Saturday, June 28, 2014

Potty Training Tips: BabyBjörn Potty Giveaway

To celebrate reaching 2k fans on Facebook, I've partnered with amazing companies to bring you some great giveaways! Most of the giveaways will be happening in mid July, but I'm excited to be able to share this one with you now.

Grace has been fully potty trained for about 6 months ago but recently Connor has been showing interest in sitting on the potty. Even though we've just gone through it, potty training again is intimidating. Luckily for me, June is National Potty Training Month. To help all of us with potty training our kids, BabyBrn has put together a list of top potty training tips from Dr. Robyn Strosaker, a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital 


Potty Training Tips

When?
  • Most children can be ready to start potty training between 18-24 months. Children will train easier before 24 months; some can become willful after that point.
  • Both the family and the child need to be ready. Review the signs of readiness and make a plan with your significant other.
  • If your child is having trouble, stop for 2-4 weeks and then try to restart.
  • Find a time when you can be around during the week to start potty training. Summer vacations or holidays are the best times.
How?
  • Sticker charts are great. If your child earns a certain number of stickers, they can earn a non-food reward.
  • If your child still wants to go in their diaper, take them out of it. If they are wearing underwear, they will feel uncomfortable when they are wet. If you are concerned about the mess, you can put the underpants on under the diaper. For those kids who don't like wearing underpants, encourage them to wear them for a short time and offer rewards when they keep them clean and dry.
    • As a side note, there is nothing developmentally different between pull-ups and a diaper. Training will go quicker with underpants.
Where?
  • If your child has a certain area of the house he/she prefers to go potty in, it might be a good idea to get a portable potty and let him/her try that.
  • Put the portable potty in a room where the child typically plays to help them get used to the idea.
Other Considerations
  • Most kids aren't ready to be dry at night until they start waking up dry from naps and some mornings.
  • To help keep them dry at night, stop liquids 2-3 hours after dinner, depending on your child's bedtime.
  • When traveling: take a portable potty or potty seat with you, but you may need pull-ups for long car trips or plane rides.

BabyBrn's Smart Potty is the perfect portable potty for your child. It's compact and is comfortable for toddlers. 

Giveaway

Are you going to potty training your child soon? BabyBrn has generously offered one of my readers special edition, gold BabyBrn Smart Potty. These potties are not available in stores or for purchase so your child will have the fanciest potty in town!  
How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter.  The giveaway runs through Monday, July 7th at 11:59 PM CST! Open to US residents only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

ComedyCity: Kansas City's Best Improv Comedy Show Review

Disclosure: We received free tickets to this show at ComedyCity. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed in this review are honest and 100% my own. 

Mike and I celebrated our six year anniversary this past weekend and for the first time in two years we got the chance to have a kids free weekend. My parents watched the kids while we stayed in a fancy hotel. We went to a movie, a very nice restaurant and a fancy brunch, all places we don't normally go with our young kids. We slept in, watched shows we actually like on TV (no Daniel Tiger!) and ate junk food without having to share! It was blissful.

Our anniversary night was spent at a improv comedy club located in Westport in downtown Kansas City called ComedyCity.


I have always been a huge fan of improv comedy. I loved watching "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" growing up. But high school drama class proved to me (and everyone else in the class) that I'm not very good at improvisation. While I might not be cut out to do improv, Comedy City features many extremely funny people who are masters at thinking on their feet! They put on an hour long show with no script. Everything they do is based on audience participation and suggestions which means that every single show is completely different. When I found their website, I knew that we had to go and I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate our anniversary.

ComedyCity's owner Clay generously offered us tickets to the show and the whole cast was extremely welcoming. We chose to attend the 7:30 Major League Improv show that is family friendly and we had a blast! Major League Improv is a comedy sporting event featuring two teams, the Sharks and the Jets, who play various improv games based on audience suggestions to earn points. The audience has the final say on who wins the games and you might just get heckled if you don't vote (clap) for a certain team. Mike became "that guy who isn't clapping for us" to one of the teams and it became a running joke during the voting sessions. They're not kidding when they say they interact with the audience. It was so much fun to shout out suggestions and watch the players try to come up with some way to use them. For some reason, all of the pictures I took didn't turn out, boo! (I think Connor messed up a setting that I still need to fix!)

