Mindy

Mindy is a stay-at-home Mom to her 2 year old daughter and infant son. She previously worked full-time as a Paralegal for more than 10 years. She loves cooking & baking, classic rock, coffee and wine, sunshine and spending time with her children.

Sep 162016
 

This post contains affiliate links. 

My three year old daughter, Kayleigh, is absolutely obsessed with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. She will sit down and watch this show over and over and over again, and never grow tired of it.

I love that Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood teaches a lot of very valuable lessons, like learning how to share, trying new foods, taking care of pets, welcoming a new sibling, using the potty, and so much more. Every episode includes catchy songs that help kids easily remember the lessons they are taught.

I was born in the early 80’s, so of course, I also love the nostalgic feel of the show. I was a huge fan of the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television show, and I think Fred Rogers would be incredibly proud of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve decided to start my shopping a little early, and on my list is some Daniel Tiger merchandise, of course! I am so excited to get some of these for my kids this year.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Gift Ideas

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Friends Figure Set  The first thing that caught my eye was this Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Friends Figure Set. This adorable set includes Daniel Tiger, O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday and Miss Elaina. Each figure has poseable arms and a rotating head and stands approximately 2.5 inches tall. Thy are the perfect size for little hands to hold!

Each figure has poseable arms and a rotating head and stands approximately 2.5 inches tall. The figures are the perfect size for little hands to hold.Daniel Tiger Snuggle & Glow – I just love this Daniel Tiger Snuggle & Glow! It has seven different phrases, sings a “Goodnight Daniel” song when his hand is squeezed, and Tigey lights up! This cuddly toy can help to establish a bedtime routine, works great as a night light and promotes calming during the night hours.

Daniel Tiger Snuggle & Glow

Daniel Tiger Plush – This Daniel Tiger Plush is too cute. I just love his little red sweater. He’s perfect for hugging and cuddling with.

Daniel Tiger PlushDaniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Bungalow Adventure Play Set – This Bungalow Adventure Play Set is so cute! The open design of the house is perfect for little hands, and fun details like a working door and windows encourage hours of creative role-play. It’s also really easy to clean up or travel with because all of the pieces fit right inside!

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Bungalow Adventure Play Set

Personalized Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Kids’ Red Zip-Up Hoodie – This Red Zip-Up Hoodie is absolutely one of my favorite Daniel Tiger gift ideas! Daniel Tiger always wears his red sweater on the show, and so do the real-life children that are shown at the end of the episodes.  I am really excited to get one of these for my daughter, Kayleigh!

Daniel Tiger Red Zip-Up HoodieDaniel Tiger Deluxe Neighborhood – This Daniel Tiger Deluxe Neighborhood is great! Kids have a blast loading up Daniel Tiger and his friends for a ride around the neighborhood on this deluxe working trolley. The trolley comes with Daniel Tiger and Mommy Tiger figures. At the push of a button, Trolley lights up and moves forward all by itself! Another button plays the Neighborhood Song and the Stop & Listen song. Trolley also has 6 character buttons with 2+ fun phrases each and includes Trolley sounds!

Daniel Tiger Deluxe Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger Pajamas – These Daniel Tiger pajamas are too cute! Grab the girls’ pajamas here and the boys’ pajamas here.
Daniel Tiger Pajamas

Daniel Tiger Nightlight – If your kids sleep with a nightlight, they will love this friendly Daniel Tiger nightlight! It can be personalized to include their name, too!

Daniel Tiger Nightlight

Daniel Tiger Christmas Stocking – How awesome is this Daniel Tiger Christmas Stocking?? Kids will flip over it! This can also be personalized with your child’s name.

Daniel Tiger Christmas Stocking

Cute and Cuddly Baby Margaret – Kayleigh just loves the Daniel Tiger episodes when baby Margaret is born, and I just know she would love this adorable Cute and Cuddly Baby Margaret plush too. This soft plush resembles a smiling baby tiger cub. She has a tuft of hair on her head, a flower behind her ear and comes swaddled in a soft blanket. Ready to be held and cared for, the Daniel tiger plush toy helps encourage nurturing behaviors and is ideal for sibling preparation or imaginative play.

Daniel Tiger Baby Margaret Plush

Which of these Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood gifts do you think your kids will enjoy the most?
Shop Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Personalized Apparel and More at TysToyBox.com

 Posted by at 11:55 pm
Sep 142016
 

I have two toddlers, so I have been through the whole teaching baby to eat real food thing twice now. I’m the biggest worrier in the world, so of course, teaching my babies how to chew solid food was completely nerve-racking for me. One thing that did make it easier was Gerber Lil’ Bits.

gerber-lil-bits

Gerber Lil’ Bits are great because they expose baby to new tastes and textures, without being too much for them to handle. I love that it’s a really slow and gentle way to teach baby how to chew. I also just love the cute little containers they come in that are easy to reseal and stack in the refrigerator.

