Day Designer Giveaway

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Day Designer Giveaway

I hit the ground running everyday. Some days I do get up early and actually go workout before the sun is up or Paw Patrol has taken over my TV. But most days, I wake up after a child has silently tiptoed downstairs and broken into the snack cupboard and started noshing on some sort of cheese chips.

Real life, am I right?

We have school pickups and drop-offs, soccer practices, soccer games, grocery errands, high-maintenance doggies, night events, board meetings, swim lessons, haircuts, family dinners with grandparents, and all of the other things that seem to pop up every week. It appears as though whenever those “event free” weeks emerge they are short-lived as something always comes up that drags at least one person out the house on any given day.

I love to organize. But sometimes it is so overwhelming. Between phone calendars and syncing tabs things always get lost in the Matrix. Because of this, I revert back to my old school ways. A planner. Good old-fashioned paper and pen. No pencil-I don’t like the dust. Sorry.

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The Day Designer planner has been my lifeline for four years. I carry it with me wherever I go and if my purse is too small? Well then—she sits buckled up next to me in my passenger seat. I have tried multiple design covers and sizes. There are two sizes to choose from but the big planner is my jam. It has so much more room for activities! Kid activities that is. As my obsession with Day Designer has grown, so has the number of events I add in there day after day.

While Day Designer is known for its impeccable design and durability within its planners, the company has many other resources unknown to many of its biggest fans. On the site, there are FREE printables for just about any list you wish to make. OCD moms beware; you may get sucked down a printing rabbit hole.

Holiday shopping list? Check.

Grocery shopping list? Check.

Need to keep those packing lists in one place? Yep, that’s covered too.

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The Day Designer is the brainchild of fellow Okie, Whitney English. I love that I am supporting another mom with a dream. You can see more of the Day Designer designs here. The 2018 edition has launched! Order yours now and start off next year with all your ducks in a row.

Want your own Day Designer? Check out my Giveaway on Instagram!

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Day Out With Thomas GIVEAWAY

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Day Out With Thomas GIVEAWAY

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CHOO CHOO!!

All aboard! It’s that time of year again! Thomas the Tank Engine is pulling into the station.

That’s right. Grab those overalls and put on your engineer caps. Day Out With Thomas is BACK!

I'm certain that my son has Thomas telepathy. He can hear the chugging from miles away and knows that the railway is soon to be bustling with trains and coaches from the Island of Sodor. Day Out With Thomas has become a part of our fall repertoire. As my head starts preparing for pumpkins and scarves, my son starts prepping for one of his favorite days of the year.

There’s nothing quite like seeing a life-size replica of your hero. It’s enough to make any child’s eye twinkle and heart start racing. And make every mama reach for her camera phone. No memory left uncaptured my friends!

Every August, my son starts asking, “Is it time for the REAL Thomas yet?”

My son looks forward to this all year round.

To be honest, I do too.

Our first Thomas experience started with an almost two-year-old sitting in my lap and covering his ears when we heard the train whistles. Now, as a Thomas enthusiast, he sits across from me in his own seat as he happily looks out the window and encourages Thomas along.

“Push Thomas, Push!!”

Each year, I watch his curiosity change and confidence grow. Last year, baby sister rode along and joined us on our train-loving journey with Thomas.

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Get your TICKETS

Day out with Thomas will be riding through Oklahoma City on September 29th, 30th, October 1st, October 6th, 7th, and 8th. This year marks the 22nd year of Thomas’s Friendship Tour. Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt will be making 42 stops across the country as they search for little engineers to jump aboard. This event is perfect for every family and your ticket includes photo opportunities, crafts, and stamp collecting activities.

Need to get a jump on Christmas shopping? Check out the A M A Z I N G Thomas gift shop. You can find everything from stocking stuffers to track kits. A must have so you can create your own Tidmouth Sheds for Christmas morning.

Day Out with Thomas has become our own little family tradition. We bring train snacks and books and enjoy a picnic at the OK Railway Museum. The ride is 25 minutes long and leaves plenty of time for exploring all that the museum has to offer. Thomas the Steamie drives through a historic part of Oklahoma City and pulls 7 passenger coaches behind him. Choices include coaches with air-conditioning, a diner car with tables and chairs (no food service), a breezy caboose, or an open-air bench car.

There is a car to meet the needs of every family!

Day Out With Thomas will take place rain or shine. Tickets book quickly and all sales are final.

Want to win FOUR tickets to Day Out With Thomas?

RULES:

1.     Follow Lollipops and Honey and Oklahoma Railway Museum on Facebook.

2.     Like, share, and comment this post on Facebook.

3.     Must be 18 years old to enter.

Good Luck!

