Category Archives: FAMILY

5 Ways To Use Glow Sticks For Your Next Family Night (Plus Giveaway!)

glow sticksDisclaimer: I received a set of glow sticks for free to test out, however all opinions here are my own. This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

I am going to let you in on a little secret, I am a big fan of glow sticks. I feel that they can make anything exciting. They are great to have on hand for picnics, party favors, concerts, stocking stuffers, care packages, camping, night swimming, or even living room dance parties.

glow sticks

They are a wonderful way to add visibility to kids when they are out and about at night time.

Best of all they are very budget friendly, and an inexpensive way to have a little fun.

I received a set of glow stick bracelets from Lumistick to play with. They arrived in a tube of 100, with plastic connectors. There are 5 colors; pink, green, blue, yellow and orange, and are non-toxic.

glow sticks

We had a blast thinking of all the things that we could do with them.

Besides the obvious choice of wearing them as bracelets, what else can you do with glow sticks?


Here are 5 fun and different ways to use your glow stick bracelets:


Have an indoor glow stick dance party

This is definitely a favorite, as we love to have spontaneous dance parties. They always help cheer us up, and get us laughing. So, turn out the lights, put on some fun music and dance around with your glow-sticks.

glow sticks

Play tic-tac-toe with your glow sticks

Make a giant board by using the plastic pieces that join the bracelets together. Instead of X’s and O’s, we just used O’s, but two different colors to place into our board boxes.

 Play a game of glow ball or Frisbee

Change up your game and join a few glow-sticks together. Attach them to a frisbee, or put one inside a wiffle ball.

glow sticks

Use them in your hair

Put your hair up in a bun and add a glow stick bracelet for a little color fun. You could even leave them straight and use them like hair sticks!

Play ring toss

This is a fun one to do when camping or at an outdoor concert. Make some rings with your glow sticks and connectors, and then grab a stick and push it into the ground. Make it a competition and see how many rings you can land on the stick.

Have a glow in the dark picnic

Spread out a blanket and wrap your glow-sticks around some clear plastic cups. Pick out your favorite foods and dine by glowing light!

You can use connectors to create a glow ball lantern. They look so awesome, and would be a fun centerpiece to a glow picnic, or a even a dance party decoration.

(Want one of your own? Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post)

glow sticks

Bonus: Relax in a glow in the dark bath

I realize this isn’t really a family night acitivty, but it is still a fun one for both kids and adults. Instead of candles to help calm you, fill up your tub and add your favorite glow-stick colors!

I hope this gives you some ideas on the different things that you can do with your glow-sticks. Check out the different sets on Amazon, choose one or two and you will have several options for some family night fun!


GIVEAWAY: It is fun to receive free stuff! Help me spread the word by sharing my post to enter your name to receive your own glow lantern set! Let me know in the comments how you shared it. If you would like a second entry, sign up for my mailing list in the sidebar! I will announce the winner on May 15th!

glow sticks

xo, Melissa

discobumblebee

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How To Make Critter Bookmarks – A Quick and Easy Craft

This week Bean and I decided to play with paper and make some critter bookmarks.

For those of you new to the blog, I love crafts, but don’t have a ton of time. I love finding quick and easy projects that add a little fun to our day.


Think of Bean and I as your craft testers, our creations may not be the most perfect, but they are real and made with love.


BOOKMARKS
We do our best to find the easiest, cutest projects, and these critter bookmarks totally fit the description!

bookmarks

You don’t need much at all in the way of supplies. Grab some paper, scissors, a glue stick, markers and googly eyes.

bookmarks

Because who doesn’t love a reason to put fun eyes on things?!

Your paper to be in the shape of a square. We happened to have some origami paper on hand, so we used that, but you can easily use card stock or construction paper and just cut it into a square.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to make these super cute bookmarks:

  1. Fold your paper in half to create a triangle.

bookmarks

2. Fold the top point (just the front layer of paper) of the triangle down to meet the bottom edge of the paper.

bookmarks

3. Fold in the left and right corners in to meet the middle triangle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

4. Open up your side folds, so that they look like this:

bookmarks

5. Then fold both of those sides up, along your middle triangle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

6. Next, tuck in the two new folds that you just made into the middle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

7. Take a second piece of paper, and cut another square. It should be the same size as the square you just folded.

bookmarks

8. Then tuck that square into your folded paper, and secure it with a little glue.

bookmarks

9. Finally, glue on some googly eyes, and a little tongue.

bookmarks

There you have it! Your critter bookmark is ready to help keep your place in the books that you are reading.

bookmarks

bookmarks

bookmarks

Now, you don’t HAVE to make a frog. Bean had fun just making some little monster bookmarks and then decorating them. I also made a vampire one. Just pick your favorite critter and start creating!

bookmarks

I hope you found these critter book marks fun, and will give them a try the next time you are looking for a quick craft. I know the ones we made will definitely give some character to our reading time! <3

xo, Melissa

discobumblebee

 

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How a Tea Party Gave me a Little Perspective

tea party perspective

This week, my daughter organized a tea party, and ended up giving me some important perspective.

This is how she did it.

This year, I had visions of a holiday season filled with baking, crafting, and decorating. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and made a checklist. I was ready to go!

However, the flu decided to make an appearance and work its way through my family. I had no choice but to put everything else on the back burner.

My blog, the crafts, the baking, were all replaced with what seemed like never ending loads of laundry, holding back hair, rubbing backs and disinfecting the house each time the flu hit another family member.

It. Was. Rough.

Once we were through it, my daughter Bean suggested that we have a tea party for her stuffed animals and dolls, because we missed out on so many festivities. Since we were all starting to feel human again, it seemed like the perfect way to ease back into things.

My brain started to plan out all the cute fancy things that we could make for our party. Tiny sandwiches, white and pink napkins, cupcakes, doilies, glitter, and fun punch to fill our tea cups. I was so excited to put together a perfect party for her.

But Bean had other plans.

She informed me that she wanted to make it a picnic tea party. Instead of white and pink, she wanted orange, yellow and maybe blue. She spoke of lanterns, invitations in the shape of tickets and immediately ruled out cupcakes.

I was tempted to take control and try to do it all myself. After all, I wanted it to be perfect and fancy for her. Just as I was getting ready to tell her how I thought we should do things, something inside me told me to be quiet.  I decided to stop, and listen to her specific vision.


In the end, instead of me trying to convince her to do it my way, I let her take the lead.

I followed her instructions and assisted her in writing out a to-do list. I pulled out the orange and yellow construction paper and helped cut out ticket shapes for her invitations. She carefully labelled each ticket with the news of her tea party, and even made a special one just for me! I could have made the lettering perfect, and uniform, but seeing her working so hard to write each letter so carefully was awesome. She put so much love into her work.

tea party perspective

Next came the decorations. We learned how to make paper lanterns to use as centerpieces. Once she figured out which stuffed animals and dolls would most like to attend her event, we made them paper name cards for their place settings. She was really excited when I remembered that I had a tablecloth with some of her color choices.

It was decided that the party also needed signs for decoration, so we made one out of popsicle sticks and chalkboard paint. It turned out so cute, and we can even use it for future parties.

tea party perspective

The final step was the menu. She reminded me that she doesn’t really like sandwiches and preferred to have ham rolled up and secured with toothpicks. Then, she filled bowls with blueberries, m&m’s, and pretzels and arranged some sugar cookies on a plate.

My only contribution, other than my help, were my special teacups and teapot from my collection.

tea party perspective

Finally it was time for the tea party!

As we sat on our tablecloth drinking tea with our pinkies up and talking in high pitched voices, Bean exclaimed,


“This is so FANCY mom! It is perfect!”


I looked around at the hodge podge of handmade decorations that were carefully arranged, the bright colors, her stuffed animal and doll guests, the interesting food assortment, and I smiled.

She was right.

tea party perspective

It WAS perfect.

I really needed that change in perspective, I so often get caught up in my own vision of how things should be, and it doesn’t often leave room for flaws.

