Although it seems like summer has just began, school is back in session for our little ones and many parents will want to know the must-have items for the new year. Aside from running BeeSoSimple, I spend my weekdays teaching a wonderful group of 2nd graders; meaning I have the benefit of having the perspective of an educator and a mother simultaneously. So it’s only right that I share my insight with all of the hard working and active moms reading. Now, most teachers may send home a list of items for students to have in the classroom, but today I’m sharing a special must-have list tailored towards busy moms. No matter if you are a part time, full time, stay-at-home or a mompreneur this list is for you.
Planner: I will be the first to admit that I’d be so lost without my planner; it truly is my lifesaver. One of my new year goals was to be more organized, so writing down my events of the day, workout schedule, and Brielle’s gymnastics classes has helped me keep track of everything and eliminate a little stress in my life.
Tote/Bookbag: As I mentioned above I am a teacher, which means at the beginning and end of my work day I’m lugging around lesson plan books, a school issued tablet, and a laptop to and from home. Instead of carrying multiple bags as I have in the past, I have settled on carrying a stylish book bag to keep my work related items in. This book bag will not take place of my purse but it’s great storage for items I need during the day that won’t fit in my purse.
Coffee Mug: “But First Coffee.” This honestly should be my personal motto. Coffee is a must when Will and I have been up and down all night dealing with a fussy toddler and I have a jam-packed day ahead of me. If you make your coffee at home or make a stop at your local Starbucks, having something cute to put your coffee in can help start the day so much better.
Mom Hat: Target runs, picking the kiddos up from school, and last minute lunch dates are just a few examples of short notice events that may catch you and your hair off guard. Every momma needs a collection of go-to hats for those instances when we just don’t have time to go the extra beauty mile.
Dry Erase Calendar: Let’s be honest, being a mom has a million side jobs that go with it and it’s easy for us to forget something every once in awhile. Solution: a dry erase calendar. We keep our calendar on a wall in the kitchen where everyone can see and modify it as needed. Not only does it show our daily schedules and routines on it, but it helps us keep track of upcoming appointments, bills, and events. What I love most about the calendar is how easy it is to change while still helping keep the whole family on the same page.
Houston, we have a problem: Our household has entered the “terrific” 2’s stage. My little Bri-Monster turned two this past January and since then life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs.
I have been blessed to have this little person come into my life and make every day magical. Watching my daughter grow into an opinionated and loving little girl makes my heart smile. She is quick to say “No” to any food other than chicken or gummy snacks, but always ready to give a big hug or ask “Okay?” if I cough or sneeze. Each day she learns something new to say or do; As of right now we have mastered counting to 3, saying her name, and identifying every animal in her animal books.
(Bri naming animals)
However with good days also comes bad days resulting in true terrible two’s moments. For instance, two-year-olds have crazy mood swings and there have been times when my daughter will throw a fit because she didn’t want to take her jacket off but three minutes later she is perfectly fine and asking for juice. Changes like this have caused me to learn some much needed patience, while incorporating cool down periods to give her time to calm herself have drastically reduced meltdowns.
Along with Bri entering her terrific 2’s I have also gone through changes as a mom. She talks non-stop, follows directions, and has an opinion about everything but it still took a while to accept that my baby is not a baby anymore.
She’s growing up too fast 😥
Once I came to this realization I began creating small routines that have allowed her to feel like an independent big kid. As an educator, I know how essential routines are for the growth and development of my students, so it was a no-brainer that I’d do the same for my child. We have routines for going to the potty, taking off her jacket/shoes, brushing her teeth, and going to bed at night. So if anyone is having trouble taming a toddler please consider adding more routines to your life.
Like any parent, I want my daughter to continue to flourish as an individual while creating memorable moments. We are doing pretty good making it through the 2’s stage and I’m excited to see what in store for year 3.
There is nothing like snuggling up on the couch to read a good book or binge watch Netflix on a rainy day. The relaxing sound of falling water puts me into full blown do-nothing mode, leading to some of the best naps of my life. Too bad my two year old doesn’t feel the same.
