Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DIY Puss in Boots Hat Craft- Netflix

Disclosure: As part of the Netflix Stream Team, I received a welcome gift and a free monthly subscription. However, all opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

We may have two dogs, but deep down I'm really a cat person. I loved them growing up and Grace seems to have taken after me because she is already starting to beg Mike for a cat. So far the answer has been no, but we'll see how long he can hold firm. She and I are both animal lovers and these days you can often find her watching one of the many animal shows offered on Netflix. From the Buddy movies to Clifford, she loves them all. She was thrilled when the new Netflix original The Adventures of Puss in Boots came out this month and we decided to do a craft to celebrate.

Puss might be a fun loving cat, but when his hat goes on, he's ready for adventure! We created this great hat using only cardstock and glue so it is an easy craft to do with kids.

1. Cut a large rectangle with rounded corners out of one piece of cardstock.
2. Cut 4 straight lines into the oval as shown in the picture below. The amount of room between the cuts will be the width of the top of the hat so don't cut too close together.
3. At the cuts, pull the outside corners in and glue down to create a box shape. This will form the top of your hat.
4. Using as many pieces of cardstock glued together as necessary, cut out a ring to go around the shape you just created. Slide it over to create the brim of the hat. Use glue or tape if necessary to attach the brim and top together.
5. Cut a feather shape from yellow cardstock and cut lines close together all around the shape to create a feather effect.
6. Attach the feather to the hat on the right side and bend up the brim. Use glue to attach the brim to the side of the top for the full Puss effect!
My four year old loved helping me with this craft and has insisted on wearing it every time we watch the new Adventures of Puss in Boots. I was worried the show might not live up to my high Puss expectations from Shrek and the movie, but I am pleased to say Puss is his daring, charming, hilarious, adorable self. We have not been disappointed and we can't wait for more episodes!

If you have an animal lover in your house, check out all of these great four legged stars sure to entertain on Netflix now!

For your little kids:
Pet Party
Littlest-Pet-Shop EN DE 571x800
Snow Buddies
For your big kids:
Puss in Boots
Step Dogs
Air Bud
Monkey Trouble
And for teens and parents:
Family Guy
Red Dog

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Moving to a Toddler Bed and the Terrible Twos

In 2012, we lovingly prepped a little boy's nursery in preparation for Connor's arrival. I have always loved his room. He is my last baby and I've tried to cherish every moment of his first few years. But he's suddenly decided he's a big kid. In the past few months, his nursery has been transformed into a big boy room and he has decided he wants to do everything Grace does. In some ways this has been great, in others not so much. Let's start with the good shall we? :)

In November, I put him down for a nap awake in his crib and went to take a shower. A few minutes later I heard a large "BOOM" and then crying. I ran into his room to find him standing next to the door in tears. He was fine, just a little shaken up. He had only just turned two and I was no where near ready to move him to a toddler bed. He slept fine in his crib that night and I thought may be it was just a fluke. Sure enough the next day the exact same thing happened. My hope that it had just been an accident was dashed and we decided it was time to make the transition. On November 19th, his crib front came off and he was officially in a toddler bed.

Overall the transition is going pretty well. Nap times are a struggle but he sleeps nearly 11 hours straight each night so it's hard to complain. He loves reading books in his bed and loves it even more during our bedtime routine when Grace snuggles with him and we read our bedtime stories.

For Christmas, I was able to get him a train table in great condition for free. A woman posted in a Facebook sale group that she just wanted it out of her house and I was first to respond. It has a few stickers on the side and one spot worn off on the top but it's still very functional. I was able to get several sets of nice wooden tracks at the fall JBF sale and several nice Chuggington sets at the US Toy sidewalk sale. I set everything up on Christmas morning and he ran right to it. He actually refused to open any of his other gifts because he was having so much fun with his train.

So a couple of days after Christmas we made the big room transition. The rocker moved into our room and the train table took it's place.

His nursery:

His big boy room:

The addition of the train table certainly didn't help with nap time any. I frequently hear him in his room playing with trains instead of sleeping but if he's in his room being quiet, I'll take it.

