Summer Bucket List for the Family

Finally, warmer days are here to enjoy as a family.

Enjoying ice cream cones on the first day of summer. www.simplymoms.net

We are pretty simple people so we enjoy those simple moments in life.

I hope you will enjoy our ideas for summer fun.

  1. Go out for ice cream.
  2. Visit family
  3. Beach
  4. Build a sand castle.
  5. Purchase a swing set
  6. BBQ at least once a week.
  7. Visit our local library
  8. Take the city bus into the next big city over for the day
  9. Roast Marshmallows
  10. Do sparklers
  11. Go watch fireworks
  12. Attend a wedding ¬†ūüėČ (My son is getting married)
  13. Purchase a pool for the kids and use it!
  14. Play water balloons with the kids
  15. Make a huge colored ice block for Little Miss Toddler to play with on a hot day.
  16. Have a water gun fight with the kids.
  17. Have a bonfire.
  18. Maybe get a new pet.
  19. Pick up the yard as a family
  20. Go to an amusement park
  21. Visit the ocean
  22. Plant something
  23. Play badminton as a family.
  24. Teach the kids to play horseshoes.
  25. Purchase a fire pit and put it to use.
  26. Visit all the local playgrounds and some out of town as well.

Simple ideas for summer fun with children and family. www.simplymoms.net

 

Tell me what will you do with your summer?

Tell us what you will be doing in the comments below.

Love Jennifer

 

 

 

The Month Of May

I know, I have been absent¬†with nothing to say. ¬†Sometimes the Internet has days weeks and months where it feels like it is weighing me down. It is strange I know. ¬†Something that if I want this blog to work I need to sort out and get over. So this afternoon I am just going to share some photos from my May ūüôā

My sweet Trev on his bike at the park

Trev, hard to think my baby will be 16 in October! We were out enjoying one of our very few nice days!

little Miss Toddler Picking Flowers at the park

Little Miss Toddler at the park picking flowers.

50 years old and can still peddle a bike.

Hubby Peddles away on Trevs bike!

Stormy days

Storms and lots of rain was the theme all the month of May

We welcomed a new granddaughter to our family . <3

table setI finally replaced my round table and folding chairs with this new to me set. Yay!

Memorial Day was celebrated with a small parade that passed by our front door.

So that is our month in a small nutshell. Tons of rain here in New England. I will be glad for warmer sunnier days!

Why Alone Time Is Important even For Super Mom

As women, we try to do it all. Most often things get done with the exception of self-love and care.

How many times have you heard a new mom or even a seasoned mom struggle with needing time alone?

I get it. Raising a family is a full-time hands-on job and some of you even have jobs and careers piled on top¬†of that. It’s not easy to take time out of these busy days and just give that time to yourself.

 

 

What Moms are Saying…

Michelle¬†– ”¬†I get to go to the bathroom by myself…that’s about it. Yes, even going to the gym alone, I feel guilty. I already have to be away from them so much. The only time I get to carve time out for myself is when my husband and boys are watching sports on TV and I plug my headphones in to watch Netflix. That’s EXTREMELY rare though, because now I have to focus on writing because Sunday is the day that I get a lot of writing done.”

Hannah – I would love to take time to do something for me but I can’t my kids are always with me.
I do not feel guilty if by some chance i don’t do something with them because that is So rare it’s happened once since my second was born.
I get from the hours of 9 to 11 by myself witch actually I spend not even alone with my so cleaning up.

Patricia – ”¬†It’s not alone per say, but my husband and I go away for a weekend with just the 2 of us every February. And once a month we go to lunch and Costco with just the 2 of us. And also shoot for a date night once a month. I don’t feel bad or guilty about this at all, and the kids get to spend quality time with their aunts and uncles and cousins.”

Rebecca-” I definitely take time to do things on my own. Yeah I’m a mother, but I’m still my own person too. I shouldn’t have to lose my own identity because I have a child.”

You know you're a mother when shopping alone is considered a mini vacation

So when you do get time alone…

How many of us feel guilt. Raise your hand… Come on raise them. Yes, that‚Äôs more like it almost all of you. Us mommies are givers not takers but guess what? You deserve time for you and the things you enjoy. Not only do you deserve it. Mom, you know the truth here it¬†is a need, a must do.

