January 18, 2017

KidzStuff First Aid Kit [and promo code]

Disclosure: I received the KidzStuff First Aid Kit for free in exchange for an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday I distinctly remember telling my youngest not to climb up the blinds in the kitchen and then I turned around and told my oldest that he shouldn't be watching T.V. while doing a headstand on the couch. I consider myself an attentive mom but with the craziness of raising two young boys, at my house bumps and bruises happen almost daily, sometimes hourly.

As mama bear, it's my job to comfort my little guys when they cry and cover them with kisses when they get hurt, but when kisses aren't enough to ease the pain, I need something else in my proverbial bag of tricks. I think I've finally found the perfect solution, the KidzStuff First Aid Kit

KidzStuff First Ad Kit Review and Promo Code

The KidzStuff First Aid Kit is a 94-piece, all-encompassing kit complete with a comprehensive guide book, written by a pediatric doctor. The extensive KidzStuff First Aid Kit gives me a piece of mind because I know that I have everything I need for the at-home-treatment of standard bumps and bruises. It goes without saying that if you are ever faced with a life-threatening situation or an emergency, call 9-1-1. This first aid kit is not meant to eliminate medical and emergency care.

KidzStuff First Ad Kit Review and Guide booklet - plus Promo Code

The KidzStuff First Aid Kit is loaded with everything you should ever need to help care for your little ones. The black bag is well made and includes handles for easy toting. Inside you will find several pockets with clear, plastic so that you can easily see what's inside each. Those pockets are secured with zippers. So you never have to worry about the contents falling out. 


Inside of the KidzStuff First Ad Kit - a full product review plus a promo code

Inside of the KidzStuff First Ad Kit - a full product review plus a promo code

There are also two open-ended netted pockets for easy access, but the bungee-like elastic secures all the contents of these compartments. 

Inside of the KidzStuff First Ad Kit - a full product review plus a promo code

Each compartment holds much more than I could have imagined. Here is an example of all the contents of just one pocket. As you can tell, the KidzStuff First Aid Kit has really gone above and beyond to ensure that as a caregiver, you have all the proper supplies handy in case you or your little one gets hurt. It's so much more than a roll of band-aids and Neosporin.

Contents from one of the pockets in the KidzStuff First Ad Kit - a full product review plus a promo code

One of my favorite features of the KidzStuff First Aid Kit is that it is extremely portable. It zips up completely so that nothing can fall out and everything inside fits neatly into a compartment. Its handles make it great for in the car and on the go, so it's perfect for moms and dads, grandparents, coaches, teachers, babysitters, and the like.

The perfect portable first aid kit, developed by pediatric doctors - KidzStuff First Aid Kit

I put the KidzStuff First Aid Kit to use when my oldest jammed his big toe into our dining room door - I told you things get crazy around here. The toenail split and my very dramatic three-year-old was convinced that he needed to go to the hospital. Luckily, I had everything I needed on hand to make my little man feel better because it was all in the KidzStuff First Aid Kit.

Child's split toe nail

The KidzStuff First Aid Kit is the perfect way to be prepared for minor, at-home treatments for bumps and bruises

Even my big man was impressed with the results and gave the KidzStuff First Aid Kit a big thumbs up. 

Kids give the KidzStuff First Aid Kit a big thumbs up!

When it comes to the health and safety of your little ones, there's no need to compromise for a generic first aid kit when for less than $20 you can be equipped with all the items you'll need for simple, at-home care. You can rest assured when the KidzStuff First Aid Kit is by your side because it was designed by pediatric doctors who had kids in mind when they placed each product inside the portable kit.

If you're like me and you need one - or two - of these comprehensive first aid kits, then get yours today. Use the code "blogbf" for a 20% off coupon code valid for the purchase of a first aid kit. Offer expires on March 31, 2017.

You can also check out more great products, like the KidzStuff First Aid Kit, designed for kids by pediatric doctors at the KidzStuff website: www.shopkidzstuff.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

As mommies we all encounter bumps and brusies - when was the last time you needed to use a first aid kit for your little one?

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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January 11, 2017

Mini Chocolate Pies

Disclosure: Some of the links in this mini chocolate pie recipe post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you click on one of those links and make a purchase. 

Have you already spoiled your New Year's Resolution? If you're still on track - good for you, you might not want to look at this amazing, delicious, and simply decadent recipe because it's so good just looking at the pictures will probably ruin your weight loss goals. Now, if you're still with me, you're in for a treat (pun intended).

