Tips for Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & BubblesTips for Turning Your Hotel Room into a NurseryWhen the Chicago weather was taking a serious toll and the temperature was still well below freezing, Spiro and I decided we needed a break with our little bae Zelda. With such a short notice, we had no desire to travel anywhere far. Then I had my “Ah-Ha” moment — Staycation time! I had heard amazing reviews about The Langham Hotel in Chicago and knew that was the place for us. Zelda and I already absolutely love tea time there, so I knew an entire weekend would be nothing but bliss.

True to their rave reviews, I wasn’t disappointed! The Langham was so easy and kid-friendly, I couldn’t believe it. The best parts; you don’t have to sacrifice luxury and feel like you are an entire world away from the busy city. We said “Bye-Bye” to distractions for the weekend and then it was just Spiro, me, and the babe.

To ensure it was as relaxing as possible for all parties big and small, here are some tips we followed for turning your hotel room into a nursery.

  1. Bring Your Own Bedding 

    Comfort is everything when it comes to your little one, and that starts with their crib! Most hotels do offer cribs, but when they don’t, its time to bring out your Pack & Play. The Langham Hotel in Chicago had an amazing crib with wheels that I was able to move into any part of my room. Wherever I went, Zelda came right along with me! It’s also best to bring bedding from their crib at home and a favorite sleeping toy with you to keep them comfortable. This is key so your little one has the familiar smell and touch of their own room… It will be as if they never left home!Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Crib Bedding

  2. Utilize a Blanket 

    Always bring a large, thin baby blanket. You can set up a designated play area in the hotel room on the floor with this blanket to house all of your little one’s toys and items they may put in their mouth so they don’t touch the floor. This also designates a known play area and keeps the toys together for easy inventory checks so they don’t end up strewn around the room! Additional plus — easy clean up! (We’ll totally take it!)Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Blanket

  3. Don’t Forget The Pool! 

    Most hotels don’t have children robes or pool toys. A fun pool floaty that packs flat is great and will seamlessly fit into your luggage. Your little one will feel safe and secure at the pool with their own floaty. Don’t forget the cozy baby robe! It can make or break pool time with the little—who will definitely get grumpy when they’re sopping wet in an oversized, adult robe!Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Pool Time

  4. Kid-Friendly Activities 

    Call your hotel in advance and check if they host any kid friendly activities; you could be pleasantly surprised that even the most adult driven locations have amazing children activities! If your little one loves to play tea party, a high tea could be even better! The Langham hosts an amazing, award-winning high tea complete with an entire menu just for kids (and Dr.Seuss book!)Turning Your Hotel Room into a Nursery - Activities

Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a style expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning” and features more tips and tricks on her website, Corri McFadden. She also recently launched Glitter and Bubbles, a savvy site for modern-day moms looking for inspiration through fashion, décor and food.

Kids Food Face Collages

Post by Rebecca of Not So SAHM

Kids Food Face Collages

Lately, it seems that my kiddos cannot. stop. eating. They’re both going through big growth spurts and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about foods that help us grow healthy and keep tummies full at the same time! Because eating every twenty minutes to constantly avoid a “case of the hangrys” is just not realistic (no matter how many snacks I tote around with us). So I thought it would be fun to do an art project showing you are what you eat: food face collages!

We’d done something similar before at the National Portrait Gallery, and the kids loved it. It’s super easy and really fun to see what the kids come up with. Kane wanted to use groups of fruit and veggies to make an overall abstract portrait of himself “wearing a hat” and using “carrots for [his] curly hair.” Cam decided to use an eggplant as her actual face and show herself eating a bunch of grapes. I even got in on the fun.

To make our food face collages, you’ll need:  

  • Clip art images of fruit and veggies — check your computer’s clip art, look for free art online (like this), or even purchase a set on Etsy
  • Heavyweight black paper (the food really pops against a black background)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Simply let the kids cut out fruit and veggie shapes to create a face, and then glue the shapes onto black paper. I encouraged our kids to plan out their portrait first, but if they want to glue as they design (like Kane did), that’s fine too. Kids Food Face Collages

Kids Food Face CollagesKids Food Face Collages Kids Food Face Collages 15 Kids Food Face Collages 9Kids Food Face Collages 11Kids Food Face Collages 13Kids Food Face Collages 15

Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. A relatively recent SAHM, she blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM.

Planning Healthy Meals for Kids (That They’ll Actually Eat)

Post by Adrienne of Susie Makes SupperPlanning Healthy Meals for Kids (That They'll Eat)If your kids are anything like mine, they would be happy with chicken nuggets and pasta for supper every day of their lives. And if you have ever tried to feed a kid like mine homemade macaroni and cheese when he or she is expecting the orange stuff that comes out of a blue box, you know that feeding kids real food can be a challenge.

