Healthy Snacking On The Go with FreshyBag

Healthy Snacking On The Go with FreshyBag | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I have a problem, and I’m just going to come out and say it.  I don’t like being at home.  It’s nice to lounge in your pj’s and read books for a little while but then I get super stir crazy.  Especially with two kids.  And I think I’ve passed this {and many other} neurosis onto my sweet girl because she’d rather be out of the house too.  The little guy has no chance.

So we end up eating a lot of our snacks, and sometimes even meals, on the go.  My girl is a snacker and I make sure I pack lots of healthy things to get us through teaching my fitness classes, playing at the park, running errands and doing whatever we’re up to.  As much as I’d love to just hand her a bag of goldfish crackers and call it a day, I just can’t.  This sweet girl will eat pretty much anything, so I make sure that she has fresh fruits and vegetables to eat before we get to any of the less healthy stuff.  Then if she’s not hungry for lunch later, I’ll at least feel like she got the basics.

Healthy Snacking On The Go with FreshyBag | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

When the makers of FreshyBag asked if I was interested in checking out one of their insulated bags, I said yes without even thinking about it.  I mean, I always need another insulated bag.  We’re dragging them everywhere.

When it arrived, I was totally stoked.  The size is just perfect…not too small that I can’t fit my snacks without zipping it but not too big that it takes over my whole stroller.  And I love the two different compartments so that I can keep her cool food cold without making her seaweed and rice cakes a little soggy.  And the thick bag and strong zippers kept everything so nice and cold!  I was amazed that even my ice pack seemed a little less melty than usual at the end of the day.  According to FreshyBag, their technology can keep everything nice and fresh for 10 whole hours!  That’s a Disneyland day people.  No more worrying about whether or not your cheese sticks are still good at dinner time!

Healthy Snacking On The Go with FreshyBag | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Mamas, here’s one of my favorite parts.  FreshyBag is machine washable.  Honestly, everything else is just gravy on top of that.  Because I don’t even want to know what kind of grossness starts growing when my kid leaves the bag unzipped with half an unpeeled banana inside on a hot day and I don’t notice until an hour later {true story}.

Oh, and it’s simple, black and the toddler has decided it’s basically her purse full of goodies that she can carry around with her.  So it’s basically a toy too.

So if you’re tired of your old snack bag, give it a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

**Disclaimer: FreshyBag provided a bag for me to review but the opinions in this post are all mine.

Essentials for Baby #2 | Same Gender

Finding out that we were pregnant with our second baby was such an exciting moment.  It took a little longer than we expected, so there was so much joy to it.  I know that our sweet girl is going to be such an amazing sister to this little boy and I can’t wait for him to get here.

Our daughter will be getting towards 2 1/2 when her brother arrives, and she’s started the potty training process, but I’m not ready to bank on her giving up things like her changing pad and diaper pail come the fall.  Plus I’ve heard that there are some regressions in that area when baby #2 arrives, so to play it safe, we’re keeping the potty training low key and planning to double up on some of those essentials.

With all of this fun and excitement came many a Pinterest board {follow me here} and lots of shopping around.  So I thought it might be helpful for the newly pregnant soon to be second time mamas to have a list of essentials just for you.  I broke it down into things that you’ll probably need if you have a kiddo who’s the same gender, and a few more things that you’ll want if the new baby is going to be a different gender, which I’ll share next week {the next few weeks will have a few more mommy and baby related posts as we ramp up for this kiddo to join our fam}.

These are the serious essentials people.  There are a lot of other things that you can buy {and I have bought} but these are what you’re really going to need!  Enjoy, and please let me know if you have any ideas to add!!

Essentials for Baby #2 | Same Gender

Same Gender!
1) BOB Revolution Duallie Stroller This was my first and biggest purchase for baby #2 and I’m already using it on the regular.  If you’re a runner or plan to be working out with baby, the BOB is the way to go. We bought a single when the princess was 2 months old and I haven’t used any other stroller since.  It may be a little bulky, but it can turn on a dime and it practically pushes itself.  I’m almost 8 months pregnant and I can still jog pushing two toddlers in it with no problem.

