{August Link Love}

I am constantly coming across some amazing blog posts.  If I shared them all, my Facebook feed would be a little overwhelming. So I decided that at the end of each month, I will share some of my favorite posts from bloggers. I hope you all enjoy and stop on over to check out more from these lovely ladies.

monthly link love

Songs We Love: The Wheels on the Bus from Humble in a Heartbeat
I love, love, love, this Tot School schedule. It is perfectly laid out and so simple.

Toddler Chores from All Kinds of Things
Chores for our kids has been something we have been implementing a lot more and trying to be intentional with. There is a great list of ideas here.

Motherhood is a Journey from Abiding In Grace
Sarah is always sharing such inspirational posts and this one really resonated with me.

Exercise Essentials: Squats from Morganize With Me
Okay- lets be real here- exercise and me are not friends. But Morgan makes it look so simple and doable.

To the Mom Deciding Between Full Time Work, Part Time Work, or Staying Home from Our Life on a Budget
As a mom, we all go through this decision making time about what to do work wise. I love how Stasia shares her heart on this and what works for her family. Each family is different and will come to different decisions- love how she embraces all and accepts each personal decision with love.

You Are Not a Bad Mom, It’s Just Hard from Blithe Blog
Wow, once again Tammy shares exactly what I need to hear.

Have a wonderful weekend! I can’t wait to see the encouraging posts over the month of September.

{All About Me}

This week, I started some intentional activities with my middle son who is 2 1/2 years old. He is a very independent little guy but is loving the one on one time. Having this time with him, when my littlest is napping and the oldest is at school, has been really special and made me see even more that this kindergarten thing is a good thing overall.

This week our theme was All About Me (below I share our “lesson plans”).  The goal is to have 2-3 activities during our play time together. It is a time set aside to sit down and focus on him- no distractions.

Tot School

Theme: All About Me (God Created Us)

Monday~
Look at family photos together and talk about who is who
Hand prints

Tuesday~
Name body parts
Footprints, trace and color them

Wednesday~
Play date

Thursday~
Talk about his name, write it on paper and color it
Hide the letter N and find it

Friday~
Trace him outside using chalk
Draw self on piece of paper

chalkperson

All throughout the week, we talked about how God makes us special. I actually did the tracing of him outside using chalk on Tuesday and he LOVED it. It was so cute seeing his face light up during this activity.

If you are doing any tot school or intentional activities with your little one, please share in the comments! Or feel free to email me. I would love to hear what you are doing.

{Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle}

Guess what friends? The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is on its way! Some of you may have purchased similar bundles in the past and you know what a great deal these are. Well, there is another bundle sale coming in a few weeks!

 

healthy

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is going to be PACKED with amazing ebooks on natural living, resources to help you with weight loss, real food cookbooks, resources on how to feed your family on a small budget, an eCourse on essential oils, and even some freebies (like an Amber necklace and a subscription to an at home fitness program!).

So do you see why I wanted to let you all know about this ahead of time? Plus there is a little extra special thing… if you sign up to be notified, you will get a special Refer a Friend code. If you refer one friend, you will get $5 off your bundle! If you refer 5 friends you receive a 12-session audio conference, and referring 10 will get you an Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle for absolutely free!

So head on over and sign up so you can be notified as soon as this amazing Bundle goes on sale, and then let your friends know.

 

{After School Snacks}

School is officially in session for us as my oldest started kindergarten last week. I still cannot believe he is in school and if you stopped by yesterday you were able to hear some of my thoughts on letting go.

My mom always had some amazing snacks ready for us after school. I loved being able to come home and relax with a refreshing snack. In preparation for my son’s after school time, I decided to share some of my favorite SIMPLE after school snacks.

Afterschool Snacks

(1) Apple Slices & Peanut Butter- We are big on peanut butter in this house- thankfully no peanut allergies here. Apples are another item that are usually found in our home. So why not combine 2 of our favorite items? I love using my apple slicer to easily and quickly slice up an apple for the kids.

After School Snacks

Yogurt & Granola- Sometimes we will top this with berries as well. I shared this idea when we talked about Simple Breakfasts and this just shows another way you can use the amazing granola!

