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Posts in “Family”

Birthday party at Schlitterbahn Galveston

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Photographed by Drew

When your kid’s birthday is during the hottest season, hanging out in the water is the most ideal way to enjoy the party. My family and I are excited to be back at Schlitterbahn again since we had such a fun time last year! This summer we had the chance to enjoy our day at the waterpark with some of our friends as we celebrated our youngest son’s second birthday.  I partnered with Schlitterbahn on today’s post to share our experience and show how exciting it is to celebrate a birthday at Schlitterbahn!  

Although “exciting” and “wonderful” are the first words that come to mind when thinking of a birthday at Schlitterbahn, another good word is “convenient.” The birthday package at Schlitterbahn made the whole day easy and stress free. We loved that everything we needed was ready when we arrived, including a private cabana and everything needed for the party. Right in front of our cabana was Tiki Tikes, a wonderful play area for kids with slides, shallow wading water, and lifeguards. It was super convenient for myself and my friends, as we had several toddlers in the group, and could easily keep an eye on them as we chit-chatted in the shade. The lifeguards were very  attentive and made us parents feel safe. 

The slightly older kids in our group (ages4-6) enjoyed water slides, the lazy river, and the Whitewater river, where they loved riding down the rapids on floats (which are freely provided by the waterpark). Although my 2-year-old was too young to ride on the bigger rides we kept coming back to –  like the “Wolfpack” and “Thunder Tub” – it was okay, since he could play with the other small children on the Tiki Tikes play area while our friends kept an eye on him. We traded off watching the youngest kids frequently during the day, which worked great: while one couple relaxed in the shade for a bit, other parents and older kids went and rode the amazing rides scattered throughout the park.

Our view from the cabana. So relaxing!

I personally love the Wolfpack (I call it the pink ride haha). It’s such an exciting and fun ride for the whole family! And the view of the park from the top is beautiful. The park was not overly crowded, either. Perhaps that is because we went on a Monday. Both times we have come to Schlitterbahn it has been on weekdays, and we have never felt that there were too many people there. Pro tip: Come right when the park opens at 10, and there will be almost no lines at all for the first hour!

My friends Brittany and Karla, both moms of all boys! There were so many boys that day, all very loud and active 😉

Birthday parties aren’t complete without sweet treats…right!? 😉 Guys, this was my first time to try Dippin Dots ice cream, and it was the best! After being outdoors all day, a cup of ice-cold Dippin Dots was a great way to refresh and re-energize.! For those of you who have never had them, Dippin Dots are tiny, frozen beads of ice cream, yogurt, and flavored ice. Kids grabbed flavors like “Rainbow Ice”, “Banana Split” (my favorite; yes I kept eating it out of my kid’s cup haha) and “Cookies ‘n Cream”. There were several Dippin Dots kiosks around the waterpark which were easy to spot. 

Aside from ice cream, our birthday package also include waterproof tattoos. All the kids were thrilled about and these, and enjoyed picking the designs they liked! The kiosk is located in the gift and shopping area of Schlitterbahn.

We don’t give our boys sweets too often, and certainly not a giant cupcakes full of frosting, but hey – it’s your birthday 😉 Happy birthday to my sweet 2 year old son!

It was so nice to have a birthday party that all ages loved, that was stress-free and super convenient, and that was both exciting and relaxing depending on if we were riding thrilling rides or relaxing in the shade with ice cream! This trip only confirmed that Schlitterbahn is the perfect destination for all ages. It is family-friendly and great for kids from toddlers to teenagers. Check out all the attractions and rides here, and reserve a spot for your next  birthday party at Schlitterbahn! 

Photographed by Drew

 

In partnership with Schlitterbahn Galveston. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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5 days of fun school lunches for kids

Saturday, August 10, 2019

This post is sponsored by adidas. All my opinions are my own.

