Big Sister Gift Bag

When we were expecting our son, I knew I wanted to do something special for our daughter since I knew we were going to be separated for a little bit while my husband and I were both in the hospital following my c-section.

I put together a little gift bag and gave it to my parents to give to her the morning her brother was born as a reminder that we loved her and to get her a bit more excited about meeting our new little guy!

This bag consisted of a few different things that I thought would be fun for her and would go along with the new baby theme….

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Our gift bag included:

  1. Big Sister T-Shirt; These are very readily available nowadays! I was able to find a really cute one at Old Navy but a quick online search would surely send you in the right direction.

  2. Baby Themed Stickers; I found these at our local Michael’s

  3. Fruit Snacks; Our daughter is OBSESSED with fruit snacks! Always good for little kiddos to have extra snacks around, especially while waiting at the hospital!

  4. “I Am a Big Sister” by Caroline Jayne Church; I found this book on Amazon.com and it is absolutely ADORABLE! I especially loved that it was a little girl with red hair who was getting a new little brother – seemed fitting!

  5. Disposable Camera; Admittedly, she was a bit young but pretty much anyone can handle taking pictures with a point and shoot camera…. right??

    • Just as a heads up, not many places will develop disposable camera film these days but our local Walgreen’s was able to send it out to be developed. BUT the photos came in REALLY grainy – so be prepared for it to be more of a novelty item rather than heirloom quality photos. Our daughter did love being our personal “photographer” so as far as entertainment value goes it was awesome!

  6. Big and Little Stuffed Animals; I found these two puppies that are the same just the larger and smaller version of each other, I labeled them as “One puppy for you” and “One puppy for your little brother” so she had something special to give her little brother. I hope that these will be cherished for many years to come!

Puppies

  1. Lip Smackers Chapstick; I was looking for another filler item and what little girl doesn’t love chapstick??? Am I right????

  2. Small Pink Backpack; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to pack everything in but I found this sweet little pink backpack at Michael’s on sale for like $2, it was a win win! But any type of gift bag, etc. would work too!

Backpack

I hope that you’re able to have as much fun putting this together and customizing it for your kiddo as well, it was a BIG HIT!

 

10 Tips for a Toddler Easter Basket

First off, I must admit, I am no expert as this is the first Easter I’ve put together a basket for my daughter….last year I decided my daughter was too little to get into it – we’d just go to my parent’s house and enjoy dinner and the day together!

Yay!!! Sounded great!

…..Until I got to my parents and sure enough -my mom had assembled a basket for her darling granddaughter…. Honestly, it was so sweet but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about it. I had convinced myself the Easter basket was unnecessary and decided to wait until she was older, probably a totally rational thought but one I ended up regretting.

A little background on me…. I LOVE EASTER!!!!

It has always been my favorite holiday!

I’m not necessarily a religious person. The big draw has always been the beautiful spring setting, the more low-key family vibe without the hustle and bustle of Christmas and Thanksgiving, and duh, Easter Baskets! As I got older the family joke became the underwear my mom always put in our plastic Easter eggs, you knew you could count on stocking up for the year!

Anywho, did I mention I love Easter?

And I was bound and determined to design the best Easter basket I could come up with for my daughter!

However, I’m also an extremely frugal (let me clarify, I like coupons… but not so frugal I can’t go overboard – HAHA!) and functional so of course I had to pragmatically develop my game plan and here’s what I came up with….

1. NO CANDY;

Not because I’m that insanely concerned about the tot having candy, but I am concerned about her scarfing down a few m&ms too fast and choking or getting too hyped up and skipping naps. First rule of motherhood, avoid anything possible that could interfere with nap time/bed time! 

2. NO EASTER GRASS;

We’ve all seen that stuff – the plastic, stringy, colorful filler. Well all I see is a mess. Enough said haha!

3. INCLUDE SOMETHING SENTIMENTAL;

When I was little there wasn’t another Charlie Brown Movie that I loved more than the Easter Beagle. I cannot wait to watch this with my daughter, to hear her giggle and (hopefully) love it as much as I did, priceless!

4. KEEP THE ITEMS NEUTRAL;

Having a bunch of specifically Easter items puts a shelf life on items – ie: Pick out items that have a rabbit or eggs, etc. instead of Happy Easter plastered all over them. This ensures you’ll get better use of the items in the long run, yay! Gotta suck as much life as you can out of every item for your kiddos, goodness knows they outgrow things fast enough on their own! Which brings me to my next topic….

5. CLOTHES;

Kiddos need clothes. Kiddos wear clothes for like two weeks before jumping sizes. So adding clothes is like killing two birds with one stone! Win, win!!!

