3 Ways to Expand Knowledge & Increase Interest at the Water Table

This summer, Hassell has loved his water table. He had a smaller one last year, but we got a new one for him in May to better fit his height. At first, it brought hours and hours of excitement and engagement, all on its’ own. Like almost anything, the new faded and he began to lost interest after a few weeks of playing with it. If you’re in a similar situation with your littles (or even if you’re just now thinking about getting a water table), I’m writing this post for you! Here’s how we have been expanding play at our water table and a little child development reasoning behind it as well…

Before we really get started, let me just say how much I love water play! You don’t have to have a specific “water table” to get your little one involved; it can take place anywhere. When Hassell was just a few months old, I introduced water play during tummy time to keep it interesting! I placed him on a boppy pillow, put a little water in the bottom of a round cake pan, and let him watch a few toys float, offering him the chance to use his fingers to maneuver them around in the water. In my Kindergarten classroom, the water table was an absolute favorite space for the children. Even as an adult now, I love being in the water! Here are some ideas for water play if you don’t have a specific “water table”…

  • Use your bath tub
  • Pull up a chair by the kitchen sink
  • Fill a large tub/tote and place on a towel
  • Use bowls of various sizes at the kitchen table

“All They’re Doing Is Splashing, Right?
Wrong! Water play fosters learning in all developmental areas. It provides opportunities for children to experiment with math and science concepts, strengthen their physical skills, advance their social and emotional skills, and enhance language development (Crosser, 1994; Hendrick, 1996).”

Water Play: Wet and Wonderful

Idea 1: Add in some soap!

All you need for this activity is your water table + a little soap! We’ve used both Dawn blue dish soap and Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap. Both have worked really well! An added bonus? Our water table is sparkling after he plays in it!

Focus Skills and Concepts: new vocabulary, scientific observation, gross motor development, fine motor development, mathematics (more/less, empty/full, greater than/less than), problem solving, emotional growth, creativity

Idea 2: Utilize Various Household Tools

Super easy and highly effective at stopping boredom–simply switch out the materials so new household tools are being used! Literally, almost anything out of the kitchen seems to thrill Hassell. Adding in another friend to play also doesn’t hurt. So many valuable skills are introduced, even if the children simply play side by side like in the photos above. Here are some of our favorite household tools:

  • Wooden spoons, spatulas, or ladles
  • Measuring cups
  • Smaller measuring spoons
  • Various sized containers
  • Funnels
  • Sponges
  • Dish cloths
  • Whisks
  • Paint brushes

Focus Skills and Concepts: new vocabulary, scientific observation, gross motor development, fine motor development, mathematics (more/less, empty/full, greater than/less than), problem solving, emotional growth, creativity, speech and language development, curiosity, density through sinking and floating

Idea 3: Help Foster Imaginary Play

One of Hassell’s other favorite ways to play at the water table is to incorporate items such as stuffed animals (okay to get wet, of course), baby dolls,

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pretend kitchen supplies, or natural items (rocks, sticks, etc.). He usually first takes on the “job” of washing the stuffed animal or pretend foods. Sometimes he “cooks” or gives the baby a bath. This helps to foster creativity and imaginary play skills that are later needed for reading/writing/literacy. I also feel like it helps foster a kind, caring attitude as he cares for the items. We often combine this option with the bubbles to give a little extra excitement!

Focus Skills and Concepts: new vocabulary, scientific observation, gross motor development, fine motor development, mathematics (more/less, empty/full, greater than/less than), problem solving, emotional growth, creativity, speech and language development, pre-literacy concepts

Hopefully, this post gave you some fresh ideas and motivation to put your water table to use these last few weeks of hot weather! Do you have other objects you love adding to water play for your little ones? I’d love to hear them!

Child Development Resource:
http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=374

3 Tweaks That Majorly Improve My Day

Since I try to use this blog to share my personal experiences + advice with self-care, I want to focus today’s post on three tweaks I made that have really been benefitting me. This is going to be a fairly short post (and honestly may seem pretty obvious), but I want to share with y’all because doing these three things every day makes such a huge impact on my overall productivity level and mood. Here we go–three things that I wasn’t doing, but should have been all along, that seriously make a difference.

 1: Make My Bed

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Growing up, my mom insisted we make our bed each day. It was part of our daily chore list. I hated it. Literally, there was nothing I despised more than making my bed. So…as a college student and adult, I just didn’t. I never really gave it much thought. I mean I knew I should make my bed each day, but I never gave it the extra effort. When we moved to Fort Rucker and I met my new friend Cori, we had the discussion that we both wanted to get in the habit of doing two things each morning: make our beds and actually do a full morning skincare routine. I was up for the challenge, especially with my new accountability partner, and immediately started noticing the difference. Suddenly, that one small task led to a full day of productivity, completing one small task after another. Plus, I’m not nearly as likely to hop back in bed and nap when the kids are napping if my bed is made. Instead, I’m sitting here writing this blog post for you guys!

