Let’s DressUp Birthday Party.

Sophia is turning 4 tomorrow, and I can’t believe how the time flies. I remember her being born and spending our Christmas 2010 in the hospital, and now we’re celebrating her 4th year of the life and enjoy her presence in our life every single day.

It’s fun to be a mom of a girl, because there are so many fun things to do with the girls. One of Sophia’s wishes this year was to celebrate her Birthday as a princess. Lucky us, because we have the perfect place for that in our neighborhood.

The place calls Let’s Dress Up. I mentioned about this place last year, when we celebrated one of Sophia’s friend Birthday there.

The place offers a unique experience allowing your child to dress up and become a princess with a small group of friends or just with you.

It’s all about dressing up at Let’s Dress Up -The Premiere Princess Party and Playdate Place … a place where you become the princess!

The place has two locations: one in Manhattan NY, and the other one in New Canaan CT.

To imagine how it looks like I even found the video on line from their place in NY. It’s several years old, but you can still see the atmosphere and the specialty of this place:

 

The range of the costumes is reflected in the variety of their theme birthday parties, which include a Princess Party, Cupcake Party, Red Carpet Party, Doll Tea Party, and Perfect Princess Tea Party. All the parties include Full Dress Up for the girls (beautiful dresses and accessories, sparkly nail polish, eye shadow, lip gloss, fairy dust, and tattoos) and Knight Costumes and Princely Toys for the boys; a tea party; cake; and a party favor (group photo and framed individual photo for each guest).

So we picked Sophia’s closest friends and invited them to a special Event at the Let’s Dress Up place: Dance with the Sugarplum Fairy!!!!

The place was decorated very pretty before holidays

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The girls had a chance to dress up in different outfits:

 

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Then The Sugarplum Fairy came to visit and read a book for the girls, put their make up on and played with them:

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Girls also had a tea party and after that made an ornament for the Christmas Tree:

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It was an amazing Birthday Party and everybody loved it:

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We will definitely be back to this magical place.

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Winter girl’s clothes wishlist.

Every season there is something in the fashion field that I really like. I will try to make a list of my favorite pieces now, to keep it organised and easy to find when I want to buy something. I like to check the lists like that from the other people too, so maybe mine will be a help for somebody as well.

Collage wish list

So let’s go:

1. Polarn O. Pyret Merino Wool Dress.

How cool is that? Perfect to wear as a layering item or warm fashion piece. 100% merino wool.

2. Polarn O. Pyret Swedish Embroidered Holiday Dress.

Swedish folk style with short capped sleeves. Decorative contrast color Broderie Anglaise detail at skirt. Dress has back button fastening.100% cotton.

3. NextDirect Frozen T-shirt.

The most popular theme for the last year. It’s hard to find some nice piece of clothes with Frozen on it today. 65% cotton, 35% polyester. I am not really happy with the material of this shirt.

4. TeaCollection Chevron Dress for Girls.

Stylish and wellmade dress for girls. 100% cotton sateen.

5. NextDirect Cream Jewel Embellished Coat.

Fancy, stylish coat for a little lady for this winter season. 50% wool, 50% polyester. Lining 100% polyester.

6. NextDirect Pewter Glitter Long Boots.

Show me the girl who doesn’t like glitter? These boots will look great with jeans, dresses, leggings etc.

Upper: textile. Lining and sock: textile/other materials. Outer sole: other materials.

Kid’s Make Up Kit. Review.

My daughter was interested with make up for a while already. She kept stealing my make up case and if she is lucky, she even had a chance to use some of it:

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This time I decided to get her own make-up set, and she won’t use mine anymore. There are a lot of different kid’s make-up sets on the market, but 95% of them are cheap, plastic, toxic junk. I spent more than 2 months to find something that is kid’s safe, well made and fun to play.
Pinky Cosmetic Set

The set is made by Wonderworld company, that I wrote about before.

First of all it is made in Thailand from rubberwood and strictly using non-toxic paints, dyes and lacquers and formaldehyde free glue. Packaging is made from at least 70% recycled paper.

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The Pinky Cosmetic Set wooden pretend set includes a mirror, face powder, eye shadow, lipstick, nail polish and makeup brushes (yarn bristles) in a cute fabric cosmetic bag. This is the ultimate play cosmetic set.

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Sophia loved it from the moment she opened it:

 

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This adorable set allows her to feel that she is putting on makeup with out the mess.

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The “brushes” do not hold their shape but they are not supposed to.

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The cap for the lip stick doesn’t stay on very well, but because it is wood that is to be expected, and it does not bother us at all:

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I would recommend, especially for parents who would rather have their kids play with wooden toys instead of plastic ones.
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Our every day now starts with putting make up on, also Sophia puts everything in the make-up case and take it everywhere with her.
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Eco-Friendly Sand Toys.

Spring is finally here, and it will be summer soon, so it’s finally time to spend most of your day outside and enjoy the warm and sunny weather.

My topic today is about Beach, Sand Toys. I have been searching for the safe, eco-friendly beach toys from the time Sophia was born and found a few really well-made and affordable sets that we have been using for a year already.

I guess a lot of you heard about the toxic materials, plastic which has been used in kids toys and it makes me really sad, because our kids don’t deserve to play with poison toys, especially babies who takes everything in their mouth. When you walk in any toy store you can easily find a bunch of sand toys for the reasonable price. I actually recently got some cheap shovels in Michael’s for the playground. ( we have a playground in our neighborhood where you can leave some sand toys for the kids to play). Few of them broke at the first day, so no more cheap shovels for us.

To be honest, it’s not hard to find the safe and affordable sand toys for your kids, you just need to do a little research and there are a few brands who makes really cool and well-made, eco-safe toys.

 

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1. Zoë b Organic Biodegradable Beach Toys, 18 Months

Let me tell you a little bit about these toys:

1. They are made in US, not China.

2. Made of Mireland; bioplastic made from corn, not petroleum. No BPA, phthalates, or PVC.

3. Biodegrades in salt or fresh water, compost, or soil in 2 3 years (not 500 years like regular plastic).

They are a little pricey, but believe me, they worth it. These are my favorite beach toys. They are well-made, unique design and very comfortable for kids to play with.

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2.Hape Sea Creatures Sand Moulds

I love this brand and we have plenty of toys from them. Hape materials and finishes are all non toxic, child safe, and of the highest quality. These toys are pretty affordable too, I would say the same price as the toxic plastic sand toys in the regular toy’s store. We got different sets of them and Sophia enjoys playing with these colorful beach toys. One of her favorite one is: Hape Ice Cream Shop. She loves making ice cream for everybody.

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Just a little warning: IKEA has the same set of beach toys, but this set is not from HAPE!!!!So if you see it in IKEA, don’t be fooled, the price difference is maybe 1 or 2$, but it’s better to pay more and make sure your kids use safe toys.

Hape also have these cute sets that I am planning to get:

Hape – Sand & Sun – Beach Basics – Bucket, Sifter, Rake and Shovel

Hape Hape Collection Master Bricklayer Set

Hape – Sand & Sun – Watering Can in Yellow

Hape Hape Collection Baker’s Trio
So these are our favorite kid’s friendly sand toys which we like and use a lot.

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What’s in my Mommy Bag?

It’s been a while since my daughter was a baby and the inside of my diaper bag changed a few times. Sophia is 3 now, and my ‘diaper bag’ calls ‘mommy bag’ now, because first of all there is no diapers in our life for at least one year already. The traditional diaper bag changed to the regular woman purse, but comfortable enough to fit all the kid’s stuff in it. I am really happy to have some good looking purse, not just the huge diaper bag full of diapers, pacifier, toys, baby bottles etc.

My idea is to share the inside of my ‘mommy bag’, the most important things that I usually have with me when we are out of house. Sometimes the things change, but this is top 9, what I always have.

