Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How to Survive All Day at the Beach or Waterpark with a Toddler

 When our older daughter was little, we were beach bums. We lived just a short distance from a gorgeous beach on the Gulf of Mexico and we visited often. Over the three years we lived there, we were at the beach more times than I can count. When we moved back to Utah, the beach was one of the things that I missed the very most. Nowadays during the summer you can find us at the water park, the splash pad or in our backyard pool. I can count on one hand the days we haven't spent in water this summer. Our the last 8 years of spending all day in the water with little ones, I have found some things that make it much more enjoyable for everyone.

Cover ups. My girls have a family history of skin cancer, so I work really hard to protect them from the sun. I have found the number one reason that my kids get sunburned is because we forget to reapply the sunscreen at the right intervals. I have found for our family, it is way easier when everyone wears a rash guard. 

I buy my toddlers full body swimsuits like the Nemo one in the picture and then I just have to worry about putting sunscreen on their faces. For my older daughter, she wears a long sleeve rashguard and swim bottoms, so we aren't worried about her shoulders and back. My husband and I both wear rash guards and we love that we don't have to worry about burned shoulders. 

If rashguards don't work for you, consider setting an alarm on your phone to alert you to when everyone needs to hop out for another coat of sunscreen. 

Shoes that can be worn in the water. There are many sharp things on the beach and the pavement at water parks is usually pretty hot, buying your kiddos shoes that can be worn in the water helps protect them from both. With my older kids we buy water shoes, with my toddler I usually buy a cheap pair of shoes and just let them wear them in. 

Sunglasses and Hats. Most people remember sunglasses for themselves, but I have found that my kids last longer at the pool if they have a pair too. For my toddlers I buy the kind that strap all the way around their head, like these, which seems to helps us not lose them. 

Lots of water. When we go to the park I usually pack a bottle of water and a sippy cup full of whatever my daughter asked for that morning. I encourage her to drink the sippy first and then we switch to the water. Staying hydrated will keep your kiddos happy and active. 

Toys. Most people bring toys to the beach, but I also bring them to the water park. We love a shovel and pail and sand molds for the beach. For the water park we love the cloth water bombs that are basically like a cloth water balloon. They are compact and provide a lot of fun.

Hooded towels. I used to bring beach towels for my kids to the beach and then I noticed they would drag them on the ground as they were drying off. They would get dirty and extra wet. Now I bring hooded towels. The hood on their head helps keep it from dragging on the ground and picking up water and dirt.

 Protein filled snacks. It can be really hard to get protein in your kids when you are far away from your fridge at the beach or the water park only has greasy amusement park food. We have just started toting around Lil' Beanies which I found in the baby food section of Target.  Made from the goodness of navy beans and naturally flavored, Lil’ Beanies is a fantastic protein filled snacking option not made with genetically engineered ingredients and has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It has 2 grams of protein (9% Daily Value) and 1 gram of fiber per serving. It is the perfect snack to keep my little one going between meal breaks.

They come in original flavor and white cheddar and broccoli. My toddler calms them "healfy cheetos."

A place to take a break. I like to bring my stroller, rent a chair at the beach or a small cabana at the water park. Some place to get out of the sun and cool down will recharge your kiddo. 

Extra things I make sure to bring:

  • extra diaper
  • wipes
  • extra swim diapers
  • sandwiches (for actual lunch) 
  • a change of clothes for each kid
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray (if we are staying until dusk) 
We really have days in the sun down to a science. Not one has been burned yet this year (knock on wood) and we have all had a really great time!

What do you bring to enjoy a day in the sun? 
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BB-8 Star Wars Necklace

My toddler is a little BB8 fanatic. That little droid is her favorite part of the new movie and she was quite upset every time he wasn't on screen. I bought her this darling BB8 dress and decided to make her a necklace to go with it. This necklace is incredible easy to make and you can customize it to match any Star Wars character! 

Fizzy Pops is where I get the supplies for all of my bubble necklaces. They have an amazing selection. Here is what I used for these necklaces. 

