My Life of Travels and Adventures: September 2014

Simple Toddler (Dishwasher) Chore Chart

30 September 2014

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Printable Easy Toddler Chore Chart
Let's start with some facts.  1.  I hate washing dishes.  2. I love having a dishwasher.  3. I dislike unloading the dishwasher.  4. I have a toddler.  5. I use that toddler to do the things I dislike.  Yup.  Reid "helps" me with unloading the dishwasher each morning.  
Let's rewind and talk about my love and need for a dishwasher... 

When we bought our old house, one of the very first things we did was to redo the entire kitchen.  Mostly because it was not functional and had yellow wall paper everywhere.  One of our first purchases for our new kitchen was new appliances, including a dishwasher.  Because, in my world, every kitchen needs one.  

Last year, when we sold the house, moved to NY and into a rental... our kitchen had no dishwasher.  And we let the dishes pile up until we were out of cups, or plates, or something before they would get washed.  It was bad.  Really bad. 

Our current rental house has a new dishwasher in it and I couldn't be happier.  I have never ever ever been a fan of hand washing dishes.  Its just not my cup of tea.  So, pretty much everything we own in dishwasher safe and gets washed by the dishwasher.  Pots, pans, cookie sheets...  Oh and I am not a pre-rinse before the dishwasher kind of gal either.  Whatever is on the dishes goes...

So I rely on the dishwasher detergent to do all the cleaning and hard work.  That's were Finish Dishwasher Cleaner comes in.  Ever since purchasing our very first dishwasher 8 years ago, I have always used Finish Dishwasher Cleaner so that I don't have rinse or scrub any of the dishes.  Ever. 
And now that Reid is getting old enough and likes helping... I am capitalizing on it and having him help put away some of the dishes from the dishwasher with me.  

However, not to make it all fun and games... We do use a simple chore chart when unloading the dishwasher. 
After, I take out the knives and miscellaneous spatulas, serving spoons and such, Reid unloads the silverware and his plates for me.  
We count each item as we go and then place a tally mark next to it on the chart.  When we are all done we count the tally's and then I write the corresponding number and I make a dot version for Reid to trace.  
As for the whole tracing thing, well so far he is good a 0, 8, 1, 11, 7.  You know pretty much lines and circles... But we are working on it.  

This whole thing is a win win for me.  At least until they invent dishwasher that also put away your clean dishes.   I get help unloading the dishwasher, Reid is having fun and learning while doing it.  Point for Mom!
You want in on the action too?

1. The Chore Chart: Well the I saved our very simple chore chart and you can print it off too.  I laminated ours and use washable dry erase markers with it. 

2. The Finish Dishwasher Detergent:  Head on over to Walmart and pick up a pack for yourself.  We are big fans of the Quantum Power + Free. 

Below is a coupon for the Finish Dishwasher Detergent and you can pair that coupon with the Rollback at Walmart on Finish Dish Detergent until October. 

As always, supervise children when letting handle the Dish Detergent.  

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A Mummy

29 September 2014

Paper Plate Mummy
This post contains affiliate links. 
I have an easy toddler Halloween craft for you. A little painting and some glueing results in a cute mummy.  

This one involves digging through your left over party decorations for a couple supplies.  


1. Paint the paper plate green. 
2. While the paint dried (and Reid napped), I cut white crepe paper into strips about an inch longer than the width of the plate. 
3. Glue on the goggly eyes then glue on the crepe paper.  
Tada.  A cute mummy.  
Paper Plate Mummy
PS. We used glue sticks for the entire project and everything is holding tight so far.  

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A Quick Halloween Decoration

24 September 2014

Between packing, moving and unpacking this spring/summer, I haven't decorated for any holidays since St. Patrick's Day/Easter?  So I definitely am for Halloween.  That and Reid is starting to notice the decorations at the stores and such, so I think it will be fun to have some more at home.  

Well between moving twice in the past two years and then having this rental house be bigger than what we are used to, we are lacking in the decoration department.  While looking around pinterest, I found this from Obsessively Crafty.  And wanted it.  

It was one of those WooHoo moments where you find something you want to make, you already have everything you need for it AND your toddler is napping.  WooHoo!
Black and Green Pipe Cleaners

First, I fully painted each of the squares.  
For the Spider, I used white adhesive vinyl to make the eyes and smile.  Then hot glued the black pipe cleaners onto the back. 
For the Ghost and Pumpkin, I cut both the eyes and mouth out of black adhesive vinyl. 
On the Pumpkin, I twirled half a green pipe cleaner around a pen, then hot glued it on the top. 
Frankenstein was a little more time consuming.  Again, the eyes, eyebrows and hair are out of black adhesive vinyl.  The hair took me a couple sketches to get it to look right.  Then I just used an ultra fine point black sharpie to draw on the mouth and scares.  
I used hot glue and a left over piece of orange ribbon (from the no-sew sheet curtains in Reid's room) to attach all the faces together.  

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Homemade Astronaut Costume

22 September 2014

Homemade Astronaut Costume
So this Halloween costume is from ummm last year.  But I never got around to actually blogging about the Astronaut Costume that I made Reid.  

Darn Thanksgiving, Christmas and all of 2014 for getting in the way. 

So please rewind with me to last fall.  Way back in October.  Way back then, I made Reid’s Halloween Costume.  An Astronaut Costume.  

Reid loves the moon.  Thanks Dad.  So as much as I wanted to make him into the moon, I knew that he would not wear something like that.  I needed something that resembled clothing.  So I decided upon an astronaut. 

My original plan was to buy an orange long sleeve shirt and pants, add some colored duct tape seems, and shine, a couple sticker stars and paper mache a yellow ball into a moon.  

Well none of that happened.  But not for lack of trying.  I bought a yellow ball.  However, it was lost by the time mid-October rolled around.  I shopped and shopped and shopped for an orange shirt and pants.  I could find them.  But nothing matched, wasn’t in the right size, etc, etc.  

So then I was going to use a pair of gray sweatpants and a hoodie that we already had until I got this idea.  


Old Sweatshirt (at least 1 size too big)
Old Pants (at least 1 size too big)
2-3 rolls of white duct tape
1 roll of silver duct tape 
Misc star stickers
Small box

  1. I stuffed the old sweatshirt over a winter jacket to give it some shape and body. 
  2. Add white duct tape. I went around most of the seams first and made a straight line with the white duct tape, leaving the cuffs exposed. Then I just went to town…
    1. I actually started with the hood  (unlike what the picture shows) and added long pieces across the entire front… Rainbow like… if that makes sense. 
    2. Once I reached the “top” of the hood, I ran pieces down the back of the hood/head until they reached the neck fold.  
    3. Then I laid the hoodie down flat, so the back was up and ran really long peices the entire length of the both arms and the back. 
    4. From their I moved down the back and ran the peices around the front…. So from zipper, around the back to the zipper again. 
    5. Then I flipped it over, and finished the front and down the arms. 
    6. I finished the sleeve cuffs and bottom of the jacket with silver duct tape.  
    7. I opted to leave a little sweatshirt material at each end so the duct tape wouldnt be rubbing on Reid skin. 
    8. I covered the inside of the hood entirely with silver duct tape. 
For the pants, 
    1. I just ran everything height wise.  Trying to keep the peices as long as possible. 
    2. Again around the pant cuffs, I ran a piece of silver tape. 
    3. Around the waist, I left quite a bit of pants showing to prevent rubbing. 
  1. I also covered a small snack container with duct tape, to make a jet pack.  
  2. Finally, I added some decorations… A NASA label, a name tag and a few felt star sticker I had. 
I think it is adorable…. Unfortunatly, I used pants that fit Reid (and were not a size larger) so they didnt quite button on Halloween.  But that was a moot point becuase he was not into wearing his costume at all. 
He did wear the jacket into each of the 3 grandparents houses and our own house when we trick or treated.  And was super adorable wearing it.  

Unfortunatly for this blog post the pictures of him in the costume are cute but don’t show off the costume that well.  
So you will have to trust me when I saw that this is a cute and simple Astronaut Costume. 

13 Halloween Toddler Crafts + A Huge Cash Giveaway

19 September 2014

I love holiday crafts and Halloween is no different.  But now that my craft time is spent with a toddler it makes it a little harder to craft.  So I am always on the look out for fun and cute crafts for toddlers or crafts that can be adapted for a toddler.  

And today I have 13 different Halloween Toddler Crafts for you.  And be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a huge cash giveaway!

Bottle Cap Spiders from My Life of Travels and Adventures
Handprint Monsters from Crafts by Courtney
Scrunch pumpkin from Bare Feet On The Dashboard 
Foot Print Ghosts from My Life of Travels and Adventures 
Button pumpkin from Adventure In A Box  
Frankenstein Footprint from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails 
Masking Tape Mummy from No Time For Flashcards
Googly Eye Vase from East Coast Mommy
Jack-O-Lantern Window from How Wee Learn
Handprint Spider + Watercolor Web from Fun Handprint Art
Handprint Bat from Fun Handprint Art 
Painted Pumpkins from My Life of Travels and Adventures
Tape Resistant Pumpkins from House of Burke

Win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes directly in your paypal account! This giveaway is open internationally. You must be 18+ years old to enter. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Please see detailed terms and conditions below the giveaway for more info.
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