trader joe’s toddler favorites

Today, I thought I would do you a solid and give you an excuse to ransack the aisles at Trader Joe’s. That place is Mama Mecca. Now that I have found some of Thalia’s staple snacks, we make a weekly pilgrimage. 

Just like many toddlers, Thalia isn’t the best shopper. She likes to touch breakable/expensive items. She also does not enjoy sitting in the cart. 

Trader Joe’s edge over traditional grocery stores: Mini carts for power hungry toddlers and yummy samples for peckish toddlers. 

Thalia always loses interest in the cart around the frozen food aisle, but that’s right around the corner from the sample counter. It’s like they designed the store layout just for us.

Back to the point of this post…we are always looking for healthy and wholesome snack options for home and on-the-go and Trader Joe’s has so many options for a fantastic value.

These are the items we get almost every trip that are picky toddler approved:

“walks into a bar” cereal bars are SO good. We use these as ‘dessert’ or treats and always keep a box on hand. Thalia will DANCE if we pull these bad boys out. We LOVE the seasonal flavors especially pumpkin. 

vegetable radiatore is a great way to get your littles (and yourself) an extra serving of veggies. I usually make a light lemon/olive oil dressing, add some Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. It’s a great little reduced-guilt pasta salad side you can pop in the fridge and serve it with lunch during the week. 

Thalia is really into dipping so we use it to sneak some healthy fats and protein into her diet. This mediterranean hummus is to DIE and the inner peas crisps are little baked pea snacks that we use to replace chips, etc. I feel WAY better giving Thali this snack over those super processed snacks with cheese product and crackers.

Dried fruit is a great thing to put in a snack cup with cereal. We also like to add it to oatmeal or yogurt. It’s a super versatile product and it tastes like CANDY.

These yogurt squishers are way more nutritious than their leading brand name competitor and can be great for teething toddlers if you pop them in the freezer. We cut the top open and add a straw for less mess.

We love Joe’s O’s. It’s a pretty standard cereal, but they are an awesome price with no added sugar.

These juice boxes give Thalia the excitement of a different liquid delivery vessel than her sippy cup but they are still filled with her standard once-a-day diluted apple juice. Homegirl has no problem leaving the park as long as I show her that I brought one of these bad boys for the ride home. 

I hope you pick some of these up on your next shopping trip at T. Joe’s and give ’em a go. Let me know in the comments or on Instagram if you have any favorites that we should try!

See you guys next week!

Mommy Monday 1.22.18

Baby Routine

9- 12 Months

Getting Things Done & Having Fun

Baby routines/schedules, I know I googled them A LOT over the last year.

I never found exactly what I was looking for while I was googling, so I figured, ‘hey, maybe I can be a resource for a Mama like me.’

Here is what Thalia & I’s schedule/routine has looked like since 9 months:

7am/7:30am – First Feed, Diaper Change & Mommy Refresh

Typically, Thalia wakes up between 7 and 8. After she wakes up, we bring her to our bed and I feed her while I browse social media. After her feed, we turn on some cartoons and let her cuddle with Daddy while I freshen up. This may or may not include a shower and blow drying my hair, but always includes makeup. I am trying to make more of an effort these days, self care is really important when you are a new mom. I made the fatal mistake early on of forgetting to take time out for myself and I was frayed. Fortunately, I have a fantastic husband who is always there to help out. I know how to ask for it now.

8:30am – Breakfast

Thalia always eats breakfast at the table. I prepare my coffee while I prepare her breakfast. Lately, she has been eating oatmeal with fruit puree and if she is still hungry, I grab a grassmilk yogurt from the fridge.

9:00am – Playtime

She is in a great mood most mornings. I let her stay in her jammies and we play on the floor. I get down on the floor with her for about 20 minutes. Once she is busy or occupied with an activity, I leave her to play alone. We are getting to an age where she is becoming a little more independent and that is AWESOME news for my messy little house. I love to use this time to do a quick clean of the kitchen, spot clean the floors, table and unload the dishwasher. Occasionally (when needed), I will start a load of laundry. This is the time when I do the ‘noisy’ chores, vaccuuming, moving furniture around, etc. I save the quieter things on my to-do list for naptime and the evening.

10:30am – 11:00am – Diaper Change & Second Feed

I am still breastfeeding and we aren’t exactly on a schedule, but Thalia will usually start to show signs that she is hungry or getting groggy around this time. I will sit down on the couch in the living room, throw on some background TV and pop Thalia on the boob.

12:00pm – Nap

If she hasn’t fallen asleep during her feed, Thalia and I will go up to the nursery and rock in her chair until she goes down for her nap. During naptime, I will try and accomplish putting the laundry away, making the bed and whatever tasks that are difficult to complete while she is awake.

1:30-2:00pm – Diaper Change & Lunchtime

Baby girl isn’t the best at naps. We have had great luck with sleep during the night, but naps just aren’t her thing. After she wakes up, I change her diaper and bring her downstairs for lunch. I already prepare her lunch while she is napping, so it is a seamless transition for her.

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Third Feed & Errands

This is when I will attempt to run our errands. If we go to the grocery store, Target, the doctor, etc. I will schedule them during this afternoon stretch. I always feed her and change her before we leave the house. I always throw a snack in my bag in case she gets fussy in the cart or stroller, but she usually ends up snoozing in her car seat, which makes running errands a little bit easier.

5:00pm – 6:00pm –  Dinnertime

Daniel and I are Keto (there’s that word again). Dinners are never very complicated and healthy enough to give a small portion to the little one. She typically gets fussy around 6:00, so we try not to push dinner too late.

6:30pm  – Tubby Time

Thalia LOVES bath time. Even if she is having a rough day, she will play and smile and giggle in the bath. It is my favorite part of the day.

7:00pm – 7:30pm – Night Feed & Bedtime

After she gets out of the tubby, we lotion her up, put her in her jammies, turn on the white noise machine and climb in the rocking chair. I only have to feed for about 20 – 30 minutes before she is OUT. I lay her in her crib and she stays asleep for the wholeeeeee night.

7:30 – 11:00pm – Blog Posting/Vlog Editing & Guilty pleasure TV

Daniel and I have our evenings back so we have been able to accomplish so much more the last few months. We try not to stay up too late watching TV, but sometimes we like to binge on TV shows well past 11:00pm.

I hope this post was somewhat informative to any Mama’s out there looking for a realistic routine. It’s not perfect, but it works for our little family.

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, I’ll be back Wednesday with more of what I ate.

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Favorites Friday 1.12.18

As you may or may not know, Thalia and I are working on 11 months strong of exclusive breastfeeding. It has been to this day, one of my greatest accomplishments.
Just like many other breastfeeding stories, the beginning was not so easy for Thalia and I. We dealt with clusterfeeding, cracked nipples, latch issues, but we weathered it all and went on this awesome journey together.
In the early days, I remember one of my main fears was nursing in public. Mainly, my questions surfaced about the “logistics”. How do I comfortably and discreetly cover myself and the baby while nursing? Will the baby get too hot under a blanket? Will I be able to use both hands to “situate” myself?
I would fumble with nursing scarves that had awkward buttons. I tried to drape muslin swaddle blankets around my shoulders. I could never find the right solution.
Thankfully, we got an amazing product that CHANGED THE GAME!
I found The Copper Pearl Nursing Cover while wandering into a baby boutique while on vacation.
Why do you need it:
1) It’s super soft
I am IN LOVE with the feel of the fabric, soft, stretchy, breathable. It’s like wearing yoga pants around your shoulders. Yes, it’s that amazing.
2) There are so many adorable patterns
I love that they carry gender neutral patterns that are fashionable enough for mommy to wear them with her Day to day wardrobe, but cute enough to make it a special accessory to make a statement.
3) It’s a multitasker 
Girl, this thing tents over your ta-tas for nursing, covers the car seat of a napping baby and slips over a highchair or shopping cart.
I have also used it as a stroller blanket and burp cloth.
If you plan on breastfeeding, heck even if you aren’t, this product ROCKS and totally worthy of a Favorite Friday!
Visit Copper Pearl’s website to see more of their amazingly cute gear!
https://www.copperpearl.com/
I hope everyone has a phenomenal weekend!
Make sure you check out our vlog to see what we’ve been up to:
See you Monday!

What I Ate Wednesday 1.10.18

We are one week into Keto and I’m happy to report: it ain’t so bad.

Breakfast:

Bulletproof Coffee

It’s simple, it keeps me going and it’s totally satisfying.

Mid-Morning:

WATER WATER WATER

I find that I am especially thirsty while on Keto, I try to fill my Yeti Cup up at least twice before lunch time. It’s not so bad because my little girl finds the Yeti hilarious for some reason. All mommies know, giggles are the greatest motivator.

Lunch:

50/50 Blend Greens + Chicken + Mozzarella + Homemade Bacon Vinaigrette

Bacon, glorious bacon.

It’s a weekly staple for Daniel & I right now. I have to say, I’m not mad about it.

Quite honestly, without it, I would be choking down chicken salad with some basic store bought carb free vinaigrette. This salad BEGGED me to put bacon on her and I was much obliged.

Yeah, we finished the WHOLE BOWL.

The worst cravings I experience are in the afternoon stretch before dinner. This is when Thalia is usually taking her nap and I have idle hands. I was able to control myself and focus on dinner prep. Good thing I didn’t snack today, because dinner got a little gluttonous.

Dinner:

No Crust Pizza Cassarole

I hate using the word “cassarole” to describe it, this dish feels too elegant for that word, but it did totally carry the comfort that “cassarole” exudes, so I’ll let it fly.

I started prep about an hour before I planned on cooking because our little one had one 30 minute nap all day and I had a feeling we were going to be IN for it around 5/6pm (and I was right).

This dish is super simple, but it takes a little time. It is composed of three layers.

1. Ricotta, parmesan, herb and garlic layer

2. Mushroom, Shallot, and red bell pepper layer

3. Fresh basil marinara, mozzarella, and crispy pepperoni

The crispy pepperoni sets this thing OFF. I simply sliced up some generic brand pepperoni, stuck it on a pan on medium heat and waited for the beautiful sizzle.

Baby girl joined us for a little pasta with Mommy’s marinara sauce. We did let her sneak a taste of the un-pizza.

Sauce stains are not my friend, so we let the “no shoes, no shirt” policy slide this time.

We are really getting a hang of this Keto thing and sometimes I forget that we are “dieting”. I can’t wait to see what we come up with next week.

If anyone has any awesome Keto recipes or tips for us we would LOVE to hear them!

Shameless plug: Don’t forget to catch up with us on our vlog! You can find more Milana meals and ordeals every day!

Click here to go to our Youtube Channel!

See you all Friday!