October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Festival 2014

Long before we were even engaged Keith and I started our tradition of going to the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival together. We always start our mornings there with a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, sausage and coffee at the Great Pancake Breakfast.

(Pumpkin Festivals of years past 2013, 2011, 2010)



This was the first year O has partook in the enjoyment of said pancakes and sausage. Last year he could careless and the year before he was still on a diet of purees. He really enjoyed them, which was totally cool because he doesn't usually go for pancakes or waffles. Note to self: make pancakes for toddler.


We also met up with our friends, the Smiths, who's son is the same age as O! His mom Jackie and I have been bestfriends since forever, so it's really fun to watch our boys play and laugh together. They had a ball goofing off and being silly together.


Every year Keith looks forward to having the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company's Pumpkin Harvest Ale, which was sold out last year. This year he was able to get some, but didn't really get to enjoy it with a cute little someone sitting on his shoulders and drumming on his head!



Mommy's mimosa!


It seemed like there were a lot more kid-friendly activities this year than the years before, or I just never noticed before. There was a whole pirate themed area with fun arts & crafts activities kids could do if their parents bought them a few "doubloons" aka pirate money. The boys (actually the moms) picked a cute little craft where they got to funnel colored sand into little bottles.


Such a fun and easy activity (perfect for someone throwing a pirate themed party -- just do it on the lawn, it's messy), that has a beautiful result. We're keeping O's on his shelf in his room!


Baby Zoey is Nico's little sister and she was so chill the whole time. We didn't hear a cry from that sweet little girl the whole time!


After the festival we headed over to our friend Scott's family farm, Pastorino Farms, to pick some pumpkins and play around. O went right for the jump house and went two rounds in there jumping with "the big boys" and then went straight for the big slide -- he's a thrill seeker, that boy!



There's Zoey, still happy as a little pumpkin!


There were horse rides (but not for us because there were no safety belts on the horses this year)...


There was a little train ride around the property...


A petting zoo.... where the O was so gentle and sweet to all the animals big and small.


Our little St. Francis Assisi, animal lover!


The best family photo we could get, but I'll take it!




What a fun day! O asked to go back the next day. He's been to three pumpkin farms / festivals in the last week, and I think he's starting to expect a visit to one each day!

October 20, 2014

Recipe: Silly Bug Pizza

Our son is a total bug lover -- aren't most young children? -- he loves to watch them crawl and climb, and while I'm not a fan of them in our house or climbing on us, I'm pretty interested in watching them too. I saw this idea for a cute bug pizza in on of the coupon ads in the Sunday paper last week and couldn't wait to recreate it for O.



There isn't really an ingredients list -- it's just standard pizza with some fun toppings arranged to look like a bug.

We used Naan bread as the base, topped it with my own pizza sauce (1/2 can of diced toms, 2 tbsps tomato paste, a little garlic, all blended in the Vitamix until smooth), shredded cheese, and then arranged the toppings:

1 slice of salami for the body
1 slice turkey pepperoni for the head
6 slices green bell pepper for arms
2 slices red bell pepper for the antennae
2 black olives for the eyes

Bake at 425 degrees on a pizza stone or pizza crisper for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


O was so excited to sit down at the table for dinner when he heard he was having pizza with a bug on it! Upon seeing it he had a huge smile on his face and said "mommy that bug is so seeelly!", and Silly Bug Pizza was born. I hope your kiddos enjoy seeing this pizza on their plate as much as ours did!

Check out some other fun pizza tools and toys here:

October 17, 2014

Five on Friday

Hello, Friday! I almost can't even believe it's Friday again, because last Friday I was laying by the pool in Vegas with a pool drink in my hand...


and that seems like just yesterday!


1. First things first -- how about those Giants?!! I'm so excited they're going to the World Series for the 3rd time in 5 years! Go Giants!


2. Sleepy Music Suggestions? Our bedtime routine is going really well, but I'm still feeling majorly guilty when I lay O down in his crib for the night and he stands up and say, "Noooo, don't leave me all alone, mommy". He always has his blanket, lights are out, his Twilight Turtle is on, as is the white noise. I think we have a pretty good combo things going to help him drift off, but instead of the white noise I'm wondering if some nursery rhymes / bed time songs might help too. Any suggestions? 


3. We love Sugar Bit! Have you entered the Sugar Bit giveaway I'm hosting this week? If not, there's still time! We love how easy the Boys Fall Harvest Applique Shirt and Pant Set by Vive La Fete is to wear, wash and play in! I'll be putting O in it again today for a trip to a preschool Fall Festival.


4. DIY Homemade Crayons!! How cute is this idea for a sugar-free / candy-free Halloween goody bag? I'm not sure if his class will be exchanging treats together, but if we do I'm all over these!

5. Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival - We're SO excited for the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival this weekend! Each year O gets more and more into our traditions, and I think this year will be the most fun yet!

And a little housekeeping...

The winner of the Three Designing Women Holiday Gift Basket is Elizabeth B.! Congratulations, Liz!!!


And I'm linking up with a whole lot of people today! 

Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!
Momfessionals
Friday Favorites with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love.


I hope everyone has a great weekend! xoxox

October 16, 2014

One Year & Beyond - Keeping Toddlers Busy

Don't get me wrong, we LOVE toys in our house. Keith and I (and O's grandmas) are guilty of finding an excuse to buy some new, fun, exiting toy any day of the week, but with Christmas and O's birthday just around the corner I'm looking for new ways to entertain him. I created a really fun pumpkin themed unit a few weeks ago as a guest post for Leah's Mommy School series, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share the ideas here on my blog!!

And with Fall in full swing I thought pumpkins would be a fantastic theme to go with! Most of these activities need some adult help or set up, but should provide some great entertainment for your child once they get going!

THEME:

Pumpkins

FOCUS:

Exploring the great world of PUMPKINS! In this unit children will explore their shape, texture and taste, as well as why we include pumpkins in our homes and celebrations during this time of the year.

BOOKS:


Five Little Pumpkins- A fun board book with bright & bold illustrations and the popular rhyme.

Apples and Pumpkins- A young girl spends a glorious fall day picking apples and searching for the perfect pumpkin in this refreshed classic with audio.

Pumpkin Patch- We don't own this book, but I used to have it my classroom and we've read it at the library. Color photographs of pumpkins at all stages of growth, of farmers planting them, and of children enjoying them are the strength of this beautiful book. King's sharp, well-framed and well-composed photos are sure to captivate pumpkin lovers of all ages.

ACTIVITIES:

These activities were O's favorite part of the Pumpkin Unit! Please don't feel over whelmed when looking at all of the activities. We did 2-3 activities a week over the course of two weeks. This gave me time to prep in between. 

1. Pumpkin Guts Sensory Activity 
  • PLAY - Cut the pumpkin open and let your child go to town playing with the pumpkin guts.
  • TALK - about how the guts smell, look and feel. Concentrate on words like slimy, sticky, smelly, stringy, smooth, bumpy, etc. as you talk about the inside and outside of the pumpkin.
  • COUNT - Pull out all the seeds and starting counting them together. We counted them in batches of about 15-25. I would just stop counting when O seemed to lose interest.

  • TASTE -  Separate the seeds from the pulp, and then use your favorite Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe to try them together.  I enlisted O's help in the kitchen to wash, spread out to dry, season and mix the seeds. We only roasted half of our seeds and used the other half for the next activity. 
 
2. Color Sorting with Pumpkin Seeds - Wash and fully dry your seeds. Separate them into four groups (or three, or five, however many colors you want to have) and put them in individual ziplock bags. Add a few drops of food coloring and shake to coat. Pour them out onto paper plates and let them dry overnight. 

Once the seeds are dry you can mix them together in a plastic bowl so your little one can sort them. I used colored construction paper laid out on the floor and had O place the seeds on the paper. You could also use little cups or bowls. 


3. Pumpkin Printing with Pool Noodle - We had lots of fun doing this art activity!


4. Pumpkin Spice Play Dough - Play dough is a great activity for increasing fine motor skills, as well as encouraging creativity -- and I know I always have fun with it too! I shared this recipe for play dough last week on my blog. We are still having fun with it!

SNACK: 


The day after we carved our pumpkin, and roasted the seeds, I made O a pumpkin themed snack before we got into sorting pumpkin seeds. In his snack there were (clockwise from top left: roasted pumpkins seeds, a clementine made to look like a jack-o-lantern, an Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookie and cheddar cheese cut with cookie cutters to look like pumpkins.

SONGS:
 Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "oh my it's getting late."
The second one said, "there are witches in the air."
The third one said, "but we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!"
OOOhh OOOhh went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight. 


We've been singing this song since we took the book out of our Fall / Halloween decorations box in September. O loves the book and he loves the song even more. He knows almost all the words now! The You Tube video below is pretty cute too, and it's helpful if you don't know the tune. 



