Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

On Sundays, my daughter usually likes to make something in the kitchen. So of course I am all for that. She has become quite the little baker. A couple of weeks ago she decided to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins from scratch. They turned out pretty tasty if I do say so myself.

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These Chocolate Chip Muffins have a great texture and consistency and are nice and moist but a little crispy on the edges, which in my opinion is a pretty good combination. Throw in some nuts or craisins in addition to the Chocolate Chips and you can kick them up another level.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 cups chocolate chips (depending on your chocolate needs)
  • nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease twelve muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  6. Add milk mixture and stir just to combine.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  9. Now bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from tins to finish cooling.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/04/chocolate-chip-muffins-recipe.html

muffin-recipes | theidearoom.net

These were a hit and if you double the recipe, you can freeze them and save them for later. We did just that and the kids were able to save some and throw them into their school lunches or grab as a quick and easy after school snack or a quick snack on their way to ballet or lacrosse practice.

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These Chocolate Chip Muffins would also make a great addition to a shower or dinner party! But be sure to grab one while you can because these will not last long!



Graduation Party Drinks

The graduation season is upon us, and chances are you know someone who is graduating from college, high school, middle school and even kindergarten. If you plan on throwing a graduation party or celebrating a graduate this year, why not add some fun graduation decor and drinks to your graduation party.

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These graduation straws are so easy to make and they add some fun pizzaz to your party.  I love how sometimes even the simplest of crafts can add a big impact to the overlook of a table setting or party decor.

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All you need are some straws and cute serving glasses…even with a plastic cup these straws would be really adorable.  To make the graduation caps all you need is some black card stock.  Cut out a 2 inch square and then poke a hole in the exact middle of the square using the point of a sharp pencil…this is where you will put the straw through.  Then cut a rectangle that measures 5 x 2 inches.  Roll the rectangle into a circle and glue the two ends together with hot glue.  Then glue the circle on the square.  Slide the graduation cap onto the  straw.  Add a little dab of glue if needed to hold the graduation cap in place on the straw.

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I also added a little black band around the bottles and added a graduation date of 2014.  You could also add your favorite graduates name, or other words that fit your party like congratulations!

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Happy Graduation!

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Rockwell Tools Giveaway x 2

So, I just recently shared with you two projects that I was able to use two of Rockwell’s Power Tools on.  I love their tools and the newest additions to our “workshop” have me giddy with excitement.  I love a good power tool, don’t you?  Just in time for Mother’s Day, you could win one of two amazing tools so that you…or your spouse…can use to make a great addition to your home.

Our friends at Rockwell would like to give TWO Idea Room readers one of the following tools:

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Because we are giving away one of each tool, we will have two SEPARATE Rafflecopter Entry Forms.  If you would like to be entered for a chance to win one OR both of the tools, be sure to enter in the appropriate entry widget.

If you are having trouble entering you might need to do so from a computer or a laptop.  Sometimes mobile devices do not work with the widget.  Be patient as the widget may load slowly.

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We recently used the BladeRunner to cut out this Wooden Letter for my daughter’s room.  It made the process SO easy!  Having the right tools can make a huge difference in your home projects.

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The Rockwell BladeRunner blends performance characteristics of a jigsaw and bench top scroll saw. This variable-speed saw with 5-amp motor, uses standard T-shanked blades to cut a variety of materials. Perform cross-cuts, angled and rip cuts all day. Includes T-slot and a miter gauge/rip fence combination. The BladeRunner includes 5 blades: metal, aluminum, ceramics, scroll and wood.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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We used the Sonicrafter X2 to help make the 90 degree cuts on the inside of this DIY Lighted Letter Sign. The Rockwell Sonicrafter X2 features Hyperlock™ which provides one ton of clamping force to prevent blade slippage. It is the most powerful and fastest cutting tool in the Rockwell line. Its 3.0 amp motor oscillates at 11,000-20,000 (OPM) with a 3.2 degree angle. The 3.30 lb. tool has a variable speed dial and constant speed control, which electronically maintains speed-of-cut under load. It comes with a hard shell tool case for storage.  

