We’ve all been there! A birthday is coming up and the birthday boy or girl announces they want a (insert character here) party. The problem is sometimes that character isn’t overflowing the shelves at Target. So how do you plan a party for an obscure character. Here are my four easy tips that I used to plan a Marie from the Aristocats party for my daughter. Take the mystery out of planning a killer party!
With the Fourth of July looming, we’re taking a break from the camping series to provide you with all you ever needed to know about throwing the ultimate backyard party! There is nothing so fun as an outdoor party and you can really take your party to the next level by following a few simple steps….
Food while camping can really make or break a camping trip. It’s easy to forget components or end up spending way too much time on meals, taking away from the fun time! Here are some tips that have made all the difference for us!
Keep it simple!
My husband and I find great joy in food! Not just eating it, we love tackling tough recipes and making the “best” something. But camping isn’t the time for gourmet cooking or a giant smorgasbord. Keep it simple by sticking to dishes that are familiar and camping friendly. Consider how many dishes it will take to prepare the meal. The fewer the dishes the less time will be spent on clean up later….
Congratulations! You’ve done it! You’ve made the commitment to explore the great outdoors, toddlers in tow, on a camping trip! This is going to be a great experience for your family but there will be some challenges. One of the big challenges is keeping your kiddos entertained. Just like us, modern children are a little too used to TV at the push of a button. Even if you think you’re good about limiting screen time, you may be surprised how “lost” your kids might be in the wilderness. Just like you, they’ll need some time to hone their “unplugged” lifestyle. There are some good, old fashioned activities you can bring to help them be more successful. Remember, to have a nice balance between structured activities and unstructured time. Boredom is actually really good for kids. It forces them to self-entertain and get creative. I like to give these activities out one at a time to encourage the growth of their attention span and rewind from their normally overstimulated life….
Whether you tent camp, tent trailer camp, or full on trailer camp, there are some simple systems you can put in place to make getting on the road as easy as possible without the “shoot, I forgot the . . . .”
I grew up in a family of campers, my mom taught me how to camp, just like her mom taught her. Just like housework, mid-century camping prep fell largely on the women and it still does a lot of the time. I find that figuring out how to feed my family and be prepared for a variety of unfortunate circumstances takes up the bulk of my time getting ready to camp. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a normal family trip. I have a three-pronged approach to camping with ease and, my friends, I’m going to share all the nitty gritty details with you today….
It’s Sunday afternoon. You finally settle into the car – hot, grimy and achy after two nights of mediocre sleep. You are desperately in need of a shower, as is everyone else in the car. You lean your head back against the head rest as you pull onto the freeway and a smile crosses your face. You aren’t thinking about the multiple skinned knees you bandaged, or the debates you had with your son about playing with the campfire, or the challenges of setting up and breaking down camp with toddlers. You’re thinking of all the magical moments in between.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that camping with toddlers is easy. Let’s be honest, nothing with toddlers is easy. But the most rewarding things are often the things that take some extra work and some extra sacrifice….
I have battled with Pinterest Perfection since before it was a thing. Since I was old enough to discern who “had it together,” what “matched” and what looked “polished and well executed,” I’ve made it my goal to be “that person” and to have “that life.” Being raised in a family who didn’t care nearly as much as I did, was further grooming for battle with Pinterest Perfection. My parents, and rightly so, felt our money could be better spent on other things. I was forced to “do it on a budget” and “DIY” before those terms were part of the everyday vocabulary.
I remember spending hours pouring over the original American Girl catalogs. Do you remember those? There was Samantha, Kirsten and Molly and hundreds of accessories that cost hundreds of dollars. I was so fortunate to get an authentic doll but, due to price, the assorted trappings came sparingly over the next few years. I’d spend hours carefully attempting to craft the items out of cardboard and tinfoil. I’d have my mom and grandma handmake replica clothing all in an effort to create a scene worthy of the catalogue. Sound familiar?…
Okay, I’m going to come out and say it. It’s the dirty truth you’ve all been thinking but didn’t want to mention for fear of rocking the boat. Mother’s Day has very little to do with celebrating you. Especially with young kids, Mother’s Day isn’t much different than any other Sunday. You’ll still scramble to get kids ready for church, you’ll argue with them about food. Your husband will try to help more but, let’s be honest, he’s kind of out of his league. There will be a few presents and maybe you’ll go out to eat but most of the work will still fall squarely on your shoulders….
All babies are miracles, but every so often, a baby enters this world that defies the odds and proves how miraculous babies truly are. These babies often spend some time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The NICU is one of the scariest places to ever find yourself as a parent. I speak from experience. My oldest son entered the world a full 16 weeks ahead of schedule at the cusp of “viability” as they call it. Motherhood began for me in a room surrounded by medical professionals who decided how I could interact with my one pound baby all while beeps and buzzer rang in my head. This isn’t the ideal way to start a life. As a parent, it’s easy to feel lost, overwhelmed and isolated even though you’re constantly surrounded by people….
I had an epiphany today. Mom life can be very monotonous.
Don’t get me wrong, every day brings something new but overall, the days kind of blend together. As much as I love staying home with my kiddos, I realize I need to be more intentional about breaking things up. I need to set up activities that I’m going to look forward to as much as my kids. As moms, we spend a lot of time prioritizing our kids, which is important, but there’s nothing wrong with creating an activity you’re going to enjoy as well….