Baby Shower Theme Ideas for Second or Third Baby

Thanks to Tastefully Simple for providing product samples. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

I’m curious: if you have more than one child, did you have a baby shower for the second (and beyond) child? Traditionally, the sentiment has been that you only get a shower for your first baby. Can we all just agree that this is a tired notion? Every child deserves to be celebrated, and every expecting mama could use some help getting ready for baby. And not all help has to take the form of a new receiving blanket or a car seat, either, which is why I think baby showers for subsequent children can be more practical (but still very fun!).

Baby Shower Theme Idea: Stocking the Kitchen

I didn’t have a shower for my second child (I was still fairly new to this city and didn’t know many people, so that wasn’t a shocker for me) but if someone would have offered to throw one, this is what I would “registered” for: freeze ahead meals and easy recipes! 

I would have been tickled beyond belief to have received meals that were ready to be heated up, for sure! When you are adjusting to life with two little ones (or three, or four, etc.) you are having to find a whole new rhythm. You might not need a pack-n-play, but if dinner could just be figured out for you, that would be amazing, am I right?!

I would also love to give this gift to an expecting mama because I know it would take some stress off of her while she is dealing with a newborn and also still dealing with the other kid(s). I can’t be too sure about a new mom needing ANOTHER pack of 0-3 month onesies, but I can feel 100% sure that she can use a meal!

If you are thinking about planning this type of event for a friend, be sure to ask if there are any food allergies in her family to keep in mind, or if there are any very strong likes or dislikes. Then simply invite attendees to bring their favorite freeze-ahead meal as a gift, or if they prefer not to cook anything, to consider bringing along some great supplies for the pantry.

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Tastefully Simple is a fantastic resource for food items that can really help bring out a lot of flavor and fun to what might be otherwise another ordinary dish. For example, they offer an array of seasonings that can be used put together really great food on the fly. In fact, their website has a HUGE collection of recipes that you can create with their products. It would be such a great idea to buy some of these items, and include one or two recipes to go along with each item to help the mom get started. Here are some great products you can find at Tastefully Simple, along with a recipe idea to put it to use!

I remember having many, MANY instances where that new mommy brain fog made it seem like the most impossible thing on earth to figure out what we should be eating for dinner. If I had a stack of recipes on hand and key ingredients needed to pull them off, that would have made a big difference and we would have eaten much less takeout during those first few months as a family of four.

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What do you think about a baby shower idea that is more focused on practical needs for the family? I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as any other ideas you might have for ways to celebrate a new little one hitting the scene!

 

Surprize by Stride Rite: Great New Shoes Exclusive to Target!

This post brought to you by Stride Rite. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Stuff Parents Need.

Last week I was feeling pretty darn good about how the first week of school went for my kiddos. I managed to make all the mandatory meetings, get all the school supplies handed over (AND labeled…42 individually labeled items, people…) and get everyone to school on time with brushed teeth and hair and presentable clothing. But on Friday a note was sent home telling me that Layah needed a spare pair of shoes in her cubby.

This is the point at which I realized that the only spare pair of shoes this poor second child owns are flip flops, which won’t cut it. Then I took a look at the shoes she was wearing daily. They are Stride Rites and they have held up reasonably well considering the fact that they have been through 2 girls who have worn them constantly as long as they fit, but they were definitely looking well-loved.

So…maybe those needed to become the spare pair and we needed to go get some new Stride Rites for Miss Layah! But would that mean braving the mall on a Saturday? blergh…….

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Except, NO! Stride Rite now has an exclusive line at Target called Surprize by Stride Rite. Have you seen it?!?!

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You don’t ever have to twist my arm to get me in a Target (not even on a Saturday! Bring. It. On.). Layah loved the selection of Surprize by Stride Rite shoes, and decided she wanted to try on the cute purple pair.

