How We Set The Table for a Kid-Friendly Holiday

This year I’ve somehow proven to myself that functionality, style and holiday cheer is obtainable with four children in the house. Who knew? I’ve also determined that ones portrayal of traditional cheer comes in many forms and colors, but one thing remains the same no matter where you are or what you style may be – and that is when the entire family gathers around the holiday table.

Instead of the same ol’ red and green or blue and silver, this year I used our personal style to create the perfect holiday style for us – and one that will carry us through the New Year. Which equates to one less thing for me to worry about and clean up.
In going with our new craftsman-inspired style and décor, I’ve pulled together items that not only fit my personal taste, but ones that are functional, too! (As most of the items can be re-used throughout the year). You’ll also notice that my tall glass hurricanes – that pair so well with festive, glitter clad fillers – mercury glass trees and real candles have disappeared from the mix and have since been replaced with kid-friendly holiday décor that hopefully doesn’t need to be replaced with each passing year.

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1. Glass tablescapes are a thing of the past with four boys running wild in the house. Wooden or woven serving trays and baskets, like the Pottery Barn Jacquelyne Wood Handled Basket, create a safer tablescape amongst children and look amazing with shatter-proof ornaments, pinecones or colorful/decorative felt balls.

2. It is possible to create a child-friendly tree without all the characters ornaments and hazardous glass. The Tweet Life Ornaments from The Land of Nod are innocent and safe for kids (should they get their little paws on them). These also look amazing hanging on twigs and branches used for a tablescape.

3. Wood and metallics are two of my favorite things – and not just during the holidays. With the Golden Age Stockings, also from The Land of Nod, I can accent my craftsman style with some modern flair. For those that don’t have a chimney to hang stockings, I love the idea of a large bow around the back of the dining room chair with the stockings hung off the side of the chair. (This also works to keep kiddos away from the fireplace).

4. Baby’s First Holiday Dinner is kind of a big deal. I’ve been searching and searching for something unique and stylish and finally landed on the Bunny knit baby sweater and hat from Red Envelope. Baby Quinn will look adorable at dinner, don’t you agree?

5. Whether strewn across the windows and shutters behind the table or draped as part of the tablescape, this Starry Garland from The Land of Nod is a perfect addition for the holidays – and beyond.

6. No table is truly complete without the main attraction. Yes, the table itself is a key player and the tablescape is a good supporting role, but the area rug really makes or breaks the entire room. For our new décor, I’ve chosen the Mohawk Home American Craftsmen Style rug in Serenity Oak Creek Bison. The mixture of browns, creams and tans with the pop of blues and gorgeous garden, floral, ikat and medallion design is just my style.

7. I have four boys. I also have Flameless Wax Candles from Pottery Barn at the center of our table. Enough said.

8. In going with my new Craftsman-style décor, I love the look of crisp white with wood – wood anything. Like these Wood Charger Plates from Red Envelope. Simply dress them up according to the holiday (different napkin rings are a perfect and simple way to change the look or feel to match your style or holiday décor) and enjoy them year round.

9. There are lots of family dinners to be had, which means my wee ones spend a lot of time gathering around the family table. We eat, play games, talk… And just enjoy each others company as it’s few and far between the rest of the year. All my kids sit in or on a Stokke Tripp Trapp. The ergonomic design allows for natural movement of their antsy bums and the footrest provides just the right amount of support to keep them comfortable while enjoying family time. The new Aqua Blue Tripp Trapp is quite a beautiful sight, too.

10. I stocked up on these Target shatter-proof ornaments this year. With a baby in the house, it was either that or mommy’s anxiety would rise to dangerous levels. These babies live in my tablescape baskets and on the tree.

11. Give me a pretty green wreath and I’m happy. I found this Boxwood Square Wreath at West Elm and said, yes please. Can you picture this hanging with a wide piece of burlap? I can. On the wall, next to the table.

 

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How are you going to set your table for the holidays this year? If you would like a fresh start or just want to spruce up your family gathering area, I suggest you check out the Mohawk Home Pin To Win – Set The Table with American Rug Craftsmen on Pinterest. Enter to win an American Rug Craftsmen rug of your choice with up to a $1,000 retail value.

Visit Mohawk Home on Facebook or Pinterest to see official rules and details.

 

Disclosure: Mohawk Home sponsored this post and sent us a new rug to complete our ‘set the table’ look for the holidays. All opinions are my own.

Review: Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair

The Stokke Tripp Trapp has been around for 40 years and is “the only child’s chair that can take you from baby to adult, keeping you secure and comfortable all the way“. Here are some of the key features of the Stokke Tripp Trapp and what we think of it…

Grows With Your Child- The Stokke Tripp Trapp fully adjusts to accommodate and adapt to your child as he or she grows. The Stokke Tripp Trap can be used from 6 months of age all the way to adult.

