so friends, my first post back isn't going to be about a product at all. i'm writing about.....fluffy stuff (at least that's what it's being called on other blogs). if you are a mom & you have pinterest, you may have seen this awesome dough-like mixture at some point. it's made by mixing together 2 boxes of cornstarch & 1 can shaving cream (we used the original $1.59 can of barbasol). you'll need a fairly good sized container to make it in. we used a tupperware-type plastic box that came as a storage box for leo's train table. it crossed my mind while we were playing that if i had multiple kids i would make this again in a small plastic pool & let them play IN the dough, then just give them a quick hose-down when done! simply mix the 2 ingredients together & if desired you can add food coloring or powdered tempura paint to add color to the dough. the result is a fluffy & yet totally moldable dough that even i couldn't resist getting my hands in! leo had so much fun on the front porch with this stuff, he probably spent 2 hours molding it into shapes & then crushing & knocking them down. try it out for yourselves & let us know what your kids thought & did with it!
Thank you so much to our continued followers! We currently are working on a lineup of our next products to review for you. It's been quite a break-- with very busy schedules, but we are back with exciting news!
Keep an eye out for a review AND giveaway from Swaddle Designs coming this week.
Also, exciting news... I am now 29 weeks pregnant with baby #2, a little boy due in July! I have had so much fun planning his nursery most of all and cannot wait for his arrival. Ellie is looking so forward to being a big sister. She is rocking and singing to her favorite stuffed animals and dolls in preparation for him. I spent so much time researching fun and unique nursery ideas online that I am very proud of what I've come up with. I hope to finish up in the next few weeks and reveal here for the first time, Liam's nursery! I can't wait to share with you what I've come up with, what great deals I got, products I found, and even some DIY projects!
Bailey has also been busy keeping up with Leo and she too is working on some fun product reviews for those of you with little boys in the reading audience out there!
We're so glad to be back. Thanks again for your continued support and attention to our blog! We certainly couldn't do it without you all.
Christmas is coming, & I've got a great gift idea. With a Gabs & Eddy hat, you seriously can't go wrong! These absolutely darling crocheted hats are handmade & range in size from newborn to adult. Not joking, owner Gillian also makes hats for dogs & cats! These beautifully crafted hats are too good to pass up. Leo absolutely LOVES wearing his 'chunky newsboy' style hat & he looks SO handsome in it. Now that the weather is cooling off, I put it on him every chance I get. Click HERE to view the Gabs & Eddy website, & be sure to follow them on twitter (@GabsandEddy)! Also exciting, they're currently donating $2 from every dog hat sold to Bide Awhile, an animal shelter that rescues & re-homes abandoned & unwanted animals. Jump over & check out their selection right away, you won't be disappointed!
I was fortunate enough to breast feed Ellie for twelve weeks before going back to work and leaving my poor husband and Ellie with a multitude of different bottles. We encountered a couple different problems, one being that Ellie would gulp down a whole bottle of breast milk and then fuss because it was already all gone. The beauty of breastfeeding is that the body automatically paces the infant by letting down over time and Ellie was used to this. She was used to getting from me in thirty minutes what she could get from a bottle in five. This made for a rather unhappy Ellie (and a cranky husband who called me late at night at work wondering why she was STILL crying!) Our other problem was that once Ellie finally got used to it and over her empty-bottle tantrums, she had a hard time transitioning back to the breast when I returned home the next morning because she preferred the "quick and easy" eating method as opposed to having to work for her meal. This is also known as nipple confusion. With all this in mind, thus began my search for the perfect boob-like bottle and I found several that I liked, and also several that I didn't.
And the winners are pictured above with Ellie (from left to right)... Difrax S, Kid Basix Safe Starter, Lansinoh mOmma, Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature, Yoomi, and Mimijumi. Obviously, Ellie loves them all!
1. Mimijumi Very Hungry- You really can't find a bottle that looks more like a boob than this one! I felt like I needed to get out my nursing cover the first time I used it in public. I must admit, I was initially drawn to the cuteness of the packaging. I'm a sucker for a cute design. But luckily, the product was every bit as clever as the "milk carton" it came in. It provided a much needed transition from the breast to the bottle and back from bottle to breast. The shape of the nipple replicates a human nipple. It also has venting to prevent tummy troubles, a skid proof base, and it's dishwasher safe. All in all, it's a darling little bottle and a great choice for breastfed babies. Check it out HERE. It's also on Zulily HERE for a discounted price.
2. Lansinoh mOmma- This too is a great option for the breastfed baby who can't always have the breast. It has a patented nipple that mimics the natural sucking rhythm by controlling the pace of which the baby receives the milk. This is done so with a controlled series of sucks and pauses. Really cool, right? That solved Ellie's biggest problem. The nipple is also shaped similarly to that of a breast which helps prevent nipple confusion. It's hard to believe that you can buy this kind of technology in a bottle for under $10. The wide shape of the actual bottle provides for easy holding when the baby gets bigger and also minimal spilling when transferring pumped milk from bag to bottle. This is my husband's very favorite bottle, it's his go-to for those long twelve hour shifts when I'm away from Ellie. Check out this bottle and find out where to buy it HERE. And for a $1 off coupon, be sure to print it off from HERE.
