12 Gifts Ideas for a One Year Old

Charlie turned one a few weeks ago and I have been mostly excited, and a little bit heartbroken about it. He is, and has always been a dream baby. He is happy, giggly, sweet, and content, and is everyone’s favorite around here. We threw a small family party for him this last week now that we are back in town, and I think he loved it. His favorite part had to have been the smash cake, a whole cake for a one year old?!

 I thought a lot about a few gifts we could get him that he would love and get some use out of and thought I would throw them together in a gift guide. I also enlisted the help of some of my mom friends and family to help me come up with 12 of the best gifts for a one year old, from all price points. So here we go!

Nino Percussion Egg Shaker Set-These are adorable little shaker, percussion toys. These are the perfect gift for a one year old, because they make fun music, without being too complicated. We gave these to Charlie, and he LOVES them.

New York: A Book of Colors (Hello, World)-My sister-in-law gave us a few of these Hello, World books for Jays first birthday and he (and I) absolutely adored them. The illustrations in them are so sweet, bright, and colorful, and the book is simple and brief.

Stacking Cups-these are the perfect size for their little hands and are a nice little activity to keep them content for a while. And the price point on this one can’t be beat! We got these for Jay when he was one and he loved them, and still does, haha.

Hape First Shapes Toddler Wooden Learning Puzzle-a great simple first puzzle, for helping them start to understand how to fit things together. This is another gift we got for him this year and has definitely  been a fan favorite.

Moluk Plui Rain Bath Toy-this little bath toy makes little streams of rain. It’s simple enough that a one year old will be able to grasp it, but it will also keep them so entertained and amused!

Kid O Go Car Early Learning Push & Pull Toy -what child doesn’t love a car that they can push all by themselves??


Boon Water Bugs Floating Bath Toys-bath toys that are fun and encourage hand-eye coordination!

Jellycat Stuffed Animal-These stuffed animals are the absolute best. They are so soft and cozy, snuggle able (is that a word?).

Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze -this is a more simple bead maze, so it won’t be too overcomplicated for a one year old. Also, made by Melissa and Doug so you know it’ll last forever.


Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone-This is so cute and perfect for the music-loving side of one-year-olds, just like the shakers.


Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table-water tables are perfect for a one year old, because they are so curious and love to play and splash in the water, and this is a safe way for them to do it. When Jay was one he *loved* playing at water tables at our friends and cousins houses.

Hape Scoot Around Kid’s Wooden Ride On Balance Bike-a balance bike is great for encouraging one year olds to balance, and this one is SO cute. Most one year olds won’t be able to use this right away, but around 18 months they’ll love it!

 

I hope this is helpful! Happy shopping for all of the sweet, little one year olds in your life!

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada City Guide

Waterton is a national park in Alberta Canada. If you’ve been to Glacier National Park in the U.S. it’s just North of that, and is so much more beautiful! In my opinion. My parents grew up in Alberta, Canada so we still have lots of family in the area. All growing up we visited Waterton and have so many sweet memories there. Now a bunch of my cousins work up there, and my two younger siblings even did too for a month this summer. Because it’s Canada’s 150th anniversary, and all the National Parks are free, I thought this would be the perfect time to make a city guide about Waterton. I quizzed my cousins and family for all of the best recommendations, so here they are..

Best Hikes: 

Bears Hump-if you’re looking for a super quick hike (but still a good workout), this one is fun and the trailhead is right by the visitors center, so you don’t need to go far! (1.7 mi)

Wall Lake-this is one of the easier hikes in Waterton, but the views are stunning. (7mi)

Bertha Lake-a moderate hike that takes you to the beautiful Bertha Lake. You pass some neat falls on the way up too. (7.1 mi)

Crypt Lake-a challenging and adventurous hike, but the scenery is well worth it. It can only be done by taking a ferry across the lake, so plan accordingly. (full-day hike, 10.7 mi)

Akamina Ridge-a hike that follows the British Columbia/Alberta border line! One of the hardest hikes in Waterton, involves scrambling for part of it, and is really high-adventure. (full-day hike, 13.7 mi)

Carthew-Alderson-one of the most popular and scenic hikes in Waterton. You pass five beautiful lakes and have stunning views! (full-day hike, 11.1 mi)

**If you complete Crypt Lake, Akamina Ridge, and Carthew-Alderson you get something called the “Triple Crown,” an award given out by a little cafe in town called, Pearl’s. They are three local favorite hikes!**

Best Restaurants:

49 Degrees North Pizza-yummy pizza and friendly staff

Weiner’s of Waterton-Gourmet hot dogs with tasty sauces, get everything on it!