Veggies & Dip- Sliced carrots, green peppers, broccoli, celery, little tomatoes. There are endless options here! Sometimes we will get a bag of carrots and I will peel and slice them up and place in a container of water in the fridge. They get eaten faster when they are already prepped and there is less waste going on. Most of the time we will just use Ranch dressing, but we have used Hummus as well and that is always a hit.

Chocolate Chip Cookies- I know, this is not a healthy option, but it is homemade and super simple so that makes up for it right? Below is the delicious recipe.
1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/3 cups flour
1 package chocolate chips
Cream butter/oil and sugars and beat rest in- mix well. Drop by tablespoons full onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes or until edges are slightly golden brown.

After School Snacks

Tortilla Chips & Salsa or Guacamole- My boys love guacamole and so do I. It is a serious love of mine. Below is a simple recipe I use to create our guacamole.
- 1 avocado
- diced onion and diced tomato
- cilantro
- garlic powder
- sea salt
I mash up the peeled avocado and then add in the rest (according to taste). It is so easy to make!

guacamole

Popcorn- A super simple snack for our family is popcorn. We will make it using our Whirley Pop. If you have not tried popcorn using this, you need to! It is amazing (I may eat some of this every night). I add a little salt to it and the boys eat it up.

Cheese & Crackers- I will set out some crackers and cheese slices. Sometimes we will just use string cheese.

Why not add in a bonus after school snack? Cheese and crackers…. another simple snack. What are some of your favorite after school snacks?

Linked Up With:

Momfessionals Recipe Club

{Move Forward}

Watching him standing in the doorway, my heart stopped beating. I wanted to call out I love you one more time or reach out to hug him. Suddenly, he seemed so small with the large Justice League book bag on his back.  Emotion was overflowing inside me and I could see  the teacher directing the car rider drop off  motioning for me to move forward.  Ever so slowly, I pressed the gas and drove as the school building faded into the backyard… The motioning of the teacher for me to move forward- it doesn’t get more symbolic than that really, does it now? Move forward, dear mama, move forward… really all I wanted to do was hold on a little longer and keep him in the safety of my arms.

Thoughts tumbled through my mind as I hoped he remembered to walk straight back to his classroom, prayed he wasn’t too nervous, and worried about if someone was mean to him. Picking up my phone, I called my husband who was almost at work. Hearing his words of reassurance helped… I wanted to know my son was okay, safe, confident and smiling. I wanted to call the school and ask to make sure he was okay… Seriously, though,  who does that?! They have 800 students and can’t have every parent calling.  At this point I was home, the 2 little ones unloaded and eating their breakfast.  There I sat, drinking my coffee and staring at the clock. 2:00pm had never seemed so far away.

letting go

I didn’t know letting go would be so hard. It was day 2 of kindergarten and in some ways it was easier and then on the other hand it was still hard. I second guessed so much. Should I have walked him in? Did I reassure him enough? Did I remind him that kids can be mean and it’s okay? Was it all enough? I felt like there was so much more I wanted to tell him- to teach him- to make sure he understood.

Letting go and moving forward with this new season of my life… it is hard.  I never thought it was going to be that hard, but now I can look back and say- it is okay.  I am taking it slow. My son has amazed me with how well he has done. I know there will be bad days for him and I try to prepare mentally for those, but so far all has gone better than I could have ever imagined. It is definitely harder on my husband and I.

Lately, I just keep praying and giving my son to God. As we drive up into the car rider drop off, we pray together. While he is at school, I pray off and on for him . After school, we try to keep the conversation open about his day, sneaking in questions here and there. We are letting him go… a little… and watching his personality continue to develop and bloom. This is a new season. One that overflows with emotions, but a good one and I will choose to move forward.

There is more I want to teach him and help him understand and I can continue to have these moments with him. We cherish our afternoons/evenings and the weekends together. Parenting seems very real now, it is more than just getting a baby on a sleep schedule. We are in the thick of it and praying daily for wisdom. There are challenging days and moments. Kids will be mean, but I will be there to help him pick up the pieces. There will be good and bad days. There will be good and bad decisions made. But this is what it is all about.

So tonight, I linger a little longer as we read his night time stories. I tuck him in and pray over his little self as he sleeps. Making his lunch, I prepare it with love and set it in the fridge for tomorrow. It is a new week full of our new season.  Ever so slowly, I take my steps forward- keeping my eyes on the ONE who leads us all.

