Month: April 2014

Easy and cute Spring Project for the kids!

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Spring is here! Well, there was just a little bit of snow  yesterday. But who cares! The warmer temperatures will prevail in a few days. We have conquered the winter!

Since it is spring time and the spring holidays are upon us, I decided to share with you a cute and super easy project you can do with your kiddies.  My friend Tracy did this with her son and shared it with me. (She does super fun projects with her son all of the time and I kind of mooch off of her ;).  Thanks Tracy!)

These are the materials you will need:

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1 – Shoebox (I used one from my son’s shoes. It was a small box.  I’m sure an adult size shoe box is fine as well.)

White Paint (I used Crayola washable paint)

White and green construction paper

Pipe Cleaners

Pompoms or Cotton Balls

Googly Eyes (We didn’t have these, so we improvised with buttons we had lying around the house)

***Some of the items are small. Please supervise any materials used by your child.***

Here are the super easy directions:

1. Paint the shoebox white. (I didn’t bother painting the inside since little treats will cover it up.)

2. While it is drying (The Crayola paint dried fast. But test it before you glue anything on it.), draw the bunny ears on the white construction paper. After you cut them out, let your child color them in. My son is still too little to color inside the lines, so he just scribbled on them. Either way is perfect!

3. While your child is coloring the ears, cut out a strip of green construction paper (or any color of your choosing) for the handle.  Tracy used the top of the box to create the handle. Anything you have is perfect!

4. For the whiskers, I cut the pipe cleaner into two 6 inch pieces. For the mouth, I cut a 4 inch piece. You can adjust the sizes depending on the size of the shoebox.

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5. You can begin to glue all of the pieces to the shoebox. (Use the pictures as a guide for where to glue everything. Or, use your own judgement.) My son didn’t want to use the glue, so I let him go play at this point. I used a hot glue gun. However, if your child is old enough, use regular Elmer’s glue. It will be much safer.

See, I told you: super easy and super cute! And it will be a basket you can use year after year. I was thinking of leaving carrots for the Easter Bunny in it. We’ll see if he leaves a small treat in the basket Easter morning.!

Have fun making your basket. Post any pictures you may have of your finished project.

You can reach me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Remember when…

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Do you ever remind yourself to do something and then when the time comes to do it you forget? And then days later you remember? That was me just yesterday. So, here’s my story.

I have not bought myself clothes since before my son was born. My wardrobe is in dire need of an update. In all honesty , whenever I wind up near a store, I just wind up buying something for my little one. Mommy has definitely put herself on the backburner.

This is where my dilemma starts. I went to Express to buy a few things. I knew I had a $30 off of $75 coupon in my bag. Maybe it was the excitement of getting new clothes that made me forget. The cashier rang up my stuff and I asked if there were any coupons available. She said no. I had this nagging feeling about something. However, I paid and left with the sheer joy of owning new clothes.

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Let’s fast forward about five days to yesterday. I was cleaning out the diaper bag and I decided to go through my coupon holder, which I store in the diaper bag. I make sure my coupons are always handy. You never know what store you might end up at. Anyway, what do you think I found in my coupons? Yes, the Express coupon I knew I had but totally forgot about. Of course, it is now expired.  Epic Fail :( .

I was definitely kicking myself yesterday. I have learned my lesson and will double check my coupons so I don’t lose out again!

What is your epic fail story? Let us know below :).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Daily Post Challenge #1….About me!

I am participating The Daily Post’s “Zero to Hero” Challenge. It is 30 days of blogging and getting the creative juices flowing.  Today’s challenge is to introduce yourself. Well, Mrs. Z is already one step ahead of the game. Phew! For once since having a baby I am super prepared ;).

For those of you who are new to my blog, you can find out about me in the All About Mrs. Z button on each post I put up. I did write the about me section awhile ago. However, it does a great job of summing up my interests and in what direction I want this blog to go in. I hope you enjoy it! Come back as often as you like :).

Live each day to the fullest

Sometimes a quote comes to you when you need it. Or you’ll read something and it just makes your day. Quotes have the ability to put life into perspective. This quote that follows really hit home.

