Monday, December 11, 2017

Raising Kind Girls in a "Mean Girls" World

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, and quickly approaching the season of life known as "2 under 2" I was given plenty of "advice". I was told things like...

"all they will do is fight, from birth to adulthood"

"it's really too bad you aren't having a boy, 

girls are too competitive with each other" 

Um... Thank you?? 

I'd often be in tears while talking with my husband about the things people would say to me and then, I gave up listening to the "advice" of the people who seemed feel as though the relationship of my two children would be strained from birth.  

Why am I going to let other people's opinions shape my expectations of how my two children would treat each other?
Didn't God give these girls to MY husband and I to raise? 

So, when our Zuzu-bug was born I made a conscious effort to guide their friendship, and help them to learn from a young age to work things out together and no matter what, to always love and support one another!

Do I have two perfect daughters who never fight or disagree? 
No, I don't. 

Do I have two girls who love each other fiercely? 

So how did I encourage kindness with my girls? 

1. Model.

Our children are like sponges. Literally, EVERYthing we do, they see. For example, my husband has a cough and is in the practice of coughing into his elbow. What did our 1-year-old start doing when she developed a cough?

Yep. She's coughing into her elbow like a little grown up. 

If we want our children to be kind and respectful, we need to check ourselves and be sure WE are being kind and respectful to our spouse, our children, and those we come into contact with. 

2. Define it. 
Children look to adults to learn the meaning of words, it's so important that we help them understand the meaning. If I want my children to "show kindness" I better be willing to give them concrete examples in their daily life. 

For instance, we can say things like thank you for helping your sister clean up the toys, that was very kind of you. 

Any time you catch your child doing something nice or kind for someone else, TELL them!  

Let praise and compliments fall off your tongue and

 watch their confidence grow! 

There is always a Reason to BE KIND. 

Let's get real for a moment, shall we? 
Do my children constantly show kindness? No, again. They are young toddlers. However, there are moments when they surprise you. Like the time at Disney when my oldest who was two at the time ran ahead as she saw two employees emptying a garbage can. She stopped, sang the cleanup song (from Barney) and said "thank you for cleaning" The smile on the cast-members face melted my heart and in that moment I knew we were on the right track! 

How can you show kindness to someone today? 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gift Ideas for the BIG SISTER or BIG BROTHER to be!

Being a Big Sister (or Brother) is a pretty exciting new chapter in a person's life. I remember when we welcomed my little sister into the world, it was a big deal. Of course, I was 5 years old so I have more memories of the time than I think my 2 and 1 year old will have, but nevertheless, I think it's important to honor them as their place in the family shifts.

Since I was induced for all of my pregnancies, I made sure to pack lots of items to keep the big sisters occupied while they waited for their baby sister to arrive!
Coloring Books! 

I packed the girls gifts in a small backpack, I used one found at the Target Dollar Spot, but something like this would probably be better quality. 

Inside the backpack we had the following:
  • New Pajama's 
  • Books
  • A new outfit
  • Bubbles
  • Coloring Books and Crayons!
  • Big Sister Button 

My girls were so excited to receive their gifts and absolutely adore their baby sister!

Question of the day: What would you include in a gift bag for a big sister or brother?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Quick, Easy, Frugal Friendly Sugar Scrub Recipe

One of my FAVORITE places to go to in Disney Springs is Basin.  I just love all the unique fragrances, hydrating scrubs, and Magical soaps!  One of my favorite products is the body scrub, I just love the way it makes my skin feel. Since adding a couple of princesses to our family, we don't get to shop in Disney Springs or visit Basin very often anymore. That's okay though, because did you know that you can make your own body scrub with just a few simple ingredients? It's true!

Basin sells a jar of their body scrub for around $35.00, but you can make your own with just three ingredients that you might already have in your home! 

Today I am going to share the recipe I recently used to create party favors for my sister in law's baby shower. This recipe was SO easy that my three year old tried to completely take over!

DIY Body Scrub
Some of my favorite essential oil scents to try. 
  • Lavender
  • Lavender and Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Peppermint and Lavender
  • DoTerra Serenity 
Why Fractionated Coconut Oil?
Fractionated coconut oil has been processed to remove the coconut scent, and also will not harden in cooler temperatures.  

Can I use regular olive oil or coconut oil for the scrub? 
Yes. You can certainly use olive oil or the coconut oil for the scrub, I have. However, please be aware that the scent of the oil can be overpowering.

