Spring Bucket List



First off , I owe everyone a big apology!!

I have been MIA for a while now and I am just going to be truthful… I have been

Winter does that to me. I hate winter!!
I just want to curl up and do nothing, which is not good when you have
a house full of boys!

Remind me next winter to plan lots of projects at the beginning of winter to help me survive the January- March blues.

Now that the sun is back out, I am coming out of my cocoon
and looking around.
Boy, how could I let everything get so unorganized??
Everything is a mess!

Mission for spring:
clean and clean,
organize, and organize!

The boys have really been enjoying the Bucket Lists that I have been making for each season, so I decided to make a fun, little Spring Bucket.   I got the pail at the Dollar Spot and just used my clothes pins. On one side of the clothespin I wrote what we wanted to accomplish, and on the other side I wrote, “We did it.”

Here are some of the ideas that we are going to be doing this Spring:

Go on a picnic
Plant flowers
Ride on a bike trail
Berry picking
Spring scavenger hunt
Make a kite
Fly a kite
Feed the ducks
Beach day
Make a bird feeder
Bubble fun
Make pinwheels

What are you doing for the remainder of Spring?

If you have any fun ideas I would love to hear them!

Thanks Mandy for having me!

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How to Make a Chore Chart System For Your Children – Part 2

One of the more popular posts I have done is

How to Make a Chore Chart System For Your Children.

Since there has been so much interest on the subject, I decided to do a part 2!

I have learned that with my boys, they love it when I switch things up.

Anything to make chores fun, right?????

These were my favorites.

This ice cream cone chore chart is adorable for preschoolers.

icecream-choretrainerFifth & Hazel


This is a fun way to liven up the chores.




I am definitely going to make these.


Crafty Soccer Mom

If you just want to make a basic printable chore chart, this is an easy site to make one and it’s free!


DLTK’s Custom Chore Charts


If you are not sure what chores are appropriate for which age, I found this fabulous printable.

It not only designates what chores are appropriate, but also gives a goal of life skills to teach at certain ages!
life skills headerBusy Kids Happy Mom

For those of you that prefer an online chore/behavior reward system, here is a fun app I found.

Jo Frost Rewards – aka Super Nanny  (also available for Android)


You can add the names of your children, chores, behavior and rewards and then assign points to everything! If your kids are tech savvy like mine, it might be a great option.  If your children are like my oldest, they can probably set the whole thing up for you too! My boys love this way of tracking their chores.


Lastly, if you are looking for a great chore chart for mommy this is my favorite!!


Motivated Moms

Motivated Moms keeps me on track for those days when I don’t feel very disciplined. I’ve used the print out version and now I have the app for my phone and I love it!!! Yes, even moms need chore charts, at least this mom does.

I am going to let you in on a little secret…

I am a horrible housekeeper,

ssshhh don’t tell anyone

(Don’t worry my husband already knows!)

So this little gem has come in quite handy.  At least it gives me a place to start and I love checking off the little boxes!

I hope you found some new ideas to motivate you.

I know I did.

Spring is just around the corner, time for the cleaning to begin!!!

  Thanks Mandy for having me!!

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Children Thankful Journals

This week, a very thoughtful friend emailed me some ideas that she thought I might like to do with the boys. One of those was a “Thankful Journal”.  I loved it and thought it was a great idea.  The boys have loved their “Mommy and me journals”, so I knew they would love this idea.

As a mother, I am always trying to teach my children to be grateful. In a world of give me, give me, give me, it is not always easy. So anything that will help serve as a reminder is always appreciated. I know for myself, having done a thankful  journal, really opened my eyes to be more appreciative of all the wonderful blessings I have in my life.

These journals were so simple to put together.  I went to Target and picked up some smaller spiral notebooks, used my digital scrapbook software and made covers for the notebook.  Next, I printed the covers on cardstock and glued them on.

The boys, as expected, loved their journals! My 4 year old was very excited to put his first entry in the journal. I asked him, “Ok, what are you thankful for today?”  He said, “I am thankful, for my brother’s fish!” That was not the answer I was expecting. I started laughing and then realized that was the perfect answer! I think these journals are going to be good for everyone (including the fish) :-).

