Family Monogram Plaque

Family monogram plaque ~ Life in Random Bits #diy #monogram

I'm guest posting today at Texas Women Bloggers, sharing a fun little monogram project. It's versatile and so easy to customize. Come check it out!


Pirate favorites for reading aloud

This post contains Amazon Associate links.

5 pirate favorites for reading aloud ~ Life in Random Bits #books #kids #pirates

It's talk like a pirate day. Silly day? Yes. Awesome day? Also yes.

Phee loves pirates- Never Land, Peter Pan, Jake & the Never Land Pirates. All of it. She loves her Jake figurines and plays with them all the time making up stories and games. We've spent many an afternoon with her as Jake and me as Captain Hook, stealing and rescuing treasure over and over again.

When we explore the library, we are often drawn to dinosaur and pirate books. Both are pretty much a sure bet as far as we're concerned. I love to read pirate books aloud and she loves to listen to them.

In honor of talk like a pirate day, here are our favorite pirate books. They've given us lots of laughs. Plus, who doesn't love to talk like a pirate?!

Pirate Mom
What would it be like if your mom turned into a pirate?
Phee calls me pirate mom from time to time and that's my cue to use pirate speak and be silly.

Dirty Joe the Pirate 
 This is probably the best pirate book I've ever read. I believe I laughed so hard I was in tears the first time I read it to Phee.

How I Became a Pirate
Phee likes to reference the pirate rules and customs from this book, especially the green teeth.

Papa is a Pirate
Cute little twists on a child's observations in this one. We had lots of fun conversations about this story.

Twenty-six Pirates
 A fun little ABC book that's more for fun than the actual teaching of letters. We really like the illustrations, though.

Now, it's your turn. What are your favorite pirate books? Have you read any of these?


Gear for beginning runners & C25K update

This post contains Amazon Associate links.

I'm in my final week of the Couch to 5K program. It's going pretty well. I'm slightly frustrated that I'm not faster and that my breathing is such a mess, but I'm still managing the 28 minute runs without too much trouble. I mean, I'm slow as molasses at the end, but at least I'm running!

With the longer runs, I got bored and had to branch out of our neighborhood. The trail around the neighborhood is too dark for my comfort at 5:45 in the morning. So, I'm running around the neighborhoods next to ours. Turns out, that means some slight hills. Boy was that fun last week. Ha!

I usually run in the street because our neighborhood is so quiet. After two mornings, I knew which houses had people leaving early and other than that, I only saw the newspaper delivery car. Now, in the other neighborhoods, there are some larger thoroughfares so I'm having to use the sidewalk more. Want to know why I avoid the sidewalk? I'm clumsy. Yesterday morning, I almost went face first in to the sidewalk after tripping on the curb. The only thing that saved me was the fact that I was running and the momentum meant I got one extra step in so I caught myself. Thank god... it would not have been pretty for my face or my arms.

Only one close call in 9 weeks, though? That's remarkable. And I've only had a couple itty bitty run-ins with wildlife. I haven't injured myself. I haven't quit. I only repeated one week. And I'm running for nearly 30 minutes at a time. I am astounded by my progress some days.

Gear for beginning runners #running #exercise ~ Life in Random Bits

I started running with a goal in mind. The only thing I had was a shiny new pair of shoes and the socks that the guy at the running store recommended. I don't have a great deal of experience, but I thought I'd share my favorite beginning runner things. If you're looking to start out, these few things will make your life a bit easier, I think.
  • Get good shoes! Comfy socks, too. If your feet aren't happy, you're not going to last long. 
  • Invest in a good sports bra. Glamorise has fantastic options.
  • I held my phone for the first few weeks. Once you're running for a big chunk of time, that gets old. Get an armband for your phone. I have one, but never remember it so I just tuck my phone in my bra. I need to use the darn armband!
  • Headbands make everything less annoying. My hair still gets in my face on windy days, but the headband keeps it from being plastered to my sweaty face.
  • I love this Camelbak water bottle. I use it when I get back to the house. I like to use it around the house and in the car to make sure I'm drinking enough water. Get yourself a fun color or fun design so you'll be more inclined to keep it around and use it.

What are your essentials for running? Or your favorites, even. I love to see what everyone else is using and hear tips and tricks.


Quinoa Fried Rice

Quinoa Fried Rice

Happy Monday! I'm guest posting again over at Texas Women Bloggers and I'd love for you to come check it out. I've got a really tasty quinoa fried rice recipe. It's quick and easy to make and it's one of my favorite dishes to load up with veggies.

Quinoa Fried Rice
8 servings
3 Weight Watchers PP per serving

Texas Women Bloggers


Beat the morning grumpies

I can't decide if Phee and I are really very much alike, or not alike at all. I know we're good at pushing each others buttons. We get easily exasperated with each other on a regular basis. Part of it is just her age I think. And I know a lot of it is her free spirit and imagination. Throw in my desire to keep a schedule or do things in a certain order and it all clashes sometimes.

It all seems to come to a head in the morning more than any other time. Which isn't surprising at all. She wants to play, or read books, or watch a show and we've got to get out the door for school and work. That's a timeline I can't really play with, especially on mornings she ends up sleeping in a bit.

One particularly bad morning, I'd finally had it. While brushing her hair and not facing each other, Phee and I talked about our bad mornings. We brainstormed some ways we could stop being grumpy and try to start over and have a better morning together.

This is our short and simple list of fun ways to beat the morning grumpies and start our day on a silly note. It works to keep us aware of how we're interacting with each other. It also means we're not leaving the house irritated so our ride to school is much more enjoyable.

4 ways to beat the morning grumpies ~ Life in Random Bits

Funny voices: Phee's flair for the dramatic makes this an easy choice. If I use a funny voice and make her laugh, she almost always dissolves in a fit of giggles after she's tried out a couple of voices herself. You know what's better than a kid laughing hysterically? Nothing.

Jokes: Last year while Doug was out of town, I taught Phee all about knock knock jokes. I don't know that he was thrilled to come home to a house of jokes, but it's hilarious when Phee tells a joke really well, or gets a new one I've found. Once we've told a couple jokes, she's so busy trying to think of new ones that the bad mood just dissipates.

Dance party: The easy ideas aren't working, huh? Pick an upbeat song and have a dance party. Get moving, sing at the top of your lungs, and just be all around silly. It's hard not to laugh and have fun after a dance party. We love the Sesame Street station on Pandora.

5 minute break to reset: When our other tricks don't work or we're really upset with each other, Phee and I find it best to just start over. One of us leaves the room for a few minutes, we do something else, and then we come back and try again. Usually, we talk about whatever happened to get us to this point in the morning and we both feel better and ready to move on.

We've found that this list almost always works when we remember to use it. There are days here and there where we're just in a funk and nothing works. A lack of sleep usually precedes those mornings! How do you and your kiddos get over the morning grumpies and get your routine back on track?

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