Here is a video with more info about the Major League Improv show:

Just like with any improv, some games end up being funnier than others. Our favorite game of the night was one that was based on the home shopping network. One player from each team was supposed to sell us absurd products based on our suggestions. However, those players had no clue what they were supposed to be selling. They had to guess what they were selling based on charades gestures from their teammates. If I remember correctly, two of the items they had to sell were a shark named Bob who ate toilets and a set of headphones made out of spaghetti noodles and twizzlers. As you can imagine, these weren't the easiest things to act out or guess! But the players were amazing and we were cracking up watching the scene play out.

I cannot say enough good things about this show. We had an great time, I honestly don't remember the last time we laughed that hard. This show is truly family friendly. There was not a single inappropriate word or gesture used during the entire performance. Many people brought their kids and I really want to bring some of my nieces and nephews next time. 

If you're looking for more adult themed content, check out ComedyCity's After Dark show. This show is just for the grown ups, no kids allowed! I'm guessing this would be perfect for Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties.

ComedyCity is in the middle of a move to a brand new location. They will not be having any shows the weekends of June 27th & July 4th. Starting on July 11th, they will be doing shows four days a week at 3600 Broadway, Suite 117, Kansas City, MO 64111. 

Show days and times:
Major League Improv (family friendly): Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 6:00.
After Dark (adults only): Friday and Saturday at 10:00
ComedyCity's new location
ComedyCity also offers improv classes for adults and camps for kids. Check out their website or Facebook page for more information about their shows and classes.

Mike and I are already planning another date night at ComedyCity. It is now one of my top destinations in Kansas City for a fun family night out!

Thanks to ComedyCity for providing us with tickets to this show. No other compensation was received for this review. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Park Place: Shopping, Food, and Fun for the Family

Disclosure: I received a gift card as a thank you for visiting Park Place. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.

I'm always looking for great places to take my kids in Kansas City and recently we got the opportunity to tour Park Place in Leawood, a shopping area that is perfect for families. I generally don't get to bring my kids to blogger events, but the rep for Park Place encouraged me to bring my children, so with Connor in the Ergo and Grace in the stroller, we set off on our tour. We got the chance to see some of the many charming shops and learn about the fun events that are going on at Park Place.


In the center of Leawood lies a place that was built for you. With the charm of mainstreet, Park Place offers the best in local, regional and national venues. One-of-a-kind boutiques line the street, where the owners take pride in knowing each customer. Restaurants cater to your every desire – from gourmet sandwiches to delectable dishes designed by celebrity chefs. Specialty food and desserts appear as a work of art. Part-time hobbyists become full-time enthusiasts. And that’s just the beginning… fresh flowers and saltwater fish, a hip hotel and classic home décor, the perfect pillowcase and the prettiest pedicure – Park Place has it all. 



The moment we walked into our first stop, Picasso Exotic Aquatics, I was amazed. I've only seen fish like that in expensive aquariums. Grace ran to the first aquarium and walked slowly showing me every fish along the way. They feature fresh and salt water fish, sea horses, clams and a live coral nursery (in the photo on the top right you can see some of the live coral that they grow.) Not only can your children enjoy looking at the beautiful aquariums, the shop has started a touch tank where children have the opportunity to hold and touch live sea creatures. Grace was able to hold a star fish and she hasn't stopped talking about it since!

Picasso Exotic Aqautics' staff will help you design the aquarium of your dreams and will also maintain it for you. If you are looking for a smaller tank, they offer a Betta adoption center with small fish bowls. You get to pick one of their gorgeous Betta fish and customize your tank. These fish are a perfect way to help kids learn responsibility.

Visit Picasso Exotic Aqautics' Facebook page to learn more about their beautiful fish.

After dragging Grace out of Picasso's with a promise that we would come back to visit the "fishies" soon, we made our way to the favorite store of the day, The Learning Tree. I knew that Connor would not be content to stay in the carrier, so I let him loose to explore. I tried to get more pictures of the kids but they were too busy running around checking out all of the amazing toys set out to play with. Unlike big toy stores, The Learning Tree really encourages kids to try out the toys and have fun. Even when Connor dropped several toys and messed up a display, the employees were encouraging his play and telling me not to worry about it.

