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©Alexa Zurcher | He and I Blog, 2015. Powered by Blogger.

Favorite Toddler Hair-Dos

Today we're talking HAIR! Ellie's hair is getting so long so all of the sudden our world has been opened up to so many new ways to do it! Addie's hair is still a little short, but we've found a few ways to mix it up in the mornings. Here's three of my favorite ways to do their hair! 


PIGTAILS:
Pigtails are one of my favorites! I love that they can be super simple (two simple pony tails or braids) or you can add almost anything to it to spice it up a bit. The other day we added two little braids below Ellie's two buns (pictured below!) and it turned out super cute. Other times, I'll add just a few more pony tails all the way down to the big one. It keeps her hair out of her face and helps with the shorter hairs. 


PULL THROUGH BRAID:
I tried this one on my sister the other day, and loved it so much that we tried out a few different versions on Ellie's hair. We did pull through pigtails and a pull through pony tail. (Here's a good video tutorial for the pull through braid!) 


 SIDE PONY:
Probably THE easiest way to do my girls hair! We add a little side pony and a bow and they're good to go! (Ellie's hair can be a little crazy, so I often will add a few curls!) 


And there you have it! My three favorite hairstyles for my girls! :) Because my girls wake up with the MOST crazy hair ever, we have no choice but to use detangler in the mornings. We have been using  JOHNSON’S® NO MORE TANGLES detangling spray and it's been working wonders on their hair! It's not too soapy or too smelly, and it helps smooth out their hair fast. :) The easiest time to do their hair is right after a bath - and JOHNSON’S BEDTIME® Moisture Wash is another favorite to use around here. :) 



A big thank you to JOHNSON’S® for sponsoring this post. We've used their products for years and adore all their new products too - like JOHNSON’S® HEAD-TO-TOE™ baby cleansing cloths. I’m sharing #JOHNSONS in my life as part of a JOHNSON’S® sponsored series for Socialstars.™ Learn more about JOHNSONS by visiting their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

7 Toys our Kids Love to Play With


For the first time in the history of forever, I have 95% of my Christmas shopping done...and wrapped! Don't ask me what got into me, I'm usually the BIGGEST procrastinator - this is so out of character. ;) Ha! Anyway, I spent a lot of time thinking about gifts for the girls - I didn't want to just get a bunch of junk. I've been thinking about some of the girls favorite toys and thought I'd share them here with you! These are their most loved, most used toys, and have been well worth every penny. A lot of them we found at yard sales or on major sale - the best way to shop in my opinion. :) Here are seven toys my girls LOVE:


Play Kitchen: I found ours at a yard sale for a killer deal and it has probably been our best purchase to date! Not only is the kitchen adorable (seriously!), but Ellie loves to play with it! Over the years we've lost some food, so I wouldn't mind adding that to our Christmas list. THIS one is similar to ours and THIS one is equally adorable!

Little People: MOST USED TOY, EVER. We seriously adore Little People! We have a few different sets, like the Princesses, the Fun Park (similar), the Nativity and the Happy Sounds House, which all get used pretty much everyday. Both my girls love them! A close contender are these Magiclip Princesses - Ellie got them for her birthday over a year ago and they're still her very favorite.



Scooter: If you need a personal trainer, put your toddler on a scooter. You'll get a gooood workout chasing after them as they speed around the block! ;) THIS scooter has proven it's weight in gold, Ellie loves it and now Addie does, too. It rides super smooth and has held up over the years fabulously well!

Doll Stroller: (and baby dolls, of course!) Ellie adored her doll stroller! She had one for years and pushed that thing around all the time. Her's finally bit the dust, so for now, the girls push around our big umbrella stroller (which is far too big and they run into everything, ha!) or beeline for the doll stroller whenever we are over at their cousin's house. I have good word from Santa that THIS ONE might be in his bag for the girls this year. ;)



Tea Set: This tea set has been in high demand since we got it! It's perfect size for pretend tea parties or real ones with little snacks, and both of my girls love it! Similar one HERE!

