Monthly Crafting Book for December – Flip and Flop Penguins Craft

 

Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.

This month for the Monthly Crafting Book for December I decided to focus on the book Flip and Flop by Dawn Apperley.  I have a two-year-old and a three-and-a-half-year-old and they identify perfectly with the characters in the book. Both my kids are sick right now so I needed an easy craft, one that both kids would enjoy and could do on their own.

Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.

Materials Needed:

  • Po enjoying making some penguin craftsConstruction paper in various colours: blue/purple/penguin colour, white, orange, yellow
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Glue

How to Assemble:

  • Before you gather the kids cut out a large penguin oval (I used half a paper) for the penguin body.  I picked blue (like one of the characters), but didn’t have purple so I used pink (to my daughters delight), you can use whichever colour you want or stick to Flip and Flop’s character colours.
  • Cut out a circle for the head in the same colour as the body.
  • Next, cut out a white oval, smaller than the body, for the tummy.
  • Grab the orange paper and cut out two orange feet per penguin.
  • Lastly cut a yellow beak.
  • Bee loving making her penguin craftsNow the fun part starts, gather the kids for gluing!  I gave them the pieces one at a time, body, then tummy, then head, then feet, then beak, and let the kids glue them on independently.  Then I had them draw eyes on their penguin.  My daughter’s looked more like eyes than my sons 🙂  But both kids were thrilled with their final product.

What is the Monthly Crafting Book Club?

Have you heard of the Monthly Crafting Book Club?  Have you seen any of our past posts?  I am a big advocate for children’s literacy and encouraging kids to read. I think that by incorporating a fun craft with the book it encourages a deeper love of reading and enjoyment of the book.  Every month a group of bloggers get together, whoever feels like participating that month and do a craft based on a specific book or theme.  It’s lots of fun and I get great ideas on activities to do with my own kids!  If you want to join our Facebook group, click HERE and you can check out other books, no obligation to participate each month.

 

Check out some of our past month’s book’s here.

January – Barnyard Dance

February – If You Give A Moose A Muffin

March – ABC’s

April – Piggy in the Puddle

May – Five Little Monkeys

June – A Camping-related book

August – A Back to School-related book

September – It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse

October – Have You Seen My Monster

November – Georgie the Gingerbread Fairy Wand Craft

 

Next month we are doing the Ladybug Girl series by David Soman, a personal favourite of my daughters! February is Giraffe’s Can’t Dance.

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Monthly Crafting Book Club for December

I love how creative everyone is in coming up with other fun crafts, I cannot wait to check them out too!

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for December - Winter themed books & crafts from awesome bloggers

 

Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.


Thank you so much to everyone for participating and I hope you got some great ideas on Winter themed books and crafts.

Get some great ideas on #winter themed books & crafts at Decembers #monthlycraftingbookclub Click To Tweet

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Flip and Flop Penguins Craft - Time for December's edition of the Monthly Crafting Book Club, winter themed books from bloggers.  I am covering Flip and Flop, check out the book and craft.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Essential Oil Lover

Holiday Gift Guide for the Essential Oil Lover is perfect for many people on your shopping list.  Essential oils are amazing and have so many benefits.

 

Do you have someone in your life who is into holistic healing or a more natural approach?  Are pagan, hippy, or just like aromatherapy?  This Holiday Gift Guide for the Essential Oil Lover is for you then!  Essential oils are amazing.  They can help so much, for improving your mood, helping with depression, anxiety, sleep issues, colds, flus, and much more.  Here are some gifts the essential oil lover in your life is sure to get some use out of.

#holidaygiftguide for the #essentialoil lover is sure to please many people on your list! Click To Tweet

Holiday Gift Guide for the Essential Oil Lover is perfect for many people on your shopping list.  Essential oils are amazing and have so many benefits.

A Diffuser

a-diffuser

You can never have too many diffusers, one for every room in the house in a lot of people’s opinions!  There are a lot of different types and styles, but it’s a gift, so go nuts and have fun choosing one you think they would love.

 

Diffusing jewelry

diffusing-jewelry

Beautiful bracelets with natural stones, pendants to wear as necklaces, there are lots of options to get beautiful pieces to wear on the go and still get the benefits of essential oils (or EO’s).

 

Essential Oils storage bag

essential-oils-storage-bag

A pretty bag or case to carry all their EO’s in.  A way to keep them organized and visible.  This is my personal favourite one HERE, I like to be able to see each one so it is easy to grab and go and helps to prevent mix-ups when you have a few bottles that look alike.

