Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sunday Funday

We celebrated the first weekend of Fall 2016 with a family trip to Franklin Square. We had a nice time. Check out the vlog below. It consists of a lot of BabyCakes running, some real moments with a not-so-happy toddler, and some good times. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Snack Time Winning with Gerber Lil' Beanies

Raising a toddler keeps you on your toes! BabyCakes is often running around the house at full speed and finding her way into every nook and cranny that she isn't supposed to be in. I love it though. She is so FUN right now. She loves to play and laugh. Seeing her happy makes me happy. That doesn't mean that toddler-hood isn't still exhausting at times. Next to nap time, the calmest time of day is snack time. Snack time keeps her still and I can relax a bit. Unlike meal time when dishes can be hit or miss, for snack time I always choose things I know she loves, like Gerber Lil' Beanies.

"Look Mom! No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives!"

Gerber Lil' Beanies is a win-win for me and BabyCakes. She loves them, and I get to take a break while she eats them! They're a great option for parents looking for a nutritious snack with no genetically modified ingredients.

This little baked snack is made with the goodness of navy beans and is one of her favorites. If they make her happy they make me happy! 

You can find the Gerber Lil' Beanies at Walmart in the baby aisle. They have a great Ibotta offer available right now. Grab the offer now. It's only available while supplies last. >>>> OFFER <<<< 


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Event Recap: Classy Mommy Social

*This post contains affiliate links. 

This weekend I had the privilege of attending Classy Mommy #ClassyMommySocial. It was held at The Franklin Institute which was really cool. I'll definitely be coming back with the family to check out their exhibits.

The room was FILLED with toys. It was a child's dream. I made some notes on Christmas gifts I'll be looking out for for BabyCakes - anything Moana and the Hello Kitty Pretend Grill, just to name a few. 


Friday, September 16, 2016

Pinterest Recipes I've Actually Tried and How They Turned Out

You can scroll Pinterest for hours, pinning crafts you hope to complete one day, DIYs you want to try, recipes you want to make, make-up tutorials you'd like to master... the list goes on. I'd like to share some recipes I've actually made from Pinterest and how they went for me! All photos link to their pins if you'd like to try them yourself!

Baked Avocado Fries

These were SO good. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside like regular fries, but much better for you. Prior to this most of my experience with avocado was guacamole. It's nice to have another way to get them into my diet.

Orange Mango Ribs


Hubs was very happy with this recipe. The marinade gave the meat a really great flavor, and the sauce recipe  is awesome too. You could use it to make a sauce to dip pretty much anything in and it would taste great. 

Crockpot Honey Bourbon Chicken


I love a good crock-pot recipe, and this one did not disappoint at all. Goes great with rice. If you have a craving for Chinese food, make this instead of getting take out!

Quinoa Burgers


These came out SO GOOD. I didn't put them on bread like burgers I just ate them plain with a little ketchup. The recipe makes a whole lot of burgers, so you may want to halve it, or be prepared to freeze some for later. 

For more recipes follow me on Pinterest! 

Have you tried any good Pinterest recipes lately?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bento Box Back to School Lunches

When I was pregnant I spent hours upon hours scrolling Pinterest and making plans for how I was going to make homemade baby food and provide fresh food and gourmet level toddler options for BabyCakes at every meal. Once she was here, that became a littler harder to keep up with! While I don't have the time to make dinosaur shaped sandwiches or mini green smoothies for every meal there are store bought solutions that are quality and fit into my life as a working mother. One of my favorite brands is Annie's Homegrown. I first encountered them when I was watching YouTube videos from other moms and noticed that most of their children loved the Annie's Cheddar Bunnies.

Annie's uses natural and organic ingredients to make great-tasting products for the whole family, not just the kiddos. They are also a socially responsible company, sourcing ingredients in sustainable ways. I want to feed my family as best as I can and Annie's makes it easier to give them organic food. Their mac and cheese is a go-to for dinner time, and I like to use their snacks when packing BabyCakes' lunch.

A great choice for lunches during this back-to-school season is bento boxes. I love them because BabyCakes eats more when I provide her with a variety of items.

This box is a perfect composition of some of her favorites: strawberries, an Annie's Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bar, cheddar cheese rods, chicken nuggets, and Annie's Berry Bunny Cereal. I feel comfortable giving BabyCakes Annie's snacks because both of these products have no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives and no high-fructose corn syrup. Also in the production of the Berry Bunnies Annie's works with trusted suppliers to source only non-GMO ingredients. Even though the products are organic there is no sacrifice in taste. BabyCakes loves them. 

A lot of stress comes with parenting. You wonder every day if you are doing the right things, giving them the right food, teaching them enough, etc. I look for any products that can support me in making confident good decisions for my daughter and my family. Annie's Homegrown products is a brand that helps me with that. 

Eating organic is important to me for both my family's bodies and for the environment. Head to your local grocery store and try some Annie's products for yourself and click here to check out other bento box lunch ideas!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School Bags for Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links. 

I have to admit I've been a little jealous seeing everyone's back to school posts of their children heading back to school. The pictures are so cute of the kids with their back to school signs and first day of school clothes. I decided to make one of my own since I am sending Hubs to 18th grade lol.

Even though BabyCakes isn't really going back to anywhere, she's been in daycare all summer, I thought it would be a cute idea to create back to school toddlers bags. These are great if you have older children and a toddler, so the toddler can join in the back to school excitement as well. These will also come in handy if you're doing back-to-school events with other moms who have older children but your little one is still in the toddler age, which is my case. The other kids will be getting bookbags with actual school supplies, but I put together a few fun things to entertain the toddlers in our gang. 

These are really simple to make and can really be catered to whatever your toddler is into. For mine I got some cute small drawstring backpacks and chose hair scrunchies, mess free marker activity books and playdough sets. 

Mess free markers are a toddler mom's BEST FRIEND. Babycakes gets to practice coloring but the markers don't transfer color to anything other than the special paper that comes with them. There's a number of full mess free marker coloring book sets available but for this case I chose the small booklets with just one marker. 


The little playdough sets I got are really cute. They come with three small containers with different color playdough, a little rolling pin, and cookie cutter like tools to cut out shapes in the playdough. 

Some other ideas to go in the bags are cups with your toddler's favorite character, a fresh toothbrush, small balls, bubbles, or bath toys. Just because our toddlers aren't actually going back to school doesn't mean they can't have a back to school bag of their own!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mom Guilt: Day Care

Lately BabyCakes has not wanted to leave daycare when we go to pick her up. One day she had the saddest pout on when she saw me come in the door. I asked “You don’t want to go home?” and she said a very sad “no” and walked slowly to the door with her head down. She also throws a whole fit sometimes when Hubs goes to pick her up. At home she frequently repeats the names of her daycare provider and her two sons, who are her baby playmates. 

My rational mind says in a world where stories and videos come out all the time about day care neglect and abuse I can rest assured that my baby is being cared for and she is having a good time. My money is going to good use and I won’t ever feel like I need to choke the babysitter like the first babysitter we chose (that story HERE).

But my emotional mind says she likes daycare better than home, and likes her daycare provider better than us. Even though my rational mind knows that isn’t true the fact of the matter is she is with them more than us and that makes me sad. 

I’ve been really feeling the pressure lately of just not having enough time for all the things I want to do because of all the things I have to do, especially when it comes to time with my daughter. 

Our reality is that both Hubs and I have to work our 9-5 jobs and have additional pursuits outside of those jobs to give ourselves and BabyCakes a better future.  We are a very blessed family and the time we have together is wonderful. We’re blessed that her time away from us is so good to her that it can rival home. 

If you are a working mother, or just a mother who has to be away from your child(ren) more than you’d like build a mental wall to keep that mom guilt out. You are not at fault, there is no fault. Enjoy and cherish your time with your children and don’t let the time you have to spend away bring you down. There should be no guilt in providing for your family or pursuing your goals outside of family. 
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