Category:

Family

I love a house that is full of books. 

But it can also be a clutter disaster.  Therefore, I try not to waste our time and storage space on junk books.  I think of our library as I do our pantry.  If there is no nutritional value, don’t eat it.  If the story lacks good content, don’t bother.  Here is my top six list of our favorite books for Levi.

1)    Good Night Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

2)    Caps For Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina

3)    Little Bunny Follows His Nose, by Katherine Howard

4)    Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

5)    Henny Penny, by Paul Galdone

6) Corduroy, by Don Freeman

Here is what I look for in a good book to read

1)    Plot.  Yes, even a book for toddlers should have a plot.

2)    Repetition.  It is important at this age.  Find books that rhyme, sing, or repeat phrases.  I like to read in funny voices and it makes him laugh.

3)    Illustrations.  I’m a sucker for great graphics and Levi loves pointing out objects he can identify.  Like the burch in Good Night Moon and Goodnight and the teddy bear in Goodnight Construction Site.  These two stories are especially genius.

As I often say, the days are long, but the years are short.  If your kids are already past the toddler stage, you can catch up the snuggle time with grand kids.

Have a lovely weekend,

XO

Shalice

Why I use Walmart+

We moved into a house with a pool at the end of February, and honestly, it’s been great! We find ourselves outside so much of the time because of it, and doesn’t every mom want that? Due to all this outside time, I’ve been branching out, trying to find different things to eat, play with, and do outside. And if the doing coincides with the eating, then all the better!  Enter the snow cone machine and syrups from Walmart! They absolutely love snow cones after our trip to Kauai two years ago, but I definitely didn’t like all the sugar and coloring usually found in snow cones. Surprisingly, the syrup I bought from Walmart doesn’t have the common red #40 or sugar. So far it’s been a huge hit, and is always a favorite at any party.

Also, to my friends with kids still in diapers, Walmart is a great go-to in a pinch! We were out of diapers this week and Walmart+ came to the rescue with a 2 hour delivery. Same with groceries and produce! Walmart+ always gives the option for same day delivery, and since “same day” are two of my favorite words, Walmart has quickly become a favorite. Don’t forget to sign up for Walmart+ HERE, free shipping, no order minimum. 

For groceries:

Check your address to see if free delivery from your store is available at your address.($35 minimum. Restrictions apply.) I checked, and my address qualified, yay! 

Non-grocery items:

As for everything else like this rad snow cone machine, enjoy free next day or 2-day delivery. Don’t forget to sign up for Walmart+ HERE, free shipping, no order minimum required (excludes freight & Marketplace items). Sign up and let me know what you think. If you’re on the fence, start a free 15 day trial to try it out!

Big thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

 

Click on the images to shop:

Snow cone machine // Syrups // Reusable straws // Similar white dress // Faux Fur slippers // Shatterproof tumblers

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WE GOT A NEW PUPPY

by Shalice Noel

The kids have begged me for 6 years for a puppy and guess what??

Tomorrow we pick up our mini golden doodle puppy. He is 8 weeks old and the breeder named him Lukas. We cannot wait to pick him up tomorrow.

If you live in Atlanta, there is a breeder in Woodstock, that has both males and females called GLITZY GOLDENDOODLES. Check out her adorable Facebook page. Can’t get over those pictures of tiny puppies. Honestly, it was hard to just pick one.

This week, we have been watching youtube videos on how to train our new puppy. We’ve also discussed with the kids their new responsibilities. It won’t be perfect but I’m adjusting my expectations.

We’ve bought snacks, raw organic food and a travel crate for him to sleep in.

Next up, will be agree on a name?

Stay tuned 😉

Since we don’t know what we’re doing, please weigh in with any puppy training advice that you may have learned. Looking forward to sharing more of this new adventure!

Tee shirt // Jeans // Sunglasses // Puppy crate

Happy Wednesday! We were busy with school, picking up groceries, working, and grilling steaks on the patio.

I absolutely love matching with my kids, so when Levi needed new sneakers, I had to get him matching Swift Run Sneakers, I jumped on them.

Levi loves to run and jump and fall. Thankfully you don’t see the scuffs on these adidas sneakers.

I also love these in CHEETAH!

I compiled some other shoes for Levi here:

Happy Wednesday!

Mama necklace // Circle names necklace // Mommy and Me Bracelets

There’s so much you can get a tween from books to bracelets. However, Atalie loved this one from Tiny tags!! We were able to personalize them, “mama” and “Atalie.” I asked Atalie how she liked her bracelet and she said “It is very pretty and goes with everything.” I love matching my girls.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ve probably noticed I wear my gold Tiny Tags circle with all the children’s names – they were able to fit 5 names!

I will treasure these pieces for years.

Reid and I both looked at each other and said “wow did this arrive on time!” Let’s be honest. We are spending record amounts of time at home, and we are tired and running out of creative ways to keep the kids off screens and devices. Enter the Kiwico crates! They are genius ways to keep your kids busy with educational kits.

How do I order?

Click HERE for 50% off!

You can search by age, how easy is that? We were surprised to see that they have crates for ages 2 to 12+. Levi even got one and felt special being included. Atalie got a walking robot, Kate the spin art, Mathias the infinity mirror, Brooks kaleidoscope and Levi got a mail delivery crate. VERY exciting and fun activities for kids bored at home!

Bonus: we had our kids write about their activity, how it worked and why it worked. Check, science is done my friends.

Was it fun?

Their favorite part was how hands on it was, creating their craft independently and playing with it afterwards. Atalie’s walking robot was a huge hit!

Do you have a promo code?

