About Ali Cummins

Posts by Ali Cummins:

Top DIY Toy Ideas for Kids

By Nancy Shaw

Your baby is actually taking off now, and as you chase the small one down the road, you may miss the golden days when she only studied her legs. Active is a good word to describe children at this age, and they prefer any game or toy that lets them throw their entire selves into it, such as swings, balls, and small climbing sets. (more…)

The Great Purge

I found myself this fall in need of a change. It wasn’t a need spurred by my volition but one originated by the felines that also call my house home. Laziness, ill-temper, or just plain cat-ness has caused them to sometimes choose not to use the litter box. A really frustrating habit that made me realize it was time to get new floors. Interestingly enough, these two felines are the only male inhabitants of the house, but I digress. After some careful deliberation, I chose the flooring and in true go-big-or-go-home fashion decided to replace all of the downstairs flooring not just the afflicted area. I would need to take three days off of work to “supervise” the installation. (more…)

10 Free Things to Do This Fall

For a mom, the changing of the season means, among other things, the changing of kids’ activities. When the sun starts to shine in early spring, we all too soon grab those short-sleeve clothes and run outside to enjoy the newly warm weather. When the sleeves get shorter and days get longer in summer, we find ourselves outdoors most days enjoying the rays and the good feeling that comes with playing in the sun. When fall hits, though, it is hard to accept that we need to pack up our play clothes. As soon as the cold air starts rolling in, thoughts of indoor play places like children’s museums, gymnastics centers, and mall playgrounds start coming to mind. While those options are all good options to keep kids engaged and moving, they can also be expensive. For single moms especially, it’s hard to think about shelling out money for play each cold week of fall and winter. (more…)

Alsatian Tart

I was excited for this month’s dinner. Of course, I am always excited for our NHN family dinners, but this month I was particularly looking forward to it. Why? I was making one of my all-time favorite dishes, which includes the mother of all delicious secret ingredients – Crème Fraîche. Crème Fraîche is a wonderful French soured buttercream. While it may sound like Amercian sour cream, it is much more on the creamy side and less on the sour side. And just all-around amazing. I was confident in my meal choice and very confident that Lesley would also find this dish heavenly. Not to mention, the only meat that I would have to cook was bacon, and I can definitely do that. (more…)

Six Important Potty Training Lessons

I find potty training to be very similar to the lies that are spread about sleep training. When “teaching” your kids how to sleep, you are led to believe that you are supposed to let them cry it out. Just wait long enough and they will fall asleep. Let’s get real. All kids are different, and unless you have a supercompliant kid by nature, they are teaching you how to sleep. Whether you pretend it is in your control is your choice. For potty training, it’s the same. I have now gone through the process two times: once with a naturally stubborn and unfocused kid and once with a self-starting child who is interested in cleanliness. My girls were on different ends of the spectrum when it came to readiness and interest, yet I learned there were still similarities in both experiences. Here is what I’ve learned. (more…)