen tees and other causal shirts and 1 drawer of work shirts, 4 good pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of leggings and 2 or 3 pairs of black or khaki pants.

Now that I’m down to those, and about 6 or 7 comfy pairs of PJs, I feel I’m finally down to what I normally wear and really like.

Now that I have my closet cleared out and somewhat organized, I’m planning on keeping it like that, get rid of shoes and I’m also working on being strict with myself and only buying what I really want/like/need.

This year, my goals are

 

  1. Move closer to living a minimalist lifestyle

    It’s appealed to me for years. I love the concept and I would much rather have less clutter and more space. We bought a home and downsized pretty major- 40 feet. At first I didn’t think 40 feet would be much, but we lost a spare bedroom, several walk in closets and a whole storage room. We didn’t really downsize our stuff when we moved, we didn’t have tons of time between both of us working and the time our lease was up, so now, I’m trying to get stuff out.
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  2. Change my diet

    In the past 2 months, I had a weird cancer screening that resulted in an ultrasound. The ultrasound came up with 2 different conditions- so in the middle of January, I’m getting a minor surgery. I should be functional again by a few days after the surgery (they are doing a laparoscopic). One of the conditions will be cured, the other one I likely had since I was a teen and it’s tied to blood sugar problems. I’ve had Reactive Hypo since I was a teen. Now, I am autoimmune and have issues with dairy and gluten so I’m looking at something that would go with bloodsugar, gluten and dairy free. I’ve been looking at the Keto and seeing if that helps. I’m also debating whether I want to do a sugar fast or Whole30 again on January 1. I’m thinking start with a sugar fast

  3. The others are mainly for my business/Etsy. I also have the goal of getting one book published and 1 edited and ready to publish. I’m putting an end to starting new for a while, until I get some of my drafts finished.

What are your goals? Do you set them? I always do it just for fun but this year is a massive milestone for me. January 2nd will be one full decade clean. 10 years ago, I told people I would be high til I died, and on January 2nd, I woke up and realized I was wasting time, money and resources, put it down and never looked back. I’m hoping I can use this milestone to quit my final vice- Nicotine. I did quit for a while last month but started up due to the stress from Black Friday with the intent to quit again after the holidays. With my upcoming surgery and goal to get back on a workout regime and back to a decent weight, I’m hoping I can use the diagnosis’s to get the final kick of motivation to fully quit- for good.

 

Work with me

I have decided to create advertising profiles for business blogs on this site

I’m charging one flat fee for one month and that will get you

1 feature interview on this site, shared across Twitter, Facebook (several groups, pages, my personal profile), Instagram and my main blog (newagedreamchick)
2 blog posts featuring products or services you’re offering
All three will link back to your site
1 month of regular posts on all three social networks and will share your posts as well.

Message me at dreamguru88@gmail.com if you’re interested, since the holiday season is coming up, I know how important advertising is this time of the year.

 

I also am always on the lookout for products to show on my “recommended products” category, so if you have something that relates to any of the topics covered on this site, message me.

Book Review: It Starts With Food

I have read “It Starts with Food” numerous times. It’s the book that kicks off starting the Whole30, written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig , the man and woman behind the Whole30 diet.

It details the reasons they created the diet, the symptoms you should expect to experience while “detoxing” from sugar and the other foods, why you need to be strict and start over if you slip and how to make the changes.

It’s a fairly long read, but worth reading and rereading each time you’re getting ready to start. It’s a very informative guide to Whole30 and was written to go along with your prep to start Whole30.

 

 

Halloween Kid Craft- Michael’s Witch Cat Craft Kit

This is a fun little craft kit you can get at Michael‘s for only 4.00. Right now, they are on sale for 2.80.

The label said “6 and up” but my 3 year old had a blast. We used Elmer’s glue instead of a hot glue gun, I may need to go back and get a few items with hot glue later, though.

The main picture is what I ended up making, not the neatest project but we used Elmer’s School glue instead of hot glue.

