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How to Stage a House to Sell with Kids

How to Stage Your Home to Sell with KidsSo you’ve decided to make a move and sell your house. Maybe you are upgrading from a starter home to something a bit bigger with your expanding family, or maybe you are relocating. Either way your goal is the same. SELL YOUR HOUSE! and fast!

If you are in a seller’s market then you are in luck and you may not have to worry quite as much about making your house picture perfect. Though, to get the best price it’s always good to put your best foot forward. But for the rest of you, every move you make in preparation of when that first potential buyer walks in to your home can make a difference.

Most know that a clean and tidy home makes a much better first impression than a messy one. But keeping your house in tip top shape is so much harder when you have kids in the home. Because kids like to be messy. They like to break things. They like to draw on surfaces that shouldn’t be drawn on. They like to drag food in places food should never be…you get the picture.

And the toys. So.many.toys. How do you keep the overflowing mountain of crap from completely ruining the vibe of the home?

Selling a home is an overwhelming process, so here’s 5 tips on how to stage a house to sell with kids:

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means that if you click one of the product links below and purchase something, I am eligible for compensation. Carry on.

  1. Declutter and purge. First and foremost you MUST go through all of your stuff and get rid of as much as you can. Donate, sell, giveaway, curb it, store it, just remove the clutter from your home. This includes the framed family photos hanging on the wall, the tchotchkes that you decorate with, oversized furniture or furniture that has seen better days (because kids like to jump on them), and the toys. A buyer wants to be able to come in to a home and envision themselves living there. If they are distracted by the personal touches of the homeowners, or all of the kids toys they see placed against the walls, they may not be able to get past it. The home should feel as big as possible, as if you had so much space you didn’t have enough stuff to fill (even if your closets have been stuffed to capacity for years, they don’t need to know that!).Don’t remove all personality from the space, just clean up the aesthetics. Have you ever seen a house for sale on HGTV that you loved and it was a cluttered up mess with toys in every corner? Nope, they are always clutter free!
  2. Invest in some cute storage solutions that will double as decor. One of the hardest parts of selling a home with kids is you can’t get rid of ALL the toys. Who knows how long it will take to sell the home? But you also need to have a place to put them all quickly if you get a last minute showing. Invest in some cute baskets, bins, tubs, side tables, ottomans, etc., that you can use as furniture decor, but secretly stashes all those toys and clutter. I used storage baskets like these in my living room and threw toys on the bottom and added a throw blanket on top. Cute decor, great toy storage, win-win! In your kid’s rooms you can opt for storage ottomans like this one that match the decor of the room, but remove the visual clutter of the toys from being the focus. And try to avoid shoving all the toys in their closet. Home buyers ALWAYS open the closets when they walk through. Keep those tidy!
  3. Figure out a go-to place to take your kids when there’s an inconvenient showing. It never fails, your agent calls you up and says a potential buyer is coming by in an hour. You scramble for the next 45 minutes to clean up the house and you pile your kids in the car and take off. But where do you go?Showings can last 15 minutes to an hour (sometimes longer!) so pick a spot that you know you can hang for a good amount of time. The park is a good option, but be sure to have some water or snacks on hand in case the kids get worn out before you can get back to the house. If you’ve got a neighbor or a friend nearby let them know you may be coming over for some impromptu play dates for the foreseeable future!
  4. Plan for some kid-friendly, non-stinky, somewhat less messy meals. Your house will be the cleanest it’s ever been and you are going to try your hardest to keep it that way. And one thing that will set a potential home buyer running is a stinky smell coming from your house.So come to terms that you may consume lots of PB&Js and cereal because you won’t want to dirty dishes, make a mess of the stove, or have a mystery smell leftover from a crock pot meal fouling up a house showing.Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!
  5. Repair any damage your kids may have done in the house. I’m talking about touching up scuff marks on the wall and trim, patch the holes in the wall, buff out scratches in the floor. Basically, try to make it seem like the children in the house live like civilized human beings.  A potential home buyer wants to see that you have cared for your home and by making these small repairs and touch ups, the home will look like it’s in tip top shape!

Hopefully these tips will help you stage your home to sell! The faster you sell, the faster you can get back to living a normal life again. And if you don’t miss the toys that you’ve been storing, feel free to NEVER BRING THEM BACK! Added bonus!

What tips do you have for staging your home to sell when you have young kids in the home?

How I Finally Cut the Cable Cord
Products I Love, Writing

I FINALLY Cut the Cable Cord and Have No Regrets

How I cut the cable cord and you should too!My husband and I have discussed for a few years now about whether we should cut the cable cord. But having that conversation was easier than actually taking action. We must have talked about it a handful of times a year. Usually after our cable service would go out unexpectedly or we saw a rate hike on our monthly bill. We would bemoan and groan and then do nothing.

