October 5, 2015

Re-Play and a Giveaway

This past spring we finally got our back patio set up. We stained the deck and purchased a table, chairs and umbrella to enjoy morning coffees and dinners outside. We looked all over for a nice and sturdy table that would last us for many many years. We ended up getting our set (Berlin Gardens) that is made from 96% recycled materials- mainly milk bottles. Not only is it low maintenance- which was a must- it helps the environment as well. This is something I have been trying to be more conscious of in my purchases this past year. The tables are also made in Berlin, Ohio which is a third plus being made in the USA.

A few months later, one of my friends (Andrea) posted about how she won a complete set of kids dishes and sippy cups from a contest online from Re-Play. The dishes were made from recycled HDPE, aka #2 plastic which of course is milk jugs AND the products are made and tested in the USA. I was so excited and immediately had to check them out. I went straight to Re-play's Instagram (Here) and then their website. These dishes come in a rainbow of adorable colors and stack well. I knew that we just had to have them!!!
 Up until now, our cupboard has been a mess of mish-mashed dishes and cups. It takes up so much room and was so disorganized. These plates and dishes stack up so nicely- it makes my slightly ocd self so much happier to see.
The plates and bowls have held up well to a crazy toddler. I was worried that he would destroy the forks because Logan likes to chew on forks and straws until they are no longer usable- so far they look just as good as new.
 As you can see, we've been using these dishes for a while. I  love the divided plates. It gives me a few options to place different kinds of foods and keeps things from getting completely mixed together by toddler fingers. The sippy cups are great too- they are no spill cups and I think we will get the most use out of them with Quinn as she learns to drink from somewhere other than me.

 Quinn will be getting a few pink and yellow sets for Christmas this year to add to our collection! I might try a few of their new flat plates as well. You can pick up a set at Walmart or off Amazon.
I absolutely love love love these dishes. They wash up well, can be thrown in the dishwasher and wont break when tossed on the floor. 

Re-Play has generiously agreed to giveaway a "Monster Mash" set to one of my readers. This includes 3 plates, bowls, sippy cups, fork and spoon in green, purple and orange... just in time for Halloween.
To enter- just leave a comment telling me which color is your favorite! (Bonus entry if you also include a fun snack you would serve... I'm always looking for fun and new ideas to serve the kids.)

This giveaway is only valid for those readers in the US (sorry guys), will close on the 9th and winner will be announced in a week- October 10th.

*Items were received for review but my opinions are 100% my own. I love these dishes and hope you do too. :)

You can check out more about Re-Play here- Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest

September 20, 2015

Toddler arts and crafts

I have always loved arts and crafts. When I was pregnant and thinking of what it would be like to have my own child,  I often day dreamed of reading books all curled up in a rocking chair in the evenings and slow afternoons of arts and crafts... especially coloring and drawing. Fast forward to now and I have learned a few things about toddlers and sitting still...  Logan is a mover... always on the go. He loves to run, jump and play...with no time to sit unless you can find something he is really interested in. Through tons of trail and error, I have found that he is more likely to enjoy an activity that is sensory based. Crayons, markers, chalk only hold his interested for a few minutes but throw in something he can get messy with and he is a happy kid.

I thought I would share the activities that we have come across in the last few months that have been the biggest hits. These have entertained my toddler while feeding Quinn and making dinner.

Discovery sand boxes-
Logan loves playing in sand boxes and while we have one outside, I wasn't always thrilled to clean up the sand that he tracked in all over the house and it helped to have something inside that he could do while I cooked. So I made him a mini box. I got a large tupperware box with lid and some fake kinetic sand from Target.
For the first box, I added bugs from the dollar store. We chatted about different kinds of bugs while he hid them in the sand and looked for them. He told me which bug was eating the other bugs and what their names were. We added in a few insect books this week and went on bug hunts while I watered the flowers (which we saw a spider, grasshopper, slug- ewww, beetle and cricket). It was a huge hit. 

For the second box, I also found little construction vehicles at the dollar store. These were/are a HUGE hit! He has played with them for hours. HOURS! We put the lid on and he will ask to play again when we are home. We have been reading a few stories to go along with this one and the other day he made them all go to sleep like in Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site and then asked me to make blankets for them. lol.

Water play- (sorry no photos)
Our water table has always been a big hit. This past week, we took a few of the bugs from the sandbox and added them into water to grow. (They are the growing kind- found at the dollar store.)

He then wanted to wash off his cars so into the bowl they went.

