Toddler Tuesday: Letter of the Week Update

Good afternoon fabulous people!

I wanted to update you all on Baby Miss’ progress for our “Letter of the Week”. We have been at it for a month now, and we are currently on the letter D.

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Our Alphabet/Number wall

As most of you know from a previous post, I have been working on not only teaching Baby Miss a letter each week, but we also have a color, number, and shape of the week. It’s been going beautifully. I try to do some sort of letter activity each day, and as many number, color, and shape activities as I can (since those cycle through more then the letters on our educational calendar).

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stamp, print, collage, rinse, repeat

She has been having a blast decorating our new letter and number each week. A had apple prints on it. B had beans. C had leftover foam “candy” stickers from Halloween, and D has dog stickers all over it. Each number has a certain type of something on it. For example, the number 2 has 2 cookie monster stickers on it, 4 has 4 star stickers on it, and so forth.

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Green collage

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What do you get when you mix paint with cars? Car tracks!

We have also been doing lots of stamping, collaging, printing, and painting. I try to change it up each day. We also do some color mixing when learning about a secondary color (ie. blue + yellow = green). I am basically trying to “surround” her with the new material and talk about it as much as possible (point out a RED stop sign or a SQUARE box) to help her absorb it.

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B is for Butterfly! Take paper, add paint, fold, dry, cut into butterfly

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letter matching

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touch numbers, number matching

One of my favorite activities that I have come up with is a number matching and a letter matching game. Obviously we couldn’t do it the first week with only one letter, but I like it because it helps to review the old letters and numbers each week while helping her practice the new one. My matching game isn’t fancy, just index cards that I wrote the alphabet on (4x). I could have done the number cards the same way, but I found these printable “touch” numbers that I just attached to cardstock. (I can’t for the life of me find the specific touch numbers that I printed out, but here are ones just like it.) Baby Miss is LOVING it. She’s getting pretty good at it too. We play it two different ways; one where she chooses a card and then finds the match, the other where I choose the card and she finds the match. Both work equally well.

The family also already owned a alphabet/number puzzle that we have been using each week. I only bring out the letters and numbers that she has learned. The puzzle seems pretty old (hand-me down?), but here is one similar.

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sight word dominoes

As for Little Miss, she and I have been hard at work on her sight words. She does get some “homework” from school, so we work on that each day, but I try to add an activity of our own to the mix too. Today we did sight word dominoes. It was a huge success. It got her reading and working with a ton of the words she has learned so far. And she was super proud of the end result (she made me take a picture of it to send to her Mom and Dad). 🙂 I was super proud of her too. She worked really hard, but had fun while doing it.

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sight word dominoes (I, my, we, like, love, you, a, at, it, if, in, is, the….)

I made the dominoes set with index cards as well. Two words per card and I made sure to repeat the words on several cards so the game goes smoothly. I even threw some family names in there (Mom, Dad, her name, her sister’s name, and my own) which she got extremely excited about when she noticed them.

You could also make a memory game (just like I did with Baby Miss’ letter set) using sight words.

Phew, that made me tired just thinking about everything we have done in the past few weeks. 🙂

Are you doing “letter of the week” this year? How’s it going? What activities have you done with your little ones that have been deemed successful? I would love to hear about it.

Love!

My Homemade Skincare Regimen

I have a love/hate relationship with all-natural homemade products. Half of me wants to do what’s right for the planet and my body, the other really just wants to run over to target and get a huge a** bottle of something chemically laden cause it’s easy and everyone else is doing it. But then I’m all, “self, that’s selfish (haha pun!) you should want to do what’s best for the earth. And you don’t want to give your money to some huge conglomerate that’s just going to squander your money and make profits off worker’s from other countries”. “But self, it’s so much easier!!”… You see, it’s complicated.

But deep down, I really want to go “all-natural” and I really don’t want to have to depend on someone else to do the research on what’s best for my body and the planet. So, here we are. 🙂

And I wanted to share with you my latest “switch” to homemade products…

My skincare routine.

Now, I have extremely sensitive, reactive, acne-prone skin. After basically attacking it all throughout highschool (and reaping the uh, benefits), I have learned to be extremely gentle on my skin.

That said, I also need the stuff to work. My skin breaks out like nobody’s business, so I need solutions to fight the oil and bacteria, yet be gentle enough so that my skin doesn’t react to harsh treatments. Most of these products are great for all types of skin, but I will give you a few options if you are on the drier side of the skin spectrum.

There are 3 ways I take care of my skin. Cleanse, Treat, and Moisturize. Now you may be thinking, but Amy, if you have oily skin, why the heck would you want to moisturize? In fact, I thought that too. Up until recently I ran away from anything that might add moisture to my skin. But, what I found out was that the more you take away, the more your body is going to ramp up it’s oil production. So if you moisturize well, your body will slow down it’s oil production. Get it? Plus, moisturizing will keep the wrinkles at bay so… 🙂

Without further ado, my routine.

Morning

Cleanse: Honey Cinnamon “Scrub”

Mix 1 cup RAW honey with enough cinnamon till it makes a light paste… emphasis on light- cinnamon is strong!

This amazing scrub is enough to get any dry skin off from overnight while still being absolutely luscious. And it smells heavenly. I try to do it first thing in the shower and leave it on till the end to rinse. On the weekends, I’ll take a bath and leave it on for a good 20-30 minutes while I soak.

