Hahaha too soon?!!! I just can’t help myself!! I’m going though Christmas withdrawals. The tree is down! All my glam Christmas decor? Boxed away. I just had to move on to Valentine’s Day to cope with the sadness of the happiest time of the year being officially gone lol....
My daughter has been making variations of Tic Tac Toe boards for years at school. I swear every teacher just uses a different candy. One year it was M&M’s! Another those red cinnamon candies! Last year it was candy hearts.
Since I’m a candy heart junkie, yes, that’s right! I’m one of the crazy people that actually enjoys candy hearts! Haylie and I decided to make tic tac toe boards using candy hearts so I could chow down on the leftovers a few snowy days ago to kick off valentine’s season! Enjoy!
• Graham Crackers
• White Frosting
• Baggie or Piping Bag
• Candy Hearts
Break Graham Crackers into squares.
Pour white frosting into a baggie/piping bag. Snip corner if using a baggie. Use the frosting to create a tic tac toe board.
Use the candy hearts to play valentine’s tic tac toe!
Being a special needs parent is definitely unique. While most days it really doesn’t phase me. I’m blessed that my daughter is higher up on the autism spectrum. However, when it comes to activities and inclusion, ughhh!!!! This is the one area that really makes my heart ache. My daughter misses out on so much. Camps are too scared to take special needs kiddos no matter how high functioning they are. She “can’t” play certain sports. After school programs? Unless I’m wanting to pay out of pocket for an aide to attend or attend myself until the program feels confident she can do things on her own (I’ve done this with many activities, just call me the assistant teacher/coach lol), we are out of luck! While most parents send their kids off to camps and sports during school break to chill with their peers, us special needs parents are pretty much with our kiddos 24/7! As much as I love my daughter, 24/7 around anyone will eventually drive you mad!
When my husband and I first found out that ALL Beaches Resorts are IBCCES certified and everyone is included in everything, even the included in your fees kids camp ?!?! We didn’t believe it! We could run away to the tropics during school breaks AND my daughter can chill with other kids while hubby and I actually get some alone, one on one time?!?! I swear I reread the Camp Sesame page on the Beaches Resorts website 1000 times thinking there was a catch. THER HAD TO BE A CATCH!!!! This could not be real!!??!?
I’m here to say it’s 100% legit!!!! We went to Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos and lived like a normal family for an entire week!!!! No one asked 72892 questions. No one glared at us. My daughter had the opportunity to take part in every kids activity the resort had to offer!!!! She had a blast!!! My husband and I had a blast!!! We all had a blast!!!
When Beaches says that "The Resorts for Everyone" they mean it!
Camp Sesame is the children’s camp at Beaches Turks & Caicos open from 9am-9pm.Beaches team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to ALL children, including those with autism and other special needs, and offer age‐specific programs for infants, toddlers, pre‐teens and teens!!! At Camp Sesame, kids can truly have a blast and splash the day away in toddler pools, go on a shell collecting hunt, have their face painted, go on treasure hunts, watch puppet shows, costume time, magic shows, sand castle building just to name a few. My daughter even had the opportunity to celebrate Elmos birthday with cake and all!!!
Beaches is the first resort company in the world to complete the rigorous IBCCES training and Autism Certification! Beaches is proud to offer families like my own and others with children with autism and other special needs specialized service, engaging activities and custom dining options so that all families may enjoy a memorable, award-winning Beaches Luxury Included experience.
If you made it this far in the post, I’m sure this is what you have been waiting for! Our experience!
We did email Beaches Resorts concierge for info on Camp Sesame the week before our trip. We wanted to be as prepared as we possibly could! They sent us a two page questionnaire asking everything they possibly needed to know about my daughter and her diagnosis. Apparently they even cater to dietary needs! Honestly I loved that everything the certified nannies could possibly ask me was on those two sheets of paper meaning they wouldn’t have to ask me anything! I filled them out and sent them back ASAP.
When we arrived at Camp Sesame the staff already had our paperwork on hand. You just need to have your child’s passport with you to prove identity so do not leave the passport I the room.
This is when I got scared. Right off the bat, I was offered one on one nanny services for $15hr. Ummmm I like to think I’m successful and make decent money, but that was not budgeted at all. I was thinking to myself omg here is the catch!!!Once I stated I wasn’t interested and only wanted Camp Sesame they quickly changed the subject. I’m guessing they try to make a sale with everyone so do not get alarmed as I did! I almost had a heart attack lol.
We packed a backpack with a change of clothes, swim suit, sun screen, left it with staff with my phone number and off we went.
Not a single text!!! We went back several hours later after a fun day at the pool and as we arrived we saw my daughter giggling and smiling away before she spotted us!!!! She was truly having fun!
We picked her up and she did not want to leave. She celebrated Elmos birthday. She’s obsessed with Elmo! She swam in the kiddie pool out back! When I asked about her behavior I was told she did great and if there were any issues with other kids being curious. My daughter is “nonverbal” so questions were asked about this, they simply took my daughter out of the situation to do something super fun while they explained things to the kiddo asking the questions and then brought everyone back together to play! I loved this! A very good way to make sure everyone was truly having a blast all day long and my daughter did not have to witness “the conversation”.
There are also several nannies to care for the kiddos. I’m assuming someone was most likely assigned to my daughter to make sure she had an extra set of eyes on her if she was really that well behaved.
