Baby’s First Easter Basket

Babys-First-Easter-Basket-1As a brand new mom, there are so many things that I am looking forward to doing! Of course, I’m super excited to watch my baby learn and grow every single day! It is amazing how from one day to the next, I can literally see him changing before my eyes. From the expressions he makes to the sounds he makes and the “communicating” he does-it is just incredible how quickly babies change! He’s becoming more aware of the world around him and getting more and more curious everyday! Of course, I’m also excited to experience all of his “firsts” with him.

Well, with Easter quickly approaching, I am getting more and more excited about his first Easter! I am really looking forward to all of the special things that this holiday will include: an adorable outfit, his first Easter basket, and lots of special family photos and memories!

Today I am sharing what I’m including in his Easter basket! When I first started thinking about it, I thought to myself-What in the world do you put in an Easter basket for a 3-month old?!? In our family, Easter baskets typically consisted of lots & lots of candy and a few other small items too. So, with a 3-month old who can’t eat candy yet, what am I going to do?!? Well, that’s when I started to get creative!

There are two main things I kept in mind when choosing what items to get. First of all, I didn’t want to just get a bunch of little, junky things that would probably end up getting thrown away. And second of all, I wanted to ensure that the items I got were useful and possibly things that were already on my “list” of things to get for him.

Take a look at what we got for our baby’s first Easter basket…

Of course, you first have to start with the basket. We wanted to choose something nice that we will be able to use for years to come. So we chose this nice wicker basket with a blue and green plaid lining! It was pretty inexpensive-we purchased it at Walmart.

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Next on the list was a Baby’s 1st Easter bib! We want him to wear a nice outfit on Easter (a dress shirt, dress pants and suspenders) but we still wanted something cute for his first Easter as well. This bib was exactly what I was looking for to add to his outfit! I also found these cute little bunny ears for some adorable photo ops!

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Next on the list were some little toys for him! I chose a velvety, blue bunny lovey and a soft, little giraffe stuffed animal. He is very fond of stuffed toys right now, so these were the perfect addition to his basket!

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His favorite pacifiers were a must! His favorite is the “Gumdrop” style pacifiers (By The First Years) as this is what they gave him at the hospital. He also likes the Soothie binky (By Phillips Avent), they are very similar.

He is really starting to get interested in the world around him, so I thought bubbles would be something fun for us to do on the back porch once the weather warms up!

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He is still in need of some summer clothing. I chose an adorable Ninja Turtle onesie and also a swimsuit (trunks & a shirt) for our summer adventures!

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Last but not least, I chose some books to add to his basket…

Guess How Much I Love You
The Easter Basket (a beautiful pop-up book)
Corduroy’s Easter Party
The Runaway Bunny

We are working on building a little library for him, so of course I wanted to add some books. My goal is to buy him several themed books for each & every holiday going forward! That way he will have a wonderful variety of holiday books!

Some other ideas for books are…

The Velveteen Rabbit
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Pat the Bunny
The Little Lamb
The Little Duck
The Little Rabbit

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Here is what his basket looked like once I gathered everything together!

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Here is a compiled list of ideas for your baby’s first Easter basket-whether you have a little girl or a little boy!

Easter/Bunny/Springtime Themed Books
Sunglasses
Swimsuit
Sunhat
Bubbles
Small Toys (Trucks, Etc)
Sippy Cup
Plates/Bowls/Utensils
Bath Toys
Bunny Ears
Spring/Summer Clothes
Children’s Bible
Sandals
Bowtie or Bonnet
Baby’s First Easter Bib or Onesie
Wooden Toys or Puzzles
Stuffed Toys or Lovies
Snacks (If your baby is old enough for foods)
Rattles or Teethers

Putting together an Easter basket for the first time is so exciting and so much fun! What are you including in your child’s Easter basket? What are some other ideas for fun, non-candy items? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below-I always love to hear from my readers!

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My 2-Week Meal Plan {March 18, 2017 Edition}

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Hey Friends! Today, I’m sharing my family’s meal plan for the next 2 weeks! I’ve had a pretty busy weekend, so I’m a day late! But better late than never, right?!

