10 Cute Hand and Foot Print Valentines

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It is short (people don’t celebrate it for weeks like Christmas) and all about love! At my house, we use it as a time to warm ourselves from our hearts during the cold winter. It’s important to show those we love how much we appreciate them. Hand and footprint valentines are a great way to say I love you from little kids.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

10 Cute Hand and Footprint Valentines

Ever since I had kids I love creating Valentines with them for the family. Grandparents especially. It’s fun to think of cute, loving puns and change the little hand and foot prints into fun creatures and illustrations. Here I have compiled a bunch of my favorite hand and foot print valentines, worthy of the postage to send to the family.

Before I get started showing you all the cute hand and footprints my daughter and I just recreated, here is my favorite paint to use. Its the best for cleaning off those precious fingers and toes. Nontoxic and washable! The sponge brushes are perfect for applying the paint quickly and gently. 

1.Bee Mine

Two little handprints of yellow paint. The with a marker add stripes, stingers, wings, and faces. 

Bee Mine Hand print valentine.

2. Pink Flamingo I love you! 

Two little pink handprints with fingers spread. Then add the head, neck, beak, legs, and eyes with a marker. 

Pink Flamingo Hand print Valentine.

3. Be my Love Bug!

Two little red footprints. Then add heart spots, legs, head, eyes, and antenna with a marker. 

Be my love bug footprint valentine.

4. I love you from the top of my heart to the tip of my toes. 

Two little purple footprints. Then add the words and heart trace around with a marker. 

I love you from the top of my heart to the tips of my toes footprint valentine.

5. I’m Stuck on You. 

This one can be a hand or footprint in green. Add the planter box, face, and prickles with a marker. 

I'm stuck on you hand and footprint valentine.

6. Love you to the Core. 

Two little red footprints pretty close together. Then add the stem, leaf, and seeds with a marker. 

Love you to the Core Footprint Valentine.

7. Love you, Berry Much. 

Two little red hand prints. Then add the leaves and spots with a marker. 

Love you Berry Much hand print valentine.

8. Hogs and Kisses. 

One little pink handprint. Will look even better with the fingers spread out more. Then add the head, hooves, and tail with a marker. 

Hogs and Kisses Hand print Valentine.

9. You make my heart flutter. 

Two little purple footprints. Keep them pretty close together. Then add body, eyes, antenna, and trail with a marker. 

You make my heart flutter footprint valentine.

10. Owl always love you. 

This can be with a hand or footprint. I added the eyes, wings, and nose with a marker. I think it would look better if I painted the eyes in white onto the body of the print and not at the top as I did here. Also, drawing a branch for the owls to sit on would look cute as well. 

Owl always love you hand and footprint valentine.
This one is my least favorite. I love owls but next time I want to do big white eyes inside the print and not on top. It would look wayyy better! And maybe draw a branch for the owls to sit on.

I hope you loved these hand and footprint valentines as much as I do! If you create some and want to share I would love to see them in the comments or on my Facebook Page!

Please check out my other Valentine Post with some great books to share with your kiddos. 

11 Valentine's Day Books to share with your kids



11 Valentine’s Day Books for Kids

11 Valentine's Day Books for Kids

With Valentines Day just around the corner everyone needs some sweet books to help you teach your kiddos about the holiday. Reading with a theme always gets me in the mood for holiday celebrations and fun! I have compiled a list of 11 Valentine’s Day books for kids that we love here at my house.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

10 Valentine’s Day Books for Kids

11 Valentine's Day Books for Kids

1. Love Monster by Rachel Bright. 

This story is great for preschool age and younger. It has cute and goofy illustrations. It is all about a monster searching for love and finally finding it when he least expects it. 

2. Arthur’s Great Big Valentine by Lillian Hoban. 

This story is about a money kid who is not really feeling the Valentine’s Day vibe. He had a fight with his friend. In the end, he forgives and creates a Great Big Valentine for his buddy. This is a longer book and more appropriate for a first grade or higher level reader.

3. Peanuts: Be My Valentine Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz

This is a classic Charlie Brown story where he hopes for valentines in his mailbox. The version we have is extra fun with pop-ups and lift-able flaps. 

4. Valentine Friends by April Jones Prince

This is a great quick read. I recommend for age preschool and below. A short story about animals making and baking valentines with friends. 

5. Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Norman Bridwell.

The cutest big red dog back when he was little. Read as he gets into trouble helping his girl and learning about Valentine’s Day. 

