Pumpkin Crafting Fun For Toddler/Kids!

Happy Monday my lovely friends!

I have always been a crafty person. I love doing crafts and DIY’s and I think they are the best type of presents you can give someone. Even better? Becoming a mom and doing crafts with my little man. It brings an even more special meaning to these cute little things we create.

As we come up into the holiday season, I will be sharing tons of crafts and DIY’s that you can do yourselves and with your little’s so I really hope you enjoy!

Today I am taking you along with me and bub on a craft we made the other day. A little pumpkin. We are working on his sensory and fine motor skills so lots of coloring is involved.


What you will need-

  • Empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls.
  • Pumpkin shaped paper.
  • Washable crayons (I highlight washable because….toddler mom life)
  • Hot glue gun

This is such a fun project that requires minimal effort and supplies and it turns out so cute. The empty toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls I had because I knew I wanted to do this craft. The pumpkin shaped paper I bought at the Target dollar spot.

I lightly colored the majority of the pumpkin and then for each one I let my little man scribble around and dot it all up. He was loving it!!

Once he was done coloring all of them I heated up my hot glue gun and got my paper rolls ready and then hot glued each piece of paper to the front of the paper rolls so they stand up.

They turned out to be the cutest décor!

We handed them out as cute little Fall gifts to some of our family and it was a hit.

So simple but I love it and I think it’s the perfect craft that you can keep and make more each year!

Please let me know if you do it with your little’s. I would love to see your pictures of the final piece 🙂


Since the holiday’s are coming up, I thought I would share a funny story with you all.

My husband and I are HUGE National Lampoons Christmas Vacation fans. It’s one of our favorite movies to watch each year. Almost 9 years ago when we started dating, we still lived at home at the time. So of course we would store our Christmas gifts at our separate houses.

Well my husbands dad went into their attic the other day and he found a Christmas present wrapped up, all dusty and the tag read to Amanda, From A.J.

He pulled a total Clark Griswold when he is stuck in the attic and finds a mother’s day gift to his wife from like 10 years ago.

We were both cracking up and the date of the gift was from 2012!

We just thought it was the funniest thing and even funnier since it happened in one of our favorite movies! So I had to share on here 🙂

Do any of you have funny lost gift stories? Please share in the comments!

As always, thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed my post, until next Monday!

My Fall Bucket List!

I love fall, y’all!

Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, THANKSGIVING! It’s my favorite time of year.

I love waking up on a chilly morning with coffee in my hand, taking the pups out for a morning run (the dogs, not me!). I go check on the chickens, and Pauly our rooster let’s put his cock-a-doodle-doo!

Fall mornings seems like everything moves a little slower for me.

My youngest had me print out our fall bucket list! I’ll insert it below!

I created my own bucket list for fall. Mine is going to look a bit different.

Slow down

Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the way the leaves turn, and enjoy how the air gets more crisp. Enjoy family time with the hubby and my daughters. They grow so quick, so enjoy the little moments.

Make time for my husband.

We get so lost in taking care of the kids. We do everything we can to make sure they are happy and healthy. We often lose sight of what started it all, our love. Making time to enjoy each other is essential. Wether it’s date night, or just a quiet night on the couch.

Prepare for Winter

Winter is dark and depressing, honestly. It is not my most favorite time of year. I’m going to enjoy and mentally prepare for the dark ahead. Start taking care of my body, and my mental health. Do things for me, to make winter a little more bearable.

Get more organized

I can’t stand clutter! My goal this fall is to get more organized. That should always me my goal, but like I said, I hate winter. Hopefully being more organized will make me enjoy the winter months a little bit more!


Little changes can make a big difference. Hopefully my bucket list for fall will help me enjoy it just a little bit more!

Don’t get me wrong, my youngest girls bucket list sounds fun too!

Keeping busy while social distancing!

We are still trying very hard to social distance.

It’s been tough not surrounding ourselves with the many people we love, but also trying to find things to keep our girls occupied!

I’m gonna share some of the things we’ve enjoyed doing.


Crafts

Painting, modeling clay, slime making, bracelet making! You name it, we’ve done it! We love doing crafts, it’s been something the whole family can enjoy. Our favorite has been the clay, though. The girls love making little sculptures, and painting them. I’ve already gotten a few new jewelry dishes. 😉

Lots of Reading

Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? I know we have really enjoyed it. A lot of our summer reading is done outside in our hammocks. It’s our favorite spot to chill. My youngest (A) loves the Mercy Watson series, written by Kate DiCamillo. My oldest (C) loves The Never Girls series! I will read anything, but I’m a true die hard Twilight series fan. I know 🙈

Video Games

I know what you’re thinking, video games?! Really?! But we honestly enjoy playing so many video games as a family. Minecraft is one of our all time favorites. We also enjoy all of the Super Mario games: Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Mario Party, etc. I also started getting the girls into Animal Crossing, although that’s not a multi player so we don’t play it often.

