How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

Magical Mama Blog How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Ahhh the lovely age of online shopping!  Raise your hand if it’s saved your life on more than one occasion!  (Every single person raises their hand)

When I was pregnant and on maternity leave, I was one of the laziest people on the planet.  It went from running out for a few things a couple times a week to hitting the grocery store twice a month and relying on Amazon Prime to get me anything I needed within 2 days delivered to my door.

THEN I found out about EBATES…shopping on Amazon and other popular stores online that I already do… then getting cash back…literal cash back in the form of a check or PayPal!

No fees, forms, catches, or signing up for e-mail subscriptions…just cash!

Now, I am one to try to get everything from Amazon for the ease of timing and shipping…but when I began to see the percent of cash back (Up to 10% cash back or more!!) I could get by going direct to these companies online…I was sold!
Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

How does it work?

Simply sign into EBATES,

Go through to the category you’d like to shop for,

You can refine the stores you’re looking for or specific products you’d like to locate,

Click on the store name to see coupons and promotions

Click Shop Now and EBATES will assign you a shopping trip number and will redirect to the online store

Buy what you want

The cash back will be added to your EBATES account the next day!

Is it only online?

NO!  You can check the categories under “In Store Cash Back”

Find “Hot Deals” along the top menu for deals on free shipping, gift cards, BOGO and more!

Do you ever purchase and not end up getting cash back?

That is possible.

Each company sets restrictions on what will qualify to get cash back.

For example, when you go “Shop Now” for Amazon, it will tell you the qualifying departments that can get you cash back.

The best way to avoid not getting your cash back is to click on the store, go through the coupons to be directed to exactly what will get you that cash back plus other savings from the coupons, THEN click on Shop Now.

Is it just for unknown stores I would never shop at?

Below are just a FEW of the thousands of online stores that give you cash back through EBATES!

(Because I am a mommy blogger, these are all specifically from “Babies, Kids & Toys”… and this isn’t even half of the selections from this category!  You can get cash back from basically ANY store online!)

Note: Cash Back percentages based on February 2018

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back


Amazon

Yes, you heard it!  You can get CASH BACK from your go to online shopping spot!  I am literally on Amazon every day…yes, every day… no judgement here!  Up to 3% cash back for the qualifying purchases made on your shopping trip.

Aden & Anais

Those gorgeous baby blankets, burp cloths, swaddlers, bibs, and more can earn you 3% cash back!

Babies R Us

Snag 1% cash back while you shop for your baby essentials!

Buy Buy Baby

2% cash back on all of the luxurious baby accessories at Buy Buy Baby.  This could save you big on some registry gifts for the expectant mom on your list!

Burlington

Get coats for the entire family and grab 2.5% cash back!

Carter’s

This is my go to shop for my baby’s wardrobe.  Now, I can get some cash back on those precious little outfits that my baby will outgrow overnight…and I can use that 2.5% cash back to buy her more clothes she’ll grow out of.

Crayola

Need to stock up on arts & crafts supplies?  School supplies?  Take a whopping 5% cash back from Crayola!

Discount School Supply

2% cash back on all of the Elmers glue you need to make enough slime for the whole class!  Cash back for the insanely specific list of things you were given for the next school year?  YES!

Etsy

YES!  You can get 1% cash back for all of those one of a kind pieces you find on Etsy!

Fisher Price

2.5% cash back on all those toys and those huge play sets!

Graco

One of the baby meccas!  Strollers, car seats, high chairs, play yards, swings?  All of your baby needs could earn you 2% cash back.

HalloweenCostumes.com

A whopping 6% cash back for the Halloween costumes that will probably be worn once!

The Honest Company

4% Cash back on diapers, wipes, baby washes & more at the Honest Company!

JC Penny

3% cash back and they always have great coupons.  They have Carters and other baby brands that are usually on clearance PLUS cash back!

Keds

Keds for the whole family plus 4% cash back!

Kids Foot Locker

3% Cash back on all of those shoes that they are constantly outgrowing!

Kohls

Kohls always has a ton of coupons plus 3% cash back.

Lego

2.5% cash back on those evil foot-breaking toys that invade the hearts of children!

Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug are taking over the toy market.  Their gorgeous and simple educational toys and wooden puzzles are a pleasure to have in your home…especially when it earns you 4% cash back!

Nuk

2% back on all of the bottles, pacifiers and teethers you can get your hands on!

Oriental Trading Company

This is my go to for party supplies.  Grab the little goodies for the while class for the next holiday celebration.  It some times takes a few weeks to arrive, but shipping has only gotten faster over the years.  Grab 2% cash back on top of the already amazingly priced goodies.

Osh Kosh B’Gosh

2.5% cash back for all the little overalls you can get that sweet baby!

Skip Hop

Skip Hop has some precious baby gear…half of my Amazon baby registry was stocked with Skip Hop diaper bags, bath tub accessories, and toys…2% cash back on all of it!

Things Remembered

6.5% cash back!!  If you’re wanting to get something personalized for your spouse or a grandparent, get a good quality product and a whopping amount of cash back!

Vista Print

3% cash back for those baby announcements, Christmas cards, and personalized photo gifts?  Yes, please!

Walgreens

Up to 7% cash back plus a ton of coupons!  Get all of your health essentials for your family plus a TON of cash back.

Walmart

Up to 10% cash back…yes, you read that right 10%…AND it’s almost every single department!  I am not a fan of going to Walmart…but for this kind of cash back…Hello Walmart online!

Zulily

5% cash back! When I was pregnant, I was on Zulily every single day for Maternity wear and cute, one of a kind baby outfits.  If I had been getting 5% cash back, I would have been on there 3 times a day!


Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Refer & Earn

Oh yes!  You don’t have to spend a cent to earn!

When you sign up for EBATES, you’ll get your own code to refer friends.

If you refer someone with your links, they sign up, and spend at least $25…

you get $15 cash back and they get $10 cash back!

Free money for everyone!!

Be sure to get your friends signed up and shopping quick!  You usually have about a 3 month window for your referral period!

If you sign up through my link below, you’ll get your $10 cash as soon as you spend your first $25 on a qualifying purchase. Score!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Once you get your $10, send your referral link to friends and get them cash back while you collect some as well!

Get this app on your phone, put it on your internet browser on your computer, bookmark it…Start visiting sites through EBATES.

Look through every category!  Everything you need could be earning you money with no work involved!

Save up money for vacations, get gas money for the kids, start a savings account, start a college fund.  It may only be a few dollars at a time, but with the amount of online shopping that is possible, it can ADD UP!

Get yourself over to EBATES and sign up for free and start earning today!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Magical Mama Blog How I Earn Money From EBATES Every Day

Magical mamablog how this mom earns money on ebates every day

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How To: Make Baby Hairspray

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

How To: Make Baby Hair Spray

It is inevitable.  Your baby’s hair will suddenly spring up like weeds and overnight, they will go from a balding Benjamin Franklin…

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

…to a troll doll….

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

You want to tame the static, fly aways, and emo hair chunk in their eyes…but alas, your straightener and your hair products aren’t exactly designed for pure little baby hair.

Then you sit there after bath time brushing those teeny tiny tresses trying to decide if you want to…

go through the dreaded first hair cut,

chase them around and wrap their precious hair into microscopic plastic rubber bands,

attempt headbands, bows or barrettes that will definitely end up coming off of their heads in two seconds,

or you can let them go around looking like a little ragamuffin.

 

Fear not!  There is a way to tame their wild hair without any harsh chemicals or products!

I present to you:  BABY HAIRSPRAY!

 

This magical concoction will keep baby’s hair mostly in place throughout the day and easily washes out in the bath with no residue, skin irritants, or hair damage!

And you probably have tons of the two ingredients in your kitchen right now!

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup water

1 tsp granulated sugar

Spray bottle

 

…You read that right…sugar water…

Believe it or not, this is not a new fad.  Sugar water to tame baby’s hair has been around for generations!   Go ask grandma if she did it or knows someone who did!

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray Hairspray Toddler Tame Control Products

Make that baby spray!

Boil the 1/2 cup of water.

(or put 1/2 cup of water into a glass measuring cup and microwave until you see it bubbling…I used this method because I’d much rather wash a measuring cup than a pan)

Add in your 1 tsp of sugar and stir until it dissolves into the water.

If it is freshly boiling, the sugar puts on a small fizzley show for you and disappears almost instantaneously.

Pour your sugar water into your spray bottle.

(I grabbed this little spray bottle that fits the whole recipe perfectly in the Target travel/mini section within the beauty department)

Spray away.

Does it work?

This stuff is fabulously gentle and keeps hair out of baby’s eyes and pretty in place.

Before:

Magical mama blog how to make baby hairspray messy hair sugar water spray bottle

After:

Magical Mama Blog How to Make Baby Hair Spray Hairspray Baby Toddler Tame

Obviously, if your child has their hands in it all day, it won’t hold well.  But out of sight, out of mind.  If their hair isn’t tickling their forehead and ears and is out of their eyes, they may be able to focus on other things.

As your little one gets older, you can add more sugar for a stronger hold.

I have had no experience with the spray going “bad” from age.

The great thing about this spray is that it is so gentle, it won’t irritate their little heads or damage their hair.

Enjoy exploring all the new hair styles you can create!

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

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24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need To Know

magical mama blog 24 diaper changing hacks all parents need to know tricks tips life saving life changing diaper changes


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

By the time your child reaches a year old, you’ll be an expert.  You will have changed approximately 2,500 to 3,000 diapers (according to experts and many experienced mamas out there).

There will be horror movie scenes that you will live through.  You will get poop on you.  You will get peed on.  There’s really no escaping any of it… but if I can give a few helpful tips to keep in the back of your mind along the journey, that can’t hurt!

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Have the next size up on lay away

Your baby can literally change sizes over night.  Even if your baby is a few pounds away from stepping up to the next size, have at least a small package around…you’re going to need them eventually anyway.

You will reach a time when you will have constant blow outs…either up the back or out the legs.

Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing blowouts up the back, you can go up a size, and it will come out of their legs…the only option you have at this point is to try switching brands for a different shape or waiting it out and having lots of extra outfits ready.

(This applies mostly to Preemie, Newborn, Size 1 and Size 2… once you get into size 3, you’re usually good for about a 10 pound window of their life)

  • Size up at night

If you’re getting up every morning and…

  • your little one’s pajamas or bed are wet
  • the diaper’s wet indicator has reached some kind of magical color you haven’t seen before
  • your baby’s diaper is huge and weighs a ton

…it is time to size UP at night.

If your little one is sleeping for longer periods of time (or even through the night…woohoo!), they’ll be missing out on several diaper changes.  They’ll need more storage to get the moisture off of their skin so they don’t get diaper rash.

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Know the secret of the envelope sleeves!

Most onesies come with magical double folded fabric on each shoulder that can be opened up and rolled down.

If your baby has a blow out up their entire back, you don’t want to try to maneuver all of that mess over baby’s head.

Fold the top piece of fabric back, the bottom piece of fabric forward, pull their arms out, and pull down.

Cheers to all the Dads I just saved from the first blowout mess!

  • Use the onesie to your advantage

If you have a particularly handsy baby, unsnap the buttons at the bottom and roll the onesie up and encase their arms into a little onesie straight jacket.  Voila!