 

More Essential Oils!

more-essential-oils

Whether it is a new blend they may need, their favourite oil that you know they go through often, or a fun new one to try out, you always need more oils!

 

Tools to help them make things with their own EO’s:

tools-to-help-them-make-things-with-their-own-eos

  • Empty roller bottles
  • Lip gloss containers
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Beeswax
  • Glass spray bottles
  • Carrier oils such as grapeseed oil, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.

 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Essential Oil Lover is perfect for many people on your shopping list.  Essential oils are amazing and have so many benefits.

 

I am not affiliated with any of these company’s, just showing examples of products I like and would recommend.  If you want ideas on brands comment below and I can tell you my favourites.

 

What would you give to an Essential Oil lover?  What is you favourite EO or the one you want to receive as a gift?

 

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Banana Avocado Muffins

Banana Avocado uffins - Try making these Banana Avocado Muffins with your little ones. Easy to make and tasty! Perfect for a school snack and easy to make nut & dairy free.

Time for another easy muffin recipe.  Banana Avocado Muffins are a favourite in my house.  My daughter is in a cooperative nursery school and we all take turns doing snack, it usually works out to once or twice a month, but to accommodate allergies it has to be nut-free and dairy-free, so I have to be creative sometimes to come up with a snack for 15 kids that still accommodates this.  This is one of my go-to muffin recipes.  Super easy to make, my kids love to help me, and the kids at school eat it.  Plus *shhhh don’t tell them* its not all that bad for them and they are eating healthy things like avocado too!

Need a #healthysnack? Try these easy to make muffins! Click To Tweet

How to make Banana Avocado Muffins

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Banana Avocado Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1-2 ripe avocados
  • ½ c of coconut oil or butter softened or melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1½ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c chocolate chips (or other filling if dairy-free) *OPTIONAL*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and get kids to put muffin liners in the muffin tin while you get out the ingredients. Grease muffin liners if using.
  2. Combine bananas and avocado in mixer and blend together thoroughly until there are no lumps. Add in coconut oil/butter and egg then blend it up. While that is mixing get kids to help you combine the rest of the dry ingredients in another bowl except the filling. Blend it up and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix that up again and then add ½ c of your favourite filling (we used mini chocolate chips) if you want. You can also leave it as is.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your muffin tin (maybe without kids help!) and bake for 20 minutes in a big muffin tin or closer to 15 minutes in a mini muffin tin!

Banana Avocado uffins - Try making these Banana Avocado Muffins with your little ones. Easy to make and tasty! Perfect for a school snack and easy to make nut & dairy free.

Getting kids involved in the kitchen

Personally, I am a big fan of getting kids to help you when you do things in the kitchen, especially baking.  My daughter at three-and-a-half is very good at helping, I tell her to measure out half a cup of coconut oil and she can do it unaided.  But my son at not-quite-two needs a lot more guidance.  He can help peel the bananas, break eggs (on the table when you aren’t looking!), and practice his scooping and pouring with the flour.  I have not baked with my son in over a month and I was amazed how good he was, he had no problem sticking out the silicone muffin wrappers in the tin, for the first time ever on his own.

When you bake with your kids regularly it is surprising how their skills develop, you see what areas they are learning in and where they need more help and guidance, my kids surprise me each time at what they can do un-aided.  Yes it is more work, yes it is messier than doing it alone, BUT look at it like an activity you do with your kids.  Carve the time out to spend with them (when you can) and teach them about measuring, numbers, counting (we need three cups of flour, lets count as we put them in), and ingredients.   They learn so much and take such pride in helping!  You can be sure daughter will be proudly telling her class today how she helped to make them!

Get your kids in the kitchen! Teach them to bake, a learning activity & fun Click To Tweet

Life lessons learned

A hard lesson in baking, patience, one my son has not mastered yet.  He wants to eat the muffins NOW, not in 20 minutes, and cries as he waits, getting him to watch through the door helps, but this is a hard lesson that is good for him to learn now too!

What is your favourite way to involve your kids in baking?

Banana Avocado Muffins - Try making these Banana Avocado Muffins with your little ones. Easy to make and tasty! Perfect for a school snack and easy to make nut & dairy free.

 

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Getting your Freedom Back as a Mom

Getting Your freedom back as a mom - ig

This past week I had the amazing experience to go camping with my two wonderful children (3 and 1.5 years old), my sister, friends, and other acquaintances at an awesome festival we visit each year.  It is an amazing experience, the only place I go where I can really feel the “village” still has an effect.  Everyone helps to look after each other’s kids (even the child-less adults are moms for the week), we don’t wear shoes and get to run wild in nature hearing bands, attending workshops,  doing crafts at Munchkinland for the kids, swimming daily, and playing at the park.