I've also made these dinosaur eggs with him and when you add them into water- they hatch! (Our mini dinosaurs were found on Amazon)

This has been in constant rotation in our house since we painted pumpkins last October. I'm constantly looking for things for Logan to paint. I use washable paint, give him a small waterbowl and put the paint colors in old egg cartons. Then he has free range. We paint our hands, feet, fingers, use the brush...
We've even rolled little matchbox cars in the paint and done tire track paintings.
This past week, Logan painted a "Haunted house". He said it was a house for a ghost and I asked him if he wanted me to paint some ghosts and mummies for his house. He helped me pick out each figure I painted and of course we had to add in a dinosaur. It was fun for us both to be painting something to play with together later on. I think it came out great. I want to add some spooky trees and maybe a scarecrow to go along with a few Halloween books we are already reading. :)

Other than that, we've always defaulted to play doh if nothing else sounds good. I'm planning on setting up a monster play doh activity soon with funny googly eyes.

If you try any of these activities... feel free to let me know how it went! Also- if you have one that has been great for your kids then feel free to share it with me!

Sunflower Fields

This past week went by in a blur as Quinn was sick. We spent most of our time trying to keep Logan from touching Quinn or playing with any toys that she had touched and making her feel as comfortable as possible. Also no one slept. So while I don't have much to say right now... I thought I would just share some adorable photos. Last sunday we made the trek to Mass to check out a Sunflower Field. I've always wanted to find one and walk around the giant flowers and while we did hit the field after they had peaked... it was still a great evening. I'm definitely putting this on our list to do again next year!!!

September 10, 2015

Summer fun 2015 (part one)

Well I will try and keep this on the shorter side of long. ;) I was really bad this year at keeping up with blogging about our daily life... so I thought I should mention some of the fun we had this summer! (I'm totally in denial that it's coming to a close. Not ready for fall just yet.) After the looooong winter we had and the piles of snow that got dumped on us... spring seemed to come a lot later this year so I think summer has felt extra nice!

For June, we had decided to book a family vacation with my side of the family. Since we would have a baby with us I didn't want to travel too far. We booked a house on Cape Cod for the week and my parents, brother and his fiance all came up to us! No one had met Quinn yet besides my mom so it was really fun for everyone to get to meet her.  We also got to celebrate Kyle's 30th Birthday and his engagement to Amanda!!!
Cape Cod was a great time! We hung out, hit up a few beaches, went for a few walks and checked out a baseball game. It was also our first vacation where Logan could climb out of his pack and play (and he was newly potty training) so it was a little crazy but we all managed to get a little bit of sleep. LOL. (Vacations sure aren't what they used to be...)

The timing of our trip could not have been better... we were there before the massive crowds hit the Cape so traffic was alright. I couldn't imagine what it's like mid summer!
(Quinn's first time on the swings)
The rest of the month we spent hitting up the playground, having playdates with friends and playing in the pool. We also took the kids to Davis Farmland which ended up being so much fun! It's a farm, playground and splashpad all in one. We spent all day there and Logan absolutely loved it!

July was a bit more jam packed then June. We started out with having Geoff home over the 4th of July. We cooked out, went to the beach and ate popsicles in the front yard.
We took Logan blueberry picking again this year. Last year he mainly picked to eat the blueberries. This year, he picked a few, ate a few out of our buckets and then ran around while we picked. Lol. He also took his first swing on a tire swing before we left.
 Quinn had her first taste of solid foods which was really fun to start back up again. (I thought I was going to try baby-led weaning and then found myself pureeing up foods like with Logan. lol.)
 We played outside with the hose and sprinklers a lot...
 Near the end of the month, we had a Big weekend planned about 2 hours north of us. We got tickets for a Day out with Thomas in North Conway. This year, our location also had Percy and we got the joint tickets so we could ride BOTH trains. Logan looooves trains and Thomas so it was a pretty big hit this year.

There is a kids amusement park near by called Storyland and we decided to make it a weekend and hit up both. We booked a hotel at the North Conway Grand Hotel and drove in Thursday. We drove straight to Storyland and spent the last 3 hours on Thursday at the park. Then found dinner and checked into the hotel. We were up early the next day and went back to the park until close. Logan was juuuuust tall enough to ride all of the rides (except the big rollercoaster). We all had so much fun!!!!
The rest of the month was again, hitting up the beach with our water loving family...
 and taking Logan to his first plays at the Palace Theatre. They have a kids summer series that we tried out and Logan loooooooved! (and so did I) We saw Peter Pan first, then went back the next two weeks for Aladdin and Wizard of Oz. They lasted about an hour and Logan happily sat through the whole show. You could meet the cast after every show which he did not like at all... except when it came to Captain Hook. We had to stand in line to meet him. Lol.

I'll recap August another day... I'm trying to soak in all of the warm days we have left before winter comes again. (I've been hearing that this one might be worse than last year and I just can not believe my ears... I may need to move south. jk)