Outside Play

Sprinklers and pools were a huge part of our summer fun! Riding bikes, scooters, roller blading, swinging on the tree swing, playing fetch with the pups! So much fun stuff to do outside, and the fun is honestly endless when you’re outside. We also have a wooded area on our property which is fun for nature hikes and scavenger hunts! In September all the mushrooms around the yard pop up, and it’s fun to go around and identify some of them.

It’s definitely been an interesting year for us all. Trying to find things for the whole family to enjoy can be challenging.

Hopefully this gave you some ideas if you needed them! ❤️

Time flies when you’re raising children…

Sitting at dinner the other night, and we were talking about how fast this year has gone by.

It could be because of COVID, and most of our year was “wasted” by “quarantine” or simply because our littles aren’t so little anymore and they are growing SO fast!

It’s hard to sit back some time and REALLY enjoy these little moments.


I’m not going to lie, I had a mini breakdown last week. Full blown toddler tantrum…

I finally had some time off of work, to enjoy my 10 year wedding anniversary (holy shit, how has it been 10 years?!).

Day 1 of vacation and I start getting texts from work (I can’t get away from this place). I really wanted to get away for the big decade anniversary, but let’s face it, two kids and a global pandemic later, and no one has the time or money for that shit!

To top it all off, my kids we’re making me INSANE with their constant arguing and pestering about every… little… thing!!!

I finally broke down, and LITERALLY called my mama crying!

She talked me down, and we laughed and cried. Finally she asked me if I remembered going to my aunts house for the weekend every other month or so… because she too had the same moments I had. Every mom, or dad, NEEDS time to be an adult, and enjoy alone time wether it’s with a spouse or by yourself.

Then she said, get yourself a Starbucks (or whatever over priced coffee you like), get home, and get on with your day because you are going to remember the time spent with your family, more then you’ll remember this breakdown.

That women was so right! We had an AMAZING day exploring Frankenmuth, MI (see picture below)!

Then on our ACTUAL anniversary, we shipped the kids to my hubs mom’s house for the night, we ordered take out, and watched ALL the bad TV we could fit into the 16 hours we had ALONE!!!

It was HEAVENLY!


ANYWAYS, Back to my original thought about how FAST time is moving… I just wanted to share that story because it was raw and real, and it is not all sunshine and rainbows here!

I am in the trenches of motherhood. I am at war with myself because these are their most formative years, and I want to make sure they look back on their childhood and say, ‘wow, I was respectful and respected, but we also had a GREAT childhood.’

I’m definitely not one to give advice. You will not see me at any baby shower telling that new mama-to-be how she should only breastfeed, and use cloth diapers because it’s better for the environment, etc.

However, I’m passing along advice from my mama who raised 6 kids…

“Take time for yourself. It is one thing to be so in love with your child and do everything for the baby, but you have to not lose sight of yourself as a woman to balance out motherhood.”

Sounds simple right?!

But how many days have gone by since you’ve last taken care of YOU?!

Let’s just try harder. Every day is a new day for growth and opportunity.

You hear it all the time, “self care”, but do you really do it?!


WOW! How many cliches can I put into one blog?! 😂

But, thanks for hearing my heart! ❤️

Amanda (the boss bitch that keeps me motivated) and I, want to do a Q&A with all our readers! So if you have a question for us, leave it in the comments below!

COVID and School

We want to keep this page fun, but there is a big fat elephant in the room, and I’m here to talk about it and share my thoughts and feelings!

School.

As you know, I am a mom to two amazing school aged daughters. My oldest is in the 4th grade, and my youngest is going into first. We love our school so much!

We had just gotten back from a spring break trip March 13. We had so much fun, but little did we know, we’d be coming home to pure chaos.

The night we got home, our Governor held a press conference stating she was shutting down our schools. What were we going to do with our two daughters while my husband and I work full time hours?!

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

A week after the schools shut down, my boss decided to shut down my work. It was scary, but also really great because we were able to focus on getting a routine established for “remote learning”. There were still SO many fears and concerns.

I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, but it was rough. It was so new to the teachers, the students, and for most parents. We sort of had a good idea on what to expect as we had done online school for our oldest daughter in the past (that is another story for another time…).