2: Wash My Face

As the second part of our challenge, I started washing my face each morning. This should be a given, especially considering I’m a Perfectly Posh Influencer so I literally have some of the BEST products in my house at all times…but before, I just wasn’t making it a priority. Since I’ve started my morning face care routine, I’ve noticed I not only have clearer, more radiant skin but I also am wayyyy more likely to get dressed and get ready for the day. As a current stay at home mama, this is a major factor for me. Quick tip: make sure you have products that you love to use. If you aren’t excited to use the products, you’re much less likely to actually follow through with washing your face each day. Here’s a quick glance into what my current morning routine looks like:

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  1. Wash my face with BFF face wash. I love it because it’s super refreshing and gently exfoliating (aka helping my skin to look rejuvenated every day).
  2. Apply Well Adjusted daily toner.
  3. Use Defiant Uplifting Eye Cream to get rid of any bags or dark circles…because as a mama of a two year old and newborn, y’all know I need this one! Personally, I see a major difference using this specific eye cream.
  4. Apply Moisturize 911 as a light moisturizer for the day.
  5. Finally, I use Block It Like It’s Hot to keep my skin protected from the sun. This is a fairly new step for me, but much needed in this Alabama heat. Block It Like It’s Hot isn’t heavy and doesn’t make my face feel oily or slimy + there’s not a noticeable sunscreen smell! If you need a facial sunscreen, I highly recommend checking this one out.

3: Get Moving!

img_6839  The final change I’ve been working to implement is to make sure I get moving right after I have my first two steps completed. I’m a mama to two babies 2 and under, y’all. I know it’s hard, and I was totally letting myself use this as an excuse before. But, I feel soooo much better when I actually go for a walk or do some quick yoga. The plus side to going on a daily walk? Sallie Jayne naps in the stroller, and it gets both kids out of the house and into the fresh air! I aim for 3-5 miles a day, which seems like a TON of walking until you start doing it. Totally something I look forward to each day and feel like my day is incomplete without.

There you have it–>3 tweaks to my morning schedule that have personally caused a major shift in my daily productivity. My bonus tip? Find an accountability partner to challenge you–not just with working out, but in your daily life. Finding a tribe of girls that motivate you, pray for you, and push you to be successful is the very best tip I can give. If you need a health accountability partner and someone to steal meal ideas + motivation from, go follow my friend Cori on Instagram: @mommawissel. She does free challenges and weekly meal plans, plus supplies a whole lot of motivation! 

What tips do you have to increase your productivity? Do you make your bed daily? Wash your face each morning? Let me know what works for you or what you hope to improve! Let’s start this self-care conversation!

Side note: All products mentioned are naturally-based and made in the USA. You can check out all my recommended products here!

8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Buzz Peel

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If you’re like me (and apparently most of you are, according to my recent Instagram poll that exactly 100% of you who voted agreed on), you’d love to have soft, silky skin–especially feet–but you just don’t have time to make it a priority. Y’all, I get you. I am you. Trust me. There is nothing I’d love more than to set up normal pedicures to keep my feet looking beautiful year round. I mean, talk about pampered! But as a mama of two? It’s just not happening. Luckily, Perfectly Posh just brought back one of their most sought-after products for this exact issue, and I am in love!

The product? Buzz Peel, a naturally-based skin resurfacing body peel that gives you the ability to get that pampered, radiant skin we would all love to have. I’ve asked some of my personal customers for feedback and added my own input to bring you this post. So let’s get to it…

8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Buzz Peel

  1. No scrubbing! Buzz Peel is unique in that it removes dead skin cells without scrubbing–you just simply massage it into your skin to see results. I’ve found that massaging it into dry skin and then rinsing it off works best for me!
  2. This body peel specifically works to resurface your skin (aka exactly what I need) to keep it soft and healthy!
  3. Buzz Peel is formulated with fermented honey, pomegranate enzymes, and AHAs to peel and collect dead dry skin as you rub it off.img_3782
  4. I love using it neck to toe, but especially on my feet! These customer photos give you a glimpse of just what this product can help you with. I mean, personally, I feel it’s totally worth it and one of my “must haves” from now on!
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  5. A little goes a long way. One basic pedicure? About $30-$40 in my area. Buzz Peel? It’s a $24 that will give you months of use…which is a win-win from me!

    “Before turning on the water, I stood in my shower and used the Buzz Peel all over. Amazing how much dead skin was easily rubbed off. Especially my feet! The rub can get balled up in tiny hairs on arms so I think applying to dry skin immediately before showering is the way to go. Also there was a lot of dry skin on floor of the shower. After the peel, I took my shower as usual and my skin feels so refreshed and renewed. The peel is super gentle and smells amazing! I love it!”–Customer Review

  6. Perfect to use before shaving or before applying self-tanner! If you want the most even application of your chosen self-tanner or the very closest shave you can get…you need to try Buzz Peel. Honestly? It’s a game changer!
  7. Helps to lock in moisture and promote skin renewal.
  8. Using Buzz Peel regularly keeps skin looking younger, refreshed, and brighter. Who doesn’t need that on a normal basis?!

