Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Children's Swinging Chair

It's kind of a funny thing.. or maybe not so much.

But, not even a couple months ago I remember asking Ty how on earth were we going to get rid of Lexi's tv in her room.. We bought her a little tv back when she was 2.. same age as Zoey! Which is kinda ridiculous.. BUT in our defense Lexi was our horrible sleeper.. I blame that mostly on traveling like crazy people and having no real schedule for her during those years.. BUT anyways, we bought her a tv for her room - which plays only dvd.. so we would always let her fall asleep with a DVD on.. for comfort.. well she has come to rely on that up until last week! She would still 80% of the time wind up in our room up until she started kindergarten.. but that has been our saving grace for the most part of her childhood!

Now that she has gotten older and Zoey has kind of replaced that need for comfort and not having that fear of being all alone.. I have nonchalantly mentioned to her in the past that she could have a vanity in her room if she didn't have that tv.. (bc there is no more room in there) but she never did quite give into the thought... but a couple weeks ago Lexi came up with a pretty random proposal for us.. that she wanted a swing in her room.. Well that swing could only go in one place & that one place happened to be where her TV used to go.. We told her if she could go one whole week to prove to us she was serious then we would do it! Sure enough one week later and she now has her little swing chair in her room! She was sooo so excited about it and hasn't regretted her decision one bit!

We did have to compromise a little.. because an actual swing is what she wanted but that's near impossible for the space in her room.. so we settled on a fairly cheap but super cute floating swing chair for the corner of her room! Not to mention her daddy HATES putting holes in the wall let alone the ceiling.. so I caved and let it be a swing chair that hangs only from one strand of rope in stead of two like I had envisioned... and there's only so many stud options you have to hit! We are all about meeting in the middle! haha so Lexi now has her swing chair!

It was suprisingly easier to hang than I thought it was going to be! I researched on Friday night how to hang those suckers.. and I came across this brilliant youtube tip that some man gave about how to find the studs... you could use a stud finder but he also gave this tip on using a strong magnet! You basically kinda scan the area and find where the nails have been put in and you follow that until you get your line where you can drill into! We tapped a tiny nail in first to make sure we were at the right spot before we cranked the huge hook into the ceiling and it was exactly where it needed to be! Then Ty worked his boyscout magic and tied the rope using a stopper knot to the hook & chair and voila! We have our cute little swinging chair in Lexi's room!

Swing Chair: Amazon | Throw Blanket: Layla & Grayce | Pillow: Homegoods
Hook & Rope: Lowes

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Book Club for the Littles

There are quite a few of Lexi's friends in our neighborhood and I wanted her reading skills to continue throughout the summer so when a friend of mine mentioned setting up a book club (which was genius) I totally did!

We figured out a book and then set a plan for a book club party at the end of it! It gave the girls something to look forward to and by the end of summer I was able to see how much Lexi grew just by continually reading!!  It kind of forced her to read, what she wouldn't have done otherwise! I'm not a teacher, and I sure don't have the mentality of a teacher but when I saw that her Reading wasn't quite grasping on as strong as it should I knew I had to step in for her and help her a long the way!! To get Lexi to just sit down and read is a battle 90% of the time!! She is constantly looking for a way out of it! BUT looking back on it all I can realize it's because it's scary for her.. she was/is afraid of failing.

By the end I was trying to instill confidence back into her.. She is the youngest in her grade (July birthday).. she had a boy in her class who was literally a year older than her! -- They are getting tested basically at the same level for knowledge. Not that it really matters at this age but you get the idea.. Lexi as a 1st grader just sees ok I don't know everything everyone else does..

There are huge milestones these kids take just by getting older! So the older you get the more things just start to come naturally.

Well school wasn't ever my thing.. I too was the youngest with an August birthday-- which I still wouldn't ever change.. which is why I never thought twice about holding Lexi back but I honestly don't have too high expectations for her or expect her to meet a certain grade standard.. I'm just not into "being the smartest" in the class.. I never cared for school until college when I actually learned about subjects I cared about.. BUT, when the teachers met with me to go over her overall status for the year I realized ok we/she is just going to have to work harder on things.. it will come but it's going to come with a little more effort. AND that's where I have to come in. If we as parents don't follow through for our kids.. than we are ultimately to blame. They are way too little to realize the bigger picture here. So I'm learning what's working for us as we go! I noticed she did not have that confidence going in throughout 1st grade... some kids were on her level and then you had some who were much more advanced. That's ok I know, but I wanted to make sure we were preparing her to learn at home.. if you don't practice you can't really grow.. and I feel like that ultimately sets them up for failing even harder. SO I have tried to make it my goal to practice with her at home!

OK now off my soapbox... I just went through a really big learning mom curve over the last year so I thought I would share! Because back when she was in Kindergarten I was the mom who was like ehh I'm not a teacher.. that stuff stresses me out so I just didn't do anything at home.. I literally just had never thought ohh that's a priority I should be teaching her these things.. 