Bean reminded me that there is more than one way to be fancy and perfect.

This is a lesson that I am going to try really hard to remember throughout this year, and the next time I need to plan a party, I know who to ask!

Happy New Year!

xo Melissa

discobumblebee

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How to Make Craft Stick Story Fairies

craft stick story fairies pinterest graphic

These craft stick story fairies are inspired by my daughter’s love of acting out stories.

Craft sticks are one of our favorite things to create with, and we decided that it would be fun to have a little set of fairies to help her act out her tales.

They were super easy and fun to make, and you can create a lot or just a few.


CRAFT STICK STORY FAIRIES


SUPPLIES:

craft stick story fairiesHot glue gun and glue sticks

Small craft sticks

Felt and/or fabric scraps

Yarn, ribbon, and fiber scraps

Pipe cleaners

Paint or Sharpie

Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

To make a shirt, take a small craft stick and put hot glue on about a half inch surface, leaving a small space at the top for the face.

Wind the small scrap of yarn around the area with the glue.

craft stick story fairies

craft stick story fairies

Next cut a small scrap of fabric or felt for the bottom. You can cut a simple rectangle, or get a little fancy and make a triangle for a skirt.

We even found some tulle that worked well as a tutu, we just made some folds to make it fluff out a bit and attached it to some hot glue.

craft stick story fairies

craft stick story fairies

Now it is time to make the fairy wings. If you have the long craft pipe cleaners, cut it in half. Then bend it in the infinity shape or a figure 8.

Push the sides in a bit to make a little indentation for the wing shape. Put some hot glue in the center of the wings and glue it onto the back of your fairy.

craft stick story fairies

craft stick story fairies

Finally it is time to add some fun hair and the faces. My daughter helped to make these, so we kept the faces simple. We discovered that a sharpie marker bleeds a little on the craft stick, so we used a toothpick dipped in a big of black acrylic paint and drew on eyes and smiles.

The hair was the fun part. Just arrange it however you like, and attach it with the hot glue.  We used some wool and yarn scraps and made some crazy hair do’s. We thought it would make the story telling more exciting.

craft stick story fairies

Aren’t they fun?

They are the perfect size to play with and different from the usual finger puppets.

After we played a bit, Bean and I decided that these story fairies needed a special place to rest when they weren’t busy acting out stories.

So we made a cute box out of our craft sticks to store them in. Here is how we did it.


STORY FAIRY STORAGE BOX


SUPPLIES:

Medium sized craft sticks

Hot glue gun

INSTRUCTIONS:

First, line up 11 sticks vertically. Then, use the hot glue gun and attach a craft stick horizontally at the top and bottom of your 11 sticks.

This is the base of the box.

craft stick story fairies

To give depth to the box, glue a craft stick vertically on the right side, and another on the left side.

Next, line up a craft stick with the horizontal stick at the top, and glue it to the one that you just placed vertically. Do the same thing for the bottom.

Keep alternating and gluing your craft sticks horizontally and vertically until your box is deep enough to fit your craft stick story fairies.

craft stick story fairies

The lid is the final step. Line up another 11 sticks vertically.

Leave a space of about the width of three craft sticks (this helps the lid stay on and not just slip off) and glue a stick horizontally on the top. Do the same thing for the bottom.

craft stick story fairies

Now you have a cute little box to keep the story fairies in when they aren’t being used!

craft stick story fairies

The lid can be decorated any way that you want, or it could just be left plain.

We debated using glitter or paint, but instead we kept it simple and cut out some magazine letters to spell out “once upon a time” to decorate the lid. Bean had a fun time helping search for the perfect letters.

craft stick story fairies

These were both fun and easy to make. We are already thinking up different sets that we can make next.

If you decide to try this out, let me know how it went in the comments.


This is the first of several craft stick projects I will be sharing, so be sure to stay tuned for the next one!



Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

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How To Sneak In Self Care When You Are Too Busy

Self Care when you are busy

I have to admit, these past two weeks were pretty tough.

