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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Princess Party

I'm not going to try to pretend I'm the party planner type. I'm definitely not. I like to keep parties super simple and low stress and to be honest for this stage of life we're in- low budget too. But I still wanted to share a couple ideas from the girls' princess party...


For our craft we made magic wands. I took the easy route and bought magic wand kits from Target. Literally opened the box, and away we went. I did get a little crafty painting glue on a black chalkboard sign leftover from Halloween and sprinkling it with glitter for our "Make a wand..." sign. I also picked up viles of glitter for fairy dust.


Few things drive me as crazy as shoes in my house. Anytime someone comes and walks around in shoes I'm honestly cringing the whole time. I'm not a clean freak but shoes that have been all over everywhere inside the same floor my 2 year old eats off (because that's what 2 years old do) gross. So I made this chalkboard sign to go by the door. I thought it was a very gentle way of saying TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!! I've actually kept this sign up after the party. It seems to work well as a polite way to invite guests to leave their shoes at the door. 


Of course I did do a little mini shoot of the girls in their princess costumes before the birthday craziness hit. And I'm so glad I did because you know what- they didn't want to wear their princess dresses for the party. EK kept asking for her supergirl costume and saying "Super Girl to da rescue" so I obliged. Some has got to keep the princesses safe I suppose.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

More Fall Photos at The Eno

I can hardly believe it's my fourth year in a row photographing this precious family! A and I survived our first year of motherhood hand in hand. I don't know what I would have done without her! 

Here's a look at our fun filled family session at one of my favorite spots The Eno...









Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fall Minis at The Eno River













Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Halloween Night 2016: A Night with Anna & Elsa

We went through several Halloween costume options this year. First they were going to be superheros sporting tutus (BatGirl and SuperGirl), then they were going to be Duke cheerleaders (I even bought a Duke cheerleading shirt to coordinate) and then finally settled on some Anna & Elsa costumes from Coscto. Well at least I can use my Duke cheerleading tee come basketball season! 

We had such a fun night trick or treating our neighborhood! Our first time time really doing trick or treating! 







At the end of the night we had Caroline pick something she really really wanted (she picked footed fleece Christmas jammies, she'd been asking for them for weeks). Then we let her pick 3 pieces of candy from her bag (one for each year old) and then she traded the rest of her over stuffed bag of candy for those desired Christmas jammies. She's been very happy with the trade as is this health conscious mama. 

I think it also helped her self control that she got a Halloween cupcake from our favorite cupcake shoppe (thanks to our sweet neighbor) before trick or treating so she didn't feel like she was missing out on treats. 



Would love to know my fellow mamas how you handle the candy overload of Halloween? 


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Homeschool Preschool Curriculum & The Ultimate Fall Book List for Preschool/Kindergarten Ages

Charlotte Mason put a strong emphasis on nature in her educational philosophy. And fall is such a wonderful time to incorporate nature studies. 

There are so many wonderful books about leaves, pumpkins, and everything fall. But I think every other mom in my area has been thinking the same thing so we're still in line waiting for several of our holds on autumn books at our library. Here's what we've enjoyed reading so far:


We also decorated our pumpkin with alphabet stickers. I had originally intended to paint our pumpkins because carving pumpkin just isn't young child friendly and I wanted them to be able to be hands on in the pumpkin decorating. But fall has gotten so busy with photography for me so we just used some alphabet stickers I had on hand for an easy mess free pumpkin decorating activity. We talked about the letters and their sounds as we decorated. 





We also visited the pumpkin patch. Now there are lots of pumpkin patch options in our area. But keeping with our theme of Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool preschool I wanted out pumpkin patch visit to not feel like we're visiting a mini fair or mini theme park. I wanted a simple setting that encouraged the girls to play and explore their natural environment. Fortunately a little nursery down the road was perfect for that. There were goats to feed, a swam to greet us, a little bridge over a trickling creek to explore and pumpkins to pick from. 


Here's a few pictures. 





It was such a great experience. The more we lean towards incorporating Charlotte Mason's ideas on learning and childhood into our homeschool preschool the more I believe in the goodness and richness of her teaching philosophy. I highly recommend this book if you're new to Charlotte Mason and want to learn more. You'll be so inspired...



Here's a list of other favorite fall homeschool preschool activities inspired by Charlotte Mason that I just haven't photographed:

1) gathering acorns and playing imagining games with them (they became "food", currency, people- all kinds of things in our imaginary play) Charlotte Mason puts a strong emphasis on these types of unorganized play for children. 

2) going on a walk and observing all the signs of fall 

3) drawing pictures of the things we see appearing in nature during fall such as leaves changing colors, pumpkins, acorns...

4) reading lots and lots of books about nature's changes during fall (see above list for a resource) 

5) saving fall leaves in a leaf press

6) doing leaf imprints and acorn imprints with clay or playdough





Like I said, keep check back as I'l be updating this post with more fun fall homeschool preschool activities through the end of November.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sticky Fingers




Saturday, September 3, 2016

Paleo Pumpkin Waffles


Tis the season. The season for pumpkin EVERYTHING. Or am I the only one?

This is one of our favorite family recipes. I make a batch of these paleo pumpkin waffles several times a week. And they're never around for long. They get eaten so quickly! I like them because they're easy to make and healthy. My oldest likes eating them the traditional way- with butter and maple syrup at the table with a fork. But my youngest and I eat them on the go- I just grab a few from the fridge, toast them in the toaster oven and eat them straight up. They're that good that they don't require all the traditional waffle fixings. Lately I've started making another paleo waffle recipe- blueberry coconut paleo waffles...I'll post that recipe later.

Now let's get to this recipe!

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (more if you're used to sweet waffles, I prefer mine less sweet)
- 1 banana, very ripe like you'd use for banana bread
- 2 eggs
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins grassfed gelatin for an added protein punch (optional) 
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup almond meal (Bob's Red Mill is my go to)
- dash of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender (I have a Blendtec and it really does the job! Worth every penny) or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into waffle maker and away you go. I store a big container of them in my fridge. Then we just toast them as we eat them. I almost always double the batch when I make it and even doubled these waffles don't linger long in our house!

Why grassfed gelatin?
I started adding grassfed gelatin and collage peptides into my diet to help my back pain post back to back pregnancies and I've noticed a difference in my pain. It's also helped bring life back to my skin and hair which after back to back pregnancies and over a year of nursing was lacking in lustre. And postpartum hair loss anyone? It really helped that grow back so quickly. I'd recommend sticking with a grassfed brand like Vital Proteins. Bone broth is also a great way to get gelatin and collagen into your diet. I used to make my own...but mama hack here: Coscto now carries organic chicken bone broth and it's fantastic! 








Monday, August 22, 2016

Time Is Precious