Four-year-old autism wins 

The best thing about having an autistic kid is that they have such different goals and milestones than a normal child. It used to bother me when I saw kids his age doing things that he could not do, but now I see things so differently. I am so proud of this boy and how unique he is.

Over the past year, he has made so much progress. I can’t put together in words all of the things that he has done.  I can tell you that there has been so much growth just in the past four to six months. I am so happy whenever I see improvement. 

  1. I love that he makes new noises and tries so hard. He is the hardest working person ever, he gets that from me for sure. He has made new noises such as ‘up’ ‘uh oh’ ‘ah’ ‘oh’ ‘pppp’ and a few other ones. Every time we work on a new noise you can see how hard he tries and how happy he gets when I praise him. 
  2. I love that he shakes his head yes or no. It is the cutest thing ever. We have had to work with him to communicate non verbally for so long that simple things like this can make a difference. It is great to have him understand so that we can communicate quickly and efficiently ie; if he hurts himself, if he’s hungry, etc. 
  3. I love that he likes to clean up now. He literally will make messes just to clean them up, he is something else. I think it is super cute though because he knows how to clean up and does it so well. He gets so happy when he realizes what he has done. 
  4. I love how he notices when something is slightly off or different. If I move the trampoline from the inside to somewhere else he will see the little marks it left in the carpet and he will try to cover them up. If there is a crumb on the floor, he will pick it up and put it in the trash. If I have ANYTHING new on the table or countertops etc he will point to it immediately. His attention to detail is out of this world. 
  5. I love how he can play so well independently as well as with others. It has been so great to see both versions of this. I like that he is so independent but also when others around him can play with them as well. It is still a work in progress to help him understand the word share. 

These are such fun little things that he has done shortly in time. It amazes me to see how he can change in such a short amount of time. Autism has been such a blessing and a joy to see from a mother’s perspective. 



How Music Has Helped My Autistic Son. 

Every day is a challenge with an autistic son but there is so much good to it as well. I have enjoyed seeing so much change and growth in my son over the past few months. It is so interesting to just sit and watch how he observes and plays with things.  I often find myself just memorized. Sometimes I often do think about what life would be like if he was ‘normal.’ What would it be like.. But then I stop myself because I can’t think like that. 

He is who he is and nothing can change that! 

Lately, he has been all about dancing and humming. He hears it or sees it in a movie and wants to do it. It is so interesting, he will watch it and then imitate it all the time! He knows when a song or music is going to start and then hums to it.  I LOVE it. He is showing his true happiness and love for new things. 

But then there is a side of me that is slightly upset because he wants to sing along to the songs,  but can’t. It is the cutest thing ever to see him get so excited and hum right on cue. I often wonder what goes on in his head and what he is thinking that he wishes he could communicate with others. I feel like music is such a great way for him to communicate. 

Whenever I sing a song that he likes he immediately lits up and does the humming or dance that goes with it. I want to continue to grow and work with him on his music, it has been so amazing to see this new side of him. I am looking forward to seeing him continue this excitement and growth. 


Easter Gifts for Toddlers

Easter is such a fun time of year. As Antonio starts to get older, I am loving the holidays more and more. We are at a point where he is loving all different items to play with. These are some of his current favorite toys that would male GREAT Easter Toddler Gifts: 

  1. Nature Friends Lift-a-Flap Boxed Set 4-Pack: Little Red Barn, Little Blue Boat, Little Green Frog, and Little Yellow Bee (Chunky Lift a Flap)
  2. Plastic Egg Shakers, Ehome 12 Pcs Percussion Musical Egg Maracas 
  3. Crayola Non-Toxic White Chalk(12 ct box)and Colored Chalk(12 ct box) Bundle
  4. Baby Touch and Feel: Bunny 
  5. Hapinest Turtle Steps Balance Stepping Stones Obstacle Course Coordination Game 
  6. Disney Minnie Mouse: I’m Ready to Read with Minnie Sound Book – Play-a-Sound – PI Kids 
  7. LEGO DUPLO Minnie’s Birthday Party 10873 Building Blocks (21 Pieces) 
  8. Magnetic Building Blocks Magnetic Tiles Set Toy 
  9. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Dilly Dally Tootle Turtle Target Game 
  10. Fat Brain Toys 2 in 1 Musical Jump ‘n Toss – 2-in-1 Musical Jump ‘n Toss Active Play
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So what are your favorite Easter Gifts? —> Join me over in my private little clubhouse for FREE RIGHT NOW, before we no longer accept new members!!

