Bacon & Kids

Successfully Bring Home the Bacon and Raise Happy Kids!

12+ Back To School Tips and Organization Ideas

Back to School Tips & Organization Ideas

back to school to do list

 Only a few weeks left before our kids start back to school – Our summer days are flying by. And yet, there are still so many more fun summer activities we want to do! The weather in our neighborhood has felt more like fall than summer for weeks now!  😦

 Whether we want to think about it or not, it’s time to start working on our Back to School to do lists. Here are some of my back to school tips and organization ideas:

 Back-To-School Check-list –

Get your paper & pen out and write your back to school checklist, one that includes everything you need to do to be ready for the first day of school. Writing things down on paper helps to purge your brain of all the things you have to do and eliminates the worry that you’re going to forget something. Not only that, it brings me great joy to be able to cross things off of my list.

 It doesn’t need to be perfect –

Remember, we still have a precious few weeks with our kids before school starts…don’t make yourself crazy by foolishly thinking everything in your home has to be perfectly organized. Spend time with your kids having fun – get the necessities ready now but know that there will be time once the kids are back in school to focus on the other things.

What will they wear? –

Before School Starts…

Clean out kids’ closets/drawers. Before you head out to the mall for the dreaded back to school clothes shopping, go through their closets and dresser drawers. Remember to check clothes and shoes for fit, cleanliness and/or any needed alterations or repairs. Donate the clothes/shoes that are too small. Add the items that you need to buy to your to do list.

During the School Year…

Simplify the morning routine by picking out their clothes the night before or I usually pick out their clothes for the week and label them Monday – Friday. This is a huge time saver! Remember to include hair accessories, socks, etc.

School Supplies 

Your child probably received a school supply shopping list at the end of the school year, if not, check the school website for a list of what your child will need. Check for supplies you may already have before you head to the store. Many stores are having Back To School sales so watch out for the deals. Now is a good time to buy extra supplies for later on in the school year.

Lunches/Snacks –

I’ve mentioned before that I hate making lunches every day. So I try to make the process a little easier (I know, I know, how hard is it to make lunch?) Anyway, this is what I do.

* Prepare some school lunch/snack bins for the refrigerator and cupboard.  

Easy lunches and snacks

* Make the lunches/snacks the night before .

* Lunch notes/jokes. Think about adding lunch notes/jokes to their lunch. My kids love reading the notes/jokes at school. You can print out a bunch in advance so you can quickly add a special note with their lunch.

Healthy snacks – Fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese are great choices. Nuts, whole grains and yogurt are also good snack choices.

Avoid fruit juices, energy drinks , sodas, sticky and chewy foods.

Instead of PB & J’s every single day (my sons favorite lunch) , get creative with a variety of lunches. For inspiration check out my Pinterest Board School Lunches & Snacks

 Start the School Year with a Healthy Smile –

The Surgeon General calls dental problems the “Silent Epidemic” that results in more than 51 million school hours missed each year! Schedule your child’s Back To School Check-up. 

 Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance! 

No one performs well in the morning if you’re stressed and rushed your kids will be too. Avoid chaotic mornings by doing as much as possible the night before to get ready for the next day! Pack lunches/snacks, get homework and backpacks ready, set the table for breakfast, have their clothes picked out (including hair accessories,shoes, etc.

Paper Clutter – 

It amazes me how many school papers come home every day! Plan now to control that paper clutter. To start, every day right after school I go through the kids’ backpacks and check for any papers that need to be returned, homework, upcoming events and so on. I immediately add any important dates (& the details of the school function/field trip to my Gmail calendar as well as any dates where permission slips/money is due and so on. In the kitchen I have folders for each child for the “now” school papers. And for the papers I want to save, at my desk in my filing cabinet I have 2 folders  w/labels for each child and the grade they are in. In my master filing cabinet I have folders labeled K thru grade 12 for each child so at the end of the school year I simply put the finished grade away and pull out the next grade.

Backpacks –

Have a designated home for backpacks –

My kids are to remove their water bottles and lunch boxes from their backpacks as soon as they get home from school.

