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The US Navy is tripling its paid maternity leave to 18 weeks

Excellent news for USN families!

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Rainy Day Activities for Kids – Part 2

Rainy Day Activities for Kids

   Rainy Day Activities for Kids – Plastic Cup Ornament

Most of the rainy day activities for kids are crafts or activities that can be done with basic items laying around the house.

This specific rainy day activity requires the following items:

  • A white or clear plastic cup
  • Colored markers for decorating the cup
  • Scissors (for the adult).

Let your child simply use the markers to color the cup any way they wish. When they are done, the adult supervisor should cut the top rim off of the cup, then turn it upside down (so the bottom is facing upward), and place on a lined cookie sheet (parchment paper should work). WIth the oven on 350 degrees, simply place the cookie sheet inside and watch the cups melt down into ornament disks!

Be sure to keep an eye on them – this whole process takes less than 10 minutes (in my oven, anyway – yours may be different). Here is the finished product:

Finished Plastic Cup Ornament

                 Finished Plastic Cup Ornament

Once your ornament is finished, you may want to cut a small hole (adults only, please!) in the very top so you can slip some string or ribbon through, tie it off, and Whaaaah Laaaah! You now have your kiddo’s personalized plastic ornament. Give it a try and share how yours turned out in the comments below!

Rainy Day Activities for Kids – Part 1

Rainy Day Activities for the Kids - Foam Suds!

Rainy Day Activities for the Kids – Foam Suds!

Did I mention that today is actually amazingly sunny, there isn’t a single cloud in sight, and it’s a beautiful 70-something degrees outside? So, it does seem a bit silly to be writing about rainy day activities for kids when the weather is about as perfect as I could hope it would be – I know! But the truth is, today I’m just lazy, and I simply don’t feel like taking my kids outside. Before you judge me, realize that I’ve been sick the past two weeks, and today is the first day I am starting to get back to feeling “normal” again. So, instead of taking my kids outside like I probably should (insert guilty face here), I decided to give myself a bit of a break by coming up with some indoor activities. Still a win-win, see? I’m not such a bad person, really!

I know how mentally draining it can be to constantly be “creative” for your kids, but I’m going to share some super simple ideas with household items that kept my kiddos entertained for hours! Yes, HOURS (can I get an “Amen”?!). I’m going to roll them out to you in a series, so watch for the other parts as I gather up my images and write them all up for you to use!

Part 1: Rainy Day Activities for Kids = Making Foamy Suds. Here’s what you’ll need…

What you'll need (washable paint is optional - but makes it more fun!)

What you’ll need (washable paint is optional)

And to be more basic – the washable paint is optional, but.. if you DO use the paint, I’m warning you now to make sure it’s the washable kind! I’ve done my due diligence warning – the rest is all on you (smile)!

I probably don’t even need to tell you what to do next – this is THAT simple. Okay, just in case, I’ll tell you anyway! Simply dump the water and dish soap into the blender, and blend away until it forms into suds! If you want to add some color, add a dolop or two of the washable paint, then pour it into a small container for your kids to play! We made two distinct colors, placed them side-by-side and my youngest thought just rubbing his hands to feel it was pretty fun.

FullSizeRender2

Almost looks edible, doesn’t it?

Once the kids were bored with “just the suds”, we added a bucket of “rinse water” and turned the suds into a car wash for their hot wheels (this could work for dolls, people toys, whatever!).

Car Wash

… At the Car Wash, Yeahhhhh!

Once the cars were all “washed”, we placed them on the towel to dry, and about an hour later my youngest son was already asking me “Mommy, when can we have another car wash”? SUCCESS!

Your turn! What else could I do with these suds? Share your ideas so we can help each other out and keep our kids, grand kids, and spouses (who are also just kids in grow ups bodies, no?) busy! And if you enjoyed this post, please share the love by sharing this post with others who might find it handy and helpful – or both. “Happy rainy day activities for kids” day – or in my case, lazy mom stays indoors day!

