Toddler Time – Monster Marshmallows

Growing up in a household with one parent in the medical field and one parent in the field of science, we were encouraged to do activities that expanded our minds and increased our curiosity. I never went to your “typical summer camp” where you lived in a bunk house and participated in kayaking and archery. My parents put me in marine biology, chemistry, and physic camps. It’s not what you would envision an elementary schooler participating in, but it was the best thing they could have done for me. My desire to learn more, I believe, encouraged me to participate in different courses and electives throughout my school career. I was excited about learning!

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I say this because it is never too early to get your kids excited about STEMS. When we got our hands on DK Publishing’s Maker Lab book of 28 kid-safe projects and crafts, it became the perfect introduction to the world of science for my toddler.

This wonderfully delightful book has step-by-step experiments, ranked from easy to hard, designed for 8 to 12 year olds. Even though this is designed for older kids, there are plenty of options for a mom and her toddler to get their science game on!

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I am constantly looking for ways to engage my son outside of his iPad on the weekends. When I came across the Monster Marshmallow experiment I knew I had found the perfect experiment for my two and half year old. What toddler doesn’t love delicious, gooey, and sticky marshmallows? I, myself, could go for a s’more right now!

All you need for this yummy experiment is a marshmallow(s), microwave safe plate, microwave, and an appetite.

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I had my son pick out his marshmallow and place it on the plate. Together we moved the plate with marshmallow to the microwave. I punched in 30 seconds and he hit the start button. About 15 seconds into the cook time, we saw our marshmallow expand and grow! He was in awe and learning about how “air heats up, and the pressure it exerts increases and the pockets grow bigger!”

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This wasn’t just a 30 seconds experiment for us, we did it over and over and over again. If you’re looking for a way to let your kids have fun and learn at the same time, DK Publishing’s Maker Lab is the book for you. I know we will be cracking this book open again very soon!

Get your copy of Makers Lab here >> https://www.dk.com/us/9781465451354-maker-lab/ << and let me know what experiments you try with your kids in the comments below.

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Top 4 Mom and Baby Inspired Shops

I’ve made the decision to open up a small shop. I know what you’re thinking, “you’re adding one more thing to your plate?” Why yes, yes I am! There is something to be said about an individual who does what they love, and that my friends is exactly what I am doing.

In the spirit of my new journey, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight four of my favorite shops/businesses that cater to both mom and baby. They offer quality products and should be supported by my fellow mama bears.

L’oved Baby – I am obsessed with the products and most of all the quality of items offered by L’oved Baby. Their mission is to provide clothing options for your little one that is safe and gentle on their skin. All of their products are certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) which means they are good for baby and mother earth. I love how soft the fabrics are. When I wrap my little one in his blankets or dress him in his footed overalls, I know he is comfy and cozy. It’s one company you will never regret investing in. Check them out >> HERE <<

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Just Bee Charmed –  Briana is one talented mama who has expanded her businesses from cake toppers and wedding décor to jewelry that is ideal for any mom (really anyone). Her perfectly crafted charms are the accessories every mom needs. From her curated collections, to her personalized charms, as well as her outstanding customer service, Briana will create the perfect charm bangle just for you! I am in love with my mama bear and cubs bangle she designed for me. I take pride in my mama bear status, and I now can where it as a badge of honor. Along with her mom specific collection, she has charms for Disney lovers, teachers, pet lovers, and more! If you’re looking to treat yourself or find the perfect gift for someone you love, Just Bee Charmed is the answer you’ve been looking for. Check Briana out >> HERE <<

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Thread Tank – Did I mention I love that I am a mama bear, more importantly the fact that I have the kids that make me a mama bear? I love, love, love Thread Tank. They have the perfect collection (motherhood) to showcase the best and sometimes trying moments of being a mom. The quality of their clothes is topnotch. I can’t get over how soft the fabric is. I want to make a set of sheets out of it, and cure my insomnia with its softness. You need to check them out and their other collections like coffee, home roots state, and more!  Check them out >> HERE <<

