My Favorite Baby, Toddler, and Kid Toys (with links!)


Our daughter is 2.5 years old, and she is BUSY. She loves to build and play and run around all day. 


Most days (in the winter), we go to an outdoor park, run errands, play outside, and explore new sights around the city. BUT now that it's summer in Arizona, the 105-degree weather isn't ideal for those activities. So we've had to get creative. 


We have a pool in our backyard and the splash pads are open from May to October here, but there are days (especially lately now that I'm 35 weeks pregnant) where I want to stay indoors or near our home. 


Here are the toys that have saved me and have entertained my active toddler: 


 Step2 Water Table

                   

This water table from Step2 is used daily in our backyard. It comes with a lot of accessories and keeps our toddler occupied for a while. We fill it with water or set the hose on the top part of the water table so it continually flows down into the table. 


Amazon Sprinkler Splash Pad

                  

Can you believe those pictures are 1 year apart? 


Another summer must-have is a cheap splash pad you can connect to a hose in your backyard. I got this ABC splash pad for less than $20 on Amazon. 


I bring the slide over to the splash pad and my daughter likes to slide into the water. Now that she's getting older I may buy her a larger size, but this is perfect for babies or younger kids too! 


Lovevery Play Kit


Another fun indoor toy we just discovered is the Lovevery play kits. They have SO many options for different ages. We just got "The Pioneer" play kit, which is for 16-18 months, but my daughter LOVED it. The play kits come with everything you need to teach your kids fine motor skills, learning, development, and how to have fun. 


This kit came with a car race track, a garden puzzle, book, stacking toy, thread-and-bead motor skill activity, and bug/butterfly velcro toy. 


                   


If you check out the Lovevery website, you'll be able to find something for your kid, no matter what age they are. I love that these toys didn't make loud noises (my toddler doesn't like noisy toys) and they are visually exciting and colorful.


                  

Foam Ball Pit 


Another classic that my toddler loves to jump in is her foam ball pit. These can be expensive on Etsy, so I ordered mine from Aliexpress. I waited a few months, but I was able to buy 2 pink foam ball pits for $140 total. I sold the other ball pit and kept one for us!


The best part is the pink cover is removable and washable, and the plastic balls can be thrown right into the washer/dryer too! She especially liked this toy when she was 12-18 months, but she still uses it for stunts these days. 


Interactive Toys

             


Just like the Lovevery kits, these interactive toys helped my child learn basic skills and discovery. The camping tent can be found on Amazon, and the play turtle with shapes is from ToyPix. 

These and many other toys have kept my daughter entertained during the hot summers here in Arizona. Of course, we also have our fair share of TV time, wandering the aisles of Target, and playing on indoor bicycles and toy cars. 

What has been your favorite toy for your baby or toddler? Follow @jonathanandjenna on Instagram and @diyjenna on TikTok for more home, family, and lifestyle ideas! 


We Did it With DIY! Main Bathroom REVEAL


In Fall 2021, we announced we were joining the One Room Challenge (ORC), an 8-week DIY challenge where you renovate one space in your home. We chose our main bathroom to demolish and renovate.

                 

8 weeks turned into 8 months, and here we are, finally done. 

                 


This was BY FAR the most difficult DIY process ever, not only because we've never done tiling or grouting before, but also because we've never done a full-room demolition and makeover. 


We took this room down to NOTHING and built it back up. We only had to hire one plumber to check our shower plumbing (he fixed it up a little) and one glass company to install our shower glass door (we weren't going to try that ourselves). 


                  



Other than that, we did EVERYTHING ourselves: 

  • New vanity - from Costco
  • New bathtub - from Amazon
  • New tile flooring
  • New toilet
  • Tiled bath/shower
  • Built new shower floor + niche 
  • Painted closet and toilet room
  • Toilet room cabinet makeover + art
  • New baseboards 
  • New mirror

Overall, we saved THOUSANDS of dollars taking the DIY approach. Plus, it's who we are! Even with a baby on the way, we managed to pull this off.

                     


Our original quote was $12-13K, just for labor only. We spent around $6-8K total. The only downside was it taking 8 months to complete, lol. 

We used Floor & Decor tiles for the shower/bath and the floors. We mixed our own grout for the shower/bath and then used pre-mixed grout for the floors, which was way easier but also more pricey. 

                 

The hardest part was just finding the time in our busy lives! Jonathan works from 5am-5pm and we had other projects and collaborations going on as well. Plus, we were going through the IVF process at the time and doing egg retrieval, transfer, and getting pregnant in November! Now I'm 30 weeks pregnant and can enjoy the whole space before the baby gets here. 

One of my favorite details is from Delaney Hardware. They gave us new handles for our doors and bathroom accessories. We painted our doors black and added their handles! 

                 


We also love their gold toilet paper holder and gold robe hooks. It adds a great touch of gold in the bathroom (I originally wanted all gold/champagne faucets and everything, but it was hard to match! So we went with black Speakman faucets and Moen shower fixtures). 


                   


I don't take baths, but we've been using the shower every day and it's been amazing! We actually lost a little bit of space in the shower but it doesn't feel like it because now the tile is flat against the wall instead of dealing with a plastic shower insert like we used to have. 

