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The Best Time to Be a Kid with Gymboree

This post is sponsored by Gymboree. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

As I put the plaid jacket on my baby I got all the fuzzy feelings a new mother gets. This was his first time meeting Santa. Of course he won’t remember it, but a mother doesn’t usually forget these “firsts.” And while it probably wasn’t magical for him that first time, I know it was magical for us as parents. And I know that once he got older, along with his siblings, meeting Santa was a surreal moment. That was the start of our holiday traditions. Well we didn’t really think of them as traditions at first but it was something we did as a family. Looking back, these were the early days of our traditions as a family of 3 and now we are a family of 6, soon to be 7.Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

Now, as a family, we have a lot of things we love to do for the holiday: skiing, driving to see the Christmas lights on homes, sipping Peruvian hot chocolate with Panettone, handing out gifts to the homeless downtown. Whatever it is that we are doing, we love doing it together.  And we love being outside. Well, the kids love being outside. I prefer to stay warm but since it is family time I sacrifice- haha!Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler StyleMadeleine: bird long sleeve | puffy jacket  (she’s pretty petite but the 2T fit her a little too snug- maybe size up?) | pink knee socks | duck boots | cupcake purse | bunny hat (not pictured)

One of our favorite holiday traditions is going to Breakfast with Santa. We’ve done it every year since we had a tiny baby and wherever we’ve lived we’ve visited with Santa while eating delicious food (can you tell I love food?) We like to walk around afterwards because…well…all the food we’ve eaten. Our kids love meeting Santa. We’ve only had a couple of meltdowns due to “stranger danger” but for the most part my kids are so excited to tell Santa what they’d like for Christmas. I like to tell my kids that they may ask for things for themselves but they should also think about what others may like and request it on their behalf (like in this printable letter to Santa). We love to see their little faces light up as they see Santa and he tells them about his North Pole friends. Even though we just witnessed the whole thing, they then love to tell us all about their experience, through their innocent and wondrous eyes. How magical is it to be a kid? And aren’t the holidays the best time to be a kid?Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

While our oldest is getting to the age where he will soon find out about Santa, we are trying to keep the magic and the spirit of Santa alive: the love, generosity, goodwill, miracles, service and selflessness. So when our kids think of Christmas and the holidays, I hope they think of these times we spent as a family and the bonds they’ve created with each other. They they remember the magic they felt as kids and pass those on to their own children. I remember the magic my parents created for us. And believe me it is even more magical to create these memories for our kids. It adds the flurries to my heart and I can’t help but feel this genuine love for them that is sometimes clouded by busy schedules and the chaos of parenthood.Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

Included in the chaos of parenthood: finding clothes for 4 kids…..a daunting task. I turn to good quality stores like Gymboree that offer sturdy and fashionable clothes for all my kids. It’s a one stop shop that I can visit from the comfort of my own home at my own time. Because I really would rather be shopping late at night while my kids are sleeping than take time away during the holiday season. A bonus is that they have nice clothes (win for me) and fun designs like sharks, dinosaurs, unicorns, etc. (win for the kids) done in a non-kitschy manner (win for humanity).

Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler StyleAdelle: flamingo long sleeve | jeweled jeans | knit cardigan | pink knee socks | duck boots | puffy polka dot jacket | underwear | unicorn headband (not pictured) | bunny gloves (meant for toddler but fit Adelle!) Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

Oliver: navy puffer vest | brown high topsbriefsshark socksolive lined pantswaffle teedino pull over | striped beanie Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

Ashton: fuzzy camo vest | geo bear pullover | striped waffle tee | olive lined pants | octopus socksbrown high topscamo beanie | briefs

Do you have a favorite Christmas/Holiday Tradition you did with your family growing up or have one now with your own children? Make sure whatever you do, whether it’s taking a stroll outside to making cookies and watching holiday movies, to check out Gymboree’s holiday collection where they have cool and casual outfits or darling dress up outfits like this so you can jump on the bed…Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Styleor look nice for a holiday picture!  Gymboree Holiday Girl Boy Toddler Style

rose print dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY Pom Pom and Wood Holiday Garland

