Tuesday, March 24, 2015

10 Pinterest Inspired Easter Ideas!

Last night the contributors and product scouts over at Savvy Sassy Moms had an Easter Pinterest party! I mentioned the other day that Easter was my favorite holiday, so you can imagine how happy I was to spend an hour pinning and looking at all things Easter. All the ladies were pinning so many incredible things, it was so great to have a pinning party to put me in the Easter spirit even more!

I tried to gather my ten favorites, but there are literally hundreds of ideas on the Easter Celebration board to chose from! Take a peak and let me know your favorite pins!


Ten Pinterest Inspired Easter Ideas:

-Easter Bunny JarsCute idea and you could put those old baby jars to good use.

-Spring Chalkboard Printable: Would look adorable on a mantle or in an entry way!

-Children's Books for Spring and Easter: I love giving books to Patrick for holidays, and these would go great in your little one's Easter basket.

-Bunny Cupcakes in a JarI love a good cupcake, and these in jars with the bunnies are just too cute.

-Bunny Tails Popcorn Mix: A fun Easter treat I'm sure little kids would love to help make.

-Spring Confetti Bars: There are so many delicious looking pins, but I really want to try and make these!

-Easter Brunch IdeasI am loving these brunch ideas, especially the french toast sticks!!

-Simple Easter CraftI'm all about simple, and I love the spring chick.

-Bunny Butt CookiesYou can't go wrong with sugar cookies, and these would look cute at a party or at the kid's table on Easter.

-Easter Egg Wreath: I love the Easter eggs, I'm sure you could make something similar if you are a crafty person.



Be sure to check out more favorites from Savvy Sassy Moms and the Savvy Sassy Scouts:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

Easter has always been my favorite holiday. When I was younger, I looked forward to wearing my new Easter dress to church, where we would sing my favorite songs. We would hang out with family and hunt Easter eggs outside. I loved waking up to signs that the Easter bunny had been at my house (footprints) and I have to say, my mom the Easter bunny put together the GREATEST baskets for my brothers and me. I know I will never top my mother in any motherhood form, but I have had the best time gathering goodies for Patrick's Easter basket this year!

Here are some of my top ideas for Easter baskets. (Besides your typical candy and of the sort.)



  • Books - I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of Easter books for toddlers. I have a slight obsession with Peter Rabbit, so I picked out a Peter Rabbit book for Patrick's basket.
  • DVD/CDs - If P was a little older I would have probably selected a new movie for his basket, but instead I went for this Disney Jr. CD that has all of the songs (including the opening songs for the shows, hello Jake and the Never Land Pirates on repeat) from some Disney Jr. shows. Music calms him down in the car so I know he will enjoy some of his favorite tunes. Although I may also grab a DVD that he can enjoy on the plane ride to New Mexico too.
  • Stuffed Animal - This adorable bunny is likely to hop right into P's basket this year. I think stuffed animals (bunnies, chicks, etc.) are adorable additions to toddler baskets that they are sure to cherish.
  • Bubbles and Sidewalk Chalk - Is there a toddler around who doesn't enjoy bubbles? I found a cute Easter bubble wand that hopefully works and egg shaped sidewalk chalk in Target's dollar isle. (Similar)
  • Matchbox / Hot Wheels Cars - Cracker Barrel had cars and trucks in large plastic eggs. Sure, they were a couple more dollars than normal, but I'm a sucker for anything with a theme. I suppose you could just put the cars in plastic eggs yourself though! 
  • Coloring Books and Crayons - Patrick is still a little young for this but he does enjoy scribbling and munching on crayons against my will, so I got him a Peter Rabbit (not lying about the obsession) coloring book and crayons from, again, Target Dollar Spot. (Promise, they did not sponsor this post.)  
  • Easter Themes Rubber Duckies/ Bath Toys - I've seen a couple options at Target, Walmart, and such as well.
  • Little People Easter Wheelies - These are adorable and even though I told myself I was done with Patrick's basket, these may be making a surprise visit. 

Board Puzzles are always fun if you run out of things and need something extra. I also found a cute little sippy cup to put in Patrick's basket. 

What are some of your favorite things to put in your toddler's Easter basket? Does your family have any fun Easter traditions?


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Healthy Snacking - On The Go! #ChobaniKids

Parenting a toddler can be challenging and I'll admit, some days I go into survival mode and proper nutrition is pushed to the side. Having a healthy lifestyle is important in our family and I think it is essential for little ones to understand that at a young age, so I try my best to always provide my family with a balanced diet. I'm so thankful Patrick has been an excellent eater so far, and I hope he continues to enjoy a variety of food.

