Toddler Approved Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

May 23, 2016

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

I did it. I finally managed to create a somewhat healthy cookie that the whole family loves! 

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are soft, sweet, and packed with some good stuff. I certainly don't mind letting my kids have one...or two...or three! Want to know my secret ingredient?

It's chocolate chips.

I know....that's not healthy....but I'm a fun mom, so I had to do it, right? I only used a small amount and they really give the cookies the extra kick to take them over the top. So, it was worth it.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

My other secret ingredient? Gerber Oatmeal Cereal. Yep, you read that right! I put some baby cereal in these cookies and NOBODY noticed. 

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

I gave one cookie to Sadie (her first ever!) and she was all about it.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Look at that face! I wish you could see the rapid bouncing up and down that followed. This girl was in heaven. 

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

And Wrigley was pretty happy to clean up the mess for me.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

So here's what you'll need to make these yummy oatmeal cookies:
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Gerber Oatmeal Cereal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy
3. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
4. Add combined flour, oatmeal cereal, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well
5. Add oats and chocolate chips
6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto engrossed cookie sheet
7. Bake 10 minute sort until light golden brown
8. Cool 1 minute then remove to wire rack to cool completely. 

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

After my husband ate a cookie I told him there was Gerber Oatmeal Cereal in it and he didn't believe me! It's totally not just for babies! I simply shaped out some of the flour for the cereal. It's iron-fortified, which is a key to healthy growth and development. Plus Gerber Oatmeal Cereal packs in vitamins B, E, C, zinc, and calcium. So I feel good about feeding it to my baby...and my whole family!

Want to win a $50 pre-paid credit card to make your own delicious oatmeal cookies? Or go shopping, you choose. Enter below! Open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway ends 5/31/16.

I've always turned to Gerber for products that help my kids get the best possible start. You can find Gerber products at Walmart. This post is brought to you by The Women Bloggers and Gerber, but my love for their products is all my own! And Hudson and Sadie's too. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible.

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Home Tour: Kitchen

May 19, 2016

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Now that we are somewhat settled in our new house, I'm going to be sharing several of the rooms with all of you....and since the kitchen is the ONLY room that is done, let's start there! (sources at the bottom)

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When we started the design process I knew four things: 
1. I wanted a white kitchen
2. I wanted a subway tile backsplash
3. I wanted stainless steel appliances....even though they are a pain to keep clean
4. I wanted a farmhouse sink

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I absolutely LOVE my white cabinets. We painted the cabinets at our previous house white and I knew it was the look I wanted. I also wanted the cabinets to extend to the ceiling, because in my experience the top of them is wasted space. I chose glass doors for the top cabinets so I can display some of my antique glassware.

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I absolutely LOVE having large drawers in my kitchen. They are on both sides of the stove and I wish I had more!

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Designing the kitchen was pretty easy for me...I knew what I liked right away...the only things that took a little longer were the lighting and the hardware. I couldn't decide if I wanted black fixtures and hardware or chrome. In our previous house we had black so I decided it was time or a change! And I fell in love with our pendant lights. Plus I love the lightness the chrome brings to the space!

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The original plans for the kitchen ended here and the counter did not extend out on the right. But after seeing it I knew having another large counter space would be a good use of the space. 

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And I thought it could add a little more seating if we needed it, so I had them overhang the countertop. Eventually I'd like to shiplap this blank space to give it some more character!

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The countertops are quartz and have held up so well so far!  They are super easy to clean. 

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I chose grey for the island to mix things up and I love how it turned out! And everyone who comes over mentions how nice it looks!

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My farmhouse sink is another favorite! I love it so much.

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So that's my kitchen!  The sources are below. If I left anything out please let me know in the comments!

Paint (walls): Grey Owl by Sherwin Williams
Cabinet Paint: Standard from our cabinet maker "Maple White" and "Flint"
Countertops: LG Quartz in "Rococo"
Appliances: Kitchenaid
Hood: Zephyr
Pendant lights: Capital Pendants
Backsplash tile: 2x8 Adex Neri in white
Farmhouse Sink: Kohler
Faucet: Delta Cassidy Pull Down Spray Arctic Stainless
Hardware: Local shop Modern Hardware
Island chairs: Carlisle Wood Barstools
Island stools: Hampden Instustrial Wood Top
Flooring: Laminate Timberline Trailing Road
Numbered canisters: Ikea (I added the vinyl numbers)

* some affliate links used

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The Ultimate Baby Emergency Car Kit

May 16, 2016

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I like to think I've smartened up a bit now that I'm a mom of two from almost a whole year. But probably not. One thing I've learned is that there is no such thing as being over prepared when it comes to stepping foot out of the house with kids. Too many times I've been out without something essential that we diapers, or a sippy cup, or a change of clothes. Yep...that wasn't too fun. 

