Children's Books, Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Parenting, Tutorials

The Easter Basket

Do you remember when I asked on Facebook for some Easter gift basket ideas for C?! Well…Here’s the finished product!

Easter Basket Ideas

My husband and I are not big fans of candy ourselves and want to be careful about how much exposure our own daughter has to sugary sweets. Let me preface this by saying that I don’t judge other parents who give their children sweets, it’s just not a choice that we make for our child and, in my opinion, it’s a lot easier to prevent a problem than to try to stop it later on down the road. For that reason, we don’t keep it in the house. One of the biggest sellers on Easter, it seems, is the candy that comes in the eggs and in the baskets that children enjoy each year so for parents who don’t want to give their children sweets, it’s important to find other alternatives for their baskets. Armed with your fabulous ideas and a $25 budget, I went out on a mission for C’s 2013 basket.

Extra Small Heart Box from Target

Rather than spending my money on a basket that will either be thrown out after we use it or that will sit in the closet collecting dust until next year, I wanted to take a more logical approach for our “basket” this year. So I found this adorable Circo XS Heart box at my local Target for under four dollars. It was the perfect size for the goodies I put inside it.

Non Traditional Easter Basket

One of C’s latest obsessions is painting (any kind of craft, really) and so I picked up some blank paper that we can use for quick projects at home. Since it is the tallest/largest item, I placed it in the back of the box.

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

Then I added in an adorable picture frame that I found on clearance for $3.98 and a fun pool toy that we can use in the coming months. We’re getting ready to convert C’s nursery into a big girl room and I thought the picture frame might be the ideal way to have a picture of my husband and I in our daughter’s room (so we can be with her while she sleeps).

Non Traditional Easter Basket Ideas

I had a coupon from Target for $2 off two American Greeting cards and knew I wanted to find the perfect card for C.

Unconventional Easter Basket Ideas

I finished the box with some detangling spray, sidewalk chalk, leg warmers, and an Easter book before adding in the pink crinkled paper to give it that finished look. The pink “grass” will go into a ziplock bag and into my holiday box to be reused next year. If you’re using that kind of fake grass this year (it’s only .50 at Target) I would encourage you to do the same…or to recycle it when you’re done.

Non Traditional Easter Ideas for Toddlers

I can’t wait to see her face when she opens it on Easter morning!

What are your plans for Easter?!

Children's Books, Clothes, Current Events, Giveaways, Reviews

Growing Children Are Expensive: Here’s How I Budget (Plus Another Giveaway!)

In case you don’t realize this yet, let me clue you in on something….kids are expensive! In the first two years of life, they need new wardrobes every few months none of which they’ll never be able to wear again once they grow out of it. Now that my daughter is two she’s growing out of her clothes less quickly than she was in 2011 and 2012. And since I’m a stay at home mom it’s still important for us to stick to our budget when it comes to getting new clothes for C. One of my favorite ways to save some money while hunting for some great finds is shopping our local consignment sales. The Kid’s Closet Consignment sale is coming up in Blue Springs this week and so I wanted to take a couple of minutes to talk about the sale, what kind of stuff you can expect to find there, and to share a special giveaway that owners Kevin and Jill Moxley have graciously offered to six of my lucky readers.

Kid's Closet Connection

If you missed last week’s post about Kid’s Closet Connection, where I discussed being a consignor, you can find it here:

Selling at Kid’s Closet Connection

At a KCC sale you can expect to find name brand clothing and shoes for your little one at a fraction of retail cost. They have strict guidelines for consignors so you can rest assured knowing that the clothes you find will be well taken care of. When it comes to second-hand items, it really doesn’t get much better than that. Not sure what I mean?! Take a look:

Old Navy Outfit For Toddlers

I created an outfit with items that I would definitely buy for my own daughter and piece together for a fun Spring day out. From what I’ve seen, a lot of items that you find at the Kid’s Closet Sales come from Old Navy, Target, JcPenny, Gap, and other more popular clothing stores for kids and families.

Here’s a breakdown of what I would spend if I walked into Old Navy right now to purchase these items:

$10.00 on the Jeans (On sale from $16.94)

$12.94 for the Graphic Tee

$16.94 on the Hoodie

$13.00 on the Shoes (On sale from $16.94)

$6.94 on the Socks

For a total of $59.82!

In my experience shopping at these consignment sales, I’ve been able to find jeans for five dollars a pair, shirts for as little as $1.00 (usually two to three dollars), Jackets for around four dollars, shoes for under five dollars, and large quantities of socks for just a couple of dollars. Given what I’ve learned, I would venture to say that this outfit would likely cost me  around $15.00 total. And if I shopped on half price day, it would be even less, making the Kid’s Closet Consignment sale the ideal way to shop for your little one.