SO onto our Book Club!! We ended up choosing the Beezus & Ramona series!
It's quite a big book and we quickly realized we wouldn't make it through the entire book series this summer.. so our goal ended up being the first book for the entire summer.. and the week before school started back up we had our little party!

We had a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt, Pizza, Movie night (Ramona & Beezus) outside!

So this book has 183 pages!! That is a lot of reading for a 1st grader!! I had to help her through new and hard words.. but I would say she read half of that book by herself! Our goal would be around 8 pages in one sitting.. and we of course had plenty days off throughout.. But she would read 2 pages and then I would read 2 and we kinda split the load that way! We also would try to make the picture pages land as her pages to lighten her load.. but I would say she probably read close to 90 pages this summer by herself! Which left me with this huge testimony of the quote I shared above!! Towards the end of the book she was barely needing any help and I was shocked at big words that were coming out of her mouth and not to mention she was so proud of herself once she finally finished that book! She is still by no means ahead.. but we are workin on it!

The scavenger hunt turned into a Q&A about the book.. they had to answer the question to get a "book token" for the next clue location.. It was kind of long.. but at the end they got a book worm treat with pizza and a movie (Ramona & Beezus) waiting for them and i'm almost positive they had a blast!

Here's the Guide I made for the clues!

Monday, August 21, 2017

1st Day of 2nd Grade

17 Questions on Your First Day of 2nd Grade! 1. What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher
2.Where do you want to live when you grow up? Paris
3. Who is your best friend? I have a thousand
4. My favorite thing to do for fun is? Play with my sister & hang out with my family and friends
5. The thing I like most/am looking forward to about school is? Doing cursive words
6. The thing I like least/am not looking forward to about school is? Reading really hard words
7. If you could go anywhere where would you go? Paris
8. What is your favorite color? Pink
9. What is your favorite book? Beezus & Ramona
10. What is your favorite food? Noodles with white sauce
11. What is your favorite movie? Minions
12. What is your favorite tv show? BUNK'D
13. What is your favorite song? Trolls -Hair Up
14. The thing I like most about me.. I make friends
15. Something I'm really good at is.. Soccer
16. Something that is hard for me.. Doing a backflip
17. If I had a superpower it would be.. To fly and put flowers everywhere with sparkles on my wings.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday PopSugar Must Have!!

POPSUGAR Must Have is a package you receive with a collection of fun products!!
You may have seen me open them in the past on SnapChat or Insta-Stories..
but they are so fun to receive!!
The August Must Have is a special box because POPSUGAR Must Have turns 5 this month! 
Two of my favorite items in this month's package was this
cute little rose gold book & this amazing Face Masque!
If it weren't for packages like these Must Have boxes
 I would have never been introduced and been able to try so many different products!!
You can sign up to receive your own Must Have box here 
Discount code PARTY (expires 8/31) to allow $10 off your FIRST Must Have Box!
Here is a glimpse at past boxes

Weekly Giveaway Details 
All current Must Have subscribers are eligible for a chance to win! If your fanbase is not already signed up, they can simply sign up before the end of August for a chance to automatically win a *major* surprise each week from following brands: 
Week 1: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Pehr Designs 
Week 2: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from First Aid Beauty 
Week 3: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Kendra Scott 
Week 4: Limited # of lucky subscribers subscribers will win something from Tarte cosmetics 
Week 5 (8/31): 5 Grand Prize! Limited # of subscribers something from Cambridge Satchel Co + 1 year Must Have 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Road Trip Essentials!

Tyson's number one complaint about planning our Beach Trip
was that he was dreading the Car Ride!
It's about 10.5 hrs,
and Zoey is not known for being a gem in the car!

SO I was determined to make this Road Trip
much better than than the past
and it became my Project, I loveeee me some projects!

I'll walk you through some of my tips
and things we did to make our Road Trip run much smoother!
there are two insta-story videos I saved from packing for this trip
& the very first day of our road trip!

side note:
I did grab "surprises" to hand them for each state we entered,
make up bags, blind bags, candy, etc..
ohh and we had a variety of snacks to choose from!
Once again the dollar tree came through for me
for getting an assortment of small packaged candies.

Organize A Binder for each child!
Check the Dollar Store, Target Dollar Sections, or see if you have any at home your not using!
I snagged ours at the Dollar Store because they had just put out there Back to School items!

-Then go ahead and grab sheet protectors! - snagged these at Dollar Store too!

SO, I made both girls a Binder with age appropriate printouts
or things to keep them busy!

What I Put in the Binders

1. Road MAP
I went ahead and started her out with a Road Trip Map from Point A, to Point B!
Go on and type in your Starting Point and End Point and print that out..
THEN go ahead and swap your Destination to Home..
and print that out as well for your ride back!

