I had so much fun putting this guide together & I am so excited to share it with all of you! I started putting together a Christmas wish list for myself, and thought it would be helpful to others. A lot of these items I already own, have been eyeing for a while or I think would make such a great Christmas gift! Send the items links over to anyone who is doing some Holiday shopping for you and hopefully you will get some gifts that you just love! You can also use this guide as a reference when buying gifts for others. I have photos of each product with links at the end of the post.
This guide is not sponsored, however I was able to contact a few brands and get some discount codes for you all! I hope you find this useful & Happy Holidays!
For the Chicken Marinade:
For the Avocado Ranch:
For the Salad:
For the Grilled Chicken:
For the Avocado Ranch:
For the Salad:
Are you even human if you don't like banana bread? Cole's mom makes the BEST baked goods and Cole is especially obsessed with her banana bread. I wanted to create a clean version of our favorite snack so I could devour the loaf guilt free! haha This recipe is refined sugar free, made with whole wheat flour and delicious! Enjoy friends!
To all my mamas and future mamas, I've got you covered! We have tried so many different baby products around here and I am so excited to share our favs! I am constantly getting asked what our must have baby products are, so I have compiled a list of some of our baby staples. I know that choosing baby products can make your head spin, so I hope this is helpful for some!
*this post is not sponsored*
1. Doona Carseat & Stroller : This stroller carseat combo is a GAME CHANGER! It's one of those things that you never knew you needed until you have it. My friends all call it my transformer stroller because its a stroller than folds down into a car seat with the click of a button! Insane right!? I feel like it is my calling in life to tell every mom about this! haha It makes life so easy because we don't need to assemble a whole stroller set up every time we leave the house. It is by far my favorite product and a total lifesaver! When he is a little older and grow out of it I am thinking about trying out the Thule .
2. Owlet Smart Sock and Camera : This has given us so much peace of mind as first time parents. It's a small little sock you put on your babies foot every night and the sensor monitors the babies heart rate and oxygen levels! It pairs up directly with your phone so if their levels ever are irregular you will be immediately notified. That first week home with Knox we obsessed over his readings on the app even when he was awake (first time mom lol). The video monitor pairs up with the sock and is great as well! When we were sleep training him we slept in a different room and this camera was the BEST. We were able to watch him to see if he was okay & it paired up with the sock as well. If you want just the video camera it is linked here . If you just want the smart sock I have it linked here.
3. Solly Baby Wrap: I have loved using this baby wrap for when Knox wants to be held, but I have a lot to do. I also love wearing it in the grocery store so I don't have to push around his stroller and a cart!
4. 4moms mamaRoo: Seriously this swing is my best friend because Knox LOVES it! I love holding him and always feel bad when I have to put him down, but he loves chilling and hanging out in his swing. I have the mamaRoo next to my desk, so I can work while he chills next to me. I love all the different bounce settings and speed options. Plus, you can push the power button with your foot which is so clutch when you are trying to transfer a sleeping baby to the swing.
5. Boppy Nursing Pillow: This pillow makes life a million times more convenient when breastfeeding! I just lay Knox across my lap on when nursing it and I can take a break from holding him. I love using it to help him sit up now that he is a little older.
6. Baby Tula Carrier: This carrier is so comfortable and great for baby wearing! It is really easy to put on and I wear it almost every day! It is amazing for hiking and outdoor adventures because it is comfortable, breathable and durable. I also love using it at the grocery store or when I picking up around the house. The free to grow carrier is also a great option because it grows with the baby.
7. Bob Jogging Stroller: I LOVE this jogging stroller! It is so durable you can basically go off roading with it. I use my Doona for every day activities and as my main carseat, but I love the Bob rougher terrain. I use it every morning on my jogs and when I need to push my stroller over sand/ rocks. I took mine to Disneyland and it was SO easy to push around while storing all of our stuff. I have also heard that this version of the Bob is great too!
8. Chicco Keyfit Carseat : Since my Doona carseat will not attach into the Bob, I have this carseat and this car seat adapter for the Bob. The Chicco Travel System is also a great stroller and carseat combo if you are looking for a more affordable option. Several of my friends use this and love it!
9.. Haaka Silicon Breast Pump: This is a product I use multiple times a day! I am SO grateful that I came across the Haaka because it allowed me to build up my milk storage easily! Basically its a silicon suction cup that you attach to the opposite breast while feeding and it catches all of the let down. One week postpartum and I was able to store over 20 bags of milk just from the Haaka! It is only $13 and saves me so much time since I don't have to pump as often.
10: Baby Jumper : I am kicking myself that I didn't get one of these sooner! Knox LOVES his jumper and gets so much energy out through bouncing. Investing in one of these has given me so much more free time to get stuff done! This Finding Nemo bouncer is the exact one we have, but this bouncer looks similar and is cheaper.