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It happens to the best of us. We wake up one morning and there is just tons to be done that day. Make breakfast. Get the kids, as well as yourself, dressed and ready to roll in a very short amount of time. Get to school and work on time. Work deadlines. Homework deadlines. Pick the kids up from school on time. Complete homework. Drive kids to extracurricular activities. Cook dinner (or perhaps take out. Order healthy 😉 ). Bath time. Pajama time. It is not until the moment you sit with your little ones at the very end of a very long day do you realize “Oh my god! They are getting too big. I need to slow down!”. That’s when the mommy (and daddy) guilt starts. Trust me, I have felt it so many times.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. Sometimes life gets in the way. But one thing we can all do is to slow down just a little. Listen to the giggles. Build a building out of blocks and knock it down (even though doing it 100 times in a row does get insanely boring after awhile).  Play dress up. In a blink of an eye this will be all over. The kids will one day move out and have lives of their own. And the silly moments will have passed us by. Live each day with no regrets. To me that means being the best present mommy there is. And I know you are as well :).

Are there any quotes that hit home with you? Share them below!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

An easy non-GMO list

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I found a great list of all brands of food that are non-GMO. It is very easy to navigate. It is an easy way for you to ease yourself into changing the brands you already buy. Remember: don’t try to change everything in one shopping trip. You will drive yourself bonkers! You also should read tall food labels even if the package says non-GMO. You can never be too safe.

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. Life just sometimes gets super busy :). I will definitely see you tomorrow though!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

And don’t forget to share with your friends :)!

Mrs. Z’s Quick Kitchen Tip

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Here is my quick kitchen tip of the day.  I haven’t tried any of these but I came across nine simple ideas the other day. I wanted to pass them on to you. They seem relatively easy and super helpful around the kitchen. My favorite is the microwave cleaning idea. All you do is put wet paper towels in the microwave for three to five minutes. The steam from the water after it is done supposedly helps you to wipe the grime away. I definitely need to try this!

Have fun with these kitchen tips. Let us know of any kitchen tips you may have up your sleeves!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

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I still love you Kurt!

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Everyone can speak the language of music.  Music can be used to identify a time period. People use music to describe a moment in their life. People even use music to describe how they are feeling. It is the one constant in our lives that remains the same. Notes and melodies flowing together as words paint a picture in your mind. This picture is different to each interpreter. Thus is the beauty of music.

Each generation has that one defining moment in music history. Our grandparents had the honor of being part of the Big Band era. If you have never listened to that music, you are missing quite a bit of American culture. The Count Basie Orchestra, Benny Goodman, The Glenn Miller Orchestra. I can keep going. I can still here my grandfather play these bands on his stereo in his living room.

Think about our parents. The 60s. The decade that fascinates me in so many ways. Any girl (and boy for that matter) can tell you where they were when John, Paul, Ringo, and George played on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Or when Jimi Hendrix played The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock (it gives me chills every time I hear it).

But what about us? Those of us born in the 80s and had our adolescence in the 90s. I always wonder how we will be remembered. The90s had such an extreme change in music from the beginning to the end. I loved NKOTB! And N*SYNC. And The Backstreet Boys. But the 90s will always and forever mean one thing to me: Nirvana. (This is a link tho their MTV Unplugged Album. It is kind of long but definitely worth the time!) Yes, after naming all of those sugary sweet pop bands, I loved grunge music. Nirvana was the teenage movements way of saying “I am not a child anymore”.  We proudly wore our plaid button down shirts that were a few sizes too big. Our hair was, well, let’s not get into that one (some of my teenage years and the way I dressed I’d rather forget 😉 ).

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Kurt Cobain was grunge. He was and will forever define the decade’s music.  He was gorgeous in his I-look-like-I-haven’t-showered-in-days look. Sometimes the words in his music didn’t make much sense, but they made this kind of awkward teenage girl feel not so lonely at times. I can still remember the day Kurt Cobain was found dead. April  5, 1994. Twenty years ago! Gone way too soon. Sigh. I still love you Kurt Cobain!  (As a side note: I loved Dave Grohl too! I still think he is dreamy ;). )

Tonight, Nirvana will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Yes, grunge will forever be part of American music history. And I will always remember the 90s as the decade where grunge was in and you had to wait to hear your favorite song on the radio and quickly press record so that you can have the song to play again and again. (Way too many ands in that sentence but when you are talking about grunge, grammar really doesn’t count.)

