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Fun Friday: Playing With Sand (A Beach Alternative WIth Less Mess)

23 May

kinetic sand

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  We won’t make it to the beach this weekend but we found an easy alternative for Fun in the Sand at home. My Aunt introduced my girls and I to Kinetic Sand not long ago. Kinetic Sand is easy to mold and build with. It’s fantastic because the grains stick together instead of making a mess all over the place.  It’s easy to clean up making it good  activity for indoor or outdoor play.  The texture is soft, smooth and silky.  It doesn’t dry out and it doesn’t stick to your hands. 

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I like to put the sand in a small container for an individual set, easy for taking on the go.  Several packages can be put together for more building opportunities. My girls love adding turtles, shells, and using their dolls to pretend they are at the “beach” sunbathing. Perfect for entertaining the little ones during your weekend barbecues. Use your beach toys to play, my girls can’t wait to get their Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Cupcake Set out to try with their Kinetic Sand.  When you are done playing, put it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

 

 

On display at the Time To Play Magazine Playdate.  Wacky-tivities is a product of SpinMaster Toys

Loved seeing Kinetic sand on display at the Time To Play Magazine Spring Showcase. Wacky-tivities is a product of Spin Master Toys


Kinetic Sand is available at Michaels!

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive products or compensation for this post.  All images and opinions expressed are my own!

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First Steps and Scooting Summers (Pediped review & #giveaway)

20 May

 

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It seems like yesterday my oldest was about to take her first steps. I didn’t know when to buy shoes or what shoes to buy. The first pair of shoes I ever bought for her were a pair of Pediped Originals, recommended by a woman at the shoe store.  I loved them!  They came in adorable styles and they were comfortable for her.  As she grew and became a more confident walker we moved onto the Pediped Grip n Go. My second learned to walk in Pedipeds as well and eventually caught up to her older sister, wearing the same size. I thought we had outgrown Pedipeds until last spring when I received a pair of sandals (review here) and learned the Pediped Flex goes all the way up to a youth size EU 36/ US 4-4.5.

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I recently received a pair of Pediped Flex Minnie in Raspberry.  My girls share shoes and both of my girls LOVE them!  They are perfect for everyday wear, scooting or long hours at the park. They can wear them with dresses, jeans, skirts, and shorts. The mesh ventilation is great for letting their feet breathe on the warmer days.  The best part is that they are machine washable and water safe.  My girls play hard in them and they get dirty pretty quickly.  After a quick wash, they are back to looking brand new.

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With the nicer weather finally here, I rely on their scooters to get around.  I was surprised at the durability of our Pediped sandals, they are being worn for a second season and look as good as new despite the wear and tear of the many scooter rides last season.  On Mother’s Day we took a long excursion to Brooklyn requiring lots of walking and scooting. I made sure both of my girls wore their pedipeds (pictured above) because I knew that they would be comfortable.

A GIVEAWAY FOR YOUR LITTLE ONES FIRST STEPS, before you know it they will be riding scooters and doing handstands:

PediPed

Images of shoes from http://www.pediped.com

One lucky winner will choose Boy or Girl and size 0-6, 6-12, 12-18 and 18-24 months.  U.S. or Canada residents only.  Contest begins today and ends May 30 at midnight! Click the image or here to enter HERE.

About Pediped:

Whether your child is crawling, learning to walk, or running all around, pediped® has a stylish shoe that fits comfortably and ensures healthy foot development. Each of our three footwear lines is specially designed to meet the needs of a particular walking stage. pediped® has done extensive research and testing to develop the latest in children’s footwear technology, from memory foam insoles to eco-friendly, water-safe and machine washable shoes.  PediPeds are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development.  For more information visit www.pediped.com.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of shoes for review.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Any information in italics came from www.pediped.com. All images I took unless otherwise noted.

 

 

 

Winter Days

3 Mar

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I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get much snow today.  Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely ready for warmer weather, especially after the brief nice weekend we had.  But I’m hoping for one more storm so we can playing in the snow one last time.  Our play sessions in the snow during the past storms were cut short because there were no snow days.  They had school all day and by the time they got home it was time to get ready for dinner.

SnowFun

In our brief sessions in the snow we made snow art, went on mini sledding adventures, made a snow angel here and there, threw snowballs and made a mini snowman family.  The mini snowman family was the favorite for my girls, using our snowball maker we made three balls for the body.  We did not have carrots or anything else to dress our snowman so we had to get creative.  We found an ultimate fuzzy kit that contained eyes, pom poms, and pipe cleaners to use to create our snow family.  To all my friends and family in DC getting slammed by Titan, this is a good way to keep busy for a while.  Make as many or as little as you want and go back out later for more.

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Over the weeks as the weather warmed up, we watched our snow family melt away.  While we were enjoying the sun and running around last weekend, we came across the pieces to our mini snowman family.  My girls were sad they were cleaning up the pieces that were left and wished for more snow to make more snowmen. They have fingers crossed for a storm in March for more fun in the snow.  In the mean time I am heading out for white Crayola Model Magic Clay to make an indoor snow family that won’t melt away!  Keep a look out on Instagram (Tastefully Childish) for our snow family!

SNOW ART

22 Jan

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I was a little disappointed when I saw that school was on for today!  I love heading out in the morning with them for fun in the snow!  Yesterday, I spent the day looking for activities a snow day.  I stumbled upon the Ideal Sno-Marker Sno-Man Kit with Snowman Top Hat!  I remember seeing snow markers in the past but I couldn’t remember where!  I knew the Sno-Marker Sno-Man Kit wouldn’t get here in time and since I didn’t buy the markers when I saw them, I tried to get creative with what I had at home!  I used a condiment container I bought a while ago at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  If you are almost finished with a yellow mustard container you can clean out and use that instead.  Initially, I planned to use food coloring but realized that wasn’t a good idea unless I wanted the girls to stain their clothes.  I decided to try crayola washable paint that we had in our art supply bin.  I added warm water and some paint to the container and shook it up to mix it together.  Since we only had one container, the girls could only choose one color (of course they chose purple).  I’ll be headed out for more containers so we can add a little more color to our SNOW ART!  It’s a quick and easy activity if you want a little time in the snow after school (while it’s still here) and you don’t have to hassle with all the gear if you don’t want to.  *The water comes out a little quick, so it takes some time to adjust and create but the girls had fun adding color to the snow.*

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Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own.

Fun Friday: TopGolf

2 Aug
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image from TopGolf

My husband loves to golf.  He could hit balls all day.  I’m not a golfer.  I’ve gone to a driving range once and it was a disaster.  Mini-golf is a different story.  I love it and so do my two girls.  We recently spent time in Alexandria, Virginia and were introduced to TopGolf.  TopGolf, is a golfing complex which includes unlimited mini-golf all day on two, 18-hole courses as well as a driving range. Unlike your average driving range in which you hit balls into the open, TopGolf is set up with a variety of interactive and competitive games in which you hit the balls into a specific target. The closer to the center or “bull’s-eye” you get and the farther out you hit your microchipped balls, the more points you receive. There is also a bar and restaurant on site so in-between the two mini-golf courses, you can take a break and grab a bite to eat and a drink.  Table service also comes to the driving range area so you can order drinks and food while you hit balls.  My girls had a blast on the two courses and really enjoyed watching their dad and uncle hit balls against each other while they ate dinner, the food was pretty tasty.  The girls loved the steak and chicken quesadilla and even ate the peppers on them!

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If you are looking for a Fun Friday evening with the family or just a night out, TopGolf is a great place to go.  We loved it so much, we went back two times in one week!  For more information click the links below:

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from the TopGolf website.

Thirsty Thurday: Bottles To Keep Hydrated

25 Jul

20130725-115313.jpgWe just returned from a very hot week in the Outer Banks. I can’t really complain about the heat because we did not have a drop of rain and stayed on the beach from morning to night with brief breaks inside to snack or eat.  With the amount of time we were playing in the sun, it was extremely important to make sure we were drinking enough water and fluids.  I have never seen my girls go through so many water bottles.  We went through 1/2 a case of water a day and quite a few Fruitables.  After seeing how much we were drinking, it was better to take re-useable bottles.  Here are some of our favorites to help keep hydrated during the remaining summer days whether at the beach, at the park, at the pool, running in the backyard, or running errands to get ready for back-to-school (see below image):

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1. Cool Gear Inc Can:  Fun for parents and kids, this 16 oz can keeps drinks cold up to 6 hours and is fun to use to keep hydrated in the sun.  Fill with water, iced coffee for mommy, juice or follow the cute drink recipe on the back of the can. On my trip, I rceived lots of compliments on my can and many asking where to get one. You can find them at Walmart, and Bed, Bath and Beond.   Cool Gear Inc also has a variety of other fun bottles you and your family will love.

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2. Tervis Water Bottle:  Also great for parents and kids because of the many great designs and holds up to 24 ounces of water, perfect for long outings and very hot days.

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3. Pottery Barn Kids Klean Kanteen:  Love the adorable styles.  This bottle can be personalized.  It is the perfect size for little ones on the go.

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5. Thermos Smoke Hydration Bottle:  This is my oldest daughters favorite because she loves the flip top carrying loop.  It is great for adults too. The bottle holds up to 24 ounces of water with a leak-proof proof lid and a rotating meter lets you monitor your daily water consumption.

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4. Stephen Joseph Little Squirts:  We have not used this bottle but my daughter saw it recently and asked for it as a birthday/ back-to-school gift.  The cute pouches are re-usable, freezeable, foldable and perfect for a quick drink on-the-go!

Image from Stephen Joseph

Image from Stephen Joseph

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received samples from Tervis, Thermos, and Cool Gear Inc.  All opinions expressed are my own.  All information about the products came from the company websites.  Unless noted, all images were taken by Tastefully Childish.

Beach Essentials

23 Jul

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We just got back from a week in the Outer Banks.  Every morning, before heading to the beach, we gathered these essentials to make sure the girls had fun in the sun!

1. Melissa and Doug Seaside Sidekicks Cupcake Set:  Their favorite sand toy.  They love to make cupcakes in the send and pretend they are making custom orders for my husband and I.  The new friends they make on the beach are also drawn to this toy.  It gets them to use their imagination and engage in pretend play.

Image from Melissa and Doug

Image from Melissa and Doug

2. Kids Folding Canopy Chair:  A break from the sun is necessary every so often.  The girls enjoyed sitting in this canopy chair when they needed a snack, drink, or just wanted to rest.  The canopy provides some shade so they can sit back and enjoy watching the waves crash while on the look out for their favorite dolphin friends.

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3. Large Shovel & Bucket: My girls never get tired of digging for sand crabs, building walls, and filling buckets with sand or shells.  We used a plastic paint pail for the girls to fill with their treasures and sand.

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4. Baby Pool: The ocean is scary when large waves crash so it’s nice to have a small baby pool filled with some ocean water to help your little ones cool off.  It may take multiple trips to fill but it’s definitely worth it if you want to spend the day on the beach.

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6. Paddle Ball:  Although it was difficult for her, my oldest daughter had a great time playing paddle ball with her dad and uncles.  She felt like a “big girl”.

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Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  All images were taken by tastefully childish unless otherwise noted.

Skipping Around Town in pedipeds (review)

13 Jun

Picture 1120130612-142118.jpgLast week I received a reminder note from my daughter’s teacher that sandals without a back are not permitted at school. My daughter loves sandals and the couple she has don’t have a back.  Luckily, I recently received a pair of pediped Vivian sandals for review. I loved pedipeds when my girls were learning to walk because not only do they have many great styles to choose from, they come in various stages from infant with a soft sole to a sole with a little more stability and grip for the little one’s taking their first steps. After they outgrew their last pair, I never realized the sizes went as high as a 10/11, which my girls wear now. Pediped sizes start at newborn and go all the way up to 8 years old.
The pediped system , the three steps below, is available for boys and girls:

First Steps:

Image from pediped.com

Image from pediped.com

• The Originals line of soft-soled, flexible infant shoes is recommended by pediatricians and podiatrists as the shoe’s design closely mimics barefoot walking.

• The Originals® collection will be priced at $37 and is available for children ages 0-24 months.

Next Steps:

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Image from pediped.com

• The Grip ‘n’ Go™ line is made with all the benefits of the Originals®, but adds special feature G2 technology for the unbalanced toddler transitioning into walking more confidently.

• The Grip ‘n’ Go™ line will retail at $48, and will be available for children ranging from nine months to three years of age.

Big Steps:

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Image from pediped.com

• Flex® is the ultimate shoe for an established walker who has developed a confident, natural stride. The Flex® line offers more than 50 styles covering an array of color options ranging from pastels and neons to signature browns and black.

• The innovative line of washable athletic shoes, made with Ultra Light Technology™, is especially designed to support children’s growing feet. Featuring flex grooves to support natural foot movement and heal cushioning, this line provides maximum flexibility while remaining light as air.

• Flex® styles range in price from $39 to $59 and are available in EU sizes 20-33 (available sizes vary between styles).

Click to learn more about pediped and the technology behind the well-known brand.

20130612-142106.jpgWhat I love about the pediped Vivian Flex sandal:

  • Ideal for active girls while still looking adorable with the dressed my daughter loves to wear.
  • Velcro straps made it easy for my daughter to get on and off on her own.
  • Able to scoot or go run in the park after school without having to go home and change shoes.
  • Closed back, perfect for school or camp this summer
  • Durable
  • Reasonably priced: $35.99

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A couple of my favorite styles for boys:

Flex Sahara, water-safe and washable, $49.00 Image from pediped.com

Flex Sahara, water-safe and washable, $49.00
Image from pediped.com

Originals Charlie, $37.00 Image from pediped.com

Originals Charlie, $37.00
Image from pediped.com

Check out pediped on Facebook, twitter, and pinterest.  If you like Pediped, check out Brian James Footwear, the new women’s footwear line by pediped founder, Angela Edgeworth.

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a pair of pedipeds for the purpose of this review.  Information in italics came from a press release I received.

Bug Off

21 Aug

With the summer ending, I plan on spending as much time outside as I can.  Last weekend we were at a friend’s house BBQing and  my youngest got eaten alive by mosquitos. When she gets bites they swell and she is constantly itching. She has scars from the bites she got earlier in the summer. She dislikes getting sprayed so getting repellent on her is difficult. I was at Buy Buy Baby last night and came across Bugables ® Mosquito Repellent Stickers (click on link to purchase).   Bugables ® repellent is formulated with 100% natural oils (Lemongrass, Geraniol, and Citronella) .  Each package comes with five stickers which last for up to two hundred hours and cover four to six feet of area per sticker (LivingPestFree).  Both of my girls love stickers and will have to try them the next time we spend the day outside.

Disclaimer:  I have not tried this product so am not sure how effective it is.  It is a great idea to keep repellent on the girls and am going to trying it next time we are outside.  All information in italics came from livingpestfree.com.