10 Halloween Finds For Your Toddler

September 30, 2017

Halloween is quickly approaching and throughout the years, I've found that it's best to be prepared sooner than later. Last year, my kids fell in love with the movie Hotel Transylvania and wanted to be monsters for Halloween ever since. Mind you, this was back in March of 2016 and they talked about vampires and witches all the way up until Halloween.

Halloween wasn't celebrated nor favorable in my household growing up, but I always knew that someday I would embrace the day and celebrate it with my future family. Fast forward several years later...and here I am, sharing a few tips with you!

If you're a previous reader, you know I love shopping at H&M for just about everything. When I realized they offered Halloween costumes, I was overwhelmed with joy! I particularly liked their costume selection simply because they are rather fashionable- and "ecomomical."

My son expressed to me that he wanted to be a vampire last year and when I found this costume top at H&M, I knew it was perfect for him. I paired the top with a pair of black skinny jeans and a pair of black sneakers, from Kid's Foot Locker to complete the look. He looked so fashionable and adorable all at the same time!

My daughter wanted to be a witch last year and I found this costume on Wal-Mart's website- and it can also be purchased through Amazon. It was super affordable as well. I also paired it with some black flats she already had from Children's Place. I also found an adorable onesie for your infants' first Halloween. Boy do I remember those times!

Below are a few more finds that would make great items to bring in the occasion. Again, more items from H&M, because they have the cutest selection of just about everything!

What are you and your family dressing up as this year?
Stay tuned for more Halloween tips and trciks.

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Life Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Wonderful- Plus FREE Printable!

September 13, 2017

Lately, I have submerged myself into a world of life coaches and people claiming to be their "higher selves." Although I aspire to be that person someday; striving to that ultimate destination can be exhausting. Especially when life continues to jabs you in the torso. Life isn't perfect and despite the information people put out there to make it seem ideal, sometimes it's not that way at all.

Having a positive mindset is key, but maintaining that mindset can be very challenging. One thing I'd like to share with you is that life isn't always about the destination, it's about the journey. You have to appreciate the journey in order to reach your full potential. Appreciating what's in front of you is going to make your life's vision and purpose that much more meaningful. Our goals seem to tire us out and overwhelm us when we start to complain about every little thing that's wrong, or every thing that doesn't go our way. By the time we finally get what we desire, we appreciate it a lot less because the journey seemed like it wasn't worth it anyway.

So I wanted to share with you this free printable stating that life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Your perception is key. Perceive the beautiful things about your life. Hear the laughter around you. Be the change!

You can print this out and simply frame it, to remind yourself of how enjoyable life truly can be!

4 Tips For A More Productive Day As A WFHM/SAHM- Plus Free Printable

August 29, 2017

As a new work-from-home-mom, it's been a challenge finding the perfect balance and it's not as easy to stay on task as I thought it would be. So I've come up with a few ways to help myself and others stay on task.

  1. Wake up EARLY! I know most of you may feel like staying at home all day is an award because you get to sleep in and roll out of bed whenever you feel like it. That is so NOT the case! Although I've enjoyed being able to wake up an hour or so later, the kids have to be tended to. Ya know, breakfast, lesson plans, etc. So in order to get some alone time before the morning chaos, I tend to wake up an hour EARLIER than I did before I resigned. This allows me to have my cup of coffee in peace on my back porch and it allows some time to plan for the rest of my day, if I haven't already.
  2. Plan ahead. Planning is essential to any successful day. Without it, you, your kids, and your house will be in total chaos- and we all know, no one functions well with total mayhem. Wake up early, after your coffee and breakfast, take time to open your planner and have a pen ready so that you can check off all of your tasks as you go along with your day. This helps you to keep track of what is done versus what still needs to be done. 
  3. Play some music. Music helps me and my kids get in the groove of things! Studies show that music can instantly boost your mood and your energy. Do your household a favor and turn on some tunes to help everyone get into the groove of things. It doesn't have to be distracting either, I like to play classical tunes early in the morning and as we stroll into the evening, I may speed things up by listening to something a bit more upbeat. 
  4. Schedule some YOU time. I know this may be difficult for most, but I have been blessed with the most understanding three and four-year-old. I actually explain to them how important "me" time is. After all, I'm schooling them all day- sometimes mama needs a break! I even make it a point for them to separate (one may be their room building blocks, while one is at the dining table cutting and pasting out of a magazine) at some point in the day, just to emphasize "me" time; because we all could use it from time to time. Around this time, I retreat back to my backyard and meditate. 
There are many more aspects throughout the day that I want to point out in some future posts, but I thought I'd start out with a few. What are some of the things you struggle with as a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom?

Try this free printable to help you throughout your days. You could even laminate for future usage. 