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So today I'm sharing how I stock my car with all of our emergency essentials for when we are out and about. Keeping these things in my car (instead of carrying them around in my bag all the time) makes life so much easier! I have two small flexible baskets in my car. One for emergency essentials and one for books/games/toys. 

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Here's what I keep in our car basket #1
-an extra nursing cover
- two swaddle blankets 
- a sweatshirt for each child in case it gets cold
- one sippy cup per child
- snacks that won't go bad right away (goldfish crackers, apple sauce pouches, juice box)
- bib
- a change of season appropriate clothes for each child (plus socks/undies)
- wipes (these are the ONLY ones I'll ever use)
- a wet bag
- Also (not pictured) one towel, one heavy blanket, and a 1st aid kit

I've found that having two nursing covers (one that's kept in the car and one that's in the house/my bag) has really come in handy....especially because having two kids has made me really forgetful! And you can never have too many swaddle blankets...they are great for keeping warm, snuggling up in the car for a nap, and blocking the sun for your toddler. 

I try to remember to go through this basket every week or so to make sure I re-stock any supplies we used, freshen up the snacks, and make sure the extra clothing and diapers are the right season and right size!

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And in car basket #2...the fun stuff! This basket sits in the back seat in between Hudson and Sadie's carseats. It's mostly filled with stuff for Hudson to grab to entertain himself while we are driving.
- a magna doodle
- several large books
- flash cards
- baby toys
- mini sound machine
- water wow coloring book
- flash cards

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Having just a few toys and books (I've found large books to be the easiest to keep track of and grab out of the basket) to be a lifesaver when we have a busy day of running errands. Plus Hudson loves playing with some special car toys from time to time. And look closely at the above photo...can you spot Sadie's hand? She's a fan of the car basket too!

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I make sure to stock our emergency car kit with our favorite diapers, Huggies Little Snugglers, and Huggies Natural Care wipes. Let's be real...these bad boys are stashed all around our house and my purse. I'm never without a diaper...except that one time....and lesson learned. 

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There is no diaper I trust more than Huggies Little Snugglers to keep Sadie happy, healthy, and dry. They must be doing their job because she looks pretty happy here, don't you think?

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I'm always on the hunt for a good diaper deal, so I thought I'd share with you the one I discovered at Sam's Club! You can get a $10 Sam's Club e-gift card when you purchase any two packages of Huggies Little Snugglers diapers and/or Natural Care wipes now until June 30th.

You will also get $3 in instant savings off Huggies Diapers at Sam’s Club now until June 4th.

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To get the deal, snap a photo of your receipt and email/text it to "" by July 15th. You will receive a code and instructions within minutes to get your $10 Sam’s Club e-gift card. Details and instructions can be found here.

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Finding Some "Me Time"

May 12, 2016

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As a busy mom of two, finding time for myself is hard. And now that I stay home with my children, it seems like every second of my day is accounted for. I'm the main chef, maid, stick figure artist, playtime coach, ouchie kisser, snuggler, grocery shopper, story teller, song singer, chauffeur, diaper changer, and snotty nose wiper. 

And it's exhausting. And overwhelming. And wonderful. 

When I just had Hudson, I worked full time outside of the home and sent him to daycare three days a week. And of course I suffered from mom guilt about it. But it did allow me to have a little time to myself here and there...even if it was while I was working. 

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But now that I'm home those alone times are fewer and far between. I'm naturally introverted, so in order to function I NEED some down time alone. Without it I'm not happy...and you know what they say...when mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy. Ha! So I'm making an extra effort to carve out some "me time" in the following ways:

1. Wake up before the kids. I know I've mentioned this before, but the early morning hours are the perfect time for me to organize my day, do my devotions, sip my tea, and just have a little time to myself before the busy day starts. Getting up early is hard, but it's been so worth it.

2. Get enough sleep. Sometimes I go to bed a 9pm. Sometimes I hit the snooze and don't wake up until Hudson pulls me out of bed. I'm learning to let things go, and sometimes I sacrifice alone time for sleep time. Ha.

