Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!


A new perspective on Halloween

Being an October baby myself I grew up celebrating Halloween with an intense enthusiasm. All of my parties were Halloween themed. By middle school I was taking a huge group of friends an hour away to adventure through a haunted house/corn maze etc. This is in stark contrast to my husband who dressed up in costumes to attend "Reformation Day" at church. 

Now that we have an October baby ourselves, I tried to tone it down a little, but I couldn't resist sticking with a Halloween theme. {Check out photos here!}

No matter how you celebrate {or don't}, I think Halloween can still serve a greater purpose. One of the best blog posts I've ever read about how Christians can still serve their community on Halloween can be found here.

To sum up Troubleface Mom's post...

"Turn your light on. Lots of lights. A city on a hill cannot be hidden right? Be a city on a hill. Halloween may not be “redeemed” but you are. So open your door and smile."

I'll still be out ringing on a few doors trick-or-treating {with my daughter of course...I'm not dressing up}. But for all of you who are thinking about turning off the lights and pretending to not be home? Maybe check out this post first. 

And Happy Halloween!

{Here's a sneak peak of Little Lady's costume}




31 Days of Toys: Plan Toys Water Blocks

So today is the final day of my 31 Days of Developmental Toy Series. Be sure to check out the other featured toys if you missed it.

And Happy Halloween! Another post about Halloween later...

To finish off this series I'm going to talk about a really neat and different set of blocks by Plan Toys.
Aren't they beautiful? And fascinating. The various colors and water are perfect for catching the light. 

These would be an awesome addition to your block collection!

Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days of Toys: Skip Hop Dunks

Here's a favorite bath toy of ours, the Skip Hop Dunks

These awesome duck-shaped scoops are so much fun for water play. You can scoop water, pour, push them around, and best of all they don't collect mold like the squirt toys.


One of Little Lady's favorite things to do with them right now is stick them under the faucet and then try to drink the water. We love these!

Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daycare Stories: The White Shirt

I may have been the parent who dressed their kid without considering the menu this morning. I never really think about what Little Lady might be eating at school and whether or not that is going to create a mess when it comes to laundry. 

Maybe I should...

I sent her to school today in a beautiful white blouse.

Too bad it was BBQ day. 

Thank goodness for bleach. I'm going to need it. 

31 Days of Toys: Trikes and Bikes

I love gross motor toys. That probably has something to do with being a physical therapist. Bikes, trikes, and scooters are awesome for working on coordination and strengthening skills. 


For your young ones check out this collapsible option called the Fly Bike Glide Tricycle.


We all know I'm a fan of space saving toys. 

For when the kids are ~3 they can transition to a balance bike {this one is by Chicco}. This is a fantastic option for working on dynamic balance. 

And of course Radio Flyer has a wide range of tricycles, from the classic looking options to ones with sunshades and parental steering. Here is a mid-level Radio Flyer:


Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days of Toys: Manhattan Toy Winkel

Here's another baby toy for all of you with kids under 6 months old. Once again, you see my love of Manhattan Toys. This one is called the "winkel".

It's soft.

Really easy to grasp.

Chewable. 

And it {kinda} rattles. I wouldn't buy it just for this feature.

This was one of the first things my Little Lady could grasp, bring to midline, and explore for an extended period of time. It may seem like a simple toy, but it was a huge hit for a long time!

Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Monday, October 27, 2014

Drop Cloth Sofa Recover: Part 2

I went to visit my bro and his fiancee this month and in their guest room I was surprised to find...



My {future} sister-in-law was inspired by my post on recovering sofas with drop cloths and did it herself! I love love love her finished product! {Also note the awesome artwork minis and colorful frames in the background. So cool.}

    

This guest room doubles as her study room and she's been working on putting "pops of color" into the space. This weekend she started working on adding a washi tape  design to the far wall {not pictured...yet}. I will get a picture for y'all of the finished room. It's going to be awesome!



I'm loving how she did the arms of this sofa. It's a cleaner look than mine.



Seriously...this girl has more crafting/DIY talent than she gives herself credit for. 

Be sure to check out the original tutorial "DIY Drop Cloth Sofa Recover" {for under $50}
Also check out "Part 3" with pictures from another sofa recover using my tutorial


31 Days of Toys: Hape Little Vehicles

These wooden vehicles are perfect for little hands. I love have classic and basic they are, as well as their size. There are so many options to choose from.








Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Sunday, October 26, 2014

31 Days of Toys: More Board Books

Today I'm going to mention 3 books, and the last one just might be my current favorite. We discovered this one while at the beach with family this summer and all of the cousins loved it.

