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Crafting with Kids: Father’s Day Card


Doesn’t it seem like every time you see your kids they look a little older, their pants are a little shorter and you have to buy them sneakers for the 3rd time this year?! And I see them all the time. To our dismay, we don’t see the grandparents very often. We used to but now that our family has grown and flight prices have been increasing it is much harder to fly across the country. So I thought that sending the grandads pictures, actual tangible pictures, of the kids as their Father’s Day card so they could see them every time they walked by the fridge. Let’s be honest, the grandparents really just want you to bring the grandkids but not to see you, they want to see the kids! Continue reading Crafting with Kids: Father’s Day Card

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DIY Personalized Quiet Time Bag + Toys To Go Inside

This post was sponsored by The Baby Cubby but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog.

You know how when you are sitting at the doctor’s with your well behaved kids in tow or sitting in the pews at church with your kids with their arms folded and quietly listening to the speaker? If you do, then you are a magical unicorn mom. If not, well, you are in good company.

We were running late to church so we just grabbed our church bag and bolted. As we sat between two families and our kids were much more interested in the fun toys they had. We, of course, were ill prepared since we just ran out the door and it was then that I realized, I have to put together a better “quiet bag.” I’ve been carrying around the same items for the last 2 years and the items had become trite to the kids. While my older kids should be able to sit quietly, my younger ones still struggle. I found some fun quiet time items to keep them from going crazy at church and actually let us listen to the speakers. Just bein’ honest guys. Continue reading DIY Personalized Quiet Time Bag + Toys To Go Inside

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Crafting with Kids: DIY Binoculars

The sun is out (well, it has been a few times). The birds are chirping. The end of the school year is just around the corner and everyone is soaking up as much sunlight and warmth as possible here in Seattle. I’ve noticed that the sun just makes everything happier. And in turn I want to do more to spread that cheery almost Christmas-like feeling, haha!

Every morning my girls stand on the couch peering through our big window and wave goodbye to Daddy as he waves to them while pedaling up the hill. Then the girls look up at our neighbors tall townhouse and search for the baby birds that have been chirping all morning. Madeleine points up and says “pappo!” Which is her way of saying “pajarro” which is “bird” in Spanish. Then she holds her pointer finger and thumb up to her cheek and open and close those fingers together. “Pappo! Pappo!” She eagerly signs and smiles when Adelle points to the “pajarros” in the sky.

To add to their love of bird watching, we decided on a rainy day to make binoculars to better spot (except not really) the birds in the trees. They even brought them to the park to see if they could spot new birdie friends. The best part of this was that it is so simple and the kids can really make this their own. Obviously my 20 month old couldn’t do it but she just enjoyed the fruits of my labor. I guess that is life with kids, right?!

Alright, let’s do this.

Directions:

  1. Use washi tape (or markers/crayons/stickers) to decorate the tubes. I got the white ones from Oriental Trading company because they are sturdier than regular tubes and well, they are prettier. Just bein’ honest.
  2. Once you’ve decorated the tubes, use double sided tape to stick the two tubes together. For added reinforcement I would staple the tubes together. 
  3. Punch a hole on each far side of the tubes (not the sides you’ve stapled on). 
  4. Cut a piece of ribbon or string long enough to fit over the child’s head. Then tie a double knot on the inside of the tube.
  5. And you guys are done!

Easy, right?! This could be a great explorer/adventure themed party or just for a kids’ party activity. These get used pretty often especially while pretending to be in the jungle and hunting for prey….you know, because tigers use binoculars for that kind of thing.

Remember to save this for a rainy day:

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Tips to Coordinating Kid’s Easter Outfits

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

baby easter dress | baby sandals (sold out but linked to similar)

toddler easter dress | sandals | headbands (similar)

I think there are only a handful of times when I am actively trying to get my kids to wear coordinating/matching outfits: Christmas, Easter and when we take family pictures. Any more and I’d drive myself mad! Running from store to store trying to pick out something that matches the other store’s outfit and the one in the closet…..ahhh it’s just too much. I rarely go to store anymore. I prefer to online shop and that makes things easier but after having to plan for multiple of these events for years already, I’ve learned a few things when trying to coordinate outfits for my kids for special days like Easter.

