Dec 302015
 

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of KitchenAid.

I love coffee so much. Someone I know once said that coffee is like a hug in a mug, and I couldn’t agree more. There is just something so warm and comforting about sipping on a cup of hot coffee. It’s one of the first things I do every morning, and it’s the perfect start to my day.

I love drinking coffee, but I also love to bake with it. Coffee adds such a great, rich flavor to so many different dishes – from sweet to savory.  I recently had a few friends over for lunch, and I decided to bake up a Chocolate Coffee Pecan Pie Cake. Adding coffee to chocolate cake is really a no brainer for me. I think it just gives it some extra oomph and makes people wonder “what’s in this??” because it just tastes so good! And I just love the addition of the sticky pecan pie filling and brown sugar frosting. It all works together so well.

Chocolate Coffee Pecan Pie Cake

If you love coffee as much as I do, you should take a look at this new line of craft coffee brewers from KitchenAid – one of my very favorite brands.  I absolutely love this Precision Press which brews a bold, full-bodied, robust cup of coffee! Doesn’t that sound dreamy?

KitchenAid-Logo

Now onto my recipe… This recipe has 3 different steps (cake, filling and frosting) but in reality it’s really quite easy to make, and well worth the effort, I promise.

Bake up this cake for your next gathering, and watch your guests smile with delight as they taste something unique that they probably haven’t had before. Chocolate cake doesn’t have to be plain and boring!

Chocolate Coffee Pecan Pie Cake

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (allow it to cool)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold freshly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cold freshly brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Chocolate Coffee Pecan Pie Cake

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the coffee, vegetable oil, brown sugar and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer. Slowly add coffee and cocoa mixture. Combine on medium speed until silky and smooth, then beat in the sugar.
  4. With your mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour, salt and baking soda, until just incorporated.
  5. Bake for cakes for approximately 26 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling, at least 2 hours or covered overnight.
  6. Meanwhile make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold coffee with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt and corn starch mixture to a small sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking consistently for about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, 1 tablespoon coffee and vanilla.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.
  9. After cakes and pecan pie filling have cooled completely, spread pecan pie filling over one cake, and top with the other.
  10. To make the frosting, whip the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Add milk until you reach desired consistency.
  11. Frost the cake and garnish with additional chopped pecans, if desired.

Follow KitchenAid on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more updates, product discounts and to view their other craft coffee brewers.

 

Dec 162015
 

Learn how to survive a holiday party with small children with the tips below!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Poise for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Since having my children, attending any sort of family gathering or party has become quite a challenge. As I’m sure you already know if you have ever had small children yourself, it seems to take hours to even get out of the house to go anywhere. A toddler who refuses to have her diaper changed or to get her clothes on, a baby with a blowout right before it’s time to leave, missing socks and shoes, all make me want to go crazy, before we even leave for the party!

When we finally do arrive at our destination, things don’t really calm down much. Between lugging in all of the kids’ toys, diapers, wipes, food, etc., and constantly chasing them around, making sure they don’t eat or touch things they aren’t supposed to, it can be hard to relax and enjoy yourself.

With that being said, there are a few things you can do that will help you survive a holiday party with small children. Below are some things that I intend to do while attending a couple of holiday parties this coming weekend.

  1. Wear Comfortable Clothes – You may have dreams of dressing up in your best holiday dress for that holiday party you have to go to, but let’s face it, that’s just not realistic. Your kids will most likely be climbing all over you the whole time, wiping food on you, etc., and you’ll be sitting with them on the floor, bending over to pick things up off the floor. You won’t want to be wearing your finest dress for these tasks. A comfortable pair of dress pants and a nice, but comfortable top, is the way to go.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes – High heels were not made for chasing kids around at holiday parties. Skip the fancy shoes, and opt for something more comfortable, and easier to run around in. Your feet will thank you for it!
  3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – If your child spills his or her food or drink on the floor, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just clean up the mess and move on. If they start to act out or throw a tantrum, take them to a quiet area until they have calmed down. Try not to have expectations from your children that are too high. They are just children, after all! Go with the flow as best as you can, and try to enjoy yourself.
  4. Bring a Dish You Don’t Mind Leaving – If you’re attending a pot-luck style holiday party, bring your food in a disposable dish that you don’t mind leaving at the party. Chances are, your kids will get tired, want to go home, and start getting really fussy, fast. The last thing you want to have to do while your kids are acting out is worry about taking care of any food that’s left in the dish you brought, or washing it. Bring something disposable that you can just leave at the party, so you can leave right when you need to.
  5. Invest in Poise Impressa Bladder Supports – Thirty-five million women experience stress urinary incontinence, a common type of bladder leakage, which can be triggered by coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or even exercise. For me, chasing my children around is often a trigger for bladder leakage, and that’s the last thing I want to worry about while I’m at a holiday party with friends and family.

