The Best Real Food Recipes for Your Summer Grill Party

The Best Real Food Recipes for Your Summer Grill Party

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FOOD & DRINK

The Best Real Food Recipes for Your Summer Grill Party

10 of the Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany | Travel Destinations in Germany | Central Europe | Germany | European Travel Destinations | German Castles | The Alps

23 June 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

With 4th of July right around the corner, I thought it might be the perfect time to share my favorite summer grill party recipes with you.  

If you’re like me, you’re always searching for inspiring ideas that will work for small groups of friends and family.  

Also important to note (at least for me) is that these recipes are simple to make, made with real foods, and are aesthetically pleasing.

Recipe by Bread Booze Bacon

HOMEMADE BAKED BEANS

Recipe by Real Housemoms

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MASCARPONE CHEESE MOUSSE AND BERRIES 

Recipe by Low Carb Yum

 

BALSAMIC STEAK SKEWERS 

Recipe by Julie’s Eats & Treats

MAPLE DIJON APPLE COLESLAW 

Recipe by Cupcakes & Kale Chips

HOMEMADE CHIPOTLE SALSA 

Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

OVEN-BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES 

Recipe by Nom Nom Paleo

GREEK GREEN BEAN SALAD 

Recipe by Peas & Crayons

LIMONCELLO RASPBERRY PROSECCO COOLER 

Recipe by The Comfort Kitchen

ANTIPASTO SKEWERS 

Recipe by Two Twenty One

GARLIC & HERB CREAM CHEESE STUFFED PEPPADEWS 

Recipe by Erren’s Kitchen

So those are my favorite grill party recipes for this summer.  I hope this roundup is helpful to you and gives you some healthy inspiration for your next party.

What are your favorites?  What recipes do you suggest for summer parties?  Drop me a line in the comments below, I’d really like to know what you recommend.

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Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby

Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby

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BABIES

Tried and Tested Gift Ideas for Your One-Year-Old Baby

10 of the Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany | Travel Destinations in Germany | Central Europe | Germany | European Travel Destinations | German Castles | The Alps
9 June 2017
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Don’t know what to say when someone asks you what your Baby would like for her first birthday?  I felt exactly the same way so I created this list.  My twins’ birthday is shortly after Christmas, so these toys are perfect for both occasions.

They’ve been testing them for the past 5 months, so now I can safely say that these are hands-down my 1-year-old twins’ favorite toys.

 

Why don’t we start with Mommy’s personal favorite…

Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical Dino

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Poppity-Pop Musical DinoI could play with this cute little Dino (by myself!) for hours and the babies love it too.  You roll the ball down the tail and it goes through a revolving gate and into the Dino’s “tummy.”  Then the motion detector feels that a ball is in there and starts the popping.  The balls keep popping up until they land in the tube and roll out of Dino’s mouth.

The babies then chase after the balls, pick them up and the fun starts all over again.  All the while he plays fun music (including their favorite: “If you’re happy and you know it…”) If there are no more balls in the tummy, the popping motion stops automatically and waits until the next time something touches the sensor in the middle.  Our babies not only enjoy using the balls, they also like experimenting with various other objects like socks, hair ties, puzzle pieces and smaller stuffed animals.  Like all things from Fisher-Price, this one is a mega baby magnet!

Hape – Farm Animals Wooden Peg Puzzle

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Hape - Farm Animals Wooden Peg PuzzleI can see the gears moving in their little brains when they play with this puzzle.  They love using two fingers (like tweezers) to pull on the peg to get the piece out, but getting the piece back in is a whole different ballgame.  I’ve shown then a few times, and I think they understand, but at this stage, they’d rather hold and suck on the pieces and toss the board around on the floor.  But that’s okay, they love it!

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, Classic

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag, ClassicThe bag alone is a baby magnet in itself.  Thea played with it for a half an hour before she even noticed the blocks.  The babies love watching me put the blocks together and then they get to take them apart again.  They haven’t figured out how to put them together yet, but they’re working on it.  There are a lot more blocks in that bag than you think.  (Takes awhile to pick them all up again too!)

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Grow-With-Me Wooden Rocking Horse with Removeable Safety Surround on the Seat

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Grow-With-Me Wooden Rocking HorsI might have waited a while longer to get a rocking horse if it wasn’t for the removable safety surround.  We used it until they were about 15 months old.  Now they can climb on and sort-of rock themselves.  They smile and giggle the whole time they’re riding it.  They’re still figuring out how to rock effectively – and are having fun in the process.

First 100 Words and First 100 Animals by Roger Priddy

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_First 100 Words7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_First 100 AnimalsThe babies use these books a lot!  They’re board books, so they can play with them and they’ll even withstand an occasional sucking session.  We do try to keep sucking on books down to a minimum, but the way I see it, they are the babies’ toys and they should suck on their toys if they want to; and if I can’t handle it, I should put them away and save them for prosperity.