  1. Try to shop from one store. Stores, like Carter’s, usually have a unifying color palette throughout their departments from babies to kids. I got shirts, shoes, bowties (the ones I got sold out but linked to similar one) and dress shorts for my boys that coordinate perfectly with the girls’ cute spring dresses. And if you can find shoes, bonus!
  2. Pick a statement piece (like a bold floral pattern) for one or two people to wear. Then pick subtler (like light stripes or even a solid color) coordinating pieces for everyone else. For those wearing the subtler main piece, try to sneak in a little oomph with texture (like a crochet dress), a patterned shirt layered under, a patterned bow tie or embroidered bottoms. Alternating the patterns (within patterns and from top to bottom pieces) is important so doesn’t look cluttered and overloaded.
  3. Know before you go. If you are planning on going to the physical store, then I say you have to do your research and check their online store. See what they have and see if it matches your criteria. It saves you from having to go from store to store to see what they have. When shopping for multiple kids I also look for coupons or promo codes because…ouch! Kids grow out of their stuff quickly (goodbye baby clothes) and it hurts to spend all that money! So if I can save some money I will look for it! Lucky for you I have a special 25% off Carter’s coupon promo code that you can use online or in-store when you spend $40. My kids just steal the show, huh? I can’t wait to take pictures of them all dressed up for Easter before we head to church…or maybe after because church is too early we are always rushing to get there on time.

It is still a little cool here but my kids are anxious for spring weather so they can stock up on some more cute and stylish tees and knit shorts so they can play in the sun comfortably and alllll dayyyy long! And can’t forget the swimwear….. my little fishies live in the water in the summer time.

I wish you well on your journey to dress your kids this coming Easter. Seriously, I know it can be a pain but it’s only a couple of times a year. Can’t wait to see all the kiddos in their darling Easter outfits. Tag me on Instagram so I can see!

 

 

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Family Travel: Vancouver Part 2 Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

On our second day of our trip to Vancouver we took it easy in the morning. We had cereal and fruit for breakfast and Madeleine napped while the kids swam in the pool. Honestly, they would be happy to go anywhere as long as it has a pool! After we packed up our car, we drove to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park which was about an hour from our timeshare in Blaine, WA.

We couldn’t decide whether to go to Grouse Mountain or Capilano and since it was already so cold and we hadn’t brought our snow clothes we decided to stay off the mountain. Cost wise it would have been almost the same but I really didn’t want to be cold and miserable. The Suspension Bridge Park is pretty much a park with suspension bridges to cross around the beautiful green surroundings. You get beautiful views and they have these Treetop Adventures for kids which is just a series of small suspension bridges that are attached to the trees, hence the name. When we pulled into the parking area I started getting a little nervous about the suspension bridges. I have crossed high bridges before when we went to ____ and it was terrifying so I expected it to be the same in this place. It really wasn’t bad at all- I just didn’t look straight down. The place where it was terrifying though was the Cliffwalk. My kids were unphased, especially Madeleine as she crossed all by herself. I was holding on to the railings for dear life. The bridge is hooked onto the side of the cliff and the walking area is so narrow. They, of course, have netting on the side so you can’t fall off but you can clearly see down and how high you really are. It was beautiful but I just cruised on by because you know, I thought I was going to die. Then we crossed the main suspension bridge which you really should take a photo at the beginning off. It is so beautiful and just take a moment to stand in the middle and look out. As much as I complain about the Pacific Northwest, it really is incredibly beautiful. And that is due to the crazy amount of rain we get. Once we crossed we treated ourselves to some delicious hot cocoa to warm up our bodies. Dress warmly because Canada is cold even when it is sunny outside. And wear comfy shoes because you do walk around for hours there. It’s funny, my kids see the sun and put on shorts and I have to remind them that it isn’t summer time. They just associate sun with summer because it rarely comes out during the rest of the year. Then we headed to the Treetop Adventures. When you get there the kids can get a scavenger hunt booklet as part of the Kids’ Rainforest Explorers Program and learn a lot about the things in nature you can find there. My younger kids, since they can’t read, weren’t too interested in the booklet but they did help their brother find some things. And when you complete it you get a pin in the color of your choice. Our other option was to go to Raptor Ridge but the best time to go there is the summer when the birds, like bald eagles, are out. We wouldn’t have seen hardly anything at that time (February). 

