Life Lessons with Little League

Spring is basically here, and our children have moved from winter sports to spring sports. What usually is within the months of end of February to early June, these sports usually consist of soccer, basketball, and the ever post popular spring time sport, baseball.

I’ve been in the little league world for 4 years with my oldest son. 1 year, I was even brave enough to have both boys enrolled in little league at once! What is probably typical for some families with multiple children in little league, it was definitely a shuffle for us as a family to oblige to the boys baseball schedules.

For new parents introducing their child’s first sport, I highly, highly recommend little league for your child. As your child starts at the age of 5 (sometimes even 3-4!) tee-ball is introduced, with the fundamentals of baseball. The basics. There are great life lessons learned through tee-ball as well! Whether or not your son sticks with sports all the through childhood, even just a few years can teach him a lot.

  • Paying Attention
  • Practice/Persistence
  • Showing Up
  • Luck
  • Successful = Having Copycats
  • Just Do IT!
  • Scorekeeping?
  • Rainy Days

Last year, we had moved to a new city, which meant my oldest son started at a new little league. We’ve moved around from different little leagues before, but our previous league was by far our favorite. (Shout out to Fremont American Little League!!!)

If you’re excited out this little league season, having it be your child’s first time, here’s what your little slugger will gain.

  1. Paying Attention
    During tee-ball, the kids are basically playing in the dirt, or catching butterflies in the outfield. It happens more often then not. T-ball practice and games isn’t a place to play in the dirt or catch butterflies.. It’s inevitable that the hardest hit balls will find the kids who aren’t paying attention. They’ll either miss their chance to catch a ball, or they’ll get drilled. If you don’t pay attention in life, you’ll miss some great opportunities.
  2. Practice/Persistence
    Most kids aren’t natural talents when it comes to t-ball. Some can swing and miss 10 or more times before they hit the ball. And catching isn’t exactly easy either. But when they eventually hit one, it’s awesome. The look of pride and joy on their faces is priceless. That’s when they realize that if they stick to something and work at it, they can accomplish their goal. Definitely a valuable life lesson.
  3. Showing Up
    Even though my boys love t-ball, there have been a few times when one of them didn’t want to go to his game, or parents made prior engagements on weekend game days (I am guilty to this.) But once you bring your son to his game, he’ll most likely have a great time and is glad he went. This is true in many aspects of life. Whether it’s school, work or just going to the gym to work out. Getting yourself to show up is often the most difficult part.
  4. Luck
    When your son hits that ball at first swing, and runs his little tail off to first base and is safe, its an amazing feeling! Or when he’ll stick his glove out and turn his head away as a fly comes down from the sky directly toward him…and lands right in his glove. Luck isn’t something that should be relied upon. But when it happens, it’s a pretty cool feeling.
  5. Successful = Having Copycats
    One kid will hit a home run and a bunch of his teammates will want to use his bat the rest of the game. To 4 and 5-year olds, the bat is the “secret sauce.” When someone is successful in life, other people want to know how he achieved such success and how they can get there, too!
  6. Just Do IT!
    After all the practices and preparation, the big moment will arrive. At game days a kid will have his first at bat in an official game. He’s put in the work. He knows what to do. The ball is right in front of him, resting on the tee. He just has to swing. In life, you can analyze, study, practice, prepare, think and debate. But when it comes down to it, if you want to accomplish anything, you’ve got to take your shot. Just swing and see what happens.
  7. Scorekeeping?
    In tee-ball no one keeps score at the games. The kids don’t mind. They just want to have fun. There are so many competitive aspects in life. Everything from merging into traffic to answering the question, “What do you do for a living?” can feel like a competition.
  8. Rainy Days
    Sometimes the sky will open up and a pouring rain will ruin all your plans. That’s usually how it goes for spring ball. But it doesn’t have to ruin your day. “Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes, it rains.” 

    So there’s the life lessons of little league!!! If you’re child is returning back to little league, or you’re new to the baseball community with your child, welcome! Have fun! Let the kids play, and plaaaaay baaaaalll!

