Monday, December 3, 2018

Help Your Kids Host a Grinch-Themed Holiday Party

With the new Benedict Cumberbatch hit The Grinch movie in theaters this holiday season, it’s fun to share the silly bah-humbug spirit with your kids and their friends!

This holiday season, serve up an extra helping of good cheer with a wonderful, whimsical Grinch party! Our ideas will make it easy with tips for Grinchy crafts, games and even a Grinch-tastic meat roll-up. So gather your favorite Whos, young and old, and start your own Grinch celebration tradition!


WH2O water bottles

Everyone in Whoville realizes that drinking water is super good for you! Now your little Whos can enjoy some arts and crafts time making their own WH2O water bottles with this fun craft — perfect for holiday parties!

Crumpit Popcorn

Put a pop in your Grinch party by serving our Italian-flavored popcorn—Whoville style. Topped with herbs, oregano and basil, Crumpit Popcorn adds just the right amount of crunch— and green — to your party spread.

To make, simply drizzle popcorn with one tablespoon of olive oil. Combine basil, parsley, garlic powder and salt, then sprinkle over popcorn and toss.

Pin the Heart on The Grinch

Help! The Grinch needs a bigger heart so he can enjoy the holidays! Young party guests come to his rescue with this fun spin on the classic game. You or the kids can draw your best green Grinch and cut out some red hearts (put double-sided tape on the back). Then tie on the blindfold and let the game begin!

Grinch Santa Hat Kabobs

Kids love playing with their food, and with our Grinch Kabobs, now they can! Just grab some toothpicks, green grapes, strawberries, bananas and mini-marshmallows for a party activity they’ll eat right up!

Meat Roll-Ups

A feast wouldn’t be a feast without the Whos’ Roast Beast! Fill all the tummies at your Whoville party with this healthier take on the Grinch’s main dish! Roll low-sodium deli turkey in spinach tortillas with chopped veggies and low-fat cream cheese for a treat that will warm any heart!

A Mom's Guide to Surviving the Stress of the Holidays

You’ve survived Friendsgiving parties and Thanksgiving dinners.  But now the whole crush of holiday activities soars forward until New Year’s — so many chances to make memories with your little ones and family.

BUT WARNING! Holiday stress can add to mom stress and build into a perfect storm for husband hysteria, child tantrums and even mom meltdowns.


Check out tips for avoiding being overwhelmed and keeping the season fun—for you and your family!

Yes, of course this is the season of giving and expressing gratitude yet, we’re often so rushed trying to buy everyone their perfect gift or create their perfect meal that we feel exhausted by the end of it.

This year, as the holiday chaos begins, set aside some time to envision the memories you want to create this year. What sort of memories do you want your family to have this holiday season?”

When you’re trying to cook a meal or decorate the house with little ones underfoot, it can be challenging. Sometimes, you’re doing your best just not to ruin or break anything as you avoid tripping over toys in the kitchen.

Find ways to get your kids involved in the process. Ask them to help wrap presents, mix ingredients for a recipe, draw holiday cards, or come up with a silly play routine for their favorite holiday song. They’ll feel involved and proud that they could help with holiday activities.

In 2018, we’re lucky that kid-friendly holiday parties and events are popular.  They are great because they keep our kids busy and entertained for hours and usually make your kids tired and ready to nap (Yes!). But too many activities can leave your kids feeling more worn out and exhausted over time. It’s easy for babies to get overstimulated—and fussy—with all of the extra activity so you might want to be prepared to take baby to a quiet place during a party if needed. Decide what events are most important to you and make sure those happen. It’s important to make sure little ones are still getting enough sleep and eating well so they can enjoy this special time. Put family events and downtime on the calendar to ensure balance.

As moms we feel a lot of pressure to do it all, and to do it all by ourselves. For some of us, it’s uncomfortable to admit we need help, but allowing others to help us also creates a stronger network of social support. It’s reassuring to know there are other adults in our children’s lives whom we can trust.

And remember: You’re not the only mom who needs a break. Don’t forget you can always return the favor and offer to watch a friend’s children, too.

The most important thing at the holidays is to be kind to yourself and not beat yourself up for things you didn’t do, or that didn’t go exactly as planned. You’ll be late to activities, and everyone will understand. Your table might not look exactly like the Pinterest image you were aiming for, but your guests won’t even know.

