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How to Involve Your Kids in the Homebuying Process

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How to Involve Your Kids in the Homebuying Process

Over the last couple months, things have been busy for my family and a lot of my extended family and friends have no idea why.  So, I’m letting the cat out of the bag so to speak and share the news with all of you, we are buying a house!
For the last decade we rented and moved several times, we never took buying seriously, because we kept explaining to friends and family that we didn’t know where we really wanted to settle down for the long haul, there were talks about staying in Boston, moving south, and even some contemplating about a move to Brazil. 

Yet something clicked a few months ago, and we realized we loved where we lived, so it was time to think seriously about buying.  However, like most first-time buyers, we had no idea where to start.  We are now in the final leg of our home buying journey, and I’m excited to partner with Bank of America to share some of my experiences and some valuable information they provide in their Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report (HBIR).

According to the HBIR, 4 in 10 first-time buyers plan to move closer to immediate family and one-quarter of buyers plan to move closer to extended family.  I can completely understand this, we moved to Florida last year to be closer to my parents, and I think being closer to them has a huge impact on our decision to buy.

The HBIR has also discovered that children have a major say in the homebuying process.  63% of homebuyers say their children have some input on the type of home they plan to buy. 
I am part of that 63%, my children had some say about the key parts of our move.  For us, we had just made a huge cross-country move a year ago, and that can be a scary transition for children.  So, when we started getting serious about another move to buy a home, I wanted to let the kids feel as involved as possible.

We had several discussions about buying a home with our children, and they each had different wants and worries.  Aidan wanted a big yard, Lilly wanted a big closet, and Anthony worried about having to change schools because he has finally made some close friends.  I didn’t take the kids out to every house we looked at because I think that would have been too chaotic for myself and them.  However, once we found a house we were serious about, I took them out to look at it before we made an offer.  This is a huge step in our life, and I really want everyone in my family to be excited about it.
We ended up finding a house that had a large yard, a big closet for Lilly, and what was most important to both Anthony and me, it is in the same school district as our current apartment.

There are countless reasons to make a move, whether you need a larger home or yard, are looking for a better school system, are locating closer to family, a new career, and so on.  However, these moves can be a more joyous occasion when everyone in the family finds a little something in their new home to be excited about, so I believe keeping kids involved is a great way to make the transition smoother.

Here are a few tips for involving your kids in the homebuying process:

  1. Discuss the process before and during your search. Explain the type of house you are realistically looking for, my youngest wanted to buy a house on the water with a pool, which as you can imagine is completely out of our price range.  We showed them some pictures of houses we planned to look at, to give them an idea of what to expect.  Then we asked them what would make the new house awesome for them, and each had a different answer, however, ironically, they were all answers that were already on my wish list.
    Plus, as the house hunting begins, and some stress settles in, they will have questions, some will have hundreds of questions.  Give each child some special time alone so that they have a chance to open up as often as needed to you about their questions and concerns.
  2. Show them the house once you’ve already looked at the property. Dragging the kids to each showing will just cause unnecessary stress, especially for younger children.  We looked at one amazing house, it had a pool, huge yard, extra bedroom, everything, including termites.  If I had the kids with me at that showing, I know without a doubt they would have fallen in love with the house, and then trying to explain to an 8-year-old we can’t buy because of something you can’t see wouldn’t be fun.
  3. Once you’ve found a house you’re serious about and perhaps have an offer in on, it’s time to include the whole family. Take each child to a spot in the house you know they’ll get excited about, and talk about the house.  Lilly saw her new closet and she was ready to start packing.  Aidan went out back to the yard, and didn’t want to leave “just go pack mom” he said.  Anthony learned we were still in his school zone and on the same bus route, along with being walking distance to his favorite playground, so even the hard to please preteen was smiling.  We left the viewing with all 3 kids happy to move, and now our closing is tomorrow.

Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can also be scary if you don’t know where to start. Are you confused on how to get started with your homebuying journey? I began the process by connecting with a specialist on the Bank of America Home LoansHome Loans website here!

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

Diaper Savings Alert: New Lower Luvs Prices!

This review was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management, Luvs was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Diapers can be expensive!  When Anthony was in diapers I learned quickly that Luvs was going to be our diaper of choice.   Luvs diapers prevented leaks, were soft on my baby’s skin, and they were the most reasonably priced diapers available.
 
When the twins came, that meant 2 of everything and double the cost.  We went back to Luvs because it is the official diaper of experienced parents!
Luvs has NightLock Plus, which locks away wetness 2X better than other brands, and gives babies the protection they need while consistently being easy on your wallet.

#MoreToLuv(s) = more money in the bank for parents

Luvs has always been a great value, but they just made their prices even lower!  Make sure you check out your favorite retailer for new lower prices next time your making a diaper run.

 

As an experienced mom, you learn not to trust something because it costs more, you trust what works! “So Live, Learn and Get Luvs, at even lower prices.”!

Plan the Perfect Movie Night to Celebrate the New Troll’s Holiday Movie!

This post is sponsored, all opinions are 100% my own.

Plan the Perfect Movie Night to Celebrate the New Troll’s Holiday Movie!

We love family movie nights, especially around the holiday season.  There is just something about a lit Christmas Tree that makes me want hot cocoa and snuggling with my kids, in front of the tv and tree.

When we learned about the new movie Trolls Holiday release exclusively at Walmart, we got right into the Trolls theme to prep for the release on November 28th

Last weekend we planned to watch the Grinch after school because I had started to decorate the house for Christmas.  The kids are thrilled about the upcoming release, so I made sure to theme our night in with everything bright and Trolls themed.
I set up a colorful Trolls hot cocoa bar and made some fun Trolls headbands for the kids.  Then once we were all settled, I played the official Troll’s Holiday trailer for the kids before starting the Grinch.  Lilly is most excited about the new original song that is featured in the movie, and I can’t wait to see the whole cast back together for this epic movie debut!

Are you excited about the new Troll’s Holiday release?
Then make sure you whip up some Troll’s themed hot cocoa and make some bright headbands for your next movie night!

Trolls Hot Cocoa

What you need:
Hot chocolate recipe or packet of choice
Whip cream
Neon Food Coloring
Bright Colored Melting Chocolate
Bright colored sprinkles
Plastic Spoons


Mix whip cream and hot pink food coloring, I used seven drops in a cereal bowl of whip cream to get a bright enough color.  Add food coloring until you achieve the perfect Trolls color.

Melt coordinating chocolate melts.  I chose a bright blue.

Dip rim of the mug in melted chocolate and them quickly dip mug in sprinkles.
Dip plastic spoons in chocolate and then add coordinating sprinkles.

Enjoy the warm deliciousness!

Trolls Headband Instructions

What you need:
Plain Headband (I like using on that is about ½ inch thick)
Elastic
Roll of 6-inch wide Tulle
Scissors
Ribbon
Flower/Bow Decorations

Cut tulle into 21-25 12-inch strips.


Tie tulle strips onto headband.

Halfway up the tulle bunch together and wrap with elastic, then tie a bow with ribbon to cover elastic.

Decorate according to style desired with flowers and bows. We chose to add frayed tulle flowers in coordinating colors along the knots with hot glue.

(If the tulle is too soft and doesn’t stay up, you can spray with starch)

Now it’s time to get the new Troll’s Holiday movie at your local Walmart Supercenter, and create an amazing movie night!

 

 

 

Santa.com, The Official Site of Santa! ~ Get Daily Text Messages from Santa

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Santa.com, all opinions are 100% my own.

Christmas is going to be here before we know it, so why not get in the holiday spirit by having some fun with the big man in red himself!  Santa.com is an amazing website that focuses on positive lessons, not presents.

Your child can receive cute text messages from Santa with facts about Christmas and messages about positive values, while his nice list promotes reading, good habits and politeness!  There are so many great services and activities on Santa.com including:

E-mails from Santa (free!): Santa.com has the most genuine email Santa Service. We are the only site in the World that Will send a detailed, thoughtful, reply using the email Santa@Santa.com.

Text Messages from Santa ($9.99): Receive daily, personalized text messages filled with Christmas spirit, amusing facts, and positive values. It’s a great, no-stress Way to enjoy Some Christmas Spirit every day.

Handwritten Notes from Santa: in late November Santa.com offers a new service for sending handwritten notes from Santa. Stay tuned for further details.

There is also some adorable coloring pictures that you can download to color and be sure to read Santa’s blog!

Plus parents can have peace of mind letting the kids roam Santa.com, the site is Kids Safe, privacy protected, FTC approved and designed for ages 1-120!

Giveaway Time!

Enter to win this awesome Santa.com prize pack including a Santa.Com fidget Spinner Wrapped in gift paper and a Santa.Com ribbon, a Santa.com eco-friendly folding tote bag, a Santa Libs storybook and Coloring pages, a Santa.com Oval bumper sticker, and a Santa.com pen.

Santa.com Giveaway!

Santa hid a 35% off coupon code!

You can locate a hidden coupon code for 35% off on Santa.com by downloading the App Blippar from iTunes or Google Play and then hold the app over any image on the Santa.com site.  One of the images will reveal the hidden coupon code.
The code will only be available until November 24th.

 

You also have the opportunity to get 20% off Santa’s daily text messages with coupon code: trisha20off.

 

5 Tips to Make Family Adventures Easier!

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Bring snacks that everyone loves that won’t cause a sugar crash.  My kids love Stonyfield® Organic YoKids® yogurt and I love that Stonyfield recently announced it is reducing sugar across its yogurt brand, and they started with YoKids!  How awesome is that!  They are now featuring between 25% – 40% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt.  This is such a great improvement, that I was thrilled when they asked to partner with me, to spread the word.

It can be hard finding on-the-go snack options that I am happy about feeding my kids and that they also like, but with Stonyfield® Organic YoKids®, the #1 organic kid’s yogurt brand, I can’t go wrong!
 Because Stonyfield YoKids yogurts are certified organic and Non- GMO Project verified, that means it is always made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs.

YoKids® yogurt is available in all varieties such as cups, pouches, tubes, and smoothies.  My kids love the tubes and pouches, plus they are so convenient for family adventures, I can just toss them in my bag and go!

Plan for the unexpected, keep change of clothes in car and sweatshirts.  We live in Florida and I still keep sweatshirts in the car, you never know when the weather might change.  I also keep a change of clothes in case we stumble across a splash pad I didn’t know about.  My motto during family adventures is “just let the kids…” whenever possible.  So if they get covered in ice cream or soaking wet going through a fountain, I’m prepared.

Leave extra time in your schedule to really be adventurous.  Try not to plan out every moment or squeeze in too much for one day.  Having some “whatever” time built into the day allows you to spend extra time in an area you love or exploring something you didn’t think of before.  The more you loosen up the time restraints the less stressful a family adventure will be.

Buy tickets and passes ahead of time.  Not only do most attractions offer discounts when you buy tickets online, they also let you skip the ticket booth and go straight to the admission gate, which means less time waiting in line with excited kids.

Put down the camera/phone.  It’s hard I know; my job is to take pictures of most of our adventures but it’s easy to end up having a thousand images at the end of the day with no real memories.  Decide on a couple important photos you know you’ll cherish and put the camera away for the rest of the time and enjoy the moments.

What are your favorite family adventure tips?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stonyfield® Organic YoKids®. 

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