Baby Gear, Maternity/Pregnancy, Reviews, The Mommyhood, Uncategorized

A Few of my Favorite Things – Baby Edition

Happy Monday y’all!

Today is a bittersweet day for me. It’s my last day of maternity leave! (Cue the ugly crying 😭) While I am excited to get back to work and have real adult conversations, I’m dreading leaving my babies. I have loved getting to stay home with them the last two months, and I’m so thankful I was able to do so!

Over the past couple months my Facebook and Instagram have been flooded with pregnancy announcements, and I absolutely love it! It makes me think about when we first found out I was pregnant with my son, and how excited I was to buy ALL the baby stuff!

You don’t realize just how much stuff there is for babies until you’re making a baby registry. I spent weeks carefully picking out everything on my first baby registry, only to sell half of it because it was never used. This time around, I had a better idea of what we needed, what I wanted, and what we would actually use. Here are a few of my tried and true favorites!

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This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you purchase through the links. All opinions are my own.

Halo SleepSack Swaddle

The Halo SleepSack Swaddle is my new must have baby item! I didn’t have it with my son, but oh how I wish I would have. I was a rookie swaddler, and he was constantly breaking out of my sad attempt at a baby straight jacket. The best thing about the Halo SleepSack Swaddle is the Velcro arms, which make swaddling a breeze! It also has an inverted zipper so you don’t even have to un-swaddle for diaper changes. The swaddle sleep sack comes in two sizes; newborn and small. I love the variety of fabrics they offer like warm minky dot and fleece for cold nights, and breathable muslin for warm days. Halo also offers the SleepSack adjustable swaddling pouch for a tighter budget, and the original SleepSack for when your little one outgrows swaddling. For big kids, they offer the SleepSack early walker, and SleepSack big kids.

Baby K’tan

The Baby K’tan is the only baby carrier I’ve ever used. It’s just so great I’ve never felt the need to try any others! It’s a fabric baby wrap/sling/carrier with multiple carry positions that fits newborns to toddlers.

As a first time mom I wanted to baby wear, but all the options, as well as the complicated wrapping techniques, were really intimidating. The baby K’tan was perfect, because it has no wrapping, buckles, or rings! You just slip it on, put the baby in, and adjust it for comfort. I also like that it’s sized like clothing for a custom fit.

This time around, I trust my Baby K’tan to safely and comfortably hold my daughter while I’m grocery shopping, cleaning, or chasing down her brother at the playground.

If your new to baby wearing and want something that will last, this is definitely a great option.

 

Infantino Grow-with-Me Activity Gym and Ball Pit

This was Brex’s favorite toy up until his first birthday, and has already become Brinley’s favorite, too! I can lay her on the mat with her feet close to one of the green support things so she can kick at it and make the toys move! When your little one starts scooting around, the sides pop up to offer a little containment. The hanging toys can be removed and the activity mat turns into a ball pit for little ones who can sit up on their own. This is a great quality toy that can be used for multiple children, and adapts to entertain your child through multiple developmental phases. You can also purchase extra balls for it here!

 

Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing

My son HATED his swing. I’m just going to go ahead and throw that out there. After a few months, I ended up selling it. We never used it, and it was just taking up room.

Even knowing this, I still put one on my registry for my daughter. All babies are different, and have different likes and dislikes. I prayed she would like it. I had wonderful visions of her contently rocking in her swing while I played with her brother or got stuff done around the house. And thank you sweet baby Jesus, she likes her swing!! It’s hit or miss, but most of the time I can swaddle her and sit her in her swing for at least 30-45 minutes.

The Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing has six swing speeds, two vibration speeds, music and nature sounds with volume controls, and mobile with soft toys for visual stimulation. It also has a wide base, which I love because it’s more sturdy so I don’t have to worry about my son knocking it over. The wider base does mean a bigger footprint, which may not work in smaller spaces. My favorite feature is the option to use batteries or with the wall plug-in. The vibrator is not powered by the plug-in and does require batteries.

If you’re a first time mom, I’d definitely say this is a registry staple. Your baby may absolutely hate it like my son did, but it’s worth having if he or she does like it! If you do end up with an unused swing, keep it. Keep it until you are DONE having kids. Your next baby may love it like my daughter. Learn from my mistakes!

NoseFrida

I’ll be honest. When I first saw this my thought was not no, but hell no. It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever seen. Then my son caught a bad cold at three months old, and I got desperate. The bulb syringe was great for saline rinses, but it just wasn’t cutting it when it came to actually sucking out the snot. So I finally broke down and spent $20 on a snot straw. Does it look gross? Yep. Does it work? LIKE A FREAKING CHARM!! It’s like a snot vacuum for your kid’s nose!

I know it looks gross, but buy it. Seriously, just buy it. You won’t regret it.

Car Seat Cover/Nursing Scarf

I never used a car seat cover with my son. If it was raining, I would toss a blanket over his car seat to get from point A to point B.