2) HoMedics Sound Machine  We have this exact sound machine for our daughter and so we grabbed another for our little guy’s room.  It’s cheap, easy to use, has a few different sounds that she likes {we started with white noise and changed to ocean waves after a while} and can be used on a timer if that’s your jam {she listens to it alllll night long…and we do too through the monitor so I’ve gotten used to the calming noise as well!}

3) Boon Lawn Drying Rack  I have the grass {which is basically a smaller version of the lawn} right now and can’t live without it.  I started with one of those standard bottle driers and realized after a few months that they just don’t cut it.  You can stick anything from bottles to nipples to pacis to straws in anywhere or just lay it on top to dry and it’s so much cuter than anything else that I’ve found.  So there will be a huge lawn of baby bottles and toddler sippies drying on my counter.  But at least it’ll look decent.

4) Crane Cool Mist Humidifier  As much as I hate to get this, I have to.  Because as much as I’d love to think that both kids won’t get sick at the same time, it’s wishful thinking.  The princess has an extra sensitive airway and gets a really bad cough with even the slightest cold, so the humidifier is an absolute must.

5) Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers  These were my absolute favorite diapers for when the girl was tiny.  They’re soft, sensitive and also hold any of those blow outs that I’m so looking forward to {ugh…}.  And they have the wetness indicator which is clutch when they’re straight home from the hospital and you’re trying to figure out if they’re eating and peeing enough {TMI?  Such is motherhood.  If you’re a second time mom, you get it}.

6) Summer Infant Dual View Baby Monitor  We actually purchased this one several months ago after our Motorola gave out after less than two years of use.  I love it a million times more than the Motorola, plus it’s one of the only monitors on the market that will allow for a split view on the monitor so you can watch both of your kids at once, or you can have it swap between rooms.  For a slightly paranoid mama like me, it’s perfect.

7-9 are essentials only if you’re going to still have two in diapers.  Otherwise, lucky you.

7) Summer Infant Changing Pad  It’s a pretty obvious one, but you gotta get it.  Big, contoured, and you can throw it on anything without needed a dedicated “changing table.”  Both of these kids are going to have them on top of long, low dressers, and they can be chucked afterwards and the dresser stays.

8) Ubbi Diaper Pail  We started off with a regular trash can in our little girl’s room and after about six months, realized we needed something more…how can I put this…hardcore.  And the dog managed to get her way into said trash can which was a total disaster.  So locking was a key point too.  I love the Ubbi because it’s sleek and attractive, keeps the smells inside, and has a nice little lock to keep dogs {and now toddlers} out.

9) Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer  My little one loves warm wipes.  And it may be because I totally spoiled her with them.  But I figure, why not?  I feel like some people may debate me on this one, but I think it’s totally necessary.

Essentials for Baby #2 | Same Gender

PS the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links so I do get paid a small amount if you purchase, but they’re mostly just there to help you with your shopping list!

 

A Little Kitchen, Big Bites Update

Hiiiiya new friends and long time readers!  I wanted to pop in with message today about my little blog.  As you may have noticed, I’ve been back at it!  I’m feeling the creative juices with spring on its way in and I’m planning to keep adding fun new posts on the blog.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken Mango Tacos | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

But those who have been around for a while are probably wondering what’s with all of this non-recipe stuff?  Well, the recipes are still coming.  I promise.  But the last thing I want to do is tell my hungry toddler that she has to wait five more minutes for mama to take pictures before she gets to eat.  I doubt that would go over well.

Gallery Wall Signs | Banana Bean Design

So I’m going to do the recipes as much as possible, but I also have so many other things to share!  There are crafts and parties and fitness ideas and my little shop and other fun things to be announced soon!  So hopefully you’ll all bear with me, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the crafty-ness, the workouts, and the life updates too.  And if there’s anything that you want to see, let me know!

Pink First Birthday Party | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I’ll also be sharing more on Facebook, Twitter, and our brand new Instagram account, so make sure to follow along so you don’t miss any of the fun.

DIY Yarn Letters | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Hello Lovelies!

Hello lovelies!

Spring is here, daylight savings has rescued us from ugly dark nights, Southern California has blessed us with 80 degree days, and I’m back to the blog!  I really dislike January through March…there’s the chilly dark wintery-ness and there’s nothing fun to celebrate.  But now that we’re jumping into spring, I’ll be jumping back into the blog!

And while I haven’t quite gotten back to whipping up new and exciting things in the kitchen, I thought I’d share some quick links and fun that I’m loving right now.

 

I made these Peeps Rice Crispy Treats for two different Easter parties and they were so easy, delicious and looked adorable!  I did a double batch and it was perfect…and peeps are on sale now so grab them while you can!

 

Still kind of obsessed with these hashtags signs from the shop.  They make me smile.

