Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snow day fun [5 ways to beat cabin fever when you're snowed in]



Snow day...now there's a phrase that can strike fear into a mother's heart. It started snowing here last week, and it's been dumping buckets of huge, fluffy, white flakes on us every day since then with no signs of slowing down anytime soon! With about a foot of snow on the ground, I got that dreaded call at 5am on Monday morning. It was the school district telling me school was canceled...meaning SNOW DAY. Why, hello Monday, what a nice wake-up call. I was completely unprepared. What was I going to do with 4 kids all day while we were snowed in? Normally I'd send them outside to build a snowman or something, but with temperatures hovering in the teens, I figured outside play wasn't an option. Here are a few of our favorite tried & true snow day activities!
Game time. I love me a good old fashioned board game, but any game will do. Of course, my big kids love video games (which I'm fine with, in moderation), but board games, cards, checkers, dominoes, and charades are great options for snow days too. 

Arts and crafts. Get out the crayons and coloring books for the little ones and grab some markers, glue, scissors, paint, construction paper, glitter, etc. for the older kids and make something crafty. Better yet, grab some coffee filters or white paper and show them how to make snowflakes by folding and cutting. Hang them up in the windows and on the walls and make it a snow day inside too!

Curl up with a good book. If you're looking for a more quiet activity, books are the way to go. My kids love to read so this is an easy one for us! Grab a fuzzy blanket, a book, and maybe even hope it leads to a nap too. 

Build a fort. Take the cushions off the couch and grab some big sheets or comforters and have your kiddos help you transform your living room into an awesome fort! This usually occupies mine for a few hours, as they are constantly finding new, creative ways to keep their fort from collapsing and they are always trying to expand and make it bigger/better. It really gets their brains going!

Make it a movie day. When all else fails, pop in your favorite family movie, grab some yummy snacks, and pile on the couch (or in your fort) together for a movie day. Our go-to snack of choice is always Goldfish crackers! I love them because they are baked with real cheese and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, and my kids love them because...well, they're yummy. Goldfish crackers are a staple in this house and they are a snack I can feel good about feel good about giving my kids. I love them too!

Need another fun snow day activity? How about a chance to win $5,000? Help your kids create a fun stop-motion video featuring Goldfish crackers and submit it here for your chance to win! Never made a stop-motion video before? Don't worry, there's plenty of inspiration here and a fun tutorial here to help you get started! Check out GoldfishSmiles.com for more contest details.


What's your favorite thing about snow days? What do you do when you're snowed in? I'd love to hear your ideas because this snow is not letting up! 


A big thank you to Goldfish brand for sponsoring this post! And thank you to all of my readers for supporting the partners that make this little blog possible.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two in diapers [how to save your sanity + money!]



When I found out I was pregnant with baby number four, one of the first thoughts that went through my head was "I'm going to have two kids in diapers at the same time." My entire pregnancy I kept thinking about how expensive it was going to be. I thought that maybe I'd be able to potty train Harper before Josiah was born. When that didn't happen I started to panic. Two in diapers. How much was this going to cost? The math was daunting. I wasn't sure how I was going to manage changing that many diapers in a day, let alone keep enough stocked in the house so I wouldn't run out, all while on a budget. We're now four months into this baby and a toddler thing and I've learned a thing or two about having two kids in diapers at the same time. Here's how I saved my sanity!

Stock up & save. My biggest piece of advice when it comes to buying diapers for two is to stock up. First of all, you save money because buying in bulk is always cheaper. Sam's Club has the absolute best deal to help build your diaper stockpile with their new biggest pack ever of Huggies® Little Movers diapers. This gigantic box is a full 2 month supply! Which brings me to my second point- stocking up saves time. No more running out to the store every week when you run out of diapers. No more asking my husband to swing by the store and pick up a small pack of diapers after work (thus spending more on extra trips to the grocery store). No more bundling up in freezing weather with all 4 kids and a cranky baby when I run out of diapers in the middle of the week. I don't know about you, but running errands with two little ones is something I absolutely dread, so stocking up on a two month supply of Huggies® Little Movers is the way to go! 
Change them at the same time. When I can, I try to change both kids at the same time. Obviously, this isn't going to be the case for every single diaper change, but most times if I'm changing the toddler I should probably change the baby too, and vice versa. Otherwise, I find myself making dinner wondering and wondering if Harper had her diaper changed after her nap 3 hours ago. These kids keep me so busy I can't keep anything straight, so getting both done at the same time totally saves my sanity. 