{Learning With Play Dough}

Today I am over at Your Modern Family sharing all about learning with play dough. Play dough can be one of those overwhelming activities, but it does not have to be! Stop on over at Your Modern Family to read more about the play dough rules in our house and some simple activities.

learning with playdough*** In 2 weeks (September 8) will be the monthly themed link party that I get to co-host with 7 other wonderful blogging friends. The theme for September is Organization, so get your best organizing idea ready to share.

organizationlinkupsmall

* Thanks to Carrie from Carrie This Home for inviting me to take part in Tour of Blogland! I am so excited to share more about this next Monday.

 

{Friday Reflections}

It has been a week of new routines all around here, but a good week overall!

(1) My oldest started kindergarten this week. So you can imagine the range of emotions over here! It has been harder than I thought dropping him off and all… But it’s been good for me, and him ;) I’ve been praying a lot and just giving it all to God. My son is LOVING it so that definitely helps!

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(2) With my oldest at school, I have really been able to have some special time with my middle and youngest. It has been fun seeing my little N explore without the constant leading of his older brother. We are settling into a new routine and I want to treasure these days with these 2.

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(3) We have a winner for the Goose & Gemma print giveaway! I was pretty excited to see the winner was Becky from BYBMG. If you own an Etsy shop or small business and would like to advertise with Living In This Season, I currently have some amazing specials going on!

(4) Next weekend we are braving a camping trip, just our family, and I am rather excited! Of course it has been in the near 100s with humidity and all so I am hoping it cools down some. Just a short trip at a beach near by (hoping for that ocean breeze). So lots of prep for that in my near future!

(5) I have decided to redo our dining room table. I excited about it and can’t wait to show you all the finished product! It is going to take me a while because will be working on it during naptime. It has been a project that has been lurking around in my mind for awhile and I am ready to tackle it!

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What about you? How was your week?

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The Diary of a Real Housewife

{Setting a Daily Routine}

Last week I shared about starting your own tot school. I received a lot of questions about how we set up our day when doing tot school. So I decided to share about setting a daily routine.

Kids really do thrive on routines, well at least mine do, so I attempt to create somewhat of a schedule for our days. We are not obsessive with this- grace is always allowed. Some days we may not start tot school until 9:45… it is okay. This is just a general guide to follow and helps me stay focused and intentional (aka not sit on pinterest for way too long).

daily schedule

I drop off my oldest around 7:15 or so at school. My goal (and so far it has happened the first two days) is to have my middle child and I dressed for the day. Which he is usually wide awake by 6:30am so it is no problem accomplishing this. Once we return from dropping off his brother, we eat our breakfast.

After breakfast, comes the Morning 5 which I explained a couple weeks ago. My son plays during this time with some toys. He has been all about having all the toys to himself while brother is at school. My little one typically eats between 8:30 and 9am so I take care of that during this time.

For now, I have Tot School starting around 9:30am. Little C usually lays down for her morning nap around that general time. My goal at first is to have 3 intentional activities. I will be sharing what we did for our first week, next Thursday so make sure and stop by. I love this planning form by Homeschool Creations . It is perfect for us as she has spaces for the 3 activities.

He is currently 2 1/2 and a major thing we are working on is his speech. So I will do a lot of learning based around that. Next fall, I plan to do Letter a Week and add in more structured learning.

If the weather is nice, I like us to go outside and get some energy out!

During his naptime, I fold the laundry from the loads I did during my Morning 5, clean up the kitchen, do a general pick up, and tackle my project (which varies from a DIY project, baking, blogging, relaxing, etc).

Once his brother is home from school, we do a lot of free play and outside play. Even when I did school at home with my oldest when he was 4 years old, we usually were finished by 1 or 2 pm and would just relax and play.

That pretty much sums up how our days go! There is of course variations as we have Mom Group 2 times a month, speech once a week, and I am aiming to do a play date once a week. But this is my overall plan in order to keep things running smoothly. I want to take advantage of this time with my middle child, to really invest in him, and having a semi schedule helps me to do so. Please, please do not hesitate to ask any questions! Feel free to comment below or email me at livinginthisseason (at) gmail (dot) com

If you structure your day, how do you do it?

