How To Help Your Kid Transition in College

It’s been just about a month since most college kids have headed off. And its just about the time for them to start missing home, if they haven’t already. I’m finding while the first month is hardest on the family left at home, the second is hardest on the one who left. What can you do to support your kid away from home? Here are some strategies my friends and I are finding successful.

How To Help Your Kid Transition in College

1. Send them an amazing memory. This summer my son got into hiking and had several gorgeous photos he took of 14′ers. I teamed up with Picture It On Canvas to turn one of those photos of Grey’s Peak into an amazing canvas art piece for his dorm room, earning me a “Mom, it’s AMAZING. Thank you so much” text. Any mom of an 18 year old knows, that is huge!

dorm room art

Not sure what to have put on canvas for your kiddo? Spend some time looking through his or her Instagram account. I love that they can import a picture directly from Instagram! I choose to have this mounted  thin-bar on a 16*24 canvas. It is the perfect size for over most dorm style desks. The thin bar makes it light enough to hang with Command poster hanging strips which I left there on move in day.  It totally makes that ugly brick wall disappear and brings back happy memories. Seriously, didn’t they do such a good job? Picture It On Canvas was so easy to work with and I highly recommend them.

2. Text often. Annoyingly so. I know it seems counter intuitive and chances are they won’t answer 75% of them but they read them. After the first week or so they stop being annoyed and it’s just like when they were home and you interjected thoughts all day long into their lives. Don’t make your texts sappy or sad. Just everyday things that are happening. Keep them connected to what’s happening at home. Our family plays Fantasy Football together (he can stream the Broncos over Verizon’s NFL app for free but you do want to up your data plan before they leave) . So we send “trash talk” texts all week to the cousins and all. It’s silly but its a reminder that they are still a part of the family. Showing them that you are fine also gives them permission to be OK too.

3. Care packages. Get creative and aim for at least one a week. I have heard of some kids getting 3-4 a day. That seems like overkill to me but that is OK, you do you. I’ll do once a week. Some favorite items my son and friends of ours are receiving/sending are gum, gatorade, chips, popcorn, cool duct tape, colored sharpies, case of toilet paper, and chocolate. Too busy or lazy to pack all this on your own (cause I totally am)? Amazon Prime Pantry is the biggest winner among my friends. For $4.99 you can ship up to 40 lbs of pantry staples. These love getting giant boxes. Hint: sunflower seeds make great filler items. Need even more ideas? I love this post on creative care packages or search “care package ideas” on Pinterest. Grandparents are great for helping you get this done. Ask them for help. Everyone involved will be happy.

4. Play games. Similar to Fantasy Football and the texts above, the boys have been using XBOX Live to keep in touch. At least once a week they have had a Madden showdown. It requires that they both have the same game DVD  in their XBOX and a good w-ifi connection (this has been an issue on the college wi-fi). But it’s just like they are back playing in the living room together. If you have younger siblings at home, it may be worth sending the older one off with an XBOX as well. In our case, we have one in every room anyway since we use them to stream Netlflix and all that good stuff so sparing one wasn’t a big deal.

5. Most importantly. Just listen. When they call, resist the urge to give advice about everything or be judgmental about what they are doing. They have a lot to say and need someone to share it with. Talking helps them process it all. This is their time to figure things out on their own. Telling them what to do is the surest way to shut down communication. Trust me, I have a bloody tongue to prove this isn’t easy but it’s so worth it. I love hearing stories of what is going on and who is doing what.

Disclosure: Picture It On Canvas was lovely to work with and I thank them for providing the beautiful canvas photo free of charge. I am member of the Verizon social media team #VZWBuzz so I am lucky enough to be compensated for my time working with them. 


How To Make Essential Oil Bath Salts

Hooked on essential oils? Wondering what to do with all those empty bottles? Easy! Make essential oil bath salts. This has to be the easiest DIY project on the planet.

make essential oil bath salts

3 Steps to Make Essential Oil Bath Salts

1. Fill 12 ounce wide mouth Ball Mason Jar with epsom salt. You can buy epsom salt in just about any drug or grocery store. I purchased a 4 lb bag at Target for around $4. You don’t have to use a wide mouth ball mason jar but use something glass that closes tight. I like the wide mouth mason jars cause they are super easy to decorate. This would make a great gift.

2. Use any empty Young Living essential oil bottle you would like. Do not clean it out. It’s best if it has a few drops left in it. The one I really like to use for bath salts is Panaway. It makes a relaxing, pain relieving soak. Take off the lid and the remove the inner plastic stopper.

3. Place oil jar inside the mason jar of salts. Close up the mason jar tightly. Let it sit 24 hours. The salt will draw the remaining essential oils out of the jar. Gentle shake it up to the move the bottle around every now and then.

That’s it! After 24 hours you have an amazing essential oil bath salt to enjoy. Make sure to take out the oil bottle and recycle it. I recommend using about 1/2 the jar for a large bath tub or pouring a little into a pedicure basin after a long day and soaking your tootsies. Happy relaxing! 

Need to buy new oils? Leave me a comment or shop online with the Sponsor and Enroller ID number 1926067



Broncos Cocktail Recipe & $300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

It’s football season! YAY. My favorite time of year. To get you prepared I have a couple of AWESOME tools to help you throw the best football parties of the season. First off, a very cool Orange and Blue Broncos Cocktail Recipe….if you are another orange and blue team fan, do me a favor and don’t tell me you are using this!

Broncos Colors Cocktail Recipe

denver broncos cocktail recipe

You can find the Broncos Cocktail Recipe here. I made it up last year before the Superbowl.

