Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite Things: The Honest Company

A few of my favorite things: Honest Company
A few of my favorite things: Honest Company
A few of my favorite things: Honest Company

A couple months after Beck was born I ordered the free trial of a couple bundles from the honest company (they still have the offer available on their website, you just pay for shipping!) and I fell in love with the stuff. I was already pretty strict about what products we used in our home before we had Beck and after I was even more crazy about it. Chemicals freak me out... why are so many baby products loaded with them?? It's insane. So we ordered the diaper/wipe bundle and cleaning bundle. All that to say, I've loved every single honest product I've tried so when they asked to be a sponsor this month I couldn't reply soon enough with a big fat YES.

I've used tooons of their product—I love that you can get everything for baby and your house and your self and more. One stop shop = amazing.

If I had to pick favorites, these four would the top the list:

Multi-surface cleaner - I use this for everything—kitchen counters, high chair, bathroom surfaces, coffee table, everywhere. No need to have 10 different cleaning bottles. Also, babies touch everything and then of course hands go straight to the mouth, I love knowing he's not getting chemical residue in his mouth every other minute.

Wipes - These are thick, absorbent, smell good but my favorite thing about them: you can use them on faces too! Did you know most baby wipes say specifically Do not use on face?? Not so here, I wipe away his messy face on the daily with these. I've also been known to use them to remove my make-up from time to time ;)

Face+Body Lotion - This stuff is SO GOOD. It's what I use on him, it's what I use on me! It's super gentle but actually moisturizing (novel idea right?) and it smells so. dang. good.

Healing Balm - And last but definitely not least, the healing balm is one of my most recommended products for babies. We used it on scratches and the weird rashes babies get as newborns. We also use it on diaper rash, chapped lips or skin, cuts/scrapes/bites, and I've heard it can really help out with baby eczema. A little goes a looong way and the tube will last forever (not really but a very long time!). And randomly, the tube is Beck's favorite thing to hold and chew on during a diaper change. Win, win.

We  you Honest Co!

A few of my favorite things: Honest Company
A few of my favorite things: Honest Company

As stated above, this post is sponsored by The Honest Company. All opinions and words are my own and I'm super grateful to have the opportunity to work with a company I truly believe in. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Read Hands Free Mama with me!

Read Hands Free Mama with Me

So I mentioned this book awhile back and how it was rocking my world, in the best and worse way. I never finished it because I got "too busy" but probably more accurately I was feeling a little guilty as I read through each chapter (which is kind of the point!).  But again recently I've been finding myself distracted SO MUCH every day. I knew it was bad when I caught myself trying to look at my phone and brush my teeth at the same time. Ughhh. It's not like I even care about Twitter/Instagram/etc. THAT much... Why do we do this??? So I was like Yep I definitely need to unplug a little and start reading that book again and invite people to do it with me so I know I'll actually stick to it this time. 

So here we are! It's a really quick and easy read, about five pages a day at the pace I'm hoping to do.
2 chapters a week, for six weeks (so 12 chapters all together). And there are little challenges sprinkled throughout each chapter, I think she calls them Intentions.  Things like getting off your phone for a certain amount of time everyday (ie: Don't look at your phone from dinner till bedtime) or letting go of your to-do list for the day. 

The point isn't to give up these things altogether because they can actually be good things and helpful at times, but to not let them to run your entire life. It's about so much more than not looking at instagram or watching tv all day, its about freeing up your time to do things that matter, prioritizing  and investing in your relationships and friendships. That said, the book is little cheesy at times but I like cheese so thats ok ;)

So do you want to join me in reading this and doing it together? I need the accountability!

If you're in, you can get the book from amazon. It's less than $10 for paperback, or kindle for $8. Read the first two chapters by next Monday. And maybe we can have a discussion in the comments next week? Not sure about that detail yet...But let's interact on social media too. If you post to Instagram/facebook/twitter an inspiring quote or something that was especially awesome, tag me in it! (vanillaandlace)


Also!! You totally don't have to be a mom to do this. Its just as applicable to anyone else, I promise! Just really useful ideas for how to live a distracted free life. 



