Sensory Play

Build Your Own Sensory Kit

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Does your toddler love to play with you when it’s time to cook dinner? Or maybe when you have a sink full of dishes plus a dishwasher full of clean dishes that need to be put away?

Maybe you’re ready for sensory play with a sensory bin!

There will be some training, for the kids, yes, but also for you of course! Yes, there will be some mess, and that’s ok. Embrace the mess.


Sensory Play

 

The Rules. Yes there are two rules that are critical for success.

  1. We do NOT EAT our sensory bins
  2. We do not DUMP our sensory bins

First give a warning.  When one of the two rules are broken give a warning, then put away the bin for 10-15 minutes.

That’s it! For your first bin, expect mistakes. Judge the maturity of your child, some are ready at 16 months, some need 24 months or more to perfect and play nicely in a sensory bin. Hopefully you’ll get at least 15 minutes of solid play time, maybe even up to an hour!

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Below are the recommended tools to start your own sensory bin. Starting with something simple like rice and fewer tools will set both of you up for success. And remember adult supervision is always required!

 

 

Tools

  1. Storage bin (this one from Target would do nicely)
  2. Two pounds of rice (we’ll get into colored rice in another post)
  3. Scooping tools (we love these from Ikea or try these from Amazon)
  4. Optional: Glass jars (to see it filling) Funnels (reenforces object permanence) Measuring Cups/ Scooping Toys and/ or fun figures like small construction trucks or animals that can play/ hide in the bin.

 

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Best of luck and we hope that you have lots of fun with your sensory bin!! Comment below if you’d like us to share more sensory bin ideas or suggestions to make first time sensory bin play successful. We’d love to hear from you! Even if you’re not successful, remember that just like learning to eat, it’s often messy at first, but with more practice everyone gets better!!

I should also mention that storing your supplies in gallon ziplock bags, right in the bin makes clean up, and set up a breeze!

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Ready to try a few more Sensory Bins?

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xo,

Chistine

 

Clean Eating, Week Two!

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Hi! Welcome back!

I’m so excited to share this week’s meal plan with you. It’s really challenging to cook healthy, delicious food that the whole family will love, that won’t take forever to prepare! I’ve put together a few of my family’s favorite meals, a few good-for-you comfort foods, and lots of tasty snacks!

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I hope you’ll join me on this journey, and remember good eating is done one meal at a time. You can do this!!

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Veggies with hummus is one of our favorites!

 

Here’s a quick preview:

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And you can download and print the meal plan here: Delightful Southern Moments, Week II Meal Plan

 

Recipes

There are a few new Recipes this week, so I’ll share them here:

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumettes

Fish Tacos (skip the cayenne pepper for the kids)

Lentil Soup

Tomato & Spinach Soup

I buy my Korean Short ribs from Trader Joes. They’re already marinated and are so easy to make. I recommend popping them in the oven under the broiler. But you have to watch them closely so they don’t burn!

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If you try any, or all of these recipes, please share! We’d love to hear from you!

xo,

Christine

My Beauty Routine

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I’m so excited to share my current beauty routine with you! I feel like skin-care is an on going battle and who on earth thought we’d be dealing with breakouts and wrinkles in our thirties?!

This winter has already been quiet cold in the southeastern part of the states. And my skin has been begging for some good moisturizers.

I recently discovered an amazing night moisturizer by Neutrogena. It’s not too heavy, but feels soo good when I use it. Another new favorite I love this Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Eye. I use the moisturizer in the evenings, and the eye cream twice daily. This third find, an anti-wrinkle cream is my new obsession. Neutrogena claims you’ll see results in seven days, and they’re right, the results are amazing!!

 

 

In the morning I use the hydro boost eye cream and my favorite (and recommended by my dermatologist) daily moisturizer with sunscreen. I love this stuff, it’s so amazing. And if you don’t have a daily cleanser, I highly recommend this one by, you guessed it, Neutrogena. It’s great at taking off makeup, and I don’t feel like it dries out my skin.

 

 

That was skin care, pretty simple and straight forward. If you have additional tips or products you love, please share them in the comments below! But before we move on to the best part, we have to talk about acne. How is it that as adults we’re still dealing with this stuff? I’m over the moon to tell you about this Mario Badescu product that I’m obsessed with. It works miracles. If you get a random pimple on your face, or even if you have some whiteheads you’ve been struggling with- this stuff is life changing.

