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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toddler Easter Treat


Are you looking for a quick and easy Easter toddler treat for your kids classroom Easter party? Well, look no further! I have these super easy peeps "recipe" that you can whip up in no time, and there are two ways you can do them too. 


Like I said, I am talking easy, all you need is about thirty minutes, some Easter peeps (can be the birds or bunnies), and candy melts.

-Melt the candy melts in the microwave.
Takes about 45 seconds at the most.
-Dip the bottom halves of the birdie Peeps into the chocolate.
-Set the Peeps on wax paper to dry. 
-Eat.
-Enjoy.

It is that easy. I told ya so. 

Or there are the ever so easy pops. Just grab a pack of paper straws, cut them in half to make them more kid friendly and slowly wiggle the straw just above the dried chocolate. Eat and enjoy!


Kids love these fun treats and to make the pops more kid friendly, choose a bright colored Peep, melting chocolate and paper straw. You could even add a fun printed cellophane bag and tie it up for your kids class and add a cute printable. Before you know it, you will have a  cute "Martha Stewart" Easter treat for your kids class in no time. It will look like you spent hours on this cute creation but in all reality, it only took about 30 minutes and the kids will go crazy over them. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Make Your Own Baby Food




Making your own baby food can be cheaper and healthier than store bought. When making my son's baby food I prefer to buy organic produce. Which is why in the sentence above I put "can be cheaper". Since organic baby food is historically more expensive, the price of the baby food may actually equal out to the price of store bought baby food or in some instances, it may even be more. Now, I bet no one has told you that before. But, its true. Just because you make your own baby food doesn't always mean its cheaper, most of the time yes but not always. For example, I just bought a small container of organic spinach from Publix (I live in the South) and it was $3.99. When all I was all done with making his greens it did not even fill one ice cube tray, which equals out to about maybe give feedings of two cubes per feeding. If you catch Publix's BOGO on Earth's Best than my homemade baby food is way more expensive. However, I have not found any baby food company that sells organic spinach. 



The reason behind me making my son's first baby foods is simple. Babies have not developed system like us adults, so all these extra pesticides can be potentially harmful to their little bodies. There is a new study out there (of course there is right?) about how they are linking pesticides to ADHD and other mental disorders in children. Do I know much about it? No? But, it's out there and they doing more research on it. I also don't like how baby food companies put extra sodium into the food. They are sweet babies for crying out loud. Why all the extra crap? I get it that its a preservative but still. Just because I think feeding my son organic baby food DOES NOT mean that I never feed either of my kids junk because I do. My toddler gets the famous Donut Friday if he is good all week and he gets prepackaged snacks and so on. And, Austin has gotten canned baby food before, I do believe everything in moderation. 



Now onto my tips and tricks of the easiest way to make your own baby food. I promise it is easy. So, if this is your first time or you are trying to see if it will work for your lifestyle. The answer is yes. You don't need any of those expensive baby food cookers, do they make the process easier? Maybe yes and maybe no. Depends on the person. 

- Steamer.
-Wooden Spoon.
-Blender.

All you do is, buy whatever produce it is that you want your baby to consume. Wash it really well. Pop it into the steamer. Steam it for about 20-30 minutes depending on what it is. Scrape out the food with a spoon into the blender (I find the wooden spoons easier since they don't transfer the heat and are 100% BPA free) and then puree and/or liquefy the food. 

Now, I prefer the larger steamer over those baby food cookers because the steamer/blender combo can handle larger quantities. I find that the baby food cookers take me three times as long because they are smaller and can only hold a little bit of produce at a time. The baby food cookers do have the steamer and puree all in the same appliance which makes that part easier. However for me, when I make baby food, I go big or go home. I make large batches. 



Next, you can either freeze the food or go ahead and have fresh food for the week. If prefer to freeze the food (you normally do this when you are making big batches), pour the baby food into ice cube trays and throw them in the freezer for about 24 hours. After the baby food is frozen you can pop out the cubes and separate the fruits from the vegetables into their own separate freezer safe baggies and put them back into the freezer. When you are ready to feed your baby, take out however many cubes you want, let them thaw and maybe do a quick zap in the microwave before you feed the food to your baby. Remember to make sure the food isn't too hot or too cold for the baby. 

If you prefer to keep the food fresh and not freeze it, I have found that this Infantino Squeeze Station works great. It simplifies the process and doesn't take up much room in your refrigerator. It really doesn't get any easier than this.  These pouches are not reusable so that does stink and adds another cost into the mix but they are very very easy. They even sell screw on spoon caps to make feeding on the go easy. 

Another food pouch option is the Little Green Pouch.  What is awesome about these pouches are that they are reusable and big. Whenever I am on the go and know I need to feed A while I am out, I will put a couple of frozen cubes into a Little Green Pouch, seal it up and throw it in my diaper bag. By the time he is ready to eat has been thawed out and ready to consume. 