Proper Seat and Feet Placement- The adjustability of the seat bottom creates a comfortable environment for your growing child. The seat placement, combined with the footrest, make the Tripp Trapp an ergonomically correct chair as the footrest brings the floor to your child– eliminating dangling legs and feet. With the Tripp Trapp, your child will have a comfortable place to sit while enjoying his or her time spent at the family table.

Seat Bottom- The Seat bottom has a depth adjustment, which allows your child to not only sit at the ideal distance from the family table but also prevents stress and discomfort on the child’s legs. The seat bottom also adjusts height-wise to ensure your child is secure, comfortable, and at the proper height while at the table. The proper seat height is when your child’s elbows (while rested) are level with the tabletop. Unfortunately for us (thanks to a built-in frame under our table) our son’s elbows are almost where they should be. We’re not able to raise the seat because of the design of our table– if we did, his legs wouldn’t be able to fit under the table! Fortunately for him, he’s growing a mile a minute so he’ll be at the ideal placement soon enough. It’s also important to note that with the use of the Table Top (pictured below), it adds a little more height to the table– which doesn’t help our unique situation either.

Extend Glider- Because our table has that frame under it, my son can push off of the frame and slide the Tripp Trapp backwards away from the table (This is quite annoying for me but I’d rather him slide back than tip back). The Extend Glider increases the backward stability of the Tripp Trapp and prevents it from tipping backwards. Stokke recommends the use of the Extend Glider when the Tripp Trapp is being used with the Baby Set and/or the Harness.

Assembly and Adjustments- The initial assembly was very easy to do– I did it myself. When you first put together your Tripp Trapp, you need to completely assemble it then check it with your child’s height, and your table’s height, for the proper seat and footrest placement. The Tripp Trapp comes with a guide, (that can also be seen HERE) which shows the proper placement for your child.

To adjust the seat and footrest, you need to loosen the frame of the Tripp Trapp then slide the seat and footrest to the proper location (height and depth) for your child and your table. I highly suggest you keep the included allen wrench in a well-known place, as you will have to adjust both the seat bottom and the footrest as your child grows. Luckily, it’s not something that needs to be adjusted frequently– Stokke suggests checking your child’s placement in the Tripp Trapp at least once a year.

For more information about safety and how to adjust the seat and footrest, visit the Stokke website HERE.

 

The Harness- I love the Harness! My toddler can (and does) climb in and out of the seat himself and, with the help of mom or dad, he can buckle his safety harness as well– which makes him feel a greater sense of independence. The best part is that he cannot unbuckle the harness on his own and by the time he will be able to, he’ll be too old for the harness anyway. The wide seat combined with the secure yet flexible harness allows him to move safely in his seat– basically, he feels like he has the freedom to move but is still secured safely in a highchair. This sense of freedom makes for a more comfortable (and enjoyable) time at the table– for all of us. Think about it… anytime you strap your child down, they fight tooth and nail, right? In the Tripp Trapp my son can happily slide his bottom from side to side, twist slightly in his seat, even push up from his feet and off of the seat bottom just as any child would in a regular chair. Kids move by nature… and they move a lot.

Tripp Trapp Colors- I purposely selected my Tripp Trapp to match the color of our dining room table and chairs. As much as I wanted a grey, a red or a blue Tripp Trapp, I took into consideration that my child already notices that his older brothers sit in dining room chairs. The matching color not only looks like it belongs at our table (and makes mommy happy that it matches perfectly), it makes our toddler feel like he is sitting like a “big boy” with the rest of the family. The available colors for the Stokke Tripp Trapp can be seen HERE

 

Stokke Tripp Trapp Details

  • The Tripp Trapp is suitable from approximately 6 months to adult and your child can start using the Stokke Tripp Trapp once he or she can sit unassisted (usually between 6-9 months).
  • The Harness is for use from 6 months to approximately 36 months.
  • For babies 6 months to 36 months you can add the Baby Set accessory, which provides a higher back and a safety “crotch strap” (or safety T-bar) to keep baby safe, seated properly and comfortable.
  • Another accessory for the Tripp Trapp is the Cushion. The Cushion provides a soft and comfortable option for your baby when used with the Baby Set.
  • One of my favorite accessories (to use with or without the Tripp Trapp) is the Table Top.
  • NEW for Europe (and hopefully for the US soon)… Now you can use the Tripp Trapp from birth with the Newborn Set accessory!

Measurements

  • Height: 30.7 inches
  • Depth: 19.3 inches
  • Width: 18.1 inches

Care- per Stokke

Wipe with a clean damp cloth, wipe off excess of water with a dry cloth. Moisture will crack stain. We do not recommend the use of any detergent or micro fiber cloth. Colors may change if the high chair is exposed to the sun.

