Happy Mail


ImageMom Mail Exchange. Have you heard of it? Are you already participating? If you haven’t, and you’re not, then you definitely want to read on.

Remember when you were a kid and getting a piece of mail with your name on it was the most exciting thing…ever? And now as an adult checking the mail isn’t so fun because it’s usually only bills, bills, junk and bills?

Well, Mom Mail Exchange guarantees you at least one day of fun mail every month — Hooray!

MME pairs up mommies with other mommies to share their favorite items with each other. You get a smattering of goodies and a new friend every month. Then the next month you get assigned a new mommy to exchange with. The only rule is that you don’t spend more than $30 (including shipping) per month, so it’s fun and affordable too! Read more about MME here.

Cool, huh? Such a genius idea. I wish it was mine.

There is still time to get paired up with a mom for November. The deadline to sign up is October 28. You’ll get your partner by November 1 and then you take it from there!

October was my first month participating and it was so fun picking out fun items for my assigned mommy partner, Julie from The Blog Dalia. It was such a joy to get to “know” her via email and open up the package of goodies she thoughtfully picked for me. LOVED it all. I’m definitely keeping in touch with her even though our October exchange is over.

All mommies in the USA and Canada are welcomed to participate. I’m so looking forward to getting partnered up again in November! Hurry up and get your name in, I mean, come on, who doesn’t need a new friend and who wouldn’t want a monthly box of surprises?

Click here to email Ursula at MME and get registered for November. Or copy her email addy here: mommailexchange@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow MME on Instagram for reminders and giveaways!

Happy mailing!

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My awesome Mom Mail from my new friend. Thanks Miss Julie!

A Colorful Giveaway from Tashi & Cataleya


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Photo courtesy of Tashi & Cataleya.

Hi friends,

What’s your little one going to be for Halloween?

My sweet girl is going to be a clown and her costume is absolutely adorable. I simply ordered a rainbow striped petti romper with matching headband from Tashi & Cataleya. So cute!

Tashi & Cataleya is generously offering one Yay Baby! reader the chance to win the same rainbow petti romper for your precious princess.

It’s a little late in the game to use as a Halloween costume but the colorful ruffles make this romper perfect for photos, special occasions or a celebratory birthday outfit. Or save it for your cutie pie to wear next Halloween. It’s a size large and fits 2T-4T and it’s super stretchy so you can likely use it for years of occasions! Jax currently wears a 2T and this fits her perfectly and since it stretches so much she can likely wear it next year too.

I will randomly draw one winner using Rafflecopter at midnight on Thursday, October 24, 2013 and will notify them via email later that day. Click here to enter.

The winner will receive one (1) rainbow petti romper in size large with one (1) matching headband.

rainbow petti romper

This little diva was happily sitting in front of the mirror admiring her adorableness in her colorful petti romper and mama ruined the fun by spinning her around for the picture. An unhappy clown indeed.

The polka dot tights are from Old Navy and the red Mary Jane shoes are from See Kai Run, neither are included with the prize.

 Must be 18 years old or older to win. Must be a U.S. resident to enter. 

Taste of Cave Creek


Going into a food coma after tasting the night away.

Going into a food coma after tasting the night away.

Fall in Phoenix, AZ is the reason us Phoenicians suffer through the 115 degree summers. The days are warm and sunny and the evenings brisk and beautiful. Perfect for soaking in the cool desert air. And last night that was exactly what my little family did at the Taste of Cave Creek.

This was our first time at this event and we decided to make it an annual family tradition! We love the town of Cave Creek, we love food and we love this awesome autumn weather so we knew we would LOVE this event. We were right! It was a blast, even Miss Jax who had a bite of everything and charmed the masses with her cuteness.

This cake was at one of the first booths we stopped by. It took all my will power not to start the night off eating a slice of this. You better believe I made my way back to this booth and stuffed this cake into my already full belly. It was worth the tummy ache.

This cake was at one of the first booths we stopped by. It took all my will power not to start the night off eating a slice of this. You better believe I made my way back to this booth and stuffed this cake into my already full belly. It was worth the tummy ache.

I may have had a slice of this one too.

I may have had a slice of this one too.

angel

Did someone say Pollo Fundido? Yumminess from El Encanto, our favorite restaurant in Cave Creek.

Jax pretty much owned the dance floor. She evn got acknowledgement from the band for her awesome moves.

Jax pretty much owned the dance floor. She even got acknowledgement from the band for her awesome moves.

Shaking her thing and working off all the good eats she gorged herself on!

Shaking her thing and working off all the good eats she gorged herself on!

Thank you town of Cave Creek for hosting such a fun event! We’ll see you next year.

YUM! Super Easy Loaded Baked Potato Soup


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Phoenix days are still warm and sunny this time of year but the evening chill makes me crave a bowl of hot, steaming soup. I’m a soup fiend. So is Jax. Almost every time we eat out I order a cup of soup for her as her meal. It doesn’t matter the kind – she loves it all – noodle soups, veggie soups, creamy soups, cheesy soups – she’ll slurp it with gusto!

But her favorite of all is her mommy’s baked potato soup loaded with all the fixin’s. It’s so yummy and easy to boot.

Check it out!

ImageThe soup-er stars of this soup are: chicken or veggie broth (I prefer chicken), bacon, potatoes, onion, chives, sour cream, cheddar cheese.

ImageWash, peel and cut those taters in chunks. They don’t have to be pretty because they’re getting pureed anyway, but they should be about the same size so they cook evenly.

ImageAdd the tater chunks to a pot of the chicken broth, along with the onion and bay leaf. Boil on medium heat for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are super soft.

ImageWhile those taters are a-boilin’, cut the bacon up into small pieces and fry it up crisp!

ImagePlace the cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate to soak up the excess grease.

ImageOnce the potatoes are soft, you’re ready to puree them in to oblivion. I use an immersion blender for this but if you don’t have one a food processor will do. Or simply mash them up in the broth with a potato masher – if you go that route you will have a nice chunky texture. Be very careful not to get splashed because it’s boiling hot and will cause injury. Ouch! My husband can attest to this – he bears a small burn scar on his arm from a potato soup splash. I told him to be careful with that immersion blender. Did he listen? NOPE! (Tangent over.)

sour_cream Add the sour cream and whisk briskly to blend.

cheeseAdd cheese, small bits at a time. Whisk between additions to incorporate. If you add the cheese all at once it will clump into a melty, cheese ball and you don’t want that.

stir_baconMix in the bacon. Save a little to garnish when ready to serve. Save a little of the cheese too.

cutSnip, snip, snip the chives directly into the soup and stir it all together. You can also just chop the chives with a knife but kitchen shears make the job so easy!

end_beautyLooks fantastic, right? Good enough to eat. You will love it. We certainly do. Especially Miss Jax. Check out the photos after the recipe to see how much she liked loved this super easy, super awesome soup!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 32 Oz Box of Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Lb. of Potatoes (about 6 medium red potatoes or 3 large baking potatoes), peeled and cubed.
  • 1 Package of Bacon
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 3 Tbs. Fresh Chives, snipped or finely diced
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Wash, peel, and cube the potatoes.
  2. Pour chicken broth in a large sauce pan.
  3. Add the potatoes, onion and bay leaf to the broth and boil over medium heat until potatoes are soft (about 25 minutes).
  4. While the potatoes are cooking dice the bacon in small pieces and brown until crisp. Remove crisped bacon from pan and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease.
  5. Puree the cooked potatoes in the broth using an immersion blender.
  6. Add the sour cream to the potato puree and whisk briskly to blend well.
  7. Add the cheese a little at a time and whisk between each addition, reserve a little for garnish.
  8. Add the crisped bacon and stir to incorporate, reserve a little for garnish.
  9. Using kitchen shears, snip the chives directly into the soup.
  10. Garnish with cheese, bacon and a dollop of sour cream!

jax1Soup this good should be worn…on the face and the clothes.

jax2She insisted on feeding herself. We’re still mastering the spoon.

jax3Potato soup goatees look fabulous on baby girls, no? So sassy.

jax4Told ya, she liked it. Every last drop of it.

Now go make this soup. Now! You’ll thank me for it.

Pumpkin Patch Kid


ImageWe braved the 85 degree autumn weather over the weekend with a trip to Tolmachoff Farms. The scorching sun made frolicking through the pumpkin patch a little sweaty but we loved seeing Miss Jax enjoy the freedom of running on the farm.

ImageShe loved the Corn Box.

ImageThings got a little corny.

ImageHay. Hay. Hay!

ImageFarm girls must accessorize appropriately for tractor riding. Don’t forget the Cheeto smile to match her shirt.

ImageThe Princess of Pumpkins waving at her minions.

ImageShe really loved this corn box. She practiced her swim strokes, made corn angels and rolled around happily. I’m thinking we may need to buy a sandbox and fill it with corn instead of sand. Do you think that would encourage a rodent infestation?

ImageThe farm had a petting zoo but Jax wanted nothing to do with it.

If you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding cities I suggest a trip to the west side of town for a visit to Tolmachoff Farms. It was busy but we didn’t have to wait in any long lines for food or activities and there was plenty of toddler friendly fun!