Most toddlers get a kick out of mixing and stirring, but I hope that Levi’s interest in cooking is not just a developmental phase and that he inherited his father’s culinary know-how. See, there’s not much I can teach Levi in the kitchen besides how to microwave macaroni and cheese, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and order a pizza for dinner.
However, it’s hard for either of us to prepare anything while balancing Levi on one hip. And he insists on being held so that he can watch all of the pouring and scooping and button pressing.
Levi and I have our morning routine nailed — acting as my left arm, he opens and closes the microwave for me — but cooking anything other than oatmeal with him in my arms is a challenge. (Ok, cooking anything for me is a challenge.) Levi wants to be more involved, but there’s just no safe way for him to be right now.
Levi loves to help in the kitchen, and I love that he loves to help.
I’d like to get Levi a safety stool so he can assist us the kitchen. A popular option is the GuideCraft Kitchen Helper, but it’s expensive and ugly. Decorative cut outs of stars, circles and squares and a mini chalkboard panel are just not my style. However, I do like that it folds up when not in use since our kitchen is not even large enough for a table.
I prefer the simpler look of the Little Partners Learning Tower (and it comes in white!) but it’s even more expensive. Two-hundred dollars for a kitchen stool? Really?
So I suggested to JB that he buy a couple of wooden boards and build Levi a copycat kitchen helper. I mean, how hard could it be? It turns out that the instructions for a DIY helping tower are very complicated — at least to my untrained eye. (Woodworking is not my forte, although once I nail together a very small wooden shelf at sleep-away camp when I was 10 or 11.)
I suppose starting with a pre-made step stool as a base, like this Bekvam learning tower, would make the job a little bit easier… or wouldn’t it?
I would love to know how your little ones — children who are too small to simply stand on a chair — help in the kitchen. Do you have a kitchen helper or learning tower? Did you DIY some sort of safety stool? Or do you just cook all of your meals on the floor?
With the unofficial start of summer less than a week away, it’s time to swap my well-worn winter shoes for sandals, flats, and wedges. The problem is that I’m bored with all of my warm weather shoes. The solution? Time to go shoe shopping.
I don’t know about you, but I can spend hours browsing online department and speciality shoe stores and ultimately not purchase anything. And it’s usually not because I don’t see anything I like. Just the opposite — there are too many things I like, and I can’t decide which to buy!
Sheena Iyengar, author of “The Art of Choosing,” conducted a 1995 study researching choice. When she offered 24 varieties of jam as samples, 60% of customers stopped by her booth but only 3% purchased a jar. However, when only six jars of jam were displayed, 40% of customers stopped by and 30% made a purchase.
When discussing her famous 1995 jam study, Professor Iyengar explained that the study “raised the hypothesis that the presence of choice might be appealing as a theory, but in reality, people might find more and more choice to actually be debilitating,” according to The New York Times.
So what does this have to do with shoe shopping? Well, when ShoeDazzle asked me to check out how they are changing women’s online shopping experiences, I was intrigued. First, you take a short quiz so ShoeDazzle can identify your style and are presented with personalized shoe and accessory recommendations in your very own “showroom.”
Each month you’ll receive a new showroom that fits your individual style, and as new products get added to the site, ShoeDazzle will continue to tailor your personalized recommendations. Essentially, you’re browsing a curated collection of shoes and handbags selected just for you (although you do have the option to search the entire site), and fewer options mean you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed!
Above are a couple of summer shoes from my showroom. I was happily surprised by how much I liked so many of the options presented to me; I could really see myself wearing many of them, especially the four in the photo.
Another surprise? The cost. All of the shoes are very reasonably priced. Plus, if you make a purchase within two days of taking the quiz, you’ll get 25% off your first item ordered.
Oh, and their Chief Stylist? The inimitable Rachel Zoe!
Curious? Click here to take your ShoeDazzle style quiz and let me know what you think!
Thanks to ShoeDazzle for supporting today’s discussion! As always, opinions are my own.
My friend’s mom, Wendy Keil, passed away after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer in September 2011. Wendy’s family formed Walking for Wendy to continue her fight to raise awareness of and funding for the disease. Did you know that pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States?
Here are some other key facts about pancreatic cancer:
- Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any major cancer.
- There are no early diagnostic tools.
- It is the most under-funded, under-recognized and least-studied of all major cancer killers, with only 2% of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget dedicated to pancreatic cancer research.
- There is no cure.
Fighting for a cure, one step at a time.
For the second year in a row, I’ll be leading the Walking for Wendy team at the PurpleStride Omaha event on June 9th. We’ll be participating in the 1-mile walk/run, and I would love for you to join us. If you live in Omaha, please visit our team page to sign up. Once again we’ll be providing team members with Walking for Wendy purple and white baseball t-shirts.
If you don’t live in Omaha but would like to make a contribution, you can also donate by visiting our team page. Walking for Wendy hopes to raise $100,000 by participating in 22 events this year, and our team goal is $580!
The video above features highlights from Walking for Wendy teams at 2012 PurpleStride events across the country. The Walking for Wendy theme song was written by Franke Previte, who also wrote ”(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” Patrick Swayze chose that song for the movie “Dirty Dancing,” and when Patrick died of pancreatic cancer, Franke decided to get involved with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to honor his friend. He wrote this incredible song to honor Wendy as a result of the work that Walking for Wendy has done in support of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
If you have any questions about the Omaha walk, please email me!
Here’s a look back at the week (and weekend!) that was…
We celebrated Mother’s Day with a special event at Montessori.
We had the world’s longest pizza lunch date.
We waved to the doggy.
We made a brief visit to the Omaha Farmer’s Market on a windy Saturday morning.
We bought peonies at Whole Food.
We took turns getting sick.
We helped Dad clean up the car seat we barfed in earlier that day (before we started feeling sick again).
We had a moment with the dog.
We toasted the arrival of Dunkin’ Donuts to Nebraska with a “light and sweet” coffee.
It finally feels like spring here in Omaha (actually, it feels more like summer). I hope it’s warm where you live and that you get to enjoy some time outside this weekend!
P.S. – Check out my Instagram profile for more photos from the week.
Today I’m debuting a new series, “The Dolly Half-Dozen.” Essentially, it’s a way for me to round up some of my favorite links and showcase them in a more interesting way than just tacking them onto the end of my Friday post. (Especially now that those posts are changing. Are you liking the idea of Friday Rewind?)
Admittedly, this series is still a work in progress. See, I was originally thinking I’d call it “The Dolly Dozen” and would share 12 links. Moving forward, I may go back to that idea, but I didn’t want to sit on these links while I deliberated between a dozen and a half-dozen.
Heather’s strawberry popsicles have a secret ingredient.
The six major anxieties of social media, including Instagram FOMO and “Pinspirational” inferiority complexes.
They say this scientific 7-minute workout is brutal but effective. (Would you try it?)
I’m suddenly inspired to wear bold blue eyeliner.
When a doughnut and a croissant have a baby, the offspring is called a cronut. (Only in New York!)
Bonus link! Multitasking and creativity
(Psst… What do you think? Six or 12 links next time?)