My Top 3 Instagram Boutiques!

Well Hi friends!! It has been MONTHS!!

Life has been insanely busy, and it is time to get back to this blog!

For those who know me, I am an Instagram shop LOVER!! I LOVE, LOVE supporting small shops, especially ones that are handmade items, made in the US, great quality and are super fun to rock for both my family and I. Well, lets be real…myself and Lilly..HA!

Here we go…

My TOP 3 Instagram Shops:

  1. https://roolee.com/ is legit the CUTEST shop ever!! I actually have a few sweaters and a couple nursing dresses from them that I consistently get compliments on at school! The nursing dresses I have to say can be worn post! They have a zipper on each side of the top and it hides!! I still wear them to school during the fall and winter months! My all time favorite top from them is pictured here and I wear this to  school a lot! roolee2 I didn’t want to put all my winter clothing from them up here since its summer…but I can tell you, their styles and prices are a MUST!! So go and check them out!! They are constantly having weekly deals on their Instagram, and their sale page on their site is ongoing!!
  2. https://remiegirl.com/ is my FAVORITE site to shop for Lilly girl!! Her Remie collection sure is growing!! These clothes guys….for real!! They are SO SOFT and the BEST material!! I honestly have gotten most of her Remie collection from their online sales!! As a matter of fact, they were having their weekly Thursday Summer sale yesterday and I yet again, snagged a super cute mustard dress!! Please go and give this site a look for ALL the cutest girl dresses with pockets ( YUP, I said pockets….the lower left picture, the dress on Lilly has front pockets), leotards, skirts and rompers!!

    3. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplyBibsCo!!!!!!! You guys, these are the freaking cutest, easiest to clean, and most durable bibs EVER!!!!! We ONLY use these bibs with Lilly….they are handmade by the amazing shop owner Samantha and her hubby! Legit, in her basement I think. They work their BUTTS off!! They come in the cutest colors, different patterns and styles for infants, toddlers, older kiddos! and Lilly cannot take off the snap in the back! They are so dang easy to wipe off food and I just hang them right on Lilly’s toddler chair!! Easy peasy!!

 

Well my friends, there you have it!! My top three Instagram shops to follow and support!! What are you waiting for? Go and follow them!!

Let me know in the comments what you guys think!! Happy Shopping!

XoXo

Sarah

Family Update and My Top 3 School Vacation Ideas!

Well Hi GUYS!!! It has been a really LONG time since my last blog post! Since at least the New Year! But life gets crazy as a momma and teacher! SO, here is a quick UPDATE on our crazy family life RIGHT NOW!

First off, we have moved in with my in-laws since January 21 of this year because we are UPGRADING our current house!!!! WOO HOO!! So we are about a month and two weeks into construction and it is moving along!!! We are so so excited!!! We are adding a second floor addition to our one story ranch house with three bedrooms and a bathroom! I will keep you all updated on our progress and my plan is to do some blog posts when the house is DONE! Like old and new photos!!!

Second family update! As you all know, I am a full-time teacher at our local elementary school and recently decided to go back to school to further my education and right now I am currently enrolled in online classes for special education!! I don’t want to boar you guys, but it is A HUGE step and an INTENSE program, but I am moving along and currently five weeks in and hanging in, HA! It is so tough being a full-time working momma, and taking an online course! But I want this not only for myself, but for my family too! Ill keep you guys updated on that!

Alright, let’s get down to business!! This past week was our Massachusetts winter school vacation week and we SO NEEDED it! It is very tough in the winter months having to stay inside some days at school when it is either bad weather, or just really COLD. Today was one of those days where the wind chill was just too much and we had to keep the kiddos in. So school vacations are just a really nice way to have a break in the school year for all!

I wanted to give you guys some fun ideas for you and your little’s to do while on school vacation! Whether you go away somewhere tropical, or just stay home and local. It is always fun and smart to have a few ideas planned so no one goes crazy! Brendon had to of course work, but Lilly, Heidi girl and I stayed busy!

  1. Nature walks and local hikes! Its so nice to get out and explore the beauty of mother nature! I took the pup and Lilly for a fun walk in the woods where we still had some pretty white snow! It was sunny and not too cold, warm enough that we didn’t get too much of a yucky chill! I like to put Lilly in my hiking carrier and let the pup run around! So get outside and enjoy the fresh air!! She actually fell asleep in the carrier on our way out of the woods!

