Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!

I am so glad the weekend is finally here! There are so many good things in life right now, but this week has just been a series of unfortunate events.

My husband's brand new car was the victim of a hit and run. (Thank goodness for a vanishing deductible.) I rolled my ankle while coming down the steps and could barely walk for 2 days. Now it's just a dull ache. Our water heater is starting to go and it heats up the water to approximately 5000 degrees (or so). It feels about as lovely as it sounds. Grant is putting in long hours at the office due to an increased workload. I had a work issue today that left me in tears. And to top off the week, my parents had to put their dog down tonight. It was a dog they got when I was still living at home so now I'm just feeling sad and old and pathetic. Oh, and did I mention that I have 4 blog posts and 2 photoshoots due by Sunday night and 2 weeks to find a new SUV to lease? I really could use a vacation from everyday life right now!

I hate to complain. I really do. But sometimes I just need to vent! Now that I got it out of my system...

Here are the Friday Favorites that I'm loving this week!


{ONE}

Weekly visits with our horse!

The kids and I head to the stable every weekend for a visit with our horse. Notice I left out my husband? Grant and Cherokee have not been friends since Cherokee nearly bucked Grant off while he was riding! The kids, however, love him and I am so thankful that one of my four children is a natural on horseback!

On Friday, Lily told me she wanted a saddle and a helmet for her upcoming birthday and wants me to teach her how to ride the real way. I was unbelievably proud!

Appaloosa

{TWO}

A new show addiction on Netflix!

Is anybody else watching Stranger Things? Grant convinced me to start watching it and we're hooked! We only have 2 more episodes left! #StreamTeam

Stranger Things


{THREE}

Liam's new water table!

The kids use our water table almost every day all year round and after a decade of use, it was time to replace it. We bought Liam the Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand & Water Table as an early birthday present and he loves it!

Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand & Water Table

{FOUR}

A gorgeous birthday gift for my husband!

Grant's birthday is on Sunday and he's going to absolutely love his gift. He has been jealous of my beautiful JORD watch since I got it, so he's going to be thrilled to have one of his own!

JORD watches

{FIVE}

Summer days spent with my four sweet kids!

Summer is my favorite time of the year and I'm savoring all these moments with my kids at home. Do we really have to go back to school?!?

Friday Favorites

{SIX}

This super easy, super cute puffy paint craft! It was one of our Camp Mom activities this past week. My kids love puffy paint and this craft turned out to be one of my favorite keepsakes so far! (You can read more HERE.)

Puffy Paint

{SEVEN}

 $150 Minted Giveaway and these awesome personalized name labels!

I'm labeling everything to prepare for the school year ahead and I love these stick on labels. There's a $150 Minted credit up for grabs on my blog HERE!

Minted personalized name labels

{EIGHT}

An awesome new photoshoot location!

On Tuesday, we headed to a nearby conservancy for Liam's Down syndrome awareness photoshoot.  My friend took the pictures for the calendar, but I snapped a few of her taking their pictures. We went to a wedding at this conservancy 4 years ago but I forgot how gorgeous it was AND that it's not too far from our house! I'm definitely going to start heading there for photoshoots because there are so many photo perfect backgrounds, including this one!  (And, well, these four are my absolute favorite things!)

friday favorites

What are you loving this week?

Let's Connect!



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Downright Blessed: Don't Be Sorry

When you find out that you're going to have a baby, you immediately picture a perfect bundle of joy.  Every parent wants and expects a perfect, healthy baby. But for some parents, that bundle of joy isn't quite what they expected.


It can be shocking or awkward when you find out that a family member or a friend's baby has a birth defect or genetic condition.  Saying "I'm sorry" is the natural instinct, but it really isn't the right thing to say. A simple "Congratulations! He/She is beautiful!" or even a "What can I do for you?" is a much better option!


Cathleen, from The Small Family Chronicles, is here to explain why you shouldn't feel sorry!

