Traveling With A Toddler {Tips & Tricks}

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The holiday season is upon us and that means traveling is inevitable! Millions of people will travel to visit their family and friends this month. We are flying to Chicago this Saturday and as much fun as our vacation will be, I'm not really looking forward to the flying. When I flew pre-baby I just plugged in my ipod and read magazines. Those were the relaxing days lol! Traveling with a toddler can be a little more challenging and there's a lot of prep work that goes into it. This will be our 5th flight with Odette and I've learned a few things I thought I would share.

Here are just a few of the essentials that I plan on packing...

I picked up a magic ink coloring book in hopes that she won't color everywhere on the plane. Odette loves coloring, but I think she's still too young to not color all over fold down tray lol. I'm also bringing a tablet so she can watch her Tinker Bell movies and play a few games. I don't really let her watch too much T.V., but I'm hoping that this will keep her entertained for at least half the flight or so. We have the Samsung Kids Tablet and love it!! It has a kid's mode so Odette can only use the games, and it comes with a cute orange travel case.
If you're traveling for a long time it's also a good idea to pack lots of snacks! Traveling to and from the airport and a 3 1/2 hour flight is a really long day of travel for us. Some of our favorites are Annie's Organic Snacks, raisins and applesauce. Also, hand sanitizer is always a good idea to ward off all those icky airport germs.
Last but not least, bring your child's security blanket or stuffed animal! Odette has to have Lily the bunny with her wherever we go. Every child has a favorite blankie, toy or animal that will help give them a little comfort and feel like a little piece of home is with them!
These are just the essentials, but I'm sure I will be bringing much more! I may also pick up a few small toys or dollar store items to have something new and fun to entertain her!
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Christmas Cookie Recipes

Monday, December 15, 2014

It just doesn't feel like Christmas until I've made Christmas cookies! My favorite Christmas cookies are sugar cookies, Russian Tea Cakes and of course peanut butter kiss cookies :) Yum!! I love them all, but I DREAM of these Russian Tea Cakes all year long! They are so buttery and melt in your mouth :) I've rounded up my favorite recipes to share with you all today...

Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe
  • 2 Cups Softened Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter Extract (optional)
  • 7 Cups Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until it is really light and fluffy. Add eggs and the vanilla and butter extracts. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
4. Roll the dough out and cut using your favorite cookie cutter.
5. Bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Do not brown the edges.
Russian Tea Cakes (AKA Wedding Cake Cookies)
  • 1 Cup Softened Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla
  • 2 Teaspoons Water
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds, add granulated sugar and beat until fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and water, beat well.
4. Stir in flour and pecans.
5. Shape into 1-inch balls.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Cool completely.
8. Gently roll cookies in powdered sugar.
Peanut Butter Kisses
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 24 Hersey Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, cream peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until blended.
3. Roll into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked.
4. Immediately press one chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

These are just the three cookies that I always make! I usually make some sort of chocolate cookie as well, but I usually just cheat and buy the cookie dough. So there you have my secret lol! What's your favorite Christmas cookie recipes?

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