Toddler Style: My Casual Cool Three Year Old

Do you want to know what is really strange for me about being a mom? It is the fact that after 28 years of not having a child, I can’t really remember my life before my son. That is sort of difficult to explain. It isn’t that I don’t remember life pre-motherhood or that I don’t cherish that time as well. He is just such a part of me now that I can’t imagine my life without him. He has changed me in so many amazing ways, and yet I’m still the same person.

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

 

I haven’t posted about my kiddo much in the past year because I’m finally seeing his little personality and have been unsure if I wanted to share it on my blog. He has his own personality that is no longer just a reflection of my husband and me, but is just him! In the end I finally decided that I will abide by some personal rules when posting about him, and if and when he decides that he doesn’t want to be featured on my blog I’ll respect that. Currently he loves the camera. If you can’t tell by these amazing shots taken by Macey from Moments by Macey.

Casual Cool Toddler Style – Hiding the Threenager

At three years old we are dealing with a variety mood swings. Sometimes this little guy will be the most polite and amazing child. Brian and I will look at each other with “what in the world happened to him?” Other times it is FIT city. From everything I’ve read from mothers and fathers of 3 year olds… we are right on track.

The day we took these photos with he was on his best behavior. You would never had guessed that just hours before he had thrown an epic fit because he didn’t want to nap and then another epic fit because he didn’t want to wake up. By the time we got to the wall and had a bunch of balloons he was the happiest and sweetest kid on the block. He loved his casual cool toddler style look, making sure his hair was just right in the mirror. But, really… it was all about the balloons. Man, balloons are amazing.

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Boy Clothing - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

Casual Cool Toddler Fashion - A Well Crafted Party

 

Outfit details: (affiliate links may be used) 

High top two tone shoes via Old Navy // Skinny Jeans via Gap // Chambray Rolled Sleeved Shirt via Old Navy // Vest via a three piece set from Burlington Coat Factory (Similar via Amazon) // Tie was a gift (Similar via Amazon)

 

 

Toddler Style: Hair Cut

Toddler Hair Cut // A Well Crafted Party Toddler Hair Cut // A Well Crafted Party Toddler Hair Cut // A Well Crafted Party Toddler Hair Cut // A Well Crafted Party Toddler Hair Cut // A Well Crafted Party

My little guy is getting older. We recently got our two year old a hair cut. Short on the sides and long on top. As soon as it was done he immediately said, “I cool!”

We think he is pretty cool too.

Toddler Style: Vintage Cool

Toddler Boy Style // A Well Crafted Party Toddler Boy Style with Vintage Tee // A Well Crafted PartyA Well Crafted Party Vintage Tee Toddler Boy Style

Vintage Tee and Jeans Toddler Style // A Well Crafted Party

 

There is just something great about a good vintage tee and well-worn blue jeans. This casual, but seriously cool ensemble was fun for a day exploring downtown Portland. It is simple, but put together toddler style which is essential when it comes to stylish and busy toddler boys!

This little guy is getting so big. Most of his clothes are able to be worn for about a month or two before another growth spurt puts them in the “giveaway” pile. These jeans though have stood the test of toddler time. Can you believe these are the same jeans he wore in the 7 days of Style images from over a year ago? The adjustable elastic waist band is now on the very last button, and there is no need to roll up the hems, but they still fit! I love that he has even worn a hole in the knee. Shows you he plays hard.

Outfit details: (links are affiliate links—affiliate links help support bloggers when purchases are made from them.)

White button up via Target (similar oxford shirt via Amazon), Blue Jeans from 7 for All Mankind, Tee is a hand-me-down Looney Toons tee (similar Tazmanian Devil tee via Amazon) , red converse shoes

Choosing Our Family Photo Attire

I will never claim to be the most fashionable person, or to have the latest in fashionable items. But, I do love clothes. And, I love styling my little family. Yesterday I shared some of our family photos taken by Motormouth Studios one very cold day this last November. It was FREEZING outside, so I asked everyone to dress warmly and to coordinate with a color scheme of brown and blue. I didn’t want everyone to be wearing the same thing or even close to the same thing– I didn’t give much more for family members to go on for their outfit styling. I’m really glad I didn’t dictate that everyone wear a certain type of outfit or only certain colors. I was really happy with how everyone looked together!

