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100 Summer Activities for Kids

This is my son’s last summer before starting school and I want his little kid summer with his soon to be 3-year-old sister one he will remember. Of course, how can they forget with the absorbent amount of photos I take! In the end, time goes so fast and I saw someone doing a “Summer Bucket List” to be more accountable for doing the things they want to over the summer months. Brilliant!!!

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I talked with the family and we came up with a big list. To avoid going crazy and making the most of our time we widdled down this list to only 15 for our summer bucket list. Since it was such a great list I wanted to share my ultimate summer list of 100 summer activities with you all as you think about your summer.

 

  1. Strawberry Picking
  2. Lemonade Stand
  3. Go to a Lake
  4. No More Training Wheels
  5. Camping in the Backyard
  6. Picnic at the Beach
  7. Learn to Swim
  8. Kids Book Club
  9. Day Hike
  10. Cardboard Fort
  11. Tea Party
  12. Create an Obstacle Course
  13. Backyard Movie Night
  14. Bowling
  15. Visit the Zoo
  16. Visit a Fish Ladder
  17. Bubble Party
  18. Outside Finger Painting
  19. Water Fight
  20. Treasure Hunt
  21. Make Popsicles
  22. Make a Pinata
  23. Make a Bird Feeder/Treat
  24. Nature Center
  25. Petting Zoo
  26. Make Ice Cream
  27. Visit a Farm
  28. Chalk Art
  29. Children’s Museum
  30. Game Day
  31. Kites
  32. Play Dough
  33. Make a Book
  34. Potato Stamps
  35. Farmer’s Market
  36. Frisbee Games
  37. Relays Race
  38. Feed Ducks
  39. Pillow Fort
  40. Make a Movie
  41. Mini Golf
  42. Breakfast for Dinner
  43. Bake Cookies for Friends
  44. Candy Necklace for Movies
  45. Make Homemade Pasta
  46. Play and Make Your Own Twister Game
  47. Donate Old Toys
  48. Kid Toy Car Wash 
  49. Visit a Firestation
  50. Organize a Bike Parade
  51. Grow Flowers to Give
  52. Dino Dig
  53. Make Cards for Senior Center Visit
  54. Take a Ferry Ride
  55. Make Slime
  56. Painting with Chalk Water
  57. Puppet Show
  58. Karaoke
  59. Balloon Animals
  60. Host a Playdate
  61. Make Homeless Care Packages
  62. Visit a New Playground
  63. Go to the Library
  64. Make a Fairy or Trolls Garden 
  65. Build a Box Robot 
  66. Make and Bury a Time Capsule
  67. Backyard Camping
  68. Go Tubing
  69. Eat Lunch with No Hands
  70. Build a Boat
  71. Paint Rocks
  72. Make Mud Pies
  73. Go Bird Watching
  74. Create an Adventure Scrapbook 
  75. ABC Letter Art
  76. Make a Volcano 
  77. Make Soap
  78. Bubble Painting
  79. Backyard Egg Hunt
  80. Egg Carton Flowers
  81. Ice Chalk
  82. Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
  83. Make Sensory Bottles
  84. Straw Rockets
  85. Press Flowers After Nature Walk
  86. Make Ceramic Tiles for the Garden 
  87. Make Bath Bombs
  88. Learn a New Game
  89. Sensory Soup
  90. Paint Ceramics
  91. Build a Bike Wash
  92. Do a Kids Runs
  93. Baby Bath Station
  94. Have Colored Baths
  95. Make a Family Tree
  96. Do Kids Yoga
  97. Make Your Own Bingo Game
  98. Get a New Pen Pal
  99. Make a Stop Motion Video
  100. Ice & Salt Activity

Enjoy the list and have a great summer!!! * L


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Reflection on 2018 Resolutions

As a working mom with two little kids life gets overwhelming and I would find myself reflecting on the day/week/month and I wasn’t happy with how I’d spent my time. I didn’t eat a vegetable, I overpaid, I didn’t learn anything, and I missed my kids. You know that feeling that you are forgetting something?  Well, I had that feeling all of the time.

This was all before I got my passion planner and my fostered my new obsession to block plan and be more goal-focused with my time. I am super thrilled with my results and wanted to share this with you all to help you with your 2018 goals if they aren’t going as planned. (or if you just want to improve upon them!)

