Sweet Tiny Blessings

Month: March 2016

My Children’s Favorite Activities

Before my children were born, I would imagine what they would be like.  What their likes, interests and talents would be.  For Big C, she would be shy and quiet and enjoy gymnastics.  For Little M, he would have an athletic talent and musical gift.

My kids are constantly changing.  And they are not everything I imagined them to be like.  But they are amazing little ones.  Big C is far from quiet and shy.  She enjoys making new friends everywhere she goes.  I wish I had her confidence.  She used to be fearless in any situation.  She would climb or slide down anything.  Though she still has lots of guts, she has become a little reserved to try new things.  She usually braves it out though.  
Big C is extremely creative.  She blows my mind with the things she comes up with.  She has an addiction to crafting.  And I’m not exaggerating.  She can take anything and turn it into an art project. Stickers, glue, glitter, paint, markers, stamps, straws, paper cups, tongue depressors, buttons, and the list goes on.  This girl will turn trash into treasure.

Little M’s interests were more of a puzzle to me.  For his whole life, he’s just wanted to copy his big sister. He laughs when she laughs, cries when she cries, dresses up when she dresses up and just follows her every move.  Since Big C went off to half-day Pre-K, I’ve tried to doing the same one-on-one activities with him that I used to do with Big C.  But he wasn’t impressed.  It was a struggle trying to find out what he wanted to do besides be held by mommy all day.  
Recently, I joined the YMCA so I could get some exercise and he wouldn’t be attached to my hip all day.  I love him and I know he won’t always want to be close to me.  But I desperately needed some guilt-free me time.  And Little M needed to learn to explore the world.  Most week days, he goes to the Y nursery for a little over an hour.  I think it was a great decision.  Ever since then, I have seen him become more independent and develop interests of his own.  He likes to build, check out how things work, play with cars and has become very adventurous.

What are your children’s favorite activities?

Mommy Monday Link Up Party || Week Nine


Welcome to Mommy Monday!

Mommy Monday is a weekly themed link party where we share a parenting topic and you share your thoughts on it – then we all link up our posts here. It’s a great way to get your blogging wheels greased up and spinning again if you’re struggling with writer’s block!

Get Inspired

This week’s prompt is to share your children’s favorite activities.  Want to get ahead? Next week’s prompt will be to share how you fit in time for yourself each day. When you share your posts on Mommy Monday, your link is shared on two blogs and our Pinterest board.

Featured Post

My favorite post from last week was Preparing For Baby While Coping with Antepartum Depression.  I had never heard of this before now.  I appreciate Life Through Passion being courageous enough to share her story.  I hope this helps other women who suffer from Antepartum Depression, as well.

Get to Know Your Hosts

Mandi blogs at Sweet Tiny Blessings and is a mama to two wonderful kids. She blogs about faith, family, and healthy living.
Visit her blog: Sweet Tiny Blessings



Trisha blogs at Making It Home and is also a mama to two kiddos! She blogs about family, crafting, military life, and more.
Visit her blog: Making It Home


Ready to Share Your Posts?

We have just a few simple rules to keep things running smoothly around here, and here they are!
  1. Please link back to one of the hosts (either with a text link or our handy-dandy button) from your blog post or a link parties page on your blog to help spread the word! The more, the merrier!
  2. This link party is meant for you to network with your fellow bloggers! Please take the time to visit and comment on the two to three posts linked before you. Then share on at least one social media channel. It’s more fun when you share the love! (The hosts will comment on the last 2-3 bloggers that link up.)
  3. By linking up, you give us permission to use photos from your post should you be chosen as a featured blogger.
  4. If you’ve written a post in the past that fits the theme, please feel free to link that – we don’t require fresh content to be used every week.

Mommy Monday Pinterest Board

Check out posts from past link parties here!

Grab a button!

You can link back with a text link or host the button image yourself and link back to Mommy Mondays.

Disney Junior Spring Break Playdate

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Walt Disney World Resort and MomSelect and received promotional items in order to host the Disney Kids Preschool Playdate.  All opinions are my own.


Big C has been asking to have a “Kids Day” (you know, like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day) playdate for a very long time.  I told her every day is kid’s day.  But that didn’t seem to fly with her.  So she was thrilled when she was selected to host a Disney Kids playdate.

We received a box full of Disney Junior decorations and goodies, as well as, other fun products from Tulip’s Puffy Paint, Aleene’s Tacky Glue, Banfield Pet Hospital, All, Glad and Nesquick to host a fun playdate.

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know that I like to keep things as simple as possible, but still creative and fun. We decided to host our playdate over spring break with Big C’s classmates and their siblings at a local playground.  The day was beautiful, but it was a little windy. So I had to go without decorations.

We started with a fun puppet craft.  The kids chose to make their favorite characters from Disney Junior, including Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, Jake, and Mickey Mouse.  I was so impressed with their creativeness and accessories as they decorated their puppets.

We let the puppets dry for a bit while the kids played on the playground.  Once they worked up an appetite, we gathered around the table again and had some yummy treats.  The girls were so sweet helping me pass out all the Mickey Mouse themed plates, cups and napkins.  We filled our plates with a sweet and salty snack mix including pretzels, M&M’s and Chex cereal, all in fun Frozen themed Glad Ziplock bags.  And that’s not all.  Since Mickey Mouse is one of our favorites in our home, I made a Rice Krispie Mickey Cake (see recipe below).  It didn’t turn out like the picture I spotted on Pinterest, but it still looked like Mickey.  The kids washed down their yummy treats with Nesquik chocolate milk.  

Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Cake Recipe

Ingredients: 
Rice Krispie Cereal, Marshmallows, Butter, Cookie Icing and Fondant, Cooking Spray
Supplies: 
Mickey Mouse Cake Pan, Pot, Spatula, Measuring Cup
Directions: 
Follow the easy directions on the back of the Rice Krispie box.
Form in Mickey Mouse Pan (Spray pan first).
Flip onto your tray.
Decorate with fondant or cookie icing.  (I used fondant for everything black and cookie icing for the rest).
Our little preschoolers finished up the playdate by running off all that sugar on the playground.  But they couldn’t leave without a special goodie bag filled with Disney fun, including a poster, tattoos, animal figures and a Disney map.  
Thanks Walt Disney World Resort and MomSelect for helping to make a very special and memorable spring break for these sweet kids!

Advice to a New Pregnant Mama

I was a mess when I found out I was pregnant for the first time.  My husband had just returned to Iraq and I was living in my childhood home with my parents.  Our plan was to wait at least a year before starting a family. And though my career was based on educating and taking care of children, I would be the first to admit I had no idea how to be a mama.

I asked countless questions to other moms.  How would I survive morning all-day sickness, cravings, and birth?  How would I know how to breastfeed, hold a baby?  What would it all be like?  And what I learned was that every experience was different.  My birth stories are so different from any one I ever talked to and my first was completely different from my second.

Pregnant with Little M

After the initial pregnancy shock wore off, I enjoyed every minute of my first pregnancy.  Well, almost. Morning sickness, swelling and anxiety attacks were tough, but I loved experiencing her gentle kicks, hiccups, heartbeats and ultrasounds.  It was all new and exciting.  Little M’s pregnancy was so much harder.  I was uncomfortable from the beginning to the end and eating was so hard for me. Almost every time I went to the doctor, something wasn’t “normal.”

But here I am now, almost fully healed with two sweet blessings!  What I would tell a newly pregnant mama is, go ahead, ask your questions.  I love sharing my birth stories and experiences and listening to others’.  But know your journey is going to be it’s own story.  One that you may cry tears of joy or tears of heartache over.  One that will never leave you the same.  One that you will not be able to predict, but you’ll always be held by the Father. Thank Him for His miracles and know that He has your His child in the palm of His hand.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways and faithful in all He does.  The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all that call on Him in truth.  Psalm 145:17-18






What advice would you give to a newly pregnant mama?

Mommy Monday Link Up Party || Week Eight


Welcome to Mommy Monday!

Mommy Monday is a weekly themed link party where we share a parenting topic and you share your thoughts on it – then we all link up our posts here. It’s a great way to get your blogging wheels greased up and spinning again if you’re struggling with writer’s block!

Get Inspired

This week’s prompt is to share one piece of advice you would give a newly pregnant mom.  Want to get ahead? Next week’s prompt will be to share your children’s favorite activities. When you share your posts on Mommy Monday, your link is shared on two blogs and our Pinterest board.

Featured Post

My favorite post from last week’s link up comes from Christa, author of Little Log Cottage School.  I chose this one because this looks like a book I would read myself.  I like that the advice from the author is simple and Godly.  