Their selection of toys is amazing and I honestly could spend a TON of money here. The employees are knowledgeable (many are former teachers) and the environment is so fun. I mentioned that I had no idea how I was going to get my kids out of there and the manager suggested taking them to the play house in the front of the store that has a small door just for kids. After playing in the play house area for a couple of minutes, my kids happily used the small "special kids door!" This store knows kids and I can't wait to take mine back to spend more time exploring. I know they would have fun picking out birthday gifts for their friends here.

Check out The Learning Tree's Facebook page to learn more about their fun events and products.


Our next stop is a must see for any mom with young children or anyone looking for an amazing baby gift. Sweetpea & Company offers gorgeous clothing, shoes, and accessories for kids. I was honestly so distracted by all of the clothes and accessories I wanted for Grace and Connor that I didn't snap a single picture. Grace walked around the entire store saying "I want this! Look mom, dresses! Tutus!"  Can you tell she's a good shopper? They feature the softest baby clothing I have ever seen and oh my word the shoes! Have you seen Chooze shoes and Baby UGGs? So adorable! They also have accessories that would make great baby shower gifts such as Chewbead necklaces and Aden and Anais blankets. Connor still uses his A&A swaddlers as his blanket in his crib. To personalize your gifts, Sweetpea & Company offers FREE monogramming.

Visit Sweetpea & Company's Facebook page to learn more about all of the great brands they feature!


If you have dogs, you will love the next shop we visited. Dazzle Paws is an upscale boutique and grooming salon for your precious pups. This shop offers designer pet accessories and a full range of goodies that your dog is sure to love. Just a warning, if you take kids into this shop, they will be convinced that all of these cookies and cakes are for human consumption. Connor was very mad that the cookies we got were not for him. But our dogs Buddy and Doc loved them!

Check out Dazzle Paws' Facebook page for more photos of their recently opened store.

While most of the shops we visited were aimed at families, I think the next stop on our tour is perfect for a girls night out. Pinot's Palette is an upscale "paint and sip" studio where anyone can produce a masterpiece. Their instructors guide you step-by-step through creating the featured painting and you get to take your work of art home with you. While you're painting, you are able to enjoy any snacks and beverages that you have brought or they have them available to purchase. This is the perfect place for a party, date night, or bridal shower. They also do children's parties and classes.

To see artwork that students have created in previous classes or for more info on signing up for a class, check out Pinot's Palette's Facebook page.


We finished our tour with a stop at Paciugo Gelato & Caffe.  There were so many flavors of gelato to choose from. Luckily you can sample several flavors to help you narrow down your choices. Grace tried chocolate chocolate chip, Connor tried vanilla, and I tried wedding cake. The gelato was delicious and authentic (trust me I've eaten lots of gelato in Italy!)  This was the perfect end to our day at Park Place and I know that we will be visiting again.

There are many other stores and restaurants at Park Place that we didn't get the chance to visit so we will be heading out there again soon. I have heard great things about The Bar Method workout and Park Place has a studio that I'm considering trying. Friends have told me that BurgerFi is delicious and there is a cupcake place called Cupcake A La Mode that we haven't tried yet (this must be remedied soon!)

Not only does Park Place have great shopping and restaurants, they offer many great events throughout the year that are perfect for local families. They have a concert series every Wednesday from 5-8 PM through the end of July. They also feature weekly kid's yoga and gardening classes. How fun is that? I can't wait until my kids get old enough to participate in these kinds of classes.

There's something for everyone at Park Place! Like their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages to keep up with all of their stores and events.

Disclosure: Thank you to Park Place for hosting us for the tour and providing us with a gift card as a thank you. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fun at the Lee's Summit Downtown Days

This post should really be titled "My kids were the ones screaming as we dragged them out of the fire station". But I thought that made for a long title.

Every year, our city hosts several festivals downtown and our favorite is Downtown Days. There is food, carnival rides, and an entire street devoted to booths for kids. The weather was perfect for June so we decided to venture out after Mike got home. We weren't sure how the kids would do since it was close to bedtime, but it's important to create good family memories, right? So off we went.

Our first stop was the fire station. My kids could have stayed in there the entire time and been perfectly content.

