Family * Travel * Food

Why Should Parents Save Money for Their Children?

Although your children might still be very young, time with them seems to pass quickly. It may feel like no time has passed, yet soon they will reach their next birthdays, milestones, and, eventually, adulthood. Putting money aside for your child, no matter how small an amount, can help them to make a good start in independent living. In addition to this, the earlier you start a savings account, the more time it will have to accrue interest on top of the amounts that you deposit.


While your child’s mandatory schooling years may not come at a cost, higher education usually involves student loans, or upfront payments, unless your child is eligible for a scholarship. Something like a master's degree in speech language pathology could possibly help your child to advance in their career, but may not be something they would consider without a form of financial backing. Putting money away each week or month, even when they are a baby, can help to contribute towards tuition fees, as well as any other materials they might need to complete their course. Even if your child doesn’t want to gain a higher education, there may be other types of education they wish to pursue, or even tools they might need to gain employment in a certain career.

First Car

When your child reaches a certain age, they may want some level of independence while still living within the family home. Being able to pay for driver’s education, as well as a cheap first car, may be difficult to achieve, especially if your child has many school commitments that prevent them from taking on more hours at a part-time job. Lessons could be taken over an extended period of time, or in a single, intensive course. Having some money put aside can help your child to gain this extra freedom. Of course, they will still have to find the money for gas for the car, but at least you can rest assured that you have helped them along the way.

First Home

Your child buying their very first home may be decades away, but that doesn’t mean it is something that shouldn’t be thought about. The down payment for a home can vary, depending on where you live, as well as the average house price at the time, and even due to the income you have. This can be very difficult for anyone, so you may want to try to ease the burden on your child as much as possible. If they have even a percentage of the money towards the down payment of their home, this can cut down on the length of time it will take to save up for the rest of the amount.

Putting money aside during the early years doesn’t mean your child needs to go without in the present. By figuring out how much you can feasibly put aside each month, a little nest egg can be built up over the years which will make your child’s transition to adulthood that little bit easier.

Documenting Your Pregnancy

Becoming pregnant is normally a cause for celebration, regardless of if this is your first or more. While you may not initially enjoy some aspects of pregnancy, such as the lack of drinking, morning sickness, and changes to your body, you might want to keep track of what happened for you to be able to look back on one day, especially if your child wants to know about their time inside their mom’s tummy. There are many ways that you can document this journey, depending on how creative you are, and how much time you want to put into crafting a physical representation of these memories. 

Photo Canvas

When you see your doctor for check-ups relating to your health and how your baby is developing, you may be given ultrasound images to take home. You may have a number of these, depending on the number of scans you have for the duration of your pregnancy. While these pictures could be framed and hung as they are, you might also want to consider the use of a canvas print from Custtom to give the images more of a modern feel. This also means that you could put the original images into a keepsake box, safe away from any dust or damage, and have a high quality copy decorating the walls in your home. 


Many expectant mothers like to write in a journal, either on a daily or weekly basis, to document how their pregnancy is progressing, as well as any emotions they might be feeling. You could even use this as a means of jotting down any potential names that you and your partner come up with, as well as to make a list of everything you need for both your hospital bag and to have when your baby comes home. This can be something that is interesting for you to look back on as your child grows, as well as for them to read to see what the first starts to their creation was like.

Home Videos

If you have access to a high quality camcorder you could take videos showing daily living as your pregnancy progresses - or you could even record update videos via your smartphone. This will allow you to see how your body changes, and let your child have something to view when they get a little bit older, to see how their parents used to look. Depending on the hospital you use, as well as the circumstances of your labor, you may also be able to get your partner, or another family member, to take a video of the birth itself. This might be something that you only keep for your own viewing, but your child may also express an interest once they reach adulthood.

Keeping notes and pictures in relation to your pregnancy can help you to look back on the time fondly. Creating another life is something that is incredible, and should be celebrated as much as possible. In addition to this, it can be easy to forget a lot of the pregnancy details once your baby arrives, so this way you can keep those memories alive.

How RedDrop is Helping Parents Prepare for Their Daughter's First Period

If you are a woman, you probably would never want to revisit those years when your body and emotions took on huge changes. I remember growing up in a strict home where talking about the changes a girl's body goes through during puberty was a bit taboo. I don't understand why that was the case when every girls' body will change and they will get their period. I unfortunately had to learn from school and friends. Thankfully I knew I had to do a better job as a mom to my own daughters when the time came. 

It's definitely not a fun talk to have with your daughters, but a very necessary one. After all, you don't want them to feel bad about something that is natural. If you have young daughter, it's a good idea to have a plan to discuss what to expect when she gets her period for the first time. 

RedDrop is the first feminine hygiene brand designed specifically to empower school age girls. They offer a subscription service just for girls. The Red Drop period kit is a must-have for every girl. It is filled with everything she will need to feel confident for when her period starts. Check out the kit: 

The RedDrop Period Kit contains everything a girl needs for the moment her cycle begins. They will ship the following pieces directly to your door, packaged to remind her that she's special:
  • 30 Everyday Pads for daily use 
  • 14 FlowDay Pads for heavy flow days
  • 14 FlowNight Pads for a comfortable night's sleep
  • 12 Feminine Wipes individually wrapped for easy carry
  • 1 Hand Bag to discreetly carry it all
  • 1 Special Gift just for her

No need to select a size or level of absorbency. They pack each option she'll need, so she's ready for whatever life throws at you both. The retail price for the period kit is $29.99. The packaging is super nice, and I love the little pouch that can be refilled with feminine products for your daughter to toss in her purse, book bag or gym bag. 

The plus side of this kit is that the products are made just for a smaller size body. Many of the pads available in stores are definitely too big for most girls' bodies. This period kit would be well-received as a gift, and a great way to discuss this time of her life. I can see sending this to your daughter, niece, or any friend or family member getting ready to go through this milestone. Be sure to check out RedDrop at their website and social channels ( Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). 

Many thanks to RedDrop for sending us a kit so we can share the news about the brand. 


Spruce Up Your Walls With Canvas Prints From Canvas Champ

Today's post is sponsored by Canvas Champ. All opinions are my own. 

Can you believe that we are heading into yet another month of staying at home? While many states have opened back up a lot of businesses, some people are still choosing to stay home a bit longer. We have been taking this time as a family to work on numerous projects around the house. We have tackled everything from cleaning out closets and drawers, to repairing little things that are manageable, and even starting a vegetable garden. When you are home it seems like the projects and work never ends.

There have been holidays that have come and gone in the past couple months, and now we are in graduation season with Father's Day coming soon after. Celebrations are being done in very different ways. My husband graduated earlier this month from his MBA program, and his college did a virtual graduation. He got fully decked out in his cap and gown to watch the ceremony. Although it was a bit odd, it really went nicely and we did our own iPhone photo session with the graduate afterwards. We had to make do with the current at-home situation and ended up having a fantastic time.

One of our traditions each time a family member graduates is to take a photo of them in their cap and gown and have it turned into a canvas print. Canvas prints are a great way to display your important memories and definitely jazz up a plain wall. Canvas Champ makes it easy to upload your images and order a variety of sizes of canvas prints. You can even do multiple canvas prints to make a gallery wall.

The ordering process is super simple, and takes only few minutes to do as long as you have your images picked out ahead of time. Since we are all spending so much more time at home, we might as well have nice things to look at each day. Father's Day is coming up next month, and I am certain any dad would love a canvas print of his kids for his home or work office. I know my husband would!

If you are considering sprucing up around your house a bit, I recommend canvas prints since they are affordable and are a nice way to display your favorite memories. They come with the mounting hardware, so all you have to do is hang and enjoy! So open up that photo gallery and get those moments turned into a beautiful piece of art.

Thanks for stopping by today!
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How To Ease Anxiety In Children

If you’re in the trenches, trying to figure out how to handle anxiety in your child, you may come across a lot of information that can simply overwhelm and exhaust you.

The thing is, you won’t be able to ‘fix” your child because there isn’t a magic spray to help with the situation.

What you need are some tools to help attend to your child’s needs during their anxiety episodes, and luckily, I’ve got some for you today.

In this article I’ll go over some of the basic ways you can help your child manage anxiety, what anxiety looks like in children and healthy ways to tolerate anxiety with children.

Anxiety In Kids

Children can experience anxiety even if the parents have done everything right in the parenting process.

Anxiety can stem from things that happen at school or other activities where the parents are not around, and it's almost impossible to shield them from it.

Did you know that anxiety is actually a survival instinct reaction when our bodies or minds are faced with a threatening situation? That definition can be a little bit confusing because it sounds like fear more than anxiety doesn’t it?

Our adrenaline starts pumping, and our bodies and minds are getting ready to escape danger, even if the danger is not visible, like walking through a dark tunnel and getting butterflies because you feel like you’re not alone. This is how anxiety is triggered.

It's a really tough thing to go through for both the child and the parent. After all, no parent wants their child to suffer with anxiety.

The great thing is, not all hope is lost. There are things we can do as parents to help guide our children through these difficult moments of life.
image credit
What Does Anxiety Look Like

Anxiety can pop up in children as young as 3 years old.

Physical anxiety can show up in the form of young kids who cannot explain their true feelings can complain of tummy aches or headaches, even if they appear to be physically alright.

If your child who loves to eat suddenly stops eating his lunch at preschool or daycare, then there might be some anxiety popping up.

Other times, it could show up in the form of restless, fidgety, hyperactive, or distracted behavior in an otherwise calm child.

Emotional anxiety is a little more tough to recognize, but not impossible. Children who normally do not cry a lot can start to cry and appear to be very sensitive.

Children can also start to be afraid of future events such as starting second grade while they are in kindergarten.

To really find out if your child is experiencing anxiety and find out what is causing it, you’re going to want to take notes and track your child’s behavior.

If you have access to a school counselor, it might be wise to share these notes with them so you can work together with your school to solve the situation.

Your school counselor will be able to let you know if this is something you should look into deeper at this time, or hold off and keep watching the behavior and see what happens.

Photo by Hunter Johnson on Unsplash
Managing Anxiety

Luckily there are things you can do to help manage anxiety in children. It’s a bit of a tricky situation because it’s very difficult, impossible really, to completely eliminate anxiety, but management is a great option.

None of us want to see our children face sadness, but the best way to relieve anxiety in children is not to eliminate the trigger, but to know how to handle it when it comes into their path.

Over time, the anxiety will decrease and fall away. Yay! Here are some things you can do to manage the anxiety:

Respect The Feelings They Feel

When your child is going through an anxious moment, you must respect that their feelings
are real and very upsetting. Trying to diminish feelings and even brushing them off is not going to help your child not feel those feelings.

Let your kids go through those feelings of fear, sadness, anxiety and more, even if it’s difficult for you to see as a parent.

The good thing is, you can talk to your child about those feelings and create some pretty deep connections just by validating those fears.

Talk Things Out With Your Child 

When you let your child feel their feelings, and talk it out after the trigger wears off and the child calms down, you should discuss what happened. Being able to create these conversations is going to help you understand your child, which will help you help them with their behavior problems.

Avoid Asking If They Are Anxious

Sometimes, anxiety can be triggered if we ask our children if they are anxious about an event. For example “Are you anxious about your first day of school?” can trigger the anxiety that your child was not feeling before the question was asked.

Healthy Ways To Tolerate Anxiety

You can help your children handle their anxiety by letting them see how you cope with anxiety yourself.

Because children are perceptive, they will see when you cannot handle stress and anxiety in difficult situations and will start to behave the same way you do. It’s kind of like a monkey see, monkey do moment.

Children are like sponges aren’t they? 
I’m definitely not saying you need to pretend that you don’t feel anxious or stressed.
I am saying, you should be careful how you handle your anxiety because your children are watching. Practice calm, and celebrate any moments that you “get through”, especially when they were difficult.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety doesn’t have to be a scary thing. All of us experience anxiety at many different points in our life.

The difference is, how we handle the anxiety that our children are facing.
In young children, the anxiety may be more difficult to spot, but when you do figure out that the child is facing anxiety, you can manage the situation right away.

When anxiety is present in teens, the behavior management is more difficult to handle, but not impossible. Keep track of the behavior and involve the school if you must. The important thing is to pay attention and keep trying to have a conversation with your child.

Remember to allow children to feel their feelings, and comfort them when they are feeling anxious.

Many thanks to Elizabeth for this guest article.

Author bio: Elizabeth is a mom of 2 and has a passion for helping children reach their human potential. She enjoys helping parents raise confident and healthy kids by explaining how to handle situations using positive parenting. Check out the blog 

Our New College Graduate, Briahnna - Go Gamecocks!

This past Saturday, our younger daughter Briahnna graduated from the University of South Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with Leadership Distinction in Diversity and Social Advocacy, and minors in Spanish and General Education. It feels like her four years in college went by super fast! 

Her graduation ceremony was one of the best we ever attended. Despite the packed venue, things ran smoothly and was over in just 2 hours. It was neat seeing her photo pop up on the big screen! There was even a special moment honoring Phylicia Rashad becoming a Doctor of Fine Arts. She is even more beautiful in person!  

We are one proud family! Briahnna will continue her graduate studies at the University of South Carolina. Go Gamecocks!

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Updates And Our 11-Year Blog Anniversary

Hi there! It has been a while since I have posted a personal update. Like most households, we had a bout of the plague run through here, so I have been taking care of sick family members for almost 2 weeks. Thankfully everyone is healthy again and back to work/school. The littlest one wasn't affected for which I am so grateful. We worry the most when the younger ones get sick.

I have been getting a lot done at home for the most part. We have quite a few small house projects we are working on, and hope to get them all done before the end of the year. The husband and I have been DIYing a lot of things. YouTube is a life-saver when you're not quite sure what you're doing. Unfortunately home-ownership means you are forever repairing or replacing things. As soon as you fix one thing, something else wants to fall apart. You can't win, but that's life!

With all of the crazy life-stuff going on in the past few weeks, I almost forgot a major milestone. Mom Files is officially 11 years old! *throws confetti*

I would not have imagined that I would keep it up for this many years. I won't lie, I've wanted to shut down shop time and time again. Somehow, this blog and my social media connections have kept me going for so many years. It's nice having my itty-bitty piece of the vast virtual-world where I have made so many friends. I want to thank you all for sticking around for so long. I guess we will see what happens next. Stay tuned...

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When adults get braces

When our older daughter, Chardonnay was in middle school, we all noticed that her teeth were not quite as straight as they could be. Of course, that is very normal for most any kid. Her dad urged her to get braces and continued to shove the idea down her throat highly encourage her to get them for years. She was going through that vain teenage stage where she did not want to have a mouth full of metal for all of those important stages of her high school career- prom, grad photos, and so on.

She is now 22 and finally realized that her teeth were not going to fix themselves. Either she do something about it, or just live with it. It got to the point where she really disliked seeing her smile in photos or in video. She is in the public relations field and there are many times where she has to be at events in get this, the public! She wants to always look her best and came to the point of breaking down and calling the orthodontist.

We tried not to tell her, "I told you so", but we are human, so we made sure to rub it in her face. (kidding) She realized that she should have listened when she was a teen, and has learned her lesson. She is now the not-so-proud owner of a mouth full of braces. They look so good on her and she is struggling with getting used to them. Here is the before and after shot.

It's actually very cute watching her speak, because she has to do the whole roll-your-lip-back-over your braces thing while trying not to drool. She is so angry about it all LOL Every day she is like I am calling the orthodontist so he can rip these things out of my mouth! It has been almost a week and she is still not comfortable with eating. I feel badly for her, but assured her that she will eventually get used to them and make a way to eat what she wants within reason. Of course when you can't properly eat is the time you want to eat EVERYTHING. Chardie has a slight lisp like she did when she was in kindergarten. We make jokes that maybe we need to find her old speech therapist from elementary school. HA!

Overall, she is coping the best she can. We have known a lot of people who got braces way later than she did. Oddly enough, we can already see a difference with her teeth shifting. It is amazing how quickly it happens. Well, she has a little under 2 years to go, so hopefully she will get used to them in the upcoming weeks. She told me the other day that she tells her coworkers to not think she has no enthusiasm about anything anymore. She simply refrains from smiling or laughing because she cuts her mouth easily. Just think, this could all have been done when she was in her teenage years. Oh well, you live and your learn.

Did you get or someone you know get adult braces? If you have any advice for her, please leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by today!

P.S.- for those who often ask about her curls, this is what she uses below (affiliate)


Mom Files Is 10 Years Old

I seriously can't believe that 10 years ago, my husband bought the domain, He is actually the one who believed that it was going to become something very special. He pushed encouraged me to start this blog although I really didn't want to. No lie, I did not believe him. Who would bother to read my blog? Where would I even find readers? I decided to humor him and figured I'd try this whole blog thing and see what happens. This came with very little expectation of any kind. I was simply doing it as a online journal and a place to connect with like-minded people.

Fast forward ten years... I had no idea that blogging would bring so much added value to my life, and I'm not talking about income. It has connected me with so many great people all over the country. Crafters, home cooks, interior designers, tech specialists, artists, writers, and regular every day folks. I have bonded and become really good friends with some truly amazing people. Some communicate with me regularly via text, phone, and social media. If I'm going through something and need someone to talk to, I'm covered. I really needed that. I think being a stay-at-home mom for so long makes me feel lonely sometimes. My blog friends seem to fill that void and I don't even have to leave home (score!).

I have really enjoyed engaging with my readers and it brings me joy when I get the occasional comment from those I started out with. I hear a lot of other bloggers ask the question, "Does anyone actually read blogs anymore?" I say, yes! It makes me so happy when someone tells me that they searched my blog for a particular recipe or they bought something based off of a past review I did. I appreciate the trust that is shown.

One of the greatest things about this blog is the fact that I have 10 years of family memories. I've shared so many milestones, experiences, funny videos (remember Vent Day?), heartfelt thoughts, reviews, birthdays, disappointments, and even some very random things. I have always felt like you all celebrated with us, cheered for us, cried for us, or just simply listened.

I truly appreciate all of my readers and social media connections. You are the reason I'm still here. I go through my times of wanting to scrap everything and shut down shop. Then someone will message me and tell me they loved something I posted recently that really helped them at the time they needed it most. I'm always very happy to help anyone that I can.

I want to say, thank you! Thank you all for connecting with me. I genuinely feel like some of the best people I've ever known are those I've never even met in real life.

Thanks for reading!

Big Accomplishments In The Ismail Household

December has been the busiest month for our family and it has nothing to do with the holiday season. Both my older daughter Chardonnay and my husband Dwayne graduated from college within days of each other (Dec 9th & 12th). Let me tell you, it's no easy task pulling off two graduations so close together. We had a celebration for both of them in our home that Sunday in between the actual ceremonies. I'm happy to say that we got through it all with minimal stress and everything came together beautifully.

Chardonnay graduated Magna Cum Laude with Leadership Distinction from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications. She was able to graduate a semester early because she had all of the credits she needed. This was her dream since she was 5 years old to become a Gamecock and go to the University of South Carolina. Her strong work ethic and will took her all the way! She plans to continue her education to obtain her graduate degree.

The graduate with her very proud parents. 

We are truly a Gamecock family 

My husband Dwayne, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Wesleyan University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. He also gave the Invocation (prayer) for the ceremony. The whole ceremony from beginning to end was outstanding and even little William shed some tears. This was such a challenge for Dwayne to work full time, take care of his family, having the responsibility of being his mother's caregiver, as well as attend classes. By God's Grace and his determination, he made it through. Dwayne is a great example to anyone (especially working adults with families) that you can do it!

This isn't a great quality photo, but I was able to grab a video clip and screen captured this photo of Dwayne saying the prayer. I had to hold myself together to keep the phone still. Truly an inspirational and memorable moment. What a blessing! 

It was SO chilly when it was time to take photos! This is why we all had jackets on.

These two buddies were SO happy to be reunited after the ceremony. William is his father's number one fan. 
This has been such a wonderful time of celebration for our family. None of this could have been possible without faith and teamwork. Go Dwayne and Chardonnay! 🙌

Graduation Gifts Ideas for the Super Hero in Your Family

Today's conversation is sponsored by Cross & Marvel. All opinions are my own.

It's college graduation season and we have so many graduates in our family this year. We have several cousins graduating from all over the country. We also have two very important soon-to-be graduates living under my roof. Both my older daughter and my husband will graduate from college this year. As a matter of fact, their ceremonies are three days apart! Aside from all of the planning that goes into any type of celebration, figuring out what to gift your favorite graduate can be a difficult task. There are so many very typical gifts you can give, but I believe in giving something thoughtful and memorable.

