On this Royal Wedding Day, We Feel You Princess Diana

On this day when Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle, I feel a sense of loss. The loss of beloved Princess and mom, Diana.

I am no avid fan or follower of the British royal family, but the day we lost Princess Diana, I will never forget. That morning my mom told me she randomly dreamed of Princess Di. She was in distress and something terrible happened.

When we opened the newspaper, we saw the news. The people’s princess was killed in a car crash in Paris, with Dodi. Her friend. Her lover? Her consort? What was she doing in Paris? Was this a high speed chase? A cover up? So many theories flooded the news and our minds, but no matter how we reacted, our princess was gone.

Princess Di reminded me of my mom. Smart and beautiful, caring, loving, but also struggling. Motherhood brought out the complex emotions in Diana; it does to every one of us. In her later years, Diana had the courage to share her problems, marital issues, bulimia, depression. In one quick moment, she was not just the Princess of Wales, she was a struggling mom trying to find her way.

She was one of us.

I always feel a little pain and sorrow when I think of her. Today, as a mother myself, I know she would be proud, and sad, to see her tiny baby all grown up, leaving the nest to begin his own life.

But we know Diana will never leave Prince Harry’s heart, just as she will never leave our hearts.

Diana, Princess of Wales, we love you. We miss you. We thank you for paving the way to openness of motherhood.

Existential Thought 107 – Why Have Toys When You Can…

I am a bit of a toy freak. Looking online to find beautiful and interesting toys that our children will love, but also serve a purpose. Because as much we all love those battery operated toys that push our buttons, I want toys that help our children grow.

Obviously then I spend a lot of time looking at etsy (ooooooooo etsy) and secondhand.

My seven month old is now getting interested into toys that are more function rather than chewy edibles, I figured I could introduce a few stacking toys and more books (on rotation).

Well, she didn’t care.

Like at.all.

Instead she spends time everyday beating up the blinds on jumping up and down on me grunting like a crazy puppy.

Goes to show that you really don’t need toys, just your house to entertain the kids.

Existential Thought 106 – Champagne

They say it’s the bottle that makes the occasion.

If you’re hiding a vintage bottle of champagne, pull it out! Celebrate. Wait until the kiddos go to bed, grab one of your glasses (yes, do keep at least of proper champagne flutes), something tasty, and enjoy!

There is never the perfect night or occasion when you have children. But there are perfect moments. Like the day your kids slept in their own bed the whole night. Or you pulled off a company wide presentation with nerves of steel. Or you pitched to an investor and the dick’ish VCs didn’t faze you.

Bon vivant!

Mom2Summit 10th Anniversary: Hashtags to Use

This post is ugly as butt, but here’s what I have on the hashtags being used by brands and the conference. If I’m missing anything, please DM over on Instagram at @bindisandbottles.

Kia Motors: Instagram – @kiamotorsusa #kiamom

Mom2Summit: Instagram – @mom2summit #mom2summit

Today’s Parents: Instagram – @todaysparents #parentingteam

@langhampasadena #langhampasadena #lovinglangham

Dove: @dove #realbeauty

Carters: #momtomom and @Carters on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
OshKosh: #oshkoshkids on Facebook and Twitter @OshKoshBgosh and on Instagram @oshkoshkids
 

@tap.bio

@bestbuy

Twitter @Munchkin_Inc, on Instagram @MunchkinInc and at #MunchkinxMom2Summit

Aura Frames on Twitter @aura_frames, on Instagram @auraframes, and at #giveaura

Marathon Kids at @marathonkids on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and use hashtag #mom2marathonkids

Connect on Twitter and Instagram @LARABAR, and at #LARABAR. 

Loacker: Twitter @loackerusa and at  #powermomweek #loackerlove #powermom

Existential Thought 103 – Showering

Showers before children – 10-30 minutes.
Luxurious. You can shave, wash your hair, scrub yourself into bliss.

Showers after children – What’s that?
You mean that mommy smell of not showering for 3 days isn’t sexy? Hair washing? I think I did that last year!

Montessori Marbled Bowls {DIY Art Project with Your Toddler}

I’ve been inspired with the marble “ring bowls” people have been making with Sculpey clay. I love the marble look of these bowls but I don’t have a purpose for them myself.

Since I have been looking to buy some classic Montessori/Waldorf toys, I thought if there was a way I could do an art project with my toddler, make a Montessori toy, and have something beautiful.

That’s how I came up these Montessori marble bowls with matching string beads.

Score!

I was so impressed with my son who followed the directions from this post. He’s almost three years old and the directions are simple enough to follow. There’s also no mess in coloring the clay or painting (I did the gilded edges myself).

There are several elements of learning your child experiences on top of the fun and satisfaction of making your own toys!
What your toddler learns:
Color sorting
Rolling dough
Making ‘snakes’
Mixing colors – color theory
Baking – adult supervision of course
Stringing beads
Creating something from start to finish

How to make Montessori inspired marbled colored bowls with matching balls

Here’s a video in hyperlapse speed – it’s my first ever video, so be kind!

What you need:
Scupley clay in different colors (affiliate links!)
Large block of sculpey clay in white, 8oz
Knife
Bowls to shape with – they should be oven safe
Gold pen or gold paint to paint the trim
Bamboo skewers to make the holes in the balls

1. With a knife, cut out a large block of white clay.
2. Cut out small blocks of 3-4 color clays. If you look at the video, I cut out a pretty small piece, 1/4in thick. You don’t need much color to give the bowl that beautiful marbled look.

I let the kiddo choose the colors and encouraged him to pick 2-3 similar colors and one contrasting color. We are currently in a phase where everything is “orange” or “green” even though he knows the colors are different. Hahaha!

3. Roll out each block of clay into a snake. Yes, that is the technical term.

4. Combine the snakes with the white clay into a super snake.

5. Roll and twist the super snake. Then twist the snake into a ball and roll it out again. I figured out to get that beautiful marbling effect is to roll out and squish into a ball a few times. If you look at the photo, we only lightly twisted the purple bowl – it has more of a mid-century modern look. You know, if you feel like work with 20th century art styles with your little one.

6. With a rolling pin, roll out the bowl to an 1/8th” thick.

7. Use bowl to trim dough.

8. Fit clay dough into bowl.

9. Bake according to the Sculpey instructions. It will be around 15-20 minutes.

10. Let cool down. You can paint the bowl to seal and gloss or leave it as it.

11. Paint the edges with gold, silver, or nothing at all! Up to you. You can see I haven’t done this yet, but I will!

The bowls are delicate, we already cracked one (but hey, there’s glue), but they are a hit in the house. Our son loves stringing them and cooking with them.

Have a photo of your project? Share it on instagram and tag with #bindisandbottles