Buying in bulk is a great idea for the environment, as well as your bank account! I love to reuse things like soap dispensers and just refill them instead of throwing them away, but sometimes it is good to give them a little upcycling to spruce them up a bit! See how I made this adorable DIY twine soap dispenser and learn about the Persona VitaminPacks I have been using, too!
Our boys are so in love with basketball right now. They both played in a league this past season and Hubby coached them both. Many trips to the store were made to stock up on snacks, drinks, and supplies! It really is amazing how much is put into these basketball games for kids.
Basketball is a game that I love, as well, and love to play with them. The boys are out shooting and having fun multiple times a day. We want them to work on their skills in different, fun ways, so I picked my husband’s brain about fun games that they sometimes play at practice, and then had an exciting time at the court playing these games!
I am a lover of all things pumpkin spice. I am also a lover of all things coffee. Autumn is THE best time of the year for me because I can enjoy two of my favorite things! Pumpin Spice. Coffee. Bliss.
Something that totally sets me off though, is when I am making my morning coffee and I open my refrigerator to take out my creamer and I am hit with the smell of leftovers or worse. A yucky refrigerator smell is not my idea of a blissful autumn morning.
Simple Easter Bunny Wreath DIY
A while back, I noticed that our grapevine was out of control. It grows on the fence between our garden and carport, and it was so out of control that the boys had to push them back if they go out of Daddy’s car. It was almost like a jungle! I enlisted the help of the Captain and D to prune the grapevine, which apparently you are supposed to do in the winter, anyway, to encourage new growth in the spring.
I taught the boys how to use the loppers to carefully trim the old vines that were growing right into the carport and our garden. Traditional pruners would have worked too, but well, loppers are more fun to use and to say. The Captain would prune off a few vines, then D would. My little boys LOVE to cut things, especially big things like a grapevine! After a lesson in where to cut, I let the Captain get a bit too comfortable and he lopped off a huge part of the vine, but hey, it happens. It will grow again!
The ULTIMATE Valentine's Day Roundup
One of my favorite blogging communities has done what true communities do best….teamed up and formed the ULTIMATE Valentine's Day Roundup! The Social Fabric community is full of fantastic bloggers with amazing DIYs, crafts, tutorials, recipes, printables, activities, and more. This is the best of the best when it comes to Valentine's Day! Take a look and you are sure to find something that you truly love!
Book and Journal Keeper
The Captain is 7 and loves to read. He has really loved discovering the world of chapter books this year! Often times we find him after we thought he was asleep, reading his Star Wars book, the Bible, or a book about animals or the solar system. Reading is such a gift and I am glad that he has found this love and is confident as a reader.
One problem that we have run into, however, is that he has two little brothers that love books, as well, but in different ways! While D is gentle with books and loves sounding out words, Baby Brother is two and very destructive! He loves to look at books, yes, but he also loves to throw them, drop them, and he is learning that we do not rip pages or color in books that are not coloring books. That's a tricky thing for a toddler to learn, isn't it?
This DIY lunchbox note holder post and shop have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HorizonLunch #CollectiveBias
Packing cute lunches with foods that I feel good about the boys eating is really difficult sometimes. We are not early morning people, so I like to have foods already available and lunches ready to assemble when I wake up. I love packing lunches that the boys will enjoy, but it can be hard to find the right balance between what the boys want and what Mommy wants them to be eating.
Beverage Bands DIY has been compensated. All opinions are mine alone.
If one thing is for certain, our family stays well hydrated. We all love our drinks, but admittedly, they’re not always healthy. I have made a concious efffort to start drinking more water and when I want a sweet drink, to make it a better beverage choice. I know the boys are always watching…and waiting to have a sip of my drink, as well! I need to be making good drink choices not only for me, but for my family.
While we are making healthier drink choices, the issue still exists that we can’t keep track of which drink is ours. That’s fine, I guess, since we are all family, but with the holidays and sick season coming up, I wanted to create a way to keep track of our drinks. The boys and I made some super cute DIY Beverage Bands that were very easy!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias
Being from Texas, iced tea has always been one of my favorite drinks. I drink at least one glass of iced tea daily, sweetened with honey. Tea is always my go to beverage of choice at family gatherings, potlucks, and parties. I broke up with soda a few years ago and have not looked back, because tea is just, so so good and has many health benefits, too. Iced tea always seems to quench my thirst like soda never could. It's the perfect drink to enjoy by the pool or park with my family.
I wanted to jazz up my iced tea with a fun, summery design, so I made a DIY iced tea glass with an oil based paint marker. I think it turned out pretty cute, and I'm on the very low end of being artistically gifted. Imagine what you could do!! I also repurposed a pickle jar as an iced tea "pitcher" to match. My tea of choice was Bigelow Half Iced Tea & Half Lemonade!
