7.18.2019

SUMMER FAVORITES

Summer is here and we've been enjoying all things outdoors with our little ones! Playing outdoors and making mud pies, sitting out in the sunshine, picking flowers and going for walks, lake days... it's just the best! I'm already looking forward to so many more fun things that we'll cram in before summer ends... and of course more time spent with my favorite people. I always love to share some of my favorites and it's been a hot minute since I've shared any, so here are some new favorites below!


TEA COLLECTION
I recently picked out a few new items for Bella and Bodhi from our ever favorite, Tea Collection. I chose this beautiful dress for Bella, which she actually wore for Easter! It's super pretty on the website, but even prettier in person and the raised multicolored threads make it so fun, Bella calls it her "confetti dress" and I have a feeling it's going to get a lot of wear this year! For Bodhi I grabbed this adorable little ocean inspired tee shirt that's perfect for summer, can you imagine it paired with a little pair of shorts for a trip to the aquarium? So cute! I've recently discovered that I LOVE dressing Bell and Bodhi to match, so when I spied these adorable beyond words matching sea turtle dress for Bella and romper for Bodhi, well, they immediately jumped into my cart. Make sure to head on over to Tea Collection and check out all of their new arrivals!


ONE DELIGHTFUL SHOP
Small shops will always be my favorite. Most people don't know this, but I actually used to own an etsy shop way back when, so I know first hand how much hard work and love goes into each item, and how exciting it feels to get that notification for a sale. That's why small shops have such a special place in my heart. I recently was introduced to the most delightful little shop, no really, it's called One Delightful Shop, and all of the items they offer are speaking my language for sure. Since I'd consider myself an honorary Narnian (haha, I mean, I've read and re-read the books enough times) this shirt immediately caught my eye and I knew I pretty much needed it. I mean, not only does it have wise words from Aslan, but a mama can never have too many comfy tees. This one is no exception, in fact, I'd actually say I'm happily surprised at how soft and comfortable it is, buttery soft is a slight under-exaggeration. Of course when I found her custom leather key-chains I grabbed a couple of those too. These "MAMA" and "HOMEBODY" key-chains are perfect for me, simple and minimal but so beautiful all at the same time.


VITAL PROTEINS
I'm all about finding ways to help our little family live a healthier, natural lifestyle and recently we added collagen from Vital Proteins into our daily routine and we're loving the results we've been seeing so far! Collagen is known for helping hair shine, nails grow strong and skin glow, and it's also great for muscle recovery, bone and joint health and even gut health! We all know this mama needs it while losing alllll the hair during this postpartum time (pretty sure I'm currently going bald hahaha, it feels like it at least), it's nice to know this strawberry lemon beauty collagen can help support healthy hair, skin and nails for my body! Frank was most interested in collagen for it's bone and join benefits, so I got him this collagen coconut coffee creamer for his coffee, and he said he could tell a difference for the better, in the way he felt even a day after drinking it!


We use Full Circle products in our home not only on a daily basis, but multiple times a day, I love how functional and useful they are. The modern and minimal look call my name every time and they actually look nice sitting by our kitchen sink which is so nice!  I've mentioned this bottle brush before, but I think it needs mentioning again, out of all of the bottle brushes I've used over the years, this one is by far my most favorite. Fun fact, they also have reusable storage bags... and they're amazing! Heavy duty bags with reusable zipper tops, these "ziptuck" bags are the best and we've been using them for so many things lately: toy storage, crayons and notebooks for the car, snacks, pantry items... the list of uses is pretty much endless! Anything you would use a zippered storage storage bag for, you can use these for, except with zero waste and you save money since you don't have to keep buying new ones after one use.


You guys, we're so obsessed with alllll of the SOMA products. I've had my eye on this stunning water filter pitcher for the longest time and it's just the best now that we own it. It's simple, modern and minimal looking and it holds 10 cups of water! That means no more constantly refilling after pouring one glass of water haha, it's pretty awesome. They also sent over a couple of extra water filters for it so we should be set for filters for the next 6 months so that's pretty cool too. And have I mentioned how much I love their glass water bottles? Their new 17 ounce water bottle might just be my favorite so far and definitely helps me with my water intake every day! They also just released these new ceramic mugs! The double wall ceramic design keeps your beverage hot or cold and is super sleek, grab one and take your coffee on the go when you're in a rush!


