UNIVERSAL STUDIOS | 2016

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Universal Studios Orlando

Hey y’all! Long time no..blog. Honestly, with school and everything, I got o=preoccupied and haven’t had time to write! But also, because I went on a super amazing trip to Orlando with my best friend Abby and some other friends for her birthday (this is going up on her birthday so happy birthday Abby!! love ya)! So, I took a million pictures to keep the memories AND to obviously, share with you. So here goes day one, Universal Studios!

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The main reason we went to Universal is for Harry Potter World. I will admit that I never read the books, only watched the movies one time AFTER we decided we were going on this trip, etc. So its safe to say I’m late to the party. But Abby LOVES Harry Potter. I was a bit unsure of how much fun I would have because I’m not a hardcore fan but it was amazing! The attention to detail and the likeness to the movies was incredible.

I instantly felt transported to Diagon Alley. It was almost breathtaking. I felt like Harry, Ron, or Hermione were just going to pop out from around the corner! The dragon on top of Gringotts, the music, the hustle and bustle. It was so cool. I also liked how they sort of hid Diagon Alley from the “muggles” like the movies because we walked right past it the first time! The ride inside of Gringotts Bank was our favorite. It was 3D with glasses and a rollercoaster, which I had never been on anything like that before. We loved it so much, we came back at the end of the day and rode it again!

What’s a trip to Harry Potter World without butterbeer? I was honestly so excited about this beforehand. Even though we went in December, Florida is still hot. And this day was hot AND humid. I’ve definitely been in worse but it was nice to get a frozen butterbeer to cool off! It was actually pretty good. It tasted like butterscotch and caramel. The consensus between the three of us was that we liked the foamy stuff on top more than the actual frozen part(I got a brain freeze three times). It was like a slushy, which was still good but if it hadn’t been so hot, I think I would have liked a hot one better.

We had fun walking around Diagon Alley and playing with the interactive wand parts but by lunch, we decided to go to Island of Adventure where the rest of Harry Potter World was. We initially weren’t going to but we made a spontaneous decision and it was the BEST decision ever. I was also really excited to ride the Hogwarts Express. It’s like you’re actually on it! It’s a ride in itself. which was so cool.

Hogsmeade! The other part of Harry Potter World! It was really cool too. It had the owl post, more shops, and three more Harry Potter rides! I loved (again) how I felt like I was really there!

I snuck off (hehehe) and found a worker to take part in my scheme to surprise Abby with a personalized Hogwarts letter! (I used this post as a base template and went from there). I came up with this idea over the summer and I’m so glad that it went off well! Luckily for me it was easy to get her to do her magic with the wand and my special wizarding friend worked his magic and gave her the letter from a special owl! She loved it and that makes my heart soooo happy!

The Hogwarts castle was so impressive and huge. It was hard not to take a bazillion pictures of it but that’s the first instinct you have! Sadly, the ride inside was closed for maintenance but they let us walk through and take pictures.

Also on Island of Adventure is Seussland! I was so so so excited about this. I grew up with my mom reading Dr. Seuss to me, so I had to take it all in and photograph it even if only for my mom.

The Lorax was my absolute favorite Dr. Seuss story! I would read it and watch the cartoon on our (deep breath) VHS tape over and over and over.

We walked through all the different themed lands. We rode the Hulk (loved it) and the Spiderman ride. We tried to get back to Universal via the Hogwarts express but it broke down so we had to walk all the way back. Aside from that, the entire day was amazing from start to finish and a great first day of the trip! I know Abby and Heather had an amazing time too! I don’t ever want to forget the magic of Harry Potter World, the adrenaline from the Hulk, or even how I hated the King Kong ride. It was a GREAT day! Stay tuned for Disney pics!

What is your favorite amusement park to go to?

xoxo Ariana

Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-Up

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Happy Thanksgiving! And Black Friday weekend! And school break!! I know I haven’t posted in what feels like forever BUT I’m trying to get back on track! I think y’all can agree with me that the past couple weeks seem to have been a bit crazy for everyone (especially with finals coming up). So I kind of took a week off of posting for Thanksgiving but I’m back now! And I figured I would just the whole weekend in one post and catch y’all up to speed!

My Italian class made cannoli for Thanksgiving! They were pretty good and not hard to make at all actually.

