Life With My Littles
Hi! If you are coming from, don't be alarmed! This is my new site! You can find all of my old posts here, as well as new ones more focused on pregnancy and babies. If you are looking for something in particular, you can use the search box under my picture. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mogo Loco: My New Favorite Etsy Shop

A few weeks ago our wonderful friends Bill and Morgan came up to visit us for Little A's baby blessing. Bill is one of the Mister's best friends from home, and Morgan is now one of mine! Morgan brought her a baby gift, some headbands from her new Etsy store, Mogo Loco!

Aren't they adorable? I love the headbands Morgan made, and I was thrilled to find out that she sells headbands for babies, toddlers, youth, and adults! Any headband style can be ordered in combination with any fabric (with the exception of the nautical knot, which is only sold in the solid black, mustard, baby pink, and purple).

The bow styles are the retro bow, nautical knot, retro knot, turban, oversized bow, and twisted turban. I can't even pick my favorite because I love them all so much!

And Little A looks so cute in them! I am so excited that I got some of these for her because they are so sweet and precious on her. And I definitely think I need one myself! I have my eye on the "Penelope Rose" Retro Bow and the" Trendy Triangles" Retro Knot!

Please, please, PLEASE stop by her shop, her Facebook page, and her Instagram page. I absolutely love her stuff and I want to share it with everyone!

GO CHECK HER OUT! And leave a comment telling me which headband is your favorite!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

32 Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas for Toddlers

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Ever since I discovered the story of Elf on the Shelf, I have been dying to get one for our family. Last year I didn't get one because I figured Little J was too small and the Mister didn't really care. But this year, Little J understands more of what is going on with Christmas, so I decided that he was old enough for our family to have our own little Elf on the Shelf. But the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be up to 32 days, and that is a lot of days to try and come up with ideas that are going to be fun for a toddler. I of course took to Pinterest to try and find some good ones that would be easy for me and simple for Little J to find and understand. And now I am going to share the 32 best Elf on the Shelf ideas for toddlers with you!

1. North Pole Breakfast. This is a great way to introduce your little elf to your kids.

2. Super Elf. I think every toddler would be thrilled to find out that their elf is really a superhero!

3. Elf with the Nativity. I love this idea because it helps your kids remember why we are actually celebrating Christmas.

4. Elf with a Dry-Erase Marker and your Picture! How funny is this? Your littles will love finding that someone has given them a mustache or a hat!

5. Fishing. Super easy. Who doesn't have goldfish and floss? Little J is going to love this one!

6. TP'ing the Christmas Tree. Another fast idea that your toddler will love to find!

7. Snow Angel. I would recommend using rice so it will clean up easily.

8. Froot Loop Garland. Super easy, and you can hang it on the tree the next day!

9. Driving a Toy Car. With a little boy, we have a ton of cars, so this is really easy to put together!

10. Coloring a Picture. You could make it a Christmas picture, or your child's favorite cartoon.

11. Playing Basketball. Little J is going to LOVE this one! Basketball is his favorite, so he will have fun seeing that our elf loves it, too! We just used Little J's hoop, but you could make a tiny one if you wanted, too!

12. Sledding. A piece of cardboard and a toilet paper roll make a super easy sled!

13. Reading to Other Toys. Since our littles love to read, I thought this would be so fun!

14. Riding a Stuffed Animal. Who wouldn't want to ride a dinosaur?

15. Wearing Doll Clothes. We don't have a lot yet since Little A doesn't have any Barbies, but I know in a year or two we will have some doll clothes to do this!

16. Taped Up By Other Toys. Who knows what that elf did to deserve this one!?

17. With Cookie Ingredients. What little kid wouldn't want to help make cookies?

18. Doctor Elf. Since the Mister is in medical school, we thought Little J would really like this one!

19. Trying to Open Presents. I'm sure before Christmas I will catch Little J trying to do this, so it would be funny to have our elf do it, too!

20. On Top of a Block Tower. Little J loves building, and he has a lot of blocks, so this one is perfect! And it's really easy!

21. With Tissues. I hope your little elf doesn't catch a cold, but if he does, here's a fun way to set him up!

22. In the Car. This is perfect if you are going to drive somewhere to visit family. You can't forget your elf!

23. Lifting Weights. Really easy to make some tiny weights out of toothpicks and marshmallows!

24. Inside Your Advent Calendar. I just made a new advent calendar, so I thought it would be really fun to have our elf hanging out in one of the pockets!

25. Wrapping a Present. We got Little J and Little A some special presents to open before we visit our family, and we thought it would be fun to have our elf wrapping them. This is great if you have something you want your littles to open early!

26. In a Stocking. Another really easy idea that your kids will have fun finding!

27. Making Paper Snowflakes. And then you can hang them up in your house after!

28. On the Fridge. Either on top or on the handle. Easy to do.

29. Tee-peeing the Christmas Tree. I know Little J is going to love this one! And it's easy to find!

30. In a Cup with Marshmallows. It's like a tiny elf bubble bath!

31. In a Pizza Box. Our family loves pizza, so it was easy to have our elf sneaking the leftovers!

32. On a Zipline. A little harder to set up, but way fun for your toddler!

I can't wait to do all these fun ideas for Little J. I will share a few of them on my social media over the next few weeks!!

Do you have any other fun ideas for your toddlers?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tips to Sweeten Black Friday Shopping with a Toddler Featuring Caramel Vanilla Pizelle Gelato Bars

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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Black Friday has always been a tradition for me. Growing up, my family would always visit my grandpa for Thanksgiving, and then hit the mall the day after for some Black Friday shopping. After I was married, I made sure to continue the tradition with my husband's family. Last year was the first year I went with my son, so it was a little bit different! This year, I am taking my now-20-month-old and my 2-month-old with me, so I definitely need a plan. I sat down and made a list of tips to make it easy, including one sweet tip that includes HÄAGEN-DAZS® Caramel Vanilla Pizelle Gelato Bars!

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1. Plan out your trip. Shopping with a toddler definitely has a timer. As much as you would like, your toddler is not going to survive an all-day shopping trip. So plan out where you want to go, and what you want to buy, BEFORE you go! Most stores put out Black Friday ads either in their store or online, and these are a huge help when you have to take your toddler out. You can get in, get what you want, and get out, hopefully before any meltdowns!

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2. Go right after your toddler wakes up, or make them nap before you go. There is nothing worse than a grumpy, tired toddler. You won't get all of your shopping done if your toddler isn't well-energized!

3. Put them in something comfy. If you are going early in the morning, keep them in their PJs! If you are going a bit later in the day, make sure their outfit is something they are going to be fine wearing.

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4. Check diapers before leaving! Or if your toddler is potty-trained, make sure they go to the bathroom before you go. And even then, make sure you know where the bathrooms are in the stores you will be visiting. You don't want to end up wasting thirty minutes trying to find the bathroom!

5. Utilize carts or use your stroller. Sure, my son can walk, but I am definitely not letting him run free on Black Friday. He will definitely be buckled in the cart or our stroller the whole time!

6. Bring something to keep their attention. Make sure you pack some toys and some extra snacks. I always have to have at least three different snacks and Little J's water or he will whine when we go shopping. He gets picky about his snacks, so I always make sure to have backups!

7. Let them hold things. If you are going to get serious and make this Black Friday shopping a tradition, letting your toddler hold things will get them excited about it and help distract them.

8. Let them pick out a treat for the end of the day. Or if you have something in mind, pick it out yourself and let them hold it! The key here is letting them know that if they are good, they will get a treat when you are all done. I picked out some HÄAGEN-DAZS® Caramel Vanilla Pizelle Gelato Bars at Walmart and told Little J he could have them at the end of our shopping trip. He was so excited, he tried to open them right there in the frozen treats aisle! Which honestly, I don't blame him! Caramel, vanilla, and ice cream all in one handy bar? I wanted one as soon as I grabbed them, too!

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9. Go with another person. Last year I went with my son, my friend, and her daughter, and it was great that our kids could distract each other. It definitely helped that it wasn't just me trying to keep Little J occupied while shopping. Plus, sometimes toddlers are better behaved when there are other people around!

10. Have a backup plan for meltdowns. We rarely let Little J play with our electronic devices, so it keeps him busy when he is allowed to. So stash something secret in your bag before you leave for the "just-in-case" moment that hopefully won't happen. If you need it, you will be glad that it is there.

11. Reward your toddler (and yourself) when you finish! At the end of your big Black Friday shopping trip, make sure you treat your toddler to that special thing they picked out. Little J absolutely LOVED them (and I did, too!). Who wouldn't love creamy vanilla gelato with two golden caramel ribbons, fully dipped in milk chocolate & crunchy Italian-style pizelle cookie pieces. Seriously. And since they came in a three pack, we even let the Mister have one, too! It was a #Feast4All!

fall recipes, ice cream, Thanksgiving, caramel, vanilla

fall recipes, ice cream, Thanksgiving, caramel, vanilla

fall recipes, ice cream, Thanksgiving, caramel, vanilla

I'm sure that with these tips, Black Friday will be a success this year, even with Little J in tow! And even if it isn't, at least we get to have a sweet treat with our HÄAGEN-DAZS® Caramel Vanilla Pizelle Gelato Bars when we are finished!

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Do you have any tips you would add? What are you planning on buying on Black Friday? Let me know! And for more fall flavors, check out the Fall Flavor Pinterest board!