 Thank you Carrie for the great idea and thank you Mandy for having me!

The 36th AVENUE
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Thursday’s With Tracie – “Fall Bucket List Ideas”

As I cruise Pinterest, I am in awe by the amazing ideas that people come up with.  I wanted to do a post showing you my favorite ideas that people had pinned for Fall.

First off, I loved making a Summer Bucket List, so why not do a bucket list for Fall???  I love the Fall bucket list that Erin, from How To Nest For Less   created.

She also has an adorable Fall Subway Art Printable , which I printed and Mod Podged on a plaque for my mantle.  Adorable blog she has!!!

I took her idea for a Fall Bucket List and did a little twist on it.   I got a tin can, wrapped it with fall paper, added a little burlap, twine, and then added my clothespins for all the things I wanted to do this Fall with the boys.

Below are some of amazing ideas that I have added to my Fall Bucket List.

Emily Rose from Simply Vintage Girl made this adorable thankful tree.

What a great thing to do, not just at this time of year but something all year long! Love it, we will definitely be doing this.

Another project that I have had pinned for awhile (that I added to my bucket list for this fall) is this Family Hand Print Tree that Liz from Naptime Decorator made.  I love the colors she chose.

Here is a fun way to display leaves that we find on our nature walk.

Source: Dream Home

These are just plain adorable! The boys would love making these!

Source: Zui Blog

This is a cute and easy craft that is made with toilet paper.

Source: Spoonful 

Also, on my Bucket List is to make an apple pie with the boys.

Source: Domestic Dilettante

Making Carmel Apples is also on the list… these are perfect!!!

Source:  Allyson Baker Design

The boys love apple cider- this recipe sounds great.

Source: The Frugal Girls

I am hoping that by adding these ideas to my bucket list we will  actually get them done!  Not just pinned on my Pinterest Board LOL!!!

Of course, I also had to add a trip to the Pumpkin Farm, nature walk/scavenger hunt (here is a cute printable for that-The Bird Feed NYC) and definitely not forgetting to go on a hayride!

The boys and I are excited about accomplishing our Fall Bucket List.   Since we are already a bit into fall, you could always add a few things that you have already done and then you can cross them off your bucket list!  Isn’t it great to get so much accomplished??? 🙂

Thank you Mandy for having me!


Big Brother and Big Sister Gifts

I hope everyone has been enjoying these final weeks of summer.

We have had a great summer, which included two new members being added to our family!  No, not me!!  Four boys is where I am stopping!

I had two new nephews born within a couple months of each other.  Second best thing to being a mom is being an Auntie!  Wouldn’t you agree?

When I was pregnant with my youngest, a very dear friend of mine put together wonderful little baskets for my older boys and they loved them!  I decided to make a similar gift for my older nieces and nephew so they wouldn’t feel left out when their baby brothers received a bunch of gifts at the shower that I was going to be attending.

Instead of a basket, I decided to use cloth tote bags that I purchased from Joann’s.   I also purchased two iron-on transfers that said “Big Brother” and “Big Sister”. I knew that my nieces and nephew already had the T-shirts that said, “Big Brother”/”Big Sister”, so I didn’t add those, but wouldn’t it be a great idea?

For my two nieces, I made journals from composition books.  I created the covers with a digital scrapbook kit and glued them on.  I also made photo albums to match. I got lip glosses, nail polishes and some other little fun goodies and added them into the bag.

For my nephew, I got him a collection of Cars’ goodies with a book about “Big Brothers”.  I added a disposable camera so he can take his own pictures of his new baby brother and a photo album to put them into (see main picture at the beginning of this post).

There is SO MUCH you can do with these Big Brother/Big Sister gift bags.  After I attended the showers (my nieces and nephew LOVED their gifts),  I came across a book called, The Big Sibling Book: Babies First Year According To ME .  This book would have been perfect for my gift bags!

Have you given any Big Brother/Big Sister gifts?
If so, I would love to hear about them.