And there you have it. The whys and hows behind my organic baby food making experience. Please feel free to ask me any questions. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stitch Fix Review Part 3



If I have said it once, I have said it a million times. I love Stitch Fix! If you are not familiar with Stitch Fix, it is a monthly subscription box perfect for busy women and here are all the details you need...
  •  They deliver clothes right to your front door step. 
  •  Fill out a style profile of your body shape, the areas that you want to flaunt and/or hide, and then tell them about your style and maybe even throw in your Pinterest board for good measure. The more details you give them the better your box will be.
  • Then, you wait, you wait patiently for your delivery.
  • Upon arrival, squeal to your front door, grab the box, run inside and rip open the box, oogle all over the fun goodies, try them on and figure out what you want to keep by trying it all on.
  •  Send back what you want and then check out online. It is that easy!



This top is gorgeous. The bright blue detailed with the lace is just perfection, if you are tall that is. I am five foot nothing so this top hit my funny. Plus, I am not a fan of things being tied around my waist. My middle section is my problem area so I like to not draw attraction to it, and by having this tie around my waist, I feel it did just that. Hey, look at my not flat stomach will ya!! No thanks.

As for the price of this top, if I am remembering correction it was around $78.00. I am not going to pay $78.00 for a shirt unless I am absolutely in love with it, and it's made of gold. So Stitch Fix, please think about reducing your rates for tops, this isn't a dress, its a small shirt.


I adore chevron, but not on my small frame. It's too much on me. Plus, I am 100% not a fan of this jersey material. It grabs around...you guessed it...my mid section and does not do it any justice. Plus, this top was pretty high priced for what it was, $58.00 for a chubby shirt. Sorry, I'm going to have to pass.


Yes! This top is totally me. Boring I guess. But it's a perfect staple, and it has ruffles! I heart ruffles! It's cut was a bit low on me and like I said, it's so me that I already have 3 shirts in this same color that look identical. Not to say I couldn't use more though. You can never have to much navy in your closet. I would have paid the price (approximately $40 something) because let me say it again, a girl can never have too many good quality and excellent fitting staples in your closet.


Now, finally for what I kept!This shirt looks so cute on, is flowy and perfect for spring. Totally obsessed and have already worn it twice. Yes, the back is jersey knit but that OK, because its on my back and not clinging to every inch of my problem area. This Collective Concepts top was $58.00 which I think is on the high side, but it is very nicely made and I know I will wear it a lot. I can dress it up with a pair of work pants and accessories or even hanging out with the kids on the weekends by throwing some shorts and flip flops on with it.

Normally the box contains five items, if you look in my first photo you will see that they also sent a set of chevron bangles. I just didn't photograph them, I didn't think they were all that great, but wish I did now so you could see them. They were navy, white and a light blue if I remember correctly. For $38.00 I just could not justify it. So, needless to say I passed.

Feel free to ask me any questions about Stitch Fix, I am signed up and ready to get my 4th box! The clothing and customer service supersedes any form of online and even in store shopping. They rock!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Parenting



- would run to her child over every bump and bruise. I actually specifically remember having the conversation with my husband (pre baby of course) about how I didn't want to have one of those kids who whined and cried over the sillies little bump. Well, when your child cries or is in pain, you run. I will hold and comfort him for as long as he will let me. Because I know this wont last very long.

- would go through the Starbucks drive through at 9:00 a.m. to get mama some much needed caffeine as well as a cakepop for her fussy faced tot.

- would crave the touch of my children. The hugs, kisses and sweet words and coos make my day. No amounts of wine or ice cream can after an long day can top an "I Love You Mommy" or "Your My Best Friend"and my secret favorite is when he prefers me over his daddy, which is very few and far between lately.

-  would have to set limit on "screen time". I never knew there was such a thing until I saw how drawn in kids can get to TV.

- would lie in my kids bed at bedtime and just chat about their day and not want to get up because my heart feels so big it could burst.

- bribes her kid to be good all week for a donut day on Friday. And yes, we are currently doing this and its working like a charm. My kids is o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with donuts. Glazed munchkins to be exact, but he isn't picky he will eat any type of donut.

- has her designer bag stocked with extra diapers, hot wheels, wipes, fruit snacks, binks, and Spiderman's for the just in cases in life. You never can be too prepared for the unexpected meltdown of the year or a case of the munchies.

- doesn't mind waking up early on the weekends to be with my kids. There is always something a mom can do, clean, laundry, or snuggle on the couch watching Avengers. All while sipping my coffee. I am up early remember.

- would be gloating about how good of sleepers that her kids are. I mean seriously we lucked out in the sleep department. Colby slept through the night at 8 weeks and Austin at 7. I have a thing for sleep, even when I was a kid so maybe that is where they get it from. But hey I'm not complaining, sleep away my little dudes.

- cry at every stage. These tears are big ugly tears. I try to hold back because my husband makes fun of me. These tears I speak of are sad tears. Sad that my kids are growing up.

- Target and Starbucks would be my little piece of heaven. I love my kids like the next mother but there is something about that big red bulls eye and the smell of fresh coffee and just being around ADULTS and smiling and waving at other kids in the carts.

And you know what? Some of these things I used to think were ridiculous parenting methods that I would never do. But, my kids are loved, smart and healthy so to me, whatever gets you by during the day that matters.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Best Toddler Boy Books

We are a house filled of boys and wanted to share our current favorite boy books. These books will catch the attention of any rough and tough little guy.




