25 Self Care Activities for August.

Hello August!

I’m completely shocked August is here. Summer is flying by, but there’s always time to focus on self care.

As parents, we sometimes forget to take care of our mental and physical health. It’s hard to fit it all in. Here are twenty-five self care activities that you can do all August long.

They can even be fun if you have littles with you too!

1. Take a walk

2. Read a book

3. Do a paint by number

4. Journal

5. Bake a cake

6. Listen to a podcast

7. Binge a new series

8. Go swimming

9. Take a drive

10. Tend plants

11. Visit a market

12. Go kayaking

13. Call a friend

14. Go to lunch

15. Buy your favorite coffee

16. Look at the stars

17. Pick flowers

18. Dance

19. Volunteer

20. Go on a walk

21. Cuddle an animal

22. Put new sheets on your bed

23. Take a phone free day

24. Go fishing

25. Try something new

No matter what you decide to do this month, make a little time just for you.

You are so important.

If you feel selfish for taking you time… your kids will benefit from your self care too! A happy mom or dad leads to happy kids.

You and your happiness matters.

What self care activity do you plan on doing this month? Any that you’d add to the list? Let me know in the comments.

Support Local: Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market

On Wednesdays, we go to the market. More specifically, we head to the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market in Dover, Ohio for food, entertainment, and a fun time.

Open every Wednesday from 3-7pm during the months of June to mid-October, the Market sets up at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds. It’s open rain or shine.

Anytime we can support local farmers, makers, and businesses, we do! So, we grab our canvas bags and go shopping.

Mila loves interacting with all the people and I love knowing where our food is coming from.

It’s a perfect combination.

It’s so fun watching Mila interact and explore different foods. She loves to pick out zucchini, all fruits, and flowers. I love that everyone is patient with her (and me too!). Somehow I feel like this is only going to strengthen her relationship with food.

My favorite part is trying out different vegetables than what we would normally pick out.

We’ve tried different squashes, baby carrots, and a vegetable called a kohlrabi. Kohlrabi looks like an alien vegetable, but tastes like cauliflower. I have a recipe I’m going to share soon with it.

We also love the homemade jams, puff corn, hot sauces, and flowers too. I guess you can say we like everything there.

Every time we go, Mila enjoys picking out fresh cut flowers to take home.

They add so much beauty to our home and are different every week we go. That’s the magic about buying local, it’s whatever is growing or read that week.

When you go to the Market, you’re not just going to get produce and leave.

The library brings crafts for kids every other week to do. You can either make them there or take them home to do later.

There’s usually entertainment, such as local bands and musicians too. Mila and her friends danced for a while one week. They had so much fun, as well as everyone else around too. It’s so special to watch a community come together and enjoy the moment.

Another added bonus is the food trucks and stands that join in on the fun.

I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but after I get back from shopping I get tired. Instead of rushing home to make food, we love ordering food and eating there. They usually have brick oven pizza that tastes so good!

Mila usually had sampled all of our produce by the end, but never turns down macaroons or ice cream!

Once you do get home to make meals, you won’t be disappointed.

Last week, I made an amazing BLT with all local ingredients. It honestly tasted fresh and so much better than usual. I definitely need to pick up more tomatoes and bread this week!

We hope that you can make it to the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market this year!

It’s a great event for our community, way to educate our kids about food, and help grow our local commerce. You might even get to try an out of this world vegetable too!

Just watch out for Mila pushing her cart!

If you’ve ever been to the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market, what’s your favorite thing about it?

My faraway friends, do you have a local farmers market you like to attend?

Explore the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

Mila and I love to find quirky, local adventures. One of our favorite places to explore is the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

It’s definitely worth the visit!

You’ll find this treasure located in downtown Sugarcreek, on the corner of Main Street and North Broadway.

We actually went to go out to the cuckoo clock, but got sidetracked by the Butterfly Exhibit at the Norma Johnson Center. If we’re nearby the clock, Mila and I like to get ice cream and watch the show.

It’s one of the places she asks to go quite frequently. I have no idea how she got so fascinated with it.

The clock plays it’s song and show every half hour in the summer. Its closed down in the winter, so be mindful of that if you’re planning a visit during the cooler months.

We got there a little early, so we walked around the block to explore… and take pictures.

The history of the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock is pretty cool. If you read the Ohio marker in the picture it tells you all about it.

Here’s a little recap of what it says:

Originally, the clock was at a local restaurant a few streets down. It was on the the cover of the Guinness Book of World Records in 1978. Then, after decades, it needed a major restoration. Two years after it was restored, the restaurant it was at closed down and the clock was moved to its current location.

I think knowing what the clock has been through and seeing the shear size of it, makes it even more impressive.

Once it was time for the clock to do its song and dance, Mila ran over to the bench.

The whole thing runs about five minutes.

It’s really cute to watch and Mila likes it too. You can always tell when it’s the half hour because there’s a little crowd all around the clock.

When it was over, Mila gave me her best cuckoo clock impression. I think she loves the dancing.

If you’re close to Sugarcreek or visiting Ohio, this should be on your list to see. It’s only a ten minute stop if you time it up right. Then you can get lunch, ice cream, or go shopping at the local shops.

It’s truly a sight to see and something that will make you smile. Your kids will love it too!

Local friends… have you ever seen the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock? What other fun things would you suggest people see?

Far away friends… what’s your closest “World’s Largest” to you?

My Toddler Designed a Tattoo… and I Got It!

Yes! You read that right. My three-year-old drew my latest tattoo. I loved it so much, I actually went and got it.

Toddler turned tattoo artist.

Tattoos are such a fun way to express yourself.

I have some that have a ton of meaning, one I just randomly got, and others that just make me smile. Yeah, they’re lifelong commitments and I know the whole ‘when you’re old’ comments. But, I still like them and want more.

This latest one will always be one of my favorites. I think I say that about all of mine.

A few weeks ago, I shared how Mila signed off birthday cards to other people. She draws a little creepy person and then scribbles for words.

Well, I really loved her creepy people and decided I wanted one of them tattooed on me.

So… I did it.

Before I went, I showed Mila the person I was getting. She was so ecstatic I was getting something she drew on me.

We talked about it a couple days before and I even heard her tell a few people too.

This is a big deal for her.

I love that I have the way she first drew people and seen the world. It reminds me that she pays most attention to facial expressions, if I’m paying attention to her, and legs. Which makes a lot of sense if you put yourself in a toddler’s shoes.

The tattoo took maybe thirty minutes to get. It was simple and quick to do.

Liz from Crown and Anchor Tattoo Club always does a great job on my tattoos. She’s easy to work with and is usually down for whatever pops in my head.

I’m sure it was super easy to decipher a child’s drawing, but she honored it, line by line.

When Mila first saw me after my tattoo, she immediately wanted to see it. She reminded my family that she was the one that drew it and was so proud when she saw it on my leg.

As much as I love it now, I know she’ll always love it too.

In the future, I’d definitely be open to getting more of her artwork. We’ll see what she comes up with. I’m most definitely getting her handwriting through. That is so special to me.

Would you ever get one of your child’s drawings tattooed on you? Or do you think I’ve gone completely crazy!?

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.

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.

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?