Tuesdays with Jacob

Quarantine Boredom Busters

March 26, 2020

What to do when there's nowhere to go? I'm rounding up all of the resources we've ordered or pulled out of storage to keep the kiddo occupied during this strange time of quarantine: 

Educational Picks

Arts and Crafts 

Read Alouds

For the Easter Basket

March 11, 2020
It's just about that time of year, time to fill up that festive Easter basket!! I know I always post this way far in advance but that's because I start stock piling so far in advance. I love to spread out purchases instead of buying all at once... just a little easier on the wallet. I honestly start right after Christmas, shopping the post holiday sales and keeping my eyes peeled all winter long for little goodies to stuff into eggs. 
There's a few staples that always end up in our baskets - a new pair of pajamas, a family game, a few sweets, and always a new book. We've always added a stuffed animal too but I think this may be the year we've outgrown that. Don't ask me about it - I am not ok. But also, I cannot handle one. more. stuffed. animal. in. my. house. Please tell me you understand?

Rounding up all of the goodies I am loving for baskets this year, some of which will find their way into Jacob's basket on Easter morning. What can I say? The Easter Bunny has good taste!

One // Glo Pals: Bath toys have been in our baskets ever since the first year! Some Kindergartners may have switched over to showers already, but Jacob still loves playing in the tub and prefers a bath. 
Two // Light Up Soccer Ball: Perfect for night time parties or even camp-outs, the latter of which may be the reason this one will find it's way into Jacob's basket. 
Three // Lemonade Shake-up: I love including a game the whole family can play in the basket and Peaceable Kingdom has some of our favorites. We also love the travel games from Mudpuppy. The pieces come in a canvas pouch that doubles as the game board - perfect for passing time on airplanes. Last year we put Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt in Jacob's basket which we loved - it's great for fine motor skills in the toddler and preschool ages! 
Four // Narwhal Chalk: Anything that gets kids playing outside, am I right? When it comes to art supplies we're also big fans of Ooly markers, Jacob got their ice cream scented set last year! 
Five // Silicone Earpods: Designed just for kids, we love these on car trips so we aren't battling noise from the Nintendo/iPad/DVD player while trying to listen to the radio. 
Six // Bunny Bark Chocolate bar: Every basket needs a little sweetness. We try not to go overboard on the candy but this bar is too cute! We're also crushing hard on these dolphin gummies
Seven // Jabari Jumps: A book is another one of our staples. I love this one because it's all about confidence, being brave, and overcoming your fears - big themes for us this year! Some of my other favorite picks are Cat & Bunny, Gaston, The Little IslandMarshmallow, and Lovely Beasts. (Last year's pick!)
Eight // Wooden Surf Wagon: I love toys that can pull double duty. This car will fit in perfectly as decor in Jacob's surf themed room, and will also be fun to play with. There's also a little yellow camper that can be bought to attach to it as well. 
Nine // Rocket Construction Set: A fun STEM set for kiddos who love space, like mine! 
Ten // Copper Wire Basket: We got ours at Nordstrom, (in the kids section, on an Easter display table - the brand is American Atelier) but it looks like it's sold out. I've linked it in case it comes back in stock, but I'm also loving this white one from Hearth & Hand. You can find some other options here, here, and here
Eleven // Stripe Pajamas: A new set of pajamas goes in our basket every year! I love this bright set and the quality from J. Crew is among my favorite. These would be my pick for girls! 
Twelve // Swim Trunks: We rarely include swim trunks in our basket because we always get new ones for spring break which is almost always BEFORE Easter, but these would be my pick! I know lots of people love them in baskets in anticipation for summer, we just happen to have summer year round. This sweet ruffle trim suit would be my pick for girls. And if you need a good pair of swim goggles, we love these (boys) and these (girls) from Bling2o!

Hope this round up gives you a few ideas and that you have fun putting together baskets for your little ones! Happy spring friends, XO.

Gift Guide for Kindergarten Boys

December 15, 2019
I'm so excited to share with you this year's gift guide for little guys - aka. Jacob's wishlist. We're really trying to cut back on toys this year and zone in on things that he loves and will help him with his academic and athletic development. His big gift this year is going to be a desk for his room - for creating and exploring, and for homework! 

ONE. One of our on-going goals from Jacob is to get him outside more. He seems to have taken a liking to hockey and lacrosse, so we grabbed him a street hockey kit that he can use outside with Mom and Dad. We're still on the hunt for a good lacrosse kit for kids! 

TWO. We're just a teensy bit Star Wars obsessed over here and I kind of see these as a Barbie alternative. (I know I loved those at this age!) Perfect for pretend play. The set comes with six 12-inch dolls, featuring all the major characters.

THREE. Board games have been a huge hit over the last year, and this one looks like so much fun! Some of our other favorites are Candyland, Sorry!, Trouble, and Shark Bite.

FOUR. The Osmo is a tablet attachment (tablet not included) with learning games for kids that came highly recommended by several of my friends. We got the Genius starter kit to use with our iPad mini, and I love that there are additional games you can purchase - this makes future gift giving easy!