Football Ideas on Pinterest

Need more Football ideas? I have two ways for you to find them. Check out my Pinterest Football Food board.

Football Food on Pinterest

More Football Party Posts

Make sure to read all the football posts that my friends have written. Seriously….I have majorly talented friends. With all our ideas you will ROCK this NFL season.


Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

and FINALLY, to MAKE SURE one of you has an awesome season my friends and I are sponsoring a $300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. amazon gift card giveaway Good LUCK!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

COMMENT QUESTION: Who is your favorite team? Can be NFL, College or Pee Wee…

The nitty gritty: Starting Sunday 9/7 at 12 a.m. and ending Sunday 9/21 at 11:59 p.m. (technically 9/22 at 12 a.m within Rafflecopter). Open to residents of the US and Canada, 18+ yrs of age. No purchase necessary. Giveaway sponsored by Alpha Blogga Blogga Sisters and is not affiliated with Amazon in anyway.


iPad Giveaway | Enter to Win a 32 GB iPad Mini

ipad giveawayWe’ve been talking a lot about back to school on the Mom Off Track blog these past two weeks so I thought I would give you all a chance to enter an iPad Giveaway. What is a better back to school item than an 32 GB iPad Mini? Honestly, I wouldn’t give this one to the kids. I would keep it for all those long hours in the carpool lane….but that is just me!


The 411 on the 32 GB iPad mini Giveaway


You, of course!

Note: giveaway is open to the Continental US, Hawaii, and Alaska. Ages 18+.


ONE – 32 GB iPad mini


Giveaway will be open from September 2, 2014 – September 30, 2014. Winner will be chosen at random on or about October 6, 2014. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen. Please read more about giveaway terms here.


To have a chance to win the 32 GB iPad mini – all you are required to do is leave a comment below telling us what you would use the ipad mini for if you won!! The rest is up to fate! ;)

All other tasks are optional to increase your chances of winning.

This giveaway is sponsored by:

Moms of FaithA Cowboy’s WifeThis Roller Coaster Called LifeTech Savvy MamaThat Bald ChickThe Bright Side of RealityRun to RadianceMom Foodie

Disclaimer: Apple is not affiliated with this ipad mini giveaway or its sponsors. Prize is being provided by sponsors mentioned above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Top Roadtrip Apps for Moms

This month we have spent every week on the road. Like, literally, have been on a major trip every week of August. My Samsung Note 3 and I have never been so close. We’ve spent a lot of long hours together watching the pavement pass.

roadtrip apps for mom

So how did my phone save me from certain death by boredom while on these fabulously scenic roads? Read on for some roadtrip apps for moms that will make your phone your next BFF.

Top Roadtrip Apps for Moms

instagram app iconInstagram. I mean what’s more fun than sharing boring pictures of the road, right? Well, maybe sharing all those quirky little road stops would be. Probably Definitely more fun is seeing what all your friends are up. Instagram is the ADHD’s  busy moms Facebook. Your kids are on Instagram taking a million pictures of themselves making duck faces. Go look. Nothing is more fun that looking at ten million selfies of your adorable kids. Make sure to like all their pictures. They really appreciate that. Especially the teens.


candy crush app iconCandy Crush. It’s addicting. It’s annoying. It’s a puzzle game with a social twist that let’s you endlessly beg your friends on Facebook for extra lives and new levels. The good news is that unless you are willing to pay it cuts you off after 5 lives thus providing a built in addict filter. I may have paid a few times on this last trip. Don’t judge. I’m on level 169 people.


yelp app iconYelp. I just recently made Yelp Elite. Oh, yes, I think people care about my opinion that much. But really, when you are staring down the only place to stop for 200 miles (I’m looking at you Kearney, Omaha) you NEED to know where to stop. Food poisoning or people dressed in Jason masks could be anywhere in these towns. Yelp will help you avoid the pitfalls. Just keep in mind that most reviews are written by locals. They may not know a Gyro isn’t supposed to be served with cheddar cheese and sour cream. Just saying.

magisto app iconMagisto. This magic movie making app takes all your gallery photos and videos and prepares them into magical little videos for you to share with graphics and music. Put all that road time to work and post them ALL on Facebook. People will love them even more than the duck face selfies and photo of your whole family in front of a giant ball of twine on Instagram.


NFL Mobile App from Verizonnfl mobile app icon. This mama loves her some football. Thank goodness the app kept me up to date this month on all the preseason happenings. Without it I may not know who has concussions, who’s benched for bad behavior and who just plain out is in for a sucky season. With this app on Verizon you can watch live games from anywhere. My nephew beat me by 1/10 of a point in last years Fantasy League. Not happening again buddy. You may be 12 but I show no mercy. #GameOn

pandora app iconPandora. I am just going to get this out of the way. Pandora is a data hog. We had to change our plan twice on the road due to our Pandora use. Thankfully we get those little notifications from Verizon. But if I had to listen to one more country song available on the FM stations in the midwest I would have cut someone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country music but hours and hours of Florida Georgia Line and Hey, Bartender (Lady Antebellum) gets really old. Maybe we should have just invested in XM but I just don’t feel the need when this many roadtrips are not our norm.

I feel the need to state the obvious here…don’t use these apps while actually operating a motor vehicle. I wasn’t driving and Instagramming. My husband doesn’t let me drive on roadtrips….something about wanting to not have a heart attack, blah, blah, blah.

You can find the above apps in either your Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Windows (not all may be available in Windows).

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Verizon #VZWBuzz social media team. While Verizon compensates me to be a part of the team, anything I choose to mention is my opinion and choice. 


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