Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids. Show all posts

Encourage Imagination with Disney - Easy and FUN DIY Mickey Mouse Ears Craft for a Toddler in honor of Make-A-Wish's Share Your Ears Campaign

This post is sponsored by Make-A-Wish Foundation but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


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We're definitely big fans of Mickey & the whole Disney crew in this house... let me rephrase, we are HUGE fans of Disney and all things magical. I mean, Delainey's first visit to the Disney Parks was nearly a year ago when she was just one year old and we are so eager to go again we talk about it almost daily.

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Unfortunately, we have to adult and get things done so we can't visit the parks every day, but I'm doing my best to encourage her imagination at home and I hope our love for all things magical will live on through her. From the excitement I hear in her voice when she talks about the "fiya- woks" at the start of every Disney movie, to the way she exclaims "that my disney duck" when she sees the Donald Duck stuffed animal she picked out during our last visit, it's truly wonderful to see her love for something I loved so dearly as a child too - dare I say, it's magical.

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Disney isn't just the parks and the movies for us though, it's really about a dream coming true. It's about following your passion and making something happen with hard work and determination, Walt Disney really did something inspirational. While I'm still learning the ropes in life too, one thing I know for certain is he accomplished great things with his creative, innovative thinking. I hope to foster that same love for dreaming & creativity within my daughter - and that's the magic of Disney, in my mind!

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Then, when you combine that Disney Magic, that pure creative joy, with the Make-A-Wish foundation... well - that's pretty much the most heart warming combination, most of us can agree on that!

With that said, Disney & Make-A-Wish have partnered up and we all want you to help save the day for kids with Disney wishes, yet again!


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How can you do that?
It doesn't take much - 

Just "Share Your Ears"!
THAT'S IT!


From now through November 17th, 2018, Walt Disney Parks will donate US $5 for each social share on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag "#ShareYourEars", up to US $2 million in donations - all of this in celebration of 90 years of Mickey Mouse & Thanks to Disney Team of Heroes!

That means, all you have to do to help those brave Make-A-Wish kids is share a photo rocking your favorite ears! Don't have a pair? I've got you covered! This DIY Mickey Mouse Ears project is so easy - it's a great way to spend time with your kiddo while encouraging them to use their "disney" magic level of creativity and imagination!

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Want to get creative with your imaginative toddler? Here's how we made these EPIC watercolor ears, in just minutes!

For this project you will need:

1 sheet of cardstock
a plain headband
white crayon
a watercolor paint palette & the works [brushes, water, etc]
pair of scissors
hot glue & a hot glue gun

First, you'll want to print off this template I've created. Be sure to hit the "fit to page" when printing!




Next, let your kiddo scribble willy-nilly all over the cardstock with the white crayon. While you won't be able to see the markings now, they look so nifty once water color is applied.

Which brings us to our next step, painting with watercolors. This part is easily Delainey's favorite. She loves showing off her epic painting skills... and honestly, I don't blame her - she is pretty talented!


Now let your painted ear template lie flat until it's dry to the touch. Then using the scissors cut as close to within the template you can, removing the black edges.

Once cut, glue the two circle parts of each ear together, allowing the length of the ears to remain attached, then slide the headband through the opening. Position the ears where you would prefer on the headband and then flatten the bottom so the opening on the ear is attached to the headband - apply a liberal amount of hot glue and let dry.

Now add your favorite bow like this one, or rock with another fun accessory, if you so desire and get ready to show off in your ears!

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Improve The Future For Your Children While Enjoying Your Morning Coffee!

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


Every single day is BUSY for us lately. With changing up our lifestyle to be a tad bit healthier and trying to squeeze in time for the blog, my blooms, and my babes, I feel like I never have enough time to do... well, anything.

If you're in the same boat as me... well, more like "treading water" like me. You may not have much time to do much of anything, especially something as time consuming as planning for the future.

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So, I took a break from our hectic schedules to compile 4 ways you can improve the future for your children over your morning coffee:

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1. Proper Nourishment - Step one in changing the future for your children is making sure you provide their body's with the best possible food selections you can. Choose organic, offer tons of fruits and veggies, and provide plenty of variety. Being properly fed will ensure your child's health is always optimal.

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2. College Tuition - With Student Loan debt reaching $1 Trillion among Americans this year, it's a no brainer to start your kiddo's college fun now. Whether your little wild child is 16 months or 16 years old, NOW is the time to start planning for their college years.


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It's tough to imagine now, but I know I'm going to blink and it'll be time to take Delainey off to college. I don't want to saddle her with debt for years to come or have to stress about paying for tuition as one lump sum, so I'm trying to do everything I can to plan ahead and help her succeed!