Maybe I was dreading the actual cancelling of the service (who wants to willingly get on the phone with their cable company?) or maybe it was FOMO holding us back from taking the plunge. Or perhaps it was just the sheer convenience of it. It was a crutch to fall back on when boredom hit (boredom, something that I vaguely remember before kids).

As luck would have it, we were forced to finally make a cord-cutting decision as we moved homes. Continue Reading

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Review: Zero to Two Beanie

Zero to Two Kids Beanie ReviewSome items in this post were provided by the brand for consideration. This in no way influences my review and all opinions are my own. 

I can’t help but love a cute children’s boutique. I’d rather shop for my kids than shop for myself. Kids clothes are so much cuter! 

So when I found Zero to Two of course I had to stop and shop! They carry the sweetest baby accessories like moccasins, soft sneakers, and hats and bows.

I received their children’s knit pom pom beanie in black and it was certainly a hit with both of my kids! The sizing said age two and up so I had both of my kids (age 2 and 5) give it a shot. It fit my five year old perfectly and was a little big for my two year old, but the material was super stretchy so I know we will get a ton of use out of it.

And the pom poms on top make it look like they have Mickey Mouse ears on so of course they LOVED Zero to Two Beaniethat! The quality was really good, soft material but very thick. This is a hat that will last through a number of winters. Continue Reading

10 Hilarious Pregnancy Cards
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10 Hilarious Pregnancy Cards

10 Funny Pregnancy CardsDuring one of my habitual Etsy stops I came across a section of greeting cards that I wish I had known about years ago! There’s a whole genre of pregnancy cards that are FUNNY! Not like cutesy, awwww, so happy for you. But like, shiz is about to get real kind of funny!

Now I’m just waiting for one of my friends to get knocked up so I can send them some of these. If you and your mom tribe have a sense of humor then you have to check out these cards.

I know I would have LOVED to have received one of these in the mail. I hardly get snail mail any more so this would be a nice surprise for anyone who is expecting a tiny human in the near future.

Continue Reading

30 EASY Dinner Recipes
Easy Recipes, Products I Love

30 Fast and Easy Dinner Recipes eBook!

FREE Recipe eBook! 30 Easy Dinner RecipesI don’t know about you, but evenings at my house are crazy. After picking kids up from school and getting them home, it feels like we are go go go all the way to bed time. I’m always rushing and throwing something together for dinner which usually ends up being grilled cheese sandwiches. And I love a grilled cheese every now and again, but what I really want are some easy dinner recipes I can count on.

When I’m on my mom-game I organize my dinners ahead of time so I can grab everything I need when I go grocery shopping. And when I plan for dinners for the week I usually have two main criteria in mind: Fast and easy.

And let’s be real, the chances that both kids like the meal I cook is slim to none. So why would I spend hours in the kitchen for them to just turn their noses up? I want something fast.

And although I love food, so so much, I wouldn’t call myself a culinary mastermind. So I need something that’s easy to put together, but yummy. 

I’m sure most parents with kids are in a similar situation so I wanted to create a recipe eBook with a whole month’s worth of easy dinner ideas so the evening routine is a little less hectic. And I want to share this eBook with your for FREE! Take it! It’s all yours!

A month of dinner ideas FREE

This eBook is full of 30 easy and fast dinner recipes that I know you’ll love. Your kids, well, who knows if they will like them, but at least you won’t be in the kitchen for hours! Continue Reading

90's baby names
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Ten 90’s Inspired Baby Names Millennial Moms Will Love

Ten 90's Inspired Baby Names You'll LoveIt seems that 90’s nostalgia is all the rage right now. From fashion staples like the choker necklace to TV reboots like Fuller House, millennials get to relive their childhood one more time. And for moms-to-be this is the perfect opportunity to throw some 90’s flare into choosing a baby name.

Here are ten awesome 90’s inspired names that your baby has to have!

Pacey-Oh Pacey. Dawson’s Creek was full of drama. How we all wanted to make it work between you and me. I mean Joey. You and Joey.

Leo-Have you seen Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo and Juliet? Not only did I finally understand what the hell Shakespeare was saying, but Leo became my newest obsession.

Buffy-A supernatural ass kicker on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy was truly one of the first female leads that was empowered and took her life in her own hands. She didn’t need to be saved by anyone!

Kimmy-Named for Kimmy Gibbler on Full House. DJ’s best friend was a scene stealer in the family sitcom that so many of us grew up with. 

Shawn-Cory’s BFF on Boy Meets World, Shawn was the bad boy turned good that all the girls swooned over. 

Rudy– She was the precocious little tyke on the Cosby Show. Everyone wanted to be as quick witted and wise as little Rudy.

Luke-The heartthrob of 90210, Luke Perry was on the cover of Tiger Beat more times than I could count.Join this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!

Sabrina-TGIF, am I right? Sabrina the Teenage Witch was a fun ritual every Friday night. 

