Eco friendly Easter baskets

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Easter- no matter what you believe you probably at the very least give baskets. Growing up we always got baskets with so much candy, the occasional stuffed animal and little toys. Being a new parent means navigating holidays. What will your traditions be? Will you do what you grew up with? Will you make your own? It can be overwhelming. What I did know is this year I wanted to be more eco friendly with our traditions.

I got to thinking.. for Christmas we have stockings we use every year, so why couldn’t we do the same with Easter. Instead of buying new baskets, filled with candy and plastic why not buy a basket to use year after year?


Greener” Easter Baskets

I try to be as green as I can be. We use reusable bags, reusable straws, we recycle so why not let that carry over into the holidays?  A few simple swaps and you too can make a festive greener Easter basket.

The Basket

Instead of a plastic pail or even a flimsy wicker basket consider buying a good quality basket. I bought two at Home Goods for about $7 a piece. After Easter I will tuck them away until next year (just like I do with any other holiday decorations). You could be even more green and up cycle baskets you have around the house or find one at a garage sale.

This would eliminate using plastic or throwing away a cheap basket after only one use.

Better Fillers

But why stop with the basket?

The pretty grass and the Easter eggs that you use are plasticWhich is why I was SO EXCITED to find this brand of Eco Eggs and Eco Grass to share with you!

The grass is made from 100% recycled paper and is 100% recyclable It comes in 3 vibrant colors yellow, green and pink.  It’s just as pretty looking as the plastic fillers you have always used but better for the environment.

But what about the eggs?  Don’t worry I have a solution for that too.  This company also makes eggs!  Awesome right?! The eggs are made from 100% renewable content! (But if you are like me and plan to reuse them again anyways it’s a win win).  They look and feel just like Easter eggs that you have used in the past. They come in pretty pastel colors and are very sturdy.

So, now you have the basket, frilly grass and eggs- none which are plastic (air high five)! Pretty sweet huh? But if you know me I’m not stopping there.

The fun stuff

It amazes me how much stuff there is just to fill Easter baskets for 1 day! The entire dollar section of Target was packed with tiny toys (mostly plastic) that would be forgotten by the end of Easter weekend.  So, I sat down and tried to think of fun items that would also be “greener,” options for my boys’ Easter baskets.

Here is the list I came up with:

and …. of course candy. But you could even go greener there by buying candy that comes in bulk and is not individually wrapped to cut down on waste. 

So, there you have it.  A few super simple swaps you could make and your kids Easter baskets could be much more eco friendly without losing any of the fun.

Will you be going “green” for Easter?  Let me know below.

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A Stay at Home Mom Schedule {My New Year’s Resolution}

Since 2019 is still shiny and new, I have been thinking of thing I would like to improve in my day to day life.  If you follow me on Instagram then you know that one of my goals is to give myself more credit when I deserve it. But I also wanted to make the goal of using my time intentionally.  I want a better schedule for getting things done around the house so that I can enjoy time with my family more often.

My Stay at Home Mom Schedule

My goal was to write a schedule for things that I need to get done day to day and stick with it.  Often times I find myself running around at 9pm doing laundry, dishes, or stressing that I didn’t vacuum before the kids went to bed. So, I decided to write a schedule to follow and be intentional with the time that I have during the day to get things around the house done.

This is how I wrote mine out.  Taking only one or two big task a day and then of course my daily check list.

Getting Started

To get started think of all the things around the house you would like to get done. Make a list of very general ideas first:

  • vacuum x3 week
  • clean living room
  • clean kitchen
  • laundry (you can break this down further if you’d like: whites, darks , etc.)
  • strip beds
  • clean bathroom
  • tiddy up
  • make the bed(s)
  • write grocery lists
  • grocery shop
  • take trash out

After you have listed bigger items to get done, think of the days of the week.

When do you have the most time, is there a day you want to have free, are there days where you work and can’t complete anything?  Once you have narrowed down that you can start to write your outline.

