8 Tips to Help Manage the Chaos of Living in a Small Home

Who else has had the luxury of living in a small home? My home is not small enough to be considered a “tiny home”, especially when it was just the 2 older girls and myself in the past. I mean with 1100 square feet we had plenty of room for all of our things. Now that the family has grown from 3 people to 5 people (6 including my step-daughter, when she visits), things are cramped, to say the least. Especially for those of us who really do need more privacy and space than others! Today in this post, I am providing you with some tips that I have learned over the years to make things a little easier on everyone!

ORGANIZATION : First and foremost, organization is key. Without this, you will he loving in an anxiety induced chaotic mess!! Everything you own must have a “home”.

DECLUTTER : Do not fill spaces with random things. Yes they look nice and that little nic-nac is too cute for words, but come on. Do you REALLY need it on your life? Take a look around, if you have things that do not serve a purpose, most likely, it needs to go. It’s nice having collections, and presenting things that are adorable and what not, but when you live in a small home, it’s honestly just wasted space. Be sure to keep on top of this. In my home, things seem to pop up and “appear” haha (I mean yes I do have those weaknesses in the store of “I gotta have that” (doesn’t everyone???). So, to keep things from piling up and creating a mass amount of clutter, you must DEclutter in this manner, regularly.

CLOSET ORGANIZATION : This one is rough for me sometimes. I am super busy ALL. THE. TIME. so keeping the house clean is one thing, but the closets, that’s another. I mean, when you are in a hurry and cleaning it’s so simple to just shove stuff in the top of your closet or the back of it or the corner. Or let the top of your pantry build up with things you are ‘storing’ up there for that ONE time you will maybe need to use it. Well, most likely, those things you may use just once every other year, not worth keeping. So, get rid of it…..sell it…..try to make some money off of these things you no longer need in your life.

INVEST IN STORAGE : speaking of wasted space, when you are purchasing your furniture, opt for the ottoman that has inside storage, or the coffee table that has storage. Ok you get the point, when shopping for furniture, always think -STORAGE.

KEEP THINGS SIMPLE : Speaking of furniture, another thing to keep in mind is the patterns. Try to not go for that crazy, busy print. Lean more towards simple and light looking furniture. You do not want things looking so busy in a small home, that screams chaos. The more simple, calm places your eyes have to rest from the busy world, the better. ☺

MIRRORS : Beleive it or not, adding MIRRORS to your wall space helps in multiple ways. It creates an illusion your place is a bit bigger. It lightens up the room, especially, if placed near a window where it can bounce the light into your home. Try this trick out, I just love it!

TAKING THE SMALLER ROOM : If you have children, you know, they take up a lot of space with their mass amount of toys, and messes galore! They have a lot of stuff right? So this only makes sense, plus they need this extra room to play 💕 I have found that giving my children the master bedroom, really minimizes the toys that pile up in the living room.

GO EASY ON BIRTHDAYS AND HOLIDAYS: Instead of buying a mass amount if toys on Birthdays and Holidays, opt for other choices. These toys will only pile up after being played with for a few weeks, most likely. Purchase only the toys you know will get the most love for the longest period of time.

Choose to have a birthday bash at their favorite place- and ask your guests to give money instead of presents 🙂 (this year we did this for our girls, and now they have a bulk amount saved to spend on fun activities for themselves over our Holiday vacation!) This also helps teach responsibility in the long run when handling money. On holidays choose to take a vacation! (This is our plan this year) Instead of spending so much on presents, spend that money on making me.ories instead- Take a vacation!

Alright there it is! There are definitely more than 8 tips to help, but these are the simplest that I have found to help with my own personal experience 😉

Until next time…..Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post, as always, I ask that you take a second to share it, tweet it, stumble it, pin it, etc….. Thanks!

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My Top 20 Favorite Movies

Hello lovelies ♡ Recently, we created a poll on Twitter asking which post you would like to see next. 🤗 So here we are! Yes, I LOVE movies. I will say since the 3rd littlest lady was born, my love for movies has been a bit ignored unfortunately. The good news, she is now getting older and I can slowly resume to tending to my movie addicted “mommy time” little by little. ♡ Anyone else enjoy spending their alone time watching movies??

Since becoming a mom I have found it is hard for me to watch horror films. I used to love them when I was younger, but nowadays I prefer comedies and action. Also, I am huge super hero fanatic! I have tried my hardest to keep up with all the latest and new movies coming out, but as a toddler mom, there are quite a few I still haven’t seen. I’m sure some of the movies I have yet to see, will soon be added to the list once I see them 🙂 Which type of movies do you prefer??

