The 5 Easiest Houseplants You Need to Buy.

If you LOVE the look of plants, but are afraid to kill them, you’ve come to the right post. I’ve put together my list of the 5 easiest houseplants you need to buy!

I promise they’ll thrive under your care.

Note, there aren’t any succulents, strings of things, or spider plants on here. They are way more difficult. I’ve killed all three of those ‘easy’ plants!

So dig in and reap the information I have for you! (I had to get one pun in…)

Pothos

The one type of plant I would recommend to every one are pothos.

They’re hands down the easiest plant to care for. You only need to water when their soil is dry. If you forget, they’ll forgive you!

Even though the Golden Pothos is the most basic houseplant, it’s so beautiful. You can up it’s variegation by placing it in a spot that gets more light. You can even put it outside, in the shade, during the summer.

If you want more variety, there’s so many different types of pothos. My favorite is between the marble and manjula.

I also love that most pothos are adorable. Of course, there are some rare ones that go for more. But, you can go to Lowe’s or any big box store and find a golden pothos for a good price.

Trust me, if you want to try caring for plants, start with a pothos!

Philodendrons

Philodendrons and pothos get mistaken quite a lot. Once you get familiar with the two rules, you’ll be able to instantly spot their differences.

This type of plants has a ton of varieties. Way more than pothos. There’s one specific philodendron called a Pink Princess that goes foe a ton of money. You can find good priced ones that are just as beautiful though.

My two favorite and the easiest to take are of are the philodendron brasil and the basic heart leaf philodendron.

Again, these plants are a breeze. Water when their soil is dry. These guys like a little more humidity too. It helps the new leaves unfurl. Other than that, they’re simple!

Have fun checking out all the beautiful varieties of philodendrons. You’ll find one to fall in love with!

Snake Plants

Snake plants are another plant I’d recommend to everyone. It’s very hard to kill a snake plant!

These plants can tolerate low lights and don’t need watered constantly. Of course, they’ll grow faster with more light. Remember: there’s no plant that is a no light plant!

I love snake plants because they’re very… interesting looking. They’re like little swords sticking out of the pot.

Again, you can find different types of snake plants. I love the darker kinds.

This is another easy plant to find in big box stores. They’re also really adorable, even for huge ones.

If you’re a person who forgets to water your plants, try one of these!

ZZ Plants

I have a small collection of different types of ZZ Plants. My favorite is the Raven ZZ, which leaves are black.

ZZ’s and snake plants have similar care needs. They can tolerate low light and drought conditions. Yet, I am just in love with how these plants look. That’s why I have so many.

These guys are a little more difficult to find than the others. Lately, Raven ZZ’s have been in stores, but not regular ones.

It’s all about the hunt.

If you master snake plants and want to branch out, definitely get yourself a ZZ plant!

Monstera Deliciosa

When you think of a popular plant, monsteras are probably the first that come to mind.

They just look tropical and eye-catching.

There’s a ton of varieties monsteras, but the deliciosa is the most popular. Let’s not mention their variegated counterparts. Those can go for a TON of money.

Monstera Deliciosas need medium light. Mine is right by a bright window and my humidifier. They’re watering needs depend on the season. In the summer I water way more! I can tell it needs water when the first two inches of soil are dry. So yes, I put my fingers in the dirt to check. You can also get a moisture meter!

These guys take a little more care than the other ones on the list. They’re still not hard though!

Plus, they’re one of the most beautiful plants. They get really big and their fenestrations are breath taking. This was one of my first plants and I still have it!

You can also check out the two adansonii varieties. They’re just as amazing as the deliciosa.

I hope that you can make a planty purchase here soon. Houseplants are a fabulous way to practice self care and bring you happiness all year long!

Do you agree or disagree with my list? Either way, let me know what your favorite plant is too!

If you’d like to see more of my plants and the journey through plant parenthood, follow my planty Instagram.

Support Local: The Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County.

Mila and I got all dressed up to meet some friends for a play! It was Mila’s first. She was so excited to see The Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County put on The Little Mermaid.

Okay… she was way more excited than this picture shows. This was after watching and she was tired!

