Tuesdays with Jacob

Earth Day Activities for kids

April 20, 2017

This Saturday is Earth Day, which is of course just a reminder of how we should be caring for our Earth every day! If you are looking for fun ideas to celebrate with your kiddos I've rounded up some of our favorites! Last year with we had a big picnic with crafts and a nature walk, which you can read all about here.

1. Decorate flower pots, and then plant something. We went with flowers last year but this year I'm thinking I'll have Jacob plant some herbs that I can hopefully later use in the kitchen!

2. Make a bird feeder. Last year we went the pinecone, peanut butter, birdseed route, but I'm loving this one made out of an old milk carton.

3. Read a book. Our Tree Named Steve is one of my favorites, but you can find a whole list here.

4. Create watercolor art. All this takes is blue and green markers and a coffee filter. It turns out with a gorgeous watercolor effect every time!

5. Decorate an Earth Day crown. Cut to look like grass, your little one can add bug and flower stickers to make it all their own!

6. Bake some cookies. How fun are these cookies made with blue and green dough to look like the Earth?

7. Participate in a local clean up. Near us they always do beach clean ups, but parks hold them too!

8. Play this trash pick up game, which lets your little one practice the alphabet too! Print out the free trash can cards, wad them up and then let your little ones pick up the trash and practice saying their letters!

9. Re-use old crayons to make new ones! I can't be the only one with a million extra crayons lying around right? I love this blue and green version made to look like the Earth.

10. Visit your recycling plant. See first hand where our recycling goes once it leaves our bins!

And don't forget, EVERY DAY is Earth Day!!

Here's the link to my Earth Day pinterest board!

Easter 2017

April 18, 2017

Happy Easter Friends! Jacob was up at the crack of dawn as usual, which gave us plenty of time for our traditional bunny cinnamon rolls before church. These always turn out so cute. I just take half of the rolls from the can, unroll them and cut them in half. Then I fold each half into a U shape and pinch them onto the top of a roll to make ears. They fluff up a bit in the oven, and are so yummy with lots of sweet icing spread on top.

Sometime in between breakfast and his Easter basket there was a scraped toe while helping to walk the dogs and a colossal meltdown. If you look close you can see the hole in his cute PJs. Thankfully a bandaid and an Easter basket were enough distraction to cheer him right up! I absolutely love putting together the Easter basket. I generally start right after Valentine's and collect little things here and there that I know he will love. He was especially excited about the beach toys, the kiddie chopsticks, the SING DVD and the chocolate frogs.

Jacob takes his time with his basket, pulling one thing out at a time and looking it over before moving on to the next thing, which I love. He loves pulling apart eggs and seeing what's inside. This year I filled his eggs with fruit snacks and a key chain. He somehow knew immediately that keychains can go on backpacks and started saying "take it to school." I guess we'll have to put it on his little preschool backpack in the fall!

After church Jacob got to visit with the Easter bunny and had everyone in hysterics as he instructed the Easter bunny to smile for the photos.  "Say cheese bunny! Say cheese!" We also got an elusive family photo, which always makes my heart sing.

There were long naps for all after church while the ham cooked in the oven and then it was off to the airport to pick up Nonna. This was my first time hosting Easter dinner and along with the ham we had  Parmesan potatoes, herb roasted carrots, deviled eggs, and then macaroons and salted caramel gelato for dessert. Both the macaroons and the gelato were from Trader Joes, and this definitely won't be the last time we buy them!

That night we opened our last story egg, empty like the tomb and Nonna got to read the Easter Sunday passage to Jacob. Such a special tradition that we'll be using for years to come! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter with your loved ones!

Easter Basket Goodies

March 29, 2017
I always love when a new holiday rolls around, especially now that we have Jacob to share in the fun. I love seeing the wonder in his eyes, and making those days magical for him. Easter is no exception. Truth be told, we go a little overboard come Easter. I blame our Easter basket which came about four sizes larger than I was expecting. I don't beat myself up too much, because I try to fill it with things he would need anyways. Instead of giving items to him as I purchase them, I save them up for a few months and then fill up the 'ol Easter basket. Here are some of the thing's we've gathered to fill his basket this year:

Something for bedtime: I almost always pick up a new pair of jammies for Jacob's basket. With summer quickly approaching I love to stock up on the shorties PJs from gap, old navy, carter's and gymboree. 

Something for mealtime: A friend introduced me to these Dinner Winner Plates. You fill each section with some food and then hide a small prize or treat at the end. Your child eats their way through the board (like a game) in order to get their treat at the end. Genius! 

Something practical: We've been trying for quite some time to teach/train Jacob to sleep in just a little bit later. We're not asking for a whole lot - we just want him to get up no earlier than 7 am. I've heard amazing things about the OK to Wake Clock, and we're excited to try it out. If there's one thing Jacob definitely understands, it's "green means go."

Something to read: Are all toddlers book lovers? Or just mine? We picked up "Oh my Oh my Oh Dinosaurs" for him as well as "Pete the Cat: Old MacDonald had a Farm."

Something for the pool: Jake is doing AH-MAZING at swim class now that he's moved up to the big boy class with coach and no more mommy and daddy. We've noticed that swimming down to the bottom of the pool to retrieve dive sticks and rings is one of his favorite parts of the class.I picked up these Jolly Jellyfish Sinkers, which I know he'll love using in our pool. 