We all need time to recharge and refocus. Guess what, not only do you deserve it you owe it to you family, to your children and you. Because when you return, you will be happier and able to give of yourself better.

Yes, I get that we can not very often get a whole day away. Though you should do that as well sometimes but here are ten quick ideas for a quick mommy recharge while someone else is in charge of the baby, kids, dog, cat, fish, messes so for a moment forget all that.

 

  1. A walk ‚Äď Just get out into the fresh air and the sunshine. No matter how terrible I feel the sun always helps as does¬†exercise. Are you feeling more¬†adventurous?¬†How about¬†a hike?
  2. A long hot bath ¬† One rule no rubber duckies or small people asking questions like “Why are you in the tub? Can I come in?” Even better bring in a book to read while you soak. How about you add in some really wonderful Bath bombs and make it a treat?
  3. Meet up with a friend¬†– Go have a coffee or whatever it is both like. Imagine this an¬†ice-cream¬†you don’t have to share? Best of all you get to hear another adult chit chat and I am sure she won’t ask to lick¬†your¬†ice-cream or prevent you from drinking a coffee while it is hot!
  4. Take a nap.- Yes, sleep is a wonderful tool for rejuvenation.
  5. Go you your favorite store – ¬†Alone. Browse the aisles and no don’t run down to the toy isle because you feel guilty the kids are not in tow. Think of things you love. Make-up, a book, clothes, no…clothes for you, not the kids stay with me here.
  6. Watch a movie Р Find a favorite feel good movie or one you have been waiting to see that does not include trolls or any other animated character. I often do this at night after the little ones are tucked in instead of cleaning. The cleaning can wait.
  7. Beauty time – Do something that makes you feel beautiful like a spa day, time at the gym, a manicure just anything that gives you a lift and makes you look and feel wonderful.
  8. Take a class Р Sharpen a skill or learn a new one. That is very grown up and cuts out a clear time for you to escape um I mean take a break. A friend of mine use to go to pottery class and made some really cool stuff. I should have taken up her offer to join her but I was busy thinking I was super mom. (I was really just super worn out mom) Hindsight ladies.
  9. Got a Hobby? РGet a hobby something you immensely enjoy and make time for it.
  10. Have an Adventure – Go for a drive, listen to your favorite music maybe go to a favorite spot or take a new road and go somewhere you have never been or wanted to see.

The importance of time alone for mothers www.simplymoms.net

More from Our Moms…

Anonymous – ¬† In some ways I’m a bit of an introvert and need quiet alone time to refresh and regroup. No, I don’t feel one bit guilty. By taking care of myself it allows me to take better care of my kids. I’m a better mom when I don’t have to be switched on all the time. I take time to meet friends for dinner a couple times a month or just run to the store by myself and we try to have a date night once a month.

”¬†you know you’re a mom when grocery shopping sans kids counts as “quiet, alone time”.

Anonymous– I’m usually not alone, unless they are in school and I go to the store, I go to get my hair done by myself that’s the only thing I do alone.
When I’m at work, I feel guilty, especially if it is a weekend or they are on break.

Jessica – “Yes, sometimes. But rarely and it’s never anything fun. Sometimes when the kids are at school I’ll have someone watch The little one so I can shop alone or go to an appointment.”

Tanya – I don’t remember a time since my girls were born that I did anything alone. When my boys were 5, 7 and 8 and I left their dad, I did get to do stuff by myself but always felt guilty but they were with their dad. Now with my my girls being almost 3 and 18 months We don’t have anyone to watch them and I don’t have any real life friends to go hang out with. I don’t really even have bedtime because I work 7 to 11 mon thru friday.¬†

What will you do for yourself this week? 

Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.  We love hearing what you Mamas have to say!

Would you love to connect with the mothers and mommies to be of Simply Moms? Come join our Facebook group here. —> [Simply Moms Group]

Love Jennifer

 

Books Little Miss Toddler Loves

The one thing I have always loved doing was reading to my children. My fifteen year old still likes me to read to him to this day. Now, Little Miss Toddler loves books every bit as much as my children did and she is always bringing me a book and her favorite blanket and climbing up into my lap asking me to read to her.

The suggested book images are affiliate links from Amazon. I make a small commission on them for you using the links. This does not cost you anything extra.