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Sonicrafter accessories like the triangular-shaped sanding pads and sanding sheets are ideal for detail sanding in corners and tight spaces. Other Sonicrafter accessories cut through wood, thin sheet metal, fiberglass, copper pipe, PVC, tubing and other materials.   x2_thumb.jpg Want to learn more about Rockwell Tools or follow them on Social Media?  You can find them here: Facebook Twitter Pinterest a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*Fine Print: This giveaway is sponsored by Rockwell Tools.  I was given product and/or compensation but all opinions and statements are mine.  Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (MST) on April 25, 2014. One winner will receive a Rockwell Sonicrafter X2 and a different winner will receive a Rockwell BladeRunner.  Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.A. to enter. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Pinterest. Facebook and Pinterest will be completely released by each entrant. One entry per person. Entry includes filling out the Rafflecopter form above. Winner will be chosen using random.org. and will be notified via email within 24 hours of the giveaway closing time. Winners will be announced on the post, not on Facebook. The winners must respond within 24 hours of receiving the email or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary.



The Party Bunch–Linky Party

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s grey and Wednesday too
Thursday i don’t care about you
It’s Friday I’m in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday I’m in love

Saturday wait
And sunday always comes too late
But Friday never hesitate…

I don’t care if Monday’s black
Tuesday, Wednesday heart attack
Thursday never looking back
It’s Friday I’m in love….

It’s Friday!! Time to link up your favorite projects from the past week!
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Amy from The Idea Room, Mique from 30 Handmade Days, Heather from Whipperberry and Desiree from The 36th Avenue want to thank you for partying with us… You guys are the best!

Here are some of our favorites!

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Heather’s Favorite

DIY Wood Pallet Arrow from Love Grows Wild.

I just love the simple and rustic look mixed in with the photo wall.

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Mique’s Favorite

Bicycle Wheel Chalkboard Calendar from Thistlewood Farms.

Such a brilliant idea!

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Amy’s Favorite

DIY Stairwell Bookcase from Maison de Pax.

I love a perfectly designed space and love how Rachel made great use out it.

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Desiree’s Favorite

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crusted Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie from Wine and Glue.

I think we can all agree that the photo speaks for itself! Yum!

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As always thank you for so may fabulous projects and recipes!

We hope you take a minute and button up here!

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Also we want to invite you to click here and follow

The Party Bunch Favorites on Pinterest.

We are featuring more of our favorite projects and recipes from the link party on this board!

Now it is time to party!

TPB Party Bunch Link Up... Every Friday to Sunday link up your projects over at  theidearoom.net , thirtyhandmadedays.com , whipperberry.com or the36thavenue.com Four bloggers = ONE BIG PARTY! We can't wait to see your projects!

Here are a few things to remember before you link up!

  • Please make sure to share the love and grab a button here to let your readers know that you linked up with us!
  • By linking up with The Party Bunch, you are giving permission to any of us to feature your projects and recipes on our social media with a link back to you. Thanks!

 

DIY Wooden Letter

A couple of months ago, I instagrammed a picture of my daughter’s unfinished room and her blank walls looking for some suggestions on how to decorate a really long wall…(the wall just opposite of this one).  I feel like I really struggle with filling in the small details and so I put off the finishing touches.  But, an upcoming mother-in-law visit and a baby shower finally gives me the motivation I need to get. it. done!

Shelf-decor My baby girl’s (who am I kidding…she’s 6) room is almost finished and today I am sharing a little sneak peek.  This girl is CRAZY for pink.  So we added a lot of pink touches in here in a couple of different shades and added a green accent color.  I kind of love it.  And…that is really saying a lot because I used to dislike the color pink.  Having three girls has changed that.

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Today I am sharing how we made this DIY Wooden Letter T for her shelf.  It really is pretty simple.  It helps that her letter is just straight lines.  Why not just buy one?  It’s true, the craft stores are filled with wooden letters…but honestly…there were very few that were large enough that I also like the look of.  I tend to be a bit picky about these things if you haven’t noticed.  So I drew one out the size and shape I wanted that fits my style…simple and classic.

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We used the Rockwell BladeRunner to cut out the lines we had drawn on the piece of wood.  The BladeRunner blends performance characteristics of a jigsaw and bench top scroll saw.

Then I sanded the Letter T and painted it this lovely shade of green.  To get the color of paint to match her pillow, which I made using this pillow cover tutorial, I took the pillow into my local paint store and found a paint chip that matched it very closely and just purchased the small sample size.

