sippy cups

The First Years One Piece Lid Sippy Cup Review | crackersandcarrots.com

We have tried a slew of sippy cups since transitioning from a bottle at 1 year. One after another, there were sippy cups Liam didn’t like or they had something that drove me crazy. Thankfully, I purchased most of them at children’s consignment shops, so it wasn’t too big of an investment. He never could master the tilting of the cup, so we settled on the straw variety.

The First Years One Piece Lid Sippy Cup Review | crackersandcarrots.com

After many months of trial and error, I purchased a Munchkin straw sippy cup that he loved! It required a hard suck, similar to the bottle and my favorite part was the no-leak design. I just throw it in my purse when we run errands or I even sit it in his lap while we are on a jog. He knows it always has water and it’s easy for him to hold with one hand. Plus, it’s fairly easy to clean.

The First Years One Piece Lid Sippy Cup Review | crackersandcarrots.com

However, we needed a sippy cup for milk.

I used another Munchkin for milk for a while, but noticed it was too hard to clean properly. Also, we needed an insulated cup to not spoil the milk every time we used it. I bought the Tommee Tippee straw sippy and it’s worked pretty well. However, there are 6 different parts to the cup. I just don’t have time for that. It also requires two hands to pick up, which is harder for the younger toddler.

The First Years One Piece Lid Sippy Cup Review | crackersandcarrots.com

Since Liam is almost 2 years old (how is that possible?!), it was time for another transition. So, we tried The First Years One Piece Lid sippy cup. The thing that attracted me most to it was the thought of only cleaning three pieces: the lid, the straw and the cup. Luckily, it comes in our favorite Disney characters, too. We got the Cars and Mickey sippy cups. As soon as Liam saw that his favorite movie (Disney’s Cars) was on the front of his sippy cup, it became his favorite. Now instead of asking for ‘wa-wa’ (water), he asks for his ‘ca-ca’ (car).

The First Years One Piece Lid Sippy Cup Review | crackersandcarrots.com

The ease of cleaning is really nice and it’s dishwasher friendly. It’s insulated and still requires two hands to hold, but he gets joy out of drinking his water. The top straw is also really squishy and soft, so much so that he likes chewing on it between sips.

However, every time I put it in my purse on an outing or in his lap, it ends up turned upside down and leaks everywhere. Luckily, I just put water in it so far and it’s fairly easy to clean up. But, it’s supposed to be spill-proof. It is for the most part spill-proof, but requires the watchful mother’s eye while it’s in the hands of a toddler. The leaking is really my only issue with it.

You can purchase The First Years One Piece Lid sippy cups at Kmart or online at Amazon or Target. The First Years is also running a big giveaway on their Facebook page for the month of April!

TFY One Piece Lid Giveaway Graphic

This post is sponsored by The First Years. I received complimentary cups to review. This post contains affiliate links that help support this site. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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citrus lane

I was asked by Dr. Smith’s to review and share this Citrus Lane box with you! Ready to see inside?Citrus Lane Review | crackersandcarrots.com

I’ve tried a few of these subscription based boxes and I do believe this is one of my favorites! Another baby box I’ve tried and also loved was littlefox.

This is actually the second Citrus Lane box I’ve gotten. The first one I received (photograph at the bottom of this page) had a lot of really cute things, including a book and bubble bath Liam loves and nail polish just for mama! If my review was just based off of this most recent box, I wouldn’t have given it as good of a review. However, like most subscription boxes, you’ll like most of the stuff and some stuff you won’t. Overall, I would probably purchase another.

Moving on. I really appreciate that the box is customized for your child’s age. They send 4-5 hand picked items for your child, from newborn – five years old. It includes items like toys, books, snacks, household and body care products, as well as the occasional treat for parents (woot!), with a total value of $25. The brands are ones that are trustworthy, too (think Green Toys, Barefoot Books, Honest Company, Skip Hop, Plum Organics, and Aden & Anais). Unfortunately, since this box was sent to me as a reviewer, it was meant more for a 6 month old child, but my son is almost 2 years old. Poop on that. Nevertheless, if he was 6 months old again, I would love all of this stuff!

And you’re probably wondering about cost. The price is based on the amount of months you subscribe with just one month costing $25 (includes shipping). But for those of you new to Citrus lane, you can get 1/2 off your first box with the code: DRSMITHS. More details on the bottom of the page.

Citrus Lane Review | crackersandcarrots.com

First up in this box are two travel size tubes of Dr. Smith’s! Personally, I love tiny tubes that you can stick in a purse or diaper bag. Leave one at home and take one with you! Bonus…it works.

