Thursday, January 19, 2017

Charlie's Room Tour


I have been meaning to share Charlie's room forever, and I'm so glad to finally get it up today. About a year ago we actually transitioned Charlie from his crib to a "big boy bed," but it wasn't until many months later we began working on changing his room to a kid room, rather than a nursery. I knew I wanted to keep many of the same things in the redo- I loved the rug, which I had picked in the hopes it would translate to a big kid rug also- and all the art on the walls could be left as well. I chose a new dresser, moved the playroom bookshelf into his room, added some new art on the walls, and of course- a new bed.

And on the topic of his new bed, two big things I wanted to touch on-

1) This bed from Wayfair has been a DREAM. I'm a huge fan of the fact that it's soft, with no hard edges. I love Henry's bed, but with all of the sharp corners I'm always a little afraid someone will fall and hurt themselves. Charlie's bed is one that looks so good in his room, but I also feel is super functional- we can sit up and read, leaning against the soft headboard, and it's a design that will totally grow with him. I was slightly apprehensive about getting a fabric bed for a kid, but the material is VERY easy care and textured, so any marks come right off. This is probably my favorite thing in his room.

2) I get asked all of the time- "are you still loving your 4Sleep mattresses?" I can't stress enough how much we LOVE them. All of us have one, and I can't say enough good things about the quality of sleep and overall rest they give to each of us. It's been quite a long time using these mattresses, and we love them more than when we first received them. I truly cannot recommend them enough, and if you're on the search for an affordable, comfortable mattress option (that will arrive in a box!), 4Sleep is for you. You can also see photos of the actual mattress at the very bottom of the photos as well.

3) The alarm clock and sound machine shown are must-haves in this house. My friend Nicole recommended the clock to us when I mentioned Charlie was waking up around 4:45am every morning. It was a really hard phase for everyone in the house. I don't mind getting woken up early, but he would also wake up Henry who wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. This clock has been a lifesaver. You set it to a certain time (we do 6:30am), and it turns green when it's time to wake up. It took a few days, but over time Charlie learned to put himself back to sleep until it was green! I definitely recommend this to anyone who has struggled with the same problem. And the sound machine is amazing. Just go read about it here, read the reviews, and try it out! We each have one in our rooms and they're game changers.

So yes, Charlie LOVES his new room, and it's so fun to see the space begin to grow and change as it becomes "lived in." Now at 3.5 Charlie has a mind of his own- he helped me pick out the buffalo print, chose his grey bedding himself, and even arranged the books in his shelf when we moved it into his room. It's adorable. We actually did a bunk bed first, but it did not work at all for our family. We couldn't climb in the bottom with him to read or snuggle, and that alone was enough to go back to a traditional frame. We luckily have enough space, so the boys will keep their rooms as we welcome our new baby into the family.

On a related note, I got a LOT of questions about how we organize toys, etc. over on one of my Instagram posts the other day, so I will follow up with a post all about that soon!

Here are a ton of photos- you can find the sources at the very end! xo


Sources:

Bed: c/o Wayfair
Mattress: c/o 4Sleep
Gray bedding: Target
Quilt: c/o LWPH Sews
Frog stuffed animal: c/o Hazel Village
Adventure sign: c/o Juney House Shop 
Bison print: Society6
Wall hooks: c/o Wayfair
Bookshelf: c/o Land of Nod
Rug: Rugs USA (old)
I Dream of Outer Space print: Nick Villalva
Moon Phase print: Urban Outfitters (old)
Door catcher: Latchy Catchy
Dresser: Vintage- Craigslist find
Dog bank: Urban Outfitters (old)
Globe: Vintage
Alarm clock: Amazon
Pizza Pendant: c/o Land of Nod
Book ledge: IKEA
Cloud mobile: c/o Baby Jives
Corner Book Basket: Urban Outfitters (old)

Monday, January 16, 2017

"3rd Time Mama" Baby Essentials



I don't know about you, but when I was having my first baby I was SO curious to talk to veteran mamas. What did they use, and more so, what did they KEEP using with each child? What held up, what was worth it, what was totally unnecessary? So today I thought it would be so fun to share all of the things I love as a veteran mama (still so weird that this is our THIRD!), and hopefully you'll find something useful here too.