Hape – Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Hape - Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out XylophoneOur Sven (a.k.a. “BamBam”) just can’t get enough of his pound & tap bench.  Beware!  If your baby is like mine, he will find that hammer to be the most amazing thing he’s ever held in his tiny little hand!  And be warned, we’re talking a lot more about “pounding” than “tapping.”  So far Sven has hit himself a few times where he winced but didn’t cry, and he hit his daddy a few times as well – making for some nasty looking bruises.  Needless to say, he only gets to play with his hammer when we’re in the room (but sometimes we aren’t fast enough.)  

Thea’s more for tapping the wooden balls through the holes and listening to them roll down the xylophone.  The hammer & xylophone are sometimes used on their own too.  Yes, I deem it a fabulous toy, even if it does require a little parental supervision (at least with our baby boy!)

P.S.  The wooden balls make for serious projectiles, especially if your baby likes to throw things (ours do!)  Sven just beaned me in the forehead with the green one the other day!

Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity Walker

7 Toys for 1-Year-Olds You Will Never Regret Buying_Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Activity WalkerThough we’ve had this one awhile now, I can’t tell you how much the babies are loving it.  It was exciting for them even before they could walk.  They sat on the floor and rolled the big ball in the middle and they especially love the revolving flaps at the bottom.  Just yesterday, Sven started in with the more intricate maneuvering of the spirals (left side).  The walker did its job well in helping them learn to walk and preventing a crash or two.  It also works great on the carpet – moving more slowly so that your baby has enough time to catch up.  

My babies still love pushing it around, even now that they’re professional walkers.

I certainly don’t regret buying this one, as it’s been a very helpful developmental toy and doesn’t take up as much space as other walkers do.

So those are our tried and tested toys for 1-year olds.  I hope this guide is helpful to you or a mama you know (please do share!) 

What are you baby’s favorites?  What toys do you suggest for 18 Months to two years?  Drop me a line in the comments below, I’d really like to know what you recommend.

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How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies

How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies

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TRAVEL & BABIES

How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies

10 of the Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany | Travel Destinations in Germany | Central Europe | Germany | European Travel Destinations | German Castles | The Alps
2 June 2017
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Hey there Mama!

Anxious about your upcoming long haul flight with Baby?  I can’t blame you – it can be pretty rough if it’s not done right!  But don’t worry, I’m going to hook you up with some practical information that will relieve that anxiety.

I felt exactly the same way before we flew 27 hours door to door with our 6-month-old twin babies last summer.  Luckily, I did my homework (just like you are now) and implemented extremely helpful tips from other mamas as well as experimenting with some of my own ideas.  We had a fantastic trip!

So without further ado – Here is how to make the best of an overseas flight with babies.

Feeding

1.  Plan Meticulously

You will need to plan in detail:

  • your flights
  • your transport to and from the airport (with your own car seat?)
  • which of the large items you will need to bring with you (stroller, pack ‘n’ play, car seat.)  Then decide if you’ll be checking them at the gate (stroller) or for the entire flight (pack ‘n’ play and car seat.)  How will you protect them from being damaged?  Will they cost extra?
  • what items you need to pack in your suitcases – for yourself and your baby
  • which items you need in your carry-on luggage and diaper bag – for yourself and your baby
  • be informed about what you can and cannot bring through security.  We were able to bring 3 liters of hot and cold water to mix for making formula.  We also had liquid medications on us.

I suggest making as many checklists as you need.  This way you can add things as you go and won’t forget anything.  You can download your free carry-on checklist here:

DON’T FORGET TO PACK…


How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies | flight with baby | what to pack for flight with baby | carry-on essentials for baby | overseas flight | long-haul flight |Download your carry-on checklist so that you have everything you need for your overseas flight with baby.  Simply opt-in below and have it sent right to your inbox!

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Diapering

2.  Book the Right Flights

If possible, be sure to book your flights around Baby’s normal bedtime.  An early evening flight leaving at 7 pm would be perfect.  That way she’ll be even more inclined to sleep on the plane.  

We weren’t so lucky flying from Germany to the USA.  Our flight left at 5 am and our babies did sleep until their normal getting-up time at 7 am.  But they were wide awake after that.  They also dozed for an hour or two once they got set up with bassinets on the big flight.

Flying with Babies

Remedies

3.  Book the Bassinets

I highly recommend directly calling the airline and having them book the flight for you.  If your long flight doesn’t offer bassinets, ask if you could get a plane with them if you were flexible in your travel dates.  We were in an Airbus 330 and the bassinets were in row 29 right behind the toilet area (perfect for a quick diaper change!).  The sweet woman at Lufthansa booked seats 29D for me and 29G for Thomas – and blocked the 2 seats between us so that no one could reserve them.  It was a dream!  

