The Newest (& Truthfully) Mess-Free Snack Every Mom Needs

When Greyson first began eating solid foods at four months old, my husband and I couldn’t wait to introduce him to all kinds of flavors through fresh fruits and seasonal vegetables. We are avid baby food makers and prefer to make our own food rather than buy premade store-bought food. About once a month we spend a Sunday pureeing new fruits and veggies for him to try that we’ve found at our local farmers market or grocery store. However, as Greyson continues to grow and venture into more self-feeding-friendly foods at almost seven months old, he’s become even more curious about discovering new and interesting flavors, which put me on the hunt for a snack that is nutritious, tasty for my little guy, and mess-free. Then we discovered Gerber Lil’Beanies.

Gerber Lil'Beanies

Thank you to Gerber for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to try their new Lil’Beanies!
Although they provided the treat, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

While visiting our local Walmart we perused the baby food aisle looking for a quality food snack that allowed Greyson to safely nibble without filling him up on empty starches or sugary ingredients. I love that Walmart has a great selection of baby food and snacks for a stay-at-home-mom price; or otherwise a family with one income. I feel as though every time I shop there they always have what I’m looking for and I can leave without spending a dime more than I intended to. After spending some time reading nutrition and ingredient label after label my husband and I were pleased to find these new Gerber Lil’Beanies! I’ve always trusted Gerber and their line of products (and let’s not deny my son who looks exactly like the baby on the packaging, ha!) and was excited to pull these beanies off the shelf and take a closer look.

What’s in them? They are a baked bean snack made of navy beans which happen to be a mild flavored bean packed full of protein, fiber, and are made with wholesome ingredients (nothing genetically modified or artificial flavors of any kind – win, win!). These Lil’Beanies come in two flavors: Original, which is a softer and milder taste, and White Cheddar & Broccoli, of which I found to be delicious and packed with flavor – even for me! Knowing that Gerber puts a lot of thought into how their snacks are prepared and the ingredients that go in them I am able to enjoy providing a healthy snack for my son as he continues to discover new foods, textures, and enjoy learning to feed himself.

Greyson Loved Visiting Walmart

Now, you’re probably thinking that since he’s about 6.5 months old he’s not ready for these. I was a little anxious myself only because the recommendation is for toddlers, however the feeding recommendation on the can suggests a child who can: feed easily with fingers, can bite through a variety of textures, as well as being able to stand. Although he hasn’t hit that last milestone just yet, with four teeth and counting with an ever growing ability to chew, I knew that with close supervision he would love these snacks. As a parent I love how dissolvable each crisp is, which makes it even easier for Greyson to learn how to chew and makes clean-up a breeze (no more sticky wafers smeared over everything!). Another great reason I love these Gerber Lil’Beanies! As always, though, it’s best for parents to make the right decision for their child based on what they’re ready to eat and signs that they’re ready for the next stage in food.

These Lil’Beanies were great on the go!

Gerber Lil’Beanies are a nutritional alternative to snacking!

Since bringing these snacks home I’ve had a lot of fun giving these Lil’Beanies to Greyson in a variety of ways. I mean, that’s the fun about introducing new food, right?! Most of the time I sit with him and feed one crisp at a time while holding it for him so that he begins to learn to push food to the sides of his mouth to chew. In addition, over the last couple days as he’s been snacking on them he’s become very good at holding them himself and taking little nibbles. What I love most? They dissolve quickly, which makes these Lil’Beanies the perfect teaching snack too! Other times I place a few in his mesh feeder so that he can safely suck and chew on them by himself without me worrying about him choking. This allows him to continue to play while he snacks and frees my hands to be productive around the home.

Gerber Lil’Beanies allow Greyson to practice pinching and self-feeding! See how you can snag a can for yourself!

Gerber Lil’Beanies are easily dissolvable which make for the perfect mess-free snack for your little one!

It just so happened that since the family and I were going to be away from the house for the better part of the day, these Lil’Beanies were perfect to just throw in the diaper bag for quick snacking while we were out. The canister didn’t take up a lot of space in our bag and it was so easy at lunch to give him a couple crips to munch on while we ate. I will definitely be making sure these guys are packed on rotation – such a life saver!

Find these Gerber Lil’Beanies at your local Walmart! See how you can get cash back from your purchase using iBotta!

Want to try these for yourself and your little one at home? iBotta has an offer exclusively for these Gerber Lil’Beanies! When you buy either their Lil’Beanies Original or White Cheddar & Broccoli flavors you’ll receive a cash back offer of $.50 (while supplies last!)! So, if you’re a mom like me and looking for that next great, healthy snack for your little one at a price point like that, be sure to try Gerber’s new Lil’Beanies snacks!

Learn about the newest mess-free snack provided by Gerber! This new bean snack is a healthy alternative to most baby/toddler snacks!

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Happy Weekend, Folks!

Just wanting to stop by the blog today and wish everyone a wonderful weekend! Today I’m off to my school where I worked right before taking time off to give birth and raise Greyson. I always enjoy returning to campus and seeing all of my teacher friends and students. I can’t believe many of the preschoolers I once worked with are now Kindergarteners and my firsties are second graders now! Nonetheless, it’ll be good to spend the day catching up and visiting with Greyson (he has a certain charm with the ladies).

