DIY Floral Step Stool

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PottyTrainTogether #CollectiveBias

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Here at the Byrd house it’s potty training time. We have great days and we have…well…not so great days. It’s definitely a learning process for all parties involved. Luckily, Lyla has been pretty enthusiastic by the whole thing, especially once she realized that “big” girls get to wear Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants with princesses on them. 

Like a lot of little girls, Lyla is enthralled by all things princess. If she had it her way, she would never take off her dresses or crown so, like any good mom would, I use it to my advantage when I need her to do something 😉

Need to do her hair? I ask her to sit still while I make her hair just like [insert favorite princess of the week here].

Want her to eat a few more bites of dinner? Tell her that meatloaf is food fit for a princess. 

Girlfriend is motivated. 

So, with potty training, I’m using the same tactics. 

On a recent trip to Walmart, I picked up a package of Pull-Ups with Disney’s Princess Sophia on them. Lyla oohed and aahed  at them in the cart, in the car and when we got home. (I told you, she loves princesses). To build excitement, I didn’t let her open them on the first day, but kept talking them up – letting her know that we would open them when she was ready to use the big girl potty.

The Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants have a built-in cooling system that helps teach kids when they are wet. They also have easy-open sides for when you need to help with the changing. 

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Of course, a big part of potty training is learning what to do after you go. You know, the whole flushing and washing your hands thing. So to make that special for her too, I decided to make a floral step stool fit for a princess. 

Back at Walmart, I picked up a plastic step stool and some faux flowers. I love getting my flowers from there because they are so affordable. Less expensive = I can buy more and really make a statement. 

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Lyla was pretty excited to see this step stool come to life so she happily helped me remove all of the flowers from the stems and we collected them into one big pile. 

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Since hot glue and toddlers do not mix (safety first, y’all) Alex kept her entertained with some highly sophisticated hand-puppet action while I got to work on gluing the flowers to the stool. 

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When I was done, my trusty assistant helped me clean up all of the extra flowers while we let the glue dry. Then, we were off to the bathroom to give it a try!

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Find out which type of potty training character your child is at this link. Lyla is definitely a squirrel so I think our approach of making the potty and hand-washing routine a princess game for her is going to work really well. 

Wish us luck!

Ready to start on your potty training adventure? Use this coupon at Walmart for $2 off any package of Pull-Ups (or GoodNights) at Walmart from 8/28- 10/8.

 

 

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Toddler Easter Egg Craft

I realized the other day that it had been a while since I put together a good craft project for Lyla. We’ve been spending a lot of time tracing her hands (and feet, and body) and eating playing with chalk, but no real “organized” craft time. 

Originally, I had visions of us sitting around the table, carefully dying a big bunch of bright eggs. BUT then I remembered that careful and toddler don’t belong in the same sentence. At all. So, I figured construction paper eggs were the next best thing. Plus, decorating paper eggs would be a lot cleaner, right?

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HA.

While she was napping (and Simon Earl was in his jumper) I cut out four large Easter eggs from construction paper. I was a little rushed and my eggs turned out to be all different shapes and sizes – let’s pretend it was a planned lesson in diversity, k?

I also brought out a bunch of fun craft stuff: markers, watercolors, shiny jewels, feathers, Scrabble tiles, etc. If it was in my craft storage – it came out! We play with markers and paint a lot so I was curious to see if she would into the jewels, tiles, etc. and she definitely was.

I started by placing a big line of glue across an egg and then showed her how to press the jewel to the paper. It was a lot of fun to watch her sort through the pile to find the perfect jewel to put on her egg next. After placing each one, she would look up at me and say “WOOOW”.

She’s a heart melter. 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Sugar cookies. Total classic Christmas cookie right?

For the past few weeks my social media feeds have been flooded with sugar cookies in all shapes and sizes, beautifully baked and decorated to perfection. 

Aesthetically, my sugar cookies are far from perfect. My stars are a little less than stellar and the edges were a little more crunchy than they should be. 