Where I buy DoTerra Essential Oils
I purchase my DoTerra essential oils directly from my mom who is a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. She has used EO's for many years and has a lot of information on improving health and well-being through the use of EO's. I'd encourage you to connect with her to purchase some oils of your own.

Purchase Oils Here! 
  1. In a mixing bowl add a 50/50 mix of sugar and coconut oil. 
  2. Add 10-15 drops of essential oils
  3. Stir until you have created the consistency you prefer
    1. If the mix is too wet, add Sugar
    2. In the mix is too dry, add oil
  4. Store in a glass container and enjoy! 
These make wonderful gifts for teachers, friends, or even party favors!

Disney Tip: 
Basin can be found in two places on the Disney World Property.
1. In Disney Springs
2. The Grand Floridian Resort 
I love to go to the one inside the Grand Floridian as it is a much smaller store, and never as crowded as the one in Disney Springs. You'll also get a chance to check out the beautiful Disney resort! *Pay attention to the floor in the Grand Floridian Lobby, you might spot some Disney Pals in the tile designs.  

Get into the Holiday Spirit with this FREE Disney Experience

Want to Experience some Disney Magic this Holiday Season, but would prefer not to pay the hefty price tag for a park ticket? Check out the Christmas Tree Trail in Disney Springs!

November 10, 2017, through January 7, 2018, experience 
this festive holiday experience 

Where to park
The Christmas Tree Trail is located in the Market Place, very near to the Days of Christmas shop. However, there parking on that side of Disney Springs can be quite hectic and often full. Instead of parking on the Marketplace side, park in the Orange Garage and either walk or take the short boat ride to the other side of Disney Springs. The boat ride drops you off just outside the exit to the trail, so this option is especially great if you are traveling with any young children. 

The Christmas Tree trail features 25 trees beautifully themed after a Disney Character or one of your favorite movies.  You will also experience festive holiday music, snow and can even make reservations to see Santa Clause himself.  More details here

Each tree was beautifully themed, with intricate details about either the movie or character so you can either take a long leisurely stroll through the trail exploring each detail or just walk through enjoying the ambiance.  (Full Walking Tour on our Youtube Channel)

Whether you are leisurely walking through searching for Hidden Mickey's and Secret details or chasing your toddlers through the trail, take a look at the tree toppers, each one was so unique and so beautiful. My favorite was Miss Piggy on the Muppet Tree! 

For an added treat to the Disney fan, pay attention to the signage around each tree. 

This Disney Magic experience is sure to get you into the Holiday Spirit! 

If you are traveling with older Children, or adults only check out Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt. This FREE Scavenger hunt through Disney Springs. Ask a cast member for your guide, and head on a tour through Disney Springs. If you complete the hunt, you will be eligible for a surprise! This activity could absolutely be completed with babies and toddlers but might be a little more challenging. 

If you are looking to add some FREE Disney Magic to your holidays, check out these two great Family Friendly Experiences in Disney Springs! 
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! 


Add to the Magic with these Fun and Festive Products!*

*Amazon Affiliate Link. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

What's in my Lunchbox? Family of 5

Need some lunchbox inspiration? Look no further! Here are the items that I pack for an afternoon at the Zoo, Park or Theme Park with my family!

  • Sandwiches 
    • Peanut Butter only for the girls, cut into fun shapes!
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly for my husband and I
  • Nuts (for mom and Dad)
    • Almonds have been my favorite right now 
  • Fruit (pick 2)
    • Apples
    • Grapes
    • Clementines
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
  • Veggies (1 or 2)
    • Grape Tomatoes
    • Carrots
    • Cucumbers
    • Peppers
  • Cheese
    • Cubed
    • Cheese Stick
  • Yogurt
    • I like to freeze them, they are the perfect temperature by the time we eat lunch 
  • Something Crunchy (1 or 2)
    • Granola Bars
    • Puffs
    • Cereal
    • Pretzels
My current favorite lunch box is one that I purchased from my friend Deanna who is a Thirty-One consultant. 

The Around the Clock Thermal is perfect for packing lots of snacks for your day at a theme park, the local park or zoo. Some of my favorite features include a long strap for cross body carrying, front zipper to carry hand sanitizer and a small trash bag. 

Current Price: $30.00

Get yours from your local thirty-one representative or from my friend Deanna

Let's support as many small shops and small businesses as we can this Holiday Season. Let me know in the comments below, what are some of your favorite small businesses? 


