Friday, May 8, 2015

{Baby Blanket Round-Up}

Baby blankets are kind of my thing. There are so many AWESOME choices out there, why would we settle for average. I covet each of the blankets that I've chosen for my babes, whether they've been custom made or carefully chosen from some of my favorite sites/stores.

Here are a few that I highly recommend. Some we already own and others I am about to click "buy". We use them in the car, the stroller, at bedtime, and during couch snuggles. No kiddo is ever too old for a cozy blanket. All are beautiful, not to mention high quality & made to last.

Happy Shopping xx


Thursday, March 19, 2015

{Oliver's Big Boy Room}

Time is flying by . . . . my first sweet {baby} boy turned THREE YEARS OLD!! I am not sure how that is even possible, but alas, it happened. Although I felt a bit sad about the whole thing, one positive was that we could finally phase out all of the "baby" stuff and phase in some of that big boy goodness that I keep seeing everywhere. This process was way overdue.

Baby Stuff:

I know it may seem silly, but all of the way up until Oliver's 3rd birthday, I still rocked him for a few minutes before bed every night (and at nap time). It was our sweet mother and son time. Nobody can soothe/lull him like I can. But, that upholstered rocking chair sure took up a ton of good play space, so I was happy to (finally) relocate it to baby Julian's room across the hall.

Another thing you may find unusual is that Oliver slept in his crib until he turned 3 as well. He never once tried to climb out of it, and in general seemed cozy and happy in there, so we didn't rush to ditch it.

BUT.....on Feb 17th -- Oliver's 3rd birthday -- our house looked something like this.....

At 3 yrs old - Bam - no rocking before bed. Bam - no sleeping in a crib. Boom - NO PACIFIER (that was DEFINITELY hard to type/admit, but hey, just keeping it real). Lot's of big changes for the big boy! (Next up - NO DIAPERS!! Eeek! And starting pre-school in September. Things are a happening, people!)

Now on to Big Boy Stuff:

Twin Bed vs Toddler Bed:

If I had invested any money in a good quality crib mattress (I used my sisters hand-me-down that she used for BOTH of her children, now ages 9 and 6), I may have considered buying a toddler bed to bridge the gap between crib and twin. Also, Oliver's crib (also a hand me down from my sister) did not convert to a toddler bed, so it was either spend $ to buy a toddler bed (and potentially a better quality mattress for it), OR go straight to a twin bed.  If I went the toddler bed route, this is the toddler bed that I would have purchased: The Babyletto Skip Toddler Bed.

It gets great reviews and fits a standard crib sized mattress. Good stuff! However, after mulling it over for a hot second, the twin bed option seemed glaringly better (money wise for the long term), so that is what we did.

I could write a whole separate post about the beds that I considered and looked into, as there are so many cool beds to choose from out there with such a huge price range, but ultimately only one bed truly stole my heart. The Harlan bed from Restoration Hardware Baby & Kids.

It's the bed that dreams are made of, don't you agree?!! Rust-colored metal with hand-stitched leather trim - yes please!! Ahhh. Yes, it was a total splurge, but in my opinion it was well worth it (and we got a substantial discount because we bought it during President's weekend ;) ). I was in my childhood twin bed until I moved out for college, so if he stays in this bed even half that long, it will have paid for itself in my opinion. 

Just for fun, here are a few others that I considered....

(I will update the source list with links asap...but for now - 1. Macy's. 2 & 9. Overstock. 3 & 6. Rest Hard. 4 & 5 & 8. Land of Nod. 7. West Elm.) 

and one other VERY strong contender that is not shown above is this West Elm Mid-Century Daybed

Isn't it so beautiful! It was a really tough call, but for just a tiny bit more $, I went with the Harlan and I couldn't be happier with my choice. The daybed is SO beautiful though, so I will have to keep it in mind (if it still exists) when Julian is ready to move on up!

If you know me, I am a bargain hunter by nature, but in everything (fashion, home decor, etc),  I am a big proponent of mixing steals and splurges together. I like the main key pieces to be good quality and as timeless as possible, and then I like to fill in with accessories that can be changed out with the season/trends and that don't necessarily have to stand the test of time. 

