Mommy's Favorite Things: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Cuddle Barn Review & Giveaway

I had the opportunity to review 2 wonderful items from Cuddle Barn. 

We received the Moos Like Jagger and the Talking Ben toys. I saved them to give to Avery for Christmas and so far she's loving both!

Our Year in Pictures

Our year was fairly uneventful this year... But here is our year wrapped up into just 12 photos. One from each month!


Friday, December 28, 2012

He's 1!

He really is 1! How did this happen??
HOW is my baby 1 already???
Last night as a baby
This morning... as a TODDLER

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mushroom and Lima Bean Stew RECIPE

An awesome HEALTHY recipe for after the Holidays! It's what we all need to get back on track!


  • 1 cup Dried Lima Beans
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • 8-16oz of sliced mushrooms (your choice of kind)
  • 3/4 of a Butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of kale (stems removed and leaves thinly sliced)
  • Shredded Parmesan (optional)
  • Soak beans overnight in water. Drain
  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion powder and garlic powder and cook until mushrooms are tender. About 6-8 minutes
  • Add in squash, beans, bay leaf and stock. Season with pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover partially.
  • Cook until beans are just tender, about an hour. Stir in kale and cook until tender, about 5 more minutes. 
  • Season with salt
Serve into bowls and then I shredded some Parmesan on top! It is such a healthy recipe, it's really yummy too!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Christmas!

It was just a relaxing day for us! We spent the morning opening gifts. Then went to breakfast at Denny's (it's our tradition). Then we came home and made a small dinner for just us! It was nice and peaceful and there was no stress!!
The kiddos!

 Me and the kids!
 Daddy and the kids!
 His big gift from Santa is bigger than he is!
 Stocking Stuff

Over all it was a pretty good day. Now my house looks like it threw up. I can't wait for Garbage Day so I can purge old toys and get rid of all these boxes!

Cloud B Review

I have been eyeing the Cloud B items for a while now. They are awesome for children and are great for promoting sleep.
The most popular item they have is the Tranquil Turtle. This is also what we received for Emerson. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Begin Again Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

Natural toys are pretty important here to us. For one they don't usually make a ton of noise which is great for ANY parent! We all love when the toys our kids play with are nice and quiet. For two they are healthier for them. Especially when you have a baby that chews on every toy they see. 

Begin Again toys has some wonderful, natural toys for your children. 
Their saying is "A Wish" which stands for A- is for Artist, W- is for Write, I- is for inventor, S- is for sportster and H- is for Hero. Then there's B which is for Beginner. 

We received 2 toys from the beginner category. We got the PushArounds Car and the Red Earthworm.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lil Threadz Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

I knew I wanted to take Emerson in to get his 1 yr pictures. I have been doing the monthly shots on my own, but each month I was getting less and less good pictures, so I decided it would be best to take him in to the professionals! 
For that I wanted to get a shirt that said ONE or 1 on it! So I was drawn to lil threads clothing. From there I found a couple shirts that would just be perfect, but of course she sent me just one!

I really liked this one, but wanted an orange owl and possibly wanted it bigger (I was being picky). 
But ultimately I decided to get the Octopus Birthday Shirt. I love the orange octopus and it's just adorable!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zumba Core Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

I have wanted to try Zumba for a while now. It's been on the top of my list of things to try. But because of the kids and Avery's school schedule and Jon's work schedule I didn't want to commit to going to a class. My next best thing was a Zumba video or Wii game!

So I contacted them and they sent me a Zumba Core Wii game!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Must-Have Road Trip Snacks!

We don't take a lot of long trips. The longest we've taken with the kids is 2.5 hours to my grandma's house up north. This has been long enough for us! 

However, in February we will possibly be making the trek to Washington D.C., it's about a 9 hour drive. So on this trip we will need to take along some snacks and meals for us and the kids. 