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HEALTHY KIDS PUBLISHING

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HEALTHY KIDS PUBLISHING

Adding new children’s books to my collection is always on the to-do list. I’m like a moth to a flame when it comes to books. I have a wide range including: baby, toddler, emerging reader, established reader, mystery novels, holidays, pregnancy, mom, and early childhood development textbooks I just can’t seem to throw away. It is no mystery my collection is big and continues to grow by the month. Oh well, there are worse hobbies, am I right? 

I love finding books that break the mold and venture into new dialogue. Healthy Kids Publishing does just that as they encourage healthy eating habits and activities for their readers. 

Author, Jerome Jones, is a former 4th grade elementary educator and created this series after teaching nutrition to his students. He is an advocate for healthy living and believes children can learn in and out of the classroom. 

The Mystery of the Lost Recipe 

 Image via Lollipops and Honey

Image via Lollipops and Honey

Tommy and Abby are mystery-solving siblings who set out to solve the mystery of the missing lasagna recipe. They come to the mighty aide of their favorite diner after the recipe is lost! They are in a race against time to find the recipe before the dinner rush starts and its patrons are left hungry.

The Mystery of the Lost Uniforms 

 Image via Lollipops and Honey

Image via Lollipops and Honey

The sequel to the previous story, Tommy and Abby are at it again as they set out on a quest to help the local high school find their missing basketball uniforms. Word of their previous detective work has spread to the local radio station and they are called in to help with this mystery. 

Follow along as these two little detectives become community members with the help of their pup, Flash.

Both books are available through Healthy Kids Publishing and Amazon

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FOURNADO

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FOURNADO

 Image via Bump & Beyond Designs

Image via Bump & Beyond Designs

Four years old. I say it and don’t even believe it. How does that happen? How does it happen so fast? I remember being pregnant and older moms would warn me how quickly the years go by. I would give a light laugh and reply, “Oh yes, I have no doubt!”

But, they were right.

Too right.

The days are short but the years are long.

Since I began staying home with my little buddy, some days have been easier than others. Of course, those early breastfeeding days were tough + the sudden jolt of sleepness nights. Followed by toddler tantrums whilst seeking his independence from me. Now, here we are. I have a four-year-old.

He has turned into a polite, sweet, rowdy, and curious little tornado. Everyday, he makes me proud yet challenges me further than I thought possible.

I am always on the hunt for fun shirts to explain my little man. When I stumbled upon Bump and Beyond Designs, I knew it was a perfect fit. My little Mischief is FOUR and a whirlwind of a tornado. Their clothing is perfect for the birthday photos we all treasure so much.

Needing a big brother or sister outfit for the hospital? They’ve got you covered!

Head over to their site Bump and Beyond Designs and use code - lollipopsandhoney -

For Free Shipping on all domestic orders!

Have a sweet four-year-old who isn't the rowdiest little fournado?

 Image via Bump & Beyond Designs

Image via Bump & Beyond Designs

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MEET LOLLIPOPS AND HONEY

MEET LOLLIPOPS AND HONEY

Hey all! I’m Sarah-creator of Lollipops and Honey. Put up your heels and stay awhile. I’m a wife, mommy, fur mama, children's books collector, and movie quoter. My husband and I met in kindergarten and we’ve been following each other around ever since. He stuck with me during my middle school braces phase and a really bad 2001 Britney Spears haircut. If that’s not true love, then I don’t know what is. I’m a stay-at-home mama to two littles who keep me busy playing trains and cleaning up piles of Puffs off the floor. If I'm not cleaning up after my kiddos, I'm vacuuming up tufts of dog hair from my two 70-pound labbie girls. They have my heart. One sleeps on my feet and the other on my pillow. I’m a crazy dog lady. Sorry not sorry. I ride or die by Friends quotes and I’m a tween at heart. Having grown up as a 90’s girl I love to blare a hot jam. Patios are my happy place. Mango margaritas on a hot afternoon and iced coffees on my front porch are my love language.

Moms need a break too, am I right?

We all do. It’s the only way to survive this parenting thing. I left teaching to be a SAHM and haven’t looked back. Teaching is a job that follows you no matter where you go. With a Masters in Early Childhood Education, I’ve taught nursery school, three and four-year-old prek, first grade, and third grade. I’ve taught children of all abilities and even overseas. Working with toddlers in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England is truly the shining star on my resume. The UK does is right. Teaching English tots and studying British culture was the icing on the cake to wrap up my Masters program. The idea for this blog popped into my head years ago while I was in grad school. I was sitting in class, one of my favorite places to get rejuvenated for teaching the next day. This sounds silly. Most people find sitting in class to be such a drag. And yes, it can be for sure. But, sitting amongst peers and discussing early childhood education is like therapy for me. Asking questions. Getting answers. Light bulb! What if other parents could find this therapy too? All in one place. Navigate the expectations. The rules. The judging. Oh my, the judging.

