Monday, September 15, 2014

#14BooksIn2014 September & October

Have you been reading lately? Over the summer I didn't read as much as I'd anticipated. I'd thought that days at the pool & vacation would equal to hours on end of reading. Not so much, because when you're at the pool with friends you chat and when you're on a vacation that isn't so much of a relaxing vacation as it is a "visiting & doing" vacation, there's just not a lot of time for reading. 

The past couple of weeks though I've been trying hard to carve out time each day to read a bit. I just started reading book 10 out of my #14booksin2014 goal. Things are busy this month and next so I'm trying for 4 books in the 2 months, because I just don't think there'll be time for more. 4 is better than none though, right? 
September & October Book Choices. Read a book! 14BooksIn2014 

My first choice is If I Stay. Brookelyn already started & finished (she's anxious to see the movie) this book and I just started it a few days ago. So far, so good. Have you read If I Stay? Have you seen the movie? What did you think?
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My other three choices are books that have been on my "to read" list for months. You might recognize all of them from previous #14booksin2014 posts. I'm hopeful this month. And this goal that I created for myself back in January has made quite an impact on my daily life. Often times I reward myself throughout the day with a few minutes of reading. It's great for keeping me motivated to get things done around the house and to complete projects. And, I just feel better when I've taken a few minutes for me with my nose in a book. 
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If you're looking for a new book to read, you can check out my previous posts. I'll leave the links for each months post below.

What are you reading? What books have you read lately that you really loved?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Nine Twelve Fourteen

How was your week? Did it fly by like mine did? 

Over the weekend Brookelyn celebrated her birthday with her friends at a photo shoot. Here is the sad looking leaning cake. I can't wait to share all about the photo shoot with you soon.
A little sneak peek of the photo shoot! It was so much fun. My friend Sara did a fantastic job with the girls and they all loved it.
After the photo shoot the girls (and Sara & I) went out to dinner in the city. The girls had their own table, behaved so well and had a great time. 

One of my favorite things about the kids being back in school is early morning Target runs all by my self! It's great to not have someone begging, whining or saying "mom, mommy, mama, MOOOM!". 
Speaking of Target. Aren't these tny gift bags adorable? I loved all of the colors and prints. There was lots of wrapping stuff in these prints and I've got plans to go back for more!
We received a super exciting package in the mail from my sister this week. She sent Brookelyn that adorable little doll (and some washi tape!) for her birthday, but she also included a whole bunch of treats & candy. The kids were going crazy. We're excited to try it all. 
What are your weekend plans? Are you getting ready for fall activities like picking apples or pumpkins yet? 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fall Printable - Free

In celebration of the first "fall" like day here in Milwaukee, I'm sharing a free printable. I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. A quote from one of my favorite childhood books, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Every year at this time, I think of this quote. I love October, I love fall. I love that crisp cool air that is so welcome after long, warm summer days. And, if I'm being honest, I love all of the pumpkin, apple, and orange that accompany October too! 
I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables quote. Free Printable. #printable #freeprintable #fallprintable #fallquotes
Click HERE to download this free printable. The downloaded version will NOT have my watermark. 

What is your favorite thing about October?

Also, I can't post today, September 11th without remembering the heartache this date brings so many people. We will never, ever forget. Lots of love and blessings.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tips for Traveling with Kids

My kids are by no means world travelers and really they've each only been on an airplane a couple of times. But, we've done some long road trips and we've been through spurts of having to drive 2-3 hours just to see family, a lot. 2-3 hours doesn't sound like a lot, but when the kids are little you know that can seem like an eternity. Right? Let's talk about a few tips for traveling with kids. 
Tips for traveling with kids. #travelingwithkids #travel
We flew to California this summer to visit family & friends and I'll be honest, I was worried about Cohen's behavior on the flight. He had just turned 6 and the he can be feisty as hell when he gets in the mood. I crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best and lucky for us (and everyone else on the plane) he did great. I'm pretty sure my tips below were what saved us though, from him getting bored, feeling claustrophobic & impatient. 

1  P R E P A R E   T H E M
One thing we've found works well, especially with a child who's sensitive to changes, tends to be claustrophobic and has the attention span of, well a 6 year old. Each time before we leave we talk about the details of the trip, but we also talk about behavior on the plane or in the car and the things we'll see. There is talk about time, typically we try to make it sound like it'll take a bit longer than it actually does. This way, we give ourselves some wiggle room. Talking to them about the exciting parts of the flight or the drive, what they might be able to see out the window, etc.

2  L E T   T H E M   H E L P   P A C K 
Whenever we travel each kid gets their own suitcase and one carry-on bag/car bag. That's it, nothing more. What we put in the carry-on/car bag is up to the kids. We always encourage a book or two, a sketch pad or coloring book, colored pencils & crayons, and an animal or doll. They have the freedom to pick and choose from their favorites as long as they keep it to a minimum. This way they aren't overwhelmed with choices to the point that they're not even sure what to do. 

3  S N A C K S
In our home we aren't big on snacking & eating to occupy our time, but when we travel the kids get to pick 2 snacks. A healthy snack and a snacky-not-so-healthy snack. Typically the healthy snack is something like fruit or veggies and the other is crackers, granola bars, etc. No candy, because - airplane & kids. Besides the snacks that they pass out on the plane are sugary enough!

4   S L E E P
This all depends on the kid. Neither of our kids are big sleepers while in the car or on a plane. When they were younger, they'd pass out quickly but not so much now that they're a bit older. If you've got kids who are likely to sleep on a plane or in the car, then it's smart to keep them up late, and wake them early. Do everything you can to make sure that they'll be ready to pass out the minute you hit the road (or the sky). If they're like our kids though and are too excited to sleep during the trip, let them sleep the night before. A good nights sleep is enough to ensure that our two kids will have a smooth trip, hopefully.

5  D O N ' T   S T R E S S 
Easier said than done, right? Believe me, if anyone knows that it's me. Prior to traveling my anxiety goes into over drive, especially when it comes to flying. I do my very best to not let the kids see that I'm stressing because if they do, then they will. We try to keep calm, yet excited about the trip. I don't talk about my anxiety or fears in front of them, rather we talk about how fun it's going to be. We allow for lots of time, extra even. Matt & I both prefer to arrive early when traveling, in order to be sure that we're not rushing in the end. Calm, cool, collected kids prior to takeoff is the goal!
What tips do you have for traveling with kids? Have you done any big trips? Were they successful or a nightmare?