OK – Actually, I burned the heck out of these the other night because I didn’t refer to the actual recipe (how difficult could 3 ingredients be?) and clearly… I should have! We Daniel goes through a bag of the frozen variety biweekly (it’s his go-to comfort food – Also something that he is 100% capable of “cooking” for himself.) I think these might be an alternative that we could agree on. Don’t they look yummy?
I didn’t click further to see what brand these beauties are – I’m sure they’re out of my budget either way – but I’m really craving some new, crisp, dark denim for fall. Perhaps something I would wear with a heel wedge bootie… Having finally shed 100% of my baby weight (WOOHOO!) I’m ready to do some shopping. Rather making some Christmas wish lists.
Dreaming of our “next house.” I joke with Dan about all of the qualifications our next house will have to meet… Living in a 100 year old house will do that to you… Just add this photo to the home inspiration style file.
Speaking of home improvement…. and our house needs lots. I think this would be a wonderful solution to the wasted wall space in our kitchen . I also think we could TOTALLY manage this DIY. (Michelle – I know Tyler could do this!!!)
I absolutely bought in to this home remedy when Olivia was sick a few weeks ago – Dan thought I was a little crazy.. rubbing Eucalyptus oil on everything, adding it to the humidifier, bath tub, etc. Not sure that it made a huge difference… but hey – at the very least I felt like I was doing everything in my power to relieve baby Kates symptoms.
I’ve had my eye on these Steve Madden flats since mid summer… but just couldn’t justify spending $90. Although these Mossimo flats definitely teeter on the edge of slipper + shoe, I have a feeling that they are just the thing to satisfy my craving. Plus, the comfort factor will guarantee that they get lots of wear this season. And obviously, you can’t beat the price.
Like an idiot, I recently purchased this American Apparel Carry-All leather pouch for $46.00. I wanted something simple that I could toss inside the diaper bag when I was toting it around – but still cute enough to carry as a clutch/purse. At a fraction of the price, and pretty darn cute, I wish I’d skipped the over-priced hipster variety in favor of this Mossimo wool one.
I’m pretty sure by the end of the season I will own these in EVERY color! I’m a sucker for JCrew’s Vintage Matchstick cords, but at $89.95 a pop… I could have 4 different colors of these Mossimo Skinnies!
Definitely had to scoop up with little set for Liv – I’m finding for the first time that we actually NEED to buy her some clothes – I thought the day would NEVER come… that maybe she would stay in 0-3mo… then surely 3-6mo but then I blinked and she was busting out of her 6 month onesies… and now we’re on the verge of outgrowing even some of our 9 month stuff… with no back stock! EEP! We’re overdue for a trip to Just Between Friends to score some preowned goodies!
Contemplating this little lamb costume for Liv for Halloween…
I mean… who isn’t having a LOVE affair with Pinterest? Only mildly distracting, my pinning obsession has actually made life a little bit easier. Pinterest is the only place I turn for new recipes – if I’m stuck on what to cook for dinner – I just refer to the many things I pinned at 11pm the night before… “That looks tasty”… What to wear? No problem – just ask Pinterest. The sole source of Olivia’s nursery inspiration… Pinterest. You get the idea…
Coconut + Ginger Chicken with Jasmine Rice – I made this for dinner a few nights ago and would consider it a huge success. Kind of a nod to Thai Curry Chicken… but without the curry. The recipe is a stove-top/slow-cooker hybrid… but because I was determined to make it as EASY as possible – I slightly altered my method and went crock-pot all the way. Also – I added potatoes to beef it up just a bit. Although Dan was not as enthusiastic; “it was too exotic for him” – I thought it was deliciously out of the ordinary. Most ingredients were already stocked in my pantry… definitely give it a whirl, or repin for a night that you’re feeling uninspired.
