Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Self Care: Honey Mask

I've been trying to do better with finding time for self care lately.  So today in my "free time" during nap, I decided to sneak in a little skin therapy with a honey mask before the work begins.

I searched some recipes and found one where I had all the ingredients plus it had "calming" in the title.  So that had to be the  right one.  

You'll need
 2 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of cinnamon 
Fresh lemon juice
Heat honey in the microwave.  Then add in the cinnamon and lemon juice.  I cut them in fourths and used one.

Apply to face.  
What? Not a good look?
I also put some on my neck. I tend to have a problem with picking at hair on my neck and irritating my skin. 

Wait 15 minutes.  

Rinse.  I rinsed with warm water, patted dry, and added a little moisturizer (Neutrogena Naturals).

Why do I look so surprised? Probably because I managed to get an unrushed shower in, a fresh face, kind of dressed, took my hair loose and plus feeling kind of energized. Surprised myself.

Monday, April 10, 2017

DIY Easter Themed Bento Lunches and a Bunny Breakfast

Packing lunches has always been a fun and creative outlet for me.  I've always loved surprising the kids by creating fun things for them to find inside of their lunchboxes.  Here are a few lunches that are just in time for Easter and Spring.

Simple cookie cutters automatically turn sandwiches into fun creations. 

This is one version of our diy lunchable.  The baby chick cheese and turkey were made with little stamp cutters that I found at Walmart.  They come in a set of 4 springy characters.
Have you ever heard of Wilton food markers?  They are perfect for drawing on food and making little creations like this fun Easter egg.  You can let your kids use them too to decorate their own lunches.  Our last Easter touch is adding a plastic egg with a few sweet treats inside.  I think we added fruit snacks and marshmallows.

Here we used the little stamps again, but this time it is the Easter egg.  They made cute little mini sandwiches.  A bunny egg mold also helped transform our boiled egg.

"Some bunny loves you!"  Now "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" is not an Easter book, but it happened to be our read aloud at the time.  So we did a lunch that related to the book which happened to be about a bunny and I just think bunny cheese is great.  I found those bunny pics at the Dollar tree packaged with the cupcake liners. 

Another colorful and fun decorated Easter egg with some Spring flower power here.

"You are egg-cellent."  I love to leave little messages for the kids to read.  I used to get kind of carried away when Caleb was smaller because I used to forget that he couldn't actually read.  LOL!  Someone usually helped him read it though.

And a bunny Easter breakfast is sure to put a smile on any kid's face!  Pancakes with bacon ears, string cheese whiskers and mouth, a raspberry nose, blueberry eyes and a scrambled egg tie makes this an extra special bunny friend for your littles in the mornings.

Do you enjoy packing lunches too?  Click here for more lunch packing ideas.  Oh, and don't forget Easter gifts and crafts.

I hope you enjoyed this post!

XOXO Miranda

Easter Jars Gift Idea

Easter is almost here!  Here is one of my favorite Easter gift ideas instead of baskets.  Easter Jars!  I don't know about y'all, but our house has been overrun by stuff.  One year, I just decided that I didn't want to do Easter baskets at all. What toys were my kids going to get in the basket that they didn't already have at home anyway...likely buried underneath something?  If your house is being overrun by tons and tons of stuff and you would just rather not deal with it all, Easter jars are a simple AND frugal idea.  They are perfect, too, for the kids that are growing out of the toys and just want treats anyway!

Aren't these just too cute?!  Not only can you make Easter jars for your kids, you can make them as gifts for others too.  We made these jars one year for the teachers.  They are filled with M&Ms, colorful Easter grass, and a chocolate bunny.  The yellow ribbon adds cute Spring touch.

 The jars can also serve as part of your holiday d├ęcor and an easy storage solution when empty.

These were the jars that I made for kids that year.  I kind of went with a bunny theme by adding bunny fruit snacks and crackers to go along with their chocolate bunnies.

We used smaller jars here being that stores were sold out of the bigger ones.  They were still just as cute with the little chubby bunnies in.

In these jars, I added some bunny peeps and a little "nest egg" to give the kids some spending money.  You can't go wrong with treats and cash, right?  These are perfect for kids who don't really play with much anyway or just like to buy things on their own.

I love how colorful the jars are!  Easter jars are still one of my favorite gifts to date.  What do you think about Easter jars?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

St Patty's Day Fun

 Another holiday has come and gone...and I'm finally getting a post up. lol This means more fun things to do! Whoop! Whoop!  Here are some ways we celebrated St. Patty's day.

