Wednesday, August 31, 2016

bath time must haves for your toddler

We love bath time around here. It sets the mood for the night and gets Hazel nice and calm, and ready for bed.  For us, establishing a bedtime routine was important because Hazel loves knowing what's coming next. We have found a routine that works great for us and here are some of the items we love to use for it:

Toothbrush and Toothpaste 

Every night before we put Hazel in the tub we brush her teeth using a soft toothbrush and florid free toothpaste. The soft toothbrush helps massage the gums and get the plaque off teeth. It is also important to get florid free toothpaste for toddlers, to help children learn to spit out toothpaste and not swallow it. Also, teaching children to brush their teeth at a young age promotes good oral health!

Hippo Spout Guard

I've always worried about Hazel standing up and hitting her head on the spout, until we got this Nuby Hippo Spout Guard that is.  Now I have absolutely zero worries. It's a soft protective cover for those oh so very hard and pointy spouts. We love it because it fits well and is soft and durable. If she accidentally hits her head on it I'm not worried one bit! This spout guard is perfect for any tubbing child, small and large.  As an added bonus water squirts out of the hippo's nose -which Hazel absolutely loves- and it creates a fun little splash pad scene.  

Bath Letters and Numbers 

Bath time is especially fun when you have toys to play with. And I say it's never too early to introduce letters and numbers to your children (although it is recommend your child be 18+ months to play with these bath toys). Hazel really enjoys playing with these soft, vibrant letters and numbers. It's fun to watch her stick them to the bath tub wall and grab at them as they bob on top of the water.   One of her new favorite things to do with these is spell her name or find the letters that start with mom and dad. It's pretty fun to see her learn and start to recognize the letters she sees. These are easy to clean, and (obviously) have no assembly required, they are also Phthalate and BPA FREE! 

Lavender Baby Lotion

Bed time calls for soothing lavender lotion. The smell is known for its soothing, calming nature, and it's one of my favorite smells that triggers it's bed time.  The lotion also helps soften the skin and rid dry patches that may be uncomfortable to your baby. 

What do you use for your baby's bed time routine?

Happy Tubbing

I received these Nuby products for review, but all opinions are my own. 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

SeaWorld San Diego -a must see!

There's always something fun about amusement parks and aquariums.  Having them combined into one great park makes it that much better. SeaWorld San Diego has always been a special place for me. I remember going to SeaWorld with my family when I was younger. I remember the rides we went on -Shipwreck Rapids probably being one of our favorites, because getting soaked was an absolute blast. Shamu Stadium, seeing the beautiful Killer Whales up close, being amazed at how smart these big animals are. 
As a mom, planning summer vacations has always been something I've been eager to do.  And watching the excitement and wonder in Hazel's eyes as we walked through SeaWorld was a site I will never forget. You could tell she was ready to play and explore because the first thing she said when she saw the park was walk!

When we first walked through the park we found Explorer's Reef, it was really neat to be able to touch different sea animals. My favorite tank was the one with the little fish that would come up to your finger and kiss it. It was really tickle-y!
Our next stop -because I thought it would be Hazel's very favorite, and boy was I right- was Sesame Street Bay of Play. It's seriously the best kids play zone ever.  There are rides little kids can ride on -as long as they know how to walk- a splash pad to cool off in, fun characters to meet, and so much more! Hazel was so excited to ride Elmo's Flying Fish and I was happy that there were rides she was actually able to ride on!  She loved going up high and down low on the ride and once it was over she kept saying more, more, more.  

We walked throughout Sesame Street Bay of Play and I think Hazel was so excited she didn't know what to do next. There was a huge play place that parents were allowed in -that's how bit it was, and fun jumping and shape stacking areas for bigger and littler kids. Given the chance we could have spent all afternoon in this part of the park!  
Walking through the park was so much fun and there are so many things to see. Different aquariums filled with big fish and little fish, penguins, and turtles, and even sharks.  We enjoyed walking through the aquariums and even seeing the animals outside in their habitat. 
One of my favorite areas was probably watching Shamu at Shamu Stadium.  It's amazing what these huge Killer Whales can do, and they make it seem effortless. The most surprising part to us all was how soaked we got -beware of the soak zone signs, they aren't lying.  As soon as I saw the whale's tail raise up out of the water I quickly turned around to protect Hazel from getting too wet, but we still ended up looking like a bunch of drowned rats. HA! 

