Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Homework and study station


Our little girl starts first grade this week. 


While we couldn’t be more proud of her, we have also been forced to admit she’s growing up. Her needs as a student are changing as well. Our sweet girl had homework in kindergarten, but completing that work at the dining room table wasn’t always the best solution. 

We decided she needed her own desk and workspace in her own room, away from the noise and distractions of the rest of the house. 

We found this beauty on Craigslist.

I promptly made her a French memo board for her photos and school papers. 

I took my girl to Hobby Lobby to pick out some desk accessories. She chose this white crate and I chose some buckets for her utensils. 

We also bought this chipboard E and painted it pink. 

This cute little picture was all her choosing. I love the picture, and what it says. 

This little statue was in my own room when I was a kid. 

I DIYed these boxes to store flash cards and high lighters.

This DIY photo album holds various certificates and awards.

Her center drawer holds workbooks, a student calendar, and folders. 


One drawer holds electronics and chargers.


One drawer houses notepads and journals.


One holds more electronics.


One holds flash cards and markers. 


And her bottom drawer holds work books and art books.


Her space is set up for work and play. While the drawers could be more neatly organized, I did want to be cognizant that a six year old would use it. I wanted her to find her stuff and keep it separated but not be afraid to make the drawers messy. 


I know my kiddo loves her desk and I know she’ll love using it.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Make it Mondays: a shabby chic lamp shade

It all started when my older daughter needed a lamp for her vanity table. Honestly, my younger daughter needed a new lap for her dresser, too. 

I wanted a lampshade with rosettes, similar to this one:

I loved that lamp shade but I didn’t really love the price. I felt like I could probably create one of my own. I also already had a lamp that was similar to the one in the picture.
I quickly went to our local big box store and bought a plain cream colored drum shade for $5.00. I also bought five rolls of this ribbon:
I hot glued the ribbon to the shade, making sure not to let any gaps form. I didn’t want the shade to be visible through the lamp shade at all. When I finished, here is what I ended up with:
It looks so perfect on my older daughter’s vanity
And on my youngest daughter’s dresser, too.
Thanks for stopping by!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Dance recital/gymnastics meet survival kit

This past weekend, our little gymnast had a recital at her dance and gymnastics academy.


She did a magnificent job and we couldn’t be more proud.

Today, I thought I’d share our backstage survival kit we created for her recital.


In Emorie’s bag, we included the following:

Clothing:

Your dancer/gymnast’s recital attire

Hair accessories or head pieces

A jacket or warm ups in case it’s cold

Hair:

Detangling spray

Hairspray

A hairbrush or comb

Hair ties

Bobby pins

Make up and skin care:

Optional: lotion

Lipstick and eye makeup. Stage lights can drown out your child’s facial features. We just used mascara, lipstick and neutral eye shadow.

Miscellaneous: (and not pictured)

Snacks

A water bottle

A small first aid kit

Safety pins

And lastly, don’t forget it’s customary to give flowers to your tiny performer.


I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Make It Monday: Kids’ American Flag Made From Paint Sticks


Today’s Make it Monday post is for the kids! Maybe you have children, or grandchildren, or even nieces and nephews who might enjoy it. 

This cute little flag is inspired by folk art- it’s definitely different from anything I usually make and it’s far from perfect. The paint ran, the colors bled a little, but I’m kind of liking its imperfections.

All you need is this:


If you’re doing this with kids, my only advice is to use wood glue, or leave operating the glue gun to the adults.
You’ll need to lay out your paint sticks like this, alternating the notched ends.


Then, using either wood glue or hot glue, glue two of the sticks cross-ways. The notched ends will serve as a guide for getting your cross bars glued on straight.


Then, flip it over and place your star stickers however you like.


Go ahead and paint the blue field on your flag. Paint over the stars if you plan to peel them off. That’s what we originally did.


Then, alternate your red and white stripes on the flag.


In the end, we decided to use white star stickers since the paint bled a bit.


This was a fun, easy and cheap craft project. My kiddos loved it and I bet yours will as well.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Valentine’s Gifts for Kids….That don’t involve candy

In our house, we allow our kids to have sweets, but we do try to limit their sugar intake for the sake of being healthy. I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes the holidays can make that tough. Especially Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate or buy your kids something for Valentine’s. It just means you have to get a bit creative. I have put together this super cute little list of things your kids will love for Valentine’s Day…that won’t give them cavities or sugar rushes. 🙂

 

  1. “I Chews You” classic stuffed dog, $14.95 at Hallmark

What a super cute little dog! And if that doesn’t float your boat, here’s an equally cute koala.

2. Recordable Storybooks, $20 at Amazon.com

These sweet, unique gifts would be great for your grandchild, your niece or nephew. We have one and our daughters just love it! Plus, you can find recordable storybooks at drug stores, Hallmark, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and many places 🙂

3. A personalized water bottle, $12.50 at ETSY

My daughter would love this. She would use it at gymnastics class or when she takes her lunch to school. This seller has lots of different colors and fonts available.

