The Cutest PJs For Halloween (And A Cute Breakfast Idea)

While Halloween is going to look a lot different this year, there are still so many holiday traditions that we can keep and make it special for the kids. One of the simplest yet one of my favorite ways to observe any holiday is festive pajamas. And I love that Halloween pajamas are seeming to grow in popularity as there are so many cute options these days. This past weekend we filled with a lot of fall and Halloween (socially distanced) activities, which was made even more fun by coming home to festive jammies and cuddling up on the couch to watch spooky movies. I also put together a simple Halloween themed breakfast for the kids one morning, which would be a perfect way to make Halloween morning feel a bit more special this year (and could be made all fall long!).

My Pajamas | Evan’s Pajamas
Boy’s Pajamas
Boy’s Pajamas

For our breakfast I just whipped up some cute pumpkin shaped waffles using Trader Joe’s pumpkin waffle mix and topped them with Trader Joe’s maple butter (this stuff is heavenly!). I served them with cute Halloween themed plates and cups and we had apple cider to drink. This would be a super cute breakfast for Thanksgiving morning as well.

Mini Waffle Maker also available here

Cole’s Movie Theater 10th Birthday Party

Cole’s Movie Theater 10th Birthday Party

Last week Cole turned 10 which seems pretty surreal. It seems like just yesterday he was my little baby! It’s become clear in recent months he’s leaving childhood behind more and more, and adopting a lot more tween interests. Covid has been really hard for him because he’s definitely reaching the age where his peer interactions are becoming so important to him. We knew we could’t have the big party with all of his friends that he would normally love to have this year, but I still wanted to make sure that he felt special and celebrated. We allowed him to invite his 2 best friends over for a movie night and sleepover (their families have been being very careful about Covid as well so we’ve formed somewhat of a bubble with them). We converted our living room into a movie theater with our projector, and the boys showed up for an evening movie complete with movie theater treats followed by a movie and camping out in their sleeping bags. After a fun (sleepless!) night we sent them home with little popcorn boxes filled with microwavable popcorn, cracker jacks, suckers, and flashlights for their own movie night at home.

Movie Theater Party Decor Sources

Red curtains for backdrop (I used 3)

Gold foil for backdrop

Black tablecloth and skirt

Hot dog maker

Hot dog trays (similar)

Cake

Cake topper

Cake stand

Popcorn bin

Popcorn boxes (similar)

Birthday banner (similar)

Movie theater cutouts (similar)

Large popcorn bucket (used as vase)

Small popcorn containers (party favors)

Projector screen

Projector

Distance Learning Adventures

Distance Learning Adventures

Cole’s Tee (J Crew Factory – similar) | Shorts

School started here in Boise a few weeks ago, and due to high community Covid spread, classes are currently being held online. Kids may be able to return to the classroom eventually (with rotating days and masks required), but for the foreseeable future we are 100% online. Due to Evan’s brain injury and long road to recovery we will be holding him back a year and doing an extra year of preschool. He may go back to in person preschool later this year should it become safer, but my plan for the time being is to work on a bit of homeschool in addition to his busy rehab schedule. Times are certainly tough these days, with so many hard decisions for parents! If you are like me and will be homeschooling or overseeing distance learning this fall…then this post is for you. I wanted to share a few tips that have helped us find a routine and some supplies to make the best at home learning environment possible.

Create a designated space for learning

I think this is one of the most important keys for successful at home learning. It’s hard enough at it is for kids to try to focus on a computer screen, so having them trying to learn in a high traffic, loud part of the house will be even more difficult for them. We’ve set Cole up with a desk in our office and can keep the door closed while he’s in class. The room is also very well lit with big windows which I think is also important! Wherever you can find a quiet, well lit place in your home – this is a great place to make your child’s learning spot. Their bedroom, a spare room, office, or even a nook in a quiet area of the home can all work great. For Evan’s homeschool preschool, we’ve set up a folding table in the dining room that is perfect for withstanding paint and messy crafts.

ColeHomeschoolDesk2020-1Desk | Similar Chair | Chromebook

Schedule your day like a typical school day

Although we are at home, it is important to me that Cole treats the day like he would any other school day. We get up at our usual time and have breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, comb his hair, and make sure he’s logged in on time. I don’t want him rolling out of bed last minute and showing up in pajamas because I feel that getting into that typical routine will help him be more productive with learning. Evan’s preschool day is significantly shorter, but we still get dressed and ready for school, and start and end our school time at the same time every day.

Make sure you have all of the school supplies on your school’s list

Cole’s school year has begun with all the assignments the kids would have done even if they had been in person. Some of the assignments are paper assignments we have to pick up at the school and complete at home – and these have required colored pencils, notebooks, and pencils. Even if you’re online, be prepared with all of the supplies your school had on your school supply list.

ColeHomeschoolDesk2020-4Cole’s Tee | Shorts

Be prepared to help with technology struggles

Cole is frequently coming out of the office and asking me to help him figure out something the teacher has asked him to do on the computer. And I often hear kids telling the teacher they can’t figure out what to do and she asks them to get a parent to help. Yes – we parents often don’t know how to do it either and it’s frustrating at times…but being prepared and available to help out will make your child’s school day a bit easier.

Get organized

Although a designated desk for your child isn’t required (any table space can work!), it has certainly made things a lot easier for Cole. His desk was super inexpensive (under $50!) and is really small (it could fit almost anywhere!), but it has a few drawers and shelves that help him keep his schoolwork and supplies organized. I hung a few clipboards on the wall above his desk so he can hang up papers he needs to keep track of and be able to quickly access like completed homework and password lists. A whiteboard has also been helpful for writing reminders or for jotting down quick notes. And a small desk clock is a must for helping him keep track of recess breaks.

ColeHomeschoolDesk2020-2Similar Clipboards | Similar Whiteboard | Clock | Similar Pencil Holder

Make the best of it

This hasn’t been easy. It’s far from ideal. But it’s an opportunity to teach your kids to weather the storms of life and make the best of tough times. Cole has had an incredibly tough year with his little brother being so sick and now missing his school, friends, and extra curricular activities. But I just keep reminding him that this too shall pass and things won’t be this way forever. And we are all in this together. Cole wants to go into computer software or engineering as an adult, so I also remind him that this year of online learning will be helpful for him one day and give him a bit of an early start to working with computers. Attitude really is everything and if you can look for something positive to focus on, it will make a big difference in tackling this whole new experience! We’ve also tried to keep the fun traditions intact like the first day of school pictures…and we’ve also added some fun things like having some of the kids’ favorite foods for lunch outside and playing laser tag during recess.

img_6817Cole’s Tee

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day By Making It With Your Kids

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day By Making It With Your Kids

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Did you know that this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day?! What better way to celebrate than by making this simple version of homemade ice cream and having a little ice cream party with your kids.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 sandwich ziplock bags
  • 1 gallon ziplock bag
  • 3 cups crushed ice
  • 1/3 cup ice cream salt
  • Toppings of your choice
Directions

Put first 3 ingredients in one of the small ziplock bags and tightly seal. Then double bag that inside the 2nd small bag (this is to ensure none of the salt gets in – you don’t want salty ice cream!). I also recommend using high quality ziplock bags.

Put the ice and rock salt in the large gallon size bag, then add the smaller filled bags. Seal the large bag.

Squeeze (or shake!) the large bag for 10-15 minutes until ice cream is thickened. You will want to wear gloves or pot holder mittens for this!

