Baby Gear Essentials – My Must Haves

Baby Gear Essentials
DockATot, The Ollie World Swaddle, Binxy Baby shopping cart hammock, and Lillebaby tie the knot wrap are some of the baby gear essentials on my must have list.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here.If you’ve been following me on my Instagram, you’ve seen that it’s been a pretty exciting pregnancy.  We made it to 37 weeks! Something completely new as both of my boys were born at or before 37 weeks.  Now that this baby could make her appearance some time soon, I feel like I need to buckle down and grab some baby gear essentials.  I’ve been gathering some of my favorite items that I’ve been eyeing for some time.  (Please note that this post is sponsored but all opinions are my own.  This post also includes affiliate and referral links).

Some of my must have baby gear essentials
Some of my must have baby gear essentials – DockATot, Binxy Baby, LÍLLÉbaby tie the knot wrap, and The Ollie World Swaddle.

 

DockAtot

The DockATot has been something that I have had my eye on since my second pregnancy.  They have two sizes – Deluxe (the one pictured above and below) for 0-8 months and Grand 9-36 months.  I’ve heard such good things about DockATot not only from social media and blogs but from friends as well.  I’ve heard how this has helped with sleep for not only baby but for parents.  Let’s face it, the newborn phase includes A LOT of late nights and early mornings.  I honestly wish I purchased one during my second pregnancy because W was a horrible sleeper.

The DockATot is OEKO-TEX certified, all natural and 100% cotton, and has been tested for breathability.  I’m excited to use this as it is considered a multi-functional lounger – for co-sleeping and playtime.  Not to mention that this will be easy for me to take from room to room either to place either on the bed or on the floor.  I can’t wait to see little E all cozy in this!

DockATot Deluxe+
DockATot Deluxe+ Dock in Pristine White.

The Deluxe+ in Pristine White is currently sold out on their website BUT have a selection of Docks and cover sets to choose from ready for purchase.  There are also a number of accessories that you can purchase for your DockATot such as toys/toy arches and travel bags.

Want $10 off a DockATot? Click here.

Please note that the DockATot is not recommended to be placed in a crib or bassinet.  Additional safety tips are listed on the DockATot site.

 

The Ollie World Swaddle
Swaddling, especially during the newborn phase, saved me plenty of times.  My babies always felt their coziest while swaddled.  I mean, who doesn’t like a cute baby burrito?

The Ollie World Swaddle
The Ollie Swaddle – Lavender

Just the packaging itself is something to be excited for.  The color is completely beautiful and the material is soft and feels like it is light and has a lot of breathability. The velcro allows this to grow with baby which I feel is a big plus.  The swaddles I’ve previously used only last past a certain growth month and I would then have to purchase another one to fit my baby.  There is also an opening at the bottom to help with diaper changes.  It comes in three different colors to choose from.  This lavender one is perfect and I can’t wait to see E swaddled in it!

Want $10 off on an Ollie Swaddle? Click here.

 

Binxy Baby
Shopping with three young kids, just that whole cart situation with fitting the kids and items I’m shopping for, already has me a little nervous.

Binxy Baby - Shopping Cart Hammock
Binxy Baby – Shopping Cart Hammock – Full Bloom

I’ve been hearing good things about Binxy Baby.  Not only can you have baby laying it in (recommended for 6-8 month old babies for this) you can also play your car seat in the hammock for easy car to cart transition.  I honestly am still terrified of that first shopping experience with the three kids but knowing that I can use this shopping cart hammock does provide some ease for me.  I’m already in love with the print, because I feel like you can never have enough florals.  The material used feels really strong and sturdy so that provides comfort knowing that I can put our carseat on here and it will be fully supported.

Want $10 off on a Binxy Baby shopping cart hammock? Click here.

 

LÍLLÉbaby
I’ve been a fan of baby wearing since having my first child so of course I’m going to continue doing so with this baby.  Being able to baby wear has helped not only with the closeness between a mother and child for me but has also helped with getting things done.  Let’s face it, as a mom, even if you have one or three kids, you need to be able to do so many things at once.  Baby wearing helped me so much after having my second child because I was chasing a toddler at the time.  I’ll be doing the same thing this time around and chasing a pre-schooler.  A baby carrier, whether a wrap or sling, is definitely a baby essential.

