Trip Must Haves

July 8, 2021 at 6:32 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We road trip and day trip a lot this time of year! So, I’ve put together a few things that are super helpful when we travel. These are good for kids of all ages!

I pack food. Duh. More importantly, I pack fun food that we don’t normally have. It makes great entertainment and fun, and even works when you need a little bribe. So helpful on a trip. Pre-packaged stuff is handy too!

I pack mess free coloring. So simple, but so handy. And I don’t have to worry about clothes and car being destroyed or crayons melting. They make some awesome mess free goodies now, all are clear to begin and make color on the special pages. Viola!

Pack a bag within a bag. I take a fold up beach bag like this one. We stop to put our feet in the water at the beach? We can throw things we might need in here instead of taking a bigger, bulkier bag out. Anything sandy can be contained here too!

I pack a wet bag! Same idea, but wet suits or shoes won’t make a mess when contained in here!

I pack a few new or not-used-in-a-while toys. Dollar Tree is great for finding inexpensive and fun surprises to pack. This popper toy has been a road trip favorite this year (from Target).

I pack Tubby Todd Baby Fresh Spray. Mom of boys here. They can get real sweaty and stinky. What if we want to stop for dinner? Spray ’em down. Fresh boys! πŸ˜‰ (you can use this link for 10% off too!)

I pack a portable fan. I’ve got one that clips to the stroller and this one that mists too in the diaper bag. Easy entertainment and so refreshing when we all need it!

I pack this multi travel bottle.

It holds 4 bottles inside. Perfect for sanitizer, soap, lotion, etc, but keeps them small and contained.

I pack our weighted blankets. Our favorites are from Moxie. These make car naps so easy and enjoyable. Aah, some peace and quiet! (You can also use code Jess15 for 15% off here!)

Hope these are helpful! Happy road tripping!

Also, if you want my bigger list of toddler travel must haves, see the post here!

XX,

Jess

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Gift Ideas for Her!

April 14, 2021 at 2:19 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve found the cutest, affordable jewelry, perfect for sentimental gifting! JoyCuff!

JoyCuff has such cute pieces! Check out this 18k gold initial necklace!

I love how you can choose an initial, making it a sentimental gift for yourself or someone you love!

I completely adore anything customized with my boys’ names or initials and this momento gives me all the feels! I think this would be an amazing gift for a mama (hello Mother’s Day!), your bestie, a grad, or even yourself!

I also adore their Morse code bracelets! They have the cutest sayings coded in the beads! This one says “badass”!

Yup, mamas are badasses. Another perfect mama gift for that BA chick in your life. My gal pals are all getting one for Mother’s Day!

They even have sayings and mantra bracelets that are super cute!

Use code 20JESS01 at this link on all your purchases too!

AND, if you want to win a Badass Morse code bracelets, check out my giveaway on Instagram, here!!

XX,

Jess

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Toddler Packing

April 13, 2021 at 9:44 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve posted before about baby must haves and essentials, and talked about diaper bag supplies for babies, but what about when babies become toddlers?! Little different, right?!

No worries, I’ve rounded up everything I pack for a trip out with my toddler. All very handy!

Don’t worry, I’m an over packer, you can pick what you think would be helpful from the list. πŸ˜‰

First, diapers, wipes, changing pad and extra change of clothes. Even if you toddler is potty training or has learned, these are super handy for emergencies. Believe me, I know. Also, a folding potty seat. Game changer. (This changing pad is so nice, and super wipeable/cleanable! )

Feeding supplies. Always snacks and water. I bring an extra bottle to refill our cups too (and use code Jessimarie15 on Swig bottles and mugs! πŸ™Œ) Having a bib, even if grown out of them at home, is super handy for keeping nice clothes tidy. I stash a fold up plate and silverware too, for when the eating situation is less than toddler friendly.

Also, these cups from Elk and Friends have solid lids that make packing snacks super easy too! πŸ‘Œ

This is where face wipes and wash clothes come in handy. And kid friendly sanitizer.

I always have safe sunscreen and bug spray. Plus Fight Bite is amazing for taking away bug bite and poison ivy itch!!

Bandaids and medicine are a must! These metal kits from Welly come loaded and are so handy. I buy the bandaid kit and med kit and swap half and half to put in places like the diaper bag, car, camper, etc. Their meds include stomach soother, fever relief, and allergy relief. And are rated for ages 2 and over. So handy!!

I like to pack a pouch of toys that the kids rarely see so that they are interesting. And soft headphones. So handy when they need to swipe my phone for entertainment.

A clip on fan for the stroller is helpful too!