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Ok, now on to my most favorite new makeup finds!

This IT cream gives full, flawless, perfect coverage and protects your skin with SPF 50+ UVA/UVB broad-spectrum physical sunscreen. And it  never creases! Another recent find are these two Hourglass Bronzer and Dim Light Illuminator are perfect for creating dimension and conturing. Another fantastic find is this High browHigh brow pencil. Perfect for the mom who looks tired, but doesn’t want to! You can apply this under your eyebrow for a lifting affect, and also to the lower eye lid tear line to brighten your eyes! (A huge shout out to my favorite IG gal, Courtney Sheilds for suggesting some of these products on her IG stories). And I had to include my new favorite rose gold eye lash curler.

 

 

 

What would you add? Do you have favorite moisturizers you like to use in the winter months? Have you tried face masks or have a favorite facial you like to get?

xo,

Christine

Eating Healthier in the New Year

We’ve all been there, but are you really ready to jump start your ideal weight goals?

Let’s do it together!

I’ll be sharing my favorite recipes, and a few new ones here for us all to try together! Come along with me on the journey to cleaner eating, mom and toddler friendly exercises, and lots of positive thoughts to inspire us in the new year!

I’m really excited to share our meal plan for the week. While not vegan, many are vegetarian and all are dairy free. There are lots of great recipes here that I’ll be sharing with you and I hope you’ll try them! You’ll notice that most of the recipes have proteins and vegetables, or veggies and carbs. This is because it is easier for our body’s to digest foods in certain pairings. But more on that later! My favorite nutritionist recommends starting your day with a cup of warm lemon. It helps get your digestion moving and has tons of digestive enzymes!

Another great tip is what we drink. I’ll let you do your own research with this topic, but a friendly reminder to myself is to drink less adult beverages when I’m loosing weight. I also skip all sodas, even ‘diet’ labeled stuff. And I use half or completely skip the sugar I add to my coffee. I drink it with plenty of un-sweetened almond milk, but almond milk has it’s own sweetness. Between drinking lots of plane water, juicing (that’s another blog post for another day), green smoothies, 1 cup or less of coffee a day, warm tea, and 1-3 glasses of wine a week I find that I don’t need to drink any soda.

 

Our Meals this Week

We love making a special meal once a week. Have you ever made pork wellington? It’s actually really easy! My hubby makes this amazing dish for us! Here’s the recipe for Pork Wellington.

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Another favorite meal, that is oh so toddler friendly is oatmeal! We use instant oatmeal, sprinkle in a little cinnamon and raisins. For the littlest member of our family we add sprinkles!

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We love breakfast around here! A new favorite is this Banana Breakfast Wrap!

Below is a preview of this week’s meal plan, you can download it here, Delightful Southern Moment Clean Eating Meal Plan.

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(Please note that this is not medical advice and not to replace meal plans given by your doctor).

Recipes:

Banana Breakfast Wrap

Nutty Carob Power-Shake

Veggie Wrap

Easy Roasted Chicken

Green Smoothie

Honey & Soy Salmon Skewers

Chia Acai Smoothie

Gluten-Free Pancakes

Homemade Granola

Portobello Burger

 

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Being Active

To balance out all the good eating, I need to get more active! It’s difficult in the frozen winter months to be motivated to run outside, or even head over to the gym. What if you could workout at home? If you’re interested in the workout video I showed on stories the other day, you can find it here on Amazon. It’s engaging, fun, and yes, even toddlers can do the exercises and have a great time! All you need is a mat and a couple of weights.

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If you aren’t sure how to make something, or are curious about substituting something, or even looking for a recipe you don’t see here, feel free comment below or send us a message through our Facebook or Instagram pages! What are you hoping to add to your wellness plan for the new year? Comment below to tell us about your plans!

xo,

Christine

 

A Minimalist Guide to Stress-Free Traveling with Toddlers & Babies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It also means the days are getting shorter, and we’re all rushing around getting ready for the holidays. If that includes traveling, a little planning in advanced could mean the difference between a jolly holiday, and a stressed out mama. Follow these 5 simple tips for a stress free trip.

Want an easy Download of our Packing list? Download it Here: Delightful Southern Moment’s MINIMALIST Toddler Packing List

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1 // Paperwork

Make sure you have all paperwork for the airport / road trip. This includes drivers’ license for mom and dad, and a copy of your little one(s) birth certificate for the airport.