LÍLLÉbaby Tie the Knot Wrap
LÍLLÉbaby – Tie the Knot Wrap in Blushing Pink

I’ve tried various wraps, carriers, and different brands and I’m excited to try the LÍLLÉbaby because again, I’ve heard such good things.  The material is incredibly soft and lightweight.  I absolutely love the color.  I bought a lot of gender neutral carriers in anticipation of someday having a girl. It’s nice to add a little bit of girly-colors into my baby gear mix for this little one.

Want $10 off a LÍLLÉbaby carrier? Click here.

Be sure to check back for individual reviews once baby girl makes her debut!  So excited to try all these products with her!

Starting A Business While Pregnant.

Starting a business while pregnant? Why not take the leap?

I have always wanted to start my own business.  There was always that appeal of creating something that people would love and making extra income.  I always had ideas but they never seemed to go any further than just a thought in my head or a casual discussion with someone.  Like anything, starting a business requires A LOT of work and research.  So why bother trying to start up a business while pregnant?  I think the better question is: why not start a business?

I have always had some interest in sewing.  It isn’t something that I would do a lot.  I usually would only sew when I was looking for something VERY specific but could not find anywhere.  The sewing projects seemed to grow whenever I was pregnant. Each of my boys have their own personal minky blankets and rompers that I sewed while I was pregnant. For whatever reason this pregnancy and the sewing projects just grew.  If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve seen that we’re expecting a baby girl this October.  You can definitely say that I’m excited to add some shades of pink to our mostly blue household!

Newest sewing project

I started out with trying to make moccasins and I received a positive response from family and friends.  I moved onto headbands and liked how it turned out.  I just recently attempted dresses and not only received positive responses but I liked how they turned out too.  During my free time (a.k.a. when the kids are sleeping), I’ve been searching for more sewing project ideas on Pinterest.  I have also been encouraged by my friends to sell the things I’ve been making.

Second dress for baby girl

I decided to take the leap – start a business.  Even while pregnant.

I have decided to start slow.  I’m hoping to open an Etsy shop sometime next month to get my bearings before little miss makes her debut.  I have so many ideas and so many things I want to make. After reflecting on things and having MANY discussions with my husband, I decided that pushing things out in increments would be my best course of action.  The last thing I would want is to offer so many items at once but not be able to deliver quality products.

Right now my focus is on headbands and I’ve been messing around with extra fabrics.  Moccasins are my next goal.  I’m hoping to send out some testers out to get some input.  Eventually I would like to incorporate clothes once I feel more comfortable.  Right now button holes are my nemesis, hah!

Bow inventory growing

I don’t know where this is going to take me.  I have never opened up any type of business.  I did not go to college for a business degree.  Yet I still want to do this.  Probably one of the biggest barriers I’ve broken during this process is the feeling that I may not be good enough.  If anything, I’ve learned that sometimes your initial course of action does not result in the goal you intended.  More often than not, it uncovers something you never discovered about yourself.  It leads you to a path you would have never considered.

Pregnant or not, I’ve decided to start on this new path. I know that it’s not going to be easy.  I’m expecting set-backs.  I know there will be tears.  I’m expecting that I have to work extremely hard.  Regardless if I was pregnant, I know that the difficulty level, set-backs, tears, etc. are all going to happen.  It may seem a little unconventional to start a business at this time.  I’m sure that many businesses have started out that way.

I feel that by not trying I will be left with questions that begin with “what if…”  Ultimately I want to show my children to not be afraid to take a leap.  I would want them to take that leap of faith and try to eliminate those “what if…” questions.  I also want to let go of that fear that always manages to convince to not try something new.

So, why not now?

Is there something holding you back from trying something new?

Breaking My Social Media Hiatus.

I actually didn’t think I would be back on here.  The internet, social media, for that matter.   My health was taking a turn mid-last year.  I began to notice it but the problem didn’t really present itself until late last year.  At that point I decided to place all my energy into my health and my family and I didn’t even hesitate when I went on a social media hiatus.

I went radio silent on my mom-comment groups, social media accounts, collaboration emails, and this blog.  I just left it.  Classes and my approaching graduation date was placed on hold too.  At that time, it didn’t matter.  I didn’t know what was going on with me health-wise.  The next 5 months were spent focusing on trying to figure out what was wrong.  Doctor visits, lab tests, scans, medication consultations became my routine at that point.

It really is a strange feeling to go back to something that was part of your routine for so long.  It is equally as strange to fall out of the routine that has been a part of the last 5 months.  On the day that I received the news that everything was in the clear and my health was heading toward a positive direction, I was also presented with something I was not expecting.

I was 3 months pregnant.

Shock, happiness, and fear came over all at once.  Shocked because getting pregnant was unexpected.  Happiness due to receiving news that my health was improving.  Fear?  Well, 3 kids so close in age?  It was a fear-panic.

Wishful thinking trying to get the boys in on the bumpdate 😉

As I’m typing this, I am just a little over 18 weeks pregnant.  Enjoying this pregnancy as the nausea is limited and the hyperemesis I experienced my last pregnancy is non-existent.  We’ll be finding out the sex of the baby in 2 weeks but we have our suspicions 🙂

I genuinely appreciate the messages that I received while I was on my social media hiatus.  I actually didn’t get to read any of them until a few days ago when I felt like, “ok, maybe I can do this again.” I truly missed seeing your daily photos and posts.

The last 5 months have changed a lot of things for me.  The direction that I want to go with my career and the overall focus I want to give my family.  I’m really not sure what that means for my blog and any related social media accounts.  At this point, I’m just taking it one day at a time.  Hope you all bear with me as I figure it out!

TONTUU Box Review

tontuu-box review

Who doesn’t love getting snail mail or packages? Especially if it’s NOT bills or junk mail!  As mamas, we often forget that we’re allowed to partake in some fun and pamper ourselves too.  The TONTTU  Box is geared towards mamas with items for pampering and it includes goodies for your babes too!

Littlest man was excited about the box too

I was so excited to get the November TONTTU box and W was just as eager to take a look at the contents.

recipe

This Apple Banana muffins recipe was included in the box and I thought it was perfect for the upcoming US Thanksgiving holiday. Not to mention that both my boys love apples, bananas, and anything in muffin form.  Added plus is that it’s a healthy snack.

sili

I was really happy to see this reusable Sili squeeze pouch.    I literally was doing a happy dance while holding onto this. My youngest loves smoothies and since moving we misplaced our reusable pouches.

VOESH

These VOESH products are amazing.  I pampered myself yesterday, after I don’t know how long. Hair cut and color morning and an afternoon of mani-pedi pampering for me.  I loved that the gloves were semi-fingerless so I was still able to grab things.  Both my hands and feet feel super moisturized.  It also totally beats paying for these services at a spa since I had just spent a good amount of money on my hair.

brinware silicone placemat

So by the time I got around to opening more products, the boys were awake from their nap.  Hence, the tiny fingers in the photo of the brinware mat.  I love these types of mats – slip resistant, easy to clean, and able to stick to tables.  O loves that it has farm animals on it.  The only downside is that there is one and both boys were and are still arguing over it!

botany and wax

This Botany and Wax candle scent is perfect for November – Cranberry Marmalade.  It immediately reminded me of the holidays.  I also think you can never go wrong with candles.  I’m a sucker for candles and love hoarding the great smelling ones.

Mint Feather Co

Finally there was this cute Mint Feather Co bow.  I immediately thought of my best friend’s daughter when I saw this.  I thought about trying to convert it into a bow tie for the boys but I’m sure they both would have been arguing over it.

Overall thoughts?  I loved the variety of things in the TONTTU  Box.  There’s a good balance of items for mom and items for kids.  You’re able to pamper yourself and your kids get some freebies too! It would not only make a good subscription box for a mama to buy for herself but also as a gift to another mama.  Especially a mama that has an an upcoming birthday, baby delivery/shower, or even a present for the holidays.

