Fun, Affordable, Summer Toddler and pup friendly activities!

Hi Friends!

I do not know about you, but I am constantly trying to look for NEW ideas on how to get out of the house and do something fun for both the toddler and pup, BUT lets be honest, when money is tight, what can you do?

I keep reminding myself that I DO NOT have to spend tons of money whenever I take Lilly out and I often want to take Heidi too if the weather is not super hot. It is so fun to go out and do busy, exciting, hands on activities, but they should not cost an arm and a leg..HA!

  1. Nature walk! It can be somewhere local, or farther out….Totally up to you! It can often be tough to find a state park or local conservatory that allows dogs in the summer months, BUT that is key with my Heidi girl. I sound crazy, but I love driving around some days and I found a great little nature walk for Heidi to enjoy! We heard the birds chirping, the wind blowing and the leaves swaying as we walked (well Lilly wanted to be held most of the way) and it was shady with the trees all around us! We at least got out, enjoyed the fresh air and some exercise!

2. Beach it! When you live on the water, you gotta get out in that ocean! Find free side street parking, bring your lunches from home and head on out! We LOVE our local beaches. This beach pictured, is one in which we boat too! The water is super shallow at low tide, so it creates a sandbar! SO FUN!! Lilly’s adorable Beach Bum hat is from https://gromsquadusa.com/!!

3. Outside at home water play! Lets be real, some days I just want t be lazy at home! But entertaining Lilly can be hard! My mom bought her this super cute mushroom pool for the yard, while I also have her water table out! Put some mini colored pom poms in and you have a great toddler activity!! Oh, and the bubble bottle is from my MIL..she was having too much from with that!! The pom poms I got from the dollar store, SCORE! This exact water table is available here https://www.amazon.com/Little-Tikes-Spiralin-Waterpark-Table/dp/B004INDQWY/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=water+table&qid=1564370444&s=gateway&sr=8-3 and Lilly’s bubble blaster bottle is linked here https://www.amazon.com/ArtCreativity-Purple-Blaster-Bottles-Solution/dp/B072LXDSQW/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=bubble+gun&qid=1564370578&s=gateway&sr=8-8

4. Playgrounds! So our town of Rockport just built a brand new playground in their local park and it is super cute! My husband also grew up playing in this park and though the playground is brand new to us, it is still SO FUN to watch her enjoy a place where her dadda grew up!! We can also walk to the local coffee shop, our favorite beach and bathrooms are right there too!  rockportplaygrounf

5. Farm fun! Most all the farms in our area that have animals, do not charge a walk on fee…which is absolutely fantastic!! This farm that we happened to visit this day is actually in my hometown of Amesbury and is famous for their Cider donuts! https://www.ciderhill.com/ is my top favorite farm to visit growing up and I love taking my daughter! We took a short trip this past week home to do some errands (my parents live about 10-15 minutes from Cider Hill) and visited the chickens, goats, shared some donuts of course and had a little fun on this tire swing! Lilly also was nt afraid to feed the chickens!

6. Local Band Night in Town! Our small town of Rockport has a local Music at the Beach most every Monday night in the summer. SO. MUCH. FUN!! I personally love this night because I get to run into some of my students and see how they are enjoying their summer, co-workers and family friends! It is just a great night to also watch Lilly dance and interact with other kiddos, while listening to great local artists! Our Legion hall members sell popcorn and hot dogs for $1 each!!!!!! So cheap…It is just a fun, family night of summer time music! I spy a https://remiegirl.com/ leotard on this babe..wink wink!!musicatthebeach

Well friends, there you have it!! No need to go crazy and spend money at every place you go! Plenty to do locally, and far at such a low cost!! It is also great to ask around too!!

Where have you and your little’s gone this summer so far?

XoXo

Sarah

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