If you were on IG stories yesterday you saw all my old school chore cards we found while cleaning out junk drawers. Living our best summer over here!!! So many of you loved them & while I don't have those same files, I thought I'd whip some up for you...because, well, that's what friends are for right?
If you missed IG stories yesterday, I saved them in hi-lights under 'Mom Life' but here's a quick re-cap. Before my kids could read, I wanted to have them get into the habit of a few morning chores, things like making their bed, brushing their teeth and getting dressed. There were also a few other things they were capable of, but it got cumbersome trying to make them lists each day with my elementary hand-drawn pictures so they could remember what things said. So I made picture chore carts. Simply print them out, cut them out, then laminate each square. Place a small hole punch in each corner and then clip them together with rings like this -- you'll be able to open and close them, so you can switch out a few of their daily chores.
On mine, I always kept make bed, brush teeth, get dressed & read 15 minutes, then I'd add 2 additional things that needed to be done that day. On this free printable sheet I included all the jobs my toddlers started with. My 6-year-old will tell you that cleaning the toilet is by far his favorite job, I'm happy to oblige him with an abundance of opportunity.
I also had a lot of questions about what other kinds of jobs i had my kids doing and before I answer that I'll tell you this. I once read a study that indicated that kids that grew up doing daily chores fared better, were more successful comparatively to those that relied on extra-curricular activities. So please don't misconstrue my intent. I'm not here to tell you to work your kids to the bone, but I am here to encourage you to help them be successful adults...which as we all know, requires doing a lot of work, even when we don't want to. I don't like to shelter my kids much from what reality actually is, because in all honesty, I think keeping a tidy house and yard is so satisfying and fun and my intent is to teach my kids to enjoy a good day filled with hard work. They're capable of it & all these years in, I'm starting to see the fruits of my labor.
So with all that, here's a list of things my kids ages 6, 9 and 11 do around the house.
Dust Family Room
Vacuum -- my 6 year-old can't quite do this
Mow Lawns -- my oldest is the only one that can do this one so far...
Empty Shoe Basket
Empty All Trash Cans, Replace Liners
Wipe Down Banister
Mop Wood Floors
Wipe Down Kitchen Chairs
Pick up Backyard
Vacuum Wood Floors -- get this vacuum (the cordless one) and your 4-year-old will love this job!
Pick up Loft
Pick up Family Room
Clear Kitchen Table
Clear Kitchen Counters
They do quite a few of these jobs every single day, ranging from 3-5 on top of their daily chores (get dressed, make bed, clean room, reading & practicing piano/guitar).
They've also started asking for paid jobs and these are the options if they want to go above and beyond. For paid jobs, it has to be done right or I make them go back. If I have to make them go back & re-do multiple times, I don't pay them as much because the point is for them to do it right the first time. I pay about $2-$3 for each of these jobs, with the exception of cleaning the garage.
Clean Front Porch, Sweep, Wipe Down Front Door
Wipe Down all Doors & Handles
Wipe Baseboards w/ Baby Wipes
Organize 1 Kitchen Drawer
Wipe Down Kitchen Cabinets
Clean out and vacuum mom's car...again with this vacuum -- game changer I tell you. They also have a $40 version at Target, so if this isn't in your price range, start there. I used that $40 version for years!
Clean Pool Tile
Organize Garage & Sweep Out
Fold 1 Basket of Laundry
Organize Linen Closet
Organize Closet by Garage
Babysit Luke 30 minutes ;)
Do Dinner Dishes
When you first begin making your kids help around the house, they will complain & they will do half-baked jobs. As you are consistent in your requirements and consistent in your teaching them of a job well done, they'll get better at it. While I've spent YEARS teaching my 3 olders, I still have days where I find a ton of stuff shoved under their bed, or dresser drawers all askew. That's part of it. Don't give up, don't get frustrated. Some days I haul them all up to re-do things...and other days I don't fight the fight and sit by the pool with them instead. Do what works for you & fingers crossed this helps you stay a little more organized!
If you print off & use your charts, be sure to tag me! I love seeing them! @sonny_daily
It's not often that I am willing to try a new cookie recipe, I've got a handful tried and true that I make on a regular basis and sometimes its best to just leave well enough alone. This past week though I was flipping through House Beautiful and while some would have been distracted by the scenery and design (because duh), I zeroed in on this recipe and couldn't get it out of my mind. I had the ingredients purchased that day and with a few adjustments of the recipe, had my mixer running at 9pm at night. I just had to try them! I was feeling optimistic and even made a double batch my first time out of the gates and I'm happy to report, they didn't disappoint.
Here's what you'll need...
Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 C room temperature butter
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 C flour
1 C crushed Butterfingers
2 C broken salted pretzels
2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter and sugars until creamed, add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add vanilla, baking soda and salt, then flour. Mix until just incorporated. Add butterfingers and pretzels, mix until incorporated, then add chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoon-size portions onto cookie sheets, bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on pan about 1 minute before transferring to cooling racks. Let cool, then enjoy!
This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
You know we live poolside all summer long and as it’s heating up, we’re beginning to dip our
toes in the pool more and more. My older kids are to the point where they sunscreen themselves and about a month ago, I started wondering what I was going to do with cute Luke this summer to keep his sweet baby skin safe in the sun. That probably sounds a little silly, but when my olders were infants, we didn’t have a pool, so our time in the sun was dramatically reduced. Sometimes I feel like the super-experienced mom on this last baby and other times I feel like that first-time-mom-fish-out-of-water trying to figure out what works best now.
Luke is the fairest of all of my kids and on top of that, he appears to have pretty sensitive skin (fingers crossed it doesn’t stay that way) so I was thrilled when I found AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 at Walmart. I was relieved to learn that their sunscreen is gentle enough to use everyday because I’m pretty sure I’ll go through a dozen twin packs this summer!
So while I’ve stocked up on umbrellas and hats and rash guards, I’ve also stocked up with
AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF
50 Twin Pack at Walmart, because let me tell you, all sunscreens are NOT created equal! This
one is 100% zinc-oxide UVA/UVB mineral protection sunscreen, all while being tear + sting-free
when applying. Just what this momma ordered because hopefully by summer’s end, my olders can slather this baby right up! Right now, you can also save $5 with this Ibotta offer.
I’ve got this summer essential stashed in all my favorite places so I’m never without. One for the diaper bag, one in our sunscreen bin, one at my parent’s and another in our swim bag. The only place I won’t be stashing it? My car. High temps + lotion bottles are not a good combo and I’ve learned that the hard way one too many times…yikes. A few other summer essentials I’m stashing? Popcorn, Diet Coke and popsicles. Summer we're ready for you.
I'm a firm believer in the power of date night. Scot and I have been committed to this tradition since early on in our marriage, but were immovable from it once we had a hard baby. I won't name names, but she really solidified this tradition. ;)
In those early years we were much more strapped finically so we had to get a little creative, but even still we invested a lot of money on weekly date nights. I remember vividly a conversation with some of our close friends, you know the friends that you analyze and discuss every aspect of life with? It was these friends that said, "Wait, you go out every Saturday night?" We replied, "Yes." Pay a babysitter? Dinner? Sometimes a movie? Every Saturday night? Again we confirmed. They quickly did the math and said, so you could very well spend $400 a month on date night? Scot and I looked at each other, sheepishly shrugged our shoulders, and again replied, yes.
Over 10 years into that decision, I will still confirm that yes, that is what we do. Every Saturday, almost without fail. When we were younger it was because we needed a break from babies and toddlers. Now that our kids our older, the rhythm of life has shifted and our days go from 5 am - 11 pm with little downtime throughout. Now I realize that to some degree this is the life we have chosen. I've chosen to work. We've chose to have a caboose baby and as such, our youngest is up by 6 am and sometimes our oldest is coming home at 10 pm. It makes for some long days, but we've found date night to be more crucial than ever so that we can sit down and compare notes so to speak. Scot notices things that I might not see down in the trenches and between the two of us, we can usually find a sweet spot on most things.
Today I thought I'd round up a few of our tried and true favorite spots in the valley so you can start enjoying date night too.
La Grande O'range: a little off the beaten path for us, this is located in the heart of Arcadia, with the cutest gift shop at the front of it. I always find a new book to read, or gift to tuck away for a friend. I love their Mother Earth pizza and Scot always grabs a burger...which is arguably one of the best burgers in the Valley. Make sure you order it on an English muffin and add cheese (they top it with shredded cheese). If you're like us, you'll like the English muffins so much, you'll promptly buy a package and then hide them from your kids.
HopDoddy: If you're on a diet, don't go here, because not only do you need to order a burger, but fries with queso dip along with a Nutella shake. It's so so so good.
Spinatos: A bit of a hole in the wall by ASU, this is my favorite pizza spot. Request extra crispy on the crust and if you like to make pizza at home, buy their sauce because it's incredible.
Thai Elephant: We recently took our Thai food loving friends here and they decided that it's their favorite spot...now we just coordinate when we go so we can catch up while we enjoy.
Blanco Tacos: This is a Fox Concepts restaurant and it involves lots of tacos. Enough said.
The Herb Box: Plan to linger through your meal. The ambience is off the charts and so is the food. Save room for dessert.
North Italia: Be sure to order the grilled artichoke as an appetizer and I love love love their strozzapreti.
QUICK BITES: Sometimes you just have time for a quicky...these are our favorite drop in spots for a quick bite.
Shake Shack: No joke, this is my favorite chicken sandwich. Hands down.
Backyard Taco: These are my current favorite tacos...
Boca: Our go-to for a quick bite on a weekday date night
Jalepeno Bucks: Basically a road side burrito stand, our favorite bbq by a mile.
Let me know where you're favorite go-to spot is and regardless of where you're at in life, try to make date night a habit...you won't regret it!
You know there is nothing we consumer more of than chips and salsa...for reals, we eat it nearly everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. I'd tell you it's a problem, except I love it so much it can't possibly be a problem. ;) Since we eat so much of it, over the years, I've perfected a few different recipes. You can find my pico de Gallo one here, but today, today, I've got my award winning green salsa recipe for you. That is if you can call winning 'best salsa' at neighborhood gatherings award-winning.
Regardless, it's delicious and so easy to make, you'll find yourself becoming the neighborhood salsa lady in a hurry.
Here's what you'll need:
2 - 28 oz cans of tomatillos (I like the pictured brand best!)
1 - 7 oz can of SLICED jalapeños in escabeche (make sure they are sliced or it will be hot!)
1 bunch cilantro
3/4 C sugar
Drain each can, then pour into blender. Mix in blender, then add cilantro + sugar and blend again. Voila. You're done...and officially on your way to becoming a neighborhood hero.
Be sure and tag me when you make it, nothing makes me happier than to see you enjoying all the things I enjoy too! Happy Summer!
This week has flown by, I'm certain because the first two days of it we were out of town and have thus spent the last 3 days catching up. Doing laundry, getting everyone's summer camps situated and doing some more laundry. We had so much fun visiting with family in Encinitas and I'm thinking I need to do an Encinitas travel guide?! What do you think? My husband grew up there and so we have a few favorite spots we always have to hit. This time we tried a new taco spot that we had heard was SO good....bummed to report that other than the atmosphere, we weren't impressed.
This week's most pinned images are all about Outdoor Living -- which you know is my jam! I just added a few more ideas I'm loving to my board, you can follow along here if you're looking to be inspired. Click on any of the images to be directed to the source. As always, remember that these images have been carefully staged and planned, you're outdoor area doesn't need to look JUST like this to be successful. In fact, it won't look like this if you're actually using it. It will have some soggy towels and pool toys strewn about, along with plates that haven't been cleared and drinks that are half drunk. I try to pretend that that is part of the charm...some days it works better than others.
Gathered up all the Open Houses happening this weekend in the Mesa, Gilbert and Scottsdale areas. If you're looking in other areas in the Valley, let me know & I'll be happy to get you a list. These lists are provided for you to be able peruse different areas, but if you've already determined the area, and are ready to start putting in offers, call me, text me or email me. Due to a low inventory, homes are moving fairly quickly, so you won't want to waste a lot of time if you see a home you're interested in. I can help you get pre-qualified because seller's are only accepting offers from qualified buyers. If you're thinking about selling, well, I wouldn't hesitate. It is currently swaying towards a sellers market, which then makes you consider selling and then becoming a BUYER, but with interest rates still historically low, it's not a bad time to be buying either...a touch competitive to be buying, but not a bad time from an investment standpoint. Buying or selling, I'd love to help you make moving a bit easier, fill out the form below to get started.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.