Moving With a Toddler


We were concerned about moving our two-year-old son to a new house.  How would he react?  Would he miss the old house?  Luckily, that wasn’t a problem for us!

Our son loved running around the new house as we installed the new flooring.

My husband and I recently bought our first (and hopefully forever) house.  Moving entailed renting a uHaul and having our parents help us move the 6 years worth of stuff we accumulated, our two-year-old son and all of his stuff, and our three cats.  It was crazy to say the least, and I learned I am an expert at maneuvering a 10 foot box truck.

We had moved two of our three cats before, so we knew how they would react. Those two were understandably apprehensive and hid most of the time.  The other cat, the most easy-going creature you’ll ever meet, took to the new house like he owned it.

What we were most concerned about was moving our two-year-old and how he would react.  Our worries were unfounded, we soon discovered.  He loved the new house!  We had managed to avoid the horror stories of children crying for their old home and not sleeping for the first several weeks by acclimating our son to the new house.

Before we actually closed on the house, we took our son with us to cut the grass (the listing agents hadn’t kept up with it and it was 18 inches high in some parts).  At the end of that long, sweaty day, he threw an absolute tantrum when it was time to leave.  For once, this tantrum was a good sign.  He already wanted to stay at the new house.

Each time we went out to work on the house, we took him with us.  We established which room upstairs would be his playroom and put some of his favorite toys in it, along with some blankets and a pack of diapers.  The key here was familiarity, bringing objects he loved and knew and placing them in the foreign space.  We then allowed him free rein of the house.  Like our cats, he needed to “sniff out” every corner of the house on his own and gather his bearings.  By the time the official move date arrived, he already was begging each day to “go new house”.


Moving A Toddler to a New House Summary

— Introduce the child to the new house several times before the move-in date

— Establish his/her own space in the house (the bedroom, a play room)

— Place toys and familiar objects in the new house for your child to interact with

— Making sure the house is child-proofed, allow your child free rein to “sniff out” every corner

— Talk about the new house with your child every day before the big move


If your child is at the age to move to a toddle bed or start potty training, consider putting these off until after the move.  Your child will already be stressed as it is from the move that he won’t be able to focus fully on learning the new skills.


Love With Food September 2014 Box Review


Last year, I received and reviewed the August and October 2013 Love With Food boxes.  I was underwhelmed with them and canceled my subscription.  Out of the blue, I received an e-mail from Love With Food offering me a free box.  I guess they are trying to win customers back? Anyway, it worked because who’s going to pass up free snacks?

So, here is my non-sponsored and honest review of their September 2014 box.


First Look

The first look was actually very promising.  The box was quite heavy and packed as tight as could be.  I knew from the title of this month’s box, “Spice Up Your Life,” that this box would featured spicy items.  As soon as I opened it, the aroma of all the spice rose up and filled my nose with a wonderful, delightful scent.  I was excited to get eating!


Simply So Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips by Way Better Snacks

Maruso Ghost Soy Sauce by Maruso

These chips were simply amazing. I’m not a fan of salsa or hot things, but these came in just under the spicy radar enough that I gobbled them up without much heat damage to my mouth.  My husband and I want more, but they are quite $$$ pricey at more that $20 for an average sized bag of chips.

I didn’t try the soy sauce because I hate soy sauce.  My husband ate it with some sweet potato tater tots and reports that it is “very good,” “not your average soy sauce,” and is really hot.


Lemon Rosemary Seasoning by Fogg City Spice Co.

Green Superfood by Amazing Grass

We used the spice on a chicken/potato/broccoli dish we found on Pinterest.  Basically, you put some chicken breasts in a glass cake baking dish with some chopped up potatoes, a bunch of frozen broccoli.  Melt a half stick of butter over it, add some spice (usually Montreal Chicken), and cook for 80 minutes at 400 degrees.  This spice was just, okay.  It actually made me a little sick the first time I tried it despite house delicious it smells.