  Have a great week everyone!
Thanks Mandy for having me.

A Crafty Soiree

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Back To School Lunch Ideas and a Back To School Cash Giveaway

My boys have less than a week  before they head back to school!

I can’t believe the summer flew by so quickly.  This year, I am determined to do something special for the boys’ lunches.   Have you seen all of those amazing Bento Box lunches on people’s blogs???? AMAZING!!!!  I told my husband the other night, “I don’t know how some of these mom’s find the time to make such amazing lunches for their kids every day!” and then I added, ” I could do that too if I only had one child.”    Well, let me just tell you…. I put my foot in my mouth BIG TIME because one (and I’m sure there are many) of the Mom’s had 6 kids!!!!!   So, no more excuses for me.  If a Mom of 6 kids can make one of these adorable lunches for their kids… there are no more excuses for me… If she can do it, so can I!  🙂

Here are a few lunches that have inspired me.  These people are so amazing and creative!!!!!!!!!!!!


1.  Mothering Corner – Too cute.  She has Woody too!

2.  Susan Yuen – This lady is a genius!!!! She has the most amazing Phineas and Ferb and Perry the Platypus.  She makes it look so easy!  Everything she does is amazing!

3.  Lunch Box Awesome – This is another amazing website.  Lots of Disney characters.

4.  Family Go – My boys would LOVE this one!

5.  Funky Lunch Box – Check out the great tutorial she has to make your own Hello Kitty.

6.  My Meal Box – Another amazing site.  LOVE Snow White.

7.  Parenting – Mac-n-Cheese lion.  YUM!

Are you feeling inspired to make your child(ren) a snazzy lunch?  I’m hoping a lunch like one of the inspirations above will have my boys eating every single bite that I painstakingly created for them.  I’m also hoping they think their Mom is pretty cool for making such an amazing lunch!

Happy back to school!

Thanks Mandy for having me!!!

If you would like to enter the $160 cash/Amazon Gift Giveaway…


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GeoCaching – The Best Children’s Treasure Hunt!

I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Yesterday, I was looking at the calendar and then looking at my summer bucket list… wait, where did the summer go?? I have way too many things to do on my list and only a month left!!!

I am a mom on a mission.

No matter what,

I am finishing that list!! 🙂

One of the things on our list was to try Geocaching. I had heard about it awhile back and knew it sounded like something my boys might enjoy.  For those of you who have never heard of geocaching, it’s like a treasure hunt, using map coordinates.  I logged on to  the Geocaching website, signed up, clicked on our city, and chose our first “hunt” that we wanted to participate in – we picked the “Anniversary Cache”.   I grabbed the GPS, and we were off to find treasure!

The boys and I found our first geocache pretty easily (now looking back we must have looked pretty silly running around a church parking lot holding the GPS and going in every different direction!).  When we located the treasure “spot” (which was a bird house),  I don’t know who was more excited the boys or me to see what was inside.


Our “cache” as they are called, had a log (we got to journal that we were there) and a “treasure box”.

There were several trinkets in the box and my oldest son was thrilled to get a cool vintage gum trap – he loved it!

The boys were excited to leave a special treasure that we had purchased at the dollar store in the treasure box for the next geocache player to choose.

 My kids had the best time and my oldest son is already planning our next hunt!

I have to admit I had a great time too.

Happy boys and a treasure hunt – now that is a good day!

Thanks Mandy for having  me!

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Mommy and Me Journals

I came across a great idea that a “friend of a friend” had pinned on Pinterest (yes, I have become a stalker!).  Jenn, from Mama Jenn Blogs had posted about a Mommy and Me Journal.

I pinned it and thought it was such a cute idea, but wasn’t sure that my boys would think it was as special as I did.   I decided to give it a try anyway.

My oldest son had been gone for a few days visiting his grandparents.  I wanted him to know how much I had missed him while he was gone.  I found a composition book, wrote a letter to him and left it under his pillow.

Much to my surprise, that night, under my pillow I found the notebook with this letter back to me!

He loved it!! He was giggling and so excited!!