The amazon page has better descriptions of the book than I could write so read that too! If you have any questions, let me know! 


Heres to more moments like this...
Moments Like This

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Favorite Baby Gear—Birth to 3 Months

Favorite Baby Gear–Birth-3 Months
Yep, time for one of these posts! I spent SO MUCH TIME looking at posts about what to register for, or suggested lists but these types of posts were the most helpful... just the ordinary things you actually use everyday and why you liked them.


Sleeping:

Munchkin Sound Machine - This little white noise machine has proven to be quite amazing for being so inexpensive. We've used it every day since we brought him home and probably will continue for years. We mostly only use it for the white noise but it also has a projector which we use from time to time. White noise—I love you.

Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor - We went back and forth on what kind of monitor to get and finally landed on this one and I'm SO happy we did. When you're a new parent you're freaked out constantly... what if he stops breathing?! Not only is this a quality sound monitor but it has a pad that goes under the mattress that is so sensitive it can detect BREATHING... and an alarm will go off if there hasn't been movement for 15 seconds. It's peace of mind and the security I needed. It also tells you the temperature of the room and other fun things. We obviously still use this everyday too.


Moses Basket and Basket Stand/RockerMoses Basket - We borrowed these from a friend and loved it. We'll definitely want one of these for baby #2 (whenever that day comes). It was nice to have a cozy space for him to lay wherever I was in the house (I put it on the kitchen table while I made dinner in the early newborn days) and the rocker stand was next to my side of the bed and he slept there for the first couple months. Plus its really darn cute... a baby in a basket? Yes please.

Aden + anais Bamboo Swaddle Blanket 3 Pack - These are the softest swaddle blankets you'll ever touch and they are incredible. Perfect to swaddle in the earliest days, a great lightweight blanket for summer, and best of all, it doubles as a nursing cover (tie two corners together and slip the opening over your head, or just tuck one corner into your bra strap). Again, we still use these every day... for everything.

SwaddleMe wraps - These were a life saver!! He couldn't bust out of these until he was much older. It makes swaddling super quick and keeps them cozy and warm and sleeping sound. We had 3 so that we were never without one if there was a blowout or two...

Circo sheets - Cheap and cute... Target does it again. All of our crib sheets are these circo sheets. We have a few white and a few of these polka dot ones (which are my favorite)

Bath:

California Baby Shampoo & Bodywash - My favorite favorite favorite baby shampoo and wash. It may seem a little pricey but the 19oz bottle will no doubt last us an entire YEAR. We've been using it since day one and there's still over 1/4 bottle left. He gets a bath everyday (sometimes twice) and I even use it as a face wash every night. It is my favorite smell in the world. If they ever discontinue this I will be sad forever.

Puj Tub  - THE BEST tub for tiny baby baths. It was so nice to not be bent over, or having to fill up a seperate tub and worry about the water getting cold. Baby bathtubs have always terrified me but the puj cradles them so well I didn't worry once. We borrowed this from a friend but then bought our own because I loved it so much. 

Feeding:

Comotomo Bottle  - This is the only bottle we've ever had so I don't have a lot to compare it to but we love, he loves it. They say its a good bottle to introduce if you're breastfeeding since it has a soft body (like a boob.. haha). I don't pump consistently, only when I know I'll be gone during a feed so he doesn't use the bottle that often which is we literally only have one, but alas, I like it and its kinda cute and when it was hot I would put water in it and squirt him with it so I guess it doubles as a squirt gun too ;)

Gerber cloth diapers/burp rags - Don't waste money on cutesy burp rags because these are as good as they come! They are cheap, super durable, soft on the face and very absorbent. Win, win win. He doesn't spit up anymore but we still use them often for other things like wiping his hands/face or cleaning his toys.