#love | Banana Bean Design

I finally took the plunge and gave Little Kitchen, Big Bites the Instagram account that it deserves…expect food and crafting pics and other fun, coming soon.  Click to follow here!

 

My oldest friend is having a baby {yay!!!} and I helped to throw a rustic bird themed shower for her.  I may put up a full post on it in the future, but here are some of the highlights and links.

{birdseed favor tutorial, rustic thank you tags, wishing tree printable, pennant banner printable, owl printable, alphabet printable, little bird printables}

Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Bird Baby Shower | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

This song is my new workout {and life} jam.  I’ve also been doing a lot of throwbacks to old school Britney, Rihanna and even some Spice Girls.  Nothing gets you moving like hearing your favorite song.

 

And of course there’s this one.  It kills me to say that this delicious little delight is almost two {and also entering the terrible two’s and getting those two year molars, so that’s fun too}.

Little Kitchen, Big Bites

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon!

Extreme Home Makeover, DIY Edition

Hi everyone!  It’s been a while, but hopefully this post will excuse my lack of posting since…geeze, last year.  We had a busy, fun holiday season, did a little bit of traveling, settled back into the routine, and the little one promptly caught a cold that’s lasted for a month and a half.  On top of that, the start of the year seemed like a perfect time to finally decorate our house, which we’ve lived in for two years now.  #homeowner fail

 

Entryway Makeover | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

The first project was our entryway.  As it was, it consisted of a hand-me-down glass topped table (very not baby proofed) and a light wood mirror with hanging hooks.  It needed a makeover, and it needed it before the kid figured out that the piece of glass comes off the top.  We switched out the table for a lovely bench from Target (which she now loves to sit on to put her shoes on), painted the mirror white, and grabbed some fun little baskets and a galvanized mailbox for the stuff that always collected on the table.  I found some wood that I hadn’t used in the garage and painted a lovely welcome sign that really brought it all together, that you can now find in the shop!

 

Gallery Wall Signs | Banana Bean Design Gallery Wall | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Then I moved onto a gallery wall around a very lonely little mirror that was dwarfed by a huge wall space.  It was one of those I’ll-do-this-later-once-the-baby-comes things when we moved in.  Clearly, that didn’t happen.  But I finally rallied, searched the closet for extra frames, scoured the internet for printables, and designed and painted a few wooden signs to bring it all together (many of them are now available in the shop!).

 

Bedroom Makeover | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Next up was the bedroom.  We got a new, king size bed last year and had to put our old bed frame into storage.  We purchased a simple, white ruffle comforter set at the time that included a couple of shams but was just kind of blah.  To my delight, Hubby has picked up woodworking lately and he’s incredibly good at it.  He used this tutorial as a guide and created the most beautiful (cheap!) barn door headboard, which I fancied up with a whitewash treatment, cheap garage door hinges, and threw together some burlap and gold polka dot pillows to bring the whole thing together.

 

Oversized Ruler Growth Chart | Banana Bean Design

I had this oversized ruler height chart on my to do list since I was pregnant with my one and a half year old.  #procrastinationforthewin  I didn’t love any of the online tutorials that I found, so I just kind of made up my own, using the same whitewash treatment that I used for the headboard.  I’m absolutely in love with the results, and my little one thinks it’s so fun too!  This one will be coming to the shop soon!

 

Puff Quilt | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

I’ve also been having fun doing some crafty soul searching and trying out things that I haven’t done in a while.  My smooshy got a tent for Christmas that was just screaming for a cozy quilt to snuggle up in.  This was one of my first sewing projects in years, and it turned out spectacular in very little time thanks to an amazing, ridiculously detailed tutorial from Honeybear Lane.  If you’re interested in trying a puff quilt but are a novice with the sewing machine, I highly recommend it.  And the kiddo is obsessed.

So I know that this doesn’t completely excuse me for my blog hiatus, but what can ya do?  If you want to see more of me, follow along on Facebook, or on the shop’s new Instagram @bananabeandesign!

PS links are not affiliates…just wanted to share the love if you see something you like!

DIY Glitter NOEL Christmas Decor

DIY Glitter NOEL Christmas Decor | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….or at least around my house it is!  I put the holiday music on at the end of October, start thinking about my decorations in November, and rejoice the day after Thanksgiving when we can put up our tree.  The stockings are hung by our chimney with care and my holiday crafting has begun!

