Cheap Activities to Do With My Child

Water, buckets, paint brushes.

Can’t get much simpler or FUN!

Target had all of their summer toys on clearance last week, so I bought:

three buckets
three spray water bottles
a little mini watering can
5 paint brushes
A paint roller

This has provided hours of fun for Anthony and his friends over the last week and continues this week! 🙂

Just fill the buckets with water and let them “paint” the sidewalks!

We made letters, shapes, and just wet everything in sight!

Best part about cleanup…the sun dries most of it up! 🙂

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How Do I Keep My Child In His Bed All Night?

Do you have a hard time with getting your kids to sleep a whole night through in their own beds?

We sure were. The solution just cracks me up but…

Last week, it wasn’t so funny.

Since Anthony was sick a few weeks ago, he has been getting up around 11:30, 3:30, and again around 5 EACH night.

Not fun…and when Mom’s got a sinus infection…even LESS fun.

What to do…how can we get Anthony to get back to sleeping a full night?

Through casual conversation on the phone with both my Mom and my Grandma, they both said:

“Why don’t you leave WGN on for him all night?”

WGN is a talk/news radio station here in Chicago and our family has grown up with it.

Grandma can’t sleep without WGN on all night, Mom has it on all day….

So, we figured we’d give it a shot.

Sure enough, Anthony slept all night…for 4 out of the 5 nights we have done this!

He told me in the morning after the first night,

“Mommy! The guys talked to me all night!”

What a quick and easy fix!

Are you struggling with your child getting up constantly? Try this!

Do you have a trick or tip that has helped your child sleep through the night?

Please leave them in the comment section below! I’d be so happy to have more tricks in my bag! 🙂

Healthy Spicy Guacamole

One recipe that I am almost always asked to bring places is my healthy spicy guacamole.

Such a simple and nutritious dish.

Avocados are so rich and creamy and contain the good fats for our bodies.

Anthony enjoys avocados! They are great to feed your kiddos!

So, give this a whirl:

3 ripe avocados
1/2 of a big sweet yellow onion
1/2 a box of grape tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 serrano pepper (can use jalapeno to make it less hot)
Lime juice

Dice up the avocado and onions.

Quarter the grape tomatoes.

Chop up the cilantro but be careful with it as it is tender!

Cut off the top of the pepper and remove the core with the seeds and the veins. This is the part of the pepper that makes it SUPER HOT.

Chop the remaining pepper.

Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and mix up.

Add lime juice to keep the avocados from browning.

If storing for the following day, save the pits of the avocados and push them into the guacamole, again to help avoid the browning.

Do you add anything different to your guacamole? Please, add your ingredients below!

Reading Aloud to Children

Is it ever too early to start reading to your child?

Is it ever too late to start reading to your child?

Are these questions that you have contemplated?

Well, as a former teacher, and now stay at home mom, I can tell you from experience on both ends, the answer is “no” to both questions.

I started reading to Anthony when he was still in my womb.

Yes, I know..it sounds silly…and trust me, reading Curious George and the Bunny to him in an empty room sitting in a chair seemed quite silly to me too.

I know the studies show such great things from this, but honestly, studies don’t mean anything compared to a mom with experience.

We only have one child at this point in life, but are praying God blesses us with more some day!

Regardless, I can tell you, from the moment he was born, he has had a fascination with books.

I read to him as an infant…we’d both lay on the bed and I’d hold board books with bright colors up in the air so he could see the picutres as I read.

I continued to read to him as he has grown.

At an early age, they learn the beginning reading skills:

*Reading from left to right
*Pictures on the page correlate to the story
*Turning the pages continue the story

As your toddler reads more and more with you, they will begin to memorize the stories, which is another step in developing readers!

What can you do to make this even more beneficial to them as they grow?

Work on connections. Ask them questions that will connect something they see in the book to something they know in their life.

For example, “Anthony look at what Mickey’s putting in the pot. What do you see?” “Yes, onions! Who cooks with onions?” “Correct! Grandma uses the onions when she makes the salad!”

Your child we be prepared for kindergarten by doing these small things every day!

I read today that only 53% of kids at home are read to every day. Help make that statistic rise and help your child achieve more while developing a love for reading!

What are some of your child’s favorite books to read? Please post below!

Should I Eat Before An Early Morning Workout?

Downtown Chicago Hotel Room Workout

No excuses!

Hubby and I were away for our anniversary.

I like to eat.

I’m also in a routine.

I got up early and got some killer workouts in before he got up.

Perfect way to get my time in as well as enjoy the rest of the day with him!

Don’t make excuses for yourself. Get it on paper that you are going to do it, stick to it, and get it DONE!

5 Tips for Saving Money on a Vacation

We just returned from a week’s vacation downtown (Chicago).

I grew up in the city, and we live in the suburbs now.

We felt this was a good getaway for us while Anthony could stay with my parents in the city a few days, just minutes away.

Staying in a hotel COULD mean lots of money spent on activities and food.

Without having a place to house leftovers if you are in a standard room, what are you to do?

This is what we did:

1. Packed snacks for midmorning/midafternoon: baked chips, larabars, dried fruit, and raw almonds.

2. Brought our own breakfast. We both drink Shakeology, so simple to pack one box of almond milk, Magic Bullet, and the stash of shake powder in our bag. Ice at the hotel to blend with!

3. Eat one nice meal out each day. We chose to eat our bigger meal at lunch time most days so as to save on the dinner prices and portions.

4. Research where you are going! There are tons of free things to do all over the country! Get online and Google it! Museums, parks, movies in the parks, neighborhood festivals, free concerts, parades…you name it!

5. Set a budget. Decide what you will allow yourself to spend each day and stick to it. Don’t spend JUST to “spend” since you are on vacation.