Saturday, July 4, 2015

Summer Fun and Gift Ideas

We just went to the Texas coast
for the fist trip of the summer season.
We like to go to Rockport several times every summer,
not just because my parents,
Lala and Pops, live there,
but also because they have
the perfect bay beach for little ones.
No beach trip is made around here without
our hooded towels.
Mike is now 8, Adelyn is 5 and Molly is 19 months...
All three still love their towels!
Recently I was inspired to design
 a few new towels for friends...
Check out this one for my Lego lovers!
This is the perfect gift for the kid
 who has too many Legos,
but still wants Lego stuff for their birthday.
Yes, I speak from experience here!
I am so in love with this classy,
yet adorable Barbie inspired towel.
The bow embellishment really adds a special detail!
Have a little super hero on you gift list?
ME too... several.
Bigs and littles!!
Here is one I made for a tween...
you know those hard to please kids!
Well, this Harry Potter inspired towel was a hit!
She even let her mom share it on Face Book!
I saved the best for last...
our Mermaid towel.
My favorite part about this one,
well aside from the bow embellishment,
is that I can make her hair any color!
Yup, working on a little redhead next!
We just love these towels and take them to
the water park, swim lessons,
and they are even the first towel
my kids go to after a bath.

A special shout out to my models...
Adelyn was nervous about modeling the "boy towel"
for my Etsy photos...
I assured her I wouldn't show her face
 on the shop photos...
but this is the blog!
(wink, wink)
Come on by my Etsy shop and see what all the other unique gifts
I have for your favorite little people!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Planning

I thought I would share a short series
 on how we plan for our summer.
As most of you know I am big on planning
and with three kids,
I guess I kind of have to be.

Let me start by explaining my summer motto.
"Summer is a journey, not a race"
Last summer it was a race for me...
you see, we had spent all winter and spring
locked up with a newborn who wouldn't sleep..
I had some mommy guilt and felt the pressure
to cram as many fun things into the summer as I could,
 because #3 was more mobile and
 her schedule was more flexible.
But this year, I want to slow time down...
I want the kind of summer I remember growing up...
long, fun, and full of memories.
a Mommy Friendly
Memory Making
kind of summer.
The first step I do is get my calendar going...
I start with a free printable calendar and a pencil.
Nothing is in the planner or in pen until the dust settles!
I start this at the end of April.

First I mark off our big events,
 like swim lessons,
Vacation Bible School, and our vacation.
Also, here is where the camps come in...
Mikey loves going to Lego camp
 and I try to get Adelyn into a dance or art camp. 
Next I plug in road trips or events that
 I need to coordinate with other people.
My parents live on the coast, and we like to
do two or three long weekends with them.
They also, have "cousin camp" and
those dates I have to coordinate with my sister.
Next up, is our family bucket list.
What are the small things we want to do?
This year we listed everything by category...
stuff to do, places to go, things to make, what to eat, etc.
The kids love to look at my summer Pinterest board HERE
and pick out their favorite things to try.

The bucket list then gets plugged into our weekly plan...
I like to stick with the above plan.
It is cheesey but it keeps me accountable
and the kids look forward to it.
It has really helped my stick to my motto,
as I plan one small thing a day and
do not feel the pressure to plan something
 big and entertaining!
On Mondays we "Make Something"
So far we have made slime,
this yummy S'more snack,
and a craft.
On Too Wet Tuesday we
 pull out the water slide,
fill up the water guns,
head to the river, or the splash pad.
Wednesday is "Wild about Reading"
or "What Cha Reading?"
We head to the library for new books.
I will not lie, this is hard...
I'm usually the crazy mom with three kids
running around yelling my name
as they are all enjoying different sections
of the kids area these days,
but we are there...
making memories and
reading some good stuff!
Thinking Thursdays is one of my favorite days so far.
Our neighborhood pool is cleaned on Wednesday,
so the cleanest it will ever be is Thursday mornings...
clearly my favorite time to go.
We try to hit the pool from 9:30 to 11ish.
And even though we try to do
 some kind of learning everyday for 30 minutes,
(I will post more on this soon) 
 Thursday afternoons Molly takes a good long nap...
you know the kind you love after a morning in the sun.
This allows me to spend extra time with the kids
working in their workbooks, writing, and reading.
On Friday we head somewhere fun...
the list is long this summer, but includes things like...
museums, the zoo, the park, going for ice cream,
playdates, berry picking, visiting cousins,
the jump house, or a movie.

This is where I plan each week...
this little planner was from WalMart,
but any weekly printable will work.

I usually split the days into am and pm.
I keep it very simple, as you can see.
Does you family enjoy fun filled summers
 or long lazy summers?
What are your summer planning tips?
I would love to hear your ideas!
Come back soon to see how we learn all summer
and how we are doing summer chores!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Scripture Chalkboard

For a long time I have had an odd,
 open space near our back door.
I knew I wanted something
personal and purposeful to fill it...
Then my sister posted on FaceBook that she
 had received some old cabinet doors...
She used two to make chalkboards
and I just knew one would be perfect in this space.
This chalk paint came from Walmart...
yup, Walmart!
And this very affordable chalkboard paint
 came from Hobby Lobby.
It took several coats...
which around this house
 meant several days to finish!
Did you know if you press
 wet paint brushes in a baggie,
they will keep for days without
drying out?
Yup, it works!
This adorable arrow sign
was also a great find at Hobby Lobby.
I do wish it pointed to our backyard,
as that truly is our "happy place"
but pointing to the kitchen works too, right?
We are using our chalk board to write out scriptures.
I just love it!
The kids are really into watching the scripture change!
Here is a list of scriptures we will
be working on this summer...
So one project on my
"To- Finish" list is done!
On to the next...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Coupon Code

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Summer Ideas For Kids

We are gearing up for Summer Vacation around here!
Be sure to check out and follow my
SUMMER Pinterest Board.
It is full of HOT ideas and
 lots of COOL ways to enjoy those long days!

Follow Next To Heaven's board summer time on Pinterest.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Welcome Summer Fun!

For the past three years I have put together
 these Summer Fun Buckets for my kids.
I set them out on our breakfast table
for the first "true" day of summer vacation!
You know, the Monday it really starts,
not the Saturday!
What a big hit these are!
Not only are kids thrilled,
but mama is pretty strategic about
 what goes in them because
 it is my summer, too!
And I love the LAZY days of summer!
So What do I put them in them...
*guilty pleasure breakfasts like PopTarts
or the sugary cereal they always beg me for!
Something the can fix themselves while I sleep in!
*Water balloons for our big neighborhood war
*New Crayons and markers
*Simple water toys from the dollar store
*Flip flops and sunglasses also from the dollar store
*Goggles and swim shoes.
Things I would buy even if we did not to the buckets.
*A note book or coloring book
*A guilty pleasure snack (or two)
*A new board game (not in the bucket, but one to share)
and a book or two!
New for this summer is going to be a chore chart!!
Bahaha!  I can't wait!
Like I said, it's my summer, too!
Now that these kiddos are a year older
 we will be adding a few chores to earn screen time!
Brilliant, right?
The first ones are from Bekah at Pinch A Little Save A Lot
This edit-able one is from Southern Melle!
I really like the idea of adding
scripture and manners to the chart!
I will be posting an update on our Summer Chore System
as soon as we nail one down!
I know I sound like the kids...
Mainly the LAZY part,
but the sun and fun too!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What We Have Been Up To...

I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted...
Where did our Spring go?
It started off with a family wedding
that lasted for two fun filled weekends!
 And it is baseball season!
Sometimes we are playing ball
three nights a week!
(but its so fun!)
 I started The 21 Day Fix...
and adding in workouts and food prep
to my day has been tricky, but worth it!
 This little dancer has a big recital coming up...
this means pictures, rehearsals, and costume fun!
She also has an art show this month AND
is all registered for Kindergarten (sigh/ tear)
 Molly?  Well, she is 18 months today and busy as ever!
Oh and no she is still not sleeping through the night-
but boy is she ever fun!
I have also been party planning for this handsome guy!
8 already? I love this Lego obsessed kid!
 And mostly, I have been working on all the orders for
 the many end of the year teacher bags!
Okay, and I am binge watching Mad Men while I stitch!
Have you seen it?
Have no fear we have lots of fun plans
 and activities coming up...
I will soon post how I plan
and prep for our summer!
So how has your spring been?
What are you summer plans?

Let's go make something,


Our Favorite Things