Santa Cruz Weekend

Last weekend my husband and I enjoyed President’s Day weekend in Santa Cruz, CA to celebrate out 16 year anniversary! That’s right, highschool sweethearts, turned parents, to now husband and wife. It sounds crazy and out of order, but we love it! It’s us!!! We’ve been together so long that it’s a clear come every anniversary (Feb 15th) the day after Valentine’s, we’ll usually plan a getaway for us to relax, and enjoy each others company. This year, since we’re now residing in Sacramento, and due to the last minute planning of our trip, we couldn’t branch out as far as we wanted with the time frame give. But Santa Cruz, has always been a favorite, so check out every year or so. This time….Without the kids.

Where we stayed:

Hotel Paradox

Address:

611 Ocean St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

As we arrived to Hotel Paradox, we were welcomed to an awesome florescent sign at the front of the hotel. Modern lighting sitting against a cemented wall, leading you into a chic boutique hotel. My husband and I walked into the lobby and were greeted by the front desk, which was behind a huge fallen eucalyptus tree, as the reception desk. What a great wow factor!!!!!

Now I can go on with all the adorable swanky details in the hotel. From the succulent floor markers, clean poolside cabanas, heat lamps, the gorgeous fire pit, and tasty food. Hotel Paradox is your Santa Cruz hipster heaven of reclaimed wood and sleek design touches.

With just a short walk through San Lorenzo Park located right behind the hotel, you don’t need to worry about driving and finding parking downtown. My husband and I walked majority of the time of our stay. An amazing PLUS, it was walking distance to Trader Joes, Rite Aid, and also a Whole Foods!!

Hotel Paradox is such a great home base location for tourist. Since it wasn’t the season for the beach, the Boardwalk wasn’t an attraction to check out. But, if it were the season, there’s a shuttle to the Boardwalk!!!

The following day we walked through the park, and over the river which took us directly to downtown Santa Cruz. We started each morning with coffee from Santa Cruz’s coffee roaster, the Verve.

Verve locations we checked out:

Pacific Avenue

Address:

1540 Pacific Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Seabright

Address:

104 Bronson St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

 

If you’re a coffee drinker or not, Verve is a Santa Cruz must!!! The coffee is amazing and the atmosphere is great at every location. Their latte is smooth and rich, and their coffee is definitely high quality. I do recall my husband saying their pour over was $7, which is ridiculously expensive, maybe because it’s their higher quality bean, on top of being a touristy spot. Overall, the Verve will serve you well, if you pay them a visit. I’d compare them to Blue Bottle or Temple if you’re familiar with your California coffee roasters.

We explored through Pacific Ave. as we shopped at local novelty shops, book stores, and even got to catch a movie at the Regal movie theater. There would be pockets of time, were we even walked back to the hotel for a small cat nap/recharge (times we usually don’t get while having children!)

Evenings were fun, as my husband and I would start drinking close to dinner time, and bar hop. One night we hung around Joe’s Pizza & Subs to catch the NBA All Star game. After a couple beers, and pizza slices, we found ourselves at Penny Ice Creamery.

The Penny Ice Creamery 

Address:

913 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
When talking about Santa Cruz with friends, I’m sure somewhere in the conversation The Penny Ice Creamery will be mentioned. Their delicious artisinal ice cream made from scratch, and toasted marshmallow fluff, is what gives The Penny Ice Creamery all hype it deserves. With it being the only ice cream shop in Santa Cruz making small batches in house – this ice cream shop has that distinctive edge.
Open daily til 11pm (Cedar St.) this is the original location for The Penny Ice Creamery. I was able to try the Dark Chocolate Sorbet and Tahitian Vanilla with the marshmallow toasted fluff. Fresh and flavorful,  you can’t really go wrong here. When it comes to fresh ice cream, it all the texture and taste, which beats out store-bought. Coming in, I knew the marshmallow fluff would be on the sweet side, so I paired it was simple yet decadent classic favors. If enjoying a junior sized waffle cone, double scoop ice cream with warm toasted fluff, buzzed at 10pm on Sunday means not being an adult, we cannot be friends.
Along with many cities I’ve visited within the past 2 years, Santa Cruz has a special place in my heart. Only one hour away from San Jose, going straight down I-17, Santa Cruz has the beach, coffee, and small town feel….California at it’s best small scale. It’s no San Diego, but it makes the Bay Area natives, and people from all over visit SC to relish it for its beach town vibe, and family owned businesses. 
 

Crafty Cacti

Here’s the next portion of my crafty cacti crafts!!! As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been crazy for cacti!! So during this winter/spring transitional season, staying inside during this cold chilly spring season, I have no choice, but to keep the children busy with crafts! Here’s a Pinterest inspired Cacti craft from CullenABCs.

What You’ll Need:

  • Acrylic Paint (Green, Black, White, Orange, and Yellow)
  • Fine Tip Paint Brush
  • Sponge Paint Brush
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic Fork
  • White Printer Paper/ or Construction Paper

 

Below are a few crafty cactus crafts I think are so so adorable for words, I had to share!! Take a look at these awesome bloggers and their cactus crafts!

Pinterest Cactus Pinspiration:

(Bottom Left)

Paper Cactus Garland

By: Lia Griffith

(Top Right)

Cactus Coloring Page

By: Kristyn, from Lil’ Luna

(Top Left)

Finger Painting Cacti Art

By: CullensAbcs YouTube Channel

If you haven’t checked out my last cacti craft, you can click the picture above of the Cactus Cut Out pic, there you’ll see my previous post, along with the other PINteresting cacti PINspiration!

Directions:

  1. Using a green acrylic paint, apply a coat onto your child’s hand using the sponge brush.
  2. Have your child stamp his/her handprint to your sheet of paper.
  3. Have handprint set to dry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Once dried, take lighter color green and brush strokes using your plastic fork.
    This will create the sharp pines of the cactus.
  5. Next, taking your toothpicks, paint on random dots of white or black onto your cacti.
    This creates more of the sharp, pine effect of the cacti. I made two different versions with both of my sons.
  6. Using your fine paint brush and yellow/orange paint, paint on small florals on your cactus. This can also be optional, as I know some boys may not like flowers on their cactus. 

    And from there….Set to dry, and viola! Enjoy your cactus handprint, made by you and kids!

Happy cacti crafting everyone!!

Be sure to check out more of Kids Crafts on my DIY Page of my blog!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Cacti Art

This rainy transition of winter turning to spring, has me with a green cactus crafty thumb. Rainy days usually have the family and I stuck in house, only willing to go out, for groceries, or a quick coffee-run. Otherwise, you’ll find us inside, cozy, and crafting.

Here are a few cactus crafts I absolutely LOVE!!!

Pinterest Cactus Pinspiration:

Above are a few crafty cactus crafts I think are so so adorable for words, I had to share!! Take a look at these awesome bloggers and their cactus crafts!

(Bottom Right)

A Blooming Cactus

By: APreschoolPlaybook

(Bottom Left)

Paper Cactus Garland

By: Lia Griffith

(Top Right)

Cactus Coloring Page

By: Kristyn, from Lil’ Luna

(Top Left)

Finger Painting Cacti Art

By: CullensAbcs YouTube Channel

I totally love all four of the above crafts, but below I’ll share one of the 2 I had chosen to do with my children this wintery February.  Below, is my rendition of the APreschoolPlaybook’s ‘A Blooming Cactus craft. Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need:

  • Green Colored Construction Paper (White, or any background color construction paper for your cactus scene.)
  • Pencil
  • Green/Yellow/Orange Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Sponge Brush
  • Glue Stick
  • Plastic Fork
  • Scissors

Directions for you Cactus Desert Scene:

  1. With your pencil and green colored construction paper, free hand different sized cactus plants.
  2. Cut out your cactus’
  3. Glue onto your background colored choice of paper.
  4. Taking another shade of glue (light colored preferred) have your child use the plastic fork as the brush, and paint strokes on each cactus.

Super easy right? And super cute!!! Stay tuned, as I’ll post the next cacti craft on a separate post! These crafts are perfect to do during a rainy day, or even during the summer, when the weather is hot, and the cacti are blooming.

