Toddler Activity: Mining for Shapes


I’m always trying to come up with new things to do with Lucas during the day.  I browse Pinterest a lot and try and take what I find there and make it fit us.

I saw a super cute mining activity and thought it would be fun to try.  The site I found used gems with magnets and a magnetic pole to do the mining.  I didn’t have anything like that in my house, so we went “old-school”

Here is what you’ll need:

A small container

Dried black beans, I think I had 2lbs worth

Foam board (the kind you get at the craft store – I got a pack of 32 small squares for $0.98 at Walmart)

Tin foil

Things to mine with (we used kitchen tongs and some measuring cups)

If you’re feeling super adventurous and want to make a miners light you’ll need:

Construction paper


Part of a paper towel roll

Yellow crepe paper or tissue paper

I cut shapes out of the foam to make the gems we’d be mining for (we had green emeralds, “red” rubys, circle amethysts and diamonds).  I used the foil to make wrap around the diamond shape to make it shine.


A small container and some beans and we’ve got ourselves a coal mine!

Toddler Mining Activity

To make the hat I just used the construction paper to fit L’s head.  Then cut of a piece of the paper towel roll and added in the yellow “light.”  I wasn’t too sure L would wear his miner’s hat but he did and thought he was hot stuff in it!


I just kind of let him go to town trying to find all of the gems.  We ended up with a LOT of black beans on the floor but had a ton of fun in the process.


It was awesome to hear him identifying each shape and color (he’s super into diamonds right now so I knew he’d love that one).

This activity kept him occupied for a good 30 minutes.  I still have it put together and plan on bringing it out again when I need a few minutes to get some things accomplished!


What are you favorite activities to do with your little ones?  I’d love it if you’d share them below!


Another Hello Fresh Review

HelloFresh Review

Several months ago we tried our first HelloFresh box.  We really enjoyed it and have done several more since then.

We had taken a break from it for a while (mainly b/c my first trimester I was having a hard time cooking ANYTHING and I didn’t want it to go to waste) but got another one last week and I was really impressed with some of the changes they had made to the packaging.

The box itself seemed more stable and the separation between the meat and the rest of the product was better.  I also feel like these ice packs were “nicer” – they just seemed sturdier.

HelloFresh Review

Instead of the produce and other ingredients being in a bag they were nicely packaged in individual boxes.  This kept the produce from being crushed I think (not that I’d had a huge issue with that in the past but I know a few people said that was an issue).

What didn’t change??  Well the meals themselves were amazing as usual!  The recipes are creative yet not too hard to put together (even if you aren’t that experienced in the kitchen).  The flavors are always amazing!

The meals I chose were:

Chicken & Butter Bean Cassoulet with Crispy Parmesan Breadcrumbs


Hello Fresh Review

 {Finished Meal}

Hello Fresh Review

I had SO much left over for lunch the next day it was crazy!

Pan-Seared Steak with Cipollini Onions, Roasted New Potatoes, and Tomato Pan-Sauce


HelloFresh Review

{Finished Meal}

HelloFresh Review

Autumn Risotto with Butternut Squash, Sage, and Pepitas


HelloFresh Review

 {Finished Meal}

HelloFresh Review

This was only 1/2 of my portion. Darrin’s was even bigger!

The Risotto was, by far my favorite, but the Pan-Seared Steak was pretty awesome as well.  The Cassoulet was good but I couldn’t get the stock to reduce down enough and it was pretty “soupy.”  If the stock would have reduced more I would have loved it because the flavors were amazing.

So now the nitty-gritty…How much does this all cost?  The total cost for 2 people for a Classic Box is around $70.  That’s $70 for what could have been 3 dinners and 1 lunch each for 2 people.  In my house that’s a pretty good deal!  It’s a tad more than what we would spend for 3 meals (and leftovers) if I was just purchasing it at the store but I’m also getting simple and fun new meals to try and really fresh ingredients delivered right to my house!

If you’re still a little hesitant, like I was, I have a code that will get you $40 off of your first box!  That means for around $30 you’ll have at least 3 dinners for 2 people (and probably some lunches as well)!  Now $30 for 3 meals for 2 people (plus leftovers) is a super great deal in my book.  It’s totally risk free – you can cancel after the first box in just a minute or two.

So, what are you waiting for? Try the new and improved HelloFresh for yourself today! I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as we do.

Hello Third Trimester!

3rd Trimester

I hit 27 weeks this past Friday and I have officially welcomed the third trimester!  In some ways I feel like this pregnancy is going so fast!  Maybe because I’m pretty sure this will be my last one and I want to hold on to those baby kicks and flips and special time between me and this little nugget for as long as I can.  Or, maybe it’s because I’m totally scared at the thought of having a newborn and a toddler!  Either way, the closer we get to January, the more excited I get.