For Oliver's big boy room I chose these accessories to play around with.....

(Source list with links to follow as well, but for now - Duvet Cover & Teepee Pillow: Cotton On Kids; Fox Pillow & Tiger Rug & Storage Bin: H&M; Indian Chief Blanket: Pendleton USA; Doll House: Hape (Barnes & Noble Exclusive); Marquee Letters:  

and achieved this look.....

Across from the bed is the same yellow dresser that we have used as his changing table, and a bookshelf. Nothing fancy, just basic & functional. 

For the rest of the room, my plan is to add something like this......

and then we can call it a day! What do you think?

:) I hope you like it as much as we do!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

{Boys Love Camping}


Camping is something that I have ALWAYS enjoyed, and as a result, all of the camp-related graphic clothing always catches my eye. Luckily for this fall season I am seeing a ton of adorable camp clothing that is perfect for my two little guys. Some can be pricey, but there are some VERY affordable choices out there that should not be overlooked.

On that note, I have put together some of my favorite baby and toddler boy pieces and wanted to share them with you.....

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14

and here is 4 month old Julian rocking one of his favorite picks (the short sleeved baby version of #1 above)....

Happy Camping Everyone!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Our Baby Boy Is Here}

Baby Julian Jett has arrived!!!

**Born on May 15, 2014 @ 11:53 pm**
**6 lbs 7 oz**
**18.5" long**

(I kept asking little Julian to come out at least 1 week early, and he obliged.....such a good baby)

Here is our birth story...

My due date was set for May 22nd. At this point in my pregnancy (at 39 weeks), I was officially DONE! I was so uncomfortable and so ready to have my baby in my arms instead of in my womb (lol). At my 39 week check up, I was dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced. I had been that way since the week before with no major changes. Being that he was essentially "cooked", my doctor and I agreed that it would be ok to make an appointment to be induced the following week if the baby didn't decide to come out on his own, but in my gut, I knew that he would. I really did feel that my body and my little guy would know what to do without help. This wasn't my first rodeo, after all.

That 39 week check up was on a Thursday, and the next morning when I woke up and went to the bathroom I noticed some blood. It was minor but I knew to keep an eye on it. Throughout that morning I had a ton of "Braxton Hicks" contractions (as I had had for a long while already). My abdomen would tighten and release every few minutes with no notable pain (at least no more than the discomfort I had already been feeling). As the day progressed, I could tell that I definitely was feeling "off". I was hot, kind of queasy, grumpy, and very tired. I didn't have much of an appetite and had to go to the bathroom much more frequently than normal. That being said, I chalked it up to the hot weather and nothing more (duh). Around 3 pm, it finally occurred to me that I was in fact having pain with those "Braxton Hicks" contractions, and that perhaps they weren't just "BH" after all.

I started to time them around 4 pm and realized that they were around 6 minutes apart (and starting to get noticeably more painful). The general rule of thumb for second babies (per my doctor at least) is that the contractions should be somewhere between 5-7 minutes apart (regularly) for an entire hour and they should be at least 30-45 seconds in duration. At that point, you are supposed to call the doctor & get ready to head in. Mine were fluctuating a little bit, but around 5 pm, they seemed to be pretty consistently 5 minutes apart and lasting around 45 seconds at a time. I called the doctor and told him what was going on and he said that I need not rush or run any red lights, but that I should start making my way in the direction of the hospital. My mom was going to come and stay home with Oliver so I called her and had her come over. She got to my house around 6:30 pm, and we got ready to head out.

By the time we reached the hospital, it was just before 8pm. We checked in to triage and they hooked me up to monitors to confirm the progress of the labor. The nurse "checked" me and I was still just about the same as the day before (2 cm dilated). At this point I was in a lot of pain and couldn't believe that my labor wasn't "progressing". She actually contemplated sending me home if my labor wasn't dilating my cervix enough. Ummmmm......NO! I was not happy about that idea at all. She also said the the baby was very "sleepy" and while his heart rate was fine, he wasn't showing a lot of movement with the contractions. She wanted to "wake him up" a bit to see how he was tolerating everything, so she made me drink several cups of water & juice to try to give him a burst of energy. It was hot all day at home (like 95 degrees hot), and I was very dehydrated. I didn't feel great. I felt even worse with a belly full of juice while contracting. Ick.

