Thursday, October 30, 2014

Newborn Must Haves

Collins is eight weeks old. Whaaaat?! Already?! Yes, already. It's crazy.

There are more than a few baby gadgets that have made these first eight weeks easier and I am thankful to have had them. While babies really do just need the essentials, a few extra items can make your life with a newborn a lot easier.

1. Footie pajamas- Collins wears pajamas all day, every day and so do I. Unless it's a special occasion or outing, it's pajamas for her. I bought cute onesies but she never wears them because it's just too cold in Colorado for short sleeves and who wants to wear pants? DLW prefers her in pajamas with a zipper while I like the snaps that go down both legs. Don't waste your money on adorable outfits for a newborn- pajamas are super cute and practical.

2. Sound Sleeper white noise app- I downloaded this app one night when Collins was fighting sleep and it is now downloaded on every device we own. We use the "shhh" and "womb" sounds most often to help her fall asleep. It's great to have this handy on our phones if we are out and about and she starts to get fussy.

3. Boppy pillow- I used my Boppy a lot when I was first getting the hang of breastfeeding but stopped using it after a couple weeks. I recently rediscovered just how fantastic it is to have something to support my arm while nursing. I received two Boppy pillows as gifts and kept them both to have one on each floor of the house. It has been so nice to have two and not be constantly going up and down the stairs to get a pillow when she's ready to eat.

4. Halo SleepSack- Like I said, it's cold in Colorado. Collins definitely needs an extra layer at night and SleepSacks keep her warm and safe. She has a SleepSack swaddler and a micro-fleece too.

5. Waterproof changing pad liners- These are probably my #1 registry suggestion. We have three liners and are constantly washing them; sometimes we have to wash all three at once. Collins has a tendency to "use the restroom" in between diapers and these are so easy to just pick up, throw in the washer, and replace with a new one.

6. Wipe warmer- I've heard people say a wipe warmer is a waste of money but I stand by ours 100%. Collins' room is the coldest in the house and no one likes a cold wipe on their tushy.

7. Fisher-Price Rock n' Play- This is on everyone's must have list and I totally agree. We use it EVERY DAY. Collins takes naps and just hangs out in there. It's a safe place to set her down if I need two hands and it's light enough to carry up and down the stairs.

8. Diaper Genie- I've heard people say Diaper Genies are a waste of money also but I stand by ours 100% too. I can't smell her stinky diapers and I will spend the extra $$$ for that. It is also puppy proof; the last thing I need is a dog in the dirty diaper pail.

9. Gerber burp cloths- These are my favorite because they are terrycloth on one side and soft cotton on the other. They are absorbent, soft for wiping her face, and the perfect size.

10. Graco Snugrider carseat stroller- Carseats are heavy! How many times have you seen a new mom struggling to carry her infant carseat and everything else she needs? Too many. Don't be her. Invest in a stroller frame for your infant carseat and make your life easier. I keep this in my car and it's super light. I roll this right into Target, the doctor's office, and anywhere else I need to go.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Roasted Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pure Via®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PureViaSweet
It is my favorite season; sweet potato season. I will eat sweet potatoes in any form but this recipe is one of my favorites. Bite size chunks roasted in balsamic vinegar with a butter and sweetener. Yum.

The holidays are sneaking up on us and with holiday meals, the extra pounds can sneak up on us too. To save calories in this recipe, I picked up Pure Via Stevia at Wal-Mart. Pure Via has ZERO calories. ZERO. Does it get better than that? Nope. Right now you can save $.55 on one (1) Pure Via® Non-GMO, All Natural, Zero Calorie 40 Ct. Packets at Wal-Mart using this coupon while supplies last. 
1 Tbsp Pure Via Stevia (8 packets)
1 Tsp molasses
1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp salt
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into bite size pieces

1. Preheat oven to 400*
2. In a large skillet, bring balsamic vinegar, Pure Via, and molasses to a boil. Stirring until Pure Via is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add butter and salt. Stir until butter melts.
4. Add sweet potatoes to skillet and stir until well coated.
5. Spread potatoes on baking sheet coated in cooking spray.
6. Bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
7. Serve and enjoy!
In addition to the coupon, you can also take advantage of a free song and cookbook/songbook download from Jewel. Check out Pure Via on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about this natural alternative to sugar.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Perfect Fall Friday & Other Weekend Fun

I feel a little silly doing weekend recaps posts anymore because every day is a weekend for me but I still look forward to Friday and having two full days with DLW home.
Okay so this is actually from Thursday but like I said, every day is a weekend for me. DLW does not have to get up early Thursday mornings so we all sleep in and I get a little bit of "me time." I hit up Hobby Lobby, Old Navy, and Starbucks.
Can you believe this little thing is already 7 weeks old?! She will actually be 8 weeks Tuesday night.
 A perfect Fall Friday night includes burgers, fries, and hard cider.
Collins is ready for next Friday in her Halloween jammies. I know, the bow is ridiculous but I love it.
 It was unseasonably warm in Colorado this weekend and I am soaking up every last bit of sunshine and warmth.
We took a family walk with the pups and I decided to give our Solly Wrap another try. Collins wasn't a huge fan at first but once I let her sit with her legs out she was much happier.
The Gamecocks played Saturday night so of course she had to wear her monogrammed outfit and another giant bow.
Sundays are for couch sitting in our house. These two are already forever friends and I can't get over how great Sadie has been with Collins. Pay no attention to her magnetic jammies not doing their job.
 I roasted some tasty sweet potatoes for a post this week- come back Tuesday for the recipe.
  • What are your favorite stores to hit up on a "mommy break"?
  • Are you a hard cider fan? It's all we drink these days.

Friday, October 24, 2014

How To Make Your House Look Clean (without actually cleaning)

Disclaimer: I received one bouquet for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive $10 if you make a purchase using this link.

I can't think of a time I ever received flowers before I met DLW. He brings me flowers on special occasions but sometimes it's nice to have flowers around the house "just because." I love how flowers can brighten up your home and in my opinion, make it look like your house is clean without actually cleaning it.

I received my flowers from The Bouqs on the promised delivery date and was impressed by the sleek package. How can there be flowers in this skinny box? Also, how do they ship flowers and keep them alive? Magic?
I opened the box and followed the illustrated instructions. I am terrible with flowers so the simple directions were very helpful. I arranged my The Great Pumpkin bouquet in a vase and was impressed by the bright colors of the flowers. Every flower was alive and waiting to bloom.
The flowers began to bloom that day and have stayed bright and lively for over a week. The bouquet completed our fall tablescape and made the perfect backdrop for DLW's birthday festivities.
I was so impressed with my flowers from The Bouqs that I ordered a bouquet for my mom on her birthday. They were delivered as promised and look great on her table in Florida.
The Bouqs offers overnight shipping on select bouquets which is awesome if you forget a special occasion. Delivery is free (even overnight) and the prices are comparable to any florist. The flowers are high quality and 100 times nicer than anything you can pick up at the grocery store on the way home. They will also remind you of birthdays/anniversaries/special occasions in the future so you will never forget again.

In addition to reminders, The Bouqs offers a concierge service that will automatically send flowers on days you designate. I thought this would be the perfect service for military spouses to send flowers while deployed. He (or she) can select to send flowers on your birthday, anniversary, Mother's Day, or just because. The flowers will be automatically sent on the designated days and he doesn't have to remember to order them from overseas.
I am so impressed by The Bouqs and their gorgeous arrangements. I will use The Bouqs in the future and encourage DLW to sign up for their reminder service. I don't want to end up with the last bouquet at the grocery store on Valentine's Day. Again.

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