Sensory room must haves!

Years ago I wrote a blog about Maddox being diagnosed with sensory processing disorder when he was 4. Fast forward and he was diagnosed with autism & adhd at the age of 8. As a homeschool family, it’s so important to find outlets for his sensory needs. He’s almost 12, and I think we’ve found what truly works for him! I’d never speak on his diagnosis without his permission, but he really wanted me to share some things in his room, that just make sense 🙂

First and foremost, his absolute favorite, and what most definitely gets the most use! His mini trampoline. It provides vestibular and proprioceptive input, help with balance, coordination, and getting the wiggles out!

So Maddox loves to move! Whenever he’s in a chair he moves it around tilts it, it started to make me nervous because sometimes the chair would completely fall over. Then a friend told me about the wobble chair! It’s literally made… to wobble in! It can swivel, tilt, and wobble without tipping over. It’s also great for core strength! Definitely one of my favorite purchases.

So Maddox looooves his crash pad! He uses it to jump onto, read, rest, anything really! It provides calming sensory input, and it’s so comfy. Once in awhile Paxton even borrows it and falls asleep on it!

So this one is a no brainer- fidgets! All types! Maddox has a drawer full of fidgets, and he’s always using at least one. There are so many great benefits when it comes to fidgets. They help you self regulate, help your attention span, you can use them to stim, and so much more!

You can get fidgets literally anywhere at this point! Amazon has great bins of assorted fidgets that we love too. Fidget variety pack!

Okay so something that Maddox loves to have, is a calendar. He loves schedules and to know what’s coming next etc. Personally I think having a visual calendar helps with anxiety a lot! Routines and knowing what comes next is so beneficial for a positive day!

These are just a few examples of what we have in our home/Maddox’s room. I hope this can help someone! There are no difficult behaviors… there are needs being unmet. If one of these tools can help in the slightest, you’ll see such a positive impact!

Shark Theme Bedroom 🦈

My boys have always shared a room, which meant double everything in one small space. The older they got, the more “stuff” they accumulated and the more congested their room felt. Maddox especially needs a space clear of distraction, he does occupational therapy etc, so he also needed a space he could be alone since it’s all virtual now. So the three of us decided it would be beneficial for Maddox and Paxton have their own rooms. Don’t let this fool you though, they still ask to sleep in my room or with each other in their rooms every single night!

So now that we knew they’d each have their own space, here’s where the fun begins! Room themes! Paxton has always loved the beach, ocean and marine life, especially sharks. So he decided on a shark themed bedroom. He chose one accent wall, and he also chose what color he wanted to paint his dresser. The color he chose for his wall is I believe Valspar Surf Spray, and for his dresser we used his old dresser and used chalk paint in a color called Deep Sea Diving.

We also had these old book shelves from IKEA that we also painted with Deep Sea Diving, and it’s my favorite part of the room! I put all of his ocean related books here.

IKEA book shelves

So for his bed I ordered a sand colored twin comforter, and bought two pillow covers for pillows we already had. We also used shark stuffed animals he’s had, as decor on his bed.

Comforter Darker pillow Lighter pillow

Since we repurposed a lot of what he already had, I had so much fun on the little details! I bought this super cute neon palm tree light for his nightstand and it’s another one of my favorite touches in the room!

Palm tree neon light!

One thing Paxton requested was a canvas photo of a shark above his bed. So that was his big statement piece! I do wish I ordered one a bit larger but we still love it. I also ordered 4 print outs of different sharks and put those above his bed as well. I chose a white washed wood frame for them, and it fit the photos and room so well!

Shark canvas

Shark print outs

Also added some little touches, like shark knobs on his closet doors and a little buoy above his closet. He has another shelf I didn’t take photos of, that is just a repurposed shelf also painted with chalk paint. I absolutely love being able to reuse things we already have and make them our own! It’s so easy, and saves you sooo much money.

You can choose from a ton of buoys all different sizes and colors on Amazon!
And honestly these little closet knobs are just the cutest things ever! Hobby lobby isn’t my favorite place, but my mom found these at hobby lobby!

And last but not least… our cats have a super special place in Paxton’s room! The tunnel and little shark tent is from 5 below, and their wall hammocks are from Amazon!

This space is so perfectly Paxton and I’m so happy with how it turned out! He’s so happy to have a room of his own, and a space to call his own. I really wanted something simple, clean, and something he’d love, and I think it turned out perfect! If you have any questions about the space, or items don’t hesitate to reach out.