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My dog Baxter was being really cute and sweet when I came home so I took advantage and took cute selfies with him (bc why not?)

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Wednesday, I just kind of chilled out and tried to get some studying done, then it was THANKSGIVING! Good food, parades, family, cozy pajamas, everything. It also marks the officially beginning of Christmas time for me!

I woke up early, made pancakes for the family, and watched the parade with my mom and sister (one of our favorite traditions). Then we started to get ready to go help my grandparents fix dinner!

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Also, yeah, we eat Thanksgiving dinner and apparently everybody else east lunch??? I mean I understand, we eat dinner because it works with everybody’s Thanksgiving day schedule but I guess I didn’t realize nobody else ate it for dinner!

Anyways. We had such a good dinner, I got to catch up with Kelsey again! We also celebrated her 21st birthday with the family on Thanksgiving! Her birthday is actually today, so happy birthday Kels!

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The next morning, mom and I woke up to do our Black Friday shopping at the beautiful time of 4:30! We have always gotten up around that time (I like it because it’s still dark) but I think both of us have agreed to sleep in some extra hours next year! We were both d r a g g i n g. We think maybe it’s because we skipped some coffee (which we definitely will never do again) but we got some cute stuff and went back home to take naps for the rest of the day.

We also got our tree this weekend!! So exciting!!!! I looooove Christmas y’all. I’m honestly the happiest girl in the world because there is FINALLY Christmas music on the radio and our house smells like the tree!!

 

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Sunday rolled around and I spent most of the day doing all the work I procrastinated doing the whole break. But this week, I’m going with Abby and our friend Heather to DISNEY!!! Yes, we are going to Disney (AT CHRISTMAS) and I couldn’t be MORE excited! So I’m rushing to get everything done in time!!

If you stayed to read that whole thing, good for you. I know it was a mess. Before I go, I just want to say I am so so grateful to have this little space to write and share my life! I love the friends I’m making on the way and am so thankful that this is even possible (yay internet!). How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Did you go shopping on Black Friday?! Let me know in the comments!

 

xoxo Ariana

Meet My Best Friend

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So it’s about time I officially introduce my best friend! In a little over a week, we are going on a suuuuuuper exciting trip together and she will probably be in 90% of the pictures so I figured why not let y’all get to know her first!

You may have seen her in some posts before but this is my best friend Abby. I asked her several questions for you guys to get to know her but before that, I want to say a few words. Abby is so fun. She is also probably the funniest person I know, next to my sister. Honestly, we are crying tears of laughter AT LEAST twice every single time we are together. She’s my forever concert going partner. She doesn’t care how many times it takes to get the perfect picture. She is so kind and loving. She is so ambitious! Honestly, she’s not afraid to try anything and I am in awe of that. I admire her for her ability to put herself out there to get what and where she wants. I have never met someone so much like me! I love her not only because she stays up all night watching Teen Wolf/ Notorious/ PLL  and whatever else with me, loves to fangirl, talks in our weird and made-up British accent, goes on crazy adventures, but also because she loves me for me. She doesn’t care if we do nothing or become couch potatoes. Only with her can we go from a crazy dance/karaoke sesh to a serious heart to heart in seconds. She is understanding, non-judgmental, and accepting of me and everything I want to do! She brings me out of my shell and I love it. Love ya bff like a big fish! (inside joke)

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Who are you, how did we meet, and tell us about yourself?

I am Abby, I am me, me am I. We met in 8th grade, with two other girls Anna and Taylor, because we didn’t know anyone else at lunch. I love my best friend. I love music, talking in weird accents with you, and watching Teen Wolf.

What is the 1 one place in the world that you want to go before you die?

Spain (insert cheetah girls 2 reference here)!

If you could sit down with 3 people dead or alive, who and why?

Calum Hood because I love him, I wanna say Audrey Hepburn because I don’t know she’s great, and Walt Disney because obviously. (hint hint at our trip!)

 

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What is your favorite memory of ours together?

ROWYSO, meeting Kian and JC, and every time we are together because we have a good time! We met Shawn Mendes together which was cool!  When we watch sad movies and cry together. Dressing up as Calpal and Smash for Halloween! So many great memories, it’s hard to pick!

