Time Off

It is hard to believe that it has been almost two years since my last original Plaid, Pearls and Toddler stains’ blog. Why the long hiatus you ask? Seriously, there is no great reason except I was a bit consumed with daily life.

I started 2018 off with being pregnant with our third kiddo. Unlike my first two pregnancies, I was SICK with this one. “Morning Sickness” controlled most of my day for the first two trimesters. Managing my stomach and two little ones running around the house was all I could handle.

Along with a new baby growing inside of me, I had taken on two new side jobs. One job was great for growing my writing skills. As you might have guessed, I love writing. The other allowed me to lead kids in learning and growing in the midst of the outdoors. I was passionate about both jobs.

Another passion I continued last year was volunteering at my church, Elevation Church. Being a leader in the 1st – 5th grade school aged group was a blessing. I truly believe in raising-up the next generation to the best of our abilities. I loved teaching them about kindness, empathy, teamwork, emotional and mental strength, and of course about Jesus’ love.

As if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I was homeschooling my 5 year old.

Baby number three came on September 20th, along with a whole new set of daily responsibilities.

I am not telling you all this to complain, vent, seek sympathy or pity. I am sharing this to show you that you are not alone. Everyone has years, months or days like this. Regular daily life just gets consuming and you need one thing. Grace. Continue reading

Snow Day Favorites

In North Carolina we have mild yet random winters. One day it can be sunny and 60˚. A few days later there could be a few inches of snow on the ground. I like to call it the flip flop, Ugg effect. Flip flops one day, Uggs the next.

Being a state that gets only about three snows a year, we have a small amount of city snow removal equipment unlike our northern neighboring states. Thus, leaving us with school closings and stuck at home days.

So today is one of those days. It is our second snow of this winter season. What shall we do with ourselves? Here are a few ideas that have worked well for my little ones and my mommy sanity.

  1. Embrace the day and go outside! Bundle up and enjoy the powdery fun. Kids instinctively love it! Plus, it is great exercise for all. Meaning everyone will rest well later. One other thing about North Carolina, snow rarely sticks around for more than two days. So take advantage of it while you can!  snow sledding 2017
  2. Introduce new traditions that you only do when it snows. Be creative. I won’t leave you hanging though! Here are a few starters if you need: make snow cream, hot cocoa bar, bake a special snow day treat, or make bird feeders. One of my favorite ideas is to go on a snow nature walk. Look for animal tracks and see how different things look covered in snow (this is especially cool at dark). Hanging Pinecone
  3. Pull out board games, have Lego building challenges, or have a dance off. Plus check out a few other indoor fun ideas from this article I wrote for Triad Moms on Main.
  4. Pop some popcorn and have a movie-thon. Watch your old favorites or find something new. Cozy up with your favorite soft blankets and simple enjoy being together.
  5. Declutter! Being stuck at home is a perfect time to go through and get rid of old, unused, broken and no longer relative items in our home. Get the kids involved. They most likely just received many new toys, clothes and other items for Christmas. Have them go through their room and let them decide what they want to throw out or donate.

As I write and watch the snow fall outside my window, I’m deciding which of these activities we will do today. I know without a doubt we will spend plenty of time playing outside. But when we come in I foresee some time taken to declutter. Most likely we’ll end the day cuddled on the couch with some books and probably a movie.

I hope you all have fun on this snow day! Please comment with your ideas for snow day fun. I look forward to seeing all of your ideas! Be safe you all!


Plaid, Pearls & Toddler stains

Noah in the snow 2017

Ways to Entertain Kids on Thanksgiving Day

With the chaos that Thanksgiving Day can bring, it’s easy to leave kids in front of the TV and shoo them out of your way. There are others ways to let them have fun and be a part of this family oriented day. Bonus, these may hopefully help maintain your own sanity.

  1. Let them play outside – Nothing can make kids crazier than being stuck inside a crowded house all day. Give them the opportunity to let out that pent-up energy outdoors. Even if it’s cold out, bundle them up and let them run. You may even be in luck of having older kids and teens that can help watch the little ones while you continue cooking the Thanksgiving meal. After the family eats, I encourage an after dinner walk. Fresh air and physical movement can help that big meal to digest.
  2. Let them create – Set up a place in the house that kids can let their creative juices flow. This can be a corner of the living room, a playroom or any other separate room of the house. Have a table, chairs (or anything comfy to sit on) and creative supplies and toys available to them. These items can range from: Legos, blocks, train track set, beads and thread to make jewelry, paper with art supplies, and anything else that encourages kids to use their imagination. Open ended toys and supplies can keep children entertained for a long time.
  3. Let them help – Kids love feeling helpful! Even though it may feel like they are in your way and hindering your cooking process, resist the urge to completely kick them out of the kitchen. They would be happy helping with any job that you tell them is important you. Depending on their age, you can have them: set the table, stir the food cooking, make a simple side dish, wash the dishes, cut up veggies or fruit, or taste test your work. They will love that last one! The point is, make them feel important, helpful and part of your family tradition.
  4. Let them connect and learn – Don’t completely separate them from the adult family members. I know many families incorporate a kids table during holiday meals. Often this is due to space and the desire for adult conversation. All understandable reasons! Though if this is the case, make sure there are other opportunities for kids to interact with the adults. They can learn so much from their older family members. From historical experiences, family history and how family members are connected. All best learned from listening to the stories of the people we love and trust the most.

                     From my family to yours,                    

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving family pic 2017


Plaid, Pearls & Toddler stains

What are you Putting Off?

You all know what I mean. I’m talking about those projects you put off because you just don’t feel like finishing them. Or you’re too tired. Or there is just no time right now? The reasons go on and on.

I am right there with you in the “putting off” boat.

For me it is two projects that are years in the making.

The first one is a room in my house that has been a source of headache for my husband and me as long as I can remember. This room started off with the intention of being half walk-in closet, half office space. What it actually has become is a storage room. Yes our desk is in there and our clothes but so are hundreds of other things that don’t need to be. I honestly feel like I am in a bad episode of Hoarders when I enter that room! Kid you not! Continue reading

Embrace the Mess because They’re Learning

Growing up I was very much the tomboy. Forever having skinned knees and dirt beneath my nails. Not until recently did I realize how much I learned during my childhood because of that. Somewhere in the stage of growing older, I lost that childlike carefree feeling that dirt is good, even fun.

That brings me back to today. It’s funny how toddlers can change your whole perspective on life and learning. That it can be messy and that’s okay. I have discovered a new found love of the outdoors through their eyes. I even get excited about seeing things that I took for granted on a daily bases. Simple things, like a bee on a flower, an airplane passing above and all the different rocks one can find in their own yard.20170505_141952 (His first experience with Honeysuckle) Continue reading

What’s the Meaning Behind the Name Plaid, Pearls and Toddler Stains?

Now that I’ve made this blog more official by making it a dot com, haha, I thought I’d give you all insight into why I chose the name Plaid, Pearls and Toddler stains.

It actually didn’t take long to decide on the name. I wanted it to represent a small mesh of who I am and what I like.

Though now-a-days you’ll find me mostly wearing workout wear and comfy “mom” clothes, I still love fashion. I get excited whenever I get to wear something other than my daily norm. Plaid has always been one of my favorite patterns (so are nautical stripes but that would have made for an even longer name! :-p). I love that there are a multitude of plaid patterns and colors. Some are perfect for warm weather and others for winter weather. I also think it’s awesome that plaid can be used for casual or dressy occasions. This brings me to my next word, Pearls. Continue reading

5 Ingredient Kid Pancakes

I don’t know about you but for me mornings always seem to be time on fast forward. One of my first stresses of the day is what can I make my kiddos that is fast, easy and healthy.

Often I try to make things ahead of time, such as toddler muffins or zucchini bread. Alas, I’m no perfect momma and time doesn’t always allow for this. So I needed to figure out something that I can do first thing in the morning with two hungry crumb snatchers at my heels.

One morning I realized I was making myself tasty and healthy protein pancakes, which are quick to prepare. This got me thinking, why can’t I make something similar for the kids? So, the experimenting began. Continue reading