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Road Trip Entertainment for Young Toddlers

by Juliemara

20130907-110406.jpgI think I might be an expert on toddler car travel entertainment. This is after we vowed to NEVER fly with the twins again, at least until they are 12, ha. The slinky is just one of about 40 possible activities I packed for the car, all in two reusable grocery bags. I hit up the dollar store and basement stash of toys for what to bring. We recently took a 7 hour car trip to North Carolina to visit my parents and the girls were rockstar travelers the whole way, there and back.


I got small cookie sheets from the $1 store, they make great lap art tables because the rim keeps crayons from falling away and it is magnetic so it can serve dual purpose.


books and a drawing pads are a great go to, the tiny drawing pad is from the $1 store.


I keep sunglasses handy for each kid in the car in case the sun doesn’t want to stay on the other side of the sun shade. I also keep sun screen at hand so that if the sun is hitting them during a particular leg of the trip I put a bit on the arm or leg or face, the last thing we need is a car sunburn.


tiny tupper wear containers can be endless fun, I put a block that rattles inside this one.


I thought silly putty would be great, and when Jordan discovered it in her busy bag (a cosmetic case of mine with a bunch of random small toys and objects) she said “pay-doh” but because of the nature of putty I had to help her put it back together every few minutes before it got embedded in the fabric of her clothes and car seat. I think we will put away the silly putty for a few more months.


These B brand keys were a gift from my aunt Joan, the girls loved them because they look real and make several sounds, it was a great new toy for the way back

My List

Road trip entertainment – 22 month twins
Four battery operated noise/motion toys
Small cookie sheet with coloring sheets, crayons, tape, stickers and magnets
Plastic nut and bolt
Touch and feel books
Books with movable parts
Tiny books
Cosmetic bag filled with random small toys.
Stuffed animals
Small Magnetic drawing pad
Silly putty
New fun sunglasses and bracelets
New books

And of course a few of their favorite music CDs and plenty of videos.


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A week in the life

by Juliemara

Talia and Jordan have one more week of daily morning field trips before they start school in September! They are some lucky little people that have gotten to go and do all of the fun things for toddlers in atlanta. Here was all the fun they had this week.

Monday – Catch Air Sandy Springs, Ga

Tuesday – Toddler morning playgroup JCC Zaban Park

Wednesday – Toddler gymnastics JCC Zaban Park


Thursday – Bestie play date at Morgan Falls Park


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My idea of a good time

by Juliemara


The birthday girl and her family and Talia and Jordan to the right, BOTH looking at the camera


The girls first encounter with Capri Suns.








The Birthday Girl and her pretty tutu.


Talia had a crush on Jimbo


Jordan to the left, Talia to the right


Talia catching those awesome Gymboree bubbles


Jordan stopping bubbles.
Partying use to be a very different experience than it is these days. Now a good party means the kids are safely entertained long enough for me to catch up with my mommy friends and drink most if not all of a bottle of water. Last year I loved all the one year old birthday parties we attended, it was some of the first times we got to see the girls interacting with other kids their age. This year the birthdays are less about the parents and all about the kids, it’s an hour or two of crazy toddlers bouncing off the walls, cake, singing, candles and Elmo and Abi usually make an appearance at some point.
A few weeks ago the first of the girls besties, Ella, turned two and threw an awesome party to celebrate. The event was at the kids indoor gym Gymboree. Talia and Jordan haven’t spent much time in Gymboree so the newness combined with the ability to run and climb and slide as they pleased was their own little heaven on earth.

Ella’s mom did a great job celebrating her big girls 2nd birthday especially considering she has a brand new baby boy too!

I can’t believe the girls second birthday is just two months away!

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DIY Kids Body Paint

by Juliemara

















It’s known that toddlers love making a mess. It’s how they learn. I love watching my girls making a mess, I can see their little brain wheels spinning with delight as toys, food, water, pretty much anything goes flying in every direction. These two are all about a new adventure and experience and get into anything they can with a fierce passion. So when I saw this post on Modern Parent, Messy Kids blog, I knew this would be a perfect activity for my girls.

What you’ll need:

-a six muffin tin or something similar for the different colors.

-Corn Starch

-Food Coloring

-1 Inch Paint Brushes, I got these, they worked great and are easy to hold and clean.

-Warm Water

I recommend you have:

-An outdoor space


I loosely followed this recipe from the blog post but left out the milk. Here is how I did it, step by step.

Step 1 – add two drops of gel food coloring to each muffin tin section. Mix colors for additional variations. Here is a color mixing guide if you aren’t sure what colors make what.

Step 2 – in a separate bowl mix corn starch and water until you get desired consistency about three cups total is needed for six colors, I used approx 1 1/4 cup of corn starch to 1 3/4 cup of water.

