We’re 6+ months into our swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School and I am amazed at how far my boys have come in their abilities and mindset when it comes to swimming. They have conquered fears, learned to push themselves, and have beamed with pride when they’ve met a new milestone. Each has been able to learn at a pace that works for them, which works great because my kids are all so different and just throwing them in or pushing them into doing something does not work for at least one, maybe two of them. I feel like Goldfish allows them to warm, learn, and grow at the pace they feel comfortable with, while still showing good progress from class to class.
If you missed my first post about how the were doing after the first month, read this one first to see where we started. If you have a kiddo who has never taken lessons or who is afraid to get in the water, then I can’t recommend Goldfish Swim School enough. Quincy screamed and cried and hated to swim before we started. Now he begs to “go swimming” which means go to swim class. They were so patient and compassionate and helped him ease into things. My oldest son Charlie is always anxious when starting new activities and classes and usually dreads going. But he enjoys going to Goldfish and is proud of how far he has come. They give ribbons at the end of class when kids have accomplished a milestone or made a lot of progress. He works hard because he loves to get a ribbon that reinforces that hard work. Charlie is now rolling over in the water and can swim and retrieve things from the bottom of the pool. Calvin is swimming unassisted and Quincy is going underwater and holding his breath (for a while he just liked drinking the water).
Goldfish also has fun events for members and open family swims available. You can also host birthday parties there, which I think is such a fun idea and perfect for those winter birthdays where an outdoor location isn’t possible. And beginning on November 1st they will have Goldfish Swim School gift baskets so that parents and grandparents can gift the experience of swimming to their kiddos. I think experience gifts, classes, and memberships are the best gifts (because kids really don’t need more stuff usually), and the gift of Goldfish Swim School is not only fun, but it can save a kid’s life.
My kids are happy to go to Goldfish, work hard while they are there, and are all smiles when their lessons are over. If you want to see some videos of their progress, I save them in my Instagram Stories’ Highlights under ‘Swimmers.’ I’m also always happy to answer any questions about our experience if you want to shoot me an email 🙂 Go here to find a Goldfish Swim School near you.
Oh Lovely Day has partnered with Goldfish Swim School, but the words and experienced shared here are honest and my own.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SparkleWithGain, #ILoveGain #CollectiveBias When you live with a bunch of boys it is inevitable that you’ll deal with a lot of smells. From my husband’s disgusting running clothes to my boys stinky socks (not to mention the clothing that suffers through potty accidents!) I definitely do a lot of laundry, and much of it does not smell good. But worse than laundry smelling bad going into the wash is laundry smelling bad even after it has been washed! I was finding that some things still had odor after they came out of the dryer or quickly got smelly again faster than it should, so I went on a hunt for something that could clean my boys’ clothes and keep them smelling fresh at the same time. And that’s how I discovered Gain Fresh Water Sparkle™ products! They have made such a difference in the freshness of my boys’ smelliest laundry (even my husband’s worst running shorts!) that I just had to share some favorites with you. But first, a coupon:
For The Smelliest Offenders: Gain flings!™ Laundry Detergent Pacs in Fresh Water Sparkle™ Scent & Gain fireworks!™ in-wash scent booster in Fresh Water Sparkle™ Scent
I love the effectiveness & convenience of the Gain flings!™ laundry pacs, and each one has 50% more scent than Gain liquid laundry detergent. So these are great to use for your stinkiest laundry and worst odor offenders. I save them for my husband’s running clothes, sports uniforms, swim trunks that have been forgotten in the car for a week after swim lessons, clothing that has suffered potty accidents, and all the socks. When things are especially smelly I like to add the Gain fireworks!™ in-wash scent booster in Fresh Water Sparkle™ Scent, which make things even fresher. You can use both products with any laundry set-up because they are HE compatible and dissolve in both hot and cold water. To use: place pacs in drum of washer before you insert your clothes. For large loads use more than one pac. For the booster beads, poor desired amount into drum based on how good you want your laundry to smell: the more you use the fresher the scent! And obviously, keep out of reach of children.
For less smelly loads: Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent in Fresh Water Sparkle™ Scent
When I’m just doing regular loads I tend to use the Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent in the same Fresh Water Sparkle™ scent. It also smells great and cleans as good as it smells. It gives you 6 weeks of freshness from wash till wear and 1 cap of Gain liquid laundry detergent equals the freshness of 1 bottle of the leading baking soda detergent. I like to top off all of our laundry with Gain Liquid Fabric Enhancer/Softener (especially in the winter months to keep static electricity away). It also does double duty by softening clothes while providing a fresh scent and is compatible with both regular and HE washing machines. All of the Gain Fresh Water Sparkle™ products can be found exclusively at Dollar General stores. Be sure to try them out to enjoy amazing smelling laundry!