2. Explore a fun children’s museum! This past Christmas, we got a local museum membership, that allows us half off prices at some museums throughout the country! SO COOL! So I took Lilly to this fun museum in NH that is so great for ALL ages!!! There is just so much for her to do and has a great spot for sitting down to eat lunch. Everything from fine motor skills, to sensory, learning her colors, shapes, imaginary play and so much more! She just loves it! Check this place out if you are ever in NH! I think her favorite part was playing in the sand table! https://www.childrens-museum.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6YWpkPLa4AIVWYezCh3MJAopEAAYASAAEgJUCfD_BwE

3. Read, Read and more Reading!! As a teacher, my girl can NEVER have enough books!!! They are just the absolute best educational tool that you can give to your children! It also promotes their language development! Lilly has books in both her playroom and her bedroom and at this stage now in toddler hood, I am catching her opening a book and reading it to herself in her own words! SO much FUN!!! Just let your kiddos explore the pictures and make up their own story!

lillyfrenchbraid

OK guys! That is all I have for now! Any fun ideas you guys have for school vacation week?

I would love to hear them in the comments below!!

XoXo

Sarah

Christmas Traditions!

Happy New Year Friends!! I hope you ALL had a festive Christmas and a fun New Year with your loved ones! While I am excited for a brand new year, I am sad to see the excitement of being around family for the holidays and enjoying the fun that comes along with family traditions come to an end for the year!

This winter break, I took time to stay at home with Heidi girl and Lilly and really enjoy just not working…HA! We were able to get together with friends and family and just keep each other company during the busy school vacation week! So I thought I would hop on here since it has been a while and share some of my favorite family traditions for Christmas. One of them has been in a tradition in our family for over 20 years!!

What traditions do you and your family celebrate? How old are your holiday traditions?

So our 20 year tradition started out with the celebration of my sisters birthday which is on December 20th (she turned 30 this year!!!). Since she was a little girl , my mom would invite her two close college girl friends over with their little ones every Christmas Eve to our house where we celebrate my sisters birthday with cake, ice cream, Christmas presents for all the kids and of course, birthday presents for my sister! A simply fun, festive, celebration us kiddos look forward to every year!

Each year we have continued this tradition on Christmas Eve and of course, each year as we get older, we grow and now some of us have our own families! The past two years, my sister and her boyfriend have taken the lead and hosted this family tradition at their beautiful home. I also invited my best friend and her family over this year, as well as my cousin and his lovely girlfriend as well! The more the merrier!

We have food to indulge in, fun activities to keep us entertained and keep us all away from our phones and just overall have great conversations about the year to keep us all busy and enjoying one another!  Over the past few years, we have created Gingerbread houses for a family contest, and adopted a couple fun gift exchanges! In the past years we have done a Yankee Swap, but this year we did a Sock Exchange! Everyone buys a pair of festive holiday socks, fills each one with fun goodies and we exchange the socks! We also played a new game this year where we rolled up a bunch of scratch tickets, money, candies, gift cards, and random little gifts, into a huge ball made of Saran Wrap.

We have someone roll the dice and the other person has to wear oven mittens and try their best to unravel the wrap to reveal the goodies. The person who has the dice, has to roll doubles in order to stop the roller! You pass the ball around until it gets to the very end! and the final person won MONEY!!!! This game is SO MUCH FUN!!! We were all just laughing so hard and overall having a GREAT time. I highly recommend this game at your next party!

We stay over my sisters house for Christmas eve night and wake up Christmas morning for more fun with my family, parents, sister and her boyfriend Luke! We waited patiently for Santa! Since becoming a mom, Christmas is just so much more fun watching Lilly girl opening her gifts and getting excited for Santa to arrive! The look on her face when she sees a special gift of a puzzle, books, animals and of course her favorite friend, ELMO!! HA!

Family traditions are so important to my family, especially when it is over 20 years old !!! A tradition we look forward to growing bigger each year with adding more family to our celebrations, more laughter to listen to, more smiles to see, more fun to create and just enjoying the gift of each other!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Cheers to welcoming 2019!!!

 

XoXo

Sarah

 

Thanksgiving Art!

Happy Thanksgiving Weeks guys! I had my last Art and Sensory class for the fall semester and we finished up our class with a cute, fun and creative Thanksgiving themed art project! As you can see in this post, we made paper Indian Corn decor! So, so cute!!

