Family · Fun and Games · Gift Guide · Shopping

Heirloom toys

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When Steve was younger, he was very into Star Wars (o.k., he still is, but understandably, amiright?) One Christmas, he wanted the hot toy at the time, a model of the Millennium Falcon. However, it was sold out, everywhere. His mom searched and searched but couldn’t get her hands on one, remember, this was all pre-internet, pre-ebay, pre- apps that notify you of where you can score sold out toys, etc. So, his mom went to the one place she thought she would still be able to buy one, New York City. She got on a bus, took it all the way from Hanover, Massachusetts, into NYC, by herself, and set her sights on Han Solo’s fateful ship. She found one! And rode all the way back with it on her lap. (It was a pretty large model too!) This is a story Steve has shared with me on a few occasions, because, A. it’s a pretty cool story, and B. it totally exemplifies the stuff we are willing to do to make our kids smile. Unfortunately, that version of the Millennium Falcon is long gone, who knows where most of our childhood toys went at this point, but the memory of that story and the feeling that Steve had on Christmas morning when he opened that gift will stay with him for life. Fast forward about 28 years later to Steve’s 40th birthday, a couple of weeks ago. I had come across a cool model of the Millennium Falcon online and couldn’t stop thinking about how cool it would be to get it for Steve, to even just relive that excitement for a little bit, plus, I loved the idea of Steve getting to play with it with Dash! (Even though Dash doesn’t know Star Wars yet at all…)

This got me thinking about the idea of heirloom toys, toys that can be passed down throughout generations, that will withstand the test of time, and the wear and tear of little hands (and mouths.)

Here are some that I think would be perfect gifts for a new Mama and baby team. (…that can later be enjoyed by siblings, and maybe their own kiddos one day!

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Wooden tree (spinning) tops
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Wooden slingshot with felt “ammo”
midcentury dollhouse
This amazing mid century dollhouse with furniture and accessories
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Forest Stacker
hape bike
My first bike

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Counting Koi- Comes in b&w and color!
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Custom handmade dolls
car
Woody car
water
Grimm’s water stacker
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Multi-way puzzle
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Grimm’s Rainbow Stacker
Family · Spouse

Milestone birthdays

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Steve turned the big 4-0 today! He was super casual about it and doesn’t like to make a big fuss about birthdays- which is so totally unlike me… I’m all about a very special birthday month.. ha! Today got me thinking about milestone birthdays and reflecting on our past years while looking forward to the future. I must have asked Steve 10 times today if he felt different, and what does it feel like to be 40?! (I meant it in an awesomely loving way, by the way! I love birthdays and it’s exciting to have a big one!) It’s funny though how people make a big thing out of 40, like it’s a bad thing- like now you’re old- “over the hill” etc.. but I loved the way Steve put it… he told me that turning 40 wasn’t a big deal to him because he was so happy with his station in life- we are so happily married, we have two amazing kiddos, we’re healthy, and we have a slew of vegan treats to celebrate! (Ok, I added that last part about the vegan treats!) but really, I love the idea of looking at birthdays through the lens of how much you’ve accomplished thus far and how lucky we are to be as happy as we are, no matter how old. More birthdays just means we’ve had more time to experience more amazing, breath taking, delerioisly happy type moments, and that’s a pretty great thing.

Family

You’re Doing A Good Job Mama!

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A girlfriend of mine posted a great article to Facebook the other day. We hadn’t had a chance to speak in a few weeks and hadn’t had a chance to see each other for a little while either. She has a 9 month old and is a first time Mama; I have my 2 year old and 10 month old, and it always seems chaotic over here. I have other friends that I yearn to talk to and see more of too; friends that I used to talk to at least once a day, sometimes more, and now we are lucky if we catch each other on the phone for ten minutes on our way to pick up the kids, after a full day of work, on our way towards home or errands, before we need to run the dishwasher, do a couple of loads of laundry, make dinner, clean up (as much as we can), pack the kiddos bags for the next day, and try to connect with our spouses for a bit before we collapse into a crumpled exhausted heap on the bed.

The article my friend posted was a reflection on how we all feel as Mama’s (I assume most Mama’s feel this way anyway…) Juggling life and kids doesn’t allow much time for social lives anymore, let alone time for ourselves and our own hobbies and pursuits. Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is literally the best thing in the world for me, and I wouldn’t trade all my days of cleaning runny noses, cutting up food into the tiniest of pieces, and changing diapers for anything… because all those things also come with the most amazing smiles and giggles, and hugs and ‘I love you’s’ from the tiniest sweetest little people on the planet, who gaze up at you and look at you as the center of their universe, and that’s a pretty damn amazing thing.

