Power Rangers Fun!

Who doesn’t love the Power Rangers? I remember growing up, my siblings and I would play and argue over who got to be which character almost every time! I was always Pink, of course. I remember Morphin with my siblings and playing with our Power Rangers disc shooters! Those my friends, are the things good memories are made of… imagination, playing with siblings and creating alternate realities for your imagination to run wild!

Well, I have found some really fun Power Rangers activities, and must haves for FREE, so make sure to check the links for these freebies!

When my boys found Power Rangers Dino Fury on Netflix, I was so ecstatic for them (it is also airing on Nickelodeon too). It pulled the action of Power Rangers from when I was a kid, and added the element of dinosaurs, which if you ask my oldest, dinosaurs should be morphed into everything! If you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to! The kids have loved watching it and pretending they’re Power Rangers.

And they just released a new Instagram filter to find out Which Dino Fury Power Ranger You Are! Who doesn’t love a fun filter? The kids have been having so much fun with this one, click here to download it and try it out for yourself!

We also found these super fun activity worksheets for the kids to complete and do together. We’ve been playing with them for the last couple days, and it’s so much fun hearing them work with eachother to build their teamwork skills, cooperation and inclusion.

It’s been fun for the kids to learn the special character traits that each of the Power Rangers has, because we all know that everyone has a specific characteristic that makes them a good teammate! The packet has a fun word search, and some super fun yoga poses that the kids have all been practicing, and even Morphin their Power Rangers into. So many fun activities for them to get involved in, and deepen their obsession over Power Rangers!

Download yours here today!

Cheers Rangers, It’s Morphin Time!!

Birthday at Defy Gravity

Nolan just had his birthday, and I’ll tell ya… the planning this year gave me some anxiety! After having a year and a half where we couldn’t gather and have birthday parties the way we wanted to, I felt like this year we needed to do something super special to make up for it. We rolled around a bunch of ideas, and tried to find something that felt just right. We finally decided on doing his party at Defy Gravity! Have you ever been there before? It was incredible, and the perfect way for the kids to just be kids!

They have a million (slight over estimation) of trampolines for the kids to jump and do tricks on, huge foam pits and pillow bouncey things for the kids to jump off into. They also have a ninja course, basketball hoops and a swing for the kids to hop off into a foam pit. Honestly, could you ask for anymore?? It is quite the set up, and whenever we go, we never have a hard time spending 1-2 hours there easy. And it tires those kiddos out! It’s just the best kind of win win!

Soooo… for the birthday packages, they have 3 different options you can choose from. We chose the Epic package (which is the middle package) because we wanted the option to bring extra food, but didn’t feel the need for any additional bells and whistles (although, those additional bells and whistles are amazing!)! It was perfect for us. It includes jump socks and an hour of jumping for each kiddo, they set up and cleaned up from the party, provided cups, plates and all that, plus pizza and soda and a fun party shirt for Nolan! It was so low stress and so much darn fun!

We were assigned a party planner that handled all the logistics for us so we literally didn’t have to worry about anything. She made sure we had all the pizzas accounted for, we had all our guests checked in and accounted for, she was in charge of timing so I didn’t have to be looking at my watch wondering when it was time to head to the party room for pizza and cake. And, whats more… when we got back to the party room, she even handled the flow of the party room hour flawlessly. She helped us with cutting the cake, passing it out, refreshing drinks and extra pizza. She was incredible. It was a huge load off and allowed us to enjoy the day with our little dude!

All this to say… if you are looking for a fun way to spend a birthday party, I would absolutely recommend looking into Defy Gravity Raleigh. We had a great experience, it was well organized and clean, and they really made Nolan feel like a king for the day. Be sure to check them out! You will love it, but what’s better, is your kids will love it and it will give them memories they will hold onto forever!

Thank you Defy Gravity! We will be back soon!

Defy Raleigh Contact Info:

(919) 948-6700

5604 Departure Dr #100, Raleigh, NC 27616

Best useful Valentine’s Day baskets for kids!