My son, Logan, is now 18 months old, but he still loves to eat Gerber Lil’ Bits as a fun treat. With fall upon us, I decided to pick up a pack of the Orchard Fruit Medley flavor and make him a tasty parfait. This one included apples, pears and peaches, but there are several other sweet and savory varieties to choose from!

orchard-fruit-medley-parfait

While in the baby aisle at Walmart, I spotted Gerber Vanilla Custard Pudding with Bananas, and I just knew that would work wonderfully with the Lil’ Bits. I also had some vanilla Greek yogurt at home that I added to the parfait as well.

gerber-vanilla-custard-pudding-with-bananas

Logan really seemed to love the combination of the delicious fruit, pudding and Greek yogurt. He devoured it!

gerber-orchard-fruit-medley-with-lil-bits

ORCHARD HARVEST PARFAIT

orchard-fruit-medley-parfait

Ingredients: 

  • 1/8 cup Gerber Orchard Fruit Medley with Lil’ Bits
  • 1/8 cup Gerber Vanilla Custard Pudding with Bananas
  • 1/8 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Directions:

Spoon vanilla Greek yogurt into a small bowl. Top with Gerber Vanilla Custard Pudding with Bananas. Finally, top with Gerber Orchard Fruit Medley with Lil’ Bits.

What tips do you have for teaching babies to chew food?

 Posted by at 9:32 pm
Sep 082016
 

When it comes to pasta, do you prefer meaty dishes or cheesy dishes? It’s such a hard decision, isn’t it? Well, now, you don’t have to decide between the two! I’ve come up with a hearty and delicious recipe that has both. This Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake is packed with pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage and ham to please meat lovers, and loaded with mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta to please cheese lovers.

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

Now, this dish is pretty much perfection with the wonderful combination of meats and cheeses, but the thing that makes it super special is the sauce. Ragu’s Homestyle pasta sauce is thick and hearty, and so flavorful! It hugs every noodle and packs a punch of flavor in every bite. There are several different varieties available, too, so you are sure to find just the right one to compliment your own pasta recipe. I chose to use the roasted garlic flavor for this recipe. It gives it such a great garlic kick, which I absolutely love. One more thing I love about this pasta sauce, is that it doesn’t have any artificial flavors, artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup! What more could you ask for?

Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Homestyle Ragu

You could really use any variety of short pasta for this dish, but I decided to use Rigatoni because my Gram always made a Rigatoni bake when I was a kid, and it was so delicious. Gosh, I miss her and her cooking so much. This dish really reminded me of her a lot, and brings back lots of great memories. She loved to cook and bake from scratch, but she often used Ragu sauces in her pasta dishes to save time. She knew good flavor when she tasted it!

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 jar Ragu Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic Homestyle Sauce
  • 8 oz. dry rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound ground Sweet Italian Sausage
  • ½ cup chopped pepperoni
  • ¾ cup chopped ham
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

Cook Rigatoni to al dente, according to instructions on box.

Meanwhile, brown Italian sausage in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil.

Add cooked pasta, pepperoni, ham, and all but 1 cup of sauce to skillet and stir to combine.

Transfer pasta mixture to a casserole dish.

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

In a separate bowl, combine egg, 1 cup mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Spread cheese mixture over pasta.

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

Pour remaining 1 cup sauce on top of cheese mixture.

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

Top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 15 minutes longer, until cheese is melted and brown around the edges.

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

Meaty, cheesy, and DELICIOUS!! I love everything about this Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake!

Meat & Cheese Lovers Rigatoni Bake

If you’re looking for more great recipe ideas using Ragu’s Homestyle pasta sauces, visit Ragu’s website. They have TONS of great ideas for you to choose from, like Quick Summer Gazpacho, Tuscan Style Sausage Sandwiches, Spaghetti Puttanesca and more!

 GIVEAWAY

Want to try Ragu’s Homestyle pasta sauce? One lucky reader will win a $25 Target gift card to purchase a jar of sauce, their favorite pasta and fixins!

This giveaway is open to US residents 18+ and ends at 11:59pm EST on September 29, 2016. Good luck!

To enter to win, simply visit Ragu’s website, then leave a comment below telling me which of their delicious recipes you would love to try!

 Posted by at 9:08 pm
Sep 052016
 

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Do your kids ever get attached to one piece of clothing and wear it over and over again? My daughter, Kayleigh, has just recently started showing interest in picking out her own outfits, and I’ve noticed there are a few things she likes to wear over and over again. I have to make sure to keep up with the laundry, because she gets upset if she can’t find her favorite items.

