Category: Kids(page 1 of 5)

This Summer We…

Became Paleontologists

Jurassic Park Rangers

And discovered one in our own front yard

We had tea parties

And water balloon fights

We found Nemo (and Dory!)

We met penguins

We met a baby foal

We grew a garden

We’ve released butterflies

We went to camp


Read

Golf cart rides & ice cream cones

We became Oceaneers


Explorers of the deep blue sea


We went Under the Sea

Shark Week

We went to the circus

Followed the yellow brick road

We watched movies
Dad got a new BBQ

We were “Incredible”


We were sharks

We swam… a lot

 

 

We BBQ’d


We camped….inside

We had a lemonade stand

 
We went fishing

We put our feet in the sand

We’ve Play Doh’d

We have been sharks, bears & dinosaurs (oh my!)

We’ve been to space

We’ve been to Toy Story Land
We made slime

We watched puppet shows

We watched a Sunset

DIY T-ball/ Baseball Shoes

I’m sad our T-ball Spring Season is coming to an end, but I did get to make these super cute shoes that I will wear for every season from now on!

Bonus! They can be worn to professional games as well (Go Rays!)

So, start with a pair of (relatively) clean white canvas sneakers. They can be Keds, Converse or- if you’re cheap like me- Target brand!

I bought red puffy fabric paint from Hobby Lobby for 97 cents each. I bought one red and one red glitter. I ended up only using the red- no glitter.

Follow the lines/ laces on the shoe to create a baseball-like affect!

  

** Also, some cleaning tips! As you can see I cleaned mine in between making them and wearing them!

Bleach pen.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, water, color safe bleach.

Let air dry. DO NOT put in dryer!

Wear to the ball field!

 

(Almost) Vegan cookies

During Teacher Appreciation Week, I made a Frittata for a breakfast and the Director of her school couldn’t eat it! Or anything else for that matter- he’s vegan! So, I was determined to do something special for him as well.

Let me tell you, Googling and Pinterest-ing for Vegan recipes is NOT FUN. I got a lot of Oatmeal. Bananas. Bleh.

My husband had actually received a recipe from work for these cookies and I decided to make them for Mr. B!

They are Paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free and (almost) vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil or Kerrygold butter (use coconut oil if vegan), room temp
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 6 table spoons natural almond butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temp (this is not vegan; however, we raise our own chickens so I know that they are free-range, organic eggs from happy chickens)
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips (I did not have vegan chocolate chips, I just use Ghiardelli 60% Cacao ones)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: almond & coconut flour baking soda & salt
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat together the coconut oil (or Kerrygold butter) and sugar until well combined.
  4. Beat in the almond butter and vanilla extract. Beat in the egg, then add the flour mixture to the mix. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into ball and place on baking sheet. Press down slightly.

Bake for 11-14 minutes for coconut sugar and 14-17 minutes for brown sugar. The cookies will still be very soft when they come out but will continue to cook.

Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

HIPPY Success Story

I was asked to write a HIPPY success story, so here it goes:

When I first started HIPPY 3 years ago, I’m ashamed to admit my first packet, I got so frustrated I told my husband my daughter “sucked” at school.

What I really meant was it was hard- for both of us. I had never taught anyone anything before.

Since that day 3 years ago, I think I have learned more than my daughter has. I have learned her learning style- what interests her. To calm down. To give ourselves grace. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

She’s learned how to do science experiments. Her alphabet. Her shapes and colors. Sight words. How to cut. Fine and gross motor skills. And- my favorite- how to write her name. That was the day of HIPPY I remember most and the day it finally “clicked” for me. It’s the day I will never forget.

When she wrote E-M-M-A in flour for the first time. I’ll admit I teared up. I was so proud- and not just of her. Of me. I had taught her that.

And so, even though we have made the decision not to homeschool her, I know that my daughter has the skills and tools to succeed in kindergarten because of me- and HIPPY. I am forever grateful for this program.

