LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Luncheon, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Burbank, CA – New EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu

LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Luncheon, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Burbank, CA – New EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu

This post is in collaboration with LAMBT for BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Burbank, CA. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos taken by me, Vanessa Torres, unless captioned otherwise. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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Do you need 4 fun & easy steps
to brighten a mommy’s rainy day?

You do? Great! Because the girls from LA Mommy Blogger Tribe (LAMBT) and I discovered all 4 of them at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Burbank!

Follow along below to find out how you can help out your mommy friend… hey, this could even be for you!

1. Call your amigas and head over to BJ’s!

Yes, getting to BJ’s is the first step! The SoCal-comfort, with attention to detail warmth welcomes and serves you – whether you arrive alone or with a large party of your favorite gals!

So, schedule child care, do you hair, add some mascara to your lashes, and find your favorite rainy-weather comfy-chic outfit to head out the door!

LAMBT was fortunate to have BJ’s in Burbank invite us to experience their new EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu on Sunday, February 10th just in time to celebrate Galentine’s Day a few days early!

Do you celebrate Galentine’s Day? This was my first time celebrating and I had a blast! Proof? This was a three-hour lunch! haha Time passed by so quickly!

Photographed from left to right: Naza (, Suzie (@happymessmom), Erika (@asocalwayoflife), Rosie (@thehustlingmama), Vanessa (@lifeoftorres), Danica (@thememoirsofamommy ), Cecily (@hollymomtress ), and Marie (@beautifulday_blog).
Photo provided by Naza Holliman.

2. Order drinks to get the fun started!

21+ and over and please have a designated driver.

Even though not all of us enjoyed an alcoholic drink, the rest of the girls did, and they were super satisfied. Not only with the taste, which is the most important, but with the presentation! Look at these pretty party enhancers!

If you prefer to eat your calories instead of drinking them, I have a solution for you!

For the days where water just doesn’t cut it for you and would like to splurge a little. You can enjoy BJ’s Oasis® Amber.

This light beer is under 160 calories and just won an award at the 2016 North American Beer Awards or you can try BJ’s Lightswitch® Lager at under 140 calories per pint. Most beers are over 200 calories per serving!

Photographed left to right: Suzie, Rosie, Erika, Danica, Naza, Vanessa, Cecily, and Marie.
Photo provided by Naza Holliman

3. Order appetizers and entrees that will satisfy cravings and not leave you stuffed with guilt!

“At BJ’s we’ve listened to our guests who want ‘better for you’ options. Comfort food is great, but some of our guests find more comfort in our myriad of options to meet their special dietary needs…

Because we believe it’s not what you take out that makes it better for you, it’s what you put in it.”

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

Below you will see a few of the tasty dishes our host, Leanne, curated for our table, from the EnLIGHTened Entrees Menu®, after kindly asking us of possible food allergies and dietary preferences.

Best Beginnings® Appetizer Combo
Spinach and Artichoke Dip | Avocado Egg Rolls | Boneless Wings
Best Beginnings® Appetizer Combo
Mozzarella Sticks | Avocado Egg Rolls
Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
Crisp, lightly fried brussels sprouts | Big Poppa Smokers’ Desert Gold seasoning | sweet sriracha crema
Enlightened Seared Ahi Salad
Sashimi-grade ahi tuna | baby field greens | napa cabbage | romaine | red bell peppers | tomatoes | avocado | pickled cucumbers | cilantro | spicy wasabi |crispy wonton strips | red + green onions | rice wine vinaigrette
New Enlightened Blacked Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Blackened chicken breast | zucchini noodles | red onions | mushrooms | fire-roasted red peppers | green onions | creamy alfredo | San Marzano marinara | parmesan cheese
Enlightened Pacific Pole Soba Noodles
Sashimi-grade ahi tuna | buckwheat soba noodles | poke sauce | carrots |
pickled vegetables | soy ginger sauce | wasabi guacamole | crispy wonton strips | green onions | sesame seeds
Vegan Lentil with Ancient Grains Soup
Hearty lentil soup

From all the delicious food that was delivered to our table by Leanne and her kind staff, I was picking out what I could eat from the dishes since I’m vegetarian.

