Here are my top tips for simple summer home routines that we are all loving. Easy for parents, awesome for kids!
This post is sponsored by Walmart. All opinions are 100% my own, as always.
Hey friends! I don't know about you, but I'm trying to really SIMPLIFY things this summer. I want simple routines, simple meals, and a simple schedule! I wanted to share with you some of the things that have really been working for us this summer.
Tip # 1: Swim in the afternoons.
The perfect schedule for us seems to be swimming in the afternoons until around 4:00 or 5:00. That way when we come home, we all shower immediately and get in our PJs. Yes, that means we eat dinner in our PJs. This routine lends itself to super laid back evenings and everyone is pretty much ready for bed (other than brushing teeth) when the time comes. It's SO NICE to have the showers out of the way and PJs on already. If you are a parent of young kids, trust me on this.
Tip # 2: Make “snack plates” for dinner.
Y'all, why I haven't been doing this for years is beyond me. My kids LOVE it. I dare say these are their favorite types of meals. And it takes no more than 10 minutes to put together. I put together what we call snack plates (a phrase I got from my friend Thea). They are a bit different every time but always include some fresh fruits and veggies, some type of cheese, deli meat and crackers. My favorite part is that they always seem to eat MORE veggies whenever I serve them in snack plate form. They grab what they want and eat as much as they want on their plates. Total win.
Speaking of plates, we just got this beautiful and affordable set of dishes from Walmart Home that we are loving. They are nice and thick, which is a big plus for us because we tend to have problems with chipping the edges of thin dishes.
Tip # 3: Create spaces that make you WANT to spend as much time outside as possible.
I spent quite a bit of time this spring getting our screened-in porch set up in a way that I knew we would want to spend as much time as possible outside. You may have noticed that I purchased a lot of things from Walmart Home for our screened-in porch (and those prior purchases and post were NOT sponsored). I was amazed at how much awesome stuff I found and the prices were great. These outdoor ottomans and that pretty green pillow are from Walmart Home! I've found that when you create welcoming and cozy outdoor spaces, you will use them so much more! Take it from me–I'd usually much rather be inside, but I have loved sitting in our outdoor space this summer. It's where we watch all of our family movies together.
And we've eaten pretty much every dinner outside on our screened-in porch since some time in March. And I can't pinpoint why, but our meals feel so much more fun and relaxed outside. We talk more. We laugh more. We don't really care if crumbs get dropped all over the ground (Riggins is quick to clean them up). It just feels more fun. And that's kind of what summer is all about, right?
Tip # 4: Make a homemade dessert once a week.
My girls love helping me cook, as long as we are making a dessert, lol. Sometimes we make cake, sometimes cookies. But our new favorite dessert to make together is homemade ice cream. That's mostly because we finally got this AWESOME ice cream maker from Walmart! There's no messy ice or salt and we can make the most creamy and delicious ice cream in 20 minutes. It's simple enough to make that the girls can measure everything out and get it in the machine–we already have a list of different recipes we want to try. Then we turn the machine on and ignore it for about 20 minutes. So we can literally make it while we are eating our snack plate dinners (see tip # 2 above). I still can't get over how perfectly cream the texture of the ice cream is even AFTER putting the leftovers back in the freezer for a few days.
It's delicious and our girls think it's super cool to watch it churn and get thicker. And eating the ice cream out of these adorable polka dot bowls makes it even better.
So many of the items on our screened in porch that you see are from Walmart's home section. If you haven't checked it out recently, I highly recommend that you do! The quality and prices are fantastic. Click on any of the images below for full product details.