  • Newborns won’t cry when they’re wet

Newborns have been hanging out in liquid for a few months.  A wet diaper doesn’t bother them too much.  Newborns are known to have about 10 wet diapers per day.

Checking them every hour or two is a good habit to get into as it can keep their sensitive little bums from diaper rash.

  • Babies need naked time

Nothing is better for preventing and treating diaper rash than a little naked time.  All of that moisture constantly trapped in there with friction is just asking for a rash!

Check out my blog on 7 causes of diaper rash and 11 cures!

  • Diaper under diaper

Especially in the first few months, little ones will feel a cool breeze and things can spew out of both ends with serious projectile force.

Your safest bet is to:

  • Open up a new diaper & place it under baby’s current diaper
  • Carefully open up the diaper that is on them
  • Clean up and prepare to use it as a shield just in case
  • Remove the dirty diaper
  • Place baby’s bum safely on the new clean diaper waiting beneath

This will save you countless changes of clothing and changing pad covers.

  • Ruffles out

Those extra little ruffles of fabric that surround baby’s legs?  They tend to naturally fold in because that is how they are packaged to be compact.

PULL THEM OUT!  They are meant to be on the outside so that the elastic can be as close to the baby’s legs as possible to prevent blow outs!

  • Extra wipes for boys

Boys tend to put on water work shows during changes.  Instead of investing money in a useless “pee pee tee pee”, throw a wipe over his business and you’re safe.

Some people put clean diapers on top…and that’ll just waste a ton of diapers in no time. Unhook his dirty diaper, throw a wipe on top, give him a few seconds, then continue on changing.

  • Keep bags in your bag

Diaper bag necessity: a handful of sandwich bags.  It’s always when you’re at your baby-less friend’s fancy house when your baby decides to make the nastiest mess in their britches.  You’ll want to be able to seal that up as to not frighten those around you with stench.

It’s also handy if your little one has a blow out when you’re on the go.  You can get them into their fresh change of clothes and contain the mess until you can get home and soak those clothes.

  • Have a car stash

Make a stash with a few of baby’s current size diapers and a few of the next size up, an outfit in the next size up, wipes, and cream. I suggest having things up a size so you don’t go to use your kit in an emergency and have everything be unusable.

I suggest getting a sealed box if possible (a plastic tub with locking lid).  Cars over heat and freeze and you don’t want your wipes and cream to dry out on you!

  • Have a mobile stash

Props to you if you’re willing to take baby to the changing station in their room 10 times per day…but for most of us, it’s just not realistic.. especially for those with multi-level homes!

Have a basket or bin in a few different rooms with at least diapers and wipes. It will save your sanity and your energy.

  • No need to waste a diaper

You’ll find out that you have some kind of hidden Superman strength after a few hundred diapers have been changed.  You’ll rip off an entire tab and render a diaper “useless”…fear not!  It doesn’t have to be this way!

Place a second diaper underneath baby.  Wrap it around the ripped diaper and secure.  When it comes time for the next change, simply clean baby and remove the inner diaper and you have a clean diaper with tabs still intact already in place!

  • Don’t waste money on a warmer

Diaper warmers…while it sounds so nice to not have anything to shock baby’s sweet bum, it’s unrealistic.

If you’re on the go, there will be no warmer, and baby will have to go through it just like everyone else has.

You can easily hold a wipe in your hand for 10 or 15 seconds and get the chill out of it.

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Get set up before you start

This may sound like common sense, but go ahead and double check your stash before you get started.  When you’re nesting, I’m sure there were hundreds of diapers and wipes at the ready…but move down the line a year later, you won’t be so on top of it 100% of the time.

Make sure you have enough supplies and that it is within easy reach…at one of these diaper changes, baby will roll over, crawl away, stand up, and eventually run away…you’ll want to have at least one hand to keep them there.

  • Check your changing area

Babies are curious by nature.  Check that wires, heavy objects, boxes, bins, displays, etc. are all far out of arm’s reach.

Those arms grow quickly and they’ll be able to squirm into trouble before you know it.

  • Prepare to wrestle

Once your baby is rolling over, they’re going to be in explore mode.  The stationary diaper changes are mostly of the past.  There is no great way to stop them.  Just prepare for it.

  • Let your toddler help

Your baby will start doing a lot of monkey-see monkey-do.  My child adores getting her hands all up in the diaper changing business trying to figure out what I’m doing down there.

If baby is wanting to see and do…give them a wipe (after you’re done actually wiping) and let them get some practice in…go ahead and see if this helps the potty training stage!

  • Get a changing station buddy

Get a toy or two that are specifically for diaper changes.  Something preferably plastic that can be wiped and sanitized if it gets messy…which it likely will.

We give our little one an old remote with no batteries in it.  She is fascinated with the remotes in the living room and she is not allowed to play with those.

This becomes a treat and then she is distracted for a few moments while we get the changing done.

  • Get the sticky off without wasting wipes

When you are in the hospital after baby is born, the nurses may advise you to add some warm water to the wipes to help scrape the mess from that sweet little bum.  Though it works, I am hardly ever changing the baby and able to run over to the sink and wait for warm water.

Have some baby oil on hand.  You can even put it in a spray bottle mixed with a bit of water.  The stickiest of meconium doesn’t stand a chance against it!

  • Make a dirty football

Master rolling a dirty diaper from the front to the back with one hand.  Re-secure the tabs on your newly formed dirty-diaper-football.

This prevents baby from getting hands and feet in the mess as well as it accidentally slipping onto the carpet or falling out of the diaper genie.  Save yourself.