undefined

I am really excited to use Poise Impressa Bladder Supports this coming weekend. In the past, I have always been very stressed out at holiday parties, worrying about whether or not I’ll be able to “hold it”. It’s such an embarrassing problem to have, even though so many other woman experience it too. When I’m in a room full of people, bladder leakage is one thing I really just don’t want to have to even think about.

Poise Impressa Bladder Supports

 

Poise Impressa Bladder Supports are the first and only over-the-counter internal product that is designed to help stop leaks before they happen. They can be worn for up to 8 hours, giving you the freedom to live your life the way you want. They are inserted just like a tampon, but they absorb leaks by gently lifting the urethra to help stop leaks before they happen.

Every woman’s body is different, so Poise Impressa Bladder Supports come in 3 sizes that adapt to the unique internal shape of each woman’s body. You should start with the Poise Impressa Sizing Kit to find the size that works best for you.

Poise Impressa Bladder Supports

 

Watch the video below to learn more about Poise Impressa Bladder Supports, and how they can help you.

Now that you have watched the video, what do you think? Could you benefit from some extra support like this? If you’d like to try Poise Impressa Bladder Supports, print out a Poise Impressa coupon today!

Visit Sponsors Site

Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks

 Posted by on December 15, 2015  7 Responses »
Dec 152015
 

As I was browsing Pinterest last week, looking for a fun Christmas cookie recipe, I came across these adorable Gingerbread Men Cookie Sticks.  I instantly fell in love with them, and wanted to make them.  My husband, however, is not a fan of gingerbread flavor, so I decided to make sugar cookie sticks instead, and turn them into snowmen instead of gingerbread men.  I did another search on Pinterest for sugar cookie sticks, and found this recipe for Valentine’s Cookie Sticks.  It was the perfect base I needed for my Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks.

You may also like – 50 Christmas Cookie Swap Recipes

Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks

I used the same sugar cookie recipe, cut the cookie sticks into 1″ x 4″ pieces, and instead of icing, I used a basic vanilla buttercream frosting.  I decorated the snowmen with candy eyes, orange mini M&M’s for the nose, a Twizzler scarf and mini M&M buttons.  I think these Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks turned out pretty cute, don’t you?!

Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks

I left these Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks out on a plate for my daughter one night with a note from her Elf on the Shelf.  She thought he made these sweet treats just for her, and she was absolutely delighted.  My husband loved the cookie sticks, too!

Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks

INGREDIENTS:

  • Rolled Sugar Cookie Dough from Glorious Treats
  • Candy Eyes
  • Twizzlers
  • Orange, Green and Blue Mini M&M’s
  • Buttercream Frosting (See recipe below.)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. After refrigerating cookie dough for at least 2 hours, roll out to 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1″ x 4″ rectangle shapes.
  2. Place cookie sticks on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Transfer baking sheet with cookie sticks to freezer for 5-10 minutes to prevent them from spreading in the oven.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-11 minutes.
  5. Allow cookie sticks to cool completely.
  6. Frost cookie sticks with buttercream frosting, and decorate with candy eyes, Twizzlers (cut to about 1″ in length) and mini M&M’s before frosting sets.
  7. Allow frosting to harden completely before serving.

This recipe makes approximately 40 sugar cookie sticks.

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (softened)
  • 5 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a large bowl.  Gradually mix in milk and vanilla until smooth.

Snowman Sugar Cookie Sticks

For more Pinterest remakes, here are a few of my favorite blogs:

Dec 142015
 

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

After I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Kayleigh, I did a lot of research to find the best baby products. I wanted to make sure I was buying the safest items on the market for her. When you become a Mother, you just sort of get this immense desire to protect your baby from everything you can, and for me, that also included harsh chemicals.

Over the last few years, I have been slowly introducing more and more chemical free products into our household. I always use chemical free hand soaps, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bath soap, and lotion, to name a few. When I heard about WaterWipes, a chemical free baby wipe, I knew it was time to make that switch also.

WaterWipes

My son, Logan, was born earlier this year, so I now have two children to protect. Switching to WaterWipes was really a no-brainer for me, and so easy to do. I’m so glad I finally made the switch!