…and then here comes Leanne surprising me with their Vegan Lentil with Ancient Grains Soup! Friend, I was so grateful! This soup was savory and hit the spot on this cold and rainy day!

There aren’t many restaurant just yet where you’re able to find steak dishes and vegetarian and vegan options, plus gluten-free meals! And not only that, but they are accommodating to their guests with food allergies and/or sensitivities! BJ’s you’re the MVP!

Happy Galentine’s Day Mommies

While enjoying our savory meals we updated each other on our children’s most recent silly escapades, learning achievements, and opened-up about challenging moments we have encountered recently or overcome. It’s amazing to have a tribe you can confide in with an open heart and mind.

And in the same level of care, we discussed and listened about our success and hiccups with our individual businesses. Moms Supporting Moms. Can it get any brighter?!

Cheers to enlightening our lives with like-minded humans!
Boomerang provided by Naza Holliman.

4. Come back and enjoy
Ballast Point Tap Takeover!

Tuesday, March 19th at 6pm! Come alone, bring a friend, or your mom and enjoy award-winning brews in a great atmosphere at one or both of the grand bars at BJ’s in Burbank!

If you feel like you’re not a “beer person” not to worry! You can take this fun opportunity and find the right beer for you with the expertise of one of the bartenders, or you can order any other drink from the beverage menu and still enjoy a great time!

The gals and I are planning on returning to join in the Ballast Point Tap Takeover – “Tap Tuesdays!” If you see us, please say hello!

Ballast Point Tap Takeover is Featuring:

  • Brut IPA, Bone-Dry India Pale Ale
  • Ballast Point Lager, Lager
  • Passing Haze, Hazy Session India Pale Ale
  • Grapefruit Sculpin, India Pale Ale with Grapefruit
  • Barrel Aged Victory at Sea, Imperial Porter aged in High West Bourbon & Rye Barrels
Seriously, the detail in the bars’ woodman-ship is gorgeous!
And there’s large flat-screen TVs throughout the restaurant and at the bars for your extra entertainment!
Photographed from top to bottom and left to right: Leanne, Cecily, Rosie, Marie, Naza, Erika, Danica, Suzie, Vanessa.
Photo provided by Naza Holliman.

We are thankful to our hosts for not only providing the gals and me with a place to disconnect from the mundane mommy duties (like laundry and dishes) and to connect with each other as mompreneurs with passions and goals, but also for providing us with a complimentary opportunity to learn of and experience their new EnLIGHTened Entrees® Menu!

For most moms, eating out is an adventure in itself, especially with kids (I mean, we pack half the nursery in the diaper bag when venturing out of the house!), so it’s great to know, that we will be taken care of when we enter their doors with not only healthier food, but super-foods, too!

Have you been EnLIGHTened®, yet?

Let me know in the comments and share this awesome new BJ’s menu and Ballast Point Tap Takeover event with your friends and family!



P.S. We were each sent home with one of their famous Mini Pizookie® desserts for our kids!

And it gets sweeter…

Earlier in our luncheon, while discussing future yummy menu options, I had mentioned that my 2.5-year-old daughter, Ellie, loves quinoa and Leanne surprised me with some to take home to her! So thoughtful!

FYI: This is the Enlightened Vegetarian Quinoa Bowl and we both enjoyed the flavors so much!

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
107 South 1st Street, Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 557-0881 – Instagram @bjsburbank
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Friday

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Sunday

Valet (cash only) and self-parking lot provided.

Take-out/curb-side pick-up, and delivery through online and BJ’s App orders.

4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne

4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne

This post is not sponsored. I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes; and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! by Vanessa Torres
BareMinerals-Blemish-Rescue-4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! by Vanessa Torres

As an adult, some days you just feel the need to wear makeup when up against stress-causing flare ups. Even though, not so deep down, you’re really thinking, “WHY? Why am I still having to deal with pimples going into my 30s!” Insert dramatic yell emoji here —> !!!

Nevertheless, life goes on and you have to go out in public! The best option is clean makeup.

The last thing you want to do is cake-on heavy foundation to try (emphasis on the try) to hide the blemishes and only end up irritating your skin some more.