I remember the first time I went to a consignment sale in my area. It was Autumn 2010 when I was pregnant with C. I found maternity clothes, newborn clothes, and infant toys that were great assets to have on hand when C was born. I was surprised to see that there were high chairs, breast pumps, bedding, and just about anything you would need for infants, toddlers, and young children. I’m excited to explore the upcoming Spring sales and see what goodies we can find for our little lady.

All that said, the Kid’s Closet Connection owners have decided to do another great giveaway on my blog. They’re giving away six passes for early admission to the 1/2 price event on Friday evening. Interested in getting one?! Head on over to my Facebook page for the details on how you can enter.

Kid's Closet Connection

Planning to go to the sale this weekend?! Here’s what you need to know:

Kid’s Closet Connection Blue Springs Sale

425 NE Mock Ave. Blue Springs, MO

(Inside Sports City at I-70 & Adams Dairy Parkway)

Thursday March 28th: 10am-7:30pm

Friday March 29th: 10am-7:30pm

Saturday March 30th: Noon-5pm (*half price day for most items)

*Friday March 29th 11am-noon: FREE exotic animal show featuring 8 animals at the sale!*

Kid's Closet Sale

Clothes, Current Events, Giveaways, Parenting, Reviews

My Child Has Outgrown Her Clothes and Toys….Now What?! (Surprise: Giveaway!)

Nothing makes you feel like a pack rat quite than being a mom. Sometimes I feel like my house is really nothing more than a storage facility for baby and toddler items but not once have I ever felt like I was alone in that. Kids grow; They grow fast and, unfortunately, that adorable outfit and those sweet tiny shoes no longer fit my two-year old child. She won’t sit in an infant swing (okay, she might want to but she’s too big for it), she can’t wear any of the clothes from last year, and she’s emotionally outgrown a vast majority of the toys we had for her when she was younger. So what am I supposed to do with all of that stuff?! I’ll admit that I’m pretty OCD about her clothes and toys and so I’ve kept most of her belongings in very good condition…good enough that they could all be used for any subsequent children we may have down the road. Living in a house that’s right around 2,000 square feet doesn’t really give us enough room to comfortably store everything for that big “if” someday in the future (you might remember that we’re not sure if we’ll have more children or not). I wanted to talk for a few minutes today about what I’ve done with the toys, clothes, and baby items that no longer have a space in our home and I also want to give my local readers a chance to win one of
five really great prizes (more on that in a minute).

When my daughter was younger, I always tried to circulate her toys so that everything always seemed relatively ‘new’ (and it was easier to keep things in good shape that way). I would take the toys that she had been playing with out of her room and our kitchen (where many of her toys live) and replace them with toys that she hadn’t played with for six weeks. Eventually, though, as I’m sure many parents with young children well know, she grew out of those and we had to make the decision as to whether or not we should keep, sell, or donate the old items. I try to keep the favorites (toys, clothes, shoes, blankets, etc) and then figure out what the best course of action is for the remainder of the items. Then I came across the Kid’s Closet Connection sales in our area. I will be the first to tell you that I was nervous about signing up to consign with Kid’s Closet for the first time last year. I had no idea what to expect but it’s a great way to get rid of the toys, clothes, shoes, books, high chairs, and every other baby, child, and maternity item that you just don’t have the space for. The best part about it is that signing up to sell is so easy. Let me show you…

Kids Closet Connection

To get started you’ll want to head on over to http://www.kidscloset.biz.

Kids Closet Connection

Click on “Account Login” (you’ll have to go there first in order to register).

Kids Closet Connection

Click on “register” to submit your information and get a consignor number.

Kids Closet Connection

Find a sale to consign at (there are sales across the country both in the Fall and during the Spring).

Kids Closet Connection

Kids Closet Connection

Once you’ve found a sale you want to sell at, you’ll want to start creating your tags (what will identify your items to potential customers).

Kids Closet Connection

Adding your items is really simple. To illustrate how easy it is, I pulled one of C’s dresses from her closet (sorry, folks, it’s not actually for sale).

Kids Closet Connection

 Kids Closet Connection

Kids Closet Connection

Each item is tracked in KCC’s online system that you can monitor during the sale.

Kids Closet Connection

When you’re done entering in all of your items, print the tags off (on cardstock) and attcach them using safety pins onto a hanger. Bring your items to the sale and you’re done. See how easy that is?

Kid’s Closet Connection has been awarded numerous times in the Kansas City metro area for their incredible events that draw thousands of shoppers every season.

