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Hooray, It’s Friday! Last Day of School and Mama Jewelry

Friday, May 25, 2018


Time for another random Friday update!


Yesterday was the last day of school. Zachary finished 5th grade, which means he finished lower school and next year he’ll be in middle school. Same building, just upstairs. So his class had a “continuation” ceremony. I will be writing more about it soon. Simon finished 2nd grade and Gabbie finished seventh. Let’s see if they grew this year!

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I asked the kids their regular end of school interview questions:


What was your favorite part of school this year? Field trip to the Nelson. (it was this week, I guess he was thinking about it!)

What did you learn? Multiplication.

What are you looking forward to when you go back to school?  Seeing my friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A person that stays home like Mommy.


What was your favorite part of school this year? Everything. (He was looking at his phone and not really paying attention…)

What did you learn? A lot of stuff. (He copied that from Gabbie’s answer)

What are you looking forward to when you go back to school?  To get Chrome Books.

What do you want to be when you grow up? An engineer.


What was your favorite part of school this year? Art.

What did you learn? A lot of stuff.

What are you looking forward to when you go back to school? Getting my Chrome Book back and seeing my friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Teacher.


Just like last year, Dave’s birthday was on the last day of school. I got him a selection of mini sized whiskey.



I am loving this ring I got from Mama’s Jewelry! It is a birthstone ring representing each of my kids – April (Diamond), June (Alexandrite), and August (Peridot). Mama’s Jewelry has been designing rings and pendants for moms for 30 years. The company is committed to creating exceptional mothers pendants, rings and earrings at affordable prices.



In case you missed it, this week I posted about:




Have a great weekend!


How to Plan the Perfect Holiday with Kids

Thursday, May 24, 2018


Despite being fraught with the additional responsibility of keeping children safe, happy and engaged while abroad, family vacations are one of the most genuinely rewarding parts of parenting. Whether jetting off for a week in the sun or getting abroad a cruise ship to sample many different destinations, the best way to ensure these trips are hassle-free is to plan every detail adequately. This includes both the holiday and the adjustments you’ll make for your children so that you’re never left regretting a lack of foresight. Here are some things to bear in mind while planning your next family vacation.

Destination and Route
If you’re a parent who was used to adventurous or ‘adult’ vacations in the past before you had children, you’ll need to adjust your expectations and planning specifications when there are little ones in the picture. This much you’ll know instinctively, although there is a chance you may still end up in a distant land as the sun is setting, without a hotel booked in a busy and confusing city,
with your children crying at your side. Ironing out any possibilities like this is an important step to planning a successful and memorable family vacation.

You may also want to think of new types of holiday in different types of destination then you used to visit as a young adult. Backpacking around India is simply too difficult to achieve with children in tow. Likewise, a tour of European castle towns might be exactly what you’re excited to do next time you fly off for a holiday. However, you’ll need to bear in mind that children will get bored and need some things in your holiday plan to keep them interested, whether that be a trip to a waterpark or simply the inclusion of some child-friendly activities.

What to Pack

Your children won’t be able to pack for themselves; you’ll need to make sure that all the stuff you take on your trip is packed in advance and with your children’s and family’s needs in mind. Often, this will mean no particular adjustments to your own packing regime, though you may find that your kids’ wardrobes are lacking in comfortable summer or holiday-type clothing. If this is the case, head over to Nickis to purchase some stylish kids’ clothing for their upcoming holiday, ensuring they’re going to be comfortable and photogenic while you travel.

Other than clothing, it’s a smart idea to pack some essentials that get frequently used at home, perhaps wet wipes, toilet roll, ketchup for fussy eaters, or night lights for kids’ sleeping. Also include some games or activities for your children to do in the inevitable downtimes in your trip, like waits in the airport or trips in buses or on trains that are boring and irritating for children. Pack a little more than you expect you’ll need, and make sure there’s enough to keep bored kids occupied.


Nearly all holidays require some form of a medical kit, whether it be just a few painkillers and plasters or something more substantial, but when children are in the picture, it’s best to pack a large assortment of emergency medical materials, and especially those that apply to children. For example, if you are heading to a sunny climate, ensure the correct sunscreen goes with you, and
one who will protect your little ones delicate skin too.

Medical kits vary from holiday to holiday but knowing your children and the risks associated with the country you’re visiting will dictate somewhat the contents of your pack. You may decide to take some anti-inflammatories if visiting a country with stinging or biting insects; anti-histamines for heavily-pollinated countries; or pills to help with dodgy tummies if you anticipate that your children might not take too kindly to the food.