Switching up the artwork and decor in our home is something I really enjoy, it freshens up a space without too much effort and Smallwood Home signs are not only pretty but so affordable as well! I recently grabbed this one as a few others and I'm so excited about them, and how unique is this world map scroll?! So many designs to choose from and their custom signs have my heart too, love, love them.


Let's just say Bodhi is all about toys. He'll spend the longest time laying on his play mat and swatting away at his little hanging planet rattles above him, playing with his rattle ball or chewing on it, snuggling with and chewing on his stuffed knit puppy, you name it, he just loves toys. I spied this fun activity gym from Skip Hop a few months before he was born and just knew he would love it once he got old enough. We had one similar for Bella when she was an infant and she simply loved it, jumping was so much fun for her and she loved playing with all of the little toys around the seat too. I'm such a huge fan of activity gyms like this because little ones can have so much fun playing with and in them while mama has her hands full cooking dinner or vacuuming. I'm SO excited at how much Bodhi loves this Skip Hop Activity Gym already!


PRIMARY
I'm sure by now you've noticed that I tend to not dress Bella or Bodhi in a ton of loud prints or character clothing. I mean, some of it is cute yes, but it's just not really my thing if I'm completely honest. I'm more of a simple design, neutrals, muted colors or earth tones kinda gal, so naturally I dress my little ones the same way most of the time (not to say that they don't ever wear bright clothing or clothing with characters on them, because they do on occasion). Unfortunately it's not always easy finding things like that, but fortunately, Primary makes it simple. In fact, the first outfit Bodhi ever wore was actually from Primary: this sweet and simple footed snap overall in white. It is still one of my absolute favorite outfits he has ever worn to date, and you can bet I already have it put away for his baby box, that's an outfit I'm never parting with. Their clothing is so soft, and so simple and just so perfect. We've owned their footed snap overalls, regular long sleeve bodysuits (the spruce color is so good), and their thermal knit long sleeve body suits and I've been so impressed with everything. Stains wash out fairly easy (even the white outfit he had) too which I love! Definitely going to be grabbing both of the kiddos a few items for the summer from Primary.


DR. BRONNER'S CASTILE SOAP
Hands down our most loved and used soap in our home is the Dr. Bronner's brand. I tried their lavender castile soap on a whim one day when I found it on sale in the clearance bins at our local grocery store, well that was 5 years ago, and we haven't looked back. We all have sensitive skin in our family, so one of the main reasons we kept coming back to this soap is because  it didn't irritate our skin, no more unexplained rashes or itching right after showering, the scent wasn't overpowering so no headaches from artificial fragrance. When I started switching our products to more natural options this one stayed around because thankfully it's made from organic and fair trade ingredients, plus it has one of the best rating on the Think Dirty app that I use to see how good (or bad) a product's ingredients are before purchasing. While I do love their lightly scented products (they're scented with natural ingredients like essential oils) I'm the biggest fan of their unscented baby line and that's he one that I've been mostly purchasing for the past couple of years. I also recently got this unscented baby balm I'm excited to try, and this Sal Suds biodegradable cleaner that is gonna make spring cleaning a breeze!

6.25.2019

MAKING MEMORIES ALONG WITH all® OXI

This shop has been compensated by all® laundry detergent. #allOXIatWalmart #sponsored


Before becoming a mom, I never realized the insane amount of stains I'd be treating on a daily basis, and I'm pretty sure that amount quadrupled when we welcomed our baby boy into our family last year. My little ones best and nicest outfits always seem to be the ones that stains find their way onto of course, so I had two choices...I could let them be stained and they would become "play" outfits, or I could take time out of my already busy day and treat the stains to hopefully get them out. Little did I know that those weren't my only options, there was now a third option at my fingertips! We've forever been lovers of all® laundry detergent, and during a recent shopping trip to Walmart, I was strolling down the laundry aisle to grab some all® OXI laundry detergent and that's when I discovered all® OXI stainlifters and the entire line of all® OXI laundry detergents!