While the bedroom transition went way better than I expected it to, our daily life has gotten harder. He is in the full blown terrible twos and most days you'll find me frustrated from his constant tantrums. Like most two year olds, he has two modes, happy and very angry. There's not much in between. He wants to do everything Grace does and gets really frustrated when he's not allowed to. He screams when he has to be carried in a parking lot or store while Grace gets to walk. But he is a runner and will not hesitate to bolt away from me the second I put him down. He hates having to ride in the cart while Grace gets to walk and sticking him in the stroller always ends up in a tantrum. It's honestly hard to take him anywhere by myself right now because he is so fast. He wants to stay at preschool and frequently throws a fit when we have to drop Grace off. The teachers know him and always give me a knowing smile when I'm trying to carry him out kicking and screaming. I know it's just a phase but it's certainly a trying one. He gets to watch Netflix on my phone when we're out and about more often than I'd like to admit. We've gotten some dirty looks about it but really, which would you rather have, a happy kid watching Octonauts on silent or a screaming raging two year old?

Overall he's such a sweet, funny, happy guy and I know we're not supposed to wish away their precious childhood, but I am ready to be done with the tantrum two year old phase!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Grace's 4 Year Interview

Last year I answered interview questions for Grace and this year I am excited that she's old enough to answer them herself. However, she's been in her "three going on sixteen" mood a lot lately and she was more interested in doing anything other than talking to me. This is the look she's been giving me a lot lately:

So I got her to answer most but I supplemented some of the answers at the end (my additions are in italics.) Obviously she's obsessed with Paw Patrol, horses, and her grandmas!

How old are you? Four.

What makes you happy? Marshall, dresses, preschool, horses, and ballet

What is your favorite toy? Horses, my purple horse

What is your favorite stuffed animal? Marshall

What is your favorite real animal? Horses

What is your favorite thing to sleep with? Horse. Specifically her purple horse from Gigi

What is your favorite color? Pink

What is your favorite fruit? Oranges but only mandarin oranges that come in the cups. She won't eat them if I just peel an orange. 

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Babycakes (pancakes) or cinnamon rolls

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Yogurt and oranges

What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? Pizza

What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk and apple juice

What is your favorite dessert? Ice cream or cake or cupcakes or more ice cream

What is a food that makes you want to puke? Vegetables Except carrots, she'll eat those if they're cooked

What is your favorite thing to do? Play, go to school, play kitty cats, and dress up

What is your favorite TV show? Paw Patrol

What is your favorite movie? Curious George and Beauty and the Beast

What are you really good at? Playing, dressing up, and dancing

What is your favorite song? The VeggieTales theme song

Who is the Coolest Person on Earth? Grandma

What do you and your mom do together? Bake cookies and play

What do you and your dad do together? Run, go to dinner, and play balls downstairs.

When you were little, what did you do? Sleep and cry

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Grandma's house

What do you think your parents are too strict about? Bedtime, fighting with Connor, and making me have rest time

Who is your best friend? Molly

What are some of your favorite words to say? Oh yeah and so.  When she's telling us about her day she says so between every sentence and oh yeah is what she says when she's excited. 

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swing

What is your favorite book? Fancy Nancy, Curious George, and Angelina 

What do you want to be when you grow up? A lion tamer or a ballerina

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Grace: 4 years old

Dear Grace,

You actually turned 4 almost a week ago. I have been trying to write this post since then and have honestly had a hard time. Admitting to myself that you are four has been difficult for me. You have changed so much in the past year it's hard to even describe. A year ago, we could barely get 3 word sentences out of you and now you talk non stop. We are amazed at the things that come out of your mouth and I love hearing your thoughts. Obviously the biggest change this year has been that you started preschool. Where did my kid with severe separation anxiety go?? You happily run into school every morning and absolutely adore your teachers. After a week of being sick, your teacher finally returned to school this morning and as soon as you saw her you ran and gave her a big hug saying "oh Miss Diane, I missed you so much. I'm so happy you're feeling better!" You are about the sweetest thing ever.