At this point I was in a lot of pain and was SURE that this was "it". After watching the regularity of my contractions, & seeing that the baby was moving around a little more but not much, she decided to have me walk the halls for an hour to try to get things moving. whole HOUR! She said she would check me after the hour was up and if I was still barely dilated she would most likely be sending me home. Again, very unhappy that I wasn't just being admitted and given my ever-so-desired epidural, I did what I was told and walked the halls with my sweet husband. I felt like I had to stop and double over every 2 minutes, mid sentence. I was in misery. I felt like I had to go #2 urgently at all times and was in a lot of pain. At this point, my husband basically refused to take me home even if the nurse insisted. He said we would sit outside of the hospital in protest!! (lol). My sister decided to head over to the hospital at this point too, since she was going to be in the room with us, and she too was convinced that things would happen sooner rather than later.

As the hour came to an end, I was sure that progress had been made (and felt like I already had a baby between my knees), so I laid back down to be checked again. To my delight (and utter pain) I was already at 4-5 cm and much further along than before. The nurse said she was surprised that I progressed so far in just one hour. Ummmm......yeah!!! This is not my first baby and I KNEW I was in active labor. I KNEW IT! She said to go from 2-5 in under an hour is fast. I declared that it had to be time for my epidural, and the nurse agreed (PHEW!). We were admitted and led into my birthing room and I climbed into the bed. It was just after 10 pm.

I was still in a ton of pain but was relieved to know that I would be numb before I knew it. The anesthesiologist was on her way down so the nurse set up to give me my IV. She prepped my hand and stuck me, but then shouted "Oh Shoot! I missed". She said that I had "rolling veins" and while she thought she hit the right spot, my vein rolled out of the way and she missed. I was also still a bit dehydrated so she put a hot towel on my other hand and planned on setting up the IV there instead. After a couple of minutes (contractions not letting up at all, mind you), she went for the other hand, and MISSED AGAIN!! At this point I was writhing in pain and was in disbelief that she missed again. I almost didn't care that each stick hurt so bad, I was just watching the clock tick away and with every minute I had to wait, my epidural was that much father away. Ugh. Feeling nervous that she'd miss again, she decided she would call for reinforcements, and had another nurse who is an "IV super star" come to get the job done. I was begging for mercy now. The new nurse entered and prepped the side of my wrist to enter there instead of my hands (which each already had puncture wounds). She got ready, set, and O.M.G. - - she MISSED!!! I started to sob. I could not believe my ears and started begging out loud "Please hurry. Please be numb" and moaning "I can't do this anymore. I can't. I can't". I was not my best self at that moment. I was miserable. Finally the nurses agreed to have the anesthesiologist come and get the IV in so that she could do the epidural directly after. As I waited for her to arrive, I couldn't even cry I was in so much pain. I was just begging-- begging for the pain to stop.

Once the anesthesiologist came in, she tried her best to move quickly and opted for the back of my forearm for my IV (mid way between my elbow and my wrist). She prepped and stuck me and got it. Finally!!! The IV was in. I was so thankful but I knew the hard part wasn't over. She let me stay laying down on my side, prepped my back and slowly inserted the epidural. I could feel the numbness begin at my toes and creep up my legs slowly. I started to feel peaceful. Of course the last place to feel numb was my abdomen, but I didn't care. I could take a deep breath now. Finally. I was numb. I was exhausted.

At this point it was around 11:30 pm (yes, that whole IV ordeal took over an hour - torture I tell you). Literally seconds after the epidural was in, I felt something in my bottom and thought for sure that I had gone #2. I was SO embarrassed, and said "Uh oh! I am pretty sure I just pooped. Sorrry!!!!". The nurses assured me that it was ok, and that they'd get it cleaned up quickly, so they rolled me onto my back and pulled my leg over, and what I thought was poop was not poop at was a protruding bag of water!! My amniotic sack was still intact and was literally protruding out, ready to come out. The doctor came running in and gowned up. He told me to push once, and then to back off. He then said to give a half of a push and lo and behold,  my baby boy was out!! He came out like lighting and cried right away!! Ahhh....relief. He was born at 11:53 pm, just before a new day began.

