Toddler Meal Ideas – Healthy Smoothies

Toddler meal ideas healthy smoothies
How to Get Your Toddler to Love Drinking Healthy Smoothies

Getting your toddler the nutrients they need every day to support their optimal growth and development isn’t always easy. Perhaps you have a picky eater on your hands, or maybe you just aren’t sure how to find the time to make sure you are including all of the nutrients they need when you are preparing foods.

We have struggled with all of that.

And if you have read my story, then you can understand just how important it is to me that my children grow up with the best nutritional support I can give them. Yet, I felt like a failure in this area.

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Maybe sometimes you feel like you are not quite hitting the mark when it comes to well-rounded nutrition for your child too.

There are countless online articles filled with great ideas for healthy smoothies for kids. I suggest you look up several of them, pin them, and most importantly, make them!

…but what happens when your toddler won’t drink all those nutrient-rich foods you so carefully picked out and combined for them?

There is an art to getting your toddler to LOVE drinking healthy smoothies and we achieved this with our son. He loves drinking his nutrient-rich smoothies!

I put together the exact steps we took to get him to drink his smoothies in my free guide and you can get it right here:

If you have ever struggled with picky eating or a lack of time to prepare healthy meals, then incorporating the healthy toddler smoothie regiment is a MUST. Getting your child to drink these meal improvement shakes will do wonders for their growth and development and also give you the satisfaction of knowing that your child is getting pumped full of great nutrition.

If you want to get your toddler to love drinking their healthy smoothies this guide is for you.

I can’t wait to hear how this worked for you! Make sure you send me an email or comment below once you have started implementing these steps for your child so I can hear about your results!

Speak soon,

Postpartum Essentials

Postpartum Essentials
Short on time? Here is the bullet point summary:
  • Go straight to the Postpartum Essentials Visual Buying Guide for information each Item that is necessary for after birth care of mom.
  • Know that it is ok to share how you are really feeling during this time with your trusted family, friends, and health care providers. Get help if you need it!
  • Take some baby-free time to do something you love in little moments throughout your day/week. For me it was tending to my garden.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

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Here for the story? My postpartum essentials for taking care of yourself after having a baby are as follows:

Postpartum essentials will be slightly different for each woman and it is different for each baby you have.

One of the things I quickly realized after having my first baby is that people do not talk about the realities of postpartum issues before you have your first child.

It wasn’t until I was doing my research while I was pregnant with my first baby that I realized there was going to be several weeks of postpartum bleeding to deal with.

This just never seemed to have come up in my conversations with other women who had already had kids. Not to mention everything else that happens in the weeks following birth.

It just wasn’t something I thought I would need to be prepared for.

Isn’t it all done after labor and delivery? Then we shift our focus to newborn care, right? Yes and no.

We don’t talk about the reality of postpartum care for mom enough.

My intention is not to be negative, and I suspect that is one of the reasons women don’t talk about the realities of birth more. I am just trying to be realistic, honest, and informative.

The realities of postpartum healing are not something you want to be a surprise on top of dealing with a newborn and all that comes with that.

If at anytime you feel that the thoughts and feelings you are having are not normal, please let women you trust in your life know and consult your healthcare provider.

Here are some of my essentials for dealing with postpartum care:
 
Part 1.

Be prepared with the Postpartum Essentials Buying Guide I have put together for you.

If you don’t know where to start or don’t have time to go flipping through multiple websites to figure out what you will need for your postpartum care, then I have put together the Postpartum Essentials Visual Buying Guide for you.

Just click the items you need and then you are done or use it as a guide to find similar items when you go to the store. I explain what the items are and why you need them in the guide.

There are a lot of blog posts that list tons and tons of items you supposedly need for after baby. But I have included what I consider to be the essential basics. You may consider including some other items based on your own personal care preferences and style.

 
Part 2.

Know that it is OK and normal to have negative thoughts about birth, to be in pain, and to not enjoy this very short (but impactful) season of life.

I felt so full of shame after giving birth to my first son because I didn’t have those overwhelming good thoughts and feelings that every woman always seemed to talk about.

You know…when people say things like, “Once the baby comes out you forget about all the pain and you just gaze into their eyes and everything is magical”…Yeah, no.

That wasn’t my emotional or physical experience and I spent the first few months of new motherhood feeling like a complete failure because of it.

Once I finally told a few women in my family about what I was really thinking during birth and those first few months afterwards I discovered that they all had had similar experiences.

