Here are my favorites for this week. Enjoy!
Fresh Take 5’s Friday Favorites for 5.8.15:
I love the idea of potentially teaching your child yoga to deal with frustration and other overwhelming emotions.
Tried this chicken marinade over the weekend and loved it with a couple of modifications. I used a pinch of dried thyme instead of the fresh, skipped the fresh rosemary and went heavy on the pepper. I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to keep fresh herbs on hand for weeknight meals.
Oh parenthood. I’m feeling these tweets now that I’ve got two toddlers.
Are you a reader? How many of these books can you check off?
This new technology seems awesome. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
Roasted Banana Leather is the perfect fix for those bananas you have in the house that are overripe or about to be. It is also an easy way to create a healthy snack for you and your little ones. The pictures pretty much say it all.
Roasted Banana Leather
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Slice bananas and place on a tin foil-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Allow bananas to cool.
Happy Earth Day to everyone out there!
In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would give you my top 5 easy ways to be environmentally conscious today and going forward.
- Recycle at Home – I can’t say this one enough. We recycle everything we possibly can. I am weird about it, but if you’re not, start off small. Try to have your recycling bin contain more than your trash bin at the end of every week.
- Use refillable water bottle. This is easy with the kids since they tend to use sippy cups that you bring with you, but consider getting one for yourself too. If you need a recommendation, I love my CamelBak Stainless steel bottle. The stainless is awesome because it doesn’t hold flavors like plastic does and CamelBak warranties all their parts. I had the mouthpiece break a couple of years ago and they completely replaced it at no charge to me.
- Use reusable grocery bags. I am an Aldi shopper and so I pretty much have to do this, but its a great habit to pick up anyway. You can find reusable grocery bags pretty much anywhere for inexpensive.
- Accept and give hand-me-downs. We have a solid rotation system down with friends and family for kids clothing. We only have to buy clothes for special occasions and wear hand me downs the rest of the time. I love this because not only is it environmentally conscious, it saves money. We also donate clothing when it no longer fits.
- Garden. We love to have a small vegetable and herb garden in the summer. I love that it teaches the kiddos about the world and life cycles plus it provides great nutrition.
Looking for a fun Earth Day project to try with your littles? This one looks like a blast and way easy.
Here are some of my favorite finds from the web this week for your viewing pleasure.
It’s crazy how advertising used to be. My jaw is on the floor about the “just 1 minute, young lady” ad. That would be completely unacceptable these days.
We always love fail videos. Best Reporter Falls didn’t disappoint.
Do you make your kids share?
I do most of the time. I think it is a way to teach kids kindness; I regularly share with friends, family, and neighbors. I do agree with a lot of the author’s points though. I think there is a right and wrong way to teach sharing. You teach them to offer a trade, you set time limits, etc.
This list of healthy breakfast ideas is already being used at our house. I love a poached egg and avocado toast for breakfast. What are you gonna try or do you eat already and recommend?
Fire ants are so interesting.
In March I will be traveling with my two toddlers. Alone. Enter my comprehensive list of what to pack in your carry-on when traveling with toddlers.
Make them carry their own water and snacks. They will love it and it will free up some space in your carry-on.
At under $5 for a set of two, if you don’t have these already, buy them now and thank me later. They are awesome at home or on the go.
These are great for toddlers who no longer nurse. The sucking motion helps their ears adjust to the altitude changes.
We love these at our house. Each kid has one and they are perfect for travel because they don’t leak.
This little kit is so cute and way cheap (under $6). My daughter loves it and plays with all the time even at home.
The perfect coloring travel book that works by filling the pen with water. *Fill once you are through security if you are traveling by air.
These bluetooth headphones are awesome and perfect for busybody kids who wiggle a lot.
Keep their hands busy with PlayDoh. It’s cheap and takes up very little of your valuable travel space.
Yeah, what can I even say, iPads are awesome. Even better when the kids are entertained for a significant amount of time.
I am not super into getting gifts for kids for Valentine’s Day, but I do like to get a little something fun. Preferably something that is not candy (they get enough of that) and not crappy plastic toys. Here are my picks for gift ideas for kids for Valentine’s Day.
1. Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush for Kids
With all the candy they will receive you can’t go wrong with a toothbrush. This will probably be our pick for a Valentine’s Day gift for this year. We have gone through a ton of those cheapo electric toothbrushes and are ready to invest in a highly rated and recommended rechargeable option.
