Showing posts with label Mommyhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mommyhood. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

10 Best Trader Joe's Toddler Foods

I have a confession....I'm a Trader Joe's fanatic. I love shopping at Trader Joe's because they manage to make it feel more like a shopping trip (who doesn't need a little retail therapy every once in a while?!) and less like another day at the grocery store.

I love trying new things and Trader Joe's has an excellent seasonal selection. If I'm honest, my favorite things to buy there are pre-cut veggies. I like to eat healthy, but ain't nobody got time to prepare everything from scratch with work and a little human on the loose. 

My little human is all about finger foods. Purees are a thing of the past so I'm always on a mission to find healthy finger foods that are baby and mommy approved. Today I'm sharing some of our absolute must-have Trader Joe's foods for (you guessed it) toddlers!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

In case you missed it, also check out my 25 favorite (adult) Trader Joe's foods.

1. Cauliflower and Broccoli Vegetable Patties

These patties are best prepared in the oven or even the toaster oven. My son can be finicky about steamed cauliflower and broccoli, but when it's made into a pattie, he gobbles it right up. These patties are easy to cook and store well in the refrigerator. I like to make the whole box (pack of 4) and pack them in his lunch the next few days.

2. Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet Potato Wedges can be found in the refrigerated section near the other pre-cut veggies. This item is perfect for little hands and easy to pack for lunches or serve for dinner. Even better, no cooking required! These wedges can be served hot or cold, but we usually opt for cold. I've even stolen a few of these for myself before (I love these with quinoa, grilled chicken, and a bit of guacamole!). 

3. Butternut Squash

This one is a family favorite. Again, with the pre-cut veggie, this veggie comes in a bag in the refrigerated section. Simply toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes. My husband and I are huge fans of this food as well. It makes a great side dish with pretty much anything.

4. Turkey Burgers

Head over to the freezer section and load up on these pre-made burgers. They can be grilled or cooked in a skillet. My son can usually eat 1/2 of a turkey burger in a sitting, so I cut it in half and save the rest for the next day. 

5. Turkey Meatballs

Turkey meatballs are another good source of protein for your little human. These are best prepared by baking. If you microwave them, be very careful because the plate may be hot. My favorite way to bake meatballs is using a muffin pan. I spray the inside of each tin and put them in the oven (then you never have to worry about a run away meatball).

6. Black Bean Taquitos

Taquitos are easy to cook (microwave or toaster oven) and are the perfect size for my son's hands. They're another option to the ever popular chicken nugget. 

7. Joe's O's

These are just like Cheerios, but they do come in some different flavors. I like to buy the Whole Grain Oats or Fruity O's Multi-grain Cereal. My son LOVES using the Munchkin Snack Catcher and these are the perfect filler.

8. Peach Halves in White Grape Juice

My son will gobble these right up, but who doesn't love a tasty peach?! This is a great fruit option to store in the pantry and pull out when you've already eaten all of the fresh fruit for the week. 

9. Bananas

I'm convinced Trader Joe's has the best deal on bananas. At 0.19 cents a piece their price just can't be beat. My son is a huge banana fan and I love them in my smoothies. On a normal week we buy about 10 bananas for our family of 3 (maybe we're part monkey?). 

10. String Cheese

Who could forget the kid favorite, string cheese? My husband is a cheese enthusiast and my son didn't miss the gene. I buy the Low-Fat Mozzarella for my tiny human. They're perfect for his lunch box or as an afternoon snack.

What are your favorite Trader Joe's products for kiddos? I love suggestions!


Check out these other posts before you go:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

5 Tips for the First Days of School

Some of us dread it, some of us long for it, the first day of school comes whether you are ready or not. What can you do to make the day more successful for your kiddos? Check out our 5 easy tips for preparing for the first day of school.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

1. Set our your child's clothes the night before.

By nature, we feel most confident in ourselves when we dress up. Studies have shown that students perform better on tests when they are dressed up rather than in lounge clothes, so why not harness this confidence for the first day of school?

Choose an outfit that will make your child feel good about themselves. The way we dress affects how we perceive the world, but it's not about spending a lot of money, just being the best version of you. In addition, setting out clothes the night before cuts back on potential arguments the morning of. Dress the part and your child will be sure to feel like they're ready to conquer the world....or at least the 1st grade.

2. A new school year means a fresh start.

Explain to your child that the first day of school is a fresh start. If they struggled in the past or had issues with friends, this is an opportunity to start over. Anything that happened last year is old news. Sometimes the type of day we have is brought on by what kind of day we WANT to have. Our attitude is more than half the battle. Remember, today is a good day to have a good day!

You can download this free printable {here}.

3. Pack your child's lunch the night before. 

Packing your child's lunch will keep you from scrambling around the morning of trying to find something for your little one to eat. Go ahead and put things that don't have to stay cold into the lunch box and things that must stay cold in a certain spot of the fridge. 

If you're an Organization Queen, pack all the lunches for the week the Sunday before. This trick is a whole other level for most of us, BUT it can be done. If you know you have a busy week ahead, do your meal prep on Sunday before the week starts. When I've done this I take grocery bags and put everything for each day into one bag. It does save you some valuable time, because instead of getting the pretzels out each night, you're dividing them up into 5 plastic bags at one time. 

