One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog

Throw a BBQ on a Budget - How To Pull Off A Memorable Backyard Bash Without Breaking The Bank!

This post is sponsored by BJ's Wholesale Club. All opinions are 100% mine.
Summer has arrived! With the 4th of July just around the corner, it's time to start planning your barbecue menu and nail down on some fun entertainment options for your guests! Are you as excited as I am that summer is finally here? I can hardly contain my glee, folks! If you're ready to throw a BBQ on Budget,  I have some simple tips and tricks today on how to pull off a memorable backyard bash this summer, without breaking the bank!

It's officially summer, friends! I'm so ready for the slower pace of the season. Lazy days spent poolside with the kids, and some good old fashioned backyard fun sounds heavenly to me right about now. We got a jump start on summer last weekend, and hosted our first official backyard barbecue. We had a ton of fun with the kids, and we can't wait for a season packed with much of the same.  We broke out the backyard games, pulled out the big projection screen, and cleaned out the fire pit to prepare for the season ahead. I planned a simple, yet crowd pleasing menu, and we got down to the business of making some new memories. In all, it only cost about $40 in groceries to feed and entertain our crowd, which is a total steal in my opinion! We also had a little DIY fun making our own sidewalk chalk with a variety of juice drink mixes, found in-store.

I wasn't always so efficient at feeding a crowd on a budget, friends. My tricks to pulling off a memorable backyard bash on a budget have literally taken years to hone.

Check out my tips, tricks, and simple recipes for Crab Cake Po' Boys with Old Bay Mayo, Coconut Gelato with Caramelized Pineapple + our easy tutorial on how to make your own DIY Sidewalk Chalk with juice drink mix and other simple supplies, below.

DIY Non-Toxic Essential Oil Wax Tarts For Your Wax Warmer

There are so many ways to diffuse and use essential oils, everyday. These DIY Non-Toxic Essential Oil Wax Tarts are perfect for diffusing essential oils around your home. They are also a fairly frugal way of making your own wax tarts for your wax warmer. I made 50 wax tarts using a variety of my favorite essential oils and blends, for under $5. That's a steal! My favorite part? I know exactly what's in them.  I can't say the same for many of the overpriced wax tarts available today. 

These DIY Essential Oil Wax tarts come together quickly with just a few simple ingredients, and they store well in air tight containers or mason jars. They also make great homemade gifts. Simply tie a bow around a pretty mason jar filled with your DIY Essential Oil Wax Tarts, add a note card or a gift tag, and they are gift-ready!

Read on for the simple supply list and tutorial, on how to make your very own DIY Non-Toxic Essential Oil Wax Tarts.

Soda Pop Slime - DIY Taste-Safe Recipe - NO Borax,Glue, Liquid Starch, or Contact Lens Solution!

This Soda Pop Slime recipe is a super simple DIY activity for kids! This recipe is also safe and taste-safe and only requires two super simple ingredients. NO BORAX. NO GLUE. NO CONTACT LENS SOLUTION. NO LIQUID STARCH {or any other crazy chemical ingredients}. As an added bonus, it also smells amazing! My kids absolutely LOVED making this safe DIY Soda Pop Slime recipe.

Hi friends, has the DIY Slime making craze hit your house yet? Chances are if you have a tween in the house,  you know all about the DIY Slime making frenzy! My daughter asked me a few times if we could buy the ingredients to make  DIY Slime, and I just hadn't gotten around to it. Then, on the weekend I noticed that 3 of the stores that I went into actually had Slime Making Supply Centers set up, in-store. One retailer actually had printed free supply lists and instructions that you could grab alongside all of the suggested supplies. 

One of the ingredients that I kept seeing over and over again, was Borax. I just couldn't wrap my head around using it to make something that would undoubtedly wind up touching the common surfaces in our home though.  My first thought was about my younger children. What if they touched it, then touched their mouths or eyes? Then I caught an article on the Parents Magazine website that totally justified my concerns. Some kids have gotten chemical burns from using Borax to make DIY Slime. But it doesn't stop there! There have also been reports of children seeking emergency medical attention for respiratory distress, seizures and a long list of other medical issues after mixing/handling their DIY Slime.  CRAZY! After reading the article, I immediately decided against making the traditional DIY slime recipes. 