My friend and her husband and their son actually had a chance to pop over today for a couple hours. It was totally impromptu and totally fantastic. It was low key and low stress and we were able to just say hi and play with our kiddos and really just check in for a few; which was so great when those encounters are so few and far between these days. Before she left, she said the most wonderful thing that anyone can hear. She told me and my husband that we were doing such a great job. How wonderful is that? As parents, we always try to do what we think is best for our kids and our family. But half the time we’re totally winging it; because every kid and every family and every situation is different. (And I think we left the parenting instruction manual they give you at the hospital, par for the course…) Parenting is such a journey and you learn so much as you go that you hope you’re not screwing it up. So how wonderful is it to hear someone say, ‘you guys are doing good stuff here’ to help boost your confidence a bit.

Suffice  it to say, I’ve been reflecting a lot about Motherhood and parenting and friendships and being good to each other, and to ourselves. So with Mother’s Day coming up, and all of us needing a little boost, and probably to be a little more forgiving to ourselves and the people in our lives that are also just trying to make it as parents, here’s some great reads from around the web.

No One Tells You Being A Mom is Going to be this Hard

Being a Mom is Hard Enough So Forget about the Bull$hit

I Suck At Being A Friend Right Now (this is the article my girlfriend posted)

You’re Doing A Good Job Mama!

Tell A Friend: You Are A Good Mama!

 

Family

Life lessons. (for kids and adults)

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It’s no surprise that Sesame Street imparts life long lessons and morals on our children, and has been since 1969! Steve and I have actually really been enjoying watching Sesame Street with our ‘Ses’ (what our son calls it) obsessed children. It not only demonstrates these great life lessons for our kids about acceptance, patience, understanding and compassion, but also has just enough humor and wholesomeness that we actually find ourselves repeating jokes, and singing songs. (Seriously, some of those songs are so damn catchy, I find myself singing them for days…) Two of my favorite songs/lessons are not only things that I;d love for my kids to learn and embrace, but are also things that I think as adults, a lot of us need to work on as well!

First, the power of yet! How many times have you been working hard on something that you just can’t get. It’s one of the most frustrating experiences you can endure when you are working so hard on something and just not achieving your goals. I love the idea that even though you may not be perfect at this right now, you will, one day, if you keep working hard at it. Not only does this teach patience, it also teaches perseverance. (2 things that I could probably work on a bit…)

Change the plan! This is one of my other absolutle favorite videos! Not only is it such a catchy song, and has a lobster as a DJ, it teaches the importance of going with the flow, and being chill. That sometimes, even though you have a plan, that plan can change, and end up being even better and more exciting. It uses the Bert and Ernie foil of Ernie wanting to make a video of everyone dancing, and Bert not wanting anything to do with his video…until of course, he isn’t a part of it. (Which can also teach kiddos- and adults- to try something new, you just might like it!)

I bet you’ll be singing at least one of these for the next few days… you’re welcome.

Family · Self Exploration

Your personality…In just one word

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This week at my kids’ daycare, they gave our kids, (ahem, me and my husband) a special assignment. One of the displays for the front lobby they are making this week involves a wall of index cards. Each index card has a photo of each child on it and ONE word that best describes them, chosen by their parents, or by the child if they are old enough. One word, that’s all we get! It started getting me thinking a lot about personality traits and personality types. I’m sure you’ve taken a personality test, like the Myers- Briggs test, or the 16 personality type test, but to pare your personality down into just one word almost seems impossible. (Especially since I’m a pretty wordy person..hmm..maybe my one word should be wordy?! Ha!) Even though our kids are just 2 years old, and 9 months old, I can already see their little personalities shining through. It’s so funny to wonder if they will take after Steve and I as they grow up. (I think Dash is already showing signs of it!) Hopefully, if that’s the case, they share my sense of adventure, my creativity and my compassion- and not my tendency to procrastinate, my forgetfulness, and my lack of organization.. Ha!

Below is a list of  600 personality traits divided up into 3 categories- positive traits, neutral traits and negative traits- which ones fit you? (Which ones do you aspire to?) Which ones would you pick for your spouse? Your kids? Could you pick only one?