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What do you want be remembered for?

Being funny, because I am. (jk jk but not really, wink wink)

What something you always wanted to do?

Surfing. JK Inflatable water thing. Water skiing, tubing.

What would you name your autobiography of your life up until right now?

Fangirl or workaholic.

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What is your favorite thing about our best friendship?

How much alike we are. We are on the same wavelength in our brains. We can know what we’re talking about without saying a word!

What’s your fave song rn?

You can’t ask me that! That’s too hard!

What’s a movie that you hate?

Paper Towns, it sucked. It was not what I expected at all!

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Embarrassing moment

That time, freshman year I think, when I came into your history class because the wire on my braces popped out and Mr. L tried to fix it with pliers or something! It wasn’t really that embarrassing but it was in the middle of class!

Our hardest laughing moment?

Whenever we were in my old car, usually crazy dancing to music or late at night in your house. When I almost broke the stapler at your house and update the whole thing on snapchat. Who knows with our humor honestly!

And lastly, what’s your favorite positive or motivational quote that keeps you going?

“Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” It was even my senior quote!

 

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Abby, I love ya girl. From broken hearts, to concerts, to graduations, and even getting caught in a torrential downpour, I’m so happy you’re my best friend!Thank you for pushing me, pulling me out of my comfort zone every once in awhile, laughing, singing, being silly, and sometimes even crying with me. You’ll be here forever and I am so so happy. And thank you for being here on my blog!

And to anyone reading, I hope you find or have already found your best friend. It’s great to have someone like this to be close with and always be there!

xoxo Ariana (and Abby!)

Tips to Get Through the Mid-Semester Slump

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It’s that point in the semester where nothing is really happening. Halloween is over, people are ready for the holidays but there’s still classes, papers, projects, class registration, tests, etc. in between. It can be hard to push through and I myself am struggling. I just want to work on this blog and get ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas! But school is a priority that my family is paying for and I need to stay focused, no matter how many times YouTube or Netflix calls my name.

So I have put together a couple of tips to get through what I like to call “The Mid-Semester Slump”!

Buy a new planner

Nothing makes me feel like I have my life together than a new planner! I have recently gotten really into planners and I love my new one! It’s from the Create 365 brand and I got it from Michael’s. They always have sales going on and coupons! Just writing out all the things I need to do and the things I want to do creates a visual for my week and makes me feel productive! It feels so good to check off things I wrote down! And buy a cute one! I am a firm believer that if the planner is cuter, I’m more likely to write in it and open it back up to look at what I wrote. Sort of like if the gym clothes are cute, I’m more likely to work out (and feel cute while doing it!).

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Do not procrastinate

(Kind of put this one in here for myself) I am the queen of procrastination, like seriously I need a crown for it. I put things off so bad. This semester I have been sooooo much better at time management with school, even people close to me have commented on it! But it’s hard to not put things off because I know I have a good grade so maybe missing this one won’t matter much while I continue watching New Girl. BUT NO. Don’t. Keep hustlin’, keep being ambitious, keep it up! You’ll thank yourself later!

Talk to your advisor

When I started school at community college, I hardly ever met with my advisor. I always saw tips online saying “become best friends with your advisor” and never really understood until now. Since I’m pre-elementary education, there’s a cluster of tests I have to take to be accepted in the program and be licensed. I would have totally forgotten about them had I not met and emailed my advisor! I understand all that advice now! Thankfully, my advisor is super nice and helpful all the time (pretty sure he groans if he sees my email in his inbox)! Meeting and talking about the next step for me always makes me feel on track and productive. Like all this studying and stress really IS to get me closer to my end goal.

Deep clean an area of your space

I just switched out my closet from summer to fall, hung up all of my clothes, and put everything away. I feel SO much better and decluttered. It was nice to have that time to myself and it felt almost therapeutic. And it didn’t take as long as I thought at all, especially since I put on some YouTube videos I needed to catch up on! Setting aside time to deep clean is a great mental break that is also productive. I’m excited to wear all my sweaters now!

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Write A To-Do List and STICK TO IT

Even though I have a planner, I still write a small to do list for the day. I try to accomplish at least two things on the list per day! I’m staying productive but not stressing myself out. It also helps with the day-to-day as we move through the middle of the semester! I also use the app Wunderlist which allows me to compile a bunch of different to-do lists. I mainly use it to just jot down things that I randomly think of or something said in class that I don’t have time to reach for my planner to write down!

