Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Resolutions

Happy New Year, friends! Here are some of my goals for 2012:

1. Start a morning routine for after breakfast.

2. Every week focus on a theme based on Logan's interest. Logan knows some of his letters, but we haven't been consistently practicing, etc. I'm okay with that, since we spend most of our time playing, but since I am thinking of foregoing preschool, I think it's probably time I start working more intently on letters, since every attempt before hand has been mostly incidental. 

3. Share more of our open ended activities.  I love crafts as much as the next person and Logan actually enjoys them too. But the majority of the activities that we do every day are open ended.

4. Create some efficient organization solutions for our supplies and play!

5. Become more playful in 2012.

6.  As soon as Logan turned two he stopped taking naps. I would like to create different activity boxes that he can play with quietly and independently for a little while each day. I also want to start rotating his toys.

7. Spend more time kissing, hugging, and laughing with my little boy. Enjoy that he still loves to cuddle, hold hands, and kiss his mama. Love and live in every moment. 

8. Blog more. Obviously. 

Do you make resolutions each year? 

Psssss....... If you want to take a look at my personal goals for the year, you can can click here!

2011 Resolutions, Revisited

I always like to look back at last year's resolutions and see how I did. I'm sharing with you, and plan on sharing my new ones this week! Here is a blast from the past, January 2011:

1. Venture out more into blogging. This means writing more often, including some new topics that I'm passionate about, linking up to parties, and leaving comments. The last two are a little scary, cause I'm kind of shy sometimes.
Hey, I kind of did this one! When I started this year I had about five followers, and now I am super lucky to have  a bunch more. 

2. Continue our voyage into attempting to live more frugally. I want to make use of more free and wonderful resources that are available in our area. I'm contemplating making my own cleaners (which goes hand in hand with my desire for a healthier, greener living). I plan to start utilizing meal planning and coupon clipping more often. I want to save more money in order to continue to stay at home with my little boy.
I did some of this too! I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher soap. I make a great deal of more food from scratch. I tried to make my own bread. I still need to meal plan more often and be more consistent with my coupon usage. 

3. Live healthier. It's really a nicer way of saying that I want to lose weight. I'm hoping to include more new recipes that are healthy and yummy into our diets. I'm on a mission to try new fruits and vegetables, be more active, and feel happier. And I might just buy the Thirty Day Shred with some of my birthday money. I feel a little afraid after typing that last sentence.
I've incorporated new healthy recipes into our diet. My kiddo eats fruits and veggies like they are going out of style. 

4. Become an organization princess. The Martha Stewarts out there leave me in envy. I'm just like them, in believing that everything should have a place. BUT sometimes while cleaning up, I end up with stuff that doesn't have a designated place, and someone is ringing the doorbell and I will *cough*cough*cough shove said homeless stuff just anywhere it will fit for the time being. By "anywhere" I usually mean the computer armoirethat I never use. It is one of my shameful secrets. But this year I'm making up for it. In my mind this means restarting (and sticking to) my cleaning schedule, purging, and organizing even those areas that I don't often address until it is too late. Helloooooooo kitchen pantry, and closet o' mystery in the basement. I'm coming for you.
I am just started working on this one in December. I am looking forward to continuing this is 2012.

5. Make my house prettier. I've been inspired by all those in blogland who live on a budget but manage to make their houses beautiful by using their creativity and imagination. I have a couple of new things that I want to attempt. Perhaps even BY MYSELF..... WITH TOOLS.
It just didn't happen this year.

6. Be brave. Try at least one new thing every week for a whole year. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut and have one week blend into the next. I'm going to make a conscious effort to do something that may or may not be enjoyable and may or may not make me comfortable. But I am bound to learn something. Hopefully about myself.
I started this one with a vengeance, but started to slack off as the year went on. But I did do one thing this year that was super brave, and that I thought I would never do. I entered into therapy. It hasn't been easy, but I know that in the long run, there will be a very large benefit. 

