Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Busy Bag DIY Tutorial

Last week some mommy bloggers and I hosted a busy bag swap amongst ourselves. Below I have given a quick tutorial on the busy bag that I made for Arden...felt food which is great for teaching sequencing and color matching.

This busy bag is super easy to make but does require time. I did most of my crafting in front of the TV at night. Here are the steps below:


1. Choose a wide variety of colored felt at your local Michael's store.


2. Print out and cut out the cupcake patterns below from here.


3. Lay the pattern on the felt color of choice and trace it.


4. Cut out the shape.


couldn't figure out for the life of me why this stupid picture wouldn't go the right way

super cute upside down cupcakes



For the pizza and ice cream felt foods I didn't use a pattern and instead just eye-balled it. This busy bag is a cinch to make! And if you want some other great ideas go check out these mamas DIYs!

Colleen at Meet the Sullivans
Emily at Dear Owen
Michelle at Ten June
Natasha at Schue Love
Erin at Hello Erin

Now go get crafting! 
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Maxi Cosi Kaia Review

Hey hey friends! If you live in southern California is it hot enough for you? Seriously get out of here summer. Ninety five degrees at 7:30 pm is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable when M, B and I decided to get some donuts/coffee for breakfast yesterday. Luckily we had our sweet Maxi Cosi Kaia stroller with us to make carrying her a breeze. Who wants to haul a sweaty toddler across a hot parking lot? Not me.


every stroller needs one cup holder (at least!)

c'mon fall! i even wore plaid for you!

rollin' in style. those thighs though.

the reason why she has scrumptious thighs

and the reason why i have scrumptious thighs. ;)

so convenient that the pad is removable! now we can wash the pink frosting out of it. :)




although it's leaning in this picture the stroller does stand on its own!
So far we love our Maxi Cosi Kaia stroller! Some of my favorite features are that it's easy to fold down (and it stand on its own!), easy to set up, has ample storage below (enough for my purse and Blair's baby and much more!), and it reclines. The reclining feature is super handy as we plan on taking this stroller with us to Disneyland (and she will need to nap there). I also like that the pad is removable for a more subdued look and so you can clean the pad.

While we ate our donuts and downed our coffee B played in the water feature. It was literally about 95 degrees out so we didn't last long. By the time we got back in the car I was a melted mess.

chambray dress from gap

Maxi Cosi Kaia stroller c/o Maxi Cosi. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 12, 2014

(In)Fertility Friday



Medically
Lots has happened this week! The best news being that M got re-tested at our new doctor's office and had great results! We were so relieved to hear the good news. I had an ultrasound this week and everything looked normal. I only have one mature egg (c'mon Clomid you're slacking!) but it only takes one egg and one sperm they tell me. ;) Today I undergo another round of IUI down in Irvine. In the words of Dori, "Just keep swimming." 

Emotionally
No emotional breakdowns this week. Yay! Oh wait, I forgot about Monday. Okay, only one emotional break down. Bible study group gets me every time. Overall I've been in good spirits. The only time I really seem to go down the toilet is when I take those darn pregnancy tests. And I just can't help myself...they're like crack! I'm addicted. I also had the opportunity to meet with a girl this week who has gone through IVF several times. She has 4 beautiful children and talking with her was a breath of fresh air. I'm realllllly looking forward to my bff's bachelorette party next week in Palm Springs! Yay for sun and friends!

Spiritually
I've honestly read so many good things this week I can't choose. I'm reading a book by a woman at our church who has been through it all. Her book is called, Recapture and it's seriously amazing. I literally highlighted the entire first chapter. Get it now! One verse I've been loving this week is Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.


Hope you guys have a relaxing weekend! We are laying low on Saturday and Sunday we have a wedding to attend. See you on Monday! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fuzzy Wuzzy

There is something so darn cute about a toddler in a fuzzy wuzzy robe! And add ears to anything to make it more adorable. Blair has been lookin so cozy and squeezable lately...I just can't get enough!




My what a sweet girl you are, Blair. Time is just going by too quickly!

Thinking about our country today and praying for those families who will never be the same because of that day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Donuts

Last weekend I decided to channel my inner Jessica Garvin and whip up a fall treat! If you don't read her blog yet you can thank me later. ;)

I've been on the prowl for a fall donut recipe and when I stumbled upon this recipe for Pumpkin Pie donuts I flipped. Donuts and pumpkin pie?! The stars have aligned!





