Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday - Valentines Day Inspiration for Kids

Yes, I know Valentines day is over 3 weeks away but these days my boss (lil A) is keeping me quite busy. So I need to start prepping in advance for the holiday! Here are 5 of my favorite Valentines inspirations. 

1. Yoda Best Valentine
Again, I know a few of A's older friends that would thinks this is the best, not to mention this might be what she makes her Daddy! source
2. I "Wheelie" like you!
For A's Boyfriends! How adorable! I really don't want to give candy to kids so a lil matchbox car is perfect.  source

3. Your "Purrrfect" to me
For A's Girlfriends! Not to mention I have so much leftover craft paper from her birth announcements that I can reuse. All I need to do is buy some googlie eyes! source

4. Monogramed Heart Napkins
Did I tell you that I got a monograming machine from Santa? I am still practicing but this looks like the perfect opportunity to test it out and make monogramed heart napkins. source But then again I will have to price it out, it might be easier to buy them at PB. But then again that wouldn't be any fun! Haha!

5. TuTu skirt
I made something similar for A for Christmas. Thinking I can repurpose what I made and add some valentines day tulle. I will do a blog post on how to make the tutu skirts later (SO SIMPLE!!). We also already have the heart sunglasses which I picked up at Target before she was born!

So as you can see I will be busy for the next few weeks working on my projects! Today after the gym I will be hitting up Michael's! WOO HOO!!!

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Happing Pinning!

xoxo Jenn

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Country Club Prep - Check it out!!!

Have you heard of Country Club Prep? I just discovered this online store and I am obsessed. I read that they had Beaufort Bonnets (my favorite baby gift) and FREE SHIPPING! Woo Hoo!!! So I am definitely making this my go to source for Beaufort Bonnets. Not to mention when you sign up for their e-mail list they currently are offering a 17% off discount. HELLO SHOPPING!!!

Some of the brands they sell are Jack Rogers, Southern Tide, Vineyard Vines, Sail to Sable, Lacoste, Sperry, etc

Check out Country Club Prep here. This is my referral link!

Here are a few items that I am currently looking at!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Schoola - Sign up TODAY!!!

I just learned about the coolest website from my friend Lori at Everyday Loveliness blog. Schoola is a website that sells new and used clothes for kids. The best part is that 40% of the proceeds goes to fund a school in your area.

So this is the REALLY exciting part!!!

Right now they are offering a $15 credit if you signup via my link below...

and then if you purchase today they are offering an additional $5 if you use code 2015 at checkout.

That is $20 for you to spend on clothes for your child!!

And they have FREE SHIPPING for the next 2 days!!

So go and sign up RIGHT now and happy shopping!!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five on Friday - Favorite Baby Apps!

It is funny, I hear all the time from my parents and in-laws about how they raised us. We gave you food when you were a month old, you slept on your stomach, etc! And yes we all survived. However, after showing our parents our iPhone apps they are amazed on how much it calms the baby and the information that I tell them on why she is acting the way she is.  From music, reading or tracking development it is probably one of the most important pieces of baby gear. Here are 5 of my favorite baby apps that I swear by!

Definitely if you are looking for a creative baby gift for a shower I would buy the new Mom a iTunes gift card with some of these recommendations below!

1. White Noise App - this is a must have. I have mentioned the book "Happiest Baby On The Block" before and this is where I learned about how babies become over stimulated and white noise along with a pacifier and swaddling helps. I swear by this method and the white noise app. It instantly calms down my baby. Not to mention we have all started using this in our house to help us go to sleep!
White Noise Lite: Relax. Sleep. Better. 