Image courtesy of Trip Advisor’s SeatGuru

We were even able to bring our car seats on board so that we had hands-free a lot of the time.  Our babies loved hanging out in their car seats and were thrilled to stretch out in their bassinets once we got up in the air.  They would doze for an hour or so and then come back to their car seat or our laps and watch movies with mommy and daddy – or just play quietly with their toys.  Having those bassinets were a total game changer!

Questions to ask while Booking on the Phone

Another advantage to booking on the telephone is that you can ask all the important questions you need to ask like: 

  • Will I be able to check my stroller at the gate?
  • Can I bring my car seat on the plane?  (Make sure it’s not too wide and that it meets the regulations.)  If not, how do I go about packing it so that it doesn’t get damaged? 
  • How many bags am I allowed to check in without paying a fee?  Usually, you can bring one for you AND one for your baby, but I would check just to make sure.
  • What liquids am I allowed to bring with me and how much?  Although the airline is not responsible for this information, they can usually give you some tips on how to easily get through security.  We had over 3 liters of water on us as well as fruit pouches and liquid medicines and had absolutely no problem getting through security.

Yes, you can and should find all of this information online, but it’s always a good idea to have it confirmed by the airline.

Clothing

4.  Be Prepared for the Worst

If you’re like me, what makes you most anxious is that there could be situations on your journey that you just can’t control.  Flight delay or cancellation, Baby starts to run a fever or vomiting, baby has a diaper blow-out, you get a nasty headache, you have to sit in different seats than the ones you booked, Baby notices your anxiety and starts to get fussy or even starts crying, Baby has gas or sudden teething problems, high-altitude crying…the list goes on and on.  All you can do is to plan for those things to happen so that you’ll be prepared (and more relaxed!)

 

  • pack extra everything – especially clothing, burp clothes, diapers, wipes, and formula (if bottle feeding.)  
  • bring a thermometer
  • pack remedies for fever, gas, and teething 
  • bring headache medicine or peppermint essential oil for yourself
  • pack extra clothing for YOURSELF in case baby liquids get on your clothing (happens at home all the time, doesn’t it?)
  • relieve ear pressure during start and descent with something for baby to suck on (bottle, breast, pacifier, etc.)

Extras

5.  Pack Smart

My advice to you is:  keep it simple!  You don’t need to pack your suitcase full of diapers or formula when you can buy them at the drug store when you arrive at your destination.  

Forget about packing those fancy baby outfits with all the snaps and buttons.  You want to have fun and relax as much as possible.  Sweating over silly snaps, buttons, and layers is not what you need.

Pack an extra suitcase for your baby so everything has its place and stays organized.  This saves tons of time (and nerves!)

Now for your carry-on, be sure to get your free carry-on checklist so you don’t forget a thing:

DON’T FORGET TO PACK…


How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies | flight with baby | what to pack for flight with baby | carry-on essentials for baby | overseas flight | long-haul flight |Download your carry-on checklist so that you have everything you need for your overseas flight with baby.  Simply opt-in below and have it sent right to your inbox!

SEND ME MY CARRY-ON CHECKLIST!

6.  Stay Cool

This is probably the most important tip of all.  If your baby notices that you’re anxious, she will get anxious too.  Keep a positive mindset and think to yourself:  “Wow, this is so cool!  There’s nothing better than seeing the world with the person I love most.”  Your baby will also be happy to have your undivided attention for a whole day – so enjoy the time being together.

Fully ignore the dirty looks from other passengers.  Almost every single one of them would be willing to help you if you needed it.  You’ll be surprised how many of them will begin to smile at you and flirt with your baby once they realize she’s not going to scream throughout the entire flight.  

If she does start crying, stay calm and check for the usual suspects and respond accordingly.  Is your baby hungry, thirsty, wet or dirty, cold or warm, bored?  Maybe she does have ear pressure issues?  Or could it possibly just be you sending out nervous vibes making her feel uneasy?

 

I hope my advice has somewhat eased your concerns.  If you follow these tips:  

  • plan meticulously
  • book the right flights (& the bassinets!)
  • prepare for the worst
  • pack smart
  • stay cool

you and your baby are sure to have a laid-back trip.

We’ll be doing another overseas flight this Christmas.  This time with 2-year-old twin babies toddlers!  YIKES!  I’ll keep you updated about how that went.  I’ll definitely have some more tips and info to share after that one!

Bon Voyage!