Each Day

Each day make a Daily to do and a Day specific chore to complete.

What do you need to do everyday?

My Daily to do list looked like this:

  • Make beds
  • Do 1 load of laundry
  • Do dishes
  • Tiddy living room x2 daily

Every single day these four things need to be done.

Then look back at your list and pick a day to complete one or two general things E.g.

Monday: bathroom and vacuum

Tuesday: strip beds and clean living room

so on and so forth until all the general item on your list are checked off.  Next, look at each day and get more specific with your list.

The Specifics

Look at each chore and write exactly what you would like to accomplish for each item.

Monday:

bathroom:

  • clean toilet
  • wipe counter
  • sweep floor
  • clean tub
  • clean mirror
  • change air freshener

vacuum:

  • living room
  • bedrooms

Make your schedule

This is what my schedule looks like.  I have my daily list at the top and each day has my big to do’s. I set aside a block of time in my day to accomplish my list for that day.   This is what will help me get things done and be intentional with each project. Do what works for you!

Instead of walking into a room and forgetting why I went in there (any one else do what or is it just me lol) I can look at this schedule and know what I need to accomplish that day.  Then, Sunday is a day where i can rest. Or, if life happens on one of the other days I can do that list on Sunday.

Hopefully this will help you make a schedule of your own and make 2019 a productive and intentional year.

Let me know below if you made one of your own and how it is working!!

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What to Get a Mom to Be for Her Baby Shower?

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What to get a mom to be for her?

I don’t know about you but I am really big on handmade gifts or gifts that are helpful. So, when I got invited to my first baby shower since becoming a mom I wanted to make sure my gift would be helpful. I knew that this mom to be had lots of family who had made sure she was covered for baby essentials.  So, I wanted to make sure she had a few items that made all the difference to me. Which led to making a mom to be care box.

Making a care box

Once I decided to collect a few items for the mom to be and skip the traditional baby shower gift. I knew I wanted to add items that were useful.  So, I added the following “somethings”:

  1. Useful- an item that I used a lot once I was a new struggling mom.
  2. For self care- beauty, bath, an item that would make her feel good about herself.
  3. Sweey/cozy- who doesn’t need to feel cozy after baby is here.
  4. Helpful- an item that you wish you would’ve known about sooner.

Something Useful

Think of a gift that helped you get through those early days of being a mom.

For my something useful I went with this laundry backpack.  I was so sore after I gave birth and with our laundry on a different floor I couldn’t hold a basket against my tummy.  I found something similar to this on clearance when I was  postpartum and I LOVE IT!  It made getting laundry done so much easier.

Self care

At my baby shower a close friend made me a little hospital goodie bag of things to pack. It was a super sweet and useful gift and full of things I would’ve never thought of.

Two of those things were dry shampoo and face wipes. So, so simple but made me feel so human after delivery. These were my two self care items for this care box.

Just try and think of the thing that made you feel clean or fresh while at the hospital or when you got back home. What helped you feel “put together?” Include this as your self care item.

Sweet and cozy

This one was easy. What is something that would make your mom-to-be feel cozy or sweet? Maybe she likes a certain kind of chocolate or is she a coffee lover?

For my care box I got her a coffee mug that had a cute Mom saying on it. This is her first baby and I always love getting mugs that make me feel good when I read them. So this seemed fitting.

Helpful

Who doesn’t want something helpful as a first time mom? Think of an item you discovered or were introduced to when you were a new mom that you wish you knew about sooner.

My something useful was Mother’s Milk Tea. 

My friend wants to nurse and doesn’t have any moms around who have nurses so I wanted to include this tea.

This particular tea helped keep my supply up when my son and I were struggling with nursing. Such a simple gift but a game changer I wish I knew about before beginning my nursing journey.

Finishing touches

After I collected all my gifts I bought a super cute box that could be used after she opened the present and of course added a small hand written note explaining my gift.