6. LEARNING TOYS;

Again something that you could feel good about giving your precious little toddler. In my case an egg puzzle that teaches colors in both English and Spanish!

7. LOCALLY SOURCED ITEMS;

This would help your basket be a bit more unique. I ended up finding that adorable little puzzle and realizing it was made locally, so not only did I find an awesome toy, I can feel good knowing I supported a neighbor by picking it up.

8. LARGER PLASTIC EGGS;

My daughter puts everything, and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING in her mouth! Rocks are a favorite delicacy much to my chagrin. GRRRR! So…

The bigger the eggs the better haha!

SIDE NOTE: I will watch my daughter with the necklaces! Although she hasn’t shown as much interest in putting those in her mouth as her beloved rocks thankfully!

9. FUN PACKAGING;

I specifically used clear cellophane not only because I had it already but it is noisy and fun to play with, almost another gift in itself! I also tied the clothes up to give her more things to open and play with.

10. A REUSABLE BASKET;

A coworker and I were talking about this…the baskets you pick up, use once and toss. So wasteful and honestly I’m not a huge fan of baskets that look like the rainbow threw up on them. Instead I picked up a chicken wire basket (with a 40% off coupon of course) that I could use as a decorative item in my home after the holiday is over. And then as an Easter basket next year, and the next year, and the next year, etc.

Hope the tot likes it as much as I do 😁

…..I also threw in the Hedgehog with Bunny Ears because honestly, who wouldn’t want a Hedgehog with Bunny Ears?!?! No one, that’s who. Haha!!!

SIDE NOTE: I was also a bit worried about the bunny on a stick but figure as soon as she gets to the cellophane she’ll forget all about the skewer…Plus it was so cute I couldn’t resist and (OCD side speaking here) tied all of my colors together of course!

While I spent WAY too much time planning and shopping and assembling with just this cute little basket to show for it, I hope all of that effort will help you design an awesome basket in just a fraction of the time!

Wishing you and yours the very best this weekend and HAPPY EASTER!!!

The Most Useful Baby Shower Gift You’ll Ever Give/Receive

The other day I went to a baby shower for a close friend, while filtering through her registry I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a stuffed animal or more cute clothes, regardless of how much I may have wanted to and especially since they’re having a little girl!

Instead I started brainstorming everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, I could think of that she would need but not know it, by the time I was finished I knew I’d spent way too much but I was positive that each and every item would be used.

Here is the list of what I’ve deemed the most important items you’d ever need in a “baby starter pack,” I’m no expert but with a 1 year old daughter, this last year has been a crash course in baby 101 to say the least!!

1. Aquaphor; I mentioned to a friend of mine that if I were on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this would be like my Windex!!! You can use it on everything but primarily diaper rash and wounds. I even used some on my hands when they were excessively dry after washing them constantly during the newborn stage and beyond.

2. Infant Tylenol; for after shots, colds, teething…everything.

3. Baby Gas Drops; you won’t know how much you need these until your baby is crying with no relief in sight, gripe water seems to work well too if you’re looking for a more natural solution.

4. Baby Aspirator/Saline Solution; the big bulb ones work best, we got a free one from the hospital that worked better than anything I ever bought.

5. Baby Soap/Shampoo; my favorite is Johnson’s Head to Toe – that was what they used in the hospital and immediately connected with how my baby should smell, I’ve heard awesome things about the nighttime one as well but haven’t had much experience with that yet myself.

6. Baby lotion; Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture is awesome, I use it after every bath on the tot, wish I took that great of care of my own skin!

7…. If you’re breastfeeding or know someone who is, I’d recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream. Use it BEFORE you really need it…just trust me on this one!

8. Grooming Kit; Mostly just the combs and nail clippers will come in really handy but the kits are nice since it all comes together.

9. Exergen Thermometer; pricey but way easier!

10. Baby Toothbrush and Toothpaste; our daughter mostly just chews on it but she’ll let me help too. The ones in the kits aren’t that great so you’re better off buying it separately.

11. Bath Items; Shampoo Rinse Cup for in the tub came in really, really handy. Some have silicone so they contour to the baby’s head for easier use. Munchkin also makes a rubber ducky equipped with a “HOT” sensor on the bottom so the new parents know if the bath is too hot, this came in especially handy when we had just brought our daughter home and were still nervous, once you get the hang of things it’s still a cute toy for the bath.

I’m sure there are a million other things you could put in there but that’s definitely a good start for any new parents, just toss it in a cute basket or bag and you’re all set!

And while they may not give you the standing ovation you’ll be hoping for ….you will, without a doubt, get a huge thank you down the road 😊

Baby Shower Website