I have been attending this festival every year for about eight or nine years.  I did it last year with a 2 year old and seven month old baby, and honestly it was hell.  Trying to juggle the two of them (even with help) was awful.  I was an emotional wreak and broke down more than once.  Trying to get the two of them to cooperate for naps and bedtime was just awful, after last year where it was seriously challenging and hard I knew no matter what this year could not be as bad!

This year was a JOY!  My children were amazing!  My daughter was at the age where she could be independent and play on her own while I put her brother down for a nap.  My son LOVED exploring nature and had a blast studying plants and wandering around enjoying his freedom.  They visited friends at neighbouring campsites and I didn’t even have to worry as it was only 10 feet away!

Last year I felt so tied down, I couldn’t attend any workshops, go to any of the nightlife activity since I had to be at the tent with the kids, and my emotions were so raw from trying to juggle a baby and a cranky toddler.  I was thrilled with how different this year was.  Yes they are still children and have their moments, but it was great to see everyone playing nicely (for the most part!) together, both kids had friends their age there from some of my BFF’s so we had two 3-year-olds, 2 1.5-year-olds and other kids around those ages who popped in and out regularly to play.  That combined with the five adults to look after them and back each other up was great.

13872712_10155161292169478_4642200756022411313_nAlthough I still couldn’t make it to any workshops or nightlife this year, I didn’t mind as much, I still got to leave the site with the kids and check out the vendors, and the swimming, that is what gave me my freedom back.  Moms, have you heard of a PUDDLE JUMPER??  It is a LIFESAVER!  I used to have to hold my kids in the water, neither are big enough to swim on their own, then we discovered the puddle jumper, and my life has changed forever.

 

I always loved to swim, I was a fish and loved to be underwater all the time, with kids, you can’t really do that, I was really limited since I am always with my kids, and although I still loved swimming and went in the water, I mostly stayed at waist height playing with the kids.

You give up so much as a mom, get your #freedomback! Click To Tweet

13659164_10155161293509478_3227132755319959401_nFast forward back to the camping festival, with both kids in puddle jumpers, I got to SWIM!!  We swam out to the floating dock every day, my kids love to swim and I was thrilled they would go on an adventure with me to the floating dock.  In case you are panicking, there was at least one adult per kid and we were always close to the kids swimming, even in their pudde jumpers.  Once at the floating dock we all climbed on board, my daughter was content to sit on the dock and count for people jumping off, but my son (18 month old) LOVED to jump off the floating dock, sometimes into my arms sometimes nowhere near me.  It was amazing.  I loved to see my kids have so much fun and for me, I got a little freedom back this week.  It may not seem like much, but to someone who loves swimming (and doing anything really on yor own) once you have kids, you realize you have to give up stuff you never even considered before (like going swimming underwater with no child in your arms).  If there is a way to give you back some of your freedom easily, then go for it!

For me it was a simple puddle jumper (you can buy it at Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, Amazon, or we got one free from our local buy nothing group) that helped me get some freedom back.  Now my kids could swim WITH me instead of on me, so we were all comfortable going deeper and could do so safely.

Maybe next year I will make it to a workshop, maybe I will get to swim to the dock alone, maybe I can hit up a concert or fire pit and dancing or other night life, for now I am content to be near my kids and satisfied they are safe and happy, but when they are ready for more independence I cannot wait to get back some of mine!

 

What is one thing you didn’t expect you would have to give up when you became a parent.  Comment below!

Please do not forget to share this post with others!

Getting Your freedom back as a mom - pt

 

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Five Little Monkeys Craft & Activity – Monthly Crafting Book Club for May

Five Little Monkeys Craft & Activity - We  celebrating Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed with an easy to make craft and activity to go with it to encourage your children to read.

For this month we decided to focus on Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, a personal favourite of my children.  I really wanted a craft activity where they could make the monkeys jump, originally I thought of popsicle sticks, but according to Pinterest everyone else agrees too, apparently.

 

Materials Needed:

  • Small box
  • Construction paper in a few colours
  • Scissors, glue, tape, markers
  • 5 monkey toys, puzzle pieces, game pieces, etc.

Instructions

  • Choose a colour of construction paper and tape it all around the box so it is covered.  This job is for the adult or older child.
  • Cut out a paper to be the “bed” and two little pillows.
  • Have child help glue pillow on the bed then decorate them.
  • Glue the bed inside the box.
  • Optional, decorate the outside of the box.

