My Best Tips For Getting Kids To Be Good Eaters

No one ever warned me that meal time would be the most contentious time of day as a mother. I’ve always heard the horror stories of bed times gone awry, but everyone failed to mention the daily struggles that can accompany trying to get your kids to eat.

For most parents I know, we’ve all shared the same meal time charade of trying to convince our kids that we don’t in fact hate them, no matter how offended they are by our plate offerings. Continue reading “My Best Tips For Getting Kids To Be Good Eaters”

A Good Place To Be

We are in week two of officially homeschooling our oldest as a first grader. It has been….so many things. SO. MANY. THINGS.

On one hand, it is a ton of work. More than even last year’s test run with the final months of kindergarten could have prepared me for. This isn’t a test run, it’s the real deal and boy am I feeling the difference between “Hey let’s just see how it goes!” and “Ok we are doing this, people!” Continue reading “A Good Place To Be”

An Impromptu Trip To Cleveland – What We Did & Where We Ate

This past weekend is one that I’ll be lingering in the residual good feels for a long, long time to come. My husband and I had made plans to spend some time together, but then my brother and sister-in-law ended up having her baby. Yay! I’m an aunt!!!! Everyone is healthy and doing well, and I was so excited for her to get to spend this Mothers’ Day as a full fledged momma.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Saturday morning, after going in to the hospital for all of us to meet the new baby and check on mommy and daddy, we all got back in the van and headed to my favorite Ohio city – Cleveland!

We didn’t have much of a plan outside of our destination. I just needed to get out and travel a bit and even though I wasn’t getting my alone time with my husband, I was getting the next best thing – a road trip with my family.

I love traveling with the kids, and one of my all time favorite things to do is to explore new cities. It’s funny how we think we have to travel far or to a new state to really go on an adventure. We’ve found that all you need is an openness to explore, try new things, and go with the flow, and you can turn any trip into a road trip full of fun!

I had a few ideas for what we could do in Cleveland, but nothing set in stone – that is part of the fun for me. Sometimes it’s nice to have everything planned out for the sake of little ones, but I want to teach my  kids to be flexible and learn how to find the fun along the way. So I planned ahead in terms of packing diapers and extra layers of clothing and cash for parking, and I thought of a few places we could check out. But I didn’t make dinner reservations and our schedule was really wide open. We were out to see what all we could see! Continue reading “An Impromptu Trip To Cleveland – What We Did & Where We Ate”

The Best New Place For Kids In Northeastern Ohio: Jump n Shout

Families in the Northeastern Ohio area are in for a treat. Recently, Neil and Natasha Wood of Wooster, Ohio, opened the doors to their new business – Jump n Shout – a one stop fun and entertainment area for kids of all ages. I got the chance to sit down with the couple recently to hear more about their story and to check out their new facility. I left so excited to come back with my kids and my friend’s kids. This place, is awesome.

Neil and Natasha have two kids of their own – an eight year old son and a four year old daughter. They noticed that it was difficult to find places that both their children enjoyed.

“All of the places we visited cater to children of the same age, which means someone is always missing out,” Neil noted.

The couple also struggled to find fun things to do with the kids in the winter. The couple is originally from South Africa where it is sunny all the time and as a result, most activities are outdoors.

“But then we moved to Ohio for work,” said Natasha, “and we needed to find something to do when the weather turned cold. Continue reading “The Best New Place For Kids In Northeastern Ohio: Jump n Shout”

Five Things

1. I keep telling my husband that maybe we just need to sell our house and our belongings, buy an RV, and take this show on the road. He could sell his beautiful woodworking from city to city across the US and it would be one heck of a way to see the country. Imagine the sights! Imagine what the kids would learn! (He says we already have one too-few bedrooms, but still…It would be an adventure!) This couple actually quit their jobs and traveled by VW bus from Alaska to Argentina. Hashtag inspiration!