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With a Florida Prepaid Plan you (and others in your family) can start to gather funds to help provide a college education for your child, at a reasonable rate per month. Interested in signing up, check out all the Florida Prepaid Plans available here and be sure to use the code LAUREN1718 to save $25 off your application fee... but go ahead & fill it out now, open enrollment ends in

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You can literally fill this baby out in minutes while sipping your coffee and then you'll have things sorted out for your baby's college years. Trust me, this is the easiest way to make sure your kiddo can get the college education they deserve! Learn more about Florida Prepaid and how it'll work for your family.

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3. Recycle - The next way I think every single family should plan for the future is recycling! Making sure your kiddo has a healthy, happy world to live in means keeping unnecessary trash out of landfills! Take a second and sort your recycling, reuse materials and do you part in keeping our planet clean! In many counties you can find public recycling bins or have your recycling picked up on the curb... and the best part is, you can teach your kiddos about recycling so they continue the tradition.


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4. Smile - The last way you can ensure your child has a happy future is probably the easiest, you just need to smile more. Whether it's forced through some frustration or a genuine smile, sometimes you just gotta grin to show your kiddo that everything is okay.

Instead of stressing about all that needs to be done, take a deep breath, listen to your kiddo tell you about their Barbie's and smile.

So tell me, are you prepared for the future? If not, don't stress... Today is the day to start planning and you can get the college funds thing sorted out now - just click here & be sure to use our code - Lauren1718 to save some cash!

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3 Unique & Adorable Gerber Baby Apparel Looks for Your Toddler

Did you know Delainey is now a paid Brand Ambassador for Gerber Childrenswear?! What does that mean exactly? It is just is a fancy way of saying this post is sponsored... but as always, all opinions expressed below are mine alone!


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Alright y'all... let's be real, before I even had Delainey I always thought baby clothes were adorable... what girl doesn't? I knew I would love being a mama, but I really had NO IDEA how obsessed I would become!

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While Delainey and I always have a ton of fun doing all types of activities together, I'll be the first to admit - we love playing dress up... and I do mean "we". This girl loves bows, clothes, and shoes, just like her mama. So she's always willing to get her sassy pants on and run around the yard while I take some pictures.

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 With that said, today we want to show how versatile the coordinating Gerber sets from Walmart are, more specifically we are going to show you how we style our onesies for fall, from bow to toe - in 3 completely different ways.

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Some may say babies don't have "style", if that's the case - they haven't met this baby! She's full of style and sass and these three Gerber looks show it:


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We'll start with the simple pretty in pink look. This one is possibly my favorite, it's classic with a twist of fun. For this look, I paired White Pearls & Lace distressed jeans with her pink striped Gerber onesie and a Bloomology bow. We finished the look with a pink rose bib and some grey converse and she was set for a day on the go with daddy.

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This look is pretty much an everyday outfit for Miss Delainey and it should be for your babe too. Since the Gerber coordinated baby apparel collection is available at Wal-mart at a super affordable price, every girl should own a handful of these classic onesies.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

Whether you're currently expecting or dealing with a fun little feisty toddler, like me, the Gerber apparel collection offers just what you are looking for...

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On that note, the next look we have is this "Sweet Baby Blues" preciousness. Delainey is showing off in her "Sweet" blue onesie. Paired with some polka dot leg warmers and a glitter bow, this look is perfect for hanging around the house and chasing her pup from room to room!

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Plus, with her baby blue eyes, I can't get enough of this gorgeous blue color... we MUST have more and luckily, there's other items in the coordinating collection that match it!

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And the last look we're going to share today is her punk rock princess persona. I'm not even joking when I say she loved the way she looked in this outfit. From giving herself a smooch in the mirror to giggling the whole time we played in the backyard, I think this look was D's absolute favorite.

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We paired a purple Gerber hat, with a fun floral print Gerber Onesie, and a coordinating tu-tu that we just happened to have... but isn't it beyond perfection with this print? We completed the look with a fun bubble necklace, some Gerber socks, and another pair of Converse!

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=special_offers%3ANew%7C%7Cbrand%3AGerber&max_price=50&min_price=0&page=1&po=1&query=gerber+clothing+-+searchProductResult#searchProductResult

So, now that we've shared three completely different, fashionable, and adorable looks with you, be sure to leave your favorite stylish combination to dress your toddler up in below!

5 Ways to Tame Toddler Tantrums

Some days are easier than others parenting Delainey. The days when she's an angel and so easy to please are the best. But we also have the days when she is a terrible teething mess, when all she does is throw tantrums and toddle around whining. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for everyday with her but the latter is definitely more challenging.

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While we can't find a cure all for her temper tantrums, yet... we're working on it and today I want to share FIVE ways to tame toddler tantrums!

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1. Communicate - This first idea is maybe the most obvious but also likely the most complicated since most toddlers throwing tantrums are still learning to communicate.