Here are my top 20 favorite movies, not in any particular order :

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Captain America Series
  3. All Batamn Movies
  4. The Hunger Games Series
  5. Twilight Series
  6. Django
  7. Bridesmaids
  8. Ted 1 & 2
  9. Hangover 1, 2, & 3
  10. Elf
  11. Mrs. Doubtfire
  12. Pirates of the Caribbean series
  13. Iron Man series
  14. X-Men series
  15. Wolverine series
  16. Jason Bourne series
  17. The Heat
  18. The Lion King
  19. Daddy’s Home
  20. Hocus Pocus

It is hard to just limit my favorites to 20, I feel like I am forgetting so many good ones that I love. For the record, I love all Christmas and Halloween related movies!

What movies are on your top 20 favorites list??

Until next time…..Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post, as always, I ask that you take a second to share it, tweet it, stumble it, pin it, etc….. Thanks!

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Homeschool Early Preschool Day 1

Today was day 1 of the littlest lady, Miss E’s early preschool ♡ I wasn’t planning on writing a post today, BUT, we had so much fun, and took so many pictures. I couldn’t resist. I am excited to tell you all about it! 🤗

Please note: These activities are simply suggestions for what the author believes is appropriate for this age. Please use your best judgement and consult your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns.

She doesn’t officially turn 2 until February, but I decided to start her early preschool a few months early. I figured since the big girls take an almost 2 month winter break from their “hardcore” school work, this was the perfect time to begin some structured play with the little miss. As a home school mama already, I did not want to jump into a new routine and overwhelm myself. I definitely wanted to give us all some time to get used to this new routine with early preschool getting added to our day, and find the schedule that works best. Then, when the big girls start their school days back up again, I can sprinkle their daily activities in around Miss E’s.

This week she is beginning her preschool with Learning the letter E (the first letter of her name), The color BLUE, The shape of the CIRCLE, & The number 2.

After breakfast, we jumped right in. This is the perfect time to start while her energy level was up and she is focused. She started her day with matching the colors of Fruit Loops to the colors of the CIRCLES on the paper. While doing this we counted “1, 2,” (She loves snacking on these as well of course!)

So once there was no more cereal left after chowing down on all those colors, we began her very first Do-A-Dot worksheet. Yes, I said, work sheet. It sounds like no fun for the toddler age group, but I promise you she had loads if fun making her BLUE dots with her dabber on the letter “E” alphabet sheets I downloaded from This Reading Mama. She has lots of fun ideas on how to introduce letters to your little ones in fun ways they will love ♡

She tried so hard to get those BLUE dots into the CIRCLES 😄 I think she did pretty well!

After she lost interest in this, we moved onto a seek and find box!! She loved this idea so much♡ The tub was filled with cornstarch that had the letters of the alphabet buried in it.

After a little while, she insisted on some bowls and spoons to play in the cornstarch. This was totally okay with me as it helps with her fine motor skills ♡

Soon after, her big sister decided to join in with her…..because big sisters are awesome!

I will tell you, something really cool about this little lady. She has always picked up after herself to the best of her abilities. Almost 2 hours later, (yes 2 hours!!) she decided she was finally finished. So she put the letters back in the tub, put the lid on it, and trotted on over to the closet to grabbed her toddler sized broom. Yes, believe it or not, this little lady began (attempting) to sweep up her mess. #proudmommymoment

I can’t wait to make more of these themed sensory tubs in the future!

During the 2 hours she played quietly digging around in her Alphabet sensory tub, I finished another cup of coffee (YUM), cleaned off the kitchen table (due to our small house this is our meal area, school area, and craft area). Then proceeded to get the next activity ready for her so she can play “Feed The Turkey”. I thought this is definitely appropriate given the fact that this week is Thanksgiving. I found this cute idea over at The Busy Toddler!

She enjoyed using small plastic measuring spoons to Feed The Turkey.

She began matching up the colors of the pom poms and the spoons all on her own!!

I am sure we will be enjoying this activity the rest of this week 😋

While waiting for lunch, we all did our afternoon yoga, Miss E is a HUGE copycat! She always joins in, whether the big girls are doing yoga, practicing their ballet, tap, jazz, or even playing the piano.

Big sisters are the best!

You can see the black and white blur in the backround….Molly, our dog, gets hyper anytime we are on the floor. Haha!!

After lunch, while waiting for our neighbors to come over for an afternoon visit full of fun and crafts, we pulled out the colored Velcro Sticks! These are a hit! I love these even for traveling quiet time, while we are out and about! I found this simple crafty idea over at Tot Treasures!

During the evening hours, after dinner, while we are winding down for the day….She always insists on pulling the Play-Doh out. So, I took advantage of this by pulling out the BLUE container, and the NUMBER 2 cookie cutter…..we made NUMBER 2S and CIRCLES out of the BLUE Play-Doh to go along with the weekly theme!

She also insisted on matching her colored ball pit balls with a poster board cut out I had created last week for her. My phone was on the charger, so no pictures of her playing this evening with it, but here is one I took after making it, so you have an idea of what it looks like 😊

Alright! I’d say our first day of Early Preschool was a success!!! She had loads of fun! I hope you all enjoyed your Monday as well ♡

Until next time…..Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post, as always, I ask that you take a second to share it, tweet it, stumble it, pin it, etc….. Thanks!

