Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Everly loves having yogurt in the morning, but we’ve been stuck in a breakfast rut. She goes a few weeks eating the same things until she doesn’t want it anymore and then we move on to the next one! Here are some breakfast recommendations I received from other moms on Instagram along with a few I researched on my own.

Avocado Toast

SO easy to make in morning, cut up into small pieces.

Almond Flour Pancakes

A friend of mine sent me the easiest recipe after we got the Arthur Flour care package. Everly isn’t really a fan of pancakes or waffles, but I’m sure someone else will enjoy this recipe.

Beat together 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1/4 cup heavy cream.
Add to 1 cup of almond flour and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

Egg cups with veggies

(easy to bake these in muffin tins). You can use any vegetables! I dice up carrots/sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, or peas.

English Muffins with peanut/almond/sunflower butter and bananas.

Top with hemp seeds!

Whole milk yogurt with honey and fruit

Scrambled egg, bean, and cheese quesadillas

Banana “pancakes”

mix one egg + 1/2 banana and cook in a pan like a pancake

Chia Seed Pudding

Oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon

Smoothies!

Blueberry/apple sauce muffins

Any other breakfast ideas to share?

xo,

Jacci

A Day at Disney with an Infant

A Day at Disney with an Infant

Jake, Everly and I have lots of time planned in Florida for fall and winter, so Jake gave me the best anniversary gift ever – a Disney annual pass! Everly gets in free to the parks until her third birthday, so I plan to take her quite a bit when we’re in town. I have another friend with an annual pass, so we planned a trip and had the best time ever!

Taking a baby anywhere involves so much planning and I didn’t know what to expect. Everly never naps in her stroller or in the car, so I was nervous to say the least. I compiled a list of things that I packed (and really needed) and a list of fun things to do at Magic Kingdom. Of the four Walt Disney world parks, Magic Kingdom is definitely the best for children. There are plenty of rides that don’t require a height limit, character meet and greets and parades.

Planning/Packing for Disney was a process!

Things I brought:

Water bottles, snacks and sunscreen. You can bring food and water into the parks in a soft sided cooler (which is awesome!)

A battery operated fan that clipped on her stroller along with a sun shade, so she could have darkness for naps

Plenty of wipes, diapers and hand sanitizer

Our Uppababy Vista stroller and LilleBaby carrier

Cute matching Disney T-shirt’s that I ordered on Etsy

My Disney annual pass and Magic Band

I also downloaded the Disney World app ahead of time. We planned our fast passes for a few rides and meet and greets. You are also able to get a child swap pass, so another adult in your party can stay with the baby while you ride.

Our day:

As I mentioned before, Magic Kingdom is the best park for children. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult to get to. We didn’t stay on Disney property, so we parked in the lot around 9:30am and then took the bus to the gates. The line for the monorail and ferry were SOO long, so we opted for the bus. It only took a few minutes to hop on and was about a 10 minute drive – SO much easier than expected. Highly recommend the bus during peak times!

We had three fast passes planned ahead of time in the Disney app. The first was for the Meet and Greet with Ariel in her Grotto – it was so cute for Everly to meet her first Disney princess.

At this point we were long overdue for Everly’s first nap, so I broke off from the group and got her to sleep in the stroller with a fan and mesh black out shade.

After Everly woke up we took her on the Winnie the Pooh ride. This is another ride that doesn’t have a height restriction and is perfect for all ages. There is a point in the ride that is dark and Everly was scared and started to cry, but at the end the sun comes out and she was back to her happy self. She loved the part with Tigger bouncing around.

Everly’s favorite ride was “It’s a Small World”. That was my favorite when I was a kid too! It’s a great ride for kids of all ages with music and lots to look at. She sat still the whole time and pointed at all of the dolls dancing.

We were also able to meet Rapunzel, Princess Tiana, and Snow White. She loved getting pictures with each of them 🙂

By 3pm we were all wiped out, so we headed back to the AirBnb! BTW, we rented a super cute 2 bedroom AirBnB in Winter Park, FL (about 25 minutes away from Disney). It was perfect with a small pool and hot tub… here’s the link if you’re interested: Apt E -Modern Elegance in the Heart of Winter Park.

We have a few Disney trips planned coming up… what’s your favorite thing to do with kids at Disney World?

xo,

Jacci

Shorts: Outdoor Voices

Shirts: Matching Mom & Baby Disney Shirts

Flying Spirit with a Toddler

Flying Spirit with a Toddler

Welllllll… flying with a toddler is always an adventure. Especially one that is always on the go and loves to get into everything. When Everly was born, I knew that we would be flying a lot. My family lives outside of Orlando and it’s the perfect place to escape the Boston winters. Jake and I typically fly Jetblue.. you can’t beat the tv’s, free wifi, snacks, and drinks. When I was booking this trip with Everly the price of Spirit Airlines vs. a Jetblue flight was too good to pass up. I was able to buy 2 tickets (one for Everly and I – even though she could have flown as a lap infant for free), 2 seats, and 2 bags for cheaper than 1 Jetblue ticket.

I’m sure you’ve seen the ridiculously low Spirit Airlines prices and wondered how they do it. Well, they don’t let you select your seat or bring a carry on bag. They don’t provide complimentary beverage or snack service and they don’t have any inflight entertainment. The rows of seats are very close together too. That’s why tickets are SO cheap! If you don’t care about any of those things then Spirit Airlines is perfect for you!

The Spirit Airlines terminal at Logan Airport in Boston has two gates… it’s pretty pathetic, but there are some restaurants in the area including a Dunkin Donut and Starbucks and they even have a small play area for kids while you wait to board the flight. I had our stroller to gate check, her car seat to bring on the plane, a diaper bag, and my purse. The stroller was gate checked and we boarded with no delay. Getting the car seat into the tight seats was a challenge and those flight attendants are not there to help you. The rows of seats are so close together so Everly’s car seat had zero recline and I could tell she was uncomfortable (but safe). Our flight took off on time! It was basically a miracle because I’ve heard all of the horror stories.

Everly didn’t sleep for one second and she whined and cried A LOT. It was torture for everyone around us, but I’m used to it by now haha! I had lots of snacks and toys for her to play with including her tablet, legos, magnetiles, a coloring book, stickers and books… ok I definitely over packed, but we survived.

Any of this could have happened on Delta or JetBlue, so overall, Spirit wasn’t so bad. I’d probably fly them again if I purchased a seat for Everly. I can’t believe I just said that, but yes, it was worth the savings!

What’s your favorite airline? Have you flown Spirit Airlines before?

Xo,

Jacci

About Me: Q&A

What is your full name:

Jacquelyn Marie Kokos

How old are you?

I’m pretending like I’m still 29, but I’m 31!

How tall are you?

5’6″ (the perfect height!)

How many siblings do you have?

I’m the oldest of six! I have two brothers and three sisters.

What time do you go to bed at night/wake up in the morning?

I absolutely LOVE sleep – I usually go to bed by 11 and wake up around 7:15AM (a few minutes before Everly is up for the day).

McDonald’s or Burger King?

McDonald’s… obviously. I can’t believe people even eat Burger King.

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

My brother, Everette. I usually talk to my mom and sister, Arielle, daily too!

When was the last time you cried?

I cry a lot! The silliest things make me cry… I usually cry during the Steve Harvey show in the AM or the Ellen show.

What’s your favorite TV show?

I have so many… because I watch way too much TV. Right now it would probably be any of the Real Housewives, but I love Game of Thrones, MTV “The Challenge”, any murder documentaries.

Do you believe in yourself?

Sometimes! I’m always trying to portray confidence (mainly for my daughter), but I have lots of insecurities too.

What can you see out of your kitchen window?

We have a very tiny city view, but I mainly see power lines and parking spots — city life.

Do you have any pets?

We have two Persian cats, Minnie and Ace. They could not be more different with their personalities. Minnie can sleep all day and likes to hide. Ace (also known as Bob/Bobba) likes to play fetch, meows a lot, and needs a lot of attention.

How long have you lived in Boston?

6.5 years! HOLY HELL! And the answer to everyone’s next question — we have no plans to move anytime soon!

Where do you like to shop?

Nordstrom is by far my favorite store. I also like GAP, Target, Aerie, WHOLE FOODS :), and lots of boutiques in Southie.

What was your job before you had Everly?

I was an Event Planner for a restaurant in Boston – planned their corporate and social events. I loved my job and working in a restaurant. You meet so many amazing people, get to eat delicious food, and learn so much about business.

How did you and your husband meet?

We met in 2010 while I was bartending and he was living in Orlando working for the Magic in ticket sales. He came into the bar with some of his friends and started talking to me about his job… I was going to the Magic game with friends the next day! We started dating right away and I called my best friend after our first date and told her he was the person I was going to marry.

Do you and Jake want to have more children?

Of course! We both come from big families, so we would love to be able to have more children when the time is right. We are set for right now though! It is a lot of work with Everly – she’s loud, bubbly and needs lots of attention. Jake would love to have a son, but I’m convinced he’ll be the dad with three daughters!

What is your goal for your blog?

I started this blog as an outlet while Everly naps (almost 4 hours every day). I’m not a very good writer and am trying to be more creative. My goal is to get out of my comfort zone and share things that have worked for Everly and I in my journey as a mother – from recipes to sleep tips, mom outfits to toys, etc. Hopefully, if you are a mother, you can relate to some of my posts!

xo,

Jacci

Bedtime Routine from Day 1

Bedtime Routine from Day 1

The sooner you begin a bedtime routine, the better. We started a routine with Everly around four weeks. It’s evolved as she’s gotten older, but it’s been the key to longer stretches of sleep. Those longer stretches eventually lead to a full night of sleep (10-11 hours for a one year old). PRAISE GOD! I don’t know about you, but I am a MUCH better mom when Everly is sleeping well – for naps and overnight. Here are some tips from my personal experience… obviously, if something is working with your baby, don’t change it!

Babies thrive with a routine that is scheduled. A bedtime routine can be as simple as diaper change, PJ’s and white noise or as complicated as three sound machines, a bath, swaddle, book, songs, etc. The first step to a bedtime routine is creating a consistent schedule. Jake and I loosely followed the E.A.S.Y. method (from Noob MommyEASY-Schedule-Cheat-Sheet I’m not sure if other people have had success with it, but it worked for me! It helped me figure out what time Everly should be napping and eating and that was good enough.

E.A.S.Y. method

E: Eat

A: Activity

S: Sleep

Y: Your Time

A hungry baby (or person in general) is not going to sleep as well as someone that is well fed. They are also not going to interested in any activity time. When Everly was younger her activities ranges from songs, tummy time, books, staring at her reflection in a mirror, sitting in her bouncer, etc. Now that she’s 12+months the activities are much different. She really has to wear herself out to be tired enough for a nap. We will usually go to the park, read books, color with her water books, build with blocks, use her “food truck” to cook, play with her babies/strollers, and the list could go on. Walks in the stroller don’t count as activities anymore – she needs exercise.

4 weeks – 4 months: Everly was still sleeping in her Rock N Play in our room — our bedtime routine looked like this…

Bath, Lotion, PJ’s, brush hair, swaddle, sound machines (white noise), breastfeed until sleep, put in rock and play and turn that thing on full blast!

4 months – 6 months:

Everly was moved into her nursery in her crib. We switched over to the Merlin Sleep Suit (if you don’t own this – buy immediately). Everly wore hers until she started rolling over daily.

Bath, Lotion, PJ’s, brush hair, sleep sack, sound machines, breastfeed to sleep, put down in crib.

At 6 months we also did cry it out — I’ll write a whole separate blog post on this. Long story short. It’s worth it.

6 months – 12 months:

At 6 months Everly started getting a bottle of breast milk before bed. Eventually, we switched the breast milk to formula (pumping is not fun).

Bath, Lotion, PJ’s, brush hair, Halo Sleep Sack, sound machines, bottle of formula, put in crib awake.

There’s no right answer for the perfect bedtime routine. Create what works for your family’s schedule. It is important to stay consistent and create a calming environment for bedtime!

Good luck!

Flying with Infants: Tips & Tricks

With my family living in Florida, Jake and I knew we would be flying a TON with Everly. She made the best travel companion and we took her everywhere! Everly had been on 14 flights before her first birthday — the majority of them have gone smooth, so here are my tips and tricks.

1. Plan your travel ahead of time.

Book your flights far enough in advance, so you get to pick your seats. I would highly recommend picking your seat even on airlines that charge an additional fee. The aisle seat is usually the best for adults with a lap infant. On every airline we’ve flown children under two are free as long as they sit on your lap (ie: JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and Delta).

Most babies will nap anywhere and everywhere – which is great! You are probably able to choose anytime to fly. As your baby approaches 4-6 months you might need to schedule around a nap. Flights first thing in the morning work better for us than bedtime/red eye flights.

2. Organize Yourself

Arriving to the airport alone on the curb with a car seat, luggage, stroller, diaper bag and baby is top 5 most stressful moments of my life. Everly and I took a 9 day trip to Florida and Arizona (without Jake) and boy was I nervous! I ended up surviving — all thanks to being organized. I pack all of our essentials in the diaper bag. There’s no point in bringing an additional purse with you – it’s just one more thing to carry. The night before, I organize her diaper bag by taking every item out and starting fresh. Have your ID, credit card, and boarding pass put in a pocket that’s easily accessible to get through check in.

I also have a travel diaper changing pad that holds wipes, diapers and creams. I can easily grab that instead of bringing the whole bag to the worlds smallest bathrooms on the plane.

3. Carrier or Stroller?

I’ve been asked this question dozens of times. And I always say both. Especially for babies under 6 months. You will fill your stroller up with your water, coffee, breakfast, diaper bag, etc. I always wore Everly in a carrier to get through security – this was super easy for me because most of the time she would be asleep (and you don’t have to take them out).

The Uppababy Vista folds up easily to go through the security check – you will need to take off the wheels too! If you don’t want to fold it, you can push it through the metal detector and they will swipe your hands (not 100% why, but they do!)

Once you get through security you can put baby in the stroller or keep in the carrier. It always worked best to keep Everly in the carrier until we got on the plane.

Gate checking strollers is super easy too – just grab a tag from the gate. I’d recommend putting your stroller in a bag to help avoid extra scratches.

4. Breast milk and Breastfeeding

Everly was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. Before a flight I would usually panic and think I needed to go buy formula for the flight… not sure why! I was always stressed that she wouldn’t latch or my supply wouldn’t be enough to last through the flight. Breastfeeding really gets to your head, man 🤦🏼‍♀️. I would bring between 5-10 ounces of frozen breast milk in a small cooler in my diaper bag with an empty bottle and freezer pack. Security will test any milk that’s thawed, but we’ve never had a problem with that. They also test any water cups, juice cups, and pouches over 3.4oz!

Everyone recommends feeding baby during take off and landing so that their ears can pop too! I traveled with a black nursing cover. It worked as a blackout curtain for sleeping and gave me some privacy. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing for nursing on a plane!

5. Toys AND snacks!

I’m always packed with toys and books. Everly plays with a toy for 2 minutes then is on to the next thing. Before a flight I buy her a brand new toy (as a surprise for the plane). I also packed lots of snacks for her in containers including blueberries, Cherrios, and teething crackers. My favorite snack container is made my Ubbi.

I always travel with Lysol wipes to wipe down the whole row, seat, seatbelt and TV. Planes are a breeding ground for germs.

We have six flights coming up before the end of the year and I’ve been stressed about flying alone with Everly now that she’s a little older. We bought a travel car seat and purchased a seat for her. She’s easier to control when she’s buckled down 💆🏼‍♀️

What are you tips for flying with toddlers? Share any tricks!

Why I Switched to Safer…

Did you know the average woman uses NINE skincare/makeup/beauty products per day? On an average day I use between fifteen and thirty!! That number blew me away and I became determined to figure out what exactly was in my powders, lotions, and face washes. I started by using the EWG Healthy Living app on my phone – this app helps guide your exposure to harmful chemicals in your products at home. I started scanning away…. and was horrified by the results. Some products that I had been using for years and years were coming up with a rating of 10! (Ingredients are ranked in the app 1-10 with 10 being the highest for cancer concern, allergy concern, and developmental concern). I challenge you to download the app to see what harmful ingredients are in your home products.

Then I was introduced to Beautycounter! Not only are the ratings the lowest of any makeup and skincare line on the market, but the products are high quality and high performing. I was nervous to switch to a safer makeup line and not have full coverage or high pigmented colors, but I was blown away!

Now, I use Beautycounter make-up, skincare, body care, and hair care DAILY! Until August 13th Beautycounter is offering 20% off with the discount code: LOVE. This is unprecedented for the company, so I encourage everyone to to take a look and take advantage of this great sale!

Full Face of Beautycounter products:

Foundation // Concealer // Blush // Bronzer // Eyeshadow // Lipstick

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