If you have extra dry skin: DO NOT ADD THE CINNAMON. It can be somewhat drying and irritate any super dry patches you may have. The honey is extremely moisturizing though, so just use it plain. Or add sugar to the honey for a light scrub. Remember, not too much. You want more honey than scrubber. We don’t want to tear at your skin.

Benefits of Honey. Benefits of Cinnamon.

Treat: Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Mix 1 part ACV to 2 parts water (filtered or distilled is best)

That’s it. Put it in a squeezy bottle (you know the ones you can get for traveling) and just put a bit on a cotton ball on swipe on your face.

This is great for all skin types. Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing because it works to balance your skin’s ph levels so it’s not too oily or dry.

More benefits of ACV.

Moisturize: Aloe Vera

Straight up aloe vera  on a cotton ball. That’s it.

Make sure though to get 100% aloe vera. Which can be easier said than done. Personally I like Aubrey Organics, but just make sure to read the ingredients. Also, it’s a great sign if the packaging tells you to refrigerate after opening (bonus for a cooling effect and tighter pores!) meaning that it’s not full of preservatives.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Evening

Cleanse: Baking Soda Paste

I keep a plastic container of baking soda in the bathroom. I just pore some out into my palm, add a bit of water and wash with my face like normal.

Baking soda is another way I exfoliate my skin. If you have dry skin, I recommend NOT using baking soda, at least not every day. Maybe once per week? Also, the more water you add, the less abrasive the baking soda, so feel free to add quite a bit, till it’s really not a paste anymore. Or, you can add some to honey (as done in a.m.).

Benefit of Baking Soda

Treat: Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree oil is amazing for acne, plus about a million other ailments. Make sure to purchase 100% pure tea tree oil, which then can be diluted due to your sensitivity. There are two options for dilution- oil or water. If you dilute in water make sure to use distilled. The concentration you use is up to you, but I would recommend starting out with about 5 drops per 1/2 cup, and go from there. I don’t recommend putting pure tea tree oil on your face- it will be much too strong and can burn. Once diluted, put in a sprayer bottle and you can spray onto a cotton ball or directly onto your face. If you use a carrier oil (more information below), you can use the same ratio as above; but put in a squeeze bottle instead.

If you have very dry skin- do not use tea tree oil. There are many essential oils that you can use instead, including but not limited to chamomile, lavender, rose, and sandalwood.

Benefits of tea tree oil.

Moisturize: Olive Oil

Olive oil is amazing for all skin types. It’s properties are very similar to the oil (sebum) that our bodies produce already, plus it’s full of vitamin E and A which help keep your skin fabulous. Make sure to use organic olive oil to keep away from any yucky chemicals.

Olive oil can used plain, but I use mine mixed with tea tree oil. I use olive oil as my carrier oil. Make sure to mix this combination before use. I squirt some out on a cotton ball and go to town. Do not wipe off afterwards though. Your skin will drink the olive oil in, and you will love the results in the morning.

Benefits of olive oil.

 

That’s it. That’s what I use on my face. It may seem a bit complicated at first, but it become habit very quickly. I would recommend buying small amounts of the ingredients first so that if you decide you don’t like something, you’re not out a huge chunk from your wallet.

 

BONUS: I buy all my containers from here. Their website is fabulous and the prices rock!

 

Let me know what y’all think if you try anything, or if you make your own homemade skincare. I always love hearing of different “recipes”.

 

Love!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Tonight Little Miss and Baby Miss’ parents will be picking out their Christmas tree. I thought I would help with the festivities by having the girls decorate their own trees today. 

I cut out two trees from green construction paper (one for each girl) and helped them glue the trees to another piece of paper (any color).  

For Baby Miss, who is two, I gave crayons and stickers. It took her a while to figure out exactly how to get the stickers on, but once she got it, she was in heaven! She kept asking for more and more (stickers are great for fine-motor work)
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For Little Miss, I put some paint on a tray and handed her q-tips. She used the q-tips to dot “lights” on her tree. She really liked making the lights, but her favorite part came when I gave her the glittery puffy paint. I showed her how to make dots and then let her go-to-it. She loved how it sparkled. 
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Both options were simple, and relatively mess free. Love it! 

And now their trees are decorating the house while they wait in anticipation for the real thing. 🙂 

Have I said how much I love this time of year?!? Yay Christmas! 

 

Love!

Do you have 5 minutes?

I’m continuing to decorate for Christmas this weekend and I wanted to share an easy seasonal craft that I came up with. There was some blank space on my kitchen wall that I was wanting to fill, and instead of putting in family pictures or something similar, I decided I would use that space seasonally. I bought two inexpensive frames from the craft store, and also a pack of seasonal scrapbook paper.

I printed out a holiday silhouette from my computer, a bell, and traced that shape onto solid scrapbook paper. Then I cut printed scrapbook paper to fit in the frame. I glued the bell onto the other paper and slid it in the frame. Easy peasy!

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I want to try and change these out for each season/holiday. It takes 5 minutes and is super cute. I could do leaves for fall, a bunny for Easter, and flowers for the summer. The possibilities are endless!

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I love simple, easy, and inexpensive ideas that make a great impact.

Love!
xoxo