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!

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

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

Motherhood, not as pictured / Mighty Mamas – Week 3

We all had an idea of how motherhood would be like pre-kids. How has your view changed since then?
We all had an idea of how motherhood would be like pre-kids. How has your view changed since then?

We knew that motherhood requires changing diapers, kissing “ouchies” and doing whatever we possible can to care for our kids.  We only saw the broad picture of motherhood.  It’s only now being in the depths of motherhood do we truly see a different view.

Image from littleandmighty.com
Image from littleandmighty.com

This week the Mighty Mamas were asked: How is motherhood different than you pictured?

Motherhood involves a lot more heart and soul than I pictured.  While I was pregnant with my first child I knew that there was going to be so much love that I would have. I didn’t realize how intense of a love it would be.  I think the idea that I had of motherhood was just a glimmer and now that I’m starting to get deeper into motherhood, I’ve realized that there is so much love, patience, dedication in it.  I never
imagined how much I would still be able to grow as a person after becoming a mother.  My children teach me new things about myself almost every day.

I’ve learned to find beauty in motherhood and myself.  I’ve learned that laughing at myself occurs more than I thought.  I also learned that motherhood, especially postpartum, isn’t the same for everyone.

There are darker sides to motherhood, ones that are often not talked about, moments that need to be brought into the light.  PPD is something that is only touched on during pregnancy and something I definitely did not picture at all when I was thinking of motherhood before my kids.  Motherhood has definitely shown me that it is okay to reach out and ask for help.

I definitely never thought that I would find so much strength in motherhood nor did I imagine I would be drinking so much coffee!

How is motherhood different than you pictured?

Be sure to check out what the other Mighty Mamas have to say on the Little & Mighty blog and share your thoughts there too!

signed, dee

Keeping Mama Guilt in Check / Mighty Mamas – Week 2

Keeping Mama Guilt in Check

Mama guilt.  I think it’s fair to say that any mama has felt some type of guilt.  We’re pulled in so many directions.  However often we’re going back and forth between doing whatever we possibly can for our children to trying to have our own sense of identity besides the title of Mom/Ma/Mama.

Image from littleandmighty.com
Image from littleandmighty.com

This week the Mighty Mamas were asked: How do you deal with or keep mama guilt in check? 

 

This is something I’m still trying to figure out and learning to not hold on to. I sometimes see the mama guilt as an extension of the love I feel for my kids. I love them so much that more often than not I put them first. I remind myself that in order to be the best possible mama for my children I need to take care of myself too. Remembering that there needs to be a balance of Mama, wife, and self time is necessary.

This has been incredibly crucial for me while dealing with PPD.  I often hate taking time away from my kids to focus on therapy.  At the same time I know that this is what I need to do not only for myself but my boys too.  I only have a few years under my belt as a Mama, so I feel like I’m just beginning still trying to get my bearings on things.

Sometimes not everything gets done like the chores.  I’ve learned that it’s okay.  Sometimes I feel unhappy with how I could change how I handled something months before.  I’ve learned that motherhood is a learning process and it’s okay.  Sometimes I feel bad for wanting time to myself away from the kids.  I’ve learned, this is more than okay and is necessary.

How do you try to keep the mama guilt in check?

Be sure to check out what the other Mighty Mamas have to say on the Little & Mighty blog and share your thoughts there too!

signed, dee

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

I was nominated by JeeYoung from simplyeveryblog and Sarah from momfactsandfood. Thank you both for nominating me! I love that Instagram has given me the ability to connect with both of you.  I absolutely love JeeYoung’s outfit posts and her boys are so adorable!  SI decided to combine the questions asked in one post.


In the blogging world, the Liebster award is an online recognition given to new bloggers by fellow bloggers for enjoying and valuing their work. It is meant to highlight and credit new up and coming blogs within our writing community.

The rules are as follows:

  • Thank the blog that nominated you and link back to them.
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger that nominated you.
  • Tell readers 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers to receive the award next.
  • Give your new nominees questions to answer about themselves when they post their nomination.

My 11 random facts:

  • I can’t say the word shoulder.  I pronounce it as “soldier.”  If I do have to say shoulder, I have to repeat it a couple of times in my head first.
  • When I was a kid my dream job was to be a paleontologist.  I loved the idea of traveling and uncovering fossils.  Then Jurassic Park came out and I changed my mind.
  • There was a brief period during my childhood where I knew how to speak Russian.  My dad loves learning different languages and was learning Russian.  I would help him practice and learned basic phrases.
  • My parents operated a foster home for most of my adolescent life. The kids that were placed in my parents’ foster home inspired me to become invested in charities/activities involving foster care and adoption.
  • I’m a strict advocate of not allowing drunk people to get behind the wheel.  My uncle on my mother’s side was killed by a drunk driver who was driving the wrong direction.  I just remember our entire family in the hospital waiting room and the pain in my mother’s, aunt’s and grandmother’s faces.
  • I’m an NFL fan.  I love football season and can get competitive when it comes to Fantasy Football.
  • I ended up taking a year and a half off between graduating high school and college to figure out what I wanted to do.
  • I’m picky about frosting on cakes.  It can’t be too sweet or too thick.  If it is, I’ll scrape it off!
  • The night before my first son was born I had a dream that my water broke and  I went into labor. I woke up slightly disappointed. The next night I had the same dream, woke up, thought I was dreaming still, walked into the bathroom to discover it was the real deal!
  • November and December are my favorite times of the year because of all the holidays that bring my family together.  I have a lot of good childhood memories from that time of year too!

