Train Playroom

It was 65° outside yesterday morning ♡ December 17th. 

By the time I took the kids to the playground in the afternoon it was 32 and windy 😦 

We can’t avoid Winter forever. I also can’t avoid Christmas forever. I’ve been slowing getting all of Little Man’s presents in the mail and pilling them in his room along with anything else I want to procrastinate on. After he laid down for a nap, yesterday, I decide it was time to get motivated. I’d gone to At Home and found a wire flatware holder that I planned to repurpose as a train shelf. 

It worked perfectly! 

I put together his Train Table and Gorilla glued the bridge together. The other pieces I left loose so he could rearrange. The top flips over and the other side is a chalk board. 

This wooden sign was given to us by a dear friend when he was born. 

I wanted this to be an uncluttered space where he could play and be creative without being over stimulated. 

I read about Toy Rotation about a year ago, and I love the idea. Last month I went through all his toys and clothes and donated almost 4 boxes worth of stuff. I tried to be purposeful with what toys he kept. In his closet are 2 shelves neatly stacked with toys that he can take out one at a time and play with in the open space on the other side of his room. The closet locks so he can’t just drag everything out and make mayhem. It’s been studied that children do better and are less overwhelmed when they do not have too many stimulating factors around them when they play. So we are implementing toy rotation. Also, the walls are not too busy. 

I picked up a few baskets at the Dollar Tree for his wooden train and blocks. I still need to find some clear contact paper to make the window so you cannot see into it (the parking lot is RIGHT there and my toddler doesn’t always keep his clothes on).

In the other corner of his room I will be installing these wire baskets on the wall along with a few small wall lamps. Then a few oversized throw pillows and his reading corner will be complete (I love how many books he was giving for Christmas. Thank you to family for understanding the power of reading).

The last thing I did was unpackaged all his gifts (make them play ready) and wrap them (STAR WARS wrapping paper found at the Dollar Tree!) 

If you have any creative Play Room ideas, I’d love to heat them! I’ll be sure to update with pictures of the reading corner once it is complete.

Happy Holidays! 


Today (December 23rd) I finally put the finishing touches on Little Man’s Playroom. His reading corner is set up. 

thThese baskets are from At Home. They are perfect for his board books. Instead of throw pillows I used some of his character pillow cases over new pillows. I put a spot light on the wall for better lighting at night. 

The window treatment I was looking for was $15 and I wasn’t ready to commit. I ended up getting some contact paper from the Dollar Tree that did the job perfectly. 

I decided the leave the final corner of the room empty for his to play and use his puzzles. 



5 Creative Ways to Use Baby Food with your Toddler

My son eats a lot, but somehow I still have jars of baby food leftover. (we made our own baby food for a while, so that might have something to do with it) Now that he is eating table food, he turns his nose up at spooning mush from a jar into his mouth (I don’t blame him). The question is, what to do with all that leftover baby food?!?!

use baby food for toddler

  • Use reusable squeeze pouches. Instead of spending money on those fruit and veggie squeeze pouches that are so popular today, buy a set of reusable ones and fill with apple sauce and leftover baby food.
  • Use the apple sauce jars in recipes instead of oil. Makes cakes extra moist.
  • Use the fruit jars as “jelly” for toast.
  • Mix a jar of squash or mix veggies into some elbow pasta to make Mac & “Cheese”
  • Donate to a local Woman’s Shelter or Home.

Do you have any creative ways that you use leftover jars of Baby Food with your Toddler?

Pirate Birthday Party

Our son turned 1 this week, so we threw a Cook Out to Celebrate!!!


His nursery and Baby Shower were Pirate themed, so we followed suit.


He LOVES VocabuLARRY from Baby First TV.

My MIL was able to snag him one for a review. He was SO EXCITED!!!


My SIL made his cake. It came out soooo good. How cute is this!!


She even made him his own Smash Cupcake!


Everyone had such a good time. We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

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For the Kids we has a few kiddie pools set up. Instead of pre-packaged Goodie Bags we set up a Fun Table where the kids could decorate their own bag and grab toys to use throughout the day.

Mini Beach Balls, Squirt Guns, Pirate Mustaches, Crazy Straws, Cake Bibs (disposable bibs), Bubbles, and Sun Block.

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Simple was best for his First Birthday. It was an enjoyable day for everyone (me included).


