Our Five Ring Circus

Thursday, January 23, 2020

How To Soothe & Heal Dry, Itchy, Cracked, Winter Hands

How To Soothe & Heal Dry, Itchy, Cracked, Winter Hands

Winter is upon us, and with it comes some pesky problems! So many people struggle with dry skin during the winter, but I was never one of them until just a few years ago. From the time the weather cools down until the time Spring arrives, I have to deal with dry, itchy, cracked hands.

I'm not quite sure what changed, and why it started recently. I don't have dry skin anywhere else on my body. I'm sure it's a combination of dry indoor heating, direct heat from car vents, and exposure to the cold, which is something I can't really change. I take a multivitamin, and we use a humidifier in our home. The dryness just lasts for a few months, and then goes away completely, but while it's here, it's really painful!

After dealing with this condition for several winters, and trying dozens of products, I finally learned a few tricks and found the best products to minimize the discomfort. I can usually keep my hands from getting too dry, keep the itchiness away, and keep the cracked fingertips down to one finger at a time. (Sure, it would be better if it was gone completely, but I'll take it over having painful cracks on every fingertip like I used to!) Here's how I deal with dry, itchy, winter hands...

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Week in the Life of a Big Family {Week 2}

Big Family Life

I can't believe we are more than halfway through the first month of 2020! Is it just me, or does time go by faster each year? I used to always think of January as a boring month, but as my kids get older and my family grows bigger, we get busier, and January is no exception!

Everyday life in a big family is already busy enough, but when we add all the extras to our schedule, life becomes chaotic. We are always on the go! We absolutely have to keep a one extracurricular sport or activity per child rule in our family, but obviously, our schedule changes throughout the year due to seasonal sports and activities.

Week two of 2020 wasn't really remarkable, but there truly is never a dull moment around here! Even when we are running from one thing to the next, I try to keep in mind just how blessed we are to have our beautiful family. Here's an ordinary week in the life of a big family...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Fab {Target} Finds Friday

Parenting and Lifestyle Blog

Happy Friday! I'm so glad it's Friday, and I'm really looking forward to the weekend thanks to having an extra day "off." The return to reality after the holidays was rough, so the three day break is much needed!

I've been participating in Friday Favorites for years, but this year, I'm starting something new: Fab Finds Friday. Here, I'll be sharing my favorite finds from stores, websites, and small shops. It probably won't be every single week, but I'm aiming for twice a month!

I usually stop at Target each week to pick up the little extras (cleaning supplies, pet items, healthcare and beauty items, etc). I also hoard gift cards I receive to Target, and use them to pick up items as I see them. Over the past two weeks, I found some great clearance deals, and some cute seasonal items in the Target Dollar Spot, and decided to share them with you for my first Fab Finds Friday!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

How To Help Your Baby Sleep Better With Little Ones

How To Help Your Baby Sleep Better

This post is sponsored by Little Ones and we received product in exchange for this honest review.

Our fifth baby will be celebrating his first birthday in just a few short months, and he still isn’t sleeping well! Needless to say, this mom of five is exhausted. I knew something needed to change - SOON - and I had to find a sleep method that would help Coen sleep better!

After having four other children you would think I would have figured this sleep thing out by now. Coen, however, is our first fussy baby, so this is new territory. I have a few theories about why he isn’t sleeping well: 1) I walked so much during my pregnancy that he got used to the constant rocking motion, and needs it to fall asleep. 2) He’s our fifth and final baby, and is very spoiled by his siblings and the rest of our family. Everybody wants to hold him all the time! No matter the cause, I’m tired, he’s tired, and we need to get some sleep!

That’s exactly why I turned to Little Ones for help! Little Ones is an online sleep program that gives you detailed sleep and feeding schedules based on your baby’s age, along with lots of information on sleeping, nutrition, self-settling methods, and much more. We’ve been using it for a few weeks, and we’re starting to see some progress! Here’s why you should consider Little Ones to help your baby (and you) sleep better...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Week In The Life of a Big Family {Week 1}

A Week in the Life of a Big Family

We are one week into 2020, and life is just as busy as ever! I honestly don't think it will ever NOT be busy. When you have a big family, there's literally never a dull moment!

Remember when I used to do weekly recap posts? They slowed down last year as I adjusted to life with five kids, but I plan to bring them back this year, and hopefully, stick with it! Time goes by so quickly, and I just want to remember all the little things that made my days with my kids so special! (Plus a few followers asked if I could share more of my family, so that's my plan!)