Tommee Tippee Clear Pacifier - 2PK - These are his favorite and I liked that they didn't have obnoxious designs all over them. I'm a big fan of pacifiers, for obvious reasons, but also because babies just look so darn cute with them in their mouth.

On-the-Go Diaper Changing Kit Lifesaver item right here. Stick a few diapers and wipes in here so you can change them on a surface you know to be clean and not disgusting when you're out and about. The pull-down thingies in bathrooms gross me out, no joke I've heard of stores reporting that druggies use them to shoot up, so I've never used one. I would use this in the car or on the floor over one of those things.

Gear:

Graco SnugRide Car Seat - We liked having this kind of carseat because he ALWAYS fell asleep in it (still does actually) and it would've been such a pain to wake him up to get him out everywhere we went. It's also pretty lightweight which is nice since you carry it a lot. I wish they would've had this black one, I like it better than our orange one but oh well. Also, its on super sale right now for $114, thats crazy! (No I don't work for Graco... but maybe I should)

4moms MamaRoo - I love this swing/rocker because its not huge and its not an eye sore. I didn't want our house to look like Toys r us exploded in it so this was great. But aesthetic aside, this thing is incredible. It mimics they way you rock and bounce and sway and babies LOVE it. It was the way we put him down to sleep when he got old enough to fight sleep. I want an adult one...

Baxton Studios Rocking chair - A rocking chair was a necessity for me. I was afraid this one would be uncomfortable but it's actually not and I love it. We still use this all the time... and now its out in the living room.

Solly baby wrap - I love this so much it deserves a post all on its own but for now I'll just say it was a lifesaver on days that he was extra needy but I still needed to get things done. I used it ALLLL the time: at home, running errands, at church, on walks... everywhere. Its also great if you're a germ freak like me and don't want people touching your baby.

Playing:

These all don't need individual rants but these were some of his first toys and he still plays with all of them (though we had to lay the baby gym down since he pulls it over onto himself now). I kinda thought he wouldn't care about the wood rattle because its boring but honest to goodness I think thats his favorite toy right now. Strange eh? And the baby gym... get it and thank me later. Before he was mobile he would lay under it for the longest time cooing and laughing. Its how I got dinner made every night.

Okay, thats all! Part II to come soon for the older babies. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Public bikes & Portland

Public Bikes & Portland

I'm super excited to finally be starting this new ongoing feature about Portland—the best bike rides and highlighting my favorite spots (to eat/shop/ect) in each pocket of the city.

At first I was envisioning it being a summer series but with moving and an incredibly busy August that didn't leave enough time... there are too many good spots to cover! So we'll be rolling with it through fall, winter, spring... and on.

The amazing folks at PUBLIC sent me this commuter bike (that I've been drooling over for YEARS) to be the star of the show. And we're planning on picking up another one for Josh because he bikes to work now (yay!) and family rides are definitely in our future.

I'll have the first post up in the next couple weeks. For now a few photos just to show off my pretty new bike... I'm just a little in love with it.

p.s. what should I name it? I feel like its a HER, if that helps

Public Bikes & Portland
Public Bikes & Portland
Public Bikes & Portland
Public Bikes & Portland
Public Bikes & Portland
Public Bikes & Portland

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's in my [diaper] bag?

What's in my [diaper] bag?
What's in my [diaper] bag?
What's in my [diaper] bag?
What's in my [diaper] bag?
What's in my [diaper] bag?

Are the 'What's in my bag?' posts cool anymore? They were always a favorite of mine to read back in the day and every now and then I see one pop up and I get excited. Maybe I'm just nosey but I like seeing what people keep in the bags they tote around every day. So here's mine. I obviously change things up from time to time like which lipstick I keep on me and extra baby things depending on how long we're gone but this is what it looks like most of the time.

