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    December 17, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Perfect Room For A Pre-teen Girl

    I’ll be honest- I’m just MADLY in love with that wall!

    Photo from 79Ideas


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    December 16, 2014
    DIY Gift Idea From Kids- Sharpie Mugs

    When you have very young kids, getting gifts for them is easy. You can give them a bunch of crap from the dollar store and they’re happy. Heck, you can give them toilet paper rolls, trash, and socks to play with, and they will– happily. My nephew prefers napkins and cardboard over his expensive baby toys anyway. What’s difficult is getting them to give gifts to their parents. Sure, you could just buy your spouse a nice, store bought item, write “From Baby” on it, and be done with it– but I think that having the kids make something is much more meaningful, and the parents will love it. Check out this idea from Lynette at Cleverly Simple for an adorable “From Kid” gift– a DIY Sharpie mug:

    You need:

    Mugs
    Sharpies (Sharpie Oil Based Paint Pens )
    An Oven

    -Let the kids go wild!

    -Let them dry overnight.  The next day I placed them in a COLD oven and turned the heat on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I let it “cook” for 30 minutes and then turned the heat off.  IMPORTANT:::  Let the oven cool before you pull out the coffee mugs.

    Photo Credit: Emily May 


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    December 15, 2014
    DIY Quiet Bags

    Sometimes, you just need your kids to sit down and shut up. It’s harsh, I know- but whether you’re going to church, a PTA meeting, a wedding, a long car ride, or any other instance where kids can get fidgety- you might just need to keep them distracted for a while. And this post by Hilary at Pulling Curls has the perfect solution- “Quiet Bags”. It’s a soft bag filled with quiet activities that will keep the kids busy for an hour or so. She made them to bring with the kids to church, and I think it’s a fantastic idea. Here’s more info:

    -Make it a “special” bag- don’t let them play with it any other time except for church (or meetings, etc.).

    -Find things that are FUN and QUIET to go in it- toys, books, coloring pages- whatever works.

    -Bringing food is also a great option when kids are old enough for solids!

    Photo Credit: Katie Tegtmeyer 


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    December 12, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Baby Laughs At Crawling Daddy
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2a4e2p

    Babies are amused by the most random things- hahaha!


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    December 11, 2014
    Keeping The Holidays Stress Free

    I know that almost every post I’ve written this week has been holiday centered, but I just can’t help it! Like I said, I caught the Christmas bug. However, while the holidays are super fun, they can be some of the most stressful times of the year. Between shopping, watching kids, cleaning, cooking, decorating the inside and outside of the home, and following up with winter traditions– it can seriously pile up, and add to an even larger pile of stress. However, I think this post by Erika at Urth Mama has the secret to keeping the holidays simple. Her answer? Pick out your priorities, get them done, and forget the rest.

    I think the best thing about Christmas is finding traditions that work for your family and not worrying about what other people are doing.

    Traditions we love to make a priority over Christmas are:

    -Decorating a Christmas tree

    -Building a Gingerbread House

    -Learning about Jesus’ birth, Christmas traditions, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and other traditions around the world.

    -Going to the Nutcracker Ballet

    -Making (or buying) a few meaningful gifts for each family member.

    So there you have it! Get together as a family, make your own list of traditions that are important to you, and stop trying to stretch yourself so thin! 

    Photo Credit: JN 


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    December 10, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Alphabet Clothespin Flashcard Activity

    Photo from Rub Some Dirt On It blog


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    December 9, 2014
    Holiday Themed Sensory Activities

    It’s official- I have caught the Christmas bug. I’ve been blasting Christmas music, we’ve already put up our tree (this is early for us!), and I’ve bought, made, and wrapped all my gifts. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or another winter holiday- this season is extremely exciting! It’s a time of celebration, family, faith, friendship, and fun. That’s why I don’t think it’s wrong to wedge some holiday cheer into every aspect of life, and why I love this post by Kim at Blessed Beyond A Doubt. She has listed several Christmas themed sensory activities for kids (that could be easily adapted for another holiday, or just for winter fun in general). I also love sensory activities because they let young kids explore the world with their own hands. Check out some of her ideas:

    -Gingerbread play dough.

    -Christmas sparkle slime (I love this! It looks like a Christmas tree exploded, haha. Pictured.)

    -Magnet Science Sensory Bin.

    -Peppermint scented Christmas sensory bin.

    Photo Credit: Little Bins For Little Hands 


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    December 8, 2014
    Sentimental Gifts For Kids

    The best gift I’ve ever gotten from my Mom was a few Christmases ago. Every day for a year, she wrote in a journal about things she loved about me, and included photos. Somehow, she kept it hidden from me all year and gave it to me on Christmas. I cried like a baby, and it has become one of my most prized possessions since. That journal beat out expensive gifts like phones, cameras, and other gadgets as “best present ever”. It really just goes to show that sentimental gifts from the heart mean so much more. With the holidays fast approaching, you may be looking for unique gift ideas of your own. If so, check out this guide by Alison at Pint Sized Treasures. Some are objects that your children will treasure forever, others create memories that last a lifetime:

    -Parent/Child Journal

    -Hope Chest.

    -Personalized Trinket Boxes 

    -Craft book with tons of supplies- crafting together is a great way to build memories

    -Classic board games for the family to play together

    -Bikes for all- for the family to ride together

    Photo Credit: Steven Depolo 


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    December 5, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: TV Inspired Baby Names On The Rise
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2bowv2

    People naming their kids after favorite TV and movie characters is not a new trend! Here are some names that are becoming even more popular thanks to television theories. Personally, I love the name “Arya” from Game of Thrones :)


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    December 4, 2014
    (Real) Food For Babies

    My nephew is nine and ½ months old, and he hates baby food. He also hates bottles, and baby cereal. Any type of exclusively “baby” meals- he just will not have any of that. He wants the real stuff! Now, his meals usually consist of bread, cheese, crunchy baby snacks, chopped up (cooked) veggies like green beans, mashed up bananas, and bites of whatever we’re eating. Last night, we ate spaghetti and breadsticks- and so did he. He also likes eating his books (pictured here, haha). In a way, I think it’s great. I’m glad he’s becoming independent and exploring his world. On the other hand, there are some not-so-great things about it. I miss the days when I could just whip up a quick bottle or bring out a can of baby food instead of putting together an entire meal. I also worry about his safety- are babies supposed to eat mushrooms? Avocados? Small pieces of meat? What if he’s allergic to something? That’s why I found this chart by Newborn Baby Zone. It has a list of solid food that babies love, as well as some things to avoid feeding them. It really put my mind at ease, as well as gave me some new ideas! Check it out here.

    Babies love:

    -Dark, leafy veggies

    -Broccoli

    -Mandarin oranges

    -Avocados (!)

    -Meat (!)

    -Lentils and garbanzo beans

    DON’T give your baby:

    -Undercooked eggs or meat (duh?)

    -Nuts or seeds

    -Sugary or salty snacks

    -Tea, coffee, or fizzy drinks

    -High fiber or low fat foods

     


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