Dec 1, 2014

25 Children's Christmas Books

This year, I am trying a super cute idea that I found on Pinterest - find 24 Children's Christmas books, wrap them and use them as an advent.  My girls will unwrap one book each night and we will read it before bedtime.  I am so excited about this idea!


Even if you don't want to go all in and buy TWENTY FOUR books, I wanted to give you a list of my favorite children's Christmas books.  I love kids books - they are so simple, so beautiful, and so poignant.  Plus, it is so important to read with your kids, so this makes it a little more festive and exciting.


25 Children's Christmas Books

  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss 
  2. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  3.  Santa's Favorite Story:  Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki
  4.  Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer
  5.  Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck
  6.  Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
  7.  The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
  8.  Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle
  9.  Who is Coming to Our House by Joseph Slate
  10.  Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson
  11.  Merry Christmas, Mouse!  by Laura Numeroff
  12.  Room for a Little One:  A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell
  13.  The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing
  14.  Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean
  15. Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
  16. The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman
  17. Dream Snow by Eric Carle
  18. Bob by Sandra Boynton
  19. Olivia Claus by Kama Einhorn
  20. The 12 Days of Christmas: A Pop Up Celebration by Robert Sabuda
  21. How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen
  22. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  23. Twelve Cats for Christmas by Roger Priddy 
  24.  (And for the Bigger Kids) The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  25.  (And for the Parents - funniest book ever**) Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
**Not safe for kids.  Adult Content.



Right now, if you purchase a book through Amazon and use the code HOLIDAY30, you will get 30% off!

I have linked these books to my Amazon Affiliate Account.  For the month of December, the money I earn through my affiliate program will be used to donate toys to children in need in my community.  Thanks for your help providing a fun Christmas for these children!

Merry Christmas, Friends!  I hope you have as much fun reading these awesome stories as we will!

Nov 4, 2014

Organizing My Young Living Essential Oils

Today, I am welcoming one of my very best friends to the blog.  Nancy blogs over at Spreadsheet Mommy and is here to share with us how to organize all those beautiful little bottles of oil we have all over our house :)  Be sure to check out her blog after you read this entry!



Hi, I’m excited to be a guest blogger on Mama Marcie.  My blog, SpreadsheetMommy.com, is about using spreadsheets to keep things organized! I blog about other topics too – being a mom, cooking, having fun with my family, and living in Dallas.


This month I wanted to help Marcie organize her collection of Young Living Essential Oils.  Since essential oils are part of her everyday routine, it’s easy to see how tiny bottles of oils end up in rooms around the house, in the car, at work or at the bottom of her purse!


With this spreadsheet, Marcie can keep track of her oils and know what she has on hand. I added shading to the spreadsheet so she can shade in gray oils to purchase; this will make placing her next order fast and easy.




What are some ways you keep your essential oils organized? While my collection is not as extensive as Marcie’s, I have a small case at home that holds 30 bottles and keep a travel case in my purse with several I use most often.


Happy organizing!

Nancy


Want to know how to purchase your own oils?  Check out this information HERE!


As always, please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using oily remedies for health in our home and I am excited to share them with you, but please use your best judgement for your own home. 

Sep 13, 2014

Easy, Healthy, Kid Friendly Dinner

Did you hear the awesome news?  For a week now, we have been homing three chickens!  Millie, Lily and Hattie have moved into our backyard, and we are all having a great time caring for them and watching them.  We haven't started getting many eggs yet (only 2), but the girls are absolutely fascinated with the idea of getting eggs from our chickens.  We talk about it often.


So the other night, I was out of dinner ideas, I was tired, I wanted my kids to eat something healthy, but didn't want to spend a huge amount of time on dinner - and since eggs were on all of our minds, I came up with Build Your Own Omlet dinner.  It was a HUGE success!




Here's what we did:

1.  Cut up veggies and other ingredients and place in individual bowls.  We used spinach, mushrooms and onions this time because it is what I had on hand, but we have also used tomatoes, bell peppers, and other veggies before.  We also sometimes cut up some turkey lunch meat, left over chicken from last night's dinner, sausage or other meat and we always have a small bowl of grated cheese.