Jonathan– I *heart* JTT. That’s what was all over my school notebook. Jonathan Taylor Thomas on Home Improvement was everything.

Justin-This might be the top pick particularly because of how well this crush has held up over the years. Justin Timberlake, thank you for just existing. Also, when is that *NSYNC reunion?

What 90’s names did I leave off??

And if you are a mom-to-be then you have to check out my five must have baby products. These SAVED me when I had my babies. A few of them I still use today!

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Baby Products, Products I Love, Writing

What’s New in Baby Tech-CES 2017

Best Baby Products at CES 2017I try to keep up to date on the latest and greatest baby tech. It doesn’t always mean I end up using them but I love seeing how baby products are evolving and I am always looking for the next greatest thing to make my life as a mom just a little bit easier.

Enter CES, the Consumer Electronics Show. An annual event held in Las Vegas where the best consumer technology products are on display. From 3D printing and drones, to robotics and sensors, every year the buzz around what we will see at CES grows.

CES 2017 was no different, and here are just a few of the baby tech items that caught my eye.

 

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means that if you click one of the product links below and purchase something, I am eligible for compensation. Carry on.

Fisher-Price Smart Cycle

Image result for fisher price smart cycle

Fisher Price debuted their Smart Cycle and I have to admit, I was pretty damn skeptical at first. It reminds me of the iPad potty seat that I think is absolutely ridiculous. How lazy are we that to get our kids to exercise we have to sit them in front of their tablet? Buuuut, I will say, it’s the dead of winter and my kids are bouncing off the damn walls right now, so maybe a morning workout with my kids isn’t such a bad idea? I suppose I shouldn’t hate on anything that gets a kid to move, especially if the apps on the tablet are educational.

Freemie Hands Free Breast Pump

Image result for freemie freedom

My days of pumping are done (and my boobs are grateful) but I remember all too well the pain, discomfort and inconvenience pumping can have. Every time I see a woman at work carrying that discreet HUGE black tote bag I give her a nod and smile in solidarity.

So I was pumped (see what I did there?) when I saw the Freemie hands free breast pump. To be free of the power cords and to be able to move around and continue your day would be a huge improvement. I always felt trapped and useless while pumping. What to do when you are mid pumping session but your oldest needs help wiping his ass after taking a dump?? With the Freemie, hopefully you could continue pumping while coming to the rescue of your toddler’s toosh.

Fisher-Price Code-a-pillar

Image result for fisher price codeapillar

How cute is this little guy? Fisher-Price showed off one of their toys from the Think & Learn line, the Code-a-pillar. Kids can rearrange the segments of the caterpillar to send him on different paths. The real challenge for kids will come when they try to rearrange the segments to get the caterpillar to reach a certain point. This certainly gets kids exposed to sequencing and their critical thinking skills will be challenged. Did I mention he’s also cute?

Bloomlife Contraction Tracker

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When you near the end of your pregnancy every little twinge you feel makes you think it must be a contraction. More often than not it’s gas. Or maybe Braxton Hicks. But you always wonder if its the beginning of THE event.

Bloomlife has created a wearable that tracks contractions so you can get a sense of whether they may be the real deal or just the after affects of too many burritos. You place the wearable under your belly button and it syncs with your smartphone. It tracks any contractions that are happening while showing you trends and timing so you can have a better idea if it’s time to head to the hospital (and not time to grab a sandwich from Subway. Not that that happened to me or anything.).

Although I couldn’t agree more that having, or not having, contractions can be confusing, Bloomlife currently has a monthly subscription pay structure for their product at $150 per month. I’m not sure why most women with a healthy pregnancy would need it for more than a month or two, so that structure seems a little confusing to me, and it also seems pricey.

TempTraq Wireless Thermometer

This is my favorite product from the CES coverage I saw. (Check out my review after using it!) I always Wearable Thermometeroverreact when my kids have a fever. I immediately jump to worst case scenarios and am constantly checking their temps to try and track any changes I see. And that is no easy feat. Running a toddler down to stick a thermometer either under their arm, in their mouth or even across their head is a ridiculous challenge. Then there’s the fear of the fever spiking overnight. So do you wake the child to try and get another reading? Or just hope they get through the night.

TempTraq aims to help ease all those worries with their wireless thermometer. You put their wearable sensor underneath your child’s arm and you will get continuous temperature readings right to your smartphone. No more guessing, no more checking incessantly. And you can even set up alerts so if a temperature spike happens in the middle of the night you’ll know.

The only drawback to this product is that it’s a one time use. The adhesive must wear off eventually, so you’ll have to have a couple of these on hand and they run about $20 each, so that can add up quick during flu season.

