Easter is around the corner and I can hardly contain my excitement. Easter has always been my favorite holiday. (Well, second to Christmas. Let’s not be crazy.) Growing up my mom always made Easter a very special day and since my nieces were born it has been so much fun adding more and more magic for them each year. One of my favorite traditions for the girls that my sister in law has made every year is glitter confetti eggs. For like 9 years now she would drain eggs very carefully, let them dry, then fill them up with glitter. Then we would all throw them at each other! (Kinda just like super glittery water balloons.) It is so magical to me and I love that Lila is not only old enough to be active in all the festivities we have planned, but is actually really excited. She wakes up every day asking if it is Easter and I really just want to wow the pants of her on Easter day.
One way I plan on making her day as special is possible is Easter Pajamas! I found the cutest Easter PJ’s ever from Chasing Fireflies and instantly became obsessed. Besides being really freaking cute- you can also personalize them! You I had to get these for her and I personalized them with her name on them. You can see the difference here Wild Bunny Pj’s vs. Personalized. Both are seriously adorable, but I thought personalizing them would be the cherry on top to the cutest pjs. I also got her these Fluffy Bunny Slippers because one they are so perfect- how can you not get them?! And two because she actually really does need slippers, so it was partially a practical decision.
Okay, okay! Now let’s talk about her DRESS. While scrolling through and swooning over pajamas I found the most gorgeous dresses I have ever seen. I chose the Cottage Garden Dress because it was stunning, but also reversible. So she can wear it to another event in the future and it’s like a whole new dress. Yay! When the dress came in the mail I have to say I was in awe of all the details of the dress. It is even more stunning in person and I am going to find any excuse for her to wear this dress and often as possible. Oh and I’m already crying thinking about the day it doesn’t fit her anymore.
For her Easter basket I went with this Bunny Easter Basket mostly because of the size. I always jam pack Lila’s Easter basket so full that you almost can’t tell there’s even a basket. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of room this year and this one is just perfect. It’s also super soft. I’m obsessed. Since I was already on a personalizing kick, I added her name to the basket too. It’s this one: Personalized Bunny Easter Basket.
It’s probably no surprise to you to hear that I have a serioussweet tooth. And one of my all time favorite desserts is a root beer float. When Hubs and I started dating we used to go anywhere and everywhere for a good root beer float. When I was in college I discovered Float just a few blocks from campus here in Pasadena. Since my first visit I was hooked! I have since become a regular at this spot and I still love it just as much as day one.
They actually have an amazing menu of creative floats mixing specialty glass bottle sodas with delicious handmade ice cream. From the combinations to the the toppings, I am always amazed at the creativity. Today we tried the Neapolitan and it was seriously the best thing ever! It had strawberry chip ice cream, manhattan vanilla soda, mini chocolate donuts, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles. And that’s not all. Want to know the best part? Lila got a mini one! That’s right. Every Monday from 3-6 they offer a Mommy & Me Float. Buy one float, get a mini float for your mini me- free!
One of my favorite seasons is spring simply because all the cute toddler clothes! I love Easter and pastel colors so when I see my two favorite things come together and inspire endless collections of little girl clothing, swoon. Lila loves to wear dresses and I love to see her in dresses so it’s a win win for both of us. One of my favorite places to find the cutest dresses of the season is Tea Collection. You can find their styles on their website or at Nordstrom. I love shopping in store because then you can touch the material of the clothing. I love to touch things before I buy them! To save you a trip to the store all of the Tea Collection dresses Lila is wearing in this post are made with super soft,thick cotton. So you really can’t go wrong. 😉
This season I am focusing on growing Lila’s accessory stash. She loves wearing sunglasses daily but I have trouble finding pairs that I like for her. We just got a few pairs last week so I will report back with how they are working out for us soon. For shoes we are currently head over heels in love with Mini Melissa. Lila really doesn’t even want to wear any other shoe. We have a few pairs right now and I have a feeling our collection will growing rapidly because they are so cute! We just got these for our Disneyland trips and I can’t wait to squeeze her feet into them.