Honestly, our girls did not handle the shut down well. At. All. For the first few weeks, there was little to no routine.

My oldest hates school. She is so smart, and she knows it. However, that doesn’t mean school comes easy to her on all subjects. She loves using the computer, and prefers learning through apps, and online videos and instruction. She was THRIVING once we figure out what apps were “OK’d” by her teacher and the school. Getting her to sit down and read, was a challenge, but she loved having books read to her via Audible. (That was a Godsend.)

Now, my youngest is completely opposite. She loves sitting down in her bean bag chair with her books, and journals. She loves using flash cards and doing her work sheets. The online stuff was cool, because it was a little more interactive, but she definitely is a pencil and paper kind of learner.

By the end of the school year, we had established that we were going to keep our girls learning, but we did it in our own way. We used materials given to us as a guide, but really built our own methods.


SO, Summer is wrapping up here this month, and that leaves us with a HUGE decision. What in the H-E-L-L are we going to do about the 20-21 school year?!

Who the hell knows!

As of right now, we are definitely leaning towards online learning. It will be hard to find a balance, between work, school and home life, but I truly feel in my heart, this will be in the best interest for my family.

I know my daughters more then anyone else, and I know they did NOT do well with the shut down. It took a lot of persistence to get my kids going on a good schedule. There was a lot of yelling and tears, not going to lie!

I know that if I can get my kids on a good schedule right at the beginning of the year, it will make having another “shut-down” a lot easier IF we end up having one. If not, and COVID “goes away” then we won’t be behind, and my kids can jump right back into the school year in the classroom in January.


I understand there are A LOT of different opinions about school, and COVID. I’m not trying to make a political statement by any means. I’m truly doing what I feel is best for my family during these unprecedented times. No one understands what we are facing, and no one is making a right or wrong decision wether you are doing virtual, or not.

Amanda and I truly appreciate all of our followers, and we hope you enjoy our blog!

Thank you so much for reading, and if you feel like throwing your opinions in the comments, by all means, please do!

Next week, I’ll keep things a little more light and fun! 😉

Day In The Life Of A Working Mom.

I love reading and watching day in the life blog posts and vlogs so I thought, why not give it a try? 

So today I am sharing with you my day in the life of a working mom.

Everyday is different of course but this is just a glimpse at my work days!


6:45am-7:00am- Bub wakes up so that means I wake up even though I am silently missing my snoozin’ in days lately! Anyone else as well?

7:15am-7:45am- Small bottle to make bub happy and get a little morning cuddle time in. 

8:15-8:30am- Breakfast for bub which his fav right now as a newly 1-year-old is mini pancakes and fruit! He also likes eggs as well. 

8:45am- That first sip of coffee soothes the soul every single morning. 

9:00am-9:45am- Play time. We usually play inside and he tears up the house or if it’s a nice morning we head outside and play in the yard. 

10:00am-10:30am- I quickly finish getting ready. I shower the night before since mornings are the most hectic and all I have to do is brush out my hair and put a crap ton of concealer on to hide those dark circles so people think I’m human and not the zombie that I am most days.

10:45am- The absolute worst part of my day. The time when I leave for work and my wonderful family gets bub for the day. I dread it, there are tears involved every time. My son will bawl his eyes out until he no longer sees me and I cry inside every single time. 

11:00am-2:00pm- Working and constantly checking in on my son because I am that mom. 

2:30pm-3:00pm- Stuffing my face for a quick lunch. 

3:00pm-7:00pm- Work but then again constantly checking in on my son even when my husband is home with him. Sorry not sorry 🤣

7:15pm- I am home and I usually rush to take my work clothes off and put comfys on because sweat pants are life and then scoop up my bub and give him a big hug. 

7:30pm-Dinnertime! 

8:00pm-Night time routine. A bottle and cuddles and usually a story or two while we relax. 

8:30pm-9:00pm- Bub goes to bed and I cuddle a little bit while he sleeps because working 11-7 stinks. I get all morning with him but nights are short ☹️

9:30pm- I shower and put my pjs on and cuddle up with my hubby on the couch for TV time or if we are super tired we lay down in bed. Our fav right now is Cheers on Hulu!

10:30pm-11:00pm- Bed time! This changes daily because on my days off I sometimes stay up later and on working days I can sometimes be passed out by like 9:00pm like my son honestly.


I hope you enjoyed this. I know my work schedule is a little different than a normal 9-5 job so I thought it would be interesting to see how I do my mornings and nights with my son.

