Mealtime Monday

Getting your toddler or child to eat healthy foods can sometimes be tough. While some children are great eaters and their parents may not ever encounter mealtime troubles, others of us are not so lucky. I've discovered with my own children that if I make them one breakfast meal in the morning they will eat some of it, say they are finished, and an hour later they are starving. I'll admit, I'm far from old school when it comes to meals. I don't make the kids sit at the table until they have cleaned their plates. There are times when I don't clean my plate. There are times when I'm just not hungry. If that is true for me than I know it must be true for my children, too. I'm sure that as they get older my mealtime rules will change and probably get more rigid, but for now, we graze. The girls get a glass of milk first thing in the morning and then I wait for them to let me know when they are ready to eat. I then give them three choices for breakfast. Something like scrambled eggs, oatmeal, or a waffle. I keep the portions small and when they're done, they're done. About an hour later we have what I call "second breakfast". And I let them choose. It's typically something like yogurt and granola, a banana, or cereal. After that they are typically good until lunch. I know this won't work for everyone, especially those who have to take your children to daycare or school, but it works for us.

Another idea for picky eaters would be to "beautify" the dining experience. I discovered Bento Mama a few years back and adore all of her meals. If you've never heard of Bento before this is how she explains it: 

[ben-toh; Japn. ben-taw] 
noun, plural -tos; Japanese -to. Japanese Cookery . 
a meal, usually served in a lacquered or elaborately decorated box that is divided into sections for holding individual portions of food.Basically a meal that is delivered in a very divided box and is visually pleasing. Bento lunches for kids is gaining popularity fast. Partly because the school lunches, well, how do I put this nicely? Stink. My kids eat healthy and I want to be in control of what they put into their tiny bodies, what nourishes them and helps them grow. I don’t want them to eat sugar loaded peaches from a can marinating in a sugar syrup! Plus I’ve found that my kids are more willing to eat things they normally wouldn’t if it’s prepared and presented in a way that fun!


Photobucket IMG_3002

Isn't it pretty?!?! If you visit her page there are links and recipes on how to make some of these creations as well as where to get the supplies. I'll admit, I have never done a full Bento meal. I have occasionally cut shapes into food for the girls snack, but putting together a few Bentos for the girls is one of the things on my New Years list of things "to-do". (Trying to stay away from resolutions this year) So how about you? Have you ever tried Bento before? Is it something you would like to try? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.


Shoutout Sunday- Made Page

I think nowadays almost everyone has a favorite blog, I know I do. I've always been an avid blog reader, but I never really followed any of the blogs. It was only when something I had seen on the web popped into my mind that I would search out a particular blog again. But one blog has always stood out in my mind and I just couldn't stay away. That blog belongs to Dana Willard of Made Page. Besides that fact that she has three absolutely adorable children that I have enjoyed watching grow, her blog posts are artful, informative, and just downright beautiful. See what I mean? Check out that baby love!!

Need a tutorial for fabric flowers:

How about a tutorial for a sweet skirt?

And these windows? *SWOON*

And if you think those are beautiful you really must look her up on Instagram. In addition to beautiful photos she has great tutorials for all kinds of fun projects, recipes, sewing patterns...all kinds of stuff. Make sure to check her out!

So, there you have it: my blog crush! Be sure to check back soon to see what other blogs I'm loving!


Toddler Tuesday: What It's All About

In my past life, before I had children, I was a Kindergarten teacher. I loved my job. I mean, I REALLY loved my job. It was one of those jobs that, as a young single woman in her 20s and in an exciting and wonderful city full of nightlife, culture, art, and beautiful nature, would still come home on Friday night after a long week of teaching and not being able to wait for Monday to come around again. Don't get me wrong- I loved my alone time. But I adored teaching. And particularly  I loved teaching kindergarten and I loved having the opportunity to teach in a progressive, child-centered charter school that truly cared for the social and emotional development of it's students. I was never pressured to teach to a test. I taught to each individual student and their needs. I connected and bonded with those students. I loved them and I still miss them all so much to this very day.

But then I had my second daughter and my love shifted. I still enjoyed teaching, but I loved spending time with my girls more. So two years ago we decided I would stay at home with my girls for a while. I still miss teaching, but for me, I know that I would miss being at home with the girls so much more.