It’s no secret that my little lady, Lila, is my BABY. I have defiantly been known to be a helicopter parent because I am pretty much that girl’s shadow. Since she is my first and only kid I have been keen on not missing a moment. I mean, not missing a singlemoment. She spends nearly one hundred percent of her time with me. I rarely will have my mom watch her for any reason. I can’t explain why I feel so attached to her, I just never want to be without her. Does anybody else feel that way?
Now that Lila is in full on kid mode I wanted to share with you ways that I have been encouraging her independence in different ways around the house. It’s hard for me sometimes to stop myself from just doing everything for her.
In The Kitchen
- If I am cooking in the kitchen, I give Lila a special title of “Kitchen Helper.” She begs to be called this and will do anything I ask as long as she is referred to by this nickname. Figuring this out was a game changer in getting her excited to help out.
- While in the kitchen I will ask her help for getting ingredients out the refrigerator. She can reach even the highest shelf in our fridge so unless something is really far back or blocked by a lot of other items, she can grab things with ease.
- When the ingredients are being chopped or mixed I try to include her as much as possible while still being safe. Her favorite thing to do is pour pre-measured ingredients into bowl or mix with spoon in bowl.
- When lunch is getting cooked I will hand her items to put items in trash. She really loves putting things in the trash can and my husband will ask her to do this from all over the house.
- One thing I have never done is fed Lila. You know like put some on a spoon and fly it into their mouth pretending it’s an airplane? Not me. Ever since Lila started eating solid food I put her plate in front of her with a fork/spoon and let her have at it. At first mealtime was pretty messy, but the better her hands got with utensils the less messy it became. Since she has never had help, she doesn’t expect it. She is very independent when it comes to eating and even picking what she is hungry for.
- I usually will offer two options and let her pick. This makes it easy because she has control over what she is eating while I get to pick what the options are. We do this for snacks and full meals.
- When mealtime is over Lila will actually ask for a wipe and wipe her own face. It is something she started doing all on her own and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She sometimes needs help with her hands and if she asks I will help her.
- I have shared this before but Lila’s Montessori closet has a clothing rack with all of her available options. The majority of her outfits that she wears inside or outside daily are all created by her. I do monitor which selections go on the rack, but when it comes to picking outfits it is all her. Unless we are taking photos where she needs to be wearing a specific outfit. I really do try to never go against her outfit choices once they have been picked out.
- Things that she can do by herself while getting dressed/undressed include:
- pulling her shirt off of her head
- pushing her arms through sleeves
- pulling her socks off
- putting her shoes on
- pulling her shoes off
- putting shoes in the shoes basket by our front door
- I have shared this before but Lila’s Montessori closet has a hamper where she puts her own clothes in a dirty bin after they have been worn.
- When the bin fills up she will help me transfer the clothes from bin to washer, washer to dryer, and dryer to bin.
- We are having a hard time learning how to fold without turning the clothing into scrunched up piles. We will get there! haha. (Tips welcomed!)
In The Bathroom
- Washing handsis something that I do need to watch her do because she is up on a high stool. But she does the water and soap all on her own.
- Letting me know she needs a new diaper. She will always tell me when she needs a new diaper and even go and get one for me to change her.Potty training is around the corner and that’s a whole new ball game.
- This is simple but I alwayslet her pick which towel to use when she gets out of the bath. She will pick it before hand and we use it when she needs to dry off.
I hope you enjoyed these simple ways I am encouraging independence at home. We are adding to the list everyday it seems that before I know it I’ll have a little citizen on my hands.
