Double Your Juice and Prevent Cavities {Thoughtful Thursday}

I have always heard you should dilute your kids juice to reduce the amount of sugar they're getting. Even all natural 100% fruit juice has lots of natural sugar that isn't good for their diet or their teeth. Since the first time my oldest had juice, we always done 50/50 water and juice. Starting them this way has always guaranteed they didn't know the difference. When my daughter had non-diluted juice for the first time she hated it and told me it was "spicy". On the other hand, the first time my niece had our diluted juice she was concerned and told me "Uhh, Aunt Julie. You juice has lost its flavor." LOL

Not only is this healthier for them but it double the juice and saves money! I use the large jugs to fill 1/2 way with water and then, most of the time, I combine different flavor juices to fill it the rest of the way. Turn

Double Your Juice and Prevent Cavities

Having always done this as well as fed them healthy diets and assisted them in brushing their teeth daily, I took my kids' for their first dentist visit feeling pretty confident about the condition of their teeth. Boy did I leave mortified. After the dentist let me know my 1st and 3rd had an embarrassing number of cavities and my 2nd had none, I talked with the dental hygienist for a long time trying to determine what made the difference. The conclusion?

Chugger vs Sippers

Yep, I always thought it was a good thing that my 1st and 3rd would slowly sip their drink throughout the day and it drove me nuts that my 2nd would chug the beverage like it was going out of style. Now, if you already knew this, please don't leave "duh" comments. I had never been told this and maybe someone else hasn't either.

Sipping on {even diluted} juice slowly throughout the day keeps a constant film of sugar on your teeth. Chugging it allows your natural saliva to "wash" off that film even if you're not brushing after each drink.

The new rule in our house is: the kids are allowed Milk and Juice at meal time only and they can drink as much Water as they want the rest of the day from the fridge door and are allowed to get themselves in their cool new {dollar spot} water bottles.

Prevent Cavities by giving littles their own water bottles and allowing them to get their own water

I am one of those parents who still has all of her children using sippy cups/lidded cups to cut down on the clean up during the day. I found these awesome water bottles in the Target dollar spot. I took Maggie to pick one as a reward for doing so well while they filled her first cavities and then Jamin. Izzie got to choose one as a reward for having NO cavities. Then the larger ones we got for my niece, nephew for a week with us during spring break.

The great thing about these water bottles are:

  • They are simple for them to pull the lid off to fill but easy to put back on to avoid spills.
  • They can tote them anywhere.
  • If they get left in get left in the car, there isn't soured juice or spoiled milk to stink up the car.
  • If they get messed up or lost, they only cost $1 each.
Do your kids love juice? Are they chuggers or sippers?
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Up-Cycled Wipe Containers {Thoughtful Thursday}

Drier Sheets Case

keep your drier sheets fresher in an up-cycled wipe box AND its cutera large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones

A large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones.

Keep Drier Sheets Fresher in an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

Travel Tissue Box

Travel Case of Kleenex made from an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

A small wipe case is the perfect size for a travel case of tissue and keeps it dry and clean.

Holds "Missing Pieces" for Board Games

Store Random Game Pieces in an Up-Cycled Wipe CaseStore random missing game pieces in an up-cycled wipe box

Its is nearly inevitable that kids will misplace a piece {or 8 aHem} to some board game. Rather than have them grouch and tear apart the game storage trying to return that piece when its finally found. This random game piece container allows them to store the piece by stuffing it in through the top or easy-open lid so the pieces are found quickly when playing a game with that missing piece.

Travel Crayon Case

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

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NEVER Fold You’re Littles Laundry Again

I have has some friends ask how I get certain things done while having 4 kids. One of those is laundry. I never cringe when I think about laundry and I think that is completely because of the system we have in place. It has kind of evolved over the years.

Littles Help with Shuffling the Laundry move to the drier or sort into clean baskets

Our Basic "System"

  • I start 1 load every night {unless there are random circumstances, night time wet sheets, sickness, extra guest, "washing day"- clean sheets or carseat covers} and some times move it to the drier.
  • The little on laundry that day "shuffles" the laundry- movies it to the drier and or sorts the laundry into the appropriate baskets.
  • Once {some times twice} a week, usually Saturday, we all put clothes away. Adults do their own {folding if necessary}, Jamin (3), Izzie (4), and Maggie (almost 6) all put away their own clothes.

At first I was a little embarrassed to confess my biggest secret in our system. I think my mom and mother-in-love are possibly discussed by this buuuut, it work for this season of life::

We NEVER fold laundry.

  1. Littles can Help
    I spend less than 7 minutes a day on laundry because I have my 3 oldest on a chore chart that includes laundry. They're current job is to shuffle the laundry. The awesome basket shelf my hubs made me is a vital part of our system but this could easily be done with baskets on the floor.
  2. Tiny Clothes Don't Stay Folded
    When my oldest girls were little, I loved organizing their clothes. {Attempting} to fold all those tiny items and get them to stack neatly in their drawers. I'm sure it would have been pretty comical for anyone watching. Since those days, I've designated drawers for specific items but never fold them.
  3. Littles clothes don't really wrinkle
    I have never observed someone snarling their nose up at the state of my kids clothes so why waste the time. They are so tiny, they don't look gross. {I also refuse to buy high-maintenance clothes for my kids and my husband and I for that mater}
  4. 1/2 our clothes are hung
    Since we have limited space in each bedroom {and I like to}, we hang all shirts, jackets, and skirts/dresses. This leaves very little to go into dressers and underwear, socks, leggings, PJs, and pants don't really matter if a little ruffled. Making sure it all fits also keeps us from having too much of something. If it doesn't fit it needs to get.
  5. Laundry Gets Done
    I have tons of friends who HATE laundry. It gets overwhelming and everyone in the house dreads it. This is no glamorous laundry life but it does get done!
  6. Sanity
    In this season of our family, we need as much sanity as possible. High-maintenance laundry is just not a priority. If it is to you, that's fine. But if you are overloaded, snapping at your family over clothing battles, and pressing preschool pants, you might need to try something else. Does laundry really matter in an eternal perspective? There's always time to teach folding before they leave the house {it is a good life skill to learn}.
kids closetsNote: they rarely look This clean ;)
girls' dresser boy's dresserbaby's dresser
While researching before I made my big confession, I found this awesome ladies laundry system and she too confessed to not folding kids laundry. I could hug this stranger for making me feel less skanky ;)
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Easter Crafts with Littles {Thoughtful Thursdays}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

portrait of a happy young studentThis week I want to feature a guest post from Olivia Glendale, a a 20-something year old mother of two, both under 2 years. When she’s not busy soothing tantrums and changing diapers, you can find her blogging about home décor, organizing, and DIY projects at www.DIYMother.org. Today, she has super cute ideas for Easter crafts you can easily do with your littles!

My family has a tendency to get caught up in spring fever. My husband is a DIY addict like me, so springtime means outdoor projects every weekend: staining the deck! Cleaning the gutters! Yay!

I, on the other hand, prefer to garden and host gatherings with the extended family. And Easter is one of my favorite holidays to fill with family and fellowship. Because, really, what better way is there to celebrate a season of new life and growth than with the resurrection of our Lord?

This year will be the first year I can involve my 18-month old in Easter crafts. Naturally, I’ve been looking around for fun crafts to do with her, as well as all of her cousins on Easter Sunday. Here are a few of my favorite Easter crafts I’ve found. The links to the tutorials are listed below each photo.

Egg Carton Cross

Egg-Carton-Cross-10
From Housing A Forest

This is a great craft for the kids after church on Easter Sunday-especially if you have some cooking to do. It’s pretty simple: cut out 5 cups in a row and then 3 cups in a row from an empty egg carton, preferably the cardboard kind.

Glue the inside of the middle cup in the row of three and glue the cross together. Let the kids paint it, add glitter, beads, or cover them with fabric.

Rice Krispie Eggs

Easter-Egg-Rice-Krispie-Treats
From HTYM.com

I absolutely love this idea and cannot believe I’ve never done it. Prepare the Rice Krispie treats as your normally would; no need to go through the steps, we’re all parents here…we should be pro’s by now. Then wash and dry some plastic eggs and spray the insides with non-stick spray.

Push the Rice Krispies into each half of the plastic egg, working it up the sides. You want to create a cavity, so leave enough room to fit candy inside. Let the Rice Krispie mix set and gently slide them out of the plastic egg. Put a few pieces of candy inside (jelly beans, robin’s eggs, whatever you prefer) and press the egg halves together using a little bit of pressure. You can even decorate the Rice Krispie eggs with sprinkles or icing.

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Tips on Staying Refreshed for Busy Moms

I have found a treasure I want to share!!!

allieThis girl is a fresh breath of air among Christian women in the mommy war. She's what I like to call a "raw christian" meaning she calls it like it is, is a fashionista, shabby chic designer, chases Jesus without fear of what others will think, and encourages other women to be themselves and let Jesus ooze His grace out of their failures and lives what she preaches.

