Target Dollar Section: Back to School

Who doesn’t love the dollar section at Target?  I am personally obsessed!  Some of their collections are better than others and recently the dollar section has been awesome!

Elin is not old enough for school yet and she is not in Preschool until next year but I went ahead and got her some workbooks and flashcards because I think she will enjoy looking at them and it never hurts to start purposeful play and learning.

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This beautiful clear acrylic container was unfortunately not found in the dollar section but was still a steal in my opinion for $7.99. I love clear acrylic accessories. This one is so similar to this one but the Target version is much more affordable. I love that all her items can be seen easily in this container.

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These flashcards looked right up Elin’s alley with Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins. I think she is going to love looking at all the pictures and learning the concepts of identifying the pictures and matching.

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Then I noticed these workbooks targeted towards Preschool.  I think they are too advanced for her right now but I was just looking at all the pictures on the cover and the inside thinking how much she would love just looking at the pages and I think this will be great to maybe start closer to when she turns 3.

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Then I spotted these cute first reader books and ABC stickers.  I know she will LOVE those stickers and the books.

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Other items I saw was this tin for storing crayons.  I think this will be a great way to keep different mixed sets all together and is much more durable than the cardboard boxes the come with the crayons.

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My next find that I love are these play packs of a little coloring book, four crayons and a sheet of stickers.  These are perfect to take on dinners out for entertaining and I stocked up for our upcoming vacation.  We have already gotten lots of use from these and it takes Elin awhile to get through a whole pack since there are a decent number of pages to color.  I hope Target continues to carry these.

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Last but not lease they have Frozen items in the dollar section!  Most of it was school related and not appropriate for Elin’s age but I love these puzzles!  I know these are advanced as well with 48 pieces but I thought she might enjoy checking them out and watching me put them together.  So basically this was a purchase for me but she might get some educational value by watching me put them together. :)

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I think I found some great items but I know not all Target’s sell the same things in their dollar sections.  Did anyone else find something interesting that I missed?

Zoo Family Day

This weekend my husband’s employer had a family day at the zoo.  Truthfully, I am such a bleeding heart for animals that zoos make me really upset.  I used to  buy into thinking that animals liked it there and that they were safe from the dangerous lands they come from.  I now feel horrible for the tight conditions and over crowding in their cages and aquariums.  Buying and selling of animals that no one owns just doesn’t sit right with me.  But, for the sake of not being the weird mom that doesn’t let her kid go to the zoo, we go and I enjoy seeing the animals. Who knows?  Maybe they love it there?  It’s one of those things I try not to think about.

Anyway, we were excited to see the new orangutan exhibit. We first took the little ride around the orangutan exhibit.  We had a longer than expected wait but Elin was very patient and she loved her first ride!  It was nice to see amazing views of the park and city.

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Then we got off the ride and got to see one of the orangutans out.  He came right up the glass and was staring at the crowd of people.  Unfortunately all my pictured showed too much glare from the glass but I did get this decent one of him after he walked away.

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Then we went to the dolphin show which is was fun but we left right before the end because someone was getting awfully antsy trying to sit still.  Then we went to see the penguins and other aquarium animals.  They had lights out for the penguins and most of them were asleep, much to Elin’s dismay.  Those are her favorite!  But this seal was so cute and loved to get up close to up and followed my hand on the glass.

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We didn’t get to catch the butterfly exhibit this time before  it closed, but all in all it was a successful visit to the zoo.

First Day of Dance Class

Elin had her first day of dance class and it was a success!  Ever since she had her initial tour and visit to buy ballet shoes and leotards, she has  had dance and ballet on the mind! When she woke up and I told her it was the day of her first class, she could’t have been more excited.  She kept talking about her shoes and dress over and over.  She was also very excited that her friend Lydia was going to be there.  These girls get together 2-3 times a week and have grown quite close.

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We arrived early to take pictures and the girls had fun checking out all the pretty tutus and shoes for sale.

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The anticipation was too much and they were all smiles bouncy around and awaiting their first class.

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Finally it was time for class and they got to go in and meet their teacher, Miss Katie again and the other little girl in class.  We think that there will be more joining the class in the coming weeks. But, for now it is a great opportunity for a more individualized experience.

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There was even a balance beam which is one of Elin’s favorite items in her Gymboree class right now.  This one was taller and a little more intimidating so she preferred to just scoot along on it.