We have ONE week till Valentine’s Day, and I know I am so excited to put together baskets for my kids! Honestly, I love it! It brings my heart a lot of joy to see them so excited over little things. It’s kind of the best. However, even though I love giving my kids gifts, but personally I don’t love the “stocking stuffer” little things that are basically just garbage that the kids don’t really care about, and then sometimes it just ends up being just a bunch of candy to fill space, which everyone ends up regretting about 32 seconds after consumption. We’ve all been there right?

However, I think there is a sweet spot, and I think this year, I have found it!

This year, we kept it simple, inexpensive and better yet… didn’t just give them a bunch of candy, which will make us all crazy later on. Granted, of course we did give them some candy, but we made sure it wasn’t all candy and useless “filler” items that will end up being thrown away later on that day.

Alright now, let’s dig in!

Every year my husband picks out a stuffed animal for the kids. We started this tradition about 4 years ago when we took our first trip to Hilton Head, SC on Valentine’s Day, and it’s been a fun tradition ever since. Our oldest still cuddles and loves on the first one my husband picked for him, and calls him ‘Valentine’. So cute!

Next, I found these adorable slippers on sale at Walmart for $3, so of course I snagged these because I love a good inexpensive, but VERY useful gift which feels like winning to me!

I also snagged some cute Valentine’s Day cups that they can use throughout the day on Valentine’s Day. I remember when I was a kid, my mom did special Valentine’s plates and cups for breakfast I thought it was so special. Those little touches can go a long way! We filled the cups with some candy and little party favor items from the Valentines section at Walmart. This pack was $2.98 and included yo-yos, stamps, tattoos and bouncy balls for all the kids! This is the kind of stuff that I view as “filler” items that are likely to be tossed later on, but my kids genuinely like most of those items, so it felt like a good “filler”.

Now, put all of it into a cute little basket, and call it a day! I am so excited to see the kids open these next week!

What are you putting into your kids baskets that you’re excited about? Do you guys do Valentine’s Day baskets? I’d love to hear what you like to do!

I’ve teamed up with some other bloggers to bring you even more Valentine’s Gift Basket ideas! Be sure to head to each of their blogs to find out what kind of ideas they have for you!

Laura

Kimmy

Cassandra

5 tips to keep your home more organized and stress free!

Okay so we’ve all been there before. It’s 5:30, you’re hustling to figure out what magical meal you’re going to put on the table for dinner and all the while you look around and you see nothing but chaos. The table is littered with papers from school, art from earlier that day, napkins from when your 2 year old spilled and “cleaned up”. Toys of all random assortments are meticulously thrown about in random parts of the floors. All the pillows from the couch are on the floor being used as a landing zone for when the kids played Peter Pan just moments before. You hear kids laughing one moment, and crying in the next. And let I remind you… this sensory overload all happens over the course of 2 minutes tops. It’s enough to make anyone go mad, and I know for certain I am not the only mama with scenes like this to be common.

So here’s the rub… kids should be kids. Watching them make memories, running around like dinosaurs, color and play together is one of the sweetest scenes a parent can see. However, the OCD in me struggles with the balance of how to allow that scene to unfold, but still maintain order and be able to relax when they go to bed at night.

Here’s my top tips that I have found to bring me much more peace and organization!

