Sweet Laurel Classic Vanilla Cake

Over the weekend we had the opportunity to celebrate the first cookbook behind the the whole foods baking company, Sweet Laurel and what a sweet treat it was!

Milly LOVED the Lemon Cake.

Milly LOVED the Lemon Cake.

All of their recipes are grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, paleo and many are also gluten free, vegan and raw. If your eyes are glazed over simply by reading those words and you're tempted to exit out of this post, stop! The cake you clicked on is most of those things AND delicious. 


That wasn't just click bait. Would the queen of sweets every steer you wrong? When done well, none of those things have to be bland and flavorless. In fact, when done right, it can be absolutely divine. That's what's so amazing about cooking and baking and the power of creativity when combined with fresh ingredients. 


The story behind Sweet Laurel is one of necessity. When baker, Laurel Gallucci was diagnosed with an aggressive auto-immune disorder and put on a strict elimination diet, she started experimenting with ingredients she could eat so she could still enjoy the sweets she loved without having to sacrifice flavor.  Because just like most of us, usually gluten free desserts are bland and better used as paper weights.  Using simple, whole ingredients Laurel was able to create baked goods that are tender, moist and full of flavor. Some of them are so simple, they're only five ingredients or less. From there, she partnered with friend Claire Thomas of Kitchy Kitchen and created the Sweet Laurel brand. 

I've already flagged plenty of the recipes in their new cookbook, Sweet Laurel including Summer Strawberry Tart, Vanilla Bean Peach Cobbler and Double Dark Chocolate Cookies. With summer right around the corner, I can't wait to try them. Congrats girls! For the recipe to Sweet Laurel's Classic Vanilla Cake go here. 

With Sweet Laurel's Laura Gallucci and Claire Thomas

With Sweet Laurel's Laura Gallucci and Claire Thomas

Spring Cookie Dough Cones

Anytime I'm invited on Home & Family (H&F), I get so excited because everyone there is so friendly and really makes you feel like family. The culinary team is absolutely amazing and every producer I've worked with is super organized, enthusiastic and professional.  I was especially happy to meet Ali Fedotowsky, who was guest hosting that day. I love reading her blog and following her journey to becoming a Mama of two. Hopefully you'll see a collab with her very soon. 

For this appearance on H&F I wanted to create a playful dessert for Spring.  We came up with a sprinkled loaded cookie dough...that you eat in a cone (or on a spoon or out of the bowl-no judgement here!).  This raw cookie dough recipe is safe to eat because it features no raw egg and instead using applesauce for a little sweetness and for the right consistency.  Start with the cookie dough base and have fun adding your own mix ins and toppings. Mr. A's favorite is loaded with Reese's Pieces and chopped Reese's Cups with salted almonds. You get the picture. The possibilities are endless.

Go here to watch the video and for the full recipe.

New Mommy Must Haves

These are products I swear by especially if you're a new Mom! Keep in mind that just like how every baby is different, every mommy's needs are different too! I also think having my Mommy friends help create my registry prevented me from ending up with random things I didn't use. I love swapping products with friends so you can try and test things before you decide to purchase them. We borrowed a swing for the first three months that our friend's daughter didn't really use but Milly enjoyed! I encourage you to share all your must haves with other mamas and then let me know in the comments below what your New Mama must have is! Scroll down to learn more and shop each item and then don't forget to click the bell on my YouTube channel so you get a notification every time I post a video (2-4 times a month if I can!)

Beauty Advice for Moms with Susan Yara and Sharzad Kiadeh

When you're a mom sometimes it's a miracle if you find time to shower but on most days I try to pull myself together even if it's just for me.  I loved interviewing Susan Yara & Sharzad Kiadeh of FAM: For All Moms on my YouTube Channel about their beauty advice for Moms. And then after you watch this video, head over to their channel to watch me share my natural birth story with them on their show. 

My Mother's Filipino Adobo Recipe

Adobo was one of my favorite recipes growing up as a kid. It's flavorful, comforting and so delicious. It's also one of those recipes that tastes like it's been cooking all day but it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 45 minutes to cook. So if you stop what you're doing right now and make this, you could be eating the most iconic Filipino dishes in about an hour. Scroll down for my Mom's recipe and watch the video here.


