Toddler Craft Project – Construction Paper Salad

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For March’s toddler craft for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date the theme was vegetables since a rep from a local farm was coming to teach the kiddos about vegetables and “eating a rainbow,” so I had to think of something veggie-friendly for our craft. Then I thought if you ask any toddler and they will call lettuce “salad,” as if there’s nothing else to salad!

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So, I thought it would be fun to cut a bunch of vegetables out of construction paper and have the kids make their own, very colorful construction paper salad. I pre-cut all the veggies (and had the plate in the first photo as a key of sorts for the parents to know what each color/shape was supposed to be) but had the kids tear up the green construction paper to prep their own “lettuce” for the salad. You can have your toddler help cut the veggies if they’re good with scissors.

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Everyone’s salads were so colorful and unique! After the craft the farm rep shared some vegetables from the farm and the kids could eat an actual salad, too! A great way to learn about vegetables – I hope you try this one with your kiddos!

Easter Outfits!

Easter is April 5 – just 2 1/2 weeks away! It’s too bad the holiday is so early this year because I know we’ll still have feet of snow on the ground, which will certainly make for an interesting Easter egg hunt, huh? Either way, I still enjoy dressing (and dressing my kids) in spring outfits for the holiday and have put together their outfits already this year. Check out below what Z will be wearing on Easter Sunday! And we’ll be visiting the Easter bunny this weekend so watch for an update on my Instagram account.

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1. I found the dress first, then the shoes, and then wanted a coordinating cardigan. There was one at the GAP I liked but it sold out quickly so we opted for this little pointelle knit cardigan from Old Navy.

2. I found this adorable yellow and white striped dress at Zara and knew I could make it into Z’s Easter dress and then she could wear it all summer.

3. I found gloves, hat, and basket purse at the Target dollar section but you can similar here.

4.White tights! An Easter dress staple.

5. Lilac is a color of the season and I thought something purple would pair nicely with the yellow dress so when I saw these Mini Melissa Ultragirl Bow shoes at Nordstom I knew they were it. Mini Melissa shoes are so adorable and comfy for your toddler and come with a sweet, bubble gum smell!

 

Ps. Here Easter outfit last year and the year before.

Toddler Craft Project – Valentine’s Day Pasta Necklace

For this month’s toddler craft project I had to do something for Valentine’s Day. I thought it would be cute to put together pasta necklaces that the kids can either wear themselves or give to someone they love like, I don’t know – their moms! And to add an extra level of craftiness to this craft I thought it would be cute to paint the pasta in red, pink, and white to make them even more appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Now, we have about a dozen kids at 1 kitchen table doing these craft projects every month so having them paint the beads was not going to happen so I painted them ahead of time. But, if your toddler/child is old enough the first step in this project can be for them to paint the pasta.

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For pasta I used ziti, ditalini (the tiny ones), and rigatoni (not pictured).

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I used regular craft paint in red, pink, and white.

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And painted each bead – you can roll the smooth pasta shapes in the paint but for a noodle like rigatoni you’ll have to paint each one to get in the grooves.

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Once dry, string on yarn with a store-bought heart beads and voila – an adorable Valentine’s Day Pasta Necklace for your loved one!

 

Toddler Craft Project – Snowflakes

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This  month’s toddler craft project for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date is quite timely as we’re about to get 2 feet of snow where we live – we’re making snowflakes! These Popsicle stick snowflakes are great because they are simple to prep and then your toddler has free reign over how they’re decorated. It’s also a great way to use up random craft supplies you have – leftover glitter, old stickers, random yarn, etc…

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To make the snowflakes you need 4 Popsicle sticks. Use a glue gun to glue one on top of another until your snowflake is made.

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Then let your toddler at it with glue stick, glitter, stickers, paint, markers, whatever you have around the house.

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Last step, use some string, yarn, (which would look best) or even a pipe cleaner (as Z wanted to use) to tie around the snowflake to proudly hang up in your home!