Allow Yourself Decompression Time

And lastly, just relax. Allow yourself to binge watch a couple of Netflix shows. Curl up with a book. Go out with your friends. Take a bubble bath. Do whatever you can that you enjoy to pass the time until finals are done and we can relax into the holidays!

 

Hopefully these tips helped! Do you have anymore tips to add to the list? Let me know!

 

xoxo Ariana

Proud To Be An American

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Last night, history was made. This was the first presidential election I voted in and actually was able to pay attention to, for lack of a better phrase. Unlike other presidential elections (that I can remember), this election had people at each others’ throats like never before.

I am writing this because I have just experienced history. I want to look back in the future and remember this time in my life. I have a few thoughts and reminders to put out there. I am not writing this because of my political views or the opposing ones.

Regardless of Donald Trump being the new President, or even if Hillary Clinton was the President, they are/would be just that. The President. The leader of our country. I was raised to be respectful in general, but to always respect our President, no matter how I felt about the individual.

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Mr. Trump will be our President. Many people are very upset at this. Even I feel the need to take a deep breath. It seems no one was satisfied with our options. Nonetheless, he won. Therefore, I will respect him as the leader of our beautiful nation. I will pray for him every day, just like I would if anybody else had been elected. I will pray that God guides his hand, his mind, and his heart in providing, protecting, and leading the United States of America.

I hate getting on social media and seeing things like “say goodbye to our freedoms” or “See ya later, I’m moving to Canada”. That’s not the patriotic American spirit. Social media has honestly been such a game changer in politics. I totally understand that people are upset, the mood is low, etc. I think everyone just needs a few days to process and regroup. But Americans persevere. We work together and we push through. If you are upset, it’s okay. Keep that hope, that spark alive.

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Think back to how this country began. People who didn’t even know what was on the other side of the ocean filed into ships and sailed for days and days, away from England. They faced adversity straight in the face. They did that to escape restriction. They did that to have the freedoms to believe what they believe and voice their beliefs without consequence. Those people were some of the bravest in history and I have never been more thankful that they risked EVERYTHING for future generations.

Think of all the people who have fought for America one way or another. Think of the people who are out there fighting right now. The LEAST we could do is be respectful and kind to one another, including our new President.

How blessed am I that I get to live, to be born in a country that allows me to have a different opinion??? And that not only is it okay, it is my RIGHT?? I am still so proud to be an American citizen. I would have been just as proud had there been a different outcome. This is my home.

Please do not harass, threaten, degrade, or even just be plain mean to anyone who has a different opinion, voted differently, or speaks out about their views. It’s extremely hard, ESPECIALLY in modern society and especially today, to voice your political opinions. It’s scary because anybody could comment horrid things to you just because. And there are people who are being outspoken and receiving backlash right this second. It shouldn’t be that way. They should be allowed to have their opinion respected, even when it is disagreed with.

Whatever happens over the next year, the next four years, or the next forty years, the one thing I DO know is that God already has this planned out. He knows how it will end. He knew who would be our president in 2017 from the very beginning. I have faith in Him. I find peace in Him. One day, none of this will matter.

But until then, be kind. Be humble. Have faith. Be uplifting and encouraging to each other. Be respectful. Don’t ruin friendships over this. Don’t lose hope in our country, the very country that has overcome so many hardships when there was almost no hope left.

Everyone take a deep breath, stay positive, and have an amazing day!

xoxo Ariana

 

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,

and to the Republic for which it stands,

one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

DIY Last Minute Halloween Shirts

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FOMO is real (feeling of missing out). Everybody is posting pictures at Halloween parties and in costume and I kinda got sad that I didn’t have anywhere to go or any reason to dress up this year! I plan on having a night in and watching some not-so-scary Halloween(ish) movies. Well, instead of being down about it, I decided to do something about it! I scouted the internet to get some ideas but ultimately I just made it up myself as I went!

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So what I did is I decided to make a jack-0-lantern shirt and my sister joined in and made a ghost shirt! I looked around on the internet and saw that some people made stencil with adhesive paper, some people used fabric paint but since this was super last minute, I didn’t have time to mess with that! I also had a very low budget and fortunately, I bought all my supplies for under $15!