It’s hard to be a mom these days.

Fast-forward five years. A wedding and two kids later. Life happens y’all. It really does. The Lollipops and Honeybee kept buzzing at me day in and day out. Play dates would turn into lectures with me answering questions about bedtimes, schedules, eating habits, and behavior issues. Now I know I don’t have all the answers. What mom does? Some days I’m certain I won’t make it till 5:15 when Daddy gets home. Some days I cry. A lot. Some days I hit up naptime happy hour. I tell myself it’s cool because Jimmy Buffett is in Margaritaville raising his glass in approval. A glass of Cab and a chocolate chip cookie can always turn my frown upside down.

One of my favorite things to do is bake. I grew up in the kitchen watching my mom make piecrusts with the perfect amount of flakiness. My grandmother is famous for Lemon Icebox Pie and I don’t enjoy a holiday without it. I like to bake things even if I’m not going to eat them. After having two kids it’s better that I don’t eat them. I pawn them off on my neighbors. I’m lucky enough to live next door to two other bakers. It’s embarrassing how many nap times one of us has texted the other needing shortening, brown sugar, almond bark, peanut butter, or Ziploc bags. Put it on my tab guys! Thankfully, they share too. I always knew I wanted to share my love for cooking with my kids. Check back each Wednesday on our cooking blog for #wecookwednesday. Mr. Mischief and I will be sharing project-based kid-friendly recipes for the kiddos in the kitchen. Kids will learn about new foods, how to prep and cook, and gain confidence from the experience, not the finished product. Create lasting memories with your family. Thinking about Christmas Eves spent making cookies and homemade marshmallows seriously makes me giddy. Sorry to break it to you. But, I’m pretty old school.

I believe parenting really does take a village.

We all need a tribe.

I started Lollipops and Honey to help other parents find the resources they need for the hard stuff. And the fun stuff. How can I make it through a road trip without a DVD player in the back of my seat? How can I get my three-year-old to stop screaming every time we go to the grocery store? What food can I make with my kiddos that will instill lasting memories and make awesome #tbt pics? We’ll cover all of that. Stick around; we’re just getting started. You can follow along here on our blog or on Instagram.

Photography via

 

WHY I DON'T COUNT TO 3

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WHY I DON'T COUNT TO 3

Before I had kids I would do my grocery shopping blissfully unaware of the moms soldiering through their midday errands. I would peruse the racks and wander aimlessly through shampoos, shoes, picture frames and markers. Can you guess where I love shopping? It’s okay; I know you love it too. Shopping was so random and carefree. Maybe I’d see a friend and we’d chat mid-makeup aisle for 15 minutes about concealers or eyeliner. Important stuff you know. Then I’d spend another 45 minutes checking out which DVDs I surely needed. Now, let me wake up from my dream and do a current run-through of said shopping trip. Dollar bin grabbing, baby eating my scribbled shopping list, toddler eating puffs and yogurt bites in the bucket seat of the cart. I see my friend in the makeup aisle but run in the other direction so she won’t see the baby poop on my shirt or my mismatched socks. There's also a white cake line of dry shampoo that I didn't get fully dissolved on to my scalp. I shopped solo so long ago that they don’t even sell DVDs anymore. I think. Who knows? The only TV shows in existence I know of have talking trains and puppy law enforcers. Long gone are the days of grazing the deodorant brand labels to decide which scent offered the greatest appeal for my armpits. It’s pretty obvious I had too much time on my hands. Who am I kidding? I’ve used the exact same scent and brand since the Backstreet Boys were on the radio. Nowadays, I listen to BSB on #tbt satellite and jam out when I’m in the car alone. Nothin like a 90's hot jam to get my car bumpin hard. If I am lucky enough to be alone for one hour you better believe I’m headed back to my shopping sanctuary. Ah bliss. Grab a coffee. Phone on silent. Shop time ladies-Bout to drop some dough up in here! The other day I was at said store and happened to see a fellow mom trucking it through the dollar bins with three kids in tow. She too had her coffee in one hand (mom life!) and pushing the cart with the other. I nodded and gave her my mom salute. You know the one. The silent, kind of half smile with a shrug. We may be strangers but you understand I have kids at home and I feel your grocery pains my friend.

