Tuesday, April 4, 2017

March Favorites - Kid Edition

Hey gang!
Y'all know how I love my monthly favorites!  But this month, I'm changing it up a little bit, and I'm doing a "Kid Edition"
 - so this one is for all the lil ones!  
Or all the big ones paying for things for the lil ones ;)

Image result for crayola bath drops

For some reason, Andrew (3) recently decided he was terrified of baths.  Which is not very convenient when you have a toddler who loves playing outside and dipping his hands in ketchup to make "hand prints" on his plate at dinner.  So I explored the bath toy section at Target recently, thinking of ways to make bath time more fun, and I came across these.  
And they have been a game changer.  Andrew doesn't want to get out of the bath now!  They are tiny tablets that go directly into the bath water and magically make the water blue, red, yellow, green, orange, or purple (depending on the tablet or combination of tablets).  They are so much fun, and the kids love picking out the colors and watching them sizzle in the bath, revealing a bright new hue for their water!  

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Another water toy!  I've talked about these before in THIS post.  They are reusable notebooks filled with magic paper that turns colors when you write on it with the water-filled pen.  There are so many kinds to choose from...we love the ABC's one to work on tracing and learning our letters!  
These are fabulous for car trips, waiting rooms, grocery carts, restaurants, wherever! 
And they are completely mess-free! 

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Ok, this is my favorite favorite of the month!  Andrew actually got this as a gift 2 years ago, but we waited to give it to him when we knew he would really be into it.  Its a handmade fabric Busy Bible, that provides Scripture verses and interactive Bible stories for tiny hands.  I love how it helps Andrew learn about the Bible in a way that he can understand, and it provides a great teaching opportunity for me too!  This would be a great baby gift, baptism gift, or a gift for the toddler who is just starting to sit through the service at Church - we are making that transition soon.  It is a little pricey for a book, but the fact that it is handmade, and simply beautiful, makes it a cherished and beloved item in my eyes.  

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Chobani Greek Yogurt Tubes 

We have loved these yogurt tubes for years, BUT we have recently found a new way (Thanks Lauren!) to enjoy them!  Freeze them, and they become yogurt Popsicle!  As I type this out, I realize it says right there on the package "freezable", but I somehow never noticed that until now.  
Anyway, the kiddos LOVE this "new treat", and it's a guilt-free, healthy alternative to the typical Popsicle or ice cream dessert.  Great for the warmer months especially! 
*After you take them out of the freezer, just let them thaw for 5 minutes, so they are not hard as a rock.  We cut Ellie's up into little pieces, and for Andrew, we just cut/pull the wrapper down halfway, to eat like a Popsicle :) 

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Mickey Mouse Veggie Chips

Another yummy snack.  We are going to Disney World next month, so I'm becoming that mom who needs everything to suddenly be Mickey Mouse themed.  These cute chips are yummy and fun, and are getting everyone me so excited about our upcoming trip!  They are pretty much just like the beloved Veggie Straws - just in Mickey form ;)

Image result for leapfrog alpha pup

This is Ellie's favorite of the month :)  She got this toy for her 1st birthday, and it has become such a fun little pal for her!  He sings songs, can be dragged around by the handle (or ears), and teaches letters when you press the alphabet buttons.  It's a great little toy - especially for ages 1-2! 

Image result for babiators

These are the best sunglasses!  They are indestructible, cute, comfortable, AND the company will send you a replacement pair if lost!  (I think you just pay for shipping.)  Ellie loves her, and Andrew will be getting a blue pair in his Easter basket this year!  

*Here's Ellie rocking her Babiators, and Andrew rocking his Batman mask 
on our walk yesterday!*

Do you have any kid-approved things you're loving lately?
Do share! :)

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Road Trip Essentials for Kids

Whether you're planning a cross-country spring break road trip, or just a hop, skip, and jump to the lake for the weekend, packing the car can be a daunting and overwhelming task for anyone. 

Road trips during college (or pre-kids) were actually something I couldn't wait for - I always set my alarm clock extra early, jumping out of bed on the day of embarkation, feeling rested and refreshed to get the show on the road.  Snacks were always picked up at the gas station on the way out of town (White Cheddar Popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, and a Diet Cherry Pepsi - because calories don't count on road trips).  My freshly burned (thanks Napster!) CD was appropriately titled "CAR JAMS" and filled with songs from soundtracks like "Legally Blonde" and "Crossroads", and I was ready to hit the highway!

And then, kids!
Road trips are kinda different now.  They are fun and exciting, but now it's filled with goldfish and juice boxes, Itsy Bitsy Spider sing-a-longs, and 97,000 bathroom breaks.  

We have a few kid-filled road trips under our belt, and we are headed out for one next week (to Florida!), so I thought I'd share some of my kid essentials that I've packed for our family.  

Tissues - We probably go through an entire box of these on our road trips.  They clean up spills, wipe up runny noses, hold snacks, dry tears, and are just completely necessary.  

Hand Sanitizer - Self-explanatory.  We can get pretty filthy in the car, and we snack almost the entire time.  So this is essential. 