Lakeside Chophouse-for a finer dining experience, this is a great option. They serve International fare and have *gorgeous* views.

Big Scoop-an ice cream shop thats been around forever. And my family has been going there for years! The scoops are huge–true to its name–and so amazing.

Best non-hiking activities:

Red Rock Canyon-this is one of my all-time favorite places in Waterton. Its a bunch of beautiful red rocks that are natural waterslides. We used to come here every summer growing up. Wear your swimsuit and have fun cooling off.

Horse Back Riding-beautiful views and a fun activity.

Waterton Shoreline Cruise-a quick cruise that takes you through Upper Waterton Lake and to a short hike to Goats Haunt. Beautiful views as well as educational.

Rock climbing-there is some rock climbing, but lots of scrambling to be done here!

Kayaking/Canoeing/Paddle Boarding-across the lakes, there are rentals in the townsite.

Biking-you can rent single bikes, tandem bikes, or you can rent little group bikes with little shade tents over them, called surreys. They seat three people on the main seat, and you can fit two small children up front. We rented them a lot growing up, they are so fun!

Cameron Falls-you can drive right up to the falls. They are beautiful and it makes for a good photo-op.

 

Now hurry up there before the weather gets too cold!

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Have a great weekend! 8.11.17

I hope you have a great weekend, and you can enjoy as much as Jay loved jumping on his bed last weekend, haha! It’s my birthday today, and I love birthdays for the opportunity to reflect on life, and growth. This past year has been my favorite year yet, although it definitely still had its fair share of challenges. To celebrate today Nick and I got to go to the Baton Rouge LDS Temple. It was so great to have some time with him without the boys around. Tomorrow we are headed to the beach a couple hours away with some friends, it should be fun if the weather holds up, the weather in Louisiana is so unpredictable right now. Here are some of my favorite links from the week..

unexpected book that I’m dying to read, the concept is so intriguing.

My favorite jeans of all time are on sale right now.  They are so comfy and perfect for moving around, but still look amazing. Also, the crop is perfect, so they never have to be hemmed or just look awkward.

We made this orange creamsicle recipe a couple of days ago. They turned out really yummy! It’ll definitely be a recipe we make again.

A cool art project idea to do with kids.

I’m going to go off sugar starting tomorrow (gotta have a little birthday cake on my birthday, am I right?) and this made me laugh.

On my most recent flight alone with the boys, Jay was pretty crazy for the whole flight, and then right as we landed he fell asleep, like a really deep sleep, really fast. I was trying to get him and Charlie off the plane and with both of them asleep and two bags, it just wasn’t happening. Before I even had time to get stressed, a kind family approached me and asked me if they could help carry Jay off the plane. It was such a blessing. This story reminded me of this experience. There is so much goodness still in the world, I love being reminded of it!

I found this book on display at the library, and I’m obsessed! The whole vibe is very California casual and beautiful.

I know I’ve mentioned this podcast before. But, please go back and listen to episode 3 its such a game changer. It honestly has changed my whole way about thinking about life and relationships.

This is my favorite thing at Trader Joes right now. It goes perfectly on avocado toast, my current favorite lazy meal/snack.

I love love love this thought.

Jay and I both have these sandals and they have been saving us this summer. They can withstand rain, weather, and saltwater. It rains so much in Louisiana these have been a must, and we’ve worn them pretty much everyday.

SaveSaveSaveSave

Preservation Hall and Empanadas

I found another thing to add to your must see in New Orleans bucket list, Preservation Hall! We took a trip to New Orleans last week to visit it and it was seriously cool. Its an old Jazz music hall (when I say hall, don’t picture a giant concert hall, but rather a small–can fit a max of probably 60 people–type cozy hall) that is nestled deep in the French Quarter. It was created to “preserve, perpetuate, and protect traditional New Orleans Jazz.”

I didn’t take this photo, just found it on the internet, but this gives you a feel for the experience. They don’t let you take photo or videos when the band is playing so I couldn’t take any photos of my own.The live music was incredible! Seriously the second they started I couldn’t stop smiling. It was just so beautiful and fun. Everyone was tapping their feet and dancing in their chairs to the music. Charlie totally loved all the music and couldn’t stop staring, Jay was a little scared (because we were probably 3 feet from a trumpeter) so he was wandering around just outside the hall.

The band played right behind us here. Also, anyone else struggle to get a good picture of everyone at the same time? haha.
This boy is using everything as monkey bars lately.
Our cute friends Kayla and Lili that the boys both adore!

