2 years ago, we took our son on a trip to Disney World. I remember getting off the monorail at Epcot, and noticing two other families. One family had 2 little girls who had been to the Bippity Boppity Boutique. I think the boutique is adorable, but these girls were dressed in WAY over the top princess dresses (long sleeves, ball gowns, the whole 9 yards), had on high heels, and they just looked well, miserable. They were at Disney and could not run around and be kids. There was another family that was exiting the monorail, and their daughter was dressed as Buzz Lightyear. Yes, the Buzz of “Toy Story” fame. “Buzz” ran off the monorail, put her arms out in flying motion and zoomed her way towards Epcot with a massive smile on her face. I leaned over and whispered in my husband’s ear – “if we ever had a choice – I would want our son to marry a girl just like the one dressed as Buzz Lightyear – she loves life, and not caught up in the princess world.”
Fast forward to today, where I now have a 2-year-old little girl, and am surrounded by Sofia the First, Cinderella, and other princess goodies. There are crowns, jewels, and dresses found in every nook and cranny of my house. I have a little girl who is always asking to have a different dress put on her, has a purse in hand, and will twirl around saying “look at me!”
With my first child being a boy, this world is brand new for me….of course I watched the movies myself growing up, but I felt that I was more of a fan of someone like Belle who learned how to control the Beast as opposed to Cinderella who waited for the right shoe to fit, or Snow White and the “Someday my Prince will come” bit.
I would not really classify myself as a feminist…I want my daughter to find a “prince” when she grows up….but I also want her to be able to handle life without one. I also have a really hard time seeing the differences, even at a young age between boys and girls. People notice on my little girl an outfit, her hair, the accessories more than anything that I have ever put on my son. I mean, of course it is cute to see a little girl all dressed up, but looking back to that Disney trip, I fear giving in to behavior now which will influence who my daughter is later in life.
So…as a mommy to an aspiring princess, here are…
1) If you can’t walk in super high heels, don’t wear them. Whether you are 2, 15, or 30, it looks a bit silly if you can’t pull them off. Wear great shoes that you can walk in (kitten heels are my personal favorite), hold your head high, and go forth with confidence.
2) Life is dirty so don’t be afraid to get your ball gown dirty – or better yet, dress for the occasion. Play in the mud, go find bugs, climb some rocks. There is no stain that oxyclean can’t fix.
3) Instead of wishing people would “look at me”…look at the people who are hurting, who need compassion, who need an extra hand…Try to improve the lives of others as best you can.
4) Purses are great – full purses are better. Be self-sufficient, know how to save money, and always, always know what you are “worth.”
5) A crown doesn’t matter if the head it is on is not filled. Focus in school, work hard, and learn anywhere and everywhere you go.
6) The jewels you collect are worthless compared to the people you surround yourself with. Develop and cultivate friendships, enjoy your family…the people in your life are the jewels that will never dull.
7) Being beautiful on the inside is a million times more important than being beautiful on the outside. Once you realize this about yourself, and others, you will be a lot happier with the company you keep, and the person that you are.
Do you have an aspiring princess? Do you have any “rules” to keep her grounded?
My children love the Disney Junior show The Octonauts - the show has short episodes (key for capturing the attention of a 4 & 2-year-old), where a team of underwater heroes explore the worlds oceans, rescue the creatures who live there, and protect their habitats.
My son loves strange animal facts, my daughter loves anything water related, and I love that there is no argument about watching “my show!” Clearly a win-win show for all of us! Now…once my kids see a show on TV they love to have a couple of toys to play with from the show. They will recreate scenes for hours…which honestly, I can’t complain about! I have had a tough time finding products from The Octonauts, so was very excited when I had the opportunity to review some of their new items.
When we received the items, my kids were so excited, they practically ripped into them…you would have thought it was Christmas morning! They have played with them nonstop for weeks. I feel like the toys are made extremely well, and are perfectly entertaining. Some of the smaller toys have accompanied us to doctors appointments, car trips, and have even made their way to the water table outside as the weather is starting to warm up!
Here is a sampling of some of the new Octonauts Toys, all of which are available at Toys R Us.
Octonauts Octopod Playset: This is the “home-base” of the Octonauts. My son usually has my daughter “man” the station, while he goes out on the adventures (hey, whatever works!). She loves bringing up the baskets, sliding the various characters around the house, and of course, sounding the alert.
Octonauts Gup-B Mission Vehicle and Kwazii:As mentioned…my son is usually the one who takes the team out on their adventures. This mission vehicle has not only gone all over our house, but the backyard, the water table (bringing out the color changes in the creatures!).
