Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Guest Post: Best Bedtime Buys for Baby and Toddler

This is a guest post by Kira Browdy.  

Sleep is a wonderful thing and something that adults take for granted. That is, until a newborn baby comes along and deprives you of a full night sleep for at least the first few months, often longer. While a newborn child will take a few weeks for his circadian rhythm to develop, older babies and toddlers will have more of an ability to sleep through the night, giving you your much needed kip as well.

Of course, making bedtime as comfortable and cosy for the young ones will give them a better chance of sleeping soundly. While a newborn child would probably benefit from sleeping in darkness, emulating the womb and helping them to get used to the difference between night and day, a toddler may benefit from a nightlight, for example. Here are some great buys for baby and toddler to help them drift into the Land of Nod without any issues at all.

For Baby
  • A baby mobile is a great idea for babies. Whether you choose one that affixes to their cot or one that hangs from their light, a motorised one or a traditional one, having a baby mobile that is vibrant and stimulating can not only help them to soothe themselves to sleep and settle independently, but it also gives them something fabulous to gaze at when they wake up in the mornings – maybe giving you an extra few minutes peace!
  • Bedtime bath toiletries by Johnsons are a massive hit with many parents. Add a little to their bath and it will help them to relax and improve their chances of sleep in no time.
  • Grobags are also hugely popular with babies, helping babies and toddlers to remain warm and toasty without the need to swaddle their arms. Plus, there’s no risk of wriggling underneath the covers, because wherever they go, the grobag goes too!
For Toddlers
  • Bed guards are essential, in some form or another, when your toddler makes the transition from a cot to a bed. Whether you choose the traditional guards that clip onto the bed, or you opt for the funky dream tubes that you can inflate for comfort and safety, something along these lines is a great toddler bedtime buy.
  • Glow in the dark stickers that can be added to their walls and ceilings would be a perfect, and fun, way of lighting their room during the evenings. If they’re scared of the dark, these can be all they need to ensure a sound night’s sleep.
  • A traditional nightlight, whether it’s a bedside lamp or one that you plug into the wall, would be perfect to light their dark room and chase all those scary shadows away!

Kit out your child and their room with a few nifty buys and you’ll all be sleeping soundly in no time. 

Thanks Kira for providing some great tips to help the little ones sleep.  I could sure use these!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Product Review: Tiny Prints Birth Announcements

After 7 weeks we finally go our newborn pictures back.  I can't even think about how long it took to get those because I get so angry.  I won't ever be using that photographer again...  Anywho, happier topic.  We ordered our birth announcements through Tiny Prints and I couldn't be any happier.  The designs they have out now are so awesome.  So many great designs, it made choosing one really difficult.

I loved this one but I could not figure out how to move his name off his back.  This was my first choice had I been able to move the lettering.

I love the gold dots on this one but I wanted a shot that better captured his face.

So we chose this one.  My sweet little baby, he's about 6lbs 15 ounces in this picture but you can't tell with all of those creases!

We've used Tiny Prints in the past and I truly love their designs and their customer service.  If you're looking for birth announcements, make sure to check them out and use code TG13 to save 25% as well as code FS13 for free shipping.


PS.  I received these birth announcements free to offer my opinion on Tiny Prints product.  Though I received these free, my review is my honest opinion.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Graham Month 2

My little guy turned 2 months last Wednesday, however I was traveling and literally saw him for 30 minutes at 6am when I nursed him.  I then had to run out the door to catch a flight.  A lot has changed and then again, not much has changed in the past month.

Stats:  Like last month, I'm not sure what his exact stats are as his doctor visit is next week.  I did weigh him at home and he's checking in right around 12.5lbs so he's gained about 2lbs in a month.  He's wearing 3 month clothes, though he seems to be swimming in them.

Sleep Schedule:  His sleep is terrible.  He sleeps about 45 minutes at a time during the day.  At night he goes to sleep around 9 and typically sleeps about 4.5 hours nurses, then wakes about every 2 hours after to nurse again.

Food:  Still solely on breast milk with occasional supplements of formula.  He eats about 4 ounces at a time every 2 hours.

Firsts:  He finally started smiling true smiles and does so just after eating.  

Favorites:  Nursing, it's his favorite thing and literally about the only thing that makes him happy.