3. Kid Basix Safe Starter Stainless Steel Bottle- This is one of my favorites for hot Florida days. It's made of medical grade stainless steel so milk stays cooler and warmer longer than in regular bottles. It warms quicker when your child is hungry RIGHT NOW. It also has a great silicone sleeve on the outside for comfort. This is our favorite bottle when we have errands to run. I can fill it up with fresh breast milk or formula and not worry about it spoiling as quickly as it would in a different bottle. I take this particular bottle with me to the pool or beach to beat the heat. My first question was how to measure the amount in the bottle. But they've even thought of this! The cap has measurements on it for preparation and to check and see what is left over. Genius, right? Check them out HERE and to purchase click HERE, if you use the code "mfavorites" through the end of August, you can save 20% off your purchase! (Another favorite we've started Ellie on is their Safe Sippy, so be sure to check it out too.)
4. Difrax S- There are many reason this is the number one selling bottle in the Netherlands. For starters, it's tall, thin, and curvy (it IS a bottle, not a woman!) And they have many eye-catching colors to choose from. The unique "S" shape allows the nipple to always ben full of milk which minimizes sucking air. There is a special valve in the bottom that allows the air out but keeps the milk in, this keeps tummy troubles to a minimum. It also has a very slow flow and slowed Ellie way down while eating. It comes apart easily and is dishwasher safe. My only complaint is my own fault... I thawed a bag of breast milk while we were out at dinner one night and had washed the bottle but forgotten to replace the clear plastic valve that goes in the bottom. Needless to say, my liquid gold went all over me, Ellie, and my dinner. So remember to keep the valve in the bottom to prevent major spills. This is overall an excellent bottle. Check them out HERE.
5. Tomme Tippee Closer to Nature- I've gotten many comments while out in public with this bottle. An older lady actually approached me and said that my bottle looked like a breast. I was thinking "you should see the Mimijumi!" But the beauty of this statement is that it's true. The silicone nipple feels like breast tissue and simulates the nipple on a breast better than any bottle I've seen. They come in clear, but also in pink and blue. We love our Tommee Tippee bottles. The only downside is that they are fat and don't fit well into the pockets in my diaper bag. They do however as I've found redeem themselves by having a great seal and therefore, they do not leak. So, I can confidently toss them in the top of my bag without having to worry. They also have an anti-colic valve which helps prevent spit-ups. We also use the weaning cup for juice when we try solids, it's a much easier transition than other ones we have tried. All of Tommee Tippee's products are great. You need to check them out HERE.
6. Yoomi Bottle- This bottle is such a great idea. It is self warming at the touch of a button. This is a dream for pumping moms! Put your refrigerated breast milk (or formula) in the bottle and go wherever you're going, put the warmer into the bottle and when you're ready, press the button, wait one minute, and then begin your feeding. While the milk sits in nipple it is warmed by the warmer at a controlled temperature that won't get too hot. In order to use the warmer, you must "charge" it by boiling it in hot water and allowing it to cool before you use it. They have just released the new microwave charger that I'm thrilled to try. I think it will make using this bottle even more convenient. The nipple is also breast like for easy latch on and has anti-colic features for sensitive tummies. Check them out HERE. For a 15% off discount through the end of July, use the code USblog50 at the checkout.
Bottles that didn't make the cut include... Phillips Avent Classic bottle (problems with leaking), Similac Simply Smart bottle (Ellie did not prefer the nipple), Dr. Brown's bottles (too many parts to clean).
I hope this helps you find a bottle that your little one will love! -Anna
Swaddle Designs, my absolute favorite blanket company has done it all over again! They've just released the new Swaddlelite blankets just in time for summer time! Designed to mimic their other best seller, the Ultimate Swaddling blanket, the Swaddlelite is the same great size and design, but made of marquisette material which is light weight, breathable, highly durable cotton. This great material allows for airflow and has cut down on sweating at night, yet still allowed us to swaddle Ellie in our warm environment.
Like I said, this has become our go-to swaddling blanket for napping and bedtime since we live in hot, sunny Florida. That's not all though. We use this blanket for so much more, we take it with us on the go, yes, it's usually a sweltering 90 plus degrees out, but in restaurants, running errands, and even with the air conditioning in the car, it's come in handy. It really is the perfect light weight blanket. I've also been able to use it while nursing in public. It's large size in combination with the light weight material, I tied it around the back of my neck to minimize exposure while Ellie and I both stayed cool. While running errands, I've also been able to use these great blankets draped over her car seat as a cover to minimize her exposure to the sun.
