I remember when Pinterest first came out and I would spend hours pinning fun crafts that I swore I would make with my future children. Well, that day came and I feel so overwhelmed when I decide to start a craft with Joey. I always worry I am going to go to the craft store and either leave empty handed in shear overwhelm or I am going to end up with an epic Pinterest fail.
When each holiday comes up I get so pumped about making crafts with Joey and this Easter I finally decided we are doing it! I decided to take the pressure off of me and if it ended up being a fail I could consider it a memory we would just keep between us 🙂
I headed to Joann this time around in search of the PERFECT Easter craft. I was so surprised by all of the amazing Spring craft ideas and options they had. I opted to make an Easter egg we could hang up in our windows. Let me tell you this craft was one I couldn’t mess up so you can certainly make it too.
One of my favorite things about this craft is the possibilities are endless! You can virtually stick any little item on the contact paper. Joey helped me pick out some ladybugs which ended up being her favorite.
Stay tuned because this Pinterest WIN might come back again for every holiday. I am kidding but we will definitely be making this at Christmas this year!
How to make an Easter egg sticky wall
Cut out an over from a large piece of construction paper
Stick a piece of clear contact paper over one side of the construction paper
Stick the construction paper onto a flat surface like a table or window using painter tape
Let your creativity go wild and start sticking items on the sticky side of the contact paper
I’m so excited to finally share with you details from our recent Playdate Project! Thanks to our generous donors and friends, we were able to launch our first ever Playdate Project last year right before the winter holidays.
The idea behind the Playdate Project came from me wanting to host a fun playdate event for families to come and enjoy themselves and relax at the same time giving back to a local organization, in this case we wanted to highlight Olive Crest an non-profit org that is dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children, and to preserving the family. I first heard about them from a friend who said they were in process of adopting a child through Olive Crest. As I learned more about them, I found out that they have served our 100,000 at-risk children and families and serves over 1000 in Orange County, CA alone. Because they are run through the support of community donors and volunteers, we decided to dedicate this first Playdate Project to Olive Crest and give 100% of all Playdate Project ticket sales towards them. We held it at FLDWRK in Fullerton, CA on December 17, 2017.
Our friend Kyle from Olive Crest came to receive all the donated toys that our guests generously donated as well and also answer any questions about Olive Crest. If you are interested in learning more about donating towards Olive Crest or even foster/adopt through them, go to their website at olivecrest.org.
Juice Box Media came and documented everything on video. Watch what they put together below!
Happily Ever Etched made beautiful laser-cut signs for us including this amazing Playdate Project sign!
Amy and Hanna set up this awesome nursing and diaper changing room!
Gathre Mats donated these fun AJJ play mats. If you’re ever looking mats that will protect your floors from feeding your baby or doing messy crafts or even for picnicking, check them out. We love their mats! Haba USA also donated to the kids play area some wooden toys.
Our favorite Nugget Comfort donated a couple sets of their foam couches and they were a big hit with the kids!
Wild Child Party came and put together this incredible balloon installation. I will never know how they put all those balloons together like that.
What’s a party without a fun photo booth right? Third Eye Photo booth came and set up a really fun station for all of us.
Miss DJ Bliss was there to set the mood with some awesome beats.
Can you believe this? There’s a nail salon on wheels! It was so fun having the Nail Truck. They generously donated to give any willing kid manicures so of course Joey got one.
Art Camp LA came and set up a really fun arts & crafts table. Because it was near the winter holidays, the craft project was creating holiday wreaths! They have these really fun craft boxes that are filled with art project material so you can make crafts at home without having to go buy everything. Go check them out!
Speaking of wreaths, ReKindle Creative came and set up a wreath making station. They provided all the greens, ribbons, and hardware to make some beautiful wreaths. It was so fun seeing almost everyone walk home with at least one handmade wreath!
Sweetleemade Desserts brought a whole gorgeous cookie making station and that kept most of the kids busy. They also made the cutest unicorn cake pops that went into our VIP bags. If you’re in Southern California and are looking for a custom made cake or any type of desserts really for a party, wedding, whatever, do yourself a favor and book Sweetleemade!
Chasing Linen came and illustrated beautiful custom portraits during the entire event. They were the perfect souvenirs to take home! If you’re ever looking for live art, illustrations or custom stationery, check out Chasing Linen!
