Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our Summer S'Cool

Awhile back I was talking to one of my friends about how we were going to spend our summer with our kids. While we have plans for vacations and trips of course, its those normal days I was dreading. You know the mornings, the ones where you agree to turn on the cartoons for only a half-hour so you can wash the breakfast dishes and before you know it two hours have gone by. Every time you reach for the remote, there is your zombie faced child pleading, "Mommy, just one more show pleeez!" Or those afternoons when suddenly and without warning every single, solitary toy in the house is out without seconds?
I'll admit last summer I had too many of those days.
I promised myself this summer would be different.
   My girls always seem to do better with structure. Maybe its a twin thing since we tried to get them on the same schedule from day one merely as a survival tactic. But twins survival aside, I really do think most children strive with structure. So as I started thinking about how to structure our days, I kept several things in mind. First, I wanted fun to be foremost- after all it is the summer. But who says we can't have fun and learn something too?  Practicing and reinforcing all those skills they learned in preschool was also at the forefront of my plans. This is the summer we countdown to kindergarten (sniffle, sniffle.)
  So I dove into researching all kinds of activities we could do this summer and almost immediately themes started to emerge. Once I discovered I could link each theme to a trip or a place we plan to visit this summer, there was no holding me back.
Who wouldn't want to make your own fossils before a trip to the dinosaur park? Or whip up a batch of homemade butter before visiting the county fair? Or read all about the creatures that live in the ocean before heading to the beach?

With our trips and corresponding themes planned out, I made a list of types of activities I thought each unit should have. For each theme, my goal was to have the following:

  • tons of books to read, non-fiction and fiction
  • science experiments
  • nature observations
  • art projects
  • creative snack ideas/ cooking recipes
  • games for practicing literacy and math skills
  • printables for printing/cutting practice
  • computer games and activities
  • and most importantly- the field trip!
From that list, I started collecting ideas for activities and oodles of fabulous free printables online. This binder has been the place to keep it all organized.

I also raided the dollar stores and dollar bins at stores like Target, Jo-Anns and Michaels for extra fun little activities like dinosaur eggs and butterfly puzzles. These containers help organize those little extras and supplies for each theme's activities. Plus they keep them hidden from the girls so I can surprise them later with them.

And much to Mr.Cabin and my mailman's chagrin, Amazon is my new best friend and I cannot wait to read all of these new books with the girls. We've been reading to the girls everyday since they were born but most of our books are fiction. Its been fun beefing up our non-fiction. I can't wait to see all the new things they are going to learn.

Even though I tried to plan most of our activities out, one last priority is flexibility. I want to stay open to where the girls' natural curiousity and wonders will take us. Bottom line is I want them to love learning and understand that learning is a life-long process that will never stop. Of all the gifts we wish to bestow upon our children- knowledge is one of the most precious.

I hope this will be a summer very well spent.

Stayed tuned...we're starting off with a dino-mite adventure!

Find me here:
I Heart Nap TIme, At the Picket Fence , Tatertots and JelloSunday Showcase

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cabin Decorating- Adding Age

     Ordinarily when I finally get a few quiet moments to sit down with a home decorating magazine, I'm a page by page kinda gal. Unless I spy on the cover a feature of a cabin, then I flip fast and furious straight to those pages. I adore reading romantic accounts of couples finding long forgotten cabins in various stages of crumble and neglect then lovingly restoring them to their former glory. Or who doesn't love an adventurous saga of a family who has taken a cabin apart log by log and transported it clear across the country to its new home?
    Of the oodles of cabins I have ogled at over the years, almost all of them have one thing in common that my cabin does not share- age.
   Now by no means am I complaining about the "newness" of the cabin. But it has been a mission of mine to make the cabin feel as if it has always been there tucked away in the woods. So I thought I would share a few of the ways I have been able to add a little age to the cabin and speed up the maturing process.

Using Family Heirlooms and Flea Market Finds
Whether from your own family or found at the market, older pieces add instant history. This was my grandfather's rocking chair, one of my most prized possessions. I was lucky enough to grab it when my grandmother downsized. I love sitting in it and thinking about how much my grandfather would have loved this place.

This is my grandmother's worn sewing basket which believe it or not now serves as glow stick storage (glow sticks are a kiddie must-have around the campfire.)
I realize how blessed I am to have these items handed down to me. They add not only age to the cabin but priceless family history as well.

Using Worn and Distressed Finishes
We finally installed cabinets to the kitchenette. To achieve a worn look and a pop of color, we stained them fruit punch red. The color makes me so happy!

Fake It
This rusty old chandelier now hangs over our table. It may look old but I actually bought it brand new at Home Goods. It was a steal too- would you believe only $19?

While most of us girls can agree age can be a sensitive subject, when it comes to growing old gracefully with my decor, I'm finding the aging process to be quite fun and mostly wrinkle-free.

Find me here:
Between Naps on the Porch , Savvy Southern Style , At the Picket Fence , Funky Junk Interiors

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beauty and the Beast Breakfast

By far my favorite Disney princess has always been Belle. With "her nose stuck in a book" and her ability to see true beauty within, what's not to love? So when I first saw they were rereleasing the movie in 3D, I knew taking the girls was a must. With Chirstmas over and our elf-on-the-shelf back in the North Pole, I was missing some of that morning magic so I decided to suprise the girls with a special breakfast to announce our movie trip. You should have seen the looks of pure astonishment and giddiness when they came downstairs on an ordinary Friday morning to see the dining room table all adorned for a special breakfast.

Our Lumiere-esque sign read, "It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you this morning as your Mommy proudly presents your Breakfast."

For breakfast, the girls dined on vanilla yogurt with strawberries cut in the shape of enchanted roses...

...and cranberry-orange mini-muffins in rose paper cups.

I decorated the table with an enchanted rose and mirror and piles of vintage books.

Mrs. Potts, Chip and Lumiere also joined the festivities.

The girls also recieved new Belle t-shirts to wear to the movies and a little goodie box with a Belle pez dispenser and candy inside.

The buffet was set up for our after-movie treat: a new Belle nightgown for each girl and special snack, a Beauty and the Beast cake.

Each girl had her own Belle on the cake (when you're a twin- it's all about the fairness.)

The movie itself was as magical as I had remembered it. The 3D effects were stunning and the girls were mesmerized the entire time. My favorite part of the day however, was as when we were tucking them in and I heard, "Mommy, this was the best day ever!" 

Catch me partying here  !
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...