The play took place at Dover High School‘s auditorium. It provided comfy seats, a decently sized stage, and an overall nice atmosphere.

I will say… Mila and I did get lost finding the restrooms though.. oops!

We met Mila’s dance friend, her sister, and mom there. The girls were SO excited to see Ariel. The potential of meeting here was in the air. All they had to do was watch one of their favorite stories unfold in front of their eyes.

Since it was there first play, we explained how they worked. The lights would dim when they play would start. We had to stay quiet while the lights were dim and they were on stage. Clap after the songs. No eating and drinking while we were watching.

The first time they saw Ariel was like magic. Every time she left the stage, they wondered where she went!

It was so cute seeing their excitement and hearing their little chatter. Thankfully the people in front of us didn’t mind toddler talk and their seats being touched.

Honestly, hearing all the kids in the theatre made it extra adorable.

The play would be in two parts with an intermission in between. I’d say the break was definitely needed with two three year olds.

Although I won’t give too much away about the play (you know the story), the intermission took place right after Ariel lost her voice. Hopefully if you go the next two nights, this can help you plan for your littles.

During intermission, the girls took some pictures, ate a snack, and got some of Ariels treasures!

Her treasures were some mermaid inspired merchandise. Mila got a necklace, ring, lipgloss, tattoo, and shell. They also had crowns, keychains, and so much more.

One really cool option was writing a note to a cast member. Mila and the girls chose to write their note to Ariel!

During the second part of the play, the girls were getting tired. Somehow knowing they were about to meet their favorite mermaids kept them awake.

Honestly, I was so impressed by the play. It’s the first local one I’ve been to in a couple years. The actors were amazing. I laughed so many times throughout the entire thing. Sebastian had me laughing out loud every time he was in stage! The music and singing amazed me too. On top of that, the props and costumes were on point too.

It was just such a great play.

As they play ended, the girls knew it was time to meet all of their favorite characters. It was so interesting watching Mila interact with different characters.

She ran up to King Triton and gave him a big hug. On our way home, she told me, “Ariel’s daddy is so cute!” No wonder why she ran up to him then! When she saw Sebastian, she had to go talk to him too.

I mean, just look at their costumes!

Then, she saw Ursula. Mila refused to even stand beside her. I absolutely loved her costume, makeup, and performance. It’s quite comical that Mila wanted nothing to do with her. She knows she’s ‘evil’ in the movie.

The girls met other cast members and took their pictures. Mila also did not want a picture with Flounder or Prince Eric. I found this perplexing because she loves watching them.

While we were meeting with other characters, Ariel snuck in the room.

Mila was so giddy and just happy to see her.

The actress was so patient and gave each child time to talk. I think that’s such an important thing to do when portraying a Disney princess. It’s a huge deal for kids and she understood that.

I wish I could tell her thank you again!

The night was absolutely beautiful. We got to spend it with great friends watching an amazing performance! The added bonus of meeting Mila’s favorite characters just made it sweeter.

Although the rest of The Little Mermaid performances are sold out, you should still check out The Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County. They put on different shows throughout the year. I can only imagine they’re as great as this one!

I can’t wait to see what they put on next year for the kids. Mila and I will definitely go.

Maybe one day she’ll want to try theatre too. Who knows? No matter what she does, I’ll be there cheering her on.

Until then, Mila and I have plenty of mommy-daughter date nights ahead.

What was your or your child’s first play?

If you’d like to support The Little Theatre of Tuscarawas County, check out their website. They provide a ton of great ways to get involved with local arts.

5 Tips to Help Your Toddler Swim Without Floaties

Mila has always loved the pool.

Her first summer, we were constantly in the pool. She seemed to be at her happiest when we dance around and swam, so that’s what we did. It helped become familiar with the water and gave her a lot of pool confidence early on.

The next summer, I worried whether or not she would like it as much. But, she loved it and had no fear of getting in with her floaties.

Last summer, she mastered jumping in by herself (with her puddle jumper) and swimming to one of us. It felt like a victory! We spent so much time during our COVID summer swimming around.

When this summer came along, I wondered what she would want to try this year. I had no idea she’d be confident enough for no floaties.

I will say, my anxiety definitely stepped up. All the thoughts of what could go wrong flashed through my head. Yet, when I saw her excitement and determination to do it, I calmed down a little.

Since it’s been a process, I figured I’d share some tips that worked for us through it with other parents.

1. Set rules.

This was so big for my anxiety and Mila being pool safe. Not everyone’s rules will look the same, here’s ours.

  • You have to wear floaties if there’s other kids in the pool.
  • You don’t have to wear floaties if there’s an adult in the pool already.
  • If you’re practicing swimming without, you have to have an adult beside you.
  • When swimming between adults, let them know where you’re going.
  • Only jump in without floaties if someone’s there watching.
  • There has to be breaks.

These are the rules that work for us. My main focus is Mila’s safety. I want her to know she cannot swim without floaties by herself. She seems to be receptive with our rules too.

Although she does like to challenge us and push her limits.

2. Be confident and open.

Toddlers and kids can immediately tell what their parents are feeling. If you’re not confident and open to the situation, they’ll feel that.

At first, I was really anxious about it all. She was too! The more I let myself be okay with her swimming by herself, the more confident and stronger she became.

I think by having some sort of rules and guidelines for her, it calmed my anxiety too.

3. Get active with them.

Monkey see monkey do, right?

To put it out there, you can teach your child to swim confidently if you’re not in there with them.

While we’re in the pool, there’s someone showing Mila different ways to swim. Or they’re going under water with her. Just being active and involved goes a long way.

I also think the more she sees confident swimmers, the quicker she’s going to get there too.

4. Give them feedback.

At the beginning of this no floaty journey, I felt like I nit picked everything she was doing. Just because I wanted her to be safe.

Now, I’ve been able to give her constructive feedback.

The biggest one I’m always saying is to use big arms. She forgets halfway through to keep moving them. Once she’s reminded, she does it the next time. It’s all just a learning process!

Obviously, try not to bombard them with feedback. That can be discouraging, but there is a good balance to keep them safe and swimming.

5. Have FUN!

As with anything, the most important thing is to have fun!

I encourage Mila to jump in and show me different tricks. That’s always a hit! When we’re in the pool, we have races and make waves too. We make sure to play games while she has her floaties on too. Some games we play are hide-and-seek and building forts.

The stronger she gets as a swimmer, the more games we’ll get to play. I know she’s really excited to be able to dive for diving sticks and toys.

I hope our experience with swimming and these tips can help you with your toddler or child too!

What are some of your tips and tricks that helped you or your child swim?

Toddler Activity: Marshmallow Painting

S’mores are obviously a huge part of our summer. We have tons of fires and we’re always craving the gooey treat. Sometimes, you can have a ton of leftover marshmallows. Instead of just throwing them away before they get hard, try this Marshmallow painting.

It’s a fun way for kids to play with their food and wait for the s’mores to get done!

If you’re by the campfire making s’mores, you have almost everything you’ll need.

  • Marshmallows
  • Paint
  • Sticks
  • Canvas

To start this activity off, I had Mila go find sticks. It gave her some time to explore and find the perfect ones.

While she was doing that, I prepped the painting area. All you need to do is find a spot for your canvas, get a palette (I used old cardboard) to put the paint, and get out marshmallows.

Once Mila got back with the sticks, I stuck the sticks in the marshmallows to make a ‘brush.’

Before she started painting, I asked her to tell me a campfire story through her art. So, while she was painting, she was telling a big story. Everyone color represented something different.

The storytelling part of this activity is my favorite! People have been telling stories around the fire since the first humans.

I can’t remember exactly what Mila’s was about. There were a lot of details.

What I do recall is the story was about me, Mila, and Max. We rode on a bike to get plants and a tree. She was purple, I was pink, Max was orange, the plants and tree were green, the bike was blue, and there’s some colors she used again that I don’t remember why.

I should have been recording her tell the story, but I didn’t think about it until after. Either way, when I look at her little painting, I smile.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a little s’more and told more stories. It was such a fun activity to start our evening. Summer nights like these are my absolute favorite.

In the next week or so, I hope I can start writing down her stories. She’s been telling a lot of them and I want to make sure I always remember. When I do, I’ll make sure to write a post about it in case you’d like to do something similar.