6. LOVE from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

This is a cute story about love as told with the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  

7. The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting. 

The is a sweet story about a hibernating bear who wakes up to share Valentine’s day with her Mr. Bear. The share treats and valentines and then go back to sleep until Spring. 

8. Who Loves the Little Lamb? by Lezlie Evens 

It is all about baby animals and their mothers always loving them no matter what they do. It ends with human kiddo and his mother just the same. 

9. Sweet Hearts by Jan Carr. 

This is a little story about hiding Valentine hearts all around for those you love. With great instructions at the end for making your own paper hearts. 

10. Will You Be My Valenswine? by Teresa Bateman.

This is a story of a baby piglet looking for a valentine all over the farm. In the end, she finally realizes she already has a valentine in her loving momma. 

11. A Sweetheart for Valentine by Lorna Balian 

This is my 3-year-old daughters favorite this year. An oversized baby was left to a town to raise. The story is about how she is so big they all work together to raise her and find her a husband. 

I hope you enjoy this very cute and loving book list for Valentine’s Day with your kiddos.

Please feel free to shop through my links. I am sure most of these treasures are also found at your local library!

Be on the lookout for my WHooo Loves You? Valentine Card template, Heart Scavenger Hunt and Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day Round-Up post! 



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If you really like this book list check out my Christmas one! 

Groundhog Day Fun for Little Kids

Groundhog Day Fun for Little Kids. Printable activities, poem, book list and more!

Groundhog’s day is often an overlooked holiday. I think it is super fun to celebrate and teach the kiddos. February 2nd is almost upon us! Winter is cold and long. This little furry interruption reminds us that Spring will be here eventually, even if it isn’t for 6 more weeks. In this post, you will find some engaging activities to do with preschool age kiddos while you are teaching them about Punxsutawney Phil! Read on for some Groundhog Day fun for little kids. 

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

Poem and Coloring Page for Groundhog Fun!

First I have a poem and a coloring page with a cute little groundhog. Color him and cut him out. Glue or tape along the bottom fold to plain paper. take him outside and place on the ground. Trace his shadow if there is one. You can also just hold it for the kiddo and let them trace the shadow with some sidewalk chalk. (Be sure to print this on some card stock so it will be strong enough to stand on its own.)

Groundhog Color Page and Shadow Activity. Link to Google Doc Printable.
Mr. Groundhog
Winter is here, long and cold. 

Groundhog's hole is getting old. 

He is very ready for Spring to be here. 

But if he see's his shadow he'll run in fear. 

Then six more weeks of winter for us. 

But no shadow, winter will be over in a rush.

Groundhog Mask

Next, there is a little printable groundhog mask. Color and cut out mask for the kiddos to act out being the groundhog and looking for a shadow. Cool connecting to teaching emotions- scared or sad when he sees his shadow. Happy and excited if he doesn’t see his shadow. 

Groundhog Mask. Color, Cut, Play. Groundhog Day fun for little kids.

Here are some fun Groundhog’s Day Books. Check them out at your local library or grab them up on Amazon! 

Groundhog Day Fun for Little Kids. Printable activities, poem, book list and more!

Here are some awesome links of other blogs who created some Groundhog day fun for little kids. 

Very cool Groundhog’s Day Shadow Matching Activity.

More Free Groundhog Day Coloring Pages. 

If you are interested in reading up on the meanings and origins of the day, check out this site! The Old Farmers Almanack 

If you like these activities be sure to check out my post 8 Fun Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with the Kids for more winter fun. 



8 Fun Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with the Kids

We are now headed to the middle of winter. Cold, Cold, Cold! My motivation to be outside, for any reason, is at an all time low. 8 Fun ways to beat cabin fever with the kids will help on those frozen days when we are trapped inside with them.

Also, check out my past blog about Connecting on Days You Just Can’t. 

8 Fun Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with the Kids - Girl in Window

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

All of these ideas are not totally my own. I have borrowed them and tweaked them for my kiddos and my house rules. Please enjoy and I will link to my fellow bloggers where I can. 

1. Scavenger Hunt Games 

This is one can be played in so many ways! You can build it around any theme you can think of. All you will need are the objects to hide, time to hide them, and a way to list or show what they are searching for. Here are several example themes:

Lego Color Hunt for beating cabin fever with the kids.
Paint Chip Scavenger Hunt Beat cabin fever with the kids this winter.

