Easter Basket for Toddlers

Hey, guys!

Can you believe that I’m actually ahead of the game in for a holiday blog post? I found myself wandering the aisles of Target (yet again, who else is ready for spring?) and stumbled upon the Easter section. It seems crazy early, but I know that their holiday selections get picked over fast so I decided to jump on it to get first dibs! So you are wondering… what does one put in an Easter basket for a toddler that isn’t full of candy? Well, I came up with some great ideas that I would love to share with you all! Now keep in mind my kiddo will be 18 months around Easter so he is a young toddler, but I’d say these ideas can work for your older toddler too.

Let’s start with the basket. I got his basket from Target last season and though they don’t seem to have this specific design anymore, there are plenty of other super cute and affordable options. Check them out here.

Now it’s time to fill it up! Here’s what I got…

  1. Easter Eggs (duh!). I grabbed some larger size eggs to “hide” for him and some to open with his basket. I plan on filling them with stickers (just cut out single stickers of a sheet to fit) and little animal figurines. Hot wheel type cars would also fit in these eggs I would bet!
  2. Duplo Legos. They had the cutest set for 5 bucks at Target that was for building a duck! They had a real lego bag Easter themed set for older kiddos too. I can’t find the exact one online, but something like this would be a cute option too!
  3. Art Supplies. I grabbed Henry a new tablet to put all those stickers onto it and one of these stain glass paper kits to try (at the store they have them sold separately).
  4. Books. I love getting Henry themed books for the holidays, so for this Easter, I grabbed Biscuit’s Pet and Play Easter. He loves dogs and those touches and feel books so this book was a winning combo.
  5. Okay, so I did go for candy too. I grabbed some mini M&M’s for him to try. He spits everything sweet out so we will see if he likes this treat! You could also do pouches, puffs, goldfish, or fruit snacks too!
  6. Some other ideas that I had that aren’t included in Henry’s basket that I’ll save for another yet… a new sippy filled with goodies, movies, “coupons” for activities like a date with mom, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and play doh!

That’s it! I hope you found these ideas helpful in building your little one’s basket this year. Happy Easter!

Xo, Anna

Easy Valentine’s Day Craft

Any other mama’s out there to a taby? Yea, that is not a typo! A taby is a toddler-baby aka a one year old. It’s a word I discovered while scouring the internet in how to entertain my newly walking, stir crazy kiddo this winter! If you’re in my shoes you know that the attention span of a one-year-old is crazy small, their motor skills still need a lot of work anddddd if they are anything like Henry… want to chew on everything. Mainly wanting to chew everything is our main obstacle with activities over here. One thing that has worked for us is stickers! Okay, so he isn’t the greatest at it, but with a little help, it keeps in occupied for a solid 5-10 minutes (sometimes, haha). To get in the Valentine’s Day spirit, I grabbed some festive stickers for Henry to “make” his very own Valentine’s Day cards!

What you’ll need:

  • Construction Paper
  • Stickers (I found these cute ones at the Target dollar spot)
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie Pen

Feel free to use your creativity here, but I just happen to cut rectangles on a whim out of construction paper, then had Henry go to town with stickers. Cutting the paper into hearts if you actually plan in advance (unlike myself) would be super cute! I still have to peel the sticker off, but let him pick ones he wants off the sheet and help put them on the paper wherever he wishes. After that, I wrote a little message and viola… homemade Valentines and easy taby entertainment. You can see ours in the photo below!

Happy Valetine’s Day, mama! Enjoy!

 

Xo, Anna

Little Blue Truck Party

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Hi, guys!

Fall is such a crazy time in our household and then adding in our little one’s birthday into the mix has kept me busy! Ever since Henry could sit up he’s been obsessed with books. He will literally sit there for long periods of time flipping the pages and staring at the illustrations. Little Blue Truck became a family favorite in this household and it seemed fitting to have it be the theme of Henry’s first birthday party.

We kept the guest list small with just immediate family and enjoyed spending the afternoon with loved ones. Henry was a little under the weather and wasn’t so sure about moments when all the attention was on him, but overall had fun playing with everyone! I served crockpot pulled pork, mac and cheese, coleslaw and a variety of dips. We finished off the meal with the most delicious birthday cake from a local baker! Henry liked playing with his smash cake, but when it came time to eat it gagged and cried. I’m sure he will eventually come around to sweets, ha!

little blue truck

I kept the decor simple, but thoughtful. We had a chalkboard chart with Henry’s current stats which was a hit for the family that doesn’t get to see him as often. Another piece was a banner showing all of Henry’s monthly milestone photos I had taken throughout the year. We had fun asking people which month was their favorite. Mine was his 7 month photo, which was when his rolls were sooo rolly! To liven up his high chair we tied on a special banner. The final detail was balloons!! Henry loves balloons, but his favorites were farm animals tied to the little blue truck.

