Thursday, September 19, 2019

Summer Art Challenge 2019: Wrap Up

 My youngest came home from school last week so excited to tell me about the art project he worked on at school.  They made pumpkins (because FALL!!!) using the techniques based on the art of Yayoi Kusama.  We looked her up and he was so excited to tell me all about her.  His teacher gave me a sneak peak of their creations and let me tell you, so neat!!! 

I love art.  I love that my kids are falling in love with art and studying the life and styles of the artist.  Watching them as we walk through art galleries, like the National Art Gallery this summer, and have their eyes light up in excitement because they "know" the artist.  I am a firm believe that art is just as important for kids to learn as reading and writing.  It is a way to express feelings and build confidence.  It is a way to relax.  It stirs conversation. It is vital in the development of kids to experience and create art. 

I have always been pretty good about incorporating art into our vacation time, but this past summer, I wanted to be intentional with how I did it.  So, I got online, picked out 6 artists, planned our projects, and checked out as many books as I could find.  I love picture books and there are some beautifully written picture books that captivate the kids (and the parents) and teach them about the artist.  The best part if I didn't actually own a book, I could get online and request it and my local library would tell me it was there.  Best.thing.ever! 

This summer, we studied Kandinsky, Seurat, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, and O'Keeffe.  Each artist had their own unique style, and each week we tried a different method.  We used paper cutting, water colors, oil pastels, tempera paints, q-tips, paint  brushes, and scissors.   We took risks and stepped out of our comfort zones to create a piece of art each week.  We learned history, we read books, we learned things like shading and tints, blending, warm and cool colors, complimentary colors, and so many more things. We learned that some things were time consuming and others took less time. 

Anytime that I get to add beautiful picture books into what we are learning at home makes my teacher-heart/picture book loving heart so happy.  

 I love getting creating with my kids and we can't wait to do some more art when we have a day off soon.  I think my favorite thing was the time it gave us just to sit down and talk while we created.  The conversations that come when you put a art supply in your child's hand are phenomenal.  If you are ever having any trouble making time to be intentional with your kids, I highly recommend planning an art project, or sitting down and doing some coloring together. . . once the hand starts moving, so does the talking.  It's a really beautiful thing!

 Here are the links to each art project:

Van Gogh

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Menu Planning tips and tricks

 It's safe to say that school is full swing around here.  So much so, that progress reports come home today for both of my kiddos.  The weather is changing (I hope, anyways!) into more Fall-like and I am starting to fall into a groove with our routine and after school activities.  It took us 4 weeks, but we got here.

One of the things I don't do that well over the summer is menu planning.  While I don't completely stop menu planning during the summer, it's definitely not as structured.  So, that being said, menu planning is back in full gear.  You can find weekly menu plans saved to my Instagram highlights under meal plans as well as "what's cooking" each night in my highlights. 

Menu planning can be so overwhelming, especially if you have kids.  Let's face it, kids are so picky and temperamental  when it comes to food.  One day they like something, the next day it grosses them out.  Plus, add dinner time sports practices and you might feel like grabbing some chicken nuggets at McDonalds is just so much easier.  So, I thought I would write down some tips and tricks that we use in our home that really help make menu planning and dinner time way less daunting!

Here are ten tricks that might help make your menu planning and dinner time a bit more pleasant and successful.

1.  Make a list of all the foods your family likes to eat. Use that at as a reference so that you aren't eating dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets every single night.  Slowly add new meals every now and then and if they are a hit, make them again the following week.  Last Spring, Weston decided that bacon cheeseburgers were his jam (except, he can't have cheese so eating this at restaurants can't happen).  Suddenly he was asking for sliders and I was able to add another meal option to our list. 

2.  Take advantage of Pinterest.  Start a board just for dinner ideas and as you see them, pin them.  It's way quicker than perusing magazines for a recipe, plus you can see comments on the pin and the original post.  You can easily search dairy free options, paleo, or if you have a hankering for some orange chicken you can search for it easily there. There are other clubs, like e-meals, that you can subscribe to for a small fee that help a lot.  And then, if you really wanted to make things easy, there are meal delivery services like Hello Fresh that help big time with meal planning (and shopping. 