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Anxious about your upcoming long haul flight with Baby? Read "How to Make the Best of an Overseas Flight with Babies" and get your FREE CARRY-ON CHECKLIST so you don't forget a thing! | flight with baby | what to pack for flight with baby | carry-on essentials for baby | overseas flight | long-haul flight |

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10 Of The Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany

10 Of The Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany

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TRAVEL

10 Of The Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany

10 of the Most Breathtaking Sights in Bavaria, Germany | Travel Destinations in Germany | Central Europe | Germany | European Travel Destinations | German Castles | The Alps

26 May 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Do you want to see beautiful medieval castles, churches, and villages that are still intact?  Are you a fan of spectacular landscapes and views from the top?  Or maybe you love German food…and beer!?  Then I’ll tell you where you want to go – to Bavaria!

Bavarians are a proud folk for some darn good reasons!

  • They make the best beer in the world.
  • Bavaria has the lowest unemployment rate in Germany
  • They know how to goaßlschalz and schuhplattl.
  • The bavarian dialect sounds really cool.  I would describe it as rugged yet extremely laid back.
  • They can wear Lederhosen & Dirndls on a daily basis and not get stared at.
  • Heck! Even the cows are proud down there.  And you know why?  Because they get to graze on some of the most beautiful landscapes central Europe has to offer.

Here are a few of the most breathtaking sights, so you can see what I mean.

1.  The Bavarian Forest National Park

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

The Bavarian forest is a low mountain range in eastern Bavaria on the border to the Czech Republic.  The region is famous for its glass blowing and you can see it being done practically everywhere.  There are tons of shops where you can buy top quality glass products at reasonable prices.  We have been known to drive all the way out there just to pick up some new wine glasses!  The beautiful village of Bodenmais is my favorite town.  They have lovely restaurants, cafés, and glass blowing shops – the perfect combination for a wonder da!

The town of Neuschonau boasts the world’s longest tree top walk which is an absolute must-see when you’re in the area.

Though it technically belongs to the bohemian forest, I personally love going up to the top of the Großer Arber (known as the “bavarian forest’s highest peak” – 1455m) with the ski lift in the summer.  Once at the top, you can buy a beer at the pub and drink it out on their deck.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even hike back down.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a hike, a brew, and a view!

2.  The Berchtesgadener Alps

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

This mountain range is located in the southeastern part of Bavaria.  If you look at in on the map, it looks like it kind of nestles into Austria. Besides just presenting drop-dead gorgeous views, the highlights of this region include the town of Berchtesgaden, the Königsee (a beautiful mountain lake), The Watzmann Peak (2713m), and Adolf Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.  It is a skier’s paradise as well.  But if you’re like me and like to hike, this is THE place to be!

3.  Neuschwanstein Castle

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

In the main scheme of things, Neuschwanstein Castle is pretty much brandspankin‘-new (1886).  That makes it quite the disappointment for an architecture history junkie like myself. Nonetheless, I keep coming back here because I can’t get enough of those steep mountains, long green valleys, the lakes, and I just love the way the castle is dramatically set at the foot of the Alps.

Yes, this place is crawling with tourists even in winter!

If you want to visit the castles (there’s another one on the other side of the valley that has a lot more history) be sure to reserve your tickets online.

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4.  The City of Nuremberg

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

Now, Nuremberg does have an old castle in its repertoire.  The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg dates back to the year 1000.  You really can’t say you’ve been to Nuremberg unless you’ve walked up to it and enjoyed the view of the city below.

This city on the Pegnitz river is mainly known for its well-preserved historical old town, the sites pertaining to the Third Reich, and its bratwurst.  The people here are, well, Franconians (never tell them they’re Bavarians – although they are!)  Franconia is a region of Bavaria.  Franconians have the reputation of being brutally honest and painfully sincere.  They have big hearts, though they’d never admit it.  Another little fact:  Franconians just love Americans!  Every Franconian can fondly tell you a story about an American soldier they used to know who was stationed here (his name was usually “Jim.”)

If you’ve never been in a medieval dungeon before, Nuremberg’s is definitely the one you want to see.  I’ve been through is several times and I see something new every time. The English-speaking tour guides are excellent at painting a picture of what it was like to be a prisoner back in the day – very gruesome stuff!

After that, be sure to go across the street to the Bratwursthäusle and get yourself a dark beer and at least 6 Nuremberger roasted bratwursts with kraut.

If you’re interested in monumental architecture and world war history, be sure to check out the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds southeast of downtown.

5.  Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

After a long day of sightseeing in Münich (and having a beer and weißwurst at the Hofbräuhaus,) come out to visit Nymphenburg Palace for a breath of fresh air! I personally have never been inside for a tour because I so enjoy walking around the park with its water features and the flowerful splendor.

Speaking of flowerful splendor, Munich’s botanical gardens are adjacent to the palace grounds and well worth seeing.  In fact, I try to get down there every May to see their humungous rhododendrons in bloom.

