Tag Archives: kids

Everything Butt Art

My 7-year-old cousin recently got this art book as a gift from her grandmother, and I found it too hilarious not to share. Everything Butt Art teaches step-by-step drawing where all of the pictures start with a butt shape—haha genius! I am all for anything that encourages the arts and creativity, and what kid doesn’t want an excuse to draw butts all day?!

With four different themed art books (each under $10) and two more on the way, as well as a free iPad app, Everything Butt Art has plenty to keep your little artist engaged (and probably giggling)!


DVF for GapKids!

Diane von Furstenberg has partnered with GapKids to design a collection for girls that will debut in stores and online on March 15th! The patterns and pieces are so adorable, classic DVF with a playful twist—I only wish they were for mamas too!

To catch a sneak peek of the collection, go here and click on “Get a Sneak Peek Now!” Even though I’m not entirely sure what it has to do with the clothes, I love the line in the video, “. . .to empower a little girl is to empower the woman she will become.” Looks like I will be  empowering my little one at GapKids in mid-March!


Finny and Zook Wall Art

Finny and Zook specializes in whimsical prints that are perfect for a nursery or big kid’s room. There are alphabet images for every letter that would be adorable framed and hung next to each other to spell out a child’s name or initials. And the most important part? The prices range from only $8 up to $40 for larger prints, which is a steal!

Bonus: Zulily has Finny and Zook prints on sale now through Friday morning for only $7.99 a print! Plus, they have additional graphic prints that are not available in the Etsy store.

Seriously, how cute are these?!

Courtesy etsy.com

Courtesy zulily.com

Courtesy etsy.com

Courtesy zulily.com


Tackling the Little One’s Closet

I decided a few days ago to tackle the little one’s closet. There is so much wasted space, and we need to make the most of every bit of storage for all of her toys, books, blankets, etc. I went onto the Home Depot web site and designed a new closet layout using the Martha Stewart design tool. Unfortunately, the closet system I came up with, while amazing, was hundreds of dollars—and that was with us installing it ourselves. You don’t even want to know how much it costs to have someone else put up some shelving and bars in your closet! So I’ve decided to go the DIY route, using bits and pieces of things we already have, a few new drawers and shelves, and my handy husband’s skills and power tools. It will probably take a while longer than getting a ready-made system, but it will be worth it.

While trolling the interwebs looking for organizational inspiration, I came across this genius baby shoe rack from The Land of Nod. It’s a bit expensive for a rack, I think ($42.99), but I love that it holds 8 pairs of shoes up and out of the way. This could be a great addition to one of the walls inside little O’s closet.

And while maybe not for inside the closet, I love the idea of using spice racks from Ikea as bookshelves, as seen on IKEA Hackers. We could paint them white and mount them low enough for her to reach. At $3.99 a pop, this idea is a no-brainer.

If you have any organizational tips or suggestions that have worked well in your little one’s room, I would love to hear them!


S**t Kids Say

If you missed “Modern Family” last week, Lily dropped the F-bomb (bleeped, of course), and it was freaking hilarious. Or at least I thought it was, but I happen to have a mouth like a sailor—sorry Dad. Apparently, the Parents Television Council did not find it very funny, calling the episode’s storyline “in poor taste.”

I definitely watch what I say around my daughter because she’s like a sponge, and no parent wants to get that call from daycare about the choice words their kid busted out with during circle time. But fret not fellow sailors (or people who just have a sense of humor), experts say it’s no big deal. “Kids say swear words as soon as they talk,” according to Timothy Jay, a psychologist at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts who studies psycholinguistics and obscenities.

Apparently, 2 years old is about the time some of us will get that awkward phone call from daycare. But the bottom line is that little ones don’t really understand what they’re saying, and they certainly don’t learn it from television. That’s where we come in as parents. It’s our job to monitor what our kids are watching or listening to, and to watch what comes out of our own mouths. Still, no matter how vigilant you are, it will happen. I remember my angel of a little sister asking my step-mom what “sh*t” meant when she was 4 or 5 years old and then immediately bawling when she realized it was a bad word—it happens to the best of them. Just try not to let them see you laughing.

Now I better go put a quarter in the swear jar for my post title (and probably for my lovely artwork too)!


Personalized Luggage For Your Little Traveler

For being so little, babies sure do travel with a lot of stuff! Between diapers, wipes, toys, extra clothes, the sound machine, etc., I end up giving up half my suitcase to my daughter when we go out of town. So when it came time to think of a Christmas gift for my brother- and sister-in-law (who are expecting their first baby at the end of February), I knew just what to get. Baby luggage is a gift to the parents as much as it is a gift to the little one. I’ve wanted to blog about this adorable suitcase ever since I bought it, but since I personalized it with the baby’s name, which wasn’t public knowledge until last week, I’ve had to wait. . . until now!

I searched everywhere for cute children’s luggage that I could personalize. Pottery Barn Kids has adorable luggage, but it’s pretty expensive (regular price $79.50-$124.50, depending on the piece and the size). I was also looking for something small and fun, something they could use for baby clothes now and he could use for toys later. I pictured their little man wheeling this behind him through the airport on the way to Disney World, filled with fun stuff for the flight. I finally found exactly what I was looking for on Etsy (not a big surprise—LOVE Etsy for this type of thing!).

