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Toddler Craft: Bird Feeders

We all know how important it is to keep toddler hands busy and engaged, especially this time of year when the weather is cooler and little ones can easily go stir crazy without the extra stimulation. My two youngest children and I recently spent a morning creating these little bird feeders, and we thought we would share the how to with you.

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Summer Hairstyles for Kids

Given the summer temperatures lately, I can only assume most everyone has been (or will be) feeling a heat wave at some point this month. Summer hats are a must, but finding a way to keep that hair off their necks and faces is also pretty important on the comfort scale. A pony tail or a buzz cut can really help beat the summer heat, but why not change it up in the name of cuteness and fun! Here are 16 cute, stylish, cool (like a cucumber) and fun summer dos for your little ones!

The Rope Braid – not really a braid but that’s what makes it even more fun! (use this tutorial to learn how to style it)

The Short Shag – maybe your son has way cute shaggy hair? This shorter on the sides look might be the perfect summer update.

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Regular Clothes That Double as Costumes/Dress Up Clothes

I love items that do double duty. Although we have a couple of dress-up items (mostly hats and accessories), I prefer to purchase items the kids can wear as both their normal clothes and as costumes. Lion loves costume hoodies as he pretends to be Captain America or a Ninja Turtle (so much so that one day we relented and let him bring one to school this summer, despite the fact that it was 90 degrees). I love that they get much more use than dress up specific items. Below are some of my picks for regular clothing items that can also be used as costumes. I tried to include boys’ and girls’ items, but please forgive me for using mostly examples from the boys’ section both because that’s who I shop for and there seems to be better selection there for costume-y related clothes! But don’t let the designation stop you. We’ve purchased clothing for Lion in the girls’ section, like when he wanted a Wonder Woman t-shirt!

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In the fall and winter, the kids pretty much live in costume hoodies.

Costume Hoodies

Costume hoodies are a big part of our rotation. We own a Where the Wild Things Are hoodie, two Captain America hoodies, Darth Vader, the Flash and Ninja Turtles. There are a lot of superhero related ones, which is perfect for our superhero obsessed child. I have found them most frequently at Nordstrom, Target and Kohl’s, but also recently picked one up on Amazon, which we plan to give him in the fall.

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Korean Skincare Products I’m Loving

I just got back from Korea and stocked up on makeup and skincare products! So what did I get at the mecca of beauty products?

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Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine Pads – I’ve mentioned this line and product before, but when I repurchase a product it means that I really love it because I love trying new lines. The main ingredient is derived from red wine which has natural antioxidants and exfoliants. This jar contains 30 individual pads to use twice a week, so it lasts quite a while. I’m always on the lookout for great exfoliants, and this is a holy grail product!

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Innisfree Olive Real Cleansing Tissue – Typically I’m not picky about cleansing wipes, but I recently bought these and they are my favorites to date. They’re very moisturizing and do a great job of removing all my makeup.

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Care.com review

I’ve written before about losing our nanny and trying to figure out our weird babysitting schedule and how difficult it has been. I finally decided a month ago to start using Care.com to try to find a few people to use for our babysitting during the week, plus a couple of extra people that could fill in when needed. I needed to find people for pretty specific times during the week, with the possibility of needing a couple of extra times when I have work commitments and Mr. Cereal can’t make his schedule work. Because both of our work schedules are so varied, we have to be ready to make a change at a moments notice and it was imperative to find a few people with flexibility.

The site: The actual website is really easy to use. I signed up for a one month subscription with the hopes of covering the shifts I needed in the month’s time, and having the option of keeping my account active in between my use. The price is not too bad, and I am lucky because I live in a college town, which means that there are a lot of young college students looking for part-time babysitting gigs. I uploaded a photo and put together a job advertisement. I really like that I could choose a number of different details like specifying if the person should be comfortable with pets, younger or older kids, cooking, etc. I am pretty low key in my expectations, but we do have a pet so I liked that I could indicate that.

I chose to indicate that I wanted someone who was ok with the age ranges of my kids, 2-4 years, as well as someone who likes being outside, can do some crafting, and has their own transportation. I don’t ever indicate cooking or cleaning because I think that for my situation, that is too much to ask and I don’t have the financial means to pay for the extra services. Basically, my goal is to have someone there just to hang out with the kids and play with them. I also made sure that anyone who applied knew that I have a pet and that he is in the house while they would be there.

For the applicants, the site has similar features that they can use to indicate their preferences. They can specify their available hours and their preferred price range, which was super helpful on my end because I could eliminate people pretty immediately if they were not in my price range or had hours available that I needed. The other cool feature for the care applicants is that they can list their interests in relation to child care. This was really cool because a few of the applicants I looked at indicated that they had interest in STEM activities, which is awesome and something I really appreciate. I also loved the providers that were able to list reviews as well, which was really nice because it helped me pick my top candidates.

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Introducing Our Leading Lady

Without further ado, let me introduce you to the sweet lady that has wrapped us all around her finger.  Meet Rowan Naomi.


IMG_0770Rowan Naomi.–7 lbs. 7 oz.–19 inches

After deciding that we felt someone was still missing from our family, we went for #4. My pregnancy with this baby was rather uneventful. While we knew going into having another that we very well could have another boy and we were both just fine with that, we were thrilled to learn that this little one would be a girl. After two c-sections, we knew we would have another c-section so things were planned well in advance of the big day.

Mr. Blue and I were both in crazy busy times at work, so the weeks leading up to giving birth were filled with us both working like crazy and trying to get our jobs as under control as possible before the arrival of this little girl. The Saturday before my scheduled c-section on Tuesday, Graham woke up with a fever and vomited a couple of times. It wasn’t exactly what he had planned for the weekend, but we took care of him and hoped no one else would get sick. My sister-in-law and brother offered to keep the boys the night before the big day and bring them back to town later on the afternoon after baby girl was born.

Monday dawned and Graham’s temperature was lower so we figured the virus was wrapping up. My sister-in-law and her kids came over and everyone was having fun playing together. About 11:30, Finn asked if he could go to bed…which never happens. I quickly took everyone’s temperature and they were all between 101-102.  A quick, pleading call to our pediatrician resulted in a 4:00 appointment for everyone. They all tested positive for strep & got shots. It was a tiny bit stressful to have three sick kiddos 15 hours before my c-section, but my saintly sister-in-law still took them all home with her.

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How to Raise a Bookworm

My parents were first generation immigrants whose second language was English, and like many immigrants who were busy endlessly working, they never read books to me as a kid. Perhaps it was due to it being a simpler time with less distractions and less to do, but I was lucky to develop a love of reading anyway. Many nights I could be found reading with a flashlight under my blanket when I should have been sleeping. I have so many fond memories of going to the library as a child, rereading my favorite books over and over again, and staying up all night to finish a book because I just couldn’t put it down. Books, more than any other medium, allowed to me expand my imagination and escape to other worlds.

Charlie and Olive are now 7 1/2 and 5 1/2 years old, and I can say that they are both bookworms. They read for hours independently every day by choice, and will even choose to read new books over playing their favorite game, Minecraft! I think their love of reading developed over the years because we’ve read to them copiously daily since they were born. And even though Charlie has been reading independently for over 2 years now, we still read to him daily, and won’t be stopping any time soon.

So how did they become bookworms? It happened pretty organically, but here are the top 8 things we did to help.

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Olive taking a break from reading her book to listen to Charlie read her a story from his Kindle.

Read daily from birth. Reading books before every nap and bedtime was part of our daily routine. We read at least 3 board books before each nap when they were babies taking up to 4 naps a day, more if they didn’t seem tired. They haven’t napped in years now, but it’s still part of our bedtime routine and not a day has gone by in their lives when we haven’t read to them.

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