4. A free printable Valentine Heart Matching game from IHeartNaptime. 

 

5.  Valentines bubble kits, $12.95 from ETSY

These Valentine’s kits are perfect for a child to give their classmates. I may be doing something like this myself for my daughter’s class.

 

I hope you have enjoyed our Valentine’s round up. Stay tuned for some more Valentine’s ideas soon.

 

 

 

 

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Planning a first birthday party to remember

**All photos by Charlotte de López **

This past weekend, our precious baby girl turned one. While we are so proud of how big she’s getting and how much she is learning, we are a little taken aback by what a quick year it has been.
There were many snafus and the party almost didn’t happen. But before we talk about everything that went wrong, Let’s talk about what went well.

I really loved our  Very Hungry Caterpillar theme and all the decorations. Our table cloths, banners, treat bags, napkins and paper lanterns came from Oriental Trading.  I made the paper caterpillar with the pictures on them.

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Our daughter’s dress, diaper cover  and hair bow came from Etsy.

The cakes came from  Central Bakery in Asheboro, NC.

Now for the snafus. Chick-fil-A lost our order but handled it with grace.   They quickly put together our order and everything was fine.

Aubrey's First Birthday

In my scurry to get everything finished, I forgot all about getting balloons. Who has a child’s birthday party without balloons? Luckily, my parents were able to save the day.

Aubrey's First Birthday

In the grand scheme of things, the party went well.   Everything went well and everyone seemed to have fun.

Aubrey's First Birthday
Aubrey’s First Birthday

Especially the guest of honor.

If you want your child’s birthday to be a success and avoid the snafus, consider the following tips:

birthday-party-planning-checklist

To download, right click and save it to your machine. It’s free!

  1. Create a checklist and do as much of the party prep early (as possible). This is an area in which I could have done better, and then those snafus wouldn’t have happened.
Aubrey's First Birthday
Aubrey’s First Birthday

2. Delegate, delegate, delegate. You can’t do everything, and if you try, you’re going to be too stressed to enjoy the party (and yourself), and you’re going to forget things.

 

Aubrey's First Birthday
Aubrey’s First Birthday

3. Hire a photographer. You are going to be way too busy to do it yourself. We had a friend of ours from church, who is also a photography student, photograph our party. I’m glad, too, because she is incredibly talented and she captured several shots that I love!

Aubrey's First Birthday
Aubrey’s First Birthday

4. Relax and enjoy the day. Things will go wrong. It won’t be perfect. Don’t let that get in the way of your fun. Make memories and enjoy your family. Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating their birthday next year.

Happy party planning! Please feel free to download my checklist. It’s free, and all you have to do is right click on it and save it to your computer.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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After the holiday season: Keeping the playroom organized


This is a re-write of a popular post I did about playroom organization following the Christmas holidays. My youngest just celebrated her birthday and we had to enact all of these rules just to make room for her new toys.

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Did your playroom look like a bomb went off in it after Christmas? Ours certainly did. It took me an entire day to get everything put away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining- our girls were very generously blessed this Christmas, and I’m grateful for our family and friends who wanted to give our girls gifts. We had to find some place to put all the toys.

As always, I’m not an expert, but I am more than happy to share what I’ve learned along the way.

But first, a warning:  you may want to go through your children’s toys when they aren’t home. Even if something is broken, and hasn’t been played with for over a year, my oldest will still pitch a fit if I try to get rid of it.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are my tips for organizing your playroom or toys after Christmas:

1. Get rid of any toys that are broken, missing pieces, or haven’t been played with in awhile. 

My kiddo had some toys that were broken, and she also had a few things that she never plays with. While she was at preschool yesterday, I took the opportunity to clean out these toys. Our kiddo hoards coloring books, so I even went through those and threw away the ones that had been completely colored. I ended up with a stack of 8 coloring books that were mostly empty, as opposed to 14 coloring books.

2. Categorize your toys. 

This one is time consuming. Take all the toys and dump them in a giant pile. Yes, you read that correctly. Once you have made your giant mess, sort the toys into piles. For example, put the Barbies in one pile, toy food in one pile, puzzles in one pile, etc. We used cubby shelves and fabric drawers to store toys. We then put a label on each drawer to help our kiddo know where to put everything.

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3. Add some shelves….if you can. 

We used to have just the two cubby shelves and one vertical shelf, but my parents graciously agreed to get us another shelf for the playroom. We chose another vertical shelf to match the one we already had. I put the kids’ stuffed animals, dolls, games, art supplies, and books on the shelves. I also went ahead and made sure all the toys with small pieces were placed near the top of the shelf. Our baby is tiny and certainly not mobile yet, but I didn’t want time to get away from us! Speaking of shelves, vertical storage is your friend- storage without taking up large amounts of floor space.

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4. Less is more. 

