We recently took a family trip to Seattle and stopped by the American Girl store in the Alderwood Mall. My girls had so much fun browsing the store and seeing all the characters from their AG catalog in person! My four year old loves her WellieWishers dolls and BeForever doll Maryellen, and it was a fun treat to see the WellieWishers playhouse and coordinating outfits for girls and their dolls, as well as the huge displays of each BeForever American Girl character with their collection of outfits and accessories, and Truly Me modern American Girl Dolls. I'm excited to share the pictures from our visit, as well as the surprise treat that Daddy bought for my little girl. ♥
Autumn has always been my favorite season and it was one of things I missed most about the Midwest while living in Southern California. Now that life has brought us back to the Midwest I am loving sharing the joys of this amazing season with my native Californian husband, toddler and newborn baby. There is something thrilling about the beginning of Autumn. The air gets crisp and cool, you can smell harvest in the air and the leaves start to turn into magical colors of gold, red and orange. Instantly I am flooded with memories from past Octobers and Novembers, both sweet and sad. I crave hot drinks, pumpkin bread and cuddles by a bonfire. Sentimental would be the word to describe me during the months of September, October and November!
With winter just around the corner, it's a good idea to be proactive with your family's health. Break out the humidifier to moisturize your kids' skin and tiny nasal passages and stock up on some roll-on essential oils. Here are some of my tips for keeping our family healthy in the cold weather (and surprisingly we don't get sick very often!)
If your family enjoys Disney movies, you are probably looking forward to the next Disney creation coming to theaters November 23rd, the first Disney princess story starring a Polynesian princess named Moana. We hope you also enjoy these fun printable Disney Moana coloring pages!
I was inspired to create a planter out of a pumpkin one day, after buying flowers and realizing they would die if I planted them outside in the cold weather. This DIY pumpkin flower pot project turned out to be a beautifully creative fall decoration, perfect to accent a buffet table or holiday party. The only downside is the pumpkin planter doesn't last long indoors, once cut and left out in warm air. I enjoyed my pumpkin planter for a few days and then planted my flowers in an actual flower pot, to add a cheerful pop of color to my kitchen counter. See our easy steps for making your own pumpkin flower pot + other gorgeous fall decorating ideas!
When I heard Disney was making a live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, I knew it was going to be amazing. My daughter loves the animated Disney movie Beauty and the Beast and it remains a timeless classic even though it was made 25 years ago! Only a fourth of a century can prove the value of a "Tale as Old as Time". Emma Watson stars as Belle in Disney's 2017 release of Beauty and the Beast which will be very fun to watch. Check out the full cast list and live action Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer and must-see production images below!
With two girls in the house, we have more than our share of dress up accessories, sparkly dresses, shoes, many kinds of boots, and hair bows. I love casual little girl glamour that's perfect for wearing in the backyard or out on a date with daddy. My girls love twirling, dancing, and jumping in piles of leaves this fall, and where you find one you will usually find the other. My oldest daughter tells little sister that "she's the sparkle of her eye." ♥ We are excited to share this week's fashion picks!
My daughter loves all things mermaid. She's dressed up as a mermaid for Halloween for 3 out of 4 years of her life. She loves mermaid tea parties, mermaid activities, mermaid coloring pages; anything that has a girl with a tail. Her favorite Princess Sofia the First episode is the mermaid one. So of course she wanted a mermaid room when it came time to sell her little sister's crib and update our girls' bedroom. I kept our kids' bedroom redesign pretty simple and I'm excited to share our fun kids' mermaid themed room with you! We've also discovered two products for use with our kids' bunk beds that have quickly become must haves; The Shrunks inflatable bed rails and QuickZip sheets! Read on to discover why these products make life with a bunk bed so much easier!
A lot can change in a family in one year. For us this last year, we welcomed a new baby boy, our baby girl turned 2 and our toddler turned 4. We enjoyed some family trips and hikes and lots of play dates with friends. The holidays are the perfect time to review your year, celebrate family, and share the highlights of your year with family. Some families send out updates through a Christmas letter, while others send a personalized holiday card. I appreciate receiving cute holiday photo cards that we can put up on our fridge and think about our friends near and far. It's also fun to design and send out our own family Christmas card, which is an easy project to accomplish thorough Minted.com. I'm amazed by the hundreds of card designs offered by Minted, each designed by uniquely talented artists and featuring a wide variety of styles. I'm excited to share with you some of my favorite Minted card designs!
Just because Thanksgiving is traditional doesn't mean it has to be mundane. We searched the best of the internet for the most creative Thanksgiving ideas for decorating, activities, and treats to share with you. Many of these ideas were created by moms and are totally kid-friendly and fun! We hope you are as inspired as we are.