And our Tubby Todd Dream Cream goes everywhere with us. Great for dry skin, rashes, etc and works for the whole fam. (This link saves you 10% automatically! πŸ˜‰)

I also always add a mini CleanSmart spray. This guy disinfects surfaces with just a spray and is safe for the kiddos! CleanSmart and sanitizer both go in an easily accessible side pocket, not a pouch, for quick grabbing.

Our Lily Jade diaper bags are our favorite and their packing cases make great spots for all the things we need. I like to pack them by category. I even use one pouch for “mom stuff.” Think lip gloss, lotion, Tylenol, etc.

I also always add some Bumkins pouches. Handy to pack snacks or to stash things on the go. We’ve even filled one with shells and treasures on an adventure before. 🀣

Anything I’m forgetting? Always forgetting something. Hope this helps! πŸ˜‰

Jess

XX

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New Way to Clean!

April 10, 2021 at 7:31 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Let’s face it, life’s messy. Kids, pets, busy lives… husbands. 🀣

I’ve found something that makes it very simpler to keep it all clean. CleanSmart. Period. Spray it on. Walk away. That simple. How?! This cleaner is made with natural Hypochlorus Acid and made with 100% natural ingredients. It dissolves to saline solution and leaves no chemical residue. And no fumes!

This cleaner can be used on anything, door knobs and appliances to countertops, highchairs, toys, and switches. It’s even safe for use on baby’s pacifier, and safe to spray around food and pets.

Plus, CleanSmart kills 99.9% of germs, including Coronavirus, cold, flu, strep, RSV, staph, MRSA, E. Coli, salmonella, and listeria, to name a few! The EPA has approved CleanSmart to kill a while list of germs!

I even throw the mini bottle in my diaper bag to spray down items as we go (think shopping cart handles!)

So what I’m saying is, get some! Seriously. CleanSmart will change your house cleaning game. How much more simple can it get than spraying and done?! I’m so pumped that not only is it easy, but effective and safe for my whole family and the Earth. πŸ˜‰

It’s now available on Amazon Prime too!!

Let me know what you think!

Jess,

XX

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Sensory Play Part 2

December 4, 2020 at 3:28 pm (Family Stuff, Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I wanted to follow up with some more sensory play ideas we have found since getting our table. If you are new here, here is the first post on sensory play, where we talk about our table and some items that are super helpful!

First, get a funnel. These come in a pack of three and are collapsible silicone. Makes putting it all back SO much easier!

Another thing we’ve fallen in love with are these super cute jars from Busy Littles! You can even customize your jar with her, just message her on Instagram to order!

These are so fun because she adds acrylic letters and numbers that she makes! We got an alphabet that she customized to a camo theme! We also got one of her winter jars and a rainbow number jar. The boys LOVE them all!

So, what have we learned? That ANYTHING can be added to a sensory bin! The boys love that they can mix, stir, explore, dump, and keep the fun going for hours. Ok, minutes. They are kids. But still, its impressive. And anything that entertains both a 7 year old and a 2 year old is impressive in my book!

Also, here’s a peak at the Christmas box from Little Creators Texas too! We still love these also!

Have you tried sensory play yet?!

Jess,

XX

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Sensory Play

November 21, 2020 at 10:15 pm (Family Stuff, Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have been working hard to make Barrett’s time while Brantley is in study time more educational and interactive (and Brantley’s breaks too) and include less cartoons.

So I’ve added some sensory play! And its going SO well over here that I thought I would share some of the things we are using and loving!

First, it’s totally not necessary, but the table we got it super handy! I got the boys the Ikea Flisat table. Its under $50 and is great quality. The two tops are removable and their Trofast bins hang from underneath. This concept is awesome! I can take the bins out to wash them, refill them, or even store things in them. The table tops are wipeable and not the type that get crud caught in the vinyl edge, these are solid! I also added the Sundvik chairs, as opposed to the stools they recommend with the table.

We now use this area for all kinds of crafts, coloring, sensory bins, and even snacks.

The large wooden bowl is from Walmart for about $7. The small set is 4 from Amazon. I also added the set of wooden spoons from Amazon. I even have my own set of wood bowls for charcuterie boards because they were so cute. πŸ˜‚

Sometimes we add things like rice, beans, popcorn kernels, and pastas to the dishes. This is a huge hit. Albeit a little messy. πŸ˜‰

I highly recommend some Magic Erasers (these things are like mom gold!) and a little broom like this one for clean up.

These plastic jars are awesome for saving some of the fillers or kids’ creations for a while to use again.

And this wire bin (similar) actually has two more that stack on top, but the bottom one on wheels fits perfectly under the table to corral some things.

You don’t need a ton of stuff and can definitely wrangle some things from around the house. These are just the items we started with to keep organized in making sensory fun.