I left the decorating to Lyla and I think she saved the cookies with her mad decorating skills. (nope, no mom bias here) 

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The actual cookie though is delicious – I followed this recipe with no modifications. Next time, I’ll stay a little closer to the oven to make sure I don’t brown the edges 😉

Do you make sugar cookies at Christmas time? I would love to see your finished products!

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Watercolor Coffee Filter Leaves | Fall Toddler Art Project

I really love Thanksgiving but I have to admit that I am more than ready to move on to Christmas this year. With every day that passes, it takes pretty much all of my self control to not bust out the Christmas decorations.

Last week, Lyla and I found ourselves strolling ever so slowly through the Christmas aisles at Target which did not help lower my Christmas-fever so I decided that we needed to do a fall-ish craft ASAP.

Enter these watercolor coffee filter leaves.

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The set up for this craft is super simple. While bean was taking her nap, I cut out some leaf shapes (alright, one shape over and over) from plain ol’ coffee filters and then drew on some leaf veins (is that what they are called?) with Elmer’s Glue. 

By the time she woke up, the glue was dried and we were ready to paint! I taped the leaves onto a paper folder that I had laying around, gave her some watercolors and a couple of brushes and let her at it! 

toddler-watercolor-artI let them air dry for a few hours (hello, Hawaii humidity levels) before attempting to remove them from the folder. They were still a little bit wet, so I hung them on the clothesline in our laundry room overnight. 

The next morning, they were dry but the tops of the leaves were funky from being clothes-pinned all night so I stuck them under a stack of books for a while. 
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The book-smashing did the trick and the leaves came out nice and flat. 

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The last step was to get those bad boys displayed. To do so, I simply strung a piece of baker’s twine through the top of each leaf and hung them in her play area. 

Quick, simple, and easy – just the way we like our toddler crafts (and as an added bonus, we crossed another thing off of our falloha bucket list!)

 

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DIY Thanksgiving Wreath

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyThanksGathering #CollectiveBias

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I love Thanksgiving. The food, the traditions, the nostalgia – all of it. It’s the perfect kick-off to the busy holiday season and something that I look forward to every year.

Since getting married four years ago, I have been telling my husband that I can’t wait to host Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, between not having a big enough space and our traveling to see other family, I haven’t had my chance yet.

This year, I will be much too pregnant to travel off-island and we have a home large enough to host family and friends so it looks like I’m finally getting my chance!

To say that I am excited is an understatement but I’m trying hard not to go overboard with the planning and preparation.

My main goal when doing any kind of hosting is comfort. No matter how great your kitchen and decorating skills are, your guests will eventually forget what you served them to eat, but they will always remember how you made them feel. That’s why creating an authentically warm, relaxing, and comfortable environment is key.

I feel most at peace in my own home when things are tidied up. I know that my guests will feed off of my energy, so I will be spending some time sprucing up the main living areas of our home before the big day to make sure that I am able to relax.  The last time I was at Walmart, I picked up a few of my clean-house essentials: Scrubbing Bubbles® Toilet Cleaning Gel, Scrubbing Bubbles® Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner and Windex® Original Glass Wipes. (Bonus: there is an awesome rebate going on right now which saves you $5 on your holiday photos)

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Cleaning up the house, especially when you have a meal to plan/cook is a big job but with the right cleaning products and some holiday tunes turned up nice and loud it’s a big, fun job.

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^My brother kindly demonstrating how easy and fun cleaning the bathroom with the Windex® Original Glass Wipes is. Isn’t he the best?

After the house is clean, and before I get to cooking, I’ll make sure that our house is decorated festively for the occasion with some traditional items and a special Thanksgiving wreath.

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We all know to expect the “what are you thankful for” activity at the Thanksgiving dinner table but none of us likes to be put on the spot, right? I know I don’t. I think this is especially true when sitting around the table with strangers or a new group of people. (think your first Thanksgiving with your significant other’s family or maybe a group of your parent’s colleagues) but also applies to those dining with family and loved ones that they see all of the time.

