How to Pack the Perfect Diaper Bag – A List of Essentials

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Diaper bag

Choosing a Diaper bag

Choosing a diaper bag may seem like a daunting task, but once you figure out what you will need it’s a whole lot easier!

Having been through many different diaper bags I can say for certain that you DO NOT want to cheap out on this purchase. This bag is becoming your life when you go out and about, and if it breaks in the middle of the day….your going to have a rough time.

So first decide what is essential to you.

  • Are you using it for quick trips to the store only?
  • Is it for long days out and about?
  • Do you like a lot of different pockets?
  • Is style important?

There are messenger style bags:Messenger Bag
These are great for minimalists because they typically do not hold a lot. So if you are caring stuff for two kids I would suggest something else.
The positive of these are they are SO easy to carry because it gives both hands free!

There are backpack bags:

Backpack Diaperbag
These are perfect for longer trips as you can hold A LOT more stuff in it. They also have so many cute ones to choose from, or a more plain look so that dad doesn’t mind carrying it either.
The downside, organization is not as easy with this one. I personally use a backpack style and just use the bag system and have a few designated smaller bags for essential items that I want to find easily.

There are purse style bags:
Purse diaperbag
These are great if style is more important to you! You also can find ones that have a better organization system on the inside.
The downside is they are a bit harder to carry along with your baby in his car seat.

My BIGGEST suggestion is to get one that is built to last. They WILL get heavy and WILL break down cheap hardware.

 

What to Carry in Your Diaper Bag

Now that we have chosen our perfect fit diaper bag it is time to pick what goes inside it.

DiaperBag

  1. The actual diaper bag *I have a backpack diaper bag*
  2. A “lovie” – If your babies are one to need a comfort item this is essential
  3. Chapstick – I carry Aquafore because of its versatility. I also have lipstick in case I need to freshen up.
  4. Booger Sucker & Tissues – You just never know when boogers will STRIKE!
  5. Toddler Change of Clothes – If your toddler is potty training it is a good idea to keep some extra clothes handy. Also let’s face it if your on a day trip your toddler is likely to get dirty somehow so this is nice to have for those moments.
  6. Nursing cover – I have a scarf that also works as a cover that I LOVE!
  7. Mom’s Shirt – I carry my own change of shirt because of the constant spit ups from my little one.
  8. Mom Bag – I have a separate little bag to carry all my essentials that are small that I don’t want lost.
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    1. Tylonal/Ibuprofen – I make sure to always carry some form of tylonal or ibuprofen as well as Benedryl.
    2. Gum
    3. Pocket Knife
    4. Pens/Marker
  9. Changing pad & Desitin – I don’t know about you but I hate changing my baby on the nasty changing tables without it!
  10. Swaddle – These are my LIFE SAVERS! Being able to tightly swaddle my baby makes for better sleep, therefore I make sure to take it with us on long trips.
  11. Toddler Bag – Again I have a little bag that I just got from Ipsy to carry a few things for my toddler.
    IMG_20171230_102016384

    1. Crayons – When at a restaurant it is nice to have some more colors that he can use.
    2. Hot Wheels and a plane – These are the perfect size toy to bring anywhere and if they get lost it is OK because they are so cheap.
  12. Teething Ring – When teething happens having something for your little to chew on is so nice!
  13. Change of Baby Clothes – Blow outs, spit up, feedings….need I say more?
  14. Extra Layer – In the winter it is nice to have an extra layer in case it gets cold during the day.
  15. Diapers & Wipes – I have been caught without these and it really is TERRIBLE! 
  16. Burp Cloth – These are versatile in using as a changing pad, wiping spit up, an extra blanket if needed.

Extra Items

Now you have your essentials, there are a few extras that you might want to carry around if you are away on a longer trip.

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My Kiinde bottles are my ABSOLUTE favorite bottle for exclusively breastfed babies. I am able to pump right into the storage bags which double as the feeding bag. This way there is no need to hassle with potentially spilling milk transferring it to a bottle. AND it is only two pieces, the nipple and the holder!

For formula my favorite are the Playtex Drop-ins. You are able to heat the formula using just hot water because of the liners which also make for a much easier clean up! Now what mom doesn’t want that?!

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Having snacks around for your toddler is great for those suddenly hungry moments! Having a little sweet snack is useful when doing important errands that may need for them to behave. I just grab whatever I may have on hand.

Checklist

I have created this FREE Diaper Bag Checklist to help get you started. I have included all of the above mentioned items as well as leaving blanks for you to fill in your own suggestions!

Now I want to know what is your ABSOLUTE essential diaper bag item??

 

Day 12 Blog Challenge – Dream Vacation

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What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to travel around the world with my husband. Cliche I know but it would be my dream to just take off and be able to travel all around. We like to say that were so lucky to have had kids young because we will still be young when they graduate high school! We have our energy now to chase after little ones and will still be capable of doing the things we would love to do later on.

I don’t have a specific travel itinerary set in my mind for this, all I know is there are so many different places that I want to visit still.

