smooch strand

We’ve been prepping a year’s worth of projects for an upcoming collaboration (we’re so excited to share it with you, but it will be a few more weeks!) so we have been thinking way ahead about each holiday. With all of this pre-planning we’ve found ourselves inundated with Valentine’s Day inspiration, so we hope you don’t mind we’ll be sharing a few this month! Today’s combines are two favorite ways of decorating: family pictures and festive garlands!

Smooch Strands! Portraits of your loved ones with an oversized kisser to adorn your wall.valentine smooch strand: take your kids mug and give it a valentine's touch! valentine smooch strand: take your kids mug and give it a valentine's touch!

We’ve loved seeing this garland idea with party hats and bows, but had to try it out with a little Valentine’s Twist. Here’s how you’ll do it:

valentine smooch strand: take your kids mug and give it a valentine's touch!

1. Start by collecting portraits of your loved ones, pets, celebrity crushes, whoever you’d like to see pucker up! Emily used iPhone photos and turned them black and white for a more clean look. You can go oversized or fit the whole strand, 8 to a page, like we’ve done here.

2. Using precision scissors, cut out the head shape.

3. Once you have all the cut out heads, you’ll need a thick material (we used craft foam), glue, shades of pink and red paper and a black ink pen or marker.

4. Hand draw the lip shapes, we went oversized, and then cut them out leaving the black lines. Then glue it to a smaller piece of craft foam. Then glue the foam and lips to the face portrait! We can think of a million things to do with these little portraits so instead of sewing them onto a garland, we just taped them to the twine so we can reuse later!

Tape up and you’re ready for a little lip action!

valentine smooch strand: take your kids mug and give it a valentine's touch!

Need more V-day? Check out these heart shaped tie-dye leggings DIY, or these love day lunch sack printables! Find all our Valentine’s Posts here. 

Printing Instructions:

We like to tease Emily for using Picasa, but it’s a really simple way to collage photos. For those of you who don’t have access to Adobe or other photo programs, here’s how you can do it in Google’s Picasa for an 8 image to 1 page garland like this!

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bergies, go sockless!

Can we get real for a minute? Boys can be smelly. There we said it. Parents of boys know that one specific odor after they’ve played outside, the mixture of metal and sweat, (are you nodding along?) Some boys are more so than others, that we can confirm now each having two of them. Even our best smelling boys have that one pair of shoes that we’d sooner throw out then experience again, so when we got an email from Bergies, today’s sponsor, we were instantly intrigued. After trying them out we were even more excited, because they work! They are simply a deodorizing insert that you can use and remove as needed. We love their slogan “Go Sockless!” because is there anything better?

Bergies Deodorizing Shoe Inserts

Bergies comes in adult and junior sizes and is super easy to trim down to fit whatever shoes you need. They wick away sweat, have an adhesive bottom for stability and you might spit our your drink at the fragrance names. A tropical fusion of bananas and coconuts from the “Monkey Farts” fragrance, and sweet cotton candy for “Under the Big Top” gave us all a good laugh.

We had to show the Bergies in girl’s shoes because we know girls aren’t exempt!
Bergies Shoe Deodorizing Inserts

Follow along with this innovative new company Bergies via Facebook and Twitter!

Tassel and Kitty Cat flats via Wunway.

bundle up gear

As we mentioned Monday, we have a couple more months of Winter, so we’re still looking  for cute finds to bulk up the kids’ Winter wear wardrobe. With some awesome post-Holiday sales, we’re even buying for next year! Here’s some cold weather gear that’s caught our eye in every price range for boys and girls.

FOR BOYS:

bundle up gear for kids

1. Quinn has this leather and camo coat and it is so awesome in person! // CAROUSEL NY 50% off [$76] 2. Felt-lined Sorels, because Sorels.  // JCREW [$75] 3. Snowsuits are so underrated! There’s now way snow is getting in anywhere on this guy! // JCPENNEY [$22.99] 4. Polarn O Pyret has the most extensive collection of shells, jackets, windbreakers, and more, all in their signature bold solids. // POLARN O. PYRET [$35+] 5. We picked these boots when we were Guest Editors for Brickyard Buffalo and they were a huge hit. Our boys are still loving and wearing theirs. // POLARN O. PYRET [$35] 6. North Face is a staple for Utahans, we love this fur-lined parka for boys! MINI MIOCHE [$142] 7. Wal-Mart for the win on these cute camo wellies! // WAL-MART [$14.97] 8. A puffer version of the fur-lined parka, with toggles. Toggles make any coat cuter, we decided. // JCREW [$148, but 40% off using "TAKENOTE" at checkout will put you at $88!] 9. We’re having a Union Jack moment and these Hunters aren’t helping. // NORDSTROM [$95]

FOR GIRLS:

bundle up gear for kids

1. This Joe Fresh puffer is by some miracle not sold-out yet, hurry! JCPENNEY [$15.99] 2. Hunters for her, in classic navy. // NORDSTROM [$75] 3. Our only reference for what makes girl’s clothing cute is “Would I wear it?” This tan bow coat gets a resounding yes. // JCREW [40% off “TAKENOTE” [$136] 4. These black neoprene slushers are an edgy option for the tom-boy in your life! // WAL-MART [$37] 5. This neon powder puffer is too cute. And “TAKENOTE” again // JCREW for [$76] 6. Could you just die over these floral wellies? // JOULES [$53] 7. A repeat in gray for a more subtle and versatile look! // JCREW [$76] 8. These raspberry lined boots look cozy and easy for kids to slip on and off, too! // ZARA [$35.99] 9. Sadly our favorite striped Mini Boden jacket for boys is sold out, but this blue pear jacket for girls is a darling consolation. // MINI BODEN [$92] 10. Sweet mint polka dot wellies! // TARGET [$19.99] 11. Another versatile and classic coat with a detatchable collar // ZARA [$45.99] 12. Another perfect classic, yellow rainboots! // JOULES [$64]

If you see any outwear deals, comment below, we’d love to check them out!

snacks & bags

We may all have different resolutions and goals for this year, but one each of us can all agree on is eating and snacking healthier. It seems that we do pretty good at our homes, but it’s hardest when we’re out and about, is it that way for you too? Drive-thrus are so convenient, inexpensive and reliable. We know our kids will eat a chicken nugget, but that bowl of lentil soup? That’s a gamble. So, we’re making a goal as a team that instead of swinging through the drive-thru, we’ll stock up our kids’ favorite healthier snacks beforehand! The tried and true favorites we know they’ll munch. We packed them all in these darling lunch sacks from Dabbawalla and wouldn’t you know, after a few trips out, guess who’s asking for their Monkey bag?

QUINN + JUDE’S Rocket bag

fun & unique lunch bags for kids!What they’re munching: Lifefactory sippy, apple, almonds, hardboiled eggs, and celery sticks with Costco’s Cucumber Dill dip and Honest anti-bacterrial hand spray for pre-snack clean-up.

Make it fast: Jenna bakes a big batch of hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week and then snacks on them throughout.

*To bake your own hardboiled eggs, bake them at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, then places them in an ice bath for ten minutes to stop the cooling. Jenna uses a cupcake pan so the eggs don’t roll around and cook evenly.

DASH + SUNNY’S Stars and Stripes bag
(how cute is this Union Jack flag bag too?)

fun & unique lunch bags for kids!

What they’re munching:

Juice box, grapes, turkey and cheese sandwich, a clementine, with a handful of cookies, Vitamin C lozenges, and a couple bandaids for any boo-boos acquired on the road.

Make it fast: cookie cutters get those pesky crusts off in a hurry. Find the copper cookie cutter used for this post right here.

HAYES + CALLUM’S Monkey bag

fun & unique lunch bags for kids!What they’re munching: Salted edamame, peanuts, orange slices, a frozen Simply Go-gurt, and a matchbox car for playtime.

Make it work: It’s funny how Cal won’t eat a regular peeled orange, but will eat the orange “smiles”. They both love shelling edamame and peanuts (punching the peanuts with their fists and elbows more like it), but they make a royal mess so save it for the park or pack them pre-shelled! Lastly, frozen Simply Go-gurts make way less mess than their thawed counterparts and doesn’t have corn syrup, or artificial color or sweeteners.

We’re always looking for new snacks to try with our kids, and would love to hear: what healthy snacks do your kids love?

Tiny Tour : North Shore, Hawaii

The excitement of the holidays has passed, our trees are taken down, decorations put away, but where we live we still have a couple months of cold, cold Winter. These are the months where our need to head to warmer pastures becomes greatest and today’s Tiny Tour isn’t helping matters. Not to mention that more than one of us dreams of raising our boys at the beach, our envy is at an all time high today! Please welcome, Monica the The Grommom, who is sharing her favorite family-friendly stops on the North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii.Tiny Tourist Series | Small Fry

“Aloha! I’m Monica, and I live on the North Shore of Oahu with my husband, and our four sons…
I happen to think that our North Shore community is one of the greatest places on earth, so I am really excited to share it with you!

Tiny Tour | Grommom

When most people think of Oahu, they immediately think of Waikiki…A busy city, full of tourists, and crowded beaches. But up here on the North Shore it is an entirely different world. People still consider the North Shore “country,” with miles and miles of uncrowded beaches, and a much slower pace to life. There are farms growing tropical fruits, horse farms, and only two-lane roads.

Two of my boys are competitive surfers and skate boarders, and around here we call kids like that, “grommets,” or “groms,” (thus the name of my blog, “The Grommom.” ) As a family we thoroughly enjoy this beautiful place we call home. I’m doing my best to cut my list down, but trust me when I say that the North Shore of Oahu offers you plenty of options for as much activity, or relaxation, as you could want.

1. SHARK’S COVE

There are a lot of places on our North Shore that are great for snorkeling and playing in tide pools, but Sharks Cove is a favorite. Our ocean is almost always warm, especially in the shallow tide pools. They are absolutely beautiful, and there is always something fun to discover. Shell collecting, and hands-on-marine biology, at your finger-tips.

Tiny Tour | North Shore

Tiny Tour | North Shore

2. WAIMEA BAY

The perfect beach for sand and swim! Big kids love to JUMP off of the famous Waimea Bay Rock, and Little ones can play in the sand, splash in the water, or (on a lucky day,) watch dolphins swim through the bay.

Tiny Tour | North ShoreTiny Tour | North Shore

Tiny Tour | North Shore

(My nine-year-old, Luke, surfing North Shore waves.)

Tiny Tour | North Shore

4. FAMILY HIKES
Our North Shore has a number of great, shorter hikes that even little ones can handle…
Once you climb up the trails, you can enjoy the view from the top! Or, if you’d prefer to stay on flatter grounds, we have a wonderful bike path/boardwalk that goes for miles…with peeks at the ocean and the surf, all along the way.

Tiny Tour | North Shore

5. SHAVE ICE. (of course!)
It’s just what you do when you’re in Hawaii.

Tiny Tour | North Shore Tiny Tour | North Shore

There are many different spots to choose from. But we recommend ordering it with the ice cream in the bottom, (and my boys love the “snow cap”–a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk on top!)

6. FARMER’S MARKET

Tiny Tour | North Shore

We love our Farmer’s Market which is held every Thursday afternoon in Waimea Valley. There are also a couple on the weekend locally. The boys and I also stop by roadside stands to get tropical fruits, fresh coconut water, and sweet sugar cane to chew on! The locally grown flowers are pretty amazing too.

7. TURTLE WATCHING! Tiny Tour | North Shore

I can’t leave out the mentioning the HONU. (Honu is Hawaiian for sea turtle.) Our sea turtles are loved by both locals, and the tourists who come to visit. You can often find turtles sun-bathing right on public beaches.
Or if you prefer to swim with the turtles, jump in and go for it. There are laws against touching the turtles, or even getting closer than a few feet, but you can sure enjoy watching them. My fourteen year-old loves underwater photography, and he has a great collection of sea turtle photos, like this:

Tiny Tour | North Shore

If I had more space I’d begin to tell you about our favorite restaurants, and shops. (There are a lot!) Surf lessons, sky diving, deep sea fishing, and shark tours are just a few more fun activities to enjoy on the North Shore. I do keep a listing of our “North Shore Favorites” on the top menu bar of my blog, so feel free to visit here. I can promise you a visit to the North Shore of Oahu will not be disappointing!

MUCH ALOHA,
Monica”

You know that saying, “If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, than you’re lucky enough”? We’re thinking this definitely applies today. To follow along with Monica and her cutest surf-boys head to the Grommom blog, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Find all our Tiny Tour series’ posts right here. Warning: Wanderlust to follow.