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So, there you have it: 8 reasons YOU should fall in love with Buzz Peel. As great as all those are, I think it’s also worth noting that you will fall in love with this product because it gives you time just for you. Time to relax, time to pamper yourself, and time to remind yourself that you deserve to the very best! I will warn you: last time these became available, they sold out extremely quickly. If you’d like to try one for yourself, be sure to grab it asap! You can find it here.

Have you experienced Buzz Peel for yourself? Have questions? Enjoyed this little post and would enjoy seeing more like it? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section! 

The Birth of Sallie Jayne

 

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Before I share the story of Sallie Jayne’s birth with y’all, let me begin by giving you the highlights of Hassell’s birth. To me, without knowing those details, you don’t understand the full story–why I chose to use a doula + all the differences that took place, even though both babies were born vaginally…at the very same weight. I’m going into exact details during this blog post to document my experience for myself (because we all know I’ll forget with mom brain), but also because I have been asked so many questions about using a doula/midwife team and why I chose what I did! Please feel free to ask any other questions, as I am happy to share anything I missed.

Hassell’s Birth: The Big Picture

My prenatal care was primarily done with a mid-wife (who I loved)…at a big office with multiple OBs + a midwife. From the beginning, I decided I wanted the epidural with Hassell but still planned to use the midwife. My birth plan included the epidural, a preference for naturally tearing over an episiotomy (if either had to occur), delayed cord clamping, immediate skin to skin, a delayed bath, and “rooming in”, along with a few other preferences. As someone who loves research and has a degree in child development, I felt as prepared as possible for my delivery. I hadn’t really given using a

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doula any thought and (wrongly) assumed I would be fine on my own because I was sure there would be someone to coach me. To sum things up: My epidural wore off during pushing, Daniel and I had no idea what we were doing, my midwife wasn’t there to deliver so I had an OB I had never actually met, I had an episiotomy even though I didn’t realize it at the time and it was strictly against my wishes, my “delayed” cord clamping was delayed for about one minute, and I didn’t get to experience immediate skin to skin. In the end, I had a beautiful (large) baby boy….but not at all the delivery I had in any way hoped for.

Sallie Jayne’s Birth Story

Background info: In the middle of my pregnancy with Sallie Jayne, we found out that Daniel would be getting sent to Fort Rucker, AL, for flight school with the army. This meant we would be moving 7ish hours away when I was 32 weeks pregnant (with a toddler at home, too). After panicking a little, I convinced Daniel that we needed to hire a Doula for this pregnancy/birth. I mainly wanted to use a doula in the chance that no family was able to come down in time for her birth and to have someone who could recommend prenatal care/hospitals/etc…I honestly wasn’t fully on the “you NEED a doula” train yet. I had a phone consult with Danielle and immediately loved her. She sent me tons of info on the various doctors, midwife, and hospitals in the area + helped me create a much more detailed (and educated) birth plan for Sallie Jayne. Even though we hadn’t made it to Fort Rucker yet, she was there for text/e-mail/phone support any time I had questions! Once we arrived at Fort Rucker, I met with her (even before meeting my midwife here) to go over everything we had discussed and make sure I didn’t have any other questions. After my experience with Hassell, it was important to me to choose a doctor/midwife I loved and trusted over a “well-known” facility. I chose to use a midwife (Megan) at a smaller hospital here. Everyone online absolutely raved about her and after our initial appointment with her, I immediately knew why. I discussed my first birth with her and the birth I hoped to achieve this time around. I talked with her about the decisions I had made with Danielle (as a doula doesn’t give medical advice, only support and education about options!) and asked her a billion questions. With Sallie Jayne, I decided that I wanted to have as natural of a birth as possible. I did not want the epidural, I wanted freedom of movement and intermittent monitoring, I wanted to avoid an episiotomy if at all possible, I wanted immediate skin to skin, etc. After Megan assured me that all those things were very possible, I left that appointment feeling super reassured about my decision. Danielle met with Daniel and I a couple more times before I went into labor. She helped him learn some comfort techniques to use at home before heading to the hospital and answered all the thousands of questions I had.

Sallie Jayne’s BIRTH day…

7:15AM— I woke up feeling contractions (or so I hoped) about every 10-15 minutes. I was unsure if they were “real”, as I was at 40 + 2 and had been having prodromal labor for a few days. I decided not to get my hopes up but went to let my mom and Daniel (who were in the living room with Hassell already) know. I decided to get in the shower and get some cleaning done to see what happened.

8:16AM–After showering and hanging out a little while, I was pretty sure I was in actual labor. As agreed on before, I texted Danielle (my doula) to let her know what was going on. My contractions were uncomfortable, but easily manageable and I was able to walk around/start doing my make-up in between them. Danielle answered to let me know that she would be on Fort Rucker’s base meeting with other families until about 12:30 and to keep her updated. Ironically, I thought this would be perfect–I could labor at home and then she could swing by whenever she finished her meetings. Little did we know, Sallie Jayne would be born by 12:24pm that day! I agreed with Danielle that I would let her know when my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart.

