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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer of Sanity 2016

Ok ya'll, it is time for my 3rd installment of Summer of Sanity, where I try to figure out how to stay sane with my 3 little ones all summer. I've been doing this the past two years with really good success, but then again how can the summer not be a success?

I've found myself once again thrown into SAHM status and am trying to balance all that I want to get out of summer vacation for the kids and myself.

Now usually my good intentions go by the wayside once we are about a week into it, but I still find it helpful to have some direction of where we're at this summer.

So far this summer, June is once again packed full of baseball finishing up, camp, and family visits. The flip side is that July is wide open.

For the kids, my goals are for them to just enjoy their summer.  I bought our first "big" pool that is no longer inflatable with hopes that we'll actually get some decent weather to use it.  It's been a very chilly spring for us here and last summer was far from being filled with dog days of heat. I also hope that they boys become more skilled at riding their bikes.  I hate to say this, but Alex still can't ride without the training wheels.  The boy just has no interest. I hope to get that changed this summer.  I also hope to have a diaper free house by the end of summer, but I am not holding my breath on that one.

To keep up with enrichment, I have plenty of trips to the library planned along with some nature field outings. I also made the boys each their own binder full of printed off age appropriate worksheets for them to complete.  I am not some crazy mom forcing work down their throat. They were very excited to get their own binders and have even started on some things in them. We'll see if they still keep that excitement when I ask them to journal.

As far as management of screentime, I plan to enforce "a chore = screentime" rule.  My goal is that they understand that certain things need to be taken care of before we can relax.  I don't want them to think of screentime as the "payment" or "allowance" but rather, something they can actually do once they have earned the time to do so.

August 1st will be here before I know it, so I am hoping to just sit back and enjoy the time I so desperately need to recharge before another school year.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Springtime in Paris - A 2 Year Old's Birthday Party

A spring birthday set up the perfect backdrop for my little girl's 2nd birthday.  I wanted something girly and light with colors so a "Springtime In Paris" theme was born.  It was set in stone when I waltzed into HomeGoods and spotted this perfectly fitting 3 panel screen that was just made for a little girl and a Parisian theme.  It already matches the colors of her room and will be perfect in it when it transforms to a big girl room later this summer.

I really had to reign it in on the decor.  Paris and Spring themes are everywhere and I didn't want to go overboard. I borrowed some Eiffel towers from friends that already had them in their home decor and picked up some pastel linens and floral plates. She had received a stuffed poodle for Christmas so it was a great fit and then I picked up some Macaroons, also from HomeGoods.  I am putting these in the decor section because that was the only purpose they served, woof, they were not pleasant to eat but were pretty.  Other decor items just included my left over items I usually put out during Spring.  I also had one of my graphic art students make me the Eiffel tower poster, which I then laminated so Cora could use it as a sign later on.

The menu was French inspired and delicious including:
  • French toast bake
  • Breakfast Casserole 
  • Croissant sandwiches
  • Cesar Salad
  • Eclairs
  • Eiffel tower chocolate pops (mold from Amazon)
  • Mimosas
  • Sparkling "Champagne" for the little ones
  • and of course cake (this one wasn't very special but my baker had just delivered her own little baby girl earlier in the week)

That was all.  Simple and inviting along with some French Cafe music playing on Pandora.

I can't believe my little angel is 2.  The time has flown by so fast and I can't believe I'm already looking at size 3t clothes.  She is very happy usually but doesn't like things to be other than the way she likes them to be.  She might just be my clone and hopefully that serves our relationship well.  

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Star Wars Party x2

Both boys are prime ages for Star Wars so we went that theme for their birthday parties.  They are both school age now, which means "friend" party vs. "family", which is as it should be.  Alex's party was a simple one and I'll include it on here because moms out there need to know that a party doesn't have to be over the top for the kids to have fun.  It's no secret that the parties I through are mostly for me anyways because I enjoy them.  Cameron's party was a little more traditional.


We simply told him he could invite 3 friends to see the Star Wars movie together in the theater.  This was a huge success.  My house stayed clean and he loved being able to go to the movies finally with his friends versus just us.  We did go along too, but mostly because we wanted to see the movie too.  We treated the boys each to a drink and candy or popcorn as well as covering the cost for their ticket.  I had favors too which consisted of 1 Star Wars cupcake that was individually wrapped by Krogers for me already and a zip pack coloring Star Wars pack.  These were easy to transport and kinda still made it feel like an actual party.  We didn't rent out the theater, get balloons, meet to eat before or after.  It was see a movie and go home.  Easy peasy.  Plus, the moms loved having the time to get some Christmas shopping done without the boys.


My baby boy turned 5 and we had a nice party with 4 friends from school.  It was a perfect size, but my family and friends also attended.  This was my earliest timed party set from 11-1 and it was perfect timing of the day. I simply ordered the kids pizza for lunch, a few snacks and some store bought decorations, and a brownie chocolate-chip cookie dough cake at his request.  No games planned for this one.  Just play and eat.  Simple and fun.

As much I love to drool over the Pinterest Parties and throw them, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to put them together.  The most important thing is that my kids are happy, and that is all I care about.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Craft Beer Advent Calendar

Men can be difficult to buy gifts for.  Somehow my own list is never ending, but theirs is hard to crack open.

The solution I came up with this past Christmas for my brother was a craft beer advent calendar.  I bought 24 beers that were of local craft variety and assembled them as shown below.  It was a hit for my brother who got to enjoy some new types of beer and it filled my crafting bug.  Pro tip -- make sure to keep the 6 pack carriers and ask the store for a box that they all came in, therefore you will be certain your package sizing will be perfect.

This might even be a cute summer idea with different seasonal varieties of beers for Father's Day in the summer.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Crafting on Steroids - Silhouette Cameo

I have finally joined the world of my coveted crafty friends!  Santa was good to me and got me a Silhouette Cameo and I am so excited! This little lady is going to hopefully bring my crafty butt out of hibernation.  Well, perhaps time in general was the gift I really needed, but in the mean time this is going to make life way easier.

Here's me acting like I'm 5 on Christmas Day.

And here's my first project.

Instantly this machine has surpassed my previous love with other cutting machines. 

I'm overwhelmed to say the least on all that this beast can do.  Popcorn and YouTube tutorials are in order first but I am sure I'll learn quickly.  Hopefully I can even revive Scrappy Pants on my Etsy store someday.  This will definitely be a helper there.

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