I only had my epidural for the last 5 minutes of the whole thing, but I suppose it was the best 5 minutes to be numb (no ring of fire for me, thank you very much, especially after dilating to 10 with no pain medicine!!). I went from 5 cm - 10 cm in less than an hour. Crazy fast. The nurse proclaimed that I had what was called a "precipitous delivery". This is when the total time between the beginning of labor and birth is three hours or less. This is not that common, but under certain circumstances it can occur, and it has a unique set of problems that should be managed carefully. While it might seem ideal to women who have had long labors to get through labor and delivery quickly, precipitous labor is not ideal for mother or child. Pain is intense and mothers may not have access to pain medications because of the rate at which labor is progressing. There is greater risk of tearing, uterine bleeding, hemorrhage, and low oxygen levels for mom and baby.       

I am so happy that my baby boy made it into this world healthy and happy, and despite all of the "drama", all is well that ends well. In my next life I am owed an epidural in a timely manner, at 4 cm with many hours of numbness before the baby's arrival. ;).

Here a couple of shots from our first day(s) home.....

...and here is our little {big} guy now at 6 weeks old.....(he was a whopping 8 lbs 13 oz at his 5 week check up)

These are the best days of our lives xo

Friday, April 18, 2014

Newborn Essentials

Aside from the basics (diapers, wipes, powder, etc.), I am sure that every new or soon-to-be new mom has an idea about what might be helpful to have around during those first few weeks home with their newborn. I am also sure that this list differs significantly from person to person. Some people feel that certain things are useless while others can't live without that exact same item. I hear that from my mom-friends all of the time. So, that being said, I have put together a list of things that "I" think are essential (having gone through this once before), and hope that if you are on the fence about something, you will consider giving some of these items a try.....

#1 - The Graco "Sweet Slumber" Sound Machine - We had Oliver sleeping in a cradle in our room until he was close to 6 months old (I know - that's kind of a long time!!), so needless to say, the older and more aware he became, the quieter we needed to be. Since tip toeing around isn't really an option, we found that a white noise machine was essential to our nightly routine. This one is great for many reasons: I love the "white noise" sound, but it also plays lullabies and you can plug in your iPod if you so choose. Well worth the $ and we still use it for Oliver every single night.

#2 - The Little Giraffe "Bella" Security Blanket - All babies need soft and cozy things surrounding them, and this little blankie was Ollie's "buddy" ever since day 1. He liked to rub the satin trim and snuggled up to it in his crib (as soon as SIDS was no longer a concern). He still sleeps with it today. They are pricey, but good quality. We love it!

#3 - A trusty diaper bag - This is one of those items that some people claim is a waste of money, and they would rather use a large open tote or a standard backpack to lug around their baby "stuff". I however feel that a high quality "official" diaper bag with a good amount of internal and external pockets is a must have, especially now when I am going to be carrying around baby stuff for two. This is the Marc By Marc Jacobs "Pretty Eliza-baby" Diaper Bag. Yes, it is on the pricier side, and although I haven't gone out on the town with it yet, from what I can tell, it is going to be the perfect bag.

#4 - The 4moms Mamaroo - I didn't have this for Oliver (we had a standard swing that did the job ok), but a wonderful friend handed it down to me for baby boy #2, and I am already in love. The motion and the sounds seem so much more tranquil than the ones that the swing offered. I am hoping that Julian loves it as much as I do, and I don't see why he won't.

#5 - The Turtle Bath Sponge Cushion (exclusive to Babies R Us) - The bath was Oliver's happy place. He absolutely loved being in the water from the very start, so it became part of his nightly routine right away. We had a very basic plastic baby bath tub, so this little cushion was super cozy and also helped keep Oliver warm throughout the entirety of the bath. I highly recommend using something like this inside those the hard plastic tubs.