I started a new contract position, and in addition to my other job, homeschool, and other regular mom duties, I was exhausted!

self care exhausted graphic

Adding something extra to my routine threw me off, and I started to find it really hard to keep up, let alone carve out some time for my own self care.

I was quickly reminded that it is quite easy to get caught up in life and the changes that it brings. Which in turn makes it even easier to forget about setting aside time to recharge. I know that it is important, and that it might even help ease the stress of such a crazy schedule. However, when there seems to be a never ending to-do list, figuring out HOW to fit it in seems absolutely impossible!

I decided that making a list of quick and fairly easy things to do for a little recharge might be helpful. Sometimes, for me, figuring out what to do is half the battle.

Ideally, it would be helpful to have a little alone time for self care, but let’s be honest, with kids, it can be difficult to get a moment alone.

This list has a few things that can be done solo, but most can be done with a little one hanging out. Have them do the same activity, give them an independent craft project, or some solo reading time. This will enable you to have some time for a mini escape.

self care teacup photo

20 Quick Self Care Ideas

  1. Create a morning ritual, start the day with a favorite coffee or tea.
  2. Get out some crayons or colored pencils, and color.
  3. Write in a journal. Jot down worries, and then, write out what you are grateful for.
  4. Put on some favorite music and have a dance party.
  5. Get some fresh air and Vitamin D. Walk, run, play and jump in the backyard or a park.
  6. Organize something.
  7. Work out or do some yoga or stretching.
  8. Give yourself a mani and pedi.
  9. Read a magazine or a few chapters of a book.
  10. Light some candles and take a bubble bath.
  11. Take a class that interests you. There are even some wonderful ones on YouTube!
  12. Treat yourself! Get some new sheets, or pajamas.
  13. Take some deep breaths and listen to a guided relaxation.
  14. Pet a furry friend.
  15. Buy or pick some beautiful flowers to help brighten your day.
  16. Lay in the grass and watch the clouds.
  17. Put on some relaxing music and soak your feet.
  18. Put on your pajamas, pour some wine (or hot cocoa) and watch a movie or favorite show.
  19. Play solitaire or do a cross word puzzle.
  20. Curl up in bed and take a nap.

There you have it! I hope that this list might provide some ideas on ways to fit self care into your busy schedule. If you have a favorite way to sneak in some relaxing, I would love to hear about it in the comments.


Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

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15 Family Night Activities – Fun and Inexpensive

family night 15 fun activities pin graphic

We all have busy schedules in our household. With work, school, and other activities, the time just flies by. I think we all really appreciate when we are able to have a family night all together.

However, we often struggle with figuring out what to do with our time. Also, because I have a teenage boy and a ten year old girl, it can be tough to find activities that everyone can agree on.

Because of that, I’ve come up with a list of 15 activities that are sure to be a successful and fun family night for anyone.

1. Board Game and Candy Bar Night

candy bar game night image

This is always a favorite. Grab your favorite board games, and load up on everyone’s favorite candy. Have a game marathon fueled by sugar.

2. Geocaching and Camp out in the Living Room or Backyard

Geocaching is a fun hunt using gps. Walk around a favorite park and discover some geocaches. Return home and have a camp out in your living room or backyard. Be sure to tell some spooky stories!

3. Themed Dinner Party Night

This might require a little planning ahead.

Choose a theme, such as a specific country, and find recipes that you can make together. Make or find some decorations that go with the theme, and maybe even get dressed up. Finally, add some music that would go along with your dinner theme to set the dining mood.

4. Movie and Make Your Own Pizza Night

pizza and movie night image

Making a pizza from scratch can be a lot of fun.

Try making your own pizza crust, and load it up with your favorite toppings. Pick out a movie and watch it while you eat your own creations.

5. Science Lab and Experiment Night

kitchen science lab image

There are so many easy and fun experiments that you can do at home.

Give Pinterest a search, find a project and turn your kitchen or living room into a science lab. Try making a volcano, rock candy, or silly putty.

