5 Ways to Steal a Few Minutes for Yourself

I just want 5 minutes. 5 minutes where I can watch a snippet of the Real Housewives. Where I can go to the bathroom in peace without someone looking for me. Where I can take a moment and breathe. Is that too much to ask for? 

I’ve found a few ways I can steal 5, 10 even 30 minutes to myself. To throw on some music and tune out the kids. To watch Tamara & Vicki fight about Vicki’s new face on the RHOC. To take a shower without a kid banging on the door. Here are some of my tricks. ;)

5 Ways to Steal a Few Minutes for Yourself

1. Laundry. I save the laundry to do on Sundays. Sunday night, the Tivo is nice and full and I’m ready to watch, but the kids keep wanting to play video games at top sound level or scream or whatever kids do when they know you want alone time. My laundry trick has been working for years. I simply tell the kids they can play quietly by themselves, or they can help me fold and put away the clothes. They take one look at the massive pile and bolt to their rooms for lego creations and handheld video games and I’m left with at least a good hour of drama and catfights on the TV. Granted, I usually end up so engrossed in my reality TV shenanigans that it takes me twice as long to do the laundry I claimed I needed to do so badly, but hey, I’ll take it for some quiet time.

2. Benadryl. Okay, okay, I’m not really doping my kids to be quiet. The thought has crossed my mind. Instead, I get the kids nice and tired the old fashioned way. By making them walk the dog with me. We aren’t talking a quick around the block walk, but a 1.5-2 mile loop around our neighborhood at a semi fast pace. By the time we are done, they are ready to collapse and veg out and I can steal time to check facebook, write this post or read a bit of my book. 

3. I just want a 10 minute shower. Ten Minutes. I’ll be quick, I promise. For this I save the kids favorite TV show or movie. Want to watch the Regular Show? Not until I say so kids. How about Toy Story for the 569th time? You gotta wait. Finally when they just can’t take waiting anymore, I let them watch and I’m guaranteed to have at least until the first commercial break before their concentration breaks and they are whining again. Say what you want about TV as a babysitter, but in our house, it’s the best invention since, well, ever. 

4. Dog walks. If the kids aren’t with me, I wait for the hubby to be home, or have my 14 yr old babysit the younger 2 kids and I’m out the door with a puppy, leash and my iPod. I’ll listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, anything that isn’t Spongebob or Adventure Time. My pooch loves the outside time and exercise and I love the fact that I get fresh air and a break. Even if it’s just a block up the road to get the mail. Sometimes any break is good, no matter how short.

5. Enlist help. Husbands/Spouse/Significant Other. Whatever you call it, get someone to watch the kids for you so you can have a break. Hell, invite the grandparents over for playtime if you have to. Trade babysitting with a neighbor or friend. Sell the kids to the gypsies. Getting some alone time is perfect to recharge your soul so you are better prepared to break up fights over toys or have your 803rd tea party. 

Never feel guilty about needing a break or alone time. Don’t forget about YOU. Mommies need breaks too. ;) 

How to Talk to Your Children about Tragedy

Our hearts and prayers are with the families affected by the senseless tragedy in Boston. This act of terror is hard to imagine and with the age of iPhones and location of the acts to the media, the images have be graphic and horrifying. We at Mommy Needs a Break know it’s difficult to gauge what children are thinking and want to help you with tips on how to talk to your children during this tragic time.

Making sense of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday can be quite a challenge for adults, let alone children.

Children process these things differently.  They may be asking difficult questions and parents may need suggestions to help discuss what happened and address their concerns.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Tragedy

Fred Rogers from the long-running TV show, Mr. Rogers was quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” That is good advice from the wise Mrs. Rogers, but what if your children have questions and need more?

Below are some helpful tips from Child Psychologist Dr. Phyllis Ohr, for Press4Kids’ News-O-Matic, the first educational, news app for children 7 to 10 years old. Dr. Ohr is also the Director of the Child and Parent Psychological Services Clinic at Hofstra and the Assistant Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. 

Here are some tips from Dr. Ohr for how parents can address news issues with children and what children can do to feel better: 

1.     When the event does not personally affect the child, reassure them that everything is okay with the people they love and that nothing has changed for them.

2.    Be sure to stress to children that if they do have questions to ask parents, teachers as well as friends. Other children having the same feelings may be comforting.

3.    Begin by giving the child a brief synopsis of what happened by using age appropriate language. Ask if there is something they want to know more about or if they need something explained further. If so, stick to pointedly answering their question or clarifying. Do not add on or digress.

4.    Do not assume the news will make children feel a certain way. Ask if they know how they feel, but stress that kids feel all different ways when they hear important news and sometimes do not know how they feel or do not feel anything which is okay. However, if children are affected by it, it is their own feeling. Reassure children that no matter what they are feeling, their feelings are okay.

5.    If they are upset but don’t want to talk, suggest a fun activity for distraction or help them use calming skills like playing, drawing a picture or writing a story. These activities help release any upset feelings and make children feel better.

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Information in this post provided by Child’s Play Communications. This is not a sponsored post. This is just information we thought would be helpful as our Country heals.