It's hard to believe that two weeks have already passed since Christmas, and that everybody is already back to work and school. The holiday break is my favorite time of the year, and I was sorry to see it go. The first few days of the new year were a bit rough, but we're back on track this week, and the year is off to a good start. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

35 Easy Ways To Organize Your Life in 2020

35 Easy Ways To Organize Your Life

Now that the new year has begun, everyone is making resolutions, setting goals, and coming up with words to live by. In the past, I have done all of those things, but in 2020, I decided to forgo resolutions, goals, and words of the year. Instead, I'm focusing on living life to the fullest with those I love most, and enjoying all the sweet little moments 2020 will bring!

In order to do so, I'm going to attempt to stay as organized as I possibly can, so I have the time and energy to savor those moments. I probably don't have to tell you this, but raising five kids, dealing with the extra aspects that come with having a child who has special needs, spending time with my husband, running a home, managing a profitable blog/social media accounts, volunteering, enjoying hobbies, and managing 7 busy schedules takes up most of my time. My To Do list seems to get longer with each passing day, and I found myself feeling too stressed and overwhelmed in 2019 to actually fully enjoy the special moments with my family and friends.

At the end of 2019, I sat down and brainstormed ways I could make things easier on myself in 2020 so that doesn't happen again. I took past experiences into consideration, and thought about things that actually worked and things that didn't work. In the end, I was able to put together a list of easy ways to organize my life in 2020. Hopefully some of these methods will work for you, too!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The End of the Decade: What a Difference 10 Years Make

Happy 2020, my friends! I can't believe an entire decade flew by in the blink of an eye, and we're already starting a new one. In 2010, when this past decade began, we just had two children. We celebrated the end of the decade with five children. What a difference from start to finish!

My family celebrated the end of the decade with some of our closest friends, and we rang in the new year together. When you have five children, it's really hard to get away, so our party was VERY kid-friendly, and we had 4 extra children sleep over. Every so often I miss the fancy New Year's Eve celebrations we attended before we had children, but honestly, there's no place I would rather be than surrounded by those I love most! We had a lot of fun, and put together a time capsule that we're going to open in 2030!

To document the end of the decade and the start of a new one, I wanted to share a little timeline of how our story flowed over 10 years. I never imagined these chapters, but the unexpected chapters are the most beautiful ones in our story. We grew so much over the course of a decade!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Importance of Family Dinners + Keto Low Carb Turkey Burgers

The Importance of Family Dinners + Keto Low Carb Turkey Burgers

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

I have a big, busy family, but one of our priorities is regular family dinners! Delicious meals just have a way of bringing families and friends together. As you can imagine, going out to eat with 7 people is expensive, so we do a LOT of cooking at home, and often invite friends and family members to eat with us!

I feel like family dinners are quickly becoming a thing of the past due to the busyness of life. I truly believe that letting this tradition slip away can be detrimental for family togetherness. Taking a brief break from the chaos, even if it's for just 30 minutes, can help families reconnect. Teaching our kids the importance of family togetherness can lead to traditions that they will carry on to their own families one day. 

My own family eats dinner together 5 days a week. We might not sit down until 8 PM or later some days, but we always eat together! Almost every Friday, we visit my parents, and have dinner with them. Over the past year, we started trying new recipes on Saturday nights that we're at home. Now that our kids are older, they do have busy social lives, too, so not everyone is here on weekends, but those who are, get to enjoy meals with family and friends, or try a new meal!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

When Life Hands You The Unexpected, Count Your Blessings!

Big Family Blog

November was a BUSY month for our family! Dylan started PA Cyber School, so there was a big adjustment period for him and for me. All of his work is done online, so he's home with me full time. We also celebrated his 15th birthday! (That post is coming!) We're currently on the hunt for a new private speech therapist for Liam, we got a kitten, and, well, we have five kids, including a baby. There is NO extra time for anything!

We absolute love the holiday season! My family was so excited for Thanksgiving this year, but it didn't go exactly as planned. Actually, far from it. Instead of celebrating Thanksgiving with our families, we ended up staying home as the flu swept through our family.

Needless to say, it was a stressful two weeks. I just kept reminding myself to count my blessings, and focus on everything I was thankful for. Despite the illness, we made the most of it, and enjoyed our time together!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Holiday Gifts 2019 - Tablift

Down syndrome blog

I was gifted product in exchange for my honest review.

The countdown is on! Only 23 days until Christmas. I come from a big family, and I have a big family, so there are a lot of holiday gifts to buy for the wonderful family members and friends on my list!

I discovered some awesome products this year, so I'm going to share a few of them with you each week leading up to Christmas. I buy gifts for people of every age and ability. I hate buying the same type of gifts over and over again, but often fall into that trap. I'm always on the lookout for something new and different!

The tablift is perfect for almost everyone on your list! It's perfect for tech lovers. It's perfect for people who have limited mobility or special needs. And it's perfect for people who travel. If they have a tablet, they will love it!