Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers

Toddler Scavenger Hunt Outdoors

Getting Outside

If your toddler is full of energy like mine, you are so happy warmer weather is here! We’re making sure that we’re spending a lot of our time outside, but going to the park three times a day can get a little repetitive.  I decided to come up with a little scavenger hunt for Henry to do to switch up our daily routine.

Henry walking on Path

Creating the Scavenger Hunt List

Henry is only 2.5, so obviously it all had to be age appropriate.  I did add in a few numbers and shapes to the list to practice these with Henry during our scavenger hunt.  Below is our list; but don’t be afraid to add items that fit the area you’ll be in!  Colors are a good addition too, unfortunately it’s still pretty colorless here in Minnesota right now!

Scavenger Hunt List

The Hunt is On

I read the list to Henry and we headed down a path by our house to start our scavenger hunt.  I let him lead and explore and every once and awhile I reminded him of things we were looking for.  It was fun to see him find things, ask questions, and tell me about them.

Get the Most Out of Your Scavenger Hunt

Here are a few tips that made our scavenger hunt a success:

  1. Let your little one lead!
  2. Ask them questions about colors, sounds, texture etc.
  3. Remind them of the things you’re looking for, but don’t be afraid to stray from the list.
  4. If you have another sibling along, ask them to teach the sibling about what they find.
  5. Give encouragement and show lots of excitement!

Outfit Details

Henry’s Jeans // Henry’s Moccs // Viv’s Moccs // Viv’s Headband // Henry’s Jacket //

** I purchased Vivian’s dress when I was pregnant with her from Gap, unfortunately it is no longer available.

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Cute Swimsuits for Toddlers and Babies



Cute Swimsuits for Toddlers and Babies

Cute Swimwear for Babies &Toddlers

Fun in the Sun

No one else can pull of thigh rolls and a dimpled butt quite like your little one!  That’s what makes swimsuit shopping for them a blast. It’s almost that time of year again where my kids practically turn into fish and/or crustaceans. They grow so fast that every season we invest in a few new suits because they’re practically lived in during the summer. Here are few of my absolute favorite swimwear for little boys & girls! All these shops have other styles too, so don’t forget to check out their whole line of little swimwear!

Minnow Swim

// Buttercream Tie Back Bikini Set // Boys Buttercream Boards //

Rylee & Cru

// Tigers One-Piece // Stars Swim Trunk //

Retro Baby Swimwear 

// Boy Parrot Swim Shorts // Palm Print Girls Swimsuit //



Tea Collection 

// Shell Beach One-Piece // Winkipop Rash Guard One-Piece //

Olivia + Ocean 

// Yellow One-Piece // Venice Swim Shorts //

Boden Kids

// Floral Rash Guard Two-Piece // Gingham Baby Bathers //

Gap Kids

// Ruffle White One-Piece // Stripe Swim Briefs //

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20 Baby Items Every Parent is Thankful For


Don’t Let Your Child Take This Toy in the Bath

Fisher Price Stack and Roll Cups

I want to start by saying the purpose of this post is not to slander Fisher Price, my family loves Fisher Price toys and we will continue to!  However if this information stops one child from getting hurt – even if it’s just a little bruise it’s worth it to me. 

Stackable cups

Here’s Our Story:

Henry, my two and half year old loves bringing these Fisher Price Stack and Roll Cups in the bath tub.  They are perfect for scooping up water and watching it drain out, plus they are easy to dry off afterwards!  Until today I saw no harm in letting him do so.

About once a week my husband has code deployments with his offshore team in India. This means he starts working at 6:30pm.  Its pretty routine for me to feed the kids dinner, play for a bit, and then I take a bath with the kids in our jetted jacuzzi tub and we get ready for bed.  Henry picked out his Fisher Price Stack and Roll Cups to go in the tub,  pretty routine.  He knows when the water fills over the jets (the tub is only half full at this point) that he can push the button to turn the jets on, again, normal for us.  Thats when one of the Fisher Price Stack and Roll Cups quickly suctioned to the suction cover of the whirlpool tub and pulled my back tightly up to it!

