Reviews of Products & Places

Give the Gift of “Experience” with Goldfish Swim School!

The holiday season is in full swing and we’re rushing around trying to figure out that “perfect” gift for our loved ones, which if you ask me can be quite tough these days. Since having a little one I am truly focusing on experiences that we can have together. Either by making memories that will last a lifetime, or something that I know will benefit my little guy throughout his life. If I think back to my own childhood I honestly don’t remember too many “materalistic” things I received, but I DO remember many experiences we had as a family! I’m not saying that buying a materalistic gift is frowned upon, but I do think mixing it up every now and then by giving an “activity” as a gift is something that will definitely bring a new vibe into your family’s life!

Throughout the year budgeting can get tight and I totally understand “not having the money” at the moment to sign up for extra curricular activities for your kiddos. So, maybe this year it’s time to focus on the gifts being those activities that you always wanted your kiddos to participate in…like swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School   (And maybe even a pass to the zoo! That’s something my husband and I are talking about too, haha!)

(This is a sponsored post, but all opinions stated are my own.)

The “Buzz” at Goldfish Swim School


There have been many fun activities and great deals going on at Goldfish Swim School during the holiday season! Recently we participated in a “Mommy & Me Mini Class Play Date” with some friends, which was so much fun! We were able to get another swim lesson in during the week along with yummy brunch food that they provided (Panera bagels & Chick-Fil-A nuggets for the WIN!) The little ones had a blast and it was fun to catch up with some amazing mamas!

What’s Happening Now?

  • Holiday Gift Package– Make sure to check out the details on the holiday gift package that’s going on now! If you’re thinking about signing up your kiddo for swim lessons, this is a great way to SAVE money! You can find more details by clicking the link >>here<<.
  • Jump Start Clinics– this is a month’s worth of lessons condensed into 1 week for students in the Junior 1 to Pro 2 levels. The swimmers will swim for 30 minutes for 4 days straight with the SAME teacher every time. Why join a clinic? It’s a great option for getting your swimmer a jump-start on the “learn-to-swim” process, which means they’ll either brush up on their swim skills…OR advance their swim skills to the next level
    • Goldfish is offering 2 weeks of clinics: (December 26-29 OR January 2-5)
    • Time Slots: 9am-12pm

A fellow parent’s words about their swim experience!

Little Johnny and I have been participating in swim lessons for about 5 months now and we have met some amazing mamas! Here’s what a fellow Goldfish member has to say about her experience at Goldfish Swim School with her adorable little guy!

What do you love about Goldfish?

“I love that they give your child the right amount of encouragement. I also like that they give each child the individualized attention and direction each one needs instead of cookie cutter approach to all kids, since all kids are different.”

What have you found to be most beneficial from attending classes each week?

“You always have the same instructors so your child can build a relationship and trust with that person so they are comfortable in the water with them.”

-Missy Frump

That’s a Wrap! 😉 

So overall there is so much to offer! And while yes, it may be just a swim school, but what Goldfish offers is an overall family friendly experience with so many amazing opportunities and events to be involved in!

Will you be giving a gift of “experience” this year?

You can follow them on…

facebook

instagram

Visit my previous posts below about our experience at Goldfish! 

Our 1st Swim Lesson

5 Reason Why We LOVE Goldfish Swim School! 

Long Term Swim Experience 

Wishing you well, 

DIY Seasonal Decor

DIY Friday~ Homemade Picture Tree Ornament

There’s something about getting a homemade ornament for Christmas from little hands that have created it (along with a little elf who ends up putting it all together! ;)) This diy project came from the inspiration of a “popsicle stick” ornament idea. It’s a classic craft activity for little ones, but here’s the kicker I actually didn’t have any on hand and after a trip to the Dollar Tree and Walgreens, they didn’t have any either… so I gave up and we just used sticks instead! The idea of “sticks” came from my little guy who loves to play with them all the time.

It turned out to be a fun activity for my little guy and we definitely made memories along the way. So, good news for our family members…you’re all getting an ornament for Christmas! I know I spoiled the surprise, but couldn’t stop myself from sharing! 🙂 (working on that delayed gratification over here, always  a hard one for me!)

I wanted the end result to be delicate and classy looking, so I pulled out the “special paints” and let my little guy go at it! We went with the color combination of

g r e e n

w h i t e

g o l d

There’s something majestic about this color combination during the holidays! We collected sticks in our front yard (yes, probably still from Hurricane Irma) and while my little guy was sleeping I went away to hot gluing them together to make the formation of little tress! Once he woke up we had fun painting them!

