family

Life Lessons: 50 ways to Yay !

A few months ago I shared a picture of a book I was starting to read. That book was 50 ways to yay! The book is written by Alexi Panos and is a self help book of sorts for improving your life and creating happiness for yourself. Since posting that first picture, I have managed to read all of the book and I am completely blown away by how much I liked it. I am not usually a self help book kind of gal but this one was really awesome.
Each chapter in the book has a theme or a goal to accomplish. There are 50 chapters total, none of which are more than 4-6 pages in length.  At the end of each chapter, there are several questions where you actually have the opportunity to write in your answers sort of like a diary. I found this to be great because it was almost like your written plan for how to utilize what you learned in the chapter.

IMG_3515

The first chapter was a big chapter for me ! It breaks your life down into parts and asks you to decide which part you are most unhappy with. For me this is finances. We have credit card debt that I hate and we always seem to have just enough to cover necessities with very limited extra money. The written part of this chapter asks you then how can you change that, what can you do personally to make that better. This was simple for me. The type of job that I do allows me to pick up extra clients and extra clients mean extra money. The second thing for me is paying off debt and we have started within the last few months to work extremely hard at paying this down !

IMG_3516
Another chapter that I really enjoyed was “It’s all FOR you.” This chapter talks about how things don’t happen TO you , they happen FOR you. Everything that has happened is essential in your evolution in life. This is a big one for me when something bad happens. I always think why did this have to happen to me, on this day, etc. and the truth is that it happened because it was a lesson or a reason to change paths to something better.

IMG_3517
The last chapter in the book is also one that I really loved. It talks about what will you leave behind. Now this is hard for me to think about because I don’t do well with death. I don’t like to think about it and I get upset when I do but for me this theme was more than dying, it was about something to leave behind. Spend your life being a better person and it will show. You want people to remember how you made them feel long after you can give them those feelings anymore. I have come across a lot  of people in my life that will be remembered for things they owned or how they treated others,  not for how they made me feel when I was around them. I want to spend more time doing things for people who will one day say “do you remember how she could make us laugh” or “she gave the best hugs.” If I can be remembered that way by at least 10 people, I’ll be happy !
Overall, I highly recommend the book. It is easy reading and it really gives you somethings to think about. I enjoyed her style of writing and found all of these topics great for someone who wants to achieve a happier more positive life ! There really wasn’t any chapters or topics that I didn’t enjoy thinking or reading about.
Anyone who decides to read this book, let me know how you like it ! Or if anyone has already read it, tell me some of your favorite parts !

family

Life Update

I have been so incredibly busy lately and I have definitely been slacking on blog writing. I thought I would pop on here to give you guys a little life update!

So the first big thing that’s changed in the last month or two is that I took a new job ! This is not a switch from my usual school job, I just added some extra work to my schedule. I have recently started with an early intervention company working with about 4 extra clients per week. For those of you who don’t know a ton about Occupational Therapy, early intervention is kiddos ages 0-3 who need OT services within their home. Its an awesome job and the opportunity to work with babies and toddlers is so rewarding. So anyway, I have been seeing a couple kids after I am done at school for the day making my evenings a little busier, but the job and the extra money is great !

Another big thing going on right now, is my Easter Angels project ! I talked about this in a past blog post a few weeks ago so I won’t go into too much detail. My mom and I have been busy getting ready to deliver all the goodies to the hospital. We have spent a lot of weekends shopping and attending events to raise money for the cause. We are nearing the end and are going to be able to donate $3,000+ in supplies and baskets to the children this week !

Every Thursday after school, I have also been helping with Girls on the Run at Kutztown Elementary. This is a program for the girls to participate in for self esteem, confidence and girl power all while helping them train to run a 5k. This has been such an awesome experience so far and I am looking forward to the rest of the program ! We have about 5 more weeks to go before the 5k !

So between all of these things, I have added some extra busyness into my schedule ! I am excited to have all of these different things going on and am so thankful to be able to do so much. I promise to get back into my blog writing soon and I’ve got a bunch of new stuff coming for you guys in the next few weeks ! Check back later this week for an Easter dessert recipe that I think you guys will love !

family

Service Project Fun – Easter Angels

Last year, I was inspired and decided to start a yearly service project ! Since 2016 was the first year for my project, I was unsure what to expect and was unsure how much participation I would have. I thought for several days about who I wanted to help and what I wanted to do and decided on a project to donate Easter baskets to a local children’s hospital. I wanted this to be more than a good deed but also a learning opportunity for my son and myself. I believe in doing good for others creates good in you. My goal is to teach him that helping others is not a lost cause and that it it is truly a wonderful feeling to give to others. So after some thinking and a lot of brainstorming, I created Easter Angels.

I was blown away last year by the amount of donations we received. The complete total with money, toys and gift cards was $2,600! The hospital was in shock when we showed up with multiple truck loads of Easter baskets and boxes of toys and craft supplies. It’s safe to say that we had truly made an impact on the hospital and the children that were stuck there over the holiday. We also helped children who celebrated birthdays in the hospital and who may have needed just a little something extra to make it through a bad day.

img_3322img_3431img_3495img_3347

This year, we are doing the same project and will be donating to the same hospital. I have already contacted them and they are so excited for us to make our delivery again. I like to set goals and this year, I have set it at $3,000! With the help of friends, family, colleagues, etc, I know this is possible. We also had an extremely large donation last year from the Kutztown Rod and Gun Club and they have donated another generous amount this year! I am so thankful for anyone and everyone that has made this possible. Because of all of you, I fall asleep knowing that there are still good people who do good things for others just because they want to !

For anyone that follows me on my other social media, you probably have seen the posts about donating. We are accepting money donations through cash or check (Made out to Tabitha Seitzinger-Easter Angels). We also have a go fund me site which makes it super easy for you to donate and super easy for us to receive the funds. Go Fund Me – Easter Angels  We are also accepting toys, board games and craft supplies if you are interested in donating that way. Contact me for my address and you can gladly send goodies to us !

All of this would not be possible without my wonderful Mother who helped me with the project last year after I told her my crazy idea. She is awesome and gave more than 100% to help get this done.

Thank you to everyone that has helped so far !! 🙂

family

That darn toy.

Every week, countless times a week, Layton asks me to help him put together a specific toy. This toy is a marble tower that contains about 60 pcs (feels more like 600) and 20 marbles. In a matter of two minutes, he tears in apart and scatters the pieces everywhere and the marbles end up all over the house. Needless to say, this is not my favorite toy but he likes it and I reluctantly put it together every single time. I usually let out a sigh when he brings me the box and I have even tried hiding it to avoid the disaster. I am sure as parent’s we all have that one toy we try to avoid. This is mine and it makes me want to cry some days. Last week it actually brought me to tears but probably not for the reason you are thinking.

I was making dinner while Layton was in his playroom. He was quiet so I walked over to check on him. Guess what? He had pulled out that stinkin toy, opened the box and dumped the pieces everywhere. I took a deep breath, walked away and gave him a few minutes hoping maybe he would clean it up. When I came back, he had built a tower all by himself. He was putting the marbles in the top and watching them fall to the floor. When he caught me watching him, he said “look momma,” and was so proud. I instantly started to shed some tears. The idea that he no longer needed me to put this toy together made me so emotional. Why? I have no idea. I really disliked this toy and I should be glad that he could finally do it himself. But I wasn’t , I was now bummed that he had reached another level of independence and needed me for one less thing. This toy that absolutely drives me crazy has now become the one thing I keep hoping he will grab when he goes in the playroom. After a week of thinking about this, I have started to realize that this is only the beginning and I am in for a long road of tears.

I guess it’s crazy how this happens. Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. I am finding myself holding on to every little cute thing he does because there have been so many times in the last couple months where he has shown so much independence. Can’t I just keep him little forever ? Please tell me that this gets easier ! I’m sure all my momma friends out there can relate to this post.

layton-blog

family

Tablet for a 2 year old ?

For Christmas, I got Layton a Kindle Fire. I know you are all probably thinking ” you bought your 2 year old a tablet.” Cole said the same thing.  But hear me out . . I got it Black Friday for $33 which is great for a tablet if you ask me. I also got it because I had read lots of good reviews about the Kids app for it.

Layton isn’t the type of kid (yet) that loves to sit and watch tv or sit on a tablet. I’ve tried to get him to play on my iPad or phone periodically and he doesn’t have a ton of interest in it. Which is great ! I’m not pushing him to like technology, he will find an interest in it at some point. During those times where I have introduced him to my phone or iPad he always finds a way out of the app and into all my other stuff. Phone calls, messages, facebook ! Lord only knows what he has sent to people ! So the major selling point for me of this particular tablet was the ability to “lock” your kid into the kid friendly app. After trying this for several weeks, I really like this feature. There is virtually (I say this because if there is a way- my child will find it ) no way he could get into other stuff ! Once I set him up in the Kids Free Time app, he can browse videos, apps and books without getting into inappropriate things. I also love the selection of apps and books and videos the Free Time app has to offer. He has a profile customized to his age so everything is age appropriate. And from looking through the items, about 90% of it has some educational component to it like learning shapes, colors, words, etc. There is also a feature that allows you to search by character. This is nice because he can actually just look through and pick a picture of a character and then it will show him videos and apps that include that specific person or animal !

So back to my 2 year old having a tablet, I get it, he is a little young and I don’t want to brainwash him this early. Trust me I was the parent, before actually becoming a parent, that was never going to let my kids have a tablet out to eat, etc but desperate times call for desperate measures. I also believe that kids these days are going to get to use all the latest and greatest technology as soon as they start school. My kindergarten students get computer time every day to learn basic concepts. I might as well be proactive and let him use it now because he is going to get it in 3 years anyway ! 3 years – No! Is that true ? Ugh ! That’s another post for another day !

So end of my rant on technology for toddlers but if you are on my side with the educational stuff, check out the kindle fire. I got the basic one and downloaded the kids app and it has been well worth it so far ! It’s convenient, compact and has really nice kids features !

Check out the Kindle Fire here

family · home

DIY Valentine’s

Layton and I spent our snow day making Valentine’s for his daycare party. I wanted to make his Valentine’s instead of buying the standard store bought ones. I found this idea on Pinterest and decided to run with it. They were super easy to make and I love the way they turned out !

valentine-blog-1

Item needed: 

Mini Cereal Boxes

Ribbon

Spoons

Tags ( I printed mine out from HERE and then placed them on red cardstock)

valentine-blog-2

After we gathered all the supplies, I punched a hole in each tag and slipped it onto the ribbon. I wrapped the ribbon around each cereal box a few times and then tied it off. After, I slipped the spoons behind the ribbon ! That was it ! Super easy and a cute non-candy Valentine for the kiddos.

If you are looking for a last minute idea ! Try these !

family · home

Gone Camping !

 

My husband is a mountain man , pretty much born in the mountains, raised in the mountains, heck his middle name is even Mountain. No I am not kidding on that, his name is Cole Mountain. That being said he loves camping and being in the woods and we frequently take trips involving these two things. Typically we find a nice location several hours from here where we can spend the weekend in a cabin, hiking and exploring a new area. We are also very fortunate to have a cabin about 30 minutes from our home where we can escape to whenever we want. If we can’t get too far away, we head to the cabin and enjoy a quiet family and friends weekend !

At the beginning of this month, we picked a weekend and decided to stay at the cabin. I have created a super simple way to prepare for the weekend that does not require a lot of prep. When we like to go , we like it be very low key, low prep, and relaxing.

I have started to keep a tote in the garage filled with all of our camping needs. Some of the items in this tote include paper products, utensils, cups, garbage bags, tupperware containers, bug spray, pots and pans, and fire starters. Pretty much if you can think of it, I have thrown it into this tote. It makes it so much easier on us when we decide to take a quick trip ! We grab the tote, pack some clothes and head out for the weekend. Over the last few years, I have collected old pans, dollar store garbage bags, pot holders and placed them in this tote to create this inexpensive ready to go camping tote.

The next big thing for us is food for the weekend. Typically we pick the easiest meals we can think of including pre-made foods to make the meal prep easy on us. We usually decide on hoagies one night that we can pick up on the way. I also usually do hot dogs and burgers for lunch/dinner. The burgers and hot dogs are super simple to just throw on the grill and all you really need, to go with them, is rolls. For our latest trip, I pre-made Chicken Noodle Soup (recipe to come in a later post.) It was super easy to heat up on the stove and enjoy. No extra meal prep necessary. For breakfasts, we do granola bars, bananas, fruit or cereal. All things that are cheap and easy. If we are spending more days, or are traveling further, I like to do a nice dinner of chicken or steak on the grill and potato packets.

So there you have it. The easy way to have a weekend camping trip. Pack your camping tote, grab some groceries and prep ahead of time, pack some clothing and jump in the truck ! Enjoy a weekend in the woods with your family !

camping-blog