First day of school…and a super cute photo idea

First day of school…and a super cute photo idea

BACK TO SCHOOL

So, today, we celebrated a “first” in our house. It’s a first that comes around once a year…or twice, if you consider the fact that my daughter doesn’t attend school in the district where I teach. Yep, you guessed it. Today was my oldest daughter’s first day of school.

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen our newly minted second grader with her “back to school” sign and toothless grin.

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Most of us already take a “first day” photo of our kids, and some of us even create a sign or use a prop…

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…and some of us even take a picture at the school, or in front of the school sign.

But what do you do when your school child’s almost three year old little sibling feels left out? Make them a sign, too, of course!

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Little Miss was tickled pink to be a part of the photo-festivities…and we got some super cute shots to use in her yearbook someday.  Her sign reads, “I’ll be here in three years!” Due to her late fall birthday, she’ll start school the fall AFTER she turns five, meaning she’ll turn six during her kindergarten year.

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We even sneaked back over to the school once the traffic died down a bit to take these cute pics in front of the school buses.

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It’s rare that I get a photo of the two of them where Aubrey is cooperating. Even though these two engage in a whole lot of sisterly spats, it’s clear from these pics that they really do love one another.

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And that makes my heart smile.

I hope you all have a wonderful school year, even those of you who (like me) haven’t started back to school yet.

Have a wonderful week, and join us tomorrow for some more “back to school” goodness.

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Girls’ rooms: how a simple change can change the look of the entire room

Girls’ rooms: how a simple change can change the look of the entire room

My daughter has had the same cute PBKids comforter and sheets since she was two.

I loved this comforter and so did Emorie, for awhile. Lately she’s gotten into mermaids and for her seventh birthday, she asked for a mermaid room. I reluctantly agreed.

We ordered this comforter, sheets and duvet from Target. I was relieved that the color matched her walls so well, because I didn’t want to paint them.

I also grabbed some fuchsia craft paint and some teal craft paint so I could paint these papier-mâché letters. Now she has a cute monogram above her bed that matches her comforter.

Her bookshelf didn’t really change much, except for this marquee letter from Justice.

Her dresser area didn’t change much either.

I didn’t even have to change the artwork.

And finally, we swapped out my childhood vanity for this lovely desk, where she can do her homework.

We decorated it with the memo board I made last fall, some cute boxes, and a few of her favorite things.

With just a little craft paint and some new bedding, Emorie’s room looks completely and totally different.

I still like the old bedding, but I’m quickly learning that my kid’s rooms aren’t mine, and if they’re happy with their rooms, I should let it be. And this mermaid loves her room.

Have a good Wednesday!

Closet Recharge: making your kids’ closet grow with them

Closet Recharge: making your kids’ closet grow with them

My oldest daughter’s closet was kind of a hot mess.

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Well, more than kind of. It WAS a hot mess. It started out great, but as her clothes got bigger (and she did, too), her needs began to change. I decided her closet needed a bit of an upgrade. Since her boxes and organizer shelf were still in great shape, it didn’t need to be a big upgrade.

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The first thing I did was order her some new hangers. Now that she is older, her clothes were falling off the child sized plastic hangers. I’d flip through her closet and the clothes would slide right off.

I purchased a pack of fifty velvet hangers from Walmart.com, and also a ten-pack of the same hangers with pants clips for her jeans and skirts. For fun (and to make them match her boxes), I ordered them in hot pink.

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Pink Velvet hangers

Now that her clothes were no longer falling off the hangers, and her hangers were all the same size and width, her closet already looked tons better.

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I also removed anything that did not fit, or was out of season to give her more space. Afterward, I began to think about what she needed to store in her closet. She is a little fashionista, so there are plenty of scarves, hats and purses that needed a home.

She also doesn’t wear pantyhose or tights that often anymore, so we really didn’t need two baskets for those.

When I finished purging things, I put all like items together, and updated her basket labels. When I finished, I had this:

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A closet that meets her needs and is pretty to look at as well.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kids’ Reading nooks: a Pinterest Roundup

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Pinterest

Reading nooks are all the rage, for both kids and adults. After all, we as adults love cozy places, and kids are no exception.  Why not give the little kiddos in your life somewhere to kick back with a good book? Today, I’m sharing my favorite reading nooks for kids.

  1. I love the one pictured above. The patterns and colors work together perfectly, and those wall-mounted shelves are actually picture ledges. They’re inexpensive to purchase or DIY, and they’re such a nice, decluttered look. The wall decals and that little garland are too cute for words!

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Momo Design

2. I just really love this teepee with its cozy pillows, rug and cute little star lights. You could always add picture ledge shelves to the wall behind it if you wanted.

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Project Nursery

3. Here’s a reading nook for the smallest of readers. This toddler reading nook features low shelves for little hands to choose their own books, and a comfy bean bag.

