Instagram Worthy Baby Brands On Amazon: Baby Registry

January 7, 2017

While looking for toys and products to furnish our little one’s room I wanted to be able to curate a list of products that would fit the bill of being safe and useful for our wee babe and also be cute, unique and of course “Instagram worthy”.  However, all of the cutest boutiques typically charge a shipping rate, naturally, I don’t blame them and it makes complete sense to me. That being said, it is hard for me to pay shipping rates, ever. – For that extra $7-$15 I could buy another toy/bow/etc. and what if the product isn’t up to snuff or exactly what you expected?

I set up my main baby registry on Amazon because a Prime membership really allows you to order without the concern of, “will I really like this?” There are other brands I have found to love and will write a separate post for those soon!

Pehr Designs – Adorable canvas bins for toys, laundry storage, as well as crib sheets, changing pad covers and amazing mobiles that are drool-worthy for mommas and babies.

Ali & Oli – I got some black wooden eyelashes for above the crib from these guys, they are well made and add another dimension other than simply putting art on the walls you can find them here.

JellyCat – The softest stuffed animals and lovies. Simple enough.

Finn + Emma – Wooden teething toys, carseat toys, play gyms, the most adorable little rattles, of course clothing.

Natursutten – Alright I’m a FTM (first time mom) so I don’t personally have experience with these pacifiers but they are BPA Free, natural rubber and have rave reviews. Looking forward to trying them out for myself; or at least having baby try them, not sure that I can gauge the quality of how awesome a pacifier is to suck on by sticking it in my own mouth.

Little Unicorn – This was the first baby brand I found. I actually saw this blanket on Anthropologie’s site first and became enamored. I am an Anthro girl through and through but to avoid the price mark up, Amazon is a great place. I will include more about them and where to buy in my post that isn’t limited to Amazon too but wanted to mention them here. Their products are wonderful, especially the deluxe muslin. I have a few bibs, swaddles, a towel, the blanket (duh) etc. and can’t wait for them to release more prints.

Design Dua – These baskets have a great story, I love that I will be able to take it with us wherever we go, camping, hotel rooms, mom’s house etc. and she will always get to sleep in her regular bed (at least in my ideal vision without knowing what our baby’s personality will be like). Not to mention they are adorable and add aesthetic to any room. I also know that after baby is too big to sleep in it, it will still make for a fun toy, a boat, place to put toys etc.

Rylee & Cru – I am in love with the styles of their cute little bonnets and bloomers. Particularly the pixie and popcorn styles. While I don’t actually have any in my possession yet I will soon and can update with the texture and fit.

BlaBla Kids – I have a couple of their crib sheets and they work perfectly on our mattress, they are soft, cute and they have amazing dolls that I am coveting too!

L’ovedbaby – These organic onesies and clothing items are so soft and wonderful quality. They do run a little small so I would size up. 

Niteo – Again, soft, organic and oh so cozy onesies and socks.

Manhattan Toy – Colorful and engaging toys, we have the winkle rattle and the wooden balls for our little bub

Freshly Picked – The most adorable gender neutral moccasins for your little one that won’t fall off their feet and add some flare to any outfit. All my friends rave about these, and say how much better they are than any knock-offs they have tried. If you opt for a neutral color they’ll go with every outfit, making them definitely worth the price.

I will keep adding more brands as I come across them! Are there any I missed and should look into myself?

Thirty Weeks Pregnant

January 1, 2017

I can’t believe I am already thirty weeks pregnant. 3/4 of the way down, only 68 more days to go – give or take. CRAZY!

I have been so lucky during this pregnancy, no complications, minimal symptoms, just a growing belly with a healthy kicking baby that loves to move around. I hope I’m not jinxing myself, I hear the worst is yet to come; whether it’s those final few weeks, labor, or postpartum. –I can’t imagine not loving having this little girl in our arms though! I’ll take whatever is coming my way, sleepless nights, soreness, hormonal changes etc. bring it on. As long as she is healthy and happy, (and hopefully a good sleeper 😉 ).

We are getting close to finishing the nursery and just need the final touches, will have more details in another post on that soon!

OH and let’s add clumsiness to the list of symptoms at thirty weeks. I have been tripping, spilling and have even slipped and completely wiped out on my butt in the past week. Working on making sure I’m always holding on to the railing at this point to avoid anything more disastrous.

On a final note, Happy New Year everyone!

Third Trimester: 28 Weeks Pregnant

December 18, 2016

Holy Moly, we are in the third trimester at 28 weeks. I can’t decide if it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever, or if it’s been speeding by. All I know is that I find myself battling between enjoying this time and counting the days until our little babe is here.