Giraffes Can’t Dance

Is a colorfully illustrated story about a giraffe who thinks he can not dance. But an unlikely friend gives him words of encouragement and he is soon dancing to his own music. Little Miss loves the animals in this book and the bright and funny illustrations.

Goodnight Moon

A classic children’s must have for saying good night. Little Miss is in love with the moon. The moment she touched this book it was a favorite.

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.

Ten Little Monkeys

Little miss loves the repetitiveness and the silly pictures of the monkeys jumping on the bed. A classic rhyming story that helps develop number skills. I have been listening to her recite this now for days. So it is clear it is well loved.

Peek-Who?

Two things Little Miss loves animals and surprises. This book has both as it provides only a peek of what animal will be on the next page through the die cuts. It is very colorful and a rhyming text. For me, it is a short read which is nice for those times I am busy and want to read her a quick book.

What are your toddler’s favorite books?

Love Jennifer

7 Ways To Creatively Use Up Those Hard Boiled Eggs From Easter

I do not know about your children but my kids love to dye hard boiled eggs for Easter. What they do not like is eating the bazillion eggs they colored. So over the years, I have used them in a bunch of different and creative ways so they get eaten up!

Easter Eggs hard eoiled eggs and what to do with them after Easter

  1. Add them to a salad.

    We love adding hard-boiled eggs to salads. Either a green salad or some sort of pasta salad. Very simple and healthy. Simply slice them up and add them.

  2. Meatloaf Surprise!

    I do this with my normal recipe. (Though the recipe in the video looks yummy as well.)  It makes it a tad different with the eggs running through the center. When my kids were little they thought it was magic.

  3.  Deviled Eggs my personal favorite!

    Head on over to WikiHow to get four fantastic deviled egg recipes from classic to something a bit more flair.  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Deviled-Eggs

  4. Of course, there is the old standby of Eggs Salad Sandwiches

    Very simple and I am sure hands down my children’s favorite.

  5. Slice them and add them to any sandwich.

    Add boiled egg to your sandwich www.simplymoms.net

  6. Add them to your potato salad.

    Many families in our parenting group are in warm enough weather to BBQ. What better way to use up those eggs than to bring a huge potato salad with lots of hard boiled eggs added in?

  7. Don’t overlook your dog.

    Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. So an egg will be a welcome and healthy treat for them as well. (Source moderndogmagazine.com)

What to do with hard boiled eggs left over from easter www.simplymoms.net

 

Be sure to follow us for more articles like this one.

Love Jennifer

We are linking up with week with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Chores and how to Successfully get the Children to Help

It often gets asked on the Simply Moms facebook Group how do you get your children to do chores? How much do you pay them to help out? Why won’t my kids clean their room and messes?

Having personally been through many stages of parenting. I have raised that child who does not want to lift a finger, the one who cleans everything in sight because they have OCD tendencies and all those in between.

Chores and getting children to help. www.simplymoms.net

I have been successful however in getting every child in my home to help out right down to Little Miss Toddler.

  1. Start when they are very young. 

    While a two-year-old will not have anywhere near the skills of your six or twelve-year-olds they can still help out with small age appropriate jobs and they should. This starts a firm foundation for life of understanding the value of being part of the family unit.

  2. We do not pay for chores.

    No-one pays mom to wash everyone’s dishes or wash clothes that everyone wore. We do not pay children for daily chores they are simply part of being a family and always have been. That has been our rule from day one. We pay with thank¬†yous and I love yous.

  3. There are no assigned chores.

    We do things as they need to be done. Some days my son doesn’t mind dealing with the trash and other days he would rather go out and snow blow. ¬†I tend to just call on the children as things need to be done so they are not stuck doing the same thing day after day. ¬†It keeps the monotony at bay.

  4. Together is always more fun.

    If the yard needs cleaning you will find most of our family out there together cleaning. Even small things like dishes or cleaning a room are always more fun with help. Like the old saying, many hands make for light work.

  5. Make a game of it.

    Often times I will set a timer and we will race to see who can do the most. Or have a little one Play basketball with laundry that needs to be tossed in a hamper. We even incorporate learning with Little Miss Toddler such as asking her to pick up all the green blocks or pick up all the round toys.

  6. Give the whole family a reward for those big jobs.

    When the barn needing cleaning at the end of the weekend we all had a big cookout to celebrate. It’s not the same as a set allowance per chore it is more a celebration of coming together and working hard.

  7. Hold that Wifi!

    For the older children who love their computer time and such, we simply shut down the Wi-fi until things are done. Even as an adult I find it easier to get things done if I am no longer “connected”. It is a great incentive to get things done.

  8. Keep the rules simple.

    I have always taught my children you use it you put it away. You drop it you pick it up. It keeps it simple and them accountable for themselves.

  9. Cut down on things.

    As a family, we have cut way back on the clutter in our lives. It makes it far more easy to clean not only for myself but for the children to help out as well.

  10. Have a place for everything.

    If your children know where things go it will make helping with chores and be cleaning up after themselves much easier for you and them. When I need my can opener I know just where to look. Because everyone in the family knows where to put it after it has been used. A place for everything and everything in its place.

How do you get your children to help with chores? 

Be sure to stop by our parenting group for more on this topic from moms like you!

Love Jennifer

 

Be sure to check out our sponsor (We receive a small commission): At ¬†Zulily you‚Äôll discover unique brands and products‚ÄĒthe things that help you express your personal style. And you‚Äôll save, too, with prices up to 70% off every day.

This week we have linked up with The Homemaking Link up.

Toys Toddlers Will Really Play With

Recently I stood in the center of Little Miss Toddlers room shaking my head. She had just dumped a bunch of toys everywhere and ran for the hills. It was a new game she named on her very own called “Make a Mess” What I could not figure out was with so many toys why would she just keep dumping everything and taking off. Then a light came on.

There were just too many toys.

Like way too many. Some really useless, noise making, no imagination needed toys. It was time to sort, declutter and put away some of these things. So Little Miss Toddler and I worked on that over last weekend. The list I am giving you is essentially what she is left with now in her room.

Toys your toddler will really play with and love that foster learning

Then after things were gone and what was left was put away Little Miss Toddler did something she had not done in a long time.

She sat at her table and colored, then she put a puzzle together…She played with her toys.

Less IS more.

This is our Most LOVED by Little Miss Toddler Toy List

  • Cars and trucks
  • Blocks (Wooden and plastic interlocking types)
  • Baby dolls
  • Something to push around such as a doll stroller or a shopping cart
  • Kitchen set, dishes and pretend food
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Books
  • Crayons, coloring book and a scribble pad
  • Dress up clothes simple things to put on such as funny hats, sunglasses and the like.
  • A play set such as a doll house, garage, or castle that includes people, cars, and animals
  • Stacking cups
  • A shape sorting toy
  • A ride on toy or trike
  • A child size table and chairs
  • Ball
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Non-toxic or homemade paints
  • A bin for playing with water, rice, beans or other sensory¬†items
  • Barbies just because our little REALLY loves them

Toddler plays with a bin of water out on the deck

Often times the most simple things provide hours of fun for a young child. Water play is an excellent example of this.

Open-ended toys that allow imagination to take over are most often the best choices.

If you enjoyed this post please be sure to subscribe below and share this post with your friends. Oh, and we love your comments and ideas!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Love Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Sand Flour and Oil Version Taste Safe and Homemade

Homemade Moon Sand this is messy play at its finest.

I chose the flour and vegetable oil combination because Little Miss Toddler will not keep things like this out of her mouth. We did it on the kitchen floor.Clean up involved sweeping up and mopping really well (Think oil residue). Next time I would put an old sheep or newspaper down for easier cleanup or simply do it outside.

This homemade Moon Sand or as some call it Cloud Dough is soft, molds together well and it is wonderful sensory play for even a pretty young child. Little Miss Toddler enjoyed it.

Homemade Moon Sand finding the magic in the mess -www.simplymoms.net

What you need is simple and most everyone has it on hand. 

  • 8 Cups of Flour (All-Purpose)
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • A few drops food coloring if you like but not needed. (We skipped this)

In a large bin just mix it all together really well. Done and done.

We tossed in some kitchen scoops, spoons and the like. She had a blast.

 

Maybe Moon Sand is not what you intended to find or wish to make today? How about some play dough recipes?

 

Homemade Cloud Dough

Toddler Playing With Home made Moon Sand

Toddler sensory Play

Sensory Bin Flour and Oil

Messy Play

Toddler playing with cloud dough and scoops

If you enjoyed this blog post with me and Little Miss Toddler Please be sure to subscribe below. ¬†Thanks for reading! ūüôā

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Love Jennifer

 

Five On Friday (Link Up)

This post was inspired by the Five on Friday Link up.

