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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Healthy Summer Snack Ideas for Toddlers

This post was written in exchange for free product at Tropical Smoothie Cafe; however, all opinions are my own.



Now that little man is old enough to be able to eat just about anything, I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing him to new foods, flavors and textures. When we first began introducing solids, it was my goal to ensure that he was eating nutrient rich, healthy foods from the get go. As we've moved into the days of summer heat and all the ice cream and popsicle goodness that comes along with it, I've sought out ways for us to indulge in all the refreshing and delicious snacks, without all the sugar.

Below are some of little man's favorites:

1) Smoothies. We have these at least a few times each week. The nice part about smoothies is that they are refreshing and hydrating and you can fill them with pretty much whatever goodness you'd like. Sometimes we share smoothies at home, or if we are up for an outing, we will head to our local Tropical Smoothie Cafe for a tasty treat. They have so many delicious flavors full of a variety of superfood options. Our favorite is the Island Green made with Spinach, Kale, Pineapple and Banana. This kid just can't get enough of it.












2) DIY Popsicles. Another treat little man loves, especially when he is teething, are popsicles. We love making our own with frozen ice cubes of whatever fruit or veggie we have on hand. Simply puree whatever it is you'd like to use and freeze. We put ours into a mesh feeder for him to devour, but there are several different types of popsicle molds out there as well if you prefer to use those.

3) Fruit. Take your pick with this savory, summer delight. Asher's favorite are blueberries, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple. Always a great and easy choice.

4) Steamed Veggies (Chilled). I try my best to always have steamed veggies on hand in our refrigerator. I make them once or twice a week in a big batch and then am able to readily grab them for snacks or lunches quickly and easily when needed. I often just throw a bit of sea salt on them and they are ready to go. No need to even warm them up!



5) DIY Go Gurt. The real deal has added sugar amongst other ingredients that aren't really all that "real of a deal". I found this idea for creating your own "Go Gurt" that I just adore. You can truly combine whatever fruits and veggies you'd like, and if you have a little one that doesn't do dairy - you could certainly swap out coconut milk yogurt for the original as well.

6) _______sauce in a reusable pouch. Insert whatever word your like to start of this one - apple, pear, sweet potato, a combo pack; you name it. If you've read some of my previous posts on feeding the little guy, you know my love for reusable pouches. A) They are planet friendly, and B) they make on-the-go snacking a breeze. Have some ready to go in your fridge with your child's favorite _____sauce for an easy, cool treat on the way out the door.


Whether it be a fresh-chilled smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe or just a good ole' fashioned blend of cut up straw- and blue- berries, there are a multitude of ways to beat the heat with a healthier treat for both you and your little one this summer.

What are some of your toddler's favorite summertime snacks?


Monday, July 24, 2017

5 Things Every Stay-at-Home Mama Needs + A Giveaway!


So I have been officially "retired" (as the hubs likes to call it) from my full time job for nearly two months and working for the "babe boss" now on full time mama duty. I gotta say friends-  the pay, the breaks and the collegial conversation are definitely lacking, but there is no place in the world I'd rather be. While the days can be long, particularly when naps are short, I have never regretted the decision for a moment. That being said, I have learned a lot along the way already about what I need in order to give my "boss" my all. He deserves my best, and frankly, so do I. In order to fill up both of our "cups", I've found the following to be key:

1. Moments to recharge. Soak them up whenever you can get them. Take advantage of pauses in the day whenever they come (which sometimes isn't all too often). I'll be honest, these moments are such a critical part of "filling up my cup" as they represent my precious time to be still, connect with God, pray and refuel in whatever way, shape or form I need that day. If you are a napper, give yourself permission to nap. If you prefer to sit and bask in a cup of coffee or tea, do it. If you want curl up with a bowl of secret ice cream that you don't want to share to watch the latest episode of "The Bachelorette", I say go for it. Whatever helps you to reload.

2. Self-lovin'. As moms we are constantly taking care of everyone else in our family. But in order to take care of them effectively, we need to take care of ourselves too. And we should not feel guilty in doing so. Our families need us to be healthy. They need us to be around, and not only that but be pleasant to be around. I'll be the first to admit, my child hangs out in kid care at the YMCA a few hours each week while this mama gets in a workout, gets work done or even just takes a breather some days. And while I struggled with the idea at first as I didn't feel like it was "fair" to him, I quickly realized that it's actually good for him too. He has a chance to play with other kids and socialize, while I do ma' thing, and we both leave satisfied customers. If your thing is working out, find the time to work it in. If it is a beauty routine or going to get a massage, feel free to pamper yourself. If it's indulging in a hobby or a DIY project, get it girl. Give yourself permission to do something for yourself. 

3. Time outside of the house. I have heard so many moms say this, and it couldn't be more true in our house. We need to get out of it. I notice that both of us tend to get a little stir crazy if we are in the house for too long. Thus, I plan daily outings to get us out and about in the community. Sidenote: If you haven't already do so, I would highly recommend following along with local blogs that share family friendly events going on around your city - they are a Godsend.  But in all honesty, even on days when we are not up for a big "to do", just going out for a walk, to the park or even to the grocery store (really, though) seems to rejuvenate us both. The fresh air is divine, it encourages me to shower (most of the time) and people watching seriously entertains this kid better than I ever could. Wins all around. 

4. Lists. Because mom brain is fo' real, and lists keep me sane. Disclaimer: I am that person who finds absolute and udder joy in adding items to a list just to check them off. But even if you aren't that passionate about them, lists can still be beneficial. For instance, grocery lists keep us on a budget (which is key now that we aren't bringing in two full incomes, especially when I am a total sucker for the newest flavor of Kombucha and a pint of fro-yo). To-do lists help me to set goals for the day and use my time wisely. Appointment lists help me ensure that we end up where we are supposed to be. You get the drift. One caveat I will add here, is that while lists are definitely the bee's knees - be realistic and forgiving with yourself. I have created many a "overly ambitious" to do list in my day. I have learned over time that it pays to stick with what's manageable to assist you in feeling more accomplished. Not only that, but don't be a slave to your list - your job first and foremost is being a mom - and your boss isn't always predictable. Give yourself (and your boss) some grace. 

5. Community. Whether this be a group of fellow moms that you meet with on the regular. A parent or two that you know you can call for a last minute playdate. Your best friend who is just a phone call away. Or an online community of fellow mamas and other inspiring individuals that you can connect with - finding a tribe is essential. We weren't meant to do it alone. It takes a village peeps. 

That being said, I have recently partnered with some talented ladies in my "digital community" to celebrate the "blogiversary" of Hannah (Just Bee Blog), a beautiful mama-to-be, and bring you all an incredible giveaway chalked with all the essentials any stay-at-home mama (or gal in general) needs to recharge, love on herself, get out of the house and create some seriously adorable lists. Check out the deets below.

It's Giveaway Time!

One lucky winner will receive everything listed below in this amazing prize bundle (over $180 value!)!
  • $50 gift card to Target
  • "Elsa" Succulent Planter from the Oak + Oats Shop

  • Mads + Grace Co. Teething Necklace

  • family devotional cards + a family journal from Gather & Grow's shop



  • infinity scarf
  • Pioneer Woman floral mug
  • weekly to-do list notepad
  • gorgeous journal from 1 Canoe 2
  • "Market List" notepad from 1 Canoe 2
  • decorative ampersand made from a vintage book
  • Rodan + Fields microdermabrasion paste sample
  • Rodan + Fields multi-function eye cream sample
  • "Write The Word" journal from Cultivate What Matters
  • cactus mini erasers
  • gray & white tea towel with teacup print


Go ahead and enter the giveaway below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway ** The giveaway is for U.S. residents only. Winner of the giveaway will be contacted via email. Although the majority of the prizes will be sent in one shipment, the succulent planter, teething necklace, and family devotion cards/journal will be shipped to the winner separately. Best of luck!!