If any of you have a specific dream vacation I would love to hear about it to give me some ideas!

Why You Should Love Winter

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List 10 things you love about the current season.

Current Season: Winter
Current Mood about the Season: Joyful!

Winter has got to be my favorite season (along with fall), because of all that it entails! And I will tell you exactly why you should love winter as well.

  1. The SNOW!
    – Don’t let it drag you down, you can make snowmen or go sledding. Snow is still fun!
  2. Hot chocolate of course 🙂
    – I mean come on you get to drink a big cup of chocolate. BUT it should be made with milk!
  3. The holiday season
    -You’ve got Thanksgiving (sort of it’s close enough), Christmas or Hanukkah (take your pick!), The New year! Its a joyful time!
  4. I’m not dying of sweat!!
    – I literally HATE to be sticky and sweaty it is my least favorite thing ever.
  5. Christmas Cookies…yummm
    – Aren’t the holidays just an excuse to eat your weight in junk food?? HAHA!
  6. The cold, I know I know who likes the cold?!
    – I DO! Because you can pile on the clothes and blankets to get warmer but you can only take so much off to get cooler. Think about that…
  7. Family traditions
    – I just love that my new little family gets to create our own traditions to keep up with. What are some of your favorite?
  8. The start of a new year
    – Starting a new year on a new mindset is always a good refresh!
  9. I don’t know what it is but I love winter meals better than summer
    – Being able to use the oven and make nice comforting foods is my favorite. Although I do love a nice BBQ’d dinner as well!
  10. My winter wardrobe!
    – My wardrobe for the winter I just feel more comfortable it after having two babies my body is definitely NOT the same! And summer clothing makes that obvious. But I am learning to feel better about it all.

There are so many things I love about this current season! What are your favorites? Or possibly least favorites if winter happens to be a season you don’t enjoy.

5 Things to be Grateful For

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5 Things you are grateful for.

Around the holiday season people tend to ask what you are grateful for, or it is something you tend to think about. Though you should be doing this year round especially when you are feeling down!

Remembering what it is that you have in life to be thankful for is good healing for the heart. Because when you are to focused on what there is to be mad or sad or upset about you forget about the good things that make you smile on a daily basis.

  1. For myself I am grateful for my two boys and my husband (obviously!)

    These three boys give me more than anyone could ask for! Watching both boys hit different milestones is amazing! And the relationship I have with my husband is forever growing!

  2.  Next I am grateful for the fact that I have the ability to get my degree at such an amazing school. WGUI have gone to a couple different schools trying to find my perfect fit. I have finally found it with Western Governors University. 
  3. Next I am grateful for the friends and family I have that surround me with such love.
    thankful
  4. I am grateful for the fact that I have my strength and determination to get through each day. ThinkstockPhotos-475294810I went through a long period of time where I did not feel like I had this and I am not eternally grateful for this feeling.
  5. Lastly I am grateful that we do not live in a state of struggle. We may not make a lot of money but we know how to live within our means.

Finding at least 5 things to be grateful for may not be easy to do but I have faith that you can do it as well! If you feel like it comment with what you are grateful for!

Day 8 Blog Challenge – Favorite Recipe

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Share your favorite recipe!

With the holiday season in full swing I have been making baked goods galore! And I think I have found one of THE BEST pumpkin bread recipes.

I swear I made this recipe 3 times since Thanksgiving now! You can find the recipe here!

After finding this one I have been trying out some of Sally’s Baking Addiction’s  other recipes and let me tell you I have not found a flaw in any of them so far. I keep going back to her website for tips and tricks of baking as well as different recipes.

If anyone wants to get me her cookbook I wouldn’t say no HA! So for this holiday season I 100% recommend going to Sally’s Baking Addiction to find your next holiday goodie!

What are your favorite baked goods or general recipes?

Day 7 Blog Challenge – Favorite Children’s Book

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What are your favorite children’s books?

Being a mom and a future teacher I LOVE children’s books! I definitely cycle through favorites though because with a two year old you end up reading the same book every night for weeks on end!

Currently I really like Mr. Pout Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark.Mr Pout Pout Fish

It is just such a fun cute book about this fish who is trying to find a friend’s pearl. It teaches kids to face their fears and that if you need help that is totally fine! Because sometimes doing something scary you need a little help from a friend.

Another favorite of mine is There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.WocketPocket

I mean come on who doesn’t like a good Dr. Seuss book? This is one that just makes me laugh right through till the end.

Lastly I have a book website that I absolutely LOVE. Every year for Christmas I buy my boys and niece a personalized book from Put me in the Story. The quality of the books are always spot on and just what I am looking for!

img_20171217_174353020.jpgThese are the books I got this year! I can’t wait to give them to the kids for Christmas. Seeing that they are apart of the story makes kids happy!

What are your favorite children’s books? I would love to find some new gems to get my boys!

Day 6 Blog Challenge – Comfort Foods

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What are your comfort foods?

Yummy comfort foods! What comes to mind when you think of comfort foods? For me I can think of so many ooey gooey desserts that I just love!

BUT my favorite comfort food? Homemade mac and cheese!

We love making mac and cheese with multiple different cheeses then baking it and topping it with a crushed cheese-its and butter mixture to give it some crunch! My mouth is watering just thinking about it now.

This is my favorite because I mean come on who doesn’t like cheese? I don’t really have any special memories around it. It’s just something I could eat on a weekly basis.

What’s your favorite comfort food? I’d love to know

 

The Realistic Toddler Pinterest Craft -Day 5

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Make something from Pinterest and show it off!

How many times have you looked at all of those wonderful crafts to do with your toddler on Pinterest? If your anything like me you look at lots of them!

Well I was challenged to find one and try it out. But I did something better. I came up with my own realistic Christmas toddler craft. AND I did it all from stuff you can get at the Dollar Store, because who doesn’t love a good Dollar Store craft?

All you need is…img_20171213_101757668.jpgA bag of different sized pom-poms, some Christmas ribbon, finger-paint, and some plastic clear ornaments. *Make sure they are plastic! We don’t need little shards of broken ornaments everywhere.*

  • A quick tip…I would also grab a plastic table cloth as well to make for easier clean up.

So to start up take the top off the ornament and have your little one fill up each ornament with as many pom-poms as they want. IMG_20171213_102235339Mine decided to stuff them TOTALLY full and use the whole bag!

This is great for practicing fine motor skills by putting each little pom-pom into the hole.

IMG_20171213_105223_045Next up painting! Now I know painting with a toddler is NOT easy but it’s a memory you get to have with your little one and you will have the ornament to hang up each year to remember this time!

I choose this finger paint from the Dollar Store because it is relatively easy to clean up and it is not super pigmented so you can still see the pom-poms.

Here’s what ours look like so far. img_20171213_104951817.jpgNow it’s time to let them dry!

So in the mean time since the paint is already out why not paint some more pictures?!IMG_20171213_104837907We decided to go for the multicolor handprint!

And last but not least…IMG_20171213_110423206Take your ribbon and make Some little bows on them in order to hang them up. And lastly take a sharpie to mark the year on it (if you want).

IMG_20171213_130959982VOILA! Hang them on the tree and there you go some nice personal ornaments that you got to make with your toddlers.

Easy, cheap and memorable!

Crafts with your little ones shouldn’t be a hassle, and they definitely don’t always turn out like the gorgeous Pinterest pictures. So I am here to show you some REAL toddler crafts. All you need is $5 and a little bit of time and fun! If you have any requests of other toddler crafts and how they might turn let me know in the comments and we will practice them first, before you might want to try!

I want to see your toddler Pinterest crafts! Send me pictures or show them off below in the comments! See you next time with my toddler making sugar cookies!

 

Day 4 Blog Challenge – 20 Facts

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What are 20 facts about you?

  1. I am a mom of two boys, and I constantly get asked if we are going to try for a girl next.
  2. I have been a Starbucks barista for almost 5 years
  3. I used to be an everyday coffee drinker, but after the birth of my second my taste for coffee left! *sad face*
  4. I had 2 VERY scary birth expierences
  5. I am a full time online student, going for my Elementary Education degree
  6. Learning about how children grow and learn is a passion of mine
  7. My dad is a chef and owns his own restaurant, but I am not a good cook at all!
  8. Although I love to bake!
  9. Winter is my favorite season
  10. I would love to grow our family by adoption one day
  11. I’ve had the same best friend since kindergarten
  12. Math is my favorite subject
  13. I have no self control when it comes to home made baked goods
  14. My husband got me into baseball, and now I’m a huge fan!
  15. I love tea
  16. I despise sweeping and mopping but enjoy vacuuming
  17. Zebra’s and elephants are my favorite animals
  18. I am the typical mom who spends most of our “spare” money on my kids
  19. I work with my husband, and yes I LOVE it
  20. Put a puzzle in front of me and I could sit there till it is done and not pay any attention to anything else

Well there’s just some odd facts about me! Trying to come up with all of those was more difficult than I thought!

Your turn! Write about your 20 fun facts about you and link it below so I can learn more about you!!

Also if you want to start this 30 day challenge find the start here  And be sure to let me know:)

 

Day 3 Blog Challenge – Overcoming Fear

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FearsWhat is your biggest fear?

Fears are something that we all have whether they be small or large, a fear is something that we should learn to overcome. The tried and true way to do this is by putting yourself out there and doing.

I have always had a fear of laying my heart out for others to see. And this blog is doing exactly what I am most fearful of. Now I couldn’t say exactly why doing this makes me so nervous but there will be situations in which I get so nervous I will just totally lock up.

Starting this blog I have hopes that this fear of mine will become less debilitating and I will begin to open up more and show off things that I know I am really good at.

Now my challenge for you all is to identify your own fear and face it head on! It is said that it takes 30 days to make a habit out of something. I believe that if you can take these next 30 days to face your challenge head on, you can overcome any fear that might get in your way.