12.04.2019

BELLA + BODHI'S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Well, a crazy thing happened... time flew by at lightning speed, the fastest year of our lives, er, the fastest 6 years of our lives. So here we are, celebrating not one but two birthdays this week, our sweet girl turning 6, and our sweet boy turning 1.


We decided rather than have two parties, two weekends in a row, we would just combine both and have a super party! Bella of course wanted a unicorn themed birthday party, because it seems that unicorns are all the rage among little girls and our little girl is no exception. She loves all things sparkly, unicorns, barbies, little animal dolls (like Maileg and calico critters) for her dollhouse and of course nature exploration. I wanted to make surfing Bodhi's 1st birthday theme, I mean, why not, he was sort of named after a fictional surfer so it seemed fitting, that and the fact that he is all about all things water. He's happiest when he's in or near water and the ocean is his most favorite of all, so it was perfect.

I searched online for a cardboard cutout of a unicorn for decor and didn't find anything I loved much, so Bella conned, er talked, me into getting a unicorn pinata when we were at Hobby Lobby a couple of months ago shopping for Halloween costume supplies. We had our unicorn! I just needed other decor now... I searched high and low for a real surfboard, Facebook marketplace didn't yield much but a broken board ( that was over an hour away and not the greatest price for something that was broken) and a board in nice shape... that was $850. Both of those were nopes, so I searched for cardboard surfboards online, again, I found some but they were just meh, and more than I wanted to spend... not only that, I also didn't want to buy something that big that we were just going to use once. I tried to find a real board to rent, but again, no-go. What did I do? I made some from cardboard of course! I mean, they may not be life size like I had originally hoped for, but they still look pretty cool if I do say so myself. I re-purposed the huge box that our new stroller wagon came in recently, and was able to cut out two surfboards (with fins for them as well), waves, a rainbow and two clouds! Alas, cute decor for both themes and all I needed to do was paint them! Another hobby lobby trip yielded paints for the project along with a few more items we needed. While we do try to be eco friendly as much as possible, Bella does love balloons so much so I decided to make an exception and create a balloon arch for their party. Thankfully a lot of the other items we've used for their party are more eco friendly, either recyclable or compostable so at least we've tried overall!


Some of our favorite eco friendly pieces for the party were the dishes and flatware! They were from the most awesome brand called Earth's Natural Alternative and we loved them! The large plates (perfect for our pizza), small plates (just right for the cupcakes), bowls and cups are all plant based and made from wheat straw, sugarcane fiver and other plant fibers. They're gluten, allergen, chlorine, bleach and dye free, not to mention oil and water resistant making them perfect for dry or wet foods. They are safe for hot or cold foods, great for both microwave and freezers, and best of all, they're actually certified compostable! Yay! Earth's natural Alternative also offers spoons, forks and knives, which are all... yep, you guessed it, compostable. They're made from PLA which is 100% biodegradable and compostable, and the quality of their products is amazing as well! We ended up having some dishes and utensils left over from the party so we're planning to use them when we're out and about and on the go (I'll be carrying some in the diaper bag), instead of having to use non biodegradable options at places that don't have reusable or earth friendly utensils. They'll also be great for picnics and camping!


Of course I made Bodhi a smash cake, which I made from a white cake mix and homemade cream cheese frosting. I decided to make cupcakes for Bella and everyone else, white cake cupcakes with the same homemade cream cheese frosting that I used on Bodhi's smash cake. They turned out delicious! Some of the cupcakes I put unicorn cupcake toppers on and some of them I put surfboard cupcake toppers on. I grabbed some meri meri candles because I loved how tall they were and that they could work for both Bella and Bodhi. A party without food is just a meeting (haha) so in addition to all of the cupcakes for everyone, we also bought some pizzas from one of our favorite pizza places in town. Bella and Bodhi are both big pizza lovers so win-win all around.


Bella's birthday outfit was a pretty new unicorn dress from FabKids with a pink hairbow  (from Wunderkin) and gold sparkly booties, and Bodhi's outfit was a sea foam colored waves romper from Childhoods Clothing and leather shoes from Minimoc. A couple of the gifts we got for the kiddos were a little wooden guitar and a candylab toy car with a surfboard on top for Bodhi, and for Bella we got a beekeeper Barbie and a set of beach vacation Maileg mice. All went over pretty well as you can guess. :) All in all, their party was quite a success... Happy Birthday Bella and Bodhi!

11.27.2019

2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE LITTLE ONES

I'm feeling all the festiveness because Thanksgiving is tomorrow, we have Christmas carols playing, it's chilly outside and the tree is going up tonight, so why not grab some gifts for the little ones before the after Thanksgiving hustle and bustle starts! I'm all about gifts that my littles will love, play with constantly and use again and again. I know they're going to love these gifts and I have a feeling your littles will too! Read about some of our favorites below to find some gifting inspiration!


MAILEG
Maileg is one of our most favorite toy companies, they make the cutest little toys that look like heirlooms (along with having heirloom quality) and they bring hours upon hours of enjoyment and imaginative play for our littles. Bella calls them her "dollhouse toys" since they're the perfect size to play with in her dollhouse and the dollhouse furniture she has, ans she will literally play with them all day if I let her. Setting all her mice and accessories and furniture up, having them go to balls to dance or getting married or taking care of teeny tiny mice babies and so many mouse conversations. It's the most darling thing you'd ever see. This two mice go camping play set is going to be the best addition to her collection! Bodhi has shown an interest in her mice and little things so we thought that this mini lion would be the perfect substitute to him getting into his sister's toys, he's going to love it and it's such a perfect size that he can even sleep with it if he wants!


