Tag Archives: toddler

Things I am Loving Right Now

Here are a few things I am loving right now!

 

I recently won a giveaway from Very Busy Mamá (yay!) for a lovely piece of Ruth Barzel jewelry. I chose this long pearl necklace, which is so versatile and delicate—I simply love it!

I recently picked up this little hippo bathing suit for Olivia from Target. Little girls’ swimsuits are just the cutest! They also have this design in a two piece with a little rash guard. And for only $13, I just couldn’t resist!

This thermal protectant from Sebastian has been amazing for my fine hair. My stylist talked me into getting it last time I was in for a cut, and I’m so glad. I tend to get split ends and heat damage really easily, and I feel like this has helped keep my hair healthy and increased my time between cuts.

We are in the process of turning our guest room into Olivia’s big girl room. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on new furniture, so we got picked out an unfinished dresser from Ikea and painted it. We decided to do the drawers in pink ombre, and I found these adorable hand painted knobs from Etsy shop 3ButtonsN2Bows. I ended up buying several types (owls, birds, and trees) in different colors to complete her dresser and nightstand. I think these will give a cute custom feel to the not-custom-priced furniture!

Not sure if it’s the fact that I’m pregnant or just that it’s delicious, but I am obsessed with Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack ice cream.  I think it’s my favorite ice cream, which is saying something because I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes to sweets. There’s something about the mix of salty caramel and potato chips and sweet chocolate and ice cream that just does it for me. Mmmm, now I’m hungry.


Six Stylish Toddler Sandals

Last year, I found a pair of green sandals for Olivia on clearance for $4 at Target. She got so many compliments every time she wore them that it kind of became this inside joke with us. Who knew that the cheapest pair of shoes she owned would be the most popular?!

I went back this year to see if I could find the same ones in a larger size but no luck. So I set out to find ones that could compete with the mythical green sandals.

There are some seriously cute sandals out there for toddler girls this year! I’ve rounded up six of my favorites.

Embellished Flower Jelly Sandals at Gap, $16.95

Wakely Sandal at Stride Rite, $30

Flower Sandals at Gymboree, $32.95

Cherokee Jumper Sandal at Target, $14.99

Strappy Neon Sandals by Carters, $16

Navy Espadrilles by OshKosh B’gosh, $18


And Your Top Potty Training Tips Are …

We’re getting ready to dive into the potty training pool (which sounds gross, but you know what I mean). So I recently asked my Facebook followers to share their #1 potty training success tips to help psyche me up. The advice was so good that I couldn’t just keep it to myself!

Marlayna said:
Rewards. My daughter gets a mini M&M so she really likes going potty now. 

Lisa said:
We tried every bribe in the book. The only thing that worked was taking her to what would be her preschool and telling her she can’t go to school if she wears diapers. That was it. . .!

Jessica said:
Evan was motivated by Thomas the Train underwear. He really, really wanted to wear them, but we only let him if he was using the potty. The one thing I learned that seemed counter-intuitive was not making a huge deal out of it when they go potty. Let them know they did a good job, but if you get too excited it can cause them to be anxious next time.

Charity said:
Keep a pack of post it notes in your purse to cover the automatic flushing sensor in public bathrooms! Nothing more scary than a toilet flushing while you are holding on for your little life trying to potty!

Penny said:
My sisters and I all did the same thing – during the day, we simply put them in underwear. We didn’t make a big production of it. We didn’t reward or scold. All 6 were potty trained quickly and most never had an accident. We started when they were between 27 and 30 months.

Danielle said:
… don’t start too early (because then it’ll just take longer and frustrate everyone involved!), and be consistent. They really do just wake up one day and “get it.” 

Margo said:
Just remember it is unlikely he will still be in a diaper at 16. Which means, he will get tired of it in due time …

Nancie said:
A step stool so a big boy can urinate standing up, and paper targets to sink! Oh, and M&Ms are a very good thing.

Elaine said:
… I just started offering underwear or pull-ups, and eventually they chose underwear. Plus I would do a lot of asking during the day if they want to go to the potty. No rewards other than a lot of jumping up and down and clapping!

Thanks to everyone for such great, tried-and-true advice!


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!!

 


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


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.

 


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

 USA! USA! USA! 