*Photos by Rebecca Orlandini Photography
Happy Monday. I have swing music playing in our clean living room with our bags already unpacked and I am feeling like it is indeed a happy Monday. Last Friday we headed west to Marina Del Rey and stayed at the Jamaica Bay Inn- the cutest spot right on the beach. When we arrived to the hotel it was pretty late at night and pitch dark outside so we went straight to our room. Lila was so excited to be in a new place and wanted to explore so badly. I told her in the morning we would make sure to explore every inch of the place but that she had to go to bed. When we woke up in the morning we went straight to our balcony and realized how beautiful the grounds were. The sun was shining bright and you could smell the ocean breeze- it was pretty fantastic.
For breakfast we ordered room service and watched Disney Channel with Lila on the bed. If that’s not vacation I don’t what it is! After breakfast we got dressed and walked around the grounds and then the beach. There was an adorable playground right there on the beach and we had to tear Lila away from it. When we all have worked up an appetite from playtime we took a short walk back to the hotel restaurant. That restaurant became a quick favorite of mine, their fish tacos I am already craving again! After lunch at the hotel we checked out the gorgeous heated pool with a view. Lila absolutely loves to swim and the temperature of this pool was beyond. When we were done at the pool we went back to the room and gave Lila a shower and got her in cozy clothes hoping we could get her to take a nap, since she got all of that exercise at the pool.
Later in the evening we stayed in the room since it was dark outside. What’s up with it getting dark at 4 o’clock these days?? The room was so cozy it was really easy to just hang out and lounge. We brought a small backpack of activates for Lila to do and play with so she was happy just to have music on and coloring with her toys around her.
I definitely did not miss home this trip. Something about those ocean ions just keep your mind at ease. I also loved our morning walks around the hotel. It was such a beautiful place to explore and experience. I already want to come back to just to get those fish tacos and go on a walk through the sand with Lila.
Thanks for reading! If you are looking for a place to stay while visiting Los Angeles, look no further!
*Thank to you the Jamaica Bay for hosting us this weekend.
Clothing Rack from Alluring Company
amber skirt leotard with long sleeves from Sugar Plum Lane Baby // deer skirt leotard with long sleeves from Sugar Plum Lane Baby // grey gingham romper from Sugar Plum Lane Baby // pumpkin romper from Sugar Plum Lane Baby // clementine ruffle leo from Remie Girl // “bonjour” overalls from Lily and Beau + 20% entire shop with code: CELESTE20// print harem romper from Hallmark Baby // swing dress in marigold from June and January
Today I wanted to share with you an update on Lila’s Montessori closet. Since October is creeping up on us I decided to swap out some of her blush pieces for a few pieces that are a bit more, fall. I love pumpkin colors on Lila! I wanted to get a few key pieces that would work paired with pieces she already has in her closet as well as on their own.
Since it probably won’t get cold here in Los Angeles until later this year, I decided to get her a few rompers and dresses that she could wear on a warm day but could easily pair with tights and a sweater if it gets cold. The amber skirt leotard with long sleeves is Lila’s favorite piece on her rack and she wants to wear it everyday. We also got these Mini Melissa shoes that I am really excited about! What are some of your fall favorites?
Today I am sharing with you one of the ways I have chose to incorporate Montessori into our home. There are so many different ways incorporate Montessori and today I wanted to share with you how we have Lila’s Closet set up. I will soon be sharing more ways we incorporate Montessori at home and you will be able to find all the posts under the category Montessori as this series grows.
Now on to Lila’s Closet…
There is so much that I like about having her closet set up this way. Everything is accessible to her and she can easily pick out whatever it is she is looking for. The length of her clothing rod is way smaller than the length of a closet rod, so there is less to put on it and less pick from. This is actually makes it easier when creating an outfit, especially for a toddler. I can say, “Okay Lila, go pick your outfit.” and when she comes back with a pink shirt, a pink dress, and pink shoes it almost always works out because all of the options I have out for her are in the same color block.
