How to Play Old Maid with your Children

I loved playing card games as a child, but I forgot how to play Old Maid. So I had to re-read all the rules. If you’re curious how to play Old Maid follow along πŸ™‚

We have this old maid deck and really love it!

The goal of Old Maid is to not have any cards left and not to be left holding the Old Maid card!

Setting up Old Maid: Shuffle all your cards and deal out all the cards (face down). Not every player will have the equal amount of cards & that’s okay.

Player sort all of their cards ands keeps them hidden from other players.

If anyone has three matching pairs they put down a pair (two matching cards) and keep the third matching card. If anyone has four matching pairs they put down all four cards.

The player to the LEFT of the dealer than fans all of his/her cards out (without letting others see his cards). The player to the left picks a card from the fan of cards. If the player picks a pair to one of his/her cards then they put down the pair.

Then he/she will fan out their cards and offer a card to the player on their left. This continues throughout the game.

This continues until all the cards have been left down in pairs and the last player with a single card (the old maid) loses the game.

And there you have it. A quick overview on how to play old maid! Enjoy

Kids Immune Boosting Supplemetns + Herbs

**Please note, this is not medical advice, this is merely what I have been doing + am doing to boost my children’s immune system.**

To help boost my children immune system they have been regularly taking supplements to improve our overall immune response.

The first supplement they take daily is a high-quality multi vitamin! I really love Mary Ruth Organics and we have been taking their Children’s Multi-Vitamin and Probiotics to help build our gut health!

The second supplement / herb they are taking is a homemade elderberry syrup! I have found that a homemade elderberry syrup is much more beneficial than store bought!

The third supplement they are taking is ZINC! I drop zinc in mine and my children’s water daily to help build our immune system!

The forth thing they do daily is drink a homemade fire cider that I make from scratch every 6 weeks or so! The recipe I linked here.

Lastly, we make sure we go outdoors to get as much Vitamin D as possible! I have never lived in an area that lacks sufficient sunshine so I am not sure what a good Vitamin D supplement is but if you don’t have adequate sunshine, I would discuss supplementing with your healthcare provider!

5 Journal Prompts to Make You a More Mindful Mom

5 journal prompts to make you a more mindful mom

I created these 5 journal prompts to help myself be a more mindful mom and I think everyone could enjoy/benefit from them. I’ve been having a rough time parenting these days. Even though I aspire to be a more mindful mom there are moment where I merely react to events that happen through the day. We are at the tantrum twos (I hate terrible twos because they’re merely releasing emotions) and my almost five year old has also been battling big emotions. So I have been reflecting on how I can be a better more proactive parent, rather than a reactive one.

  1. How do you react when something goes wrong (e.g., a tantrum happens, a cup of milk spills, etc)? After reflecting upon that follow up with this prompt. How do you want to react when something goes wrong?
  2. How would you describe your parenting last week? What went well and what didn’t go so well?
  3. Think of one thing that went wrong in the past month (e.g., a spill, a huge melt down in a store, etc). Describe the situation, what happened, what triggered your child, what was your reaction, and what were your triggers? If you could go back to that situation, what would you do differently?
  4. What are things that went well? How can you expand those joyful moments in your daily life?
  5. How can you take a few moments to nourish yourself this week?

BONUS: What brings you joy in your household/family life?

So there you have it, reflect upon these questions and journal them down. They’re meant to make you a more reflective mother which will probably help you bring mindfulness into your daily routine with your little ones.

X0 from one aspiring mindful mom to another

50 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids

50 budget friendly summer activities for kids! Have fun this summer!
  1. Make your own ice cream
  2. Go to the library and borrow a book. (Summer reading list by age)
  3. Make a bug book for your kids to journal bugs they find around the neighborhood
  4. Make a plant book for your kids to journal all the plants they find around the neighborhood
  5. Check out a baking book from the library and learn to bake something new together
  6. Go camping in your backyard
  7. Make DIY playdough
  8. Collect rocks from a local park and paint them
  9. Create an outdoor obstacle course
  10. Find free summer concerts
  11. Free movies in the park
  12. Find free bowling events at kidsbowlfree.com
  13. Give your kids some sidewalk chalk and let them play outside
  14. Pool day
  15. Go for a hike
  16. Fly a kite
  17. Water play in the backyard
  18. Play a card game
  19. Make popsicles
  20. Make a cardboard box castle 
  21. Have a picnic with friends at a local park
  22. Check out your local cinema for weekly summer specials 
  23. Head to your local nature preserve and spend the day in nature. Also check to see if they have summer programs for kids to learn about geocaching, fishing, compass usage, etc.
  24. Go fishing
  25. Plant an herb garden
  26. Use kitchen scraps to tie-dye 
  27. Set up a mud kitchen in the back yard or patio
  28. Make a fort using old sheets, blankets, and couch cushions in the house 
  29. Go to your local park
  30. Create a scavenger hunt in your yard or neighborhood
  31. Set up a sprinkler in your backyard
  32. Write a story together and draw out all the artwork 
  33. Make lemonade from scratch and have a lemonade stand
  34. Play board games (I have found all of ours for under $5.00 a game at local thrift stores)
  35. Go to the local farmers market
  36. Find a body of water and take a day trip there
  37. Go produce picking 
  38. Go on a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood
  39. Sidewalk chalk games
  40. Go to the local museum’s free day
  41. Check out store’s free classes (Apple, Microsoft, Lowes, Home Depot, Bass Pro Shops, Pottery Barn Kids, and Michaels
  42. Visit your local fire department for a tour
  43. Learn a foreign language
  44. Make a DIY bird feeder 
  45. Set up a pretend restaurant in your house and let your kids serve lunch  
  46. Backyard safari with stuffed animals 
  47. Go on a bike ride
  48. Have a garage sale
  49. Help the community – pick on community serve project to commit to weekly 
  50. Check out Groupon for discounted activities 

Our homeschooling journey

Our homeschooling journey began this fall (2019) when I decided to quit my PhD program to homeschool my two children. Deep down, I felt an urge to homeschool that I couldn’t quite resist. For me homeschooling is the ultimate educational opportunity for children because so much of our current educational system is focusing on rote memorization, standardized thinking, and testing. Schools are also slowly limiting outdoor play to 30 minutes a day. Children are restricted in their usage of the rest rooms, eating/drinking, and listening to their bodily urges. Then there is the social aspect, where kids are exposed to ideas that they shouldn’t really be exposed to until a much later age. All that being said, I kept feeling as though the traditional route wasn’t for us.

Rather than homeschooling, we looked at religious schools, Waldorf schools, and other non-traditional options, as well as private schools. However, I didn’t want to work full-time one hour away from my kids school only to drop them off at a childcare center before school to pick them up at a childcare center after school. Where we live, most parents commute 1+ hour to work so I would be gone 12 hours a day. Since we don’t have family nearby our children would be forced to go to schools/daycares 12+ hours a day. If I had to do that to survive, I would in a heartbeat but I don’t (thankfully).

Anyways, after a lot of soul searching and research I decided I wanted to homeschool. For me, homeschooling allows us to spend more time outdoors, learn practical life skills such as cooking, explore art and crafts at a deeper level, read more books, and spend time together as a family. For our children, I think overall there are immense benefits in homeschooling because they can learn at their own level, they have the ability to pick their own electives and conduct self-study sessions, they can grow/learn in a more relaxed environment, they don’t have to deal with bullying and/or peer pressure. And so much more! We also live in a super homeschool friend area with tons of resources, co-opts, and museum days (all of them have homeschool days monthly), we also have several hybrid schools nearby!