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Tips for Creating a Great Summer Bucket List

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Summer is almost here! The last day of school for most of Las Vegas is June 8th and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to keep the kiddos entertained all summer! You don’t want summer to pass you by without having some fun!

Creating a summer bucket list can help!  Since the summer of 2010 we’ve been putting together a family summer bucket list and we look forward to it every year.  What exactly is a summer bucket list? It’s just an awesome way to have an intentionally fun summer with your family and make some great memories! The list doesn’t have to be big or filled with expensive outings to be fun.  Just think of some things you all can do together as a family in the summer, write it down, then go have fun! 

Here are a few tips that have worked for us (through a bit of trial and error) on creating a fun and successful summer bucket list that everyone can enjoy.  

  • Get the whole family involved.  Everyone will be more excited if they have a say in the list, so we make sure to talk about it together. Dinnertime or driving in the car work great.  Kids will come up with some pretty far fetched activities sometimes, so it’s good to give them boundaries and suggestions as to what kinds of activities you can/prefer to do, especially if this is your first time putting the list together.  The key is to get input from everyone and although not every activity will make the cut, they’ll be happy to have had a say in it and will be super excited when it’s time to do their activity!the_emerics_san_diego_california_ensenada_mexico_family_vacation-5
  • Include traditions.  Most of our traditions became traditions purely unintentionally, but now that we have them we are intentional about keeping them.  We make sure to include them each year in our bucket list and look forward to them each summer.  I’m sure you probably have summer traditions yourself already and just didn’t realize it.  Things like, BBQing with friends, watching fireworks, swimming parties, these may all be things you may do each year that can easily be incorporated into your family’s summer bucket list.

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  • Limit your list.  We found that keeping the list to about 10-12 activities is much more realistic than trying to include 20+ things.  Putting too much on your list can get stressful and pricey.  Your list should be about having fun together, not just doing stuff!DSCF8012
  • Don’t be too ambitious.  Every day doesn’t have to be jam packed with activities and weekends don’t have to be spent at a theme park or away from home for it to be fun and memorable.   Kids just want to spend time with you.  Your summer bucket list doesn’t need to be super elaborate or expensive.  This is especially true for younger kiddos.  Some of our fun and simple activities have included: going out for frozen yogurt, bike riding, geocaching, and watching the sunset. Need some ideas? Check out sites like Groupon and Living Social for great deals on fun things to do, like acrades, mini golf, bowling, go kart racing, laser tag, paintball, etc! 

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  • Display your list.  static1.squarespaceOnce you have your activities all picked out, make sure to display the list in a place where it can always be seen.  The last thing you want to do is create all this excitement and then forget about it. Believe me, if you put your list in a spot where the kids can see it everyday, they won’t let you forget about it! Through the years we’ve put it at the bottom of the staircase, on the fridge, and on a banner across the kitchen window. Bonus tip: Get the kiddos involved in creating a fun way to display your list 😉
  • Plan.  Once we have the list ready and displayed, it’s time to set a plan in motion.  Depending on your list, this could require lots of planning or little planning.  Our summer bucket list usually consists of smaller activities (frozen yogurt, water park, hiking, water balloon fights) with 1-2 big ones, such as a trip to the beach or family vacation.  Obviously, planning a trip will require a lot more planning, such as hotel stays, flights, rental car, etc. and most likely you’ll have your dates set for that. But I even find it helpful to at least pencil in the smaller events, just so that they are on the calendar and ready to go! 
  • Document.  Now that you’ve put some effort into creating and displaying your list, you have to go out and do all those fun things!  And, don’t forget to document along the way.  Whether you use a professional camera, a point and shoot, or just your iPhone, it’s important to snap a few photos for posterity’s sake.  We tend to use all 3! Here are a few ideas on places to document your summer: personal blog, special hashtag on instagram (ours will be #emericsummer2017), facebook album, scrapbook, chatbooks, or even a yearly calendar.  There are lots of options!  Whatever you choose, it’ll be great to look back at the end of the summer and relive all the cool things you did!

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So what are you waiting for? Grab the kiddos and start thinking of ideas for your summer bucket list! Your family will look forward to all the big & little adventures you’ll have throughout the summer.  Let’s make this summer your best one yet! 