If that's a little too ambitious for you, the night before will do just fine. Set aside your child's lunch before you turn in for the night. Save yourself the stress when it comes to getting out the door.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

4. Rock the Wonder Woman or Superman pose.

Does your child need a little extra confidence? Dealing with some anxiety about the first day of school? Spend a couple minutes doing the Wonder Woman or Superman pose! 

If you've never seen Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk on body language, it is an awesome resource for understanding how body language affects us. If you have older children, encourage them to watch the video. I show it in my high school business course and some students have really used it to their advantage, especially when playing sports or going for a job interview. The idea is that high power poses, poses that are more open and relaxed, allow us to feel more confident. To do this, have your child stand tall with their chest and hands on their hips. Have a little fun with it and boost their feelings about the first day of school.

5. Beginning a few nights before school starts, go to bed on time.

Getting enough sleep is crucial to being the best version of ourselves. I know that even for me, if I don't get enough sleep, I don't feel like I can be the mommy I want to be. During the summer we tend to slack off and forget about the strict bedtime routines. Keep in mind a "routine" is not made in one day. Starting a few days beforehand, have your child turn in for bed at the time you would have them go to bed for school, this may mean they need to get up the same time they would for school as well. Getting started with a routine early will pay dividends later!

While you're here, check out some of our other popular posts:

No-Bake Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

Football-themed Burlap Wreath Tutorial for Beginners


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

5 Websites Every Mom Should Use

Walking around your house trying to get things down with a baby in one arm and a cellphone in your hand...bra...pocket...or armpit? Sound familiar? What handy capabilities does that trusty device have other than contact to the outside world? 

Today I'm sharing my favorite websites for mom life.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

1. Google Photos

One of the reasons moms carry around that smartphone everywhere is you never know when you're little human will do something adorable that will call for a photo-op. One of my greatest fears is losing all of the sweet pictures I've taken of my son and the best way to back those pics up is through Google Photos. 

Google Photos is 100% free and backs up all your images to a mystical cloud that can be accessed from your phone or an actual computer. They might as well have a unicorn flying gracefully over a rainbow as their mascot because Google Photos is a truly magical experience. 

With this app, you can forget the worry of your toddler taking your cellphone for a swim in the toilet and you losing all of your pictures. Now you can just worry about the cost of replacing the actual device and not the lost memories....

2. Canva

So you're not an Adobe InDesign pro? No problem, this website/app will make you feel like Picasso as you design any number of different projects. I'm obsessed with Canva. Some of my favorite designs include invitations, gift tags, posters, and blog graphics.

I even made my son's birthday invitation in Canva. Oh yeah, and you can download the template for FREE and edit it to make it your own in the post Celebrating the Big "One": A Fishing Themed First Birthday Party

I designed the invitation in Canva, downloaded it as a picture, uploaded it to Walgreen's Photo, and got the invitations printed for 17 cents. Talk about a money saver!

3. Amazon Prime

As a working mommy I don't think that I could live without Amazon Prime. Free 2-Day shipping is seriously my jam. Whether you're a working mom or stay-at-home mom, save yourself the stress of shopping with littles and get this $99/year service that also includes streaming of a variety of shows.

We have Netflix's as well, but recently I discovered Amazon Prime has several PBS shows that Netflix's does not have. I broke down and bought my son a Fire and can't wait to try out the option of downloading shows to a device to watch without Wifi for our upcoming beach trip.

I tell my husband all the time if I can't buy it on Amazon or Target, we're not getting it. Shipping takes a little bit longer with Target than it does with Amazon, but I purchase a lot of things for my son on Target's website. We love the Cat and Jack clothing brand and Stride-Rite shoes. I also like to purchase the occasional household product that we've run out of on the Target website. 

Target has free shipping on purchases over $35 or you can sign up for the REDcard which I eventually gave into and get free shipping and 5% off everything. 

If you're going to be shopping in store, definitely download the Cartwheel app. I'm all about combining my manufacturer diaper coupons with Cartwheel coupons, and purchasing when Target has the $10 gift card deal on the purchase of two large boxes of diapers. 

I love Target and Amazon so much I recently bought myself a t-shirt that says: This mom runs on coffee, Target, and Amazon Prime. I just couldn't resist....

5. Google Drive

Got documents you need to back up? My job allows us to have unlimited space on Google Drive, but even if you don't have an affiliation to the site you still get 15 GB free. I'm a teacher and I love the capabilities of Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Docs for collaborative work. These creations can easily be saved in your Google Drive or you can upload any other files you want to back-up. 

My husband and I also like to create a family budget in a spreadsheet. Learn more about budgeting in the post: Budgeting for Millennials. Google Sheets is great for this as well. You can easily share the file with your spouse and either of you can view/edit it from your own Google account as needed.


Thanks for stopping by momma. Put off your dishes and laundry and bit longer and check out these other posts: 

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms

10 Must-Haves For a Beach Trip With Baby

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Bucket List for a One Year Old

I'm a teacher so naturally I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE summer. It's simply the best time of the year. Warm weather, time off from work, and being home with my sweet little boy, enough said. 

