toddler

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUME FOR LITTLES – BEANIE BOO

My kid has a ::small:: obsession with Beanie Boos. Anyone else get asked EVERYWHERE they go to buy one? Because they’re literally everywhere. At Walgreens, at the craft store, at book stores, gah! Those glittery gigantic eyes follow me everywhere! No really, they’re pretty freaking cute, and I must admit I get into when their birthdays are etc. Okay! Okay! He sold me on them!
Naturally his Halloween costume would have to be a Beanie Boo. There are very few animal onesie costumes that don’t already have a face or eyes on them. This lion costume is from Party City- it’s actually the Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz with the badge snipped off. So that part was easy. 
Scroll down for the tutorial, free printable, and links to purchase supplies! 
What you need (click each item for links)
Hole Punch
TAG
Download the Beanie Boo tag HERE and just print one sheet.
Trace and cut around each shape- outer heart, inner heart, t, y. 
Cut carefully around “Beanie boos”.
Using your foam glue, attach the foam pieces: larger heart in gold on the bottom, then red, then letters.
Punch a hole in the corner (you may have to lift up the red part while it’s not totally dry and do separately since it’ll be pretty thick.
String a red ribbon through the hole and make a necklace.
 
GLASSES
I made him regular glasses for night time since it would be too dark to trick or treat with sunglasses on!!
Paint the outer rim carefully with glitter glue. 
Glitter over a piece of paper so that you can funnel it back into your glitter tube when you’re done. Let dry completely. 
Paint over one more glue coat and let dry.
FACE PAINT
Add as much or as little (maybe just the nose!) as you want.
 “Mommy, I bet people can’t tell which one I am”.
xo
-L

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUME FOR LITTLES – AC SLATER

Hey Preppy. As soon as my littlest started growing curls, I was like… AC Slater! I was (okay, still totally am) a huge Saved by the Bell fan. Kelly Kapowski is basically my idol, and when you’re a kid of the 90’s, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with Zack Morris. AC has this tough guy personality but is actually a softy- that describes Max to a T. He’s a bruiser but the sweetest little boy. 
AC is an easy peasy costume. Scroll down for sources. 
More DIY costumes HERE and HERE!
Sources:
High tops- similar
Accesories: buddy band, tiger tail, football, and lots of hair gel!

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR LITTLES

Update! I luckily had a third son so baby Harry Potter, here we are again!
Monthly pic… platform 9 3/4 never looked so cute!
Lightening bolt tattoo (and other super awesome HP tats) HERE.
His cardi and pants are from June & January in onyx.
Lightening bolt rattle HERE
Same scarf and glasses as below.
Here are some of my kids’ past Halloween costumes that are easy to DIY!
DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES
1. HARRY POTTER
This one is my absolute favorite! You know what a Harry Potter nerd I am. We tell Ari Harry Potter stories (the non-scary ones) now, so he loves looking at this picture of himself!
Last year, he decided to be Harry Potter again! Needless to say, we were thrilled!
OUTFIT: khaki or black pants, white button down shirt, black or gray vest or v-neck sweater. Cloak purchased here.
SCARF: I knit this using this pattern
GLASSES: here. I popped the plastic lenses out
SCAR: Purchase our lightening bolt tattoos HERE for the whole family!
2. MARTY MCFLY
I still giggle at this one. Ari obviously didn’t get who he was but people loved it! The Back to the Future Trilogy is one of Jeffrey and my favorite movies (next to HP obvs).
OUTFIT: jean jacket, white button down with blue/red plaid, maroon t-shirt, red suspenders, red puffy vest, tight light wash jeans, white Nike high tops
“Look at them moccasins!”
3. SADNESS
New fav!!! Link to the DIY HERE
4. AC SLATER
He has the curly hair, so why not? Links HERE
5. THE ORKIN MAN
Ari is obsessed with our Orkin man, George. I think he thinks of George as a grandpa?? George retired that year, so it was only fitting to pay homage to him.
Outfit: white button down, pleated khakisred hat
Details: I made the epaulets out of red felt with a white button sewed on. I just winged it whip stitched them on the shoulders BUT I did it backwards. The button side is supposed to point towards the neck of the shirt.
You can download the Orkin logo I made here.
Stick on eyebrows/mustache found at a costume shop.
I covered Max in little plastic spiders to make it more Halloween-y!
Tutorial for the spray can is below. There was probably a way easier way like using a silver coffee can, but I used what I had!
Punch a hole through the oatmeal can top for the rubber tube (bought at a hardware store)
Tape the tube inside and on the top of the can
Punch holes for the string before you tape the top on
Wrap can and hose with duct tape
6. CARDINAL
I made this for Ari’s preschool costume, but count it anyway as a great Halloween DIY.
Tack/sew red boa around the turtleneck. I used yellow felt for the feet and attached it to Ari’s crocs. For the hat, I glued felt on top of a foam visor from the craft store. You could always just stick feathers on a red hat and call it a day!
7. BABY NERD
This was my laziest costume but effective. Max already had the white onesie, cardi, and bowtie. I just put masking tape on Ari’s Harry Potter glasses (above)!
8. HASHTAG THE PANDA
Our love for Jimmy Fallon is STRONG.
Similar panda costume HERE.
You can download the name tag I made HERE, but you could easily buy the name tag stickers and write “Hashtag”. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. If you do, it’s pretty hilarious.
9. TINKER BELL
Ari adores Tinker Bell! His preschool had costume day, so we went with his hero!
Tutorial for the costume and educational art HERE.
This year is most likely directed by Ari who is now 5! Sad! So far, he wants to be Sadness from Inside Out. I’ll update you with the progress! Good luck, mamas!
-L