The little boy who sat in the truck before us happened to step on the brakes and the truck made a massive noise. The firemen came running! The mom was so embarrassed but the little boy had a huge smile on his face. The firemen assured the mom that he didn't hurt anything and they went on their way. So Mike stayed pretty close to our kids to make sure they didn't hit anything important!

They look so happy in those pictures! I didn't feel like documenting what happened next. Screaming and lots of it. We were obviously the meanest parents ever for making them leave the fire station after 20 minutes of climbing in and out of the fire trucks.

We ignored the screaming and pushed on. After a few minutes of walking though the massive crowds, the screaming died down and both kids discovered there was more fun to be had. They got candy, frisbees, and all sorts of other fun swag from local churches and businesses. Grace gets shy in these types of situations but I think she had fun.

After some time checking out the various booths, we made our way to the petting zoo. Grace is obsessed with animals so she was thrilled to see a horse, some goats and chickens.


Connor wasn't sure about all of the animals and was hesitant to touch them. Grace jumped right in and told him "pet animals Connor, here Grace help!"

It didn't take long for him to get the idea.

After petting the animals and brushing the horse, Grace begged to go back to see the fire trucks again. We made a quick stop to say good night to the fire trucks before calling it a night.

My only regret of the evening? Not getting a funnel cake. I love funnel cakes and there are very few opportunities to get them! But I could tell that Connor needed to get home to go to bed. I didn't want to risk a full on meltdown. So I'll have to wait until next year!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ballerina Tutu Invitation: Free DIY Printable Birthday Invite

When I started planning Grace's 3rd birthday party, I knew that I wanted to do a ballet party. I showed her several ballerina invitations on Pinterest, and she picked out one with a tulle bow that looked like a tutu. I read several tutorials before designing my own invitation and I was pleased with how it turned out.

I will warn you in advance that these invites take a while to make but they were a huge hit with our guests!

Ballerina Tutu Ballet Birthday Party Invitation Free DIY Printable

I designed a leotard shape in Photoshop and added my invitation wording to it. I have included a free printable Photoshop and JPEG below if you are want to recreate the invitations! If you would like me to personalize it for you, please email me at momentsthattake@gmail.com and I can do it for a small fee. These printables are for personal use only. They should not be used for any commercial purposes.

Photoshop file (.psd)
JPEG
Ballerina Tutu Party Invitation Free Printable

After printing out my invites, I punched two holes, one on each side at the waistline. I used a roll of tulle I bought at Hobby Lobby to create the tutu skirt.


When I started, I tried to lace the tulle through the holes, but later figured out that it was easier just to punch the holes right on the paper's edge basically just creating a notch to place the tulle in.


I wrapped the tulle around the back of the invitation and placed it in the notches on the side to help hold it in place. To create the tutu, I tied the tulle in a bow on the front of the invitation and fluffed it. This took some trial and error to get the real tutu look.

Ballet Party DIY Free Printable Invitation

Voila, you've created a beautiful tutu!

If you use glitter tulle like I did, be warned that you will find glitter everywhere for weeks!! Also, make sure to get these weighed at your post office before mailing as mine required a few cents of extra postage each. Let me know if you have any questions!

These inviations are perfect for your little ballerina's party!

These printables are for personal use only. They should not be used for any commercial purposes. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

6 Years

6 years ago today I married my wonderful husband. It was an amazing day and I can't believe it's been so long!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

4th of July Fireworks Prize Package Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a gift card to the fireworks tent in exchange for this post. I truly believe in this ministry and would have posted regardless of the compensation. 

Are you ready for the 4th of July? I am! What could be better than a full day of celebrating with family and friends, eating yummy food, and of course doing some fireworks! My friend Rebecca from A Beautiful Ruckus has been working with a local fireworks tent for the past 2 years and I'm excited to be participating in a giveaway for a great fireworks prize package!

I always try to shop at this specific fireworks tent because it supports a wonderful ministry in Kansas City.

This is what Rebecca has to say about the tent: "The tent I always work with partners with Hillcrest Transitional Housing. It's a ministry in our area that works with families who don't have homes. They help them by providing a place to live, basic life skills education, and the encouragement to find a full-time job. It's a 90 day program that offers a hand up instead of a hand out, because their goal is to get these families back on their feet. They have a 95% success rate, and are doing some fabulous work in our community. It's truly one of the most effective ministries in our area."