Wiggle Cars: We don't actually own THESE, but my parents do! And since we're crashing with them until our house is done, we use their toys on the daily. :) The best part about the wiggle cars is that I can ride them, too! Ellie loves to fly down the driveway with me (and Addie in my lap!) close behind. The girls also ride them through the house a lot!



Train Set: During every trip to Ikea, Ellie would anxiously await the 'kid's section' so she could play with the train table. One Christmas, we decided to pick up a train set, and it has been a favorite ever since! Brian totally wins at making the tracks look awesome - mine just look like a big circle. ;)



Other close contenders: Duplo Legos, books, and their indoor slide and swing . :)


What do your kids LOVE to play with? I'd love to hear your ideas! 


Top Ten Things to do in Ireland



I'm so excited to share a few photos of our recent trip to Ireland! It was like a fairy tale - and if it isn't on your bucket list, it should be now! Here's ten of our favorite things we did on this trip (and a few bonus bucket list items at the end!) 

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Places to See:


Cliffs of Moher Hands down, my favorite part of the whole trip. The cliffs were breathtaking, and if you can, see them at sunset. If that's the only thing we saw on this trip, it would be worth it!  




Books of Kells The actual Book of Kells was cool, but the BEST part of the tour was the Trinity College Library. Worth the ticket alone! It was a book lovers heaven!




Downtown Dublin is as charming as you would expect it to be. The doors deserve a post of their own - simply darling! We popped into a lot of random shops and cafes and it was like a fairy tale!




Rock of Cashel Absolutely worth the drive - and the history is fantastic! We loved the tour and walking the grounds, as well as the history. Bonus: next to a darling town with great little pastry shop ;)



Trim Castle otherwise known as the Braveheart Castle. (Can't say I've ever seen the movie, but still cool nonetheless!) We hit this one up on our way home from our roadtrip and I wish we could have toured it - it was probably my favorite castle to see on our trip!





King John's Castle Like King John from Robin Hood! We loved learning about the history here and the tour was FANTASTIC!

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Places to Eat
Here's a few of our favorite places we ate at during the trip. We tried some AMAZING food...it's making my stomach growl just thinking about it!



The Pig's Ear We ate here for my birthday dinner and it is still one of the highlights of our trip! The food was to die for good. We tried lots of different plates and shared them all. The mashed potatoes were some of the best we had, and the meats? Ahhmazing.




Peacockgreen Best hot chocolate of my life. Hands down. Also, darling little set up, amazing tile, and the tea display was super cute!





KC Peaches Super cute cafe - and they had locations all over Dublin! We stopped in frequently, look for the darling blue door and windows!



Lolly & Cooks Probably one of my most memorable moments from Dublin - sitting in Lolly & Cooks, listening to their fantastic playlist, sunshine streaming through the windows, and listening to all the fabulous Irish accents! Also, amazing hot chocolate!



Other things we loved: Visit the oldest pub in Dublin - the Brazen Head -  for some fish & chips. Delicious! (And it dates back to 1198!) We randomly stumbled upon the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre one day, super cute shopping. The Dublin Castle is fun to tour (it's gorgeous inside!) and Temple Bar and Grafton Street were amazing. St. Stephen's Green was gorgeous in the fall and dessert at the HQ in Dublin was divine! The Ramen Bar in Dublin was a fantastic lunch spot (HUGE portions!) and Fitzpatrick's Pub in Doolin was also an amazing dinner spot - our waiter was fantastic.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig


We're back!

Last week B and I returned from our European trip at 4am and the first thing we did was snatch up our sleeping babies and brought them to our bed so we could snuggle them. Boy we missed them! The girls did great while we were gone - so great, in fact, that Ellie asked gramma "When are my mom and dad going to go on a trip again?" Hahaha! 

I thoroughly expected the girls to be little pills when we got back (I mean, that's how it usually works after parents take a trip sans kids, right?) but they've been pretty good so far! We threw off their schedules a bit so Ellie is literally running around in circles right now at 9pm - it's kind of exhausting to watch, really. ;) 


The best part about coming home has been watching these two little sisters interact. Addie is old enough now that she and Ellie play together well. They know exactly how to make each other laugh, and are constantly twirling and tackling each other. Ha! More often than not it ends in tears, but there's a good amount of laughter in there, too. ;) 


The bummer part about coming home? We all caught colds! (Oh and the jetlag, always so much fun ;) We have had sniffling noses and coughs all around. We've been using JOHNSON’S® hand and face wipes frequently to wipe off little noses (much to Addie's dismay of course. You'd think we were pulling teeth every time we wipe her nose or give her some medicine!) We're long time fans of JOHNSON’S® and these wipes are one of my new favorites for the winter season (and they're the perfect size to keep in my diaper bag!) 

Other cold weather musts? NEW JOHNSON’S® HEAD-TO-TOE™ extra moisturizing baby cream (for dry winter skin!), DESITIN® multi-purpose ointment, and JOHNSON’S baby soothing vapor bath - perfect for helping runny noses!


So happy to be home with my babies, again! (And of course, more photos of our trip coming soon!) HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK! xoxo

My dress: Shop Stevie - Makenzie | My clogs: Old Navy 
Girls floral dresses: Old Navy | Girls Shoes: Old Navy


A big thank you to JOHNSON’S® for sponsoring today's post. I’m sharing #JOHNSONS in my life as part of a JOHNSON’S® sponsored series for Socialstars™


Christmas Printables!


It's the most wonderful time of the year! I haven't officially started listening to Christmas music yet, but I'm pretty sure this week I'm going to start! Especially once I get my hands on THIS! I've teamed up with 20+ other extremely talented designers to create the ULTIMATE printable Christmas bundle!

And, it's a killer deal...only $15!


Yep, that's right! We’ve gathered over 500 pages of printables for you, put them all in a Christmas bundle and they're only $15! (Retail Price: $200)

*gorgeous wall art
*gift ideas
*stocking stuffers
*service ideas
*holiday organizers
*holiday recipes
*and MORE from your favorite bloggers! 


This is a 3-Day sale, but the price goes up a little each day. So, you can snag the whole bundle for ONLY $15 today! BUT the price is going up tomorrow! Here's the breakdown... 

Buy on the 16th for only $15
Buy on the 17th for only $18
Buy on the 18th for only $20
After that - this deal is GONE FOREVER!

All together – it’s a collection of OVER 500 PAGES of darling printables… only available for a limited time!




Here's a closer look at EVERYTHING that is included!




1. Christmas Memories Printables by A Girl and a Glue Gun - Keep track of all those fun Christmas memories with this printable pack! These printables to help you remember the food you ate, movies you watched, songs you sang, how your Christmas tree was decorated, people who visited, and presents you gave and received! There is even a calendar to give a day-by-day of fun events and spots to glue on pictures and your Christmas card! AND BONUS kids printables!

2. "Bust out the Ugly Sweater" Party Printables by A Pretty Little Party - Bust out your ugly sweaters for the most wonderful time of the year! Entertain your friends & family in style at the ugliest party in town. This printable pack includes everything you need to print, cut & create your own party. Including: Assembly Instructions, an 8x10 Voting Sign, 3x5 Official Voting Ballots, Award Badges for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place, Cupcake Toppers and Decorative Decals, Fold Over Menu Cards, Straw/Appetizer Flags, Wine/Sparkling Cider Bottle Labels, AND an "Ugly" Banner with two decorative pennants!



