dinosaur party ROARRR!

Zurchers Party Store (one of three stores that Small Fry basically runs on) is working with us this Summer on bringing some of their beloved party themes to life! First up, a ROARRR party fit for all your dinosaur lovers! Zurchers has made it super easy to recreate this theme or find products and elements you love from today’s party by housing them all in one place — find them all here!
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.35 PMThey have this incredible cardboard line of brightly colored dinosaur party accessories from Meri Meri that instantly adds that festive flair. The Dinosaur Cardboard Centerpiece is so rad and looks great even as nursery room decor post-party. They come with Dino Party Hats seen below:Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.28.19 PMAnd then of course we whipped some up with their standard party hat, too. We like the idea of the birthday boy or girl getting a special hat and these razor sharp party toppers are super easy to make!Dino Party!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.07 PMThe food is always super important and for this party we decided to go healthy as can be. All in the name of those veggie-sauruses!Dino Party!A party activity that the we and the boys died laughing over was “Eat like a T-Rex!” Slip their arms into the shirt sleeves and watch as they eat their party food with their stubby T-Rex arms.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.13.26 PMOnce they were convinced that dinosaurs eat all manner of leafy greens they didn’t even ask where the donuts were. We also had green smoothies (dino juice), easy sandwiches and more veggies! (Milk Jars + Straws // Plastic Dinos + Plates)Dino Party! Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.14.35 PMWe didn’t skip ALL sweets though, we had a cake and cupcakes, too!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.16.24 PMThese toppers from the Cupcake Kit match the hats and we love the origami folded paper look!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.16.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.44 PMWe love that Zurchers carries these mini balloon letters. They have them in several colors and even though they’re crazy inexpensive they’re reusable so you can get quiet a collection going!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.16 PMThis line also has a ton of wall decals which are great for more color and interest at the party, we turned them into a Feed the Dino (Pin the Tail on the Donkey) game.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.14.57 PMAnother easy party game is to make your own Dino paleontologist style.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.12.52 PMThey have a million party favors so sending each guest home with something ferocious like these Dino Grabbers was a breeze and so fun to pick out!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.13.44 PMWe’re so happy to be recreating these themes with Zurchers and if you have any parties you want to see brought to life Small Fry style, let us know!

SOURCES

Dinosaur Cardboard Centerpiece // Silver Letter Balloons (find all available colors right here) // Plastic Dinosaurs // Dino Party Hats + Basic Party Hat // Party Favor Bags // Dino Cupcake Kit // Dinosaur Piñata // Glass Milk Bottles + Orange Striped Straws // Dinosaur Tablecloth // Roarrr Invitations // Dino Grabbers // Dino Plates

H&M Mom & Me

We’re back with our next post in partnership with H&M and today is all about Mom & Me. They have a whole series of matching items for girls and women, but we wanted to share our favorite coordinating look for a boy an his mama. Also don’t miss their darling Me & My Dad campaign here in preparation for Father’s Day this month, it’s swoon-worthy.

For you:

We started with this gorgeous A-Line striped dress with gold metallic slip-in slides (they come in black snake skin too, amazing.) We love simple pairing like this for the warmer months and that the dress easily carries through all seasons!
H&M Mom & Me

 

For your boy:

We couldn’t help but coordinate a little bit with this darling woven short suit. H&M Mom & MeThis baby is lined and so well-made and of course has that H&M price tag that we love. You can get the suit coat in several colors all for $34.95, and the shorts are only $17.95! Such a steal.H&M Mom & Me

Here’s the suit in that on-trend chambray denim hue with matching sneakers. We love pairing this formal suit with some easy sneakers, it makes it feel less stuffy and more playful. These are perfect sneakers for Summer and they come in a few colors for $12.95.

H&M Mom & Me Also you free shipping lovers, H&M has free shipping for $50+ orders which doesn’t happen often, so run over!

lost tooth favorites

It officially happened, our first Small Fry, Quinn, lost his first tooth. Make way for the awkwardly large adult teeth! With lost teeth on our minds we’ve been browsing the web for what traditions we want to accompany this milestone with our kids. Here’s what we found!Lost Tooth TraditionsThe Tooth Fairy Door — How amazing are these tiny doors?  Spotted on Jaimee Rose, where she bought doll house sized doors and accessories and created a way for the Tooth Fairy to get into the house to swap a tooth for a present. Lost Tooth Traditions

A second tradition we love is having the kids write letters to the Tooth Fairy letting her know that a tooth is on the loose. Handmade Charlotte has these amazing printables (7 more on her site!) that include replies from the Tooth Fairy, too!Lost Tooth TraditionsIt’s hard not to obsess over these tiny, tiny, TINY! letters you can customize and order via Charming Words on EtsyLost Tooth TraditionsOffice of the Tooth Fairy wins for their beautiful letter pressed set. It comes with an official record and details on each lost tooth, and linen bag, a tooth envelope. SO pretty.Lost Tooth TraditionsAnother tradition we love is sprinkling a trail Tooth Fairy dust to their pillow. Might be a mess, but it’s also magic and they will squeal with delight. Maybe dab a little on their nose and their money for an extra squeal or two. These bottles would work perfectly to catch the dust into.

