Toddler Holiday Favorites

12/3/15

Jacob is almost two, which means that this Christmas he understands a lot more of whats going on and I love it.
Although there are still a lot of Christmas traditions that I feel he is too young for, I've found quite a bit of fun toys and activities that suite his age perfectly! 

Here are some of our favorite holiday themed toys:
1. Melissa & Doug Christmas Cookie Set // Jacob is super into pretend play right now, and he loves this pretend cookie set! We sit and cut, frost, bake, and eat the cookies which keeps him entertained for a good chunk of time. Earlier in the week he was so into playing with this set that we ended up making real cookies later that day. 

2. Elf on the Shelf // Everyone has their own opinion on what age to begin this tradition, and I felt that this year was the perfect time for us. Jacob is a creature of routine, so every evening he says goodnight to Buddy the elf and in the morning we always point out that he is missing. This turns into a fun game of looking around the house and discovering what mischief he's gotten into. Jacob doesn't understand the whole concept of the elf reporting back to the North Pole yet, but it's still a fun activity for him each morning.

3. Little People Nativity Set // Jacob has a bunch of the little people sets, so I knew he would love this. I wanted to get him some sort of nativity scene, but at his age I know he's going to want to touch and play with everything so this is perfect. 

4. Advent Calendar // We already have a fabric advent calendar for Jacob, and this year I also picked up on the of cardboard ones with the chocolates inside. If we didn't have one though I would definitely get this Melissa and Doug advent puzzle, although I doubt I would be able to keep little hands away from it.

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas // We bought this last year during a sale on iTunes because it is one of my favorites and I love that Jacob enjoys it too. I love that it's not too long, and we love to watch it in the morning while I make breakfast. 

6. Melissa & Doug Snowman Stacker // I'm a big fan of the Melissa & Doug wooden toys, and this snowman is adorable. We got it for Jacob last year and I know Annabelle will love playing with it next year. 



Sincerely,
Nicole Leeay


2015 Holiday Bucket List

12/1/15


christmas bucket list

It's officially December!
This is my absolute favorite time of year, but unfortunately it tends to go by way too fast.
I always have so many jumbled ideas of holiday activities that I want to do, and then suddenly I blink and Christmas is over.
This year I complied a few of my favorite traditions, some old and some new, that I want to be sure to enjoy this Christmas! 

Christmas Bucket List

There's a few of these that I was able to complete this past weekend, so we're already off to a good start!

What are some of your favorite holiday activities? 
I'd love to find some new ones to add to my list!

Sincerely,
Nicole Leeay

From East to West: Starting A New Chapter in Oregon

11/14/15

We made it!
Peace out Florida, the Cravinhos are now officially Oregonians.


We are so excited to be calling Bend home, and I cannot wait to get out and explore some more.
Things have been all about trying to get settled and unpacked, but we have managed to squeeze in a little fun here and there. 

Last weekend the four of us ventured out to breakfast at this adorable and delicious little restaurant called McKay's cottage. I embraced fall with some pumpkin pancakes and a hazelnut latte.


After breakfast we decided to make the twenty minute drive up to Mt. Bachelor to show Jacob snow for the first time. 



He was pretty confused and a little weary, but after watching his did make (and throw) a few snowballs he warmed up to it. 

Annabelle stayed in the nice toasty car, except for a super quick photo op.


Clearly, she was not feeling it.  Jacob is being mesmerized by the snow plow driving by. 

I am loving our new town, and even though moving with a four week old and a toddler was totally insane I am so happy that we're here!
Right now we are staying with my parents (who also just made the move) until we get a chance to find a place of our own. 

Things have been too chaotic for me to even think about house hunting, so for now I'm just going to enjoy our current view, which isn't too shabby.