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1. Rule number 1: never leave the house with no extra set of changing clothes for your kid!!!!

The set of changing clothes. It’s always in my bag and changes by season. Usually it’s a pair of leggings or tights, underwear and  a long or short sleeves shirt.

2. Headband.

Holiday Bloom Headband by Polarn O. Pyret.  This is the only one headband that fits my daughter’s head, doesn’t come off and is well made. All the girls love hair accessories, and I always have some headbands or bows in my bag.

3. Sunscreen Lotion.

I tried different kinds of sunscreen lotions for my daughter but this one works the best so far.

Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen SPF 30, 3 Ounce

Smooth on this gentle, hypo-allergenic lotion for baby-safe, broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection that’s good for the whole family. The water-resistant SPF 30 formula features non-absorbing mineral sun filters that stay on the skin’s surface to defend against harmful rays. Contains no chemical sunscreens, parabens, gluten or PABA. It doesn’t have any smell. ( I hate the smell of the regular sunscreen lotion). It’s not greasy and totally rubbed in.

4. Lipgloss.

Lipgloss is my “musthave” piece of make up every day. If I don’t have time to put my make up on in the morning at least, I can make my lips look fresh and pretty.

Korres Lipgloss.
Cherry Oil Lip Gloss is a full color, lip conditioning gloss with a non-sticky texture that softens and cares for lips and provides a high-shine finish. Cherry Oil hydrates the lips while vitamins E and C offer antioxidant benefits. It doesn’t have any harmful ingredients and takes care of your lips making them soft and smooth.

5. Potty Wet Wipes.

Earth’s Best Organic Flushable Wipes, 50 Count (Pack of 12)

Earth’s Best TOTS Chlorine Free: Flushable Wipes: Chlorine-free, Natural aloe vera and vitamin E formula, Makes potty training easy and better for the enviornment, Hypoallergenic, Unscented, Alcohol-free, 75% less packaging than a plastic tub, Flushable mess-free! 50 wipes.

We started using them when Sophia was in the process of potty training but these wipes are the best wipes for the little kids on the market, so we use them all the time now.

6.  First Aid Kit for Kids.

MediBuddy – First Aid Kit by me4kidz – Medi Buddy (Assorted Color)

This kit is something every mom should have. It’s not so much that the products included (cute bandaids, a few antiseptic wipes, some antibiotic ointment, a little gauze and some bigger bandages for skinned knees) are fantastic – they’re just run-of-the mill stuff – but having a handy portable kit like this that you can easily re-fill with some additional antiseptic wipes (a need) and extra bandaids in additional sizes can be a lifesaver when you’re out and about and the unexpected happens.

7. Wet sanitizing wipes.

Cleanwell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Pocket Pack Wipes, 10-count Resealable Package (Pack of 8)

Cleanwell All Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes help to get rid of germs and dirt easily. Great for on-the-go; open, remove wipe and rub over hands. Cleanwell products are based on a patented formulation of natural thyme oil that kills germs. CleanWell products do not contain alcohol, triclosan, or benzalkonium chloride. This natural formulation is safe for kids and great for sensitive skin.

8. Snack reusable bag.

Resnackit Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag, Pink/Green/Brown

Reduce, Reuse and ReSnackIt. ReSnackIt reusable snack and sandwich bags are giving families the chance to dramatically reduce the amount of non-recyclable trash they produce each week. ReSnackIt is made with 100% cotton and an undyed nylon lining that contains no lead, no vinyl (PVC), no phthalates and no BPA. They have a folder over design that is snugly secured by hook and loop closure keeping contents and freshness inside. ReSnackIt is perfect for your on the go eats and an easy-to-use accessory for little fingers. Moms love being able to wash ReSnackIt reusable bags in the washing machine and dryer; Kids and adults love the cool designs.

This one is not the best snack bag, but we still use it a lot.

