Monday, August 25, 2014

The New Baby List

check out Iviebaby textiles {here}

As of right now, 14 women, !FOURTEEN!, within my friend and family circles are pregnant. It's been almost three years since my newborn was a new baby, and, well, let's not dwell on that fact too long. Needless to say, this post has been gathering dust in my blog schedule. So here you go, all you thriving and jiving mamas-to-be out there, anxiously putting together your registries and wondering what the heck you've gotten yourself into. Don't worry. This is gonna be good. And extremely cute.




Steve Madden/F21/F21

These are the bags I have used from birth-toddler. Big. Roomy. Pockets. Easy-wipe materials. My son (Josiah) was exclusively breastfed for the first year, wasn't a major spit-up/blow-out guy, and hardly ever took a bottle or pacifier. He really didn't need a lot of stuff when we were out and about, thus I never needed a "traditional" diaper bag. I have always been a big purse-carrying kind of gal, so these styles worked well for me. Diaper bags are all about personal preference: Tote, Messenger, or Backpack? Traditional or Transitional? Paisley floral or canvas unisex? The options and price points are endless. 

Check out {Pottery Barn} {timi & leslie} and {Twelvelittle} for some other fashionable and functional options. 







Changing Clutch: You'd be surprised how many places inconveniently do not have a changing area in the bathroom. UGH. You'll find yourself switching diapers on the floor, ground, car seat, and trunk. This clutch unfolds to a pad + room for extra wipes and diapers. Easily fits in your diaper bag. 

Solly Baby Wrap: Favorite baby carrier, hands down. Lightweight and comfy. Your baby will snuggle up in this and snooze away while you do things! With both hands free! Like a normal person! Laugh all you want at that sentence now...
(Note: {the Bull and the Bee} carries a select few, for all you local Portland mamas)

Chewbeads Necklace: Kids like to chew on everything. This is one of the best dual-purpose pieces of jewelry out there. Pretty for mom, and toy for baby. 

Sophie la girafe: (Again with the chewing) It's a glorified dog chew toy with hoity-toity French roots. Your husband will laugh at you, then half-way into parenthood he'll break out in a cold sweat if it is ever misplaced, because, this thing is awesome. Josiah's eyes still light up whenever he sees her. Oooh la la.

FuzziBunz One Size Cloth Diapers: Cloth diapers. You either love 'em or you hate 'em. We happen to be a family that fell into the love category. These were awesome! Found an awesome deal on {Zulily} Adjusted from newborn-toddler, super comfy, held everything in, etc. While on vacation or out of town, you best believe we bought a pack of disposables though. VACATION! The LUVS brand has always worked for us + Costco wipes + occasional homemade baby wipes {here}

Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover: Perfect for those around-the-clock in-public feedings. (You can also just use a blanket/your Solly wrap/or nothing, if you feel so inclined. I liked this cover because it was discreet enough for any social situation and half the time I would forget to wear nursing-friendly attire, so I'd basically have to yank down my entire outfit in the middle of Starbucks. Nursing cover saved the day).






Baby Moccs: Because, cute. The end. (Get a pair of these, plus a boatload of tiny socks and you're set until they start walking…and growing out of the new shoes you just bought) I find our moccasins via small independent sellers on Etsy. Sometimes {Sweet Jayne Boutique} here in Portland will carry similar affordable styles.

H&M Scarf Bibs: These are an adorable accessory that will also protect their outfit from spit up and spit bubbles and did I mention, spit?

White Onesies: Short-sleeve and Long-sleeve. Your basic baby outfit can be a onesie and some cute leggings. Done. You can splurge on all those other wardrobe staples: sweaters, coats, etc. (White makes it super easy to wash and bleach those daily stains out. So many stains!).

Baltic Amber Necklace: Ok, this is totally one of those "trendy" items that may or may not work. Put it in your "wait and see" list of things to buy. Josiah came out of the womb teething, and by 12 months had a full mouth of teeth.

(Note: We buy most of our clothing from H&M, Target, Old Navy, Gap, and Zara. Higher end, wait for those sales! Try and stock up for the next months, seasons, or year in advance. Most of Josiah's clothes will run big on him for a few weeks. Bigger size, longer wear time. Also, newborn size clothes. Ha. He was out of those within a week. They literally grow like weeds at that age. I would put an outfit worn only once, into the wash and by the time it was dried, folded, and back in his dresser, he was too big for it!)




