It’s been all Olympics, all the time at our house ever since the Opening Ceremonies. My little boys are completely enamored with the swimming, the gymnastics (“The women are better than the men, Mommy.”), the tennis, the volleyball, and the medals. Oh how they love those gold medals. If they aren’t watching, they are re-enacting, and vowing to become Olympians. Go for it, kiddos. Go for it.
I’ve found some fantastic Olympic themed activities for family gatherings or to occupy them–perhaps quietly–when they are done with the whooping, cheering and couch-diving. A few of favorites:
Totally cute free printable board game, card game, mazes and more from UK-based Tiny Me
Planning a party for your future olympian? Great inspiration and party kit from Birds Party. Love those Olympic rings!
For family fun: a Frisbee makes a great discus, pool noodles make great javelins, and sidewalk chalk makes a great cycling or running track. Also, a dollar store “gold” medal makes a great behavior incentive for little ones, be it for getting chores done first or good behavior. I speak from personal experience on this one.… >> find out more…
Recently America celebrated Independence Day, the 4th of July when the whole country goes bananas with fireworks and parades and family picnics.
The 4th of July happens to be my favorite day of the entire year, and not just because I love celebrating with my family and a watermelon salad at the city swimming pool, although I won’t lie, that doesn’t hurt.
I really love the whole concept of independence, whether that of kids forging their own, or brave citizens around the world fighting tirelessly for freedom in the name those who’ve gone before.
Or you know, in the case of me and my children, the celebration of sartorial independence. Freedom as a 4-year-old to wear a knitted poncho and mustard yellow 70′s sweater, my mother’s patent leather heels, my father’s cowboy hat, and some bright red lipstick.
It took me awhile to figure out as a parent, but letting my kids figure out their own stuff without intervention has been critical to their independence and self-confidence. Every time I try to step in and tell my kids how it “should” be done whatever “it” is, I undermine their ability to be strong, independent, empowered little humans.
They … >> find out more…
If you’re in Utah for the 4th of July we need to have a little chat. Dreyer’s ice cream, you know the Slow Churned business with half the calories? They’ve set up a booth at America’s Freedom Festival in Provo, (Freedom Days) and are handing out scoops of ice cream. Straight up, free ice cream.
But let me tell you the best part. Dreyer’s has a photo booth set up for you to flash your pearly whites, take a photo with your friends or family, and for every photo taken Dreyer’s Slow Churned will donate $5 towards Operation Smile.
You guys. Go get free ice cream, take a photo with your favorite people, and help donate money to an amazing cause. What are you waiting for? Scoot!
– Head to: 110 South University Ave., Provo, Utah. Location: Utah County Government Complex –
Full disclosure: Dreyer’s/Edy’s ice cream is a sponsor for SocialLuxe Lounge. Which only makes them double rad. If you’re tweeting while you’re there, use the hashtag #reasontosmile
… >> find out more…
You guys! The Fourth of July is almost here! Even though it’s been an absurdly complicated weekend between Allison’s household (broken collar bones!) and my own (road trips! fevers and tummy aches!) we are all pretty stoked for our favorite holiday. I’m itching for some last minute ideas to make our gathering extra festive. You too? Check out these bits of cleverness and Americana from my Pinterest wanderings. All easy enough to put together this evening.
paper craft fireworks would be great across a mantle or strung across a porch
super easy red white and blue bunting from second chances by susan
this printable banner from honest to nod is totally a cinch!
Need dessert? Rhetorical question, I know. I’m dying to fix up some of these frozen strawberry bars
Here’s to a calamity free holiday week!… >> find out more…
Today I’m feeling wistful for the happy summers of my youth. Those carefree days of running through sprinklers in the front yard of my childhood home, wearing a hand-me-down swimsuit from one of my sisters, pieces of wet grass stuck between my toes. The sunny days of eating Popsicles on burning cement sidewalks, hot ridges of concrete patterns imprinting on the back of my legs, watching forlornly as fallen chunks of Popsicle melted in the gutter.
