Tuesdays with Jacob

Easter Baskets for Little Guys

April 7, 2019

Well, one things for sure... 2019 seems to be stuck on permanent fast forward mode. It's almost Easter and that's really saying something because Easter is super late this year. I've rounded up some of our favorite Easter basket ideas in hopes that you find something perfect for your little guys. SO many Easter and Spring goodies are geared for girls with soft pastels and sweet bunnies and rainbows... so I always love finding hidden gems for boys! We've already had our Spring Break so Jacob has already received and used his swimsuit, cap and sunnies, but he'll have a few of these goodies in his Easter basket, along with little eggs filled with treats, dinosaurs, and army guys! We use a copper wire basket from Nordstrom (sadly not online, but we found it in the kids section on an easter display table last year) and because I know some of you will want to know... these cute bunny jammies are last year Gap and no longer sold. I may shed real tears when we outgrow them! 

2019 Intentions

January 7, 2019

Dusting off the little old blog (It's been a bit huh?) and hoping you all had a cozy, relaxing winter break full of fun and family memories. We took a little social media break to focus on just that but now we're back and ready to put our 2019 goals out there because we're much more likely to get things accomplished if we've got a little bit of accountability. First, I'm calling our 2019 goals intentions and not resolutions because resolutions were made to be broken and then we're left feeling like failures if we don't accomplish them. Instead, I'm calling them intentions. They're things that we intend to do. And if we do, even partially do them, then we've accomplished something. So without further ado here's our 2019 list:  

1. Cook more at home: Like everyone else, we eat fast food and processed food far too much. I'm not saying I'm going to cook every meal at home but I'm aiming for 3-4 nights a week of good, home cooked meals full of fresh ingredients. My 9-5 (7-3 really) is working against me here as I arrive home most afternoons exhausted, but I've got pinterest and a new app called favoreats on my side, so I'm feeling good about this one. 

2. Travel more: We've got our normal spring and summer break trips planned, as well as a few weekend trips here and there, but both of my siblings moved to new cities this year and we're really hoping to make trips to both Seattle and Nashville this year to visit. We've never been to either city and now that hubs has more vacation time we're hoping to make some new family memories! 

3. Practice Photography: And by practice I mean, get my business off the ground - get in more shoots, design a website, build a client base, etc. I've been practicing my photo taking skills on Jacob for a long time and just barely started to photography other people's kids near the end of the year but I'm hoping to really grow the business side of things this year. I'd like to upgrade my equipment and get out of my comfort zone in 2019 too! 

4. Get outside more: I am so, so, guilty of coming home and crashing on my couch and then never getting back up. We want to get into the habit of getting in our vitamin D on a daily basis - going to our neighborhood pool and playground more, going for walks, meeting up with friends, etc. If you're local and want to help us out with this let us know!

5. Document the little things: I've gotten into a little bit of a rut with the blog - only blogging when something big comes up, or I find a fabulous product to share, and not documenting our day-to-day life which was the goal when I started .... 8 years (and 460 blog posts) ago! I want to be more consistent in my writing this year but also to focus in on the little things that make up our daily life together and not just the big stuff. 

What are your goals for the New Year?

Christmas Cards 2018

December 24, 2018

One of my very favorite parts of the Christmas season is all the happy mail that arrives in our mailboxes. I just adore all the cards with everyone's kids and seeing how much they've all grown! I keep all of our own Christmas cards from past years together in a box and it's so crazy to look back and see how much Jacob has grown and changed from his first Christmas back in 2014. 

We ordered from Tiny Prints this year and it could not have been easier! We first ordered from Tiny Prints back in 2010 when we were putting together the Save the Dates for our wedding, and I've always been impressed with their quality and selection. I browsed their site for days before finally selecting a design. 

The gold stamped foil is what really sold me on the design, but they also have glitter, laser cut and gate fold cards too! I love how the simple design lets Jacob's photo be the star of the show.

There are so many different ways to personalize Tiny Print's card designs. You can add an envelope liner in various prints, (I just love the little trees on ours), and the back of every card has multiple options of different prints, photo configurations, and text designs. We picked a contrasting gold stripe design that perfectly complimented the gold foil on the front of our card. 

Tiny Prints will even address your cards free of charge with their FREE recipient addressing. You simply add all of your addresses to their online address book on your account and every year they are in there ready to go! All of ours were saved in their from last year so it couldn't have been easier and I didn't have to hand write them all!

Many of you will have these beautiful cards arriving in your mailboxes this week, keep your eyes peeled! If you dropped the ball on ordering Christmas cards this year Tiny Prints also has a big selection of New Year's cards.