Filipino Adobo 

By Carol Arzaga Milloy


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 lb. skinless chicken
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 bay leafs, crushed
  • 1 tsp. smoked or regular paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. peppercorns, crushed


  1. Into a pot set on medium heat, add your oil and onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add in the all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a medium high heat and cover. Leave cooking and covered for 45 minutes. Do not remove cover. Serve with white rice and more soy sauce.
Ooey Gooey Marshmallow Cereal Treats

Recently I was invited to Home & Family on The Hallmark Channel to make my Ooey Gooey Marshmallow Cereal Treats. I had so much fun cooking in the kitchen with Mark Steines. From his adorable (but questionable) dance moves to talking about our daughters (his daughter, Parker is about the same age as Milly), it was the most I've laughed while working in a long time! You can watch the full segment here. Then scroll down for the most delicious cereal bar recipes you've ever had. I've made sure to pack them with plenty of marshmallow and loads of flavor. You can have fun making them your own by customizing them with different cereals, add ins and toppings! Enjoy!


Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cereal Treats

By Brandi Milloy


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag Jet-Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 cups Reese’s Puffs Cereal
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate, melted
  • Fleur de Sel, for garnish


1.     Lightly grease a spatula and a 9 x 9” casserole dish.

2.     In large nonstick saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows, and stir occasionally until just melted. Fold in peanut butter. Remove from heat.

3.     Add cereal and quickly stir until cereal is well coated.

4.     Pour and press into casserole dish until evenly distributed. Cool before cutting into squares.

5.     Dip each square halfway into chocolate and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper to set chocolate.

6.     Best if served the same day. Otherwise, store in an airtight container or plastic wrap for up to two days. 


Ooey Gooey Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats

By Brandi Milloy


  • Cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag Jet-Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups Lucky Charms Cereal
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate, melted
  • Lucky Charms Marshmallows (marshmallows only), for garnish


1.     Lightly grease a spatula and a 9 x 9” casserole dish.

2.     In large nonstick saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows, and stir occasionally until just melted. Remove from heat.

3.     Add cereal. Quickly stir until cereal is well coated.

4.     Pour and press into casserole dish until evenly distributed. Using a spatual, spread chocolate on top and garnish with marshmallows. 

5.     Cool before cutting into squares. Best if served the same day. Otherwise, store in an airtight container or plastic wrap for up to two days.


Ooey Gooey Marshmallow Cookies & Cream Treats

By Brandi Milloy

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag Jet-Puffed mini marshmallows
  • 4 cups rice krispie cereal
  • 1 package or about 25 Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • White chocolate, melted
  • Mini Oreo Cookies, for garnish


1.     Lightly grease a spatula and a 9 x 9” casserole dish.

2.     In large nonstick saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows, and stir occasionally until just melted. Remove from heat.

3.     Add cereal, crushed cookies and salt and mix until everything is combined.

4.     Pour and press into casserole dish until evenly distributed. Cool completely.

5.     Drizzle with chocolate on top and garnish with mini Oreo cookies.

6.      Cut into squares.

7.     Best if served the same day. Otherwise, store in an airtight container or plastic wrap for up to two days.

Salmon Avocado Toast
Ripe tomatoes, fresh salmon, creamy avocado.....

Ripe tomatoes, fresh salmon, creamy avocado.....

Salty capers and crunchy bread....

Salty capers and crunchy bread....

This is one of my absolute favorite snacks that you can enjoy anytime of the day. This recipe was inspired by me always ordering something similar at my favorite coffee shop but it became a $12 habit when I knew I could make it at home for a fraction of the cost. I pretty much keep all of these ingredients on hand so it's super quick to make whether for breakfast, lunch or linner!  Skip the salmon and you still have a ultra loaded avocado toast!