You guys, two words: life changing.


Of course, I grabbed a few other things (and some all® free clear OXI too) and threw in our cart (because never-ending laundry means we go through a lot of detergent...anyone else?) and I was even able to score a great deal (and stock up, yay)! Currently at Walmart, when you spend $15 or more when purchasing all® OXI laundry products, you can get $5 in Walmart eGift cards! All you have to do is shop all® OXI Laundry products at your nearest Walmart, complete the registration form (found here), upload your all® receipt and redeem your egift card! Easy-peasy!


Now thanks to all® OXI stainlifters and all® OXI laundry detergent, I don't have to stop and take time to pre-treat stains during my busy schedule, whether that be taking care of our two little kiddos, vacuuming up all of the never ending crumbs, washing the endless amounts of bottles and snack dishes, or even doing laundry (which yes, even as minimalists, we still somehow seem to have mountains of laundry)! Most importantly, and I'm sure any parent can agree, I don't have to pause the memory making to treat stains. Playing together, making memories and letting them enjoy being little has never been easier since all® OXI stainlifters has such great stain-lifting properties! In fact, I dare say I don't even worry about stains anymore, I can actually be more a present mom and enjoy the moment rather than wondering how on earth I'll ever get that stain out later on.


As I've shared before, all® laundry detergent is the only brand we've purchased and used in our home for years, and I'm just so happy we've found yet another reason to love them even more! With its amazing stain removing power, all® laundry detergent and all® OXI stainlifters laundry detergent is our family’s best ally to take on any new activity – stains and all.

Have you tried all® OXI stainlifters yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Grab some on your next Walmart run and don't forget to stock up (there are so many summer adventures and memory making left before school starts again). Don’t forget to take advantage of the $5 Walmart eGift card promotion when spending $15 or more on all® OXI products! What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family that usually end up with messy clothes?

4.24.2019

ADVENTURING WITH THE MAXI-COSI MAGELLAN

I am a paid endorser for Dorel Juvenile Group and received free product as compensation in exchange for this post and for support of Dorel Juvenile and its products. Thanks Dorel Juvenile Group for sponsoring this post!


We've always loved taking long country drives and adventuring out and exploring around the beautiful western Pennsylvania area that we live. We've discovered so many beautiful places, and we're excited for even more family adventures this summer now that the Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 convertible car seat has joined our family!

If you are new to the Maxi-Cosi brand, they were founded in the early 1980's in the Netherlands, a time when there were very few ways to safely travel with children in a vehicle. Thankfully in 1984, Europe saw the introduction of the first infant car seat, made by Maxi-Cosi of course, and since then Maxi-Cosi has become one of the top selling car seat brands worldwide!

This car seat is pretty amazing, not only because it's super plush and created with premium fabrics so it's extra comfortable for long (or short) car rides, but I love all of the safety features it has AND it lasts practically forever! It comes with a 12 year warranty and can last your child from birth right on up to 10 years of age (or 5lbs. to 120lbs), making it the one stop shop for all your car seat needs since you'll only need one! Definitely the perfect car seat for any minimalist, those who just cares more about living a waste free less is more lifestyle, and especially those with safety in mind.


It comes in so many beautiful and sophisticated, yet modern, colors to match nearly any color theme such as  Night Black, Midnight Slate, Blue Opal, Emerald Tide and Violet Caspia. I'm personally a neutral lover so we went with Night Black, though I did have my eye on that pretty Emerald Tide, I thought a darker color might be a little more practical for us. Though if you do choose one of the lighter or brighter more colorful seats, it's nice to know that the seat covers are totally removable and machine washable! Yay for making lives a little easier for parents everywhere! The Maxi-Cosi Magellan is such an awesome and innovative new seat that easily transitions between 5 different modes: rear facing for babies, rear facing for toddlers, forward facing for toddlers, forward facing for children, and also a belt positioning booster. The Magellan is also the only convertible car seat equipped with Maxi-Cosi’s patented Adjustable Side Impact Protection, which creates a customized fit for all growth stages and ensures maximum protection in the proper position, so important to me to make sure my babies are safe no matter what are they are.


With the Torso Adjust feature built into the Magellan 5-in-1 convertible car seat, when your little one grows, so does the Magellan! It's the ONLY car seat with adjustable torso side impact protection, meaning that when it grows with them, you can adjust the seat to protect their entire body, not just their head. The first of it's kind on the market. While there are a ton of car seats on the market that say that they are all in one, they don't actually offer backed booster support. While in the high back booster mode, it offers better positioning of the shoulder belts and helps provide support to keep your little ones from slumping over or sliding while in their seat. With the Magellan, you can rest easy knowing that your child is safe wherever your adventures may take you and them, whether it be school, the grocery store, the beach, or a national park.

I simply love that as the global leader in child safety, Maxi-Cosi has protected over 50 million children world-wide, with the mission to keep all families and children safe, ensuring that new families can explore the world together in safety and comfort and that every new baby born into the world promises a bright new and exciting future for our planet and it's inhabitants.


Are you sold on this amazing car seat yet? Because if we didn't already have it, I'm pretty sure I'd be running to go grab one haha. It's available at Target and retails for $349.99, but is currently on sale for $297.50! Best news yet though is that the Magellan is currently on sale for 15% off at Target (every mom's favorite store), and if you participate in Target's Trade-In Event going on from now until May 4, you can actually save a total of 20% on the Magellan if you trade in an old car seat! PLUS - During this week (until 4/28), you can save an additional $50 off of the Magellan, which means a whopping $100+ in savings! Seriously, run, er, drive safely over to Target and grab this car seat while it's on sale because that price is unbeatable! You can also find it on the Target website here.

I already can't wait to see what adventures this car seat accompanies us on this summer (and for years to come)! Where could it take your family?

4.10.2019

EASTER BASKET FAVORITES


Spring is here (finally) and I'm so excited to share our little ones Easter Baskets! I can still hardly believe that I just said baskets instead of basket, it's just the best being a mama to two! I had such a fun time putting these baskets together this year, I went super simple and minimal and I just LOVE how they turned out!


Before Bodhi was born we got him a Blabla kids hand knit doll because I just had a feeling he'd love them. Well, turns out, he loves it even more than I thought he would. His Toutou the dog goes all over our home with him, he's constantly hugging his puppy and usually falls asleep hugging him tightly or holding his paw. It's truly one of the most precious sights, I'm actually thinking of getting him a mini toutou to keep in the car so he'll always have his puppy with him! This Easter I wanted to add to his little collection since he loves his first one so much, so this time I chose Figaro the bird. I just love the bright colors, it's the perfect doll for spring and summer and I can't wait to give this one to him, I know he's going to love it. Bella is also a big fan of Blabla Kids, and loves her dolls from them as well. Currently she's into all things rainbows and unicorns and pink, so this pink rainbow knit pillow is going to be perfect for her and I already can't wait to hear her specious squeals and hear her say "I don't like it, I LOVE it" as she usually does when she really loves something.


Is there anything better than babies in bonnets? I'm pretty sure there isn't. I think we can  also agree that Briar Handmade is the best when it comes to bonnets (each Briar bonnet is proudly hand sewn in the Pacific Northwest right here in the USA), which is why I'm of course including one in Bodhi's basket this year! Their new Bebe Shoreline collection has the prettiest neutrals and soft earthy colors, the Ivory Bandit bonnet is pretty much to die for too. The perfect springtime bonnet!


Wooden toys are some of my most favorite. I love the heirloom quality, the natural feel, the neutral timeless look, and most importantly, I feel they foster such a love of simple play and use of the imagination! A few years back, we got Bella the Spell Well wooden name puzzle from Smiling Tree Toys, so naturally it seemed fitting to get Bodhi one of his own this year for his first Easter basket, the spell well name puzzles are so fun for little ones to play with, but they also double as great room decor! The Smiling Moon Balancer wooden toy is a toy that is going to see so much playtime in our home, I may have already let Bella play with it a time or two haha, and she LOVES it, she's going to love when we "officially" give it to her on Easter. I also grabbed a couple of wooden teethers for Bodhi, because, well, teething is here. He teeths on practically everything, so I thought maybe an actual teether or two might come in handy, I mean, how I could I pass up two teethers as adorable as this Easter egg one or this personalized alphabet teether? Each item that Smiling Tree Toys creates is hand made right here in the US, in rural Minnesota, and I also love that for every item sold, they donate to Peace Corps youth development programs!


Pajamas are one of my favorite gifts for my kiddos, Bella loves choosing a pair of pajamas every night before bed and I love seeing her get excited over which pajamas she's going to choose! Tea Collection is of course one of our favorite clothing brands, and these ice cream print shirt pajamas are buttery soft, perfect for summer with their super fun print and so adorable!


Tubby Todd is a huge part of our daily routine, it's our go-to brand for baby hair and body wash, lotion and of course bubble bath, it's also one of my favorite things to always include in Easter baskets! Their new spring bundle this year is the best! Spring Floral hair and body wash, Lemon Creme everyday lotion, and Sweet Berry bubble bath... I can't decide which one smells most amazing. My favorite thing though is that they're made with all natural and organic ingredients, plant based fragrances, gluten and dairy free, certified animal cruelty free, made in the USA, safe for all skin types including the most sensitive skin types and free of toxins, parabens, sulfates and bpa. Oh! And mamas, the everyday lotion is something you definitely need in your life! It's all I use for my own dry skin these days and it's perfect for pampering your little ones AND yourself!


Literature is a big part of our little ones lives, it's so important to me that my kiddos read and love books. Of course Babylit books are some of our forever favorites. The perfect way to introduce little ones to classic literature, all of the greats, Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, Sherlock Homes, Little Women, as well as all the other book collections they have... the list could go on and on, we have so many good ones in our book collection from Babylit. I especially love that the illustrations are bright and inviting and the words are simple to keep the attention of my kiddos who don't always have the longest attention spans. They've just released a few new titles and I can't wait to give them to Bella and Bodhi in their Easter baskets this next week! I chose a few titles this time around that we haven't read before, this National Parks book from the All Aboard Series, this fun Gotta Go Buffalo book, and this The Adventures of John Muir book and John James Audubon Painted Birds book both from the new Little Naturalists book series!

3.30.2019

TOYS FOR TINY LOVES

This post is sponsored by Tiny Love. I received compensation including free product in exchange for this post and the promotion of Tiny Love and its products. Thanks Tiny Love for sponsoring this post, and thank YOU my readers for reading and supporting my sponsored posts! Sponsored posts such as these help pay bills, buy cloths for our kiddos, sometimes goes into our small savings fund for home stuff for when we buy a home and help our little family do fun things like take zoo trips throughout the year! As always, I only partner with brands that align with our lifestyle and only share about products that we actually love and that I would truly suggest as a great product if we were real life friends chatting in person! :) #momentsofwonder
 
I'm a big fan of things that put smiles on my little ones faces, and Bodhi is currently all about toys. Bella liked toys a little around this age, but Bodhi just can't get enough of them. He's always holding his little rattles, moving them around trying to get them to make noise, hugging his stuffed puppy, chewing on said rattles and puppy. He just really loves toys, so when Tiny Love Toys recently sent us their new Black & White "Magical Tales" Gymini Deluxe Infant Activity Play Mat, we were all a little excited!


He just LOVES playing with all of the little toys that hang down and he is absolutely enthralled with the soft take along book that comes with it, he stares at it for the longest time. He loves laying on the soft mat and looking up at the toys hanging from the arches of the overhead gym, and especially loves reaching up and hitting the rattles and hearing them make sounds! He especially loves the wind chime rattle!


As a mama, I'm loving how uniquely versatile the Magical Tales Gymini Deluxe is! The adjustable moving arches that adapt to baby's age and stage of development and encourage fine motor skills from day one. Features like the baby activated musical toy, the different textures, colors and shades.. it all keeps our baby boy engaged and excited to learn! The little ribbons on the side of the mat  are great for drawing babies attention during tummy time and the mirror is great because we all know babies love looking at other babies, even if that "other baby" is themselves haha. Though we just got it, I already regret not having it sooner and I feel like we're going to get a lot of use out of it!


To be honest, I hadn't heard of the Tiny Love brand until recently, but I'm loving them now that I have. Have you heard of them? Maybe you're already a fan of their products? If not, here are a few fun facts I learned about Tiny Love: Tiny Love is an award winning international children's brand creating developmental toys and baby products designed for the growth and development of little brains. I also learned and love that each of their product collections feature their "tiny pioneers" family which encourage discovery and exploration of the world around us. each character inspired by real people in history that paved the way for great discoveries, like Nikola skunk (named after Nikola Tesla), Marie hedgehog (named after Marie Curie), Isaac bear (named after Sir Isaac Newton), and more!


Tiny Love also also includes features in their products that that meant to encourage the growth of what they like to call "the 7 Developmental Wonders" (more on that below) which are a set of comprehensive guidelines for baby development milestones and the perfect tool for helping parents grow with their babies and both learn along the way.

Okay, so what exactly are the 7 Developmental Wonders? Here's the official list:

Cognition – Cognitive skills are the mental processes through which we understand our world. Understanding the stages of cognitive development can help you guide your child through the wondrous adventure of learning.

Language and Communication – Language and other forms of communication enable us to share our ideas, thoughts and feelings.

Fine Motor Skills – Fine motor skills are related to the hand, palm and finger muscles
as well as to the muscles surrounding the mouth and eyes. As baby grows, it is important to ensure that fine motor skills develop in sync with emotional and physical maturity.

Senses – Through our five senses, we receive information from our surroundings and process it through our cognitive skills. Our senses open the world before us and help expand the scope of our understanding at every turn.

Gross Motor Skills – Gross motor skills are related to the muscles in charge of the less delicate functions our bodies perform, such as sitting, crawling, walking and more. Learn all about this significant aspect of baby’s physical development. 

Imagination and Creativity – Imagination is our ability to mentally produce images, ideas, thoughts and even feelings that do not exist in reality and that are not available to our senses. Creativity is the process of transforming imagination into reality and the ability that allows us to improvise, take initiative and solve problems.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – Social and emotional intelligence has a profound influence on future success. Understanding the basics of EQ can help you encourage your child’s emotional development and create a healthy basis for growing and learning.


So in addition to all of the great things I mentioned above that we love about the Tiny Love brand and their Gymini Deluxe product we chose, we also like that with the magical tales collection, you don't have to choose between products that have style and fit into your home and products that feature interactive development features. The Magical Tales Collection has both with it's stylish monochromatic black and white design that fits perfectly with any style. Oh! I almost forgot to mention the 3 different modes that the Gymini Deluxe offers:

Lying: While on their backs, babies will enjoy the overhead gym and practice reaching out and batting the cute little animal rattles and hanging toys to promote motor skills, understanding of cause and effect, and great cognition development.

Tummy Time: the awesome mirror, fun little satin ribbons, contrasting design and other features are perfect for helping extend tummy time and encourage gross motor skills.

Sit and Play (we'e not quite ready for this stage yet): When sitting up, baby can continue exploring the toys and enjoy their more complex features.


While I'd love to be able to hold Bodhi constantly (I'm a mama who likes to keep her babies close), with also being a mama to a 5 year old little girl, having a home to keep in running order and trying finding time to take a quick shower every now and again it's just not always feasible. So the Gymini Deluxe is the perfect way to entertain our baby boy for a little bit while I load the dishwasher or make dinner, and all of the features that help his little brain grow and develop are the biggest added bonus in my book. Another thing that's great for this busy mom is that the Gymini play mat is machine washable so win-win, if it get's covered in drool or spit-up on, all I have to do it un-snap the overhead gym from it and throw it in the wash, so convenient!

Which feature of the Gymini Deluxe Play Mat most caught your eye? Make sure to head here to find out all about the Magical Tales Collection and head here (to amazon) to check out the Gymini Deluxe and grab one for your little one or as the perfect baby shower gift!