Make multiple changing stations. I find myself changing diapers all over the house. On the living room floor, on the changing table in the baby room, on my bed in the middle of the night, etc. I hate having to run back and forth to get the diapers and wipes every time, so making a little changing station with all of the necessary supplies in every room is a must! I keep a little basket in the living room with diapers, wipes, rash cream, lotion, hand sanitizer, extra pacifiers, burp cloths, nail clippers, and other essentials. I also keep a little stack of diapers, wipes, and hand sanitizer in Harper's room and in my bedroom too so that I'm not running up and down the stairs in the middle of the night when the baby wakes up. 

One last tip: when you're stocking up on diapers and prefer to avoid lines and crowds at the store with children in tow, Sam's Club has your back. Another perk of the Sam's Club membership is FREE shipping on select baby and household items. Right now, the Huggies® Little Movers 2 month supply has a $6 instant savings coupon that works in stores and online and will ship it right to your door for FREE! That's 312 diapers for less than 20 cents a piece! To find your nearest Sam's Club and get this $6 instant savings coupon go here! Save your sanity and your money and stock up with the biggest pack ever. 

A big thank you to Huggies® for sponsoring this post! And thank you to all of my readers for supporting the partners that make this blog possible.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Looking ahead

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas season and rang in the new year with friends and loved ones. I decided to take the entire month of December off from blogging so that I could relax and spend some stress-free time with my own family and I'm so glad that I did. It's no secret that I've been feeling a tad bit overwhelmed, what with the new baby and all. I needed some time to unplug and just be a mom for a while and not worry about creating content for my blog and trying to meet deadlines. Here's why.

A few weeks ago I ended up going in to see my doctor. I've been under a ton of stress lately and I'm just not handling it very well at all. Josiah is 4 months old now and is still a horrible sleeper who wakes up every 2 hours every night. Most days he's a horrible napper too, only giving me 20-30 minutes to try to shower, throw in a load of laundry, make dinner, etc. It's been awful. On top of that, my rambunctious 2 1/2 year old is doing this awesome thing where she screams at the top of her lungs when you don't do what she wants, so while I'm juggling an unhappy baby, I also have what sounds like a pterodactyl following me around screeching at me. Fun times! Anywho, my doctor confirmed that I have some postpartum anxiety and depression going on and I'm trying to do what I can to lower the stress in my life. My husband suggested I quit or take a break from blogging and I begrudgingly agreed. Blogging has become more of a chore to me lately as my lifestyle and family size has changed and grown over the years. When I first started blogging I was just a bored stay at home mom with 2 really easy little kids and a ton of free time on my hands. Life was much simpler back then and I had time for things I enjoyed and had all kinds of time to work on my blog. Nowadays not so much. The amount of children I have has doubled and our lives have become so much more crazy and hectic as a family of six. Gone are the days when I actually had time to sit on my sewing machine for hours, whip up a craft, or read for fun. Now I have absolutely zero time for anything that isn't related to housework or keeping a child alive. Add trying to run a blog to that and you've got one stressed out mom-zilla and a husband and four kids who are sick of being yelled at. So the break was much-needed. 

However, as much as I loved my little work vacay, I also missed it. I've been doing this for so long now that it feels weird not to do it. I still have ideas in my head that I want to get out. I really enjoy writing my feelings out...it's so freeing. I love sharing my thoughts with other people. I just love to talk, really. Anyone who knows me knows I talk a lot. I'm wordy. And I love the little blogging community that I'm a part of. So while I was on my break I decided that I'm not ready to give it all up just yet. I'm going to continue to blog, but maybe not quite at the fervent pace I was once at. Trying to keep up with the old me and my old blog is silly because I'm not the same person I was back then, nor am I in the same mentality. I need to refocus a little and set my pace for the new normal and just be OK with that. 

That being said, I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for me. Goodbye, 2016! Thanks for the new squishy baby boy, but I'm all set now ;)


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