The Living Coast Discovery Center San Diego – An Adventure in our Backyard

Living Coast Discovery Center San Diego

Living Coast Discovery Center San Diego

I’ve lived in San Diego all my life and am still amazed when I find out about places I’ve never been before. When I first heard about the Living Coast Discovery Center San Diego while visiting their booth at the fair I was excited to find out how much they had to offer.

While we’ve been members of Sea World, currently have memberships at the San Diego Zoo and Birch Aquarium, and go to the museums and beaches whenever we can, we still crave new experiences. Especially when they’re only 10 minutes away from our house. The Living Coast Discovery Center offers this and more!

This weekend we headed out to the Discovery Center to participate in a VIP Experience. And boy did we feel like VIPs on our visit!

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Last Minute Homemade Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Last Minute Homemade Gift Ideas

Christmas is right around the corner and the days are flying by. If you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping consider these last minute homemade gift ideas!

Each is simple, easy, and from the heart. With few ingredients and supplies you can create a gift perfect for any friend or family member.

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Homemade Gifts: DIY Body Scrub

homemade DIY body scrub

Creating your own DIY body scrub to give as gifts this year is an inexpensive way to get everyone on your list a little something special. Plus you are also gifting a little relaxation as well!

By customizing the scents of the essential oils you use, you can personalize each scrub you make for hte person you’re gifting it to, or simply make your favorite scent to share.

After using the scrub, your skin will feel smooth, refreshed, and will have a healthy, exfoliated glow.

Body Scrub holiday gifts

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Hiking with Toddlers and the @Boba Air Baby Carrier

One thing I’ve come to realize more and more with two children is the necessity of baby wearing. Not only does it allow me to do more activities with my kids, it also allows my family the opportunity to explore and create new memories in places that a stroller just can’t go. Including hiking with toddlers.

This Summer my family and I made the trek up to Mammoth Mountain for a mini vacation with just the 4 of us. Not only is Mammoth gorgeous this time of year, there are so many things to do out there! We took this opportunity to take the kids camping in Yosemite this time around. And while our camping trip was definitely memorable, it isn’t one I’d like to repeat any time soon.

Not only did I end up needed emergency dental work due to the altitude pushing up a crown of mine (abscess under the crown), but the mountain air was just too cold during the night for little ones.

But we did get to take advantage of some great hiking and exploring while we were in Yosemite and Mammoth! So ignore my puffy face and enjoy the gorgeous views we were able to take in. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy all that we did without the help of our Boba Air.

Dance all Day and Raise a Ruckus with Hullabaloo #FamilyArtsFestSD

When we get in the car the first thing I hear from the back seat is, “Can you put Hullabaloo on??”

Yup, that’s right. My kids are Hullabaloo groupies. They get upset when we miss a concert, know the words to just about all of the songs, and love watching the YouTube videos of Joann with Sign4Baby signing along as Steve sings. They also love watching the Hullabaloo Steve channel on YouTube as well.

So when we heard there was a new Hullabaloo CD, Raise a Ruckus, being released, there were many excited screams and yells. And as soon as our shiny new copy came in the mail we popped it into the computer and started dancing along!

And the new release paired with the upcoming Hullabaloo Family Arts Festival (enter to win tickets!) left my kids very happy. 

Once my kids went through the songs on the CD a few times they started to choose favorites. And since our after nap/pre-dinner dance party is still a daily occurrence, I now get requests for specific songs on the new CD each afternoon.

My daughter is obsessed with “Raise a Ruckus” and as soon as she hears the first few notes she starts moving her feet and her booty along to the beat. It’s fresh, catchy tunes and lyrics put a smile on her face and a skip to her step.

Now my son still prefers “Blah Blah Blah” from Hey Everybody but his second most requested track is “Rocket Shoes.” He’s also made a request for a pair of rocket shoes for Christmas. I told him maybe we could get him a cape…

If you’re looking for a feel-good, upbeat CD for your kids that won’t leave you wanting to wear noise-cancelling headphones in the car, I highly suggest checking out Raise a Ruckus by Hullabaloo. Not only will you be tempted to sing along, you might find yourself playing the CD when the kids are no longer in the car…

To experience Hullabaloo, head on over to their website and check out their store. You can listen to a snippet of each song and get a feel for just how awesome Hullabaloo is.

