Six Toddler Essentials

Six Toddler Essentials

The toddler years can be a wonderful, but sometimes frustrating, part of your child’s life. You will find yourself repeating “Don’t touch that” over and over again, they will outgrow outfits over night, and you’ll learn something new every day. Life with a toddler is full of curiosity, hugs, smiles, and the occasional tantrums. You may also suddenly realize that most of the things you received at your baby shower are items you no longer need. Today, I’ve put together a list of affordable products that will help you through the toddler years.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made from our links. All opinions are our own.**

Bath Spout Cover

Your toddler is likely mobile now and has outgrown their baby bath tub. Keep their heads and hands safe with a spout cover.

Supportive Shoes

When your child reaches the toddler years, it is time to get rid of those adorable little soft shoes and get more supportive shoes.

Two Piece Pajamas

Once potty training starts, it is also time to say goodbye to one piece pajamas. Easy to remove clothing can help prevent accidents.

Potty Training Toilet

Choosing a potty is an important step! We picked one that looked like a real toilet and then moved on to one that was attached to our toilet seat once we were further along in the process.

Travel Stroller

You are probably ready to be done with a bulky stroller by now, but if you have a young toddler, it might be a few years before you are done with strollers. My four year old still likes to ride in hers from time to time. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to pick up a very light weight stroller.

Straw Cups

Getting rid of the bottle was easy for my daughter, but getting her to drink out of a straw cup was a bit harder! She hated everything but soft spout sippy cups for the longest time. Sometimes, you just have to keep buying different cups until you find one that clicks!

Your sweet toddler will be a preschooler before you know it, so try to enjoy this stage as much as you can! If you are already past the toddler stage, I’d love to hear from you! What products were essential for your little one when they were a toddler?

Are you buying for an infant? Check out this video!

Four Tips For A Great Trip To The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Four Tips For A Great Trip To The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Yesterday, we visited the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The zoo, which offers winding paths, cool shady wooded areas and beautiful exhibits, is a great place to spend a day. Today, we want to share four tips for a successful visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo!

Get Ready To Walk A Lot

Your adventure at the Pittsburgh Zoo will begin with a ride on an escalator from the area where you purchase tickets to the actual zoo entrance. There is also an elevator for strollers and those with mobility limitations. After you exit the escalator or elevator, you will find an area that has a bathroom, gift shops, and a place to get some food! There is also a carousel in that area. Once you pass all that, you’ll go down a path through a tunnel and then the actual fun starts! The Pittsburgh Zoo has a wide range of animals including lions, elephants, giraffes, gorillas and polar bears. The aquarium is home to a huge variety of fish, sharks and other marine life, some of which you can even touch!  If you have trouble walking long distances, you will definitely want to bring or rent a mobility aid.

Arrive Early And Leave Plenty Of Time To Explore

This is not a zoo that you want to visit if you only have an hour or two. There is just so much to see! It was super busy yesterday, so it took us an hour and a half just to purchase and eat lunch. There are also two big play areas that children will want to stop at. A lot of the animal exhibits are very detailed and worth taking time to appreciate!

Take A Lot Of Pictures

There are so many photo opportunities! The very natural looking habitats make this zoo a great please for wildlife photography and there are also plenty of neat places to take pictures of your family! My daughter loved the giant polar bear they have near their amazing polar bear exhibit. She also loved getting to see how tall she was compared to a baby elephant.

Don’t Forget To Pack Sunscreen And Sunglasses

The Pittsburgh Zoo has tons of shady areas, but you’ll be getting a lot of sun exposure too. No one wants to end a fun day with sunburn. If you get extra hot, there are a few fans that spray cool mist located through out the zoo.

We had so much fun exploring everything the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium had to offer. My four-year-old learned a few new things about animals and she really enjoyed the play areas! Don’t forget to check back to read more about our travel adventures in the future!

Twenty Great Blogging Moms You Should Follow

Twenty Great Blogging Moms You Should Follow

Parenting can be a lonely journey at times! Most of us have a support system that includes friends and family, but today, I want to share some amazing blogs that can help moms feel a little less alone! This list is full of twenty real moms who are sharing their own passions and advice in a variety of ways!