Have you ever painted with marshmallows before? If not, what’s your favorite camping or summer craft you did as a child?

Here’s some other summer/camping crafts you might want to check out too!

10 Thoughts On Taking a Toddler Fishing

A few weekends ago, Mila went fishing for the first time.

We decided to go for Father’s Day. It’s been a while since my dad and I have went, but we had been talking about it in front of Mila. She had been asking for days and it felt like the perfect time. Father’s Day weekend was a free fishing weekend, so we got a few fishing poles and found a spot by the lake.

What I didn’t realize was how different fishing was with a toddler. Just like my thoughts on Mila’s dance class, I knew I had to share what was going on in my head here too.

Feel free to laugh along with me.

What’s the difference between worms and night crawlers?

Seriously though… what’s the difference? Plus, is it really kosher that I’m buying whatever they are at a gas station? Either way, thank goodness I don’t have to touch them. Maybe Mila will be braver than me.

There’s a lot of gear and snacks that go into fishing.

Fishing pole. Check. Kid’s fishing pole. Check. Snacks. Check. Chairs to sit in. Check.

Did I forget something? Probably.

Thank goodness Papa is here to get everything in working order.

If it was just Mila and I today, there wouldn’t be a ton of fishing. It’d be more of me chasing her around than casting out and catching! She’s grossed out by the worms… I guess we have more jobs for Papa.

It’s time to fish!

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Our poles are ready. Mila is excited to catch a big fish. Let’s see if we can…

HOOOOOOOK!

Toddlers and sharp objects are not a good combination. Especially when said sharp objects are being hurled through the air. I guess we should have started with some ground rules to begin with and a few practice casts.

Why am I doing more fishing than her?

After the first few casts and no fish, Mila is highly disappointed.

Apparently in her mind they were all going to flock to the worm/night crawlers. I guess no one sent out the being patient while fishing memo to her.

I got one!

Cue the yelling to Mila to help me reel the fish in. As she ran over, I realized I probably scared the rest of the fish away, but this was a BIG moment for her.

No, you don’t have to touch the fish.

After the intense reeling, she eyes up her prize. Once it starts wiggling around, she’s not so sure about touching it. Finally, I convince her to pet it before we throw it back in. Of course, Papa had another job of unhooking it.

Thankfully, Mila stepped up and threw it back in the lake.

I need to catch all the fish for her!

Hours seem to pass quickly and her excitement makes me want to catch even more. We do our normal fish routine, but mixed in is the patience memo she missed.

I guess the boredom helped her get more brave in touching the worms.

This is pretty relaxing.

As it’s time to pack up, the day has been quite relaxing… minus the almost getting hooked every time Mila casted out and the persistent whining. Right before we leave, Mila proclaims that next time we catch a really big fish so we can eat it.

I guess that’s a goal and story for another time.

Have you ever been fishing with your child? If so, what was your favorite part of the experience?

Looking for other camping related activities? Check out these fun ones.

S’mores Banana Boats

After a weekend full of fireworks, bonfires, and food, I had to share my latest creation. This time I skipped the strawberries and used bananas instead!

Of course, it’s s’mores related.

Since everyone loved the Whole Strawberry S’more, I knew the S’mores Banana Boats would be a hit.

So, let’s talk about the obvious, the strawberry s’more looked a lot cuter than this.

It’s not easy taking pictures of bananas.

What you can tell from this picture is how ooey gooey this campfire favorite is. Once you have one bite, you’ll go back for more!

This campfire treat is perfect for those who don’t want to sit and hold a stick. Just have some tin foil handy, wrap it up, and throw it in the fire.

Here’s all you’ll need…

  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Foil
  • Tongs

One thing I’d suggest is to buy mini marshmallows. I thought I had some, but instead had the huge, flat ones. Don’t fret if you don’t have minis. You can easily tear them apart.

To start off, take your banana and slice it longwise down the middle.

You can stuff the chocolate and marshmallows in there tightly. I ended up taking some of the banana out to make some room.

This lessened the mess!

Then, I wrapped it in aluminum foil and placed it in the fire.