9. Water Bottle.

Klean Kanteen 12 oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Sport Cap 2.0 – Be Green

Klean Kid Kanteen 12oz. with Sport Cup 2.0 Every new parent wants to make sure their baby’s environment is as healthy as possible. Klean Kanteen can help with that. It’s BPA-free polypropylene and integrates seamlessly with our 12oz Klean Kanteen Classic bottle. The bottle is made from 18/8, food-grade stainless steel that’s totally free of BPA and other toxins. Because stainless steel itself is safe, they don’t need to coat the inside of the bottle with a plastic or epoxy lining, which is one of the main differences between a stainless steel Klean Kanteen and aluminum bottles. Food-grade stainless steel is used in the brewing, food and winemaking industries too. It’s the material of choice because it doesn’t retain or impart flavors.

The best water bottles on the market. We all have these bottles in our family.

It was a little piece of my “mommy bag” and what we can’t live without. Share your thoughts and experience about “must have” items in your purse.

“The Lost Art Of Feeding Kids” by Jeannie Marshall.

I have been looking for reading some interesting and relaxing book for a while.  I am always interested in nutrition, healthy eating, super foods and so on, so this topic is always on the first place for me. When I am checking the books at the book store or at the library the first section I will look at is Healthy Habits, Eating.

When I saw the title of this book on the shelf the other day, I said to myself: ” This books is for me. I need to read it.” There are so many healthy eating books on the market, but 60% of them are boring, keep writing the same information, and makes you bored after 2 minutes reading it. So I was expecting a lot from ” The lost art of Feeding Kids”, and this book didn’t make me disappointed at all. The thoughts of the author is so close to me, because I was grown up in the same environment, so I could easily understand what she was talking about. My memories from the childhood are visits to farmers market every other day, especially in summer, homemade food and the fresh healthy food on the table. We’ve never had any frozen foods in our stores besides frozen fruits, we ate by season, no strawberries or watermelon in winter and we were much more healthier than the new generation now. I remember myself craving the fresh cucumbers by the end of  winter and my mom didn’t buy them in March or April explaining us they have a lot of pesticides in them and we should wait by summer time to eat the real fresh cucumbers. This was about all the foods: tomatoes, strawberries, watermelons, peaches. You need to wait for the season, when they are real and ripe and ready to eat.

The author takes us to Italy, so it was even more interesting for me to read the book because I like Italy and all about it.

Packaged snacks and junk foods are displacing natural, home-cooked meals throughout the world—even in Italy, a place we tend to associate with a healthy Mediterranean diet. Italian children traditionally sat at the table with the adults and ate everything from anchovies to artichokes. Parents passed a love of seasonal, regional foods down to their children, and this generational appreciation of good food turned Italy into the world culinary capital we’ve come to know today.

When Jeannie Marshall moved from Canada to Rome, she found the healthy food culture she expected. However, she was also amazed to find processed foods aggressively advertised and junk food on every corner. While determined to raise her son on a traditional Italian diet, Marshall sets out to discover how even a food tradition as entrenched as Italy’s can be greatly eroded or even lost in a single generation. She takes readers on a journey through the processed-food and marketing industries that are re-manufacturing our children’s diets, while also celebrating the pleasures of real food as she walks us through Roman street markets, gathering local ingredients from farmers and butchers.

At once an exploration of the US food industry’s global reach and a story of finding the best way to feed her child, The Lost Art of Feeding Kids examines not only the role that big food companies play in forming children’s tastes, and the impact that has on their health, but also how parents and communities can push back to create a culture that puts our kids’ health and happiness ahead of the interests of the food industry.

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The Lost Art of Feeding Kids: What Italy Taught Me about Why Children Need Real Food

Present ideas for Little Ballerinas.

We have little ballerine at our house, and she LOVES everything about ballet from little pictures of ballerinas to ballerina dolls.

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Her favorite books are about ballet, favorite movies are about ballet also, so it’s not hard to decide what she wants to get as a present sometimes.

