Tag Archives: family

Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

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Super Fun Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Hello!! Johnny and I have a little niece and nephew and my mom is always looking for fun activities for them. We are both huge fans of Pinterest and JANE truly outdid herself by making some colorful sidewalk chalk paint from this McCormick recipe. Like any kid, the littles love making masterpieces with chalk and the paint was just as fun for the adults as it was for them:

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The recipe that my mom followed to make the chalk paint was a simple one that only required corn starch, water, and food dye. It also included the formulas to make all kinds of different colors from classic shades to neon hues. My niece, Valerie, requested the colors of the rainbow and my mom delivered, which made their driveway the most vibrant one in the neighborhood!

Sidewalk chalk paint is a unique spin on a tried and true favorite childhood activity. And, in my opinion, it’s even better because you don’t get that weird feeling from chalky hands – lol you guys know how I am about certain textures! This fun activity is sure to keep your kids entertained all summer long and I think that the adults will end up enjoying it just as much if not more. 😀

What was your favorite childhood activity? What do your kids like to do in the summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Memphis Kiddie Park Day Trip

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Memphis Kiddie Park Day Trip

Hello! I have been having so much summer fun last month and especially over this past weekend. My brother and his wife and son came to visit from Atlanta and we all had a blast hanging out. It was SO awesome for my niece and nephew to play together and they both solemnly announced that they would miss each other when it was time to go home. How sweet is that?!

Last Monday, we took the kiddos on a little day trip to Memphis Kiddie Park close to Cleveland and a delicious Mexican dinner afterwards. This was a very special outing, indeed, because my siblings and I used to go there all of the time when we were little. Whether we went with my parents or my grandma, it was always a huge treat to go to Kiddie Park and get ice cream after and I have so many fond memories of afternoons spent there.

When I was little, I remember thinking that Kiddie Park was a Cedar Point level amusement park. So, all of my siblings and I had a huge laugh when we saw through the eyes of an adult that it was the size of a large parking lot. It surely didn’t feel that way to my niece and nephew, though!

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^^^ The white Love On A Hanger top is one of my faves!

When we got to Kiddie Park my nephew, Patrick, was ready to ride all of the rides. My niece, Valerie, on the other hand… Not so much. Lol, it definitely took her a minute to get warmed up and, surprisingly, the only thing she wanted to ride at first was the Little Dipper rollarcoaster with me. Of course, I obliged and it made me think of all of the times that I would ride it with my grandma and we would go on it again, and again, and again. ❤

Val’s reaction to the Little Dipper was either going to be really good or really bad because she had never been on something like that before. Even more surprisingly, she loved it and after a juice box and a pretzel she was good to go. I guess she was just hangry and it was, honestly, such a mood!

After Val rallied, her and Patrick rode so many rides together and it was SO. Freaking. Cute. They loved the boats, spinning turtles, airplanes, and mini cars and it warmed my heart to see them waving to all of us and having a ball. Naturally, neither of them wanted to go home afterwards and, despite having no more ride tickets left, they were asking for “just one more ride”. ❤

Something tells me that we will be taking Val to Kiddie Park again this summer and I’m sure we will go all together with Patrick next summer too. It was just as fun for the kids as it was for the adults and it was the best day!

Do you have something similar to Kiddie Park in your neck of the woods? What is one of your fondest childhood memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Fun!

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Summer Fun!

Hello! After a long and dreary winter, it is so nice to finally be enjoying the sunny days of summer. I have certainly been making the most of it with lots of fun in the sun… And the sunburns to prove it. -_- Despite looking like a lobster, I am already fantasizing about more days spent by the pool at my apartment community with a good book!

This past weekend was one filled with ACTIVITIES and I think that I am still recovering from it:

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This past Saturday, my sister and darling niece came over to go swimming and it was such a blast. To make it even better, Kristen surprised me with a Taco Bell inner tube that I am still freaking out over. Her and Valerie went to Five Below to stock up on pool toys and couldn’t not get me this TBell themed masterpiece. Val had so much fun hitching a ride on it with me and it will definitely be joining me every time I hit the pool!

