life | Must Haves | parenting

5 Must Have Spring Outdoor Toys!

By on April 12, 2017

  Hello Spring! I love this time of year. It hasn’t hit that sweltering heat that Florida gets in the Summer so we really try to get outside as much as possible. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase an item from one of the links you click on from my site I will receive a small portion of that sale. This in no way affects you. 

 
Some of my favorite items for Spring (and Summer for those who haven’t gotten a break from the cold yet) usually have to do with being outside. We spent majority of our time in the pool or running around the neighborhood till dinner time when I was a child. Since times have changed we really can’t expect our kids to be outside alone for hours on end. Here are some fun must haves to make hanging with your kids outside a little easier and a whole lot of fun.

Water Balloons. Yep, I said it, water balloons are so much fun. I love getting into this with the kids. Last Summer my best friend introduced me to these easy to fill water balloons and we have been hooked ever since. Just make sure to clean up the balloon debri afterwards. We told the kids prior to playing that if they wanted to play they had to clean up the water balloon pieces and they were good with it. We made that into a game of who could clean up the fastest, whatever works, right? Follow it up with a popsicle and it makes for the perfect cool off activity. 
 

 
Bubble Machine. Just turn it on and they will run around chasing bubbles till you are ready for them to stop. I bought this one because it had great reviews and I must say I am impressed with it. Even I was mesmerized by the amount of bubbles that come out at a time. We had this Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine one awhile back and it works great, similar style to the other one but the piece that holds the bubble liquid comes off to make it easier to refill, which is nice, but made is easily breakable. Both work great though. If you get the second one just make sure you have kids old enough to not take it off and accidentally break it.
 
Slip N’ Slide. One of my favorite activities from childhood. If you want a good old fashion one you can get it here but now they have so many fun ones you really can’t go wrong with any option you pick. This one might looks super fun. Kids love being able to slide down these slippery slides that you might actually get a little time to sit back and relax. 
 

 
Sidewalk Chalk. This is the one thing that is a staple in our house year round. The minute I am running low I go buy more. My kids are obsessed and I love that it is a creative outlet as well. The girls got these awesome Walkie Chalk “Stand Up” Sidewalk Chalk Holders for their birthdays and they love them. We also love these sidewalk holders to make them a bit less messy. 
 
Sidewalk Chalk Paint. So this one is a favorite but not something we take out often. I love this because the kids have so much fun with it but it is messy. This is a good one to take out when you are doing something with water right after. Have them play with this in their bathing suits as well. It’s definitely a must have though because it is so fun. 
 
And I highly suggest becoming an Amazon Prime (try if for 30 days free!) Member. We have it and ordering all of these items is super easy and inexpensive. Free 2 day shipping isn’t bad either! 
What are some of your Spring or Summer must haves for playing outdoors? We love getting new ideas. 

 
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Ashlyn | Birthday | everly | life

The Girls Unicorn & Donut Birthday

By on April 6, 2017

Better late than never right? We did a joint party again for the girls this year. Originally I thought I wouldn’t get around to doing one because things had been so crazy but Ashlyn kept talking about having a birthday party so I threw one together last minute. I called my best friend Kat and told her to come help me (because I don’t do parties without her) and she was more than happy to help with the festivities. I planned it during her girls Spring Break and St. Patrick’s Day. So perfect! 

 
I wanted to do an early party because that is when my kids are at their best. This also made food easier and more difficult because it wasn’t really breakfast or lunch time. We decided on donuts, muffins, cupcakes, confetti popcorn and fruit. Drinks we easy since we had water and juice. 
  
 Since we have a large front yard on a cul de sac we put everything out front for the kids. 
I wanted to have a bunch of activities for them to do so I knew for sure we would have our Little Tikes bounce house out (seriously best purchase we ever made when Ace was a toddler). I also bought a bunch of crayons from Amazon, this bubble machine, sidewalk chalk and a big unicorn coloring poster. 
  