When we hear our sweet girl winding up for a fit, we've started encouraging Lainey to "use [her] big girl words" and also teaching her sign language. Instead of letting her throw a fit when she wants a snack, I show her the sign for "eat", say the word "eat", and then provide her with something to eat.

While she can't tell me she wants to go to the park just yet, soon enough I have a feeling she'll be chatting away and asking to do all kinds of fun activities... but for now, I'm going to try and tame her tantrums by helping her learn to talk.

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2. Identify & Treat - It's also pretty important to try and identify why your toddler is throwing a fit.

If he's sleepy, it's time for a nap. If he's aching, maybe try some essential oils. If she's hungry, feed her a snack. And if she has diaper rash, the only way to prevent and treat it is Desitin Maxium Strength. I'm not going to lie, I would say like 50% of the time when we just can't figure out what's going on with D, she seems to have a bit of diaper rash randomly pop up. I blame it on teething, but who really knows? All I do know is that we put red to bed and help make things better with Desitin.

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3. Learning - Another way we try to solve tantrums in our house is letting her roam free... Whether that means walking down the street (and letting her choose which direction we wander) or just wandering around looking at ant hills in our backyard.

With that said, sometimes (when she has diaper rash), she gets to explore SUPER freely and by that I mean, in her birthday suit. Not only are we allowing her to feel, touch, explore, and learn in a different way, she's also getting fresh air on her bum - which is great for diaper rash too!

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4. Explain - While we've been working on her communication during a fit, I've been trying to get better at using my communication skills as well. Instead of just telling her "NO!" when she's doing something she's not supposed to, I'm doing my best to try and tell her why she can't do it.

For example, instead of just exclaiming when she goes for an outlet, I immediately respond "no", but then I pick her up and point at the outlet and explain "OW! That's electricity, baby girl. That can hurt you very badly, so no-no touch! Okay, Delainey?"... and while she may not understand it ALL right now, I think she seems to somewhat and she also tends to listen better after I explain why something is a "no-no".

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5. Understand - Speaking of understanding, try not to get too carried away trying to prevent and tame  tantrums... remember that your little one is just a kid. Learning something new each day, exploring and taking it all in and while that's amazing, it's also overwhelming for them and I know we all can understand what that feels like. So don't freak out if nothing helps to calm a fit sometime this week, it happens to the best of us and it'll likely happen again.

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So tell me, how do you tame tantrums in your home? I'd love to hear in the comments below!




My 14 month old's Christmas List...

I can remember when I was little I would sit down with a catalog and circle all the toys that I wanted for Christmas each year... ranging from art sets to dolls, I was spoiled and always got what I wanted and then some.With that said, Delainey is only 14 months old so she won't be circling any items in a catalog or browsing online with me for toys, but I have a good idea of some of the items on her Christmas list this year and today I want to share them with you, whether that's to inspire you to grab something super cool for your little one or to start shopping for your grandbaby. So happy shopping...

Let's get started with the most epic little princess ride, possibly ever. This would be perfect for any little princess that loves to explore, especially one named Delainey Kate.



Next on her list, the most precious little princess tent. Completed with a cute little rug and some decorative lights and she'll have a sweet cozy place to hang out now.... that eventually can grow with her into a reading nook.



Another item that I think every little girl would love is a "play kitchen"... and since D is OBSESSED with being in our kitchen and watching us cook, this beautiful little play kitchenette is at the TOP of our list.



Okay, well, maybe this item is more on mama & daddy's list, but it's definitely FOR her - this little bench would make the perfect toy box/organizer for all of her wonderful toys and it would also match our house pretty well, so that's a win!


Another item every Florida girl has on her Christmas list this year is a water table and this one definitely won't disappoint!

One item that I know D would absolutely FLIP over is this little playset, she's obsessed with playgrounds so having one at her house would make her way too excited for words!



I'm not going to lie, this "roller coaster" looks like it would be a great toy for all ages of children and it's such a good deal!




Since D is in love with birdies lately and she's always been a foodie, a placemat like this one is perfect!




I'm certain we'll have more to add to her list and I'll even be sharing a handful of great gift ideas in our upcoming gift guide... but that's all we have in mind for now. So tell me, what do you think it something every toddler should have? Can you remember a Christmas gift from your childhood that took your breath away... what was it? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Parenthood, Adulting, and Saving for Your Child's College Education Wisely...

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

After Irma hit my husband and I have decided to prioritize things in our life a little more, I guess you could say we are giving this whole "adulting" thing a go. I guess it just took the threat of a natural disaster to make us "man up" but we've both been doing a lot of thinking about life and evaluating what our priorities are.