{Josiah was exclusively breastfed/eating baby foods until 15 months. He did not like bottles, so we only needed to keep a couple around "just in case."}

Blender: Literally, any ol' blender will do. Doesn't have to be one of those fancy baby prep ones. I usually made large batches of homemade baby food a few times per month. Super easy, affordable, and healthy! {"Super Baby Food" and Wholesome Baby Food are great resources} If we were out of town, {Earth's Best} baby food was our go-to brand. 

Munchkin Snack Catcher: Perfect for holding those tiny puffs and baby treats on the go. 

Pocket Bibs: These are great for mealtimes! Easy to clean! Catches (most) of the spilled food. I always kept one of these in my purse too. Some people are suuuuuuper picky with bibs (and pacifiers, and bottles, and everything baby related), like the world is going to end until they find THE perfect one. Meh. I'm "that" mom, but I'm not "THAT" mom. To me, a bib is a bib is a bib. 

Reusable Baby Food Pouch: Great for storing those homemade baby purees and toddler smoothies! 

Ikea Kids Tableware: Inexpensive and durable. An entire set has lasted us 3 years! 

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder: This was the best way to introduce new solid foods, especially fruit, without any fear of choking! Also, fantastic as a soothing "teether" treat, (use frozen fruit). 

(Note: During the early stages of introducing solid foods, I would place Josiah in his {Bumbo} and give him a few bites of something. Also, the {Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat} was great for travel or if friends with babies came for a visit)




Baby Washcloths: (You'll probably receive plenty of these at your baby shower) We use these all the time in the bathtub and at the dinner table for messy mouths. 

California Baby Calendula Cream: Josiah had cradle cap, sensitive skin, and eczema. Triple whammy. In particular, one unfortunate looking week with some baby acne. He did not look cute. I read great reviews about this, used it on his cheeks after a bath and literally the next day, his awkward "teenage" stage was done. Acne gone, (I feel like this is turning into a Proactiv commercial). Calendula is extremely soothing for all sorts of rashes and reactions. A++ product. 


The First Years Sure Comfort Bath Tub: Transitions from newborn to toddler. Inexpensive and durable. The comfortable mesh "hammock" easily removes once your baby gets bigger.

California Baby Bubble Bath: (Eucalyptus Ease & Calming French Lavender are amazing!) I definitely steal this bubble bath for myself.  

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Body Wash: As you can tell, we LOVE California Baby products. We are a super duper sensitive skin family, so all-natural and organic is what we have to do. {Aveeno} and {The Honest Co.} are great options too, but they don't smell as incredible or long-lasting as the C.B. line.

Hooded Bath Towels: Warm and cozy. I want one for myself! 




Little Remedies for Noses Saline Spray: Clears out all that mucous-y congestion stuff in those poor sniffly little noses. Snoring babies are kind of adorable though.

Crane Cool Mist Humidifier: Our house gets super dry during the winter, so we usually run this at night. Definitely when a cough is going around. 

Boogie Wipes: When kids get sick, their nose turns into a leaking faucet! These wipes smell so good and are magically moisturizing even after the 30th nostril wipe. No raw skin! (We usually rip each wipe in half because they are so large too). 

Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water: Josiah would get gassy every once in awhile, and when it first happens you'll think, "Oh, no! And so the Colic begins!" Gassy infants are kind of intimidating. It will usually happen randomly, in the evening, and nothing will seem to make them feel better. This was our holy grail. A few drops of this and cranky baby was back to normal. 

Tiny Teeth Soft Finger Toothbrush: Introduces teeth cleaning early on, massages gums, etc. 

Maty's All Natural Baby Chest Rub: Helps soothe during those congested nights. 

NoseFrida the Snot Sucker: Don't be grossed out by this thing! Those crazy Swedes. This is a nasal aspirator that actually works AND your baby won't scream in terror during the daily, yes, daily booger vacuum session that you'll need to do. Josiah hated, hated, loathed entirely that hospital bulb sucker they give you. The first time we used a NoseFrida on him, he smiled! He probably was laughing at how stupid we looked, literally sucking out his snot with a straw. It's weird, but it works. 

