10 Pool Party Foods for Summer

July is here, and the summer is getting hot-hot-hot! Many of our neighbors have pools, and we are excited to enjoy some fun summer days with them! Of course, we will not arrive empty handed. Below is our top 10 pool party foods for summer! There is nothing like a refreshing fruit bowl or a sweet fruit pop to enjoy before taking a dip in the pool. We love the tangy watermelon salad for a flavorful twist on the standard fruit salad fare! Enjoy these recipes, and have fun making a splash with your friends and family this summer! SUMMERTIME and the living is easy!!!

 

Check out 10 Pool Party Foods for Summer

by Mary at Foodie.com

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Please note: We have received compensation for this post.

 

Father’s Day Dinner Ideas

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Check out Father's Day Dinner Ideas

by Mary at Foodie.com

It is JUNE friends! 2014 is half over! Let me tell you, we have enjoyed it so far! Some of the highlights include:  A trip to Wisconsin to visit baby girl’s Grandpa, a trip to Disneyworld, moving into a brand new house, meeting our neighbors and joining the neighborhood social committee, joining a mom’s group and getting baby girl into a play group, joining My Gym and bringing baby girl every Wednesday morning, becoming involved in our local library’s toddler group, completing my eighth year of Dallas Junior League and gearing up for year number nine already, an amazing trip to Orange County, CA where we visited with my sister and her family and took part in a Huggies Swim Diaper campaign, a beautiful Easter filled with five Easter egg hunts and a lovely family day, a gorgeous Mother’s Day with my two loves at the Dallas Arboretum…and finally an amazing trip to Austin which I cannot wait to tell you ALL about. Next up: Father’s Day! We will cook a great dinner for my wonderful husband. During the day, we may take a trip to the zoo since we are members now! Below are some of my favorite Father’s Day celebration recipes…from grilled chicken to pasta salads, and my husband’s favorite…chocolate chip cookies. Cheers to a fabulous day spoiling the Dads in our life!

Note: We have received compensation for this post, but we love these recipes!

 

Baby’s First Piano

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There are some toys that are more than playthings. They are memory makers and they become part of your childhood. That is how we feel about our precious pink piano from Schoenhut Piano Company. Baby girl adores her piano. In the evening, she loves to put on concerts for us. She will play a “song”, then look for our adoring glances, and happily clap for herself! We love how this glossy pink piano looks both in her playroom and in our living room.

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We place the piano in our living room on the nights when we have company, so our toddler can perform her concerts to her adoring public. The piano is fantastic quality, and I am certain it will last for generations. It is durable, and it also sounds great. It also came with a book filled with music, so when she is older I am certain she will learn how to play recognizable tunes. This is one toy that we will have fond memories of in years to come, and it is a true keepsake. We feel that music is an essential part of life, and this is a sweet way of introducing a love of music to our little one. There is a beautiful selection of Schoenhut pianos at http://www.toypiano.com

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12 Salads for Mother’s Day Brunch

I have said it before, and I will say it again. 2014 is FLYING by! Easter was a flurry of FUN, with five easter egg hunts, parties with toddlers, and a beautiful afternoon picnic at the Dallas Arboretum with my husband and daughter. And now it is time to think about Mother’s Day! I feel like every day is a gift with my baby girl. But it is lovely to have a day to celebrate the joy of motherhood. I feel like almost everyone has a Mother’s Day brunch to go to, whether its on the actual day, or the week before. A bunch of my girlfriends and I are getting together for a Mother’s Day brunch in early May to celebrate life with toddlers. We are each supposed to bring a dish. I love items I can make ahead. I will be making one of these “12 Salads for Mother’s Day Brunch”, from my Foodie collection.

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One of my favorites is the Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad. It will be fun to try new recipes at the get-together. On the actual day, I plan to spend sweet quiet time with my husband and baby girl. Perhaps we will watch baby girl splash in her water table in our backyard. We wish you and your family a delightful Mother’s Day. I will be thankful for the mother that I had, and for the mother that I get to be. Cheers to a sparkly life! Please note: We have received compensation for this post, but all the recipes are personal favorites!

Girls Night In With Trop50

Life is so good right now. It is truly a beautiful life for us. We are enjoying every second of our 17 month old. She is pointing to objects in books now. She points out “woof-woofs” when we are outside. And she has the sweetest little giggle in the world. My days are filled with playdates, the toddler gym, and the park. We love taking family picnics and baby girl goes down the big slide about 25 times! We work hard, but we are in the process of planning some summer adventures, too. But it is hard to find time with my girls. The idea of getting dressed up and driving to a fancy restaurant to meet friends after a long day of playing with a toddler just seems exhausting.  This is why I have put together a fun collection of Girl’s Night In recipes. And I am going to be inviting my local girls over to watch some girly movies, eat some snacks, catch up on each other’s lives, and drink some delicious & fun beverages made with Trop50.

