Category: Toddler

Munchkin Meals

As a food allergy mom I make all of the meals, every day, all day.  Emma Marie loves eating a multitude of items throughout the day so I try to give her a TON of options so that I can sit at the table and enjoy mealtime with my kids.  Sitting down and eating every meal with them is definitely possible and a fabulous way to get connected throughout the day.oxo-tot-stonyfield-yogurt-lunch-for-toddler

Munchkin Meals

Every week I go to the grocery store or our big box store and grab the fresh produce that is currently on sale.  With Raymond’s allergies that narrows it down a bit to what I can purchase.  Food prep happens immediately after I get home with the boxes of veggies and fruit as it is much easier to get it all done in one fell swoop.

Everything is washed, cut up, and placed in storage so that when the kids want a snack or I am getting a meal ready I can easily add a few fresh veggies or a fruit to their plate. Plus being able to ensure fabulous Organic options from Stonyfield with their new line of yoTot Organic just makes my old mom heart all warm and fuzzy.  Plus, they taste GOOD.  Healthy and delicious?  Totally possible.


My other favorite way to help with meal planning are batching large meat meals.

Pulled Chicken RECIPE

1 can of chicken broth

2 diced yellow onions

2 tablespoons garlic salt

1 lb of frozen chicken breast

Slow cooker on High- 4.5 Hours

PLUS Taco Tuesday and Homemade Pizza Night Friday are weekly favorites for my two kids and I.  I LOVE tacos.  I think if I had to eat one type of food for the rest of my life tacos would be it. NOMNOM.

Emma Marie LOVES when she gets special treats… like her new set of OXO Tot meal set!  She literally did the happiest of happy dances when she opened up the package.  Mail sure is fun with kids and this personalized plate, silverware, and sippy cup are what her dreams are made of.
OXO Tot Training Fork & Spoon Set
OXO Tot Twist Lid Water Bottle for Big Kids (12 Oz)
OXO Tot Divided Plate with Removable Training Ring and Dipping Center
OXO Tot Grape Cutter
OXO Tot 2 Piece Roll Up Bib
OXO Tot Flippy Snack Cup with Travel Lid
OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Storage Containers

A LONG time ago when Raymond was just a little baby I used OXO Tot Storage Containers to save and freeze all of the homemade baby purees that I made.  I saved a lot of money making his own baby food and the storage containers are now used for snacks when we go to the Zoo, the park, or just a trip to Nana’s house. Those products have stood the test of time and I am happy to stand by them and tell you how the quality and durability(hello baby and toddlers dropping things) of this line is bar none.



Do you need a grape cutter? Well, do you value your time and the tips of your fingers?

I sure hope so!

This fabulous invention helps cut grapes up FAST in four small sections.  Love that my sub-par knife handling skills are no longer tested on the tedious task of cutting up grapes.  Safety first.  And yes, I still cut up their grapes.

Don’t forget as you sit down for dinner tonight, be it with friends or loved ones, to ask this very important question.  I can not tell you how much it means to our little family.

You can follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Connect with Stonyfield- Website/Facebook/Twitter -quality matters to them!

Thank you to Stonyfield for sponsoring this post.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.

Holiday Diaper Bag Necessities

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuggiesForHolidays #CollectiveBias

For the first three holidays with little ones we traveled to see family.  We learned quite quickly what the necessities were to manage hours in the air, or a day of travel by car with a baby and toddler.  Today I am sharing the Must Haves for your Holiday Diaper Bag.


Holiday Diaper Bag Necessities for Baby & Toddler

Holiday Diaper Bag Necessities

Light Swaddle Blankets

Perfect to layer when cold, snuggle with when not feeling well, and to cover up if you need to feed or are around someone not coughing into their elbow.  The holidays bring all sorts of cheer- and germs- protect your little ones the best you can.

Snacks & Bottles

Always bring four hours more than you need.  Always.  A delay at the airport, a car accident that holds up the freeway?  Both have occurred and everyone knows that a hungry baby OR toddler is an angry one.  Think HULK- you don’t want to see him when he is angry.  Small cooler on the plane is allowed for kids and you can bring one in the car.  A little planning saves a lot of headaches.