How to Lower Your Stress Through A “Brain Dump”

Have you ever felt so completely stressed that you could almost explode? Maybe you felt crazy overwhelmed and didn’t know how in the HECK you would EVER “get it all done”!? We live in some really fast-paced times, I know! Sometimes we just need to take a step back, and think about all that we really feel we “have” to do. The best way I know of to do this is through something I call a “brain dump”. This is where you take that entire “to-do” list that is sitting in your brain, and you literally dump it out onto something else! It has to be written down so that it’s tangible, though. You can use a good, old-fashioned paper and pencil, or you can use your smartphone, PC, iPad, or whatever is easiest and works best for you. For now, what you use doesn’t matter, simply the act of DOING it matters.

Did you know that there is research-based evidence behind the “brain dump” method? Having so much “stuff” in our heads can actually cause stress and anxiety, and just the physical act of writing it down can help take some of the stress away. Who knew, right?

There are a gazillion new apps released every day, but my current favorite is Wunderlist (free!). I love Wunderlist (and I’m not affiliated in any way) because it is easy, and I have it on my iPad, Smartphone and desktop computers (it syncs across all devices, so I have no excuse to not be on top of my “to-do’s”!). Wunderlist = Success Bliss BOMB!

How I do my Brain Dump

We are all individuals, and what works for one person may not work as well for another. I love my system, and it works really well for ME, because it’s simple, and I have easy, quick access to it ALL THE TIME (important!!). Maybe you already have a solid app that you use, and you like. Great, I’m not saying you have to change – do what works best for YOU! If paper and pencil (in a notebook that you can carry around with you!!) work best for you – fantastic! Then that’s what you should use!

If you’re just not sure what system you want to use, though, copy what I’m doing, and then gradually tweak it to meet your needs! Just remember, perfectionism slows down ACTION. You need to DO. Once you DO, you can upgrade and enhance to make it fit YOU best.

Step 1:

Go to www.Wunderlist.com from your computer, and create an account.

OR

Go to your App Store and search “Wunderlist”. Download the free app once you find it, and create an account.

You can do this from your Smartphone , iPad, and/or desktop computer! Did I already mentioned I have it on ALL of my devices? I have ZERO (zilch, nada, NULL SET, baby!) excuses for not getting my “to-do’s” DONE. And, since the app is based on your login, it is synced up across all of your devices, so it is always current, no matter which device you are using it from. Yesss – big “thank you” to cloud computing!

Step 2:

Once you have your account set up, you’ll see some pre-made folders for you on the left side. I redid them into my own preferences by simply clicking on one, then backspacing the title, and replacing it with my own.

The BIGGEST recommendation I can give you is to set up a “TODAY”, “THIS WEEK” and “SOON” folder system, to start.

Step 3:

For NOW, just do your brain dump in the “soon” folder. Once you have everything captured, you can move it into the appropriate folder (because Wunderlist allows you to move items between folders, too!). Don’t worry too much about that for now, though. Honestly just the act of getting it all down and in-writing will be an amazing start. And you have to capture EVERYTHING. Once you have it all IN WRITING, it allows your brain to “let it go”, resulting in a more calm disposition (less stress).

The key is to NOT stress about this list, we’ll bring order to the chaos later, I promise. All you need to do is dump, dump, dump those “to-do” lists out and save. I’ll provide more information on how we bring that chaos to order in an upcoming post (resulting in even more “calming” of our stress and anxiety levels – yay!).

Get Great Recipes and An Organized Life? Yes, Please!

It starts TOMORROW! Are you ready? I’m so excited to start getting the step-by-step plan to an organized life! This is much more than a “clean out your closets” kind of organized, folks! This is the BIG GUNS kind of organized. Organizing your priorities to make decision-making easier, knowing what to spend you time on, and what to STOP spending your time on. This system changed my life – literally. Why would I share it? Why NOT share it? If it helps even one person like it helped me, then that would be amazing. If it helps even more than one person – even better! Either way, the challenge is totally free, can be found on Pinterest (so it will be living there to do as many times as you’d like). Give it a try! You can find it by clicking HERE.

See you there, bring a friend or two to do it with you – caring is sharing, and having a friend or spouse to do the challenge with just makes it more fun!  XOXO