Toddler Craft Project – Marshmallow Snowman

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This month’s toddler craft project for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date (you can see last month’s here) is a really cute, really simple snowman made with marshmallows. If your toddler is anything like mine, holiday decorations are where it’s at right now. This little snowman can be strung and hung on your Christmas tree or simply sat on a shelf to add to your decor.

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To make this snowman you will need” 2 marshmallows (I used extra-large ones, because why not?), pipe cleaners, poms poms, a marker/sharpie, and glue.

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Glue your marshmallows together end to end. I suggest using your glue gun for this part and do it before your toddler starts the project (toddlers and glue guns don’t seem to mix well). Then add pompoms for the nose and the buttons down the front. Using elmer’s or glue stick is fine for this part. Then draw your eyes on your snowman (I used marker, you could use googly eyes or whatever you want).

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Use a black pipe cleaner and take a few strands off the end so you can stick it into the marshmallow to make your snowman’s pipe.

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Now add accessories! For this snowman we used a pipe cleaner for a scarf and then twisted a second pompom around my finger and added a pompom on top for a little winter hat.

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Voila – marshmallow snowman!

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Ps. The snowmen Z made for her and baby M – adorable.

 

*Let me know if you’re interested in trying Baby Boot Camp – your first class is always free!

What to Wear for your Holiday Photos

I got a couple emails asking about our outfits in the holiday photos I shared earlier this week so I thought I’d put together a post of what the kids wore. I always love to put together holiday outfits for Z and was so excited to now have Baby M this year and the challenge of finding coordinating outfits for them – not too matchy patchy but definitely meant to go together. The first step was finding Z’s dress. She is really into girlie, frilly dresses lately and when I saw this dress by Joyfolie on super clearance on Gilt (I got it for less than $10!) I knew that was her Christmas dress. I also knew I wanted Baby M to be all gussied up in suspenders and a bowtie because, well, what’s cuter than that? So then I found this amazing woman on etsy who makes bows, bowties, and knits beautiful scarves (one of her scarves is definitely on my Christmas list this year!). I loved the tomato plaid for a pretty red and placed my order. I changed out the pink ribbon for red on Z’s dress and then found red sweaters for them both. And well, you know the rest – you’ve seen the photos! Ps. Hover below for links! You probably know that, but thought I’d share as the linked words are not quite as obvious on my new blog design.

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HERS:

1. Red Cardigan crewcuts. 2. Hair bow Lululuvs etsy shop. 3. Dress Joyfolie (from Gilt). 4. Glittery shoes Nordstrom (very similar). 5. Cable knit tights Old Navy.

 

HIS:

1. Pants with suspenders H&M (similar). 2. Bowtie Lululuvs etsy shop. 3. White Button down shirt babyGAP. 4. Shawl-Collar Red Cardigan Old Navy. 5. Herringbone Robeez Amazon (similar).

How to Throw Your Toddler a Character Themed Birthday Without Too Many Characters, Part iii

I have one last post for this series on Z’s Minnie Bowtique birthday party! And with this one you’re going think I’m totally nuts, but I can live with that. The last step of every party is write thank you notes! Z received awesome, thoughtful gifts from all of her “fwends” so we thought we’d send out on-theme thank you notes to thank them for their gifts and for coming to her party and making it the best. day. ever. Here’s how I made them…

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I used blank white cards, washi tape in pink polka dot, black polka dot, and silver and a thank you stamp with silver ink.

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I stuck the tape on first, then stamped the thank you message.

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Voila – quick easy thank you notes to coordinate with the Minnie Bowtique party theme!