2. Movement Die

Another game with endless possibilities. You can get this cube here on Amazon (also pictured below), create your own from tape and cardboard, or get the awesome one with dry erase spots on it that I found at Dollar Tree (also pictured below)! On each side of the die, write or draw a symbol for some movement. The kids roll and do the movement the die says! Pick a theme and there are 6 options for movements you can fit on the die. Here are some cool examples:

  • Super Hero Moves (Hulk Smash, Superman Fly, Spider Man Swing, Batman Kick, Wonder Woman Shield, Cat Woman Pounce, etc.)
  • Winter Moves (sled, snowball toss, snow angel, snowman build, drink hot coco, shovel snow, etc.) 
  • Animal Moves (stomp like an elephant, run like a cheetah, jump like a frog, hop like a bunny, swing like a monkey, swim like a dolphin, etc.)
Movement Die with Super Hero Moves for beating cabin fever with the kids.

3. Dance Game

I always keep some fun playlists on my Amazon Prime Music App. Its right on my phone and I can instantly play the kiddo favorites. Dancing is a great release of energy and an awesome way to reconnect with the kiddos when y’all have lost it to the cabin fever. 

Another music and dance idea is Go Noodle. It is a super cool online channel with song and dance moves. My Kindergarten Kiddo does it at school during brain breaks. He loves to show us some of his favorites here at home. I really like the Friday Night House Party Mix. It has songs and dances to get them moving with some goofy challenges mixed in for fun! It is free and you don’t have to give your email but if you do, your favorites and settings can be saved across devices. Dancing is a wonderful way to beat cabin fever with the kids! 

GoNoodle Image

4. Arts and Crafts Time

My kiddos always have access to crayons, markers, pencils and paper. They get more excited about using these things when I give them a purpose. For example, draw your favorite Star Wars character, draw the grocery list, draw the birds at our bird feeder, etc. 

Give the kids direction with their coloring and drawing to keep them engaged. Crayons, Marker and Pencils.

Play dough, slime and paint aren’t always up for grabs. They are messier and need more guidance. So it’s a special treat when I get these out!

Paper Air Planes. I have a really cool kit I have been saving for a rainy day. May have to break it out on a cold one. You can fold, decorate, and race these for entertainment. 

5. Tape Games 

It’s amazing the ideas people have created to keep kids moving and entertained with only tape and a few other supplies. Using masking or painter’s tape is the best, so that nothing is damaged when removing the tape after play. Here is a list of some great “Tape Games”:

  • Hop Scotch- Old fashion, easy to change up if you need to and safe inside if you have a good space. Here is where I found my hop scotch inspiration!
  • Car Race Track/Road- Map out a play area for toy cars and trucks to travel while your kiddos use their imaginations! Find my race track inspiration here!
  • Line Walking- Trace out some fun lines (squiggle, zig-zag, dotted, straight, wavy) and have the kids travel around the place following the lines. 
  • Alphabet Game- Trace out letters on the floor. Have the kiddos jump, hop, skip, or twist to each letter when you say a word matching its beginning sound. You can even do a scavenger hunt with these letters as well. Finding things in the house and placing them on the letter they begin with. 
  • Sticky Spider Web- Tape up and across a doorway to create a sticky tape spider web. Let the kiddos have fun tossing small toys or crumpled paper balls to see if they can make it through or get stuck in the web. Bonus points if you craft a scary spider to sit at the edge of your web. Sticky Spider Web inspiration is here. 

6. Balloon Games 

There are many ways to play this game. Any parent knows kids will be entertained with a balloon for a long time. They are just fun and attention grabbing. Here are some ideas to give that play direction: 

  • Don’t let it touch the ground. Oldie but a goody.
  • Balance the balloon. Use a foot or a hand and see who can do so the longest. 
  • Tape the balloon up high and have the kids jump to tap the balloon with hand or head. Count how many times they can do it in a row. 
  • Waddle with balloon between their legs pretending to be a penguin.
Balloon Games. Fun ways to beat cabin fever with the kids.

7. Sports Games

Everyone loves sports. They keep the kids moving all year round. Here are some that are controllable and safe to try out inside your house. Sports remind us of warmer times when we can be outside. So beat cabin fever with the kids and try out some inside!

