Our Summer Bucket List + Healthy Snacks For Baby & Toddler

This post may contain affiliate links.

We live in Texas, summer starts early for us, very early!  I have a 3 year old and 11 month old that are full of energy, I’m always in search of fun activities they can both enjoy.

1. Go bowling.  Although my son is too young for this, he had a blast watching his sister bowl.  The music in the bowling alley had him moving and dancing while he clapped for his sister.

2. Go to the beach.  Build a few sandcastles and enjoy the fresh air.    

3.  Visit the aquarium.  A fun way to explore and see how animals live under the sea. 

4. Have game nights.  This is definitely my daughter’s favorite thing to do.  She is obsessed with Trolls in Trouble Game.  I’m not going to lie, I enjoy this game a lot too.  It’s adorable watching her get so engaged with the game while we all play.  Another one of our favorite board games is Candy Land, classic and fun!

5. Visit a splash park.  Most cities have splash parks with free admission!  

6. Run in the sprinkler.  My daughter got this sprinkler as a birthday gift when she turned one!  We’ve been using it ever since. We’re excited to have JJ try it out.

7. Make s’mores together.  So much fun to make, you can see one of our favorite s’mores recipe here.     

8. Build a fort and take a nap.  Oh, naps.  For some reason naps and toddlers just don’t mix well.  Why do I need a nap, Mama?  I’m not tired.  Common words used in my house.  However, when we build forts, my girl is eager to nap.

9. Play in blow up pool.  This inflatable play center is amazing and on sale!  My friend Melanie had one for her daughter’s birthday party and it was a hit.  Fun way to stay cool in the summer.

10. Have a picnic.  Whether it’s a backyard picnic or at a park, your child will be excited to eat somewhere different.  We always make sure to pack Sprout® baby food and snacks.  This is something we’ve been doing a few times a week and my kids are loving it.

Sprout® just launched a new line of plant-based food products, plant-based protein baby food and plant-powered toddler snacks.  They’ve made healthy eating incredibly easy for mom’s on the go and my kids love when I pack Sprout® baby food and snacks for them.  In fact, they were the first brand to put baby food in food pouches making it convenient to pack healthy food for babies and toddlers.

JJ loves the taste of the plant-powered pouch purees.  They serve as a healthy alternative to meat and dairy based protein.  Baked from chickpeas and lentils, the cheddar curlz quickly became his favorite snack.

Sprout® uses only USDA certified organic and non-GMO ingredients, and contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Their products contain a mix of whole fruits, vegetables and grains.

 

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How to Pack the Essentials for Little Ones || Family Travel Tips

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own .

It’s time to ditch the layers and get ready for spring.  A lot of us are planning some fun trips and special outings this season.  We just took our first trip to the lake as a family of four, we had so much fun.  Packing can be stressful, especially when traveling with a baby or a toddler.  I’m here to help make your vacation with little ones fun and enjoyable.

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Joovy Groove Ultralight Stroller

Joovy gifted this stroller in exchange for an honest review.  However, all opinions and thoughts are my own.

I never thought I would own, or need, more than one stroller, but I do!  As a mother of two, a 3 year old and 8 month old, I’m always looking for baby gear that makes outings with my little ones an easy task.

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Toddler Hairstyles || SoCozy

The older Madisyn gets the harder it is to have her sit still for longer than a minute.  I remember when she’d let me play with her hair, I’d take my time and she was perfectly fine with it.  Now, there are times when my three year old won’t let me come near her with a comb.  She grabs her little Elsa hair clip, clips a few hair strands together and says, “See mama, I can do it myself.”  I don’t blame her, she’s three.  Why in the world would she want to sit for so long when there is so much to do?  Get my hair pulled or run around and play?  Play!