Family Photo Attire

Photo by Motormouth Studios

My husband placates my desire for us all to coordinate (never match) and usually allows me to pick choices of clothing for him to wear. He always gets the final say and typically it surrounds whether or not he can also wear a hat he likes or comfortable shoes. My son, given the choice, will always choose anything with Lighting McQueen or Elmo on it. So, I’m thankful that he is pretty great at letting me pick out his attire for now. He enjoys getting dressed up and making sure his hair looks good in the mirror. When I purchased the sweaters for the little guy and his dad I didn’t realize how similar they’d look. It *almost* looks as if they are matchy matchy… but, little one’s cute polka dot undershirt helped them differ just enough in my book.

Outfit Details:

(some of the below links are affiliate links… purchases made through these links will benefit this blogger)

The Lady: Dark wash jeans, Lucky Brand Plus Size Ginger Skinny Jean// Shoes, Payless tan suede (ish) booties from three years ago (similar tan booties) // Light Denim Chambray Shirt, Lucky Brand Western Chambray Shirt// V-Neck Sweater,Liz Claiborne Brown Sweater(similar sweater)// Chunky Necklace, H&M (similar chunky necklace)

The Man: Dark wash jeans, Old Navy// Chambray Shirt, H&M (Similar) // Brown dress slip on shoes, (similar) // Chunky white sweater, H&M (Similar Men’s Knit Sweater)

The Kid: Chunky White Knit Sweater, H&M (Similar Sweater) // 7 For All Mankind 2T Slimmy Jeans // Navy and White Polka Dot Button Up Shirt, H&M (Similar)

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What do you think? Did our outfits work together or did we completely miss the mark? What do you like to wear for family photos? Comment with your tips below!

Toddler Style: Bright Colors for Fall

bright fall toddler clothing

When I think of Fall clothing I typically lean towards styling in browns, reds, and yellows. As soon as winter hits I like going more jewel tones or greys, blacks, and blues. My personal closet doesn’t really vary from those two areas. But, with my son’s clothing, I try to stretch myself into dressing him in brighter, more engaging clothing. He loves interacting with his clothes and pointing out particular colors.

These photos were taken during the very early Fall when the weather was quite a bit warmer. But, I think they’d work throughout the Fall by adding a fun, bright colored jacket and beanie.

bright toddler clothing

bright toddler fall clothing

toddlerzoostyle10

 

The little guy sported the above outfit at the very last Sunset at the Zoo at the Oregon Zoo this season. He looked pretty snazzy in his 7 For All Mankind Slimmy jeans, DIY orange-dyed tee, Cherokee long-sleeve plaid button-up shirt (via Target), and orange tennis shoes.

Do you like particular colors during the Fall?

Do you tend to dress yourself or your kids in particular color schemes?

Featured: Pregnancy Tales on Baby Zone

pregnancy photo

I am still here folks. A crazy thing happened this week. And, while I’m not a fan of being vague… I also am not at a point that I can share yet.

An amazing opportunity came along that is going to be very beneficial to me and my family. It is going to take me away from the blog a bit. I just need to find a new balance.

But, guess what… I’m still around! I recently shared a few short stories of my pregnancy with Tracy Brennan for a couple of stories she created for BabyZone.com.

Check out 10 Tales of Pregnancy Brain and 8 Embarrassing Pregnancy Stories to read a few pregnancy tales I haven’t shared yet on the blog!

Oh, and because it looks like I’m announcing a pregnancy here, I am NOT pregnant. As a matter of fact, sharing the above stories made me totally okay with waiting just a bit longer before kiddo numero dos.

Town Themed Party Food Ideas

Town Themed Party Food

All Photos by Motormouth Studios

This year’s birthday party was scheduled between in the mid-afternoon, after lunch time and before dinner. I wanted to keep the food simple and didn’t want to worry about a lot of food getting wasted. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters!