Now for the fun part, read the book or sing the song and shake the box so the monkeys jump up and down, then remove a monkey at each verse and continue the song/story until all the monkeys are on the floor.

Five Little Monkeys Craft & Activity - We  celebrating Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed with an easy to make craft and activity to go with it to encourage your children to read.

Time to #dance and #shake with the #fivelittlemonkeys Click To Tweet

I loved doing this with my daughter, shaking things roughly is kind of a forte of a three year old so this is perfect for her.  I was startled when at the line “one fell off” she immediately took out a monkey and placed him on the floor unprompted.  I have caught her a few times doing in on her own she loved it so much.  She jumps up and down while shaking it so it is great exercise too.

Five Little Monkeys Craft & Activity - We  celebrating Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed with an easy to make craft and activity to go with it to encourage your children to read.

If you are a fan of the Five Little Monkey book Series by Eileen Christelow then check out this site for bonus sheets to print out for games, activities, and crafts.

Click To Tweet

Untitled design (3)

Please check out the awesome blogs below and their crazy Five Monkey crafts:

Five Friday Favourites #12 - Favourite New Kitchen Gadgets (1)

 

Feel-Better-Monkey-Kid-Craf

 

5 Little Monkeys Fold 'Em Up

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Five Little Monkeys Craft & Activity - We  celebrating Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed with an easy to make craft and activity to go with it to encourage your children to read.

Travelling Tula

The Travelling Tula - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

I am so lucky to have an amazing birth group with my son.  The women are all so supportive and have grown so close.  A bunch of us got together and each pitched in some money and bought a Tula soft-structured baby carrier together.

For the past year I have seen the posts and pictures as the Tula started off in British Columbia with the mama’s and babies there and slowly made its way across Canada.  Unfortunately for me I was the second last one to get the Tula but finally my time came!!  I proudly took the Tula to our local Animal Farm to carry my 16-month-old, shopping at an outdoor mall, and he napped in there a few times for grocery shopping.  It felt amazing each time I put it on.

This carrier was filled with so much love and I could honestly feel it while wearing it, the Tula went to 24 mama’s and baby’s, 6 provinces, and lots of events ad attractions across Canada: the worlds largest fly fishing rod in Houston, BC, a light up festival in Leithbridge for Christmas, Valley View farms in Ottawa, Bluewater Bridge  in Sarnia, watching older siblings practice at hockey rinks, tons of shopping trips, walks around local neighbourhoods, a Halloween costume party, and lots more.

Watching the #TravellingTula was an amazing experience & so much fun! Click To Tweet

If you have a birth group and are close I strongly recommend this.  We all signed a waiver on care and damage and each pitched in money, which covered the carrier itself and also helped cover the shipping costs between everyone.  We all voted on which design we wanted to get.  One mama was in charge of funds and we just sent her a copy of the receipt to be reimbursed each time it was shipped to the next mama,  we got the insurance each time for added protection.   We would get the Tula for two weeks then pass it on to the next mama.

One mama (who has her own business selling them) even made a matching chewlery accessory for the carrier so the babes could enjoy chewing as they snuggled.  My son liked to play with it so it did the trick.  It was super cute to have a little accessory to go with the carrier and help out all the poor little teething babies.

I will add, we did the draw this week and the Tula is on it’s way to it’s new forever home with a lucky mama (not me unfortunately!).  We decided to donate the money to a local shelter near our group’s treasurer to help with baby supplies.  There wasn’t much left but it was something!

Travelling Tula Mamas & Babies - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

If you are thinking about doing this with your birth group (or another group) I strongly recommend it.  I have some tips below to consider and discuss with your group to ensure you are all on the same page.

  • Decide on the type of carrier off the bat.
  • To figure out the cost decide on the carrier and find out the total cost of it (including tax and shipping).
  • Get confirmation from everyone who wants to participate.
  • Figure out shipping costs between everyone.
  • Assign or get a volunteer to handle  the funds.  This is a big responsibility as they collect it from everyone and also reimburse shipping costs as you go.
  • Get your total from shipping costs and the carrier and divide it by participants, that’s your magic number everyone has to pay.
  • Decide on a set of rules, do you wash it after each transfer, how do you wash it, no sick baby’s or food in carrier, no smoking by the carrier etc.  Pretty much ensure everyone has a good idea on etiquette around the carrier so no one has an asthma attack or gets sick from someone else’s germs.
  • Decide on how long everyone gets to keep the carrier for.
  • We didn’t do this, but I recommend writing up the rules and including it with the carrier, I blame my lack of sleep but I thought we got it for two weeks and not one and accidentally kept it longer than my turn 🙁  By the time I got it months and months later I had forgotten everything, and I am sure others would too so a quick guide to remind people is always a safe thing to do.
  • Decide what happens to the carrier at the end and the remaining money.  Having people know what they are signing up for is important.
  • Finally everyone can vote on their favourite carrier!!  This made it super fun as everyone got a say.  We chose a travel-style one (based on a voting process) which was perfect for the travelling Tula.