We have a child who is entering kindergarten this month! With all the busyness before the first day of school, wearing comfy tops like this one to do some errands or cooking in the kitchen certainly helps me in more ways than one. For today’s post, I’d like to share these five school lunches for kids with a twist of fun and creativity! If you’ve been a reader of my blog or been following me on my Instagram stories, you know that I love art and design and I sometimes share some creative lunches for my kids since I’m a stay-at-home mom. I thought why not apply my art background on food so my son will get more excited to eat them. 

Thankfully, my kids are good eaters. It takes practice, lots of patience, and training to turn our kids to one. Credit goes to my husband who has a background in Child Psychology 😉 Anyway, scroll down and enjoy these five days of fun and homemade school lunch for your kids!

Lunch: Cheese Sandwich with Pepperoni 
Theme: School bus

When my kids think of school, one of the first things that comes to mind is a school bus! Here’s how to make an edible school bus: grab a knife and trim the top left and side of two sliced of bread to create a curve. Make three small square holes in the front as bus windows. I added a few pepperoni as wheels and a stop sign that says ‘K” for kindergarten. I threw some steamed broccoli, almonds, raisins, and cherry plums for a fruity treat.

Lunch: Avocado Cheese Quesidilla
Theme: Fish

Tortilla is a hit at home especially for my kids. I grabbed a fresh tortilla in the grocery to make this easy and healthy avocado cheese quesadilla. After I made them, on the same iron skillet pan, I fried corn and black beans with oil, some cumin, and paprika for a few minutes. The other side is sweet pepper (as fish skin), more avocados, and fresh mangoes.

Lunch: Mini Bagel Pizza
Theme: Owl

One of the easiest lunch that I actually give to my kids is pizza bagel. The best part of it is that my kids can join and help create their own. You can make these bunch and freeze it for later after you baked them. I think this will be my eldest son’s on-the-go lunch!

 

Food: Pasta Salad
Theme: Writing K for Kindergarten

Another easy and healthy lunch idea is pasta salad. I know, I know.. salad for kids? Well, the good side of pasta salad is that you can experiment with ingredients — olives, cube cheese, zucchini, cherry tomatoes. For protein, we usually use marinade chicken but this time, summer sausage as it’s easy to chop and add on the salad. The adorable cheese pencil I got from Pinterest! You can add apple sauce and some crackers as side dish.

Lunch Idea: Koren Beef with Rice
Theme: Bear

This 30-minute korean beef that I found in Pinterest is one of the meals that my family loves. You can throw some veggies like broccoli, carrots, green onions, and red peppers. Since I’m from the Philippines and my husband spent some time living in Asia, we love having rice at least once or twice a week! And yes, we love leftovers so it doesn’t go to waste! Any left is what I will pack for my son’s lunch.

I hope this post inspires you to create your son’s lunch with a twist. Whether you want a creative lunch or just a simple one, the important thing is the effort you make for your little one(s) and that it comes from the heart <3

adidas kid’s shirt (similar one)

blue tank top

Feel free to share with other moms. Happy weekend!

 

CATEGORY DIY, Family, Food
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How I Fit Three Boys in One Room + Closet Organization

Sunday, June 30, 2019

 

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When we found out that our third son was another boy, we knew that all of our three boys would share one bedroom. We want them to grow up together in one room so that they would be close and learn to share (even though 3 boys in one room can get crazy at times 😉 As they’ve grown up they’ve become very close and are always playing and laughing. We’re so glad they’re building strong relationships and making great memories!

If you have noticed on my Instagram, we have finally moved into our new house, which is the first house we have ever bought! Praise to God! When we moved in we were excited for the boys to start rooming together consistently. But the boys room aren’t very big,  so I had to make sure that the furniture would not make the room look cluttered or too crowded. My first thought was to maximize their new bedroom space by using bunk bed. After some looking, we found this perfect  Metal Twin-Twin  Bunk Bed from Bel Furniture in Houston. It’s sturdy, stylish, and space-saving, and I really enjoyed decorating the room with it.  I added some matching some wooden decor so make a boyish, warm-feeling room.  

