Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Introducing the Writing Implement Organizer — a tool that joins multiple writing instruments together. Patent #8801311, created by Angela Miller

We Stay-at-Home-Moms do not simply "stay at home". We manage the errands, the appointments, the grocery trips, and everything in between, all while toting the babies, the preschoolers, and the toddlers alongside us. I have a handful of youngsters and enough experience to know that those busy little bodies need activities to keep their hands busy if there is any chance of getting them to sit still at the post office, the hardware store, or that 30-minute wait at the doctor's office. I haven't met a child who isn't drawn to a pile of markers or crayons placed before them, and my kids have really taken to coloring while we're out. The mega problem arises when all of these crayons and markers get opened. Boxes are spilled, crayons go rolling, tears are shed, and its a big mess.

When I was introduced to the Crayoctopus, I was intrigued, but when I held it for the first time, I could instantly see why it was a genius idea. Utter genius. No more spilled crayons, no more rolling writing utensils, no more hunting for the one missing color.

The design is simple and very usable.  A center connector holds a number strings that are separated with straw-like rods with an attachment at the end that can latch on to all sorts of writing utensils, such as crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc.  The long rods completely eliminate the possibility of the writing implements becoming tangled and they allow the unused colors to rest to the side, out of the creative drawing space.

I was initially skeptical of its functionality and wondered if my kids would mind their writing tools being tethered to each other, but their drawing is not inhibited in the least, and they love having every color at their disposal.  In fact, they give a loud sigh of heartbreak whenever I forget to bring their Crayoctopuses to church each Sunday.

I'm always worried about my babies choking on small parts, so I love that there is nothing removable or loose on the Crayoctopus.  Any child that is old enough to hold a crayon can use the Crayoctopus, which makes it useful and usable to even my 1-year-old!  The novelty of a tool like this is still fresh for my older children, and I can see it being a cool possession for any child through grade school.

Off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of situations in the past few weeks where I needed my kids to sit still and quiet and where the Crayoctopus saved the day. Just this week, we were sitting at a restaurant with quite a bit of waiting time ahead of us and what could have been a torturous 20 minutes turned into a pleasant visit while the kids colored away. I try to avoid relying on a tablet or phone to keep them entertained because I feel like they get enough screen time as it is, so the idea of bringing along just one Crayoctopus and a coloring book is so appealing. They get some creative time in while I take care of business, and I can rest easy knowing that there won't be a pile of loose pieces to pick up when its time to head home.

I can't wait to pack these along on our road trips!  I'm giddy over the idea of not having to reach over to the back seat to pick up dropped markers, or scan the aisles of the plane for runaway pencils.  The Crayoctopus is going to make traveling so much more enjoyable!

 My boys LOVE their Crayoctopus tools! They prefer their crayons to be organized and contained this way over any other box, pouch, or container. There is no fighting over colors, no hunting for missing pieces, and no tedious tidying up when they're done drawing. I think the Crayoctopus is one of the best designs I've seen when it comes to a simple, usable, and organized solution for problems associated with everyday creative writing tools. I'm so glad we have a pair for our kids, and I'm excited to show other moms how much we love the Crayoctopus!

For more information about this product, you can email Crayoctopus@yahoo.com.

Disclosure: I received compensation along with these items at no cost to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Beautiful Blessing Day!

Brighton's Blessing Day was as perfect as could be!  

What a little princess!  Controlling the massiveness of her dress reminded me of wearing the larger version.  So much fluff!

We got our first family picture taken of all five (!) of us.

We had just the right amount of family in town with my dad, Marc & Diana, and Braden visiting for an MIT trip.

How I love my little girl!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


The big news lately is that Jason has been accepted to both Cornell and Dartmouth for Business School!  We'll most likely choose Tuck (Dartmouth), and we're thrilled and excited!  Most of all, its nice to have a plan for the next two years.  I've been frantically looking up housing, schools, and the closest Joann Fabrics, as well as hitting up all the clearance racks for discounted winter gear.  Goodness knows we're in for some cooooold weather!

Miss B is charming us all with her cute smiles!!  I'll keep trying to catch it on camera...

My Dad came to visit for a weekend for Brighton's baby blessing!  The boys really love their Grandpa!

I'm really enjoying getting my evenings back for projects and sewing.  I had some pink eyelet scraps from this baby blanket that my mom put together, so I made a dress to go with it, though I don't think it will fit for a year or two.

Speaking of matching, these three love wearing their matching vests to church together.  Such handsome men I have.

And I took my daughter to our first princess movie together!  Cinderella, along with the dozen of my friends we went with.
I'm really going to miss my Boston friends!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lobster Bisque

In celebration of the new little lady in J's life, he set out to make us Lobster Bisque (cue the Studio C remarks) and found it was cheapest to buy the live lobsters so we had two cute little pets in our fridge for a day before they became soup.  It was absolutely delicious, by the way.

Brightly showing off her cute new red ruffled bloomers:

My cousin Carrie also had two boys first and then a girl, and she said that she wouldn't have had it any other way, and now that I'm in her same shoes, I completely agree.  Having a girl now has made this new baby 10x more exciting as the first.  I love having two big brothers to lead the family by example, and I'm so glad they have each other.  They may know just how to tease the other, but they would really be sad without their other half. 

And here's a fun Chocolate Surprise Easter Eggs tutorial:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Making Boston History

Surely you've heard how Boston reached a new all-time record for winter snowfall this year.  Its been beastly and ridiculous.  Its snowing pretty heavily even now as I write this.  Jason would spend hours on the car and then come out in the morning to find ourselves plowed in again.

However, the boys have had a lot of fun helping Dad unshovel the car again and again and again.

While waiting very impatiently for this baby, I kept myself busy indoors making hair bows and doing hair tutorials.

You can read the full pin curls tutorial HERE.

Brighton got some Easter pictures taken about 2 months early...

...and the boys and I had a donut making party!

Friday, March 20, 2015


I partnered with the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council to come up with a blueberry recipe and the Kid-Approved No Sugar Added Blueberry Muffins came to be.  You can read about our enthusiasm for blueberries and see the full recipe HERE.