Vegass Leopard Print Flats by Steve Madden – Pinned these Steve Madden Leopard VEGASS flats onto my Fall Wishlist. I just know I would get TONS of wear out of them. I’m always a sucker for leopard… and flats and tennies pretty much rule my footwear selection in this current phase of life. The price tag isn’t that bad – maybe I’ll wait until they’re slightly discounted. Kind of loving the pointed.. but slightly rounded point… toe. Nice alternative to these Sam Edleman Leopard Smoking Slippers I’ve also been eyeing. RWAR.
Chambray Inspiration – And there it was… hiding on Pinterest. The PERFECT chambray shirt. I searched and searched earlier in the season and settled on this popover variety from Anthropologie… but I’m finding myself wanting a slightly heavier… more industrial? version. TinEye couldn’t find the origin of this beauty… so I’ll hold out for yet another substitute. Loving it layered with a chunky sweater and leggings.#READYFORFALL
Photo Wall – I love this DIY photo wall – would definitely be super cute with Polaroid pictures – but because I’m not about to run out and spend $$$ on film for our camera – maybe ordering Instagram pics would work? I mean – Instagram is the new Polaroid, right? Would be fun in an entry, office or “mud room” – maybe even floor-to-ceiling bulletin board behind to make swapping for fresh photos a snap.
DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent – Just in case you missed it… We are officially a cloth-diapering family. It might make us a little bit more earthy-crunchy… but hey, we’re comfortable with that. I did initially buy the Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper detergent – a little pricey, but worth it to start. When we run out, I think i’ll give this DIY concoction a go.
While I was pregnant, I spent a great deal of time wondering what it would be like to leave the hospital holding a baby that was INSIDE me just days before. Although I hadn’t given it much thought before Olivia arrived, I could have predicted that I would be a huge fan of baby wearing. From the newborn stage, I have loved carrying Olivia close to me – the same way I loved carrying her for 9+ months in my belly. (Yes, I am one of those crazy people who can say I truly loved pregnancy – physically and emotionally. I can honestly say, I’d never felt better…healthier and happier – More on that Here)
On the subject of babywearing (one word – the act of wearing a baby); I am no expert. Among other things, babywearing is one of the topics I wish I had researched more while I was pregnant. Mostly what to buy vs. what not to buy. We were gifted both a sling + structured front carrier (both items I registered for) which I love(d)… And even after the few purchases I’ve made in the past 6 months – I’m finding myself with a growing wish list of baby carrying contraptions.
The Peanut Shell Adjustable Sling – Only recently started to become more useful. Olivia didn’t like laying in a reclined position in it… even as a newborn. never could figure out how to nurse with her in it either. However, in the past few months, now that she’s sitting up, she’s more comfortable sitting on my hip and so this sling has started to come in handy. It’s much easier to get her in/out of than the Baby Bjorn – great for just running in to the grocery store/dry cleaners/etc. but not nearly as secure. READ: No heavy lifting or bending over. The quality is definitely great – durable yet soft. washable. Darling pattern (I have the Vanilla Bean). The Peanut Shell also makes cute shopping cart covers and other accessories. Here
Baby Bjorn Mesh Carrier – Mentioned Here this was one of my MOST essential baby products in the first few months of Olivia’s life. Since it’s really structured, it was easy for her to sleep in while I walked (I walked a TON after about 3 weeks) and did chores around the house. We used the Bjorn at the very least, daily up through about 4 months. Now that Olivia is a little bit bigger (Almost 16 pounds) it doesn’t seem to fit quite as well (leaves marks on her chubby little thighs) and puts too much pressure on my lower back and shoulders. Hindsight is always 20/20 – and I am definitely glad we had the Bjorn for the first 3-4 months but it didn’t grow with her as much as I wanted it to. Here
Bjorning all the time
Seven Sling – I ordered this sling online Here during a “Giveaway” where you only paid the shipping fee. It was TINY, the fabric was too stiff to stretch and by the time I was ready to give it a go – Olivia was already too big to fit in it.
