Mom Life

6 posts

Our Summer Routine | 3 Kids 5 and Under

Summer is here! For many people, it means a more relaxed routine. Your kids can sleep in a little longer stay up a little later. Travel, and lots of other fun things. However, there is another group and that is those like me. Those who have spent the last 4 or 5 years living the dream… ☺️#stayathomemom #momlife

We’ve set our own schedules, schedules that fit our needs as a stay at home mom and now we are approaching August and we’ve got to start getting ourselves and our kids ready for the transition into a full day of school.

Why I Created a Summer Routine

Since I find myself preparing for life with my two oldest in school for the majority of each day, and I am a creature who prefers consistency (as does my middle child) I decided to be very intentional with our time and scheduling this summer.

I began this journey on June 1st and have seen so many positive results with my children’s eating habits, sleeping and even behavior (read: less fighting, more playing together)

A little about me…

If you are new to my little corner of the internet, Hello! I’m Erin. I’m a stay-at-home mom to three amazing kiddos! After years of being kid-free, we were blessed with three girls. We’ve made it through the baby years, and are moving up to school-aged kids. Prayers accepted. 😉

A day in my life…

In September of 2018, I started teaching with VIPKID and I absolutely love it. Since I teach part-time with VIPKID, I get up at 5:22 each morning and prepare for classes. I teach from 6-7:30 on a full teaching day or 6:30-7:30 on a more typical weekday.

At 7:15 a.m. my children start waking up. My AMAZING husband will greet them, help them brush their teeth and play with them while he gets ready for work and I finish teaching.

From 7:30 – 8:30 in the morning, the girls are going through their morning routine, of getting dressed and eating breakfast. I typically drink 20 ounces of water and then around 8:30 a.m. the girls can have their first screen time of the day.

From 8:30 – 9:30 I allow the girls to have a little bit of screen time while I get a workout in. I do my workouts at home and have been loving the beach body programs. I’m not a Beach Body Coach and I don’t drink their shakes, I just truly enjoy the programs.

 Check out my results from Transform 20 

Around 9:30 a.m. the girls are typically hungry again so I feed them a snack and I also keep myself some brunch.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. No more screen time. The girls can play dress up, read stories, play games or play with toys. They can do anything that want, except watch Television. Between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. the girls will eat lunch and have some more time with their toys.

Afternoon our afternoons are usually pretty much the same as our morning with the exception of an afternoon movie and snack. My girls have really been into watching movies as a family, so in the afternoon I usually snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie with the girls before starting dinner.

One thing we’ve started enforcing this summer is pre-dinner clean up. Since the girls are spending a significant amount of time playing with toys my house can get pretty messy with toys. Each evening while I cook dinner the girls will have to clean everything up.

Dinner is served around 6:00 p.m. and then we finish cleaning up their room, clean the kitchen, sweep and mop the floors (every single night) and jump in bed for story time around 7:30 p.m.

It’s not perfect I’m sure but it’s what has been working for us. Our girls are waking up happier, I’m not feeding them snacks all day long and I absolutely love hearing them play (together).

My house is a mess, and my kids are happy. What more could a mom ask for?

Erin | StorybookErin.com

What’s your Summer Routine like?

I’d love to hear what your summer routine is like. What types of food your kids are loving, any fun trips you have coming up! Let’s chat!

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The Umbrella Sky Project, Coral Gables FL

About the Umbrella Sky

Located in the heart of downtown Gables, Florida the Umbrella sky is certain to delight visitors of all ages. Created by the Sextafiera company in Portugal, the Umbrella Sky project began in 2012 and has been installed all over the world.  Coral Gables, Florida is one of only three cities in the United States to host this project.  (The exhibit was in Pensacola, FL in January of 2018).

According to the Facebook Page, the mission of this project is “Coloring Life and Making People Smile”. Mission Accomplished, this exhibit is adorable. You can’t help but see the connection with Mary Poppins in this exhibit, which brings such a fun Disney-inspired experience to South Florida.

One you won’t want to miss – and you better hurry. This exhibit leaves Coral Gables in September of 2018.

If you are interested in finding out about similar projects, check out their website. My favorite was the all pink umbrellas!

Where to Find The Umbrella Sky Project

Address

2349-2301 Salzedo St, Coral Gables, FL 33134

Parking

There is plenty of metered parking and garages throughout downtown Coral Gables. Just make sure to bring some change. We parked around the corner from the exhibit and parking was about 2.50 per hour.

How long did you stay? 