Here are 5 great reasons to switch to WaterWipes!

5 Great Reasons to Switch to WaterWipes

  1. WaterWipes is a chemical free baby wipe that contains only 2 ingredients! Instead of harsh chemicals that can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin, you will only find 99.9% purified water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract in these wipes.
  2. WaterWipes may be made up of mostly water, but they are very durable and effective. I have 2 kids still in diapers, so a wipe that works great is a must for me. We have been using WaterWipes for a couple of weeks now, and I have absolutely no complaints. They are everything I could ever want in a baby wipe. The quality of these wipes is excellent.WaterWipes
  3. If your baby is prone to diaper rashes, WaterWipes can help prevent that! They have no harmful chemicals that will irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.
  4. They were recently awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association. I am a member of a Moms’ group on Facebook, and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a Mom complaining that her baby has eczema. With all the harsh chemicals that are hidden in other baby products, it’s really no wonder that so many babies have problems with eczema. WaterWipes provide a safer, natural option for your baby.
  5. WaterWipes are available at Target! I already do a lot of my shopping at Target, so I love that they carry these wipes. With great prices, and such a wonderful selection of high quality products, it’s a store I love to shop at. So, now when I visit my local Target store, I always pick up a few packages of WaterWipes while I am there.

WaterWipes

Ready to make the switch? Here are a couple of things you should know first:

  1. WaterWipes are chemical free, so that means that they do not have any preservatives.  Because of this, it is recommended that you use up the pack of wipes within a month after opening it.  Unopened packages will keep for up to 15 months.
  2. WaterWipes are not interfolded like some other wipe brands. This allows for the sterile environment within the package to be maintained. It is recommended that you do not move the wipes to a different container for this reason also.

5 Great Reasons to Switch to WaterWipes

Find WaterWipes at a store near you with this store locator. For more information, follow WaterWipes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Dec 072015
 

THIS RECIPE FOR THICK AND SOFT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES IS TO DIE FOR!

So, I have been on this kick of trying to create my own recipe for things lately, from scratch.  I sooo badly want to be a food blogger someday.  Like, a really good one.  I know the only way I am going to get there is through lots and lots of practice, so I’ve been experimenting with recipes like crazy. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

One thing that I really wanted to try to create was a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.  There are so many varieties of chocolate chip cookies out there, but I wanted thick and soft chocolate chip cookies that wouldn’t fall all apart when you eat them.  I wanted them to have substance, and also a really great flavor.  After some experimenting, I actually did create a recipe for perfectly thick and soft chocolate chip cookies!

This Farberware Insulated Nonstick Bakeware Jumbo Cookie Sheet is THE BEST cookie sheet I have ever owned. I have had mine for over 10 years! I use it every single time I bake cookies, which is quite often, and it’s still in awesome condition.Farberware Insulated Nonstick Bakeware 15-1/2-Inch x 20-Inch Jumbo Cookie SheetFarberware Insulated Nonstick Bakeware 15-1/2-Inch x 20-Inch Jumbo Cookie Sheet

I love this cookie sheet for several different reasons. For starters, this cookie sheet is HUGE. When they say “Jumbo”, they are not exaggerating. If you bake cookies often, this will save you lots of time because you can bake a lot of cookies all at once on this cookie sheet.

This cookie sheet is non-stick, which is just awesome. There is no need for silicon mats or parchment paper. The cookies slide right off after they are done baking.

My cookies always bake up very evenly on this cookie sheet, and I love that it only has one lip on it. It makes it really easy to pull it out of the oven without smushing any of the cookies, and the cookies just slide right off the side of the cookie sheet.

This cookie sheet is also super easy to clean! The cookies slide right off this cookie sheet, so there is pretty much zero clean up. I just wipe it down quickly with a wet cloth, and it’s good to go!

I’ve been baking cookies for many years, and these 6 kitchen tools are my absolute favorite for baking cookies. They make it so much faster and easier to bake up a whole bunch of cookies, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who loves to bake cookies.

Perfectly Thick and Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I absolutely love these thick and soft chocolate chip cookies! They just kind of melt in your mouth as you eat them, but they also hold their shape really well and don’t get crumbs all over the place while you’re eating them.  To me, they are perfection!