My menu for this event was pretty simple: fruit, veggies, cake, and ice cream. True to form, I still wanted to match the party food up to the theme a little. That is the beauty of having a town-themed party though… you can build your town around your menu and activities!

I found cute little french fry containers at Target and instantly new we had to have a Fast Food restaurant with a healthy twist. So, the fast food restaurant served veggie sticks as french fries. We then built a bakery to house the cupcakes and an ice cream truck to serve the ice cream. We built a cafe for the beverages and served water or juice in disposable coffee cups. My son was thrilled to be walking around with a coffee cup like his daddy.

Veggie Stick French Fries

 

Town Themed Party Cafe

Juice Served in Coffee Cups for Kid's Beverage Option

Town Themed Birthday Party Ice Cream Truck

More Town Themed Party Food Ideas:

  • Sandwiches— Set up a deli for the kiddos to play in or to house deli sandwiches.
  • Meals— Create a replica of your favorite restaurant and serve little meals on table cloth covered cardboard box tables.
  • Cake Pops— These can go in a bakery setting, or you can get really creative and decorate the cake pops to match your town’s businesses. You could make little cakepops that look like basketballs, footballs, or baseballs and put them in the town’s athletic store.
  • Candy— Create a candy shop for your little’s to shop at!
  • Fruit— A cute little fruit stand or market would be a great place for the kids to shop for their snacks.
  • Lemonade— Let the kiddos play in and serve lemonade from a lemonade stand.

The list goes on and on!

What would you serve at a town themed party?

Working on it Wednesday: Second Birthday Inspiration

I can’t even believe it… but, it almost time for us to be celebrating my son’s second birthday! It really feels like his first birthday was just a hop and a skip ago. Yet, next month my munchkin is turning two!

Party Inspiration for a Second Birthday Party:

I’m not ready for this big day AT ALL. I seriously have been planning one party in my head for about three months and then decided to switch it up entirely two days ago. YIKES. The things I do have set in stone are the color scheme and the invitations. Just need to pop those suckers in the mail! (I received invitations free of charge from Tiny Prints to feature in my upcoming party. They are gorgeous!)

Second Birthday Inspiration Board

Invites from Tiny Prints / How to Make a Party Hat via Oh Happy Day / Cardboard Playhouses via A Beautiful Mess

So, I’m obviously keeping it simple this year. As much as I like big crazy birthday parties… I have a two-year-old that still wakes up at night. I am not going to be able to go crazy. We’ll be having the birthday party with friends in our backyard. Our food plans are pretty simple as well— birthday cake, fruit, veggies, and popsicles (or ice cream, haven’t decided that one.)

Second Birthday Party Activities:

I’ve had a thousand and one ideas for themes and fun decor ideas. But, I’ve been totally stumped on the activities. (I didn’t do so bad on his first birthday activities.) Seriously though, I can’t wrangle one two-year-old to do a structured activity. How am I supposed to wrangle several? Thankfully, I have very smart friends! I asked Twitter to give me some two-year-old party activity ideas and got this awesome response:

two year old birthday activity idea via twitter

I then put the two-year-old party activity question up on Facebook and got some super ideas: 

  • “Last year we did dinosaur train (PBS show – it’s genius by the way). I made salt dough Dinosaurs that we put in t-shirt boxes and covered with sand. Each kid got a pair of Dollar tree safety goggles and a paint brush. The box lid came it with it, so it served as an archeological dig and a favor. We did that party by the pool and are doing a pool party again. August 5th in Oklahoma is hot!” —Jill
  • “Water! Those little ones love to play in water.” — Melissa
  • “Pajama party! Kids (and parents) came in the morning in their PJ’s. We had breakfast casserole, breakfast breads and fruit. Donuts stacked as a cake for birthday kiddies. Over in time for everyone to be tuckered out and back to bed ( in PJ’s of course) for nap time. Hands down parents favorite birthday. Kids had a great time too. Decorations included fun bedding, pillows, nighttime reading like goodnight moon…party favors were slippers! Teddy bears set out completed decor but would have been cute favors too. Cutest pics ever. I could go on and on…” —Heidi
  • “It’s pretty simple, but most kids love the ‘keep the balloon in the air’ game.” —Julie

Do you have any advice for an awesome second birthday party?