Every kid loves a good game.  So why not have a little rainbow treasure hunt? We had a race just to make it more fun.  The kids get a bucket and see who can collect the colors of the rainbow the fastest.  AJ cheated once and got a pack of crayons.  So we obviously had to set some rules in place.

Then we made "rainbow necklaces" using Froot Loops and yarn.  Caleb started out putting his cereal in order of the rainbow.  Then, decided it was faster to just put them on.  He became obsessed with seeing how long he could make his necklace. This is a good "Keep ' em busy" activity and it practices fine motor skills for smaller tots.


What would you do if you found a pot of Gold?  Good question and writing prompt. 
We used some coins for Caleb to put a sentence in the correct order.  Then, we talked about how precious we were to Jesus and how we are worth more than gold to Him.  Then, I asked him to write one thing that he liked about himself.  Afterwards, I had all the kids name something that they liked about themselves and one thing they liked about each other.   I'm just trying to slick remind them that they do love eachother.  Lol.  Maybe it will come back to their remembrance when they are fighting. I grabbed these little coins from Hobby Lobby to use in our activities.  We used them in site word matching.  I called out a site word, and he used them to cover that site word.


We also used the coins for the twins to practice their fine motor skills.  We had these stacking cups that already had a slit in them to use.  However,  you can use an oatmeal container or box with a slit cut in the top.


Rainbow pancakes were on the breakfast  menu.   Since, we woke up late and missed the bus, somebody got to help make them too.  Of course, lucky charms made the menu too.

Tip:  I have a wanderer in the mornings.   Sometimes a small activity on the table helps to keep a little wanderer still and occupied.


Caitlyn loves art.  For Halloween, she was Jackson Pollock, an American drip/splatter artist. About a month ago, the movie "Pollock" came on tv and I let her watch the parts where he was creating his paintings.  They have created small splatter paintings on regular paper before, so I decided to buy some canvases to let them make bigger ones.  I figured they might look "rainbowy."  However, they got too excited with the paint and pretty much mixed it all up until they had an almost solid blackish canvas. Lol

I haven't been regularly packing lunches because you know ...end of the school year...
However,  we did do these kind of St. Patty's themed lunches.


Well, on to Easter!


Friday, March 31, 2017

Hits And Misses Of The Dressing Room

Trying on clothes is one of my favorite and least favorite things to do.  You know it starts out good and excited.  Then you start trying on clothes and get disappointed....but it looked so cute on the mannequin....the perfectly shaped thin mannequin. 

Well, after some weight loss after the twins, I needed to get some clothes that kind of fit.  I had already said that I would slowly revamp my wardrobe and throw out some old things.  So I had two excuses to go shopping.

On one of my trips, I went to TJMAX. This lime colored skirt caught my eye.  I thought it'd be perfect to mix with some bright colors for spring and summer.  Plus, i could wear it to church too. Well, it fit.  Size 12.  We're 1 and 0. One item in the bag.

Now, I was kind of confused by these pants when I saw them on the rack.  Were they pants, a dress, did they wrap, have splits.  However,  I still thought they were pretty cute on the hanger.  Fast forward to the dressing room and I didn't think so.  They just looked weird on me. 1 and 1.

I love dresses.  They automatically make me dressed up with little to no effort. So I've been in a "buy all the dresses" mood lately. I absolutely loved the color.  I'm not sure what my color is, but this green worked. This dress is a large, although, I wondered how a medium would fit.  The kids are outside this door on a bench here, so I knew taking the time to go back out wasn't going to happen. I decided to buy the large. 2 and 1.

And here is this dress in action. I wore it to church, pair with a flower headpiece, and untamed natural hair. (I hadn't done anything to my hair in a few days and it just naturally shrinks up.)  Honey, you couldn't tell me that I wasn't a goddess this day. Just wait until I get me some muscles. Lol

Next up was this cute black jumpsuit.  I was particularly drawn to the wide legs. I like the swaying movement.  It fit pretty good as a size large, but I didn't get it.  To be honest, I already have a black jumper.  It is sleeveless, all black with a more fitted leg. I really tried to justify the need for another one, but decided I'd rather buy something that wasn't too similar to something I already owned...unless I get rid of it. 2 and 2

On another occasion,  I went into Belk's.  I pick shopping locations primarily based on how easy I can get our monster stroller through the doors, around the store, and changing rooms if necessary.  I haven't been to several stores I used to go to for this very reason.