The Swaddlelite blankets come in a giftbox including three coordinating patterns, all of which are so cute. It makes the perfect gift for the new mom. If I'm invited to any showers this summer, this is what moms-to-be are going to be receiving from me! There are many patterns and prints to choose from when selecting your box of three. I had such a hard time deciding but we chose the Very Berry set in jewel tones and we love them. Isn't the little bird blanket she's wrapped in adorable? Our other favorite is the Angry Birds collection!
These blankets also have the 1-2-3 swaddle tag to remind new moms and dads how to properly swaddle. For more information on swaddling, you can visit Swaddle Design's site HERE for demonstrations and reasons why swaddled babies sleep better. This site is so informational and such a good resource for new parents or first time swaddlers. In order to view Swaddle Designs Swaddlelite products, click HERE. Be sure to read Swaddle Designs story while you are on the site and how they got their start. I'm especially fond of the company because it was founded by a Registered Nurse and the brand is recognized by the medical community as a safe, good choice for a swaddling blanket for newborns.
More exciting news! We partnered with Swaddle Designs for a giveaway this month! One lucky reader will receive a box of the new Swaddlel
ite blankets in the pattern of their choice!
1. You must be a US or Canadian citizen to participate.
3. Follow @SwaddleDesigns on Twitter and tweet about your favorite one of their products.
4. "Like" Swaddle Designs on Facebook HERE and post on their wall what your favorite product or pattern available is! FYI: All Facebook fans receive the latest news and discount codes from Swaddle Designs.
5. Don't forget to sign up for email updates from Swaddle Designs to get the inside scoop on special offers. Do so by clicking HERE.
6. Leave a message on our Facebook wall letting us know that you have followed the rules for the giveaway and you'll be entered to win!
We will choose the winner the first week in July! Good luck!
We love Swaddle Designs and the new Swaddlelite! -Anna & Ellie
How many times have you been somewhere and your baby has refused to ride in the stroller and you've wished a million times that you had your baby carrier with you? Or other times when you've actually been carrying your child and lugging the diaper bag over a shoulder as well? Now you can always discreetly have the carrier with you, tucked away int0 your sleek diaper bag. And no more double duty with the carrier and diaper bag either. Perfection, at last! I think at this point we all know how much I love things that are multi-purpose. Well this is one of my very favorites.
With all the great features of a functional diaper bag, this one is a must-have for the mom on-the-go. It has an adjustable shoulder strap that can convert to an around-the-waist strap, be worn over the shoulder, or used across the body as a messenger. It features great pockets and space for storage with a place for your cell phone and keys. It also includes a changing pad and an insulated bottle holder in a matching fabric that doubles as a snack pouch for the older baby. And I love the fabric on the bag, it's nice, substantial, and cleans very well for those inevitable accidents. From personal experience, a baby wipe down the front and the spit up was all gone!
The carrier is useful for children up to thirty five pounds with good head control. It's really easy to transform from diaper bag to baby carrier too. All you have to do is buckle the shoulder strap around your waist and pull the stowed straps out from their clever hideaway and insert baby. I was so impressed the first time I used it. It was quite comfortable on my poor, sore back the way the weight was evenly distributed with the waist support.
It comes in a variety of great colors to choose from. The turquoise, as pictured, along with a gorgeous green, bright pink, purple, yellow, and basic gray and black are the choices. I had a hard time deciding but I loved the blue, and I think we're going to get a big bright pink monogram on the front!
Go-Go Babyz offers many clever ideas for travel, check out their site HERE and to view the turquoise blue Sidekick like Ellie's, click HERE. And, just for Mom's Favorite Things readers, use the code "zinger12" for $15 off your Sidekick bag!
It's great to have the Sidekick to make life a little bit easier when on the go with Ellie! -Anna
We're so impressed with the craftsmanship that went into making our new set of 'Colored Cups & Balls' from Mama May I. This is a beautiful, handmade montessori style toy that teaches young children colors & matching while also progressing their fine motor skills. The set is made up of 6 small cups & matching balls that are dyed with non-toxic watercolors. There is also a scoop & bowl included. The balls are placed into the bowl & then scooped out one at a time by the child and dropped into the coordinating cup. The process is still difficult for Leo, he misses the cup most times he tries to drop the ball in. I can see his little mind working to match the colors, & the focus he has when trying to drop the ball properly into the cup is simply amazing. He has thoroughly enjoyed playing with this so far, tonight he tried to refuse dinner because he was still playing with his 'new toy'. Mama May I makes a large collection of different montessori and Waldorf inspired toys that will spark the mind of any appropriately aged child. I intend to order a few more learning toys from Mama May I, you can't go wrong! Click HERE to visit the Mama May I etsy site & browse the amazing collection of toys, there are even some for babies! Use coupon code MOMSFAVTHINGS for 15% off! -Bailey