Love Note Envelopes {plus a FREE printable}

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Love Note Envelopes {plus a FREE printable}--a fun new Valentine tradition
I was browsing Hobby Lobby's Valentine items the other day when I saw the cutest oversized felt envelopes.  At $3.99 for 2, I couldn't pass them up and threw them in my cart, not totally sure what I was going to do with them.  I forgot about them for a few days when I had the idea to use them as love note envelopes for my family during the month of February.  These felt envelopes will be perfect for our family.  I know my kids (mostly my daughter) is going to love getting little notes throughout the month sharing reasons why they are loved. And this isn't just for kids.  I plan on sending some notes to my husband too. *wink*
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Free Valentine's Printable Round Up

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Free Valentine's Printables
One of the best ways to decorate for Valentine's Day, or any holiday really, is to print off a few cute printables and put them in a frame.  I've rounded up some of my favorites for you.  Just click on the link below the picture to go to the download site.  Enjoy!
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One Thing That Will Change The Way You Discipline Your Kids

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I remember when my daughter was almost two years old.  She started getting into more trouble, throwing more tantrums and lots of the word "no!" (from both of us).  My husband and I talked to family and friends and read a lot of books to try and decide what type of "discipline method" we wanted to use.  We wanted to make sure that we were united on our method so it didn't matter who was disciplining our child, they would get the same treatment.

Here we are two years later and my son is now almost the same age as my daughter was when we first started looking at disciplining methods.  The only difference is that now we've had a little practice so it's not as big of a challenge when we're faced with the same tantrums. *wink*
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Valentine's Rag Wreath

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When my husband and I moved into our home almost 5 years ago, one of the things I was most excited about (besides an attached garage of course) was having a front door to hang cute wreaths on.  Oh sure, we'd had front doors in our previous apartments, but all of them had been basement apartments and not very big so we didn't have company over very often.  And in my opinion, part of the fun of having a wreath on your door is so people can see it.  Right?

With Valentine's Day coming up, I love decorating in the lovely shades of pink, red, purple and white that accompany the holiday.  I didn't have a Valentine's wreath for my door so I decided to remedy that problem with a cute new rag wreath!  Rag wreaths are so easy and inexpensive.  They store well and fluff up easily when you pull them out of storage.
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Homemade Gak

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Homemade Gak--only 3 ingredients and provides hours of fun.  Also a great gift or party favor!
This post originally appeared on Muddy Little Toes where I was previously a co-contributor.
A few months ago, my daughter decided that she no longer needed a daily nap.  It was a sad day for me.  Both my kids were taking naps at the same time everyday and I had all sorts of time to myself.  It was amazing!  But at 3.5 years old (at the time of the original post), she napped longer than a lot of kids I know.  While I miss my "me time", it's also been fun to have some one on one time with my daughter.  It's also encouraged me to come up with some additional activities for her to do to keep her occupied for the extra hour or two besides coloring or stickers.  So when I found a recipe for some homemade Gak, I knew I had to try it out.
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4 Reasons Why Your New Years Resolutions Are Going to Fail (and how to make sure that doesn't happen)

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4 Reasons Why Your New Years Resolutions Are Going to Fail (and how to make sure that doens't happen)
At the end of last year, I shared a few of my New Year's Resolutions with you.  Changes I wanted to make in my life over the next year.  Some are goals with a deadline.  Others are characteristics I want to develop over my lifetime.  I have self improvement goals, relationship goals, academic goals, spiritual goals, physical goals, and so on.

I was doing a little research and found a recent study giving the statistics of the length of time a person maintains any given resolution.  (My nerd is starting to show, isn't it?)  The study said that only 75% of resolutions are maintained through the first week, 71% past two weeks, 64% past one month and 46% past six months.

So here we are.  Three weeks into 2016.  How many of your resolutions made it past the two week mark?  All?  Some?  None?  Don't beat yourself up if it's less than what you'd like it to be.  I think it's human nature to have the best of intentions when it comes to setting goals.  So why aren't we able to achieve the goals we set?  I think it comes down to four reasons:
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How to Make a Chore Chart for Preschoolers

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I've been thinking for a while now that I wanted to give my daughter some daily chores.  She's turning 4 next week and it's the beginning of a new year so it seemed like a great time to get a program going for her.

I started out by making a list of chores.  The easiest way to do this was to search for 'age appropriate chores' on Pinterest.  There are tons of charts that break it down by age that I found so it didn't take long to make a list of my own.
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Guest Post: The Hungry Mom: Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

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**UPDATE: 12/20/16**  The Hungry Mom blog is no longer an active site.  All links to the site have been removed as per the owner's request.
 
Hello! My name is Lindsay and I'm the author of The Hungry Mom blog. I have known Shani since I had the good fortune of being in the same 5th Grade class as her almost 2 decades ago. We quickly became best friends. She moved away before the school year was over, but we kept in touch by being great pen pals (I still have all her letters. She was a great writer even then). Luckily she was still in the same state, so we still were able to get together from time to time. She would spend a few days at my house every now and then and I would have a sleepover at her house.  We would also go on vacations with each other's families. Shani moved back home when we were in high school and we were able to share an English class together and bond over our shared dislike of our teacher ;).  Here we are almost 20 years after we first met and still friends. Both of us with two adorable kids close in age. Its been a friendship that has endured through the ages!

I started my blog, The Hungry Mom, because I have recently become a self-published author and it was recommended you have one. I decided to utilize this blog to share almost everything in my life! I have lots of yummy recipes, my personal mommyhood advice and lots of other topics on my blog including fitness, depression, and more. It has become a wonderful outlet for me and a great way to share my story with "the world".
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Top 10 Posts of 2015

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Top 10 Posts of 2015
Sunshine and Munchkins has been up and running for almost three months now and it's been so much fun for me!  Lots of hard work and time, but I've loved being able to share my posts with you and hear from you as well.  As we begin a new year, I thought it would be fun to show you what my top 10 posts were for 2015!
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"Mom, will you be my friend?"

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"Mom, will you be my friend?"

"Mom, will you be my friend?"

I looked away from what I was doing and down at my daughter, nearly four years old.  She was holding her Belle tea set in her hands and looking up at me hopefully.

"I am your friend, sweetie."  I told her.

"But Mom, you aren't playing with me.  Will you be my friend?"

How many times are we in the middle of something and when our children try to get our attention, we wave them off?  Tell them to go play.  Suggest they find a sibling.  Go read a book.  Watch a show.  None of these are bad suggestions in and of themselves.  But how often do we stop and give them our full attention?  For myself, I know I could improve.  Sometimes I get so concerned with multi-tasking and checking things off my list, that I don't notice what my kids are doing until they are getting into something they aren't supposed to.  And then what's my knee-jerk reaction?  To tell them to stop.  Stop arguing, fighting, annoying each other, etc.
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Encouraging Positive Behavior: Warm Fuzzies Jar

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Encouraging Positive Behavior: Warm Fuzzies Jar--a simple and effective way to encourage your kids to choose positive behavior.
About a year ago, my daughter, then almost 3 years old, started to act out a lot.  We couldn't figure out why or pinpoint anything specific that could be causing it.  My husband and I spent a lot of time discussing what we should do and as we talked, we realized that she responded really well to positive reinforcement.  It's not like we weren't giving her positive attention.  We said "thank you" when she did something we asked and praised her when she did something well.  But we noticed that when we used specifics to communicate positive reinforcement, she would do more things to receive more praise from us and the "bad" things she was doing decreased.  For example, instead of just saying "thank you" when she followed directions, we would say, "thank you for being a good listener".  When we noticed her being kind to her brother without being asked, we said, "you are such a good big sister to your brother."  So while we noticed an increase in the kind of behavior we wanted to see, we also recognized that she is still a little girl, and little girls (and boys) sometimes need a little extra push to be good.
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Applesauce Muffins

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Applesauce Muffins--From bowl to oven in 10 minutes, these applesauce muffins are a family favorite.  Perfect for mornings on-the-go or an afternoon snack!
This post originally appeared on Muddy Little Toes where I was previously a co-contributor.
Mornings at my house probably start out a lot like yours: get the kids up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth... And I don't know about you, but I am always looking for ways to simplify my mornings.  One of the best ways I've found is to make food ahead of time that is easy to take with you on the go.  Or just trying to make sure you actually get to eat a little something in the midst of your morning craziness.  I can't count the number of times I've hit 10am and I'm starving and starting to get a little hangry when I realize it's because I've been up for 3+ hours without food...

Which is why I'm sharing today's recipe for applesauce muffins.  These muffins are so yummy!  Not to mention super easy to whip up--they take maybe 10 minutes from start to finish!  They are moist and not overly sweet, which is perfect for mornings or even after school snacks.  My kids love these, especially the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, which they always eat first.
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Choose Happiness

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Happy 2016!  How did you ring in the new year?  I'll be honest, I was in bed well before midnight so I was sleeping and trying to finish getting over this dang cold that's taken over my life for the last couple of weeks.

It might sound cliche, but I truly love the idea of new beginnings.  Have you ever had a day that seemed to be going all wrong, only to make a conscious decision to "start over"?  Or going to bed grumpy and waking up to see the sun shining and you have a smile on your face before you get out of bed?  I love knowing that while I might not have control over how everything in my day goes, that I do have control over how I react to it.  And isn't that half the battle?
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