Things have been changing around our house lately… it’s getting tidy! Yes, my kids are doing chores. But that isn’t new. What’s new is that they are excited about it! We’ve been using ChoreMonster for a month or so now, and since it’s working I thought I’d share it with you! To get started we created a list of chores and set some rewards, and the kids are earning points towards their goals with each chore. The real motivator is trying to win the virtual monsters, which are a huge hit with my two monsters! Unless of course our oldest wins a monster and our younger one doesn’t… but then that teaches an important lesson too, doesn’t it.
I’ve tried sticker charts before, and they have never worked for us. We all got bored of them pretty quick. But I’m pretty happy to see that my kids are the ones reminding me about chores most days now. I don’t have to keep them accountable anymore, they are self-motivated! Finally! If you feel like trying it out with your family, you can use this link to get ONE MONTH FREE membership. Let me know what you think if you do!
I only accept brand opportunities to write about things I love and would normally buy anyway.
I received an opportunity through Canopi to partner with ChoreMonster.
We took our crew on a different kind of family adventure recently. After Saturday morning pancakes, we set off for the Modern Home Tour. I was so excited to have won tickets from Stephanie at Garden Therapy! I was surprised at how much the boys enjoyed the sneak peek into other people’s homes! This picture is of one of the rooms we got to peek into, only one of many rooms on the tour that proudly displayed original art. I love all the white walls and pops of colour! My boys rated the homes based on the Lego collections, or lack thereof, or course… but that’s okay with me if they’re interested!
We have been making changes in Cole’s bedroom, and we are doing the same thing. After painting all the walls white, I framed up some of his art, and found the right spot to display some of his sweet artwork from over the years. I’m loving the little chair I found for his desk, my $5 garage sale find! I can’t wait to finish up his room so I can show you some more!
And speaking of kids bedrooms, we’ve been trying something new to get them to keep them clean… and it’s working! I’ll fill you in soon in case you’re looking for some chore inspiration.
I don’t know about you, but this time of year just seems so busy! The boys only have 12 more days of school left! Thankfully, our five days a week of baseball will be ending soon too! Bring on summer!
I designed two cards to give to the teachers in our life, and thought I’d share them as a printable in my Etsy shop for those of you have yet to pick up a card. I incorporated a talking worm into the age-old “apple for the teacher” idea to give it a new twist. I think this Worm Ampersand Animal might be having an affect on me, because I’m loving worms these days!
We just wrapped up a ten-day vacation with the boys in California! I think I could happily live there – I can’t imagine tiring of all that sunshine and blue skies! After another visit to Legoland, we visited the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and the San Diego Zoo’s enormous Safari Park on our trip. I can honestly say that I reached my limit for animal gazing. That said, all of the photos from our trip are going to be great reference as I work on more Ampersand Animals!
There is one more week left of Spring Break for the boys! Thankfully the sunshine has followed us home, so there will be bike riding and trampoline jumping going on over here… in addition to Volcano Building, and Milk Art, and maybe even some Eye Bombing. It looks like I’ll be catching up on work in the evenings this week. And post vacation laundry is commencing as we speak. Wish me luck.
Hope you’re having a good week so far! Are you heading anywhere warm this year?
We celebrated a very special little boy this weekend! Our baby turned 6! If you follow along then you’ve already seen all the prep and the invitation. This post is about all the fun and games that ensued once the kids showed up! Which, of course, is what it’s all about! It’s definitely not about my mad cake decorating skills! Ha! Any cake professionals out there, please avert your eyes. As you can see I opted to take the same approach as I did on the last cake I made, cutting shapes out of wax paper and shaking some icing sugar over top to make a design that matches the party theme. Dirt simple. No shame. At the end of the day the cake tasted just as good.
When the children arrived they received their super spy attire, consisting of a peel-and-stick mustache and a black hat. To make sure no imposters had made it through the door they were all asked to head straight to the table for fingerprinting… which they all thought was pretty cool. Then they played a game of “don’t let the bomb touch the floor or it will explode” (aka, work together to keep the black balloon in the air). It really doesn’t take much to get a group of six year old boys excited. The party favourite was an idea that is making its rounds on Pinterest, the “laser beam” obstacle course (aka, red neon twine). The boys were so excited to try and make it up the staircase without touching the laser beams.