I have a Toddler Tula and a Becco Soleil so this was my first time using a standard Tula and I LOVED it.  It was a great chance to try out a different carrier, I am not in the market for a new carrier unfortunately, but if I was, I would get a Tula, I really liked it and it was super comfortable.

The Travelling Tula - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

It is so amazing to know that this carrier has been used by 24 women and babies in my birth group. I love cuddling my son in here and knowing this carrier is full of love from so many of my fellow mama’s loving and snuggling their babies in here too.  The Tula has had a fabulous journey across Canada and it was such a fun thing to do with my fellow birth group mom’s, seeing the places it went and the pictures taken.  A big thank you to a certain few from my group for all their hard work organizing this journey, you guys were awesome and made it a great experience!

DISCLAIMER:  None of this was my idea, the amazing ladies in my group came up with it and the rules and facilitated it, I am just sharing our journey as I thought it was so much fun and want to share it so others can have the same experience.

The Travelling Tula - What an amazing journey we had with the Travelling Tula! Check out our journey and tips on having a Travelling Tula in your group.

Would you ever consider doing something like this with your birth group or another group of friends?

The #travellingtula with my #birthgroup was so much fun #babywearing #tula Click To Tweet

Please share our journey to motivate other groups to do it too.  It is such an amazing experience I really want others to learn more about it so they can try it out too.

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Date Night Challenge #8 – Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt

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Date Night Challenge 8 - Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt - Time for #RFAKDateNightChallenge, easy dates you can do at home once the kids are in bed. Challenge hubby to a friendly competition!

Materials needed:

  • Glow in the dark sticks – I recommend the thick ones from the dollar store
  • A backyard, deck, or even just a basement or living room for the hunt.
  • Two wiling participants to have some fun and laugh together.
Join us for #RFAKDateNightChallenge, easy dates you can do at home! Click To Tweet

While hubby (or whoever you are with, wife, etc.) is at work crack the glow sticks in the late afternoon (they are usually good for 8-12 hours) and have your kids help you hide them in the backyard.  You could do it inside if you do not have a backyard.  With the nice weather we want to spend as much time outside as possible.  The kids go to bed early, but my son is frequently up by 10 for nursing, so now that it still gets dark early this is the perfect time of year to do this date.

I enlisted my three-year-olds help and she was only too enthusiastic to participate!  I suppose my one-year-old too but he was not as much help.  They were both so excited to run around the backyard hiding glow sticks, and it seemed more fair to me as I didn’t know the location of them all.  She knew it was a secret, but as soon as she saw daddy went right up to him and said “shhhh Daddy, I have a secret, mommy and I hid glow sticks, but don’t tell anyone”  oh boy, toddlers!!  Luckily my husband never guessed what it was for so I was still able to surprise him.

Enlist your kids help to hide the glow sticks!

When your partner gets home from work say you have a fun game to play, but you have to think of a prize first.  Come up with a bet/prize you want if you win.  For example, if my husband wins he gets to sleep in all weekend, if I win, I get to leave the house alone and go for a coffee, dishes, meals, cleaning, foot massages, be creative, but tell me in the comments below so I have new ideas to get WHEN I win too

When the kids are in bed and it is dark out, go outside and race around the backyard trying to find as many glow sticks as you can, more than your partner to win.  When you cannot see anymore glowing lights count them up and see who won!

My husband and I had a lot of fun.  It was super entertaining finding all the places the kids hid them.  Some were funny like in the tricycle and in the cozy coupe car, she even climbed her play structure to put some in the tree.  Under the chairs were more funny, my one year old just dropped them in their toy house.  We decided whoever got the most glow sticks would get three hours guilt-free outside of the house next weekend.  My amazing husband was a great sport, but he totally let me win!  I can’t wait to leave the house and be alone next weekend!

With the leftover glow sticks I left them in my kids rooms when they were asleep, my daughter thought it was hilarious in the morning and told me someone had left a glow stick trail in her room.  My son had something to distract him from his night time teething pain and screaming.