7. Continue to try and be the best possible parent that I can be. With extra kisses.

I have tried to do this every day. But it is my personal belief that there are just never enough kisses. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

The cookies are laid out along with a giant glass of milk. The reindeer have their magic reindeer food. The little guy is snug bed, and I don't know who is more excited this year, him or me! I'm wondering just how early I'll be getting up tomorrow, but it is the one time of year that I actually enjoy waking up early! Holidays are always a very special time. To me, they also serve as a very powerful reminder to how much I have to be thankful for and to take the time and enjoy all the special moments and those in between.

From my family to yours, I wish you a  in very Merry Christmas! I hope your day is filled with happiness and lots of love. 


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Ornaments

I brought the kiddo to a local light parade. Logan loved all the lighted floats and music, with the exception of Santa. We are still working on that, but he's getting closer to at least tolerating the idea of Santa. We were able to head home earlier than expected, and when we got home we decided to try our hand at making cinnamon applesauce ornaments. I simply googled a recipe that called for equal parts applesauce and cinnamon. My little man helped pour the ingredients in and mix them around.

Next I rolled it out. I didn't take pictures of this because it was a sticky mess, and I ended up having to add more cinnamon..... and then some flour. I saw a tip last night that recommends you roll it between two pieces of wax paper. I imagine that would have been significantly better.

Once I finally rolled out the dough, and pried the extra bits off of our fingers, the next part was fun! In the beginning of December, I scored 101 cookie cutters for a mere six dollars thanks to the Christmas Tree Shoppe. We doubled our collection of Christmas cookie cutters, and Logan picked out the ones he loved best to make the ornaments.

Once they were rolled out and on a tray, I put them in the oven on a low temperature for about an hour. I flipped them half way through, and then Logan and I went to play with one of our sleeping cats. 

In addition, I let them continue to dry overnight.

Once they were done, I let the little guy decorate them. We had more, but we already handed them some out as gifts to some family members before I remembered to take the picture. The blue ornament in the middle is Logan's version of his favorite blue girl, Smurfette.

Once the paint dries we used ribbon or ornament hangers to hang them. These ornaments smell heavenly. We saved a handful to decorate our tree, and Logan loves pointing them out to anyone who sees our tree. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stuff my kid says #17

Singing: We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy good year.

Indeed. I love this kid.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Activities: Reindeer Sandwich

We have been enjoying out advent activities. His favorite song to sing is Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. He likes to sing it like, "Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer/ had a very shiny nose/ and if you ever saw it/ you would even say it blows." Despite my best efforts to correct him, he insists that he is singing it accurately. Right or wrong, he loves the song. So, I figured my little buddy would love this special treat one day as part of his lunch. When he saw it, he was completely delighted! 

 He carefully picked off the M&M's and the pretzels, and then declared he was "all done, thank you." Don't worry, I rounded it out with a clementine (which he refused to eat) and some Greek yogurt and blueberries (which he devoured). 

This idea came from Superhero and Princesses, which recently became private.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mess Free Paint on the Light Table

We have just started our journey into the many ways we can play with the light table. Our most recent trial was playing on the light table with bags of paint. I let Logan select the colors. For the first one he only wanted red with glitter in it.

The second one I suggested we use two colors and he picked blue and yellow. Which was perfect since when he mixed them together they created green. We used some left over Crayola finger paint for this activity. Since it is less thick than other paint, the light easily shone through. 

Don't have a light box? You can yield the same results by taping a Ziploc bag to a window. This is a quick, essentially free (if you have items on hand) way to learn about colors!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Perfect Christmas Tree

It is a family tradition that is practically written in stone. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we go pick out a Christmas tree at a local family farm. It is something my parents started twenty-one years ago, and we have adopted and continued year after year. There is something about the tradition that makes walking the same pathways year after year even more special.

The very first year we brought Logan to tag our Christmas tree, he wasn't even a month old. He is my first baby, and I waffled between sitting in the car with him in the chilly air, or bundling him up and facing the cold together. My desire and eagerness to start our many firsts as a family, along with a little reassuring from the husband, and out we went to find our first, most perfect Christmas tree, for our first, most perfect baby. 

The past couple of years have been unseasonably warm and very unlike New England. This year, there was a chill in the air, so we bundled up our now three year old. He insisted on adding his new hat, and he was ready, doing his running walking that he does when he is trying to use his walking feet but is really excited. 

While we waited inside to get our official tree tag, Logan investigated the giant pine cones they on sale. He wanted one, but I figured that we would easily find some for free in our neighborhood (which we did that day). 

Once we got to the actual fields he was off and running!

Finally, he stopped running, and turned to my husband and I and exclaimed, "Mama! Dada! I found it! The perfect tree!" 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Advent Activities

Can you believe that there is twenty-five days until Christmas? This is my absolute favorite time of the year.  Every year we do at least one Christmas related activity per day until the big day. Here is a list of activities that we will be doing this Christmas season:
  1. Curl up in bed and watch a Christmas movie
  2. Decorate the house for Christmas
  3.  Pick out a Christmas tree
  4. Decorate a Christmas tree
  5. Wear Christmas socks
  6. Take a late night drive to enjoy the Christmas lights
  7. Drink homemade hot chocolate
  8. Make gingerbread cookies with cousins
  9. See a lighted boat parade
  10. Go to a special holiday event in our town 
  11. Bake lots of cookies
  12. Eat reindeer sandwiches
  13. Eat a candy cane or two
  14. Have a Christmas music dance party
  15. Go to a festival of lights 
  16. Make and deliver cookies to our neighbors
  17. Make ornaments 
  18. See Santa 
  19. Dress up in a Santa hat and take pictures!
  20. Play in a Christmas themed sensory bin
  21. Read Christmas stories 
  22. Make a Christmas hand print wreath
  23. Paint with Christmas cookie cutters
  24. Make Christmas themed sun catchers
  25. Have a special Christmas eve party at grandparent's house
Do you plan these types of list? I would love to see them!

Shared here:  

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I'm thankful for, 2011 edition

This year I have a great deal for which to be thankful. I am thankful for you, my readers, who stop by and make my day brighter with your comments and emails. Today and everyday I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends both near and far. I am thankful for my family and my health. I am blessed to have a husband who works like crazy to provide for his family, and my kitties who are purr-fect (at least to me). I am especially thankful for my amazing, smart, funny little boy who makes my life an adventure everyday! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Leaf Garland

The last of the leaves are finally letting go of their branches, and we wanted to preserve them for just a bit longer. Logan and I went outside to collect some of the prettiest ones, and came in with a whole bucket full of them. I had him pick out his favorites, and I ran them through the laminator. I grabbed a hole punch and then had Logan lace some on a string to make an easy fall garland for our living room windows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pin It Tuesday- Thanksgiving

I love holidays. Love, love, love holidays. I look forward to them even more than I did as a child, because now I have a little guy that I adore and I get to share everything with all over again. This week is our American Thanksgiving, so today I'm going to share just a couple of the things that I have been admiring on Pinterest  that help to celebrate this holiday.  

I am a HUGE fan of sensory bins. Luckily, my little turkey is also. This simple bin of fresh cranberries and water is just ripe for exploring. You could discuss floating versus sinking, and my guy loves anything that he can splash around in. Plus, cranberries are on sale right now for around two-ish dollars, so why not pick up a bag and let the kiddos investigate? 

At Making Learning Fun, they have free printable templates. These particular ones are meant to be made into puppets to play with! Knowing my little, he would probably love these so much that he would insist on bringing them with him to bed! I've been saving toilet paper rolls for a while so we can make these! 

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving, if I don't mention some sort of food. These cute turkey cookies look easy enough to make with kids. Plus, they are a great way to use up the leftover bag of candy corn I have in my pantry.

My favorite part about Thanksgiving it is one time a year that makes people stop and really reflect on what they are thankful for in their lives. This gorgeous thankful tree is a wonderful way to visually display thankfulness. 

This last picture, I'm sharing because I'm a geek. I really get a kick out of it! 

Have you found anything Pinterest-ing  lately? Want to join in on the fun? Head over to Mommy Head Adventures and link up your favorite pins!

Friday, November 18, 2011

L is for Leaves- Introduction

To introduce the letter L, I gathered items from around the house that start with the letter L. Then I  put it all into his sensory bin to explore. 

Included in this bin:
  • A lion
  • A lemon
  • A lei
  • Legos
  • Leaves
  • Lamb
  • Alphabet Pasta
  • Some different types of the letter L
Logan played in it for a little bit, and we talked about each of the items. Logan then decided to dress one of the cats with the Hawaiian lei.

Stuff my kids says #15

While shopping at the grocery store, Logan saw an older woman with black hair and a long black dress. He sat straight up in his seat, and was so excited he could barely contain himself. He said (very) loudly, "Mama! Who is that man? I finally found him! IT'S GARGAMEL!!!!!!"

And then I turned the color of a tomato. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fun with Beads and Light

Here's the dealio.... I've been recovering from last week's birthdays extravaganzas. My son was born on my husband's birthday, so it's a bit chaotic. We had a party, celebrated on the actual day, and then there was the whole putting together and finding places in our house for many, many toys. Some are still homeless, as you read this. We are very blessed that our families are close and able to share in the celebration. But this week is the first that things are starting to get back to normal around here..... and it's already Thursday. 

One of Logan's presents from my husband and I was a light box. I figured with the days turning dark around 4:30, that we would be spending more time inside. A light box is a perfect way to make use of the darkness and engage in some playful discovery. I'll be sharing all the lovely DIY details soon. Today, I am sharing a fun activity that we were able to do with the light box thanks to

Last week, on a particularly cold and rainy day, after a morning full of lots of errands, I found a box waiting for me. When we opened the box up, it was loaded with goodies!

Logan instantly gravitated to the tiny tri-beads. I hadn't had a chance to think up an idea for them, and I knew he was too little to be able to successfully lace them, so I decided to bring out the light box and try them on there. Once I turned the lights on, and Logan dumped them onto the table. He was so excited that they were "glowing." 

This activity was completed under close supervision. Logan usually does not put anything in his mouth that is not food, but I sat with him and watched him explore. He did some color sorting.

He also created patterns, and asked me to complete them by saying, "What comes next, Mama?" 

And finally he added some of his toy figurines to play and pretend they were in a garden full of flowers. We've just started with the crafty goodness that was gifted to us, and we already are having so much fun!  is a website dedicated to giving you great ideas for kids crafts. They have a large variety of projects that would appeal to many different age groups, and are definitely worth checking out. To check them out you can go here

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall Activity: Jump in a pile of leaves

There is nothing quite like playing in crispy, crunchy leaves. 

 They are fun to throw around, roll in, and squish with your hands. 

The only thing better is having a little cousin join you. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

All About Me

Hi! I know I'm always writing about activities that my son and I do together, but do you want to learn a bit more about me and my family? Be sure to check out my all new About Me page!

Making Potions

I may have mentioned a time or two, my little boy loves the Smurfs. As a matter of fact, it was the first movie he saw in the movie theater. He was Vanity Smurf for Halloween. He's also having a Smurf themed party this weekend to celebrate his third birthday. So, when I asked Logan if he wanted to pretend to be Papa Smurf and make some potions, he sprinted to the new set up. 

Before I explain, let's all pretend that I cleaned up behind him in this picture, please. The set up was fairly simple. I grabbed some of my Pyrex and added colored vinegar to each glass container.

Next, I supplied the little guy with some sort of container to add the baking soda. I thought an old dollar store salt shaker would be perfect. 

It did seem like a good idea, but it clearly was not fast enough for my little scientist.

The baking soda kept clogging up the salt shaker's holes, so I took the top off, and had him gently pour a little bit at a time into the containers. This yielded a much bigger and more fantastic result.

Next time I try this, I think I will add some plain colored water so that Logan can see that it doesn't always react the same way. As it was, this activity was a complete hit with my little smurf!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pin It Tuesday- PVC for Kids

PVC piping isn't just for plumbers anymore. To be completely honest, I probably wouldn't even know about PVC piping, except my husband is a plumber. So, I know that he has lots extra bits of it in next to his shed. If you don't have extra lying around, you can always head to your local hardware store, and try some of these out!

So, Logan is still too little to be interested in those teeny tiny Legos, but this Lego table is pretty cool. They have step by step instructions at their site. 
Source:  Instructables

This DIY bowling set would be perfect for a rainy day, or a sudden snowy day (like we had recently).

Do your kids love music? My little boy is always singing, dancing, and playing his instruments. I love this since it is perfect for bringing your little musician outside to practice their skills.

I know that those of us in the Northeast of the US are getting ready for winter, but this is definitely something that I am interested in recreating when the weather turns warmer.

I link up to:
Crazy About My Baybah

Monday, October 31, 2011

Puffy Paint Ghosts

If I was more organized, I would have had all my Halloween posts out before the actual day of Halloween. Alas, I have been planning Logan's third birthday and all our fun Halloween stuff, so I have a couple more Halloween posts coming out in the next couple of days. 

Last year, I stumbled upon puffy paint ghosts at No Time for Flashcards. I never got around to trying it out last year, but it was on the top of my to do list for this year. 

All you need is:
  • 1/4 a cup of white glue
  • 3/4 a cup of shaving cream
  • some brown craft paper or other thick paper
  • Googly eyes
  • paper for the ghost's mouth

Dump the shaving cream and glue into a bowl, and have your little helper stir. 

Note: No matter how much it looks like marshmallow fluff, do not eat it.

At this point, you can have your little one reach in the bowl and finger paint the ghost outline that you have drawn. Logan didn't want to, so he spread the fluffy concoction with a spoon.

Once the ghost is covered add some googly eyes and a mouth.

Sit back and admire your creation.
Once it is dried, cut it out and display! Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monster Prints

Grandparents are important in our life. Logan is blessed to have two sets of grandparents close by that he adores. When we created these monsters out of his hand print and foot print, he insisted that we share his masterpieces with them. Of course, grandparents love just about anything their grand kids do, so I knew they would cherish these! It's a super easy activity. Let your child chose the colors, and then paint those cute little feet and hands. Once they were dry, we took some googly eyes (any number will do) and glued them on. I had Logan draw on the mouths.He insisted they were friendly monsters, as indicated by their smiles!

This would be great to do annually in order to see how much those kiddos grow in a year!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Pumpkin Hugger

Pin It Tuesday- Week 2

This week, I pinned a lot of food on Pinterest. It makes sense, of course, since I am trying to watch what I eat and lose some weight. At least most of what I pinned was healthy, right? 

Monsters always come to mind when I think of Halloween. If I add some spooky eyes to this green monster smoothie, perhaps my little guy will love this yummy drink! 

 I did pin some stuff other than food. In our house, we have been all Smurf all the time. Logan's third birthday is Smurf themed, and I pinned this mushroom craft as a possible activity for those who arrive early. 

When I stumbled across a way to make your own watercolors, I knew I had to pin it! Those cheap water color sets can sometimes get used up easily in just one round of Logan's painting. It would be great to whip up some of our very own and let my little guy try them out!

I have never made it a secret..... I really can't draw. When Logan was very little, he asked me to draw Goofy. I tried my best, but he looked at me and said, "That's not Goofy, it's a monster." Since then, I have been asked to draw a lot of different objects, with varying degrees of success. Most often, I am asked to depict animals. These stick figures are something that even I can recreate. 
Source: Bing

This last pin, is a quote that actually just touched my heart. 
Source: We Heart It

Are you on Pinterest? Have you pinned anything this week? You can find me on Pinterest, here
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