Get to Know Your Hosts

Mandi blogs at Sweet Tiny Blessings and is a mama to two wonderful kids. She blogs about faith, family, and healthy living.
Visit her blog: Sweet Tiny Blessings



Trisha blogs at Making It Home and is also a mama to two kiddos! She blogs about family, crafting, military life, and more.
Visit her blog: Making It Home


Ready to Share Your Posts?

We have just a few simple rules to keep things running smoothly around here, and here they are!
  1. Please link back to one of the hosts (either with a text link or our handy-dandy button) from your blog post or a link parties page on your blog to help spread the word! The more, the merrier!
  2. This link party is meant for you to network with your fellow bloggers! Please take the time to visit and comment on the two to three posts linked before you. Then share on at least one social media channel. It’s more fun when you share the love! (The hosts will comment on the last 2-3 bloggers that link up.)
  3. By linking up, you give us permission to use photos from your post should you be chosen as a featured blogger.
  4. If you’ve written a post in the past that fits the theme, please feel free to link that – we don’t require fresh content to be used every week.

Mommy Monday Pinterest Board

Check out posts from past link parties here!

Grab a button!

You can link back with a text link or host the button image yourself and link back to Mommy Mondays.

Top 5 Easter Gift Ideas

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Pley and received compensation to thank me for my time.  All views regarding Pley are my own and were not influenced by other sources.


Whoa!  How did March get here so quickly?  I’m pretty sure I just got done cleaning up all the wrapping paper around the Christmas tree.  And my kids are beyond blessed and don’t need another toy.  So I started thinking about practical and meaningful gift ideas for Easter.

Books: These are my favorite gifts to give or receive.  As an educator, I know how important it is to surround our children with literacy.  We have a variety of books in all different subjects, both fiction and non-fiction.  In fact, I need more book shelves to hold all our books.  My kid’s favorite part of the day is to choose a few books, snuggle up with mom or dad, and let their imaginations leap into their books.

Clothes: Good-bye winter (or as we call it in Florida, Fall) and hello Spring!  Every year around this time, I start packing up the long sleeves and realize my children no longer fit in their tank tops and bathing suits from last year.  Time to spring clean and bring in some fresh, summer time clothes.

Pool/Beach Toys: We opened up our patio chest the other day and realized that all the floats were getting moldy or had holes in them.  And many of our buckets and sand toys were broken.  This is the perfect time to throw out the unusable and restock for fun ahead.  Don’t forget towels and sunscreen!

Candy with a Message: My oldest loves sweets, just like her mama.  Though I don’t let her consume too much candy (she gets one special treat a day), it is a great way to incorporate teaching moments. I love the Jelly Bean Prayer.  This is one of many great ways to remind our children what Easter is really all about.  You can check out Pinterest to find more creative ideas.

Pley Subscription: I love Pley.com‘s concept because they provide a great assortment of educational toys that you can send back when you are finished with them.  No clutter!  Woohoo!  Sharing and reducing waste for the environment is also something that is reinforced.  Pley is always adding new toys, so your kids will never get bored.  Who doesn’t love to receive fun mail, anyway?

Pley

I hope all my readers have a very special Easter!  I would love to hear all about your Easter traditions and gift ideas!

My Favorite Parenting Book

I know that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  And there isn’t a parenting book out there that can teach everyone how to parent their child.  Every child and parent is so different.  But I know God provides us with the exact qualities we need to take care of our babies.  

So who else is better to go to for parenting advice then the Father?  He is the only one who loves our children more then we do.  He will always be there to protect and care for our children when we aren’t around.  So when it comes to my favorite parenting book (besides the bible), I chose The Power of a Praying Parent.

I have read this book over and over again. There are 31 short chapters that share how you can pray for your child through each stage of their life.  Some examples include peer pressure, safety and their relationship with God.  At the end of each chapter is a prayer where you can fill in your child’s name along with bible verses.

A few times a year I will read a chapter a night.  But at anytime, I may go to the book to look for something my children need me to specifically pray for over them.  It gives me such peace knowing that I can go to my Father to take care of my children at any time.

What is your current favorite parenting book?

Mommy Monday Link Up Party || Week Seven


Welcome to Mommy Monday!

Mommy Monday is a weekly themed link party where we share a parenting topic and you share your thoughts on it – then we all link up our posts here. It’s a great way to get your blogging wheels greased up and spinning again if you’re struggling with writer’s block!