**I went through with a pin and wrote out different cities
we would pass through that didnt show up so she could follow along!

More ideas below on what I added to the binders..

2. Activities

Are We There Yet?

The dreaded and most repeated question.....
Lexi loves to ask this question!
So, I knew that this would be the funnest visual for them
And quite frankly, it made explaining our drive so much easier!
I found this idea from Grey House Harbor and fell in love!!
I then created our own version by googling our states we would travel through and an image of my husbands truck (ex: just google silver Chevy Truck-- and find one that looks close)
I used blue painters tape because I was worried with the heat
that anything else would leave a sticky residue..
I then used a sharpie to make the road lines and used
the same tape to attach to our states and Tysons truck..
which we would move as we traveled through to different states.

You can also buy this tape from Amazon

My mom bought my girls this book a while back
--I think she was hinting we needed to make more trips to see her ;)
But it has some good activities in there!

Car Bingo,
I found a Car Bingo pack at the Dollar Store but in case you can't find any there..
Here are some from Amazon

PAINTING that's safe for the car!


Paper Sack Village,
Simply download printable pages from here, cut out the pieces
(preferably beforehand- and put in ziplock bags to bring),
and have your child attach them to sacks.
You’ll have a tiny town your little ones can call their own.
-Make sure you bring: tape/glue stick,  5 lunch bags,
newspaper or tissue paper to stuff the inside

**Also saving Happy Meal toys is a good thing to use on Road Trips

I also found Little Dry Erase Marker Boards at the Dollar Store that they used and we also already owned these Boogie Boards which are nice and work without the mess of a dry erase marker!



FAKE Make Up,

Grab some old make-up compacts or hit up
the Dollar Tree and empty out the exisiting make up..
Clean it as necessary, then use nail polish to fill in the sections!
Add some sparkle polish on top to make it look pretty!

3. Car Games & Print Outs!!
Go through ALL of your current Coloring Books..
cut out about 5 single pages and add those into a sheet protector!

YOU can also buy/use dry erase markers to write on and reuse the sheets!
Here are some print outs we used!

I also cut out some "Find The Difference" or "Find It" activity sheets
from our Church FRIEND magazine,
and don't forget about adding sticker pages to your binder!

Print-Outs Below are from IHeartOrganizing

4. ROAD TRIP Conversations

Storytelling: This “game” can seem silly, but is so fun, especially with a lot of people. One way to play is to download or purchase a book of “fill in the blank” short stories (the ones where you fill in a random verb, adjective, noun, etc. before reading the story). You can find fun simple ones based on themes or even create your own. Another option is to dream up a story about the people in the car next to you. Let your imagination run wild! Who are they? Where are they going? Etc. You could even each take turns and each say a sentence of the story.

A to Z: I play this game all the time with my students, but it is just as fun for adults! The object of the game is to try and name a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet in a particular category. For example if the category is fruit, each person names a fruit starting first with the letter A (apple, apricot, etc.). After each person names one, then move onto the next letter, B (banana, blueberries, etc.), you keep going until someone gets stuck and can’t name a fruit with the next letter. For kids I keep categories simple and basic, but for adults you could name fruit, vegetables, flowers, countries, boy names, girl names, brands, bands, movies, etc.

Guess Who or 20 Questions: Both of these are guessing games based on clues. For Guess Who, one person thinks of a person (famous, historical, family member, etc.). The other person can ask 10 yes or no questions to try and figure out who the person is. Example questions: Do I know this person? Is this person male or female? Is this person a celebrity? Etc. For 20 Questions, one person thinks of a person, place or thing. The other person has 20 questions they can ask, with the answer being yes, no, sometimes, usually or rarely. Start with general questions at first, like have we been there? Is it bigger than a mouse? Etc. And then ask more specific questions.

I printed out this 20 Car Games from Stuck on You
Road Trip Conversations Starters by Kitchen Concoctions download here

and when all else fails.....

Children's Melatonin!

I had never even heard of this until my friend told me about it.
But, if your kids are restless and they have a hard time sleeping in the car I would suggest trying this! Zoey got car sick a couple times and she was starting to get extra whiney, ya know the kind where ya know all they need is sleep?!.. so we gave her a chewable and it literally worked like a charm and helped her sleep on the car ride! You don't want to overdue it.. We only did one chewable a day. On the way there and on the way back.. and after she was already getting to that tired stage.


Here are my insta-stories like I promised you!

The first one is from packing for the trip!

Pink Travel Organizers are from here.. they also come in more colors!!

Here's our insta-story from our Road Trip car ride that first day!

Are We There Yet? Book -here

Zarbees Children Melatonin Sleep Aid -here

Auto Bingo -here

Boogie Writing Board -here

Road Tape -here

Water Wow -here

Paint With Water -here & here