I’m Going to Be a Pinterest Mom

Three years ago I said I was going to be a Pinterest Mom, well it didn’t happen…big shock. I know I was shocked too. Maybe now that my kids are a bit older and don’t need as much attention I can actually achieve this goal? Only time will tell.


This is the year I’m going to shine brighter than all the other moms out there. I am going to be the mom that all the other mom’s talk about, strive to be, dare to out-do. I’m going to be THAT mom, the Pinterest mom.

I will finally have three kids in school and it is my time to be brilliant. There will be nasty, snarky posts about me, sideways glances in the school yard, but I don’t care. Creativity will be mine!!

I’m going to make the snazziest lunches, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, healthy and delicious. My kids will eat the rainbow at lunch alone. There will also be heartfelt notes in each lunchbox, everyday. I may even make my husband write some too.

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom
Look at the balance in these meals!

There are going to be epic dinners and after school snacks, maybe a couple of fancy desserts a week. I’ll have plenty of time to go to the grocery store and prepare my feasts.

Kraus House Mom
Who wouldn’t want this presented to them?

My girls are going to go to school with fancy hairdos everyday and carefully put together outfits. Polyvore’s not going to have anything on me. Moms will be trolling my Instagram feed for outfit inspiration. I’m even going to sew some fantastic ensembles.

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom
Look how pulled together they are

Organization:  a place for everything and everything in its place. My house is going to be spotless. A chore chart will be posted and adhered to; everyone will know what his or her job is.

Kraus House Mom
A weeks worth of cardboard in one cereal box, Grampa would be so proud!

After school starts, Halloween is just around the corner along with the “Holiday Season”. The snazz will be happening at the Kraus House this year, I’m giving advance warning. We’re talking decorations up the wazoo. If I pinned it, it will be!

Kraus House Mom
This makes any house look so inviting

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom

Kraus House Mom
I make stunning costumes!

Birthday parties will be like society galas with themes, themes, themes. Keep your fingers crossed for an invitation, the social events of the season. Swag bags for all that attend.

Kraus House Mom
It’s Party Time!!!

Who am I kidding? This is never going to happen. Lunches? Maizie INSISTS on getting school lunch salad everyday and she has the same snack the entire year. I may have to get somewhat creative with Stella (she’s a bit of a diva) and Teddy eats anything (especially if I put it in a thermos), leftovers it is.

I have been trying for years to plan meals in advance, it hasn’t happened. I’m a look in the fridge/freezer and figure out what can be cooked the fastest kind of girl. And when it comes to baking, well that’s Ted’s job and we won’t discuss it any further.

I’m lucky Maizie even gets her hair brushed before we leave the house in the morning and she’s not big on fancy hairdos. Stella on the other hand has started doing her own hair (at 5 years old). I suppose I should really help her out in that department, but she does a pretty good job. As for clothes, Maizie doesn’t like to get too adventurous in the wardrobe department Stella’s whole motto is “Flair or Nothing”. (You should check Instagram for Stella’s creations.) I do want to sew more; I’ll have to find my sewing machine first.

Organization and cleaning, face it Ted, it’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. I try but the shiny things take over and I lose focus. I really do plan on trying to stay organized since my scatterbrain “condition” seems to get worse with age.

Holiday decorations? My kids have to nag me until I can’t stand it in order to drag them out and then I let them do it. Well, I do take control of the mantel. Last year Stella asked for two straight weeks for me to put the Halloween wreath on the door and I don’t even think I own and Thanksgiving decorations.

Birthday parties? I’ll have them at a place so I don’t have to do any of that. I’ll pay someone else to decorate and create a theme. I will admit I have a tendency to go overboard with the favors.

There will probably still be sideways glances and comments, but they’ll be more like, “Wow, she is a slacker.”

Maybe this school year I can find a happy medium?

Disclaimer: None of these photos are from Pinterest, I took them all.

Target Red Card…My Worst Decision

I must say, getting a Target Red card had to have been one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m in Target every week to begin with, really who isn’t? Why shouldn’t I have one?