I would highly recommend coming here when it is sunny because you get to enjoy the beautiful nature that this part of the continent offers. I don’t think it would have been as enjoyable if it were raining since you are outside the whole time but our kids are explorers and so they wouldn’t have minded. I think if you give yourself a good 3-4 hours you are able to do everything. We obviously are slower walkers since our kids like to explore and Lorin likes to read every single dang sign in the whole park.

Right before we left we stopped by the shop there. We usually don’t get trapped in places like that but it had some really unique items. I bought an art print and the kids bought some uniquely flavored marshmallows. The lemon meringue one was delicious but we didn’t like the salted caramel chocolate one. On our way home we stopped at this Thai place in downtown Vancouver called Krung Thep Thai Cuisine. Even the mild red curry has a bit of a kick to it so the kids preferred the chicken satay and crab rangoon. Lorin and I gobbled ours up. I always prefer what Lorin orders better- haha!

. It was so so good however they lacked a good dessert option for kids. We ended up going to a little candy shop around the corner so they could get a treat for the 3.5 hour ride home.

I think when we go back we will go to Grouse Mountain and ski for a day. I know it pained my skier and snow loving husband to not go there this time. When I would really like to go back is in the summer time so I can see more bald eagles! Have you ever seen one in the wild? They are amazing!

If you missed Part 1 of our Vancouver BC trip, you can find it here.

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Family Travel: Vancouver Canada

We love our weekend getaways. We live for them. If someone could please sponsor our lives so we could travel the world forever that would be grrrreeeat. Thanks.

We went to Vancouver a couple of weekends ago and I wish we could have stayed longer! We only went for 2 days and both those days were sunny. SUNNY! It was a miracle because the weather there is similar to Seattle and all we’ve had is rain. I am so over you, Seattle. Anyway, on our drive up was short (about 3 hours) but we managed to watch 2 movies and the husband and I managed to get into a heated discussion. Awesome. And then the hotel we were staying in Vancouver (part of our timeshare program) called to tell us we wouldn’t all fit in the room we booked. Usually the rooms we’ve booked are a 1 bedroom but it has a living area and kitchen and a pull out sofa so we can all fit. However this one really was just a one bedroom with a single bed so there was no way we could stay there. We managed to snag a room in the US at the last minute but we’d have to cross to and from Canada. It wasn’t too bad but just took away time from our adventures!

Just as a warning, this is going to be a picture filled post. My kids are just too cute to not photograph. And I may as well tell you what we did there sooo here goes:

We asked Facebook friends what their favorite things to do in Vancouver, Canada so we broke it into 2 days.

Day 1:

Stanley Park: When we got there we went straight there. It is a huge park. Take a look at a map before you go so you know where you want to stop because it is one big loop and if you miss your stop you’ll have to go all the way around again. We were starving so we headed to the restaurant and of course it was closed. So we walked around the trails and saw the beautiful view at Prospect Point which overlooks Lions Gate Bridge, North Shore Mountains and Burrard Inlet. We also saw what we thought was the Hollow Tree on our walk which was pretty cool and a little spooky for the kids- only because they were afraid to go inside. Except it wasn’t the true one, just one that looked just like it but smaller. The Totem Poles were really cool and our oldest son was in awe because they had just learned about them in school. He began to tell us his own versions of the stories the totem poles represented. Kids and their imaginations! 

