Toddler Rainbow Craft & Game

Rainbows are great for so many reasons but one is that they make a great, colorful and fun way to help toddlers learn their colors. With St. Patrick’s Day and spring coming up, I sat down and did this toddler rainbow craft that we even turned into a game. Here is the simple craft we did and how we used it in a similar way to how color tablets are used in a Montessori classroom.

This toddler rainbow craft is perfect for spring and St. Patrick's Day. Not only is it an easy craft, but it can be used for some Montessori inspired color work. Easy and fun! quirkyandthenerd.com

Zippy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Noodle Soup

Here in snowy Minnesota, the perfect meal for a winter day is some kind of warm, filling soup. I have really fond memories of my grandmother’s chicken noodle soup. But as a vegetarian, it can be hard to find a good vegetarian noodle soup recipe that fits my nostalgia.

But one day, my husband (who is most decidedly not a vegetarian) and I were playing around with some recipes and we found something that isn’t exactly the same, but seems to fill that void. Bonus points: it can be made in a slow cooker!

And as always, this recipe is great because you can tweak it however you want. Add in some more veggies, use ingredients you have in your pantry already, or heck throw in some meat. (My husband even threw some chicken in his bowl. If you are interested about how we typically eat the same meals, I wrote about family meals with a vegetarian and a meat eater.)

Need something to warm you up on a cold winter day? Try my Zippy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Noodle Soup. It is easy and delicious. quirkyandthenerd.com

Winter Snowflake Craft to Improve Fine Motor Skills

If there is one thing I remember doing as a “winter” craft, it was making snowflakes. You know, just folding up the paper and cutting away at it. Well as a mom now, I realized that this winter snowflake craft is perfect for helping children refine their fine motor skills. So here is how I used snowflake making to teach my toddler to use scissors and helped her fine motor skills.

Do you remember making paper snowflakes as a kid? This winter snowflake craft helps children refine their fine motor skills while also providing a fun craft for those snowy days. Even toddlers can make a snowflake! quirkyandthenerd.com

5 Things You Shouldn’t Forget on a Road Trip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #MakeIcyMagic #CollectiveBias

When I was growing up in small town Minnesota, in order to do any good shopping or do any fun activities, you had to drive to the “big city.” Many weekends, my family would pack up, hit the gas station, and get on the road. Now, my husband grew up in the suburbs and thinks this idea is ludicrous. He could drive 5 minutes and get to a mall, dozens of restaurants, two movie theaters, and a good handful of parks and other fun places.

As an adult now, we sometimes spend a nice chunk of time in the car. Our families live an hour or two away and if we want to visit them, obviously we need to drive. So when we are going to be driving for a while (especially at rush hour!) I make sure I grab these five things to make the drive easier.

#ad There are five things I make sure not to forget anytime we go for a drive. Read about my absolute essentials for the car ride on the blog. quirkyandthenerd.com

Ways to Make Your Home More Montessori & a $500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Amazon giveaway

As you know, one of the things I’m most passionate about is Montessori and letting people know more about it. I even wrote a book about 30 ways you can incorporate Montessori ideas into your home. There are so many easy ways to do it that I just had to share some of the information for free in my last post 3 Ways to Make Your Home More Montessori.

Besides talking about some of my favorite products and toys in the ebook, I have also linked them on my resource page. And you know what? If you win the $500 Amazon gift card giveaway, you could buy every single thing on the list and maybe even have some money left over! Make sure to enter below. It is so easy!

Use the form to enter below and good luck!!

$500 AMAZON GIFTCARD GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 Ways to Make Your Home More Montessori

I have worked in a Montessori school for 5 years and in that time I have become passionate about sharing what Montessori is and ways to incorporate it into your home. I am so passionate, in fact, that I have written an entire ebook about it. But I wanted to give you a little taste of some of the easy ways you can be more Montessori today.

The ebook is divided into three sections: Mindset, Furniture and Other Products, and Toys. In this post, I will share one thing from each category.

Montessori can seem really intimidating. But there are plenty of easy ways to make your home more Montessori. Here are 3 easy ways to do just that for your kids. quirkyandthenerd.com

Easy, One Pot Creamy Tortellini Tomato Soup

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #HolidayMealSolutions #CollectiveBias

We all know the holidays are a super busy time. There is so much hustle and bustle that it can be hard to get dinner on the table. Well, I want to share one of my favorite recipes that we make. It is tasty and super easy to put together. This easy, one pot creamy tortellini tomato soup is delicious and everyone in my family loves it.

Easy, One Pot Creamy Tortellini Tomato Soup is a great family meal to enjoy during the holidays. #HolidayMealSolutions #Sponsored

Flawed Breastfeeding Advice

When I started out on my first breastfeeding journey after my daughter was born, I thought it would be so easy. It’s natural, right? So that means baby and I should be able to just automatically get the hang of it and we would have a beautiful breastfeeding journey together. Right?