As with any trip taken abroad, you will need passports for all travelers. Children’s passports go out of date faster than adult ones, and so it’s crucial that ahead of time you check the validity of your documents to avoid disasters just before you fly. That’s as well as sorting out some reliable and all- encompassing insurance to keep you and your family safe in the peace of mind that, in the worst of eventualities, you’ll be able to get medical support without breaking the bank.

Then there are visas to sort out, with photocopies of passports, visas, passport photos, and all other documentation stored reliably in a documents wallet to avoid any disastrous losses caused by theft or damage by rain. It’s no fun being all at sea when it comes to holidaying with children, a time when you’re meant to be showing your adult parenting prowess, so make sure you’re watertight on your documentation to avoid embarrassing and disruptive slip-ups.

Try New Things

Having children can open you up to a host of new experiences that you wouldn’t have really considered when you were a single young adult or even when you traveled with a partner or with friends. You may have once turned your nose up at heading to waterparks or theme parks, or to hit up lovely family-friendly hotels and child-friendly restaurants, but now that you have children, you might find that trying all these things actually comes as something of a pleasant surprise.

The best family holidays have the right balance of what the parents want to get out of it and what the children need to keep them entertained and engaged. There is simply no use taking young ones to see some 14th-century cathedrals or some Pacific island battlefields; you can’t expect them to be all that interested. However, if you research a place you’d like to visit, you’ll easily be
able to plan some adult excursions with child-friendly rewards dotted around them, so that the whole family tries new things and enjoys them, too.

Family holidays go off best when there’s little stress or disasters involved, from start to finish. Use these tips to plan your next unforgettable excursion with your children, making memories for the whole family to reminisce over.

This post was written by Bill Clark. Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel and lifestyle.  He can be reached on Twitter @BilboClark01.

Simon’s Poetry Café


One of the highlights of second grade is the poetry unit. Throughout the year, the kids collect poems on a variety of topics and share them with the class. They learn to discuss what they like about the poems. They also write their own poetry. Last week, Simon’s class shared their original poetry with their families at the Poetry Café.

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The kids get two books to keep – one is an anthology of the poems the students wrote and the other is the collection of poems they shared with the class throughout the year.


The poem Simon wrote was called “Swimming” and was a haiku.

Splashing at the pool
On a burning summer day.
Water cools me down.

Simon and one of his friends | Gabbie also came to Poetry Café. Zachary might have come to but he was away on his class trip.

New this year was a recitation of poems about science, shared via computer. Simon is the 2nd from left in this photo.

Each child had a turn to read their poem. Then they chose an adult and a fellow student to say what they liked about their poem.


Later, Simon had a chance to say what he liked about another student’s poem.


As always, when Simon has a school event, I enjoy remembering his older siblings participating in the same event! Gabbie shared a poem about dance at her Poetry Café, and Zachary shared one about Chanukkah!

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2nd grade Gabbie and Zachary!


What’s Up Wednesday–May

Wednesday, May 23, 2018



I’m a little bit confused as to whether today is the right day for What’s Up Wednesday! I feel like May isn’t over yet so it’s a little strange to be recapping the month already, but yet it is the 4th Wednesday of the month, so here we are. It’s been a busy one Here’s what we’ve been up to!

1. What we’re eating this month…

This past week I tried these Cheesy Bean Enchiladas which I thought came out pretty well!

I posted a picture of my daily lunch salad in my day in the life post. Here it is again!


2. What I’m Reminiscing About…

This school year, which is over tomorrow! I can hardly believe it. I’ll be sharing some end of the year posts within the next week or so.

3. What I’m Loving…

It made me so happy that the weather turned to spring. I got to take a few walks and take some photos too! Here are my last 4 weeks of 52 Frames photos.


[body parts + extra credit – black and white minimalism]

[negative space]

[something I dislike]

4. What We’ve Been Up To…

I attended the circle drive dedication at school, Gabbie had her dance recital, we visited the arboretum, I decided to sign up Zachary for swim team and he starts next week, we celebrated Mother’s Day, Simon had a sick day, Simon had his poetry café, Zachary went on two overnight trips, and we reached the end of school.


5. What I’m Dreading…

Entertaining the kids over their summer break! We do have some camps lined up, plus our Florida trip, so I’m sure it will be fine, but you know I always have to worry!

6. What I’m Working On…

Summer plans, getting things done before summer break, etc.

7. What I’m Excited About…

My kids enjoying their camps and still excited for Disney in June!

8. What I’m Watching / Reading…

I started watching the Harlan Coben shows on Netflix. I think there are 3 of them on I’m on the 2nd.

As usual, you can see my latest book reviews here.