The Best Easter Basket Gifts

Easter is such a fun time of year. I love decorating eggs, then splitting them open, going on hunts, and of course having gifts. Baskets are super simple, fun, and easy to do. You don’t even need to spend a lot, unless of course you want to.

I have a three and half year old son, and we are to the point where he likes so much fun and different stuff… even chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate?? What are some of your traditions that you are doing this year? Do you keep the same traditions every year?

This year, we are doing things slightly different, but it will still be fun. I am always up for changing things a little and trying new thing, especially as my son gets older.

  1. 48 Pieces Easter Basket Stuffers, Easter Egg Fillers, Easter Eggs Filled Small Toys for Easter Party Favors, Goodie Bag Fillers, Pinata Toys and More  These are perfect if you have a lot of kids to buy for. You can even save for stocking stuffers later in the year. My son loves all of these items.
  2. Count on the Easter Pups! (PAW Patrol)  My son is at a stage where he LOVESS to count, so this is the perfect gift for him.
  3. Ehome Wooden Percussion Musical Egg Easter Maracas Egg Shakers Kids Toys with Assorted Colors. he LOVESSS being able to use his senses and shaking is one of them, so this is so much fun for him too.
  4. Crayola Color Bath Dropz 3.59 Ounce (60 Tablets)  Bathtime is always fun, this makes it even more fun. He loves colors, and seeing how they turn in baths!
  5. Purple Ladybug Novelty Slow Rising Easter Bunny & Friends Jumbo SQUISHIES Pack in Gift Worthy Box: Bunny, Chick, & Easter Basket Kawaii Soft Squishy Toys & Bonus Stickers Come with The Squishys! This is a great sensory item for him when he is over stimulated or stressed.
  6. 6 PCS Easter Eggs Filled with Building Blocks Construction Vehicles Toys to Build Forklift, Crane, Bulldozer, Excavator Car Educational Toys Great as Party Supplies , Easter Basket Fillers for Boys  Of course what boy doesn’t love cars, or trucks? Mine does!!

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14 Indoor Toddler Activities

Now that the winter months are here, I am dreading staying indoors, and finding things to do with my son. I mean, we do like the warm weather, but when it’s cold and snowy, we’d rather find things that keep us busy indoors. There are SOO many fun and different options for you to choose from.

Here are a few of our favorite indoor activities.

  1. ABC Mouse   More than 850 Lessons Across 10 Levels. The Step-by-Step Learning Path presents the full curriculum in a carefully designed program of more than 850 lessons in ten levels. As your child completes each lesson, he or she is guided to the next one and is motivated to continue learning by’s Tickets and Rewards System.
  2. Discovery Box for Sensory Play – Dinosaur Theme  Fun Sensory Play in a fully contained box. Explore different tactile materials such as water beads, modeling sand, or assorted beans..Find, hide, bury, or play with the included artifacts, rocks, gems, or figures.
  3. A&M Pro Giant Kid’s Play Parachute Canopy with 16 Handles Engaging Fun & Learning: This parachute for kids color wheel helps encourage physical fitness while promoting social bonding, teamwork, and cooperation. Kids, Students and Teams: A wonderful way to teach important team and social values, this 12 foot child’s play parachute is great for backyards, gyms, or elementary schools.
  4. Education Step-a-Logs – Balance Beams for Kids  Stimulate creativity and gross motor skills. Balance beams are great for improving coordination and teaching confidence, while Step-a-Logs has convenient storage nesting inside each other. Connected with nylon rope, your child can create many different obstacles and the ribbed tops help prevent them from slipping.
  5. Learning Advantage Joey Jump – Stomp and Catch Board  Stomp and Catch your way to fun! Made to last out of a hard-wearing plastic, the Joey Jump teaches hand-eye coordination when they stomp on the board and launch a bean bag up to catch in mid-air.
  6. Disney Coloring Books for Kids Toddlers Bulk Set (8 books and sticker pack)  Coloring + Disney (mostly Mickey Mouse in this bundle) = a good time for any kid. These Disney and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse coloring books will provide many hours of fun with games, puzzles, mazes and coloring activities. Learning and art all rolled into one.
  7. Creativity for Kids Hide and Seek Rock Painting Kit – Spread Kindness and Customize 10 Rocks  Hide & Seek Rock Painting is a fun way to spread kindness, encouragement and happiness throughout your community – one rock at a time. Plus, you can share your rocks on Instagram and Facebook or local rock groups. To make this an indoor activity, simply hide and seek them inside rather than outside. This kit easily can make for a morning or afternoon of fun.
  8. Melissa & Doug Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks – 40 Blocks in 3 Sizes   You can find these building blocks in almost any daycare center. They are great for stacking, balancing, knocking down, engaging large muscle groups, and improving core strength due to their size (reach, twist, bend, and balance while your child builds). The bright colors just adds to the learning possibilities.
  9. Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline – Amazon Exclusive Jumping on a trampoline means great exercise for your child and using up some of that pent-up energy from being inside. Designed to be easily moved allows you to bring it to different locations in your home so you can be productive while they are busy bouncing.
  10. Fun Kids Bowling Play Set by ZenTeck [12-Piece]  Thanks to the vibrant colors and light-weight material, this bowling set by ZenTeck is perfect for indoor play. Set up in a hallway, living room, even the kitchen and roll for a strike! Set up the pins and try again. Great for practicing math, numbers, and colors without even realizing the lessons.
  11. Melissa & Doug First Play Wooden Spin & Feed Shape Sorter   Shape Sorters are wonderful for matching, color and shape recognition, and fine motor skills. The tray attached provides an easy storage solution for the shapes. A cute puppy design attracts your child’s attention for playing.
  12. TOP BRIGHT Activity Cube Toys Baby Educational Wooden Bead Maze Shape Sorter 7-in-1 Toys  Created out of a durable wood, this activity cube inspires your kid’s creativity, develops their thinking and coordination skills, and enriches their cognitive ability. Each side has a different activity, including bead maze, color counting beads, rainbow gear, recognition clock, shape matching, digital animal flip board and fun maze. Surely, this cube will keep your kid busy on the cold, winter days.
  13. Water Beads Sensory Bin Therapy Kits – 4 Dew Drop Sets Included  Perfect for early childhood education and development and sensory play. Water beads swell to marble-size when hydrated for a fun area to play in and shrink back to size once dry. Each set includes 15 toy animals. Make a whole new world to explore!
  14. Li’l Gen Water Beads with Fine Motor Skills Toy Set, Non-Toxic Water Sensory Toy for Kids  These water beads swell and shrink like the previous, but are wonderful for color sorting. Non-toxic and soothing, they will provide hours of inside playtime interest. The two scoopers and two tweezers enhance hand-eye coordination through motor skills. They can scoop, tweeze, and grab their way to a well-rounded development!


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Focusing on Your Child’s Strengths for Success

Guest blog post by Jennifer Elia-

If you have a child with special learning needs, you know the frustration for trying to make progress. You are both working so diligently to find a solution and make it over the learning roadblock. At times it seems insurmountable. What do you do when your child’s education get derailed by struggle and you have exhausted your options?

You focus on their strengths and let go of what isn’t working!

The Counterintuitive Success Formula

In a society driven by stats,  data, and success the answer to a problem is always try harder. Right? Wrong!

Drilling math facts for two hours instead of one is not the solution. We want to fill gaps with more of what is missing, but instead of filling the valleys, I propose you need to build longer bridges.

When it comes down to it, every person has strengths and weaknesses. Some may be more obvious but it exists in every human being. Special needs children are no different.

Not Different, But Amazingly Unique

In fact, special needs children are different, just each and every person. Our difference is what makes us special–not our high grades, our prestigious job titles, or our award winning talents. What makes us each special is that every one of us is different. Those differences work together to create a pretty amazing world.

Just like a tapestry, we each have a thread of life to share. Sure the crimson thread is more noticeable, but the white and gray threads give the picture definition. The beige adds depth and light. Take out any one color no matter how noticable it is in the complete work and the masterpiece becomes second rate.

Start with What Is Good

Everyone needs some basic knowledge to get through life, there is no denying that. Completely abandoning math or social skills would not be advisable for anyone. However, we are more than what we cannot do!

Just as no one should be defined by a diagnosis, our life should not be defined by our weakest moments, by our biggest struggles, nor by our current flaws. No one is perfect.

Focusing, as is typical, on what needs work creates an environment of defeat instead of success.

You paint beautifully but you still have not learned your times tables. Obviously, you need to paint less and spend your afternoons doing flashcards.

Have you or your child ever been in that situation? There is a passion and a gift that is beautifully blooming, but the glaring deficit is all you can see. STOP!

Start from A Place of Strength

Before building a system to overcome whatever is holding your child hostage in his educational journey, create an environment for him to enjoy what sets him free. It does not have to be academic if the struggle is academic. It does not have to be physical if the struggle is physical. It just has to be his passion and unique gift.

Give your child a taste of success and enjoyment, make that a priority as you bolster the needs and wants. Here are some examples:

  1. Your child has an unbridled passion for horses (pun intended) but reading a simple sentence is as difficult as emptying the Atlantic with a spoon. So, you take some time to learn more about horses, sign up for riding lessons, and turn science into an equine anatomy study.
  2. Your child is Miss Personality, her outgoing and loving nature attracts everyone to her, and in her spare time she hosts pretend radio shows for her stuffed animals, however her gross motor skills are far behind age level. So, you set up a podcast channel on Itunes and help her market her first podcast to family and friends.
  3. Your son is a math genius, his fascination with solving equations as big as your house is mind-blowing, but his interpersonal skills are lacking and he struggles in group settings. So, you employ find an open access class online through Harvard and let him try his hand at being one of the youngest kids in the class.

Abandoning The Struggle for The Strength

None of these actions will erase what is causing your child to struggle. Their needs are still very present, and require assistance and support. However, they will give your child that taste of victory in being who they were meant to be!

On of my favorite quotes is from St Catherine of Siena,”Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world afire!”

Can you imagine the world set afire by your child? Yes, the first child will need Orton Gillingham intervention. Sure, the second child requires physical and occupational therapy. Most definitely, the third child needs social skills and coaching on how to interact with others. However, one of that should ever define any of them.

When life get overwhelming because of special needs, focus on the special, not the need. Taking a short break, whether it be days or months depending upon the situation, and allowing the child to just be who she was meant to be will help diffuse the frustration and allow that special, unique, amazing little person of yours to show the world what she is really made of!

About the author: Jennifer Elia, homeschool mentor, curriculum creator, blogger, and author, is Founder of Aurelius Cabrini Homeschool Resource Center which is dedicated to giving homeschool moms the tools they need to thrive in their home education career. Jennifer provides one-on-one mentoring, personalized and original curriculum plans, and practical advice for those just beginning their homeschool journey, as well as those who just need a little boost. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four children whom she has been educating at home for the past 10 years. When Jennifer isn’t busy researching the best curriculum solutions, she enjoys gardening, crafting, and writing. You can find Jennifer on Facebook and Pinterest.

Focusing on Your Child's Strengths for Success

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Frugal Kids Fall Clothing

Do you love fall as much as I do?! There are so many fun outfits for this time of year.. Fall Clothing is a must have.. It is super adorable!! Here are some great finds for both boys and girls.

We put together some of the best fall clothing for you! Of course, we made sure to choose the best of the best meaning it is all super affordable. Go get your shopping on at the Children’s Place.

BOYS Fall Fashion:

frugal fall boy clothing

GIRLS fall Fashion:

frugal fall kid clothing

Don’t forget you get FREE shipping on orders. PLUS you can even get free money just sign up for their rewards. Trust me it is worth it! We get ‘free’ clothes all the time just from being a member of this!

Still looking for something you didnt find? Try Target, Walmart, or even Kohls.

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Top Eight Fall Bucket Ideas

I always say that I love summer. I love fall. The truth is I love all the seasons; they are all so fun and different. Fall is an excellent time of year, especially for kids! It can be so much fun if you make a list of things to do.

Here is a list of our top fall activities to do to help create some great memories:

  1. Take the time to witness the colors with the leaves and notice how different each one is.
  2. Have a photo-shoot among the falling leaves with beautiful colors.  Use these photos for holiday cards or pictures on your wall! Make sure to check out some fall clothing – kids fashion, ladies fashion.
  3. Rake a giant pile of leaves then jump in that pile of leaves. This was one of my favorite things to do as a kid! I loved this.
  4. Attend a football game! It can be a simple one for a local football or something for the NFL, you choose! Make sure to get a jersey to attend your game.
  5. Kick back on Sunday and watch football while eating chili and buffalo chicken, or pizza. YUM! Check out this recipe from our friends.
  6. Go on a hayride. You can choose between a horse and buggy or a truck-driven hayride. These hayrack rides are so much fun!  Make sure to dress warm!
  7. Attend a Fall Festival. There are so many always going on for all different towns so find one you can attend and have fun.
  8. Visit a pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins to take home, then carve them. Here are some pumpkin carving tools.

There are so many fun ideas for everyone to do in the fall and some are so obvious that I didn’t add them to the list. I am curious to know what are your favorite activities and what is on your list this fall?

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One of summer’s most popular trends gets updated for fall, and we love the new boho pieces. They are casual, but chic and perfect for the beginning of the school season. Here a few of our favorite boho outfits for kids from Nordstrom Rack and Etsy.

Tucker + Tate Printed Swingy Dress & True Religion Single End Jeans

This Tucker + Tate Printed Swingy Dress is bright and fun. It features a gauzy texture and richly colored navy and purple print. For the tomboy that likes to run around, she can pair the dress with these True Religion Single End Jeans. With a frayed hem, red stitching and boho blue wash they make the perfect outfit.

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Boho Summer Dress

Just because school is starting up again, doesn’t mean the summer heat is waning. A cotton boho sundress is perfect for warm weekends and special events. This style from Etsy features an elasticated back and spaghetti straps that tie through loops in back. Due to the comfy, adjustable fit, you may get two seasons out of this dress.


Pastourelle by Pippa and Julie

Even toddlers can get into the boho trend with this adorable Pastourelle by Pippa and Julie boho print set. The two-piece set features 100% cotton leggings and a multi-colored blouse with flutter sleeves, back button closure and a pompom trim.


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The Top Six Preschool Learning Digital Learning Activities

I know so many times people say that the teachnology can be bad for their kids. I get it, it can be. However, I think that they can learn so much from technology as long as they don’t abuse it. You are the parent, so you can control that.. Since my son is getting ready to enter preschool soon (not super soon), I want him to be ready. He is incredibly behind as it is, so I want to make sure that we have all the things handy to help him be successful. Here are some of our favorite digital learning activities.

  1. Top 30 Award-Winning Preschool Songs
  2. Preschool Circle Time Songs 
  3. Preschool Songs
  4. I’m a Book Lover 
  5. I’m Gonna Read a Book Someday 
  6. Pre-School Learning Songs-80 Classics

Let us know what you think about these options, we love to hear what our audience thinks. Make sure you allow your child to have fun, while learning. This really helps them to become successful. Happy learning!

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