Cake and Ice Cream Party

It’s hard to believe that Lyla is turning two this week. Time is moving way too fast – but you know that. What you might not know is that we celebrated over the weekend.

We kept things simple and invited a bunch of Lyla’s little friends over for some cake and ice cream and then sent them all into a bounce house in the backyard. Basically, we loaded them up with sugar and let them burn it off. It was perfect! birthday cakecake and ice cream partycake and ice cream partyDSC_1749DSC_1772DSC_1811DSC_1821cake and ice cream partyDSC_1894DSC_1801

I picked up the tablecloth, cake stand and Lyla’s cute little leggings from Target. I ordered her balloons from Etsy and my super talented friend, Charron, made the cake topper. I would have liked to make all of the decorations but, really, aintnobodygottimeforthat. I did, however, make some fun ice cream cone garland. #DIYerforlife

It’s so fun to see Lyla building relationships with other children. She has such a sweet group of friends (and their parents rock too). We had a ton of fun and are so thankful for everyone who came to celebrate our two year old with us. 

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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?

toddler easter egg craft

toddler easter egg craft


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) 


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.


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. 

The book-smashing did the trick and the leaves came out nice and flat. 


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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Halloween Snack Fail

With it being Halloween week and all, I thought I would switch up our lunch routine a little bit and make some of those cute banana ghosts. You know, the ones that have chocolate chip faces? Lyla loves bananas and chocolate [ I mean…I’m assuming she does, I wouldn’t know that my toddler loves chocolate from experience or anything 😉 ] so I figured that they would be a home run.


After she woke up from her nap, I sat Lyla on the kitchen counter we built them together. We peeled the banana, sliced it in half and then stuck some chocolate chips inside. Easy peasy. 


She seemed to think it was cute at first. 


But then decided that chocolate chips don’t belong inside of her bananas. 


So she put her serious face on and helped me pick the chocolate chips out. 


Chocolate chip removal is serious business. 


I think it’s safe to say that this Halloween snack was a fail.

Maybe next year.

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Our Eighteen Month Old

Eighteen months. A full year and a half.

Where has the time gone?


I know we’ve said it at every stage that you have gone through, but this stage is definitely our favorite.

You are learning and growing so much every day. It truly is amazing to watch. 

You love shoes. Definitely not a trait you picked up from me or daddy. You climb into my lap with a different pair at least 5 times a day and have me switch them for you. You always end up losing one which has earned you the nickname “one shoe zalinsky”. 

You love to eat. Nobody can sneak a bite of anything in the house without you finding out and asking for some (in the sweetest voice ever I might add). I’m not sure if you really have a favorite right now, you are pretty good at trying everything.


Your vocabulary is growing everyday and I love listening to what you have to say. You can say “uh oh” “please” “dada” “mama” “bocko” “all done” “bocha” “hi” “bye” “uncle” and count down from 3. You know the noises for cats, dogs, monkeys, owls and sheep. I’m sure there are some I’m forgetting – I’ll have to start writing them down. 

Ninety-eight percent of the time you are totally fearless. You are a climber and a problem solver. No playground slide is too big for our bean. You don’t just sit and scoot yourself down the slide either. You make a literal run for it and plop down with a giant smile and a happy laugh. I’m equal parts terrified and proud on a daily basis at the things you are doing. 

You love dogs. Bocko (aka Rocco) is your favorite playmate. He is so patient with you. One of your favorite things to do is chase him around (and around…and around…and around) the house with your toy lawn mower. Poor guy. You are in little Lyla heaven every time we go to the dog park. Even if most of the dogs are bigger than you. 


You also love to go to the beach. Just like your daddy, the waves call to you and you are so anxious to answer them. We have no doubt that you will be out on a board in no time at all. Just as soon as we get you in some swimming lessons. 

You love to play in the dirt and sand, color all over yourself and don’t mind having food ALL over your face, but, the second that you have a piece of hair or fuzz stuck to your hand you run to the nearest person to get it off immediately. 

You are a dancer. No matter where we are, when you hear the music you can’t help but shake your groove thang. You already have better rhythm than mama, but that doesn’t stop me from having dance parties with you. One day, I’m sure this will be the most embarrassing thing ever but right now you love it (and so do I). 


I am already so proud of the person you are becoming. You are strong-willed, sweet, and musical. You have a soft heart and a joyous soul. I constantly find myself just stepping back to watch you. I am so blessed to be your mama. 


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