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Thanks to the space-saving bunk bed, there’s plenty of room for our youngest son’s toddler bed. But this is just temporary – one thing I love about the bunk bed is that there is plenty of space for a trundle bed in the future for our little one. Then there will be even more space in the room for dressers, desks, or whatever else the boys need.

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For their closet organization, I used two metal frames with wire mesh drawers on either side of the closet. This gave us plenty of storage for all 3 boys’ shirts, shorts, pants, etc. 

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The kids really love their new bed! After getting everything set up I decided to add a small book shelf for each boy so that they each have a separate space to read their books when they get too crazy during the day 😉 

Thank you for Bel Furniture for helping us to maximize the kids’ bedroom! You can find the bunk bed we have here. It’s on sale!

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Celebrate Mother’s Day the Simple Way

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

adidas mothers day helloislandmama 5 Being a mother is one of the most beautiful and blessed experiences that happened to me. Even though sometimes it’s hard emotionally, physically, and mentally, it’s a rewarding and fulfilling job. This year will be my fifth time celebrating Mother’s Day.

My husband and I believe that spending time outdoors is healthy for us. Having kids can be exhausting, so a little activity outside the house is a good way for us to recharge. We also believe that spending time with the family doesn’t always require splurging. Since we recently decided to purchase our own home (Thank you, Lord!), we have to watch how we spend.

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There are affordable, healthy, and fun ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. Here’s a little list to serve as inspiration for your and your family:

Picnic in the park or backyard

Being indoors is comfortable, but spending time in nature is just as important. There’s plenty of research that shows spending time outdoors is beneficial to our health. Take your family with you and enjoy the day, picnic style.

Make homemade breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and spending it with your family is always a good idea. It’s the time to bond and share before everyone gets busy. Gentlemen, surprise your wives or moms with a healthy homemade breakfast! It’s a great gesture to show how much you value and love them.

Relax on the beach/pool

I’m particularly fond of water. It relaxes and calms me in a way no aromatherapy can. When there’s a constant buzz coming from the streets and our phones, it can add a lot of stress and anxiety. Unwinding by the water is a good way to de-stress and to slow down.

Visit State Park

We’re very glad that we have many nature parks here in Houston. Our current favorite is Brazos Bend Park and Arman Bayou Park. It’s walkable, refreshing, and it’s family friendly. It also sparks my children’s curiosity and allows me to see things through the eyes of my children.

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Whenever we go outside, I try to keep my outfit simple and fuss-free. Running after children is never easy let alone three energetic boys! I make it a point to always wear something that I’m comfortable with and will allow me to play with my kids effortlessly.

My current favorite is this tee dress from adidas. It’s the perfect dress for me since I really don’t like stressing myself on what to wear in the morning. The dress goes perfectly with my sneaks! I said bye to heels a long time ago and sneaks are my forever go-to footwear. Running around is way easier and comfier!

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Mother’s Day without splurging. More often than not, it’s the thought that counts. I hope you have a good Mother’s Day and that you find the best way to celebrate them.

In partnership with adidas.

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Turning 5 at Pump It Up

Monday, April 22, 2019

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My son recently celebrated his 5th birthday at Pump It Up of Webster. I’m so thankful that I was able to organize everything and that the kids’ actually enjoyed the party! Let’s face it. Entertaining kids is a challenge these days. With all the gadgets around, it’s quite hard to find an activity that they would really enjoy.

My son was so happy to celebrate with his friends from our church. They definitely loved climbing and sliding down the huge inflatable slides. I didn’t need to worry at all about everyone’s safety. Pump It Up’s friendly staff were always present to supervise the area and attend to the kids whenever they needed help with something.

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What I love about Pump It Up though, is that they’re really clean and organized. As mothers, we don’t want our kids playing in areas with questionable sanitation. So this was a huge plus for me! This is one of the first things I’ve noticed in their facility. They keep the play areas really clean!