Toys & Books

I always hid a couple of their favorite toys(such an evil mom) the week before a big trip and they would magically reappear throughout our voyage which led to a much happier trip by all.  If you have a baby and plan on traveling on a plane?  Get a book with just kid’s faces in it.  Literally HOURS of entertainment.  Saved me more times than I want to admit.



Clutch ‘n Clean Wipes

The Clutch n’ Clean Wipes were a saving grace.  Just enough to throw in your diaper bag, purse, and car-no switching them out each time or looking for more wipes AND they don’t get dry like other small packs available as they actually CLOSE.  Plus I buy the big packs at a big box store and just replenish when my wipes go out in any area. Super simple and we have used these for almost the last two years. I grabbed two packs while picking up a prescription at my local CVS. #CVSHuggiesHeroesHuggies-for-the-Holidays-at-CVS


I always, always packed one diaper per two hours of travel.  When traveling by car it is much easier to have more than that readily available-just make sure you can reach it.  Plus bring ziplock bags on the plane to dispose of diapers… believe me you don’t want to be the reason for THAT smell.  Thirteen flights by myself with my baby and toddler taught me that QUICK.


Bandaids Make Everything Better

Small First Aid Kit with Baby Medicine

Picking up medicine on the road for baby if goodness a fever spikes or perhaps the toddler was over-zealous in the airport and skinned their knee(cough cough-happened to us-cough cough).  Colds go around and sometimes you have to stick to your travel arrangements whether or not everyone is feeling up to par.  Baby medicine can stay with you in your diaper bag when traveling-just pull it out at security in a ziploc bag.  Plus bandaids make EVERYTHING better-toddler parents know what I am talking about.

Change of Clothes

For clothes we always packed an outfit for every two hours of traveling that was “reachable”.  Carry on luggage, diaper bag, or quickly accessible in the car for those blow-outs that can and do happen when you least expect it.  More than one time we were on our LAST set of clothes and were grateful we did the two hour packing method.


Last holiday we were waiting in line to see Santa and low and behold they were handing out candy canes to people in line.  Don’t ask a child if they can have a candy cane… makes my job infinitely harder as a parent.  So both the one and three year old have a candy cane right before pictures with Santa.  Mom Fail.  Both were covered in red stickiness-and smiles-way to make a mom feel like a grinch!  Thankfully I grabbed my pack of Clutch ‘n Clean wipes out and scrubbed their faces down.


  And voila! The happiest little family meeting Santa…well, at least they weren’t covered in red sugar.

You win some, you lose some.


What are your Holiday Diaper Bag Necessities?

What is one item you would tell a new mom to add to her diaper bag this holiday season?

Would love to hear your ideas!

Follow along with me on Instagram for more adventures in parenting!

How to Help with Diaper Rash

Throughout my years of mothering I have seen some doozies.  Diaper rashes can be a nasty little reason your child isn’t happy and one that you can usually fix at home.  Here are a couple ways that after having two kids, in under two years, I used to survive with two in diapers.


How to Help with Diaper Rash


As often as you can let them be free of any diaper or clothing.  Sometimes that means a mess… it always means there is an adventure afoot.  Just remember-the sooner they heal-the sooner they get back to their happy napping/sleeping through the night selves.  It makes a difference to EVERYONE’S sanity.


If they can not live as freely as mentioned above, goodness knows there are PLENTY of times they shouldn’t be running-crawling-laying around without pants on, make sure to check their diaper frequently and change them immediately.


With Raymond he had MANY allergies and still does.  A lot of them are life threatening and boy did he just react to all sorts of baby lotions-shampoos-sunscreen.  Our stand alone favorite that always worked for BOTH kids is DESITIN.  I have three tubes in the house currently.  One upstairs in the kids bathroom, one in Emma Marie’s room, and one downstairs in the laundry room(centralized location).  Even though Emma Marie is ALMOST night trained with potty training she has accidents and her smooth skin doesn’t take it well.  We slather on a good amount(read the label) and she is a MUCH happier camper.



As always, please consult your pediatrician with any questions or concerns. And for goodness sake-trust that parent intuition.  You know more about your child than anybody else so don’t be afraid of asking too many questions.

And now there is a great COUPON going on at my favorite store to shop at-Checkout the Target Cartwheel offer HERE where you can claim and redeem a 25% off from 10/25 through 11/21 on DESITIN.

I always include a package of DESITIN with any new baby package(friends reading are nodding their heads) and Nana has a bunch that we keep sending her for emergencies.

What is one tip that you have to help with diaper rash?

Would LOVE to hear some other tricks of the trade!



Spread the Love



Most of our days are spent out and about- honestly with a toddler and preschooler it is a NECESSITY. We are incredibly lucky to be able to be outside every day of the year here in sunny Arizona.  Unfortunately, some of those days are 120 degrees, but sprinklers can be run and baby pools filled up with ice.  PLUS am I ever excited about our Slip & Slide.

One of the places that we spend a lot of our time is our local Rec Center.  Tumbleweed Rec Center is an incredible source of free and cheap entertainment, kids activities, and health fairs.  Huggies has let us nominate a community project in our area with their #UltraHug Campaign on Social Media. Tumbleweed Rec Center could sure use the extra $2,000.

When Raymond was little we attended a fabulous Health Fair and were able to score a FREE bike helmet for our little tike.  That was two years ago and due to budget cuts they have not been able to Spread the Love recently.

I am ALL about Bike Safety and am a huge advocate for practicing what you preach.  Seeing as if you follow me on Instagram you will find that ALL of us wear Bike Helmets when we ride.  Helmet hair is much cooler than head trauma.  All day, every day.



Now that Emma Marie is starting to ride the balance bike we are glad that she willingly obliges us with putting her helmet on, every time.  Being a good example helps.  When EVERYONE else is doing it? Much better.  In the eye’s of a stubborn toddler that can be the difference between smooth sailing and a complete meltdown. I would love nothing more than for other families to be able to ensure that their kids are covered.  I will definitely be posting on Twitter AND Instagram about Tumbleweed for the #UltraHug Campaign.

Helmets Save.


Spread the Love with YOUR Community

As kids, nothing beats spending a day in the sun. The playground was your castle, the ocean was a monster trying to swallow you up, and hiking with your family made you feel like a great explorer.

What places in your community do you look back on with nostalgia? Or, what places do you and your family currently enjoy hanging out just appreciating each other’s company?

As they say, “The best things in life are free,” and this applies to many of our local parks, playgrounds, beaches, and rec-centers. These places bring us so much joy, and now it’s time to give back with Huggies!



Nominate your community project by uploading a selfie of you and your baby to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UltraHug. Be sure to include details in your social posts about the project you are nominating. In your story make sure to share why the local community project you selected is important to you, and how it will impact those in your community.

From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page.

On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.


Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers at Walmart

Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers offer long-lasting leakage protection you can count on, so you can focus on all of your baby’s daily adventures. The range of sizes fit babies from newborn to 35 lbs. Only Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers have a new, unique quilted liner to lock away wetness better.

They have a conforming, gap-free fit to keep your active baby dry throughout the day The trusted Leak Lock® System has quick-absorbing layers for up to 12 hours of protection.


How to Enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug
• In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart.


Helpful Hints

You can check out for yourself how these diapers are essential for our Top FIVE Bedtime Tips and Tricks with a Baby & Toddler.  Seriously, life-changing.  I treasure my sleep.  And SLEEP is essential for my sanity.  I think most parents would agree with that assessment.  We also are THOSE people that have a successful nighttime routine that we’ve had in place now for YEARS.  Goodness did my mom heart just skip a beat.  We’ve been parents for close to four years.


Time is no parent’s friend.


What project would you like to nominate in the Huggies #UltraHug Contest?  

Who in your community could put $2,000 to good use?

Are you a fan of the nightime  bedtime routines?


Would LOVE to hear from you!

Easter at Schnepf Farms

We woke up early on Saturday morning to load the kids into the car and head to Schnepf Farm.  Our FIRST Easter Egg Hunt(outside of the backyard bonanza) and we were ALL excited for an adventure! I loved picking out the kid’s outfits and brought “back-ups” in case there were any accidents.  Usually when we are at the farm we are clad in low-key attire(hello yoga pants and tank) and I was more than happy to dress them up!