The album is available everywhere on iTunes,, CDBaby and virtually all online music retailers so head over and download your copy today!

Interested in winning a copy?

Simply fill out the rafflecopter form below before September 20th at 11:59pm for your chance to win a copy of Raise a Ruckus! This is a great alternative for those who cannot make it to the Hullabaloo Family Arts Festival. You can simply put on the CD and have a festival of your own at home!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Raise a Ruckus for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment with Aden + Anais Crib Sheets

Since my children were young we’ve used Aden + Anais muslin blankets for just about every thing you could think of; swaddling, shade, nursing cover, blanket, changing mat, burp cloth, play mat,etc. The lightweight and soft, smooth fabric is something that my children fell in love with. They took to their Aden + Anais blankets as one would a lovey (which Aden + Anais carries now!).
So when we started to look for bedding for my daughter’s new toddler bed, I was excited to see that Aden + Anais also had a line of crib sheets as well, including an organic option. And they fit our criteria of breathable, cotton, and cute!

Not only are the Aden + Anais line of crib sheets comfortable, they are cute to! With patterns and styles to match their other products, there is sure to be a crib sheet that matches your nursery or toddler room.

We enjoy showing off my daughter’s love of pink and nature and went with a cute owl pattern with the For the Birds crib sheet.

Since it’s been so hot lately we’ve simply stripped her bed down to the sheet and a muslin blanket for nap and night time. Makes for a much more comfortable night when she’s not going to bed with a heavy mattress and thick cotton sheets.

She loves snuggling up with her “burrs” and stuffed animals. And they go perfectly with our Forest Friends wall decals.

By creating a comfortable sleep environment, we’ve had much better luck in keeping our daughter in her bed as opposed to waking up multiple times a night. She’s so comfy that we hardly hear a peep! And with the heat we’ve had, it’s amazing that she isn’t waking up more often. Our daughter is quite the little heater and sweats a LOT when she sleeps!

And since she chose the pattern on her sheets, she loves sleeping on them even more!

If you are looking for the perfect shower gift other than the perfect crib sheet, I highly suggest checking out the amazing selection of products Aden + Anais offers. Some of our favorites include:

  • muslin swaddles (the #1 shower gift I recommend)
  • towel and washcloth set
  • bibs and burp cloths
  • dream blankets
  • security blankets
  • sleeping bags

You cannot go wrong gifting an Aden + Anais product to your favorite mum- or dad-to-be!

There are many places to purchase Aden + Anais products, including on their website. You can also find a local store that carries their products by using the website’s store locator.

Your little one is sure to fall in love with Aden + Anais just as mine have!

The Noise Girls have yet again put together an amazing giveaway event just for your family! The For the Family giveaway event starts on September 1st so please remember to hurry back and enter for your chance to win.

And Aden + Anais has joined in on the fun to offer one lucky reader a crib sheet of their own in this giveaway. Head on over and like them on facebook or follow them on twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions!

Disclaimer: I received an Aden+Anais crib sheet for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

Top 10 Gifts for a One Year Old

As it nears closer and closer to my daughter’s first birthday (how did that happen!?) I’ve began to think about what top ten items she would love to receive from us as well as suggestions for friends and family members who want to give her something.

Some of the items I’ve thought of are items we’ve already used and love with our son and others are new items we’ve played with or used at friends houses and play places. Do you have any other suggestions to entertain a 1 year old? You know, besides cardboard boxes and pots (and the given money for her college education)? I’d love to hear them!

I’ve included pinks and purples in with the blues and greens because honestly, my kids don’t care about the colors yet, just about the toy and playing with it. My son plays with dolls and my daughter plays with trucks. And I’m cool with that.

1. Little Tikes Push and Ride Doll Walker
We played with this push toy at our last visit to Kidding Around and Miss M just loved it! She sat on it and let me push her around. And the whole time she was on it she was grinning from ear to ear. When I stopped pushing her long enough to take a picture she started crying. That was immediately resolved by pushing her around again. And after we were done with riding on it she used it to “walk” around a bit. Win-win because it serves two purposes.

