Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Day at Disney Springs {Our Version of Legoland}

Last week I shared with you our day at Disney's The Magic Kingdom. Today I want to recap our time at Disney Springs. Disney Springs is an open air shopping center with restaurants, a large pond that you can boat across and a few hotels. It's perfect for shopping, especially if your little one likes Legos. Connor had asked to go to Legoland but we didn't want to pay the expensive fees since we were planning to go to Disney later in the week. Lucky for us, the Lego Store at Disney Springs gave Connor all his little heart could want in the form of Legos.

Connor has been playing with Legos daily for the last year or so. While they make a mess and I find them all over our home, it occupies his time for hours and he loves building new creations. When visiting Disney Springs, he called the Lego store Legoland and well, we let him believe it. Mean Momma and Papa, right? I don't feel one bit guilty as it saved us a ton of money. Here are some highlight from our day out along with photos from our day at Disney Springs. 

--- Connor got to build two Lego racers and race them against other boys and girls.

--- He won the second race, bringing him more joy than I ever expected.

--- Connor walked out of the Lego Store with a full container of new bricks, included sixers which he had to have more of along with 3 new Lego men. 

--- He is now the proud owner of a new potato head that is half Buzz Lightyear and half Stromtrooper. 

--- A boat ride with a pretty view and a hot air balloon is the perfect way to end a day of shopping.

Disney Springs is such a fun place to shop and dine, even people watch. When we make back to Orlando I am certain we will spend another day here. I mean, it is "Legoland" after all. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Lesson in Luck {Free Clover Printable}

A couple weeks ago James and I attended a Christian concert where someone mentioned that we need to stop saying how blessed we are and instead realize that we are in fact spoiled. I don't want to harp on feeling entitled or the difference between being lucky, blessed or spoiled. But it did make me start thinking that I need to more appreciative of the every day things my family has instead of focusing on the things we don't have. It's much easier to want things than to appreciate them, isn't it?

With that in mind, I wanted to sit down with Connor and talk with him about how important it is to be thankful for the things we often take for granted because we don't know what it's like to do without. With the help of Dr. Seuss Connor and I had a fun but grown-up conversation about how we need to give thanks often. 

I love this Seuss book. It's not as popular as others but "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" is the perfect way to remind little ones of how lucky they are. I know it's often a "grown-up" topic but I want to raise a grateful child, not one who feels like things should be handed to him. Once we read the book, I asked Connor to tell me what he is thankful for and we wrote each answer on four leaf clovers and place them on display on his art easel. 

This particular afternoon Connor was thankful for Jesus, family, Trolls music, toys, friends, TV shows, monkeys, Mommy, Daddy, his school and snacks. Sounds about right for a 4 year old. I'm not sure what it is his loved about monkeys this particular day but hey, we went with it. I know many of these items are materialistic and we talked about how not everyone is lucky enough to have access to cable TV or have a room full of toys to play with. He asked if everyone has a Mommy and Daddy and I told him not always and explain not all families look like ours, that God has created each family different, making everyone's life unique. It might have been "big" talk but I feel confident that Connor understands the importance of appreciating what he has (monkeys included).

I'll be the first to admit that I am not good with grown-up talk with Connor. It's hard for me because I see him as my baby, not a little boy who needs help understanding the world and how lucky he is to have the life he does. I've been very honest with him about how other little boys and girls don't have as much as him so it's important for him to donate toys that he no longer plays with. We've done that twice now, each time allowing Connor to choose what's donated.
Right click and save to print your own "I am thankful for..." printables.

What are you thankful for this morning?
What do you think your little ones would be thankful for if you were to ask? 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Target Clearance For The Win

I can't tell you the last time I've been so excited to share with you my monthly Target finds. This month I focused on the clearance aisle from Valentine's. You'd be surprised at what Target considers clearance. Here is what I scored this month for $10 at Target.

When I went shopping the clearance was marked 70% off and there was still a ton of items left to pick through. This month I spent $10.58 which included my items, tax and my 5% discount with the store's Red Card. I walked away with 9 items. Here is the price breakdown for my goodies...

Reese's Heart Candy $0.50
You Had Me At Coffee $1.49
Green Wire Basket $3.00
Be My Hero Valentine's $0.90
Washi Tape $1.20
My Day Chart $0.90
Phonics Word Flashcards $0.30
Wooden Clips: $0.90
Bubble Sticks: $0.90

I think the winning item from my haul was the mug for just $1.49! They are usually $4.99. I am going to try and do the same kind of shopping after Easter. Many of these items we've used already and others are put back for Valentine's Day next year. I was able to score another of the Be My Hero Valentine's super heroes so we already have Connor's class Valentine's for next year. And for $1.80.