I discovered these wood letters from Michaels in my craft bench a few months ago.  I bought them a few years back to do some Pottery Barn knock off craft or another and never got around to it.  And I was struck with inspiration by the gold glitter that was sitting in the same bin.  Obviously this one had to happen.  Because glitter.

noel6_edited-1

This was quite possibly the easiest craft ever.  It was a nap time craft, and not one of those that took up the whole nap and you feel like you should have done laundry afterwards.  It took about 15 minutes start to finish and I’m debating whether they will take up the primo spot on my fireplace or be the centerpiece on the table because they’re just so cute that they require the perfect spot.

My biggest tip for this one is to grab one of the cheap boxes that you might have used for wrapping a gift and use it as your craft space.  I did this on the dining room table {sorry Mom…I know you’re dying about the mess that could potentially make} and it really kept it clean and contained.  After each letter, I dumped the glitter back into the jar and it was nice and neat.  The letters themselves do shed a bit, but I’m happy to have a sprinkle of glitter here are there.  If that’s not your jam, you may want to seal the letters with some modge podge at the end.

DIY Glitter NOEL Christmas Decor | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

You’ll Need…
NOEL wooden letters {I got mine at Michaels}
Mod Podge
Sponge brush
Gold Glitter
A box to contain glitter, if desired

 

DIY Glitter NOEL Christmas Decor | Little Kitchen, Big Bites DIY Glitter NOEL Christmas Decor | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

How To….
1) Dip sponge brush in Modge Podge and thoroughly coat the front of the first letter {If you want to do the sides too, I recommend doing the front first and letting it dry before attempting}
2) Sprinkle a generous amount of glitter on top of the letter
3) Holding the sides, tap off the excess glitter
4) If necessary, use a damp paper towel to wipe off excess glue and glitter on the sides of the letter
5) Put aside and let dry for at least an hour

That’s it!  Easy peasey glittery holiday happiness!

DIY Glitter NOEL Christmas Decor | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Quick & Easy DIY Crib Rail Covers

Oh heeeyyyy so I don’t have a recipe for you today.  Because I made versions of this and this and this and they were all amazing but I was too lazy to take pictures so I could blog them.  I know, I know, come on girl you’ve got to get it together.  But life and weddings and workouts and vacations and baby.  So sorry.

But then my sweet, darling little child decided to do this to her crib.

Quick & Easy Crib Rail Covers | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Yes, those are teethmarks.  Cute, right?  Because the crib looks so yummy.  And she’s getting all of her one year molars at the same time.  You can imagine how sweet and easy she is right now.  I mean she is, but she’s also in pain and snotty and drooly and gross and no one really tells you how annoying teething is, can I get an amen mamas?

So instead of going out and spending a ridiculous amount of money on crib rail covers, I ran over to Jo Ann, bought a yard of this darling pink chevron fleece that totally matches her nursery, and went to town.

Quick & Easy Crib Rail Covers | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

 

Here’s the oh so easy tutorial {sorry for the janky iPhone pictures to go with it…}:

1.  Drape the fabric over the crib rail and cut a piece that’s about 4-6 inches longer than the rail on both sides

2.  Cut slits in the fabric in between each piece of wood and tie it off with a double knot

3.  Tuck the fabric that’s left up and under the rest of the fabric (it leaves a little bump but she actually seems to like the texture to chew on)

4.  Continue to cut, tie and tuck until the fabric is fully secured

5.  If there’s too much fabric on the knots, trim it back to your desired length

 

ry=400-17

 

That’s it.  I literally did the whole thing from start to finish in about an hour.  She started chewing the crib during nap time and I hit Jo Ann and had it done by bed time.  Because I didn’t love the idea of my kid eating more paint or ruining her pretty little crib.

More recipes to come soon!

Insta-Where The Heck Have I Been…

Ok I’m not going to lie, I’m a little embarrassed.  I’ve been a massive failure of a blogger lately.  It’s been months.  And maybe you didn’t miss me that much but I missed you.  But I slacked off.  Because life.  And because baby…who’s not really a baby anymore.  She’s one now people.  But she had an extra special pinterest inspired birthday bonanza {more on that soon} in addition to just being more active and awesome and sleeping less and obviously that’s part of why I’ve been MIA.

I also started working as a fitness instructor for other mamas and their babies.  I’ve been training with this incredible group of women since my peanut was just 7 weeks old and I’ve been so honored to now be helping them to achieve their goals.  So maybe some more healthy recipes to come.  And some workout ideas?  Anyone?  Or are you really just here for the fudgey brownie nonsense?  Don’t worry, those recipes will stay too.  I workout to eat.