Now we live in Texas, and it is WINDY. Like knock you down, blow you away, windy. The first time we left the house with our daughter after bringing her home, I realized how much of an issue this was going to be. I tried a blanket, but it just kept falling in on her, and trying to blow away. I ordered a carseat cover while we were sitting in the waiting room of her doctor, and I’m so glad I did. I ordered this one off of amazon, and it’s absolutely perfect! Soft, stretchy, and the pattern is beautiful! It can also be used as a cover while nursing, and to cover high chairs!

Ingenuity Soothe Me Softly Washable Playard- Piper

My biggest worry while preparing for my daughters arrival was sleep. Specifically, where she was going to sleep. While I don’t mind her napping in the bed with me during the day, co-sleeping at night makes me nervous, because it’s dark, which means I can’t see her. I also knew her sleeping in the room with her brother wasn’t going to work, because she would be waking up so often. I didn’t want to mess up the sleep schedule we had worked so hard on.

I had tried a bassinet with my son, but it was another thing we never used and ended up selling before he turned six months old. So this time around, I wanted something that she could sleep in, but I would also be able to use long term. The playards with removable newborn bassinets and changing tables, and full size bassinets were the perfect answer!

The Ingenuity is great because the fabric is removable for easy cleaning, the mattress doesn’t have to be removed before folding, and the print is just adorable! My daughter is just over two months old, and we’re about to transition from the newborn bassinet to the full size bassinet. So far we this playard has been absolutely perfect, and we’ll be able to use it for years to come!

Cloud Island Sleep N Play

When I was pregnant with my son, I spent hundreds of dollars of cute little baby outfits. I bought all of the adorable little sets with matching onesies, pants, socks, hats, and mittens. Then he was born, and I quickly learned that all those cute little baby outfits were just a pain in the butt. He lived footie pajamas unless we were actually leaving the house, and sometime even then. I mean why go through all the hassle of onesies, pants, and socks when he was just going to spit up all over it. Plus most the newborn sizes even have built in mittens!

This time around I was a little more prepared for what my daughter would actually wear for the first few months and shopped for zip up footie jammies accordingly. I also received a set of Cloud Island Sleep N Play from Target at my baby shower for my daughter, and y’all. THEY HAVE INVERTED ZIPPERS! This is the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously, why did it take so long for someone to come up with this?

I still use her jammies from Carters and Children’s Place during the day, but for bedtime I consistently find myself reaching for the super soft jammies with built in mittens AND inverted zippers by Cloud Island. They just make nighttime diaper changes so much easier, especially coupled with the inverted zipper on her Halo SleepSack.

Boppy Pillow

Thisis definitely another registry staple. It’s one of my personal favorites, because of its quality and versatility. Our Boppy Pillow is a hand-me-down from my best friend that she used with her son, I used with my son, and I’m using again with my daughter. Three kids, one pillow!

With my son we used the Boppy Pillow until he weaned at around 18 months old, but it’s not just for breastfeeding. We used it for tummy time, propping up after nursing, and sitting up, too!

The pillow itself is plain white, but you can buy really cute covers for it from places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, or Boppy’s website. You can also get handmade and custom made covers from shops like Ritzy Baby Designs on Etsy.

nūborn Silicone Breast Pump

The nūhborn silicone breast pump is quickly becoming one of my new favorite items. It’s a soft silicone pump that suctions on to your breast and gently draws out milk. I love to use it on one side while my daughter nurses on the other to catch leaks. I normally use it in the morning, and most of the time I get one to two ounces! The nūhborn comes in pink and clear, is made of FDA approved food safe silicone, and comes with a dust cover and cotton carry bag.

Learning which baby products will work for your family is a trial and error process, and what works for one baby may not work for another. Just relax and remember that YOU are what your baby wants most!

What is your favorite baby item? What do you recommended for first time moms? I’d love to hear from you about your experiences. Drop me a message below!

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

 

 

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Cakes and Cupcakes, DIYs, Drinks, Holidays, Squishy, The Mommyhood

Curious Brex turns Two!!

I can’t believe my little monster is about to turn TWO! Seriously, this can’t be possible. It seems like a few days ago we were bringing him home from the hospital, and I was staying up all night staring at his sweet little face and making sure he was still breathing.

I never knew how BIG love could be, until this sweet 6 pound 4 ounce little miracle blessed our lives. He had a rough start, but he was so strong and has grown into an amazing little boy!!

His favorite show has been Curious George since we’ve moved to Texas. He used to get up to dance and shake his little booty to the theme song!

So we decided to do a Curious George birthday! I wanted to keep it simple, and we’re on a pretty tight budget since I’m still on maternity leave. Thankfully Pinterest had a lot of great DIY ideas, and Wal-Mart has cheap party supplies 😂

I bought all of the decorations from Walmart and stuck to basic yellow and red. I ordered the Curious George “Happy Birthday” banner and cake topper from Walmart, too, and did free in-store pickup! To give the table height, I just wrapped a couple boxes coordinating paper. We already had the Curious George stuffed animal that I had ordered from Belk a few months ago.

For snacks I decided to do Charkie’s chips (plain Lays), Hundley’s hotdogs (pigs in a blanket), the Renkin’s fresh veggies, and the Quint’s fish crackers (Goldfish). Of course the Goldfish were left at home, but we still had plenty of food! I bought card-stock and a white paint pen from Hobby Lobby to make the table tents.