Having themed projects is really fun, but also a great way to keep myself organized with what projects I want to introduce to my young students. I feel that it is also a great way to get them excited about the holidays around this time of the year!

I also try very hard to not by too many supplies for this class too! Meaning that I really gather up materials that can be recycled and used multiple times and for many different purposes when it comes to creativity. With this particular project, I gave them the option to either use a q-tip, or their fingers to make the paint prints. Q-tips are such an inexpensive item to get and can be used for so many different purposes, and art is one of them! And of course, paper and paint is just always a staple with any art project! I also had some left over Red, White and Blue ribbon that I cut up and attached to their corn to be hung at home!

Materials needed-

  1. Plain paper (In this case I used both plain and yellow paper since I did not have enough plain paper).
  2. Paint (I used the colors I had left and my students were awesome and making their own colors-hence the brown for fall!).
  3. Q-tips.
  4. Ribbon ( Can be found at your local Dollar Store).
  5. Pencils and scissors.
  6. Newspaper.

Again, super fun, easy, inexpensive and creative for this Thanksgiving week! What are your favorite projects for the holidays?

XoXo

Sarah

Corn Painting for Kids!

Hi Guys! I wanted to blog quickly about a fun project I did with my after school kiddos a couple weeks ago! We painted with corn on the Cobb and they LOVED it!!! I asked them if they had ever painted with Corn before and they just looked at me like I was crazy, but they were super excited at the same time! This is also a great little project for this week since Thanksgiving is on Thursday!

Materials you need:

  1. I used 4 large Corn on the cobbs from the store.
  2. Washable kids paint (I used Crayola brand and about 3-4 colors). https://www.amazon.com/Crayola-8-Ounce-Primary-Washable-Fingerpaint/dp/B00M4YUJHO/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1542577576&sr=8-15&keywords=crayola+kids+paint+3+count
  3. A few sponge brushes to help the kiddos get more paint coverage onto their corn. https://www.amazon.com/ALEX-Toys-Artist-Colorful-Brushes/dp/B00IGXUTR2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1542577708&sr=8-7&keywords=kids+paint+sponge+brushes
  4. Large plain white paper.

I get most of these materials at my local Dollar Tree store. But I will link a few sites here in case you cannot find these. Again, this is a super inexpensive art project and just SO FUN!!!

Here are more fun action shots of my students just having a ball with this project!

 

Comment below if you guys have any fun Thanksgiving projects you like to do at home with your kiddos!

XoXo

Sarah

 

Parents’ Weekend Getaway to the Mountains!

Hey Guys! It has been quite a while since I have blogged! We have been super busy with life and work! But I am back and have some great things to share with you this week, including great advice for parents who just need a weekend break!

Twice a year we take a weekend getaway with two of our close friends up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and stay in a town called North Conway, New Hampshire http://www.northconwayvillage.net/. It is a great little town with small family owned shops, local brewery’s, small family owned coffee shops and so many trails for hiking of any terrain. It is nestled right in between the mountains, with two great family ski resorts and a beautiful old fashioned train (we have yet to ride since the hubby’s never want to..HA)! North Conway just has so much to offer year round and is perfect for all ages! We stay in the local Inn of North Conway since we own a condo with them and it has an indoor pool with a Jacuzzi and an outdoor Jacuzzi as well! So relaxing and just perfect after hiking all day!

The year I had Lilly in early spring of last year, we decided not to go since I had obviously just had a baby and it was too much to go away with breastfeeding, packing everything up that a baby needs, sleepless nights for the grandparents and so on! But the following fall (last year) we realized that we just needed to take a break and get away and understand that IT IS OK TO GET A LITTLE BREAK as a parent! For any parent, whether you are parenting together or a single parent, it is so healthy to take a day or two or maybe even three and just reset your brain with friends or even just yourself! This was the number one advice so many friends (parent or not) gave to me last year that was so hard for me to understand. Why the heck would I leave my baby for a night? TWO? That is just so crazy to me! So I let go of my fear and went on our yearly trip since I missed it so much and my goodness it was a BLAST and just refreshing!!!!! The best advice EVER given to me as a parent! IT IS OK to take a little time to reconnect with your spouse and have some social adult time! I totally understand that not everyone has family and friends around them and it may be very hard to trust people with your little ones, but if you can find that trust with family or close friends, please, please take it!