Kat and her oldest daughter made the cupcakes. I bought little unicorns from Target’s dollar spot. They worked out perfect as little toppers.  I also got the favors from there too. They had wood unicorn and robot painting kits. Seriously, I love Target’s dollar spot. I also got unicorn stamps and sunglasses for the girls there. 
I picked out these dresses in purple and aqua for the girls to wear for the party. Then she put on this dress and then Everly decided it wasn’t happening so she wear some random pair of shorts and t-shirt. I finally got her to agree to put her dress on for cake pictures and she put a Mickey zip up on over it. Such a stinker. I also realized I didn’t get any great pictures of the girls together but I did at school for Everly’s actual birthday so you get what you get, right? 

Everly’s Dress

Cart

!
This picture cracks me up. They were waiting for us to sing to them and were like hurry up!

Bubble Machine / Ashlyn’s Dress

Bounce House

 


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parenting

Our 5 Favorite Bedtime Books

By on April 4, 2017

Bedtime is one of those times you want to make peaceful and sweet. You want your child to go off to dreamland feeling cozy and calm. One way to do that is creating a bedtime routine and finishing it off with a book or two (or three or four). My children look forward to that bedtime story every single night. Here are some of our all time favorites. 

1. Goodnight Moon. This is probably not a shocker for most parents but I have to put it out there for any new or expecting Moms. This is a book I began reading when Ace was a baby and my kids still love it to this day. The rhyming, repetitive nature is reassuring and calming for them. I always end it with a whisper “Goodnight noises everywhere.” to help keep the mood calm and peaceful. 
2. Little Blue Truck. This has got to be one of the cutest books with a great message. We are huge fans of all the Little Blue Truck books (my favorite is Little Blue Truck in the city). This is a story about a truck who helps a rude dump truck and sets an example everyone begins to follow. 
3. That’s Not My Bunny. Short, cute and colorful. These books are always fun to read because my kids can easily remember the words, they are textured so they love feeling the animals and they are short. If you have a night where you need to get through a book quickly this is a must. 
4. Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You. This is probably my all time favorite book for my children to listen to before bedtime. This is actually a book we got from Ashlyn’s biological mother and she recorded her voice reading it. It is a very sweet reminder that a Mother’s love is always there no matter what. If you are an adoptive Mom and have an open relationship with your child’s biological mother I highly recommend this book. It ends with I love and I think that is a great way to end a book. 
5. Pajama Time. Fun and silly! This book is another one I have been reading to my kids since Ace was a baby. It’s just such a fun read and it’s silly too. I love books that send my children to bed with a smile. 
 
What are your favorite bedtime stories for your little ones? 

Want to save these book titles for later? Pin this image to make it easier to find!
 
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everly | life

My letter to 3 year old Everly!

By on March 26, 2017

Happy Birthday my little Gertie Trudie! We love you so so much. 
 

Outfit

You are our spunky, goofy, raspy voiced sweet pea. 
You are the girl who makes everyone laugh by making goofy faces and being super silly and cute. You have no shame. You finally love the water, thank God! You are obsessed with “baby shorts” which are just shorts but for some reason you like anything to do with babies. You are hardcore in love with babies and baby dolls and being a mommy. You often carry around two dolls or stuffed animals on your hips. It reminds me of the good old (crazy) days when I was carrying around you and your sister all the time. 
  
You absolutely love school. Your teacher Miss Monique is probably one of your most favorite people. You also gravitate to guys, always have. I think because you are such a spunky, crazy girl you love the energy guys put out. You are very similar to Ace and you two are very wild together and will wrestle. 
  
My favorite thing you say is “I love you so much!” it’s not just I love you but you always add that last part. It’s precious. You also say “I swear to God!” Which you really shouldn’t but it’s funny and you know it. Your goal in life is to make people laugh. 
 
You are also my helper and cleaner upper. You take after your Dad a lot in this way. You take after me with your tantrums and dramatics. Very similar to me as a little girl, whoops. 
  
You are very quick and athletic still. You pick things up quickly and are very physical. You love running around, riding bikes and playing outside. 
 
You color inside the lines which I find so cool for a child under 3. You were never taught or told to do this by us you just did it. 
 
