Tuesdays with Jacob

Easter Picture Book Favorites

March 22, 2017

It's about that time.... time to start thinking about bunnies and chicks. I LOVE St. Patrick's Day so I'm always a little sad when it's over. Thankfully filling little man's shelves with new books always makes me feel better. I've yet to find a good book I LOVE explaining the real story/meaning of Easter, so if anyone's got one of those please let me know! But here are some of our favorites filled with bunnies, chicks, and all things spring! 

(affiliate links)

Toddler Beach Favorites

March 17, 2017

If you are reading this... we're on our way to the beach!! A week at the beach is my ideal vacation, but I know the thought seems stressful for some. I promise that as long as you are well prepared, beach trips don't have to be a major headache. 

You are going to want to have a plethora of toys to keep your toddler entertained, as well as various ways to keep them shaded from the sun. We make sure to always take our large beach umbrella and baby sunscreen. When we can get him to keep them on Jacob wears a hat and sunglasses as well. You definitely want a mesh bag for all your beach toys - it allows all the sand to filter out when you toss them in there! 

One of our best beach secrets is baby powder - it gets sand off little bodies like nothing else! Your toddler will love having their own little chair, and I always look for the ones that come with their own little umbrella - more shade! A beach buggy is super high on my wish list for this summer, you can load all your gear AND your kid inside and the big wheels make it easier to pull across the sand! 

(affiliate links)

St. Patrick's Day Parade + Leprechaun Crunch Recipe

March 13, 2017

Oh my goodness. Who else is feeling the wrath of Daylight Savings time today? I swear it was invented by someone who hates parents. There just is not enough coffee in the whole world to make it through until bedtime.

This weekend was our town's annual St. Patrick's Day parade! It's one of our favorite weekends of the year! There's a big festival with rides, crafts, FOOD STANDS, and of course, the parade! It's always crazy busy but thankfully this year it wasn't too hot, thanks to a nice breeze.

My favorite part is when the bagpipers march down, with their beautiful music; and I always cry when they all the veterans get wheeled past. There was a fire troop from Dublin in the parade this year and when they passed the gigantic Irish flag flying from a top two fire trucks they stopped to salute, which I thought was very touching. Jacob of course loves all the fire trucks, police cars, and floats with music - anything that makes noise! He was also super interested in the Army helicopter that was on top of one of the floats, that thing was huge, I was a little afraid it wasn't going to clear the tree lined street but they had the propellers lined up just right to fit down the parade route! 

There's always quite a bit of waiting involved with parade day since you have to arrive early to get a seat. We passed some of the time watching them raise the ladders on two of the fire trucks and then hoisting up the big Irish flag, but after that we had to grab a seat and once you sit you're stuck. A smart mom, comes prepared. I made a yummy snack to bring this year - leprechaun crunch, and it was a huge hit!

Here's the simple recipe!

Leprechaun Crunch

Mini Marshmallows
Chocolate Teddy Grahams
Green M&Ms (the mint variety, or pick the green ones out of a regular bag)
Chocolate Chips
Lucky Charms Cereal
Green Melting Chocolate (or melt white and add green food coloring)
Green Sprinkles

1. On a cookie sheet, mix together mini marshmallows, green M&Ms, pretzels, lucky charms cereal, teddy grahams, and chocolate chips
2. In a double broiler* stir melting chocolate continuously until melted
3. Pour Chocolate over the mixture in the pan
4. Immediately top with sprinkles
5. Place in fridge until the chocolate is set and hard
6. Break apart chunks and enjoy!!

* To make a double broiler: Fill a frying pan with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Place a DRY bowl in the pan and add your chocolate inside the bowl. Stir continuously until melted. Do NOT let the chocolate get wet or it will be ruined!

We're 4 days and counting away from spring break! Have a great week friends!!! XO

Lucky Cupcakes

March 9, 2017

Friends, these are the EASIEST cupcakes there are! And they are so cute! We made some for a playdate with friends and they were a huge hit! 