For the next two hours, I tried to get ready to go to the hospital (aka finish my make-up and hair…never made that happen, haha) and make sure everything else was ready to go. I asked Daniel to have everything ready in the car, I arranged for my mom to go get our groceries I had ordered for pick-up at Walmart and to take Hassell with her, and I tried to listen to one of the “labor playlists” I had created on my phone. My contractions became more and more intense, super quickly. I needed to focus each time I had them and really couldn’t do anything besides sit on my exercise ball I had been using during pregnancy.

10:17AM–Finally, I decided I had to text Danielle because they were coming very quickly and I needed her advice. (In my mind, my pain was mostly in my back and becoming constant, much like the back labor I experienced with Hassell. I was unsure if I was tracking my contractions correctly because everything seemed to be happening so quickly). I sent her a text with my concerns and also with a screenshot of my contraction timer. At that point, I had moved to laying down on our bed and had given Daniel my phone. Danielle immediately called but I was in too much pain to answer, so I put Daniel on the phone. He described my situation as best he could, and she immediately said she would be right over. I tried to relax (as much as possible) and close my eyes.

10:23AM– Danielle arrives at our home–Thank goodness! She immediately came back and started applying counter pressure to my back. She asked if I wanted her to check me (she’s a former L&D nurse), and I said yes! She found I was already 5-6cm dilated and 90% effaced and suggested we head to the hospital. Daniel rushed to load everything into the truck and Danielle helped me get dressed…which took a little while between contractions.

At this point, my lovely husband (I really do love you, babe) runs in the house to tell me we have to stop and get gas on the way to the hospital….y’all. If you have ever thought you wanted to kill your husband, you can only imagine the wrath I felt. Soooo to all you lovely pregnant mamas out there, be SURE all cars have gas in them constantly from 36 weeks forward, haha. 

10:37AM–We head to the hospital…all the while stopping for gas, where I can just remember closing my eyes and trying to not let everyone see that I was in labor! This felt like the absolute longest ride ever. When we were about 5 minutes from the hospital, I got sick in the car and was sure (in my head) that I must be in transition because I always read that people got sick during that part of labor….side note: I wasn’t yet.

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11:03AM–We arrive at the hospital, check in, and head to labor and delivery! Once I got into a room, the L&D nurse checked me and found I was at 6.5 centimeters and 100% effaced. For some reason (probably the vomiting episode in the car), I thought I would be much farther along. When she told me I was 6.5 centimeters dilated, I got super discouraged and decided I DID, in fact, want the epidural. In my head, I was only able to concentrate on the pain. Daniel reminded me that I had planned not to have an epidural and Danielle began reminding me of all the reasons I had chosen not to get one…At this point, y’all. I didn’t care. I grabbed Daniel’s arm and demanded I get the epidural. Danielle reminded me that I would have to get a whole bag of IV fluids first and be checked again before I got one. My inner voice was telling me that I didn’t care what it took–just get me the medicine. What they all knew, but I didn’t realize is that my labor was going much too quickly for me to need or have time for it. The nurse began my IV and everyone focused on helping me work through the pain.

Danielle was watching the baby on the monitor during this time (along with the nurses) and noticed Sallie Jayne was still doing great. She asked if I could be taken off the monitor for a little while (this is something I had wanted in my birth plan) and the nurses agreed. When Danielle told me I needed to get up and moving, I’m not going to lie. It was the absolute last thing my body felt like doing. She had me sit on the birth ball she brought with her, and I realized she was right! THANK GOODNESS for her knowledge and gentle encouragement because this helped me speed things along + be able to focus on the contractions, not just the pain. She gently reminded me each contraction that I would be feeling “pressure” and had me match my breathing to hers. She also instructed Daniel on how to help and support me. Y’all, this was an absolute lifesaver and all things we didn’t have my first delivery!! Unlike a midwife or an OB, your doula is there with you the entire time!

12:03PM–Danielle is applying counter pressure to my back, I’m sitting on the birthing ball leaning on Daniel, and Daniel is kneeling on the ground in front of me when my water breaks! I was checked immediately after and found I was at 9cm. The interesting thing is–I felt so much calmer and able to focus during this time (even though I was super dilated). I am 100% chalking this up to Danielle’s guidance and support. When my water breaks, I realize that there is no way I’m going to have time for the epidural. At this point, I could feel my whole mindset shift. I became much more determined and “ready”…which was good because my body was feeling like I was ready to push.

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12:13PM–Megan arrives and gets dressed (she came in specifically for Sallie Jayne’s birth)! She has me begin pushing just a little while later…which felt like it took forever but I realized after that I actually only pushed for 10 minutes.

12:24PM–With one last push, Sallie Jayne enters the world. The coolest part is that Megan allowed (and even encouraged) Daniel to “catch” Sallie Jayne and assist in the delivery.

She was immediately placed onto my stomach by Daniel. We waited for the cord to stop pulsating (about 5 minutes), and then he cut the cord! I pulled Sallie Jayne onto my chest for skin to skin time, and she latched easily to begin nursing a few moments later.

Our baby girl was 9 lbs 12 oz and 21″ in length….the exact same weight as her brother.