Perfectly Thick and Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s how to make these perfectly thick and soft chocolate chip cookies:Perfectly Thick and Soft Chocolate Chip CookiesINGREDIENTS:

  • 3 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 sticks softened salted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside.
  4. With a mixer, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until well combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla, and then the eggs, one at a time.  Mix until well combined.  Mixture will become light and fluffy.
  6. With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined.  Don’t over mix. The mixture should be crumbly at this point.
  7. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, and the dough should come together better at this point.
  8. Drop rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough (I use a cookie scoop) onto baking sheet lined with parchment papericon or a non-stick cookie sheet like my favorite Farberware Insulated Nonstick Jumbo Cookie Sheet.
  9. Press each cookie scoop down with the back of a spatula to flatten it down, as these will not spread out in the oven.  If you don’t flatten them down, they will hold their cookie scoop shape.
  10. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes.
  11. Cool on a wire rack, transfer to an airtight containericon or freeze them for later using this method.

This recipe makes approximately 38 cookie scoop sized cookies.


50 Gift-Worthy Christmas Cookies

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Wheat Thin Cookies

5 Reasons to Buy on Etsy

 Posted by on December 7, 2015  No Responses »
Dec 072015
 

Disclosure:  I received items at no cost to facilitate this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Christmas is just around the corner, and I’m sure we all have shopping on our minds, right?!  I don’t usually do a whole lot of shopping for myself, but I absolutely love shopping for other people.  Giving gifts to those I love, and even to people I don’t know, is something I truly love to do.  It just warms my heart to watch someone open a gift, and see their eyes light up with excitement.  I always try to pick out just the right gift for everyone on my list.

Most years, I do my Christmas shopping online.  It’s so nice to be able to shop from the comfort of my own home, especially with two young kids.  There’s nothing I hate more than getting both kids ready to leave the house, and taking them around shopping at store after store.  That is absolutely exhausting, and not my idea of a fun day.

Etsy is a fabulous place to shop for gifts online.  There are so many wonderful shops to browse, with beautiful handmade items for sale.  You’re always sure to find something for everyone on your Christmas list!

Below I have listed 5 great reasons why you should buy on Etsy.  I hope you’ll take a look around Etsy yourself, and see what you can find for your friends and family this holiday season!

ThreeJaysCrafts              Image courtesy of ThreeJaysCrafts

1.     You’re buying something unique. If you buy a gift for someone, or even something for yourself at a big box store, chances are there are thousands of other people who have the same exact item. Why not get something different and special that will make people take notice?  Everyone loves receiving things that are one-of-a-kind, and something they might not ever have thought to buy for themselves.  Unique gifts also make great conversation starters!

2.     You know where the products you are buying come from.  When you buy things in a big box store, you most likely have no idea where that product came from, or the story behind it.  It was probably mass produced in a factory some where, and shipped out to thousands of stores around the world.  If you want to buy gifts made in the USA, Etsy is the place to shop!  You can see exactly where your products are made, and you may even get to know the story behind them.

3.     You are supporting a person, not a large corporation.  When you buy from Etsy, you are helping to support regular people like you and me, people with families to take care of, and bills to pay.  You are helping families put food on their table and send their kids to college, not lining the pockets of already rich people even more.

Adelina, from ThreeJaysCrafts on Etsy, is a perfect example of this.  She is a very hard working single mother of 3, who lives just outside of Chicago.  When you buy from her, you are helping her to pay her rent, feed and clothe her children, and keep the utilities on.  Every purchase made in Adelina’s Etsy shop helps to relieve a little bit of the worry that weighs heavily on her mind each day.

4.     You’re paying a fair price.  Do you know how much items are marked up by at big box stores?  The answer just might surprise you.  When you buy from Etsy, you can rest easy knowing that you have paid a fair and reasonable price for the things you purchase.  You are buying directly from the maker of a product, and there is no middle man to inflate the cost.

5.     You can get exactly what you want.  When you shop on Etsy, most shop owners are willing to accommodate you and make whatever it is that you are looking for, if it is not already in their shop.  You can have something personalized just for you.  Now, that’s a service you just will not find in a big box store.

I have purchased several items from Adelina at ThreeJaysCrafts, and she has accommodated my special requests on more than one occasion.  She carries a line of beautiful handmade necklaces, rings, hair accessories, magnets and more, all of which she makes herself.  Adelina takes great pride in her work.  Her prices are extremely reasonable, and she will work hard to make you a happy customer.

Here are a few pieces I recently received from her:

ThreeJaysCrafts

ThreeJaysCrafts

ThreeJaysCrafts

ThreeJaysCrafts

Each of these pieces are beautiful and unique in their own way.  I love having a one of a kind item, handcrafted by someone with incredible talent, who truly cares about their customers.

