Thinker Contest: Interpret That Masterpiece!!

I’ve been endlessly amused lately by my 3 year old’s long and detailed explanations of her drawings. Her art became an after hours guessing game with Daddy for a while – the ultimate how well do you know your child showdown – but he knows her too well, it was way too easy for him. I was expecting a lot more creativity, a lot more comedy. Then I realized I just needed different players for this game. (Plus I have a wonderful prize from Starbucks that I need a reason to give away!).

O drawing 2

So here’s the rules: 1. Follow me on Twitter @ThinkerMommy, 2. Follow me on Pinterest and 3. Leave a comment below with your best guess at what the drawing above depicts. The person whose comment most closely matches the description my daughter gave for this original piece of art will win. And if this guessing game turns out to be far easier than I expected and more than one person gets it “right,” I will give extra points for creativity (and/or use a random number generator) to select the winner. P.S. #1 and #2 aren’t totally required (like if you don’t have a Twitter account or you don’t use Pinterest, don’t let that stop you from entering) but please follow me on those sites otherwise, I’d really appreciate it!

The winner gets a 10 oz bag of ground Holiday Blend coffee from Starbucks and 2 stacking peppermint-striped Starbucks mugs (12oz).

Note: Only 1 bag of coffee is included in the prize - I had to sample the other one.

Note: Only 1 bag of coffee is included in the prize – I had to sample the other one.

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How to Bake With A 3-Year-Old

My daughter O loves this Fisher-Price app called the Little People Learning Market. One really cute part asks you what type of treat you would like to bake: an apple pie, cookies or cupcakes, and then has you 1. add items from your shopping list (matching) 2. prepare the treat (drag, tap, tip to pour, etc) and finally 3. put it in the oven to bake. Ever since she started playing this game, she regularly runs into our kitchen, announces it’s “time to bake!”, and grabs the flour and a mixing bowl. It’s adorable and it got me thinking – she’s already doing it in a game, why not in real life?

I decided to turn a simple recipe of ours for banana bread from my hand-written index card into an image-loaded, kid-friendly version. Here’s how:

I went to Google Docs and opened a new Drawing. Google Docs has this handy tool where you can search Google images right from the drawing document page and easily add them. So I just went through my recipe and found a picture of each ingredient. I added large text in a text box for the exact amounts needed of each and put the steps in order. Then, I used the shape option to group the wet and dry ingredients together visually in their own boxes. Last, I just printed it and O was ready to help me bake “all by herself” in less than 5 minutes. Here it is (a downloadable PDF is also at the bottom of this post):

banana bread for kids image

O was so happy to have her own recipe. She took her job of reading me the ingredients very seriously and was pretty good at filling up the cups (using a second cup to fill the first is easiest). Just make sure you’re ready to intercept when your preschooler runs to the fridge and tries to carry out the eggs to you (lesson learned!!).  O can identify numbers but is not getting fractions yet so I’m still trying to think up a way to help her be able to identify and use the correct measuring cup or spoon all on her own. I could just add a picture of the correct measuring device on there next time so then it’ll be more matching. Or maybe color code the measuring cups with a piece of colored tape on the bottom (while still putting the measurement on there so she can see both and still learn it). Let me know if you have any ideas and enjoy!

Banana Bread recipe for kids PDF download

banana bread

So good we couldn’t even wait for the picture to be taken before eating it. We made ours with cinnamon chips.

Free Baby & Pregnancy Magazine Subscriptions

By the time you’ve gotten to one of the baby or pregnancy magazines in your OBGYN’s office, the little subscription inserts have probably fallen out long ago. And you may or may not feel comfortable taking one of them home, even if there is a huge stack of magazines sitting out (like I do). But, worry not, you can actually get a free subscription to some of these magazines as long as you live in the US! American Baby and Baby Talk are 2 really fun (and useful) magazines and both are completely free.

Use these links to subscribe (and get personalized email newsletters and offers too, if you want). Note: when clicking on the Baby Talk link, scroll down to the very bottom of the page to find the sign up form.

American Baby and Baby Talk

And you’re welcome!!

Baby Registry Freebies

Buybuy Baby - Cute Paper Gift Bag

Buybuy Baby Gift Bag contents

There are a ton of stores where you can buy baby stuff and most of those stores want you to create a baby registry with them so that all your friends will have to visit that store to buy you baby shower gifts, etc. Some stores, like Giggle, will even give you cute little cards to include with your baby shower invitations and/or birth announcements that tell everyone which store to visit to find your registry (helps prevent “Oh, you didn’t have a registry at the store I visited so I just bought you these bottles from a brand you don’t like and baby booties that you already have enough of.”). And, of course, every store will give you a checklist of the baby “essentials” you need to buy.

But even if you think nobody is actually going use your registry (and you might be surprised – we were), you should absolutely still make at least one (or as many as possible in case you have non-internet savvy family members who can only shop at actual stores nearby them). Here’s the first good reason: registry completion discounts. Most stores will give you a coupon for 10% off any of the items remaining on your registry that weren’t bought for you. So, if you’re going to end up buying stuff for yourself, put it on your registry and then wait for your coupon!! (Note: the coupon is mailed after your due date, so up your due date by a few weeks when registering to make sure you get the coupon in time to use it before you bring baby home).

Second reason to create a registry: free gift bags!!! Now, I am a bit of a gift bag addict, but I think everyone likes free stuff, especially when they’re things you actually need. I’ve only found 3 stores that give actual gift bags just for creating a registry with them:  Target, Buybuy Baby and Babies”R”Us so of course, I did the “hard” work of trying them all out for you. :)  Probably based on the season and availability, I know that what you see here is probably not exactly the same as what you’ll get, but it’ll give you a good estimate (2 years ago, with my first baby, I got a car sunshade and a bib, for example, which were not in the gift bags this year). These gift bags benefit stores because after you try the products and like them, you’ll use the enclosed coupons to go back to that store and make a full-sized purchase. And I loved that there were very few duplicate gift items between stores. Here’s the breakdown:

Babies"R"Us - Reusable Gift Bag

Babies"R"Us Gift Bag contents

 

* Buybuy baby gift bag: Fit Pregnancy magazine, Baby Talk magazine, a NUK orthodontic silicone pacifier 0-6m, an Avent 4oz baby bottle with nipple and lid, sample of grape scented saline Boogie Wipes, sample of Belli elasticity belly oil, sample of Johnson’s Natural baby lotion, sample of Mustela baby body lotion, Medela breastfeeding information guide, and coupons from BabyGanics, Gerber and most of the companies mentioned previously.

*Babies”R”Us gift bag: American Baby magazine, Disney baby growth chart, 2 samples of grape scented saline Boogie Wipes, sample of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (perfect for diaper bags), 1 newborn Pampers Swaddlers diaper and sample of Pampers Sensitive wipes, the Babies”R”Us new baby buying guide (but contains no prices!), $25 voucher and additional coupons for Kiddie Kandids portrait studio, assorted coupons from Huggies and most companies mentioned previously.

*Target gift bag: 1 Newborn Huggies diaper, 1 set of Lansinoh nursing pads, 2 Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags, $20 Shutterfly gift card, baby guide with Target coupons, and other assorted coupons.

Target - Reusable Baby Clutch

Target Gift Bag contents

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