It is perfectly normal to not enjoy those experiences and there is no need to feel like a terrible mother for not feeling and thinking about the “magic” of it all.

Just so you know, it is possible to be absolutely in LOVE with your new baby AND to have realistic thoughts and feelings about the actual process of the birth and postpartum recovery experience.

Women don’t need to deny the reality of the pain and emotional toll the pregnancy and birthing processes take on our bodies in order to be considered good mothers.

You are amazing. Your body is amazing. This journey is spectacular, even if you don’t enjoy every aspect of it.

Part 3.

Know what to expect. Do your research, read other mom’s experiences, watch youtube videos, and get the advice of your medical care professional on after care tips and essentials.

Make sure you plan small amounts of time throughout the day when you can get some baby-free time to do something you love.

It doesn’t matter how much time it is, take what you can get.

For me, I took those moments to get out in my garden. It was restorative to be out in the sunshine for a few moments here and there. Find those moments for yourself, even if its just 5 minutes!

Women could swap stories for hours and hours about their different birth and postpartum experiences.

There is so much your body goes through after birth and in the future I will be writing more about my personal experience. For now, these postpartum essentials helped me get through both of my postpartum experiences and I hope they help you navigate yours as well.

What was your postpartum experience like? Share your story in the comments below.

Baby Products I Regret Buying: Baby Bottle Edition

baby products I regret buying baby bottle edition

This edition of Baby Products I Regret Buying is all about baby bottles.

Nanobebe Bottles:

I did not like these bottles. We already had bottles that I found during my first pregnancy that we loved using with our first son. However, I was in the store one day and saw the Nanobebe collection.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

I bought them because I liked the concept of the breast milk freezer storage system they have. I still like the freezer storage system, so you may want to look into that and just buy that instead of the entire Nanobebe bottle collection.

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Here is what I didn’t like about the Nanobebe Bottles and adapter parts:

I noticed there would be times when my son was feeding that it seemed like it was flowing too quickly out of the bottle and he would start to gag a little.

This is not an issue with the bottles we normally use, so for me it is a deal breaker.

The tops that come with the bottles also don’t screw on very tight. When I was using the adapters they have that allow you to pump directly into their bottle it came loose several times while pumping.

Thankfully I caught it before there was any spilt milk. I just went back to using my regular pump bottles which work fine.

Overall the Nanobebe bottles were a fail for me. I do like & use their milk storage system. I would recommend that if you are looking for something to organize your frozen milk in.

However, we went back to using the comotomo bottles we already LOVE instead of sticking with the Nanobebe collection. You can check out the baby bottles I love and recommend here.

So many people loved my original post on baby products I regret buying that I have decided to continue with this as a series, broken down by baby item category. You can check out the original post here.

Let me know which baby bottles you love in the description below!

Speak Soon,

Favorite Baby Books pt. 2

favorite baby books pt 2

Here is part two of my favorite baby books series. You can check out part one here. There are so many baby and toddler books we are finding that we love that I am just going to have to keep making more videos in this series.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Short on time? Here is the bullet point summary:

  • I like this Sophie’s Big Word Book because it is full of great starter words for baby. My first son is a toddler now and he still loves this book. It is a great book to teach them new words, colors, and numbers. 
  • Punky & Dunky is a family treasure. It is a book written by my husband’s grandmother and is very special story for our family. I think it is a great book to read at bath time or bedtime for any child!
  • This Little Explorer series of books is adorable and educational. 
  • All of these books make great baby registry items! Reading to baby at any age is so very important! 
  • I suggest listening to the audible version of Brain Rules For Baby to understand the science behind the importance of reading to your child from an early age.

Get on the list to be entered in our monthly GIVEAWAYS!

Here for the story? Here is part two of my favorite baby books:

I am obsessed with books. Just ask my husband who has moved all of my books on countless occasions…upstairs…downstairs…across country…etc.

When I was in college in Australia, most of the boxes of stuff I mailed home when it was time to leave were boxes of books.  So when it came time to have kids, I knew that reading would be an important part of our daily lives. 

When I was doing my research during my first pregnancy I came across a great book called Brain Rules for Baby. It goes into more depth on the best practices for raising happy and healthy kids.

Reading was a big rule! I even think it is more important than the majority of the items we end up putting on our baby registries!

It is definitely a category that should start being represented on people’s “Ultimate Baby Registry” lists more. 

In my efforts to continue to find educational, creative, and inspiring books to surround my kids with I am pressing forward with part two of my favorite baby books. You can check out part one here.