Date Night Challenge 8 - Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt - Time for #RFAKDateNightChallenge, easy dates you can do at home once the kids are in bed. Challenge hubby to a friendly competition!

Challenge your partner to a friendly competition in this Date Night Challenge Click To Tweet

Please try this out and tell me what bets you make and if you have any other fun additions to add.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #RFAKDateNightChallenge on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your awesome date nights too!

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Date Night Challenge 8 - Glow in the Dark Scavenger Hunt - Time for #RFAKDateNightChallenge, easy dates you can do at home once the kids are in bed. Challenge hubby to a friendly competition!

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9 Ways to get “me” time when you are never alone

Being a mom you rarely are alone, especially if you have small children.  My son is still on the boob so he is never far from my side.  I love having my children close and being able to spend all my time with them.  BUT, sometimes, I just want some space!  It is a joy and also a challenge being home with my kids, we are always so busy and rushed that I cannot ever fit in any “me” time, I’m lucky if I shower every two days let alone sit down to do something that makes me feel like “me” again.  It is important to get “me” time for exactly that reason, to remind you of what it is like to be you, that you are a person outside of your kids, husband, cook, cleaner, etc.

9 Ways to get me time when you are never alone - How do you get "me" time when you are never alone?  If you are always with kids it can be hard to find ways to de-stress and relax when they are around.

 

Here are some ways to get in “me” time while your kids are around.

I miss my body (1)

I am very lucky that one of my closest friends has walking coffee dates with my at Chapters whenever we meet up.  Chapters (a chain of book stores in case you have not heard of it) has a kids section and a Starbucks.  I bring a stroller to put all our stuff, we grab some coffee and head to the kids section.  We leave the stroller where it can be seen, and hope that my two will play at the train table for a bit so we can chat.  When they don’t and start to wander (as kids will do) we wander after them while talking, while pregnant we followed my toddler around the whole store.  It was great exercise.  The kids get to play and explore and we still get to have a coffee and chat, just while following around the kids.

 

I miss my body

Sometimes it has just been one of those days and you need a break, cranky kids, whatever the reason.  On these days I pack the kids in the car, hit up Starbucks drive-through for a coffee (maybe a snack for the pre-schooler) put on some good music and go for a drive.  I get to drink a hot coffee in peace, and we just enjoy some music (even if it is Anne Murray or Doodlebops) as we drive around.  If I want company and un-interupted chat time, I will pick up my sister for the drive and we chat and drink our coffees as the kids look out the window.

Listen to Audiobooks

I found that I really missed reading a lot after having kids.  There just was no time for reading, and when I did finally make time, I was too tired to really absorb what I was reading.  Audiobooks are amazing.  I can listen to them while I breastfeed, drive, clean, cook, walk, etc.  This is great as I still stay current on my favourite authors and series while doing normal day to day things.

I miss my body (4)

As said above since having children I really miss reading.  I used to read so much, go through so many books.  I have a bookshelf full of books waiting for me to read, and sadly had to pack them away as I could not see how I would every find time to read them.  Then, I implemented reading time!  My almost three-year-old needs a bit of a quiet wind-down for nap time so everyday after lunch and before nap time we have 15 minutes of “reading time”.  I have a basket of new and special books I rotate out weekly, and we all sit down with our books.  I am almost 100 pages into my book in three weeks, I may only get 5 pages or so read a day, but it is better than no pages at all and I love reading time!  I leave board books and touchy feely books for my one-year-old and he wanders around, nurses, watches, throws books, but also understands that we do things on our own for this time and Mommy and Bee are reading.  I cannot stress how much fun it is to see everyone sitting and reading a book, if we have company over, I tell them to bring a book too and join us.

Shopping

This is entirely dependent on your kids ages and nap schedules.  Put baby in the carrier on your back to sleep during nap time and go shopping!  Or set up older ones in a stroller (easier to hold snacks and they cannot run away) then go shopping!  Hit up the mall, try on some lotion at the Body Shop, grab a cinnamon bun (you may have to share if your kid sees you get this one).  I love IKEA and Micheal’s for this.  Have some fun walking around, getting exercise and allowing yourself to do nothing productive but have a little fun being out of the house and away from it all.

I miss my body (2)

I love the new colouring trend.  I have always loved colouring and am happy I get one that is more adult.  Now I feel like a grownup!  I set both myself and my preschooler up with our own separate colouring books and pencil crayons.  Then we can sit next to each other while we colour.  It’s a great way to drink a hot tea (Bee gets a lukewarm non-caffeinated tea) and enjoy some stress-free colouring.

Bath Time - for you

Who doesn’t love a good relaxing bath!  I worry about falling asleep in the tub if I take a bath once the kids are in bed; therefore, I try and do it earlier.  I set my daughter up with some activities in her room and set my son up with some toys and some books on the bathroom floor.  I filled the tub and put in some awesome smelling bubble bath and climbed in to enjoy a nice luxurious soak while the children were busy with their toys.  Mission FAIL!  I had barely gotten in the water before my one-year-old son was attempting to strip his clothes off as fast as possible (I thought he was actually going to rip them off) and tried to climb into the tub while shrieking at the top of his lungs in indignation that he was not included in bathtime.  I did what any mother would, I gave up, stripped him and hauled him into the tub with me.  We actually had a really fun time.  I still got to lie down, relax, and soak in the tub with some soothing music playing and my son flipped back-and-forth all over the tub on top of me having a grand old time.  It was actually still relaxing and quite a bit of fun. So, it’s still another alternative if they insist on climbing in with you, there is still a way to have a nice relaxing bath.

#Bathtime is the key to #metime take advantage! Click To Tweet

Bath time for them

Alternatively set the kids up in the bath.  I know once I get my kids in there they can easily spend 30 to 60 minutes playing happily in the tub.  Give them some toys.  If you have any of those fancy bathmats and crayons, the colour tablets where the water changes colour, etc. , anything you can to make the bath extra special.  Set them up in the tub beforehand.  You have to be organized in this because of course we don’t want to leave children in the bath alone (depending on the age) so I make myself a nice warm drink and bring some stuff in the bathroom, new make-up, nail polish, etc. as the kids are having their baths obviously keep an eye on them, but you pretty much have free reign to do whatever you want as long as you’re in the bathroom for the next half an hour you want to do your nails, you want to read a book, you want to do something productive, like fold laundry, which is not exactly “me time”, but it may free up some time later that you would’ve spent folding laundry and can have “me time” then.   I love bath time during the day, it’s a fabulous way for getting stuff done and also having a few minutes to myself.  The kids have a blast and are clean and tired at the end of bathtime.

 

Yoga

Do yoga with the kids!  I have three mats, I set each of the kids up with a mat and as I do yoga I encourage them to try it out with me.  Sure they spend more time climbing me and trying to nurse, but it’s still fun and I can get some good breathing and stretching in.  I always feel better after a yoga session, even if it is at home with a kid always on me.

9 Ways to get me time when you are never alone - How do you get "me" time when you are never alone?  If you are always with kids it can be hard to find ways to de-stress and relax when they are around.

Notice how I didn’t once mention the TV?  That’s because that’s a given.  Obviously you can turn the TV on to keep them busy while you get stuff done but here are some alternatives to keep them stimulated at the same time so they are less likely to bug you, and you don’t feel as guilty about turning the TV on.

Mommy needs some #metime to feel like a normal human! Try some of these tips to get some in. Click To Tweet

The key thing is to figure out what really makes you happy?  Is it reading?  Colouring?  Cooking?  Crafting?  Once you know what it is that makes you de-stress and feel like you are getting time to yourself, you can figure out how to manage it with kids around.

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9 Ways to get me time when you are never alone - How do you get "me" time when you are never alone?  If you are always with kids it can be hard to find ways to de-stress and relax when they are around.

Date Night Challenge #6 – Communication 

 

If you have not heard of the Five Love Languages, you are seriously missing out.  This is based on Gary Chapman’s theory that everyone has five basic love languages, but every one of us is different in how we perceive our love languages.  The five love languages are:

  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Affection
  • Words of Affirmations

If you want to truly show your partner that you love them, then you need to focus on THEIR love languages.  For example I am big on acts of service, if my husband wants to show me he loves me, lessen my workload!  Put the kids to bed, empty the dishwasher etc.  A hug is awesome and sweet, but nothing says love like a clean house that I didn’t have to clean!  Whereas, my husband is more along the lines of affection, so while I clean the house for him to show him I care, that means nothing to him, a big hug and a kiss when he comes home from work would mean a lot more to him.  It is really important to make sure that you are gearing your appreciation towards each other based on THEIR love language and not yours.  That is how you make sure that your partner knows you truly care.

Come participate in #RFAKDateNightChallenge, easy dates to do at home once kids are in bed. Click To Tweet

 

Date Night Challenge 6 IG

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Your mission for date night tonight, kind of like a fun productive homework assignment, discover your love languages and talk about it so you are on the same page.