I have a link! Go to KiwiCo and get 50% off, no code needed!

Would this make a good Christmas gift?

Yes! Perfect for any child, niece or nephew in your life! Just shop by age. Here’s my link for 50% off!

Big thanks to KiwiCo for sponsoring this post!

Boots (40% off) // Dress // Plaid Shirt // Bracelet

My in-laws are visiting and it’s been a HUGE blessing. They’re helping us with small projects and Reid and I go drop off donations, shoot campaigns, and keep the coffee shops in business.
Lots of exciting stuff coming up, like a top secret project. Until then, shout out to Brooks for matching with me in buffalo check!
I linked some more buffalo check for the whole family below!

My girls love these mini backpacks! They brought them to church Sunday and put everything from lip gloss to snacks in there. I love seeing them matching in their mini backpacks. They boast an interior pocket and are soft with durable leather. They need to be durable bc we are hard on everything!

Have a great week!

x Shalice

Steve, Janelle and their adorable brood of 5 kids moved from Wheaton, IL to the English countryside!! Janelle is an awesome cook, home educator, and Steve, an auditor at a bank. We chatted recently and I wanted to share with you some of their amazing experiences and not so amazing ones. Grab your coffee and join us!


Shalice: So Janelle, you did what SO many families would only dream of doing: moving your whole family to Europe and making it look educational and dare I say, fun? It is truly remarkable! 
That leads me to the first question . . . .
The obvious question, how is it living in England with 5 kids?


Janelle: England has been an amazing experience for all of us and I’m so glad we took the leap! It has been so different in a lot of ways, and that’s been part of the fun, because the way it has been different is unique to England and not something we would experience if we had moved simply to another State. 

Shalice: What is the easiest and hardest part about living abroad?


Janelle: The easiest part has been all the travel. That has been beyond fun. And England is relatively small as a whole so everything is accessible by car, which is definitely the easiest way for our large family to travel. We also live in the country, where cows, sheep, and single, hedge-lined lanes surround our house and the beauty almost knocks you off your feet. Covid-19 has curbed our travel for the moment, which has been hard, but getting to enjoy daily walks in this amazingly beautiful area has been a true blessing. Initially, the hardest part was the first 6 weeks–bank accounts! a car! a house!–and then just setting up our house. Now the hardest part has been not being able to find a good church, for there simply aren’t many at all. Anywhere. And given that the kids are all homeschooled here, the lack of any sort of social life has been rough. Looking back, it’s interesting to think about how we built community in America vs. how the English do community. Granted, we live in small little village in Shropshire, which is almost on the border of Wales in the Midlands, so I can hardly speak to England in general. Just what we’ve experienced in our little village. 


Shalice: I know you live in a little town. I mention the name of it to my English friends and they haven’t even heard of it. But I’ve seen pictures and I know for sure my kids would love it because they love large green spaces, sheep and cows. Tell us about your town in England?

Janelle: One thing we’ve found interesting about England is that it really is all countryside! The entire country is countryside. But not countryside that you would find in America. It is definitely distinctly English. For instance, we live in country, where everything is one lane, farms abound, and cows often wake us up in the morning when they are visiting the field next to our house. But we are also only 5 miles from two different towns. And I feel like that is very much the norm here. You can be in the country, but then in town 10 minutes later. Our little village has a church built in the 1200’s and a community center, where they host movies and have tea during events (that, by the way, is a stereotype for a reason. No matter the event, there is always tea). Our little church hosted a women’s singing group this past fall, I think they were Army wives maybe? And at one point, everybody in the (mostly elderly) audience was singing along to a song from days past. Honest, I felt like I was in a scene from Call of the Midwives. 


Shalice: Favorite things about England?


Janelle: It is unbelievably beautiful!! And within the one island, there are so many forms of beauty, from the rugged beauty of Wales, to the romantic and soft beauty of the Lake District, to the jaw dropping seascapes of Cornwall. And there is history everywhere you turn, which I absolutely love. Between English Heritage, the non-profit that maintains crumbling castles and ruins, and the National Trust, the non-profit that maintains manors, estates, and country houses (ie, palatial wonders seen in Pride and Prejudice for instance), there is always somewhere to visit. And every National Trust house has a cafe with tea and scones. So. You never have to know what it is like to sight-see without being refreshed with tea and scones. We also have not yet encountered a mosquito. That is almost on par with the history. 


Shalice: Worst things about England?

Janelle: Terrible customer service! No, really, we were warned about it and it’s absolutely true. If you are lucky enough to get a person, and that is rare indeed, they simply don’t care or can’t do anything to help you. Also, the much higher taxes were an adjustment. Steve keeps saying that every American should live abroad for a period of time simply to understand and appreciate what we have in America. 


Shalice: What do you miss most about America?

Janelle: The food!!! I think the kids will mention a place to eat in America at least a week. And Target. Can you even imagine life without Target? It’s rough.  


Shalice: What will be the first thing you do when you move back?

Janelle: It’s a toss up between Smashburger and Chick-fil-A because it’s always about food at our house. Personally, I’m going shopping. The shopping here, unless you live in London, leaves a lot to be desired. 


Shalice: Worst surprise?

Janelle: Having to wait an entire MONTH for internet service to be installed, and then finding out that libraries and coffee shops close at 6pm. When you have online students who have all afternoon/evening classes due to being 6 hours ahead, no internet and closed shops made for a rough month. 


Shalice: Best surprise? 

Janelle: Roundabouts!! We LOVE them. You never have to stop, unless there’s really heavy traffic, and it makes driving so much more enjoyable. 

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