3. Hand Lettered Christmas Prints by Alexa Z Design - Tis the season for holiday decor! Use these darling printables to spruce up your walls or pop in a frame for an easy holiday gift. Each of the 3 prints is sized as an 8x10 and hand lettered by me! :)

4. "Oh Joy" Banner by Andrea's Notebook - Deck your halls with this fun and festive banner! All you have to do is: cut, hole punch, thread, and hang! Doesn't get much easier than that. And don't you just adore this fun Christmas sweater pattern?



5. Watercolor Holiday Printables by Bella Love Letters - What’s better than curling up in a comfy chair listening to Dean Martin croon your favorite holiday tunes? How about a collection of watercolor printables - so gorgeous they’ll make you forget how cold it actually is outside? Each and every element was hand painted with love by Bella Love Letters and is print-ready. Use the charming “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” print as cheerful holiday decor (or heck, a quick gift for a neighbor!), send the “Merry and Bright” greeting card to your grandmother (she’ll love it), attach the recipe card to a gift plate of your famous homemade cookies, and have the kiddos write their letter to Santa in style this year! 

6. Christ-Like Christmas Service by Chicken Scratch n Sniff - Over 40 pages to help you fill your Christmas season with acts of love. Perfect to do as a family or for date night! From bag toppers to gift tags and candy wrappers, you and your family will discover just what you need to compliment your acts of kindness.



7. Two Christmas Countdowns AND Stocking Stuffers by The Dating Divas - TWO of our best-selling countdowns, the Spouse Christmas Countdown AND the Family Christmas Countdown to help you celebrate each day leading up to Christmas! Our adorable Stocking Stuffer Kit complete with gift card holders, coupon booklets, Santa letters, and SO much more! 

8. Intentional Christmas Planner by Faith Filled Parenting - The holidays can be so chaotic. We sometimes forget the true meaning of even enjoying the holiday season. This intentional planner will walk you step by step to a less-busy holiday. We will talk decor, meals, gifts, and more. This Christmas is all about simple, and this guide is your ticket to enjoying your Christmas with your family. 


9. Your Santa's Family Initiative Kit by Frugal Confessions - Santa has issued your family an initiative this holiday season and a family reward under the Christmas tree is up for grabs upon successful completion. Are you and your kiddos up for the challenge? You will decide which of the 3 initiatives − spreading Christmas cheer, volunteering at a location, or completing a household project your family will complete together, and what the family reward will be. (Pssst: don't worry about coming up with ideas yourself! Santa's included a sheet of ideas to get your brain working). 

10. Merry Christmas Party Pack by Happy and Blessed Home - This printable party pack includes 30 pages of Christmas Party Printables including a Merry Christmas banner, Santa and his sleigh cupcake toppers, napkin rings, straw toppers, labels, invitations, and Christmas party decorations.

11. The Christmas Story- A 12-day Advent Banner by How Does She - A simple way to focus on the real meaning of Christmas: Christ! This darling 12-day advent banner features the story of the birth of Christ, as found in the Bible. Simply print the double-sided banner and flip over each day to reveal the full Christmas story by Christmas Eve. Perfect for stringing across the mantle or hanging on the tree. 

12. Christmas Cootie Catcher with Bonus Christmas Lunch Jokes by Inspiration Made Simple - Worried about having a silent night around the Christmas dinner table? Well don't be! This Christmas Cootie Catcher is the perfect way to keep conversation light and fun. Bundle includes a pre-filled cootie catcher full of fun Christmas themed questions and jokes, as well as a blank version so you can come up with your own! BONUS! Also included is a set of 8 Christmas themed lunch jokes, sure to get the kids in the Christmas spirit.

13. Holiday Gift Tag Variety Pack by Less Ordinary Designs - Spruce up your holiday packaging with these printable gift tags from Less Ordinary Designs. They are incredibly easy to download and print and they take your gift wrapping to the next level. With 8 unique designs included, you will surely find something to coordinate with your wrapping paper or gift bag. Print one style or print them all! Why buy tags when you can print as many of these as you’d like, year after year? These are the perfect finishing touch and will look great top your holiday gifts. 