You are also so generous. You don’t mind sharing (unless it’s one of your babies) and often will bend to Ashlyn because she is much more stubborn than you. Your best friend is your sister. I didn’t realize how connected you two really were till I saw another child try to come play with you two and you two just had this way with one another that no one else really got till a set of twins came along and for some reason the 4 of you worked. It was super cool to see. 
  
My sweet girl you have grown into such a magnificent person. Whenever I look at you I think of the song “Here Comes the Sun” because your smile is so bright and beautiful. Your eyes shine. You just have this way about you that can make anyone smile. I love you so much my little Gert Gert. 
 Love, 
Mommy
 
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life

When Schools Take the Day Off & Everyone is Sick

By on February 20, 2017

Happy Monday, everyone! We are all home because it is Presidents’ Day and there is no school. Well, the girls could have gone to school since their preschool does daycare on holidays and teacher work days. I was going to bring the girls but Ashlyn woke up with a fever and completely miserable so I figured it was pointless to bring Everly to school when she could just stay home and play with Ace. 

 
The past week all of my kids have gotten sick so I am sure it is just a matter of time before I get it. First it was Everly on Monday. She woke me up at 5am throwing up on me. Super fun. Then Ashlyn had a fever on Thursday but seemed fine later in the day. Ace had a fever on Friday and after getting medicine before bed he woke up all refreshed and ready for his lacrosse games on Saturday. He played both games and when we got home still seemed good. Well by 3 he was fading fast. He was hot and miserable. 
Sunday Ace was laying around and sleeping all day. His fever had spiked so he just felt super icky. I was glad today was a no school day in case he needed an extra day to rest. He seems good today but Ashlyn came in my bed this morning and was burning up. Poor girl just wanted to be held and lay around. 
I hate seeing my children sick. I think as parents we just want to take it away and make them smile. It sucks seeing them weak and not eating and sleeping.  
I really wanted to do something fun with Ace today since the girls were supposed to be in school but it looks like we will be hanging at home. No biggie. I think we can find something fun to do for the non sickies. 
Anyone else home with their children today? What are you all up to?
 
 
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Uncategorized

Happy Thursday!

By on February 16, 2017

Hi there! Hope everyone is having a nice week. Ours has been really good. The weather is perfect so we are really enjoying it before it gets swelteringly (is that even a word) hot. 
I feel like I don’t get to update what we do on the weekends anymore and I need to keep up with that so I can look back on our memories. I looked at an old post the other day and it made me really wish I was writing more posts about what we have been up to but with work it has been hard so here is what we did over the weekend. 
  
Saturday Ace had a scrimmage game to get his team ready for their first game next weekend. The sun was brutal so I am in the market for a chair with a cover. I feel bad for the kids running around in all their Lacrosse gear but as long as they are having fun and taking regular water breaks they seem to be fine. 
After that we headed home and the kids played in the pool and with water toys. Ace was so excited to finally be able to get in our new pool. Watching them play got me really excited for Summer time. I love how relaxing Summer is. Long, slow days are just around the corner. 
The rest of the day the kids colored and played around the house. I was finally able to clean out their playroom and get rid of a bunch of random toys. It feels good to purge unused items. 
The kids and I made cookies and watched a movie and called it a night around 8:30. 
Sunday Branden and I went on a date! I was so excited since that is super rare for us. Usually when we have a babysitter it is so we can run errands or grab a quick bite to eat because we are so tired by the time we go out. It’s terrible. Maybe that should have been my New Years Resolution? Date the husband more, ha! Poor guy. One day it will be easier to get out so I try not to stress it because I know this time with little ones is going to go so quickly. Every day it is on my mind how fast it goes so I try to just sit and watch them like I am taking mental pictures of them at this age. 
Anyone else do that? I am sure it’s a Mom thing to constantly try to hold on to those moments and memories. 

That is all for now but I hope you all have a great rest of the week and don’t forget to enter my giveaway I have going on right now! 
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Giveaway

Premier Protein Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

By on February 11, 2017

This post is sponsored by Premier Protein. All thoughts are my own. 

