Thursday, August 10, 2017

Welcome Everleigh Ann + Dockatot Review

In case you missed it, we welcomed our second child into the world on Monday, July 31st, 2017 at 8:45am. Weighing in at 8lb 4oz and 20.5in long, little miss Everleigh Ann has been the perfect addition to our family.

As we prepared for our baby girl's arrival, our main focus was on how to best do life with two under two. Especially knowing I would be having a repeat c-section, products that provided convenience, ease, and of course safety were at the top of my list. Enter, Dockatot Deluxe. I had been eyeing this multi-functional lounger for some time and I was ecstatic to try it out when it arrived on my doorstep.

products: Dockatot | bonnet- Sweet As April | pacifier clip- Ryan and Rose | onesie- Tate and Tess | moccs- Sweet n Swag
products: customized name sign- The Trendy Timber | crib sheets + changing pad- Kadydid Designs

I have to say, we are obsessed. Everleigh loves it and sleeps great in it. I love the portability and convenience of taking it into whichever room my toddler just ran into. Ronan loves that he can interact with his little sister on his level. Overall, we have zero complaints and would highly recommend this product to any mama or mama-to-be!

Click here to receive: $10 off your own Dockatot

If you have any further questions about the Dockatot or our experience with it, feel free to find me on Instagram (here: @withlovekellie) and send me a message!

Post may contain affiliate links.

with love,

kellie ann

Monday, April 3, 2017

Dollar Store Sensory + Activity Bin Ideas for Toddlers

I made a trip to the dollar store today to gather some materials to make activities + sensory bins for Ronan (who is 14 months and needs to be occupied at.all.times.). With baby girl on the way (post coming soon about that too!), I am definitely going to need to have quick + easy ways to keep Ro entertained on the fly. As I present the activities to Ro, I'll update this post and share them here too! I hope you find them helpful, and as always, be sure to share if you do!

Why Sensory Bins? 
As an occupational therapist, I work on a daily basis with children who are delayed in development. Whether for typically developing children or those with disabilities, the benefits of sensory bins are endless. They promote and encourage: fine motor skills (i.e. bilateral hand coordination, grip strength, finger dexterity), eye hand coordination, language development, independent play skills, sensory awareness,  cause and effect, and SO many more skills. There really isn't a reason NOT to use them ;)

**all items in this post were either purchased at the dollar store OR I already had at home. Total cost for EVERYTHING was approximately $50.

Prehistoric Sensory Bin
Ronan is currently OBSESSED with dinosaurs, so it was a no-brainer to pull this bin out first for him. He was "roaring" the whole time. He loved opening and closing the eggs, making the dinosaurs stomp around in the rocks, and staring me dead in the eye as he brought the rocks to his mouth waiting for me to yell NO at him (insert eye roll here). Ohhhhh boys.

Obviously, you can use your imagination and switch out the dinosaurs for other toys that your child is currently interested in (dolls, cars, animals, etc...). I like the size of the rocks + gemstones for this activity, though, because they are the perfect size for little hands and encourage exploring an element that is found in nature.

2 bags of medium-sized assorted rocks (in the floral section)
1 bag of gemstones (also in the floral section)
plastic dinosaur toys
plastic easter eggs

Beans Sensory Bin
This one is pretty simple and straight forward. Simply fill a bin with dry beans, add any type of "accessories" you want, and let them go at it! Ronan liked pouring the beans in and out of the container I put in there, mixing them around with the utensils, andddd we ended our play time when he started deliberately pouring them all over the floor haha.

2 bags of dry beans
any additional "accessories" (I used plastic easter eggs, play utensils, and an empty container)

Rice Sensory Bin
This one is also pretty simple and straight forward. It is the same concept as the dry beans, but with rice! Ronan was also a fan of this one, and again, it ended when he started spilling them all over the floor on purpose. And for those of you asking if he puts anything in his mouth while he plays.... the answer is yes. Haha I just have to monitor him to make sure he doesn't choke or do anything dangerous!