 033

Last night I went to our Down syndrome organization’s annual charity gala. It was a fabulous night filled with fabulous people. At one point, though, I almost had to step outside for a moment. To introduce our Fund a Need portion of the event, a mother gave a speech that nearly brought me to tears (probably along with the rest of the audience).

This year’s Fund a Need was our New Parent Support program. This is exactly what it sounds like: Our director of new parent support, Nancy, reaches out to new families who either have welcomed a child with Down syndrome or are expecting a baby with Down syndrome. She visits them in the hospital, at their home, or at our office—their choice. She invites them to attend our Early Connections support group so they can meet other families with babies and young children with Down syndrome. She throws them a lifeline and safety net at a very tender time. I remember that time myself, very well. Nancy wasn’t on board then—Martha, the founder of the Down Syndrome Connection, was. I talked to her on the phone, and she was so supportive and understanding and encouraging. And then I came into the office with a tiny newborn Sam in person, and I immediately felt like I had found a second home.

And somehow, that tenderness doesn’t go away. That feeling of being so scared…but then so accepted and supported, too. It’s a whole range of emotions wrapped up in one ball—some good, some scary, but all powerful.

So when the young mother of an infant girl with Down syndrome got up and spoke about the New Parent Support program, which she reached out to when she got a prenatal diagnosis, it tugged at my heart. And when she said, with her voice breaking, that the doctor who called to deliver the prenatal test results over the phone said “I’m sorry…,” my heart cracked a little bit. Because, like me, that mother hadn’t gotten a positive view of Down syndrome at first. She had only gotten the negative, and it had hurt her…just as it had hurt me when it happened to me. It’s a bruise on my heart that never really goes away and remains tender when poked, and it’s why I do what I do. By doing medical outreach, I get our organization’s name and contact information into the hands of medical providers so they can direct families receiving a diagnosis to Nancy, who can then welcome them into the organization and provide them whatever support they need.

And I got to thinking about that “I’m sorry.” Another friend in the community recently commented that her husband got the “I’m sorry” remark about their son the other day. And I thought, what a tough one that is. What’s our immediate response when we hear someone we care about is facing a challenging situation? “I’m sorry.” Because you are sorry; you don’t want to see someone you care about struggling. So I think it’s a natural response, but on the other hand, I want to say, “Don’t be sorry. Because I’m not.”

2016-06-04 13.43.22

How could I be? How could I be sorry that I get to raise the most amazing little guy? A child who greets every day with a huge smile and a cheerful “Hiiiiiii!!!!” when I come in his room?

How could I be sorry that I get to witness perseverance at its best? A child who works so very, very hard to accomplish things, and then is ever so proud when he does? Just this morning, we reached the major milestone of him being able to pull up his pants on his own. Sound like something tiny? Yes, but it was huge. It’s years in the making, and it’s exciting! He was incredibly proud of himself, with a huge smile on his face to match mine!

How could I be sorry that I get to raise a little boy who has prompted so many people to say to me, “He has changed my life”? Four short years he’s been here, and he’s already changing lives. He gives people a glimpse into a world that they might not have gotten to be a part of if it weren’t for him.

How could I be sorry to get to watch an incredible brotherly bond between him and Theo? Their adoration is absolutely mutual, and it is probably the thing that makes me happiest in life—watching my two boys playing together and supporting one another.

How could I be sorry to live with a child who embraces every last bit of life? Who is downright joyful about the simple act of loading up in my Ergo back-carrier and walking his brother to school every morning? “Pouch!” he says to me, handing me the Ergo to put on, and then he stands there, literally bouncing in excitement, while I strap on the Ergo and pick him up to swing him into it.

And how could I be sorry when his tantrums remind me how very, very typical our life really is? It’s a funny thing to appreciate tantrums, but it reminds me that he’s very much a four-year-old boy, before anything else.

