A simple new years eve celebration for kids

 

So we aren’t huge New Years Eve partiers over here. And by that I mean my husband and I don’t feel like we need to stay up till midnight. Or maybe I should say our bodies won’t let us?! Such is life with littles  🙂  I still want to celebrate in a little way so we just bump our midnight up to 7 o’clock!! We started doing this since we’ve had kids and its been perfect.

I usually just decorate a little, have a fun drink (kid friendly!), we turn a kids countdown on Netflix, end it with some loud blowers and maybe a dance party! 😉  If you need some lights to dance with, try this. I mean, its nothing crazy, but its fun to do a little something. When the kids are a little older I might start doing time capsules or something, but at this age they would probably just want to open it the next day! ha.

This year I grabbed a few decorations at Target’s dollar section (er, $3 section). The star garland is from an Etsy shop Cheerful Trimmings, but her shop is currently closed for Christmas. I would recommend her for other party garlands or banners you may need in the future, but if you need one quickly this one from Amazon looks great and is $9! I also decided to make my own kid-friendly-slightly-fizzy-drink. I think Sparkling Cider would be too “spicy” for their likin’ and it has a lot of sugar anyways! So I just mixed

Honest Apple Juice with a splash of Sprite…and garnished with a raspberry!

I did a trial run and it was a hit. I think the sparkly plastic champagne flutes made the drink THAT much better. The kids were giggling and giddy as they drank their “adult” drink. 🙂

A super easy snack idea is cheese stars and crackers! The cheese stars make it a little festive, but its still good healthy snack before bed. If you need a star cookie cutter, check out this one! I like having the different size stars because you can make the tiny stars from the leftover cheese and not waste as much! You could also make star sandwiches, cookies, etc.!

Here are a few books about New Years Eve we will be reading (click title to see more):

The Night before New Year’s Eve. A fun book that talks about New Years prep! I feel like reading books about the holiday or event just help everyone get more excited about it! 

Squirrels New Years Resolution. I think this is my favorite. Its a cute book that talks about what resolutions are. The animals make some sweet, character related resolutions and I think it can bring up good family conversation!  🙂 

Ok friends, thats all. Like I said, its nothing fancy…but if you have multiple littles, being too elaborate might be stressful. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself?!! I was reading some ideas on Pinterest of different games and activities and I decided we would stick to our simple celebration for this year. Just spicing up some apple juice in a fancy cup and a straw already makes them feel like its a celebration. 🙂  I hope you can make some special memories together this New Years Eve!

xoxo

Danielle

Tips and Ideas for Surviving Break with Kids!

 

Christmas is coming which means … all the kids will be home from school!! I’ve seen a lot of, “I won’t be able to get anything done!” so I just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned since we started homeschooling (aka, kids home all the time)! Now, I’m NO expert in this, and this won’t solve all your problems, but I just want to help in anyway I can! I’m also encouraging myself with this daily, because I don’t/won’t ever have these things perfected. Ok, so here are a few tips and ideas:

  • Lower your expectations. Our children have lots of needs. Oh, wait, you knew this?! 😉 Its always “Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, can you help me? Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, I spilled. Mom, I finished going to the bathroom….oh wait, I’m not done yet. Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, he/she hit me. Mom, so-and-so took my toy! Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, I broke you’re stuff as we were bouncing off the walls. Mom, I’m not going to listen. Mom, you really think you can pee in peace? Mom, I wet the bed. Mom, I had a bad dream. Mom, I’m hungry. Mom? mom? MOM!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!”

And then times all that by the number of kids you have.

Ok, you get the point! HA! I’m constantly getting annoyed and then constantly reminding myself that yes, they have needs. My job is to care for the needs, nurture, love and be an example to them. And to be honest, sometimes I think they go overboard and we do just flat out need a break. Amen? But we have to remember that they do need us. They need our help, our love and our patience. And one day they won’t need us so much, remember that too.