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My Top 5 Monthly Favorites – November

Guess what time it is?! Yup! It’s half way through November (already), that means it’s time for the second post in our series of monthly favorites ♡ So here we go…..

STRING LIGHTS

This one I love all year round, but with the days getting shorter and it getting dark in the early evenings, I can enjoy them now even more! I just love how relaxing the low lighting is. Once I am finished tidying the house up in the evening, I am done with having the ceiling lights on and look forward to relaxing with my evening hot tea in the ambiance that the string lights provide ♡. There is just enough light for me to do my evening planning for the next school day, reading, or journaling. It’s just perfect!

I have string lights around the tops of our cabinets in the kitchen, wrapped around a bookshelf we use for our home school supplies and games, and draped across the windows in our living room.

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FUZZY SOCKS

I have always been a sock girl – fuzzy socks, toe socks, fun patterns and fabrics, even grippy bottoms….you name it, I probably have it!! The days are getting shorter, and it is also getting super chilly. You can really feel that winter weather rolling in. I spend most of my days barefoot on our hardwood floors at home (I have never been a fan of shoes). The chilly windy weather on our mountain really keeps the hardwood floors cold to the touch. My collection of fuzzy socks is perfect for keeping my toes cozy. I just LOVE fuzzy socks!

Sometimes the fuzzies and the hardwood floors do not mix well when I am rushing round and round this house, haha!! I have even gotten bruises in the past to prove it LOL 🤣 This is where the gripped bottoms come in handy.

We can’t forget those stylish toe socks! I have worn these since I was a teenager ♡ I love how they allow me to wear my flip-flops while keeping my feet snuggly too! Have you ever tried toe socks out?

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SPARKLES

Sparkles, glitter, twinkles……I just love it all year round! This time of year though, it goes hand in hand with all the festivity ♡ Everywhere you go, you start seeing decorations, a lot of which include all of these. So, in my opinion, it’s the perfect time to add a little extra “sparkle” on yourself as well! Whether it be around your eyes, collarbone, nail polish, or even hair bows 🤗 SPARKLES are FUN! I even have a glitter lamp!

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HALLOWEEN BODY WASH

This stuff smells AMAZING. PERIOD. I have worn the Halloween Perfume for the past 15 years. I had no idea they began making matching body wash as well, until, recently, my best friend gifted me with some ♡. She loves the perfume as well, and had ordered herself some, not realizing that it came with body wash….she doesn’t use the gel body wash so she passed that baby on to me. SCORE!

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NAIL POLISH

Since becoming pregnant 2 1/2 years ago with baby #3, once again, the attention I give myself diminished. Shortly after she was born, our home school adventures with the 2 older girls began. Guess what? My “pampering me” time was 100% extinguished!! So now, girl #3 is almost 2 years old, and our home school adventures have begun having a bit of routine (for now haha). I have began focusing more time on myself again, little by little. I have missed it!

Every year (for years), no matter what, I have painted my nails for Halloween. I took this years as an opportunity to add to my “me list”. Since the week of Halloween, I continued with painting my nails at least once (sometimes twice) a week 😊. I have really been enjoying giving myself some attention again…and painting my nails really helps slow everything down, temporarily, and relax!

Well that’s all for today. What are your November favorites? Tell me down below in the comments section….I’d love to hear all about them ♡.

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How to find that “Home school Community”

So today let’s talk about that home school community. I don’t know about you other home school mama’s, but when we decided to home school, that community was nowhere to be found. It was unheard of. I read in so many places about the bigger cities having home school groups that are massive and it’s just “known” where to go to be a part of it all. Let me tell ya, where we live….no.such.thing.

I did so much research before we actually began our homeschooling journey, hoping to be prepared, but nothing had prepared me for the loneliness of it all.

Let me give you a little background on myself…..I grew up going to public and private schools. My mom is a school teacher, and I didn’t know anyone who had been homeschooled or who was homeschooling their own child/children, other than some distant cousins. I have no background or involvement in the home school community what.so.ever guys.

After reading some tips on multiple sites recommending library trips during the middle of the day, we decided to make it a weekly trip. I mean stepping out of my comfort zone to talk to random families in the hopes of making some connections to the home school community, is worth the risk at this point. But guess what? Not once did I run into a family with kids at the library in the middle of the day…so we tried different days…still no luck…..ugh this was getting so frustrating. Were we ever going to meet any LOCAL home school families?