In This House

In our house 

We believe in make believe 

Pirates & mermaids

Princesses 

Unicorns 

faeries

witches & wizards 

Magic 

Dragons 

Animals that speak 

Trees that have feelings 

Flying 

Dancing 

We are dreamers 

We believe 

Graduation Applesauce

These were a super easy DIY for a preschool graduation, but could be used for VPK, Kindergarten or any grade, for that matter.

I bought applesauce cups (not pouches), hot glued googly eyes and black construction paper on them. I added string for the tassel.

I believe all of these items can be purchased at the good ol’ Dollar Tree, so in total, they probably came out to $6 for 12 cups, or about 50 cents each.

I already had black paper and used a square hole punch I had, but could easily be cut free-hand.

Dollar Store Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Teacher Appreciation Week is next week (May 6-12)!

Here are some ideas for $1 (or less!) and some for a little bit more…

Flippin’ Good Teacher

Flipz from the Dollar Store with these printable gift tags

Utterly Amazing
Udderly Smooth hand cream (free printable here)

You deserve a Break
KitKat Bar with free printable

Pencil Vase
With 2-3 boxes of pencils from the Dollar Store

 

FO FREE!

Thank You For being a Great Teacher free printable. I just printed this and helped my girls fill it in. It cost nothing!

 

For a little bit more…

You are the Balm

EOS= $2.99 @ Target + free printable

Udderly Amazing 

Chick-fil-A gift card (amount of your choosing). Ask for an empty nugget box, fill with brown crinkle paper (also available at the Dollar Store!!). Put gift card on top and tie with this printable.

 

Thanks a Latte

Starbucks gift card (amount of your choosing). Ask for an empty cup, straw and coffee collar. Stuff with crinkled brown paper and gift card. Put this printable on the outside of the cup and Voila!

The book The Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg. I found it on Amazon (Prime, holla! Two-day shipping) for $5.70. I’m having all the students sign the inside cover.

Willow Tree Love of Learning sculpture, also on Amazon.

 

Arizona Activities

Arizona- the Grand Canyon State.

We just came back from a trip and these are some of the crafts/ activities we did and are still playing with!

I always do my research on where we are going and try to theme our activities around that.

For Arizona, I knew my kids would like the Disney Cars, since Radiator Springs is a fictional town in Arizona.

Desert themed Sensory Bin
Kinetic sand (I used it here for our beach bin)
Toob of desert animals
rocks
mulch

 

Cactus watercolor
Found here, I did a set myself before we left and now my kids are asking to do them!  Instead of black glue (which I tried to make and failed miserably), I used black puffy paint.

Felt 

I had some extra green felt from making a felt Christmas tree and felt story board for the girls, so I cut out two cactus shapes, put some velcro on some buttons and BAM!

Playmats 

I found some Radiator Springs maps online and laminated them, then bought Lightning McQueen and the gang from Walmart.

The other playmat was a desert scene, also played with the Toob animals, which I found at Michaels. They are also available on Amazon.

Play-Doh 

I used two different color greens and a pink (for the flowers), plus toothpicks to make cacti with!

Coloring Books

Ordered here and here from good ol’ Amazon!

Shapes

Used to make suns, cacti and flowers

 

Our Trip Out West

How cool is it that we have relatives that live in such a cool state that we can go visit?!

We recently took our first trip out west – to Arizona! This is the farthest west I or either of my girls have been.

We flew direct from TPA to PHX which was a 4 hour and 20 minute flight.

Here’s what we did on our whirlwind 4 days in Arizona!

Once we landed, we headed straight to In-N-Out! We don’t have these in Florida so I had to try it!

From Phoenix, we drove 2.5 hours to Flagstaff, which is known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon.

Our plan was to eat dinner and head to the Lowell Observatory, but our kids were so tired, they fell asleep in the car before we could get there (insert sad face). Next time!

We did head Downtown and had dinner at Mother Road Brewing Company, which served pizza from next door at Pizzicletta. We had an amazing fennel and shaved Brussels sprouts pizza while the kids had a normal marinara.

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, which had an amazing staff who helped us plan our visit. And included free breakfast, which we loaded up on before our big trip!