  • Have the kids help! Before we go play with friends, have tablet time, go to bed, or any other transition… we do a quick round up! I have the kids tidy the toy room, take care of the items they had been playing with, and put them away. I know it may sound like a lot, but if you do it a few times a day, it truly doesn’t take long at all and it’s much easier to manage! Use transitions to your advantage! “I am going to the store, and if we can hurry and tidy, you can come with me and we can look at the toys!”….. “I am about to make lunch, and if you can put your dinosaurs away, you can help me get out the goldfish!” Kids are VERY reward driven!! Use that to your advantage! even if it’s not a big mess, have them help you take 10 seconds to fix the pillows. Less clutter in your space, means less clutter in your mind! And if you have a hard time persuading them..
  • Blast some music! My kids are super into the Hamilton soundtrack right now, so I challenge them to see if we can clean the toy room before the first song is done, and sure enough, most of the time it works! They laugh, move quickly and then we have a quick dance party!
  • Have a basket for items to take up or downstairs. For us, toys trickle down and it is super helpful to have a basket that you can quickly toss upstairs items in so the next time someone goes up, they can take that with them and things don’t get left downstairs all day long. My favorite are these bins from the dollar tree!
  • Have a place for everything. When we revamped the toy room before school started, I made sure there was a place for everything, and the kids knew where everything belonged. This helps so much because when we are tidying up, we can break down the mess into sections and I’ll ask how I can help, and they’ll say “I’ll do the dinosaur bin, and you do the magnatile bin.”! It’s very helpful and takes a huge mess into something much more manageable! Everyone takes a zone, and it takes no time at all!
  • Focus on the good. Sometimes it’s hard to get kids excited about cleaning or organizing, but if you focus on the reward at the end of the chore, they’re focusing on that rather than how hard it is to clean, or how long it’s going to take.

So there you have it! Those are my quick top 5 tips to ease the burden of clutter and manage your home and family with a little more ease! What are your favorite tidying tips that have worked for you? Please share some with me in the comments!

Best and easiest Quiche!

Honestly, I’m not a huge quiche fan. They usually end up soggy and bland, neither of which I love. So when I was asked to make some quiche for a baby shower, I knew I needed to do some research to make this a success. After much reading and compiling of knowledge, I finally settled on my own way of making sure this was going to be a drool worthy recipe. And I hate to toot my own horn, but this was everything I hoped it would be!! Recipe below!

Easy and delicious quiche!

Prep: 30 min Cook: 35-45 min Bake @ 375—
This recipe makes 1 quiche, so just double for 2.

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and blind bake the unwrapped pie crust on a baking sheet for 10-12 min
  2. Cook your bacon.
  3. While the crust is baking and bacon is cooking, melt your butter in a nonstick pan on medium-high heat.
  4. Add your diced onion and cook 3-5 minutes, or until translucent.
  5. Add garlic and let cook till you can smell it (about 30 seconds), then turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
  6. In a large bowl, wisk together eggs. Then add heavy cream and milk (you could substitute 1 c half and half). Then add Italian seasoning, a dash of salt and pepper, cheese and bacon. Then add the onion and garlic mix. Combine well.
  7. Pour into prepared crust.
  8. Add sliced green peppers on top (you can also add more bacon too).
  9. Bake at 375 for 35-45 min or until the center is set.
  10. Let it sit for 15 min before slicing and serving.
  11. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did! If you use this recipe, make sure you tag me on Instagram so I can see!

Good luck, and happy baking!

Disney during covid

Have you been wanting to go to Disney World but unsure about how they are taking precautions and what that looks like for you and your family? Well you are in luck, I have come with knowledge!

My kids and I went with my parents on Jan 13 and Jan 14th, and let me just tell you… if you are on the fence of wanting to go…. DO IT! Now is the time! Lines are short, the magic is there, and they are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe, and to keep the gates open. So… here’s my run down from our experience at Disney World.

First, let’s start with what I think a lot of people are concerned with… safety! Firstly, you have to reserve your date in advance for whichever park you are interested in going to. They are cautious to make sure the crowds are significantly thinned out. All guests, cast members and personnel on the premises are required to wear a mask that are older than 2, and boy are those workers trained to watch for proper mask wearing. They are so friendly in reminding people to put the mask over your nose and mouth. My Davis wore a mask the first day that didn’t stay on his nose great, and they were so on top of it reminding him to pull it up. I would recommend making sure you have an extra mask just in case yours drops, gets damp from usage or ends up not fitting well for whatever reason. It is permitted to remove your mask while eating, drinking and while stationary. Otherwise, you need to be wearing one, even while taking pictures.

It wasn’t hard to make sure to stay 6 feet apart, even while in line. There were markers on the ground that the kids did such a good job watching for so they could respect the space of the person ahead. And honestly, the lines were so short, these markers didn’t get used much!