I check backpacks for any school papers, homework, etc. Rather than have the kids remove these items I ensure that I don’t miss any notes and that their homework sheets are posted on the refrigerator.

Homework Station / Homework Totes –

I put together homework totes for each child that holds their scissors, glue, pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, etc. This has been a huge time saver and has lessened the homework headaches! 

Homework totes school supplies

 School Money Jar –

I keep a jar in the kitchen that holds money for school lunches, donations, popcorn sales, etc.

 Recyclables –

If your school collects Box Tops, Labels for Education, Coke Points, etc.

Keep these things organized to avoid clutter. I have little hanging buckets labeled Box Tops, Labels for Education, Old Batteries, Can Tabs & Coke Points

organizing box tops and recyclables

For your Sanity

Wake up 20 minutes before it’s time to wake up the kids . Use this time to read, take your shower & get dressed or enjoy a cup of coffee/tea in peace & quiet.. Avoid checking your social media pages and emails – time will slip away and before you know it you’re running behind in the morning, or you read a negative email or post that put you in a bad mood, save that for after you drop the kids off to school.  

What are you doing to prepare for the school year or if school already started in your neck of the woods, please comment to share what is working for you.  

 I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy & Stress-Free School Year!




Good Morning Sunshine Breakfast Casserole

Good Morning Sunshine!

breakfast recipe casserole

The recipe I’m sharing is for a delicious and very easy to make breakfast casserole. This can be prepared the night before and cooked in the morning. You can easily freeze smaller portions to reheat at a later date.

breakfast recipes


8 Eggs

8oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

16oz Cottage Cheese

Bag of Hash Browns

½ stick of Butter

½ cup Fresh Chopped Spinach

Roll of Sausage (you can use spicy if you prefer)

¼ chopped green or red pepper

Small onion chopped

Brown the Sausage

Add the onion & pepper and cook for a minute or so.

Mix the Eggs & Cheeses together, then add the sausage/pepper mixture to bowl.

Layer the baking dish (up the sides too) with the hash browns & melted butter.

Pour the egg mixture on top of the potatoes.

Put in the oven on 350 uncovered for 1 hour.

Or if you’re preparing it the night before, cover and put in the refrigerator and cook in the morning.

Breakfast casserole

Hot out of the Oven. Mmmm!


Happy Breakfast to you!!





Leave a comment »

35+ Spring Break Family Activities and Ideas

35+ Spring Break Family Activities and Ideas

spring break fun

Spring Break from School! It seems like we were just talking about winter break.

Let’s hope for Spring-like weather to go with our kids spring break from school.

I put together 35+ Spring Break Family Activities & Ideas.  Many are low-cost and most are FREE!

ATTENTION LOCAL FRIENDS: At the end of this post I will share a list of local businesses to visit!

These activities can be done in a play group setting, just as a family or with friends.


GAME DAY ~ Get out the Board Games & Cards and set up game stations. Play Minute to Win It games. Serve snacks & have fun!

BAKING ~ Bake and deliver treats to friends & family.

START A GARDEN ~ Kids love digging in the dirt, they love the sense of accomplishment & pride in watching their creations grow! Plant seeds (herbs, sunflowers, etc) in little pots to keep indoors until ready to transplant outdoors.

Don’t forget to make plant markers for your seeds.

READ A BOOK ~ Create a reading log for the family and the family member that logs in the most reading time wins a prize!


  • Teach your kids how to make a simple meal
  • Make a meal/soup for a friend and deliver to them. Let the kids take the meal up to the door, they’ll love surprising someone with dinner.

CRAFTING TIME ~ Get all the craft supplies out, gather little odds and ends from around the house (look in the junk drawer), empty tissue boxes, & paper rolls, soup cans, beads, flowers, glitter, buttons, etc. and let them create some beautiful spring crafts!

FLOOR TIME ~ Play Legos and or Barbies with your kids!

MOVIE NIGHT-IN ~ Popcorn, treats, comfy pj’s and a good family movie.

FAMILY Videos ~ Watch old family videos together (kids LOVE watching themselves)

JIGSAW PUZZLE ~ Work on putting a puzzle together individually & as a family.

SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS ~ Pinterest has lots of fun indoor & outdoor science experiments that your child is sure to love.

MUSIC TIME ~ Turn up the music and dance!!

SPRING CLEANING ~ Now is a great time to do a little spring cleaning. Donate clothes that your child has outgrown & toys they are no longer playing with. (Make a list of the spring/summer clothing you need to buy for your child.)

VIDEO CAMERA ~ Give the kids your video camera and let them make their own movies. They LOVE this!

PICTURE TIME ~ Give them their own camera and let them take pictures of themselves, things around the house, or even outside. I’m always fascinated at seeing photo’s from their perspective.

SLEEP OVER ~Let the kids invite some friends for a sleep over. (Movie, Junk Food, No Bedtime, Games, etc)

CHARADES ~ Play charades, put on a comedy/talent show.

OUTDOOR Activities:

FAMILY PICNIC ~ Pack a picnic for the backyard or a local park.

SCAVENGER HUNT ~ Go on a backyard/neighborhood scavenger hunt. Give your child a list of items to find.

BACKYARD FUN: Play Ball, Jump rope, Sidewalk chalk, skate, etc.


LIBRARY – FREE! Check out some books, movies, video games and music.

BOOK STORE –  Visit a local bookstore.

ROLLER SKATING ~ One of my favorites ;)

BOWLING ~ You know you love wearing those super stylish bowling shoes!

ICE SKATING – Indoor Ice Skating

BILLIARDS ~ Go shoot some pool.  

PARKS ~ Check out one of our many Beautiful Metro Parks.

SALON ~ Go get a pedicure & manicure with the girls.

THEATER/MOVIES ~ Ticket prices cheaper during the day.

COMMUNITY THEATER ~ Go see a community play as a family.

POOL ~ Community Indoor Pool

MUSEUM ~ Visit local museums,

WATERPARK ~ Break out the bathing suits early and have some fun on the waterslides at an indoor waterpark 😀

BOUNCE HOUSE ~ Let the kids burn some energy at an indoor bounce house.

CHUCK E CHEESE ~ Never gets old (including the germs in those places so, include lots of hand washing!)

SHOP/Visit the Mall ~

ANIMAL FARM ~ Visit a local petting farm 

ZOO ~ Spring is a great time to visit the zoo.

There you have it 35+ activities and ideas to keep your little ones busy & happy this Spring Break!

Visit me on Pinterest – I have a TON of ideas to keep your little ones busy.

Local friends, below you will find even more ideas of fun places to visit right here in our neighborhood!  Enjoy!

Happy Spring Break Everyone!


fun things to do in downriver michigan

Local Places:


SKATELAND – Woodhaven

Admission: All Ages, most sessions, $5.00


MILLS Gymnastics


Indian Lanes – Wyandotte

Parkway Lanes – Trenton

There are several places to Bowl in the Downriver Area




Pips Painting Pub – Wyandotte


Yack Arena – Wyandotte

Southgate Arena


MJR Theatre, Southgate


Trenton Village Theater/DYPAC


The Henry Ford – Dearborn

Ford-MacNichol Home –Wyandotte

Hands On Museum – Ann Arbor


Bacon Memorial Library – Wyandotte


Splash Universe – Dundee


Pottery Creations – Wyandotte


Taylor Petting Farm – Taylor


Zap Zone – Taylor


Leave a comment »

Basil-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Basil-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Basil-Parmesan mashed potatoes - Bacon & Kids

Oh my goodness!… Yum!

I love potatoes!  Mashed, Baked, Fried, doesn’t matter – I never tire of eating them.

My Basil-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are a lovely accompaniment to any meal.

The last time I made them I froze the left overs and later added them to my loaded potato soup.  Yum!

Here is the Basil-Paremesan Mashed Potato Recipe:





Sour Cream

Cream Cheese

Basil (Fresh or dried)

Shredded Parmesan

Parsley (Fresh or Dried)

Salt & Pepper

First,  boil potatoes until tender and drain the water.

 I like a hearty mashed potato, so I use a hand- masher (real name?).