Positive Traits
Accessible
Active
Adaptable
Admirable
Adventurous
Agreeable
Alert
Amiable
Anticipative
Appreciative
Articulate
Aspiring
Athletic
Attractive
Balanced
Benevolent
Brilliant
Calm
Capable
Captivating
Caring
Challenging
Charismatic
Charming
Cheerful
Clean
Clear-headed
Clever
Colorful
Companionly
Compassionate
Conciliatory
Confident
Conscientious
Considerate
Constant
Contemplative
Cooperative
Courageous
Courteous
Creative
Cultured
Curious
Daring
Debonair
Decent
Decisive
Dedicated
Deep
Dignified
Directed
Disciplined
Discreet
Dramatic
Dutiful
Dynamic
Earnest
Ebullient
Educated
Efficient
Elegant
Eloquent
Empathetic
Energetic
Enthusiastic
Esthetic
Exciting
Extraordinary
Fair
Faithful
Farsighted
Felicific
Firm
Flexible
Focused
Forceful
Forgiving
Forthright
Freethinking
Friendly
Fun-loving
Gallant
Generous
Gentle
Genuine
Good-natured
Gracious
Hardworking
Healthy
Hearty
Helpful
Heroic
High-minded
Honest
Honorable
Humble
Humorous
Idealistic
Imaginative
Impressive
Incisive
Incorruptible
Independent
Individualistic
Innovative
Inoffensive
Insightful
Insouciant
Intelligent
Intuitive
Invulnerable
Kind
Knowledge
Leader
Leisurely
Liberal
Logical
Lovable
Loyal
Lyrical
Magnanimous
Many-sided
Masculine
Mature
Methodical
Meticulous
Moderate
Modest
Multi-leveled
Neat
Objective
Observant
Open
Optimistic
Orderly
Organized
Original
Painstaking
Passionate
Patient
Patriotic
Peaceful
Perceptive
Perfectionist
Personable
Persuasive
Playful
Polished
Popular
Practical
Precise
Principled
Profound
Protean
Protective
Providential
Prudent
Punctual
Purposeful
Rational
Realistic
Reflective
Relaxed
Reliable
Resourceful
Respectful
Responsible
Responsive
Reverential
Romantic
Rustic
Sage
Sane
Scholarly
Scrupulous
Secure
Selfless
Self-critical
Self-defacing
Self-denying
Self-reliant
Self-sufficent
Sensitive
Sentimental
Seraphic
Serious
Sexy
Sharing
Shrewd
Simple
Skillful
Sober
Sociable
Solid
Sophisticated
Spontaneous
Sporting
Stable
Steadfast
Steady
Stoic
Strong
Studious
Suave
Subtle
Sweet
Sympathetic
Systematic
Tasteful
Teacherly
Thorough
Tidy
Tolerant
Tractable
Trusting
Uncomplaining
Understanding
Undogmatic
Upright
Urbane
Venturesome
Vivacious
Warm
Well-bred
Well-read
Well-rounded
Winning
Wise
Witty
Youthful