What you need:

  • a shirt
  • Felt
  • scissors
  • glue gun

That’s it! Only four things! I already had a glue gun and scissors at home.

I just googled “jack-o-lantern t shirt stencil” and went to images. There are plenty of different options to choose from! I used this and my sister used this.

 

Step one:

Outline your stencil on the felt. I used a silver metallic Sharpie that I had so I could see it! Don’t be afraid to mess up, you’re going to flip it to the opposite side when gluing so you won’t see the marker.

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Step Two:

Cut out all your shapes. LET IT BE KNOWN. Cutting felt is not as easy as you think. I spent about 15 minutes on one eye before I switched scissors (changed my life y’all) but it still wasn’t a piece of cake. It’s not hard if your scissors cut easy through it but it’s definitely not paper.

Step Three: 

Lay out all shapes to see where you like them. I then place a hand towel inside the shirt (I don’t really know if this served a purpose but it made me feel better). Now just heat up your glue gun and glue the pieces on! (If you are younger than 16, I would double check with a parent or adult if its okay for you to use one by yourself. If not, ask for help!)

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Now just let it dry and they should be ready to go! This was so easy, cheap, and fun to do with my sister! I think they turned out so cute!!

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What are y’all’s costumes for Halloween? I’m super interested to know!!

Happy Halloweeeeen!

 

xoxo Ariana

MOUNTAIN TRIP

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Every year, in October, my family, grandparents, and my mom’s brother’s family all go on a trip together to celebrate my Grandpa’s birthday. For about five years in a row, we went to Boone (which we love) and the past couple years we went to other places. This year, we all just felt Boone tuggin’ on our hearts cause we love it so and that’s where we went!

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It was peak week, which means that its peak point of the leaves changing color! And let me tell you, it was gorgeous! It was also actually cold!! It hasn’t properly turned fall yet here in NC (it’s even supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow)

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The weekend was filled with good food, long heart to hearts with my beautiful cousin Kelsey, along with almost catching a chair on fire and laughing til we cry, tons of marshmallows, photography adventures with Grandpa, hot apple cider, and family. My happy place!

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Grandpa found this old church that had been there since 1852 and an old cemetery. The sun came out right when we got there. I just love this picture, I think it turned out so nice!

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I look forward to this weekend every year. Its a designated time to spend time together and connect as a family. It’s fun to see our family grow over the years and how we have all grown and changed. Family is everything!

What are your favorite family traditions?

xoxo Ariana

FALL OUTFITS

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I loooove fashion. I even like to think that I know a thing or to about style and some of my favorite fashion trends are fall ones! I now have a greater appreciation for all fashion bloggers! FORREAL. It’s really difficult to get somebody to take a picture the way you see it in your head AND pose in a not awkward way! I think my mom did pretty good with the pictures though (she’s my MVP) and I’ll just keep practicing my posing!

Okay so this is a small compilation of outfits but I squeezed out some super MICRO mini photoshoots on our family mountain trip this past weekend! We were up there during peak week so I tried to take advantage of the beautiful leaf colors!

I just so happened to walk into Target when there’s a BOGO sale going on with the sweaters. So I bought some. AND I got to breakout the $7 dollar spot blanket scarf I got from there too.

green sweater // cream sweater (similar) // boots (similar) // scarf (similar)

I would really like to do more posts like this, even though I don’t really splurge that much (hello college). I try to shop sales, bargains, etc. as much as I can! But the fun part is styling the items so that’s most likely the way these posts will be!

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

What are your favorite fall fashion trends?!

xoxo Ariana

 

Babysitting Tips

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Do we ever really let go of our kid side? I haven’t yet and I really don’t ever plan to. Personally, I think people who are kids at heart are the happiest! I don’t know, maybe it’s just cause I love kids, maybe it’s because I want to teach and influence little kids, but kids are important! They’re going to be taking care of us one day!

I remember growing up and being put in charge of a baby while their mom did something for a few minutes or playing with the toddlers while the adults talked about adult things. I have always gravitated towards kids! My mom says that she can’t imagine me ever being without kids. It’s true i want 34850947 of them!