With my itty bitty baby already hitting her 14 month milestone recently, I've realized she's going to  grow up fast. Right now I'm reading her stories at bedtime and remind her not to eat dirt, next thing I know it'll be tea parties with her neighborhood friends and trips to library with classmates, and soon enough I'll be sending her off to college. I'm still figuring all this adult stuff out but one thing I know for certain is life flies by, so the reality of planning for her future is absolutely of utmost importance to us now.


With that said, I know now is the time to start saving for her future - I want to be sure she can get the higher education she wants and deserves without feeling burdened. My hubby and I have been saddled with college debt and a monthly student loan for years and that's just not something I want for her future, so we're doing something about it.


Saving for her future isn't just for her though. It benefits us too, we want to be sure we don't saddle ourselves with even more college debt and I mean, one day... someday, we eventually hope to retire... and well, that all takes planning, budgeting, and all that jazz.

While it's been great to really start to "adulting", I'm not going to lie - it's a little stressful getting up close and personal with all things finance-related. I'm sure we aren't the only millennials trying to figure out what to do about our college debt while also trying to plan how to pay for our kid's college one day.


After a little bit of research and some investigation, I'm so happy to have found the answer - The Florida Prepaid College Board Plans... and the good news for us all is: NOW is the time to enroll!

With five different plans, each with specific costs, payment schedules, and benefits which all include tuition at 28 Florida Colleges (as well as 12 universities), it's easy to see why the Florida Prepaid program would make sense for our little Florida baby.




So if you're a parent in the same boat as me trying to figure out how to save wisely, you may be asking yourself some questions... and I'm hoping I can answer a couple of them...


Let's start with the first question that came to my mind - How can you sign up for this Prepaid Plan and how much will your monthly payments be? You can sign up here... and since the monthly payment amount varies based on the age of the child and the amount you plan to save, your payment will be different than mine. Prices start at around $50 and the range of prices really varies.

When is the right time to start investing? NOW! From birth until 11th grade, you are eligible to enroll during open enrollment and should take advantage of this savings plan. After all, when we found out the cost of college has already increased 538% since 1985, we knew NOW was the right time to start investing and guaranteeing her a great education.

But why a Florida Prepaid College Plan? There's several reasons, but my top three include:

You and your family can literally fund your kiddo's college years, one month at a time. I mean it's pretty easy to pay approximately $50 a month, it's a little more daunting with a bill of $7,373 being thrown at you each semester, which is approximately the lump sum you could pay into the 1 year Florida Prepaid fund if you were able to...

Another reason we decided to save with Florida Prepaid, is the benefits and the flexibility.

What exactly do I mean by that?
Even if one day we decide to move back to Oklahoma or maybe even broaden our horizons and dip our feet in a Wyoming pond, the good news is Delainey will always have access to Florida in-state tuition while using her plan to help pay for tuition! I love that we are free to roam and she won't lose her Florida Prepaid benefits!

Even better, if she happens to get a scholarship, I love that the amount of the plan we have selected can be use towards school expenses or refunded!

What if you only have enough for the one year plan now? Well, I love that we can work towards getting her college paid for as a family. One student can have a handful of purchasers, that means grandmas, aunts, cousins, and more can help send your kiddo to college.... and it's an affordable monthly payment, if they're able to help! I love that. Instead of asking for toys this year, I think we may ask Delainey's grandparents to help pay for a year of college... maybe you could do the same?

Will my payments vary? Nope, the plans are guaranteed and the prices are locked, so no worries about price hikes in tuition or payments suddenly increasing.


With all of that said, just because these plans work for us, doesn't mean it's made for you... Don't fret. Check out how a Florida 529 Savings plan could be the answer! With no set payment schedule it may be harder to add into your budget, but the down side is the plan isn't guaranteed by the State of Florida like the Florida Prepaid plan.



No matter which plan you choose, now's the time to enroll - go ahead and sign your little one up for a Florida Prepaid Plan before open enrollment ends in February!

DIY Matryoshka Russian Stacking Doll Baby Costume



So, I kinda sorta have a fascination with Russian stacking dolls.


I'm not sure why I find them so fascinating and adorable... but I do.


I look forward to sharing this love with my little "Babushka".


And since we've been playing dress up all month long, it was obvious to me that I had to find a way to make D into a matryoshka...



While I couldn't exactly stick her inside of another doll, I did my best to make her family of smaller dolls - including the cuties on her top & her bow!


I'm proud to report, while playing dress up she fell in love with the little "dolls" I made her to play with and we will soon be adding a real matryoshka set to her toy collection.


And well, she may or may not be rocking this "costume" as an outfit again in the future... because hello, adorable! Want the details on her costume? I've linked what I know below!




bow { Darling Diva Boutique Bows }
top { bought used/shop sadly unknown }
icing pants { MudPie }
stacking dolls { Bloomology }