One of the hardest things I realized pretty early on is that eating healthy on the go can be challenging if you aren't prepared. Here are some tips I've found helpful for eating healthy while on the go:


  • Prepare ahead of time. I always try to prepare snacks for Patrick the night before our adventures. If we are going somewhere, like the zoo, I may pack a whole lunch. Usually I just pack some fruit, like blueberries or grapes, and put them in the front of the refrigerator where I can quickly grab them in the morning. Patrick LOVES fruit and veggie pouches, so those are typically always in the diaper bag as well.
    Snack at the zoo includes our favorite Chobani Tots Yogurt
  • Pack fulfilling snacks. Protein and fiber are good snack choices that can keep you full for a longer period of time. Peanut butter is a big favorite at our house. Along with yogurt, string cheese, prunes, and granola bars. 
  • Swap out sweets. I do allow Patrick to enjoy sugary sweets, but I try to encourage different types of sweets as his "dessert." You would be surprised how easily fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth! Chobani combined some of our favorite things, fruit (AND VEGGIES!) and yogurt, into our cherished pouches that are so easy to take on the go. I love that they have the vegetables in with them. I will admit it is harder for me to get Patrick to eat vegetables, so the fact that they are added in with other healthy ingredients makes me smile.
  • Always be encouraging! Don't beat yourself up if you don't always have everything together but the more you practice having a healthy lifestyle, the easier it becomes. 



What do you do to help kids make healthy choices? I'd love to hear your ideas!





Note: Chobani did not provide me with any products and all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was asked to participate in their #ChobaniKids project for National Nutrition Month and decided it was the perfect time to try out these pouches I have been eyeing at the grocery! I tried some of Patrick's and I will admit - they are delicious!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

First Birthday Gift Ideas

Now that Patrick has a couple months of being ONE under his belt, I thought I would post about some of his favorite birthday presents. P is, umm, lucky? that his birthday falls right before Christmas! He was blessed to receive a lot of great presents that are currently saving us from cabin fever this winter. I thought I would list 10 gifts, varying in prices, that my one year old is loving.



1.) Mega Bloks Lil Dump Truck: P loves trucks and cars of all sorts, but this one is fun for him to store random things in. The come with blocks, but P likes to put his Little People in them. They had a bunch of these at our local TJ Maxx for under $10.

2.) Classic Bead Maze: Patrick runs to these things no matter where they are. Church, doctor's office, wherever he sees one. Now we have one at home that he loves to play with as well.

3.) Mega Bloks: You really can't go wrong with Mega Bloks. Patrick received a couple bags of these for his birthday and we really enjoy them. He is partial to the Mega Bloks Train he received because, again, he loves anything with wheels. 

4.) Corn Popper Walker: This makes a lot of noise and he can push it, which makes it a favorite toy for my rowdy one year old. I will say it doesn't work as well on our wood floors, but he definitely makes it pop all over the carpet.

5.) Rubber Balls: Who knew that simple balls could be so fun? P grabs the bin full of them first thing in the morning. He proceeds to throw the balls all out, then kicks and throws them around all day.

6.) Books: Patrick is a huge fan of books. I love receiving them as gifts, but am more hesitant to give them. I just never know what the person may already have in their library. As Patrick begins to learn words, he likes books that he can identify things in. Currently, he loves books with dogs and cats in them. 

7.) Little Tikes Cozy Truck: Patrick would seriously let me push him around this truck all day long. He especially likes helping Marc collect the trash in the bins around the house on trash night. He also loves when I play music on my phone and push him around the house while he honks the horn. P is still a little too small to figure out how to use it himself, but he enjoys being pushed around or pushing the truck himself.

8.) Little People Sounds Farm: Patrick has super heroes, a nativity, and a Little People farm. He seriously is obsessed with them all. (Although the nativity is put away now.) The farm is fun because it sings and plays different sounds. It comes with animals, hay, and a farmer. The rooster on the top Patrick loves as well, although it seriously drives him mad that it is attached and won't come off like the other animals. 

9.) Basketball Goal: Although this says it is for 1.5 year olds, Patrick loves the basketball goal he received for his birthday! He enjoys "dunking" and making goals. He also likes to clap for himself after he makes the basket because, duh. 

10.) Puzzles: Puzzles! I thought this was a unique idea to give as a present. Patrick got a truck puzzle for his birthday party and it was actually the FIRST puzzle he has ever received. Does that make me a bad mom? He doesn't really get the entire idea of it, but he loves to take the pieces apart and clap them back together on the board. 

What are some of your little toddler's favorite toys?

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Lovin'

Brutal temps have finally hit Indiana. This winter had been so mild compared to last year and I was enjoying every second of it, however winter has definitely caught up with us. Begrudgingly, I try to remain optimistic. Valentine's Day! Short month! Spring is coming (?)!

FEBRUARY UPDATES

Marc and I got to celebrate Valentine's Day early. Nana came up to stay with Patrick and we went to see American Sniper. We always used to go to the movies before little P came along, so it was nice to be able to go out and enjoy a movie with just us. 

One "goal" of mine this year was to read more, and I've definitely been doing that! I absolutely love to read and decided that with some time management I can get some reading done during the day. My goal was to read eight books this year. I was going to go for ten, but I didn't want to be overzealous. Well, I definitely think I undershot my goal because I've already read three. I usually spend P's one nap doing some reading. As a result my house is a disaster by 5:00pm, but my sanity still hangs on.

I made a Goodreads account years ago. I think I used my college email, I'm not for sure. I do know that I had a baby since then and can't remember my email or password so I just made a new account. Feel free to add me because I love getting book recommendations! (My reading choices are all over the place, I know.)

Also - my mom's birthday is this month! I'm so thankful to have a mom that I can call my best friend. I honestly hope I can be as good of a mom as she is. I do try, but feel like I come up short most days. She is such an inspiration and an amazing role model. We had a "girls night" downtown last night with her friend, my aunt, and cousin. It was such a blast and I haven't laughed that hard in awhile.

Little P and I are still enjoying our daily adventures but we are both daydreaming about the warmer weather. Every time we go to the garage he points to his little red wagon. Sigh. Then we pass the park on our way out of the neighborhood and he points to the swings. He is going to be so happy when we can play outside again! We miss the sunshine and warm weather.

I'm looking forward to spring activities and I have already been gathering little treasures for Patrick's Easter basket!! Too soon? I'm going with no ;)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What is in my Diaper Bag [today]!


I like to pride myself on being organized in certain areas of my life. My work cubicle, for example, was always organized. As was my desk in school. At the very beginning of motherhood, my diaper bag would always fall into the "organized" section of my life. Now that little P is older and we are always on the go, I find my diaper bag being such a chaotic mess. I find myself throwing things in the bag only to turn around and throw them all out again. Spilled juice and snacks seem to pile up in the bottom (disgusting) so I usually organize it every couple of nights. One never knows what you are going to find at the bottom of the diaper bag.

For the past year I've used a Kate Spade bag that I adore, but the straps are falling apart. No doubt it is from me weighing it down with a million things. Also, I put it through the washer a couple of times. So I thought she needed a little break. I purchased this Skip Hop diaper bag to rotate in. Especially with an upcoming trip to New Mexico, I wanted something that was durable. I also didn't want something super pricey because I know when the next baby [hopefully] comes around I will want a new bag. Call me spoiled.

Enough rambling - here what is inside my bag! 

I do love these zip-up side bottle holders!
I will say that this diaper bag is deep but not very wide. I can fit a couple more things in here that aren't pictured (sunglasses, keys, P's jacket, more snacks or toys), but that is pretty much it. It is packed to the max.

I never leave the house without a sippy cup of apple juice. I usually bring two sippys with me, one with juice and one with water.
The ones I use the most:

Sidebar: Anyone else find it hard to find a sippy cup that their toddler loves? Send me suggestions, please. P would much prefer his bottle.


Along those lines. I always have snacks. Patrick loves the pouches of fruits and veggies. He loves these, but he really isn't picky about brands and flavors.
All packed up and ready for adventures.
Toys are always in my bag to help keep him entertained at restaurants and such. I have always kept bath books in my diaper bag since he was a baby, just because they are so easy to wipe off and keep cleanish. Plus, P loves them. Also his favorite Brown Bear book, little Sophie or big Sophie, Patrick's favorite train, and some other random toys. 

We don't go far without Tylenol for the both of us. Hand sanitizer. Baby lotion and Aquaphor for P. Hand cream, lipstick, and my wallet for me.

Diapers (duh) and wipes. I also love the hand and face wipes from Johnson's (or I currently have the Target brand) because I am a germ freak to the max.


It has been interesting to see the different things added and taken away as Patrick grows from a baby to toddler!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Snow!


 Let it snow.
 Let it snow.
Done now.