What is your #lovelanguage? Do you know what your partner's is? Click To Tweet

Materials needed:

  • Computer, laptop, tablet, etc. ideally two so you can each do it at the same time.
  • A beverage of choice, hot chocolate, scotch, etc.

IMG_7779Log in to the website, and fill out the survey as honestly as you can.  Make sure at the end you use the e-mail option to send your partner a copy of your results.  Spend some time reviewing your results so you understand what your love language is.  Understanding your love language needs is very important in helping your partner understand you and giving you better clarity of what you need/want in a relationship.

Next review your partner’s results while they review yours.  Take some time to read and understand the top love languages for them.  It is also a great way to show you how they may be trying in their own way to tell you how much they love you all the time, but because that is not your language you did not understand, now you understand to look for those signs as a way they try to tell you they care.

Put the devices away and talk.  Understand what your partner needs to feel loved and appreciated.   Brainstorm some ways and ideas in which you can ensure you are making your partner feel needed and loved and speak to them in their “love language”.

I found the results very interesting, my husband and I realized that we had been speaking very different languages.  It also helped us understand that we had been showing each other love and appreciation, but in our own way which may not have been interpreted as such.  It is also good to know and be more understanding, my husband’s love language of physical touch was very high on his list, so when he hugs me and holds my hand, he is telling me a lot more than I realized he was.  Top of my list was gifts, (which was the bottom of his) so he had no idea how much love and effort I tried to put into gifts for him.  We both learned a lot about each other and how to help the other feel loved.

Date Night Challenge 6 PT

I am not affiliated or making any money whatsoever off this post, I just think the love languages are super cool and productive.  I know there are a few love languages books, but I have not read it yet. I hope to soon!

When was the last time you connected with your spouse? Come join us! #RFAKDateNightChallenge Click To Tweet

Have you heard of the love languages?  What are your top love languages?  If you have read the book do you recommend them?

Please comment below if you try this out. There are a few other date night challenges you can try as well.  Use the hashtag #RFAKDateNightChallenge if you post on Instagram and Twitter.

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Monthly Crafting Book Club for February – If You Give A Moose A Muffin

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club - February's book for the Monthly Crafting Book Club is If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff. Come see the crafts, games, and activities related to the book.
If you have not read If You Give A Mouse A Cookie series by Laura Numeroff you are seriously missing out.  She has an amazing series of books all starring different animals and the mischief they get up to.  You have If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, If ou give A Pig A Pancake, If You Give A Dog A Doughnut, If You Give A Cat A Cupcake,  If You Take A Mouse to School, and a few others including If You Give A Moose A Muffin, which of course is our book for the month.

I have had a soft spot for these books ever since I worked as a teacher in the preschool class at a Montessori school.  The kids just adored these books so I immediately started collecting them for when I had my own children years later.

The monthly crafting book challenge is for encouraging children and their parents (or whoever) in the love of reading.   A great way to encourage reading is by incorporating crafts, games, activities, etc. to keep the love alive.   Every month we focus on a different book and try and do a craft or activity or pretty much anything that encourages children to read and associate it with the book.  For me the love of literature is very important.  We are big readers in this house and really hope to pass that onto our children.

A bunch of us bloggers get together each month to focus on a different story and craft to go along with it.  This month we are focusing on If You Give A Moose Muffin. Last month we did Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton.  If you’d like to see what next month’s book challenge is check out below.  Even if you are not a blogger you are welcome to participate anyway, just send me a picture of you and your children reading the book and doing crafts or activities related to it.

 

If You Give A Moose A Muffin Printable and craft - IG

IfYouGiveAMooseAMuffin.KaelynsBookClub

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If You Give A Moose A Muffin Title

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f You Give A Moose A Muffin Pom Pom Craft - IG

 

I participated in #monthlycraftingbookclub with a #ifyougiveamooseamuffin related activity! Click To Tweet

 

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for February - February's book for the Monthly Crafting Book Club is If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Numeroff. Come see the crafts, games, and activities related to the book.

 

This is next month’s book (just in time for Dr. Seuss’s Day) the ABC’s by Dr. Seuss.  If you want to participate join our Facebook group here.  All you need to do is come up with a craft or activity related to the book and send it to me by March 20th, the post goes live on March 25th. Join the group above for more details and I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for March - IG

Come join us for March's #monthlycraftingbookclub for #DrSeuss's #ABC's Click To Tweet

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