Happy cacti crafting!!!

The WayZoo Coloring Book

The weather has been gnarly all week here in Sacramento. Mother nature has been pouring it all out for us, as the rivers rise, and the outdoor activities become unavailable. Little tasks like going to the grocery store become harder to achieve as this rain just keeps us in.

I’m pretty sure many of us are still recovering over the bunch of sweets from Valentine’s Day, and as winter is winding down, us parents are looking for more activities to do with our kids besides giving them more Valentine’s day treats!! While it’s cold outside, and to keep creativity flowing, Wayfair has contacted me to share The WayZoo Coloring Book! This is a FREE 10-page printable coloring book featuring cute animals in the home for kids to color and make their own!

I’ve already printed two coloring books for my boys, and hole punched them to take on the go! The boys and I live on-the go literally from 3-6pm most days!! A lot of the time I’m in the car with one boy, as we wait for brother at a practice or karate lesson. To fill in the pocket’s of time waiting in the car, I’ve brought along The WayZoo coloring book for my boys! My kindergarter can sit and color in the car, without asking mama for her iphone.

Click the link, or the picture to print out your copy of The WayZoo! Coloring Book!!!

Wayfair Coloring Book
And to add in more to the fun, Wayfair will be randomly selecting five little artists to win a prize pack of art supplies including an easel, chalk, markers and paint. All you have to do to enter is send us a scan or a picture of your artist’s creation!!!!!!
(For more details, click the link for The WayZoo Coloring Book.)
Have a great President’s Day weekend everyone! For some of you, you may be still celebrating Valentine’s Day for during this 3 day weekend, like I am, so enjoy your loved one, boyfriend, husband, and make sure he spoils you!! If you’re dropping the kids off to the grandparents, be sure to print out a copy of the coloring book, to keep the kids busy all weekend, and be sure to submit your little one’s creation to the sweepstakes!!!!! Good luck!

The Banyan Tree

It’s been a year since we’ve moved to Sacramento, and with many of the amazing things that make Sacramento has to offer, one this that Sacramento is very proud of is their local businesses (and also how affordable it is, compared to the San Francisco Bay Area.) I started coloring my hair late of 2015, and was always paying around $200 dollars for a color and cut. With mid-length hair, and going to multiple East Bay Hair Salons, every time I could come in during 2015- early 2016, the prices would rise significantly, and the customer service was never genuinely there.

I first found The Banyan Tree through the “Visit Sacramento” Instagram accounts. Having moved from the Bay Area, I had faith in finding the right hair salon within Midtown. Midtown Sacramento  is a historical district and neighborhood just east of Downtown Sacramento, from the Sutter District to the Handle District, Midtown provides an eclectic mix of boutiques, bars, galleries and restaurants, which is why I had faith in finding the perfect salon for me. Midtown’s unique charm and spirit always leaves you in a place of discovery. Midtown’s boundaries are from 16th – 29th, B – W street, conveniently located near the Capitol and accessible from major freeways.

The Banyan Tree

Address:

2311 S St.

Sacramento, CA 95816

(Midtown)

 

Kristina Fong is my stylist and I can’t thank her enough for color-correcting my lion-esque hair with a 7 month grown out balayage!!! She’s so chill, easy to talk to, and definitely will put you at ease, as you get your hair beatified. Times at other salons I’ve been to, hair colorists wouldn’t even talk much to me, and just color and leave me be. Kristina can actually hold down a conversation, and makes your experience at the Banyan Tree totally worth-while.

Follow Kristina Fong here on Instagram!!!

Below was my first color correction appointment, last October in 2016.

The Banyan Tree is a family owned and operated hair salon, that has a ongoing emphasis on love, respect, creativity, and professionalism.

The Banyan Tree is a Davines exclusive salon. Davines hair products are made with high grade, natural ingredients, created in an environmentally sustainable manner.

You can read more about The Banyan Tree HERE.

I get compliments regularly on my cuts, strangers, friends, all notice the perfect lines and stop to say so. I can’t tell you how great it is to have that I have extreme high faith with my stylist, just talk with them and let them do what they do, you will never look better! I look forward to my future cuts and color appointments forever at The Banyan Tree.

 

DIY Cardboard Valentine’s Day Mailbox

Out of all the Valentine’s Day crafts out there, gift ideas, floral arrangements, date night ideas, and cooking recipes, this is the one craft/DIY I’ve had my eyes on the entire month!!!! This DIY Valentine’s Day mailbox, brings excitement to my little one, and his classmates, while they pass out their valentine’s day cards in class! It also keeps it all in one place, organized, and ready to take home for my kindergartener to open! With a few simple tools, and supplies, you can create this DIY mailbox before you drop off you little one to school!!!! Let’s go!!

Supplies:

  • Cardboard Box (I used a moving box we still had in the garage)
  • Duct tape
  • Scotch Tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Blue Giftwrap (DollarTree)
  • Heart Stickers/Foam Hearts (DollarTree)
  • Blue Construction Paper (Optional)

So there really were no directions when I did my mailbox. I literally took a look at a Pinterest pin, and freehanded everything else. BUT if you are the type to follow step by step directions, here’s a higher lever rough step by step process of what I did.

Directions:

  1. Start by cutting out 2 equal round sides for the mailbox.
    It’s important that each side is equal in size, so the mail box isn’t lop-sided.
  2. Cut out the bottom to the mailbox.
    The sizes to the mailbox, is to your desire, whichever size you do, just be sure everything is to scale.
  3. Duct tape the edges of the bottom to the bottom edges of the side panels.
    From here you have already made the main sides and support of the mailbox.
  4. Once both sides and bottom are attached, you can create the top curved part of the mailbox. Simply, cut the width of the mailbox, and have it curve at the top. You can also do this in two parts, if your cardboard isn’t long enough.
  5. Duct tape as much as you can to support the curved cardboard, to create the mailbox shape.
  6. Next you can use a x-acto knife to help cut out the mailbox opening.
  7. I also made a pull-out drawer for the bottom half of the mailbox.
    When creating the open tops/drawer, you may have to create a “stopper,” towards the back of the “pull-out,” drawer, so it would fall out.
  8. Next you can decorate!!!!!!
    I used a royal blue gift wrap I purchased at the DollarTree.
    Wrap the mailbox all around, including the sides of the pull-out drawer.
  9. Add hearts, decorative stickers, or customize the mailbox with your child’s name!
  10. …..Viola!! That’s it!!!
    Take this mailbox to your child’s school, and have he/she and the class enjoy dropping his valentine’s in his customized DIY Cardboard mailbox!!!

Have made a Valentine’s mailbox, or swag bag for your little one?! Comment below! I’d love to see your ideas!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Teddy Graham Hearts

Valentine’s is coming up, and while my kids are in the middle of basketball playoffs, martial arts, and are invited to birthday parties over the weekend, this mama has no time to do some extreme time consuming craft, or bake-good treat. Although, the creative juices in me want to, I have to be real with myself with the time I have.

So after a quick search on my pal Pinterest, I stumbled upon this cute Teddy Bear Graham Cookies Conversation Heart treat.

Pinterest Inspired By:

Teddy Bear Graham Cookies Holding Conversation Hearts

 By: Hello, Wonderful 

and also seen on…

Valentine’s Day Teddy Grahams

By: The Decorated Cookie

What You’ll Need:

  • Teddy Grahams (Honey flavored, or any of your favorite)
  • Conversation Heart Candies
  • Decorating Icing

Using ready made teddy bear cookies and conversation hearts makes this diy treat so easy to make, I could just make my kindergartener do it all. Seriously, no extra work for us working moms!!

Directions (it’s pretty simple):

  1. Add frosting/icing to the belly of each Teddy Graham and stick the conversation heart.
  2. You’re done! (Set to dry)

They are so cute!! With low effort too!!! Pack these cute adorable teddy’s in your childs lunch, or use them as a cupcake topper! I’ll probably make them as a cute Valentine’s Fay favor if time allows.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s treat?!