Now that summer’s almost over, it’s time to buy her some new clothes for the fall and winter months. I love that she is now at an age where she can voice her opinions on certain things, like what clothes she wants to wear. We had a free moment together a couple of weeks ago, so I visited the OshKosh B’gosh website to do a little clothes shopping. OshKosh B’gosh always has an awesome selection of kids fashion, and it’s the first place I check out when shopping for my kids.

I knew Kayleigh would mostly likely want to wear the same shirt over and over again, so I asked her to pick out her favorite one from the website. She was instantly drawn to this OshKosh Originals Graphic Tee, and I loved it too. This t-shirt has 3 beautiful and brightly colored flowers on it, which makes it really easy to pair with several other items, and that was one of my goals for this shop.

OshKosh

I wanted to maximize Kayleigh’s wardrobe by building a few different outfits around this one shirt. First, I found these adorable floral leggings.

OshKosh

Every girl needs a cute pair of leggings, right? They look so comfortable and go so great with the colors in the shirt. I just love them! She added a flower bow in her hair for an extra pop of color.

OshKosh

We also grabbed her this pretty button up sweater to keep her warm. I just love the pink trim on the sleeves and bottom of the sweater. It goes great with the leggings!

OshKosh

Next up, I really wanted to find a pair of pants that would match that gorgeous orange colored flower in the shirt. I found these drawstring jeggings, and I just knew they would work so well. They also look very comfortable, and will be great to wear on colder days. They are just so fun and vibrant!

OshKosh

Every girl also has to have a great pair of jeans, so of course, we snagged a pair of those too. I love that these ones have an adjustable waist band. Kayleigh is very petite and often times jeans will slide right off her, but I was able to adjust these to fit her perfectly. The stylish blue shoes are also from OshKosh and I love that they don’t have shoelaces. Kayleigh hasn’t yet learned how to tie her shoes, so these are super easy for her to put on and take off all by herself.

OshKosh

Finally, I bought her this hoodie, which will definitely be a staple in her wardrobe this fall and winter. She loves wearing hoodies, and this one will pair well with both the jeans and the leggings. The inside is really soft and it looks very warm and comfortable.

OshKosh

COUPON SAVINGS AT OSHKOSH B’GOSH 

Now through September 30, 2016, you can save 25% on your purchase of $30.00 or more with coupon code OKBG3136. Click here to locate an OshKosh B’gosh store near you.

OshKosh B'gosh Coupon

Enter below for a chance to win a $50 OshKosh B’gosh gift card! Open to US residents 18+ only. Ends 7:00pm EST on September 19, 2016.

Carter’s/OshKosh B’gosh partners with bloggers such as me to help promote their Fresh Spring Fashions. As part of the program, I received products or gift cards. OSHKOSH B’GOSH believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. OSHKOSH B’GOSH provided me with information on promotions and messaging concepts, but did not tell me what to purchase or what to write in my blog or what to say about the products I used.

 Posted by at 8:28 pm
Aug 312016
 

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. 

Have you ever wanted to try out the latest technology products in a homelike environment? Well, now you can! Best Buy has brought to life the latest in home technology at their Tech Home in the Mall of America! If you live near Minneapolis, Minnesota, or if you are planning a vacation soon, you’ll definitely want to check this out!

Best Buy Tech Home

There, you will have the opportunity to learn about the latest in CE and Connected Home by touring the Tech Home with an expert Blue Shirt or Geek Squad Agent. You’ll be able to experience products from Samsung, Canon, NETGEAR, Philips Hue, Sony, Sonos, and Savant. Doesn’t that sound like so much fun? I would love to check out all of the awesome home technology products they have available now, like Samsung SmartThings. With Samsung SmartThings, you can control and monitor from anywhere, using your smartphone. How cool is that?! Tech products really do make life so much easier!

Best Buy Tech Home

Best Buy carries the latest and greatest in connected home technology products. Their knowledgeable Blue Shirts can help you find the solution to fit all of your home technology needs. Their Geek Squad can also bring the experience to life for you by getting your tech connected and up and running. I love how easy they make it!

Best Buy Tech Home

If you are one of the first 250 to visit the Tech Home at the Mall of America each day from 8/22-9/17, you could win one of many prizes made with Qualcomm technologies, including Sonos Play:1 speakers, Samsung Gear S2, and more! Go ahead and check it out, and while you’re there, learn how you could win a $10,000 Best Buy Gift Card, a Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Collection, Samsung Dream Kitchen, and a Samsung 55” SUHD 4K TV and more!

Tech Home

My husband and I just recently bought a 40” 4K Ultra HD TV from Best Buy, and we could not be more thrilled with our purchase. The quality is absolutely amazing. I also love knowing that we have Geek Squad protection on it for 2 years, if we should have any problems with it. We go to Best Buy for all of our technology needs. I so wish we could make it to the Mall of America for their grand opening. I think we might have to plan a family vacation near there some time in the future!

 Posted by at 5:19 pm