This time, I was able to birth Sallie Jayne with no epidural, all my birth plan followed, and no episiotomy (which everyone previously assured me I needed because the size of my baby). I give ALL this credit to Danielle and Megan, Danielle for helping me through labor and Megan for being an incredible midwife–super knowledgeable and patient at every prenatal visit and in delivery. No matter what kind of birth you plan to have, I highly recommend using a doula and carefully choosing your medical providers. It truly can make all the difference. 

Have other questions I didn’t answer or thoughts on this post? I’d love to hear them! Please feel free to reach out to me at any time!

**All photos taken by Danielle Sollars, my doula who is awesome and additionally does birth photography! Newborn squishy baby photos below!

 

Blocks + Water = A Free Sensory Experience

164c52f3-1db3-4b12-832b-584e42f926edIt was “Day 1” of our new summer schedule. My little guy was thrilled to go outside and ride his bike/slide…until he decided he wanted to run back inside. I predicted that he wouldn’t automatically want to stay outside the whole time, so I was well-equipped (or so I thought) with another activity. Since dividing up his toys for toy rotation, I have specific containers for various types of blocks. These stay at the top of his closet until we get ready to pull them out. This helps them seem “new” and gives me lots more toys to rotate through. These specific blocks hadn’t been pulled out to be played with since our move AND they were plastic–aka easy to clean–so I thought they’d be the perfect tub to take with us outside!

Once I told him that we were staying outside longer today instead of running back and forth constantly through the house, I pulled out the blocks. He was excited and immediately began to play with them. He built towers, he knocked them over, he stacked them just to pull them a part again. He used them for pretend play; you can see him using them as a camera in the photo above. It was all going really well for about 10 minutes. Then, I could sense the boredom coming on. He began to get destructive and start to whine. My mom brain filled with dread. We still had 30 minutes of “outdoor play” scheduled at this point. I didn’t want to deal with tantrums and wanted this to be fun for him!

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Luckily, my toddler teacher brain kicked in and began to think of resources I had available that might interest him. If you know me (or anything much about child development) you know how much I support sensory play. The National Association for the Education of Young Children deems that sensory play is “essential to the classroom for higher-level learning.” There is an abundance of research that backs just how vital sensory learning is for children of all ages! (If you’re an early childhood teacher, read this short article for ideas, support, and research on sensory play in the early childhood classroom!) Even though I’m not working with Hassell in a classroom setting, the same research applies. I decided that I would fill the plastic tub holding the blocks with water. Water is an awesome sensory tool that we obviously have plenty of + we’re in southern Alabama. It’s hot, y’all. This is perfect for any mama to do at home, even with kids that are older. Check out all my reasonings why below…

 

Goals/Developmental Focuses/Benefits of this Activity:

  • Allows hands-on learning that creates a sensory experience for my toddler
  • Water play can be calming/soothing for all ages!
  • Introduces higher-level thinking concepts like volume and density
  • Aids in language development as we converse back and forth
  • Furthers creativity with open-ended play–>Children desperately need to work with materials that don’t have a given end result
  • Super easy clean-up!

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My Observations & Thoughts:

  • My toddler was immediately drawn to the idea of something new and “messy”! I didn’t have to try to pique his interest at all…he was thrilled from the start.
  • After we first added the water, he stuck his hands in immediately and began splashing around. This continued for about 2-3 minutes with no real “purpose”.
  • He continually looked up at me to smile or to gain approval. I feel this was because our activity was “messy”, and he was trying to gauge my reaction.
  • After the initial splashing phase, he began to really engage with the materials in several different ways. First, he filled the blocks with water and then dumped them out, back into the container. Next, he began pouring the water from one block to the next. Eventually, his play took a creative turn as he began to use the blocks for “coff-coff” (coffee). 
  • During this activity (about 20 minutes total, not including set-up or clean up), I did not have to use any redirection. He was focused and intent on his play. I was able to sit back and observe mostly, as I tried not to interrupt his work.

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Overall, I would highly recommend trying this at home! Especially if you have multiple children or need a play-date activity, this would be beneficial…as I feel like the children could share ideas and piggy-back off each other! In a future post, I will go more in detail on my thoughts about water play at home (which will be a big focus for us this summer), what water table we use specifically, and other things you can do at home for free! If you liked this post or found it helpful, I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to share with your friends/other mamas and be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter–that way, you won’t miss any highlights or giveaways! As always, have a wonderful week!

 

Resources:

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/blog/importance-sand-and-water-play

Setting Up for a Successful Summer: Introducing a Home Schedule

img_4126If you don’t follow me on social media and haven’t already heard, our family just made the move to Fort Rucker, AL, while my husband completes some military training! While extremely exciting for our family…it is also a little bit nerve-wracking to think that I am about to go through an entire summer of being at home–in a brand new state– with a toddler and a newborn. Any other mamas feel me?! Instead of panicking in my 35-week pregnancy state of mind, I’ve decided to be proactive…

With my background in early childhood development (specializing in prenatal-8 years), I’ve worked with children of just about every age. Some of this work has been in a classroom, some in a research setting, and some one-on-one. I’ve found that every single child I worked with benefitted from having a schedule to follow–clearly supporting what all ECE research will tell you. It allows them to have some sort of routine to their day and to know what to expect, when much of their life is out of their control. Even though I’ve been big on keeping Hassell on a nap schedule and having basically the same night-time routine since birth, we’ve never really been on a schedule at home. If I’m being totally honest, he basically just runs around playing with whatever toys he wants while I try to do housework or put him in the car to run errands or get a little work done answering e-mails/texts or do any one of the billion things on my to-do list each day…all while praying for a good nap. I’ve never even really given much thought to having him on a “schedule” as I would in a toddler classroom at home. We’ve just been surviving these first two years!

But with all the change and the onset of turning two, I’m trying to respectfully meet his needs as much as possible. After much thought, I decided to try putting him on a daily schedule. Here are some of the benefits I’m hoping to see (fingers crossed):

  • Known and expected routine of daily events
  • Less destroying my house
  • More productive play
  • Less boredom with toys
  • A calm, happy environment
  • Easier transitions
  • Less meltdowns

By creating a daily routine schedule for our home, I have committed to also doing certain things at certain times of the day–so hey, maybe my laundry habits will improve! I am also committing to planning activities ahead for him and ensuring that we keep his toys organized and labeled for toy rotation (a HUGE benefit in my opinion). Of course, this schedule will have to be flexible…especially when Sallie Jayne is born in a month. But, honestly, we’re two days in, and I’m already seeing huge benefits!

Our Current Schedule

  • 7AM Breakfast
  • 7:30AM Screen time (I clean up from breakfast and prep daily activity for him)img_4102
  • 8AM Work in playroom, utilizing toy rotation (I plan to leave 3-4 toy options out each week, rotating through all his current toys periodically)
  •  8:45AM Get dressed for the day
  • 9AM Outdoor play (We have a nice patio/backyard but also often walk to playgrounds near by! For rainy days, I’ll have special activities to pull from here.)
  • 10AM Snack/Screen Time (My Cleaning Time)
  • 10:30AM Art Activity at Kitchen Table (Lunch prep is during this time!)
  • 11AM Lunch
  • 11:30AM Nap
  • 1:30ish Work in play room, utilizing toy rotation (Flexible depending on what time he wakes up. He usually naps 2-2.5 hours!)
  • 2:30PM Snack/Outdoor Time/Errands

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The rest of the day is pretty flexible! A lot of times, we run errands in the afternoons. Some days, Daniel is home early. When he gets home, Hassell immediately wants to see him and play. Other times, we have family events we go to in the afternoons. So far, this has been working really well for us!

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The first day, he was a little confused when I told him he had to stay outside and play or that we had to stay in the playroom to play, rather than doing whatever he wanted all over the house. We didn’t have any tantrums, but he definitely began to whine and protest. This is when I introduced some fun, developmentally appropriate planned activities–enter toddler teacher mode here! Over on my Instagram account, I took a little poll and 100% of y’all voted YES to me sharing the activities I’m planning for Hassell. I won’t go into details in this post, but stay tuned! Most of my next posts will be all centered around ECE developmental play activities you can do at home.

I’d love to learn more about what works for your family! Did you find this post helpful? Have other questions? Please take your time here and don’t forget to stop by and say hey! Have a wonderful week!

 

 

3 Reasons to Join Me in December

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You’ve heard me talk about how I run a successful Perfectly Posh business before; Now, it’s time for you to consider joining me! Before you stop reading, let me ask you a few questions…

  • Are you completely new to the idea of running a network marketing business?
  • Have you tried another direct sales business before and failed?
  • Could you use an extra few hundred dollars each month?
  • Do you already love Perfectly Posh products?
  • Have you never tried Perfectly Posh before?
  • Are you interested, but hesitant because you probably don’t know enough people to make your business work?

Yes? Good. I want to personally mentor you! 

Did you know? Each month, I open up five spots to mentor new Magnolia Posh Babes. That means I take five people under my wing to help them succeed in their new business as quickly as possible. I give them all the tools to be successful. I am available 24/7 for any support or questions they need. I send them a starter gift to get their business up and running. I check in on these awesome new members. This month, I want that spot to go to you! So, incase you’re on the fence about your decision, I’m sharing my Top 3 Reasons to join my Perfectly Posh team in December!

Reason #1: The December Starter Kit is DOUBLED!

Yep, you read that correctly. When you join in December, you’ll get doubles of our top seller items in your Starter Kit–which means you’re snagging a $304 value for only $99! If you’re part of a military family, you’re snagging a $304 value for just $85 as part of our Posh Salutes program. I mean, seriously, just look at this kit! img_0013

Are you a BFF or Moisturize 911 lover? Those are my absolute top go-to facial products, so I’m drooling over this offer. My customers LOVE them also! Let’s say you want to buy the kit and immediately earn your money back….

