parenting | Summer

How to Plan an Epic Summer on a Budget

By on June 12, 2017

Summer break has officially started!  My best friend, Kat, and I made a huge list of all the fun things we want to do with our kids this Summer and tried to keep everything under $10.
But how do you plan an epic Summer when you have three young children and don’t want to spend a lot of money? 
Here is a list of activities that are either free or under $10
*This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small income from the company. This in no way affects you so no worries on your end! 
1. Go to free or dollar movies at your local theater. Regal Cinema and other theaters have Summer Movie Programs where they show movies on specific mornings for only a dollar. You can’t beat that! 
2. Picnics in the park.
3. Get a frozen treat. When I was pregnant with Ace and I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with him it was disgustingly hot and humid out. Anytime I had to leave the house I stopped at Burger King for an Icee. They were only $1 and they were the perfect treat for a hot day. Seven-11 has slurpees as well and they are under $2. 
4. Have a glow in the dark party. We love to buy glow in the dark jewelry for the kids, turn out the lights and put music on. They love this. It is probably the easiest way to entertain them at night. If you live near the beach you can make it even more fun and have a glow in the dark party on the beach at night. You can get glow in the dark party packs for less than $10 here
5. Have a scavenger hunt. You can make this as easy as getting a sheet of paper, getting crayons and coloring squares and telling your child to go find items with the color of each square. Something fun my best friend and I do is use our Shopkicks app and have our kids scan items on the app at different stores. It’s actually fun and you earn points towards gift cards, ha! And no this isn’t sponsored, we just actually like doing this and it’s out of the heat. 
6. Check out your local library. Many libraries have story times and activities for children of a variety of ages in the Summer. They also may have a Summer reading program, a great way to get your child reading more. If your library doesn’t have any of these it’s still a great way to spend time indoors, out of the heat, and read some new books. 
7. Watch the Sunrise.
8. Watch the Sunset. 
9. Make your own bagel pizzas. You have to buy food for lunch anyway so make it fun!
10. Make S’mores. 
11. Explore new areas in your town.
12. Visit the local museums. Ours has free admission the first Tuesday of every month! Check to see if yours has any free days. 
13.Make your own popsicles. Go here for over 70 recipes!
14. Play hopscotch using sidewalk chalk
15. Go for a bike ride. 
16. Feed the ducks. 
17. Play freeze tag.
18. Make fluffy slime
19. Have a water balloon fight. We love these water balloons because they are easy to fill, have 3 sets of different colors (one per kid) and are under $10. If you want to spend less you can go with a more simple set like this one
20. Make forts out of sheets and furniture. 
21. Get ice cream from Chick-fil-A. The kid cones are under a dollar and your children can enjoy the air conditioned play area! Check your local Chick-fil-A for other events like Cow Appreciation Day on July 11th. Dress like a cow and you get free food! 

 Don’t forget to pin this for later!


What are some of your free or inexpensive activities for Summer? 
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guest posting | parenting | Summer

Summer: Fun Weekly Themes by Fallan

By on June 10, 2017
Thank you Fallan for giving some fun weekly themes to keep our kids busy this Summer! 

Summertime is upon us and if you’re like me, you must be wondering how to occupy the kiddos to curb summer boredom (trust me, it’s coming) and save your own sanity.

The plan? Weekly summer themes.

Hear me out.

I’m a planner. I work better with a schedule and so do my children. My children have never attended camp because I make summer both fun and educational (I can’t help it! I’m a teacher!).

Weekly summer themes can be incorporated anywhere, even with vacations. It works for children of all ages and with both free and expensive activities. All you need is a bit of planning and some research. 

Let me break it down:

These are the weekly themes I came up with for this summer, with some help from my kids: Zachary, 8, and Oakley, 4:

You can be as specific or vague as you want with your themes. When my daughter was younger, I was broader with the themes to incorporate activities for both age groups. For example, last summer we had a week of transportation so my son could read up on submarines and space shuttles while my daughter learned about the different types of transportation we use in the air, on land, and to sail the seas.

Once you have your themes, now comes the research. With every theme, we go to the library once a week. It allows for quiet time, it’s free, it’s in the air conditioning, and it lets us chose books that help us learn about that week’s theme. We look for both fiction and non-fiction books.

Next, I think about local attractions and events that may accommodate our theme. Some of these are easy, like going to the science museum for science week or seeing the fireworks for the Fourth of July for the week focusing on America. 

But it helps to think outside the box here. You don’t want to necessarily go to the same attractions your family would go to on a regular weekend. I like to find something we rarely do or even something we’ve never tried before.

For example, we plan to try the glass blowing demonstration in Hollywood, as it’s something they’ve never seen and we’ve wanted to try. 

Summer is known for being kid-friendly so flipping through a local parenting magazine, such as South Florida Parenting, or searching online for a few keywords or even on Pinterest, can give you a multitude of ideas for your themes.

I like to look up free or cheap options to help keep costs down so we can often be found free museum days or at local parks with a magnifying glass. You could choose to just do a few weeks this summer.

Weekly summer themes can be as detailed as you want them to be. Have fun and happy summer!
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Ace | Ashlyn | everly | life | life lately | Summer

Life Lately: Summer 2016

By on August 13, 2016

Ahhh I can not believe Summer is almost over. It seriously flew by. We had a lot of fun traveling, seeing friends and the kids loved camp. Now we are onto a new chapter of life. All of our kids will be in school! I can’t believe the girls start preschool full time and Ace is going into Kindergarten. It seems surreal. I feel like I need to update on the kids so I don’t forget these ages. 
I was just looking at pictures of the girls when they were babies and it seems so far away yet it could have been yesterday with how fast time flew. In so many ways I miss having those two little babies playing on the floor but I love how fun they are now. 

Their personalities are so fun to watch the older they get. They are so distinct from one another too. 

Everly is very sensitive. She is also hysterical. Such a clown and once she warms up to you she is the funniest person ever. She also is my cleaner and likes things a certain way. If it’s not she gets pissed. She also is a really good little girl because she listens really well and likes to help. She is also very physically sturdy and can do so much. It’s crazy to watch her do a flip. I still can’t get over how she has always been advanced physically. 
Ashlyn is very much my sweet, goofy girl. I always say she dances to the beat of her own drum and I love it. I love that she sees flowers and wants to pick them. She isn’t in a rush or aggressive. She likes to be snuggled and is just such a good girl. That being said she is so mischievous. It kind of makes us laugh and roll our eyes like “that’s Ashlyn being Ashlyn” because she has always been this way. She also is very silly with her movements. I can’t even really explain it but she does the funniest things because she is so goofy. She always has the sweetest smile too. 
Some of the girls’ favorite sayings are “Hold you” which means hold me, “My do it” which is I do it and my favorite of Ashlyn’s because of the way she says it is “this is mine.” I wish I could relay how it is said because it’s hilarious. 
Then there is my big boy Ace. He is such a good boy. He definitely has his moments but he has just matured so much. He amazes me with how much of a helper he is if I need him when we go somewhere or helping the girls with things. He is a rule follower so that helps a lot. He is still a big talker and loud so that can be interesting. I can not wait to see how he does in school this year. We have started working on a few words with him and he does really well. He has always been a smart cookie but more importantly a sweet guy. 
Oh sweet Summer we will miss you. 

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Ace | Ashlyn | everly | life | Summer

A Summer Update

By on July 5, 2016

Hey there! How was everyone’s 4th of July? Ours was pretty low key but nice. We have had such a busy Summer already that I have a lot to fill you in on. 

So far Ace has spent a week at camp

We went to our Keys house
Celebrated Ace’s birthday early
Bran and I had my best friends girls for a few days, we went to see Pan. Ace is now obsessed with being able to fly. He actually told me to today that I should have named him Peter Pan so he’d be able to fly. 

Then we had a little romantic couple of days away while my best friend took the girls and my sister took Ace. We got to explore St. Augustine. So beautiful! 
Spent some time in Daytona and celebrated the 4th. We had ice cream for dinner and the girls loved it!
We are now back home settling back into normalcy before our Summer gets busy again.

Next up we have more Summer camp for all kids, $1 movies, play dates, another trip, Ace and Branden’s birthdays, mine and Bran’s 7th anniversary (how did that happen?!) and getting ready for our girls to start preschool and Ace to start kindergarten (again how did that happen?!).


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life | Summer

Dreaming of Summer Vacation

By on May 31, 2016

We are in the final countdown to Summer break! I have been pinning Summer ideas like a mad woman. I am dead set on not having a boring Summer. I want to make the best of it because I know it is going to fly by and then it will be back to work and Ace will start Kindergarten. 

 Wow, starting Kindergarten! I can’t even believe it. So cliche but it’s true. He has really matured a lot the past couple of months. He does so much on his own and helps us out with the girls or cleaning. He is a really good little boy. I feel very fortunate that he is so helpful and sweet. He is still quite the wild guy at times but overall he is a rule follower and listens really well. I was worried about him being one of the youngest when he starts school but his teachers have assured us he will do great because of these qualities. He also catches on to things quickly so another bonus! 

With Kindergarten right around the corner I really want to soak up this time with my kids. I feel like time is just going to go by so fast. I just want my kids to remember Summer as days full of playing in the pool, eating popsicles, movie days and late nights with friends. I have the best memories of Summer and I hope I can give that to my kids as well because it truly does go by in a blink of an eye.


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Ace | life | Summer | to-do list

Summer Bucket List

By on June 12, 2013

I am all about a fun Summer Bucket List. This year I am so excited for summer because some of my Mommy friends are off for the summer since they work at schools so we have decided to do a bunch of fun stuff together with the kids.

It is fun having a toddler and being able to relive your childhood with them. Here are some of the fun things we have planned to do this summer!

Summer Bucket List

  • Swim Lessons
  • Go to the Seaquarium 
  • Go to the Zoo
  • Young at Art Museum Play Dates
  • Museum of Discovery & Science Play Dates
  • Lion Country Safari
  • Gymnastic Classes
  • Trip to Michigan
  • Trip to Ft. Myers 
  • Ace’s 2nd Birthday Party in Michigan!
  • Ace’s 2nd Birthday Party in Florida!
  • 4th of July Family Fun
  • Bubbles Overload
  • Bowling Play Dates
  • $1 Summer Movies
  • Sidewalk Painting
  • Splash Pad Play Dates
  • Water Fun
  • Ice Cream Dates
  • Beach Days
  • Teach Ace to ride his tricycle
  • Make play dough
  • Bake Cookies
  • Make our own ice cream
  • Backyard car wash (let Ace wash his car and bike)
  • Bar- B- Q’s with Family and Friends

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DIY | fashion | Featured Poster | guest posting | mommy must haves | Must Haves | Pinterest | Pregnancy must haves | style | Summer

Featured Friday Poster: Merrick from Merrick’s Art!

By on July 20, 2012

I recently was cruising around Pinterest (Shocker!) and found a pin about Merrick’s blog. I instantly became obsessed with how creative and stylish she was. I immediately emailed her and asked her to do a featured post. I know many new Mom’s could use some of her awesome tips and ideas. I am thrilled to welcome Merrick to Featured Friday. Here is an amazing guest post from her!

Hi there, I’m Merrick from Merrick’s Art, where I blog about sewing, style, and family life. I’m excited to be over here on Perfectly Imperfect Mom today talking a little bit about Mommy Style.

Before I became a mom, I was a student, and then spent a few years working as a project manager for a local company. Both of these required getting dressed every day, and looking both put together and appropriate. But once my little Peanut was born, I was suddenly thrown in to the world of staying at home with nowhere to be, no one to see, and no one caring what I looked like. And yet, I could count on one hand the number of times I haven’t gotten dressed and put on makeup for the day in the last two years since his birth. Why? Well, let me tell you.

Here are six reasons I get dressed and ready (which, for me, includes hair and makeup) EVERY morning:

  1. It gets my day started. I am not completely ready for the day by 7:00am, like my old work days, but even being ready by nine or ten gives me the whole day to get things done.
  2. It makes me feel more productive. There is nothing that makes me feel more lazy and less productive than walking around in my pajamas and bed-head until 5:00pm. Nothing would ever get done if I didn’t get ready every day.
  3. It makes me feel confident. When I wake up in the morning, I certainly do not look my best (surprise, surprise). Putting on makeup, doing my hair (even if it’s just a top knot or a pony tail), and throwing on even just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt makes me feel infinitely better about myself.
  4. It makes me a better mom. Carrying on from #3, feeling confident makes me a better mom. I am more patient, more fun, and more energetic when I’m happy and have taken some time to take care of myself
  5. It allows me to walk out the door any time. It is hard enough to get out the door with a child, but adding getting dressed and presentable to that is just crazy. You’ll never get your errands done. Taking fifteen minutes in the morning to get yourself ready makes it easy to walk out the door (without being embarrassed) any time of the day.
  6. It is a favor to my husband. You guys. I cannot talk about this enough. Coming home after a long and tiring day of work to a messy house, a smelly and sweats-clad wife, and crazy kids is probably the LAST thing a husband wants to do, regardless of how much he loves you. Despite how crazy and busy my days are, I always make an effort to straighten up the house and put on a little lipgloss or perfume around 5:30pm before he walks in the door. He just deserves that.

So now that you know why I do it, let’s talk for a second about how I do it. Because some people think that getting ready every day (especially as a mom) takes way too long, doesn’t allow for comfort, and just isn’t worth it.

Here are five of my go-to Mommy Style outfits that make me feel put together, are super comfortable, and are just as easy to throw on as a baggy t-shirt and sweatpants.

1. stretchy pencil skirts

skirt: made by me, t-shirt cardigan and sandals: target // skirt & sandals: target, graphic tee: made by me

 I just recently discovered my undying love for stretchy pencil skirts. I’d always worn pencil skirts to church or work, but with a graphic t-shirt and a pair of sandals, they can be very casual, so cute, and really comfortable. 

2. jeans & t-shirts

red jeans: f21, scarf: bought in London, tee: hand-me-down (heart by me), flats: payless // jeans: gap, belt: husbands, leopard flats: steve madden via platos closet, button up: target // jeans: abercrombie, tee: hand-me-down, belt: local boutique, necklace: gift, sandals: target // jeans: h&m (maternity), tee: target, necklace: c/o wild about jewelry, wedges: old navy

 Jeans and t-shirts are probably the easiest thing for a mom to wear, right? But it doesn’t have to be so basic. Add a scarf, tuck (or half tuck) your shirt, add a skinny belt, or a big statement necklace, and suddenly your jeans and t-shirt ensemble is put together and pretty, but still comfortable and simple.

3. lightweight dresses

pink dress: target (maternity), cardigan: target, flats: h&m, belt: local boutique // maxi dress & leopard belt: target, cardigan: local boutique, necklace: c/o lisa leonard designs

As with pencil skirts, dresses were something I only wore to church or work in the past. But lightweight, stretchy dresses (especially maxi dresses) are the most comfortable thing you could possibly put on. It’s like wearing a blanket all day long, but you look fabulous.

4. tunics & leggings

tunic: made by my mom, cardigan & leggings: target, leopard flats: steve madden via plato’s closet // tunic: made by me, leggings, sandals & belt: target // tunic: made by me, leggings, sandals & belt: target

 Tunics have become a summer staple for me. They are so simple and effortless, and beyond comfortable. Add a fun belt or a cardigan, and you step it up just a little bit more.