I’m glad Influenster provided me with the bareMinerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Spot Concealer complimentary for testing purposes last month because wouldn’t you know it…

My face surprised me with a new flare-up on my chin in the beginning of the new year just in time for the concealer’s arrival. (I’m blaming it on my standing 3-year KonMari Refresh ritual I perform every 6 months). And let me tell you, this pimple was not sparking any joy!

You can insert the eye-roll emoji here —> !!!

I was especially excited to test the bareMinerals concealer because if I found that it would actually conceal the blemish while treating it, I would no longer fret (as much) about being up close and personal with someone during a conversation while I had a red-glaring flare-up on my face. You mamas know how it is!

After 3 weeks of consistent use in January – I’m a believer.

I was not totally convinced the first week. I mean, the blemish was still there, even though I’m sure it was performing all of its acne-fighting powers for me! But, you know how you low-key hope for miracles when you first start using a new product? haha

By the second week, the blemish was not red, nor irritated, or dry and itchy! Always a good sign. And by the third week, the blemish was on its way to blending into my surrounding skin!

Please note, I did not use any other acne medication during the testing period.

“Featuring Salicylic Acid, Kaolin Clay and Sulfur paired with Mushroom Stem and Licorice Root Extracts to help soothe and fade the look of scars.”

bareMinerals, The Power of Good
BareMinerals-Blemish-Rescue-4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! by Vanessa Torres

There are ten mineral-rich full coverage shades to chose from, which is pretty awesome for an acne spot concealer!

I received shade Tan/Dark 4.5N. This shade worked well, but I think a shade lighter, such as Med/Tan 3.5C, would have blended much better with my skin tone, especially since I was only using a tinted sunscreen on most days because being barefaced (with sunscreen) is my favorite! Especially when just hanging out at the park or the public library with my two-year-old daughter.

Super awesome little surprise was having a hidden sharpener within the concealer stick! One less thing to carry in the diaper bag when you’re on the go. Worked well, too!

4 Easy Ways One Product Helps You Fight Adult Acne. Treating adult acne on the go just got easier! by Vanessa Torres

Inserting happy dance with spirit fingers emoji here —> !!!

4 reasons
to keep a bareMinerals
Skin-Clearing Spot Concealer
in your handbag:

  1. Salicylic Acid Medication: Don’t just hide it, treat it!
  2. Matte Finish: Yay to not having a shinny pimple!
  3. Full Coverage: It can totally do double-duty and be used anywhere on your face to prevent future breakouts!
  4. #CleanBeauty: Made from cruelty-free skin-improving minerals and botanicals! Basically, it’s good for your skin!

(You just never know when you’ll be unpleasantly surprised with a pimple.)

Now I’m left with the need to test the other three products in the bareMinerals Blemish Rescue collection! (Influenster: Why didn’t you send all four?) There’s the Blemish Rescue Primer, Concealer, Loose Powder Foundation, and its very own charcoal-infused Seamless Buffing Brush!

I think, if I would have been able to use all four Blemish Rescue collection products during the testing period, there would have been a whole better and faster skin-clearing experience.

Have you tried any of the products in the bareMinerals Blemish Rescue collection? Are you an adult still coping with acne?

Please don’t make me feel like I’m the only one and let me know in the comments!



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LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Brunch, Joe’s Cafe, Granada Hills, CA – Homemade American-style Dishes with a Twist

LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Brunch, Joe’s Cafe, Granada Hills, CA – Homemade American-style Dishes with a Twist

This post is in collaboration with LAMBT for Joe’s Cafe and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos taken by me, Vanessa Torres, unless captioned otherwise. Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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Ping! My instant messenger softly sounded in the background as it shared the sound-waves with “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack, as I water-colored with my two-year-old daughter on the kitchen floor, dubbed our art studio. A few hours later (or was it days?), because #MomLife, I checked my messages. It was Naza!

Super-excited, she shared of how much she had enjoyed an unexpected breakfast date with her husband at Joe’s Cafe, and she would love for as many of us from the LA Mommy Blogger Tribe (LAMBT) to attend our next monthly brunch there!

The way she described the creative menu and the warmth of the customer service – I was in!