Want to try out TONTTU  Box either for yourself or send it as a gift?  Enjoy 15% with the code “PAMPERED”

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Disclaimer: I received the  TONTTU Box for free for my honest review.  All words and thoughts are my own.

signed, dee

On to New Adventures

It feels daunting thinking about a move to a new neighborhood and changing all that is familiar not only for myself but for my kids as well.
It feels daunting thinking about a move to a new neighborhood and changing all that is familiar not only for myself but for my kids as well.

With two kids our two bedroom condo was starting to feel so small.  The condo was perfect when it was just my husband and myself.  It was also perfect when O was born since we weren’t anticipating having another child so soon.  Now that W is mobile and the toys are starting to take over (a sarcastic but loving thank you godparents!), my husband and I decided we needed to to find a new place.

Troublemaker

We saw maybe 8 homes and only saw 1 that we felt was right for us.  Our offer was drawn up and honestly we were anticipating that this home would not be ours.  We were so shocked to find that our first offer ever was accepted!  Now that we’re gearing up to move, I think it’s finally hit me that we’re really leaving.

The whole home buying process was stressful, anxiety filled, emotional, and faster than I thought it would be.  As someone with PPD and PPA, this was not an ideal situation for me.  It was during this time that my health took a turn and I took a step back from social media because of the overwhelm I was feeling.

Shirt from: Nestle & Thyme
Shirt from: Nestle & Thyme

There are so many memories attached to this condo.  Both boys have spent their first year here.  They took their first steps and falls here.  I’ve watched their sibling bond grow here.  Our neighbors are so friendly and sweet.  We know the area so well and my job and husband’s job are so close that freeways aren’t needed.  Our friends live so close, heck one of our best friends/O’s Godfather lives down the street.  I could go on, with the many memories and reasons why it’s hard to leave this condo and this neighborhood in general.

However in the end my husband and I were thinking about what would be the next step for our family – the best step for our family.  We may be further away from friends and our jobs but ultimately it’s the best move for the kids.

I’m definitely not as sad as I thought I would be but that may change on our moving day and once I see this place empty.  Looking forward to this new blessing that He has given us.  I’m looking forward to creating new memories.  Who knows, He may lead us back to this same area later on down the road.

Most of all, I’m just feeling blessed that I’m on this new adventure with the ones that I love.

P.S. Want a Nestle & Thyme shirt?  The ladies of Nestle & Thyme were so sweet to offer a 20% off code for my followers.  Use ENJOY20 to get one for yourself a shirt like mine or one of their other products.  Definitely check out the shirts they have not only for yourself but your little ones as well!

signed, dee

 

Jord Watch Review

CORA series Purpleheart & Mother of Pearl
JORD CORA series
Purpleheart & Mother of Pearl
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you are probably aware that my family and I have been searching for a new home.  Couple that with health issues I’ve been experiencing, well, time has been limited.  Time has also been dedicated to the house hunt, my health, and focusing on my children. Adding to that effort, I’ve been putting my phone down and away from me much more frequently than before.  Honestly, trying to enjoy time with my children and being outside more.

IMG_4626

My phone doesn’t only serve as a camera, a phone, and means to use social media, but I use it as my main device to tell time.  Since I’ve been trying to spend more time away from my phone, I knew I needed to look into wearing a wrist watch again.  I’ve always loved wrist watches but honestly I am lazy when it comes to replacing the battery once they die.  The only other watch I do own, well, the batteries had died after my first son was born.  Lugging my two children with me to get it replaced with an already busy schedule didn’t seem like a great option for me.

Cora Watch

I’ve been searching for a new wrist watch and fell in love with this JORD Cora Purpleheart & Mother of Pearl watch.  JORD has a lot of really beautiful options so it was really hard to choose.  Defaulted to the Cora one because well purple is my favorite color.  Being that it’s an automatic option made it even better for me.  It did take some time to familiarize myself with how to wind it.  Once you do it a couple of times, it becomes second nature.  I thought that it would be a hassle to wind it but it really does beat having to replace the batteries/take it into a watch shop to do it.

Cora Purpleheart and Mother of Pearl Jord Watch

I was a little hesitant with the fact that the watch is made out of natural wood but it’s really light weight and the color is just gorgeous.  It also came in a veautiful wooden box, watch cushion, and a polishing cloth.  Additionally, I was able to measure my wrist so that it was resized when it arrived. It was accurate sizing too, I received the watch and was able to put it on immediately.  They also enclosed the removed links in case I ever wanted to lengthen it.