I try to go in for just the “things on my list” but if there’s someone out in the interwebs that is capable of that, I’d like to meet you.

If I bring my kids, especially Stella, there’s no chance of me getting out of there without any extras.

Now, I’ve been using Cartwheel for quite a while (after deleting and reinstalling because of forgotten passwords), I’m a sucker for a sale or a deal. Now with my Red Card I get an extra 5% off every time I use it.

Target Cartwheel

Do you know what that means? I can buy 5% more stuff.

How is that saving me money?

When I clean out my purse it’s stuffed with Target receipts.

Whenever I need anything I head to Target because I can use my Red Card and save money.

Who am I kidding? I’m not really saving anything. I now buy a bunch of my groceries at Target, why not? Stop & Shop isn’t offering me any deals at checkout.

Target Red Card

I even get 5¢ off for bringing my own bag (more savings).

Brilliant move Target, now I spend more time and money in your store and I’m positive there are millions more like me.

The man or woman that came up with the 5% off idea better have gotten the biggest bonus imaginable, because it is well deserved.

I’m glad I opted for the debit and not the credit, at least that way I have slow my roll and not go nuts in the underwear department.

Seriously, I’m glad I have it, not thrilled with my shopping habits.

I’ve Got What? I’m Not Old Enough!

I had a check up at the doctor a few weeks ago, no big woop.

I mentioned I keep having these insane headaches that start at the back of my head and then make my head feel like it’s going to explode. It even hurts to blink.

Waiting for him to tell me I was most likely stroking out and brains would end up all over my walls, so stock up on cleaners and scrubby sponges; he threw me a curve ball.

Kraus House Mom

He sent me for an x-ray to see if it’s…arthritis. Really? Arthritis? Am I THAT old?

Guess what? Apparently I AM that old. I have arthritis is my neck. Lucky me.

Now my doctor is big into trying physical therapy for aches and pains.

He sent me for my back a few years ago and it helped a lot. (I don’t even think I was 40 back then.)

Then he wanted me to go for bursitis in my shoulder, I didn’t. That was too close to “living in the home” old for me (my grandparents had that). Not to mention that my husband was going for a shoulder injury and his therapist was torturing him, no thank you. So I toughed it out.

I made the appointment for PT, mainly because I can’t stand the headaches.

There’s nothing like going into a medical office thinking you’re doing pretty well, then realizing, “Man, I’m just a hot mess.”

Withing three minutes of being in the room, I came to understand what a hot mess my neck really is. I could barely move it, thank goodness the therapist pointed all this out. Talk about destroying self esteem. I though I was young and vibrant, that bubble burst.

So after an exam and a painful, yet relaxing neck rub I was sent home with exercises, a bruised ego and 4 more weeks of appointments.

It sucks to be over 40.



Be The Cool Mom With Whiffer Sniffers

Kraus House Mom

Do you want to be the coolest mom ever?

I can tell you how.

Whiffer Sniffers!

I was sent some Whiffer Sniffers to review, and now my kids think I am the greatest. They can’t wait to show them off when school starts.

What are Whiffer Sniffers?

Just the cutest, best smelling backpack clips I have ever seen.

The Original Whiffer Sniffers are high-quality scented plush characters with quirky personalities to match their scents.

When the box arrived and I told my kids that Whiffer Sniffers were inside, the first thing Stella said was that she hoped there was popcorn backpack clip in there. There was, and it smells great.

Kraus House Mom

Not only are there Backpack Clips (the ultimate school yard collectible), there are also Super Sniffers; which are 12 inch huggable plush pals that also smell spectacular. (Maizie jumped right on that one and hasn’t given it up yet.)

Kraus House Mom

I thought that only my girls would want them, nope. Teddy couldn’t wait to give them a sniff and he wants to put some on his backpack as well. Although I do think it may be a ploy get his lady friends interested.

To add to the excitement, there are also Mystery Packs…what kids doesn’t love a mystery pack? Here is where the rare characters are hiding. You may even score a super rare gold bag, a mix of two existing characters.

The Backpack Clips we received were popcorn, doughnut, and strawberry. Our Mystery Packs were apple and chocolate chip and our Super Sniffer was strawberry cupcake.

Kraus House Mom

Once you, as a parent sniff these, you will be thrown back to your childhood. Whiffer Sniffers will take you back to all your scented toys and accessories (especially if you grew up in the 80s). Not to mention that there are also Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Stickers!

You can find them here…www.WhifferSniffers.com

The Original Whiffer Sniffers Everything Else Just Stinks

You can watch the Kraus Kids as they first check out Whiffer Sniffers here

Disclosure: I was given Whiffer Sniffers to review, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Summer Bucket List

Kraus House Mom

At the beginning of summer of every summer vacation I ask each of the Kraus Kids what they want to do during their vacation and I have to tell you, they’re kind of boring. I’ve got some boring kids.

I took a mental note of all the things they told me they wanted to do throughout the year and helped them embellish their list a bit.

Here’s the Kraus House Summer Bucket List (Revised Edition)

  • Strawberry Picking
  • Providence Flea
  • Boston Museum of Science
  • Beach
  • Build a house in the backyard
  • Drive In
  • Mini Golf
  • Duck Boats (in Boston)
  • Polish Festival (Our Lady of Czestochowa)
  • Fireworks
  • Paw Sox Game
  • Red Sox Game
  • Bike Path
  • Water Park
  • Newport Mansion
  • Different Zoo
  • Pool
  • Bowling
  • Brunch
  • Dine al Fresco
  • See The BFG
  • See Secret Life of Pets
  • Cliffwalk
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Flea Market
  • Penny Candy Store
  • Ice Cream for Dinner
  • Iggy’s

There are other things that I would like to do, but this list is something I thing we can really accomplish without being boring.

Follow along and read about our summer adventures.

Do you have special plans for the summer?

Teddy’s Line…Staying Safe at the Beach

Stay Safe at the Beach

I originally wrote this post three years ago and feel  the need to repost it every year. This technique has been so helpful over the years.

From the very first time he went into the ocean he loved it. He kept crawling toward it and we had to pull him out because as Ted says, “He’s braver than he is smart.” He will just keep going out into the water and not think anything of it.

The first time Teddy went to the beach when he could walk (1 1/2 yrs old)

He didn’t have to go in holding someone’s hand (2 1/2 yrs) and stayed there until dragged out

Two years ago this became a big problem. He didn’t want to get out of the water and I didn’t want to spend the entire day standing there with him, so I would let him go in by himself.

Don’t worry, I didn’t let a four year old just wander around, at this point in time I didn’t take the kids to the beach by myself. We would go and there would be at least five adults, someone was always watching.

I had to keep going and telling him he was in too deep. My dad said something about a line, and it dawned on me. I had a Sharpie in my bag. I called Teddy over and drew a line right on his stomach. I told him he couldn’t go out in the water past that line or he would have to come and sit down.

His first line (it was high because someone still sat close to the water)

Well, he went into the water and after every step he took, he looked down to see if he past the line.

I worked like a charm. I am a genius! I don’t have to keep getting up and telling him to come closer anymore.

The level of the line can change depending on the waves or how well he stayed below it the last time.

This week’s line

He knows if he sees me standing at the edge of the water with my hands on my hips that he went too far. He doesn’t even argue about it anymore. He comes out, he sits down (it’s usually the only time I can reapply sunscreen), has a bite to eat and then he goes back out when he’s done his time.

This is what happens when you go past the line

It usually happens once or twice at the beginning of the summer, the more he does it the longer he has to sit.

We’ll see how many times he has to sit this summer.

Summer Necessities…Must Haves for (My) Kids

There are some things that are absolutely necessary for summer in order to keep the Kraus Kids occupied. The best part is, they are very cheap and easily replaced once they run out.

I make sure I have a nice supply of these essentials.


Jump ropes   My girls will jump in the driveway, and up and down the sidewalk throughout the summer. I buy a lot of them because they will get used to tie things up, end up in knots and left out in the rain.

Bubbles  You can never have enough bubbles in the summer. I get all sorts of contraptions for them to use and tons of bottles of the stuff. I do sometimes make them a batch of homemade bubble mix when I’m feeling like a Pinterest mom.

Sidewalk Chalk  My kids have already gone through three buckets of these. They are always being left out in the rain. My kids do let them dry out and then use it, they say it still works fine, but since it is so inexpensive and keeps them occupied for hours I keep getting them more.

Hula Hoops These are not only used around the waist. They are targets to hit or throw through, something used to catch the enemy and used as an obstacle course. My kids use them for so many different things that they don’t care that they get bent.

Kraus House Mom
Two is one too many for her

Water Balloons  We love a good water balloon fight in our house. I’ll fill up a couple of buckets for each team and let the games begin. It’s great on a hot day.

Balls   Big or small, doesn’t matter, we need them all. Each game requires a different kind of ball. My kids make up their own games with their own rules all the time (Who remembers CalvinBall?)

Squirt Guns  I’m thinking about investing in Super Soakers this summer. My son thinks he’s this great warrior, he shoots like a Stormtrooper. I may need to show him how it’s really done. The thought of a Super Soaker show down sounds like fun.

What are some things your kids “need” this summer?

Adult Coloring Relaxing?

The almighty “THEY” say adult coloring books are “supposed” to be relaxing.

I loved coloring, I colored into my teens.

Now I don’t think I would call it relaxing though.

For Christmas I received some coloring books. They have bigger pictures, the smaller, more intricicate designs would have driven me to madness. I figured I could use them to relax…

Boy was I wrong!

Kraus House Mom
These are the ones I got for Christmas

I have found that coloring actually causes me some stress.

I guess when it comes to me coloring I’m a perfectionist, I’m not in ANY other aspect of my life.

Some of the thoughts that go through my head are…

  • My pencil is too dull I need to sharpen it
  • What happened to the sharpener?
  • Did I go out of the line a little bit?
  • Did I use this color already?
  • Is there too much of color X?
  • I don’t have enough variety of colors.
  • The lines aren’t blending together

Then I need to deal with my kids stealing my colored pencils and they ask if they can color a little bit of may page? Are you out of your mind?

Kraus House Mom
There’s so much wrong with this it drives me nuts

How could I find this relaxing?

I know I need to loosen up, it’s just a coloring book. But this is the one and only thing I’m this neurotic about.

What do you get neurotic about?

How Stella is Like a Hollywood Has-Been


I wrote this about Stella two years ago. It is still true today.

Every little girl has a little diva inside them, but Stella is a Big Diva (in so many ways). There are times she reminds me of a starlet that has lost her Hollywood glow.



She gets in the tub with all her jewelry on and doesn’t realize it. Seriously, necklace, bracelet, headbands, you name it then she looks at you with an Oops face and starts to giggle.



She makes unreasonable demands.




She wanted to sit on top of the two stools.

She wakes up in the morning looking like she’s been on a week-long bender. Come to think of it, once you brush her hair she looks like that after 10 minutes.



No pants and one cowboy boot…enough said!


This is how she wakes up looking 85% of the time.


She still gets this excited over marshmallows.


She wants fame. She’s always wants me to take her picture and post it. Now she (and Teddy want to be You Tube stars). I can just imagine the stuff they would post because I know the stuff Ted won’t let me post.

I find her passed out on her floor.


I frequently find her on the floor, a few times she’s been under the bed.


She can go days eating like a bird, then binge like she’s going to the chair.



Some of her outfits could get her on the “What were they thinking” list.




A Stella-Blue original


Sunglasses have become her signature look.


She causes public scenes.


She needs her beauty rest.



Do not disturb


She calls everyone by the same name, Bubby. She’s too cool to use Dahling.

What do you think, is she a diva?