I already have my next post ready to go later this week, with 10 NEW to me things I'm excited to try this time around so check back in soon for that, but in the meantime, here are my top must-haves for baby, tried and true:

1. Solly Baby Wrap

This is a MUST for me. I absolutely love the Solly Baby Wrap for a few reasons- it's incredibly soft, stretchy, but still supportive. I use this for the first 6 months or so, and for those months, so worth it. Baby is snuggled in close all day long, and you are able to do whatever you need to do- take care of your other kiddos, even just take a walk. This thing was a lifesaver for me, and with a c-section both times, the soft fabric did not irritate the incision area.

2. Ergobaby Carrier (this one is my all-time favorite- check it out!)

Before I worked with Ergobaby on the PR side, I collaborated with them here on my blog with both Henry and Charlie! I've always been a huge fan of the brand, and even more so now that I work with them on a different level. It's a wonderful company who believes in parents, and their products are hands down the BEST. I have the opportunity to try out different carriers regularly, but I can totally speak to how long the carriers last from not only my own experience but also via the Moms we work with on social media. Some of these mamas have used the same carrier for over 7 or 8 years! Amazing. Ergobaby now has a carrier you can use without an infant insert (the Adapt), but I used the Original with an insert with the boys from day one.

3. Sakura Bloom Sling

This is my third must-have baby carrier. All of these are totally different and I wear them in different circumstances and for various reasons. For me, slings are the easiest to throw on when you're running in somewhere quickly. They're simple to use and so beautiful. I've been a Sakura Bloom fan ever since I collaborated with them on their very first Sling Diaries and had the chance to try them out. To me, nothing is better than a well-worn, broken in sling and these are simply the best!

4. BOB Stroller

Hands down the best stroller ever. Our same BOB Revolution has lasted us two kids, countless cross-country trips traveling via both airplane and car, 10K races, daily walks and runs, hikes...you name it. And it's still in fantastic condition. I recommend this to ANY parent who is looking to be active with their little one from birth all the way up through the toddler years.

5. Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers diapers

These are the diapers we used from day one with Henry, because they're the ones the hospital gave us! We didn't know any better but as time went out I learned through trial and error that they really did work the best for us. I've tried ALL brands of diapers, and for newborns up until size 1, these are the best. After these, we switch over to Costco's brand, and I have zero complaints.

6. Ergobaby Swaddler

I look back at our swaddler journey and it really does make me laugh. With Henry, we used the blankets the hospital gave us and I can't tell you how many times Hank and I became frustrated in the middle of the night trying to make sure the tucked in side stayed tucked in, or even remembered how to do the dang swaddle. When Ergo came out with a velcro swaddler it was life changing for us! It simplified EVERYTHING, and best of all, we could rest assured it was an ergonomic design that would be safe for baby's hips. A must-have, and super affordable too.

7. Freshly Picked Moccasins

These are a no-brainer for us. We've used them since the beginning, and Susan's journey has been the coolest thing to watch. We are loyal FP mocc lovers, and for good reason- these are some of the only shoes that actually stay on little ones' feet, and they also allow them to develop healthy walking habits since they're not impeded by a thick sole! Not to mention how cute they are. Baby Olive already has her own little collection, and I can't wait to try out the pinks and golds in her closet.

8. Fisher Price Lamb Chair

Both of the boys loved this chair from day one. It was one of the handiest tools in my mama arsenal, because it allowed me to feel good about setting them down in a safe place. The chair vibrates, which the boys loved, and since it's so light I could move it all around the house. I would place the boys in it when I showered- right outside the shower door- when I had to work, or when I just needed a break from holding a baby. There are many different versions of this chair on the market, but this one in particular was great through both boys' time as a baby...and it's still going strong for baby #3! Note: I couldn't find the lamb chair for sale anywhere, but the Rock 'n Play I linked above is supposed to be just as amazing.