You’ll notice on my meal plan this week that we have a rehearsal dinner and wedding at the end of the week! My husband is going to be a groomsman in one of his friend’s weddings, so we will be having a fun wedding weekend! One added perk of a wedding was that I got to pick out my baby boy’s first “formal” clothes! How exciting!! I picked out the cutest outfit (Carter’s of course)  pair of dress pants with embroidered nautical designs, a pair of suspenders and a little dress shirt onesie! He looks so handsome in it!! I can’t wait to dress him up for the wedding!!

Also, you may notice that a few meals from my last meal plan are re-appearing on my menu for this week. So, whenever we have something come up that changes our meal-plan, I simply shift the meals that I didn’t use from the last 2 week period and move them to the new meal list. This is when it is so important to be flexible. Whether it’s making last-minute plans with friends, stopping at a restaurant because it was a busy day, or simply having leftovers from the day before, it’s always important to be flexible with your meal plan. The one thing that really effected our meal plan over the last 2 weeks was having a lot of leftovers. The batch of hobo beans that I made lasted us several days and we also had a lot of leftover pizza from a visit with some friends. Having leftovers for a dinner is a great way to ensure that food doesn’t go to waste. It also helps your grocery budget stretch a little bit further the following week because you already have ingredients for several meals that you maybe didn’t get to make the week before.

So, here is what meals I am planning for my family over the next 2 weeks! My hope is that my ideas will inspire you in your own meal-planning adventure! You know from my previous posts that I am pretty passionate about meal-planning. It has made such a huge difference for our family. It brings so much peace and order to our evening routine and makes my life so much less stressful! And who doesn’t like less stress-I know I do!!

If you haven’t already, check out my methods and tips for meal-planning here!
What’s for Dinner? The Reason I started Meal Planning
Tips for Successful Meal Planning

Week 1
Sunday-Coconut Shrimp, French Fries, Vegetable
Monday-Tacos, Corn
Tuesday-Crockpot Hot Dogs & Sauerkraut
Wednesday-Sausage Muffins
Thursday-Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes
Friday-Rehearsal Dinner
Saturday-Wedding

Week 2
Sunday-Venison Hamburger Steaks, Mashed Potatoes
Monday-Pizza, Tossed Salad
Tuesday-Tuna Noodle Casserole, Peas
Wednesday-Chicken Stuffing Shells, Carrots
Thursday-Grocery night-We always grab something while we are out for $10 or less
Friday-Fish Sandwiches, French Fries
Saturday-Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

If there is a particular meal that you would like to see the recipe for on the blog, let me know! Also, if you have any questions about my meal plan or need advice on making your own, please feel free to comment below or send me an email! I always love to hear from my readers!

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How to Make a Baby Memory Box

How-to-make-a-baby-memory-box-1I am a photo-taking, scrapbook-making, sentimental person! I love to look through my photo albums, scrapbooks, and treasure boxes and reminisce on the happy times in my life. Remembering back on our family vacations, birthday parties, and just every day life! I have collected treasures from my childhood, high school, college, our wedding and so much more. It is so wonderful to have reminders of the many special times!  So, of course, when I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I began stashing away special little mementos to remember back on this very special time of my life!

When I am saving special items, I don’t want them to be tossed all over the house, stashed here and there in random places. I want to ensure that everything is neat and organized. That way, my house stays organized and not cluttered AND everything is in one place-So that when the sentimental moment strikes that I want to look through my treasures, I know right where to find them!

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Of course, you can make a memory box for any type of occasion. You may want to create a memory box for your wedding, a family vacation, or from a time period in your life-like childhood or college. No matter the time or occasion-creating a memory box is a fantastic way to collect and organize your treasures to keep for years to come!

Today I am sharing how I made my Baby Memory Box for my first baby!

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First of all, you want to find a pretty box to fill with your memories! I chose a photo box which you can purchase at any craft store like Michael’s or Joanne’s. There is always a variety of colors and patterns, so choose one that goes along with the theme of your box. These usually only cost a couple of dollars. But you can use any type of box. For a more frugal option, you could use a shoe box wrapped in pretty, themed wrapping paper. I chose a light blue, polka-dotted box since I had a baby boy!