How Am I Feeling:  I’m feeling GREAT!  I love this part of pregnancy!  I have a decent amount of energy (during the day at least!), I’m not SOOOO big that I’m uncomfortable but all of the “yuck” from the early weeks is officially long gone!  I am starting to get a bit of swelling in my feet when I push it too hard during the day but I’m hoping that’s not a sign of my blood pressure going up in the future or anything like that.

Food Cravings:  They’ve calmed down a bit and are much more “tame” now.  Apples and peanut butter are topping my list.  We’ve also been baking a lot of cookies in our house.  I’m not sure if this is pregnancy related or just fall related but I’m loving everything pumpkin as well!

Active Baby?:  Oh my goodness – this little guy is SO active.  Way more so than his older brother (which is slightly terrifying).  And it’s all the time already.  At this point with Lucas I usually felt him when I was resting – this little one makes his presence known even when I’m up and moving around.

How Much Weight Have I Gained?: At my appointment at 26 weeks I was up right at 15lbs (although I think it’s really about 17 or 18 pounds).  By that point with Lucas I had gained 24 pounds.  I’m really happy with my weight gain at this point.  Although I may have celebrated that victory a bit too much last week and need to reign in the snacking!

Any Other Pregnancy “Symptoms”:  I am already starting to nest like crazy!  We’re working on setting up L’s big boy room (we’re going with a train theme) and I decided I needed to organize all of my wrapping paper, gift bags, etc. for some reason yesterday.

My Health Update:  In my last update post I mentioned they had found I had marginal placenta previa during my anatomy ultrasound.  I went back for another scan 4 weeks later and all was well – Praise the Lord!  My blood pressure has also been perfect so far and I’m hoping it stays that way!  At the slightest sign of swelling I start to freak out but I think some of it is that I’m going a little crazy with the nesting and it’s still in the upper 70’s here (so the heat is NOT helping).  At my follow up ultrasound they said that baby was measuring a week or so ahead so I go back later this week for another one (at 24 weeks he was weighing 1lb 12oz according to their measurements – which I don’t totally believe by the way!).  I also passed my 1 hour Glucola test this time (I failed with Lucas and had to take the 3 hour – which I passed) so no Gestational Diabetes for me!

Overall this has been a wonderful pregnancy.  Yes, it’s harder being pregnant with a toddler but I’m loving everything about growing this little nugget.  I know I’ll be sad when our special time together is over, but I can’t wait to welcome him into this world!

Our Walt Disney World Vacation!

We just got back from an amazing Walt Disney World vacation and I wanted to share some of the photos we had taken over the course of the seven days!

This was Lucas’ 3rd trip.  He went for his first and second birthdays but because he is getting a little brother for his third I wanted to get in one more trip before he turned 3 (and was no longer free).  Darrin chose to sit this trip out so we brought my Mom!

We honestly had a blast!  Amazing character meals, 3 days at Magic Kingdom, 2 days at Epcot (including Food & Wine), a full day and evening at Hollywood Studios and the better part of another day at Animal Kingdom.  Plus we did a little shopping at the newly re-imagined Disney Spring (formerly Downtown Disney).

Honestly, we had the best character interaction with Buzz and Woody at Hollywood Studios! They are L’s favorite for sure and they even played with the Buzz and Woody we have that go basically everywhere with us!


Lucas also really loves Tinkerbell.  This was our first time meeting her and we loved her location on Main Street USA!


Chef Mickey’s is a must for us on every trip!  It is one of my favorite meals by far and Lucas loved the “party” they throw ever so often.  He thought waving his napkin in the air was really cool!



Since we love the Play and Dine meal at Hollywood and Vine I decide Lucas needed an outfit just like his favorite Play Pals!  Meeting Jake, Doc, Sofia and Manny is also up there on our favorite moments from our trip.


And of course we got to take this awesome photo to mark the 23 week mark of my pregnancy!  I guess this means this new little boy has already had his first trip to Walt Disney World!


We really do love Buzz Lightyear!  Even though we spent a lot of time with him at Hollywood Studios we had to pay him another visit at Magic Kingdom!


The Adventurer Outpost might be my favorite Meet and Greet location!


Magic Shots are the best!  And since Lucas loves Tink so much, a picture of him holding her is a big favorite here.


World Showcase at Epcot has been my favorite part of Disney since I was a little girl!  Eating around the work at Food & Wine at 23 weeks pregnant was AMAZING!



Breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter plus Pooh and Tigger – a can’t miss!


We love the breakfast food at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.  It’s so much better than a traditional breakfast buffet!


I have so many more photos to post and will be doing so on my personal Facebook page for friends and family in the next week or so!  I’m a little sad that I don’t have a return trip “home” planned but I promised Darrin we could take a few “non-Disney” vacations before we head back.  Fingers-crossed he gives me the go ahead for late winter/early spring of 2018!