Come On In!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Lunch Room Entrance
Joe’s Cafe
17823 Chatsworth Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344
Breakfast & Lunch: 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday (Lunch starts at 11:00 am)
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday through Saturday

Happy Hour: 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursdays

Street parking, with additional parking behind Joe’s Cafe establishment.

Delivery available through Postmates, Grubhub, and Doordash.

Are you ready to dive into a menu overflowing with authentically “homemade” and craving-filling dishes created by owners, Chef Joe Wheterbee and his business partner and wife, Aliceon?
Yes? Me, too!

But First, Coffee!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, coffee, creamer, best customer service
Destiny pours the much needed hot and freshly brewed coffee for the mompreneurs.

My friend! Here are a few of fun facts I learned while at Joe’s Cafe:

  • Chef Joe won the Food Network’s “Chopped,” on the last episode titled “Dread and Breakfast”, which aired in 2014;
  • Joe’s Cafe was recently featured on an episode of Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise;”
  • You can enjoy live local music at Joe’s Cafe on scheduled Friday and Saturday nights;
  • And if laughs are your thing, check-in with Joe’s Cafe for their next Comedy à la Carte for “a delicious night of stand-up;”
  • They have an Instagram account: @JoesCafeGH and use the #FoodDoneGood

How awesome is that!

There are so many sweet and savory breakfast and lunch options to choose from, and there’s also a variety of hot & cold drinks. Beer and wine for the 21-and-over, but I’m a sucker for the traditional breakfast staple: fresh-squeezed orange juice!

As I reviewed the menu, I did notice that Joe’s Cafe does not have plant-based diet friendly options; however, vegetarians may have better luck, especially ovo-lacto-vegetarians.

Parents: there’s a kids menu!

You can find the staples: chicken tenders, grilled cheese sandwich, and mac n’ cheese.

These protein-stuffed pancake balls pictured below are perfect for kids, too!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Fried Sausage Pancake Balls
P-Cake Balls
Sausages dipped and fried in pancake batter, and served with maple cream.

Small Details

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Pouring Water

I absolutely appreciated the environmentally-friendly paper straws, the farmhouse-chic mason jars, and the large & beautiful green reusable water bottles, and the tiny glass milk bottles for the milk and/or creamer for the coffee!

Plus, cacti plants for decor here and there around the cafe – my favorite!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, breakfast menus

Below are a few photos of our flavorful “homemade” American-style dishes.

Not pictured is Rosie’s order, Ojan’s Junk (a pancake sandwich with two eggs, a sausage patty, smoked Gouda cheese, sliced tomato, and house ranch) – the Food Network’s “Chopped” winning dish!

You’ll have to check it out!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Breakfast Croissant
Croissant Sandwich
Thick bacon, fried egg and smoked Gouda cheese on a buttery croissant with optional avocado.
Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Ericka Castanos
Pork Belly Eggs Benedict
Toasted buttery garlic bread with heirloom tomato, basil, pork belly, and poached egg topped with hollandaise sauce, with optional Avocado.
(Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)
Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Ericka Castanos
Stuffed French Toast
Local French loaf bread stuffed and grilled with fresh berries and cream cheese.
(Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)


Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Mommy Bloggers

We’re bloggers!

You know we had to take the mandatory aerial photo of our aesthetically pleasing dishes – the taste did not disappoint either. Look at that not-so-basic avocado toast!

I also noticed Gouda cheese and bacon seem to be a staple in most of the dishes. Are you a fan of Gouda cheese? This was my first time trying it!

Naza speaks to LAMBT members regarding goals, Joe's Cafe, Vanessa, Life Of Torres Blog

Being able to spend time reflecting on January, and sharing our goals and plans for February with the LAMBT while enjoying great food was the best!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Naza Holliman, Vanessa Torres, Tyler E. Johnson, Rosie Nguyen, Tiffanie Westgor, Ericka Castanos, Raquel Harbin, Suzie Boluarte, Kelly Short, and Lara Scott
LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Members (from left to right): Naza Holliman, Vanessa Torres, Tyler E. Johnson, Rosie Nguyen, Tiffanie Westgor, Ericka Castanos, Raquel Harbin, Suzie Boluarte, Kelly Short, and Lara Scott. (Photo/Selfie taken by Naza Holliman)

Homemade Desserts

Desserts made from scratch, just like the rest of the food on the menu.
Not pictured: the chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting! Enough said.

