Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Peplum Tee

Whenever I don't want to put effort into getting dressed, but still want to look presentable, I go for my 'ol faithful- the peplum tee.  Long enough for to wear with leggings, but also looks cute with jeans, it's like a basic t-shirt dressed up a notch.

V-neck -comes in a bunch of colors. 
Wrap peplum -perfect for nursing, has a little button at the top!
Short Sleeve - on my wish list for spring
Button down- three other colors too!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Some Target Finds on a Chilly Winter Day

Please enjoy Ralphie trying on a baby fedora.  

Is there anything better then strolling the aisles of Tarjay?  Maybe perusing some pretty finds from the comfort of your own coach! 

1.  Cutest baby sweater- for a boy or girl!
2.  Star workout leggings- so awesome.  
3.  Peacock chair- Ugh, it's so pretty. 
4. Marble mug- I want this!
5.  Heart wreath- perfect for V-Day and spring.
6.  Wrap top- so nursing friendly!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

How I Do It: Teaching the Alphabet

I've talked about it before, but one of my ultimate goals in life is to create a home full of bookworms.  I wrote about how I encourage a love of reading here, which I think is the very best way to start.  If your child is showing interest in going to the next step, you can begin to introduce letters and the sounds they make.  Here are some ways I do that:

1.  Letter of the Day + Montessori Found Objects
In the Montessori philosophy, learning how to read begins with learning the sounds of the letters before the symbol.  So, saying "this is fffffuh" instead of "this is eff".  At our home, we've started a Letter of the Day practice where I do write the letter symbol, along with some words that begin with that letter, but also put together a basket of objects that begin with that letter for her to practice the sound.

Our "P" objects
Letters are from this alphabet puzzle
I get asked about the animal cards a lot on instagram- I got them from the Target dollar section a long time ago!  But these are similar.  

Teaching with concrete objects is an important part of Montessori, and children really LOVE having tangible things to hold. Here are some ideas for objects- I just use things from around the house.  A lot of our animal figurines and dollhouse accessories come in handy!

2.  Books

These Sound Box books are THEE BEST for teaching the sounds.  They have them at our local library.
Eating the Alphabet- super cute!
Dr. Seuss ABC
A is for Apple- great for tracing letters.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom- A classic.

3.  Songs
Of course, there is the classic alphabet song, but it really doesn't teach them anything about the sounds of the letter, just to memorize the order.  This one is great, and you can customize it for anything- people in your family, their favorite TV show characters, whats on your plate.. whatever!

4.  Activities
-I found these printable letter packs on Pinterest and we've tried a few of them with our letter of the day.

- I've also done a variation on this activity where I have her find the "L" or whatever the letter of the day is!  She almost always wants to find O, because it's her favorite.

-Matching the letter with the sound.

- We also got these letter puzzles!

My biggest tip- don't push it.  If they are interested in letters, it is really fun, but if it's stressing you out or feels like a battle then wait!  I plan to follow Ophelia's lead- some days she's really into it and some days she shows no interest.  And as Pete the Cat says, "it's all good!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Easy on the Wallet Nursing Friendly Finds

Not especially nursing friendly, but super cute- my "love" top!

You know I'm always on the hunt for easy access tops.  These are all budget friendly too- nothing over $40.  I've got my eye on this cozy one

1.  Wrap front blouse- perfect for work!
2.  Button down peplum- so cute.  
4.  Mock neck sweater- comes in a bunch of colors, and the side slits provide easy access.  
5.  Burgundy sweater- it's designed for nursing!
6.  Side tie blouse- comes in a few other colors too!
7.  Cozy henley- super soft material.  
8.  Navy sleeve henley- I seriously live in this guy.  

Monday, January 21, 2019

How I Do It: Travel With Kids

Growing up, travel was an essential part of our family.  My mom is a woman who hates the cold, yet lives in Minnesota, so trips to warm weather were vital for every one's happiness.   Whether a road trip across the country, or flying south of the border, we had a lot of adventures.  I never really thought twice about continuing to travel with my little ones!  I feel like seeing new places, and getting out of our routine once in awhile is so important- and this is coming from a lady who reallllly loves her routine.  However, I realize how daunting it could seem - unpredictable schedules, what to pack, and cranky, tired kids don't sound fun at all.  So I thought I'd share what works for us- I am by no means a travel expert, but Ophelia now has eight flights under her belt, and Ralphie has four, so I've learned a few things!