JeeYoung’s questions:

  1. If you could eat anything right now at this very moment, what would it be?
    Eggs florentine.  I’m a sucker for a good egg breakfast and a hollandaise.
  2. What do you like blogging about the most?
    I love that it’s so therapeutic especially since I’m battling PPD.  It’s nice to be able to collect my thoughts and put them in one place.
  3. Would you want to be famous, if so, in what way?
    I wouldn’t want to be famous.  I feel like there is so much pressure associated with being famous.  Plus I feel like I’m too awkward to be famous.
  4. When is the last time you sang out loud? What song?
    Yesterday with my son in the car.  This is a miracle considering most of the time it causes him more grief.
  5. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
    To have such caring people in my life.  My husband does whatever he can to support me with my interests.
  6. What do you value most in a friendship?
    Having someone be there for you no matter what is something I consider valuable.  I know that life makes everyone busy and realistically friends can’t be with each other all the time.  Knowing that if I needed someone to talk to, that they are just a phone call away, is reassuring.
  7. What is your favorite feature about yourself?
    My eyes.  I would actually get made fun of as a kid because I had such big eyes.  I’ve learned to love them.
  8. What’s your favorite color?
    Purple.
  9. What would you be your dream vacation?
    Somewhere tropical and family friendly.  The kids would be getting along, tantrums would be at a minimum and the weather would be perfect.   Oh what a dream!
  10. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written?
    It would be “How Becoming a Mama has made me feel beautiful” mainly because I wrote about something that made me feel uncomfortable about myself that I’m trying to embrace.
  11. What is your most treasured memory?
    I think the one that stands out right now is when W first recognized me.  He looked at me and I could see that something clicked in his mind.  We were looking at each other directly and a huge gummy grin appeared across his face.  It took every ounce of me not to cry since I didn’t want him to think I was sad!

Sarah’s questions:

1. What inspired you to start your blog?
I was experiencing a low point with battling PPD and felt alone.  My doctor has repeatedly told me that PPD is more common than most people think and often women don’t know how to reach out and feel just as alone.  I thought starting a blog that often discusses it would not only help me deal with it but reach out to other women experiencing it so they wouldn’t feel alone.

2. What’s your favorite part of motherhood?
One of my favorite parts is watching my kids conquer something they’ve had difficulty mastering.  The look on their faces alone makes me want to cry with happiness.

3. What’s your favorite food?
Almost any pasta dish.  It’s like a comfort food to me and I’m extremely picky about how pasta is cooked.

4. If there was a movie made about you who would play your role?
Oh man, this is hard, maybe which ever starlet is popular at the time?  I really can’t think of someone at the top of my head.

5. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Gum smacking, especially if someone is talking to you and smacking their gum.

6. What do you aspire to do when you “grow up”?
Something involved with helping people.  I

7. What type of novels do you like to read?
A variety of things from historic to fiction.  I don’t have a specific genre that I like.

8. Who was your favorite teacher or professor and why?
My favorite teacher was my art teacher in high school.  She opened my eyes to art and being more confident in myself.  I was so shy and timid during high school and she helped me find my own art style and be proud of it.

9. How do you cheer yourself up after an especially stressful day?
I grab myself a hot fudge sundae from McDonalds.  There’s something so comforting about it…I think because it’s ice cream.  Who doesn’t love ice cream?

10. What’s the one thing you never expected, but has happened in motherhood?
That I would find such strength and beauty in myself.  I always expected motherhood to just center around kids and helping them grow.  I never realized that it would help me grow as an individual as well.

11. What’s your favorite movie and why?
I don’t have a favorite movie.  I love the Harry Potter series, the majority of the Star Wars series, and any Hayao Miyazaki film too.



I would like to nominate:

Jennifer of mymamaproject

Karran of themamaedits

Danielle of danioverthepond

My questions for you are:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you?
  3. What is your most memorable trip?
  4. What does your perfect day consist of?
  5. If you could trade places with someone for one day, who would it be and why?
  6. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
  7. If you could relive one day, exactly as it was, what day would you want to relive?
  8. If you could have a all-paid-for shopping spree at one store, what store would it be?
  9. What is one mom-related item you can’t live without?
  10. What is one funny mom-related moment that has happened to you?
  11. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
  12. What is one piece of advice you would pass on to a first time mama?

Looking forward to reading everyone’s responses!

signed, dee

Mighty Mamas – Week 1

Image from littleandmighty.com
Image from littleandmighty.com
One of the not so fun things about parenthood is trying to figure out how to handle your little one's meltdowns, tantrums, and big emotions.
One of the not so fun things about parenthood is trying to figure out how to handle your little one’s meltdowns, tantrums, and big emotions.

Today is the kick off of the Mighty Mama series with Little & Mighty.

This week we were asked: “How do you stay centered and calm when your kids are having meltdowns, tantrums or big emotions?”

This is especially tough for me at the moment since I’ve only recently entered the realm of meltdowns and tantrums with O.  I acknowledge that he his having whatever emotion and take a deep breath (i.e. “I know you’re angry…” or “I know you’re sad…”).  I try my best to work through the emotion with him.  For me, i want him to understand that it’s okay to be mad, angry, or frustrated but that there are different ways to communicate each emotion without screaming like there’s no tomorrow in the cereal aisle.  Being able to talk it through actually manages to keep me calm during the whole process.

It is INDEED a process.  In all honesty, this isn’t a full proof system.  I have moments where I’m struggle with keeping it cool.  That’s where the “mom look” comes in.  You know, that stern look you give that means “Stop it right now.  I mean business!”  More often than not, it works and that in itself makes O check himself.  Sometimes I even get a “I sowwie mama.”

How do you keep your cool during those moments?

Be sure to check our what the other Mighty Mamas have to say on the Little & Mighty blog.

signed, dee