Keeping Control of Your Kids Screen Time

My kids are officially out of school for the summer, which means it’s time for me to figure out ways to entertain them throughout the day! I always dream of being the mom that has a fun craft everyday, an exciting adventure and the sign of boredom is non-existent from my children all summer long! Unfortunately I am not the crafty mom, it can get expensive and exhausting taking these crazy kids out everyday and lets be real, my kids were saying they were bored 1 hour into summer break!

I love having my kids home for summer break, but it is really hard to keep them entertained everyday and to keep things exciting! Once they reach the point of boredom it’s hard to come back from it! My kids got their own tablets for Christmas a couple of years ago and to be honest I really don’t love having them in our house. I often find myself using them as a crutch to get through a long day and their attitudes are terrible when it’s time to put them away! We had them put away for several months at one point because there is something about tablets that turn my children into crazy people and I had to reign them back in front their insanity!

We recently pulled them back out and decided to think of some rules to help control the tablet use for the summer. I want my kids summer to be spent enjoying the outdoors, being creative, using their imaginations, being helpful and learning new things!

Continue reading “Keeping Control of Your Kids Screen Time”

What to Wear Wednesday- SwimZip

Happy happy happy What to Wear Wednesday, my friends (posted on a Friday because broken computer chargers delay things sometimes. *sad face*)! I am beyond excited to share all about my new found fashion love this week! Today is all about beaches, summer and sun!

I have a daughter who is almost 7 and it is sad to me that I am already struggling to find a good modest swimsuit for her. I don’t quite understand why such little girls need to wear such skimpy swimsuits. I want a swimsuit for her that is easy for her to have fun and play in! I don’t need my 7 year old worrying about her swimsuit staying on her little body!

Thank the good Lord for SwimZip! I first came across this amazing company on Shark Tank and remember loving their passion for their company! I recently came to find this company again and had to give them a try and I have completely fallen in love with their product and what they stand for!

Continue reading “What to Wear Wednesday- SwimZip”

Top 5 Tuesday- Favorite Moments of May

Happy Top 5 Tuesday! Sometimes I feel like these days don’t come often enough! I love writing all about my top 5 favorites because it’s a great way for you to maybe learn something new!

Today I am changing things up a little and giving you my top 5 favorite moments in May! I realized I don’t really share different ways of getting to know me on my blog so this is a great way for me to reflect on this past month and for you to get to know me a little more!

These moments are in no particular order

1/ May 8- My Brother in Law

On May 8 my sister had a pretty invasive surgery to remove a tumor in her neck. There was also a possibility of removing her thyroid as well, which did end up happening. In the end she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes. Even though this day was not a day we would have chosen for her or for ourselves there was one specific moment that stood out to me on this particular day.

Let me tell you about my brother-in-law and why he is one of my top 5 moments.

I honestly could not think of a better man for my sister. He has not only loved her through the hardest of times, but he has shown unending love to everyone else around him. After my sisters surgery we were all eager to be able to see her. We had to wait for quite a while until she was awake enough for them to transfer her to a room. We waited for what felt like forever in this long hospital hallway just waiting to see her hospital bed come wheeling towards us. Every time a door opened we eagerly stared at it hoping it was her!

Finally she arrived and I remained standing in my place in the hallway and watched my brother-in-law approach his wife after 3 hours of being apart. As I stood there observing I saw him grab her hand, bring his face close to hers and he began to pray over her. As I watched my sister wipe tears from her eyes, I couldn’t help but feel my own tears. Tears of thankfulness for God’s protection over her but also tears of thankfulness for this man. 

Thank you, Anthony, for loving my sister so beautifully.
Thank you for standing right by her side holding her tightly through all these deep valleys.
Thank you for caring for her in every way possible
Thank you for praying for her and with her in times of fear and in times of joy.
Thank you for being exactly what mom wanted in a husband for her.

I hold this moment close because it is then that I realized more than ever how incredibly special this man is and I am so happy my sister has him to call her own!

2/ May 10- Vegan Cupcakes, husbands and littles

Two days after my sister’s surgery and we were all ready for her to be home and for her to find some much needed comfort. I had the privilege of spending the last 2 nights at the hospital with her so her husband could get some good and much-needed sleep at home. By this specific day we were all weary. My poor sister just wanted to get home, but was also really struggling in her recovery after such an invasive surgery.

I hadn’t seen my husband and sweet littles in a couple of days and was missing my little family something fierce! I had texted my husband early that morning and asked him to send me some pictures of the kids. About an hour later I got a text that said, “come to the [hospital] family room.”