Fall family photo sessions are my favorite and these days they are also the most popular since everyone wants a new photo for those upcoming holiday cards. Since we’ve had 10+ family photoshoots since Charlie was born I feel like I’m becoming a bit of an expert. And while some of these tips are kiddo related, you can use a lot of these to prep for an engagement session or other shoot as well. Oh, and be sure to check my coordinating family wardrobe picks below.
After 14 months of living in Ohio and a few weeks into our second fall here, we finally made it apple picking! If you follow on Instagram you might remember that I tried to take my boys apple picking alone last year (my husband was still working in LA) and that it was a total disaster. I got points for trying, but it was still a fail. So we tried again, this time with my husband and a Quincy who is a little (depending on the day) less tantrum-y. And I can finally say WE DID IT. We went apple picking and we survived. We actually had so much fun!
We went to Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, which is about 40 minutes away from where we live. You can check their website to see what apples are available in their u-pick areas that particular week. Our options were Rome, Fuji, or Winesap — we went with Winesap because they are good for all uses, including baking. There are signs directing you to the u-pick area, and then you park and you are right nights to the orchard. We didn’t have to walk far at all to fill our bag (the farm has two sizes — you can fill a small bag for $15 and a large bag for $25). We snapped some photos, ate an apple, filled our bag, played a little apple baseball with some bad ones already on the ground, and called it an afternoon. Some people were enjoying picnics nearby and I realized packing a picnic dinner would have been really fun. Once we were done picking we checked out and then drove to the market/shop area of the farm. Here they have picked pumpkins for sale, as well as produce, jams, fruit butters, and lots of other foods and gifts. They have a great variety of pumpkins at reasonable (but on the high side) prices. But personally I’d rather support a local farm than buy pumpkins for $3 at Walmart or Kroger.
Have you ever gone apple picking with your family? This was our first time and it will definitely be a fall tradition. Plus, the apple cider and pumpkin donuts after are worth the trip alone.
Please share your favorite apple recipes — I’ve got a lot of apples to make something with 🙂
You can find Lynd Fruit Farm at 9399 Morse Road SW, Pataskala, OH 43062. Be sure to check their site for hours and apple availability.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayWithPlaymobil #CollectiveBias My mom philosophy is two parts “everything in moderation” and one part “survival, man.” So I don’t forbid screen time and I’m not above throwing on a movie when I have work I have to get done (especially since I work from home while providing full-time care to my kids with no hired help). But I also try to limit those things as much as possible and encourage imaginative play for my kids as much as I can. Imaginative play is so so important to child development. It helps to develop both cognitive and social/emotional skills. Children LEARN through PLAY. So I thought I would share a few tips for how I encourage imaginative play with my kids, especially as a mom who can’t always get down on the floor and play with them all day.
How to Encourage Imaginative Play
Schedule Free Play
We over-schedule our kids these days, even the little ones. Instead of packing their days with playdates, preschool, and other activities, leave their days free for play — or “schedule” free play. You would be amazed at how much and how well your kids play on their own when given the freedom to do so.
Provide Open-Ended Toys
Give your kids a variety of toys that encourage them to use their imaginations like building toys, dolls, dress up items, animals, cars and trains, and craft supplies all fall into this category. One of my and my kids’ favorite types of these toys are PLAYMOBIL sets. PLAYMOBIL sets are high quality with a strong attention to detail. They have sets that focus on real-life, like police and firefighter sets as well as sets that capture fantasy like dragons and dinosaurs. I like them because they often have both vehicles and people included which allows multiple facets of imaginative play. Hover over the image below to get more information about the PLAYMOBIL toys shown and to purchase at Walmart.
Show Them How It’s Done
If your kids are asking for you to play with them, show them how to use their imagination by getting them started and doing it yourself too. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t want to pretend to be a kitty cat all day long (and that’s ok, so exhale that mom guilt) but if we spend a few minutes at the start getting down and playing our kids will often get lost in their own imaginative play after a few minutes.
Sometimes you just need a change of scenery to spark the imagination. Get outside to play, or pack up a few favorite imaginative toys like the PLAYMOBIL Take Along Sets or some favorite cars and head to the backyard or the park. The same toys in a new environment can make all the difference in new ideas and ways to play.
PLAYMOBIL toys are a family classic, but they are now new to Walmart – how awesome is it to be able to find quality toys at a convenient retailer and at a great price!? You can find them at your local Walmart or Walmart.com.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #DASANISparkling #FlavorContest #CollectiveBias
Life’s adventures in my thirties (especially the second half of my thirties) look much different than the adventures than I had in my twenties or early thirties before I had children. It doesn’t mean I don’t have adventures (I mean, each day of parenthood is an adventure for better or worse) but they are less “coastal road trips or international travel” and more “getting three little boys to the pumpkin patch this weekend or walks to the playground to collect fall treasures with two toddlers.” But I think when you can appreciate the adventure in those little moments, and make them a big adventure for those little people, the motherhood adventures I experience now are just as enjoyable as the ones I had before kids. Sometimes even more so (and occasionally they are a complete fail but I’m always proud that I tried).Read More