Sunglasses - Everybody gets the sun in their eyes at some point on a road trip.  And almost everybody will complain about said sun.  These are a must.  And the kids think they're kinda cool with their sunnies on :) *we love these!*

Water Wow - A mess free coloring/activity book.  Great for toddlers!  All you need is water, and it can provide hours of entertainment.  

Lara Bars - These are more for the adults, but they are my favorite snack, and the kids love them too.  Made from only 3 or 4 simple ingredients, they have replaced the junk food favorites I used to rely on in the car.  

Cheese Squares and Pretzel Sticks - I have found that everybody loves these two snacks.  They are easy to hold, easy to eat, and not too messy.  I wouldn't try to introduce a new snack for a road trip - they may not go over quite as well as your classic favorites.  

Crayons and Paper - For toddlers or school age kids, these are always a great activity.  We were given these cute personalized holders (soap containers from the dollar store!), and I love how portable they are.  Each child can have their own, and they are able to just focus on the colors in their container, no messing with 264-count crayon boxes.  My 1-year-old likes taking out the crayons, and then putting them back in one-by-one over and over again.  Until she decides she needs a snack. Then she eats them.

Jelly Beans (or a fun new candy!) - Just because.  They'll make your kiddos realllllly happy :)  Get something that takes a long time to eat. (Suckers are good too!)  I love jelly beans because they aren't sticky, won't melt, and there are different colors to look at, providing a little bit of entertainment. 

A new toy - This can be anything!  Preferably something that is some sort of activity.  The newness and novelty of it will give your kids the excitement and entertainment they may need, say half-way through the trip.  I scooped up these great travel magnet sets from the $3 spot at Target.  I think they'll be a great surprise!  


Now although this next item isn't completely mess-free (at least for my toddlers!), we ALWAYS bring them along for when we stop for potty breaks and lunch!  They are easy, compact, and can be filled with all kinds of yummy and healthy goodness!
These pouches are a staple on our road trips for sure :)  
{Especially when Chick-Fil-A kid's meals might be all they are eating for 12 hours straight.}

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into our road trip bag!

What are your road trip essentials?

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Let's Shop! One-Piece Swimwear

Although there are a million cute bikinis out there on the racks and on the bods of many gals, there are SO many great one-piece options out there!  Personally I'm in the stage and phase where full-coverage swimsuits just seem to be best ;)
These are some of the ones I'm loving!
Let's Shop- One piece Swim!
TOP ROW  (L to R): 1//2//3//4//5
BOTTOM  (L to R): 1//2//3//4//5 (in white)

{and here's  a *more affordable* option for that black scalloped one-piece}

Last year I bought this one (in black) I LOVE it! It's so flattering and well-made...!
and you can't beat the price!

Do y'all have a one-piece that you love?
Or one that's on your wishlist? 

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Easter Basket Goodies

Have you started shopping for your kid's Easter Baskets this year?  I love this time of year, and filling baskets is just one tradition that I've enjoyed continuing with our kiddos. 

 I also loooove making these Resurrection Rolls on Easter morning - they are a great way to tell the beautiful Gospel story in a hands-on and yummy way!  

Here are some fun goodies I've picked out to help you with your basket filling!
(We are including thisthis, and this book in ours! Along with some $ spot goodies from Target of course - I can never pass those up!) 
Easter Basket Fun!
1 - This classic tale now comes in a board book!
2 - I love this natural and fun egg-dying kit!
3 - This adorable apron set is perfect for little kitchen helpers!
4 - How cute is this unicorn cupcake/muffin kit?!
5 - These sweet ballerina bathtime toys are on my list! ;)
6 - Jellycats are our favorite!  Love this one with an attached blanket
7 - I love this idea for making colored play dough!  Throw a few boxes of the secret ingredient in their baskets, and then make the play dough together!  Scroll down for recipe.
8 - We got these fun sippy cups from Target last year, and I think they are back again!

This recipe went totally viral a while ago and it's no wonder - it's smells wonderful and so silky smooth - my kids' absolute favorite!

Super Soft Jell-O Playdough Recipe

 ~ 1 cup of white flour ~ 1 cup of warm water ~ 2 tbsp of salt ~ 2 tbsp of cream of tartar
~ 2 tbsp of cooking oil ~ 13 oz pack of Jell-O

 1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan until most of the lumps are gone.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough.
3. Place the dough onto a floured cutting board and wait for it to cool.
4. Once it is cool (at least 20-30 minutes) let the little ones knead it, adding in flour until it is no longer sticky (about 1/2 cup).


To fill those adorable unicorn muffin cups above, try this yummy and healthy recipe!

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

~2-1/2 cup old-fashioned oats ~ 2 extra ripe bananas ~ 2 eggs
~1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I use organic from Trader Joes)
~1/4 cup wheat germ (totally optional)  ~ 3/4 cup plain yogurt ~ 1 teaspoon vanilla
~1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder  ~ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda ~ 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with spray or butter or use muffin liners.
3. Using a food processor, grind oats until fine. They should have the consistency of flour.
4. Add all other ingredients, and pulse until the batter has a smooth consistency.
5. Distribute batter evenly in the muffin tin or liners (fill about 2/3 full). 
6. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the tops gently bounce back when touched and a toothpick comes out of center clean. 

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