9. Kimono Style Tops/Comfy Pants

This may sound like an odd one, because it seems so specific for baby clothing. For me though, I found that the constant diaper changes made having the baby in anything like a onesie extremely annoying. No one wants to take the legs and bottom in and out all day long (or all night long for that matter!). So I really love the two piece outfits, and the kimono style tops don't go over baby's head which further simplifies changing as well. I also found this style of tops to be easier on the umbilical stump, and just overall made those first few weeks a lot smoother. Some of these shirts do come with mittens attached, but I avoid those, because in my opinion babies need to figure out how their hands work, and keeping their hands in mittens all day goes against that. I linked a cheap Gerber pack above, but I absolutely love this set also, and it's actually what Olive will be going home in.

10. A comfy backpack-style baby bag

I've tried all sorts of baby/diaper bags, from satchels to totes to backpacks, and I've learned over the years that backpacks are the way to go. My two picks I'll be using for this baby are here and here. The second is a new-to-me brand and I am absolutely obsessed. We brought it to Disneyland and both Hank and I were blown away with how functional and comfortable it was. It even fits my huge 40 oz. Hydroflask in the outside pocket. The plus of having a backpack is that it leaves your hands totally free, which is needed, and also makes babywearing easier.

11. Some sort of co-sleeper

There are a ton of options for this, and we are actually going with a new one (more in my next post), but for both boys we used our beloved co-sleeper similar to this one. This was absolutely amazing on so many levels. I was a little too nervous to truly co-sleep without some sort of co-sleeper, but I also didn't want to have the baby outside of the bed. This was a great compromise as it allows you to have baby safely in the bed with you, and you can also easily travel with it. Co-sleeping IS safe, but for me, I just couldn't rest for fear I would roll over on the baby.

12. Boon Flair Highchair

We used this chair for both boys and I can't say a bad thing about it! Easy to use, easy to clean...all around EASY! It's held up wonderfully for all of the use it has gotten and I'm happy to say that it's ready to go for its third round, which is pretty amazing.

13. Costco wipes

These are the best wipes, hands down! We use them for everything, still! Check them out.

14. 4moms Breeze Playard

And finally, one of my favorite baby items we own. A couple things about this- one, it's very heavy. I would say that's the only drawback, so we never did air travel with it, but we did bring it with us whenever we would drive. It's the easiest playard I've ever used in my life. There are so weird sides to click together (or apart), it's a very simple one-handed push down, and equally as simple to close. It's pretty, it's easy to move around, and we used it for everything from a safe place to set baby when we had to get something done, to a spot to hang out outside while we all got some sun. A great product!

That's it for now, but check back soon for the new items we can't wait to try this time around! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments and I'll get right back to you.

xo

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekend Links


Happy Sunday! This past Friday we had an ultrasound, and we were so excited to peek in on her one more time. I shared a photo on my Instagram account, so check there is you're curious, and let me know if you think she looks like the boys. I totally see them, which is crazy to me. As for right now, I have some fun links for you to browse! Enjoy, and have a wonderful rest of your weekend. xo

Here are the sources for the photo above: record player and speakers, circle shelf, rug, and couch!

Egypt is at the very top of my must-go list. I loved reading through this post.

Life in 2007.

I just love Adam Driver.

The 25 best movies of 2016 and where to watch them.

Some comfy sweaters: one, two, and three.

21 little everyday changes to make your 2017 even better.

Also: I love this top!

Tips for cultivating mindfulness.

Hmm...how to fall asleep in under five minutes.

On my reading list: one, two, and three.

The biggest wellness trends of 2017.

I LOVED reading this article that I found on Diana's blog this week.