My kids still wanted to try their hand at DIY Slime making though, so I set out to make a recipe that was chemical-free, simple and taste-safe {just in case my toddler gets curious}. This super simple recipe only requires 2 ingredients, and it comes together fairly quickly too.

Grab my simple supply list and instructions below, to make your own taste-safe Soda Pop Slime!

Thank You My Beautiful Boy, Your Strength Gives Me Strength #SisterhoodUnite

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Similac . All opinions are 100% mine.

There's an unimaginable amount of strength to be found on the road less traveled. Those unplanned paths that we find ourselves on in life, are oftentimes right where we need to be.

Hi friends, how have you been? In honesty, I got up from my computer a few times while trying to write this. Because the emotion that this topic evokes was too much for me to process and put into words. I touched on some of the health challenges that my toddler was having at the end of last year, but after the final diagnosis came in January, I couldn't bring myself to share what was going on here. I really didn't know if I would ever find the right time or the right words. But here we are. So, where to begin? As a mom of four, I worry, of course. Don't we all? I think it comes with the territory. Will my kids be happy? Successful? Healthy? The list goes on and on. In all the worry, my worst fear hands-down since embarking on motherhood was and remains, that one of my children would encounter a problem, health or otherwise, that I wouldn't be able to fix. That fear became a reality, this past January.

My three year old was born healthy. He breastfed for a full year without issue. He hit every milestone, by the book. Everything was going well, until we began to notice that he wasn't producing any speech sounds. He could only make one singular "M” sound. We went back and forth with the pediatrician. We waited for a time to see if it was simply a delay, and still nothing changed. When it was apparent that there was no notable progress, I found a specialist. Over a time span of about six months, he underwent a barrage of tests. We paid visits to some of the best neurologists in our area, then in January, they handed down the final diagnosis. I will never forget that moment.  "Mrs. Wilson, we don't believe that your son will ever be able to speak.  He has a very severe case of Apraxia of Speech (a neurological motor planning disorder).”  I sat in shock as the doctor continued to speak. "I can't tell you that you'll ever hear him say, I love you mom, or even singular words. I'm so sorry." She then proceeded to hand me a packet of information and a list of resources in my area, to arrange therapy for him. I picked up my sweet baby boy in my arms and clutched him tightly as I weaved through the office, out of the building and through the parking lot to our car. Once he was safely buckled into his car seat, I sat in complete stillness and silence while my husband drove, for what seemed like a lifetime. My thoughts raced as I tried to process what this would mean for him. What would his future look like? Life is hard, as it is. How would he navigate through life without the ability to communicate and express himself freely? I felt completely paralyzed. How could I help him? How could I make it all better? As a mom, I just wanted to make it all better for him. Where would I find the strength to be his rock, when I felt like melting into a puddle?

Read on for the full article.

2 Ingredient Taste-Safe Yogurt Play Dough Recipe + Super Fun DIY Kitchen Experiment For Toddlers!

My toddler absolutely loves play dough! It's a fun medium to play and create with, and it's even more fun when we make our own. This 2 ingredient taste-safe yogurt play dough is silky and soft, and it smells absolutely scrumptious! If you're looking for a fun science experiment to do in the kitchen with little one's, that also results in endless hours of creative play and fun, this yogurt play dough is definitely worth trying.

All you'll need is two simple ingredients (that you most likely already have on hand), a mixing bowl, and a spoon. I love simple recipes like this. My toddler can help stir and knead the ingredients, and then he gets to enjoy the fruits of his efforts, by playing with his homemade yogurt play dough! You can even divide the yogurt play dough up and use a few drops of food coloring to make a rainbow of colors.