And for some other fun ideas check out my Pinterest boards!

Follow Colleen | Meet the Sullivans |'s board for Owen on Pinterest.
  Follow Colleen | Meet the Sullivans |'s board Busy Bags to Make on Pinterest.
What are you favorite toddler busy bags or activities? Check out the other mama's blogs for their ideas. And be sure to link up with us below if you also have a post on this topic.


 
Oct 2: Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials
Oct 9: Learning to love your post-pregnancy body
Oct 16: Busy Toddler Activities
Oct 23: Keeping in Shape While Caring for a Toddler
Oct 30: Sick Day Tips
Nov 6: How to Not Lose Your Patience with your Toddler
Nov 13: Favorite Toddler Outings

An InLinkz Link-up

October 15, 2014

We LOVE Shopping Sugar Bit!

We're quickly approaching the holidays (ek!), and with all of the fun activities and celebrations being added to our calendar at lighting pace I'm on the hunt for some cute, unique clothes that can't be found at the basic stores where everyone shops.

I'm sure many of you already read by friend Natasha's blog, Hello! Happiness! Not only is Natasha a loving and dedicated mother and wife, but she is also incredibly hard working and owns her own online children's boutique Sugar Bit. Her boutique is known for it's beautiful collections and care, making the world a little more charming, one outfit at a time!
Her dream was to open a retail clothing store of her own...from endless afternoons spent playing dress up as a child to working at retail stores throughout high school and college, she follows fashion trends and loves to play dress up even now. Natasha and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee, and their roots in Southern Hospitality are reflected in the pride Sugar Bit takes in assembling collections and helps guide the company’s commitment to delivering superior customer care. 



Sugar Bit offers staple girls and boys clothing options for newborns to 4-year olds, and explores designers across the country selecting high-quality and versatile garments that are truly for any day or occasion. They believe that great style and high quality clothing shouldn’t be hard to find or too expensive. They're truly the perfect place to shop if you want reasonably priced, but also charming and unique, children's clothing.


Natasha sent O and I a few darling pieces, like this handsome Boys Fall Harvest Applique Shirt and Pant Set by Vive La Fete (on sale now!!). I love that this outfit, like so many in her shop, is perfect for a special outing and comfortable enough for regular play. And the quality is topnotch! You will undoubtedly see O wearing this outfit well-through Thanksgiving.


Natasha also sent O another handsome piece, the Blue Mini Gingham Button-Up Shirt by Joules, which I can't wait to put him in this weekend for our family trip to the Pumpkin Festival and Pumpkin Farm. It is the perfect color of blue to bring out his eyes!

I've been browsing the boutique and I've got my eye on handful of other cute items in the shop for O! These are some of my favorites -- for boys, girls and babies!


Kids fashion should be fun, playful and easy to mix and match, right!!? Sugar Bit offers a wide variety of brands to suit both traditional and trendy tots, as we dress the minis like we dress ourselves, a blend of on-trend items as well as the tried-and-true classics that never go out of style. Sugar Bit seeks out beautiful clothes that will have your little ones always looking and feeling their best.

They feature some of the best children's clothing brands, like:


Anjo Kids 
Banana Split Kids
Bella Tunno
CukeesEle Story
Emerald August
and many, many more!!!


Sugar Bit also offers Personal Shopping! (and it's free!)

Are you on the hunt for something specific and special, and don’t have time to shop? Sugar Bit is happy to provide personal shopping services for our customers…whether it be for a perfect gift for a friend or family member, a special ensemble for a holiday or special occasion, or to complete a fun and stylish wardrobe, we are here to help!

They offer a variety of customized services to meet any need you might have, including:
  • Seasonal shopping for back-to-school and/or holiday
  • A closet refresh to add new pieces to your current items and styles
  • Birthday party outfit planning
  • Occasion wear for baptisms, parties, showers, and such
  • Layette/newborn attire for a new addition
  • Coordinating and/or matching attire for photographs
  • Other
All you have to do is fill out this form and let them do the work for you! They'll then send you an email within 1-2 business days filled with a few suggestions based on the information you have provided. Then, they'll help you process your order, wrap it up, and ship it to you (or the intended gift recipient) quickly. Best of all, this personal shopping service is absolutely free

Want to know the really fun part?! Natasha has generously offered to giveaway a $50 credit to Sugar Bit to one of you! You can enter using the rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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