When you are buying fireworks this year, I hope you will come to Lee's Summit, MO to purchase from this tent. You will be supporting a great cause in Hillcrest Transitional Housing.

All military, civil service, and home school families get 10% off of their purchase. Are you not part of any of those groups? Don't worry, we've got a special code just for you!
Just say the KC Bloggers code at the checkout table and get 10% off! ***Only one discount code can be used per transaction***
The tent will be located behind the Mid-Continent Public Library at:

  • 224 NW Oldham Pkwy
  • Lees Summit, Missouri 64081

  • June 27-July 2nd, open 9am - 10pm
  • July 3rd, open 9am - 10pm or later
  • July 4th, open 9am - midnight

Look for the big yellow and white tent!

Ready to win some fireworks?!? Please only enter if you are able to pick up your prize at the tent in Lee's Summit. The post office won't let us mail explosives!

To enter the Lee's Summit/Hillcrest Fireworks Giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. Winning entries will be validated prior to announcing the winner with an alternate drawn if the entries cannot be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest ends at 11:59pm on Friday, June 27th. The winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email to confirm that they received it. All prizes must be picked up in person at the Lee's Summit/Hillcrest Fireworks Tent location. Due to laws restricting the shipping and distribution of fireworks, we are unable to mail the prize. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Fun: Sea Life and LEGOLAND Kansas City Review

Disclosure: I received tickets to Sea Life and LEGOLAND Kansas City for my family to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.


Last week, I was invited to check out two of Kansas City's best attractions, the Sea Life aquarium and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Grace was so excited when I woke her up that morning and told her we were going to see the fish. We had an annual pass last year, so she is fairly familiar with the aquarium (we took her there on her second birthday!) We have never been to LEGOLAND before and I was excited to experience it for the first time!

When we started our trip into Sea Life, it became apparent that Connor was not going to be needing the stroller I brought for him. He was too excited to see everything and Grace was eager to show him all of the "FISHIES!" as she likes to say.


Sea Life's tanks are gorgeous. They are bright, fun, and full of amazing creatures. I love that many of the tanks have glass all the way to the ground allowing my little ones to view the fish without needing to be carried. There are tunnel and crawl in tanks that will delight any child.


I'm pretty sure my kids would have stayed in this tunnel tank filled with the popular Nemo and Dory fish all day if I'd let them. (Yes I know the species have actual names, but my mind has been corrupted by Finding Nemo and they will forever be Nemo's and Dory's now!) Another favorite part of Sea Life for us is the touch tank. I didn't get any great pictures this time, but the touch tank allows children to touch star fish or hold a crab. We always spend a lot of time here watching and touching the creatures. We love visiting Sea Life and I'm sure we will be making many visits in the future. It's the perfect attraction for kids of all ages.

Sea Life is offering many great family events this summer. Visit Sea Life's website for more details.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City is kicking off its first annual SEA LIFE Adventurers Summer Camp. SEA LIFE Adventurers Summer Camp will take kids on an enthralling 5-day journey, learning about the various sea creatures inside the aquarium and live a day in the life of a SEA LIFE Aquarist. Each day will have a different educational focus that involves games, crafts and educational sessions following the schedule below:

Monday - Eels and Other Strange Fish
Tuesday - Octopus and Relatives
Wednesday - Sharks and Relatives
Thursday - Crabs and Arthropods
Friday - Day in the Life of an Aquarist

Each participant will receive a free Annual Pass to SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City. Spaces are filling up fast, so book now.


Did you know more than 10 million sharks are killed annually for their fins? To help stop this practice SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City has partnered with Henley Aquatic Center in Independence, Missouri, to create the first annual Fin-A-Thon that will be held on Friday, August 8th, 2014.People of all ages are invited to participate in this fin-tastic event to help raise money for WildAid to assist in their initiative against shark finning. 

Those interested in participating are asked to form a group of five friends and raise $250 collectively. To register your team, please visit SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City's websiteand bring your money to the event. During the Fin-A-Thon, we will collectively swim 50 miles, the same amount of miles a Blacktip Reef Shark swims in one day!