Something for the beach: Besides chasing the waves, Jacob's favorite thing to do at the beach is have an adult build him a sand castle, and then stomp it to smithereens. With this brick and trowel set we'll be able to build even more elaborate castles for him to destroy. We also have the Seaside Baking Set, which is our favorite beach set, as well as the Clicker Crab pail and shovel. The entire Melissa and Doug beach line is durable and adorable. 

Something to eat: Besides his Easter eggs, which we'll fill with fruit snacks, puffs, goldfish, and other small treats, I picked up these Lindt mini frogs. Jacob loves anything chocolate and I know he'll get a kick out of the fact that they're frogs! Every Easter basket needs something sweet, even if your kiddo will have plenty of help eating it!

Something to watch: We have been waiting for forever (feels like it at least) for SING! to come out on video! It was the first movie little man saw in the theater and he LOVED it. We'll be watching this on repeat for months to come, which I am totally ok with. I can only take so much Polar Express which we have been watching on repeat since DECEMBER.

Hope this round up gives you a few ideas and that you have fun putting together baskets for your little ones! Happy spring friends, XO.

Easter Picture Book Favorites

March 22, 2017

It's about that time.... time to start thinking about bunnies and chicks. I LOVE St. Patrick's Day so I'm always a little sad when it's over. Thankfully filling little man's shelves with new books always makes me feel better. I've yet to find a good book I LOVE explaining the real story/meaning of Easter, so if anyone's got one of those please let me know! But here are some of our favorites filled with bunnies, chicks, and all things spring! 

(affiliate links)

Toddler Beach Favorites

March 17, 2017

If you are reading this... we're on our way to the beach!! A week at the beach is my ideal vacation, but I know the thought seems stressful for some. I promise that as long as you are well prepared, beach trips don't have to be a major headache. 

You are going to want to have a plethora of toys to keep your toddler entertained, as well as various ways to keep them shaded from the sun. We make sure to always take our large beach umbrella and baby sunscreen. When we can get him to keep them on Jacob wears a hat and sunglasses as well. You definitely want a mesh bag for all your beach toys - it allows all the sand to filter out when you toss them in there! 

One of our best beach secrets is baby powder - it gets sand off little bodies like nothing else! Your toddler will love having their own little chair, and I always look for the ones that come with their own little umbrella - more shade! A beach buggy is super high on my wish list for this summer, you can load all your gear AND your kid inside and the big wheels make it easier to pull across the sand! 

(affiliate links)

St. Patrick's Day Parade + Leprechaun Crunch Recipe

March 13, 2017

Oh my goodness. Who else is feeling the wrath of Daylight Savings time today? I swear it was invented by someone who hates parents. There just is not enough coffee in the whole world to make it through until bedtime.

This weekend was our town's annual St. Patrick's Day parade! It's one of our favorite weekends of the year! There's a big festival with rides, crafts, FOOD STANDS, and of course, the parade! It's always crazy busy but thankfully this year it wasn't too hot, thanks to a nice breeze.

My favorite part is when the bagpipers march down, with their beautiful music; and I always cry when they all the veterans get wheeled past. There was a fire troop from Dublin in the parade this year and when they passed the gigantic Irish flag flying from a top two fire trucks they stopped to salute, which I thought was very touching. Jacob of course loves all the fire trucks, police cars, and floats with music - anything that makes noise! He was also super interested in the Army helicopter that was on top of one of the floats, that thing was huge, I was a little afraid it wasn't going to clear the tree lined street but they had the propellers lined up just right to fit down the parade route! 

There's always quite a bit of waiting involved with parade day since you have to arrive early to get a seat. We passed some of the time watching them raise the ladders on two of the fire trucks and then hoisting up the big Irish flag, but after that we had to grab a seat and once you sit you're stuck. A smart mom, comes prepared. I made a yummy snack to bring this year - leprechaun crunch, and it was a huge hit!

Here's the simple recipe!

Leprechaun Crunch

Mini Marshmallows
Chocolate Teddy Grahams
Green M&Ms (the mint variety, or pick the green ones out of a regular bag)
Chocolate Chips
Lucky Charms Cereal
Green Melting Chocolate (or melt white and add green food coloring)
Green Sprinkles

1. On a cookie sheet, mix together mini marshmallows, green M&Ms, pretzels, lucky charms cereal, teddy grahams, and chocolate chips
2. In a double broiler* stir melting chocolate continuously until melted
3. Pour Chocolate over the mixture in the pan
4. Immediately top with sprinkles
5. Place in fridge until the chocolate is set and hard
6. Break apart chunks and enjoy!!

* To make a double broiler: Fill a frying pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place a DRY bowl in the pan and add your chocolate inside the bowl. Stir continuously until melted. Do NOT let the chocolate get wet or it will be ruined!

We're 4 days and counting away from spring break! Have a great week friends!!! XO

Lucky Cupcakes

March 9, 2017

Friends, these are the EASIEST cupcakes there are! And they are so cute! We made some for a playdate with friends and they were a huge hit! 

Here's how easy they are:

1. Make your favorite cupcakes - box mix, from scratch, or even store bought, however you like them!

2. Take a batch of white icing, split it in three then tint each third with food coloring - green, lime/yellow, white.

3. Pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes

4. Sprinkle green sugar and Lucky Charms Marshmallow on top. 

That's it!! I even let my toddler sort out the marshmallows from the cereal. I ended up with a lot less marshmallow than if I had done it myself, but it ended up being a snack and an activity all rolled into one. It just doesn't get any better than that!