Hello 2018

How do you feel about new years resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you find yourself just a few months into it and you didn’t stick to anything?

That’s me! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve said “New year, new me!”, “I’m going to start working out and keep it up”, or “I’m going to eat better this year.” I can honestly say that I have never made a new years resolution that has stuck throughout the entire year. I read an article that said 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution. That should tell you something about resolutions. So this year I decided to set realistic goals for the year and write them down. But then I decided to take the rest, what would normally be considered a new years resolution and take it month by month.

For example, instead of saying in January I’m going to have me time, I sit down at the beginning of the month to decide what I want for my me time to look like, and schedule it right then or mark it in the calendar to happen. Another thing I want to do is slowly continue to do little updates on our house. So for the month of January I wrote down 1 thing that I want to do in the house that month. Small or big, but only 1 thing. Then I thought about where Nathan and I dream to be financially, So I have it set on a monthly plan; how much we want to put into savings in the month of January.

I want this to be a great, healthy and successful year for me individually and for my family. So I want to be realistic in setting these plans and goals for myself. I want to not only make big plans for the first of the year but things that will stick for the entire year.

Something that has been helpful with this is my 2018 planner. At the beginning of every month there is a spot for your monthly mission board. IMG_0917

It includes: 

  • Me time
  • Be Social
  • Home
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Dream Big
  • Blank: God Time
  • Blank: Volunteering

So at the beginning of every month I am filling in those spots with my monthly goals. I have chosen to use my blank spaces for God time and Volunteering. This mission board is really going to help me think through what I want to do each month, to be more intentional and hopefully help me grow every year. Not a goal planned out for the entire year that I more than likely wont stick to. If you feel like a monthly mission board would also be helpful for you, I’ve created a print out that you can print, fill out and look at every month. There is power in writing it down and looking at it every day!

Your Own Monthly Mission Board or if you want to pick up your own monthly planner you get can it here.

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Top 5 Kids DIY activities

All right here it is! The must do crafts with your kids! If you’ve read any of my blogs in the past you know that I am a stay at home mom who loves to DIY. I am regularly trying to find new ways to incorporate learning for Titus into fun play. But with it starting to get super cold here in VA ( we just had our first snow of the winter) I knew that I needed to find ways for us to be entertained inside. Hopefully this will help all of my stay at home mom friends, nannies, or all of my friends who are about to have their kids at home all day for 2 weeks.

I have been spending many late nights on Pinterest searching “Fun activities for kids inside during the winter.”I have found my top 5 and even tried all of them to make sure they actually worked. The great thing about all of these is that you can have your kids interact by helping you make them and enjoy the play time.

  1. Homemade Slime (no borax): I know lots of people make slime with borax and have no problem, but I’ve read lots of articles about borax and decided I wanted to find slime that was easy to make with no borax. So I found it here.  For your homemade slime you need: 2 bottles of Elmer’s “school” glue (I used clear), Food coloring, 1/4 cup glitter, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 3 tables contact solution. Tip: I feel like I had to add a little more baking soda and contact solution at the end so that it wasn’t so sticky. IMG_0165
  2. Salt Dough Hand Ornament: Super success! All of the ingredients to make this I already had in my house and it was a lot of fun. Titus was able to help me make the dough and we made his hand print. Then we had to bake it in the oven and will be able to decorate it later. Here is the link for the Hand Ornament. All you need: 1/2 Cup Salt, 1/2 Cup Flour, 1/4 Cup Water. Knead together into dough forms. Make impressions and cut out hand shape. Poke a hole in top for hanging. Bake at 200F for 3 hours. Then Paint and seal. img_0161.jpeg
  3. Edible Play-dough: And no I don’t WANT my child to eat any of these but if it just so happens that it ends up in his mouth I want to know whats in it. This craft he did not help me make but got to play with it after. Here is the link for Edible Play-dough. For this you need: Baby rice cereal, Vegetable Oil, Cornstarch, Water and Food coloring. And you just knead all of the ingredients together. I did find that I had to add an additional 1/2 of baby cereal to make it not so sticky. fullsizerender.jpeg
  4. Edible Finger Paint: This one is by far my favorite and has been so much fun! I found this amazing recipe for Finger Paint here. The other great thing about this edible finger paint is that at any given time I have all of the supplies already in my house. You need: 2 Tbsp of Sugar, 1/3 Cup of Flour, 2 cups of water and food coloring. IMG_0156
  5. Pom Pom Snowman: This one entertained him for a while and could also be used for a fine motor activity. It was also a really cute craft to have a little snowman for him to play with. All you need: Pom poms or cotton balls, an empty water bowl, and decorations for the outside (ribbon and googly eyes).IMG_0159

So these are my top 5 favorite indoor activities to entertain your kids this winter season. They are all easy to make, fun to do and safe! I hope ya’ll enjoy them in your house as much as we have.

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Pasta Sensory Box

I am all about finding new, cheap ways for Titus to have fun and learn. I’m sure almost every parents out there has experienced buying your child a new toy and they play with it for maybe 10 minutes and then it’s on to the next thing. Or if you just give them an empty box they somehow play with it much longer than any toy that they actually own. That happens often in this house. I like to think that I’m a minimalist when it comes to toys (you wouldn’t know that if you looked in his room) but I’m more of a puzzles, books and blocks type of mom. So I try to find new, inexpensive crafts or toys that I can “make” for Titus to enjoy.

Well, the other day he got a hold of a box of bow tie pasta, which I was fine with. He went all around the house shaking the box, laughing and dancing at the sounds of the pasta. Next thing we knew the entire box opened right in his lap. He thought it was hilarious. He spent the next 30 minutes putting them all back in the box and then pouring them on himself, still laughing every time. I had to take everything away for him to actually go and eat his dinner. I thought man, he is rarely entertained by something for so long that I actually have to take it away. So I decided to create a sensory box with the pasta.

I grabbed a Tupperware box that I had in the attic and added the bow tie pasta along with a box of rotini pasta. Then I found a few smaller toys and some of his magnet letters and added them to the box.

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You would have thought I just handed my little boy the world when I put out the sensory box the next day. It has consistently been a “toy” that he spends at least a few hours a day playing with. Finding the things hidden in the pasta, or dumping everything out and putting it right back in the bucket. I am loving this new toy that we made and I’m sure your kids would love it too! Everything is available at the dollar store so its very inexpensive.

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What you need:

  • Tupperware box/bowl with lid
  • 2 boxes of pasta
  • Little toys

I’m loving the fact that Titus loves this toy. Sensory boxes are shown to help with language and playing skills, as well as help focus and calm a child. Check out A Little Bin for Little Hands Blog about the benefits of a sensory box.

Now enjoy the fun!

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