Now this was just too cute on the mannequin.  I had already envisioned myself wearing it and looking fabulous.  Insert pageant wave.  This dress was going to be so cute this summer but I tried it on and looked like somebody's grandma.  And you know how you try to fix your hair hoping the clothes look better...It didn't help.  This was also sized a large, but I assume I must have needed a medium in this style.  Again, too much time to go get another one. 2 and 3

This crown and Ivory jumper was glorious!  Look how it has worked wonders already.  I immediately look put together and these days I need something to easily make me look put together.  I had no problem adding this to the checklist to take home. 3 and 3

Now, this is what happens when I try on these type of dresses.  My belly.  I have lost a good bit of weight, but that belly is still a work in progress.  This is with no type of shapewear on so a good underneath piece would probably help smooth that out.  However, I really just want to try my best and loose, loose, loose that belly.  So back on the rack it went.  3 and 4.

This white pant suit was everything!  It was just what I was looking for to wear to Pastor's Anniversary at church.  I'm not sure what the brand was, but this was the softest and smoothest pant suit ever.  I needed this.  Well, kind of.  Ok, I really wanted it.  However, two things stopped me from walking out of the store with it.

1.  That price tag.  Every now and then I splurge on something to wear, but it was hard to splurge on this one.  The pants, the jacket plus tax would run me a good $200. That's too much in my price is right voice.

2.  Keeping it clean.  See those two tiny humans in the fitting room with me.  Notice, the one already clenching on to the pants screaming?  How in Jesus name would this suit stay clean with 1 year old twins.  I barely wear white shirts, let alone a whole suit.  Would the stains come out?  Would I be mad if they didn't?  Heck yeah! As much as I loved this, it was best for my wallet and my mind to leave this suit here.  However, if it every goes on sale and I go to a kid free place... lol

Well, I was pretty happy with my shopping trip.  I did leave the store with a few things to step my style up and try to keep me from being frumpy mommy.  It is so easy to fall into especially when you are wearing workout clothes most days because you have to fit it in whenever.. and you likely won't have time to shower anyway.  Let's be real.

Cheers to trying to loose weight, get fit and look great!

On to the next adventure.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Celebrating Read Across America Week

Nothing cooler than reading right? I love Read Across America Day! 

I love books and I cannot lie and so I kind of want everyone to love them too.  At some point, I will get where I can actually sit down alone and read an adult book.  However, for now, I just celebrate with the kids.  Besides, I like celebrating anything. 
I'm throwing it back here to about 3 years ago where I dressed the littles up for Dr. Seuss Day.  You can check out the posts for these outfits here and here and here.  

One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish! Here's a fun Dr. Seuss themed lunch for the kids.  This is one from last year when Caleb was in prek.  The fish were made with a cookie cutter on bread.  Then, I spread cream cheese on top, berries and candy eyes.  Add some goldfish, cubed ham, carrots and I drew on a Cat in the Hat cheese stick. Caleb loves opening his lunchbox to little "fun with food" surprises.

Another activity we did was building the cat's hat with addition facts. This was an "I need to keep you occupied so you don't get distracted and miss the school bus morning activity." lol We've also done this activity with numbers (putting them in the correct order) when he was in prek.

We did more fishy math afterschool.  We worked on graphing the colors, writing the numbers, tally marks, and answering a few questions.

This was on Friday.  The kids got to dress up like superheroes for Read Across America week.  Readers are definitely superheroes and get more and more super powers from reading.  I absolutely loved the school's superhero idea. 

We did some simple green eggs and ham with cat in the Hat skewers for breakfast.  Did you know that you can dye eggs naturally without using food coloring?  I just used a little of the juice from some thawed blueberries. You only have to use a little and it doesn't taste funny either.  Then we just have strawberries and bananas to make the cat's hat and a grape for his head.

Here's another throwback from last year when we had our Seuss mini party.  We watched The Lorax and traced hands to make that lovely mustache.   I just had to get the twins in there too. Lol.  Aj backed out of the pic at the last minute.  He remembered that this was not "cool." Haha! Teenagers! This is cool!  You can find some other Dr. Seuss crafts here.

Isn't that a cute little Lorax and what 5 year old wouldn't want edible cars?  The cars are put together using toothpicks that are attached to the grape wheels. This was his afterschool lunch with a "read together" book.  However, Caleb managed to read this book almost entirely on his own.