Pique Tea kept us hydrated with a tea tasting station and also handed out delicious take-home tea samples to all of our guests.
Juice Plus donated yummy and healthy fruit chewable which were Joey’s favorite!
Whole Foods Market San Francisco donated adorable reusable market bags and also connected us with local brands including Alter Eco who donated chocolates and Back to the Roots who donated cereal and really cool gardening kits as raffle prizes. Peanut also part of the swag bag. If you don’t know who Peanut is, check them out. They’re a really cool app for moms that help you connect with other moms in your area based on common interests! Every mom who came also received an awesome fanny pack filled with hand sanitizers from The Honest Company. Passion Planner, Sweetlee Made, Art Camp LA, and Chasing Linen were also part of the VIP gift bags. Spa lé La, a spa for parents with complimentary on-site child care gave out a gift certificate to a lucky winner. Our favorite dolls, Cuddle + Kind, who is all about giving back donated some adorable dolls for some lucky winners.
Naptime With Joey made an appearance. 😉
As well as Joey + Tot!
Magic Kingdom Mamas came with their adorable kids. They run an awesome blog and Instagram that provides fun tips for families visiting Disneyland Resort in California!
My sweet Guatemalan-Korean friend Sara and her darling Sofia dropped by. Follow Sara on Instagram!
My favorite wedding blogger of all time Jen came with her beautiful family. We go way back when I used to be featured on her blog when I used to work as a wedding photographer. If you’re looking for gorgeous wedding inspiration, GO CHECK OUT HER BLOG.
Beautiful Jen Chae came with her adorable family. She is beauty/makeup guru and is expecting her 2nd baby! Find her on Instagram and YouTube!
I met Lily at a screening for Disney’s Moana a couple years ago and we’ve been friends since. She has the most beautiful family and has the best costume/makeup posts. Follow her on Instagram and on her blog!
My sweet friend Mai and her darling Zooey showed up in style. Go check out Zooey on Instagram for fashion inspiration and Mai on Instagram!
My friend Yolanda came with her insanely adorable Arielle. Check out her Instagram to see the best mommy-daughter matching outfits!
Last but not least, all of these gorgeous photos were taken by my dear friend Sunny. Do yourself a favor and check out her beautiful work at Instagram and her blog. She is one of the most kindest most generous friend I know. Thank you so much Sunny for taking the time to take these lovely photos right after Greyson was born!!
We’re forever grateful for all of the people who donated their time, money, services and goods to making this first Playdate Project happen. Thank to all of our guests who made it that day. We really hope you got to make some fun family memories as well as share in part of “giving back” to Olive Crest. Our family really feels like we did nothing in comparison to everyone’s generosity. We feel very strongly that we were given this platform to share love and also to give back to our community and so we will try our best to do more of these events. We hope The Playdate Project will happen every year for a very long time so we can continue to highlight many more organizations that are positively impacting our local communities. If you are interested in collaborating for our next Playdate Project as a donor/vendor, please email us at hello[at]lauraiz.com! Let’s chat!
I have received so many messages lately asking about what books Joey is reading. I decided to share some of our current favorites with you today. It has been so fun watching how interested Joey is in reading and looking at pictures. My favorite thing about reading with Joey is that it gives us 20 minutes a day with zero distractions. Life has gotten so busy lately so this is a time I treasure.
I also get a lot of questions about how I got Joey interested in reading. This has been a challenge we have really just recently conquered. When we sit down to read a book we always go to the same spot in the house in her playroom, turn on some calming music, turn the lights down a bit and read away. It has also helped significantly that we have made this part of our daily routine (I have figured out routine in key to anything with children).
I hope you find this list exciting and helpful when setting up your library in your own home.
Okay, I have to be totally honest here, how is it already Valentine’s Day? I swear we just put our Christmas tree away. Anyways, this last year holidays have meant so much more to us since Joey can finally be part of the festivities! I spent so much time trying to decide if Valentine’s Day was a “kid holiday”. We put such a huge emphasis on our significant other on this day but rarely let the kids partake in the excitement!
This year I decided we are going to start our first family Valentine’s Day traditions. I thought to myself I could bake Joey a cake, or maybe go do something fun, or perhaps fill her entire room with balloons (trust me I might still do this one). As I made my list of ideas I began to ask myself do people buy their kids gifts for Valentine’s Day too? Well, to my surprise this is a thing! Who knew?!
Once I found this out I stalked the internet for that perfect gift for our little Valentine. I thought I would share some of the amazing gift ideas I found along the way for the rest of the parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents that are stuck like I was.
When I was pregnant with Joey, all I remember was craving nothing but In-N-Out (and Taco Bell). It was so hard restraining myself from eating one of their burgers everyday. My go to is: a double-double, extra lettuce, extra tomatoes, whole grilled onions, extra toasted buns, no salt on the patty and dressing on the side. Augh, just writing this right now is making me want to go get one right now!
My friend Catherine and I did a Target Employee shoot together previously but we wanted to do an In-N-Out one together so this week we took our girls out for some burgers and fries. Joey’s first time trying In-N-Out! Can you tell that they both LOVED it??
You came here for the big news, right? Well before I share that I just want to thank each and every one of you for the last 5 months. We have met so many amazing people on this book tour so far and are sure to meet many more along the way!
I am so excited to share the latest details on our Book Tour! I have received so many messages about where we will be next. Well, I am thrilled to announce we will be traveling up the West Coast and couldn’t be happier because we love the Pacific Northwest!
Whole Foods Market is hosting us for FOUR more book signings!!! Grab your tickets now because they sell out very quickly (usually less than 24 hours). Tickets are only $12.95 and include a copy of my book Naptime With Joey, a Joey magnet, a tote bag other giveaways and some delicious snacks from Whole Foods Market.
So the moment you all have been waiting for! Here are my upcoming tour dates and links to buy tickets. Please be sure to read the FAQ on the link for your city to get all the exciting details! Click on the dates to take you the ticket page on Eventbrite! See you soon!
I’ve been trying to be better about feeding myself. Lately I’ve been just focused on cooking for Joey and then for some reason I’m not as hungry after she eats. Is anyone else like this?? Skipping meals is no good especially when you’re parenting and working all day and night. I found that when I do eat, it’s usually something really quick and not as healthy and I’m seeing the side effects of it already this year. I’m more tired and end up snacking on sweets more during the day.
So I decided to do something different this year and attempt (key word: ATTEMPT) to start eating more salads during the week. Now that a Whole Foods Market opened up close by and I’ve been traveling around the west coast to different WF markets and have been seeing all the amazing produce they have, I decided to do a series on salads. I’m going to start getting more fresh ingredients from my local WFM local store to make myself some delicious lunch salads to motivate me to eat better. I made this salad this week and I’m pretty proud of it because it has 13 ingredients! It was so good that Joey stole some of it when I wasn’t looking! I realize when I make my salads like this, all elaborate and beautiful to eat, it ends up motivating me to make more and eat more salads. Looks like Joey’s not the only one I like to dress up! 😉
I swear since becoming a mom my purse has been taken over by all things Joey! If you ever need an extra sock or a package of fruit snacks I’m your girl! For 2018 I vowed to myself I was going to take my purse back over. I recently came across Cuyana and was thrilled when I saw all of their amazing pieces to help me set this resolution in place.
As many of you know we have been doing a lot of traveling for the launch of my book Naptime With Joey. Well, with traveling so much came more and more of Joey’s stuff in my purse. I wanted to share with you the amazing pieces from Cuyana I got to help conquer the chaos of “the black hole”.
Travel Case Set– This was one of the most exciting pieces I have! When thinking about what was important to me when organizing my purse was all of the items I needed to store. I love the small case for items like my lip gloss, rollerball perfume and compact mirror. This has come in handy so many times (no more hunting for that small item). The larger bag as been vowed Joey’s bag. I have refused to have floating snacks in my bags from here on out. The Crumb Kings have spoken! It is perfect for a couple fruit snacks, an applesauce packet and a small toy to keep her busy.
Mini Jewelry Case– When we travel I don’t like to put my jewelry in my suitcase. In the past, I would throw everything in a Ziploc bag and toss it in my purse. If anyone has ever done this then you know exactly what happens. I would usually spend about 20 minutes untangling the mess I had created. This amazing case has solved this issue. I love the top strap to store all of my rings and earrings!