2.  Mom or dad can crack the egg and put it in a bowl with a fork.  My girls took turns mixing up their omelets.  First, break the yolk and add a little bit of pepper.  Izzy, my 3 year old, can eat a 2 egg omelet, but Olivia only likes 1.  Let the kids choose their veggies and then mix again.  Tell them to be sure all of the veggies are coated with the egg.


3.  Send the kids to set the table while you cook the omelets.  Have a skillet preheated to medium.  Melt a small pad of butter to ensure your eggs do not stick.  Cook your eggs for 2-3 minutes on each side (should be slightly brown when done).

4.  Serve with fruit for a yummy, healthy dinner!


Enjoy!

Sep 5, 2014

Young Living Essential Oils for the Fall Candle Addict

Brace yourselves, my friends.  The news I am about to bring to you may be.... disturbing.  Pull your fingers out of your ears and stop saying "la la la la".  Because along with this bad news comes a fabulous alternative!

Did you know that those amazing candles you burn in your home are actually toxic to your health?  Yeah... I know.  Sad.  We are literally burning lead from the wick, petroleum from the paraffin, and filling our home with indoor pollution!

I won't go into huge detail, but if you are interested in reading more about why you should ditch candles, check out the links below:


Now for the good news - there is an alternative!  All you need is a diffuser and an assortment of Young Living essential oils.  They last a great deal longer than a typical candle and, not only do they smell good, but they offer amazing benefits to your health, too!

I haven't had candles in my home for years - I was terrified that my kitties or my babies would knock one over or burn themselves, so I just didn't burn any.  Last summer when I "discovered" Young Living, I realized how amazing of an alternative diffusing oils in my home was to burning candles.  

Here are my top 5 recommendations for Fall Scented Essential Oils:



1.  Thieves - Supports premium immune function and smells so delicious!  

2.  Clove - Supports premium immune function and has a warm smell that is so inviting for fall.

3.  Nutmeg - Nutmeg supports a healthy immune system and also gives you a boost.  This oil reminds me of pumpkin pie!

4.  Cinnamon - Another oil to support a healthy immune system (are you noticing a trend here?), cinnamon instantly puts me in a holiday mood!

5.  Orange - Uplifting and balancing, Orange is a great addition to your fall oil arsenal.



Did you notice a trend?  This is just my theory, but perhaps we associate these scents with fall because of their immune boosting properties?  Cool thought, huh?

Try mixing any of the above for awesome scents - my favorite is Orange with Cinnamon and Clove!


Want to know how to purchase your own oils?  Check out this information HERE!


As always, please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using oily remedies for health in our home and I am excited to share them with you, but please use your best judgement for your own home. 



Aug 27, 2014

What's in My Purse?

The Mama Purse - a magical space.

Does it remind you of this?


I thought it would be fun to show you what is routinely found in MY purse - a mama, artist, teacher, oiler.

Thanks to my awesome mother in law, this is the purse I am currently carrying:


Large with pockets inside and outside.  Brightly colored a plus and chevrons a double plus!  This purse happens to be a Vera Bradley, but lately I have been REALLY into Thirty One bags.  Check out my cousin's Thirty One site here.

The cavernous purse of a mama.... a truly incredible sight!


Want to know what all this junk is??  I have to say, when I pulled it all out, I was impressed that there wasn't anything weirder in my purse.  Usually, I could win competitions for the most bizarre items in a purse, haha.

Here's what is in my purse now:

1.  Crayola Twistable Colors - I keep these in my purse for my girls.  When we are at restaurants or waiting rooms, they love to color.  Mommy wins, too, because the girls are occupied and being creative.

2.  Home Made Peppermint Lip Balm using Young Living essential oils (stay tuned for a tutorial!)

3.  Various Essential Oil Products - currently, I have home made bug spray, Tranquil and an Respiratory Blend that I made.

4.  A travel case with 8 sample bottles of Young Living essential Oils.

5.  Work Keys

6.  Organic lollipops - my husband calls these bribery ;)  We rarely get to this point, but occasionally the girls need a treat, so I keep a couple on hand.  I bought these at Sprouts.

7.  Green Tea Mints from Trader Joe's

8.  My wallet - with a thousand receipts because I am terrible about remembering to clean it out.  It's rather worn - might be time for a replacement soon!  Use it up and wear it out is our motto though :)

9.  Wall charger for my phone

10.  Toys - Likely, this was something that Olivia walked out of the house with and handed to me before school, but I generally have something to keep the girls occupied in my purse.