The King and Prince Resort

( all opinions are my own )

If you’re looking for a quiet quaint beach town, to escape reality, and maybe all of 2020, then the King and Prince Resort on St. Simon’s Island is the place for you. The King and Prince was a beautiful dream. From the beautiful Georgia beach, to their three pools to choose from. You honestly cannot go wrong. Truthfully, I was super nervous to vacation during Covid. We have been quarantined since March, and with Covid still around, it was a nerve-wracking decision. Ultimately we decided a vacation was much needed, so what better place than the King and Prince!?

The King and Prince Resort opened as a hotel in July of 1941! During World War II, the hotel served as a naval coast-watching and training facility, reopening in 1947 as a resort. The King and Prince is the only Oceanside hotel on St.Simon’s island, making it a favorite for visitors. The history on St.Simon’s island is something to appreciate as well. From the World War II home front museum, to Fort Frederica, the history and things to do are endless.

When you walk in the main area to check in, you can already see all the precautions they have in place. From plexiglass, to placements on the floor to keep you 6 feet away from others, along with hand sanitizer basically everywhere you look! You also need to wear your mask inside, and in common areas. I honestly felt extremely safe, and at ease when I walked in.

Our room was stunning, overlooking the Atlantic ocean and all 3 pools. Yes 3 pools! Including a children’s pool and play area. I really liked how the room opened to an outdoor hallway instead of inside a building, so you really didn’t have to make contact with other people if you didn’t want to.

So another thing I really loved, was their contact-less menu. Their room service is still not available which is totally understandable. We still haven’t eaten inside restaurants yet ( crazy I know, but covid! ) , so I loved that their restaurant was doing no contact menu’s and ordering. You scan the bar code on a paper they give you, and the menu pops right up on your phone. Super convenient and easy! Then you pick up your order. Which is exactly what we decided was best for our family. Or you still have the option to dine at the hotel’s restaurant ECHO. Which is beautiful, overlooking the ocean.

While in St. Simons we went to their cute pier area, tons of restaurants, frozen yogurt, and sights to see. Their welcome center has all the information you need, and more. My kids LOVE history so we went to the World War II museum which was extremely interactive. The guides there were beyond sweet, and the boy’s learned so much. Along with it just being an absolute beautiful building! We also went to Fort Frederica which was a lot of fun. They have a little scavenger hunt, which keeps the kids busy, and learning all at once. So much history, and gorgeous nature.

There are Tree spirits all over the island, pick up a map at the welcome center and find them all!

So we are from South Florida where there is no shortage of beach, but it was so nice to be able to check out a Georgia beach… and WOW. Absolutely stunning! From the sunrise to the sunset, the smooth white sand. So much absolute beauty.

We truly had an amazing time. The King and Prince was so accommodating. The views were beautiful. It was paradise with a southern touch. There is no shortage of things to do, for adults and kids alike. In these unprecedented covid times, it’s nice to get out of the everyday “routine” we’ve all come to know. It was truly the perfect getaway. Thank you so much King and Prince!

All links will be at the bottom of this post to go check out more for yourself!

Our top 10 favorite spots in South Florida

I have two wild little dudes, so I HAVE to keep them busy. They prefer the outdoors, nature, and to be on the go as much as possible. If our adventure includes animals of some sort, or water, that’s a huge plus! I get a lot of messages asking about all the places we go, or if I have any suggestions, so I figured i’d put a list together for you all of our favorite places we frequent.

  1. Marine Environmental Educational Center (MEEC)  (Hollywood, Florida)

MEEC is a hidden gem. Nestled right along Hollywood Beach, on surf road. Its currently closed due to Covid, but this is such a special place to us and so many others! MEEC is a marine public education facility, located on the historic grounds of the Carpenter home. Their resident sea turtle Captain, is full of personality. She loves friends! You will quickly fall in love with her pure charm. Captain was struck by a boat in 2010, rehabilitated, and sadly was found stranded again with floating issues. She wears a cool little weighted backpack to keep her buoyancy. MEEC also currently has virtual classes, and when they’re open they do field trips, home school classes and more! For more information and to keep up with their re-opening click here  MEEC =)


2. Coral Cove (Tequesta, Florida)

Coral Cove has quickly become our go to favorite beach spot. Its beyond gorgeous, very quiet, and keeps the kids busy for hours! My kids love to climb, search for marine life, and let their imagination’s take over. Its also very obviously picturesque! We’re in Broward, so this is about an hour away, but always well worth it.


3. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens (Fort Lauderdale, Florida )

The Bonnet house is absolutely STUNNING. We truthfully go just for the nature walks alone! They are currently open, with a self guided tour on your phone. You can buy your tickets online, and kids are free until September 6th. There’s a huge history behind the Bonnet house so ill let you check that out here.

The Bonnet house does cost more when you get tickets for inside the home as well. My kids love to just go explore the grounds, there’s so many bugs, animals, and beautiful things to see on the grounds alone!


4. Whiskey Creek Hideout ( Dania Beach, Florida )

Whiskey Creek, is a blast! There’s kayak and canoe rentals, a bar & restaurant, the creek, and the ocean just steps away. It’s located inside Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park ( formerly John U. Lloyd State Park ). Honestly, Whiskey Creek has it all! Tons of recreational activities, food, and if your kids are like mine, tons of critters they can find! Check it out!


5. Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital (Coral Springs, Florida)

Sawgrass Nature Center is a non profit dedicated to helping wildlife. They have are a working wildlife hospital so if you have an emergency or come across an injured animal in South Florida, please go here!

You cant go into the hospital, but you can visit their grounds! They have a ton of non releasable animals, you can roam around and learn about. Its a small fee to get in, and they currently have a no contact way to pay which is great during covid times! If you know anything about my kids you know their love of tortoises and birds. They have a ton of both! They also have educational programs along with camps. For more info click here =)


6. Chapel trail park nature preserve ( Pembroke Pines, Florida )

Chapel trail is a simple place which is part of why we love it so much. Its in the wetlands, and its so calming. Home to 120 species of birds, deer, marsh rabbits, alligators, snakes, turtles, largemouth bass, and insects. Perfect for nature lovers like my dudes! Its a long boardwalk, with pavilions, area’s to fish and canoe. Its honestly a great place to bring some school work, a book, a picnic, and just relax.


7. Wolf Lake Park (Davie, Florida)

Wolf lake is stunning. Honestly when we go there I don’t even feel like i’m in South Florida anymore. It’s 50 acres of pure beauty surrounding a big lake. Horse’s are also permitted, so you’ll often see people horseback riding which is always fun. Fishing is permitted as well, so bring your rod! Wolf lake is amazing for nature journaling as well, so bring your journal’s and field guides!


8. Loggerhead Marine life Center and Sea turtle hospital (Jupiter, Florida)

Who doesn’t love sea turtles!? Sea turtles play such an important role in our ocean ecosystems. Loggerhead marine life center is making sure to spread the word, and educate all while being a running sea turtle hospital. They rescue, rehabilitate and release all the turtles. If you’re lucky enough you can even be a guest at a turtle release! They are currently open, and you’ll need a mask. They also currently have virtual classes which is amazing for the ocean loving kids. Visit Loggerhead marine center!



9. Busch Wildlife Sanctuary (Jupiter, Florida)

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources. They also have a wildlife hospital, if you find a sick or hurt animal, you can drop them off there. This place is huuuuge. Full of animals, who were non releasable. Overall its just a beautiful place to walk around in pure nature! They also have a TON of educational resources available that I highly suggest. Check out all the awesome animals!



10. Anne Kolb & Dania Beach Pier (Hollywood & Dania Beach, Florida)

I couldn’t choose just 10, so I cheated and put Anne Kolb and Dania together whoops!

Anne Kolb is one of our favorite places to go and just relax. We’ve done waterway cleanups there, we go fishing, we also just relax and do our homeschool work. The boys love to sit around and watch the boats go by, build things out of sticks they find, bird watch, and more! They even have a little boat tour through the mangroves which is a lot of fun. Last but most definitely not least, Dania Beach Pier! Don’t tell my kids, but I used to skip school and go here everyday, so it holds so many amazing memories for me and some of my closest friends. Dania beach is where my mom always took me as a kid, and some of my oldest memories are sitting on the beach with my mom. Also, the fishing at Dania is pretty bad ass, and the boys love to watch! (and make friends with pelicans)




Shark valley

Mounts botanical garden

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State

Florida keys wild bird sanctuary

We absolutely LOVE these places as well. If you go to my Instagram @erinbethray you will see photos from all of those above! Shark valley is an experience for sure. Mounts is absolutely gorgeous. Key fossil reef is one of my favorite’s. It’s really like nowhere I’ve been before! And the florida keys wild bird sanctuary is a dream for bird lovers!!

Honestly no matter how crazy us Florida people are, no matter how hot, humid, and nasty it can get. Florida is full of SO much beauty! These are just a few, of some of our favorite places. There are so many wonderful hidden gems ALL over Florida, not just South Florida. I hope this helps, you and your kids, have some fun, and GET OUTSIDE!

Our day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is unlike most. It’s a working marine hospital, as well as home to some big movie stars, Winter, Hope, and others!

You’ll see a number of rescued animals currently undergoing rehabilitation in their marine animal hospital, most of which are sea turtles. They believe in rescue, rehab, and release. Which means they rescue injured, or stranded animals, they rehab them, and hopefully eventually get to release them. Of course in situations, releasing animals isn’t always what’s best for that animal. So all the animals you see at Clearwater aquarium that are permanent residents, weren’t able to be released. So they’re livin’ the life at CMA!

If you haven’t seen Dolphin Tales and Dolphin tales 2, I highly suggest it. It’s one of our all time favorite movies, and how we heard about CMA. Seriously a heart warming story, and I shed many many tears. Winter and Hope amongst other stars from the movie, still live there! Honestly gave me chills to see these amazing animals up close ☺️ Around the aquarium you’ll see real props, and where real scenes took place.

If you know my kids you know Maddox wants to be a marine biologist, and Paxton goes back and forth wanting to be a dolphin trainer or a surgeon. So being given the opportunity to see a facility like CMA is extremely inspiring to these young minds. Inspires them to keep their dreams alive, inspires them to help our oceans, our animals, and our planet.

To learn more please go Here!

Kooshoo, save the ocean one hair tie at a time!

It’s the little things that add up, that we don’t think about often. Most people are continuously buying new hair ties because they just can’t find them. They are so easily lost and forgotten. No big deal right?

Actually it potentially IS a big deal and something we can so easily change with the help of Kooshoo.

Did you know your run-of-the-mill, synthetic hair ties take approximately  500 years to break down? Did you also know about 20,000 pounds of hair elastics or the equivalent weight of a city bus are dumped into our planet each day!?

Think about how many hair ties you’ve lost over time, have fallen out of your hair, and fallen right into the ocean! Unfortunately, I’m guilty. Until I came across a company called Kooshoo! I researched and read, and thought wow. How perfect. My son Maddox has some pretty luscious locks, and he likes to rock the man bun. He surfs and his life is the ocean! He’s also extremely environmentally aware, and is always trying to make a good impact in the world. Maddox also has some sensory issues so his head is extremely sensitive, but I knew we had to try these hair ties out. When he got his Kooshoo hair ties in the mail he couldn’t wait to try them out, we got blonde and brown/black. They held his massive mane perfectly, and felt great as well. Absolutely zero complaints from him! He’s worn them surfing, and they hold his hair amazingly. They are plastic free and made from 100% biodegradable materials. So I know if he looses a hair tie in the ocean he won’t have to worry or feel horrible. All the little things we can do will one day really add up in our fight to save our oceans and our planet. You can always start somewhere 🙂

To order go to this link below 🙂

To read more go here :


Tigertail beach 🏝

I’ve been going to Naples and Marco Island since I was a wee one! Every year multiple times a year my parents would take us for weekend getaways. When my kids were born those getaways continued.

Recently my mom said she read about a beach called Tiger Tail beach in Marco Island. All the years, and we have never been to tiger tail! So we knew we had to go. I googled of course, and was reading how they have some of the most beautiful shells, horseshoe crabs, and sand dollars. I remember when I was little, my brother and I would collect all the sand dollars. What I also read, was you have to cross over through a lagoon to get there. That most definitely made me nervous! How long of a walk!? What’s swimming there!? What will sting me!? 😂

So we decided to plan a day trip, and let me tell you it was so worth it. It’s tucked away behind a neighborhood, but once you pull in, you’re in a different world.

This is the “lagoon” you have to cross through to get to the beach. You can walk AROUND the beach but I think they said it takes 20 minutes. Plus this is more of an adventure! Definitely buy some water shoes if possible. Also due to the heavy amount of shells on the beach, if you’re not wearing shoes of some sort, it will definitely hurt!

Almost there! Just a short walk to the actual beach once you’re outta the lagoon..

So once we got to the beach, one of the first things we saw were these “shell trees” people hang shells with holes all over the branches.

Next we walked the entire Beach to find shells and in particular sand dollars! Just make sure if you collect sand dollars, that they are not living. It is ILLEGAL to take a living sand dollar. If you do see any living sand dollars that aren’t emerged in the water, gently go place them back into the ocean. Here’s a link to help you decipher dead from living sand dollars 🙂

Is my sand dollar alive?