You don’t have to keep every single toy in the playroom. Our oldest is four. She tends to have a short attention span when it comes to toys. She loses interest once the new wears off. I packed away some of her toys so I can cycle them through regularly and then they’ll seem “new” longer. We also keep some books and toys in Emorie’s room on her shelf, and a basket of baby books in the nursery. We have baby toys that are too mature for our two month old- she won’t use them until she is at least six months old. I packed these away and will introduce them when they are more appropriate for her.

5. Put bigger toys in the corner to conserve space. 

The biggest things in our playroom (aside from the four shelves) are the easel, the kitchen set, the dollhouse, and several small wheeled toys. The kitchen and easel are in the corner, the dollhouse is pushed up against the wall, and the wheeled toys are stored underneath the easel. This gives us way more floor space.

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Stay tuned- I am working on a mini-redo of our playroom and am not quite done. I’m hoping to reveal the finished product really soon.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Kids’ Incentive Chart 


Since our five year old has started school, we have been noticing some changes in her behavior and not all of them are good changes. 

We used to have a little jar we put craft pom poms in,  but now that she’s older, she’s not really interested in the jar. 

We needed something a little more visual and since our girl loves stickers, we thought a sticker chart would be good for her.  I found a few printable behavior charts on the Internet. 

weekly behavior chart

I like this one because you can put different behavior categories and you can customize it.

Source

Source 

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What behavior charts have you used? 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Best Bibles and Devotionals for Kids!

For awhile now,  I’ve been posting top five lists related to children on Mondays. Today I thought I’d share some children’s Bibles and devotion books with you. 

1. The Beginners Bible for Toddlers 

This was Emorie’s first Bible and soon we’ll order one for Aubrey.  The Bible has colorful illustrations and is a very durable board book. It costs less than $10, too.

2. The Big Picture Storybook Bible 

This is the Bible we bought our oldest last year.  We originally bought it because it aligned to the Sunday School curriculum that is used at our church. We love the way it’s written so that the verses are easily understandable. There are pictures,  there are sections for parents and there’s even an Android app that goes along with the Bible. 

3.100 Favorite Bible Verses for Mommy and Me 

My grandparents gave us a copy of this devotional a awhile back.  We have been reading and enjoying it.  Each section contains a devotion for kids on one side of the page and a devotion for adults on the other side of the page.  It’s a great way to make sure you’re getting your daily quiet times in.

4. The Bible Storybook for Girls is a very neat devotional book.  We have only recently purchased this one so it’s still very new to us.  We really appreciate the brightly colored illustrations and we love how the devotions are worded.

5. Bedtime Devotions with Jesus 

 We use this devotion a lot,  and in fact, I like it better than any of the others I mentioned.  Two pastors who’ve preached revival at my church are published in this book.  
What Bibles or devotions do you use in your home? 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!


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Surviving a weekend with sick children: products you need to make it happen 

sickkids

It all started on Thursday when my baby developed a really high fever. I saw that 103.8 and immediately called the on-call pediatrician, who worked her in the schedule for the following morning. We promptly canceled our travel plans and made plans to stay right here.It turned out to be just a yucky virus, which she was over by Saturday….which is when my oldest daughter came down with the range virus. Ugh.

That being said, there are several products this mama can’t do without when our kiddos are sick. Most of these are probably things you already use, but I thought I’d share them in case someone out there might be new to motherhood and wondering where to begin.

1. Summer Infant 3-in-one Thermometer

This thing is so awesome. We got this as a shower gift when our five year old was born. It has an attachment for a rectal thermometer, an oral thermometer and an underarm thermometer. The display glows red when your child has a fever and it also has a memory where you can store temperature readings.

2. Children’s ibuprofen and acetaminophen dosage charts

I also received one of these once as a shower gift and it’s been one of my most used gifts by far. You can find tons of these charts online, but your local pharmacy has them as well. Our local Walgreens has them. When looking at the doses, make sure you go by your child’s weight rather than age. For example, my oldest is tiny for her age,  so the dosage for a five year old is too much for her. As always, consult with your pediatrician to verify correct dosage.

3. Johnsons Vapor Bath 

 

You can’t use Baby Rub or Vick’s on your baby, but you can use this awesome vapor bath to help clear those stuffy noses

4. Boogie Wipes

And speaking of stuffy noses, Boogie Wipes are the best thing ever. I even use these on my five year old and myself. They smell good and they don’t shred the skin on your nose like tissues.

5. Boo boo Bunnies

If your kids are like mine, good luck getting them to keep that cold washcloth or cold pack on their foreheads. This cute and fairly easy DIY bunny cold pack usually helps. My kiddo is more likely to hold this on her forehead than a regular cold pack or cool rag.
6. Fever reducing medications

And of course, don’t forget your fever reducers.

I hope these suggestions help. If you have any ideas that would be great additions to this list, feel free to comment below. Thank you so much!!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!


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