After the stick trees dried I placed a lace bow ribbon on top using hot glue to adhere it and then I found cork board that I used as the “stem” of the tree! I used twine and tied it around the top of the sticks as the “hook” for hanging on the Christmas tree! I’ve collected quite of few handy diy items over this past year and it just so happened I had “gold duct tape” which I used to adhere Little Johnny’s picture (the hot glue didn’t work well for me).

By the way! If you’re wondering the size of the picture that I used I went with purchasing them at Walgreens using the app on my phone. I selected the “8 X 10” and then divided it into 4 sections where I uploaded the same photo all 4 times.

This is another craft that is going down as a “favorite” in my book! I think it has much to do with the memory I made with my little guy!

What is a favorite holiday memory you have with your children?

Wishing you well,

DIY Home Decor, DIY Seasonal Decor, Uncategorized

Simplistic Christmas Decorations for a Small Home

There’s something about the naturalistic characteristics of wood, pine, and cork that’s enticing. Throw in heirloom white spray paint along with a touch of gold and you have  simplistic but yet eye catching Christmas decor. The rustic feel with that “shiny” look definitely taunts your eyes. You wonder how something so simple can make you want to stare at it for a while. I guess it goes with the saying “less is more”.

To be honest I have been feeling that statement much throughout my own life. I have started to simplify my decor along with setting more intentions on a simple daily routine. Being more mindful of things and also focusing in on what matters are definitely goals I am starting to aquire for myself. So where does this tie in with decor? Well, let’s just say much of how you represent your home sets a tone for your everyday emotions. Think about when you step inside of a home that is updated and decorated to your style…there’s something about that moment that sends a burst of “happy feelings”.

The white, bright, and natural look is definitely something that is coming back in style. Have you been to Hobby Lobby, Jo-Anns, or Michaels? Yeah…I think you catch my drift…Here’s how I added natural and simplistic Christmas decor. And YES, I am the weird person who goes outside and picks sticks to incorporate into my home decor…maybe the inspiration is from my almost 2 year old who loves finding sticks…either way, they add a wonderful touch to our home! 🙂

I used these two colors below to spray paint the sticks. There’s something about the off white color and bright gold that makes things pop. I also used the heirloom white to a update some of my decor such as the star holder on our shelf divider between the kitchen and living room. Spray paint seriously goes a long way in updating your home without having to spend too much. #budgetfriendly most definitely!

A few weeks back I also made a rustic “JOY” sign that is displayed in our living room. You can watch the video below to see the process in how I made it.

How do you decorate your home for Christmas? I hope you are enjoying this holiday season!

Wishing you well,

 

Motherhood, Uncategorized, Upcycled DIY

Thanksgiving Tradition: Gratitude Wine Corks

Thanksgiving never was my favorite holiday growing up, but as I get older I cherish that day where I can really reflect on what I am thankful for in the year passing. While pumpkin pies, turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole,  and sweet potato casserole (my fav) are all enticing…it’s that question “What are you thankful for?” that is starting to become the tradition I look forward to. It’s our 2nd year of incorporating gratitude wine corks into our Thanksgiving tradition, and I’m already thinking about what I’ll put down this year!

We’re living in an age where much of our “happiness” through the eyes of society is starting to be defined by materialistic things, although it’s refreshing to see that the reality is… most of what we’re actually grateful for has to do with: family, loved ones, good health, and job security. Taking these moments at the Thanksgiving table of looking back on the past year and remembering what we have to be thankful for is sooooo good for our soul.

Last year was Little Johnny’s 1st Thanksgiving. We decided to stay here in Florida as a family and have the traditional meal just the 3 of us. I cooked my 1st turkey EVER (definitely a milestone for me) and I still wanted to “set the table pretty” along with making all the yummy side dishes. I’m a sucker for traditions and the cutesy things we all see on Pinterest. As I was searching online I did have one goal in mind…whatever traditions we were setting for our 1st Thanksgiving as a family of 3, I wanted it to be simple. We all know that if something is too complicated or there’s too much preparation, it probably won’t happen another time. Traditions are set to be simple so that we can carry them on throughout the years.

After doing a google search on “Thanksgiving Traditions’  I came across this image of wine corks with words of gratitude written on them. I wish I knew exactly where I got the idea from, but I can’t seem to remember (#mombrain). I placed 3 wine corks (yes, Little Johnny had one too) at our table along with a permanent marker. (bonus point is that wine corks add a fun decor item to your table setting as well). After we ate I posed the question to our little family…

“What are you thankful for?”

