The Easiest Kids Play Tent Ever

My kids love making blanket forts. The bigger, more elaborate, and more difficult to live your life around, the better. Once they start building one, you can bet that all chairs, stools, tables and blankets that aren’t nailed down will be used. They always build these fortresses in high traffic areas, of course. And they have also taken to duct taping the pieces together to make them near impossible to disassemble.

While I’m all for wild feats of engineering, sometimes it’s a huge pain in the ass. Like if I need to leave the room. Or if we don’t have three hours to take the whole thing down and get everything put away. Or if I really want to sit down.

To give the girls the magic of a secret hideout without the necessity of tearing the whole house apart every time, I had been considering one of those incredibly cute little teepees that are popping up everywhere. I always drool over them on Pinterest, but then wonder how logical they would be in my house. Namely: where the hell would I fit one?

When Teepee Joy offered to send us one to try out, I jumped at the chance.

kids playspace | the cutest kids tent from Teepee Joy

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Quick and Easy Girls Hairstyle: Fancy Pigtails

simple girls hairstyle how to: dressed up pigtails

My littlest has some very specific ideas about her hair.

  1. It must be long and Rapunzel-like. Cutting is not an option, although she will tolerate a teeny trim every so often.
  2. It must be braided every night to guarantee she’ll have some curls in the morning. The number of braids she requires changes on a whim.
  3. She’s very opinionated on styles and generally chooses one that she’ll wear indefinitely.
  4. Brushing is a dirty word.

This poses a little bit of a problem for momma. Long hair that she prefers to have flowing freely does not mesh well with a super messy wildling who emits ear-piercing shrieks when I try to brush through her tangles.

Luckily, we stumbled across what she calls “fancy piggies.”

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Crafting with Kids | DIY Ornaments

Oriental Trading Company provided me with product for review but all opinions (and drama) are my own.

Oriental Trading Co ceramic ornament DIY

My girls get their love of crafting from me. They also get their inability to finish projects before flitting off to another creative venture from me, but you can talk to my husband about that. I prefer to concentrate on the positive. Like making pretty ornaments for our tree and to gift to friends and family.

We got a few inches of snow dumped on us on Saturday and it was the perfect time to hunker down in front of the Christmas tree and get our craft on.

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Keeping the Messiest Kids Clean (+ Target gift card giveaway!)

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

messy kids + WaterWipes

I’m not going to lie to you. There’s nothing that I find cuter than a really messy kid. I mean, bonus points if I’m not obligated to clean the kid, but even that is kind of irresistible. Take a look at Ellie up there. She’s a drippy, sticky mess. There’s ice cream in her hair, her eyebrows, and I even found some smudged on her chunky little ankles. And do you know what? The kid could not care less. She’s completely lost in a moment of pure bliss. There’s really nothing more enjoyable for a momma to watch.

That said, the whole cleaning her up part is much less enjoyable. First, there’s the enormity of the task at hand (what is the best way to make a kid stand when almost every inch of her is covered in chocolate?). Then there’s the fact that I’m becoming more and more neurotic about the products I use. It started out with our cleaning products and has slowly moved into products that we use on our bodies. I find myself wanting to use the most gentle, natural products I can find.

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Summer Learning with My.Future

This post was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

This year, Samantha’s 10th birthday coincided with the last day of school. We surprised her with a (refurbished) iPad and it was clear within a few hours that we would have to put some serious restrictions on her usage of the thing this summer. If it were up to her, girlfriend would be on musical.ly 24 hours a day until the bus comes back to drag her to fifth grade.

But this is not a blog post about the evils of screen time. Because, to be honest, I don’t think all screen time is evil. Ellie has been doing yoga almost daily lately, thanks to DVDs we picked up at the library. Yes, there’s a screen involved, but she’s up and moving her body in ways she might not have been.

not all screen time is evil | summer learning with My.Future

While I don’t want my girls glued to glowing screens all day, I’m no fool. Technological savvy will be a major asset to them in the future. By 2018, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are expected to grow almost twice as fast as jobs in other fields in the US. Plus, there are ways to have them use tech positively so that they’re learning without even realizing it. Samantha is obsessed with apps like Scratch and Hopscotch, which teach kids basic programming and coding skills. I like that they stimulate her and encourage her to continue learning—even while on summer vacation.

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