11.  Checkbook - who uses checks these days??  I do.  Once a month for our milk co-op and rarely for school stuff.

12.  Diapers - We use Honest Company diapers and we LOVE them.  Have you tried them?  Click my link and you can order a FREE sample - you just pay shipping.  I was sold after seeing the adorable designs, the amazing packaging and reading about their quality and attention to purity and the environment.


Ok, now tell me - what is the weirdest thing in YOUR purse??


Aug 19, 2014

7 Verses to Pray Over Your Child as They Go Back to School

Back to school - such a bitter sweet time in our family. My girls were so excited to start at a new school today - to make new friends, be in a new room with new toys and new books, to sleep on cots and eat at new tables! But it also means that they are not with me 24/7 - that I am missing out on those silly little things they say that keep me going through the day. And it also means that I am not there for those teachable moments. But I trust their teachers and in our most amazing God to care for them and to love them, and to ease my worries, I pray.

Here are 7 verses I will be praying over my girls as they go back to school:


1. 1 Timothy 4:12 - Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

Lord, help my children to be little shining lights - a sign to all of your love for us. Help them to make good choices and develop good friendships. Help them to love their neighbors.


2. Joshua 1:9 - This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Lord, remove all fear from my children about school this year. Help them to adjust to a new schedule, help them to not be afraid to talk to new people and make new friends.


3. Philippians 4:8 - Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.


Lord, I ask that you please fill their heads with so many true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable things that there is no room for anything negative. Give them JOY in their day, and good thoughts and dreams as they sleep.


4. Isaiah 30:21 - Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left.


Lord, guide their steps. Even as preschoolers, they are learning to make choices that will stay with them in life. Please help me to guide them in the way they should be going and to encourage them as they learn to listen to you. Please help me teach them to pray and to always turn to you first.


5. Matthew 18:10 - Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.

Lord, I ask that you surround my children with your presence and your angels. I ask that you protect them from harm and from illness. I ask that you place people in their lives that will value them.


6. Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.


Lord, help my children to honor you with their speech. Help them to talk to each other and to their friends, teachers, family, and parents in a way that is pleasing and deflects anger. And Lord, as parents, help us to model this loving, gentle speech.


7. 2 Corinthians 5:17 - This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Lord, above all else, I ask that you bring my children in to your arms. That you help them to KNOW you, to desire you, to trust you, and to rely on you.


Blessings on your school year, whether day care, elementary, middle school, high school, home school, private, public, or even teaching!  May you also find Joy in your days and remember to turn to your Heavenly Father when you feel overwhelmed or afraid.

Jul 30, 2014

Birthday Blessings

I come from a long line of week long birthday celebrations. Every year when I was a kid, we had a family lunch with my grandparents, a nice dinner with my mom and dad and a friend party to celebrate another year of life. It was simple, but it was magical.

Now I have children.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social medias have made kid birthdays a mom competition. I ask this - is it about us, or about the kids? When we check ourselves and our motives, and then ask ourselves if the birthday celebration will really be any more meaningful to our babies if we stay up til 2 am working on a banner on our Die Cutting machine, the answer is probably no. Do they care if you have a themed party? Probably not. Their joy comes in the celebration and the attention.



How do we tone it down and still feel like we are doing something special for our kids? Here is an awesome product that I have the pleasure of reviewing for you today and even choosing one lucky winner to receive one for free!


Birthday Blessing is a way to spend special time focusing on your child the week of their birthday. A beautiful, hand crafted, wooden birthday cake sets the stage for a week long celebration. This beautiful cake is to be displayed in a prominent location in your house the week of your child's birthday - a symbol to others that something special is going on!



Here's the awesome part - Birthday Blessing created this beautiful notebook to help you intentionally celebrate your child. Each day the week before your child's birthday, the Birthday Blessing journal guides you through a devotion with your child about how special they are. There is a space to write about them each year, too!


I love the idea of keeping this for my girls and presenting them with it when they are older!  What a great acknowledgement of how special they are to you.

How would YOU like to win a Birthday Blessings set for your little one?

It's so simple!  Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!  I hope you win ;)