Archives for July 2013

Make Your Own Ball Pit

This past week was plain and simple H-O-T. It was our first real heat wave of the summer, with temperatures hitting the upper 90’s and the heat index in the 100’s. Most of the week was also a code red, which is the most dangerous air quality category and “indicates local air pollution has reached an unhealthy level for all residents, with sensitive groups such as children, ill people and the elderly at risk of even more serious health problems.” (source) Basically they suggest you don’t spend much time outside, especially with children or if you have asthma. So other than the one or two days that weren’t a code red (where we did make it out for some play time), we were stuck inside.

Since the girls and I don’t watch TV during our time together (see this post for why we don’t) we have to find other ways to occupy our time. We did the typical coloring, hide and go seek, play dough, etc but I wanted to create something more fun and outside of the norm. Somehow I came up with the idea of making our own ball pit. The girls already have a pool, so all we needed was the balls. We made a quick trip to Babies R Us and picked some up. When we got back, I spread out the mutipurpose cloth so that their carpet didn’t get dirty from the bottom of the pool, brought the pool in, and then dumped in the balls.

The girls were SO excited. M went right in. E was a little more hesitant, which is typical for her {she’s more reserved than M} but she hung out on the edge and moved her hands through the ball pit. Eventually she climbed in as well. They liked moving their arms and legs through the balls, throwing the balls out, running to get them and then putting them back in the pool, and playing catch with me even though they aren’t quite coordinated enough to actually catch yet. M protested big tme when we had to clean up for lunch. The ball pit will be a repeated activity I’m sure!

We’ll be using the balls for future things too – color sorting, art projects, more games of catch, etc.

Since last week was so hot, we also made popsicles. Lemonade for one day and orange for the next. Both girls really liked the lemonade ones but E didn’t particularly care for the orange juice ones.
The girls really enjoy the Llama Llama series of books and in one (Zippity Zoom) Llama and Nelly Gnu eat popsicles. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Llama Llama pop-pic-les!” from the girls both while they were eating theirs and after. I love that they are able to remember things like that and relate things back to what we’ve read.

We have a lot planned for this week so stay tuned!

 


Aly

Thumping Thursdays Blog Hop

Welcome to the
Thumping Thursdays Blog Hop!
Week #38

Grab our button!!

Now on to the rules…

{I know, I know, who likes rules?! But I promise these are easy.}

Rules:
1. Follow your hosts.
Don’t forget you can follow GFC via Twitter!

HOSTESSES:
Diana from Nanny to Mommy
Nanny to Mommy
Follow via GFC
FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle+YouTube

Karina from Mom In The USA
mom in the USA products made in the USA
RSSTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestBlogLovin’

Please leave a comment if you are a new follower!

 
Co-Hosts:
Amanda @3lilapples
Aly @Giggles & Grumps

2. Add the badge somewhere on your blog.

3. Link up your main blog page.
No Giveaways or Specific Posts, please.
Link your Giveaways up HERE

Our hop is open from Thursdays at 12:01am to Wednesday at 11:59pm.
So you can share and link up all week long!

4. Visit at least the two blogs before yours in the link set-up.

5. Share the Hop!
Tweet


The other cool thing, our hop can be added to your site as well.

6. The Most Important Rule

 
Have Fun!

Happy Hopping!


We are scheduling co-hosts now!
Please e-mail us and let us know so we can get you down on the calendar!
diana.n.chastain[at]gmail[dot]com
 




Aly

Thumping Thursdays Blog Hop

Happy Thursday everyone! Welcome to the Thumping Thursdays Blog Hop. Be sure to join in and link up!

Our Hostess, Diana @Nanny To Mommy
is celebrating her wedding anniversary next week so head over there and wish her a great day/week.

Want to make sure you get our weekly reminder e-mails?
Please add
diana.n.chastain[at]gmail[dot]com
to your address book. Thanks!

Now on to the rules. I know, who likes rules, right?