Confused, I walked down the hallway to the hospital family room. As I approached the room my 5-year-old came running with arms open wide saying, “Mommy! Mommy!” I got the biggest hugs and kisses! Then there stood my precious husband holding my baby girl and a brown bag containing a vegan cupcake from my favorite place! This man knows the way to my heart in every way! I felt so loved by him and my babies and could not have asked for a better surprise! 

Thank you, my love, for thinking of my needs as a wife, mother and woman (hence the chocolate)!

3/ May 12-   Home School Mama’s Nourish Event

My mother in law is a woman of many gifts, but one of her favorite gifts of mine is when she shares her heart with other women. I have heard her speak on various subjects a few times and am always so blessed by her words and extra thankful to have her in my life!

On May 12 my mother in law hosted an event for home school moms to gather in worship, eat food and be encouraged. I am personally not a home school mom, but I was still so encouraged by the words she shared and so inspired by these amazing women all gathered in the barn together.

-PHOTO-

I had the privilege of playing the piano and singing some worship music while people prayed individually over these mamas. I have to say I had the best seat in the barn! Not only did I get to spend 20 minutes worshiping a great God, but I did so while watching fellow mamas being prayed over by other mamas. It was an incredible scene to see women from all different paths and journeys come together and love each other so beautifully.

It was a beautiful day and I was so thankful I got to be a part of it.

4/ May 13- Mother’s Day Card From My Daughter

Something I love most about mother’s day is when my kids make me a homemade card. I always love seeing what they chose to write and how their image of what I look like changes every year! Sometimes my hair is standing straight up, sometimes I have no arms, sometimes my nose is missing and sometimes they go into full detail. I just love seeing their creativity shine on their cards for me.

This year my kids make their homemade cards for me at school. My daughter brought hers home several days early and hid it under her bed until Mother’s Day.

The morning of Mother’s Day my daughter came skipping up the stairs with an extra pep in her step. This was how the conversation went…

J: “Mommy!! I made this for you! Happy Mother’s Day!”
Me: “Oh wow!! This is beautiful! Thank you so much!”
J: “And look! It has a list of chores on it for YOU to do!”
Me: “OH! I’m pretty sure these are for you to do. Like a coupon for you to do certain chores in the house.”
J: “No mom…these chores are definitely for you!”

I couldn’t help but laugh! She was so convinced that these chores were for me to do! 

Happy Mother’s Day, mom! Here is a to do list…

5/ May 23- A Day Well Spent

May 23 was the 2 year anniversary of my mom passing away. My sister and I spent the whole day together and it was such a blessed time with so much laughter! I don’t have one particular moment in this day that stands out over the rest. This whole day was one big moment for me and I am so thankful to have spent that time with her! 

Here is the open letter she and I wrote together that day and it shares a little about our day as well…

Dearest mother of ours,

May 23….is it a day that we dread or a day to be celebrated? On this day two years ago you didn’t just leave this earth but instead you began a new life: a life in the presence of Christ that makes our sorrow not all sad but hope-filled. We know 2 years ago when we held you for the last time that it wasn’t truly the last time; for the time will come when we embrace once again. In the mean time we choose joy in our sorrow and hope in our grief. We eat at Panera Bread because that would have been your first choice (fuji apple chicken salad hold the apples).We eat sweet and salty treats. We buy bargain clothes we neither needed nor have room to store. We wear hats and have a little chuckle cuz our hair will never look as perfect and put together as yours. #mermaidhairdontcare And even though some might scoff at our bare feet by your gravesite we remember your travels and how somehow you always managed to “sneak” your freshly painted toes into the image of the beautiful scenery. While the scene in front of our feet isn’t quite as majestic as a sunset at Ka’anapali Beach in Maui it is a glorious reminder of a life spent loving well and your subsequent eternity in Heaven.

So on this day we celebrated you a little extra. We miss you. We look forward to the day we will see you again. 

We don’t cry because it’s over, we SMILE because your life happened (maybe there were a few happy tears)! 

Your daughters forever, Erin and Elisa

Thank you, sweet sister of mine, for spending this day with me. I am blessed by you and I am so thankful for our relationship!

 

So there you have it! My top 5 favorite moments of May! I loved reflecting more on these moments and I hope you enjoyed reading about them! It was a nice change for Top 5 Tuesday this time and look forward to the next one!

Do you have a favorite moment from this past month? I’d love to hear all about it! 

Have a beautiful day and always be kind.

 PIN IT FOR LATER

It All Started With a Cheap Couch- Basement Makeover

base.ment
noun
1. the floor of a building partly or entirely below ground level.