I have always made it a priority to ensure my daughter spends plenty of time playing and doing hands-on activities while having small periods for watching TV or using her tablet. Rainy days are perfect times to create fun activities to keep your children entertained and make the best out of those little spring showers.
Here are a few of my favorite activities:
Making Trail Mix
(Image via sheknows.com)
No Mess Finger Painting
(Image via make-it-your-own.com)
Creating Homemade Playdough
(Image via the36thavenue.com)
Contact Paper Window Art
(Image via messforless.net)
Make a Fort
(Image via thecardboardcollective.com)
Here is a cute recipe to get your kiddo’s ready for St. Patrick’s Day.
End of the Rainbow Cookie Parfaits
(recipe from tablespoon.com)
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
Red, orange, yellow, green and blue gel food colors
1 pint whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 10 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
In large bowl, break up cookie dough; add eggs. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and well combined. Divide dough evenly into 5 small bowls. Color dough with red, orange, yellow, green and blue food colors, stirring until well combined.
Scoop dough into muffin pans, making 2 cupcakes of each of the 5 colors, for a total of 10 cupcakes. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove cups from pan to cooling rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.
Crumble each of the cupcakes, keeping the colors separate. Sprinkle red cake crumbles into each of 12 glass parfait cups, glasses or small jars. Pipe whipped cream on top of each. Repeat process with orange, yellow, green and blue cake crumbles, finishing with the blue cake crumbles. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
This week I have the opportunity to collaborate with a group of talented bloggers to produce the Mom’s Guide to All Things Holiday. The best gifts are those from the heart and made with love, so today I have a chic DIY holiday gift idea for everyone: hot chocolate in a jar. A personal hot chocolate jar has to be one of the simplest and inexpensive gifts to make. It is cute, time-friendly, and you can tailor it to the person receiving the gift.
Hot Chocolate Mix
Mason Jar (any size)
Peppermint Candy (Optional)
The basic idea is to create layers in your mason jar using the listed ingredients. Each element could have one or more layers but we have to ensure they’re organized in such a way that the jar can be dumped to create a proper serving of hot coco. Depending on the size of the jar, we are also able to create single or multiple servings while also customizing how much of each ingredient to include.
I hope this early addition to the Mom’s Guide to All Things Holiday helps someone out there in need of a quick but caring gift idea. If anyone decides to give this a try I’d love to see the end results, so tag me on Instagram (@beesosimple) or Twitter(@beesosimpleblog). And don’t forget to check out our collaboration host’s blog www.britneydearest.com.
This week I am teaming up with 15 amazing bloggers for the 2015 Mom’s Guide to All Things Holiday blog hop. Get ready to enjoy a week full of DIY gifts, home décor, family activities, recipes, and holiday fashion. Get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy our holiday blog hop.
Remember to check back daily for the links to each post.
Monday: Holiday Gift Guide & Shopping Tips
Kat of Type 4 Naturals – “Gift Guide”
Danielle of Mamademics – “10 Gifts for the Academic Mom”
Teri of Mommy Wife & Life – “Multicultural Books for Young Avid Readers”
Tuesday: Holiday Family Activities & Traditions
Toya of Mrs. Toya Carter – Traditions
Cynthia of Mrs. Wright Writes – Holiday Gift Guide 2015
Jennifer of Baby Making Machine – “Here’s to Firsts: My Kids Discovering Snow!
Wednesday: Holiday DIY and/or Home Decor
Sheena of Sophistishe – Christmas Candy Santa Sleighs
Bee of Bee So Simple – DIY Gifts: Hot Chocolate in a Jar
Erin of Live Pretty on a Penny – DIY Beverage Coasters
Britney of Britney Dearest- DIY Deer Head Silhouette Wall Decor
Thursday: Holiday Recipe
Shanna of Ms. Naturally Random – Spiked Holiday Punch
Arnitris of Blessed Be the Tie – Mommy and Me Pecan Pie Tarts
La Dale of Johanna’s Mama
Friday: Holiday Fashion
Diedre Anthony of Are Those Your Kids – Holiday Fashion
Troy Cooke of Thriftanista in the City – How to Rock Your Holiday Thrift Style