{ingredients}
  • 1 15oz (1¾ cup) can of pumpkin
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¾ cups + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
{directions}
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix whisk together the canned pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs and granulated sugar.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the spices, the salt, the baking powder and the flour.
  4. Mix together the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, mixing well. (I use my stand mixer).
  5. Using a mini ice cream scoop (my favorite method) or a spoon, fill each donut well with about a quarter cup of batter or so. You want them about ¾ full.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the donut comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
  8. Remove the donuts and place on a cooling rack to continue cooling.
  9. While still warm, dip them into a pumpkin pie sugar mixture. Use 1 cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice (I use homemade, using the measurements in the recipe above for cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice.)
  10. Put everything into a plastic ziplock bag and shake the donuts individually until coated.
  11. If the sugar/spice mixture doesn’t stick well, dip the donut in melted butter first.


The only caveat to this recipe is that these really aren't donuts. I didn't fry them, I baked them! They were more of a pumpkin bread in the shape of a donut. Since I love pumpkin bread I was totally okay with this. The other disclaimer I have is that the recipe took me much longer than the called for 25 minutes. It felt like an hour...even though I didn't time myself. All of this aside I would still make them again. Even the hubby liked them and he is not a huge novelty seasonal flavor guy. I really don't have to say what Blair's thoughts were on this...the girl has never met a donut she didn't like.

Blair's jammies.
 What fall treats are you making this season? I'm hoping to do one fun/festive thing a week. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Busy Bag Swap

Busy bags are taking Pinterest by storm lately and it's no surprise...these things are genius! In a nutshell they are bags that are filled with various quiet activities that your toddler can do if you need a few solitary minutes alone (ie: you need to go to the bathroom). ;) Most of the activities are educational and promote either fine motor skills or reasoning skills. 

Julia over at My Life in Transition crafted up the sweetest busy bag for Blair! She loved matching up the correct letters together and the color coding helped 110%. And as an added bonus the flash cards have fun pictures on the back! I was surprised to find that Blair actually could match the letters up (for the most part)!  Check it out...



Cinderella helped a bit.



That Cinderella...so good at cleaning up!

Go check out these other mommy bloggers below to get some busy bag ideas and create your own! Next week we will be hosting a link up so we can share the wealth of ideas to keep our littles busy and learning.

Colleen at Meet the Sullivans
Emily at Dear Owen
Michelle at Ten June
Natasha at Schue Love
Erin at Hello Erin

I'll be sharing my busy bag how to next week as well! But if you need a sneak peak to see what I whipped up head over to Sunflower State of Mind!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The World of Eric Carle and Gymboree

This is a sponsored blog post. I received compensation from Gymboree. The opinions and text are all mine.

Who doesn't love Eric Carle classics like "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear?" I just adore the bright cheerful artwork in each of his books and was thrilled to hear that Gymboree is collaborating with him in their clothing lines.

Yup. She decked herself out with all her necklaces.
On Friday Blair and I headed to our local Gymboree and were delighted to find the very hungry caterpillar himself waiting to be colored! And shouldn't all stores have little craft tables for toddlers while mamas can shop?! I got to pick out pajamas and a play shirt courtesy of Gymboree!



The very purple caterpillar.


While I was shopping I reallllly wanted these flamingo pajamas but thought the ones below would be a better fit since she actually knows who the caterpillar is AND loves balloons. Double win. And along with the pajamas I was able to choose a play shirt. I actually chose one from the little boys section because it had brown bear on it and that is one of her favorite books. The girl options were cute but I couldn't pass him up! I'm thinking about styling it with a skirt and plenty of feminine accessories. See the necklaces above. ;)

Her jams on display!
 Blair absolutely loves reading and it is one of my favorite ways to spend time with her; all snuggled up in her bed with her blankie and a good book. It brings out the old teacher in me. :) We have a pretty extensive library thanks to the years of teaching I did but I'm always finding more to add to our collection. She was pretty excited about reading her caterpillar book and wearing her matching jams. :)




Inspired by Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, from 9/2-9/30, Gymboree will be hosting a photo contest, where they are encouraging parents to help their little ones take a picture of what they see.

Entrants can submit a photo via Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or via Gymboree's designated direct photo upload site, using the hashtag, #WhatDoYouSee.


Entrants of the #WhatDoYouSee contest will have the chance of winning one of ten Eric Carle gift baskets including: A House for Hermit Crab book, a signed copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, figurines, stickers, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sippy Cup, Chunky Colored Pencils, Match and Munch Game, Place Mats Book, and Stage & Play (Approximate Retail Value $144.99).

The winners will be announced at the end of the contest period, which is 9/30/14.


For even more fun, download Gymboree's iPhone app so you and your little one can add some Eric Carle fun to your photos and play a caterpillar game!
 Also, you can find some awesome free printable coloring pages HERE! Such a fun activity for your little one. We printed out the memory game one along with some coloring sheets for an afternoon of fun!


Which jammies are you obsessing over? There are so many cute ones to choose from! Thanks again, Gymboree, for sponsoring this post!
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