A basement is a place that is sometimes below ground level for a reason. I can say that my basement is a space that quite often doesn’t have much activity except for kids playing and leaving trails of the unknown behind them. Both of my kids rooms and all their toys are in our basement. It is their space to make a mess and create memories (they definitely have the mess part down to perfection). Often times I turn a blind eye to the basement and just thank the Lord it is below the main level and I don’t have to look at it everyday.

Recently I decided to change things up and create a space in our basement that opened more opportunities to be down there as a family. We desperately needed a good entertainment area since our only space with a TV was our living room upstairs which was not spacious enough for guests. When I made this decision we didn’t even have a couch down there which meant I had a lot of work to do and somehow do it on a budget!

As I have mentioned in previous posts about my house, the people who lived in this house before us clearly loved green! All the walls were green! The basement was a special kind of green, though. It was a very bright yellow-green on every wall in the basement! It was my worst nightmare! Just so we are on the same page, this photo is before we bought the house! Just needed to be clear before anyone thinks I had a red couch next to that green! *shudders*

Something desperately needed to change! When we first moved in we painted the basement along with the rest of the house. We did the walls in “Gray Stone” from Menards! This really was the perfect gray without too much blue tint in it!

The whole basement makeover adventure officially began when I found the couch! We had decided to find cheap couches for now and eventually invest in a sectional when it was in the budget to do so. That plan all changed when my neighbor just happened to have a sectional couch for sale in his driveway for $200! I wasn’t completely sure I wanted a tan couch with gray walls, but I was never going to find a sectional in perfect condition for $200 ever again! The sectional ended up looking great in the basement and I was one very happy camper!

This officially put the fire under my butt to continue to makeover this basement to fit my vision! The couch was facing a large wall and I knew I didn’t want a TV hung there all by itself. This wall needed something great done to it so I reached out to my brother-in-law to save the day! He created the most incredible wall of built-in book shelves with a distressed dark gray accent wall behind!Distressed cream clock- Hobby Lobby

I’m going to let you in on a little secret! The back wall is done in flooring! We used vinyl flooring for the wall and honestly it could not have turned out any better! It was definitely cheaper than using an actual barn wood and saved a lot of time from having to paint wood to look the way I wanted it to! This specific flooring ended up being the perfect mix of grays for this room!

I do not own a ton of books so I still have a lot of room to fill on my new shelves, but I went to Hobby Lobby and Target and found some knick knacks for the shelves and I am obsessed! At that time Hobby Lobby had a 90% off isle which was perfect for getting the cutest knick knacks for the best price and Target didn’t have any sales, but sometimes you just buy stuff at Target anyway!Nesting houses- Hearth & Hand at TargetCream & Mint ceramic pitcher- Hobby Lobby

I also needed to tie in the couch a little better! I always pictured a dark gray couch in this room, but because I got this couch for such a deal I was determined to make it work! I wanted to incorporate some navy blue on the couch to give a good blue and gray tie throughout the room! This made the tan couch work even better! I found these fluffy navy blue pillows at Home Goods and knew they were the perfect fit! I am still in search for a few textured ones as well, but you can never rush the perfect pillow!

My final touch was something for this large wall between the bathroom and one of the kids rooms. It was so blank and needed some serious love! I had a vision in my mind and Hobby Lobby made all my dreams come true as they always do! I found this sign for 50% off and complemented it with these distressed metal vases, which I also found for 50% off. I absolutely love cotton and I wanted to incorporate it in some way, but they are so expensive! I started putting together a bunch of fake flowers and cotton for these vases and couldn’t believe how expensive the total would be in the end. I got super cheap and grabbed 4 stalks of cotton, stuck them in the vases with a block of green foam and it was perfection!! I am so happy with how it turned out and I just love the simplicity of it!

Here it is, folks! My basement makeover!! I just love how it all turned out! It is such a cozy space for our family and it is a great place for entertaining guests!

It doesn’t mean this room always stays super clean since it continues to be joined together with the playroom, but I still love having a finished look in this room!

Check out this before and after!! Goodbye green walls and red couch!!

                

Thanks for checking out my basement makeover and now I challenge you to change-up a space in your home on a budget! There is nothing more exciting than a fresh room makeover full of bargains!

Have a beautiful day and always be kind.

 PIN IT FOR LATER

 

 

 

 

 

The Kindergarten Tool Kit

I absolutely love when my kids get excited about learning! I love seeing their confidence grow in their education and having fun doing it! I recently came across this company founded by a fellow mom and I know her incredible ideas are going to help so many moms, teachers and more be part of their kids young season of learning!

Introducing The Kindergarten Tool Kit! Not only is this little box of goodies adorable, but it is full of learning fun for your soon to be kindergartener! When I first opened up my kit I was amazed of how well it was put together. My son couldn’t wait to start pulling everything out!

Continue reading “The Kindergarten Tool Kit”