Ready for Super Bowl LIII 

As soon as you walk into Joe’s Cafe the excitement for this weekend’s Super Bowl LIII (Sunday, February 3, 2019) is evident!

The dessert pantry is decorated in Patriots’ gear (and Joe’s Cafe merchandise available for purchase)!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Patriots Fan

Aliceon may not be a New England Patriots fan, such as her husband Joe, but she’s the real MVP at Joe’s Cafe!

#WomenSupportingWomen #LAMBT #CommunityOverCompetition

BTW, Go Rams!
(Welcome back to LA!)

Joe's Cafe co-owner, Aliceon, expertly gives the members of LAMBT the sweet run-down of the breakfast and lunch menu, the history of Joe's Cafe, and the inside scoop of what's baking next for this Spring! (Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)
Joe’s Cafe co-owner, Aliceon, expertly gives the members of LAMBT the sweet run-down of the breakfast and lunch menu, the history of Joe’s Cafe, and the inside scoop of what’s baking next for this Spring! (Photo taken by Ericka Castanos)

As mompreneurs, having a tribe of women to lean on is essential, and as a member of the LA Mommy Blogger Tribe, I look forward to our monthly brunches, not only to help support my fellow mommy bloggers, but also our local small business, such as Joe’s Cafe.

It was such a treat to get to know Aliceon during our brunch! This multi-tasking new-mompreneur (Yay!) attended to her guests, prepped and baked fresh desserts, and still made time to have real conversations and pose for a Boomerang with our mommy tribe! Aren’t Boomerangs so much fun?!

Shout out to Destiny for her attentiveness and sweet, yet sassy sense of humor – she was Joe’s Cafe first hire and I can see why she’s a valued member of the team. Everyone was awesome!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Naza Holliman
LA Mommy Blogger Tribe Members (from left to right): Ericka, Vanessa, Tyler, Tiffanie, Naza, Lara, Rosie, Suzie, Kelly, and Raquel with Aliceon and Destiny.

Here we are after much deliberation and great laughs:
Mommies with their creative spirits and bellies full.

Thank you Joe’s Cafe for hosting us!

Joe's Cafe, LAMBT, Vanessa, Life Of Torres, Lifestyle Photographer

Friend, I hope you stop by at Joe’s Cafe and enjoy the warm and casual environment, and deliciously creative “homemade” menu. Would you like to visit?

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share this post. Your feedback fills my creative cup to share even more with you!

See you on the other side of the camera lens!


Vanessa's Blog Signature

P.S. How stinkin’ cute is it when restaurants provide clean water bowls for your doggies?! All the heart-eyes!

P.S.S. Subscribe to our Life Of Torres newsletter tribe to be the first to know of our LAMBT brunch adventures and get the scoop on the next place in Los Angeles you should go have a foodie experience!

& follow LA Mommy Blogger Tribe on Instagram @LAMommyBloggerTribe

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How WaterWipes Save My Daughter From Severe Diaper Rash

How WaterWipes Save My Daughter From Severe Diaper Rash

This post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links to products I love.
If you purchase something with these links, you are helping support this blog and my family at no additional cost to you.
Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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Diaper Rash. The mention of the words makes me sad and empathetic towards babies. Do you know the feeling mamá?

I cringed at every diaper change hearing my daughter cry as I wiped her down. I did not want to imagine the pain her sensitive skin was experiencing at only 5 months old. And by no means, could I avoid changing her diaper, right? It would only create more severe diaper rash. Frequent diaper changes to keep her dry and comfortable are key.


Other than smothering her bottom in anti-diaper rash ointment to seal out wetness at every diaper change (we were going through tube after tube at this point), I would also give her two daily baths. Two very long daily baths. Those two months she practically lived in the bathtub.

By the time she was 7 months old she was a total and complete water baby! She knew the routine to help her soothe her bottom. My smart girl.