2. My oldest son had his first night of testing and orientation for kindergarden this week. Whew. Talk about feeling all the feelings and thinking all the thoughts! My friend sent me this fascinating article that talks about how “Young children today continue to learn best by watching the everyday things that grown-ups do, from cleaning the house to fixing a car.” It’s a great read, especially for parents! Continue reading “Five Things”

Thursday Things I Love: Splash Pads, Paddle Boats, and Fresh Herbs

This week was full of essential summer activities and I’ve loved it. It’s been hot. We’ve been near the water a ton. I took an awesome yoga class. I’ve made and eaten a ton of great food. We’ve spent some great time together as a family. And I even cleaned my house. Wait. That’s a lie. My house is a totally disaster. But the rest of the things are true! Who needs a clean house when you have a summer bucket list of actives that you are scrambling to accomplish before everyone goes back to school? Not this girl. Cleaning can wait. Take a look at some of the things I loved from the week: Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: Splash Pads, Paddle Boats, and Fresh Herbs”

A DIY Outdoor Play Space For Our Kids

We’ve been wanting to create a fort/treehouse/playhouse for the kids for awhile now. Recently, Mike and I put our heads together to create a space that would grow with the kids; a space where they could play, create, imagine, and even camp out. I wanted it to be part club house, part stage for little productions, part cabin in the woods. I wanted it to be kind of an a-frame structure, with a deck.

Mike executed my vision to perfection. Better, even.

I can’t wait to see the boys use this space, and one day – Beatrice. We are calling it the Adventure Cottage, because this bad boy is built for adventure.

I can’t wait to hang a few hammocks for them to lounge in and read. I can’t wait for them to roll out a few sleeping bags and tell stories with a campfire perfect for roasting marshmallows near by. I can’t wait for them to put on silly little products on the deck, with us watching and laughing in our camp chairs.

This is going to be fun. This, is going to be an adventure. Continue reading “A DIY Outdoor Play Space For Our Kids”

Thursday Things I Love: New Opportunities, Refrigerator Pickles, and Little Shop Helpers

It’s been a funky week. Do you guys ever find yourself in a funk? That weird place where your emotions don’t quite know where to land? My husband and I had a wonderful time celebrating our eleventh anniversary this week, and bunch of really great things happened this week. And yet…blah. The funk. Why does that happen?

gilmore

But speaking of Gilmore Girls….I just can’t event wait for the reboot. Can’t. Even. Wait.

But back to this week. it’s been a great week. I think I’m just feeling the impending pressure of still more change to come. It’s all good. Take a look at the things I love right now: Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: New Opportunities, Refrigerator Pickles, and Little Shop Helpers”

Thursday Things I Love: New Hats, Summer Eats, and Theo’s First Slumber Party

Whew! We’ve been busy around here soaking up summer as much as we can. I try to not think about how fleeting these warm days are in Ohio. Must. Not. Think. About. Winter.

We’ve played hard, worked hard, and eaten a ton of great garden fresh food. Take a look! Continue reading “Thursday Things I Love: New Hats, Summer Eats, and Theo’s First Slumber Party”

Blueberry Picking With My Boys: A Summer Tradition

Last week, the boys and I set out on an adventure to find a new blueberry patch. I recently heard about a semi-local spot that grew no-spray blueberries and allowed you to come pick your own, so I loaded the directions onto my phone and the boys into our van, and off we went.

We drove through some beautiful country side full of picturesque Amish farms only to arrive 45 minutes later at a lovely looking blueberry patch with a not-so-beautiful “closed for the season” sign out front.

*insert forehead into palms*

Little kids don’t understand good intentions. All they understand is WE’VE BEEN IN THE VAN FOR HOOOOOURS, NOW GIVE US THE BLUEBERRIES OR WE ARE GOING TO TEAR THIS PLACE APART!

Or something like that.

So in my best adventurer voice, I told them that I had an even better spot in mind to pick blueberries, and isn’t this so much fun?

They weren’t convinced.

But 20 minutes later, we arrived at our old stand-by, a place that doesn’t make any fancy promises about “no-spray” and what not, but they were open and their berry bushes were loaded with blueberries.

I’ll take it.  Continue reading “Blueberry Picking With My Boys: A Summer Tradition”