Monday, October 14, 2013

Pinspiration Day 2: Mayflower Baby Blanket

My inspiration, this pin

In February, I became an aunt to an adorable little boy named Eli. I didn't finish my version of this blanket until he was two months old or so, but it was made with love. =)

I made my blanket with Red Heart's "Banana Berry." I love the color, but it just wasn't soft enough for me. Next time, I'm using baby yarn. My sister likes this blanket because it gave him some texture to hold onto when he was learning to roll over, crawl, etc. (Baby blankets are surpisingly slick.)

I love this pattern. It was more complicated than other crochet patterns I have tried, which was fun because it gave me a challenge and allowed me to grow as a crocheter.

Here's how mine turned out: (Sorry for the grainy pictures - my camera finally pooped out on me)

Look at that beautiful shell border! And the intricate treble crochet design! I love how the colors work together. It's perfect for a boy baby blanket, without being too cliche.

This pin, and many others are available on my Baby Ideas board. If you want to follow me, click the Pinterest link to your right. =)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Camp Corner 3

It's time for another camp corner! I really love my job at a child center, and through my experience with kids, it want to share with you new (or remind you of old) ideas to use with your kids as you teach, as you work as a summer camp counselor, as you work at a daycare, etc.

Toddler Activity
Music! At the child center where I work, we have a box of toddler-appropriate musical instruments that we pull out every once in a while to entertain them. These things include different tambourines, clackers, bells and other items that work easily with toddlers. Most children are content to just explore the combination of sounds that can be made, but you could also help them create basic rhythms, or sing along to their rhythm.

Toddler Tip
While I don't think Baby Einsteins is exactly an "Einstein" material, it does provide a great background and/or distraction for toddlers. If you have a distraught toddler, try sitting down with them with a Baby Einstein on. Describe what is happening on the screen in a super happy and excited voice. "Oh look at that! Is that a baby? What is that baby doing? That baby's playing with bubbles, how silly! *Gasp* Look there's a cow! Uh-oh, he got milk all over his face..." The positive tone combined with the video and one-on-one attention is usually enough to calm down a toddler.

Kids Activity
It's fall! Which means lots of fun fall activities. =)
I improvised a craft using supplies in our supply closet, which vary contantly

Materials needed
construction paper
washable paint
trash bags and/or table cloths
paper plates

What to do
1. The sponges we had were already conveniently bat shaped. I also cut off the corners of one to make it a pumpkin. Cut the sponges into any shape you want.
2. Lay out trash bags or table cloths - trust me, paint gets everywhere when painting with children!
3. Pour paint. I used construction paper to pour my paint, but paper plates would work better. I put out a purple "plate" with a bat sponge, a black "plate" with a bat sponge and an orange "plate" with a pumpkin sponge.
4. Provide children with construction paper and let them stamp away! Add paint as needed to help "ink" the sponge stamps.
5. Once dry, children can a details with crayons or markers.

Kids Tip
If you're looking for a quick boredom buster in the classroom, use Youtube to find a kid appropriate "Just Dance" video. It gets out the wiggles, and is entertaining for the children.

Product Spotlight
Spot it!

 I love love love this game. This game is super versatile and can be played by children ages five and up. (I even enjoy playing it as an adult!) This is probably the only game that survived summer camp this year, and that was used on a regular basis. It is only basically a deck of cards, so you don't have to worry about losing dice, pieces, marbles, etc. Plus, the cards are circular, so they can't accidentally get mixed into "Uno". The case itself is pretty darn sturdy (a metal tin) and was rolled and kicked across the gym multiple times. I think it was even used as a hockey puck once. The game is easy to pick up and I suuuuper recommend it. For any age or classroom or group or family. =)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sippin' Saturday

It's been a while since I've posted one of these! I have three drinks to share with you today. Hopefully in the future, I'll have even more. =)

This week, my family and I headed up towards Prescott and Cottonwood and enjoyed camping, hiking and kayaking. We needed more food for our last day of camping, so we headed into town to the latest grocery store. And since my mom's attempt to make coffee on an outdoor grill didn't go so well, we got Starbucks too.

I got a salted caramel hot chocolate. I've been trying to cut back on caffeine, because in general, it's pretty bad for me. But oh. my. gosh., this drink was amazing! Take Starbucks' hot chocolate (slightly more savory than normal hot chocolate) plus caramel, add whipped cream on top and then a sprinkle of sea salt. And, the way the whipped cream is placed, you get a chocolate/cream/salt flavor in every sip. I will definitely be back for more. Mmmm. This is great for those of you who love salty/sweet combinations like me. (Chocolate dipped pretzels, sea salt chocolate, salted caramel...)

Love, love, love kayaking

McDonald's Hot Cocoa

This was a treat on the way home. We all stopped by McDonald's to get some coffee or cocoa - at a much cheaper price than Starbucks! Their hot chocolate is creamy and sweet. It seemed very milk based and was absolutely delicious.

Starbucks' Chocolate Chai

Starbucks came out with this drink this week, and I had to try it. I love Chai Tea Lattes (hot, of course) and hot chocolate, so I figure this would be a big hit.

This quote from Friends sort of sums it up for me. Chai - good, chocolate -good, chocolate plus chai - not so much.

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