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All in all, it was a fun day celebrating our little man! Happy birthday, Henry!

Special thanks to my extra crafty mom for helping as well as making some of the decor! Love ya!

Xo, Anna

Pasta Making with Yvonne

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Hi, guys!

I am still feeling the high from Yvonne’s pasta making class last night because we had so much fun! Nick and I have always enjoyed cooking together and are always trying something new. My family is Italian and I’ve been making pasta sauce for years now. I never really thought about taking the leap into the noodle making, but Nick had been saying he wants to try making them. I would kind of just roll my eyes and tell him the amount of work it’d be! When thinking of ideas for Nick’s birthday, I thought to myself if he wants to make noodles, let’s learn how to do it right! After some research, I came across Yvonne’s website. Pasta is her specialty so I gave her a call right away. After talking to her about her class, I was SO excited and booked us a class right away!

We were really excited the day of and found our way to Handmade Pasta by Yvonne, in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh. We were greeted by Yvonne and her husband, Jim. It’s a small shop that Yvonne makes her pasta in, but they also sell bags of their pasta, as well, as olive oil and some other goodies. Shortly after two other couples arrived, Yvonne handed us our aprons (that you take home!) to begin our pasta making journey.

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First, Yvonne gave us a quick rundown of what to expect for the evening. She then demonstrated how will we make the dough and learned some technical tips along the way, like using room temperature eggs. Then it was our turn. She walked around to each individual, helping as needed. After this quick process was done we had to let the dough rest.

She had a table set for us and had us sit while opening some Prosecco to welcome us all to their shop. Then she brought out an antipasto plate for each of us. Little did we realize that she would keep coming out with more food! She said wanted the experience to be similar to what it would be if you went to someone’s house in Italy to learn how to make pasta.We didn’t stop eating once we stepped through the door. We tried about 8 other various Italian appetizers she made (not all photographed due to chowing down), all while she talked to us about their families time in Italy and the different foods we were eating. We were already stuffed!

Then it was time to burn off some of those calories and get back to the pasta making! Yvonne demonstrated, then just has you go for it. We were taught how to prepare the pasta by hand cutting and machine to see which way we prefer. She then cooks up some of your noodles served with the olive oil flavor of your choice (she’s hooked up with Olive Tap ). And mangia, again! I actually preferred the hand cut noodles, but they were a lot more work (of course). But holy moly both ways were goooood. Handmade pasta is just out of this world compared to boxed pasta!

After that, it was time let the pasta dry a bit before packing it up to take home. Which also meant time for dessert! Yvonne brought out various different cookies and homemade gelato with strawberries and balsamic glaze, along with espresso to drink! We were stuffed and basically in food heaven. We had such a good time with the others in our class and making new friends. So much that we all signed up for the advanced class, which is ravioli, in July together!

I can’t say enough positive things about our experience!  Yvonne was so patient with us and fun to learn from. Her husband, Jim was doing his share of work in the background by cleaning up after us to make each transition extra easy so we could concentrate on pasta making. If you have any interest in learning how to make pasta this class is worth every penny! If you don’t have any interest in making pasta, I still recommend stopping by her store to pick up a bag to enjoy.

Thank you, Yvonne and Jim for a wonderful pasta making class and meal!

Xo, Anna

DIY Memory Ornament

DIY Memory Ornament

Hello, again!

I’m popping in for a quick DIY post. I realized after I was done making my ornament that I should’ve maybe taken some photos along the way to share to process. I’ll get better at this blogging thing eventually, I swear!

An ornament could be made in memory of so many things, whether it be a wedding, a birth, etc. My mom made me one with my tassel from graduation! If you’re someone like me, you keep things to remember the special days. Those knick knacks can sometimes end up stuffed in a drawer and you just don’t know what to do with them! I decided I could take some things that I had saved from our wedding and put them in an ornament. As a personal preference, I am someone who is a big fan of Christmas trees filled with ornaments that hold many years of memories. Plus, it makes them so much more fun to decorate.

This is what I used…

  1. Clear glass ornament bulb
  2. Wedding dress scraps from fittings
  3. Pin from bouquet
  4. Dried flower that would fit without breaking
  5. Tag from our invitations
  6. String used to wrap around our invitations to hang the tree
  7. Toothpick to move the pieces around to be in the order you prefer

Basically, just put in whatever you’d like the ornament to have a forever keepsake! Using a toothpick helped me move things around once I got them into the bulb to get the positions that I preferred.

Here is a close up of the final product!

DIY ornament

What do you have sitting around that you could put in an ornament? Let me know your ideas!

XO, Anna