• Girl Birthday Parties,  Product + Service Reviews

    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 1st Birthday Party for a Girl

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    Last Sunday, we did it. We hosted our third daughter’s 1st birthday party. That’s right. Her 1st birthday party is in the books.

    AND, two daughters went before her.

    This time around I kept it sweet + simple. (I might have gone a little teeny-tiny bit overboard with the first two. Don’t judge me.)

    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 1st Birthday Invitations

    For 1st birthdays I always do a real, tangible invitation on card stock. They’re personalized + customized. Generally, I order them from a designer that also prints them + then ships them to me — envelopes included!

    After their 1st birthdays, evites, Punchbowl + Paperless Post invitations it is!

    This time, however, I took too long to figure out the theme so I ran out of time to order invitations to be printed + shipped my way.

    Instead, I bought a template/file from an Etsy seller. I downloaded it + customized it + then uploaded it to print at a local printer.

    Venue

    We also did things a little bit different when it came to location. We had the first two 1st birthdays in our home. This time, we opted to rent the Art Room at a beautiful local community center.

    The rental fee was reasonable, unlike some of the other locations I considered. It was also sort of a blank canvas where we could decorate as much or as little as we wanted.

    Bonus is they included chairs + tables in the cost of the rental. I did have to pay for the linens that covered the tables. Again, it was a minor cost.

    Food + Drinks

    We catered the food this time as opposed to buying + making the food ourselves or ordering pizza. We catered it from our favorite local gourmet Mexican place — Coyote Grille.

    The food was amazing + it included them delivering + setting up the food.

    We bought our own drinks, cups, plates, forks, etc.

    Cakes

    Simply Desserts did our first two girls’ 1st birthday cakes + smash cakes also did Emmy’s cakes. They are ah-mazing + delicious!

    I paid a little extra to have the main cake + the smash cake delivered. It is the best money I could ever spend to ensure nothing happens to the cakes.

    Plus, they set the cakes up for me + add the cake topper.

    Decorations



    This is another area where I toned it waaaaaaay down 🙂

    We decorated her high chair with a skirt + ONE banner. My sister-in-law was going to make it but something came up so I ordered it + a ONE banner from Amazon.

    We added an entire roll of tulle to it to make it fuller + to get it to reach around her high chair tray.

    I also ordered a star mylar balloon, latex balloons filled with star confetti + we added a Princess mylar + some white latex balloons to fill out the balloon bouquet that we attached to the back of her high chair.

    I also ordered + hung two star banners (pink, gold + white). My sister-in-law usually makes the banner too but something came up.

    She had a plastic mat under her high chair (requisite Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme), along with cups, plates, dessert plates + napkins.

    I added gold plastic forks + spoons.

    Like her sisters, she also had a chalkboard sign (by Grace Notes Lettering on Etsy) listing her stats as a one-year-old.

    Voila. Decorations complete.

    It might be tough to be the third child 🙂

    Birthday Girl Outfit

    She had to have a themed outfit for the occasion — of course! I bought gold sequin pants (which were a huge hit). Everyone commented on her pants as they arrived at the party.

    I ordered a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 1 Onesie from an Etsy (Noelle by Design) seller + gold sequin shoes from Amazon. We topped it off with a little sequin crown with a 1 on it.

    Music + Entertainment

    We brought in our Bluetooth speakers + played kids’ music from my husband’s iPhone. We also hired a facepainter from our neighborhood to paint the kids faces.

    I bought a star craft for the kids + had oversized coloring sheets + mini crayon packs on the two kids’ tables to entertain the kids that came to the party.

    Most of the kids at the party have moves so they danced to the music on the “dance floor” space in between the kids’ tables + the cocktail tables that were set up for the adults.

    All in all, everyone had a lot of fun. It was a fun + sparkly theme + totally different from the 1st birthday parties we threw for the first two girls.

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  • Daily Life,  Product + Service Reviews

    A Girl Mom Review of 7 Diapers

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    As a mom of three girls, I’ve had some diaper experiences. In fact, from the first daughter to the last (who is 11 months old today), I’ve used 7 different diapers.

    Here’s the good, bad + the ugly on all 7 of them.

    Pampers

    The hospital where I gave birth to my first daughter used Pampers. We also attended Baby Bootcamp + a Baby Bundles class (both taught by nurses) + both classes suggested Pampers so we went with it.

    We used Pampers in the hospital + when we first brought her home. We had several leaks + blowouts. Especially when she started sleeping through the night at about five months, Pampers just couldn’t hold all that pee overnight, which caused wet sheets + a wet, unhappy baby (sometimes at 3 am) + two unhappy parents fumbling with sheets + baby PJs in the middle of the night.

    Then, there were the blowouts. My daughter had quite a few incidents where she explosively blew poop out of her diaper–a few times without catching any in the diaper at all but all over me. I still don’t know how she managed to do that.

    I also found Pampers to be on the more expensive side than the other brands on the market. If I’m going to pay more, I certainly don’t want all of the incidents + wind up wearing poop.

    Talking with a pediatrician (who is also a mom) in later years, she agreed with my assessment, also mentioning she thought Pampers had a chemical smell to them that she didn’t like.

    Huggies

    From Pampers, we switched to Huggies Snug ‘N Dry. I never had any major problems with Huggies. There was no chemical smell.

    We had a leak or blowout here + there but it was usually do to user error–me or my husband not putting the diaper on 100% right.

    Huggies seemed to hold a lot more pee + poop than Pampers did. We had a few accidents, but again, it was far + few between.