2. Music Instruments
My daughter is already in love with drums. She constantly steals her brother’s drum and drum stick and beats just about everything she can find on in (including poor Sophie the Giraffe). So when I saw this music set from one of my favorite toy brands, B. Toys,  I knew that it would be a perfect fit for our home. And while we haven’t used it yet I’ve heard rave reviews from many friends about the instruments included and the durability of the product.

3. Pull-Along Toys
Now this is a toy that my son received for his first birthday by our dear friend Alanna. And he still plays with it. He’s almost three! He was able to play with this toy as he crawled around on the ground, when he started to toddle and now he runs through the house with the snail behind him. I’ve never seen a snail run so fast!

This snail has taken quite a few beatings over the years but still looks as new as the day we took it out of the box. Miss M is having quite a fun time chasing after the snail, and her brother. And I love Plan Toys. They are an awesome toy company that use green materials and green manufacturing. They not only make quality toys, they are a quality company I love to support.

4. Fisher-Price Little People: Animal Sounds Farm
Every little kid needs a Little People farm. Seriously. They’re awesome. I find myself gravitating to our farm every time I go into my son’s bedroom to play. And Miss M loves playing with her brother’s animals and farm. She even puts the animals in and out of the barn. There’s also a tractor that goes greatly with this farm. The farmer gets to ride around in the tractor and a little piggy pops out of the hay bale in the back. M laughs every time she sees it!

5. Baby Stella Doll
My son asked for his first doll at about 18 months so we purchased one at the mall we were at and didn’t really put much thought into what doll we bought. We have three baby dolls now but whenever my daughter tries to play with them (or gnaw on them) her brother quickly takes them away. So I know I need to get a doll just for her. This Baby Stella doll is perfect. Soft, small and cute, just like her! And I’m considering getting a boy doll for my son so he can play with her.

6. Activity Cube
We got this awesome Activity Cube for my son’s first birthday. He and his friends still play with it to this day. This cube is a great investment. It is a great toy from kids ages 6 months to 3+ years. And even though I can’t find our exact cube for sale anymore I still have seen great reviews for it. And there are plenty of activity cubes out there to choose from.

7. Bath Accessories
While this isn’t technically a toy we really love our faucet covers. When our kids started getting more mobile in the bath tub we knew we needed to protect their little noggins from hitting the bath faucet. And we wanted to make bathtime fun. So we got a super cool Crayola octopus bath faucet cover and were gifted an equally cool Boon Flo cover.

And toys to go in the bath as well as something to scoop up the toys (like this awesome Boon frog) are also great gifts for a 1 year old. I know my son loves playing with his Discovery Toys stacking cups and his Fisher Price Amazing Animals™ Tubtime Tugboat™ the most. Baths stop being about getting clean and start being about having fun in the water!

8. Sensory Balls
My kids love balls. They love to throw them, attempt to eat them and bounce them. We have them all over the house. But the best ones I’ve found for one year olds are the ones they can get a grip on. We found a large pack of sensory balls at Costco last Christmas and they have held up very well. Half are in the house and half are in the front yard. What kid doesn’t like to play with balls?

9. Blocks
We have many different sets of blocks for the kids to play with. From soft, cloth blocks to squishy, squeaky blocks to wooden blocks. Each different set helps teach the kids to stack, line up and make fun structures. Every kid needs a good set of blocks to play with. And the best part about these sets is that they don’t just last for a small period of time, most of the block sets we own will be used for a few years. Especially the wooden one. That’s a favorite of my son’s right now (thanks Aunt Miranda for buying them!).

10. Anywhere Chair
Every kid needs their own sized chair. Whether it be the Anywhere Chair or one similar, smaller, child-size chairs always seem to attract kids of all ages. My son loves to grab a book and pretend to read in his chair. He also likes to watch movies while sitting in it. When he was 18 months old I remember that he grabbed his chair, dragged it into the living room and pushed it into place between mine and my husbands chairs. It was so adorable! He wanted to be just like us. So we know we’ll have to get our daughter one of her own for Christmas this year. It just makes sense!

This is not a sponsored post. I either own and have used the toys with my own children, or have heard great reviews from reliable friends and family. I was not compensated by any of the companies listed above. The opinions stated are my own. 

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