Before I could grab a set of chalkboard stickers, the oldest of her darling trio is ransacking the shelves and demanding some toy I had never heard of before. I mean I get it kid. I want every toy in those dollar bins too. But do I throw a tantrum every time I can’t buy a fall décor pennant banner or new pink plastic cup with a lid and straw? Okay, okay, sometimes I do but man that store knows its audience. I’m frozen in my tracks waiting what will happen next. Do I stay? Do I go? What do I do with my hands? Tantrum ensues. The kind of tantrum that starts making heads turn. The man in the checkout line with nothing but socks is surely hurrying through his checkout to get back to his quiet lunch break. Another older woman scurries away. At what point do people forget they’ve been in this exact same situation? (Boggles me.) Now this boy has decided he needs these crayons like a MOFO. At this point, I’m trying not to make eye contact and pretending I can’t hear this fight escalating. I hear her trying and pleading. “NO, we’re not getting that toy today.” He cries louder. “You have two like that at home.” Louder and throwing now. “If you don’t stop crying we’re not going out to lunch.” Oh man, this is going nowhere fast. Then I hear it. Her voice is getting slower and steadier. Her eyebrows are rising to that I mean business level. He's in for it now! “Don’t make me count to 3.” Abort, abort!! “1. 2. 3.” Total standoff. He’s holding the toy. She’s glaring. (I’m hiding.) The other two snackstealers are just watching and taking mental notes on how to pull this trick the next time they’re at a toy store. The younger two are certain their oldest brother is some sort of genius sent to guide them through their childhood years by a toy manufacturing fairy godmother. The mom tried to put the toy back on the shelf only to have him fully erupt in tears. Past the point of reason and bless her, she gave in and they went on their merry way to the clothes section. Let me tell you guys, those tears dried up QUICK. The screaming was over faster than I could pull my phone out to snapchat this ordeal. The boy, full of smiles, holding his cherished new possession that will no doubt be tossed into a heap once he’s home. The mom, looking defeated, but alas, she’s just trying to buy herself some milk, a bottle of MidolPM, or heaven forbid a new hair dryer in some peace.

Now, I have caught myself from time to time in this same loophole of doom. The count to 3 hole of darkness if you will. Listen friends, you don’t want to go there. Why you ask? You’ll never get out. Ever. Those numbers will chew you up and spit you right back out. Do you remember when your parents used those numbers on you? Those numbers meant nothing to you right? Well, guess what. They mean even less to your kids. It’s 2016.  Kids are warriors these days. They pretty much come out of the womb knowing how to write code. What did that boy actually think was going to happen when she got to 3? Was she going to spank him? No. Was she going to take the toy, throw it two aisles over, and make a run for it? No. Was she honestly going to do anything? No. The biggest downside to “counting to 3” is that all it really does is give the child the power. It's about as effective as the undereye cream I know isn't helping these mom bags. They get to decide what they are going to do once you get to 3. They get 3 whole seconds to decide how they’re going to play you. And play you like a fiddle they will. I know, I know. Sometimes it’s easier to let the kiddos win these little battles because we’re sure we are going to win the war. But, are we? We think to ourselves that next time will be different! We will be stronger! When in reality, all we’ve done is perpetuate a cycle of toy greediness. Next time they go shopping who wants another toy and knows how to get it? Who knows how many buttons to push and how many octaves to yell before mommy folds? Children are like pack hunters. Pushing us into just the right spot before they get what they want. This poor momma had no idea she was walking into the velociraptor cage on Jurassic World.

We have to stay on the offense. Be strong. Truth be told, the whole situation could’ve been avoided if she’d walked straight by those bins and hauled that cart to the back of the store. Or, held really strong at: we’re not getting that toy today. She for real lost him once they started volleying. Say no and push that cart with all you got. Done and done. Once you start bargaining, pleading, and power struggling it’s like trying to run your first 10K. It’s hard. Real hard. You won’t have the momentum like you did at the beginning and you can’t get it back. I know she meant well. Hey, we all do! She tried to tell him no and then pulled out the -get ready for it- big guns with threatening to count to 3. Which had about as much weight to it as the feather floating in the opening credits of Forrest Gump. Mommas, you’ve gotta be strong. Hold your ground. Say no and move on. Literally and physically. The best way to end those tantrums is to move to a new location or abandon ship altogether and try the store another day. Out of sight out of mind. Kids have a crazy rebound rate and they’ll be better off for hearing the word: no. They like to know their limits. They like to know their expectations. As parents, we have to set those limits and expectations. Children thrive in an environment with choices and natural consequences. This helps them feel safe and secure. Grocery shopping will always be there. Toys will always be there. We don’t want to dread the store for 18 years do we? This best course of action is to warn them in the car. We are not buying toys today. Here is our list. This is what we need. Maybe next time. When I load up both kids for the grocery store I have to mentally prepare for the toy fight that I know is coming. But I know where I stand and know that if my kids can handle hearing no when they are children, then by golly they can handle hearing it when they are adults. 

This is the first post in our parenting series. Stay tuned!

Photography by target.

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