We wrote down one thing that we were most thankful for in the passing year along with our name and date. These gratitude wine corks have been displayed in a mason jar which sits right by our kitchen window for this past year! I love looking at it because it helps me to narrow in on the right perspective on life when things get tough.

I thought this was a great opportunity to share with my readers because it’s simple, but yet meaningful…which I know you all like! So, go ahead incorporate this idea into your family’s Thanksgiving traditions (It may require you to drink some wine too ;)) . I truly wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and I hope we can all take a moment to remember life is about having the right perspective.

So, I ask you… “What are you thankful for?”

P.S. If you want to view more Thanksgiving Traditions, visit my previous post about “25 Thanksgiving Traditions“.

Wishing you well,

DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

DIY Friday: Mini Round Table Display Made From Mason Jar Lids

There is something about sorting through craft supplies when suddenly an idea pops into your head of a unique way to reuse them.  Recently Little Johnny and I were rummaging through my craft supplies when I came across some mason jar lids and clothespins. I started messing around with them trying to see if I could configure some type of home decor item. First of all, I have been wanting a round coffee table for a while, (don’t ask why, it’s just something that has been on my mind…) So, I guess with that fresh on my mind I thought why not make mini round tables with clothespins as the legs. YOU ALL! It totally worked! I now have 3 cute mini round tables displayed throughout my home which serve as multiple purposes. Don’t judge by my enthusiasm of this very small joy in my life, but it’s definitely the little things that give me excitement!

So I clipped on the clothespins to the mason jar lids for them to act as legs and… WAH…LAH! My very own round table! (One day I’ll get that round coffee table that I have my mind dead set on!)  It can hold tea lights, name cards for the Thanksgiving table, or simply just giving decor items that extra height. The possibilities are endless with these little guys! 🙂 Now, I’m not one to just leave something without that extra painted touch, so of course I went ahead and stained the “legs” and spray painted the “table top” to give a feel of warmth and distressed. Metallic gold with a brush of heirloom white along with dark stained “legs” will do the trick!

Tell me. what is something in your life that truly helps you to “unplug” from the world? What makes your mind just wonder off and not worry about the stress of life? We all have that “something”, and for me it’s definitely focusing on DIY projects. It’s a stress reliever and while I know it’s not for everyone I try to incorporate super easy projects that anyone can make! This is for sure on the top of my list for easy projects!

Mini Round Tables Made From Mason Jar Lids 


{Supplies}

For 3 sets

  • 3 mason jar lids
  • 9 clothespins
  • metallic gold spray paint
  • heirloom white spray paint
  • base primer (optional)
  • walnut wood stain
  • hot glue gun
  • paint brush (for the dry brush technique that makes the edges look “distressed”)

{Steps}

1.Spray paint the 2 parts of your mason jar lids the metallic gold color.

2.While the lids are drying, stain the clothespins (I just dipped it into the can and then used a rag to wipe off the access. It was just easier and it made sure to stain all parts of the clothespins.)

 

3.After the mason jar lids have dried a bit (I probably waited about 30 minutes) take the heirloom white spray paint and lightly spray the paint brush. You don’t need very much paint on it, just enough to apply the dry brush technique to the outer rim part of the mason jar lid. Simply take the brush and lightly brush the edges. You don’t want the whole rim to be painted the heirloom white, just enough so that the metallic gold still pops out. I left the inner part the smooth metallic gold finish. The contrast of the two colors look great! 

4. Take the hot glue gun and attach the two pieces of the mason jar lid.

5. Make sure your clothespins are dried and then simply clip then onto the mason jar lids.

That’s it! You now have a mini round table! I hope you can find a place for these little guys in your own home. While they seem so simple they truly add just the simplest  unique touch to your home decor!

P.S. If you want to view another way I upcycled mason jar lids, check out my >>DIY pumpkin<<

Wishing you well! 

 

DIY Items for Little Ones

Read, Write, Build: REPEAT “An Easy Number Activity for Toddlers”

The Florida Morehouse family had an exciting and eventful weekend! Little Johnny saw Sesame Street Live, which was the best experience we have had with him yet! Big John had many classes going on over at our gym (Glory Martial Arts) and I was even able to sneak in a fun DIY project that I will share on my #diyfriday post!

So with the busy weekend behind us, we’re ready to tackle the week ahead! I have decided to share with you all a fun, easy, and engaging activity that our 1 year old has really enjoyed!