A-Maze-Ing Laughter Statues: These are a bunch of giant statue people laughing with silly poses that are right by the bay. The kids loved running around and through them. We ate a late lunch while we walked around the bay and looked at the statues.

We finished the day at a nearby playground- Madeleine loved the swings while the kids loved the playground and kicking the soccer and football around. Then we got to our timeshare apartment, swam in the pool and had dinner. We stayed in a 2 bedroom place. The older kids slept in one bedroom, we put Madeleine in a pack n play in our bathroom and we took the other room.

Where to eat:

For food we went outside of Stanley Park and found this yummy Greek/Persian place, Mediterranean Grill, and a hotdog stand right by the Laughing Statues for my picky eaters. I know, hot dogs right? The food was really delicious. I got the Chicken Shawarma pita, Lorin got the Lamb pita and Ashton got the Chicken Souvlaki. The Pistachio Baklava was quite tasty.

Then on our way home, we just stopped by a Whole Foods type store and I picked up some fruit and milk for breakfast the next day. We had packed Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese that the kids gladly ate with some grapes and popcorn. Simple. And very little effort on my part. I don’t want to cook when I am on vacation, am I right?!

I will post about Day 2 soon! While we could have used an extra day to do the one thing my husband wanted to do (Grouse Mountain) we saw what we wanted to there in 2. Granted us driving into Canada did take some time that could have been used to sight see some more but we couldn’t really help that. I won’t say no to another trip to Vancouver! Ohhh also, it is freakin’ cold. The sun may be out but it is cold. We went in February (winter) and puffy coats, hats and gloves are a must. My kids obviously don’t think it is as cold as I think it is but we carried them around and they always ended up asking for their coats and hats.

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Fun Pokemon 6th Birthday Party

My sweet Oliver turned 6. Every day I am amazed at how quickly they are growing up. It seems they grow overnight as their pants get a little shorter, their hair a little shaggier and their conversations a little more coherent.

It seems Pokemon has taken over this household for the past 3 years. This was my oldest son’s Pokemon party almost 3 years ago. The post went somewhat viral and yet I only posted a letter to my son on his birthday and not so much about the actual party. So on this post I will do both. I can’t remember the games we played at his party thouggh…ahhh. Mom brain. Continue reading Fun Pokemon 6th Birthday Party

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Tips to Prevent Lice

Lice. Anyone else get the chills just thinking about it? While my kids have never had lice (knock on wood times a billion) there have been cases at school of kids having lice. When I hear that my mind starts to go wild and my heart starts to race. Why why why are they just so creepy???? I’ve never had to deal with lice and I hope with these tips we won’t have to. Prevention doesn’t mean it is 100% effective but it is better than nothing. And no… you won’t have to resort to this:

This post was done in partnership with BrandBacker but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

  1. Keep hair up or braided. Lice don’t jump. They crawl and when hair is accessible they will crawl up and try to get as close to warmth (scalp). Lice don’t prefer short, long, oily, clean hair. They will just find a way to crawl onto their food source. Keeping hair tied just limits accessibility.
  2. Resist sharing hats, helmets, jackets, hair brushes or accessories. Lice can live up to 2 days on objects so if you use or have contact with those items then you may contract lice as well. Store hats and such in backpacks or jacket pockets for having less chance of contact.
  3. Avoid close contact. Like wrestling, head butting….should I have to say that? Haha my kids often engage in rough and tumble play so it has to be said. Say you are rubbing shoulders with someone who has lice, it crawls from his sweater to yours. And then up your hair. And then it all begins….. ahhhh.
  4. Use tea tree oil sprays, shampoos or conditioners. For some reason, lice don’t like the smell. We have been using SoCozy Boo! We love it because it is non-toxic and free of alcohol, gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. It smells amazing and doesn’t really require any extra steps. We use the shampoo and conditioner at bath time and use the spray on days when their hair hasn’t been washed. Both my boys and girls use this product and it is easy enough for them to use on their own….sometimes Mom and Dad forget. And if you buy this look below for an awesome sweepstakes! **
  5. Regular check ups. Regular hair and scalp check ups may not prevent lice but you’ll catch it sooner. Check for eggs near the scalp- I think those are better than finding full grown infestation. Cue the heebee jeebees.
  6. This isn’t a tip on how to prevent it but more of a “breathe in breath out” tip. If your child gets lice don’t feel like you need to burn the house down. I know I’d want to but it is treatable just incredibly annoying. There are lots of treatments available, even hair salons dedicated to treating lice for you! I read about using Coke to douse your head. And why not take a sip or two to take the edge off, haha!

