Le Top Darling of the Week: Max

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by Diana

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Today’s nautical cutie is 14-month-old Max. The picture here was taken this past 4th of July.  Max is wearing a t-shirt from the Le Top Spring 2013 Anchors Away Collection – we are told he loves how soft Le Top clothing feels against his gentle baby skin!

Max loves to spend his days chasing after his dog siblings and helping his Mommy water flowers – how sweet! His favorite food at the moment is watermelon. A fun fact about Max is that he was almost 10 lbs. when he was born!

Congratulations to Max on being the handsome Le Top  Darling of the Week.
Shop more nautical looks from Le Top for boys here!

Anytime S’mores Dip

Posted on July 23rd, 2014 by Diana

If your family loves to go camping this is the perfect recipe for you – Anytime S’mores Dip! It tastes just like s’mores, but you can make it at home and anytime you want to. This dip is absolutely delicious and your kiddos will thank you for this special treat that doesn’t include bug bites and sleeping outdoors – not like that isn’t fun too!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1-¼ cup Marshmallows, Divided
  • Graham Crackers For Dipping

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, add chocolate chips, milk and 1 cup of your marshmallows.
  3. Mix continuously over medium heat until all your ingredients are melted and smooth.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, scrape chocolate mixture into a small casserole dish.
  5. Top with remaining marshmallows.
  6. Place dish under broiler for approximately 60 seconds or until the top has started to brown.
  7. Dip your graham crackers and enjoy!

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LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING
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Cosmic Glue Suncatcher

Posted on July 21st, 2014 by Diana

The other day when picking up my 3-year-old niece from pre-school I noticed an array of the most beautiful and colorful suncatchers in the windows of the school. I asked one of the teacher’s aids about them and she told me that the kids had made them. My mind was blown! To me they looked store bought. The neat part about the suncatchers was that they are made from recycled materials and supplies you usually have at home. Also, this project only takes about 10 minutes to create from start to finish so great for younger not so patient kids.

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Supplies

  • White Glue
  • Food coloring of choice
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic lids (plastic lids from tubs of yogurt, salsa, sour cream, etc. work best; metal lids are okay as well)
  • Single hole punch
  • String or ribbon

Directions:

  1. Pour a generous amount of white glue into one of the lids and swish it around to cover the entire inner surface.
  2. Have your child put one or two drops of each color of food coloring around the glue.
  3. Give your child a toothpick to swirl the colors around in the glue. Stop swirling before the colors get too combined or the final result will be muddy and brown.
  4. Let dry.
  5. As the colors settle they will continue to expand and create a dyed cosmic effect.
  6.  Depending on how much glue you used, the suncatcher will take one to three days to fully dry.
  7. You will know it’s ready when the edges start to peel off the lid.
  8. When fully dry, peel the suncatcher off the lid, punch a hole through the top, add a string or ribbon, and hang in a sunny spot.
  9. Enjoy! The colors will shine bright on both ends bringing warmth and happiness to any room.

Le Top Darlings of the Week: Chloe & Jake

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by Diana

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Today we have a special treat – two darlings! Siblings, Chloe (3.5 years-old) and Jake (1 year-old) are our adorable Darlings of the Week today. Chloe and Jake are bundles of energy! Chloe loves to cook with her Mom and ride her bike, while Jake loves to dance and play with his sister –how sweet! It’s a good thing Chloe loves to cook because Jake loves to eat everything that’s put in front of him, while Chloe is partial to Noodles – yum! Some darling fun facts about Chloe and Jake are – Chloe has super curly hair that when wet is down to her waist, she likes to call it her “Rapunzel hair” and Jake likes to point at everyone and anything – how cute!

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Congratulations to Chloe and Jake for being the Le Top Darlings of the Week!

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We think that the Happy Sails Brother & Sister Collection would look awesome on Chloe & Jake!

Teaching Your Toddler the Basics of Hand Washing

Posted on July 14th, 2014 by Diana

Your toddler’s hands are irresistibly cute, but unfortunately, regardless their size, they’re the biggest germ carriers. With so many fun things to discover and touch – door handles, elevator buttons, leaves, bugs, etc., your child’s hands are guaranteed to pick up more than their fair share of dirt and germs. While you can’t stop your toddlers curious spirit you can stop the germs from spreading by teaching them regular hand washing.  Here are a few tips to help your little one learn the basics of hand washings.

  • Explain to your child WHY they must wash their hands and WHEN they need to do it. Little kids should wash their hands before and after they eat, after they use the potty, and whenever they come home from an outing. And if they’re sick, it’s important they wash even more often, especially if they pick their noses, sneeze, or cough into their hands.
  • Make it accessible. Provide a step stool next to the sink, so your child can reach the faucet. That way they won’t have to wait for your help to get washing.
  • Get some fun soap in the bathroom and towels with their favorite characters on them so that they get excited when going to wash their hands.
  • Help them prepare to wash their hands. Get their hands wet, get soap in your hands and scrub hard. Teach them how to scrub their hands by themselves, by mimicking your movements. Then rinse together. The goal is for 20 solid seconds of scrubbing. That’s the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” or the ABC song. Sing it out loud with your toddler as you both wash your hands.
  • Build it into her routine. Before every snack and meal, announce that it’s time to wash hands. Do the same after your toddler goes to the bathroom or sneezes into her hands. Eventually, they’ll link these moments to the need for a good lathering. Make sure that their child-care provider does the same.
  • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat! Repeat until they can wash their hands by themselves.