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This gives you the perfect opportunity! Keep one of each item for yourself and sell the matching product to a friend or family member. BOOM! You’ve just shared your favorite products, acquired your first customers, and earned your kit expense back…up to $143! Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry. I can help you with this immediately if you decide to join! In addition to my personal support, you’ll receive a free website and unlimited free training with programs to help you immediately succeed, however you decide to work your business. Click this link for more info or to join me right now!

Reason #2: INSTANT Commissions

img_9500Did you know? Perfectly Posh pays you instant commissions! That means, when one of my customers places an order for more Posh, I instantly receive the money earned from that order on my card. Y’all, this is beyond helpful for my family. There are so many times that I am sitting somewhere not thinking about Posh at all, and I receive an e-mail that money just hit my account. On various occasions, this money has honestly come at the absolute perfect time for me, giving me extra cash for things like gas, groceries, a surprise I wanted to buy for Hassell, an unexpected bill we had to pay, etc. I absolutely LOVE our pay plan. Incase you’re super curious like I was, here are some of my favorite details…

  • We offer a compensation plan based on FULL RETAIL volume. No wholesale math!
  • You get a 5% raise after you sell your first $1,000!
  • Consultants earn Perks and Hostess Rewards on their own purchases, adding tremendous value!
  • Consultants earn rich bonuses on Rank Advancements–up to $5,000!
  • The Monthly Award & Annual Award can help add hundreds to your check each month!
  • Premiers & above (leaders) are eligible for a monthly bonus pool in addition to commissions and downline/generational bonuses!

Reason #3: A Supportive, Encouraging Community

When you hit that “Join” button, you’re not just purchasing a kit with some awesome products. You’re being welcomed into the most supportive sisterhood you could imagine–not just within my own Magnolia Posh company but the Perfectly Posh company as a whole.

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To be honest, I didn’t even understand this when I joined. I joined for the discount on the products alone! But, I later realized I had just entered a community of women who were extremely powerful and who honestly wanted to help me succeed as much as possible. They wanted to love on me and encourage me and be my friend for exactly who I was.

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Perfectly Posh is a pampering business. We’re consultants who feel it’s our mission to make sure our family, friends, and customers are taking time for themselves. Taking time to experience self care. Taking 30 seconds every day to feel cared for and pampered. It’s what’s important to us. So, if you’re someone who needs a “girl gang”, wants to best serve the people around you, and want a business you can be fully supported in…come join us. My Magnolia Posh team is waiting for you!

Feeling like you’re ready to say YES to this new adventure? Click here to claim one of those personal mentor spots now!

Feeling like you’re interested but have questions? I 100% understand! Shoot me an e-mail (magnoliaposh@gmail.com) and let’s chat. No question is unheard of. No, I won’t bug you 93720234x after you contact me. We’ll have a conversation, and that’s it. Let me know what you’re wondering about…

 

The Ultimate Home Pampering Experience

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile. Quite honestly, life has gotten crazyyy, and I’m just way behind on my blogging. However, I absolutely HAD to make time to share with you my latest pampering experience because…y’all, it is life-changing.

I know, I know. You think I’m being dramatic. Just wait though! I’m breaking it all down and challenging you to give it a try at home…Then come back and let me know what you think!

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Have you ever heard of “dry scrubbing” to pamper and exfoliate your body? Yeahhh, I hadn’t either…until one of our awesome Perfectly Posh leaders challenged us to try it. See, I often care for my face but kind of ignore the rest of my body. Not the best self care tactic. But, I agreed to give this a try, mainly out of pure curiosity.

So…here we go. I’m about to share my exact experience with you, thoughts/tips/things to avoid and all. Let’s get started!

My Experience

After reading all the benefits of doing a dry scrub on your body from time to time (if you want all the details/benefits, keep reading), I was intrigued. I decided to take 45 minutes to an hour to try it for myself tonight. I gathered up my supplies (I used all Perfectly Posh products, but you could totally do this with any body scrub/pumice stone/bath bomb/bubbles) and got right to work.

Step 1: Choose a body scrub or polish.

As a Perfectly Posh consultant, I seriously have so many fun products to play with. For this little experiment, I decided to use one of my favorite scrubs: Of Quartz, Girl! You can choose any body scrub or polish; I just loveee this one. The rose quartz helps balance my mood as the scrub exfoliates and moisturizes my skin. When you use this on a normal basis, I’d consider the scrubby level medium. However, it was SUPER scrubby as a dry scrub. If you’re leaning towards a little less exfoliation, I’d definitely go with a body polish to be more gentle!

Step 2: Apply the scrub BEFORE showering/getting wet.

After I chose my scrub, I popped it open and immediately began to try and apply it on my skin. Um, that was a huge no. Learn from my mistake: make sure your body is actually inside the bath/shower as you do this unless you’d like to be scrubbing the floor after.

Round two: I hopped in the shower and started again. Honestly, I was kind of at a loss. I had never even thought about applying a scrub to my dry skin. I scooped some up with my fingers and immediately began rubbing it on my chest. Y’all, it freakin’ hurt. I’m not going to even lie. I was scrubbing wayyyy too hard at first. If you’re going to try this, take it from me…be EASY when you scrub.