6. Picnic and a Game of Frisbee Night

Create a menu with your favorite picnic foods, pack a basket, grab a blanket, and have a feast at your favorite park. Once finished, toss around a Frisbee for a bit.

7. Puzzle and Sundae Bar Night

ice cream sundae and puzzle night blog image

First, pick out a puzzle that you can do together as a family.

Then, gather your favorite ice cream flavors, and make it special by stocking up on fun toppings. Make your own ice cream sundaes to eat while working on your puzzle.

8. Lego Building Night

lego challenge family night

Even big kids like building with Legos!

Work all together to make an amazing creation, or build individually and have a Lego building competition.

9. Scavenger Hunt Night

This can be done inside, or outside.

For younger kids, make a picture list of things to hunt and discover. If you have older children, make it more of a challenge, and only use hints, or even riddles for the hidden items.

10. Tie Dye Night

tie dye family night blog image

It might be a little messy, but it sure if fun to tie dye something. Choose your favorite colors, and make some cool shirts or bandannas.

11. Obstacle Course Night

There are nights when both of my kids are a little stir crazy. What a better outlet for that extra energy, than to set up an obstacle course. Again, this one can be done indoors if you have enough space, or spread out and create a course outside. Use anything around, and get moving!

12. Cookout and Card Game Night

card and cookout family night blog image

Fire up the grill, and cookout some burgers and brats – make sure you pick up lots of tasty toppings for your feast.

Then, grab a deck of cards and play your favorite games. Even better, learn a new card game!

13. Glow In The Dark Bowling Night

glow stick bowling family night blog image

Head to the dollar store and get some glow sticks. Put them in empty water or soda bottles, grab a ball, and bowl once the sun goes down.

14. Complete a Project Night

Find a DIY, Craft, or tackle a project around the house together.

Put on some good music and make sure to throw in a dance party or two while you are working.

15. Tell a Story: Mad Libs and Shadow Puppet Night

Mad Libs are always easy silly fun. Take turns completing and reading your Mad Libs out loud.

Once it is dark, break out the flashlight and make up your own stories to tell with shadow puppets.

I hope that you found these family night suggestions fun and helpful. If you have a favorite family night activity, I would love to hear about it in the comments!


Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

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Top 10 Books for Fall

FALL BOOKS

Everyone in our household loves to read.

When the seasons change, I make a point to pick out new books for us to read together. Fall is my favorite season, and I love our book choices.

My goal for this time of year is to find books that talk about the beautiful changes in nature, and to also find some spooky tales!

Here is my list of top 10 fall books. These are approved by both Miss Bean and The Teenager.

AWESOME AUTUMN BY BRUCE GOLDSTONE

The gorgeous photos, paired with short text, tells about what happens when fall arrives. This books covers many topics, and is a wonderful way to explore what happens when Fall arrives.

SPOOKY OLD TREE BY STAN AND JAN BERENSTAIN

Ages 4-8

Three bears bravely explore a spooky old tree. The story contains simple rhyming text and reinforces the concept of into, up, through, over, down, and out.

This was a favorite for both of my kiddos. It isn’t TOO scary, but it shows how one can overcome fears and conquer things that seem especially frightening.

LEAF MAN BY LOIS ELHERT

Ages 4-7

This book tells the story of Leaf Man, who blew away with the wind.It has beautiful illustrations using collages made from the rainbow of real fall leaves. It is a wonderful book to read and celebrate the change of seasons, and even contains a leaf guide! It is perfect for nature lovers!

THE OLD LADY WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING BY LINDA D WILLIAMS

Ages 3-7

One night while walking in the woods, the normally fearless old lady becomes scared. Read along and find out how she gets braver and solves her problem. The text repeats and is rhythmic, which makes it fun for kids to chant along.

ROALD DAHL’S BOOK OF GHOST STORIES

This one might be better for older kids. It is a fantastic selection of Roald Dahl’s most favorite spooky stories. It would make for awesome campfire reading, and is sure to deliver great shivers.

SHAKE DEM HALLOWEEN BONES BY W. NIKOLA LISA

Ages 4-7

This book has really fun rhyming hip-hop text, and familiar fairy tale characters. If you read this one out loud, don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing and dancing along with the words.