2016-03-09 17.15.09-2

How could I be sorry, too, when I get to meet so many other excellent people who share his chromosomal anomaly? Like Eli, who identifies himself as a rocker and self-advocate, and who is instrumental in the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, encouraging local students to pledge not to use three words: retard, retarded, and Trump. (That last one was his recent addition. His mother is slightly mortified about him politicizing, but I for one was delighted to see that he is now a registered voter and can cast his own vote to help end the T word. ;-) ) And Marissa, another self-advocate, a poised and lovely young woman who works our local events and is such a positive face for our organization. And Adam, who just turned 21 and couldn’t wait to buy his first beer! And Joseph, who calmly announced during his short speech at the Gala that his favorite part of working for our organization is payday! Smart man, Joseph…that’s my favorite day, too. And Blair, who loves to talk sports with visitors to our office and calmly offers his condolences to families who do not have children with Down syndrome.

There’s no sorry about it—my life is better for having Sam in it, and it’s better for knowing a huge group of people who I never would have met if it were not for having Sam. I am, for sure, one of the lucky ones.

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{Post originally published on The Small Family Chronicles on May 22, 2016}

Thank you so much for sharing your incredibly wise words, Cathleen!  Sam is adorable!  

Downright Blessed Life With Down Syndrome

If you would like to contribute to the Downright Blessed: Life with Down Syndrome blog series, please send an email to lexieloolilyboodylantoo@yahoo.com.

Let's Connect!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short

"The days are long but the years are short." It seems like most moms are saying those words these days. But I disagree. The days are short and the years are even shorter.


The days are long but the years are short.

Perhaps it's just one of those things that you don't realize until you're surrounded by kids. After trying desperately to meet the needs of 4+ kids all day there simply isn't any time to ponder over the fact that the day felt too long. The truth is, there's not ENOUGH time in one day! I can't even remember what it was like to have just one or two kids, let alone remember life before kids, but I imagine there was more time. At this point in my life, I'm seriously considering just giving up on sleep entirely.

I was rushing around the house tonight, just trying to get the nightly chores done so I could go to bed before 4 AM. As I passed by Lexie and Lily's window, the full moon caught my eye and I was immediately drawn to it. I had what felt like a million things on my to do list, but in that moment, I was still. The beauty of it took my breath away and I realized that I'm never still long enough to enjoy the simplest things in life. My days pass by in a blur of activity and chaos and I'm always looking ahead to the next task. As I stared up at the moon tonight, the realization of how quickly time passes by hit me like a ton of bricks.

This is the part where I'm supposed to exclaim "Where did time go?!?"  But I know exactly where time went. It slipped away during all those hours I spent changing diapers, feeding kids, constantly worrying, cleaning up the endless mess, negotiating to end conflicts, continuously washing loads of laundry, and herding children to and fro. That's motherhood in a nutshell. It's just sprinkled with the most incredible moments of happiness that will take your breath away, bring tears to your eyes and make you feel like the luckiest woman alive.

I'm feeling all the feels right now. I don't want Summer to end. I don't want the school year to start. And I certainly don't want my babies to grow up so darn quickly. I know it's entirely selfish of me to feel that way because the point of having kids is to raise them and watch them grow. But time is speeding up and I'm losing control.

Every mother reaches a point in their journey where they stop and think "What the heck is going on?" I thought that moment for me was when the doctor sat down in the delivery room and delivered a life-changing diagnosis. To hear those incredibly terrifying words come out of his mouth made my heart plummet and made tumultuous thoughts fill my head. I was so angry in that moment and the only thing I could think was "I don't want THIS life."  But it's the life I was given and it's the life I would choose over and over again.

The days are long but the years are short.

That moment wasn't my what-the-heck moment, though. I'm currently experiencing my what-the-heck moment.  In the span of 4 weeks, my baby girl will turn 5, my BABY will turn 3, my oldest child will head into his last year of elementary school, my 5 year old will start Kindergarten and be away from me every day, and my sweet baby boy will start preschool which is a decision that I'm still struggling with. And I'm left standing here, thinking, "What. The. He$&?"