  • Bowling. They make cute sets of pins and little plastic balls here. (Also pictured below.) If you want to be thrifty you can make your own using 2 litter soda bottles!
  • Mini Golf. Keep to putting only and be sure to have some plastic practice golf balls to use. Lat year on Fathers day I created a whole mini golf course for my husband to play with the kids. They playing it almost as much as they loved helping me create it (I promise a blog detailing how I created the course).
  • Soccer. Just set up a few cones like this or use whatever you have to pretend. Get a light ball and have each kid stand at the goal. 
  • Target Practice. Grab out those Nerf guns, set up some cups, stuffed animals, balls, or anything that can get shot at safely. You can even put numbers on different things for them to keep score like a shooting gallery. 
Mini Golf Game Ideas for beating cabin fever with the kids.

8. Act It Out Games

This last section is a combination of several games where you have to copy, mimic, or act it out. 

  • Fashion Show. Gather your kiddos favorite outfits, turn on some music and get them to strut their stuff.
  • Indoor Snowball fight. My mom has a great basket of white pompoms at her house. Every time we go to visit my kiddos love to pretend they are having an indoor snowball fight. I also have a fun blog about how to make a pretend snow ball fight inside be educational.
  • Mirror, Mirror. This is a copy game. You do one thing and get your kiddos to stand in front of you and match what you do. Another way to adapt this is playing it like Simon Says (less moving for mom!)

I hope you enjoyed all these wonderful ideas about how to beat cabin fever with the kids this winter. If you subscribe with your email I will send you all my content direct! No searching!



Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time?

Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time?

Almost every parent uses it with their children. Some use it more than others. I bet at least 75% or more have some kind of GUILT over how much or how often we use it. Are you one of those parents feeling guilty about screen time? Read on for some reasons why I think we should not feel so guilty. Also, included at the bottom, some cool ways to moderate screen time. 

Kids hands on X box one controller.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

I find myself longing for simpler times.

When people had more self sufficient life styles and looked to other humans around them for things like company and help. As much as I want and miss those times and ideas, in their pure form they are not realistic goals in this age of technology.

So many modern amenities I love to use take away the opportunities for the face to face interactions of those simpler times.

Some of my favorite examples of awesome technology include but are not limited to:

  1. Working online-from home.
  2. Searching Google instead of going to the library.
  3. Facebook communication instead of a good old telephone chat.
  4. Amazon prime instead of going anywhere to shop.

To throw it way back-

Most of us would choose a dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes wouldn’t we? This is why technology will keep moving, getting better and making simpler times seem further and further away.

Throw back to hand washing dishes and reading actual books.

I am sure that once upon a time, long ago there were parents telling their kiddos not to read! Thinking it would keep them from other important life pursuits. You would never catch a parent saying that this day and age! 

How do all my thoughts on technology connect with screen time for the kiddos?

Well, while I find comfort and importance in the simpler times of harder work and face to face interactions, times are a changing! I find it just as important for myself and my kiddos to learn and be aware of all the great technology out there. Even if it means making some of those simpler times harder to come by or harder to instill in my kiddos.

Parents Feeling Guilty About Screen Time?

Technology is especially important for the future of our kiddos, more than it will ever be for us.

Their future success will lean so heavily on technology and screens. I am going to say that screen time is IMPORTANT!

Now I am not a doctor or even a scientist but to me screen time should be treated the same as any other thing we give to our kiddos. We give it to them in MODERATION and with our guidance. 

Yes, I am sure there have been medical studies to research the negative implications of screen time on child development. Such as it being bad for fine motor skills like eyesight and finger dexterity or slowing social and emotional growth. Again I say- moderation. Screen time should not be your child’s only form of entertainment and education.

So everyone is worried about that magic number of how much, but really you should use your judgment. Trust you instincts and guide those kiddos to use it appropriately. It will be in their life now and forever.

Model, Teach and Practice what you preach!

Kid wearing Xbox head set.

If you are looking for some tips and tricks to help you moderate screen time for you kiddos here is a wonderful list of ideas and even a free printable tracker I created just for you!

If you like my throw back mentality please go check out my blog about Free Range Kids.

Screen Tine Allowed Check List



Screen Time Weekly Tracker

DIY Snowflake Cork Stamp

DIY Snowflake Cork Stamp

Here is a quick and easy craft for creating a sweet snowflake stamp using only a wine cork and puff fabric paint! The learning activities with stamps are endless. I will give you some great examples with photos and a full list of all the ideas I can think of! Time for some DIY Snowflake cork stamp fun!!

