Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chanukah Placemats

Happy Chanukah!

Last night was the first night of Chanukah. I love this holiday and it's extra fun that this year it coincides with Thanksgiving.

I picked up a Chanukah Placemat coloring set for a small project my toddler could do. He enjoyed coloring the pictures, and really any holiday pictures can be printed and used for this project. 

I set out some crayons and stickers and let Munchkin decorate the placemats. He barely colored, because I told him we were going to laminate and he was way too excited!

We then laminated the placemats and they have so many different uses. They would make great mats to put under the menorah to catch any dripping wax. Munchkin also wants to use his placemats for meal times on Chanukah. These would also work as great placemats for a Thanksgivukkah meal! They could also work as mats to spin dreidel on.

Wishing everyone a Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes for Baby's First Birthday

Healthy, absolutely yummy tasting Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by niner bakes
Photo courtesy of niner bakes

I adapted this recipe from the niner bakes blog. I was looking for a healthier cupcake recipe, and these came out delicious!


1 1/4 cups of whole wheat or white whole wheat flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 a cup of applesauce + 2 tsp of oil

1/2 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar

sprinkles (optional)

I'm pretty much the laziest baker ever, so I didn't follow her steps. I mixed the milk and vinegar separately, and then combined all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then I added the milk mixture to the batter. I mixed everything by hand, and it worked out well. Munchkin helped out as well, so it was a great bonding activity for us. I baked them at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

They taste really good! Baby E is not a huge fan, but everyone else in the family is definitely enjoying them. I put some whipped cream and a candle on top when we sang Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday Baby E!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Top Picks for 1st Birthday Gifts!

Baby E turns 1 this week! I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. I have been trying to come up with some good gift ideas that will get a lot of use. We have plenty of toys already, so I have been trying to think of some other ideas. Here are a few of my top picks:

Ride-on toys: I think this is my favorite gift idea for this age set. Riding toys have so many different uses, and are often loved well into the toddler years. These are some of my favorites:

 Little Tykes Push and Ride Racer


Radio Flyer Scoot About

Push Toys: Kids just love pushing these toys around, and they are great for cruisers and early walkers. I have this walker from Playskool waiting for Baby E:

Playskool Walk n Ride

I also think this is an adorable Push toy!

Melissa And Doug Rattle Rumble Push Toy

Toddler Chair: Toddlers love having a special chair that is just for them. A toddler-sized chair is a great place for reading books and relaxing. The Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere Chair is very pretty but also pricey.

For a more affordable option, I found this P'kolino chair on Amazon that comes in a variety of pretty colors.

Toddler Size hooded towels: Most babies are outgrowing the smaller hooded towels by 12 months. I love hooded towels, and want to use them as long as possible. There are so many cute designs that would make a great gift.

Skip Hop Hooded Towel

Books: We have so many books, but if you are looking to build your collection, books make a great 1st birthday gift. Baby E loves touch and feel books like this one:

Zoo or Museum membership: This is a great opportunity to buy a membership to fun places like the Zoo or children's museum. Baby is still too young to be upset if there are no presents to open, and will have lots of fun exploring new places.

What are your great gift ideas?

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This post contains affiliate links

Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Britax Marathon 70-G3

At 11 months, Baby E was getting very close to the top of his Snugride 35, so I had to find a convertible seat for him. I am now the proud owner of two Marathon 70's. The Marathon 70-G3 is very similar to the old Marathon 70, with just a few small differences.

Mathon 70-G3 in Onyx

Here are some features of the Marathon 70-G3:
  • Rear facing to 40 pounds, forward facing to 70: The seat will most likely be outgrown rear facing by height before your child reaches 40 pounds, but this seat still allows most kids to rear face past age 2. 
  • Safety: The Marathon 70-G3 has lots of great safety features including SafeCell technology, versa tether, side impact protection, and HUGS chest pads. You can read about all these features and more on the Britax website.
  • Easy adjust harness: I love how easy it is to tighten or loosen the harness, and the seat has Velcro sewn into the sides of the seat to help keep the straps untangled. The height of the harness can also be easily adjusted as your child grows- no re-threading necessary!
  • E-Z Buckle System: This is a new feature of the 70-G3 which prevents your child from sitting on the center buckle when placing them in the carseat. I love this feature, and wish I had it on my toddler's seat.
  • Super comfy seat: Both my kids are very comfortable in their Marathons. Baby E was much happier as soon as we switched him to the convertible seat. The seat pad is also easily removable and washable. 
  • EASY install: This is probably the most important feature to me, and why I keep coming back to Britax. It is so easy to get a good install on this seat using either latch or the seat belt. The seat has built in lock-offs for a quick and smooth seat belt install. 
The seat is pretty big, as most convertible carseats are. We have traveled by air with the Marathon 70, and while it is not pleasant, it is definitely do-able. 

In my opinion, the only major con of this carseat is the relatively short shell height of the seat. I wish it was taller! There are other carseats like the Radian that will give you a couple more inches of shell height.

Overall, I am really happy with our new seat. 

our setup
*Disclosure of Material Connection: This post contains affiliate links