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Spearmint Baby –  If you haven’t heard of Spearmint Baby, where have you been? If you’re looking for high quality and adorable products for your baby, a baby shower, etc. look towards Spearmint Baby. I am obsessed with the Forest Critter Swaddle and Crib Sheet that were gifted to us for our one. The pattern fits in with his woodland themed nursery perfectly; not mention he looks adorable wrapped up in this breathable, yet comfy swaddle blanket. Check them out >> HERE <<

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These are just a few of the shops I love! Take a moment and check out their products and show them some love.

What are your favorite mommy/baby brands? I am always on the hunt for great shops and products. Leave them in the comments below.

Mommy and Toddler Adventure Time: Lazy 5 Ranch

I’ve been extremely dedicated (or stubborn as my family would put it) in making sure I experience all of these “life moments” with my son before baby brother makes his debut. It could be the hormones or mother’s guilt, but I am so worried my son is going to feel like I didn’t do enough with/for him before we had another baby. I’m the oldest child in my family, and I don’t remember ever feeling that way. Once my sister arrived it was like she had always been there. My hopes is that Ro feels the same way about his little brother (fingers crossed, toes crossed, and lots of positive thoughts).

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One of the stops on the Mommy and Ro Tour included a trip to North Carolina’s Lazy 5 Ranch; an animal park. The Lazy 5 Ranch has been a frequented spot of my family’s over the years. I recall one time when my sister and I went in the heat of July with my grandparents. We were wearing our tie dye dresses (mine was green and Alex’s was pink) that we had just purchased from a specialty shop with Nana. Even though we were beyond hot and sweaty, it is one of our fondest memories with them. I took my son in March on a cool day, and let me just say, it was the perfect day for a safari.

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While we didn’t take a wagon ride around the park, we caravanned in my tank of a car, and set out on an adventure to feed the animals. Now this adventure was going quite smoothly until the ostrich and emu appeared. I’ve experienced the persistent nature of an emu before, so I wasn’t shocked when it aggressively ate the feed from the back car window, but what that ostrich did, has probably scarred myself, my family, and especially my son for life. Have you ever had the entire head and neck of an ostrich in your car? Well, we have! I’m not certain if it was the ostrich in the car, my mother’s reaction, or both, but Ro was not having it.

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The persistent Emu

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THE Ostrich!

From that moment on, we had to frantically roll up the windows when a feathered friend approached the car, but we were open to the ox, deer, antelope, cows, etc. I did lose my bucket to what I believe was a yak and my sister lost her feed bucket to an antelope. The way those animals eat is how I feel when I try to diet for a week, “give me all the food!” Nonetheless, my son was thrilled to see his furry friends from the luxury of our SUV. He just wanted to stick his head out of the window like a dog, with a big smile on his face.

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* Please note we were driving well under 5 miles per hour in a controlled environment. At least my kid wasn’t sticking his entire body out of the car like the folks in front of us. I’m pretty sure a little girl lost her sunglasses to a large horned animal *

Once we finished our ride around the park, we hopped out of the car to checkout the exhibits and petting zoo portion of Lazy 5 Ranch. While we saw many animals, my son took a particular liking to a group of baby goats. I believe these goats are his spirit animals. They were climbing up a rotting tree branch and jumping off into the great beyond. Their fearless nature is the same as Ro’s. I’m sure if he was given the opportunity, he would take that leap with the baby Billy goats. I would have been a wreck, but he would have loved it!

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After being in a car for a number of hours and no nap on board (we tried, but he preferred to roll around and talk to his stuffies), he did a great job! He was a champ and I am thrilled to have had this special day with my nugget. He may or may not remember our adventure, but I will always hold these memories close to my heart. What’s next on the Mommy and Ro Tour? I’m not sure, but you can best believe it will be one for the scrapbooks!

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