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!