Sunday, February 24, 2013

Washi Tape?

I love the idea of all the washi tape trending on Pinterest BUT I don't know where to get it nor do I want to stick it to everything only to have to peel it off and toss it later.  Bear was getting restless and I was trying to cook dinner (more on that below) and I needed something fast to distract him.  Playdough requires too much attention lately and coloring is not active enough.  I grabbed a roll of masking tape of the counter and told Bear to pick out some small cars.

I started with "parking" and made a road down to a building of sorts.  Then once he started playing he wanted to add the train tracks to the mix - genius! This was quite possibly the easiest activity we've done all week. Works on hard wood or carpet and leaves no sticky residue.

And now for dinner.  This is a $6 dinner that takes 15 minutes to cook and feeds 4 - yes that is only $1.50 per mouth! 

Tasty Baked Ziti:

1lb Box Ridged Ziti
Newmans or Classico red sauce (both were on sale but we used newmans)
Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

Boil water - add pasta and cook to directions (about 8 minutes).  Drain noodles and add to casserole dish.  Stir in red sauce and sprinkle cheese on top (do not stir).  Place in the oven and broil for approximately 3 minutes or until the top is bubbly.  

Garlic bread is optional, we had both italian bread and garlic on hand.


Dance, Love, Learn

I found this mix on Pinterest and downloaded all of them - I am in love with this mix and cant wait to sing and dance with a my little dude...

You can listen to them over on Small Fry

love songs, play list, i tunes, brooke white, dixie chicks, bob dylan, cat powers

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Loosing Your Cool

Patience it something I seriously lack.  My sister and I had a heart to heart about it rather recently and believe we originally picked up this behavior from my father.  We love him dearly but when we were kids, he was not the most patient parent.

I hate to say it but I sometimes totally lose my cool, usually over stupid small things and more so when I am short on sleep.  Sometimes I'm driving and someone is being an ass, sometimes it's cans on the coffee table and other times it's the strong willed two year old.  I've been trying to be more conscious about it, especially around Bear, in order to give myself a moment to stop, take a deep breath, count to four and decide how to handle the situation.

This week was hard.  Bear has been waking up more times at night than ever, I just started a new job and our house is a disaster - not to mention I need to get my car inspected, switch banks and pay off some bills. Well today I totally lost it, Bear normally gets super cranky if I don't put him to nap at the absolute perfect time (about 25 minutes after lunch) on the weekends. He was out of control, hitting, rolling around on his bed and screaming.  Every time I would tuck him in he'd throw the covers - i yelled.  Which only made him more roudy, which made me more mad so I did the only thing I could think to do and left the room, sat on couch and proceeded to feel like the worst person ever.

How could I yell at such an innocent little being who only wants to spend more time with me and less time napping?  Well then I had that little light go off - it's so obvious and even though it's crossed my mind a thousand times and I've said it to Daddy and I've said it to Nana it never really clicked exactly what I was doing.  I am constantly reminding people that kids are monkey see monkey do - if you hit, they hit. If you eat junk food, they eat junk food. If I am impatient, HE will be impatient.  If Bear yelled at me or anyone else, I would ask him to apologize.

I got my sulking self up off the couch, slowly opened his bedroom door, got right down at his level and this is how the conversation went:

Me: "I am sorry I yelled at you Bear.  I got upset that you were not listening to me and forgot to stop, take a deep breath and count to four.  Sometimes Mommy's make mistakes too.

(we saw this on Daniel Tiger and I have been teaching to do it too when he gets really worked up)

Bear: "Hug." he wraps his little arms around me and whispers: "It's ok Mommy."

Me: "I love you so much little Bear.  Will you try to get some sleep now so we can have time to play outside?"

Bear: "Mhmmmm 'nother hug?"

One more hug, a kiss and then he went down for nap.  I still feel like a huge jerk, he forgave me so quickly.

Moral of the story, learn from my mistake.  Keep your cool and if you need to just step away.  Toddlers are complex little beings and it seems like they outsmart you every. single. time.  Remember that your children are your gift to the world, teach them how to be patient, respectful, humble, compassionate, forgiving, loving and teach them how to not only learn but to be teachers themselves.  What better way than through example?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Spy & Something for Mum and Dad

SUPER Easy project for a weekend - I spy bottle!!

I had a cool water bottle kicking around the floor of my car it was a $1 bottle of water from Walgreens so we used that.  Any smooth water bottle will do fine.  I got a half gallon of CLEAR hand soap from target for $3.49 and we rounded up all the knick-knacks and brightly colored choking hazards around the house (crayons, a plastic grenade, a mini teacup, some beads, etc..) OH and glitter...nothing is fun without glitter right?