Neutral Traits
Absentminded
Aggressive
Ambitious
Amusing
Artful
Ascetic
Authoritarian
Big-thinking
Boyish
Breezy
Businesslike
Busy
Casual
Cerebral
Chummy
Circumspect
Competitive
Complex
Confidential
Conservative
Contradictory
Crisp
Cute
Deceptive
Determined
Dominating
Dreamy
Driving
Droll
Dry
Earthy
Effeminate
Emotional
Enigmatic
Experimental
Familial
Folksy
Formal
Freewheeling
Frugal
Glamorous
Guileless
High-spirited
Hurried
Hypnotic
Iconoclastic
Idiosyncratic
Impassive
Impersonal
Impressionable
Intense
Invisible
Irreligious
Irreverent
Maternal
Mellow
Modern
Moralistic
Mystical
Neutral
Noncommittal
Noncompetitive
Obedient
Old-fashioned
Ordinary
Outspoken
Paternalistic
Physical
Placid
Political
Predictable
Preoccupied
Private
Progressive
Proud
Pure
Questioning
Quiet
Quirky
Religious
Reserved
Restrained
Retiring
Sarcastic
Self-conscious
Sensual
Skeptical
Smooth
Soft
Solemn
Solitary
Stern
Strict
Stubborn
Stylish
Subjective
Surprising
Soft
Tough
Unaggressive
Unambitious
Unceremonious
Unchanging
Undemanding
Unfathomable
Unhurried
Uninhibited
Unpatriotic
Unpredictable
Unsentimental
Whimsical
Negative Traits
Abrasive
Abrupt
Agonizing
Aggressive
Aimless
Aloof
Amoral
Angry
Anxious
Apathetic
Arbitrary
Argumentative
Arrogant
Artificial
Asocial
Bewildered
Bizarre
Bland
Blunt
Boisterous
Brittle
Brutal
Calculating
Callous
Cantankerous
Careless
Charmless
Childish
Clumsy
Coarse
Cold
Colorless
Complacent
Complaining
Compulsive
Conceited
Condemnatory
Conformist
Confused
Contemptible
Conventional
Cowardly
Crass
Crazy
Criminal
Critical
Crude
Cruel
Cynical
Decadent
Deceitful
Delicate
Demanding
Dependent
Desperate
Destructive
Devious
Difficult
Disconcerting
Discontented
Discouraging
Discourteous
Dishonest
Disloyal
Disobedient
Disorderly
Disorganized
Disputatious
Disrespectful
Disruptive
Dissonant
Distractible
Disturbing
Dogmatic
Domineering
Dull
Easily Discouraged
Egocentric
Envious
Erratic
Escapist
Extravagant
Extreme
Faithless
False
Fanatical
Fanciful
Fatalistic
Fawning
Fearful
Fickle
Fiery
Fixed
Flamboyant
Foolish
Forgetful
Fraudulent
Frightening
Frivolous
Gloomy
Graceless
Greedy
Grim
Gullible
Hateful
Haughty
Hedonistic
Hesitant
Hidebound
High-handed
Hostile
Ignorant
Imitative
Impatient
Impractical
Imprudent
Impulsive
Inconsiderate
Incurious
Indecisive
Indulgent
Inert
Inhibited
Insecure
Insensitive
Insincere
Insulting
Intolerant
Irascible
Irrational
Irresponsible
Irritable
Lazy
Malicious
Mannerless
Mechanical
Meddlesome
Melancholic
Messy
Miserable
Miserly
Misguided
Mistaken
Money-minded
Moody
Morbid
Muddle-headed
Naive
Narcissistic
Narrow
Narrow-minded
Negative
Neglectful
Neurotic
Nihilistic
Obnoxious
Obsessive
Obvious
Odd
Offhand
One-dimensional
One-sided
Opinionated
Opportunistic
Oppressed
Outrageous
Paranoid
Passive
Pedantic
Perverse
Petty
Plodding
Pompous
Possessive
Power-hungry
Predatory
Prejudiced
Presumptuous
Pretentious
Prim
Procrastinating
Provocative
Puritanical
Reactionary
Reactive
Regimental
Regretful
Repentant
Repressed
Resentful
Ridiculous
Rigid
Ritualistic
Ruined
Sadistic
Sanctimonious
Scheming
Scornful
Secretive
Sedentary
Selfish
Self-indulgent
Shallow
Shortsighted
Sloppy
Slow
Sly
Small-thinking
Softheaded
Sordid
Steely
Stiff
Stupid
Submissive
Superficial
Superstitious
Suspicious
Tactless
Tasteless
Tense
Thievish
Thoughtless
Timid
Transparent
Treacherous
Trendy
Troublesome
Unappreciative
Uncaring
Uncharitable
Unconvincing
Uncooperative
Uncreative
Uncritical
Unctuous
Undisciplined
Unfriendly
Ungrateful
Unhealthy
Unimaginative
Unimpressive
Unlovable
Unpolished
Unprincipled
Unrealistic
Unreflective
Unreliable
Unrestrained
Unstable
Vacuous
Vague
Venomous
Vindictive
Vulnerable
Weak
Willful
Family · Travel · vegan

Visiting an Animal Sanctuary

 

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We visited the Catskill Animal Sanctuary on Sunday and got to meet some amazing animals that were lucky enough to find their way there! The sanctuary is a beautiful patch of land (about 123 acres) in Saugerties, NY that, since it’s opening, in 2001, has saved over 4,000 animals! We were able to hear different animal’s stories and hear our guide’s passion for spreading the importance of veganism for the animals, for the environment, and for ourselves. Dash loved petting all the animals and mimicking their sounds.  (He says he liked the cow best, but I think it was the turkey- so soft!) Sailor enjoyed being out in the sun and breathing in the fresh air at the farm. They are truly running a great mission out there, and if you happen to be in the area, I highly recommend a visit! (Although don’t be surprised if you leave with the urge to never eat – (insert your favorite meat product here). The also offer vegan cooking classes- which we’ve taken once before and would love to take another, and have a small B&B on the property.  Here are some of my favorites from the day, if you’d like to take a peek!

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Family · Food · Plants

Spring is here!

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It finally felt like Spring today! Dash and I started some seeds- to eventually transplant into the garden when it gets warmer. We planted purple carrots, stripey tomatoes, yellow zucchini, red brussel sprouts, and rainbow chard! We used this kit to get our seedlings started. The kit was awesome because it came with literally everything we needed to get growing! (The pots, the soil-in cool little expandable pods- the seeds and even little plant markers.) Dashel was so into it, we  both had the best time getting our hands dirty and talking about how the seeds were going to grow!

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Our work station!

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Opening the soil pods.

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Squash seeds!

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Basking in the sun!

*This is not a sponsored post and I did not receive any compensation for linking to, or giving an honest opinion of this product! We truly had so much fun using this kit- planting seedlings will definitely become a Spring tradition!*