Be the star of Thanksgiving dinner with these yummy Stuffed Cinnamon Apples! They are basically like apple pie inside an apple with a flaky basket weave crust on top. Yum! If you can make an apple pie, you can easily make these and wow your friends with your creativity. All you need is the same ingredients as apple pie. You can use your family recipe or any basic apple pie recipe. If you need to be quick, you can also use canned apple pie filling with pre-made puff pastry dough for the crust.
On busy days is definitely tempting to throw a bunch of junk food in your grocery cart that doesn't require cooking or peeling. It's also tempting to buy your baby those tiny tubs of baby food, and I have bought them on several occasions. The other day I loaded 10 tiny tubs of baby food into my shopping basket, only to look down and evaluate the small amount of baby food I was paying $12 for. I put the baby food tubs back, went to the produce aisle, and instead spent about $15 on a whole acorn squash, a bunch of bananas, several sweet potatoes, apples, and whole carrots. I got a lot of fresh produce for my $15 and best of all, my baby got to enjoy healthy baby food purees that were straight from raw fruits and veggies packed with nutrients and even a little fiber. Happy baby!
We recently celebrated our little 2 year old's birthday, complete with cupcakes, twinkle lights, and fairies. No one ever needs to convince me to whip up a cute little birthday party, I kind of love it. Fortunately my two girls' birthdays are spaced out in the Summer and Fall, and my little guy made his entrance into the world between Christmas and the new year, so I get to plan a fun little birthday party every few months. This time around we kept it fairly simple; cupcakes, a tiny birthday cake that my daughter helped me decorate during nap time, and pretzels dipped in candy melts. We had a blast! Happy 2nd Birthday, baby girl!
Four movies and a theme park ride later, Disney has announced a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie "Dead Men Tell No Tales." Once again following the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow, this rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.
If you're a football fan, you've most likely caught your fair share of games this season. I couldn't tell you many of the rules of football, but I've even watched a game or two, mostly for the social interaction and delicious food of course. Good games usually accompany good food but you don't have to bend over backwards to score a touchdown with your game day appetizers. Here are some of my favorite football snacks that are pretty easy to make!
With school back in session and the weather turning colder, it's tempting to refresh your wardrobe. Somehow when you have kids though, it's a lot easier to spend money on clothes for your kids than yourself! I justify buying clothes for my oldest girl because she has a younger sister, and I'm tempted to buy clothes for my little girl because she rarely gets anything new. Let's just be honest, mommies love buying clothes for their little girls! I recently discovered some adorable casual outfits that are perfect for dressing up to play. My girls LOVE to dress up, especially when they dress up together. My baby girl just turned 2 and she's just now able to play with her big sister. These beautiful outfits from L'ENFANT D'OR are stylish and perfect for running around the backyard or dressing up for an outing. I love the beautiful fabrics and gorgeous lace trim and edging on these L'ENFANT D'OR dresses for girls.
I think we had a little too much fun today. We took the girls to the park and let them run around in their dresses for a fun photoshoot. I had a hard time picking my favorite photos and my daughter had a blast. Of course everything is more fun when you bring a friend along!
Traveling with kids can always be tricky, whether you are challenged by keeping your kids entertained on road trips or navigating the sleeping situation at hotel rooms. Our family has traveled a few times with our kids and our experience has been different each time. We've learned some useful tips for traveling with kids as well as things to avoid, and we've tried some great gear that has made traveling with kids a whole lot easier! I'm excited to highlight portable bed rails from The Shrunks which make keeping your kids in bed during family travel and vacations as easy as can be.
The kitchen can be the most popular place in the house and the messiest. I feel like I clean our kitchen about 10 times a day, and as soon as it's clean the kitchen begins to get messy again. For moms with kids, maintaining a nice kitchen can feel like a losing battle. I've come up with some easy tips for keeping my kitchen welcoming and my counter clear and ready to whip up some muffins with my kids. I'm also excited to share some green cleaning tips for minimizing germs in your kitchen.
Homemade salt playdough is super easy to make and lots of fun to play with. I've had some of my playdough for more than a year and it stores wonderfully as long as I save it in an airtight container. You can jazz up basic playdough with fragrance, glitter, and even tiny beads for extra fun sensory sculpting. My kids love making creations out of playdough, "baking muffins" with playdough, and mixing playdough colors. DIY playdough is a perfect interactive kids' activity to keep preschoolers and toddlers occupied during fall afternoons, or to keep them distracted while you are trying to make dinner. Try our easy playdough instructions below.