Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Love Books Summer Exchange - Too Many Balloons

As many of you know, I absolutely love to read to my children...we read from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to bed each night. Ever since before they were even born, reading has been something we always did together. That is why I was so excited to participate in this summer's Love Books Summer Exchange.

This program encouraged bloggers from around the world to exchange ONE children's book and a short educational activity related to the story. The girls and I received a book called Too Many Balloons written by Catherine Matthias, from Meeghan of Sight and Sound Reading. If you have a moment, take a few minutes to check out her awesome blog and discover new ways to teach your child to read. 

As a children's book enthusiast, I was surprised I had never heard of this book or the author. I pride myself on being an avid library patron, getting as many as 30 new books every week for my children to explore and learn from. In Too Many Balloons, it tells the story of a young girl who shares her colorful balloon collection with the residents at the zoo. Not only does this book teach counting, numbers, shapes, and colors...it also teaches a little bit about animals, sharing, and even Science (how many balloons would it take to float?). 

One of my favorite parts of this book is actually the vocabulary word list, located at the end of the story. There are more than 30 words that I could use to challenge my 5 year old, who is currently learning how to read on her own. And if you ask my girls, their favorite part were the pictures (illustrations drawn by Gene Sharp). Each page displayed a colorful picture that brought the story to life, and a smile to my girls faces. 

For the activity, we were sent a packet of worksheets and had to put on round circle stickers (the ones used at a garage sale) to display how many balloons each animal had (see example above). Then at the very end, we created a HUGE balloon bundle and counted how many balloons the little girl from the story had in all. You will just have to read the book yourself to discover how many!

We were also sent a wipe-off chart, which we used to practice writing vocabulary words and colors. Its never too early to start practicing those sight words for Kindergarten! 

We still haven't tested our Science experiment for how many balloons it would take to fly/float...but we may have an opportunity this upcoming weekend at a certain someone's 4th birthday. 

For those of you interested in learning more about the Love Books Summer Exchange Program, be sure to visit this website. You can see all of this year's participants, and find a ton of wonderful children's books + activities you won't want to miss out on. 

Happy Summer!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Happy 2014 !!!

As we dive into our 25th day of January 2014...I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014! I don't update my blog as much these days, but thats to be expected with my girls growing up so fast and us trying to keep up. 

Destin's invite I ordered via Etsy

In the next couple weeks, I am going to be planning Destin's 5th Birthday. Its hard to believe that she is going to be 5 next month. We took the girls to see Disney's newest animated film, "Frozen"...and needless to say she absolutely LOVED it and switched her party plans (which were originally going to be Rapunzel). You can see my hundreds of Frozen Birthday Party Pins here via Pinterest.

Since seeing the movie about 6 times now, both girls have played dress up with their Frozen dresses too many times to count. Destin is always Elsa and Arwen plays Anna. It is beyond cute!

Besides her favorite new movie, Destin still loves Disney Princesses, playing dressup and really enjoys listening to mommy read chapter books every night before bedtime. She plans to play Tee Ball again this Spring/Summer.

Arwen loves Lightning McQueen, Scooby Doo (still), Spider Man and Doc McStuffins. She loves playing with her princesses, blocks and also playing dress up with her sister. We signed her up to play soccer starting in March.

Both girls are still really enjoying attending preschool. And I am still getting used to the idea of having time alone to myself. I am currently seeking a new prek program for Arwen next year at the moment.

In less than 2 years, both girls will be in Elementary School and my plan is to go back to the working world. Its crazy to think that I haven't worked in nearly 5 years...not sure what to expect when I finally go back.

Here are some of my favorite moments/pictures of the last couple of weeks...look for more soon!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

As a mommy of two little ones, it breaks my heart knowing that there will come a day when my girls won't want a story or a lullaby before bedtime. But until that day comes, I will continue to try as hard as I can to keep them little and cherish every moment I have with them. 