Step 3 – Pour the corn starch mixture in to each muffin tin section , fill about half way, mix together with food coloring.

Step 4 – Have Fun.

Step 5 – Hose your children down before bringing them in the house.

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My favorite days

by Juliemara






















This week our nanny took vacation so instead of trying to find a full week of substitute nannies, I decided to take vacation also and hang out with my girls. I can now say my nanny has the best job in the world. We had so much fun! It was a bit of a challenge to keep them entertained and pack for our holiday trip. But we did it, and we had a great time! I can’t wait for my next day off.

What we filled our time with:
Glitter glue paint
Water table in the deck
Splash pad
Made cookies and decorated them
Made yogurt berry frozen pops
Played in a giant cardboard box
Played in the basement/playroom/our bedroom
Played on the play set
Jumped on the mattress
And learned how to use the DustBuster
I can’t wait for my next day off.

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Books We Read

by Juliemara

best_books_for _kids

I got to spend an entire week day with my girls yesterday, it was one of the most fun days I have ever had! I’ll post pictures of our day together later this week but today I want to share a few more of our favorite books we read with you. These three are ones that I loved when I was a kid and love to read to Talia and Jordan just the same.best_books_for _kidsbest_books_for _kidsPut me in the zoo is about an animal of some sort that can do tricks with it’s spots. My favorite trick it does is cover everything and everyone with it’s spots. It wants more that anything to be in the zoo so he can show off his tricks, but what he doesn’t know is there is somewhere even better for him to go.

best_books_for _kidsbest_books_for _kidsThe Little House I loved because of the way the illustrations showed the progression of a city’s growth. I have always been fascinated by how cities grew through time. Did you ever wonder why all the streets in Manhattan below 14th are curved and don’t follow the organized grid of the rest of the island? This little story will always hold a special place in my heart from loving reading it as a child to now having lived in a smaller town, then in the city and now practically out in the country, although I hope one day we will live on a grassy hill way out on the country side. I think Talia and Jordan will remember this story in relation to what they see in our neighborhood. Until a few weeks ago, on the main road leading to our house, there stood a little white house with green trim and next to it was a HUGE field. One day I returned from work to find the house gone, just a pile of wood and bricks stood in it’s place. Since then trees have come down and the grassy field has been dug up, although it’s not clear what will be where the plan is to build over 100 homes in that spot. It’s going to be interesting to watch.

best_books_for _kidsbest_books_for _kids

Corduroy is another classic story. I always thought he was one of the cutest story bears, I still do. Corduroy is a little bear who is waiting to be purchased from a department store. But he discovers he is missing a button to his overalls and goes searching for it. While it’s a sweet story about friendship it also teaches children that looks are not everything when it comes to what people have to offer you in life.

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Peepee in the Potty, Peepee in the Potty

by Juliemara


I wanted to share a story of recent accomplishments in our house but I won’t be sharing images to go along with it. So I hope you like the video that is completely unrelated. The girls are 20 months old now and I keep getting how to potty train emails from the parenting websites I am registered on. I am a believer in the idea that there is no need to push the issue. But if they are interested why not foster the interest, what’s the worse that could happen, umm, eekk, yeah. OK, well here’s the thing. I’m not home during the day, our super nanny is, and she decided to make an activity of it. Great, all I ask is that the couch doesn’t smell like pee and poop at the end of the day. We have had two little portable potty’s and a toddler seat for the regular potty in our house for a while now. Every now and then before bath I would ask the girls if they wanted to sit on the potty. Two times Jordan made pee pee a little, yay! I was so proud. But more often she would sit there a few minutes while Talia was flushing the toilet repeatedly. They she would say all done get down and proceed to pee all over the floor.

Yesterday the girls spent the whole afternoon with no diapers and went pee pee in their little potty’s multiple times. Talia had a few “accidents” and Jordan had none. Good job girls, mommy is super proud. So this morning Jordan communicates to me that she wants her shirt off, then her pants, then her diaper. OK, off they come. I told her if she was going to be without a diaper she needed to sit on the potty and try to make peepee. So she did, just sat there. I went back to cleaning the kitchen and then I hear little feet. I turn around and Talia is carrying the inner pot of the little potty down the hall and Jordan is following. I follow them in to the bathroom where Talia was trying to open the child safety on the toilet. I open it for her and she dumps the contents of the little potty in to the regular toilet. Team work! Jordan went peepee and Talia cleaned it up. See they really love each other like sorority sisters! So weather I like it or not here we go on the potty training train. It will be interesting to see how this works out on the weekends we when are out and about the majority of the days. I think I’ll be purchasing another portable potty and a travel toddler potty seat, sorry for the indecent exposure but I am not about to start trying to hold one kid over the public gross toilet while yelling at the other one to not touch anything. I change their diapers in the trunk, why can’t the go peepee in the trunk? How did potty training go for you? How old were your kids when you tried to get them to use the potty?