Last summer we spent a lot of time lounging in the pool, watching TV, and snuggling, but this summer is going to be quite different. My son is one year and the world is an amazing place just ready to be explored. This summer I'm creating a bucket list of must do activities.

What's on your summer bucket list? 

Thanks for stopping by our corner of the web, stay awhile and check out some of our other posts:

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms

12 Books Every One Year Old Should Own

How to Convert Any Room Into a Playroom


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

75 Amazing Gifts to Buy for a Boy's First Birthday

My son turned one not too long ago and I'm loving all the new things he's able to do. In case you missed it, check out his big "one" fishing themed birthday party

When I first thought of what I wanted to buy him for his first birthday I was stumped. With Christmas being just a couple months before his birthday, we had already gotten so many great toys! I even had to convert the sun room of our house into a playroom. See the DIY reno here

Whether you are a mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend, I've got you covered on the perfect gift ideas for little boys. 
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.


If you know the child's size sometimes clothes are an awesome gift. This may not be the child's favorite, but when littles grow out of clothing so quickly, it can be nice to be gifted something that you would have needed to buy for your child. For my son's birthday we got some great warm weather clothes which was super nice since my child LITERALLY didn't own a thing he could wear for warmer weather. 

Another great option is accessories. My son received a pair of sunglasses for his birthday that he absolutely loves. He will bring them to me to put them on him, he wears them around for less than a minute, takes them off, then brings them back to me to put on. 

If you are not the parent, I highly recommend asking the mother or father what size the child is wearing. My 12 months son wears 18 month clothes so age and sizing may not be the same. Check out the post 7 Secrets to Shopping for Baby Boy Clothes for more info about baby boy clothes.

One of my recent obsession for baby boy clothing is Stellybelly. These clothes are reasonably priced and are more of your special occasion attire that I love dressing my child in.

Stylish Gift Ideas

2. Fedora
4. Romper
5. Jacket

Outdoor Toys/Gear

I love playing outside with my son. We go to the park frequently and he will actually start crying when I take him off of a swing. 

For my son's first birthday we purchased the Step2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse. My son is still figuring out how it works, but he really enjoys sitting in the "treehouse" looking out. My husband easily assembled this playhouse. It has a slide as well and we're working on the concept of sliding feet first and not face first...

Big Indoor Toys

We put all of our "big" indoor toys into the playroom. We have smaller toys distributed throughout the house, but the larger toys are best in a room all of their own. I wish I could tell you that just one of these toys is our favorite, but on any given day my son chooses a different one to play with. 

Small Indoor Toys

These toys seem to make there way into all areas of our house. My son will take a car or truck and push it along the floor. He doesn't quite get the concept of moving it along a track yet, but he loves the car and airplane that come with VTech Smart Wheels Airport

My son is also a big fan of the animals and farmer that come with the Fisher Price Little People Farm or Fisher Price Little People Musical Zoo Train. These parts are just the right size for his hands and he has even learned to put the animals down the silo of the farm.


My little one enjoys playing in the bath tub, which makes the fact that he's constantly rubbing sticky food in his hair, more enjoyable. We have several toys that float in the tub for him to play with.

I also bought him some Bath Bubbles for Valentine's Day that he still hasn't quite figured out. We also enjoy reading so bath books are another way to encourage this habit.

51. Boats

Practical Items

Sometimes practical items make the best gifts. I'm a disposable diaper mama all the way, but I have had problems with disposable swim diapers leaking so I'm a firm believer in the reusable swim diapers. Plus they come in all kinds of patterns and colors!

When you register for baby gifts, most mamas don't get too far past the needs/wants of the first few months. By the time babies reach a year they are doing and needing so many different things than when they were first born. A lot of these practical things have to do with eating. While mamas register for lots of bottles, sippy cups and eating utensils don't usually make the initial list.

I'm also a big fan of the reusable pouches. Pouch food can be pretty pricey, but is great on the go. I fill these reusable pouches with Applesauce Fruit Fusions, Carrot Applesauce, and Greek yogurt.

54. Reusable Swim Diapers
55. Bibs
56. Eating Utensils
57. Reusable Pouches
58. Pouch Food
59. Lunch Box
60. Plastic Storage Food Containers
61. Sippy Cups
62. Cups with Straws
63. Suction Bowls
64. Snack Catchers


Books with flaps, touch and feel, or sound are a big hit at our house. These interactive books are the perfect gift for a one year old! Check out the post 12 Books Every One Year Old Should Own for some ideas. Here are some of our favorites--


70. Spot Says Please

Touch and Feel

71. Baby Touch and Feel: Puppies and Kittens
72. Touch and Feel Farm
73. Noisy Farm


74. Baby's First Animal Treasury
75. Bedtime Songs

I hope you've found the perfect gift from these amazing 75! Let me know if you have questions about the products!


Don't forget to check out some of our other recent posts:

25 Signs You Might Be a Mommy

5 Design Hacks to Spice Up Your Living Space for Less

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms