Jacob’s 1st Birthday: Viking Party

My baby is ONE?! But I just had him! I tell ya, that cliche “time flies” doesn’t change by the 3rd kid. In fact, time flies even faster. What a blur. In true Norwegian fashion, we went with a themed¬†Viking party for the little man. It was a lot of fun to put together!

viking bday party

How cute is this cake?! Jacob’s little smash cake is sitting on top and looks just like a Viking helmet. I know, I know, REAL Vikings didn’t actually have horns on their helmets, but… it’s cute that way. I ordered birthday party invites, a banner, and toppers from this shop on Etsy.

viking party

I made the table look like a Viking ship. After googling images of examples, I drew the head and tail on big pieces of cardboard from a large box I saved and cut them out with an x-acto knife. I did simple round shields on the front. You could even paint them!

Now for the Viking Party Food!

viking party food

Just some good, hearty meat for a Viking warrior! These skewers were easy, just some turkey or roast beef with salami and cheese! These went fast! For the food signs, I just cut out blue construction paper and wrote on them myself. I did buy Viking themed washi tape to put along the bottom from this etsy shop.

dragon eggs viking food

What?! Dragons aren’t real?!?!!? But they’re fun for the kids and make for better Viking stories ūüėČ Plus, who doesn’t love some deviled eggs! YUM!

viking shields party food

I got these cute little snack containers from Party City. They’re filled with potato chips to make Viking Shields! We also served the traditional Norwegian food lefse.

viking party decor

I searched for Viking quotes and images, found a few to print, and framed them. I love the one above and another that was on the food table that says, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be a Viking. Then always be a Viking.” OF COURSE!

viking 1st birthday

We’ve taken monthly photos of Jacob in that blue Pottery Barn chair, just like we did for his older brother and sister. His “ONE” Viking themed shirt came from this Etsy shop. Now, CAKE TIME!

viking cake smash

We slid the top piece of the cake off for Jacob and the rest of the party was served the large bottom of the cake. I’d say Jacob had fun ūüėČ Very little of that cake actually went into his mouth, haha. It was a DELICIOUS dairy-free and gluten-free cake from My Sweets.

viking 1st birthday party

Happy Birthday, little Viking!

Babysitting Tricks: How to Keep the Kids Busy and Happy

Contributed Article

So you have been tasked with taking care of your friend’s children, but you are dreading that you¬†won’t have enough fun and games to keep them busy while you’re¬†there. What you need are a few¬†creative ideas that will keep those kids happy! After all, the last thing that you want¬†kids to say is that they are bored. Luckily, we have compiled a few tips below for how you can¬†entertain any children you are¬†babysitting.

Outdoor adventures

If it’s the right time of year, playing outside is a great idea. Some games you can play outside are¬†softball, soccer, tag, hide and seek, and basketball. If you have the parents’ permission, you could¬†even take the children to a local playground. Otherwise, you can stick to the backyard or front yard.¬†And children are incredibly imaginative, so just agreeing to play outside will likely open up a world of¬†possibilities for them. Another great part about playing outside? It will keep the children active and¬†hopefully ensure that they fall asleep by bedtime!

Coloring books

On the other hand, if the kids are staying inside, you can get their creativity flowing with a¬†coloring book. With smartphones and tablets, you don’t need to worry about messy books and¬†crayons ending up getting scrawled on the walls. You can download coloring book apps on Google¬†Play that are fun for kids and adults and that are cheaper and certainly cleaner than ‘real’¬†coloring¬†books. A coloring book app is likely to have dozens more designs than you would find in an actual¬†book.

Board games

Board games are another great idea for doing something fun together as a group. Board games work especially great if you are babysitting more than one child and need something to keep them occupied all at once. Of course, other games are suitable for just two players, such as checkers or chess, in case you are babysitting just one child. While many families will have their own board games, it is always a good idea to bring over your own just in case.

Cooking

Children love to feel like they are helping with grown-up activities, especially in the kitchen. Cooking¬†a meal or snack together is a lot of fun and allows children to unleash their inner chefs. Be sure to¬†allow them to participate in stages of the cooking process so long as it is safe for them. And making¬†simple meals feel silly‚ÄĒlike pretending that those spaghetti noodles are worms‚ÄĒis bound to¬†provide lots of delight. Cooking with children can also present a great opportunity to teach them¬†about nutrition and how to stay healthy.

Babysitting can be loads of fun as long as you come prepared with creative ideas about how to keep the children occupied. The above suggestions will ensure that the next time a friend, neighbor, or relative asks you to babysit you will have the tools you need to make sure your babysitting time is remembered as a fun and delightful one!

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My list of must-haves for new babies

You guys, I’m on baby number three. If I thought our house was loud or life was busy before… now I’d describe is as simply chaotic! When this baby joined us last summer, I asked friends for tips and I quickly got things organized so life with three kids could continue more smoothly (and with less stress, haha). We got hanging organizers for the closets to put out sets of clothing, hooks for backpacks and totes, cubes for shoes, and more handy tricks.

Through the years, I’ve also learned to rely on

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National Breastfeeding Month!

Nearly five years ago, on August 6, 2011, the month of August was officially declared National Breastfeeding Month by the USBC (United States Breastfeeding Committee). In fact, the first full week of August is recognized across the World as World Breastfeeding Week. To celebrate these wonderful movements that further breastfeeding awareness, I would like to share some wonderful products with you that help make breastfeeding a breeze!

First up, Milkies Milk-Saver! One of the big fears for breastfeeding mamas is spilling/losing such precious milk, no matter the amount! It’s

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Baby Dickey 3 and 4?!

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We had a great summer with the kids. They each took a week-long dance camp (Ryan’s was more hip hop style and Rebecca’s was more like

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The Urbini Emi Travel System

We already knew we were fans of the Urbini brand of baby gear because we loved the lightweight Hummingbird stroller. So when I had a chance to review the Urbini Emi Travel System, I couldn’t wait to check it out. If Urbini made an “umbrella” stroller with all the great features of a full-size, how would they make the actual full-size stroller even better?!

Urbini Emi Travel System

After putting it together and trying it out at home, I brought it to a local baby expo (you can see

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Team Spirit with LilFan: licensed booster seats (coupon & giveaway)

Living in northern Illinois, I’m not sure I have any choice but to be a Chicago Cubs fan! I was never that into baseball until I met my husband. We spent our first year of college at different universities, two hours apart. One way we stayed connected between visits was by cheering on the Cubbies. Now it’s something fun we can pass to our kids, too. Go Cubs, Go!

LilFan has a whole line of licensed products including booster seats, diaper bags, and seat protectors. They have licenses with the NFL, MLB, NHL,

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