First off, you can’t look at your goals as a whole. Break them down into smaller chunks. Something you can do in an hour, if you can get that small. Divide them up over time and spread these chunks out over the year and build a timeline to check and assess how you are doing.

Awesome! Now you have a plan! Broken into small chunks to make your goals a reality. You now need to add in a golden hour to get these chunks done. My typical workday is jam-packed but there is always 1 hour booked into the schedule to do something that counts towards my goal. This is my golden hour. Most days this hour is from 6-7am. This might seem like a punishment for some but I am often up before 6am on my own, and it’s my time so I look forward to that golden hour. Some of my goals,  (and my mind,) need time and space that doesn’t always work in the twilight hours so I move my golden hour around to accommodate my 7 goals.

My passion planner has a space for a daily focus area for each day of the week. 7 is also my favorite number so it seemed perfect to have 7 goals and dedicate one day, 1 hour to each of them.

Of course, your goal(s) will be different, but I wanted to share what mine are and some of the small things I do in that golden hour to help me achieve the goal. I hope that seeing mine might give you a vision of how you can do yours if your 2018 goals aren’t going as planned or if you want to try to add more goals on to this year.

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I started with a focus area and made a 2018 goal two for each of them.

  • Family: new monthly experiences, and quality time with family
  • Home: declutter, remodel bathroom, and make a big edible garden
  • Education: read 1 book a month, and learn Spanish with the family
  • Career: leadership skills, mindfulness, and friendship
  • Health: run 2 half-marathons, drink more water, and eat real foods
  • Creation: new children’s book, and 4 Two Working Mom blogs a month
  • Love: massages and/or regular self-care, and date with hubby monthly

Micro things I do in my golden hour to work towards my goals:

Family: Hunt online for fun events for my family to do. Last month my family went to the Tulip Festival and it was the first time for my daughter Elia went. She loved all of the flowers and we got some fun photos. I try to plan a big fun outing on the weekend for the month and something during the week like going to one of their preschools, having a fun bath with special bubbles and toys, or an evening walk or playtime at the park now that sun is out later.

Home: I was so lucky to hear Kammie talk at the last Harmony event about her book and decluttering tips. For my golden hour, I declutter a small section of the house. I love taking a before photo and seeing the difference. Over time things are getting more organized and an hour here and there makes a difference. I also use my golden hour in the evening if I work in the garden and love doing this with my kids so it’s two goals in one!

Education: I use my golden hour to read. My awesome book club keeps me accountable to read at least one book a month.

Career: For my golden hour I read about leadership, have lunch with people who are good leaders, attend mindfulness training, and take time to foster friendships.

Health: One thing I love doing at 6am is running. I ran 3 miles today and got into the office and felt great. It puts my head is a great place and having already accomplished something makes me feel optimistic. I try to use my golden hour for running 2 days of the week.

Creation: I write for my golden hour. I also surf social media and make fun graphics and stories during that hour. This is the time I post to Instagram and edit my graphics or photos.

Love: I love to run so sometimes my golden hour and self-care is running that day. Other days my golden hour is for massages or planning my monthly date with hubby. Last month we saw the new Avengers movie!

Every month, I reflect on my goals and see how I am spending my time. You will be surprised how much you can get done when you block time to work on your goals. Hope you find a golden hour or other useful strategies to get you there. * L


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Working Mom Pride

The title says it all but underneath it, I feel bad, like being happy or having pride in being a working mom will make my stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) friends sad. I think there is a lot more to this hidden strife with layers of guilt and personal struggle (and that is for another blog post, altogether.) I do want to set the stage that while I am happy to be a working mom I know this is my choice, my situation, and the lens I see the world with. The world takes a diverse mindset and I appreciate my SAHM friends, value their choice, and am oftentimes envious.

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With that said…

I always knew I wanted to be a mother and, in my mind, it happened a lot earlier than 35. Being a career woman wasn’t a goal of mine as a child or even in high school, but as I reflect on my life I can see how it was my destiny.

My mother is from Mexico and didn’t learn English until later in life but that didn’t stop her from opening and managing a successful hair salon in the Bay Area. She was a hard worker and, if I recall correctly, worked every Saturday.