HALLOWEEN HOUSE BY ERICA SILVERMAN

Ages 4-8

One spooky night two convicts escape and end up seeking refuge in a creepy house. Little do they know it is full of bats, witches, and other goulish creatures. This is a fun rhyming counting book!

THE HALLOWEEN TREE BY RAY BRADBURY

Ages 8 and up

Eight boys go on an adventure into the past led by a mysterious characters. This book is a wonderful way to learn the history and customs of Halloween.

ROOM ON A BROOM BY JULIA DONALDSON

 Ages 3-7

This is a story of a witch and a cat flying about. The wind makes the witch lose some important items. During their rescue they encounter helpful friends that want a ride on her broom for their help. Things get quite full, and a dragon enters the picture. It is a fun problem solving tale! 

GOOSEBUMPS BOOKS BY R.L. STINE

These books are pretty much read all year round, as Miss Bean is a HUGE Goosebumps fan. They are great chapter books to read together, and there are all sorts of spooky situations. The Blob That Ate Everything is one of our favorites.

I hope this list helps you find some fun fall reads. Do you have a favorite fall book? Be sure to share in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. 🙂

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Nature Scavenger Hunt – Free Printable!

nature scavenger hunt pin graprhicThis last week the teenager shared his back to school germs with all of us. We spent the entire week sneezing, coughing and needing lots of naps.

Needless to say, I did not manage to do much with my crafting, or blog. However, we did get our school work done. Yay for being able to learn in pj’s!

So what what do you do when everyone is feeling crummy, but also getting stir crazy? We decided to take a field trip to our favorite park, 100 Acres, near the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Before we left, I created a simple nature scavenger hunt sheet for Miss Bean to complete while we wandered the grounds.

The goal?  Spot the items on the list and check them off. Simple, yet fun.

A walk in the woods did wonders for our moods. Even if it was just for a short while, the fresh air and green nature surrounding, made us forget our sniffles.

nature scavenger hunt

Miss Bean enjoyed having a to-do list, and got very excited when she found something to check off.

naturescavengerhunt

Going on our nature scavenger hunt gave us a reason to slow down and observe. We spotted things hidden away that we typically might not notice. Such as these webs that we spotted among the plants on the ground.

nature scavenger hunt

It also paired quite well with our plant and seed unit this month. Miss Bean was able to see so many different types of leaves, plants, and seeds. She even created her own game. With each leaf she found on the ground, she tried to match it to a nearby tree.

naturescavengerhunt

This time, we documented our finds with pictures. Next time, I would like to create a little box for her to be able to collect a few of her finds. We definitely have to do it again, as she did not spot a snake on this walk.

naturescavengerhunt

nature scavenger hunt

nature scavenger hunt

This Mantis was our favorite discovery. Because he looked like a stick, he was hard to find. But once we did, he let us watch him for a long time.

naturescavengerhunt

Hopefully our photos inspired you to go on your own nature scavenger hunt. Share your favorite sightings in the comments!

Do you want your own checklist? I created a free printable for you to download and use for your own adventure.

nature scavenger hunt

 

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A Good Dance Party Can Solve Anything.

A good dance party can solve anything. This is what I was reminded of today.

There are times when even the best plans can fall apart. Even though I felt I was organized, all those lists in my journal were no match for this past week. As I was having my morning coffee, and preparing for the day, I started being quite tough on myself. I am behind in my blog posts. I did not try the recipes I wanted to test. Then there were the super hot temperatures, and several days of rain that stopped us from being able to take our nature hike field trip. I keep telling myself that I need to get moving and do some yoga. My body hurts, and I’m sure it would help.

As all those negative thoughts accumulated, I began to feel that all too familiar anxiety attack coming on. The combination of another night of insomnia, and the running list of failures in my head, made me feel super overwhelmed.

Defeated.

I wanted to crawl into bed and wrap myself up in a blanket cave.

At that moment, Miss Bean came up to me. She snuggled up next to me and asked if we could have a dance party before we started school.