Continuing my search I was finally coming to some promising answers. Who had these answers? Facebook. Yup. I had finally come across some LOCAL home school groups on Facebook. How exciting!! Unfortunately most everyone involved with these groups were strictly social media…..no meet ups with families. In the midst of all this frustration, a new group was formed IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD! woo hoo……we were so excited. Couldn’t wait. The plan was to meet once a week, and how convenient the location was literally a few roads down from our house 🙂 We went and had fun. Unfortunately it was only a few families meeting at first…and that slowly dwindled down to us and another family….BUMMER! This group still meets a couple of times a month ♡

I FINALLY found 4-h. I hadn’t even given 4-h a thought to be honest. Growing up, I personally was never involved, and thought it was only revolving around farming topics. Boy was I wrong!! There are so many niches you can be apart of!! We attended a couple of 4-h groups trying to figure out which we preferred. Come to find out, a lot of the kids involved with 4-h were actually homeschooled!

We finally found the group we preferred ♡ The girls loved it. We were becoming involved with a horse enthusiast group, believe it or not! This was awesome for the girls. They love horses, but unfortunately, most groups require you to have your own animals if you want to be involved with any animal based group. We found this one, which was run by a veteran homeschooling mama who has her own farm, and is so generous to have the meetings on her farm with her own horses and ponies ♡♡

A little time had passed, I had still been researching home school activities and meet ups. I was beginning to learn and hear through the grape-vine of so many businesses becoming more and more involved with the home school community. Before long….there was even a local home school 4-h group formed!! This actually is now one of the biggest 4-h groups in our area!

Believe it or not, the following year, the home school community in our area had quadrupled (according to our local school board). This is not only happening in my area, but all over! The bigger the demand, the more opportunities there are. Local businesses have been offering more and more opportunities 🙂

If you are worrying about finding the home school community, let me tell you, don’t. It’s out there. You just need to work hard sometimes to find a handful of families. Most businesses are willing to be involved with the home school community. All they need to get started is a small group of committed families to be involved, and a voice for the home school community. So if you have time, don’t be afraid to be that voice!

Well that’s all for today. Do you have any tips to help find that home school community??

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Small Changes to Help With Weightloss

Hey there!!! I hope you are having a great week! Today I thought I would write about weight loss 🙄 I have recently began a new eating lifestyle called Trim Healthy Mama. I absolutely am loving how flexible it is and how family friendly the meals can be! I mean how obnoxious is it when you are trying to eat a specific way and end up needing to fix separate meals?? One for your family, and one for yourself! If you haven’t heard of THM (Trim Healthy Mama) I insist you head over and check them out 💗

Everything I will be listing here today is what I have found that works for me and my body. I hope you can find something here today that you are able to implement in your lifestyle and see results from (no matter how small).

EXERCISE

Ok, so first things first…everyone knows that when it comes to weight loss, the #1 focus should be in the kitchen, managing what you are eating. The #2 focus should always be exercising….getting up off of your butt and moving! This is the one I have trouble finding time for! My schedule is ridiculously busy…I mean BUSY!! I absolutely do not have time to focus and hour of my time a day towards exercise. I have tried, and unfortunately when I do, things get neglected. Things that absolutely CANT get neglected.

I know that as the girls get older this will be lot easier to manage. But for now, small increments is what I settle for. I have been doing small “challenges” to help with this. Planks, squats, push ups, jumping jacks, anything that I can randomly break out in for a few minutes at a time during the day helps! As a homeschooling mama with a toddler in tow, and so many extra curricular activities life gets busy. Evening walks are a favorite in our household. This is nice because it helps get EVERYONE moving, not just myself. I also try to implement physical activities in our home school that we can all participate in…for example and afternoon hula hooping contest 💕

WATER INTAKE

Aside from changing your relationship with food and exercising, your water intake is SUPER important!! This helps your body’s organs function at their highest to remove toxins from your body. Also, if your water intake stays steady then your body will not retain as much water 💧

I have learned that I tend to drink more water when I am drinking it from a nice portable cup with a straw. This may sound weird haha. I mean, I don’t know why this is, but hey, if it means my water intake increases without me realizing it, then hey I’ll take it! So if you are having trouble increasing your water intake, maybe try this method out and grab yourself a fun travel bottle with a straw 😊

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OOLONG TEA

I am all about this tea for so many reasons!! This tea is so yummy! You can drink it cold or hot, it is good either way. Also, mixing it up with some extra flavorful ingredients is a nice variety.

The list of BENEFITS of this tea is so long. Among the top benefits are prevention of ovarian cancer, improved bone health, helps control diabetes, and of course that it raises your metabolism to help aid in weight loss. There are way too many benefits of this tea to list here today. I am obsessed with this tea and drink at least 2 strong glasses of it a day. Most of the time I drink it plain, but I have been known to mix it up with other flavorful healthy ingredients to change things up a bit ☕

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SCHEDULED SLEEP

This is one I cannot give my experience from personally. I suffer from insomnia and typically run on about 3 hours of sleep a night unfortunately. But I have read and read in so many places how getting enough sleep and having a regular sleep a schedule really helps in lowering your body’s stress levels. Which in return, aids in managing your weight loss. Just don’t over due the sleep…too much sleep can hinder your weight loss.

