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Almost Any Song Can Be Family-Friendly with MusicBleeper {Giveaway}


Note: This is a partnered post with musicBleeper. All opinions are honest and are my own. Music Bleeper has also provided the giveaway prize.


Since having three kids, I’ve listened to more kids’ songs that I can count.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me a good rendition of Old MacDonald now and then, but I enjoy my own music a whole lot more! I’m sure many parents feel the same way, but might not be able to listen to songs they like because of one word that happens to be in the lyrics. Thus, they’re relegated to silence or kids’ music in the car.

The musicBleeper app was created to solve that problem. musicBleeper is a user-defined censorship app that allows users to determine exactly which words they feel are unsafe or inappropriate in their music. Designed for parents listening to their music with children, or anyone who would prefer their music without profanity or objectionable phrases. Even if you don’t have kids, but (like me) you’d rather not hear profanity in your music, you can use the app for yourself as well. musicBleeper provides 91 words that can be eliminated based on children’s ages, religious affiliations, household morals or family values.

Vikas Vanjani is the CEO of musicBleeper, and his vision for the app was inspired by his own experience listening to music with his kids (aged 8, 6, & 2 at the time). I love knowing that it was created with children in mind.

musicBleeper is a free app available in the iTunes store. Here’s a little more about how it works:

  • Once the app is downloaded and parameters are set, the app immediately starts scanning and scrubbing songs that live on the device.
  • If a song title is shown in bold, that means it has already been scanned and scrubbed for offensive words. If the song title is in grey scale, it means the song has not yet been scanned and scrubbed.
  • The words and phrases noted are removed from all songs on the device – users can select either “skip” or “silence.”
  • The ability to manage the app is password protected, so users can identify the words they want eliminated, and no one can change them.
  • The app can be turned on and off, so parents listening when children are not around can turn the app off if they’d like.

We tried out musicBleeper on Brian’s phone and found a song we could test it out on. There’s an intuitive menu of settings letting you customize the app exactly to your liking. You can see below the “Manage Unsafe Words” option – I’ll spare you the screen shot of potentially offensive words, but you’ll be taken to an extensive list (91 items and growing) of words to select from to bleep out. This allows you to hand-pick which words you want to avoid, which is a big highlight of its service.




Another thing I really like about this app is that you set a username and password when you download. Then you’re the only one that’s able to change settings, so you don’t have to worry about your kids making changes you don’t want.


The above screen shot is an example from the musicBleeper company, but you can see how your music list will look when you download the app. The greyscale titles are ones that haven’t been “scrubbed” yet but the clock icon next to Radioactive shows that it’s currently being processed. One note – make sure to give the app a little time to scrub your songs! The app goes through each song and finds the words you’ve deemed offensive.

I’d recommend that you check this app out. For one thing, it’s FREE. You can’t really beat that; it’s risk-free! And I truly think you’ll enjoy having an option to make music kid-friendly at the push of a button. You can download it here or scan this qr code with your phone to be taken right to the download page in the iTunes store:


Check out more about the app in this video:

Keep up with musicBleeper on Facebook, Twitter, & Google+


musicBleeper has provided me with the opportunity to give away a $50 iTunes gift card, and it even ends in time for this to be used as a Christmas gift! There are some great high-entry options just for downloading the free app or reviewing it on iTunes, too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kindergarten Diploma – Free Printable!



I’m a sucker for memorabilia, so it made me a little sad when I realized our son’s school didn’t give out diplomas for “graduating” kindergarten. My mom still has mine hanging in the hall, and I love it! I decided to make a simple diploma for each of the kids in his class, and then I went to Dollar Tree and bought a frame for each of them. SO easy and inexpensive, and hopefully it’ll be something the kids are proud to receive.

In case you’re like me and would like to have diplomas for your child’s graduation, I’ve created a free printable for you to create your own. It’s a PDF file with text fields, so it should be easy for you to add your child’s name, the date, and the name of the school. There are five color options, too!  Just click here to download the PDF, and open it with Adobe Acrobat to edit the text.


Free Printable: “Dino-Mite” Valentine’s Card Tags


My son C wanted something fun for his Valentines this year, and we decided to do something a little different than our standard cards – we sent his friends dinosaurs! I found these for $1 each at Walmart, but you can also often find bags of dinosaurs at the dollar store – and I found a batch of 72 dinosaurs for just $10 on Amazon. Either way, I’ve got an adorable tag ready for you to use along with the dinosaurs. I’m kind of in love with these!




Just click here to download a free printable PDF. The file has two pages. The first has 8 tags laid out. The second page has a repeating dinosaur pattern that looks really great printed on the back of the tags. We typed friends’ names on the tag, but I’ve left space on these for you to write in the names (and your child can write his or her name at the bottom of the tag, which is what we did).