Citrus Lane Review | crackersandcarrots.com

Next up is a cute little Nursery Rhymes book. Liam and I have been reading it every night. He especially loves the last page in the book which is the poem:

“I see the moon and the moon sees me.

God bless the moon and God bless me.”

He loves saying ‘Mah’…his word for moon.

Citrus Lane Review | crackersandcarrots.com

Now, we have this absolutely precious 6-12 month tea onesie. It’s soft and adorable! If Liam was smaller, you better bet he’d be in it. I guess I’ll just have to save it for the next kiddie!Citrus Lane Review | crackersandcarrots.com

Lastly, we have this Boon Pulp Teether. I would have loved to have had it for Liam when he was younger. Now that he has molars, he’s a chewing master. Maybe I’ll stick some steak in there and he and the dog can fight it out. Just kidding.

Oh, and here’s the Citrus Lane box I got a few months ago. Such cute stuff!

Citrus Lane Review | crackersandcarrots.com

Offer Terms:  Only new, first-time Citrus Lane subscribers who start a monthly subscription are eligible to redeem this offer.  Multi-month packages and gift subscriptions do not qualify.  To redeem this offer you must enter code DRSMITHS at checkout.
This post was sponsored by Dr. Smith’s. I received compensation for this post and this box to review. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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Toddler Snack Ideas

Toddler Snack Ideas | chocolateandcarrots.com

Now that Liam is officially a toddler, he has two eating speeds.

  1. “I’m not hungry. I’ll nibble on a goldfish here and there. Maybe I’ll eat tomorrow. Give me more chocolate.”
  2. “I am so freaking hungry. I will pack away more food than you Mommy…and I’ll do it for all three of today’s meals!”

His two eating speeds have me guessing every day. I’m always trying to offer him healthy choices and some days we have a Smörgåsbord of snack foods. It’s amazing how excited he got when I placed these snacks on a tray. I got two trays at Target for $2.

Such a big boy!

Toddler Snack Ideas | chocolateandcarrots.com

I love letting Liam try new foods and I’m curious, what are your toddler’s favorite snack foods?

For more toddler snack ideas visit me on Land O’Moms!

Oh, and if you were wondering, the blueberries and strawberries went first, then the cheese, broccoli, chocolate chips, cookies and crackers. The rest he fed to the dog.

I try.

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childhood toys #giveaway

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-2

It’s a throwback Thursday to childhood toys. While these aren’t old photographs, I love that I can edit them to make them look old. My little cutie pie looks timeless, don’t you think?

Anyway. Let’s talk toys.

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-4

Let me introduce you to Manhattan Toy’s Roll-Along-Bear Shape Sorter. It’s perfect for children ages 12 months and older. Liam and I love it because:

  • It’s a great learning tool for colors and shapes.
  • You can pull the bear with the string.
  • It’s made of wood so it won’t break and doesn’t make loud noises like most modern toys do. Yay, no batteries!
  • It has wheels. God bless the caveman who invented wheels so my little Liam could be mesmerized for hours spinning them.

I think Liam likes it.

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-3

I already feel overwhelmed by the number of toys Liam has received. He’s the first grand and great-grandbaby in both of our families, so he’s a little bit spoiled rotten. He also gets overwhelmed and disinterested with the abundance of toys.

To remedy that, I usually put 80% of his toys away in a place where he can’t find them. Then, every week, I rotate through another batch of 20% of his toys. It’s like they’re new again!

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-6

I personally prefer the simple toys, too. He has some loud and annoying toys that just won’t shut up and we always appreciate the toys he can quietly play with.

Shopping for toys gets me overwhelmed sometimes, too. I never seem to know what will be good for him and what he’ll actually play with. That’s why I appreciate being able to online shop at Manhattan Toy. They have a great variety and they are all fairly simple toys and you can review the ones you own. The wooden ones are my favorite!

They even carry the Skwish Classic toy that I used to play with as a kid!

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-1

I’ve got to say, Santa might just be bringing Liam some Motorworks cars in a few years. They are modern wooden cars! So cool.

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-5

Cars are his thing.

He can’t get enough of the wheels spinning!

Childhood Toys | crackersandcarrots.com-7

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This post was sponsored by Manhattan Toy. I received the toy to review for this post. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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testing diapers #giveaway

My little dude goes through diapers like you wouldn’t believe. Well, I bet you can believe it, but still.

Ever since Liam was an itty bitty baby, we’ve been using Pampers. At one point I was curious to see if any of the other brands would work any better with him, but that wasn’t so. Hello, leakage! Back to Pampers we went and we’ve stayed ever since!