{Simple Breakfasts}

School is back in session for many of us by now (for those of you still enjoying summer vacation- savor every second), and with this comes the morning rush. Somehow, no matter how organized one can be, the morning still is hectic, to say the least. This is my first year having a little one go to school, and I am really trying to instill some good routines to help things go as smoothly as possible.

Most mornings, I know that I am not going to have the time to make breakfast. But at the same time, breakfast is such an important meal and I want to send my little guy off to school with a full stomach. So I decided to prep some simple breakfasts ahead in order to save myself some time. Here are a few of our favorites:

Simple Breakfasts

Pumpkin Muffins- We absolutely love these muffins from Money Saving Mom. They are so easy to make and delicious. Our whole family loves them. The recipe makes a lot- but I usually double it so I can freeze even more of them. These are one of the recipes in Money Saving Mom’s 4 Weeks to Fill Your Freezer Series- which I really recommend.

Granola & Yogurt-  One of my son’s favorite breakfasts is a little yogurt parfait. I usually buy a big container or vanilla or plain yogurt and then we add granola and fresh or frozen fruit. My favorite granola to make is from 100 Days of Real Food. I have only made this using the oats, not all the added in nuts and seeds and I do add in extra cinnamon. My husband loves eating this with milk.

Waffles- Recently, I shared about Freezer Waffles. Seriously, making a large batch of these one morning is such a lifesaver. Once they are made, just freeze and take out as needed. So simple! I know friends who will freeze pancakes as well.

What are some simple breakfasts your family enjoys?

*** Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the beautiful Goose & Gemma Print!


ourlifeonabudget

Shares at Frugal Crafty Blog Hop

{Favorite Daily Planner}

Planners are something I am absolutely obsessed with. It’s borderline unhealthy how much I love filling out a new planner. So one can imagine how many planners I tend to go through… on a recent hunt for a planner. I came across The Daily Planner by Sue Hooley and this has quickly become my favorite daily planner I have used. Why, you ask? Well let me share some of the reasons:

Price- I love the fact that this planner is reasonably priced. It is hard for me to come to terms with spending a large sum on something I will use and then be done with 12 months later. Currently (while supplies last), Sue is offering an AMAZING deal where you can buy the 2015 planner and then you get the 2014 one for FREE! So for all you moms out there getting organized for the school year, this is a great deal for you! The 2015 planner starts in the month of December 2014 so it makes for an easy transition into the new year.

2015 BOGO Sidebar

Layout- The planner is divided into these sections: Year, Month, Week, Tasks, Projects, Info, and Shopping. It is very  easy to  flip where I need to be. I keep a paper clip holding my spot in the current month and week.

And those 2 reasons are just the beginning of why I love this planner so much…

- I love that there are weekly verses in this planner. It is a great way to encourage you.

- At the beginning of each week there is a tasks list. I love this because as I have shared before, I like to break my master to do list into weekly/daily sections.

daily planner

- The daily sections are the perfect size. On one side of each day, I write my planned appointments. Then on the other side I write my tasks I want to accomplish. There is also a section to write the menu for that day. :)

- Love the tasks and projects section! This completely eliminates the need for me to have a bunch of scrap paper flying around. I can simply write my lists of future projects, blog ideas, gift ideas, in these sections. I also keep my master to do list written in the tasks section.

- The tear out shopping lists are pretty amazing. I have started a couple lists in here with Christmas gift ideas, things to buy for camping, etc.

Now here is a little bit about the lady who designed it all…

Meet Sue Hooley:

The Daily Planner was designed by Sue, wife of Dan for 24 years and mother to six lovely children, two girls and four boys ages 5-21. The planner was developed after several years of motherhood and homemaking. Sue understood that a homemaker’s day can rarely be scheduled and structured the same as the one before- not every task can fit neatly into the time-slot allotted by other planners. Since her first publication in 2010, thousands of homemakers have benefited from the daily planner.

The-Homemaker's-Friend-Daily-Planner---BOGOIf you would like to purchase a planner and take advantage of her amazing buy the new planner and get 2014 free deal- then make sure and hop on over now to Homemakers Friend to purchase.

** I did received these planners to review and the opinion is 100% my own. Read more about my disclosures here.

* Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the beautiful Grace Abounds print from Goose & Gemma- winner will be announced Friday!

Grace Abounds