I went to the exhibit with my sister-in-law and a friend and we stayed about 1 hour inside the exhibit. We took our time taking tons of photos and really enjoying the atmosphere. You could definitely make this into a half-day or longer trip if you opted to eat in one of the many cafe’s under the umbrella sky.

My Philosophy on Encouraging Art Appreciation

As a mom of three young children with completely different personalities. I make every effort to expose my children to multiple experiences. I want my children to be well-rounded adults with an appreciation for the arts, nature and academics. Opportunities to get outside and experience beautiful art exhibits are the perfect way to show the beauty of art in a way that’s exciting for young children and toddlers.

So, if you want to encourage your children to love art, expose them to age-appropriate art exhibits from a young age. Encourage and foster the love for creativity!

Comment below: What are some art exhibits in your area, we love to travel!

Whimsical Photo Opportunities

The Umbrella Sky makes for some of the most beautiful and whimsical photos. Perfect for couples, families and children. We brought a blanket with us and snapped lots of fun photos with the girls. If you want to capture photos without too many people in the background, I recommend going around 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning. This is before the cafe’s open so there will be less traffic in the area.

What to Bring to the Umbrella Sky

If traveling with young toddlers or babies. Bring a snack and water. Under the umbrellas it does get a little warm, especially with the summer heat. I forgot our water bottles in the car, and my girls were quite thirsty.

You might also want to bring a blanket or any props you might want for your photos. We saw lots of people with brightly colored umbrellas. I went with the Mary Poppins inspired Disney Bound with my dress (found on Amazon).

Hurry, this exhibit leaves South Florida Soon!

This exhibit is set to leave Coral Gables in September. So don’t delay! Make plans to visit soon!

This is perfect for a Mom’s Day Out, Girls Brunch, Family Day, Date… Perfect for a fun outing! A Must-See in Coral Gables, Florida! Be sure to tag your photos with #umbrellaSky on social media and join the conversation!

Three BEST Breakfast Dishes (according to my 3-year-old)

The Importance of Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast helps wake you up and get your body ready for the day. From my own experience, when I start my day with a glass of water and something small to eat I tend to make better choices throughout the day. My children also tend to eat better throughout the day when they’ve started their day with a meal.

Additionally, when I first started my weight loss journey in 2012 one of the first things I did was to make time for breakfast in the morning. I firmly believe that eating a healthy breakfast in the morning was key to kick-starting my weight loss journey.

Here is a photo of me when I first started my weight loss journey with a photo of me last fall. – The biggest thing I remind myself is that I am worth it. This August I am getting back on track with my weight loss goals and reminding myself that I am worth it  and You are too!

3 Best Breakfast Dishes (according to my 3-year-old)

If you didn’t know, my daughter has requested to start making “cooking movies”.  This particular video is one that she asked to do, and I thought it was actually a really great thing to share. She gives her top 3 favorite things to eat for breakfast. So, I do hope you’ll take a moment to go watch her video and give her a big thumbs up!👍🏼

Breakfast One

The number one thing my children request for breakfast is scrambled eggs with cheese. We recently purchased some round plates at our local Target, and they were perfect for making the eggs into a happy face.

Eggs kind of get a bad reputation sometimes. However, they aren’t as awful for you as you might think. Did you know that just 1 large eff has 6 grams of protein? They are also packed with lots of nutrients that help boost your brain power, vision and keep you feeling full longer. – Go ahead, google it! Eggs are a great breakfast for your kids!

Breakfast Two

Muffins! or, Breakfast Cupcakes. Muffins also have a bit of a reputation for being an unhealthy breakfast. Yes, there are a lot of muffin recipes out there that fill you up with empty calories. However, with this recipe, you are loading your kids up with Kale (and they might not even realize it!) 😱

Kale is such a great vegetable to include in your diet. It is rich in so many vitamins and nutrients, including Fiber, Protein and Folate. Do your brain a favor and have some Kale.😊

Breakfast Three

Mickey Waffles.

Mickey Waffles are a Saturday tradition in our home. Everyone in our family loves waffles, and who doesn’t want to eat a Mickey Waffle? If you want to make this option a little healthier, I recommend the recipe for the 21-day fix cookbook. It is made with whole-wheat flour and other quality ingredients. My children have been eating their waffles this way for so long they prefer whole-wheat waffles to any other.

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How I save money on our family hair cuts.

Money.

Money. Yep, you need it for everything. Truth be told, I am naturally more of a spender than a saver. Let me insert a clip of me…😅

via GIPHY

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But, the sentiment is the same. I am not a naturally frugal person. I am getting better though, and one of the ways I’ve become more of a DIY girl is with my haircuts.