Today, I introduce to you: Allie. That's her!

Tips on Staying Refreshed for Busy Moms

Mom life- messy, chaotic, sporadic, hilarious, stressful, fun, and terrifying- all at the same time. We women have  a lot on our plates, don't we? Not only are we raising human beings and feeling the weight of that responsibility and all that comes with it, but we also have marriages to keep fresh in a world of easy divorce, a relationship with the Creator of the universe we desperately need to keep from insanity, homes to manage and keep tidy while the littles make constant messes, friendships to maintain... the list could go on and on. How in the world are we supposed to take care of ourselves in all this?! "I just can't." I've heard some moms say. "It's impossible. It's too much. Something had to give and it was me." In other words, many mothers let themselves go and release all the things they loved to do for themselves because life and motherhood was too much in itself.

I get it. I have three kids, spaced closely together at ages five, three, and almost two. My husband is the hard-working sole provider in our family, and works 10-14 hour days. Needless to say, I am a busy mama. I was once thirty pounds heavier with a messy bun in my hair and chipping nails that hadn't seen a manicure since my wedding day. My "fat" jeans were my best friend and if I showered every day it was an accomplishment. I reached a point where I was severely unhappy with myself and in turn, my life. I didn't feel good. I was always getting headaches, always feeling yucky and adjusting my love handles in my jeans. I would see my mom friends who had less kids than me with their perfect nails sitting across from me at Starbucks and hide my hands so they wouldn't notice my embarrassing nail situation. Other days I just didn't care who saw me and had accepted that this was me now- mom. Nothing more.

The way I felt about myself and the way my body physically felt crept into every aspect of my life. I stopped making time for the Lord because I just wanted to take a nap when I got a minute to myself. I was snapping at my kids much too often, and my husband rarely saw me with make up and a bra on. I was in one very serious rut, and I wasn't a bit happy. I came across a book about being a stay-at-home mom and enjoying it, and was awakened to what I had allowed to happen. I started browsing the internet for inspiration for looking and feeling better, like simple hair tutorials and quick make up tips and things like that. I got a treadmill and started walking/jogging a few times a week and stopped drinking sodas and eating fast food. I started to feel better! God spoke to me through this process and drew me back to Him, so I started making time with Him every day. I would wake up and feed my kids, then read my Bible while they watched a video or played.

I found myself snapping much less and smiling a lot more. I took time every week or two for myself, got out of the house, and let myself be a woman, not just a mom, and be rejuvenated. Today I am sharing some tips for getting out of a dreaded mom rut, and some of the small things that helped me feel happier and better about me in the busyness of mom life. My prayer for you is that you will be reminded that these little things aren't stupid or selfish, they are important, and they can help you be a better wife and mom.

Pick something that makes you feel beautiful, and make it a priority. For me, I found that getting a gel manicure was just the thing. This is such a low maintenance manicure, and can really take a beating- perfect for moms! I go every three weeks and just sit and relax while a sweet little Asian lady fixes my fingers up real pretty. It's fantastic and affordable since it's not very often that you need it redone. Find what your thing is- a manicure, a pedicure, a massage, getting your hair done... go and do it. Make it happen regularly and be refreshed. You deserve to have a little pampering and beauty.

Cut out the junk in your life. I'm talking about everything here- junk food, junk talk, bad friends, discouraging people in your life, negative television shows, everything! Get rid of it. You don't need it and it isn't helping you one bit. Life is short, and your time raising your kids is even shorter, so make it count by not wasting time on people and things that make you feel blah.

Replace junk with life! Now that you've cleared out all the junk, replace it all with things and people that breathe life into you! Worship music, people who love and lift you up, healthy foods and more water, exercise and dance parties in your living room. Celebrate life and learn to only allow the positive. Life will bring you plenty of negative on its own. Sowing positive will reap joy no matter what's going on in life.

Do what you love. For me, this was blogging. I started my blog and found a way to use my passion for writing in a way that brought me great joy and inspired others. Almost every day during naptime, you can find me curled up on my couch with a cup of tea, writing my heart out. Do what you love! Being a mom doesn't mean you can't. If you knit, dance, sing, write, draw, do yoga, whatever it is... do it! If you feel stuck and don't really have something like this, find something! One of my good friends taught herself to crochet by watching tutorials on YouTube. There are endless possibilities out there now. Dig in, friend! Seek joy!

 

Don't forget to head over to her new space, Allie {that's me}. You'll love following her real life updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as well.

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