It snowed in Seattle! In November! I felt it would be a little early to put up holiday crafts in early November but then it snowed and I knew it was ok. Don’t worry, I’ll post some Thanksgiving ones, too. I’m joining up with 30 Minute Crafts on their Craft Lightning Holiday Projects which features December Holiday crafts that take 15 minutes or less. That’s right- only 15 minutes. That means you can do these during one show. You’re welcome 🙂

I love pom poms (it reminds me of my Peruvian heritage), neutrals (because color is hard for me to commit to- ha!), and garlands are super simple so it made sense I combined those to make this super versatile winter/any holiday garland. Now, just take this and make it your own. If you love color, add color! Paint the wood beads, use colorful yard and washi tape. Go crazy!

Materials: (links contain affiliate links)
wood beads
embroidery floss (get at craft store if you don’t think you’ll use an entire pack)
wood rings
embroidery needle
yarn
washi tape
loome pom pom tool or use these

What To Do:

Start by making your pom poms. Make a number of pom poms depending on how long you want it. I just made 3 and it could have strung perfectly on my mantle if I put it on there straight. If you need a visual on how to make them poms, here is a pom pom video tutorial. Making the pom poms is what will take you the longest.

Figure out your pattern. I did ball, pom pom, ball, ring, ball, pom pom, ball, ring, etc.

Using embroidery thread (I used sewing thread and it gets too tangled) cut about 36.” Thread the needle and insert into wood ball. I went through once and back around the ball so it wouldn’t shift. Do the same with the wood rings. With the pom poms you can just go through the center.

Once you’ve threaded all of your items, lay it out and make sure they are evenly spread.

Using wash tape, tape the ends. And you’re done. Easiest 15 minutes right?

I actually love using neutral colors because they are so versatile. Could be because I am terrified of committing to a color…..but let’s just go with neutrals go with everything. Keeping it up for Thanksgiving all the way through Valentine’s Day. Just accent with a little bit of color that coordinates with the different holidays in between and there you have the simplest DIY holiday decor.

Make sure to check out the Craft Lightning Holiday Projects and get working 😉 You still have a month to get your craft on. Grab some friends or snuggle up in bed and binge on Netflix. Isn’t it just the happiest time of the year??

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Snacking On-the-Go with goodnessKNOWS

This post is sponsored by goodnessKNOWS. As always these opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

“Go, go go! Grab your shoes. Do you have your water bottle?”

“Grab your book, please! Do you have your bag?”

“Make sure you have your ballet shoes! Do you have your sweater?”

Managing a household with 4 kids each with their own activities can be a lot to handle. To be honest, it isn’t that they have a lot of activities it is just that there are a lot of kids! As a work at home mom I also have to make sure that I am managing my own schedule and deadlines. It can be easy to put the kids’ needs and my clients’ needs first. Sometimes so much so that I’d grab a handful of whatever my kids didn’t eat or something that just wasn’t a suitable meal replacement. And if you’ve followed this blog long enough you’ll know how much I love my food. I knew that something had to change and I would have to have something that was actually good for me handy in my diaper bag. goodnessKNOWS squares are full of good ingredients and made without artificial flavors, sweeteners and colors. Sounds like a good snack to have available for those moments where I need to walk the kids into their activities with a few minutes to spare…or a few minutes late. Still working on that getting places on time thing. 

As we speak (umm…read?) I am munching on these delicious squares. With six different flavors these squares will provide a variety to your weekly snack rotation. There are four squares of deliciousness and for those that count your calories, only 150 calories in the whole pack – about 40 per square. Even with that, they are still satiating with the crunchiness of nuts and for those with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate. Which one is my favorite? That’s a hard choice but start with the peach, cherry & almond or strawberry & peanut. They really all are so good. Keep one in the car for emergency snacking, as well as your bag… and anywhere else. goodnessKNOWS squares are available here or on Amazon. Make sure to use this coupon if you buy on Amazon. Make sure to follow goodnessKNOWS on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

For my local Seattle friends, you can sample goodnessKNOWS squares around the city:

  • Where’s Waldo Run, Cowan Park, October 28
  • Northwest Chocolate Festival, November 11-12 (9am – 5pm)
  • Seattle Marathon, November 26

 

Trust me, you’ll want to try these. They aren’t dry but still has that satisfying crunch.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of goodnessKNOWS. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

 

 

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DIY Modern Halloween Spider Web Wreath

I know I know. Spiders. But they just scream Halloween to me without being too scary. Well, scary for my kids. I swear the fake spiders kept moving. Also, in theme with simplicity this is as easy and simple as they get.