Join SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City for the ultimate date night and friends' night out on the third Monday of every month. Every month will be centered around a theme and have something new and exciting to see and learn. June's theme is "Dives of the Deep" where we will have a certified scuba diver and shark conservationist available to speak about the different species and protection of sharks.

To join us for our Sharks After Dark evening, please stay updated on our Facebook page and website for different themes and information for every month.

After our trip through Sea Life, we headed into the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. I honestly wasn't sure if my kids would be old enough for this attraction. Their website says that it's aimed at children ages 3-10 and so I was hopeful that at least Grace would enjoy it. I shouldn't have been concerned. Both of my kids loved it!

While Connor was a little young for any of the actual LEGO play, Grace dove right in and had an amazing time building cars, houses, cupcakes, you name it. There were so many different areas to play in and she gravitated towards a little play house with a table and a kitchen to build on.


My favorite part of our entire visit to both attractions was our visit to LEGOLAND's MINILAND. I gasped when we entered the room it was so impressive. The entire room is filled with large LEGO models of Kansas City's famous landmarks. As an adult, I enjoyed looking at all of the small details that the LEGO Model Builders included. My kids loved pushing the buttons attached to each display that allowed them to interact with the models. They got to race cars at the Kansas Speedway, turn on the stage lights at Starlight, and melt the witch from Wizard of Oz. We came back to this room several times and each time we discovered a new little detail. I think I could spend hours just in this room!

Currently LEGOLAND has a special Star Wars exhibit and the kids loved looking at full size models of R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Connor was getting a bit antsy with the exhibits and I started getting somewhat nervous with him around all of the small LEGOs, so we were both excited when we arrived at the DUPLO village. It features large soft blocks for little hands and a fun slide and climber to explore. He enjoyed that for a while before spotting the big kids soft play zone. Both of my kids happily climbed in the LEGO City Play Zone and had an amazing time on the slides and soft ladders. To my surprise, I didn't have to climb in after either one of them. They both came out smiling and tired.


There was an entire section for building and racing your own LEGO cards that I really wanted to do, but Connor was getting grumpy (we were pushing nap time) by the time we got there. He thought it would be more fun to throw the LEGO car than to race it, so I decided not to push my luck. There was also a ride and a movie that I know we will be checking out during our next visit!

I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun my kids had at LEGOLAND at such a young age. I might have to add a LEGOLAND annual pass to our Sea Life pass this year.

If you have a LEGO lover in your house, make sure to check out these great summer events at LEGOLAND!


LEGO® Movie Weekend 

On July 12-13, we are excited to be hosting our first LEGO Movie Weekend. Emmet and Lucy, the two main characters from The LEGO Movie, will be making an appearance at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City for meet-and-greet sessions, along with life-size Emmet and Lucy models built entirely from LEGO! We'll be announcing many more exciting LEGO Movie themed activities for this weekend shortly.

Legends of Chima Weekend 
Our Legends of Chima Weekend will be held July 19-20th, complete with private meet-and-greet sessions with Laval, prince and warrior of the Lion tribe in Chima, Chima Training Schools where kids can learn how to become a Chima warrior, plus more fun for the entire family - watch our website for further details.


If you are visiting Kansas City, be sure to check out Sea Life and LEGOLAND Discovery Center! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mother's & Father's Day Gifts for Grandparents from Toddlers: Free DIY Printables

I've wanted to share these projects with you for a while, but of course I didn't want to ruin the surprise for all of the grandparents. We had so much fun making Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts for the grandparents last year that we decided to do it again.

For Mother's Day, I got ambitious one morning and decided to recreate the adorable butterfly footprint pots that I've seen floating around Pinterest. I went to Michaels and bought terra cotta pots and acrylic craft paints. I painted 3 different colors onto each kid's feet with a sponge brush and then used a sharpie to create the butterflies bodies, heads, and antennas. Here is what I learned: don't try to do this craft yourself if you have a crazy energetic 18 month old boy! He will try to eat the paint, grab it with his hands, and/or smear his foot all over you, the deck, and the pot, all while laughing gleefully. Thankfully, I was smart enough to do it out on the deck so the mess was easy to clean, but I was definitely regretting trying to do it without help. Amazingly, even with all of the craziness, I think the footprint butterflies turned out pretty cute. Both grandmas loved their pots and because Michaels was having a special on the pots, buy 2 get 1 free, I made one for myself too!