My brother and his wife and son also came to visit from Georgia over the weekend and Johnny and I loved accompanying them to the park. We swung on the swings to our heart’s content and I have to laugh at Johnny’s outfit choice on such a hot day! He is nothing if not committed to our preferred OOTD choice of All Black Everything. 😀

I have never been a huge lover of summer and will forever be fall’s number one fan. However, I have a brand new appreciation for the season now that I can share in the joy with my niece. Trips to the pool, zoo, and park have never been more fun and will be even better once I remember to wear sunscreen smh!

What is your favorite summer activity? How about your favorite season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

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The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones to come together and celebrate. It’s a time for happiness, joy, and good cheer. But it’s also a time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that has passed and think about all that has happened. It’s a time to think about the future and what lies ahead. And what better way to reflect on the past year and plan for the future than by spending time with those you love most?

There are many benefits to spending time with family during the holidays. Although we’re nowhere near Christmastime yet, we are very close to Christmas In July so you can experience them early! This article will explore just a few of them and how you can make the most of this special time with your loved ones:

Strengthens relationships:

The holiday season is a special time when families come together to celebrate their traditions and strengthen their relationships. Spending time together fosters communication and bonding, two essential ingredients for any strong relationship. The holidays are also a time when families can relax and enjoy each other’s company, free from the demands of work and school.

In today’s busy world, finding quality time to spend with our loved ones can be difficult. But the holidays offer a perfect opportunity to slow down, relax, and focus on what truly matters – family. By making the most of our time together, we can create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Increases morale:

For some, the holidays can be a stressful time. There’s the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal, and create the perfect holiday experience. This stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health. But spending time with our families during the holidays can reduce stress and increase our morale.

Family togetherness helps us to relax and enjoy. We can laugh and have fun together. We can reminisce about past holidays and create new traditions. And we can show our loved ones how much we care about them. So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, take some time to spend with your family. It will do wonders for your morale.

Allows for reflection on the past year:

The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. They offer a chance to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. For many people, the holidays are also a time to express their gratitude for what they have.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones how much you care is to spend quality time together. This doesn’t mean that you have to be together every minute of the day; simply being in each other’s company can be a great way to show your love and appreciation.

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Many activities can help promote family togetherness during the holidays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Watching Christmas movies together:

Christmas movies are a staple of the holiday season. They offer a chance to escape the world’s reality and enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. So why not gather the family around the television and enjoy a few of your favorites? You can even make it a tradition to watch the same movies yearly.

Baking holiday cookies:

One of the best things about the holidays is the delicious food. Baking holiday cookies is an awesome activity for the whole family. You teach your children how to bake and they get to eat the cookies when they’re done. It’s a chance to spend time together and create yummy treats that everyone will enjoy.

Get professional pictures together:

Getting photographs together is a fantastic method to preserve the Christmas holidays memories. Hiring professional photographers can be expensive but might be nice to do every few years. Hiring a professional photo editor to edit pictures of your kids and family members might also be a good idea. This will ensure that the pictures are high quality and capture the spirit of the holidays.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Make the most of your time together and enjoy all of the benefits of it!

Final Birthday Hurrah

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Final Birthday Hurrah

Hello! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday on the day of with my sister and her family due to a bout with COVID. Once they were ten days out, however, we had a wonderful late birthday outing together. I was treated by Kristen, Ramon, and my darling niece Valerie to a delicious dinner at my favorite restaurant, the Saffron Patch. It is the most divine Indian food that I have ever had and I savored every bite. I was also gifted with a TJMaxx gift card (Bless!), a sticker adorned card compliments of Val, and this gorgeous Betsey Johnson necklace:

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Betsey Johnson has always been one of my favorite brands and I love her quirky, bright designs. There is nothing like a Betsey accessory to add a fun pop to any OOTD and I have several of her purses, shoes, and jewelry. When I opened up the box containing my new necklace, I couldn’t believe my eyes… I had actually just been drooling over it during my last shopping trip at TJMaxx. Talk about sister telepathy, right? 😀

I am obsessed with this necklace and it is so different from all of my other Betsey accessories – most of them have skulls and snakes as the focal point lol! The sweet gem stoned hearts are SO. Freaking. Cute. and remind me of the plastic star and heart jewelry of my youth (In the best way possible!). Another amazing thing about this necklace is that you can put it on over your head without undoing the clasp. We all know that that is a difficult task for me with my claws!

