New Blog Name | Back to School Lunch and Snack Ideas!

Hello! Welcome to my new (ish) blog! I recently changed the name from Amy’s Beauty Diary to its new name, The Hustlin’ Homemaker. I did this because I want to create content that is not just exclusive to beauty. While I love doing beauty posts, I want to be able to post about anything, whether it be kids, home, books – things that I think you guys would be interested in! So, thanks for sticking w me 🙂 I also created a new Instagram page, so give me a follow at @thehustlinhomemaker! I’ll be posting on there a lot. 🙂

Alright, so let’s get on with today’s post.

My two girls just went back to school- today, just as I type this. My older daughter, Allie, has started 3rd grade, and my baby, Ashley, has just started kindergarten. While I am sad and will miss them, I am so proud of them and will always cherish these past years of them being with me. I haven’t been without a kid for about 8 years, so it’s a big change for me as well.

Anyway, this post is about school lunch! My girls love to bring their lunch, and also like to buy their lunch at school. I have a lot of ideas that I am excited to share with you all!

First off, their lunchboxes. These came with their backpacks as matching sets. I like the shape of these because they can fit the lunch containers perfectly.

I have two types of lunch containers, these bigger ones with 3 compartments and then the smaller ones with four compartments that look like the containers Lunchables come in. I love to use these because they save money and reduce waste- and I can actually see how much of their lunch they eat.

Here are some examples of what I pack in them.

A Lunchables type meal with pepperoni, cheese and crackers, blueberry skewers, celery, some goldfish crackers, and an Oreo for dessert.

A unicorn shaped pb&j, some strawberries, carrots, some vanilla yogurt that i put a few sprinkles on, and a rice krispy treat.

A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll, some cherry tomatoes, strawberry applesauce, wheat thins, and a pink sugar cookie.

Here I have a ham and cheese sandwich on a crescent roll, some pineapple, pretzel sticks, an oatmeal raisin granola bar, and some Barbie fruit snacks. 🙂

The little containers are what I use for Ashley, as she can’t eat as much as Allie.

Some string cheese and crackers, a hard boiled egg, carrots, and some blueberries.

And lastly, we have some turkey and cheese roll ups, strawberries, a granola bar, and some goldfish crackers.

The biggest tip for lunch making is just to do it the night before so you don’t have to rush in the morning. It really doesn’t take long at all.

Some other things I like to use for their lunches are these little Thermos Jars.

You can pretty much pack anything in these, mac and cheese, soup, spaghetti, chicken and rice…any leftovers, and it keeps it hot in the lunchbox, even if there’s an ice pack inside.

Also, the Thermos cups. These are so durable and keep their water cold all day. We have a bunch of these.

These silicone baking cups and toothpicks add a little bit of a colorful touch and just something extra that I know makes the girls happy to eat their lunch. Also, cutting a sandwich out with a cookie cutter is really fun for them- we’ve got a drawer just for cookie cutters.

I got these super cute Lunch Notes for them just to put inside their lunch. These are thick cardstock and have cute little sayings and pictures on them, and there is space to write something. They will love these.

Lastly, just a few snack ideas. I made these cinnamon roll apples for them for the first day of school- they were super easy!

Make up some cinnamon rolls, and wait until they’re completely cooled.

Add some red food coloring to your icing. Count out 8 pretzel sticks for the stems, and cut up some sour candy belts to make the leaves. It’s ok if they’re not perfect; all leaves are different!

I leveled the cinnamon rolls to make them flat, and then iced them and stuck the pretzel and the leaf into the top.

How cute are these?!

Super quick and easy! I made them the night before the first day of school.

The next idea is a little pencil wafer cookie. Just cut the top of some sugar wafers into a point.

Add icing to the top and bottom, and add a mini chocolate chip to the top.

These are such a cute afternoon snack! I gave these to the girls when they got home from school, and they loved them.

I hope you liked these ideas and will try them! Thanks for reading!

xx amy

MOMMIN’| What To Do With Your Kids This Summer

Summer break is officially here and I am so excited! I get to hang out with my two little BFF’s every day and do fun things with them.

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas and creative ways to entertain these little bears, so I thought I would share some ideas with y’all!

