Friday, June 3, 2016

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things...



Whatever you wish to be called...

Toddlerhood is serious business.


I mean, between wiping butts and figuring out the most effective disciplinary tactics, my days usually pass in a blur. Add in a 5 month old that's starting to CRAWL and a lot of days I feel in over my head.


But! There is hope.

I've always been a big advocate for relishing the small, seemingly ordinary, moments in life. In high school, I used to have a sheet of paper where I wrote down these things in a list. I used to call them "Sparkle Moments".

Look, nobody ever accused me of being cool.



Examples of these things are:
 *Getting into a hot bath after you've been cold for a while
*The few moments at the end of the day I can spend laying in bed reading a book
*Finding the perfect pair of jeans that feel like they were molded to your body

You see what I mean?

When I became a mom, a lot of these things had to be sacrificed. I now have to sneak baths in after the kids are in bed otherwise Cali wants to join and while she's cute, she's not relaxing. And most of the time I'm so tired that if I start to read before bed, I am lucky to finish a paragraph before I doze off. And the perfect pair of jeans? Well, seeing as how my lower half will never be the same, they're a lot harder to find than they used to be.

My hips don't lie.

Apparently neither does my butt or stomach or boobs.

But, whatever.

I'm getting off topic. Back to sparkle moments...

With kids in the mix, my list of favorite things (Julie Andrews fan, anyone?) has shifted to include my children. Some things make my life easier (HELLO COLD BREW COFFEE) and some things make my life (kids) cuter. Either way, I consider them SM (Sparkle Moment) worthy.

 Here are some of those things:

Coffee is a given. I get that. I wouldn't make it past 8am without coffee. BUT I use this genius cold brew system that you can find here. If you haven't heard of cold brew coffee, you're missing out. Something about the slow brew is supposed to make the coffee less acidic and therefore it has less of a bitter taste. It's great. You can buy it from grocery stores but it's like $12 for 8 oz and I drink that in a day. Look it up.

Everybody has their own taste. I get that. But I think we can all agree that when we can get it together enough to make it out of the house with our children dressed cute, it feels great. But then again, maybe you're the type of person who ALWAYS leaves the house with you and the kids looking cute. I, however, am not. So this is worthy of taking notice. One of my favorite brands is Milkbarn Kids. Not only are their clothes SO STINKING SOFT and durable, they donate a portion of their profits to support Exile International which is dedicated to "restoration to rescued child soldiers and children orphaned by war in DR Congo and Uganda". How amazing is that??

3. Fizzy Tub Colors
Baths are how I get things done in this house and so I try to make them as fun as possible so Cali wants to stay in there as long as possible. The longer the bath, the more I get done. These tub colors are awesome. They not only make her bath water really cool colors but they also are teaching her about mixing primary colors to make other colors. Win/win.

We're big fans of self expression around here. From (temporarily) coloring her hair crazy colors, to constantly having tattoos all over her body, Cali is always looking a little...punk? Anyways, I'm so stinking tired of Frozen tattoos or "body jewel" tattoos and was SO EXCITED when I found this amazing kid tattoo company, Ducky Street. These are great. They're super cute, easy to use, and easy to wash off when you're ready for them to come off. And they have allllll kinds of super cute designs. I let Cali get on their website and pick out her favorites and this sheet (above) is only one of the ready cute themes that they have. 

Hi. My name is Whitney Gustafson and I have a basket addiction. I use these baskets for EVERYTHING. Seriously. I have a million baskets all over my house but these are *BY FAR* the ones I have the most of. I find them in the Target dollar section even though technically, they're $3. BUT STILL. Three dollars, people. This one is beside my couch and holds my Bible and junk that accumulates but I have one in my fridge for Cali's snacks, one for Nash's toys, one for our dog's toys, and on, and on, and on. I love them. 

This is another company that donates a portion of their profits to good causes. They have a few charities that they donate to including St. Judes and Compassion International. Baby skin is so sensitive and these products are perfect for that. Natural and gentle, I don't worry about what I'm exposing my kids too. AND you can get a free sample on their website right now here.

Guys, these are so cool. I'm not that organized mother that has a designated learning time every day for my toddler. Crap. I am lucky if I have a designated "get dressed" time. But these activity sheet printables from Flintobox make it fun and easy WHILE they're learning. Sneaky, right? And the best part? They're FREE. I've posted the links below based on age groups:
2-3 Year Olds - HERE
3-4 Year Olds - HERE
4-8 Year Olds - HERE
They also have a short but interesting read on their blog here about the brain development of a child and how the parents can help.

I know there are a million baby bathtubs on the market and I've mentioned a couple on here before. But this tub is perfect for the bigger baby and as they grow. There's 3 stages so it adjusts as your baby grows. I fill it up and let Nash just kick around in it for a while. The blue insert turns to accommodate when the baby can sit up but it still keeps them contained. You can get it from BuyBuyBaby here

9. K'TAN
I. KNOW. If you've ever read my blog you have probably read me raving about the K'Tan. It'd ridiculous my love for this thing. In the above picture I'm wearing the black one. I bought this when Cali was about 2 weeks old and it CHANGED MY LIFE. Maybe not that drastically but still. I'm serious. If you have a baby, get you one of these. EVERYWHERE I go, people stop to ask me about it. It holds like a wrap but it 1000x easier to use. Go read about it here and do yourself a favor and go get one. You're welcome.

Soooooo that's about it for now. These are things that make my life easier and my days a little happier. I hope there was at least one thing on here that does the same for you! Let me know if you try any of these things and what you think!

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