    Overall, we were extremely happy with Huggies + used them until my first daughter was out of diapers. We also used them for my second + third daughters until we switched to Honest for my third.

    Luvs

    I gave Luvs a try once or twice. They are by far one of the least expensive diapers on the market.

    I didn’t love them but I didn’t hate them either. They are really thin + lightweight so I wouldn’t let them go too long without a changing. Overnights were pretty much out of the question. They weren’t heavy enough to hold a large amount of pee.

    Mom to Mom

    Mom to Mom is the Safeway grocery store brand of diapers. I found it is at a similar price point to Luvs but a step or two above as far as thickness and quality.

    I would buy + use this brand if I ran out of diapers in between Amazon subscription shipments of Huggies.

    I never had any leaks or problems with them but I did only use them here and there and not really on a regular basis.

    Side note: I used this brand of pull-ups for my two older girls–again, when there was a shortage in between shipments. No complaints with the pull-ups either.

    Target Brand

    I had a similar experience with the Target brand diapers.

    I would buy + use this brand if I ran out of diapers in between Amazon subscription shipments.

    I never had any leaks or problems with them but I did only use them here and there and not really on a regular basis.

    Side note: I also used this brand of pull-ups for my two older girls–again, when there was a shortage in between shipments. No complaints with the pull-ups either.

    Honest

    Honest diapers + wipes are by far my favorite brand. There are no harmful or questionable chemicals in the making of the products.

    The quality is above all of the other brands that I have used. The diapers are thick and soft. The baby can sleep for 10+ hours + the diapers do not leak. The wipes are sturdy but soft + do not have a funny smell or leave any kind of film after using the wipes.

    I subscribe to the bundle so the pricing is comparable to Huggies. The bundle includes 7 packages of diapers + 4 packages of wipes + they show up at my door on a schedule that I set.

    Aldi Brand

    I adore Aldi so I thought I would give their diapers + wipes a try. The pricing is about half the cost of the Honest brand diapers + wipes.

    Sorry, Aldi, but your diapers + wipes just don’t hold up to the test. We had several leaks during the day + never even used them at night because we knew there’d definitely be a problem.

    They are extremely thin + lightweight so just don’t seem nearly as durable as the Honest brand.

    I am waiting on my shipment of Honest diapers + wipes today but am running short on diapers so I almost added Aldi diapers to my Instacart–just as a fill-in until my subscription arrives.

    Phew. My Honest box is out for delivery so I don’t have to 🙂

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  • Product + Service Reviews

    7 Reasons to Say Yes to Sun Basket: Meal Prep Service Review

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    I remember before I had kids, I really enjoyed cooking and baking. I still do to some extent but it’s a lot harder to get it all done when one or more little people are hanging from your leg, begging you to pick them up, or asking for this or that.

    That’s not even to mention the grocery shopping involved. You’ve probably tried to shop with one or more kids with you so you know what I mean. I’ll leave that for another day (or post).

    Because my family loves to eat, I decided to give one of the meal prep services a try. While it doesn’t cut out the meal prep/cooking part, it certainly makes it a lot easier in some ways. I decided to try Sun Basket and here’s what I think.

    The Good

    First, I loved that I could get $40 off. Yes! I’m a huge fan of saving money so when a friend offered me $40 off by using their referral link, I jumped at the chance. (By the way, you can get $40 off too.)

    I found choosing from the menu options extremely easy. They offer different options each week so you definitely don’t have to worry about finding meals you and your family will actually eat and you don’t have to worry about repeating menu options too often.

    Delivery is prompt. You can choose the day of the week for your delivery. I chose Monday because that’s when I typically shop for our weekly groceries. My order arrived on my doorstep Monday afternoon.

    The food is delicious. My husband loved it so much, he offered to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients so we can make the meals again (I know. Ah-mazing, right?). Even my picky girls (Not the baby. She eats almost anything.) loved it!

    I found the pricing with and without my coupon to be reasonable when considering it as a replacement for eating out. With my discount, it put each meal for 4 (the baby doesn’t really count) at around the $34 mark. Going forward, it puts each meal closer to $50 each. Still considerably cheaper than eating out (and in some cases the food is better than what you get at a restaurant).

    Most of the ingredients come in cute little measured out and labeled containers and packaging. I even re-use the little containers for my girls’ lunches and snacks for school.

    Finally, everything is fresh, organic, and healthy so that’s another big plus for me and my family.

    The Bad

    I opted for the quick-meal options. I didn’t find it to be quick. There was a considerable amount of peeling, chopping, mixing, and stirring. I wouldn’t say this is a deal breaker but quick and easy to me is throwing everything into the crockpot or one pan.

    For all the recipes, I had to use more than one pot or pan. Some, I had to use the stove and the oven.

    The Ugly

    For me, the worst part about Sun Basket is the pricing. It’s definitely more expensive than other meal prep services. Without my coupon, it takes the price per meal to approximately $54. At this point, we can still eat out at a restaurant with all three of our girls in tow and spend near this amount (sometimes less, sometimes more).

    On some occasions, it is worth eating out so that I don’t have to cook.

    My Conclusion

    Overall, I give Sun Basket an A. I definitely think there are more positives than negatives when it comes to using them as a meal prep service. I don’t know that I’ll do it on a weekly basis but it is certainly something I am likely to do one week per month.

    If you’re interested in checking it out, now is the time because you can save $40 on your first delivery. After you try it, let me know what you think by sending me an email or leaving a comment below.

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