Even though I suffer from insomnia, and can’t force myself to sleep a certain amount of time per night, I have however implemented a routine! I may not get enough sleep physically, but creating this nighttime routine had helped a great deal in calming my mind and relieving some stress😏

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COCONUT OIL

There have been studies that swapping out just 2 tablespoon of your other oils and replacing them with coconut oil through out the day aids in shrinking that waist line! Coconut oil differs from those other fats by having medium chain triglycerides. Coconut oil doesn’t seem to raise your cholesterol and is more likely to be burned as energy than stored in your body as fat! Hey and it turns your home into a tropical smelling vacationing spot while cooking with it 😉

Well there it is! Simple changes to add into your life to help aid in your weight loss! There are many choices out there to help with this, but these are my top choices that I have implemented into my lifestyle that have shown noticeable results 👍

Do you have any suggestions to add that has shown you noticeable results? Let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this post! If so be sure to share share share! Thanks 😋

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Our Toddler’s CURRENT Favorite Meals

Parents, how hard is it to keep up with your toddler’s preferred taste in food? It seems that our little miss’ preferred taste changes constantly. One week she will eat green beans….the next, she refuses. She has always refused to eat eggs…but likes a good quiche. So in an effort to help provide fresh ideas for all you toddler parents on the hunt, here is a list of our toddler’s top current favorite foods.

1. EGG MUFFINS

This is not only the little lady’s favorite but our entire family loves them! Also this is THM (Trim Healthy Mama) friendly!! #momwin. So, these are super easy to make and very versatile. She loves to help out in the kitchen ♡

You start with mixing up some eggs with milk and cheese in a bowl, set it aside. Dice up about 5-7 pieces of turkey bacon and fry it up…..add the fried bacon to the egg mixture. Saute up a few handfuls of spinach…..again, add this to the egg mixture. Season it up with your preference, salt&pepper or Mrs dash, or Italian seasoning. Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray and spoon the egg mixture out. Cook at 375 for 25-30 min.

I am a chef at heart so measuring is always eyeballed by me (unless I am baking). Play around with the measurements and find your preference.

Like I said this is versatile, feel free to add or sub with other ingredients. Sometimes we even change it up and make mini muffins (toddler sized), or double the usual batch and make a big family sized sausage crusted quiche dinner ♡ It’s delish guys!!

2. PANCAKE MUFFIN VARIETIES

This is pretty self explanatory….it is literally pancake batter cooked in a muffin tin. I typically make a big batch of these in the mini muffin tin. After spooning the batter into the pan, I add different ingredients for variety. These are perfect for little miss to grasp with those toddler hands. I always make a big enough batch so the bigger kiddos can have them as pancake poppers and dip in their syrup 🙂 mmm mmm Good!!

3. HOMEMADE LUNCHABLES

Yes buying the prepackaged lunchables are so much more convenient, I know. The bigger girls of the house love lunchables, and the little lady gets so mad if she isnt included. But as of right now the littlest one refuses to eat lunch meat. So to save on her being wasteful, I began creating my OWN version for her,that way she is able to be included with her big sisters, while not wasting a big chunk of her meal.

So in the toddlers lunchable, I always include some form of “crunch” whether it be crackers, veggie straws, or goldfish. She also gets a fruit. Maybe grapes cut into quarters (to prevent choking), bananas cut in slices with the peeling still intact (she enjoys peeling of the outside before eating her slice of banana), sliced strawberries, grapefruit, or mandarin oranges. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese…..Our toddler LOVES cheese…..so of course cheese is included in her toddler lunchable.

4. HOMEMADE PIZZA

As a momma who homeschools, part of our weekly routine includes a cooking activity with multiple recipes. Once a month we make a big batch of pizza dough and separate it to freeze only to be pulled out in small batches for our weekly homemade pizza dinner. We also make our own homemade pizza sauce as well 🙂 We add the toppings we like to each of our pizzas ♡ The littlest miss loves this part!

5. FRUIT SALAD

Who doesn’t love a good fruit salad?? Here is a picture of her peeling her banana slices before eating them– she thinks this is so fun, plus it helps with her motor skills!

Her fruit salad favorites are, grapes (cut into quarters), strawberry slices, kiwi, watermelon, mandarin oranges, and bananas. Yum!!

6. OATMEAL

It has taken a long time to get her to actually like oatmeal. This is actually the most recent change of her tastebuds. I always try to get her to try foods when I make them even if she didn’t like them last time. Their taste buds are constantly changing at this age, so you never know when they might end up liking something soon after refusing it. She prefer hers with a few 65% cocoa dark chocolate chips in it.

7. SANDWICHES

Peanut butter sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich, mac and cheese sandwich, hazelnut spread sanwich, or even a spaghetti sandwich…..she isn’t picky when it comes to her sandwiches. I do find they giving her a sandwich is like an invitation for her to disassemble the whole thing and play with it. I have learned that if I take our miniature cookie cutters, and cut up her sandwiches into fun bite size shapes using those, she is more likely to eat it and not play with it….Haha!!