3.  Take note of your calendar.  Keep in mind when you are menu planning the things happening during the day (i.e. your busy days or your crazy evenings).  Don't plan a dinner with a lot of steps if you aren't going to have time  to prep and cook  or if you aren't even going to have time to eat it.  Save those meals for nights when not much is happening. Use your crockpot or your instapot on those busy nights.  I try to plan meals that are easy to prep and throw in bento boxes for soccer nights.  We eat salads, paninis, stuffed sweet potatoes, and stir fry a lot on these nights. 

4.  Make your Grocery List at the same time you plan your meals.  I typically click on the link of the recipe I want to make and check to see if it's even doable.  Then, I go through the ingredients and write them down, especially the ones I know we don't have.  Then, when I finish menu planning, my grocery list is also finished. 

5.  Set rules for eating.  We have a three bite (not nibble) rule in our house, where before you can say you don't like dinner, you must eat three bites.  After that, if you still don't like it, you can make your self a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Now, let me be honest: this does not mean, dinner times are always peaceful and carefree. There are still tears and frustration over three bites, but once it's done, they are okay. They survive.  We also don't allow them to eat chicken nuggets 2 nights in a row.  This rule is fairly new and it is working amazingly!  Sometimes, they even discover they like what we are having for dinner, sometimes they don't.  Don't take it personally. 

6.  Don't always cater to one person.  It's hard to please everyone and sometimes we want to eat something we know our kids won't touch.  That's perfectly fine.  Plan for your kids to have chicken nuggets or a corn dog and have your self something delicious without worrying about your kids yelling at you.  Tonight I made salmon, even though my not so picky child (who loves fish) can't have salmon because it makes him sick (recent discovery. . . he's really sad).  Everything worked out. 

7.  Eat the rainbow.  Find ways that will get your kids to eat their veggies and incorporate that into your menu plan.  We roast our veggies a lot and I am amazed that my oldest will devour some butternut squash and brussels sprouts like they are going out of style.

8.  Plan for the unexpected.  I always try to keep a few "emergency" dinners for nights when nothing goes as planned. . . like forgetting to get out the meat, or busier than normal day.  Always have some Trader Joe's Orange Chicken in the freezer just in case.

9.  Know your budget.  Don't go out and blow your budget in the first week.  Figure out where to shop for the best foods for the best prices.  I spend way too much time shopping between my several go-to stores (Amazon Prime is a game changer when it comes to Whole Foods!), but stores like Walmart are starting to offer some really good clean options and you can have your whole order brought to your car.  I am a huge fan of Trader Joes and Sprouts, as well as Target (If someone would just tell them how much better their pick up service would be if they did cold stuff!).  Every now and then, I venture into our local Grocery Outlet because every now and then they have some great non-dairy, non soy finds for way cheaper than I can find else where.  It's worth the hunt sometimes!

10.   Don't get discouraged.   You and your family need to eat and scrounging around trying to find something for dinner at the last minute makes your evening more stressful.  Having a meal planned and ready to cook makes you more likely to eat healthier and together as a family.  Don't give up the first week.  It takes 28 days for something to become a habit.  Not every week is perfect, but hang in there, you will find your groove and what works for you and your busy schedule.

Meal planning is definitely something that I find important.  If I didn't menu plan, I might make Jon pick up Chick Fil A on the way home every night.   Ha Ha.  I hope these tips help you out.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Friday Favorites: Ethan Edition

 Today my oldest is eleven and I'm finding it hard to believe that my baby is growing up! In fact, he's seriously growing!  I'm pretty sure that he will be taller than me by the time he finishes 5th grade (so is everyone else!).  Ethan is a joy to be around (most of the time, anyway) and has so many great thoughts and ideas.  Apart from some tween angst, he is so much fun to just hang out with! Because it's his birthday, I decided to ask him what some things he's really loving these days.  

1.  Prince Warrior Series - Ethan started this series last year, but really dove in over the Spring and finished all 4 books over the summer.  These books are written by Priscilla Shirer and are adventure books that tell a story of adventure in the land of Ahoratos and fighting off the enemy in the unseen.  Throughout the story, she weaves the armor of God that is found in Ephesians 6. 