This motherhood gig is a tough one. It can be so frustrating and so incredibly rewarding at the same time. Thankfully the good outweighs the bad by far. There are so many moments when my family is together and I can't help but smile from all the joy and love that fills my soul and my heart literally feels like it will burst. I can't help but think that I will never be happier than I am at this very moment. I want to hold on to those moments as tight as I possibly can and never let go.

The next time I gaze up at that full moon, it will be hovering over the ocean. It will be Summer's last hurrah before the return to reality and the return of another school year. It will be the last moment of normalcy before life takes a drastic turn. I'm usually a glass half full kind of girl, but not right now. Not in this stage of my life.

Hold on tight, mamas. The days may feel long right now but it's only an incredibly short time frame in the story of your life. Enjoy the moment, live in the now and embrace every single beautiful and frustrating moment, because these are the moments that we will remember. These are the moments we will be wishing back in the not too distant future.

I definitely don't like this new reality and I don't like the feeling of time slipping rapidly through my fingers, but I will adjust. That's what mothers do. The truth is, motherhood is just a series of experiences that fall between full moons. Those full moons are just an indication of the passing of time, but what really matters is all the moments that fill up the days between.

Yes, the days pass by so quickly and the years pass by quicker than we could ever imagine, but the goal is to make each moment count! I want to be still. I want to enjoy the simple moments in life. I want to hold my four kids in my arms, close my eyes and pretend that they're still my tiny babies instead of these big kids who are racing toward adulthood. I want to savor the now. Those years that passed by so rapidly were the best years of my life but the now is absolutely incredible. No matter how quickly life passes by, my four blessings will ALWAYS be my babies and I will always be eternally grateful for the gift of motherhood.


motherhood

Let's Connect! 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kids Activities: Camp Mom Week 6

When I started coming up with ideas for my Camp Mom Summer project, I honestly didn't think we would be able to complete more than one full week of kids activities.  Surprisingly, we managed to complete 6 weeks already and my kids are loving it!


There were so many fun kids activities this week and my kids declared it the best week of Camp Mom so far! The girls whipped up their own Kool-Aid lipgloss, we beat the heat with a play date at the spray park, Lexie created a vanilla mallowreos recipe (FYI-she named them!), we set up our own DIY backyard splash pad and the kids made adorable puffy paintings.  It really was a fun week!

We did have one fail, though!  We originally put a backyard foil river activity on our schedule and ended up replacing it after a fail of epic proportions.  Even heavy duty aluminum foil didn't hold up. After 3 incredibly frustrating tries, we gave up and opted for a DIY backyard splash pad, instead. That was MUCH more fun!

Here's a quick recap of the kids activities we did for Camp Mom Week 6 (Recipes and Instructions included): 

Kids Activities for Camp Mom


Kool-Aid Lipgloss {Camp Mom Day 26}

Kids Activities Kool-Aid Lipgloss

My girls are a bit obsessed with lipgloss. They definitely get it from me! Lexie has been asking to make her own lipgloss for months, so we bought a few supplies and we finally completed this easy project!


Supply List:

  • Small cosmetic jars (found in the travel section)

  • Large jar of Vaseline

  • Packets of Kool-Aid

  • Honey

  • Bowls and spoons for mixing


Kids Activities Kool-Aid Lipgloss

Instructions:

  1. Divide the amount of Vaseline you will need to fill your jars between 2-4 bowls.

  2. Empty a Kool-Aid packet into each bowl.

  3. Add a few drops of honey (for flavor) to each bowl. 

  4. Mix thoroughly.

  5. Carefully spoon the mixture into each jar.

 Kool-Aid Lipgloss

This was a quick and easy project that the girls were able to complete on their own. The jars are reusable so they will be able to make another batch and refill their jars in a few weeks!