 

Long Story Short- you get what you pay for and in the case of the Stokke Tripp Trapp, you get a chair that lasts many, many years. The Stokke Tripp Trapp ranks right up there, with a select few highchairs, as one of the easiest to clean. It also looks good with pretty much any decor and with the additional accessories… you can use it from the time your child sits unassisted and customize it to fit your style.

 

 

 

Disclosure: Stokke provided us with a Tripp Trapp and Table Top but they did not pay us (or ask us) to write this review. All my words and opinions (unless noted) are my own.

 

Review: Stokke Table Top

I had no idea what this thing was until it arrived on my doorstep. And let me tell you, I kinda want to marry it! My husband even said he wants one for each kid… not just the toddler. Which, if you think about it, makes total sense because most Stokke products (like the Tripp Trapp High Chair) can be used as your child grows. My husband just might be on to something here…

The Stokke Table Top comes with one hard transparent plastic tray that is BPA-free and phthalate-free; 4 suction cups, 6 reversible activity mats, and an inspirational book.

Being included around the family table is important for your child; this type of family interaction can teach socialization and language skills by conversation and observation. The Stokke® Table Top attaches directly onto the family table. The Table Top includes 6 interchangeable templates, which were developed with guidance from an educator, and can be put under the transparent plate. The templates are great tools for interaction and bonding between you and your child. Use them as backdrops for storytelling, challenging the imagination; and learning about animals, colors, shapes, sizes, numbers and the alphabet. STOKKE® Table Top is made from high quality PETG plastic material which is free from bisphenol and phthalates. The Table top has smooth surface that is easy to clean by simply wipe with damp cloth or rinse it at a kitchen sink. The Table Top has a spilling rail to prevent liquid from leaking and suction cups to keep it in place while a child can enjoy a meal and practice feeding herself. It’s all about growing, developing, and bonding. It’s about EAT. PLAY. LEARN.

TO USE

  • Clean and dry the surface that you will be using it on
  • Select the activity mat and insert the suction cups (with the large part of the suction cups facing down)
  • Turn the plastic tray over and place the activity mat inside the tray by pushing down on the suction cups
  • Position the Table Top on the clean surface and push down on all four suction cups

REMOVAL IS EASY– Simply lift the Table Top off the table by placing a finger in the groove at the top portion of the tray

CLEANING IS EVEN EASIER– I place my Table Top right on the edge/flush with the dining room table so it contains messes better and is closer to my toddler. Most days I just wipe it down since the seal between the Table Top and our dining room table is pretty tight (it’s not very often that crumbs get under it). Every few days I remove the Table Top and give it a good wash in the sink. It is not dishwasher safe.

CONTAINING THE MESS– the size is about the same as a large placemat but… it doesn’t move! My toddler cannot slide it across the table with a clean swipe of his arm nor can he pick it up and toss it to the other side of the table. (now do you see why I am in love?). The entire tray has a ridge around it preventing small foods and liquids from going beyond the tray.

MORE STUFF YOU MIGHT NEED TO KNOW

  • We use our Table Top on a smooth wooden table and it works just fine. I’ve also tested it on granite and tile and it works perfectly. I’ve heard that it may or may not stick to textured surfaces so that is something to consider before you purchase one.
  • About once a day I give each suction cup a push to make sure it stays secure on the table. I think that helps with keeping the crumbs from getting under the Table Top.
  • The plastic does scratch easily. I didn’t notice it as much when we had a lighter colored activity mat under it but now that I have changed it to the black ABC activity mat, I can see the scratches more. Personally, I don’t care about the scratches.
  • The Table Top can be used with an older child sitting on a dining room chair, a child in a booster seat at the table, a child in a tray-less high chair pushed up to the table and a child in a Stokke Tripp Trapp.
  • Age recommendation is 6 months to 8 years
  • Size: 15″ by 18.7″
  • Retails for $89.99 at Stokke.com

 

All in all, yes it’s a bit pricey for a placemat but in reality, it’s much more than just a placemat. It’s a sanity saver for parents, a practical (easy to clean) option for mealtime, a good learning and bonding tool, and it encourages your child to be part of the family dinner table.

 

Top Eco-Friendly Items for Baby

Your baby enters the world as pure as pure can be so if you’re looking for some of the best eco-friendly items, these just happen to be some of my faves.

1. Carrier- ERGObaby Organic

2. Lightweight and Travel Stroller- Maclaren

3. Full-Sized Stroller- UPPAbaby Vista

4. Car Seat- Orbit Baby

5. Mattress- Nook Sleep System Pebble Organic

6. Crib- Oeuf

 

7. Clothing- The Little Seed

8. High Chair- Stokke Tripp Trapp

9. Bottle- Born Free

10. Bouncer- BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance Organic

11. Diaper Bag- OiOi Organic HoBo

12. Blankets- aden + anais Organic

 


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