 

  • Plan your days. I really noticed I had to do this when we started homeschooling. I had to be very intentional to plan ahead with school, outings, and activities. I try to plan and prep projects for them to do, game ideas, a fun outing I could take them on, or even plan just having a day at home. By doing this I can also plan MY tasks. If we are spending a whole morning at the zoo, I need to wake up earlier that morning to start some laundry, pack the lunches, and tidy up so we don’t come home to …well, our own zoo. If I don’t pack the lunches before, or while I’m making breakfast, I get way too behind and everything is more chaotic. It’s even HARDER to get out the door. While we are on this topic I will say I also plan their “TV” time. For example, if we are going to the zoo, I’ll get them ready and then turn on a show while I load the car and do a quick tidy. Use it strategically as an aid instead of turning it on just because they want it on.  🙂

 

  • Online shopping.
    It worked out really well because right about when the school year started our local Walmart started grocery pick up. If you haven’t heard of it, you order online, reserve a time slot to pick up, and they bring your groceries out to your car. All the things. It has saved me so much time and stress!! Before I would either take all 3 kids, or have to spend kid-free time…at the store. Boo. If you don’t have a store locally that does this, there’s also the option of Walmart delivery to your house with non-perishable items to your home…free of charge if you spend $35 or more. Or maybe you have Amazon Fresh! I do make Costco trips and a random store trip for a few things, but its better than doing a big shopping trip with kids! Anyways, maybe try something like this if you are worried about taking the kids out shopping when they aren’t in school (and not to mention fighting the crowds!).

 

  • When you have things you just have to get done (wait, when don’t we?!) try spending some quality time with the kids first, and then do your tasks. For example, sometimes if I do have to take them grocery shopping, I’ll take them to a park first…something they like, and something that burns some energy. If I have to get some work done around the house we will play out front first, or I’ll try to do something intentional with them. I then feel better about telling them, “Ok, mommy has to get some things done now”, and they usually do better after I focus just on them. Maybe you could set up some train tracks, set them up with a project, build a fort, etc. And YES, you’ll still be interrupted, but I do think it helps…even a little  😉

 

  • Make everyone have “down time” in the afternoon. Even if they don’t nap because they’re usually at school, still do it. Make a certain hour quiet time…aka, keep-mom-sane-time. I think its good for everyone. They can take a nap, read, play quietly with legos, etc.

 

  • Give them some chores to do, and maybe add incentives. As most of you know I’m on a purging frenzy. So last week I actually told my kids I would pay them if they got rid of toys! My husband said, “So we spend money on toys, and then we pay them to get rid of the toys?!” Ha! But, they got excited when they came out with some trinkets and got a quarter…they even went back for more things to give away. To me, its worth the $1 I spent  🙂

 

  • Use the crock pot. I know this is random but, when life is a little crazy, crock pots can help that mad dinner hour! Here are a few of our favorite recipes the whole family enjoys.

1. Chicken Pot Pie. My whole family loved this! And we even splurged and made the Pillsbury Grand Rolls to go with it.

2. Teriyaki Chicken. I just boil some rice and steam broccoli to make little chicken teriyaki bowls! I feel like what sauce you use makes a big difference, I like using this one.  🙂

3. Shredded Chicken. I couldn’t find a recipe for this but its something my mother-in-law shared with me and the whole family loves it because its basic! Here’s the jist: Throw in a few frozen chicken breasts, add a tsp or 2 of minced garlic and 1/2 a diced onion, cover 3/4 of the way with chicken broth, and then add some salt, pepper and a few TBS of cumin. Cook on high for about 6 hours. Shred the chicken then make burritos, tacos, or nachos!! Super yummy and easy!

  • Savor the time with them! Savor the fact you don’t have to rush them off the school. I love our slow mornings at home! Take a minute to breath and slow down…even if you have a million things to do.

Here are some ideas (if you need them) of things you can do:

  • Pack a picnic lunch and explore a new spot
  • Build a fort and watch a movie with a projector. (See here for a good priced projector!)
  • Pick a puzzle for the family to work on throughout break! My kids enjoy this puzzle and this puzzle! If you’re kids are a little older, click here and here for a few fun ideas!