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Learning to curtsy.

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Before we knew it, class was over and it was time to get a stamp and sucker for a job well done.  Pictures with the teacher and class were mandatory.

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This picture cracks me up because as I was trying to get a group shot it was hard to get everyone to look at once and so the teacher said, “Elin, where is your mommy?” to get her to look at me and instead of just looking she pointed and started to run towards me saying, “There is my mommy!”

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I think it’s safe to say Elin loved dance class and will be looking forward to going and learning more each week.

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I got her a ballerina balloon and a tutu for her stuffed dog to commemorate the occasion.

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Tiny twinkle toes

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Today is Elin’s first day of dance class and she is so excited!  Elin loves having activities and things to do so I saw that dance classes start for 2 year olds and signed her up.   She went and toured the dance school during the day with her Nana and the report back was she loved it and was excited.  She is also looking forward to starting lessons with one of her friends that she meets with every week.  I took her over the weekend to get shoes, leotards and tights and she was thrilled to pieces to try everything on.  She has been talking about her ballet shoes ever since. I can’t wait to see her in action today!  I have a feeling that she is really going to love dancing and that this will be another great activity for her. 

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Special K Chewy Cookie

I have to share a great recipe I just came across the this weekend. When I was a student in college at Indiana University there was a little shop in the student union called Sugar and Spice and they sold coffee, smoothies, and some bakery items. My favorite lunch was stopping by and picking up a delicious treat they called a Special K chewy. It’s a bit like a rice crispy treat but using Special K cereal and it  tastes like peanut butter and caramel. It has never crossed my mind to try to replicate it, but I saw a recipe on  a blog that seemed like it would be similar but not the same, and that got me interested in searching for something that would be similar.  So I did a quick search of “Special K Chewy” and “Indiana University” and lo and behold, I learned that this elusive treat was a cult favorite  and indeed there was a recipe that was sworn to be the exact same recipe! I found it interesting that someone who claimed to be a student in the 1970′s said they had the treats back then and they had searched for the recipe because after all that time they still remembered them.

Do I have you interested in these yet?

Let me tell you….they delivered.  From what I remember, these are pretty much the same thing!  They are delicious! Please make them and then report back how much you loved them.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you my favorite part!  They were simple to make and used very few ingredients.

Here is the recipe I followed:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of white corn syrup
  • 4 cups of Special K cereal
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Blend corn syrup, vanilla, and salt in a 2 quart microwave safe dish.  **I did this and will be using a bigger dish next time just to make stirring easier.** Cook on high 4 minutes, or until mixture boils and sugar dissolves.
  2. Stir in peanut butter, then add cereal.  To make it easier on yourself, put in the cereal in 1 cup increments at a time to blend easier.
  3. Drop teaspoonfuls on wax paper. Let cool before storing at room temperature.  ** I choose to make bigger ones like they sold in the store so I made them by using a large spoon as a guide. About 2 hours is enough to cool.**

There you have it. It’s that easy! The key is too work quickly so the mixture doesn’t harden.  I recommend getting all your ingredients and wax paper set out in advance.

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Source

 

Unintentional Blogging Break

I realize I have not been good on updating this blog.  We have been busy trying to enjoy the summer and before I knew it I had unintentionally took a blogging break.

This has been such a bizarre summer weather wise.  One day it will be so hot that Elin wants to stay in her suit all day and the next day it’s cold and she is all bundled up in a jacket like it is fall.  She could care less what the weather is as long as she is getting time outside to play and explore.

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Some of Elin’s new favorites is pointing out the moon in the evening.  I have to say I am pretty proud of  my non-fancy  camera and how well it captured this picture of the moon!

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Elin is getting more interested in photo taking and wants to see photos in the camera after you take them,  She also says, “smile” when I take her picture however she rarely will smile on cue.  Unless it’s an over exaggerated eye scrunching smile.

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I am beginning to start the process of making her photo books. Any recommendations on which company to use?  The idea seems daunting but I need to start now before I get even more behind!  I’m hoping to get more organized before fall officially starts.

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Christmas in July

Aren’t you already thinking about Christmas?  In my opinion, it’s never too early to think about Christmas.  When Jenny from The Chronicles of We emailed me about a gift exchange she was hosting with Courtney at Sweet Turtle Soup. I knew it would be a great way to meet some other bloggers.  I was paired with Julie at Davis Family and Shelly from Windy City Baby. I loved getting to know a new Julie and discovering her blog and getting to know more about Shelly since I already followed her blog.