Wrong. The first 6(!?!) months of breastfeeding were terrible. Mac was tongue-tied and by the time it was snipped 5 days later, she had done so much damage to my nipples that it took me months to heal. I’m talking super painful breastfeeding, cracked and bleeding, scabs being ripped off, not even being able to wear a shirt sometimes because it hurt when it rubbed and pumping part-time because it didn’t hurt as much as nursing.

Now, there is a happy ending to this story. I ended up nursing Mac until just past her second birthday. By then, it was only part of the bedtime routine, but it was a nice way to end something that started so painfully for me.

As I write this, I gave birth just two weeks ago to my son and our breastfeeding journey so far has been totally different. Of course there was some discomfort at the beginning and it took some time to get the hang of it. But we asked them to check Leroy right away to see if he was tongue-tied also. He was and we had it snipped while we were still in the hospital. And we are already totally in the swing of things.

Looking at my two stories, I was curious what the differences were. The one thing was flawed breastfeeding advice. Before I had my first baby, I read all I could about breastfeeding and there were two pieces of advice (one biggie!) that kept popping up. And the advice wasn’t wrong, but it was definitely flawed. So I’m hoping I can help some other first time mom and her poor nipples by correcting that advice.

Breastfeeding is hard, especially when there is so much flawed breastfeeding advice out there. Here are three bits of flawed advice and the truth about them. quirkyandthenerd.com

Second Labor and Delivery: Why I Didn’t Need to Be Scared

Just over a week ago, I had my second baby. Coming up to the time of delivery, I am going to be completely honest in saying that I was scared. You would think that having gone through the process once would put me at ease, but instead the second labor and delivery scared me to death. See, my first labor and delivery were rough. It was long and hard and it scared me to think that I would have to do it again. But here is why I really didn’t need to be afraid.

Every labor and delivery is different. After a long and hard childbirth with my first child, I was scared of my second labor and delivery. Read about why I didn't need to be so scared. quirkyandthenerd.com

 

A Baby Registry for a Second Baby

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RegisteringForBaby #CollectiveBias

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I needed everything. So the baby registry I created had everything on it: diapers (cloth in my case), wipes, clothes, pajamas, even baby furniture. But what about when you are pregnant with your second baby? In my case, I had relatives ask me to put together a registry of things I needed. Can I tell you how excited I was to learn that I could make a baby registry with my beloved Target without even having to leave home? Because being pregnant with a toddler means I don’t have time to traipse around registering, even if it is at my favorite store.

So instead, one day I took a few minutes to register online. It was short, sweet, and super simple.

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

All I had to do was go to the Target website, click on the registry page, and fill in a few details. (P.S. They even have a Target registry app that makes it even more simple to register!) I would definitely recommend every expecting parent make their registry with Target. Here is the link to Target baby registries. They offer things like group gifting if some of your bigger items are in bad shape from the first baby and people want to go in on them together. You also get a 15% off discount for anything left on your registry that you’ll receive two months after your due date. Score!

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

I went ahead and ordered a few things while I was there!

The registry welcomed me with this cute page:

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

Adorable! I started adding things to my registry right away. Some of the things I recommend adding for second babies:

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • bottles if you are bottle feeding
  • nursing pads/cream if you are nursing
  • baby socks (how do they always go missing?)
  • a few cute outfits so poor baby doesn’t only get hand-me-downs
  • bathroom supplies

One of the nice things is that the Target baby registry pre-populated some items that everyone will need for babies. In fact, I already have some of these items to help me prepare! (In fact you can purchase them just by hovering over the picture below!)

 

I’ve already started to prepare the bathroom for the new baby. The Johnson’s® Bath Discovery Set is full of amazing products every parent needs. Instead of putting all of these items separately on the registry, I was able to just put this kit. It contains:

  • Johnson’s® head-to-toe baby lotion
  • Johnson’s® head-to-toe baby wash
  • Johnson’s® baby shampoo
  • Johnson’s® baby bubble bath
  • Johnson’s® baby powder
  • Desitin diaper rash cream
  • Johnson’s® safety swabs

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

I also put Infant TYLENOL® on the registry because it is always useful to have around the house! I tuck it and all of the other products up in a high cabinet that Andrew and I can reach but where we don’t have to worry about little ones getting into it.

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

The great thing is that the Johnson’s® Bath Discovery Set comes in a super handy plastic tote that I keep all of the bathtime stuff in and pull out just for bathtime. Simple!

There is some debate about whether you should make a baby registry for a second baby. I say why not? Here is how I registered and what I registered for before my second baby came. quirkyandthenerd.com #ad #sponsored #RegisteringForBaby

What else would you add to a registry for a second baby?