Thursday, April 2, 2015

5 Ways to Make Your Morning Routine Less Stressful {with kids}

I have been getting kids up and out the door for what seems like forever. It is sometimes the most excruciating thing I have to do all day. On some days I would rather walk across a room covered in Lego pieces. That bad! So lets make it a bit easier. I can't calm all of the "but I don't wannas" and the "she looked at me" drama but I can help you to get it go a bit more smoothly.

1- Pick out their clothes the night before. Have your kids help you pick out their clothes either for the week on Sunday night, or every night before you go to bed, with the shoes they want to wear, because shoes like to mysteriously walk away when you are trying to find them at the last minute in the morning.

2- Make lunches ahead of time. If you make their lunch, do it the night before. I have been known to procrastinate this. It never works in my favor to do it in the morning. It also helps to have an extra lunch box and drink container for the one that forgot theirs at school.

3- Load and Go Area. Have a dedicated place for backpacks and coats. Have them look at the weather and put anything they will need next to their backpack. This is a really great time to sign folders and read all of those science project is due tomorrow notes.

4- Me Time. Wake up 20 minutes earlier than you normally do. Okay, I am the worst at actually getting up earlier than I'm supposed to. Hell, I struggle with getting out of bed at any appointed time. I am a self proclaimed night owl living in an early birds house. I hate it, but when I give myself that extra 20 minutes things really seem to go much more smoothly and I am more calm. Or maybe it's because I've had my coffee earlier.

5- No TV. Leave the TV off. That is unless they are all done and waiting. The kids know that I am more than willing to let them watch TV if they have eaten their breakfast, got dressed and brushed their hair and teeth. Only then. TV's have some insane, mind controlling laser that makes it to where they can't do anything without their eyes glued to the screen like little zombies. I consider it more of an incentive than a bribe. It's understood that it will happen if they do what they are supposed to but I don't ever use it to get them to move their keister.

Do you have anything that works really well for you?

Here they are on a successful morning where they did exactly what they were supposed to do!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hearty Sausage and Potato Soup

I love a good soup. This one I got help from my little dude Jack. He has mastered the art of holding the handle and stirring. Love this guy! On these cold January days I think a good hearty soup is just what you need at the end of the day. You can make this in about 30 minutes.

What you need:

3 large or 5 medium potatoes
1 roll of pork sausage
Chicken stock or bouillon cube (1)
Bag of frozen soup/stew veggies (my bag had carrots, celery, onions and potatoes) or fresh versions of these
Salt and pepper to taste
A pot to boil potatoes
Potato Peeler
Knife/cutting block
Large soup pot (I use my big Le Crueset)


Directions:

Start by peeling your potatoes. Cut them into bite size chunks and put them into the pot you are going to boil them in. Cover them with water until you have approximately 1 inch over the potatoes and but them on high heat to boil. They should be done in about 20 minutes. After you have the potatoes started, break the sausage into chunks and cook over medium heat in your large soup pot. Once it is cooked you add the frozen veggies, one bullion cube and one cup of water (or one cup of stock). Turn down your heat to medium low and cover until potatoes are done cooking, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are done, add the entire pot to your sausage and veggies. Now you can add your salt and pepper to taste.

Easy right? The kids gobble it up. It is so quiet at the dinner table when we have this soup!


Prep stage: Sausage cooked, bullion and veggies added.








Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy Hunger Games {Free Printable PDF Banner}

Happy Hunger Games! We love the Hunger Games so much in our house that Ethan's last birthday was Hunger Game themed. You can read more about the party here. Today I am giving away the Hunger Games banner we made for his party (click on the link under the picture to download)! It is a burlap background with black letters. Simple and sweet! If you want a custom made printable burlap banner visit our Etsy shop Three Magee.















Download Here!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Popsicle Stick Snowman: Winter Craft {Ornament}

I did these as the 2nd grade homeroom mom last year. For real, easy and fun! The kids had a great time...even the boys. You can also make these into ornaments!

Supplies:

Felt- lots of different colors maybe 8-10 sheets total
Popsicle Sticks
White Craft Paint or white spray paint (easier)
Black and Colored Sharpee's
Scissors
Twine, String or Ribbon (if making an ornament)
Hot Glue Gun

Directions:

This took a little bit of prep work, but you could do it the night before and be just fine giving it 20-30 minutes. First I painted about 40 of the popsicle sticks front and back. I realized later it would have taken way less time to spray paint them. Lesson learned just for you! While the paint was drying I cut out scarves and hats from the felt. If you know you are going to make ornaments you can go ahead and either hot glue the loop of twine/string/ribbon on for them, or you can pre-cut them so they can pick later.

When I was at the school I set up a table at the class party and had kids come up two at a time. Each kid would pick a hat, scarf and ornament ribbon. I would hot glue the hat and ornament ribbon on (I have a mini glue gun that doesn't get super hot and it was just me using it). Then each child would draw the face and buttons and tie the scarf on.

This worked for a couple of reasons. The kids really enjoyed getting to make something that was unique. They still got to eat the party food at their desk and talk with one another. By second grade they really just want to talk and relax. I got to spend (even if just for a few minutes) almost one on one time with each student in the class. It was more personal that way! Kids love to have you gush over their choices or talk about who they are going to give it to. Some children really just need someone to pay attention to them. That was my favorite part!




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ten on Ten: January 2015

Happy Ten on Ten!! One of my blogging goals for the year was to do this every month this year! I love when the 10th is on a Saturday, more interesting stuff seems to happen then. I am also doing Project 365 (one photo everyday!!) and will be posting a monthly super picture here. So, are you ready??? Here they are:
9ish I quit the Keurig and I'm officially my mother.

10- Getting her Lego on.

11-Photo by Jack: Game time. It was close, they lost by 1 point!


12- Started the Pizza dough

1- Oh Bread. I make all of our sandwich bread now. Delicious baking therapy.

2- My mom's copy. Read after bread.

3- Movie time. Cast Away

4- She shares my love for bread.
5- Homemade pizza for dinner!

6- She was so proud of her pie!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Coconut Oil Waffles

Oh my goodness. I have never in my life been asked for more waffles than I was this past Sunday. Everyone wants more and more and more of these. So I happily obliged and we had breakfast for dinner again. Now homemade is relative here. Homemade to me is making them with my waffle iron instead of pulling them out of the freezer and putting it in the toaster. I love Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix (no paid sponsorship or affiliation here I just love it, but I wouldn't be upset if they sent me a free box or some coupons!). I change up their recipe and add coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. The result is a sweeter and healthier option. Which according to my family is amazing! I also use the Coconut Oil Pam spray for the waffle maker for an added touch of yum.





Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY: Blonde Hair to Brown {Hair Rescue!!}

I confess. I have made some really poor choices concerning my hair. But lets not reflect on the past too much. I had a bad experience with going blonde. Let's just say I could see my hair breaking off as it was being blow dried at the salon and I spent the last two months babying it, going sulfate free, doing hair masks and doing just about everything I could to save it from breaking any further. I ended up with some really awful roots. It was getting really bad. I thought about doing the ombre look and nixed it. I was terrified to go to someone new and worried that any permanent color would do hard core permanent damage. So I researched and read what I could. I watched videos and I went for a combination of all of those things. I'm going to share my knowledge with you!

So, a little hair background. Hair color is like the primary colors. Red is red, blonde is yellow and brunette is blue. So if you have blonde hair and you put a brunette color on it what would you get? Green. Yellow and blue makes green. I've had that before. It's not pretty. In order to not get green you need to add the red back into your hair first. Which is the scary part as you will see below. I also found out that using permanent hair color creates lines in your hair. So every time you dye your hair it creates a little faint line of where you dyed it before. That's not cool.Solution, use the semi-permanent. It is much easier on your hair and since it fades you aren't left with the line.