  • Let toddlers be on the go

If it’s just a wet diaper, try your skills at a standing diaper change.

Some days, you’ll go the extra distance to avoid a screaming, wrestling diaper change.

  • Get a Baby Bum Brush

This gem!  I don’t know how people went so long without inventing this beauty!  You can check it out on my blog about 15 Amazon Products all First Time Parents Need

Diaper cream needs to be spread liberally to work properly and when you’re doing it by hand, it ends up more on your hands than on your baby’s bum.

The bum brush applies even and thick, wipes clean, and keeps your hands as clean as possible!

If you’re not about the bum brush, grab a wipe and wrap it around your finger.  Then apply from there to save your hands.

Even if you have a diaper shower or register for diapers, you’ll wind up with Newborn, Size 1 and maybe a few Size 2.  My child has already used more of Size 3 than the rest combined.

Amazon sends me bulk amounts of diapers to my door. That’s right…to my door!  Diapers are never on my grocery list and there are never any late night runs to the store!

I can change the size, amount, and delivery date as needed.  It is magical!

 

If all else fails, talk to them, sing to them, make funny faces, point out what each body part is called as you put their head and arms and feet though different articles on clothing.  They can sense fear, anxiety and anger.  The more relaxed they are, the easier it will be!

magical mama blog 24 diaper changing hacks all parents need to know tricks tips life saving life changing diaper changes

Happy diapering and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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How To: Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

How To: Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh

You’re trying to get something done and your toddler is running after you, screaming for your attention… Sound familiar?

No worries!  Take 5 minutes to mix together 2 ingredients that are already in your kitchen!

My child is a hungry hungry hippo, so she will put anything within arm’s reach straight into her mouth.  When I want to give her something to amuse her for a few minutes, I need to make sure it’s taste-safe.

Luckily, all you need for this recipe is yogurt and cornstarch!  Both, taste-safe ingredients make for a fun, attention grabbing activity that your child can do in their high chair while you get things done.

I’m not going to write a few hundred words that you’ll simply scroll through in order to get to the recipe!  Here it is!

What you’ll need:

2 containers of baby yogurt (a little less than 1 cup)

1 heaping cup of Corn Starch

magical mama blog how to make edible cornstarch play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Throw both ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.

If your dough is crumbly, add yogurt.

If your dough is sticky, add corn starch.

It’s just that simple and it makes a ton!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

You could easily cut the recipe in half if you want to save ingredients or you have the feeling it will end up on the floor.

It keeps well for a few days in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty baby toddler activity

It has a great smooth and rubbery texture that is great for sensory play!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty baby toddler activity

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Give it a try and see how your kiddos like it!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh

 

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Celebrate the Olympics with your Family

magical mama blog celebrate the olympics with your family activities amazon fun cheap games


This post contains affiliate links. If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!). I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore! If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures. Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


Celebrate the Olympics with your Family

The time is quickly approaching for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait the two years from the Summer games to the Winter games!

My husband and I plan out our watching schedule and root on our teams in our favorite sports.

The games will take place February 9th through February 25th.  While you’re rooting on your favorite athletes, why not get your kids up and moving? Nothing excites kids more for sports and competition than the Olympics.

While they’re up and excited, why not make some fun family activities? Here are some fun ways to bring the Olympic games into your home!

Opening Ceremony Party

Have each member of your family create a flag out of card stock to represent them.  Assign each member of the family a color and use that to represent them through your games.  Grab some card stock and dowels.

Parade around the living room or backyard to fun music. Have the kids work together to come up with an opening ceremony performance.

Get out the craft supplies and have the kiddos construct an “Olympic Torch” that can be passed around and displayed while the games are in session.

Turn it into a research project.  Ask them, what games were in the first Olympics? When did they divide it into Summer & Winter games?  What are the world records for medals?  When did the Olympics take place in your country?

Medals

Grab some medals to hand out at each event.  Be sure to pick out events where each kiddo can succeed.  Grab some or make some out of salt dough or chocolate coins.

Winter Olympic Games to Play

Figure Skating

Head to your local ice rink and rent some skates for a few hours.  Show off your moves to one another. Grab some score cards, let each family member perform, and work out a fair scoring system.

Speed Skating

Dust off your roller blades and take the kids out for a spin.  Many bike shops or even toy sections of stores will have a beginner set for your little ones to learn.

Make sure they have on safety gear and use some cones to mark out your rink and race away!

Ice Hockey

Grab some brooms and a ball and go out into a field, mark off goals with your cones and let the kids go wild.

Biathalon

Take the kids to the backyard or a local park.  Set up cones for them to sprint, then have a nerf gun or water gun (depending on weather) and targets at the end of their foot race.

Skeleton/Luge

Grab some big chunks of cardboard from the garage and find a local park with a big, grassy (and safe) hill.  Set up a finish line and let the kids run and slide feet first or head first (whichever makes you feel safer).  You may consider the safety gear above for the less coordinated kiddos.

Curling

Human curling! Grab this fabulous slip n slide and set it up in your backyard.  Set up cones on either side and see which kiddo can get the closest to the target.

Skiing / Snowboarding

If you’re near mountains that have some fun resorts that you can visit, go snowboarding or skiing. If your kids are experts on skateboards, have them teach you how and try out a race.

Closing Ceremony Celebration

Adorn yourself with your earned medals, throw out some Olympic themed snacks and decorate with some flags and quiz the kids on what country belongs to which flag.

Throughout the games, encourage the kids to do some research on the countries they don’t have much knowledge about.

During the viewing of the closing ceremonies, ask them what continent each country is in or one interesting fact about it.