Later, I realized I was not helping my daughter’s diaper rash, when I learned of all the extra chemicals found in baby wipes to add fragrance and help the liquid bind longer to the threads of the wipe. What? I was dumbfounded. I read ingredient lists for food, beauty, and hygiene products, but never stopped to read the ingredients on baby wipes! Have you been in this type of situation? Feeling relief to have found a solution, but upset because you knew you should have probably known the solution sooner.


I searched for a better and safer alternative and found WaterWipes

Have you used WaterWipes before? Please let me know of your experience, if you have. Out of necessity, we sometimes use other brands, but we always go back to WaterWipes, especially when her diaper rash condition reappears. They’re perfect for her sensitive baby skin!

Water Wipes are made with only two ingredients: 99.9% Water and 0.1% Grapefruit seed extract. That’s it! Super safe and gentle! Free from chemicals and preservatives.

WaterWipes recommends using their wipes within 4 weeks of opening the bag and storing them in a cool dry place, since the lack of preservatives allows the wipes to dry faster, but that shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re like me, you use wipes for everything baby! Everything. haha

To remedy the water not binding to the wipes for long and staying at the bottom of the bag instead, simply squeeze the WaterWipes packet a few times while turning the packet upside-down to allow the water to redistribute throughout the wipes. Fairly simple, right?

A few more seconds of pre-work before a diaper change, but a lot more peace of mind knowing your baby’s skin is rash free! And no more crying at every diaper change! We see less irritation approximately after the third diaper change. *happy dance*

No wonder WaterWipes was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. Honestly, I didn’t even know the award existed, but I’m sure my Ellie agrees with the judges! And so do I.

The life of a mamá. It’s truly the little things that bring pure love and joy in life.

We found that subscribing to WaterWipes on Amazon Prime and have them delivered to our doorstep as frequently as we need them alongside other items on our list was a must and has worked out great!

If you’re not already an Amazon Prime-Mamá, Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free TrialYou’ll love it! It has saved me from so many trips to the store and up to 20% off diapers, baby formula, and more!

Happy Baby, Happy Mamá or is it Happy Mamá, Happy Baby…? I’ll let you choose Amiga!



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“>water wipes are best baby wipes to help with baby's diaper rash


Top 9 Educational Toys Under $25 for Toddlers – Día De Reyes Gift Guide

Top 9 Educational Toys Under $25 for Toddlers – Día De Reyes Gift Guide

This post is not sponsored, but does contain affiliate links to products I love.
If you purchase something with these links, you are helping support this blog and my family at no additional cost to you.

Thank you so much for your time and support. Enjoy!

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We anticipate the Christmas season so much to honor the birth of Jesus Christ, but then New Year’s Day comes and it seems like Christmas is gone! However, if you’re like my family, you extend the joy of the Christmas season for twelve more day, until January 6 – El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos! Día de Reyes for short.

Per the Gospel of Matthew, the three Kings, Melchior (Europe), Caspar (Arabia), and Balthazar (Africa), followed a star and traveled the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem to find El Niño Jesus, the Divine Child, to present him with three symbolic gifts.

The symbolic gifts are as follows: Gold to acknowledges Jesus’ royalty as “King of the Jews;” Frankincense to demonstrate the divinity of Jesus’ existence as the Son of God; and Myrrh to foreshadow Jesus’ mortality and His future death to be our Savior.

This divine day is celebrated with family and with a special focus on our very own children by also giving them gifts on Día de Reyes, instead of, or in addition to Christmas morning. Gifts are traditionally placed in children’s shoes, instead of under a tree.

Will your little ones be leaving their shoes outside their bedroom doors, so the Three Kings can leave their gifts inside?

Don’t worry. These larger presents on my gift guide can be placed around their shoes! I’m sure your bebé will not mind and neither will your wallet! All of these educational toys are under $25!

My daughter is 18 months old and has played with all of these gift guide options. It’s never too early to learn while having fun.