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

5 Reasons to Purchase an Annual Pass to your Local Zoo!

As a mom young children, I am always looking for educational and fun experiences for my family. While I was studying for my bachelors in Early Childhood Education, I specifically remember the remarkable rate in which the brain develops in the first three years of life.

85% of the brain development 
happens in the first 3 years! 

As a mom of three children ages three and under, I feel it is crucial to their academic success to fill their days with meaningful experiences. Which is why I asked for an annual pass to the Zoo last Christmas, and it has been the most fun year with the girls yet! 

Here are my five Reasons why I think you should consider an annual pass to the local zoo! 

1.  Meaningful Experiences
There are so many opportunities to learn at the zoo, catch a show, feed an animal talk to a zookeeper! 

2. Encourage Physical Activity
Zoo's are often quite large, and many of them have lots of playgrounds, splash pads and play areas.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity a day for children. It's easy to encourage an extended time of play at the zoo, and as an added bonus your kids will sleep better at night. 
3. Splash Pads!
Our local Zoo has five splash pad's throughout the zoo and they are all free for visitors to the zoo! This is especially great during the summer months! Not all zoo's offer free splash pads, for example, when we visited the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans there was an extra charge for the water area, but most zoo's (especially in Florida) have a water area for kids! 

4. Special Events! 
If you are looking for an Easter Egg hunt or a place to take your family trick-or-treating, check out your local Zoo! Each year we've participated in Holiday events at our local zoo, and with our annual pass, these events were FREE for us! 

5.  Increase Conversation and Communication 
When we go to the zoo just as a family, we will often pick a nice shady park bench near a large animal such as an Elephant, or Giraffe and have a snack. During this snack time, our girls seem to really open up and ask questions about the animals. Our most recent trip resulted in a 20-minute conversation about Elephants, and how they use their trunks to eat.  Toddlers have growing minds and lots of questions, let's give them opportunities to ask questions and explore their world! 

See you at the Zoo! 

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Harmony Barbershop, Walt Disney World

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls,

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom -

Where Dreams Come True!

If you dream of creating a magical experience for your child's first haircut, I urge you to consider Harmony Barbershop on Main Street, in Walt Disney World.   Each stylist at Harmony Barbershop is a state-licensed cosmetologist, armed with stickers and pixie dust to ensure a magical experience.

The "My First Haircut Package" is only $25.00, and includes a personalized certificate, a small piece amount of hair from the first cut, and commemorative Mickey Ears!  Harmony Barbershop also offers haircuts for children (9 and under) for $18.00 and an adult haircut is $19.00.

Although there are a few walk-in appointments available, you might consider calling ahead to make a reservation. Especially since you will be using some of your time inside the Magic Kingdom to get your haircut.

Reservations can be made by calling (407) 939-7529

Prior to arriving make sure your child's hair is clean and dry and detangled. The stylists do not wash your child's hair, but will potentially spray some water on their hair.  You have to arrive and check in about 20-30 minutes prior to your appointment, this is to ensure efficiency with appointments. After checking in for our appointment, we sat outside on Main Street and enjoyed the ambiance, took some "before" photos and listened to the Barbershop Quartet singing nearby. 

Once it was our turn, the whole family (and I mean, the whole family) piled into the window seat of the barbershop and watched our two oldest daughter's first haircuts. 

The stylist first introduced herself to our daughters and gave them as many Mickey stickers as they desired, and toys to play with during the haircut.  The entire haircut lasted about 30 minutes per child and included a sprinkle of pixie dust at the end. 

I was a little concerned that our girls would get a little anxious to get down during the middle of the haircut, so I purchased a Mickey Lollipop at the gift shop next door for them to enjoy during the haircut. 
We had such an amazing experience at the Harmony Barbershop, and even with our large family group piled into the room we were not once treated disrespectfully or asked to rotate guests in and out of the barbershop,  it was truly a magical memory, one I will cherish for the rest of my life.

So, if you've got a trip to Disney coming up and you want to add a little extra magic in your day, consider stopping by the Harmony Barbershop. Even if you aren't getting a haircut, ask for a sprinkle of pixie dust to add a little extra sparkle to your day. 


Raising Kind Girls in a "Mean Girls" World

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, and quickly approaching the season of life known as "2 under 2" I was given plenty...