Lunchbox Essentials

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

little hands

With this weekend being the final few days of August, Labor Day right around the corner and the Summer coming to an end – everything around us has quickly become focused on Back to School. I for one LOVE back to school shopping – I always find it so refreshing picking out school supplies, new blank notebooks, fresh binders and new pens & pencils. I always loved starting the year out on a very organized note. I look forward to the day that we will organize his backpack together for his first day of school, even though I think I might dread it at the time {don’t grow up too fast!}

While Brooks is still a little guy & has a few years go to before we have to worry about all that, it gets me excited for all the Back to School hype in the years to come. I know our time together while he is this little is going to be over in the blink of an eye {and I am doing my best to cherish it as much as possible!} It’s crazy to think how much he has already grown so much in the past 6 months, I look back at the pictures and see how far he has come in such a short amount of time and I just can’t believe he’s all mine!

As I’ve mentioned before, we are in the process of starting solids in Brooks’ diet, I’ve found that while we are still focusing on nursing as the primary source of his food intake – it’s been pretty fun to get adventurous with food {in terms of baby led weaning}. Whenever we are out and about I always find myself carrying potential food options that Brooks may  want to try. Here’s a little peek into our Back to School inspired eating essentials that are pretty much always in the diaper bag -

Elvis the Elephant / Emergency Binky / Mesh Feeder / Squeeze Bottle / Bib / Mango Fruit Cup / Fruit & Veggie FruitBurst

baby essentials

It’s fun to think that these diaper bag essentials now will continue to be favorite snacks in the years to come! I’m sure I’ll be including these exact treats in his lunch box a few years down the road – especially since they don’t have any high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors and they are packed with lots of vitamin A&C. They are a snack you can feel good about giving from day one!

Del Monte is excited about helping parents prepare healthy lunches that will keep kids focused at school this year AND cherish the fun memories had by all this past summer. Pick your favorite photo of your little one and bring it into select Walmart Super Stores to have it printed out for FREE – such a great way to say goodbye to the Summer of 2014 and hello to what will {hopefully} be another memorable school year.

baby lunch box

A little more about the Free photo offer: SELECT Walmart Super Stores are featuring a free back to school photo offer and a $1 off coupon towards the purchase of Del Monte 4-pack Fruit Cups or Fruit Burst Squeezers. To receive your $1 off coupon you must participate in the free back to school photo print offer.

To participate you will need to bring in a photo (no copyrighted photos, like school pictures, will be eligible for the free print) of your kid(s) or you can upload and use one from your phone or SD card while in store. The Walmart Print Shop will then make your picture into a 5”x7” print with a Back to School border. Your actual picture will be 4”x6”. When you receive your picture after it is printed you should receive a coupon for $1 off Del Monte products in the photo envelope.

This promotion runs August 1 – September 13, while supplies last. This offer is running at SELECT Walmart Super Stores.

This is a great way to capture the first day back at school memories!

del monte

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What’s  your Back to School essential for your little one’s lunchbox?

Please share!

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#MadeInAmericaFest

I can’t believe in a few short days it’s Labor Day weekend! Summer has flown by at lightening speed! But the end of summer always means one thing - Budweiser’s Made In America Fest

Being a Philadelphia resident, home to where one of these amazing concert takes place – literally, I live a hop, skip and a jump from the Art Museum, where the concert takes place – it’s always a big weekend for the city of Brotherly Love. This is the third consecutive year that Made in America will be hosting a huge lineup of amazing artists over Labor Day Weekend during this two day {August 30th & 31st} music festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

clydesdales

Two years ago I got to check out the Budweiser Clydesdale horses as part of the Made in America Festival –  I can’t wait to see them again this week!

The Made in American Festival has always been on my list of things to do, but we’ve always been away for the holiday weekend the past 3 years, but I hope to make it one time! I just found out that the Philadelphia concert benefits the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and United Way of Lancaster County – I love that it helps local program in need. 

This is also a really special weekend because the Budweiser Made in America Festival is the first American festival to run simultaneously on both coasts – as it is also the inaugural year of the  festival in Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles. 

A little more information about the lineup in Philadelphia -

Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Tiesto, The National, Steve Aoki, Pharrell Williams, J. Cole, Girl Talk, Spoon, Chromeo, City and Colour, Grimes, AWOLNATION, R3HAB, Gareth Emery, De La Soul, Baauer, Tommy Trash, Mayer Hawthorne, Kongos, 3LAU, The Neighborhood, Danny Brown, YG, Holy Ghost, Penguin Prison, Destructo, Bleachers, DJ Cassidy, Cherub, Will Sparks, Young & Sick, Vacationer, Cut Snake, Kaneholler

Cause Village Vendors
Shawn Carter Foundation, United Way, Headcount/NAACP, Budweiser Veterans, Donda House (Kanye West’s charity), St. Jude Hospital (Kings of Leon supported charity), Partners in Health (The National), World Childhood Foundation (Tiesto), Philly Paws, Drive Change, Born this Way Foundation, Why Hunger, Mural Arts

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Are you going to #MadeInAmericaFest ?

Who are you most looking forward to see in the lineup?

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For more information on the concert itself or tickets to Budweiser’s Made In America Festival

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Budweiser Made in America Festival. All opinions are my own.

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Friday Favorites: Anthropologie On Sale – Under $40!

Anthropologie is having a pretty great sale right now {an extra 20% off  items already on sale} – I love it when they do that. PLUS there are all sorts of great items in store and online that are perfect to add to your summer into fall wardrobe. All of these items that I’ve picked are $40 and under {love that!} Anthro is one of my favorite stores, so obviously, I’m all over this sale!

I never buy anything full price {at least I try really REALLY hard not to!} and you shouldn’t either! Check out my favorites & let me know what you think!

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Anthro On Sale

1- I wouldn’t have given these joggers a second glance on the rack in the store, but I saw them on a salesperson and I immediately fell in love. They are so light and comfy and I am obsessed with the pattern – the colors are great for summer, spring AND fall with the right shoes! They hit the leg at a great place too!

2- How fun is this ribbed cocoon cardigan? I love the fitted sleeves and the draping in the back – it’s going to be a great sweater for the fall! It’s really light but great for layering.

3- I love the funky back on this sweater, plus the light blue is a really great shade! Another great item that will look awesome with skinny jeans and boots for the fall! Comes in a beautiful coral pink too!

4- This fluttered lace tank is Oh! So! Pretty. The lace detail is gorgeous and it’s got a great, flattering fit. I’m wearing it in this Instagram & this Instagram {I’m obsessed!}

5- The simplicity but also the great detail makes this peplum top an awesome piece to add to any wardrobe! Not to mention it’s a great price and perfect to pair with just about any bottoms!

6- This wrap top immediately caught my eye because of the fun colors AND the fact that I think it would be a super flattering fit on most body types. It also looks like it would be awesome for nursing too! Win!

7- I love this black and white tunic with the lace detail on the neck – plus it has pockets!

8- I picked up these shorts on sale in coral and now I want them in every color ever made. They are a perfect {and appropriate!} length for every age, but they have a great & flattering fit around the bum. They are also so comfortable! I love them!

9- I really like this top – the grey with the white ruffles are super cute. Paired with skinny jeans and some boots with a funky necklace and you are good to go! Plus it’s a great price for a fun top!

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What’s your Friday Favorite this week?

Please share!

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Baby Led Weaning Essentials

So we are a little over a month into this whole baby led weaning experience. I have a post scheduled for next week with a whole update for you on how everything has been going in terms of avoiding baby foods & purees and going straight to the “solids” with Brooks – be on the lookout for that next week. But before I give you our BLW update, I wanted to post about a few of our favorite things!

These are the 9 items {plus a few extra below!} that we have been using the most the past month & they have all been very helpful with helping Brooks “practice” eating. Like I said, we are only a few weeks into this whole new eating experience, and I know everything will be constantly changing, quickly – but these are a few of our favorite essentials that have made introducing solids a little easier and a lot more fun!

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BLW Essentials

1- A highchair is one of the first things that you really need for BLW { so your little one is sitting upright – incase of any choking}. We picked out this one & got it as a shower gift. I LOVE it! We have hardwood floors and lots of wood decor around the house so it fits in nicely – Brooks loves sitting in it too, sometimes he will just hang out in it while I’m in the kitchen. It’s a really nice piece of furniture that will grow with Brooks, as it has various stages of use.

2- I got this learning cup for Brooks to make the transition from bottle {or boob?} to cup easier. I’ve been filling it with water & he loves the easy grip handles. Sometimes he just gnaws on it more than anything & barely gets any liquid out, but when I have a drink, he seems to like to have something to “drink” too. This always entertains him when I give it to him. Also, elephants!

3- These mesh feeders have been a lifesaver. We have put ice in it on a cold day, frozen breast milk for teething issues and anything that Brooks wants to try to eat that could be a choking hazard. He’s still able to get a taste for certain foods – blueberries, cherries, grape tomatoes, etc. – that would otherwise be too small for him at this stage. Plus, he just likes to gnaw on anything cold!

4- This silicone baby bib is amazing. It comes in fun colors {for boys with the bow tie & girls with a beaded necklace}, it’s soft, has a amazing crumb catcher and is dishwasher safe. Love this thing!

5- I picked up these soft-tip spoons the other day and really like them. While we are doing baby led weaning & letting Brooks “feed” himself, for certain things like applesauce or yogurt I do get a spoonful out for him, hold it up and he pulls the spoon in to his mouth himself, while I’m still holding it for control. Otherwise it would be everywhere. But these spoons have been working really well so far !

6- I recently purchased this high chair/shopping cart cover because sometimes when we are out to eat or out shopping, Brooks wants out of his stroller! He likes sitting upright now and watching the world go by & this is a nice protective cover & it folds up into a small little ball which is easy to toss into the diaper bag. It also has a fun teether attached & a strap to hold a cup to keep it from falling – love those little details. Also, it has elephants on it…

7- This Sili Squeezer is really cool. Brooks is still learning how to work it, but I think it’s a great product that I will be using all the time once he’s older. It’s a reusable squeeze pouch with a free-flowing spout { it also has a nipple spout for younger babies that stops liquid from coming out} – it’s great for water but will also be great for fruit sauces & smoothies, plus the lid it attached to the squeezer so it won’t get lost! It also feels really great – I love this thing.

8- We have also gotten a ton of use out of our travel high chair that attaches to {most} tables. It’s been great for going to grandma & grandpas house & the beach and it will be even more useful now that he’s eating more. Plus it’s another place for the little guy to sit.

9- This tiny diner tray goes perfectly with the travel high chair {mentioned above} – it is made of silicone for easy clean up, has suction cups on the bottom to stick to any table, has a scoop to catch falling food and it provides a safe place for your little one to play with & explore their food. It also rolls up & is easy to throw in your diaper bag to travel with or just great if you want to cover the table area in front of baby at a restaurant.

Not Shown:

Also a few other key items to have when starting “solids” would be to have some baby Benadryl close by {in case of any allergic retains!} / the BLW cookbook or the Baby & Toddler Cookbook are also great resources to get creative with baby’s first foods! / I also love these glass storage containers in perfect sizes for baby food!

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What’s your essential item for introducing solids to your little?

Please share! 

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