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Toffee Bar Recipe

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You guys enjoyed my mini smores recipe so much that with the holidays approaching, I wanted to share my other go to sweet treat recipe- Toffee bars!  I have been making these during the holidays for years.  They are easy to make, require no fancy ingredients and are so, so good!!!!  Enjoy!


Family Photo Time!

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I don't know about you but I always agonize over what to wear for family photos.  This year, I knew it was going to be chilly out so I started off with Ava's Hatley Pea Coat that I bought off Amazon last spring in a great deal.  From there, I found Ryan's sweater from Children's Place which incorporated a few different colors and our red, blue and ivory color scheme was born! My sweater was one I have had for years and poor Alex is usually a "day of" decision. I think things came together and despite it being FREEZING the day of our shoot, I was happy with the results!


Let's Ride a Train

One of my favorite experiences as a parent is experiencing things with my kids for the first time.  Ryan loves Thomas the train but has never actually rode on a train.  We decided to take the kids to local state park that has an old train ride.  It is fairly short and inexpensive so it is perfect for first timers (including a restless toddler)!

The kids had a blast and I think Alex and I had just as much fun watching the world through their eyes!


My Top 10 Amazon Gag Gifts

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If you have spent any amount of time on my blog or social media, you know my deep love for I LOVE Amazon. Through my trolling for things, I have come across some of the most random, hilarious, and strange products there!

Since we are entering the season for giving, I figured I would share with you 10 of my favorites- perfect for Yankee Swap/White Elephant or just that random relative that would get a kick out of it.  

Without further adieu here is my Top 10 (and for your shopping pleasure, links are available at the end of the post!

"This Might be Wine" mug- The perfect gift for the wino in your life.  To all my friends/family reading this post: I fully expect this under my tree this Christmas!

Bag of Unicorn Farts- Seriously.  You can buy these on Amazon.  Amazon officially sells everything. 

Baby Bum Brush- Because your hand is no longer sufficient.  Perfect for that freaked out parent to be or new parent who may have lost their sense of humor .  It even comes in multiple colors!

WTF Notes- Perfect workplace gift. Also, where the heck were these when I was working in an office?!

Leg Lamp Nightlight- Nothing says "Merry Christmas" more than a leg lamp!

Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat - entire book devoted to crafts you can make out of cat fur.  Please get this for the cat lover in your family!  Also, if you have time, read the reviews.  They are awesome.

"I Survived Another Meeting That Should Have Been An Email" Mug- OMG YES!!!!  Who can't relate to this?!!

Go F*ck Yourself, I'm Coloring: Swear Word Coloring Book- Adult coloring books.  Perfect and this adds some edge to it!

Justin Bieber: Bieber Fever! book- I am cracking up at the thought of your coworker opening up this gift.  A-maz-ing.

Smuggle Your Booze Tampon Flasks- Ok, now I have seen everything.  Kind of genius though, right?!?!

It is official.  Amazon sells it all.  May you be the best gift giver this holiday season!


Baby's First Visit to the ER

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Ava was crawling at 6 months, walking at 10 months and was running around full force shortly thereafter.  She is my little "ninja warrior" and although I am constantly telling her to slow down, she doesn't seem to want to listen.  A couple days ago, one of my biggest mom fears came true.  

Ava was running around our living room and I heard a familiar "thump."  Generally, A is a pretty tough girl.  This time she cried hard so I  ran over and picked her up.  There was a nasty cut on her cheek.  Insert mom freakout. It was one of those moments where I didn't feel fully qualified to be responsible for another human being.  How do I know what requires an ER visit?!?!  

After a few frantic texts to friends (complete with pictures...sorry guys!), I brought her in and after a quick exam, I learned my poor baby needed a few layers of stitches.  As a mom it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch them stitch her back up but she was a total trooper.  After the procedure when we were waiting to be discharged, she even took a nap on me.  I couldn't remember the last time Ava slept on me so I laid back and enjoyed the sweet moment with my baby girl.

We left with Doctor's orders of ensuring she won't run around for a few days (uh, ok) and not letting her sleep on that side of her face (does he realize she is ONE??  I'll be sure to tell her that).  She is now back to herself and sporting tough looking bandage!  

I can now check this off my list of "things my kids have done to give me a mini heart attack." I deserve glass of wine!


My Early Toddler Favorite Products!

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The response to my Infant Product Hits and Misses post in my deal group was awesome!  I loved our discussion on what you all agreed with and didn't agree with.  Now that Miss Ava is 17 months (where did time go?! ) I figured it was time to update you all on the products we have been loving these days from 12-18 months.  For your buying pleasure (the holidays are right around the corner) you can go straight to the product on Amazon by clicking the picture at the bottom of this post- there are some AWESOME deals so check them out!  Enjoy!

Step2 Push Around Buggy- Every cool kid needs a cool ride and Ava sure does have one.  We gave her the buggy for her first birthday and she has been obsessed.  One of my favorite things is pushing her along while my son rides his balance bike.   She gets a huge kick out of it and cruises contently driving along.

