FRYday : Nicole

We live a rushed life. Sometimes I sit down at night and feel like its the fist time I have breathed all day. I seem to rush from sun up to sun down, but especially in the evening. Days are long and by bedtime Im ready to crash, so putting extra time into a long drawn out bed time seems exhausting.

fryday
Im sure im preaching to the choir, you all have had this figured out for years, im sure. But WOAH its been a game changer for me! Over the last few weeks ive focused on BEDTIME. Making bedtime the most important hour or two (YES, hour or TWO) of the day. With baths, snacks, jammies, stories, prayers and teeth brushing, sometimes it takes THAT long. The ironic part is this, the time i set aside for the bedtime routine, the less time it ends up taking to calm my two little crazies down, because im less crazy myself. I have learned that they really can tell when im rushing, and it is an added stress on them. In turn they act up, and get more wild than they have been all day. Giving them this special focused time to wind down, prepare for bed, and fall asleep calmly has really improved these terrible 2′s, and whatever they call it when your 4 year old is, well, a 4 year old. ;)
We’ve already shared this on ALL our Instagram feeds, personal and for Small Fry too, but have you tried Chat Books yet? It is $6 to print 60 photos directly from your Instagram account! Enter “SMALL1″ and get your first book free!chatbooksWe each recently printed our whole Instagram libraries and feel so relieved to have them in hand. Surely the internet isn’t going anywhere, but having tangible printed evidence is so nice! Our families love to flip through and a if you’re interested, here are a few reasons we’re completely smitten:

Read more

share: 1
4

fun cleaning jobs for kids

What age do you finally decide your kids are ready for more responsibility at home? It seems that at about four years old, they become really interested in acquiring new toys, special treats from the ice cream truck, etc. Which might also be the perfect time to implement small and easy jobs – not to take advantage of their wants and whims – but to instill a sense of privilege and earning special non-everyday things.

One thing we’ve noticed a hundred times over, and lots of times on accident, is that kids find these types of jobs really fun. They’ll see us cleaning something and ask to help, and we didn’t even realize it is totally something they can do and enjoy! We should’ve taken video footage of this sponge session, they were loving it! And cleaned Nicole’s whole kitchen floor while giggling and smiling together. So here’s huge list of easy cleaning jobs that they’ll smile all the way through!

Huge List of Easy Jobs Kids Love to Do!

Huge List of Easy Jobs Kids Love to Do!

 

clean

1. & 2. Spray Bottle and Squeegee 

Clean windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces

3. Sponges 6. & 7. Brushes

Washing flat rugs with a toothbrush or dish brush.

Washing coutnertops, tile floors, and other surfaces that can handle extra water.

Take a dish brush or toothbrush to AC vents, baseboards

Giant sponge to clean outside the car, their bikes and scooters

Toss in well-loved plastic toys for a quick bath in the bucket

4. Handheld Broom & Dust-Pan

Sweeping is still a little hard at our boys’ ages but they love to dust pan up the piles!

Instead of asking them to pick up their legos or other scattered-everywhere types of toys, practicing with a hand-held broom and dustpan is a great option!

5. Q-Tips 

Kids love wielding tiny tools. Corners, vents, keyboards and more!

8. With a Paint Brush (and a close eye!)-

Touch up scuffs and chips on your patio or doors

Other -

Matching socks

Folding TowelsHuge List of Easy Jobs Kids Love to Do!

It seems that we’ve stumbled upon al these fun chores simply by doing them ourselves and asking if the boys want to join! We are constantly surprised by how much fun they have! Do you have any jobs to add to this list?

morning routine printable

School is starting in just a couple weeks for all of us and the distant memories of rushed mornings are all flooding back. We’ve found that our kids do better when they have a visual understanding of what tasks are at hand. Melanie Burk of the amazing Caravan Shoppe created this awesome hand-illustrated chart to help make mornings run a little bit more smoothly! Download below, but first check out this cuteness!

Morning Routine Chart - Free Printable by Melanie Burk We always love black and white, but you could easily print each element on a different colored paper. Once it’s printed and cut out have your local print shop laminate it to make it extra sturdy. Then use wall putty or double sided tape to stick it on and off!

Morning Routine Chart - Free Printable by Melanie Burk Each morning they can work on their chart without the endless conversations and repeating yourself. With each task they complete the “Morning Routine” is actually a pocket, so they can slip the finished tasks into pocket until everything is complete!