They also helped me with the e-vites including sending a reminder to my guests before the actual party. This really took a load off my plate and allowed me to attend to other things. It’s always nice to have a little helping hand when setting everything up is getting overwhelming. The part I super loved about all this is, I don’t have to clean up after the party! Parties are fun but the clean up after is a feat. My family and I can just have a good time without worrying about the mess we need to clean up after. It’s like having your cake and eating it too! 🙂

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Since my son is into Ninjago lego 😉 He also requested for Lego cupcakes just like I did for his brother last year. “Lego Birthday Theme”. It’s easy to make and you can buy ready made fondant in grocery stores. Use a small icing stainless tip to create small rounded shapes for the brick Lego effect.

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To complete the party favors, Bitsy’s sent these delicious and healthy snacks for the kids!

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If you’re thinking of a kids’ party that even the adults will enjoy, I highly recommend Pump It Up. It’s simple, stress-free, and private. The Glow in the Dark, Balloon Drop and Bubble Experience are just so much fun that you surely would want you and your kids to experience. The reservations are quick and you can choose from different packages for all party sizes. You can browse their packages and play areas here. Book a date through their online calendar and you’re good to go!

Thank you to Pump It Up of Webster for this fun and cool birthday party! You made my family and friends super happy!

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My House Cleaning Schedule with Printable To-Do list!

Friday, March 22, 2019

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While cleaning and organizing sounds impossible with small kids running around almost all the time, having a guide (aka to-do list) helps me keep tasks on track. Ticking off everything from my list, of course, doesn’t happen all the time. But I still like my chores and errands where I can see them. With all the stuff I need to do, a physical reminder is a great way to keep everything in check.

I divided my to-do list in three sections: daily, weekly, and monthly.

Daily is for stuff that needs to be done every single day like making the bed, wiping countertops, and so on. For weekly, I try to focus on vacuuming and mopping our kitchen floor every monday. Tuesday is for organizing and decluttering our closet. Wednesday is for bathroom cleaning. Thursday is for changing and washing towels and bedsheets, the rest of the laundry will be friday. Saturday is for checking my “monthly” to-do list and Sunday is just for church and family day.

Monthly is for the rest of the things I can do that doesn’t require immediate follow ups like cleaning and organizing the garage, washing my children’s stuffed toys, and maybe cleaning up my photo gallery 😉

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I love it when our home is extra neat. It gives us positive vibes – emotionally and mentally.

You can download and print this DIY to-do list if you’re having trouble remembering which tasks you should do first. You can also laminate them and use a dry erase marker so you can use it again.

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as checking an item off your to-do list after a hard day’s work. To-do lists are great for tracking your progress and boosting your confidence in your ability to complete important tasks everyday.

Are you a fan of to-do lists too?

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Playroom Makeover

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

 

playroom makeover

I decided to do a little decluttering at home starting with my kids’ room. I switched the playroom to be their room since I can easily check up on them from the kitchen. The most challenging part is sorting all of their toys and puzzles. I honestly think they have more stuff than me! There’s a tee-pee, toddler table, chairs, and a play kitchen that needed to be places strategically in their room. Not to mention the countless Lego we have at home!

Since I became a mother, I’ve been more inclined to use more colors when it comes to styling our house. I think having colorful and vivid stuff around kids can make them more feel imaginative and cheerful. I mix wooden toys and shelves for a bit of balance. I used an Ikea cube bookshelf to sort my kid’s clothes and since I also have the same furniture in their playroom. I put it on top of the other shelf to make more space in our living room. I decided to remove the sliding door as well of the closet to make it more roomy. Here’s what it looks like:

before playroom

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The sofa bed from Simpli Home added the final touch to the room. We now have an area where we can sit and relax while reading to the kids. Our playroom doubles as a guest room so the sofa is really a great addition that our guests can enjoy, too! A friend of mine mentioned that I should use a hanging rack container to sort the puzzles of my kids and it worked perfectly! Problem solved for the little pieces that always end up missing.