From there, we headed out to the Grand Canyon!! We drove up 89 through Navajo country and entered the Grand Canyon National Park. We drove to the East Rim, which is less busy than the South Rim, the rim the most people visit. It is often referred to as the Desert View.

The Desert View has a watch tower, which we climbed also. From there, we drove 22 miles alongside the canyon, stopping at various lookouts and viewpoints. Our favorite stop was probably Grandview Point, where we did a little hiking and got closer to the edge of the canyon.

From here, we drove through the Visitor Center and Village and parked and went to lunch in the Maswik Lodge where we ate lunch in the cafeteria and Eric finally got his Navajo taco!

We were pretty beat at this point (having stayed at the canyon for 5 hours) so we stopped at the gift shop, said hi to the mules at the mule barn and headed back to the car.

On the way, I saw a small pine sapling next to a pinecone and stopped to take a picture. What happened next was probably my favorite part of our trip. My girls decided to “protect” this little tree by surrounding it with pinecones, sticks and rocks. Emma even accidentally touched poop and we all had a good laugh and now we own the book Who Pooped in the Park? Good Times.

Once we left the Grand Canyon, we headed to Williams. This is where we finally got a Route 66 picture!! Even though we had driven on it in Flagstaff, there were no signs.

*Side note, this is how my daughter sings Route 66: “Get your kids on the road 66”

ADORBS!

Here in Williams, we went to Bearizona, which is a drive-thru wildlife park. We saw Rocky Mountain goats, wolves, bears, bison and more! You have to roll up your windows for the wolves and bears! After the drive-thru part, you can go in the walk-thru area as well, which has a barnyard, foxes, bobcats and a jaguar! This was a nice break for us as we then continued on our way to Prescott.

Once again, by the time we got to our hotel, it was time for dinner and bed for our kiddos, so we didn’t get to explore Prescott too much, but I heard Whiskey Road is the place to be in Downtown! Once again, next time!

The next day was wedding day! But not before I ate cactus for breakfast!

The morning after the wedding, we headed back to Phoenix for the long ride home, but stopped on the side of the road so I could take a picture with a saguaro cactus!

While there is certainly a lot more to do, I think we packed quite a lot in 4 days! But we also have a lot of things we want to do next time!

Have you ever been to Arizona?

What would you add to the list?

Disney Cruise

I’ve been getting lots of messages about our Disney cruise so I decided to make a post.

This was our first Disney cruise and it was a 3-night Bahamian cruise that left out of Port Canaveral. It was about a 2 hour drive from our house in Plant City and about an hour from Walt Disney World.

We booked our cruise back in April or May of 2017 and had until August to pay it off. This particular cruise was approximately $3,000 for 3 nights. We were not on a Halloween on the High Seas or a Very Merrytime cruise.

We also had just applied for a Disney credit card and got $200 back for booking the cruise on it.

Some of the things that are included with the cost of the cruise that are different than other cruise lines:

  • SODA – you can get a Coke at dinner fo’ free
  • A bandana for Pirates Night
  • Childcare
  • lunch on Castaway Cay

Speaking of childcare, the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are the “kids clubs” available on the ship. This was one of our biggest selling points for the cruise. We wanted some alone grow up time.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. We didn’t get that much. We’ve come to the realization that we are never going to have those kids who go to the kids club all day.

But we did get 20 minutes after dinner the first night. In between the Princess Meet and Greet and the Frozen Meet and Greet and Emma went once by herself for 2 hours while Addie was napping.

It was definitely better than the last cruise we went on when Emma cried until she threw up and Addie never went. And I think it will get better each time we go and the older they get.

Seasickness
I usually get sea sick and know it so I always pack a prescription of Mecalizine for myself and Children’s Dramamine for the kids (these are just chewable tablets that taste like grape) so we don’t have an issue.

We all take our meds about an hour before the ship starts moving and seem to be OK.

One of the things I did notice was that we never saw a Casino on the ship, but that was OK with me because I hate the smell of cigarette smoke and we don’t gamble.