One

Last night we decided to go out to dinner with the kids at the Home Town Buffet and roam around the Maine¬†Mall for a bit of time after my hubby got home from work after eating we ended up over¬†at best buy. I decided to break away ad go admire cameras. (A girl can dream, right?) ¬†Because at tax time we decided to forgo the camera we had picked so I could have a new computer. Hubby walked up behind me and says “That’s a nice camera. Is that the one you want?” I told him at some point I would like it. He picks it up and buys it…Along with a camera¬†bag, new rechargeable batteries, and a bag. So my number one is how blessed I feel by my husband’s gift. There were things he needed that he put aside for me.

Sony  DSC - H300

Two

Friday visits from my little Grandson and his daddy are always a great ending to my weekdays. Watching my son interact with his son is heartwarming to me.

son and father

Three

I have a great little playmate in Little Miss Toddler. My girls never liked Barbies and she adores those Barbies! My cute little excuse to get down and play with them and of course her! Just look at that smile!

toddler and barbies

 

Four

Finally, the two plus feet of snow is starting to disappear from my yard and I am not complaining in the least. I am ready for kiddie pools, popsicles, sunglasses, tall cold glasses of sweet tea and sunshiny days. I am even excited to start the spring yard clean up.

Spring is Coming

Five

This week I happened to get my box from Pinch Me. It’s nice to get something in the mail besides bills. New FREE body wash is a pretty cool sample and Lucky Old Boy will enjoy his wet dog food treat. I do not have any affiliation with www.pinchme.com and have not been asked to post this I am simply sharing with you something I enjoy. ¬†So if you love freebies Pinch Me is a pretty cool site.

Pinchme

Did you enjoy this post? We are part of ¬†Five on Friday’s link up. You can find other great blog posts like this one over there and share yours as well. Just click the button below.

The Word Friendly and Why I Had Stopped Blogging

I joined up Mama Kat’s Writing’s Workshop about a month or so ago. When I joined I was writing pretty regular and getting to know some of the pretty friendly people that also blog and join her link up. ¬†I have known what the prompts were this week for a while now and just keep drawing a blank. Even still as I sit here my mind is just totally frozen. In fact, I have barely¬†blogged at all. But I picked a prompt¬†the word friendly.

So, really no blogs from me this week.

Why?

 

Because of life. Life just threw up all over me and I have not been feeling friendly, happy or like blogging at all.

I have been filling my mind with things like playing Ring Around The Rosie with little Miss Toddler. I sing she sings she holds my hands while jumping wildly on my bed and then we all fall down just so I can hear her laugh. Her laugh that makes everything right in this sometimes very, very messy unfriendly world.

I have been cleaning in a circle like I often do when I am stressed because my ADHD like symptoms show up uninvited when my world brings me for a ride that leaves me hanging on by a thread. This really mean the house is cleaned sub-par for my mind is hyper-focused on other things. So many things get started and left while I trail off to the next.

I wouldn’t call it depression. Maybe frustration that there are certain things in life that I can not fix. Or that nagging feeling I get that tells my mind something is off in life or coming at me and it eats away at me until it finally happens. By the time it happens, I am relieved in one aspect¬†it did, it’s over and now it is about just getting back up and dusting myself off. Righting all those wrongs.

I have decided though it is time to just breath. Let things be and get back to being friendly, and doing the things that make my life have more joy and stop letting life sit so heavy¬†on my shoulders for a while. Breath in … breath out. Ahhh much better already… right?

 

So while this is a lame blog post it is the start of pulling my boots back on by the straps. Therapeutic¬†perhaps? ūüôā

 

Tell me, when life does you wrong how do you bounce back?

And I will leave you with some happy moments from my week in case you have been missing our photos.

 

Boxes are a great place to sit for a toddler

Box with a Toddler in it
Little Miss Toddler playing Tablet in her box.

 

Turkey
Turkey for dinner because it is a comfort food and man does my oven need a cleaning. Yup real life.

 

Then go on over to Mama Kat’s Writer’s ¬†Workshop and link up with those fine friendly people that make me smile each week. ūüôā

 

 

Mama’s Losin’ It