Motherhood, toddlers, Uncategorized

Keeping it Clean

In life, there are a few things that are harder then we anticipate. Keeping a clean house seems to be one of them for many of us. Because of children, pets, and daily life, keeping a clean house can seem like an impossible task. Like most things in my life, I decided to tackle this problem with a list and routine.

List most of us, I made myself a New Years resolution. My personal goal was to decrease stress in my life. A messy house creates a messy mind, which in turn creates a stressed out me! So, the brainstorming took hold. I knew I needed a structured plan to get the cleaning train moving. I also knew the more I kept on top of my cleaning routine the faster the daily process would be. Think about it, if you clean your floors once a week, there is less dirt to scrub off then if it’s been a month. And just like that a cleaning schedule was born.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your home can’t be 100% cleaned in one day either. Let’s be honest, your home will never be spotless, because that’s just life. But, you can keep your house clean and yourself sane by breaking down your cleaning into more manageable tasks. I break my tasks up into two categories: daily and weekly. This helps me stay on top of things, without spending hours a day cleaning.

What does that weekly schedule look like? Well here it is:

Monday: Bathrooms: my least favorite thing to clean on my least favorite day. I do bathrooms first, so I can get it checked off the list.

Tuesday: Downstairs floors. Vacuum and mop all the floors on your main floor.

Wednesday: Declutter: Wednesday is trash day, so I go around and collect all trash, recycling, and giveaway items. This is a great way to reduce clutter in your house as well.

Thursday: Upstairs floors. Vacuum and mop all the upstairs floors.

Friday: Catch up: Use this day to check up on anything you may have missed over the week.

Saturday: Clean out the fridge & Meal plan! Create your weekly meal plan to make your grocery shopping trip a breeze.

Sunday: Relax!

With my weekly tasks, come my every single day tasks. These activities do not take long, but help move everything along smoothly.

Morning tasks:

  • Empty the dishwasher: put away all the dishes from the night before.
  • Reload the dishwasher with left over dishes.
  • Throw in a load of laundry

Evening tasks:

  • Load and rerun the dishwasher.
  • Wipe down all the counters.
  • Scrub the sink.
  • Put away laundry.
  • Take 15 minutes to clean up.

Helping clean up the playroom.

This cleaning schedule has saved me so much time and stress. I check things off as I go and I don’t have the feeling looming over me that I should be cleaning. I can spend my free time making memories with my kiddos and relaxing.

The goal here is to keep your house clean, while spending less time actually cleaning. Remember, your house doesn’t have to be spotless because you and your family do live in it. I hope this cleaning routine saves you time that you can use to build and grow those precious memories with your family.

XO Kate

Motherhood, toddlers, Uncategorized

St. Patrick’s Day Activities with Toddlers

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

Ready to dig into some fun St. Patrick’s day activities? Well then you have come to the right place! We have put together a few fun and easy project for you and your kiddo. 

  1. Rainbow Dots!

Work on those fine motor skills, while sharpening their cognitive skills as well. Of course, it’s also fun for them! Print out a picture of a rainbow, like this one, grab some dot markers, and fill the circles with whatever your child is learning. Are they into shapes? Awesome! Fill the circles with different shapes and have them follow the key. Do they love numbers? Then use numbers! We are working on lowercase letter, so we used them! The best part is you can easily adjust this activity based on theme, difficulty, and ability. Oh, and it’s pretty much mess free. We love to continue to our rainbow theme with our wooden rainbow.

2. Make soda bread!

Does your toddler LOVE to be in the kitchen with you? Mine sure does. So, we decided to make some delicious Irish soda bread. Let me tell you, it was easy and actually super fun! I know keeping a toddler on task for more then 5 seconds can be a challenge. But, I have noticed when they have their little hands moving they seem to last a whole minute. Helping in the kitchen isn’t just fun, it is a great way to introduce math and how to follow directions to your children.  For step by step instructions, click the link above. Her recipe was super easy and delicious! 

3. Lucky Charms Sensory Bin. 

This Lucky Charms sensory bin is easy, edible, and so much fun to do! It took me maybe 5 minutes to put together and had my toddler and infant busy for at least 30 minutes. It is the prefect way to teach sorting and fine motor skills.

What you’ll need:

  • Lucky Charms
  • A Container
  • Cups
  • Spoons
  • Plastic Letters or anything to hide

Just place letters in the bottom of the bin and poured the cereal right on top.  Then have your kiddo start sorting the marshmallows into different cups, while uncovering the hidden letters. As the letters become exposed have them place them into the puzzle. Such a fun and yummy way to teach sorting, pouring, and the alphabet all in one! 

Pouring from one container to another, searching for letters!

4. Go Outside On a Scavenger.

We LOVE to go on scavenger hunts! So, I created a simple list for St. Patrick’s Day. We headed outside in search for all things St. Patrick’s Day! When we found all that we could outside, we began our search indoors. We found everything on our list, even those tiny leprechaun footprints! It was so much fun searching high and low for everything. Seeing the excitement on his face was priceless. These toddler years can be a handful, but they sure are fun! If you want to head out on a scavenger hunt with your kiddo, I attached the PDF below. Happy searching!

It’s time to get crafty! We would love to see your creations in our comment section or on our Facebook page! 

If you have any St. Patrick’s Day must do’s, we would love to hear about them. Comment them below, so we can try them out too.

Uncategorized

7 Simple Activities for Rainy Days!

There’s no where my kiddos would rather be than outside; running, screaming, and exploring. They would spend the entire day outside if they could, and sometimes we do! However, there are days when we just can’t do outside. It’s too hot, it’s raining, or maybe it’s too cold, which doesn’t happen often here in North Carolina.

Regardless of the reason, all of their bottled up energy needs somewhere to go, and I’d prefer it not be them jumping from couch to couch. Of course, on these rainy days their old toys no longer interest them and they are all over the place. Thankfully there are plenty of fun, easy, and quick to put together activities to keep your little ones busy right inside your home.

1. Sensory Bins:

Sensory bins are a great way to let your little ones explore different textures, colors, and concepts. Everything is contained in a big plastic tub, or so it’s supposed to be, which makes for easy clean up! Find a plastic tub you have laying around the house and fill it with whatever interests your child. We currently LOVE construction of any kind. So, off I went to the garage, got some soil and rocks and ta-da! A sensory bin was created!

Some other fun themes are: holidays, individual colors, and seasons.

2. DIY Dry Erase Board:

Have a glass door or window? I’m sure you do! Well guess what, you also have a dry erase board. Grab some dry erase markers and let your little one draw a picture. Make sure you remind them markers are ONLY for the door or window, otherwise you may end up with a lovely Picasso-esque mural adorning your walls. When drawing their own picture loses your littles interest, draw shapes on the door, then begin naming the shapes, while having them erase or circle the shape you named. You can do this with anything: letters, numbers, shapes, sight words, etc you name it!

3. Alphabet & Number Games:

We have been focusing on our numbers, letters, and shapes for a while. Over time we have narrowed down some of our favorite games. Do you have an old cookie sheet you no longer use, alphabet or number magnets, and a sharpie? If you do, you have a new game at your fingertips. Take a sharpie, write down the alphabet (or numbers) and have your kiddo match them up! How easy is that?! If you don’t have magnets, grab a piece of paper and some paint! Write the alphabet or numbers down and have your kiddo trace them with paint. Both activities are simple to put together and will keep your little ones busy.

4. Cook together!

Cooking together doesn’t have to be elaborate! Have them help you make breakfast, or lunch. Measuring, dumping, and stirring help build fine motor skills, it also builds memories together. Bonus, my toddler also seems to eat more of the food when he helps!

5. Painters Tape Race Track!

Cranes, trains, and automobiles are just a few of our favorite things. With that being said, we have a TON of vehicles throughout our house. These vehicles sometimes need to place to go (other than under my feet!). So, we grabbed some painters tape and created a race track! But, what’s a race track without some tunnels and bridges?! Thank you solo cups! The tracks don’t have to stay on the ground. Up the walls, over the couches, and down the kitchen drawers are all fun places for their cars to travel.

6. Bring Nature Indoors!

Not literally.  But when all your littles want to do is venture outside, you can still let them scope it out from the sidelines.  Talk about the weather, look for wildlife with a pair of binoculars, grab a bird book and identify birds at the feeder, watch and learn about the types of clouds.  If you live in a larger city or busy neighborhood, people watch!  These little window-watching conversations will introduce new fun, and even new vocabulary.

7. A timeless classic…Build a Fort!

What kid doesn’t love a fort?  They are ripping your house apart anyway, might as well do it intentionally!  Gather all the pillows, blankets, cushions and get to work. Have flashlights or lanterns?  Great!  Stuffed animal role players? Awesome!  Forts aren’t an everyday occurrence over here, so making a rainy day extra special with this family activity is always a blast. Leave them up all day, eat lunch in there, watch a movie by lantern-light. It only takes a slight departure from “normal” for kids to think something is magical.

Now it’s your turn!

Choose one or a few of these rainy day activities for your little one and go have fun!

Uncategorized

The Meet Cute

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

-C.S. Lewis

We danced around the idea of a blog for a couple months before finally deciding to take advantage of a kid-free Sunday morning and meet for coffee.  On said day, it was pouring.  Usually this would be a plan-canceler for us, a reason to stay in.  A footnote in our friendship agreement of sorts.  But today we braved the weather (because KID FREE) and showed up to Starbucks wearing almost identical outfits….jeans, white sweater, boots.  We then ordered lattes and proceeded to talk about everything but our future blog for over an hour.

It’s very cool how people meet.  Kind of a weird statement, I know, but it all comes back to that, right?  When you met your husband, when you first saw your child, when you became best friends.  It’s nostalgic.  It’s epic.  It’s the origin story.  Maybe it’s a classic meet cute or maybe it was a bit rocky, but it’s memorable nonetheless.  I once read that the average person meets 10,000 people in their lifetime.  As stay at home moms, I feel like that number could be a lot less.  Maybe that is why we are all about community events, playgroups, coffee dates, etc.  Especially as military families when the worthwhile friends we do manage to meet are often renting a moving truck far before we are ready to see them go.  That’s why it feels like winning the lottery when you not only find a friend, but one who gets you so well.

We met at a park on an unexceptional late-spring day, where we both separately decided to grab coffee with our husbands and take our 1 year olds out to burn some energy.  As I remember it, both of our children gravitated away from the playground equipment and towards the forbidden body of water that ran surreptitiously alongside the small park in coastal North Carolina.  We giggled over this common toddler obsession, made a Moana joke (duh), and struck up easy conversation.  It wasn’t until a few conversations later that we realized we had both driven 15 minutes away from our homes on a weekend morning to go to Dunkin Donuts of all places, both passing other coffee shops along the way, and then taking our toddlers to a park none of us have ever been to before that’s in the town we live in.  Plus our kids had basically the same due date.  So there, that’s our meet cute.

Awkward toddler hugs!

Over a year later, we both welcomed new baby girls who are also close in age and commiserate daily on the whoas of motherhood.  Our toddlers even celebrated their 2nd birthdays together. While I feel like we are SO alike, we are also very different.  We are both military spouses and SAHMs. Kate is organized, talented at DIY, and has a flare for interior design.  She has a knack for giving her kids amazing educational opportunities and making their days so unique and special. She likes to say that her son’s social calendar is more happening than hers!  Elizabeth has an eye for photography and an affinity for nature and adventure.  She and her husband love to take their two littles on road trips and camping trips that may seem a bit overzealous with two young kids, but oftentimes the best memories come from the chaos. That’s us in a nutshell. I have a feeling you’ll learn a lot more about us later!

So why start a blog together?  I guess it’s because we both impress each other as moms.  We always love what the other is up to and it’s so easy to bounce ideas off each other.  When one feels like they are lacking in a certain area, the other has a great suggestion (or at the very least, an empathetic ear.) I have found that sometimes as a mother you just need to know that what you are doing is okay.  Sometimes you need a reminder that it does, in fact, take a village.  And sometimes that “village” can simply be the words of like-minded moms in a blog about staying sane and taking motherhood one sip at a time. So we hope you will join us on our journey. We welcome comments, inspiration, suggestions, & support from our village at anytime!

XOXO, Elizabeth & Kate