Sunday, December 30, 2018

Twin Cities- Where To Hang with Your Kids

Well, the results are in!  Thank you so much to those who completed my survey about what they'd love to see on the blog this year- a lot of people requested local resources about fun things to do with kids!  So I thought I'd update my most read post ever, Where To Hang With Your Babe, and share some more fun places we like to go.  If you known me in real life, you know I'm the least stay at home stay at home mom ever- ha.  We like to get out of the house!

New Mom Groups- for those first crazy days of being a mom.

Blooma- New mom & baby heaven. The (free!) new mom's group will get you though that crazy postpartum time, and it's also where I met a lot of my new mama friends.  There is also a breastfeeding support class called Milk and Cookies on Mondays from 12:30-1:30pm at their Minneapolis location
Health Foundations- Ophelia was born here!  Free new mama group every Thursday at 1:30.  
Enlightened Mama Community Parent Group that meets every Thursday at 10am at the MN Birth Center in St. Paul. $5 fee.  
Amma Parenting Center - They have both mom groups you pay for and meet with every week, and a free playgroup every Friday.  
La Leche League- Meetings can be a great way to meet other moms, especially moms who support nursing.  They have groups all over the metro.  

Indoor Playgrounds
(free for under 1!)

Eagles Nest- New Brighton
Good Times Park-  Eagan 
Blast Park- Eagan
Pinwheel Play- Chanhassen 
Edinbourough- Edina
Lookout Ridge- Woodbury 
InnerActive- Mounds View and Minnetonka
Tropics Playground (and waterpark/pool!)- Shoreview 
Rainbow Playground- Bloomington
Playground Plaza- Maple Grove
Brookview Backyard- Golden Valley
Mini Sota Play Cafe- Champlin
Monkey House- Maplewood

Open Gym/ Tot Times- aka my saving grace in the winter

Saint Paul schedule- we love the Edgecumbe location.  
Minneapolis schedule
Gleason's Gymnastics School- so fun! Eagan

Nature Centers

Hennepin County- in my opinion, the very best storytime is the Baby Storytime at Nokomis Library with Library Lisa! 
Wild Rumpus Bookstore - this place is super cool and worth a visit, but the storytime  (at least when we have been there) is insane.  Like wall to wall insane. 
The Roseville library is very impressive- great kid's space and a coffee shop inside!

Museums/ Zoos
Minneapolis Institute of Art-  Free, and a super peaceful place to hang with your babe when they're little.  Plus the family center has a super cool play place.  
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory- one of our favorites.  The conservatory is a little tropical escape on cold January days! 
They also have a free program every Thursday with a different theme called Lil Explorers!
Music/Art Classes
Music Together- I did three rounds of this with Ophelia, and now am doing it with Ralphie! 
Art With Ellen- so fun for toddlers!
Stepping Stone Theatre- offers a weekly preschool drop in art class.  We adore this!

Trampoline Parks
SkyZone- Oakdale.  Has a Toddler Time jump!
Rockin' Jump- Eagan

Sovereign Grounds Coffee Shop- has a big attached play space. 
Mall play areas - RosedaleSouthdale
Mall Of America- the possibilities are endless. Toddler Tuesdays, the Paw Patrol Indoor Playground, Nickelodeon Universe, Legoland... go crazy. 
Choo Choo Bobs- a train store with a free play area and storytime! 
ECFE- early childhood classes in every county- check out your local community ed for sign up!
Local Roots Cafe- has an attached play area.  
Riverview Cafe- coffee/wine bar with play space.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Looking Ahead to 2019

I'd love some feedback from any readers out there on what they'd like to see in this little space of mine in 2019.  I actually got approached from people in public a few times lately, telling me they read my blog, and I can't tell you how happy that make me! So please share any feedback you have, and  keep reading along!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Merry

Feel free to breathe deeply.  

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Best of 2018

At the end of the year, it's nice to step back and reflect on your year.  2018 was a good one for me, thanks to the birth of our sweet little Ralphie.  It was also a year of growth for the blog, which is fun for me, because I enjoy working on it and it's nice to know there are people out there actually reading! 

I thought I'd share some stats from "behind the scenes" too!

