21 Books To Read To Kids That Will Empower Them {All Ages}

  Kids these days need more encouragement that we think. These 21 books to read to kids will empower, motivate and inspire them at all age levels. This post contains affiliate links.  21 Books To Read To Kids That Will Empower Them I feel like just as much as we all could use some encouragement from time to time as adults, so can kids. I try my best to give them these words of encouragement everyday, but probably more often than not, I fall short. We read as much as we can and admittedly probably did more with Branden than Blake (poor second child), but we still have our favorites and love exploring books to read to kids that will empower, motivate and inspire them. So if you've been wondering what books to read to kids that can give your littles that same encouragement, here's our favorites broken down by age range. What books to read to kids There are so many wonderful authors and books out there that it can truly be difficult to narrow what books to read to kids down, but today I'm giving it my best short and hoping you enjoy my list. Books to read to kids: ages 0-3 1. Dr. Seuss - Oh, The Places You'll Go!  2. Emily Winfield Martin - The Wonderful Things You Will Be 3. I Can Handle It  4. Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums And How She Outgrew Them  5. When I Feel Angry 6. The Pout-Pout Fish  7. From Head To Toe Book Books to read to kids: age 4-7 8. Super Emotions! A Book for Children with Powerful Feelings 9. Giraffe's Can't ... Read More

How To Make Busy Boxes For Toddlers

  Trying to keep your active toddler busy during the day? Here's how to make busy boxes for toddlers that they will absolutely love playing with everyday. This post contains affiliate links.  How To Make Busy Boxes For Toddlers So all those gifts that Blake just got for Christmas have been organized here in our living room and though she does play with a select few for short periods of time, one thing is still very, very clear: my toddler would rather just get into shit instead of play with the things that we actually purchased to keep her busy. If you have a toddler at home, I'm sure you're feeling my words pretty hard right now. It couldn't be more true though. These toddlers always find a way to get into things that we want to keep them out of, the second that we turn our heads. Being a WAHM I need a break during the day from redirecting her from what she shouldn't be playing with to the things that are actually meant for her. I've searched for toys for active toddlers as well as ideas for fun activities for a toddler and nothing (I repeat NOTHING) has even come close to my idea of busy boxes for toddler. What are busy boxes for toddlers? A busy box is basically any box that you can find at home, filled with cheap items that you can get online or at the dollar store that will keep them occupied. Toddlers love to tear shit apart, so I figured why not just create something that gives her the option to do just that? The main difference being that ... Read More

How to Work From Home With a Baby or Toddler

  Being a WAHM (work-at-home-mom) and struggling to find balance, I wanted to pass on my wisdom for how to work from home with a baby or toddler to help you. This post contains affiliate links.  How to Work From Home With a Baby or Toddler TBH, I feel like this post has been living inside me for a long time. I've gone back and forth with writing it because every few months our routine changes and then I need to adapt again - so keep that in mind. Whether you work from home like me or just need to get things done and are having a hell of a time doing that and found yourself googling "how to work from home with a baby or toddler," I've got some helpful tips that have been the absolute, only way I can get shit done. First, I've shared on social media just how much of a challenge this has been for me lately. When Blake was born, I never really took any time off and just jumped right back into work because I'm self-employed and my family relies on my income. Things were so much easier whenever she was a baby and slept more and now that she's 17-month-old and into everything, each day has a different challenge for me to tackle. I'm not an expert, but if you've found yourself wondering how to work from home with a baby or toddler, this will help alleviate some stress. 1. Get as much done as you can in the morning. In our home, morning are still a little bit quieter than the rest of the day. We all get up with my alarm at 6:15am and get things moving. Chris ... Read More