KIDDING KIDDING. Calm down, I’m not insane! But I do want 3 or 4 lil munchkins when I grow up.

Anyways, because of my caring nature and my affection for little ones, I’m always picked to babysit. I even work in childcare and nanny/regularly babysit right now! You can actually earn some nice money doing it. However, I was still nervous to babysit kids I had never known before, I had always just watched family members with their parents not to far in case of an emergency. So I tried to look for tips on the internet and couldn’t find much! So today, I’m sharing some of my key tips in babysitting and making it more fun and easier!

Learn Your Kids

This is one that can only really come with time. At first, the kids might not be completely relaxed around you, especially if their used to another babysitter. Learn what makes them tick, learn how they react to conflict, how they are when they’re mad or sad or annoyed. After the first handful of times you watch them, their true colors will start to come out as they get used to you. I’ve been watching the same kids for a year and I’m still learning new things about them as they grow! Be as interested as possible in their interests. Ask them about their day at school, their friends, their weekend plans. For example, one of the kids I watch LOVES being outside so we play basketball. They both love Legos so I help them build Lego sets all the time! It keeps them occupied AND happy.

Be clear on parental instructions

Even though you are watching them, it’s still important for them to follow their parent’s rules. If there are specific foods they’re only allowed to have for special things (like candy or ice cream), if they’re not allowed be on their electronics for more than a set amount of time, etc. Every family is different and it’s important to stick to the things the parents tell you! The parents will also be your best friend. They need you to watch their kids, so they want to help you as much as possible! But they are also trusting you to care for their kids so you have to be trustworthy. You can always shoot them a quick text to ask if you can take them to the park, or pop some popcorn for a movie day!

Keep an eye out for cheap crafts and games in stores

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You gotta keep things interesting! Kids are so easily bored sometimes and it can be hard to think of new things to do. I try to keep my eyes peeled if I’m ever in craft stores or even Target for cheap little fun activities! If there is a holiday coming up, you can almost always find holiday themed games, crafts, and activities! I bought these cute Thanksgiving crafts for $1 at Michael’s a few weeks back and I’m waiting until after Halloween to do it with them! I also bought some paint, a few stamps and brushes, and a huge art pad from Hobby Lobby probable about 6 months ago and we have reused it multiple times since! They love making pictures and they don’t get it all the time so it’s always special when we do. Just be sure to double check with mom, especially if you are at their house! It can get messy! I always lay down this old plastic table cloth where ever we are going to paint and have a roll (or two!) of paper towels on standby.

Be as patient as possible

It’s not always rainbows and sunshine. Kids are difficult. Just like us, they have bad days and good days. They have mood swings. The difference is we are old enough to understand why we are in a bad mood and they aren’t. Which adds to their frustration. Try to be understanding. Try to be patient. Of course, I mean this within reason. Sometimes they just push back to see what you’ll do. Choose your reaction carefully. Don’t yell and scream. They definitely won’t listen, you’ll just scare them. Just be patient, try to calm them if they’re upset, diffuse the sibling fight, or whatever the issue is. Keeping patience is key! I’m not saying it always is easy, but if I feel my patience slipping, I just take a deep breath and reassess. This brings me to my next tip.

Stand your ground

While being patient, it’s also important to realize that when they do something wrong, you have to do something. It might be a good idea to talk to the parents to see how they want you to handle it if things get out of hand. Don’t be scared! They know how their kids are and they know stuff just happens sometimes. I always start with a warning like “Don’t do that”. Inevitable, they won’t listen but at least you warned them. If they keep doing what I said not to, I say “I asked you nicely not to do that. Please do not do it again or you’ll come sit with me for five minutes” or some variation of that. Take away time from their tablets. If they flat out do not listen, I often play the “Okay I’ll have a talk with mom” card. It usually works to get them to stop. I hate to say that but sometimes you do what you have to do. But also, don’t be afraid to ACTUALLY tell mom. If you’re telling them, for example, not to ride their scooted or whatever into the road for their safety, and they aren’t listening, you need to tell her. They could get seriously hurt. While you are not their teacher or parent, you are the authority figure for the time you’re there and they need to listen. Most times, parents will help you out on this because they want you to watch their kids! Just use good judgement on what warrants sitting out for a few minutes, getting tablet time taken away, and actually having to tell mom.