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Salmon Avocado Toast Recipe

By Brandi Milloy

  • Butter
  • 1 slice crusty bread
  • 1 tbsp. cream cheese (jalapeño cream cheese for extra spice)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (if you can't find this, swap with garlic salt)
  • 3 pieces of smoked salmon
  • 3 ripe cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. capers


  1. Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Butter your bread on one side and place it butter side down on the skillet to get it nice and toasty. Remove from heat and set aside.  
  2. Spread the cream cheese on the bread. Next, place sliced avocado on top. Sprinkle with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. Top with sliced smoked salmon. Garnish with sliced tomatoes and dill. Sprinkle capers on top and enjoy!
My 2018 Food Trend Predictions
Hello Kitty Cafe

Hello Kitty Cafe

Part of being a food reporter and trend expert is studying consumer behavior, anticipating direction and being tuned in to what people are talking about, buying, photographing and exploring.  It's strategically figuring out and studying what people will become obsessed with before we all realize it and basically forecasting what is yet to come.  Actually-that's all BS; I'm just messing with you. These are simply my predictions. They are my own opinions based on what I think people will be eating, making and ordering in 2018. From turmeric lattes to instagrammable eats, I had the chance to be on KTLA and share my 2018 food trend predictions. Take a look at the foods I think will be dominating our dinner plates this year! You can watch my segment here

My Favorite Dessert Gifts to Send

I love sending desserts as gifts-especially to people who are really tough to shop for and seem to have everything! Many of these were on our dessert table at our wedding and friends still talk about how much they loved every single thing.  I get asked all the time what my favorite treats are around the country so I finally compiled my list of sweets that are so much fun to send and receive. Please note, these are in absolutely no specific order. I can't choose favorites because they are all so good! Also, I love that so many are owned by female entrepreneurs. Girl power!


I crave these on a daily basis. The sticky sweet treats are cereal-ously delicious. My favorite flavor is their Salty Caramel Crispie but other favorites are Peanut Butter and Sugar Cookie. Started by a mother daughter team, Laura and Natalie, I just love them!


I will never forget the first time I had Milk Bar. I had a slice of their 7 layer birthday cake. It's the yummiest, layered cake filled with cake crumbs that are almost like mini birthday cake truffles, sprinkles and vanilla frosting.  Each layer of the cake is brushed with a vanilla milk "soak" that makes it super moist and delicious. Chef Christina Tosi (who I have a major girl crush on btw) is the mastermind behind reinventing all of our childhood favorites. Other desserts I love from her: b'day truffles, confetti cookie, the list goes on.


All-natural cookie dough that's safe to eat! This edible cookie dough is a dream. Enjoy it on ice cream, cookies or just simply on a spoon. One of my favorite flavors is Cookies N' Dream. It's dark chocolate with vanilla frosting and chocolate sandwich cookies. Sometimes I even mix this with Peanut Butta Cup.  This is what you bring to girl's night!


My husband, Mr. Amazing first introduced me to these cookies. He is practically a cookie connoisseur. He's had every cookie out there.  And let me tell you. There is no other cookie out there like this.  Milk Jar Cookies are soft, chewy and so large you can usually 


If you like sweet and salty, this popcorn is for you. It's half salty cheddar cheese and half buttery sweet caramel.  I survived on this popcorn when I lived in Chicago. Even if you don't like popcorn, you'll like this. It's like no other popcorn I've ever had.  It's light, fluffy, craveable and a great gift for anyone in your life. 


This is the candy shop of your dreams. Sugarfina features delicious gourmet candy from around the world. Everything they have is extremely unique. Some of my favorites are their Atomic Sours imported from France, Champagne Gummy Bears from Germany and their Fruity Loops from Greece.  Their store looks like a jewelry boutique with each candy housed in a clear bento box.  You can create your own box with any of their 120 candies. 


Compartes turns chocolate into works of art. Their handcrafted premium chocolate bars are my favorite. From the beautiful packaging to mouth watering flavors, it's a one of a kind edible gift.  You're not going to find these flavor combinations anywhere else! From White Chocolate Cereal to Salted Pistachio, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Rose and Donuts and Coffee, there is something for everyone!

