Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July Gift Exchange

When Elizabeth {Chasin' Mason}  posted that she, Courtney {Sweet Turtle Soup}, and Jamie  {Cocktails and Carseats} would be hosting their 3rd annual Christmas in July Exchange I knew I wanted to participate. Christmas is my favorite holiday and being able to celebrate in July..that was a no brainer! I also love connecting with other bloggers and thought this would be a great way to do that! 

I was paired with Jamie from Cocktails and Carseats  who happened to be one of the hosts of this fun link up! To check out the fun things that I sent to her girls head over to her blog and read all about it! 

We got the sweetest package in the mail from Ashley {Everythings Hunky Dorey} and her two sweet kiddos Wyatt and Stella. 

 The presents were wrapped in the cutest paw patrol paper. Jack loves anything dog so this was right up his ally! Not only did they send sweet gifts for Jack and Graham she also included some chocolate for mama! She definitely knows the key to any moms heart is through chocolate!

 Jack was so excited to start opening the presents. He immediately saw the stickers and was pumped. He loves anything that has wheels and these stickers were trucks, cars, space ships..all boy!

You can tell Graham also was excited about the stickers! Jack was not so happy about that and immediately gave him something else to get the stickers back!

 While Graham was occupied with the wrapped package Jack started opening his.

 I have never seen this before but it is 3-D chalk! It's the coolest thing ever. You draw with this chalk and then put the glasses on and your pictures come to life. We have had so much fun with it!

Graham was also interested in mamas chocolate!

Graham got the cutest turtle that has little poppers in it and when it rolls they move about. Its been so entertaining for him and I've been using it to try and coax him to start crawling!

 The next thing Jack opened was bubble for the boys! It came with a cool bubble wand that is batter operated. We love bubbles and have had fun playing with this! Jack loves to chase them and Graham loves to stare at them!

 Sweet boy trying to show his brother the bubbles!

 Here are the awesome presents that they got!

This was such a fun exchange to do! We had the best time shopping for our friends that we sent gifts to and the boys loved getting to unwrap some fun presents for them! Thank you so much ladies for putting this together, I can't wait to participate in the next one!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Six to Nine Month Favorites

I haven't written a favorites post in a long time. Now that Graham is almost nine months old I figured that I would update everyone on what our favorite products have been to get us thus far!

Six months is when I really think Graham "woke up" and started becoming more of a baby and less of an infant. He started to like and dislike things and he began laughing and talking {yelling/squealing}. We also started baby food so that has been fun to see what he likes or doesn't like {hint: he loves it all}

With each month that we've had Graham has grown and developed a little bit more. At six months he still wasn't sitting unassisted. But by eight months he was sitting alone and starting to reach for things. Now at almost nine months he has able to go from sitting to his belly and does the "hover". I really think he's going to be crawling by the end of the month!

Baby Oatmeal- This is what we first started Graham on when we started solids. I have skipped rice cereal with both my boys because I've always heard it has no nutritional value.

Maracas- Graham loves these. They are small enough that he can hold them in his hand and of course anything that makes noise is a win for a baby.

Bath Seat- This was a total game changer for bath time! I like to bathe the boys together and Graham had outgrown the baby tub but wasn't stable enough to sit in the tub by himself. This keeps him sitting and safe from big brother splashing and thrashing around in the tub. {I got mine off eBay and it came super fast!}

Travel Sophie- This is a great thing to throw in the car/purse/carseat when we go anywhere. Graham can grasp it easily and I can also attach it with rings to anything.

Sound Machine- I have always used a sound machine with both boys. It's a must in my book to have babies sleeping good. We turn it up loud and it drowns out any other noise.

Baby Brezza- If you are formula feeding this is hands down a must! It makes bottles in seconds and they are already warm! It's like a keurig for formula. go to for mamas who formula feed!

Jumperoo- Graham loves this! He goes to town jumping up and down.

Baby food pouches- I totally made my own baby food with Jack but with a busy toddler and a baby that just didn't happen with Graham. I love the organic pouches, they are portable and super easy to carry around. Especially once they are able to suck them straight from the spout.

Sophie- This is also a great toy for babies. It makes for a great teether too!

Pacis- Both my boys have been huge paci lovers and we've gone with Mam from the start.

Baby Piano- This is a fun toy, it plays music, counts, and plays animal sounds. A great developmental toy for babies

Monday, July 18, 2016

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. We really didn't do a lot. Friday night we had some friends over and the rest of the weekend we were lazy. I spent some time organizing and packing for our trip.

I have shared before that Jack is the pickiest eater known to man. He has a list of like 5-10 things he will eat and thats it. It's beyond frustrating for me. For breakfast he eats mini pancakes or a waffle taco (waffle w/pb folded in half). He does love the mini muffins that you can buy at the store. I was trying to think of something I could make to see if he would eat it. I had a batch of over ripe bananas and decided that I would make some muffins to see if I could get him to eat them. He's all of a sudden been super picky about banana. {insert eye roll emoji here}.

This recipe is super quick..I was able to whip them up and bake all while my boys napped!

The original recipe calls for all purpose flour. I like to use whole wheat flour whenever possible so I decided to do a half and half mixture.

You will need:
2-3 ripe and peeled bananas, 1/3 cup melted butter, 3/4 cup sugar {I always err on the lesser side but you can also add more if you like yours sweeter}, 1 egg beaten, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp baking soda, pinch of salt, 1 1/2 cups flour {I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all purpose)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease your cupcake tin or loaf pan whichever you want to use works fine!
Mash the ripe bananas in your mixer, or in a bowl

Stir in the melted butter. I let cool slightly before pouring in.

Add in your sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla and mix until combined. Once combined add in the flour and stir just until incorporated. The batter will be pretty thick.

I used my cookie scoop to drop into the cupcake tins. You could also make these in a mini muffin tin. ( I did this the first time I made these)

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. If making muffins it will be a little less time. Let cool for a few minutes before turning out onto cooling rack.

These were a total hit in my family. You could easily add in spinach if you want to sneak some veggies in (it will turn the batter green), chocolate chips, peanut butter, walnuts. I like them just as they are though. My favorite way is to slice a piece of bread and toast with butter. Such a yummy treat or a great breakfast item!

Enjoy! Have a great Monday sweet friends. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Fri-Yay! Gosh this week has dragged on. It's been hotter than anything every day which makes for some lazy afternoons spent inside enjoying the AC. We haven't been to the pool in almost 3 weeks. I don't do heat and humidity well and when you add in two small kids going anywhere is a chore. Just loading them into their carseats in my garage causes me to break out into a sweat.

My top favorites this week:

O N E // I really haven't felt much like cooking this week because it's been so incredibly hot. The last thing I want to do is stand over hot stove or make Patrick grill out after he's been outside working all day. Last week I picked up this magazine at Harris Teeter. It has some awesome quick recipes. I tried out the baked ravioli. It was so good and Patrick didn't even miss the fact that it didn't have meat. Although you could easily add ground beef to the sauce.

T W O // Nothing makes my heart happier than seeing my babies playing with my friends babies. Yesterday afternoon my bestie drove about an hour from where she lives to come play for the afternoon. She has the cutest one year old little boy. The boys all had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with her!

T H R E E // Yesterday I had to take my car to the dealership for an oil change and inspection. Usually I just drop it off but I wasn't able to do so today. So I packed my lap top and my coffee and decided to wait it out in the lobby. Usually I would have been so bothered that I waited for 2 hours but honestly it was nice to be able to sit and relax and even work on some upcoming blog posts without having a little one constantly needing my attention.

 F O U R // These smiles. I just can't get enough. Such a happy gummy grin that I"m going to miss seeing as soon as his teeth start popping in!

F I V E //  Spontaneous lunch dates with this guy are my favorite! We were able to sneak away for a quick lunch just the two of us.

I saw these two pictures come up on my instagram newsfeed this week and they both made me laugh because they are both so me.

A pretty random bunch of things this week. We are having some friends over tonight and because it's again..SO HOT {incase you haven't heard!} we are just going to do a bunch of apps. I also need to get my fanny in gear and get this family packed because we leave for our trip in the near future!

Have a great weekend, sweet friends!

* Linking up with April, Erika, and Karli