December Digital Planner

Happy Blogmas day 2! If you missed day 1, you can click here to see some great gift ideas for your homeschooler!

Today is something super quick and fun! I recently started using my iPad for a digital Planner. I am a huge planner girl, and normally only use a physical planner, but I always quit using it after a month cause I always make it so bulky with everything I put in it. So one of my goals this month is to continue using a digital planner.

If you don’t know what a digital planner is or how to get one, Its basically just what it sounds like. A planner to use digitally, you can make your own or go to Etsy and buy a Digital PDF and download it to your device. I found mine here on TheMagichappens shop! Her planners are fantastic and I am loving mine so far. You will need the app Goodnotes or Noteworthy. (I personally use Goodnotes, more user friendly).

The Christmas Stickers in the spread are from another Etsy shop called MeeDigiScrap. Digital stickers are a great way to customize your planner.

Here are is my December spread !

Homeschool Christmas Gift Guide

Happy Day 1 of Blogmas! for the next 25 days , I will be posting a something here on my blog everyday! Some recipes, Book Reviews from Bentley, Christmas DIYs and so much more! It is sure to be a lot of fun so check back here everyday to see what’s new! 

We all know as parents that it’s a safe bet that our kids want some kind of toy for Christmas right? But as a parent (especially a homeschool parent) you want your kids to have an awesome Christmas AND get them something educational, something you can work into your everyday lessons. The first thing I did was let my oldest grab one of those “Toy books” that you get from the stores, he circled EVERYTHING he wanted and they were not surprisingly all toys, but one thing he circled was in the Amazon toy book and it was something educationalish ( I know that is not a word but we will just roll with it ). I decided to look up more gift ideas that would be fun and work with our homeschool lessons, so here is a Christmas Home school gift guide or some ideas for your child that loves to learn outside of school!

This blog may include “affiliate links” where I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link. However, all opinions are my own and I only endorse companies that I genuinely recommend.

LEGO’s 

LEGO’s are awesome, and bring out a crazy amount of imagination but you can also get sets that correspond with some lessons, like the Deep Sea Creatures Kit or Space Mars Research Shuttle Kit.

Globe for Kids

I found this awesome LED Constellation Globe that shows you the map and the constellations. Its perfect for any age and definitely a must get for any space lover!

Junior Metal Detector

Part of homeschooling is of course being at home some of the time, other times you want to get out go on a hike or walk to explore the amazing Nature right outside your door. Next time you can grab this National Geographic Junior Metal Detector and go on a hike and find some interesting hidden objects in the ground!

Experience’s

Does your kids love the Zoo, Aquarium, or the Children’s Museum near you, get them season passes! It would bring more “Field Trip” days and can double as a great family outing! Take them on a vacation and research some lesson related experiences that are around the area your’re visiting. For example we plan on going to Tennessee with the kids this year, I’ve already started looking up some mountain hikes, and places about the history of where we are going to visit.

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Cash Register

On top of being a great make believe resource, a play register is an awesome way to teach how to count and handle money.

Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Paperwhite

For the teens who love to read, getting them Kindle Unlimited would be an awesome gift! Endless amounts of books for them to get lost in! If you are not too keen on getting them a tablet/IPad because of social media, the Kindle Paperwhite paired with the Kindle Unlimited is great for those bookworms!


Osmo

This is something that is on our list to get the kids. Connect it to your Fire tablet, IPad and its endless amount of fun and learning plus the kids get the “screen time” they want! They learn shapes, math, letter building, and there is also some Disney kits that you can get as well! SCORE!

 

Books 

This is probably a no brainer, but books are still a great gift idea for those readers that just can’t put down the books. Every year we get the kids something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to READ. Currently we are reading The Polar bears Explorers club and are loving it! Were going to be do a book review on it later! 

Christmas can be stressful and trying to find a good gift for the kids that aren’t just another toy they will get sick of in a week is something I think most parents stress about each year. I hope you are able to find something on this list that will help you with your Christmas shopping!

Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapering

This blog may include “affiliate links” where I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link. However, all opinions are my own and I only endorse companies that I genuinely recommend.

One of the things I’m doing differently with our Daughter Madeline, is Cloth Diapers. I was on the fence about using them with Leo and loved the prints BUT ultimately I just chose not use them with him. So when Madeline was born I really wanted to start using them to replace using disposables.

She is 9 months now and we have been using them since she was 2 months old, just around the time we ran out of Newborn/size 1 diapers that we had stocked up on. I wanted to write this post for all the moms who are on the fence about using them like I did. There is a lot of “How to’s” but none really giving you the Pro’s and Con’s of using them. I hope this list may help to to decided if you are on the fence just like I was.

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PRO’S

  • Saving money. If you do Cloth Diapering correctly and don’t get swept up in it all it can be very money saving by time your baby is no longer in them.
  • Adorable prints. We use Mama Koala and I absolutely love all of their prints. They vary from different colors, themes, and even some Harry Potter ones come out sometimes.
  • Better for the environment. Ultimately Cloth diapers ARE better for our planet, because you don’t throw them away and they go sit in a dump for years.
  • Multiple methods. There are so many different ways to cloth diapers which gives you many options to find what will work for your family lifestyle and your budget.
  • They can last years. If taken care of cloth diapers can last you from birth till about 2-3 years old around potty training time.
  • You can match them with your child’s outfits. Honestly I find this part so much fun, I can match her to her outfit or if its a special holiday or something is going on I can dress her up in some cloth diapers that go with the day!

CONS

  • Takes time to get a routine. Other it is washing the diapers in the washing machine, or hand washing them, you have to find your routine and that can be a little time consuming.
  • There are a lot of rules to taking care of your cloth diapers. My best advice for this is add your self to a Facebook group that is just for taking care Cloth diapers. The experts there will give you EVERY detail what to do to improve your wash routine or what not to do. So sometimes it can be overwhelming.
  • Sometimes onesies and pants don’t fit. Because the cloth diapers are “bigger” it can make it where the clothes for your baby don’t fit. (Pro tip: Get knee high socks and onesie extenders)
  • Washing the poop off the diapers can be gross. Im not going to lie, it can get gross and you will probably get it on your hands more than once.
  • Adds more laundry. I know it’s not something you like doing but it’s a part of it.
  • Can be expensive. If you want the diapers that exactly like disposables called the AIO (All in Ones) it will be expensive. BUT Also seeing all the adorable prints on your baby bum will honestly have you on the shops pages looking to buy every single butt fluff you can get your hands on. I mean there are are many moms who have over 500 diapers and some will pay $75+ for one diaper if its a special limited print.. Sop beware it can get addicting.
  • People will think it’s gross. ” Oh my gosh ew I couldn’t do that, do you like wash it with your clothes?” I hear it all the time when someone asks about Madelines diapers and I explain what they are. People suck sometimes simple as that.
  • Disposables are easier. It’s not a secret, I am not going to lie they are, I mean you take it off your child and throw it away. Fast and simple.

We choose to cloth diaper because the pros just out way the cons for us. I love knowing we help the environment even just the little bit that we do, and already it has saved us money by not having to buy diapers every month plus I mean come on the prints are just to perfect and adorable.

Do what you feel fits your family first. If you choose to CD then make sure to find a few facebooks groups and do research to find which method is right for you!

We have found that the Mama Koala Diapers are amazing for us! They are always coming out with new prints every Thursday and are very affordable.

Going to Universal Orlando and Disney during covid.

This year has been crazy. I had so many plans for this page, we had our beautiful daughter and then shortly afterwards Covid happened and everything turned on its head. Hopefully all of my old readers didn’t run away and still are here to support us, and if you’re new here welcome!

Recently we were blessed with a chance to go and stay at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando for a weekend with out the kids. It was fabulous and I miss the peace and quiet. While here we visited a theme parks. Universal and Disney were closed during the pandemic but now open with moderations, safety precautions and rules. So I just wanted to go over what we thought and give you a little idea of what you could go through while at the parks.