Once I figured that out, I kept applying until my whole body (neck down) was covered. By the time I reached my legs, I had gotten the hang of the dry scrub thing. My thoughts at this point? 1.) It feels okay, pretty good on my dry skin but nothing spectacular. 2.) I’m using a LOT of product doing this, so my results better be good. 3.) I can tell already that my skin probably needed this.

Step 2a: Use a pumice stone or a Snarky Bar to scrub tough areas. I used a Snarky Bar on my knees, elbows, and feet!

Step 3: Rinse off in the shower.

At this point, I was intrigued but not expecting anything glamorous. I turned on the shower…and decided I had never been more wrong the second the water started to hit my body.

Holy freakin’ moly it felt amazing on my skin! The contrast was immediately noticeable. I just kept thinking, “Oh my gosh. Has my skin ever felt this good in my entire life?! Why haven’t I been doing this for years? My skin feels better now than it has…ever.” I get it. I sound dramatic, but I am-not-kidding. Even now, typing this a few hours later, my skin still feels RIDICULOUSLY soft and refreshed!

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Step 4: Soak in a hot bath.

Yes, technically you could skip this step. Trust me, though, you don’t want to. After I rinsed all the scrub off and had my skin feeling super soft, I ran some hot water to relax in a bath. Remember, this is a pampering experience for you. Take this time for yourself! I used a Fall bath bomb and some Bubble Up to make my bath extra relaxing without any of the sulfates/bad chemicals/junk that comes in a lot of bath products. I just laid back and allowed myself time to think and take some deep breaths.

Step 5: Moisturize.

Finally, I hopped out of the bathtub and chose a moisturizer to use. Honestly, I am NOT a lotion girl. But, I do love to use Honey, Honey Body Creme in the winter. I decided to go with that one to keep my skin super soft without having to wait forever for it to dry! Choose whatever lotion/body butter you like here.

Andddd, there you have it. You’ve just provided yourself with an incredible pampering, spa-like experience right in your own bathroom. I plan to do this once a month from now on! Let me challenge you: Give this dry scrub challenge a try. Afterwards, come back and let me know your honest opinion. What did you think? Did you like it, love it, or hate it? What products did you use? Until then, happy pampering!

Winter Routine for Soft Hands

With cooler temperatures fast approaching we hope, the last person I want to be is that girl with dry hands that scratch against my pants every time I accidentally brush them.img_7065 I can literally hear/feel what I’m describing as I’m typing this. With the average person washing their hands 10 or more times a day, how are you supposed to prevent the dreaded scratchy hands from happening?! Check out my winter routine for soft hands below…

Step 1: Swap Out Your Soap

If you’re like me, or previous me, you probably hadn’t given much thought to what liquid soap you’re buying. You just want something that gets your hands clean and smells nice at the same time! (I was an avid bath and body works girl before this, y’all. I get it.) But, once Perfectly Posh introduced their foaming hand soaps and I gave one a try…I won’t ever go back. The difference is amazing. Even when you’re lathering your hands, you can feel how moisturizing and creamy the soap is. Our soaps have no sulfates and are instead filled with coconut-based cleansers. By only making this small swap in my kitchen and bathroom, I immediately noticed softer hands! Plus, I go around smelling my hands for a solid 10 minutes after. My favorite scent is even on sale right now! Go check it out here.

Step 2: Exfoliate 2-3x a Week

I’ll be quite honest– exfoliating my hands was never something I did before incorporating this new routine into my life. Exfoliating my body? Yeah…but my hands specifically? Nahh. However, it makes a hugeee improvement in how my skin feels when I focus on using a scrub 2-3x a week.

I keep it super simple by leaving one of my favorite body scrubs in my bathroom next to my hand soap! After washing my hands, I scrub them with Of Quartz, Girl (my current pick) and give myself a mini-mani. I highly encourage you to try it! Plus, it gives this mama a 5 minute pampering break to breathe and decompress in the middle of my day.

Step 3: Moisturize With a Hand Creme

Ever used a lotion that left your hands feeling so greasy you couldn’t even turn a doorknob? Yeahhh, that’s my worst nightmare. It’s why I avoided using hand lotion at all costs before I found Posh’s “Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme”. Thankfully, our hand crèmes are made with non-greasy apricot kernel oil for long-lasting moisture that absorbs quick so you never have to worry about a wait time after using!

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Feel like you need an extra boost of moisture because you suffer from super dry hands? I’m loving that Posh added an intensive lotion, Working Girl, for just that reason! The “ultra-restorative, patented complex works as hard as you do to revive dry, cracked hands and help prevent moisture loss and future dryness…enjoy the soothing, amazingly hydrating blend of apricot kernel oil, natural ceramides, and plant phytosterols as it quickly soaks into skin.” These Winter Extra scents are amazing, but you can order any of your favorite scents directly to your home by visiting the website here.

Have any other tips for avoiding dry hands this Winter? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! Be sure to let me know what you think of this article and any other topics you’d like to see featured on the blog. I hope you have an awesome week!