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Indoor Fishing Fun

Posted on July 10th, 2014 by Diana

A fun activity to do indoors on a hot day or to keep in your back pocket for those rainy days!

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Supplies:

  • Stick or pencil
  • Magnet
  • Paper clip
  • String or yarn
  • Assorted pipe cleaners
  • Tray
  • Blue paper

Directions:

  1. Tie a piece of string or yarn around your stick or pencil.
  2. Tie a knot at the end of your string or yarn and loop the paper clip in.
  3. Stick your magnet to the paper clip.
  4. Cut pipe cleaners in halves.
  5. Bend each one into a loop and twist the ends to make the tail.
  6. Lay down a piece of blue paper on your tray for the “water” and distribute your “fishies”.
  7. Now you are all set for your fisher-man or fisher-woman to star fishing.

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Circle Project

Posted on July 9th, 2014 by Diana

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This is such a fun project that has lots of different variations for hours of entertainment. All you need to do is dip cups in black paint, press on white paper, let dry, and let the kiddos paint or color inside the spaces.

I like to make these ahead of time so that they are always handy for road trips, doctor’s appointments, rainy days, or just an afternoon indoors. The kids love seeing their works of art on the fridge or in frames around the house.

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LE TOP BABY AND CHILDREN’S CLOTHING
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Le Top Outfit of the Week

Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Diana

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Outfit: Striped Shirt & Capri Pants

Collection: Happy Sails Spring 2014

Description: Nautical striped stretch cotton cap sleeve top and sailor-inspired navy capri pants with white twill bow accents. Front anchor buttons and big dot sailor collar with over-sized bow.

Why we love it: Nautical style never goes out of style! This outfit is classic, but retro, made from the most lightweight cotton material. It is perfect for hot summer days while providing perfect coverage from the blazing sun. Elasticized waist for easy dressing.

This outfit from the Happy Sails Spring 2014 Collection is perfect for this weekend’s 4th of July celebrations to keep her feeling comfy while looking cool.

DIY 4th of July Handprint Flag T-Shirts

Posted on July 1st, 2014 by Diana

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4th of July is a good reason as any to make something cute with your child’s handprint on it and it doesn’t hurt that they can wear it while they watch the fireworks. All you need is a white t –shirt, tank-top, or romper (depending on the age), red and blue fabric paint, a flat foam brush, and cardboard for the form to put the t-shirt(s) around.

Have your kids wash their hands. Then thickly paint their left hand blue so that there are no bare spots left. Gently place their little hand wherever on the t-shirt you want the flag to go and press on it to make sure you get the entire handprint on the t-shirt. Slowly and carefully peel the hand off making sure the paint does not smudge! Quickly wash their cute little hands before they can escape and cover your walls and couches in blue. Using the foam brush paint on the red stripes and set aside to dry. For a fun touch you can add some glitter.

What a fun and patriotic way to start the 4th of July!

Watermelon Shaped Cookies

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by Diana

Nothing says summer like Watermelon! These cute Watermelon Shaped Cookies are a perfect addition to any BBQ, summer picnic, kid’s birthday party, or any sweet summer day. Older kids can help with the making and rolling of the cookie dough and kids of all ages can definitely help with the eating. These adorable Watermelon Shaped Cookies are sure to be a hit!

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To make these cookies you can use store bought sugar cookie dough or make your own, depending on how much time you are working with. A great sugar cookie recipe can be found here.

Once your dough is ready, roll it out. Using a large circle cutter or a glass cut out circle shapes. Cut circles in half using a knife. If you want that “just bitten” look use a cutter with a scalloped edge of some kind to cut out a “bite”.

Bake your cookies per the directions on the package or recipe. While the cookies are baking prepare the different color icings you will need. For these particular cookies Royal Icing is best because it is thicker than most other icings. You will need a red, green, black, and white frosting. There are many different recipes for Royal Frosting available, this is the one I use, but it does have eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Food coloring (red, green, black)

Directions:

  1. In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy.
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny.
  3. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.
  4. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. For these cookies a stiffer icing is best.
  5. Divide mixture into 4 medium bowls and add the green, red, and black food coloring until desired color. Leave white icing as is.
  6. Transfer icing to pastry bag, if not available use something like a Ziploc bag and clip the tip.
  7. Royal icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Now that the frosting is ready, make sure the cookies have cooled completely and are ready to be decorated. Kids love to watch this part!

  1. Start with the green icing and follow the curved edge of the cookie to make your watermelon “rind”. Let set for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add a line of white frosting after the green frosting. Let set for 30 minutes.
  3. Fill in each watermelon slice with the red frosting. Let set for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the watermelon “seeds” using the black frosting.
  5. Let the cookies fully dry and you’re done!

This is a bit of a lengthy project, but well worth the wait and the outcome! I strongly suggest doing this with older kids or over a period of two days.

We love Watermelon at Le Top! Enjoy a fresh piece today!

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