Morning Routine Chart - Free Printable by Melanie Burk We’re so excited to use this awesome printable this school year and make our mornings run even that much more smoothly! Download your own copy free below and thanks to Melanie for sharing her endless talents with us!

More about Melanie: Find her at @melanieburk on Instagram. She has one of our favorite feeds, it’s so creative and happy! Melanie designs beautiful printable gifts and decor at Caravan Shoppe and teaches online Design and Photoshop classes over at Atly, too!

Dinner Winner


By Jenna.

I’ve been loving our partnership with Target because after taking on clean eating, I’ve spent WAY more time in their grocery department then I ever have before. With Made to Matter, Handpicked by Target‘s launch, I love that I can buy my regular fresh fruits and vegetables and then also have lots of healthy pre-made options to bring it all together! I suddenly feel like Target really is my one stop shop for all my family’s needs. Which has aided me so much in my goal this summer of spending more focused time with my family, and less time in the kitchen. I find that often in my pursuit of creating these glorious experiences for them AND beautiful dinners, I spend more time away then I anticipated or wanted! The curation of naturally better for you groceries makes it easy! Simple and healthy approach to food is where it’s at.5 Minute Pasta Salad

A common activity for us is to eat our dinner outside in the Summertime, so I’m always thinking of recipes that include ALL food groups in one for easy transport out to the picnic blanket! That’s how I came up with this 5 Minute Pasta Salad and had no problem using all products and produce from the aisles of my local Target!Target Made to Matter  5 Minute Pasta Salad  5 MINUTE PASTA SALAD

1 package of Simply Balanced Organic Penne Rigate Pasta, cooked
1 lb. Pre-Cooked and sliced chicken breast
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumbers
1/2 cup Horizon Organic Cheddar cheese sliced or cubed
1 cup Annie’s Natural Goddess dressing5 Minute Pasta Salad

Combine and stir! Trust me I was afraid to do this. This is way too simple for my normal taste but guess what it was amazing! And my kiddos loved it, so score! We paired it with these delicious Cranberry Cherry drinks and had a wonderful little Summer picnic.5 Minute Pasta Salad

This post is sponsored by TargetThe Made To Matter line has been handpicked by Target to bring you brands that make things better for your you, your family, and the place we all call home.

a lesson in individuality

One thing we learn as parents again and again is that our boys are each their own unique personality. What works for one is not always going to work for the next, and that’s what makes being a parent so crazy hard, and also incredibly rewarding. This lesson in individuality is a work in progress for all of us, but it seems everyone is most happy when as parents we honor their individuality versus trying to make them fit a mold. GapKids is all about letting kids be kids, and with their help we got a head start on back to school shopping for two of our favorite and newest Kindergartners, Quinn and Zoey!

Back to School 2014

We showed them their options online and let them pick what they would feel most comfortable in going to school! Here’s what we all put together!

QUINN:

Individuality with Gap Kids

 

Quinn is 100% original. We are constantly cracking up at the funny questions and stories he comes up with, his love for celebrating and having a good time. Even being the consummate individual that he is, he also loves to emulate and be just like his dad. So picking a New York baseball cap, which is where his dad’s favorite team resides was super cool for him!

Quinn loves to adventure whether it’s on a trip with the family or up into the mountains near his house. This “Explore” top is perfect to represent his adventurous nature. This was also his first pair of jeans in the Gap Kids section! Usually wearing a 5T, it was nice to see that making the jump to Kids was seamless. The adjustable waist option is so nice for those tall and lean kids!

ZOEY:

We love Zoey because she is a jack of all trades. She loves sports, legos, dress-ups, and high heels equally. She gets along with everyone and is so kind. Even at 5 years old Zoey is aware and particular about what is “stylish” and getting her dressed was so fun!

Individuality with Gap Kids

Zoey loves being able to be dressed up for impromptu tea parties, but also needs to be able to run and play and cartwheel. She loves having these knit shorts under dresses and skirts so nothing can stand in her way! We love how all of these pieces can be worn so many different ways and are all season-less when added with the right layers!

Individuality with Gap Kids

Find Zoey’s Denim ShirtKnit & Mesh Hi Lo Tank topDenim Mini Skirt and unisex high to sneaker all at GapKids!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GapKids through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While we were compensated to write a post about GapKids, all opinions are our own.