Whirlpool Suction Cover


Filter with Fisher Price Stackable Toy

In a Split Second

It didn’t feel good and it scared me half to death. I obviously wasn’t expecting it and it is a very strong suction (video below.)  My first reaction was to turn around and pull the cup off, but I couldn’t!  It was too strong.  Thats when I realized I had to turn off the jets to get it off.  Yes, as an adult woman I could easily reach and turn off the jets.  The scary part is depending on their size a child probably won’t be able to pull themselves off the cup from the suction.  I don’t even want to think about what could happen to a child because of a freak instance like this. Even though my children are always monitored in the bath, this could have been harmful in the moments before I was able to act.


Better Safe Than Sorry

I never leave my children unattended in the bathtub and until a certain age I don’t believe most parents do.  Unfortunately, accidents happen and what I witnessed happen with these stack and rolls cups I’m not taking any chances.  These will no longer be bath time toys in our home.  I just wanted to share with other parents out there that these are potentially very dangerous and not worth the risk to our children.

Kids in the bath tub


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20 Baby Items Every Parent is Thankful for

What You Really Need

It’s so easy to get lost in the millions of baby products out there.  How do you decide which ones you need or don’t need.  These 20 products below are everyday (or close to everyday) items that are helpful, unique and amazing quality.  You will leave you wondering how you lived without them.

20 must have baby items

  1. UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller
  2. DockATot
  3. Noodle & Boo Skincare
  4. Natursutten Pacifiers
  5. Coco and Kiwi Diaper Bag 
  6. Britax Boulevard ClickTight
  7. Bloom Fresco Chrome
  8. Solly Baby Wrap
  9. 4moms mamaRoo
  10. Puj Tub
  11. Nosa Frida Snot Sucker
  12. BioKleen Baby Laundry Liquid
  13. Bloom Baby Care Baby Wipes
  14. LEVO Baby Rocker (sweet grey) by Charlie Crane
  15. Spearmint Love Swaddles
  16. Tranquilo Mat
  17. Milk Snob Cover
  18. Como Tomo Teether
  19. Joovy Boob glass bottle
  20. Dohm White Noise Machine

Already have one or more of these items?  What do you think of them?  What else would you add to this list?

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10 Minute (or less) Beauty Routine


Bath Time with Noodle & Boo

I hope I’m not the only one who looks forward to bath time.  Mainly because it (normally) means that bedtime is around the corner and I may get a few minutes to myself, maybe a glass of wine too.  But, it also means I get to sneak in those fresh smelling baby snuggles before they hit the hay (and of course once they’re sound asleep I miss them again.)

I’m so excited to partner up with Noodle & Boo and give you a chance to win a bundle of my favorite Noodle & Boo products!  I’ll be giving away three bundles and you can find out the details of entering at the end of this post!

After a messy lunch, a craft or if we just need a little quiet, I turn to bath time.  It works like a charm. It’s soothing warmth, gentle sounds, and relaxing smell of Noodle & Boo bath products are everything!  They (almost) always leaving their bath more relaxed.  This dry winter weather has also taken a toll on our babes skin, so right after the bath I lather them in Super Soft Lotion and hit the extra dry patches with Ultimate Ointment. Henry has very sensitive skin and gets flare up’s of eczema during these winter months. We rely on Ultimate Ointment to keep his skin healthy.  And who doesn’t love a little massage after bath time?  Here are a few tips to massaging your little one.

These pictures perfectly depict their relationship.  Henry isn’t always a gentle lover, but Vivian loves any attention her brother will give her even if he is being rough.  I can’t wait till she is a little bigger and can get him back when he is being not so nice.




Each bundle will include:

16oz Extra Gentle Shampoo

8oz Leave-In Conditioning Hair Polish

5oz Ultimate Ointment

You must be 16 years or older to enter and reside in the United States.



Please email me (within 24hrs) at raisingbuddies@gmail.com to claim your bath bundle! Please include your name and address! Thank you and congrats!