2. Kinetic Sand
This has been on my wish list for the kids for a while now. A sensory sand that never dries out, sounds fantastic.
3. Thermos FOOGO Phases Stainless Steel Straw Bottle
These things are awesome for day to day use and therefore make a great gift.
4. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board
Another toy that has ulterior motives of teaching. Parenting win.
5. Llama Llama I Love You
A cute Valentine’s Day book from the acclaimed Llama Llama series. I love gifting books and this one is perfect for helping understand what Valentine’s Day means.
I’m fully ready to admit that I am not crafty at all, but I wanted to do something fun with my almost 3 year to get her excited about Valentine’s Day. I decided to go with a super easy Valentine’s Day DIY: play dough with red food coloring.
So while I can’t guarantee your toddler will be patient and helpful in the preparation of this “craft” (mine was not), I can guarantee they will be super excited about it and the recipe will be easy.
Easy Valentine’s Day DIY Play Dough
- 2 – 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
- 2 cups near boiling water
- 3 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon food coloring
- Extra flour for kneading
- Combine the dry ingredients.
- Combine wet ingredients.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add wet ingredients while stirring.
- Do not over mix.
- Let cool 10 minutes.
- Flour your countertop and hands and add flour while kneading until you reach a dough-like consistency.
- Store in fridge for up to 1 year.
Did you wait until the last minute to order Christmas cards because you wanted the perfect picture? Or maybe you just decided it wasn’t in the budget for Christmas this year. Either way, digital christmas cards are a great way to send holiday greetings to family and friends and save yourself the printing and mailing costs.
I tend to create digital Christmas cards even if I order a few paper ones. That way I can save money by just sending cards to grandparents and others who I know just don’t use the internet. And then I also have a digital Christmas card to send to international friends and family (hola to my Guatemalan family!).
How to Create Digital Christmas Cards in 5 Easy Steps
1. Choose a picture or pictures
Make sure you choose a picture that is in focus and that you love it. I recommend that you chose at least one picture that has the whole family (yes- people want to see you too, not just the kids).
For example, here is a cute one of my kids from last year.
2. Edit the picture to include your holiday greeting
I am a photoshop user, but it is an expensive editing software that not everyone needs. Try using a free service like PicMonkey to achieve the look you want. (Hint: Click the “Edit for free” link in the upper right and you don’t even have to create a user.)
If you need some inspiration, check out our pinterest board of easy to recreate digital Christmas cards here.
3. Compile your recipient list
I like to send my digital Christmas cards via email. To me it just seems a little more personal than posting it to Facebook or Instagram, but don’t let that stop you if that is your prefered method of contacting friends and family.
4. Insert your edited photo
If you are a gmail user, here is a little trick to embed the photo rather than have it be an attachment. Choose the “Insert photo” button (looks like a mountain landscape) rather than “Attach files” button.
Push send. You’re done. Pour a glass a wine and sit back and enjoy your holiday season! I usually get a few replies to my cards which is always a nice perk of digital Christmas cards over paper.
Are you a sender of digital Christmas cards? How do you create them?
Do you get overwhelmed by the idea of purchasing Christmas gifts for your family especially your kids and spouse? I do. Probably because I am inherently frugal and hate the idea of meaningless junk.
So how does one go about giving gifts that are both meaningful and worth the money you spend on them? Have you heard of the 4 Present Christmas? A friend of mine introduced me to the concept last year. It is based on the old saying for brides on their wedding day of wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue. As it pertains to Christmas though you try to minimize the gifts you give (especially to your children, but can be to your spouse also) to something they wear, something they read, something they want, and something they need.
Let’s be honest here, kids grow out of clothes like it’s their job. This is always a smart way to gift to a child.
I love buying books so this is always an easy one for me. I try to focus on a Christmas classic type book right now as my kids are young. I think as they get older and begin to understand more we’ll focus on making these a challenge book either for them to read themselves or comprehend as I read to them.
This is the hardest one for me. I have a hard time not controlling the toys and other items that come into my house. I’m working on making this a sought after item, but hopefully also an educational or imaginative play-type toy.
With toddlers, the “need” gift usually means another clothing or accessories type item. This year its is new sneakers. As they grow though I could see this evolving into something like a new graphing calculator for school-oh wait, our kids won’t use graphing calculators it’ll be iPads for everyone at that point, right? 😉
How do you do it in your family? Do you limit Christmas to the 4 gifts: wear, read, want, need? If so how does gifts from Santa work? Do they count in the 4 or outside of the 4?