Makeover Monday: DIY Greeting Cards a Toddler Can Make

I’ve been meaning to post these a while back, but I figure since Mother’s Day is coming up (hint…hint), I figured this would be a timely post!

I figured out an easy way for your young’n to help make a legible greeting card for any occasion, and it’s quick! You don’t need any artistic skill whatsoever, just a little patience to let the paint dry. The pictures are from a farewell gift for one of my daughter’s teachers. She was wonderful, and was leaving daycare to pursue her advanced degree.

Tutorial: DIY Greeting Cards

Even very young children can make a legible card!

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St. Patrick’s Day with a Toddler

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Mommy loves theme days. A lot. It means cute clothes, fun food ideas, and possibly crafts.

This is what I’d envisioned for our St. Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick's Day crafts, food, and fashion

Thanks a lot, Pinterest, for filling my head with THESE gorgeous ideas. via: Stretching a Buck Blog, LushHome, whatdoiwear, momtastic, and Etsy

Roll eyes, snort, guffaw…that didn’t happen.

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A Tisket, a Tasket, Bags go in the Basket

In Seattle city limits, plastic bags are ILLEGAL. You go to jail if you are caught smuggling those into a supermarket.

Not really. It’s just that stores aren’t allowed to use them any more. There’s no more “Paper or plastic, ma’am?” happening. It’s “Did you bring your bags today?” now. The choices for bagging your purchases are:

  1. Pay a 5-cent tax and have the store give you paper bags
  2. Bring your own shopping bags

Mind you, this isn’t just for groceries. It’s for EVERY STORE. You wanna drop $300 on clothes? Better fork over a nickel for a paper shopping bag. Forget your bags at the checkout? Feel the disapproval and shame of your checker as they give you dirty looks and spitefully add the nickel tax to your purchase. (Honestly, I’d pay A DOLLAR to end the harassment that is associated with forgetting your shopping bags.)

It’s a little ridiculous, but honestly, I agree with getting rid of plastic bags. They’re handy, but overall evil. Don’t let me hop up on my soapbox about the Pacific Gyre, or Midway Island albatross population

Regardless, the reusable shopping bags are a hassle. And they end up ALL. OVER. OUR. HOUSE.

Keeping it real:

Do not do: store grocery bags on hooks

The grocery bag monster hanging over a paper bag molehill.

The family who owned our house before us were OBSESSED with hanging hooks. They’re on all the doors (some doors have 2 racks), several walls, in the bathrooms…It’s a little odd, if you ask me. I thought it would be a handy spot for storing all these bags, but it just became a hanging bag monster hovering over a brown bag molehill in our closet. Annoying. A little dangerous. Inconvenient.

I hunted for a tall, not-too-deep basket at Goodwill, but came up short after a couple (ahem, 3) visits. At Ikea, I finally found this:

Storage for reusable bags: from Ikea

Knarra basket from Ikea. $14.99 for handy reusable bag storage.

It’s a little more than I wanted to spend, but hey, what price can you put on sanity?

The result? Paper AND reusable bags, living in harmony.

Get organized: stash bags in a basket.

Can’t we all just get along?

Just fold in half and tuck it in. Or, just ball it up and cram it in (which is what I’m sure will be happening after our next shopping trip).

Do you use reusable shopping bags? How do you keep them from taking over your house?

5 Reasons I’d Love to be a Kid Again

5 reasons to be a kid again

Being young is AMAZING.

1. Whenever I’m tired, all I want to do is run. Run like a crazy person.

2. I can eat a bowl full of junk food and feel like a total rock star afterward.

3. Chores are super fun!

4. I don’t need coffee. I’m fueled by 12 hours of sleep and boundless energy.

5. Nothing hurts! I can land face-down on hardwood and be ready to try it again in 10 seconds.

BONUS: When I don’t feel like walking, PEOPLE CARRY ME. It’s awesome.

 

Tell me, why would you LOVE to be a kid again?

My Milkshake Brings all the Boys to the Yard

“Just get the perfect blend
Plus what you have within
Then next his eyes will squint…”

Read more: Kelis – Milkshake Lyrics | MetroLyrics

If those boys were interested in healthy living, and liked chocolate, they’d totally come to my yard for these smoothies.

I saw a Dr. Oz once where he added avocado to his breakfast smoothie. Gross? Good? I had to try it. I have to say, pretty good. What’s great about it is that it adds a nice creamy texture. Cutting back on how much you add helps tame the avocadoey flavor (if that’s not your gig).

AND THEN. I started following Liz Dialto for fitness tips. She had a great tip: use coconut water and almond milk in smoothies instead of milk or yogurt. WHAT? I’m not a huge fan of the taste of either, but let me say, together they are okey-dokey.

Anyway, I have to share this because it’s fucking delicious. And around, 200 calories.

Smoothie ingredients

Bring in avocado and ice, and you’ve got a party in your mouth.

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One thumb up, plus a middle finger

Thanks for the helpful unsolicited advice, Stranger.

Here’s to you, lady in the pharmacy. Love, Committed.

I was at the pharmacy the other day, toddler sucking her thumb quietly in stroller, when the woman ahead of me in line turned around and exclaimed, “That’s gonna RUIN her teeth! RUIN them!” as she gestured her thumb toward her mouth. Was she telling me to make my 2-year-old stop sucking her thumb right now?

“Oh, yeah,” I said, trying to brush it off. “I’m not too worried about it.”

But she insisted, “No, they’ll be ruined! It’ll save you a LOT of money in braces if she stops.”

“Thanks, but she’ll probably have braces anyway. I’m not too worried about it” (and please leave me alone and deal with your own problems…don’t you have a urinary tract infection to take care of?).

She made one more urgent gesture and walked away.

I wanted to make a gesture of my own.

Listen, I know every parenting decision is basically controversial. This “baby sleep expert” tumblr underscores how confusing it can be to do the right thing when it comes to your kids. I also know that this woman meant well and that she probably dealt with the heartache of bad teeth in her childhood and only meant to spare my daughter a lifetime of dental misery.

HOWEVER. I never asked for any advice. And in giving unsolicited advice, she is assuming that I don’t know any better, which can come off as insulting. Moreover, she didn’t ask if I was concerned about the thumb sucking, which would have opened a dialogue about how her dentist actually said it wouldn’t be an issue for another few years, that her doctor said that braces are cheaper than therapy (self-soothing is a valuable tool), that my husband and I were both thumb suckers, and had braces for unrelated reasons…she was basically telling me how to be a parent without knowing that hey, I’ve already looked into this and I’m okay with it.

So a word to all you wise, unsolicited-parenting-advice-givers: if I want your help or advice, I will ask for it. And if you give it, I will appreciate it. Otherwise, please mind your beeswax.

In the Bag: The Diaper Bag Dilemma

With a 17 month-old, I’ve officially been through 4 diaper bags, with 3-4 unofficial options as well. Why? Am I picky? Am I destructive? Am I disorganized? Do I get frantic? Kind of.

The thing is, different situations call for different bags. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about! You have your big, multi-purpose handbag for everyday outings or when you need to carry the utilitarian stuff. The cute, sassy clutch works for evenings out because you only need a couple of items for the night.

Though you may not be dancing the night away and getting free drinks with your little one in tow, you may have a preference for a smaller bag sometimes.
Here’s what I’ve learned about diaper bags.

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