I think that covers the highlights! Older brother has announced that he liked this party so much that he wants a complete redo for his birthday in the Fall. Sounds good to me!
I walked into Chapters yesterday and made up for lost time on the Christmas shopping front. Thank goodness! I have been sick for almost FOUR weeks people! My energy is slowly returning and there is MUCH to be done! Please don’t tell me if you’re done and wrapped already. If you are, I’m really happy for you… really. I know how good that feels! I am not there. Yet. But, in the meantime, I thought that I’d share one of my purchases, in case you are looking for ideas too!
I have a confession. I often buy children’s books purely for the pretty pictures. Gasp! Sometimes without even flipping through. Secretly (not so secretly anymore, I suppose) I feel that if a book is well illustrated that the story somehow HAS to be superior. You all agree, right? However misguided, I may be on to something, because the writing in the books is often very clever too! Our boys’ longtime favorite author/illustrator is Oliver Jeffers, with many of his books (Lost & Found, How to Catch a Star, etc) already gracing our shelves. So, when I saw This Moose Belongs to Me sitting on the shelf, it was an obvious choice! At the end of the day, when I get to cuddle up and read stories with the boys, the designer in me is happy that the boys love the “pretty pictures” as much as the story they are telling.
Do you have a favorite author/illustrator? Have you bought any fun books for your kids this year? If so, please share!
What a weekend! It’s hard to believe, but our oldest turned eight! Baking is not my thing, but I needed a gluten free cake and had the mix on hand, so I thought I’d give it a shot this year. I used his love for baseball as the starting point for the cake decorating… just added some icing sugar and m&m’s! And, do you notice that the two balls are touching so that it creates a subtle 8 shape?!! Yeah, maybe it’s not super obvious, but I love that it’s there.
The take home gifts this year were water guns, because we’ve had such great weather this September! I handed one out to everyone as they walked in the door, and then sent them to the backyard for “target practice”, which consisted of two saw horses and a 2×4 lined with empty containers. This was a HUGE hit! If you’re looking for game ideas for older boys, I highly recommend this!
I hope you had a good weekend too! What did you get up to?
I have to share some pictures of the adorable robot-themed birthday party we went to last weekend. Our fabulous neighbors are responsible for all of this cool stuff. So, if you’re trying to find some ideas for a child’s party, read on!
After that amazing cake, I think my favorite part was the giant robot built for a game of toss. The colored circles are taped onto the back of the plywood robot frame so that they break when the ball hits the center. Pretty great idea!
All the kids had a blast creating their own robots with the help of the adults. All you need is some empty tin cans and supplies from the dollar store. And magnets came in handy to stick on the bolts.
And no party is complete without a pinata, right?! This homemade pinata was amazing! I don’t know why I didn’t think to move the sunscreen out of the way for the shot. Ha!
My oldest son’s birthday is coming up next month, and this has inspired me to get going on the planning for it! But first I need to focus on the weekend ahead… so many exciting plans! Have a great weekend!
It all started when Ben wanted to play Lego inside, and Cole, outside. I broke the stalemate by introducing a water hose. Lego reached a new level of fun!
If you spray the hose just right it creates some major whirlpool action! The boys had a blast watching their figures whipping around, and taking turns throwing in extra figures. When the tub filled up I watered the plants to empty the tub, and the fun started all over again. By the end of it, everyone was wet, and happy!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend enjoying some summer fun!
Use a pin, or thumb tack, to poke the skin of the banana.
Wait. The image will slowly appear, kind of like a Polaroid image.
With the constant rain here on the west coast, I’ve been searching for ideas to keep the kids occupied indoors. This one was great because it kept their attention for at least a half hour, and they would happily do it again with different images!
Thanks to Cindy for the inspiration! I instantly thought, “The kids would LOVE this!” I hope you know someone that might like it too!
And for those of you that want to take it to the next level, check out this video to see some pretty amazing banana tattoos!