Archive | wishlist

Baby Wish List of My Dreams

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Full disclosure: this is a sponsored post. :)

‘Tis the season for having babies among my friends, I tell ya. One friend had a baby on Saturday, another is due next week, and still another is due in three more weeks! These are such happy days.

I recently discovered a website called Baby Cubby which has so many beautiful baby and children’s things assembled all in one place. Baby Cubby price-matches with Amazon and other stores (and has free shipping for orders over $50), but it also carries many boutique brands that Amazon does not, such as Tea Collection clothing and Little Unicorn products. They don’t carry everything, though, and that is because they have done a lot of research about what are the best/safest products and try to only carry those. Their desire is to be a resource for parents, not just another baby store.

Baby Cubby asked me to write about some of my favorite products on their website, and I had fun browsing and dreaming of what I would buy if money were no object. No, they aren’t going to give me all of them now — I wish! But for those of you who are in a baby registry mindset, here are a few ideas, some of which I can personally vouch for after using them myself for Forest.

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Mamaroo — I know this baby item seems hyped up, and some reviews I read online said it didn’t work for their little one. That has not been our experience, however. Forest has relaxed happily in it since we first brought him home from the hospital, and I love having a safe place to set him down. I haven’t let him lie on the floor or anywhere where our dog could get to him (she’s a sweetie but we are super safety conscious), and so the Mamaroo has been a safe spot in our main living space.

Kickee Pants onesies — So soft and cozy! These are expensive, though, so might be nice to buy in larger sizes after your baby isn’t growing out of things after only a few uses.

Tegu magnetic blocks — We have a little Tegu car made of blocks, and those magnetic wooden blocks are incredible! This little set would be great for keeping a little one occupied on a plane or in a car, and they don’t make a mess and they do stick together.

Plan Toys xylophone — We love Plan Toys products in this house, both for their quality and for the ethics of the company. And what a gorgeous, happy instrument for a little child!

Dock-a-Tot — We’ve co-slept a little bit with all our babies, and even though we like some aspects of it, overall we find it very stressful to have a tiny baby in bed with us. Even if we’re sleeping with just a sheet, no blankets — what if something happened and we were sleeping too deeply to realize? Dock-a-Tot is a way to keep your baby next to you but surrounded by a secure buffer to keep you from rolling onto him or her. Brilliant. Wish I’d thought of it, haha.

Little Unicorn crib sheet — I love my Little Unicorn swaddle blankets! They offer the same prints in their crib sheets, which are just darling. I’d love to get this “Forest Friends” print in a crib sheet for my Forest when he moves from his mini co-sleeper bed into a real crib. Which, actually, will be soon, as he is about to outgrow that little cot. Oh babies, why do you grow so fast?

World Map Rug — Give your child the world! What a soft and wonderful place for your children to build, read, and play in their room. And the rug is washable, too.

Little Unicorn swaddle blankets — Again, I love these. Aren’t those fruit prints darling? They are made out of the same muslin material that has become so popular with Aden + Anais, but with even more creative and beautiful prints.

Briar Handmade Bonnet — I’d love to get Forest one of these for the cooler months! What a darling little bonnet that even a boy can wear.

Numnum Dips — Sadly, Forest will soon be ready to graduate to pureed foods, and a whole new life stage will begin. I love the milk-only stage; so much easier and much less mess! These clever spoons catch purees and other soft foods in their grooves, though, making it easier for the baby to feed him or herself. I would love to try them when that day comes… too soon.

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And there you have my dream baby registry! It’s so much fun to see the beautiful and creative products that are out there for children these days, and maybe to enjoy some of them ourselves. Do you have any favorites that I left out?

1 :: in gift guide, wishlist

A Few of My Favorite Baby Things

Favorite Baby Things -- Forest Things have been too quiet around here! I had such grand aspirations to put together a post of photos about “our first month with Forest,” but now he’s 2.5 months old already. Time is flying!

I wrote an email to my dear friend Abi the other night after she asked if I had any registry advice for a third baby. Elliott saw me writing this loooong email and said, “You should share that on your blog!” I decided to take his advice, and I’m hoping this post will inspire me to put together some more photo updates on the blog, but I won’t cross my fingers…

So here are a few of my favorite baby things (notice I do not say “essentials” — because nothing really is). Some of them new items I’ve discovered this time around, but others are tried and true favorites that I’ve used with all three of my babies:

Rock n play — I borrowed one from a friend, actually, and it has been such a lifesaver! It’s basically a lightweight cradle with a vibrating feature, and it keeps the baby snug and cozy and slightly upright, which is great with reflux. I carry it around the house with me for Forest to rest in it or even nap near us. It also keeps him safe and out of the way of eager little hands, and away from our dog, too. Highly recommend it if you don’t have one!

