Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Magnetic Alphabet Maze from Lakeshore Learning

I try to incorporate learning into Miss Cupcake's playtime as much as possible.This Magnetic Alphabet Maze from Lakeshore Learning has been a huge hit at our house! She was first introduced to this fun maze at our local library and quickly decided that she wanted one of her very own.  Hours of fun have been generated from this Magnetic Alphabet Maze with no end in sight.  Miss Cupcake loves the challenge of the maze.  I love that she is reinforcing her knowledge of the alphabet, strengthening her fine motor skills, and having oodles of fun.  She enjoys playing with this at her lovely Lipper International child's table and chair set.

 This is such an irresistible, hands-on way to explore the alphabet.  The sturdy hardwood maze has colorful balloons that represent each letter of the alphabet, plus 26 corresponding letter magnets.  Miss Cupcake uses the attached magnetic want to guide each letter into place reinforcing letter identification and alphabet order with every match that she makes! 

This 14 1/2" maze has a permanently sealed, clear-view top to keep the letters contained.
Unlike many toys with small pieces, this is completely mess free and the pieces never get lost.  As with all the Lakeshore Learning products that we have tried, the quality of this maze is outstanding. Miss Cupcake will certainly be enjoying this Magnetic Alphabet Maze for years to come.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DIY LEGO Table & Storage

organization, storage, diy

Miss Cupcake loves nothing more than playing with her Duplo LEGOS, but keeping them organized has been a struggle.  In the process of redecorating her room, we decided to create this functional little LEGO table/toy storage center.  It was incredibly simple and (most importably) she adores it.  I like that it provides her with a build-able LEGO plate, a convenient place to store her LEGOS, and additional space for books/toys.

Here's what I used:

Miss Cupcake and I turned the ClosetMaid 3-Shelf Organizer over on the side, glued down the Pink 15"x10.5" Duplo compatible plate, and added the Basket Bins organize her many, many LEGOS.  This left enough room to add a few of her favorite books on the middle shelf.

This post contains affiliate links.
Some of the photos included in this post do not belong to Skinny Latte Mommy but are being used with permission as an Amazon affiliate.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

So what's the deal with Swagbucks?

I briefly mentioned my love for Swagbucks several weeks ago, and I immediately got oodles of requests for more information.  Other than answer each question individually, I decided to sum it all up for everyone.  Here are the answers to the most-asked questions I received regarding this website.

What is Swagbucks? is the web's most popular rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. 

Does Swagbucks cost to join?
Nope!  It's 100% free to join.

How does Swagbucks work?
Earn points when you shop at your favorite retailers, watch entertaining videos, search the web, answer surveys and find great deals. Redeem points for gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon (my personal favorite) and Walmart or get cash back from Paypal. Swagbucks has already paid out over $120 million in cash and free gift cards. 

How much can you earn with Swagbucks?
It's totally up to you!  You can earn $5 per day just watching videos.  That adds up to $35 of free cash per week.  Not a bad deal considering that these videos can simply play in the background while you do other things.  Tons of other super easy options for earning are available.  

Do you have to put a lot of time in to earn?
Not necessarily.  Play the videos while you work around the house and sign up for a few offers and/or surveys per day can give a decent pay off.  You can also earn money from everyday purchases that you already make online.

What are the cash out options?
You can choose to redeem your earnings for gift cards or get cash back via PayPal.

Why do I personally love Swagbucks?
As a busy mom, I enjoy finding ways to make money during Miss Cupcake's nap time!  I start a video playlist, fold laundry, and earn Swagbucks.  My favorite way to cash in is through Amazon gift cards which I spend on decor and DIY items.

Put cash back in your wallet. Join for free today. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wood Tilt Out Trash Cabinet

I have never liked having a visible trashcan in the kitchen.  For the last couple years I have hidden the trashcan in the pantry, but it is inconvenient.  Recently I discovered this Wood Tilt Out Trash Cabinet from Sawdust City.  I decided that the large trash cabinet in Country White was a must-have. Not only did it provide attractive trashcan storage, but this cabinet also gave me a bit more counter space in my small kitchen.

This gorgeous cabinet comes in fifty different colors to match virtually any decor.  This is a fantastic piece of storage furniture.  It can be also be used as a recycling bin, a laundry bing, or even a dog food bin!  This larger model has a shelf for trash bags and holds a 41 quart trashcan which is included.

The Wood Tilt Out Trash Cabinet is just one of the quality wooden items available from Sawdust City.  Use code CONTEST50 when purchasing any item from the website to be entered to win a $50.00 gift certificate!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Amazon Baby Girl Essentials

When my sweet Miss Cupcake was an infant, she was constantly snuggled up in her baby sling.  This Mamaway Ring Sling Carrier is the perfect way to keep your little darling close and make breastfeeding convenient.

These incredibly soft Zoozik banana bibs make mealtime a lot more trendy!
The 100% front and cozy fleece back make these bibs practically and comfortable.
Four adjustable bibs are included in the set.