Working and being a parent is hard. It’s hard to juggle it all and everyone’s days are just so different! 

But the reason why we made this blog and what we love to say here is that all you moms (& dads of course) rock and we love being apart of the motherhood clan 😊

Summer Days! The Best Outdoor Toys For Ages 1 and Up.

Hi friends!

Aren’t weekends just the best?

But summer weekends!? Even better! 

It’s so fun thinking back to last summer I did not so much at all because I had a newborn baby. But now it’s fun to enjoy the sunshine with my little man. 

I had a hard time thinking of summer toys that I thought bub (our nickname) would enjoy. 

I am learning that the attention span is nonexistent in these little ones. And that the tantrums are constant. 

So here in Michigan we had a super hot weekend and we finally got to enjoy all of our outdoor summer toys we accumulated with bub turning 1! 

I have rounded up a few that I think are perfect for 1-year-olds and up! 

Bub has been absolutely loving his water table and truck! The truck he can’t yet get the hang of that he can actually walk with it but he loves being pushed around. And the big wheels on this one is perfect for rides in the backyard!

Wagon rides in the backyard have also been a fav! I absolutely love this radio flyer wagon. So much storage space, two seats with seatbelts and once again with the big wheels for rough terrain!

Small swing sets and slides are also so great for the younger ones! He loves climbing all around this swing set and it’s fun to watch him.

Who else just loves their backyard? I enjoy being out in ours so much just relaxing and playing!

The last thing we have but I don’t have a picture of is this awesome bike! It’s so fun for short walks and bub loves it. It also turns into a little bike for him when he’s old enough so you defiantly get your moneys worth!


As for me? I enjoyed a great 3 day weekend full of family. 

Oh and High Noons which If you haven’t tried, you must! They are so refreshing. I’m not much of a vodka soda girl but I love grapefruit and I did really enjoy them. 

Plus I am now sporting a really nice sunburn! My first of the Summer and I totally forgot how much it sucks to sleep with a sunburn! 

You know what the best part about this weekend was though? 

I forgot about the laundry piling up in my room. 

I forgot about the dirty dishes filling my sink.

I forgot about the toys scattered around my house and the pillows that get thrown on the floor each day. 

And you know what? I loved it.

These days we won’t ever get back, so I am trying to soak up every fun filled day I can with my guys! 

Especially in the sunshine! 

Guest Post: Why Don’t Men Understand Mom Guilt.

“What is mom guilt?”

If you’re a mom, you have probably never asked this question. Because when you’re a mom, you know what mom guilt is.

It wasn’t until I wrote my book about mom guilt, Good Moms Don’t: Lies, Truths and How to Conquer Mom Guilt, that I started hearing the questions “What is mom guilt?” from men. Some of the men were even dads.

The first man who asked me was my publisher. He has a wife and three kids. The next man was a man from my critique group. He read every chapter of the book and still didn’t understand. In fact, he thought I should scrap the whole project and work on my surrogacy book instead.

It wasn’t until my boyfriend, Larry, asked me that question and another question that I started realizing that men just don’t get it. The other question was, “Why is it such a big deal?”

The “why is it such a big deal?” question is one I think a lot of people wonder also, but I answered that question in my blog What is the big deal about mom guilt?

I explained to Larry about the guilt I felt about my son’s babysitter being inappropriate with him. His response was, “That’s something you should feel least guilty about. There was no way you could have foreseen what she was going to do. Even statistically, women are less likely to molest children.”

My response, “That’s the thing I felt most guilty about. That’s what hurt him the most. That’s where I should have known better. That’s what I should have protected him from.”

All of this got me thinking about men not understanding mom guilt. So why don’t the?

I think the first reason is obvious. Men, aren’t moms. Even if they are a dad, they aren’t a mom. So it makes sense that they don’t understand mom guilt. If a man in your life doesn’t understand why you feel guilty, it doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care enough to understand. It simply means he’s not a mom, so he doesn’t get it.

Another reason men might not understand mom guilt is because men typically are more logical and women are more emotional. Larry proved that point to me. He looked at the babysitter situation logically. Is there any way I could have possibly known that a 12-year-old girl could hurt my son while babysitting him with her mother in the home? It’s pretty unlikely. 

The point I want to make is that men and women are different (duh!) but that difference doesn’t make one or the other wrong. Our differences are meant to complement one another, not shame one another. I bet if Larry and I had been dating at the time, I wouldn’t have created so much guilt around the situation with the babysitter because we would have talked about how I was feeling, and he would have shown me the logical side. I can’t say that for sure obviously, but that’s the type of relationship we have and I always feel better after we talk things through.