If you reading this and just thought, what the heck is a color block? Don’t worry. It might actually not even be technically called that, that’s just what I call it but I promise I didn’t make it up. A few months ago I was reading an article that was titled “how to pack for vacation with less” or something like that. Just go with it. And basically this girl packed for a week long trip and only packed like 7 different demin colored pieces of clothing. It pretty much blew my mind and I instantly wanted that in my life. Especially for Lila! She has soooooo many different colors of clothes that it is actually overwhelming to open up my closet (we used to share a closet) and see all of them. So a few months ago when I made her clothing rack her actual closet, I only put clothes that were pink or blush or white or light gray. It really has made getting dressed so simple! So, that’s why I call it a color block even though if you google that term you’ll never find the article I’m talking about. If you do know the appropriate term for what I’m talking about would you leave it in the comments below? Thanks!
Both Lila and I love her closet. It is super child friendly, promotes independence, and adds a bit of sparkle to the room seeing all her pretty clothes.
What Makes It Montessori?
- Transparent organizational system
- Eye level options
- She is able to pick out and put away her own clothes
- Only have clothing available that is okay for the child the choose
- Limiting quantities so making a choice isn’t overwhelming
- An attractive, visually appealing area
In my opinion her closet is actually way too cluttered, but hey- my little lady needs her 12 pairs of shoes okay? Haha. This actually is not even a quarter of the clothes in the wardrobe- the rest of it is in my closet and I’ll only pull it out if I want her to wear something specific. I also have all of her off season clothes/shoes in there and will switch them out for things on her rack when it starts getting a little bit colder. Then there are just some things that just simply do not match her color block, (sorry yellow sandals, we still love you!) which is fine, but part of the Montessori teaching is to only have clothing available that is okay for the child to chose. I also think it would be discouraging to her if she put the effort into picking out an outfit and then I went and just switched it for something else because I didn’t want her wearing yellow sandals, with striped shirt, and a floral pants. Okay so maybe that doesn’t sound that bad- but our system works great for our home even though I might be a smidge controlling over her choices. Haha.
Actually getting the clothes on…
Lila is only two and half and for the most part still needs help getting dressed. As she gets older she will be less dependent on me to do the dressing so for now I always encourage her to try her best anyways. She is really good at putting on skirts, decent at getting on certain dresses, and excellent at taking off bottoms.
What Makes It Montessori?
When the child is learning to dress herself, help as little as possible, but enough to keep them from becoming frustrated.
Tips & Tricks
- Lay clothing out on floor in the order they will put it on
- Have a stool or a pillow to sit on
- Show the child that they need to be able to to look down and see the tag or the writing on the underwear or the pants. If the clothing does end up backwards it’s fine as long as it isn’t bothering the child.
- You can put the socks up and over toes, and let the child then pull them over the heel and up.
And, most importantly, give the child space and time. When you know that the child can do it, let them — even if you have to sit on your hands to keep from helping.
Our laundry basket for Lila’s clothes is at the right height for her eye level and she loves putting her clothes it it when she is done wearing them. She’ll always say, “Okay skirt it’s time to go in the basket!” and then she dunks it in. It’s like a total game to her or something, she loves it.
When her laundry basket reaches the top we go to the washer together and since she can’t reach the top I just have her hand me her clothes from the basket and I put them in myself. A lot of them end up on the floor and it takes forever, but she really feels like she is doing her laundry and I think that’s great. When the washer is done I’ll take her things out and hand them to her to put in the dryer. Again- a lot of them end up on the floor and it takes forever, but she really feels like she is doing her laundry and I think that’s great.
When the dryer is done it gets pretty hot so for safety I will put her clothes back in her basket. Then we will sit down together in front of her clothing rack and she helps put her clothes on their hanger and then onto her rack. She still needs help with a lot of clothes, but the ones that she can do she will do.
I really love having her closet set up this way and having complete control over what she can wear, without discouraging a choice she wants to make. Let me know in the comments if you have your toddler’s closet set up this way or if you like the idea of it. Thanks for reading.