Remember in the last post, I mentioned I look for excuses to make big, pretty, party messes? Well, Dr. Seuss also fits the bill.  We've been having mini Dr. Seuss parties for a couple of years now.  I always do a book display, sometimes the food is themed, and we watch one of the Dr. Seuss movies. The kids always get really excited about it. Even the twins got a mini food platter for the party this year. 

Dr. Seuss parties of the past

Remember to make learning fun!


Monday, March 6, 2017

Simple Valentine's Day Fun

I love holidays and pretty much any of them.  It gives me a special reason to be creative, not that I don't take advantage of most days anyway (when there's time).  However, holidays give me a reason to justify making huge pretty messes because there's usually a mess somewhere.

Here are some simple, but fun ways we celebrated Valentine's Day this year.  

Of course there was fun food.  We all love to eat.  We had fresh fruit bowls with whipped cream and mini muffins for breakfast one day.

Heart waffles with syrup, whipped cream and fruit was another breakfast idea.  The twins had heart shaped waffles and fruit too without the syrup and cream.  And do you know what?  Even the teenager came out of the room and was like, "Ma, I want heart shaped waffles."  What?! Did my eyes deceive me?  He doesn't even eat breakfast at home anymore because he likes to eat at school with his friends.  However, he got heart shaped waffles today too and I was happy.

Now these are fun to make and fun to eat. Heart pancakes and strawberries that are cut in half and put on skewers.  We had little bowls of syrup and whipped cream nearby for dipping.

Some Activities

I made this heart number matching set a while back.  We initially used these to match the correct number of dots with the correct number.  Then we added the number words to identify and match to the correct numbers.  Now we use them for adding, subtracting and less than, greater than, and equal to.  These aren't laminated, but I need to if I want them to last.

We used colored pom poms for math and learning too.  Caleb was learning measuring at school this week so here's one "Valentine" activity we did.  I took two jars and had him guess how many he thought would fit into each jar and write the number down.  Then he put them in, counted them and wrote the number down to compare his guess and answer.  He also asked everyone in the house for their guesses too.

This is a cute little story book that we read together.  It subs in pictures for some of the words in the poem. 

Hershey kisses became a fun game of tic tac toe.  All the kids played against each other.  Caleb even earned bragging rights when he beat big brother AJ.

To incorporate some science activity in, I decided that they'll make "love boats" to see if they would sink or float.  I put lots of different items on the porch to see that they would build with.  They did have a friend to come over while they were making these and they were trying to hurry and finish.  They couldn't get off that porch fast enough.  They were like, "See ya!"

Here's an activity that I came up with to teach in Children's church, but you could use it anytime.  We certainly need reminders all the time.

First, I thought of 3 categories - God's love for us, Our love for Others, and Our love for God.  Then, I looked up scriptures to go along with each one.  With the help of Cate, we made two sets of these.  The class worked in groups to read each scripture to discuss and decide which category it fell under.  Afterwards, we discussed the scriptures and talked about ways to apply them in our lives and the lives of others.

Now, this is my kind of crooked crossword!  I was in a hurry and didn't realize how off it was, but it worked.  The kids enjoyed trying to find the words.  I'll be making sure they are lined up better next time, though.

Yall, I love this tablecloth.  I found it at Walmart one year.  It's thicker and has a soft back and you just wipe it off and reuse it.  I so prefer this than buying a countless number of the thin plastic tablecloths that get thrown away.
So for Vday we had heart waffles again and a really poor attempt at making bacon hearts.  Do you see a heart?  I tried. lol  Please note that Christmas clearance bag being decorated with paper hearts to carry school treats in.  I improvise like that!

We had a mini VDay treat that night as well.  I love these cute polka dot cups and napkins from Walmart.

We made some simple Vday lunches, not too much, because I couldn't get myself together.  Check out that heart muffin, though.  I found the silicone muffin pan at Walmart.

The twins got in on some Vday fun with some sensory play with rose petals.  These rose petals are so old that they were actually used in our wedding 10 years ago.  I may be a bit of a craft/education hoarder.  However, they loved making a mess with these and putting them in each container.

And when I say mess, here is the reality.  This is a different day and the big kids were playing with them too.  However, this is how it looks after everybody has gotten into them.  It's like something exploded.  Spread the love. lol

Don't they look like little big boys here? GOSH!

And then Valentines isn't the same without grandmas!

Hope you enjoyed this post and hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!