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Stay tuned for when I share the entire room with you! I have one more project to finish up in here!

And…I have a fun giveaway coming up here tomorrow that *might* have something to do with this Wooden Letter Tutorial AND my DIY Lighted Letter Tutorial!

Have you entered our Cricut Explore Giveaway? Be sure to before it ends!

 



DIY Lighted Sign

This next project ranks up in my top ten most favorite projects…ever!  Seriously.  It is really making me happy.  I LOVE lights on in the house and feel like they should be something that occurs other than just Christmas time.  I put some fun bulb lights in my office/craft room and turn them on when I need a little happiness boost.

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So why not add some fun lights to another room of the house that I spend a lot of time in with the family…the family room.  These lighted letters are quite the rage right now and I LOVE them…I didn’t want to pay the price for them and figured we could make one pretty easily.   We used up scrap pieces of wood we had from other projects and so the only thing we had to buy were the lights.

We purchased our Room Essentials white string lights from Target.  They have them online and in some stores. I also found them here: Globe Lights.

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Here is how we made our Lighted Letter Sign…

You will need the following:

Room Essential String Lights (or your own choice)

Piece of wood large enough for your letter (ours was 18 inches wide by 24 inches tall)

1/4 inch MDF cut into 3 inch strips for the edges (enough to go around all edges)

drill and a 13/16th drill bit (this bit fits the RE lights above, adjust if using different lights)

wood glue

staples or nails

sand paper

spray paint or stain (we used Valspar’s Golden Maize in a Satin finish)

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 1.  Draw out your letter and be sure to give ample room for your lights according to their size.  Cut out the letter.  Ours was 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide with the width of the letter itself was just over 5.25 inches.

We used a mitre (miter) box saw to cut the H out of the wood.  We stopped right before running into the corner of the 90 degree angles and then used our Rockwell Sonicrafter X2 (stay tuned for more details and a fun surprise…hint hint!) to cut the corners of the 90 degree angles.

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2.  We measured out where we wanted the lights to be and lined them up equal distances and marked the spot where we wanted to drill a hole with a penciled dot.

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3.  Use your drill and a 13/16th drill bit and drill a hole at each pencil mark.  Be sure to go all the way through wood.  The lights base should fit all the way into the hole without a lot of wiggle room.

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4.  Measure and cut your side strips and glue them into place with overlap in front and in back.  This will help hide the cords from the side.  We just eyeballed this until we liked the placement of it.  We used a piece of wood (that placed the strip in the right position) to be our guide so that we spaced it the same all the way around the letter.

5.  Glue and staple each strip into place and let the glue dry completely before gluing another section since you will be turning and rotating it.  Wipe off any excess drips of glue.

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6.  You can caulk any spaces or nail holes, if you would like, but we did not do this this time.  The edges were pretty smooth and I wanted a little rougher, vintage look to it.

7.  Spray paint or stain your letter.  We used Valspar’s Golden Maize in a Satin finish.  We just picked it up from our local Lowes.

8.  Take your lights and break off the small little clips.  They should break really easily with some pliers and a slight twist of your hand.

9.  Then put each light into a hole.  You can do this by unscrewing the light bulbs and putting the base underneath and up through the hole and screwing in the light bulb from above the hole.

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10.  Twist up all the cord and tie back with twist ties or some wire to keep the wires all contained and from getting all tangled or showing from the side of your letter.

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We are displaying the Lighter Letter H on top of our TV Cabinet so we don’t have to worry about hiding the electrical cord.  I am just happy we have a pretty easy straight lined last initial!  I am not sure how I would do a G….