SO fast forward to this past weekend, and our yearly tradition to North Conway continues!!! I call it, my happy place! It is just pure beauty! The four of us parents (our friends also have two girls who are both in middle school) let loose in New Hampshire! We always hike, eat and drink at the local breweries and shop, shop and more shopping!!! We slept in a little, ate at restaurants without any disruptions and of course, went to bed early…HA!  So here are some AMAZING photos we took from our hike up South Moat Mountain! This hike was 2.7 miles one way and just pure clear skies all day! We were so lucky for this day!

northconway5

To check out South Moat Mountain details, click on this link here. To check out any trails for hiking in New Hampshire, please use this website! Great detailed information for most up to date trails of New Hampshire!  https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/whitemountain/recarea/?recid=74941

As you can see, we were both so excited to reach the top and conquer this trail! Though it was a shorter hike then most of ones we have gone on, there was plenty of snow, ice and LOTS of wet leaves for us to navigate on this trail, making it very difficult at some parts of the trail! But we were happy mommas! Oh, and my amazing coat is listed here..https://www.rei.com/product/110709/arcteryx-beta-sl-hybrid-jacket-womens! Arcteryx coats are specifically designed to block out wind and both my husband and I ski in them as well! Just wear an under layer such as a thick Patagonia https://www.patagonia.com/product/womens-better-sweater-quarter-zip-fleece/190696226744.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=shopping&utm_campaign=shopping&CAWELAID=120226140000397200&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=shopping%20ad&utm_campaign=Shopping%20-%20%20W%27s%20Sportswear&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuan1h4fT3gIVUODICh1mdAPuEAQYAiABEgL3nPD_BwE (I am wearing underneath my Arcteryx) or a inner base to a winter coat!

 

OK my friends, so remember, taking a parents trip with your spouse or friends for a day or two is just overall so good for not only yourself, but your little ones too! The best advice ever given to me!

What is the best advice you were given as a new parent? and what trips have you taken without your kiddos?

 

XoXo

Sarah

 

Pumpkins, Seeds, and Ghosts Oh My!

Hey Guys! Happy Halloween Week! Eeekkk! Halloween is so much fun in so many ways! Dressing up in silly, scary, creative costumes is just so fun to me, along with CANDY of course!!! I just love carving pumpkins and seeing them lit at night! Its just a fun fall activity for the whole family to enjoy!

This Monday afternoon was another Art and Sensory class for my kiddos at school! I always LOVE to bring in a real pumpkin for them to explore as our sensory project and of course, bring a fun themed art project too! I pre-cut the top section of the pumpkin before bringing it into school and I brought along two large spoons from my house and made sure each kiddo had a turn scooping out the slime and seeds of the inside of the pumpkin! I have 10 students in my class, so giving them each 1-2 minutes was enough! Then I took control and cleaned out the rest! I did let them explore the seeds too! They just LOVED it! Lots of giggles and oohhhs and aahhhs over the slime and seeds! We also talked about the 5 senses of the slime and pumpkin seeds (except for taste of course)! Their responses were so cute…its “cold, slimy, gooey and the pumpkin STINKS”..HA!

In my class I always have a themed art project and I found this super cute spiral ghost online from OneCreativeMommy.com! So, so, cute and a great way to bring in their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination! You just need wide construction paper, scissors and markers!

Step 1: Pick a corner of the paper and draw a big spiral head and then a smaller spiral tail to follow! I actually drew the spirals for each of them in with a pink marker pictured above because it was a little confusing to draw!

Step 2: Have them cut along the lines that either they draw or you draw for them!

Step 3: Once they are done cutting, have them color in their scary ghost face! Here is a reference I found helpful from the site online! Thanks again OneCreativeMommy.com! This idea was such a hit! I love when other momma’s share their ideas to help another momma out!!!ghost

And of course, we cant forget about Lilly girl exploring her first pumpkin this year! Though she was not in my Art and Sensory class today, we explored our pumpkin later in the week last week! She really was not into the slime! But she did touch it a bit, HA!

lillypumpkin.jpg

Have you explored any pumpkin carving with your kiddos this past weekend or month?! What are your favorite pumpkin carving ideas? Do you like a scary pumpkin or are you a traditional pumpkin face kind of family? I would love to know in the comments below!!!

Have a great week everyone and a HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!!

XoXo

Sarah