I recall more than 20 years ago when I first became a mother, an old friend of mine purchased a Cross pen as a gift for Mother's Day. It's not necessarily a gift you might expect for that occasion, but it really meant a lot and reminded me of the fact that I was a brand new mom. It came in a blue leather case and the pen had sea shells etched on its shaft. To this day, I still have that pen. I've purchased ink refills over the years and it has always been a special keepsake for me.

This story gets me to thinking about my daughter and husband, and their upcoming celebrations. They have both worked so hard in college to earn their degrees and I want to honor them with a timeless gift. Cross has come out with its Marvel Super Hero Special Edition Collection line of writing instruments, so you can mark epic moments with larger-than-life writing instruments featuring Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man. These striking collectibles are designed to inspire Marvel fans of all sizes.

In the Cross Century® II Marvel Collection, heroic design meets legendary performance in three stunning luxury collectibles. Also, the Cross Tech2™ Marvel Multifunction Collection features dual-powered pens that flip to transform from a pen to stylus in a flash. And last, but certainly not least, there's the Cross Classic Century® Collection. Perhaps the most well-known pen, the Cross Classic Century® is an icon of American design and innovation.

Each of these pens offers the superior quality you expect from the Cross brand. How cool would it be to gift your real-life super hero with such a unique item? Think of all the documents they will have to sign as they go out into the world looking for new opportunities and ventures. The Marvel Super Hero Special Edition Collection pens let your loved one channel some of the most popular super heroes: Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America.

Check out the the Cross Tech2™ Marvel  Multifunction Pen in the Captain America design:

This pen is absolutely perfect for your college graduate. It has a beautiful finish and writes like a dream. The stylus is a plus since we are living in a touchscreen world. It is compatible with most touchscreens so your graduate can go from writing on paper and switching over to their smartphone or tablet in an instant.

This pen comes in a Marvel themed gift box and has a lifetime mechanical guarantee. My husband was all smiles when he was gifted this pen. My personal Super Hero deserves this amazing pen!

You can't go wrong with the specially formulated Cross ink that flows flawlessly for a superior writing experience. This pen includes one black medium ballpoint tip and retails for $45.

Another favorite is the Cross Classic Century® Medalist ballpoint pen. This exquisite writing instrument captures the classic style of Cross pens. The two-tone finish adds such elegance and sophistication. This is a pen that you will keep for a lifetime. It writes so smooth and you can refill the ink in your choice of color or point. I can see my daughter signing big contracts with this beauty.

The Classic Century® Medalist is a classic that offers the patented twist-action barrel as well as a lifetime mechanical guarantee. It comes in a premium gift box ready for gifting to that special person. Any college grad would love this piece. It retails for $65.

Any of these fine writing instruments would make an outstanding gift for your favorite super hero—your college graduate. You can find the pens at Do you have a future college graduate in your life? If so, which pen would you love to gift them?

13 Reasons Why Home School Works For Us

We are wrapping up our first (almost) full year of virtual (home) school with William. I have to say, if you have ever questioned if you should do it for your child, you should give it a shot. It has been the best decision we could have made and plan to continue all the way through high school. I got to thinking about how much we don't miss public school. Even William shudders at the thought of ever going back. I came up with a list of reasons why our choice to home school works best for us.