Ethan absolutely loved these books and couldn't put them down.  He is a huge Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fan and said that these were better than Harry Potter.  So, If you have a tween boy, I highly recommend these books!

2. Lego Architecture Sets - Ethan has always been a lego fan, but as he has gotten older, he has moved away from sets that are quick and easy, or even inspire pretend play.  Lego's are no longer his go-to toy to play with, unless he and his brother and building some crazy house or building cars to race down the hallway.  As he has gotten older, he has found that he still loves the satisfaction of creating something over time.  The architecture sets are more difficult and time consuming that they bring that satisfaction of creating something over time and still getting to play with Legos. . . just in a more grown up way.  

3. Kids Read Truth Study Books - Last fall, Ethan asked me to write him a Bible Study starting in Genesis and going through the whole Bible.  And while his desire to dig deep into God's Word makes my heart so happy, I couldn't help but think how much work that was.  Thankfully, my favorite Bible Study people (she reads truth), came out with some great resources for tweens and teens that allow them to open their Bibles daily, read scripture, and do a little journaling.  He's currently working on his second book and he's loving them!

4.  Games - Ethan lives and breathes sports, but he also loves a good, competitive game!  This past weekend at our annual family trip to the beach, he joined in on a few of the more difficult card games and caught on pretty quick.  Whether video games or a quick game of soccer in the backyard or some corn hole or clue, as long as he's playing a fun game with his people his cup is being filled.  His love language is definitely quality time, and playing games fits right in!  

5. Adventure and Experiences - Ethan has inherited our love of traveling and is always on the lookout for what we are going to do next.  Once he hit double digits, he got to pick between a friends party or an adventure.  He keeps picking adventures so I'm super happy. This year he picked an Earthquakes game and I think it's going to be a fun trip!  He soaks in our summer adventures even though we are all incredibly tired afterwards starts planning our next trip.  He loves adventure and good food.  I love that he's not all that into physical objects, but it sure makes it hard to shop for him!
 And that's Ethan's favorite things! Now, I am ready to celebrate his eleventh birthday with delicious food and quite possibly, ice cream.

Friday, August 30, 2019

S'more Cookies

I have a love hate relationship with summer.  I love the long, slow days that come with school being out, enjoying time with friends swimming and making s'mores. I don't like the heat. The combination of friends hanging out around the fire and marshmallows on sticks slowly charring over the fire (or in my case, quickly catching on fire!) brings so many memories of camping as a child.  Earlier this summer, our best friends and us took turns watching each other's kids for different events we each had.  When we arrived to pick up our kids, we ended up sticking around and roasting marshmallows for a bit before heading home and I'm pretty sure it was one of my favorite memories of this summer!

Since today marks the start of Labor Day weekend and we have been on countdown mode all week. . . because it's been pretty insane around here and we are ready for some time or rest, margin, and family time!  I've already dug out my book and picked up some magazines and I baked a batch of the most amazing cookies ever and of course they combine all the things required to make a delicious s'more. 
 I love s'mores so much that when I first started blogging, I made a pact with Jon to not make the same kind of cookies for an entire year in order to prove to him that there had to be a better recipe than the Nestle Toll House recipe we all tend to stick with (yes, they are good. . . but we found better).  One of the recipes I tried was this one.  And it was good, but after the Summer Bake from Scratch came out and one of the recipes this S'mores recipe that had a major improvement to the ones I had tried several years ago.  The problem with using regular mini marshmallows is that they burn really easy in the oven, just like over the fire.  And then, you are just left with largest blotches of sticky goo.  Still good, but there is a better way.
 A few years ago, Kraft came out with some teeny marshmallows that are dehydrated and are more like the consistency of those you'd find in a box of lucky charms.  We buy them and keep them in our coffee/hot cocoa basket and honestly, I never even considered using them in cookies. . . until I saw this recipe.  Seriously, life changing.  Best thing ever!  They came out perfect, perfect amounts of marshmallow bits combined with chocolate pieces and ground up graham crackers.  You definitely feel like you are eating a s'more when you eat these!  I'm kind of drooling as I type. 
I loved this recipe so much that I made them again this morning. . . they really are drool-worthy!  They are so good, that I have been holding on to this recipe to share with family this weekend, but when Weston got home from school and saw them sitting here, he was begging for one.  So, we may need a miracle that they even make it to the family gathering. 