January 2 will be here soon enough, and you’ll be back to a more normal routine. So, just like the baby years, remember that the during the holiday season the days are long but the months are short. Enjoy what you can and let the rest go.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Weekly Lunchbox #4

By: Kate Camillo

First month of school is almost over! Is everyone settled in? I know little ones usually start a little bit later than normal, at least that’s how it is where I am from. Are our routines working? Are we finding time to relax and bond with our kids in between school and work? Some things to ask ourselves because any habit we’ve picked up this month is most likely going to become routine after this month! I hope everyone’s enjoying these snack plans whether you stick to them completely, or just get inspiration from them. It’s been fun for me to find new snacks and revisit some old favorites. Let’s get down to business!

I’m feeling something fun for Monday, but also something healthy. We’re gonna go with strawberry ladybugs. I know what you’re thinking. What the heck are strawberry ladybugs? Don’t worry, I got you. The ingredients are pretty simple; strawberries, blueberries, and dark chocolate. You’ll also need a candy decorating bag for this one. First step is removing the top of the strawberries by cutting a small V in the top, which is where our ladybug “heads” are going to go. Then you’re going to cut the strawberries in half, lengthwise. The next step entails melting the chocolate and putting small dots on the strawberries. You also want to use the chocolate to attach the “heads”. Put some chocolate on the top of the strawberry and stick a blueberry on there. Draw a line down the center of the strawberry and Let the chocolate harden and you have a cute ladybug! 

For Tuesday, I want to give you guys another fruity snack. This one is cute too, just like those little ladybugs. I think apple cookies are a good idea for Tuesday or any day this week honestly. I’m sure what I’m referring to is not what first popped into your head when you read apple cookies. Don’t worry I’m not going to have you bake cookies from scratch on a Monday night to get them prepared for Tuesday. The prep time for this snack is super short. All you’re going to do is cut and apple the long way, not into wedges, and throw some peanut butter and chocolate chips on them. That’s it. Simple and easy. They look cute and they taste great. Your child doesn’t like peanut butter? Drizzle some caramel or chocolate on there and it’s just as good. 

Let’s keep Wednesday pretty simple. Make your own chex mix anyone? Throw a handful of all your kids favorites in a bag and call it a day. Pretzels, Goldfish, cheez-its, mini cookies, really anything you have you can mix in a bag. The prep time for this is so small and it’s super easy.

This one requires a little bit of baking, but multipurpose baking. This snack could be eaten for breakfast, for a snack at school, a snack at home, dessert, the opportunities are endless. I’m talking about mini muffins. Mini muffins are great; chocolate chip, blueberry, banana nut, you can make whatever your little heart desires. A batch will last you a couple days and you have breakfast and snack covered. It’s perfect!

This snack is a little more average, but you can spice it up. I know I’ve mentioned it once before, but there are so many ways to make it different. I am a firm believer in pretzels. Mini pretzels; awesome. Soft pretzels; awesome. Pretzels dipped in something; awesome. Pretzel nuggets; awesome. I personally think pretzels dipped in something is fun spin on this common snack. Pack your child some mini pretzel sticks and a fun dipping option. Melted chocolate is a great option, frosting, caramel, really anything goes well with pretzels.

So that’s my lunchbox plan this week, trust me this is an absolute lifesaver. It is so nice having all my days planned. I know what I need to buy, I am prepared for what I need to make and how long it is going to take me to pack lunches the night before. I save the things that take a little bit longer for the nights I have more time. It’s great. Planning snacks help me reduce a little bit of the week’s stress and I am all about that. Come back next week for another plan! Let me know if you have any suggestions for upcoming weeks, let’s all work together moms to battle snack time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Weekly Lunchbox #3

By: Kate Camillo

Welcome back, so sorry for the delay, it has been crazy with back to school. I’m sure you can all relate! Whether it’s homework or packing bags, getting to sleep early or waking up on time, this year has been a little rough to get used to. If you’re on the same page as I am, I’m sure you can use something to help ease some of the stress with back to school and luckily for you we have another weekly lunchbox for you to help plan some snacks.

This Monday we’re going with a classic: cheese and crackers! Get some precut cheese, which honestly might be the literal best invention since sliced bread. No more uneven cheese slices where they start skinny and then get fatter or vise versa, no more dad jokes about “cutting the cheese”. Overall, a great invention. Add some Wheat Thins or Townhouse crackers, whatever your child fancies and call it a day! A perfect easy snack for a Monday.