Summer Olympic Games to Play

Gymnastics

Create a balance beam by balancing one long wooden board on some smaller boards on each side.  Have the kids show off some skills and create a fair scoring system.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Grab some spools of ribbon and cut and tie some onto the dowels you grabbed for your flags.  Turn on some music and have the kids choreograph a dance.

My sister and I had ribbon dancers when we were little and would put on performances and teach ourselves fun tricks all the time. Try it with hula hoops or a small ball as well!

Synchronized Swimming

Head to your local swimming hole, community pool, or your own pool if you have it.  Grab a waterproof speaker and turn on some music while your family tries out their graceful water dance moves.

Swimming

Have some lap races in the pool and work on the different strokes your kiddos can do. Set up a kiddie pool or a large container with water and have each family member pick a rubber ducky.  Use water guns to push your rubber ducky past the finish line!

Diving

Head to the local swimming hole (or your back yard if you have a pool).  Let the kids try out the diving boards, slides, or just have them jump from the edge of the pool and (safely) make up some tricks to show off. Bring those score cards along with you!

Fencing

Grab some pool noodles and have the kids duel it out while you have no worries about anyone poking their eye out!

Archery/Shooting

Let the kids try out their target skills with some suction-tipped nerf gun fun!

Canoe Sprint

Take a drive to your local lake or marina.  Rent a canoe, get some exercise, then have a fun little race.

Road Cycling

Head out for a family bike ride.  For the younger kids, try out a park path or big flat parking lot.  For the older kids, try a more natural environment for some off-road biking.

Basketball

Head to the hoop in the back yard, your local park or YMCA to have a few hours of shooting hoops.  If your little ones aren’t ready for an actual game, try an inventive game of HORSE.

Volleyball

Find a local volleyball court and head out to play a few rounds of beach or indoor volleyball as a family.

Boxing

If your kids are ready for a little fight (without actually fighting), set up a ring and break out the sock ’em boppers!

Table Tennis

Grab a table tennis set on Amazon and turn any table into a sporting zone!

Tennis

Your local parks and recreation should have a public facility where you can go play a few rounds of competitive tennis as a family.  Get your kiddos decked out with sweatbands and let them run and grunt just like the pros!

Long Jump

Tape out a measuring system and give each member a few tries to jump the farthest without falling or stepping.

Javelin Toss

Grab a handful of straws and place out some bowls or painters tape along the ground and score on how far your little ones can throw. If they’re not up for straws, let them try paper airplanes.

 

Have a wonderful time with your family, cheer on your country’s athletes, and enjoy yet another  inspiring season of unity and friendly competition at the Olympic games.

magical mama blog celebrate the olympics with your family activities amazon fun cheap games

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How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink silver metal kitchen faucet tub

How To Clean your Stainless Steel Sink


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


How To Clean Your Stainless Steel Sink

Nothing gives a kitchen a clean look like matching stainless steel appliances… but whoever came up with the name “stainless” steel is a liar!

You can wipe down your fridge and dishwasher… but when that sink gets dingy and stained… that clean, shiny kitchen suddenly turns to drab.

Walk a mile in your kitchen sink’s shoes.  It is constantly being filled with dirty dishes with food scraps, having an assortment of colorful liquids poured down it’s drains, being scratched by forks and knives, having hard water run all over it, and having soap dry it out… wouldn’t you look a little ragged after dealing with all of that every day?

Luckily, there are several methods to not only clean your sink, but to polish it as well.  Once you walk through your kitchen and can use your sink as a mirror, you’ll be living the clean life!

Get ready for the before pictures… this is post Thanksgiving and Christmas madness… and this is just plain embarrassing!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty


Method 1 – Basic Clean

For a regular amount of dinge, this method should cover it!

For a seriously dingy sink, try this method, then get into some of the others to really get your sink to shine!

What you’ll need:

Baking Soda
Dish Soap
Vinegar
Tooth Brush or Cleaning Brush or Scrubbing Pad

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty baking soda

Get your sink wet and plug it up!

Sprinkle baking soda all over.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty dawn dish soap

Squeeze some dish soap on top of that.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty vinegar

Pour your vinegar over top.

Watch the bubbles do the dirty work while you take a three minute break and enjoy a few sips of wine. (I don’t recommend taking more than 5 minutes as the solution will lose it’s power)

Get your toothbrush or scrubbing pads and put in some elbow grease.

I do not recommend using steel wool.  If you are not incredibly gentle, you can create more scratches in the surface that can hold food scraps and stain and will end up making your sink ware more quickly and stink.

If you are brave enough to try steel wool, it can help to buff out some of the existing scratches, but tread lightly!  Check out method 2 for a safe way of removing scratches!

The almighty after pictures!  A basic clean in 5 minutes!  Not bad!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty clean

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty clean


Method 2 – Buffing

For sinks that are in need of a light cleaning.

If you have completed method 1 and are in need of some spot cleaning, move onto method 2 once your sink is dry.

What you’ll need:

Cream of Tartar
Hydrogen Peroxide
Fine Mist Spray Bottle
Buffer Pad or Soft Sponge

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty cream of tartar

Sprinkle your Cream of Tartar over the bottom of the sink.

Spray your hydrogen peroxide to create a paste.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty hydrogen Peroxide cream of tartar paste

Buff away scratches and stains.  Work in a circular motion to avoid creating a grain in your sink.

Rinse and check out the buffed and clean surface of that pretty sink!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty


Method 3 – Removing Rust

For scratches or dings that have that frightening brown color coming in to greet you, fear not, method 3 is here!

What you’ll need:

Rubbing Alcohol or WD40
Scrubbing Pad and/or Rag

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

Try sopping the rag in some rubbing alcohol and buffing that rust right off.

If it’s stubborn, pour it straight into the sink and attack it with that scrubbing pad!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty rubbing alcohol


Method 4 – Polish

This is going to sound strange, but it has been proven to work!  Ask your grandma, she probably did this one!

What you’ll need:

Flour
Microfiber Cloth

Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flour in your dry sink and buff with your flour.

If you have done Method 2 (Cream of Tartar and Hydrogen Peroxide), and you feel like you need to buff at a finer grit, go for the flour!

Think of methods 2 and 4 as sand paper with different grits to buff out the small scratches in your sink!

(Though I used this method on my sink, the pictures did it no justice, so I skipped adding them in)


Method 5 – Shine and Sparkle

If your sink is clean but just doesn’t match the shine of your fridge, fear not, you’re about to see your reflection!

Not only does this method give your sink a solid shine, it gives your poor sink a bit of moist nourishment!  After constant dirty dishes, soapy water and scum, it could use a spa day!

What you’ll need:

Baby Oil (or Olive Oil)
Rag

Pour oil onto your rag and give your sink a good massage.

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink metal silver dirty filthy stained rusty

One or two of these methods should be enough to get your sink looking (and smelling) good again!

A run through all of these methods should make any dingy sink look as good as new!!

Stop by 21 Ways to Make Your Home Smell Great to check out my garbage disposal cubes and other ways to make your home smell incredible!

magical mama blog how to clean your stainless steel sink silver metal shine polish stain rust scratch

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How To: Make Baby Food Purees

ihelpmoms.com magical mama blog

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees cooking


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to make baby food puree from cooked foods

How To: Make Baby Food Purees

I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person.  However, I have always been a penny pincher!  So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods.  All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!

I went to the internet for answers!  Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!

Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!

There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week!  So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!

I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them.  We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal!  THESE are numbers I can live with!

“But it’s so much work!!”

It’s actually really not bad.  No worse than making a meal for your family.  On some foods you have to peel and chop.  But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.

If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it!  I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!

Fresh, frozen, and cooked.

That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved!  Score!

I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruits

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes.  Tested and approved by my little helper.  This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day.

A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing.  I don’t suggest this, at least at first.  Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies.  See what they their favorites are.  Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.

When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations.  You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two.  This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!

(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula.  Don’t get discouraged!)

Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night.  You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill.  The process goes slow at first.  You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days.  This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.

Items you need:

  • Ice cube trays (I grabbed mine at the dollar store – Three 15 cube trays for $1!)
  • Food processor or blender
  • Freezer safe ziplock bags

Stages you need to know about:

Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny.  If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.

Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency.  If your purees are thin, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.

Cooked

Butternut Squash (check out the tutorial on cooking these puppies here)
Sweet Potato
Carrots
Green Beans (fresh, canned or frozen)
Peas (fresh, canned or frozen)
Corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
Pears
Apples
Broccoli
Bell Pepper
Asparagus
Spinach
Cucumber
Squash
Zucchini

  • Peel, core & chop.
  • Place in steam basket in pot of water for 30 minutes (or until you can stick a fork in easily)
  • Throw in processor/blender until pureed evenly.
  • Stop to scrape if you need to.
  • Add a bit of milk, formula, or water if it needs to be thinned to blend.
  • Spoon into ice cube trays & tap to pop any air bubbles.
  • Toss in freezer for a few hours.
  • Pop out cubes and put into freezer safe ziplock bags.
  • Label name and date.  These are usually good for about 4 months.

This is the method that takes the most work, but this is the place where you’re going to find your solid bases for most meals.

If you feel like this is daunting, check out the tutorials on making purees from fresh food or making purees from frozen food first!

Squash, Pear, or Apple are in almost every single meal I serve my little one.  These are the most popular bases on the market.  They have a good taste that is not overly powerful and they have a great consistency.

If you check out the baby food at the store, you’ll see these ingredients in almost every single label… along with other stuff that you may or may not be able to pronounce.

Special note about Carrots: When in the processor/blender, do not use the remaining water from steaming to thin.

Special note on Peas & Green Beans: These have shells/skins on them that will probably require some extra time in the processor/blender.  You want to make sure that there is no rogue shell in there that can be a choking hazard!

Thawing & Cooking

Pull a few cubes out of your ziplock and toss into a microwave safe dish.

Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir, then microwave for 10 seconds & stir as needed. You want to cook in short bursts and stir.

This is a small amount of food.  It can heat up very quickly and can get hot spots in it so you want to stir to prevent burning baby’s mouth.

You’ll want to get it to room temperature or warm.  Test on your inner wrist if you’re unsure.

Feed away!

…..

Don’t get me wrong.  I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores.  I buy a few on occasion.

They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad.  It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.

However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit.  When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.

If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out.  It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.

Grab your FREE printable baby food recipe ideas here!

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees cooking

Continue Reading

How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from frozen food


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to make baby food puree from frozen foods

How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person.  However, I have always been a penny pincher!  So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods.  All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!

I went to the internet for answers!  Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!

Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!

There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week!  So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!

I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them.  We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal!  THESE are numbers I can live with!

“But it’s so much work!!”

It’s actually really not bad.  No worse than making a meal for your family.  On some foods you have to peel and chop.  But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.

If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it!  I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!

Frozen, fresh, and cooked purees.

That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved!  Score!

I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees

And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruits

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes.  Tested by my little helper.  This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day.

A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing.  I don’t suggest this, at least at first.  Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies.  See what they their favorites are.  Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.

When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations.  You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two.  This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!

(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula.  Don’t get discouraged!)

Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night.  You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill.  The process goes slow at first.  You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days.  This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.

Items you need:

Ice cube trays (I grabbed mine at the dollar store – Three 15 cube trays for $1!)
Food processor or blender
Freezer safe ziplock bags

Stages you need to know about:

Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny.  If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.

Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency.  If your purees are thing, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.

Frozen

On your next trip to the grocery store, be sure to write down some frozen fruits and veggies onto your shopping list.

Strawberry
Blueberry
Blackberry
Mango
Peach
Pineapple
Peas
The list goes on and on!

  • Let a bag of frozen food sit out on the counter for 15 minutes to let it thaw enough to be blended.
  • Toss in food processor or blender and pulverize it!  If it’s having trouble getting down to a creamy texture, add in some breast milk, formula, or water.
  • You may need to stop to scrape down the chunks from the sides to make sure you get a nice even consistency.
  • Scoop or pour your puree into your ice cube trays. You can also pour your mixture into a plastic bag, cut the corner, and fill into each cube like you’re icing a cake.
  • Try to get out any bubbles by patting the trays on the counter or push a spoon into each cube to pop bubbles.
  • Throw into the freezer.
  • Once frozen solid, pop out and toss into freezer safe ziplock bag.
  • Label what is in the bag and the date.  These usually last 4-6 months.

The thing I love about the frozen foods is that they require no prep and the re-freeze quick!  I was able to get through several bags of frozen food in one evening because they froze within an hour or two so I was able to wash my trays and start again!

These are larger quantities of fruit than you can get in the produce section and they are already prepared…and are a lot cheaper!  I was not looking forward to coring strawberries, peeling mango, chopping pineapple, etc.!

Thawing & Cooking

When it comes time for baby to eat, pop out a few cubes into a microwave safe dish.

Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir then 10 seconds & stir as needed until desired temperature is reached.

If you cook for longer periods of time, the small amount of food can heat very quickly and develop hot spots that can burn baby’s mouth. Short bursts & stirring is the trick!

You want to get between room temperature & warm.  If you’re unsure, put a dab on your inner wrist to check.

Feed away!

…..

Don’t get me wrong.  I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores.  I buy a few on occasion.

They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad.  It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.

However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit.  When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.

If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out.  It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.

Grab your FREE printable baby food recipe ideas here!

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from frozen food

Continue Reading

How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruit

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from fresh fruit


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from fresh fruit

How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruit

I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person.  However, I have always been a penny pincher!  So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods.  All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!

I went to the internet for answers!  Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!

Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!

There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week!  So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!

I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them.  We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal!  THESE are numbers I can live with!

“But it’s so much work!!”

It’s actually really not bad.  No worse than making a meal for your family.  On some foods you have to peel and chop.  But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.

If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it!  I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!

Frozen, fresh, and cooked purees.

That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved!  Score!

I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes.  Tested by my little helper.  This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day!

A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing.  I don’t suggest this, at least at first.  Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies.  See what they their favorites are.  Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.

When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations.  You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two.  This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!

(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula.  Don’t get discouraged!)

Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night.  You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill.  The process goes slow at first.  You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days.  This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.

Items you need:

Ice cube trays (I grabbed mine at the dollar store – Three 15 cube trays for $1!)
Food processor or blender
Freezer safe ziplock bags

Stages you need to know about:

Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny.  If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.

Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency.  If your purees are thing, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.

Fresh

Bananas
Kiwi
Avocado
Cantaloupe
Honeydew

  • Peel, core and chop your fresh foods.
  • Toss into food processor or blender and let it work!
  • Stop to scrape if you need to.
  • Add a bit of breast milk, formula, or water if it needs it.
  • Serve fresh or scoop into ice cube trays & toss in freezer
  • Pop out cubes and put into freezer safe ziplock bags.
  • Label name and date.  These are usually good for about 4 months.

A lot of people will get these foods prepared right before feeding time and do not freeze them which is just fine!

I had to leave work, pick baby up from day care and at that point she was usually starving.  I was not about to get out my food processor while she sat there and leave myself with the dishes afterward.

You may be looking at your screen quizzically when you see the word Avocado accompanied with freezer.  I know.  I wasn’t a believer either.  Won’t it brown and be disgusting?!

Surprisingly, no!  The color only slightly changed right on the top of the cubes while they froze. They stayed bright green!

When it came time to put those in the microwave for one of her meals, I cringed thinking about it coming out of the microwave…NOPE!  Just like fresh guacamole!

I’m a believer now and would much rather get all the pit removing and prep work done in bulk and not have to worry about it later.

Thawing & Cooking

When it comes to meal time, grab a few cubes out of the freezer and pop into a microwave safe dish.

Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds & stir until desired temperature is reached.

This is a small amount of food that heats quickly and can easily develop hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth so it’s important to heat in small bursts and stir!

If you’re questioning the temperature, put a dab on your inner wrist to test it.  You’ll want it between room temperature & warm.

…..

Don’t get me wrong.  I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores.  I buy a few on occasion.

They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad.  It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.

However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit.  When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.

If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out.  It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.

Grab your FREE Baby Food Recipe Ideas here!

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from fresh fruit

Continue Reading

A Very Harry Potter First Birthday Party

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party how to plan decorations decor tips

A Very Harry Potter First Birthday Party


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


Picking a Theme

Let’s be real for a minute.  First birthday parties are not for the baby.  They have no idea what’s going on and they will not remember it.

It is all about celebrating the parents keeping their human alive for a whole year!

As our little bug was stacking on the months of life, my husband and I discussed what we wanted the theme of our “anniversary of bringing a human into this world” party to be.

We have to pick the themes WE like before she starts having an opinion!