I didn’t include exact measurements for the milk, butter & cheese because it depends on how many potatoes you cooked.  I just add the ingredients until the texture is what I want.

 Full of delicious flavor! No gravy needed for these potatoes.


Happy Mashed Potato Making to you! 😀


P.S.  Did you know, you can have Bacon & Kids posts sent directly to your email in-box? Feel free to share Bacon & Kids with your friends & family. 😀

 Please visit us on Pinterest, Facebook & Twitter too!

Leave a comment »

Easy No-Bake Granola Cups

No-Bake Granola Cups

no bake granola cups

Here is a great granola recipe that can be eaten just as a snack alone or with yogurt and fruit for a delicious yogurt parfait!

healthy homemade granola cups


1/4 cup Agave (or honey)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie seasoning
handful dried cranberries (to taste)
handful sweetened coconut flakes (to taste) handful of sunflower seeds (to taste) mini chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top)

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal, cinnamon, coconut, sunflower seeds & cranberries together.

In a small pan, melt butter, brown sugar and agave together over medium high heat until it starts to bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Add vanilla & peanut butter and stir.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Firmly press down granola into lightly greased mini muffin pan. Or you can use full size muffin pan and press down to make in to a cup shape. This is a no bake recipe but I did put them in the oven for just a few minutes – oven temp about 250. There was some granola left over in the bowl so I lightly greased a cookie sheet and spread an even layer of granola on it and baked it for just a few minutes to make a crunchy granola.

no bake granola cups

makes a great snack for school or work! 🙂

This makes for a delicious snack. So many flavors and healthy ingredients to experiment with. It’s also very quick and easy to make.

Happy Granola making to you!

~ Betty

Leave a comment »

What to do with left over Tonic Water and Limes?

leftover wine,tonic and lime

The party was a success! But, what will you do with the left over wine, tonic & fruit?   It doesn’t happen very often but once in a while you end up with left overs.

I was dumping out quarter full bottles of tonic and hated being wasteful. Saving it in the bottle is useless because it goes flat too fast.

So I decided to make tonic ice cubes for future use instead of just dumping it down the sink. Turns out, it was a super idea! The next time we had a party, I was able to make Gin & Tonics w/tonic-lime ice cubes. No more watered down drinks. Sweet!

left over tonic

Or if you prefer, you can use tonic water to preserve plants and flowers. Simply mix one part tonic water with two parts water to keep your blooms fresh longer.

What about any left over fruit you may have cut up to be used as a garnish? If you have left over oranges, limes and or lemons, take the fruit and add to ice cube trays w/water. Once frozen, I transfer the cubes to freezer storage bags so as not to use up all my ice cube trays. These fruit ice cubes are the perfect addition to a glass of water!  Love my lemon water in the morning!

lemon lime orange ice cubes

And sometimes there may even be wine left over, you can freeze in to cubes as well to be used at another time. For some great uses for leftover wine ideas visit  Real Simple .

Just wanted to share these ideas with you. Would love to hear your ideas for left over wine, tonic & or fruit.

Happy Ice Cubing to you! 😉

~ Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to us on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest! Feel free to tell all your friends and family about Bacon & Kids too 😀  ~ Thank you!!

Leave a comment »

Fun Things to do for Families in the Downriver Michigan Area

Fun Things to Do for Families in Downriver Michigan

Please Note: For an Updated List (12/18/2015) Visit Here: Fun Things for Kids in Downriver Michigan

Simply click the links for hours, pricing & more…

(Note: This is a partial list of businesses)


SKATELAND – Woodhaven

Admission: All Ages, most sessions, $5.00


Indian Lanes – Wyandotte

Parkway Lanes – Trenton

There are several places to Bowl in the Downriver Area




Pips Painting Pub – Wyandotte


Yack Arena – Wyandotte

Southgate Arena


MJR Theatre, Southgate


The Henry Ford – Dearborn

Ford-MacNichol Home – Wyandotte

Hands On Museum – Ann Arbor


Bacon Memorial Library – Wyandotte


Splash Universe – Dundee


Pottery Creations – Wyandotte


Taylor Petting Farm – Taylor


Zap Zone – Taylor

fun things to do in downriver michigan


A Good Mom with a Clean House AND Happy Kids? Is that even possible?

