Personalized Books are the BEST Gifts for Kids! (+ You Can Win One!)

gift idea for four year oldDisclaimer: Affiliate links included. This doesn’t affect you or purchase price in any way. It just means that if you decide to make a purchase through our link, you help support Thriving Home because we get a small percentage of the purchase total. So thanks! P.S. All opinions are our own, always!

I’m always on the hunt for good gift ideas. Whether they be for my kids, my niece or for birthday parties, my radar is constantly up.

When I stumbled on these personalized books, made by lostmy.name, my gift radar went a little crazy. I LOVE this idea. Probably because I remember having a personalized book when I was a wee-little-one. It was a BIG deal to me. It felt magical that I was part of the story. In fact, I’m pretty sure I still have the book!

The idea of giving one of these to my kids, or any kid for that matter makes my heart happy. Just recently, I snagged a book for my daughter’s birthday. personalize book--great gift idea for kids

You guys. This was a hit. (Read on to find out how you can get a special Thriving Home discount on one today or WIN ONE!)

Start a Summer Journal for Kids (+ FREE Printable of 30+ Writing Prompts)

This FREE printable of 30+ Journal Prompts for Kids will help make writing at home fun this summer!

As I mentioned in our 2015 Summer Goals, we are working on writing and reading daily around here. One of the ways we’re doing that so far is by using a summer journal each morning for about 10-15 minutes. We actually aspire to turn their writings into a blog for the older two, but I just haven’t had time to start those yet because of the rocky start to my summer. But, today I’d like to share about a really cool resource (and FREE printable for you) we are using to support our summer journal time!

Summer Writing Journal

So far the summer journal has been a fun collection of different kinds of writing–from recipes, to dream home design plans, to business plans for their lemonade stand, to made-up stories. My goal for the kids is that they will ENJOY the creative process of writing and make it a daily habit. I’ve tried to let them come up with their own ideas for prompts, as well as, use some writing prompt ideas below. The incredible Kindergarten (and soon to be 5th grade) teacher, Shelli Thelen, gave me permission to share these 30+ great writing prompts for a variety of ages. Thanks Shelli!

And get this! Polly took these 30+ Journal Prompts for Kids and put together this cute FREE printable for you! You can either print it off and hang it on your fridge…or try this idea.

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Summer Party

Tips for a stress-free summer party

Disclaimer: This article was created in partnership with Frigidaire. Don’t worry, the opinions are all mine!

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is grill out with friends. I love the fun atmosphere of being outside, the smell of the grill, kids running around burning energy, yard games, cold drinks, you get the point.

Summer parties are just plain fun. That is, if you’re not hosting them, right?Tips for a Simple Summer Party-15

Even though I love having people over–especially in the summer, I know full well that hosting people can be a lot of time and work. While I would love to make all of my food from scratch, serve well-rounded meals on seasonal dishware while eating at my elaborately decorated table in my spotless home, the truth is… this just ain’t happening. This mama is not about to be in the kitchen cooking all day or cleaning for hours when there is a pool calling my name.

So, how does one host people in the summer time and not work themselves up into a frazzled, sweaty mess?

Do not fear my hostess friends. I’ve got some solid, insider hosting tips to share with you. Just in time for the 4th of July too!

Here are 5 simple ideas on how to take a little stress out of your summer get-together.

FREE Resources for Leading Your Children in Daily Bible Study

Free resources in leading children in daily Bible study.

Guest post by Holli Best.

For the past few years my husband and I have tried to uphold some sort of daily spiritual pattern as a family. Some months are better than others. Really taking the time to teach our children Biblical truths can, to be honest, sometimes take a back seat with all the other things going on.

But…because we see ourselves as our children’s first teachers, and that their spiritual development and growth is part of that job, then it really is something that needs to take priority in our home. To that end, we have found some helpful mostly free resources that give a sacred space to spiritual development and that fit into the busy days. My hope is that this information will help other parents who are trying to establish regular prayer and Bible times as a family, too.

FREE Fun Printables for Summer

Free Printables for SummerHey there, Thriving Home readers! My name is Julie and I blog over at Happy Home Fairy. One of my favorite things to do on my site is create fun FREE Printables that help sweet mamas like you build a happy home!

Polly and Rachel asked if I would share a few of my Summer printables with you today, so you can find their links below.

My favorite summer printable happens to be the goofy 4th of July Conversation Starter Cards. They are perfect if you are having a cookout with loved ones and need a little extra entertainment (because fireworks and delicious grilled food and s’mores and decorated bikes just isn’t enough fun – ha!).

I hope that they bless you and your families. :-)