Vickie Toalson with Deerpath Designs specializes in customized gifts, including this Stephen Joseph rolling luggage. I blogged about the Stephen Joseph backpacks a while back, and the luggage is just as adorable! There are designs for boys and girls, and Vickie can personalize them in a variety of colors and fonts. The embroidery turned out great, and the whole thing ended up costing about $53, including personalization and shipping. Now their little guy is all set for his first trip, and mom and dad won’t have to share their suitcase. . . at least not as much of it!


Crazy Good Prices at Crazy 8!

The little one got some super cute (and much needed!) clothes for Christmas, and I discovered a great new store! Crazy 8 is owned by the same people as Gymboree and Janie and Jack but is a lot less expensive—think of it as the Old Navy in the Old Navy/GAP/Banana Republic family.

Everything in the store and on their web site is $11.99 and under! Everything. The clothes are really adorable and look nearly identical to what you would find at Gymboree, only for a fraction of the price. I had never heard of the store because we don’t have one at either of the two malls we frequent. There are, however, 220 stores nationwide, so chances are there’s one near you (I counted 8 stores in a 50 mile radius of Washington, D.C.). But never fear—if you spend over $50 online, shipping is free!

Happy shopping!!


Kid-Proof Your iPad

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday and spent loads of time with family and friends. My little family traveled all over the state of Virginia visiting our nearest and dearest and even managed to squeeze in a night at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town (totally worth it, if you’ve never been—we had a great time!).

This year, my husband and I decided to buy an iPad 2 as our gift to each other, which we did back before Thanksgiving. Our daughter has quickly taken to it and waits expectantly for us to pull it out when we plop her into the grocery cart so she can play with Grover. So when we opened this next Christmas present, I knew immediately that it was going on the blog for sheer brilliance alone.

The Gripcase for iPad 2 is designed to withstand even the most rambunctious toddler. Made of shock absorbent EVA foam (think the soles of your running shoes), the shape of the Gripcase protects your precious iPad no matter how it’s dropped (trust me, I already speak from experience). The handles on all four sides are easy for small little hands to hold onto and carry, which will no longer make you cringe or hold your breath. And at only $39.99, it’s definitely worth the investment!

 

 


Teach Compassion This Holiday Season

For as far back as I can remember, my family has made giving back part of our holiday tradition, even if all we could afford to give some years was our time. My parents didn’t just tell me that it was important to give to those less fortunate, they showed me. My entire family volunteered to ring the bell for the Salvation Army each Christmas; we painted our elderly neighbor’s house; I helped deliver Meals on Wheels with my grandma; I served meals at the soup kitchen downtown and visited the nursing home to sing (yes, sing, this probably wasn’t so charitable) Christmas carols to the residents.

Having a daughter of my own now, I  want to provide for her in every way that I can so that she never wants for anything. But I also want her to learn compassion for others and the importance of giving back. I want her to understand just how fortunate she is and fully appreciate everything that she has. The holidays are a perfect time to teach our children about empathy and charity. Here are some great organizations that can help you get started:

Toys for Tots  The Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation has been collecting and delivering toys to needy children since 1947. Take your little one shopping so he can pick out a toy for another child who isn’t as fortunate, and take the opportunity to explain why it’s important and what that toy might mean to that other little boy or girl. Visit www.toysfortots.org to find a drop-off location near you.

Share Our Strength®  Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is working to end childhood hunger in America. Each dollar you donate provides up to 10 meals for a hungry child, and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar through December 31st! Visit www.shareourstrength.org to learn how you can double your gift.

SHARE (Self-Help and Resource Exchange)  The SHARE Food Network helps families make the most of their food budget by putting together nutritious groceries at an affordable price. You can get involved by donating your time as a volunteer or purchasing healthy food for a family in need. My neighborhood actually has a SHARE program where we can purchase a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal for a family in need in our area. It’s great to know that our donation is going to help another Burke Centre family. If you’re in the Washington, D.C. area, visit www.sharedc.org for details. Otherwise, you can Google SHARE in your area to find a network near you.

Photo courtesy The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army  Donating to The Salvation Army can be as simple as dropping your change into one of the thousands of red kettles nationwide, volunteering your time as a bell ringer, or selecting a child in need from the Angel Giving Tree. I always loved selecting angels from the tree, shopping for the things on their wish list, and imagining the looks on their faces when they opened their gifts! Allowing your child to select an angel their same age and gender can help them learn empathy, since they can more closely relate to their angel. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org for more information.

If you’re still looking for some other way to give back, try www.volunteermatch.org. This web site provides resources to help match volunteers with civic opportunities in their area.


Toddler Music Even Adults Will Love

Okay, “love” may be a bit of an overstatement, but “like way better than that high-pitched, grating, annoying kiddie music” is pretty close. I don’t hate the annoying kiddie music, per se, I just hate listening to it for 3 hours straight on a road trip. If any of this is resonating, do yourself a favor and check out some of the CDs below.

 

Elizabeth Mitchell: you are my sunshine

Barenaked Ladies: Snack Time

They Might Be Giants: Here Come the ABCs

Various Artists: for the kids

Jack Johnson and friends: Sing-a-longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George

Ziggy Marley: family time

Jewel: the merry goes 'round

The Verve Pipe: A Family Album