7 Steps To Achieve Your Ultimate Success

August 19, 2017

For the past several years, I've been asking the Universe for some down time. The down time I had wasn't nearly enough. As of a couple of months ago, I was a preschool teacher. I was responsible for eight little souls for an entire work day. Not only was I in charge of their early childhood development, but there was also lots of diaper changing involved, lots of tantrums, repeatedly reading books over and over again (let's not forget the voices that go along with it), and let's not forget about the clean-up! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my job; but by the time I came home and had to deal with my own, things were a bit frustrating for me. When did it end? I think my passion for kids is what drove me bonkers at time. I was that teacher that planned birthday parties, bought extra supplies, cared about every family deeply, and I even had a separate load of laundry on the weekends specifically for my students (for the parents who were just too lazy to wash their own children's sheets), and so forth!

My evenings ran pretty smoothly, being that we all had a schedule to adhere to. My weekends were rather awesome, being that those days were specifically for my family and going places we enjoyed together. I remember cooking and cleaning on Sundays in preparation for our next week and thinking to myself "Why can't life always be this peaceful?" I am that mom who loves laundry (more so the organizing that goes along with it) and who loves to cook. I didn't mind being busy around the house, but working with infants and toddlers all day, on top of trying to stay completely sane for my own was rough. I handled it with grace, but I prayed for the day I could stay home full-time with my own children and that be enough. 

Fast forward to today and I am ecstatic to say I have been blessed with the opportunity to do just that! I found that staying at home full-time brings up some challenges as well. I'm a pretty patient person when it comes to parenting; but when it comes to money and opportunity, I'm always on the fast track! Since settling in and getting comfortable in my new title as a "stay-at-home" mom, I've launched my own line of inspirational coffee mugs and I've launched this blog. I'm also learning more about business as I go along. However, I'm still working on my patience and I've compiled a list that could help other moms (or, people in general) when it comes to reaching your ultimate success, or what it is you truly desire out of life.
While staying home I am wanting to generate enough income online, so that my family and I can travel the world someday. 
  1.  Seek and you shall receive. The first thing I learned on my journey so far is that you have to seek and then you shall receive. If you don't know what exactly what you're searching for out of life, you'll never find it.
  2. Be specific. This is really important! You have to dig deep and ask yourself what it is that you truly desire. 
  3. Write a list. If you're focused on too many wants at one time, write a list in chronological order from your biggest desire, to your smallest. This list will help you focus on what's most important to you at the time.
  4. Take repeated actions. Continue to work for what you want. Put your money where your mouth is and save up for that dream car, versus spending that money at Starbucks everyday. If you want more time with your kids, put your phone down at the end of the day and spend that time with your family instead. We spend hours of our day on social media without even realizing it! If you want to travel, bookmark that resort, total up the cost and start saving for it. 
  5. Visualize yourself in your dream situation. Imagining isn't just for our children! If you think it, or see it, your actions are soon to follow. Try making a vision board, or changing your home screen on your phone to your next dream destination. 
  6. Know that the Universe will handle the rest. When we truly desire something and we follow the necessary steps, the Universe definitely reciprocates that energy and eventually we get everything we truly desire. 
  7. Stay positive and trust the process! I can't stress this last step enough. Life WILL certainly get in the way of what you want, but you have to learn how to kick it in the ass and keep moving. Don't let anyone, or any one situation tear you apart; which ultimately tears you away from your dream. By staying positive, you're staying open to receive everything 'good' that is bound to come your way.
Another thing I want to leave you with is the act of gratitude. Be thankful for what you do have; that will keep everything in perspective for you and ultimately it will keep your thoughts from drowning in a pool of negativity. I also write lists of what I'm grateful for when I feel my mind wandering off. 

When I look back and read previous list that I've written in the past, it gives me a clear perspective on what I've already accomplished. I'm constantly reminding myself of my the previous visions I've manifested for myself. Just two years ago, I was wanting more space out of a home, which is crazy expensive in the city of New Orleans. By expanding my mind and being open to receiving more space, I created the opportunity to move into a beautiful three bedroom home, with a front and backyard, and even a garage- oh wait, let's not forget about the driveway, too! I've been so accustomed to street parking that I didn't even think to ask the Universe for a driveway, but hey! I have one now. Did I mention I'm less than ten minutes from the beach? Yea, God is good- and that's just one example, aside from being here with you today and writing this article. I've always wanted to be a full-time blogger and a stay-at-home mom.

With that being said, I am truly confident in knowing that my next goal is bound to be accomplished, as long as I continue to believe. Know that it's okay to be patient. Things CAN wait! I'm more constructive than ever before; if I can't do, I plan. I have so much planned for my future and I can't wait to share more of what's to come with you! Just one step at a time...

3 Ways To Save On Toddler Clothing

August 14, 2017

If you're anything like me, you love to shop for your toddlers! Every time you pass a store filled with cute clothing for your little ones, you can't help but pay that store a visit. After all, they're targeting YOU mama! They want you to feel invited, so that you can spend, spend, spend. At the same time, if we have anything else in common, it would be the need to save! Which is why I put together a short list of things you can do BEFORE your next shopping trip.