Remove small bag, unseal, and serve!

img_6277IceCreamHomeParty7-15-20-5img_6279img_6280img_6254

Here’s a few other really fun tools and ice cream accessories if you want to get even fancier with making homemade ice cream…

IceCreamAccessoriesOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven |ย Twelve

One | This is just like Coldstone where you can mix things into your ice cream

Two | This mini size ice cream maker is perfect for kids and small portions – and won’t take up much cupboard space

Three | This ice cream making attachment goes right on your stand mixer

Four | If you make large portions, you’ll need a tub like this to store it

Five | A glass ice cream bowl makes you feel a bit more fancy

Six | I love the idea of making homemade ice cream sandwiches

Seven | A sleek looking ice cream maker

Eight | Such a fun topping mix

Nine | A good scoop is a must

Ten | This ice cream cone cake pan would be so fun

Eleven | Perfect for a kids ice cream party

Twelve | This little bowl is so neat – you can roll up your ice cream or cut it into shapes

Ideas For A Fun 4th Of July At Home

Ideas For A Fun 4th Of July At Home

My Romper (old – similar and also love this similar blue option!) | Sandals | Bag | Sunglasses | Boys flag tank

Like many places, Covid cases are rapidly accelerating here in Boise and new restrictions have been reimplemented banning groups larger than 50 people. Which of course means no annual parade or fireworks. While we will miss these fun traditions this year, I’m all in favor of prioritizing keeping our family safe and healthy! That said, I still want to make sure we have fun celebrating the holiday even if we will be quarantining at home. Today I’m putting together a list of some activities you can do at home with your kids to celebrate the 4th of July this year.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ HAVE A BIKE PARADE ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

BikeDecorations

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While we may not be able to attend an actual parade, we can still have our own! I thought it would be fun to have the kids decorate their bikes and ride around the neighborhood…and even invite other neighborhood kids to join in (safely socially distanced of course!)

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ WATER FUN ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

WaterFunOne | Two | Three |ย Four

With no local pools open, we will opt for some water fun at home! We were gifted a huge inflatable pool when Evan got home from the hospital, which we are planning to fill up for the holiday. We can also get our water guns and water balloons out for even more fun!

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ HOT DOG BAR ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

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An all-American hot dog bar is the perfect easy and patriotic meal for the 4th of July

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ MAKE PATRIOTIC SHIRTS ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

ShirtsOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

There are so many fun ways you could create a patriotic shirt – from painting your own design, to tie dye, to bedazzling…this is sure to be a fun activity

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ BUCKETS OF FUN ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

BucketsOne | Two | Three | Four | Five |ย Six | Seven |ย Eight

Putting together a bucket of activities and treats to keep the kids busy all day is sure to make the day a bit more special. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, sunglasses, glow sticks, tattoos, cracker jacks, and pop rocks would all be fun options

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ WATCH A PATRIOTIC MOVIE OUTSIDE ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

MovieOne | Two | Three | Four | Five |ย Six

Set up a projector and screen, and watch something patriotic. My pick would be Hamilton on Disney+ which is coming out on July 3rd!

 

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ FIREWORKS ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

FireworksOne | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

While we may not get to see the big show this year, we will still be able to have a few small fireworks at home. My kids especially love pop its – which are super fun and safe for the little ones. You could also do some non firework festive options like silly string or confetti poppers!

An Exclusive Janie and Jack Promo Code For My Readers

One of my absolute favorite places to shop for kids clothing is Janie and Jack, and today I’m excited to share an exclusive promo code for my readers for an additional 20% off your entire purchase – including sale items!

  • Code: SHOPSTYLE20
  • Valid: Until 6/28 (11pm PT)

Here’s a few adorable sale items that have caught my eye…

Boys…

BoysJ&JSaleOneTwoThreeFourFiveSix | SevenEight

 

Girls…

GirlsJ&JSaleOneTwoThreeFour | Five | SixSevenEight

 

Our (Socially Distanced) Summer Bucket List

This summer is definitely…weird. Not only are we very busy with and heavily focused on Evan’s rehabilitation (and spending most of our weekdays at therapy), we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Our nation has also been witnessing horrible injustice and perhaps (finally?) coming to terms with the systemic racism that plagues us. This year has been a brutal one for our family personally with Evan’s severe brain injury, and so many of my close friends have also been facing horribly difficult times as well. The weight of the world feels heavy and life right now is just…hard. It really has all made our family pull together and focus more on one another, and what truly matters. While our state is loosening social distancing restrictions, due to Evan’s immune system needing more time to recover, we will continue to socially distance for the rest of summer. While this summer isn’t going to be one filled with days at the waterpark, camping trips, or vacations – it can still be meaningful. We can make positive memories too, in the midst of so much difficulty, and perhaps come out of this one day with a lot of personal growth.

As this isn’t a “normal” summer, this bucket list isn’t a conventional one either. I asked Cole to come up with some crazy (within reason) ideas, outdoor activities where we can safely socially distance, and some fun things we would normally do at home in the summer. From picking a night to stay up all night, to camping at home, to a day where I have to say “yes” to everything…we are still finding little things to bring joy and some positive memories we can one day look back on in the midst of these trying times.

The other day we checked off an item on our list by spending an afternoon at the river building a teepee, throwing rocks, and playing in the sand. We had and absolute blast, and it was a good reminder of how even simple time spent together in nature can be a ton of fun.

Here is our completed list and a few items that will help us check everything off…SummerBucketList2020SummerBucketListNecessitiesOneTwo | Three | Four | FiveSix | SevenEight

One | We are going to need a projector if we are going to set up for outdoor movies this summer. This one has great reviews.

Two | I’m thinking a rock painting kit would be a lot of fun for a painting project

Three | A picnic basket is a must

Four | This cooking kit for kids comes with literally everything you need

Five | Cole did a tie dye project at school years ago and still talks about how fun it was so I thought it would be something fun we could do this summer

Six | This will make our summer nature walks a bit more fun

Seven | In trying to come up with a fun and different craft to try this summer I found this…and I think it could be a lot of fun

Eight | Camping in the living room is what the kids are looking most forward to this summer, and a cute indoor tent would make it that much more memorable

Cherry Picking

Cherry Picking

My Top | Jeans | Boots

It has become a summer tradition for us to take a drive out to the orchard for an afternoon of cherry picking. This summer’s weather has been (like the rest of 2020) weird. Idaho is known for wild weather swings – but we’ve had a lot of unusually cool and rainy days this month. Although the day we went picking last week was cool and sprinkling rain off and on, it was a lovely afternoon. Life admittedly has been difficult since Evan’s brain injury in March, but every day he continues to amaze me with his progress. And going to the orchard to continue one of our traditions was especially wonderful because it felt so…normal.

Fatherโ€™s Day Gift Guide

FDGiftGuide-1FDGiftGuide-2One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve

One | My husband is obsessed with his Fitbit. This is a must have for any fitness minded dad.

Two | This wood card is the coolest Father’s Day card I’ve seen

Three | My husband loves this deodorant, and it’s a great way to give dad a little luxury that won’t break the bank

Four | Instead of a cheesy mug, give him a mug that will keep his coffee hot

Five | This super cool portable camping stove converts to a pizza oven. I wouldn’t even mind keeping this on our patio all summer long!

Six | My husband loves all things Patagonia and these are the perfect summer shorts

Seven | My husband has and loves this drill

Eight | Another favorite item my husband owns! This little speaker can go literally anywhere (it’s waterproof too!).

Nine | AirPods are sure to be a hit

Ten | My husband is super into having a smart home and this little gadget can control everything from your lights, to thermostat, to the TV.

Eleven | Perfect for the dad who travels a lot and this high quality bag is also 40% off

Twelve | Everything from Kiehl’s is pretty great, and this all in one body wash/shampoo has rave reviews

Signature

Sliding Into Summer

After nearly 3 months in the hospital, Evan is finally home!!! While we continue to work on recovery with outpatient rehabilitation 4 days a week, we are making sure to leave some free time for some summer fun. As we are still observing social distancing, (and public pools are closed anyway) we have to bring the fun to us at home. This is definitely going to be a different and much more challenging summer, but I’m determined to still create fun memories for the kids and provide lots of stimulation for Evan to help facilitate his recovery progress. The other day we had record high temperatures, so we set up our slip n slide and had a fun afternoon enjoying the sunshine.

Slip N Slide Essentials

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