Pampers Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com:crackersandcarrots

For a really long time we stuck with the Pampers Swaddlers (the infamous ‘Blue Line’ as it’s known in our family), which we loved when he was really tiny and made really tiny diapers. Now that he’s bigger, you can TOTALLY tell he has wet his diaper without the need for the Blue Line and we moved to Pampers Cruisers diapers.

When Pampers wanted to send me an assortment of diapers to test, I was all over it. Here’s what they sent me:

Pampers Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com:crackersandcarrots

  1. Pampers Baby Dry
  2. Pampers Cruisers
  3. Luvs
  4. Pampers Swaddlers

We tried each package in different scenarios and this is what I found:

  • Pampers Cruisers are still great for every day wear. However, they leaked if used overnight.
  • Pampers Baby Dry are amazing! No leakage after 12 hours of sleep, which hardly ever happens…especially since Liam has 16 ounces of milk before bed lately.
  • Luvs are great too. Only a few leaks during the night and they’re great during the day.
  • Pampers Swaddlers are good for short term diapers. For example, I changed his diaper after his nap. He had lunch and we went to Target for a little shopping. Four hours after his diaper had been changed, the diaper had been filled and was wetting his clothes through the diaper. I would only use these for 1-2 hours or just be sure to constantly check for wet diapers.

Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Cruisers for the day and Baby Dry for the nights. No wetness and maximum comfort. As a little side note, I had been purchasing the Pampers Extra Protection diapers for night time and have found that 8 times out of 10, the diaper leaks. No good. Baby Dry it is!

Now let’s talk saving money.

Once upon a time, I discovered the art of CVSing. I wrote about one of my trips to CVS here. You can match up sales with store and manufactures coupons and use CVS’s Extra Care Bucks as cash.

Beautiful.

They also have an ExtraCare Coupon Center at your local CVS where you can scan your ExtraCare card and get deals and coupons for things you regularly buy, like diapers! And if you ever need to purchase baby gifts for a new mom or even for a baby’s birthday, ask their size and buy them diapers. It’s such a helpful gift!

Now, it’s time to give a gift to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by Pampers and CVS. I received diapers to review for this post. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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the very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar | chocolateandcarrots.com:crackersandcarrots

Growing up in the age of reading Harry Potter and Twilight, I got a chance to read the books before the thought of turning them into movies was sparked. I always love seeing how I imagined the characters looked and acted compared to how the directors shaped them in the movies.

I’m sure Liam growing up in an incredibly digital age, he’ll have an abundance of books turned movie. First up, a classic children’s book, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar | chocolateandcarrots.com:crackersandcarrots

This is one of his favorites right now, especially the edition with the puppet. :) But, the great thing for me is that Netflix has the book on instant play, where I can show him the book coming to life! It also has a few other Eric Carle stories brought to life in the same movie. So neat!

Take the next step by transforming the book and movie into a snack!

To make these The Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired snacks, simply skewer green grapes and a hulled strawberry. Mix a tiny bit of yellow food coloring, powdered sugar and drops of water to make the base of the eyes (add powdered sugar to get it thicker or more water to make it thinner). Then, push a green sprinkle on the yellow icing. Push two grape stems into each strawberry and enjoy!

(Be sure to remove the grape stems before eating. Always watch your toddler with the more dangerous skewers and slice up the grapes and strawberries for easier munching.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar | chocolateandcarrots.com:crackersandcarrots

This post was sponsored by Netflix Stream Team to spark conversation about bullying. I received compensation for this post and posts to follow. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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Halloween 2013

Better late than never, right?

Here are some photos from Liam’s second Halloween. He was a spider with his web!

It was an unusually hot and humid Halloween here in South Carolina, so we were all a little bit toasty, having prepared costumes that were for the cooler October weather. Despite the heat, we still had a blast trick or treating at a couple family and friend’s houses and going to a neighborhood party in the park!

What were you (or your children) for Halloween this year?

Halloween 2013 Halloween 2013-2 Halloween 2013 Halloween 2013-3 Halloween 2013-6

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butternut squash pancake

Butternut Squash Pancake | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots #baby #babyfood #toddler

My kid likes a good sweet breakfast. It’s official, he’s my kid. I could have a hot and sweet breakfast every morning if I could.

This pancake for one is super easy to whip up and I’ll let you in on a little secret:

  • I purchase butternut squash.
  • Roast it or steam it, then purée it.
  • Put it in ice cube trays or in little tiny bowls to freeze.
  • Pop them out of the trays or bowls into freezer safe bags or containers.
  • Place the 1/4 cup worth of purée in the fridge that you want to use the next morning and you’re good to go!

You can do the same thing with pumpkin, sweet potato or canned pumpkin purée, too!