Check out more of my Festive Fun!!

Throwback Thursday Craft: LOVE

Does anyone else love the Facebook ‘On This Day,’ feature? I’ve forgotten all the cool crafts I’ve done with the kids when they were young. As my blog is growing, I can’t imagine all the stay-at-home moms stumbling over my blog, in search of festive crafts to do with their kiddos. So, that’s why I’m here as another mother, just documenting the fun, and Pinterest inspiration.

Here’s a throwback craft I did in 2014 (two years ago) with the kids! A few years later, and now my youngest the same age my older son was at the time of this craft!!

Where is time going?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Let me sit here at my desk, and gently weep, and shed a tear….Soon, my kids will no longer want to do these crafts with me..So that’s why I do them now, and document them knowing I once, was a mother who took the time and crafted with her kids. Hopefully, the times will stick, and the boys will remember, as I am..

You’ve all probably seen the love handprint craft on Pinterest countless times. So I’ll make the directions short and sweet.

Supplies:

  • -Acrylic craft paint (2-4 shades from white to pink)
  • -Sponge brush
  • -Canvas

Directions:

  1. Create an ombre effect as the background of the canvas. Completely cover the canvas.
  2. Set to dry.
  3. Spell out ‘love,’ with a handprint as the o, and footprints of the v.
  4. Set to dry….And viola!!!

Be sure to note the kids ages, and date of the craft!!! This is what makes the keepsake even that much cooler!!!!!

Dollar Valentine Buys

It’s exactly a week before Valentine’s Day! For some of us, we love to decorate our homes with festive things, garlands, flower arrangements, and diy crafts. The Pinterest loving flow of crafts for this special love filled day oozes with pink and purple delight! To me, its all more for the kids and teachers. I celebrate Valentine’s day along with the kids, but don’t really go all out within my home.

When it comes down to gifts, treats, and v-day cards, I like to take a step back from buying an already assembled gifts for your child’s teacher. I mean, I still feel like I’m recovering from the holiday expenses!!! On top of it all is the kids valentine’s day cards, and sometimes the class likes to celebrate and have a party towards the end of the school day….And that does get expensive. However, when you can’t really justify spending more than $20 for v-day things, I’d definitely go out of my way to check out the DollarTree or 99Cent Only stores for supplies I can purchase for the occasion.

DollarTree (above picture)

Between the two dollar stores, DollarTree holds a special place in my heart. I’ve gone countless times to DollarTree over and over again to get certain staples for my kitchen, as well as snacks, and food supplies. When it comes down to festive holiday accessories, the DollarTree never ever disappoints. From gift bags, tissue paper, and knick-nacks for crafts, or gift basket fillers; the DollarTree can supply is all.

Valentine’s Dollar Steals!

Here’s a few items I’ve purchased for this upcoming cupids holiday!!

Valentine Greeting Cards

**Save a ton with these Dollar buy greeting cards. When it comes down to gift giving, with the card included, save some money, with purchasing cards from the DollarTree!! Sometimes, cards can cost $0.49! That totally beats a Target card at $4.98!!**

Chocolate Hearts (Crispy & Milk Chocolate)

Red Ribbon Bows (Includes 2 bows)

Red Paper Stuffing

Red Glitter Chinese Gift Boxes (Pack of 2)

99 Cent Only Stores

I’ve always been familiar with the 99Cent Store, but there was never really one in my area to go to on a daily. The times I did check it out, I was super surprised with the brand named items I found from snacks, cleaning supplies, and holiday items.

Last week I was able to drop by my local 99Cent Store, and was pleased to see all the Valentine’s delight. From balloons, necklaces, mugs, and bakeware cup liners, and toppers. I didn’t really shop much, for I didn’t have any projects in mind just yet………But once I came home, gathered some inspo from Pinterest, I think I’m ready for another visit, for a few supplies.

 

What are your favorite V-DAY items to purchase at the DollarTree or 99Cent Store?? Have you already created a diy or gift basket for a special someone?! Comment below! I may need more inspiration from you readers!!