And finally, losing a tooth can be scary for little ones, and we can vividly rememebr that ache that comes when it finally gets pulled free. Help ease their mind with these sweet book, Where Do Our Baby Teeth Go?

NEXT up, we love the little heirloom Tooth Fairy Pillow that they can keep forever, here’s some really pretty options from around the web:Tooth Fairy Pillows

Bright and graphic pillows with pockets on the back, this one comes with a tooth journal! Via Nordstrom. // We love that these Tooth Fairy boxes are DIY, so your kiddo can make their own. Makes that heirloom extra special. // Of course Land of Nod always has a darling option for any special kiddo occasion. // This one is called the “Twinkle Toof” and glows in the dark and opens to a compartment and a clip to hold your money. // This Pillow bag via Loop Loft on Etsy is another cool one because you can personalize it with the dates each tooth was lost and its all in once nice package so nothing gets lost. // Another cute, bright and graphic option via New Mom Designs on Etsy! // This sweet Tooth Fairy in a box has a tiny pocket on her dress and would be a cozy addition to any girl’s bed or shelf!

Lastly, since we rarely talk about teeth we just had to throw these two into this post and see who has used and loved them!? We’ve heard amazing things about this Clear Shield Flouride Paste that you paint right onto your kids teeth at night (it comes in flavors like bubble gum and cookie dough, but you need to get it from a dentist!) And then the Colgate Sensitive Pen you can buy over the counter, and paint right onto sensitive gums or at the base of a nerve exposed tooth and it seals it for up to a week! They both sound so cool we wanted to share and see what you all thought.

two tooth products

sweet potato birthday cake

We are so excited to have Amy back with another healthier kids recipe to share! Her Make Ahead Banana and Oat Bars went wild and we think you will love today’s even more! Amy Palanjian is a writer, editor, recipe developer, and crafter for magazines, books, and websites. She’s also mama to a very energetic toddler and she shares realistic, yet wholesome recipes and feeding tips at Yummy Toddler Food which is incredible! You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook as @yummytoddlerfood. Welcome back, Amy!

“When my little girl turned one, I was filled with emotions. I couldn’t believe that a year had passed since she was born and that she was walking, starting to talk, and eating all sorts of delicious foods. We planned a family party to celebrate the milestone and while I kept the theme to a very straightforward “Birthday!”, I spent a lot of time thinking about the cake — find all my cake conquests here.Sweet Potato Smash Cake for a 1st BirthdayI wanted to give my girl a first taste of cake that was naturally sweet, soft enough for her to easily eat, and flavorful. I wanted to make one cake that we could all share, just like the way we eat our regular meals, so I spent a lot of time researching recipes and eventually settled on this Apple Cake. 1st Birthday Sweet Potato Cake It was a huge hit and we liked it so much that I made it twice so that our extended family could try it! Since then, I’ve tried to create a few other cake recipes that are appropriate for toddlers, yet delicious enough for the whole family. There’s a Banana Cake that we love (and often make just because) and now there’s this Sweet Potato Apple Cake.03_horiz

This cake, which has a delicate crumb and natural sweetness, is moist, rich, and immensely satisfying. It has a base of ground oats, roasted sweet potato, and apple butter, so it’s naturally gluten- and refined-sugar-free, yet it’s filled with flavor. It holds its shape and is easy to make, yet it’s soft enough for little ones. It pairs perfectly with a maple-sweetened cream cheese frosting and it’s completely delicious chilled, so you can make it a full day ahead of time.

So whether you have a first birthday to celebrate, are serving a family dinner to a group of all ages, or you just want to serve up a healthy and comforting dessert to your family, this cake is for you.

Sweet Potato Smash Cake for 1st Birthday

Sweet Potato Apple Cake
Plan to roast the sweet potato the day before you want to make the cake, or at least two hours before, to give it time to cool down after it’s finished cooking. You can also steam it, which takes slightly less time, but you will lose some of the flavors of the natural caramelization that occurs with roasting.
Serves 8-10

1 cup rolled oats, ground finely in a food processor
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup roasted, cooled, and mashed sweet potato
1/4 cup no-added sugar apple butter
1/3 cup brown rice syrup at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
2. Stir together the oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl; Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and butter together with a hand held mixer for about 1 minute. Add the sweet potato, apple butter, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Add the oat mixture and beat until just combined. Pour half of the batter into each cake pan and smooth with a spatula.
3. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pans on a rack for 30 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from pan and let cool fully on a wire rack.
4. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and maple syrup in a medium bowl with a hand held mixer until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
5. Place one cake carefully onto a cake plate or serving plate. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top, smoothing to the edges. Place the second cake on top of the frosting and press down slightly. Spread on enough frosting to cover just the top, or the top and the sides, depending on your preference. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Can be baked and frosted up to one full day ahead of time. Store any leftovers in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Variations:
Add 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger to the batter.
Try 1/4 cup applesauce instead of apple butter.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the frosting.”