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

How to make the Stamps:

I love recycling and up cycling things that I have when crafting.

  1. Pull out some wine corks from my collection.
  2. Grab a bottle of black puff fabric paint leftover from another craft.
  3. I turned the cork up and drew some lines, dots, and circles with the paint on one side to create a “snowflake like” look and shape.
  4. Let the paint dry over night or if you can’t wait- at least 3 hours.
  5. Then all you need is some stamp pads and paper to let the fun begin!
DIY Snowflake Cork Stamp
You can see that last one wasn’t all the way dry yet. Oops!

Math Learning Activities 

For my Pre-school kiddo, I modeled how to create number sets. #1 gets 1 stamp, #2 gets two stamps etc. I also encouraged her to use the stamps to create fun repeating patterns.

Snowflake Stamp Number Sets

For my Kindergarten kiddo, I wrote him some subtraction problems to practice (that’s the math skill happening at school right now).  He stamped out the total and then crossed off the snowflakes that needed to be subtracted. I also, had him making patterns because they are just fun!!!

Snowflake Stamp Subtraction

Other Math Ideas

  • Filling in 10 frames.
  • Measuring in non standard snowflake units.
  • Addition, Multiplication and even Division too! 
  • You write the number and they stamp along the line.
  • Taking surveys and filling in charts. 

Literacy Learning Activities

For my Pre-school Kiddo, I write the letter S and have her stamp the snowflakes along it to become familiar with the shape and associate the sound. 

For my Kindergarten Kiddo, I get him to write a few sentences about snowflakes using his sight words and the stamps to stand in for the word snowflake. 

Other Literacy Ideas

  • Letter match by stamping the same snowflake next to matching letter. 
  • Decorating an illustration about a winter scene and then labeling. 
  • Recognizing the correct letter/word by stamping out all the letter S or S words in a group of words or letters.

There are just so many ways you can use these for fun and skill practice at home or in a classroom! Great way to incorporate winter and snow theme into learning!

Please check out The Snowball Learning Game here for more winter themed fun!



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Word Family/ Alphabet Snowball Sorting Game

Snowball Word Family or Letter Activity

It is winter here in Maryland and the weather can’t make up its mind. I am ready for snow! To get the family in the mood I created some fun snow-themed activities. This first one was inspired by my son’s school work about word families and the fact that my daughter doesn’t know her alphabet as much as I would like. I created a Snowball Word Family or Letter Activity to practice those skills. 

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

Supplies You will need: 

  1. Practice golf balls or ping pong balls-24 of them. (They are great for throwing inside the house and not hurting anyone or anything. They do get lost easy though.)
  2. Wet erase marker (Expo Vis-a-vis). 2 colors- 1 for each kid. (Great for staying on during the game but easy to change for a new set of letters or words to practice.)
  3. 2 Egg cartons or Ice trays can be used too!
  4. 2 Piles of pillows. (These are just for fun!)

Use the photo links below if you want to get the ping pong balls and markers on Amazon!

My Kindergartner

He will be sorting word families and some digraph words because he started them in school this week. He will have 4 different kinds to read and sort before he is able to join the fight. 

Here is the list:

  1. -ed words are red, bed, led
  2. -all words are fall, wall, ball. 
  3. sp- words are spill, spot, spend. 
  4. sh- words are shell, shoe, shirt

I added little notes on the egg carton where to sort the different kinds of words. You could just write on the carton but I am hoping to reuse them for different words. 

Snowball Word Family or Letter Activity

My Preschool Kiddo

She will be sorting letters because I realize I have been slacking in that area with her. I chose only 4 letters and only uppercase since she is just a beginner. 

Here is the list: 

  1. L
  2. S
  3. N
  4. B
Snowball Word Family or Letter Activity
As you can see I took the photo after we played and lost a letter N.

They each built up their pile of pillows and I gave them the balls mixed in the other side of the carton. They had to sort them first and then came the snowball fight and hiding behind the pillows while trying to get each other with the balls. It was a little challenging for my preschool kiddo at first with the sorting. She really doesn’t know letters but after some prompting, she matched them up great and was repeating the names of them back to me. They loved the final throwing part and even did the sorting a few more times. 

I am sure we are going to try this out again with different words and letters. Maybe up the challenge by matching an uppercase to a lowercase letter, or for the bigger kiddo even writing his own word families before tossing. 