I had Bear drop all the little pieces into the bottle then we poured the glitter and soap in together. Fill almost to the brim - leave about 1" of air. Squirt some super glue around the sides of the inside of the cap and twist on as tight as you can.  There will be a bunch of bubbles but it will be more fun in an hour or so when everything settles.

Good for finding trinkets and good for learning about what floats vs what sinks :)

For Mum & Dad:  It's hard to time find for our partners these days (gonna keep it g) if anyone wants to spice things up try out for a month (I'll let ya'll know if it's worth it, we'll get our first box next month) but if you want to try use my code: Holly3485


Monday, February 18, 2013

Glow Bath

We went to Target over the weekend and grabbed a tube of 15 glow bracelets from the $1 bin (good deal).  I sort of had the idea of what I was going to do with them but it ended up being 10x more fun than I thought.

The first night we only put 5 in the tub and it was not super interesting.  Tonight we put in a whole bunch and connected them to line the whole bath.

I highly recommend this!

Then we decided to have some fun with the shutter speed...

...and then the fun continued into the bedroom...

Keep in mind these have small parts and although they are not easy to break, they can.  Do not leave your kid unattended in the bath with these - or in general don't leave your kid alone in a tub of water :)  If one does break, I would call poison control just in case but my friend's little brother broke one in his mouth and poison control told us that they just taste really bad and wont harm you (but don't take my word for it).

We also like to add the sesame street water dyes to the tub at night.  A can of 25 was only $3.49 at RiteAid.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FREE Printable Valentines

We made some Valentine's to share!

I got the background from NASA's picture a day page and made a 'galaxy' background.  Then found some fun fonts for the back and left a blank space for your kiddo's name!

Since we wanted to give them a personal touch, I had used paint chips and a star punch to punch out a ton of stars and Bear glued them on.  You could also glue hearts, planets, glitter, etc to make them super pretty and personal!

Here are Bear's out to dry...

Go to THIS LINK to download and print yours.

 There are two pages, if your home printer does not print two sided print one side, flip and print the other.  I have included gray marks that show where to cut.


I like Cheap and Free

I have been pinching pennies lately since I know I will be switching jobs in about a week and a half and the pay period will be off.  I've found some awesome deals on stuff and just wanted to give you a heads up that this is easy, fast and has potential to save you a bunch of money.

As I mentioned before I used (my referral link does not work right now because I suspended my subscription) I purchased a Groupon for $15 for a 3-month subscription to Citrus Lane.  In those three months, we received (sorry I don't have all the brand names in front of me):

Children's CD
Greentoys Airplane
PlanToys vegetable and play knife
Snack Bowls
Epicential Kids hypoallergenic all natural lotion and shampoo sampler
A sing-a-long book
Dark Chocolate (for me)
Lotion (for me)
A $10 gift voucher for
Bowl and Plate set
2 Squeeze Packs of apple sauce
Brag Book
To-go lunch container

I feel like I'm missing something but below is one of the boxes we received:
Dec. 2012 -- A Few Of Our Favorite Things

My latest find was at TopFloor - very similar to groupon but more fashion.  They had a special for $10 for a one month subscription to Wittlebee and free shipping for the next two months.  Wittlebee picks out 6 items of clothing for your little and packs them up nice and ships 'em over.  I've read mixed reviews but figured $10 was worth it at $1.66 per piece of clothing and I can always cancel if I am unhappy.  They ask general questions (Age, Gender, Size and Clothing Preference) and also give you the option to leave notes.  I left the note that although it's winter in Maine, I would like shorts and tshirts.  I will be making an un-official review when I receive my first package :)

I found another great Groupon for I paid $19.00 and got 3 youth small t-shirts for Bear.  They may not fit until next year but hey - they were awesome for $6.66 each (reg. $14.99 each). I got a Arctic Animals T, a Wolf T and this awesome gem...

Image displayed is small youth shirt. Image print for all youth sizes is approx. 11 inches x 13 inches

I have also gotten a bunch of free samples from and joined a few birthday clubs (Kidorable, Burger King and The Childrens Place).

Moral of the story, sites like Groupon are AMAZING! Subscription packages are AMAZING! And stocking up for the future is never a bad plan.  You never know what your financial situation will be in the upcoming months.

Before ordering from anywhere, be sure to see if you can use ebates to get there and get cash back...

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back