Hot Chocolate Ornaments – 3 Different Ways

  These hot chocolate ornaments are so much fun (and easy!) to craft that you can make them look beautiful even if the crafting gene wasn't passed down to you (like me). The kids will want to help, too.  This post contains affiliate links.  Hot Chocolate Ornaments - 3 Different Ways As you all know, I've set out to share some really easy crafting ideas this holiday season that are perfect for moms who just need simple ideas. I wish that I could create beautiful things like I see all over the internet, but I just don't have it in me, or the patience sometimes. These hot chocolate ornaments can be completely customizable to things that you already have around your home and the kids will have so much fun making and giving them this holiday season! What you need to make the hot chocolate ornaments: Plastic round ornaments Hot chocolate mix Various hot chocolate add-ins (my favorite are: chocolate chips, candy cane pieces, sprinkles, etc.) Holiday ribbon Twine Scissors How to make the hot chocolate ornaments: First, you want to start by washing out your ornaments and drying them completely. Use a funnel or rolled piece of paper to add the hot chocolate to your ornament. Make sure the bulb is completely dry before doing this. Fill the bulb about halfway with the hot cocoa mixture (like pictured). This is a great way for kids to work on those small motor skills! Gently shake the hot chocolate to level it out in the ornament ... Read More

23andme Genetic Testing – A Unique Gift For All

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of 23andme. When I start thinking about holiday gifts, I always try to find unique items that stand out to my friends and family. 23andme genetic testing is exactly that and a fantastic learning experience, too. 23andme Genetic Testing -A Unique Gift For All I received the 23andme genetic testing to try out for this post, but to be completely honest, it's something that's been on my mind for a long time. I feel like my family is always saying things like "you're 62.2% Italian and the rest Polish," but who really knows? I've always wanted to take a concrete trip into my past and learn more about my ancestry and 23andme genetic testing is honestly the easiest way to do that for the entire family. And honestly, this family of mine is so inquisitive, it will satisfy so many questions I've been asked over the years! This year, when it came to holiday gifting, I did things a wee bit differently for the people who are closest to me. I really focused on inspiration or learning gifts or experiences rather than the whole "more is more" approach. Our lives are filled with so many things that we don't really need and I think it's amazing to start off the new year knowing something new about yourself. 23andme genetic testing is a gift that's truly personal and can give you a newfound appreciation and connection to those around you. After I tried my kit out (I will get the results at the end of this month!), my husband was ... Read More

Wine Cork Christmas Ornaments

This post contains affiliate links.  Ok friends, you all know how open I am about being the not-so-crafty mom, right? Even though crafting really isn't one of my skills, I do feel inspired this time of year to do some artsy things with the kids or as gifts, but I'm totally not a Pinterest-mom. So I put together a few fun posts for you, sharing some really easy ideas for crafting and getting into that holiday spirit without having to stress yourself out. The first up are these adorable wine cork Christmas ornaments that you can add to your list of fun this year! These diy wine work Christmas ornaments are especially great if you happen to love a bottle of wine or two now and again (especially during the holiday season), but if you don't have any handy, you can buy some here for really inexpensive. Making these wine cork Christmas ornaments will be a memorable experience for you and your kids this holiday season. Wine Cork Christmas Ornaments If you remember, last year I did a fun DIY home spa day in a jar craft, but this year I'm trying my best to take things up a notch with these wine cork snowman ornaments - while still keeping it simple! Most of these supplies will simply be items you already have around your house - resulting in even less fuss. What you'll need to make the wine cork Christmas ornaments: White paint Orange paint Paintbrushes Sharpie black marker Ribbon Wooden toothpicks or skewers Scissors Twine Small craft ... Read More

The 2017 Gift Guide For Mom

This post contains affiliate links.  It's finally here! Today I'm sharing everything that mom is secretly wishing to receive this holiday season at so many different price points. This is the first of many, so check out all of our holiday gift guides here for ideas for kids/baby ages 0-10, dad and all the wellness enthusiasts in your life. Time to get shopping! 1. The Sentimental Bar Initial Necklace, Etsy, $29 I have bought this for a few moms on my list (not telling who!) and I'm obsessed! I've been doing inspirational gifts this year, so I got special words of encouragement stamped on some and initials on others - I don't think it gets sweeter than this! And it's a very modern necklace that can be worn everyday. 2. The Glam Earring, BaubleBar, $36 I'm loving big earrings right now and these just might be my favorites. This gorgeous color can be worn with anything and can even dress up a tee and leggings. Let mom add a little touch of glam to her everyday with these beauties. 3. Hello Gorgous Coffee Mug, Target, $6 This one is pretty self explanatory, but what mom doesn't want to start her day by drinking coffee out of this mug? And it let's her know with every sip, just how gorgeous you think she is! 4. The Perfect Mom Graphic Tee, Etsy, $21 No matter what your everyday looks like, we're all mom hustlers. She will want to wear this "wake, mom, hustle, repeat" tee every chance she gets (so maybe you should buy her two). 5. Air fyer For Low-Cal Merry ... Read More