We narrowed it down between Elf and Harry Potter and decided to go full Hogwarts!  After all, my husband introduced me to the Harry Potter movies and we are both sorted (as well as the entire family) into Hufflepuff.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party tips tricks decorations decor how to plan planning

Not Spending a Fortune

I am not all about spending money on a first birthday party, but I did want to make this a miniature epic… we HAD kept a human alive for a whole year!

Off I dove into Pinterest to find all of the free downloads and printables I could and BOY was I greeted with the mother load!

I could have really gone off the deep end and printed everything I found and had my house decked out… but let’s be real, I have a full time job, a mischievous almost one year old, a blog, a husband, chores, errands, and we are in between Thanksgiving and Christmas…

The most epic party on the planet was not going to happen…but my gosh I was going to try!

I’m so happy with how it turned out, we had an incredible time, made a ton of memories and, of course, took tons of pictures.

Here is a little home tour and links to where I found everything so you don’t even have to get off of your couch in order to throw a party like this!

The only work I put into this party other than ordering and printing, was cutting out the printables and making the food… I’ll call that a win.

Invitations

We went cheap and did a Facebook invite to a few of our friends.

I designed this Facebook cover photo on Canva and wrote the following message in the description:

“Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
invites you to join us in celebrating Audrey’s first birthday.

On the 3rd day of December at 2:00 pm.

Go to Platform 9 3/4
Take the Hogwarts Express
Arrive at the Hufflepuff Common Room
Enjoy snacks and frivolity

Please send RSVP by owl or Facebook to Headmaster Lillestol”

Signs & Banners

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party platform 9 3/4 sign

Upon reaching our front door, you are greeted with this Platform 9 3/4 printable on our glass screen door I got from Curious Specks.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party happy christmas artwork

I found these printable masterpieces at The Cottage Market.

The Happy Christmas printable can be found at Paper Trail Design and the house banners came from The Quiet Grove.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party happy birthday banner

Used The Quiet Grove’s printable alphabet to make the Happy Birthday Banner.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party free invisibility cloaks

I made this “Free Invisibility Cloaks” sign as well as our food labels by using the Harry P font I downloaded from dafont and printing on some parchment cardstock

Smash Cake Set Up

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party cake smash high chair hufflepuff flag

I grabbed a burlap banner and used sharpie to trace out the “ONE” and attached it to her high chair with some small clear 3M hooks.

Snagged this Hufflepuff Banner on Amazon. For $11, I was expecting this to be the size of a piece of paper…it is 30″ by 50″!  It’s practically my size!

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party board picture frame

I got this picture frame at Hobby Lobby and used these wine glass pens to write everything out.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party 12 month pictures

I printed out her monthly pictures and hung them with twine, 3M hooks, and clothespins.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party 12 month picture sticker elephant hufflepuff hogwarts

(I used these monthly stickers and this elephant plush in all of her pictures)

Bathroom Decor

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party donate a sock free house elves baby socks

You can put all of those baby socks who have lost their mate on display!

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party lumos nox

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party ministry of magic sign toilet

I grabbed the Ministry of Magic sign from Curious Specks.

Envelopes

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party hogwarts envelopes

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party envelopes hogwarts

I grabbed these from Little Falling Star and hung them on our dining room chandelier.

Food

There are thousands of fun food and drink label printables out there, but in order for it to match what we were making, all the labels would have been different, so I went ahead and used the Harry P font from dafont.com to make all of our food labels.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party food labels

I printed on parchment cardstock and used a bit of paint to dry brush the edges.

Plates

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party plates hogwarts hufflepuff gryffindor slytherin ravenclaw

These plates are from Oriental Trading, so they’re obviously a bargain!  They also have napkins, cups, tablecloths and more, but I wanted to stick to a more simple party and a tighter budget.

Witch’s hats

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party witch's hats oreos kisses

These were made by placing Hershey Kisses atop Oreos with melting chocolate.

Cup Cakes

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party cup cake toppers

We had gluten free chocolate and regular old funfetti topped with chocolate, cream cheese, and yellow buttercream frosting (Hufflepuff represent!).

The cupcake toppers are from The Quiet Grove.

Golden Snitches

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party golden snitches ferrero rocher

Ferrero Rochers topped with these free printable wings from Party Delights.

Olivander’s Wands

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party ollivander's wands

I grabbed some Pepperidge Farm Fudge Pirouettes for wands.

Giggle Juice

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party giggle juice

Spiked Apple Cider for our adult party animals.

Mini Muggle Munchies

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party mini muggle munchies

I set up some fresh cut fruit, puffs, lil’ crunchies and some squeezable snack packs for the little party guests.

Gringott’s Gold

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party gringotts gold chocolate coins

Golden chocolate coins were a great addition!

Goodie Bags

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party goodie bags party favors

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party goodie bags party favors

For our goodie bags, I used plain brown paper bags decorated with thank you & mischief managed labels I found at The Quiet Grove.

magical mama blog harry potter birthday party wands chopsticks hot glue paint mod podge

Inside, was a personalized wand (chopsticks, hot glue, acrylic paint & modpodge), snacks that were at the party, and bubbles if the party guest had a kid.

Fun & Games

We had this pop up ball pit, tunnel & tent (and balls) set up which, conveniently, has the primary house colors!

The kiddos at the party had a blast in there!

 

Birthday Outfit

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party hogwarts onesie

This perfect little onesie is from Dynamic Design on Etsy.  (It’s perfect because my husband and I met while working at Disneyland!)

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party hufflepuff pants pantaloons ruffle pants bow

I grabbed the Hufflepuff fabric at fabric.com and used a pattern to create her little pantaloons and bow.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party wands family birthday girl

I hope you have enjoyed your glimpse into our daughter’s epic very Harry Potter first birthday party!

 

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party tips tricks decorations decor how to plan planning

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