11. Dr. Brown's Bottles: These are the best bottles! The way the bottle is designed limits the amount of air that the baby sucks in, which helps with tummy aches after feeding. Every night before bed I pump a bottle, so Cole can do one of the night time feedings and I can keep sleeping. Game changer!
12. Puppy Pads: Okay this might sound weird, but puppy pads have been a lifesaver for us! We put one over our changing table so if he ever has an accident while we are changing him, we can just throw away the pad! I also keep them in my diaper bag in case we need to change him at the beach or in the car.
13. Fawn Diaper Bag: I never leave the house without this! I used the bag as a school backpack before having a baby, and now I use it as a diaper bag. I bring it everywhere with me and it still looks brand new over a year later! I am obsessed with the look of it and I feel so cute every time I wear it (code: Maddie15 for 15% off).
14. Milk Snob Cover: I saw this on Shark Tank when I was like 12 and have wanted it ever since! haha It's a car seat cover that doubles as a nursing cover! So convenient.
15. Snuggle Me Lounger: Knox has kind of outgrown his Snuggle Me, but we used to use it daily. It was very convenient to take to the beach because he was still able to get a good nap in. We have also used it for travel which was really helpful! The DocATot is very similar + has bigger options for older babies.
16. Bibs Pacifiers: These pacifiers are by far our favorite out of any we have tried! They look so retro and the color choices are so cute. I love that they are made of BPA free natural rubber also.
17. Hatch Baby Rest : We absolutely LOVE this sound machine/ night light. We love being able to control the settings straight from our phones and Knox sleeps so much better when he has a sound machine.
18: Moses Basket: Knox slept in this bassinet for about 6 months. We got this stand off Amazon to go with it. It looks super cute and doesn't take up too much space. I have also heard amazing things about the Snoo, but I haven't personally tried it.
Tap the photos below for a direct link!
I have been wanting to share this for a while now because it's one of my favorite meal! It is so easy, healthy and flavorful It's loaded with fresh veggies and packs tons of flavor. I love to prep extra veggies in advance so I can make salads and wrap throughout the week with super easy assembly. I also grill the chicken in batches so I have it on demand when I need a quick meal. If you are looking for a meatless option, sub the chicken for tofu (use the same seasoning) or add extra avo!
The toppings are so simple! I love using shredded carrots, red cabbage, cilantro, cucumbers, avocado and coconut peanut sauce.
I use this same recipe and make in into a salad when I am in a hurry! I am all for anything that can be eaten one handed. I love seeing my recipes in your kitchen, so if you try it out tag me @maddiecastellano ! Happy cookin'!
Thai Chicken lettuce wraps
My mom has been making these pumpkin bars for years! Every fall I look forward to eating handfuls of her famous pumpkin bars. My sister came over craving them, so I cleaned them up a little bit without changing the classic taste! These bars are so easy, and only take 30 minutes from start to finish! I am bringing them to our friend Halloween party tonight, and you should do the same!
The Fourth Of July has always been one of my all time favorite holidays! To me, it oozes summer fun! I have childhood memories of spending the weekend with family, swimming, eating, and laughing. I remember running around all day with cousins and watching the fireworks in complete awe. It was the most magical, fun and delicious day of the year! Nothing is better than a fun packed Fourth Of July holiday! One of the best parts is all food! I could snack on watermelon and bbq all day long! I know that the holiday season can be chaotic, so I made a make-ahead steak and veggie shish kabob recipe of you! It's a family favorite because you can personalize each skewer for individual taste!
Summer is finally here and you know what that means...BBQ Season!! Who doesn't love gathering together with family and friends to laugh, grill and eat together? The biggest challenge with a Summer BBQ is not knowing what to bring! I have compiled a recipe collection of refreshing drinks, mango salsa, summer berry salad, fresh grilled fish tacos, and a healthy dessert!
Summer in Hawaii is no joke. Were talking blazing sunny days at 85 degree temperatures with no air conditioning. That's night I don't have AC! I will do anything in the summer to stay cool and refreshed, so these homemade sugar free popsicles are just what I need! They are super easy to make, and only take around an hour to freeze up and harden. I keep them in my fridge and grab them as a quick snack when the heat is taking over. I created two delicious popsicles: one sweet and one chocolaty!
Ever since I was little crepes have been my all time favorite breakfast food! They are basically dessert for breakfast, what can get any better? My favorite thing growing up was waking up on Sunday mornings to the smell of my mom's famous crepes! Anything that can get me out of bed in the morning must be good! This was one of the first recipes that made me really want to learn to cook and it always reminds me of my mom. I took this recipe and made it healthier, without compromising the delicious taste. It’s the perfect guilt-free breakfast treat that the whole family will love. I was always too intimidated to make crepes because they looked so complicated when my mom made them, but believe me, you can do it! The best part is that you can throw all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 30 seconds.