Do you guys have any tips or tried and true ways to get rid of lice? I am seriously hoping that I won’t have to ever have to smear mayo on anyone’s head. 

**SoCozy is also hosting a Family Vacation Sweepstake! Anyone who purchases any SoCozy products at Target, CVS & Walgreens from Jan 9th – Feb 13th save your receipt. Log onto: http://socozy.com/sweepstakes and upload a picture of your receipt to be entered into the sweepstakes. No limit on spend. *IN-STORE PURCHASES ONLY.

Sweepstake Package includes: An all-expense paid 5 days, 4 nights, deluxe family vacation includes – four (4) roundtrip coach airfare tickets, roundtrip airport transportation, one (1) Oceanfront Superior Room hotel room for five (5) nights at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL; one (1) date complimentary Poolside Cabana, two (2) complimentary 50-minute Diplomat Signature Massages; two (2) complimentary full-day Kid’s Club passes, Daily Breakfast and Lunch for four (4) people, one (1) dinner certificate for four (4) people to Portico; one (1) dinner certificate for four (4) people to Bristols; three (3) additional dinner certificates for four (4) people valued at $200 each and $100 to spend daily at resort.

The total value of this prize is $10,000! (read more here: http://socozy.com/blog/diplomat-hotel-vacation-giveaway/)

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The Big Game “Find It” Printable Football Edition

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayGoldfish  #CollectiveBias

Fun Big Game football printable activity for kids with Goldfish CrackersWho’s ready for the Big Game?? In all honesty, I am not super into football but I love hanging out with family and friends so it is just another reason to have a gathering, right?

We watched a college football game the other night and while my oldest son and husband were completely enthralled in the football game, my younger kids were over it. “Mooooom! This is so boring!” is just one of the phrases we heard during the game. They just wanted to do something else. This was supposed to be a family activity and if we all were in separate rooms doing completely different things it would kind of defeat the point of “family time.” I wondered if this would repeat itself during the Big Game. I didn’t want the kids to be bored, but I still wanted us to be together as a family.  I know it is cheesy but my husband and his dad and brothers would watch football all the time. It is one of his favorite memories. While I don’t particularly love football I just like doing stuff with the family. So I thought I’d use some Goldfish® crackers and my love for drawing together to make something entertaining for my kids. Continue reading The Big Game “Find It” Printable Football Edition

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Recipe: Kid Friendly Pizzas+ Adding More Counter Space in the Kitchen

kid friendly pizzas We moved several months ago into a smaller house- not by choice. In my old house I had this magnificent counter in the kitchen. It was glorious. In this new place my counter space was about an 18″ slab between the sink and stove. I was going a little haywire and felt like I couldn’t cook anything! I needed extra counter space if I was going to be able to accomplish anything in this kitchen.

I scoured on Craigslist, on our our Buy Nothing Facebook group, and other yard sale type groups hoping to find something in our price range. You already spend so much money on a move it was hard to fork out some more money. My husband suggested we use this cabinet type thing the owners left in the garage. At first I said no because it looked too scary. Really I was afraid a gazillion spiders would climb out and haunt my house. But because I realllly didn’t want to spend more money I told him I would fix it up if he cleaned it out. He hates fixing stuff so he thought it was a great deal. Continue reading Recipe: Kid Friendly Pizzas+ Adding More Counter Space in the Kitchen