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 For Kids {Ages 8-10}

This post contains affiliate links.  Okay friends, we've come to the day you've probably been waiting for on our 2017 gift guide journey: those hard-to-shop-for 8-10 year olds. It's so hard to figure out what the heck they want and what they're really into. Sometimes their super opinionated and other times it's just hard to find the "right" thing for them. So today's guide will help you navigate and find the right gift for all these older kids in your life. If you want to read all of our holiday gift guides, check them out here and if you missed yesterday's guide for the 4-7 year old - check that out here! Happy shopping! 1. LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox I was introduced to this cool toy at an event in the fall and I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is in person. It truly takes LEGO to a whole new level where kids can actually design their own robot and control it - this will keep them busy for hours while teaching them so many rewarding computer skills! 2. Cranium Game  This is great family fun and let's face it: anything to get them away from their video games at this age is pure gold! 3. Big Book of HOW I'm not sure about you all, but Branden has so many questions every single day and I don't always have the answers. This book will help them entertain all their curiosities about the world with the right answers. The perfect addition to your book shelf. 4. Razor A5 Lux Scooter This comes in so many different colors, so you can choose your ... Read More

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 For Kids {Ages 4-7}

This post contains affiliate links.  It's so much fun shopping for kids in this age range! It's right before they are super opinionated about what they get (or want the really expensive stuff) and are excited about the holidays in such a big way. If you're looking for gifts for babies (ages 0-3), check out yesterday's gift guide here and if you want to see all of our fun guides, click here for the full list! Happy shopping! 1. Jenga This has truly been a family favorite since Branden was little. It's the perfect game to have on hand for rainy days or for game night alike and will keep the whole family entertained. 2. Retro Series Candy Land 1967 Edition Game You guys!! How cool is this? This is the version of Candy Land that most of us grew up with before it got an update and finding this under the tree will show your kids a little history lesson on Christmas morning - while still being just as fun. 3. VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix I just love this "toy" - because it really isn't a toy, but actually takes pictures. It's an easy way for kids in this age range to learn about cameras without the worry that they might break something more expensive. 4. Power Wheels Thomas & Friends, Thomas Train with Track  This is just way too much fun! Kids can actually hop on board and ride Thomas as they scoot around the house. You will see nothing beside pure joy on their little faces. 5. Fisher-Price Disney Junior Minnie's Happy Helpers This is so cute for play time ... Read More

Holiday Gift Guide For Baby 2017 {Ages 0-3 Years}

This post contains affiliate links.  Let's be real here: there's not too much that a little, little baby needs, but once they hit one it's more about what can keep them busy for more than 5 minutes, right? Here's my official guide to shopping for babies ages infant through age three. Many of these items we have gotten Blake and other babies in our lives and they have been a huge success. And some things have just helped me keep my sanity! Please check out all of our gift guides here and if you missed yesterday's guide for mom, you can find that here - have fun shopping and leave a comment telling me what you bought! XOXO 1. Wooden Block Set I love a classic wooden block set and this one is exactly that, except targeted for younger kiddos. It's the perfect way to make play time more innovative and really get those imagination juices flowing. 2. Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle This is just perfection - especially if you love cycling yourself! It's a great way to keep them active indoors on chilly days and work on their motor skills at the same time! 3. Everything Is Mama Written by Jimmy Fallon, this book is too sweet not to share. Everything really is mama and this makes for the perfect bedtime read for your babe. 4. Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Activity Center As soon as your toddler is walking they're into EVERYTHING and this helps keep them contained in one place for at least a handful of minutes at one time (mom win!). It's super cute ... Read More