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I LOVE how festive it makes the room feel…like it is a holiday without all the fuss and work of one!  Want to know what other projects make up some of my top ten? Check these out:

DIY Tufted Headboard

Apothecary Cabinet

Paint a Rug

Customized Towel Rack

DIY Bulletin Board

Believe Lighted Sign

Frankincense & Myrrh Christmas Gift

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Easter Character Treat Cups

I have one last Easter post for you.  I actually made these several weeks ago but somehow forgot to post them.  So here is a last minute, non-candy Easter gift idea.

easter 5I used some cupcake containers (what are they called?) and covered them with some colored scrapbook paper to match the different Easter Characters.  And then attached the animal parts to them.  I picked up these containers at Wal-Mart but also found some here on Amazon:  cupcake cups.

easter bI filled these cups with Homemade Play Dough using our VERY favorite recipe! This play dough is so easy to make at home and is so smooth and soft.  It will last for a very long time if kept in a sealed, air-tight container.  We make ours with a packet of Kool-Aid which colors it and gives it a great smell.  You can find the recipe here: Home Made Play Dough.

easterIf you don’t want to make the play dough, you can fill the cups with some small cookies, a cupcake or some colored candy!

If you would like to download the Easter Animal Printables, click on the link below:

{Easter Animal Printables}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

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Cricut Explore Giveaway

A couple of days ago I shared one of my very first Cricut Explore Projects with you…this I Love You a Bushel & a Peck Pillow.  And today, I get to give ONE OF YOU your very own Cricut Explore Machine.

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The overall look and design.

You can literally plug and play with your machine right out of the box.  Set up is effortless.  Storage compartments for the Cricut cutting and vinyl tools.  Cutting mat slides under the feet for a nice storage spot.  Quiet…like super quiet!

Cuts Perfectly.

The Cricut Explore cuts with the perfect “kiss cut”.  You just set the dial and cut.  A deep cut blade is available that allows you to cut thin leather and thin sheets of wood.  It will also cut fabric with heat and bond.

Design Space.

Instantly create a project from hundreds (and growing) pre-designed “Make It Now” projects or create your own.  *Design space is an online program so for those of you with limited internet may want to consider that.

Access to images.

The new Design Space library offers access to 50k+ images you can choose to create your projects. Just signing up you’ll have access to over 2300 images for FREE.  Add your existing Cricut cartridges to your Design Space account.

Upload your own files to cut.

I saved the best for last. Finally, Cricut is enabling users to cut their own files. SVGs, PNGs and other cut files, the new Design Space will let you cut whatever your creative heart designs (for the most part). Some of us have been waiting forever to see this come to reality… I know, some of you have no idea what I’m talking about. Trust me, do a little jump for joy and call it a supportive leap of happiness.

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Alright…who wants to win one?  If you would like to be entered for a chance to win a NEW Cricut Explore please enter in the Rafflecopter Widget below.

*You may need to enter from a computer instead of a mobile device.  Sometimes it takes a minute for the Rafflecopter widget to load, so please be patient.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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*Fine Print: Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (MST) on April 21, 2014. One winner will receive a gift certificate as specified above.  Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.A. to enter. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Pinterest. Facebook and Pinterest will be completely released by each entrant. One entry per person. Entry includes filling out the Rafflecopter form above. Winner will be chosen using random.org. and will be notified via email within 24 hours of the giveaway closing time. Winners will be announced on the post, not on Facebook. The winners must respond within 24 hours of receiving the email or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary.

The Party Bunch–Linky Party

You guys never cease to amaze me with your talents! Now if I could just make all the great things I pinned! I need another day in my day ;)!  The best news is that we have another Friday on the horizon! I love me some Fridays! Can’t wait to see what you have this week! Ready, Set, Link Up!!
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Amy from The Idea Room, Mique from 30 Handmade Days, Heather from Whipperberry and Desiree from The 36th Avenue want to thank you for partying with us… You guys are the best!

Here are some of our favorites!

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Heather’s Favorite

Reese’s Stuffed Brownies from Tastes of Lizzy T.

These look amaaaazing!

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Mique’s Favorite

Spring Centerpiece from Homey Oh My.

So simple and beautiful! I love the copper touch!

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Amy’s Favorite

Mini Carrot Cheese Cakes from The First Year.

Who doesn’t love cheese cake and carrot cake?  A mini version of both is perfection.

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Desiree’s Favorite

Coconut Tangerine Sugar Scrub from A Pumpkin and a Princess.

I bet this smells so amazingly good!

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As always thank you for so may fabulous projects and recipes!

We hope you take a minute and button up here!

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Also we want to invite you to click here and follow

The Party Bunch Favorites on Pinterest.

We are featuring more of our favorite projects and recipes from the link party on this board!

Now it is time to party!