Zoli Bot Straw Cup- I tried a LOT of straw cups with my kids.  This was the winner with both kids when it came to transitioning from a bottle to a straw cup.  Disclaimer: it does leak out the top occasionally due to the pressure (especially in warmer months) but I still love it.  It seemed to be a perfect early learner cup and I preferred it to all the others I tried (Nuk, Munchkin, etc).

Mega Bloks- My son got the First Builders Bag of Mega Bloks for his first birthday and he has loved them ever since.  From towers to houses to cars, we have gotten our money's worth from them.  It is really fun seeing my daughter showing interest in them (and I can feel like super mom building her motor and problem solving skills).  These are one of those "must have toys" in my book!

Ball Pit (and 200 balls)- Best.purchase.ever.  Both my 3 year old and 17 month old are OBSESSED with this thing.  I have rotated it out for a week at a time and every time I bring it back, it is guaranteed to keep them occupied for enough time to allow me to make dinner!  Why didn't we have these things when we were kids?!?!

(note: this was with 100 balls, I eventually added another 100 )

Dinosaur Train Dino Bones Tunnel- I decided to buy this after both my kids seemed to love the tunnel at my daughter's kiddie gym.  To say it is a hit is an understatement.  I liked it from the second I opened the package and it didn't smell like so many toys do.  It is very well made and extremely durable.  They love crawling around in it, putting toys in and doing other random things that keep them occupied while mama sits and observes.  This is a MUST have!

Board books.  My daughter is obsessed with books.  Her favorites right now are Moo Ba La La La and Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See.  Those two books account for around 75% of our book reading.  While, reading the same 2 books may get repetitive, it does have its advantage that I don't actually have to look at the words anymore since I have them memorized.  Plus, books make kids smart, right?! :)

Gazillion Bubbles Machine- I bought this after I posted it in my group.  I was nervous because reviews seemed mixed but I am SO happy I picked it up. Both my kids LOVE it and there is something truly magical about watching your kids run around with looks of joy on their faces while popping bubbles! :)

Skip Hop Utensils - One of my most dreaded tasks as a mom has been introducing utensils to my kids.  Meal times become messy and drawn out. Through trial and error with my son (poor first child), I learned that the plastic utensils are more difficult for them to use than stainless steel ones.  I picked these up for my daughter and LOVE them! They are wide at the handle so it is super easy for her to grip.  I now have 3 sets and mealtime is a little less painful.

Ava's Picks:


Potty Training: What Worked for Us

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I don't think there have been 2 more dreaded words in my experience as a mom as these two: potty training.  I felt like it was the SAT's of being a mom- how the heck am I supposed to teach a stubborn 2-3 year old how to abandon something he knew and was comfortable with and do something different?!  It seemed impossible and I felt like I was screwing things up constantly. Thankfully, I passed the test and my kid is now potty trained (MOM WIN)!  
In hopes of helping someone else who finds this whole potty training thing totally intimidating, here is how things went down with us. Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert and I fully expect things with my daughter to be totally different.

At 18 months, I got Ryan the Lil' Loo Potty. It was inexpensive and felt like a prepared super mom ready to tackle potty training.  Riiiiight.  Funny thing was, Ryan wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. Sometimes he would sit on it fully clothed, occasionally he would sit on it before bath time but mostly he just yelled "NO!" when I made the horrendous suggestion of sitting on it.  I wanted the potty to be a positive thing so I never pushed it.  It sat lonely and unused in the corner of both our bathrooms.

I also picked up a few books about potty training.  My favorite was Once Upon a Potty because it explained EVERYTHING.  My son, for whatever reason, absolutely loved The Potty Train.  It is a little cheesy but he loved it.  It got him asking questions about underpants and relating the potty to himself.  Others that were in the rotation were Prince of the Potty and Potty Superhero: Get ready for big boy pants! We read a LOT of potty books....

As Ryan's 3rd birthday approached, he still wanted nothing to do with the potty.  While his classmates were slowly all becoming trained, he had still never gone in the potty.  As much as I tried to keep the "I am going to be so casual about this" attitude, I was getting antsy that he would still be in diapers in college.  However, I saw signs of readiness- he loved his potty books, he asked for underwear so I made a big deal of taking him to the store to pick out some (he picked Paw Patrol), and he would wake up dry some nights, pee and ask to be changed.  I deemed him ready.  Whether he liked it or not, it was time. Hellllp me....
Ryan's school had a week long February break approaching so I decided we would do the 3 day "boot camp" style method.   I had prepped him the week before by saying things like "on Friday, we are going to give your diapers away to Ava!  You are big now so you get to use the potty!"  (not sure if this is the right or wrong thing to do, it worked for us).  Friday morning came and he helped me collect all his diapers and we "gave" them to his little sister.  Let the fun begin...

