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!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rollups

Tis the season for pumpkin! Every fall, I make pumpkin rolls. You know the one that involves a lot of work., but is so yummy that you end up making it regardless? This year however, I have my hands full with two kids. Nevertheless, my pumpkin roll cravings are still going strong. One afternoon, I improvised, and that day, I bit into the best pumpkin cream cheese rollups I’ve ever tasted.

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Pumpkin Roll Ups

 

This is a such a great, easy fix to my cravings.  It has the perfect crunch with a creamy warm filling. Best of all, you can make just one or two rollups, instead of baking a whole roll. You also don’t need an oven or mixer.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rollups

Ingredients

  • 5 slices bread (fresh is best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • 2-3 tbs. butter
  • 3 tbs. cream cheese

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix pumpkin puree and 1 tbs. brown sugar, set aside
  2. Using a rolling pin or glass, flatten bread by rolling. Cut ends of bread if desired
  3. Spread cream cheese on one end of the bread
  4. Top with pumpkin puree mixture
  5. Roll like a tube
  6. In a pan, add butter
  7. Brown all sides
  8. Dip and roll in remaining brown sugar
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/pumpkin-cream-cheese-rollups/

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Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

When I talk to moms about food and picky eating, veggies are always a struggle. There’s no surprise there! Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday is a great time to introduce green foods.Many kids won’t touch anything green let alone eat it. Sometimes it’s a little more convincing to call things green monsters, incredible hulk juice, etc.  If you make your meals a little fun and festive, they may just give it a try. Once they’ve tasted it they just might realize it’s not that bad. These zucchini broccoli tater tots recipe is super tasty, even my husband and I enjoyed them.

I made these tots just a little more fun by putting candy eyes on them. I called them little green monsters. Fortunately, my son eats broccoli on its own, but no more than three or four stalks. He gobbled up about 10 of these. Dipped it in some “blood” (ketchup) and he thought it was so cool. Kinda gross to me, but hey.. we aim to please.

I packed it in a  Yumbox for a quick lunch while we went to an indoor playground. It was a perfect complete healthy meal. Also a quick tip: coat your avocado slices in olive oil and it will stay nice and green, no browning.

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Give this a whirl, it has protein, grains, and veggies all in one.

 

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

Ingredients

  • 1.5 C. steamed broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. cheddar cheese/Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 tsp. 21 seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Steam broccoli
  2. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until pasty
  3. Form tater tot shapes
  4. In a pan, cook in a little olive oil, flip so all sides are brown
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/zucchini-broccoli-tater-tots/

*Thank you Yumbox for sponsoring this post. 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!

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Turkey Apple Crescent Rolls

Lunch time is the most hectic part of our day. We’re often just getting home from a play date, work, or some kind of activity. If you have 15 minutes however, you can make this! It’s not as fast as an old fashioned sandwich, but the oven does all the work for you. These turkey apple crescent rolls are so delicious. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and yummy cheese! Plus, there are also so many organic crescent roll varieties available now, if you are concerned.

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Turkey Apple Crescent Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 can crescent roll
  • 4-5 turkey slices, chopped
  • 3 slices white american cheese, or swiss
  • 1/2 red apple, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (follow crescent rolls instructions)
  2. Open crescent rolls, and unroll dough
  3. Top dough with pieces of turkey
  4. Top with cheese
  5. Add apples
  6. Roll wide side first into a crescent shape
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes (per can instructions)
  8. You can also add an egg wash on top (1 lightly beaten egg and splash of milk), but this is optional
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/turkey-apple-crescent-rolls/

 

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Veggie Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti

Rumor has it growing up I was a bit of a picky eater. Put spaghetti in front of me though, and I could eat a plateful. I still love spaghetti today as an adult and my kids love it too. In fact, I don’t know one kid who doesn’t like it.  Okay, I know one of you begs to differ and says, mine doesn’t! Okay, I digress.

My goal to make foods as healthy as I possible continues with this recipe. I have a secret ingredient though that makes my meatballs super moist and not dry. I mean if I don’t like a dry meatball, my kids probably won’t either. Best of all, this recipe is loaded with veggies and fruit! Yes, you heard me right, fruit.

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Also, I wanted to share these super cute, but practical utensils. I always try to reduce my transitioning when introducing anything to my kids. For example, I use this spoon and fork, because it is the closest thing to ones they would use as an adult. That said, it’s the perfect size for little fingers. There are two types, one for older kiddos that includes a fork, spoon and a butter knife.  It’s also available in a slightly smaller version, that’s perfect for early toddlers and babies. In fact my little seven month old has started using it. We do baby led weaning, and you can load a spoon up and let them have at it.  It comes in a fire truck, little princess, and robot pattern. Just subtle enough for little kiddos to enjoy and see.

SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE FOR MY FOLLOWERS: ETMEAL20 for  20% off discount on the robot set until October 9, 2016.

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Without further ado here’s the recipe! P.S. feel free to add more salt, I just made this super baby friendly so my 7 month old can try. In fact, I separated his sauce before creating the seasoned sauce. Nothing wrong with salt, I just try to reduce it greatly with babies.

Veggie Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey/chicken
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 1/4 c. green onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. spinach, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • Homemade sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. For meatballs -Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Prepare all ingredients. Grate and chop.
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, set aside (internal temperature 165F)
  5. For sauce - In a small sauce pan, mix in all ingredients
  6. For pasta - Cook pasta according to box instructions
  7. Top pasta with sauce and meatballs and enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/veggie-meatballs-homemade-spaghetti/

Tip: We used two different kinds of pasta here, because kids love it!

Thank you for sponsoring this post Kiddo Bloom. Ps: I bought this and used this with my first 3 years ago!

 

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Avocado Grilled Cheese Sticks

The grilled cheese sandwich is often a childhood favorite for many. I think every kid enjoys the cheesy bread. My goal with every meal is to try to serve all food groups. That’s why I decided to make it a tad bit healthier by adding an avocado to it! I also coated the bread with a milk and egg mixture for added protein. This avocado grilled cheese sticks recipe is so easy to whip up and so delicious. It’s also perfect for little fingers to grasp and hold. Give it a whirl, you can’t go wrong!

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Avocado Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 2-4 slices of bread
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1-2 slices cheese of choice
  • 1 tbs.butter

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, scramble egg and add milk, set aside
  2. In another bowl, mash avocado, set aside
  3. Place mashed avocado onto bread, top with cheese, then add second layer of bread (like a sandwich)
  4. Carefully, cut the filled sandwich into strips
  5. Dip each strip in the egg mixture
  6. In a pan, on medium add butter and cook strips. Brown all sides of strips and serve
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/avocado-grilled-cheese-sticks/

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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.
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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!

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Chicken Veggie Patties

I’ve tried several times to make chicken nuggets taste like the nuggets most kids associate with.  This comes pretty close!  I’m well aware store-bought nuggets definitely have its time in place, but I wanted to give you a homemade option to try!   Best of all, it’s all great ingredients and not processed! Furthermore, I know many of you have children who are really picky about texture. This chicken veggie patties recipe is soft and juicy and super tasty.

Chicken Veggie Patties (3)

Chicken Veggie Patties

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. green zucchini (one small zucchini), grated
  • 3 broccoli florets, grated (optional)
  • 2 extra small bell peppers, chopped finely
  • 1/4 c. cooked chicken, chopped finely (I use rotiserrie chicken)
  • 1/4 c. green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Wash and grate zucchini and dry with paper towel
  2. Chop all vegetables and set aside
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. In a pan add 1 tbs of olive oil on medium high heat
  5. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop about a tablespoon of batter onto the pan for each pattie. Use a spoon to flatten the scoop into a patty form. Cook until golden brown and flip on the other side for a few minutes.
  6. Serve with chives and sour cream if desired
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/chicken-veggie-patties/

Chicken Veggie Patty How To

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Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

I went for a walk with a neighbor recently and we started talking about recipes.  She raved over a cookie recipe that had no flour. I was intrigued. What? A cookie, with no flour, but still tasty and delicious? I’m in! I’ve always skipped over flour less recipes, because we do love our carbs around here. I don’t think I will go back to any other recipe, after trying this flourless chocolate chip cookies recipe. That kind of says a lot. I love this!

IF all lo-carb foods tastes as good as this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I might be trying my hand at more recipes. Frankly, I could always eat a little healthier.

This flourless chocolate chip cookie is nutty, still relatively soft, and has all the goodness of a cookie without the extra carbs. It’s toddler approved and husband approved. My husband comes from a huge baking family and well, he’s very picky. This got two thumbs up.

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To make this paleo and even less carbs use walnuts instead of cashews. I’m no expert with this eating lifestyle, so double check.  Before you knock it down because it has no flour.. check out this texture! And better yet.. no bananas! Nothing against the awesome yellow fruit, but sometimes we get banana’d out.

Flourless Cookie Closeup 2

 

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Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup cashews, raw chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, for a sweet and salty cookie add a little more
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients (almond meal, chocolate chips, cashews, salt, baking soda)
  3. In another bowl, whisk egg and add honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract
  4. Mix dry and wet ingredients together
  5. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper
  6. Using a cookie scooper add cookie mixture
  7. Use a spoon (greased with a little coconut oil) or small bowl to flatten cookie. The cookie will not expand while baking so it will stay the size you press it down to.
  8. Bake for 10-13 minutes
  9. Allow to cool before removing from parchment paper to prevent sticking and also allowing it to mold together. Tip: it will feel crumbly, but will mold together while cooling
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/flourless-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Flourless Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*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!

Recipe adapted from Fed and Fit

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Healthy Banana Muffins

I woke up with a leg cramp when I decided to make this.  I’m not a doctor, but I remember my physician telling me to eat bananas when I get a leg cramp because the potassium in the yellow fruit helps. On top of that my son won’t stop talking about banana bread lately. My food inspiration comes from weird places doesn’t it?

The bananas sitting on my counter were super ripe, so naturally I decided to make banana muffins.  Since I’ve been eating a lot of what I make for my son lately, I made healthy banana muffins!

If you’re wondering what’s healthier about this recipe, it only has 1 tbs of butter and uses coconut sugar. No oil!  According to the Huffington Post, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. That means it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly as white sugar.

Healthy Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbs butter, softened or slightly melted
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c. crushed walnuts

Instructions

  1. Cream together butter and sugar
  2. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs, add crushed bananas, and vanilla and combine
  3. In another bowl, mix flour, soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Add applesauce and combine well, but do not overmix. Add crushed walnuts if desired
  4. Grease muffin tin by lightly spraying with cooking spray or use silicone cupcake liners
  5. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes (depends on size of muffin tin used, so use a toothpick to check if it comes out clean) Check frequently!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/08/healthy-banana-muffins/

Healthy Banana Muffins 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bought the silicone cupcake liners here —>  Star shape and Heart Shape and Round I can’t live without these because it’s so easy to clean! No scrubbing metal muffin tins 😉

I’m so excited to share this recipe. Can you believe there’s no oil in this recipe? But.. still so moist! Don’t believe me? Take a look below. Healthy Banana Muffins

 

BIG TIP: Cook time will vary depending on what kind of pan you use. My mini muffins took about 10-12 minutes and mini loaf pans about 15. PLEASE check it often and poke with a toothpick until it comes out clean.

*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!

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