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My favorite is the Trop50 Raspberry Acai Smoothie, made with Trop50 Raspberry Acai! My whole family loves Trop50 because it is delicious juice with fewer calories! It is fun in the morning AND it makes delicious party drinks, too! I look forward to putting on some music, maybe getting out the at-home manicure kit, and inviting my girls over for a fun night of Trop50 drinks, food, and fun with the girls! For additional girls night in recipes, check out the Trop50 ideas on Foodie!!

“Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Trop50 via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Trop50.”

Huggies Little Swimmers Pool Party Playdate

We are always up for a good party, and we were thrilled to ask to be part of the Huggies Little Swimmers Pool Party Playdate in Santa Monica last week!

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First of all, we are big fans of Huggies Little Swimmers swimpants. They keep the tushy from becoming water logged while swimming, and they come in cute designs. Baby girl’s size has The Little Mermaid on it, which she loves. The Easy Open Sides ensure they fit great, and they are easy to get on and off.

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I have to admit I love AListBaby’s red and white swimming suit and swim cap. Our little retro baby.

 

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Friends, the pool party was UNBELIEVABLE.

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The event was designed by Hostess With The Mostess founder Jen Sbranti. I have been reading her blog for years, and never thought I would actually get to attend one of her events.

No detail was spared. The colors were red, yellow and blue.

The beautiful big balloons over the tables!

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The fabulous shark watermelon!

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The amazing food table design. I love the sunshine!

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These cute water bottles were big hits with the toddlers!

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We got really fun gift bags, with robes for the mommies, and sweet towels for the babies. There were all kinds of fun treats inside, like a sippy cup, water wings…and of COURSE Huggies Little Swimmers swimpants. All in a cute bag. What a fabulous present. It felt like Christmas.

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 We will be sure to use this fun bag on trips to the pool and beach this summer. Our pool/beach bag essentials include:

1.) Huggies Little Swimmers swimpants–the only swimpant with Easy Open Sides

2.) A sippy cup with water

3.) A cute towel for baby girl

4.) A cover up or robe for mommy

5.) Wipes for spills or diaper changes.

6.) Snacks!

7.) LOTS of sunscreen!

We started the event with some playtime for the little ones.

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Baby girl wanted to run around and explore the beautiful pool club—with views of the ocean and big palm trees.

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 The room where the party was held was filled with light. Everything was very festive, summery, and FUN!

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Then it was time for our swim lesson! The setting was lovely, with an ocean view and a marble-surrounded pool.

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This was baby girl’s first swim lesson! The water was warm—86%. Baby girl was in heaven. She loves to splash and play. We started out the lesson with a couple of songs. She loved “Wheels on the Bus” the best. Then we practiced kicking, throwing and picking up a toy in the water, and “swooshing” through the water with the instructor. She happily went to him for a “hand-off”, which was fun. She also sat on the edge of the pool and practiced “falling in”.  We ended the lesson with a rousing rendition of “Hokie Pokie”.

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After pool it was time for lunch. Check out these actual “submarine” sandwiches.

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And the CUTEST cupcakes you will ever see in your life.

 I mean, seriously. The Teddy Grahams are wearing a frosting bikini. Could you just die?

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This was the best pool party I have ever been to, and I am so glad I could share this with AListBaby AND her Daddy. Fun family memories we will have for a lifetime.

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Ready for the pool? For instant fun just add water. Choose the only swimpants with easy open sides. Huggies Little Swimmers Swimpants  http://www.huggies.com/en-US/products/diapers/littleswimmers

Disclosure: We have been compensated for this post. Photos taken by Pinky Blue Photography.

 

 

10 Springtime Chicken Dinner Recipes!

Spring has sprung in Texas! Our neighborhood is awake with green grass, and blooming flowers! It is time to think about lighter meals for our family. I turned to Foodie for some great recipe ideas, and I shared by collection, below.

1.) I love the Thai chicken tacos, because it would be great to make for a house filled with guests this spring! I love these paired with a fruit sorbet for dessert!

2.) The avacado and chicken stack is divine! Made with one of our favorite ingredients…avacado. We love to enjoy this meal with a fruit smoothie.

3.) The healthy baked parmesan chicken is a healthy twist on one of our favorite meals!

4.) The rotisserie Chinese chicken salad is a GREAT way to use the remainder of your chicken from the previous night!

5.) The lemon chicken pasta with peas would be a lovely holiday meal–perhaps for Easter!

