Cozy Autumn Home

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Delightful Southern Moments

 

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I love when the seasons change, don’t you? The cool, crisp whisper of autumn in the evenings and all the cozy sweaters, football games, and campfires! Fall is a great time to update your home too. With a few easy changes you can create a cozy home that’s the perfect gathering space for your family!

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Creating layers is the perfect way to think about having a cozy home. Think horizontal, vertical and depth. Adding a new piece of art to your wall can create a lot or just a pop of drama. I adore this print by COLLEEN KARIS! It’s the inspiration to the rest of the autumn pieces I’m sharing for updating your home for Fall!

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 2.01.54 PMCOLLEEN KARIS Forest Wall Art

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Home Sweet Home Doormat | Buffalo Check Doormat | Wheat Grass Wreath

 

 

Fall Mug | Boxwood Wreath | Buffalo Check Pillow Cases

 

 

Welcome Sign | Hello Pumpkin Mug | White Pumpkin with Gold Pumpkins

 

 

Ceramic Pumpkin Cocotte | Twinkle Lights | Wooden Coasters

The last two layers to consider are item which adds an extra layer of cozy. A fluffy throw blanket and pillow are an easy way to update a space for the season. They pull together all the colors in a space because there are so many options!

 

 

Thankful Pillow | Embroidered Pumpkins Pillow | Linen Wheat Grass Pillow

 

 

Chunky Knit Throw Blanket | Plaid Faux Mohair Throw Blanket | Hamilton Trail Check Bed Blanket

 

You don’t have to spend a fortune to update your home for cooler months. A few key pieces of layer can make it the perfect gathering space for your family!

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You can find more home goods at our amazon store front! Please visit Shop the Blog on Amazon

And if we left out anything you’d add, please comment below. And be sure to check out our other autumn themed posts including¬†Our Autumn Book Haul¬†and¬†Fall Bucket List ūüćāūüćĀ

xo,

Christine

 

 

Our Autumn Book Haul

We love reading stories at our house. Reading aloud to children is so important.

“Reading builds brains, fostering early learning and creating connections in the brain that promote language, cognitive, and social and emotional development.

By reading with your child, you also help cultivate a lasting love of reading. Reading for pleasure can help prevent conditions such as stress, depression and dementia.” (University of Liverpool)

Our library is a great place to pick up all our favorite autumn themed books! Check out what is in our current reading basket:

 

Goodbye Summer Hello Autumn | Ten Apples Up On Top! | The Apple Pie Tree

Apples and Pumpkins | Blueberries for Sal | Apple Countdown

Leaves |The Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit | Curious George Apple Harvest

 

These are some of our very favorite stories to read when the weather starts to cool down. What are your favorites? Do you have a story you love to read every autumn?

The Best Gender Neutral Toys for Toddlers & Young Children

I’d like to start by saying that I don’t believe toys should be looked as “for girls,” or “for boys.” Toys don‚Äôt have a gender.

Toys are Gender Neutral

I hope you’ll agree that the toy list I’ve put together are¬†GENDER NEUTRAL (as all toys are). Everything on this list is wonderful for girls and boys. Loved by both, and equally NEEDED by all.

I hope you’ll consider the ways all children will learn learn through playing with,¬†whether Legos, a doll house or kitchen.

Toy List

Best Toys for 1 Year Olds

Best Toys for One Year Olds

Best Toys for Toddlers

Best Toys for Toddlers

‚ÄúPlay Is The Work of the Child‚ÄĚ Maria Montessori

According to Montessori, the essential dimensions of play are:

  • Voluntary, enjoyable, purposeful and spontaneous
  • Creativity expanded using problem solving skills, social skills, language skills and physical skills
  • Helps expand on new ideas
  • Helps the child to adapt socially
  • Helps to thwart emotional problems

 

If play is the work of the child, toys are the tools. Through toys, children learn about their world, themselves, and others. Toys teach children to:

  • Figure out how things work
  • Pick up new ideas
  • Build muscle control and strength
  • Use their imagination
  • Solve problems
  • Learn to cooperate with others

 

Toddler Toys

Wooden Blocks

These are the absolute best open ended toys for young children. Even elementary aged children love to play with blocks.

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Rainbow

Another favorite open ended toy, this rainbow has endless possibilities for play.

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Small Animals

A set of small animals, or two or three, can be used for sensory bin play or endless imaginary play. The Schleich animals have exquisite detail, and will keep interest of older children with their life-like quality.

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Vehicles with People

Community helpers are so big with toddlers, and these vehicles are perfect for pretend play.

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Duplo Legos

Legos are a open-ended toy that every household needs to have. Duplos start young children in the early years to develop building skills.

duplo

Play Kits

Vet Kit Shaving Kit Scarves

Children love to play make-believe, and these kits explore grown-up skills and group play. If you don’t have scarves yet, they have so many uses. From dancing to learning signals, they truly are an open ended toy!

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Baby Doll

Boys and girls benefit from playing with dolls, empathy and nurturing are not just skills for little girls. I absolutely love this new born doll is anatomically correct! Available in Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and African, boy or girl.

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Doll House

We have gotten so much play out of our doll house. Excellent pretend play for boys and girls! In my daughter’s preschool class the boys often play rescue games with the the dolls and the girls jump right in. This particular house is the most gender neutral one I’ve seen.

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Kitchen

There are hundreds it seems, of play kitchens on the market, and for good reason. Boys and girls love to role play mommy and/ or daddy preparing meals in the family kitchen. This kitchen from Ikea is a good value, but check your local market for resales,  you can often find one for a great price and most can last through several children.

kitchen

Pots & pans, cookie cutters, mitts, spoons, ladles, spatulas

We love our Ikea play sets for the kitchen. These are the perfect size for little hands!

Play Food & Shopping Basket

Grocery shopping is another favorite role play of young children. And these soft foods are our favorites!

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Fruits Veggies

Puzzles

Shapes Tool Puzzle Community Helpers Puzzle

You can never have too many puzzles (although my husband might disagree with me on this one). There are so many amazing teaching puzzles on the market today, these are just a few of ours that we love.

Cash Register

A tried and true favorite, this retro toy is making a come back. I love the simplicity of this one and I’m so glad they brought it back!

Cash

Alphabet Toys

Alphabet toys are a great way to introduce letters. Organically the child can explore the shapes, and we like to make the sound of the letter, not specifically the name of it yet. I love that this set has upper and lower case letters, and the wood pieces are in the actual shape of the letters.

alphabet

Train Set

Perhaps traditionally thought of as a toy meant for boys, little girls love to play with trains. Building a track with a grown up, and moving pieces around give endless hours of fun.

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Play Tools

Our little girl loves building things with daddy, and tools are a great way for bonding with parents or “fixing” the child’s own toys.

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Spill Resistant Paint Cups

As children get older, they crave opportunities for independence. You want a clean house- these spill resistant paint cups help us meet them somewhere in the middle.

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Tea Set

Equally loved by all children, the right tea set teaches caring for others (offering drinks) taking turns, and introduces some basic etiquette (sitting at a table together).

tea set

Color Sorting Toys

Color sorting are one of the most favorite games of toddlers. Toddlers love order, and color sorting gives them an opportunity to practice those skills. Its amazing how fast children learn to sort.

Color Sorting Shapes

Music Instruments

Music is such a critical piece of development, I could write an entire post just on music and music therapy. A few good quality pieces will bring hours of joy to your children. And I love the simplicity of these instruments that require the child to do all of the creative work.

Band Piano Percussion

 

One Year Old Toys

Stacking Toys

We love these stacking toys, the cups are a steal at $3 and have given so much joy from such a simple toy. The imagination of children is just amazing. From playroom, to tub, to traveling on a plane and flying to see grandma- our stacking cups have some serious miles on them!

Stacking Cups  Stacking Rings

Baby Doll

Baby’s first doll should be soft, sweet and have a friendly face. We love playing with our soft doll and remember- they’re not just for girls!

baby1

Shape Sorting Toys

Another toy that has brought joy not just to us, but our playgroup friends as well. Babies and even toddlers love this sweet little house!

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Balls

The ultimate baby toy, but these texture balls are one of our favorites. Eager young children love to put everything in their mouths, and these little balls are so easy to wash. Another favorite of our little ones, and all the children at our playgroup gatherings.

balls

Push Toys

Every single child loves to have a toy they can push- moms and dads, you’ll love how compact this one is! This zebra is another well loved toy, and makes just enough sound as you push it along. You’r little one will love it!

zebra

Pop-up School Bus

Another timeless classic, we have one from my husband’s childhood. The peg people pop up when you push them down- baby’s first lesson in cause and effect! The cheerfully painted school bus and little people make this a hit with all children!

school bus

Ramp Toys

Toys are amazing things, did you know this is a first lesson in reading? I know! What? Yes, this simple little toy in which cars are dropped at the top of the ramp and drive down, yet allow full visibility, train a child’s eye to love down the page of a book! See, I told you toys are good for learning!

car ramp

Big Knob Puzzles

Big knob puzzles are a great first introduction into the world of puzzles. The over sized knobs make it easier for tiny hands to firmly grasp, and friendly pets, and fruits give little ones a good practice for things around the house.

Fruit Basket Pets

Mega Blocks

These are perfect for tiny hands, just learning how to put two blocks together!

mega blocks

Animals

All children love animals, and if you’re going to get small animals, I would highly suggest starting your collection with Schleich. Younger children may not yet notice all the fine details, but older children will. These are great for sensory bins, playing with blocks and other toys, the possibilities are endless. Starting your little ones with some of the larger animals, then slowly adding to the collection will be toys you can grow with.

Dog Horse Tiger Polar Bear

 

What are your favorite toys for little ones?