#6 - Bath Soap - Along with the cozy turtle sponge, I love a smooth, good smelling, moisturizing baby soap/shampoo. My favorite is this all-in-one Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo.  It smells amazing and can be used all over the body/head.

#7 - The WubbaNub Pacifier - In the hospital where I gave birth, they use the patented "soothie" pacifier for newborns. Many people aren't into pacifiers, but I am a pacifier advocate. I believe that it helps babies self sooth, and there is also a direct correlation to pacifiers and reducing the risk of SIDS deaths (the sucking reflex is directly linked to the breathing one). These little "WubbaNub's" are not only cute, but I found that the added weight of the stuffed animal helped keep the paci from falling out of my newborns mouth. Definitely a must have for the first few weeks home until you transition to a regular more substantial pacifier.

#8 - The Aden & Anais Burpy Bib Burp Cloth -  I used everything from cloth diapers to fancy hand sewn burp cloths when Oliver was a baby, and at the end of the day, these were my favorite kind. The shape helped prevent it from falling off of my shoulder mid-burp, and once baby food comes into play, you can snap it around baby's neck and use it as an actual bib. I probably saved 25 of these (that held up after being washed many many many times) from when Oliver was tiny, and I am looking forward to using them again.

#9 - Bottles - I was one of the lucky ones and was able to breast feed Oliver for a long time, so I am anticipating being able to do that again this time around - BUT - one thing that I failed at miserably with Oliver was helping him become comfortable with bottle feeding (whether it's pumped milk or formula) so that someone else could step in every now again to take over for a feeding. Oliver and I were locked together for months and months with no break, and while I loved the bonding time, I swore that with my next baby, taking a bottle would be no big deal. These Como Tomo Silicone bottles seem to be the most similar to an actual breast, and get rave reviews from my friends that have used them. I am looking forward to trying them once Julian arrives.

There are a ton of other items that can be added to this list, I am sure, but those are just a few of the items that I felt were essential, and that I am looking forward to getting the chance to use again VERY soon.

Thanks for stopping by :)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baby Boy Goodness

As I prepare for our 2nd baby boy to arrive (Julian Jett is due to arrive in approximately 5 weeks!!!), I have been trying to get myself to an at least somewhat "organized" place in regards to what we will need ready when we bring our baby boy home. That being said, while I have saved a TON of Oliver's baby clothes (from size NB - now), shopping is my happy place, so I have allowed myself to indulge in at least a few new just-for-Julian items that I simply couldn't pass up.

When my babies are brand new (up to about 3 months old), I tend to stick with what seems most comfortable. I don't like to put jeans or button up shirts on tiny fresh skin - too rough/rigid. Long sleeved onesies with cozy cotton pants are my go to, as well as footie pajamas (& baby gowns for the first few weeks home).

**Disclaimer: shopping for boys can be a challenge. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of "boy clothes" out there, but whether they are actually comfortable & stylish is a whole other story. Since Oliver was born, I have been getting stopped by complete strangers asking me where I buy his clothes, and the truth is, I tend to shop at all of the same places that everyone else does, I just usually go the "less traditional" boy route with my choices. I like stripes and patterns way more than I like fuzzy baseballs and puppies (meaning no offense to those that love them.)

Here are some of my favorite clothing items for NB baby boys today....

#1#2 are both from one of my FAVORITE stores, Cotton On Kids. I personally prefer to go in to the store, but you can also shop online.

#3 & #9 are by one of my fav brands, Kickee Pants! They are so soft!! You can find them in a lot of different boutiques/stores, but I typically buy mine at They can be pricey, but has a pretty great selection of sale pieces.

#4 is from a store called Crazy 8. It is my understanding that it is the more fun/less expensive side of "Gymboree". Whatever it is, I tend to like it MUCH more -- Gymboree is pricey and is a snore in my opinion ;)

#5 is from my fail safe, Baby Gap. I can ALWAYS find cute comfy baby boy clothes there, and I never buy anything at full price. 