What were your favorite songs/bands from the 90s? How has music affected you? Comment below!

You can contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

 

To my fellow teachers

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I was recently reading different blogs and came across this great post the other day. This one goes out to all of my former students. You are all amazing and I know you will do amazing things one day. I have been honored to have you in my life and you have taught me so much. Like I have always said to you, my students, I give you the tools necessary for life. It is up to you to use them wisely. I know that you are using them to the best of your ability.

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This post also goes out to my fellow colleagues. You are amazing and are so dedicated to what you do. You shape young minds. You have the power to create a president, a lawyer, a doctor, a business owner, or perhaps a teacher. At times I am sure, no I know, that it can be downright scary in the education field. You are constantly being degraded my people’s comments. You are trying to live up to a standard that I am sure those that put them in place probably couldn’t even attempt to reach it. However, you are better than all of that. You are amazing. I have not been in the classroom for some  time now. But I stand with you in solidarity and am proud to say that I am one of you. You are the foundation everything in this world stands on.

It is testing season, so I figured the blog I mentioned to you in my first sentence would give you some inspiration. You can do this. You are much better than the 27th line!

Leave some love for those teachers and students below! I know it means a lot to them :).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

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Can you write a Fifty?

I am taking on a writing challenge called ” The Fifty“. You have to tell a story or write about a moment in no less or no more than 50 words. This might be difficult for me. However, I love challenges. Tell me I can’t do something and I will try my hardest to prove you wrong ;). Well, here we go. By the way, this first paragraph will not count towards my fifty word count. It starts right now….

                A moment in time. A smile. A laugh. What were you thinking? It appears as though you are having the time of your life. Did you ever think it would end? It seems as if you felt this moment would last forever.  Or was it simply a moment in time?

So, what do you think? “What was my inspiration”, you ask? I actually had two inspirations. First, I saw a picture recently of my grandfather’s parents and siblings sitting around a table when they were young. Everyone looked so happy. I was thinking of that picture. Another one was this painting from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. I had mentioned him in a previous blog. I absolutely love his work!

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Why don’t you try a Fifty! Fifty words come up really quickly so think wisely about what you want to say. Leave it in the comments below. I would love to read them (as I am sure everyone else does!).

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.

Your first playmates

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Cousins. If you are lucky enough to have them, they are your earliest friends in life. They are your first playmates. Even if there is a huge age gap, you know you will always have someone to go to if you need help, to play a game, or just a simple hug.

As years have gone by I have realized that my cousins are extremely important to me. They are the family that grounds me. They are the people that are excited for my good times and are sad for the not so happy times. They are the ones that I can be completely silly with and no one will judge (unless they do and I don’t really know 😉 ).  In my family we have multi generational cousins. I am still close with my  second, third, and fourth cousins. Yes, that’s right, fourth cousins! We may not see each other very often, but those two or three times a year that we do are amazing! You know that best friend you have that you haven’t seen in a while. Then you hang out after so much time has passed and it seems like you just saw each other yesterday? That is how it is with my cousins. All of them.  What is even better is, when you see them, and your relationship is so solid, that a simple “Hey Cuz!”  is all that is needed. I have had some of the greatest conversations of my life with these people.

My husband comes from a very similar family dynamic. He is also very close to his cousins. I honestly consider myself lucky to have married someone with awesome cousins as well. I don’t even think of myself as an “outsider” or someone who “married into” the family (unless, of course, I’m wrong 😉 ). They are all so welcoming that it feels like an extension to my own group of cousins.

My first cousins I see quite often (I’m just using a number order to better differentiate for you, my readers :) ). We have started a dinner where the cousins meet up several times a year. We decided these dinners will have a theme. Our most current one was Italian. The dinners are potluck, so everyone brings a dish that corresponds with the theme. After our big meal, we wind up playing Pictionary, Catch Phrase, etc. It is so much fun!

Try the dinners with your cousins. It really is an amazing time! And don’t forget to take lots of pictures. I know I love looking at old pictures of my grandparents and their generation at family gatherings when they were my age. I especially look for the smiles and the good times they were having. I try to imagine what they were talking or laughing about. I hope future generations will do the same with the pictures we have taken.

What are some favorite things you like to do with your cousins? Comment below!

You can also contact me at themrszfiles@gmail.com.