Oversized Carryall Tote– I have always been the girl that carries 2 purses. When I am out with Joey I toss my smaller bag into a tote. This bag fit the bill and the budget. I am secretly hoping I get the black one for Valentine’s Day (hint hint, Allen). On a serious note though, this bag is made so well. I am not one that is careful with my purses because the reality is I am usually more focused on Joey than I am if my purse is touching the ground. If you are a mom you have to take this bag for a test drive!
All in all, I cannot express my love for my Cuyana items more! The durability is top of the line and the fact that everything coordinates and matches makes me so happy. I cannot wait to add to my collection of their items. Here’s to a happy, healthy and hopefully organized 2018!
Have you guys finished your holiday gift shopping? Since so many of you have been asking what our current favorite things are, I thought I’d post them here to give you some gift ideas! Most of these items are favorite things of Joey who is currently almost 20 months old. I’ve also added a couple things for parents. 🙂
NAPTIME WITH JOEY BOOK:
I mean, c’mon. I have to throw this one in there because it’s kiiinda my book haha! No but actually I’ve been hearing they’ve been great gifts for expecting parents, grandparents, kids (they love the pictures and playing I-spy with them) and also for white elephant gift exchanges. You can buy them at most bookstores worldwide as well as through the links below:
OK, who wouldn’t want this? Joey LOVES music and singing so this was such a great thing to have especially when we went camping recently and she entertained everyone with Bruno Mars songs. Allen and I are big karaoke fans so it’s only natural that Joey inherited the same passion as well.
This toy was incredibly entertaining for Joey especially right after she turned one. We would take it everywhere (we still do!) on long car rides and airplane trips. These days, she been able to actually put the buckles together by color when she wasn’t able to do that. What I do from time to time is hide the toy for about a month and then bring it back so that it’s kinda like “new” to her again. I’ve watched her play with it in the car for about 20 minutes straight once! Trust me, if you’re looking for a “helpful” kid-friendly gift to give, GIVE THIS TOY.
UNCLE PAULS’ PLAYDESK: (for those who live in Southern California only)
I asked our dear friend who can build all kinds of amazing wooden structures to make us a play desk for Joey. This is what we came up with! There’s a magnetic board on it as well as a little cubby hole. The great thing about this is you can add whatever you want to it. Lately Joey loves to color with crayons so we just set up her paper and crayons on this desk so she could mark it up any way she wants. You can read my other blog post about how to order one by clicking here.
Joey loves watching me put on makeup and when she started reaching for my brushes and wanting to play with my makeup, I looked up pretend makeup toys and found this. I got it for our flight to San Francisco and it entertained her for a good 30 minutes! Some of my friends said that they bought it for their toddler for trips as well and that they it was the perfect entertainment for their kids too!
So many of you have asked about these flashcards that we’ve been going thru with Joey every day. We love them! What I love about these are the pictures are very simple and clear to identify. It says that it is from ages 1 and up but we started around 15 months because she was still chewing on everything. Mudpuppy who makes these cards also make other things like puzzles which Joey also loves to play with and also other types of cards.
I can’t say enough how much I love our Nugget Comfort. We have a play room for Joey where she likes to play with her toys, read books and lounge around and we had been looking for something just like this Nugget Comfort. It’s not only super comfortable to sit and lay on, you can move it around as it comes in four pieces. If you go to their website, you can see all the different ways you can set it up.
Joey is so interested in markers, crayons and pens but the bad thing about that is she obviously doesn’t know how to color in between lines and so it goes everywhere! She recently marked up our leather couch with a Sharpie! One of our dear fans gave us this at one of our book signings and Joey has been loving it. Best thing about it is, there is no ink involved. Only water! This was also something we brought with us on air plane rides and also when we go on playdates to someone’s house. The way it works is you fill the pen with water and you start coloring the pages and the drawings magically appear!
We have several of these now because we realized Joey can sit for a pretty long time by herself just putting these puzzles together. I couldn’t believe how quickly she learned how to put it together on her own without my help. It’s pretty amazing how kids absorb so much knowledge so quickly on their own. We love gifting this to our friends who have kids because it’s not messy or hard to clean up. I think it totally beats iPad sorting games!