I hoped you loved my Snowball Word Family or Letter Activity. Make sure to read my post about creating a snowflake cork stamp for counting and pattern fun. 



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Potty Training- The #1 thing that made her “get it”.

Here it is, the #1 thing that made potty training click for my daughter.

ATTENTION from me, the Mom!! 

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Potty Training- The #1 thing that made her _get it_.
Here is the link to the cute Mini Mouse Potty on Amazon!

Last week I started potty training my 3 1/2 year old daughter, for like the 4th time. My son was so much easier. Second kid and you would think I would be a pro at this by now- NOT!

There is a laundry list of reasons we both have been dragging our feet on the whole potty training thing. 

  1. This is my baby! Potty means getting older and bigger. I have not been ready for that!
  2. She is constipated A LOT. Going #2 is always difficult and scary. Adding a toilet to the mix makes things even more challenging. 
  3. I broke my foot and have been trying to get my mom self back on track. 
  4. Changing diapers is a lot less work in the present moment. 

What I know about potty training and had been applying with poor results. 

  1. Rewards, rewards, rewards. 
  2. Feed water and set timer for pee reminders. 
  3. Remind, encourage, and more rewards. 

Reasons things were not going well.

  1. Again, she hates doing #2. 
  2. She was wanting the reward before it was time- telling me she had to go every five minutes even though she really didn’t have to. 
  3. I was lacking in consistency. 

Trying to get back to myself after my foot injury and surgery had me in mom survival mode. House work, this blog, and my own issues distracted me. It all kept me from giving her the one thing to make it all click- ATTENTION!

Being consistent with the timer and rewards just wasn’t enough. It was my attention she needed. A distraction from the potty training to actually do the potty training. I had to stop thinking about and doing everything else and just play with her. Barbies, little people or whatever to keep her from thinking of peeing and the reward until the proper moment. 

3 days of constant timer every 15 minutes to sit and try. 3 days of my total focus, attention, consistency and distraction. We got it! She has learned the feeling, catches herself and knows what to do when the feeling strikes. #2 is still a process but she is has even nailed that a few times. I have no expectations for sleep times yet but we have come a long way and I am very proud. 

The reward chart I used was super simple.

  1. Cut paper into strips and drew lines for 6 spaces.
  2. Pinned a barbie outfit (I have a huge stash from my own childhood) into the top space.
  3. Each time she peed on the potty she got a sticker.
  4. 5 stickers and she gets a barbie outfit!
  5. Once she filled 10 charts she gets a bigger prize.
  6. I hung the charts up high where she could see them well, but not reach. 
Potty Training Sticker Chart.

This process has been eye opening for me. 

Cue the mom guilt. I feel like she has not been getting as much attention from me as she should in all areas. Not just the potty training one. Yes, I know I always preach the, “do your best and sometimes depending on the moment your best will be different” but I really feel like I could be doing more for her. Time to change something and fix this. It is currently in my power to do so!

How you ask? I’m going to get up earlier! I am not a morning person currently, but I can be. Its going to be a little challenge but worth it. If I can get some things done before my kids are awake, I can be mentally and physically more attentive to my sweet girl while her brother is in school. She deserves it.  I really need to do it while I am able and before she grows again and goes to school!!!

Here is a few of my blogs featuring my “Always try your best” Mentality. 

 4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Years Mom Goals

5 Ways the Make it Through When Life Gets Hard 



How to Remember Lunch for a Stay at Home/ Work at Home Mom

The Happy New Year is upon us and one of the top resolutions on everyone’s list involves some kind of diet change. I find it near impossible to eat a healthy lunch everyday. When I am trying to juggle two kids, running the house and this blog, the mid day meal just isn’t on my radar. Here is my plan and yours to help us remember to eat a healthy lunch at home for all you moms! 

How to Remember Lunch for a Stay at Home

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

So if you are here still reading, I’m sure you share the same resolution as me! Focus on eating a better lunch. So many times I eat kid left-overs or don’t eat at all until I’m starving. By that time I just eat quick not healthy snacks. 

Back before kids I had to plan and pack my lunch everyday. I need to get back to planning things and not just fly by the seat of my pants for lunch. If I don’t try something different, nothing will change right?

I already meal plan for our weekly family dinners. We have home cooking nearly every night and I have to plan to make sure we have all the fix in’s we need. Time to take the extra 5-10 minutes to do this for lunch as well! The beginning of meal prep and being ready to eat a healthy timely lunch everyday comes with meal planning. 