14. Christmas Printable Art Bundle by Lolly Jane - No time to decorate for the holidays? Need a festive gift tag to tie onto holiday gifts? Want to make a bunting that's Christmas-y and cute but easy to make? Print off this 3-pack of holiday themed printable art and size it to whatever suits your fancy! Frame for easy decor, size down and punch a hole in the corner to make a gift tag, or print all 3 cute styles and string up for an easy holiday bunting! All 3 styles are perfectly coordinated in the popular buffalo check and handwritten fonts together OR print separately to break them up. Whatever you do, we know you will love these cuties!



15. Favorite Holiday Recipes by One Good Thing by Jillee - Jillee says... Holidays = Happy Times in our house! There’s no place like home for the holidays, and not just the ones that take place in November and December. No holiday celebration would be complete without some really good food thrown in the mix! Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without My Mom’s Famous Sour Cream Cookies…and the 4th of July wouldn’t be the 4th of July without my Mom’s Homemade Ice Cream and Snickerdoodles! I love sharing the recipes that have become traditions in our family and a delicious part of our “happy times!” Find a new tradition for YOUR family in this beautiful collection of recipes my family uses to make the holidays special throughout the year! 

16. Printable Christmas Planner by Planning Inspired - Get organized this holiday season! This Christmas Planner includes everything you need to take the stress & chaos out of the holidays! Use these holiday planner printables to create your own Christmas Binder and have the most organized Christmas ever! Print and punch for your 8 1/2 x 11 inch binder or similar sized planner!



17. Ultimate Road Trip Bundle by Printable Crush - This Ultimate Road Trip Printable set includes everything your kids need to prep for your road trip, activities for the car, and pages to keep track of all the memories you make along the way! Set includes over 40 pages of bright, colorful and fun printables for all ages. 

18. 10 of the Best Cookie Recipes for Santa by Six Sisters' Stuff – Santa will definitely leave you the best gifts on the block with this eCookbook! From festive and cutesy, to downright delicious - these cookie recipes will be the highlight of the season. Download the simple PDF eCookbook to any device and use it all season long.



19. "Pun" Christmas Song Neighbor Gift Tags by Somewhat Simple - Such a clever and simple way to put a smile on your neighbors' faces this Christmas! These tags will take the guesswork out of gift-giving this year - grab some muffin mixes, Sprite, Hershey Kisses, Joy Dish Soaps, seasonings, Jolly Ranchers, etc. and start 'singing" your way to a less stressful holiday season! 

20. Essential Holiday Recipe Guide Book and Holiday Printable Art by That Crazy Oil Lady - Do you LOVE essential oils? Whip up some crazy-awesome Christmas recipes in the kitchen and in your home with the Essential Holiday Recipe Guide and Holiday Printable Art set! These beautiful recipe cards are great to create family memories with, gift to a loved on this holiday season with some essential oils, or use as a gift tag along with the recipe you make yourself!



21. Christmas and Holiday Gift Tag AND Banner Set by Thirty Handmade Days - This adorable Christmas Gift Tag Bundle is perfect to make all of your gifts sparkle this holiday season. There are over 50 tags - from movie lines to handlettered awesomeness, for Christmas and the holidays in general. There's also a Merry & Bright banner in there too. You will love all 7 pages included in this set! 

22. Naughty or Nice Love Coupon Set for Couples by While He Was Napping - Spice up your love life when your sweetie opens up these Naughty or Nice Love Coupons this holiday season! This is one naughty list your sweetheart should definitely be on! You'll both thank me later. Included are 66 ready-to-print coupons, 4 cover options, and blank templates so you can customize them just for you and your lover; plus, printing is a breeze and assembly is simple - just print 'em out, cut 'em apart and wrap 'em up!


EVERYTHING you could ever want or need this Christmas! Buy now and save BIG! This bundle has a value of well over $200 but you can get it all for just $15! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!