Baby book — Confession: I never had a baby book for the other two kids! So this is a fresh start. It’s so darling!

Stroller bassinet — This is the bassinet feature for the City Select double stroller. This, I thought, would just be a luxury item, but I was tempted to get it since we walk somewhere every day in our small town. I finally bought one after I found someone selling a brand new one for half the original price on Craigslist. It’s ended up being such an amazing piece of equipment! If you walk a lot with your stroller (especially without driving somewhere first), it’s great to just move the baby from his/her crib to the stroller and back again. It’s also great for diaper changes.

Another nice feature: the bassinet detaches from the stroller so you can put the bassinet on a picnic blanket or beach blanket next to you, and it’s a safe, clean space for the baby protected from the sun or wind or cold.

It fits our lifestyle well, but if you mostly drive places, it’s probably not worth it, since you’d rather just put the whole car seat into the stroller with your sleeping baby and go on your way. Something to consider, though!

Skip Hop bag — My old one was in sad shape with ripped pockets, and it was so nice to get a new one. (It was a gift from my mom — thanks, Mom!) I looked at a lot of diaper bags, including this new (and budget-friendly) one from HipCub, the social media-popular Lily Jade bags, and the Kate Spade diaper bag. For the first two, I saw them in person and didn’t like how bulky they were, and also felt underwhelmed by the actual product after seeing all the online hype. For Kate Spade, I didn’t like the pockets and the lack of the cross-body strap.

So, ultimately, I chose this diaper bag. I do love the chic stripes, and the style of the bag works really well for a mom on the go. I love clipping it onto the handle of our stroller and walking with the the kids. All the pockets are so easily accessible, too, and it wipes clean and looks tidy and organized (even if it’s not, haha!).

Mamaroo — Again, this is something I thought would be a luxury item that has ended up being a lifesaver that we use daily. Forest has loved it from Day 1, and it’s the only piece of baby equipment I have in our main living space. Whenever he’s awake and we’re not holding him, he’s in the Mamaroo, gently bouncing or rocking away, and staring up in wonder these days at the dangling toys that he can’t reach or grab yet. I found one for $100 on Craigslist, and I hope to sell it for that much or almost that much, because that is a good deal for the most current model that ordinarily sells for $240 or so.

Little Unicorn Swaddle Blankets — Those are my favorite blankets, the ones I reach for over and over. I have the bison and the hedgehog prints, which are so cute for little boys! All the products by Little Unicorn are so beautiful, and their prices are comparable to or even better than Aden & Anais.SwaddleMe — These are the easiest, quickest swaddle blankets, and they almost always keep my babies contained. I have a few of them and always turn to them. I’ve tried a few other unique kinds (including the Halo swaddle and the Miracle Wrap), and these are my favorites.

Natural rubber pacifiers — I really love these. They are all one piece of rubber, so they don’t get gross fuzz or mold stuck in the cracks like the ones I’ve had in the past. They also are softer, and the natural rubber feels more like a nipple to me. Other similar brands are Ecopiggy and Hevea; they are a comparable price (ie. not cheap, but then you don’t lose them!) and the same style.

Multi-use canopy — This thing has gotten a lot of use already! It’s pretty cheap but I use it almost every day. It covers the car seat and stroller from sun (or strangers’ hands), and also can be used as a nursing cover. I don’t love it as a nursing cover, but it does cover my back if I have to lift my shirt way up to nurse. It’s nice to have as a back-up to my favorite Bebe Au Lait nursing cover.

Nail clippers — I needed a new pair because the ones I was given for Lena were rusty. I really like how this set feels in my hand, and it works very well. Forest’s nails grow so fast, and they get dirty quickly if I don’t keep them short, so I have used this little tool about once a week since he was born. A good investment, and aesthetically pleasing, too.

Solly Baby wrap — I totally forgot to include this in the collage, but it is definitely one of my favorite baby items. The light, stretchy material keeps both baby and parent cooler than the original Moby wrap or the Ergo with the infant insert. I love Solly’s colors and patterns, too! Forest sleeps so well in this wrap, and the material can double as a nursing cover or a blanket on the ground if need be.

Other things we love: California Baby shampoo and soap, these nursing pads, this glass baby bottle, Winter Water Factory rompers, these monthly milestone stickers, this nursing cover, and this amazing book.

And there you have it — way too long and too much detail, as usual. ;) Do you mamas have anything to add to this list? What baby items do you reach for over and over?