I’m not sure if the exact amount of time I had it in the fire because I kept checking it. It was probably around eight minutes.

Pretty much, you just want to make sure the chocolate gets melted and the marshmallow gets a little gooey. It probably would’ve taken less time if I hadn’t kept checking in on it!

Once it’s done, let the foil cool down, grab a spoon, and enjoy.

Like I said, it’s not the cutest thing to take a picture of, but this S’mores Banana Boat is absolutely delicious.

The next time you’re around the fire, try it out. You won’t be disappointed.

What’s your favorite campfire treat?

Before you go, check out what others moms across the Internet bring for their families to snack on while camping.

The Easiest Fourth of July Drink

It’s the weekend and time to celebrate. If you’re looking for the Easiest Fourth of July Drink, you’ve found it here!

All you need is two ingredients and you can make it kid friendly too.

This yummy drink doesn’t taste like a mouthful of alcohol and has the extra sweetness of the popsicles.

All you need are these two things:

  • Smirnoff Ice Red, White, and Berry
  • Popsicles (preferably the red, white, and blue rockets)

Yes! That’s it.

All you have to do it pour your Smirnoff Ice in a cup. Then dunk a popsicle.

It always makes me feel like a kid again when I incorporate parts of my childhood. This drink is NO different.

Believe me, the kids will want to join in too.

A perfect substitution is using Sprite or ginger ale with a popsicle. They won’t feel like they’re missing out at all. If your child is anything like Mila, she’ll want to do a cheers.

I figured I’d share a funny story about trying to make these and take pictures.

When I went in my freezer to grab the popsicles, the box was empty. Mila has been sneaking and eating them the last few days. Thankfully she’s thrown the wrappers away!

At this point in the game, it was impossible to find the right popsicles, but others taste just as good.

Just another instance in toddler life!

We hope you enjoy your Fourth of July weekend. I can’t wait to share our adventures with you all.

What’s your favorite red, white, and boozy drink?

Before you go, make sure to check out these other holiday drinks by my mom friends!

DIY Stars and Stripes Sign

Hello July!

I can’t think of a better way to start the month of than a DIY sign. Especially when a three year old is doing all the heavy lifting! With the Fourth of July right here, it seemed fitting to do a patriotic Stars and Stripes sign.

On Pinterest and Instagram, I’ve been seeing so many cute, patriotic signs. I knew Mila and I had to make one too. When I went to Joann Fabrics last, a wooden sign was calling out to me.

*I’ve looked all over Joann Fabrics’ website and Amazon to link the sign. There’s nothing comparable, but something still could be in your local craft store. Whenever I go, there’s a multitude of wood signs! Plus, you might find something else you like more!*

Unfortunately, I got too excited to actually take pictures of the plain wood. I painted the outside of the sign blue. Then, red and white went on the ‘stripes’ in the middle.

I just used craft paint and it worked fine!

Usually, I set up Mila’s activities and projects when she’s asleep or working on something else. When she saw me painting, she was not happy with me! She didn’t understand why she wasn’t painting either! Oops.

I promise the next part makes up for my apparent painting betrayal.

After the sign was dry, I laid out her part of the activity. She requested we use light blue in the sign too… which was a fantastic choice.

All we ended up using was:

Of course, I laid down brown paper to protect my table and a paper plate to dip in the paint.

Thankfully this isn’t the first time Mila has used something other than a brush to paint. She knew she had to push down hard to get the paint off.

It always amazes me how she creates art. I have no idea what her method is, but it always turns out so cute.

She ended up layering all the star sizes and blended the colors. I love how some of the stars turned out ombré from navy to light blue. The pops of light blue are actually my favorite.

Since the sign wasn’t huge, it didn’t take too long to fill the inside up.

I went back and forth on adding words or something on the blue ring of the sign. Eventually, I decided it was perfect how it was. I didn’t want anything to take away from the stars. Sometimes less is more.

If you can’t find star cookie cutters, sponges would be an amazing alternative. We haven’t used sponges to paint a ton, but it’s on our list this summer!

I am SO happy with how our DIY Stars and Stripes sign turned out. It’s proudly hanging on our front door now.

My favorite part is just making art with Mila. It’s something I’ll always treasure.