Adelina’s work has always been excellent, and I would recommend her shop to anyone.  These items make great gifts for friends and family, and it’s nice to treat yourself every once in a while, too!

Love what you see?  Head on over to ThreeJaysCrafts today to take a look at what she has in stock right now!  If you don’t find exactly what it is you’re looking for, send her a message with more details about what you’d like, and she’ll do her best to accommodate you!

10 Great Gifts for Older Babies

 Posted by on December 2, 2015  No Responses »
Dec 022015
 

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I actually just finished mine today, and I am so happy to be done with it! Now I just have to wait for everything to be delivered, and somehow find the time to wrap everything.

Christmas shopping was really fun this year.  My 2.5 year old daughter, Kayleigh, is into so many things now – My Little Pony, Shopkins, Cars, the list goes on and on… I snagged her some really great stuff, and can’t wait to see the expression on her face when she opens it all on Christmas morning.

My son, Logan, will be 9 months in a few days.  I honestly cannot even believe he is that old.  Like, seriously, where did the time go?!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was super pregnant and hoping that I didn’t go into labor during a snowstorm.

This is his first Christmas, and I also had some great fun shopping for him.  Below are some things that I got for him this year, and also a few things that we already have here at our house.

These toys would all make great gifts for older babies, whether it be for Christmas, a birthday, or any other occasion.

I hope you like these gift ideas as much as I do.  Have fun shopping! :) This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

10 Great Gifts for Older Babies

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy & Pals Learning Table ($24.52) – My mother-in-law bought this for my daughter’s 1st Christmas. She played with it all the time, and now my son has started to play with it on a daily basis. He loves being able to stand up and hold onto it for support, and he dances up and down to the music it plays. It’s so cute to watch him.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy & Pals Learning Table

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around Car ($39.88) – I bought this car for my daughter on her first Christmas, and she still loves it.  My son has also joined in on the fun, and they love to play in it together now.  They have so much fun pretending to drive.  It plays over 75 catchy tunes, has an interactive light and sound dashboard, and you can honk the horn. It has a spot on the door to sort colors and shapes.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around CarGo Baby Go Poppity Pop Musical Dino ($24.98) – My kids already have this toy and they absolutely love it! They love putting the balls in the center of the dino, and watching them bounce all around. This toy plays some really fun music and gets them excited! My Mom bought this toy for her house originally, and my daughter ended up buying one for our house with her birthday money because she loved it so much!

Go Baby Go Poppity Pop Musical DinoGreen Sprouts Stacking Cups, 8 Count ($6.99) – My kids love to play with cups. They stack them, fill them up with smaller toys and fill them up with water in the bath tub. At just $6.99, these are a great stocking stuffer idea!Stacking Cups(Set of 3) Push and Go Friction Powered Car Toys, Street Sweeper Trucks, Cement Mixer Trucks, Harvester Toy Trucks ($22.95) – This set includes 3 great vehicles with real moving action!  The street sweeper has actual spinning brushes, the cement truck has a turning mixer, and the harvest truck has spinning action. These trucks are bright and colorful, and tons of fun!

Push and Go Friction Cars

Sophie the Giraffe Natural Rubber Teether ($23.20) – This one is a bit on the pricey side for a teether, but it is money well spent! My daughter LOVED her Sophie Giraffe, and my 8 month old son will be getting one for Christmas this year, too. The soft, flexible design and long legs are ideal for little hands.

Sophie the Giraffe

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube ($17.93) – My sister bought this toy for my daughter a while ago, and this is another toy that is used on a daily basis in our home. The kids just love it! It plays a bunch of fun songs, and has a lot of things on it that help them develop their fine motor skills.

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

VTech Drop & Go Dump Truck ($14.96) – All babies love pushing trucks around. This one has a spot on the top for baby to place balls in, which is great for developing motor skills.  It also teaches tools and colors.

VTech Drop & Go Dump TruckVTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker ($29.88) – I got this toy as part of a blog campaign when my daughter was about 6 months old, and it has been one of the best toys ever! She learned to walk using this, and my son started walking around the house with it at just 7 months old! He will crawl over to it, and run around the house with it now on a daily basis. He just loves it! In addition to helping my kids learn how to walk, it has a ton of fun things for them to play with on the front side of it, too!

VTech-Sit-to-Stand-Learning-Walker

VTech Spin & Learn Ball Tower ($29.96) – My kids go nuts over any toy that has balls.  This ball tower sounds like so much fun, and I love that it is educational, too.

ball tower

Which of these gifts for older babies do you love the most?