Rescue Assortment Barnacles and Tunip: Because my kids watch the Octonauts regularly, they were very prepared to act out the ENTIRE show…which means….you need figures, the animals, and the rescue tools! This little set is perfect, and again, the creatures change color in water. In looking at a lot of the “creature sets”, I found this one had some of the best variety. It was an instant hit, and the perfect complement to the Octopod, and the Gup-B Mission Vehicle.
Octonauts Octo-Compass: This compass is so fun…and out of all the octonauts products, the one that my children fight over the most! You can hear all the popular phrases of the Octonauts, as well as various creature sounds. While they are able to act out their favorite missions with the compass, I have also found them using the compass as a phone to call sea creatures, or really just sitting there and giggling the funny sounds that it makes. To be honest – it makes me laugh quite a bit as well. So fun!
Are your kids fans of the Octonauts show? What do you think of the Octonauts toys above? Do you have any of the toys mentioned, or do you think that any will be on your children’s wish lists?
Disclaimer: I received the toys listed above in exchange for my review. All of the opinions listed above are my own honest opinions!
You may have noted that mommy-brain moments are slipping on the site lately. I don’t know if I have gotten my act together or I just forget them, they have become so natural in life. Today’s could not be ignored though!I have noticed that a lot of my mommy brain moments happen in the grocery store. There must be something about planning out a week’s worth of food, combined with going into the store and the overwhelming choices. Couple that with kids who usually want to be anywhere but the grocery store, trying to concentrate to make good financial and health choices and…..it all makes for a pretty good time and a grocery store mix up!
I usually plan out my trip to the grocery store first by writing out the meals we would like, writing down any ingredients, and then getting our usual staples. So…standard meal items (i.e. fruit, bread, milk, eggs), plus the stuff that we will be needing for our meals. Sounds good, right? I write everything down in my trusty little notebook, and tear out the sheet with my list as I walk into the store.
Unless…I forgot to take out the previous week’s shopping list, meaning that 2 weeks in a row, I had the same list in my hand. Halfway through the food shopping, I realized, I was buying everything for the old list. Now, some people might stop their shopping, run out to the car, and grab the “right” list…I figured my family didn’t complain the week before, so the same menu was going to be put into play. Who needs diversity in meal planning, right?! So the big test – will my family even notice? My guess is no. I am thinking that this mix up will be the kick that I need to simplify the cooking in my house!
What do you think – is the grocery store the prime place for mix-ups to happen? Do you have a good grocery store story to share????
Hope you are having a mommy-brain moment free week this week!
A couple of weeks ago, I heard from Graze Delivered, to see if I would be interested in testing out their products. I was very interested in hearing more about the company – because when I looked at their website, I could not help but be blown away by the description of what Graze Delivered is…
Graze is a weekly farm-to-fridge online delivery service which brings fresh, wholesome and sustainably produced foods directly from Vermont’s family farms to your front door.
Now it is no secret that I have been loving my local CSA for years…but the potential of receiving food fresh at my door each week, from an amazing selection of foods is overly exciting to me. Yes…food arriving at your front door – just like this:
With my first Graze experience, I was lucky enough to have a sampling of some of both their staple items, as well as their prepared meals. Klinger’s Vermont Maple Oat Walnut Bread, Maple Meadow Farms Cage free Jumbo Eggs (seriously – they are jumbo, about 3x’s the size of my local grocery stores!), Milk, and Yogurt were just some of our “staple items that we enjoyed for the week.. I also tried the one skillet prepared meal and the quinoa salad. The one-skillet meal – Sherwood Farm Turkey Sausage with Primavera Veggies, Parmesan, and Farfelle Pasta, I prepared for my husband and I one night as the kids were eating dinner. The whole meal took 21 minutes to make (as you can see!)…and was, absolutely delicious.
We also experienced the stir fry vegetables, which I served with some of my frozen turkey meatloaf. Having a CSA for years, I am used to fresh veggies. It kills me in the winter months that I am not getting the types of vegetables which I am used it…but this stir fry was perfect. So fresh and absolutely delicious. And EASY to whip up, as everything was ready to go!
Knowing that I had children, I also received some items specifically for my children to enjoy, including the individually packaged lunch meats of both ham and turkey. Check out the labels of these – don’t they say just about everything you would want to see for your children??? Making lunch could not be easier, when you just put one of these packages into the lunch box!
The kids also enjoyed a dinner for the kids – which was chicken and mixed vegetables.
Now…both the skillet meal and the dinner for the kids say that they serve 2. What they didn’t say was that they serve two people, two nights! It was great to have such easy to prepare food, ready to go, two nights during a busy work week.
I was truly thrilled with my Graze experience, and look forward to becoming a customer of theirs…I was really impressed with the ease of ordering, the quality of the food, AND that I had to prepare very little to enjoy some fantastic meals. I wrote to Graze a couple of days into my food testing that the service is a busy mom’s dream!!!
Here is some further information about Graze, which you may enjoy seeing…
Graze currently delivers to Southern Fairfield County, Connecticut, the South Shore of Massachusetts, Eastern Westchester County, New York, and Vermont. They are kicking of service in New Haven, CT and Newport RI.
They have a CSA which you can participate in – this is a great option for people who do not have local CSAs, or do not have the time to pick up their items from a local farm. For more details – click here. Their CSA is all organic, local Vermont Farms, and no overloading of any one item because they work with a co-operative of farms.
And this link goes to Graze’s “come to our zip” sign up page. Graze looks at this every day and combines all the zip requests to determine where they are wanted. Some communities have used this as a “mob” sign up….recently a bunch of people in Hingham, Massachusetts got about 20 people to use the zip link within a few days and Graze is now delivering there! If you are interested in requesting Graze to your community, click here.
You can find more about Graze on their website, or their FaceBook page.
Disclosure: I received the items listed above in exchange for a post, however, all opinions above are my own.
When I asked my little girl what kind of party she wanted to have – her response was “Butterflies!” I didn’t know what to do exactly – a butterfly birthday party – huh?! But, in typical almost 2-year-old fashion, she was not budging.
Our decorations were mostly brightly colored tablecloths, flowers, all types of butterflies…really anything to make us forget that it has still not warmed up yet! One of my favorite decorations to use is potted flowers, mainly because I plant them after the party, and it helps me remember the fun of the day. I planted a pink rose-bush when my daughter was born, so I figured doing the same on her birthday each year (or until my garden is overrun with roses) would be a nice idea. It was also a nice bonus that I put off a lot of my shopping until the week before, so there were many spring items on clearance after Easter!
I tried to keep the games simple! We had about 15 kids, ages ranging 2-6 who would be participating in the activities,
Flower “Pail” decorating: We started off by decorating flower “pails”. I went with pails instead of pots, because…well, the youngest kids were 2…things break. I found a ton of cute stickers with varying themes – flowers, little critters, sports, jewels, and more. I found the pails at Joann’s, and picked out varying colors of blue, red, green, and pink.
Put the Spots on the Butterfly: We are big fans of “pinning” type games – mainly because, again, kids of all ages can do them, and its a nice little game that the kids usually enjoy playing. I found a butterfly template online, and put a butterfly together fairly easily. I then was lazy super efficient and found Martha Stewart circle label stickers at Michaels. I wrote each of the children’s names on the stickers, and they were able to put them right on the butterfly. I did not use a blindfold because the kids were so young, but they all closed their eyes, and made it on to the butterfly! It came out really cute!
Music Mandy: My little girl LOVES music, dancing, singing, and pretty much, being as active as possible…so, the perfect party entertainment was Music Mandy. Mandy is a local mom to three who is an unbelieveably talented singer and guitar player. She had the kids laughing, singing, and moving for a full 40 minutes. Such a blast, and if you are in the area, I highly recommend following her on FaceBook to see where she is playing locally in Fairfield County, CT, or hiring her for your own kids party.
Dirt and Seeds: We had to fill those flowerpot pails with something, and I wasn’t about to get too dirty at the party!
Obviously they have some yummy snacks included, but I went for some dirt! Here is my version of the goodie bag items, with the pail that went home with our party guests:
I heard from some of our guests after the party, and they said their little ones were anxiously awaiting the growing of their seeds…so fun!
Personalized Buckets: Our favors went into these personalized bucket/shovels (picked up at Michaels), which I had personalized by Me, Myself, and Mine, which is a local CT company. Her items can be found on FaceBook.
My friend Eva over at My Sleeping Beauty does a variation of these as well. She can be found on Etsy and Facebook as well.
Lastly – what is a party without food!?!? Being that the party was at 3, I went for appetizers and cupcakes. I also went a little cheesy and named the dishes after kinds of butterflies. Why not, right? If you decide to do a similar idea, you can use this site for butterfly names.
So we had:
Purple Emperor Pink Lemonade
Monarch Mac and Cheese Bites (it’s not a party at my house without them)
Clouded Yellow Caprese Bites (fancy for….grape tomatoes and mozzarella on a toothpick)
Violet Copper Veggie Platter
For dessert, I made cupcakes which had pink, purple, yellow, and green frosting, and were decorated with little flowers, and there were butterflies on the platter.
And…in perfect MMB fashion, I made a butterfly fruit salad with a strawberry marshmallow fruit dip (Recipe from Taste of Home). The fruit salad looked adorable…BUT….I found it in my fridge after the party, so none of the guests got to enjoy it. I am just lucky that I at least got a picture of it, because I was showing it to a friend who was unable to make it to the party. So…for my readers who were also at the party…here is what you missed
All in all, my little two year old had a fabulous time, and loved every bit of her butterfly birthday party! We had such a fun day, and it was definitely a memorable party!
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