- drinking glass of any kind or repurposed glass jars
- oil based paint marker(s)
- contact paper – optional, but helpful!
- your favorite flavor of Bigelow iced tea
1. Decide on your design. You can cut something out of contact paper to ensure precision, or you can freehand it, it's up to you! If using contact paper, peel off backing and press to stick on the glass.
2. Clean the side of your glass/jar that you will be using with rubbing alcohol or vinegar and let dry completely. (Don't touch the cleaned areas or oil will transfer from your hands to the glass.)
3. Use the oil based paint markers to create your design on the glass. (You can use rubbing alcohol to clean off and start over.)
4. When satisfied with your design, peel off contact paper and let your design dry for about 20 minutes.
5. Place glass items into a COLD oven and turn on to 350°.
6. Open a window because there will be fumes and let the design "cook" on the glass for about 40 minutes.
7. Turn off oven off and let glass cool completely before removing.
8. Hand wash for best results, but wash them in the dishwasher if you like to live dangerously.
I realized after the cooking process that I should have used more paint on my jar. Oh well, I'll know next time!
The boys were impressed with Mommy's super crafting powers, but they were much more impressed with the delicious Bigelow Half Iced Tea & Half Lemonade. They are all tea lovers like their mommy, and lemonade lovers like their daddy, so this was such a special treat for them. And that's the great thing about Bigelow tea is that I feel good about serving it to my little ones because it's healthy and 100% American made by an American family. They have so many different flavors, too. I bought my Bigelow tea at Walmart, in the beverage aisle.
Bigelow Tea is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year! Bigelow began in a New York City townhouse, where Ruth Campbell Bigelow developed the iconic "Constant Comment"® tea, (which is delicious, by the way!) Bigelow Tea now has a worldwide market offering more than 130 varieties of flavored, green, organic, herbal, decaffeinated and iced teas. There's definitely something for everyone. They also use a special foil pouch to ensure freshness and protect the tea from the air, moisture, and surrounding aromas.
Are you an iced tea drinker? I'd love to hear about your favorite way to drink iced tea in the comments below!
This Presidents' Day post was brought to you by Oriental Trading Company. All opinions are mine. This post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you.
The Captain and D are both very intrigued by countries and leaders. They love learning about the different countries, capitals, and lately, the presidents of the United States of America. Presidents' Day is coming up in February, so I wanted to provide them with many opportunities to become acquainted with some of our great leaders from the past! Homeschooling this year has given me freedom to teach different things that the boys show interest in, at their levels, and tie it in to other subjects and things they need to learn.
The first thing the Captain wanted to do was play this presidential matching game from Oriental Trading Company. There were far too many cards to begin with, so we found the matches and only played with about 1/4 of them. It was fun to find the different matches and hear the Captain try to pronounce their names. He does pretty well, but it is still very cute! Each president has two cards – one blue and one red – with different, interesting facts. We learned a lot about the presidents this way, plus it was fun. Fun education is the best kind!
The boys also flipped over the presidents door border, (which is a steal at $1.38 right now, if you're interested!) All of the presidents are displayed, along with their names, years that they served as president, and they are all in order, as well. What a great way to capture the history of our country and a fabulous way to introduce the boys to a love of history. The Captain loved quizzing my parents via FaceTime about some of these men, too!The most fun the boys had in our study of the presidents was the fun masks! 12 presidential faces were fun to play with. From George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama….they love to pretend to be the presidents and try to talk like they think they might have talked. These masks would be great for plays or pretending to give important speeches.
That's definitely not all, just search for "presidents" at Oriental Trading and see the great teaching tools you can find.
I used one of the 12 president rulers that came in a pack to create our very own presidential timeline. I simply cut the presidents' faces out, which had their names and years served underneath, and made a timeline using sentence strips. Each year was represented with a half of an inch (great since I had a ruler right there, ha!) Then, I wrote each president's name in red marker and the Captain came along and matched each picture to the name. Seeing it all on a timeline was educational to me, too, because I could see how many years (or days – some presidents didn't get to serve for very long!) each president was in office, how many terms, and incouraged the boys to ask questions about each president. I mentioned earlier how the Captain was excited to talk about the presidents with his grandparents and show them his timeline….what a great way to learn even more and practice skills like math, writing, matching, measuring, and much more, all while having good conversation with his relatives!
- one presidential timeline ruler from Oriental Trading Company
- 6-7 sentence strips
- glue or tape (regular school glue didn't hold well for our timeline)
- Write the years that began each presidential term, counting 1/2" for each year, using the presidential timeline ruler.
- With a different color, write each corresponding president's name above the spot on the timeline that they served as president.
- Cut out each president's picture.
- Match each president's picture to the time period that they served and glue or tape to secure.
- Display your timeline and enjoy being able to visualize the history of our nation!