Drenched and all we had the time of our lives! -pacifier to aid the crying babe... 
Our last stop was the SkyTower which couldn't have been a more perfect way to end our day and our little vacation in San Diego.  Being so high up and able to look around the park -and the city for that matter- really put it all into perspective. It was fun seeing how big the exhibits were and where we had been in the park.

We loved our visit to SeaWorld and cannot wait to travel there again.  Hazel still talks about the park a week later, she talks about Elmo, and the whale that threw the water at her.  We had such a great time learning about the animals and hope you get the chance to visit SeaWorld San Diego soon!

For this post I received admission to SeaWorld, but all thoughts and views are my own. 


Monday, August 29, 2016

a condensed version of my weekend

Brand had all last week off so we took a short little trip to San Diego -too short if you ask me. More on that later -let's just say SeaWorld and all the free things you can do in San Diego.  This weekend was nice, Saturday morning was soooo nice outside, I'm talking 85 degrees nice and if you stayed in the shade you could almost get a taste of fall weather headed our way -in a few months that is... 
Hazel had her 18 month check up -my bad because now she's 19 months old so there's that. She isn't too fond of the dr, which is sad bad because I really love our doctor, she's heaven sent actually. Hazel got one shot but doesn't have to get any more until she is 4! And then I thought: Brandon will be out of school by then, oh my gosh we will all be grown up!  And my mind soon wondered away from that because I don't want to think about Hazel being 4...
Saturday afternoon while Hazel was sleeping I went to my friend's lularoe party. My friend Faith -who I've know for what seems like forever- started up a few weeks ago and she always seems to get the cutest things.  I bought a beautiful floral Ana dress, leggings and an Irma, all soon to be shown on the blog of course.. check her out if you want: facebook + instagram

Saturday we also ran a few errands, looked at furniture, got some canes -delicious chicken and I'm addicted to their sauce! We played toys and ran around the house. 

Hazel has started doing really well in stores -she has her moments and we can't stay long- but she is really learning and growing. I've also noticed that if I keep acknowledging her positive actions she does much better. So, if you're having troubles at the store with your little ones hang in there... it gets better! 
We also bought a month membership to a car wash so we'll be headed there probably every day for the next 29 days. They have no idea who they sold that membership to. HA!

Happy Monday! 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

back to school shopping with Deseret Industries

Summer is over, everyone is headed back to school, and the smell of paper, pencils, and white board markers fills the air. I love back to school time because it brings back so many fond memories of starting a new school year. In an odd sort of way it makes me want to really go back to school, but then I think to myself did I really just think that and I move on. One of my favorite parts about going back to school has to be the back to school clothes shopping though. It was kind of a big deal for me getting new clothes, it made me feel good about myself, having something fresh and new to wear. 

But sometimes back to school clothes shopping can be a bit overwhelming. With so many stores competing for your dollar it's sometimes hard to really know who has the best deals, until you find Deseret Industries. Deseret Industries is a great back to school destination that has a large variety of new and like-new clothes for children to adults.  At Deseret Industries you'll find shoes, backpacks, designer brand clothes, and so much more -with the entire selection being restocked daily. 

Last Friday I headed to Deseret Industries (DI) in search of a few outfits that I would wear if I were going back to school. I was pleasantly surprised as I shopped, the store was so very clean, and even smelled clean too! The employees were very polite, and efficient -might I add-which is why I think it's such a great atmosphere. Finding and pairing outfits was no feat and I was able to find four outfits in less than an hour. Just-like-that.  Good quality pieces at a great price, and I even found some designer pieces too, which is another score if you ask me. Here are four outfits I purchased. 

Which one would you wear on your first day back to school?!
And because she wanted to be in every picture I took, this one had to be included... apparently Hazel chose to wear the flip-flops. (: 
If you or your children have clothes or any other items they have outgrown this summer, consider donating them to Deseret Industries. Donations are tax deductible and help your community by providing job training for associates. 

To find a Deseret Industried location near you and check out the DI's donation guidelines, visit

Here is the address to the location where I found all my back to school items: 
6825 W. Bell Rd
Glendale, AZ 85308

What are you wearing on your first day back to school?!

This was a sponsored post but all opinions are mine. 


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Arizona, I forgive you

So it's monsoon season in Arizona. But this doesn't mean that it literally is monsoon season -as in it's not really raining a whole lot here. It's s bummer though. And I think all true Arizonans long for monsoon season, I know I do anyways. The smell of the rain, the feeling of a nice clean air, and the cooler weather. Ahh yes, the cooler weather is always one of my favorite parts -especially now that I have a toddler who loves to be outside.  
This summer we haven't really been outside, it's just too hot. But, last week there were two days that we actually had some nice cool afternoon weather, which meant that Hazel and I got to play outside. It was overcast, 88 degrees, and there was a nice cool wind so we headed to the greenbelt behind our house. It's my favorite part about where we live, the biggest patch of green grass, and I don't even have to mow it! Hazel loves it too and once and a while we even get to meet a doggy.  We run around in the grass, I chase her, she chases me, we find leaves, and every so often she has to stop and push her tricycle stroller.   

I'd be okay if Arizona wanted to let us have just one of these days a week till fall. I'd really be okay with it. 
But for now -because Arizona weather is pretty unpredictable when it comes to rain- I'll be dreaming of the few days we had last week and be thanking you, Arizona. And while I thank you I'll also forgive you. 

But pleeeeease give us more rain! 


Friday, August 05, 2016

what I'm liking, Friday


Keeping Hazel busy is sometimes tricky. She loves variety, and she can't really be sitting at one "project" for too long.  So here are some things that I've found to keep Hazel busy:

I made these busy boxes for Hazel to keep her a bit occupied and it's great because it gives her something new to do each day. 

Hazel absolutely loves playing with these beans, I'm not kidding when I say she spent 20 minutes scooping and pouring beans in a box. It's genius! 

Sing songs and make nursery rhymes fun by making props or something else like this for Jack be Nimble. 

and of course my meals of the week: 

We love sweet potatoes and this black bean one was mmmm, Hazel really loved the black beans (: 

something called white spaghetti -a family recipe, maybe I should share it because I can't seem to find the recipe online. 

easy one pan chicken meal. 

and slow cooker enchilada meal for tonight's dinner.

Happy Friday! 


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Dear Hazel,

I feel like these past few months you've grown more than ever -even though I say that a lot. But you have! These past few weeks you've started putting two word phrases together and sometimes even three. Possibly you favorite phrase yet: ready, set, go! You love to talk but get so mad when you can't tell us what you want, or what you are trying to say. When we can't understand you, you say nooooooo and start to stomp your feet really hard, so hard that you start walking backwards. I wish so badly that I could understand everything you need, but we get there sooner or later. Usually I'll tell you: Hazel, what do you need? Use your words. or even if we are desperate I'll say: Okay, show me what you want. 

For the most part we've got a pretty good daily schedule going and this routine is really what you thrive on. In the mornings we wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, and then we play. Sometimes we play at home, or other times we have singing time -oh my dear Hazel you love singing time.  We went last week and it's something you haven't stopped talking about. Unfortunately our singing time ended a bit early, something about you not listening when we had to be sitting -trust me, I gave you lots of warnings. But when we got in the car I told you: Hazel we had to leave Sister Lowe's house because you weren't listening to mom and you weren't sitting down. You need to listen to mom so we can sing at Sister Lowe's house. To which you responded: Lowww.... Leisss.... Sit. I'd say you caught on pretty quick, and all week you reminded yourself -and me about- these three words.  So singing time rolled around this week and I have to say you did so awesome, you listened, you sang, and you sat down when you were asked. I love how you are starting to understand. 
Some of my favorite moments with you are when you just want to sit with me, or how you always want to hold my hand in the car, especially if daddy is holding my hand.  In church this week we sat on the bench and you sat right next to me, with your legs to the side and your arm on my lap, you were quite snuggly actually! 

Some of your favorite things to play with right now are your Barbies, you like driving the little ones around in their jeep while singing the driving song.  You like playing with the busy boxes I made for you, and you really enjoy playing with the beans, gack, putting stickers on things, and cutting. You are very curious and are good at repeating things...

Dad and I would say you know almost 200 words, granted not every word is complete, and this doesn't include people's names. You know what I mean when I say: Maggie is in your room, go get the book from the office, or do you want to go for a drive. You are good at naming people in pictures and love talking about your family. You remember so many things -sometimes I don't even remember them- just the other day you remembered that we played ball in the backyard with Uncle Bryan and that was probably back in April! 
You've become somewhat shy around people, and you often say shyyy, when someone looks at you and you get bashful. To which I reply: that's okay, and then you say: mom shyy.  And then we talk about how it's okay to be shy, but it's also okay to say hi to people if they smile at us. 
Last week there were two days that you took a 2 hour nap! I was in complete shock when it happened, and as usual, you're back to your 30-45 minute naps... once a day... You're my little busy bee! 

These past two days we've had nice (88 degrees) weather so we've been able to spend some time outside. You love being outside and playing in the grass. I can't wait till it's cool enough outside for us to play outside all day! 

I love you more than you'll ever know and I cannot believe how much you're leaning and growing. Every day I look at you and think of how big you are getting and how much you have changed within the past few months. 

I love you my Hazel girl! 

xo, mom

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

how to keep an 18 month old busy with busy boxes

Keeping a toddler busy is quite the challenge, especially when it's too hot -or cold- outside.  I've been searching and searching Pinterest for ideas and things to do with Hazel that could help keep her busy and also be somewhat of a learning activity. 

Hazel is a girl who likes variety, she gets bored with easy things, and things that are repetitive.  She often times would rather play with something that isn't a toy-as I'm sure most babies do.  I thought, in order to give her variety, and help her learn, busy boxes would be our best bet. 

So, this is how I keep my 18 month old busy during maybe just a few minutes a day, but at least I know that she is learning something.  A lot of the items I have for Hazel help with fine motor skills and sensory, she really seems to like the things that she needs to concentrate on.  Most of the items I purchased at the dollar tree, or are recycled things form my craft closet. 

Pipe Cleaner Push: Cut the pipe cleaners in half and use a hole punch to make holes in the lid of the container. Let your toddler put the pipe cleaners through the holes and watch their minds think.

Ribbon Wands: Tape ribbons, or streamers to the end of a popsicle stick.

Wikki Stix: I got these from my old work, but I imagine you can find them online.

Crazy Straw Threading: Cut felt pieces into squares (or any shape you want) and cut a hold in the middle big enough for the straw to fit. 
Balloons: Dollar Tree

Hole punch: Teddy Bear punch and hole punch, along with scrap paper. 

Sorting pom-poms: Recycle an old container, cut holes in the top, and buy a size variety of pom-poms. 
Q-tip Push: Cut holes in the lit of the container.

Paper and Stickers: Cut small pieces of paper for your child to write a note or put stickers on. 

Fun coloring toy: Dollar Tree

Velcro Popsicle Sticks: Cut and glue velcro to the ends of popsicle sticks
Safety scissors: Find random items from your house for your toddler to cut. We use paper and ribbon. This activity is recommended for 3+, so please watch your children with these scissors.

Buttons: I found a random tin can with buttons in it, she likes to take the buttons out and line them up, then put them away.

Gack: Dollar Tree
Bead Thread: Pipe cleaner and beads

Balloon Rocket: Balloon, tape, yarn/string. Read this to see how it works. 

Coloring book: Play pack grab and go

Good luck and happy box making! 



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