About Me

4.04.2018

Embracing Life's Messes, A Simple and Fun DIY project, & How We Clean It All Up!






Life is messy, we all know this... especially when kids are in the picture! From daily food fights with herself during lunch, to encouraging her creative spirit with crafts and other activities, I'm always cleaning up after my little blessing and her messes...

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Today I want to share with you one of many ways we love to make messes... and how we clean it up in seconds! But First, we'll start with the fun stuff... We had a blast making this abstract painting. From wandering around trying to find some pretty pieces of nature to include to smacking a sponge into the canvas, we both loved every second of this craft.

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For this project you will need:

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Canvas
Paint in a variety of colros
Tape or Hot glue
3-8 items from nature - think leaves, roots, weeds from your yard, etc... (Confession: I sent hubby to trim a neighbors palm so we could have a good variety of items. LOL. Get creative!)
Water in a spray bottle
Paint brushes and/or sponges
Libman Freedom Spray Mop & Cleaner


To get started, you'll want to trim up your leaves, branches, or other items and make sure they are a going to be easy enough to paint or sponge paint over. I will say, the flatter the item the better print it will create!


Attach to the canvas with a tiny dot of hot glue or a small folded piece of tape to try and secure it in place.

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Next, you'll use your sponge or paint brush to apply the paint. Wild strokes are preferred... thank goodness D has the best little wild hands to help provide those! If you have a little one, let them go nuts... We just made our pretty new piece of art on the ground & cleaned up with our Libman mop shortly after completing our project.

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Finally add some of the water from the spray bottle and swirl and blend it onto the canvas with a sponge or the brush... helping the colors to flow into one another.

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Now, tell me, isn't this the most gorgeous piece of abstract art you've ever seen an 18 month old helpcreate? We definitely think so!

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As you can imagine, paint is messy with a crazy, independent toddler, that's why the last step in our project is cleaning up! I just removed the plants from the painting and tossed them. Then, I grabbed our Libman Freedom Spray mop and it cleaned up our mess in just seconds. A few sprays and our wood floors were shining like they had never met Delainey!

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The best part is, it's so easy to mop with this baby, that I can clean while she's snacking... I quickly grab it and go to town and by the time she says she is done... so am I! We both run out and throw the microfiber pad into the washer... and then it's ready to take on her next mess in just one quick wash!

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Interested in finding out how Libman can make your DIY project clean up and spring cleaning a little easier? Check this out and sign up for their mailing list to snag a coupon on your new favorite cleaning supply!

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3.31.2018

How to Raise a Happy Baby & Foster Independence in a Toddler




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It's official, Delainey is a true toddler - melt downs galore, wiggling until the cows come home with silly little giggles involved, constantly gracing us with potty training chatter, pretty much falling and scuffing herself up daily, and non-stop expressing her opinions... she's a full blown toddler, in every way. Most days, no matter the task, she insists she "do it" and only is content when things are being done her way... and for that, I'm equal parts thankful and intimidated.

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This little girl of mine definitely has a mind of her own, with such a personality behind it. She's a little fireball and so full of love. She is flourishing and her adoration for being independent is evident, she expresses her emotions easily and freely, and she often shocks me with the amount of knowledge she has. From surprising me with being able to complete new tasks without even being taught how, to saying new words and sentences without prompting, she really fills me with pride and is my greatest joy.
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Speaking of awe-inspiring joy, D's really been teaching me a lot about life and parenting lately. I'm a "recovering helicopter parent" and I'm really trying to do my best to help Delainey succeed in life without interfering. Wondering how you can find the fine line between doing too much and too little?

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I think it all starts with encouraging manners and fostering independence. That all sounds great... but I bet you are wondering... How do we do that?

Today I'm sharing a few tips on how we've been trying to let D be "independent" while still making sure she's safe. If you have a little wild child, these tips are great ways to make sure your little one can gain independence while also learning.

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One of the easiest ways to help a toddler feel like they are independent is with food. I'm not suggesting baby led weaning is for everyone, but it worked for us. D will eat nearly anything and everything and enjoys eating. We don't have a picky toddler, at all... she loves broccoli, chows down on her Happy Tots Yogurt, and goes to town on any and all fruits.

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We started with Avocado whenever she was a little over 6.5 months old and slowly introduced more and more foods, once at a time. She loves them all now... and is willing to try any food we offer now! She recently had a veggie roll at our favorite sushi joint and she loved it. How many 18 month olds can say they like sushi?

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With that said, one of her absolute favorite foods right now is Happy Baby Yogurt. She loves to "coop" out big bites on her own with her tiny little spoon. She lights up with delight with each bite, partly because feeding herself is the thing she's most proud of in her life and because she adores each flavor we've tried so far - from blueberry to banana & sweet potato!

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Whether your packing these babies in a daycare lunchbox or sharing them as a snack, they are the perfect way to make sure your little one is getting the nutrition they deserve! Sometimes we hand one to D and tell her it's her "dessert" and she just gobbles it up... who doesn't love delicious, healthy dessert?

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Want to let your little try yogurt for the first time? Find out how Happy Family fits into your toddler's nutrition and grab a coupon here. But one thing I bet you'll be overjoyed to know now - they have NO ADDED SUGAR... that's a definite #momwin, am I right? I'm definitely a fan of these healthy "treats"!