2 // Pack light

You’ll no doubt need to bring snacks, a change of clothes and a few favorite toys, but try to keep the “extras” to a minimum. What can do double duty? That baby blanket, could it also be a nursing cover? Do you really need a stroller and a baby carrier? Select those items which will make your life easiest going through security.

3 // At the airport

Arrive early. I can’t say that enough. It took us an hour to go through security on our last trip! Taking a stroller? Consider if the stroller / wheel chair lines are moving more quickly through security. These are often shorter but do come with their own risk of getting stuck behind a grandma who brought too many bottles of perfume or liqueur filled chocolates.

4 // On the Plane

Once on the plane, try to snag an isle seat so you can get up and walk around if the little one(s) get fussy, but if the plane is already looking half full, grab a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible. You might be exhausted after your flight and won’t want to hang out on the plane any longer than you have to waiting for all the other passengers to get off. Speaking of getting on the plane, ask the flight attendants as soon as you enter the plane if you can have a water. Often they can easily grab a can and hand it to you as you walk by. Unless you remembered to fill your water bottle in the terminal, this refreshing water will be awesome, I promise.

5 // At your Destination

Make plans a head of time to discuss a meal once you’ve arrived. Is there a place by the airport you’ll want to stop by? Or will you be heading straight to relatives house? Call ahead of your trip to discuss having a meal that is quick and easy to make – something that your little one(s) will eat. Believe me, you’ll be thankful for this opportunity to get some real food in their bellies. This will be a great time to get an inventory of what toiletries, diapers, etc., are available, and what you’ll need to shop for during your visit.

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If you’re driving to your destination, you may be temped to pack everything you “might need” because, well, you have the space right?! Avoid this temptation, as it will mean you have MORE to keep up with. Also, can you plan out stops on your trip? Perhaps there are fantastic parks or sights you’d like to see on the way to your destination? A trick from my in-laws is to have each parent only drive 90 minutes. It may seem like too many stops, but if you have a newly potty trained toddler in the back seat, they’ll appreciate the stops (so yes, bring that little potty!). And it will keep mom and dad fresh and attentive to the road.

Airport Tips

Below is our MINIMALIST Packing List.

For Baby

IN YOUR CARRY-ON, TO STAY WITH YOU ON PLANE:

  • Diapers (enough for your travel time, plus a couple extra)
  • Wipes (lots! And these can double-duty for cleaning the plane seat area)
  • Pack a change of clothes (things happen)
  • Favorite toy(s)
  • Nursing Cover/ Blanket (if you’re still nursing)
  • Snacks
  • Sippy cup / bottle(s) (Avoid temptation to fill sippy cups ahead of time if possible, TSA will slow you down to check these. But formula and breast milk bottles, and baby food CAN BE brought on board. Be sure to tell the TSA agent ahead of screening to save headaches.)

IN PLASTIC BAG, EASILY ACCESSIBLE (ON TOP OF CARRY-ON) FOR TSA:

  • Infant Tylenol or Motrin
  • Small Hand Sanitizer
  • Diaper Cream

IN YOUR SUITCASE OR TO BE CHECKED IF DESIRED:

  • 2 outfits per day of trip (extra in case of accidents, over 5 days plan to do laundry or purchase on trip, you’ll have a fun memory and a new shirt!)
  • Socks
  • Swim Diaper / Bathing suit (these will not take much space & are hard to buy)
  • Hat (warm or cool weather depending on your destination)
  • Pajamas
  • Brush/ Comb
  • Sweater / Dressy outfit depending on events
  • Shoes

For Parents

IN YOUR CARRY-ON, TO STAY WITH YOU ON PLANE:

  • Driver’s License & Wallet
  • Empty water bottle
  • Sunglasses or glasses for vision correction
  • Phone & phone charger(s)
  • Sweater or Jacket
  • Extra shirt

IN YOUR SUITCASE OR TO BE CHECKED IF DESIRED:

  • Pants (shorts, jeans, leggings for mamas, etc. We recommend 1 pair of each depending on your events schedule for every 4 days of your trip)
  • Shirt (1 per day of your trip, over 5 days plan to do laundry or purchase on trip, you’ll have a fun memory and a new shirt!)
  • Dress / Dress Shirt & Slacks (Based on your personal style, bring more dresses and less pants/ shirts if you like to wear dresses- 1 per every 4 days of your trip).
  • Undergarments & Socks
  • Bathing suit (take one, it takes very little space and is difficult to buy)
  • Pajamas
  • Toothbrush
  • Hair brush/ comb
  • Curing iron / straightener
  • Small bag of makeup essentials, hair ties, bobby pins
  • Medications
  • Shoes / Sandals
  • Sweater

Leave home your toothpaste, face wash, make up remover, dry shampoo and hair spray and other small toiletry items as these can be borrowed from relatives or purchased cheaply at your destination.