Keep them occupied

THIS TIP could be the most important. Well maybe not most, but it’s such a HUGE tip. Keeping them occupied = less boredom = less chance of a meltdown = less stress for you. If you don’t really have anything happening, the kids can get rowdy with each other, they can get delirious and crazy, etc. My kids that I watch love to eat when they’re bored, which is during that time that mom is almost back home to start dinner, so I try not to let them eat (unless its healthy, like an apple). They’re tired from school and now they’re bored, with nothing to do, and I won’t let them have all the food they want (which is almost always cookies, chips, and candy, all at the same time). Thus, we have a meltdown and they’re upset with me. BUT if I keep them occupied, like letting them look at themselves with the funny filters on Snapchat, they’re occupied, happy and laughing, happy with me, and their mom comes home to good moods as opposed to bad ones.

Try to be quick on your feet

This will come in handy in a lot of situations. Coming up with a game, a Plan B, anything really. Look on Pinterest to see what kind of games you can play with little supplies! Also look for stuff to do on rainy days. One time, it rained a whole week and we were stuck inside. We had a movie day, played hide and seek in the dark, played bowling with cups and ping pong balls and got really creative! One day, one of them just couldn’t be satisfied with anything we had to play so I made up a lonnnnng scavenger hunt list of things like the letter B, six shoes, the color purple, etc. that I knew was in the house and if he found them all I let him have a marshmallow! This was a big hit (he told his parents about it) so I have that as a backup boredom plan!

Utilize your resources

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This is dependent on the family you are babysitting for but I drive my kids around all the time. We’ve been the the park, a snow cone place, many fast food places with a playground, one park with a splash pad and a train we rode, the pool, the movies, etc.!  A lot of those things we did in the summer and we had to find more things to do! But if it’s okay with their parents and you can drive, see if you can find new and kid safe/ kid friendly places to go! Bonus if it’s educational! My dad is a paramedic so he told me to bring the kids down to the station and we walked through the whole facility and they got to sit in all the different ambulances which they LOVED! They had such a fun time and got to learn and see hands on what paramedics do for people! They even got stickers, some coloring books, and little paramedic badges! So just be creative and use what you have and the people you know!

Be silly and have fun

This is actually the most important tip I have for you. Don’t you remember your babysitters when you were little? I mostly was watched by my grandparents but I had a couple of sitters. I remember them always playing with me or letting me help them do something for them. They made me feel important and not like I was annoying them. Strive to be the “cool” babysitter. Be the babysitter that lets them have a marshmallow for a prize, the one who has random dance parties, comes up with cool new games and places to go. Be a kid at heart. You want these kids to grow up and look back at how lucky they were to have you as a babysitter or nanny!

 

I hope these tips have helped you and made you more excited about babysitting! It’s definitely hard work and not easy (anyone who says it’s easy must have perfect children) but in the end it’s worth it! Its so worth it to see the smiles on their faces! Do you have any special tips or tricks to babysitting? I would love to see what y’all have to say!

xoxo Ariana

Autumn Thoughts

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Leaves. Crisp air. Cold mornings with a little bit of sun in the afternoon still keeping it warm. Yummy baked goods. The fan favorite pumpkin spice latte. Cozy sweaters. Warm scented candles. Blankets. Fuzzy socks. Family. Holidays. Pumpkins. Apples. Boots. Scarves. Apple cider.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Even though where I live, fall and winter kind of blend together sometimes so really my favorite time of year is basically September to January. Even so, I just LOVE this time of year. I had to go to work this morning at 8 and I had to turn the heater on in the car because it was actually cold and not humid outside. I saw the early morning frost on the grass. Leaves are changing. I can’t really explain it, I’m just so happy at this time of year. The world seems so much more beautiful in fall. (also do you say fall or autumn? I feel like autumn is the really formal way to address fall) I just lit my first fall candle of the season (sweet cinnamon pumpkin from Bath and Body is my absolute favorite.)

My family is going on our annual mountain trip in a couple weeks and I’m getting more excited by the minute. I can’t stand it, I’m so ready and excited. Life is just so different in the fall. I love every second of it.

Whats your favorite part of fall?!

xoxo Ariana