The great thing about JORD watches is that they make them for wrist watches for men, watches for women, and have unisex options.  They have a selection of battery operated and automatic unique watches.  My husband, who isn’t a watch person at all, likes it a lot and is even thinking about getting one for himself.  JORD watches would not only make a great present option for a loved one but is definitely a unique gift!

Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.  I received the pictured watch in compensation for my honest review.

signed, dee

Mens Wood Watches

Small Gestures

Sometimes the smallest of gestures can be the biggest.
Sometimes the smallest of gestures can be the biggest.

I’ve been a mama of two for almost a year now but I still feel like I’m getting a handle on things. I do have days where although I feel somewhat overwhelmed, that I do have a handle on things.

It seems like it’s always tough after a long weekend, especially a long holiday weekend.  We didn’t have the greatest of nights due to residual fireworks and excitement.  O didn’t fall asleep until well pass midnight but managed to wake up early like he normally does.  After a cup of coffee, we set off to do errands.

I found a garden center near our place so I wanted to make a stop there to let O explore.  He couldn’t get enough of the place.  O couldn’t walk anywhere fast enough.  Well more like I couldn’t walk fast enough.  He was pulling on my arm to places and decided that he would be better off venturing ahead while I caught up.  I definitely didn’t mind since we had the place to ourselves and the people working there were so sweet as O approached them.

My little garden center explorer.

Three stores later, including the quick trip to a garden center, both boys were ready for lunch and a nap.  However, my gas tank had other plans.  I have a hybrid vehicle so stops at the gas station aren’t frequent and I tend to not look at my gas tank gauge as much anymore because of it.  We made a stop at a gas station that turned out to be nothing but quick.

The lines to gas up cars were long but for whatever reason it didn’t bother me even with O being relentless with asking to move the car and W whimpering in the back because he was over being in his carseat.  I think if this occurred a few months back, my PPD/PPA would have got the best of me.  I would have probably started to get anxious since both kids were getting restless and there was nothing I could do about it.

When we did get to a pump.  I didn’t realize the credit card/debit machine wasn’t working.  Again, this is something that could have easily created an moment of anxiety.  However, I scooped both kids up and headed inside the gas station store to pay.  O seemed excited with the prospect of going into a place he’s never been before while W was content being in the baby carrier.  As I was explaining the situation to the owner of the store, he began to apologize for the trouble.  I kept reassuring him that it really was not an issue.

As we made our way back to the car to pump, a gentlemen that was pumping near our car smiled and asked if I needed help with putting gas in the car.  I reassured him that it was fine and thanked him but he insisted.  He pumped gas in my car and explained that he also has two children that are close in age and remembers how difficult it would be to run errands with both when they were so young.  I offered to pay for some of his gas since I was so thankful for the help but yet again he insisted that it was fine and that he already pumped gas.

Then as I was placing O in his carseat, one of the gas station workers ran up and asked if I needed help.  He started trying to open the gas tank and asked what gas I needed.  It took some time to explain that my car was already gassed up since there was a language barrier.  Apparently the owner felt so bad that he told one of his employees to gas my car up for me.  Again, I was feeling incredibly grateful at the small gestures of kindness the boys are I were receiving.

Just small gestures like that – offering to put gas in someone’s car – can make a difference.  It just shows that there are so many small pockets of kindness that occur or can occur during your day.  Simply smiling at someone, greeting someone as they walk by, holding open a door for someone, or even just asking someone if they need help.  These gestures may seem small but can mean so much.  They can also be needed.

In a world where everyone seems so busy and where people often choose to walk by someone that needs help, such small gestures are heartwarming.  The day is only halfway through for us but I feel like it’s been a great one already.  Not only do I feel grateful for such kind gestures but I’m pretty darn proud of myself for not letting my PPD/PPA get the best of me today.  It’s all about the baby steps.  It’s about trying to remember to focus on important things.  Here is to more days with fun adventures, conquering personal battles, and kind gestures not only from other people but to do more of them myself.

signed, dee