Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Best Parts

We've had a busy week!  Lots of fun things with just a few not so fun things sprinkled in - root canal, foot still in a boot and end of the school year business.

The best parts of our week were:

Road Trip.
The kids and I went on a super quick road trip to visit family.  They did great in the car and we had a fun time.  Neither of them have been getting car sick lately thanks to a few things we've been doing differently and it's be so nice!!  We got to celebrate my nephew turning 10.  He was the first grandchild on my side so it was extra exciting when he was born.  Can't believe how fast time has flown!

Baby Shower.
These two girls are very soon going to both have little brothers.  Scarlett's little brother should be here in the next couple of weeks.  They love playing together!

The shower was red, white and blue themed and it felt so summery!  Bring on all the summer BBQs.
 Jacque & baby boy :)

I am getting to see my mom three times in one week for Mother's Day :)

Mother's Day
We zoomed back home in time for Mother's Day.  Brunch at Dennys, flower shopping, yard work and Kevin grilled my favorite foods.


We picked out a mix of pinks, whites and greens for my backyard flower pots.  It was fun to pick a new variety and have Olive help me.

Grocery Shopping.
This guy smiles at all the ladies at Meijer and gets cookies while we shop.  He is mostly a great helper and wraps up our shopping with a horse ride or two.

Our neighbor turned 94 this week so we baked him cupcakes and delivered them to his door.  He and his wife were thrilled.  I just love these Wilton number cupcake silicon pans.

Everyday Holy
I'm so excited about Everyday Holy: Finding A Big God in the Little Moments by Melanie Shankle.  It's gotten great reviews and I love the idea of a book with 100 devotions in it.  It's a beautiful hardback book with a powerful message.  I'm excited to open the book each day.  The devotions are filled with stories that are easy for women to relate to, include Bible stories/passages/characters and inspire you to find God all around you.  Shankle is funny, clever, relatable and easy to read.  Her devotions get you thinking and are easy to apply to your life.  This devotion would be the perfect one to keep at your desk, bedside or in your car to read when you have a free minute.  I bet you'll want to read more than one day at a time if you're like me.  I'd highly recommend this devotion if you're looking for ways to pause and notice what God is doing all around you.
I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

Dr Fletcher
Fletcher has been super concerned about my foot.  When I was wrapping it up he said Awwww Poor Mom! and then gave it a check up.

Olive & Fletcher
I'm not the only one who gets excited about Target deliveries to our door.  I only ordered a few things and they came in a giant box.  The kids turned it into a boat and played with it for days.

Open gym is always the highlight of their week.  They are dare devils so it keeps me on my toes!

In case you missed it on Polka-Dotty Place:

Monday: 100 Day Decluttering UPDATE
Tuesday: #OhOlive 5 Year Old Wish List
Wednesday: End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas

Hope you have a great weekend!

Linking up with My Glittery Heart

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

End of Year Teacher Gift Ideas

The school year is coming to an end and it's time to start thinking about teacher gifts.

My friends and I were swapping teacher gift ideas and I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you.  It's the first year I've had teachers to give gifts to since Olive started PreK.  I have loved shopping for and sending in surprises for them all throughout the year.  I don't spend a ton ($15 or less), but try to come up with thoughtful, seasonal things to gift her teachers.

What do you do for your teachers at the end of the school year??

Our end of the year gifts were:

Summer Tote Bags + Chocolate Chip Cookies + handwritten thank you note.
I let Olive pick out one she thought each teacher would like, baked cookies and added in a note from both of us.  She was SUPER excited to give them their gifts.  I loved that they were practical and fun.  They also didn't break the bank.  

Click to shop from Target -->

A few other gift ideas that any teacher would appreciate:

1. Gift card
(Coffee shop, movie passes, Chick-fil-A, pedicures, Target, etc.)

2. Summer goodies
(monogrammed beach towel, beach bag, beach towel, beach hat, set of summer glasses, plates or lemonade making kit)

3. Local treats
(fresh treats from a bakery, Papa Murphys pizza, take out, cookies or candies)

4. Here are some other ideas for you from Target.  I was tempted to buy the initial cups, but they didn't have one letter I needed.  Maybe next year.

PS Some affiliate links included.  Thanks for reading & supporting Polka-Dotty Place!

It's time to link up with my favorite Welcome Wednesday ladies.
Be sure to join us with a current post or two from this week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#OhOlive 5 Year Old Wish List

Olive's 5th birthday is quickly approaching.  She's SUPER excited to have a unicorn party with her cousins and has requested to invited some friends over for her birthday.  She's always been a girl who knows what she wants so I'm happy to help her plan her party.

I thought I'd share some funny #oholive stories and then give you some ideas of what a 5 year old girl might like for their birthday.  I regularly get asked for gift ideas so I hope this helps if you have a five year old to shop for this year.

#OhOlive quotes & stories:

I had a berry hard day of school today.  Playing that xylophone really wore me out.  Think I could have a brownie when we get home?

I want some lonely time! (what she says when she wants to be alone)

Kevin got the kids walkie talkies.  He taught her how to use them.  She walks around saying, Do you read me?  Over.  I'm hiding in my room.  Coffee.  (Coffee = copy :)

I was talking to her about being nice to her friends.  She listened and then said, Good talk, Mom.

I'm positive sure.  (what she says when she's really sure.)

Hey, Mom.  Fun fact:  Everyone has cheeks on their face and cheeks on their butt.

I hope daddy comes home with a T-O-Y for me.  I'd really like that.

Maddox is always so sad.  I wish I could marry him and make him so happy.

I asked my brain to change its mind and it said NOPE not going to happen.

Mom, I'm getting sweet tears!  I saw these little chickadees and sweet tears came to my eyes.  My teacher taught me about them.

She asked what the heart eye emoji meant.  I told her it's what happens when you see something you love.  Mama, I have heart eyes when I think about you.  Then later in the week she came into my room, woke me up and said I have heart eyes for you this morning!

We were playing I Spy while waiting for our Mother's Day breakfast to arrive at Dennys.  It was her turn and she said... I spy something beautiful.  It's YOU!

Shopping for a 5 year old:

Olive is currently wearing a size 7/8.

Loves dresses & night gowns.

She enjoys puzzles with 20-30 pieces, flashlights, games, outside toys, Hatchimals, unicorns & cats.  She loves anything that includes sparkles, playdoh, princesses or accessories.

1. Hot Potato - she played this at school and it blew her mind!  We got this for her

2. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game - great for counting & fine motor practice.  I've heard this game recommended over and over again.

3. Hatchimals - she has some, but loves collecting them!

4. Butterfly Growing Kit

5. Calico Critters - they are all adorable.

6. Guess Who?  I always loved this game and bet it would be fun to play together.

7. Melissa & Doug bean bag toss game.  Kind of like kid corn hole!?!?

8. Ring Toss - I bet both kids would love playing this game.

9. Me Reader - Olive LOVES the one she has and uses it almost every day.  She really enjoys most books - Fancy Nancy, Nonfiction books about animals, Princess stories, etc.

10.Yumbox - We are huge yumbox fans!  My kids lick them clean every time I pack their lunches in them.  I think it would be nice to have two for her to rotate between since she'll be packing her lunches 5 days a week when K starts in the Fall.  I think she'd want a purple one.

5 year olds are fun to shop for :)

PS Some affiliate links included.  Thanks for reading & supporting Polka-Dotty Place!

Monday, May 14, 2018

100 Day Decluttering UPDATE

I'm about halfway through my 100 day challenge to declutter ALL the things and it's going GREAT!!  I have decluttered at least one thing most days since March.  I have taken some days off when we're out of town or busy, but overall I've been decluttering like crazy. 

I have made another trip to Goodwill to donate 4 bags.

I currently have 2 more bags waiting to be dropped off.

I took my clothes and kid clothes to resale shops.

I also sold things on a local market page.  The extra cash was very motivating for me to continue to declutter.  It was fun to earn some money by clearing things out of our house.  It was also exhausting so I'm taking a break from it.  It took a lot of work to clean, photograph, advertise and then schedule meet up times to sell the items.  It was definitely worth my time, but I need a break from it.

I've also worked hard to only buy things I LOVE and purchase less.  For example, I liked a lot of these tops, but I only picked my favorite one to buy.  I came home with the grey peplum top in the middle with eyelet lace.  It's such a fun top!

My game plan for the last half of my challenge is to work on the following areas:

1. Clean out and organize our garage.
2. Clean out my dressy clothes.
3. Have Kevin declutter his closet, drawers and misc boxes.
4. Organize kid clothes - keepsake items, sell and donate items.
5. Come up with more things to sell in June.
6. Go through our toys
7. Pair down my teaching supplies to keep only my favorite things
8. Continue to clean out closets.

The free space in my home makes me SO HAPPY.

It's been wonderful to have open space in cabinets, have drawers that are only half full and to give our house some breathing room.  I'd highly recommend starting the decluttering process ASAP. 