Spray Park {Camp Mom Day 27}

 

Kids Activities Spray Park

When the weather heats up, head to a local spray park! There's a great one about 25 minutes away from our house and it's free. We love to meet our friends at the spray park for play dates! 

We had a great time at the spray park, but I'm going to save all those pictures for another post!

Spray Park

DIY Backyard Splash Pad {Camp Mom Day 28}

 

Kids Activities DIY Backyard Splash Pad

This was a really simple idea that turned out to be a lot of fun! My kids were occupied for hours!

Supplies:

  • Large Tarp

  • Baby Pool

  • Bubble Bath 

  • Slide

  • Sprinkler

  • Water Table

  • Sponge Bombs

  • Boogie Boards

No instructions needed! Just put down a large tarp in your backyard, gather up your outdoor water toys (pool, sprinkler, water table, etc) and set them up on or around the tarp! Make sure you place the sprinkler in the middle because that's what turns the tarp into a giant slip and slide! We opted to place the tarp next to the slide, so we could put the baby pool full of bubbles and balls at the bottom of the slide. 

 

DIY Backyard Splash Pad

 It was a great way to spend a Summer day!

 

Vanilla Mallowreos {Camp Mom Day 29}

 

 Kids Activities Vanilla Mallowreos

 

Lexie loves to bake and she's always concocting simple no-bake recipes on her own! When she goes grocery shopping with me she always picks up a few extras for her concoctions. She came up with an idea for a sandwich cookie using vanilla wafers and marshmallow fluff and it actually tasted really good!  She lovingly dubbed this recipe Vanilla Malloweos, because she said it tastes like a vanilla wafer version of golden Oreos!



Ingredients: 

  • Vanilla Wafers

  • Marshmallow Fluff 

  • Rainbow Sprinkles

No Bake Cookie Recipe

 

Directions:

  1. Place a glob of marshmallow fluff on the bottom of a vanilla wafer. 

  2. Place another vanilla wafer on top to make a sandwich.

  3. Empty the sprinkles onto a plate and gently roll the outside of the vanilla wafer sandwich cookies in the sprinkles.

Enjoy! 


Kids Activities

 

Mom Confession: I'm secretly hoping that Lexie takes over the cooking one day! 

 

Puffy Paint Ice Cream Cones {Camp Mom Day 30}

 

Puffy Paint Ice Cream Cone Craft

 

My kids are huge fans of puffy paint! It's such a simple recipe that leaves behind the softest texture after it dries. Painting with Puffy Paint is a fun sensory experience!


Supplies:

  • Construction Paper

  • Cones cut out of brown construction paper

  • Large bottle of white school glue

  • Can of white shaving cream

  • Food Coloring

  • Sprinkles 

  • Bowls and Paintbrushes

 

Kids Activities Puffy Paint Crafts


Directions: 

  1. Mix equal parts glue and shaving cream in the bowls. 

  2. Add drops of food coloring to each bowl and mix.

  3. Glue the brown construction paper cone onto the sheet of construction paper. 

  4. Paint the ice cream on top of the cone.

  5. Shake sprinkles all over the puffy paint.

  6. Dry overnight.

 

 Puffy Paint

Kids Activities

 Kids Activities


A sure sign that kids love this activity? My too-cool tween actually joined in!

Kids Activities

That, my friends, is how we rocked Camp Mom this week!


 Coming up next week:


  • Golfish Bag Slime

  • Jello Cup Aquariums

  • Field Trip

  • Aquarium Sensory Bottles

  • Foil Fish Craft


You might also like the kids activities in these posts:

Camp Mom Week One
Camp Mom Week Two
Camp Mom Week Three
Camp Mom Week Four 
Camp Mom Week Five

What activities are you doing with your kids this Summer?


LET'S CONNECT!