 #6 is from Old Navy, and again, you have to pick carefully, but I always manage to find the good stuff that fits well and is on trend. 

#7 is another favorite (more so for toddler boys than babies), H&M. They have some fun, quirky, out-of-the-box boy styles that I love. These scarf bibs are my all time favorite baby boy accessory :) (they have girl colors available too).

#8 Minnetonka baby moccasins are a must have. They are the "originals", and are still going strong. These velcro ones are easy to put on and are (in my opinion) adorable. They are especially great for those non-walking months.

And for those that are interested, here is a nursery update: 

In addition to clothing options, Julian's nursery is really coming together. It is changing & evolving everyday. I have found some really fun stuff to make his room feel cozy and current. Here are some of the newest additions.....

#1 & #2 are the fabrics that I chose to have a custom crib sheet (#1) and a custom stroller blanket (#2) made (with a gray minky-lined back)  The awesome etsy shop that I used for this is a shop called OliveAndAndrew owned by Kristen Worthington. Her shop is currently on vacation, but she will be back up and running soon and if you are in need of crib sheets, blankets, boppy covers, etc., you must check her out. I highly recommend her shop -- great fabric choices and impeccable sewing. LOVE! (email me if you'd like her contact info)

#3 is a "Metal Acid Etched Letter" from Urban Outfitters. I bought a "J" & a "V" to hang on Julian's wall. 1 for $12 or 2 for $20 = can't beat it!

#4 is one of my favorite nursery items - the <STEELE> Canvas Laundry hamper  (I picked the taller one). I found mine at Homegoods (randomly), but they can be ordered online as well. Super high quality and very functional.

#5 is also wall art from Urban Outfitters - The Venture Out wall print. It is currently sold out, but you should still check out their eclectic wall art selection. I am in love.

#6 is an alternative to the ever so famous "Sophie the Giraffe". This is "Lela the deer". Same idea, different adorable animal. A must have.

#7 is yet one more Urban Outfitters score -- The Beci Orpin Dreamcatcher.  This is arguably my favorite piece of wall decor so far.  Bad dreams go away!

#8 is the rug that I chose to help ground the space. I bought it at my favorite online rug shop It is a derivation of the West Elm souk rug, but is MUCH cheaper, and similar in quality. I am really happy with my choice.

#9 is an impeccably made blanket that I purchased from It is the "Weegoamigo Knitted Travel Blanket in Wilderness", and it seems like it is the perfect size/warmth for stroller cruising. It is a bit on the pricey side, but the quality seems worth it, and it is packaged perfectly to give as a shower gift if you need one. I can't wait to use it! 

So, there you have it. I am starting to get super excited to meet my little man and am finally feeling like things are coming together so that we are ready when he is. I hope these items help you feel inspired to seek out the "cool" baby boy stuff, and to veer away from the expected and traditional. Boy stuff can be fun and unique too!

Thanks for stopping by,


Monday, March 10, 2014

My baby boy is 2!

Hello again, baby boy turned TWO on February 17th {sigh}. The amount of love that I have for our little guy is difficult to put into words. He is such a special little man with a fun spirit and happy heart. We are so lucky.

His actual day fell on a Monday (actually, President's day this year). We started the day with a stop-by from grandma Ellen (with gifts, as always ;) ) and then my husband and I took Ollie out for a day of fun.....

We went to Pretend City:

and then went to the Irvine Spectrum for lunch at Wahoo's and a couple of rides on the Merry-Go-Round:

It was a great day :)

That night, Nana, Hayden and Noah came over for some traditional "Birthday Donut Cake" and to sing happy birthday to our boy :)

His party was scheduled for a couple of weekends after, but it was supposed to rain cats and dogs, so we canceled his big park party (boooo) and went with a small family gathering at home.

(it didn't rain, of course, but the party was a big success)

Oliver's big gift this year was also a huge hit. We bought him his Little Tikes Trampoline

He jumps in it everyday!!! Best - Gift - EVER!!!!!

Happy 2nd birthday, my sweet boy. You literally warm my heart every moment (even when you test my patience) and I look forward to watching you grow and learn. I am one lucky mama, xoxo