Sanitizing stations were all over the place, which made keeping our hands clean very easy! Most of the time, they had one after each ride! Plus, Disney would shut down rides periodically to clean and sanitize them. It felt very safe.

Now, for the action!!

The lines were incredibly short! We spent two days in Disney World… the first day at Epcot, and the second in Magic Kingdom. While in Epcot, we were able to do every ride and show we wanted to do with time to spare. We were only there from 12-7 and felt more than satisfied with what we had done! We rode the Finding Nemo ride multiple times! So many that the kind castmember at the exit showed us a shortcut to get to the front quicker. There was no wait at all! It was incredible. The Frozen Ever After ride is normally such an excruciating long wait that we hadn’t gone on it in previous visits, but this time it was 15 min (which ended up being about 8 min)!

At Magic Kingdom, we were there from 11:30-6:00 and ended up riding 25 rides! In case you were wondering, that’s almost 4 rides per hour!!! Can that be real? Yes… yes it is! The Peter Pan ride is normally at least a 90 min ride, and one that you always want to fastpass traditionally (which fastpasses don’t exist right now… there’s no need), had a 15 min wait time (which was again about an 8 min wait). At the end me, my mom and my boys rode the Barnstormer 6 times in a row, and some of them they let us stay on the cart because there was no one even coming up in line. It was such a blissful experience.

Now for some fast and quick tips!

  1. Make sure to reserve your date in advance! They have the schedule online to control and thin out crowds. Click here for tickets and reservations.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking more than usual since the crowds are thinned, so make sure you’re comfortable.
  3. Bring water and stay hydrated! It will be easy to get distracted and forget to stay hydrated since you’re moving so much, but drink your water!
  4. Bring a stroller! They do have strollers to rent, but it’s pricey in my opinion and way less functional. Here’s the link to their renting info. If you are going with kids, a stroller is a MUST! Although my kids didn’t use it much, it was handy for throwing things into that we didn’t want to take onto rides or hold while walking around. I will say that they do NOT allow wagons, but if you have a situation that requires a wagon, you can get a exemption tag from guest services. Comment below (or dm me on instagram) if you have questions on that, but here’s the link to their site for their stroller regulations.
  5. Pack a lunch and plan to eat stationary. It was super easy to eat real quick in line, but have some snacks too to keep the hangry pains from putting a damper on the day.
  6. Budget a dollar amount for souvenirs. I gave each of my kids $15 to spend. It was great because they weren’t asking for things in every store, and it was a great motivator for good behavior during the day. Two of my kids spent their money, and one of them chose to save it to buy a dinosaur from Target haha. I’ll give you one guess on who that is… 🙂
  7. Check the weather! If there is a forecast of rain, stop at a Walmart near by and grab rain ponchos for $1, otherwise you’ll spend $20 for a poncho if it rains. I’ve spent the $20 and in the moment I’m grateful for it, but they pack up so easy, it’s better to be better prepared on this one! Also, if it’s below 60 degrees, bring a light jacket. It will be nice to have! Trust me.
  8. Bring extra masks! They’re mandatory to be in the park, and if yours falls down or gets moist, it will be nice to have a back up. Talk to the kids about these rules too, and make sure they understand the expectations. My 4 year old rarely wears them since they’re not required for his age in our state, so we did practicing and talked him through it, and he did great.
  9. They have tons of sanitizing stations, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own just to be sure you have it when you want it.
  10. Download the My Disney Experience app ahead of time so you can see real time wait times and when you walk into the park, you’ll know what rides to hit up when. We also love having a physical map too just in case. I’ll also add a tip my mom suggested… put your phone on low power mode so keep the charge high during the day. If you’re worried, bring an external charger (don’t forget the cord). You don’t want to risk missing out on that Disney magic in your kids faces!

I would say this was easily one of my favorite Disney trips. We stayed safe, and created such beautiful memories together. Memories I hope last the kids, myself and my parents a life time!