I'm so thankful we have a van, but if we didn't I would consider the Kia Sportage
This will be a LOOOONG trip, so on this trip we will need lots of healthy snacks to keep the kiddos energized. 
  1. Granola Bars. Perfect for a pick me up!
  2. Pretzels (LOVE a little crunch)
  3. Puree Pouches (These are great for both kids to snack on in the car)
  4. Bottled Water
  5. Twizzlers, for that something sweet that isn't messy
  6. String Cheese
  7. Hard Boiled Eggs for protein
  8. Fruit Snacks, great for all ages and yummy!
  9. Crackers, like Annie's Homegrown
  10. Juice Boxes. Again good for all ages and even the adults can have some for that sweet little something
Those are our must-have snacks for a trip. A cooler is needed for the eggs and cheese unless you're planning on eating these the first couple hours of the trip. And you might want one to keep the water and juice boxes cool as well!

Snacks like these make stops less often and get you to your destination faster. I know that if we made this trip with nothing it would probably be at least 2 hours longer when you think of about 3 stops for potty/food breaks! 
This way we just need to stop probably once for a potty break. Just don't over indulge in water/juice!

What are your must-have snacks for traveling?
This is a partnered post with Kia as part of the #KiaHoliday campaign. All text and opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Juicy Juice Fruitifuls Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

With a 5 year old in my house, we have been through our share or juice, that's for sure. Avery started on juice at just 9 months old. and we ALWAYS went with Juicy Juice. It was always our juice of choice as they had the most flavor options and always offered a lower sugar product, which we opted for. 

This time I received some of their new Fruitifuls products for review. I got 4 flavors to try!
We got to try the Apple Quench, Berry Cherry Burst, Orange Strawbana Blast and Punch Splash

Door to Door Organics Review & Discount Code

I don't know about all of you, but I go to the grocery store often. I do my big trips every 2 weeks, but then I do little trips every week, usually for weekly stuff like yogurt, bread, and produce. 

I really wanted to try and cut out those little trips as much as possible. So we entertained the idea of  Door to Door Organics. Each week you choose which produce you want and they deliver it right to your door. 2 days after delivery they charge your card and you have your produce for the week. 

I figured it wouldn't hurt to contact them first. So I did and they agreed to let me review a month of service of the Bitty Box. 
This was just my first week
They included a few extra items this time.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Merino Baby Sleep Bag Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

I have used Sleep Bags in the past with Emerson. They are great in those newborn stages so you can prevent the use of blankets. ESPECIALLY since Emerson was born in the winter.

But I've recently heard of Merino Wool Sleep Bags from Shopping Moa. 
I was able to receive the Dove Grey Sleep Bag for review. We got it in the 0-2 year size. 

Chamilia Review

I love the look of custom/semi custom jewelry. Not many others will have the exact item you have. I have a gorgeous bracelet that Jon got me for Christmas in 2010 from Kay Jewelers. It's one of those bracelets, with all the beads and you can customize what style your bracelet looks like. 
He bought me some things he KNOWS I like. There's a Snowflake and Treble Clef. Then he bought Avery's initial, a May birthstone (Avery's and Mine) and some other cute charms as well. I love this bracelet and cherish it because it's ME! It explains who I am. 

I was contacted by Chamilia and knew I wanted to say yes!!! I knew I could add the charm to my existing bracelet OR just start a whole new bracelet. I received the 7.1" bracelet along with the Entwined Jewels- Clear and Blue Swarovski charm. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Merry Fluffy Christmas Sponsor Spotlight BEST BOTTOM #FluffyXmas

I have done a review for Best Bottom in the past. I just love their AI2 system. 

They have recently redone the style of their diaper and I was really excited to try it out along with their new print! I received the adorable Hedgehog diaper!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sew Joan Review & Giveaway

Since winter was quickly approaching it was time for Emerson to get a new blanket! He has a couple warm blankets, but they're pretty small, meant for babies. Well now he's a toddler (okay ALMOST) and he needed something a bit bigger. 

This blanket would be used in the car, in the stroller and even in his crib at night so I needed something that was big enough to cover most of his little body!

Sew Joan sent us a flannel backed, personalized stroller blanket just for Emerson!