Want another fun Valentine idea? Check out our free Pop Rocks Valentine printable

Free “You Rock” Valentine’s Printable for Pop Rocks


If you’re looking for an easy last-minute Valentine idea, look no further! Simply print out this adorable tag, fold it, and tape it to the top of a Pop Rocks bag. Voila! Here’s how cute ours turned out:


Just click here to download a free PDF file of the tag (just one single tag), or you can right-click and save the JPG below. If you’d like a whole sheet of the tags, click hereOh, and the hardest part for us was finding where to buy Pop Rocks (Target and Walmart had none!). We finally found them at Dollar Tree, where you can get a pack of 3 for $1. You can also find them online.



Need another Valentine idea? Why not use our Dino-Mite free Valentine printable?

July Cleaning Calendar

Are you looking for the latest version of my free printable cleaning calendar? Click here to get the newest PDF – one you can use for each month!


Click here to download a free printable of July’s cleaning calendar!


June Cleaning Calendar

Are you looking for the latest version of my free printable cleaning calendar? Click here to get the newest PDF – one you can use for each month!

Click here to get the cleaning calendar for June! I’m sorry for getting it up late – I meant to get it up last night. Happy cleaning! I really like this month’s cleaning tips – have you tried either of these before?


FREE Downloadable “Monsters University” Activity Sheets!

Are you as excited for the Monsters University movie as we are? Brian and I have been huge fans of Monsters, Inc. since it first came out. And that scene at the end when Sully grins as he sees Boo’s face gets me every time. 

Monsters University will be our next family movie to all go see in the theater, and we can’t wait! To help us (and you) pass the time, Disney is letting me share some great downloadable activities.

Reminiscent of (but so much more fun than) the original pin the tail on the donkey, “Archie on the Loose” lets your kids try and put the Monsters University logo on the Fear Tech mascot (ah, classic college prank!) while blindfolded. Click the image below to download your free printable PDF!


This next activity sheet is one I know my boys will enjoy – you can create your own MU (Monsters University) ID badge! Just print out the PDF and let your little monsters draw their little monsters on the card, and voila! You’re good to go. Again, just click on the image below to download your free printable!


Note: Disney provided these activity sheets for me to share but I am not compensated in any way for doing so. I just wanted to spread the fun! 

Cleaning Calendar – February {Free Printable}

Are you looking for the latest version of my free printable cleaning calendar? Click here to get the newest PDF – one you can use for each month!

Thanks so much to everyone for feedback on last month’s calendar! I meant to get this month’s calendar up on Tuesday but it’s been a crazy week with an ER visit and getting our house ready to sell (which means even MORE cleaning).

You’ll notice it’s not a lot different from last month’s, although I did build in a day off for Valentine’s Day. If you want to go ahead and clean, you can fill in that day with whatever task seems most pressing.

Click here to download the February 2012 calendar. Happy cleaning!!

Edited to add: Thanks to Chris from Hampton Roads Mom for passing along this great tip for cleaning ceiling fans: Take a pillow case, put the blade into the case, close it, and pull the case along the top/bottom. All of the dust stays contained and doesn’t wind up on your (ultimately, freshly made) bed or just-vacuumed floor. 

Make Cleaning A Breeze! {Free Printable Cleaning Calendar}

Are you looking for the latest version of my free printable cleaning calendar? Click here to get the newest PDF – one you can use for each month!

I hate house cleaning.

I love the effect, of course. And I actually like organizing. But when it comes to chores like mopping, vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom, I’m always unmotivated – I don’t have allowance dangling in front of me like I did back in high school.

Since I don’t enjoy cleaning, I put it off until the weekends, when it then becomes a long list of tasks that take a huge chunk out of our down time. Or sometimes (ahem – very very rarely, of course) we slack on things like dusting until company comes, which of course is always the best motivator.

While surfing StumbleUpon the other day I came across a list of how to clean your house a little each day. I immediately zeroed in on this approach, because who doesn’t like the idea of minimizing effort? The list didn’t account for weekends (when I might have more time for a detailed task, for instance) but it gave me the idea to create a calendar for myself.

And I had to make it cute. Because somehow that makes cleaning seem more pleasant.

In the belief that I’m not alone in my distaste for cleaning, I’ve created a PDF of this calendar that you can download and print out for yourself. Just click here to start the download.

I’m sure there are some of you who keep immaculate homes and love to clean. If so, you are absolutely invited over.

If you’re like me, though, I hope you can use this to help make a clean house seem achievable. Between work, kids, and all sorts of other commitments that pop up, it can seem overwhelming. But by taking it a little at a time (and recognizing that perfection isn’t required) you can keep on top of things and still have plenty of time left for everything else.

One note – you’ll see that two Sundays are designated as laundry days. I’m not suggesting you hold off and just do laundry two times a month. If we tried that I think we’d be barricaded into our house. Do a light schedule of laundry throughout the month; enough to keep your family clothed. But then do towels, linens, and other clothes in bulk twice a month to get the “heavy lifting” of laundry over with.

Do you like the calendar? I want to get feedback on this one to see if I should post next month’s calendar too. I’m going to create one each month for my own use, but let me know if you’d like it posted for you, too!

