Welcome to Salt + Nectar

The Sarahs tell it like it is, sharing the salty + sweet, big city + small town, ups + downs, the pretty + not so much of modern motherhood. 


Lijit Search


The Sponsors



Little Pim Fun With Languages



Sarah's Favorite Things
The Latest & Greatest

This area does not yet contain any content.
Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

The Goods: Children's Toys from IKEA

Kids are expensive! Based on the Baby Cost Calculator from Baby Center, disposable diapers cost $72 a month, formula $105, solid food $57, clothing $59, medicine $23, and toys $35! In addition to all of these “First Year” monthly costs, you also need to make numerous one-time purchases—stroller(s), car seat, nursery furniture, the list goes on and on. Gasp, my personal calculation was over $12,000 for the first year alone!

With the spiraling costs of raising a child and the holidays fast approaching, I want to highlight some great toys that I have purchased on the cheap and are probably the most used and loved items by my son. Don’t be scared, but all of these items come from IKEA! I know, I know, I would rather go to any Black Friday Sale or Disneyland on a Holiday before stepping foot into an IKEA, but if you make a plan, stick to it, and avoid weekends (if possible) IKEA is doable.

IKEA’s toys are great. They are simple, fun, and, most importantly, very inexpensive. The best part about their toys is they encourage creative open play. So many store shelves are lined with brightly colored, flashing electronic toys that promise to teach your kids to be ready for the Ivy League by just popping in a few batteries. However, after watching my son play everyday, I feel that he learns best from simple toys where he can direct the play and use his imagination to play with them.

The number one item from IKEA that my son plays with in multiple ways are the Mula stack & nest cups for $2.99! Not only does he stack and nest them, but he loves talking into them to amplify his voice. They nest up tightly so they can fit in the diaper bag when traveling. They are also great for bath time. I would recommend buying three sets one for the playroom, bathroom, and diaper bag—amazingly, the cost will still be less then $10.

When babies start crawling the Busa Play tunnel, $14.99, is so much fun for them to crawl back and forth through and it collapses flat for storage, perfect if you have a small apartment. Then when they start to walk the Ekorre toddle wagon/walker, $19.99, is great to help assist them in this new adventure. My son also loves to fill the wagon up with his favorite toys to push around.

The Lillabo Play mat (more like a small rug), $12.99, has a race track and parking lot printed as the design and works great with the Lillabo Cars, $9.99. The cars come in a set of three and are interchangeable to create numerous, fun combinations of play.

IKEA also has a great selection of soft toys like the Torva Broccoli, $7.99, Carrot, $7.99, and Strawberry, $4.99. The best part is for every soft toy or kid’s meal bought from IKEA between November 1st - December 24th, 2011, the IKEA Foundation will donate approximately $1.30 USD to be split between UNICEF and Save the Children to support the education of the most disadvantaged children. Click the link to learn more about the Soft Toys for Education program. You can even support this cause without having to step foot into an IKEA—a few of the soft toys can be purchased in the IKEA online shop.

~ Kristin Strange

*Photos are my own or from the IKEA Web site.

The Scoop

These daily sample sale sites can be a mom's best friend but not if you never have time to look at them! Now, all you have to do is stop by Salt & Nectar for the scoop on the best of all the sales. We search the top sites and recommend our favorite product on sale that day.


Alexis's pick: Holiday Stripe coverall, $15, HauteLook. 

Image via HauteLook

HauteLook is where it's at today!  Although there were several great deals to choose from on the site--like the classic toys and holiday books featured--I had to go with the Angel Dear knitwear at 70% off.  My son wore the coverall featured today in his first picture with Santa.  It's so soft and cuddly, and it's gender-neutral, too--so I have visions of subsequent babies wearing the same outfit in future Christmas pictures!


P.S.  I'm also loving the Metro Shawl Collar sweater and pant set--if you have a little baby boy, it's a must!


Sale ends 11/24 at 10am pdt.


Check back for the scoop on tomorrow's sales!


Family Purpose Statement

First of all, this book is changing my life. One project at a time. You should go right now and download it.

Seriously, I'll wait.

Ok, I've already been working on a morning and evening routine, which I will post on at a later time, but the project I just completed and want to share is #6: Create a family purpose statement.

I know it sounds cheesy. I know it seems crazy to carve out TWO hours when you can barely find time to wash your hair but it is SO worth it. And really how can you ever carve out time for anything if you don't know what's worth your time. Sitting down with your partner and deciding what's important for your family and where you want to focus your time and energy (and money!) makes everything suddenly seem more sane, less crazy.

Or as Tsh (the brilliant mind behind 52 Bites and Simple Mom) puts it:

In the 21st century, many of us respond to the tyranny of the urgent. One of the characteristics of a responsible adult is to recognize the difference between the important and the urgent, and then refuse to be tyrannized by the urgent; refuse to manage by crisis.

I do not want to manage by crisis. I do not want my the precious years of my children's childhood to be a blur of one crazy day after the next. It's already going too fast and I want to savor it in a conscious, present way.

SO, a few weeks ago, Nicholas and I sat some time aside (a.k.a. the car ride to and from an out-of-town date) to discuss our family purpose statement. We talked about what we think is going right (family dinners) and what we could work on (tech time). We talked about what was important to us and things we want to prioritize. But it wasn't just the logistics of our daily lives, we talked about the big picture. We talked about what kind of adults we wanted to raise and what memories we want our children to carry with them throughout their lives.

Here's what we came up with:

Our family strives to live consciously. We will be attentive and present in our interactions with each other—always striving to exhibit compassion. We will live simply and within our means making space for peace, creativity, and everyday celebrations. We will add only those things that enhance—not distract from—our family life. We will seek new experiences and communion with nature. We will plan responsibly for the future but also cherish each other every day.

We have a more specific plan based on what we discussed—instituting a nightly walk, taking one night a week to step away from technology, a plan to get rid of our debt once and for all.

But these specifics could change, what's important is that we now have a guiding principle for our family that will not.

~ Sarah Stewart Holland


Week in the Life: Saturday


The Scoop

These daily sample sale sites can be a mom's best friend but not if you never have time to look at them! Now, all you have to do is stop by Salt & Nectar for the scoop on the best of all the sales. We search the top sites and recommend our favorite product on sale that day.


Sarah's pick: L.A.M.B. Vetiver Audrey Tote, $99.99, ideeli.

{image by ideeli}

If Gwen Stefani isn't one of the most fashionable moms around, I don't know who is! Channel your inner rock star by snagging this great L.A.M.B. bag at an even greater price. If leather isn't your thing, check out the equally on point eco-friednly and vegan Matt & Nat Plush Clutch. Both accessories certainly will transform your daily uniform from mommy drab to mommy fab.


Sale ends 11/24 at 3am est.


Check back for the scoop on tomorrow's sales!