Feel free to check out our summer bucket lists from the past 2 years to get ideas and inspiration for your own – 2016 and 2015

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Current Events, Family, Kid-Friendly, Reviews, Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized, Vegas Dads

May the Fourth be with YOU

 

starwars-featIs officially Star Wars Day as a day to celebrate Star Wars which was created by George Lucas. It is observed by fans young and old. Fans celebrate the day by re-watching the world-famous franchises movies or reading the comics.
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The date was chosen for the easy pun on the catchphrase May the Force be with you. In the movies the phrase is used to wish an individual good luck and that they would have favor with The Force.Although this is not an official holiday it is still celebrated by many Star Wars fans across the world and who can blame them.

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Even our family has grown to love the many adventures and wise words encouraged by the films.

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 Thanks to Legos my five year old loves everything Star Wars.  If you haven’t I definitely recommend visiting the Lego Star Wars page for some awesome content. 

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The franchise was launched back in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon branching out to release books, a television series, video games and comics.*

If your ever curious on what is The Best Way to Watch All The Star Wars Movies.  I definitley recommend reading this article to help you decide.

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1. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
2. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
3. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
4. Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film (2018)
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
6. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
7. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
8. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
9. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
10. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (coming in December 2017)
11. Star Wars: Episode XI – (coming in May 2019)

In celebration of May the Fourth, I purchased my son his first AT-AT. I did a lot of research and found Revell made some affordable Star Wars Kits.  At first I was discouraged by the age recommendation.  I decided to purchase it anyways with the intent of helping my son build the kits.  I am so glad I purchased the Kit. It was very easy to build and the instructions and quality of the product was great.  I plan on buying more kits to build with together with my son.

 

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Please feel free to share your Star Wars Celebration. We would love to hear how you and your family celebrated the day. May the Force Always Be with You!

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Daughters, DIY, Family, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Moms, Moms, Tips and Tricks

Halloween Tutu Tutorial

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Hello mamas and happy fall! I seriously love this time of year. The weather is finally starting to cool down and best of all…. Halloween is right around the corner! I mean what’s not to love? You get to carve pumpkins, dress up, and eat a bucket full of candy. Amazing. This Halloween is super special for me because we recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl to our family. My son has been talking nonstop about taking her trick-or-treating and finding her a costume. G decided that he and his daddy were going to be Power Rangers. As for me and baby E, he wanted us to be something else. Although I think I would have been an amazing Pink Ranger, I agreed. It ended up being an easy decision. Before baby E was born we bought her an adorable Minnie Mouse dress that I absolutely love. Who better to go with Minnie Mouse than her BFF Daisy Duck. image9I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a costume so I decided to make one. A quick Pinterest search later and I had a plan. The costume consists of a white tutu, a purple shirt, and a pink bow. I had the shirt and bought the bow and supplies for the tutu.

Here’s what you need:image2
Tulle (I used 3 spools)
Elastic band
Needle & thread
Scissors

First thing you need to do is measure the elastic. Make sure it’s snug around your waist.

When you have your elastic measured, simply sew it together.

Now onto the tulle. From what I gathered during my tutu making research, the average length for the skirt is between 10 to 12 inches. Now you can measure and cut the tulle one piece at a time, but who has time for that?image4

Here’s an easier way to do it:

First find a piece of cardboard and cut it double the length of your tutu. Since I wanted the length of my tutu to be around 12 inches long, the cardboard was cut 24 inches long. 

Next, tightly wrap the tulle around the cardboard. Once you’re done, take your scissors and cut it on one end. Then, grab all your tulle, fold it in half, and cut it down the middle. Repeat with at least 2 more spools.

Now we are ready to start tying.

Take your elastic piece and put it around something sturdy. I used my dining room chair. Next take a piece of your tulle and fold it in half. This will be the length of your tutu.image6

Now take the tails of the tulle and pull them over the elastic and through the loop and gently tighten to form a knot. Repeat until your tutu is nice and full.

Remember the elastic will stretch so make sure you pack on the tulle. I ended up only needing three spools, but you really can use as much as you want. It will just make your tutu even fluffier.image7

I think this project could be done within a couple hours with no interruptions, but with an infant and a toddler it took me a couple days.

With all the supplies, plus a pink bow, the total cost of my costume was less than $10. Look for coupons and sales.

Here’s the final product. What do you think? My little sidekick is cute too.

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