Want an easy Download of our Packing list? Download it Here: Delightful Southern Moment’s MINIMALIST Toddler Packing List

Minimalist Travel Guide

If you’re traveling with gifts, be sure to leave them unwrapped. Airport security may need to check your bags and frowns upon gift wrapped items. We hope our tips and packing list helpful. We love a certain airline where bags fly free and highly suggest weighing all your options/ costs when booking airfare.

Thanks for checking out our tips and packing list and happy travels!

xo,

Christine

 

We want to hear from you! What would you add?

  • For those who have traveled with a baby or a toddler, what tips would you add?
  • Are there other things you did to make the trip easier?
  • Was there something else you did to reduce stress?
  • Would you ever have one parent fly with the kid(s), while the second drives your car to your destination?

Gift Guide for Him

Gift giving for the guys in our lives can be difficult, they always say they don’t need anything. Am I right? But let’s face it, they appreciate a nice gift. I’ve teamed up with a few of my favorite guys to put together this helpful list of ideas for you to give to the special guy in your life! You’re sure to find something here for your Dad, brother, boyfriend, or husband. I’ve linked all of these items for quick reference.

I’ve sectioned the gifts into wearable, tech, and for fun. When gifting, remember it’s not about finding the perfect gift, it’s where it comes from that is most important. Giving from a kind, loving heart and hands are what matters most.

 

Gifts for Any Guy

Gifts for Him by Delightful Southeruthern Moments

 Gloves // Slippers // Shirt // Socks

These are a few of my favorite items you can gift to almost any guy. These leather gloves from Nordstrom are needed across the US (unless you’re a Floridian of course). And a good pair of leather gloves will last a lifetime if well taken care of. I love the quality and durability of these Land’s Ends cozy slippers. Did you see the hard bottom? How many times do guys run outside to fetch the mail or say ‘hey’ to a neighbor and tear up the bottom of soft sole slippers? Another favorite is the L.L. Bean flannel, super soft and in the most flattering colors, you’re sure to have a winner here. And of course, we had to include Gold Toe socks. These come in dark colors and light, and are things guys never buy for themselves, but really do appreciate. This fun pair with deer and ever green trees are perfect for the holiday season and can even be worn to the office to spread some holiday cheer!

Luxury/ Tech Gifts

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Dopp Kit // Belt // Ear warmers // Wallet // Headphones

These next items are special items you might think are a little bit of a splurge, but who doesn’t love to spoil their guys a little every now and then. I love this Banana Republic dopp kit, it’s stylish and still just the right size to fit on a carry on when traveling. The two sides make it easy to separate liquids from things like a comb, razor, toothbrush and nail clippers. A new brown or black leather belt, when bought in the correct length and width like this one from Nordstrom make a classic gift a bit more dressy. Brown belts can be worn at almost anytime, with just about any colored pants and are the most likely to  need replacing. This black would be a great gift to give before a company holiday party when your hubby realizes his old belt no longer fits. Either way, it will be a great item to give! These ear warmers from Target are inexpensive, stylish, easy to pack and carry. While not a splurge item, most guys won’t admit to needing a hat and will most likely not buy one for themselves, even in the coldest weather. You know they’ll think of you every time they wear them and feel a little bit warmer. I love this slim wallet design, enough space for the guy who has tons of cards, or the minimalist card carrier. And Banana Republic leather products hold up really well to daily use. My absolute favorite splurge item are these Bose headphones. They are amazing quality and use bluetooth connectivity so he won’t be tied down with wires. With built-in-mic with HD Voice and an easily packable fold-flat design may be his favorite gift under the tree this year.

