My ‘Son’s’ Birthday Wishlist || 2 Year Old Gift Guide

Gifts need not be expensive and they’re even better if they’re practical. I’ve been heavily influenced by montessori theories recently and their toys are very beautiful! I also don’t base everything on age ranges labelled on toys – they all grow on their own pace. These are also mainly based on my child’s interests and milestones and not all children are on the same level. 

1. As a boy ofcourse he’s obssessed with things that go, so an airplane or a boat he can play with on this sensory bin that I DIY’ed for him

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This is just a water sensory bin with some of his Ikea cups I use to teach him to stack (also colors). I also added a funnel I made from a plastic bottle and a makeshift “montessori” pitcher to teach him pouring and controlling/manipulating the water. These are super simple materials which are found around the house. You can make your own version as well; anything that your child can use to scoop water, pour and bath toys too!

2. Kinetic Sand – he loved playing with sand on our last trip to Davao (PART I & PART III), but Im just too chicken to get him this before but now he’s older I think I can trust him not to eat it! I also prefer this more than molding clay since he just got some during this lockdown and he just mixed the colors altogether and now its just this one (dirt) color! Atleast kinetic sand keeps its color, haha! 


3. Ukelele or Bongos – I would much rather have the actual thing than the plastic toy version since they last much longer since they’re made of wood. Who knows he might actually learn the instrument and I could try playing the ukelele for too!


4. Doctor set! He likes to wear the stethoscope around his neck and ride his car – I don’t know where he got that idea but it sure is cute! He has completely destroyed our stethoscope at home and I think it would be much safer to have a toy version. I also picked this version that’s both a doctor and a dentist since I want to teach him more about teeth care. We have a hard time with brushing teeth since he always throws a fit so this toy can help him to have fun and brush the toy teeth!


5. Bolts. I’ve seen this as a montessori toy so I let my son play with this huge bolt we have at home where he can twist the screws. He likes to copy his dad a lot and it would be nice to have a mini wooden screw for him to also practice precision with his hand eye coordination. 

For CLEANING 

6. Toddler Mop. My little one loves to copy whatever I/we do so he loves to use the broom and desperately wants to touch the mop and I feel so guilty for not letting him! So I want to get him his own microfiber mop (microfiber so he can actually help!) and I know he would love it so much! He likes to help out especially when sorting the groceries and just really wants to be useful and help out around the house. That characteristic is mainly what Montessori is all about – helping them learn practical life skills.

7. Mini Vacuum. Playing mindfully is really one of the things I want to adapt with regards to my son’s toys so I support his interest in daily chores. I think a mini vacuum would be so cute and he would be really helpful in vacuuming and cleaning up his toys and play area!

BOOKS


8. Indestructible Book; does anyone else’s kid still like to tear up pieces of paper and his books? I know he doesn’t mean to tear up his books sometimes – he just accidentally rips them when we turns pages so I tend to keep the paper books and only leave out board books #tips. He feels bad and guilty when he ruins a book and I would love to have more options with the books he can pick out and ‘read’ on his own! 

9. Pop Up Book – he doesn’t have one of these yet but he has those books that are interactive where you can spins the wheels etc and loves it so I think he’ll really be so amazed with a pop up one (I know I was when I was a kid!).

10. Projector Story Book. Just something to spice up our bedtime stories since he also adores his star projector from Kids Toy Lab. He is honestly obsessed with this thing! He always ‘asks for his stars‘ before going to bed. I’ll talk more on this on my coming favorites blog! Stay tuned for that! For now, let me show you what it looks like:

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11. This isn’t very montessori-influenced but I absolutely love Leapfrog toys and books or the Leap Reader. As a kid I remembered these and even wanted one myself. I find it fascinating and entertaining to point the pen on something and it would tell you exactly what it was. I think its informational for my son and he can ‘ask’ it anything he wants!

Hope this gave you some ideas on Montessori-influenced toys for 2 year olds or even for younger and older tots! This is merely a guide and it doesn’t matter if its above your child’s age range according to labels on toys – it could even be beneficial for them to be advanced. You don’t have to adhere to certain rules and limitations – if you think your child is interested in the toy and is capable, you do you.

