Cozy Earth Bamboo Pajama Set (coupon code included)

Ok— I had heard absolutely wonderful things about these PJs and OH MY, now I can see why. They’re SO cozy. They’re made from a very light and breathable fabric and they’re even temperature regulating! They are also made without harsh chemicals/dyes, like shouldn’t everything?! And in my opinion they’re super flattering!

Little tip— don’t size up if you usually do! Sometimes when I shop, I’ll get a large even though I’m (usually) a medium because I like when things are roomy. This set is a M and they’re perfect!

Also, so you don’t have a heart attack when you see the price, I have a $65 off coupon code for the Stretch-Knit Bamboo Pajamas Set. If you’d like to get a pair for yourself or for Mother’s Day, they would make a wonderful gift to yourself or a loved one!

Code for $65 off: CANDIDLYKATELYN65OFF

xxoo Kate

Super easy bagel recipe

I’ve shared these homemade bagels on my Instagram stories a few times before but it’s time I share the SUPER easy recipe with you on here!

Only 5 Ingredients!

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (it has to be Greek)
  • 1 egg
  • Any toppings you’d like! (The ones we made today had cheese and Everything Bagel Seasoning!)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Place parchment (not wax) paper on a baking sheet. Spray with oil to avoid sticking.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder + salt. Whisk well. Add the yogurt and mix with a fork until well combined, it will look like small crumbles. (Make sure to add the yogurt to the dry mixture, not the other way around!)
  • Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough a few times until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 15 turns. It should not leave dough on your hand when you pull away. (I personally just powder my hands and roll/form within my hands rather than on the table).
  • Roll each ball into 3/4-inch thick ropes and join the ends to form bagels. (or you can make a ball and poke a hole in the center then stretch it slightly)
  • Top with egg wash and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes. (If you make them smaller, make sure to peek at them and make sure they’re not getting too brown). Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.

*Tweaked recipe from @skinnytaste

xxoo Kate

How to Feed Eggshells to Chickens

Composting eggshells is a fine option but your feathered friends could really benefit from them!

Each eggshell is composed of nearly 100% calcium. Laying hens need calcium in their diet in order to produce healthy eggs.

A lack of calcium can cause soft-shelled eggs or even worse, the egg could crack inside of your hen and that’s a really scary situation.

Crushed oyster shells are available to buy as a supplement for your chickens but the way I look at it… the eggs are free so why not utilize the shells? One instance when oyster shells are a great option, is if you’re selling or giving away so many eggs that you don’t have any shells to save for your flock. (Here’s a great oyster shell option).

Some people believe that the shells need to be baked in order to kill off any bacteria but many think that it is not necessary.

If you choose the baking route, just spread the semi-crushed shells out on a baking sheet and bake until brittle.

Bake at 350°F for approximately 5-10 minutes.

Put in a bag and roll to crush! (Kids love to help with this step!)

That’s it! They’re ready to feed to your chickens!

I wouldn’t suggest mixing the shells in with your chicken’s food. Serve it in a separate space so each chicken can eat as much as they’d like. I believe that they know what they need and they’ll eat accordingly.

It’s pretty simple and straightforward but a little something we learned along the way so I wanted to share it with you!

Sassy Maude

Do you supplement your chickens with their eggshells?

xxoo Kate

Let your child get bored

In a world that is so fast-paced, we need to let our children become bored from time to time! Boredom actually allows the brain to recover from the overstimulated world that we live in.

So many parents think that it’s their responsibility to fill every moment of their child’s time with activities, extracurriculars or screens. We all know how it feels to see the moms on social media doing ALL the things— crafts, field trips, baking, sports, dance and so on. I’ve been there finding myself wondering, “am I doing enough?” And that’s one of the best parts about embracing and encouraging this unstructured time— no more guilt! We can let that go because boredom is actually GOOD for them!

Being bored teaches us that life isn’t all rainbows and fireworks because as adults, we all know know that IT IS NOT.

Unstructured down time encourages creativity, independent thinking, and problem solving skills. Allowing that open ended time gives our children the opportunity to explore their inner selves and the world around them, diving deep into their interests and discovering their unique skills and passions! We aren’t nurturing them by giving them a toy that makes all of the noise for them or plopping them in front of the TV OR keeping them so busy that they don’t get to spend any time with themselves.

When a child is bored, it allows their minds to wander. As stated above, it’s not our jobs to entertain our kids but rather give them tools to be imaginative and creative. If we spend our time filling up our children’s spare time, they’ll never learn to do it for themselves. Boredom is good for the brain!

“I think it’s necessary to let kids get bored once in a while— that’s how they learn to be creative.” – Kim Raver

Do you let your kid(s) get bored?

xxoo Kate

How to afford wooden toys on a budget

I’m cheap. I love a good deal. I hate spending a ton of money if I don’t have to. If you’re like me, keep reading… Here’s what I do to afford our wooden toys—

Sell things you no longer want or need.

