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Bodhi's Wild Kratts Fourth Birthday Party (10 of 27)

Bodhi turned four in April and decided he wanted an at-home party after many discussions of locations we could use. Last year, I swore I was taking it to a full service party place of some sort-the inflatables place, the trampoline park, the nature center-anywhere where I had less work to do around the house. But he insisted on having it at home. And I’m excited to share that things went really smoothly thanks to limited DIY and no homemade food.

Bodhi's Wild Kratts Fourth Birthday Party (18 of 27)

Read on for Bodhi’s Wild Kratts themed fourth birthday party at home. It’s filled with easy budget friendly Wild Kratts birthday party ideas.

Bodhi's Wild Kratts Fourth Birthday Party (25 of 27)

There are not a lot of Wild Kratts birthday parties out there, so finding really good inspiration wasn’t easy. Bodhi and I gathered most of it from the show itself. He decided that animal print would be a cool backdrop for all of the tables and he knew he wanted the Wild Kratts paw logo on there as well. I chose Kraft paper as a main “color” this year largely because it’s so readily available and inexpensive.

Dessert table

Bodhi's Wild Kratts Fourth Birthday Party (3 of 27)

Desserts included homemade “Mystery of the squirmy wormy” dirt cake in fun little cups with a spoon tied on from The TomKat Studio. You can buy similar cups on Amazon. Read More »


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Keeping kids active with LeapFrog

Bodhi started his last year of preschool today! The summer flew by. Actually all four years of his life have gone so quickly! We spent the summer staying active with lots of running, park dates, walks, trips to the zoo, pool and more. While I always get a little sad as summer comes to an end, I also enjoy Fall and having all four seasons where we live. I plan to keep the boys active this fall and winter and try to plan activities after school almost every day.

P&G is making it easier for us to keep kids active by partnering with LeapFrog’s LeapBand activity tracker.

Today I’m sharing the nutritious snacks I serve my children and six ways to keep kids active with P&G. P&G is making it easier for us to keep kids active by partnering with LeapFrog’s LeapBand activity tracker.

p.s. There is a giveaway at the end of this post. ;)Keeping kids active with LeapFrog

I find that both of my boys are naturally very active. I try to be aware of their needs physically and spend a lot of time playing outside, at the park or in our basement where they have room to run, jump and play.  Read More »


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Summer Vacation

After a busy busy week, I’m so ready for my boys’ summer vacation from childcare. Their schools are closed next week which gives us nine days of slow mornings, late bedtimes, summer fun, no packing lunches and lots of adventures.

Ezra'sFirstBirthday_164

We will hit up the zoo, the Children’s Museum, a swimming pool or pond, a fun music for kids event in our community and more. We also get to visit family, enjoy popsicles on the porch on hot days, play on our playset and with the water table with no real limits and just enjoy.

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We’ll eat watermelon and ice cream. Lots of ice cream. I’m not even going to worry about their sugar highs and lows.

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I will not be blogging, emailing or even returning many texts next week. I need this time to recharge with my littles. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.

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Cheers!

Photos by Melissa Oholendt Photography


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A pretty and cozy guest room plan

I’m working with a company on our guest room right now. Since the last guest room post, we added carpet in our basement and made it into a giant playroom. We decided to move all of the toys, dress up clothes and everything else to the basement and make our guest room back into just a guest room.

Here is where it’s at right now, but messier of course! p.s. Anyone in Minnesota want to buy our daybed? ;)

DIY playroom light fixture using GE Energy Smart light bulbs. #LEDSavings #CollectiveBias #shop

Our primary guest is my grandmother. She stays with us every month or two for about a week at a time and I’ve wanted it to be a comfortable home away from home for her for quite some time. With all of the toys, it was never easy to prepare for a guest and it never really looked like a comfortable sanctuary.

I’ll share a lot more in our reveal post in the coming weeks/months, but our top priorities for this room are the following:

  • Color: Our entire house is grey other than Ezra’s bedroom, our laundry room and our powder room. I’ve been wanting to add subtle color more and more. I’m not quite ready to choose a paint color, but yes, I’m going with a peachy pink which may seem risky, but check out my favorite photographer’s guest room for a little inspiration.
  • Function: A chair for relaxing, an alarm clock, good lighting and storage options, including a basket with extra toothbrushes and other toiletries are our main priorities. I want the room to feel like a retreat. I don’t usually love gold (I know, I know. I’m literally the only blogger in the entire blogosphere to admit that), but I think gold goes really well with a pinky peach wall and I love that it pulls out the nail-head trim on the chair that the company gave us for this room.
  • Beauty: I wanted the room to feel soft, but cozy, so warm elements were a must. I love that the book case brings in a warm wood tone, the faux leather chair brings in some grounding (and a place to sit, of course) and the peachy pinks and golds add pretty.
  • Money-savings: I’m using some things we already have like a white frame and simply adding Rifle Paper Co. gift wrap as art. The gold mirrors above the headboard used to be in our formal living room. And the gold curtains are the only pair leftover after a big Craigslist sale recently. I’m also using a white night stand that we already own. It won’t look quite as cute as this round one, but no sense in spending more than we need to.

What do you think? I’ll probably back out on the paint color and go much softer, but I like the bold look here.


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Tracking PixelMy #12houradventure with Caribou Coffee and my high school friendsI am one lucky mama! I went on a trip with my high school friends this past weekend, leaving Ezra for the first time, and it was exactly what I needed. I started my day off with Caribou Coffee’s Crafted Press and I’m excited to share my weekend as a part of a sponsored post with Caribou Coffee today. This is my #12houradventure. What’s yours?

A ladies weekend away

My trip started with easy packing. I typically pack for our entire family including two little boys, one in diapers. Packing for just me was easy, fun and fast.

A weekend away

A weekend away

I woke up at 6, got ready, got the boys ready and then we set off. I packed my bags and headed for the car. We dropped the boys off at childcare and I was off to the airport.

Off on an adventure

I flew alone. I love flying and enjoyed going at a leisurely pace, sipping Caribou Coffee’s Crafted Press, reading a magazine and enjoying the airport time. The airport, especially MSP International, has always been my favorite place. I love the energy and enjoy knowing that people are traveling to and from all over the world.

Flying is my jam. I LOVE it. Minneapolis looks beautiful from the sky. Read More »


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I’m partnering with Bayer on today’s sponsored post as a part of their company-wide, award-winning initiative Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS).

Bayer Making Science Make Sense

Summer has been amazing with our two boys. Ezra is at a very interested and curious age. I constantly say to my husband “This is my favorite age” about both of our boys. There is something special in every age and stage of childhood from my experience.

But, I will say that Bodhi’s age (he’s four and in preschool) is amazing. The curiosity, growth, learning and development that happen are just mind-blowing for me as a parent of a little boy who was just my baby.

He loves to do things. From cooking and baking to exploring and creating, hands on activities are where it’s at for him.

Making Science Make Sense

Bodhi’s main interest is animals. He has loved them for years. Every birthday party has been about animals (or dinosaurs) and his preference is to read animal books and watch animal documentaries. When we traveled to Sri Lanka, his favorite part was definitely visiting the elephant orphanage and feeding the elephants. Every interest, mention and question he has is an opportunity for learning and growth.

Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) initiative is amazing. It allows students to learn science by doing science through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences that involve observing, experimenting, hypothesizing, analyzing and testing. Bayer creates exciting, hands-on lessons for kids starting in elementary school to ignite their scientific curiosity at a young age. Studies show that this timing is the best chance to get students interested in the subject and to foster their science literacy skills.

Bayer Making Science Make Sense (1 of 5)
As a mom of a preschooler, I wanted to share five ways to get kids excited about science during the summer. There are so many wonderful options all around us. Read More »


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I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket to SoFabU on the Road; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SoFabUOTR #Ad

Blogging as a career

As a fairly seasoned blogger, I love to share resources with others who would like to turn their blogs into either a part-time income or even a full-time career like I have. If you are not a blogger or not interested in becoming one, check back again tomorrow for a post relevant to all. :)

A Coffee Date: Monday morning ramblings

One hugely important aspect of blogging is education. Technology changes quickly and so does blogging. I have found that attending conferences is a great way to get up to speed on new technology, ideas and is the way I get re-energized about my career and about creating the best blog possible. For those of you who are newer bloggers or even those of you who have been doing it a while, I have to share about a blog conference that is coming to Minnesota (and for my non-Minnesotan readers, the conference is in several other cities as well!).