Hyland's Teething Tablets: We entered the teething stage right away, and usually two teeth at a time. Woof. These did the trick, maybe taking the edge off the pain? That sounds Breaking Bad-ish. Irritable fussy Jekyll baby would turn into normal happy Hyde baby again. Every time. Hyland's has re-formulated the tablets as of 2011, (remember, homeopathic). (I never felt comfortable using any of the benzocaine teething gels that "numb" the gums)

Braun Forehead Thermometer: Always nice to have a thermometer, whatever kind, in the medicine cabinet. I like this one because it's fast, accurate, and less invasive, (easy to swipe across the forehead of a fussy or sleeping baby). 




Boppy: I bought my boppy pillow and cover at a garage sale for $2, however, I would've put this on my registry or bought full price. It's great for post-partum use, (your butt will probably be, ahem, quite sore and this is so comfy to sit on!), for nursing, (especially early on when you're trying to get the hang of things and need all the extra support you can get), and for clingy babies that need to be held all.day.long. I don't know if it's a boy thing or what, but Josiah did not want to leave the warmth of my arms for a looooong time. I'd put this on our King size bed, snuggle him in the center, and he'd chill out or fall asleep while I folded laundry, got dressed for the day, etc. 

Ikea HEMNES Dresser: Before we bought our house, we lived in a 1 bedroom apartment with a newborn. Not a ton of space. This dresser fit all of his clothing, diapers, burp cloths, and extra supplies. The drawers are nice and deep! Also, put a changing pad on the top, voila, instant changing table. Then we easily transitioned it into his "big boy" bedroom. 

Organic Cotton Sleep Gowns: So convenient early on during those numerous middle of the night diaper changes! Trust me, you don't want to be fumbling around with buttons and zippers at 3am. 

Moses Basket with Stand: Josiah was not particularly fond of his full-size crib for awhile. It was too large and open for someone that had been nestled in a womb for nine months. This is perfect for keeping them cozy near your bed during those early months, especially for easy access during the nighttime nursing sessions.  

Burp Cloths: (You'll probably receive a bunch of these during your baby shower or at your birthing center) Classic. Josiah wasn't a spitter-upper, but I've held many a baby who is. It can be like Niagara Falls. Overall, babies are mini mess-makers. These are super soft and soak up anything! 

WubbaNub Pacifier: This helps prevent the dreaded pacifier pop-out routine. (I wished my baby would be soothed by a normal pacifier, but he would suck on it for a few seconds at a time and out it would pop or fall asleep with one in his mouth and wake up the moment it fell out) No more lost pacifiers with the WubbaNub!

(Note: We didn't use any extra blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib for awhile. Babies will stay warm bundled up in their pajamas, and all those filler items can wait until they get older (less likely chance of sleep time breathing problems). Josiah eventually began sleeping with an orange tshirt that smelled like Daddy, and that quickly become his comfort "lovie," now, affectionately named, "DeeDee." 




1) Taggies Baby Buggy Ball: We loved Taggies blankets and other products as well. This ball is about ten toys in one!
2) BRIO Stacking Clown: This was a 1st birthday gift from my Aunt, and Josiah still loves playing with it! Classic wooden toy that will last for years and years. 
3) Tupperware: Honestly, for the first year, most babies could care less about "toys." They will chew, play, and discover everything else. Plastic containers, boxes, shoes, and keys. Kids and Dogs, kind of the same thing. 
4) Bright Starts Tug Tunes: We rotated a few hanging toys on the carseat during the weekly excursions and errand runs. Babies like to look around and hopefully see something that they can focus on! Teething rings, a mirror, and this musical monkey were big hits. 
5) Books Books and more Books! Babies love books. Read to them as much as you can, from the very beginning! These {BabyLit} board books are adorable keepsake pieces for you and your baby bookworm. BOOKS! 
6) Ambi Rattle Keys: (+Ambi Sunflower Rattle) Simple, quality made toys. The bright colors and rattling noise will (sometimes) distract them from grabbing your gross metal keys. 