Here are a few tricks that I use when planning healthy meals for kids:

  1. Rename the dish. My aunt recently told me a story about a casserole that her mom made when my aunt and her brothers were little. The casserole was simple: noodles, ground meat, and tomato sauce. You know the casserole. If it were pasta with sauce and meatballs, each ingredient separately identifiable, the kids probably would have eaten it without complaint. The boys refused to eat this casserole. One day, my aunt’s mom told the boys that they were having cowboy food for supper. She served the same noodle, ground meat, and tomato casserole that her boys had previously refused and that night received rave reviews from her boys. A favorite was born. “Cowboy Food” was regularly requested for supper. Same dish, different name. A little creative license goes a long way and is exactly the way to get your kids to try meatballs with spaghetti squash instead of pasta or homemade macaroni and cheese. Your kids’ favorite story characters or zoo animal or game can provide wonderful inspiration for your next meal’s name.Planning Healthy Meals for Kids - Meatloaf
  1. Make it cute. Truth: anything in the shape of a cupcake or made in miniature is more appetizing to kids. I can’t explain it, I just know it is true. This concept works for homemade macaroni and cheese, tacos, and meatloaf. Using the cupcake technique allows you some creativity with your ingredients. Meatloaf cupcakes? How fun! You can even frost them with mashed potatoes and decorate them with peas. (I’ve actually done this before – without telling my kids what they were eating. The kids not only thought it was hilarious, but ate every bite.)Planning Healthy Meals for Kids - Chicken Nuggets
  2. Let your kids help you make the dish. What’s in chicken nuggets, anyway? A lot of things you probably don’t want to eat if we are talking about the frozen, shaped variety. But your kids can help you make their own chicken nuggets (and shape them, if you have an awful lot of anti-bacterial soap in your kitchen) with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. This trick works well with other classic kid favorites like spaghetti-os and pizza. It also works really well with new dishes like gnocchi and potpies.

Do you have any tips for updating kid favorite meals? Drop a note in the comment section with your favorite tip or requests for future posts about cooking for kids.

Adrienne is a compulsive list-maker with a very busy family and a not very clean house. She’s also a planner and a recovering perfectionist. Adrienne blogs at Susie Makes Supper, where she shows her successes and failures in the kitchen and freely gives advice on all sorts of topics.

Tips for Traveling with a Baby

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

traveling-with-a-babyThese days, unless you are a celebrity mom like Queen B, flying with your little ones can seem like an impossible and terrifying task. This past week I had the pleasure, yes I said “pleasure”, of flying to New York for Fashion Week with my daughter Zelda as my fashion partner in crime. This was however, the first time I would be traveling alone sans dad or nanny. At first, I had visions of an uncontrollable baby and angry looks from fellow passengers, but the more I planned ahead of time, the less likely it looked anyone would have a complete meltdown. Flying with babies will never be a walk in the park, but by preparing ahead of time with some traveling with a baby tips and pointers below, you can help to alleviate some of the stress and keep your sanity! Tips for Traveling with a BabyTraveling with a Baby Tip 1: Heels and Wheels

There is nothing like trying to fold up an overly complicated stroller while all the other passengers look on or having it tip over from the million bags we now have to bring to house all of our child’s needs. My Orbit stroller has saved my life! Look, I know it carries a heavy price tag but I also know I can open and close it with one hand which is super convenient when you have a baby in the other arm. Also, by the time you buy a snap n’ go, street stroller and travel stroller, these combined are the same price as one good one.

Tips for Traveling with a Baby - StrollerTraveling with a Baby Tip 2: Anti Baby Carriers!

It may seem like an easier alternative than a cumbersome stroller but if you are traveling alone, it is near impossible unstrap and strap yourself with any type of baby carrier. It can feel like a straight jacket!

Traveling with a Baby Tip 3: Keep Germs at Bay

Planes are some of the germiest places and are not always wiped down as thoroughly as we would hope. To keep babies and younger children from getting sick, swipe a bit of Neosporin under their nose, as to protect them from airborne germs. I would also suggest completely wiping down with those trusty disinfective wipes all parts of your seat (trays, seat belts, headrest) before getting everyone settled. It takes only 2-seconds and remember…we’ve all seen someone change a diaper on those tray tables!

Traveling with a Baby Tip 4: Shut It!

Many young babies and children have trouble with the varying air pressure on the plane and it can really hurt their ears. Unfortunately, not every individual is sympathetic to this so bring a tube of earplugs to pass around to your fellow passenger to help lessen the noise. They will appreciate the gesture!

Traveling with a Baby Tip 5: Bring an Arsenal of Plastic Baggies

…And fill these bad boys with snacks, toys and shiny objects. Don’t wait till you arrive at the airport to buy snacks for your baby, because most likely there will not be a lot of choices that your baby can eat. Also, don’t think his favorite rattle will be enough. Bring some items that have been hiding at the bottom of your toy bin – they will be new again to your excited little one!Tips for Traveling with a Baby - EntertainmentCorri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a Style Expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning”, and features “Style Recipes”, videos and Fashion “Must Haves” on her self-titled lifestyle website Corri McFadden.  Most recently, she launched Glitter and Bubbles, a modern day moms guide for those looking for inspiration through fashion, food and décor.