kiddos

Too Small To Fail

Today, I’m really excited to announce my partnership with in Too Small To Fail – a joint initiative between The Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. Their goal is to improve the development of kids in America (you can read all about it here.) Research shows that over 80% of a child’s brain develops before they turn 3 – so it’s important for parents and communities to spend quality time interacting with kids in positive ways. I’ve caught myself sounding like a dork talking to my toddlers because it looks like I’m talking to myself “this is our favorite park and wow! look at that big tree.” But the research shows that talking with your kids and giving them that eye to eye contact is what really helps them develop. I have been wanting to create some habits to make sure I spend more time with my kiddos so I’m setting a few goals on Go Mighty over the next few months. I’ll be sharing my experiences there. I’d love to hear if you have any tips on what kind of activities have helped you spend quality time with the kids in your life. (ie: Volunteer at their preschool, go to the park everyday, read together everyday, play games together, etc) I’d love any ideas.

Kids

Photo via my Instagram

This post is sponsored by Go Mighty and Too Small To Fail 

Crafting Community 2013

A few weeks ago we attended Crafting Community at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. It is hard for me to explain how special this event was. After two days of crafting, swimming, and playing, my kids were asking to never leave. The Ace Hotel is great for kids, but the Crafting Community team took it to a whole new level. Every detail of the weekend was executed beautifully, so that we didn’t have to worry about anything except for having more fun. From sunscreen and kids toiletries in our hotel rooms to healthy snacks for the kids nonstop throughout the day, these guys thought of everything. When we first arrived the boys discovered hundreds and hundreds of little Matchbox cars on the sidewalk. They had drawn a giant city out of chalk for the kids to race the cars on. It was little kid heaven! They also had hula hoops and colorful bouncy balls everywhere.

The crafting sessions were the focus of the event and they did not disappoint. The craft room was filled with so many beautiful, colorful supplies. So much thought and work went into each table, it was really impressive. Each project was led by awesome designers like Confetti System, Clare Vivier, and Kid Made Modern. At one point Moses was making a wallet out of duct tape and I realized the guy helping him was the designer Todd Oldham! After crafting we would head over to the pool for a bit and then eat before we would start all over again.

One special element of the event is that it really feels like a community. Each family’s photo is printed in the year book with their names and their family “theme song.” Since the event is over a few days we had a chance to have encounters with several new families and ended up making new friends. I can’t think of a vacation environment that fosters that kind of experience the same way. In the evenings there were lots of activities like Bingo, gourmet ice cream sandwiches, photobooths, button making, nightime movies in the pool, and a desert disco (a giant dance party!) The caliber of the activities and the quality and detail that went into everything was over the top. For example at the dance they played everyone’s family theme songs!

The icing on the cake was the canvas gift totes they gave us when we arrived. This bag didn’t have one thing that wasn’t beautiful or useful. Seriously, I am really picky about what I bring home since my apartment is so small and I brought back everything. Some of the items included: custom coloring and activity book, lots of art supplies from the Kid Made Modern line at Target, a pair of Converse (in each child’s size that they could custom color!), some Naef wooden blocks, a Target gift card, and snacks from Whole Foods.

The whole weekend I kept looking around and thinking, “Yes! Finally someone got it right!” Paul and I kept comparing the trip to a weekend at Disneyland and this was a million times better for parents and kids. We all made new friends, the kids were entertained, delighted and given a chance to do creative activities. The food was excellent, if anyone ever needed a nap we were 2 minutes from our hotel room. And on top of that we all had fun. I cannot vouch for this event enough. In fact I’m already planning on going back next year.

Crafting-Community1Crafting-Community2Crafting CommunityCrafting-Community3Crafting-Community4Crafting-Community5

This post is sponsored by Crafting Community: creating immersive design experiences where families can play, grow and be together. But they didn’t ask me to vouch for it. Seriously, it was awesome.

Photos by Paul Ferney

Halloween Whites

by Casey Baudoin

I love the classic orange and black for Halloween, but how about an all white Halloween party this year?  Bones, mummies, and ghosts can help do the trick!  Give your guests the fun challenge of finding an all white costume to dress up in.

Halloween Whites | Oh Happy Day!

1. bone chandelier  2. mask  3. straws  4. ghost cookies  5. mummy pumpkin

Homemade Halloween Mr. Rogers Costume

Here’s an easy and inexpensive idea for a Halloween costume. My friend Fergi came across a few vintage hand puppets at a thrift store and knew they’d be the perfect accessory for Mr. Rogers. The idea is great for little kids who aren’t that excited about dressing up yet – and you can probably use clothing items they already have in their closet. I’ve found that Etsy and Ebay have vintage puppets for sale – or you could always take a chance with your local Goodwill. See all our Homemade Halloween Costumes right here

Homemade Halloween Mr. Rogers Costume | Oh Happy Day!Homemade Halloween Mr. Rogers Costume | Oh Happy Day!

Click through for full instructions and photos…

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Homemade Halloween Photobooth Strip Costume

Here’s a really quick and easy Halloween costume idea – especially if you have access to a photobooth in your area. We had Moses put on a wig and take some fun shots in the photobooth. Then we blew up the strip at Kinkos and glued it to big piece of cardboard. We cut out the photo second from the top so that he had the perfect spot to place his face. For Halloween, he just has to wear the same shirt he wore in the booth along with the wig and hold up the strip while he walks. So much fun!

Homemade Halloween Photobooth Strip CostumeHomemade Halloween Photobooth Strip Costume | Oh Happy Day!

Credits 
All photography by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Photography for Oh Happy Day
Art Direction & Styling by Fergi Johnson for Oh Happy Day