2 bags of rice
any additional "accessories" (I used plastic easter eggs, play utensils, and an empty container)

with love,

kellie ann

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ronan's First Birthday 1-31-2017

Dear Ronan,

You are the one who made me a mother. You are the one who I wake up to and for every morning. You are my first born, my baby boy, my heart + my soul. Your first year of life literally flashed by in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms at the hospital, thanking God for entrusting me with the most perfect little human. You light up our lives every single day. Your sweet + funny personality, your inquisitive nature, and your stubborn streak make us proud to be your parents. You make us laugh, you make us smile, and even when you make us tired, we could not imagine a single moment of life without you in it. Thank you for being you. We cannot wait to see what else you have in store for us over the next several years. We love you, our little man Ronan.

Mama + Dada





with love,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Recently J found his great grandmother's (which would make her "great great grandma" to Ronan) recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls. There was just something special about the torn and fragile state of the paper, the fading ink, and the idea that years ago his grandma would wake up on any given morning to make these for her family. And now, my husband is making them for our family. Family recipes are something special that can't be replaced by anything other than generation after generation continuing the legacy of those comforting smells filling the kitchen. So Ronan, J, and I spent this chilly winter Tuesday morning in the kitchen together to do just that. (recipe found at the bottom of the post)

Great Great Grandma's Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons soft/melted butter

1/4 cup brown or granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup confectioners sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
2. Add shortening and cut in until fine
3. Add milk all at once and stir until dough sticks together. Form a ball.
4. Turn out on lightly floured board
5. Knead 5 or 6 times. Handle dough lightly and work quickly!
6. Roll dough to about a 12"x8" rectangle- 1/4 in thick
7. Brush with melted butter or spread on soft butter
8. Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar mixture
9. Roll up like a jelly roll; pinch edges together and shape into an even roll
10. Cut into 12 even slices
11. Place in greased pan (cake, ring mold, or cookie sheet) closely
12. Brush tops with milk or melted butter
13. Bake at 450* for 15 minutes
16. Pour icing over rolls
17. ENJOY!

with love,

Friday, January 6, 2017

One-Two Year Old Food & Meal Ideas

So, now that my child has decided he would like to eat meals equivalent to that of a grown man, I knew I needed some sort of visual to keep me on track and make sure I was feeding him a well-balanced, nutritional diet. I scoured Pinterest (duh), asked all my mama friends what their littles ate, and compiled this comprehensive list of all of the above. I hope you find it as helpful as I hope to!

Do you think you will use this chart for your little one? I plan to print it off, laminate it, and hang it on my fridge as a reminder before grocery shopping trips and during meal planning for Ronan. What other ideas do you have for using it? Remember, if you like what you see and plan to print off a copy for yourself, please share this post on Pinterest!!

with love,

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A First Birthday Gift Guide

As my son, Ronan, nears his first birthday (whaaaaat???), I thought I would put together a little gift guide for our family and friends to politely guide them towards Ronan's preferred toys & activities at this age. Any mamas out there with a little one just might relate and want to share this list with their family and friends as well 😉

A common moment of Ronan running away after
being caught playing with the cords under the table...

1. His very own electrical outlet. Really, anything dangerously electronic that involves long cords would be perfect.

2. Wicker baskets. He prefers ones that he can pick apart into verrrrrry small shreds and eat.

3. Vent covers. The ones with the decorative designs are best because it's easiest for him to get his little fingers in there to lift it up, look around to make sure no one is looking (or that they are 👀), and run away excitedly with it.

 4. Wipes. The more you say no, the more delicious they are to him. Any brand will do.

5. Any large object or piece of furniture that he could potentially a) climb on or b) pull down onto himself at a moment's notice.

I think that about covers it.... Any other mamas have any suggestions to add? 😂

with love,
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