And I promise cross my heart and hope to die that I’ll be back real soon with first birthday party pictures {one little collage below..} and menu details, recipes, and so much more.  I’m back.  As long as she doesn’t drop another nap…

Anyway…what else has been going on…  Birthdays!  Zoo!  5Ks!  Surprise mom’s day at the spa (hallelujah for my husband!)!  General cuteness!  Commence photo dump…

Pink First Birthday Party | Little Kitchen, Big Bites   Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Kitchen, Big Bites Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Tis the Season {For Spreading Holiday Cheer with Minted!}

Remember a while back when I said that I’m probably the first person to start making my gift list for the holidays?  I’m probably the first one to start clicking through websites to find my holiday card too.  There’s something about flipping through the pages of warm wishes while listening to holiday music and sipping a latte that makes everything feel warm and fuzzy for me.  Sending and receiving holiday cards is one of my highlights of the season.  I wish that I could make a business out of putting together other people’s holiday cards…I’ve already done my mom’s and my MIL’s and now it’s time to get started on my own.

Minted Holiday Cards

So when I found the holiday cards on Minted, I was so very excited.  They have pages and pages of gorgeous cards and promise a nice, thick, beautiful quality.  And not only do they have your typical flat and folded cards, but there are postcards too!  So stinkin cool, and you feel a little like you’re saving paper and helping the environment too.

paper_comparison

Ok, so you get started by scrolling through a super long list of options right?  Yes, but they have this ridic feature where they plop your favorite photo right into a bunch of the cards {you can see an example below} so you can see how you look in the card {and they have a whole category for baby’s first Christmas guys…I die.}.  Ok, cards chosen.  Then I went in to start editing some favs.  And lo and behold, you can edit pretty much every.single.thing.  I don’t know about you but I’ve often wished that I could use a certain card layout but my picture was a little too big, too far to the side, or whatever.  Here, you can move things around, add and remove text, change fonts, and pretty much do whatever you want.  And if you’re a creative type like me, that’s golden.

Minted Holiday Cards | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

And…get this…they’ll even address the cards for you.  For free.  I mean that was pretty much all I needed to hear.  Because you know I don’t have extra time to get finger cramps  addressing my holiday cards while the baby is napping and I’m also preparing for my holiday party, making gifts, wrapping, running errands and trying to get a workout in so I don’t gain the holiday 15.  A time saver?  Yes, please.

Minted Holiday Card

So if you’re trying to figure out where to get those holiday cards, go check Minted out now.  Because everyone needs a little bit of holiday cheer, and they’ve got it all wrapped up with a bow.

  Minted Holiday Card

*Disclosure: I was provided compensation in exchange for sharing the awesomeness of Minted with my lovely readers, but the opinions expressed above are all mine.

Banana Bean Design

Am I the only one that starts thinking about holiday gifts before Halloween?  ….hm well probably.  I’m certainly the only one that starts listening to Christmas music in September.

But now that it’s November, I’m not in the minority anymore.  Every store and mall that you walk into is already decorated.  It’s only a matter of time before the masses start rushing in.  But worry not my dear friends.  I have an option for you that doesn’t involve leaving your iPhone.

Wine Cork Monogram | Banana Bean Design_edited-1 Create Sign | Banana Bean Design 5

 

Introducing Banana Bean Design.  My little Etsy shop.  With oodles of fun products for both the wine lovers and the mamas out there.  Or the wine lovin’ mamas like myself.  Perfect gifts, or pieces for making your house {or apartment!} a home.  And right now we have some great holiday decorations too!

 

Cork Pumpkin | Banana Bean Design2 Moon & Back | Banana Bean Design4 Cork Apple | Banana Bean Design This Is The Life | Banana Bean Design 1 Holiday Wine Cork Decor | Banana Bean Design Baby Subway Art | Banana Bean Design 2

 

Loving it?  Got to have it?

Well guess what?  I’m giving you a discount.  Use the code GIVETHANKS from now through Thanksgiving and get 20% off anything in the store!  Just for my sweet loyal readers.

 

I know what you’re thinking.  This stuff is totally awesome and I’m definitely going to go order a bunch of it now, but seriously woman, get back to the food already.  And I’m getting there.  I swear.  I’ve been cooking up a storm, but when it comes to the photographing, writing, and posting I’ve been a major slacker.  But I promise I’ll get back to it asap.  Because some of these meals are too awesome to be ignored.

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