Christmas Cards: Tiny Prints Brilliantly Joyful

This post was sponsored by Tiny Prints,  but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own and I only endorse products I love!

The gift that keeps on giving

December 17, 2018
Thank you Goldfish Swim School for sponsoring this post!

I know, I know... I just shared a gift guide full of things Jacob is hoping to find under the tree. But I must confess, my favorite things to give at Christmas are not "things" at all. I much prefer giving (and receiving!) experiences. Every year we ask for a zoo membership and tickets to the fair but I thought I would share a few more ideas for both kids and adults! 

For kids: 

Sport lessons: Soccer, basketball, gymanstics, you name it. Kids learn so many important skills through sport. From coordination and balance, to teamwork and sportsmanship. Jacob's been taking swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School these past few months and a gift of lessons is perfect for the holidays! Even when it's cold outside the pool is heated to a balmy 90 degrees. Students work their way through the levels of the Science of SwimPlay® curriculum learning both safety and swimming skills under the watchful eye of both their teacher and a lifeguard on duty. (No such thing as too many eyes on little ones in the pool!) Everything at Goldfish is designed to delight little ones and the brand new facility in Pembroke Pines is no exception. If you're familiar with Goldfish you'll recognize the cute cabana changing rooms, the surfboard hair drying station, the seating area for parents to watch, and of course the pool and colorful murals surrounding it. Think how much more confident little swimmers will be this summer if they start now! Goldfish Pembroke Pines hosts free family swim events which are a great way to check out the facility!

Movie tickets: So many good movies coming out this year! We can't wait for Toy Story 4 and Dumbo. 

Zoo membership: We go several times a month with our membership and it also gets us a discount at zoos around the country. 

Mini golf vouchers: Such a fun day for the family, you can even include coupons or gift cards to grab ice cream after the course is complete!

Fair tickets: Is there anything more fun that a day at the fair? Don't forget to include ride tickets or wristband vouchers! 

Bowling or Skating tickets: Ice or Roller rink, your choice. You could even wrap a pair of ice skates, roller blades, or a bowling ball to represent the gift. 

For Adults:

Restaurant gift cards: I'm not talking about those restaurants you can find anywhere.... I'm talking about those special unique places you can only find in your city. A special meal out is the perfect gift. 

Tickets to a play/symphony/musical: If you live close to your gift recipient, throw in babysitting coupons too! 

Lessons: Not just for kids! Cooking, golfing, gardening, photography, allowing them to pursue their passions is the ultimate gift. 

Park Passes: For the thrill seekers among us. This works for families too - think Legoland, Disney, etc. 

Camping gear: Our little family of 3 have recently become camping fanatics, but it's also awesome for couples! I think tents, sleeping bags, outdoor cookware, or even a campsite reservation would be such a fun gift. 

Spa Day: I can't think of a single mom that wouldn't want this... Can you???

Hope these give you some good ideas, and get you thinking outside of the box! 

Chocolate Butterscotch Oaties

December 10, 2018

This post is sponsored by Rubbermaid® on behalf of Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It's that time of year - when all bets are off in the kitchen. We're whipping up family recipes left and right and giving our mixer her annual holiday workout. Our family has so many holiday cookie recipes it was hard to pick just one - so I had to go with Jacob's favorite! He just loves the two different kinds of chips, and any cookie with oatmeal is a winner in my book! I have so many warm memories of baking in the kitchen with my family at Christmas time and I'm so happy that I get to make those same sweet memories with Jacob. Our cookie recipes tend to make a huge amount so we always keep some for us and then give some away. We love gifting cookies and other holiday sweets this time of year to everyone from our mail lady to our garbage and recycle crew to our favorite teachers! Nothing says "I appreciate the hard work that you do" than home baked holiday goodness. 

Shortly before Thanksgiving on our annual Walmart pilgrimage for turkey and pie and all the trimmings, I discovered Rubbermaid® TakeAlongs® holiday containers which come in all different sizes to accommodate any goodies you bake up and are as festive as can be in red, green, and gold. I love that once the treats are gone the containers can be re-used by the recipient. They're sturdy too, and I plan to use them for our annual kids cookie decorating party for each little baker to take home their cookies in! 

We lined our red and gold TakeAlong® containers with some festive tissue paper and loaded them as full as we could with Chocolate Butterscotch Oaties to deliver to everyone we appreciate. Oaties are super simple to make and the perfect cookie for little hands to help with. Jacob has gotten really good at measuring out and pouring ingredients, and has even mastered cracking the egg! (Thanks Nonna!) 