We went to mammoth with our family this week, last time we went most of the snow had melted so it was wonderful to get to see it as a winter wonderland this time around. Of course, I stayed inside for most of the time since I am banned from snowboarding. (Alright I admit even if I was allowed I probably would have skipped it). Instead I got to fulfill my baby fever by watching my sweet niece and our little girl’s future best friend, Avery, who is 2.5 months old.

Third Trimester – Symptoms:

  • Sore ribs: Ugh, I know it’s minor but my ribs, particularly on my right side are completely bruised.
  • Nesting: Definitely nesting, I just want to make the house perfect. However, since we just moved in May, there is a lot left to do and on one income, at least for now, it makes it really hard not to spend money on the extra things. These include art and decor, toys for our wee one and other items that would help with convenience but we are obviously surviving without. – Just gotta wait for those sales!
  • Sleeplessness: I guess I should just take it in stride, (and just get used to it already) but every night I wake up for a few hours and can’t fall asleep/get comfortable. Seems like it’s normal with all the changes happening, I literally have to throw my belly side to side to flip over in the bed.

I’ll add to the list if I think of anything else, but this is all that comes to mind right now.

fullsizerender-4 fullsizerender-5 img_2498 img_8145 img_9861

 

Grand Canyon Road Trip

November 27, 2016
Antelope Canyon

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we decided to take some time to check off another bucket list item before this little girl gets here. We opted to do a “Grand Canyon road trip” through Southern Utah and Northern Arizona to see a few of the national sights on our way to San Diego, where we ultimately celebrated Thanksgiving with Andrew’s side of the family.

We had a lot we wanted to see and covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. I’m sure we would have loved to add a few more stops but being preggo and it being cold outside is slightly limiting as far as intensity of activities and flexibility to camp where-ever. May not be such a great idea to camp in the snow on a deflated air mattress while lugging around those extra lbs on your belly. Don’t ask, but I will say, getting in and out of an air mattress that isn’t completely firm is near impossible while expecting. – If I may though, I have to give myself credit for being ok camping and sitting in a car for 2000+ miles considering the circumstances.

The ride was well worth it. Here are the stops we made:

Death Valley: Our first stop was in Death Valley. Here we stayed at Stovepipe Wells a first-come first-serve campground with a solo bar and general store. We arrived as the sun was going down and got to see an amazing light show by way of the infinite stars and when we left in the morning got to walk out through the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes. 

Zion National Park: Our first day here we were able to do a couple hikes through the park and overnight it started to storm. On our way out, due to the flash flooding, we were in for a treat because the entire national park turns into a bed of a million waterfalls. – Anywhere you can imagine water pouring, there is. It was quite incredible. I am just sorry I don’t have any good images capturing the beauty of it.

Antelope Canyon: It was actually quite pricy to get in here, about $46 per person, which to me is a lot for what lasted about 30 minutes. The land formations are unlike any other though, and I don’t regret splurging to have checked it off our list. Our guide was really informative and, due to the rain, which miraculously let up as soon as we got inside, the crowds had dispersed leaving us to take some really wonderful pictures without interruption.

Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe bend was one of the most beautiful places. We were standing on top of the cliffs and it simply didn’t look real. The photo where I am sitting on the ledge I remember thinking, and it took a moment to realize how small and vulnerable we are in this huge and incredible world.

Monument Valley: Monument Valley closes around 4:30 in the wintertime so I would definitely recommend looking into that before you go. We got there at 4:31 and after a little shameless begging, somehow, convinced the lady at the gate to let us in. We had currently been watching WestWorld which made us appreciate the amazing monuments even more.

Grand Canyon: BRR! We got up early for some sunrise pictures, froze our fingers and noses and didn’t even get anything worthy – you won’t see any of the pictures we took here. However, it was definitely awe inspiring to actually be there overlooking the landscape as the sun woke up.

fullsizerender-31 fullsizerender-35 img_0799 img_0850 img_0206 fullsizerender-30 fullsizerender-33  img_1117 fullsizerender-29 fullsizerender-39 fullsizerender-36 fullsizerender-32 fullsizerender-34 img_1376   fullsizerender-38

It’s a girl!

October 30, 2016
it's a girl, gender reveal

I had moved up my anatomy scan appointment from 21 weeks to 18 weeks because I just couldn’t wait any longer and, believe it or not, it’s a girl!

Or so they say… I am still a little hesitant to commit to the idea for sure, just because I wanted it, and I know there is a chance, albeit small, but nonetheless a chance they may be wrong. However, we (my mother, Andrew and I) were all in the room and there was nothing there between those legs, except for an umbilical cord; they show you the fluid going through it to differentiate to avoid any confusion. Additionally, there was no mistaking the three lines that indicate girl parts.

Andrew’s first words: “You really know how to get what you want”. I guess we had a 50/50 chance of getting a girl even if Shettle’s Theory didn’t work for us. You can read about my prediction using nub theory here.

I’m so excited to finally be able to place a gender to this growing nugget though! Let the shopping begin!

By the way, we got to reveal to everyone on Halloween in our awesome, yet simple, unicorn outfits; Andrew was super into it, haha just kidding, but what a trooper. 🙂

 

 

fullsizerender-10 fullsizerender-11 fullsizerender-12

It's a girl ultrasound

Nub Theory

October 5, 2016
Nub Theory Girl

Before I got pregnant I had read that nub theory is one of the ways that doctors can predict gender at week 12 without a 3D ultrasound. Most doctors, however, won’t comment at this point because it isn’t 100% accurate, closer to 94%, from what I have read. At our nuchal translucency test I specifically asked for a picture that showed the nub and have been excruciatingly analyzing it ever since.

I openly admit that I went into this pregnancy hoping for a girl. While I will love all of my children no matter what (I feel like this should go without saying) I have always pictured my first child as a daughter and have felt like this was a fact  I have known my whole life. I realize this is crazy and I would consider myself a scientific person, you can’t dream your child into existence, but I knew how disappointed I would be if I never got the girl that I have dreamed my whole life for. Additionally, I knew that having that girl first would take any pressure off of our subsequent children because, of course I would love to have a son too. All of this being said, we used Shettle’s Method when trying for a baby and hence my reason for spending hours scouring all of Google for the secret clues in our ultrasound.

Here is a post that I wrote for a forum for what I have learned and how I came to my conclusion that based off of this theory we are having a girl:

“I initially read the obvious, the angle from the lower back:
Greater than 30 degrees = boy
Parallel or less = girl
Then, after curiosity got the best of me, I posted here and immediately got the three boy responses above which threw me through a loop. Why, if my nub looks so parallel, am I getting the opposite guess? I started learning about forks and stacking.
Stacking, from my understanding, is the small line(s) above the nub that indicate the beginning of a scrotum, some people say they look like stones being stacked. (Again, please correct me if I’m wrong.)
Forks are where it the nub seems to split at the end and don’t necessarily mean one gender or the other, though this is where the confusion comes in for me about whether my nub was “stacked” or “forked”.
Some of the most useful information I found, however, is that the lines on an ultrasound show something is round. That being said, if you color in the shape of the nub and the line you draw across the top (not the bottom of what you have colored in), can indicate the angle that is being used to determine the gender.
Below is a second image, only slightly different. I have drawn the lines and colored in the nub to double check that it doesn’t actually go up (and then moved what I colored in out of the way so you can actually see what’s under it, hence the odd green phallic shape lol.)
Anyway! If anyone is more knowledgable I’d love to hear because, believe it or not, I may have exhausted Google’s extent on nub stacks vs forks! >.<“
Maybe this will help someone else but I couldn’t find information written out in this manner anywhere on the internet. You can find the entire forum post here.
fullsizerender-7 Nub Theory Girl

Italy – Positano, Amalfi Coast

September 25, 2016

Positano was like a dream. Cute shops and boutiques overlooking the mediterranean, salty sea water, fresh salami and prosciutto, basil, tomato sandwiches, cotton candy sunsets, and what feels like a million stairs to climb.

I have always been inspired by the mediterranean for my home decor so I was in heaven for the three days that we were in Positano and on the Amalfi Coast. I just want arches of morning glory and bougainvillea dripping from my fence. – Luckily both of these grow pretty easily around here so perhaps next summer I can make my vision come to life.

We dipped our toes and floated in the sea, looked for sea glass, made some friends and on our last night we attended the locals’ annual fish festival, listened to live music, and worn out and sun-toasted passed out in our beds only to be woken up a few short hours later to the booming of a major firework show right outside our balcony. Ugh, take me back to Positano right now please.

 

Positano Lunch in Positano Positano Landscape Positano Franco's Bar Positano Pregnant Mediterranean Positano landscape Positano landscape Positano steps Positano Sunset Positano Positano Positano Positano

Italy – Tuscany, San Gimingano and Siena

September 22, 2016

As I mentioned last time, we spent a day taking a guided tour through Tuscany, San Gimingano and Siena. While we were extremely worn out by the end of the day it was a really wonderful way to get to see all of these places with someone knowledgable to show us around and teach us about the difference cultures, wines, histories, architectures etc. For example, did you know that Siena was a gothic city? Now you know ;-).

San Gimingano was a small medieval village that is, unfortunately, completely taken over by tourism. That being said, I realize it’s hypocritical that we took a tour there, and we did get an immersive experience, visiting cafes where Andrew and Aileen got wine, and I got chocolate.

Note: unless you REALLY love pepper don’t opt for peperone rossa chocolate. Contrary to my assumption, this does not mean you are buying some exotic rose flavored Italian chocolate… I am not a picky person but didn’t feel right throwing away expensive chocolate but every time we opened our bags the [incredibly potent] smell would overcome us until we finally gave up and tossed it.

Tuscany we got to wine taste (well Aileen and Andrew did) real Chianti in the Chianti region and eat lunch overlooking the rolling hills.

Siena was an amazing little town with gothic architecture and a wonderful history. I love that there has become a mix of buildings that are so archaic and modern shops in so much of Europe. It is so much more immersive, like you really feel as if you get to be a part of history; unique from having to stand behind a bunch of ropes and just look.

 

tuscany-trip-42 tuscany-trip-39 tuscany-trip-36 tuscany-trip-3 Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. tuscany-trip-29

Italy – Florence

September 21, 2016

I received insight from so many people that despite Florence being walkable, it was worth staying there longer than we did Rome. We were trying to decide where we wanted to spend three nights and I am really glad with our decision to stay here for the time we did. This allowed us to take a day trip to see the Tuscan countryside, Siena and San Gimignano, which I will post about in a separate update. Between the friendly pigeons, historic sights and architecture, delicious food and amazing street music we had an amazing time. The only thing I missed out on was being able to consume wine on the streets, a good trade for the opportunity to go with our little babe. – Already so well traveled!

I think one of the most magical moments in Florence was when we were walking through the streets and stumbled upon three string instruments being played in the courtyard of the Ufizzi Gallery. We had a chance to just sit and enjoy the beauty and really absorb the culture.

Aside from finding hole in the wall restaurants the one big name meal we would recommend getting is La Giostra, order the pear ravioli and you won’t be disappointed! Yum!! Ironically, we also had really good ramen in Florence, right by our AirBnB. It was what changed Andrew’s mind, he wasn’t a big fan prior.

Again we were able to walk all of Florence, and did so numerous times, twice (again) with our suitcases, those poor suckers really held up well!

a93b9fab-f254-46e7-945a-627df38d8287 b72e8f00-6254-4376-af9b-28f6b2050a77 Processed with Snapseed. c3da646c-38d4-4479-842f-192e859eac82  e91c9240-2320-4a56-a762-47a1b8d4c6f6 e55922f6-9597-4ab6-b2ce-d654d857a120  ff7d5666-34e6-43c0-8825-0619bd28acd5 Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. florence-13

florence-15 florence-16 florence-22 florence-28 florence-33 florence-45 cd288ef3-d264-4aed-a1f0-a27d01e6a723florence-48

Italy – Venice

September 18, 2016

We had been anticipating going to Italy for 10 months. I bought our tickets last February after I got a new job, Andrew had never been to Europe and I was excited to get to see the parts of the Mediterranean that has long inspired my home decor tastes. Due to the limitations of Andrew’s rigorous job, we had ten days to squeeze in as much as we could of the historic and scenic country from Venice to Positano.

Here is our itinerary:

1 night in Venice

3 nights in Florence

2 nights in Rome

2 nights in Positano

1 night in Naples

After all of our anticipation, as travel does, our trip’s start didn’t get off on the right foot. Our first flight was delayed which would have caused us to miss our connection. Long story short, we didn’t get to Venice until 12 hours after we were planning. Hence why all of our pictures are during the night time and very early morning.

Venice is incredibly magical with hidden secrets around every corner, and when they say Venice is a city to get lost in, that’s exactly what you do there. You might think you are going west and somehow find yourself going north. Either way, we were able to walk around the entire island, to our AirBnB and then to the train station – even while dragging around our suitcases.

We took a water taxi to the island where we had to get off at the Ospedale stop which Andrew pronounced osen-dayle in his very Californian accept ::forehead smack:: it took us about 48 hours to realize that ospedale actually means hospital in Italian; which explains why the first place we walked into, looked like some sort of campus, with everyone dressed in white…. Imagine someone walking into a hospital with their suitcases asking where they are. Ah memories.

Now excuse my photo dump:

863405b2-fb7e-482f-9f16-7bcc3af934db Processed with Snapseed.venice-1venice-2venice-3Processed with Snapseed.

Holding the wine for effect, don’t worry I only tasted it 😉

Processed with Snapseed.

Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed. Processed with Snapseed.