The Five Most Bought Items Off My Blog 

1. These nursing tanks- I still sleep in one every night.  
3. The besssst sleepers- they zip, and they're usually under $10!
4.  Our favorite white sheets- budget friendly too!
5.  This wrap top was actually the most clicked/bought item, but it sold out!! This one is similar!  

The Five Most Read Posts

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: Last Minute Finds Under $30

1.  There's not much more fun then changing the bath water colors! 
2.  IPhone stand and remote- so you can get in the picture!
3.  People seriously rave about these face rollers- I'd like one in my stocking!
4.  Because socks as a gift is actually wonderful when you're an adult.  
5.  Carhart beanie.  
6.  Bath bombs! Good for the hard to shop for- teens or relatives!.  
7.  A hammock!
8.  Baby banana toothbrush- the best teether EVER.  
9.  A warming ice cream scoop! My dad would love this.  
10.  Alphabet puzzle- only $12!
11.  Initial necklace- looks so much more expensive then it is.  
13.  A lash serum for the gals in your life.  

Eight Cozy Things To Buy Right Now

Winter makes me want to string twinkly lights everywhere and get as cozy as possible.  Let's treat ourselves, shall we?

1.  Sherpa mittens- yes, please!
3.  Scarf- on sale! 
5.  Weighted blanket- I really want to try one of these! 
6.  Joggers- only $12!
7.  The BEST slippers- I've had mine for six years now!
8.  People RAVE about this pillow- and apparently it recently won "Best Pillow" in NY Mag! 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Baby Boy Style

Knit bonnet, teddy bear snowsuit, booties

I recently got some questions on instagram (follow us over there!) about how I dress Ralphie, and some more picks for styling a boy!  I have a tag here on the blog about dressing a baby boy- and here are some more winter favorites!

Overalls // Booties // Thermal pants- we have these in multiple colors! 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Positive Parenting Phrases

I wanted to share some of my favorite positive parenting phrases that have worked well for me.  It's so much easier to say "good job!"  all the time, but I find that that starts to lose its meaning after while, and that Ophelia seems to respond better when I pay attention to her effort, and not just the result.  I also loved this article about why "good job" isn't helpful.  Here are some alternatives! 

1.  You make me so proud.  
2.  You have such good ideas!
3.  That was a great choice.  
4.  You're working so hard! 
5.  I'm listening to you.  
6.  I'm here with you.  
7. I'm so lucky to be your mom! 
8.  You are so helpful.  
9.  You can try again.  
10.  You tried really hard at that! 
11.  That was hard work!
12.  You make me so happy.  
13.  Being with you is so fun!
14.  I'm here to help if you need me.   
15.  What questions do you have?
16.  Could you use a break?
17.  It's okay to be sad/mad.  
18.  You can do hard things! 
19.  I could never stop loving you.  
20.  I love you! 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Little Artist

My favorite things to do with Ophelia are anything creative- dramatic play (her specialty) or art.  I feel like art gifts are often overlooked for in favor of flashy toys, but they're actually the things that save me on a snowy day.  Here are some of our favorites!

1.  Easel- IKEA for the win.  Actually, we love all the IKEA art supplies. And these are our go to paints! 
2.  Good old fashioned Play-Doh
3.  This craft kit may or may not be under our tree!
4.  Watercolors are the best.  Not messy, and we love the Kid Made Modern brand. 
5.  After buying tons of crayons, and throwing them away constantly, I finally bit the bullet and got this guy.  Game changer. 
6.  I've raved about this before, but these paint sticks are our favorite! 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Winter Nursing Friendly Tops

I've been living in cozy sweaters and jeans lately, but if I'm not wearing the UnderCover Mama (greatest thing ever!),  when I'm nursing in public there's a lot of cold belly exposed.  So I thought I'd round up some cold weather nursing tops to get us through winter.

Notes- this is my favorite nursing bra ever, and I love these ones too.
These are the nursing tanks I live in the newborn stage!

1.  Plaid button down- perfect for the holidays!
2.  Wrap top- I have this and love it.  It's the comfiest thing ever.  
3.  Button down- own this one too!
4.  Lace top- party ready!
7.  Tie front tee- comes in a bunch of colors.  
8.  Hoodie- one of my faves!
9.  Ballerina top- on my wish list.  

