Summer Bucket List. 10 Must do Activities.

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This past weekend was AMAZING.

Three days off work, not a cloud in the sky, and sunshine all day.  It was Mother Nature’s way of saying “Hello Summer”!  We took full advantage of the beautiful weather but had to skip our planned trip to the zoo due to double ear infections.  Womp Womp.  We stayed home on Monday and just laid low.  It got me thinking of all the things I want to do this summer!  Let’s be honest, summer comes and goes in the blink of an eye, so having a list helps me make sure we don’t miss out on anything!! I created a family bucket list for the summer of 10 must do activities!  Here they are!

1.  Visit the our local Zoo, wearing our handmade zoo gear, AND feed the giraffes!

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2.  Let the kids stay up late to enjoy the lake and the beautiful sunsets!

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3.  Ride our bikes to a local park for a Sunday morning outdoor breakfast!

4.  Make GIANT bubbles.

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5. Roast hotdogs on our fire pit!

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6. Make Kool Aid ice cubes!

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7.  Make weeknight slurpee walks a weekly priority!

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8.  Make S’Mores Cones… I’m Sure we will be doing this several times!

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9. Hit up as many Splash parks as we can!

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10. Go to a local fair and feed animals!

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Endless Fun! { Teacher Gift }

Anyone need a quick and easy end of the school year teacher gift?

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   My son attended a weekly parent/tot class this school year and it was ending this week!  The final night really snuck up on me so I needed to get something for his teacher and time was limited!  Working full time really puts a damper on my shopping & crafting!  LUCKILY, I was able to throw this entire gift together while I was OUT & ABOUT!  I hit up Bath & Body works for inspiration and saw their new display of “Endless Weekend”.  How fitting is that scent for a teacher about to start summer break!?!

Bath and Bodyworks also gave me a free clear bag and pink ribbon!

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I did not have time to go home and create a cute little gift tag on my computer… SO I did what any mom in 2014 does… I used my cell phone!  My absolute favorite app {A Beautiful Mess} was perfect for me to whip up a catchy phrase, share it to instagram, and then use the Walgreens mobile app to send the photo to be printed–which was just around the corner.  An hour later I had a cute little gift for my son’s teacher!  Best part, no computer, no printer, and no money spent on packaging!

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 Feeling pretty proud of myself!  What do you think??

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Three Ring Designs {Shop Review}

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I was provided free product for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.  I promise to only promote products and companies that I LOVE!

I found Three Ring Designs by recommendation of a Best Dressed Babe fan and boy and I happy to have found her shop. She makes the CUTEST items for both mom and baby.

There are a lot of baby products on the market that are just too “baby-ish” in my opinion.  I prefer sophisticated prints over pastels and characters.  As soon as I started looking at Three Ring Designs’ etsy shop I fell in love with her style.  Among other things, Three Ring Designs offers pacifier clips, diaper pouches, and {my favorite} turban headbands in prints that you typically don’t see in the store!

I was in love!

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Currently I cannot get enough floral in my life and I knew my babe just needed this turban headband.  It’s her very first one of this style!

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I mean, how cute does this look on her?!?

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Three Ring Designs has generously offered to giveaway this same turban headband to one of my fans!! Head over to Facebook to enter!!  {Giveaway will run 5/16-5/22}

It takes a village to raise a Mom

We all know the saying. “It takes a village to raise a child”

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What about us moms??

Nobody warned me how physically and emotionally draining becoming a mom would be.  How do we get through the sleepless nights, the demanding toddler stages, and the never-ending whiney cartoon days?

A Mom Village.

 And we need one as large as we can get.  Majority of my close friends are not married and do not have kids.  They all adore my kids and are the best “aunts & uncles” to them, but when I became a mom I yearned for other Mom friends who “got it”.   I didn’t need just one or two mom friends.  I needed a village.  I needed a village who could share in mom victories, chuckle in my mistakes, and offer encouragement when things didn’t go according to plan.

I needed people who got it.

  • When I updated my status saying Mama needed wine, they got it.
  • When all I seemed to talk about was poop and pee, they got it.
  • When all I needed was to vent about leaky sippy cups, projectile vomit, or the never ending laundry, they got it.

Lucky for me I found a village that I am forever grateful for.  A friend of a friend started a private online community that provided endless support for me.  It is literally a network of 2000 + moms that are always there.  Always willing to laugh, offer advice, and just listen when I need to vent.   This village of moms has made me a better mom.  I can’t do it alone and most often someone else has been there, done that, and is willing to tell you all about it.  This group has moms with beliefs similar to mine, but also those who offer other opinions and parenting methods that I may have never considered.