3 Books for my Baby Book List

The first book I am adding to the favorite baby book list this time is Sophie’s Big Word Book

I like that it is a board book because it is durable. We bring it everywhere with us and it has held up for several months now. My son LOVES it.

At first he would point to all the pictures and quiz us on the words. Now, he is able to find the items on each page himself. It is a great book to grow with your baby as they achieve higher levels of understanding. 

The next book I am adding to the favorite baby book list is Punky & Dunky: A Tale of Two Adventurous Monkeys.  This book is so special to my family.

It was written by my husbands grandmother.

Punky & Dunky were characters she used to make up stories about to her kids when they were growing up. In this book, she has so thoughtfully included all of her grandchildren as characters, including my husband and I.

It is truly a family treasure! If you get a copy, let me know in the comments below when you find us in it!

The last books I will add to this favorite baby books list are The Little Explorer Series. These little books are educational and fun to read. They also have This Little Scientist, President, and Trailblazer series

If you want to continue hearing about my favorite baby books make sure you sign up to my e-mail list and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get updates on new content.

Speak Soon, 

Baby on a Budget: How to save money preparing for baby

I have two tips that we used in preparation for baby that helped save us hundreds – possibly thousands – of dollars. I personally found the vast amount of baby products to look through to be completely overwhelming.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Short on time? Here is the bullet point summary:

  • The Minimalist Mom book as a blueprint for creating your baby registry with the items you will actually need for baby. She also helps you understand what you may want and also things you probably just don’t need.
  • Start your free baby registry with amazon because it is so easy to share it with friends and family. No extra websites to sign into…if you are like me you don’t need another set of log-in credentials to keep track of. You can start your baby registry here
  • Install the honey plug-in on your internet browser (super easy, just click here to sign up). Make sure you check your shopping carts on your desktop before making any purchases online. The honey plug-in finds savings across most websites for you at checkout. Don’t pay more than you have to, get it here. It has saved us over $1000. 

Get on the list to be entered in our monthly GIVEAWAYS!

Here for the story? Here are the two tips I used to save money preparing for baby:

There are just too many options in pretty much every category when it comes to buying things for baby. That is one of the reasons I decided to start this blog.

I enjoyed finding the best baby items and I constantly found myself thinking, “I wish someone just had this all put together in one place”…and then I decided to get started on creating it!

I have more detailed Baby Essentials information coming soon, so make sure you subscribe to my e-mail list so you know when those posts are published. 

In my research during my first pregnancy I was surprised by the amount of quality products I was finding on amazon. Many of the brands I had found and loved were starting to sell on amazon.

It made me so happy to be able to easily get pretty much everything we decided to get for baby #1 all in one place. 

It is also really easy to create an amazon baby registry and share it with friends and family since most everyone you know is probably already using amazon on a regular basis.

You can start a free baby registry here

 
There are two things I did that saved us money while I was researching and buying the stuff that we needed for baby that I highly recommend. 

  1. I am so glad I read The Minimalist Mom. It helped me sort through what we would actually need vs. what we might just want for baby. 
  2. I downloaded the honey savings browser plug-in on my desktop and did all my shopping on my desktop to make sure I got notified of every possible savings available through the plug-in. It also gives us money back whenever we purchase from certain websites like The Honest Company.

These two tips alone saved us hundreds of dollars buying baby gear. It has since saved us money every time I buy something online.

I always check my amazon cart on my desktop before checking out to make sure I have the best deal through the honey plug-in.

You just sign-up, install it (super easy, just click a button), and it does all the work finding savings on multiple websites for you. It has found savings for me on just about every website I have purchased something from since installing it. Yes, even Anthropologie. (guilty pleasure)

If you want to save that kind of money too, you can get the honey plug-in here.

 
The Minimalist Mom

Starting off by reading The Minimalist Mom was such a good idea. I love it when I find a book and then that book ends up having such a positive impact on my life. This was one of those books. 

It is so easy to get caught up in all of the things you can buy for baby. The marketplace is HUGE. It is also much easier to spend money on your kids, in my opinion. This could be a terrible combination.

In an effort to have more things that enhance our life and less stuff that doesn’t, I wanted to give a minimalist approach a try. 

This book helped me understand exactly what was essential for a baby, what was actually optional, and what I might want to consider based on our lifestyle.

For example, you may not need a stroller based on where you live and what activities you do or don’t do. However, you will most likely need a car seat, some onesies, and diapers. You get the point. 