Kid's Closet ConnectionKid's Closet Connection

Consignment sales are, by and far, my favorite way to clear out some of C’s old items and earn some money for items she can grow into and to add towards her college savings fund. Owners Jill and Kevin (pictured below) have graciously offered to host a giveaway to my local readers for the upcoming sale in Blue Springs, MO.

Kevin and Jill

If you’re a Kansas City local and you’re thinking about signing up for one of the Spring sales, it’s not too late! If you’re planning to shop and want to win one of the fabulous giveaways, you can earn entries by following the Rafflecopter link below (I promise it’s safe) and by heading over to the It’s An Ordinary Blog Facebook page. Good luck!

CLICK HERE >>> Rafflecopter Link to Enter <<< CLICK HERE

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Bullies

Mad About It Mondays

Welcome to “Mad About It Mondays”! Instead of a long post on how much I hate bullies (don’t we all?!) I thought I would share a Ted Talk that I watched today. It’s incredible and worth sharing…Next week I promise you an “actual” MAM post. In the meantime…enjoy:

Ted Talk Stop A Bully

I guess you have to actually click on the link…I promise, it’s worth it!

 

Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays

Mad About It Monday: Marco Rubio & Water

Mad About It Mondays

Since we’ve been out of town I’ve had a lot of opportunity to listen to my satelite radio and so I’ve heard most of the coverage detailing Marco Rubio’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. I have to say that I, too, am appalled by the sip.

CNN provided hours of coverage for what they’ve called “the sip seen around the World” and I couldn’t be more proud of them for the hours that they’ve spent covering the late breaking news. Situations like this need to be discussed. Let’s not waste time focusing on what he said because it really doesn’t matter…

CNN brought up an interesting point in that this sip could cost Rubio the 2016 election and I couldn’t agree more. If he can’t handle a dry mouth during a speech, can he really handle North Korea?!

The sip of water is a clear sign of arrogance. Why should the American people have to wait two seconds for him to rehydrate?! He obviously doesn’t value your time.

No Water

Perhaps this was yet another failed attempt by the Republican party to connect with American voters by pretending that they’re just like us

For Republicans who consider voting for candidates based on their politics and the changes that they can bring to this country, I urge you to reconsider.

Kudos to Wolf Blizter, Anderson Cooper, and their friends over at CNN for covering stories that nobody else gives a crap about. I probably would have voted for Rubio in 2016 but, once I heard about the sip of water, I said H2…uh oh.

I feel that CNN missed out on some important potential headlines and so I’d like to share some of them with you:

Could A Sip of Water Drown His Chances in 2016?!

Why Water? We’ll Have the Anwers America is Thirsting for Coming Up…

Did the Blunder Dampen His Political Career?

The Republican Response Dripping with Disrespect.

Outrage Pouring Out Over a Sip of Water.

A Sip of Water Overflowing With Arrogance.

*Please note the sarcasm in this post. Do I really think that CNN should have spent hours covering this story?! Absolutely not. My Mad About It Monday is this: These attempts to distract are ridiculous. Instead of focusing so much of your time on a sip of water (which other politicians have done) why not spend that time discussing what was actually said?! I mean, really…come on.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: On Homosexuality

Mad About It Mondays

Welcome to Mad About It Mondays. In last week’s post (which you can find here), I said that I wanted to start linking up with other bloggers for this series. You can find the link up information at the bottom of this post. All I ask is that you include a link to my blog on your page so that others can join in as well. In the meantime, this week’s post might be one of the most important topics I’ve covered on my blog and so if you’re reading this I ask that you please read this post in its entirety. I know this is controversial but I also know how incredibly important it is, so if you don’t have the time to read it all right now, save the link and come back later. That said, this week’s MAM is on homosexuality.

Late last week I ran across two posts, from two different people, on Facebook that discussed the topic of homosexuality. I’m sure you can well imagine what was said because it’s the same thing we’ve all heard time and time again. What bothers me about these two posts is that they both took the same stance of “because I am a Christian I think homosexuality is {fill in the blank: wrong/gross/sinful/etc}. One even went so far as to have a picture with the caption: “Because tolerance is for those with no conviction.” Whoa, whoa, whoa….hold the phone.

Being a Christian = / = being against homosexuality.

Being a Christian = / = intolerance.

I am tired of it and so I want to give anyone who thinks they can use their religion to bash or put people who are different from them down a little piece of my mind. Knock it off. It isn’t funny; It isn’t loving; and it certainly isn’t okay.

When you look at the Bible from its historical context, rather than viewing it as a living word, it stands to reason that the writers were heavily influenced by the societies in which they lived. These societies, like Ancient Egypt and early Rome, were constantly dealing with threats of a declining population.

