Monday, July 31, 2017

STEM Toys

Hayden's birthday is coming up (5!) and I've been doing a little birthday shopping for our guy. His interests definitely veer toward building, engineering, and creating. He absolutely loves playing with his legos and creating very detailed structures. I decided to create a round-up of some favorite STEM toys for his age range- some of these we have and some I know Hayden would love. We have the marble run (2 actually to make giant tracks!) and the Magna tiles. Those, along with the legos get played with daily. We also have the code-a-pillar and he and Charlotte both have fun with that one. Let me know what fun STEM toys your kids love!





Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit//Skoolzy Straw Structures //Marble Genius Marble Run Starter Set//Domino Rally Classic //Magna-Tiles Clear Colors //LEGO Classic Large //BathBlocks Floating Ball Run//Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar//Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set

*Affiliate links used- thank you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Five on Friday


impromptu trip to the zoo

It's been another busy summer week and we are looking forward to our final quiet weekend at home. We're hosting Hayden's birthday party next weekend and packing and getting ready for our trip to CA. Here's what has been going on in our life this week:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Charlotte's Baptism


We celebrated Charlotte's baptism on Sunday with friends and a small luncheon. My brother Chris and my best friend Erin were Charlotte's godparents. Charlotte did well during the ceremony and was very serious the whole time. Her favorite part of the day was wearing the dress, which she wore up until bedtime.  Here are a few pictures of the day:

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Little Love For Your Monday

A few weeks ago, we let the kids watch the movie Storks for movie night. I was in and out of the room while they were watching, but I caught one of the final scenes and it brought tears to my eyes.  I can promise you that if you watch the first minute and a half of this clip, it will warm your heart and give you a little extra faith in humanity:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday




TGIF, Friends! It's been a hot one in New Jersey and daily trips to the pool, popsicles, and our window AC units have been helping us survive the heat. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Taking Care of Number One


Let's be honest, you (and I) probably don't consider yourself number one if you are also a momma of young kids. Moms are consistently putting their kids, husband, household, jobs, and any number of things ahead of self-care. It can leave you feeling, well, depleted. Most of the time, I'm only too happy to devote myself to the kids and our family, but every once in awhile, I feel myself getting extra grumpy and the build up of not taking care of myself makes takes its toll. In order to avoid that build-up, I've found that doing something for yourself can make all the difference in the world. Here are a few things that are easy to fit into my life:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Paper Plate Art: Sunny Side Up!

This is a guest post from education.com. As a former teacher, someone who still works in the field of education, and a mom who loves finding new learning projects to do with her kids, I'm all too happy to share this fun activity that you can do with your kids! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five on Friday!

1. Water Babies: Both my kids have really taken off in their love of swimming and their confidence in the water. We did two weeks of swimming lessons so far this summer and we'll probably do two more. Even without the daily lesson, we are at the pool more days than not. Hayden is making such great progress holding his breath and coordinating his arms and legs to propel himself forward. Charlotte thinks she's a mermaid and loves to float along in the water in her puddle jumper. Our pool has a small whirlpool and she loves to be swept around in circles repeatedly. We are taking full advantage of our membership and the summer weather!


2. Guests, guests, guests: This summer we have a full schedule of visitors; first my parents, then Nick's mom, and most recently Hayden's favorite friend from California and one of my dearest momma friends. We met in our birthing class and our kids were born 3 weeks apart and we've stayed friends ever since. It was so lovely to have them in our house this weekend and have some extended time with them!

3. Touch-a-truck Day: Our town had a special event yesterday with firetrucks, other emergency vehicles, a giant snow plow, and some ride on lawnmowers. The weather was sweltering, but the kids loved it and had the best time crawling all over these giant vehicles!

4. My favorite outdoor chair ever, ever: Nick bought me this swinging chair 5 years ago and we ended up placing it our yard in spots where it wasn't conducive to conversation. This year, we moved it onto the patio and it is by far the most comfortable seat in the house! It's held up amazingly well - having never been brought inside or covered from the elements in 5 years. (Side note- these glasses fit perfectly in the cup holders of the chair- if you are looking for something to hold your margarita ;)


5. The striped bathing suit hunt: I saw a little girl at the pool today with the cutest red and white striped bathing suit and never got a chance to ask her mom where she purchased the suit. I searched on google for a bit last night and came up empty-handed, but did find a bunch of other cute striped suits. I've always found that late July/August is a great time to shop for next year's swimwear- there are great sales and I can buy a few sizes up knowing it will get worn eventually!

Happy Weekend Friends! 

*Affiliate links used.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fourth of July Recap

A little late but I wanted to share some pictures from our holiday last week! We had the best time (even if we missed the fireworks this year...). My mother-in-law was visiting so we decided to host a BBQ at our house so that she could meet our friends here in New Jersey.

My BFF came out from New York in the morning and I picked her up from the train station and went straight to the cutest little parade (where my kids collected more candy than they did this past Halloween!).



After that, we went back to the house to put the kids down for naps and prep for the party. I wanted the party to be really laid back with no one stuck in the kitchen during the festivities so we did corn, watermelon, and grilled steak and shrimp. I made some (potent) sangria and we did s'mores and root beer floats for dessert. Super simple and tasty.





We had a lot of kids here and they played all over the driveway with our ride-on toys, and on the swingset and in the sandbox. We also set up our water table since it was a warm night.


Fireworks didn't start until almost 10 pm so we decided to stay home and hope to catch some of them from our backyard- which unfortunately didn't happen this year. Our kids had fun running around in the dark with their glow bracelets on anyway!


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