 

Babies Everywhere: Creative Pregnancy Announcements

I thought I was excited about getting pregnant forever and a day ago. I thought I couldn’t have any excitement that could compare. Well, I tell you what… the week that both my best friend and my sister told me they were both pregnant… I found out I could get much, much more excited!

The really hard part about that excitement… I couldn’t tell ANYONE! If you know me, then you know this is extremely difficult. I like telling people what gifts I’ve gotten them before they’ve had a chance to open them. Christmas shopping has to happen the weeks before Christmas or I will just GIVE away the gifts as soon as I purchase them!

Thankfully, both my sister and BFF shared their “We’re Pregnant” announcements and gave me permission to post about it on my blog. I can breathe again! I had to share their announcements though because they are so stinking creative. I just posted an image of my pregnancy test for Facebook and created a free printable for the blog. My friend created an awesome photo collage and my sister created a video with the help of her hubby. Her hubby has mad skills, y’all.

Crazy Awesome Pregnancy Announcements

My best friend and her awesome hubby took these photos themselves and then put the collage together.

My best friend and her awesome hubby took these photos themselves and then put the collage together.

My sis and her husband’s video announcement. They have a thing for converse shoes (see their wedding.)

EEEEEE… I’m going to be an AUNT times two in January. 2014 is going to be AWESOME.

Did you announce your pregnancy in a special way? Or, are you planning to in the future?

Toddler Food

Kid with Ice Cream

Feeding a toddler is one of the more frustrating things I’ve experienced of late. Before having my son I had ALL sorts of ideas on how I would feed him. I read book after book. I made promise (to myself) after promise. But, as with most of my prior ideas about parenting, out the window those rules went. I still adhere to some, others bent a little, and some just broke.

I’ve talked a little about my own childhood food relationship and how that shaped me, and I’ve said a few things about what I’d like to teach my own child about food. What I haven’t shared is what we are ACTUALLY doing with food and our toddler. It isn’t rocket science, though it feels like it sometimes. And, goodness knows that not everyone agrees with what we do and how we do it. I’m open to suggestions, but he is still my son and I am doing what I really think is best for him and us.

My Toddler’s Diet at 23 Months:

This is an approximation of my kiddo’s diet at 23 months. It changes from day to day with his likes/dislikes. I can usually tell when he is feeling bad or is about to have a growth spurt by his disinterest in food and extra interest in milk. He drinks more milk than many kids his age. 

Our (Current) Toddler Food Rules

  1. (Almost) Everything in moderation
  2. Limit sugar to one sweetened item a day (fruit doesn’t count)
  3. NO artificial sweeteners
  4. NO caffeine (other than chocolate, but that fits in the limited sweets.)
  5. As much veggies as he wants. Almost as much fruit— kid will make himself sick if he really gets as much fruit as he wants.
  6. Juice is rarely given.

A lot of this is just how we eat… so, it is easy to follow. My son really doesn’t care for a lot of beverages besides milk and sometimes water. He does love a glass of spicy V8 though! So, if he doesn’t seem like he is getting enough veggies I will let him have a glass of V8. He does typically get a sweet treat daily. We try to limit the amount. But, seriously, his ice cream smile is totally worth it.

My Toddler’s Approximate Day to Day Menu:

Breakfast: Kiddo usually wakes around 8-9 in the morning (don’t get all jealous for the late sleeper… sleep is a HUGE issue for us and he still doesn’t sleep through the night). As soon as he wakes he drinks a sippy cup (4 oz) of milk and eats 1 banana. Then we typically serve scrambled eggs and toast. Lately though he hasn’t really wanted eggs and is going for yogurt and berries and/or granola instead.

Snack: He has a milk between breakfast and lunch. Sometimes he will also eat an apple or a few raw veggies.