Here are a few more baby tech products to check out:

Naya Smart Breast Pump: A hospital grade pump that promises less pain and discomfort through it’s unique water massaging technique that aims to help relax the breast for more natural  release instead of using air to pull the milk out. A boob massage sounds way better to me!

Edwin The Duck: An app connected smart toy that kids can use from birth through their toddler years and can even go in the tub!

Elvie Kegel Exerciser: An exercise tracker for your pelvic floor that gives you real time feedback so you can improve your workout for stronger results.

Winnie: an app (only iOS right now) that helps parents find fun stuff to do with their kids.

Snoo Smart Sleeper: A modern designed bassinet that incorporates white noise and gentle rocking to ease your baby to sleep.

Ava: A fertility tracking wearable with real-time detection of when you are most fertile.

Kaishi: A fetal heart-rate monitor for pregnant women that connects via bluetooth to a smartphone app.

POMO Bebe: A health tracker that tracks body temperature, movement, sleep quality, child loss prevention and more, all tailored to your baby’s health.

That’s a wrap for my CES 2017 baby tech picks. Maybe next year we will see a robot that can change diapers? I would be first in line for that.

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Baby Products, Products I Love

My 5 Must Have Baby Products

Must Have Baby ProductsFor all you parents with new babies or those who will be having a baby soon, this list is for you!

I can’t imagine the look of terror that must have been on my face as I wandered helplessly down the baby aisle trying to figure out what the hell I needed to survive  as a first time mom. I wound up trying just about everything to see what worked best for my kid and my sanity. Two kids later I have a few tried and true baby products that have been lifesavers for me.

These are my five must have baby products!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means that if you click one of the product links below and purchase something, I am eligible for compensation. Carry on.

 

  1. Water wipes-This is by far my favorite baby product. Ever. I know, it’s just a wipe. But until you have been in the middle of a literal shitstorm only to have the one thing that stands between your hand and poop tear mid-wipe, well, you’ll learn that quality matters. This wipe is the perfect thickness and can handle tough messes. And the best part, it’s made of 99.9% water and .1% grapefruit seed extract. Which means if your sweet baby’s toosh is sensitive, this might be a great option. I have these wipes everywhere. The bathroom, kitchen, car, and of course the diaper bag. It’s my favorite baby shower gift to give and I always hear great feedback from friends who receive them. Ok, enough gushing. I just can’t help it. It’s true love. water-wipes
  2. Silicone bib-Before you know it your little one will be sitting up on their own and tackling solid foods. AndJoin this judgement-free community of kick ass mammas!
    then they figure out that playing with their food is more fun than eating it sometimes. And their clothes end up stained with whatever foul-smelling vegetable concoction Gerber has dreamed up. Once they start solids, don’t even mess around with the cloth bibs. Go straight for the silicone bibs with a front pouch. These will keep their shape and catch a lot of the mess that would normally end up in their lap. Easy clean up as well with just a wipe of a damp cloth. I’ve tried a handful of different brands of these and none have disappointed. These will also last through the toddler years so it’s a great purchase.bib.jpg
  3. Vanicream-When you see a red splotchy or dry patch on your baby’s perfect skin your first reaction may be “Oh god, she has a rare skin disease that no one has ever seen befvanicreamore and she might die!” Just me? Fine. But there will be a time that you will need a moisturizer for your kid and you’ll realize that there are thousands to choose from. I tried all of the ‘baby’ lotions and hated that they were so thin and watery and many irritated my kid’s skin. Vanicream has been my preferred moisturizer to use for my kids (and now myself!) to tackle their skin issues. It’s a heavy cream with no scent and works wonders even for those with sensitive skin. 
  4. Rock ‘n Play-My first baby was a fussy sleeper in the beginning. We tried everything to make him comfortable but couldn’t understand why he was so grumpy. He wasn’t flat out screaming, just noisy and he never fully went to sleep which means neither did I. After trying a few other sleeping arrangements that backfired immediately, I tried the Rock ‘n Play. It was like flipping a light switch. My little guy started to sleep soundly immediately. It was the lifeline I disparately needed. These are incredibly lightweight so you can easily move them from room to room. If you can, spring for the auto rocking version. It’s worth it.rock-n-play
  5. Sleep sack-Those receiving blankets from the hospital work well for the first few days. Then you realize that even in infancy your mini-me can wriggle his way out of the tightest of swaddles. What can you do to keep him warm? Blankets are not recommended for young babies so a great option is a sleep sack. This wearable blanket is a safe alternative and will keep your baby cozy and warm. I used the Halo brand sleep sacks for both kids. They come in different versions and weights all the way from a breathable lightweight model to a heavy fleece version perfect for the winter. They even come in a swaddle version as well. My kids loved them and learned quickly that once that sleep sack was on it was time to calm the hell down. Magical. sleep-sackWhat are some of your favorite baby products that you just couldn’t live without? Let me know in the comments!

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My top 5 must have baby products (1)

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