The delicate rose details make this unique and positively feminine.

This fantastic pillow helps prevent flat head in newborns while keeping them safely and comfortable positioned while sleeping.  It comes in several cute animal shapes.

Every little lady enjoys a luxurious bath.
This Blooming Bath is soft, durable, and fits in most sinks/bathtubs.

This Boppy Newborn Lounger in French Rose is the perfect place to relax!
It has a handle making it easy to carry along wherever Mom goes.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Photo Credit: NNelumba


"My child's laughter is my favorite sound!  
The sound of her deep breathing when I know she's asleep is a close second!"

My spunky little Miss Cupcake struggles to stay asleep at night.  Her curiously gets the best of her, and she pops out of bed each and every time she hears a sound.  We love her to pieces, but it can be exhausting.  We decided to give the LectroFan Fan Sound & White Noise Machine a try.  When it arrived in mail, Miss Cupcake was eager to test it out.  In fact, she immediately climbed into bed and announced that she was ready to take a nap.  To my delight, she napped for a solid four hours without a peep!  Since then,  she affectionately refers to it as her "sleep machine" and asks for it each time she goes to bed.  

The LectroFan Fan Sound & White Noise Machine has ten distinct fan sounds and ten non-repeating white noise sounds.  It is so incredibly relaxing and blocks out the distracting noises that may keep Miss Cupcake awake.  The sleep timer allows me to decide how long the sounds play- I can set it for a few hours for a nap or let it play all night long.  

I was pleasantly surprised by the compact size of this machine, and I love that it comes with a convenient case that we can use when traveling.  This will certainly be going on vacation with us this summer!  I have been so impressed with this machine that I would love one for my room as well.  The white sound is so incredibly soothing.  I tried to borrow Miss Cupcake's machine for a night, but she is quite protective of her LectroFan.  Perhaps if I get her the LectroFan Jr, which includes lullabies,  she will be willing to share this one with me.

Sweet dreams!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

It's ok to say "No, Thank you!" || Boundaries For Children

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." 
  — Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and statesman 

It's ok to say "No, Thank You!"
One in five girls and one in twenty boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.  More than 90% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone who the child knows and trusts, such as a teacher, neighbor, or family member.  Yet, children are often taught that it is always disrespectful to say "no" to an adult.  This is clearly problematic and puts children in a particularly vulnerable situation.  Children who believe that it is unacceptable to place boundaries with adults or that they will be punished for saying "no" are at a much greater risk of becoming a victim. Children should understand that if they feel uncomfortable in a situation or do not want physical affection it is fine to say "No, thank you!"  This means that children have the right to politely deny hugs and kisses from an adult.  Rudeness is not acceptable, but turning down physical affection that makes them uneasy or that they are not in the mood for is a healthy boundary.  Last week I was tickling Miss Cupcake.  She said, "Stop!" In a moment of playfulness, I attempted to keep tickling her.  She politely yet firmly stated, "Please respect my 'no, thank you!'"  I held back a chuckle because it sounded funny coming from a stern faced three year old, but I was incredibly proud of her for politely placing a boundary.  No one is ever obligated to let another person hug, kiss, or touch them in any way that makes them feel uncomfortable.  This may mean that I occasionally get denied a hug from Miss Cupcake. And that's perfectly ok with me.

Secrets aren't safe!
Secrets are a risky business when it comes to children.  An article called "Why we Don't Keep Secrets In our House" describes the benefits of adopting a no-secret rule in households with children.  The article states, "We don't keep secrets in our house, we do surprises."  The difference can be explained to young children by stating that a surprise is something you will temporarily keep quite, while a secret is one you keep forever.  While playful secrets may seem innocent, children should never be asked to keep a secret.  If the issue must be kept a secret, a child should not be involved. Abusers actively seek out children who they believe they will be able to manipulate into keeping "their secret" from others.  Children who have been expected to keep secrets in the past may not be able to distinguish when it is appropriate to tell.  Teaching young children that they can always confide in a trusted adult if something feels uncomfortable and that they are never responsible for keeping a secret is a powerful way to help them self-protect. 

No, he is NOT pulling your hair because he likes you!
How many times has a little girl come crying to a parent or teacher because she has been pushed or taunted by a boy only to be told, "He's only doing that because he likes you!"  This response makes me cringe.  Love is about respect and treating someone with kindness- regardless of their age.  Sadly, many young women and men have inadvertently been taught that to be loved is to excuse mistreatment or domestic violence.  Every nine seconds in the United States, a women is assaulted or beaten.  Nearly twenty people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.  This means that during one year, more than 10 million women and men are experiencing abuse in their relationships.  Many of these individuals choose to stay with their partner despite the abuse.  Teaching children - boys and girls - that being treated badly is a sign of affection is clearly a bad idea.  Instead, children should be taught to treat others with respect and that mistreatment will not be tolerated.