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3. Ask for help. This one is a big one for me. Unless you are my mom or my husband, I'm not good at asking other people for help. But it's necessary. In-laws, friends, and baby sitters were created for a reason.....mothers can't do it alone. 

4. Set aside "me time". Get out your planner and find a time where someone can watch your kids while you go for a walk, get your hair done, grocery shop alone, or ANYTHING that gives you a little break. Having a break from time to time is necessary for your sanity. And your kids and spouse will all be happier if you are happier. They may miss you while you are gone but I'm telling you....they will be just FINE. And they will probably have fun!

Munchkin LATCH

5. Be prepared. Part of getting some alone time is having the right supplies to help whoever is taking care of my kids provide them with the very best care while I am gone. So I cut up fruit and cheese for snacks, make sure diapers and wipes are fully stocked, and have bottles ready to go for Sadie. As a breastfeeding mom, this is SO important. When you are breastfeeding you often feel like you are the only one who can feed the baby. Your schedule revolves around nursing that sweet babe every few hours. And, if you are like me, you enjoy breastfeeding. I love having that quiet time with my baby. makes having some "me time" more difficult. 

Munchkin LATCH

6. This brings me to my next point....have someone teach your baby to drink from a bottle. If your baby is anything like both of mine, they are mama obsessed and want nothing to do with a bottle when mommy is around. So, have your mom or your husband offer them a bottle when you are not home. Don't sit right next to them because I guarantee they won't be interested! Leave the house! Your baby will be fine! 

Munchkin LATCH

 I absolutely love breastfeeding. I loved it when I had Hudson and I love it all over again with Sadie. It has helped me create a bond with both of my children that I will never forget. 

But I'm thankful for some alone time too. 

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We recently discovered the Munchkin LATCH line of bottles and we love them! The Munchkin bottles are designed to allow moms to easily and comfortably transition between breast and bottle. And Sadie actually will drink from one. Yay! 

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The LATCH line from Munchkin lets me feel confident in leaving my baby with someone else. I know she'll drink her milk and be well cared for while I'm gone. And knowing that she's happy makes leaving her a little easier. And it helps get my sanity back! I always set out Sadie's bottles plus the sterilizing bag and bottle brush whenever I'm going to be gone. 

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Time to myself makes me a better mother. What about you? How do you carve out a little "me time"?

This post is brought to you by Munchkin LATCH but my love for their products is all my own. Munchkin LATCH is available at Walmart. 

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Sadie Mae: 11 Months

May 11, 2016

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I'm in major denial that this little lady is almost ONE whole year old. 11 months old as of yesterday. Is this real life? It's going by SO fast. Sadie is on the move all the time and it's getting harder and harder to get her to stay still for a picture. Mama has to move fast. 

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Sadie has had a rough week thanks to our friend hand, foot, and mouth disease. Girlfriend was cranky and not happy about life...and not sleeping very well. Thankfully she is pretty much back to her old happy bouncy self! Now that she's feeling better she is also sleeping better! Yay! Sadie usually takes a morning nap (1.5) hours and an afternoon nap (another 1.5 - 2 hours) and has been sleeping pretty well at night too...I don't want to jinx it because I know sleep patterns change quickly but we are doing pretty well sleep-wise over here...which is a first!

At the doctor's office last week she weighted 22 pounds 6.5 ounces.

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She's not walking yet, which is funny to me because Hudson walked at this age....but I'm totally not stressing about it. She likes to pull herself up to standing and will take a few steps with a walker...but that's really it. She knows she can get anywhere faster by crawling and is perfectly content to do just that...even right through the dirt.  

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Sadie loves to dance and bounce around. She also loves to play peek-a-boo by hiding her head on your chest and then popping it quickly back up. It's the cutest thing ever. 

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Sadie still loves Hudson and wants to be on him/tackling him at all times. She loves riding in the stroller with him and jumping on the bed with him. I hope they always love each other this much.

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She's also very much a mama's girl and gets upset if she knows I'm leaving to run an errand or take care of her brother. She's still a breastfeeding champ but also loves her food! Her favorites right now are raspberries (just like mama), grapes, strawberries, green beans, and mac n' cheese. Girlfriend flips out over some good mac! She definitely eats more than Hudson!

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Sadie wants to do everything her big brother does and is pretty much the happiest baby I have ever seen in my life. 

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Sadie LOVES books this month and gets so excited to "read" them. She also loves her brother's trucks and toys....and basically wants to play with anything he's playing with. 

We just love this little girl more than words can express. One more month until birthday time!

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