For more on our journey with my tumbling toddler follow me on instagram: www.instagram.com/whatthefatishappening

A P R I L F A V E S

Hey y’all! Hope you’re doing fine these days – here are some online shops you can order from this ECQ whether you just want to do some online shopping or to fill your cravings! Check ’em out:

ONE || The Cooking B‘s Cheesy Baked Lasagna

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I’m sure Garfield would be obsessed with this platter of lasagna! It has that ooey gooey cheese running through each slice and that what I (and every other person in the planet) want to see in their lasagna, right? The Cooking B has tons more to offer though, so check out their Instagram – they have everything you may be craving for and also great for gatherings!

TWO || Marchella’s Katsa Customized Purses & more

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I got a few purses for my girls for Christmas. I got the customized saying “Sven’s Godmother” and surely those wallets would open for their godson, haha! They’re sturdy and of beautiful quality! I love their trendy designs and aesthetic colors and that they’re customizable! It shows how much that person really means to you to take the time to customize. Also, you know they won’t find it just anywhere. Now they surely won’t forget me, my son’s birthday or their Christmas pamasko!

THREE  || Unwrapped Flowers and Gifts Shop

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For breezy access to bouquets of almost any flower under the sun plus chocolates, Unwrapped is the best gift shop! The bouquet can be delivered to you within the day (or even sooner) upon request. Flowers are ofcourse the best for this coming Mother’s day but it’s also great for other year-round events such as birthdays or even just because! You can send it to your mother and mothers you know straight to their homes even at this time of quarantine and lockdown. Don’t forget to show them that you care even when you’re far away! Unwrapped’s bouquets has such grand and intricate presentations of their gifts and bouquets that will surely make your momma smile.

FOUR || Duyan Baby‘s Changing Mat

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Portable, very easy breezy! I never thought there would be such messes when my son was younger. But now that he’s I’ve had tons of instances where my son would reach for his “mess” (and sometimes play with it), it was mortifying! I didn’t know how to control the situation or where to begin!? But with Duyan Baby’s changing mat, it’s so easy to block baby from seeing his mess. You can easy entertain him with other things. My super energetic son actually behaves when we use this. This is super essential when we’re out to prevent that kind of accident to happen. Its hell of a lot harder to clean up at the mall than at home!

FIVE || Simple Pleasures Cakes: Oatmilk & Cakes

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I got to try Simple Pleasure Cake’s blueberry cheesecake and boy, was it my pleasure! It’s so creamy and dreamy (rhyme not intended). I also had to try their homemade oat milk – Especially since I can’t find one in grocery stores, but also it’s just so much better when it’s homemade! I really want to make the switch to oat milk now, I love the taste more than soy milk. We’ve made quite a big change from cow’s milk to soy milk – my son only drinks soy milk. Simple Pleasure’s oat milk is such a close alternative to cow’s milk, you would barely notice the difference!

SIX || Vital Dome PH

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This is by far the easiest and most relaxing way to lose weight I’ve ever tried! They ask how much heat you can take and I asked for it to be hotter than usual since it was so relaxing. It’s like being in a tanning bed and it has so much benefits to it! It regenerates your body from the inside out so it also eliminates toxins, refines and balances your body shape. Can you believe it also cleans your pores? We get our pores cleaned during facials but that’s limited to our face – so this is like a facial for your body! It also lessens appearance of stretch marks and scars and stimulates production of collagen! If you’re 25 and up this is a great help to boost collagen in your body (since we stop producing collagen at 30 – did you know that?). It’s even fit for the jetsetters since it realigns the internal clock when you’re jet-lagged, decreases fatigue, helps your body recover and improves quality of sleep. This is like hitting a thousand birds with one stone!

SEVEN || Wooden Solutions‘ Shapes Plank

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The Shapes plank from Wooden Solutions helped my son learn his shapes really fast. I love the quality and versatility of it – my son can trace it with his finger or put some beads on it to make the shape in the future. My son still puts most anything in his mouth and needs complete supervision when writing with crayons. This plank helped me be at ease while teaching him to trace. I highly recommend this as a teaching tool and will surely entertain your child for a hot minute especially during this ECQ!

Hope you enjoyed this month’s set of favorites! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll also see unboxings and sneak peaks, see you there! Also hoping all of you are safe in your homes; read this previous blog for some ideas on what to do indoors!

XOXO.

 

9 Ways to Elevate Your Look and Wardrobe for Less

I used to dream of becoming a fashion designer to ‘educate’ people on fashion. It may seem irrelevant to most but I really do believe it makes such a big impact on presenting yourself. You need not be ‘out there’ but its also a way to express yourself and you can really say a lot about who you are through your clothing. You also get to know yourself when searching for your fashion statement and what you love. You learn more about what you’re into also depending on your lifestyle. You really tend to trace your steps on what you usually do, what you need and what’s important to you. Some people value looking amazing and other prioritize comfort especially on a day to day basis. This also has a lot to do with building a staple wardrobe. Even when going to events, as a woman you would still need a pair of heels even if you don’t use them on the daily.

I have my moments that I like to play around with fashion. And I have been commended and condemned for them. Whenever I feel too plain jane, I like to snazz it out with a unique necklace or when I have a plain top I like a cute pair of shorts. But there are some outfits that are simply too outrageous. There are two types of that, one can really be classy and give that dayuum factor and the other is just tacky. Let me give you an example. You can be experimental and outside of the box fashionable yet classy and trendy. But there is also a fine line between that and being ridiculous.

There’s so much to learn and discover and its a real fun journey. Theres so much to be educated about and it really takes its toll on building up your confidence as well and appreciation of your body (and body type). To learn more about this, check out my previous blog. Let’s turn to things that would now elevate your look for cheap.

Scarves. These are cheap ways to amp up your capsule wardrobe. You could even choose to invest in them such as silk scarves. It need not be Hermes, its nice if you want to treat yourself, but there are a lot of dupes now – but just an authentic 100% silk scarf is enough!

Brooches. Super cute and versatile. I’ve always wanted a Chanel brooch – it’s very classic and a good investment. It’s great for using it on a nice top to make it look more high end even if your OOTD wasn’t that expensive at all! You can use it on your bag, maybe even on your belt, as an accessory maybe on your necklace, on your hat too!

Keychains. This may seem strange but the keychain trend was in just a few years ago with the fluffy keychain – used for keys or as a bag chain. It makes your classic bags back on trend – it makes it seem new again! You can also purchase classic keychains again like Chanel or Louis Vuitton – classic brands. A keychain also isn’t as expensive but you get the brand name. Putting the keychain on a bag even if it’s just a highstreet brand like Zara, it elevates the bag in a snap!

Repurpose items to elevate your bag! Use your old chunky bracelets as bag charms! Juicy couture, tiffany’s.. put them back to use! Also remember twillies? Aside from using it still as a bag protector, I reuse them as a fashionable head piece or hair band. You can also use them as a scarf. They are also cute when you swap out your strap for them (insert pic here), you can also swap out your bag strap with it
Exhibit A:


I also use it as an eye cover at night because they’re so soft and silky! Its also a nonabrasive material for your skin. You could even use them as a feminine tie
Exhibit B:

If you have white sneakers swap up the shoelaces with ribbon! If you aim for a more feminine look, this is an elegant way to do so. It’s also great to make do with what you already have – especially shoes!

A baseball cap, its a good way to vamp up your (sporty/yoga vibe) outfit. It’s also fairly affordable especially from Nike or Adidas – these are also so sturdy. As a statement or entry level luxury item from high end brands, its well-worth it. Its easy to spot since it the first thing people see on you at first glance. Just a simple nike or adidas baseball cap will do and you seem like VIP since we see it from Hollywood stars too.
Sports brands such as: Nike, Adidas, or even Superdry, Champion, Puma, Fila etc. The sporty look has come into play again a few years back. These brands are fairly affordable and so in. No one would ever know you’re on a budget! They also last forever – they are staple investment pieces that make it easy to dress up! You also get the look from Hollywood. I love them since their price range is very achievable for us “average folk“.

Rediscover your closet, or raid your boyfriend’s/husband’s, sister’s, mom’s closet!
I thought of these while going through my closet (&my mom’s, & my neice’s & my sister’s! Hahaha!) So ofcourse first of all be resourceful! As you can see i rummaged through every woman’s closet accessible to me – a good idea is when you come across them wearing something you like ask (politely) if you could borrow it sometime and don’t just presume you can! People’s relationships with each other could be different, but i think this is what moms, sisters, nieces or girlfriends are for!

Black shorts. Seems simple but it’s my somewhere in between. Jeans don’t really fit me well or my body type. I know everyone’s supposed to look good in jeans, but I guess i’m just the exception to the rule. But black shorts are just so versatile as compared to, lets say, jean shorts. They look too casual. Black shorts make you appear slimmer, and at the right cut makes you look taller. In the tropical heat in our country, shorts are just the best bet. Black shorts are so easy to pair with. You can pair it with a white polo and it seems kind of prim and proper but at the same time casual. You won’t look too much like you’re on vacation, it’s like you’re running errands for work. You can also just throw in a cute tee with black shorts with sneakers. Or like I said a polo or a blouse and a pair of pumps and it totally shifts your outfit. Its like from running errands to a saturday night out. They’re so great that I have a couple of pairs and the best part is, they don’t know if you’re wearing the same shorts or not much like leggings.

We all want to save this year so these are own of my tips in styling without breaking the bank (or not even buying anything at all!) I tried to be as specific as possible to give you guys exact items that would actually help. Do you have any more suggestions?

9 Low Maintenance Activities With Your Active Toddler

I struggle so much with having a ton of energy everyday. It takes such a mental toll on me to keep a tiny human alive – to make sure he’s safe, healthy (thus hydrated and eating nutritious foods), being excited about simple things like brushing his teeth and showering. Sometimes I get so mentally exhausted that I just shut down and go on autopilot. Obviously its not ideal especially with a toddler who seeks attention. Especially in these trying times when we don’t get to soak up enough sunlight and are staying indoors – my son gets so antsy and he doesn’t understand what’s going on and why. I’m also getting so depressed staying indoors – even if I know we’re incredibly privileged. These are the things that get me through the day when you just have push on or rather, mom on!

1. Drawing boards. We only have one and it has really been through a lot! It’s been stepped on and abused every single day! But I love this thing – we got it for so cheap at a toy store (350 pesos!). This is how I taught my son so many things like his ABC’s, shapes, and numbers (we started with 1 – 10 and now we’re up to 20!). It’s literally so easy – I just scribble something and quiz him. It doesn’t take energy at all to sit in the couch and just draw with him for an hour or so. I guess it’s also very enjoyable and fulfilling to see how much your kid learns and absorbs. 

2. Paying attention. When my toddler suddenly recites (he doesn’t sing) the ABCs or shapes, I follow along with him. Sometimes while playing he would just randomly blurt out his ABC’s and I sing to him. 

3. Let him spend time scrolling through picture books. You both get your quiet time and he’s just so cute sitting in a reading nook skimming through pages! He’s also learning on his own, pointing to things and reciting! 

4. Lessen the stimulation. As much as possible. When my son is busy playing independently, I don’t put other music on or TV. I just let him do his thing. When he gets cranky or bored, thats when I put some music on try to play with him and worst case scenario, yes, we turn on the TV – don’t bash me. I find that when I do this he stays more with each task and concentrates more instead of distracting him with all these stimulations. 

5. Let him watch you do chores. They get such a knack from it and he ends up playing the broom and dustpan for a hot minute. They also get to observe and learn these real life skills. He learns everyday that chores are a habit and are necessary – ofcourse you would want them to learn these as he grows older! And if your child is old enough for certain chores, you’ll get a knack out of it too! 

6. When my son gets extra cranky, I strap him in the stroller and we take a walk. It gives him a certain peace right away. It calms me down too – taking a quiet walk, getting fresh air and we get to enjoy the afternoon staring at the sky, trees, and the sound of the birds. There’s just something so calming about it. 

7. Take advantage of cuddle time. When my son wants to cuddle which is very rare I really try to breathe in the moment and hug him while we cozy up in the couch to his favorite shows.

8. After a looong day, you can put your child to bed earlier than his bedtime – about 30 minutes or more – and take the time to hug and kiss goodnight. Say a prayer with him and always always say you love them. This is one of those precious moments that you would really appreciate your little one and enjoy downtime with them. I used to be so on the dot with having my son in bed at exactly his bedtime. I didn’t want him to go in any earlier so he wouldn’t wake up so early – but either way he sleeps at his exact bedtime and wakes up early anyway so I just did this practice instead. 

9. Lastly, play music and sing to the songs. I also like playing some Mozart to help us relax and calm our moods. This will also elevate your mood and maybe now you’re up for some more fun activities!

Integrating these activities throughout your day can give you some short intermissions in between “active” activities so you can take a break and catch your breath. People nowadays keep posting how bored they are – I cannot relate am I’m honestly really jealous. Consider yourself lucky being safe at home, and “bored” because most of us don’t have the luxury. We all know momming can be so tiring especially with a toddler but these activities are interactive and your child won’t even notice that they’re low maintenance!

How to be/Things I’ve done to be Productive During this Lockdown… Instead of Ranting on Facebook

I’m not gonna lie, I have been tempted to make a post or two, but with everything going on right now, I just choose to be positive. There’s nothing I can say or do to change the situation (aside from following the rules). So here are the things I’ve done and will do for now to keep myself productive. I just wanna share this – maybe it could help and maybe you’ve done them already or maybe you could pick up some ideas!

1. Write – you may not be a blogger, but writing is a good outlet! Write what you’re stressing about.

2. Now you have the chance to do general cleaning! Get everyone in the family involved too –

3. To maintain the cleanliness, sanitize your house often especially at this time. If people get in and out of your house to go grocery shopping or you receive deliveries and etc always sanitize!

4. I cleaned my make up brushes. Sounds silly. But at this time when you don’t need to wear make up since you’re not going out I think its a pretty good time to do this! Trust me it takes time (or am I just disgusting since it took me a while before washing them).

5. Learn how to cook. Cook with and for your family!

6. Declutter and/or organize. Since you’ll all be cramped in your home, its best to keep all your areas neat and spacious.

7. Self-care (please don’t bash me) – face masks, long baths,.. Maybe do face masks with your mom or sister (if they’re with you at home).

8. Video call your relatives, friends, family and ask them how they’re doing. Its so much better than just chatting.

9. Breathe in & breathe out negativity. We all have our opinions but maybe go back to my number 1 tip, just write it down on your journal – don’t type it on your Facebook wall.

10. Take the time to empty your mind of worries. This is the perfect time to enjoy the little and simple things. Why not regrow your vegetable scraps? That’s what I’m doing.

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Enjoy being with your children, hug them, and cherish these moments. Wish I could try meditating but this household is just too chaotic, haha!

11. If you’re craving something or want to buy something, make a list (or grocery list). When you’re actually all out, there’s only a few things left in your freezer and pantry, then and only then should you go out and buy in the grocery store. This is to prevent you from taking multiple trips (for no point at all), and to keep foot traffic outside and your interaction with other people to the minimum.

12. Maybe take an online class for the next few weeks like this Law of Attraction class!

13. Catch up on your reading! I’m currently reading: The Conscious Parent by as recommended by a fellow mom of mine! Or you could try this book.

14. Stretch or do some yoga. There are so many free videos on Youtube! You could also pick out other workouts like cross fit its just not my jam, haha!

15. You also now have a little bit of time to ponder on your lifestyle choices specifically on your waste – try or atleast think of making a switch to a more sustainable lifestyle. You can start with switching to shampoo bars!

16. Bond with your family. Take this opportunity to give your full attention to your family as opposed to being on your phone or watching Netflix – unless you want to have a movie night with them – but its still more important to talk to one another just like the good old days. Tip: Pretend there’s no electricity, what would you do? Board games?

17. Pray. Not everyone is in a privileged situation right now like me who is still able to write this. So lets be grateful and pray for those who all the prayers they can get.

Anything you’re doing right now to stay productive? Any more suggestions?