Ps. Minnie Bowtique party hats and invitations and Minnie Bowtique Cupcakes

How to Throw Your Toddler a Character Themed Birthday Without Too Many Characters, Part ii

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So last week I told you about the invitations and party hats for Z’s birthday party and today I thought I’d share the little cupcakes I made for the party. We had her party at a local dance studio where they have all sorts of fun games, songs, and activities for the kids to do. It’s one of those parties where all you do is show up with your cake and favor bags and the place does everything else (a parents’ dream!). So, I knew I could focus my attention on making some adorable Minnie Bowtique cupcakes because there wasn’t much else for me to do. Instead of attempting to draw Minnie’s face on each cupcake I decided we’d focus on her head, ears, and of course the start of the show – the bow. Here’s how I made them:

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I used the Trader Joe’s vanilla cake mix and baked the cupcakes in pink polka dot liners. I made buttercream frosting from scratch and once frosted, I used crushed oreos to coat the top to make Minnie’s head. I put the oreos (chocolate cookies only!) in a baggie in small batches and used a rolling pin to crush. Then just rolled the frosted tops in the cookies. Ps. It was surprisingly easy to scrape off the white center of the oreo and it often came off in one piece. My husband made some quadruple stuffed oreos so they didn’t go to waste. =)

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For the bows, I printed out Minnie’s bow and put it on a baking sheet covered in wax paper. I then piped pink melted chocolate into the shape of the bow and let set in the fridge for a few hours.

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Then I put them all together using mini oreos for Minnie’s ears. *Note – the weight of the crushed oreos on the frosting made them sag a little so I suggest popping them right into the fridge once decorated to harden up. I think they came out pretty cute…

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…and they tasted “yummy in my tummy” as Z told me. 😉

 

How to Throw Your Toddler a Character Themed Birthday Without Too Many Characters

Z is about to turn 3! And with that we’re throwing her first friends-only birthday party. We’ve been talking about it daily for MONTHS – MONTHS people! To say the very least, she is so very excited and wants to be involved in every aspect of planning. As I always say, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree… Anyway, the past 2 years I’ve gotten away with coming up with the theme for her birthday party but not this year. From the start of birthday party discussions (that started in July) she knew she wanted a Minnie Bow-tique birthday party (in case you’re not familiar, on the show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Minnie Mouse owns a shop called Minnie’s Bow-tique where she sells hair bows). So! I dove right in to plan a Minnie Bow-tique party without everything being covered in Minnie Mouse’s face (no offense Minnie). Here are a couple details (more to come post-party):

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Simple invites this year. I used Photoshop and typed the lyrics to the Minnie Bow-tique theme song and drew a simple Minnie Mouse shape. Once printed I used foam sheets and cut out bows to make the front a little 3D. I did a hand stamped back to the invite and wrote in the details of the party.

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One must on Z’s birthday party list has been party hats.

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For these, I just ordered black polka dot hats from amazon. I cut out circles from black construction paper and taped them on the sides of each hat to create Minnie ears.

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Then I used the same foam sheets to make bows. No free-hand drawing here, I traced a downloaded “official” Minnie Bow-tique bow to get the cartoon-y shape just right.

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Voila – party hats that aren’t too character-y but still look like the Minnie Bow-tique theme. More to come next week!

What Z Said, Part III

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I haven’t done one of these in a while but she’s getting more hilarious by the minute so I thought I’d put together a list of my fave things Z is saying right now and share with you!

The very first thing she says to me most mornings when she gets up… “Mummy, what we doing and what I wearing?” She is definitely my daughter.

If you even have one pinky toe in her way she will say to you “‘Scuse me! Commin’ through!” At least she’s polite…

Ever the drama queen, if she feels stuck somewhere (and most of the time it’s faux-stuck) she’ll scream “Mommy! Get me out-ta here!!!!”

Every time we pass a Dunkin Donuts she will tell me “My Daddy take me there. I get a donut and he get a coffee.” Usually he gets a donut too but I guess she doesn’t even notice that.

If she wants to be carried she simply raises her arms and says “uppies” which is so sweet and babyish and I hope she never stops asking for uppies.

 

In case you missed them: The original What Z Said and What Z Said, Part II