6 :: in Forest, gift guide, new baby series, wishlist

Maternity Fashion on a Budget (and All Online!)

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Ahh the bump! Fun to dress, but also so tricky sometimes. Getting dressed in the morning (or not till the afternoon…) gets frustrating as fewer and fewer clothes fit.

I don’t know about you ladies out there, but I have a couple of limiting factors when it comes to shopping. The first is that I don’t like going into clothing stores; all the options generally overwhelm me, and I like to read reviews before I buy. So Amazon Prime is my FRIEND; we meet every couple of days, and it (she?) rarely fails me.

The second thing is that I don’t like paying full price for most clothing items, but I do like well-made, long-lasting clothing. I want Target prices, but not Target quality. So what’s a girl to do?

Answer: buy lightly used, high-quality clothes — online!

So online resale stores have become my go-to resources during this season. I’ve tried ThredUp because I know people swear by it, but I haven’t found many maternity items there. Instead, I’ve gone to eBay and Poshmark, both of which have a wide supply of lightly-used, name brand maternity items. Here are a few of my favorite items, pretty much all of which I’ve found in those two places:

1. Isabella Oliver t-shirts. I’ve been looking for thick, snug-fitting, comfy shirts, and I finally found a couple on Poshmark and eBay for $12 each. These shirts are so soft, and they hug all the right places. I love the double-panel of fabric over the chest, too. I’ll be wearing these every day as the weather gets warmer.

2. Saltwater Sandals. I tried to think of my favorite shoes during this season, and I’ve mostly stuck to my old favorites: Minnetonka fringed booties and stylish sneakers during colder months, and then Pons sandals and Lotta clogs as the weather warms up. But for everyday, friendly shoes that go from the beach to casual/cute for dinner, Saltwaters win the day. I can’t recommend them enough. I don’t even own flip flops any more because these are all I wear!

3. Splendid leggings. I inherited a couple of pairs of old maternity leggings for my first two pregnancies, but they were very worn and baggy by the time this third pregnancy rolled around. I had tried on a pair of Splendid leggings in a maternity shop, and I loved how thick and comfy they felt, but balked at the $95 price tag. I found a pair on Poshmark instead, negotiated down to $17 (less than a pair at Target), and have not looked back. These leggings are amazing! Thick and comfy, beginning at the start of my pregnancy until now, and they have plenty of give for the remaining three months.

Beyond leggings, both Poshmark and eBay also have great deals on lightly used designer maternity jeans and pants. I have gone into stores to learn my size and then waited for good deals online.

4. Anthropologie cardigans. My go-to outfit this pregnancy has been comfy pants, a snug-fitting shirt, and a flowy cardigan. I love the quality and unique styles of Anthropologie cardigans, and many, many, many people are happy to sell them lightly used for a fraction of their original price. I found a couple on eBay and Poshmark, but then stopped before I used up my shopping budget entirely (an agreement that keeps me and Elliott both happy!). There are so many beautiful options available that make an outfit so lovely, and all for less than the price of a new Target or Forever 21 sweater, if you so desire. Plus, I will wear these cardigans all the time over nursing tank tops during the first few months of my pregnancy, so they have a long life and lot of use ahead of them.

Just for fun, here’s a search for “small Anthropologie open cardigan” less than $30 to show you the endless options, and here’s a photo of me wearing one I love.

5. J. Crew sweats. These were a gift from my sister, and I wear them all the time. The loose drawstring waistband is so comfortable with my growing bump, and I know I’ll be in them all the time postpartum, too. You could find a pair lightly used on eBay or on sale on the J. Crew website, and they are so worth it. These striped ones are cute too!

6. Isabella Oliver dresses. Back to Isabella Oliver! I have a couple of these, and they are so flattering and so comfortable. A friend also just told me that she still wears her IO dresses, shirts, and pants all the time, even though her son is two years old, so these are pieces that transition well to postpartum and beyond. A lot of the dresses are more form-fitting, too, which is flattering as your bump gets bigger, like this striped one I just got.

7. And finally, Asos dresses. So far I haven’t liked their other maternity things, but their dresses so far are thick and beautiful. And I love the bright, unique floral prints! Be gone, dowdy brown and black pregnancy wear! Look for their “body conscious” dresses to get cute shape-hugging styles. Here are examples of two that I have worn recently.

And those are my tips and tricks so far! We’ll see if things change as the months go by, but so far I’ve felt comfortable and pretty in these clothes, which is the ultimate goal of clothes anyway — to celebrate the beauty God has given you, even as your body changes.

16 :: in motherhood, wishlist

Gift Ideas for a Girl Who’s Turning 4!!!