Monday, November 26, 2018

Our Favorite Holiday Books

1.  This Peek Through Nutcrackers is SO beautiful.
2.  Ophelia loves the "Wish" books- and she kind of reminds me of little Anja too!  The pictures are absolutely gorgeous.
3. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas - a classic, redone for the children of the 21st century.
4.  Little Blue Truck Christmas- we love the Little Blue Truck books.
5.  Fancy Nancy's Christmas- anything Fancy Nancy is a must have for Ophelia.
6.  The Twinkly Christmas Tree book is just so cute!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

What I Bought on Black Friday

I have not been a very good girl this weekend.  Apologizes to my wallet and my mailman.  Except actually, I got all my Christmas shopping done, so I don't feel too bad.   These were some of my favorite finds you can still get! 

Lacy sweater-50% with code CYBER
Initial earrings - I got a R and an O! 50% with code ADD2CART
Ophelia has been asking everyone for a "pink baby"- found this one on Amazon. 
This nursing friendly, super soft top.  30% off. 
My favvvvvorite jeans.  25% with code with code DEALWITHIT
This adorable Grandpa sweater.  40% off with code CYBER

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Guys

I had some input from a very special guest author for my men's gift guide-my loving husband.  If you know him, you know he is not shy about his opinions.  So I think it should be a good one! 
1.  A nice half zip with a little nod to their team.  Skol!
2.  Ian says "these are the best shoes I've ever purchased".
3.  A sous vide for the chef.
4.  A car cleaning set- for the man who loves his Jeep.
5.  Manly sweatpants.
6.  I see gloves on every men's gift guide, but there's a reason- they're a good gift!
7.  A salt platter for the grillmaster.  Makes all your meat taste better!
8.  A range finder for the golfer.
9.  A subscription!  I gave Ian Sports Illustrated last year and every time it comes its like a special little present.  Although he does take a longer time in the bathroom... He currently loves "The Journal".
10.  Every guy needs a Patagonia fleece.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide: For Her (aka a few of my favorite things)

Okay, I will come clean- I am probably the hardest person to shop for ever.  When there's something I want, I usually just... buy it for myself.  I would way rather give gifts than receive them!  But I do have a coupplllee things on my list, and the others are highly recommended! 

1. Glitter sneaks
2.  Polka dot blouse
3.  I am LOVING this moisturizer- perfect for winter!
4.  Such a pretty color coat
5.  Print pictures from your phone!
6.  Floral earrings
7.  The coziest sweats
8.  Something sparkle-y
9.  Leopard beanie
10.  My favorite everyday necklace
11.  The coziest pullover- under $20!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Week Shopping Guide

The sales have started early this year!
I will keep updating this post as more sales come in
Happy, happy, happy Thanksgiving week.  I hope everyone celebrates with someone they love and something delsh they love to eat.  Another great thing about this holiday? The shopping!

I'm SO not a Black Friday- line up at midnight to get a new big screen TV- kind of gal.  But shopping online from my couch?  Yeeeeeap, all in.
Here is your key to all the best deals.  

Amazon: Shop all the deals right here
I'm watching this like a hawk.  

Shopbop: Take up to 25% off your order with code MORE18.  
My picks: Obsessed with this top- so perfect for the holiday season.  

Glossier: 20% off everything- they NEVER have sales!
My picks: I am OBSESSED with the moisturizer for this winter skin, and the mascara is perfect for makeup novices like me.  

Target:  See deals here.  
My picks: These jammies are so dang cute, and this toy is one of Ralphie's favorites.  

American Eagle: 40% off 
My picks: This is my favorite cardigan ever.  

Anthropologie: 30% off- starts tomorrow

My picks: This nursing friendly top, this leopard top, and this polka dot blouse

ASOS: 25% off with code EPIC25

My picks: This striped sweater is in my cart, and this skirt is holiday party ready.  

H&M: 20% + free shipping with code 3237
My picks: LOVE this knot sweater and this sequin top.  For my littles: These overalls and this sweater dress.  

Abercrombie: 50% the entire store. 

