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Monday This + That

We are back from my family's lakehouse where we spent a great Easter weekend. I have so many wonderful photos to share from our time away!

Two major highlights of the weekend: the first is that the baby had her first ever boat ride.


She actually did a lot better with the life jacket than I was expecting! And isn't it adorable?! It's by Stearns and I coudn't find the exact one online with the fish, but here's one that is built similarly. It zips up the back so you don't have to worry about them undoing it. 

The second highlight is that my mom surprised us with a handmade Easter dress and bonnet. It is absolutely precious on Camille and it fit her perfectly. I was just so shocked. Love, love, love my mom. 


In other news, a fun opportunity came my way to appear on the news this morning and talk a little bit about encouraging our children to be "makers" -- turning off the iPads, turning away from cartoons, and reaching instead towards items around the house that can be turned into fun toys with a little imagination. With a 10.5-month old, I still have a long road ahead of me to try to spark that little imagination, and I can't wait. 

We had a designated area when I was growing up, "the art pantry" as we called it, that was filled with construction paper, watercolor paints, coloring books, markers and crayons, safety scissors, yarn, and tracing paper. It was low to the ground, easily accessible, and it was where Mom sent us when we complained of boredom. You can easily create a space in your home like this that really helps these little minds to grow.

Here is a link to my clip!



The toy that I featured is a pretty neat little one. It's made in the USA from recycled, environmentally-friendly materials, and the pieces in the box are shaped like Y's, O's, and X's (hence the name -- YOXO, pronounced "yock-so"). An instruction sheet shows how you can make what's on the front of the box, but it also gives you alternate instructions for making other objects -- and you can even combine the pieces with household items like paper towel rolls and empty cardboard boxes to create other items. The possibilities really are endless. My favorite kit offered is the dragonfly version which is great for boys and girls. 


YOXO can be found at specialty toy stores but it also just got picked up by a little company that we know and love, Target! The kits are under $25 and would be a fun item to have on hand for bored kiddos during spring break or the summer days. I can't wait for my nephew's birthday to roll around!

I hope your weekend was a lovely one and that you had a very special Easter!

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like you guys had a great Easter! And I love the promotion of getting kids to be active and using their imaginations. When I worked in childcare, I could not believe hoe many little ones had all this technology. We would always try to get them to go outside and play or be creative.
    Happy Monday!

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  2. That's so awesome! We had a craft closet as well! I hate that I always see kids on phones and ipads while they are going through the grocery store - hopefully when I have kids I will be able to keep them busy with other things like you!

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  3. Reading this post reminds me that I need a new life jacket for Caleb this year! Camille's is too cute - I've never seen the kind that zip up the back, but that sounds genius! Loving your clip, and the idea behind it. I am a big proponent of encouraging kids to use their imaginations to play and not just be entertained by screens that we see all the time on iPads and cell phones and tvs!

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  4. the life jacket is so cute! i love the idea of an art pantry :) so smart! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. That's awesome!!! Her little Easter dress is adorable by the way :)

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  6. You are so brave to go on TV! Can't wait to watch when I get home.

    Um, that life jacket is completely adorable. I am still waiting to take Freddy on his first boat ride - there's not much better than being out on the water!

    Also - your hair is looking extra voluminous these days! Are you teasing? New product? What's your secret?!

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  7. Oh I love building toys that are environmental friendly. I worked at Learning Express toys for years and always suggested the wooden building toys or toys that were bpa free.

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  8. Camille's outfit is adorable, I love it! You did a great job on the morning segment, I will have to check out YOXO when buying gifts for family and friends. Xo, Stephanie

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  9. April! You are a TV Star!! We have a "craft corner" at our house!! My girls are OBSESSED with coloring, crafts, play doh, making "books," and just creating in general. We have an area in our pantry where are their art supplies are located and I also have a closet in our spare bedroom where I keep more "special" craft materials. One of my favorite things is to see our kitchen table a mess with crayons, glue, stickers and coloring books! :) Also- Camille's dress is PERFECT! Your mom is so talented! Have a great week!!

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  10. First of all, I've been following your blog for some time now and I love it! Second, soooo...can I have your job? Seriously...your job seems awesome...how do you get a job like that?! Lastly, that toy is adorable and my son would love, love, love it! I'll be buying it soon! I've never seen anything like it. Thanks for finding it and sharing it with the world! Best Wishes!

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  11. Watched your clip, you're so dang cute! And I just love Camille's Easter outfit, your mom did a wonderful job! Too precious.

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  12. That life jacket is adorable!! We go to the lake for a week every 4th of July and I most definitely need that for my little P!

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  13. Eeee going to watch your clip now since I missed it this morning!!! Yeah, mama!!!! xx

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  14. Totally saved that link for the life jacket. Gonna need two of those this summer! Congrats on the news spot. Sounded great!

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  15. adorable! Looks like a great weekend and YAY for Camille's first boat ride!

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  16. i LOVE the idea of having a shelf or cabinet available to put kid friendly stuff in to deter kids from wanting to watch tv or play with electronics. that's a great idea that i will def keep in my back pocket for the future. :)

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  17. Go, you, on that segment! I totally second the notion of encouraging exploration. Our two year old has yet to ever watch tv. Ever. No iPad in the car, no morning cartoons, nothing (but the occasional glimpses when we are out at restaurants). It can be done!

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  18. Camille in that life jacket... I die! I might let Avery binge on puffs occasionally, but I'm pretty happy that she's probably only watched a total of five minutes of TV in her lifetime thus far. I loved your news segment - how awesome! :)

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