When I think of my childhood my Mom didn’t attend school parties, because she was working. I spent all of Saturday with my Dad and Sundays were church and family time. She didn’t spend the long summer days with me at the beach, but instead, I would hang out with her at work trying to keep myself entertained. Don’t get me wrong, my Mom did play with me and I remember that time fondly. We went on long vacations, and she always attended my plays or big events in life. She tucked me into bed every night and showered me with gifts and more toys than one little girl really needs. I felt very loved!

As an older child, I was very busy and had activities after school each day: JOBs Daughters, ballet, girl scouts, horseback riding, tennis, swimming, drawing, school plays, CCD, you named it. My Mom took me to all of these. She waited on the sidelines, helped me practice, and was always my number #1 fan.

Growing up I never saw my Mom ask my Dad for money, she drove a nice car, and she was and is always put together. She is super social and had a lot of things going on in her life outside of the home. Her hair was always done, nails painted, and usually some bling to top it off. She taught me what a working mom’s life looked like, and to be honest, it is all I know.

I work full time and have since I had my two kids five years ago. I worked for Amazon at the time and back then the company didn’t have maternity leave so I got very little time with them at home before going back to the office. There are days, most days when I miss my kids while I am work, but I also have days I feel guilty about not missing them and enjoy being free. Making money, having a job, drinking hot coffee, collaborating and stretching my brain, and the ability to take care of myself and my family makes me feel good and I like being a working mom.

Of course, I feel grateful I have a job I really love and so that helps. I am also extremely grateful for my Mom who showed me what life of a working mom looks like and I am happy to follow her steps. * L

 


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The Surrender Project

I mentioned in our FFF post I was going to try something new and say YES more at work to see if that made a difference in my stress. Don’t get me wrong I like my job and love being an Instructional Designer and, to be honest, I think this one of my favorite jobs and companies I have ever worked for. That said as a senior member of the team I find I am always offering advice and have gotten the word “bossy” tossed my way. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you are right if no one wants to work with you. So maybe saying yes, holding my tongue, and going with the flow at work will create less stress and more happiness for all.

When I think about myself I wouldn’t say I am “yes” person but I am also not someone who says no easily.  I went into this 30-day project thinking it was silly but why not try something new and see what happens and I was very surprised by the results.

Week 1

The very first thing is I noticed all the of the yeses. A few people do it often and part of me wonders if they too are on the surrender project or is this just their way of life? Did they know what they were doing? I was at a meeting with one of these yes folks and a question from another team member came up. They wanted to know if something was in the document. The answer was no, but I didn’t say that. Instead, I waited to see what the yes person was going to say who also worked on that document with me. To my surprise, they said yes, that item was in the document. Did they lie? Did they forget? Not sure but when we got to that part of the document the team member noticed that item wasn’t in the document and the yes person apologized and added it in. My yes coworker avoided a no and made it look more like an oversight. Again not sure if this was intentional but it worked out nicely.

Week 2

One would think my team would take advantage of me saying yes all the time. But the truth is they didn’t. Maybe that is a testament to working for a company that cares about their employees. Regardless the results started out right away and I was overall less stressed. I was going with the flow, and rather than being devil’s advocate I found a way to ask questions and be inquisitive rather than judgemental. I tried to act like I didn’t know the answer so I didn’t have to say no and rather asked others the question.

Week 3

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I wasn’t expecting to like the surrender project, I thought it was silly and I would feel resentment for not speaking up. After 3 weeks my boss said I got the “gold star” and seemed the most pleased with me in months. My stress level was at its lowest point and I am in love with saying yes. I volunteered for a community outreach program and so excited to have this new opportunity. Got a new fun project outside of my usual work that was super creative, fun, and met some new teams that I worked well with. Things are going really good.

Week 4

Saying yes all the time didn’t make me mad or ungrateful. I think as long as I am not holding back information that could help or saying yes and …  might be a way to avoid such resentment and still feel good about yourself. I like not saying no, I like asking questions, I like being the person to be ready to help and not be seen as bossy or the know-it-all. I am shocked by how much I learned from this project, and how much I learned about myself.

In the end, I would not call what I am doing “surrendering” or even say I am now a “yes” person. I would say I am a “why” person as I keep an open mind before saying anything, ask questions and try to hold off on judgment.

Maybe one day I will try this in my personal life. * L