The Friday Five

Amelia on the swings | March 2015 | SimpleKids.netSpring! Actual, real warm weather! Hooray!

1. My grandmother passed away on February 28. She was 95 years old and we miss her very much. When I mentioned on social media that she had passed away, several of you shared some books that helped your children through the grieving process. I really appreciated this and I’m working on making a list of all of those books as well as a few recommendations of my own. If you have any recommendations that should be included in this list, leave me a note in the comments. Thanks!

2. It’s been “essentials only” around here the past week. And that’s okay. I’ve been remembering the 80/20 rule and giving myself grace.

3. In the midst of all of this, my son Max earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. Martial arts is something new to our family, as Max has only been taking classes for a few months, but I think it is safe to say that my son has found the thing that clicks with him. He loves it! Isn’t is a great feeling when you see your child in their element?

4. Speaking of being in their element, Max totally flipped for his most recent Tinker Crate on hydraulics. Note that I am an affiliate for Tinker Crate, so if you make a purchase through that link, SimpleKids earns a small amount (thanks!)

Here’s a quick video of the hydraulic assembly he and Lucy made this past week:

5. Last week we took the kids to Comic Con (because the family that geeks out together, stays together) and while we were there we met The Art of Charles Thurston who creates family friendly art for geeks!

Charles Thurston - family friendly art for the geek at heartCharles is a father of two who was looking for a way to share the stories he loves with his kids, but in a non-scary, family friendly way. He’s got some books he’s illustrated and written that are so cute and the artwork? Love. You can check out his work at his etsy shop.

art of Charles Thurston

And that’s the Friday Five for this week. Have a lovely weekend, friends!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle


Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle. You should know that while I did purchase this bundle for myself, I have not personally read every ebook or taken every ecourse included.

In December 2013 I turned 40 and I decided that 2014 would be my year of being BRAVE. My family is very important to me, but I was not taking very good care of myself and it affected how I cared for them.

Instead of spending all of my time and energy caring for other people, I started to put myself first in some areas and concentrated on doing things that made me happy and on breaking habits that were destructive to my physical and mental health. It was a year full of changes that required a little courage on my part, because putting myself first isn’t something I’m used to.

I started exercising again (and re-discovered my love for it) and I started making a better effort to get more sleep at night. I began journaling again, taking more time to read, and I started to pay more attention to the food I was nourishing my body with. I took some of the same love and care I’d been showing my family with all of these years and began to apply it to myself.

Oh, and I also dyed my hair green (but that’s another story).

It was a life-changing year for me, full of joy that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been willing to be brave and face the changes that needed to be made in my life. I want to continue with that momentum in 2015.

What about YOU, my friends? Are you where you want to be?

How many times have you “tried harder” to improve your health? How many times have you “tried harder” than the last time, only to fail again?

Here’s a secret: Trying harder has never been your issue.

Instead, you should be trying different. Trying simpler.

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Kiddin’ Around in December and our Holiday Book List

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever | SimpleKids.netNote: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

We’ve been having a pretty slow December so far, and I’ve mostly been staying away from the computer, but I want to make sure that I sit down and write some things down so that I can remember them. After all, this blog is probably the only baby book my youngest kids are going to have.

So, without any further delay, welcome to Kiddin’ Around, where I share different activities, games, crafts, and links the kids and I have loved as a way of sharing the fun but also to help me add these moments to our family memory bank.

Right now my kids are ages 3, 6, 8, and 12 or preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and seventh grade.

Here’s how we have been kiddin’ around:

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