FIVE. Camping gear! We camp several times a year both with cubscouts and as a family. While we have most of the basic gear Jacob was pining for a headlamp like many of his friends had on our last trip. A sturdy water bottle is a must for hikes as well! Some other ideas are lanterns, mess kits, sleeping bags, and camp chairs.

SIX. The Instax Mini is a perfect size for little hands. Jacob is only into picture taking if he can see the photo afterwards, so I know he'll love being able to take his own photos and getting to see them print out right after.

SEVEN. Science kits are awesome for this age. Experimenting really gets those little brains working. Jacob saw this specific one at our school science night being raffled off. He didn't win it that night but he will find it under our tree Christmas morning!

EIGHT. We always pick up a few books to add to Jacob's collection each Christmas. Elephant and Piggie are a huge hit with the kindergarten set and always make Jacob laugh.

NINE. A sports Jersey and tickets to a game are one of our favorite "experience" gifts. Some of our others are fair tickets, museum or zoo passes, lessons for music or sports, or passes to local play places. We always like to pick some thing for Jacob to unwrap that represents the experience - we've done a mini stuffed tiger with zoo tickets for example, and a jersey is perfect because they can wear it to the game!

The best news is that every one of these gifts is available on Amazon with delivery before Christmas! (as of right now anyways.) Most of last years gift ideas are still perfect for this age too, check those out HERE. Can't wait to surprise little man on Christmas morning with some of these gifts - we also love to gift practical items like new shoes, winter wear, or pajamas. What do your little ones want for Christmas?

Treat Your Teacher

August 14, 2019
This post is sponsored by 3M but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. This post is sponsored by Post It but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Oooh friends. August already. Seems like summer just started, but here we are loading up on crayons and pencils, glue sticks and hand sanitizer. One of my favorite things to do while I'm out shopping for school supplies is to grab a little gift to give to our teacher on the first day. Just a little something to let them know how excited we are to be in their class and how we're looking forward to a great year. 

Since I'm already shopping for supplies, I usually pick up extra as part of our gift. But the key here is that we like to pick out special supplies just for the teacher. The fun stuff that's just for them. This year I found a cute zipper pouch with "World's Best Teacher" on it and we loaded it up with colorful supplies. You'd be so surprised how something as simple as a pretty pen can brighten up a teacher's day!

Here are some ideas for filling:

Post-It's® & Scotch® Tape: Teacher's use these for EVERYTHING. We love both lined and unlined Post-It's® in all the bright, fun colors. 3M are offering a great deal this season! Purchase $10 worth of participating Post-it® and Scotch™ back to school supplies in one transaction at Walmart stores or at Walmart.com between 7/22/19 and 9/8/19. All you gotta do it take a photo of your entire receipt showing the qualifying items starred. Visit the program landing page either on your mobile device or your desktop computer and enter your information and submit the image of your full receipt by 9/30/19. Once your submission has been validated within 2-5 business days, you will receive an email with a $10 Fandango Promo Code*. Hurry while supplies last!

Erasable pens: possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's so nice to be able to erase mistakes and not have to get out the correction tape which can be messy!

Mini Calculator: Perfect to keep on hand for calculating grades.

Colorful markers and highlighters: Nothing makes teacher's happy then writing with a nice pen! Pretty pastels and bold brights make our hearts sing!

Favorite candy: If you know your teacher's favorite candy slip a few in, if you don't - slip in a popular candy anyways. Teacher's love to stash away candy in their desks for when they need a little energy boost!

Painkillers: Mini containers are perfect for headaches. Enough said.

Gift card: A gift card for a popular store, restaurant, movie theater, etc. Even better if you know your teacher's favorite spots! (Hint - ask parents who had kids in the class last year, they probably know!)

We jazzed our pouch up with some pretty ribbon, slipped in a hand written note in a pretty notecard and we're all set for back to school and meet the teacher!

Don't forget to grab your $10 Fandango Promo Code* when you purchase $10 worth of any $10 worth of any Post-it® and Scotch® Back to School stationery products from your local Walmart*. By the time the first Friday of school rolls around, kids are usually exhausted and needing to decompress a bit. A movie night would be the perfect way to relax and celebrate making it through the first week of school!

*Visit www.activaterewards.com/3Mbacktoschool for full details

Kindergarten Interview

August 13, 2019

Well, here we go. After fourteen years of teaching kindergartners, I officially have one in my home. I'm not crying, you're crying. We've entered the land of homework and projects and someone hold me. I'll now spend 8 hours a day with 5 year olds and then go home to my own. Here's a little snapshot of Jacob as he heads off to Kindergarten: 

How old are you? 
Jacob: FIVE!!!!

Who's your best friend?
Jacob: Joshua

What's your favorite food?
Jacob: Mozzarella sticks and ice cream and cheetos

What's your favorite color?
Jacob: blue and red

What's your favorite toy?
Jacob: Paw Patrol Teeny Tys 

What's your favorite book?
Jacob: Pete the Cat

What's your favorite tv show?
Jacob: Booba

What's your favorite movie?
Jacob: Wonder Park

What do you like to do outside?
Jacob: Play at the playground

What do you like to do inside?
Jacob: Watch TV

What's your favorite holiday?
Jacob: Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving

What's your favorite animal?
Jacob: Monkey

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Jacob: An astronaut and Santa Claus


June 10, 2019

Today you are the silliest guy we know. You love singing silly songs, making jokes, and seeing what funny sounds you can come up with to make us laugh. You insist you aren't the silliest kid in your class, but your teachers say otherwise. 