My new necklace is perfect for adding candy dream colors to a neutral base and I can’t wait to see it shine against white, black, and grey. I had a great time celebrating my birthday with three of my favorite people in the whole world and my festivities ended on the best note possible. ❤

What is your favorite accessory brand? How would you style this necklace? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Educational Activities Your Kids Can Do This Summer

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Educational Activities Your Kids Can Do This Summer

Summer vacation is in full force, so your kids are home from school. You’re probably enjoying the extra time with them, but you may also be wondering how to keep their brains sharp during the break! Here are some educational activities to help your kids keep learning and have fun during the summer vacation:

Read books:

Reading is a great way to pass the time and learn new things, whether it be about other cultures, places, history, or even languages. There are many stories for kids and adults alike, so if you want an activity you can do together, this is one for you.

Reading with your kids can benefit them in several ways: it helps them improve their reading skills; it allows them to connect with others through literature; it improves their vocabulary and comprehension; it provides an outlet for creativity through writing and illustration; and much more. You can make reading fun by adding games to their reading experience. For example, you can use a word family activity sheet as reading prompts, helping them to choose books based on a word, colors, and other items.

Journal:

Summer is the time for your child to have fun and relax. But it’s also important for them to go into the next school year with new experiences and knowledge. One way to help accomplish this goal is by journaling. An activity that requires minimal supplies (if any), journaling can be done anywhere, anytime even if you’re on vacation or stuck inside during bad weather. It’s easy enough for kids as young as five, but older kids will find it just as beneficial.

Journaling encourages creativity while helping children develop other skills such as organization, reflection, and increased vocabulary through writing on topics they find interesting (and learning how to spell those words). Plus, it is excellent practice for essay assignments.

Take a field trip:

If your child is interested in a particular subject, try taking them on an educational field trip to explore it further. Field trips provide the opportunity for learning about history and culture and practical skills like cooking and art.

If you are going on vacation, you can turn this experience into not just a relaxing holiday but an educational one. You don’t have to dedicate all of your vacation to learning, but you can take your children on a trip while on vacation to learn more about the place you are visiting, whether that is going to a museum, taking a tour, or just enjoying the culture while you are there.

Learn a new skill:

Learning a new skill can be challenging, but it’s also fun! When kids learn something they enjoy, they are more likely to want to do it again and again. This makes it easier for them to get better at whatever they are doing, making learning more enjoyable. It is even better if it is a skill that they have an interest in from the beginning, like art, cooking, or music.

Go on a scavenger hunt:

There’s nothing like a scavenger hunt to engage kids around the world. If you’re doing this with younger kids, make a list of items they can find and bring them back to you. For example, a leaf from a tree or a dandelion.

It’s also important that your activity isn’t too challenging or overwhelming for their age group. If you want something more educational, consider including objects such as shapes or numbers to teach them something new along the way. It’ll also keep them interested throughout the process since it’s always lovely when an activity feels rewarding for everyone involved!

Create a learning fort:

One of the best ways to excite your kids about learning is to create a fun space to learn in. Forts are cool and can be used in different ways. You can read a book while sitting under it, play a game like hide-and-seek inside it, and let your imagination soar in its construction. Whether it’s a classic pillow fort, made of cardboard boxes, or built in nature a fort will provide lots of entertainment and opportunities to learn.

You don’t have to break the bank or travel far to keep your kids’ brains busy and sharp over summer break. There are plenty of ways to incorporate learning into everyday life, even if you’re just hanging out in your backyard!

Featured Image By: Sharon McCutcheon

Preparing Your Child For Getting A Pet

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Preparing Your Child For Getting A Pet

Getting a pet is a rite of passage for many children. If you grew up with pets, you might feel like it’s an essential part of childhood. And if you didn’t, perhaps you want to give your children an experience you didn’t get. But it’s important to consider what pet ownership entails before you get one. Making sure your child is ready for the responsibility of a pet is crucial, especially if you don’t want to end up being the only one to care for it. You can prepare your child for getting a pet using a few different techniques:

Start with Toys:

Before taking on the responsibility of caring for a living thing, it’s a good idea for your child to get some practice. One of the ways children often develop key skills such as empathy is through play. Getting your child some toys to care for is a good way to practice some of the things they’ll need to care for a pet. You can get them some Schleich animal figurines or some stuffed toys to role play caring for. Baby dolls can also be an option for taking care of something without the responsibility of actually having to keep something alive.

