Category Archives: Stuff for the Little One(s)

Nursery Trend: Hedgehog Wild

Last year was the year of the owl. This year, make way for the. . . hedgehog? Strange but true: these little guys are popping up everywhere! Here are a few of the cutest ways I found to work hedgehogs into your little one’s nursery:

Wall Decals, Etsy shop: Graphic Spaces, $15

Hedgehog Print, Etsy shop: Barking Bird Art, $18

Bookend, Etsy shop: Graphic Spaces, $48

Fleece Blanket, Bed-e-Byes, £19.99

Clock, Land of Nod, $68

Mamas and Papas Rocker, $129.99

Nightlight, Etsy shop: You Know, $22

Olivia’s Sunny Sesame Street Birthday!

My baby girl is two. I know it’s true because her birthday was September 21st, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that my little baby isn’t really a baby anymore. She’s a full-fledged, opinionated, affectionate, tantrum-throwing, observant (sometimes too much so!) toddler. She’s a girl who knows her mind—especially when it comes to what she will and will not eat any given moment of the day.

So when I asked her what kind of party she wanted for her 2nd birthday, there was only one answer: Elmo. Well, it was more like, “Elmo, Elmo, Elmo! Super Grover! It’s my birthday! ‘Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you. . .’ —Mommy may me have some milk?—’Sunny days. . .’ YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!” 

Ryan and I with our little birthday girl

Invite designed by Better by Design

I had a lot of fun putting this party together. . . but it’s a good thing this happens only once a year because it’s exhausting! Still, to hear Olivia whisper “Wow” when she walked downstairs to see the garlands, balloons, food, and presents—that made it all worth it!

My friend Stephanie made this amazing, hand-painted sign for our front yard. The best part? There’s Velcro on the back of the sign where it attaches to the yard stakes. After the party, we were able to take the sign off and hang it in her bedroom above her door!

I made the garlands using colored card stock and the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter (a HUGE time-saver and worth every penny!). I free-handed the letters and cut them out, then I just glued everything together and strung them on some yarn.

My favorite part of the party planning—the Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes! They were much easier than I expected, though I recommend the gel concentrate food coloring if you want a saturated blue and red. I used regular liquid food coloring and mine ended up more “denim” and “hot pink,” but it worked!

I came up with themed names for all of the dishes (Mr. Noodles Noodles for macaroni and cheese, Abby’s Magic Wands for fruit kabobs, Big Bird’s Bird Seed Muffins for corn muffins with poppy seeds, etc.) Though I probably stretched it a bit with Bert and Ernie’s Famous Beef Brisket. Can’t say I’ve ever seen B & E actually eat brisket, but I liked the alliteration.

The party favors included Sesame Street cereal bars from Earth’s Best, stickers and books from Target, and Goldfish Crackers. The favor boxes were from Target, and I just wrote “Thank You” on the front. Had I thought about it, I would have designed and printed stickers for the front, but that one slipped through the cracks.

Overall, I’d say the party was a huge success—we had good weather, yummy food, and great friends and family to help us celebrate! Best of all was the one thing we DIDN’T have. . . a meltdown! Bring on the two’s!!


Waging War on the Toy Clutter!

This is what the corner of our living room has looked like for the last year.

Our house was quickly becoming one huge playroom, and the Type A control freak in me just couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t mind toys being out and all over the place when we’re home and Olivia is playing. But when she goes to bed and the wine is uncorked, I like to relax in a room that doesn’t look like Toys R’ Us threw up everywhere.

Getting rid of her toys really wasn’t the answer (I’m not nearly that mean!), so organization was the key to my sanity. I knew I’d found the solution to our problem when I visited my friend Jessie and saw this bookcase from One Step Ahead in her living room. It holds tons of books and has storage bins below for toys.

Canvas Sling Bookshelf, $79.95

Done. I went online and bought it the next day. We still had to move some of her toys upstairs because it really was a little ridiculous, but we went from the chaos above to this:

Ahhhh! I really think organization helps me breathe easier, and it keeps me healthy—in part because now it’s far less likely that I’m going to step on a rogue Lego and go flying sideways into the wall.

Tiny Toms!

How cute are these?! I swear, as Olivia gets older, the shoe selection just keeps getting cuter. If I’m not careful, I’m going to end up with a shoe obsession for both of us—but at least I can wear my shoes for longer than three months! Luckily, these Tiny Toms don’t break the bank (they’re cheaper than your average Stride Rite pair). Happy shopping!

 1. Burnt Chambray Tiny TOMS Botas, $36
2. Silver Karsen Tiny TOMS Classics, $29
3. Pink Academy Plaid Tiny TOMS Classics, $29
4. Burnt Chambray Tiny TOMS Classics, $29
5. Red Cord Fleece Tiny TOMS Classics, $29
6. Pewter Glitter Tiny TOMS Mary Janes, $36

National Family Pack Walk Giveaway!

This is Tater, our lovable 10-year-old beagle.

Look at that face! Yeah, we couldn’t resist either. Ryan and I adopted her as a little puppy when we were two poor college students who had only been dating a year. Now, 10 years later, we’re married with a daughter (aka Tater’s BFF), and Tater has firmly cemented her place in our family—not to mention her place on the back of the chair in the living room overlooking the front window. And to think that she was the runt of the litter and nobody else wanted her. . .well, we were more than happy to come to the rescue and welcome her into our family.

So when I was asked to participate in the National Family Pack Walk benefiting the Cesar Milan foundation’s efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for abused and abandoned dogs, I was thrilled to help out in any way that I could. Unfortunately, we won’t be in town to participate in the walk, which takes place in DC on September 29, but I’m excited to support and promote the cause by giving away a prize pack courtesy of the folks at the National Family Pack Walk!

The prize pack includes a Scooby-Doo basket with a Scooby kids’ T-shirt and Scooby-Doo educational video game! Enter below for your chance to win.

If you are interested in signing up for this year’s National Family Pack Walk in Washington, D.C., click here. It will be a great day for everyone in your family (even the four-legged members)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guitar String Ring

My little sister plays the guitar (which thrills my dad—at least one of us inherited his musical talent!), so what better gift for her 13th birthday than this guitar string ring from Uncommon Goods? When my stepmom sent me the link to show me what she and my dad had gotten as one of her birthday gifts, I immediately wanted to share it with you guys because I loved it that much. But I promised I would wait until after her birthday to keep the cat in the bag (yes, my 13-year-old sister reads my blog—how cute is that?!).

Even if you don’t play guitar, you have to admit, this ring is pretty awesome. And for only $20, it’s also an amazing steal!


Heidi Klum’s New Line for BRU

Heidi Klum’s new line, Truly Scrumptious, will hit stores on September 15th and will include everything from clothing to bedding to strollers. The first adjective that popped in my head when I saw the collection was “colorful.” My next thought was, thank goodness this is a children’s line that actually looks like it should be worn by children. I can’t stand those outfits that make toddlers look like they’re two going on 17!

This new collection is appropriately playful and whimsical, and you can tell it’s designed by a mom with young kids—everything is made to mix and match!

Here are a few of my favorite looks, but you can click here and sign in with Facebook for a sneak peek of the entire collection.


It’s Potty Time?!

Olivia is one month and one week away from her second birthday, and she did something recently that sent panic coursing through me. She asked to use the potty.

I was not prepared for this. I knew potty training would be coming soon enough, but our pediatrician told me that Olivia wouldn’t be ready until she was no longer wet in the morning. But now here she is, running after me every time I go to the bathroom, crying, “I wanna potty! My potty! Mine!” Uhhhhhh. . .??

I don’t know if she really wants to try using the potty or if she’s just saying it to say it. The doctor didn’t mention anything about children who beg to use the potty. I don’t think I’ve ever once even mentioned going to the bathroom like a “big girl” because I’ve heard and read so much about not pushing it too early, so I’m not sure where this is coming from.

Anyone else experienced this? Should I ignore it or run out and buy a potty? Any suggestions on a good training potty? I’ve seen the Elmo one at Target and figured I might start with that since she loves Sesame Street. Lots (and lots) of questions! Any tips/advice would be appreciated!

Team USA: Show Your Colors!

I love the Olympics! The competition, the tradition, the ceremony. . . speaking of ceremony, how awesome was the Opening Ceremony?! I thought Danny Boyle did a fantastic job, and hats off to the costume designer/team because they had their hands full and delivered beautifully.

The second most entertaining part of the evening was the commentary from Bob Costas and Matt Lauer during the Parade of Nations. My husband and I considered making a drinking game out of how many backhanded complements and digs they gave the other countries as they walked in, but I wasn’t sure we had enough alcohol in the house to finish such a game, haha.

The whole “made in China” controversy aside, I liked Team USA’s uniforms. They were certainly very Ralph Lauren, but I appreciated the sharpness and formality of them—it matched the occasion. While we can’t all wear the official Team USA uniform, we can still show our USA pride, and where better to start than with the littlest Americans?! Here are some adorable ways to support Team USA during the 2012 Olympics (and bonus, many of them are on sale since the games have officially kicked off!).

Team USA Polo Romper, $30

The Children's Place Team USA Graphic Tee, $2.99

Ralph Lauren Olympic Polo Dress, $69.50

Team USA Onesie, $15.99

Baby Gap Olympic Vintage Tee, $24.95

JC Penney Distressed Flag Tee, $6

Ralph Lauren USA Ringer Tee, $29.50


Kids’ Cupcakes (That the Average Parent Can Actually Make!)

We’ve all seen them—those amazing cupcakes on Pinterest that you decide you just HAVE to do for your child’s birthday party. Until you try to actually make them and they turn out like this:

For the record, those aren’t my cupcakes nor is this my picture, but it made me laugh out loud because it’s so true! Oh, I am still going to try to make the Cookie Monster cupcakes for my daughter’s 2nd birthday Sesame Street party, so we’ll see which of these pictures I get closer to.

But for the average parent (i.e. those of us who aren’t professional bakers or even good amateurs), here are some adorable cupcakes that are actually DOABLE. Enjoy!

By Good Housekeeping

By Frilly Milly Events

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun


By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By Better Homes and Gardens