Then I gathered all of the items that I want to save as keepsakes!

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What types of items to include in your baby memory box…

Ultrasound Pictures
Cards from Baby Shower
Baby Shower Invitation
Baby Shower Games
Baby Shower Napkin
Hospital Bracelets
Footprint Cards
Deflated Balloons
Newspaper from the day baby was born
Include any other additional items that you would like to have as a keepsake for your baby! You can continue to add items to the box throughout your baby’s life.

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I wanted to ensure that my box was also organized, so I bundled like items together with a pretty ribbon (like the stack of cards I had from my baby shower). Also, for my newspaper, I rolled it and tied it with a ribbon. You can use any additional items that you may need to make your box pretty and organized. You could use decorative envelopes, ribbons, paperclips, or containers! (Target’s dollar section always has cute office supplies that you could use for this!) My last step was to neatly place all of the items inside the box.

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And there you have it, a beautiful baby memory box that you will have to treasure and look back through for years to come. Someday, you can share all of those special mementos with your little one and share stories and memories of those special times!

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Reuben Pinwheels

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With St. Patrick’s Day only a few weeks away, I’ve been trying to find some festive meals to incorporate into our meal plan. When I’m thinking of Irish food, corned beef definitely comes to my mind. One of our favorite ways to have corned beef is in Reuben sandwiches! I am always looking for a new way to put a spin on this classic recipe. We have made the sandwiches, casseroles and now we have a brand new favorite way to have this meal!

And don’t forget to print your Free Printable Recipe Card for this delicious recipe!

Ingredients

2 tubes of crescent roll dough
1/2 lb corned beef, chipped
1/2 lb Swiss cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained & squeezed dried with a paper towel
3 tbsp Thousand Island Dressing
1 stick butter
caraway seeds

Lay out crescent roll dough side by side on a greased 13×18 baking sheet.
Pinch together all seams and gently roll out dough to the edges of the pan.
Top with sliced corned beef.
Top with Swiss cheese.
Top with sauerkraut.
Tightly roll up like a cinnamon bun.
Cut into slices, approximately 1 inch.
Place rolls in a greased 9×13 pan.
Melt butter and add thousand island dressing.
Whisk together until smooth.
Pour over top of the rolls.
Sprinkle caraway seeds over top of the rolls.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Enjoy this delicious meal and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

My 2-Week Meal Plan {March 4, 2017 Edition}

My 2-Week Meal Plan March-4-17-Edition

Hey Friends! Today, I’m sharing my family’s meal plan for the next 2 weeks! I know that it has been quite a while since I shared a meal plan. However, I will be starting this back up! I will be posting my family’s 2 week meal plan every other Saturday! My hope is that my ideas will inspire you in your own meal-planning adventure! You know from my previous posts that I am pretty passionate about meal-planning. It has made such a huge difference for our family. It brings so much peace and order to our evening routine and makes my life so much less stressful! And who doesn’t like less stress-I know I do!!

If you haven’t already, check out my methods and tips for meal-planning here!
What’s for Dinner? The Reason I started Meal Planning
Tips for Successful Meal Planning

Week 1
Sunday-Hobo Beans, Rice
Monday-Tacos, Corn
Tuesday-Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes
Wednesday-Chili, Cornbread
Thursday-Tuna Noodle Casserole, Peas
Friday-Pizza, Salad
Saturday-Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts, Rice, Green Beans

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Week 2
Sunday-Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Squash
Monday-Breakfast (Eggs, Toast, Corned Beef Hash)
Tuesday-Venison Hamburger Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Peas
Wednesday-Homemade Chicken Potpie
Thursday-Grocery night-We always grab something while we are out for $10 or less
Friday-Pizza, Salad
Saturday-BBQ Kielbasa & Rice

BBQ Kielbasa & RIce

If there is a particular meal that you would like to see the recipe for on the blog, let me know! Also, if you have any questions about my meal plan or need advice on making your own, please feel free to comment below or send me an email! I always love to hear from my readers!

My 2-Week Meal Plan March-4-17-Edition