6.  The City of Passau

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, GermanyMost tourists come to Passau for one reason, and that’s to either start or end their Danube river cruise.  Being at the junction of three rivers, it really sets the scene for a spectacular trip down the river.

Passau is perfect for a short city tour.  It’s compact enough to see its entirety within a few hours while offering many places to sit and take it all in.  There’s no one thing that makes Passau special.  It’s just one of those places that “feels” good!  I love walking around its narrow lanes and taking in its baroque architecture.  You can sit at one of the street cafès in the summer and watch the river flow by, or drink a hot glühwein at the Christmas market in winter.

Though I’m an architect and am supposed to love cathedrals, I must confess that I don’t.  But Passau’s baroque cathedral is one of the few exceptions.  It’s nothing special…again, it just “feels” good!  Go inside and take a peek!

Although it’s a small town, Passau has lots of hotels to choose from.  This is due to all of the river cruise passengers spending at least one night there before boarding their ship.  An American river tourist usually isn’t shy about spending over 100$ a night for a room as part of his or her river cruise package.  But for an individual tourist like myself, 80$ a night is my absolute limit.

That said, I very much recommend the Hotel Weisser Hase.  It’s a bit dated but very clean.  The breakfast buffet has everything you could ever want and the service is very friendly.  Of course, it’s centrally located for sight-seeing and shopping.  We loved drinking the wine in the rustic Heilig-Geist-Stiftsschenke across the street.  They also serve food, but we got there too late at night – a truly wonderful place!  Next time I will be sure to have dinner there.

I have one more tip up my sleeve to make your trip to Passau even more memorable.  If you do nothing else while you’re in Passau, be sure to reserve yourself a table by the window for lunch at Das Oberhaus.  It’s nothing fancy, but the food and service are superb and reasonably priced as well.  In addition, you will be rewarded with the best view of the city.  If you still have time, or if it’s raining out, go next door to visit the Veste Oberhaus Museum.

7.  The City of Rothenburg o.d. Tauber

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is an amazingly well preserved/reconstructed medieval town.  It is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region of Franconia.  I have been here a countless number of times and still can’t get over its beauty.  If you don’t like crowds, do not come here during high season (July – August) it is crazy full of busloads of tourists!

What I love doing most in Rothenburg is walking atop the city wall.  Here you get a stroll in the shade and an excellent overview of the town.

The night watchman tour is an unforgettable way to learn about the town’s history.  Be sure to take advantage of it if you’re staying in town!

Not only is Rothenburg beautiful, but the countryside surrounding it is as well.  Rothenburg ob der Tauber lies along the Romantic Road, overlooking the Tauber river valley.  The Romantic Road stretches from the river Main all the way down to the Alps.  It’s lined with medieval villages, castles (Neuschwanstein being one of them!), rivers and beautiful landscapes.  In fact, it is one of Germany’s most popular destinations.

8.  The Walhalla

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

The Walhalla is a neo-classical building (1842) dramatically set high above the Danube river valley.  It’s “a place of remembrance for German-speaking men and women of outstanding merit.”

I see this building as an architect’s Disneyland.  I have always wanted to experience a greek temple still completely intact.  And here I can do just that. The views of the Danube river are spectacular.

Be sure to visit the city of Regensburg while you’re in the area because it’s another one of Bavaria’s most beautiful medieval river cities.

9.  Weltenburg Abbey

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

Here it’s all about the beer garden within the Abbey’s courtyard and its beautiful location on the Danube river Gorge.

Here’s how you have the perfect day in Kehlheim and the Weltenburg Abbey:

  1. Drive to the Port (“Hafen”) in the city of Kehlheim.
  2. Board one of the boats going through the Danube Gorge (“Donaudurchbruch”) to the Weltenburg Abbey.
  3. Enjoy the ride along one of the most beautiful pieces of the Danube River (maybe with a beer in hand? hint: you can buy beer on the boat)
  4. Get off at the Weltenburg Abbey port.  Note when the last boat goes back to Kehlheim.  Then walk along the river up to the Abbey.
  5. Dip your tootsies in the Danube river.
  6. Walk around the Abbey and check out the church – it’s a good one!
  7. Take the path behind the church to walk up the hill.  There you will find a little chapel and the perfect view of the river bend.
  8. Walk back down and seat yourself at a table in the Abbey courtyard’s beer garden – preferably in the shade.
  9. Order “Ein Dunkles Bier” – a dark beer and food of choice (it’s all delicious!)  For me, nothing beats a good pair of “weißwurst” (white sausage) with sweet mustard and a soft pretzel.  Be sure to remove the sausage skins before eating!
  10. Enjoy the beer, appreciating the fact that it was made in the oldest monastic brewery in the world (1050.)  As you may know, beer was invented by monks as a means of nourishment during fasting.
  11. Dip your tootsies back in the Danube.  Maybe even go for a swim if it’s hot enough.
  12. Walk back to the port and board a ship back to Kehlheim.
  13. Enjoy the boat ride.  The ride is twice as fast going downstream.
  14. Get off at the port in Kehlheim and then board the silly blue and white tourist train “Ludwigsbahn” close to the parking lot.  It will take you up to The Hall of Liberation, which you have already seen from below on the boat tour.
  15. Take the never-ending stairway up to the top of The Hall of Liberation (if you’re not afraid of heights) and enjoy the view.
  16. Take the train back down to the city.
  17. Walk around Kehlheim, enjoying the colorful stucco facades.
  18. Stop at an “EisCafè” (a cafè that also serves ice cream) and order yourself an “Eis Kaffee” (coffee poured over vanilla ice cream.) It is the perfect late afternoon picker-upper.

Keep in mind that if it’s a dry summer, the Danube might be too shallow for ship traffic.  In which case, you jump back in your car and drive directly to Weltenburg.  If you still have time, I absolutely recommend visiting the falconry park at the medieval castle of Rosenburg.  It’s a great show – and their museum and restaurant are both excellent.

10.  The Zugspitze

10 Most Magnificent Travel Destinations in Bavaria, Germany

The Zugspitze is the highest mountain peak in Germany (2962m).  I can’t describe how breathtaking the views are from here!  It’s horrendously expensive for a day trip, but I promise it will be an experience you’ll never forget!

In conclusion, I hope you are now convinced of Bavaria’s beauty.  Maybe I’ve even awakened your desire to travel here?  Feel free to comment below or mail me directly if you have any questions.  I will totally hook you up with more insider information based on your own individual needs if I can!

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The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby

The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby

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BABIES

The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby

The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby | Changing Table Essentials | Diapering Supplies | Diapering Station | Changing Station Supplies |

19 May 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Lovely greetings to you – you beautiful mommy-to-be!  

It’s perfectly normal to worry about diapering your newborn.  Deciding what supplies you need before you’ve ever even done it is a thing next to impossible!  Every mom’s brain ticks a bit differently and everyone develops their own preferences with time.

Having the essentials set up and ready when you bring baby home from the hospital can save you (and your fella!) a lot of hassle running out to the store when you have a newborn at home.  As a first-time mom to boy/girl twins, not only will I tell you what supplies you need, but I will also tell you what products I love and why.  So here are the most important items you need for diapering your newborn baby.

1.  Diapers

Obviously! There is a mind-boggling selection of diapers out there, but like so many other parents, I LOVE Pampers.  The Pampers Swaddlers size “N” even have a notch in the front to allow for proper umbilical cord healing.  We especially loved the wetness indicator (a yellow strip that turns blue when it gets wet).  It took a lot of the guess-work out of knowing when to change diapers.  We were amazed that our babies’ bottoms were still completely dry every time we took off a wet diaper!  We had absolutely NO issues with diaper rash, not once, ever!

This box of 128 diapers is the perfect start.  You want quite a few but not too many, as your baby will grow faster than you can imagine and you’ll be moving up to the next size before you know it.  

We thought we’d save a little money and tried other brands – even the generic ones from Aldi, but we always kept coming back to Pampers.  TIP:  Use the Amazon Family diaper subscription and get 20% off!

2.  Baby Wipes

Just like diapers, there are way too many different kinds of baby wipes to choose from.  But again…I LOVE Pampers.  Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes fulfill 3 very important criteria:

  • They come out of the box ONE…AT…A…TIME!  You only have one hand to open the box and remove a wipe and if you’re like me, there’s nothing that ticks you off more than pulling out a wipe with 5 others clinging to it!
  • They are able to remove a lot of heavy mess in one wipe.  Pampers has found the sweet spot when it comes to texture:  they’re soft on baby’s bottom but tough enough to remove a heavy mess quickly.
  • To put it bluntly:  they don’t stink like toilet bowl cleaner infused with grandma’s favorite eau de toilette!


If you’re diapering two babies all day every day, you’re willing to pay a little extra money for wipes that come out of the box ONE…AT…A…TIME! Seriously!

3.  Wipe Warmer

Our newborn twins cried continuously every time we changed their diaper – it was heartbreaking!  But our wipe warmer changed all that when we got home from the hospital.

Once we started using warmed wipes, Sven would only fuss a little and Thea was totally fine.

I would buy this one all over again as it helped us keep our sanity during the first few weeks.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


With this diaper bag checklist, your baby brain can rest assured that you’ll never leave the house unprepared.  Simply opt-in below to get it delivered straight to your inbox!

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4.  Changing Pad

Now, everyone has their own criteria when it comes to changing pads.  I’ve been using mine for almost a year-and-a-half and I’m happy to report that I still love it!  My personal criteria were:

  • It’s narrow and highly contoured on the sides so that baby can’t roll out.  Even now that my twins are walking and running (and spinning…and jumping…) they still have difficulties squirming off this pad.
  • It’s portable:  we always take it with us when we go on trips with our camper.
  • It doesn’t have any stupid designs on it.
  • It has a water-resistant, washable cover that is easy to remove and put back on.  I’m personally not fond of the waterproof pads because they are covered in plastic and you always have to cover it with a cloth changing pad cover, which I don’t find very attractive – but like I said, everyone has their own criteria.

We use disposable changing pads on top of our changing pad so that we’re not constantly washing the cover.  It can be pretty messy in the beginning.  Our newborn Sven peed almost every time we took off his diaper, so disposable pads come in really handy!

I bought ours on Amazon.de but it isn’t available in the States (or anywhere for that matter.)  But here’s the Amazon.de link to it anyway – maybe you can find something similar to it.  We just love it!
And here are the disposable changing pads that we use:
They’ve saved our carpets, sofas, and bed plenty of times, are just the right size, and don’t have any stupid designs on them – Perfect!

 

5.  Diaper Pail

Actually, I should have put this item at the very top of my list because having the right diaper pail can make your life so much easier!  We experimented with 3 different diaper pails this first year.  Now I am happy to report that we’ve finally found the right one.  Our criteria are (in this order)

  • it must completely eliminate odor
  • it shouldn’t have to be emptied more than once or twice a week (keep in mind – we have twins)
  • we should be able to open it with no hands
  • it should be easy to empty – no hassling with garbage bags!
  • it should be aesthetically pleasing and easy to clean

We love our Munchkin Step Diaper Pail Powered by Arm & Hammer and it fulfills all of our criteria.

We have no odor issues.  It makes a twisting motion when you close the lid so that odor can’t escape.  The Arm & Hammer pucks in the lid are sold separately and really do the trick!  The bags also feature odor control with baking soda in the plastic – they are simply awesome!

We change up to 6 diapers per baby per day and we only have to empty it twice a week!  Emptying is also a breeze.  Just take the pail out to the trash can and dump it in.  No more fighting with plastic garbage bags that don’t fit properly or even break.

It has the perfect height – no bending down to open it.  The foot pedal is a huge plus when your hands are busy with the dirty diaper.  You do close it manually – pressing down a little to make sure it’s closed tight.

The design is clean and functional – exactly what my architect-heart desires!

6.  Diaper Cream, Baby Oil + Friends

Before my babies were born, I bought the Burt’s Bees Baby Getting Started Gift Set and we turned out loving all of the products. The Baby Oil was especially effective on the tiny pimples that Sven got on his face shortly after he was born.  The Shampoo & Wash have a pleasant fragrance and don’t dry out the skin.  But I was always a little skeptical about all the unpronounceable ingredients on the packaging but didn’t know of a better alternative.

Until one of my readers, Sarah Prince from mynaturalbabybirth.com commented on my post “Pregnancy Essentials That Make You Feel as Good as You Look!” and recommended the Earth Mama Angel Baby products.  So I promptly ordered the Earth Mama a Little Something for Baby Kit to test.  Since then, I’ve ordered the big packages of Bottom Balm (because yes, we did have a few cases of diaper rash later on) body wash and shampoo and the baby oil.  These products are very effective, don’t stink and (best of all) aren’t full of chemicals!  Thanks again Sarah!

And that’s all you need to get started!  Once set up these items at your changing table at home, you can stop worrying because you’ll have everything you need at arm’s reach!

Did I oversee any other changing table essentials?  Have any Questions?  Drop me a line in the comments below.

I really appreciate you stopping by.  Be sure to check back for more Mother’s Little Helpers.

“The Most Important Items You Need for Diapering Your Newborn Baby”

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The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

LOOKING FOR AN EASIER WAY TO DO THIS MOMMY THING?

At Mother’s Little Helpers, I provide a platform for modern mamas like myself, who are searching for quick and easy solutions to their everyday problems.  Sign up to my e-mail community to receive access to exclusive giveaways, freebies, hacks, tips as well as my personal updates and latest posts!

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BABIES

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Pregnancy Essentials

12 May 2017

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

If you have a newborn at home, chances are you have baby brain.  Your brain is concentrating all of its energy to ONE thing – keeping your baby safe.  But sometimes you forget the most ridiculous of things – like forgetting to put a shirt on before you leave the house!

I remember once we took a Sunday drive to visit some friends.  It was only about 2 hours away – not a very long trip.  It sure turned into a long trip because mommy’s baby brain forgot to pack the formula.  And with it being Sunday in Germany, we couldn’t just go to the store and buy some.  We had almost made it to our destination when we had to turn around and drive back home.

That’s when I started a diaper bag checklist.  I sat down and physically wrote down everything I needed to be in my diaper bag every time I left the house.  All I had to do was remember to check the list every time I left the house.  It saved my butt a couple of times.

Diaper Bag

If you have twins or two small children close in age, I highly recommend getting the Skip Hop Baby Duo Double Signature Diaper Bag.  I wasted too much money trying 3 different diaper bags until I finally found this one.

What I especially love about this diaper bag is that I can get everything in there comfortably without it being crammed full.  It comes with a changing mat and has tons of pockets for easy organization.  I put my personal items, toys, and pacifiers (things I need to grab FAST!) in the outer pockets.  Another nice feature is that it has a built in, zip-up wet bag for storing dirty diapers, used burp clothes, bibs or wet clothing when you forgot your wet bags at home.  And the best thing is that it looks so professional that I will be able to use it as a purse/briefcase when my babies don’t need a diaper bag anymore, making it well worth the investment.

Thomas likes it too, and is so happy that he isn’t one of those daddies who has to carry around some silly-flowery-girly diaper bag all the time – and he really is the one carrying it most of the time! It’s one of the best baby items I’ve bought and it has been well worth the money.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Mommy Necessities

Of course, these things vary from mommy to mommy.  What I have on my list:  wallet (preferably with cash in it), keys, cell phone, glasses, sunglasses, lip balm, and a small bottle of water.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Diapering Essentials

I am prepared to change a diaper any time, anywhere.  Even though my diaper bag comes with a changing mat, I like to put a disposable changing mat on top of it, in case things get a little crazy.  Baby wipes, diapers & trash bags for dirty diapers are also on the list.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Feeding

Baby formula, bottles, a thermos with boiled hot water, bottle with boiled water at room temperature, and a burp cloth are all on the list.

and later:  fruit pouches, bib, baby cookies, cheerios, and a sippy cup with water in it for each baby.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


With this diaper bag checklist, your baby brain can rest assured that you’ll never leave the house unprepared.  Simply opt-in below to get it delivered straight to your inbox!

SEND ME MY CHECKLIST!

Pacifiers – as many as you can find!

Our babies stopped wanting a pacifier at about 9 months, but before that time, we could never have enough pacifiers.  We especially needed them in the car.  They’d spit them out and they’d go flying somewhere I couldn’t reach from the front seat.  So I’d whip out a new one from the diaper bag.  One time we found all 6 under Thea in her car seat!  That girl!  My babies would ONLY take these pacifiers and I’m so thankful that they aren’t the kind with some silly stuffed animal hanging off the end or the ones that look like a giant plug.  I don’t know if I could handle seeing those hanging out of my babies’ mouths every day!
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Teething Essentials

We always have teething tablets, violet root, Sophie the giraffe, and baltic amber teething necklaces with us wherever we go, but I can honestly testify that we haven’t needed ANYTHING except for the teething necklaces ever since the babies got them 5 months ago as they were 7 months old.  I am so glad my aunt gave them to the babies as a gift; I probably never would have bought them myself.

The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Toys

We prefer quiet ones for sitting in restaurants (or in airplanes!) but we usually can’t get around bringing some kind rattle with us.  Luckily our babies are more interested their new surrounding and don’t have time for toys.  Nonetheless, here are some of our babies’ favorites for when we’re out and about:  
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby BrainThe Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

We always keep these toys in the car or in the diaper bag, to set them apart from the usual toys at home (we do switch ’em out, of course.)  This way, our babies find them more interesting and play with them longer when we’re out-and-about.

Baby Blankets

We needed baby blankets even in the summer.  Those air conditioners are fiercely cold sometimes!  They’re also great as a car seat cover or sun shade.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

Wet bag packed with a fresh set of clothing

For the inevitable spit-ups and diaper blowouts.  I pack one set of clothing in a wet bag for each baby.
The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain

This pretty much concludes the contents of my diaper bag.  I know it’s a lot, but as a new mom suffering from baby brain, you just can’t be prepared enough.  

Be sure to grab your diaper bag checklist so that you don’t leave home without the essentials!

Didn’t have time to read the whole post?  Pin it for later!Rest your mind at ease by using "The Diaper Bag Checklist for the New Mom with Baby Brain" so that you and your baby never leave the house unprepared! | Diaper Bag Essentials | Diaper Bag Organization |

ALWAYS BE PREPARED…


With this diaper bag checklist, your baby brain can rest assured that you’ll never leave the house unprepared.  Simply opt-in below to get it delivered straight to your inbox!

SEND ME MY CHECKLIST!
Profile Rebecca Reck
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