Also, be sure to check out my guest spot over at Ember Grey! Since having Greyson it’s taken me some time to become confident in my new body; i.e. the body I was left with after delivering a 9 lb baby and gaining 30 lbs throughout my pregnancy. So, today I’m talking about the road I took to getting comfortable in this new skin of mine and how my style has changed due to nursing! So be sure to check that out and stop by to say hello 😉

Lastly, can you believe that this boy of mine continues to grow and change at a rate that this little mom heart of mine can’t seem to keep up with? I know I’ll be saying that forever. Nonetheless, here are some adorable photos I snapped the other day of Greyson enjoying his new walker. Yes, W-A-L-K-E-R. Although he’s still learning how his feet work, he can’t get enough of this toy and it’s been so much fun watching him move around and discover the things that were literally out of reach before. If you want to see the cutest video of him trying his walker for the first time be sure to check out my Instagram!

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23 Things I Learned When I Moved To California

Learning my new surroundings and the culture that goes with it took some time, but here’s my list of the things I've learned while living in the Golden State

This month officially marks the two year anniversary of my transplantation from an east coaster to a west coaster here in sunny California thanks to all the Facebook memory reminders! I can’t believe it’s been a whole two years; yet since making roots here as a family it’s almost difficult to remember a time when we didn’t call California home. Murphy was just a month old when we moved and Greyson was born here so in a way this place will forever be a place I cherish. However, that doesn’t mean I love everything about this state considering it’s quite different from anywhere else I’ve lived…and that’s saying something having lived in D.C.

Learning my new surroundings and the culture that goes with it took some time, but here’s my list of the things I’ve learned while living in the Golden State:

  1. It will take you living in CA for more than a year in order to fully understand its seasons.
  2. You’ll see the word season used loosely. Depending on what part of CA you live in hot and hotter may be your only variation in weather. However you can travel to your seasons and experience fall or winter in NorCal.
  3. CA is much bigger than you or your out-of-state relatives and friends think it is. Just because a minor earthquake was felt in San Francisco doesn’t mean I’m feeling it in L.A. Same goes for weather reports…
  4. You will learn that not all apartments come with air conditioning or washers/dryers in the unit.
  5. Eventually you’ll begin placing the word “the” in front of all interstates and freeways. Also, “the 1” is also known as the “PCH”, never called the “Pacific Coast Highway” in conversation.
  6. You will be able to spot tourists a mile away due to the increase of entry-level convertible Chevy Camaros or Ford Mustangs on the road. No local actually drives those let alone a convertible with the top down.
  7. Parking can be nonexistent in some places. The parking signs are even harder to decipher. Always go with Uber or Lyft when in downtown L.A.
  8. You’ll never go to the beach as often as you think you might, but it won’t stop you from Instgramming the crap out of sunsets and palm trees whenever you do go (see photo above).
  9. You’ll become excited to throw on a sweater and a scarf the moment the temperature dips below 70 degrees.
  10. And you’ll consider it a heatwave when the temperature outside is a balmy 75 degrees.
  11. Whatever concept you had about rush hour no longer exists. Be prepared to sit in traffic, in both directions, during all hours of the day, all day, every day. And forget it if there’s construction.
  12. Invest in a hybrid or electric car due to point number eleven.
  13. No matter where you live you’ll stick to your side of the hood due to the traffic. You will socialize, eat, work, and play in places that are within walking distance or you can Uber to. Live in L.A. but a friend in Malibu wants to hang out? #girlbye.
  14. You won’t run into celebrities as often as you’d think. Unless that is you’re hella rich and can afford to live or socialize in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, or Malibu. Then maybe you can borrow a cup of sugar from a Kardashian or have dinner next to Gwen Stefani.
  15. Speaking of celebrities, don’t be surprised when all of your friends or strangers you meet are some kind of model, actor/actress or otherwise trying to make it in the “biz.”
  16. Taxes will get you every year no matter how well you spend or save your money. California is one of the highest taxed states in the country and the cost-of-living is insane.
  17. It never really rains here so get comfortable with growing succulents instead of an actual garden. But, when it does rain be prepared for mudslides and horrible drivers.
  18. Speaking of horrible drivers, Californians don’t seem to understand what merging is or traffic rules in general. That’s why the 101 and the 405 are always backed up.
  19. SigAlert will be your best commuting friend. Oh, and Ryan Seacrest as you make your morning drive to work.
  20. Fires and earthquakes are real concerns and so is that whole water drought thing. You have to specifically ask for water for it to be served to you in restaurants since water is scarce.
  21. People from California are really proud. Like, Texas or Boston proud…almost. So don’t be surprised to see a lot of L.A. referenced tattoos and or an affinity for the Dodgers and the newly returned L.A. Rams. So, start liking baseball and football if you don’t already.
  22. You will drink wine by the barrels and learn to truly appreciate the artistry that is California wine. You’ll find craft beer here too, as they’re on the rise (especially in Ventura).
  23. Once you make your transition living in California you’ll scoff at the idea of moving back home or living anywhere else. Regardless of all these things listed, life is pretty great when you live at the beach.