What I did, step by step:

I actually bought 4 boxes of color, but only used 3. I have a lot of hair. So I knew I would want plenty to cover with. I ended up only using 1 box of the red and then 2 of the brown. It is really important to cover your ears and around your hairline with vaseline or lotion before starting. You don't want any to get dye to get on your skin and this will help you from having brown ears. You also need either a couple of baby wipes or a washcloth that is wet and ready for any oops drips you might have. An applicator brush (about a dollar) help to give your color a more professional look and really help to get your roots covered. I also like to mix my color in a disposable bowl. Makes cleanup super easy.

I started off by putting the red back in my hair (Clairol Natural Instincts 16 Spiced Tea). I ended up only needing one box. I did not dye my roots, I only did the places that were blonde first and then anything else. Rinse and blow dry. I remained calm and didn't panic, you will want to panic. Ellie made up a song about having Fozzie Bear Hair. I took a break and put the kids to bed. Then I mixed together my 2 boxes of brown (Clairol Natural Instincts 5C). I put it around my hairline first. Next I applied it to my roots, working from front to back from my temple to crown and then the back from side to side from the top of my head down to my neck. Lastly I filled the length of my hair and piled it on top of my head in a bun. Wait, rinse, condition, blow dry, admire your handy work. Only cost me $18 bucks. I've gotten more compliments on this hair than I did going to the salon and spending upwards of $80!!


When it was looking pretty good all blonde and cute, fried but cute.

With some serious growth.

OMG. Don't Panic. DON'T PANIC that you have Fozzie Bear Hair.

Brunette Fab!!
So much better than before!





Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Kind of Co-Sleeping

As my kids get older we seem to spend more Saturday nights in front of the fire discovering movies together. We have the fireplace going, stockings hung, cozy lights and my loves all snuggled in around each other. Falling asleep on the couch is my kind of co-sleeping. Saturday nights with these guys is my favorite. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lego Advent Calendar {and the life lesson it brings}

As a child I celebrated Advent every year with my mother. She had a sweet little set from Unity that we would listen to (on a cassette tape!) and we would light the candles on our wreath. The memory is a dear one and I wanted to recreate that feeling of closeness, reverence and gentility that my mother had with me. I had really considered doing a cute little one that I had to fill myself (ha maybe next year) but when we visited the Lego Store last month in OKC with Girl Scouts I found two Advent Calendars there and opted for easy and fun. Something I knew that would entice them into this celebration. You could make a cute one and fill it with Lego's though and that would be pretty awesome too!

So far, it's love at first open! They had two options in store and I picked both so that the boys and girls can take turns opening one each day. As they opened their first one (littles got to go first) the excitement was palpable. It was then that I realized the main lesson it was teaching them, patience. Patience, something we are not born with but must learn and practice.

It also teaches so many other things. In our case, there was graciousness of the older kids, allowing to let the younger ones go first. It teaches them that they do not always have instant gratification and that its okay when you don't! They will also have to share the sets once they are complete, which isn't anything new when it comes to Lego's, but a good lesson to reinforce nonetheless. I also love that it fosters the anticipation of something and then having to be patient in order to get it. The lessons all tie together and are interwoven. They may not realize what the tradition is teaching them right away, but what they learn from it will spill through in their daily life for the rest of their lives.

You can check out all of the Advent items The Lego Store has to offer here. I could spend all day looking at Lego's, shhhhhh don't tell the kids though!





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mason Jar Makeup Brush Holder DIY

I did this project over three years ago, so I can say with conviction that it lasts. I didn't used to wear makeup consistently, especially when I was staying at home with my kiddos. Now that I have been in the workforce and I'm getting older I almost always wear something. This was one of the easiest little projects. Antique white spray paint + little jelly mason jar = fabulous makeup brush holder. You could spray it with any color and I am sure it would be just as fab. I sprayed the inside and the outside. I have since added a cute little tie.

This would make a really cute gift for a tween or teen! Makeup brushes and a cute little holder along with some new makeup. Okay maybe it would make a cute gift for an adult...I love mine.


Without the tie. I love the texture of the jelly jars.

With the tie. I like that you can change it up!