Once we kept it simple with cheese and crackers, the only clear next option is to spice it up a little bit! Get your creative mom juices flowing. Homemade fruit rollups. Yup. Homemade fruit rollups. This one is a little more complicated to describe so bare with me. First, you’re going to puree 3 cups of fruit with 1 tablespoon of sweetener and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. The fruit is up to your discretion, I would go with something your kids like but that’s just my suggestion. The sweetener can be honey, maple syrup or sugar. Then you bake it in the oven for about 4-8 hours on the lowest temperature your oven can go. You have to make sure you spread your fruit thinly onto a baking sheet. The fruit is done when it is no longer sticky to the touch. Once they are done, you cut them in strips and roll them in either parchment paper or wax paper. That’s it. It’s pretty easy to follow. I got this idea from amindfullmom, she goes into more detail if you’re super interested in these!

For Wednesday, I’m thinking oatmeal bites. They are a great option because these are no bake oatmeal bites! This one is super easy and fun! You’re to combine 1 cup of oats, ½ cup of mini chocolate chips, ½ cup of flax seed, ½ cup of crunchy peanut butter, ⅓ cup of honey, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract together in a bowl. Then you form them into balls with your hands and then freeze for about 1 hour. They delicious and quick! You could even get your children involved in help making these. They would be so excited to make their own snack, not to mention, proud of their work!

Thursday’s great because it can be a leftover from dinner the night before! Make a nice pasta salad, set aside some in the fridge for the morning. This is easy and fast. Put some in a tupperware and you’re all set. Your child will find it interesting because it’s usually a dinner food. Kids love things that are out of routine and out of the ordinary, like when I put in cereal a couple blogs ago. They love things that are not at the time they are used to seeing it. 

Let’s end this week with a bang, we had some exciting snacks and some more chill snacks. Get your child in the weekend spirit with cookies! Whether you buy Chips Ahoy or make them from your grandmother’s recipe, your child will love getting cookies in their lunchbox. Maybe mix it up, give them a couple different types or stick to the classic chocolate chip. This is a pure judgment call. If you bake cookies, you’ll have them all weekend like I suggested with brownies in the last blogs. Cookies are always a crowd pleaser!

Thanks again for being patient with us as we also get back into the school routine. Back to school affects everyone, not just kids! If you’re looking for a fun way to connect with your child during down time after school make sure to check out our Fujimini Island blog for character descriptions of your favorite Fujimini Friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Weekly Lunchbox #2

By: Kate Camillo

Hi guys! I am back with another lunchbox! I love this series because it really has a lot of information in each post and you can always go back and look at old posts for inspiration. Let’s dive right in!

I have two words for you: string. cheese. This snack is an all around crowd pleaser. String cheese is a great quick, no effort snack for a Monday. It’s easy, it's cheap and honestly it's delicious. Who doesn’t want to pull their cheese into strings?

A lettuce wrap is a great snack! Put some of your kids favorite stuff in there like turkey and cheese, and you’re good to go. Maybe put some chicken, barbeque sauce and cheese on it. There are so many options, you can make them entirely your own. This is a good snack that you can reuse this snack idea by adding other things in them to spice it up!

A fun treat for Wednesday is something as simple as cereal. However, seeing cereal in a different setting will make your child view it differently. Maybe you give them Lucky Charms or Reese’s Puffs, something they normally wouldn’t eat for breakfast. It’s fast and easy and is fun! Kids get to eat sugary cereals they love and you get a happy child. No need for milk either! Just a little baggy of the most fun cereal you can find.


On Thursday, maybe give your kids something a little more healthy. Fruit salad is a great option. You can choose what you want to put it in it, ensuring your child’s satisfaction. It’s colorful and brings some life into their lunchbox. This is a great way to get your kids to eat some fruit.

I personally like to end the week on a good note. Give your kids something fun, something they really like. Last week, I said brownies. This week I think dirt pudding would be a great snack. Some people have different names for this snack, but basically it is chocolate pudding or chocolate mousse with crushed oreos on top and gummy bears. The crushed oreos could be substituted with mini chocolate chips or anything that resembles “dirt” crumbles. It gets its name because it looks like dirt, especially with the “worms” on the top. This is so cute! This is a personal favorite of mine. 

That’s all I have for this week guys! I hope this inspired you to be a little creative with your snacks and also find a nice balance with what you’re feeding your kids. Come back next week for more!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Weekly Lunch Box

By: Kate Camillo

As school is coming, for some it might already be here, it’s time to start planning out some lunches. Snack and lunch are by far the best time of the day for your child, no question about it. In this new series, I am going to give you some fun ideas for snacks. As moms, there is only so many things we can plan and maybe having a little snack list will take some of the pressure off packing lunches and you can focus on more important things. You’re welcome in advance. Before I begin with the list, I want to do a little disclaimer. These blogs are for the moms who still care, but maybe don’t have time to make their own zucchini crackers from veggies they harvested on their own. These ideas are cute, quick and simple for when your brain needs a break after a work day. Enjoy and comment down below any of your kids fave snacks so we can add them to an upcoming blog.


Monday has got to be to a fun snack because everyone hates Mondays. I’m sure you had to drag your kid out of your bed. To perk up their day a little bit and make them happy, try S’mores snack mix. Not super healthy, but fun! To make this you only need 3 things; Teddy Grahams, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Throw it all in a bag and you’re good to go. Of course you can substitute pretzels, chex mix or cinnamon toast crunch depending on your preference.

Tuesday is a healthy day, especially after Monday’s fun snack. Let’s go with a classic: veggies and dip! Get a little cup of dip and a baggie of baby carrots or whatever veggie your kid likes the best and you’re good to go.

Wednesday’s a toss up, you can either go fun or healthy, not that healthy can’t be fun. This week I’m thinking about going with pretzels. The thing about pretzels is that they are so versatile. You can buy pretzel sticks or pretzel nuggets. You can get them seasoned or you could add a dip like peanut butter to add a little something something to the snack.

A cute idea for Thursday would be something redesigned. Pancakes are fun and are super easy to make. Make a couple mini pancakes and toss in a little Nutella and you have a sweet treat to get your child through the day.

To reward your child for making it through the week, give him something sweet. Cook them some brownies Thursday night and put on in their lunch box. The batch will last you all weekend so you have something for dessert for after dinner. I have a lot of good ideas for the next couple weeks. I know these snacks were a bit of a no brainer, but I thought I would ease into this new series. I am excited to look up some more cool recipes and share with you little things to help brighten your child’s day. See you next week, bring your appetite.

Click here to find our ONCEKids back to school checklist series:

Click here to meet the Fujimini Island family.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

ONCEKids Back to School Checklist (Part 4 of 4)

By: Kate Camillo

Welcome back! We’re wrapping up our back to school checklist. As the summer is winding down, it is important to refocus on the school year. It is time to switch gears from bathing suits to backpacks, from cookouts to pb&j sandwiches, from late nights to early mornings. We’ve been over the basics and I encourage you go read the other parts before catching up on this one to get the vibe we are going for with this series. This is not your average checklist; no pencils and 36 pack of crayons involved. This is about making sure you are doing the right things at home to prepare your child for school and help them, with more than just their homework, once school picks up.


It’s a new school year, your child is going to be around different kids and it is important to remind them how to make friends. You should help them practice how to introduce themselves and what to say to other children. Having common interests is the main bond children have; such as their favorite game, their favorite show, and their favorite book. This can help them find friends to sit with at lunch. These friends can come over to play games, and hang out. Who knows when your child will meet their best friend, I met mine when I was five, it is important to help them break the ice.

Another thing to help them break the ice would be to do some practice runs before school starts. See if your child’s school has a Meet the Teacher event they can go to. Especially if it is a new school, show your child where to line up at the start of the day and where the bus will pick them up. It’s important to make sure your child is comfortable in their environment. All of these things are to ensure a smooth transition in a stressful time.

Last but certainly not least, lets talk about those real back to school checklists. If your child’s teacher provides a school supply list, follow it! Grab your kid and make a day of it. This will help them get excited for school. Have them pick out notebooks with their favorite characters on it and a backpack that they’ll want to carry. When going back to school shopping for clothes, let them pick out some cool pieces that are going to make them want to get ready. The last thing your kid wants is for you to come home with a bag of stuff they don’t necessarily like. Always have them pick out clothes the night before so there are no battles in the morning.

My last tip hits close to home. If you have a shy child, go out of your way to write notes and leave pictures in their lunchbox. TRUST ME! This will go a long way. As someone who did not take to anyone other than her parents until she was like 7, please understand that back to school is a very hard time for us. A note in their lunchbox or a picture of you guys will help them get through the day.

That’s it folks for this back to school checklist series. Don’t worry, we got another one coming. Come back next week to learn some great tips and tricks on how to fill your child’s lunchbox!

Our final checklist:

  • Provide your kids downtime
  • Encourage new forms of reading
  • Get their creative juices flowing with imagining stories
  • Ease them into structure
  • Spend time together
  • Help them make friends
  • Practice runs at school
  • Make back to school shopping fun
  • Lay out outfits every night before school
  • Send notes and pictures into your child’s lunchbox

17 days until September 1st!!! See you next week!