So, without further torture of how good they are, let's get to the recipe and get this Labor Day weekend going.  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend! 

S'more Cookies
adapted from Bake from Scratch
(Baking Made Easy 2019)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 package of chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallow bits.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Then add eggs and vanilla.  Beat until well incorporated.  Add in all your dry ingredients and only stir until it's all mix in.  Add chocolate chips and marshmallow bits and stir with a spoon.  Using a cookie scoop or a spoon drop dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 mintues.

We used Annies Graham crackers (soy free), Guittard dark chocolate chips (soy and dairy free) and then today I used Enjoy Life Chocolate chunks (dairy and soy free). 

Here's a link to the marshmallow bits. . . so you know what you're looking for.  I found them at Target, but you can get them on Amazon, so you don't even have to leave your house.  See, a win!

And once again, Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Front Bathroom Update & and goals

I've been finding my self wandering into the front bathroom just to soak in the transformation that took place over the course of the summer.  Our front bathroom was this year's big home project. It's probably going to take all year, and we're okay with that.  We move slow, we take our time, we make it a point to not go into debt with a home project. We also are easily distracted and started working on decorating our room a bit. We also make sure that we have money saved and set aside for these projects.  We don't want to go into debt to get the home that we love. 

We started this project by chalk painting the cabinets white.  I used Annie Sloan Pure White and then applied clear wax over the top.  Before the cabinets were this really ugly golden brown that screamed paint me every time I walked in.  We decided to keep the original light blue tile since it's in great condition and so was the blue tub and tubs are super pricey!

After the business of Christmas and once we got back into a routine with the second half of the school year, we started researching and getting quotes for someone to come in and do the new tile and add a shower into the wall of the bath (there was never one put one in).   This was the first time we've hired a contractor to do something that we could've probably done, but we'd probably still be working on it if we hadn't.  We had the tile done while I was running around with my head cut off during the last week of school (between all sorts of school activities and getting ready for summer, I was busy!).  We went with a basic white subway tile and added a niche for the kids shampoo and used some small white hexagons to fill in the niche.  And we had switched out the spout to coordinate with the new shower head.  I am in love with the brushed bronze against the simplicity of the white subway tile.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love it.
 Once the tile was finished, I started painting away the color I painted when we first moved in.  I loved the color 10 years ago, but it was time for a change, and so I painted it Pure White, by Sherwin Williams.  I'm really loving the simplicity of white lately.  And from there, we just sort of enjoyed the bathroom as it was, painted and tiled and the best part, our kids NOT taking a shower in our bathroom!  I'm pretty sure that's my favorite part.
We had our flooring put in the week we came home from vacation.  It seemed to take forever for this part to happen because the flooring was put on back order.  We went with a highly absorbent laminate planks that had a nice grey wood grain.  It's the same flooring that we used in our master bathroom.  I could not wait to get the linoleum out of there!  I hated how they went up the sides of the wall with the flooring and didn't use base boards.  I seriously could NOT wait til it was gone!  It's amazing how powerful white baseboards are when it comes to the look of a room! 
 The next big task was to add ship lap along the wall.  Jon and his brother worked so hard one Sunday after church carefully measuring and nailing with a nail gun.  Jon was a little bit nervous about this wall because there's a window and some jagged edges with the countertops.  But they did it and it's gorgeous! 
 But, we weren't quite done.  Jon added a farmhouse frame around the window.  Since we aren't going to put up curtains, we wanted to be able to frame the window. I am hoping to get the ship lap and window painted next month.  In the meantime, let's just sit and stare at the beautiful ship lap.
The one thing that was driving me crazy was that the kids didn't have anywhere to hang their towels so they were always laying on the ground.  So annoying. . . and dirty!  So, I ran to Target one day after church and grabbed these hooks by Threshold.  I love how they have a place for me to add the kids names and make it personal.  We hung these behind the door next to the shower.  They can now, get out of the shower, grab their towel, dry off and then hang up their towel. . . well, we can dream, can't we? 
The best part is that their towels stay hidden behind the door, so no one sees them when their walking down the hallway. 