A true classic. My parents read this book to me as a child and now im reading it to my child. A cute little tale about a boy and his imagination full of wild things and a notion that there is no place like home. 


What little boy doesn't love trains?! This book is all about a family traveling together in a train. It's a great family story with details of the familys trip on the train including all the fun noises trains have to offer.



This is kinda a long book but it has a very cute story. Literally, the crayons quit and are complaining as to why they should be the best crayon most used crayon, or used less because they are the best color. My son loves the illustrations. Cute book and would make a great present.



Another favorite boy book. This sweet bedtime read is full of what boys love the most, tractors and construction site stuff. The books talks about each one of the tractors long days and the type of work they do, but after their long day of rough fun its time to go to sleep so they can do it all again tomorrow. 


The "Laughing Kit" is a must. It includes the Tickle Monster book and monster mittens. This book is fun for the whole family. The reader puts on the monster mittens and tickles away while reading. If you don't like smiling and laughing than this book is not for you and your kids. You will walk away with a warm heart and your kids will absolutely love the tickle monster. 



Trucks, trucks and more trucks. Perfect for a little boys truck obsession. Great basic pictures of all kinds of different trucks and descriptions of what each truck does with a fun rhyme to go along. 


A little story about a blue bird who got bonked on the head and nothing seems to fix his poor boo boo. Cute story that kids can relate too since they are always getting boo boos and perfect for the parent who can't seem to comfort their own child. 


This is one of my personal favorites. The writing flows nicely and is a very easy to read to your truck lovin boy. The story is about a dump truck that broke down and tries to grab the attention of different vehicles driving by. You could quite possibly have the phrase "my truck is stuck" in your head after you have read this book a couple of times. At least I do. I think I have memorized the whole book we read it so much.



Beep, Beep! If you are looking for books that teach a good lesson on how to treat others than this is a great book to get. The Little Blue Truck is all about a truck named Blue who has a pack of animal friends to help him out of muddy situation. Friendships and helping others is the backbone to this great toddler read.



Another classic about a fun family trip to go catch a bear. There are lots of fun noises to go along with this action packed bear hunt. 



This book is from the same author and illustrator as Good Night Construction Site (one of our favs). The dream train pulls into the station is starts loading all sorts of fun and silly things in the beds of the trains. 



20 big trucks are stuck in the middle of the street. The story goes down the list of all the different types of trucks and what they do and whats in them. This book is sure to get your boy spotting all types of trucks on your daily drives, which makes for fun car ride talks. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Laundry Fresh



I have this thing with the smell of clean fresh laundry. I want everything I own to smell fresh. I guess who doesn't though right? 

I am also into saving a dime or two. To me, Downy Unstopables are a bit on the expensive side, so worth it because they give my laundry such a yummy and long lasting smell.

Just last weekend I was having company over and had the house all clean but it still did not have the fresh, I just put 6 hours of hard labor into cleaning this house smell. It needed a little extra fresh smell and realized I ran out of my go to Scentsy bars. I decided that it couldn't hurt to throw a couple of shakes of Downy Unstopables into my warmer. Well, I'm glad I did because it smelled like you just rolled around in some hot warm laundry.  It was pure perfection if you ask me. Why had I not done this before? So easy and cheap. No more buying those expensive wax bars. 

All you need is:

A wax warmer- 
you can get them from Scentsy or even Walmart sells them. I got mine at Walmart a while ago.
They aren't very expensive wither. I think less than $15.00

Downy Unstopables-
sold at Target, Walmart, or your local grocery. 
They run $4.99 for a small container or $9.99 or  for the large container as shown above. 

Turn your warmer on, 
add a couple shakes and let it melt.

Warning: do not leave the warmer unattended as it may catch on fire.
Read more here if you would like more information regarding the flammability of Downy Unstopables and how to extinguish.


Friday, March 14, 2014

My Goings On


{one}

After a long day at work opening your mailbox to find "happy mail" makes me, well, happy. Especially when I get some Swanky Shank goodies. Look at Austin's newest 6 month digs. Pretty cute huh?


{two}

Totally wanting to make these for my little guy and myself if I am going to be honest. Who doesn't love Lucky Charms? 


I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve for St. Patrick's Day. I do have to say I was highly disappointed with Targets selection of St. Patrick's day stuff. They had zero of it. Come on Target, get it together. A little section is all I ask. Did anyone else's Target have stuff or just my location? I even cased the party section thinking I could come up with something in there. Nope.

{three}

We are going on a little getaway this weekend with the kids. Hopefully it will involve lots of wrap around porch drinking and some fun in the sun. But can I say, getting two kids and myself packed is not for the weak. I mean this because there is a lot of stuff. Lots of gotta brings "just in case" situations happen. My packing shows my neurotic tendencies.

{four}

I am in search of a cute bathing suit. However it needs coverage. After all I am a mom and will most likely be chasing around my toddler in a bathing suit..eek! I saw this one and thought it was very girly and cute. Just wonder how well the top will hold everything in. 


{five}

And this. 

Hop on over to The Good Life Blog to see more 5 on Friday.