Mother's Day Crafts for Toddlers

With both of the kids sick, I didn't have as much time to come up with a creative gift for Father's Day. I decided to make a fun photo present instead of a craft. One of the things that all of the guys in my life have in common is a love of nuts. So I searched Pinterest (again! Can you tell I spend a lot of time on Pinterest?) and found this great idea for a jar full of mixed nuts. I bought the jars for $3 each at Walmart. I created a cute sign and added a photo of the kids to complete the gift.

We're Nuts About You Father's Day Printable Signs

If you'd like to use either of the signs for a gift, feel free to download the free printable by clicking on the image. These printables are for personal use only and should not be used for any commercial purpose.



It's so much fun to watch the kids give each Grandma and Papa their gift! Grace always wants to be the one to give the gift and she lights up when she shows them what she's made. Do you make gifts for family with your kids? Do they like to help?


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers and Wipes Review

Disclosure: I was provided with two packs of diapers and one pack of wipes to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

I have to admit that I've been a cloth diaper failure recently. I did well with it with Grace, but with two kids, I end up using disposables most of the time for Connor. I often feel guilty about the environment impact of using disposables. I recently got the chance to try Seventh Generation's diapers and wipes and I was excited to try a brand that is focused on sustainability and chemical free products.

I received 2 packs of size 5 diapers and a package of wipes to try.

The first several days, I started to get frustrated with these diapers. They worked great for playtime, but during naps and overnight he always ended up leaking out of them. When I let Seventh Generation know about my issues, they helpfully suggested trying a different size. That's when I realized I made a mistake!

I guess I can blame it on mommy brain. Instead of looking at Seventh Generation's Diaper Fit Guide, I automatically assumed I should order the same size he wears in other diapers. I ordered 5s because that is what he wears in other brands. Although he is the appropriate weight for stage 5 (27 lb+) Seventh Generation diapers, he is only just now 27 lbs so he is on the small side for that stage.

I decided to try the Stage 4 diapers (22-37 lb) and am pleased to report that I am completely satisfied with them. I haven't noticed any leaks at all! So word to the wise, check out their helpful fit guide before buying.


Seventh Generation diapers are different than any other disposable diapers I've used before. Instead of the white, character covered diapers of other brands, Seventh Generation diapers contain no bleaching chemicals in their core and are free of chlorine processing, inks, synthetic fragrances and lotions. These diapers are perfect for babies with sensitive skin!

In accordance with their mission of corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation's diaper core takes 10% less water, 10% less energy and 10% fewer trees to create than the traditional disposable diaper core.
Seventh Generation's Free and Clear diapers are the First FSC® Certified Diaper made in the United States.

  • We’ve always used sustainable pulp, but now we’re setting a new bar for the industry
  • FSC® Standards are top notch and independent: 
    • Encourage healthy forest growth and prohibit the harvest  of rare old-­growth forests 
    • Prevents loss of natural  forest cover & prohibits highly hazardous chemicals from use 
    • Total transparency of completed forest management audits require public disclosure, even on  private land  
Read  more at https://us.fsc.org/

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes are also free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, and phthalates. They are totally hypoallergenic! We have had huge issues with regular wipes in the past due to Connor's sensitive skin and we have been thrilled with these wipes. They are strong enough to withstand even the worst mess but they are so soft. Connor has been sick the past few days and we've used these wipes to clean up some of the grossest diapers I've seen in a while. These are the perfect wipes for him and I know that we will continue to use them!

If you're looking for diapers and wipes that are environmentally friendly and gentle for your baby's skin, I highly recommend Seventh Generation's Free & Clear products. I am planning on trying some of their cleaning products soon as I am so pleased with their baby products.

Enter now to win a six month supply of Seventh Generation's Free and Clear diapers! Find out how to enter in the photo below.

Disclosure: I was provided with two packs of diapers and one pack of wipes to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fire Truck Birthday Party: Free Printable DIY Cupcake Toppers

When my friend Julie from Director Jewels was planning her son Lincoln's firetruck themed birthday party, I offered to make cupcake toppers because I had so much fun designing the toppers for Connor's 1st birthday train party.