Give Them Some Other Responsibilities:

Caring for a pet is a big responsibility, so you need to know that your child is ready to take it on. They will need to show that they can manage some responsibilities of their own and keep it up long term too. When you get a pet, your child might help with things like feeding, cleaning, or exercising your pet. But before you go out and get one, they could have a few other chores to show that they’re capable. You can get them to do daily tasks such as making their bed to demonstrate that they can build consistent habits.

Borrow a Pet:

Borrowing a pet from a friend or family member can be a great way to have a practice run. You can have their pet for a day or a few days so you and your child understand the responsibility of caring for a pet. Obviously, some pets are easier to “borrow” than others. A dog will often be happier to spend time with another family than a cat will. You could offer to pet-sit while someone you know is away if you’re looking for a way to trial pet ownership.

Teach How to Behave Around a Pet:

Children need to be able to behave well around a pet to keep both them and the animal safe. Even when they have been taught how to handle an animal, they should still be supervised. It’s crucial to teach your child important things like how to recognize when a pet wants to be left alone, how to pet them gently, and how to avoid upsetting an animal with their behavior. You can do this by talking to them, demonstrating, reading books, or watching videos.

Getting a pet isn’t something you should do lightly. If your child is asking for a pet, make sure you don’t rush into it and get a lot of practice beforehand.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Happy Housewarming Gifts

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Happy Housewarming Gifts

Hello!! It isn’t even our housewarming/birthaversary party yet and Johnny and I have already been gifted with so many amazing things from our loved ones. Some of our favorite gifts so far have definitely come from Johnny’s Aunt Eileen and her husband, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time a few weeks ago at Johnny’s concert. They so generously sent us all of these goodies and we have been making great use of them since:

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My Johnny is a HUGE history buff and enjoys his free time by watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, and reading up on his favorite subject. He is a wealth of knowledge and is always teaching me something new. So, he was especially excited by the BenShot glasses with a bullet in it! Aunt Eileen got us four of these glasses and Johnny has made sure that he has drank from every single one lol. Saying that we have a TON of glasses is an understatement and these are, easily, the coolest ones we have.

Aunt Eileen also gifted us with a video game themed clock and beer themed wall art (Two of our favorite things!) that Johnny hung up in our game room. It was just what we needed too since a majority of our wall art was used on the art wall. They are both perfect pieces of decor for our game room and now all we need is batteries to make them work… and a new Rolling Stones neon light which I accidentally broke. WHOOPS!

Johnny and I are so appreciative of everyone’s generosity as we celebrate our big move, wedding anniversary, and birthdays. Many thanks again to Aunt Eileen for the super thoughtful and very us gifts – we love them and you! ❤

What is your home decor style like? Do you have any exciting events to celebrate coming up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Taking Care Of Yourself Post Pregnancy

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Taking Care Of Yourself Post Pregnancy

After nine months of pregnancy and the exhausting journey of childbirth, it’s important to take care of yourself too. You need to heal your body, which will usually take about six weeks. And you also need to recover from all of that emotional chaos both during and after pregnancy, which can be a bit more complicated.

This postpartum period is vital for your health and well being and for your baby’s health. It’s a time to focus on you and your needs. So in this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to take care of yourself after pregnancy. But first, let’s talk a bit more about what to expect during this postpartum period:

What Happens During the Postpartum?

During the postpartum period, you will experience many changes in your body. You will likely be tired and may have trouble sleeping. You may also have mood swings and feel overwhelmed. All of these are normal reactions to the stress of pregnancy and childbirth.

Your body is going through a lot of changes, too. Your hormone levels will drop, which can cause you to feel moody or anxious. You may also have trouble with your digestion and may experience constipation or diarrhea. It’s essential to listen to your body during this time and to take things easy. Try not to do too much at once and give yourself time to rest and recover. You can also experience postpartum hair loss, which is normal and usually temporary, but if the problem persists, you should consult a female hair loss clinic.