5. pattern mixing

jeans: gap, striped tee: lucky brand via sams club, cardigan, belt & sandals: target // dress: gap maternity t-shirts (turned into a dress), cardigan: f21, boots: target // jeans: f21, top: old navy, belt: target

Pattern mixing is one of those things that is a bit scary at first, but can transform even the simplest of mom outfits if you do it right. Two easy rules to start out: use patterns that are in the same color family, and keep one pattern smaller than the other. Give it a try — you’ll suddenly look like you put way more effort into your outfit than you actually did!

So there you go. Six reasons to take care of yourself as a mom, and five easy ways to do it. Thanks again for having me!

merrick’s art

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Linking up | Summer | Weekend Rewind

Weekend Rewind

By on June 18, 2012
One of my most favorite people in the world was in town so my sister, Ace and I all went to dinner with the most fabulous Anna. Anna is a friend from high school who moved to NYC when I moved to Tampa. Her, myself, my sister and friend Maggie were all pretty insuperable prior to us all moving away and referred to ourselves as the Fab Four. Yes, we are fabulous and yes there are four of us. Clever huh? Maggie was out of town for her old high schools reunion so Ace took her place to make a new Fab Four. We caught up on life and have a great time together. I am so sad it was such a short visit. We didn’t get any pictures either which was such a bummer.
BIG DAY! Ace is 11 months old, first trip to the zoo and first popsicle. We headed to the zoo for 10am and met up with the family I work for and their baby Brady. We had a great time but it was HOT! The babies were good considering they usually nap at 10am (totally a fail on my part planning it for that time) and how warm it was. Luckily Ace fell asleep in his stroller half way through and we headed out after lunch. 

Got his ticket!

After the zoo we went to Target and got some goodies for Ace’s birthday and my sisters birthday not so surprise weekend. She figured it out when we went to the movies but I have some more surprises in store for her.
After Ace got up from his nap we had dinner and played. I really wanted him to get a popsicle from the ice cream man so we headed out front to wait for him. Go figure the night we actually make it out there he doesn’t come by! Such a bummer. Bran hit some golf balls in the empty lot next door and Ace played with his toys in his baby pool. I remembered we had these natural strawberry popsicles in the freezer and grabbed one of those. 
Bran hitting some golf balls

I tried to let him bite it but it was way too cold and he kept trying to grab it and then would cry because it would be too cold to hold as well. I finally stuck him on my lap and ripped pieces off for him to eat. We were a disaster but that is the kind of stuff I love! I love those moments where you get messy because you are doing something fun and memorable. I made Branden grab the camera and told him to just keep shooting. I think he thought I was nuts. 

Wanted to hold it but it was too cold 🙁

This worked out better

We were a mess! 
After that we headed inside so Mr. Sticky could take a bath. That was interesting to say the least. Then he got PJ’s on and headed to bed. 
Father’s Day! Branden had to work from 7am to 3pm so we spent part of the day at my Dad’s house enjoying their amazing pool.

When my sister and I got there and first worked on a fun little painting project with Ace for Branden. We tried to get his hands which didn’t work so we got his feet and butt print. This was suggested by my awesome friend Christel. She said she does this every year with her kids so I had to try it. It was so much fun to watch Ace play in the paint. I love the mess of it all.

Then we went in the pool and listen to music. Bran got here after work and we hung out for a bit and then headed home. I stayed and got my hair chopped off. I needed less hair to deal with. I will get a picture of it later.
Overall it was a very fun weekend. We got a few of our Summer To-Do List actives checked off our list too! 
Linking Up!
miscellany monday at lowercase letters
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Summer | Weekend Rewind

Weekend Review!

By on June 11, 2012
Another weekend has come and gone!
Here is what we were up to.
The boys playing before bedtime. 