I was worried he totally lost the experience by not being more involved, but just yesterday he said, “Mama, remember when we saw the guy playing the “brbrbrbrb” holding his hands like a trumpet and trying to make a trumpet noise. I think if we would have sat in a better location on the ground and not so close to the exit he would’ve enjoyed it even more. Next time.

We also stopped at Empanola,an empanada place in New Orleans, before we headed to the concert and had a great experience there. The food was delicious and the service was awesome. It’s located inside St. Roch Market, one of my favorite food spots in New Orleans with tons of great options.

Our cute friend Lili playing with the boys while we waited for our food. You know they are a good friend when they can make your kids laugh, am I right?

We loved the ham and cheese empanada, and our friend got the Spinach Artichoke one and loved it as well. We also tried a yummy dessert they had that was kind of like two little short bread cookies with dulce de leche sandwiched inside of them, so yummy.

So if you are going to New Orleans soon add Preservation Hall to your list of things to see, I honestly don’t think you’d regret it for one minute, its definitely an experience you can’t have anywhere else!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Enjoy your weekend! 8.4.17

This weekend we are going to take it easy. Maybe go to the farmers market, maybe go see some other sights? We only have three weeks left to spend in Louisiana. I’ve loved this summer so much, and want to try to soak up every last minute here. What are you up to this weekend? Here are a few of my favorite links from around the web this week..

We just bought this popsicle mold to help us through this last month of heat in Louisiana. So if you have any great popsicle recipes, send them my way!

Charlie’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks so I’ve had birthdays on the mind a lot lately. I found this cool list of 15 meaningful traditions for your child’s birthday. I really want to start more traditions so I think we may try a couple this year. I especially love the one about the tree.

A print that I’ve been coveting lately.

Have you been to the Shake Shack before? I’ve visited a few times and absolutely love it. They are the yummiest burgers and shakes. Well, I just found out yesterday at the library that they have a COOKBOOK! I was so excited. Now I can make all of my favorite Shake Shack recipes at home.

In High School I did a project for school where I asked my neighbor, an amazing man, and World War II vet questions about his life and his experience in the war. I was thinking lately how I really want to do that with my grandparents to have all of those memories recorded, straight from their mouth their life, experiences, learnings, etc. I found this list of 50 questions, to get me started. Have you ever tried this? I’d love to hear how it went.

A *healthier* brownie recipe that really want to try, with a surprising ingredient.

A message that I listened to this week that I love and brings me so much hope.

We’re making a beach trip next weekend and I loved these beach tips with a toddler. The baby powder one was especially intriguing.

A beautiful quote by Maya Angelou. Have you read anything by her? If so, did you like it? I’d love to read a book by her, so please let me know if you have any recommendations.

 

I hope you enjoy your weekend!!

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Girls Weekend Part II-New Orleans and a Swamp Tour

Writing this post, I’m so sad that Girls Week is over! My sisters are pretty much the greatest, and we all love to explore new places, so this was the perfect trip for us. To kick off our visit to New Orleans we hit a couple of our favorite stops Cafe du Monde (for the beignets) and Jackson Square (for the sights and street performers).

How cute is my sis with her kids?!
post Cafe du Monde happiness
I was so thrilled Nick got to join us for the day. He’s so busy working hard during the summer, that he doesn’t have a ton of time to do fun things, so this was a real treat!

We also tried a new restaurant St. Roche Market. It was so good and unique. It was a big market with 12 different restaurants inside, kind of like a food court idea, but waaaaaay cooler, tastier, and overall more exciting than a food court. I ordered the Morning Bowl from Juice NOLA and Nick got the crawfish poutine from Fete au Fete . And Jay got a cupcake for dinner from Bittersweet Confections because he threw a massive screaming tantrum and we caved…not our finest parenting moment. But hey, the cupcake was delicious! Seriously every single thing we ordered was amazing, I’m definitely making a point to stop there at least a couple more times before we move back to UT in a month.

this is what my sisters and niece ordered

We spent the rest of the evening wandering around the French Quarter, laughing and playing games and enjoying the beautiful sights. New Orleans really is such a unique and cultural place, with so much history!

 

watching some street performers! There were some really talented people.

Such a sweet Dad always, he really takes his job as a Dad seriously.

my sweet sisters!

Whats a sister trip post without showing what we’re really like. 😉

We did the same swamp tour we did with Nick and his co-workers, with my sisters. The experience was super different though because we had a different tour guide and were with a different crowd of people (older people rather than 18-22 year olds).