It’s been said:

Good Moms Have Sticky Floors,

Messy Kitchens,

Laundry Piles,

Dirty Oven,

and Happy Kids.

Wonderful Crafty Mess

Wonderful Crafty Mess

Good moms, clean homes and happy kids

Happy & Creative Child

Really? Is that what makes a good mom and happy kids?  WOW!  It’s that easy to be a good mom and be guaranteed happy kids?  Just stop cleaning? I’m sorry, but sadly there are not so good moms and miserable kids with dirty homes out there.

Those “cute” little sayings that dirty homes make good moms and happy kids drive me crazy!  Parenting is so much more.

My home is not perfect… not at all. In fact, I wouldn’t want you to go snooping through all the closets and drawers to see that chaos does exist in this home.  However, I do believe in keeping a tidy home.  I do keep a few rooms in my house that I consider “sacred”.  No, I do not let our kids eat in their bedrooms or the living room.  I ask that they keep their toys out of the living room too.   Is that so bad? Are my kids missing out? Do they lack creativity? Will they grow up without happy memories? Am I a BAD mom??

Absolutely not, we have happy, very creative children, full of wonderful memories. In fact, it warms my heart that when they walk in the door they’ll say “Home Sweet Home”.

My house gets dirty!  My oven needs cleaning, laundry does pile up, my daughter LOVES putting her adorable fingerprints on her clothes, my windows and walls, sometimes I even go to bed with dishes in the sink, and I have many times stepped on legos and picked up naked Barbie dolls strewn around the house!   However, none of those chaotic, dirty things make for happy kids and good moms.

Our kids make messes & get dirty, in fact, we make messes & get dirty too.  And guess what? We clean it up too.  No, I’m not a fanatical cleaning and organizing freak, I’m not going to lose it because my child wants to dump every storage bin of toys out all over the floor while they play. My daughter loves to make crafts and being a craft lover myself with that love comes crafty messes. We entertain and throw lots of parties and with that hospitality comes messes.  And guess what?  I haven’t “missed out” on being in the moment with my kids, snuggling with them, creating memories with them just because we clean up the messes we make.

Our kids love to play, create, laugh and have fun.  My husband and I love to play, create, laugh and have fun with them too.

I do take pride in having a tidy home, I love that my husband truly appreciates coming home to a clean house, and that on “most” days I wouldn’t panic if someone knocked on my door. And yet,  I don’t expect anyone to have my same thoughts or push my reality of  how to manage a  home and raise  kids on them.  I’m not expecting some Mom of the Year certificate or prize.  I do what works for my family. And we believe in teaching our children to clean up after themselves and be respectful of our property and belongings. It’s my way of showing my incredible thankfulness for the things in my life, my thankfulness for our children, these precious gifts that we’ve been entrusted with.   I’m well aware that as long as we have children living in this home, my house will not be perfectly clean and that is not my aim. I will only make myself crazy (learned that the hard way)  if I try to keep everything just so, perfectly organized and clean… perfection isn’t even possible from this imperfect mom living in an imperfect world.

Have I ever felt like a bad mom because of unintentional, thoughtless comments from some of my friends? You bet I have.  I shouldn’t have though, I know who/what I am.

I’m not a snob because I like a clean house and clean kids.  There’s a time and a place for everything.  So I don’t think the couch cushion is a place for juice spills, cracker crumbs, and chocolate hand prints.  There’s plenty of room for that in the kitchen.  So instead of cleaning up food spills in every room of my house, I get to clean them up in the kitchen only – is that so bad?  Is my child deprived of happiness and beautiful childhood memories… I don’t think so.

Bottom line you can be a fantastic mom with a dirty house and you can be a fantastic mom with a clean house too.  A dirty or clean home is a choice and to be a good mom or bad mom is a choice.  How you keep your home isn’t going to determine your success as a mom, unless it keeps you from what matters most.