These are what I ended up creating:



I am so happy with how they turned out. Julie did a great job putting together this party, you really need to check out all of the amazing decorations, food, and games here.

If you are looking for firetruck cupcake toppers, I have included a link to a free printable PDF. If you would like customized toppers, please email me and I can design them for you for a small fee.

Click here for the free printable:
Free Printable Firetruck Birthday Cupcake Picks

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer 2014 Bucket List

I have to be honest, I've never done a bucket list before. I've read them from other bloggers and always thought it would be fun, so I made our list today!


I took that photo in Cancun the summer I was pregnant with Connor. Oh how I wish I could add visiting the beach to our bucket list, but alas, it's not in the cards for us this year. So on to the more realistic things we can actually accomplish!

- Visit City Market (I've never been)!
- Play in the sprinklers
- Go to Deanna Rose Farm
- Play in a splash park
- Visit Sea Life and Legoland (done)
- Make bird feeders
- Visit Omaha
- Spend a day at the KC Zoo
- Go to a Day Out with Thomas (done)
- Complete the Summer Reading Program at our local library
- Get ice cream from the ice cream truck
- Visit Powell Gardens (somewhere else I've never been)
- Make homemade ice cream
- Sew a dress for Grace
- Weekend away for Mike & I!

We're going to have a busy summer! I'll update this post as we cross things off of our list. What's on your family's bucket list for this summer?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bounce House Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received no compensation or product for this post.

I've partnered with some amazing bloggers to offer a fabulous giveaway. I wish I could enter this giveaway because seriously, I think my kids and all of the neighborhood kids would love me forever for winning this bounce house!


Enter now to win a Blast Zone Magic Castle Bouncer!

The Magic Castle is our most popular bounce house. This bigger, improved version of the classic Blast Zone castle blows up in seconds, and holds up to 3 kids or 300 pounds of little party-hoppers. The “Safe Slope” Slide provides safe, easy access, and the surrounding netting and Velcro entrance will keep kids safe while they bounce and have a blast. The extra-durable commercial vinyl floor, and reinforced seams add extra bouncing life.
  • Features dimension: 8.5′ W x 11′ L x 8′ H
  • Max occupancy: 3
  • Blower included
  • Deflated size:  rolled sleeping bag
  • Inflate time: less than 2 minutes

Good luck!
Winner will be chosen randomly on 6/25 and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Google+. Sponsored by and prize fulfillment handled by Blast Zone.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Daddy & Company Father's Day Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received no compensation or product for this post. I just love this company and am happy to share their products with you!

Father's Day is less than 2 weeks away! In preparation for celebrating the daddies in our lives, I'm participating in the Dads, Grads, & Everyone in Between Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!

It's the beginning of Summer and a time when we're celebrating Dads and Grads, but in this Hop we're not leaving anyone out! Hop around to all the bloggers participating in the linky at the bottom of this post to enter awesome giveaways worth at least $25!


There are many companies that cater to moms, but few that are all about dads. Daddy & Company is devoted to providing products just for dad!

Daddy & Company is dedicated to providing dads in every stage of fatherhood a way to proudly proclaim, "I'm the Daddy!" Daddy & Company is committed to excellence and strives to deliver quality products at great prices while ensuring the highest level of customer service and satisfaction.

They offer products such as scrubs for daddy to wear in the delivery room, coordinating t-shirts for daddy and toddlers, books, and picture frames. There are so many great things to choose from that I'm sure you can find the perfect gift for any dad in your life! When Connor was only three months old, we received the What Daddy Bear Loves gift set. I love this picture that I got of Mike reading it to Connor at bedtime. You can read my review of the gift set here!


Giveaway

To celebrate Father's Day, Daddy & Company is giving one of my lucky readers a Duck Book Set which will include What Daddy Duck Loves & Rubber Duck and Daddy Duck Is The Best.

Daddy & Company Father's Day Book Set Giveaway

How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter.  The giveaway runs through Thursday, June 19th at 11:59 PM CST! Open to US residents only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen.

The first entry is mandatory-Visit Daddy & Company and leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite product. Once you complete this entry, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win!

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you have entered my giveaway, make sure to visit all of these blogs to enter to win more great prizes!


So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Dads, Grads, & Everyone in Between participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

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