Recently Updated260-003 It is not a good sign that I spent twenty minutes making that graphic and then just now realized that it said “…for a girl who’s turning THREE” in big bold letters. I should be in bed!

But this post is fun, and I’d like to send it out into the cosmic void (name that movie), so here goes!

Lena turns F-O-U-R on April 3 and, like usual, I don’t think Elliott and I will be getting her much. Last year we bought her some craft supplies and the year before that I don’t think we got her anything. She has plenty of stuff! But that doesn’t stop me from coming up with things she’d like, of course.

Or things I would like for her. I know you know how that goes…

The first thing is a doll stroller, which Lena has asked for specifically. I actually do have one tucked away that I bought months ago and “hid” in the garage (she saw it) when I found a good deal, but then someone advertised this gorgeous thing for sale and I started to have second thoughts! Isn’t it darling?! Which one do you think she would enjoy more??

The second gift idea is Magna-Tiles, which I’ve had on my wishlist for the kids for awhile. Everyone raves about these nifty little magnetic building pieces, and the kids have enjoyed them at our friends’ houses. I recently heard, though, that Magformers might be a better investment because they have stronger magnets and the kids’ structures will hold together better. Do you have a recommendation?

One item on the list must be BOOKS. I preordered Heidi for my sister’s birthday last year and have been dreaming about getting them for Lena (and me, duh) ever since. For someone who loves Rifle Paper Co. and classic literature, these pretty volumes are a match made in heaven.

I’ve heard such good things about these magnetic toys, and I feel like Lena would love them. She spends hours making designs with these beads, but she’s often stumped about what pattern or shape to make next. Problem solved with this clever toy.

The Tea Collection is one of my favorites for their globally-inspired, ethically-sourced children’s clothes. They always have the most beautiful patterns and prints that remind me of places I love around the world! I shop for deals on eBay or during their bi-annual (I think?) 50% off sales, so I already have a beautiful Tea summer dress tucked away for Lena that I bought before Christmas.

And last but not least, something for the budding artist. I enjoyed these as a child and have wanted to get Lena and Gil a set of their own. I’m a sucker for classic toys that have stood the test of time and bring back the warm fuzzies, aren’t you?

Anyway, that’s a hodge podge of ideas. What toys have the four-year-olds in your life enjoyed? I’m all eyes!

23 :: in gift guide, Lena, wishlist

A Giveaway from Tara Montgomery Jewelry! {closed}

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I’m thrilled to bring you the best of the best today: my dear friend Tara Montgomery‘s lovely jewelry! Tara and I went to nursing school together (almost 10 years ago… gulp), and even then Tara was making and selling beautiful earrings and necklaces. Her pieces always had sorority girls ooh-ing and ahh-ing at her trunk shows, and understandably so!

Tara went on to marry her high school sweetheart, a talented designer, and together the two of them have built a beautiful home. My kids and I visited her and her second little baby this summer, and I loved every detail of their beautiful house. The Montgomerys’ love of beauty, light, and natural materials was evident everywhere. Perhaps my favorite things, though, were Tara’s sunlit studio and their ducks and chickens in the backyard!

Her days are full of caring for her family and working as a much-beloved oncology nurse, but Tara has also continued to build her jewelry business. Her website is a delight to the eyes. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

tara-montgomery-jewelry-1 …because time flies. tara-montgomery-jewelry-3 tara-montgomery-jewelry-7 tara-montgomery-jewelry-4

Aren’t they all so lovely?! One of the most beautiful things Elliott has ever given me is a pair of Tara’s earrings, designed by both of them especially for me.

Tara is giving away her Turquoise and Dark Wood Necklace to one lucky reader!

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Wouldn’t you love this statement piece?! Or if it’s not your style, I know you’ve got a friend or sister or mother who would be thrilled to open this pretty package under the tree on Christmas morning.

To enter, visit Tara’s website and tell us which is your favorite piece of jewelry!

For additional chances to win, you may:

  1. Like Tara’s beautiful Facebook page
  2. Follow Tara Montgomery on Instagram
  3. Share this giveaway on Pinterest
  4. Follow me on Instagram
  5. Sign up for my blog mailing list (look in the left sidebar of my blog)

Just let me know what you have signed up for in your comment. Giveaway closes next Tuesday, December 15th, at midnight PST!

P.S. Tara has also generously offered 20% off all orders with the code MERRY20! Good through Dec 15th as well. Happy shopping!

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Update: The winner according to Random.org is #97, Sarah T. The winner has been emailed. Thank you all — especially Tara! — and congratulations, Sarah!

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70 :: in giveaway, wishlist

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