I often sell random things around the house to fund the toys we want. I’ve been on a semi-minimalist journey for a few years now and it feels so good to get rid of clutter and unused toys from around the house. In return, we can afford those special pieces we’ve been wanting. Utilize Facebook marketplace, BST (buy sell trade) pages, Craigslist, Poshmark, Mercari, whatever works best for you. Another thing to note is that these toys hold their value. Most of the time, if you sell in the right place, you can get back what you paid if not more depending on the item.

*If you’re new to Mercari, here’s a discount for you: click here!

Shop second hand.

As stated above, wooden toys really hold their value so it’s not often that you can get a huge steal, but it happens from time to time. Keep your eyes out on all of the pages mentioned above and you just might find a needle in the haystack! This has happened with us several times so be persistent, it does happen!

Go thrifting.

You don’t need the name brands when it comes to wooden toys. Wooden blocks are wooden blocks and they’re amazing either way! And sometimes, you do find the sought after brands. I come from a small town and I remember thinking “eh, I’ll never find anything like that here” but I was so wrong! One time I found a small set of blocks with different rainbow shakers inside of them and when I looked them up, they were worth over $55 and I got them for $1.49. I’m not trying to sit here and brag about my finds, I’m simply stating that it makes it THAT much more rewarding and exciting when you do happen upon something. Again, keep your eyes out at all times.

A cute toy car I found for $2.49
A cute toy car I found for $2.49

Get crafty.

You don’t need to be super crafty to do some of these things!

Make some peg dolls, they’re super easy and can be purchased for a very fair price. Add some paint and wa-la! I made these rainbow peg dolls for my youngest daughter as a first try and they were really fun. I’m excited to make more and get even more detailed!

Items for purchase: peg dolls, paint markers, paints

Things like these would also be super easy to make too! Volcanoes, houses, wooden rings (purchase here) etc. (pictures below are not mine, used for reference).

Make a list give it out on special occasions.

Many of us know what it’s like to hear “what does little Benny want for his birthday?” And then panic sets in because you can’t think of anything in that moment. If you don’t have present family/friends in your life, the above options are very effective! However if you do, I encourage you to keep an ongoing list of “wants” available for times like these! You could even ask that loved ones go in on a gift together because some can be quite expensive! Encourage them to keep their eyes out for certain things throughout the year because the more people searching for you, the better!

Don’t know what the wooden toy hype is all about? I break it all down for you here!

Those are my tips on how to acquire wooden toys on a budget! Do you have anything to add? Please leave your ideas down in the comments!

xxoo Kate

Wooden toys, what’s the hype?

First I want to start off by saying— The influencers that speak about wooden toys like it ain’t no thaaang to acquire them, are speaking from a place of privilege. To most people, the price points are quite shocking. I’ve been there. Like why on earth are we out here buying $100+ rainbows?! There’s so much more to it, so let me explain.

Quality over quantity.

Yes, that price at first is like *mini heart attack* however, most people investing in wooden toys know that it’s because they want quality goods. I know what you’re thinking, who doesn’t? Many people will choose to buy ONE big set of wooden building blocks vs five plastic-flashy-noisy-toys. The plastic-flashy-noisy toys will not last as long because there are way more moving parts, pieces, lights, etc. that can break or malfunction. (I’d love to touch more on the value of open ended play later on if you’re interested).

They’re open ended.

Oskars Wooden Ark does a good job at describing what opened ended play is- Open-ended play can be described as play that has no pre-determined limitations and no fixed answer – children simply follow their imagination to allow the play to go in any direction their creativity takes them. As there are no set outcomes, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with open-ended play. Read more here.

Many plastic-flashy-noisy toys do not allow for this as they do the thinking for the child. For example, a toy truck that makes noises and flashes its lights, does not allow for the child to think for themselves by making the “beep beep” or “vroom” noises or simply imagining the lights. The imagination doesn’t have to work quite as hard. Working our children’s imagination is IMPORTANT because play, IS a child’s work. Wooden blocks are one of the best things you can purchase for your child. The possibilities are endless.

Better for the environment.

For a lot of people, the environmental factor is a huge reason they choose the wooden route. It seems like just more recently I’ve noticed a lot of anti-plastic movements and it’s great. I love that for the environment. Do we personally own plastic toys? Here and there, yes, but we are more conscious of it and I think it’s something everyone should be aware of.

Plastic toys account for 90% of the toy market. On average, the plastic toys are only played with for 6 months. Plastic toys have a shorter lifespan and they’re rarely recycled. It’s not often that a toy actually qualifies for recycling because they’re frequently made with other metals. You know what that means… they find themselves in a landfill. In 2014 Americans generated 33 million tons of plastic. We’ve got to do better.

Healthier for your family.

The health effects of the chemicals used in plastic toys are not fully known. One common chemical used is phthalates. Phthalates are known to cause birth defects and cancer. And don’t get me started on the toys made overseas. Those are even less regulated and many have been shown to contain lead, yes lead! Children are of course at higher risk of being exposed to these chemicals because toys commonly make their way to the mouth.