TPB Party Bunch Link Up... Every Friday to Sunday link up your projects over at  theidearoom.net , thirtyhandmadedays.com , whipperberry.com or the36thavenue.com Four bloggers = ONE BIG PARTY! We can't wait to see your projects!

Here are a few things to remember before you link up!

  • Please make sure to share the love and grab a button here to let your readers know that you linked up with us!
  • By linking up with The Party Bunch, you are giving permission to any of us to feature your projects and recipes on our social media with a link back to you. Thanks!


Parenting and Time Outs

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It goes by a million names. “Time out”, “Go to your room”, “stand in the corner”, “sit in the time out chair”… The list goes on and on. What ever phrase you use to send your child away when they are misbehaving is what we are talking about.

About 30+ years ago, in an attempt to get parents to step away from spanking, “time out” was introduced. The goal was to have children sit in time out, so that they weren’t getting parental interaction and so they could take time to work through what they were upset about. It is now a common parenting practice that when children disobey, start to cause problems, and refuse to listen, that we send them away to be alone, in a time out.

But, The next time you are ready to send your children to a time out, take a minute to think about a few things. Time outs aren’t nearly as helpful as we think they are. Nor do they strengthen our relationships with our kids or teach them long term skills that are helpful as adults. (Now, don’t misunderstand, there are obviously times when distance and space is necessary, but here are a few things to think about. A new perspective.)

First, when we send our kids to time out, we are sending a message that how they feel doesn’t matter. We are telling them we don’t care about how they feel, we want them to shut their feelings off and go away.

Second, sending kids to time out sends a message that you want your children to get away from you. (I know, sometimes we really do feel this way, but…) This message says “I don’t care about you, please leave.” Our children need to feel love and when we send them away, the last thing they feel is love.

Lastly, time outs don’t teach our children to deal with their problems. By sending them to be on their own, they don’t get any help learning how to manage their feelings and emotions. By acting out, it shows they already don’t know how to handle how they are feeling and the situation they are dealing with. Sending them to time out doesn’t help them learn to manage anything.

This might sound silly, but let me suggest an alternative to a “time out”. It is time for a “Time In.”

What is a “time in”? A “time in” is gathering your child into your arms and giving them a big hug, instead of sending them away. When their behavior is horrible, when they start throwing a fit, or they hit, or they won’t listen, instead of sending them to their rooms, go to them, get down on their level, and  gather them up in your lap and hold them. Just sit and hold them. As you wrap your arms around them, let them experience the feelings. Let them be angry or sad. And let them say what they want to say.

How are you going to hug a child that is causing so much trouble? Entertain a new perspective…Maybe they are throwing a fit, or talking back. But think of it this way. Instead of getting angry, think… my child must be really really upset to be acting out this way. They must be hurting in some way. Distraught in some way to be willing to throw the fit and talk back. So instead of sending them away, realize that they are in some sort of distress and are just asking, in fact yelling, for help. Simply changing our perspective will make us want to keep our children near instead of sending them away.

Imposing a “time in” will show your child how much you love them. It teaches them you want to be connected and care about how they are feeling. It also gives you an opportunity to teach them how to deal with their emotions and feelings.

Now, it might not work right away. You might try to hug or hold your child and they pull away, or fight or yell “don’t touch me”. That is okay. It will take time for your child to accept this new practice also. Don’t quit. Stay close to your child, and express “you are having a hard time right now aren’t you. That is okay, let me hold you and we can talk about it.”

Remember that as you are working through a “time in” with your child, they will have a hard time expressing themselves for fear it might get them in trouble. Be open to their true thoughts and allow them to be honest. The more they push you away, the more they need you to stay close. Just continue to stay as close as they will let you and ensure them that you won’t leave them alone, feeling this way.

SO… the next time you are ready to call for a time out, STOP, don’t send them away. Instead, wrap your arms around your child, hold them close and give him/her a minute to regroup, feel loved and understood, and start over. Let the love pour out over them and watch their behavior change. In fact, you will see much greater and more successful results by disciplining with “time in’s” than “time outs”.

When it comes to discipline, love will always prevail.

When was the last time your child was misbehaving and you gave them a big hug instead of getting mad at them?

Do you think it would be hard to use “time in’s” instead of “time out’s”?

Have a question or just want to say hello.