Even though I have SO much to be thankful for, and love spending time reflecting on them, my naturally introverted self sometimes cringes at situations like these. To combat that awkwardness, and to make sure that all of my guests feel comfortable this Thanksgiving, I created this wreath that we will incorporate during dinner time.

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The wreath is already hanging above our piano. Underneath, I have a box with pre-cut “thanks” circles and some pieces of leather cord. The idea is that from now until Thanksgiving, anyone who comes into my house can write down what they are thankful for and tie it onto the wreath. Guests who are here only for the day will have their opportunity to write down what they are thankful for while they are mingling and waiting for our meal.

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During dinner, I will remove all of the circles from the wreath, divide them equally amongst our guests and we will take turns reading off what we are all thankful for. Of course, anybody can share more if they are so inclined but I believe that by having this anonymous way of sharing what we are thankful for will ensure that all of my guests feel comfortable, welcomed and pressure-free.

Sounds great, right? If you want to make a Thanksgiving wreath of your own, please feel free to download this free printable which gives you twelve “thanks” circles per page. Once you have the circles printed and cut out, punch a single hole into the top of the circle, cut some string and lay those items out with some pens.

I have so much to be thankful for this year – our wreath is going to be pretty full by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. I’m looking forward to it! That and, of course, the food. You can find more #HappyThanksgathering inspiration here. 

 

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DIY Corn Husk Dolls

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I didn’t play with a ton of dolls when I was younger but I do have a pretty vivid memory of playing with a corn husk doll that I made at school. I wasn’t very attached to it, and I’m sure she found a place in the trash can not longer after I brought her home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the simplicity of a good corn husk doll today. 

Call me old fashioned, but the idea of Lyla playing with simple, handmade toys like these makes me all kinds of giddy. I love being able to create things for her that bring her joy which is why I added it to our fall bucket list

There just happened to be 8 ears of corn in the produce box that we picked up at the Farmer’s Market last week so I set them aside while I cooked dinner and quickly got to doll making! 

To make a corn husk doll you need: green corn husks, string and a pair of scissors. That’s it!

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[1] Start with 4-5 fresh corn husks. Lay them flat on top of each other and tie together with small piece of string. 

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[2] Flip upside down and pull each husk down. 

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[3] Using another piece of string, tie a piece around the top of the husks to form the head. 

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[4] Grab another husk, lay flat and roll tightly to form the arms. Secure each end with string. 
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[5] Place the arms between the long “body” husks, just below the neck. Secure with piece of string to form the waist. 

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[6] Take another husk and cut in half. Drape pieces over the body in a criss-cross pattern to form the shoulders and secure with string. 

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[7] Take a few more long husks and gather around body to form the skirt. I tied this part with baker’s twine to add a little color ’cause my doll is fancy 😉

You could easily turn these into “boy” dolls by gathering half of the long skirt husks and tying them together at the end to form feet. I left my doll out to dry for a few days before giving it to Lyla to play with and ended up having to tighten up some of the string since the husks shrink when drying. 

Now that we have started crossing things off of our list, I am in full on fall mode. This week I’ve teamed up with Jenna from A Savory Feast as well as some other awesome bloggers to share our favorite posts about fall and to give you a chance to win some cool prizes. The giveaway ends tomorrow so make sure to get your entries in today! 

Happy crafting 🙂

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We are so excited about the arrival of Fall, so we are celebrating with a giveaway! Enter to win this fun prize pack filled with all sorts of Fall-themed goodies and a Starbucks gift card. Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall Welcome Week Hosts
To Travel and Beyond // The Beauty Section // Back to Carolina //

Yellow Dog Pink Pig // Natasha Byrd // Glitz & Gritz // Set Free // Mandy Living Life

Wetherills Say I Do // Life w/ Mrs. G. and the Artist // The Gift of Gab

Sustaining the Powers // Bright Green Door // A Savory Feast // No Small Life

Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Entries will be accepted via the Rafflecopter below from 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be randomly selected and will be verified. Winner will be emailed and must respond with a mailing address within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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