Hey guys! I am so excited to offer a giveaway for you all. Premier Protein sent me some of their delicious shakes and protein bars to try out for the New Year and now will be giving some freebies away to one of you. 

The fun thing about these shakes is they have really yummy recipes to make them even better. 
My favorite is the Sugar Cookie Shake. It is a must try!

When we got the box of goodies in the mail my kids went nuts over all the protein bars. We all decided to try them and we were hooked. Since I am super rushed in the mornings (I have to be out the door by 6:30AM the latest) the shakes and bars are an easy way to get something fast. It also makes a really easy go to on nights when Ace has Lacrosse practice or games. You can’t beat it. 
Now you can try their shakes for FREE. Just enter to win a Premier Protein package! It’s so easy. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Ashlyn | life

Dance, Girl!

By on January 23, 2017

Friday after school I took Ashlyn for a trial dance class at our local My Gym. I was so excited to get her all dressed up in a tutu and ballet slippers and see her little moves. She has always loved music and dance so I thought this was a no brainer. 


Since Everly isn’t 3 yet she wasn’t old enough to do the trial class with Ashlyn so I figured it was the perfect time to have some one on one time as well. 
Once we got in the car Ashlyn said “Where’s my sister?” I thought it was so sweet and funny that she didn’t say Everly but my sister. I actually asked her to repeat herself because I didn’t think that was what she said. Love their sweet little bond. 
We got to My Gym a bit early so the dance teachers played with her. It was a good way for her to warm up to the place. 
Once dance started she seemed to really enjoy herself. They did simple positions and dance moves then had a play and water break. After that it was back to simple dancing. Ashlyn actually wanted to leave at one point because I think she got a bit bored but then went back to the class. 


I didn’t really feel like it was the dance class we were looking for but I did think it was a good class for children who are more energetic and need that break in between. Ashlyn is my much calmer child and I think she was kind of over it after that. 
When we left I asked Ashlyn if she liked dance class and she said “that’s not dance class”. I was like well, there you go. In the car, though, she did ask to go to dance class again so obviously she is confused. 
I am going to see if I can try out some more places around here. I really loved Ace’s old dance studio but it’s not close by so there is no way that would work for us right now. 
Did any of your little ones take dance? If so what was their favorite dance class? What other classes would be good for a more mellow child? 

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life

Friday Favorites

By on January 20, 2017

It’s Friday and it couldn’t have come soon enough for me this week! This week was a short week of work and the week prior I only was at work one day since I went on a workshop at the Marine Corps Recruiting Center so I came back to work with a full work load. I am hardcore ready for this weekend.

This weekend I am really hoping for some time to get things done around the house but also do fun things with the kids this weekend. We will obviously be attending the Sesame Street: K is for Kindness event which I am super excited about. My kids are going to just love it. 
As for what I am loving right now I saw another blogger post these and am in seriuos need of them, copper straws! Ashlyn bites all of my straws and either brakes them or they have bite marks on them. These would definitely stand the test of time. 
With Valentine’s day coming out there are a bunch of cute valentine’s ideas on Pinterest but these have got to be the cutest one. Also if anyone needs cute ones that you don’t have to make Target has a bunch of them in the dollar spot section. They also have a lot of cute decor right now as well. 
When I was at the store they also had the cutest romper. I want to get it for the girls but haven’t really put them in rompers since they became potty trained. Would this be too much of a pain? I think Everly would probably be fine since she is very quick with getting changed but Ashlyn might have accidents. Anyone have any experience with rompers after potty training? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
I am just in the beginning process of planning the girls join birthday party. Last year we did tutu theme since it was two of them turning two, cute right? This year I want to do unicorns and donuts. The party will start at 10 and go till noon so I figured that is the perfect time to have donuts. Anyway I am loving all the unicorn ideas on Pinterest (I may be slightly obsessed). I guess unicorn party ideas are popular right now because Target and Land of Nod had some cute party supplies. I really love these plates and goodie bags
That’s about it for now but I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!
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