Make Summer Sun Safety a Breeze with SwimZip UV Swimwear for Kids and Adults #BareFeetontheBeach

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Welcome to the #BareFeetontheBeach blog series! Today is the first in a series of beach themed posts I’ll be sharing while we make our way across the country toward our own beach vacation. Follow along on Instagram as I share our road trip adventures. We love to play outside all year round, but after a scare with precancerous moles a few years ago I’ve become more proactive about sun safety. My darling daughter has the fairest skin around, so I know I’ll have to be extra vigilent with her all summer and especially on our beach trip.  When I saw the zipper swimwear created by SwimZip on Shark Tank, I knew the company had a genius idea. How many of you have ever wrestled a kid in to or out of a wet swim suit or rash guard? *Raises hand* It is ridiculously frustrating, as is lathering every inch of your wee ones with sunscreen only to have it come off as soon as they get wet. I reached out to Betsy (the head mompreneur) to review SwimZip UV Swimwear, and I’ll share our full review below.

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Easy Firework Finger Painting for Toddlers and Preschool Kids

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Finger painting with toddlers and little kids may sound like a total disaster waiting to happen, but I promise it can be fun and painless. All you need is construction paper and washable paint. For this project, I offered the kids a red, white, and blue palette and asked them to create fireworks. Pearl girl obviously had no idea what I was talking about, but Bear knows what they are and went for it immediately. You can read more about stress free finger painting with toddlers here, and read on to learn how we made this project flow with minimal chaos and only a minor mess. 🙂

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This was the Pearl Girl’s first foray in to finger painting, and she did well for about 10 minutes. I feel pretty great about that for a 14 month old. She really liked the feel of the paint on her fingers and patting it down on the paper. I set out four color options on a disposible paper plate. Only put out as much paint as you think they’ll need for one painting at a time. I gave each child a piece of paper and had Bear show PG how to do it. I guided her first few strokes and then she got the hang of it quickly. The Bear will paint happily for about 20 minutes now at age 3.

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Let go of any image of Pinterest perfection and let your kids have a blast being creative. We’ve been reading a book about Franklin the Turtle being an artist, so the Bear believes he is one. I think every kid does until someone tells them different. Artistic expression is important for development and doesn’t have to be difficult for parents and caregivers to execute.

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Clean up is so easy during the summer. I turn on the hose and let the kids splash the paint away, then turn the hose on our mini picnic table to wash it down. Leave the paintings out to dry and head in for a snack. You can find one of the ways we preserve kid art at no cost here. Happy Independence Day America!


Teaching Courage with the Help of Disney Planes #PlanestotheRescue

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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Kids are funny. Just when you think you have them figured out, they throw you for a loop. Our son recently developed a fear of shadows in his room at night. I’m talking a wake up screaming bloody murder, wake the neighbors and his baby sister, traumatizing for everyone involved fear. It came out of the blue and we had no idea what to do about it. We prayed with him and snuggled him and tried to reason with him. Nothing worked until we decided to talk about courage. Being the Disney obsessed family that we are, we used his current favorite movie, Planes, to help teach him to be brave and courageous like his buddy Dusty.

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Eleanor Pearl at One Year

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Our darling girl turned one this spring, and I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. I photographed her each month on a quilt made by my great grandmother, Alice.  The color looks a bit different with changing lighting and effects, but I love how you can see her grow with the pattern of the quilt. Our Ellie Pearl girl is a delight and a challenge and a dream. She is fiesty and full of energy, and a girl who knows her mind. She has no fear and no sense of self preservation. She keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing. She is such a gift and blessing to our family, and it is pure joy to be her mama.

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Family Travel: Visiting Vail in the Summer with Kids #Colorado

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Colorado in the summer is perfection. Crisp, cool air, mountain vistas, playing outside without sweating… what’s not to love? We visited Vail, Colorado, with our family when the Bear was just a toddler and today I’m sharing our favorite things to do in the area with kids. Vail is famous for winter ski slopes and luxury vacations. We managed to have a frugal vacation in the area during the summer and it was awesome. Here are our favorite things about visiting Vail in the summer with kids.

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Play Outside: Tips for Taking Your Kids on a Nature Walk

This play idea is brought to you by Knoala – Raise Happier Kids. Knoala is a free app that offers activities for parents to enjoy with infants to preschoolers.

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We love to go on nature walks with our kids. Playing outside is a daily activity at our house, and we try to make everythine we do an adventure and a learning experience without making it complicated. Recently I downloaded the new Knoala app and used it to take our nature walks to the next level. Don’t worry, I wasn’t on my phone during our walk. I clicked on to Knoala before we left and found a few ideas for our walk to get the kids to notice everything around me. They responded really well, and we felt like super fun parents.

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Festive Fourth of July Wreath ~ Burlap + Tulle + Chevron

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Summer is in full swing and Independence Day is right around the corner for those of us in the United States. I created this simple and festive Fourth of July wreath for the holiday using my interchangeable burlap wreath form, ribbon, and tulle. My design could easily be shifted for other holidays or national colors. It was so easy and only took about half an hour from start to finish, since I already had the burlap wreath form created. Read on to find out how to make one for yourself.

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Family Travel: 20 Fun Ways to Entertain Preschool Kids while Traveling

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Every time we tell friends about our family travel plans with two kids under three, they look at us like we are crazy. We may very well be, but we love to travel and are almost done with our first adventure of the summer and preparing for our next one. Today I’m sharing 20 tips for entertaining preschool kids while traveling, and I hope they will be as useful to you as they have been to us. We love to travel and to take our kids along, so keeping them entertained is a must for our sanity.

We’ve been living and working at Camp Buckner, a beautiful camp in the Texas Hill Country for the last 2 1/2 weeks serving with Young Life. Traveling to and living at camp is challenging, but we are using it as a test run for our big 4 week road trip coming up later this summer. In July we will head out to Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss our adventures.

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Cloth Diaper Hacks: Use {Almost} Any Cloth Diaper as a Swim Diaper

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Summer is in full swing and we are basically living in the pool. Our Pearl Girl is a total water baby and wants to kick and splash just like her big brother. We have a few specific cloth swim diapers for her to use, but I want to let you in on a little secret I learned with the Bear. Almost ANY cloth diaper can work as a swim diaper. It’s true! We have used Bummis, Bumgenius, and Softbums shells as swim diapers and they all work perfectly.

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How to Host a Creative Playdate #UltimatePlayDate

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. Ready to host a playdate where the kids get to explore creative activities and have a blast? I’ve got a few easy tips and ideas to share with you so you can host the #UltimatePlaydate. I love giving kids room to create and express themselves artistically, so we hosted a group of sweet little friends and their mommies for a lovely morning of creative play. Creating your own artsy playdate is easy and so much fun.

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