Tara Maple
Meghan Jean Cleveland
Jessica Cooper Federico


  1. “Like” Raising Buddies Blog & Noodle & Boo on Facebook (If you already “like” my page skip to step 2 to enter.)
  2. For an extra entry tag a friend in the comments of the Facebook post.  Each friend tagged is an extra entry.
  3. Giveaway Ends Sunday (2/5/17) at 11:59pm CST
  4. Winners will be announced on Monday on here and Facebook



Freshly Picked Giveaway


A huge thank you to Freshly Picked for sponsoring this giveaway!

I am so excited to team up with Freshly Picked and give a pair of moccasins to three different people!  Below are details of how to enter and where I will be announcing the lucky winners!


Today (01/31/17) Freshly Picked released three new moccasin designs and we were lucky enough to get a sneak peak to share!

Spring Orchid 

Robin’s Egg



Henry is sporting Robin’s Egg and Vivian is showing off both Spring Orchid and Dalmatian.  I mean, a girl can never have too many shoes, right?  I’ll be honest, it’s been a little while since Henry has worn moccasins and I was skeptical if he was “too old” to wear them now (he’s two and a half.) He seriously loves them! We love going to the YMCA and right now with the snow and wet ground the Y asks that kids come to daycare with a second pair of dry shoes and Freshly Picked moccs are perfect!  My diaper bag is already filled with a million and one things and I don’t need two more pairs of bulky shoes.  Freshly Picked moccs are perfect for this, they don’t take up much space and my littles love playing inside in them too! #momwin

With most shoes Vivian kicks them off within 2 minutes, with her Freshly Picked Moccs they stay on her feet until I take them off!  Plus, she loves touching the little tassels on them, its so cute!

Giveaway time!

To enter you must be residing in the United States and over 18 years old.

  1. To enter the giveaway subscribe to my blog, if you’ve already subscribe leave a comment about your favorite pair of Freshly Picked moccasins.
  2. Follow Freshly Picked on Instagram, click here.
  3. For an extra entry “re-pin” this.
  4. Pick out your favorite pair of Freshly Picked moccs and keep your fingers crossed!

The giveaway ends on 2/2/17 at 11:59pm CST.  I will announcing the winners here and on my Instagram “Stories.”  GOOD LUCK!


Winners, please email me at RaisingBuddies@gmail.com with your name, address, mock style choice, & size, congrats!

Must claim your moccs within 24hrs (2/4/17 @ 1pm) 

  1. Jilliankrieglmeier@gmail.com
  2. michelle.ragghianti@yahoo.com
  3. janellec@live.com




Functional and Super Chic Diaper Bags for Moms

Functional designer diaper bags


The Hunt for the Perfect Diaper Bag

When I was pregnant with Henry, it seemed I was on the hunt for a diaper bag that I actually liked for a long time!  I had found many that screamed “Diaper Bag” and I wasn’t ready to give up on staying trendy just yet (or ever.)  I was looking for a diaper bag that was stylish, no one could know it was a diaper bag, and that I would have plenty of room to stay organized.   I’ll keep it short and simple, after a long search I’ve found some real gems!  Here are some of my favorite places that sell the best fashionable and functional diaper bags.

**Every brand name is “clickable” and linked to checkout what other styles of bags they have to offer.  Here are just some of my absolute favorites.


Lily Jade

Lily Jade Rosie Grey

Lily Jade Organizer

Lily Jade Madeline Black & Red





Little Unicorn




CoCo + Kiwi



Fawn Design




Stork Sak

Stork Sak

Stork Sak

Emma Tan


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Breast, Bottle, & Dirty Chicken Nuggets

Baba Bandz

Being a parent is hard. Of course, having opinions shoved down your throat only makes it harder. Everyone has their own opinions on breast/bottle feeding and we all have our own reasoning. In my opinion this sums it up perfectly:

I breastfed Henry until he was a little over a year old and I don’t think this makes him any better than a child who was bottle fed from the day one.  The other day I caught him eating a day old chicken nugget he picked up out of his carseat cup holder (it was hard as a rock!)  Obviously, he is a genius.  The transition from breast to bottle was a nightmare, he wouldn’t sleep-he would just scream.  It took a good week and finally made it to a bottle and sippy cups.  Long story short, I did not want the transition for Vivian to be this difficult.  So, we have started to try to get her use bottles.