One of my favorite parts of this decluttering challenge has been the friends and family that have joined me in cleaning out their stuff.  I've gotten texts and messages from people telling me that they're excited to join in my challenge.  I passed my decluttering book on to my mom and she loved it.  Then I went and spent a long weekend at my parent's house.  We got BUSY getting rid of stuff.  We worked for several days and ending up donating the following things to a local charity.  We cleared out tons of things that had been taking up room in my parent's house.

2 truck loads ready to donate:
28 boxes
19 bags
8 bags of trash!!

My mom has been keeping busy after I left.  Texts like this make me SMILE!

If you're needing some inspiration to get busy and start getting rid of stuff, I can't recommend this Decluttering book enough.  It has been very inspiring to everyone I've talked to about it.

Here's my Amazon link to it -->
Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff

PS Some affiliate links included.  Thanks for reading & supporting Polka-Dotty Place!

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Highlights

Happy Friday! Hope you've had a nice week.  My pinky toe is feeling much better and I'm getting used to wearing a boot almost 24/7.  Being on crutches was exhausting so I'm glad that part is behind me.  We had lots of fun things going on this week.

We have been spending a lot of time outside!  The weather has been gorgeous.  I'm missing going on walks every afternoon, but I'm hoping to get back to walking with the kids in June.

Our country club had a beer tasting event recently and we had the best time.  I was skeptical because I'm not a beer drinker.  Basically I was just going for the food... beer cheese soup, soft pretzels, apps and more.  I ended up finding a drink I loved: Arnold Palmer Spiked.  How could you go wrong with a spiked mix of sweet tea and lemonade!?!  ALL of the ladies there were a fan.  Kevin loved sampling all the different beers and ranking them.  It was fun to vote on our favorites to see at the club this summer.  They also did parents night out this same night so the kids played downstairs and ate dinner while we were upstairs enjoying dinner alone.  It was a fun night for all of us :)

You all know I've been working hard for the last 3 years to learn how to garden.  I've come a long way.  My MIL came to visit and helped us work on some more front landscaping.  Our house had almost zero landscaping when we moved in.  We're trying every year to work on a different part of the yard.  We added about 30 plants to the yard and they look great!  The kids LOVED helping with their gardening wagons.

My pinky toe is doing a lot better a week after my injury.  It's still very tender and sore, but the pain is much less than it was last week.  Topher loved all of the extra snuggles and relaxing that had to happen this week.  He's the best side kick.

A friend hosted a fun event where the kids got to do shrinky dink hand prints for me.  They turned out so cute.  They're about the size of a half dollar.  And I think it's funny that Fletcher's hand is almost as big as Olive's and he's three years younger than her.

I've been extra thankful for my friends this week.  They've texted, called and helped me out so much.  Friends took Olive to school, came to my house to hang out with my kids while I was at appointments, picked Olive up from school, had her over to play, fed her and brought me care packages to brighten my day.  I couldn't have done this week without their kindness.  She was thrilled for the extra friend time :)

I got to go to my first Mother's Day luncheon with Olive at her school this week.  She'd been working hard on special surprises - fruit kabobs and thumb print flower pot.  She was so happy to have us at her school.  Fletcher loved being there and eating with her.  It's hard to believe we're wrapping up the year for preK and looking ahead to kindergarten in August.

Olive and Fletcher want to see each other first thing when they wake up in the morning.  They're also cooking up a plan that includes sharing a bedroom with bunk beds.  They talk about it nonstop so I think we'll be moving them into one room at some point.  I just love watching them be so sweet to each other.  I'll refer back to this picture the next time they're fighting and arguing over something silly :)

Open gym is always fun for these two.

I read I Can't Believe You Just Said That! Biblical Wisdom for Taming Your Child's Tongue by Ginger Hubbard this week.  I enjoyed the book and liked how it was organized into 17 chapters from whining to lying to gossiping.  There is something for every parent here.  It was great to read straight through, but the specific chapters would be really easy to read alone as you needed them.  Hubbard fills her book with Biblical truth, Bible verses and Bible stories to help illustrate her parenting points.  I think you could fully implement her plan for taming your child's tongue or slowly introduce her ideas into your parenting plan.  For me, it's overwhelming to think about overhauling my entire parenting plan at once.  So I plan to start small and change a little at a time.  Adding more Biblical truth into my parenting style each year as my kids get older.  This would be a fun book to read with other moms, in a small group or with your spouse.  There is tons to talk about and it would be a great discussion starter.
*I got this book from BookLook in exchange for an honest review of it.

In case you missed it on Polka-Dotty Place:

Monday: Firetruck Festival
Tuesday: 8 Summer Recipes I Couldn't Live Without
Wednesday: Pray for Police

Hope you have a great weekend!!

I'm also linking up with My Glittery Heart