What did you find this month at Target? Be sure to link-up with us below! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Favs: Braids, Coffee and Teenage Connor

Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends! We've been back from vacation for 2 full weeks and I finally feel like I've got my mojo back. Am I the only one who suffers from vacation hangover? A week of relaxation is good for this Momma's soul but bad for my motivation to tackle projects and such. But I feel as if I've gotten back on track this week. Here is a bit of the highlights from our week along with some random thoughts.

ONE | My Love of Easy Braids

I am getting better and better at braiding my hair. It's a work in progress for sure but I love being able to braid it while it's wet and just go. It makes getting ready on our busy mornings a breeze for me. I got my hair trimmed this week and now have a bit of cutters regret. I wish I would have changed things up but I'm uncertain of what I want to do next with my hair. It's awfully long and with Summer coming I need to be able to put it up. Maybe I'll change things up in the Fall.

TWO | Let's Explore

Spending morning or afternoon or heck, all day outdoors is exactly what we love. Connor is just one of those kids that loves to discover and now that Spring is slowly working it's way in, we can best bet we will be outdoors mores. I will say we've had a really mild winter, as in not much of one at all, and that's been nice.

THREE | 1 SmartPoint Coffee

I never was a big fan of coffee till we lived in Texas and there was a Starbucks on every corner. I can now go days, even weeks without getting a coffee or making one at home but when I discovered a way to have a sweet caffeinated beverage in the morning for just 1 SMARTPOINT, you know I jumped on board. The recipe is super simple but full of protein (15 grams per serving) and the caffeine I need to get moving in the morning. Added 8 ounces of unsweetened coffee to 5.5 ounces of Premier Protein (I like vanilla best) with 1 tablespoon of Torani sugar free Classic Caramel flavoring syrup. I often have a coffee in the morning and another in the afternoon if I need a pick me up or just want to treat myself without using a ton of points as I do like my coffee sweet.

FOUR | The Sweetest Easter Blessings Book

With Easter right around the corner, we've been reading more and more Easter friendly books. One of our favorite is this Easter Blessings* book. Really Woolly characters are some of my favorite and this book does not let me know down. The mix of rhymes, Bible verses and prayers starters is perfect for Connor and allows us to talk about Christ and how blessed we are thanks to all He has given us. Connor has started to recognized a few of the stories and it's such a sweet sound hearing him "read" scripture to us at bedtime.

FIVE | Teenage Connor 

Have I mentioned before that Connor loves being pantless? He is always a big fan of wearing nothing but his underwear. A snapped this photo of him and I instantly thought to myself this is what teenage Connor will look like - chatting on the phone, taking up the couch, running the show. While I'm in no hurry to be a parent to a teenager, I couldn't help by smile and think how much we have to look forward to as parents.

Our weekend is full of family fun, a Lego event and Daniel Tiger story time with church mixed in. It's nice to be back to our normal lives since vacation but at the same time, I can't believe it's already mid-March.

Here are this week's posts in case you've missed one:
Monday: Our Day at Disney {The Magic Kingdom}
Tuesday: 3 Steps to a "Company Ready" Home
Wednesday: Letterboard Love + a Letter Storage Solution
Thursday: Our Spring Bucket List

Happy weekend, friends! 

*I received our book for free from BookLook Bloggers. However our love of reading and sharing new books with you is all our own. #bookworms unite!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Spring Bucket List

With Spring right around the corner (or at least the calendar says it is) I figured it was time for me to start thinking of the fun things we can do this Spring. I often say that I love this current age or season of motherhood because of the level of freedom we have with Connor. What I mean by that is that we can do more, go more now that Connor is a "big kid" (he will always be my baby though!). With that in mind, I've put together a short and sweet bucket list for us to use to make the most of Spring 2017.

See? Short and sweet for sure but full of potential. Bucket lists are my favorite way to usher in a new season. We are in Ohio which is blessed with all 4 seasons so I try to embrace each one with a fun list like the one above.

From taking a road trip to having a park picnic to trying something new, Spring is looking to be filled with fun and many chances at making great memories with my guys.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Letterboard Love + a Letter Storage Solution

Confession: I am obsessed with my Letterboard. I was gifted my board for Christmas and love coming up with new sayings to display. I tend to pick things that are seasonal or share a fun part of our daily lives. Here is a look at my Letterboard photo collection plus a simple way to store your letters if you too have a board of your own.

Storing my letters was made easy when I discovered that Hobby Lobby sold storage containers that could be personalized to fit your needs based on size. I needed a container that would keep letters separated, making finding what I need easy. Once I found the perfect container, I added letter labels to each cubby and I no longer had to search for what I needed when changing out my quotes. Here is direct link to my container. Use a 40% coupon and it's less than $6.