Emma Marie wore a fabulously soft light teal number from the Target Sale Racks of last year- #TargetForTheWin.  And I am all for cute clothes for girls(and boys) but BOY do they have to be comfy.  Some of the girl’s clothes I’ve found are awfully scratchy… no such thing as cute if it’s not comfy.  She wore these adorable white bloomers under(because she’s a lady) and loved twirling around in it.  She was given a choice between two and picked this one.  The one not chosen was the back-up.

Raymond loved his bow-tie.  I about died from the cuteness.  Usually when we are out Em will reiceve some complements on a dress/romper but this time was his time to shine.  He would bashfully lower his head and say, “Thank you,” each time he received a sweet comment.  Such a sweet boy.




The two were astounded with how many people turned out.  So many more than on our usual outings where we barely encounter ten people.


Raymond asked if we could sit in the back of the train and we were more than happy to oblige.  Loved that the clouds gave us a little cooler weather this year.

We were told that the Roller Coaster was going to be closed the night before the event and Raymond was a tad bummed because we had talked about that he could finally ride his first coaster.  All he wanted was to ride, “A REAL one, the big one, the one with large hills!” and to my surprise as we headed to the back of the farm to explore before the Easter Egg Hunts we found a nice young man who turned it on.

So there we were running toward the roller coaster and suddenly I got this feeling of… maybe it was too soon?  Height requirements were not a problem-they were 36 inches and he is a cool 42 inches(perhaps 43 now?).  But he was yelling out in glee that we get to ride the real roller coaster… so we did.



Definitely love his thirst for adventure.  A boy after my own heart.



After the roller coasters, the slides, saying, “Hi” to some animals he was off flying.  Last time he rode these planes I was more than nervous that he was alone in it.  This time I buckled him in and just walked away.  He has grown up so much since November.



Don’t you worry.  Emma Marie definitely had her fill of rides too.  Little Lady wanted to go on the Bumble Bees and we yelled, “Ye Haw,” the entire time.  No correlation.  She just really thought she was a flying cowboy.



The Larkspur flowers on the grounds were gorgeous and I am kicking myself for not remembering to grab some to bring home.  Will be heading back there soon to grab one for a bouquet on the table.



Oh, this shows their personalities right now.  We were waiting for the first Egg Hunt to begin.


Self-control for the win!  Seriously, so many eggs.  Such a small deterrent.



My baby girl.  I am more than thankful that there were age-groups.  Emma Marie was anxiously waiting and as soon as they yelled, “GO!” she froze.  Took her awhile to start up and she just casually walked up and gently put eggs in her basket.  She found two stuffed animals and called it a day.  Surrounded by eggs she snuggled up to those two babies and just smiled.  Pretty priceless.



Raymond’s age bracket was much more cut-throat.  There were parent’s giving game plans and kids in a track starting position.  And here my kid is just happy to be there.  Yep-this was his first real Egg Hunt as most contain nuts/gluten in our community.  I loved that he got to experience this.



He knew JUST what to do when they yelled, “GO!” and took off at a nice slow jog.  He found a couple treasures and picked up some empty Easter eggs(that had already been picked over) and called it a day.  The simple things folks.



Showing off their favorite finds.  Emma Marie is showing her baby Easter bunny and Raymond is showing off a water toy.  After hours of rides and festive Easter Egg Hunts we were famished and headed back to eat some BBQ.  Raymond and Em went through their baskets as I waited for lunch.  Since the line took awhile I was able to notice that there wasn’t anyone with the Easter Bunny when I brought the food back.  So I asked if they wanted a picture(it would be their first by themselves) and Raymond took off in that direction.  Well Em never, ever wants to be left behind and started hop/jogging after him.



She waved at the Easter Bunny but when I asked if she wanted to stand next to him she let out a firm cry.  So she stood next to me blowing kisses while I plopped Raymond up next to the bunny.  Not until I was actually looking at pictures did I notice that he had half a hamburger in his hand(while the other half was probably in his mouth-big cheeks).  Keeping it classy.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your family!


Do you go to community Easter Egg Hunts? Or do you prefer the classic backyard scramble?  

I grew-up with the backyard(and whole house hunts) and can say that we definitely enjoyed those-my mom was an expert hider.  So much so that we usually couldn’t find a couple for the next few weeks.  So many fond memories.


Throwback: Easter 2014

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