We're trying to do less plastic and more quality made products in our home, and phasing out our plastic children's dishes is something we're in the process of currently. While the items we own are recycled plastic, I think things made from materials not plastic derived are just higher quality in general, not to mention better for the environment. I'm super excited to be replacing them with these new cassava dishes from Miniware! Their sleek and modern design is amazing, and I love that they foster independent eaters because of the included suction foot that attaches to the bottom of the dishes (yay for no more dishes and food thrown across the room haha), the 100% silicone base suction foot is also eco-friendly and easily recycled at the end of its lifespan. The muted colors of these products are perfect for being just the right amount of "fun" while putting an emphasis on the actual food, instead of being a distraction with loud colors and characters printed all over it. While the materials are all earth friendly, low impact and chemical free, they're also parent friendly and hassle free, since they can be washed in the dishwasher as well as microwaved! I've had my eye on their dishes for the longest time and if you couldn't already tell, I'm excited for my littles to use them!


We've loved Blabla Kids for quite a long time, their products are some of my favorite items to gift our littles, not only because their dolls are so huggable, but also because they are heirloom quality and ethically created by artisans employed using fair trade practices! Bodhi LOVES his TouTou the dog and his Figaro the bird, and plays with them daily, carrying them everywhere, he's going to love Edgar the Hedgehog. Of course I can't forget to mention their adorable throw pillows! They're the absolute coziest and the perfect gift for any little girl (or boy) who may be growing out of the stuffed animal age, Bella loves her rainbow pillow we gave her in her Easter basket this past spring so much and it's really such a sweet addition to her bed, so I know she's going to love finding this sweet butterfly pillow under the tree this year.


Is there anything cuter than a mini backpack? Yep, two mini matching backpacks! I've had my eye on These cute Swankaroo backpacks for the longest time (I'm talking years), so I'm super excited to get one, er two for our littles. They're going to look absolutely darling when they wear them on adventures together this next summer. They're an absolutely perfect size (11 inches tall and 9 inches wide) for all your tiny adventurer's favorite snacks and for gathering all of the nature treasures! I had the toughest time choosing a design, because let's face it, Kendra (Swankaroo's owner) has quite an eye for design and makes the cutest backpacks, but when it doubt, I always go neutral and natural, these backpacks are made from the prettiest brown camel (faux) leather with neutral cotton adjustable straps, are perfect for any age, and the quality is so amazing I'm pretty sure they'll last for years of exploration!


I'm a sucker for all things simple and all things nature related, so put both together and you can call done. I mean, just look at these sweet tee shirts, can you even with how darling they are? this past year we went from not being very outdoorsy people, to being outdoorsy people. We even got a tent recently (though we've yet to sleep in it haha)! So what better little shirts for our little ones to find under the tree than this "nature girl" tee and "park ranger" tee. I mean, I may be a little biased because I'm a huge fan of the Oyster's Pearl (where these tees are from) and I'm kind of of the mindset that anything that Brad and Emily design is amazing, but you can't deny simple truths so yes, all of their stuff is amazing. I love the understated simplicity and minimal designs, the quality is always amazing too. Adding this "be kind" canvas banner to my kiddos Christmas list too because we can't get enough!


LIL BELLIES
We turned into full fledged adventurers this past summer, we found ourselves at the lake every chance we got, in the forest, and visiting state park after state park. We found some really beautiful places, but even better are all of the memories we have not and of course all of the things we learned along the way. Nature is the best school, there is always something new to explore and discover, no matter how many times you visit the same spot, nature will always gift you some little something more to find. I love Lil Bellies because they're such an adventureful (is that a word) brand, their mission to get children outdoors and discovering the world and everything that nature has to offer. Bella is going to absolutely love her new mini forager's basket for gathering treasures, one of her favorite things is to collect baskets or buckets filled with flowers, rocks, pine cones, sticks, shells, feathers and whatever else that piques her interest along the way, this is going to be right up her alley for sure and I know her little face is going to light up when she finds this under the tree. I've also been wanting to get this little Audubon bird caller necklace for Bella for awhile, I think it's pretty much the coolest thing and I'm really not sure who will be most excited about it, her or me! Haha. I have a feeling this wooden magnifying lens is going to be a hit too, she's been begging for it since she seen it on their website months ago so she's gonna be one happy little girl.


We all know how important literature is for growing minds, and in our home children's books are one of the best gifts we can receive. A book can take you anywhere, transport you to a different era and a different place, let you get to know new and interesting people and learn so many things. One of the reasons we love Babylit so much is because they take so many of the classics and turn them into books for the littles to introduce them to characters they wouldn't normally get to meet for years! On top of that, their illustrations are always so great and a lot of their books are also educational! Win-win in my book! Their All Aboard! books are super fun, we chose Pacific Northwest and California, and they'll also be finding this Little Naturalist book and a Little Poet book under the tree!