The next few days will be ones to treasure too! I’m excited to see her react to our community’s festivities and fireworks. As a child, I loved being around my family for the Fourth and hope Mila does too. Check out her second Fourth of July here.

I hope you have a fantastic July as well!

Do you craft or make signs for different holidays? If so, which is your favorite holiday to craft for?

Whole Strawberry S’more Recipe

It’s campfire season and I had to add my strawberry summer twist. If you’ve liked all my other strawberry recipes so far, you’re going to love this.

I actually saw this on a Tik Tok video and had to try it. Two of my favorite flavors are strawberry and s’mores.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything that screams summer more.

To make these, you’ll need:

This recipe is pretty self explanatory.

All you need to do is dip your strawberry in the marshmallow fluff. This is a little more difficult than I thought. The best way was to deeply dip the strawberry and twist. You can adjust how much marshmallow fluff gets on there!

Then, roast it like a marshmallow.

Seeing a strawberry roasting looked hilarious to me. It felt like I was roasting the biggest marshmallow ever!

Roast to your preferred marshmallow done-ness. I like mine slightly burnt.

The next part is MESSY… well it was for me.

Drizzle chocolate sauce over top the strawberry marshmallow combo. It might have been easier to dip it, but I just drizzled over a plate.

Now you’re ready to eat it!

Although I didn’t take a picture of it, I added crushed graham crackers to this whole strawberry s’more. It gave it the crunch that I love about s’mores.

Here’s a bonus strawberry s’mores idea.

Since I was just making random s’mores, I tried slicing strawberries and adding them to a regular s’more.

It’s a real game changer!

I loved both strawberry twisted s’mores, but loved the chocolate bar taste on this a little more.

Either way you make it, I’m telling you, add strawberries to your s’more agenda. It adds such a fresh bite to a sweet, summer treat.

Do you add any extras to your s’mores? Let me know in the comments.

Toddler Activity: Mermaid Swim Party

With summer heat waves, it can be hard to stay cool when you’re outside. Our favorite way is to add water play to our routine. This week started off with a Mermaid Swim Party.

Every day, I like to do a hands on activity with Mila. In the summer, that usually happens first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to set the mood and guarantees extra learning for the day!

A win-win right?

Since Mila loved the beach sensory play activity earlier this month, I thought I’d bring those themes back.

The best part, we used actual water this time!

A mermaid swim party wouldn’t be complete without these:

This activity was pretty simple to set up. The hardest part was getting the sprinkler in the hose.

All I did was setup the sprinkler (which wasn’t that hard at all), grab the items for the sensory bin, place them in, and fill up the bin with water. That’s all!

Before I let her play with the bin, we read a book. I believe reading books everyday is so crucial for a child’s development. They’re able to expand their vocabulary with every new word they here and start becoming familiar with sight words.

For this activity, we read That’s Not My Mermaid from the Usborne series.

It was a fun stepping stone to get her describing the differences of our mermaids during the activity. Plus, Usborne books are so educational. We love this series and find different ways to learn from it each time.

I would recommend the That’s Not My series to anyone!

After we read the book, I showed Mila her sensory bin and let her do whatever she wanted with it.

She went wild!

Between the water, the mermaids, and the sprinkler, she thought it was the best activity. I loved the way she reacted to it all. It’s always so much fun to see her growth through play.

I’d love to say I watched her the entire time, but she played with this activity for two hours. Yes. You read that right THREE HOURS.

For some reason, she really just thought this was a blast. We did different educational activities like talking about the resin letters and talking about the differences in the mermaids. She also loved pretending and making up stories about them.

At one point, Mila even got into the sensory tray to try to play with them more.

Eventually, after three hours, Mila was finally done with this activity and playing with the the hose. I was amazed that she was so engaged. It allowed me to wash the dishes, change the laundry, and tidy up. Of course, I kept checking on her, but it was hot!

Honestly, it makes me so happy to see how much she loves to play, use her imagination, and be outside. If creating simple activities helps, I’ll keep doing just that.

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the heat waves? Do you stay inside or like to play with or in water too?

Make sure to check out these other water inspired play ideas too!