A Candid Conversation on Motherhood, My Breastfeeding Journey and More
Photography Credit:  Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Milly and I had the privilege of hosting Munchkin's first FB LIVE this year with my friend Molly and her son, Callan where we talked all about motherhood, the ups and downs of breastfeeding, tips and tricks to getting your milk supply up, bottle feeding and so much more.  I hope to continue hosting more FB LIVEs and creating more parenting content on my YouTube Channel so if you haven't subscribed, be sure to subscribe now. I truly don't know where I would be without the community of Moms I've met in person and via social media. It's my goal to create a place for all Moms to share their stories and journey of motherhood so we can learn from and lean on each other. You can watch our first of many more discussions here. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support me through your viewership, engagement and more. Let me know what else you'd like to see on my site as I continue to create more content on food, travel, parenting and more. 

Old Fashioned Homemade Raspberry Jam

My mother in law makes the most delicious raspberry jam.  She gave us a jar once and we finished it off in less than a week.  I started craving it like crazy. Every time I saw her I would ask if she made some more (which probably got annoying-sorry). It's just that Mr. A and I make breakfast every morning and typically it involves some form of jam so it's top of mind every day.  And while I love buying fresh jam from the farmer's market, it can get pricey when it really is the simplest thing to make.  Whether it's smeared on sourdough bread under melty brie, bacon and eggs (seriously-try it!!!) or simply slathered on a buttered biscuit-we are jam people, folks. This recipe is inspired by my mother in law's. It takes about 15 minutes to make and you only need two ingredients. If you're like me, I'd make a couple batches as back up cause it's so yummy you'll end up adding it to just about everything you eat. 


Old Fashioned Raspberry Jam

by Brandi Milloy


  • 2 heaping cups fresh organic raspberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup organic sugar


  1. Place berries in stainless steel pot and bring to a full boil, mashing the berries with a wooden spoon. Boil for 1 minute on high heat, stirring constantly.  Add sugar and continue to boil for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.  Store in mason jar in refrigerator and enjoy!


Scoliosis: My Back Story
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I've told this story hundreds of times and even now when I start to share my scoliosis journey it takes me back to 13 years old and being told by doctors I would need to get fitted for a back brace (that I would ultimately wear 23 hours of the day for almost 4 years) only to have 3 serious back surgeries thereafter.  My experience with scoliosis was challenging. There was a lot of bullying and moments of loneliness, feeling like I never belonged. The physical challenges were tough recovering from surgery after surgery. But ultimately all of these experiences surrounding my scoliosis shaped me into the person I am today. 

Photography Credit: Kyle Hartman

Photography Credit: Kyle Hartman

I had the opportunity to share my story with TODAY.com about embracing my scoliosis and my scar. You can read my interview here.  I was also a guest on POPSUGAR's Pretty Unfiltered where I share some of the difficult times I had when I was younger but also how I overcame those obstacles to be the strong woman I am now. 

Christmas Pancakes with Milly on the TODAY Show
Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton 

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton 

Being able to introduce our daughter, Milly to the TODAY Show family and the rest of the world during our segment on the TODAY show is a memory I will cherish forever.  It's funny because when I was invited to be on the show I knew I needed to find someone to help with Milly. Our good friend, Maureen aka GMo traveled from Philly to NYC to help us out only for Aunt Hoda to hold Milly while I worked! Baby girl was so excited to be on set and comfy cozy in Hoda's arms.  Check out the entire segment and the recipes here and then scroll down for more photos.

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

Photography Credit: TODAY Show | Nathan Congleton

What to Buy the Person Who Has Everything
Photography Credit: Cat Clendenning

Photography Credit: Cat Clendenning

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Cheesecake Factory. The opinions and text are mine.

I love this time of year-the decorations, the smell of fresh Christmas trees and tons of family time but one of my least favorite things about the holiday season is shopping. Don’t get me wrong-I love giving gifts especially when I know someone wants something and I remembered exactly what they want and when they open their gift the excited look on their face fills my heart with so much joy.  But then there are those people that you procrastinate to shop for because it’s like they have everything. Do you have friends or family like that? And you don’t want to just get them something random, right? One of my absolute favorite gifts to give are gift cards to their favorite restaurant.

Photography Credit: Cat Clendenning

Photography Credit: Cat Clendenning

One of my family’s favorite place to eat is The Cheesecake Factory. They make everything from scratch -even their dressings.  And right now they are doing a sweet promo. For Every $25 dollars in gift cards you buy at The Cheesecake Factory, you’ll receive a “Slice of Joy” card redeemable for a complimentary slice of their legendary cheesecake from January 1st through March 31st, 2018. The ‘Slice of Joy’ gift card offer is available exclusively at The Cheesecake Factory restaurants or online at TheCheesecakeFactory.com

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The Slice of Joy card is redeemable for any slice of their cheesecake. Personally, depending on my mood my go to is Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake but I also love their Peppermint Bark Cheesecake, especially because it's only available around the holidays.

Photography Credit: The Cheesecake Factory

Photography Credit: The Cheesecake Factory

It's a white chocolate cheesecake swirled with chunks of chocolate peppermint bark, topped with white chocolate mousse and finished with chopped peppermint.  It's just the right amount of peppermint and chocolate and it's everything you love about the holidays on a plate.  Plus for every slice they sell through the end of the year, The Cheesecake Factory will donate 25 cents to the local Feeding America food bank.  So when you order the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake it's a purchase with a purpose.  Now if you love chocolate, another go to of mine is the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake. It's delicious!  It's Hershey's cheesecake between moist chocolate cake with creamy chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.  

Photography Credit: Cat Clendenning

Photography Credit: Cat Clendenning

Oh my goodness I’m salivating just thinking about this. 

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And let’s be honest-who doesn’t want a gift card to The Cheesecake Factory? There’s something for everyone.  I could eat their Buffalo Blasts every day. Oh and when I gave up meat for Lent one year I must have went there every other week for their Asian Lettuce Wrap Tacos (no chicken cause obviously no meat for Lent). That sauce is to die for.  A gift card to The Cheesecake Factory is a great gift for everyone on your list and it’s ok if you’re doing it just to get the free slice of cheesecake. I won’t tell.

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Three Amazing Holiday Tablescapes
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I love, love, love decorating the house this time of year but the hardest part is always figuring out what theme I want to go with. From traditional to elegant and my latest favorite-whimsy and playful, you can create the most beautiful tables for the holiday. You'll notice I love mixing colors and textures and repurposing other decor I already have.  I just can't deny my love for terrariums!!! Check out my post on the World Market blog for all my decorating tips and then watch my video below featuring three amazing tablescapes!

Five Easy Baking Tips for the Holidays
Sugar Cookie Birthday Cake Sandwich Cookies by Brandi Milloy PHOTO 1.jpg

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Crisco®. The opinions and text are mine.

I love the holiday season! From the smell of the Christmas tree to wrapping presents while singing Christmas carols and spending time with family-it is such a joyous time of year! But for my family, it’s also the busiest time. We love having people over and hosting parties. From being a new mom and keeping up with work, I’m always looking for ways to save time, especially when it comes to entertaining.  One of my time saving tips is to always keep Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening on hand. You don’t have to let the shortening get to room temperature before using it and since it has a higher melting point than butter, you don’t have to “chill” the dough before baking!  I love to make a large batch of sugar cookie dough the morning before I plan to have people over. Shortly before they arrive I start to bake batches of cookies one at a time.  There’s nothing better than the smell of cookies baking in the oven.  It takes very little effort and instantly makes folks feel welcome. Here are some baking tips for making the dough your own. Plus, scroll down for my Sugar Cookie Birthday Cake Sandwich Cookie recipe.

TIP #1 Get thicker, airy and light-texture sugar cookies by replacing butter with Crisco® All-Vegetable shortening.

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TIP #2 Make a sugar cookie cake/pizza by pressing sugar cookie dough into a cake or pizza pan and baking.


TIP #3 Before baking, press wooden sticks into center of sugar cookie dough to make cookie pops. Great for holiday party favors or even for milk dunking!


TIP #4 For quick and easy decorating, add Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening when melting chocolate. This creates a smoother consistency perfect for dipping sugar cookies, fruit and pretzels (add ½ teaspoon Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening per 1oz of chocolate).

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TIP #5 Create your own flavor combinations by adding dried fruits, nuts and/or candies to your favorite sugar cookie dough recipe.

Sugar Cookie Birthday Cake Sandwich Cookies by Brandi Milloy PHOTO 2.jpg

Sugar Cookie Birthday Cake Sandwich Cookies

By Brandi Milloy

Yields 2-3 dozen


3 cups Pillsbury™ BEST™ All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup rainbow sprinkles

1 batch Crisco® Creamy Homestyle Vanilla Frosting



HEAT oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl until blended.


BEAT shortening and sugar in large bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.


BLEND in egg, milk and vanilla. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Fold in ½ cup sprinkles.


DIVIDE dough in half. Roll out each half on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2 ½ inch round fluted edge cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.


Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom edges are very light brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.


To assemble sandwich cookie: Frost the bottom of one cookie and press another cookie on top.  Garnish edge of cookies with sprinkles. 


My Favorite Products for Traveling With a Baby
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My husband and I love to travel so we decided early on we weren’t going to stop going on trips just because we added a little member to our family! Thank goodness Milly is a natural born adventurer who loves to be on the go. She’s four months old and already she’s been on a handful of flights, across country twice and more weekend getaways than I can count. I’ve learned plenty of tips and tricks along the way and you can read about those here.

When I began the overwhelming task of packing for Milly, it was daunting.  I already joke that babies are little hoarders so how do you choose what to bring when they need so much stuff? I decided to prioritize as many products that do double duty as possible. I thought about what things would make her comfortable and being away from home easier and finally, what things I use the most at home. Here are my 14 favorite products for traveling with a baby. Consider this your packing checklist!

Fold’n Go™ Travel Bassinet

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IMG_7367 2.JPG

While many hotels provide a crib you can borrow during your stay, I prefer to bring my own. Weighing in at under 3 lbs and super compact, it’s ideal for travel. Most bassinets are so bulky and big they take up an entire piece of luggage meaning that’s one more bag you have to pay for.  I also like that the mattress is removable and the sheet is machine washable. This one folds up easily and is for approximately the first 3 months. The breathable mesh panels give such a peace of mind with an infant. We took this on several trips and it allowed us to go to bed knowing Milly was safe and comfortable.  It should be noted that this bassinet should not be used when the infant begins to push up on hands and knees or has reached 15 lbs. (6.8 kg.), whichever comes first.

Teether Babies®


“Munchkin the Monkey” as we call him is Milly’s best friend.  He’s been on every trip with us so thank goodness he can go in the wash! I understand parents want to bring their child’s lovey with them on trips plus the blanket, teethers and more toys but that leaves room for losing items! And that’s a whole lot of stuff to pack! This is a packing checklist on the essentials-what you really NEED to bring. I learned early on from my mommy friends that it’s best to have a travel lovey that only goes on trips with you….and to buy two ;) just in case.  I love how this monkey pulls triple duty.  The textured paws massage Milly’s sore gums. The crinkly paper is great for keeping her attention on road trips and it even rattles. Plus the clip at the top means you can attach it to almost anything.

Travel™ Bottle Warmer

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Having a travel bottle warmer is a must have for our family. The last two trips we took were for my work so my husband was doing about half of the feedings using my frozen breast milk. This makes it convenient for him to feed our daughter when Mommy is working or on the go. The flexible heating band conforms to the bottle so it warms evenly and quickly.  We even plugged the warmer into our Uber on the way to the hotel!

LATCH™ 4oz Bottle


This has been Milly’s favorite bottle since birth. Luckily we didn’t have to try a dozen bottles before finding the perfect one for her because a friend had suggested we try LATCH™.   For a breastfeeding mama I love the slow flow and ultra flexible nipple that flexes as she eats.  It mimics the movement of a real breast. And the anti-colic valve helps ensure bubbles don’t travel through the breast milk meaning Milly goes to sleep just as easy as when she breastfeeds. I don’t know what we would do if my husband couldn’t feed Milly with such ease. And bottles aren’t just for when Milly’s away from me. There have been so many instances where we were glad we had a bottle ready for her (waiting in line to rent a car, in the taxi on the way home, during dinner at a restaurant, and many more.) Even if you are a breastfeeding Mama, make sure you pack at least two bottles including a little cleaning brush and soap when you travel. You’ll be so glad you did.

Manual Breast Pump

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For the same reasons mentioned above, never go on a trip without a manual breast pump.  You never know when you can’t breastfeed but need to relieve yourself and/or feed your baby. This is the best $30 I’ve ever spent.  It’s small, easy to use, discreet and quiet.  On long road trips I've used it to pump in the car (while my husband drives). I actually prefer my manual breast pump over my electric.  It just feels more efficient and I don't need to be teethered to an electrical outlet to use it! 

California Baby Bubble Bath


When you’re traveling with a baby sleep is so important. We sometimes give Milly two baths a day when we are on the road. One is for playtime that we make into an activity. This is great because it’s a nice way for her to play and let out some energy! The other bath is to calm and relax her before bedtime.  Ironically, our favorite California Baby bubble bath is “Party!” and “Calming”! Organic, pure and safe it’s the only skincare I use on her. 

Shhh…™ Portable Sound Machine


When you’re on the go and your baby’s schedule is all out of wack, you want all the help you can get when it comes to getting them to sleep.  This sound machine is as small as a baby bottle and battery operated so it’s super convenient for on the go. It’s instantly calming and since we use one at home too, Milly is easily taken to dream city as soon as I turn it on. Read more about why I swear by this when I travel here.

goPad™ Diaper Changer

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This will by far be your travel must have accessory. I keep this in my diaper bag so I can just grab this clutch instead of bringing the whole bag.  It has everything you need to change your baby on the go. I love it so much I wrote a whole post about this here

aden & anais Swaddles

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

Photography Credit: Jenny Quicksall

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These super soft muslin blankets are so versatile. Use them as a swaddle, tummy time blanket, burp cloth, blanket, stroller cover, breastfeeding cover and more. I make sure my diaper bag, car and stroller always have them!

Baby Bjorn Carrier

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Baby wearing is truly key when traveling. I know us Moms are used to holding our baby and doing everything with one arm but save yourself the sore biceps by investing in a baby carrier. Until Milly is bigger, I’m using a hand-me-down one my sister gave me that she used with my nephews over 10 years ago!



While I won’t consider this a must have, if you travel a lot, it is worth the investment.  This car seat and stroller in one is compact and easy for travel. It made getting in and out of cabs when we traveled to NYC a breeze. With one click it goes from stroller to car seat and vice versa.  So narrow and small, it fit in the teeniest of areas. Having this on a trip eliminated the need to pack a separate car seat and stroller.

Happ Diaper Bag


A diaper bag that doesn't look like a “diaper bag” was important to me when looking for something I could take on vacations, especially since I would also be using it as my handbag.  Obviously I needed it to be functional too. The fact that this bag is a backpack-allowing me to carry one less thing –and it’s sophisticated and modern-I decided to get two.  There are so many smart cubbies, and the zippered flap opens wide so you can easily grab all of your baby essentials.

Zip Up Sleeper Onsies


Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile you want your little one to be comfortable.  Dress them in zip up sleepers so they stay warm and cozy. Changing their diaper is also much easier when you aren’t fiddling with snaps and buttons! These are also really great to wear in cold weather climates underneath their jackets and blankets so you can transition from inside to outside a lot easier.

Brica Cover Guard™ Car Seat Travel Tote


This bag made bringing Milly’s car seat when we flew with her really easy. Rolled as a suitcase or worn as a book bag, we maneuvered through the airport with very little effort. The extra large zipper made it easy to fit our Doona in the bag even when we had limited space at the gate.  What’s nice about waiting to check the car seat at the gate is if the flight isn’t full many airlines will give a vacant seat to your baby allowing you to use the car seat on the plane.  Plus, if you do check your car seat this cover will keep it protected and safe!







Gingerbread Ice Box Cake
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Traditionally, ice box cakes are made with chocolate wafer cookies but I've given one of my favorite desserts a festive twist. Made with six layers of gingerbread, homemade whipped cream, and buttered toffee pretzels this cake is sweet, salty and perfect for the holidays.


Get the recipe and watch my video on how to make it below plus head to the World Market blog for more of my favorite desserts this season.