Jellybean’s 2nd birthday is fast approaching, not to mention the holidays, and the brainstorming of gift ideas has officially begun.  When it comes to buying presents I often feel like I don’t have enough options OR I’m totally at a loss as to what to buy.  Trying to decide on the perfect second birthday gift has actually made me think a lot about the things Jellybean has really loved over the past year.  Some of them we bought for her, others were gifts and a few we just enjoyed using at a friend’s house.

So if you, like me, sometimes draw a blank here are some of my favorite gift for a toddle who’s 1 to 2 years old …

Christmas, Hanukkah and birthday gift ideas for a toddler.  Perfect for 1-2 year olds  |  Life's Tidbits

  1. Corn Popper // I will admit this toy can be a tad bit annoying.  The constant popping noise might be annoying to us ‘adults’, however the kiddos love it!
  2. Magnetic Drawing Board // Perfect for a toddler who loves to color or one who’s just starting to build those motor skills.  Jellybean found this gift particularly entertaining when we were on vacation and on those morning’s when I’m running late and she has to sit in the bathroom while I shower.
  3. Radio Flyer Scoot-About Bike // I wish we had known about this bike earlier.  It’s great for scooting around the apartment and outside the little toddler bike posse is pretty darn adorable.
  4. Little People // Perfect for learning to play pretend or you know just chuck the different farm animals around.  Haha.  Oh the life of a toddler!
  5. Take-Along Shape Sorter // Great learning toy for colors, shapes and fine motor skills.  Also the perfect size to fit in the diaper or carry-on bag when traveling.
  6. My First Chair // This is probably in the top 5 favorite things Jellybean loves, and I’m a huge fan as well.  She loves to sit in her chair for snacks, tv, playing with a toy and often sets up all her ‘babies’ for tea or story time.
  7. MegaBlocks // Great for building, stacking, counting and identifying colors.
  8. Laugh & Learn Tea Set // Love the songs on the tea pot and it’s pretty adorable when Jellybean asks if I would like some “mor’ tea”.
  9. Chat & Count Cell Phone // This toy is great when you are on the go.  It fits in a purse or pocket.  It’s my go to toy for trips to the store, doctors and trips, especially, on the airplane!
  10. Jumbo Triangular Crayons // My daughter is not gentle with her toys and these crayons have held up really well over the months.  While Jellybean didn’t love coloring at 12 months, by the time she was 18 months it was one of her favorite post-nap activities.

So there you have it, our favorite gift ideas for a 1-2 year old.  And, seriously with all the toy choices out there toddlerhood is pretty darn fun on a birthday or holiday!

What are you favorite gifts for toddlers?


Run Jump Scrap!


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?!



I love themed parties.  LOVE THEM! So when it came to planning Jellybean’s first birthday party I immediately took to Pinterest to brainstorm ideas for themes.  It didn’t take long before I settled on a Winter ONEderland theme.  I pinned FAR TOO MANY details in hopes of being able to pulling them all off for the party.  Then planning came to a complete stop.  Work, life, motherhood and {some much needed} evening relaxation trumped party planning.

I had my heart set on sending out paper invites instead of doing an Evite for Jellybean’s first birthday.  I managed to motivate, design and print (using Vistaprint) the invitation just in time to get them out a few weeks before the party.  When the husband and I sat down to discuss decorations, food and other details he had one rule for me.  I had to LIMIT how much I took on for the party.  This meant doing things such as buying vegetables precut and not embarking on tons of DIY projects.  The hubby knows me well and putting a few restrictions in place helped me not go overboard.

Despite the party planning procrastination I am incredibly pleased with how the Jellybean’s first birthday party turned out.  Not to mention … how special and love we felt to have so many friends and family there to celebrate our little snow baby’s 1st birthday!

Jellybean in her Winter Onederland Birthday Girl Outfit … and yes I love playing ‘stylist’ for my sweet daughter.  She’s already got that stoic model face down :)

1st Birthday Winter Onederland Snow Baby Outfit - Pink/Sparkle tutu and flower headband | Life's Tidbits

Snowflake Onsie and Pants (Carter’s)  |  Tutu and Headband (Etsy)

And now for all the party details!!!

Pink stripped snowflake straws / Baby it's cold outside | Life's Tidbits

Winter Onederland Food Table and Snowflakes | Life's Tidbits

Winter Onederland Food Table | Life's Tidbits

Let it Snow Winter Onederland Party Decoration | Life's Tidbits

DIY Strawberry Tower | Life's Tidbits
The strawberry tower was so easy to make though a bit time consuming.  All you need are a bunch of strawberries, toothpicks and a styrofoam cone.  It was easiest to put the toothpick into the cone at an angle and then put the strawberry on … go slowly I definitely pricked myself a couple of times with the toothpicks.

DIY Chalkboard 1st Birthday Sign | Life's Tidbits

Winter ONEderland pink snowflake cupcakes | Life's Tidbits

Thank You Snow Much DIY Sign, Snowflake Stamps and DIY Sugar Cookies | Life's Tidbits

Snowflake Sugar Cookies | Life's Tidbits

Water Bar:  Snowflake Paper Straws  |  Baby It’s Cold Outside FREE Printable  |  Picture Frame  |  Glass Drink Dispenser
Decorations: Let it Snow Doorway Curtain | Plastic Clear Snowflakes Table Cover | Snowflake Cutouts
Cupcakes: Editable Snowflakes
Chalkboard Poster:  DIY using PhotoShop and printed at Staples … DIY instructions can be found here
Thank You Table:  Snowflake Treat Bags |  Thank You Snow Much Sign (DIY)  |  Snowflake Stampers | Snowflake Cookie Cutters

What was the theme of the most recent party you threw?



My friend Kia threw her son a first birthday party a few weeks back.  The party was decked out with all sorts of details and DIY projects.  As co-owner of Baker’s Bliss she also made all her own cupcakes for the party!  Party details as told by Kia…

For my son’s 1st Birthday I wanted to do something different and something fun.  Hopefully, along the lines of cost effective as well.  I looked through a variety of themes of things to do and most of them felt too kiddy.  As every parent knows the first birthday party is more for the adults than the kids and so I wanted a fun theme that all ages could enjoy.   I searched the internet high and low and ultimately fell in love with the posts I had seen from different moms who had decided on the “one year in a flash” theme.

I didn’t have a lot of time to put the party together being a full time mom of 2 plus my full time job left me with not that much time to put the grandiose party on that I wanted too.  However, my bestie and business partner Rebecca was in town to save the day.   And so began the party planning….

First, I made a list of what I wanted to do.  It was hard to come up with this list because I really wanted to do all the ideas I had seen on the internet.  They ranged from photo booths and custom chalkboards to custom banners and cupcake stands.  All of which I thought was ridiculously creative and cute, but I had to be realistic.  I really had about 3 days and unlike most of the other party planners I had intended on making my own cupcakes because that’s just what I do!  So these are the things I decided I was going to do for the party.


  • Custom Banner (What better way to say you are 1 then a year of pictures to remind you)
  • Custom Cupcake Toppers
  • High Chair Banner
  • Balloon Display
  • Photo Booth
  • Custom Thank you Cards
  • Custom Water Bottles


  • Dessert Table complete with custom chocolate covered Oreos in the theme colors and “camera” sugar cookies.
  • Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
  • Vanilla Bean cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream
  • Pigs in a blanket for the kids
  • Veggie Tray
  • Fried Chicken
  • Queso Dip
  • Chips

This all seemed pretty overwhelming so I ended up ditching the Photo Booth.  I simply just didn’t have the time or the energy given the list of other things that had to get accomplished.

For the Banner, Thank You Cards and Cake Toppers I needed photos!  It was already Wednesday and the party was Saturday so I had to come up with the photo digging through all my digital memorabilia over the last year and get them printed and ready really by Thursday.  CVS photo online to the rescue!  I uploaded the pictures and picked them up at the CVS down the street from me the next morning and it was only .19 cents a picture!   This really came out very cost effective since in addition to the 12 pictures I needed 24 cupcake toppers and 20 thank you cards.

Here’s how the banner came out:

Here are the Thank You Cards:

And the Cupcake Toppers:

Here’s how the dessert table turned out:

You can see my nice balloon display courtesy of Party City.

Admittedly, most of the food items I purchased them from the local super market.  The Fried Chicken was purchased the hubby and then he made the veggie tray and queso dip.  I made the pigs in a blanket and here is what the food table looked like.  The table display was done by my friend Monique!

The chocolate covered Oreos were a big hit and proudly displayed on the right and the custom water bottles on the left.  After all the work it all turned out great.  We all had an amazing time.  I hope you enjoy the pictures and the ideas.  It was a great party!

Check out the Baker’s Bliss website or like them on Facebook.  Thank you Kia for stopping by and sharing your party tidbits with us!!

Happy Party Planning!

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