   


by Dr. Seuss 
{Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss? This one is fully of funny and easy rhymes for the young ones.} 

by Sandra Boynton
{A great way to introduce animal sounds. So much fun!}

by Nina Laden
{An instant favorite. Peak-a-boo with various animals and their sounds.}

Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Daycare Stories

I love getting reports about the crazy things Little Lady is up to at daycare {while I'm working hard saving people's lives...kinda...ok more like saving their mobility}. Recently she moved up to the TODDLER classroom! When did she get so old?! {Ok...we did have a birthday party for her last week so I guess this is an appropriate life change.} 

In the toddler classroom she SLEEPS ON A COT {seriously they are miracle workers} and eats at a real table. 

Last week the story went like this:

"Do you know what your daughter did at lunch? She climbed up on the table, sat down in the middle, and starting spinning in circles picking food off every other kid's plate."

Then they continued...

"She's also quite an acrobat. She also was standing up in her chair and shaking around."

By shaking they essentially mean "twerking". Or booty shaking. 

Yup. That's my girl. Quite an eater. Not quite a dancer. 

31 Days of Toys: Animal Puzzle

I love puzzles and there are so many great ones out there {especially by Melissa & Dough} but here is a very unique and multi-purpose "puzzle" by BeginAgain. It's called the Animal Parade A to Z Puzzle.



It can be a puzzle.

Or used to learn your alphabet. 

Or you can play with the animal pieces individually.




It's even great for using during story time. 

As you've come to see, I love toys with multiple uses. 

Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days of Toys: Oball Push Car

Oball's toys are a-w-e-s-o-m-e. They have this soft rubber-like mesh that is super easy for babies to hold. 


I love the car by Oball because it can be easily grasped AND pushed around with its rolling wheels once your baby is sitting and interested in more interactive toys.

Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It was one of those days...

...when I let my toddler eat at least a third of the blueberries in the container while trying to grocery shop.

AND

...when I wore my shift inside-out for an hour long walk with another mommy friend.

Today ended with a nice long bath. And luckily a sleepy baby. 

Here's to tomorrow and wearing my shirt right-side out. 


31 Days of Toys: Marble Run

Here is a unique toy for your pre-k kids {and up} that offers multiple options - a marble run. This one is recommended for ages 4+. 


Not only does this provide multiple construction opportunities with the blocks but also requires some critical thinking in order to be able to create a functional marble run. I love the problem-solving involved with this type of toy.


Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Toys: Sophie the Giraffe

If you have a baby {or are expecting} and you've have no idea what this giraffe is then put it on your Christmas list. 


This rubber, squeaky, multi-purpose toy is a hit with babies, especially those starting to teeth.

It's unique shape is perfect for little hands to hold and has the best areas to chew {Little Lady's preference was to suck on her snout...a real good french kiss}. 

She may be expensive but she's worth every penny. 


Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Toys: Dollhouses

There are an endless supply of dollhouses. And let's be honest...you can't go that wrong in selecting one. Here are a few attractive options:

Go all out with a full sized dollhouse by Hape





For the creative DIY-er check out this post by on "6 Ways to Make a Cardboard Dollhouse"


If you want to get super crafty with your sewing skills give this fabric dollhouse tutorial a look


And lastly, another fun idea is to go gender neutral with the Goldilocks and the Three Bears Toy House. 


Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*

Monday, October 20, 2014

She had a birthday!

We celebrated Little Lady's first birthday yesterday. Here's a little recap:




Menu:
Prosciutto and melon balls
Candy corn
Fruit trifle bowl
Pineapple, mandarin oranges, with whipped cream top {looked like candy corn shots}
Celery and carrots with ranch dressing
Pumpkin cheese ball
Pretzel dip
Rosemary biscuits
Pumpkin roll cake {the biggest hit}
Red velvet cupcakes

And I must give credit to my step-mother who flew in from out-of-state to cook half of the food and mailed a bunch of decorations. My mother-in-law also provided decorations. Without these ladies this party wouldn't have been half as nice. 




And party favors for the kiddos that I made: 


Our little girl is such a joy right now. Walking EVERYWHERE, getting into EVERYTHING. Life with a toddler sure is interesting. 

We love you, Little Lady! Happy First Birthday! 

31 Days of Toys: Baby Dolls

There are so many awesome baby dolls out here, but one of my favorite brands {Manhattan Toys} has a fantastic baby doll called "Baby Stella". There is also a "wee" version that is smaller and perfect for your older infants and young toddlers.

Baby Stella:

{Note: I seem to only be able to find the "Wee Baby Stella" locally at our Walmart. Strangely, it's not even on their website. Not sure what's going on there.}

I love the magnetic accessories like the bottle and paci. So easy for even the young babes to do. This doll can definitely grow with your baby. 


Check out the other toys featured on my series "31 Days of Developmental Toys"


*All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post. This post may contain affiliate links.
 Images via Amazon.com, Ikea.com, and Diapers.com*