Linking up for Tuesday Talk.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Personalized Name Labels from Minted: A Review + $150 GIVEAWAY

One of the most difficult everyday tasks as a mom of four is keeping track of all of our belongings! My four kids have a LOT of stuff and leaving the house with four kids can be quite an experience.

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway

The most used phrase in our home right now is "Where is your {insert lost item here}?!?" Most items are lost within our home, but I especially hate it when my kids return home without their belongings. That's why I now rely on a secret weapon: Personalized name labels from Minted! I love to find ways to make mom life just a bit easier, so I eagerly jumped on board with labeling all the things!

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway

Minted offers so many personalized labels to customize items that belong to your children. You can personalize these labels with your child's name, add contact information and customize them even further with a photo of your child!

Here's what makes personalized name labels from Minted so special: 

  • These durable stick-on labels are waterproof, dishwasher safe, laundry safe and non-toxic!

  • They are affordably priced, starting at just $16 for a sheet of 72 stickers. 

  • They are perfect for labeling any item-clothing, shoes, cups, pencil cases and more!

I put these labels to the test and they are certainly durable! The labels on the cups held up while being washed and the labels on clothing and an extra special lovey lasted through a spin in the washer. They didn't peel off the items and they still look brand new!

Sizes and amounts of stickers vary according to the design. Personalized name labels are available in several sizes and shapes including:

  • Clothing Tag

  • Circle

  • Curved Frame

  • Rounded Rectangle

  • Rounded Square 

  • Heart

Here are just a few of the common items that can be customized with a personalized name label!

  • Clothing

  • Shoes

  • Cups and Bottles

  • Lunch Boxes and Food Containers

  • Pencil Boxes

  • Books, Notebooks, Folders and Journals

  • Favorite toys, Loveys and Blankets

  • Electronics

  • Backpacks

  • Sports Equipment

  • Musical Instrument Cases


While I was shopping for Personalized Name Labels on Minted, I found so many great options! There truly is something for every child and there are so many personalized features. Although I was initially drawn to the photo options, I really wanted customized labels that would grow with my children.

I ended up finding the perfect option for each child and I added their full name and phone number to their label. I did erase our last name and phone number in the pictures for security reasons, so I'm going to include an example of each type of personalized name label from Minted for reference.

Here are the personalized name labels that I ended up choosing for my children:

Half Pipe

I chose skateboard name labels for my skateboarder son, Dylan. There were 5 different colors to choose from and he opted for teal. This style starts at $16 for 32 labels.

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway 

{SOURCE}

Confetti Shower

This was the personalized name label choice for both girls. They were both drawn to the polka dots and it's definitely an option that will grow with them! This style is also available in 5 colors. Lexie chose Tropical Punch and Lily chose Orchid. This style starts at $16 for 32 labels.

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway 

Confetti Shower Custom Name Labels 

{SOURCE}

Superhero

This style caught my eye immediately because it fits Liam perfectly! We call Liam "SuperLiam" and he has the symbol with the L in the middle on several of his shirts. This is available in 6 colors, but I opted for the traditional Royal color scheme. This style starts at $16 for 24 labels. 

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway 

{SOURCE}


Right now, Summer is in full swing. My family is constantly on the go and our days are filled with activities. Every time we leave the house, we take a lot of stuff with us, including snacks and cups! These personalized name labels are perfect for our many Summer outings and activities. Customizing Dylan, Lexie, Lily and Liam's belongings helps ensure that the items go home with the rightful owner!

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway
Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway

Although we don't want to think about it just yet, we will soon be heading back to school. The use of these labels will transition seamlessly into the upcoming school year. With 4 kids in school this year, I plan to label EVERYTHING! These personalized name labels will help keep us organized!

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway
Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway

I was thoroughly impressed with the personalized name labels from Minted and I love having everything properly labeled!

GIVEAWAY

 

Minted has generously offered to give away one $150 credit to one of my readers!  Entering is simple! Just click on the link below and enter your first name, last name and email. Giveaway will start today and last for one week. Winner will be notified by email. Good luck!