Free At-Home Kids Activities


Here are ten activities I plan to do with J (and some with C, if they’re age appropriate for him too) this summer that you might want to try with your kids:

1. Fun with shaving cream: I’ve totally taken this idea from J’s day care. I’m planning to set J and C up in their booster seats at the dining table and then squirt a big dollop of Brian’s shaving cream in front of them to smear around and play with to their hearts’ delight. I’ll probably put some spoons and cups out too so they can play with it like they do with bubbles in the bathtub. Speaking of baths, this activity may be followed up by one!

2. Homemade play dough: I’m planning to let J help me make this, too. I want him to feel comfortable in the kitchen and hopefully grow up liking to experiment in the kitchen like Brian and I do. I love the fact that making our own play dough saves money (we have all of the ingredients on hand already) and also that it’s all-natural. Here’s a recipe I plan to follow – found at


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • food coloring


  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a sauce pan and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken, and will eventually look like mashed potatoes. Watch for the dough to pull away from the sides and clump in the center. Be sure to keep cooking the dough until it is no longer sticky!
  2. Put the dough on a clean surface and knead it until it becomes smooth. Divide the balls into dough for coloring.
  3. Make a well in the center of each ball of dough and drop some food coloring in. Fold the dough over and work the dye through until you’ve achieved your desired color.
  4. PLAY! Have fun with the dough and store it in air-tight containers when you’re done with it. And if your kids do happen to eat some, it’s perfectly fine.

3. Story time at the library: I know not every town will have the same availability, but I encourage you to check in to what your town has to offer. Our program is great, especially in the summer. There are times for each age group, so we’ll go once a week for C and once for J. The time includes songs and, of course, stories. We usually stick around afterward to explore some books and play with puzzles. Our library also has a summer reading program, so each week children get a different prize for participating in story time. It’s important to us to encourage a love of reading to our children, and I hope they love going to the library as much as I did when I was younger.

4. Feeding the ducks: There’s a park here in town that has a pond with TONS of ducks, and I’m planning to take the boys to feed them. There are so many here that we’ll probably just stay in the car, roll the windows down, and toss bread out to them. You can usually find a loaf of past-date bread for a really reduced price at the grocery store, so this should just cost around $1.oo to do. We’ve done this before – J and C both thought it was a lot of fun!

5. Memory Game: I’m planning to make my own memory game for J to play – I’m going to cut 3×5″ notecards in half and then glue pictures to them (Note – if you do this, make sure all the cards are the same size). I’m going to put some family photos, and some images of Thomas trains or other characters J really likes. This is a really cheap project. I already have notecards, but if you don’t you can get them for $1.00 a package (or less). I think it’s fun to have the cards customized for your child’s interest, too. J actually really likes letters, so I may throw a few letters and even numbers in to make it more educational.

6. Rice Art: This is an alternative to sand art and is another fairly inexpensive project. Mix 1/2 cup (dry) rice with several drops of food coloring and 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar until the rice is evenly colored. Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the rice has dried – check on it periodically to make sure it doesn’t dry out and burn. Once the rice is done, get an inexpensive container (find good plastic containers at Michael’s, or you could get a glass vase at Dollar Tree) and let your child pour in different colors to make designs. Use a straw to poke the layers for different designs. You can also use this rice to glue on to artwork.

7. Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt: Make grocery trips more pleasant for everyone by turning them into a game. When you come to items on your list that your child would recognize, go to the appropriate aisle and have them help you hunt for the item. I’ll probably do this and have us be getting items to make cookies – then we can get home and make them together. To make it more fun, you could have stickers and a chart for your child; each time they find an item, they get to put a sticker on the chart, and then you could have a small prize for them at the end of the shopping trip.

8. Homemade Placemats: This activity fulfills two purposes – a fun project, but also a potential way to make mealtime more fun. Get a large piece of construction paper (or even scrapbook paper, if you want a square placemat) and let your child decorate with photos, stickers, cutout shapes, markers – anything that is fairly flat. Then use clear contact paper on both sides to seal everything up, or take it to your local print shop to get it laminated. Most churches have laminating machines, so you could also see about paying to do it at your church’s AV room.

9. Bird Feeders: We did this when I was in Girl Scouts and I loved this activity. Get several large pinecones and tie yarn to the stem, making a loop that you can place over a tree branch. Using a spoon (for safety purposes; a knife would be easier, probably, but not exactly child-friendly!), spread peanut butter all over the pinecone. Shake birdseed onto a plate or other flat surface and then roll the pinecone, coating well with the seed. Hang the bird feeders in view of a window, then watch with your children for any visitors you get.

10. Bowling: We usually get soda in two-liter bottles, so I’m planning to start cleaning them out and saving them until I have ten saved up. These will be our pins, and then we’ll use a big ball we got at Target (for less than $3.00) as our bowling ball. If the pins seem too lightweight I’ll use dried pinto beans to weigh them down a little bit. I think this will be a game both C & J can play, since both the ball and pins are so large.

I hope you can use one or some of these to have fun with your kids this summer – and if you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them!