From Social Fabric comes SoFabU on the Road! The Minneapolis conference is Aug. 29 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Mall of America, Executive Center. Local bloggers Marybeth Hamilton and Sarah Mock are the keynote speakers. I attended a very small happy hour with Marybeth recently, and besides being incredibly charming, she is a blogging for income expert.

SoFabU on the Road is a unique event that allows influencers to take advantage of educational opportunities that will help set them apart from the rest. SoFabU on the Road features hands-on, interactive sessions for influencers to implement what they’re learning on the spot. The sessions are paired with fun city-specific adventures where attendees get to practice their newly learned skills. Events are open to all bloggers and influencers! And be sure to let me know if you will be there! Read More »


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A list of the best Audiobooks for women

I’m publishing this post today to share my favorite audiobooks with you. I mentioned last week that I have transformed my commute by listening to audiobooks during my long drive times.

These are the audiobooks I consider to be the best audiobooks for women and parents as I read (listen) them over the next few weeks/months. I have found audiobooks to be a great way to “read” the books I’ve had on my night stand, Kindle or on my list for a long time. I also find that I’m learning, developing and growing by listening to audiobooks on my long commute each day. For this, I’m very thankful.

I will update this post frequently so feel free to check back for more recommendations. I will also link over here from my Coffee Date series. If you don’t already have Audible to listen to audiobooks, consider a free trial. You can try Audible and get two free audiobooks.

Audiobooks I love for women (most of them are completely appropriate for men as well)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. See yesterday’s post for details on this.

Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin. This one really helped me get in the habit of running again and a few other positive habits. I shared more about this one here.

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Another great option with a focus on making small changes that make everyday life at home simply better.

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner. I just started this one, but so far I really like it. I’ll remove it if I change my mind but as of now this one is a winner.

Audiobooks I love for parents

No Bad Kids, Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury. This is a great book if you want to take a new approach to discipline. I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful with Bodhi and the approach is starting to come into play with Ezra as well.

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford.  This is another one I just started but it gets rave reviews and I like it so far.

I’ve listened to a few others, but they weren’t worthy of a recommendation. This list will be frequently updated and shared. Let me know if you have favorites I should consider.

Affiliate links included. 


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Decluttering your closet

I recently listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on Audible. At first, the book wasn’t all that impressive but when the author got to the heart of the method of tidying/decluttering/discarding, it hit me! It was exactly what I wasn’t doing and what I needed to do. If you don’t currently feel like you have time to read, consider trying audiobooks. I’ve had great success and have “read” five really helpful books since Ezra started childcare simply by listening while driving. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.

Without giving away the method, I wanted to share that I was able to finally truly go through all of my clothes for the first time, possibly ever. The author’s method really helped me to let go of memories, of the “maybe I’ll wear it” excuses, of the “it’s fine even though it has a hole” arguments or “I’ll wear it to garden or lounge around.”  Read More »


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Coordinating kicks and summer fun with my kids

I’m a shoe lover through and through. I love getting the boys matching shoes and even enjoying coordinating a bit with them myself. I recently picked up a few pairs of Converse shoes at Famous Footwear, including my favorite summer shoe, the women’s Chuck Taylor All Star Shoreline Slip On Sneaker. I own two pairs and LOVE them. Comfy. Adorable. Easy. And the best part: They don’t let sand in at the playground. I’m so excited to be partnering with Famous Footwear on today’s sponsored post.

Summer fun and matching kicks with Famous Footwear #OhSoFamous

My boys love going to the park or playing on our playset. Bodhi is older and climbs, runs and practices the monkey bars. Ezra loves to go up and down the stairs over and over again. He also really enjoys the sand. We spend at least an hour every afternoon after childcare playing actively as a family. We check out new parks, find new ways to play at home, invite friends over, go to friends’ homes and more. It is my favorite way to spend Summer afternoons. And I’ve learned that playing is such a great way to be in the moment with our kids. Ditch the phone. Ditch expectations and just enjoy!

Summer fun and matching kicks with Famous Footwear #OhSoFamous

And while I love dressing my boys up, I find that for our every day lives, simple style is best. A cute T-shirt, shorts and a great pair of shoes is all we need. These kid and toddler Converse options stand out and make a simple outfit a stand-out outfit, in my opinion. Read More »

 
 
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