Summer is OFFICIALLY here!!! Duck and Goose Beach Party

Hucklebaby LOVES Duck and Goose. When I say love, I mean he walks around the house say Duck, Duck, Duck…when he wants to read one of Tad Hills’ books. Until now he only had the board books ‘Feelings’ and ’1,2,3′.

But now we have ‘Duck and Goose Go To The Beach’.



I know this sounds weird to people that don’t live near the ocean but we don’t go to the beach that often…mater of fact I think it has been a year since we have been. We only go when we have visitors…and now with the Fourth of July almost here, we are gearing up to head back to the beach.

I love watching Hucklebaby sit and go through new books. Ohhh-ing and Ahhh-ing at the pictures and yelling Duck as he is pointing to his favorite character.





He wanted to make sure he waved by to the camera when he was done with the book.  He still puts up with all of my picture taking. I’m sure that will end any day now.



The friendship between Duck and Goose is adorable…I only wish their little bird wings could look like they were holding hands. I can only imagine what they are thinking as they are standing there looking out from the dune.

Hucklebaby and I were also able to talk about some animals we might see at the beach although I’m really hoping crabs aren’t on the list.



Side note: The only way I could get him to get in the car after reading this book…was to take Duck with us. We love you Tad Hills.



So if you or your little one would like a chance to have your very own copy of  Tad Hill’s ‘Duck and Goose Go To The Beach’ simply leave a comment about what your favorite part of the beach is.

For a double chance to win follow me on Instagram @mariannafrances and comment on the Duck and Goose Giveaway post.

Pillow Covers

So the pillows that we have came with the couch. I remember liking them..but now looking at them…that can’t be true…can it? They annoy me. We only got our living room set 4 years ago but I’m ready for a new one. Is that normal? Because I know getting a new one is not an option (right now) I figured I’d start out by recovering my throw pillows.

After looking online, all of the covers I liked were at least $20 or more. Seriously? I could buy brand new pillows for that amount…but then I would feel guilty for getting rid of these when they are perfectly good pillows.

Strolling through Hobby Lobby today I saw these fabrics and was able to get the amount I needed for $3 in each pattern. Sounds good to me. 20140620-151904-55144139.jpg

Sewing takes a little longer with a one year old running around and turning my machine on and off (while I’m using it) but I was able to get these done in about an hour. Although it really shouldn’t take that long.

Ta-da. Super easy DIY. Maybe I’ll start making different holiday pillow covers too. ❤20140620-151204-54724871.jpg

Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles!!!

This kid loves BUBBLES~ When I say bubbles, I mean water. Anything water. Baths, showers, pool, splash pads even the dogs water bowl. I’ve decided since it makes him so happy I’d rather spend $10 more a month on our water bill than buying extra toys. (I know, wasteful…I get it) but since he spends so much time in the shower and bath playing, I want fun things to play with too. I feel like every time I’m at the store I slow down in the bath aisle.


One of the first things we tried out were the Twistable Crayola Crayons. They weren’t super expensive but they weren’t cheap either. I think they were around $4 at Target. He LOVED these. I did too. The packaging says it’s easier to clean now…yes, if you do it while it is still wet. But don’t wait a day or two. Hucklebaby likes scrubbing them clean with a little fish nail brush he has anyway from the B. Toys Boat collection we’ve had for a while.  Bad side — I think they lasted two or three times. Then they were done. He kept asking me to make them work and I felt bad that they were all out. For the amount of money they were, I honestly think they need to have more product in them.



I do like these crayons though. I found these at Walmart in the baby section. I think they were about $4 too and have lasted well over a month now. They must have different formulations because these do not have as much pigment as the others but the trade off is that they last longer…sooooo….


I saw these at Walmart too. Shut your mouth…Bathtub Markers? Wahoo!!! FAIL. These are awful. If I returned things…I would return these. It just a watery pile of watery color. The top is like a paint pen but it only looks like food coloring mixed with water as it comes out.  Come on Crayola…I expect better.


Look at that blue pile of blahhh… :(

Do any other companies other than Crayola make fun bath stuff???

On to Crayola Bathtub Finger Pant Soap. Now, the Easter Bunny brought ours but I also saw them in the Target Dollar Spot.


So the first thing I had to understand is that this is NOT paint. This is soap, so it has that consistency. Imagine a hand soap with coloring in it and that’s what you have. He LOVES these. I think he likes “painting” himself as he is washing his arms and legs.


This is what happens when I try to take a picture while he is still using it.



So this was a random find. LUSH Sweetie Pie. Did I buy this for him? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I thought it would be fun for me. After using it a few times, I did not like it. It never lathered for me and fell off in clumps on the shower floor. I felt like I was wasting the product. So when he grabbed it and asked me to open it I did. I wasn’t using it. What a great find. He loves pushing the clumps around on the shower floor and trying to pick them up. The main reason why I hated this product is the exact reason he loves it. I won’t rebuy it when it runs out…but I’m glad it is finally getting used up.


SHAMPOOS!!! I could seriously buy every single shampoo on the shelf. There are probably 20 on my wish list. Here are the three we are currently using. My current favorite is Little Green. The pump bottle makes it easy for Hucklebaby to get the soap himself. Plus it is tear free. I still feel awful when there are bubbles all over his face as I am rinsing him off but I know they aren’t burning and he laughs right though it all. I do think it is funny when he starts laughing and bubbles come out of his mouth. I do love this company.

Johnson and Johnson is something that I’m pretty sure we have 10 bottles left from our baby shower. You know what it’s like. I think I used it as a kid too. I do like it but I know there are so many other options out there I would buy instead of this one. Something more natural or from a smaller company. Believe me I’m pretty sure Johnson and Johnson will not go under if I stop buying from them…but I know smaller companies would enjoy my purchase.

Shea Moisture – $10??? No, I didn’t buy this one but after seeing it for sale at Target, this is another one I won’t be repurchasing. I used it on Hucklebaby a few times and then stopped. It is too lathery and foamy. It’s ok for a kid that understands he needs to sit still until all of the soap is gone, but this one seemed like the more I rinsed the more bubbles and lather there were. I’m saving it for me to use so it doesn’t go to waste…



I grabbed this the other day to try too…but after using it Hucklybaby broke out so we stopped using it to see if this is what could have caused it. No…wasn’t the soap but Hand Foot and Mouth. Another post on that later. But we are now using it again and enjoying it. I know I’m also going to try out some of the Honest Co. products when I get low on these.



Any other smaller soap companies you think we need to try out??? I’m always looking for fun bath stuff. :)

Book Review: A Bucket of Blessings

I love anytime we get new books in the room. I don’t think that feeling will ever get old, so when I was asked to review –  A Bucket of Blessings by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Segal (mother and son) -  I absolutely said yes. I love being able to share a new book with the kids and get them excited too. I even bring it in still in the envelope from the “author” because he knows our class is so special.


Anytime we have a book with a jacket we get to discuss why it is important and how it helps protect the book. Really…jackets disappear before the book goes in the library. I’m always a bit sad about that. I used to save them and had a weird collection of book jackets in my closet. I had to have a conversation with myself about letting them go. What does everyone else do with book covers? No, honestly…I’m seriously curious. Anyway…

This came at the perfect time because we were able to compare the animals in our science unit to the animals in this book. Fiction/Non-Fiction… and something that they can always grab on to no matter how young…is if animals are talking to each other…it’s got to be FAKE. FAKE means FICTION. Yes, we are super excited about that fact.  After sharing the book with the class, we were able to talk about our favorite parts of the book. I wanted to share a few with you along with the beautiful illustrations.


“My favorite part of the book was when the water dropped down.”




“My favorite part of the book was when the peacock put up his colorful wings.”

20140513-210911.jpg“My favorite part of the book was when the monkey dropped the water and the flowers got big.”

I know you are wondering what MY favorite part of the book is… well… as I was reading, the kids were trying to warn the monkey that he was spilling the water…they seemed really concerned and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see what he was doing. It was kinda adorable. Another great thing about this book is that the authors, Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal, are donating a portion of the proceeds to charity: water, ( ), an organization that provides clean drinking water to communities in developing nations. Something you can feel good about. 

