New House, New Christmas Traditions with CINEMOOD

_DSC0067.jpg

We have news! The Storeys are moving (and at Christmastime no less)! It’s been a whirlwind over here packing and shuttling boxes with a toddler. B’s done a really great job with all the changes and new environment. Our furniture isn’t quite moved yet, though, so I set her up with a little cozy corner in the main room so we can keep an eye on her while we move boxes.

_DSC0062.jpg

Thank goodness for CINEMOOD because we still don’t have Wifi at the new house, and one of the best ways to keep B contained (since the house isn’t really toddler-proofed yet) is with a movie. She loves every Christmas movie we put on, but has really grown found of the Nutcracker with all the pretty ballerinas and lack of dialogue (I really think that has something to do with it ha). I downloaded it with CINEMOOD’s Netflix app, and bam done. We’ve also been listening to the preloaded Frozen book on repeat, and I love that I can just pick up and move it to wherever we are in the house at the time.

_DSC0131.jpg
_DSC0155.jpg

She loves spinning like a “rina” (ballerina)! The last time we were on a house errand, I grabbed a little gingerbread man decorating kit to do at the new house. We had our little Christmas movie on in the teepee, and B helped me decorate some little cookies on her Gathre mat while it played in the background.

_DSC0121.jpg
_DSC0211.jpg
_DSC0178_2.jpg

There was admittedly more cookie eating than decorating, which is how it should be! I’m excited to do this again next year with less boxes to unpack! Give us a good Christmas movie and cookies to eat, and we’re happy. New tradition made!

_DSC0324.jpg

This is a must to add to your Christmas list, and a great gift for grandparents too! We use it everywhere, and love that you don’t need Wifi to play media. You can pre-order CINEMOOD on their website here, and get a cute free cover ($50 value) with your purchase using my code ANDSOTHESTOREYBEGINS.

November Snow Day

_DSC0108-7.jpg
_DSC0102-7.jpg

I was pretty sure B wouldn’t like the snow, BUT she surprised me and couldn’t get enough of it! Plus Mali really loves the snow, so B got a kick out of watching her run around like crazy.

My mom suggested bringing in some snow in a bowl, and letting B play with it inside (on a mat or towel). Best idea ever! B loved playing with the snow, cooking it, eating it, etc.

_DSC0065-13.jpg
_DSC0069-12.jpg

No snow day is complete without hot chocolate, and B got to try her own little mug of it for the first time.

I normally buy hot chocolate mix, but we were fresh out so I made a mix from what we had on hand, and now we have extra for later!

Pantry Hot Cocoa Mix
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt

Add ingredients to a mason jar, put lid on and shake to combine. Add however many scoops you prefer to heated milk. We used vanilla almond milk and it was amazing!

We had such a fun snow day! B dragged me out a second time just that morning with her blow-up donut. Even though it was FREEZING cold, we had a blast!

IMG_0116_2.jpg

Kids' Holiday Gift Guide 2018

I go back and forth every year between last minute gift shopping and early bird Black Friday sale shopping for Christmas. But I’m always way happier when I get it done early, so THIS YEAR is the year I’m going to be on the ball. As I was putting together a list of ideas for B, I kept finding some great gifts for boys as well, and I knew I had to share. Word to the wise, if you’re not ready to buy yet, bookmark these links and watch for sales. November is the best month for Christmas shopping, hands down, and most of these are bound to go on sale (aside from Cuddle + Kind, but their mission is worth splurging on in my opinion!) Also, there’s plenty of gifts that could work for girls AND boys on both of these lists, but splitting them up allowed me to make room for even more ideas, so feel free to shop them both!

This San Francisco pop-out city is the cutest, and it comes in a few other cities as well. Cuddle + Kind’s Skye the Mermaid is one of our favorite dolls, and I love all of their mermaids that are represented. The stacking rainbow is super popular in Montessori groups, and this one is handmade in Germany! I loved this tiny teepee + wooden doll set from Manhattan Toy - it had excellent reviews for younger kids as well. We have the unicorn dress-up kit from Meri Meri, and their princess dress-up kit is just as fun (includes cape, wand + crown) for girls of many ages. If you haven’t heard of tegu blocks yet, you’re missing out! We have a small set in our diaper bag, and they’re so nice for imaginative play on the go. I love the Cook in a Book books, and the cookie book is brand new so you know I’ll be getting it for B’s stocking. Finally, this ride-on moped is SO cute and what kid wouldn’t love this/it doubles as adorable home decor.

Cuddle + Kind’s mission is the best, but also their boy dolls are SO precious - my favorite is Maximus the Cat. I found these darling wooden cars in a mid-century style on Amazon, and immediately wanted them allllll - they have everything from little station wagons with surfboards to police cars to taxis. Gathre makes the best mats (multi-functional and easy to clean) and their train mat is my favorite currently. BabyLit books are the cutest, and I think every boy needs a Huckleberry Finn book in his library. If you’re already a tegu block fan, you have to see the car versions of them. My brothers had a great castle set growing up, and I think this one from Melissa & Doug is really cute. This ride-on Farmer’s Market delivery truck from PB Kids is so adorable. Finally, Wes Anderson fans… did this tent make you think of Moonrise Kingdom immediately? I want this little explorer tent so badly - it’s childhood in a time capsule.

35C04434-AA3E-4F9F-BB91-ECE41295C25C 2.jpg

We’re still brainstorming our big Santa gift to B! Last year we got her this old school pram, and it was so precious on Christmas morning. This will probably be the last year we decide for her what Santa will bring, so I am giving it all the thought I can!