Being a part of this group for almost 2 years now makes me realize how essential a village of mom friends really is.  It has made me open to making more mom friends in real life and allowed me to step out of my comfort zone.  Just the other day I was at our local outdoor mall and I recognized a mom there with her two little kids.  I had never met her, but knew her from the mom group online.  5 years ago I would have never dreamed of walking up to someone I didn’t know. But, it had been a long day, I was there alone, and so I put my insecurities aside.  I walked up to her introduced myself and just like that I spent the next hour talking to another mom.  It was just what I needed that day.

Moms.  Don’t do it alone.

Find your village.

When you are at the park, the mall, the grocery store and you see another mom, say hi.  Introduce yourself.   When you see a mom walking in your neighborhood, stop her, exchange numbers offer to arrange a playdate.  Invite other moms to be your facebook friend and interact with them.  Invite them to meet you at the park, the library, the mall; wherever.  Make friends with the other moms at daycare or at school.

Create your village.  Because let’s be honest, no one can do this alone.

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The Name Game

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Social security has recently released the rankings of baby names for 2013.

http://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/popularnames.cgi

Where do your babes fall?

Mine are Ari Joseph & Giada Estelle.

How did we come up with them!?  Naming someone for life is such a permanent thing.  When my husband I were naming our two we had several {self created} rules.

1.  Name couldn’t be in the top 100

2. No names that typically would have a nickname or be shortened.  I wanted my babes to have one name and not be asked “Do you go by x or by y?”

3. No weird spellings

4.  Middle names needed to flow (with my son we knew we were going to use my husband’s grandfather’s name Joseph, so the first name needed to fit).

With all those rules, I am pretty certain their names won’t be found on souvenir key chains, pens, or pencils, but I’m OK with that.  I’d like to think that I gave them their own unique identity and {hopefully} growing up they won’t share their name with anyone. 🙂

Whatever your “rules” may be for naming your babes, here’s a fun game I liked to play while we were expecting.  Pick a letter of the alphabet and go back and forth thinking of names that start with that letter.  It helps get your creative juices going and it’s interesting to hear what the other comes up with!

Share how you came up with your babes’ names, I’d love to hear!

 

DIY Fabric Banner

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My little girl is going to be one in less than a month.  Hold the phone. ONE.  I still can’t believe it.  It honestly feels like yesterday I was dying with anticipation to meet this little lady.  Needless to say I am in FULL FLEDGE planning mode for her birthday party.  Don’t worry, I will share more details along the way!  I’ve been pinning all of these glorious dessert tables lately and I knew mine needed a banner of some sort!  After a late night SOLO Joann Fabrics trip I decided to make a super easy fabric banner.

Normally the lines at the fabric counter are much too long for any mom with kids in tow to bear, so I opted for fabric squares.  They are priced at 1.99 and are precut to 18″ x 22″.  I used 6 for my banner and had fabric left over.  The fabric selection isn’t AS great, so if you HAVE to have other fabrics go ahead and wait in line.  2 fabric squares = a half of a yard.

Fabric Banner supplies:

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To get started I ironed out each square so there weren’t any major creases and then folded them in half keeping the width 18 inches and having the 22 inch length folded over.  Using a measing tape, I made tiny slits every inch and a half to make a total of 12 strips of fabric.

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I cut each strip out making it 22 inches by 1.5 inches– Don’t worry if each one isn’t perfectly straight, the banner will still look adorbs.  Promise.

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  I then measured the doorway where I wanted the banner to hang so I knew just how long to make it and marked my twine accordingly.  Then came the easy part, looping the fabric along the twine.  Since I’m a little OCD at times I stuck with the same pattern as I went.  You could easily just make it random!ABM_1399562589

I’m so happy with how it turned out!  I plan to make a coordinating one for my babe’s highchair too!!   The possibilities are endless for this project!   You could make one for each holiday, hang it above a crib, or even use for family picures!

Where are you planning on hanging a fabric banner?

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Ants in the Pants {Product Review}

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I was provided free product for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.  I promise to only promote products and companies that I LOVE!

Are there outfits for children made strictly for play? For rolling, and crawling, and bouncing all day?

Why, yes! There are! It’s Ants in the Pants!!

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I mean how cute does this outfit look on my little babe?!  My babes get “dressed” every day and these are the perfect play outfits for little ones.  What I love most about Ants in the Pants is that they are comfy and cozy like jammies, yet so cute on!

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 The lady behind the business, Jolie, is such a sweetheart and not only has she created the entire Ants in the Pants line, she is also in the process of publishing a book too!  How cool!

I simply LOVE small businesses that take the time to make their products unique and share the love that went into making it.  When our Ants in the Pants package arrived there was a note addressed to Giada.  I just love that Jolie took the time to add that personal touch.

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Ants in the Pants has generously offered to giveaway an ENTIRE Ants in the Pants outfit to one lucky follower.  Head over to our Facebook page for details!!