I love the fun that comes with sharing my boards. So much so that I created a hashtag on Instagram just for my Letterboard photos: #cfamilyquotes Join me as I walk down Letterboard memory lane. I shared my first message on Christmas Day and have been hooked since! Be sure to follow us on IG as you never know what I may share on my Letterboard.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3 Steps to a "Company Ready" Home

One thing I'm known for is keeping a "company ready" house. You would think parenting a small child all day would result in a messy house but that's not the case with me. I feel better, think more clearly and function at my best when my house is in order. Having a company ready home isn't as hard as you'd think. I find that if I do three simple things our home is always ready for family and friends.

Clean Floors
Each morning we wake up to floors free of clutter (toys, pillows, blankets, books). Putting everything in it's place and either vacuuming or sweeping each day allows each room to be organized from the ground up. Connor is in charge of picking up after himself so if our floors are messy, it's usually due to his toys so as a big boy, he picks up before heading to bed each evening. 

Tidy Kitchen
One thing that drives me bonkers is a messy kitchen. I have to have a clean kitchen, it's dang near therapeutic for me. By wiping down counters to putting dishes away to having an empty sink, keeping the kitchen clean allows for a finished appearance. And in most homes the kitchen is the hub of the home so it should get daily TLC.

Make Your Beds
I have to be honest: I didn't always make our beds each morning. I started last year and the habit has suck with me. Making our beds allows us to keep our bedroom doors open which gives our small upstairs a larger appearance. Also a made bed just gives off a finished look, don't you thin? I also think having your doors open provides your guests with the feeling that you aren't hiding anything. 

Each day, no matter how busy are mornings are or late our nights may be, I make time to put effort into each of these chores. It takes maybe 20 minutes top if you stay on each task. The best way to keep chore time down is to stay on top of each task. If I were to let my kitchen go, I would easily spend an hour in there but because I devote time each day, the messes are often small and easily maintenance. We have a full carpeted home so vacuuming is easier than sweeping hardwood floors daily. However if you take the time each day to just tidy up your floors, the job itself isn't so detailed. I'm sure many of you think making your bed is a no-brainer but really, it makes a huge difference in your room. I often make our beds and open the blinds allowing the natural light from outside to welcome us upstairs. 

At any given point you could stop by our home and I would be completely comfortable with welcoming you into our company ready home. Do you keep your home ready for guests? What other ways could you make your home ready for family and friends? 
                                                         Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls
                                                          Crystal at Hall Around Texas

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me 
Becky at BYBMG
Lindsay at Lindsay's Sweet World
Sarah at Sarah E. Frazer 
Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place

Monday, March 13, 2017

Our Day at Disney {The Magic Kingdom}

Oh Disney, what a magical day you were. When planning our trip to Florida we decided to spend a single day at a Walt Disney World park. After talking with a friend who is a Disney pro and doing a bit of research on our own we decided to visit The Magic Kingdom. I am so glad we went with TMK because it was the absolute best day of our vacation.

I am not one for a lot of details with vacation posts because that can get a little boring. I'm mostly a photo dump kind of girl. However, here are a few highlights from our day followed by ALL.THE.PHOTOS. The amount of photos below is crazy. My apologizes :)

 --- We were at the park from 9-5 and that was plenty for Connor. It just so happened to be the hottest day of the week so after 8 hours of the Florida sun, we were all tired.

--- We enjoyed 12 attractions in one day thanks to the use of our Fast Passes. Fast Passes are a must as some rides had a 80+ minute wait. For a 4 minute ride, that's a bit crazy.

--- Connor's favorite part of the day was watching the Monster, Inc. Laugh floor show. He is a huge fan of Monsters, Inc. 

--- I can't decide what ride I enjoyed best. It's a 3-way tie between It's A Small World, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan Flight.

--- James picked Buzz and Dumbo as his favorite attraction at TMK. The Dumbo attraction also has a really fun play area that allows your little ones to run around while you wait for your turn on the actual ride. Genius! 

--- We saw Pluto, Stitch, Winnie and Tiger, Buzz, Gaston and Mickey and Minnie. 

--- We had a Dole Whip float and given the chance to do it all over again we would have stuck with just the ice cream. Drinking warm pineapple juice isn't something I recommend.

With over 40 attractions there is no way you could do and see all that The Magic Kingdom has to offer in a single visit but I feel really good about how much we saw while we were there. Connor will mention this part or that part of Disney throughout the day and it warms my heart that he had such a good time. The only  question I have is... when do we get to go back?