Filling Your Baby’s Easter Basket…

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Last Easter was relatively easy for us because Cassidy was still SO little and didn’t require much. We dressed her up all cute and cuddly (complete with a giant, pink bow), took her into church with us (which she slept right through), and took her to my in-laws for lunch (which she also slept through).

This Easter, I’m thinking, will go just a touch differently. In a good way! This Easter, we get to dye eggs and do Cassidy’s very first Easter basket! Yay! The Easter Bunny always visited our house when my sister and I were growing up. He’d usually bring us a chocolate bunny, Cadbury Eggs, Peeps, and those awful, sugary, marshmallowy, candy eggs (you know the ones I mean- they were oblong, white, chewy eggs coated in a sugary shell. Bleh! I never liked them, but somehow, my Easter basket would never have been the same without them). We’d also always get a cute little outfit or a book or crayons or some other fun little toy. The Easter Bunny always left awesome goodies for us! And now he’ll visit my house!

I’m sure when Cassidy’s older, she’ll get her fair share of candy and sweets, but this year will be a bit of a challenge for us. I’m not letting my 14 month-old anywhere near candy, so…..what do we give her?? Are you in this same conundrum? What exactly do you put in a baby’s Easter basket?? Here’s a simple list I’ve come up with that might give you a few helpful ideas:

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Peter Rabbit Organics fruit and vegetable pouches. I love these because they provide the essential fruits and veggies baby needs, they’re chock full of vitamins, they’re all natural and organic, and they’re fun for the little one. Plus, I just love Peter Rabbit…reminds me of my great-grandmother’s stories.

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Books. You can never go wrong with books. Cassidy has books for every season and holiday (mostly thanks to her Aunt CiCi!)! I found a cute little baby-sized Easter puffy book at Target today that we’ll put in her basket.

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A cuddly stuffed animal. I found these at Pottery Barn Kids and thought they looked so sweet and soft! Perfect for the Easter basket!

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A colorful hair bow or bow tie. Every little boy needs a sweet lil’ bow tie and every little girl needs a big ol’ hair bow on Easter Sunday! That’s just how it is! These both are found on Etsy.

Really, you don’t need a whole lot of things in their first Easter basket- just a few fun little items. I say you can’t go wrong with a book or two, some fruit pouches, and a stuffed animal. And maybe a cute little Springy outfit. And maaaaybe a pair of blue baby jellies. :)

I hope all you parents out there have as much fun as I did finding sweet tidbits for your little one’s Easter basket!

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    DIY Play Kitchen…

     

     

     

    play kitchen

    I’ve been DYING to share this with you for so long now! We’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks, and it’s FINALLY finished! Yes, my friends, you too, can take a couple of old, dated bedside tables and transform them into an adorable, pint-sized play kitchen for the kiddos! As soon as I found out I was having a girl (all those months ago!), I’ve known I wanted to someday build my daughter a play kitchen of her very own. Obviously, cooking is a huge part of my life, and my love for it has already carried over to Cassidy. She loves to cook! She loves to stir, and stir, and stir, then hold the spoon up to my mouth so I can “taste” her cooking (just delicious, by the way!). ;)

    My mom and dad had a couple of old night stands they weren’t using anymore, so I immediately snatched them up and Joel and I (with lots of help from my dad) went to work to build a play kitchen for Cassidy’s first birthday.

    Here’s what we started with:

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    First, we took the drawers out and discarded them. Then, a light sanding, just to take off the gloss and make it easier for the paint to stick. I used plain white, glossy spray paint for this and it worked perfectly.

    From there, we attached a couple of pieces of wide trim found in our storage shed to the tops to serve as a backsplash. I used black acrylic craft paint for the burners (just plain old circles- use a salad plate to trace with), and we found the knobs at Home Depot.

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    We also found some slimmer trim (the kind used for crown molding) and used that to make the oven door (I painted it with a silver metallic spray paint). If you don’t have a miter saw to cut the trim, I’m betting a large picture frame would work for this as well. We got a large piece of plexiglass at Home Depot and cut it to the size we needed, then simply glued it to the back of the door frame. A simple brushed nickel handle finished it off. We attached the oven door using two hinges and a magnet to keep it closed. It was my dad’s idea to put the chains on either side, to keep the door from hitting the ground. My mom let us use the racks that came with her microwave for oven racks. I had some pink paint left over from Cassidy’s nursery, and used that to paint the inside of the oven. I like the retro look it gives!

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    We found a cheap faucet at Home Depot and used a stainless steel mixing bowl for the sink basin. Joel and my dad cut a hole in the top of the night stand and used liquid nails to glue the bowl into place. Easy peasy! My mom sewed the cute curtain.

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    I really wanted Cassidy to have working knobs and handles, so I’m glad we went with an actual faucet and not a pretend one. These hot and cold knobs really turn! Attention to detail is the key here! ;) …and when I tell you the faucet was cheap, I mean it! 17 bucks! Can’t beat that!