Hanging out before we got on the swamp boat.
the whole gang except for Nicky

This tour was amazing! The guide shared so much information about the trees, birds, landscape, etc. But we also saw a lot of alligators this time too. We actually saw one eating a fish whole, two feet from our boat. It was so awesome and a little unnerving.

Charlie was totally trying to hang off of the edge of the boat the whole time. It was so funny!

It was seriously so wonderful having them visit. My sisters are such special and beautiful people. Also, I’m starting to think we need to pick cool places to move every summer to convince friends and family to come visit!

Now wish us luck packing all of the things we still want to do in Louisiana into the last month we’re here!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Girls Weekend Part I–Pensacola and Orange Beach

Last week my sisters came into town for a girls weekend. It was such an amazing and refreshing weekend. My sisters, Nicky and Kenz, are the most kind, loving, loyal and fun people I know. It is always a party when they are around, so the last week has pretty much been the best!

We hit up our favorite donut place in Baton Rouge and the pool before we headed out to Pensacola for the weekend. I will miss District Donuts so embarasssingly much when we move back to Utah in the fall, haha. They have the best and most creative donuts, *amazing* kolaches–the best I’ve ever had, and our personal favorite, the most delicious Steak, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Taco.

Happy family because we’re filling our bellies with the yummiest food.
Jay and Kennedy relaxing poolside. Jay is obsessed with his older cousins, and they are so good to him! Also, Kennedy hurt her foot, hence the ice on it.

Pensacola is a four hour drive from Baton Rouge, and the drive is gorgeous. Louisiana is one of the states covered with the most water which makes for beautiful drives over tons of lakes and swamps. We drove through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and then finally made it into Florida.

Pensacola is a small city on the coast, we stayed in a darling little house with blue siding and white shutters. The first day we spent there we visited Pensacola Beach, which is insanely beautiful! The sand is white as white can be and so so soft. I’ve been to a lot of beaches, but this sand was definitely the best out of any of them. It was super hot the day we visited and the humidity didn’t help either. But we bought a little pop up tent that helped because it gave us a little bit of shade.

My sister, Nicky, with her sweet, perfect baby London. and how cute is London’s swimsuit?? its the most darling little watermelon bikini!
Nicky and baby London getting some shade in the tent. Seriously, if you take a baby to a beach you need one of these. It was a lifesaver!

My sisters two kids loved playing where the waves crashed, and Jay loved playing in the sand building “sand castles” which he would promptly destroy before they were even finished. 😉 After a couple hours he built up the courage to come into the water with us and ending up loving it so much. Definitely would’ve made his Californian, beach loving Daddy proud. 🙂

Shoutout to Nick’s awesome parents who bought us all these sand toys!

After a few hours at the beach we were roasting! So the boys and I headed home to relax before we headed to the Oar House for dinner that night.

My sweetest Charlie Bear! I can’t believe how grown up he’s becoming.
Walks along the boardwalk at the Oar House before dinner. The views were beautiful.
It’s not a sister trip unless you get a sister pic! Don’t mind my crazy hair, having two babies back to back has done a number on my hair with the two rounds of crazy baby hair regrowth.
The cutest little cousins!

The Oar House was so neat! It was right on water, so the views were incredible. And it had a family friendly party atmosphere with tons of yard games that you could play while you waited for your food.

ping-pong while we waited for our food

The next day we got brunch at the Native Cafe. The food was delicious, but the service was really really bad. I would still recommend it, just don’t expect super kind and patient (especially with kids) waiters and waitresses. The cafe is run by Natives to the area, which is kind of cool.

After brunch we headed to the Pensacola lighthouse on the airforce base an hour or so away. The lighthouse was gorgeous.

Hot and sweaty in front of the lighthouse, it was a humid day!!

My little sister Kenz and my sister Nicky’s two kids Jaden and Kennedy got to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Nicky and I and Jay and Charlie had to stay back because they wouldn’t let babies and toddlers up there. We wandered through the museum after and it was neat learning the history of lighthouses.

Kenz is pretty much the coolest Aunt ever, she is so great with all the grandkids even though they are all such different ages.

That evening we drove to Orange beach an hour away in Alabama. This was such a hidden gem! for us at least. We did not have high expectations but the city was so cool. There was lots to do and the area was drop dead gorgeous. We hit the pool in the afternoon and had some fun with my niece and nephews awesome Target floaties.

the popsicle one Jaden is on is my favorite:)

Then my sisters went to the beach after I had to drive the boys home and they said it was beautiful and relaxed. I’m hoping to go back to visit sometime, because I feel like we only cracked the surface with all of the fun things to do there.

