Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Toddler Snack Ideas

It still makes me cry inside to mention that "t" word from my post title.  My son is my BABY!

Lately whenever I talk to my mom friends, we always end up talking about food for the kids.  It seems like it's hard to think of creative ideas for meals and snacks so I wanted to share some of Carson's favorite snacks as of lately.  These are some of our favorite go-to snacks for between meals.

1. Earth's Best Organic Sunny Days Snack Bars.  Carson LOVES these fruit bars!  These are very similar to Nutrigrain bars.  We have tried the apple and strawberry flavors.  I thought they would be good as a snack on the go, but they're actually a little messy with the fruit filling.  I'm a clean freak though.  :)

2. Annie's Bunny Grahams.  These are a great snack to throw in the snack cup and eat on the road or during a stroller ride.  Carson loves them and gets so excited when I pull out the box.  We also do regular graham crackers as well.

3. Cheerios .  These are our go-to morning snack.  When I introduced Cheerios (so long ago now!) I started with plain.  Now we've tried several other flavors.  Carson's favorites are the Multigrain and Apple Cinnamon.

4. Plum Organics Teensy Fruits .  These are like little fruit snacks.  I like them better than regular fruit snacks because they (like the name states) are TEENSY!  I have no fears of Carson choking with these and even though they don't come with many packs in a box, each pack has a ton of fruit bites!

5. Veggie Straws.  These are a new favorite of Carson's.  I randomly picked them up at the grocery when they were on sale and they are a huge hit!  I throw these in Carson's snack cup when we're going to be out and about during snack time and he gobbles them right up.  I'm not sure how healthy they are because they seem pretty salty but the nutrition facts say that they only have 10% of your daily sodium which doesn't seem bad.  Plus they're "natural"!

6. Cheese!  Who doesn't like cheese?!  I usually buy the snack sticks of Colby Jack and cut them up for Carson, but we've also done string cheese.  This is a great snack or "side dish" during meal time if you need to get in some extra dairy!

7. Fruit.  Carson definitely takes after his Momma and loves fruit!  His favorites lately are strawberries and blueberries, but he will eat just about anything.  I almost always have fresh strawberries and blueberries in the fridge, but you can also keep frozen fruit in your freezer...it's a great snack for teething babies!

*Note: I was in no way compensated to promote these products.  These recommendations are my personal opinions and suggestions!

I'm linking up today:


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guess who got an Ergo? (Hint: It's Me)

I've been wanting one of these forEVER and my cheap frugal hubby would NEVER agree to the $130+ price tag.  Thanks to Zulily he got a great deal and I got a great carrier!  [Carson LOVES it by the way!]

Zulily.com has deals for babies, kids, women, maternity, toys, and home. Zulily even sends you a convenient email when they have exciting new deals.  I forwarded a recent email to my wonderful husband and he was able to get a great deal on an ErgoBaby carrier for me for my birthday!


If you aren't signed up for zulily.com, please kick yourself right now!  Zulily is an amazing website with tons of deals on name brand items like Toms, ErgoBaby, Melissa & Doug, OshKosh, Steve Madden, and MORE!


Guess what other deal I got through zulily.com?  Tiny Toms.  Oh yes, the cutest shoes on little boys (and girls).  I couldn't justify spending over $30 on a pair of shoes that my toddler would outgrow in a month or two, but with Zulily's great deals, I was able to snatch a pair up for Carson without feeling guilty.  These little cuties should be showing up in my mailbox TODAY!

One more awesome thing about Zulily?  They have an affiliate program for bloggers!  It's a way to make some FREE MONEY, people!  It's super easy to sign up and there isn't much work involved.  Find out more by following this link:  Join the zulily Affiliate Program Today!

Do you Zulily?  What is your favorite Zulily purchase?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Skinny Funfetti Dip [Tasty Tuesday]

We went to a family reunion over the weekend and I was assigned to bring an appetizer and a snack.  Since the reunion was a state away, I had to think of something that would travel easily.  I found this recipe on Pinterest (duh) and it was SO easy!  It helps that this is a fairly guilt free recipe, too!

What You Need
1 box Funfetti cake mix
2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
1.5 cups lite Cool Whip, thawed
sprinkles (optional)

How to Make
Mix all of your ingredients together until there are no lumps.
Allow mixture to cool in your fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.
If desired, top your dip with some rainbow sprinkles before serving.
Serve with your choice of crackers.  I used animal crackers, but you could also use graham crackers, vanilla wafers, Teddy Grahams, etc.


Monday, July 22, 2013

The County Fair, Y'all!

Last week we went to check out the county fair.  My husband grew up out the outskirts of town on some land and he was totally a "country boy" and I was TOTALLY a city suburban girl.  :)  He was in 4H, I didn't even know what 4H was!  He OWNED ducks and lambs.  I owned dogs.  Needless to say, he pretty much lived at the fair every summer.  I had never been!  I went to the state fair when I was younger, but never the county fair.  I'll be honest, it's not my cup of tea.  Now that we have Carson though, it's a lot more fun!  He loved seeing all of the animals!  It was 90-95 degrees the evening we went!

Here are some pictures from our dirt-filled farmy evening at the fair. :)
Carson tried one of Daddy's fair fries!  (Yuck)

Staring contest with Miss Piggy 

Checking out a goat!

This bunny was bigger than our dogs!

All I see is DIRT but I'm trying to get over my OCD....

Checking out some cute ducks!

Rosie the horse

These chickens were at a "petting zoo area"

14 day old calf named Norman! :)

Checking out the cows.

Deciding if he wants to pet the lamb or not.

This pony was so cute!

Carson, SWAT officer. ;)
If the fair was every weekend, I would hate it.  Since it's one week a year, I can handle it.  It was a great place to practice Carson's animal names and sounds!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Nails of the Week

This week I chose to do something a little different with my nails - WHITE!  I bought this white after a few of you gave me the tip to use it under my neons as a base.  I was planning on doing a neon pink, but when I got my first coat of white on, I decided to do all white with a silver glitter accent.  What do you think?  

My white is Sinful Colors' "Snow Me White" and my glitter is "Beeware" by Pure Ice.  

You may have noticed I'm not wearing my wedding ring.  Did you also notice that my finger looks all cut up?  I've been getting super dry skin around my ring lately and I can't figure out why.  Maybe I wash my hands too much?  I try to keep lotion on it but it doesn't help very much.  Any ideas/tips?  My ring is platinum.

I'm linking up today:


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Carson Anthony: 14 Months!

Carson is officially 14 months young!  The other day someone asked how old he was and my husband responded "1!"  I had to explain to him that we still go by months and he was like "I know, but I really feel like he's still just 12 months, time is flying!"  He's so right!

What Carson Loves Right Now
-Carson loves going down his slide.  Just recently learned how to go down without any help and he loves it!  He claps the whole way down and is so proud of himself!
-Carson also still loves balls.  We keep 2-3 in the car to keep him entertained while we're on the road and we have more than plenty at home as well.  He is really starting to get good at kicking and throwing the balls and he can also make baskets with his basketball hoop from Grammy!
-Carson still loves his blankie.  Every night we read a few stories in his glider and I always hang his blankie on the side of his crib.  He always reaches over and grabs it before we start reading.  
-Giving kisses and high-fives!  Carson loves to give kisses to things in books.  He especially loves to kiss the babies in his Baby Colors book!  He grabs it before bed every night and specifically loves kissing the purple baby.  I think he has his first crush.  ;)  He rarely gives one high five when you ask, he gives 2-4 and always with a huge smile!
-Carson also loves to dance.  He turns music on puppy toy and will start to dance right away.  He'll also dance to his baby/toddler music CD's, music on the TV, and even music he hears when we're out and about.  He seems to love the music they play at Kroger and the workers there love watching him dance!  :)
-Carson's favorite foods this month would probably be peaches and nectarines.  They've had a good supply of organic fruit at our grocery store and every time I bring home peaches or nectarines Carson can't get enough!
-Carson still loves our dogs.  He loves to chase them and terrorize play with them.  When we leave the house, I keep them in a smaller area so they don't have free roam of the entire house.  I've started to push their gate shut without latching it closed.  When we get home I tell Carson "let the dogs out" and he runs over and pushes open their gate and cracks up as they run out to greet him.  I love it!
-Lately in this hot, hot weather, Carson has been loving playing in the water!  Whether we're at the pool, a splash pad, or playing in our backyard, this kid is definitely a water baby!

What I Love Right NowI'm loving how Carson seems to learn something new EVERY day.  It's crazy how their little minds are so absorbent.  He is literally like a sponge!  One thing I really love is when he is walking and reaches up for my hand.  Talk about melting my heart!  I also love watching him clap for himself with excitement when he figures something out.  Lately he's becoming a little cocky and claps after doing ANYTHING.  The other day he put a puzzle piece in the wrong spot, clapped with a huge grin on his face, and ran on to the next activity.  At least he'll have a good self-esteem, right!?  His personality is developing more and more each day.  I love his way of communicating with me - sometimes words, sometimes signs, sometimes gestures....ALWAYS cute!   

Some of our Biggest StrugglesI think our biggest "struggle" right now is that Carson is a daredevil and risk taker and I'm an over-worrier.  Not a great combination!  He loves running full speed and doesn't always watch where he's going.  He climbs on anything and everything.  He HATES when I try to stop him and turns into a screaming wet noodle.  I wouldn't consider this as much of a struggle as a energy-drainer for me!  He's definitely active and I get a LOT of comments like "Wow, he never stops, does he?!" and "He's go-go-go!"  I can't say I disagree with those people and even though it wears me out every day, it makes our lives very fun and interesting!

Exciting Milestones: Carson has started doing the sign for "all done"/"all gone".  Just like his sign for "more", he does his own version.  It looks a little like a shoulder shrug with palms facing up.  Almost like "huh?!" but it's adorable.  Carson also has learned how to make an elephant noise!  Talk about learning the hardest noise first!  I always make all of the animal noises when we're playing with toys and reading books.  The other day we were working on his animal puzzle and he picked up the elephant piece and made the sound.  I seriously about cried.  Too stinking cute!

Signing "all gone"

Carson went to his first parade for the 4th of July!  He loved it even though it started to rain towards the end.  He's a big fan of people watching and he loved walking around before the parade started.  

Physical ChangesCarson got his FIFTH haircut yesterday!  When we walked into the salon they were all excited "ohhh, we love first haircuts!"  I had to burst their bubble and tell them it was definitely not his first.  :)  Carson is also becoming more coordinated with his large muscle movements.  His walking is almost always running now and he is able to mimic simple things like arms up, marching movements, etc.  His 6th tooth should be coming through any day now...the gums are very hard but it hasn't popped through yet.

Things We're Looking Forward ToI'm still looking forward to Carson's speech developing more.  Lately he seems to get a bit frustrated when I can't figure out what he wants and I'm very anxious for him to be able to communicate what he wants!  My planner is full of playdates and fun activities so I'm also really looking foward to those!  Here's a look at some of our upcoming activities: pool, music class, splash pad, play cafe, zoo, library story times, children's museum.  Talk about FUN!  

This weekend we're going to my Dad's lake house in Michigan for our annual family reunion.  We took Carson last year when he was just 2 months old so I'm SO excited to take him back this year and see what he thinks of the cottage, the boat, and the water!  Here's a picture from last year: