Quick Bites: Easy Sliders 

My kids love sliders. It’s their go to appetizer when we are out at restaurants.  I’ve made them at home using fresh ground meat, but as my time to cook decreases I’ve had to find shortcuts. 

I decided to use precooked meatballs this go round. You can either make your own meatballs, cook and freeze them or you can buy fully cooked meatballs from your local grocer. 

Make sure you defrost them prior to use.  Using a potato masher or spatula flatten each meatball into a small patty.



After thoroughly heated,  add a piece of cheese and pace on your mini bun. 


You can use rolls or slider buns. 

This takes 10 minutes to make and the kids are happy.


Enjoy! 

Traveling with Tiny!

 

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Last week I went to Jamaica.  But I wasn’t alone.  My mother and 11 month old baby girl accompanied me.  When I made the decision several months ago to bring the baby, I had a plan.  I’d basically keep her attached to my boob the whole flight.  I knew it’s what she liked and it would keep her quiet.  As we got closer to the trip, I realized that while this baby loved her mama’s boobs, she loved to explore the world too.  Crawling and climbing all over the place was her thing.  Then she learned to walk at 9 months and my plan was shot to hell.  I had to regroup.  So I feverishly scanned the web on things to buy when traveling with babies.

Below are a few of the items that I purchased that made my life much better.

  1.  Baby Carrier with Hip Seat

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of me wearing her as we walked around the airport.  This was hands down the best buy I purchased for the trip.  Since I checked my stroller, it was crucial that I had some way to hold her and hold the other bags I had.  She loved the forward facing position and waved hi to everyone we passed.  She didn’t seem uncomfortable, and my back wasn’t in any pain after using it.  The carrier has a built in seat, so the baby isn’t dangling by her crotch.  She is actually sitting on a mini seat area. I was able to put it on and strap her into it by myself.  I don’t really care for the color, but I can live with it.  I’ve already used it when sitting through my other kids Karate practice.  The baby enjoys sitting and watching it.

      2.  Toiletry Bag

So, although I brought along a diaper bag, I knew that it was too big to fit under the front of my airplane seat.  I bought this toiletry bag and fit everything in it that I would need for a few hours on a plane.  I was able to fit a meal, snacks, juice, squeeze fruit pouch, 2 formula holders, a change of clothes, disposable bibs, disposable placemats (which could double as changing table covers), diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, dirty diaper bag, travel diaper cream packet, a tiny bottle of water, my cell phone and my portable cell phone charger.  I used a baby bottle holder to dangle her sippy cup with for easy access and I attached a few toys.

This was second best purchase.  I was able to fit it under the seat with ease.  It was easy to grab items , especially in such a confined space.  I used it when I was at the beach as well.  I didn’t have to drag around such a huge diaper bag, and it wasn’t in the way.  I’ve actually started using this instead of the diaper bag.  The diaper bag is used for daycare and trips to grandma’s house.

3.  Sippy Cup Strap/Tether

My daughter is at the stage where she likes to throw everything off the edge of her car seat, high chair, stroller, etc.  This strap has been great to catch items before they fall.  It worked really well when I wore her in my baby carrier. Her bottle could dangle from one of the straps and she could grab it when she wanted.  Plus I didn’t have to worry about it falling on the nasty airport floors.

4.   Kid’s Headband Headphones

wp-1487991768265.jpgThese are good because they travel easy.  I folded these up and placed them in the pocket of the toiletry bag.  I downloaded a few movies from Netflix and she watched on her Amazon Fire tablet and on my cell phone.  It took a while for her to stop trying to pull the headband off, but it was still a good buy.

5. Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers

Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers, 6-Count

Now I’ll be honest.  I didn’t realize that these were specific to Tommee Tippee bottles.  I didn’t quite understand how they worked, but they were still a good buy.  The point is that they are supposed to fit inside the bottle for storage.  I still put powdered formula in the dispensers, and then placed them in my toiletry bag.  I really do love them.  I know there are tons of formula dispensers on the market. I like that these are pretty small and I can throw one in several bags, or even in the cup holder of my stroller.

6. Baby Stroller Fan

In the muggy Jamaican air, this fan really helped to keep the baby cool.  The blades are soft to the touch, so the few times she did reach out and touch them she didn’t hurt her fingers.  We dangled this on her stroller and she laid back and cooled off.  It ran on 2 AA batteries.  Unfortunately, we had to put it to rest because my older daughter somehow dropped it in the ocean (don’t ask) and the fan stopped working.  I’m definitely buying a few more for the summer.

 

7.  Pop Up Beach Tent

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I loved this thing!! I was able to pack it in my luggage.  It comes in its own carrying sleeve. It’s super easy to pop up and fold back.  It had enough space for me to lie in.  I even laid down and breastfed the baby in, with privacy.  The baby loved eating her snacks in the cool shade.  When we were done, we rinsed the sand off and folded it back into sleeve.  I will be buying a few more for my family.  We have a big gazebo sized tent that we bring to the beach every year, but that thing is a beast to carry.  These pop up tents will be great for each kid to have their own private space/shade and we can use the gazebo tent for the food area.  You can also clip the stroller fan to this thing and stay really cool.

 

Do  you have a must buy travel item for baby?

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This post includes some affiliate links.

I Said Yes!!

Proposals come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are asked over an elaborate show of affection, while others are simply asked casually over the phone.  The only thing they want to hear is “yes”.  They want you to be excited about it. I mean, it’s a big honor and a big deal.

So a few months ago, I said “Yes!”.  My proposal included jewelry, a personalized wine glass, and a luggage tag.  The colors were Spa Blue and gold.   The proposal was pretty sweet!

I was excited to be asked to be the Matron of Honor in my friend’s wedding.

This was not just any wedding.  This was going to be a beautiful wedding in sunny Jamaica.  Jamaica yall!  I’ve never been.  So I was super stoked.  I had about 12 months to prepare myself for the wedding.

As quickly as I was happy, I instantly got depressed.  I had JUST had a baby.  My body looked like chocolate pudding without Spanx.

My thought process went like this:

August: OK, summer is over. No more bbq’s.  Let’s start eating healthy and doing some slight cardio.

September: Kids started school.  I just started back to work from being on maternity leave.  My body has decided that it will not fall in line with my beach body goals.  It has begun to turn against me.

November-December: I will not eat all this yummy holiday food!  Have restraint woman!  Put that slice of sweet potato pie down..NOW DAMMIT!  Mmmmm pie.  **only crumbs remain on my plate**

January: *Final fitting for bridesmaid dress*  WTH?!  Who did this to me!? Ok, let’s hit the gym.  Let’s eat better.  Let’s get a plan together.

And I did stick to a plan.  Somewhat.  I stopped drinking sodas, juice, milk, etc. I only drank water.  Fruit infused water was my favorite.  I cut out a lot of processed sugar which I realized made my stomach bloat.  I found alternative sweets that weren’t too bad for my waistline.  I also juiced a bit to help curve that sweet tooth.

I left for Jamaica fitting my clothes much better.  I was NOT bikini beach body ready, but I was proud of the little progress I did make.

Now here’s my BEST advice:
DO NOT GO TO AN ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING!

I lost my damn mind the first 3 days while in Jamaica.  I think the sugary drinks are what did me in.  And I didn’t realize that I was PMSing (it was a week early), so I was eating EVERYTHING.  I had undone everything I worked so hard for.   And I could tell most of it was bloating from the sweet drinks and water retention from the salty jerk chicken that I ate everyday.

I didn’t plan for this and in hindsight I would have tried to stay longer after the wedding and not before.  Plus I would have planned my meals out, as best I could.

Check out this link to see some of the products I used to help with my weight loss.  I’ve decided that I am REALLY going to take this seriously and would love to have a nicer and toned body by my birthday in May.  So I’m kicking my plan into overdrive.  I will stay the course.

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Tasty, Waist Friendly Treats!

If you read my post about  my recent wedding proposal, you’ll know that I needed to shed a few pounds in a little bit of time.  Below are a few of the products I used to accomplish that goal.

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I LOVED this Peanut Butter.  I was asked to review this product and was super excited at the awesome combo!  Guys, this stuff is sooooooooo bomb!  It’s very smooth.  Super easy to spread on an apple slice or wheat cracker.

Try this recipe I pulled from http://www.eatthis.com:

quick + easy no bake oatmeal peanut butter bites

ingredients:

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 cup sliced almonds, chopped

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup ground peanuts or ground almonds, to roll the balls in

directions:

Combine oats, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir.

Melt peanut butter and allow it to cool slightly (I melted mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stirred), then stir in honey and vanilla extract until it’s combined. Once peanut butter has cooled a bit, pour it over the oat mixture and mix well with a spoon then bring together with your hands. Once mixture is sticking together, fold in chocolate chips.

Roll dough into golf-ball sized (or slightly smaller) balls, then roll in ground peanuts or ground almonds. These can be eaten at room temp but we really like them stored in the fridge!

 

 

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No time to cook up something!  I also was asked to try and review a few EVOL products.  While this one wasn’t my favorite, because I like a good, sloppy burrito, it wasn’t terrible!  I still got my burrito fix and was good for my body.

And I also loved the Kevita drink!

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Received this in the mail.  They actually sent me 3 bars.  I gave one to my husband and one to my coworker.  THE WORST DECISION I could have ever made!  These are so good!  I regretted gifting the other two.  I want more, like RIGHT NOW!  The ingredients are all natural.  It’s got a bit of sweet, salty and crunch.  It’s just delicious!

http://www.thisbarsaveslives.com/

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This was a great guide for infused water.  My favorite recipe was water, raspberries, blueberries, lemon, honey and ginger.  It was soooooooooooooooooo good!  I would squish the berries a little bit to let their juice out into the water.  The honey helped sweeten it a bit.