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 Surprize shoes have the following great attributes: 

  • Comfort – These shoes have a generous fit and all memory foam footbeds, ensuring great comfort for your kids
  • Fit – The shoes have very flexible outsoles allowing for an agile, natural step and growth
  • Durability – The rubber toes ensure durability

So basically, this is everything you would expect from the Stride Rite brand! Every pair I saw was priced under $30, too!

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 Layah was so proud of her new shoes that she agreed to do a fun photo shoot with me when we got home (something that typically makes her grumpy). But she was all smiles in her fabulous new purple outfit, and I can’t say that I blame her, as getting new shoes that are cute AND comfortable is a major score. 

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So while I had to wipe that smug grin off my face from when I mistakenly thought I had nailed the first week of school (a point that was further highlighted when I rolled up to school yesterday to pick up my child without a car seat and had to borrow one to get back home), in the end it all worked out because I learned about one of my very favorite brands of shoes now having a line at one of my very favorite stores. And now you know, too! Be sure to check out Surprize for girls or Surprize for boys, with sizes going up to 12.

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Not planning a trip to Target soon (What’s that like, first of all?)? No, worries, because you can Shop Surprize by Stride Rite at Target.com! And you can follow Stride Rite on their social media channels for more info, too!

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Finding the Best Deals, Wherever You Are: There’s an App for That!

Thanks to Retale for partnering with me to make today’s post possible. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I make no bones about it: I like shopping online. But there are times when you just have to suck it up and get out there to get something you need now. Like erasable color pencils. Did you know these are a thing???

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Kids these days and their fancy school supplies. When I was a kid if you messed up when using your colored pencils, you just had to suffer the consequences on imperfection.

Where was I? Oh yes…urgent shopping matters. So in preparation for the school yearwe had to go shopping for school supplies such as that crazy invention shown above, and also for a few other items that needed in-person inspection, like shoes and a few fun new outfits. If I had known about the app Retale at the time, it could have saved me some time and money!

First, it would have kept me from awkwardly yanking on locked doors at Kohl’s a full hour before the store opened. I’ve pulled up the store hours so many times on my laptop that I thought I had them memorized, so of course the one time I didn’t bother to check I was too early and had to come back the following day, which wasted about an hour of my time between all the driving back and forth. The Retale app could have shown me shopping hours at my local Kohl’s in just a few clicks. 

Retale could have also shown me where I could find those blasted erasable colored pencils (ok, I admit it, I’m totally jealous that these weren’t around when I was a kid). I went to three different stores trying to find them, when I could have just pulled up the circulars for places like Office Depot, Target and Walmart and not only found them, but also seen which store had them on sale, which would have saved me time AND money.

Retale shows you all your local sales so you don’t have to flip through flyers and clutter up your home. And if there are stores you especially love to shop at, you can ask to receive notifications about new promotions so that you never miss a great sale. retale app

This is a very useful app, no? But it gets better! You can create a shopping list and even clip coupons right in the app, so you can make a list and not leaving on your kitchen table (something I’ve done roughly 500 times) and not leave those valuable coupons on the table, either.

Retale is totally free (of course!) and available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. You can also take advantage of all those aggregated circulars on the Retale website if you’d rather browse from a laptop or desktop. Check it out and see what you think!

(Giveaway Alert!) Cooking Shortcut: Trying the Pressure Cooker for Busy School Nights

Complimentary product provided for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

We’ve been back in school for a week now, and I’m still getting my bearings since daily homework is now part of our reality. I now call 3-5pm my “sprint” in the day, because I really have to be on top of my game to make sure that homework gets done, the kids have some chill time, and I get dinner on the table by 5pm (because my kiddos are SO hungry by that point, even with an after-school snack!).

One new tool I’m trying out in the kitchen is the Clipso Pressure Cooker from T-fal. I tend to think of a pressure cooker as something that grandmothers use to make pot roast. I’ve never even owned one until a few weeks ago! But it turns out that our grandmothers were on to something, as a pressure cooker is designed to help you speed up the cooking process without drying out your food (so it’s GREAT for meat dishes!).