2. The Wonder Years - this app talks about your babies mental leaps. Personally for me I have found this app great for understanding why my baby is acting fussy or needy. Not to mention what new skills they should be developing. They also have a book which I am interested in but haven't purchased.
The Wonder Weeks App
3. Mom's On Call - this method helps put your baby on a schedule. I find it extremely helpful and follow the schedule closely. I have had a baby that sleeps through the night since 3 weeks. Not to mention it sends you reminders for feeding and napping. This app was extremely helpful the first 3 months and continues to be helpful as my child grows.
Moms on Call
4. Pandora - we have Pandora on all day long. I created a few different stations as well as listen to some of their channels which include "toddler radio" and the "Disney Channel". One of the stations I created has Rock-a-Bye Baby, Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell, And Baby Einstein perfect background music that is relaxing.
5. Baby Log - Activities, Growths and milestones. I used this app the day after A was born. I documented all the times I nursed, how much she ate, when I changed her diaper, what was in her diaper, baths, etc. This app really helped me stay organized and peace of mind if I had any questions or if the dr or lactation consultant had any questions. I only used this app for the first month but it was a lifesaver.
Baby Log - Activities, Growth, and Milestones
Now if only paid me for promoting these Apps! I can't tell you how much I talk about them.  Hope you have a great weekend! Next week we are going to continue the Baby a registry guide! 
In the meantime I will be on Ointerest coming up with ideas for my new home!!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time to Clean the Closet - Tag Sale

So I decided that I needed to clean out my closet. I am sure I can get rid of more but baby steps! Here are a few items that I am selling on eBay. Definitely check out the links and let me know if you are interested. I need to buy some new Lilly! Have you seen the spring collection yet?
$45 JCrew Coral Blazer never worn but without tags - Size 4
$20 Black and White Polka Dot Blouse - Size Small
$14.99 2 Gap Outlet 3/4 length tees with peter pan collars

$12 NWT Gray and Navy Striped Old Navy Dress - Size Medium 
$40 NWT Gray and Black Wool Blazer with Leather trim  - Size 6

$29.99 Size 10 Nine West Patent Leather Pumps worn once to an interview. Hardly any wear at all.
$10 Black Lauren Ralph Lauren Floral Sheer Blouse - Size Small 
$10 Black and Gray Striped Old Navy Dress - Size Medium
$9.99 Aqua Old Navy Blouse - Size Medium

$20 Ralph Lauren Floral Button down Shirt Size 6
$15 Tommy Hilfiger Cardigan - Size Small

Happy Pinning!

xoxo Jenn

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We Bought A House!!

Actually we bought a plot of land... that one day will be a house!! Since we moved to NC for the past year we were pretty set on one development in Davidson called River Run. Well shortly after we moved here we found out I was pregnant and put our house buying plans on hold. However, once in a blue moon we would visit other developments to get a sense of what is available in the area. In April we went to one development that I loved. We talked to the sales person and she told me about a new development across from River Run. I basically took it with a grain of salt thinking it was a different development near the power lines.

Flash forward to July when we were out and about and stopped by River Run again to see what homes were available. The salesperson there told us about the development across the street that they had just sold and took us on a tour. I was not a fan of those houses that were built whatsoever. She kept telling us that she had 2 plots of land available to build on but just figured that was so out of reach for us. She took our information and said once she had pricing she would be in touch. The Monday before I had the baby she reached out saying that one of the properties we were looking at sold but the other was still available but others were looking at it. So next thing we know in 48 hours we were in their offices signing paperwork to buy the property. They started the foundation in November and we should be finished in June! I can't believe we are going to be homeowners. 
Our house will look somewhat like this! We have a different color scheme.

Excuse how huge I look, this was the day before I was induced!

No joke, I signed the final papers while I was in labor! 
The start of our foundation!
So over the past few months I have been on Pinterest nonstop picking out ideas for our new home. I can't wait to share them with you. And obviously the finished results as well!

If you need me I will be on Pinteresting pinning!!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Registering for Baby - Baby Gear

Oh Baby Gear! This is all the stuff that is going to take up most of the room in your living room! Since we are in the process of building a new home I swore I was going to get the minimum. And I really registered for the minimum. However, over the past 5 months I have slowly bought more based on the realization that babies really do need 10 places to sit everyday!

I registered at Buy Buy Baby and Pottery Barn, but ended up completing all my registry items on Amazon. Looking back I should have gone with Amazon over Buy Buy Baby. If you haven't started your registry yet I would check out Amazon to Create an Amazon Baby Registry.

So let's start with the stuff that you can carry the baby with.
  • Baby Carrier - Went with Ergo but after we purchased they came out with Ergo 360 which I like better. I feel that A likes to look around and wants to see the world. We have only used this a few times when we have gone apple picking, pumpkin picking, and the occasional shopping trip. I also bought the infant insert and returned it. We didn't use it at all when she would have needed the infant insert. I think if you are looking to carry the baby around I would suggest a wrap baby carrier. I also received a Lalabu which I loved! This was the perfect shirt that you just had to stick the baby into. You didn't have to worry about tying wraps, etc. 

  • Bouncer/Rocker - Mamaroo which Avery uses 3-4 times per day and takes most of her naps in it. It is going to be a sad day when we can't use it anymore. It also can connect to an iPod to play music. I know people are against a rocker, swing, etc however this to me is a must have. It soothes the baby and not to mention quite the conversation piece when people come over who don't have children. My husband want to work on a Mamaroo for adults! 
  • Baby Chair - The other thing that I would highly recommend is the Fisher Price Rock n Play. This was used non-stop for the first 3 months. If she wasn't doing tummy time or in the mamaroo she was in this sleeper.  It also vibrates which is key when they are newborns. Avery took all of her naps during the day in this too. The new version of this rocks it self and has white noise included. I would definitely get the newer version that rocks itself. I know that sounds so lazy but when you are trying to cook dinner and rock at the same time it gets quite difficult. 

  • Playard/Pack and Play - We have one that has the bassinet, changing table and then also vibrates and plays music. We use the changing table constantly. I never actually used the bassinet but probably should have. I always used the Fisher Price Rock and Sleeper. When we move into the new house we will most likely only use this for travel. Right now our nursery is on the third floor while we hang out in the finished basement most of the day. 
  • Playard Sheets - Just bought at Target or Amazon. Nothing special to recommend except get 2 sets. Just in case when you are traveling the lil bambino has an accident. 
  • Jumparoo - This is something you won't need right away. However, around 4 months our daughter only wanted to stand when you were sitting down. So we put together our Fisher Price Rainforest jumper that friends got us and boy does she love it! She jumps for hours in this thing. Well not hours but at least 40 minutes. She loves the music and the little butterfly which she eats. This is definitely one of those things you won't need right away but at some point I would invest in some type of jumper, activity station, etc. 
  • Activity Mat - So important for tummy time! And also for stretching out and playing. We use ours all the time. We bought the skip hop one and have been extremely happy. I switch out some of the toys and add our own. Not to mention it is easy to wash as well. Very important if you have a spitter upper like me! 
  • Bumbo Chair - So I am not 100% sold on this. Right now we use it to feed A, but that is just because we haven't put together our high chair yet. When it comes to playing she only will sit in it for 15-20 minutes. We have the tray and I bought some toys that stick to the tray, so hoping this might help keep her attention more. 

  • Walker - This is something that we haven't looked into at all. My Mom bought one at Target a few weeks ago for her house but Avery's little legs aren't long enough. I am thinking maybe next month we will look into getting one. I have been a big fan of Baby Einstein toys so I may look at their walker as well. 
Those are some of the bigger baby gear items that I recommend. Make sure to check out my past registry posts on Nursery Items and Strollers as well. The next registry blog post will be on nursing and feeding.

Happy Pinning!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Registering for Baby - Car Seat, Strollers & Accessories

This is part 2 in my series for registering for baby (last week's post can be found here).  Now the Baby Gear is where you are going to spend the most money, and is probably the most important as well. You really need to do your research and figure out which products work for you. When looking at car seats it is important to obviously look at safety, but also how heavy is the carseat. Or for the stroller how easy does it move, where are you going to use the stroller, etc. Here are some of the things I registered for or things I learned along the way.

I registered at Buy Buy Baby and Pottery Barn, but ended up completing all my registry items on Amazon. Looking back I should have gone with Amazon over Buy Buy Baby. If you haven't started your registry yet I would check out Amazon to Create an Amazon Baby Registry.
  • Infant Car Seat - Uppa Baby Mesa is what we have. Great and snaps into the base easily. Also goes great with the stroller. Has feature to use with a seat belt for cab rides as well. We didn't order an extra car seat base because we always just take my car. With the latch system it is easy to transfer from car to car if we need to. 
  • Car Seat Head and Body Support - These are illegal in some states. Plus with the new carseats you don't need them and they don't fit. However, we used ours in the Mamaroo spring for the first 6 weeks since we didn't register for the infant insert. At the end of the day I probably wouldn't register for one. 
  • Seat Protector Mat - We bought the summer infant one off of Amazon and I highly recommend if you have leather seats. I also registered for the Summer Infant piddle pad but need to buy it. It will be good for the big kid car seat. 
  • Car Mirror - Britax car mirror. I also bought the Brica car mirror that had lights and music but returned it because I really didn't need it and it didn't work right. However I can't tell you how many times I glance into my rearview mirror and check on the baby. 
  • Car Window Shade - We bought the Uppa Baby and it works great. Reviews weren't great but we haven't had one problem. 
  • Car Seat Bunting and Cover - We love our JJ Cole Bunting for visiting NYC and the mountains. I also use it in my Bob stroller when we are walking around the neighborhood. HOWEVER I recently discovered 7AM buntings and if you live in an area where it is cold I would get this in a heartbeat. 
  • Stroller Mittens - 7AM also have great mittens that attach to your stroller so you won't lose them. Very important since you are always taking them off to fuss with the bambino. 
  • Carseat Canopy - Never used the carseat cover. I just used one of my Aden + Anais swaddles if I had to cover the car seat in public. But it was also summer. I would definitely suggest a carseat cover if your baby is born during cold & flu season. I also bought a arm cushion for the carseat that I opened and never used once. 
  • Stroller - Uppa Baby Vista. Love the bassinet feature, fits perfect with the carseat, comes with a rain cover and then also has the big kid seat. Very easy to maneuver and breakdown. Great for the city and narrow aisles. UPPA Baby also travels and does tune ups for your stroller too. We went a few weeks ago and they oiled all the wheels, gave us cleaning tips, and we left with a stroller that looked like new! 
  • Stroller Accessories - When you buy the Uppa Baby travel bag the stroller is under warranty for 2 years if it gets damaged by the airline. Make sure to register both the stroller and travel bag with Uppa Baby before you travel. My lock broke off on our flight home from NYC and since I had the travel bag it was replaced. I sent pictures and they sent me a whole new frame. We also have the parent organizer for the stroller as well. I bought the cup holder but knocked it off twice in Target so now I only use it if Paul and I are traveling together. Also has great storage under the seat. And if you have a 2nd you can make it a double stroller by purchasing the rumble seat. The newest stroller can also support two infant seats which is great for twins! And last but not least the snack tray! Must have for shopping trips with your toddler!
  • Umbrella Stroller - Uppa Baby G-Lite but get the one the GLuxe reclines. I was cheap and the extra money is totally worth it. We will use this for travel and to have a 2nd stroller. What is great about this stroller is that it is smaller and more manageable for airports. Not to mention it is a great second stroller for Dad's car too! Don't forget to get the travel bag. And the travel bag has straps so you can wear it as a backpack too! And depending on how much you are planning to use it buy the rain cover. We went on vacation and I had to buy the rain cover since it rained everyday of our vacation! So sad!
  • Jogging Stroller - BOB which I plan to use for Stroller Strides (my Mom & Baby exercise class) and everyone swears by it for the beach too.  But the good thing is that you can be a little rougher with it and go off terraining with it. I find it really large so I only plan on using it for exercise and not taking it into stores. Not to mention doesn't have much storage. This is definitely a nice to have. My recommendation is to buy one on Craigs List used! If you do get one then I also suggest the snack tray and the parent organizer. That way the baby can snack on your walks and you have some place to put your iced coffee and cell phone!
  • Stroller Hooks - I have the Mommy Hook and used it around Christmas when I had a ton of bags. Normally I just store everything under the stroller. 
So far I have been so happy with my stroller and carseat. I can't say enough good things about Uppa Baby and their products. Would love to hear what car seat and strollers you love! Let me know!