Still very much a light sleeper who cries pretty much anytime he's awake.  We have about 20 minutes of happy time just after nursing, all other times he's not happy.  I hope that changes because he's really quite demanding.  I can't wait to see what changes over the next few weeks as we approach the holidays!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Airport Wear

I'm back to work and it wouldn't be a crazy week without traveling during your first week back.  Let's not even discuss the fact that I have a two month old son I'm pumping for!  So anywho, here's what I'm wearing on my flight back to Columbus:

Jeans - Old Navy Sweetheart skinnies
Tank - Old Navy
Cardigan - Target
Bracelet - Groopdealz
Shoes - Toms

I have a 55 minute layover in Chicago this morning that I'm not quite sure I'll make so today I'm wearing my Toms in case I need to run.  Yesterday the layover was just long enough that my booties looked & worked awesomely!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Toddler Activities

I'm officially back to work from maternity leave. I'm sad because I didn't have the luxury of taking off 12 weeks like I did with Addie.  Benefits this time around just weren't what they were last time.  It sucks.  I'm not happy about it, but I tried to appreciate the days I did have with them.  While I was off I tried to get out a bit with Addie to make sure she got to enjoy my time with her.  I know she was aware how much time I was spending with Graham and wanted to make sure she felt like she was getting some attention as well.  So each week, I tried to do something with her in mind while keeping on a budget.  Again, those benefits...

Week 1 - Chick-fil-a.  What kid doesn't love Chick-fil-a?!  Lunch and play time, it doesn't get much better than that.  Cost:  FREE plus the cost of lunch.

Week 2 - DeMonye's Greenhouse.  It's a local greenhouse that sells your typically plants in the spring/summer, pumpkins in fall and Christmas trees & wreaths in the winter.  DUring the entire month of October they had the place set up for kids to enjoy.  Bounce house, creepy popcorn hands, various crafts, kid friendly haunted house, baby pigs and each kid got a small pumpkin, flower to plant and a goodie bag.  Cost:  $6.

Week 3 - Easton Splash Pad.  In Columbus, we're lucky to have a great mall.  Seriously it's amazing!  In the summer, they have a splash pad with fountains for the kids to play in.  On my third week of leave we had an 80 degree day so I grabbed her swimsuit and let her run!  Cost:  FREE

Week 4 - Creepside.  In our local community, they have a big event every Halloween for local businesses to set up and pass out candy to little trick or treaters down the main road.  Addie loved it though she was creeped out by a few costumes.  Cost:  FREE.

Week 5 - Local metro park.  We're lucky enough in Columbus to have several great metro parks so we love to take advantage of them.  We're even luckier to have one nearly right around the corner from us.  Addie loves gathering all the acorns and buckeyes on the ground.  Cost:  FREE.


Week 6 - IKEA.  Who doesn't love IKEA.  It's an addiction for me.  Rick hates it.  I don't think Addie loved it either but her and Rick had a good time riding around in those spinning carts.  We stopped in KY to eat lunch at a German place and she slammed on some food.  Cost:  FREE plus the cost of gas and lunch.

Week 7 - We skipped a week.  Stayed home and enjoyed our time together.  We ate some popcorn and watched some movies.  Cost:  FREE.

Week 8 -  Chick-fil-a.  Because who doesn't love Chick-fil-a more than once?

Moral?  There are plenty of ways to enjoy your maternity leave with your newborn as well as your toddler.  Just do some googling and if you have a local Macaroni Kid, sign up because they always have great free activity suggestions.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Clever Girls: Just Dance 2014

Staying active is really hard, add on to that two children under 3, working full time and trying to keep up with the house and you can pretty much throw working out regularly out the window.  What we try to do is spend as much time together as a family as possible so incorporating the kids into some type of fitness routine will be important to us.  I recently had a chance to try out Just Dance 2014 and think I found just the way to keep fitness and family together.

I absolutely love Just Dance 2014 because of the great songs!  I mean, I can go all Miley Cyrus with "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and Addie can join in with the "YMCA" by the Village People!  It's such a fun way to stay active and fit while having fun as family.  Plus, I just love watching Addie try to dance along as well. Some day, in the not so near future, Graham will also be participating.  Though I totally see him rocking out to Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved".  Hysterical!

Even if you're a terrible dancer you can follow along easily to the songs.  Looking for a fun game to play with the extended family during the holidays?  This is it!  I mean, how funny would it be to watch your mother in law dropping it like it's hot.  Picture Miley & that mother in law and you're guaranteed a good time!

What's also cool is Ubisoft has a blog where they post updates about Just Dance including the new Just Dance Kids as well as ways to win free songs.  Check it out and go to Amazon or GameStop to purchase.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Product Review: Carton Smart

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

With the holidays approaching, I'm itching over what to make to take to each party.  Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday because of all the fabulous food you continue to fill yourself with.  You can never be too full on Thanksgiving.  Or at least that's what I think!  I recently had the chance to review Carton Smart's Tetra Pak carton packages.  The three staples in any Thanksgiving day food being Pumpkin Puree, Chicken Stock & Cranberry Sauce.  The Tetra Pak carton packages are designed for maximum efficiency and environmental friendliness, are one small way to live smarter.

 photo 1898ca76-3272-4baf-a8df-07abf60e15e3_zps1bf425e9.jpg

Here are some great reasons why you should Become Carton Smart:

• Tetra Pak® cartons are made of 70% paper, a renewable resource, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council)

• Cartons use 1/3 of the packaging compared to cans…or even an egg!

• Cartons are space saving, easy to store and open. Keep your pantry neat and toss your can openers. , stackable and space saving.

• The unique packaging process preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives.Product quality is exactly the way it was intended to be.

• Recycleable and in fact result in 60% less landfill waste than cans

• Cartons are re-closable so you can use what you need and save the rest for later.

 photo 795e421d-1ec8-414e-b1b8-dde8f5f23ded_zps62983f0a.jpg photo d1d52bb8-c150-4f19-9a7c-b8c9ab3c8df3_zpsac6b75dd.jpg photo 62adf36b-e1dc-4d93-98c1-aa80d97a468d_zps600d562e.jpg


Thanksgiving afternoon and evening is always filled with food and fun with family and friends but what about breakfast with the family?  We usually spend the morning lounging around the house watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and what would be go better than some pumpkin poppers to start the Thanksgiving day?!  I swapped out my usual canned pumpkin for Pacific Foods Pumpkin Puree and they turned out fabulous!



Follow the Carton Smart twitter page and Tweet @CartonSmart to hear more and become Carton Smart.  You can also follow their Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest because who doesn't love Pinterest?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Pumpkin Poppers

I made these tasty Pumpkin Poppers this morning and will be making them Thanksgiving morning for a tasty treat to start the day off right!  They taste light as most pumpkin recipes do.  Addie couldn't get enough of the cinnamon sugar all over them. 

Here's what you'll need.

1 3/4c flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp ginger
1/3c vegetable oil
1/2c brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4c pumpkin
1/2c milk

Cinnamon Sugar topping
1 stick butter, melted
1/3c sugar
1tbsp cinnamon

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin, and milk. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Spoon batter into mini muffin tins that have been lightly sprayed.  Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool slightly.

While poppers are cooling, melt butter in a small bowl and combine cinnamon & sugar in another bowl.  Brush poppers with butter then roll in cinnamon sugar mix.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Love Ree Drummond

Can we all agree that Ree Drummond is amazing?  I love that she makes fabulous food but it's all so simple and typically very quick to make.  When I stumbled across her recipe for this Sour Cream Noodle Bake I knew I had to make it.

Of course I substituted the ground beef for ground turkey.  We really don't purchase ground beef anymore to try to save on calories and fat.  I still love ground beef but ground turkey substitutes well in every recipe I've tried it in.  

I love a meal I can bake and just leave alone while I clean up the rest of the dishes and set the table.  Cooking, cleaning, and setting the table at once just doesn't work well especially with Addie running around and Graham inevitably crying as soon as I start dinner.

This one is a keeper!


PS.  Don't forget to enter the Made with Love giveaway here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Simple Thank You

To all those who have served, are serving and will serve, we thank you!  A special thanks to Nicolas Messmer, Rick's brother and Addie & Graham's uncle.  We miss you every day.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Baby Wearing Round Two

Having two children under 3 is challenging to say the least.  Leaving the house is near impossible.  Especially because Addie is a bolter and trying to hold a newborn and be able to move fast in case she decides to make her move, it's a lot.  So last time around I had 3 different types of baby wearing options.  I had the Ergo, the moby and this ring sling.