Saving Money with Shark Tank

I was up late one night binge watching Shark Tank, and I saw a product that allowed you to cut your own hair.😱 I was so impressed by this product and inspired to try it out that I ordered one from Amazon. I figured if I could cut my own hair, and the hair of our three children with this product for at least one time it would be worth it to try.

A haircut for my hair typically costs around 25-30 dollars and a child’s haircut is very similar in price. A creaclip retails on Amazon for $30.00 and is available on PRIME. – Yes. Please!

See how Easy!

In order to use the product, just follow a few easy steps.

  1. Brush out all the tangles in your hair.
  2. Put the creaclip on towards the top of your hair.
  3. Make sure it’s level.
  4. pull down to where you want to start cutting.
  5. Cut.

Benefits of cutting my own hair

As a mom of three very young children, I just don’t have the extra time to head out to the salon. I also don’t really change my hairstyle that often. For this season of life, I prefer my hair to have enough length to put into a braid or a bun and be on the go with my family. The Creaclip saves me TIME. 

The creaclip also saves me money. Even if I only use it 2 or 3 times, I have more than broken even on the cost of the product.

Favorite Hair Cair Products

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I let my Toddler do my Makeup Challenge!

Makeup Challenge

I’ve seen the challenge where you allow your children to do your makeup floating around Youtube for a while now. Since my three-year-old is really into makeup I thought it’d be the ideal challenge to do with her. As a mom of multiple children who are close in age, I really try my best to find ways to connect with each of the girls. This challenge was an absolute blast, and I literally had tears in my eyes as I watched her excitement.

Makeup Challenge Video

I was inspired by my friend Bethany from The Pintastic Girls to do this challenge, and I’m so glad that I did! Watch the video here, be here to leave a thumbs up or comment! If you like following our family, we’d l love it if you’d hit that subscribe button!

Makeup Products Used

Here are a couple of the products used. I allowed her to use my actual makeup products and felt she did a great job being careful with them. As much as I love these products, I am always curious to find new great and affordable products. Leave me a comment with some of your favorite products below!

These links are affiliate links. If you decide to buy, it costs nothing extra for you but my family does receive a small commision off of the sale.

Milani Conceal and Perfect

I was introduced to this product by my friend Julie – Follow her on Instagram for hilarious makeup tutorials, and encouragement! I do love this product, but it feels a little thick going on so just be sure to have some really good brushes or a damp beauty blender for the application. It wears really nice throughout the day and I have found that I don’t use concealer when I use this product.

 

Wet and Wild Mega Glow Highlight

This product is amazing. It has become my favorite product for doing my makeup in a hurry because I can use darker pink shade for an eyeshadow, and also the highlight for that Instagram worthy glow!

Real Techniques Brushes

Several years ago Real Techniques sent me some brushes to test, and I’ve been in love ever since.

Mascara

I usually stick with wet n wild mascara, I find it to be easy to apply and long wearing.

As mentioned before, I am in the market for some more makeup so be sure to leave me a comment below on your favorite makeup products!

StorybookErin.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

What’s in my (Disney) Bag: First Aid Essentials

Walt Disney World is equipped with incredible First Aid Stations. I’ve personally visited them and directed guests to them on a few occasions. – They are AWESOME! Although Disney does provide this (free) resource for their guests, it isn’t always in a convenient location. That is why I like to pack a few essentials in my backpack!

If you do end up visiting First Aid, you will get an adorable little Nurse Mickey or Nurse Minnie sticker. My kids thought this was so adorable. They would wear them with pride!

What’s in my First Aid Kit

First Aid Kits are important for mom’s to have. No matter the ages of your family, I think it’s important to have a few essential items with you. As a mom with three young children (4,3&1), I tend to keep mostly infant and toddler-friendly items with a few essentials for my husband and me.

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First Aid Essentials: Mom and Dad

The few items I like to keep in my backpack for a day at a Disney park for my husband and I include:

  • Tylonal or Ibuprofen
  • Eyeglass cleaner
  • Bandaids

 

First Aid Essentials: Infant and Toddler

  • Tylonal or Ibuprofen (with the proper dosage information)
  • Travel Size Diaper Rash Cream
  • Tums

First Aid Essentials: Other Items

There are a couple of other items that I like to keep with me when in the parks.

  • Small notebook with a pen
  • Thermometer
  • Hair ties
  • Comb

Here is a video I made to show you have I pack everything inside a small cosmetic pouch. I hope this was helpful for you as you plan a trip to Walt Disney World with your family!

What items do you keep in your first aid kit? Leave me a comment with what you recommend! If you are looking for more tips for planning an epic Disney Vacation, be sure to check out this post! 

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