Dylan’s First Birthday

I absolutely love parties. A fun fact about me is I’ve always wanted to be an event planner since I was a teenager. I never pursued it, so when it’s time for my kid’s first birthdays I have a lot of fun. First birthdays are big in our family and I’m always excited to use my imagination and make it into reality.

My youngest son lights up when I sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. That’s one of the reasons I chose this theme. I added some golds and a hint of pink to create a softer look. I made almost everything myself, so if I can do it, you can too! It just takes a bit of time, but crafting is my favorite stress reliever. I hope my baby’s party (yes, he’s still my baby), gives you some inspiration!


Cake 
I love simple cakes. Not just because they create a cleaner look, but because its cheaper! I have yet to venture off into making cakes. Since I’m frugal especially when it comes parties,  I chose to buy a  buttercream cake instead of fondant. Maybe someday I’ll venture off into cake making, but not anytime soon! I made the cake topper with my silhouette and a good friend designed the fondant stars. Voila! This was a lot cheaper than the fondant cakes I was looking at. In my humble opinion, it’s just as pretty!

Centerpieces

I have to admit these flowers were time-consuming to make, but they were not difficult. I was able to find some ombre pink tissue paper, and ombre blue tissue paper to add some dimension to my flowers. I found the blue at my local craft store. If you can’t find ombre, you can definitely inter change lighter blues with darker blues. If I were you though, you may want to opt for the ready-made ombre color to save you time. After making your 20th rose, you maybe asking yourself why did I start this. But look.. it’s so worth it! It’s also so much cheaper than real flowers too! Just message me if you’d like for me to do a video on how to make it. But there are plenty on youtube.

I changed up some of the centerpieces to included painted mason jars and glittered painted jars. I added these twinkle lights to create the right ambiance. They’re perfect because its battery operated and turns on with a flick of a switch.

Table Setting

For the table setting, I found some square plates  online. I also added a rustic touch to the table by using wooden utensils instead of plastic.  I couldn’t find the exact plates, but the ones I listed above are the same or similar.

Chocolate Star Favors

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me make these. It’s so super easy! All you need is a mold, some lollipop sticks, and some chocolate. You can also use candy melts if you can’t find the merkens. The candy melts or chocolate melt great in the microwave. I then used a spoon to pour the chocolate into the mold. Freeze for 15-20 minutes and you’re all done!

#1 Sign

This #1 is made out of card board box. I made a number one shape and then glued and taped it three dimensionally. I then added weight to the bottom of the number one by using rice in ziplock bags. After sealing it, I then wrapped the shape in tulle. To tie it in to the theme, I wrapped the number one with the star lights!

Food 

We did cater from an outside restaurant, but I wanted to make sure everyone had something to choose from including picky toddlers! I made these super easy star and cloud shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

All I did was use these cookie cutters. Star and Cloud. The best part about it you can always reuse them to make lunches for your kids!

 

In case you are wondering the wonderful photography is from my friend Dawnley.

**If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

How to keep berries fresh longer

At nearly $5 dollars per small container, berries are an expensive staple at our house. On occasion when I find it by bulk, I do buy them. Problem is, when I do, they spoil so quickly. There’s always one moldy strawberry in the container that ruins the entire batch. So.. how do you keep berries fresh longer? Do a little prep work before you place them in the refrigerator!

The big bonus is you don’t have to wash them every time you take it out of the refrigerator. It’s also great for toddlers who regularly search the refrigerator looking for a snack. I won’t name any names, but I have said toddler living in my home.  This quick procedure will naturally kill the mold spores and won’t spoil as quickly.

I hope this helps 😉

How to keep berries fresh longer

Ingredients

  • 1 c. vinegar
  • 3 c. water
  • Berries

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix vinegar and water
  2. Add berries
  3. Gently rinse and clean the berries in the vinegar solution
  4. Rinse the berries in clean water.
  5. Drain the berries into a clean container
  6. Lay out a paper towel, or kitchen towel and place clean berries
  7. Pat dry
  8. Store in a clean container lined with paper towel
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/12/keep-berries-fresh-longer/

 

UppaBaby GLink

UPPAbaby G-LINK Review

I have always been a fan of the UPPAbaby brand. When our first son was a few months old, we began using the UPPAbaby G-LUXE. I absolutely love it, and so does my husband. 0167_GLINK_JakeNaturally, we were thrilled to hear about the release of the double version, the UPPAbaby G-LINK.

I’m a no frills type of gal when it comes to strollers. I look for practicality and ease of use. Now that I have two kiddos to haul around, it’s even more important to me. Actually, it’s vital to my survival. Having two kids is no joke, and I need to make life “on the go” as easy as possible.

From the minute I opened the box, I knew this stroller would not disappoint.  First, it’s only 24.5 pounds! That’s super light for a double stroller. Don’t let the light weight fool you, it is very well built and sturdy. Similar to its sibling the G-LUXE, it stands on its own when folded. That means I can be hands free when taking it out of my trunk or when I need to store it like at restaurants or commuting on a train. This is a huge plus when I’m unloading my car. Especially now that I need both hands; one for my toddler and one for my newborn. I don’t have to find a wall to lean it on.

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A huge reason why this stroller works for me is because I wanted to accommodate both my newborn and toddler without any fancy attachments. My oldest son is 2.5 years old and his little brother is 2 months old.  The G-LINK is suitable from birth up to 50 lbs. It comes with a handy infant insert so I don’t need a car seat or any other attachment for the stroller.0167_GLINK_Flexible

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know my oldest son eats like a teenage boy. At two, he’s already almost 40 pounds, so I needed to find a stroller with a high weight limit. The maximum weight limit for the stroller is 100 lbs.combined.

Accommodating my kids sleep and nap schedules is very important to me. The side-by-side seats can recline in four positions, independent of each other. It allows for a full recline. You heard me right folks, a full recline! That in itself is amazing! This means when my toddler wants to look at sights and scenes, he can sit upright while my newborn dreams about his next meal. Rest assured, my infant is secure because the stroller comes with an infant head support and mesh foot barrier. So back to napping, there is a peekaboo window in the back of the stroller so I can peek in to see if the kiddos are still sleeping. That may not sound like a big deal to you, since you can just go to the front and see, but convenience is key in my book. I’m usually rushed these days, saving just a few minutes is super helpful for me, especially since my newborn sleeps best when moving. Below the peekaboo window is a handy pocket for your cell phone or any items you might want to store, like keys or a wipes for a quick cleanup.

A big plus to the G-LINK is its large canopy shade.  It especially comes in handy on hot summer days. The canopy offers generous coverage and includes an extended SPF 50+ UV shade. I have yet to see a canopy this big for a stroller! That means no blankets to drape over when the newborn is sleeping. One less thing to carry, right? Speaking of carrying, there is a ton of storage space in this stroller! Check out the video below, I was able to fit a large ball AND more in the bottom two storage compartments. 

Last but not least, every mom’s dream. It’s easy to open and fold back! I despise strollers that are not easy to put away or fold open. If there are too many levers, buttons or strings to pull, I go mad!  With just a few clicks it folds nicely. For you tech folks the dimensions are:

Unfolded: 30”W x 29”L x 42”H

Folded: 18”W x 18”L x 41”H

The only con I see to this stroller is its price. It ain’t cheap. In my humble opinion, you get what you pay for. It’s worth every penny, especially since it has such a high weight limit. So if you’re on the market for a high quality, long-lasting stroller, this stroller is for you. Another plus if you register your stroller within 3 months with proof of purchase there is a FREE extended warranty for 3 years.

Here’s a video I shot for you to see how fun and easy the G-LINK is:

*Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the product for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.**If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Fire Truck Paw Patrol Party

I’m so excited to share my son’s 3rd Birthday party photos!  For those who have followed me along my Easy Toddler Meals journey, you’ll know my son Colin is why this blog exists. It was one day back in 2014 when he decided to show me his great eating habits. From then on out, he inspired me to cook meals daily. OK, now on to the fun stuff.. the theme. Although I’d really love to plan floral and rainbow themes someday,  I’ve been blessed with two boys. It’s all about fire trucks and cars these days. He loves Paw Patrol and fire trucks so I made his wish come true with a Fire Truck Paw Patrol Party.
fire-truck-dessert-table

By the way, If you don’t know me personally, you probably don’t know I love to craft. It’s my favorite pastime especially when the boys are all sleeping. I call it my therapy for a long exhausting day of work (my other job) and being a stay at home as well.

One of the favorite things about this party is my homemade fire truck. The kids used it as a photo prop to take home memories of the day. It was a bit challenging, but I’m happy how it came out. We recently bought a car seat and it was the perfect shape for a car. From there I painted and used my imagination.  I’ll list some supplies I used here:

  • Siren – foam covered with blue cellophane  
  • Windows – construction paper
  • Tires – painted
  • Front grill – silver masking tape covered foam
  • Ladder – Foam

Fire Truck

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I also created an “Adopt a Puppy” table so all his friends could take a puppy home. It was complete with an adoption certificate and tags.

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On to the dessert table. After Colin’s first birthday party , featured by the fabulous Kara’s Party Ideas, I didn’t want to have  so much left over from the dessert table. I wanted a simple and clean look for this year’s party. We bought cupcakes from my favorite cupcakery, My Delight Cupcakery. From red velvet, to cupcakes that tastes like the perfect breakfast in one bite, we had it covered! Yes… that’s bacon on a cupcake. The mini size is the perfect size, to make you want about 10 more.  So delicious!