Grab the simple supply list and instructions below, to make your own 2 ingredient taste-safe yogurt play dough.

Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad Recipe #StoredBrilliantly + Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Rubbermaid ® & SheSpeaks. All opinions are 100% mine. 

Have you heard about the new Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE food storage containers? I'm totally digging these crystal clear, leak-proof food storage containers! I've been on the hunt for stain resistant food storage containers, that stack and store well in the refrigerator and the cabinet, for a while now. I'm so happy to have  discovered these containers just in time for Summer. They're great for prepping and storing my delicious Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad Recipe too - perfect for serving up / taking along to all of your upcoming summer barbecues! No need to worry about leaks while en-route to your summer gatherings either. Each storage container has a guaranteed 100% leak-proof seal.

Hi friends, how have you been? We are winding down the school year which always seems to leave us busier than ever with the older kids.  As they wrap up with school work and testing in all of their classes, I find myself daydreaming about the lazy days of Summer ahead.  There's just something about the warm air and sunshine mixed with the contagious joy that my children emanate after a long school year comes to a close. It was indeed a long year, friends, and I'm so completely ready for some uninterrupted fun with my kiddos!

While we have a few fun trips planned over summer break, some of my favorite memories are made simply, spending time around the pool with the kids, and having cookouts at dusk. For me, it always seems to be the little things that bring the most joy. While I'm still ticking down the days until school's out, I decided to pretend like it was summer and get a jump on barbecue season a few weeks back. The sun was out and we had a lovely spread of  burgers, hot dogs, and Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad; it was the perfect unofficial start to the summer season. My inspiration for this recipe, for Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad? My oldest son! He would literally eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let him! My favorite part? It's loaded with fresh ingredients that are so much better for him.
His favorite part? It's packed with all of the delicious flavors of a supreme pizza!  It's a total win-win.

Are you ready for summer, too? Grab my recipe for Supreme Pizza Pasta Salad below, and have a little pre-summer cookout. This pasta salad is perfect for serving up at your Memorial Day barbecues, and at all of your other summer gatherings.

DIY K-Cup Bouquet Tutorial

Looking for the perfect, creative gift to give to all of the special moms in your life this Mothers Day? This DIY K-Cup Bouquet is it! You can customize each DIY K-Cup Bouquet to the individuals preferences by using different mugs with cute sayings / images / patterns,  K-Cups in their personal favorite variety, and different flowers / color schemes. You have full creative control to make each K-Cup Bouquet arrangement truly special and unique for each recipient.

These are so simple to make, and only take about 15-20 minutes to assemble once you have all of your supplies ready. I made this arrangement with Twinings Green Tea, and big bright blooms. I absolutely love how it turned out! In total I assembled 10 of these cute little K-Cup Bouquet flower arrangements for all of the special moms in my life, and I can't wait to gift them this Mothers Day. 

Read on to grab the simple supply list and step-by-step image tutorial on how to assemble your own DIY K-Cup Bouquets, perfect for gifting this Mothers Day (or any special day of the year, really), below. 

DIY Nature Paint Brushes + Tape Resist Painting Craft - A Fun Lesson In Textures That Toddlers LOVE!

Spring has finally sprung, and my toddler couldn't be any happier about it! He is a true outdoors man, and he adores exploring all things nature related. He also happens to be a big fan of painting, so we combined the his two loves yesterday afternoon, with this fun DIY nature paint brushes and tape resist painting craft. This is such a super simple lesson in textures that toddlers absolutely LOVE! 

These nature paintbrushes are tree / bush clippings, with some of the needles/leaves removed at the base of the branch clippings to create a "brush handle." We used them with non-toxic kids paints to make a tape resist initial canvas. It was the perfect way to celebrate the return of sunshine, and the budding leaves, trees and flowers. We're totally ready for Summer around here; I literally can't wait!

Read on for the simple supply list and image tutorial on how to create these nature paint brushes and tape resist canvas paintings, with your toddler.