ENTER HERE!!!


Official Rules: This giveaway is only open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are at least 18 years old as of the date of entry, except officers, directors, members, and employees of the Sponsor, the judging organization (if applicable), or any other party associated with the development or administration of this Promotion, and the immediate family (i.e., parents, children, siblings, spouse), and persons residing in the same household, as such individuals. This Promotion is void outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited.

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 giveaway

In addition to the giveaway, Minted is running a fun contest right now called #MintedBox. This Summer, Minted is shipping their stationary products in unique themed boxes.  The boxes unfold and the kids (or YOU) can cut out costumes that you can have fun with!

 

Here's how to enter the contest:
 

1. After you receive your #MintedBox, take a photo of your most imaginative Minted Box scene. Roll up your sleeves and get creative!

2. Upload your favorite photo to the #MintedBox Photo Gallery via Instagram or Minted.com, geo-tag your city, and include a caption to tell us how far your Minted Box has traveled to meet you. People can post their boxes between now and Sept 5. Each week, we'll have a post on social with a "Box of the Week" winner. These people will be awarded a $100 Minted Credit. There will be eight total winners.


Thank you to Minted for sponsoring today's post and inspiring me to stay organized through the Summer and into the upcoming school year! Any product that helps me wrangle the chaos is a must!

Personalized Name Labels from Minted Review and $150 Giveaway

Head on over to their site to check out all the beautiful personalized name label options!  Which personalized name label would you choose?


*I received product in exchange for my honest review. No other form of compensation was received.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, my friends! 

I hope you're all managing to stay cool this week. I don't know about where you live, but Pittsburgh is sweltering and humid right now!

This week seemed to last forever and I had so many things on my to do list. I'm definitely feeling drained tonight, so I'm going to keep my Friday Favorites short and sweet! Here's what I'm loving this week:

{ONE}

I'm feeling very disheartened by all the hate in our country right now. I suppose the only thing I can do is teach my four children to love everyone despite their race, religion, gender or ability and teach them that violence is NEVER okay.

I always tell everyone that I share what life is really like with Down syndrome so often because I want to spread all the love and joy that just seems to radiate from Liam. It's still a tough world for a person who has Down syndrome to live in, but they are the ones who are getting it right. Liam loves and accepts others the way all human beings should.  These shirts from Trendy Bubs were released this week and I immediately fell in love! What an incredible message to spread right now!

Spread-LOVE-tees-1009x1024
{SOURCE}

{TWO} 


These name and clothing labels from Minted are awesome!  They are waterproof, dishwasher and laundry safe AND non-toxic. Right now, they're perfect for Summer camps and activities. And although we don't want to utter that dreaded 3 word phrase, they're every bit as perfect for Back To School! Come back on Monday for my full review and an amazing $150 Minted giveaway!

007


{THREE}

I love to shop small and purchase unique items. And I love a good mail day! One day this week, I was thrilled to receive a mailbox full of goodies instead of the usual junk mail and bills.

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Moccs- Olly Oaks
Rash Guard & Swim Trunks- SwimZip
5 Shirt / Kindergarten Diva Outfit / Back To School Outfit / Hair Clip - The Hairbow Company



{FOUR}


Our Educational Busy Bags Binder is Liam and Lily's current favorite! We use it every day. It was a quick, inexpensive project and a great way to organize all the learning materials and flashcards!

280

{FIVE}

I had so much fun participating in a Favorite Things Exchange with some of my favorite bloggers! I sent a few of my favorite things, which were all purchased at Target. I keep all of these items in my purse and at home at all times!

006

{SIX} 

How about a little joy to kick off the weekend? I love this kid with every ounce of my being!

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What are you loving this week?

I hope you all have a wonderful Summer weekend full of love! XOXO 

LET'S CONNECT!