“It takes a big heart (and A LOT of PATIENCE) to teach little minds”. This statement cannot be any more true, don’t you think?! Did you know that as a parent you are your child’s first teacher? We tend to get caught in the norm that teaching is done in a classroom and at a specific age, which is definitely not true! We can find teaching moments throughout everyday life, especially when we have little ones running around us!

“Don’t underestimate the power of little minds. Toddlers will surprise you when given the opportunity to showcase their learning capabilities”

Recently I have noticed how Little Johnny has been so interested in numbers, especially with counting. He loves all the songs that have to do with counting…you know the ones (5 little monkeys is a big hit!) His little “counting” finger goes up in the air as he points it out and tries his hardest to keep to the beat. It made me think that I should probably start some type of counting activity that we can “try” to incorporate everyday into our routine.

Here’s the thing about toddlers…they love anything that is repetitive! But seriously, why?! As a parent I tend to get bored with the same things over, and over, and over again…although, there is so much good behind those “repetitive behaviors” Below is a great article explaining the reasoning behind why toddlers crave repetition and adults love variety.  It really helped me to understand that repetition is okay and I just need to “get over myself” with always wanting variety. 🙂

Why Toddlers LOVE Repetition

I had to actually stop myself from overwhelming my little guy because I’m totally guilty of using Pinterest and I pin so many cute activities, but then I have to remember he’s only 1 years old! So, while these activities may seem fun, I always have to ask myself “Will this overwhelm him?” I’m trying my hardest as I teach my little guy to remember this simple statement. “Less is MORE”, especially when teaching basic concepts.

So, I decided to revert to my old teaching days and incorporate the concept READ, WRITE, BUILD using simple tools such as flash cards, white board, and Legos. We try to do this everyday (although some days get the best of us). I keep the supplies away in a bin with easy pull out drawers so I don’t have to “hunt down” for the supplies. Plus, it gives met he opportunity to have another bin in the house, I’m a tad obsessed with all things related to bins, containers, and baskets…it’s a serious problem! haha

**NOTE: The key words here are “easy” & “REPEAT”! 🙂

READ, WRITE, BUILD: REPEAT

“An Easy Number Activity for Toddlers”

 


I started off slow introducing this concept to him, but as we continued it each day Little Johnny started to anticipate what came next and I am now able to provide less help so that way he can become more independent with it. This activity also teaches little ones “one-t0-one” correspondence meaning that the numbers actually have a value! Example: 1=1 dot 2=2 dots 3=3 dots… and so on. As he gets a bit older I will introduce the number zero, as it’s a difficult concept to understand that it actually means “nothing”.

The key here is to “build upon” learning the numbers. I started at the very beginning only teaching the number “1” until I saw that he was starting to understand the concept. Then I added on number “2” and so on… We are currently ready to move onto number “4”. Here’s what I look for:

  • with some support can trace the number on the flash card using his finger
  • independently point to the items as we count
  • independently recite the numbers (Johnny needs a little more support with this, but I can see he is definitely trying)
  • with support write the numbers on the white board (hand over hand approach)
  • with support build the numbers using Legos (This concept will move onto a more independent approach as he progresses and it is one of the hardest concepts, which is why teaching them as toddlers is beneficial.)

{Supplies}

1. Flash cards with numbers and corresponding numbered objects

  • I bought mine at Target in the Dollar Section, but I found some similar on amazon. Here’s the link! —> number flash cards

2. White board & dry erase marker

  • You can purchase one or make it out of a picture frame from the Dollar Tree! I added the color construction paper as the “background” because we’re currently working on the color green and I can switch it out depending on what color we are learning about. Also, I like that it has edges on the side to prevent those little hands from drawing all over the table. It acts as a “bumper” for them.

3. Legos

  • blocks will work too, or really any type of toy you can build with!

{Activity} 

READ


First, start with reading the number by saying the name and counting the objects. These were the best pictures I could get of us in action! 🙂 I do use my hand at times to help guide him.

WRITE


Next, use “hand-over-hand” approach and help your toddler write the number with the corresponding dots. Little Johnny loves to draw on the dry erase board, so I give him time to “practice” writing it himself. Then we say “bye bye (and state number)” which he then erases it with a paint brush. Did you know that will do the trick with acting as an eraser for a dry erase board? We didn’t either and just found that out! haha 🙂

BUILD


Last, use Legos and have the flash cards laid out to “build” the numbers. There is a lot of support given here!

Repeat this process with each number along with trying to incorporate it each day and your little one will soon start learning their numbers in a fun way!