We found the most gorgeous shells, and a few sand dollars as well! On top of it Maddox absolutely adored the crabs and he found a little friend.

I also suggest, buying a netting type bag if possible because you will get TONS of shells.

So after some exploring, and sea shell hunting, we went back through the lagoon to the restaurant at the entrance of tigertail. Food was great, and afterwards we rented a little cabana at the front and relaxed. So well worth it.

If you get a chance I 100% recommend Tigertail Beach. Such a different feel from Fort Lauderdale’s beaches. It was an amazing experience, a relaxing experience, and I cannot wait to go back!

Kiwico STEM crates

Happy Sunday All!

So if your kids are anything like mine, they’re minds need to be on the go 24/7. Literally, as long as their minds are engaged in something, we’re good. It can be hard to constantly find new things to do though! So we teamed up with Kiwico 🙂

KiwiCo is a monthly subscription crate that comes filled with age appropriate STEM projects for kids, from toddlers to teenagers. If you haven’t heart of STEM yet ( you’re living under a rock 😉 ) but STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Every crate has a different theme designed to spark creativity, thinking, and learning.

Inside the KiwiCo crate is an activity booklet for each project! And everything required for your child to create their projects is included in the crate. Literally you need nothing more. Which makes it so convenient for us mama’s.

I really enjoyed the quality, how everything was right there in the box, and how step by step the instructions were, especially for little ones who can get frustrated, it really was amazing.

We received the Kiwi Crate which is ages 5+ and Maddox built a wooden claw, arcade game! He absolutely loved it, and it was most definitely a hit in our household!

If you want to try KiwiCo out, I highly suggest it! I’m all about getting kids off electronics, and into their own brains, exploring and learning, while having fun. This is the perfect company for that.

Go to

to get your first month of a KiwiCo subscription for free! All you pay is $4.95 shipping in the U.S., $9.95 internationally!

Chewigem US launch!

Okay, so by now if you’ve been following me, you’ve seen me talk about Chewigem. Chewigem is something that completely transformed our lives. It’s something I whole heartedly believe in, and absolutely adore. If it wasn’t for Chewigem products my child would still be chewing his hair, clothing, fingers, arms and so on. This product truly transformed Maddox’s habit to the point where he will ask for chewlry before he has the chance to chew on anything else.

So when I heard Chewigem was launching subscription boxes in the US, I had to scream it to the world! 😉 I wanted to let everyone know! I want everyone to check it out! Maddox is just as excited!

So if you haven’t read my last blog ( <—- there it is, but if you don’t get a chance to read it let me tell you a little bit about Chewigem here.

Chewigem is a company that makes something called Chewlry, jewelry you can chew. Whether you have autism, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, adhd, stress, down to just having a habit of biting your nails. You can replace chewing on things you shouldn’t be chewing on, with chewing on a stylish chewable necklace, bracelet, fidget, etc. They’re pretty discreet that when Maddox is wearing his, usually people just ask “what’s that cool necklace!?”.

So let me tell you about each subscription! First there’s a Basic Membership. This is free. FREEEEE. You would go to HERE sign up, and register to become a huge part of the Chewigem community. You would be kept up to date with all news and content, and receive free shipping on every order.

The next membership is my favorite! It’s the paid membership. If you have a child or you yourself chew as much as Maddox this is SO beneficial! You pay $21.95 a month, and you get all the community benefits, you receive one Chewigem product a month of your choice which is such a great way to stock up, on top of 10% off any other Chewigem products you’d like to purchase. Oh and of course that freeeee shipping! You can also sign up for that right HERE!

( I absolutely adore their packaging and aesthetic, we keep our boxes to store all Maddox’s chewlry in)

So the great thing about these products is that they are all:

-made from latex free silicone

-lead, bpa, pvc, and phthalate free

-dishwasher safe

-suitable for ALL ages ( necklaces for 36 months +)

One of my favorite parts of Chewigem is how under each product online when you’re shopping, is a little “chart” to help you figure out what product would be the perfect fit. So it will tell you the durability, flexibility, and firmness. So you can figure out what’s best based on the type of chewer you have.

So I hope this informed you, helped you, and made your choice to shop Chewigem easier 😉

If you want to go shop just click this link Shop Chewigem and for 10% off use my code Sassy10

Chewigem is a community we adore. From the people we’ve worked with, friends we’ve made, customer service, etc, they are just a group and company full of amazing people.

Shop Chewigem

( shirt from @maddoxandowenco )

a shit show of single motherhood with two boys and a lot of coffee! Instagram- @erinbethray