There is still alcohol!!!! Just because it’s a Disney cruise doesn’t mean there’s no liquor. We had rum punches, wine, martinis and, of course, the guys drank their weight in beer.

Pirates Night 

This was probably our favorite part of the cruise. Everyone gets a bandana delivered to their room with pirate Mickey on it and Pirates of the Caribbean on it. We had packed our own costumes and wore our bandanas and eye patches. There was a Pirate deck show before our dinner (at 5:45 p.m.), then we went to dinner dressed as pirates, then after dinner, there was a Pirate IN the Caribbean show on deck at around 10:30, followed by fireworks at sea! DCL is the ONLY cruise line with fireworks at sea.

Fish Extenders 

The Fish Extender is basically a gift exchange with other families on the ship. We participated and I basically packed one whole suitcase for our stuff. I used a diaper organizer I bought on Amazon here. Then I bought fabric from Joann’s and covered each of our pockets.

My gifts included:

Cabin Gift: a Mickey picture Frame I painted with a picture of Mickey & the gang on Castaway Cay, a magnet with all the ports of call from our cruise on it and a coaster

For the Moms: a bath bomb (I purchased them here),

For the Dads: Pirates Booty, a pirate shot glass and gold chocolate coins

For the kids:

0-3: Sand toys

4-6: Glow sticks, Lego sets, Pez Dispensers, pirate accessories, lanyards and pins (for pin trading)

11-13: lip balm, nail polish

Teens: Pop sockets, ear buds and candy

Door Magnets

This is another thing that I’ve only seen on a Disney cruise- people decorate their doors! The doors on the ship are magnetic so I printed, laminated and hot glued magnets to the back of ours. I also made some for some of our friends who went.

Castaway Cay 

First of all, it’s pronounced Castaway KEY and I have no idea why lol

The island is Disney’s private island, but is Disney actually rents is from the Bahamas. It was IMMACULATE. My husband even said the mens restroom was clean and we all know that NEVER happens.

I ran a 5K on Castaway in the morning and joined the rest of my family on the beach afterwards. The island drink is the Konk Kooler- GET ONE. There is a family beach, an adult beach, Scuttle’s Cove, which is the kids club ON the island. It has a splash pad and they serve lunch and they did a whale dig (I think- my kids did not go).

Lunch on the island is FREE! Because it’s technically part of the ship.

Rentals are available for snorkeling, jet skis, etc.

We did the family beach, which has Pelican Plunge (waterslides) in the ocean.

Speaking of waterslides, ride the AquaDuck! I only got to do it once, but it was SO FUN! I went with my 5-year-old and screamed the whole way while she told me, “OK, mom this is going up, watch this.” LOL

Your children have to be 42″ to ride, however, if they are not tall enough (they will make them take off their shoes), there is also a Mickey slide that my 3-year-old loved.

There is also a Finding Nemo splash pad on our ship.

Dining

One of the cool things I liked about this ship was that we dined in a different room every night. But your wait staff travels with you!

The first night we went to Animator’s Palate, which is similar to Art of Animation in my opinion. With sketches on the walls, etc. The table centerpieces were paintbrushes, pencils, etc. and Crush from Finding Nemo was on the TVs around the restaurant for an interactive show. The wait staff even gave my kids ketchup in the shape of a Mickey head!

 

The second night we dined in Enchanted Garden for Pirates Night and our waiter even brought the kids Mickey ice cream bars with sprinkles for dessert!

The third night was our “optional formal” night and we dined in the Royal Palace. The bread baskets looked like Cinderella’s Carriage! My husband got a cappuccino (extra) that night with a Mickey on it!

We also liked eating lunch at Flo’s Cafe (from Cars), which was hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.

We took the girls to Vanellope’s Sweet & Treats on the last night (this is a candy and ice cream shop on the ship and costs extra)

Shows!!!

So, we got an extra special treat on got a SOFT OPENING of Beauty and the Beast!!!!!!

And it was Ah-mazing

We also saw Believe and The Golden Mickeys, both of which encouraged singing along, so double bonus points for me!

 

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