I am all about the free/cheap activities, and my kids are pretty easy to entertain. Usually a can of play doh or a coloring book is all they need, but they also really enjoy being outside and playing.

LIBRARIES

This is a big one for us. The girls love to read, Allie loves chapter books, Ashley loves books about babies. They can check out books every week, attend story time, pack a lunch and eat it on the patio, and play in the toy room. Check out your local library if you haven’t, the girls love it, and it’s totally FREE.

PARKS

We have four parks that we regularly go to, we love to fly kites, bring sidewalk chalk, play basketball, and play on the playground equipment. Some parks even have splash pads, so you they can bring their swimsuit and have fun in the water. We always pack snacks or a picnic lunch so we can make a day of it. Again, FREE.

MORE GOING OUT ACTIVITIES

Children’s Museums

My little one and I have a yearly membership to our Children’s Museum, and so we just have to pay for Allie when we go in the summertime. The museum has things for all ages of kids, and they have different activities and crafts set up each day. Most of the things are educational and fun.

Movies

If you have older kids like me, a movie might be something your kids like to do! Sometimes you can find theaters that show kids movies in the mornings at a discounted price. Plus, you can sneak in your own snacks. 🙂 My girls love it when I make them up a snack bag for the movie.

Malls

Going to the mall is a nice air conditioned option for the really hot days. Walk around, do some window shopping, have lunch, and a few of the malls around me have little play areas. My girls love going to the mall.

Trampoline Parks, Bounce House Places, Open Gyms

These are indoor places where your kids can go to burn off their energy. These are good to do on really hot or rainy days. Most of the time, they aren’t too expensive.

Pools

In our neighborhood, we have a complex with three pools, a playground, and a huge pavilion with bathrooms. If your neighborhood has this, JACKPOT. If not, you can find a pool around you or go over to a friend’s pool. Sometimes YMCA or other gyms will offer memberships for their pools.

Play dates/ Visiting Family / Lunch w Daddy

We like to visit family, schedule play dates with friends during the summer, and we also like to go over to my husbands work and bring lunch to him. I know he loves to see us when we come.

Other

Other activities we like to do are go to water parks or theme parks, aquariums, zoos, bowling, or places like Chuckee Cheese. These places can get expensive so we don’t do them often, but a few times in the summer. We also like to take a beach vacation a few times since we are only about 3 hrs away.

Summer Camps/ Extra Curriculars

Summer camps are really good for the kids and help them to make new friends while doing something different. Allie is going to be doing Summer Art Camp for a week through her school, and Ashley is going to be attending her Summer Camp Days through her preschool that she will start attending in the fall. Also, I plan on putting the girls in either swim lessons again or dance class to give them something else to do each week.

HOME

Ok, so now for the hard part. The AT HOME part. The time when the day can tend to drag a bit. You went somewhere in the morning, you had lunch, and now what? You’re gonna be home for the rest of the day.

This is where my activity jar comes in.

I wrote down 50 activities that I could think of that my girls like doing, and some new surprise ones.

I wrote them on popsicle sticks and added some paint on the tips to make them look cute.

I put them into a jar, and each day, one of the girls gets to pick one out and we do that activity for the day.

THEY LOVE THIS.

Some of the activities are indoor, some are outdoor, but they are all fun and keep the girls entertained.

Some examples of things outdoors:

  • play in the sprinkler
  • have a treasure hunt
  • ride bikes
  • blow bubbles
  • fly a kite
  • have a toy car car wash
  • sidewalk chalk
  • set up an obstacle course
  • collect wildflowers
  • make pet rocks
  • make leaf rubs

And indoors:

  • have a dance party
  • scrapbook
  • make jewelry
  • have storytime
  • have a tea party
  • make slime
  • make paper airplanes
  • build a fort
  • play Play Doh
  • paint
  • play hide and seek

The options are really endless, just be creative with it and your kids will have a really fun summer.

Thanks for reading!

xx

Products I Regret Buying

Yep, we’re doing it, we’re going there. We’re about to bash some products.

DON’T BUY THESE.

Let’s start with the two hair products I have here.

