Monday, June 23, 2014

Kindness week

Maybe it is the hot summer air or maybe just the transition from school schedule to summer, but my girls have been arguing with each other A LOT. So I decided to make our first week at home all about being kind. We're starting off today making these warm fuzzy jars from Hands Free Mama. I hope this simple tool will help L & E to think before they yell at each other or ignore me when I ask then to do something. And I think it will help us all focus more on the good. 

We also checked out some books from the library, each about kindness. We'll start our day today with Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham. For the rest of the week we have lined up: 
The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

My big girls are very into dramatic play right now.  They are constantly putting on "shows" of all varieties for anyone who will watch so I'm planning to have them put on their own little play at the end of the week focusing on being kind.

Do you ever have themed weeks at home for your children? What do you do to encourage peace and quiet kindness at your house? Do you have any additional book suggestions or activities to add to our Kindness Week? Any wisdom you can pass along would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer bucket list (free printable)

With the last day of school fast approaching this Thursday, we are all looking forward to the lazy days of summer. OK, as lazy as a day can be with three children including a very busy one-year-old. I think just not having to get everyone up and out the door at a certain time each day will be refreshing. The big girls and I have been working on a summer bucket list. We're still gathering more specifics, adding ideas, and putting events on the calendar, but we are excited about what we have planned so far!

You can download our Summer Bucket List free printable here. We use a white pen like this one to write down ideas as we think of them on our chalkboard style bucket list. 

What do you plan to do with your kids this summer? Do you like to keep a tight schedule? Do you send the kids to camp? Or are you thinking, enough planning lady, just wing it. We'd love to hear how you plan to survive enjoy summer with your kids! 

On a side note, we have decided to try all three girls sleeping in the same room for the summer (another story for another day). This means moving all toys out of the big girl's bedroom and turning what was the nursery into a little play room. So after the girls went to bed last night I added the last thing to the list "organize the play room" which really means decorate and organize. In my mind, what could be more fun? So this morning when I went through the list over breakfast with the girls I got a rousing cheer after I read each entry. That is, until I got to my final add on "organize the play room." This was met with a loud chorus of "UGGHH." Hmm... maybe (hopefully) these girls have not inherited my crazy organizing gene. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Father's day is just around the corner

Me and my dad circa 1976

Let's face it. Dads can be tough to shop for. You've given him a tie he never wears for the past ten years in a row, but it's hard to come up with something he'll actually like...and use. Here are a few ideas just in time for June 15th...


All men love bacon, right? Why not bake him this bacon & corn bread (found on Pinterest, of course) for breakfast on Father's Day? 

250g bacon, diced
2.5 cups all purpose (cake) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbspn sugar
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 can whole corn kernels (drained)
1/2 can cream style sweetcorn
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated


What better than bacon, but beer. Craft Beer Connect offers packages of craft beers in prices ranging from $30 to $60. 

“Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and celebrate the good days.” — Ancient Egyptian proverb


I'll admit it. Tools aren't really my thing. But my husband, he gets pretty excited over a new tool... possibly even as excited as I get about organizing a closet. So why not just go the easy route and get him a gift card to Home Depot, or even better, to your local hardware store. Then give him the gift of a few hours of free time when he can go poke around the store on his own. 

What are you getting the men in your life for father's day? Do you have a traditional gift that you give each year or do you try to switch it up every year? 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A week away

We are just back from a fantastic week away in the Lake District. It's the first time we've been away since we had kids where we haven't been staying with friends and family in the US or London and we were pretty excited to throw down some new ground rules before we got there.  

1) No television
This was easy as we told the kids the television was broken. We read A LOT of stories, particularly Beatrix Potter as one of our main days out was going to the museum:

Finn searching for Mr Todd

2) No phones except to check in when we had reception
This was easy, we hardly had reception.

3) No internet
This was easy as again, we hardly had any reception. I also feel like I gained more time in my day by not stalking the BBC News website or Facebook. Plus, who needs a computer when you can kick back like this?

Just chilling

4) Parents were not allowed to say "2 minutes" when the children asked for their attention. The kids LOVE this rule. We have to pay them 5 pence if we say "2 minutes," but with no chores to do, emails to read or clothes to wash, we came back with all our change!

5)  Do something different
Now that we are done with strollers, we have been anxious to start bigger adventures with the kids. It turns out, they both enjoy the hills as much as we do. They were both so proud of themselves, I thought they were going to cry.  

Reaching Alcock Tarn

We climbed the first hill on our 10 year wedding anniversary and laughed how silly we were thinking we'd be back in Mauritius in 10 years to celebrate. We wouldn't have traded this for anything!

Top of Helm Crag

After a mini break from real life, I always come back recharged with great plans how I am going to parent better. For the record, it took until this morning at 8:30am as I heard myself shouting "Hurry up you two! We are going to be LAAAAAATE!" that I was back to my usual love and life moments...