Oliver’s Kitchen: PZAS Toys – 38 PC. Wooden Play Food, with 3 Mixing Bowls

We love this salad set for the play kitchen. It is very well made and I would definitely buy other play food sets from them.


I liked this set over the other salad set because all of the pieces are wood instead of some being felt.  It also added some healthier pretend meal options to Oliver’s kitchen. 🙂


The set comes with everything you need to make a salad.  A large bowl to toss the salad in, two smaller bowls to serve it in, a salt shaker, olive oil and lemon juice.


Oliver loves to toss the salad.



Oliver likes to make goggles out of the peppers. 🙂


He gets a little frustrated when trying to serve the salad with the fork and spoon so he uses his hands instead.


Lemon juice…


And some Parmesan Cheese out from the Hape Pasta Set.


And after all that hard work, it was time to relax. 😀web-2727


Oliver’s Kitchen: Melissa & Doug -Wooden Steep & Serve Tea Set

This is an adorable wooden tea set and is one of our favorite things in the kitchen.  Since he likes to make coffee, I knew he would enjoy this too. 🙂

This set comes with everything pictured below.


You can purchase it here.


The set comes with this adorable tea box and six different kinds of tea.  Each spot is labeled and color coated and so is the clear lid on the top.


Oliver loves to sort them by color.


The box it came with is well made (and it is more adorable in person) but we actually picked out this set for him hoping the tea would fit in this adorable thrifted find…


We found this tiny tea tin at our local Goodwill store and knew we had to have it.  I thought it would be cute of the kitchen and Oliver was just excited that it was a bus. 🙂


The six bags of tea fit perfectly.


The set comes with this red plate and two cookies.  We also like to use a couple things from other sets like this honey (from the Hape Pop-Up Toaster) and this lemon (from the Hape Fresh Fruit set).


Pouring the water…


Picking out the tea…


Adding some lemon…


We also use the pitcher to make iced tea lemonade like we do in the real kitchen. 🙂web_tea-2610

And of course, sugar.





Oliver’s Kitchen: Fisher Price – Wooden Toys Early Bird Barista Set

Our second post from the play kitchen!  Oliver has been enjoying picking out which sets to play with.  We take a few photos and then we have lots of playtime after. 🙂

web-2196This set was the first thing we bought for the play kitchen… before we even had the kitchen!

It was originally available at Target and ours was out of stock a couple times before we could get it – but I’m so glad we got one!  You can now buy them here.


This coffee tin was found at our local Goodwill store and is the perfect size for the kitchen.  Oliver likes that he can pretend to scoop coffee just like he sees us do!


The measuring spoons made a great stocking stuffer this last Christmas and can be found at Hobby Lobby.


We really liked that this set was a french press since that’s what he sees us use.


We usually look for wood toys for the play kitchen as they seem to hold up the best.  Each piece in this set is a mix of wood and plastic and they are very well made.


He loves to add cream and sugar and always asks “more? Enough?”


What are some of your favorite coffee sets for play kitchens?

Toddler Room – Camping Theme

Oliver’s room was the first room we put together at the new house and now we have changed a few things to make it a toddler room.

You will recognize a lot of things from his woodland themed nursery.  We were excited to find a mistint gallon of paint in almost the same color when we moved to the new house. Here are a few photos of his nursery at the new house before we moved things:

And here is his room now (details and links posted below):


Photo frames: My First Year and Mommy + Daddy = Me


Lamp, lampshade, Marshmallows tin – All found at Goodwill and this small dresser was found at a local antique shop.



This crib-to-toddler-bed is made by Lolly & Me and can be found in a different color here.

This rug we found at a garage sale and it does not have a tag so I’m not sure what brand it is.


This polar bear pillow was another Goodwill find.


These adorable free printable (and more) can be found here.

These were printed out as a 5×7 and put in frames that we found at Goodwill to spray paint.


I found this at a garage sale several years ago and it works out perfect in a camping theme room!  I have been watching for J. Hostvet prints at Thrift stores since I found this but have only found a couple of things on eBay and Etsy.


This Moon in My Room was a hand-me-down from my younger brother.  It’s the perfect addition to the room, makes a great nightlight…AND has a remote (bonus!)