Here are the most recent additions to our babywearing arsenal:
Snugli Front/Back Carrier – My mom actually found this carrier at a resale shop in CA and snagged it for us to use while we were in town. I had mentioned that I wanted to find something that worked more like a backpack to use while we were hiking and playing outdoors. Also secretly knew that Dan would be more inclined to share the experience if it were a back carry. Here
Hiking in the Snugli
Moby Wrap – Just picked this up a few days ago – Let me tell you… it’s a game changer. I LOVE it. I might not ever use any other baby wearing contraption again. Why didn’t I start with this?! Would have been PERFECT for the newborn stage and yet still perfect for a bigger baby. In the first 3 carries – Olivia giggled (my happy baby is very smiley – but she saves the giggles for the REALLY good stuff- Like Moby) and fell asleep twice… FELL ASLEEP. While I was doing laundry. Just layed her little head down… and konked. At first, I thought – Whoa. She must have been really tired and I didn’t notice the signs. Then the next day – It happened again. One minute we were doing housework, talking, she had “Chewie” and the next minute… KONK – asleep, “Chewie” still in her mouth. I think the Moby might have magical powers. Highly recommended. Buy Here Video Tutorial Here
Just Between Friends is a HUGE children’s and maternity consignment sale. Sort of like a giant community garage sale. Consignors bring their new and gently used clothing, gear, and toys to sell at this 3-4 day event. Usually held at convention center-type locations, Just Between Friends events can be found in cities all across the country. Find an event here.
A few insider tips –
Register as a first-time momma (dads, and grandparents too!) and gain VIP access one day before the sale is open to the public.
Consigners and volunteers are also eligible for early access and presale. Consigners who also volunteer earn a larger profit on items sold.
Often the last day of the sale they run everything at 50% OFF
Kids and Babies are not allowed during presale. The only exception – “nursing” babies who must be worn in a carrier or sling. I remember reading that strollers weren’t allowed at all… however, this is definitely not enforced.
They do offer big blue Ikea shopping bags but best to bring your own/ leave with your own (full of treasures).
My first experience with JBF was before Olivia was born. I attended the Plano Sale on the last day (knowing that the selection would be picked-over) having every intention of just looking to see what it was all about. I walked out $15 later with an armful of gently used (some even new with tags) outfits, a bassinet frame (I ditched the mattress pad + sheet set) several classic kids books and a wooden chandelier to hang in the nursery!
This weekend is the Dallas/Mesquite Sale at the Mesquite Rodeo Exhibit Hall. Schedule Here. Thursdays are definitely the best day to shop the best selection and totally worth the $3 entrance fee (only charged on Thursday). It’s best to go with an idea of what you’re looking for otherwise it can seem overwhelming. This was my first time attending the Dallas/Mesquite sale and it was easily 4x bigger than the Plano event. 50+ people in the check-out line… definitely crowded! My friend Michelle brought a stroller in today with no problem…I have mixed feelings about stroller vs. baby wearing, definitely benefits & drawbacks either way. I’m a baby wearer and Liv stays happier but as she gets heavier it might get more challenging.
The selection was impressive. Although JBF specifically requests only items “in good condition” – if your standards are as high as mine… you’ll find that you’ll have to dig through lots of “very loved” to find the “like new” and “gently used.”
Very Good Condition. I’ve been thinking about buying one of these but just couldn’t justify the price tag (new). I’d seen the cloth variety at resale shops around town but really wanted one with a tray. Liv is already a huge fan.
Sturdy, Loved, Cheap – a definite DIY project. For some crazy reason, I didn’t think to register for a high chair when I was pregnant. I guess 6 months just seemed like an eternity away. But let me tell you… 6 months FLEW by. And now we’re gearing up for solids… needing a high chair. This bargain variety came with a darling teddy bear cover/cushion that I’m going to disassemble, study, and recreate (with help from Michelle – who is going to teach me how to sew – Check that off the 2012 to-do list) using fabric that better represents Liv’s little personality. Also considering a new coat of baby-friendly paint to cover the “love” marks and scratches.
Set of 2 Carter’s 9 Mo. Sleepers $2.00 (Similar On Sale $9.60 Each)
Set of 2 Gerber 9 Mo. Sleepers $2.00 (Similar $14.99/ 2Pc Set)
Definitely an awesome opportunity to find great stuff for kiddos and babies. Eventually, I’m going to get my act together enough to volunteer + sell. Any of you other momma’s ever shopped, sold or volunteered at a JBF sale? Where do you buy budget-friendly kiddo stuff?
In celebration of World Breast Feeding Week, Bamboobies is giving away free nursing pads (while supplies last), just pay shipping!
I bought this multi-pack right after Olivia was born and they’ve saved me a bundle on nursing pads. I still occasionally use disposable ones while I’m out and about but usually wear these super-soft, washable, and adorable ones while we’re just hanging at home! The overnight ones are great for heavy leaking and… duh overnight.
Inspired By Mrs. Brittany Driver over at Let’s Nest… to share some of my favorite Mommy Websites.
The Glow – I loved reading these short celebrity interviews while I was pregnant. When I was first referred by a friend I thought I would find these mommas to be too fashionable for even myself. Even moreso, I was worried that I would covet their uber expensive taste in toys, clothes and gear. I was pleasantly surprised that lots of these celebs are at least portrayed as normal Mommas… balancing work, love and kiddos. “The Glow is a glimpse into the world of inspiring and fashionable moms. Here you’ll find their styling ideas, go-to gear, multitasking secrets, and enviable decor.” Check it out. There are some gorgeous photos and great nursery inspiration!
The Bump – I frequented this website more often during pregnancy. Loved the different list features (confessions of a list-a-holic). Lots of registry tips, lists of what to take to the hospital, message boards, etc.
Total Baby iPhone App – I lived and breathed through this iPhone app during thefirst few months of pregnancy. It makes tracking feedings, diapers, and sleeping SO much easier. Especially in those first few weeks when you’re probably so tired you can’t remember your own name, much less what side you started or finished on last time you fed the baby. I’ll admit, I was a little bit obsessive about timing EVERY SINGLE FEEDING, documenting EVERY SINGLE DIAPER, and celebrating EVERY SLEEP TIMER that reached the 4 hour mark! Great charts and graphs to help you see a pattern with feedings/sleep although slightly discouraging when that “pattern” you saw in week 4 completely disappears in week 5. I’m sure this is totally normal first-time-momma behavior but someone should have sat me down, at around 5 weeks… and told me that I was being just slightly neurotic and that the app was no longer necessary. $4.99 in the iTunes store. Definitely worth it. Just be aware of the possibility of addiction.
Green Baby Guide– Lots of great tips on ways for our little family to live a green-er lifesyle. Love the budget-friendly theme. Fun blog to follow for simple ideas on living a more organic lifestyle.
Tiny Choices – Similar to Green Baby Guide, I’ve found some great ideas on here for budget-friendly and green alternatives to traditional parenting methods.
Are any of you mommas members of Holistic Moms Network? What are your thoughts on attachment parenting? Extended Breast Feeding? Cloth Diapering? Hot-topics among members of this network… I’m thinking it would be a great resource.
I’m very much comfortable in the gray. I believe that no method of parenting needs absolutes. I’ve adopted pieces of many styles that I’ve observed and read balancing with my own maternal intuition.
La Croix Coconut Sparkling Water – I. AM. ADDICTED. This is SO much more than a flavored sparkling water… it’s like vacation… in a can. Like a pina colada with zero calories (and no artificial sweeteners). I guess I should emphasize – THIS IS NOT SODA. Daniel reaches for it every time I open a can, takes a swig, immediately makes the most disappointed/disgusted face + tells me it tastes like suntan lotion. I assure you, it does not. That being said, this beverage will not appeal to soda junkies. Would be fantastic in a mixed drink – Maybe Rum + Lime. Or skip the rum and just add lime. Totally refreshing and wonderful. Frequently on sale at Target but I hear they sell it at Costco.
