Category Archives: How To

Car Seat Belt Safety For Kids And Teens

Getting And Keeping My Kids Safely Secured With The Proper Seat Belt Settings Is My Priority

Car seat belt safety for kids and teens is something that can be such a huge family outing stressor for some parents, this includes me.

I never claim to be the car safety or car seat guru, “nazi” as some call strict and passionate advocates, or even to be the perfect parent because even after being a child car provider for the last thirty years and a mother for twenty-one of those years…. Things change, I learn something new every year on this sort of topic. 

While I am not the perfect Mama, I have never claimed I am, I do my best to make sure my kids and the children in my car are safe as I can possibly get them to be.

Since moving to Florida I have become a very anxious driver I truly hate this. It mainly began after my car accident, where a lady was on her phone and slammed into me while at a red light. Ever since then, I will not even turn on my car until we are all in the seat, sitting upright and have our car seat belt adjusted and secured. 

I Do Not Fight Or Argue With My Boys About Having To Be Secured Using A Seat Belt; Wearing Our Seat Belts Even For Adults Is A  Non-Negotiable.

kids seat belt nd car safety
You Are The Driver, Do Not Turn On The Car Until They Are Properly Wearing Their Seat Belt And Secured. It Is Better Than The Negative And Permanent Alternative

There have been plenty of times where you look into the mirror or at a red light you take a glance back at everyone to check on them and may find that someone has slouched in their seat, fell asleep, or something else that has shifted them from being in their seat belt properly. At these times I remind them I will turn off that car, right then and there at the red light, my boys know when I say something… I Will Do it. They don’t like or want the embarrassment, so they quickly fix themselves. 

But what happens when you have a child that is being rebellious, isn’t trying to hear you, is having a tantrum, and flat out refusing? That is where you come back to a post just like this one and read through it with your kids. Sometimes kids won’t do it for their parents, but will when a non-parent tells them to….. So here I am, that non-parent. 

Hey there, I know you don’t like wearing such an uncomfortable seat belt; I get it, I am horribly claustrophobic and it has taken me a long time to agree to have to wear a seat belt.

I have to say, that after being in two car accidents that have not been my fault; but one car accident I had on a belt the other I did not … The Car Seat Belt Kept Me Safer And Reduced Injury To Me In My Second Car Accident.

Do I grumble, moan and complain about how the belt seems to “choke” me yes, every time and all during the car ride too! I get it, it doesn’t look cool either. But we have to do things that are not cool all the time, we have to do things that are mandatory.

Did you know that in some states, if an officer sees you without a seat belt on, they will stop the car and give the driver a huge ticket! Will you be paying this ticket? 

And if that is not enough, which it will not be… show them the fun videos on this post from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Series! ← They will listen more to him more than you or I put together. 

Car Seat Safety Facts:

  • Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old
  • Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States
  • 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash
  • Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness
  • Many parents and caregivers move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon.  That’s why it’s important to get the facts about what’s safest for your child’s age and size

Every thirty-three seconds a child is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age eight to fourteen who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.

Part of the problem that I have encountered myself is not enough awareness, not enough people who physically help you in person. When we get the ok to go home from the hospital, they are not allowed to ensure that parents have the proper car seat, have it installed correctly or placing the children in it correctly. There is not that personal teaching that so many parents desperately want and need. 

Some say that if you go to your local fire department or police station though, some may be willing to give you a hand. This may not be the case for everyone, but give it a try. 


There Are So Many Car Seat Variations, How Do I Choose The Best Fit?

Parents and caregivers need to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.

I went through this exact thing when Yaidan was born. There is a seven-year gap between him and Jehzel. It literally was like starting over. And the products and services that are around now are most definitely not what we had in 2008! When it came time to buy Yaidan’s car seat and many other things, yes I was at a complete loss at what to do! I know that what I needed and wanted had to compliment each other and for a little bit there, I gave up. It was that stressful! We bought his car seat the day he was born, and I already knew exactly when he was going to be born as a C-Section Mama lol.

When it came time to buy Yaidan’s car seat and many other things, yes I was at a complete loss at what to do! I know that what I needed and wanted had to compliment each other and for a little bit there, I gave up. It was that stressful! We bought his car seat the day he was born, and I already knew exactly when he was going to be born as a C-Section Mama lol. 

Having these videos and Car Seat Safety Guidelines is very helpful. When I went there, I found helpful tips and there is a few charts and calculators to help determine exactly what type of car seat to get.

It literally takes thirty seconds to buckle up. Getting hit by a car can happen in less time than that and you won’t know it is coming, it will happen at any time and to anyone. Car accidents have no discrimination, they are fair game for anyone. 

which child to parent battle to choose from bed making or car seat belt safety
As A Parent, We Are Challenged With Child-Parent Battles Daily. Life Gets Easier When We Learn Quickly Which Of Those Battles We Should Be Engaged With And Go For The Win.

As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound.  This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues.  First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”

This is a great video to show you how to determine what type of child car seat is the safest

The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.  But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat.  

For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. Check The Right Carseat Guidelines Here.

That was a tough one for me when Jehzel was younger. This was during a time frame where he was feeling bad about himself because he has a problem with growth. He literally stopped growing when he was two years old. So when he was seven almost eight years old it was hard for him. Kids teased him, they saw him show up to school in a booster seat and they would ask him all the time why is he in a baby seat still, they were not in any seat. 


how to use a child booster seat. when should you use a child booster seat.
Jehzel Age 7.5 In His Cars Themed Booster Seat. He Did Not Like It, But Car Seat Safety Is Not A Popularity Contest For Us.





























It made it hard because I would question myself and he would question me about this ongoing issue. When he was almost seven years old, he still wore size 4T/5T! That is how short he was. However no matter the tears, he still for his safety needed to be in the booster seat, so he got a reward of the tablet that is in his lap to occupy himself away from that booster seat. 

In A Blink Of An Eye

And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” then a teen and you enter a whole new world.  To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventures Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.

The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).

My boys love the whole series from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. They can easily read it, comprehend the message and we talk about all the different topics and issues that come up in them. I like it also because it speaks to them in their language and most of it is done in a serious but comical way. I highly recommend the series, but for now, have them watch this video with you.

Do Your Kids Like The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series, if so they can easily relate to this video ⇓

Being Consistent No Matter What Car They Are In Helps Build Solid Good Habits

Since birth, I have always stressed to my kids how important car safety is.  It doesn’t matter if they are in my car, their Papa’s car, aunt, uncle, neighbors or even a friends car. They must still adhere to taking measures to protect themselves. 

The same rule applies to anyone who is riding with us, even if they don’t do it elsewhere. This not only protects them but reminds them of what they should be doing. Plus it shows my kids that it really doesn’t matter where you are. Stick with safety no matter where you are, follow good habits and stay true to yourself. 

The other rule that I wholeheartedly and am strict about is kids not being in the front seat! My boys are not allowed in the front seat until they are sixteen years old… Yes, they must pass go on their sixteenth birthday in order to ride in the front seat, I do not care how short of a ride it will be, they have to sit in the back period.   

Throughout the car ride I am always checking on the kids, yes I know they are big and I know they can’t disappear from the car without me seeing them haha, I still have a habit of looking back there. Here is what I found about half way home during a four-hour drive.  

how kids should be using car seat belts

As soon as I saw them like this, I took their pictures because they need to see the difference in proper seat belt usage. They were tired after a long fun family day, I know but we have to stay on top of car safety, even during longer trips. We pulled over and got their pillows and such before returning to the road again. Sebastian already has his, so we had to remind him about the dangers, no matter how many eye rolls he gave me.

Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash.  Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”

Seat Belt Safety Tips:

  • Emphasize short-term consequences or rewards  
  • No matter how hectic or chaotic your situation is, don’t negotiate over seat belt safety
  • Consistently model seat belt safety. Wear your seat belt and insist that all family members do the same
  • Never assume your kids are buckled up
  • Keep your child in the back seat until at least age 13


Seat Belt Safety Facts:

  • 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained at the time of the crash
  • An estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes
  • 61% of 14-year-olds killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash


For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, together with yur children visit Kids Safety In The Car Here and have a discussion with them. They can not argue with you when thy are faced with evidence based facts. 

*According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

 If you have a question or great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.


Spooky Graveyard How To

Easy Ways to Turn Your Front Yard into a Spooky Graveyard

Halloween will soon be here. If you’re used to decorating your door for those trick or treating, you may be interested in easy ways to turn your front yard into a spooky graveyard this year. Instead of minimal decorations, why not go all out?

You don’t have to break the budget to come up with the decorations for your yard, but you will want to give those decorations some thought, I have seen some messy front yards before. I couldn’t understand the concept they were even going for, don’t let that be you. Here are some ideas you can use to create that spooky graveyard.  Plus getting the kids involved gives them something to do and hey, it’s a great fun family activity.

It is easy to find large cardboard boxes which are being thrown away. Ask any furniture or electronics store if you can have their boxes after taking items from them. These boxes make a great base for the gravestones.

* Think about the size and shape of gravestones. They are often rectangles with rounded corners, cross-shaped or any number of other shapes. How large you make the gravestones will depend upon what size and how many boxes you get. Cut out the gravestones.

* Paint all of the boxes gray or other natural stone colors. You can also use chalk (there is a chalkboard paint btw)in varying colors to create the look of weathered stone.

* With a large, thick marker, write R.I.P. in large letters toward the top of the tombstone. You can write names on each of the cardboard tombstones with varying dates from different time periods. get creative, it doesn’t have to look like all the others. If you have an artist in the house, they can have fun with drawing skulls and other spooky, scary stuff on them.

* Dig down a little ways to place the bottom of the cardboard into the ground. If necessary, place a stick or something behind the cardboard to help it remain standing.

* Mound leaves or maybe some black carnations or roses in front of the cardboard tombstone to make it look like a graveyard with recent additions.

* The more gravestones you add to your yard, the more “real” and spooky it becomes.

Other things you may want to include in your yard to create the spooky graveyard you seek are “ghosts” made from sheets or garbage bags. Don’t forget to put eyes and mouths on them. Hang them from the trees. Spider webbing, it helps make it scary with spiders lingering around or make it look haunted and abandoned.

You may also want to get some large orange garbage bags which are normally sold before Halloween. Real jack-o-lanterns with candles can also be placed around the yard and on the porch to add to the atmosphere.

Spider webs hung from trees and across the entry way would also give the impression of a graveyard. What do you make spider webs from? Gauze-like material and stretchable webbing are available where costumes and party favors are sold.

Find scary Halloween music which can be played during the evening while children trick or treating visit. Strobe lights will give the impression of lightening, and dry ice can create fog which covers the ground. These and the above ideas are some of the easy ways to turn your front yard into a spooky graveyard children will talk about until next year. I found this cool graveyard scavenger hunt, looks like so much fun. And here are some fun Halloween printables too.



Basic Witch Costume How To

Basic Witch Costume How To

What is more fun than being a witch for Halloween? Well, of course making a mess .. I mean making the costume ourself right! Mom, you are so busy with making sure the kids are all set, how about giving these simple instructions for a witch costume to the kids to make on their own, of course with your supervision and guidance.

Letting your child make their own costume isn’t just fun for them, it frees up your own time too. Ok, ok had to put that in there, but it actually teaches your child many things too.

  • How to follow instructions. Best Life Skill Ever!
  • Get creative, though there are instructions, they can use it as more of a general guide and put their own spin on it.
  • Fine and gross motor skills. Things like cutting, gluing even painting.

– Just to name a few.

How to Make Your Own Witch Costume for Halloween

Children love to dress up during Halloween. And if you still love to dress up, mine do it all year long. The following information will give you ideas on how to make a great Halloween costume with items you probably already have in your home.

Witches are a part of history both in the United States and around the world. While Hollywood has given us different images of witches, historical drawings show them wearing pointy black hats and black flowing gowns. They may also wear a cape of some type.

Since the stereotypical image of a witch is as described above, these directions will explain how to create that type of costume. Here are the items you’ll need to create a pointy hat:

Black paint and paint brush
Black ribbon

Make a cone from the newspaper. After you’re sure the cone will fit your head, tape the edges both inside and out to help the cone maintain its shape.

  1. Place the cone you’ve created on the cardboard. Trace around the outside of the cone to mark where your head will go. Then draw another circle, 4 to 5 inches wider, to create the brim. Carefully cut both of these out.
  2. Push the cone into the center and tape it to the brim. For added stability, tape the cone on top and underneath to secure the brim to the cone. Finish the witch’s hat by painting it black and adding a black ribbon to cover the seam.

For the rest of the costume you can wear black clothing. A skirt or dress with ragged edges can be used, along with a long-sleeved black shirt and black cape. Pointy-toed boots and dark stockings will complete the clothing part of the costume.

Don’t forget that make-up makes a woman or a witch. Use temporary gray dye or powder in your hair to make you look older. Make a pointy nose out of clay and use make-up to create a greenish complexion. Black out one or more teeth and you’re set to give other party-goers or trick-or-treaters a toothy grin.

Some witches have been shown having a large wart or mole. To create one of these, you can use an eyeliner pencil to draw it on either your nose or your chin. This will complete your costume.

Once you know how to make your own witch costume for Halloween it may give you the confidence you need to make other costumes in the future. You can also use these tips to create costumes all year round. Here are some witch printables too. witch