  • Like I mentioned, your verbal skills have grown leaps and bounds. Part of this is due to preschool. We've also been attending a "talk group", or speech play group through the school district and I think that's helped a ton. The speech pathologist is excellent at making you focus on your words while still having fun. You look forward to going and will have another speech evaluation at the end of the term to see if you will continue. 
  • You have become quite the social butterfly. Your best friends are Molly, Lincoln, and Addie. As Molly lives very close to us, you beg to see her daily and "talk" to her on the phone frequently. You have made two close friends at preschool, both of whom like to dance and wear fancy dresses. Obviously you three are kindred spirits.
  • Speaking of dance, you still adore ballet. You love going to see Miss Katie every week and after a trip to the Nutcracker, you have decided that you are going to be Clara when you grow up. I caught this video the other day of you dancing with your Nutcracker and I love it. 

  • You remind me of your daddy in so many ways. You have more of a technical mind. You know directions extremely well and can tell us how to get to a ton of different places. You're already doing pretty well with left vs right. You are amazing at sorting and are addicted to puzzles. You got a new puzzle from grandma and papa for your birthday and immediately begged papa to do it with you. You have now mastered doing it yourself in record time.

  • You are still a total girly girl. Dresses, shoes, jewelry, you love it all. You want to wear a dress every single day and often change multiple times a day with full accessories. A tiara was a must for your birthday.
  • You still love to play rough with daddy and Connor even when you're dressed to the nines. You love to run around, climb and wrestle and you would live outside if we'd let you. You are begging to go swimming right now and can't wait to start swimming lessons in the spring. You thrive on activity and adored going to the bounce house place on your birthday. Instead of simply sitting down to go on the large slide, you jumped as high as you could at the top. 
  • Most days I'm pretty convinced that your favorite person in the world is Connor. Daddy, grandparents, and myself are all close seconds depending on the day. You two play together constantly and you boss him around happily. Most of the time he follows along and you get along. There are occasions where you fight, but so far you love each other the majority of the time. When we go out in public, you hold each others hand and you give each other big hugs at bedtime. 
I could write so much more but I am going to ask you some questions to post tomorrow so I will stop there for now. I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you! We love you!

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year, New Look!: eShakti Custom Women's Clothing Giveaway!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. eShakti is providing the gift certificates for this giveaway but all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Did you make any resolutions this year? I decided to make a simple one, I am going to start taking the time to take better care of myself. I'm going to work out, eat better, and get clothes that actually fit me! If you're looking to get a new look this year like I am, this post is for you! We just rang in 2015 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Mama’s Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. A fabulous group of bloggers have come together to give all you special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year so be sure to hop around to all the blogs participating at the bottom of this post.

Since having kids, buying clothes for myself has fallen to the bottom of my priority list. I don't have time to shop very often, but when I do, I try to look for classic pieces for a great price. I recently had the chance to review an eShakti custom dress and I absolutely love it. I had such a great experience with this company that I asked them to offer a giveaway for my readers and they graciously agreed! offers customized women's clothing and styles in sizes 0-36W. Your first customization is free and after that it only adds $7.50 to the cost of the piece! Not only will they make it to your exact measurements, you can change the neck line, sleeve length, and hem length. They offer a huge variety of clothing pieces for every size and shape. You would think a custom dress would be extremely expensive, but many of eShakti's dresses sell between $40-70. I totally customized my dress and received it within 3 weeks. 

It is so comfortable and pretty! Read my full review of the customization process and my dress here

Check out all of eShakti's gorgeous pieces to find your new look for the new year! Be sure to scroll down the home page a bit to find the new arrivals section. I am obsessed with their new Alexandra dress:

I would customize it with a v neck for the perfect little black dress! Shop and learn more about eShakti at their websiteFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages. 


eShakti is giving 2 of my readers each a $25 gift card! These gift card  can be used over and above any other promotional offer/gift coupon in the same order. 
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, January 29th at 11:59 PM CST! The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada ages 18+.

Good luck!

Don't forget to hop around to enter the other great giveaways in the Mama's Got a New Look event!

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Mama's Got a New Look participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


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