That is why I was excited to review this new product from Jammy Jams. In case you haven't heard of this group, they offer a fun, modern twist on lullabies for parents who strive to create memories with their little ones while teaching them a thing or two about their own style. 

Their music provides soothing sounds of vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, piano, blocks and more performed and arranged by Tim Phillips and Jeff Bradford. 

Jammy Jams features lullaby renditions of songs originally by everyone from Jay-Z to Whitesnake, Eminem to David Bowie, Lady Gaga to The Beastie Boys!

And their latest creation, Greatest Naps, Vol. 2: The Best of Jammy Jams is quite a collection! Whether you are a classic hip-hop or alternative music fan or a connoisseur of rock, hair bands, or pop music, you and baby will enjoy this collection of lullaby renditions from a variety of musicians such as Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus, Fugees, Oasis, and Def Leppard. Expose your little one to multiple genres of music while effortlessly drifting off into dreamland.

I really liked Whitney Houston's I will always love you. Not only was it soothing, but I did find myself singing the words out loud. Please note: Jammy Jams does not have any words, just the background music played in piano, xylophone and other instruments. 

If would like to learn more about Jammy Jams, I would encourage you to checkout their website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest accounts. You can also see a full list of Jammy Jams albums as well! 

And now for the Giveaway...if you would like to WIN a download of the Greatest Naps, Vol. 2 simply leave a comment below and tell me who you would listen/jam with. Good Luck!! The winner will be chosen January 2nd, 2014! 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pics of the girls...

I really love to take pictures of the girls...especially when they are being sweet together, or just perhaps pose for mommy when I want. So here are a few of my favorite pics I have taken over the past month or so...Enjoy!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Wow, where has the time gone? Has it really been almost 5 months since I last wrote on my blog! EEK!

Well, I don't have time to list every detail...but a lot has happened in that time.

Destin finished her first year of preschool. We are truly going to miss her teacher, and friends that she has made. And hope to keep in touch with them over the years!

Destin and Arwen actually had some good moments - playing together, and learning that sharing and getting along is more fun than fighting. 

We had a blast going to Destin's T-Ball Games and Practices each week thru the end of June. It was so cute to see all those little ones chasing after the ball. 

Grandpa Todd came to visit this past summer!

The girls and I went to many of daddy's softball games, including this one where they befriended a caterpillar.

We had many fun trips to Worlds of Fun throughout the summer (all the way to October) with our Season Passes! And we will be going back next year, even though our discount will be gone (since my step dad got a new job somewhere else a couple weeks ago).

During the month of July, we had lots to celebrate...including our annual 4th of July party that we host every year with our friends and family. Here are a few pics of the girls who got their faces painted by one of my (super/awesome/amazingly talented) friends. You can check out her website here!

Happy 4th of July!!

My friend and I spent a day "practicing" making a Scooby cake for Arwen's 3rd birthday. She loves Scooby Doo this year!! 

We went on many play dates too, including this one to Crown Center with our friends. They had a super cute FREE exhibit too, as they do every summer. So much fun!

Yay for playing outside! The girls practically lived in their swimsuits each day.

Happy 3rd Birthday to Arwen!!

The girls loved meeting Snow White at Once Upon a Child ~ my new favorite clothing store for the girls!

The girls got their 1st haircut!

This Fall in September the girls both started school at a new Preschool.

In September, I helped plan a family reunion with my mom's fathers family. It was definitely something I will never forget.

Daddy took the girls fishing for the first time!

For Halloween, Destin was Rapunzel and Arwen was Scooby Doo. 

I finally pushed myself to clean our basement and under our stairs, and found this treasure of a picture. Yep, that's me on the far left with my mom and dad in 1987 or so.

We went to Deanna Rose and had a blast with friends for the day!

The girls and I went on their 1st field trip to Faulkner's Ranch with their preschool. 

So, that pretty much sums up my life til October. I hope I can push myself to keep updating this blog, and journaling my heart out. More pics to come soon!