I'm excited to dive into this podcast for the first time.

We finally got one of these (so worth it), so this post was immediately bookmarked.

Have any of you ever had one of these coats? They look amazing...but the price is not so amazing. I just wonder if it's one of those things you buy once in your life and last forever, which makes it well worth it. Let me know!

A Harvard linguist reveals the most misused words in English.

This Kale Cesar Salad sounds delicious!

Wishlist: ANY of these boots, one of these bracelets, and this dress.

The best documentaries on Netflix.

And finally, what it meant to have a feminist president.

xo

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Currently Reading


The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother

Oh my goodness, this book. What a lovely and perfect book for me to be reading right now. With Henry I remember reading ALL of the baby and pregnancy books. All of the how-tos and guides to pregnancy and after, and throughout all of that reading I don't think I encountered anything quite like this. Part guide, part cookbook, this book takes you through the first forty days postpartum and how you can use that time to focus on healing and bonding with your baby rather than stressing about anything else. I found this book to be immensely inspiring, even as a third-time mama. I can only imagine the benefit of reading this my first time around! We are told so often to bounce back as quickly as possible from birth, and this book tells you the exact opposite. It encourages parents to take time to soak it up, relying on their support systems to nourish them with good food and love. Get this book for anyone you know that's pregnant, get this book for yourself if you are pregnant, just get this book! I'm loving it, and I also recommend getting the hardcover rather than the Kindle version because it's so beautiful!

One True Loves

So since this post I've been loving ALL of the books by Taylor Jenkins Reid and making my way through them, but I wanted recommend this one in particular today. I have just fallen in love with this author, and have been sharing this recommendation with anyone who will listen. I'm a huge fan of non-fiction books, but I often like to take a break and dive into some "beach reading," which is what I call the easy to read, almost fluffy books that don't make you think too hard. Like a magazine, but in book form. The one thing that always annoys me about those kind of books though, is that sometimes the writing is just horrible. NOT the case with this author though- she is on point with every aspect of her writing and is truly a pleasure to read. One True Loves is about a woman who is engaged to one man, but then her long-lost husband comes back...and I'm sure you can guess how dramatic that is. It's not cheesy at ALL though, even though it sounds fairly ridiculous from that short synopsis. Just trust me and read it, I bet you'll love it!

The Art of Pie

If you know me, you know how much I love pie. I come from a long line of pie bakers and it is hands-down my all-time favorite treat. Apple pie, cherry pie, lemon meringue (without the meringue, please!)...I could go on. This book caught my eye as a gift option for a friend actually, but once I opened it I had to get it for myself too. It covers everything from the basics- knowing your oven, ingredients, etc.- to so much more. The author weaves stories into the recipes and tips to make you really feel as if it's an art book, inspiring readers to look at pie making as one of the most beautiful things you could do. I'm almost done with this book and can't wait to try out my first recipe. Highly recommend!

Happy reading! xo

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Hello, 3rd Trimester!


Officially in the third trimester for about a week and I don't know if it feels this way to you as an observer, but this pregnancy is flying by. It's part awesome- I'm so excited to meet her and have her here- but also pretty sad knowing it's the last time I'll ever do this. I mean, never say never right, but to be honest I think I'm just someone who will never feel done. I get sad just thinking about it and I know it's silly but I am so emotional knowing I'll never have another baby boy like Henry and Charlie. I told you, silly. BUT three feels like a good place to be for our family. Two boys and a girl. One child more than either Hank or I grew up with, so automatically it feels like a "big" family to us. But ask me again when Olive is two or three- I wonder if I'll be aching for just one more.

I had my last monthly appointment a week and a half ago and now we begin the twice-monthly ones. The appointments are typically very short and consist of blood pressure, listening to the heartbeat, and measuring my belly. Then I can ask any questions I may have, etc. Last week I had a few- 1) what can I take for congestion? (any anti-histamine) Can I get one more ultrasound for fun, and try the 3D/4D option? (yes!) And when will we schedule my due date? (in the next month we will schedule her birthday!) It's also always so much fun hearing our little one's heartbeat during these appointments- my favorite. She is moving a TON and is very, very active. Kicks and turns and everything in between.