Here's how easy they are:

1. Make your favorite cupcakes - box mix, from scratch, or even store bought, however you like them!

2. Take a batch of white icing, split it in three then tint each third with food coloring - green, lime/yellow, white.

3. Pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes

4. Sprinkle green sugar and Lucky Charms Marshmallow on top. 

That's it!! I even let my toddler sort out the marshmallows from the cereal. I ended up with a lot less marshmallow than if I had done it myself, but it ended up being a snack and an activity all rolled into one. It just doesn't get any better than that! 

1,000 Days

March 6, 2017

How is it even possible? 1,000 days ago our lives were changed in the very best way. We got our first look at you, whispered "Happy Birthday" and fell in love. You've taught us so much since then, and learned so much yourself. 

In the past 1,000 you've never once ceased to amaze us. Your vocabulary has multiplied rapidly, and so has your heart. You are gently with animals and sweet with your friends. You bring a smile to everyone's face with your constant talking and singing, and loving. 

Things we think will be hard, or take time, come easily to you. You learn new things so fast, and never forget. You potty trained early, and quickly, and Momma and Daddy couldn't believe it was really that easy. You love learning new things like letters, and numbers, and the names of every type of train. 

You are so proud when you get things right, like pull backs in soccer, or back floats at swimming. You get a big grin and say "I did it! Jacob did it" and love high fives from your coaches. You are wild and silly, never still except to cuddle in for a story and a song at bedtime. 

You are so fun, and we're so lucky you're ours. Here's to the next 1,000 days!

Nine St. Patty's Day Recipes

March 1, 2017

Happy March friends! I hope you are recovering from all your Mardi Gras fun yesterday! We are more than ready to celebrate our Irish heritage the next few weeks. I've rounded up some of our favorite St. Patrick's Day goodies, including both sweet and savory options. There's something here for every meal, plus dessert! We're super excited for our town's St. Patty's Day parade next week, and already have all our green outfits lined up. Normally we have a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner on the 17th, but it coincides with the start of Spring Break this year, so we may be travelling - we'll see! 

Jacob and I did some pre-gaming this weekend, test driving new (to us) sugar cookie and lime float recipes. An entire shaker of green sprinkles may have gotten poured out onto my dining room table, but it was good fun anyways. 

Here are some more yummy ideas to get the whole family seeing green: 

Rainbow Pancakes // How cute is that whipped cream cloud? 

St. Patrick's Day Pasta // As green as it gets, and with broccoli too.

Corned Beef and Cabbage // You can't go wrong with this traditional favorite.

Irish Soda Bread // Perfect to serve with your corned beef.

Bailey's Brownie Batter Dip // The only thing better than Baileys, is Bailey's with chocolate.

Rainbow Trix Treats // These were a HUGE hit last year with Jacob and his buddies.

Green Fruit Skewers // Healthy and Festive and not likely to cause sugar comas. 

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies // My favorite ice cream... in cookie form.

Lime Sherbet Floats // Just in case you run out of Baileys!

I have fun activities and crafts in my St. Patrick's Day playdate post, and I have even more recipes on my pinterest board - check those both out for more inspiration. 

Our weekend: Street Painting Festival 2017

February 27, 2017

This weekend was the annual street painting festival in our small town and while it's one of our favorite weekends of the year, it's also a challenging one. Daddy works long hours during the festival, going in early and coming home late at night which means it's just Jacob and Momma all weekend. Naturally, Jacob chose this weekend to let his sleep issues flare up again, waking early and refusing to take his normal nap on Saturday. When your toddler's two hour napping period is the only time you have to get things done and then it doesn't happen, you REALLY miss it. Thankfully he made up for it by taking an extra long nap on Sunday. 

That being said, we really do love the festival. We love grabbing coffee and scones from the Starbucks downtown and walking up and down the street together as a family checking out all the art work. We love the arepas, crepes, and sugared pecans from the food vendors, and the way the BBQ stand makes the whole neighborhood smell amazing. We love watching the artists as they craft their masterpieces and figuring out exactly which way to tilt our heads to make the 3D drawings looks just right. 

Jacob loves the children's garden where kids can get their own chalk and marked off space to make their own artwork. Jacob picked out his own five colors - purple, yellow, green, red, and pink; and was very serious about not letting his smudger fly away. I always have a heavy duty load of wash to do Sunday night, to get all that chalk out of his clothing! 

Until next year! XO