Day 1 aka "I know it is 8am but can I start drinking wine now?"-  Day 1 SUCKS. Sorry but it does. After getting dressed and doing a big celebration of him wearing Paw Patrol underpants, I made a point put him on the potty every 20 minutes to try to go.  I also made a conscious effort to ask him if his underpants were dry in between so that it was on his mind. My rationale was that this would remind him that he needs to be aware of if he needs to go.
I learned quickly that he was afraid of the potty and was going to hold it as long as he could.  By mid-morning, I could tell he was uncomfortable but still fighting it.  I was ready to google "can my kid hurt himself from holding pee?"  Then IT HAPPENED! I never thought I would get so excited about pee.  I was jumping up and down...and he was crying.  He had a couple accidents that day and I did a pull up at naps/night.  By bedtime, I was exhausted and definitely poured myself a nice glass of wine as a reward to myself for surviving day 1.

Day 2-way better.  One accident, some resistance but he was getting it. I also employed a little bribery when it came to going #2 on the potty.  He didn't do it but the cookie was waiting if he did.

Day 3- NO ACCIDENTS and we even decided to ditch the pull up at naps!!!  I was shocked that by day 3, he was accident free!  Going #2 was a different story as he was holding it but eventually he had no choice but to go in the potty (also earning the cookie motivated him somewhat).

The first day back at school, Ryan had an accident on the way to the potty but other than that, 3 days was all it took for us! I stopped with pull ups entirely after about 6 days.  It is important to note that he went through a period where he was wetting the bed at night about 6 weeks after we trained (confused the heck out of me) but I cut off liquids an hour before he went to bed and that solved the problem!

So that is our story!  Potty training did suck but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I really am a believer in waiting until they are ready because he seemed to catch on seamlessly and I (thankfully) didn't have to deal with many accidents at all.  We will see how things go the next time I have to do this but I am hoping it is as easy as it was my first time (yeah, right).

Here are my 8 potty training essentials that helped in our journey...

After a good discussion in our group, here are some additional suggestions that PinkRoseMama readers had!

Jewelry Amazon Deal of the Day

This post contains affiliate links.  See a full disclosure here.

Amazon is having an AWESOME deal of the day today DEAL OF THE DAY ENDED so I figured I would try something new and put all the deals in one place!  The pictures will take you directly from the listing.  Prices are valid today only and are subject to change at any time if quantities sell out.

Kate Spade Kendra Scott Michael Kors and Dogeared


All About Amazon Subscribe and Save!

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I often post subscribe and save deals on my Facebook page and group.   Since discovering it, Subscribe and Save has essentially taken away the need for me to go to bulk stores like Costco.  I buy so many of of my household products, baby food, beauty products and more through Subscribe and Save!   I no longer have to lug a giant bag of dog food or wrangle a giant thing of paper towels while carrying bags of groceries into my house!  These things are now delivered right to my door!

What is Subscribe and Save?
As per the Amazon website: with subscribe and save, "you receive a discount off the Amazon everyday low price, free standard shipping, and the convenience of automatic deliveries when you receive your subscriptions on your monthly Subscribe & Save delivery day. There are no commitments, obligations, or fees and you can cancel a subscription at any time."

Why should I Subscribe and Save?
There are multiple ways to save with Subscribe and Save. Often, coupons are available on many subscribe and save items!  Here is the main coupon page where you can find items that have a coupon.  On the product page, you must click on the green coupon to "clip" it. You can filter the coupons by category (ie: baby, beauty items, etc).

 Additionally, you are offered a discount for subscribing.  Discounts currently are as follows and are on top of savings from coupon:

  • 1-4 items in your monthly shipment- 5% discount
  • 5+ items in your monthly shipment- 15%
  • Diapers and baby food are 20% with 5+ monthly items
Wait- I clipped a coupon?  How much of a discount do I get?
Coupon and subscribe and save discounts stack!  
For example:
You clicked a 25% diaper coupon the discount would be:  25% coupon savings + 20% diaper subscription = 45% off 
You clicked a 15% mascara coupon and have 6 items in your monthly shipment. You would get the 15% coupon + 15% subscribe and save discount = 30% off

You posted that I have to click on the coupon to receive the deal.  Where is it? 
It is generally a green box found under the price.

The price didn't change after I clicked the coupon!  Did it not apply?
Proceed with the deal and go to the "review subscription" or payment phase of checkout.  The discount should show up there.  Look at the example below- you see coupon savings plus subscribe and save savings.
Will my discounts apply for my next shipment?
Your subscribe and save discount would apply but any coupon savings are on the first shipment only.

Can I change the date on my subscribe and save shipment?
Yes!  Go into your Amazon account. Then click on your subscribe and save.  Under the date in blue, it will say "change delivery date." Click that to change it! 

NOTE: When you go into your subscribe and save, if you click on the item, the price you see will NOT reflect your coupon discounts!  To see the price you paid, you need to go to your account, the your orders and click on the order details for that order.  The order details will show you the price you paid with coupons and s&s discount applied. 

I no longer want this item.  Can I cancel and how do I do so?
Yes, you are free to cancel at any time.  Go back into your subscribe and save items.  Click on the item and hit edit.  

Once you hit edit, then choose "cancel subscription."  Easy as that!

See below for some current subscribe and save deals- remember.  The prices that are shown do NOT include coupon or subscribe and save discounts!  You can save anywhere from 5%-60% with subscribe and save once you factor in the discounts!

Here are some November Subscribe and Save deals:
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