Universal Orlando

We spent the morning at Universal and leaving around 12 Pm because of the crowd. By 11 every ride had a wait over 75 minutes and it was just jammed packed and it wasn’t worth it to us to wait in a line that long. We did ride Jimmy Fallons Ride through New York, Men in Black, The Simpsons and The Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure.

Masks

Everyone is to wear a mask from ages 3 and up. Per the Universal website you must wear a mask that covers over your nose and secures under your chin. However gaiters have been allowed through the temperature screenings. They just can’t be make shift gaiters such as bandanas. We all had gaiters and were told at the gate that they were fine to wear through out the parks as ling as we follow social dismantling guidelines. All masks must be worn at all times unless actively eating or drinking, or you are in the U- Rest area, which a place you can take your mask off and take a breath. But please make sure to still social distance.

Temperature Screenings

Before entering the area for security checks you must get a temperature screening. The Universal Orlando website states,

“Temperature checks will be required upon arrival, and guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be admitted.”

https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/safety-faqs

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer is givin every where through the park, before you get on the ride, before you sit down to eat and some before you walk in to stores.

Excuse my husbands face, He doesn’t know how to smile.

Social Distancing

Universal does have markings on the ground 6 ft away from each other that you must follow while waiting for shows, in lines at stores, lines for food, and waiting for rides. Universal is doing the virtual lines for some rides, and ordering your food at sit down restaurants through the Universal Orlando app. Make sure to download the app prior visiting and make sure to pick your Virtual times early in the morning, especially for Hagrids Magical Creature Ride. For us by 10:15 AM there was no more rides available for the day. So just check right in the morning or when you arrive.

Disney

We unfortunately did not go into the parks them selves but we did explore Disney Springs which has the same rules and protocalls as the parks.

MASKS

Everyone ages 2 and up must wear a mask. Only masks that go over your nose and secure under your chin are a loud. Gaiters (masks that cover your neck) are not prohibited through out Disney Springs and Walt Disney World, so they won’t let you through the temperature screening if it is a gaiter. Make sure to bring the proper mask, You must Wear them at all times, unless you are actively eating or drinking. There are Cast members walking around and saying something if your mask was not on and if given a problem will escort you out of Disney Springs if must be.

Temp Screening

After parking in the garage you will have to go through a temperature screening. Per the Walt Disney World guide lines they state,

“Those with temperatures 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry; those in their party will not be allowed entry either.”

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/experience-updates/

Hand sanitizer

Everywhere. Walk in a store, hand sanitizer. Go to the bathroom soap and hand sanitizer. I honestly laughed and thought no wonder why the world ran out the Theme parks took it all. But just be pre pared for dry hands by the end of the end.

Social Distancing

We didn’t walk through he Parks but Disney Springs did have you waiting outside stores in line to make sure the stores wouldn’t over flow with guests. We got there around 8:30 and most of the restaurants were at capacity and closing. We ended up eating at Earl of Sandwich and going through one or two store before finally leaving after being disappointed. Disney is keeping up with their earlier protocols and staying at the lower capacity.

All in all Disney was very strict while Universal was more lose with the safety protocols. Use your best judge meant when going to the parks, if you don’t feel safe going to the parks because of the potential of getting Covid please don’t stress your self out and stay home until you feel it is safe for you and your family. Use your best judgement.

Thanks for reading, We hope you have a magical day!

Inspirational and fun Christmas Advent Calendar for Kids

My two year old loves Curious George and on the Christmas episodic the man in the yellow hat makes a count down to Christmas for George. I instantly loved the idea, then while scrolling through Instagram I saw small shop mom boss Stephanie Hathaway post about her her freebie of Christmas flower themed advent calendar tags she designed. Stephanie is a fellow homeschool mom who creates these amazing lessons and bundles for your home. I recently bought her  Daily rhythm bundle and weather bundle to use for the  boys chore charts and morning lessons! Cant wait to share that with you soon.