**NOTE- Make sure you are in control of the supplies. I like putting them off to the side and bringing them out one by one so that way he is not distracted.

What are other counting activities you have tried at home with your toddler or preschooler?

P.S. We have an easy shape activity, letter activity, and color activity that I may be sharing in a future post!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

 

Reviews of Products & Places

Outdoor Adventure at Green Meadows Petting Farm in Central Florida

OinkNeighMoo….Did you know we have one of the most amazing petting farms within the Central Florida area? Well, it’s true! On a “fall like day” in Florida (which we all know is rare), we spent it outside exploring Green Meadows Petting Farm. It was our first experience with our little ones in enjoying a “hands-on” adventure while learning and interacting with so many animals…AND we can’t forget about the amazing train ride and tractor ride! Choo Choo…

(This is a sponsored post, all my opinions stated are my own.)

When you enter into the farm you are blown away by how big it is and the many activities that are offered! We packed our lunches and spent a full day at the farm! Our little ones loved every minute of it! Their little eyes lit up by all the amazing activities they encountered. So, are you thinking a family day here would be fun for you as well? Well…Guess what?! I have the privilege to giveaway 2 FREE adult tickets! I’ll help plan your visit with the details and then you can enter the GIVEAWAY located at the bottom of the page! Let’s get started…

(P.S.-If you have been before then you know how much fun it is, so make sure to scroll to the bottom and enter in the GIVEWAY for 2 FREE adult tickets!)

Location, Hours, & Rates


LOCATION

1368 South Poinciana Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34746

Hours

9:30am–4:00pm

*last tour starts
at 2:30pm

The admission includes a 2 1/2 hour guided tour of the farm led by a friendly staff member!

Rates

General Admission
(Age 13—Adult)
$23

Florida Resident
$21

Age 3—12
$20

Senior (62+) and
Military
$19

Age 2
$5

If you want more information on these details, then click here to visit their website.

A Brief History


 Did you know that Green Meadows Petting Farm has more than 1 location? You can find it in other states as well! My home state is Wisconsin, and guess what? The original farm originated back in 1964 in Waterford, WI!

OTHER LOCATIONS

Floral Park, NY
www.visitgreenmeadowsfarm.com

Hazlet, NJ
www.greenmeadowschildrensfarm.com

Urbana, MD
www.greenmeadowsevents.com

Waterford, WI
www.greenmeadowsfarmwi.com

Sherwood, WI
www.mulberrylanefarmwi.com

What’s included in the guided tour?


When you enter onto the farm you’re greeted by the welcoming staff along with a cute General Store and fun fall displays, which is a perfect opportunity to take those fall photos if you haven’t done so already. In this post I’m relating it to the fall season, but the farm is most definitely open all year long!

On the guided tour the tour guide takes you through the farm on all kinds of learning adventures about their animals! So many opportunities to interactive with the farm animals! This is a place that definitely explores many of our senses, which is a perfect learning environment for all children (and adults)!

On the farm you will…

  • Learn all about pigs, cows, goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, donkeys, Elmer—our Asian water buffalo and more!
  • hold baby chicks and chickens
  • Milk a cow!
  • Train ride
  • Pony rides for children
  • Tractor-drawn hayride
  • Picnic areas for those bringing a lunch
  • Drinks and snacks available at The General Store

*This is all included with the price of your admission ticket, no added costs for the train rides, tractor rides, or pony rides.

Extras 


Green Meadows also offers fun playground experiences for children! There are playgrounds, slides, and fun climbing adventures throughout the whole farm! After the guided tour it was a perfect opportunity for our little ones to let our their energy and have a blast playing together!

Recommendations 


After experiencing a day on the farm here is some feedback I gathered to make your trip even better!

  • Plan on spending a full day on the farm! I would recommend getting there earlier in the day so you can experience everything they have to offer!
  • Pack a lunch! While they do have a General Store, mostly the food items are snacks.
  • If you have little ones either bring a stroller or you can purchase a wagon for $5. (which was a big hit with our little ones) The farm is huge and their little feet may need a break every now and then.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing!

When will you be visiting the farm?

It truly is a fun filled day that will leave you with wonderful family memories!

Click the link below to enter the GIVEAWAY for 2 FREE adult tickets to Green Meadows Farm in Kissimmee, FL!

>>GIVEAWAY<<

Start Date: Monday, October 30th, 2017

End Date: Thursday, November 3rd, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Make sure to connect with them on social media for upcoming events! 

Facebook 

Instagram

Wishing you well,

~Amanda