January 27, 2011

Adorable Dish Mats

I'm really really really wanting some of these Dish Mats.


I do so much washing, drying, and putting away of dishes that I really feel I NEED these adorable dish mats.

How's that for justification?!

However, I do not sew, so I'll be waiting for my mom or sister to help me with this little project.

January 26, 2011

Favorites - Sunscreen

 Since we just spent a week in the hot hot sun, I thought I would share my favorite sunscreens.  We've been taking this yearly trip to Mexico (courtesy of my parents) for many years.  So, we've tried lots of sunscreen.  I keep the kids in long swim shorts, swim shirts/UV shirts, and sun hats, so they are not too exposed.  But for the parts of them that see the sun, I am a crazy mama when it comes to keeping the kids covered in SPF so I have some strong opinions of sun products.

All my favorite sunscreens are now Neutrogena sun products.  For myself, I love the Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 30.  I even use it right on my face.  It feels weightless and totally non-greasy.  For a week, I need a couple tubes of this.  I keep it on hand and use it all summer for myself, too.

For my kids, I love two of the Neutrogena products.  The Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Stick SPF 60 for their faces and sometimes their hands and feet.  The stick makes application easy and the consistency spreads evenly around their little noses, ears, and mouth.  I cover their foreheads, cheeks, ears, noses, chin - being careful to leave eyes and lips alone.  

My second favorite for kids is the Waterguard Kids Sunblock Mist SPF 70.  This product covers evenly, sprays with ease and no mess, and is quick to apply!  I cover hands, feet, legs, back of neck and any other exposed areas with this sunscreen.  I am always careful to keep the spray away from their faces.  I even use it sometimes when I feel I need the extra protection.

I noticed that Neutrogena now even has sunscreen you can apply to wet bodies - right out of the pool!  I'll be trying that next time around.  For a week in the sun, I need about 2-3 bottles of the spray.  Spray sunscreen goes fast, so you need more than you think!

I have some kids' swim gear and sun gear that I love, so I'll share that at another time, too!

January 24, 2011

Vacation in the Sun

Images from Dream Art Photography
We got to spend last week in Mexico (aka "paradise").  My whole family was there and it was glorious.  We slept, laughed, played, read, sunned, etc.  It was a much needed vacation for our family.  Last October, my kids and I went to Mexico with my parents.  This time, everyone came along!  My oldest boy kept saying "Daddy, we didn't forget you this time!".  It was glorious for many reasons:

1. beautiful sunshine and warmth everyday without fail
2. time with my family (we are close)
3. a chance to splash, play, and rest with our kids
4. a needed break for my hard working and resilient husband
5. finding joy again.

Yes, glorious is the right word for all of those things.  The not-so-glorious part is returning to the valley to majorly-sub-zero temps.  EEK!

We had a chance to get some spectacular photos taken on the beach one evening.  Thanks to Ana at Dream Art for spending time with us to capture some special moments.

Our boys being boys on the shore.

This is us.  It took a couple days of vacation before we really became "US" again.  We've been through a lot recently, but this JOY, this childlike playfulness...that is the REAL "us".  Thank goodness we had a chance to find US again.

January 11, 2011

Laundry Revisited

You may remember my confession about my laundry room.  That was a while ago.  Well, I'm still in the process of getting it organized to the point that I want it to be.  So...I am thinking of putting these labels to use and wanted to share them with you, mamas!

Images from BHG.com

If you like the labels, you can print them here!

Paired with some wire baskets from the dollar spot at Target, I'm almost there (or here).  
Happy organizing in 2011!

January 6, 2011

Tried and True Favorites

Here are a few of our favorite new toys after Christmas.  These are tried and true as they've been consistently loved and played with over the last two weeks!  Great toys worth sharing!

This is a new favorite for our preschooler.
Geo Shape Tack Zap by HABA
This is a great one-on-one activity.  For us, while the little boy sleeps, we can make new geometric shapes and pictures.  I help position the small tac and hold it while my 3 year old hammers away.  I love the quality and durability of the cork, shapes, and tacks.  Developmentally, this is a perfect toy for us right now!

Fun for the whole family:
UNO Moo Farm Animal Matching Game
Our whole family is loving this new game and we played it the whole of New Year's Weekend!  We can't get enough!  This is our favorite game for preschoolers so far.  Our 3 year old can understand and follow this simple game with ease.  Simply match either the color or animal to the one in the barn door.  Great for learning colors, animals, sounds - and that makes our 18 month old love this game too!  We received two of these games at Christmas and I can see why!  Its a hit!

Music Makers!
B. Parum Pum Pum Drum
There isn't really anything at this house that we love more than music.  Our kiddos love to dance, sing, shout, and create music all day long.  That is why I knew we should ask for a drum for Christmas (maybe a little bit of a crazy request now that I realize just how hard a 3 year old can hit a plastic drum!). We also receive two of these and I haven't decided yet if we will keep both or stock just one of these cute ensembles at our house.  This amazing, adorable brand of B. toys is available at Target and I'm so glad I've been introduced!  I will certainly be buying/requesting more of these toys in the future!  This totally awesome drum set comes with 8 instruments, an adorable patterned strap, and is great quality.  I'm in love with B. toys.  The drum's tag says, "B. joyful B. fun B. shaky B. musical B. heard B. you".  Words to live by?  I think so.

What are your new favorites?

January 5, 2011

New from Amy Lou

My sister's etsy store is full of afforable, luxurious, trendy jewelry for every girl (or mama)!  Her latest addition is a favorite of mine, so I had to share.  For only $20 and heaping with style, this would be great in any color (she will custom make for you, if you want!).  I don't know if I can resist...

Belle Necklace is made of clear, silver lined seed beads, and knotted aqua blue silk. There are 19 beaded strands. Necklace is 25" long when tied. A beautiful, comfortable sophisticated piece

January 4, 2011


Sometimes we wear underwear.  On our heads.  Whatever.  You can admit that you do crazy things at your house, too, right?  Its totally part of being a mom.  There.  I admitted it.  

The best part about this photo is that you can see in the little boy's eyes how much he admires the big boy - even with a pair of undies on his head.

Ah...the bliss of being a child.
Of being loved.
Of loving another.

That is pure joy and it surrounds us everyday.  We are blessed.