Monday, March 10, 2014

Simple and Delicious Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Are you looking for a simple and easy Guacamole recipe?  I think I have just the one for you - as we get ready to celebrate the season of green!

Simple and Delicious Homemade Guacamole

I'd never had guacamole for the first twenty-eight or so years of my life.  I'd even "hold the guac" on my Chipotle burritos - but I've seen the light!  Now I'm addicted and mixing up a batch as often as possible.

My recipe is based loosely on Rick Bayless's Frontera cook book but I've added a few of my own little twists.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Review: Field Trip Friday

We can't wait for it to warm up here in Pittsburgh, but we won't let the weather stop us from having fun!  This past week, we took a really fun trip to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and can't wait to show you around!
Pittsburgh Children's Museum

We started our trip in the Studio, where the kids painted, molded and pressed.  Fun easels for painting with tempra, and water color painting platforms provide the perfect palate.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Birthday Triplet Times

Our friends, the Birthday Triplets, have some very exciting news.  In fact - the news is, they've got a new newsletter and are offering a free subscription to all of their fans!  If you haven't heard of these three fabulous sisters, read our review of The Birthday Triplets: Granny Rose's Amazing Magical Day here!

The newsletter is available by email quarterly, and includes feature stories, games, fan photos and more!  It's the perfect little something for all the lovely girls in your life to look forward to receiving.  Fans of the book on facebook can also receive a free personalized birthday card - since we know these girls love birthdays!

Sign up at their website - and click on "Free Newspaper and Cards."
Visit them on facebook at

We can't wait to get our next issue!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lessons in Parenting: Choosing Chores for Toddlers

It's hard to believe how much my kids have grown up, even in the few short months since they've turned two.  One of the coolest things about this age is how they love to be "helpers."  Julie's the first to let me know with "oh no - spill" and ask for a "tow" (rhymes with cow) to clean it up.  I'm so impressed with Brayden's abilities to follow two step directions, and put things away when asked.

So when I came across Dr. G's blog post about kids and chores, I thought it was time to think more about the ways my kids could help in a more structured way.  Head over to Dr. G's blog and hear all about the three major benefits for bringing chores into your kids' routine - and download her free, age appropriate chore chart for your little ones!

For our kids, we're starting small.  Our first chore routines include:
  • Dumping our plates into the garbage after meals
  • Using towels to help clean up our spills
  • Helping to sweep when we play with rice and other sensory materials
  • Wiping the table after making messes with paint
  • Cleaning up our piles of toys when we're finished playing (still working on this)
  • "Feeding our pets" (with treats) every day
Of course, they take some prompting, but here's hoping with a little encouragement and consistency, we'll be well on our way to reaping the rewards of family chores.

Speaking of Doctor G, she's the the official spokesperson for the Parenting Expo in Pittsburgh happening this weekend.  If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, head over to our event post and get your promo code for a last minute discount!  Don't delay though - the discount ends at 5 p.m. on March 5th!

Here's Doctor G., talking more about the event!  Come see her live this weekend, and hang out with us at this super fun filled event!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Toddler Play Date

St. Patricks Day Toddler Play Date Ideas

Last year, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a Toddler Play Date with a bunch of our favorite friends.  While we may have missed the opportunity to post last year, it's so nice to catch up and share all of our activity ideas with you this year as the season of green has again rolled around.
We always try to keep things short and sweet, so we had some free play time, music, craft and snack.  I had a story ready and waiting - but the kids seemed a little too busy this time!  Our kids were all around 12-18 month toddlers for this play date but I think they'd even still enjoy most of the activities.  

St. Patrick's Sensory Box

We started with a sensory bin filled with lots of green things - blocks, shapes from our shape sorter, balls, glitter shamrocks and gold coins from the craft store.  We also included shamrock shaped Mardi Gras beads which the kids loved finding.  To make our sensory bin nice and green, we filled it with green split peas which were absolutely perfect!

St. Patrick's Craft for Toddlers

While we played, we put on some good uptempo Irish music to keep things lively.  If you don't have any already, iheartradio offers a free Shamrock Radio station that would work very well!

Tissue Paper Rainbows with Contact Paper

We worked on our St. Patrick's Day craft, which was really simple to bring together.  We started with a piece of blue paper and cut a wide U shape from the center.  Folding the paper lightly in half makes this very easy.  We cut a matching sized piece of contact paper, peeled the backing, and applied it to the paper - leaving the adhesive "sticky" through the rainbow shaped window. 

St. Patty's Projects for Kids

We had cups of tissue paper squares in all of the colors.  Some kids needed some assistance, but for the most part, everyone had a good handle on this simple St. Patty's Day project.

rainbow preschool crafts

Even a year later, our finished product still hangs on the white board in our kitchen.  This would also look great in front of a window giving a sun-catcher effect!

st. patricks day party for toddlers

We finished our play date off with the traditional snack of leprechauns - Lucky Charms.  We're not one for formalities.  We pretty much pour it on the table and let them graze for the marshmallows. 

St. Patrick's Day Story
And while our kids were pretty played out, we had a great little story picked out to finish out the event.  Perfect for toddlers just learning their numbers, this festive book will have them counting along!

What other ideas for St. Patrick's Day play dates have you used in the past?  We'd love to hear from you!

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