My daughter is 7 years old and we did however place her in the 5 year old camp. My daughter still loves Sesame Street and personality-wise relates to toddler better, so we all agreed this was the route to take. So if you have a kiddo and would feel more comfy if they were placed in the younger camp, they welcome it! Actually, I think they were re leaved I made the suggestion at drop off! Makes their job easier I’m sure! Plus, it gave this mama peace of mind! I know she gets along with younger kids great!
My daughter went back for a second day and had just as much fun! She made cookies with Cookie Monster!! Total bragging rights there!! It was truly a dream come true for her to take part in something fun while my husband and I had just as much fun together spending one on one time together as well! Thank you Beaches Resorts for thinking about EVERYONE and making sure all inclusive really is for everyone!!! Literally a special needs family dream vacation!
Have you been to a Beaches Resort?
Thank you PLAYMOBIL for sending us the Crystal Palace.
I swear my Lil’Princess is a future engineer. She just can’t get enough of her building toys and puzzles!!! I swear this passion had to come from hubby since if we are being totally honest, such toys aren’t my favorite. I’ve always been #TeamDolls. I will play house all day!!!! Putting things together for fun was never my thing. I had my dad piece together all my toys!
Then we discovered Playmobil about a year or two ago. I swear these sets were made for my daughter and I! Totally girly for me to enjoy since this exact set, PLAYMOBIL Crystal Palace is a freaking castle!!!!! A CASTLE!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!! And not any type of castle, an ice castle!!! We all know what movie just hit theaters. Perfect building toy for all the trendy kids out there and their totally obsessed mom ;-)
PLAYMOBIL Crystal Palace
Set off on a dazzling adventure as you explore the crystal PALACE of the winter Kingdom! In this incredible world, visitors will find a little magic and mystery. As they approach the front gates, lift the gemstone shield to lower two magical icicles and block their entry until the guards determine if the Visitor is a friend or foe. Friends can then enter the Palace and meet with the Royal family on the main floor. The Queen sits upon her throne while magical lights flicker up through the ice floor, a result of the Illuminating crystal sparkling in the Palace cave below (3 x AAA batteries required). when finished greeting visitors, The royal family can ascend to their private apartment via the spiral ice staircase. Fully furnished with a luxurious bed, rocking chair, Vanity, and dressing room, The princess’ chamber has everything she needs. Depending on her mood that day, The princess can select whichever outfit suits her best. Keep an eye on the magical hoop skirt though! It changes patterns in the cold. When the princess wants to sneak away to a quiet place, she can lower the hidden ice steps outside her bedroom and climb up to the palace tower. There, she can look out over her icy Kingdom with the help of the telescope. Set includes the figures, throne, interchangeable outfits, bed, rocking chair, bejeweled scepter, rug, candelabra, vanity, ice flowers, love letter, Quill, magical key, and lots of other accessories.
I swear these sets keep getting better and better!!!! If I were to rate this set I would literally give it 9.5!! That is how much my daughter enjoyed playing with the PLAYMOBIL Crystal Palace!
I will warn ya though, it is an all day project. With 266 pieces, this is definitely a set for kiddos that are ridiculously motivated to build! I would also recommend this set for someone with building experience. For being a 266 piece set, It’s was actually pretty self explanatory to set up, but there are A LOT of pieces to navigate through. Thankfully the box does come with a handy dandy instructions book if you do get lost in the process.
I was rather impressed watching my second grader navigatate her way through this entire set. She needed minimal help from me which was awesome. I was one proud mama!
Once complete, my daughter played for hours and hours! It’s actually her current favorite toy! She comes home from school and heads straight to her castle instead of asking for iPad time! Every parents dream right there.
I’m so happy companies are making more and more building toy sets aimed at little girls! As much as I claim to hate building toys, I bet that if I had the options girls have today when it comes to building, I may have a totally different opinion. Girly building toys didn’t exist back in the dinosaur age. Girls are ridiculously lucky they have fun and totally cute options to fuel their thinking side and not just dolls and dress up clothes like we had in the past. Building AND playing house at the same time? Best combination ever!!! As a parent I love how Playmobil encourages creative play and interaction. Can’t wait to see what else PLAYMOBIL comes out with next!
What toys are on your kids Santa lists?!
Tis the season of all things spooky!!! Even those cheese quesadillas your kiddos crave!!!! My daughter has been on a huge quesadilla kick lately!!! She discovered how delicious they were a few Moe’s trips ago and now she’s hooked! WooHoo for having another Mexican food lover in the house!!!
Since Mexican food is also my favorite and I just love being totally festive, I decided all cheese quesadillas consumed in the Storms household need to be jack-o-lanterns until further notice. Enjoy :):)
• cheddar cheese
• 2 flour tortillas
Take a sharp knife & a four tortilla and cut out a jack-o-lantern face.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese on the other flour tortilla.
Place the jack-o-lantern cut-out tortilla on top of the cheese covered tortilla. Place on a frying pan on medium heat and then over with lid so the cheese melts. You can not flip the quesadilla so the lid will help heat the top.
Once cheese has fully melted, serve & enjoy!
The best part of this time of year has to be all of the crafty projects and baking!!!! My daughter is actually really into Halloween this year! It’s crazy how excited she is for the spookiest bday if the year and it’s still a month away!!!!
Since Halloween is her latest obsession, we decided to make Halloween Donuts this fine Sunday afternoon. So easy to make and so yummy!
• Wilton Candy Eyes
• Vanpire Fangs (Dollar Tree)
Take your donuts and stick the vampire fangs into the center. Then use your frosting as glue and stick on those candy eyes!
Serve & Enjoy!
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.