Date Night Flare #FashionFriday

I bought this dress. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it! When I ordered it I thought it was black/gold but when it arrived it’s actually navy/gold. Ah well, still looks amazing and I’m daring so I’ll still pair black & gold accessories with it. I like to live dangerously when it comes to fashion. ;) 

Date Night Flare

Dress / Christian Louboutin snake print heels / Leopard print tote / Rachel Reinhardt chain earring / Daniela Farah bangle bracelet / Disco jewelry

World Autism Day

My son has autism. He is turning 5 in a couple of days. You can read about my hope for acceptance here.

Brady World Autism Day

 

From AutismSpeaks.org – Did you know …

  • Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism

The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT™) is a scientifically validated tool for screening children between 16 and 30 months of age to assess their risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It was developed by neuropsychologists Diana Robins and Deborah Fein and clinical psychologist Marianne Barton.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children receive autism screening at 18 and 24 months of age, and the M-CHAT is one of the AAP’s recommended tools. Click HERE to screen your child for autism. 

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Head on over to Autism Speaks for more info on Autism and how you can help. 

Spring Fashion – Totally Turquoise!

I’m a bit obsessed with everything turquoise for spring. I’ve been layering on the accessories like nobody’s business. ;) 

Here I’ve put together a fun way to “spring up” your wintery clothes. Just by adding a few bright accessories, you have a new look that is ready for the warmer days and brighter sun! 

Spring Fashion  Totally Turquoise

 

What is your favorite color for spring? 

Best Meat Marinara Sauce Recipe

Best Meat Marina Sauce? Why yes it is! ;) This recipe takes longer than 30 min but is great to make in bulk batches and freeze so you can have quick pasta nights later on! 

My dad was a chef. Not by trade, but as long as he was alive, he was in the kitchen making amazing meals. His chili and meat sauces were the BEST! After he passed away, I inherited all of his recipes and my grandma’s.

Now, I’ve perfected the meat sauce and am ready to share it with all of you.

worlds best meat marinara

 

Best Meat Marinara Sauce
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr 5 min
Generous pinch of
  1. Rosemary
  2. Basil
  3. Oregano
  4. Thyme
  5. Fresh ground black pepper
Regular pinch of
  1. Marjoram
  2. Garlic Powder
  3. Dry Minced Onion flakes
The rest
  1. 1 tsp+ of Chili Powder
  2. 1 cup, prepared beef bullion
  3. 3/4 cup red wine (I prefer sweet red in my sauce, but experiment and see what you like)
  4. 1 full size, whole bay leaf
  5. 1 med onion, chopped
  6. 3 large garlic gloves, chopped
  7. 1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with puree (I prefer organic fire roasted)
  8. 1 - 8oz can of tomato sauce
  9. 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained.
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot or small stock pot. cook over medium heat for 1 hour, or until sauce is reduced 1 inch.
  2. Uncover and cook for 45min - 1 hour or until the sauce is reduced another half inch.
Mommy Needs A Break http://mommyneedsabreak.com/
 

How to Make Your Own Instant Oatmeal Packets

It’s National Breakfast Week. Why not celebrate by saving BIG on breakfast! 

If you love to save time and money, this one is for you! I bought a large 42 oz canister of instant oats on sale for $2 and a bag of C&H brown sugar on sale for $1. From this I made 30 (THIRTY!) quick oats packets, just like the ones they sell in boxes of 6 packets for $3-$5. My version cost $0.10 per “packet” and the prepackaged ones can cost up to $0.85 per packet. That’s a pretty big savings! 

DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets

These are so simple to make. 

Take 1/2 cup Oats, 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar, put them in a snack sized bag and zip it up. Really. It’s that easy! 

You can add dried fruit, cinnamon, chocolate chips, whatever you love in your oatmeal.

When you are ready to cook them, empty the packet into a bowl, add 3/4 cup of water or milk and microwave on high for 1 minute. Simple as that!

Think of all the wine you could buy with the savings! ;) 

 

 

5 Housework Tips/Tricks You Might Not Know About

When it comes to housework, there are lots of shortcuts…trust me, I know! I try to avoid housework at all costs.

To make your life easier, I’ve compiled some tips/tricks I’ve learned recently, that you probably already know and maybe a couple that you didn’t!

5 Housework Tips

1. Cutting aluminum foil can sharpen you scissors. This is super helpful when my kitchen shears get all dull.

2. Dawn dish soap can clean the grease off your cabinets and range hood! I learned this trick from Domestic Debacle!

3. Cut a lemon and put it in your garbage disposal for instant freshness. Turn that baby on and you’ve just cleaned/de-gunked it and bonus, your kitchen now smells like lemons!

4. Olive oil can shine up your wood. No joke! I mix 1 cup of olive oil with a 1/4c of plain white vinegar and viola! A fast and frugal solution that can kick Murphy Oil’s behind! ;)

5. Use newspaper to clean your mirrors and glass. Remember newspapers? They are these large sheets of paper with words and coupons printed on them. In the old days, people used to have it delivered to their house and not just their inbox on their computer! If you happen to have some newspaper laying around, squirt some Windex or glass cleaner on your mirrors/glass and wipe off with the newsprint. The ink helps make them babies shine!

So there you have it. Five of my tips/tricks that many of you probably have already heard about but maybe a couple of you will benefit from.

Have a tip/trick you love? Please share it in the comments so we can all be domestic goddesses for a day!