Sincerely,
Nicole Leeay

Slowing It Down

10/28/15


Things have been EXTRA crazy around here for the past couple of weeks. 
I would not recommend moving right after having a baby to anyone, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. 
Trying to balance recovering from having Annabelle, getting in all of my newborn snuggle time and nursing, giving Jacob all of the attention he craves, AND packing up the house has probably been one of the most difficult tasks of my life. 
Of course none of has gone smoothly.

Everything really accumulated about two weeks ago and I finally reached my breaking point.
I was having issues nursing Annabelle (tongue tie that has since been fixed), not giving my poor toddler the attention and understanding that he needs during such a transitional time, trying to do too much at home, and not taking care of myself.
I ended up sick and running a fever for a few days, and that's when I knew it was time to slow down.
When your body starts to physically tell you it's too much, you have to listen.

Now I'm working on slowing it down and giving myself a break.
I mean, I just had a baby for goodness sake!
It sounds so simple, but when your a control freak like me it's easier said than done.
My husband has been handling just about everything related to the move as well as helping out with the day to day stuff at home, and I've been focusing on my little ones.
Babies grow so fast, and I don't want to miss out on this newborn time with Annabelle.


As a mom and wife sometimes you feel like you have to do it all. 
That's a totally unrealistic expectation, but I know many of us are guilty of it. 
With that kind of mentality everyone suffers, a realization I wish I came to sooner and hope that I remember.

Sincerely,
Nicole Leeay



DIY Halloween Card Stock Banner

10/27/15

I am a big fan of card stock banners.
They are SO easy to make and are a perfect way to make something a little more festive, whether it's a holiday or special event (here's a card stock banner I made for our gender reveal).
The best part is if you use stuff you already have it won't cost you a dime!


I recently made this beware Halloween banner for our mantle.
Since we are moving on Halloween, I decided to decorate our home back in September.
I love holidays and didn't want to miss out on Halloween just because our home would be packed up during the month of October.


What you will need:
Black, orange and white card stock
Stencils for three different size pennants, beware letters, and spiders 
Glue stick
Needle and thread (if you want your spiders to dangle)
Bakers twine or string of your choice

Start off by cutting out your pennants, beware letters, and spiders.
I used my Cricut to make mine, but you could easily use stencils for this project.
Using glue stick, attach your pennants, largest to smallest.
Next, glue the beware letters to the pennants.


I used a needle and thread to attach the spiders to the bakers twine. I chose to use thread because it's nice and thin, so that all you really see are the spiders dangling off of the banner. 

This card stock banner was so simple, and I love the festive addition it makes to our mantle. 
Jacob was especially partial to the spiders, and we lost a few to curious toddler hands. 

Happy Halloween!

Sincerely,
Nicole Leeay


Introducing Annabelle

10/26/15


We welcomed Annabelle Nicole into the world on October 1st at 5:38pm. Our little fall baby arrived weighing in at 6 lbs 15 oz and a head FULL of dark hair. 


We are all so in love with this little girl, and after only three weeks with us it's impossible to imagine life without her. 


Our little Belle has such a calm and sweet nature about her, and she sleeps right through all of the chaos and commotion of our current household. 
She is such a blessing and the perfect addition to our little family. 

Sincerely,
Nicole Leeay


DIY Polka Dot Bulletin Board

9/25/15

This project was so easy, yet it made such a nice addition to my work space.
It's the little things, right?



All you need is a plain cork board (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), some acrylic paint, a paint brush, and something round to make a circle stencil with.


I started off by painting the frame of my cork board white.
I normally would have used painters tape along the edges of the cork, but I couldn't find mine.
C'est la vie.


My paint job turned out a little less than perfect which doesn't really bother me, but I would recommend taping off the border.

I didn't feel like buying an actual circle stencil, so I made my own. I used a large circular hole punch that I already had in my craft closet, and made about 4 stencils out of card stock scraps.



I fixed any mistakes free-hand, and also applied a second coat of paint to my polka dots because I really wanted the gold to pop.



Once the board is dry you are free to pin whatever pretty things inspire you!

Sincerely,
Nicole