Get Inspired

This week’s prompt is to share your current favorite parenting book.  Want to get ahead? Next week’s prompt will be to share one piece of advice you would give a newly pregnant mom. When you share your posts on Mommy Monday, your link is shared on two blogs and our Pinterest board.

Featured Post

My favorite link up post from last week comes from The West Coast Mommy with her Slow Cooker Thai Green Curry Chicken recipe.  I chose this recipe because it’s not only healthy, but it also is one that the whole family will love.  I can’t wait to try it!  

Get to Know Your Hosts

Mandi blogs at Sweet Tiny Blessings and is a mama to two wonderful kids. She blogs about faith, family, and healthy living.
Visit her blog: Sweet Tiny Blessings



Trisha blogs at Making It Home and is also a mama to two kiddos! She blogs about family, crafting, military life, and more.
Visit her blog: Making It Home


Ready to Share Your Posts?

We have just a few simple rules to keep things running smoothly around here, and here they are!
  1. Please link back to one of the hosts (either with a text link or our handy-dandy button) from your blog post or a link parties page on your blog to help spread the word! The more, the merrier!
  2. This link party is meant for you to network with your fellow bloggers! Please take the time to visit and comment on the two to three posts linked before you. Then share on at least one social media channel. It’s more fun when you share the love! (The hosts will comment on the last 2-3 bloggers that link up.)
  3. By linking up, you give us permission to use photos from your post should you be chosen as a featured blogger.
  4. If you’ve written a post in the past that fits the theme, please feel free to link that – we don’t require fresh content to be used every week.

Mommy Monday Pinterest Board

Check out posts from past link parties here!

Grab a button!

You can link back with a text link or host the button image yourself and link back to Mommy Mondays.

{Brokenness} Loved + Blessed Subscription Box + Giveaway Link

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Loved+Blessed subscription box and received promotional items to thank me for my time.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced by other sources.


Brokenness.  We’ve all felt it in some way or another.  Maybe you had a broken childhood or a loved one was taken away too soon.  I’ve felt it, as well.  I’ve had several seasons in my life where I’ve had feelings that were so debilitating and felt complete loneliness.  If it wasn’t for my faith, I’m not sure how I would have made it through.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV

This is the verse I found in my loved + blessed subscription box when I opened it up.  Loved + Blessed sends a box each month with a new encouraging theme.  Each box includes a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card to keep near by or give to a friend, a keepsake theme card and a special gift that could be jewelry, a prayer accessory, stationery, journal, home decor and more!
My special gift included a sewing kit to remind me that God is able to mend any torn or broken places in my life.

It was so fun to receive this box full of encouraging words and reminders of God’s love for me.  (Bonus: my husband’s button just popped off his shorts.)  As I make my stitches, I will say a prayer of thanks, that God is mending all that is broken in my life.  For I know God’s way is perfect.

If you want to feel encouraged or want to send encouragement to a friend or loved one, this is the perfect gift to brighten yours or someone else’s day month.  You can also shop by box or items that fit your needs.

GIVEAWAY

Loved + Blessed is offering you a chance to win A Year Of Encouragement (12 FREE boxes)! Simply click here to enter.  Stay connected with Loved+Blessed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all their latest updates and products!



Favorite Crock Pot Recipe

I am not usually a big fan of my crock pot.  Only because I can never find a recipe I truly love.  It seems like every time I try to use the crock pot, the times are off and I end up over cooking the meal or it’s never ready by dinner time.  
I do have ONE crock pot recipe that I absolutely love.  We used to use this one almost weekly, during the winter, in Colorado.  It’s perfect for when you have left over chicken from a dinner the night before and just don’t know what to do with it.  We used to always have a rotisserie chicken, but had so much leftovers that we didn’t want to go to waste.  This recipe was inspired from several other soup recipes I found on Pinterest, but tweaked them to create our own. 
Crock Pot Mexican Chicken Soup
Ingredients
Shredded Cooked Chicken (any amount you prefer)
4 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
3 teaspoons Minced Garlic
1 can Black Beans (drained)
1 can Corn (drained)
1 cup Salsa
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Topping Ingredients
Cheese
Cilantro
Sour Cream
Directions
Dump all ingredients into the crock pot (except sour cream and toppings).
Cook on high for 3 hours.
Add 1/2 cup sour cream and mix.
Cook for a half hour on low.
Add your topping and enjoy!

What is your favorite crock pot recipe?

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