 

  • Try a new park or indoor trampoline place (especially if its snowing where you live!)
  • Take them out for a treat. I love taking the kids to starbucks, letting them eat a bagel, and just hanging out together! It’s kind of our thing now. Sometimes it’s a little crazy, but its fun. I find if I’m away from all the tasks at home I can focus on them more.
  • Have a “theme” day. The other day we talked, crafted, and read about reindeer! I also printed a world map and they colored in where reindeer live. It was a fun way to learn! This is the book we read, and then I used good ol’ pinterest to print some things out!
  • If you are traveling, order a new book on CD! The DVD player in our car broke this summer and I’m actually glad about it! We now listen to a book on CD instead, and sometimes we mix it up with fun kid music. This is the book on CD my son is really enjoying, and these are some fun kid songs for the car!
  • Have a day with no plans. I think its just good for everyones soul sometimes  😉

I hope my simple ideas were helpful in someway! And I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas celebrating with those you love!!!

xoxo

Danielle

A moms tutorial on how to paint a dresser

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Hi friends! When my best friend saw that I refinished this dresser she said she would like to paint a piece of furniture she has, but would have no clue where to start. So, I’m going to tell you how I did it (with kids!) in case it helps a few of you out, including my bestie.  🙂

My neighbor inherited a lot of antiques a few months ago and she gifted this cute little dresser to me. I had it sitting in my kids room for months, trying to figure out how I could use it in there. I decided to bring it out in the living room and immediately found the perfect spot for it! So, time to start sanding and painting!

Here’s the supplies I used:

  • 220 grit sandpaper (150grit would work well too)
  • Electric hand sander (not necessary, just faster!)
  • Quart of Kilz 2 latex primer
  • Quart of Shermin Williams, Mindful Gray latex paint.
  • Small foam roller (If you are doing a smaller piece of furnisher, a foam roller isn’t necessary. My roller was old and not working right so I ended up using a bigger paint brush for most of it)
  • 1.5 inch angled paint brush
  • 3 little helpers  🙂
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Before

Here’s the steps I took:

First, I sanded it with the 220 grit sandpaper. I did this while the kids were playing outside and I was on the phone. Multi tasking, a mom’s way of life, right?! I at least lightly covered every little nook and cranny.

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When I was finished sanding I decided I should probably pull out the little electric hand sander to go over the large surfaces. I did this when I got off the phone because… that sander is loud! When prepping for latex paint you want to make sure all the “shine” on the surface is gone. Its not necessary to sand it down completely to the bare wood, but it is important to remove that first layers so the primer and paint stick!DSC_0779

Once I was finished sanding, I set the little dresser on a table outside so I could paint on the primer with my one year old around. I set up some cars and trucks and asked the older ones to play with him (benefits of having big helpers!) I used Kilz 2 primer, which is a good primer to use, and we happened to have some in our paint cupboard. Yah! Of course, when I pulled the primer and paint brushes out the big kids wanted to help so I let them do the back of the dresser! Its fun to involve the kids… WHEN possible!
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I wanted to get the first coat of primer on in the morning so I could put the second coat on at nap time. We went over to my moms house later that morning and I was able to sneak away to the paint store to get the paint I wanted…kidless! I got Sherwin Williams, “Mindful Gray”. I actually thought it was going to be darker but, isn’t that always the story with paint? I also bought a nicer angled brush to get good coverage on all those nooks and crannies I had just sanded!
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Once the kids were all asleep at nap time I brought the dresser into the house. It was too hot to paint outside and I didn’t want the paint to dry too quickly. Ok, plus I wanted to stay in the cool house with my music and coffee  🙂

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Later in the evening I set up the dresser on our patio table and was able to paint the first coat of gray while my family was playing in the backyard. Thankfully it is small because it went pretty quickly!

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This dresser is really old with lots of dings and a few cracks! I could have used some wood filler to fill in the crack on top but I opted not to 🙂 You can’t really see it when there are things on top!

First coat.

I let the first coat set up over night and was able to paint the second coat at nap time the next day! I didn’t want to paint the final coat while the kids were awake because that would been probable interruptions. I wanted to have good, even coverage on that last coat! I let it dry over night before bringing it in for use!

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I was going to paint the knobs black but decided to leave them in their original state…because I can always go back and change them:)

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I was going to paint the knobs black but decided to leave them in their original state...because I can always go back and change them:)

The dressers new home

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I hope this gave you some helpful hints on how to paint a dresser, and if you have kids…how it can be done with kids!  😉  Do you have any furniture that could use some painting?!

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