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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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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

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Let’s Talk: Video Baby Monitors

Let’s talk baby monitors. Sure, some people go without and that’s cool. Some people have the audio only monitors while others opt for the video monitors. Some people may be wondering why I even need a baby monitor anymore. My baby is almost 2! Two! I don’t even believe myself when I say that.

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

The truth is- I have a little anxiety. I get a little nervous when my kids sleep longer than usual and if they are crying whether or not they are actually hurt or just want to get out of their crib. Sometimes I crack the door open to check on my baby and of course it creaks like the mother of all creaks. The baby stirs and jolts up because obviously when she hears the door creak that means it is party time! I don’t know why I do this to myself. My inquisitive mind needs to know she is safe. Plus, I really want to see when she starts climbing out of her crib so I can line the perimeter with pillows….or just get her a toddler bed. Continue reading Let’s Talk: Video Baby Monitors

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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.