Where do you live? Are there any funny nuances of living in your state? Share in the comments!

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A Day In My Life

A day in the life as Greyson’s mom is a beautifully stressful full-time job that doesn’t pay but in memories and the benefits include learning more about yourself as a mom, finally kicking your feet up once you’re able to put them down for a nap, and reheating the same cup of coffee throughout the day. Oh yeah and then there’s the whole getting to watch your kid grow up which is pretty great too.

Today’s prompt for the #blogtemberchallenge is all about sharing a day in the life and although I failed at snapping a photo every hour (even though I thought the concept was pretty great), here I have a few snapshots of being at home with my little booger a.k.a my little man, Greyson. BTW everyone he’s 6 months old today!

At around 8am he’s rearing to go, but every so often can we successfully pull him into bed with us where he falls back asleep for another hour or so. However, those days are few and far between as I swear he’s gotten good at pretending to sleep only waiting for my husband or I to move or make the slightest sound – then all of a sudden he’s wide awake. Nonetheless, our day starts and how else to begin a day than with a nice hot cup of coffee (and YES I’ve already dug out my pumpkin spice coffee from Trader Joe’s).

After we have our cup of coffee and some breakfast Greyson is typically happy playing by himself either in his jumper, reading books, playing with his wooden puzzle, or just simply laying in his swing or crib. We also have him spend a lot of time sitting up or practicing tummy time so that he builds up those arms and legs in preparation for crawling whenever he decides he’s ready.

Greyson is also at the age where he’s really curious about everything around him. He’s beginning to notice Murphy and vice versa (he loves to lick his face). Grey also loves watching him and if given the chance he’ll pull or tug on his ears or fur. The funny part is is that Murphy lets him – it’s a pretty funny dynamic they have.

His breakfast isn’t too far behind and around 10am he’s ready to eat and go down for his first mid-morning nap. A couple of months ago I noticed he gets really fussy in-between his longer naps and realized he needs a little cat nap to get him through. These little naps are only about 30-45 minutes at a time and really help him reenergize – plus he tends to sleep more towards his monthly birthday (the 10th of every month) which I assume he goes through a little growth spurt. Also, I am so thankful that we have this daily sleep routine down because we are well past the days of him fighting us at nap time. Unless there’s a special occasion where he knows people are around or we aren’t home and he has to sleep in his stroller he’s pretty awesome about going right down. Having this routine also makes the day predictable, which is a huge plus.

During these periods of rest I am able to jump on the computer here and check email, get some blogging done, respond to comments, peruse the web, and Pinterest. I also love using this time to take a shower or watch tv. While the baby sleeps I try to do as much for me as possible because once he wakes up, everything I was doing gets put on hold as I tend to him. Thankfully I am able to get a lot done and knowing I have a small window until his afternoon nap I find myself being more productive. Then there’s days where I just feel like doing nothing and that’s pretty great too.

After Greyson wakes from his nap we’re back to playing, tummy time, going for walks, or swimming at the pool. Around 12:30pm he’s ready for lunch which is typically the homemade baby food we have prepared mixed with some rice cereal. Not too much longer is he fussy and rubbing the eyes to go down for his longer afternoon nap. On a good day he’ll sleep for about 1 1/2-2 hours, which again is great because it gives me another chance to focus on myself and what I need to get done around the house or here on the blog.

During this time I’m also busy making educational resources for my teaching blog and Teachers Pay Teachers shop which allows me to earn a small income.

While he naps I’m also able to start prepping both a lunch and dinner. Lunches are typically really simple and usually involve easy-to-make meals like sandwiches or leftover dinner from the night before. Prepping dinner isn’t too difficult and by this time my husband is home to help out with watching the baby while I cook if he were to wake up. Another fun aspect to cooking if Grey is awake is having him sit in his Bumbo chair on the counter and be involved in the process – which is usually him munching on one of his wafers and watching either me or my husband cook. He’s so curious about what we’re doing and I can’t wait for when we can get him cooking and preparing meals with us!

After a bit more play time or watching his favorite movie, it’s time for bath time around 8pm. This is a special time that’s shared between father and son to which I get to just sit back and enjoy. It’s fun to hear their conversations or them playing either by splashing or making funny sounds. Greyson loves bath time and we can’t wait to be able to put him in the big boy tub (which isn’t too far from now). Then, it’s lights out after a nice warm bottle. By this time my husband and I are pretty pooped and enjoy relaxing in bed watching our favorite tv shows or movies to wind down.

Although most days Grey keeps us on our toes and running all over the place, especially as he’s getting older, I wouldn’t trade this exhaustion for anything! What’s keeping you busy during the day?

Linking up with Bailey for day 10 of her #blogtemberchallenge!

P.S. I’m not like those other moms, I’m a cool mom so if you want to follow more of me and what keeps me busy during the day you can find me on Instagram!

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