Prepping for summer

I know it’s not even May yet, but with the end of the school year barreling toward us, I’m already sketching out a plan for the boys to avoid the “summer slump”. Otherwise known as the “I’m bored!” portion of the year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with them being bored, in fact there’s great learning and creativity that can result from boredom. However, I also have a plan of some ideas to help stretch those summer days. 

The first thing I already have in my mind is our library’s summer reading program. The boys love reading anyway, this just gives them a fun way to record their reading and will include a weekly library trip. Even if they are beyond story time (insert my crying face here), they still love searching for books. I have the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, Audubon, on the Wings of the World, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and The Wolf Wilder for A. And for J we are working through BOB books, Narwhal and Jellyfish, and the Ordinary People Change the World series. 


Second up is journaling. We are taking several trips this summer, and the boys have a few day camps and swim lessons lined up, and A mentioned wanting to take something to write in for our trips. I thought, what a cool idea for both boys. An unlined journal allows them space to draw pictures, write stories, or include any stickers or momentos. Especially for A, who right now wants to be a writer, chronicling different events helps him think of story ideas for later on.

Rainy/way too hot afternoon activity. We watched Planet Earth II this Spring and immediately upon finishing it, A said, “so there was a Planet Earth I? We need to watch that!” This show captures the boys’ attention almost more than Pok√©mon and Octonauts. Almost.

Play on your own items. In general, if the boys get to the point they are too loud, fighting too much, or in general bugging each other, I employ the Mom standard “go play on your own”. For A this typically means reading a book. For J, it’s pulling out all of his craft supplies to create, color, and make cards. A new set of easel paper, stamps like these, and more glue sticks are definitely on my list to buy before summer begins.

Snack math time. I don’t even know how A remembers all these things, but he mentioned needing division and multiplication flash cards to work on his skills (his words). Every summer since A started kindergarten, we would do math snack time in the mornings, where the boys would have a snack and I’d go through math flash cards with A. This year J will join in with word family tiles.

Board games. Both collaborative board games like our current favorite, Dinosaur Escape and competitive, like Clue, Jr.:

I like having both collaborative and competitive on hand, because it’s nice to play sometimes without the five year old meltdown when J loses. And now that I’ve got a summer list for the boys started, I’m going to go finish my nightly, end of the semester grading! 

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Local favorites

I love our city! I especially love our eclectic and lovely shops and restaurants as do our boys (cupcakes and tacos! Yes, please!). Here is a weekly round up of some of our local favorites from sweets, treats, to eats! And bows that are petite! Ha!

Valentine’s cupcakes from Smallcakes


Valentine’s present from Sweet Pineapple


Mahi-Mahi fish tacos from Rosie’s

Little bows for a special little miss from Itty Bitty (which is closing! I’m so sad!)…

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Behind the face

I’m nine chapters of outlining in…

Behind the face...And am way to lazy to figure out why the back of this picture is blue. Continuing on…

After my post on Clinique city block, I used it for several more weeks and realized it was making my face break-out. OF COURSE. It’s supposed to be for sensitive skin, but as I’ve learned, what is for sensitive skin, doesn’t always work for my sensitive skin. I have weird sensitive skin. Atypical, but certainly typical for me. I thought I’d share what works for me (don’t take this as testament that it’ll work for you, I’m just sharing what works for me).

So here is my typical line-up:

Behind the faceWhen I first met B two things I introduced him two were face wash and moisturizer. He probably won’t appreciate me sharing that, HA! Not that he didn’t use those, but they were full of fragrances, etc. B has skin that is very similar to mine, so we tend to use similar products. I stay away from anything that says “natural” “plant based” because while those may be “green” or healthier for some people, for B and I (and the boys) it’s basically a bad allergic reaction waiting to happen.

My skin also gets super dry, and my helpful salesperson at Sephora told me it was because I wasn’t exfoliating enough in addition to moisturizing. I was super hesitant about using an exfoliator, but she convinced me that First Aid’s facial radiance pads would work. And they do! And they are awesome…her tip was to cut them in half so they’ll last longer.

I use the radiance pads a couple times a week and then I use my Clarisonic on the other days. I use the delicate brush head (also recommended by my salesperson at Sephora).

For an eye make-up remover I use Clinique’s take the day off oil, which also works double to clean my beauty blender. If I’m putting on moisturizer at night, I use Neutrogena’s oil free sensitive and for the morning and around my eyes I use Sephora’s instant moisturizer. As I mentioned earlier, my skin is weird…the instant moisturizer isn’t for sensitive skin, but it doesn’t make my face break-out. I also use it instead of an eye cream, since a certain person (who will remain nameless….Jessica) scared the crap out of me of picking an eye cream. I really don’t want to permanently scar the skin around my eyes, so I’m sticking with the Sephora moisturizer for now.

And if I have any trouble spots, I use Neutrogena on the spot, which I’ve been using since high school (not the same tube of it…that’d be unsanitary). I bleached the carpet of my bedroom at my parents’ house with it. So there’s that.

Oh and by the way, I went back to my old standard of sunscreen:

SunblockIf I need to wear sunscreen, but don’t want to smell like it, I wear Neutrogena’s clear face. It literally smells like nothing. And…it doesn’t make my face break-out. So hurray! And the Coppertone sport holds up really well. And also doesn’t make my skin break-out.

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Save the printer paper

Printer paperThe boys color, draw pictures, make Mario maps, and fraction books daily. They had gone through ALL of their drawing paper and had moved on to asking for printer paper. And then using that up as fast as they could. On a shopping trip to Target B said he would pick up more paper. He came home with four different types of drawing paper, a Winnie the Pooh coloring book, a new DS holder for J’s DS (because his broke), and another Wiimote so everyone can play Mario Party 10 at the same time. I laughed and laughed because after over years of grocery shopping at Target, B has finally got sucked into the Target realm.

targetThe boys should definitely be set for awhile!

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