My picks: Obsessed with this teddy coat and this blouse is so cute!

Gap: 50% off your entire purchase with code GIFT. 
My picks: For me- obsessed with this cardigan and these mittens.  For kids- dying over this little baseball henley onesie, and I highly recommend Ophelia's leopard coat.  

J.Crew: 40% off your purchase with code TOGETHER. 
My picks: These boots are a winter classic and this sweater is so adorable.  I have my eye on this fleece for Ophelia too!

J.Crew Factory: 50% off everything (literally everything) on the site- use code ADDTOCART
My picks: Wishing this came in my size, and this henley for the boys in my life! 

LOFT: 40% off almost everything on the site with code BESTWEEK. 
My picks: This is seriously so cute, and I adore this! This looks like the  most perfect mom sweater ever.  

Madewell: 25% off your entire purchase with code DEALWITHIT. 
My picks: These are my FAVORITE new jeans, and this top looks perfect for everyday.  

Old Navy: 50% off everything 
My picks: For kids- oh my gosht A LLAMA SWEATER, and this star fleece would be a preschool perfect layer.  For me- I am eying this amazing velvet jumpsuit.  

Express: 50% off everything
My picks: These need to be mine, and this is adorable!

Mama's Picks

Little Picks

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gift Guide: For Your Mom

Shopping for your mom (or in laws!) is tough because they kind of already have everything, right?  But you still want to show them how much they mean to you.  

1.  Sherpa gloves
2.  Astrological sign lip treatment
3.  Velvet circle bag - I have serious heart eyes for this.
4.   A highly reviewed sleep mask.
5.  Cutest reusable grocery bags - because she always forgets.
6.  Love bangle
7.  A pretty scarf.
8.  Adorable PJ set- also love these!
9.  A coffee date with you- because that's all she wants anyways!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Gift Guide: For The New Mama

Ohh, that heart breakingly sweet time of being a brand new mama to a brand new babe.  If you have a new mom on your gift list,  be sweet to her!  The baby will get a lot of presents, so let's treat mom to something good.  A gift card to Blooma would be a wonderful present, or perhaps a quick trip to get her nails done.  Here are some other, tangible ideas for under the tree! 

1.  MOTHER sweatshirt- so she can feel comfy and proud in her new roll. 
2.  A sparkly water bottle.  The straw is essential!
3.  Gold eye patches- it feels so good to treat yourself to something a little silly, and these actually work!
4.  My favorite carrier.  Works from newborn- toddler!
5.  Mama coffee mug
6.  The BEST dry shampoo
7.  Cute and cozy sweatpants
8.  My favorite gift ever- my mama ring!
9.  A personalized necklace with baby's name. 
10.  A backpack to keep her hands free.
11.  This wrap top gets glowing reviews and would be PERFECT for nursing!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gift Guide: Finds Under $20

I read a lot of blogger's gift guides and there are so many cute ideas out there- but they're often super expensive!  I don't know many people who can buy all the people they love $50+ gifts.  I searched high and low to find some gifts that are under $20, but still special- not junk that will get thrown away.  For all the co workers, Secret Santas, and teachers out there- let's think beyond the candle!  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gift Guide: For the Kids

1.  A play kitchen is a childhood favorite.  This one is so freaking cute, but the IKEA one is really good too!

2.  Face paint- Ophelia is going to adore this! Perfect stocking stuffer.

3.  Bear & Wolf- this book is getting rave reviews for the preschool crowd.

4.  Magnatiles- everyone is obsessed, and for good reason.  I love an open ended toy that encourages imagination!

5.  Walkie Talkies-  It's rare for me to recommend a toy with a battery- not my thing.  But these will get kids moving and seem so fun!

6.  Legos- A classic.

7.  Pie Face game- I'm secretly so excited to play this. 

8.  Rainbow purse-  I added this because I've noticed how much this age loves storing little objects- Ophelia always puts rocks in her pockets, or animal figurines in a little bag.

9.  Doctor kit- any dress up/imaginative play kit is a good option!

10.  Uni The Unicorn- another great preschooler book!

11.  Calico Critters- I can attest to how loved these are.

12.  Instax camera- I'm really excited to get Ophelia a camera of her own!