In Grace on
January 17, 2017

33 Lessons I’ve Mastered in 33 Years

33 Lessons I've Mastered in 33 Years

I celebrated my “Jesus Year” back in October. Turning 33 and realizing just how fast the world around me changing, how quickly life can pass you by, helps to put that brief blink of an eye into perspective. But even at the age of 33, I don’t feel as if my life has started yet; rather, I am just beginning my journey. I have had my ups and downs along the way; there are things I wasn’t told, there are things I was told, but I didn’t listen. You’re never too old to learn anything new, and you’re not to young to take advantage of a headstart in life.  Here are the 33 things that I have “mastered” in my 33 wonderful years: Read more

In Uncategorized on
January 12, 2017

5 TED Talks Your Kids Must Watch

5 of the best TED talks for kids gritsngrace.com

TED Talks have surged in popularity over the last several years. Started in 1984 the conference has evvoled from mostly addressing Technology, Enterntainment and Design to covering almost every topic imaginable today. TED Talks kids have also grown in popularity, and has introduced us to some amazing kids. Memory Banda, who talked about her sister being forced to attend an “intitation camp” where young girls go to learn to pelase a man, and how her personal refusal led to her pushing for a national bylaw that no girl should be forced to marry before the age of 18. Not only have amazing topics been delivered by kids, but there are also some amazing topics about kids as well.

  1. Tavi Gevinson– At the age of 15, she wanted to find strong, female teenage role models, but couldn’t. So instead, she created a place for them. Her site Rookie hit over one million page views within five days of debuting in 2011.
  2. Andrew Solomon: “How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are” During this Ted Talk, he shares with us the adversity he daced during his childhoold. This talk has its funny moments, but is heartfelt at the same time.
  3. Memory Banda: “A warrior’s cry against child marriage” Banda has become a woman’s rights activist in her home country of Malawi, working tirelessy to outlaw child marriage and sexual initiation practices.
  4. Adora Svitak: “What adults can learn from kids” Writer and child prodigy, Svitak first starting writing at the age of five, at age seven she wrote over 250, 000 words in the form of poetry and short stories. In this Tex Talk, she reminds us all of how a little bit of “childish” thinking, may do us some good.
  5. Thomas Suarez: This 12 year old created the famous “Bustin Jieber” iPhone app. He now uses his time and skills to teach other kids how to create apps as well.

 

Have you attended any TED Talks events? Do you have any favorite speakers for adults and kids you’d like to recommend? Share with us in the comment section!

In Family, Lifestyle on
January 10, 2017

Toddlers, Play-Doh, and My Poor Hardwood Floors

The first time your child does something it brings an unsurmountable joy to your heart, that at times, can be hard to put into words. Today, it was Sarah’s first time paying with Play-Doh. She had gotten a pack of the My Little Pony Play-Doh for Christmas, and we weren’t 100% sure she would enjoy it. We waited a few days to gauge whether or not she would enjoy it, and in the meantime, I made a homemade silly putty  for her to play with just to make sure this was an appropriate activity for her. Since she loved that so much, I figured it was time to open the Play-Doh. Sure enough, I think this picture says it all:

Toddles, Play-Doh and My Poor Hardwood Floors-gritsngrace.com

“It’s fway-doh mommy!”

She was so thrilled she could barely contain herself. I don’t think I have ever seen her giggle and laugh so much while playing with a toy. Of course Play-Doh can be fun for anyone at any age, but for young children, the benefits are exponential. Here are some reasons why playing with Play-Doh is also a great learning experience for your toddlers:

  1. Fine Motor Development- Play-Doh can be squeezed, squished, pounded, poked and a host of other things, therefore it  is considered a malleable product. Your little one will be able to build their hand muscles while using it. This prepares them for being able to write and use scissors later on.
  2. Imagination: The two pony rollers that came with the set were an amazing addition. She was so excited at the different prints that they made and when she saw a star that was made, she began to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.  Adding various toys while playing with Play-Doh ehances imaginitive play. Children can pretend to create various things, engaging in role play with their parents and other children. It also allows for them to work on communication skills, while practicing story telling: “look at the food I made, its is for my resturaunt.” Allowing kids to relay to you what they are doing and asking open-ended questions while doing so, is key in imaginitive play.
  3. Calming: Another reason while Play-Doh is great-it is very calming. Being able to squeeze it for some reason is very therapeutic.

There are a multitude of reasons from literacy and math skill development as to why Play-Doh is a great option for your toddler. One of my favorite reasons not listed above is the emotional factor. Sarah was so excited that she was able to roll the dough, that she called me over, and proudly said “Look, I can roll dough mommy!” By reinforcing how proud I was of her accomplishment, I could tell that she was even more excited than when she first did it.

 

Now, on to my hardwood floors

So it was a bit of an exaggeration saying my “poor” floors, but who wants extra cleaning? While the dough we got was a bit crumbly and contributed to the extra mess, the only thing that mattered in the in the end was her happiness. As for my floors, well, I guess I just need to invest in one of those robot vacuums. At least we don’t have carpets.

toddlers, Play-Doh and My Hardwood Floors/gritsngrace.com

What was left of the mess on the floors, ( I should have taken a photo before I started sweeping).

 

 

In Uncategorized on
January 9, 2017

Yes We Did: How One #ObamaMoment Forever Changed Our Lives

November 4, 2008

That night we cheered-we cheered because this was a new era of hope, togetherness, and being united as a country, after experiencing such turbulent times. We cheered  for our grandparents and parents who lived through segregation and Jim Crow; who remembered being forced to ride at the back of the bus, going to separate schools, and having to walk on the opposite side of the street. For those loved ones who endured beatings, for family members who were run out of town, never to be seen again. We cried with them. For they never imagined that they would live to see this day. They never thought they would be witness to a black man being elected president of our great country. So that night, we held them as they cried, because for the first time in their lives “we the people” actually meant something. Read more

In Family on
January 5, 2017

The Best Play Kitchens

When I decided that I wanted to invest in play kitchen for Isla and Sarah, I didn’t realize that I would end up searching for months, not to only end up thoroughly irritated at the end, but just mentally drained. Finding the “right” play kitchen can be just as complicated as deciding what type of backsplash you want in your real kitchen. However there were certain things I knew I *needed* to have in order for me to purchase a kitchen set for my girls. Read more