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There is a bit of a learning curve with pressure cookers. When you get one, it’s important to spend a bit of time with the instructions so that you can get to know how the equipment works and how to use it safely. I have challenged myself to use it for every dinner prep this entire week to help me feel more comfortable with it.

But to provide some inspiration, last night I made a delectible Indian dish, Chicken Masala, using the pressure cooker. I was able to use the pot just like a conventional pot while sauteeing onions and garlic, and then once I added all of the other ingredients, including an entire fryer chicken (cut into segments) and used the pressure cooking capabilities, my dish was done in 20 minutes. Chicken masala is definitely NOT a 20 minute meal, and yet, I was serving it to my family on a Monday night at 5:15 pm after starting the entire process at 4:45pm. Winner, winner, chicken dinner, indeed! 

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The T-fal Clipso is available in Macy’s retailers and Macys.com for $99.99. For more information please visit, www.t-falusa.com. If you’d like more weeknight recipe inspiration, follow T-fal on Pinteret!

 Giveaway Alert!

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Right now, T-fal is hosting a great Back2School Photo Contest! All you need to do is share a photo on Facebook, TWitter or Instagram using the hashtag #TfalBack2School that demonstrates how you are getting ready for the school year. Here are some ideas to get you started: a room in your home that you recently organized (or that you need to organize!), a favorite lunch box idea or weeknight dinner, or what your homework station looks like. One lucky Grand Prize Winner will get a Back2School package worth over $1,000 and 5 runner up winners will win T-fal packages values at $500 each. Woo hoo! Full details and entry information is on the T-fal Facebook page.

Drinking Your Vitamins (Life Hack I LOVE!)

Thanks to Zarbee’s for partnering with me for today’s post. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

Two weeks I downloaded an app on my phone that I was certain would take care of the problem I have remembering to take my vitamins and other supplements throughout the day. This app dutifully tells me every time I’m supposed to take something and what that something is. It also sends me two gentle reminders and then a third reminder that sounds like a pill bottle shaking in a desperate plea to get me to go take my vitamins. Every time I hear that pill bottle I straight up SCOWL at my phone and swear I’ll delete the app…tomorrow.

And so I have learned that the problem is not that I don’t remember to take my pills. The problem is that I don’t like to take my pills. I didn’t even learn how to swallow pills until well into my teenage years, and it’s always been a rather dramatic moment of my day when I take them.

I know all about how great vitamins and supplements can be as a compliment to making good food choices. And yet, I just don’t wanna.

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Bless you, Zarbee’s, for your newest product line. 

Have you seen this awesomeness, yet???? Zarbee’s, a company whose homeopathic products fill our children’s medicine cabinet, has launched these great Vitamin Drink Mixes, with individual packets that you add to water (either hot or cold, depending on the product…it states the best use on the back). Each packet is loaded down with great vitamins and great flavor! I have been particularly liking the Multivitamin with Antioxidant lately, though I’m so glad to have each product type in my pantry.

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Now when my app tells me to take my multivitamin, I do so without hesitation! I grab my water bottle, put roughly 6 ounces of water in it, grab a Zarbee’s Vitamin Drink Mix, and give a good shake.

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And then I just enjoy an honestly delicious beverage! I’m getting a glass of water AND my vitamins. BOOM!

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This is the type of product that is making life a little less hectic for me, or at least a little less anxiety-filled!

Do you struggle to remember to take your vitamins? Or are you like me and you remember just fine, but you just don’t WANT to take them (seriously, why are multivitamins horse pills???). This might be just the thing for you! Or if you could use an extra vitamin boost (hello back-to-school GERMS starting to come home!) then grab a box o Zarbee’s Vitamin Drink Mix the next time you’re at Target. The following types of vitamin drink mix are offered:

Which one would you buy first??