But I promise, you are going to want to follow these rules.

Rules:
1. Follow your hosts.
{Don’t forget you can follow GFC via Twitter!}

HOSTESSES:
Diana from Nanny to Mommy
Nanny to Mommy
Follow via GFC
FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramGoogle+YouTube

Karina from Mom In The USA
mom in the USA products made in the USA
RSSTwitterFacebookGoogle+Pinterest

Please leave a comment if you are a new follower!

Co-Hosts:
Amanda @3lilapples
Aly @Giggles & Grumps

We are scheduling co-hosts now!
Please e-mail us and let us know so we can get you down on the calendar!
diana.n.chastain[at]gmail[dot]com

2. Add the badge somewhere on your blog.
Please make sure to add our new badge.
What do you think? I love it!


3.Link up your main blog page.
No Giveaways or Specific Posts, please.
Link your Giveaways up HERE

Our hop is open from Thursdays at 12:01am to Wednesday at 11:59pm.
So you can share and link up all week long!

4. Visit at least the two blogs before yours in the link set-up.

5. Share the Hop!
Tweet

Be sure to add our hop to your site as well!

6. The Most Important Rule – Have Fun!

Happy Hopping! :)









Aly

Share Something Saturday!

Welcome to Share Something Saturday #1! I’ve teamed up with Leslie from The Crafty Side Of Sarcasm to co-host the Share Something Saturday link up. Please stop by and link up your favorite post of the week. It can be a recipe, a haul, an outfit, pedicure, manicure, anything you want to be seen!

{Host}
Photobucket
Twitter l Pinterest l BlogLovin

{Co-Hosts}

Twitter l Pinterest l BlogLovin

Twitter l Pinterest l BlogLovin

Rules: • Follow the host {Leslie} and the co-hosts {myself and Michelle}
• Link up your main blog page or your favorite post of the week. The choice is yours.
• Grab the button to help promote you & the hop.
• Please visit at least 4 blogs. If you decide not to follow then simply leave a comment letting them know you dropped in.
• If you tweet the blog hop please use hashtag #ShareSomethingSaturday. Lets see if we can trend on twitter?
• This blog hop is open every week from Friday 8pm – Monday at 8pm.
Now come play!

{Note: When you submit your entry that gives me permission to feature your link and it’s photo}

Photobucket


Aly

Fireworks

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone is enjoying their day and spending it with family and friends! 
I wanted to do an art project with the girls to celebrate this holiday. I knew I wanted to have the girls make fireworks, but I wasn’t sure just where to start. After brainstorming for a bit, this is what I came up with. 
First, I found a plastic box with a lid that I could use as well as a ball to put in it. Then I cut a piece of paper to fit the bottom of the box and I taped it down {painter’s tape is your friend!} I put a quarter sized amount of blue and red paint on the paper.
The ball we used, available at Lakeshore
I put the ball inside, added the lid, and then let both M and E go to town shaking their boxes. They really enjoyed shaking them all around, dropping them, and even turning them upside down and drumming on them. 
Super simple, and the final result turned out pretty cool.
Happy fourth! Enjoy today!

