Saturday, April 29, 2017

DIY Disney: Winnie the Pooh Party

Bounce on over to the Hundred Acre Woods with me, as I share (far too many) photos and tips for hosting a BUDGET FRIENDLY Disney themed party!

For the last few months our daughter has been in love with that silly ol' bear we all know and love, Winnie the Pooh. So I put on my thinking cap, and headed over to Pinterest for some inspiration. With technology and accessibility of things such as Amazon Prime, it's easy to burn through a huge amount of money on something like I party.

It's only natural to want the BEST party ever for your kid. You love and cherish them, why not throw the biggest, baddest, most pinterest worthy party ever?!!

Friend, please if you click away from this post before reading until the end I beg you to please remember this.
Build Memories with YOUR children,  not a pinterest board of activities never completed. 
Time with our children goes so quickly, and especially in the toddler years, they LOVE to be with YOU. 

Now that I've stepped down from my soap box, here's my quick tips for hosting an AMAZING (Budget Friendly)  Disney Themed birthday party! 

Set a Budget & Stick to It!
It's so hard, again with everything available at your finger tips, it's so easy to add just one more quick thing. Resist the urge to over spend, stick to your budget!

I actually was able to stretch our budget pretty far, thanks to all the Easter Sales. I shopped for the party the day after Easter, and got lots of carrot themed decorations, and yard games for the party. 

If you have a theme, look around the sales and see if something can be inspired by the theme. 

Get the Kids involved & DIY
If you want to host a party your kids will love, and be excited about, get THEM involved. Hype the party up;
  • talk about costumes,
  • do some DIY's together,
  • discuss who is coming
My oldest got REALLY into the costuming for the Winnie the Pooh party, and declared that I would be Eeyore,  and daddy would be Christopher Robin.  So, of course I found a way to sneak in a little extra money to the budget so I could grab this shirt from Etsy. 



Simplify Everything!
Keep everything simple, and if someone offers to help. LET THEM! You want to be IN your pictures, and ENJOYING your kid right? If someone offers to help, let them! We kept our menu simple, and I had the grandparents make the sandwiches while I took a zillion pictures and experienced my toddler look around at all the decorations. 

Thanks for joining me in Zuzu's hundred Acre Woods, I hope you'll take a moment to watch our Youtube video of photos from the party, and give us a thumbs up if you thought it was adorable! <3 


Love the ears? Get the FREE printable here


For the Cake Topper we used Little People, it doubled as a gift for our daughter. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Motherhood Diaries: Empowering Words

I recently read an article that claimed, "your voice becomes your child's inner voice". As a stay at home mom (SAHM) where my children hear my voice almost all day long, this thought inspired me to rethink how I speak to my girls.

If my words become the words that motivate them, and stick with them throughout their lives, what am I saying?

Am I showing kindness, and respect? 
Am I modeling the behavior I so desire them to have?

I fail. 

I have found myself pulling my toddlers onto my lap sometimes more than once a day asking for forgiveness.  I want my girls to know that their mom is not perfect, and their mom is learning new things every day just like they are. 

So, how do I guide their inner voice? 

Empowering Words. 

I've made a conscious effort to share empowering words to my girls daily. For example, each night before my girls fall asleep, I whisper empowering words to them. 

You are Brave
You are Strong
You are Kind
You are Loved 
You are Treasured
You are Enough
You are Powerful
You are Wonderful
You are Wanted
I Believe in You
I am Proud of You
The other night my second daughter sits up, grabs my cheeks softly, looks at me straight in the eyes and softly says...

"You are crazy, momma"


How can you empower someone in your life today? 




Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Disney Nature: #BornInChina

On Earth Day, 2017 Disney Nature will be releasing another film in their collection of nature films. Our family had the opportunity to see it before it was released to the general public, and if you want to hear our thoughts or find out if we felt it was a good idea to take our two oldest (3 & 2) to the movie, Stay tuned...


About the Movie: 
#BorninChina takes you into three animal families living in the wilds of China. In the short 1 hour and 16 minute film, you will have the opportunity to see a year in the life of some adorable Panda's, Snow Leopards, Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey and a few others.

The film is narrated by John Krasinki.
Rating: G

Thoughts: 
The visuals in this movie were absolutely stunning! If you want to see the beauty of wild China where the animals roam, go see this movie you will not be disappointed. However, if you are more interested in learning facts about the habitats and survival skills it might not be the right fit for you. Yes, you will learn about how and where the animals live, but it isn't exactly presented in the same more serious style of other nature documentaries available.

My toddlers enjoyed the silly remarks and jokes spread throughout the film, and I enjoyed seeing their excitement about the animals.  So, although I felt it a little hard to connect with the stories, I did enjoy the visuals of the film.

Was this film appropriate for young Toddlers? 
Yes, the content of the film was appropriate for young children. At 1 hour and 16 minutes, it was difficult for the girls to sit still. However, the quick movement between animal stories and beautiful scenery helped keep them engaged.

The movie does take you right into the habitats of the animals, and some images may be a little scary for younger audiences, but it provides an opportunity to talk with your children about animals and respecting them. There was one scene with the monkey's that was a little intense and again with the leopard, but it wasn't gruesome.

Educational Opportunities: 
Prior to seeing the movie, the girls and I talked about the different animals we would see. I also printed some Panda coloring pages for them to color while we chatted.