It's been a really interesting 6 months for me- in the beginning I would have characterized this pregnancy as harder emotionally and even a little harder physically, but now I don't even feel pregnant unless I'm thinking about it. Which is weird, but I can't remember if that's how it was with the boys (although see 29 weeks with Charlie here). I love being pregnant. Sleeping hasn't become harder yet (I know that's coming), but I have been waking up 1-2x during the night. The biggest difference for me has been my super clear skin this pregnancy. With Charlie my face was a mess at the beginning and it was upsetting. This time I've had no breakouts and it's been such a surprise, and made things so much better. No matter how small or cosmetic that may seem, it's hard having acne on your face at any stage in your life. I feel very grateful to not be experiencing it this time around and I hope my skin will never go through that again! As far as food, I've had the same loves- Trader Joe's unsweetened, dried "Just Mangos," their unsweetened applesauce, and anything else apple I can get my hands on. Nothing too crazy but the main theme has been apple. Maybe I picked the wrong food to name her! ;)

It's almost January and then I can say that in two months she'll be here! I really can't wait. We have a TON to do to get ready for her- new flooring and paint in her room, and basically just getting everything all picked out and set up. She will be taking over our guest room, and I'm excited to make it a space all her own. I'm going for a laid-back, warm vibe with neutrals and wood and pink tones. I'm excited to share more of the process, but here are a couple of photos my friend Lauren snapped the other week. I'm not a big maternity pic person, but I am glad to have these to show Olive one day.

xo    



Thursday, December 22, 2016

December's Favorite Things


This has been a month FULL of goodness. I love Christmas so naturally this is one of my favorite months, and this entire month we've spent mostly at and around home, which has been extra wonderful. I have quite a few things on my "favorite things" list that I'm so excited to share with all of you...and I hope you find a new favorite to love!

ps. my jacket above is one of my favorites- it's from two seasons ago, but find similar coats from BB Dakota here. And you can find my snowboots here as well! The Caribous are the very best and so incredibly warm.

Here we go-

1) Dohm sound machine

Okay people, if you take one thing away from this post, take this. This thing is SLEEP-CHANGING! Over the past year or say I've posted a few times about our 4Sleep mattresses. Yes we still love them, yes they've changed our lives (best sleep ever), and I still encourage everyone I know to get one. Hank and I have always slept with some sort of white noise. We have apps on our phone, and the boys also sleep with little noise machines in their room. The other day while I was looking around Amazon, I stumbled upon the Dohm sound machine. I'd never heard of it before, but noticed it had close to 10,000 almost all positive reviews. It was on sale for $20 off so I snatched one up hoping for the best. And we have not been disappointed. It's an interesting product- it's actually a little fan inside the machine but the sound is almost hypnotic and totally helps drown out noise and assists with sleep. I think you have to try it to believe it, so I encourage you to give it a whirl! I hope you love it.

2) Boppy pregnancy pillow

This is my new best friend. I've never been a body pillow type of person, and I've also never had a pregnancy pillow with either of the boys. I always felt like they were a waste of money. Why buy a special pillow you'll use for such a short time? Well, I now know the answer. To be honest I probably still wouldn't have bought one for myself, but Boppy sent one over and I am in LOVE. I don't know if I ever won't have this big thing in our bed. I've been using it to not only sleep at night (so so comfortable), but also to put behind my back when I read at night. I just can't get over how much more comfortable my sleeping is, and combined with our new sound machine I might just never get out of bed. 10/10 recommend!

