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Baby Products We’re Loving (An Update)

A while back, I wrote a post about some of our favorite baby products. We’re still using most of the stuff I wrote about then, but with our growing (and more active/mobile) babe, we’ve added a few things to our favorites list. I wouldn’t say these things are our must-haves, but they’re definitely some good-to-haves that we didn’t necessarily know about pre-baby. And if they make our little one happier and our lives easier, we’re fans.

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  1. Chewbeads – I have three of these necklaces, and Weston and his little gums love them dearly. It’s nice because unlike with a typical teething toy, I don’t have to worry about him dropping this on the floor seventy billion times for me to pick up and wipe off seventy billion times. And if we’re out at a place where he doesn’t feel completely at ease, the necklace is almost like a comfort item, since it’s right there to grab and play with if I’m holding him. (Anything that keeps him from yanking and chewing on my hair). :)
  2. Relax Melodies iPhone app – We discovered this little gem while staying overnight at the beach. After realizing we left Weston’s noise machine at home, we had a minor freakout. Weston is a really good sleeper at home, with the noise machine on for naps and nighttime sleep (at a really low volume at night when there aren’t other sounds around the house to block out), and we like to stick with what works. Especially because an inconsolable, unable-to-sleep baby in a hotel room would be a less than pleasant scenario. He does take naps without it in his carseat or stroller when we’re out and about, and he doesn’t have it when he stays with my parents, so it might not even be that necessary. But using this app put us at ease knowing he was more likely to have peaceful sleep. We used the “river” setting, and he slept great. It was nice to not have to tiptoe around the room once he went to sleep. This app is definitely handy for traveling, since then the noise machine is one less thing to pack.
  3. CeraVe moisturizing cream – Weston has sensitive skin, and although we occasionally have to use prescription-strength stuff on certain places (like eczema patches he gets on his cheeks), this cream works wonders for the rest of his little body. It’s nice and thick and fragrance-free, so it doesn’t cause any irritation. We’ve used tons of different lotions and creams, but a dermatologist recommended this brand, and it’s our current fave for protecting and moisturizing his eczema-prone skin. (We also use Aquaphor on his face, which is great, too; we just prefer the CeraVe for the rest of him since it’s less serum-y and more lotion-y).
  4. Outdoor blanket – Since the weather has been nice and Springy lately (well, except for this week…what the heck), we’ve been venturing outside to get some good ol’ vitamin D during the day a lot more often. We love tossing this blanket down in the backyard. It’s big enough for spreading out lots of toys and books, and the material makes it really easy to wipe off. It also folds and zips up neatly into a rectangle with a nifty handle…although it takes approximately 75 tries to get it folded right…but eventually you get the hang of it.
  5. IKEA Antilop highchair – Obviously a highchair is handy to have around with a little one in the house, but I am absolutely in love with this one. We received a Graco one that we registered for pre-baby, but after seeing this IKEA highchair, I knew it would take up less space, be easier to clean, and require much less time and frustration to put together (you’re welcome for that last part, husband). And it’s only 25 bucks. Win.

It’s fun to see how our favorite products evolve over time as our little guy grows. We’re learning that this parenting thing is all about taking in suggestions from others, coming up with some ideas of your own, and combining all of that knowledge to discover what works best for your kid. So this list is just what’s been working for us lately with our sweet 8-month old. :)

What baby products are you loving? Anything in particular for these warmer weather months we’re getting into?

 

 

Blogs I Love

Finding a few minutes here and there to keep up with my favorite blogs is something I love to do. The ones I read are all unique in their own ways, but many of them have common threads —  homemaking, faith, living simply, motherhood. I thought I’d share the ones I read regularly, so you can enjoy their fabulousness too, if you aren’t already a fan!

(I read these through the Feedly app on my phone that updates whenever each blog has a new post. This app saves me tons of time — I used to just revisit the sites repeatedly, checking to see if there was a new post. Oftentimes there wasn’t, so I was just wasting time clicking around).

Here are some of the blogs I’m subscribed to, along with brief descriptions:

  1. Enjoying the Small Things – motherhood, slowing down & enjoying life, party planning ideas
  2. Bower Power – home improvement projects, motherhood (she’s also insanely funny)
  3. Young House Love – home improvement projects, parenthood, “green” living
  4. A Holy Experience – faith, living with gratefulness (author of the book One Thousand Giftslove her poetic writing)
  5. Momastery – motherhood, faith, living & loving bravely (also hilarious)
  6. iHeart Organizing – hence the title…tons of organizing goodness
  7. The Art of Simple – living slowly & simply, faith
  8. The Happiness Project – knowing yourself, tips for happier living

So those are verrry brief descriptions, but I love these blogs and keep up with every post these people write. Check ’em out if you get the chance!

What are your favorite blogs? I love discovering new ones to read.

 

 

Getting Organized: Kitchen Junk Drawer

Hello again!

It’s been three weeks since I’ve shown up here, whoops! Life has been full, and with Will’s new work schedule, we’ve been heading to bed earlier, so there hasn’t been much time for blogging. But I’m trying to work it into the new routines we’ve got going on.

We’ve been enjoying life the last few weeks — play dates with neighbors, Weston’s baby dedication at church, dinners with family, time with friends…and a few organizing projects around the house.

Like I mentioned here, one of my goals this year is to seriously simplify and de-clutter our home. I thought I’d start by focusing on the areas that stress me out the most when I see them every day.

The first disaster zone I’ve tackled is our kitchen “junk-drawer.” I used to cringe every time I opened this drawer (which was multiple times a day), but now I find myself wanting to open the drawer and peek at its organized yumminess whenever I walk by (I’m a weirdo, I know).

Somehow I forgot to get an actual “before” shot of the inside. I did, however, snap some photos of the overflowing junk I pulled out of the drawer and onto the counter the day I decided it needed some serious attention.

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Y’all. This drawer was so slammed full that there were papers and receipts and gum wrappers actually falling behind the drawer down into the cabinet below. Out of control. Sidenote: among the most amusing finds buried inside the drawer were extensive notes from my first “big girl” job interview 3 years ago and 8×10 photos that the previous home-owners left of their 70-something year old selves goofily giving the camera the peace sign. (After almost 3 years of living here, we are somehow still coming across little treasures they left behind).

My first plan of attack was to buy some drawer dividers. I got two medium-sized ones in the bath section of Target, and the smaller one (on the far right in the pic below) is from the dollar section of Target. The only other purchase I made was some patterned drawer liner that I found at Publix. I then emptied everything out  — a lot of it was trash, but I made piles for items that belonged in other rooms and a pile for what needed to go back into the drawer. Then I reassembled things using my handy new dividers.  It took about 20 minutes total. Here’s the “after” pic:

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This drawer is so much more functional now. I can actually find what I need without having to dig through piles of old receipts and takeout menus. I get a little jolt of happiness every time I open it since it’s no longer a crazy mess. (I’m hoping that starting with small areas like this will give me the momentum to eventually get to bigger organizing projects like our master closet, which is downright scary at the moment…as in, I pretty much always wear the same 3 shirts because I have to climb over stuff to get to the rest of my clothes. Yep, it’s that bad. Baby steps, baby steps…)

Have you done any organizing projects lately, big or small? Any certain “disaster zones” stressing you out that you can’t wait to organize?