Moms “bottle” & Viv’s Bottle

We have a couple issues.  One,  I don’t produce an overabundance of milk. When I pump I’m lucky to get two extra ounces a day (not enough for a full bottle.) I’ve talked with my doctor, but she just thinks my body only produces as much milk as my baby nurses.  Two,  we have been trying all different bottles to see what she will take to best.  This is when I came across Baba Bandz.  If I don’t have enough milk stored up, we supplement with (gasp!) formula.  Going between breastmilk and formula can be a little tricky when multiple people are trying to give Viv the bottle because they don’t know how long the bottle is “good” for.  Both milks have different amounts of time they can safely be consumed.  Baba Bandz gives me the comfort of knowing exactly when the bottle can be given till without any wasting or guessing!


Both formula and breastmilk are liquid gold and we don’t want that going to waste.  The Baba Bandz  fits around every bottle we have tried- Joovy Boob, Mimijumi, Dr.Browns Wide Neck, and Tommee Tippee.  They are also dishwasher safe which is wonderful because you don’t have to remove the Baba Bandz to wash them.  I’m busy, I’m forgetful, and I’m thankful that the Williams Family invented Baba Bandz its been a money and an overall lifesaver!



Milestones- Time goes by too fast

When I was pregnant with Henry I heard at least 500 times, “Soak it all in… time goes by fast!”  And you know what, it REALLY does.  I get teased by my family all the time that I take too many pictures, but pictures and videos are the treasure we look back on.  Every few weeks my husband and I lay in bed after the kids are asleep and look through pictures on our phones.  Sometimes the pictures are just weeks old, but with little ones I swear you can see them growing.  I’ve always taken ‘monthly’ pictures and I couldn’t be more happy that I have.





When Vivian was born, I used a cute little Target calendar to take her monthly pictures next to.  When we moved, the calendar got lost in the chaos. (if you didn’t know-we moved, check out Moving on up!)  It must have been meant to be (I’m a believer in that) because I came across Milestone World.  They’ve made it easy to never miss those special moments.  No matter how busy you are, you can just whip out the cute card next to your little one and snap a picture!(Or, 212 pictures until one looks just right!)  They also have other sets of cards, so something for everyone!  Whatever you do, don’t miss out on capturing those precious moments, they do go by too fast!


Consessions of a Gap Addict


When I was in my third trimester, I would wake up multiple times a night to use the ladies room. If it was after midnight, I would check my Gap app on my phone to see what the new sale there was and if any new items or collections were added. I was addicted. It was embarrassing. I am happy my husband was asleep and couldn’t judge me!

Gap shopping bag


But, I did learn to get the best deals and saved our family a lot of money. Here are my 6 rules to getting a great deal:

1. NEVER, EVER buy something unless they have an additional 40% off or it’s part of a spend $100 get $45 off. These events come up often, every week or so, and all items will eventually be put on these lists.

2. Don’t buy things at aren’t in the sale section. Gap goes through their collections fast so it normally doesn’t take long for current to become ‘sale’ (3 weeks to a month.) That way you get the $40 sweater on sale for $28 plus the additional 40% off you have been waiting for! Thank God for their impatience.

3. If you have a Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or Athleta card you will earn rewards and receive an extra 10% off on Tuesdays! If you’re like me, Tuesdays have become a top 3 best days of the week!

4. Check at Gap.com for their sale of the day even if you’re going into the store itself. Read the details- because sometimes it says: online AND in stores, but the stores won’t be advertising an extra 40% off (this happens A LOT especially an additional amount on sale items in stores). Normally they will take the extra 40% off at checkout!

5. If it’s time to redeem GapCash, use it in stores!! Online will not let you combine your GapCash with any other offers, but in stores will! This last round of GapCash I got an additional 40% off my items on top on using my GapCash!

6. Try to shop ahead. I know this is easier said then done, but, you can save a lot of money. I bought Henry’s winter jacket at the end of last winter and paid $12 for a jacket that was originally $70.