8. SPAGHETTI

Speaking of spaghetti, I just love this picture of her using her spoon like a master!! She absolutely loves spaghetti!! Who doesn’t?!?

Alrighty! There it is!! I hope you enjoyed this post ♡♡ If so be sure to share it,pin it, tweet it,etc…

Don’t forget to subscribe with your email down below, to keep up with the latest and be one of the first to be notified to receive some freebies coming very soon!! FREEBIES! YAY!!!

Until next time my lovelies ⛰

Our Top 10 Christmas Traditions

Okay, October is behind us, and Halloween has passed…..you know what that means?!?! It’s totally acceptable to bring out the Christmas decorations, music, and blog posts! So here is my very first Christmas themed post 🎄Enjoy!

Since becoming a mommy, I have been all about traditions. Traditions for every holiday. Christmas is my Favorite holiday so I think, aside from birthdays, this holiday probably has the most family traditions than any other in our home. Here is a list of our top 10 traditions.

NEW ORNAMENT COLLECTION PICKS

Every year we all go out as a family for fun family events and finish the day in search for that new perfect ornament. We each pick out a special yearly ornament to add to the collection. Once we get home, we put our name on the bottom and the year, before adding it to the tree🎄I will tell you over the years, the amount of ornaments is severely outgrowing our tree haha! My hopes for this tradition will be that the girls with have their own set of memorable ornaments, along with their childhood homemade ornaments, when it is time for them to have their own trees as adults.

DECORATING THE TREE

November 1st we put on Christmas music and begin the tree assembly (I am allergic to the real evergreen trees so we use a fake tree) Over the 11 years of being a mommy, we have collected so many ornaments (both homemade, and yearly new additions). Everyone has accumulated their own collection of ornaments either homemade, or store bought, and they participate in decorating the tree with that collection. What is really cool about decorating this way is everyone, seriously, enjoys looking at each of their ornaments and remembering making it or what we did the day they picked it out at the store. Honestly I had never planned on the tree decorating to work out this way. As the girls got older they both would gravitate towards their own ornaments, and it eventually just blossomed into a yearly tradition for us that we all enjoy so much.

CHRISTMAS MOVIE COUNTDOWN

Every year beginning in November, we watch a different Christmas movie each week. We usually take a family vote to decide which to watch on movie nights, but as I am sure you other mama’s out there are aware of, a quiet family vote does not always go over well….So on the days that I can usually anticipate this happening, I choose to go about it a different route. Sometimes I may wrap the movie up with some movie munchies along with it, other times we may let our dog Molly pick one for us. Or if it is a super rainy/wet/icy/cold day good enough to lounge all day in jammies we may even just watch 2! There have been times that I have chosen to have a special hot chocolate bar for us all as well ☕

FESTIVE FAMILY DRINKS

This one is always fun! I have quite a few different holiday drinks I rotate around through out the season for my little ladies. Sometimes for breakfast we have a glass of chocolate milk with rainbow sprinkles around the rim. When we watch The Grinch movies we always have a glass of green (food colored) milk with green sprinkles around the rim. As I mentioned above, I surprise them with a hot chocolate bar at least once throughout the season. I always look for winter shaped marshmallows, fun festive sprinkles, whipped cream, and yummy candy canes for our drink stirrers.

MAILING CHRISTMAS CARDS

Using “snail mail” as a form of sending Christmas cards to friends and family is a fun family activity for us all. The girls love picking out the cards and signing their names.

CHRISTMAS LIGHT SCAVENGER HUNT

The closer it gets to Christmas, the more and more decorations are put out in the community. We (especially me) just love Christmas lights! So as the countdown comes down closer to Christmas we take a day here and a day there to drive around different neighborhoods to look at everyone’s creativity with lights! To make this even more fun, we have created our own scavenger hunt to find holiday items in all the decorations.

ELF ON THE SHELF

Who hasn’t heard of the all famous Elf On the Shelf?? Some are for this, and others I have heard, don’t believe in it. Well in our household, we have so much fun with it! So much fun, that another ELF (cocoa sugar spice) has recently joined our household to team up with the original ELF(cookie bubbles). As an adult, I have a blast coming up with mischevoius things for them to get into, and hiding spots for the girls to try to find them each morning. In the years past, the elves have been where the girls go to whisper to the elves their secret messages for santa, and really just more of a daily game of hide and seek (elves hide, girls seek). They always are anxious to see what the ELF is getting into next. The eldest girly has been able to join in on the “behind the scenes” fun this past year…as she had learned the truth behind what and who Santa Claus really is🎅

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Wo doesn’t love a fresh batch of Christmas cookies!?!?! Aside from donuts, a fresh cookie is so comforting during the winter time. We always do our 2 staple cookies…sugar and chocolate chip. Every year we pick out 2 new recipes to try, or ones we haven’t made in awhile ♡ (Look for a list of our favorite Christmas cookies in the future).

THE NUTCRACKER BALLET

This is something I have done since my childhood. Every year one of our local dance academies puts on The Nutcracker. I am always sure to purchase tickets well in advance so I can be sure to get decent seats. My Granny has always loved The Nutcracker too, so we always are sure to include her in on our fun♡

WINTER WONDERLAND/SANTA

We have a local park that gets decorated with the theme of the 12 days of Christmas. It is always very cold when we go. It is fun getting all bundled up and sing the 12 days of Christmas song as we walk through all the lights. There’s Hot Chocolate, displays of local gingerbread house contests, musical lights, and Santa! This tradition is always a hit!

My Top 5 Monthly Favorites – OCTOBER

Hi guys!!! Happy almost Halloween !! Oh October….you are one of my most favorite months of all and I am going to miss you!!! Throughout the seasons of the year my current favorite things in each month seem to change. So I thought I would begin a monthly series and list off my current favorite things of that particular month ♡ So here we go….

HOT TEA

October it’s starts to get chilly around here. I am always a hot tea drinker (usually before bedtime), but now that the temp is starting to drop, so I find my self drinking more and more of it. It definitely warms me up and gives me that cozy fall feeling. Since my opportunity to drink hot tea increases, my choices of tea can expand!! I am always bouncing around in the different flavors, but right now my tea of choice is Oolong Tea. This tea is so amazing and has so many added benefits, one being that it raises your metabolism 😊 this one is my Favorite benefit! Another plus, it is tastey enough to drink either hot or cold 🙃 Wanna try some out? Check it out down below 👇

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FACE MASKS

Something about the fall time just feels so perfect for facials. It seems that out of the entire year, fall time is when most of my facials take place…..This month I don’t have a particular brand I prefer. The girls and I have been bouncing around trying all different brands and purchasing the individual packs……what can I say, we like variety!! Do you have a particularly favorite face mask??

BLUE SKY NOTEBOOKS

Considering I just recently began my blogging journey within the last month, I have been looking at items to help keep me organized. I am a stationary freak and I came across these sweet notebooks randomly one day. I needed something to keep all my notes, blog scheduling tips, and ideas in. These little beauties right here are just my style! I love the simple classy patterns, and how the spirals are across the top and not down the side!! Plus, they are the perfect size, not too bulky ♡ I only have 2 different patterns, so far.

Arent these so stylish?! I love them! Check out these other patterns down below they have available!

Blue Sky Notebooks <– click here 🖱

ESSENTIAL OILS

I am absolutely obsessed with my diffusers. It is constantly getting used. This little pack of oils I purchased is so nice. I love how durable the box is, and how the front has an opened window-type part so you can see the bottles. Currently I do not have specific location for my oils, so they are always floating around between my diffusers. So having them in this convenient reusable package is awesome in my eyes!! Do you have a diffuser? If not, I highly recommend you grab one…or two….or one for each room even!! <—- Haha that’s my goal!!!  They truly do make a huge difference in the atmosphere in the room,help with focus, and over all well-being ♡♡ Look down below for some essential oils and diffusers of your own!

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COFFEE STIRRERS

These are so cool!! Considering the Halloween Spirit 🎃 is all around during the month of October, these are so fitting! I have to admit, I did not find these myself. A friend of mine sent us home with a handful of them after roasting some s’mores at their house one night. Ever since then, my morning cup if Joe has been stirred with and eyeball on a stick!! 👀 If these are your style and you would like some Halloween Spirit with your morning mug, you can grab a pack of them down below 👇

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What are some of your most favorite go to items this month??

That’s it for today!! Come back next month and check out my November Favorites ♡ Don’t forget to subscribe with your email down below, to keep up with the latest and be one of the first to be notified to receive some freebies coming very soon!! FREEBIES! YAY!

Like this post or any others?? Then be sure to share share share!! Thanks ♡

Until next time my lovelies ⛰ Enjoy the rest of your October!!

 

♡ Liebster Award Nomination ♡

Guess what guys?? I have been nominated for the Liebster Award 2017!! How exciting is that?! I am so new on this blogging adventure, that something like this was totally unexpected! A big THANKYOU goes out to Ana from Beauty and Lifestyle with Ana for nominating me ♡ Swing on over and check out her blog for tips on beauty products and healthy routines 🙂

So, what is the Liebster Award 2017? Well, Leibster in German means sweetest, nicest, kindest, dearing, and loving. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it is an award given to bloggers by bloggers that exists only on the internet. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011!

Original Liebster Award Image (2011)

The way that it works is, after accepting the nomination, you then must write a post about it and nominate other bloggers! That simple, although, there are rules…Yes rules 🙂 According to The Global Aussie the rules are as follows :

  1. Thank the lerson who nominated you and put a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget”.
  3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  6. List these rules in your post.

Ok, so let’s talk about my favorite blog. I, myself, have not been an official “blogger” for too long, but I have been a blog reader for years! Honestly, I have a handful of favorites, but having to only pick one…..well, I would have to pick ***insert drum roll*** Blessed Beyond Crazy. This blog is run by a mother daughter team <— how cool!!! Both Anna (daughter) and Linda (mother) have such an exceptional blog chocked full of tips and great ideas on all kinds of subjects. My favorite categories they touch on that I refer to a lot for inspiration and tips are : ‘homeschool‘ (obviously) and all the ‘holiday‘ posts. Being a super crafty homeschool mama myself, who is still fairly new on THIS adventure, I am regularly checking out thier updates. You don’t need to be a super crafty homeschool mama to enjoy this blog though. They touch on so many topics! Such as, home improvements, recipes, and finances just to name a few. So head on over to Blessed Beyond Crazy and check them out!! Go ahead and subscribe to keep up with their latest tips of awesomeness!!

Ten Random Facts About Me

  • I love rainy weather….it energizes me and calms me all at the same time! The rainier, the better 🙂 They call this a “pluviophile“.
  • I am allergic to cats <—-no fun cause sometimes snuggling a cat on the couch watching a movie is what I want to do. I wasn’t always allergic, it wasn’t until my teenage years this began happening. And now my 11 year old daughter just recently began suffering from the same thing….what a bummer.
  • One of my most favorite things to do is cook. Always has been!
  • I do not have a favorite color…..when asked, my response is usually the rainbow 🌈
  • I suffer from insomnia and have for years. Some times it’s more severe than others. I try my hardest to not bring it up very frequently to peole around me, due to misunderstandings of the condition. I couldn’t tell you the last time I slept an entire night without waking though. This is something I wish more people around me understood more of.
  • My favorite foods are cherries, cheese, and chocolate….it has been this way since elementary school!!
  • I do not like scary movies. Before becoming a mommy, they were my very favorite types of movies. Now, I find they make me paranoid and on edge. Weird?
  • I enjoy wine, sweet wines. Believe it or not, Aldi has some great tasting Moscato for an affordable price-gotta love Aldi!!
  • My favorite show is Roseanne. This is a show I had watched growing up, and have probably seen every episode a gazillion times 🙂 I own all 9 seasons on DVD and honestly, continue to still watch them repeatedly……LOL
  • I am an artist, very, very few people know this about me….I love drawing and painting AND am actually very good, but I have always rarely had time to enjoy it.

Questions from Ana

What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?

Making the decision to give birth to my 3rd daughter 100% medication free. I stuck to it and am so proud of myself for doing it!

If you could give someone $1,000,000 who would you give it to?

This is a hard one. There are so many options. I would most likely divide it up between my 3 children to help set them up for their future as adults.

How did you get inspired to start a blog post?

This was something I had thought about for awhile. After reading so many blogs and following specific ones throughout the years, while ending up seeing how successful they had become, I realized there was a lot I could offer others who were looking for tips and inspiration on their own journeys ♡♡ The plus side…..I have something that’s all mine, that enjoy doing 😊

Name the top 3 most beautiful beaches you have visited, if you have to pick one to go back, which one would you choose and why?

Okay I have been to so many beaches it’s ridiculous. I ant narrow it dosn to just 3 beches, but can definitely narrow it down to 3 areas…Florida Gulf, Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. Now having to visit only one to go back I would choose the beaches in Kauai, Hawaii for sure.

Name 3 things that bring joy to your life and why?

Animals, Rain, Coffee….these are 3 of my favorite things and they each put a smile on my face ♡

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

This one is difficult. As a homeschooling mama of 3 girls, we are constantly busy. Which leaves the housework to fall on the back burner pretty frequently……I would probably pick speed (yes like the Flash haha) could you imagine only having to spend 3 seconds folding and putting away that huge Mount Everest sized pile of laundry away, that’s been on the couch for 3 days? Or doing the entire counter full of dirty dishes in under 2 second? Mowing the lawn? Reading books? Wrapping presents during the holidays or birthdays? I mean….I would have so much extra time!!!

***INSERT DRUMROLL***

My nominees are……..

CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!! I hope you are as excited as I am ♡♡

Questions for my nominees

  1. What is your favorite dish?
  2. What is your favorite color?
  3. What piece of advice do you have that (from experience) would be super useful to a “newbie” blogger?
  4. If you could be any super hero what would it be, and why?
  5. Has blogging changed your life in any way?
  6. Movie series, which is your favorite?
  7. When do you find time to blog?
  8. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?
  9. Favorite season of the year? Why?
  10. What is the furthest you traveled from home?
  11. Sweet or savory?

There it is….my Liebster Award Nomination post, I hope you enjoyed it ♡♡ If so, feel free to share share share please 😊 Be sure to check out my nominees blogs too!! They all have wonderful blogs.

♡♡Until next time my lovelies ♡♡