Lunch: Lunch is hard. This is the meal that he is so often throwing fits about. We’ve tried everything from leftovers, to sandwiches, to junk food, etc. Sometimes he eats eat and other times he refuses. Some things that we can usually get him to eat include: pasta, ham, veggies, and cheddar.

Snack: Yet another milk—sometimes two. Snacks at this time typically include almonds or any of lunch that he didn’t eat.

Dinner: Whatever we are eating. This usually works out fine. He surprises us often on what (and how much) of what he eats. But, recently, he has been refusing all but one or two items. If he eats REALLY well then we will give him a treat if we are having one. He will sometimes get a tablespoon or so of ice cream.

Bedtime: Another milk—or two… and then usually 2 overnight.

We’ve tried to restrict his milk to once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. It results in a LOT of crying (from everyone) and still no eating. We’ve talked to his pediatrician about this and she thinks, from his behavior when he receives the milk and from his growth, that is is actually still needing the milk. The doctor’s office doesn’t seemed fussed about his diet… but, boy is it difficult!

Our Toddler’s Food Likes and Dislikes

Foods X LOVES: pickles, spicy V8, pasta (but, not filled pastas), ham (but only by itself), cheddar (no other cheeses), raw veggies, pizza, salad with ranch, milk, chips, salsa, almonds, yogurt, berries, bananas, peaches, apples, cake (though he has only had a couple small slices in his lifetime… he loves it and asks for it constantly!) and ice cream. Kid loves him some ice cream.

Food X Dislikes: hot dogs, chicken nuggets, chicken, mac & cheese, bread (seriously), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches

icecream02

Kid confounds me. By the by…the above ice cream cone was shared.

More Info about our Food Journey and Other Mom’s Journeys: 

When you were a kid did you have foods you really loved and really hated? Does your kid have some strong likes and dislikes?

Happy Birthday to A Well Crafted Mama: Thoughts on Motherhood

Today is my mom’s birthday! Everyone say, “Happy Birthday Mom!”

Thanks, y’all!

Anyways, in honor of my mom’s birthday I thought I’d share a few things that I have realized about my own mother only AFTER becoming a mom myself. (Mouthful.)

Motherhood Realizations

Thoughts on Motherhood: What I Realized about my Mom After Becoming a Mom

    1. She had NO clue what she was doing. My mom was 19 when she had me. NINETEEN, newly married, and with an infant. I was 28 when I had my son. I had done years of being a babysitter and nanny. I’ve changed hundreds of diapers and cleaned up throw-up and messy diapers. I’d been married for five wonderful years. I knew NOTHING when I had my son. Motherhood, while wonderful, was a huge slap in the face. I thought I was prepared. I thought I was READY. I found out I was dead wrong. But, more over, I suddenly realized what my mother must have felt at nineteen, with a new husband, and a fat, screaming baby. I seriously don’t know how she made it through that year or how she went on to have 3 more kids!
    2. She lived in a different world. First off, I should say that my dad was a good dad to me. He later had to be a single dad while my mother was working on her health. He is kind, caring, and so GIVING. That being said… he and my mother lived in a time where women cooked, cleaned, reared children, AND tried to have a job. Not saying that some people are still like that today, it still happens. That was the world my mom lived in. I could not have done the past two years without my husband. He is great at sharing the working, cleaning, and cooking as well as helping with our son.
    3. She made up parenting as she went. My mom had her mother and a few other mother friends to talk about things like discipline, developmental stages, and more. She wasn’t completely without resources. But, she didn’t have the resources that we have today. When I freaked out because my son’s gums were black from teething I just had to google. She had to worry or go to the doctor’s office and wait. When my youngest brother was born sick and unable to process formula, breast milk, or milk she had no online group of moms going through the same thing. She was alone in a sense.
    4. She left for our own good. My mother was sick when I was in elementary school. She needed hospitalization and more help than she could get at home with four children. (This part is her story and not mine to tell, so I will leave it at that.) But, she left us. I didn’t understand it at the time. I resented her for some time after. But, she left for the well-being of me and my sister and brothers. It wasn’t easy. And, it was incredibly difficult on my father. But, after having my child and having a bout of depression soon after… I realized not only WHY she needed to leave, but how HARD it must have been.
    5. She will ALWAYS be my mom. I used to get annoyed when she would baby me or try to tell me what to do. I got cranky when she did something I deemed “embarrassing.” But, after having my son, I could see myself doing the same things someday. He isn’t ever going to have a time in his life when I don’t look at him and remember what it was like to give birth to him or to snuggle in bed with him as he is falling asleep. My mom is always going to look at me as both a grown woman and her first baby girl.