  1. Amiga, the words “Reusable” and “Washable”! The My First Crayola® Dry Erase Activity Mat by Crayola is only $6.79 is just gives loads of art time over, and over, again! It includes 12 reusable activity sheets and four washable, easy-to-grip dry-erase crayons. We use the fold-up activity mat at home, in the car, at the doctor’s, and at restaurants! Life-saver. So easy to take anywhere because of its built-in storage.
  2. The Bath Letters and Numbers by Munchkin are only $4.49 and are the best during bath to identify the alphabet, learn to count, spell simple words, or group by color, but also work anywhere else you can think of! I keep an extra set in the car because I love that they’re small and light-weight enough to fit in my bag and be taken on-the-go!
  3. Want a toy that doesn’t require batteries, but keeps it poppin’? Brilliant Basics Corn Popper Push Toy by Fisher-Price is $9.59 and it’s the same awesome classic Corn Popper that you probably grew-up playing with, but with a sleek new design. As your bebé learns to walk and pushes the Corn Popper along, the rainbow colored balls will pop around inside the clear dome! Ellie loves it! The faster your bebé moves, the faster the “poppity-pop”sounds go! This toy will definitely help you tire baby out just in time for their next nap!
  4. Hungry? So is Luke! This Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin’ Luke by Baby Alive is $11.09 and ready to be loved, fed, and taken care of by your little one! If you want to foster their empathy and big sibling instincts – this is the toy for you! You’ll love to watch all of the pretend play and the subtle reminders of YOU! Your little one will start imitating your parental behavior! Oh, and please be warned, Luke “poops” in his diaper! ¡Gracioso! Have fun!
  5. It’s My Pal Violet by LeapFrog and is $14.89. With the help of your phone, tablet or computer, you can help personalize Violet by helping her learn your bebé’s name and favorite things, as well as help her teach first words, feelings, emotions, counting and colors to your little one! What’s not to love of such a cute and cuddly friend. My Ellie keeps hers at Grandma’s house for the added comfort from the soothing bedtime music during nap time.
  6. Like I said earlier, never too early to learn! Mr. Pencil’s Scribble & Write by LeapFrog® is $16.39 and comes with six activities that will introduce writing, drawing and spelling. Plus, Mr. Pencil will also show step-by-step instructions on how to write numbers, shapes, uppercase letters and lowercase letters. Don’t be afraid to allow your little one to venture on their own, but this is definitely a toy you want to spend time guiding your child with in the beginning. ¡Divirtiénse y aprendan juntos!
  7. Laugh & Learn Puppy’s A to Z Smart Pad by Fisher-Price is $20.49 and so awesome! My Ellie has been playing with this one since she was 11 months old and we love the sing-along songs! Smart Stages technology lets you select the stage that’s best for your little one – there’s 4 levels! The Smart Pad teaches creative thinking, letters and numbers, large motor skills, shapes and colors, but my favorite is the little clock with rotating hands that teaches them how to tell time! So valuable in a digital world!
  8. Table manners are a must and Laugh and Learn Say Please Snack Set by Fisher-Price is $23.49 and helps you with that value, plus matching and sharing! We love that the Snack Set knows which of the fruits, veggies, and treats are served and what’s missing on the table and depending on which of three levels it’s set at your bebé can interact differently with Puppy and Sis. This toy is more fun when played by two, so get ready to have a fun, yummy, and lovely meal with your bebé. I would recommend this toy to encourage sibling play-time.
  9. Do you have a dancing queen or king? Bright Beats Learnin’ Lights Dance Mat by Fisher-Price is also $23.49 and teaches ABCs, numbers, colors, shapes and encourages dance moves all around! Its always awesome when toys can grow with your bebé. The large, soft mat was perfect for Ellie when she was just sitting and crawling, but now it’s just as great for dancing and continued learning!

As you wait for the arrival of the Kings, I hope you get to enjoy the Rosca de Reyes (or Kings’ Bread) with your familia and friends! And remember, if your slice of bread has El NiñoJesus (or “Baby Jesus”) figurine baked inside, you’ll have to host on the Day of the Candles, Día de la Candelaria, on February 2 and prepare tamales for everyone in attendance! ¡Ay!

Trust me, it’s a blessing!

I hope the gift guide was helpful and your toddler wakes up with one of these fun and educational toys next to their shoes!

¡Feliz Día de Reyes, Amiga!



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