Yes. These next three items are large, expensive, and unattractive. Congratulations! You're a parent! 
(Note: We borrowed #7 and bought #8 & #9 for suuuuuper cheap at a garage sale/Craigslist)

7) Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Deluxe Cradle n' Swing: This.Was.A.Lifesaver. Josiah would hang out in this and fall asleep most mornings (afternoons or evenings) while I took a shower or cooked dinner or whenever I needed a break from holding him. Keeps them snuggled and soothed. 
8) Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper: We also purchased a {Johnny Jump Up}, but Josiah obsessed with this activity jumper. Literally spent hours and hours and hours in this thing. If we went on vacation or to the Grandparents' house, so did the jumper! 
9) Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Musical Table: Another great next-stage FP toy. Before Josiah could walk, he would crawl over to this table, pull himself up, and stand there pressing all the musical buttons. He consistently played with this every day for a long time! Like most of these sturdy toys, onward it goes to the next kid in the family. 






The options and price points are endless with these items! Since your baby will be spending a good portion of their little lives in these, I would say buy (or register) as high quality as you can. 



Highchair (We used the Ikea ANTILOP high chair. It's inexpensive, sturdy, easily unfolds for traveling, and doesn't take up too much space) 
 Rocking Chair/Glider (Since our apartment didn't have room for another piece of furniture, we sat in our living room club-style rocking chair. Otherwise, our bed was the best place for nighttime nursing and snuggles)
 Breast Pump (I'd say splurge on this if you plan on working outside of the home and need to continually build up a good supply of milk in the freezer! I would stock up extra milk, but Josiah barely ever took a bottle when I was (rarely) gone. My inexpensive Evenflo pump worked great for all those nights I scrambled home from date night, about to burst. 
Baby Monitor (Again, small apartment, didn't need a baby monitor. We picked up a cheap one at a garage sale to take with us on vacations).  


...

Oh baby! I think that about wraps this list up. If you've made it to the end, high five and good luck! Hope this wasn't too overwhelming. Remember, that first year can truly be simple. As simple as you want it to be. (The toddler stage is an entirely different story, meant for another post)
In the end, most of this stuff doesn't really matter. Your baby needs love, security, and lots and lots of kisses.  Priceless. 


xoxo

{Bon Bon}












Thursday, July 24, 2014

Warby Parker: Beacon Collection

   It all began in 4th grade. Mrs. K wrote an arithmetic problem on the blackboard, and the entire class dutifully began copying down the equation, while I blankly stared. Not blankly staring in the usual, "What the hell is an uncommon denominator?" sort of way. No, it was more of a, "I BLIND NOW! Mom was so right about too much Nintendo!". And so the eyeglass prescriptions started. (P.S. I would never say "hell" back in 4th grade. Private school).

   As a 10 year old, I could hardly wait until "four eyes" were replaced by "acuvue." If only Warby Parker had been around during those formative years. Ugh. My class pictures would've been so much cuter! 

   That's why I'm writing today about WP's newest eyewear collection.
You guys. Please please please. When it comes to your eyes: Choose cute. 
{The Beacon Collection} is a perfect place to start. It's New York City meets Summer 2014 meets Up all Night on a Rooftop meets Late Morning Brunch meets Oh My Gosh I Want All The Glasses! (Literally. That's pretty much what I do whenever I'm in NYC. And it's glorious)











And per usual Warby Parker fashion, "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair." 



{Note: This is not a paid/sponsored post. I was contacted by WP to do a write-up and decided to do it, mainly as a reminder to schedule an eye exam at Costco. THEN I can order a new pair of glasses. Probably, from WP. Maybe the Into the Gloss 10-02 . Blogger Disclaimer, Out!)

xoxo 
{Bon Bon}


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Ultimate Good Skin Guide

   I was out running some errands the other day, (in 90+ degree weather), out running around wearing my husband's tank top and 2-day old unwashed hair. Just not my best look, mind you. Somehow, I had THREE strangers compliment me on my appearance. Specifically, my skin's appearance. I'll take it! 

   It reminded me that I am extremely thankful for good skin genes, even though the journey has been somewhat bumpy during the last 6 years. #skinpunintended

   International travel/living, nutrition, jobs, moving, getting married, having a baby, seasonal changes, stress, hormones, etc. made one crazy skin year in particular, (2008) turn into the new normal for me: combination-sensitive type adult skin! I went from maybe three pimples in my entire life, to a three new pimples every day kind of life! I literally tried everything in Target, Walgreens, and Sephora. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. From low-end to high-end to homemade. 
   Looking back on that time, it seems quite frivolous and vain, yeah, but I learned things I never knew about skincare, (like, don't slather your whole face with salicylic acid and think you're fighting a breakout), and the human body, (like, do drink so much water daily that you have to pee at least, oh, every 2 hours). It was my segue into a more natural lifestyle and a sincere appreciation for the old adage "Beauty is only skin deep", and for that I am thankful. Here are my most favorite tried and true products, (for the sake of convenience, I'll keep the suuuuuper all-natural homemade stuff at bay, for now). 