Chocolate Butterscotch Oaties 

1/2 cup softened butter or margarine 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed tight
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup chopped pecans (optional) 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
2. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl 
3. Add egg & vanilla and mix 
4. Add remaining ingredients and mix well 
5. Drop rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet and slightly flatten each cookie. 
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes 

These cookies are truly some of our favorites and I know they'll bring cheer to all of our loved ones this holiday season. You can find Rubbermaid® TakeAlongs® at Walmart, as well as all the ingredients for these delicious cookies!! 

Gift Guide for Little Guys

December 7, 2018
I'm so excited to share with you this year's gift guide for little guys - aka. Jacob's wishlist. We're really trying to cut back on toys this year and zone in on things that he loves and will help him with his preschool development. His big Santa gift this year is his RC monster truck which you can read more about HERE

ONE. (For the kid with a sense of humor) Jacob comes home from preschool almost every day with a joke that he thinks is hilarious. This book is full of fun new jokes to add to his repertoire. 

TWO. (For the kid who likes to pretend) These dragon wings are so fun with that spiky tail, but we also love this lumberjack set, superhero set, and fireman gear.

THREE. (For the kid who needs some fine motor help) I remember playing with Lite-Brite as a little girl and I know Jacob will like it too. It's awesome muscle work for little hands picking up those little pegs and placing them in the holes to make pictures.

FOUR. (For the kid who loves art) I love this classic wood easel mostly because it comes with a paper roll attached so I don't have to spend all day cleaning off dry erase marker. Replacement rolls are also available.

FIVE. (For the kid who wants to be a fireman) This two story house comes with firemen, a fire truck, helicopter, and accessories. Think dollhouse for boys.

SIX. (For the kid who loves to build) Jacob loves building with this duplo legos and I'm sure he'll continue to do so for quite some time.  The juniors line is one step up with smaller pieces and easy to put together sets. (also great for fine motor!)

SEVEN. (For the kid who's afraid of the dark) Those toddler/preschool years seem to come with their own set of challenges and fears. Jacob's recently found himself afraid of the dark, so we picked up this little owl that lets off a soft glow, projects stars, and even plays music or nature sounds.

EIGHT. (For the kid on the move) We reviewed the Huffy RC Monster Truck HERE and then promptly put it away as Jacob's big "Santa" gift. It can be used as a remote controlled car or kids can ride on it. Two toys in one!!

If you haven't figured it out yet - Jacob is all of these kids. He would be thrilled with these gifts and I know your little guys would be too! What do your little ones want for Christmas?

Seasons of Fun

November 17, 2018

This post is sponsored by Huffy; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If your family is anything like ours, you spend most of the holiday months searching for that one special gift to proudly display under the tree. The one that will bring eyes full of wonder and faces full of smiles. The one that will fill your home with squeals and laughter all season long. Unlike previous years where we’ve scrambled at the last minute or fought the crowds on Black Friday, this year we actually found ours early. The Huffy Radio-Control Monster Truck is everything we look for in a holiday gift. It was super simple to put together - just attach the steering wheel and it’s ready to go. I may never live down the year I made my husband assemble an entire kitchen on Christmas eve, but no last minute building this year! It’s also two toys in one – doubling the play potential. It easily converts from a monster truck ride-on into a super-size radio-control monster truck. 

The truck is really easy to use;  it took Jacob no time at all to figure out the buttons, steering wheel, and foot  pedal – and he has no motor controlled vehicle experience whatsoever. He thought it was so funny to switch it from driving forward to driving backwards, and the loved taking it on to the grass. Those big sturdy wheels make off- roading no problem! To convert the ride-on into a radio-control just remove the steering wheel and it becomes your controller. For ease of mind and child safety, the radio controlled power only operates when the steering wheel is removed and there is no weight on the product. Jacob had a blast going back and forth between radio controlling and riding. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say it provided us hours of entertainment. 

While this is no doubt a present for Jacob, it’s also going to make things a little easier for mom and dad. We love to go walking in the evenings, but the stroller presents a challenge because Jacob will be fast asleep before the walk is over, every single time without fail. As you might guess, this then makes getting him to bed at a reasonable hour a challenge.  Now he can ride along on his Monster truck while the whole family gets in some exercise and fresh air. The monster truck is also affordable, which is always a selling point for us during the holiday season when it feels like our hearts and wallets are being pulled in a million different directions. 
The Huffy RC Monster Truck is recommended for kids age 3-7 and is perfectly sized for the early elementary set.  Looking for a present full of fun and wonder? You can find the Huffy RC Monster Truck at Walmart, along with other Huffy products – there’s something for every kid! What’s on your kid’s wish list this year?