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Summer Time Snack

by Juliemara


I love summer. I love the heat and the humidity and the long days and the trips and the holidays and the fruit.  Summer fruit is sweet and juicy and makes a mess, which is why you need to just go outside and stay there. I have always loved Brie cheese, since I was a kid. I use to sneak a wedge of it into the shopping cart at the grocery store. I like it softened in the microwave and spread on whole grain crackers, this ritual never changes. What does change season to season is the fruit that accompanies it. Sometimes it’s grapes, sometime green apple, but right now it’s cherries. Cherries are at their peak right now, and they are delicious. A little sweet, a little tangy, juicy and crunchy. There just one drawback to these bite size goodies, that annoying pit in the middle. Until this year I would eat a few grapes here and there, I never saw a reason to actually own a cherry pitter when we only ate cherries for a few weeks a year. Now I understand, when you have kids (especially ones who eat cherries) you will do anything to make your life easier. A cherry pitter will do just that. If you have cherries in your fridge and don’t have a cherry pitter, get one, today. Amazon has the one I got.

I promise you will use it all cherry season long and when the summer is over you can use it to pit you kalamata olives all year long.

Make sure you are wearing clothes that can get messy and aim away from you or anyone else, pitting cherries can be messy business.


Talia and Jordan like cherries, sometimes they will eat a bunch, sometimes none, so I always have a back up snack of their favorites. Havarti and grapes with whole grain crackers.



What is your favorite summer treat?

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What’s not to love about a Sandbox

by Juliemara


I’ll tell you what’s not to love about sandboxes, sand in shoes, that ends up in cribs, yuck! But a sand box is a great way to entertain a toddler, they can pour and fill and shovel and dump for probably close to an hour, then it’s usually nap time. I am a pretty forgetful person, sometime just rushing and forget to take step to make life a little easier. Like removing shoes before placing a sleeping baby in there crib for nap. Or making sure they are wearing open toe shoes when we go to a sandbox. Removing shoes before playing in the sandbox is an option, but it’s not one I’m a big fan of, because they don’t tend to stay put for long and putting shoes on and off on and off is not my idea of a good afternoon at the park. And when it’s chilly out open toes shoes are not the best option any way. Yes trying to figure out the exact right outfit for baby is a challenge, you don’t want them to be too warm or too cool, some things are ok to get dirty, some are not. It is definitely a learning process, you are going to make mistakes, but don’t worry your sweet baby will survive all the wardrobe errors you make, just try to not worry about it too much, do your best and get on with playing.

As a general rule I like knees to be covered, as much as possible, so jeans, leggings, even cropped leggings are my first choice for bottoms. And I prefer shoulders to be covered if we are going to be outside for a while. I love how little tanks look on the girls but I prefer a short sleeve or a cap sleeve in the sun. I’m big on layering pieces, not only is it an easy way to adjust to the changing temperatures throughout the day but little cardigans layered on are so cute!

The pastel cardigans the girls are wearing here are courtesy of Baby Beau & Belle. The sweaters are part of an exquisite line of special occasion wear for babies and toddlers. All of their dresses are embellished with vintage inspired lace. They have comfy but beautiful rompers for baby with bibs to match that I might shed a tear to see get dirty. But that’s what babies do, get dirty. You really should check this stuff out.20130603-103115.jpg20130603-104322.jpg20130603-104222.jpg20130603-104253.jpg

They have great baby gifts too like blankets and stuffed animals. They even have a special section for Bris wear! And their baby shoes are to die fore. Even if you don’t have a special occasion, your little one wont be for very long, if you want her to wear lace and silk , there is not a reason in the world that she shouldn’t. You can keep up to date with baby Beau & Belle by liking their facebook page and see what they think is cool on their Pinterest page. I love their B is for Birthday board, we pinned a lot of the same pins!


This is a sponsored post. All opinions and ideas are my own.

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Toddler Activity – shucking corn

by Juliemara










I found a great link on Pinterest of about 1000 things to do with your toddler, I didn’t pin the actual link so now I can’t find it, but there are so many out there maybe you will find another cool list. Of the 1000 on the list I saw, some are obvious, some are too messy, and a lot are really similar but there was one that I thought sounded like so much fun.Corn Shucking! I loved shucking corn when I was a kid,, I still do, although now I do it as fast as possible at the grocery store to get it done and get out of there. But when I read on this list, that corn shucking is fun for toddlers I left the whole ear in tact and brought it home. It took some explaining and demonstration but the girls go really good at it, and they were very meticulous with the little hairs on the inside. The only part that I couldn’t get them to understand was that it needs to be cooked before eaten. Than bunch of corn all had little bite marks when it was served with dinner.


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