Posts filed under Family

Beachy Backyard Cabana for Kids

I've been meaning to post these pictures for some time now. I'm lucky to get it in before the snow starts to fall. It's amazing how the time flies when you have a newborn! 

It took several weeks to complete this project as we were trying to beat the rain for 4 weekends in a row, but we finally finished our playhouse for the kiddies just in time for summer and the arrival of our baby!!

We wanted to go for a Key West theme with the colors, sort of like a beach cabana. The girls love it and picked out the colors themselves. Now we just need to cover the grass with sand and make it a beach! Right?

We found some plans online to help guide us. Here are the plans we referenced: The Handmade Home She has an amazing website! We did have to do some modifications to best suit the look and structure we were looking for.

Some structural differences to note are...

This baby is solid! When I mean solid, I mean it doesn't move an inch. We fit 8 adults and a couple of children up on the deck and it still didn't budge! We get a lot of rain and I wanted to make sure the wood pillars didn't rot while touching the ground so we used the cement support blocks.

   I really like how we used the white translucent corrugated fiberglass roofing. It lets in more light  than the metal roofing does and it gives it a softer touch to go along with the beachy theme.  We even added some plant hooks at the front of the structure to hang some planters for the extra girlie touch! Since my daughter loves to play teacher, we definitely needed to add this chalk board that we secured on the back wall. I used the back side of the leftover siding and chalk paint.

 

I really like how we used the white translucent corrugated fiberglass roofing. It lets in more light  than the metal roofing does and it gives it a softer touch to go along with the beachy theme.

We even added some plant hooks at the front of the structure to hang some planters for the extra girlie touch! Since my daughter loves to play teacher, we definitely needed to add this chalk board that we secured on the back wall. I used the back side of the leftover siding and chalk paint.

Posted on October 7, 2015 and filed under Create, Family, Home.

Reasons You Should Start Gardening with Your Kids

As we are approaching the second year for our family garden my kids are giddy with excitement and looking forward to getting out and getting dirty! This past Easter their baskets were filled will all sorts of gardening goodies. The Easter bunny hit it spot on this year! They were filled with a watering can, mini garden gloves, seeds, and gardening tools.

Since

last year

was such a success and the kiddies were so interested, we decided that we are going to give the girls their very own garden bed to putts around in! Gardening is such a wonderful activity and hobby for young kids to take part in and here's why...

Educational

This is a

hands on experience

for the kids to learn where our food comes from and how it's made. Most kids who don't have a clue about gardening assume our food is made at the grocery store. Learning about seeds, plant needs, and how to grow their own food will make plant biology all the more fun!

Teach them about work and Responsibility

Not only do your kids learn about the educational aspects behind gardening but they learn about the hard work it takes to produce the food and the work it takes caring for the plants.

Physical activity

Kids should be out playing anyways but fun in the sun can be constructive as well and gets them moving the muscles they're not used to while sitting in class all day.

It's fun!

Most kids enjoy gardening and getting their hands a little dirty. Why not give them a productive activity that you can join in on as well.

Boosts their self-esteem

My little one felt so proud when the tomatoes and cucumbers started to grow. It's like she accomplished something big, which she did!

Healthy for the family

Growing your own food gives you the reassurance of where it comes from and the chemicals that are used. It also gets kids excited about eating fruits and vegetables because they grew it themselves. My daughter would go out to the garden and pick the green beans and eat them raw. I was shocked!

Spending time with your kids

My favorite reason is I get to spend quality time with my kids. Those early years of wonder are perfect for gardening. It's a hobby that both mommy and my girls enjoy together.

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Character Breakfast at the Hollywood and Vine

It seems like every time we visit Disney World we have to do a character breakfast of some sort. This past trip we did 2! We usually do the Cape May character breakfast and buffet at the Beach Club Resort. This year we decided to add a second character breakfast and try out the

Hollywood and Vine Restaurant.

Hollywood and Vine Character 

Breakfast Buffet

It's located in the Hollywood Studios theme park right across from Echo Lake.

The character buffet is also offered for lunch as well, although, breakfast is cheaper at 30 per adult.

We were so excited to dine with the Characters from Disney Jr at the Hollywood Vine Restaurant located in the Hollywood Studios theme park!

I have to say, if you have kids that watch Disney Jr. they will love this character breakfast more than the others!

We decided to do an early breakfast so we could play in the park the rest of the day.

The characters included:

Sofia the First

Doc McStuffins

Jake and the Neverland Pirates

Handy Manny

The Buffet:

It was very good and offered plenty of options for all tastes such as waffles, eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt bar, frittatas.... I could go on but you get the idea. There is also a ice cream sundae bar that the kids will love!

The Scene:

Its set up like a 50's diner with the plastic and sparkly couches. The dining experience also provides some musical entertainment and dancing on the part of the characters in costume. Kids can get up and dance along with their favorite characters.

Overall, I would say we enjoyed this character breakfast the most! The characters are much more familiar to the kids and the food was great!!

Have you tried the Hollywood and Vine before? Have you tried a different character breakfast at Disney World? I'm curious as to what everyone else has tried!

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Your coffee can change her life!

The Favorite One

It's always a question us Moms hate to admit. As a Mom of two young girls, I've always believed that no Mom could get along with all of her children equally. I'm not talking about loving your children, I'm talking about getting along with them. I do believe that Moms love all their children to the same extent. But, when it comes to who we actually get along with, there are kids that are more drawn to their parents than others.

For starters, my girls are still pretty young (5 and 2 1/2 years old). They are just developing their personalities and my oldest just started kindergarten. I can't honestly say in my heart that there is one that I'm drawn to the most at this point in time, but I'm not dumb to the fact that it may very well happen.

Growing up, we always knew who the favorite sibling was. I don't think my Mom loved them anymore than me but she had her favorite. He was a favorite to everyone in the family, which is why I didn't blame her. I don't believe I've ever let it really affect me. I don't hold any jealousy or resentment about it. It just is what it is.

So... with all that being said, how does a Mother deal with the grandparent’s favorite? How does the parent deal when a grandparent favors one grandchild over another, especially when the two opposing kids are both your children? This is something I have been struggling with, trying to wrap my brain around. It's hard because it's hurtful to my daughter. 

I hate for my child to have to go feeling unloved by their grandparent. It's devastating when it's so present and you feel the heartbreak as it's happening right before your eyes but what do you say? It's not like one is spoiled with more gifts than the other. It's so simple that it can be objected and denied. It's in the way one looks, talks, responds and physically shows affection.

When I child goes to hug a grandparent and they don't receive a hug back, what is the child to do? It's hard when you see it and its even heart wrenching when the kids acknowledge it, too. 

I wish a gentle conversation would work in this situation but it hasn't and at this point I can't force someone to feel something they don't. So it is what it is. I'm a strong believer in people creating their own situations and this will unfortunately stick with my daughter. 

One day, when they wake up and realize the situation they have created, they have no one else to blame but themselves because you can't expect a young child to develop and cope with these type of feelings like an adult would. We all make our own beds and the reactions we have to other people are what we have to live with. We can't expect a situation to be one way when we are not willing to work for it.

What would you do in a situation like this?

Posted on September 17, 2014 and filed under Family, Parenting.

The things kids say

Elephant surviving a coma, leafy sea reporters and dragon survivor.....

These are all names of trees according to my 5 year old scientist.

You see, she loves science, loves learning and love making up her own things.. like tree names.

We were on a walk to the park the other day, mini legal pad and pencil in hand, she started drawing out the shapes of the trees and spouting out their imaginary names.

"I'm a Scientist, Daddy!" She corrected him so sternly when he called her something else. 

For now, she wants to be a scientist. I can tell that she is drawn to how things work and are made. She is enthralled with nature and love spending time in our vegetable garden. 

I'm not sure what a leafy sea reporter is but I imaging it looks something like this?

Perhaps she got that one mixed up with the Leafy Sea Dragon?

Picture found here

It's better than TV or my favorite show. To sit and experience her creative little mind just go off and be. She is hysterical to me and it's amazing to see these little people start to grow up.

Posted on August 26, 2014 and filed under Family, Parenting, Happy Mama.

Magical Monday: Our Magic Bands are here!!

*This post contains my affiliate link that helps support my family.

This seems to be the start of the 3 week build up to our Disney Vacation!

Our Magic Bands arrived this week...

All 18 of them...ooops

Looks like Disney didn't realize that we're resort hopping this trip.

Resort hopping is one of my favorite things to do. You get a feel for the many resorts and they're all so very different and unique.

Resorts this trip

  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort - Specifically the Nemo room
  • Disney's Old Key West - an oldie but a goodie - 1 bedroom villa
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

We have already stayed in two out of the three. We are new to the Art of Animation Resort and we really wanted to try out the pool!

Giant jellyfish and Crush from Disney•Pixar's Finding Nemo amid The Big Blue Pool

photo found here: 

Art of Animation Resort

I can't wait to write a review for ya'll!

Road Tripping

I'm getting a little anxious as this is the first time we will be road tripping it with our kids. We decided to drive this time due to plane ticket prices soaring in the past year and our littlest no longer flies for free. They can barely stand being in the car for 45 minutes so I'm a kind of terrified for this drive.

We've made some driving entertainment arrangements for them. We bought a

RCA DRC79982 9-Inch Mobile DVD Player with Additional 9-inch Screen

 for the back seats. They each get their own and we have a large collection of Disney DVDs to last through both there and back.

I've also started to put together their own goodie buckets with games and activities for them to do on the way there. I bought these

Romanoff Lap Tray, Hot Pink

 activity trays that just so happened to work nicely over there car and booster seats.

Welcome to Magical Monday Link up!!!

Magical Monday is a link up dedicated to any and all things Disney. Every Monday we will be here to share our favorite moments and posts. It can be a post about a review from the parks, a craft, recipe or just a heartfelt memory. Whatever it is (past or new) link up those Disney inspired posts!!

Rules

 This will be pretty simple.

 1. Just link up your post below.

2. Add the Magical Mondays button to your post or a simple link will do.

3. Visit other participants and start sharing!

3 Wittle Birds

<div align="center"> <a href="http://3wittlebirds.blogspot.com/" title="3 Wittle Birds"><img src="http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx326/kdelarosa05/95f5467c-715c-4960-88de-ed02e7a9bc61.jpg" alt="3 Wittle Birds" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Outdoor kids photography Ideas

There is something therapeutic about a camera and nature. You can sit there for hours trying to capture the right picture, taking hundreds of shots. Then like magic, you find that perfect, simple setting and the pictures just start to role. 

Sometimes it can seem impossible to take a decent focused picture of my little munchkins. It ease up this challenge, my kids do better in a more natural setting. We took our time on this photo shot because I really wanted the natural wonder and expression to shin through, rather than a forced smile and pose. A simple setting with less distraction works best. Let them get the wiggles out beforehand so they are more focused.

1. A fun tree to bring out the adventure in their eyes.

2. Sitting beside a flowing stream while skipping rocks. 

3. An enchanting path of greener

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Posted on June 11, 2014 and filed under Family, Photography.

Butterfly Modeling Clay Craft and Magnet

March is a hit or miss when it comes to the weather in the Midwest. This winter has been unusually cold. It just seems like everything is wet and cold, but I guess that is what spring is about here. 

Since we are just inching to get outside and beat the cold weather blues, we had a little fun with some modeling clay! We got this clay as part of a goody bag on a trip to our favorite zoo last fall. It's been hiding in the top cabinet for some time now. I was hesitant to bring it out for fear of it staining the carpet or furniture... in fact it does!

Since spring is here and we have a great unit study ahead of us, I thought we could kick it off with a fun Butterfly craft.

Despite how hard the clay was, the girls had a ton of fun playing with it and molding it. Mommy had to do some flattening and shaping for them. It was also a great opportunity to introduce symmetry to my kindergartner. Once we were done shaping and decorating, we placed our creations into a bread pan.

Place in glass or metal oven safe dish. Do not microwave. Bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness.

Allow them to cool completely before handling. They will become hard.

*We attached magnets to the back of them and now they are sitting pretty on the fridge holding up the latest masterpiece by my little ones.

Check back soon for some more spring crafts!

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Don't Worry, Be Happy!

The past 6 years have definitely been an uphill road for our family. We have worked very hard and sacrificed many things to get to the place we are today. I've come a long way from a being a pessimistic person. It's taken me some life lessons and some gratitude to realize being happy is all about your attitude, not your situation.

Posted on March 26, 2014 and filed under Family, Happy Mama.