Happy New Years… 2021 please be good to us!

It’s New Years, and like every other person, I am retrospectively looking at 2020 and thinking about how things have been, what we have accomplished and what we have overcome. Like most people, this year was not easy. We had grand business plans that seems to get ruffled by the mandated shut downs and quarantine. We had trips planned, family that we wanted to visit and way more in person schooling that we were hoping for. We wished for meet the teacher nights, flights to see family, in person craft nights and so much more. As I reflect back on what we actually got from 2020, this is what I see:

I see backyard adventures, I see my kids grow together because for a time, they were their only playmates. I see that they are better problem solvers, and more creative players.

I see massive amounts of elderberry being made with one of my best friends in preparation for the impending pandemic.

I remember taking my kids to the store before everything shut down for good and seeing the shelves cleared, and stocking our own shelves when we could because you never knew what was going to happen next.

I remember doing SO much baking, especially in the beginning.

I will remember pulling together with other local seamstresses to make hundreds of masks for first responders, health care workers and assisted living facilities.

We did workout groups when it was safe, and did sporadic home workouts between.

Lots of home projects!

I will never forget having church at home on Sunday’s, and what it was like being back socially distant and wearing masks.

I cut my own hair for the very first time, and LOVED it!!

We got to know our neighbors better, which included having a social distance bingo night and explored our little neighborhood! We ended up finding a really fun creek that we frequented a lot in Spring/Summer.

The kids got better on their bikes, and Davis learned to ride WITHOUT training wheels!!

We picked strawberries, and made homemade strawberry jam for the first time, which i totally nailed!!

Nolan’s cute preschool teachers brought over packets, activities, and even helped celebrate his birthday! My depth of gratitude for these sweet humans cannot be underestimated! I also am so grateful they were still able to do their Christmas program… that was a major highlight!

The reservoir is only 5 minutes from our house, so we frequented it often! We kayaked, hiked and swam as much as we could!

Despite the travel plans had, we still found time and safe ways to travel. I started the year with a girls trip to Orlando/Boca Raton.

As a family we got to travel to North Topsail Beach, NC…

Treasure Island, FL to visit my parents and sister…

Atlantic Beach, NC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Boone and Blowing Rock, NC!

We had Davis’s first season of flag football, and him finally overcoming his shyness, and actually having fun with it!

The pool was basically our second home this summer… we spent so much time there soaking in the sun, Nolan learning to swim without floaties, and each of the kiddos becoming more and more like fish with everyday.

I see my family connecting with the community to raise awareness for human trafficking in prayer walks, social media posts, donations and marches.

I see Davis closing out Kindergarten and entering First Grade, and Nolan enter Pre-K with great eagerness!

I will remember my utter frustration with the word virtual. Virtual learning, virtual youth activities, and virtual game nights. Grateful that we have tech that can connect us and bring us together for those moments, but especially with virtual learning… my mind and my heart was HEAVY in finding a way to make that work with our family.

I see play dates, spending time with friends that have basically become family to us, and the boys doing their first soccer clinic.

I remember the day vividly when parks reopened and how i literally cried watching my kids play with other kids at a park for the first time in 6 months.

I see our neighborhood pulling together safely for Halloween and Christmas to host events to show kids magic and tradition during this very nontraditional year.

I won’t forget driving around looking at Christmas lights, and drinking hot chocolate. It was one of those simple but perfect and powerful memories.

Most excitingly…. Patrick quit his corporate job so we could fully pursue Carolina Wood Company as our full time gig and income!

When I look back at this year, I’m so saddened by the amount of friction and devastation that I’ve felt and seen friends and family go through. Loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, mental health suffering, physical health being compromised, and families broken apart. But for me and my family, I am grateful for the growth we had this year. I’m grateful for what this year put us through because we are truly better off for it. We have learned SO much, and refined our lives to reflect a better way. We found what is truly important for us, and where we feel the Lord’s hand guiding us. I would have preferred not to learn in this way, but I’m grateful for where we are because I know we are headed in the right direction with the right people right beside us!