We picked out our music, turned it up, and started dancing. We laughed, and jumped. Twirled and swayed. We made silly poses and faces.

Suddenly, I started feeling better.

Once we finished, Bean began to gather her school supplies, and pick out the books she wanted to read. I took some deep breaths and began to make a list of all the things that I DID accomplish.

And do you know what?

I found that things weren’t as bad as I had originally felt.

I realized that we actually had a good week in school. Our Beanstalk experiment, did not work the first time. Instead of quitting, we tried to solve the mystery of what went wrong. We determined that we made the cotton balls too wet, and started over. This morning, we discovered that our seed is beginning to sprout!

Also, we did our cabbage leaf experiment to illustrate how plants drink water.

dance party

Seeing the leaves soak up the water and change colors was awesome! Even the teenager was excited to see the results.

dance party

dance party

As for our nature walk, and outdoor portion of our plant unit? We have been having so much fun with it, we will just extend our work over the next week. Another reason that homeschooling is such a great fit for us. The flexibility is a wonderful thing. The weather is officially cooling off, and we are very ready to take a hike. I made a fun scavenger hunt page to take with us. Miss Bean is hoping that we don’t see a snake, she is okay with leaving that box unchecked.

Because of all the rain, I wasn’t needed at work on Sunday. Which gave me an entire day all to myself. Time like that is a rarity for me. With the gloomy skies, it was tempting to stay in bed and binge on Netflix all day. Instead, I got out my supplies, and made some peg people. I was especially pleased with how my peg bat family turned out.

dance party

I even took my productiveness a step further, and got my etsy shop back up and running! Head over and give it a little love.

It is amazing what a little me time can do for the mind and mood!

I may not have gotten much accomplished with menu planning or food testing this past week. But today, I got out the crock pot, and put on some more music. Bean and I had another dance party as we assembled the ingredients for Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli. It is already smelling delicious!

Why did I write this blog entry? Today I may not have detailed lesson or menu plans. I don’t have a crafty project or tutorial to share. I did however, receive a valuable reminder from my wise daughter.

Sometimes, you need to stop being negative or sad, turn up the music, and just dance. It is the perfect way to re-focus and realize that things are not so bad. A good dance party can get you back on track!

 

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Menu Planning Struggle: Solving It

 

menu planning struggle

Menu planning is a struggle for me every week. With our busy schedule, I need fast, easy choices. As I am having my morning coffee, I love scouring Pinterest to find new recipes. However, I only seem to succeed in making myself hungrier, as I am terrible at actually trying out all the delicious looking things that I pin.

My solution? I’m starting my own test kitchen, and will try a few new things each week. Hopefully I will be able to sample all of those tempting dishes, and find some great additions to our weekly menu plan.

With the goal of using food that we already have in our house, I found 4 things I want to try this week.

menu planning struggle retro

Breakfast:

Usually I am up early and prefer to grab something quick for breakfast. Coffee is needed before I can actually begin adulting. Typically, I just drink a protein shake, but I would really like to add some variety. This Breakfast cookie recipe via Chef Savvy, looks right up my alley.

Lunch:

Lunch is the toughest part of the day for me. I’ve either been working, playing, or homeschooling all morning. Miss Bean would eat burritos every day if she could, but  I found this Black Bean, Feta, and Avocado Quinoa Wrap via Wendy Polisi to try. I am hoping because it is a similar shape, and with a little convincing, she will go for it.

Dinner:

Dinner time is a little easier. There are often people helping out in the kitchen, and lots of choices. This Teriyaki Chicken Noodle Bowl from Damn Delicious should be something everyone in our family would like. Especially if I make it fun and follow it up with fourtune cookies!

Finally, we have a bread machine that rarely gets used, but when it does, I love the smell of the bread baking. So I am going to give give this Best Bread Machine recipe from Passionate Penny Pincher a try.

Feel free to follow my Pinterest Blog board, I will keep it updated with the recipes that I test out. Hopefully it will help some of you out with your menu planning!

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