This gift is obviously for the mamas and the papas. This is my go-to camera for all video related things. If you’ve seen the recent “Banana Talk” video on my Instagram, that was shot with this camera. I love that it auto-focuses and that it has a flip screen so that you can record in selfie-mode. This also has wi-fi tethering so that you can download the images and videos you shot right on your phone! This would make a great gift to someone who loves to take photos and videos all the time but don’t want to carry a big dSLR around all the time.
If you’ve been following my posts Instagram, you’ll know that I LOVE Easter Ahn’s jewelry line. I wear my custom Joey necklace, bracelet and earrings everyday. She also designed our wedding rings. I’m obviously a big fan of her work. Her pieces make the perfect gifts for your loved ones because they’re high quality real gold (comes in White, Yellow and Rose), they’ll last forever and you can personalize them with a name or initial(s)! Easter also does custom designs for all types of jewelry and can create gorgeous engagement/wedding rings.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll probably know that I love all things miniature. So when I was asked by the SoCal Honda Dealers to create a holiday DIY craft, I decided to try something I’ve always wanted to do: make a miniature winter landscape! I’ve seen many versions of this in mason jars, vases and even trifle bowls but I wanted to try one in a wooden lantern that I had laying around and use this opportunity to learn how to use polymer clay for the first time. After trying to make a miniature car out of clay, I now have a new found respect for artists who do this but in even smaller versions. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either so you can try it out yourself!
The reason why I partnered up with the SoCal Honda Dealers to do this DIY project is because I love what they’re doing with their #RandomActsofHelpfulness campaign and wanted to spread the word. They have been doing random cool things like surprising families throughout the holiday season all over Southern California (OC, LA, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties) by just being helpful!
For instance, keep your eye open for the Helpful Guys in Blue who will be popping up at 4 different Christmas Tree lots across SoCal where they will be surprising families there with free Christmas trees. Also between now and Christmas, their tanker truck will surprise Honda drivers at gas stations across SoCal with free gas!
[This blog post is sponsored by the Southern California Honda Dealers]
Things you need: A decorative lantern. I got mine here.
I had these miniature trees and they were the perfect size for the lantern. I got mine from Michaels but you can find them here.
I took the glass from an unused photo frame to use as my workspace with the polymer clay. There are various types of polymer clay but the one I used was this one.
This was probably the hardest part of this whole project. It’s no joke trying to make something out of literally nothing! The polymer clay was easy to work with however as it ended up being very easy to mold and shape even after working at it for more than an hour. Yes…this took me an hour haha. Polymer clay remains workable until cured in the oven so you can keep using it until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. Even after you cure it, you can always add more of the polymer clay if you feel like adding more to it and then put it in the oven again.
When you’re done with your clay figurine, it’s time to cook! Depending on the size of your figurine, curing occurs at temperatures from between 265 °F (129 °C) to 275 °F (135 °C) for 15 minutes per 1⁄4 inch (6.4 mm) of thickness. You can use your home oven for this. I used my toaster oven and it worked fine! To avoid it from burning I added a foil tent to block. Doesn’t it look like a little car port? How cute is that little Honda decal? This is exactly why I love miniatures. It just tickles me how cute everything is in tiny form!
I used a copper wire string light that I received in a gift from one of our fans who included it with a Moana ornament for Joey (her favorite thing to play with right now! Thank you!). I used a velcro sticker to attach it to the top of the lantern.
Next I took some green felt, bunched it up and placed it on the bottom of the lantern. I then arranged a couple of the decorative trees on top of the felt.
Found these miniature gifts that literally made me squeal. They were the perfect size for the car!
I took the car out of oven, I let it sit in a pool of ice water before adding the presents on top.
Next I took fake snow powder and used a spoon to add to the landscape bit by bit.
I added the string lights to crowd to the top and left a few to run through the snow so that it would illuminate the ground as well. After Joey woke up from her nap, I asked her to help me add more snow into the landscape and she was more than willing! Love that we can now do projects together!
About Laura Iz
Hi, I'm Laura Izumikawa. I'm a stay-at-home-working-mama to Joey and wife to the funniest guy I know. My photos of my napping daughter dressed up as pop culture icons became viral one day and now I blog about our lives because it turns out, people want to know more about us which is totally crazy to me! Thanks for visiting!
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