Strawberry Nutella Heart-shaped Hand Pies

Need an easy Valentine’s dessert that is sure to wow your sweetheart (and make your kids smile)? These strawberry Nutella heart-shaped hand pies come together quickly and taste decadent. Enjoy!Need an easy Valentine's dessert that is sure to wow your sweetheart (and make your kids smile)? These strawberry Nutella heart-shaped hand pies come together quickly and taste decadent. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to the products mentioned, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you choose to purchase through my link. See my disclosure for more info.

It’s February, people. We survived the bitter cold of January. The boys and I even got outside for some pruning and soccer playing this afternoon! That’s HUGE for us since it’s been months since we’ve been able to play outside. There is hope for spring! In the meantime, I’m taking advantage of the still-brisk weather by baking. This week: Valentine’s treats! Continue reading

Love Monster: A Preschool Literacy Valentine’s Activity

Turn your trash into treasure with this simple preschool Valentine’s activity that includes a book, a craft, and a learning game that can easily be adapted for kids of various ages. Turn your trash into treasure with this simple preschool Valentine's activity that includes a book, a craft, and a learning game that can easily be adapted for kids of various ages. Is anyone else REALLY ready to be done with wintertime sniffles? It seems like at least one person has been sick with a cold in our house since Thanksgiving. Ugh. I’m so ready for summer. The good news, though, is that the empty tissue boxes that have resulted from all the recent nose-blowing are what inspired today’s Valentine’s activity!

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Fun ways to practice sight words with beginning readers

Do you have a little book lover who is ready to learn to read? Here are seven simple and fun ways to to teach and practice sight words (one of the keys to reading) with beginning readers.
Do you have a little book lover who is ready to learn to read? Here are seven simple and fun ways to to teach and practice sight words (one of the keys to reading) with beginning readers.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to the products mentioned, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you choose to purchase through my link. See my disclosure for more info.

I’ve really been struggling with our home preschool lately. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. It’s just that Little Man has now mastered shapes, colors, letter identification, letter sounds, and counting from 1-30. I’m so proud of his progress and how much he enjoys learning, but for awhile I was kind of at a loss as to what to teach him next (and I got a little burned out during the holidays and had no desire to plan anything). However, he’s starting to show interest in reading now, so I decided to start working on beginning reading skills. Continue reading

Learning on the Run Vol. 1: Kids in the Kitchen

Even though it is often messy, involving your kids in the kitchen is a great way to give them opportunities for real-life learning without spending a lot of extra time or money.Even though it is often messy, involving your kids in the kitchen is a great way to involve them in real-life learning without spending a lot of extra time or money.Do you ever feel like it’s a lot of work to teach your child? Pinterest abounds with ideas of crafts, games, and other activities to promote your child’s literacy, numeracy, gross motor, fine motor, STEAM, and who-knows-what-else. But, here’s the thing: you don’t have to do fancy activities to teach your child. Continue reading

How to enjoy playing with your kids

Do you struggle with actually WANTING to play with your kids? These three keys for how to enjoy playing with your kids will help you ditch the guilt and strengthen your family.Do you struggle with actually WANTING to play with your kids? These three keys for how to enjoy playtime with your kids will help you ditch the guilt and strengthen your family.

Confession: sometimes I don’t want to play with my kids. I have one child who can happily entertain himself for long periods of time, and one who is constantly begging me to play with him.

I want to be an involved mom. I want to make beautiful memories with my kids. I know these days will fly by and be gone before I know it. But sometimes I CAN NOT stand the thought of acting out Paw Patrol one more time.

How do we reconcile the two? How do I actually enjoy playing with my kids without feeling like my brain is turning to mush? Continue reading

Practical Ways to Stop Toddler Tantrums

Are you at a loss for how to deal with a volcanic toddler that seems to erupt on a daily (if not hourly) basis? Try these 8 practical tips to stop toddler tantrums before they blow up the whole house.
Are you at a loss for how to deal with a volcanic toddler that seem to erupt on a daily (if not hourly) basis? Try these 8 practical tips to stop toddler tantrums before they blow up the whole house.

Ah, toddlerhood. When our little babies really begin to develop their own personalities and STRONG opinions about life. When they start to do things for themselves…and want to do EVERYTHING themselves.

I have a two-year-old right now who has a serious case of “I do it”-itis, and it’s equal parts hilarious and maddening. I think I’m mellowing out this second time through the “terrible twos” because I find myself laughing more often than screaming into a pillow. I still keep the pillows handy though. That’s progress, right? Continue reading

Dice Wars: A simple & fun math game for kids

This simple and fun math game is a great way to help preschoolers (and older kids, too!) practice counting, addition, and other basic math skills while competing to win the “dice wars.”
This simple and fun math game is a great way to help preschoolers (and older kids, too!) practice counting, addition, and other basic math skills while competing to win the "dice wars".

Disclaimer: This post is completely unsponsored; however, I have included affiliate links to the products mentioned. As always, feel free to shop around for the best deals. See my full disclosure here.

Little Man has been a big fan of playing games for over a year now. He goes through phases where he wants to play the same game over and over, until I have to hide it somewhere to save my sanity (just kidding, I would never do that…maybe).

Lately his obsession has been with alphabet go fish, which he got for Christmas. It’s a great little game really, or at least it was the first 200 times we played it. But last week I just couldn’t handle it anymore. So, I created a new game that I hoped he would like enough to give me a break from going fishing for a few days at least.

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Teaching your toddler manners: 3 rules we live by

Is mealtime chaos at your house? Try these three effective tools for teaching your toddler manners, and reclaim a little sanity at dinner.

Is mealtime chaos at your house? Try these three effective tools for teaching your toddler manners, and reclaim a little sanity at dinner.

Remember way back before you had kids and you could sit down to a pleasant meal and enjoy intelligent conversation with that amazing guy you married? Remember when you could take your time to eating without someone wanting food off your plate, when you had both hands free to eat, and when you didn’t spend half of dinner time making airplane noises?

I know, that memory is starting to get fuzzy and dim, right? Continue reading

Kid-sized food: Healthy banana chocolate chip muffins

Want a healthy and delicious snack for the whole family to enjoy? Make a big batch of these easy banana chocolate chip muffins, pop the extras in the freezer, and you’ll be ready when your little hungry hippos come nosing around.

Want a healthy and delicious snack for the whole family to enjoy? Make a big batch of these easy banana chocolate chip muffins, pop the extras in the freezer, and you'll be ready when your little hungry hippos come nosing around.This morning when I woke up, it was ONE degree outside. ONE! I can’t even say, “It’s freezing cold today!” because that doesn’t even begin to capture the depth of the cold. “Freezing” is an understatement. Does anyone else think that it should NOT be allowed to get that cold?

Little Man keeps asking me when it’s going to be summer again, and I hate having to tell him that we’ve still got several months of snow before we can break out the shorts and flip flops again.  Continue reading

Letting go of perfectionism: understanding opportunity cost in motherhood

Moms have to do it all…or do they? When we understand the full cost of the choices we make, we are able to let go of perfectionism and better utilize our time and energy to focus on what matters most in life.
Moms have to do it all...or do they? When we understand the full cost of the choices we make, we are able to let go of perfectionism and better utilize our time and energy to focus on what matters most in life.I am a perfectionist by nature. I like things neat and organized, and I abhor clutter. I even eat my Skittles in reverse rainbow order for goodness sake (I know, I’m weird).

In many ways, my perfectionism has served me well in life. I was always a good student in school, I had a successful career as a teacher, and I have a box of certificates and plaques for countless hours spent trying to produce the best possible work in any situation. Continue reading