The kit comes with everything pictured.

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The first step was to pick the base and glue the big pom pom to the base

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Eyes, nose and mouth were glued next

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Followed by folding the hat, the hat came as a triangular shaped piece of felt that you fold and glue, I couldn’t get it glued perfect, so ended up folding and gluing it to the cat’s head.

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The last step is to cut and add whiskers. They provide some long pipe cleaners, you can bend them and glue them bent or what we did and cut them in half

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This is a cute, fun and easy craft that can be done by any age group, it says 6 and up, but if you have a “more mature” younger child, it works as well.

My 3 year old’s end result. She was so proud. I let her glue it herself. 70373786_163759681436619_8902986048011763712_n

Fall Bucket List

Since fall is here, school has been back in session. It feels like the time between now and Christmas, then New Year flies while the rest of the year slows down. Most years, I have worked in busier retail positions that have had me feeling like all I did was sleep, eat, work, repeat. This year, it’s been much slower. I’m hoping things pick up again but with all this time, I have already bought some pumpkins, made my first pie, got my first pumpkin spice latte and my girls are already excited about fall.

Since I don’t have too many hours at work, I have decided to compile a list of my fall bucket list activities I don’t get to do as often now

1. Pumpkin patch.Every year my mom and dad take my girls to a particular pumpkin farm that has games, activites- it’s the highlight of their fall. We are going this weekend and I can actually go with them this year. It will be my first time actually being able to attend.

2. Bake my mom’s harvest cake. It’s not a favorite, but it’s still become a tradition. It’s kind of an apple spice cake type cake and I can only really eat 2-3 pieces total but it still feels like it’s officially fall when I make it.

3. Ace Nano next month, and maybe even get the book finished. It’s going to be book 1 of a series I started last year. I already have it planned out and this is going to be my biggest writing project by far.

4. Start my collection to be that obnoxious house for both Halloween and Christmas- the one you can see from way down or up the street.

I love decorating and I think thanks to me loving and making decorations, my kids are also obsessed with holiday decorations.

5. Do at least 10 Fall/Winter/Holiday/birthday DIY tutorials and possibly start a DIY youtube channel. I have one about dream interpretation started, I’m just waiting for us to pay our phones off through our current provider so we can switch to a new provider- then I’m getting a new phone and I’ll start doing Youtube again.

6. Get the book I’m working on finished and ready for editing. I’m about half way there (60 some pages in, looking to get into the 120-130 range then end it). I wanted to have it ready to sell by Christmas but that won’t happen, I’m wanting to get it out around Feburary-March of next year. The first was published back in February of this year.

7. Sell out of my tie-dye shirts this coming month. I’m going to be teaching a class and I’m hoping I’ll be able to come close to selling out when I do it. I already had to build one size back up, sold out in one sale. I’m hoping selling in person will help me sell out.

8. Get some great pictures of my 8 year old. It’s “not fair” to her that most of the pics are of the 3 year old but one poses and the other doesn’t. She is finally starting to enjoy having her picture taken but it’s still a bit of an aggravation getting her to hold still in a pose long enough to snap the shot.

9. Plan and organize my first party. We just bought this house 2 months ago. We have space for people to park, a yard we can entertain in and a house we can also entertain in so I’m wanting to plan out my first party in our new house.

10.

 

What are some of the things on your bucket list? I’d love ideas to do with my kids.

Anyone else doing Blogtober?

I totally forgot this was a thing, but decided to do this with 4 websites.

Since I’m letting my “primary” site expire (it was an experiment and it filled it’s need, so the special extras are expiring), I’m going to use this challenge this month to up my content on all four niche sites.

I’m going to try to keep with the fall/Halloween theme but also thinking winter/Christmas/Thanksgiving- crafts and of course, allergy friendly recipes.

 

This will coinside with a major holiday promotion I’m starting today as well as prep for Campnano next month, so I’ll be leaving one challenge to enter another.

If anyone is doing Blogtober, I’d love to see some links in the comments