Let's face it, we end up spending way more than we intend to. Not just because the children's clothes are so precious, but someone always wants a cookie or a pretzel, or multiple rides on the train in the middle of the mall, or lunch- and by the time you leave the mall, it's time for your afternoon iced latte! Multiple transactions go on throughout our shopping trip, that we don't even realize all the money we've spent until we get home. Here's a few helpful tasks for you to save on toddler clothing:

  1. Prepare a list! One of the first things I do before leaving the house is scoping my children's closets. Not only does it help me to organize their clothes, but it also helps me to prioritize for the things that they are in need of versus the items that can wait for a later trip. Let's face it ladies, this next trip to the mall won't be our last! 
  2. Have a budget and stick to it! Now that I know exactly what I'm looking for when I visit the mall, I can give myself a figure on how much I'm willing to spend on each item, or for my transactions as a whole. If my son only needs a few pair of pants, or my daughter a few tops for this trip, then there's no way I'm walking out of any store spending over $100 for a few items. 
  3. Let go and save it for later! This used to be a huge deal for me! I used to see something and hold on to it and by the time I got to the register, I would throw it in the pile anyway; knowing good and well, my kids didn't really need it. When we prioritize our shopping list, it's for the sake of saving and not going overboard. It's ok to put that shirt down, or that dress with the glitter pockets, or those shoes that they won't need until months down the road. Those items will be there for you when you're ready- and if they're not, buy them online! Look at it this way, by the time you visit the store again, that item may be on sale. So put it down! Move on and go enjoy your latte.  

As you all know, I'm a huge fan of the Children's Place! The biggest reason is because of their amazing sales and fantastic deals! I used to shy away from this place because it seemed a little overwhelming for me once I walked in. I always thought I would end up spending way too much than I really had to; but once I learned that they are almost, always having some spectacular savings event going on, I just dived right into the scheme of things. It's a really great store to save on toddler's clothing.

Shopping for two toddlers, both of the opposite gender can be challenging at times for one's pockets and we can easily go over our budget, especially when the clothes are so darn cute! I've learned to write shopping lists for both kids. I always ask myself "What does this one need RIGHT NOW?' and "What can wait until later?" This keeps my head above waters and makes my shopping experience a bit more precise.

Did I mention Place Cash? If you sign up for Children's Place rewards program, you are automatically enrolled to receive cash back to use on your next purchase. So again, I use this tactic for whatever my kids may need right now and use the Place Cash later down the line for what could wait. My first purchase may include a few tops for both kids, or a few pair of pants (depending on what's on sale); while the next purchase may consists of the opposite. The second purchase saves me even more money, being that I may catch another sale and use my Place cash. Cha-ching! I feel so accomplished after shopping here. I purchased these pair of basic denim and this super cute, screen tee for a little under ten bucks! Who knew ten bucks could get your kid to look so stylish?

Not a member yet? Sign up today! Basic denim, screen tees, and many more items are on sale, plus free shipping or free pickup in your local store.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.**

5 Benefits Of Painting For Toddlers

August 11, 2017

"Life is a great big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can."
-Danny Kaye

Despite what others may think about how stressful returning to school can be, it's always been exciting for me and my family. Partly because, up until this year, I was a preschool teacher. Every year around this time, I revert back to my fondest memories as a child going back-to-school. Every aspect of  it was exciting; from meeting new teachers and students, to receiving new clothes and shoes, and it was always something about the feeling of having fresh new supplies with a new backpack to put everything in. The same feelings stick with you as a teacher. Meeting my new students and their parents, setting up my classroom, buying new supplies and even receiving them, was all very exciting for me!

 My all-time favorite activity to share with my students (and now as a homeschooling mom), is PAINTING!

  1. Painting creates a fun and exciting learning opportunity!
  2. Bonds are formed. Painting activities creates time to bond with your child or your students. It's always nice to offer a topic and see what they come with. Here we focused on what the kids loved most about this past Summer. I love to ask questions and hear the responses as they go along.
  3. Painting is therapeutic. It allows the child to express their emotions through color and storytelling. 
  4. Brain development. The act of painting uses both sides of the brain; using the right side of the brain for creative and emotional responses, while using the left side to analyze their artwork.
  5. Fine motor development. When a child paints, so many fine motor skills are being developed. Painting helps toddlers learn to grasp a writing utensil. It also encourages them to move their hands, wrists, and arms as they create their painting. 

My daughter attempted a rainbow in this picture. She also drew lines to indicate the Farmer's Market setup, in which we frequented during the last two months. It's amazing determining what's what in these paintings, but hey- she's the artist!

Here, my son says he's created the sun, a rainbow, some flowers, and there's a monster in there as well. Again, I am amazed when I hear the stories behind their artwork. 

The best part about it, the setup is so simple and because they're a lot more independent at this age, they can pretty much pull everything out themselves. This Crayola Paint can is so easy to use. It comes with paper, brushes, an art palette, and of course, washable paint in a variety of colors. We use this can for every art project we come up with. Paint is in fact one of my favorite tools to use as a teacher. 

I love letting my children's imaginations run wild- and once upon time, the imaginations of my students. With all of the benefits painting has to offer, it's definitely a must-have at home and in the classroom. 

May you all have a safe school year!