Ok, so you may remember this first gem from my recent beauty haul post from a few weeks ago. This is the Garnier Smooth Air Dry Anti-Frizz Cream. So, this product claims to give you frizz control without heat styling. I don’t usually have frizz, so I’m not sure about that, but it did make my hair feel like a greasy sticky mess no matter how much I used. I ran some of this through my hair, let it air dry, and it still FELT WET. NO, Garnier, NO.

Next. WHY OH WHY do I continue to buy hair products made for kids? Why don’t I just stick to Its a Ten for my two girls who both have longer hair than me? This product is the FairyTales Static Free Detangler Spray. This “DETANGLER” sucks! First of all, it reeks, both of the girls said it smelled like their “stinky cheese crayon“. Also, this shiz doesn’t detangle or make hair feel silky AT ALL. If anything, it dries their hair out. Fail. Maybe this is meant for a baby with no hair. I don’t know.

Shall we even talk about this green cream that “transforms to a universal shade”??? No L’Oréal, not everyone is this shade of orange, tysm. This is the L’Oréal Anti Redness BB Cream. First off, to cover redness, the product has to STAY GREEN. This doesn’t, oxidizes, and turns orange.

Not only is it orange, but it is super oily and feels heavy and greasy on my skin. Yuck. HARD PASS, L’Oréal.

This pencil looked so promising! It is the Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil, and I thought it would be close to that Estee Edit Pencil Liner that I loved. Unfortunately, it is not. It’s dry, it drags, and it’s not creamy and smooth at all. This has fairly good reviews, so maybe I just got a bad one?

Lastly, a mascara that is super weird. Why did I even think this would be good?

I love to try new mascara, so I thought this one looked pretty and interesting. This is the L’Oréal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara. Unfortunately, the wand on this makes it so difficult to apply. Most of the wand is bare, but on the top there are some tiny spikes. This mascara is an extremely wet formula, and immediately clumped up on me. It weighed down my lashes and looked so bad. Also, is was VERY hard to remove, and it’s not even waterproof. I think I’ll stick to my Lash Paradise.

Alright, so I hope I helped you from wasting your money on this junk!

Thanks for reading xx

A Day In My Life | Stay at Home Mom to 2 girls

Hello! I recently read a magazine article about an editor of a fashion magazine and how she spends her day, so I thought it would be fun to take you through my day today!

While my life isn’t as exciting (lol), I thought it would be something different for my blog and maybe you will find it interesting! I am a stay at home mom, so pretty much everything I do involves my sweet little girls! Let’s go 🙂

  • 5:30 a.m.

Wake up and work out – I did my stationery bike and enjoyed some time alone! I took this pic later because it is dark when I usually get up this early.

  • 6:00 a.m.

Shower and get ready for the day. Without any interruptions!

  • 6:30 a.m.

Wake up Allie and get her ready for school (put lunch and water in her backpack, make breakfast for her, do her hair)

  • 7:00 a.m.

Grab coffee, Mollie, and Allie and head out for school! Mollie loves to ride in her doggie booster!

  • 7:30 a.m.

Get back home, do morning chores until Ashley wakes up. (Make beds, load dishwasher, start laundry, wipe down counters, etc.)

  • 8:15 a.m.

Ashley’s awake and ready for breakfast. She’s having a waffle, scrambled eggs, and some little sprinkle frozen yogurt drops that I made the other day.

  • 8:45 a.m.

Get Ashley dressed and ready to go out!

  • 10:00-12:00 p.m.

Arrive at the Children’s Museum and play play play. We have a membership here and she LOVES it!

  • 12:30 p.m.

Head home and fix lunch, and then fold some laundry. The laundry is never ending!

  • 1:00 p.m.

Workbook and story time with Ashley. We love the story “The Baby Blue Cat and the Whole Batch of Cookies”.

  • 2:25 p.m.

Grab a snack for the car and head out to pick up Allie with Mollie and Ashley.

  • 3:15 p.m

Arrive back home with Allie and help her with her homework. She usually has a worksheet and reading. Tonight she had math and I had to give her a practice spelling test (which she got 100, like always!)

  • 3:45 p.m.

Playtime with my girls. Today they wanted to play blocks.

  • 4:30 p.m.

Start making dinner. Tonight it was chicken pomodoro.

  • 5:15 p.m.

Dinner ready for me and the girls, JJ will eat when he gets home! Clean kitchen, load dishes.

  • 6:00 p.m.

Bath time! The girls love these little Bubble Podz! They are natural and make a ton of bubbles.

  • 6:30 p.m.

JJ’s home, Daddy playtime!

  • 7:00 p.m.

Brush teeth, bedtime story, bedtime.

  • 7:30 p.m

Spend time with JJ, watch some T.V, work on blog posts, etc.

  • 9:30 p.m

Time for bed. Goodnight!

Hope you guys liked this day in my life and found it entertaining! 🙂

xx

How To Get Your Child Ready For Preschool

Hello! Today I have a post about preschool for ya…If you aren’t a mom, maybe you can share this with a friend or family member who is; or if you are, I hope I can give you some ideas!

I am a stay at home mom to two girls, Allie is six and is in first grade, and Ashley is three and stays with me every day. Next year, in the fall, Ashley will be attending preschool twice a week at the same school Allie went to. I chose not to enroll my kids in a preschool that is every day, because I don’t think that they need it.

Attending preschool when she was 4 helped Allie socially, but most of what she learned in preschool she already knew. I wanted her to know what it was like to be in a classroom environment before she went off to kindergarten. I chose a preschool that really had a school look to it, and not like a daycare.

1. Introduce Preschool / Routine

My kids are ALWAYS with me, and the first time I ever left Allie anywhere other than with family was at this preschool. So, it’s to be expected that your kids will be nervous, especially if you are with them every day. The first thing that I would recommend is to just start telling your child that they will be attending preschool when they’re four. I first started talking to my kids about it when they were three, and they were nervous at first, but then after awhile they start looking forward to it. This way, they think it’s what all four year olds do, and they know that preschool isn’t optional.

I would also recommend some type of routine in your daily life with your kids. Get dressed at a certain time, breakfast, etc. Here is an example of what our routine looks like on most days.

SCHEDULE

  • 7:15 – Drop off Allie at school
  • 7:30 – 8:30 – playtime/read time
  • 8:30 – Breakfast/ get dressed/ morning chores
  • 9:30 -12:00 – Errands/ go somewhere fun (museum, library, park, etc.)
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 12:30 – 2:00 – playtime/read time
  • 2:00 – snacktime
  • 2:30- 3:30 – learning time
  • 3:30 – get Allie from the school bus
  • 3:45- 4:30 – Allie homework / playtime
  • 5:00 – dinner

When they are in preschool, they will be on a routine, so it’s important to have some structure to your day now.

2. Read To Them

On the daily schedule, you’ll notice I have “read time” and “learning time”. Reading to my kids is very important, so I make sure to read to them everyday. We have a library card, so we usually go there once a week. They have story time on Wednesdays for an hour. They read books, sing songs, and do a craft. This not only gets you out of the house, but it gives you something free to do, AND it helps them be around other kids their age. After we go to story time, we will check out books and play in the toy room that they have. Sometimes we will even pack a lunch and eat on the patio there. We usually leave the library with 10-12 books, and we always pick some out for Allie too. This way they always have new books to read. They love to bring me a stack of books to read. The library is just such an awesome resource.

3. Learning Tools

We try to do “learning time” every day, for about an hour. I have a bunch of tools that I use, and it’s really fun for Ashley. She feels like a big girl and that we are pretending to play school.

We have posters that we practice. Letters, numbers, and shapes.

And flash cards.

Also. WORKBOOKS. The School Zone brand is my favorite, and FUN for the kids.

These workbooks teach colors, shapes, letters, math, writing, and also critical thinking and skills.

We also practice writing letters and words on handwriting tablets. I will write a word in marker and she will trace over it, or I will have her write the letters.

I let Ashley pick out a pencil case, pencils, and crayons as her school supplies, and we keep everything in her school bin.

We always do learning time at her table in the playroom.

So, those are pretty much my tips to get them ready for preschool! Allie did so well in preschool, and I know Ashley will too.

Let me know if you like these types of posts!

xx amy