I really wish I would have taken a picture of the Amazing Grass drink mix.  Let me describe how it looked. Warning, put down whatever food you are eating and swallow, because you won’t want anything after this.  Imagine you fed a baby green beans for a week straight, but the baby didn’t poo in that entire time.  At the end of the week, the baby gets diarrhea and it spurts and foams out in a liquid mess with glumps of green goo.  According to my husband, who was the only person brave enough to try it, it tasted just about like that as well.


Hemp Rules Roasted Hempseeds by Ziggy Marley Organics

Rich Chocolate Cookie Thins by Mandy’s

These hempseeds weren’t bad, but the certainly were odd.  They reminded me of eating the partially popped kernels of popcorn, but without the buttery flavor.  They were small little seeds that were super crunchy.  My husband finished them and wasn’t thrilled either.

The cookies, though, were super good!  We had tried chocolate cookie thins in the past from other companies, but those were downright awful, like eating only the black part of an Oreo.  These were surprisingly sweet (there’s glazed sugar on top) and tasty.  I would definitely eat more of these if I had some!


Churro Kettle Corn by Love With Food

It appears Love With Food is trying out a new thing by including products created by them.  If this is their first try at it, they succeeded.  This cinnamon sugar popcorn smelled and tasted soooo good.  I couldn’t wait for my husband to come home from work (I usually wait so he can see everything, too) before jumping in.


5 Spice Dark Chocolate Caramels by Shotwell Candy Co.

We end now with the coupons, pamphlets, and business cards that were in the box and the most disgusting thing I’ve tasted in a long time.  Sorry, Shotwell Candy Co., but these brown wax paper wrapped caramels were so gross, I spit it out and ran to the sink to rinse my mouth.  I’ve never had such a strong reaction to a taste since I was a teenager.  Let me list the ingredients and you’ll see just why these were awful:

Ingredients: pure cane sugar, cream, light corn syrup, butter, dark chocolate, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, five-spice powder (cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, clove)

Mind you, these were chocolate caramels with almond extract and a 5-blend of spices.  If you are adventurous, try them, but I highly recommend against it.


 Get Yours Now! 

If you are interested in giving Love With Food a try, click here to sign up and get your first box FREE.

When Teachers Hold Us Back


On 9Gag today, I read a post that was supposedly a father’s response to this note a teacher wrote on his 7-year-old’s assignment.

From 9Gag

From 9Gag

In the response, the father explains how throughout his education experience, he was shot down by teachers who thought he was cheating or trying to suck up simply because he exhibited more intelligence and reasoning ability than the rest of his peers.  You can read the full response here.

Whether this 9Gag post is real or not, it doesn’t matter, because every day higher functioning students DO receive embarrassing reprimands from teachers who don’t know how to address a brilliant student.  As a higher functioning student in my class, I dealt with these very same commands to “hold back” and slow my pace to meet the rest of my peers.  My first memory of this happening was in kindergarten.

When I entered kindergarten, I already knew how all of my ABCs (upper and lower case), how to write them, what sounds they made, and could even spell and read some second-grade level words.  I had even learned to write my name in cursive.  Each week of kindergarten, we learned a new letter: the letter of the week.  I distinctly remember one day deciding to write out my full name on an in-class assignment.  I began:


and then started on my last name:


At this point.  The teacher had come around to my table to monitor our progress.  She took one look at that O and said to me, “Don’t write O’s.  We haven’t learned them yet,” before promptly taking an eraser and obliterating the offending O from my paper.

THAT is the kind of treatment I fear will happen with my son.  He turns two-years-old in a few weeks.  When he was 16-months-old, he knew all of his ABCs, upper and lower case.  You can read about that here.  In fact, he’s sitting here with me as I type this spelling out the words.  He can count to 22 and understands the concepts of counting and numbers.  He knows basic shapes, colors, and can read simple words.  That’s nothing compared to the 10+ word sentences he strings together and babbles throughout the day.