Cyclone Shaker Cup

I started drinking Matcha Powder instead of coffee a few months back, and I couldn’t be happier with the switch. No more shakes, crashes, or anxiety. If you have ever tried to mix a powder into a cold liquid, you know that it isn’t easy and often leaves clumps. YUCK! So I tried the Cyclone Shaker Cup. This BPA Free cup is well made and easy to use and clean.

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I tried it with protein powder here. After a few simple shakes, the patented technology of the cyclone shape working against the liquid, mixed the powder into cold water within seconds.

No clumps. No aching wrist. No worries.

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The bottom of the cup twists off and holds up to 1/2 cup of powder. Great for on the go or the Gym!


I am super happy with my choice and hope you enjoyed my review!

**I received this product in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase this product on AMAZON**

Book Review – Performing Under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger & J.P. Pawliw-Fry

I have recently received a promotion at work and I am in the midst of changing roles. It is as exhausting as it is rewarding. With the new duties comes a lot of pressure to perform well and complete many tasks in a small amount of time. My new goals are seemingly impossible some days it feels. Yet, I know that my focus can be honed to make the best of my situation and progress in my position.

I have been a little under the weather the last two days, I made some amazing mint honey tea (I love summertime and Farm Stands with fresh local products). Then my newest book came in the mail, “Performing Under Pressure – The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most”. HOW PERFECT! Exactly what I need right now.


Weisinger and Pawliw-fry do a great job of breaking it down for you. Pressure and stress can be a good thing that you can use for your own benefit. The last few chapters they talk about how to use your COTE of Armor to deal with pressure and stress and preform well. Confidence, Optimism, Tenacity, and Enthusiasm.

“Talent is never enough”, it takes hard work and the right mindset. Embrace the pressure thrown at you, see the importance of the task at hand for what it is, and expect the unexpected.

I could not have picked up a better book for where I am at in my career right now. I would highly suggest it to anyone who has a high demand job and wants to become the most they can.


I also highly recommend to the Mint Honey Tea. It is one bunch of fresh mint leaves crush, 2 TBSP of honey, and 1 gallon of room temperature water. Mix. Chill. Enjoy!



**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review**

Book Review- The Bump Pregnancy Planner


This cute, gender neutral binder is the perfect size for a pregnancy planner. It has everything you need to organize the next 9 months of your life. No more worrying about pregnancy brain or stressing over what you need to know, this book is all-in-one. From what you need to know about prenatal tests, to dates for doctor visits, to what your baby’s growth should look like. They have it covered. The front has a spot for your latest sonogram photo and throughout the planner there are places to glue pregnancy bump pictures of your journey. Each trimester there is a “stash in here” envelope for doctor notes, photos, important records, etc. There is ever a spot for writing notes to your baby. Journal about how you told family and friends to what your fears and excitements are. There is even a spot for questions to ask your doctor at the next visit. If it is your first pregnancy and/or you love being super organized, this is the planner for you! Any thing and everything you could think of, they thought of it for you.

More Info

Author Bio



20150417_201248Although we may not be having any more children anytime soon, a lot of my friends are still popping them out 😉 I wish I had the Planner when I was pregnant with Little Man. It would make an amazing gift for any mom to be.

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review**

Smart Cups Review – Reusable K-cups

You may have heard me mention before that I help with reviews for

the aprilanddukeblog

Today I am helping review Brewooze Smart Cups

and I love them SO much I wanted to share my review with you!


I loved using Brewooze Smart Cups. I have tried other reusable “K-Cups” and these work much better and clean even easier. The box came with 3 reusable cups, filters, and a charcoal water filter for the water reservoir. 20150325_080934Having 3 cups is perfect, one for me, one for my husband, and one for a guest. I love using my Keurig for coffee and tea, so the filters are perfect. Cleaning after was a snap. Just remove and toss the filter and rinse or throw in the dishwasher. 20150325_081302In the past, other reusable cups did not work very well for loose leaf tea (which is my preferred hot drink) these however, made the perfect cup! The Charcoal Water Filter that is included is great. We have city water, so it doesn’t always taste the best. 20150325_080814This insures our coffee or tea will taste great! Brewooze Smart Cups help me save money (up to 80% less expensive than using traditional K-Cups), be able to use my own favorite coffees and teas, and are environment friendly (8 Billion non bio-degradable cups end up in landfills each year). 20150325_081649Honestly it is the perfect choice if you own a single cup brewer.

They also make a great gift 😉


The perfect cuppa!