 

For Fun

Just Listed

 

Pandemic // Coup // The Resistance // This One Time, I…

 

There are so many great games on the market today, it’s so hard to pick just a few. For the avid game lover who has all the best games, these indie games will put the smile on their face you are looking for! Pandemic is a co-operative game (no hard feelings like Monopoly) and can be played in smaller groups of 2-4 players.  In this game, a team of specialists in various fields play together to find cures to save the world. Coup is a game for a slightly larger crowd, 2-6 players and can be played in a relatively short period of time. He’ll love to play this game with relatives that he would secretly love to crush as the winner must manipulate, bribe and bluff their way into absolute power to win. The Resistance is not a game for the faint of heart as it is a very intense social deduction game. Good for a very large group, 5-10 players, and is a fun way to test how good a liar your friends can be. The final game is a hilarious one called THIS ONE TIME, I… THE GAME OF LUDICROUS LIFE CHOICES. This is the Party Edition, and has been called the best adult icebreaker card game for men and women. This is a super fun, pregame, drinking, and party game where rules are optional. It’s ages 17+, so you decide where it’s best to break this gift out. 

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Still looking for more ideas? Personalized gifts are always great. Perhaps a photo of you in a frame for their desk or a new mug with your favorite vacation photo or coasters with your favorite memories together. Or perhaps you’re looking for something even more simple, maybe a last minute gift? How about a gift card? A Lowes Home Improvement, Topgolf, Fandango, or even Amazon gift cards are all great ideas.

 

What would you add? Leave a comment  below with your great gift ideas!

xo,

Christine

Gifts for the Hostess, a Simple Way to Say ‘Thank You’

I’m so excited to share this very special post written by a very special blogger, my step-mom! I asked her to help me put together a few tips on gifts for a hostess for all the upcoming holiday get togethers. It’s once again that exciting time of year filled with holiday parties, sparkling galas, and dazzling cocktail parties. Let’s take a moment to also remember those who put so much love, patience and effort into hosting these wonderful events.

“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity.

Love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, forgiveness.

It’s not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free.

All you need is within you.

Find your heart, and you will find your way.”

-Carlos Barrios, Mayan leader

These are wise words, and great advice. Our lives have gotten so busy! We hurry to work, to the grocery store, to pick up the kids from school, get their costumes for dress rehearsals, our own clothes from the dry cleaners, new dance shoes, the list goes on. In all our busyness, are we missing out on the simple pleasures of the holidays? One of life’s simplest pleasure is giving, and saying ‘Thank you.’ We all know this, but it seems like its just one more thing on the to do list.

We know we should bring a gift to the holiday party we invited to, but struggle to come up with anything. We spend countless hours searching Pinterest, Amazon, or Google. It is so easy to get lost in the search for proper gift idea, or proper etiquette, even what should be simple advice on how to give, what to give and when to give. It all becomes dreadfully overwhelming! After countless articles, opinions and other wild ideas we see online, often we still have no gift and feel more overwhelmed than ever!

A hostess gift shouldn’t be complicated, it doesn’t even have to be something you spend a lot of money on.

Giving, saying thank you, and sharing is in my family’s second nature, you might even say it is ingrained in our DNA. We didn’t have the internet, nor did we spend hours reading books on etiquette. For us, it was simply the pleasure of sharing. The best received gifts are often those based on simplicity. A box of chocolate, a single rose from my mom’s garden, a small plate of warm cookies, a homemade fresh bread, even a bowl of fresh fruit. No matter how simple, it spoke of kindness, it spoke of the heart, and the message was simple – you care!

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For a modern twist on a hostess gift, consider fresh and fragrant gifts. A bouquet of fresh herbs would be a particularly welcome gift to the home chef, but anyone can enjoy fresh greenery in the home. A few sprigs of parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram, and lavender. Give extraordinary, ordinary herbs.

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Your lovely bouquet could be a simple conversation starter. For example, did you know these herbs have specific meaning, used by herbalist for centuries as aids for upset stomach, to improve mood, as antiseptic, to boost confidence, not to mention there were times when almost all of them were part of a wedding bouquet.

Combine your herbal gift with a dipping dish, some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh bread for more elaborate gift.

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and you’ve been invited to dinner party. When you’re desperately searching for elaborate, proper hostess gift, remember to think of something simple. It doesn’t matter whether you choose a simple bouquet or a more elaborate presentation. The most important thing keep in mind is that whatever gift you give, it comes from a kind, loving, giving heart.

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Wishing you peace and kindness,

Veronika