1//Nubian Heritage (truthfully, this is THE only item you need for your face if you have some tricky skin issues. I've told so many friends about this product it feels like I work for the company. If you buy it, you won't need an additional scrub or cleanser. This stuff is strong!)
2//Shea Moisture (similar product, found in most main retailers)
3//Camamu Black Beauty Bar (similar product, locally made here in Portland. 

1//Giovanni D:tox Purifying Facial Scrub (Very gentle scrub. Charcoal and ash are great for fighting problem skin.
2//Boscia Oil Free Daily Hydration (A little spendy, but this helped calm my skin down and protect it from irritations during the day. If you want to save $, Cetaphil is an alternative option) 
3//Proactiv Refining Mask (Used as spot treatment, lasts forever. Seriously will zap a pimple overnight)

1// Apple Cider Vinegar (diluted w/ water and used as facial toner and/or to drink!)
2//MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Cleanser (+ check out the White Cranberry Cleanser)
3//MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Mist (I always have a bottle of this on my shelf. A spritz nightly, daily, every once in awhile, with or without makeup, it's SOOO good. Cannot rave enough about this mist)







//Skin79 BB Cleanser (makeup remover, cleanser, and insane Asian science stuff! I've never used anything like it before. All I can say is, "It will eat the makeup off of your face.")
//Trader Joe's Coconut Oil (great for taking off pesky eye makeup, amongst many other uses)

//Trader Joe's Face Wash (recently switched to this after using my Nubian soap religiously for the past three years. Needed something a little more gentle this summer)
//Boots Botanics Facial Oil (new holy grail product! I've also used Josie Maran Argan Oil and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, cha$ching$. This $8.99 Target splurge blows 'em outta the water! I think it smells/looks just as luxurious too)
//Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer (Gives my face a little "oomph" during the night. Wake up to a fresh, dewey, and bright face in the morning. I just finished my 2nd bottle, but that Boots facial oil is kind of doing the trick now...I'll probably switch to CeraVe PM Moisturizer and save some $$$)


//Eco Tools Facial Sponge w/ face wash (sometimes just a splash of cold water in the morning)
//CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizer (simple and effective. Provides a nice foundation for your makeup...foundation)

//MyChelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Fiesta Peel (+ check out the Incredible Pumpkin Peel. Amazing!)
//Herbivore Pink Clay Mask (For soft and pretty skin. And that fancy spa feeling)
//Skin79 Snail Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask (Yup. Snails are all the rage right now in Asian beauty. This is one of my favorite sheet masks, and if you've never tried a sheet mask, well then, enter the rabbit hole HERE)



Wishes and happy skin compliments to you all! 
 xoxo

{Bon Bon}












Monday, July 7, 2014

#clearlythelake2014

{Ceago Vinegarden}


   Hours upon hours upon hours in a car down the dusty stretch of I-5, and oh boy it is always worth it. (Pro Road Trip Tip: ALWAYS always stop at the Starbucks adjoined with the Barnes & Noble. Large Passion Tea plus a train table. Easy hour of leg stretching and fighting with the locals over who gets to play with Cranky the Crane).

   This was our 3rd trip down to Lake County, California (Clear Lake), since me and the Bean officially joined "the family," respectively. I could rave on and on about the weather, food, wine, family, friends, and festivities, but then you might want to join us, and their simply isn't enough room. A legit guest waiting-list of sorts is happening right now in hopes of snagging a bed, couch, or bathtub next time. Everyone is getting married and having kids and being all grown-up and responsible and what's up with that?
   We might have to completely embrace our Portland citizenship and build a tiny-house to take with us next year. The homemade Mai Tais topped with honey-lilikoi foam are worth it, believe you me.

 *photos via us IGers: bonifus/taryncutchin



{until next time}



P.S. Check out David James Visuals for a boatload of Ceago Vinegarden photos! Pun intended! 



xoxo

{Bon Bon}

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