When I do a makeover, I try not to spend so much. It’s more fun creating your own. There are plenty of DIY project online that can easily be done at home. I did the bin cube storages for bookshelves so not everything is exposed. I did an abstract painting and a pillow cover with one of my favorite Bible verse for a finishing touch.

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(alphabet wooden puzzle / shelving unit / wooden train from etsy)

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(Kidkraft play kitchen gifted from my mother-in-law / Tee Pee / Washable and Kid-Friendly Rug / Toddler Table and Chairs)

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(Psalms of Praise Children’s Book)

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Although it can oftentimes seem frustrating and challenging, to redecorate a room, planning can be fun. With the right DIYs and technique, you can turn your snug room into a dreamy retreat. 🙂

Thanks to Simpli Home for sending the spencer sofa bed to help us complete our kid’s playroom!

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Do-It-Yourself Fun Chart For Kids and Mom

Monday, January 21, 2019

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Today, I like to share our to-do list chart for my eldest boys and for myself as a mom of three children. This chart  helps me especially my kids with our daily routine. My eldest boys are in pre-school and they are already in the stage where they can do things on their own and even in doing household chores from time to time (putting away clean silverware from dishwasher, making their bed etc.). Also, I decided to create this chart to remind them of other things they need to learn like leading the prayer and memorize Bible verses to name a few.

I believe that being responsible starts at home. They learn not only about cleaning or organizing but also they learn the value of doing things together as a family. I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a child psychologist. He said that charts are also a great way to teach our kids and make them excited to do activities. It also helps me because I don’t need to remind the kids time and again what needs to be done 🙂

 

You are free to do any style you want and to decorate  each chart. Here are the FREE printable icons that you can use for your chart. I hope this helps you and your kids enjoy do things at home.

 

Materials:

Magnetic sheet ( $2)

Metal Board with rope to hang (Walmart)

Construction paper

Magnetic Alphabets (optional)

Pom poms (optional)

Twine (optional

Laminate (optional)

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STEP 1 Print customized icons in 8.5 x 11 paper.

STEP 2 Cut and glue construction paper to add a pop of color. I designated color each of my kids.

STEP 3 If you can, laminate so it won’t get dirty easily. It makes the paper stable to hold as well. If you’ve noticed, I’ve included some blank rounds on the FREE printable file, this way, you can add your own drawing for your kid’s chart.

STEP 4 Cut magnetic sheet in small pieces that will fit the rounded icon.

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(no, this chart it’s not for this little fella 🙂 )

I used a jute rope to create two columns. The left side that says “TO DO” are the icons that I want my kids to try to do. You can add other icons as you go along. I try to feature 4 to 6 icons and once they’re done, they can get 4 to 6 minute of screen time play (they love PBS Kids like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Wild Kratts) or anything that tickles their fancy in that moment. They are into marbles recently, so I also use that as rewards when they finish a task.

For this chart, I also have a space where it will remind myself and my children to read the Bible and lead a prayer during mealtime. I also included a verse for the month as well.

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So this is my chart as a mom of three kids. I’m a visual person and this chart helps me to track what I need to do on a daily basis. This is super easy and fun to do.  I don’t have the printable to-do list since each of us have different things that we want to accomplish on a day. Here are mine:

 

  • One on one with big bro
  • One on one with mid bro
  • One on one with little bro
  • 8 glasses of water (I’m so bad at this)
  • Hug husband (because I’m not a hugging person that’s why I include this on my to-do list)
  • Read Bible
  • Self-care (hobbies for myself like putting a simple makeup, needlepointing, painting etc.)
  • Walk and exercise (does chasing kids count?)

Once I’m done with all of my tasks, the phrase “good work” will appear. You can print the “good work” here (simply shaded the back using pencil and trace in as your guide. Fill in with marker). You can also use image if you’d like.

If you like this post, don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest. Also, let me know if you’ll be trying this chart! Tag me on Instagram @helloislandmama so I can see your work. Can’t wait!

 

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Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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