This is another amazing family recipe. Throughout the year I will feature a different family member and one of their recipes, each month. Each recipe will be one that I hold near and dear to my heart. And I couldn't think of a sweeter start to this series than these mini chocolate pies. This recipe is another one brought to you compliments of my husband's grandmother. If you liked her Chicken and Rice, White Beans and Ham, or her Pecan Pie Surprise Bars, then you are sure to like this one because it is hands down her most notable, talked about, and beloved recipe of all time.

Mini Chocolate Pies


Ingredients: 
2 cups sugar
2 TBS cocoa
1/2 cup salted butter - 1 stick
1/2 cup PET milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 self-rising flour
2 boxes of mini pie shells or 16 total

Preparation Instructions: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave and then combine it with the PET milk. Once the milk and butter are fully incorporated, pour that mixture into the sugar mixture. 


Mini Chocolate Pies - Ingredients

Add the eggs and vanilla to the mixture and combine. Finally, fold in the self-rising flour until everything is fully incorporated.

Spread out the pie crusts on two separate cookie sheets. Pour batter into the pie crusts until they are a little more than half way full.

Mini Chocolate Pies - Pouring Batter

Bake for 15 minutes. The pie filling will begin to rise. Remove the pies from the oven and use a fork and poke around the edges of each pie so that they are essentially deflated.

Mini Chocolate Pies - baking and rising

Return the pies to the oven for another 5 minutes and continue the fork ritual until the pies no longer rise, typically twice.


Remove the pies from oven and move them to a cooling rack. Then take your time, set the table, get some ice cream, put the kids to bed and enjoy every bite. These are a wonderful little dessert for a dinner party or travel well for a get well soon meal or make for the perfect Wednesday afternoon snack. What is your favorite pie filling?


Mini Chocolate Pies a famous family recipe that will bring a smile to any chocolate-lovers face


Be Blessed,
Brittany
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January 3, 2017

Introducing a New Baby to Your Older Children

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post about Introducing a Baby to Your Older Children are affiliate links, and I will receive a small commission if you click on one of those links and make a purchase. 

A year ago we discovered that for a two-year-old it's ALWAYS difficult to share, we learned that change is hard, and we learned to tailor our parenting style for two different children and their very different needs. It all started with the introduction of our youngest child - the second of two children in our family. You can say that the day he was born changed our hearts and our lives but the day we brought him home changed everything else.

I was so excited my big boy would be an older brother, and I couldn't wait for him to meet baby #2. I knew my two-year-old was not going to understand the impact that my growing baby bump would make on our house after I gave birth. When the baby did arrive it was such a joyful time, but as I suspected, it came with its challenges and amongst them, was how my oldest accepted the transition to big brotherhood.

Introducing a baby to older children

When we found out I was expecting baby #2 I started researching the most effective ways to introduce a new child to siblings. Children are so territorial, especially when it comes to the attention they get from their parents, so when you introduce anything (or anyone) that takes that attention away, it's important to consider how the change will affect your current household dynamic. My oldest had grown accustomed to having all my time and attention. While pregnant with my second, I started working from home and I took my oldest on trips throughout the city - the zoo, museums, factory tours and festivals. We had so much fun together and while he knew I was pregnant he really didn't know what it all meant - and how could a two-year-old? I was worried big brother wouldn't be so thrilled with the idea of a baby brother when he finally understood that it meant mommy had someone else to care for or when he woke up at 2 a.m. to a crying sibling. I consulted my doctor about it, other moms who had been in my shoes, and I did a little research via parenting books and Pinterest articles.

When it was all said and done I made a list of all the things that worked for us, because in the end, the transition went great. Almost a year and a half later, they still don't share, but I have a feeling that's something I'll be dealing with most of their young lives.

Here are some of the recommendations to make it easier when you introduce a new sibling to a family:

Take your child(ren) on a tour of the hospital.
Hospitals can be scary places and when mommy and daddy go away for a couple days "to have a baby" that concept is completely foreign to most children. Think about how your mind wanders when you don't know details. You make up things in your head, facts are exaggerated and reality is distorted. Now think of the mind of a young, imaginative and impressionable child. Help them fill in the blanks. Most hospitals offer tours to expecting families. Call yours and see if its okay to bring your younger child(ren). Allow them to walk around, ask questions and become familiar with a hospital environment so that they know where you are and what is happening when you are delivering your baby.