  1. Saving Talents: Tiffany Thomas is a chocoholic former math teacher and homeschooling mom with Crohn’s Disease. She and her husband Phillip (who is an engineer) work together on the blog Saving Talents. Tiffany blogs about parenting and marriage, chronic illness, and faith.
  2. Marley’s Menu: Marley lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband Rob, their baby boy Charlie, and their two dogs Zazu. She thoroughly relishes every step of the cooking process—from sourcing the ingredients, creating beautiful flavors with them, and enjoying the final product as a family. With the environment always front of mind, Marley stands strong in her belief that you can live a modern lifestyle while still making sustainable food choices. At Marley’s Menu, you can expect to find recipes that everyone can enjoy and to learn little green tips along the way to live an attainable sustainable life.
  3. Nina Kneads To Bake: Nina writes a sweet and savoury baking blog. She started the blog when her daughter was about 6 months old. Now she also has a 5 month old son. Work on Nina’s blog has been very part time since she has a toddler and baby at home. Early mornings and nap times times are when she is most productive.
  4. Champagne & Coffee Stains: Ali is from Minneapolis. She is a toddler mom and expecting baby number 2 this summer! She shares her family’s (mostly) healthy recipes, toddler activities and play ideas, fitness for moms and all things peloton!
  5. High Chair Chronicles: Kate is a mom to a wonderful 4 year old boy who was the pickiest eater from the first time he tried solid foods. She worked hard to teach him to enjoy food and started her blog to help other parents of babies and toddlers overcoming picky eating and sensory issues and to share all her tips and advice.
  6. Two Pink Peonies: Audrey of Two Pink Peonies is a mom of two toddlers. She shares easy, family friendly recipes and kids activities.
  7. All About Baby Blog: Linda is the creator of All About Baby Blog. She started the blog as a creative outlet and hobby because she lovse sharing helpful hacks for parents! You can also find lots of information about pregnancy along with fun crafts and printables for your kids on her website.
  8. In The Playroom: This blog written by a team of two mums from the Uk, Anna and Luciana who are best friends. The site covers kids activities and play ideas as well as topics for moms including relationships, health and fashion.
  9. Ugly Duckling Bakery: Joanne is an infectious disease physician who dreams about starting a bakery one day. She has been cooking and baking all of her life, but started sharing more on social media in 2020 during the pandemic. She started the blog in January 2021 to share all of the food that comes out of her kitchen. It’s called the Ugly Duckling because she does not fuss to make things look perfect. On her blog, you’ll find weeknight dinners, weekend dinners and baking adventures of all kinds.
  10. A Dime Saved: Robyn is a millennial mom on a tight budget! She loves sharing tips and tricks to help you live your very best life all while saving a dime or two! She loves reading, spending time with her kids and cooking so check my blog for all the best ways to do that on a budget.
  11. Mum’s Creative Cupboard: Louisa is the face behind Mum’s Creative Cupboard. She has two kiddos and she loves all things creative. She creates simple and fun play activities for toddlers and preschoolers with the focus on less prep, more play!
  12. CulinaryShades: Alpa from CulinaryShades is a mom of two kids. Her blog is all about vegetarian and vegan cooking.
  13. One Fit Mamma: Kallie from One Fit Mamma is a mom to one toddler and two fur babies. Her goal in life is to help other moms be fit and active during pregnancy and after they have their baby.
  14. Homeschooling In Progress: Christy is a homeschool mom of four who enjoys laughing and learning with her kids. She believes a homeschool day can be manageable and enjoyable. Christy shares tips, ideas, and activities to simplify the homeschool day so homeschool parents can feel confident and enjoy teaching their kids.
  15. Everyday Thrifty: Nicole is a mom that will inspire you to be frugal and still have a full life! Her family paid off $68K of debt in just 16 months. And now, she loves to teach other moms practical ways to save money and live a full life even on a budget.
  16. The Craft At Home Family: Sacha is a former teacher and stay-at-home mom of four young kids who loves to cook, craft and create fun activities for her family. She loves to share crafts, activities, printables and recipes on her blog to help inspire parents, caregivers and teachers who are looking for fun things to do with kids!
  17. Our Wabi Sabi Life: Debi and the team from Our Wabi Sabi Life are all about making the most out of this imperfectly perfect life. This blog shares easy recipes for the whole family, simple crafts, DIYs on a budget, and lots of family fun ideas!
  18. A Tiny Trip: Daphna is a homeschooling mom of four kids under the age of ten. A former backpacker, she now helps parents travel and explore the world and their own backyard, with little ones in tow. On A Tiny Trip she shares practical travel guides and positive parenting advice.
  19. Hess Un-Academy: Charlene is a homeschooling mom of seven who blogs about homeschooling a large family. She and her family enjoy having fun and going on adventures together. Her blog focuses on making home education as fun and simple as possible. 
  20. Feels Like Home: Tara is the mom of a tween and a teen who works full time, homeschools, and blogs on the side. Her site, Feels Like Home, features food, family, and faith topics. Since 2007, she has shared over 350 delectable recipes spanning everything from cheesy comfort food to vegetable based healthy fare. In the family section, she shares fun activities for kids as well as parenting advice and encouragement. In the faith section, she shares Christian Bible studies and prayers for moms.

What I’ve Learned From My Time As A Stay At Home Mom

What I’ve Learned From My Time As A Stay At Home Mom

If you ask people what they think about stay-at-home moms, you will likely get a lot of different opinions.  Not all of those opinions will be positive. I am a mom with a disability that prevents me from working full time, so working mom life was  likely never in the cards for me, but I fully embrace the time I get at home with my little one. There are so many advantages to staying at home if it is possible for your family but being a stay-at-home parent is not without sacrifices. There are some things I wish I knew before starting my stay-at-home mom journey.

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photo of woman and boy smiling while watching through imac
Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

The first I’ve learned is that even though I don’t have a traditional job, my days are rarely easy. I have a degree in early childhood education and thought that after managing a whole classroom of children, taking care of one child would be a breeze. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Fulfilling every need of a tiny human from 5:30AM until 7:30PM is significantly more difficult than teaching a classroom of preschool aged children. When I worked part time at a preschool, I was able to help children learn and keep them safe, but those are not the most difficult part of the days. At home, I find that the additional responsibilities such as dishes, laundry, and errands tend to take over the day and it takes skill and practice to balance fun time and house work.

mother and daughter preparing avocado toast
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

The next thing I learned is that stay-at-home mom life is full of inconsistencies. One day, we go to the park, read a dozen books, and practice math skills. The next day, we might eat cold pizza for breakfast and watch way too much YouTube. Consistency is important for young children, so I really do try to stick to a daily schedule, but each day is a new adventure.

woman in white robe sitting on gray couch putting lotion on little girls foot
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

The last thing I want to share is that even though being a stay-at-home mom was the best, and really only, decision for my family, it still took a while for me to make peace with it. I occasionally still feel envious that my husband gets to go out into the world each day. I love my child fiercely, but some days I do not love being at home all day and that’s okay. After all, I don’t think there is a person out there who loves every single second of their life.

family making breakfast in the kitchen
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

A lot of people will say that staying at home with your children is the ultimate privilege, and in some ways, it is, but there are also a lot of challenges as well! I’d love to hear from my fellow stay-at-home moms out there! What is your favorite part of being a SAHM? What is the most challenging part for you?