Frozen Grapes – My go-to, healthy, refreshing, summer snack. They’re like little mini grape-flavored popsicle bites- frozen and delicious. And EASY – it’s as simple as removing the grapes from the stem, tossing in a freezer bag, freeze overnight + enjoy. Perfect to take to the pool. Just eat ’em before they defrost. Which isn’t hard… because they’re so delicious you’ll gobble ’em up pretty darn fast.
Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray – Summer in Texas can be miserable. Just the thought of heat styling my hair makes me feel disgusting and sweaty. Plus, I’d rather imagine myself 18, driving down PCH, with a salty, stickiness in my air-dried hair only achieved by a good dunk in the pacific ocean. Luckily, with a few spritzes of B&B Surf Spray, I’m good to go – fresh out of the shower. No electricity needed. Well, except the A/C. $24 for 4oz Buy Here or in stores Here
Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 Moisturizer – Really this is a year-round necessity, but Summer-time always heightens my awareness of the importance of protecting my skin against sun damage. This moisturizer is a bit of a splurge but is really great if you have acne prone skin or oily-tendencies. I usually mix with Laura Mercier Oil Free Supreme Foundation to create my own version of the tinted moisturizer. (Laura Mercier offers a tinted moisturizer, but it only offers SPF 20 and you can basically get the same effect by mixing foundation + moisturizer and even save a little bit!) That’s my 2 cents… Nice, lightweight coverage + protection. For Elta MD -Ask a dermatologist or Buy Here
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – I have a secret love for creating my own concoctions and cocktails of products. I already mentioned a sort-of DIY tinted moisturizer recipe. I’ve also been known to purchase this Jergens lotion in the “tan to dark” shade (I’m pretty fairly complected) and mix with Aveeno Daily moisturizer with SPF. Again Protection + a hint of tint. and Cost effective. Buy Here or Here ($23/3pk)
Note: With a 5 month old baby – rare are the days that I actually put lotion on my legs… or makeup on my face for that matter.
Daniel and I first visited the aquarium when I came to visit just a few months after we started dating. We’ve since celebrated a few Birthdays and even a Valentine’s day there. Most recently, we celebrated our first Mother’s Day at the Dallas World Aquarium – where Daniel (+ Olivia) gifted me an annual pass.
December 2005 at The Dallas World Aquarium
Mother’s Day 2012
The Dallas World Aquarium Individual Pass $95 + One Non-Designated Guest $80 = $175 allows either our family (Kids under 3 are free!) or I can invite a friend, mom, etc. We decided that it would be best to invest in the extra $80 knowing that Olivia and I would go more often if we could invite friends. Become a Member Here. No matter what, the annual pass is the way to go at the DWA – General Admission tickets for adults are $20.95, Kids 3-12 are $12.95. As fabulous as it is, $20.95 is outrageous to visit the DWA once. Even the Ft. Worth Zoo is cheaper! At an average of 2 visits/month, each trip would cost $7.29.
The DWA is open 9:00AM-5:00PM daily. I’ve found that the best time to go (especially during the summer) to avoid the field trip and summer camp crowds is first thing in the morning when they open, or towards the end of the day (after 3:30PM) You can definitely see it all in a few hours, especially if you have a pass and don’t feel pressured to get your 20 bucks worth.
It’s VERY difficult to maneuver strollers (and wheelchairs) through the DWA so I usually make sure to have Olivia freshly fed and diapered when we arrive to avoid having to nurse or change her. Highly recommend baby wearing for this adventure + a backpack!
The only downside with the DWA pass is that it does NOT include free parking. Parking downtown (in the touristy West End District) can be pricey. Liv and I usually opt to take DART (The West End Station is just a few blocks from the DWA) adding only a few dollars to our visit cost.
Also – They sell beer.
Watching the Waterfall at The Dallas World Aquarium
Most Recently, we visited the DWA while Gramma G + Auntie Em were in town. My sister in law, Tricia, her two girls, Rylie (5) and Remie (5 weeks) and my darling granddad joined us. Liv always loves the manatees and the pengiuns. Oh! and the waterfall – she could sit and stare at it all day.