One thing I’m loving so that I don’t have to think up all the ideas on my own is the premade and themed kits from Little Creators Texas. Her play dough kits are so fun! Here the boys are playing with the fall themed kit. They LOVE it and keep coming back to play again!

I also have some kinetic sand, fake snow, and water beads that we can switch into the tubs. And you can add in any little bits like pinecones, blocks, wooden people,, letters,, shapes… the list is endless. This set up has already given these two hours of entertainment. I am impressed. And I can say that I see their wheels spinning and them learning from this kind of interactive play already. I highly recommend.

We already have lots of ideas for new things to try too, so if this kind of thing interests you, be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I will show more things we use for interactive and sensory play!

Have you made any sensory bins yourself? What did you use?

Xx,

Jess

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The Best Chex Mix

November 15, 2020 at 8:53 am (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have it. The Best. Chex. Mix. Recipe.

I promise.

This recipe has been a family tradition since we were kids, and still is today for my kiddos. Its super easy and EVERYONE is a fan. We freeze a couple bags and it serves family, friends, guests, and gift recipients all season long. And is always welcomed.

I hope you all enjoy like we do!

1/2 c. Butter or Margarine
1 1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt
4 1/2 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce
Sprinkle of Garlic Powder to taste
2 c. Corn Chex
2 c. Rice Chex
2 c. Wheat Chex
1 c. Cheerios
1 c. Pretzel Sticks
1 c. Mixed Nuts
1 c. Mix Cereal

Heat margarine at 250Β° in shallow roasting pan until melted. Remove and stir in seasoned salt and worchestershire sauce. Add cereal and nuts. Mix until all pieces are coated. Heat in oven 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Spread to cool.

Best part is, it doubles well! Make a double batch and use a large pan. Easy!

Let me know what you think!

Jess,

XX

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Why I Love My Cricut

August 12, 2020 at 7:55 am (Mom Stuff, Projects, Scrap-booking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of <a href=”Cricuthttps://lnk2.io/wjcWg2L”>Cricut</a>. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have had my Cricut Explore Air 2 for a few months now, and to say I’m in love is an understatement! I’ve always been a crafter, but this things really helps me step up my game! Here I am going to talk about the 5 things that I love about my Cricut!

1. Its easy to use! I was truly shocked at how easy this machine is! Not going to lie, I was intimidated at first. I worried where to start and if I would be able to figure it all out. Yup. I was. Best place to start? Pick a project and jump in. They really mean it when they say their motto is “beginners luck every time.” I learn tricks and get braver each time I use my machine, but I definitely agree that picking a beginner level project and diving in head first is a great way to start and will prove to you how easy it is! Check out this shirt I made as one of my very first projects:

2. Support! That brings me to the second thing I love about my Cricut. Its like having a whole community of creators to support you. Have a question? Worried about where to begin or which type of project to do? They’ve got an answer! Not only does Cricut have a team you can email or chat with, but they have numerous pages where you can reach out to their pros or other crafters with tons of experience. They’ve all started somewhere and learned lots and are at the ready to make sure you love your machine and projects. I would know. I wasn’t sure how to customize the design I wanted to make myself for this bag, and the Facebook page group had almost immediate answers for me!

3. Ideas! This also leads me to another thing I love about Cricut, the ideas! I never worry about having a creative block. There’s no way. The ideas of projects to make are endless, for every single occasion you cak dream of. Really. You can find ideas galore on Pinterest, and Instagram, or Cricuts’s Facebook page. And my favorite place for inspiration? The Cricut emails! They send seasonal emails showing the new ideas and templates added to Design Space, their app for making. How did I know about the new infusible ink and coaster blanks to make these? One of their idea emails! Light bulb!

4. The options! Got a bright idea to make? You can! And Cricut can help you do it! The options they supply for you is endless. Or almost. Not only do they help with the ideas, but they make it easy to find all of the supplies you need to make visions come to fruition. They have coasters, bags, shirts, materials, pens, markers, vinyls, decals, iron ons, and the widest variety of patterns in their supplies you could imagine! Sparkles, holographics, leopard, wood grain…their possibilities are never ending! Not to mention, cricut has other machines like the EasyPress, and tools like mats, cutters, Nd weeders, to make all of the options come to life!

5. Capabilities! This machine not only cuts paper and vinyls. I was shocked to learn what all it really can do. Like blown away. It can cut leather, poster board, felt, fabric and even wood. But it doesn’t just cut, it can score. And it can draw! Yup! Shocked?! Me too. You can insert pens and markers into the blade holder and it can draw or write, making handmade cards, letters, signs… mind blown.

The capabilities combined with the Cricut options alone shows you that the possibilities are truly endless. I cannot wait to do another project every time I finish one! And now all of my gifts will be one of a kind made by yours truly!