The New Game Plan!

Here is my meal planning print out I am going to fill in and post on the fridge so I can’t forget. There is a section to write three meals for each day of the week, followed by the grocery list. I always hand write a list for groceries. If I forget the list, it is still fresh in my head more than any other way to record it. Even if you shop online you still will need to have the meals planned and record the things that are needed for the meals. 

Meal Plan For the Week of_
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_jMcjJNpTCm8BmJ9BbS5r5UhrFyoHs4N/view?usp=sharing

Example Meal Plan

Sample Meal Plan and Grocery List

I included the printable here and my filled out sample. Maybe seeing how my mind records the plan will help. Also, if you are reading this I’m sure you surf Pinterest. That is where I get almost all my recipes from. There are millions of great ideas and as you know super easy to search exactly what you are in the mood for. Here are some links to a few I am trying out in this weeks meal plan. 

Broccoli Chicken Divan

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/8854/broccoli-chicken-divan/?lnkid=pin4763&crlt.pid=camp.NVUBijAVAYLo

Loaded Veggie Quesadilla 

http://domesticgothess.com/blog/2017/02/17/loaded-veggie-quesadillas/

If you are interested in some more New Years resolution ideas for Moms, check out this other awesome blog post!

https://savorthemomlife.com/new-year-mom-goals/

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I hope you like my meal planner. I will check back in with a later post on how well it keeps me on track. If you like what you see here please think about subscribing. If you do so from this blog I will include a bonus habit tracker in my welcome email! You can personalize it with any habits you may like to add. Post it at your desk, on the fridge or in a planner/journal. I love keeping track of all my daily to-dos. Eating a healthy lunch is going to be included on my version this month for sure! 



Kid Friendly New Years Eve Traditions and Activities

Kid Friendly New Years Eve Traditions and Activities

New Year’s Eve is a fun holiday celebrating the passing of a year and the start of a new one. It is fun to look back at the past with your family. Looking to see how far you have come and how much you have grown. A time to plan some new goals for the future and the new year to come. Here in this post, I am going to make a list of fun, kid-friendly New Year’s Eve traditions and activities. 

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Please read my full Disclosure for more information.

Some of the photos and links in this blog are from my fellow bloggers! Please enjoy checking out their creations!

Kid Friendly New Years Eve Traditions and Activities. They are all encompassed in a fun way to pass the time the day you wait for the ball to drop!

Balloon Count Down

Kid friendly New Years Eve Traditions and Activities

This is done with 12 balloons. Each has a piece of paper inside with an activity written on it. You can pop a balloon every hour of the day if you are super ambitious with older kids who are patient.

If you have younger kids like I do, know they have a hard time waiting and you like them going to bed at a normal hour there is a shorter way! Popping a balloon every 15 minutes for 3 hours seems a lot more appealing.

Feel free to change up the time increments any way you like.  The main point is to number the balloons 1-12 to “count down” the time. You could try to hang them from the ceiling or on the wall in the shape of a clock face. I went for on the floor for my kids to search for the number. 

Keep reading for an awesome list of activities to put inside of those balloons!!! Lots of links to help you find, make, recycle or buy what you need to create these fun activities with your family.

1. Take a group photo.

This is a great way to document your family as they change, especially if this becomes part of the yearly tradition. I even want to make sure I take some individual shots as well. We are going to pose with some fun new year props! You can buy some here or find some sweet DIY versions here. Links are included below with the pictures as well. 

2. Measure the Family Height. 

This is more for the kids benefit since we adults don’t grow much after a certain point. In my house, we measure right onto the wall. Below is a link for several DIY Height Measuring Wall Hangers! So Cute! Here is a link to one on Amazon. My kids like to try to measure themselves once a month almost but really all they need is once a year. How fun to make that time be on New Year’s Eve. 

3. Play a Family Board Game or Puzzle.

This is almost always a fun time! Remember its only 15 minutes till the next balloon gets popped so no time for marathon Risk or Monopoly games. Here are some of our family favorites that are quick and FUN! I also included a link to a fellow bloggers fantastic Minute to win it post. Enjoy!

Minute to Win it Games
Minute to Win It DIY Fun

4. Draw pictures of your favorite memory from the past year.

This is a great way to pick out some of the good memories from the year that has passed. It is a way to savor your children and see what they really remember, with some prompting I’m sure. I’ll definitely be saving the pictures they draw to look back at the following year. Its a great moment in the celebration to pause and be thankful. Here are some cool ways to savor, store and show off the pictures they draw. 

Easy Change Artwork Frame 

Or this 4 pack of 8 by 10 magnetic Picture Frames

5. Kids New Years Eve Interview

This is another great way to record your kids! Ask them some great questions, write down the answers, and save the papers to look back on for next year and beyond. If you ask the same questions each year you will be able to see the tangible change and growth. My Grandma always says, “time is fleeting.” The days are long but the years are short. 

New Years Eve Interview with the Kids
Free Printable!

6. Writing a New Years Resolution (On a wishing wand!)

It’s great to think about the past and the good memories you have made as a family this year. You also want to think about the future. The new year to come. Have a family discussion about some fun events, school and work goals etc for the new year. Here is a great book called Squirrel’s New Years Resolutions.  You can read it to the younger kids and help them understand goals or resolutions.

Have each person think of one that is the most important one and write it down. If you really want to get fancy for can make these DIY wishing wands with the kids and write the resolution or wish on the star!

7. Create a birthday calendar for the next year. 

I love to get a new family calendar each year. It hangs in the kitchen and I write all the important events for work, school, etc. This year we are going to work together to write down all the family birthdays. I have most of them on the old calendar we can use to copy them. If the kids have any new ones they may want to add its nice to have the phone and Facebook to look them up! Here is a link to some of my favorite calendars if you still need a nice one for the new year.  

8. Dance Party!!!

I love having dance parties with my kids. It wouldn’t be right to have a New Years celebration and not have a dance party! I love using Amazon Music! We pay for Prime and there is so much free music to stream with just that subscription! There is a lot of new music that is only available with their Unlimited subscription. It is extra money on top of the prime subscription but currently, they are running a deal for the first 3 months. Check it out!!

9. New Years Eve Party Crackers. 

My mom usually gets Christmas crackers. They are fun to open on Christmas and a big deal over in England I have heard. They usually come with a paper crown, some kind of little tool(corkscrew, comb, tiny scissors etc), a happy wish for the new year and sometimes a candy. A fun tradition if I do say so myself and we had some left from Christmas so we used them again on New Years. You can buy them or make some homemade DIY versions.

10. Gather the hats and noise makers for the count down. Make them if you want. 

Being a kid I always remember counting down with a fun noise maker in my hand and a fun hat or accessory! When this balloon is popped its time to get those out and practice for the big ball drop. Below is a photo link to buy and under that is a link to DIY. 

11. Cheers to the toast for the new year. 

Time to break out the kid-friendly glasses and cups. Grab that chilled sparkling apple cider and prep for when the ball drops. Talk to the kids about what a toast it and what they can say when it is time for the cheers. I am a big wine drinker. My kiddos see me have a glass probably more often than they should. We have a few tiny liquor glasses that look just like my big ones. They love to have them for special occasions. Filled with Sparkling Cider of course. 

12. Ready the Countdown!

Of course, there is always some kind of count down, especially for the last 10 seconds of the old year. My sister and brother-in-law had a stroke of genius. They love hosting the New Years Eve parties but know its hard for us with the little kids. SO they decided to stream the New Years Ball drop from England! When the stroke of midnight strikes there, it’s only 7 pm here! Awesome!

It gives me time to do all this fun stuff with the kiddos with a little celebration time after the ball drop. The best part is I can have them in bed by 8 pm! This mama likes bedtime. It’s the best time of the day. 

There is another option for those of you who don’t need or want a traditional live ball drop. There are at least 10 different options of pre-recorded countdowns on Netflix. You can pick your kiddos current favorite cartoon or character and if they are featured on Netflix it is a high possibility they will have a countdown. 

We are not against the classic, letting the kids stay up to midnight but if I have the choice and my kids don’t know any better why not! I’ll probably be asleep before the actual stroke of midnight as well. Those days of late-night parties are behind me. 

I hope you like all these fun ideas! I am very excited for the new year. My kids are going to be kept busy with all the fun. We are going to record and savor some great new memories using these kid-friendly New Years Eve traditions and activities. 

Also, if you Moms haven’t already read it, please go check out my just for Mom post!

Below I have made you an easy printable. You don’t even need to write these ideas down! Just print, cut and put them in the balloons. Happy New Year!

New Years Eve Countdown activity printable.
Click to Download and Print!