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Summer Shenanigans

My family has temporarily transplanted to the Midwest from New York City for the Summer and we are relishing the slower pace and extra time with family. When I read this article today it hit on all the chords of what we were embracing and striving for this summer.
My own childhood was spent with lazy summers – plenty of tv, made up games, outside chores and afternoons at the pool. Our return to farm country makes me nostalgic for my youth, and it’s thrilling to see my own children delight in the pace of the season and the luxury of our very own backyard (not something our NYC apartment offers). My sister and I decided to come up with a list of the simple pleasures of Summer we wanted to experience with our kids:

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By |June 28th, 2016|Parenthood|0 Comments
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A Mother’s Day Idea

There is nothing more special than something created by your little ones as a gift for Mother’s Day. We are working on special gifts for the grandmothers and aunties in our children’s lives and wanted to share  in case you would like to make these with your kids too!

Painted Wooden Bead Necklace

 

Supplies

  1. Wooden beads (I purchased these and these, love these too!)
  2. String
  3. Plastic Clasps
  4. Liquid water colors or paint
  5. Mod Podge
  6. Paint brushes
  7. Glass jars or paint palette
  8. Painting smock (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set out paint, paint brushes, and beads for your little one to paint. To help ensure the beads turn out a pretty color, stick to colors in the same warm or cool tone family. If you are using liquid water colors, add a splash of water with each quick squirt of water color.
  2. Allow your child to paint and explore the paint and beads. We used liquid water colors which might stain hands for a day or so. It really depends on how much you dilute with water, just to get you a heads up!
  3. Set beads out to dry.
  4. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to help set the color.
  5. Have your child string the beads on a length of string to create the necklace. Tie a knot at each end so the beads will not move around.
  6. Attach the clasp and ta-da! A lovely, beautiful necklace for the amazing grandmothers and important women in your children’s lives!!

 

Bead Painting

Bead Painting - Jar Shaking

My two year old explored putting the beads in the glass jars and shaking. She loved the sound it made and the rich, royal blue violet color she created was gorgeous!

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By |May 4th, 2016|Parenthood|0 Comments
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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2016

Mother’s Day will be here before we know it (May 8th)! Here are 10 sweet gift ideas for all the mamas and grandmamas in your life.

Above: Farmgirl Flowers – Love this potted Lavender plant! Although, I’m also drooling over the pink peonies – check out their Mother’s Day page for more info.  (All USA grown flowers to support local farmers and small businesses. They deliver in the San Francisco Bay area and ship nationally.)

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02 | A lovely leather tote bag from Live Fashionable – beautiful products by women who have overcome.

 

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03 | An inspiring book worth all the hype.

 

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04 | An ice cream maker for homemade summer treats! So fun to do with her littles too!

 

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05 | A gorgeous alpaca throw to keep her toes warm while enjoying that ice cream 😉

 

macarons

06 | Macarons for a little taste of Paris.

 

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07 | A pretty tea pot since tea parties really are so fun.

 

necklace

08 | A personalized gold bar necklace with her kids’ (or grandchildren’s) names.

 

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09 | Special face cream she wouldn’t buy for herself (lovely hand creams too).

vase

10 | A fun vase to brighten any space.

 

Keep your eye out for our upcoming post on a few craft ideas we’re planning to make with our kids for their grandmothers 😉

By |April 22nd, 2016|Parenthood|0 Comments
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Baby Secrets

One of the BEST BABY TIPS I ever received was from a baby gymnastics class at Elliott’s Gymnastics in NYC (gymnastics for babies! I know, right? I was skeptical too, but it’s really more of a baby movement Mommy & Me class).

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By |April 15th, 2016|Parenthood|0 Comments

My One Morning Routine to Make the Whole Day Better

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Life with two little ones, even though they have just grown out of the “two under two” category, can still be exhausting. Some days hearing one of the girls, or BOTH of them at the same time, wake in the morning seems beyond overwhelming. The toll of sleepless nights catches up and all I wanted to do in those moments is pull the covers over me a little tighter and get just 5 more minutes of sleep!

Then I found my morning routine I had lost somewhere along the way and it made every day better. Not a little better, A LOT BETTER! Singing! Greeting the girls with a happy song completely sets the tone for our day. Sometimes it’s a ridiculously, over-the-top happy song and sometimes it’s a mellow I’m-happy-to-see-you happy song. And believe me, if Jacqueline wakes up in a grumpy mood (luckily, this is rarely the case) she gets a super cheese ball song, belting the words out as loud as I dare. And you know what? It works like a charm. She can’t help but smile at her obnoxious mom and I can’t help but smile because I’m singing a song and pretending to be the happiest person on the planet – fake it ‘til you make it, right?! It works!

These moments have become some of my favorite of the whole day. Their little smiling faces, full of excitement and energy! It makes me excited and energized about our day too!

I wish I could share my favorites but I tend to make up songs or pull lines and mix them together. They’re nothing special and oddly, mine mostly tend to be to the tune of a pizza song I learned in elementary school or to the old Chef Boyardee theme song! HA! Here are a couple lines from my go-to morning song; hopefully, it helps spark a little inspiration for you if you need it!

“Good morning, Good morn-in’! Ohhh, it’s great to stay up late! Good morning, Good morn-in’ to youuuu bum ba de da dooo”

“Oh my darling! Oh my darling! Oh my darling, Clementine (I replace with my girls’ names)”

And there’s always the option to pull out your phone, play some music, and sing along!

What morning routine helps make your day better? We’d love to hear :)

By |April 1st, 2016|Parenthood|0 Comments
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CREATING CHARTS WITH TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS

How did your bird charting go this week? Our kids are actually really into birds right now so they loved being in charge of our bird chart. Although all the kids enjoyed coloring in the squares, we realized the chart was a little bit complicated for our younger set (two year olds and younger) so we are tabling it for now and will try again when they have done some basic charts first.

It didn’t occur to me to start charting with my three year old until I saw basic charts on the walls of her preschool classroom. Kids can do this WAY earlier than I realized!

Charting is a great tool to introduce basic math concepts relating to our everyday lives. Also, charts help children understand the logistics of reading (top to bottom, left to right), critical thinking & analyzing data (finding the right place to fill in the chart), and probably a whole host of other skills I’m forgetting at the moment!

The great thing is you can chart anything based on your child’s interests! The weather, what color their clothes are each day, what they like and don’t like would all make great subjects. You might try a taste test and chart which food each member of your family preferred (red or green grapes, ice cream or cookies, anything goes!) Charts can be made simple or complex depending on the age and skill level of your child. They are amazing!

Pictured is Hannah’s chart of the Empire State Building (fondly known in our house as the Pirate State Building), which is our first attempt at a (relatively) complicated chart at home. It tracks what color the Empire State Building is every night, which changes based on world events. Hannah helped me draw the chart and loves to fill it in every night.

Next time we’ll make it on black paper, white has surprisingly been the predominant light color. Hannah doesn’t mind though, she simply gets out a white crayon and fills in the square anyway!

Here are a few of our favorite charting activities from around the web:

Will it Float? We love this science experiment!

Make it a game So fun!

Apples and color sorting Simple and tasty.

Toy sort So hands-on and simple with minimal prep. Don’t be surprised if there is a painter’s tape graph in our future!

Have you made charts at home before? We’d love to hear your ideas!

By |March 25th, 2016|Parenthood|2 Comments