Since I'm using a large bag with no pockets I keep most everything tucked into a few clutches to keep it all organized. One for baby stuff: Wipes, diapers and cream/lotion. One for essentials: notebook, sunglasses, lipstick, ect. The toys, baby puffs, chap stick and wallet float freely since I use them the most.

Also, the tote. I know I shouldn't brag about something I made for myself but I love it. Super durable and fits everything I need with room to spare. I'm excited to get them up on my store for pre-orders in the next couple weeks.

Resources:
Colorblock zippered pouch
Rifle paper co notebook
Green Toys Keys

Is there anything I left out that is an essential in your bag? I'd love to know! I can always add to mine...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bits & Pieces

Our mornings
Our mornings
Our mornings
Our mornings
Our mornings


Hey September... I hope you're the month that:
...I get to finish decorating these rooms
...Beck actually learns to sleep through the night, every night
...I Read more and get distracted less
...I Go off sugar for at least a week

Fall is just around the bend. But we still have a few 90 degree days before summer is officially gone so lets not jump the gun yet...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Post-bath bliss

Post-bath Bliss
Post-bath Bliss
Post-bath Bliss
Post-bath Bliss
Post-bath Bliss
Post-bath Bliss
9 months

Beck has always been a huge fan of bath time but these days they are his favorite thing ever. He grabs at the water coming out of the faucet, crawls from one end to the other, stands up and down...up and down. All the while patting the water and gasping when water splashes his face. He doesn't get out until he's nice and pruney. Then he has to roll around in his towel and laugh some more.

Sometimes he gets 2-3 baths depending on how messy he gets at meal time, and I don't mind one bit. A freshly bathed baby is like heaven on earth.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Make-up routine: All day look in 7 minutes

This post is sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Neutrogena All day look

Right before I had Beck one thing I kept repeating to myself was "Don't give up on make-up just because you're tired and have a newborn/toddler/ect". I know wearing make-up isn't everything but I always wore it before and I didn't like the idea of turning into a slob because I was suddenly caring for a tiny human.
Make-up helps me feel together (even if I'm totally not) and gives a little boost of confidence so I just adjusted my routine to something I could do super quick. It takes 5-7 minutes and who doesn't have 5-7 minutes?

These days, Beck likes to sit with me and watch me put it on while he waves around the mascara tube. It's productive for both of us :)

IMG_2351
First, after moisturizing my face, I apply foundation all over with a brush. If I'm lazy I'll use my fingers or a sponge, but the brush gives a quick, even and light coverage.
Neutrogena All day look
Then I take a big fluffy brush and apply shine control powder (which is amaaazing!). It keeps me from getting shiny and sets the foundation. It's really lightweight and doesn't make your skin look cakey—My skin is on the dry side and powders often make me look wrinkly (gross) but this one is superb! This is where you'll add some blush to the apples of your cheeks too!
Neutrogena All day look
With black liner, I line the top only... winging it out a bit to brighten up the eyes and make them appear bigger (Even the tiredest of eyes look bright and wide when you line it like this). Then apply mascara—no photo because I couldn't keep my mouth closed and I looked insanely silly but duh, you know how to apply mascara. No photo necessary :)
Neutrogena All day look
Add some color to your lips to top off the look! I like the moisture smooth color sticks for days when I don't want to commit to wearing lipstick but still need a little color. I always go for the coral/orangey colors... always!
IMG_2390
My finished look! My extravagant eyeshadow days may be behind me (which is probably for the best) but I still love experimenting with different "minimal" looks and changing up elements of my every day routine from time to time. This is the look you'll find me with just about any day of the week!
Neutrogena All day look
Neutrogena All day look
^^Just casually sneaking Beck into this post ^^


I picked up all these items at Target and right now there's a cartwheel offer for 20% off Neutrogena. Can't beat that!

Also! Target and Neutrogena have teamed up to bring a Target Beauty Concierge event at select Target stores around the country this month! Event begins August 24th.  Limited quantities available. Check with your local Target store for Beauty Concierge day and times.


#AllDayLook #CollectiveBias




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