What matters most, spend quality time with your children, set a good example for them, teach & show them how to grow up to be respectful, helpful, kind, loving and God-fearing adults. Make sure they know of and can feel your unconditional love.  And that they have a home that they feel safe in.  Pray with them. Hug and kiss them every day!

A good mom with a clean house

And now, I’m off to clean up my house – even if it will only be clean for a few hours before the kids (& hubby) come home.  And that is just fine with me. 😀

Happy kids & good parenting to you!…. (dirty or clean house.)


Thank you for visiting us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!!!



Leave a comment »

I can’t find a pencil! ~ Organizing Homework Supplies with Totes.

Homework Totes

“I can’t find a pencil!”   “This pencil isn’t sharp!”   “Where are my scissors?”   Words I would often hear when it came time for my kids to do their homework.  Drove me crazy!

It was time to find a solution to this homework madness.

So I made these cute little homework totes.

Homework Tote

I bought the totes for only a dollar 🙂

I cut down and glued toilet paper rolls to the inside to hold the pencils, scissors, etc.

Personalized the totes for each child (need to add my daughter’s name to hers)

These totes hold all the homework supplies that they typically need each day.

When it’s time for them to do their homework they simply grab the tote and bring it to the table.

Works like a charm! Best of all, I no longer hear the dreaded words,  “I can’t find a pencil!”

I would love to hear about your homework organization solutions and ideas. Feel free to comment below.

Happy Homework Organization to you!


Please take a minute and say hello to Bacon & Kids on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest 😀


Leave a comment »

GLAD Press’ n Seal Clever Uses

GLAD Press’ n Seal Clever Uses & Tips

I remember buying GLAD Press’ n Seal wrap when it first came out and liked it well enough.  I had forgotten about it until the other night when I was reading Family Fun Magazine and they shared a clever use for it – a Press’ n Seal Art Bib:

Source: Press’n Seal Art Bib via Family Chic &

Pretty clever, huh?  I prefer that my daughter use a washable apron first but she is so inclined to wipe her little hands on her clothes when working on any project that could even remotely turn into a messy project so having GLAD Press’ n Seal handy appears to be a wise idea for me.

According to the GLAD website, Press‘n Seal® wrap actually seals to a variety of surfaces like paper, plastic and wood.  And it can be used in the microwave with no problem.

So what other clever uses are there for GLAD Press’ n Seal?
Protect your refrigerator shelves:

Source: Offbeat Home

Easy way to protect your refrigerator shelves from messy spills.

Inexpensive way to Transfer Vinyl

Source (& tutorial) :

Real Simple shared this idea:

Press’ n  Seal Wrap as Fixture Protector 

Source: Real Simple

During home repairs and painting, use the wrap to keep dirt and drips away from vents, lamps, and other household items, just tear, press, and seal.

And this one is probably my favorite of them all…

Single serving food storage

Source: The Tiny Twig

The Tiny Twig says: ” Method I use for “single-serve” freezing. You can use this tip for other “liquidy”-ish things, too. I think it would work well for small portions of pesto,  pasta sauce, yogurt for smoothies, single serve applesauce portions.”

This would be great for broth & baby food too!

Have a painting project coming up?  Try this one:

Paint Tray Cover


Did you know that GLAD Press’ n Seal has many, many more uses?  Check out their site for more ideas: Glad Press’ n Seal Uses

Here are a few more:

During the winter,  use a sheet to cover the mail slot in the front door.  (Will look much nicer than the duct tape!)

Protect kitchen counters: Cover the counter top to roll out a pie crust.

Have a broken bone?  Use Press’ n Seal to cover a cast in the shower.

Refrigerator note – write a note on Press’ n Seal and stick to the refrigerator.  (My sticky notes always fall off)

I wasn’t asked by the GLAD people to write this nor am I being paid by them, I just thought I would share some of these ideas that I recently discovered for using Press’ n Seal.

I don’t even have any in the house right now, however, it is on my shopping list.

Happy Press’ n Sealing to you!

~Betty 😀

Please be sure to stop by and say hello to us on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest! ~Thank you!

Leave a comment »