Monday, February 17, 2014

Household Uses for Blue Painters Tape

First, let's be clear about a couple of things:
1.  Blue painters tape is not the same thing as masking tape.   A good quality painters tape will come off most surfaces cleanly, while masking tape will often tear and leave residue.  Of course, always test any questionable surfaces before going crazy on any of these tips.
2.  I am not particularly craft inclined.  If you're looking for tips on how to paint your nails, perfectly paint your living room, or create a studio-worthy art project with your toddler, you've come to wrong place.

Let's get started!

This is the side of our fridge in our kitchen.  We keep our blue painters tape and a pen/marker within quick reach since we use it several times a day.

Keeping toddler artwork in place!

We have a budding one-year-old artist that gets a little crazy with his crayons and markers.  After flinging the paper on the floor a few times, we secured each corner of the paper with a little tape and problem solved.  The tape lifts easily and cleanly from the dining room table.

Labeling leftovers!

We may be guilty of leaving things in the fridge a little too long from time to time.  We were tired of playing Russian roulette with which spaghetti was from two days ago and which was from two weeks ago.  Tip: Remove the tape before you wash so it comes off more easily.

Keeping track of medication doses!

This is a 10 day antibiotic to be taken twice a day.  Starting on a Wednesday and continuing to the following Friday.  Each time we give a dose, we cross off the day- one for AM and one for PM.  It helps keep track of if the dose was given by the other parent and is a quick visual reminder of how many days are left.

Breastmilk storage!

Forget the expensive labels and contraptions to keep track of your breastmilk.  A roll of tape and marker will last you for years.  Peel the tape before washing for easiest removal.

A quick note!

Sticky notes don't always stay put especially in a breezy or high traffic area.  A little tape will stick a note wherever you need it, stay put, and come of clean when you're done.  My husband I will often leave notes on the door to the garage.


This is a rare treat for my young son.  Pieces of blue tape make great stickers.  He can stick them to the fridge or cabinets while I clean up the kitchen.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Toddler Valentines with free printable

My son recently graduated to the toddler room at his daycare and they are doing a Valentine's Day exchange.  I have to admit that I am oddly excited to have a chance to participate in these cute exchanges again... woo hoo elementary school!  I cringed a little bit when the note mentioned bringing treats to share.  I'm all about an occasional indulgence, but all I could picture was a room full of 2 year olds with their fists full of candy.  I decided to send my son with a treat of which I'd be happy to be on the receiving end.  The baby food pouches have been all the rage for few years now, but they are also starting to break into the toddler and young child market.  These GoGo Squeez pouches are sold in boxes of 12 and are under $0.60 each.  The baby food pouches generally run $1.25 or more each.

I have zero crafting ability, but I did decide to make these exchange gifts for his class rather than buying a box of Valentines.  Non-crafters... this project is for you.  You're welcome to use my free printable template linked here to get you started.


- Squeezable fruit pouch
- Card stock printer paper
- Hole punch
- Ribbon or curling ribbon
- Printable template

1.  Print the cards onto a heavy paper or card stock and cut out the individual cards from the page.  The template has 8 per page.

2.  Write your message on the back of the card and add any additional embellishments such as stickers or designs.

3.  Punch a hole in the corner of the card.  (I used a heart hole punch for a little something extra!)

4.  String your ribbon through the hole in the card and secure to the neck of the pouch by wrapping it around once or twice.  Tie.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Top 10 Baby Brands I Never Heard of Until Having My Son

10.  Plum Organics  - Plum Organics is one of the big makers of the organic baby food pouches you see everywhere.  Not only are the pouches handy for throwing in the diaper bag, but they are an amazing, mess free, healthy snack for my little guy.  Plum Organics also makes several organic baby/toddler snacks.  The puffs are our favorite!

9.  Boon-  I love this brand and yet own so little of it.  I think few people are aware of it and therefore they are rarely included in the mass amount of gifts my son receives.  The bath toys are probably my favorite.  Everything in this brand is unique, fun and cute!  Wishlist item: GLO color-changing nightlight with portable glowing balls!

8.  Neat Solutions- Neat Solutions has my full loyalty for baby/toddler “on the go” needs.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people comment on our Table Toppers.  Table Toppers are disposable placemats that stick right to the table.  Brilliant!  Most comments come from parents of grown children.  More often than not I hear: “Would you look at that!  That is such a great idea.  They didn’t have anything like that when my kids were little.”  We also use Bibsters disposable bibs.  They are fantastic to fold up and leave in the diaper bag.

7.  Take and Toss- (by the First Years, TOMY)  My son was breastfed and never successfully took a bottle.  With my full time work schedule, the stress of simply getting him fed on a daily basis became a daily struggle.  After trying every bottle on the market with no success, we decided to move right to a sippy cup.  The 7oz basic Take and Toss cups are easy to hold and tip, small enough to get liquid out with even a small tip, and don’t require a lot of effort to get liquid out.  These were an amazing solution for us as a first sippy!  We also used the Take and Toss spoons almost exclusively.  Inexpensive and durable.

6.  Melissa and Doug- I have seven nieces and nephews and thought I was pretty up on the toy scene, but Melissa and Doug was a new one for me.  They have an amazing variety of toys from birth on up.  I think their sweet spot is the creative and unique toys for toddlers.  Chunky puzzles with easy to grasp pieces- and made of wood!  Their items are so diverse, unique and cute, I couldn’t begin to do them justice.  We have several M&D items on our wishlist.  Next up on age appropriateness for my son: Water Wow Coloring Book.  You use water to expose the color- let it dry and do it all over again!

5.  Episencial- I have rather sensitive skin and like to use the more natural products for my son.  Made with natural ingredients, many organic, with sustainable practices manufacturing processes.  They make bath wash, lotion, sunscreen, bug shield and more.  When you compare ingredients, it’s a no-brainer to put this on your baby instead of the mainstream big brands.

4.  BabyGanics- BabyGanics is another great company focused on more natural alternatives to the items that touch your baby.  However, they don’t stop at skin care.  They have a product offering that also includes diapers, wipes, hand soap, oral hygiene, dish soap, household cleaners, laundry detergent and more!

3.  IKEA- Ok, so I had heard of IKEA and probably even knew they had a kid section, but I had no idea how much I would love it!  There’s the adorable furniture, that’s a given.  But much to my surprise, their plates, bowls and cups are, dollar for dollar, the best out there.  Durable, dishwasher safe, practical- they are our toddler tableware of choice.  Then there’s the linens, playroom rugs, tents and tunnels, oh and TOYS!

2.  Green Toys-  Green Toys are made from 100% recycled plastic.  These toys are brilliant in their simplicity.  No batteries, no plug ins.  These are the basic type of toys kids from every generation love.  Plastic keys, shape sorter, stacking toy, race car, dump truck, tractor, and many more.  They are excellent quality and hold up to the throws and slobber of this toddler.  I love to see my kiddo zooming his race car around the living room.  These make great gifts!!

1.  Citrus Lane - Citrus Lane gets the #1 spot on this top 10 for one simple reason: I wouldn’t know about most of the brands above if it weren’t for Citrus Lane.  Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription for babies and toddlers.  Each month, you are sent a box of 4-5 items tailored to your child’s age.  Not only is the surprise a lot of fun, but the products are amazing.  If you’re interested in sampling products like the ones listed above, I highly recommend Citrus Lane. You’ll get products like these and more (I could have easily made this a top 20).  If you’d like to try it out, click here to sign up and save $10 off your first box.

Disclaimer: This post contains a referral link for Citrus Lane. No free product or compensation of any kind was given by any of the above companies.