I don’t write this to boast.  Okay…..maybe a little.  I write this to show how truly fearful I am of sending him to public school kindergarten.  Will they recognize his brilliance, or will they herd him with the rest of the sheep?  Will they hold him back or find ways to build upon what he already knows?  Hell, at this point, does he even need kindergarten?

I am certified by my state to teach secondary English, yet here I am writing a blog post about my worries that my potential colleagues and past peers aren’t going to recognize his strengths and implement learning activities to make sure he’s not held back.  If I don’t have faith in the education system, and I’m part of it, I completely understand why the general public has little to no faith.  They have no faith because things that the 9Gag article highlights DO happen EVERY DAY.


Book Recommendations


0-9 Months Old

10-18 Months Old

Choosing the Right Books For Infants (0-18 Months Old)

Language Development: Major Dos and Don’ts of Reading With Baby

Here I answer your language development questions such as: How do babies acquire language? Can I read anything I want to baby?  Why can’t I just talk to baby?  When should I read to baby?  … and much, much more.

Teaching the Alphabet to Toddlers (in 7 Simple Steps)

Top 10 Tips to Help Children Love Reading by Free Little Words

Fall Invitations in the Etsy Shop!



Fall is right around the corner, and look what’s sprung from the pumpkin patch! Fall themed invitations from thelittledabbler Etsy shop!

Fall Themed Invitation from thelittledabbler

Fall Themed Thank You Card from thelittledabbler Fall Themed Invitation from thelittledabbler

Housewarming Gift Ideas


My husband and I are in the final stages of buying a house.  We haven’t closed on it yet, so we won’t have any pictures for you for a few weeks.  All of these preparations for the big day when we sign on the final dotted line has me thinking of all the repairs and purchases we’ll need to make before we even move in.

We aren’t new to moving.  In the almost seven years we’ve been together, we’ve moved four times.  But, those were to rentals where the landlord was responsible for providing repairs and basic items, like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.  In honor of this upcoming life event, I’ve compiled a list of AWESOME housewarming gifts that a new homeowner (or even a new renter) would really love.

Housewarming Gift Ideas from thelittledabbler

1.) Address Labels

One of the first things any new homeowner will need to do is update all of their accounts and stationary to reflect their new address.  Seeing the new address written out all on of the incoming and outgoing mail makes everything more real.  Make your own or buy some pre-made ones, like these from Shutterfly.

I'm loving these everyday labels from Shutterflly!

I’m loving these everyday labels from Shutterflly!

2.) We Moved! Cards

One of the first things you’ll do when you get these keys to the new houses is update your Facebook status to tell everyone the news!  Don’t deny it, because it’s inevitable and no one blames you.  It’s exciting!  You’ll also want to let all your relatives, especially the ones not in tune with social media, know your new address.  Enter the traditional We Moved announcement.  You can make some yourself and give them to your friend to mail out, or check out these cute ones in thelittledabbler Etsy shop.

WE MOVED! Printable Moving Announcement Cards from thelittledabbler Etsy Shop

WE MOVED! Printable Moving Announcement Cards from thelittledabbler Etsy Shop

3.) Weekly subscription to the local newspaper

What better way for a newbie to the neighborhood to connect to the community than by knowing what’s happening from week to week.  A newspaper subscription is usually the last thing on the list of purchases when buying a home.

4.) Housewarming Gift Basket

Neatly arrange any of these items in a themed container, like a laundry basket, utility bucket, garbage can, or wheelbarrow.  As a bonus, create an Emergency Contact list, like this one, that lists the phone number and addresses of the local municipality building, police, fire department, etc.

Housewarming Gift Basket

 For more great housewarming gift ideas,

follow my We Moved! Pinterest Board:

Follow thelittledabbler’s board We Moved! on Pinterest.

Get Paid to Take Surveys!


If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are a busy mom like me (or about to be one!) and possibly could use a little extra cash.  Did you know you can actually get paid to take surveys?  You can!  I’ve been taking paid surveys for a over a year now.  Not only are they monetarily rewarding, but their fun, too!  My favorite survey site is MintVine.


Signing up for MintVine is quick, easy, and free!  Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive e-mails when a new survey is ready for you to take, or just log in to MintVine when you want to take surveys!  You’ll earn points for each survey.  When you collect 1000 points, you can cash out $10.  MintVine also features a daily poll worth anywhere from 5 to 10 points.


So, what are you waiting for?

Click here to sign-up with MintVine today!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post, but it does contain referral links.  I am actually a MintVine user and I love it!


Honestly Good Products from The Honest Company


Going Natural with Honestly good products from The Honest Company  ||

Recently, I posted about my family’s decision to start converting the products we use from the traditional, name brands  that contain extremely dangerous chemicals to all natural (or as close to natural as possible) products.  I researched long and hard for a cost-effective and readily available read that as ships fast) source for products deemed safe by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database.  

I remembered hearing about The Honest Company long ago before I cared about what I was putting in and on my body, so I looked up their products.  Almost all of them are completely natural and nearly 100% safe to use!

No harsh chemicals, no bio-accumulation no harming the environment, no wondering if I’m slowly killing myself!  No parabens, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, or any other of those dangerous chemicals you should never ever use.

I want to be upfront, this is NOT a sponsored post.  I truly found this on my own and want to share with you how great these products are.

I ordered the Essentials Bundle Free Trial (you pay $5.95 shipping), and it arrive within 4 business day!  It’s pictured above.  It included hand soap, shampoo+body wash, face+body lotion, healing balm, and multi-surface cleaner.  I loved them so much that I used a coupon and signed up for their full-sized Essentials Bundle.  Yes, I received FULL SIZED laundry detergent, shampoo+body wash, conditioner, multi-surface cleaner, and baby powder for $27.52 total with the coupon.  Even better, it arrived from California to my doorstep in Pennsylvania in TWO DAYS.   How awesome is that!

So, what do you say?  Why not give it a try to see how you like it!  You can purchase a bundle or free trial here.  Be sure to look up some coupon codes here to save you even more!  Below I’ll review some of the products I used and hope it convinces you even more to sign up!


Shampoo+Body Wash

I was worried about trying the all-natural shampoo because the ones I had tried in the past made my hair straw-like and lacking luster.   The shampoo was a little thicker that normal shampoo, which is usually of a whipped texture, but as soon as I added a little more water it suds up just like regular shampoo.  It rinsed out normally, leaving my hair smelling lightly and pleasantly floral.  With the conditioner, my hair looks and feel amazing!  I’d say it’s even better than when I used my favorite Infusium 23 which weighed down my hair, stripping it of its body.  The Honest Company shampoo+body wash isn’t heavy and doesn’t leave residue, so now my hair has amazing body just by washing.  Oh, and did you notice it’s a combination body wash, too?  My husband and son love that feature!

Healing Balm

This balm comes in a lotion tube and has a really yummy buttery scent to it.  Make sure to shake the tube first to mix the natural oils with the other ingredients!  Then apply this incredibly smooth, creamy balm on your baby’s diaper rash, your rash or abrasion, small cuts, cracked skin, or anywhere else in need of a little healing moisture.  It soaks  in quickly and leaves the skin feeling super smooth.

Face+Body Lotion

This daily lotion smells straight-up like sunflower kernels.  It’s a really buttery summertime treat.  I use it on my legs and feet after showering so my skin doesn’t become white and flaky the next day.  It totally worked!  This lotion soaks in super fast and has a sensual, smooth, whipped texture!  You won’t have that icky sticky lotion feeling like you do with name-brand products.  It’s also great that this lotion is really light and can be used on both body and face.

Now are you ready to give it a try?  Great!

Shop The Honest Company Here