Let’s check out some more tips:

Get Enough Sleep:

This one is easier said than done, especially if you have a newborn at home. But it’s important to get as much sleep as you can. Try taking naps when your baby naps and go to bed early if possible. If you can’t seem to get enough sleep, talk to your doctor about it.

Eat Healthy Foods:

You need to fuel your body with healthy foods so that you can have the energy you need to take care of yourself and your baby. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And make sure to drink plenty of water.

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Exercise:

Exercise is important for your physical and mental health. It can help you to lose pregnancy weight, improve your mood, and give you more energy. Start with gentle exercises and build up as you feel able.

Take Time for Yourself:

It’s essential to take time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Do something that you enjoy, and that makes you feel good. This can be anything from reading a book to taking a bath.

Get Outside:

The most important thing we always tell people to do for themselves after pregnancy is to get outside. Fresh air and exposure to sunlight do wonders for a moody atmosphere.

Connect with Other Parents:

One of the best things you can do for yourself after pregnancy is to connect with other parents. Meeting other parents can give you a sense of community and support. It can also be a great way to learn about parenting and get advice from others who have been there.

See Your Doctor:

It’s essential to see your doctor for a postpartum check-up six weeks after you have your baby. This is an excellent time to talk about any concerns you have and to get help if you need it.

Get Help with Housework:

If you can, get help with housework and childcare. This will give you more time to take care of yourself. If you can’t get help with the cleaning, try to do a little bit each day and take breaks when you need them.

Join a Support Group:

If you’re struggling with your postpartum emotions, consider joining a support group. This can be a great way to connect with other parents and get the support you need.

Seek Professional Help:

It is estimated that one in seven women experience postpartum depression. If you feel depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, seek professional help. This is nothing to be ashamed of, and getting help can make a big difference.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to pamper yourself every now and then! Get a massage, have your nails done, or just treat yourself to something special. You deserve it!

Congratulations on your new addition! After nine months of carrying a little life inside you, it’s essential to take care of yourself as you begin this new journey. Following these tips will help get you started on the right foot. Remember that taking care of yourself is not only good for you but also for your baby. Enjoy this special time and take care of yourself!

Akron Zoo Get Closer Experience

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Akron Zoo Get Closer Experience

Hello!!! This past Friday was basically the coolest ever because my brother, Andrew, and I went to the Akron Zoo for a Get Closer Experience. This was a gift to him from my other brother and it allowed us to get up close and personal with the zoo’s two Galapagos Tortoises. It was AMAZING and I wish it could have lasted forever! Check it out:

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During our Get Closer Experience, we were able to feed and love on Pecos and Boxy who are my new best friends. They very much enjoyed their treats of bell pepper and collard greens and the neck and haunch rubs!! What was supposed to be a twenty or so minute time slot for TURTLE TIME ended up being the better part of an hour and Andrew and I loved every second of it.

It was a rainy day on Friday, which was fine because the “Galaps” (as their handler called them) have an indoor and outdoor exhibit. The inclement weather actually ended up working in our favor because the zoo was essentially empty so we had the whole area to ourselves. Had the weather been better, we would have been able to assist with Pecos and Boxy’s bath time. Andrew and I both agreed that what we got to do was even better, though, because we got to spend so much time with them just hanging out.

Boxy is a spring chicken at thirty-one years old and she was a feisty thing! She definitely had a bigger personality than Pecos and warmed up to Andrew and I instantly. Seventy year old Pecos was a bit shy but she came around after lots of hand fed veggies, which are apparently like eating dessert for a Galap. Both were absolute angels and I miss them terribly already!

The Akron Zoo offers other Get Closer Experiences but the Galapagos Tortoise one was, easily, the best because you could interact with them. That isn’t the case for the Red Panda and Grizzly Bear Experience for obvious reasons! If your zoo has something similar to the programs that Akron’s does, I can’t recommend treating yourself to one enough. It will make for an unforgettable time!!

What is your favorite animal? Have you ever done anything similar to this experience at your zoo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah