Surviving Back to School

SeattlesBest

I've been dreading this day for a few weeks now, my kids are going back to school today! I have completely enjoyed our laid back summer with no bedtimes, no schedules, no routines, and no car lines. This summer was a little different than usual with my husband traveling more for business, but we managed to find our special moments and embrace them. Just last weekend we were sitting on Sanibel Island listening to the waves crash into the shore and now I'm dreading the stack of papers I'll have to fill out tonight after they get home from school. Preparing for back to school wasn't too dreadful, our school requires uniforms which makes clothes shopping very easy. It wasn't terribly painful on the bank account this year thanks to a big bag of hand-me-downs for my oldest. He should be set for the next 1-2 years even when he hits his growth spurt. The school supply list this year wasn't too bad either. I had quite the chuckle over some of the items on the middle school list though; ... [ Read More ]

How to Use Snap Pliers to Make an Adjustable Waist on Kids Clothing

Adjustable Waist

My kids have tiny waists and are tall, they get this from both my husband and I. My mom was always tacking the waist of my clothes (pre-adjustable waist clothing) as a child. Thank goodness that most clothing these days come with the adjustable waistband. I picked up 2 athletic shorts/skorts for my daughter this weekend at the Old Navy clearance sale and got home to find out they were too big in the waist!! Shocking...I know! Neither pair had drawstrings or adjustable waist so I was going to pull out the needle and thread and tack them to fit.  Then I remembered my brand new snap pliers and thought this might look nicer and be easier to undo when she grows a bit. On the first pair, I only added one snap to adjust the waist.  On the second pair, I added two snaps and I think it's a cleaner finish when it's completed. In less than 5 minutes, we have two pairs of shorts that fit my skinny waisted six year old. What you'll need: Snap press or snap pliers Snaps Small ... [ Read More ]

Minecraft 101 for Moms

Minecraft 101 For Moms

Affiliate links present in this post.  This summer my six year started playing Minecraft.  My oldest has been playing it for a while, but he's never needed "help" with it like she does.  He's pretty intuitive and if he has questions he goes to YouTube to find his answers.  We have a collection of Minecraft books that he has to help him (most are pretty advanced resources), but again, that's not something she's ready for yet.  At six, she just wants to know how to play!  My son did attempt to teach me how to play once, but I was left being buried in lava and attacked by zombies (he sabotaged me).  I decided to do a little homework, we'll see who sabotages who now! I was gifted an e-course on Udemy, Minecraft For Dummies video and eBook bundle, and it was incredibly simple to follow. The first few courses walk you through some of the basics of playing Minecraft on your computer, but most of the tutorials apply for the app and game system versions also. Minecraft For Dummies ... [ Read More ]

Stonyfield Southwestern Taco Dip featuring Late July Tortilla Chips

Southwestern Taco Dip

Post sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt as a part of their Stonyfield YoGetters Blogger Program. We usually have a house full of friends for the 4th of July holiday, but this year is going to be very quiet.  The hubs is working this year over the 4th and my daughter decided to go spend the weekend with my parents. That leaves my son and I to find our own excitement.  I have absolutely no idea what we're going to do yet.  We may invite a few friends over for an impromptu pool party before we head out to watch fireworks.  There are so many fabulous places to watch the fireworks in Pinellas County, but we may stay close to home and head up to Tarpon Springs and watch the fireworks at Sunset Beach. You can find a list of all the local fireworks by county or city at Bay News 9, Fourth of July Fireworks schedule. Before our friends stop by, I made up a tasty treat to kick off the celebrations. I'm a sucker for a good taco dip and there are a million different ways to make it.  I often ... [ Read More ]

Take a Staycation in Downtown Tampa

Tampa Streetcar

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, have you ever truly explored the downtown area?  We live in Palm Harbor and only come downtown for sporting events and shows.  When Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa invited us to spend a few nights with them I was really excited to check out parts of town that we usually just drive past on the way to an event.  It was really nice not having to worry about transportation and travel expenses to go on vacastaycation.  We spent 3 days and 2 nights downtown and we could have easily spent an entire week to see everything. The Embassy Suites is located adjacent to Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center, overlooking the Bay.  It would be a great place to stay the night if you didn't want to drive home after a concert or hockey game.  On our first night we were lucky enough to be downtown during the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals and walked across the street to the Bolts watch party inside Amalie Arena.  We would never have driven 45 minutes to ... [ Read More ]

Baked Spaghetti Bowls #ClassicoMakeItYourOwn

ClassicoMakeItYourOwn

This post contains affiliate links. Are you bored with your "go-to" spaghetti night?  Our family relies on spaghetti a few times a month and I'll be the first to admit that it's rather boring most nights.  Tonight I reDEFINED our dinner to make it fun with CLASSICO® spaghetti sauce and a few simple ingredients. You'll need spaghetti noodles, ground beef, onion,CLASSICO® spaghetti sauce, taco bowls, and shredded cheese. Brown your beef with some chopped onion while you are boiling your pasta noodles.  This only takes about 5-10 minutes depending on how many hands have decided to help me in the kitchen that night.  Tonight my six year old decided she wanted to help mommy cook.  I love how excited she gets when she's in the kitchen with me. Once your noodles and ground beef are ready, you'll want to place your taco bowls on a baking sheet.  Fill each bowl with drained noodles and top with ground beef,CLASSICO® spaghetti sauce, and shredded cheese. This is seriously one of ... [ Read More ]

6 Reasons Why Tweens With Braces are Just Like Toddlers!

Tweens With Braces are Like Toddlers

Tweens!  Now that my oldest is twelve we're entering stages of parenting that I've never experienced before.  Tweens are already a mess with all that puberty stuff and just as much fun as our own emotional pregnant and PMSing selves.  I have a feeling that parenting through this stuff is going to be a lot like parenting a toddler.  This week we added braces to our lives (his teeth, not mine) and it's been....hilarious!! Here's a video I took of him of the first day after getting braces....oh how quickly the joy and excitement wore off!   1. Do teething drops work for braces? I'm not one to medicate my child, but braces do hurt.  I remember them from when I was his age and they hurt for a while, and again every time you get them tightened. He only relied on the pain reliever for the first few days and I think he's finally getting use to the feeling of his braces. 2. Buy a splatter shield for all the spit!  There is so much spit coming from their mouth.  He hasn't ... [ Read More ]

Floridians add what to their coffee??

Seattles Best Orange Coffee

It doesn't matter how hot it gets in Florida, it's never too hot for coffee.  I didn't start drinking coffee until after my second child was born and now I don't usually miss a day.  There is something about the smell of that pot of coffee brewing in the morning to really kickstart my morning.  A few months ago I finally ditched my K-cups and fell in love with my french press.  If you aren't using a french press yet, you may enjoy this quick tutorial on how to get started (French Press 101).  All it takes is some boiling water and coffee.  Here in Florida though, we add a little bit of orange zest in the springtime to add a little sunshine to your coffee. Seattle's Best Orange Coffee Recipe 2 TBS Breakfast Blend Seattle's Best coffee 1/2 TBS Orange Zest 12oz filtered water Milk or half&half to taste Sugar or sweetener to taste If you're using a french press, add coffee grounds and orange zest directly to your press.  Add boiling water, cover, and sit for 4 ... [ Read More ]

Parenting Isn’t Always Easy, Neither is Marriage

#CreatingConnections

Sponsored post. Tonight I'm wiping up the tears and putting on my game face for the next seven weeks.  Last week my husband got a job offer that will require him to be out of town for the next seven weeks to train for the new position; leaving me to hold down the fort at home.  I'd like to say that I'm excited about this new job, but in reality I'm scared. His new job will require him to travel...a lot! Earlier in our marriage, I was the one who had to travel upwards of 60 days out of the year.  I look back at those years and wonder how it was so easy for him.  I don't ever remember him complaining that I had to leave, or worrying about getting our toddler off to school AND make it to work on time.  He just....managed.  Part of me really enjoyed traveling and getting to see new parts of the country; but the reality was I spent most of my time alone in airports and hotels. Right now we share most of the joys of parenting.  He's able to help get the kids to and from ... [ Read More ]

Working through mom guilt…

CellPhone1

It happened, my six year old told me something brutally honest this morning. "Mommy, put your phone down! You're always playing on it. Won't you play with me instead."   (silence - let that soak in)   ...I immediately set the phone down and finished helping her get ready for school.  I made a conscious effort to not pick up my phone for the rest of the morning.  I dropped the kids off at school, came home and went to work, but those words stuck with me ALL day! Am I really on my phone THAT much? Clearly, if a six year old thinks I'm on my phone too much then it's got to be true. Here's the thing though, I have made an effort for the past year to be more present in my kids lives.  Not that I'm a absent mom (absent minded maybe, but not absent), but it's so easy to focus too much effort on the wrong things.  I've made an effort to leave my phone on my desk when the kids are home from school in the afternoon, during dinner, and while they get ready for bed. ... [ Read More ]