Looking for new ways banish boredom and burn off pent-up energy indoors? From "freeze dance" to a creative "bear hunt," these 18 great activities recommended by other moms will keep your kids entertained for hours!
I am 25% Norwegian. Therefore, I have pale skin. In the winter months, I look especially translucent. I am proud of my pale heritage except for one specific moment. Dum, dum, dummmm.... Yes, like 95% of the world's population, with the exception of those who work out and those who walk on a runway, I hate wearing a bathing suit.
I was complaining one day about this very topic when my friend said, "Tan fat looks better than white fat. Why don't you try a spray tan?" I had done a spray tan a couple of years ago and I liked the way it looked. Sitting in the hot sun, wondering the whole time if this is the moment that you are getting skin cancer, is not my idea of fun. Lying out in the sun, for me, is like water torture. The whole time I am lying in the sun, I obsess over the fact that I probably am giving myself cancer while I am burning my skin.
I never actually tan. I burn. Then I peel. Then, I am translucent again. Let's face it, Norwegian people are not known for their awesome tans! Plus, every time I go in the sun I get a new "beauty mark," i.e. a gross mole. (By the way, whoever called these things beauty marks? Thanks anyway. If they really were beautiful, I would be walking on a runway by now. I will just keep it real and call them moles.)
Another reason I do not like lying out in the sun is the sunscreen. I mean, who really knows which one is the healthiest? Lately, they have labeled them all as unsafe. Who knows?
Anyway, a couple of years ago, I went to a tanning place. i found it kind of creepy. First you enter a dark dressing room and then a recording tells you to hold your breath just as a blast of cold liquid is sprayed on your naked body, causing you to gasp while inhaling the liquid into your lungs! What is this liquid anyway? Probably more cancer-causing chemicals! Then you are told by the recording to turn around and subject yourself to the same torture again.
The only reason I subjected myself to the process is because I am an efficient seeker of beauty. The whole thing was over in five minutes and I was on my way. Sticky, albeit, but on my way. No sweaty beaches, no chemical sunscreen, no sunburn and no sitting in some dumb salon waiting for something to dry while reading a magazine pretending to care if I am wearing the latest fashionable item. Efficient beauty is how I like it. So what if I spent the next couple of days smelling like vegetable oil! I was happy to have a "healthy" glow.
So this year, I took my friend's advice and made an appointment to acquire a healthy glow yet again. This time, however, I decided to go to a tanning place that uses a real person to spray it on. I thought this would be better than the black dressing room with the recording. Plus, I thought maybe she could paint some tight ab muscles on me.
The Big Day
On the day of the appointment it started raining. I brought my twin seven-year-old boys with me to the salon and made them sit in the waiting room. I went into the spray tan room. No black dressing room today, it was more like a doctor's office. It was better than the black dressing room, although the lighting was fluorescent and made the atmosphere somewhat clinical. Standing naked in this light was anything but (pun intended) flattering. I was told I could choose to leave my underwear and bra on, but she said most people just leave their underwear on and bra off, so they don't get tan lines on top. I did just that.
The twenty-year-old perky (of course) spray tan girl walked in. Although she was actually very professional and nice, I wished they had hired someone more like Maude from the Golden Girls TV show to do the job. I didn't enjoy having to get naked in front of someone as young and perky as (let's just call her) "Tiffany". You get the picture! But, I needed to "tan the fat", so I sucked it up. I cracked jokes to distract "Tiffany" from my 41-year-old white, peanut-butter-and-jelly-loving body, which was now shining under clinical lighting. But who was I fooling! It was really embarrassing! But, I just kept my head held high and acted like this was perfectly normal.
She told me to put lotion on my hands and feet to protect them from appearing orange. Then, she said to stand forward with my arms in the air while she sprayed and then to put my arms down. This went on for fifteen minutes with a myriad of different positions. My favorite was when she told me to face away from her and sort of bend forward, so I wouldn't get a streak of tan under my butt... OMG! Where is the black dressing room with the recording? Despite the humiliation, once she finished I was thrilled. I was so happy to get it all over with in about twenty minutes. Done. Check! The boys were still patiently waiting in the room that was just outside the door. When I came out with my newly tanned skin, Zeke looked at me and said "Mom, did that lady paint you orange?"
As we started to leave, I looked outside. It was now pouring. I do mean buckets. Hard, huge raindrops with wind. The "Tiffany" girl told me to take her umbrella, cover myself, go to the car, then pull towards the door and she would run out to get the umbrella. I told her I would park close so she wouldn't get wet. Ha! The minute the boys and I got outside, we got hit from every angle. I was struggling to determine which angle the rain was coming from, but I was getting pelted from every direction. As for the boys, they were on their own. Normally, I would cover them and sacrifice myself, but not today little people! "Run!" is all I said to them.
Finally, we got into the car. I kept one arm out of the car in order to close the umbrella. It was getting pelted by the rain. Because my hands had the lotion on them and were slippery I was having difficulty closing the umbrella. Closing it took at least 45 seconds. In the middle of it all, I dropped my keys almost under the car! Now, I had to expose my entire upper body to the wind and rain in order to retrieve the keys. I finally got the keys, finally closed the car door and then looked at my arm. The spray tan was dripping down my arm. It was like bad mascara in a horror movie from the seventies. My tan was ruined! I tried to mop it up with an old napkin that had old ketchup on it from McDonald's that I found in the car. But like any paint job, once you start touching things up the whole thing just looks worse.
I returned to where "Tiffany" was waiting for her umbrella and I told her my tan was ruined. She asked me to come back in so she can re-do my arms. Once I got in and took off my shirt, I realized the rain had soaked all the way through my shirt. I was as spotted as a cheetah. I pulled up my pant leg, same thing. Cheetah legs. Ugh! No! These gross feet are not mine, but mine looked like these. She told me to use the baby wipes that were on the counter and wipe off all of the tan. She would then re-spray me. So much for efficient beauty. So, I did. I should have counted how many blessed baby wipes it took to wipe it all off. Fifteen minutes later she returned to my mostly-naked, half-spray-tanned, wet-haired, hair net-wearing self. Seriously. Guys, if you had any fantasies about two hot chicks spray tanning each other, hold on to that vision, because it truly was not the reality.
Despite all that happened, I was glad I did it. My funny friend was right: tanned fat did look better than pale white fat.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.
Bring out the thermos! On cold winter days, warm food makes for a soothing school lunch. We've rounded up 15 kid-friendly hot dishes — from savory soups to comforting pastas — that'll stay deliciously flavorful and toasty 'til lunch.
There's nothing quite like playing with mom, even in the animal kingdom! These adorable photos of a mama polar bear having some wintry fun with her cubs are sure to make you smile. Photographer Keren Su snapped them in the Waspusk National Park in Canada.
Does your little one have snow to play in today?
Do any of your neighbors have an over-the-top Christmas display in their yard this year? The Hyatt house in Plantation Acres, Florida, may top them all.
With a 30-foot Christmas tree featuring 12,7000 lights, a snow-blowing machine, and a 20-foot Ferris wheel for stuffed animals, the elaborate display attracts hundreds of visitors every night. The Hyatt family's neighbors, however, feel the crowds create a safety hazard.
"This is not the same as having a Christmas party where your street is blocked for two hours, this is ongoing for eight weeks," neighbor Adam Fractenberg told the Sun Sentinel. "It's great for everybody else in the community, except for those of us who live on the block."
The Hyatt family feel that inconveniencing a few is worth the joy they bring to many.
Watch the video below and let us know if you'd like to have this display on your block.
Visit the Sun Sentinel for the full story>>
Looking for a fabulous last-minute gift or something special to leave for Santa? Peppermint patties are a perfect kid-friendly treat for the Winter season. Plus, with only a few ingredients, they're surprisingly easy to make! Watch our how-to video below to see how it's done.
Peppermint eggnog, carmel apple cider, nutella hot chocolate...yum! There's nothing like a festive drink to put you in the holiday spirit, and we've rounded up 17 delicious ones you can enjoy with your kids. Click through to whet your thirst!
Toys, toys and more toys! How many toys do your kids really need? What rules can you put in place to keep the kids and the house from being overwhelmed? It's all part of "Toy Overload," and it's being discussed in many Circle of Moms communities. How do you avoid this explosion, especially around the holidays? Here are some options for reducing and decluttering the toys in your home.
Reducing The Amount Of Toys
1. Give Non-Toy Gifts
When a birthday or holiday is approaching, family members will likely hit you with the loaded question: "What does your child want?" If your house is already overflowing with toys, this is the perfect time to explain to them the kinds of gifts that would be better than toys. A member named Erin has plenty of responses to question, including gift cards to the zoo, passes to a local pool, donations towards ballet or gymnastics classes, or punch cards from a kids gym nearby, any of which wil enable a child "to have fun all year-long," and not just on her birthday or during the holidays.
The protest from grandparents and other well-meaning relatives usually involves having something for your kid to open and play with on their special day. Christy N. shares the perfect solution for making gift cards fun to open: "One year my daughter did get a gift card ... it was wrapped in a bunch of tissue paper and put in a Chuck e Cheese lidded cup with a straw. They tied a ribbon around the cup and wa-la, [my daughter] had a gift to open!"
2. Pre-Holiday Purge
A very popular Circle of Moms member suggestion is to get your kids involved in purging old toys a few weeks before the upcoming holiday. Crystal L. makes her children pick their favorites, which are usually the newest, and donate the rest.
Holly, who has daughters, does toy purges with each of her girls before their birthdays, giving as many as possible away to make room for any new ones they might get. But even when there's no birthday or holiday on the horizon, you can always do a purge of toys that are no longer played with, or that your kids have outgrown developmentally. Lydia F. has several systems and rules that she shares for keeping toys from getting out of control. Number one on her list is something you can do on a weekly or monthly routine: "Throw everything out that has missing pieces and is broken."
3. Donate To Charity
Kids can learn to appreciate what they have when they donate their gently used toys to a charity or shelter. Since having too many toys is very much a first world problem, many moms use the opportunity to teach their children about helping others. As Holly reports, "I figure having the girls go through all their toys with me and giving away a good portion of them teaches them the spirit of giving and also teaches them about moderation and sharing." And Emma B. has discovered that her daughter really enjoys seeing her toys go where they're really appreciated.
Maria P.'s kids were stubborn about not wanting to give away even the toys they weren't using, so she took them to a local orphanage so they could see the need first-hand: "After being there, they decided to donate the majority of their toys and felt really good about it too."
Reducing The Clutter Of Toys
1. Rotate Toys
One of the most popular suggestions by moms on how to cut down the clutter is to rotate toys on a regular basis. This keeps a majority of toys in storage most of the time, and makes them seem 'new again' every couple months. Chantal S. has a simple system that works well in her house: "I put all the toys in four containers and alternate monthly."
Rotating also helps Sharon M. evaluate which toys to get rid of: "Anything that doesn't get attention when it comes back out goes away for about six to eight weeks. If it still has no love, then it's gone.
2. Sorting And Storage
If the sentimental side of you can't bear to part with toys forever, a more permanent storage solution might be the best way to get them out of your way. Ellen D. found that boxing them up and putting them in storage helped with the clutter.
The first step is getting large bins for sorting toys, then figuring out which toys are really worth keeping out. Nannette L. suggests getting the kids involved in every step: "I purchased bins for toys that he always plays with and bins for toys that need to be disposed of. You could also add another bin for the toys that you wanted to keep. Put the 'keep bin' in storage, the 'play bin' in [your child's] room, and [donate] the dispose bin."
Another member, Mel C. has a great idea on how to reduce the amount of toys at your house without getting rid of them completely: "Always keep a stack of toys at grandparents' or friends' houses [if] you visit often! Tell the child that it will stay at their house and you can play when you visit!"
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.
Do your children know the story of Christmas? Jimmy Kimmel asked kids for their version of events and has put together a charming, if ridiculous, video from their responses.
We particularly love kids' estimates on how long ago Jesus was actually born, and their takes on the pronunciation of frankincense and myrrh.
What do you do when you feel burnt out from all the holiday festivities on top of your regular workload? Dream about putting your feet up to veg, or sleeping, right?
Kids deal with holiday burn-out by actually falling asleep – whenever and wherever they can! The Huffington Post recently shared a hilarious slideshow from Naps Happen of the adorable and random ways kids pass out for naps after holiday burn-out. Everything from falling asleep inside a toy box to sprawling backward over a shopping cart is included.
What's the funniest position your child has ever fallen asleep in?