Aly

My Planner, My Lifeline

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge planner. It’s borderline ridiculous. One thing I’ve had {and obsessed over} for many years is my planner. I’ve had once since Freshman year in high school when they handed them out and required that each student had one. Mine was a big jumbled mess of stuff for the first year or two but slowly I developed an organizational method that worked for me {more on that later}.
Last year, a few of my nanny friends recommended the Erin Condren planner. After looking at the website, I adored their planners. At the same time I was a bit shocked at the price. I mean come on, $50 for a planner? Was it really that good? Would it be money well spent? Knowing how much I used my planners, I decided I’d try it out. I ordered within a week of their release of the 2012-2013 planner. Long story short, I had a huge shipping problem. It wasn’t shipped when it said it should have been and I got a bit of a run around when contacting customer service. Finally, I contacted someone through a Facebook message and in the end their team went above and beyond in fixing my situation and not long after, albeit a month late, I had my planner in my hands.
This is this year’s planner.
I was in love right away. It was well constructed and had my personalized cover. There are uplifting and motivating quotes on each month overview. This is where my favorite organizational method comes into play – I color code. I have a different color pen for each different area of my life – personal, work, family, finance, extra work (babysitting), and then an extra one for any miscellaneous things. I usually only do the “big” things on my monthly spread. I go into more detail and include the smaller things in another part of my planner.
This is from last year when I was just starting to get the hang of this planner.
The planner also has weekly spreads. On each weekly spread, there is a spot along the side for weekly goals and notes, as well as blank space at the bottom for any other notes you need to write down. Lots of ways for anyone to customize their use of the planner to the way they stay organized best. I usually write more personal things down here so I’m showing a blank weekly page from last year’s planner that I couldn’t use because of the shipping issues I had. This years planner looks a little bit different, with a space for notes at the bottom.
In the back of the planner, they also include both labeled and blank stickers you can use. This year they also gave people the option to customize them if they wanted. I didn’t, so I received the standard stickers. It’s two sheets of labeled ones, and two sheets of blank ones. The labeled ones include one sheet of “birthday!” stickers and then another sheet with “game!” “hair appt”, “dentist appt”, “sale!”, “doc appt”, “concert”, “mani/pedi”, “party”, “vacation”, and “day off” stickers. They include a slim, clear, plastic pouch in the back as well. There is also a pocket you can put any extra papers or receipts in as well as some lined note paper.
I really love my planner. I’m pretty much obsessed really. I had some more shipping issues this year too, not nearly as bad as last year though. I ordered within the first probably 20 minutes that they were released, and others (who ordered after I did) received theirs well before I received mine. I understand that they were slammed with orders, but it took almost a month for me to receive mine. I just feel like for a $50 planner, this shouldn’t happen. I’m at the point now where I’m looking into other options for next year, but if I can’t find one I love as much as this one I’ll probably end up sticking with this one and just hoping for no shipping issues next year. {Third time’s the charm right?!} If you’re looking for one I really do recommend this one, especially since it’s after the peak order time and they’re MUCH better with shipping once that’s over.

*This is not a sponsored post. I have purchased the planners with my own money*


Aly

Bloglovin

I joined bloglovin! You can follow my blog there and/or GFC.

Aly

Splish Splash

Ahhh…sweet summertime. Nothing better than the warm sun shining down on a beautiful day. Well, except being able to splash and play in water while that sun shines down.
With the weather heating up {we’ve consistently hit in the mid to upper 90’s this past week} one of the girls’ favorite activities is being in their pool. They absolutely love to splash, and use “daddy’s cups” in their little pool. I’ve been giving them spoons recently too and they enjoy using those to mix up some imaginary ice cream. E will even tell me it’s vanilla if I ask what flavor she’s making.
The other day I found a good deal on a water table. This one to be exact. Normally $40 but I guess it was returned or something because I found it in the middle of an aisle – not with all the other water tables or even on a shelf, and when I asked how much it was, it was either $20 or $25. Too good to pass up with how much these girls love the water.
They “helped” me set it up and then once I filled it up it was just shy of two hours of fun for them. M was obsessed with putting one of the little included people down the slide. E liked using the cup to dump water on herself which was followed with hysterical laughter from her.
The girls had so much fun that we even went back out to the water table again after nap for a short splash session. After about 45 minutes, M was not too thrilled with going back inside but based on the thunder and darkening skies (plus I checked radar) we had no choice. 
It’s nice to have an alternate to the pool so that we can go back and forth between the two on weeks like this where it is sunny each day and hot. I might even fill up both the pool and water table and let them have at it a few times. If you don’t have a pool or water table, bring out a few pots, pitchers, or buckets of water and some cups and let your kids have some good old fashioned water play. 

Aly