I was tempted to not really decorate but seeing my kids faces get so excited seeing all the spooky things around is what makes it worth it. Keeping things magical and full of illusion for the kids even when it is as simple as putting up some cobwebs and fake spiders. Continue reading DIY Modern Halloween Spider Web Wreath

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Caring for Your Skin with Neutrogena

This post was sponsored by Neutrogena and contains affiliate links. All opinions are solely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

photo by christina judd

As I was walking down the hall, I could hear my mom humming in the bathroom. The door was open so I peeked in and saw Madeleine sitting on the counter swinging her legs hitting the cabinets under her. She had a makeup brush in her hand and brushed it along her face haphazardly. She looked up at my mom and imitated my mom as she brushed her hair. My mother nostalgically shared that I used to do the same thing when I was Madeleine’s age. It was such a beautiful moment witnessing granddaughter and grandmother. The funny thing is that my mom doesn’t look like a grandmother.

She often would get mistaken for my sister and people still don’t believe she has a 32 year old daughter and is a grandmother. Great genes? Definitely. But for as long as I can remember, she always put on face creams. I’m pretty sure she even told me years ago that I should start taking care of my face even before things like wrinkles showed up. She advised me to prevent or diminish things that come with age but of course I was just too lazy to have a skin routine. I barely would wipe my face with the makeup remover wipes. I just felt “too young” to be worrying about my skin, wrinkles and age spots. But now, I kind of want to be just like my mom. Continue reading Caring for Your Skin with Neutrogena

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Recipe: Chili Bean and Quinoa Tacos

This post was sponsored by S&W Beans and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


You know how some days you think that maybe feeding your family grilled cheese and cereal again probably isn’t a great idea. I get in a making dinner rut, too. I just don’t want to make it. But because I’m the only one that cooks I just have to do it- even if it is something simple. Continue reading Recipe: Chili Bean and Quinoa Tacos

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Party Ideas: Unicorn Inspired Bubble Wands

If a tutorial is really just one step, is it really a tutorial? I guess this tutorial really is indicative of my life right now. I’m taking it easy and enjoying my time with my baby…who’s 2. Ha! The other kids are in school and it is just Madeleine and me. I am working on some big projects so unfortunately the blog has been pushed to the back burner.

Another thing that was pushed back was my other daughter’s birthday party. We were traveling in the summer and with back to school craziness, switching schools but trying to appeal and just life….we are just now throwing her the birthday party she’s been asking for. I will say I am proud that it has only been delayed about 2 months so high five to me for not taking 6 months. I’ll take any win at this point.

She wanted a unicorn birthday party so here is one thing I worked on while watching an episode of The Office. It is a mindless craft but it turned out so cute! It’s the little things, guys! Continue reading Party Ideas: Unicorn Inspired Bubble Wands

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A Chance to Help Local Students

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Let’s Play, an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. Although I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.

Get Involved!

When my kids come home from school they often tell me their favorite part of their day is either gym or recess because they got to play soccer, kickball, wallball, roller-skate, etc. Wasn’t that your favorite part of the day, too?? Kickball was my favorite. Somehow (not from me!) my kids have an endless amount of energy and this playtime is something they crave and they need.

Continue reading A Chance to Help Local Students

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Connecting Through Fashion

This post was sponsored by Reebok through Activate Bloglovin’  
All opinions are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

Is it shallow of me to think that fashion is more than just superficial- but that it can serve as a way to connect? When I see someone wearing a beautiful piece of clothing, I usually tell them. It often starts with a compliment and then leads to a conversation. And then sometimes friendship:
I remember one of the first times meeting my sister in law and she was wearing a hoodie with gorgeous pearl earrings after an evening at a bonfire. My husband, her brother, later told me that she knew we’d get along because we were both wearing the same thing. Silly? Yes. But, it’s true! Continue reading Connecting Through Fashion