I roamed the neighborhood freely, safely, with a huge pack of childhood friends through the whole of the 80′s. We slouched in and out of every home on the block, slamming screen doors behind us on our quest for the best snacks, toys, and trampolines we could find.
Every summer, (every. single. summer) inbetween running wild with my pack of cronies, my parents hauled the lot of us off on a 2-week family vacation. We never stayed in hotels or even motels, we camped, as a family 0f 10 all over the western United Sates and Canada for a solid 14 days, usually smack dab in the middle of July.
My mother spent weeks preparing food, planning meals, and packing … >> find out more…
Things I’m thinking about today:
- I feel happy every time I look at the smattering of shells on my patio table outside. Some of the shells still have chunks of sand inside which is the only way I can distinguish which ones came from Costa Rica or Hawaii. The sand from Costa Rica is grey and Hawaii’s sand is chunky and sand colored, little bits of shells all crunched up.
- I can’t get Costa Rica out of my head. I really need to figure out a way to move there permanently. Semi-permanently. Temporarily/permanent like. For the rest of forever.
- My baby girl became a teenager overnight, a teenager with legs up to her armpits and long golden hair. What’s happening?
- I’d say she’s adopted but apparently we’re twins. Plus, you know, all those stretchmarks and whatnot.
- Did you watch the solar eclipse a few weeks ago? We have a couple welding masks lying around (what, don’t you?) and they were perfect for watching the eclipse. Viktor drew faces on the masks so they were a little more personable, as one does.
- I kind of wish I were a 7-year-old boy in skinny jeans, looking down the
… >> find out more…
I was a shy kid. I still am really. I’d rather sit in a quiet corner of a restaurant with 3 or 4 people I know than go to a huge party with hundreds of people – those make me hyperventilate. I’m pretty shy at heart. When I started preschool at B.Y.U. at the age of 3 it was a super hard for me to make eye contact with my teachers, even though they were perfectly lovely.
By Kindergarten I was fairly comfortable with a handful of close friends at my side, 20 of which remained with me all the way through the 7th grade. Still, school was tricky. I’m one of 8 kids and I got lost in the mix a lot, especially when it came to schoolwork. My parents were just busy, period. They both worked full-time jobs while managing a houseful of kids, and I never had help with homework.
My parents signed me up for Spanish immersion in the 1st grade and a lot of the kids had been with me in Kindergarten, so at the very least I had kids who made eye contact with me.
What I didn’t know until a handful of … >> find out more…
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook. Not really anyway, and you should trust me because I’ve totally looked. (High and low)
The car seat comes with a manual rivaling most graduate school textbooks and assembling the stroller takes NASA’s best, but the actual baby? Nope, no manual for that little human.
You’re kind of, well, it.
Which is why you really should snatch up this palm sized how-to parenting book written by two of the smartest women I know, Rookie Moms Heather and Whitney. These two rocket-smart rookie mamas assembled the basics any mom needs to know to make it
out alive through the first few years of motherhood.
Stuff Every Mom Should Know is smart, funny, relatable, and true. Grab a few; stash one in your purse and give the rest to all the new mamas you want to see on the other side
of the crazy.… >> find out more…
Did you know it’s teacher’s appreciation week? Even if you don’t have kids in school, I’m sure there’s a teacher in your life who could use a little thank you gift. My mother is a retired 1st grade teacher, my brother-in-law teaches Junior High, and my sister teaches special education. It can be a rough job with low pay and thankless struggles, so let’s all do something awesome for the teachers we know. They deserve a standing ovation.
And probably a gift card or two.
I’ve rounded up four easy teacher’s appreciation week gift ideas from some clever bloggers I love, in case you need a little help getting started (like me).
Teacher gift by Angeli via Living Locurto
DIY bookplates by Lavender’s Blue via Tip Junkie
Paper Lollie via No Biggie
Summer relaxation kit by The Lovely Cupboard via Skip to My Lou
I love the idea of plant-able flowers, cold hard cash, a gift card to: amazon, a local movie theater, a favorite local restaurant, Office Max, a local mall, or Costco. A little chocolate never hurt anyone either. If you happen to be a teacher, please know how much I love and respect you.
Happy … >> find out more…