The book of Leviticus, which has several verses discussing homosexuality, was written during (or directly after, depending on who you ask) the Babylonian captivity when the Jewish people were forced into exile. Paul, the only author in the New Testament to briefly touch same-sex relationships, wrote many of his words for the Christians in Rome. During his time, the Roman Empire was persecuting early Christian churches. Both of these times were instances where strong population growth was in the best interest of the target audiences of these scriptures. For that reason, it makes sense why certain practices (that could hamper population growth) were condemned.

All monotheistic religions, at one point or another, banned the consumption of pork. Unsanitary living conditions for livestock and the spread of food-bourne illnesses were a huge threat to societies. It wasn’t until after the laws of the New Testament that Christianity condoned the practice of eating meat from a pig. With the New Testament (read: death and resurrection of Christ) came a new set of laws. Those of the Old Testament, less the 10 Commandments, no longer applied.

Religions are great at answering life’s biggest questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? But all too often people use religion to push their own agendas (like the IRA in Ireland, Wahhabi Islam, and even the KKK). The words that really matter, the words of Jesus Christ, in the Bible never mention homosexuality at all. The rest are just allegories (because we know that Jonah wasn’t actually swallowed by a whale) and lessons to help sustain a population.

So what did Jesus say?

To love one another.

To respect one another.

Look inside yourself…Why are you intolerant? You don’t get to use religion as an excuse anymore. You don’t get to hide behind your faith to justify why you don’t believe same-sex couples deserve the same rights as heterosexual ones. So what is it?!

Fear? Hatred? A lack of understanding? Apathy?

When people have the same rights that you do, it doesn’t make your rights any less valuable. It doesn’t mean that your relationships don’t matter. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be treated equally?

Love is love and that’s all that matters.

I have always held the belief (and have been saying so since I was much younger) that I firmly believe the world can be a better, more peaceful, more loving place if we all take the time to sit down and listen to one another. The world can be a more beautiful place if we try to understand one another. Put the intolerance away and open your heart to others…you never know what you might discover about the world, about yourself, and about your faith.



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Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Celeb Edition

Mad About It Mondays

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard yet: Kanye and Kim are going to have a baby. Baby Kimye is expected to make his or her arrival sometime in early June.

I will be the first to tell you that I’m pretty boring. I don’t have a television in my living room, I don’t subscribe to cable, I don’t get any of the “on trend” gossip/fashion/celebrity magazines, and I don’t really know who most of the up and coming, new musicians are. I’m not on the up and up and, quite frankly, I don’t really care. I think that’s why I find all this “breaking news” about the pregnancy of Kim Kardashian to be so incredibly annoying.

As a society, we’re so overloaded with the people the media tells us are supposed to be ‘role models’ for our children that we lose sight of the people who actually matter (no offense, Kim). Why on Earth is this considered breaking news? There’s a reason why I don’t have cable or magazines…it’s because I try to avoid it. That is seemingly impossible anymore because it’s everywhere. It’s on my Yahoo! page before I check my email, it’s all over Facebook, it’s on my “news” app on my phone. It’s constantly in your face.

Who would I like C to look up to when she gets older? Strong females who do what they can to positively impact the world around them. I want her to look up to men and women who use their brains, skills, and abilities to make a difference. I want her to look up to the real role models, like teachers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, farmers, and anyone else who does what they can with what they have to make this world a better place. I’d like C to focus on issues that matter like what’s going on in our community, in our state, in our country, and in the world.

I’m not saying that I won’t ever support her when she looks up to someone famous, I just don’t think their personal lives should be such ‘breaking news’. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be for them…being constantly bombarded by photographers looking to get a shot of the latest non-existent ‘bump’ (she’s not very far along).

I’ll end this short rant with this…because I think that Kayne West is one of the more obnoxious celebs out there. I imagine that when Jessica Simpson delivers her baby in the hospital, Kayne West is going to show up just as baby is crowing and say, “Yo, Jess, I’m gonna let you finish but Kim had one of the best bumps of all time….she had one of the best bumps of all time.” Mark my words (okay, don’t mark my words) it’s going to happen.

PS: I saw this tonight at the grocery store:

It's Called Having A Baby

On the left you see a picture of a very pregnant Kourtney Kardashian (I swear, I’m not trying to pick on these sisters tonight!) and on the right you see her post-baby with the caption “44 LBS in 6 MONTHS! Kourtney shares her diet secrets”. Really?! REALLY?! SERIOUSLY?! If you’re going to compare a before and after weight loss shot, please for the love of all that is holy do not have the “before” picture of someone who is pregnant.

Step One: Get pregnant.

Step Two: Deliver baby.

BOOM. That’s all, folks.