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR GIRLS

Do you have most of your shopping done already? Well, good for you! 😉 If not, here are my top picks if you are looking for that perfect little something for the little ladie(s) in your life. 
1. Stocking stuffers: 
Tinkerbell Pez dispenser – I loooooved getting these as a child, so I can only hope that my child will enjoy it as well this year. 
Snow globe – This little guy is a perfect keepsake for this Christmas. We always love to give our daughter something to mark the year, whether it be a snow globe or an ornament. Even better, 25% of the purchase price goes directly to St. Jude’s. 
Frozen activities book – because which kid isn’t still singing “Let it Go!”???
Wind up mouse –  This mouse gives my daughter laughter for minutes at a time. He flips over and she thinks it is “super duper cool”. 
Finger puppets – they are just so cute!
2. Board Game – These are always fun to add to your board game collection. Whether it be educational or just plain fun.
3. Cape & Dress up Accessory Kit – It occurred to me the other day (when my 3 year old daughter asked to be a super hero for Halloween next year) that little girls need to save the world sometimes too. Ya know, take a break from being a princess! 😉
4. Educational goods – I love watching my toddler learn. Watching her figure things out and use her problem solving skills is just the best. I love the idea of mixing fun gifts with some educational gifts as well. Adding a few books to your library is always a good idea. We tried these hot dot cards at Leah’s, and Amara loved them!! 
5. Sleeping bag – Even if your child is not doing sleep overs yet, I think these are so fun for movie nights or pretend play. I am adoring this one with the big bow!!
6. Bunny slippers – duh!
7. Mini Mercedes – The thing we all wanted when we were little. If only Santa could bring me this in MY size?!
8. Little People Princess Castle – We bought this for Amara last year, but she is just starting to play with it a year later. Her imaginary play has taken off. She loves to make the princesses talk….. like all day long. Such a fun little gift, so I had to include it in my picks for this year. 

TIPS FOR DISNEY TRAVEL

Happy Tuesday, friends! Today, I wanted to share some photos and tips that you might find helpful if you are planning a Disney trip anytime soon. We returned home almost a week ago, but we are just NOW feeling like things are getting back to normal. We are the type of family that needs a vacation after vacation. There are two types of vacations in my opinion: one where you truly relax and get away and one where you just simply in a place other than your own home. Disney is so much fun, but so much work! So, I hope this little list of mine helps and informs in some little way.
I bought Amara a new little, lightweight backpack for traveling. I filled it with an activity book, candies, some new Doc McStuffin headphones ( which I don’t recommend, as they are made for little ears so they have limited volume control. It makes them hard to hear on a loud airplane), and some crayons/markers and stickers. It was a short flight, so we didn’t need much!!
Take a stroller fan – I purchased this fan two years ago, and it has served us well for two trips. For as inexpensive as it is, I would recommend just buying a new one each year. This last trip, the fan blades seemed a little worn out. Anyway, the fan is great for littles since it has foam blades (no ouchies) and it clips right on to your stroller. It is a lifesaver for stroller naps or just a plain ole breeze in the Florida sticky mess that they call “Summer”.
Stroller it if possible – There is so much room for stroller parking around the parks! My husband and I just kept saying how happy we were to not be carrying around a backpack or diaper bag. Obviously, if you have a baby that still needs diaper changing, or you just feel more comfortable having your stuff on you, then a backpack is the way to go. Our daughter is potty training, and we simply carried one wallet ( my husband’s) and carried our phones in our pockets. Everything else ( sunscreen, wipes, water bottles, ponchos etc.) we left in the stroller while we rode rides. It just freed us up to not have to carry everything.
Take ponchos – Even if it seems perfectly sunny and not cloudy outside, it is still good to have ponchos on hand. It is Florida…. it rains…. everyday. We went the first week of September and got rained on every. single. day. I don’t mean a light sprinkle either. I am talking let your shoes dry out overnight kind of rain. I bought ours at Target or something I think. They are pretty expensive at the park! 

 Grocery shop – Just for two breakfast sandwiches, a kids’ milk and two black coffees, our breakfast ran us close to 35 bucks a day! Think of doing that for every meal. It gets so pricey!! Especially since we are snackers, we thought it would be a good idea to go to a nearby grocery store and load up on bread, pb &j, yogurt, milk, fruit, bottled water, chips, and whatever else so that we always had something when we came back to the hotel room. We came back for lunch several days since our little one needed to nap. It really helped save money!! Then, you don’t feel as bad splurging on all of the fun sweet stuff.

Buy Disney goods BEFORE you go to Disney – I know this sounds extremely cheap of me. However, let me explain….. When you go Disney with a toddler, they want EVERYTHING! We still bought Amara a princess dress ( compliments of Grandma), princess flip-flops, a Mickey T-shirt, a wand, and a doll. I think its a great idea to leave with some goodies in your suitcase to “gift” to your child throughout the Disney trip! There are Disney items to be found everywhere. Purchase them for a much lower price, and still be your kids’ hero without breaking the bank. 
Stay on the Disney property – This is big for us just because we love the Disney experience! Two perks of doing this is FREE transportation to and from the airport via Magical Express. They even handle your bags for you!! It is a lifesaver! Also, you get to partake in “Extra Magic hours” at the parks. Certain parks stay open several hours later JUST for those that stay at a Disney resort. It cuts the lines down immensely, and its just an awesome experience!
Consider purchasing tickets in bulk – There are always deals on the Disney site (deal and special offers page)!My husband and I had a driver pick us up to drive us from our Disney hotel to Universal Studios ( where my husband had a show that day), and the driver told us that if you buy tickets in bulk, you can get park hoppers for as low as $30 dollars a day! WHOA!!!! When he said “in bulk”, he was talking like 10 days worth of tickets. He said that you can get the ones that never expire, unlike the normal ones that expire 14 days after its issued, and save them for your next trip even. I can’t find the EXACT deal he was talking about online, but I did find this page to be quite helpful as it talks about a very similar deal. Read under “Will you likely be returning to Disney?”. We are definitely planning on bulk buying next year.
Side note: if you are a super safe kind of person, be sure and write down the serial numbers on the back of your tickets just incase you lose them. That is the only chance you have of replacing them.
Eat a Croissant Donut (Cronut) – Found at Epcot right before you get to the first “country”! You will thank me!
And Butter Beer (frozen) – Harry Potter…. I have no words. Our day at Universal exploring Diagon Alley was a highlight for me.
We also customized our magic bands online before we left for Disney! You can do this on their website as well.
Enjoy the Magic!!

EASTER WARDROBE PICKS

I can’t believe that Easter is this week!! It is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up, going to church and celebrating Jesus, and enjoying an amazing meal with family/friends. It is usually rainy here in Tennessee and cold even. However, it is calling for a beautiful day this year, and that alone makes me ALMOST more excited than eating my weight in Reese’s Pieces eggs. ALMOST! This will be Amara’s first year hunting for eggs also, so that is pretty special.
Here are some of my favorite picks for the little ladies and gents. I totally believe in buying an outfit that my child will wear beyond Easter. We don’t splurge too much on Easter clothes, but it is still fun to buy a special outfit for the occasion, don’t you agree?
Look one: dress shoes / Look two: dress shoes / Look three: dress shoes

Look one: shirt tie pants shoes / Look two: shirt shorts boots / Look three: shirt pants sandals
Any special plans for Easter or special traditions you have with your friends/family?