You will need from Fizzy Pops:

First you will need to cut your wire the desired length of your necklace plus 1.5 inches on each side. My wire is 16 inches long, plus the 1.5 inches on each side, for a total of 19 inches.

Close a 6mm jump ring and slide it on the end of your wire. Loop the wire around the ring and then slide two crimp beads over both sections of wire. Use a pair of pliers to crimp the crimp beads down until they are tight and flat. You can also add an extender chain at this point, if you want to. For detailed instructions on adding an extender chain, check out the Fizzy Pops tutorial here.

After your beads are crimped. you are ready to add your necklace beads. Here is my necklace pattern for this necklace:

two orange
 striped bead
two white
 striped bead

(repeated 3x)

bottle cap pendant

two orange
  striped bead
two white
 striped bead

(repeated 3x)

Slide a lobster clasp onto a 6mm jump ring and then close the jump ring. Slide the jump ring onto the wire and then double back the wire through the crimp beads and a couple extra of the necklace beads. Crimp the crimp beads until they are tight and then trim the excess wire.

You necklace is now ready to add the image to the center! I did a google search for BB8 and found an image that I loved.  Pull it into a photo editing program, any program or app should be able to crop it. You want the image to print about 3/4 of an inch high. Use a 1 inch circle hole punch to punch out the image after it is printed.

Place an epoxy sticker on top of the image and rubbed the back to make sure all air bubbles were gone. Add a small amount of a strong glue (like E-6000) to the bottle cap and gently press your image with epoxy sticker to the bottle cap.

Allow the glue to dry completely before wearing.

My little BB8 is absolutely in love with this necklace. She begs to wear it every day! My daughter wants a C3PO one to match!

What Star Wars character would you make a necklace for?
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Bathtub Diaper Cake

Every time I throw a baby shower, I love to make a new different kind of diaper cake. This Bathtub Diaper Cake might be one of my very favorites. It is the easiest of all the diaper cakes to make and it is so much fun to style with rubber duckies and bubbles! 

You will need: 

  • Huggies Little Movers Diapers
  • a large blue bin
  • cotton balls
  • blue tulle
  • rubber duckies
  • anything else you want to display with the tub (washcloths, baby wash, etc.)

 One of the most important parts of a diaper cake, is to use quality diapers, like Huggies Little Movers. You want this decoration to double as a present to the mom to be, so make sure you use diapers she will actually want to use on her new little one. At my baby shower we were given so many newborn and size 1 diapers that I didn't use them all before my baby outgrew them, so I love to gift diapers that are a little larger so they will have them even when all of the other baby shower gifts run out.

 Take a large blue bucket, I found this one at my local dollar store, and start layering the diapers around the edge of the the bucket. As you get closer to the center, roll some of the diapers and place them in the center.

After you have a bottom layer of diapers, add some diapers around the edges of the bucket and then roll a layer of diapers for the top, so the diaper come just to the top of the bucket.

Take a roll of dark blue tulle and stick the tulle in the spaces in between the diapers. You don't even have to cut it if you don't want to. My tulle was just one big long strip.

Add a small pile of cotton balls to the top of the blue tulle.

 Finish the cake off with rubber duckies.

When you style the cake on the table for the baby shower style it with washcloths, baby wash and diaper cream! 

One of the biggest reasons that I use Huggies for my diaper cakes and for my little ones is because of their Leak Lock and a Dry Touch Liner that absorbs on contact so your little one stays dry. Little Movers are shaped for fit and flexibility and have double grip strips so the fit is comfortable to your little one and lasts. 

Starting June 22nd until July 17th, Sam's Club members will save an extra $3 instantly when they buy Little Movers, making it easy to save! No clipping required. As a special bonus, right now when you upload a picture of your moving baby here, you can be entered to win a $500 Sam's Club giftcard! 

Who is the Little Mover in your life? 

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Cheesecake Parfaits and 4th of July Marshmallow Pinwheels

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