Fund a neighbor, not a large corporation

Many wooden toys can be purchased from small shops, Etsy, craft shows, local co ops, thrifted etc. I’m sure you’d agree that you’d like your money to go into a neighbor’s pocket rather than one of a big corporation’s overflowing money bags.

*Please don’t be shy about asking seller’s if they’re CPSC compliant. In 2008 Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) – this act states that all manufacturers must pay a qualified lab to test and certify any product intended for children (otherwise known as a “third party test”) and label all relevant products accurately in case of a recall. Read more here.

Can be used as heirloom toys.

Wooden toys last! Heirloom toys are toys that can be passed down from generation to generation and they function just as wonderfully as they did in the past. They’re used as a special keepsake to be given to grandchildren one day!

Cult Facebook pages, not necessary, not recommended.

Don’t join the cult-like Facebook groups unless you’ve got a seriously strong willpower to resist the social pressure and pandemonium. I’ve joined a couple myself and people go CRAZY over new releases, buying and reselling, having the newest and most sought after pieces. I’m not kidding, people are in there forking over thousands of dollars. DON’T DO IT.

So as you can see, purchasing/acquiring wooden toys is done for many different reasons, all of which are pretty good if you ask me. If you’re wondering how you can buy wooden toys on a tight budget, click here!

Also coming soon- popular and loved wooden toy brands, our favorites and more! If Amazon is more your speed, click here to explore some of the toys we adore!

xxoo Kate

Halloween Movies That Are Actually Appropriate For Young Kids

I absolutely adore Halloween movies but now that I’m a parent with children of my own, I am realizing that most Halloween movies are pretty inappropriate… Even one of my favorites, Hocus Pocus, is about witches sucking the lives out of children. Most parents will say “oh my kids don’t even notice,” or “they look right over those details,” and that’s great but my kids aren’t like that. They analyze everything. They were terrified watching Frozen 2 because of the water scenes because they were afraid she was going to drown. In other words, scary movies aren’t really their “thing” right now. Someday we will be able to enjoy some of my Halloween favorites but for now, we need some “gentle” titles. Here are some that I’ve complied in case you’re in the same boat as I am. For reference, my kids are ages 5, 3.5 and just about 2!

It’s the Great Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown “The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.” – IMDb


Hotel Transylvania (there is also a 2 and 3) “Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teenaged daughter.” – IMDb


Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie “Lumpy teams with tiny Roo for a Halloween adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood, in this animated tale about friendship, bravery, and teamwork.” – Amazon


Toy Story of Terror “Woody and the gang are held up at a roadside motel and members of the group start to disappear from everywhere. Woody and set about getting to the bottom of the mystery.” – IMDb


Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest “George and Allie visit Renkins’ farm on the occasion of Halloween and learn of a spooky legend about a scarecrow who attacks people wearing hats. The duo try to get to the bottom of the mystery.” – Common Sense Media


Monsters Inc “There’s a reason why there are monsters in children’s closets—it’s their job. Monsters, Inc. is the most successful scream-processing factory in the monster world, and there is no better Scarer than James P. Sullivan. But when “Sulley” accidentally lets a little human girl into Monstropolis, life turns upside down for him and his buddy Mike.” – Pixar


Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit “Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.” – Amazon


Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey’s Monster Musical “Who, or what, is making a curious clanging, banging noise? With the right Monster Mouseketools and help from YOU, this mystery will soon be history!” – Amazon

Mickey’s Treat “Everyone’s invited to Big Pete’s Halloween party. But the gang needs to reach Trick-Or-Treat Tower before the moon is full, or the gates will lock and the party will be over before it even starts. Can they get through the foggy woods, past the Candy Corn Patch and over the drawbridge in time?” – Amazon


Room on the Broom
“Based on Julia Donaldson’s picture book, telling the story of a kind witch who invites a collection of animals to join her on her broom, though her cat thinks it will get too crowded. Her new friends make themselves useful, however, when the witch is threatened by a fearsome dragon.”


Super Monsters Save Halloween “The Super Monsters use their powers to get their neighbors in the Halloween spirit, then help a nervous friend see there’s nothing to be afraid of.”


Double, Double, Toil and Trouble “On Halloween night, two precocious little girls try to save their parents from their nasty old aunt’s greedy clutches. Magic abounds and they meet mysterious new friends along the way.” – IMDb


Spookley the Square Pumpkin
“Poor Spookley is a pumpkin with a square shape rather than round. He’s teased by other mean round pumpkins. But he receives help from a Scarecrow and his 2 bat side-kicks and 3 very funny spiders.” -IMDb

As always, I recommend you check out the film before you commit to viewing them together because it’s an awful feeling when you’re in the middle of watching something and realize “oh wow, that was not something I wanted my kids to see….”

I hope you and your family are able to enjoy some of these and have a Happy Halloween friends!!

xxoo Kate