Have the new child "bring" a gift for the other child(ren) when they are born.
After consulting our doctor, he recommended that the newest addition bring a birthing gift for his or her older siblings. This gift should be a special something that lets the older siblings know that the newest addition is someone who will have a positive and loving relationship with them. It starts everything off on the right foot and gives the older children an instantly positive perception of the baby.

Talk to your child(ren) about the new arrival.
I realize that there are some many details about childbirth that are not necessary, or appropriate, to teach young children, but there is a certain amount of disclosure necessary to keep them in the loop. You'd be surprised how some small children completely miss the fact that mommy has gained weight. Talk to your little ones about the change that is going to occur - where are is the baby going to sleep, how does a baby act, what does it mean for the current children? Answer their questions and keep the conversation open ended and be approachable so that your older kids feel comfortable always asking questions.

Introducing a baby to older children - 6 tips for adding children to a growing family

Read books about the addition of a sibling or becoming a big brother or sister.
I read to my little ones every night and after I became pregnant I started incorporating books about becoming a big brother into our reading cycle. Explaining the situation in a toddler-friendly manner helped my oldest better understand his new responsibilities as a big brother. I read him "I'm a Big Brother" by Caroline Jayne Church but there are tons of great book options for both big brothers and big sisters.

Make sure to spend quality time with the older child(ren) without the new baby.
A new baby changes a lot of things but one thing that will be most obvious to your older child(ren) is the amount of time and energy you have to devote to them. Set aside special time to spend with your older little one(s) - take them out to lunch or a movie or to the bookstore. Get them out of the house and away from all things baby. It's best to do this special time with mommy and daddy so that you continue to strengthen your relationship with them after you have more children.

Make the experience fun.
When my mom brought our oldest to the hospital he was ready for the party. Equipped with balloons and a cupcake he came for the baby's birth-day, my mom made the day a celebration. When He walked into the hospital room with a smile on his face and fully anticipating a party - the cupcake with sprinkles didn't hurt either. When we arrived home from the hospital he had made a welcome home banner and decorated the house for the babies arrival. The whole experience felt fun and exciting and it allowed my older son to be part of the occasion in a joyous way.

Little boy with cupcake

How many little ones do you have? How was it when you brought them home and introduced them to your other child(ren)? If you have other recommendations please feel free to share them in the comments.

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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December 19, 2016

Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Tis the season for holiday goodness, or should I say holiday goodies. The cookies, the cakes, the brownies and the fudge - I love it all! My favorite holiday goodies are the ones that have a story, or that bring back a memory. And nothing brings up those warm and cozy holiday feel-goods like a family recipe.

It's no surprise that my husband's Grandmother is an exceptional cook and baker with a repertoire of recipes that would put Julia Child to shame - like this Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice recipe and this White Beans and Ham recipe. But it's her desserts that my husband loves best and these Pecan Pie Surprise Bars are one of his favorites. The bars have two layers, similar to a pie, but the bottom crust layer is much thicker and has a cakey taste and texture. It's like eating a cake that tastes exactly like a pecan pie, but it's all in the shape of a brownie. It might sound confusing, but I promise you this dessert is incredible.

Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Ingredients: 
1 package (18 1/2 oz) Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix - divided and reserve 2/3 cup
1/2 cup margarine, melted
4 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Preparation Instructions: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

There are two parts to these Pecan Pie Surprise Bars - the "crust" and the "filling."

Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Divide the cake mix and reserve 2/3 cup for the filling. Combine the remaining cake mix, 1 egg, and the margarine until it's crumbly. Press the mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it's light brown.

The crust of the Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Meanwhile, while the crust is baking, combine the reserved cake mix, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, vanilla, and eggs. Beat eggs together before adding them to the mixture.

Mixing ingredients for the filling of the Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Once the crust has finished baking, remove it from the oven and pour the filling over top of the partially-baked crust. Sprinkle the top with the pecans. Also, don't have an adorable kitchen helper?

Pecans on top of the Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set.

The finished product - Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

Allow the Pecan Pie Surprise Bars to cool and then cut them into bars.

Pecan Pie Surprise Bars

What are your favorite holiday recipes? Please share links and recipes in the comments below because I love to try new favorite recipes.

Be Blessed,
Brittany
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