3) Eberjey pajamas

First, I just realized that all of my favorite so far revolves around my bed and sleeping. Hmmm. ;) So, lately I've been trying to replace my "like" items with "love" items. So for instance take pajamas. I don't have any I really love, just random pieces that I like but I don't look forward to putting on at night. I decided to treat myself to an Eberjey set and I'm SO glad I did. More expensive than a typical pair from Target, but the quality is so great and they're lovely. I hope to get a lot of wear out of these to make up for the price, and I can already tell that will be the case! My ideal wintertime pajama outfit consists of Eberjey pajamas, any of these soft socks, and my hair up in a big bun. Add in my bed, a book, and a cup of tea and I'm in pregnant lady heaven.

4) Taylor Jenkins Reed

This is a new-to-me author, and so far I've devoured two of her books and I'm about to start on the third. I reviewed the first here, and this is the second one. I love her writing style- it feels very beachy and easy but also intelligent, and her character development and storytelling is just so engaging. I really got sucked into both stories and could NOT put them down. I'm hoping my third pick is just the same. I'll keep you posted, but so far I can't recommend her enough!


I'm not a huge makeup person, but I always am on the lookout for good lip stuff. I love gloss and natural looking lipstick, and when a friend recommended this Dior balm to me, I had to try it. I got it in the Coral color and absolutely love it! It's kind of weird- it supposedly reacts with the chemistry of your lips to bring our your best natural color, and I would have to agree! It's an interesting product that just feels so good on, lasts, and looks great too. It's just the right pop of color for everyday that gives you a hydrating, pretty glow! Love it.

That's it for this month! Happy almost-Christmas! 

xoxo

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Light is Light.


This year is coming to an end and I feel like there's something hanging in the air. Sadness? Disappointment? I am well aware of the privilege to not feel this in my little bubble, but I am also well aware it is elsewhere. Everywhere. The world as a whole is a sad place right now, I feel like the moment I go online or turn on my television it comes at me as fast as I can blink- bad politics, violence, horrible, indescribable things happening here and all around our world. I can't figure out if things are that much worse or if we are that much more plugged in. A few of my friends have argued for the latter but I really do believe it feels worse than it has in recent years. And our current political climate- and the climate we will be moving into- does not help.

I go between a lot of emotions- feeling helpless, feeling ridiculous going about my life while there is so much going on elsewhere, feeling even worse posting about what I call the fluffy stuff on my social media channels while there are so many more important things that could be discussed- it's a weird place to be, aware of everything happening but also still doing your day-to-day, living your normal, comfortable life. Privilege, guilt, feeling confused about how to help or where to begin. I'm sure many of you can relate to at least one of these things.

So I think about where I can start. I look at the big picture, the small picture, I read articles and I watch the news. It's overwhelming. Aleppo is at the forefront of every news report and for good reason. We can donate (read this), but what else?

That is the big picture. So I take a step back. I look again. Back up more, look again. And I see my place, I see where I can help now. Today. Even inside this safe bubble that I live in, I can do something. I can begin by teaching the most important little students I'll ever have. I can show my children how to love and how to be compassionate. How to stand up for what they believe in and never quiet their voices, or allow others' voices to be quieted. I can teach tolerance and curiosity, open-mindedness and respect. It's daunting, imagining these little brains and hearts and all the work that must be done. But it must be done.

So that's what I am focusing on. This is my answer to myself when I feel confused and helpless. I still feel like it's never enough, and I also don't want to minimize anything by imagining that the solution to any of these horrible things in the world is teaching my children- but we do what we can with what we have, and this is what I can do. Love and be love and teach love. And then one day we can only hope that all of it is like a snowball, and even though it's a very small portion of a very large problem, perhaps this little light can illuminate even the smallest corner of the tiny piece we've been given, and it will carry over to someone else's and carry over to another's, again and again, a tiny spark becoming even just a bit bigger. You do it, I do it, we all do it. That is my hope and my WHY. Love and love and love.

Sending love and light to you and yours, and a happy almost-Christmas too.

xo

*photo from Fall 2015, taken by Lauren Ristow.
 
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