THE ULTIMATE NAP TIME ROUTINE

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One of the things that other moms share with you when you have multiple children, is that no two babies are the same. That’s very evident when it comes to my kids. All three of them have different tastes, and personalities. However, when it comes to nap time, they have all been really good about sticking to the same routine… at the same time! This means that if I play my cards right, I can have some child-free time to do important thing like the laundry or the dishes.
There’s no magic potion that helps them go down at the same time, but there is a routine that we have honed down over the years that works like a charm and today I’m sharing it with you.
Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles

Here is our ultimate nap time routine:

  • Same time every day–  I like to put all three babies down at noon regardless of what we have going on.  This allows for them to have enough playtime in the morning so that they are tired enough for a snooze and a long afternoon so that they wear out at night. Noon works out for us really well.
  • Prep them for post-nap time activities– I like to give them a heads up of what to expect post nap time. This give them an incentive to get to bed without putting up much of a fight AND waking up excited rather than cranky. Some days I even hold their lunch time dessert (strawberries or frozen yogurt) for after their nap.  Whatever it takes to get rid of those afternoon blues!
  • Wash hands/ change– sometimes they make a mess of their clothes during breakfast or playtime and this is when I change them out of their outfit into something more comfortable. I also take the time to wash their hands and freshen them up before bed.

Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles

 

  • Warm milk- this is my secret weapon. My older two will have warm milk in their sippy cups. Emory drifts off to a sweet slumber when I feed her milk from her Playtex Baby™ VentAire®. I’ve used Playtex Baby VentAire for all my babies because they’re BPA free, are designed to reduce colic and reflux. Also, their angled design allows for a semi upright feeding position and prevents ear infection. These days we are using the Playtex baby VentAire however, we also like using the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners.  Both work like a charm!

Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles

  • Lovies– all three of my kids have their preferred lovies. Haddon has his blankie, Emory has a stuffed animal and Gracie loves her fluffy pillow. Right before nap time, I make sure they all have their preferred lovey and are nicely tucked in bed. This is a crucial step.  I can’t tell you what happens when we misplace a lovie or God forbid we’re washing Haddon’s blankie!

Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles

  • Prayers- we always pray before bed time and nap time.  We ask God to help us rest and thank Him for all of the play time that He allowed us to have that day, pray for our family and ask Him to continue to bless us.  Sometimes I hear them praying all by themselves and it makes my mama heart so happy.

Easy right?

Let’s face it, nap time is the only time that moms can get anything done around the house. It’s a sacred time around here!! Also, I have learned that when my kids sleep well during the day, they sleep well at night so there’s no skipping naps around here.

Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles

Here is to nap times everywhere and to products like Playtex Baby VentAire, that make life easier on us moms!

 Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles

Here’s the good news, you can find Playtex bottles at Target and now you can use the cartwheel offers below for some happy shopping… and check here for more tips and inspiration! 
Playtex Baby™ VentAire®
Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles
Ultimate nap time routine with playtex baby bottles
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MINT-BEEF PITA POCKETS | A RECIPE

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DairyFreeGoodness  #CollectiveBias

There is no denying that Alex’s favorite cuisine is Mediterranean.  He loves his childhood Cuban cuisine and Italian is a close second, but put a fresh plate of Tabuleh in front of him and he’s a happy man. I love Mediterranean cuisine as well. My mom’s parents were born in Syria and we grew up with deep Arabic roots.  I have memories of attending huge family dinners and learning all about the spices, deep middle-eastern flavors and garlic… so much garlic!

These days, I try to bring my mediterranean roots to our kitchen as often as I can, and today I’m sharing with you a TWIST on a super easy and delicious Mint and Beef Pita pocket!

I think this is a great recipe for the cook that is adventurous and the twist is that it’s completely DAIRY FREE! That’s right friends, these pita pockets are topped with a tarty and tangy Tzatziki sauce that is completely dairy free because I’m swapping out the regular greek yogurt for Vanilla Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative which is a great alternative to any recipe! Fun right?!

I love Vanilla Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative because it’s the perfect everyday snack. It’s also a great ingredient to up the protein intake because it has 6 grams of plant-powered protein in every serving AND you can find it at your local Walmart. Win!

These beef pita pockets also take no time at all to prep and to cook.  They can be enjoyed year round or in the summer, by the beach! Enjoy.

MINT BEEF PITA POCKETS WITH SILK DAIRY-FREE

YOGURT ALTERNATIVE TZATZIKI SAUCE.

Ingredients

For Tzatziki sauce

  • 􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀2 5.3-ounce containers Vanilla Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative (you can also use plain, but I like a little sweetness)
  • 􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀2 garlic cloves minced and crushed to almost a paste
  • 􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀3 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

For beef-slider patties

  • 􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀1.5 pound lean ground beef 􏰀􏰀􏰀
  • 􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped mint
  • 4 garlic cloves minced (or less if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

􏰀For the pockets

  • 4 small pita loaves, split 􏰀􏰀halfway down the middle to form a pocket
  • 􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀􏰀 2 small tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of english cucumber chopped

 

Directions Stirr all of the Tzatziki ingredients into a medium size bowl and set aside

    • Make beef slider-patties: Gently mix together all of the ingredients for the beef patties and form into six 1-inch-thick patties. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and cook the patties on one side for 8 minutes and about 4 minutes on the other side (for medium well)
    • Transfer patties to pita pockets and top with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and a dollop of the Tzatziki sauce
    • Enjoy!

Thinking about trying more recipes with Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative , check out all of these recipes! 

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ICE SKATING WITH GRACE

Ice Skating

Since the winter months are rough, we thought it would be a fun opportunity to do something active indoors. Grace has been asking about going ice skating and since Alex’s parents were in town, we thought it was the perfect timing to introduce her to the ice rink! Alex and I have fond memories of ice skating together and holding hands under the lights of the disco ball. We were 13 at the time, and seeing Grace out on the ice gives me all sorts of crazy feelings. We both kept on looking at each other with teary eyes watching Grace improve every minute. She really is fearless and takes after her dad on the skates. We’re also thinking that she may turn out to be one of those really athletic kids that just pick sports up quickly.

Ice Skating

We have been talking about taking her skating for quite some time now and she was so excited to finally get out there.

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

She started with the ice-walker and she was so wobbly holding on with a clenched fist and carried a determined look in her eyes.  Alex and I tried to coach her through it, but she dances to the beat of her own drum and progressed as she felt ready.  There was one point where she decided she had enough of the ice-walker and pushed it out of the way in front of her. Alex and I just stared at each other in disbelief.  She’s so brave and surprisingly strong.

Ice Skating

This man and his handsome face.  I love seeing him teach Grace new things.  He’s very delicate with her but pushes her and she always responds so well.

Ice Skating

There was a point where she looked back at me and said “mama you can skate over there. Let me go by myself!”  She wanted so badly to catch up to the older girls. I just stood back and gave her some space.

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

Remember that comment about me giving her space? This is what it looked like. jk but really.  I’m not ready for Grace to be as independent as she is right now.  I think this is a glimpse of what our future is going to look like. Her wanting to get away and me wanting to hold her hand for as long as possible.  Also, this picture makes me want to call my mom.

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

I think she’s counting down the days to our next visit.  My ankles were in so much pain that I may have to sit the next one out.  I love this picture above and I wish we had a picture of Alex and I ice-skating together when we were young because I’m pretty sure this is what it looked like.  Me so giddy to hold his hand and he so smooth on the ice.

Ice Skating

Grace had quite the cheering squad.  Her grandparents and siblings sat on the sideline watching her go around in circles getting better every turn.  They have been such a blessing to us this past week and we are all going to miss them once they head back home.

Ice Skating

Ice Skating

 

 

 

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THE ULTIMATE EASTER BASKET

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SpringItOn #NestleKitchen

The ultimate easter basket

Grace is old enough to understand seasons and look forward to holidays. This makes it very exciting when it comes to getting ready for spring and Easter! This year we are introducing the Easter basket and have been really looking forward to delivering them to friends and family. We have come up with the Ultimate Easter Basket and are so excited about gifting them to our friends!

 Here’s the Ultimate Easter basket in four easy steps. 

The ultimate easter basket

 

  1. Use a functional basket. When choosing a basket I’d like to look for something that is practical and can be repurposed. I think cubby box for toys, planter box for herbs in the spring. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just practical.
  2. Add something handmade. Grace and I like to add a few personalized hand written notes. For this basket we added a few Bible verses and a fun picture of a butterfly.
  3. Fun candy. You can’t build the ultimate Easter basket without adding candy. We choose Nestlé, because they have the best quality infredients and they’re easy to pick up on pur trip to Walmart. I grew up eating SweeTARTS and they’re still my candy of choice! A pioneer in taste innovation, SweeTARTS delivers the original flavor combination of delightfully sweet and delicately tart in an array of colorful candy creations. For this basked we included their Easter shaped Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies! They’re also great for decorating and filling candy dishes, eggs and for decorating cakes! We are also adding a Scrambled Egg (with Nerds, Laffy Taffy, and Runts), Springtime Fun Dip (I remember eating these as a kid all the time!) Nerds Rope and a few colorful Easter eggs filled with SweeTARTS, Laffy Taffy and Nerds.
  4. Toys. What kid doesn’t love toys? Because it spring and everyone is starting to spend more time outdoors, we added a bubble machine and some sidewalk chalk. Our hope is to encourage play and creativity
  5. Include dinner. This is my secret ingredient to making the ultimate Easter basket because it is a treat for both mom and kids. When we deliver this basket, we will also deliver this Stouffer’s Family Style Macaroni & Cheese! As a mom, I know what a treat it is when I don’t have to think about what I’m serving for dinner.  Bringing over some Mac & Cheese will really give the whole family a chance to play together and enjoy all of the Easter goodies in the basket.  Also, because Stouffer’s Family Style Macaroni & Cheese is made with freshly-made pasta in a 100% real cheddar cheese sauce I feel really good about sharing it with a mom-friend! (I also stock up for myself… because you can’t go wrong with Mac & Cheese!)

 

The ultimate easter basket

That’s it guys! It’s a super easy and fun way to brighten up someone elses day.

Here’s the good news… you can make your own Ultimate Easter basket too! Follow those five simple steps and use these awesome coupons! It doesn’t get any easier friends!

You can also check out Nestlé Pinterest Page here and get some really cool inspiration at their social hub!

The ultimate easter basket

the ultimate easter basket

the ultimate easter basket

The ultimate easter basketThe ultimate easter basket

 the ultimate easter basket

the ultimate easter basket

 Happy Easter friends!

Can’t believe that this was Easter 2015! Look how little Grace looks!

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