Room Refresher: From underused office to fab family room

Room Refresher:
From underused office to fab family room

We have a strange layout to our home, and somehow we have two bonus rooms. We currently have one of them set up as a playroom and one was set up as our office.

Our former office

It was a beautiful office but we never used it. Entire weeks would pass without us even setting foot in the room. We decided the office would better serve us as a family room.

We eventually plan to put new furniture in this room, but after buying new furniture for our living room, we need to wait a bit before buying more. In the meantime, we need to save some money and decide what we want to purchase. We just moved our old furniture to the family room.

Our new family room

It’s not perfect. There are things out of place and there is a mess in the corner. But it’s a room where we can hang out and be comfortable. It’s a room we can relax in and not worry about messing it up.

Our eventual plan is to add new furniture, a new light fixture, new flooring and an entire wall of built in bookshelves on the back wall.

We have used this room a thousand times more since it became a family room than we ever did when it was an office.

What changes have you made to add function to your home?

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Valentine’s Gifts for Kids…That don’t involve candies!

Every year we struggle with what to get our children that doesn’t involve candy or sugar. While material objects are nice, we try these days to limit the stuff we buy and just spend money on things we can experience as a family.

Nevertheless, we still find some small Valentines goodies to get for our girlies. When you want to buy a small gift to go along with those experiences, here are a few ideas.

1. Colorful knee socks from Sock it To Me

Who doesn’t want unicorn socks? These cute little socks are less than $10 a pair. And they unfortunately don’t come in adult sizes ☹️

2. Matching family pajamas from Primary

These pretty heart printed jammies are less than $20 per pair. Maybe you and your family can book a special trip and all wear these matching jammies…or just wear the jammies and watch a movie together.

3. Small gold heart necklace, $25

I am a huge fan of giving sentimental gifts that people can keep for years to come. I love this dainty little necklace- It would be cute for mothers and daughters to have matching necklaces like this one.

4. Pack of scrunchies, Amazon, $8.69

If your little girl is anything like mine, you have a house full of scrunchies. So why not buy her 12 more? And aren’t these cute?

5. Ella+Mila vegan and cruelty free nail polish

This pretty and extremely safe nail polish is available on Amazon for less than $12. If your little lady loves having her nails painted, then this is perfect for her.

I hope you have enjoyed this list of Valentine gift ideas for your little girl! Have a wonderful week!

End of Summer 2019 Recap!

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It’s really hard to think about summer being over, but it is. I’ve gone back to work, Emorie is back in school and we are settling back into our routines. I’m not going to share every single thing that we did, but I’m definitely going to share the highlight reel.

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This little cutie turned eight and celebrated her fourth recital and did a fantastic job. She was by far the busiest member of our family this summer: she went to tennis camp, volleyball camp, acrobatics camp, swim lessons, art camp and Vacation Bible School. Thank goodness these camps were all half day camps, or I’d have never seen her!

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Aubrey finally, actually let me take some pretty cute pictures of her! She also attended acrobatics camp and swim lessons.

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I took a break from blogging to spend more time with my family, and I also discovered a new love- weightlifting. I worked with a personal trainer and have lost almost 35 pounds. Here’s a pic of me in April, at the heaviest I’ve ever been.

 And here I am after working with a nutritionist and personal trainer for two months.

We also adopted a sweet little kitten this summer and Emorie named her Daisy. She is a sweet cuddler and loves to play. We are truly enjoying her.

We also took our first vacation as a foursome in two years.

And lastly, my precious big girl went to third grade.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer. I cannot wait to show you some of the really cool things I’ve been working on lately!

Visit on Thursday for a super cute wreath tutorial!

 

Back to school: tips for a smoother first day of school

How to have A better, more smooth

My sweet girl returns to school on Thursday, and my own first day of school is just around the corner. While the beginning of a school year can be really stressful and difficult, it doesn’t have to be. Like in many other situations, a little planning ahead goes a long way.

Please enjoy the following tips for making your first day of school run more smoothly…and please comment and add your own!

1. Go to sleep early

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Photo by Sam K on Pexels.com

Studies have shown well-rested kids perform better in school. A week or two before school starts, make sure your kiddos are back on schedule- early to bed and early to rise. It’ll make fighting that “morning wake up” battle so much easier.

2. Organize early, as much as possible.

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Don’t wait til the last minute. Buy everything you need and get it organized a few weeks before school starts. You’ll be glad you did, and if you forget anything, you’ll have plenty of time to get it.

3. Involve your kids in your planning process

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Take your kids back to school shopping and help them choose their supplies. Do whatever you can to get them excited about going back to school.

4. Practice your routine

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Get your kids prepared for their new routine by practicing their bed time and get up time a few weeks before school starts. Discuss when homework will be done and when chores will be done. Talk a lot about what a school night will look like so your child will know what’s expected once school starts.

5. Keep calm and…keep calm

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Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

I’m being just a little facetious with that picture of course 🙂 But it’s true. First days of school, or just mornings in general, can be stressful. Your child is probably already a little anxious or worried about their first day. The calmer you are, the calmer they are likely to be. Don’t stress- take a few deep breaths because it’s gonna be ok.

6. Prepare the night before, as much as possible.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Keep things simple in the morning by laying out clothes, packing lunches, packing back packs, and anything else that is needed the night before. Then, focus on having a fun and restful evening. The more you can prepare ahead of time the more you can relax and enjoy your morning the next day.

7. Don’t be late!

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Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on Pexels.com

When you’re late, it stresses you out. Leave the house a little early if you can- no one wants to be late for the first day of school!

8. Do something unexpected

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Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Kids are crazy about surprises, so anything unexpected that fills their love tank is great. Maybe it’s as simple as a sweet note in their lunch box, or a special notebook or pen in their bag. Maybe it’s a milkshake on the way home from school, or a fun and simple outing after school. Giving your kiddos a sweet, unexpected surprise will make them feel loved and valued.

And lastly, take a breather for yourself after you drop off your kids and refill your own tank. You deserve it!

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

Summer is quickly approaching, and for most of us, summer means pool and beach trips. Those of us with more than one child have a pretty good idea about what your tiny tot will need for a trip to the pool, but if you aren’t sure, I decided to share what’s in our pool bag.

We are a family of four, so our pool bag is this giant monogrammed Land’s End tote with a zipper top. It holds everything we need for some fun in the sun and I love it!

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For our toddler, we always pack the following items:

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  1. A snack (not pictured). We try to always bring a healthy snack for both kids no matter where we go. Dry cereal works well, as do small fruits (grapes) or veggies (carrot sticks), and things like granola bars or Belvita biscuits.
  2. A swimsuit, a cover up (a hooded towel will work well for a small child), and sunglasses
  3. A sunscreen for sensitive skin
  4. Swim diapers and wipes (if your toddler isn’t quite potty trained. Ours is not).
  5. Diaper ointment and lotion. Some kids’ skin is sensitive to chlorine, so it’s a good idea to have some lotion on hand to replenish their skin’s moisture
  6. Pool shoes and goggles
  7. Something to drink in a plastic, lidded cup
  8. Detangler and a hairbrush (not pictured)

I always feel the most organized and prepared for anything when I create a checklist beforehand, run down my list, and physically check it off. I decided to share that list with you as well. To download it, simply right click on the picture below, save it to your device, and then print it. For best results, do not print larger than 8X10 inches.

pool checklist

Enjoy your pool and beach trips this summer!