Anyways, thanks mom. Thank you for the whole birth thing. Thanks for the above realizations. And, thanks for being my mom.

 

Pacific Northwest Summer Toddler Style

PNW Summer Toddler Clothes

PNW Summer Toddler Boy Clothing Style

Summer in the Pacific Northwest just isn’t the same as it is in other places that I’ve lived. It is chilly in the morning and evening. It gets HOT in the day time. We wear layers year round. We buy cardigans in Summer colors and hang them in our closets rather than storing them away with our winter wear.

So, when writing this post I was going to title it “Summer Toddler Style” until I realized that this would be WAY too much clothing for a lot of toddlers. I really was dressing my son for a Pacific Northwest Summer Toddler Style. (mouthful much?) So, if you are visiting the Pacific Northwest this Summer or live here year-round and need tips on dressing your toddler boy for the PNW Summer then this post will be for you.

toddler clothing ideas

I dress my son in a hat as much as possible during the Summer. Most of the year the sun is scarse out here in Portland. But, during the Summer it is shining bright. The sun protects his pale skin from burns (along with copious amounts of sunscreen) and keeps his eyes shielded some. I love the way this little blue sun hat makes his blue eyes shine. It is getting a tad small (bought it last year) which makes me sad. My baby isn’t a baby anymore.

Pacific Northwest Summer Clothing Ideas

 

PNW toddler style

I like jeans year round for this kid. He has plenty of shorts for when it is really, really hot. However, because we were heading down to the water where it is cooler, I dressed him in jeans and rolled them into a capri length. We paired the jeans with a grey and white striped v-neck (big so he has room to grow) and a pair of black sandals. Closed toe shoes are important for my little guy… he stumbles a lot still and the closed toe protects his feet better than opened toe sandals. The jeans are the complementary jeans from 7 for All Mankind that I talked about in my 7 More Days of Toddler Style.

Toddler Boy Summer Styling Ideas

His Outfit: (The following links only go to the store website from which I got the clothing items. Many are from different seasons and are no longer being sold. However, similar items can be found.) Shirt: Old Navy, Jeans (Complimentary): 7 For All Mankind, Sun Hat: Old Navy, & Sandals: Burlington Coat Factory

** This is not a sponsored post as I did not receive anything in exchange for this post. However, I did receive the jeans my son is wearing in the photos above complimentary for a different series I wrote this year. All opinions are my own.**

Toddler Boy Style: 7 Days of Style with 7 for All Mankind Review

Last week I challenged myself to try creating seven new toddler outfits using three pairs of jeans provided by 7 for All Mankind. I had such a great time challenging myself with the first 7 Days of Style challenge (originally created by Lauren of The Little Things We Do) that I was super excited to try it again. When 7 for All Mankind sent him some complementary new threads and their Fall 2013 Lookbook I set out to style seven different outfits and share them through my Instagram stream with the hashtags #AWCPtoddlerstyle and #7FAMKids. Boy clothing tends to be pretty boring— t-shirts and jeans usually. I hope that some of the toddler boy style ideas help others when trying to find stylish new looks for their toddlers.

Continue Reading…

Seven Days of Toddler Style with 7 for All Mankind

My little guy likes to get dressed up (no, really… he does!) He often asks for his hats or stands in front of the mirror primping his hair. So, when 7 for All Mankind sent him some complementary new threads and their Fall 2013 Lookbook I got inspired to do another swing at seven days of toddler style. This week’ I’ll be styling seven different outfits and featuring them on my Instagram stream with the hashtags #AWCPtoddlerstyle and #7FAMKids. I’ll feature the finished styles on here next week!

Continue Reading…

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