two year old girl birthday gift guide

I had WAY too much fun shopping for Thalia’s birthday this year. Last year, I was at a total loss for what to get. This year was so much easier. My little baby has turned into an expressive and assertive toddler. I definitely know what she wants and that is just as #toddler as sounds.

I tried to get a good mix of “educational” toys, clothing and gifts with personality. Thalia is SUPER into babies. She begs to hold every single baby she sees in public. She also enjoys nurturing Daniel and I. She tries to put us down for “sleepy” and makes us “cozy”. She’s the cutest. She has a brand new baby doll from Christmas, so I mixed it up and picked up an interactive baby book for her birthday. Thalia also loves to smell things: candles, flowers, food. (YUP- it’s just as hilarious as it sounds) So, I found some plush toys that smell like baked goods. She scored a super cute rainbow purse from Anthropologie and some new spring clothes from H&M. The “big gift” is an indoor/outdoor slide. She likes to take the top of our ottoman off and lean it against the base to create her own “slide”, so I’m glad we finally sprung for an architecturally sound slide for her.

I did all of my shopping online this year which saved us from any spoiled surprises. Prime is the real MVP, but I also picked up a couple gems from some other places and I added links below. I can’t wait to wrap these bad boys up and finish some more crafts for the big day – a little less than 2 weeks to go.

Check back before her party to see what else we have planned!

L I N K S :

pink with white hearts patterned jersey dress:

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0724922005.html

little tikes first slide:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008MH5H4M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

flavored unicorn lip balm:

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0674959001.html

mini melissa slingback popsicle sandals:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01015PC7E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

snuggle the baby book:

https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/snuggle-the-baby?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=046

fruit charms stretch bracelets:

https://www.target.com/p/girls-5ct-beaded-stretch-bracelets-with-fruit-charms-cat-jack-153/-/A-54006999

rainbow purse:

https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/mandi-smethells-sunny-days-purse?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=000

yellow ice cream applique t-shirt:

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0696932002.html

green checked dress:

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0734773002.html

rainbow abacus:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V924HLQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

printed black and white dotted leggings:

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0690964010.html

huggable super sniffer chocolate chip cookie scented plush:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LYTV053/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

whiffer sniffer cupcake backpack clip:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C0WNIRW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

sorting cupcakes:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AE9RJ6A/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

holiday gift idea:

 HOMEMADE PIES

In true Olivia fashion, I always overthink and struggle for days on gifts and end up getting everyone a gift card or a candle out of desperation. This year was different. This year has brought many things: the emergence of a hilarious and strong-willed toddler, exhaustion and a renewed joy of cooking. I attempt provide appetizing meals to a tiny food critic and nothing has ever inspired me more than her approving smiles and ‘yums’.

After some rave reviews at Thanksgiving over my pecan pie, I decided to give family members their own personal pies. I asked everyone for their favorite flavor and hunted down some tried and true recipes. (Don’t worry, I won’t hold out on you. I shared them below.)

BUT MARTHA STEW- I MEAN- OLIVIA, HOW DO YOU DO IT?:

I am definitely NOT a professional baker. I am an enthusiastic at home cook with very little experience or artistic ability. Fortunately, all it takes for a tasteful, meaningful gift is a little time and effort. 

As you can probably see in the pictures, I do not have excellent technique or high tech gadgets, but I do have passion. Passion = good ass food. 

I love food gifts. They are typically delicious and indulgent. They help people really treat themselves. My one hang up about food gifts: they are temporary.

Target helped me out BIG TIME this year with the most ADORABLE seasonal pie plates ever. Everybody gets a yummy pie AND a cute keepsake plate. 

I picked up some festive ribbon and a stamp set to add a special touch. Bullseye’s Playground in Target is the closest thing to heaven I’ll ever know.

Unfortunately, you can only find these IN STORE. RUN!
cutest pies ever

STOP SCROLLING! HERE ARE MY RECIPES (oh and a couple tips from trial & error):

Classic Pecan Pie

Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (cubed & chilled)
  • 1/4 vegetable shortening (cubed & chilled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of ice water

Pie Filling:

  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or eyeball it – vanilla is your friend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup of melted unsalted butter

Directions:

You have to make sure all of the ingredients for your pie crust are cold. This is very important for reasons that I am not sophisticated enough to understand, but trust me on this. Cold ingredients create incredible pie crust. Place the flour, cubed butter, cubed shortening, salt and a 6-7 tablespoons of water in the fridge. Make sure they are chilling in the fridge for at least an hour or two before embarking on your pie crust journey. 

With the ingredients still in the fridge, set up your food processor. When you are ready to rumble, grab the ingredients from the fridge. You need to work fast to keep the ingredients as cold as possible. 

Add the flour and salt to the food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate the dry ingredients. Then, add the cubed butter and shortening. When the mixture forms a pea sized crumb, slowly add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time. 

Pour the mixture out on a very lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball or disc. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. 

Preheat your oven to 350º

After your pie crust has rested in the fridge, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out large enough for a 9 inch pie pan. (If you check out my photos above, I have a cool pastry mat that helps me out with this. They are very affordable and easy to find online.)

If you aren’t a machine and your dough isn’t a perfect circle: trim it after you place it in the dish. If you have any gaps, use the trimmings to patch them up. 

Place your pie crust inside your pie plate and set aside. 

Scatter the chopped pecans in the bottom of your pie crust. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the pecans. 

Cover the pie with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate and uncover and continue baking for another 30 – 35 minutes until it is no longer liquid-y in the middle. Don’t worry, It will have a little wiggle. Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting, because trust me, after it sets up, it is pure magic. 

Chocolate Pecan Pie

SAME AS ABOVE 🙂

Add 1 cup of chocolate chips (semisweet) with the pie filling ingredients.

Key Lime Pie

Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbles
  • 1 stick of unsalted softened butter
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Pie Filling:

  • 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup of lime juice (I prefer Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice)
  • zest of 1 lime 
  • 2 cups of frozen whipped topping, thawed. 

Directions:

Combine the pie crust ingredients in a large bowl. Empty contents into 9 inch pie plate. Press graham cracker mixture into place. Set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest. Pour into prepared pie crust. Cover mixture with whipped topping. (I used a large piping bag with a star tip, but a spatula works too)

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Thanks for coming to my pie TED TALK & stay tuned because this blog is getting TURNED UP. I’ll have another post up later this week. 

Make sure to follow me on instagram for too many pictures of my kid and subscribe to my youtube channel if you are cool. 

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http://www.youtube.com/meetthemilanas