I'll be honest, the first time around I used each of them a handful of times and it's probably because I only had one child and the stroller worked just as easily.  This time around, for all the reasons listed above, I've gotten more use out of them.  I used the moby once with Graham and I like it, but it takes a little bit of time to get right.  With Addie tagging along, it's really not the best option for us.  

The Ergo has gotten the most use thus far. It's really easy just to pop it on and go which is probably why we're getting the most use out of it. In fact, Rick rocked the Ergo at IKEA this weekend.  It was heaven to have him wear it and let me run around and do the shopping.  I love the Ergo.

Lastly, the ring sling pictured above is one that I used last week around the house because Graham just would not sleep.  He loved it and immediately passed out.  He slept in that for 2.5 hours!

Baby wearing is such a great alternative to strollers and is especially helpful when you're out at a festival where strollers might be more difficult to manage.  Do you have another option you like?  I'd love to hear about it.


PS.  Don't forget to enter the Made with Love giveaway here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Product Review: Made with Love

A mommy friend of mine recently introduced me to her sisters Etsy store called Made with Love.  Made with Love offers a lot of options for baby products like homemade rattles, teething rings and receiving blankets. Plus if you have a little one who needs a tutu for their birthday, this is the place!

I received the taggie sensory blanket for Graham and love it.  Of course Graham's not quite old enough to get into it but I love that it's small for a baby and has different taggies for a baby to hang onto.  The material is very soft and would hold up to baby puke and slobber which is just around the corner in this house.

Giveaway  Kailee at Made with Love is offering one of my readers the chance to win $10 store credit to Made with Love!

How to Enter  Just follow the instructions in the Raffelcopter widget below.  Make sure you complete the first task as it is a mandatory task.  Once you complete the mandatory task, all other tasks are optional but do increase your chances to win!  The giveaway is open to all and will close at midnight on Thursday, November 14, 2013.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received this product free to review however all opinions are mine.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Single Serve Cookies...All for Me!

 When the kids are sleeping, it's my time to relax and sometimes that involves a snack just for me.  It's always when they're sleeping when I crave a cookie but I never want to make an entire batch.  Finally I found a single serve cookie recipe that is actually very good. 

2 tsp light butter
2 tsp packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
8 chocolate chips (Or m&ms if you're like me)

Slightly melt butter in microwave. Stir in brown sugar. Mix in flour and baking soda then chocolate chips. If the batter is a little too thick add a couple drops of milk. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 9-11 minutes.

I'll be honest, I would have prefered these with chocolate chips however, I didn't have any on hand and I have bags and bags of m&m's from Halloween so it makes sense.  In fact, any of your leftover Halloween candy could be used in this recipe.  Also, I doubled it to make 4 cookies. 

PS.  If you didn't notice this recipe is eggless which means a couple things, I don't have to attempt to split a single egg and pregnant ladies & children could eat this raw!  Of course as an adult you should probably also avoid eating batter with egg in it but who follows that rule?!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin Patch & Halloween 2013

We went to the pumpkin patch a couple weeks ago and I just never had a chance to upload the pictures.  Life with two and all.  So this post is a mix of pumpkin patch photos, pumpkin carving and Trick or Treat.  Our favorite u-pick farm is where we always head (apples, blackberries, pumpkins, etc). 

Rick and Addie headed off to play while I nursed Graham in the car.

That's the tough thing about nursing.  I miss out on this stuff when I'm nursing Graham.

How flipping cute?

I caught up with them in time to find our pumpkins. 

This is a terrible picture of me but I love it of Graham and that Addie has her hand on my shoulder.

Of course I take great photos of them.  I've got to teach this guy how to take a decent picture.
Addie and I decided on Halloween night that it would probably be a good idea to start carving out the pumpkin. 

She hated it.

Doesn't like the pumpkin guts touching her.

She kept saying, "ew gross" anytime her arm touched the side of the pumpkin.  I promptly grabbed some guts and tossed them on her foot.  :)  That probably wasn't very nice of me.

I love how she's holding her hair out of the way.
Then it was time to trick or treat and Addie was uber excited.  Even a little rain and high winds didn't stop her.

Sometimes when I say smile, I think, maybe I shouldn't have asked her to smile.

Then this happens.

We keep trying.

Then it gets crazy.
Finally we get a good photo.
And a ton of candy!  Mama loves candy!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...