The dogs wanted to go for a ride too

Brady playing while Ace naps
Branden was off and I had the baby I watch all day and night since his parents were going out for his Mom’s birthday. We were so busy with them. We went to Babies R’ Us to get a “baby jail”. We also went to Target to pick up some groceries. It’s so funny. Whenever I take the boys out together everyone thinks they are twins despite the fact that they look nothing alike. After that we brought them home to nap but Brady was no having it. He was scared to be in a new place so we just let him play and fed him dinner while Ace napped. Then when Ace got up the boys took a bath together. It was so funny watching them in there. They were having so much fun splashing around. I wish I had gotten a picture. 
After baths we got them in PJ’s and fed Ace. Then they got bottles and I put them in the cribs and stayed in there for a bit talking to them so Brady got comfortable. He looked like he was ok so I left and could hear them talking to each other in the monitor. It was so cute. Brady fell asleep first which I figured and Ace was talking to himself for awhile. Brady’s parents got him a couple hours later but it was like Ace had his first sleepover, ha!
Ace let me sleep in till noon! Branden had given him a bottle at 9:30 before we went golfing and put him in the crib to play and usually he will get fussy when he wants out and I will go get him. I guess he fell back asleep because I didn’t hear him again till almost 12! I walked in and he was sitting there playing like it was no big deal. Then we had lunch and I took him out to swing. He was kicking his legs and being so silly. 
After that we decided to go swimming at my parents until Branden got done golfing. That was so fun. He was cruising along the edge of the pool in the shallow beach area and then splashing like crazy. He was so happy. That kid loves water. My Mom got home and went in the pool with us for a bit and then Branden came over and Ace napped at my parents while Branden and I had dinner.  
Then we came back and went through all the birthday party supplies we have gotten the past couple of months. There was so much! We had to organize it into 3 different containers to make it easier to see all we had. So glad we got that done because we now know what we have left to buy which is not much! 
I also dyed my hair dark brown but it ended up looking black. It’s not too bad and I am sure it will lighten since I have blonde highlights underneath. 
First attempt at a fabric flower
Branden worked and so Ace and I spent the day together. We got up, ate then headed out. We went to JoAnne’s Fabric and I picked up a grapevine wreath, some fabric and a hot glue gun to decorate the wreath. I am making a summer one for our front door. It is my first attempt at making fabric flowers so we will see how it turns out. 
Then we came home, had lunch, Ace napped and I worked on the wreath. Then he got up and we did lots of playing and Bran came home. Ace had dinner and we played and then Bran gave him a bath. I think he is going to get another tooth because he has been drooling a lot which he never really does. He also has been crankier then usual and woke up in the middle of the night crying. Poor bug! 
Overall it was a great weekend! 
What did everyone else do this weekend?
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Ace | Summer | to-do list

Summer To-Do List

By on June 5, 2012
Now that Ace is getting more active and able to really enjoy more I wanted to put together a fun Summer to-do list. I love the idea of making Summer all about fun, relaxation and enjoying the simple things. Here is what we have come up with so far.
Summer To-Do List
1. Go to the Zoo.
2. Go to the Beach.

3. Get a popsicle from the ice cream truck.

4. Play in the sprinklers.
5. Finger painting.
6. Swim lessons.
7. Visit the Young at Art Museum.
8. Visit the Museum of Discovery and Science.
9. See a fun play/ show.
10. Watch fireworks.

11. Go swimming…a lot.

12. Have a picnic.
13. Make play dough.
14. Car washing fun (once Ace can walk).
15. Make a fort in the living room on a rainy day.
16. Go to the Library.
17. Take Ace to his first movie.

18. Go to the splash pad.

19. Blow bubbles.

20. Breakfast for dinner.
21. Bake cookies.
22. Go to a Marlin’s game.
23. Go to Story time.
24. Feed the ducks.
25. Eat lots of Watermelon.
26. Go mini-golfing.
27.Go to Lion Country Safari
28. Go to Sea Aquarium
29. Go Bowling
30. Go to the Keys House31. Go to Jaxson’s for Ice Cream
32. Bar-B-Q with friendsAnd don’t forget to enter my first GIVEAWAY! You can enter daily by tweeting about it and pinning the giveaway. Check it out HERE!
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