Kenz with London. Always making the babies laugh.

And can we just talk about how gorgeous my sisters are?!

The next couple days we spent in New Orleans and in Lafayette going on a Gator Tour. A post on the rest of the trip will be coming soon!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Have a great weekend! 7.21.17

We’re in Pensacola, Florida right now! My two sisters came into Baton Rouge to visit on Friday and then we drove here together to have a little beach getaway. What are you up to this weekend? I hope you get a chance to enjoy yourself, and take some time to slow down.

This book is on my summer reading list. Have you read it? Did you like it? It sounds so interesting. 

Have you ever made acai bowls? These ones are SO easy to make, they come together in a matter of minutes. And they are such a refreshing and fairly healthy summer treat! I always top mine with granola (if I want it to be more of a meal), bananas, and strawberries. Also, you can get acai at Target, Whole Foods, Amazon, etc.

The only lip color I’ve been wearing over the last few weeks is this. They stay on so well, and at $7, they just can’t be beat. My favorite shade right now is soft-spoken. I picked mine up at Walmart, they carry them at most drugstores and grocery stores.

Another Trader Joe’s find! A game changing one, in my opinion. They are so cute and so cheap. They are unique to your store, so go check yours out to see your options.

My *favorite* parenting book of all time! It’s so good, it totally changed the way I view parenting, and its good for all ages of kids.  I need to read it again to help give me a parenting refresh.

These are my husbands favorite cookies. We make them probably every other week, oops.

An awesome article about raising brilliant kids, according to science.

I’m starting to think more about what we are going to do when we decorate our home this fall and this book is one of my favorite references.

This is my new favorite podcast! Do I say that every week? This one really is my favorite now. It was just introduced to me by a friend and its amazing, its like listening to a really good therapist (I think she actually is a therapist.)

I hope you have a great weekend!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

DIY Pregnant Mama Gift Box

One of my best friends of all time is pregnant right now with her second little baby boy. Her husband is in basic training for the Air Force right now, and will get home a week or so before their second little baby is born. So, needless to say she has a lot on her plate right now. I wanted to send her a little something to help relieve all of the stress and help her relax a little bit.

This would be good for any pregnant mom or really just anyone who needs a little package of encouragement and/or love.

Start with a box, then add some of these crinkly paper shreds in it, to really throw the cuteness over the top. I got mine paper shreds for $1.50 at Target and it really did make the biggest difference.
I included a cute card (I got mine at Trader Joe’s  for $1–they have awesome, cheap cards), a face mask (I think a foot mask would be great here too! but I couldn’t find one–with all the swelling in your feet when you’re pregnant, they definitely need some extra love), cute bath bomb, and a healthy treat.
And then I added a couple more little things for her babies. The toy car for her toddler son to hopefully help entertain him for a bit and give her a break, and then the sweet socks for her new baby girl.

Materials:

-box

-packaging tape (to tape the box together)

-crinkle cut paper shred

-cute card

-bath bomb

-face mask and/or foot mask

-healthy treat

**optional add-ins: toys for children, little gift for new baby**

 

Enjoy spoiling all your friends and pregnant Mamas!

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Swamp Tour in Louisiana!

This past weekend we went on our first Swamp Tour! It was such a neat experience. It was about a 2 hour boat ride through a swamp near Lafayette, Louisiana with Cajun Country Swamp Tours. We were on really small, 20-seater boats, so we were super close to the water, which was awesome.

This guys face when he’s with Nick is gold! Jay loves Nick SO much, and for a good reason. Nick is so sweet, playful, silly, loving, and patient with him.

Nick pulled a part of the trees overhanging and showed it to Jay. Jay was giddy about it, but very freaked out too. 😉
The swamp was crazy beautiful. Im in love with all the green mossy/scum on the water.

This is the reason why we love to travel and adventure so much! It’s so fun seeing the boys interest in new things, cultures, places, etc.
An alligator!! We probably saw 20 on the tour, they were everywhere.
Jay’s alligator impression.
Charlie really blew us away with how much he was soaking in!
Jay started to get sleepy, it was bedtime after all! And I was not fighting the cuddles one bit, he’s such a Daddy’s boy, that I’m in heaven when he chooses to cuddle me!
It was so stunning at sunset.
Nick and Charlie Bear.

We survived!! Despite Nick jumping into to the swamp with visible alligators less than 100 yds away! Haha, Jay was so proud of him after he did it. I would definitely recommend a swamp tour if you ever come to Louisiana, we had the best time!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave