7.18.2018

NEW PARENT ESSENTIALS WITH buybuy BABY

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, all opinions are my own.

I've been obsessed with the modern designs and neutral colors of the 4moms products as soon as I became pregnant with Bella 5 years ago and came across their brand while out shopping for baby things one day. While we didn't have any of their products for Bella, we're so excited to already have a couple for new baby thanks to buybuy BABY who so generously sent a couple items our way.

Of course one of the first things I done after finding out we were expecting again, was go online to all the baby store's websites and make a list of all the things we needed and wanted. Since buybuy BABY is so widely known for baby items and great prices, of course their website was one of the one's I typed in first. I'd also heard they had a great registry which was another reason I went to them.


Creating a registry with buybuy BABY was so easy, and a few of the benefits I've loved about registering with them is that there are SO MANY options. I love it because even though it's difficult to choose from so many great items, it also makes it easier having so many different options. A couple more great benefits that I love that it's so easy to add any items to your registry that might catch your eye while browsing, AND they even carry green and natural items from brand's such as Seventh Generation, Burt's Bees Baby, Babyganics and Honest Co., you better believe I added some of those to our registry since we are a more naturally minded family.


buybuy BABY has all the must have essentials for new parents as well as seasoned parents, and this 4moms mamaRoo 4 Classic Infant Seat was one of my top wish-list items for baby #2, even before we found out we were expecting baby #2. I've heard so many amazing things about it over the past 5 years and I love that buybuy BABY carries all of the 4moms product line, making it easy to make sure you can add any of their products you might have your eye on. I already can't wait to see our tiny snugly little babe enjoy his or her new 4moms mamaRoo 4 Classic Infant Seat, and I love how neutral it is to fit into our home and style. So many baby items are so overly bright colored with loud prints and I just can't handle it lol (though some may love it). I personally think that the neutral and light colored environment in our home is what makes it so cozy and so homey feeling, plus it allows us to be more creative with our thinking and to also avoid that cluttered feeling. This 4moms mamaRoo 4 Classic Infant Seat is the only chair/swing/bouncer/etc. product we've chosen for baby, because we like to keep our possessions to a minimal since we don't have a ton of space (and well, we kind of like being minimalists) and also because it has so many features that we really only need this one item!


And where do I start with the 4moms Breeze Classic Playard? I initially thought "oh well we can skip getting a playyard this time", but the more I thought about it the more I realized getting one was probably a good idea, especially if I need to keep baby contained while cooking or cleaning so he or she doesn't get into everything (because time goes so fast and they start crawling so soon), and I don't want to always have to put them in their crib or in the 4moms mamaRoo 4 Classic Infant Seat, and sometimes (like when I'm cooking hot foods) babywearing isn't always practical. When I spied this 4moms Breeze Classic Playard, I knew it was "the one", it was kind of love at first sight, and you know I fell hard for it because of it's light and neutral color, something that I couldn't find in any other playyard on the market. I knew it would also be great for baby to sleep in when we travel on vacation or to my mom's house. Goodness, I can even bring out outside on nice days and let baby play in there while I tend to the garden or play with Bella. It's just such a nice item to have and I'm super excited to use it when baby gets here.


A few more reasons to register with buybuy BABY (other than the ones I've already mentioned above) is all of the perks that come with it! When you register in-store at buybuy BABY, you'll receive a big goodie bag of awesome samples and amazing coupons (and who doesn't love samples and coupons?), they have one of the best selections of baby items around, and with the great features they offer, you can ask friends for help in deciding what products you really need and which ones you don't (I wish I would have known about this awesome tool when I was expecting Bella). buybuy BABY also offers a registry referral program, which means that when you refer them to buybuy BABY or Bed Bath & Beyond for a registry, you'll get a coupon for $25 off any in-store purchases of $100 or more! How fun is that?

6.20.2018

15 WEEK BUMPDATE

We are officially in the second trimester and I couldn't be happier! So far, this month has brought a bit of relief as far as morning sickness goes but I still haven't found much more energy. Nesting has been starting though and I cleared out and donated 6 big bags of "stuff" and we've already gotten almost all of the baby things already (I kind of like to be prepared haha). We took a trip up to Lake Erie and found lots of beach glass and had the most fun. I'm dreaming of so many fun family adventures in the this warm weather (give me all the pool and lake days). I've been eyeing alllllll the tiny baby things and deciding what little things we need to complete our baby essentials. A bunch of baby things arrived this week (a 4moms mamaroo, an organic crib mattress, a dock-a-tot, etc.), it's just so much fun shopping for a tiny little one.


Due Date: December 7

How far along: 15 weeks.

Size of baby: The size of an orange.

Total weight gain: 3 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I've been wearing mostly flowy non-maternity dresses, or my Madewell jeans (with two ponytail holders tied togther to hold the button in place since they can't button or zip) with maternity tees.

Stretch marks: So far I've only noticed one.

Sleep: It's all I want to do. By 6pm every night I'm ready for bed, and usually go to bed around 8-ish. The only problem with going to bed so early is that I've been waking up at around 6am almost every day haha.

Best moment of the week: Starting to gather little baby things AND scheduling our anatomy sonogram for next month to find out baby's gender!

Miss anything: Being able to eat anything I want without having to think about if I'll regret it coming backup later lol.

Movement: Yes! I've been feeling flutters since about 9 weeks, and the baby kicks get stronger by the day!

Food cravings: Chic-fil-a sandwiches with buffalo sauce, buttered popcorn, blue raspberry icees, beef stew.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Coffee is the worst and causes the most throwing up. Garlic is next. Onions are pretty awful too. I also currently loathe our pantry, fridge and freezer, I can small alllll the smells of every single item mixing together when I open them and the smell is nauseating.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! Since around 7 weeks.

Gender: We don't know yet. We'll find out next month at 20 weeks and the wait is killing me (obviously patience is not my strongsuit ha).

Labor signs: No.

Belly button in or out: In.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: I feel like I'm a good mix of both if I'm completely honest. I mean, I did cry on the phone with Amazon customer service a few weeks ago though over a purchase that wasn't the right product, so there's that haha.

Looking forward to: The pretty Jenny Lind crib we ordered arriving soon and finding out the gender next month!

5.31.2018

THE BEST CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

A good chocolate cake might just be one of my most favorite things, and a few months back, when we were watching the Dick Van Dyke Show, in one episode, sitting there on Laura's countertop, was the most scrumptious looking chocolate cake ever (which obviously sparked a craving for chocolate cake). Of course we all know more things were homemade from scratch back in those days,so I set out on a quest to find the best truly homemade chocolate frosting recipe (because let's face it, canned frosting just isn't as good as we thought it was when we were kids). I searched high and low, and after finally asking in one of my mom groups on facebook, several people suggested this recipe (which I've tweaked slightly to make even better), well, long story short, we tried it, and folks, I'll never go back to eating regular chocolate cake again, it just doesn't compare. This frosting is so rich, decadent and delicious you could eat it by the spoonful *ahem, I mean, not saying I did that or anything, but I won't deny it either*

Anyway, if you ever find yourself on desert duty and have a little extra time on your hands, this frosting is the way to go, especially paired with my recipe for dark chocolate fudge cake (here), it'll knock your socks off. Amazing stuff. Truly amazing. It even freezes well if you want to eat the entire cake piece by piece by yourself *ahem, again, I won't confirm or deny I did this* (picture laugh till you cry emoji face here lol).


1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened

1 cup unsweetened cocoa

5 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Add cocoa to a large bowl or kitchenaid mixer. Whisk to remove any lumps and mix in butter and cocoa powder until well-combined. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added. Add vanilla extract combine well. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. Ice your cake and enjoy!