Do you need support with mom guilt? I’m here to help. Check out Good Moms Don’t: Lies, Truths and How to Conquer Mom Guilt  or if you’d like to go more in-depth, schedule a free coaching consultation call. I am passionate about helping women from the inside out. 

Until next time, Alysia
Life Coach
Make Up With the Mirror


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To The Little Boy Who Made Me A Mom.

To the little boy who made me a mom, 

I feel like it was just yesterday that I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test. 

When the kicks and the excitement of hearing your heartbeat was like no other feeling.

When my water broke and your daddy and I had a panic attack thinking, “this is really happening. We are parents.” 

When I held you in my arms for the first time. 

When daddy and I were wondering how in the world we were going to be able to do this at home on our own. 

Your sweet smiles and cuddles have been the absolute light of each day. 

Watching you grow and learn and be the sweet, outspoken, adventurous little boy that you are has been the best ever. 

Through these uncertain times, you and your daddy have been the constant joy I needed. And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for you to grow up in this world. 

As we approach your first birthday on Friday (silently crying) I can’t help but think of all the things I want to teach you.

You’re so sweet and innocent and I love being a mommy to such a precious, wild boy. As you grow I want you to know things, especially in the world we are living in now and even more so when you are older.

Your feelings matter. You matter and don’t ever forget that. 

Dream big and chase those dreams because we will always be there chasing them with you. 

Be kind. Always. People will always remember the way you treated them. 

Treat everyone equally and don’t be afraid to. 

Be whoever and whatever you want to be. You are forever supported. 

No always means no, no matter what. 

Stand up for what you believe in, your voice is always heard.

Use the words, “I love you” wisely. Three small words that have the biggest meaning. 

Choose good friends, they have such an impact on your life. 

Know that you will forever be loved, supported and taken care of, I promise you that.

I am so lucky to be your mama. I just want you to know that I will be there always, no matter what. 

I pinky promise. 

Love, 

Your mama 

Top Five Genius Mom Hacks!

After becoming a mom, I love finding any useful hack that I can to make days just a little bit easier.

The days can be long with our kiddo’s but I am forever grateful for the genius mamas out there who have come up with some amazing mom hacks (Motherhood Sprouting)! I swear I spend lots of Pinterest time just scrolling through hacks and trying them out.

I will also tell you, my mind is blown by most of them.

So today I thought I would share with you the best mom hacks I have found and you will most likely be like me and think, HOW HAVE I NOT DONE THESE SOONER!?

Let’s check them out!


Bathe Your Baby In A Laundry Basket.

I know, I know sounds so weird! But I am telling you guys, I have huge anxiety about my wild 11 month old slipping in the tub and hitting his head so I have been trying to find the best way to give baths without an injury and when I saw this hack a lightbulb instantly went off in my mind.

THIS IS GENIOUS! And I can’t wait to try it because not only will it help with my slipping fear but his toys will stay right by him as well so he won’t try to venture out to get them.

Love Love Love Blog

Use Tape To Prevent Doors From Locking.

Another one of my fears as my son is getting taller and more curious is locking himself in a room! Right now he is so into climbing on doors and swinging them back and forth so once he starts walking around and can reach door knobs I am so using this hack to hopefully prevent any breaking down doors in the house.

Kids Activities Blog

DIY Stain Remover.

I just tried this on old sweet potato and carrot stains on my sons clothes and WOW! I am telling you genius, and so easy! No other stain remover that I tried to use fully got those orangey stains out so I am so happy I found this!

Mix a little and equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, dawn dish soap and baking soda together. Let it sit for a little bit and throw it in the washer! Magic, I am telling you 🙂

Attach Cupcake Holders To Your Popsicle Sticks.

It’s Summer and popsicles are all the rage with the kids. The sticky mess though afterwards? Not so fun, especially when you are out in public so how awesome is this hack? I can’t tell you how many unused cupcake holders I have sitting around so this is on my to-try list when giving my son his first popsicle.

Mom Loves Best

Put Water In A Pacifier And Freeze For Teething Relief.

Oh teething! THE WORST! My son started teething very early, as soon as he turned 4 months. He just turned 11 months and now has 8 teeth! So I can tell you, this is an awesome hack! Something to defiantly try on your teething baby.

Love Love Love Blog

Mom hacks can be total life-savers and we need as many as we can get.

Do you use any of these hacks yourself? Be sure to let us know the best hacks you have used that work.