Remember, we don’t have to have every toy- just the right ones! Toys that entertain our kids are one-and done. We don’t want that! Look for open ended toys that let the child play, use their imagination and can grow with them!

 

xo,

Christine

 

Glowing Cool Weather Skin!

I’m so excited to share my beauty routine for glowing skin in the fall / winter months! Keeping skin hydrated is key to healthy,¬†radiant skin! Let’s face it, as we age our skin needs more TLC, a lot more TLC.

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I am such a Target girl- I love the price point and that I can count on them to carry one of my favorite, and recommended by my dermatologist, brands, Neutrogena. Introduced several years ago, the Hydro Boost line has really taken off in the last year, and for good reason!

 

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My absolute favorite under eye moisturizer¬†Hyaluronic Acid Gel Eye Cream, which you all have heard about me mention before is amazing! It is specially designed to help smooth the skin around the eyes, boosting skin’s hydration level and locks it in all day! I also love this super gentle, non- pore clogging 12 hour¬†Oil-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer. With a broad Spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen, it also helps prevent premature signs of aging caused by the sun! And did you know it’s recommended to wear sunscreen even in cooler seasons? My last favorite Neutrogena skin product is the¬†Hydro Boost Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser. I use this each morning to really wake up my face and give it a fresh glow.

But what about my secret night-time skin care routine? This is something I’ve been working on for the past year! Before I go to bed is when the real magic happens- and I hope you all are excited as I am! On Amazon Prime Day, I finally took the leap to try the¬†Clarisonic Mia 1, Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush System. This amazing little tool removes makeup, dirt, oil, and sweat 6x better than hands alone!! I use it with my other amazing secret, a small amount of¬†TULA Probiotic Skin Care Purifying Face Cleanser, Deep Pore Cleansing Wash¬†applied right on the brush head. My face has never felt cleaner, and been clearer since I started using these two together.

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My last two beauty items are a bit controversial, but stick with me. I’m really excited to share a¬†Vitamin C + serum¬†that was recommended to me by a friend. Vitamin C + Collagen helps brighten and visibly firm the skin. It really does create a youthful glow! The Hyaluronic Acid + Retinol help to banish dark circles, and get firmer, that also works as anti-wrinkle serum. See? I told you this stuff was pretty awesome! And finally, my¬†Alo Verra Derma-Roller. While perhaps this one might get the most reservation from you, hear me out. As we age, our skin looses its elasticity, and firmness. Also if you have any acne scaring, you might notice those take longer to heal. I LOVE the roller for this very reason. It works so well, you’ll just have to try it and let me know in the comments what you think! After washing my face, I continue to use this¬†Night Cream.

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I’ve been loving my recent beauty finds and sharing them with you! What products are you currently into?

xo,

Christine

 

 

Old Navy Fall Wardrobe Must Haves!

I absolutely love the changing of the seasons, especially from summer to autumn. I’m so excited to share with you a few of my favorites I found at Old Navy yesterday! Did you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe for the new season? Few of the right key pieces can take your current closet to the next level!

I’m so excited to share these trend pieces from my try on session! Unfortunately our local store is undergoing some renovation, so I wasn’t able to try on everything I had on my wish list. Help me pick your favorites so I can order them online!

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Vest // Frost-Free Puffer Vest Рcolor In the Navy

Top // Relaxed Cinched-Sleeve

Jeans // High-Rise Secret-Slim Pockets Rockstar

 

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This sweatshirt screams fall to me! The color is perfect, and its super cozy. I would get your regular size, although it does run a little big. I’m wearing an XS here for comparison.

Sweatshirt // French-Terry Boyfriend Tunic Sweatshirt -color Borscht

Scarf // Flannel Blanket Scarf in Black Plaid

Jeans // Mid-Rise Distressed Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans

 

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I love that this jacket has a cinched waist! Hello flatter autumn photos while sipping on some crips apple cider and keeping cozy with your honey by the fire side!

Jacket // Twill Field Jacket in Hunter Pines or Hooded Utility Parka in Olive

Shirt // Relaxed Twill Tunic Shirt, Black/White Plaid

Mules // Faux-Suede Slide Mules in Toffee

 

 

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Vest //  Frost-Free Puffer Vest Рcolor Royal Velvet

Handbag // Zip-Top Faux-Leather Crossbody Bag in Cognac Brown

 

More styles and combinations, plus items they didn’t have in the store that I would have loved to try on!

High-Rise Mesh-Panel Leggings for Women – color Black

 

These amazingly cozy lounge pieces will sell out! Hurry and get your favorites before they do!

Pullover Swing Hoodie for Women in Apple Blossom

Cozy Crew-Neck Sweatshirt in Creme De La Creme

French-Terry Lounge Joggers in Icelandic Mineral

 

What are your favorite pieces? Which ones should I take home? Any of your must haves at Old Navy right now that I missed? Share them below in the comments, I love hearing from you all!

xo,

Christine