Today you are full of questions, always wanting to know how and why. You start chatting the minute your eyes open in the morning and you don't stop until you've fallen back asleep at night. You can talk a mile a minute, always have a story ready, and never run out of words. 

Today you are cautious and calculating, always weighing the risk against the reward. You don't like to try new things even though you usually love them once we make you try. You are afraid of deep water (swim class), bugs, the dark, swings, and quite a few other things. 

Today you are a pre-K graduate who made so many new friends, loved his teachers, and showed tremendous growth over the last year. You dislike homework and writing, but love to read books, play in centers and do circle time. You've learned so much this year from sight words to how to write your name, and you are so excited for Kindergarten in the fall. 

Today you still prefer your hair long, only like slip-on shoes, and want to change out of your uniform into "home clothes" every day as soon as you walk in the door. You like wearing baseball hats just like Daddy and are never opposed to a good pair of sunglasses. On the weekends you like to stay in your pajamas for as long as possible. 

Today you are a music lover who has very specific opinions when it  comes to the radio. Imagine Dragons, and Panic! at the Disco are some of your favorite bands, and we can almost always find you singing along and playing air guitar or drums in your car seat. You strongly disagree that the driver should get to choose the radio station.

Today you are a technology whiz who probably knows more than we do about the tablet and all the games on it. You can easily navigate netflix, hulu, and google play on your own and don't like watching anything that isn't a "Jacob show."

Today you love building with blocks or legos, playing "bad guys" and are obsessed with villians despite your strong morals - you are always quick to point out when something is "not nice." You are quick to apologize and quick to forgive, always eager to keep the peace. 

Today you are eating us out of house and home, always hungry but only for the foods you deem acceptable - chicken nuggets, pizza, hamburgers, strawberries, cheese, fruit snacks, goldfish, and yogurt are some of your favorites. It takes some convincing to get you to try new foods, especially fruits and veggies that you've already decided you "don't like." 

Today we love you more than we ever thought we could. 

Today you are FIVE.

Jacob's Space Mission 5 {an outer space birthday party}

June 5, 2019

This year's party might have been my favorite yet. Although, I'm fairly certain I also said that about his pizza party, dinosaur party, wild things party, ocean party, puppy party, and Mickey Mouse party. Jacob wanted a "rocket ship party" and since we're going to be out of town on his birthday we planned it for one week earlier. I stuck with a loose outer space theme in black, white, and metallics. 

We picked a morning slot at a local play gym Happy Place Kids Gym and invited all his friends, including his classmates which made this years party larger than all of his previous parties. Having a morning party let me serve simple brunch foods like bagels & cream cheese, muffins, donuts, coffee, etc. I ordered a white cake from Publix as usual and added sprinkles, stars, a rocket ship and an astronaut on top to create a space theme. We filled the goody bags with astronaut ice cream, rock candy, moon pies, space alien water guns, and astronaut lollipops. I always pick out a book to match Jacob's theme and have all his guests sign it as a momento from his party - this year's book was If You Decide to Go to The Moon. The little moon cups might be my favorite detail, but it's a toss up with the astronaut ice cream.

Happy Place made the whole process super easy for us. They helped with both set up and clean up and kept things running smoothly. The kids loved playing in the air conditioned gym and there was plenty of space for parents to sit and talk. We learned our lesson two years ago to never plan an outdoor party in June in Florida, and we haven't looked back since. 



We love you to the moon and back!!

Invitation // Prints for Events
space background // Shindigz 
solid balloons, gold moon balloons // Oh Happy Day
rocket balloon, 5 sparkler // Meri Meri
Star Confetti Balloons // Amazon
Silver Moon and star balloons // Amazon
5 balloon // Michaels
White table cloth // Stowey Joey
Rocket cupcake stand, gold candles // Party city  
If You Decide to Go to the Moon // Amazon
Silver cake stand // Amazon 
Disco Balls // Amazon large, medium , small
Black tablecloths // Amazon
Astronaut cake topper // Amazon
Astronaut ice cream // Amazon
Rock candy // Amazon
Light up 5 // Amazon
Space Helmet // Amazon
Astronaut Backpack // Amazon 
Black Goody Bags // Amazon
Ribbon on goody bags // Michaels
Thank you Tags // Pink Paper Trail
Star Garlands // Target
Gold and silver star cupcake toppers, cake toppers, confetti // Glitter Party Co. 
Moon cups // Oriental Trading 
Plates, cups, napkins, striped forks // Cranky Cakes Shop
Five is a Blast tee shirt // Happy Life Parties
Star Dress // Amazon 
NASA Tee Shirt // Amazon 
Cake and all food & drinks // Publix