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Maternida De Colorida

4. Have a dormer in your kiddo’s room? Why not stretch a curtain across it and make a “reading room?” I love these curtains and the idea of a “private” reading area. My kids would absolutely love this.

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Babble

5.  Repurpose a Billy bookcase into a handy window seat in your reading nook. Add a long cushion and lots of pillows, and you’ll surely want to curl up with a good book and stay there. I love the colors, the extra storage and the cuteness of this reading nook.

I hope you have truly enjoyed our Pinterest roundup today! Come back Friday for summer home decor tips.

 

 

Why you should paint your bookcase back

Why you should paint your bookcase back

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We bought a white Ikea Hemnes bookcase for our oldest daughter’s room. I loved the simplicity of the bookcase, and it seemed to match well with a headboard my dad built for her.

 

 

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And while it looked great against the light blue walls and with the other furniture, it needed a little something.

I decided to stencil the back of it, but I wasn’t sure I wanted it to be permanent. I decided to cut some posterboard to fit in the back of the shelf, and paint it.

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This way, if I ever got tired of it and decided to change it out, I could.

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I attached it to the back of the shelf with some double sided tape.

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The little pop of color this adds is amazing, and adorable. I love it!

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I also added a pink background to the bookshelf in my youngest daughter’s room

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And a gray contact paper background to the shelves in our playroom.

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Adding color to your shelf back makes it look finished, and it makes whatever is on the shelf stand out. The added color pop helps too.

Have a great weekend. I will be posting about new uses for pool noodles on Friday.

 

 

 

 

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag

Summer is quickly approaching, and for most of us, summer means pool and beach trips. Those of us with more than one child have a pretty good idea about what your tiny tot will need for a trip to the pool, but if you aren’t sure, I decided to share what’s in our pool bag.

We are a family of four, so our pool bag is this giant monogrammed Land’s End tote with a zipper top. It holds everything we need for some fun in the sun and I love it!

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For our toddler, we always pack the following items:

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  1. A snack (not pictured). We try to always bring a healthy snack for both kids no matter where we go. Dry cereal works well, as do small fruits (grapes) or veggies (carrot sticks), and things like granola bars or Belvita biscuits.
  2. A swimsuit, a cover up (a hooded towel will work well for a small child), and sunglasses
  3. A sunscreen for sensitive skin
  4. Swim diapers and wipes (if your toddler isn’t quite potty trained. Ours is not).
  5. Diaper ointment and lotion. Some kids’ skin is sensitive to chlorine, so it’s a good idea to have some lotion on hand to replenish their skin’s moisture
  6. Pool shoes and goggles
  7. Something to drink in a plastic, lidded cup
  8. Detangler and a hairbrush (not pictured)

I always feel the most organized and prepared for anything when I create a checklist beforehand, run down my list, and physically check it off. I decided to share that list with you as well. To download it, simply right click on the picture below, save it to your device, and then print it. For best results, do not print larger than 8X10 inches.

pool checklist

Enjoy your pool and beach trips this summer!

 

Sunday Musings: Raising Godly Children

Sunday Musings: Raising Godly Children

It’s important to us to raise our children in the Christian faith. The easiest way to do that is to take them to church, but there is so much more to raising Godly children than attending church. We are far from being perfect Christian parents, and this is truly an area where we are working hard to improve. I thought I’d share some of the things we are trying to do, in the hope that some of you would share some of your great ideas with us 😉

We are a family of four, with a six year old daughter and a two year old daughter. We attend church regularly and also participate in Vacation Bible School and a summer camp program at our church during the summers.

1. Sunday school

We have recently begun to attend Sunday School after not attending for several months. Sunday School lessons for children are the Gospel tailored for their age and comprehension. This is why it’s important for them to be there. My kids have learned so much from the children’s programs at our church.

2. Read a devotional each day with your kids

We, as adults, get a lot out of our kids’ devotions. Not only are we reading and learning about the Bible along with the girls, we are modeling for them the importance of reading and studying the Bible. And don’t think because it isn’t written for adults that you can’t be blessed by it as well. I have learned from my kids’ devotion book as much as I have from my own.

3. Buy your kids a Bible they can read

There are so many wonderful Bibles on the market today you can choose from. There are Bibles available for little children, tweens, teens and primary aged children. My daughter has this “Big Picture Bible” which works in conjunction with a phone app. She loves it and it does a great job teaching and explaining the Bible stories to her.

5. Pray together

My children and I read the Bible and keep a running prayer list. We spend time thanking God for the things for which we are grateful and praying for the things we need or the people we know with needs. I’ve also started praying aloud in the mornings as we are driving to school- not only to pray, but to model prayer for my children.

What ways do you model living the Gospel for your children? How do you ensure your children are Godly? I’d love to hear ideas or suggestions!

Have a wonderful week.