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My One Big Happy || Family 

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Season’s greetings!  Halloween just passed and now it’s time for fun family gatherings.  I know, I may be a tad bit too early, but the holiday season approaches quickly!  This year I will be getting two babies all dressed up for the holidays!  I never thought I’d want to dress my son and daughter in similar outfits, but they just look SO cute when they match.  Plus, my daughter, Madisyn absolutely loves matching her baby brother!

We received these darling little outfits and accessories from Gymboree.  I love the fact that their emerald party collection carry similar holiday outfits for both boys and girls!  I told my husband this will finally be the year we mail out holiday cards.  I’m excited I have the outfits for Madisyn and Joseph set!  One less thing I have to worry about.  Now, I just have to go shopping for the grownups.

Madisyn is just a little princess who loves dresses, glitter, shoes, and bows!  She was ecstatic when I showed her the accessories and dress!  She had her bracelet and headband on within minutes.  Her purse hasn’t left her sight since we received it.  I am so glad she loves her little outfit.  Joseph’s outfit is just as adorable.  The elbow patch sweater with the plaid shirt underneath is the cutest!  I never thought dressing up a boy would be as fun as dressing up a girl, but it is.  He was so comfortable in his little outfit that he even left his tweed cap on.

My lovely friend, Eneri Photography, captured some amazing photos of my little ones.  I just love her work!

 

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Checkout the Emerald Collection HERE.  Comment below and tell me all about your favorite holiday looks!

I will also be hosting a Gymboree giveaway!  To enter, visit my Instagram page to get more details.  Good luck!

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Traveling with Kids Hotel Extended Stay

This post may contain affiliate links.

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Let’s talk about hotel stay.  Free breakfast every morning AND I don’t have to keep an entire house clean?  Sign me up for that!  Now add a 3 year old and 3 month old to the mix.  I was thrilled to find out my husband’s promotion required him to travel and stay in Nebraska for a few months.  Since I’m a stay at home momma, I was ready to tag along for the ride!  New scenery, different weather– a completely different environment for me.  But, of course, that came with dealing with hotel living.  How was I going to make living in a hotel comfortable for my 3 year old and 3 month old?  Almost everyone I knew called me “brave” for even considering it, but I was ready for our little adventure.

Third week in Nebraska and I must say, it is going great.  I thought hotel living was going to be a little unbearable, but it’s great so far.  Other than the long walk from the vehicle up to the room (which isn’t very long, I was just use to our garage) it is going really well!

Traveling with toddlers and babies is challenging.  We don’t have a lot of room to work with here, but enough to make it enjoyable.  One thing that is very important is making the hotel stay feel like home as much as possible.

That being said, here are a few tips and things we brought that have helped us make this experience fun.

Safety – Always latch the door whenever you walk in the room.  Make it a habit.  You just never know if your curious toddler might want to go running back outside to ride the elevator or “alligator” as my toddler calls it.  Children are mesmerized with hotels, so the curiosity to go exploring will be there.

BOB Double Stroller – In my case, I NEED a double stroller, but here is a link to a single Bob stroller that I’ve heard great reviews about as well.  I cannot do without my Bob stroller, it is the BEST.  It’s great for jogging or  simply running errands.  The seats are nicely padded and comfortable for babies that are 8 weeks old and up.  Both my babies have fallen asleep while we’re out jogging.  We’ve used it countless times since we’ve been here.

Graco Pack ‘N Play  – We love having our baby in the same room as us.  When our baby was a newborn, we loved using the bassinet.  I love that the pack n’ play grows with your baby.  When your baby outgrows napper and changer, it easily converts to a full-sized play-yard.  It’s portable and includes a travel bag.  I love the music bar, it has soothing sounds that help my little one fall asleep easily.  My favorite part is that it comes with built in shelves to store diapers, wipes, or other late night necessities.

Lunch Box – The first thing I did when we arrived was look for parks in the area.  We love being outdoors and just had to take advantage of the beautiful weather here.  We came prepared with a lunch box for picnics.  This Disney Tsum Tsum lunch box has an insulated interior with a holding strap.  Great for packing up a picnic and heading out.

George Foreman – I am not a huge fan of eating out.  Especially after just having a baby, I try to watch what I eat.  Bringing the George Foreman has been a life saver.   The sloped nonstick grill allows you to cook without oil  while fat and grease drain off.  You can cook up a healthy meal in minutes.  Burgers, chicken, fish, panini sandwiches,  grilled cheese sandwiches… the list is endless!  Cleaning is a breeze.  After you’re done using the grill disconnect it.  Wait a few minutes, then layer a few lightly damp paper towels on the grill plates and close the grill.  When you’re ready to clean it, use mild soap and water to wipe off the remaining residue.

Lysol Wipes –  Yup, Lysol wipes!  Let’s be real, housekeeping can only clean so much!  If you’re nuts like me, you have wipes in your vehicle and hand sanitizer in your diaper bag!  You know, just your typical mom trying to block any germs from touching their little one.  Okay, I’m not that extreme, but wiping down remote controls, light switches, thermostat, door knobs, and bathroom handles is a must.

Lorena Canals Rug – I promise I’m not a germ freak, but packing the rug  has been incredibly helpful!  I was honestly able to fold it up and pack it in its original bag to bring with us.  It was crucial we bring it because of tummy time for my little one and playtime for my toddler.  Not only is it eco-friendly, it’s 100% machine washable!  You can read more details about it here.

DockATot – Great for lounging, playtime, resting, and as a changing station for both my little ones.  Made of breathable material and machine washable.  The bumpers allow my little one feel nice and snug, helping him ease into nap time.  Find out more about the DockATot here.

Books – A few books we packed include Super Sticker Activity Book, 5-Minute Princess Stories, Sesame Street Alphabet Educational Workbook , Sesame Street Numbers Educational Workbook, Crayola Frozen Color Wonder, and If I Could Keep You Little.  Majority of these are activity books, filled with puzzles, mazes, and fun things your little one will enjoy doing.

Organic Happy Baby Wrap – I love the fact that I can have my baby close to me and still be able to things with my toddler.  Bringing a wrap was definitely a must and I just love the Happy Wrap.  It is lightweight, comfortable, and very breathable. You can read more details about it here

Get out!  We didn’t want to stay stuck in a room 24/7 so I found tons of things to do in the area.  Find out what’s around and go out exploring!  We became regulars at a near by museum.  Free entrance and fun activities for Madisyn.  Most cities have a website with a list of things to do in the area.

Hotel stay with a toddler and baby is extremely fun, you just have to be prepared to entertain a little.  Hopefully, my tips will help you get through vacationing with little ones a little easier.  Vacationing is all about making memories, so make the best of your trip.  If you have any tips when it comes to traveling with toddler or babies, leave a comment!

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Lorena Canals Washable Playroom Rug

Lorena Canals rugs are not your normal rugs.  They are eco-friendly, made with non-toxic and natural dyes.  They are handmade, so every rug may vary in color and shape.  Making your rug unlike any other.  The rug is lightweight, so it’s easy to pick up and move around the house.  It’s flexible yet sturdy.

There are so many gorgeous and beautiful designs to choose from.  They give a nursery room, or any other room, a pop of elegance.  Yet, the rug still makes the room feel cozy.  The best part of it is that all of their rugs are 100% machine washable!  Isn’t that every parent’s dream?  You can throw it right into the washer and not worry about a thing.

We are in the middle of moving at the moment, but I know it’ll go great anywhere we decide to put it.  We turned our current playroom into a storage.  In the meantime, the rug has been working out great for us in the living room.  Once we are settled into our new place, I am looking forward to having it as a children’s playroom rug.  The classic star pattern we picked out looks great anywhere!  It gives me a piece of mind knowing they are laying down and playing on a clean, eco-friendly rug.  The rug is so soft, not a scratchy feel at all.  I wish I had one in every room!

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