9. What I’m Listening To…

Just my regular soft rock.

10. What I’m Wearing…

I just got these shorts from Old Navy and I’m a fan!


I’m also wearing my sandals!

11. What I’m Doing This Weekend…

Memorial Day BBQ at a friends’ on Monday. Maybe we’ll go swimming if it’s warm enough!

12. What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

Disney World!

13. What Else Is New…

Coming up before the end of the month…Dave’s birthday, swim team starts, and our first week off of school!

What’s up with you lately?


8 Tips For Renovating Your Family Home

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


One of the most important parts of raising a family is providing your loved ones with a beautiful home to enjoy and feel comfortable in. Your property should be a space where you get to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. It should be a comfortable, cozy, and calming environment that helps to bring everyone together. If this is not yet the case, now is the time to make a change. By working your way through the following eight tips, you will be able to complete a home renovation project to be proud of.

Get your family finances in order

Before you push forward with your property project, it is essential that you get your finances in order. If you are taking your family along for the ride, you need to make sure that you are adopting a sensible approach. You can achieve this by looking through your savings accounts and establishing a strict budget for your renovation. Don’t worry if your funds fall short, you can go online to secure an empréstimo pessoal. This is a great way for you to get enough cash to cover your costs. Then, by the end of your project, hopefully you will have raised enough funds to pay back your loan.

Take your renovation project one room at a time

You can also take control of your finances by taking your project one room at a time. Not only will this allow you to keep a close eye on your costs, but it will also help you to maintain a fairly normal family life. Instead of forcing your loved ones to give up their entire living space, they will only need to make a few compromises. This should prevent arguments from breaking out, as your family members will still have all the space they need to get along.

Make the most of your outside space

Another great tip is to make the most of your outside space. If your renovation project is taking place during the summer months, it is likely that your family members will want to escape to your backyard for a bit of peace and quiet. That is why you should get to work introducing raised beds, water features, seating areas, and sweet smelling flowers. If you have young children in your family, you should also be on the lookout for fun garden accessories such as tire swings and climbing frames.

Rethink the purpose of each room

If you have spent a number of years in your family home, it is possible that you are set in your ways. However, a renovation project is the perfect excuse for breaking free of tradition. Rather than using all of your rooms for the same purpose, you should rethink the layout of your property. Perhaps you no longer need a study space, as you can now move your laptop around your home. Why not use this free room as a walk-in wardrobe or a snug for your teenagers? Or, you might find that your family members want to switch around their bedrooms. This might result in a few tense discussions, but eventually you could settle on an even better layout than before.

Encourage your loved ones to streamline their possessions

The next tip is to encourage your family to streamline their possessions. A renovation project can be overwhelming, so it is vital that you keep things as simple as possible. Why waste your time and energy moving around items that could easily be recycled? Whatever you do, don’t tolerate hoarding! Set your loved ones the challenge of sorting through their belongings and getting rid of the dead weight. If you find that you have a significant amount to give away, you could always host a yard sale. This could be a wonderful opportunity for you to clear your home, while bringing in some extra money.

Get your loved ones involved in the interior design scheme

If you are going to get your family on board with the process of streamlining their possessions, you will need to give them a strong incentive. One of the best ways for you to do this is by getting them involved in the interior design scheme. As project manager, it is natural that you would have final say. However, you can still listen to your loved ones and take their advice whenever possible. This is especially important when it comes to the design of their private spaces. Whether you are tackling bedrooms, a homework area, a den, or a man cave, it is essential that you include plenty of personal touches. Although it is admirable to aim for perfection, it is even more important that your family feel at home.

Invest in your security measures

You should also do everything in your power to keep your loved ones safe. Why not use this renovation project as an opportunity to update your security measures? You could do this by installing smart technology into your property. This is an extremely modern way for you to monitor the activities going on in your home. You can even sync up your system to your smartphone and check in with your property from different locations. In addition to this, you should opt for traditional security measures such as safety locks, security alarms, and strengthening your windows and doors.

Consider running a green home

Finally, you should consider running a green home. If you are determined to teach your loved ones to be thoughtful and responsible, this is a fantastic way for you to do it. Simple steps such as investing in your insulation, fitting solar panels, and starting a compost heap could make all the difference. You could also replace all of your light bulbs with energy saving alternatives. Of course, your focus should be on saving the environment, but running a green home will also help you to save money and increase the value of your property. There really aren’t any downsides to taking this eco-friendly path.

This post was written by Alec Neufeld, a retired builder, now freelance writer and part-time general fix it man. He has strong opinions on the use of alternate energy and is also an avid sports enthusiast.