It’s such a great option to get a little extra nutrients into your child’s breakfast.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Pancake | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots #baby #babyfood #toddler

Butternut Squash Pancake

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butternut squash purée
  • 2 tablespoons quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon milled flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How-To

  1. Preheat a griddle to medium heat.
  2. Beat all of the ingredients together.
  3. Spray the griddle with cooking oil or butter.
  4. Cook like a pancake and flip to brown both sides and cook through.
  5. Serve with fresh fruit, peanut butter (if over one years old), and honey or agave nectar or maple syrup.

Note: You can also make this with pumpkin or sweet potato purée.

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doie lounge robe for a new mom {giveaway}

Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2671

When you’ve just had a baby, all you want to do is feel comfortable and pretty. Anything that will make you look rested, while allowing you to rest is key.

I practically lived in my yoga gear for the first few months after having Liam. However, if I had had a lovely robe like this one, I would have worn it all the time! I purchased a cheap robe and brought it to the hospital with me and used it 24/7 while in the hospital and then while at home. A robe is a necessity especially in the hospital.

Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2698

If you or anyone you know is having a baby soon, I can’t recommend the Doie Lounge robes enough. Let’s talk about it:

  • Made in America (support local!).
  • Made from 92% viscose from bamboo, 8% lycra, with 100% silk trim.
  • The bamboo jersey (grey portion) is soft and flexible.
  • An inner tie and outer tie holds the robe securely in place.
  • Comes in three sizes!

I think the only down side is that it’s recommended to dry clean, but it is okay to wash in a gentle cold wash cycle (which will a necessity, especially if you have a baby who spits up like I did).

Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2710

The robe is incredibly soft and luxurious. And even though it may be a splurge for some of us, it’s one that you’ll use daily! Plus, you can’t put a price on comfort, style & local right?

They come in 20 different colors and patterns, so there’s something for everyone!

Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2665

The Doie Lounge robes are perfect gifts for:

  • new moms
  • brides
  • bridesmaids
  • mothers & grandmothers
  • any woman…or men if you’re into that thing! ;-)

Now, let’s look at the beautiful details:

Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2680 Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2681

Now that you know a little bit of everything about the Doie Lounge robes, it’s time for you to enter to win one!

Which robe would you want? For the giveaway you can choose from the Sadie, Tabitha or the Trixie!

If you’re ready to make a purchase of a Doie Lounge robe, you can use the code: Crackers15 to get 15% off. This is only good if you purchase three or less robes. Once you order 3 or more, there is an automatic discount of 15% off, 5 or more 20% off, 8 or more 25% off, 10 or more 30% off. May as well buy them for all the ladies in your life! :)

Doie Robe Review and Giveaway | chocolateandcarrots.com-crackersandcarrots -2675

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I received a robe to review for this post. All opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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flying alone with a baby

Flying alone with a baby | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots

A few months ago, I joined the brave ranks of parents traveling alone with infants. Since flying with my 9 month old, I’ve flown again and seen people in that exact same situation as I was in with the overall goal to keep your baby happy and quiet. No parent wants to be the one with the obnoxious child, but sometimes you do all you can do. Flying is not a walk in the park for a baby and as parents, we can take extra steps to insure that our children have the best flight possible.

Flying alone with a baby | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots

I’ve come up with some tips for flying with a baby. Are you ready to see them? Get ready to fly with a little more ease and quiet!

  • Bring a multitude of favorite snacks and toys and have them in order of need in your carry on.
  • Know where everything is in your carry ons so you can quickly find things, even by just blindly digging around in the diaper bag.
  • Wear shiny jewelry to keep them occupied in the confined spaces of the plane.
  • Have your smartphone geared with plane friendly games or books to entertain yourself while the baby ‘hopefully’ takes a nap.

Flying alone with a baby | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots

  • Take deep breathes periodically and relax your body for a minute.
  • If you have to sit next to someone, grab an aisle seat in the back of the plane.
  • Whatever you do, don’t let your child pull or kick the seat in front of you.
  • Keep wet-ones handy at all times.
  • A small container of Cheerios is your best friend. It’s a snack, rattle and teething toy all in one!

Flying alone with a baby | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots

  • Bring your car seat to the gate, in hopes that there will be an empty seat next to you. Otherwise, just check it at the gate. I bought a car seat carrier as protection when checked too, that came in handy.
  • Try to schedule flights around nap times. The sound of the plane will be soothing to baby.

Flying alone with a baby | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots

What are some ways that you keep your baby happy when flying?

Flying alone with a baby | chocolateandcarrots.com/crackersandcarrots

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.
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