Anyway Stephanie had an awesome idea that instead of a gift advent calendar she made more of an inspirational advent calendar using the beautiful cards she had made. She simply printed out the cards and on the back wrote something inspirational for her son on the back! So for our advent calendar I wanted to combine the gift calendar and non-gift calendar.

Here is what I came up with. 

This blog may include “affiliate links” where I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link. However, all opinions are my own and I only endorse companies that I genuinely recommend.
  1. I printed and cut out Stephanie’s cards that can found in her freebie section in the link below.

https://www.stephaniehathawaydesigns.com/freeprintables/christmas-advent-freebies

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2. I wrote an inspirational thing to say to my boys OR something Christmas themed for us to actually do! I took events from our printable Christmas bucket list! You can find that in this post.

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3. For the little baggy behind the card I just simply put a piece of chocolate for each of the boys inside and pinned it to some twine to hang on our wall!

4. I ended using some tiny ornaments and a gold star we had bought last year from Walmart for a little tree the boys decorated to hang with the calendar for a finishing look.

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So far this Advent Calendar is perfect for the boys to see how many days left till Christmas AND to see how much we love them and how proud we are of them each day.

Favorites of the Week 1st Edition

Happy Sunday! I’ve been wanting to write something like this for quite some time ever since I found this idea from fellow blogger Hillary from hillarymichelleblog.com. If you get a chance check her page out, shes amazing with fashion and definitely one of my favorite bloggers to follow! With that being said do you ever just want to write down some of the things you want to just share and get out? Just random finds that you think people should see or check out for themselves. That’s what this series is going to be about! With Christmas right around the corner, I will be posting some awesome gift ideas here and there for the whole family, along with just some things I think are worth talking about.

This blog may include “affiliate links” where I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking the link. However, all opinions are my own and I only endorse companies that I genuinely recommend.

Miss Fong Leather Diaper bag

For the past year I was using just a regular backpack as our diaper bag, and with being pregnant with Madeline I know I needed something bigger with a lot more pockets. I also wanted something a tad more stylish that I know would last. I found this bag on Amazon for only $50 it’s 4 1/2 stars and has a lot of great reviews! There 5 Outer pockets & 8 Inner pockets and its water resistant. My favorite thing so far minus the amount of pockets, is the fact on the side two pockets they are insulated perfect for those baby bottles. This bag also fits my homeschool books perfectly for when we are on the go and I want to bring some lessons with us!

 

 

Bow subscription

I kept getting one of those ads on Instagram about some really cute little girl bows from Little Poppy Co, and after a few times of seeing this ad I decided to check it out. It ended up being a bow subscription ( Didn’t even know that was a thing ) where each month Little Poppy sends you 3 bows for your baby girl that goes with the holiday or season of the month, it’s only $13.99 a month and the bows are absolutely adorable! They have 3 sizes from infants to little girls. Even though Madeline is not suppose to be here until January the Christmas bows were just too cute not to get.

Less Screen Time

I noticed with Bentley recently that he has became quite argumentative, which would turn me in to the big bad mom. He was constantly saying he was only happy when watching YouTube videos.. He wasn’t wanting to go any where or do anything and it was driving me insane. SO I started taking back his screen time during the week to only an hour in the afternoon after dinner. I’ve been seeing small changes in his behavior and school has became easier because he knows if he doesn’t finish his school that there will be no screen time at all.

Michaels Christmas Tree 

We have already started putting up Christmas, and I’m not sorry about it. We’ve had numerous Christmas tree’s in the past, fake and real but nothing compares to the one we got last year on sale at Michaels. It’s the 7.5 Pre-Lit Jasper Christmas Tree and easily goes together, with a few clicks. If I didn’t buy it I honestly wouldn’t know by looking at it that its not real. Micheals is with Black Friday at the end of this coming week Michaels is having a huge sale on tree’s up to 60% off. Trow on a few of the tree pine scent sticks from Walmart and you couldn’t even tell the difference.

