Toddler obsessions, while annoying at times, are quite funny. I’m always impressed by their one-track mind, determined focus, and impressive command of a subject matter (my son can name all 1,225 construction trucks that exist or explain the mechanical differences in trains—and I can’t). And because it’s just a short-term phase in the grand scheme of their lives, I can’t help but encourage their love of that one thing. Why not jump on the bandwagon?
As a result of sharing my toddler’s enthusiasm for his various obsessions, I’ve helped him build a depot of trucks, a fleet of trains, a sanitation department (yes, he has that many garbage trucks), and a litter of puppies. But my favorite obsession? Tacos.
Odd for a toddler, but perfectly suited for a foodie mom from SoCal. It first started with this cheeky shirt from Apericots. Because of my love of tacos, I had to get it for him. It turned out to be one of his favorite pieces of clothing, as he had to wear it every other day. But I was thrilled that it was a great conversation starter with parents that appreciate our family’s love of the food and sense of humor. (Full Disclosure: I am well aware that this might be an example of me projecting my obsessions on my toddler before it became his own).
No surprise, I had to get him this book too. Dragons Love Tacos is a silly tale of a boy who turns dragons into fire breathing creatures by giving them spicy salsa. It’s an instant classic that will quickly find a way into the weekly book rotation. Plus, what’s not love about a story that makes a little one laugh endlessly.
And, if you’re still hungry for more, Melissa and Doug’s felt taco and burrito set is the perfect and final addition to this taco trio. I enjoy themed birthday presents and love to give all three taco-related goodies as a set.
Now you know how his obsessions are born and nurtured. What are your toddler's favorite interests (or yours)?
~ The Other Sarah
When I say "creativity," I don't mean the act of scrapbooking, or painting, or sewing a dress from scratch (unless, of course, that's the perfect outlet for you). I'm talking about that free space where our minds can roam without stress and are primed to discover new things.
As parents, especially moms, I think our brains are overloaded with to-do lists, household responsibilities, pick-up schedules, and work demands. This is not a great cocktail for connecting with yourself, the people around you, or even the environment. It also makes it hard to tap into your own creative channels. This is why I think it's important to carve out “me” time (translation: make it part of your daily routine)—creativity takes time and practice to nurture, too.
A couple weekends ago, I was fortunate to attend the Mom 2.0 Summit and had the pleasure of attending a talk by Tracey Clark and Lindsey Garrett. Their talk was really more of a workshop that served as a great reminder of how to make/practice/enjoy downtime for self-exploration and creative thinking. I seem to need these reminders — a lot.
In case you find yourself in the same rut or want to expand your art, I thought I would share their recipe for building a creative life.
1. Create a daily routine to set your mind up for flow.
2. Start your day by setting an intention. It can be as simple as selecting a coffee mug that reflects your day’s state of mind or goals, or you can meditate.
3. Clear your space of physical, mental, and emotional clutter.
4. Start each day with a clean page/screen/canvas.
5. When you hit a roadblock (i.e., writer’s block), try sorting…even laundry. The activity of sorting for at least five minutes has been shown to revive you and overcome your creative rut.
6. Explore. Give yourself a “dream day” for a new experience. Try learning new skills, no matter how busy. Even try new routes on the drive home.
7. See things through fresh eyes. Try picking up your camera. Get down on your kids’ level. Sleep!
8. Stop entertaining creativity killers—fear, comparison, and distractions.
9. Read Simple Abundance and/or The War of Art.
10. Assemble a creativity toolbox that keeps you ticking and focused on your work. For some, it includes candles. For others, it’s a journal. Or maybe even a good luck statuette. Think of including books, movies, music, and art that inspire creativity.
What would you add to the list?
~ The Other Sarah
I've got plans for this project, people. PLANS.