It has been over a week and every night I have gotten a letter back from him. Because Alex is more on the quiet side and not a big talker or writer, when I write my letter to him, I ask him questions.  I have also found the cutest jokes online.  I write them in the book and HE LOVES THAT!!!

I decided to try a journal for my 3 year old.  For his,  I drew a picture and told him to draw me one back.  He was so excited.  He draws me a picture every night after he finds my picture that a drew for him, in the book under his pillow.  I have the cutest pictures all in one book!

These were so easy to make. I just got composition books (that I picked up at Walmart for under $2). I cut and glued card stock and then used scrapbook stickers for the letters and the decorations. Quick, easy and so far a big hit!!!!!!!!

These notebooks are so special and I know years from now, I will treasure all these special letters and pictures between me and my boys.

Thanks Mandy for having me!!!

52 MantelsThe 36th AVENUEPhotobucketUndertheTableandDreaming






Summer Bucket List – Thursdays With Tracie

If you are looking for link party #34

Last year was the first time I had heard of a
“Summer Bucket List”

I love lists!!!!
That is the only way I ever get anything done!!!!!

So last summer, I began my own summer bucket list by writing down all the things I wanted to do with the kids for the summer and I stuck it on the fridge.  I am proud to say we finished everything on the list!  The only thing was, by the end of the summer the list was a mangled mess!

This year, I wanted to figure out a way to track all of the fun summer things we will be doing. I love the idea of looking back with the kids and seeing everything we have done for the summer!   Our bucket list needs to be hung up high (a mommy’s level) otherwise it will be used as a teething ring, paper airplane, or a mop!  So this is what I came up with:

I found this cute clipboard at Target in the dollar spot. I got out my scrapbook paper, letters, sharpies, summer stickers and a pack of clothespins.

On one side of the clothespin I wrote what we want to do this summer. Some of the items on our list are camping, tie dye, banana split night, library program, Splash Park, build a fort and Legoland.  On the other side of the clothespins I wrote “We did it!!”

My plan is to start with everything on one side and when we complete it, I will flip the clothes pin around to the other side (the side that says, “We did it!”) and by the end of the summer we hopefully will have all the clothespins flipped!!!

 With my Bored Jar and my Bucket List, I am ready for the summer!!

Thanks Mandy for having me!!!

Rooted In Thyme52 Mantels


Last Minute Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Want to Link to “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able” Link Party?

Are you looking for a quick and easy Teacher Appreciation Gift?

Oh, I remember the days when all 4 of my children needed something to give to their teacher’s at the end of the year.  It was always so much fun coming up with something that ALL OF THEM would be happy with… yup, joy to THAT one!

This time of year is like the holiday season with the end of the year parties, the gifts, planning a summer vacation… craziness!  Not to mention the extra energy they have! Darn them for being so happy :-).

Hopefully, these ideas will lighten your load!  By the way, all of the links to each one of these adorable, creative, simple and cheap ideas have free downloads AND tutorials.  Awesome!

For the “Mrs.”, “Ms.” or “Miss” Teacher

1.  Dry Erase Bouquet from Happy Scrapps

2.  I Couldn’t Have Picked… A Better Teacher! from Dixie Delights

3.  Water Glasses from Lisa Storms

4.  Mini Oreo Apple Pops from The Crafting Chicks

5.  Flower Pot from The Weekend Homemaker

6.  Cookie Jar from Home Is Where They Love You

What about the “Mr.” Appreciation Gifts?
Here are 6 more great ideas!

1.  Sharpies and Smarties from Little Pumpkin Grace

2.  M & M’s Teach from Domestically-Speaking

3.  We Need S’More Teachers Like You! from Key Ingredient

4.  Simply the Best! From Be Fickle

5.  Grilling Kit for a job “Well Done” from Mom On Time Out

6.  There Is No “Sub” stitute for a Teacher Like You! from The Creative Homemaker

I hope this helps you out a bit.  I wish I was in your place…
yes, even trying to come up with making all my children happy with one gift.

My baby is graduating next week from high school.
The years go by fast.
Enjoy every single stinkin’ day with them.
They are treasures.

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