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Disney+ 

I just wanted to talk for a second about how I love that Disney paired up with National Geographic. I have been using it with our Good and the Beautiful Marine Biology Science unit. If you homeschool this is a great tool to use with some lessons!

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That wraps up this weeks favorites, there wasn’t a ton of great stuff to talk about this week but tell us in the comments something you loved this week! I would love to find something new!

 

 

 

Christmas Bucket List

The fall season is almost over, that means Christmas is right around the corner and if you’re like me you have already started decorating for the holidays and playing the most wonderful music ever. So this year I wan to do some of the extra Holiday / Winter type activities with the whole family so I made a list and printed it off to hang on our fridge. Each one we get to do I’ll have one the boys check it off!  I made this list printable for you all too! I’m going to update which things we check off over on our Instagram . Fingers crossed we get to do each one, but living in Florida the snow activities will be a challenge to complete.

Click on the link below to download our Christmas bucket list!

Christmas Bucket List

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*I USE AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST. IF YOU BUY ANYTHING FROM MY LINKS I WILL EARN A SMALL COMMISSION*



30 Weeks with Madeline

Finally able to update on our little bundle of joy coming this January. The past few weeks have been crazy, I have been having some breathing problems doing about anything. My doctor referred us to a cardiologist which had me do a Echo cardiogram and a heart monitor for 24 hours to find out I have a mild case of Cardiomegaly which leads to shortness of breath and hopefully will be gone after I have Madeline. . I’ve also been having some family emergency’s going on, So updating on here as been on the back burner.
Highlights: 
  • Decorating her room and getting everything ready! 
  • Madeline is looking great on Ultrasound! 
  • Her Heartbeat is strong! 
Lowlights:
  • Restless legs when I’m trying to sleep is the worst
  • Having Braxton Hicks almost daily. 
  • Cardiologist says I have Cardiomegaly (Enlargement of the heart) 
Weight Gain/Loss:  13 weeks: 170 17 weeks: 165  27 weeks: 175 30 weeks: 180
Sleep: Wake up constantly
Best Moment This Week: 
Finally got into Dr. Smith which is the Doctor I had with the boys and I feel so much more at ease!
Movement: Madeline has been kicking me like crazy right before bed.
Food Cravings: Sweet things like fruit.
What I Miss: Having any kind of energy.
Mood: Emotional and cranky
Upcoming Appointments/Events: Coming up I have start going to the doctor every 2 weeks starting the 18th. We have a lot of Events going on this month with Bentley’s  birthday and were hosting a Friendsgiving dinner and hosting Thanksgiving  this year.

What I look forward to:  This whole month of fun and family time!

Thanks for reading
Jessica

DIY Madeline Book Banner

Were finally getting our girl, and I have always adored the name Madeline from the books as a child. When James agreed to the name I was ecstatic! Unfortunately there is not a lot of Madeline rooms out there that I could find. Finding some decor ideas was a bit of a challenge, I did however see a recent picture of someone who was selling a vintage book banner and it gave me an idea for her room! I previously had an old ripped up Madeline Book and just never felt the will to throw it away.

What you will need:

Madeline Book

Scissors

Pencil

Whole punch

Twine or ribbon

Directions:

1. Carefully take all the pages, and pick out the pages that you feel will look best!

2. I decided to cut down the pages to all one size , I chose a page that was the perfect size I had in mind and use it as a template to cut out the rest of the pages down to its size.

3. After you have traced and cut, Put the pages in desired order that looks best to you! I put mine in semi order what how the book went.

4. Then take the whole punch a place one whole on either side of a page at the top.

5. Take your twine or ribbon a feed it through the whole punches wholes in desired order you had laid out.

6. Hang up the banner and enjoy!

Honestly super simple project, and it’s the perfect fit for a Madeline inspired nursery, or any book inspired nursery.