  1. No being on PTO or PTA. No meetings, no stress about school activities, and no planning school activities or fundraisers. Yes, NO FUNDRAISERS! 
  2. No volunteering. Although I really enjoyed it, sometimes you become the default parent who ends up helping with EVERYthing. This leads to a severe case of burnout. 
  3. Your kid doesn't get invited to 29,452 birthday parties. That's money saved. 
  4. No car pick-up/drop-off line. I have been able to get back a good hour+ into my life each day. It also saved on gas from sitting in the cold with the heater on or the heat with the AC on. Again, money saved. 
  5. We have recess any time we want and as often we would like. P.E. is not longer a once or twice a week activity. It's daily. 
  6. No dress code. We can do school in pajamas or anything for that matter. 
  7. No outside influences. 
  8. Freedom to go on field trips or travel any time we want. School can be done anywhere as long as we have a wifi connection. 
  9. No distractions! This is a big one for us. William could easily slip away into dreamland if he gets bored. Being at home allows me to bring him back to focus easily. 
  10. No stress. This has been the most stress-free school year we have ever had. William is having a positive school experience that goes according to his learning style and pace. 
  11. I get to know all of the details of assignments. Being hands-on allows me as his teacher/learning coach to really understand what he needs to learn. This makes it easier for me to teach lessons and for him to really learn and retain information. 
  12. Time. Having time is priceless. We can do our work on our own time. This makes life easier when it comes to scheduling doctor or dental appointments or travel planning. 
  13. William has become very social! Yes, a child who learns from home can be extremely social. If you give him the time of day, he will chat you up for hours. 
William got to meet and chat with our county Sheriff, Leon Lott. Sheriff Lott was quite impressed with William's ability to speak confidently. 
Honestly, I could go on even more about how great homeschooling is for us. I never thought it was something I would be capable of doing for my child, but here I am! William will finish second grade with straight A's. This makes us know we are doing the right thing that is working for him. He is having a great school experience and has a thirst for learning. His favorite subjects are math and social studies. He is a history geek. We plan to do some enrichment activities over the summer to get him prepared for third grade. Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. 

College Graduation Is Almost Here #EarnItFrameIt

I can't believe how quickly time has been creeping by since my older daughter started college. It seem like just a few years ago, she was in kindergarten. Chardonnay has had such an amazing school career and she graduates college this year! I go back to her first birthday and recall her reciting the entire alphabet for our guests. It's as if she was born a genius.

She has accomplished so much, and I remember all of her elementary/middle school teachers making it a point of staying in touch with our family to see what she does with all of her talents. She was always one of the top 5% academically at all of her schools. She excelled in her many extracurricular activities including going all the way to black belt status in karate. All of the years of dedication, practice, and training paid off. When Chardonnay goes to her little brother's karate belt tests, the instructor always brags about her to the other parents at the studio. He always shows how proud he is of his past student.

Chardonnay has had great success as a leader in so many areas over the years. She did everything from student government, assignment at AustralianWritings, broadcast journalism, athletics, piano, Spanish club and Honors Society, and the list really does go on. She has always put her heart and soul into everything she is involved with. Her organization skills would put anyone to shame.

Aside from being a high achiever, she has a good and sweet heart. She is loved by so many people and she gives a lot of her time back to our community. Being a volunteer has been a big part of her life. She is so willing to help others in need and is currently working with a local organization in fundraising efforts to make repairs to their facility. It breaks her heart to ever see people suffering or lacking basic needs.

I have been in planning-mode as far as graduation goes. I really want her to have a grand celebration and nice graduation gifts for all of her hard work. There has been so much to do between setting up for photos, ordering announcements, so many other countless details. One graduation gift idea that sometimes gets overlooked is a college diploma frame. I'm not talking just any diploma frame, but a customized one to protect that hard-earned diploma. When so much hard work is put into earning a diploma, you should want to show it off with pride. There was a recent survey that showed 70% of people did not frame their diploma(s).

How gorgeous is this frame?
Church Hill Classics is a professional framing company that helps graduates and families preserve and showcase those hard-earned diplomas with officially licensed frames. With all of their diploma frames handcrafted in the USA, Church Hill Classics offers an extensive selection of custom frame styles for more than 1,500 colleges and universities. I was so pleased to find a nice selection of University of South Carolina diploma frames for Chardonnay. I was so impressed with how fancy some of the frames were. Many professionals hang up their college diplomas in their office and I'm sure my daughter will do the same. You are not only able to choose the layout you want, but can customize your colors, frame styles and even the protective outer glass to your specifications.

Church Hill Classics is celebrating its 25th anniversary! As part of the celebration, they’re offering 25 winners the chance to win a $100 eGift card. You can enter once per day, starting now! Each week, five winners will be notified by email and posted on Facebook. Sweepstakes ends April 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM EST. Total of 25 winners. Visit this link for more information and to enter.

Church Hill Classics offers some of the best college graduation gifts that are sure to be treasured for many years to come. Follow Church Hill Classics on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates.

This is a sponsored post. Product was provided and all opinions are my own as always. 
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