There is something about personalized gift that always made me feel special and hopefully my friend I gifted this to felt that way. Small things can go a long way.

What would you include in your mom to be care box? Let me know in the comments.

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Preparing to Leave Baby Overnight

“Would you and Alex like to go to Vegas with us in the spring?” This is how the conversation started.  As a mom my first thought was “But how?”  How can I leave baby overnight that many nights in a row? I guess I had never even thought about vacationing without our son but when the opportunity presented itself, we couldn’t say no. A whole week in Vegas with some of our best friends!

Once we sat down and figured out the how, I went into mom mode.  I checked all the boxes to make sure him and I would be comfortable for the time we were away.

Making the Decision is the Easy Part

Once you decide that you are leaving your little one for the first time overnight for whatever reason that is; to deliver baby two, vacation, or an extra long date night, that’s the easy part.  It’s the next part that is hard, the planning.  As mothers we will go through every. single. possible. scenario and worry ourselves to death.  So, to help with the worry I’ve decided to share with you what I did to prepare for 7 days away from our son.

Leaving Baby Overnight Takes Lots of Planning!

Whether you are leaving baby for one night or a week it takes planning.  Some of that planning was obvious for me like clothes, formula, etc.  But once I started going through every scenario I needed to prepare for, THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE!

If you are going to be leaving your baby overnight these are the basis I covered and I recommend you cover to make your time away as worry-free as it can be:

  • Make a schedule for while you’re away.
  • Pack their bag.
  • Prepare food for your time away.
  • Prepare for an emergency.

Schedules Are a Moms Best Friend

It doesn’t matter if we are at home or 2,000 miles away, there is something about a schedule that gives us a sense of calm (or is that just me, I think other moms are like this haha).  So when we made the choice to leave, the first thing I did was sit down and write schedules. I wrote schedules for:

  • meals
  • his day
  • and when I would be able to call and talk to him each day.

Meals

Meals are a huge part of a child’s day.  To write the schedule for meals try answering these questions:

  • When will your child eat? Do you have a really strict time for each meal or do you have a general time for each meal?
  • Where will your child eat? Do they eat in a high chair for meals and bottles?  Do they take a bottle to bed or wake up with one?
  • What will they eat or NOT eat? Did you prepare food for them?  Does the person who is keeping them need to cook?  If so, what foods do they like or not like?  Are they allergic to anything?

It seems like a lot of questions but once it’s wrote out it doesn’t look nearly as complicated.

For us the schedule looked like this.

Meals pic monket.jpg

 

Their Day

If you wrote out the major events of your day, what would that look like?  From the time your child gets up till they go to bed there are things that are the same most days.  When they eat, when they nap, when they go to bed.  Now, we are pretty casual parents so my son doesn’t have an exact time for each of these things but there is a round about time for most of them.

When you go to write this schedule just think about if you were watching someones child what information would you need to get through the day and overnight.

  • wake up time
  • meal times
  • nap times
  • bedtime and routine
  • when will you be able to call (is there a time difference?)

It doesn’t have to be super extensive, just enough that your child’s day looks pretty normal and all the major questions are answered.

What’s In the Barney Bag?

When you decided to leave your baby for the first time overnight, if you are anything like me then you immediately go to ‘the bag.‘  What clothes, shoes, diapers, formula, etc. will they need for an overnight away?  This is a huge part of planning especially if your child will be staying outside of your home while you are gone.

A quick check list of things that I went through were:

  • clothes, at least one outfit a day.  Then pack a few extra.
  • pajamas, again what you normal use plus at least one extra.
  • shoes
  • socks
  • diapers (average how many and then throw in extras)
  • wipes
  • a towel
  • any medications they might need
  • any comforts of home.  My son hasn’t attached to anything yet but you might want to include a blankie or Teddy if they use one.
  • formula or breast milk ( I will talk more about this in food prepping).

Food, Prep or Not to Prep?

In our household we food prep every week, so when we decided to go on this vacation I knew I would do the same for our son before we left. By food prepping the grandparents had less to worry about and I also knew what my son was eating while I was away.  If you don’t have the time or if you simply do not want to food prep then I would suggest writing a list of foods your child does like for whomever is keeping them while you’re away.

If you would like to food prep, then the next bit is for you.

To food prep you have to decide:

  1. What your child will eat while you are away?
  2. What will keep well?
  3. How will you store it?

I knew my son loved all of these foods and each meal was healthy and easy to make. I decided to make the following menu for the week:

Breakfast: fruit and banana pancakes

Lunch: Mac & cheese, cheddar, broccoli bites

Dinner: Quesadillas and peppers

big bag for food with stamp

For each day there was a bag with the day of the week and how to heat or prep the meal.

foods for each day with stamp.jpg

Once it was all prepped I tossed it all in one giant bag and put it in the freezer.  All the foods would keep in the freezer and the grandparents had to just pull out the meals for that day and heat when needed.

food for freezer

All of this probably only took an hour or so and the grandparents didn’t have to worry about cooking or what he could or couldn’t have.

Along with food you will also need to portion out breast milk or formula for your time away. We used formula so I did enough for 3-8 oz bottles a day and three or four extra bottles just in case they were needed.

(If your baby is still on puree foods read my post on meal prepping purees)

What If?

Of all the things that we did to prepare to leave our son this is the thing that made me feel the most at peace, the In Case of Emergency Envelope.

There were so many scary scenarios that went through my head leading up to our trip.  What if he got hurt, or sick or if he was in an accident? As moms we worry and this small envelope helped me ease those worries.

Before we left we made a special envelope that had anything the grandparents would need in case of an emergency. I included information they would need and things they night not remember in the moment.  Here is what we included in the  envelope:

  1. letter with permission to treat
  2. an insurance card
  3. all the information they would need to admit him to a hospital

Permission to treat

As we prepared to leave him overnight for a whole week this I googled what to include in a letter to give permission to someone other than the parents, to treat a child. The letter read something like this,

Date

We (your and your partners name),

Give permission to (name of person who will have your child) to make any and all medical decisions on behalf of (your child’s name) while we are away.

(Yours and your partner’s printed name and signature.)

 

Time is crucial in some situations and having written permission to treat can speed things up. (Also, I am by no means a lawyer or professional in any way.  This is just the information I used and I can’t confirm this is legally correct).

Insurance card

This was a duh moment when I read this online.  I NEVER thought to leave an insurance card just in case.  If you have an extra copy this is a huge must have for anyone keeping your child while you are away.

ANY and ALL information they would need

On a simple piece of paper I wrote any and all important information they would need in case of an emergency.

  • Pediatrician’s name, phone numbers and location
  • your child’s social security number (we don’t normally write this down but this envelope was kept locked up unless needed while we were gone)
  • any known allergies
  • date of birth (grandparents know this but in an emergency maybe not)
  • any medications that are being taken daily
  • parents names and date of birth
  • contact information for parents

Once all of this was together I stuck it in a normal envelope.  I told his grandparents to keep it somewhere safe but accessible.  This way if something happened they could just hand all the information to whoever needed.  All the information they could need was in one simple envelope.  They wouldn’t have to think or worry about anything if God forbid something would happen that they would have it.

Now, Enjoy Yourselves!

After, you have checked all the boxes and packed everything thing they’ll need, enjoy yourselves.  I know this is hard and not everyone will agree with me, that time away is needed but I think it is.  My husband and I had a great time and to my surprise I didn’t worry as much as I thought I would.  I knew my son was in good hands and that I had made his days as normal as I could.

Have you ever taken a vacation without your child or had to leave your little one for an extended amount of time?  What would you add to this list of things to do before you leave?

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