If you have little ballerina in your mind who needs a present, I will share the list of things that will help you to make a good choice.

Books.

1.Tallulah’s Toe Shoes

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Watching the older girls during her ballet school’s performance of Sleeping Beauty, Tallulah notices one big difference between herself and the best dancers at her school: satin toe shoes. When the Lilac Fairy throws out an old pair of pointe shoes, Tallulah retrieves them and tries them out, with painful results. Tallulah’s initial longing and impatience gives way to sadness and discouragement, but Singer’s graceful text brings the story around to a satisfying conclusion. With its glittering jacket, empathetic writing, and expressive watercolor illustrations, this picture book from the Tallulah series will appeal to many young dancers with ballerina dreams.

We love this book!!! The author also has the other titles in this series: Tallula’s Tutu, Tallula’s Solo, Tallula’s Nutckracker.

2. Miss Lina’s Ballerinas

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PreS-Gr 1–Miss Lina has eight students in her house in Messina: Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina, Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and Nina. In four lines of two, they dance doing math, while they read, at the park, at the zoo, and at the beach. But with the addition of a new student, Regina, the girls are unable to perform in their familiar formation and chaos ensues. When Miss Lina patiently instructs her ballerinas to arrange themselves in a new configuration, order is restored: “everything’s perfect now there are nine,/because dancing in three rows of three is divine….”

One of Sophia’s favorite book too. This series also has the other titles: Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and the Wicked Wish, Miss Lina’s Ballerinas and the Prince.

3. Angelina Ballerina 25th Anniversary Edition

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t’s been twenty-five years since Angelina danced her way into the hearts of young ballerinas, and she’s still going strong. A true modern classic, Angelina continues to be adored by her legions of fans. Celebrate her twenty-fifth anniversary with this special edition of the original book that started it all. Featuring a lavish jacket that’s as sparkly as one of Angelina’s costumes, this book is the perfect way to commemorate her anniversary.

It was probably the first ballet book at our ballet books collection, and our favorite one so far.

Toys.

1.Madame Alexander 18″ Lavender Angelina Ballerina

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Lavender Angelina 18″ Cloth Doll presents the star ballerina in a lavender skirt with lavender satin bodice with a colorful “AB” logo emblazoned on the center (guess what “AB” stands for). Lavender satin ribbon with an organza overlay binds both the neckline sleeve and armlets. The skirt features lavender glitter tulle over dark lavender satin, and has a lavender satin ribbon binding on the tulle layer. Star of her own TV show and children’s book series by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, this dancing little mouseling is a favorite of little girls everywhere.

Sophia doesn’t really play with the regular dolls, so this one is one of her favorite ones.

2.miYim Good Earth Ballerina Girl Rag Doll

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The My Natural Ballerina is an earth friendly rag doll made from natural cotton and recycled fiber filling. Her pink dress, hair bow and toe shoes are sure to please dancers of all ages.

This was Sophia’s first ballerina doll. She got it, when she was a baby, so it stays in her bed from that time.

3.Mudpuppy Ballerinas Magnetic Figures

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The magnetic version of Paper Dolls. From warm-ups to costumes, tutus to tiaras, you will find everything you need to take these two magnetic ballerinas from the studio to the spotlight. Enjoy four background scenes and three pages of magnetic costumes and accessories.

We love this magnet set,especially when we go out, because we can easily pack it with us and let Sophia play with it, while we have dinner.

4.Sticky Mosaics Ballerinas

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Follow a simple numbered legend and add over 2000 sparkling jewels and tiles. Includes 5 sparkling projects. Not for children under 3.

Sophia can’t do it by herself, so I usually help her, but this mosaic is a lot of fun.

5.The Ballet Series Alphabet Set by Aleksandra®

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This charming puzzle features all of the letters in the alphabet – each illustrated to depict a ballet term that is referenced in the storybooks. Each letter is bendable and can stick to any surface without leaving a residue.