Happy Pinning!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five on Friday - Babymoon Essentials!

Well essentials is a little dramatic but maybe highly recommended!!! I think it is the cold weather but I was going through my list of blog posts that I didn't finish and this one seemed appropriate for today.

The key to maternity clothes is buy a few essential pieces and accessorize.  In the past I would pack a new dress, bathing suit, and cover-up for each day. Sometimes I would bring multiple outfits for each day. However, my maternity clothes budget didn't let me do that. So I had to make the most out of my baby moon wardrobe.

I bought 3 tankinis from Target that I LOVED for our baby moon during my second trimester!! They fit perfect and my friend also bought her swimsuits from Target when she was 8 months pregnant and they fit perfect. The Cinched Halter Tankini was our favorite. We both bought it in multiple colors. I also ordered swimsuits from Old Navy, Motherhood Maternity and Asos that didn't support or fit me so I ended up returning them.

By the time June came and I was 8 months pregnant I decided that I wanted to add another swimsuit to my rotation. We live on the lake and I was planning on being in the water a lot. For this swimsuit since I was VERY LARGE  I splurged on a Pea in the Pod swimsuit. I can't tell you how much I loved this suit. And you are in luck the swimsuit is currently half price right now, but they only have it in large. Which is the size I wore during my pregnancy! If you are going to splurge I definitely recommend the Pea in the Pod Maternity swimwear.
Well not going to lie I wore the same one all the time! Or I wore a sundress over my bathing suit. This was one item that I didn't go nuts with. I loved the coverup I got from Motherhood Maternity. I might actually still wear it since it was so soft and comfortable. For $25 I definitely got my use out of it.
Now let's talk sunscreen! I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of Beautycounter! I have spoken about them a few times on my blog. When I was pregnant and still I started to read all the ingredients in my beauty products and become very picky about the products I use. Check out the EWG Skin Deep website for more information about sunscreen. 

Beautycounter Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Face Sunscreen

And we can't forget that pretty face. If you remember from my Kentucky Derby post I am obsessed with the Marley Lilly Monogramed hat. Not to mention it is SO reasonable. I used this hat on all my vacation and all summer long.

Marley Lilly Floppy Hat

For the shades I go with the classic Ray-Bans if I want to look trendy, however if I want to actually see I am stuck with my Kate Spade prescription sunglasses which I have had for 4 years now. I also wore my Tory Burch sunglasses for the Baby moon but then scratched the lens so they had to be retired. 
For reading since this is a baby moon we need to bring on the baby books to read between old issues of US Magazine and Vanity Fair! This is vacation after all so I only brought 1 book which I loved. The Happiest Baby on The Block by Harvey Karp was the BEST baby book I read. I buy it for all my pregnant friends. All of my tricks to get A to sleep came from this book. Not only does it give you the tricks but tells you signs on when they are getting overstimulated. And most importantly I learned about the white noise app (future blog post!!). I highly highly highly recommend this book. Also, I felt like most pregnancy books were extremely negative about pregnancy and basically scared me. This book is strictly about tips and tricks on understanding your child. GREAT vacation read and helped me feel more confident about getting my baby to sleep at night!! 
Just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to enjoy some fun drinks in the sun. I was getting really creative during my pregnancy. If you need some ideas on Mocktails check out some of my old blog posts (Strawberry Mint SmashJalapeƱo Moscow Mule, Coconut Lime Cilantro Cooler, Raspberry Lime Rickeys and more!. Most bartenders will even help suggest some Mocktails if you tell them that you are pregnant and looking for something fun. 

I know I didn't mention sundresses, beach bags, etc but this is 5 on Friday!! I will say for sundresses I loved Seraphine for my nicer cotton dresses, and then for cheaper sundresses I had great luck with Target and Old Navy. Beach bags I alternate with my "vintage" straw J Crew bags from 10 years ago. How those bags haven't unraveled yet I haven't a clue! 

Happy Pinning and Stay Warm!