Overall we give this high fives all around and it has found a permanent home in our class library. Aren’t the illustrations great? I wish I could draw…maybe I’ll be a book illustrator when I grow up.








End of the Year Kindergarten ABC Countdown -Week 1

So last week as I was going through my Sunday blog reading I found several teachers doing an ABC countdown. What? This is my first year in Kindergarten so sometimes I forget fun cute things like this. I knew I needed to start it right away. I liked the ideas I saw but wanted to add on to them.

Monday – A Day
Alligator Hats, apple cider (which none of my kiddos had ever had) and “A” art. 20140504-125529.jpg

Tuesday -B Day
Blue butterflies and bubbles. 20140504-125944.jpg

Wednesday – C Day
I missed C day because Hucklebaby had to stay home sick…that means mommy stayed home. Although I had counting coins, cookies and cape craftivity planned. I think I switch the coins to M day for a money theme.
Thursday – D Day
Donuts, Dinosaurs and Dots (chalk art)

Friday – E Day
Elephant (Inspired by one of our favorite authors Mo Willems) and “E” science foldables with our 5th grade buddies. 20140504-130522.jpg





Can you guess what elephants really make me smile? Kids art can be amazing don’t cha think?
I love that my 5th grade teacher buddy is as excited about this as I am and wants us to partner up more with our ABC countdown. I’m excited too. She mentioned invisible ink for I day. Um….yes. How cool is that? I’m also super lucky to have another teacher on my team that is doing the ABC countdown with me. Our classes look so cute in out hats together plus it gets the kids talking about what letters are coming up.

So now I need to sit and think of all of the F,G,H,I,J activities I want to do this week. Yes, I know I should already have the rest of the month planned but…at least next year I’ll be ahead of the game.

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I want Electric eyes…

So after flipping through my new Ulta catalog I see this Urban Decay Electric Palette. I’m in serious lust. I want it. I need it. My life won’t be complete without it. The colors are so bright and ridiculous.
I told myself no, I don’t need it. When will I wear these colors? It’s not like I’m a young sprout that can pull it off… But I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve walked by Ulta a couple of times since this obsession began and have avoided going in.

So instead of spending $50 for the other one I gave in at Walgreens and for a little over $10 grabbed these vibrant beauties.

I was hoping that they would fulfill my need for color.

Nope. Didn’t do it. I mean I will use it and the colors are OK at best. I was hoping for more pigment. In order for me to get even a good amount of color I had to layer it on and it dusted all over my cheeks. Not my favorite thing to do. So again I’m still thinking about that palette.

As for the Wet and Wild liquid eyeliner… For $2.99 I can’t complain. It’s what I should expect to get. The purple one does seem a little watery. The blue Rimmel stick I’m happy about. Very smooth and pigmented.


On a sidenote: I’m still loving my Chella blue eyeliner from my March Ipsy bag. I can’t wait to grab more of these.


I can’t avoid Ulta that much longer.

Imaginary Animals Painting Project – Beezus and Ramona

I’ve started reading chapter books to my kiddos during their snack time. When I first started they weren’t crazy about books with no pictures but they have slowly started telling me what they see in their minds as we are reading. Exactly what I wanted. The first chapter book I read was Pippy Longstockings. I only picked it because I remember how much I loved it. After retreading it with them, I probably won’t do it with my next class. The language was a little too “old”. Our second book is Beezus and Ramona. Much easier for them to follow plus I’ve noticed there are activities I can tie in with the book. This I am truly excited about.

I found that it was a perfect chance to bust out the paints and get messy. Bezzus and Ramona had to paint imaginary animals in their paint class…so we did too.

I loved hearing them talk about what the characters painted and what they wanted to paint. They were making connections and enjoying all of it.


And sometimes you have to take it to the floor to make it perfect.

I’m not sure what chapter book I’ll do next, so I’m completely open to recommendations. I want to try and do at least one craftivity a week with it. Maybe I can be an art teacher when I grow up. :)