Here’s a quick breakdown of my latest project, a sign for our kitchen.

Choose a board and a quote. My board is a faded, chipped, barn board from our barn. (I’m sure to some the white paint left on one corner and the odd shape caused by years of cattle wear are not pretty, but we loved this board! πŸ˜‰

Then, start on the Design Space app, and find my design template here. My board is 5ft long, but you can edit the design to adjust measurements. Once you send the design to the machine and it cuts it on vinyl, weed the excess pieces out. Use transfer tape to pick up your design and stick it down in place on your board. You could add flourishes to the ends of your quote too! You can change this design and even choose your own color vinyl. I used matte clear coat over the board to ensure no edges lift since I chose an old, rippled barn board for my project. Add a hanger or two on the back and hang. Easy peasy and a great one-of-a-kind, beginner-friendly project!

Have questions? Need help or ideas? Just ask! 😘

XX,

Jess

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Best For Baby And The Environment

March 18, 2020 at 6:53 am (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Two kids in and we’ve tried them all. Diapers. A must have. But they also must work. And I’ve found the ones!

NEST BABY DIAPERS!

First of all, these work. They do their job. I know that every kiddo is different and different things work best for each, but these are universally amazing. They have a slightly bigger fit, which seems helpful in preventing leaks! Daytime, and even all night, we have yet to experience a leak!

Next, they are easy on sensitive skin. Second babe gets rashy easily and diapers usually seem to add moisture and make this worse. Not these. Nest’s diapers are hypoallergenic, with skin-safe materials throughout. They are free of harmful chemicals and known allergens. Soft, super absorbent, and easy on all skin types.

Third, I want to use a brand that is more eco friendly. Nest’s diapers are made of all plant based materials- wood, bamboo cane, and are completely compostable.

Lastly, I don’t want to break the bank for something that ultimately is a toilet. These diapers are competitively priced! And that combined with how well they work and their benefits makes them the ultimate win!

Eco-friendly, sustainable materials, soft, absorbent, gentle on sensitive skin, affordable and mailed right to you…what else could you want in a diaper?!

Find them in select Meijer stores now. Or here on Amazon too!

XX,

Jess

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Must Have Baby Items You Didn’t Know You Needed

February 24, 2020 at 7:55 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So many options when it comes to baby items now days! Its confusing and overwhelming. And some of those things you just plain don’t need to waste your money on. Here’s a list of things that you probably didn’t know you needed, but that I’ve found to be so helpful! Honestly!

Travel Plate- This has been one of the most handy inventions I’ve used with both the boys! Since it’s got it’s own case, I just fold up the dirty mat when we are out and put it back in the case to clean when we get home. So simple!

Travel Spoon– Handy when they are using purees and soft baby food still. You can fill this guy with food and there’s so much less mess! It’s even got a cover for the end.

Rubber Changing Pad– This one by Ubbi is so handy. Easy to wipe, roll, fold, it makes diapering on the go so much easier.

Roll-up Changing Clutch– I adore my diaper bag, but sometimes I don’t want to haul the whole thing if I’m just running in somewhere. This clutch can fit in my purse and get even smaller if I unzip the pad portion. Just the necessities for quick jonts!

Dream Egg Sound Machine– This is the most portable sound machine I’ve seen. Lots of noise and volume options, plus its wireless. Charge it and go. It can even be used in the car or stroller, etc. So handy for anyone, not just babies!

Baby Nest- There are lots of options out there, but we love ours from Doreen’s Bibs and Bobs. It’s cute, handy, and portable. We still use ours at almost age 2 and take it on trips too! It seems to keep kiddo nice and cozy.

Convertible High Chair– Seriously, if you going to use a high chair, make sure it’s convertible. I had an older Graco version for the oldest and this new model does so much more and therefore is so much more handy. It can be attached to a chair as a booster, the back can be removed for more space, the base itself can be a stool seat for older kids. It really has all the features we need, including folding up and the tray hangs on the back!

Tush Baby- One of the things I found with kiddo #2 is the Tush Baby and I love it! He always wants to be carried, but also get down and look. I’m sure you can all relate! This thing saves my hips and makes it easy to carry forward or backward, front or hip, and he can go up and down to his heart’s desire. So handy!

A Great Looking Diaper Bag- Ok, it’s not a necessity, but it sure does make momming a lot more fun. I’ve had many, loved several, but this Lily Jade bag takes the cake. Its gorgeous. Plus it can be a backpack, or the straps stow away to be a should or cross-body bag. It’s so spacious without being too big or heavy to carry too. I carry everything but the kitchen sink I’m here with me. Its officially my purse/ diaper bag. I just call that the mom bag. ❀

Hope these ideas help you too! Anything else you would add?

XX,

Jess

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