The sliding door entrance is another amazing touch we love. We worked with National Hardware and used their Designer sliding door kit to hang this door! We found the door at a local Phoenix auction for $100!

                    


And of course, the bathroom wouldn't be complete without my final purchase—the Arhaus mirror! It's my biggest decor spend, but it's so worth it to me! Jonathan took a bit of convincing, but it's a piece we'll keep with us forever. 

The one thing I may add in the future is a bamboo shade blind—we actually had one ready to go, until we realized it was completely see-through at night! Not great for a bathroom. We may add trim to the window and a new roller shade in the future. 

                     



Here are some things we learned while DIYing our own bathroom renovation:

1. Plan out the steps BEFORE you pick up any tools: Luckily we mapped out what sections we were going to work on first, second, third, etc. That made the flow a lot easier.

2. Be prepared to live in a MESS for a while. It was highly stressful to have a mess of a bathroom for months, but that's all in the past now. 

3. Tiling is the worst. JK, but kind of. The grout sets pretty quickly, so we had to work in sections, and it's messy and not the easiest. Once we got into a groove it was better, but my arms and back were sore after tiling and helping Jonathan. 

4. Ask for help! You can DIY most of a bathroom renovation, but if you're not comfortable with plumbing, lighting, etc., ask for or hire help! 

Here are some more photos of our finished bathroom! 

               

                


                   




Check out more photos/videos on our Instagram @jonathanandjenna !

Sources

If I don't have the exact source, I have linked something similar or the place where we got the item! 






Bedroom Makeover with a Wood Accent Wall from Woodgrain!


When we first moved into our home, we were immediately caught off guard by the main bedroom. Why? Because it has a GIANT slanted ceiling—something we've never seen before.


We love the height in our bedroom and the overall layout, but I always had a hard time decorating above our bed. I prefer a calmer style for bedrooms, so every piece I tried seemed to cluttered or "hotel"-like. Soon we took everything down and left the wall empty. 


Then, after scrolling online, I found this bedroom. It looked just. like. ours. 
I loved what they did with the walls and thought, "We could do that." 


We partnered with Woodgrain to cover 3 of our walls with their wood to make a board and batten style wall. They sent us their Finished Elegance boards in 1x4 (we were able to pick up the wood at their Phoenix location since they are nearby!) 


Then, Jonathan and I digitally designed the accent wall plan on the computer. Here are the materials we used:



            

We started along the edges and outlined the walls with the wood (we dropped our toddler off with family so we could get a lot done in a few hours). Then, we did the vertical boards first, followed by the horizontal. 

After, we caulked the nail holes and made sure to use a tiny amount of caulk, because we weren't going to be painting these boards! That's right, with Finished Elegance, you don't have to paint. I only wiped them down after and decided not to the paint them. There is a slight difference between the wall color (Ultra Pure White by Behr) and the boards, but I like the contrast! 

Plus, at 6 months pregnant I'm not going to be painting 3 walls, LOL. 



We switched out our previous upholstered bed frame for a new, simpler bed frame from Wayfair. Then, we added a new 9x12 Ruggable rug, and it feels like a brand-new room! 


Would you do something like this to your room? We want to give a huge shoutout to Woodgrain for partnering with us! Our room finally feels complete now without needing new paint. 




Change your room with an easy board and batten accent wall DIY! You don't have to be an expert to get started. 


Our Favorite Faux Plants ft. Bindle & Brass


The Christmas tree is packed up, and the house feels bare and new again—a clean slate for the new year! We hope your holidays were fun and that January was a nice transition into 2022. 

Now that we're back to "normal," we like to focus on organizing, cleaning, and decorating our home. 

The one area I've wanted to work on is decorating with plants. But there was always one problem . . . I'm not a plant person. I can't keep a plant alive, and I've never really wanted to! Real plants come with dirt, bugs, and an intense watering schedule. 

Fake plants are easy, breezy, and fun to use in decorating! The hardest part about fake plants is finding ones that look real. 

I was SO excited to see this plant setup in our local Home Depot, and of course I had to see what it was all about:       

                    



Bindle & Brass at Home Depot

This faux plant brand is called Bindle & Brass, and they have everything from full-sized trees to small, potted succulents. 

I was immediately drawn to this display inside my Home Depot store because there were so many choices! I love how their trees had different basket and pot combinations, so I could choose what works best for my home style. 

We loaded up our cart and grabbed some big, medium, and small plants to take home! Here's my cute toddler with some plants in our cart:

My favorite thing about these plants is that they looked REAL to me! I've seen a lot of faux plants, both online and in person, and it's pretty easy to tell when something is cheaply made or if the leaves will fall off. 

These plants looked and felt sturdy and they didn't look fake! We found a good combination of styles to take home with us. 

                

We brought them home and I immediately knew we made the right choice. The plants work so well in our front room, and I had fun styling them throughout our home. 

Would you try fake plants in your home decor? If you want one less thing to worry about, you have to try fake plants! Home decor trends are always changing, but plants will never go out of style, whether they're real or fake. 

Visit your local Home Depot store and find the Bindle & Brass display to see what faux plants and flowers you have near you!