What does that have to do with Toddler Tuesdays, you ask?? Well, Toddler Tuesdays is a series designed to highlight various games, crafts, projects, ect just for toddlers. Some of the projects are slightly more adult involved than others and ALL of these projects will require adult supervision. But at the core, none of these projects are designed for parents to complete and then write their child's name on it and frame it. I believe that children learn by doing. I've seen it. Some of these activities might require the use of tools like scissors. I will say it now- yes! My two year old uses scissors and has been since about 18 months. Many of her projects look like they've been completed by a young Edward Scissor Hands, but it's HERS. To guide you along, in each blog post in this series I will highlight for you what skill(s) are involved in the project and how it will promote readiness for more complex skills. By all means, if you feel as though your child is not ready for a particular skill or that attempting the skill will cause unnecessary stress, do it for them or skip that step. Sometimes I may pre-cut or pre-assemble part of a project. I might pre-cut a Christmas tree to have the kids decorate because I really want them to focus on the skill of tracing or gluing. You get the idea. These are just my thoughts as a former educator. Complete these projects as you see fit, but keep in mind, art doesn't always have to be pretty. Sometimes it's a hot mess but the beauty comes in knowing that your child created it and in the process they are developing new skills.

Happy Crafting!!!

(First post in this series will be up tomorrow afternoon.)


Thursday Roundup

This is the first post in a series of Thursday posts where I share with you all a roundup of my favorite products found around the web. Some will be handmade and some will not. There will be things for kids, moms, home decor, and maybe even something for our four legged friends from time to time. So let's get started!

This week's theme is Christmas since it's only a few weeks away. I think I'm more excited for Christmas to get here than they are!

This first Christmas item I'm loving right now is this burlap and cotton ruffled tree skirt. Isn't it just adorable? This is a handmade item by artist Louie White of Shabbie Chic Home out of Arizona. It's so pretty I'm not sure I would want to cover it up with presents!

Next, we have some really fun Christmas Stockings. I have a slight love affair with felt (ok...maybe it's a major love affair) and these are just so Christmas-y. This is also a handmade item from Rikrak out of Canada. 

Ok, these had me instantly drooling! Don't they look absolutely yummy?!? These come from Shari's Berries and come in all sorts of varieties and with multiple quantities to choose from. Almonds, chocolate chips, white, dark, and milk chocolate! It's almost to much...almost. 

And finally, this is a product I discovered via Pinterest quite a while ago. I absolutely LOVE this idea. You take a photo your child has drawn and send it on over to Child's Own Studio where one of their amazing artist creates a plushie from your child's drawing. How cute is that! The wait list fills up fast, so be sure to subscribe to their newsletter to be among the first to know when they have availability. We have not tried this yet, but I promise you as soon as the girls are a bit older we will be sending in some artwork. 

And that is it for this weeks Thursday Roundup! Be sure to check back next week! 




Welcome! This blog is a loooooong time overdue. I've made a few other attempts at blogging, but they've never stuck. It's something I've always wanted to do, but the lack of a plan, a focus, and quite honestly, a bit of fear always stopped me from getting to far. Well, now I've got a plan, more focus than I know what to do with, and now that I have those two, the fear isn't quite so great. So let's get started!! 
This is me. Wife, Mother, Shop Owner, Fabric Technician, Crafter. 

I opened my first shop in November of 2011. I started with a line of jewelry and accessories that I really loved. Anyone who has ever opened an Etsy shop knows how intimidating and nerve racking the whole experience can be. I had only ever shopped on Etsy 2-3 times. But I dove in and by March 2012 I was ready to launch my children's line. the rest is history. I would LOVE to add more lines to my brand, but for right now I'm just enjoying the two that I have and working to make them the best possible. 

The other passion of mine is my AMAZING family. I am a stay at home wife to two amazing girls. Frankie Kai and Baylie Rai (hence the Kai Rai Brand). They are both amazing and I'm sure you will read a LOT more about them as time goes on.

Baylie Rai
Frankie Kai

Oh, and I have an amazing (photo shy) husband that I simply adore. I might get a photo of him up on the blog one of these days! =)
So, that's that. So gran a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and get ready to enjoy the ride. I know I will!