I used this book as my buying template to help me navigate the line between “need” and “want”. If you think that might be helpful you should check out the book here

Also, there is BRAND NEW content coming to my YouTube channel soon. So make sure you subscribe so you know when it is live. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here

P.S. I am working on being less awkward on camera…ha. 

Let me know what your experience with The Minimalist Mom & the Honey plug-in are in the comments below! For baby products I regret buying, check out this post. I look forward to getting to know you! Thanks so much for watching & reading!

Minimalist Mom Fail – Baby Products I Regret Buying

minimalist mom fail

minimalist mom fail

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was determined to approach the process of buying items I needed for baby as a minimalist. However, I was so excited to have this entire new world of stuff opened up to me that I failed miserably in my efforts to get the minimal things.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

 

Short on time? Here is the bullet point overview:

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Sticking around for the story?

 

Here is the updated story on our minimalist journey and baby products I regret:

Originally, I regretted purchasing those items because I ended up not using them.

I have to say that other than those three baby products, I did a really good job not buying excessive amounts of baby things. We didn’t overbuy in any other baby category and the items I got I ABSOLUTELY LOVED. 

So maybe I only slightly failed at being a minimalist when it comes to buying things for baby.

Now we have two children and I can say that we use the 4Moms MamaRoo everyday. When you have two kids, you need a safe place to set the baby down and it works for us.

I have not needed to use the Joovy walker or the Jolly Jumper with our second child yet because he is too young for them.

A few weeks after filming this video, my first baby actually started using the jumper and after capturing multiple adorable moments like this on camera, I was glad that I had purchased the jumper.

Minimalist Mom Fail - Baby Products I Regret Buying

My intentions were good when it came to the Joovy walker. I had hoped to avoid needing a high chair by getting the walker. I also wanted to have the option to use the tray as an activity center for different developmental toys.

We never really ended up using it for these things. At the time we lived in a two story home and it just wasn’t something I found myself going to use when I needed to feed or play with my first baby.

We got these adorable photos of him, but that is about it really.

Minimalist Mom Fail - Baby Products I Regret Buying Minimalist Mom Fail - Baby Products I Regret Buying

These were baby products I regret buying because we were trying to follow a more minimalist approach to purchasing everything we needed for baby. However, I do recommend them all if they fit into your baby plan!

I did end up following my own advice (in the video) and I got the Peg Perego Siesta Highchair. We use this everyday and I love it.

It cleans up nicely and it is durable. However, I do wish both sets of wheels had the ability to turn. It would make pushing it around much easier. Also, the straps were impossible to get off so I could wash them.

Eventually we managed to unscrew them without stripping the screw that connects them to the chair. I’m not sure if that was user error, but now we can remove them to clean and It makes me love it even more.

When I was buying everything for baby the first time around I used the honey plug-in and it saved me $(or even more) dollars while I was shopping online.

I refuse to shop online without it now, and I don’t think you should shop online without it either. You can get it here and start saving today. I also have a video on how we saved money preparing for baby from a minimalist approach and you can view it here.

Quick tip: Make sure you install the honey plug-in on your desktop computer right away and always check your shopping cart on your desktop to make sure you are getting the BEST deal through honey before you press the purchase button! – deals aren’t found on mobile devices through the honey plug-in. I ALWAYS check my amazon cart for better prices through honey on my desktop before checking out to maximize my savings!

This plug-in has saved us over $1000 in the past year just on amazon alone. It also gives us money back whenever we purchase from certain websites like The Honest Company.

Some of my thoughts on our minimalism journey:

I love the idea of being a total minimalist. I also love shopping and the positive benefits that everyday items can bring to our lives.

So, for us, practicing minimalism is all about finding a balance between our stuff and how that stuff impacts the function of our daily lives.

If it is causing a negative impact, then we let it go. If it is causing a positive impact, it stays. For now, this is what our focus is.

I hope this helps inspire you on your path! Let me know if there are any baby products you regret buying or how you approach minimalism in the comments below!

Speak Soon,

everyday with baby

The Best Baby Advice I Received

the best baby advice I ever received

The best baby advice I received came from all of the wonderful women in my family who helped me get through the stress of being a new parent!

I hope that you find some encouragement in their advice and that you are able to navigate the sometimes overwhelming and overly opinionated world of motherhood with strength & grace!

Get on the list to be entered in our monthly GIVEAWAYS!

You can do it and I look forward to hearing about your journey in the comment section!

Be sure to subscribe to my channel for weekly videos & comment so I can get to know you. Share your best baby advice in the comments below. 