 We are not finished and have a few things to do to make this room complete.  Like shelves above the toilet here.  Jon had something creative in mind for the shelves.  He has some really great design ideas and I love it!  I can't wait to see what he does and then I will style the shelves.  
 We also are going to be changing the light fixtures and faucets to match those in the shower. 

I am so excited about what we've accomplished since we started and I'm pretty sure that we will enjoy it for years. . . because I'm not sure Jon's going to be up for me suggesting a repaint anytime soon.  Ha ha! 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Some random Friday thoughts

Happy Friday!  I sat down to write a blog post several times this week and I was very easily distracted.  There's a lot of little things that are going on and it's keeping me fairly busy around here, but they are all great things.  So, I thought I would sit down, with a cup of coffee (of course!), and write some of my thoughts down. 

This summer was filled with a lot of adventure and a lot of quiet.  We rested and we wore ourselves out (in a good way) that by the time school started last week, the kids were both very ready to get back into a routine.  None of us really wanted to get up and get going (well, maybe Weston, he's our get up and get going kid).  And now, 2 weeks later, we are enjoying the last couple of weeks before the real busy sets in with sports for both boys, room parents obligations (apparently I'm room parenting for both classes), and leading a Bible Study.  I am so thankful for the quiet and rest that happened this summer, that I feel like I am ready and excited for what this school year has in store. 

The beginning of the school year is kind of like the beginning of the year.  I do well with setting goals for the school terms rather than a whole year.  There's something about the newness that comes with the start of school year.  It's exciting. My goals might be lofty and chances are I won't finish them all, but I am sure going to try.  Some might just take me all year, and that's okay.  

One of the things I am really praying about is this little space that I blog at.  It is my continuous hope and prayer that you are encouraged and maybe inspired by what you read.  I started writing and posting back when blogging was more of a thing and Ethan wasn't even crawling, and while I spend a lot of time over on instagram,  this blog is where I get to share more of my heart and expand on what I post.  I would love to grow this little space just a little bit more, and would love it if you would take the time to comment and share a blog post every now and then.  Maybe even pin something on to a board.  I've always been reluctant to ask, but if I want to grow this space, I need your help.  I have a long list of upcoming blog posts that will hopefully start kicking into full gear next week.  So, be on the lookout.  New posts are coming!  And thank you ahead of time, for taking just a few minutes out of your busy day to read my words and share them with your people.  I appreciate it so much!

The last thing I am going to leave you with is a little reminder that creating space for getting creative, is something that I believe is so vital to our mental health.  It's so easy to brush it off as extra things that don't matter or that you aren't good enough, but I just want to remind you how important it is to set aside a few minutes a day or week for something that brings you joy.  When you open the Bible, the very first verse, is "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  It goes on to say that God created man (and women) in His Image.  I am a firm believer that God wants us to be able to create.  We don't all get creative the same ways, because we are all also created uniquely.  Some of you may be better at things than others and that's great, too!  I have a sweet friend who learned how to watercolor and she is amazing at what she does.  I probably won't ever create something as beautiful as she has, but I know that isn't going to stop me from trying something new and feeling satisfied by brushing paint across a paper in an attempt to makes something beautiful.  So, don't let fear of failure stop you these next few months.  Give your mind a break and try something creative.  Use creating to give margin and life to your tired, overworked souls.  Try it with a friend and see what happens when you add laughter to the mix.  The effects of creating are so helpful for our weary souls. 

I remember being pregnant and being told that I wouldn't have time to create once my baby came.  It was even recommended that I just get rid of my stuff.  I am so thankful that I did not head their advice because those opportunities to be creative that first year of being a mom helped my very tired, very sore (post c-section), new mom find joy in the midst of sleepless nights and finding my groove as a stay at home mom.  I am very confident that scheduling in times where I can be creative is so beneficial to the way my mind works. 

So, as we start this school year, let's do it creatively and let's cheer each other on. 

Follow me on FB here and on instagram here to stay inspired and join the community so we can cheer each other on. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Back to School Time!

Summer vacation came to an end this week and my back to reality we all went.  Back to waking up to an alarm, packing lunches, homework, and attempting to get these two off to school on time.  As much as I was not quite ready for heading back into a routine (I like staying up late and sleeping in), I am pretty sure that Ethan was ready, he has been all sorts of antsy ever since we came home from vacation.  Weston is a completely different story, he is always sad to leave the quiet of the house. . . unless we are going on a vacation.  He is loving school, though! 

In honor of the first week, I thought I would share some tips that we have learned over the past few years that have really helped keep our year organized and sane.  These are things that we have used every year just because they work for our family.  Your family may have different dynamics or things that work better.  I'm just sharing ours. 

1.  Stay organized.  I am not always great at this, but when I do things go so much smoother than I ever dream.  We have a family command center that has a computer (we've replaced that old clunky one with a little laptop), the kids each have their own bench and drawer, a place to hang their backpacks.  They know where their stuff goes, so it usually goes back into the spots.  If things are too heavy, they just get put into the crate under neath them.  The library books also go in there, so they have a home so we don't loose them.    On the bulletin board, we keep a monthly calendar, weekly calendar, and the menu plan.  By planning meals, we save money and time by not daily trying to figure out what we are going to eat.  Since, I know I know our schedule for the week when I am meal planning, I can plan for specific meals on nights where there are meetings or sports practices.  You can see the original command center post here.
2.  Create a routine that works with your family.  The teacher in my loves routine.  I have always found that kids thrive in an environment that they know what to expect.  This is the first year, we aren't using our mourning routine cards because they have this down (You can read about them here though).  I did make one for our oldest that stays in the bathroom and reminds him about deodoarant and washing his face, because he's a boy who would rather be doing other things and we need to make it a habit.  We also have daily chore cards that have helped so much because if it's in writing, there is nothing to argue about.  These chore cards tell them which days they set the table or clear off the table, empty the dishwasher, fold clothes, etc.  They know what's expected of them and have learned that the sooner they get their stuff done the sooner they can veg out our play video games. We try to keep bedtimes at the same time, that includes showers, reading time, and lights out.  We are crazy and our kids are in bed by 8:30 at the latest because they need their sleep.

3.  Get as much done the night before.  I am not a morning person and there never seems to be enough time to get all the things done in the morning.  I have learned that doing things like packing lunches and setting out clothes the night before is a huge help the following morning.  If you need some lunch inspiration, I've got some here and here

4.  Take advantage of sales and learn to wait for the school supply clearance.  When school time rolls around, I know that my kids need certain items for school and certain items in our own stash to keep stocked away for homework and projects.  I also know that this stuff adds up, even when you are buying them on "sale."  I stock up on crayola markers, crayons, and colored pencils when they are a dollar and 50 cents.  Don't be cheap and by the store brands. . . they just don't work as much.  Also, stock up when Ticonderoga pencils go on sale.  Grab a few packs of paper and a couple notebooks and then wait.  Wait so patiently for all that stuff to be marked down and then go buy your notebooks and paper for almost nothing.  And then see what else is there.  You will thank me, I promise.  (also, I shop at Target. . . I don't know how that works for Walmart).
5. Choose to love on your child's teacher.  I say this every year, but it something that is so important.  Teachers work so incredibly hard for very little acknowledgement. They don't do it to receive those words of praise, they do it because they love kids and want to see them thrive.  They spend money out of their own pockets and put in more hours then the normal school day to make your child's learning experience one for the books!  So, pick up an extra wish list item or grab them their favorite chocolate bar on a rough week.  Don't wait for teacher appreciation week to spoil them.  And really, get to know the person who is spending all day with your child.  Volunteer in their room or see if there is anything they can help you with.  Periodically check in on your child.  This really helps build a great child-parent-teacher relationship that I kind of took for granted until my child got into a fight and ended up suspended last year.  Trust me, not the phone call you want to get.  But, knowing that my child had an incredibly loving teacher and an equally loving administrative staff, I knew that my child was going to be okay and the suspension was not going to change the way that he was loved on by the staff. 

I am sure you have a lot of things you do and I would love to hear them!  I am always looking for ideas to make our transition into school mode a smooth one!  Feel free to leave a comment and feel free to even share.  It totally makes my day when someone reads my blog and leaves a comment!  

I hope you have a fantastic first week of school! 


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