I wanted Brex to have his own cake, so I decided to do a small cake for him, as well as cupcakes for everyone else. The cake board is 2 circles of cardboard cut out from a box and covered in wrapping paper, then plastic wrap.

For party favors I did chocolate dipped pretzel rods, because the best party favors are ones you can eat! I bought milk chocolate chips, pretzel rods, and favor bags from Walmart. They actually have bags that are specifically for this! I bought candy melts in red in yellow from Hobby Lobby. I dipped the pretzel rods in the chocolate, shook the excess off, placed them on wax paper, and drizzled with the colored candy melts. Easy peasy!

Everything turned out absolutely fantastic! I couldn’t have been happier with it, and our little monster had a blast!

While it makes me sad that my baby boy isn’t much of a baby anymore, I am so thankful he’s growing up to be such a smart and loving child!

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. -Psalm 127:3

DIYs, Holidays, Uncategorized

DIY Chalkboard

​When we moved in to our new apartment, I was really excited about one thing in particular. We have a PANTRY!! An honest to goodness, walk-in pantry! After the super limited cabinet and storage space at our old place, having a real pantry was like Christmas in July. 

When I saw the pantry, I knew the door would be the perfect place for a chalkboard so I looked around at a few places. Well let me be the one to say it, chalkboards are a little more expensive than I remember! I really only saw one that I liked and that was the right size, and it was $60! That’s right, SIXTY DOLLARS!! I just couldn’t spend that much on a chalkboard. 

I already had chalkboard paint, so I just figured I would make one! I checked out a few thrift stores and found this great framed print that was the perfect size for only $4! 

I went to Home Depot and bought Rustoleum Paint + Primer in glossy warm yellow to match my kitchen, chalkboard spray paint (just easier than the brush on paint i had), and a plastic tarp for a total of $9. 

If you can, remove the glass from the frame and paint the frame with the color of your choice. Do 2-3 coats, letting it dry in between each coat. Paint the glass with the chalkboard paint the same way, with 3-4 coats. 

With my print, the frame didn’t come apart from the glass. So I just taped off the glass and painted the frame first, then taped off the frame and painted the glass. It took a little longer, but the same result. 

I was so excited to pul all the tape off and see how it turned on. And boy was I not disappointed! It turned out perfect! Here it is after my sweet man hung it up for me.

We just used the little clear plastic mounts like you would use to hang a full length mirror. They were only about $2 at Walmart. For the entire project I only spent $15! Not too, shabby huh 😊

I tried hand lettering it with regular chalk, and while it turned out “ok”, I couldn’t get clean sharp edges. I’ll definitely be buying some chalk markers. But here it is for now! 

This weekend I’ll be decorating for fall, and I couldn’t be more excited. Fall is my favorite time of year! Pumpkin patches, football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, cooler weather, does it get any better? Nope! I’ll be posting a few fall themed DIYs over the next few months, so stay tuned! 

God bless and have a wonderful week! 

The Mommyhood, Uncategorized

Over the Weekend

We had a pretty great weekend here!  

Nana and Big Daddy came to town Thursday to get their king cake. Just kidding, Nana had a doctors appointment here in town so I made them a king cake to take home.

Anyways, Friday night we all went out to eat at El Sombrero, our local Mexican restaurant. Seriously, nothing beats Mexican food and a cold Bud Light. 😍 

After dinner everyone came back to our apartment for king cake and coffee. It was awesome to just sit around talking, laughing, and spending time together. We don’t get to do it much anymore, so I enjoy it even more when we do.

And then Saturday. Oh y’all, SATURDAY. Guess what I did. Just guess! 

I TRIED ON WEDDING DRESSES!! 


I had an appointment at The Bridal Path and Alfred Angelo in Jackson. I took my mom, my stepmom Crystal, Nana, my sisters Katie, Aspyn, and Amie, and my best friend Tory. Squish was supposed to stay with a baby sitter while we went to Jackson, but she ended up getting sick Friday night so he got to go with us, too! 
Lace, and tulle, and beading! Oh my! I honestly couldn’t even tell you how many dresses I tried on. After a while I lost count and they all started blending together. 


I found a dress I liked at both salons, but I’m not 100% so we’re going to keep looking. I’m not sure what’s worse; not knowing what you want, or knowing EXACTLY what you want and not finding it. 

My best friend of almost 13 years and I

It was incredibly fun to get to spend time with all of the women and girls in my life who mean so much to me. I can’t wait to do it again! 

My beautiful baby sister Aspyn and Squish

Squish and I spent Sunday catching up on sleep and relaxing, and we went on a walk around our neighborhood. 


Unfortunately, Squish decided to go on a nursing strike Sunday afternoon that lasted about 12 hours. He finally gave in around 4:30 this morning thanks to a little sugar water on Mommy’s nipple 😂

I don’t have any plans for this week, but this weekend Squish and I will be headed out of town for my god-daughter’s competition dance classes! It will be nice to get out of town for a little while and change things up. 

What did you do over the weekend? Any big plans for the upcoming weekend? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!!