1.  If possible, try to book your flight during nap or night time.  Our flight to Mexico left at noon, which was perfect.  I like the Google Matrix for finding flights, because you can search when the best prices and times are within a month.

2. Babywear through security- often they will pull you out of the line to go through the metal detector!  I also wear Ralph in his carrier on the plane to get him to sleep.  My method- after take off, I have him in the carrier, facing me.  Hood up.  Muslin blanket over the top.  Either go in the bathroom and bounce for a bit, or walk the aisle, and he's usually out in two minutes.

3.  This is our travel stroller- it folds with one hand, and fits the security scanner belt, and in a taxi.

4.  Screen time rules don't apply on a plane- Ophelia watched the full movie Frozen, both on our way there and back.

5.  Normal airplane stuff will seem so cool to them-  milk it! Take advantage!  Ophelia ordered an orange juice from the beverage cart and was extremely pleased with the experience.  We don't let her drink juice at home, so this was major.  We talked about that orange juice for about 20 minutes.

6.  Sticker books, new snacks, and these water books (Ophelia is obsessed!) will get you the rest of the way.

7.  Renting a house/apartment (via VRBO or AirBnB ) is seriously the best with kids.  We do this on our annual summer trip to Florida, and have done this twice in Paris.  If that's not possible, booking a suite or anything with multiple rooms is really nice.  When your baby goes to bed at seven, or is napping, its nice to not have to tip toe and whisper.  We just had one room in Mexico, but had a full outdoor veranda with chaise lounges and a table and chairs, which was wonderful.

8.  Stick to their schedules, kinda.  At home, Ralph usually does a shorter morning nap, we go do a morning outing, then come home for lunch and they both nap (or Ophelia does quiet time).  While on vacation, our outing is less open gym or story time, and more beach hang or day trip to Sayulita, we still have some loose structure to our day that they are used to.

9.  Understand that vacations will look a little different.  For me, there is a whole lot less sunbathing for hours with a good beach read.  And it gets a little frustrating being stuck in the hotel for nap time, or at night (especially since my husband gets to go down to the pool...)  but it actually makes for a relaxing break in the day. 

10.  WHITE NOISE-  so essential.  We bring our sound machine, but I also used this app on the plane and for stroller naps on the go.

And remember, everything ends.  Even if your baby screams the entire flight, all planes will eventually land.  And everyone on that plane was a baby once, so ignore any dirty looks you get :)

Every time I travel I am reminded of how small my day to day life truly is.  Opening the window of how much bigger the world out there is an essential lesson that I want my kids to learn- to me, all the hassle is worth it. 

I recently read a quote about how you only get eighteen years living with your children,  so filling them up with valuable memories and experiences is really important to me.  Gotta make it count!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

Valentine's Day Looks for Littles

I'm a big fan of V-Day.  I know some people are haters, but who doesn't need a dose of pink cuteness in the middle of February? And I love dressing my kiddos up for every holiday- tiny Valentines are the sweetest.  I will say, it was way harder to find cute boy Valentine clothes- but these heart on the butt pants are my winner.  

1.  XO pajamas- so cute!
2. Heart sneakers- I want these in my size.  
3.  Cupid tee
10.  Cotton dress- I lovvvee this! 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Our January Wishlists

This adorable button down top- perfect for nursing!
Do I NEED leopard print rain boots?  No.  Do I want leopard print rain boots?  Um, DUH.  And they're under $30! 

I just love putting him in one piece outfits- this grey one is adorable.  
And the colors in this knit sweater are so cute!

97% of her wardrobe is already made up of ballet tutus, but she claims she needs a red one.  Only $7!
This lace top comes in four colors, but Ophelia is getting navy blue.  And maybe pink too.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Mexico Packing List

For the first time ever, I'm excited about January.  This year we thought ahead and booked a Mexican vacation for that blustery time of year that drags on and on.  Traveling with two little ones is always an adventure, but the vitamin D is worth it.  I thought I'd share what will be in our suitcases!

1.  Mom's sunscreen- this stuff is the best to avoid breakouts. 
2.  Ophelia's ruffle butt swimsuit
3.  Ralphie's striped swimsuit
4.  Straw bag
5.  Travel stroller- folds up SO compact, gets rave reviews, and is under $100. 
6.  Puddle jumpers- the safest ones, with shoulder straps! 
7.  Travel blackout shades- essential to get those naps.  
9.  Mom swimsuit- flattering and good for chasing around the little ones.  
10.  Kid sunscreen- a spray zinc!