Jellybean is a toddler, but she will always be my baby!!  So we have moved on from the baby must have to toddler favorites!  I think JB is taking a more active role in selecting her essentials and her little personality is really starting to shine through.

She has an opinion on what she will wear each day.  I’ve got it down to a science {on those days where she’s acting ‘typical’} … I pick out 2 outfits and say ‘this one or that one’.  She usually points aggressively at one and boom that’s the OOTD.  But seriously, that girl has style.  If I select an outfit she doesn’t like I get a very stern looks followed by “No, No, No, Mommy!”.  And yes, those no’s are capitalized on purpose. :)

Over the past few months here’s what Jellybean has been loving the most …

Toddler Favorites Months 13 to 18  |  Life's Tidbits

Contigo Water Bottle // This water bottle was recommended by a friend and is actually the same brand as our coffee mugs so I was excited for Jellybean to give them a try.  It took her a little bit of time to get the whole straw thing down, but these quickly became a staple in our house.

Baby Buddy Natural Bath Sponge // Amazing product and I’m bummed we didn’t find it when Jellybean was just an infant.  Bath time sponge equals a decrease in the amount of laundry {no more… or at least less wash clothes}.

Lovey // My mother always joked she was going to get Jellybean a whole bunch of tags for her 1st birthday, because JB was always eating the tags of her toys.  Apparently this is a typical baby thing (wink, wink) and when my mom found the tag lovey she just had to buy it.  Jellybean took a quick liking to the lovey and now sleeps with it every night!

Munchkin Bath Letters & Numbers // These are so much fun! They stick to the tub and walls very easily.  While Jellybean isn’t totally ready for learning all the letters we do

10 Little Monkey (Poke-a-Dot!) Book // My mom found this book and oh my goodness does Jellybean like it.  So much so, the book is starting to fall apart from all the use it gets.  I like that it teaches number and is interactive in a way that helps kids with their motor skills.

Ikea Dinnerware Set // Don’t really think an explanation is needed here.  Affordable and practical. Done & done.

Circo Folding Stroller and Jenna Doll  //  I think this is probably in the top 5 toys played with everyday in our house.  Jellybean loves hugging her doll and then placing (read shoving) it into the stroller.  They then zip up and down the hallways … there is no walking Jellybean insists on RUNNING everywhere. :)

Mega Blocks // Jellybean has found all sorts of uses for the blocks that go beyond stacking and building castles.  She hurls shares them at the dog and tries to balance them on her head.  Typically these little gems will keep her busy for a while.

My 1st Anywhere Chair // This is definitely one of my favorite things we have for Jellybean.  My in-laws asked what we would like for her 1st birthday and this was my pick.  She curls up and ‘reads’ a book, has a snack (much to my wishing she wouldn’t eat on her chair) or just hangs out on it with her toys.  She uses it  So even though the price point is kind of high, I think it’s totally worth it!

In case you missed it, check out the the baby essential series for newborns, 3-5 months6-8 months and 9-12 months.

Does your toddler love any of these items?  Any recommendations for a 19-24 month old?



Whether it is the first, second or third (maybe fourth?!) addition to your family, a pregnant woman is never lacking in things she must do to prepare for that little bundle of joy.  There’s all the doctor’s appointments, eating right, drinking enough water, registering, buying endless # of baby clothes and gear, remembering to order the nursery furniture far enough in advance so it arrives before the baby, and I’m fairly certain the list goes on and on and well, on.

It’s funny when looking back on experiences I see things through a totally different set of lenses than I did while actually living it.  For example, that crib I paid to have expedited, because I couldn’t decided until 8 weeks out what I wanted.  I admit I was a rookie and 1st time mom-to-be.  Well, baby girl didn’t sleep in said crib until she was 10 weeks old.  Didn’t REALLY need that ahead of time hehehe.  Hindsight is 20/20, right?

5 Things I Should Have Done Before Baby Arrived | Life's Tidbits

5 things I wish I had done before baby arrived:

  1. Freezer Meals – This was something I read on almost every blog.  Make LOTS of freezer meals.  I did manage to get some stuff into the freezer, which was a total lifesaver … however there just wasn’t enough meals to sustain us for very long.  We were fortunate that friends and family brought/cooked us meals, but if we choose to have a second kid I will learn from our experience with Jellybean and pack the freezer with ready-to-go meals!!
  2. Hired a Newborn Photographer – This was an EPIC fail on my part.  I started fairly early on researching newborn photographers.  I reached out to a handful of them and then never pulled the trigger.  Recovering from the labor & delivery coupled with the exhaustion of a newborn scheduling photos was low on my to do list and I just never got around to it.  Once I was out of the haze of becoming a mother it was past that ‘sleepy newborn’ stage which is ideal for newborn photos.  If I had hired someone ahead of time I know I would have followed through.  Not doing professional newborn photos is a big regret of mine, but I have so many pictures of Jellybean when she was a newborn I have no choice by to give myself a pass on this one. :)
  3. Postpartum Wardrobe – I wrote a whole post about postpartum essentials for mama.  I bought so many things, but didn’t make any real preparations for my postpartum a priority.  Nursing bras, tank tops, loose clothing and ‘in-between’ items could have been purchased prior to Jellybean’s arrival and would have made me a whole lot more comfortable.  I am SO lucky to have family who ran back and forth from the store to get me everything I needed.
  4. Take More Maternity Photos –  I’m will admit I didn’t find pregnant Nicole to be the most attractive version of myself.  At about 5-6 months I felt like the belly was cute, but once month 7 rolled around I just felt huge.  And to be totally honest, people had no problem telling me how BIG I was, which made me a bit more self conscious.  I took a few photos of the belly for the blog, but I shy-ed away from being in photos and taking them of myself.  I wish I had a few more picture (especially of the hubby and me), because … heck … I was growing a little human inside me!!!
  5. Date Nights – The hubby and I should have done a few more dinners out, maybe caught an extra movie or two and definitely taken an extra vacation before the baby arrived.  After my daughter was a newborn I found it hard to be away from her, even if it was just a few hours (if I’m being honest it’s still hard and she’s 18 months old!!!).  Also, finding someone I trusted to watch her was extremely difficult.

So there are my lessons learned on things I wish I had done prior to baby’s arrival!!  I hope they help you as you are preparing for baby!

What did I miss?



First Birthday Cake Smash |  Life's Tidbits

First birthday cake smash photos are just the cutest!  Little hands and smiles covered in frosting just melts my heart.   As Jellybean’s birthday approached I got increasingly excited at the idea of her cake smash.  On her birthday my parents entertained Jellybean while I got to baking.  I made the vanilla cake and pink buttercream frosting {from scratch} and anxiously awaited the hubby getting home from work so we could sing to the birthday girl and then watch Jellybean get her cake smash on.

1st Birthday DIY Cake Smash Cake  |  Life's Tidbits

I envisioned how cute Jellybean would look covered in pink frosting.  I hoped I would snap a really cute photo that could be used on her birthday ‘thank you’ cards.  The camera was set out on the table, charged and ready to go!

We took some ‘practice’ shots of Jellybean with her princess birthday hat on while she ate her dinner.


The hubby, my parents and my husband’s parent (via Skype) sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and Jellybean just looked at us with that little furrow brow she has when she’s unsure of what’s happening.  With the cake in front of her I stepped back to snap what one would only assume would be an adorable face and then …

We realized she didn’t like the cake.  No, it wasn’t that she didn’t like the cake, but instead she was afraid … Yup, completely terrified of the cake!  We all started pontificating what might be the matter.  She was tired, wasn’t hungry, and so on.  And while we discussed her face said it all, “someone to make that cake disappear … STAT!


Completely baffled, we took the cake away, put her on the floor with the cake and then my baby girl cried.  It’s my cake and I’ll cry if I want to!  It was hard not to laugh at how much she most certainly did NOT like the cake.  For a child who has never shown any signs of fear, is was a strange sight!!!  All I can think when I see this picture is ‘no one puts baby {and a cake} in the corner”. Tee hee hee =)


We tried again a few days later at her winter ONEderland birthday party and met with similar results.  A little scrunched up face, followed by some crying and no cake smash.

Cake Smash Fail First Birthday Party | Life's Tidbits

Despite there being no cake smash for Jellybean’s 1st birthday; we did get one hilarious story to tell over and over again.  I’m sure we will embarrass her at some point when we whip out these photos in front of her friends, or better yet a future boyfriend hahahaha {pending Daddy’s approval for her to date, of course}.

Anyone else’s baby not like cake?!



St. Patty’s Day is just around the corner! It’s so much fun shopping for holiday themed outfits.  For Valentine’s day, Jellybean and I wore similar outfits.  A fellow mom on the plane {we went on a family vacation to Mexico … much needed vaca!} comment on how cute we looked.  It totally made my day!!  The husband just shook his head, almost to say to the woman ‘please don’t encourage my wife’.  Hahaha.  And while I won’t be dressing up for St. Patrick’s Day … since I will be at work … I still want Jellybean dressed to impress!!  While I was focused on the girl clothes, I couldn’t help but poke around and check out all the cute boy St. Patty’s Day fashion out there.

Here are some of my favorite finds …

Headband / Little Sham Rocker / Green Polo  /  Long Sleeve Shamrock Bodysuit  /  Shamrock Glasses / Snoopy #Lucky  /  White Shamrock T-Shirt / Sparkle Shoes / Mickey T-Shirt /  Bow Tie My First St. Patrick’s Day

Unfortunately I won’t be purchasing those adorable sunglasses as I know Jellybean won’t leave them on for even enough time for me to snap a good photo … there’s always next year!

What St. Patty’s Day clothing is your favorite?  Any good fashion finds you care to share?

Happy {Fashionista} Friday!!


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It’s so cliche, but time really just flies by!  Jellybean is over a year old … and random question, but at what point do we stop saying our kid is X number of months old and just say how many year?!  I remember making a conscious decision to stop telling people how many weeks old she was and just say the month.  In part it was easier for me, but mainly because I felt bad making people do the math! Any-who…

Somehow over the last few months we’ve managed to identify even more baby gear essentials/favorites.  Seriously this little person’s stuff, who doesn’t even weight 20 lbs might I add, has somehow managed to literally take over our condo!!  We’ve even had to clear out the DVDs in the living room tv stand to make room for all of her books.  Honestly though, not complaining AT ALL that she’s already a little book worm!

If you are new to the baby essential series definitely check out our favorites for newborns, 3-5 months and 6-8 months.

Favorite Baby Gear Months 9 to 12 | Life's Tidbits

Nuk Sippy Cup // Doesn’t leak, which is hugely important.  Like many parents it took a few sippy cups to find the one Jellybean liked.

Stride Rite Shoes // These were gifted to us from Jellybean’s nanny share friend.  They are fabulous!  Easy to get on and have actual soles.  I found a lot of baby shoes don’t have real (rubber) soles on the shoes.  Jellybean wore through her first pair of shoes in just a couple of weeks.  These shoes have held up well considering the little lady is putting them to VERY good use.

Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker  // Jellybean always wants to be on the move.  Before she could walk on her own she tore around the house like a little bat out of hell on this thing!!  The toy attached to the walker is also a huge hit and great sensory toy.

Britax Marathon Car Seat // We made the transition out of the infant carseat to the ‘big girl’ carseat on the early side.  This was two fold … 1) I wanted a new stroller and the only way to financially justify it was to sell the old one with all the extras 2) Jellybean is tall for her age and I felt like her legs were just too long for the infant seat.  This car seat got rave reviews online and from friends.  It was an easy choice for us!

Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book // Jellybean loves ALL books, but peak-a-boo and flap books (think interactive) are just about the best thing in her world.  She points to where ever the book is and say ‘more, more, more’ until you fetch the book, sit down and read it to her … endlessly!  LOL

Baby Banana Bendable Training Toothbrush // Great for making good habits AND she had 8 teeth prior to her first birthday!  A little dental cleaning was and is in order.

NoseFrida // Jellybean came down with her first cold … queue theme song from Jaws {or whatever else sounds scary}.  While it’s bound to happen at some point during the little ones 1st year there isn’t a parent out there that wouldn’t do just about ANYTHING to relieve their pumpkin’s symptoms.  The NoseFrida is amazing at providing sed relief.  That is assuming you can actually use it on your kiddo.  If your child is anything like mine it takes two parents to ‘administer’ the NoseFrida, however it was well worth the struggle.

Favorite baby gear for months 9 to 12?  Any recommendations for 12 to 24 months (or should I say 1 to 2 years??)?

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