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colin_birthday-22I also tried making my own royal icing cookies. They weren’t perfect, but definitely made with love. Ps: Did you know it takes 2-3 days to make them? I have so much respect for bakers!
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The table settings for the kiddos were especially fun for me to create. I’ve seen a ton of paw prints for fire truck themed parties, and I wanted to be a little unique. I used black and white polka dots plates to add some contrast.

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I personalized the fire chief hats with Colin’s Fire crew stickers to have that extra detail. We also used these fire hydrant cups.

Fire Hats

The adults had a similar place setting without all the props. I did however, see some try on the fire hat for size *wink wink.

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Last but not least, I’d like to thank my new found friend Dawnley of Dawnley B Photography Personality is everything when working with a photographer. She is so fun to work with and super nice. She captured all the wonderful moments of our party and we will cherish the photographs Check out her work,  she’s amazing!

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Baby Nursery and Play Room Decor

Hi Everyone! This is an off topic post, but since many of you have asked where I purchased some items for my boys’ playroom and nursery, I decided to write a blog short entry. P.S. This is not a sponsored post. Just having some fun with decor!

 

Boys' Playroom

Play Mat: Buy Here (affiliate)

Life Size Giraffe: Buy Here (affiliate)

Chair: Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn Kids

Cabinets: IKEA

Dylan's Nursery Resize

Glider: Buy Buy Baby

Stool: Target

Crib & Dresser: Pottery Barn Kids

 

Easy Peach and Cottage Cheese

We’re very busy in the morning these days trying to get out the door for swim lessons.  I’m always looking for a fast meal. By the way, I’ll try to compile a few fast breakfasts into one post as soon as I can.  For now, here’s a super easy one that packs a great punch in protein. Peach and CottageRemember if you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, you never know if your child will like it. So it’s worth a try.

Also below I’ve explained the easiest way to peel a peach. No bruises or nicks, no knife or peeler.  Our bowl shown here is an EZPZ snack bowl. It doesn’t move and is so easy to clean! That means no flying bowls on the floor. For the win!

Ingredients:

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Peaches

Method:

1. Add water to a small pot and bring to a boil

2. Add washed peaches into the water and allow to simmer for 1 minute or so

Peach Simmer

3. In another bowl, add cold water and ice cubes

4. Add the heated peach into the cold water

Peach Ice

5. Peel and enjoy

Peach Peeled

 

6. Add cottage cheese in a bowl and pair with sliced peaches. Top with honey if desired.

Note: No honey before one years of age.

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

 

Breakfast Bites To-Go

I’ve felt under the weather for a few days and of course it’s also a busy time for me at work. I had to think of something quick that was delicious and nutritious.
Breakfast Cups 1We love our eggs, sweet potato hash, and cheese for breakfast. I basically layered it all together,  stuffed it into a muffin pan and baked it! Voila, you have your grab and go breakfast. We only made four breakfast bites, but obviously you can make more!

Ingredients:

  • Four large eggs
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 21 Seasonings Salute (Trader Joes, or any seasonings you want)
  • 2 Strips of Turkey bacon (cooked in a skillet for a few, but still flexible)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or Italian blend

1. Preheat oven 350f

2. Peel and cut up sweet potato into match sticks or skinny fries

3. Grease muffin pan with olive oil spray

4.  Add sweet potato on muffin pan then add a little more olive oil spray

5. Add cheese on top of the sweet potato and make a little hole in the middle for the egg

6. Crack a whole egg into one muffin circle (check video for visual)

7. Add cooked turkey bacon on top and seasonings

8. Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes, check it at about 20 min

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything more. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

 

Bib Organization

*Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for some of the items below for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

We have several bibs. It’s difficult to keep them organized and stacked neatly.   Here’s a tip for you! Hook them on your high chair.

We use a hook from 3M. I suggest buying the jumbo command one (on link) so that it will hold several bibs.  You can even use an index card ring to hold more and hook them all on it.

Since we’re on the topic of bibs, here are our favorites! All of them are BPA, Phthalates and PVC free!

  • Bbox Bib for traveling. We love this bib when we’re out and about because it keeps all the crumbs and leftovers in one pocket. BboxIf we’re at a park I don’t have to frantically look for a plastic bag or trash can to throw stuff away. I simply zip it up and clean it when I get home. All the food stays inside the zip up pocket. Just rinse it when you get back home! It also comes with a flexible silicone spoon.
  • Silikids Bib for home. This bib is also one of our favorites.  It’s made of silicone and has a small pocket. You can either use the pocket or fold it flat. Our full review here: Silikids Review

Bib

  • Tommee Tippee Explora Bib for home. This bib also has a pocket to catch food! We love that it’s made out silicone because it’s so easy to clean and super durable. The food lands in the bib, not on his clothes. That’s enough to make any mom happy. It can also be placed in the dishwasher for fast washing.Tommee Tippee Big

*If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. It won’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!