Of course we kept the camper in his room!  And he he still loves to sit in this car which we have kept as an indoor toy.

I have a couple designs in mind for two frames to hang above the camper but those are not close to being done and I couldn’t wait to share the rest.


This camper has so much space inside and is his favorite place to play!  We have this kitchen set up on one side and a beanbag and pillows on the other side for us to sit on while he’s playing.  We could probably do a whole post just on all of the sets we have found to go with the kitchen. 🙂


These are Christmas ornaments that we found at Target last year but they have similar ones this year.


It may not fit with the camping theme but I found this at Goodwill several years ago and his room seemed like a good place to hang it up.


One last photo of the full room.  🙂

2nd Birthday Party – Spotted Monkey Theme

We chose to make a party theme around Oliver’s favorite toy – the ‘Dazzle Dots’ monkey by Mary Meyer toys/Taggies.  It was fun to find different things to match the theme.


Here are a few of the details from the party…


The cups, plates, napkins and table cloth were all from Party City.  We bought brown napkins and four different color plates to match the colors of the spots his monkey has. The colors we used were Robin’s Egg Blue, Orange, Kiwi Green and Red. The red silverware was from the Dollar Tree.

Click the link to shop the collection of polka dotted party supplies here.



Oliver enjoyed helping us decorate this year. 🙂  Since the crepe paper we used from his first birthday were 3 of the same colors, we just used what we had left over.  These colors were found at Target for $2 each but they also have them at Party City.


For the cupcakes we put together a few ideas that I found online to make them look like a monkey.

All of the cake supplies were found at Target.

The Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix and frosting were perfect for our theme and the frosting already came with the color spots that we needed for the monkey.

We used Wilton Candy Eyeballs for the eyes – which we also used for his cupcakes last year.

The rest was made with an upside-down vanilla wafer and frosting for the face and Cheerios for the ears.


If you really want to get creative you can make them each have their own facial expression – I just did one. 🙂


What’s a monkey theme party without banana bread?  There are so many great recipes online.  This streusel one was delicious!


The original plan was to have a polka dotted pasta salad but I could not find tricolor wagon wheel pasta noodles.  It still had some spots with the olives and mini pepperonis.


To add to the spotted theme, grapes!


The balloons were all from Party City as well.


I was really excited to find these party hats on Amazon.  There are plates and napkins to match but I enjoyed putting together the ones that we used instead. The extra hats were given to his friends on the toy shelf. 🙂


For party bags we found these small gift bags on clearance at Target.  We filled them each with bubbles and a pair of socks.


I tried getting a photo of both of them but after a delayed nap time for Oliver, monkey was the only one that would sit for a photo. 🙂


Unwinding from a busy day with lots of family, cake and gifts!

Last but not least, if you want your own spotted monkey, you can buy one here. 🙂

Oliver’s Guide to… keeping Mom & Dad awake all night

Hi Everyone, Oliver here.  I am now seven weeks old.

People keep telling me that seven must be my lucky number since I was born at 7:00pm weighing 7lbs 7oz.  Keeping with the pattern of 7’s, I wanted to share seven of my favorite ways to keep my parents awake at night:

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1. Take Power Naps During Your Bottle: It’s common for Mom and Dad to give you an extra ounce to eat before bed so you will sleep longer.  Whatever you do, do not drink the full bottle. It is so much harder to stay awake with a full tummy.  Taking a short power nap after each ounce will not only buy you more time, but also help you catch up on sleep so you can stay awake longer.  By the time you finish one bottle, it will almost be time for another one!  This one can buy you at least a couple hours. 

2. Timing: It’s understandable that you will have to fall asleep at some point but it is all about timing.  Only fall asleep within 30 minutes before your next bottle is due.  This is your time to completely relax and let yourself fall asleep.  Don’t worry about sleeping for too long, your tummy will wake you back up soon.  After your next bottle, you will want to repeat this and keep Mom or Dad awake for another 2-3 hours so it is very important that you get your rest when you can.

3. Fill Your Diaper: The process of filling your diaper helps you stay awake.  Make as much noise as possible during this time to be sure Mom and Dad hear what you are doing (it will also keep them awake).  When you get to the changing table to be changed, they will have to turn the light on.  Be sure to stare at the light, it will help you wake yourself up even more.

4. Get the Hiccups: For me this usually happens after I fill my diaper so it is a great one to use in the same night that you try that one.  It works best if you also try this one on nights when you do not burp after your last bottle. Mom knows that I always spit up if I don’t burp and I get the hiccups after drinking a bottle.  Mom will be so worried about you possibly spitting up while you are laying on your back that she will jump out of bed and hold you until they go away.  Hiccups can last for a while so just wait them out.  They may not be the most comfortable but they are what is buying you extra snuggle time before bed.

5. Smile:  It seems so simple but parents go crazy over this when you are my age.  I guess I don’t do it very often yet.  When I look at them as they are rocking me to sleep, all I have to do is lift the corners of my mouth slightly while making eye contact and it instantly buys me an extra 10-30 minutes of awake time.  Mom and Dad will forget that they were trying to make you fall asleep and their new mission will be to make you smile.  Be sure to space them out a little to drag out this time as long as possible.  If you give them a second smile one of them will probably go grab the camera and they will both wait for you to do it again.

6. Refuse The Pacifier:  This is a trap.  I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I fall asleep so much easier when I have this in my mouth.  Mom and Dad must know this because they always seem to give it to me when they are trying to get me to fall asleep.

7. Breathe Quietly:  Mom is always listening to me as she falls asleep and nothing makes her jump out of bed faster than if I suddenly decide to start breathing quieter.  You can use this trick a couple times each night.  The trick is to wait until you see Mom turn off the lamp and hear her get back in bed. I recommend using this one no more than a couple times each night so she doesn’t catch on. 


Good luck! 🙂








Oliver’s Top Five – Newborn to 6 Weeks

Before Oliver was born it was a complete guessing game when we put together the baby registry.  The swaddle wrap and pacifier that he chose ended up being the ones they used at the hospital with him and we also tried a couple different bottles before we found the best one.  Several of the toys we knew he wouldn’t play with until he was older but a couple were nice to have in the first few weeks.  Clearly these are all things he wanted to pick out on his own when he got here. 🙂


This will now be Oliver’s contribution to the family blog and I will update them as he gets older and has new favorites. 🙂

Oliver’s Top Five so far (complete with Amazon links):

1. HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle: The nurses kept him in this during out hospital stay but I don’t think we really appreciated it until we got home.  It is so convenient for nighttime feedings and diaper changes for the first few weeks when they like to stay swaddled.  With the zipper starting at the bottom you can keep them wrapped up while you check or change their diaper which helped him fall back asleep.  We used this so often that we had to go to Target to buy him another one so we weren’t doing laundry so much. He slept in these for the first four weeks before he no longer liked to be swaddled and we switched him to fleece sleepers.ADSC_0051

2. WubbaNubHe really liked the Soothie pacifier that they gave him in the hospital so it was great when a friend gave him one of these.  At first I thought it was just a cute toy that was functional, but now I don’t know what we’d do without it.  Not only are they super cute but they help keep the pacifier from falling when he pushes it out of his mouth.  It’s especially nice when he is in the car seat and can now put it back in his mouth on his own since it keeps it right up by his mouth.  When he’s fighting going to sleep he now snuggles when we wrap him in his blanket.  At 5 and 6 weeks he has started holding the giraffe’s hand too. 🙂

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3. Playtex Bottle with drop-in liners: We started using these with him when he was almost 4 weeks old after we noticed he was uncomfortable and had a lot of discomfort from gas bubbles.  Since using these we have noticed that he does not spit up and no longer is fussy when working on a diaper.  They have definitely made a big difference.  There is also a Target brand liner that works in these bottles which saves a little money.

4. Fisher Price Singing Star Gym: He first started showing interest in this when he was almost 4 weeks old.  We have an older version of this toy that’s in the link but it does the same thing.  He likes watching the mirror reflection on the stars when he hits them but he can’t hit them hard enough yet to make the music start on his own.  When the music is playing he loves to follow the lights on the keys with his eyes.  It’s neat that he can grow into this toy as a keyboard to stand at when he’s a toddler.

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5. Fisher Price Cuddle Soother Elephant: This originally helped him relax when he had gas bubbles but now it also helps him fall asleep.