Disney Nature has also created educational guides and activities, complete with a chart of common core standards. Perfect for Teachers or Parents to integrate into their classrooms or homes to continue the conversation with their children.

Disney #BorninChina Educators Guide (72 Pages)
Disney #BorninChina Activity Packet (24 Pages)

*This is not a sponsored post, I won 4 tickets to see a preview of #borninchina from an online contest. All opinions are my own*




Friday, April 7, 2017

What's in My Diffuser: Morning Routine

Anyone still hanging in with me on the 30 day shred? I must confess, I am slacking... I've had a hard time getting it into my routine, but I am trying my best!

In an ongoing effort to remove heavy perfumes and candles from our home, I have turned to the diffuser. My parents have been using a diffuser for years, and I just recently received my first one as a gift and have been hooked ever since. My recent morning blend has been 2 drops of lemon and 2 drops of wild orange essential oils.


Why Lemon and Wild Orange?
Wild Orange
  • Uplifting Aroma
  • Powerful cleaning agent
Lemon
  • Promotes positive mood
  • Powerful cleaning agent
I find using this blend of citrus helps uplift my groggy-mood, and is a pleasant start to my day! 



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

DIY Disney: Tangled Tower

Happy Wednesday Friends!

This week I did a really simple and quick Disney inspired craft with my toddlers, and here are 3 things to love about this craft!
  1. Hardly ANY supplies required
  2. Hardly ANY set up
  3. Great for developing those FINE MOTOR Skills! 
I guess my bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education is getting some use as a stay at home mom. I can't help but see the teachable moments in our every day life, and my prayer is that by doing these crafts with my girls they are inspired to keep learning and trying new things.  I can't encourage you enough to craft with your toddlers, they learn SO much through the process! 

Here's what you need for your Tangled inspired craft! 

Supplies:

The Process:

Poke a bunch of holes in a piece of paper and have your children practice threading the yarn through the holes. This can be tricky for your toddlers, it's important to guide them through the process so they have fun with it without getting frustrated. 

Once they've gotten the hang of threading the yarn through the holes, you can move on to the actual craft. Cut a tower out of construction paper and hole punch a few holes throughout the tower.

Have your child thread the yarn around the tower to look much like Rapunzel's hair when she let's it down for her mother to climb. 

Once the yarn has been threaded throughout the tower, glue or tape the tower onto a piece on green construction paper. 

My daughter then added some flowers with crayons and stickers for a little extra decoration. 

Teachable Moments:
  • Vocabulary
    •  talk with your toddler share new words with them such as and help them to say them clearly
  • Color identification
    • The colors of the flowers
    • The Hair
  • Fine Motor Skills
    • To make it a little easier, put some tape around the end of the yarn to help it thread through a little easier
As a bonus, we watched Tangled together while we finished decorating our tower.  We hope you will give this quick and easy Tangled DIY a try and love it as much as we did! 

*this post contains affiliate links, it costs nothing extra for you but a small percentage of your purchase comes to us. 
We appreciate your support! 



Monday, April 3, 2017

30 Day Shred - Diet Plans?

How did we do with our first couple days of the 30 Day Shred?

Someone recently asked me if there was a diet plan we were sticking with for the program, and the short answer is simply, No. I'm not following any "diet". I am however, make a few conscious choices when it comes to the food I'm putting in my body.

Using the tools learned during my first round of the 21 day fix, I am portioning my food and increasing my veggies while decreasing my carbs. I will not be as strict as I was while on the 21 day fix, but at the same time I plan to eliminate all beverages except water and my mothers milk tea.

Nutritional Goals for April 2017

  • Eliminate Soda & Coffee 
  • Drink more water
  • Increase Veggies
  • Use the tools learned during the 21 day fix for portion control
Here's a look at some of the things we ate during round one of the 21 day fix, we will be incorporating these back into our meal plan for the month of April.


What are some of your tips and tricks for eating healthy, link me to some recipes below!


*This post contains affiliated links, it costs nothing extra for you but we do receive a small percentage with your purchase. 
Thank you in advance for your support. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

30 Day Shred Day 1 - To Do List.

Welcome to Day one of the 30 Day Shred!

This is a program designed by Jillian Michaels, and one of the programs I used back in 2012 to kick start my weight loss journey. Since 2012 I have lost over 70 lbs and given birth to the three most beautiful girls in the whole world.

I believe in this program, as it was one of the first programs I used and saw results! I'd love to have you join me on this journey!

Let's get started!

Before you begin the program, I believe it is essential to do the following 3 things.

  1. Take your measurements 
    • This is something I didn't do in 2012 and I regret it. I had to rely on the way I felt and I wasn't able to see numbers... This discouraged me quite a bit. So, take those measurements. 
  2. Take some Pictures! 
    • Take the pictures!!!!!! Even if NO ONE sees them but you, YOU  are worth it! 

  1. Identify a time that YOU will push play. 
    • What works for you? Does a 5 a.m. workout work best for you? How about after dinner and when the kids are in bed? What works for me, won't work for you and that's okay! 
Welcome to the journey, I can't wait to share this with all of you and see your progress!!

Purchase your DVD and weights* here:



*this blog post contains affiliate links, this costs nothing extra for you but it does give our family a small percentage. We thank you kindly for your support. <3 

MARATHON MONDAY, WDW Marathon Training Week 8

"Giving up is for rookies." Hercules  Welcome to week 8 of Marathon Training! Much like week seven , there wasn't a whole ...