Elin was so excited when we received out package from Julie and her daughter Maddy. She kept saying, “present” over and over again.  Let me tell you, I could not open this box fast enough.  She was literally shaking with excitement and the box of goodies did not disappoint.  Elin loved ripping the tissue paper off of each individually wrapped gift.

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The very first thing she unwrapped was her first box of markers. These are perfect for kiddos her age because they have a special tip on them that aids in better strokes for little ones and helps from crushing the ends.  These will be great for her to start using on her little art projects.  The next thing she unwrapped was a pretty new pair of navy and white polka dot sunglasses.  She loved them and wore them the whole rest of the day. I think the next item was her absolute favorite which was and adorable trio of pink, orange and yellow bracelets. They are the perfect size for her and she adores them!  They are so cute and the colors are just perfect for summer!  She then opened up some butterfly stickers which are so pretty and she was dying to crack into those but I diverted her attention so we could see the rest of the box.  She then opened up some pretty notepads which are great because I use notepads like that all the time. It was so funny because when she opened them up she immediately handed them to me like she knew that they were for me.  She then also opened up some soft-lips in the cube which we are both loving!!!  I am so glad Soft-lips jumped on board like EOS with the new shape. Elin and I both use it everyday!  Then she opened up some bubbles, a cool glow wand that I am excited for her to try out, and an Under the Sea coloring book.  I love the pages because the pictures are big and perfect for her color and it even has re-positionable stickers.

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Julie and Maddy were too good to us and send us the most thoughtful gifts. We loved everything!

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Dog Days of Summer

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Today I am so excited to be guest posting for Sara from Running From the Law. She is running a fantastic series on her blog about dogs and babies and I am thrilled to be participating. Sara writes a witty and fun blog about everything from her adorable son and family, to photography tips, to her exciting travels.   I am so excited to share my thoughts with her readers on dogs and babies.  I would love for you to check it out here.

Gymbo’s Birthday Party

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Gymboree had another fun event last Friday and it was for Gymbo’s birthday party. Elin had been looking forward to the party all week. The teachers told us this was a good way to see how they host birthday parties since Gymboree is a place you can rent out for your child’s birthday.  All the games were birthday related and helped explain what birthdays are and why there are parties for them. Of course there was lots of free play which is great, as well as some organized activities.

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Elin was excited to see Gymbo and she especially enjoyed dancing with him. She has come a long way because even though she has always loved Gymboree, she was never too sure about Gymbo the clown.

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Elin was super excited for the party hats and cupcakes! She has also come a long way in her sweets aversion. She ate the icing off the cupcake!  She is still cagy about the cake.

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I was glad I had thought to bring a bib because she was mess of icing and sprinkles!

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Needless to say, she had so much fun that she didn’t really want to leave, but I was able to pull her out of there by promising to bring her back the next day for class.

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Elin’s First Horse Ride

Elin loves the kids meals at Chik Fil a, especially right now since the toy is Peppa Pig board books. Have you seen the show? It’s so cute!  Anyways, in her last kids meal was a flyer about a kids day, so we went to check it out. I knew Elin would love it since it mentioned a petting zoo. So we made plans to attend with her Nanny and cousin Max.

When we got there, we decided to ride the horses first. Elin is very into horses right now since that is the topic in Gymboree class. She was not shy and was so excited to pet the horse and she was very eager to jump on. Even though I tried to get her to hold on, she wouldn’t. Thank goodness Max was there to hold on for the both of them. I see riding lessons in our future…

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Next we decided to see the animals in the petting zoo. There were adorable bunnies, piggies, and these white and fluffy chickens called Silkies.  The next area had sheep and goats. The little baby pigs had little outfits on. Elin loved looking at them and really wanted to get in the pin with them. This ultimately started a major tantrum and as a result, we had to leave. But at least we were there about an hour before that happened.

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There were also games and face painting. Max chose to get his face painted like a cow. The other very exciting part for Max was getting his picture with the big cow.  

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After the event, Elin and Max had a blast playing kitchen together. There was also a big dance party where they danced like crazy for awhile. It was quite entertaining, but sadly no photos since they were just blurs in my photos.

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