6.) The baked chicken with brown sugar and garlic makes your house smell heavenly. We love this with a baked potato and some fruit.

7.) Salsa chicken is a terrific twist on Mexican food at our house!

8.) Chicken tacos are easy–and a great meal for a night when we have a lot going on.

9.) Shredded barbeque chicken is one of AListBaby’s favorite meals. She loves to enjoy this with a slice of watermelon. Doesn’t that just sound like Springtime?

10.) Brined chicken thighs are one of Mr. AList’s favorite meals. He loves this with rice and chocolate cake for dessert.

We hope you enjoy some of these meals at your house! Please note: we did receive compensation for this post. Happy springtime, friends!

 

12 Cream Pies Oh My!

We absolutely love cream pies! They taste like heaven, and they are a great ending to a lovely meal. They can be both traditional and innovative.

In honor of National Pi Day on March 14, we came up with a collection of a dozen of our favorite cream pies.

We feel like a cream pie feels “special”…like a holiday, or a special event. We are inspired to bake cream pies for our new neighbors, to spread some cheer. Some of these are “bit sized” options, which are perfect for a party buffet, like a wedding or baby shower.

Whatever pie you choose, don’t forget a hot cup of coffee to wash it down with. And celebrate National Pi Day by baking one of these luscious treats. By the way, Foodie has some amazing recipes for all kinds of foods–from appetizers to entrees and desserts.

Here are some of our favorites:

1.) Pumpkin cream pie trifles
*What a perfect Thanksgiving dessert! They would also be cute on a buffet at a Halloween party

2.) Banoffee pie
*Some of my favorite ingredients…covered in cream! You cannot go wrong.

3.) Biscoff Mouse cream pie
*This is an elegant pie that tastes like heaven.

4.) Deep dish peanut butter pie with covered pretzel crust and whipped cream
*The pretzel crust really sets this apart. Flavor explosion in your mouth!

5.) Boston cream pie
*This is a great birthday party dessert. It is part cake and part pie.

6.) Coconut cream pie
*A classic cream pie! We love this at Easter!

7.) Mini coconut cream pies
*These are ideal wedding or baby shower desserts.

8.) Banana cream pie
*My favorite childhood dessert, and my toddler loves it, too!

9.) Red velvet cream pie
*Red velvet is a Texas tradition. Usually, its red velvet cake. We love this new twist on a Texas classic.

10.) Chocolate stout cherry pie
*A cream fruit pie! We love the rich combination. Its a very man-friendly cream pie!

11.) French silk cream pie
*My favorite ever. In the whole world. Chocolate, cream…and those pretty chocolate shavings.

12.) Lemon cream pie
*This pie screams SPRING! A great pie to take to a new neighbor.

Please note: We adore all of these pies. However, we were compensated for our time in assembling this lovely collection of cream pies. We hope you enjoy it!

Baby Girl’s First Birthday Party!

Baby girl turned one in November! This has best year of our lives for sure. Seeing her sweet little face smile and laugh is the best thing on earth. We could not wait to celebrate! It was wonderful to have AListGrandpa in town. Her Texas family members joined us as well, along with many of our friends and their little ones. We had a birthday brunch for our little angel in the penthouse of The Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas. What a pretty place for a party! We cannot wait to tell you about all of the details. But let’s start with a birthday party necessity–balloons!

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The big #1 balloon greeted our guests in the entryway of the penthouse. And it set the good for our traditional pink birthday bash. Light and medium pink balloon bouquets were used throughout the space.

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They looked lovely surrounding the fireplace as well as in the grand dining room, where we ate brunch and baby girl had her first taste of cake.

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A beautiful white balloon arch highlighted her cake and the tasty desserts in the dining room, as well. Balloonies did a perfect job on the balloons! Their professional team consulted with me on what I wanted for the event, and they made it all reality! They have a reputation for perfection–and we loved working with them.

 

Last Minute Gifts: Galt Toys

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It is December 20, can you believe it? Christmas is 5 days away. Have you finished your shopping for baby? We have to say, we are so impressed with the wooden toys we have reviewed from Galt Toys! We adore our shape sorter, and first bricks.

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The shape sorter encourages the learning of shape recognition and develops manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination as the shapes are manipulated to fit in the holes. All wood is from renewable sources.

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The first bricks are a simple toy which encourages manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination as baby starts by stacking 2 bricks then progresses to higher towers. All wood is from renewable sources. Both of these items are part of a range of baby toys developed with Dr Miriam Stoppard, the UK’s most trusted parenting expert. These are classic items that look beautiful, are fun to play with, and will last for years and years. You cannot go wrong.