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    I just so happen to have an old cabinet my sister had used in her old bathroom a long time ago. I loved how it already had a rack on it for pots and pans! I used shower hooks to hang the cookware on since I didn’t have any actual hooks that fit this bar. Eventually I’ll probably try to find something different, but for now these work just fine. My grandparents bought the set of pots and pans on Amazon for Cassidy’s birthday and I found the heart-shaped measuring cups and spoons at the dollar spot at Target.

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    Every kitchen needs a pantry and dish storage! My sister bought the cute little play food set at Target (see the refried beans?! How cute!). I found the cupcake art and brightly colored utensil art at Hobby Lobby for 70% off (score!), and hung a $1 pink basket with command hooks on the side of the stove for more play food storage.

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    And there you have it! A 100% homemade, genuine play kitchen for your little ones! Honestly, it wasn’t that hard (especially since Joel and my dad did all the cutting, drilling, and hammering…), and I’m absolutely THRILLED with the end result! Cassidy is still a bit young to appreciate it fully, but I know she’s going to love it soon!

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      Christmas Tidbits…

      **Warning** This post is extremely picture-heavy! Turn away now if you aren’t interested in babies or Christmas or babies celebrating Christmas. ;)

      These past few days, I’ve had my camera at the ready at all times! With the house decorated for Christmas now, it seems like every time I turn around there’s a great photo opportunity with Cassidy! In fact, the pictures that’ll be featured on this year’s Christmas card are some that I spontaneously snapped while Cassidy was “helping” me decorate.

      (Ha! Love that one…)

      Even after 4 1/2 years of blogging, I still pretty much have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to photography. I’ve been practicing really hard and (hopefully) getting better. The photo above was my attempt at being more “artsy”. ;)

      Here are some photos I took (with my phone) of our decorated house. I love sharing a little holiday spirit with everyone!!

      The first ornament on our tree this year!

      Window seat greenery

      Can’t forget Mr. Nutcracker!

      Our mantel. My favorite.

      I took a strand of white lights and tied strips of red and white striped fabric in between each light. It turned out very “pepperminty” looking. I love it!

      The reindeer are my sister’s throwaways.

      I got Cassidy’s stocking from Pottery Barn Kids. I’ve been eying it for years and finally had a reason to buy it this year!

      Our vintage aluminum tree. My grandmother gave this to us our first married Christmas. It’s from the ’50′s!

      My kitchen tree

      Here’s one of our mantel all lit up at night.

      The dining room tree (yes, that makes 3 big trees total…)

      The entry hall table

      Cassidy’s first time seeing a Christmas tree! She was fascinated!

      Look at that grin! She loves it! So far, our first Christmas as a family of 3 (well, 4, actually…can’t forget Izzy!) is every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be! I have more pics to share soon- stay tuned! :)

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        Homemade baby nose wipes…

        This morning, Cassidy woke up with a terrible, snotty cold. Poor baby. I was having to wipe her nose a lot and was afraid using too many tissues would make her raw and irritated. So I quickly grabbed a baby wipe. Stupid mommy. Baby wipes have alcohol, so I wasn’t doing myself or Cassidy’s nose any favors. Then I remembered *redacted* (baby nose wipes)- you know, those cute little grape-scented wipes for kids’ snotty noses? I didn’t have time to run out to get some, so I googled and found that I already had everything I needed to make them at home! Score!

        This couldn’t be simpler- here’s what you need:

        a soft, thin receiving blanket you won’t miss (I have about 800 of these lying around, but you could also grab a pack at Wal-Mart or Target for cheap)
        2 teaspoons witch hazel
        1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
        1 teaspoon vitamin E oil or capsules punctured and squeezed out
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 cup hot water

        *You can also add a drop or two of scented essential oil like peppermint or lavender, but I didn’t have any on hand. Plus, I prefer unscented anyway.

        Cut your blanket into rectangles- I made mine about 4×6 inches. I was in a hurry, so I only cut up half of mine and got 12 pieces. Depending on how big you cut them, you could get up to probably 30 pieces out of one blanket.

        Whisk your hot water, witch hazel, aloe, vitamin E, and salt in a bowl. Soak the pieces of cloth in the mixture until completely saturated, then wring them out to get rid of excess liquid. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

        These are great because, not only are they more environmentally friendly, they didn’t cost me a cent to make. The aloe, vitamin E oil, and salt help sooth and moisturize red, dry little noses and the witch hazel helps to heal any irritation. These have been lifesavers for us- they’re as soft and as gentle as can be on Cassidy’s poor little nose, which helps ease my mind just a little bit. Like any mom can really feel “at ease” when her baby has a cold, right?

        “recipe” from One Good Thing by Jillee

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