Selfies With My Kids

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration between RealTimes and SheKnows.

mom and tab

Cameras weren’t a big focus in our family when I was growing up. We do have a good couple photo albums, but it’s nothing compared to the thousands I have on file for my own family.

I treasure the photos I have of my Mom actually BEING a mom because they are so few. When I see one it brings me right back to the moment. Her hair, her glasses, her Tab, her six kids…it’s all still there.

When I became a Mom I was determined to get myself into more photos with my kids and so began my journey to perfect selfies with my kids. I blame my need to take so many photos on four things.

dad

1. Death

I have too few photos of my Dad. As morbid as it is, I want to leave my kids with more than a memory to hold onto should the unspeakable happen to someone they love.

bobarazzi

2. The Bobarazzi.

We lovingly nicknamed our second Dad the Bobarazzi because he took his camera everywhere and would spend hours organizing the developed film into photo albums, all numerically ordered. I learned that any moment with family is a moment worth capturing.

kainoa

3. Cute Babies.

I stepped up my photo taking game big time when my kids were born because…cute. Every little expression was adorable to me and because of this I became the Bobarazzi in their life too. Or maybe the Momarazzi.

digital age

4. The Digital Age

It’s just too easy to take photos these days, there is no reason NOT to. You get instant gratification, you don’t have to pay to develop film, and even the screen can flip around to show you exactly what you’re taking a photo of. Most of us don’t even leave home without a camera at this point because it comes BUILT INTO OUR PHONES! It’s like life is just begging for more pictures to be taken.

This month I shared 10 selfie fails with my friends at SheKnows on behalf of RealTimes to highlight some of the more embarrassing pictures I’ve taken of myself on this journey to capture motherhood with my kids. Why do I still have them? Because even ugly pictures are better than no pictures at all.

sheknows real times

Check them out here!

I’d love to hear about your selfie fails. :)

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration between RealTimes and SheKnows.

Pack The Snacks

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Dinner Camping

It has been HOT in Seattle. Sticky hot. And I have been keeping these kids busy with beaches and parks and camping and pools. I’ve been trying to keep costs down, but some of the stuff they want to do is spendy. I took them to a family fun center (arcade, laser tag, bumper boats, etc) and I know they wanted to do lunch there, but treating kids to an afternoon of entertainment AND including lunch is expensive! I’d rather save myself the $30 I’d spend on pizza and use it for a second day of fun down the line.

kids at the ocean

I made an agreement with the kids that we could do a couple more ($$) activities together this summer if we could forgo buying lunch every time we happen to be on the go. Instead, I’m taking the  “pack all the crackers, juices, string cheese, etc. you can get your hands on and have snacks available at all times” route. I know some of you have been taking that route for years now, but the temptation to eat out has always been a spendy temptation for us and I’m relieved to have it off the list of things to do.

Horizon Organic Crackers

Now my focus is to stay well stocked at all times!

Check out more products offered by Horizon Organic and keep your eyes peeled for them during your next grocery trip! You can also follow Horizon Organic for product updates and recipes on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and Pinterest.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Farm Fresh Hot Wings!

Tracking Pixel

Foster Farms Simply Raised
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Foster Farms®.

Do you ever feel like some companies hear our battle cry for fresh food and actually follow through with consumer expectations? I’m excited to work with Foster Farms because they’re getting it right. Their new fresh chicken lines and brand packaging make it clear at a glance that their chicken is 100% natural, Simply Raised with no antibiotics, ever, and Organic.

Foster Farms is actually a West Coast, family-owned company and this latest introduction of Simply Raised without antibiotics is in California, Oregon, and Washington stores now. The Organic line is now in Costco and select supermarkets.

Foster Farms Simply Raised Slow Cooker

It gives me comfort to know that when I throw hot wings into my slow cooker I can be sure the chicken is:

  • American Humane Certified
  • 100 percent natural (minimally processed, no additives or preservatives, steroids or hormones)
  • Produced with no added sodium
  • With Simply Raised, never administered antibiotics, ever.

Now that finding quality food just got a little easier, who wants hot wings? I’m a huge fan of easy slow cooker meals. So I grabbed a couple packages of the Foster Farms Simply Raised Party Wings and honestly you don’t need to add much to make these wonderful. I have poured in a cup of barbecue sauce before and that alone was wonderful. I have also mixed ketchup and grape jelly for a sweet sauce…don’t make that face, I swear it’s good!

Today, however, I mixed together barbecue sauce, honey, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce for a little kick. I think it’s just the right amount of hot and sweet (my husband adds Tabasco) and the best part is that my kids actually love them. Of course they do…those wings are perfect for their little fingers.

If only all my chicken dinners took 15 seconds to prep!:

A video posted by Kat Bouska (@mamakatslosinit) on


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Foster Farms®.

Fly High On Full Bellies With Horizon Organic

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Horizon Organic Snacks

When my kids are busy, they often can’t be bothered with mundane tasks such as eating. I’ll opt to feed them full meals before we leave for a potluck or party because I know once we’re there they won’t bother with food. Who has time for eating when there is fun to be had?

I do. For the record. I always have time for eating.

But my kids are stubborn and ignore hunger until the day is over and then beg for fast food on the way home.

swimming2

During Summer, when we will spend an entire afternoon at the pool with cousins, my sisters and I cover a picnic table with snacks to keep the kids fueled throughout the day.

Along with fresh fruit, juices, and cheese, I brought along some boxes of Horizon Organic’s snack crackers on our first pool excursion of the year and even the adults seemed to enjoy option! (Click the image below to see them in action!):

A video posted by Kat Bouska (@mamakatslosinit) on

Here’s hoping a stocked table of wonderful food options will keep kids snacking when they’re impossible to sit still for a meal and they can fly high on full bellies!

swimming

Check out more products offered by Horizon Organic and keep your eyes peeled for them during your next grocery trip! You can also follow Horizon Organic for product updates and recipes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

Attracted to Candy

kainoa

My kids are attracted to candy.

They come by it very naturally.

My Mom hid king sized Hershey chocolate bars (with almonds) in our kitchen cupboards right next to her Raisinets.

I don’t care for almonds or raisins.

But the chocolate is worth the struggle, so I snuck them anyway.

To offset my kids desire for all things sugar I try to sneak healthy food into their meals as often as possible. I love to take them to the Farmer’s Market so that they can be a little more involved in that process. I teamed up with SheKnows and Dairy Pure this month to develop a fun little trivia game to play with your kids at the Farmer’s Market. It’s basically a scavenger hunt to get your kids to help you find all the good stuff.

The goal is to help my kids find nutrition that is not coated in a layer of chocolate.

I feel like I just offended chocolate covered raisins.

Check out my game over at SheKnows if you have a chance!

Getting Away With HomeAway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HomeAway.

Tracking Pixel

maui condo3

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HomeAway.

Last year as I was working to secure a hotel stay for a family reunion in Hawaii, I vented on Facebook about how I was frustrated with our hotel options. As it turns out, most hotels accommodate families of four, but when you add a fifth person to your crew the cost increases dramatically. Either you are prompted to secure a second room for your large family or you are prompted to reserve an expensive suite.

I drafted a blog post about how frustrated I was, but never published it because I felt silly complaining about hotels when I had the luxury of planning a trip to Hawaii in the first place.

My sister was the one who mentioned checking out HomeAway and when we arrived at our oceanfront, pool side condo in Maui I believe my exact words were, “I’m never leaving this place.” Had it been a hotel with that exact same layout it would have cost us upwards of $800 per night. It would have been considered a MASTER Family Suite. But because it was a condo we were paying less than $200 per night.

Maui Condo

My sister’s advice to check out that site changed the way we vacation. Here we were in a two bedroom condo, three times the size of a hotel room that could sleep up to 8 people, equipped with two bedrooms, a kitchen, wifi, a washer and dryer, a pool, just feet away from the ocean AND at a lower cost than any hotel option we had available to us. Not to mention the additional fees we would have paid at a hotel for parking and food.

maui condo2

When the opportunity to work with HomeAway popped up I practically begged for it. Most recently we used the site to find the perfect staycation over Spring Break with my kids and my sister’s family. We found a wonderful cabin tucked away near the Olympic Peninsula and while the drive was less than two hours, we felt like we were on vacation.

homeaway cabin

There was hiking and beaches, s’mores and movies…the kids had a blast exploring the creek and woods surrounding the cabin and both of our families stayed together for less than $200 each night. The cousins were in heaven. I captured a quick look at the cabin we found through HomeAway here:

A video posted by Kat Bouska (@mamakatslosinit) on

I have since, created an account and filled it with folders based on locations that I want to visit with my kids. I have a folder for every corner of the Pacific Northwest. I have a folder filled with locations for just my family. I have a folder filled with locations for a girls get away. And I have a folder filled with luxury and unique properties that can sleep my family along with my sisters and brothers families. Even at a higher nightly rate it’s still affordable divided among a group of us. Since HomeAway is the world’s largest vacation rental marketplace, with more than one million listing in 190 countries to choose from…just imagine the folders I have left to create filled with some of my favorite properties.

Lake Cushman Cabin

 Win a $5,000 Stay with the HomeAway Kidfluencers Contest

This summer, HomeAway is empowering kidfluencers by giving them even more control over their family’s travel plans with a chance to win a $5,000 vacation rental stay to anywhere in the United States in 2015. To enter, travelers just need to create a 15 to 60-second video of their kids describing why their family should win a vacation from HomeAway. Upload the video to Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo, using the hashtag #HomeAwayVacation and complete the entry form here before May 29, 2015.  HomeAway will select 10 finalists that will be voted on by the public from June 8 to 12 to determine the winner. For more details on the contest, visit HomeAway on Facebook.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HomeAway.

 

Butterfly Snacks With Horizon Organic

Butterfly Snacks

Who’s ready to get creative with delicious snacks? We’re busy fashioning crackers and veggies into colorful butterflies over here (big thanks to Horizon Organic for sponsoring this post!).

I fall into the category of parents who fashions spiders out of cookies and pretzel sticks at snack time. I don’t do it as a clever way to get them to eat more. I do it because I’m a giant child and I like to play with food. And also because my kids are usually as delighted with my creation as I am.

I cracked open a box of Horizon Organics cheddar snack crackers and showed my kids how to make butterfly snacks.

Horizon Organic Snack Crackers

All you need are:

  • Snack Bags
  • Decorative Tape
  • Clothespins
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Crackers
  • Veggies or Fruit

Cover your clothespin with your decorative tape.

Add Decorative Tape

Fill one side of your snack bags with crackers and the other with your veggies or fruit.

Fill With Crackers And Veggies

Be sure to keep the sides divided and secure your clothes pin down the middle.

Draw Your Butterflys Face

Fashion your pipe cleaner into an antenna and draw a face onto your butterfly snack.

Butterfly Snack

Watch them in action!:

They’re perfect little after school treats! Check out more products offered by Horizon Organic and keep your eyes peeled for them during your next grocery trip!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.