Homemade Playdough

Shockingly enough, I decided to try making my own playdough out of pure laziness. I didn’t feel like hauling my cookies to Target in 105° weather, so after Googling a few recipes, I decided it was easier to just make the stuff myself. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry already, so I gave it a shot.

I followed the recipe on Musing from a Stay at Home Mom, which was a little more complicated and involved than some of the other recipes I found, but I thought that lent it some credibility.

It was seriously so easy—I don’t think I’ll ever buy Play Doh again! I made the full recipe in two batches so that I could create two different colors. The whole process only took about 15 minutes. We played with it after dinner last night, though it might have been more fun for mommy and daddy than it was for Olivia. She just thought it was dessert.

Homemade Playdough

1 cup flour

1 cup water

2 tsp cream of tartar

1/3 cup salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Food coloring

In a small saucepan on medium/low heat, mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt. Add in the water and vegetable oil and stir well. The mixture will be a bit clumpy at first; just keep stirring.

Once the playdough starts to thicken, quickly mix in your food coloring. Continue stirring as the mixture solidifies. When it starts to gather around the spoon and stick together, you know it’s done.

Remove the playdough from the saucepan and allow it to cool on wax paper. After it’s cooled, knead it a few times to soften it up and work out any remaining lumps.

Store the playdough in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container.


HAPPYTOT Giveaway!

You know those light bulb parenting moments when someone introduces you to something that makes your life infinitely easier, and glorious rays of light shine down from the heavens and you can hear angels singing softly in the background?

I had one of those moments when Olivia was about seven or eight months old and my friend Dori whipped out this crazy looking pouch of baby food, twisted off the top, and handed it straight to her son. He immediately took it and started sucking the food out of the little straw at the top. By himself. With NO MESS. I swear I saw my future flash before me, and it was amazing.

From that day on, we have kept our pantry stocked with these little gems. Our favorites are the HAPPYBABY and HAPPYTOT pouches, which are organic, allergy free, and minimally processed. The HAPPYBABY pouches come in three different categories: starting solids (single fruits, like pears), simple combos (like apricot + sweet potato), and balanced meals (like banana + quinoa + black bean + plum).

The HAPPYTOT pouches come in fruit and veggie combos that are great complements to a meal or as a snack on the go. Because Olivia was anemic, we found the Spinach, Mango + Pear pouch a great way to sneak in a little extra iron—plus, she absolutely LOVES them, so they’re always our back-up option when she refuses to eat whatever else we’re having. The HAPPYTOT pouches all include Salba, which is considered nature’s super grain. For added nutrition, you can get Happy Tot Plus—fruit and veggie combos, such as Kale, Apple + Mango, that include both Salba and choline.

We’ve had great luck finding these pouches on sale at Target, but you can also find them at Safeway, Giant, Whole Foods, and tons of other places.

Because I am obsessed with these pouches, the kind folks at HAPPYBABY have offered to send one lucky winner an entire case of the HAPPYTOT pouches! Be sure to enter below.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post or giveaway, nor did I receive any free products for my family. I am running this giveaway because I seriously love these easy, on-the-go pouches, and I love my readers!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Puddle Jumpers Aren’t Just Tiny Planes

Olivia is at that in-between stage where she’s too big for her baby pool float from last summer, but she’s not quite ready for arm floaties. Strangely enough, I’ve never really paid attention to what the other toddlers at the pool were sporting as far as flotation devices go. I guess I was too busy planning my revenge on the little twerps who always shoot me with water guns.

I went online to Google toddler floaties, and everyone was raving about these Puddle Jumpers. I had never heard of them before, but I was fairly certain they weren’t talking about little, rickety planes. Turns out, Puddle Jumpers are flotation foam belts that go around your child’s chest and each of their arms (think arm floaties on steroids). It also turns out they are on sale at Target right now for $15, so we took a little trip before heading to the pool.

This thing is awesome! It was a cinch to put on, stayed in place, and—most importantly—kept her afloat. We were even able to let go of her hands so she could kick and splash around for a minute on her own (which, incidentally, is freaking terrifying the first time you do it—even though you’re right there and you know she’ll be fine. . .holy heart palpitations).

And, of course, NOW I notice that half the toddlers at the pool were sporting Puddle Jumpers over their swimsuits.

How does your little one stay afloat at the pool?