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Speaking of being a fan... I'm pretty much Delainey's #1 fan. I love cheering her on and telling her she's doing great with everything she does. The thing is, we are now at the point with her that she's constantly expressing likes and dislikes, even with her clothing... and while I would love to tell her that she can regularly wear bloomers on her head, a backwards dress, tights with holes, and rain boots on her hands (like she sometimes does)... that's just not gonna fly all the time. So instead of fighting her and just dictating to her what she must wear each day, I allow her to choose between a few options...

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I show her 2-3 outfits to choose from every morning, all laid out and ready to go... and she chooses which one she likes better. This makes us both happy... she feels heard and acknowledged with her choices and I know she's not wearing shoes for gloves, that's a definite win. I know as the years go by, this fashion battle won't be one worth fighting... but for now, I'm happy that we're both satisfied with this solution.

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Another way to foster independence in a toddler is allowing them to take the lead. I don't mean that they are in charge all the time, because that's just not going to end well for anyone. BUT, sometimes allowing your kiddo to choose which direction you walk or letting them go ahead on a walk for a few paces can be rewarding for you both.

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Almost any time we go on a walk or to the store lately, D loves to run ahead of us by a few feet, stop turn around, smile, and keep going. She's practically showing off for us on most of our adventures and she eats up that attention. It's an easy way to allow her to make choices and overcome obstacles without endangering her.

From walking through the park and selecting which slide to go down to spending time navigating the busy aisles of Target, I think it's important to let her wander sometimes and while this can be difficult to not police - I've noticed the less I demand D stay nearby, the better she is about just wanting to be there with me. I know some kids are a little more wild and like to get into everything... so maybe start doing this only on a couple of woodsy adventures first... and I'll bet your trips to Publix for Happy Tot items become a little calmer too.


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Speaking of calm, I think an often overlooked way to encourage independence is teaching her self-care routines early. From calm breathing while she's upset to teaching her to brush her teeth, I want D to feel like she's capable of and enjoys taking time to care for herself.

We've been encouraging her to brush her own teeth (after we give them a good brush), we do the same with brushing her hair... and when she's upset I work with her to calm her breathing and we talk through how she's feeling. While she's only 18 months old, my hopes are that we are starting healthy habits young and fostering good personal care in all aspects.

Speaking of all aspects of independence, one that we haven't touched yet is cleaning up after one's self. This is definitely a hard one to teach a toddler. D would much rather spin like a tornado and take everything off the walls than to pick up the pieces and put them back where they belong, but we're working on that.

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From encouraging her to help throw away pieces of trash, to spending time helping her clean up her books and toys, we are doing our best to teach her to clean up after herself. She's also started to help unload the dishwasher, put away the groceries, give the dog her daily vitamin, and sometimes she even helps water the plants. Some may say 18 months is too young to teach her to do chores... but she loves "helping" out around the house and I love watching her learn a new skill, especially one that teaches her to be more independent!


So tell me, how do you (or did you) foster independence in your toddler? I'd love to hear your experiences with your fireball in the comments below!

Oh, hey - it's me!

So, if you're a regular around here, you may have noticed we've been kinda MIA lately. I guess you could say I took a little hiatus... I'll admit, I wasn't blogging on a regular basis, I was kinda slackin' on social media, and I was really concentrating on my other gig - Bloomology Boutique. So, ummmm, hello again! We're officially back now! :)


I'm so excited to be back and this time I'm putting things in perspective. Making florals for my friends and nurturing Bloomology will still be a huge priority for me, don't get me wrong... but I'm also taking the time to share more here again. After all, blogging is truly my passion.

You'll notice some changes coming soon, hopefully you'll think they're all awesome. I'm going to be sharing some tutorials on how I managed to become a blogger. I have aspirations to share posts on my photography style, so keep an eye out for those! I plan on sharing lots more useful parenting tips and toddler-related activities. I can't wait to share more DIY inspo and real life advice. I look forward to sharing more of what we both love and I hope you'll enjoy my efforts.


With that said, what's one thing you hope I'll share more of on the blog? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!




2.27.2018

Start Saving Now with Florida Prepaid!

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.



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I can't be the only one that feels like the baby stage just flew by.  I mean, it is like I BLINK and Delainey's grown an inch and learned a new skill.

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I try and cherish every moment with her, but they just keep slipping by and I know someday soon I'm going to turn away and look back and it'll be time for her to head off to college... and that's why I'm hoping to do everything we can to make sure she's prepared once that time comes. Well, maybe not everything... I'm not teaching her how to cram for a mid-term or anything, although maybe one day I'll share that knowledge.

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I'm doing what I can financially to make sure she feels supported and taken care of while she's furthering her education and today I want to share exactly how we're doing that.

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While we're working on budgeting and how we spend our money, it seemed wise to start saving for her college years. As I discussed on the blog previously, saving with Florida Prepaid is super easy to do. You can literally sign up for a plan over your morning coffee.

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The thing is, if you're wanting to enroll - you need to do it now! The enrollment period for a Florida Prepaid plan is coming to an end on the 28th and that means you'll have to wait another year to lock in your plan! So don't delay, pick your plan & get started!

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So hurry on over & sign up today and be sure to use the code LAUREN1718 to save on your application fee!

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