Speak Soon, 

The Best Prenatal Supplement

the best prenatal

The best prenatal supplement I found was the Garden of Life Raw Prenatal with probiotics. I was doing a little research trying to find the best option and I stumbled across a website from a Lab that does 3rd party testing of all kinds of supplements.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Get on the list to be entered in our monthly GIVEAWAYS!

They had a list of the top prenatal supplements that they tested and this one was the best. You can view the results of their testing here.

I started taking them several months before I got pregnant. I noticed a huge difference in how I felt, specifically during my menstrual cycle.

I had less pain, and I just felt so much better during that time in general. The only thing I had changed in my routine was taking this prenatal, so I was sold. I still take them because I am currently breastfeeding and I will continue to take them throughout future pregnancies.

What I don’t like is when I can’t tell if a supplement actually works, and this is one of the few supplements I have ever taken that I can say I for sure noticed a positive difference. I highly recommend it!

If you or someone you know is looking to begin their pregnancy journey and you have found this helpful please feel free to share it with them. 

Speak Soon, 

Best Diaper Rash Cream

the best diaper rash cream

The best diaper rash cream we found and love is The Honest Company diaper rash cream.

So we actually started off using a natural baby powder, more as a preventative and we didn’t have any diaper rash issues for several months. This Wild Carrot baby powder is fantastic and my husband thinks it smells like fruity pebbles. I guess that’s a win-win.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Get on the list to be entered in our monthly GIVEAWAYS!

Finally, baby got his first little rash that didn’t go away after a day or two of coconut oil so off to the store we went to find a solution.

I ended up picking up The Honest Company diaper rash cream because of the ingredients. I didn’t feel it was necessary to get a cream that had a bunch of chemicals in it if there was a different option.

That’s just my personal thought process on purchasing any kind of products. If there is a cleaner version (as in less chemicals, fillers, things you can’t pronounce), then I might as well get that one.

So we got home from the store and I use the cream on him and in the morning it was all cleared up. It has worked so wonderfully for us since then and other than the ingredients the things I like about it are that it is not sticky or gross and it has a nice natural scent.

Let me know if you have any good natural remedies for diaper rash in the comment section below. 

Favorite Baby Books

favorite baby books part 1

Today I want to share some of our favorite baby books with you! Cultivating a love of reading in your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

It all starts with exploring the world of books with them from the very beginning. I am putting a more detailed post together on how to cultivate a love of reading in your child, so be sure to get on my e-mail list so you know when that post is live.

This post may contain affiliate links which may mean I receive a commission when you click on a link, at no extra cost to you. I only link to things I love.

Get on the list to be entered in our monthly GIVEAWAYS!

Here are some of my favorite baby books right now:

I always love seeing what books other moms are exploring with their kids. One of my favorite baby book videos is from Oh Gee It’s Bri, who is one of my favorite YouTube moms to watch.

Don’t forget that books are a great item to add to your baby registry! Trust me, you don’t need everyone getting you a gazillion outfits.

Books make a great registry item because they are on the lower end of the cost spectrum but will ultimately have a lasting impact on the development of your child. 

The first book baby book that we love and I highly recommend is the Indestructible series of books.

This was actually a suggestion from my sister-in-law when she had her first child. I just loved the concept of a book that couldn’t be destroyed. So when we had our first we went straight for the Indestructibles.

These are great because baby can chew and slobber all over it and they cannot be destroyed.  There are lots of colors and you can still actually read it to them. Another plus is they are washable!

They are always adding new books to their series and you can check them out here

The next baby books that we absolutely love are the Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet series!

I really love the style of the illustrations. Jessie has made learning the alphabet super fun & informative with these books. I actually enjoy reading them for myself as well.

You can get them in fruit, vegetables, flowers, bugs, birds, and trees. They are beautiful to read through and I think they are really good for a wide age range because they are informative and they are also more durable in a board book style.

There are so many more I could go over and you can check out my favorite baby books pt. 2 here.

 

For now, I will end this post with our final favorite baby book selection which is the Star Wars ABC book. It is so funny to hear my husband reading this to our son. It’s full of little jokes and comments that only the adults will pick up on if you are a Star Wars fan. It’s very entertaining.

There are so many more books that we have started to enjoy so we will continue with this series in the future.  I think reading to baby is one of the best learning activities you can do. The books we pick for our children need to be educational as well as fun and geared towards promoting literacy and creativity.

If you liked this post and would like to see more book suggestions be sure to comment below with some of your favorite baby books.

You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel where I will be posting new videos soon! 

Speak Soon,