More of Amy:

Yummy Toddler Food

@yummytoddlerfood on Instagram and Facebook

tiny tour: costa rica

A stop on our Tiny Tour series is long overdue and today we have a special guest post from our friend Erynn at Tropic of Candycorn! We sought them out at Alt last Winter because we loved their concept so much. Tropic of Candycorn is dedicated to inspiring families to travel together—near and far. Travel can be intimidating, expensive, and time consuming, but since over 80% of a child’s happiest memories are away from home, it’s important. Tropic Of Candycorn encourages families to explore together and provides helpful tips, inspiring stories, and recommendations for every price point. We all recently took a turn going on a lengthy road trip/flight and died over their Travel pack for kids! Such a great gift! Welcome, Erynn!

When families are looking for an adventure outside the United States, one of the first places to consider is Costa Rica. It’s close, fun, safe, family-friendly, and worth the effort. English is practically a second language, especially in the vacation destination areas. Find a comprehensive post on their site!

Today, we want to share some of our favorite destinations in Costa Rica, and let you know what makes them special and different.

Nosara: If you have ever wanted to learn to surf, Playa Guiones in Nosara may be the perfect spot. Tiny Tour: Costa RicaRent a villa and stay a few days to enjoy one of the sunnier spots on the Pacific Coast. The friendly locals, beach culture, and surf are year-round attractions. In July and December, nesting Olive Ridley sea turtles add to Nosara’s appeal.Tiny Tour: Costa Rica

Visit the Tropic of Candycorn travelogue Good Times in Costa Rica to see how two moms took their combined seven kids to Nosara for several weeks of fun last year. Some of our favorites in this area include: Rosi’s Tica Restaurant for traditional food at a good price; the Seekretspot gelato; surf lessons; and exploring the nearby waterfalls.

Tortuguero: Tortuguero is one of the best places for wildlife viewing in Central America. This Caribbean Coast forest is home to more than 400 avian species, including toucans, herons, jacanas, and macaws. Spider and howler monkeys, otters, caimans, and sloths are fairly common here. We love Tortuguero for its beauty and wildlife density. Tiny Tour: Costa RicaMost of the lodges are basic, but affordable, and kids of all ages can participate in the activities.

Monteverde: Leaving the coastline has its advantages. The beautiful Monteverde Cloud Forest is one example—a misty mountain forest abuzz with hummingbirds, butterflies, and birdsong. The area outside the reserves is well known for zip-lines, hanging bridge trail systems, butterfly gardens, horseback tours, and the San Luis waterfall. Local cooperatives produce coffee, cheese, and ice cream;Rio Perdido: This is our favorite new family-friendly hotel in Costa Rica, but it is still relatively unknown. The lodge rests on a cliff overlooking the junction of the Rio Blanco and a rare, thermal river. The hotel has three naturally heated swimming pools, one of the best zip-line courses in the country, and miles of biking trails. We loved the river tubing tour and the volcanic mud painting. The hotel also offers a “breakfast at the farm” experience, where kids can learn to gather eggs, milk cows, make tortillas, and grind coffee. The bungalow designs are spot on—cozy, efficient, and filled with light. 

Rio Perdido: This is our favorite new family-friendly hotel in Costa Rica, but it is still relatively unknown. The lodge rests on a cliff overlooking the junction of the Rio Blanco and a rare, thermal river. The hotel has three naturally heated swimming pools, one of the best zip-line courses in the country, and miles of biking trails. We loved the river tubing tour and the volcanic mud painting. The hotel also offers a “breakfast at the farm” experience, where kids can learn to gather eggs, milk cows, make tortillas, and grind coffee. The bungalow designs are spot on—cozy, efficient, and filled with light. We had a tough time getting the kids to leave this place.Rio Perdido

If you have any tips and trips to share, you can contact cornelius@tropicofcandycorn.com to share your family travel experiences!

More about Erynn: Erynn has four daughters (2, 5, 9, and 10) and they live in Salt Lake. She was the CEO/President of an International humanitarian organization before having kids. Although she loved the (exhausting) work, she resigned when she became a mom. Travel has aways been important to them, and when Erynn’s banker husband decided he hated his job, they started Mosaico Travel. They design custom itineraries for the wealthy and sometimes famous and spend 5 to 6 weeks with their kids in a new country every year and run Tropic of Candycorn as their passion project.

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