We are obsessed! {you don’t want to miss this }

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Friday Finds

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This post is a smorgasbord of things we’re currently loving that I’d like to share with you. There are some finds here that I am tickled pink to have discovered. I started writing this with just a few items, but as I was discovering things this was getting longer and longer and at this point, I am SOOOOO happy with some of the items here. Some of these are so cool you might not want to miss out on reading this, ESPECIALLY if you have a baby/child. I buy quite a few things on daily basis that I think might be cool ( it’s a problem really) that don’t always work out, but then once in a while we find a real hit.

In addition to this post, I am currently working on a page where I can put all the products and finds that I have written about over the years, things I use and believe in and think are great. That way it will be very easy for new and old readers to find something they are looking for. So look for that new page announcement some time in the next week or so.

So here are a few of our OBSESSIONS:


B Toys

Oh man, get me away from Amazon and hide my debit cards. Ever since I’ve discovered B. Toys, I have been a sucker for them. I will actually be writing a feature about B. Toys next week with a giveaway, so I don’t want to say too much right now, except that I daily drool over the next B. toys I will be buying for Lexi . I want almost everything off their collection, dreaming about when Lexi will be old enough to get her some of their cool play things. I have full intention on purchasing almost every single toy they offer. We already have the Links, the Fish & Splish and Bazillion Buckets and Lexi loves all of them (I will be writing a review on the first two and mentioning the rest, so hang tight)


My favorites (aside from what Lexi already has): Zany Zoo, Youniversity, Parum Pum Pum DrumJungle JinglesRain Rush, A-Maze Loopty LooMeowsicPiccolo Carousel Bells[10 minutes later] And I just ordered 5 toys out of this list. Just couldn’t resist while writing this, damn you blog! {update: since I wrote this I received my order of these toys and Rain Rush, Loopty Loo and Bells are for a slightly older baby (12 months and up, though I had plenty of fun playing with them myself), but she’s obsessed with the Meowsic and the drumsticks of Parum Pum Pum and the sounds when I play the drums.}

 

Nature Box

Ok, so you know how everyone is obsessed with different monthly subscription boxes? I am usually a sucker for those, however I just don’t dig getting samples of stuff. And at this point I am so picky about skin products I use and baby products I use that it doesn’t make sense for me. However, those boxes are addictive and I have come across one that might be even more addictive, because it’s SNACKS. Healthy snacks!

NatureBox sent me one box to try out and the snacks were gone in….well, less than a day.  Honestly, if I were away from home more often, I would be all over this. Each box has 4-6 different snack bags, all snacks are SUPER HEALTHY (they promise not to have HF corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, etc). Here’s what September box looked like. I am not currently subscribed to them, because all I’d be doing is snacking all day, but I wanted to share with you, guys, since it’s brilliant for people on-the-go and older kids (those who can have nuts).

Peeled Snacks

Another healthy snack brand, this one works for smaller babies, like Lexi. This is simply dried fruit, but DRIED WITHOUT any preservatives and additives. You’d be surprised how much junk there is in conventionally dried fruit (like did you know that naturally dried apricots ARE NOT supposed to be orange. Oops!) When you look at the ingredient list, you’ll find out that there is no list. There is ONE  ingredient- ORGANIC FRUIT! Only after tasting these  will you realize that you’ve never REALLY had dried fruit before. My God! My favorites are bananas, apricots and pineapple. It’s definitely worth giving a try. I found that their dried apples are cut perfectly for Alexis. She will sit there and chew and suck on that dried apple slice for hours. It’s perfect when I need to make her food and have to have her busy with something for a longer period of time (and toys won’t do it, because she now expects food when in her high chair). I sit her up in a high chair and give her a dried apple slice. She absolutely loves it. I haven’t been giving her other fruits, since they are cut into smaller pieces and pose a chocking hazard.  But apples are perfect. I just wish my favorite apricot bag didn’t have, like, 5 of them in there. I get it that they are trying to keep the portions and calories down to a snack size, but come on, they are too good to have only 5!!!! I’ve been ordering them off of Amazon in a 12 pack, just FYI.

Baby Tank Tops

Ever since my modeling days, I’ve had this slight obsession with white tank tops. Jeans and a white tank top under a few layers were my staple when running to castings. And I have just as soft of a spot for baby tank tops, in general.  We’ve got this adorable white Polarn O Pyretbodysuit for Lexi and I just swoon when she wears it. I’m glad it’s sized 1.5 years, because I hope to get a lot of wear out of it. The other day I put some sneakers on her to match the onesie and oh my God, that was adorable. I’ll post it in an outfit post one of these days. Looking at these pictures, I do need to girly it up, though. Some bow or flower in her hair would look cute. Oh and I can’t wait till she walks so I can put jeans on her. Ah!

{Picture from almost 2 months ago. It’s amazing how she has changed!}

Lexi’s playroom

Currently, I am feverishly planning Lexi’s playroom. At least in my head, because that’s all I have time for right now. So here’s what I’ve got so far.

  • RUGS. I already bought two 100% wool rugs for the room since it has hard cold tile. I got them on a big MyHabit sale ($145 each, down from $400). My cats are obsessed with it and Lexi does this snaky little thing of eating loose carpet fibers that the cats bring up with their nails. She’s smart though, she knows she is not supposed to do it, so she sees a fuzzy on the carpet, quickly reaches out, grabs it and puts it in her mouth. Then she does this little butt dance and a sly smile while looking at me, knowing that she got away with it.  LOL. Because once it’s in her mouth, good luck fishing it out. Not much I can do about that except for vacuum the carpet maniacally. Unfortunately, Lexi has developed this strange fear of vacuums, so I’ve had to have Andrew vacuum while I take her to another room or do it during nap time. That got old REALLY fast and I bought a small cordless vacuum to see if that handy little thing wouldn’t work more efficiently and be more convenient than our behemoth Dyson. I’ll report on its status once it’s done charging for the first 16 hours.
  • ART. I haven’t decided on what I am doing for wall art yet. Most likely I will do a ton of photos of Lexi playing and swap them out each year. I also got this HUGE canvas of my favorite photo of Lexi. I guess I never realized that REAL canvas are supposed to be printed on true CANVAS, not some cheaper version of the material (duh!). This thing is serious! It looks like the quality of a piece of expensive art. You get what you pay for, I guess. I ordered it from Photo Canvas,  if anyone is interested. Got it within a few days via International shipping (these guys are in the UK).
  • GATES! I am currently knee deep in obsession with gates. I know, strange thing to obsess over, but it’s just I am tickled pink that I found these awesome gates that fit our MASSIVE openings (100” for the playroom) and don’t look like crap. I love these gates! They also form into a play yard, or if you buy two of them, a huge 4×6 play area, which we will set up in the family room and kitchen for when we have to do something there. Again, I love these things. I will be writing a childproofing post some time in the future with all the items we’ve been using to childproof our humongous house and how we are going about it and I will be sure to let you know how these gates have been working out. In the meantime, I think we’ll be ordering a third set.
  • TUMBLING/PLAY FURNITURE: Another obsession of mine! I ordered $800 worth of tumbling furniture and while I don’t have anything to report on it until it gets here, one thing I can say is it’s THE BEST STINKING THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO PLAY FURNITURE (exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark)… and I haven’t even used them yet . :) Again, I’ll write more in detail once I get the pieces and put the to some good use, but it’s THE ONLY tumbling furniture I found that isn’t made out of PVC or some other crap we don’t want our kids inhaling, let alone touching. It’s non-toxic, easy to clean, looks fun and helps develop motor skills. It’s reasonably priced too, not cheap, but reasonable enough for something this cool.
 
  • STORAGE/FURNITURE I have not bought this yet, but I am currently thinking about something along these lines: http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Baxter_Unit/210/ in white. Basically, modular furniture so that I could put it together the way I want to. Keep it low to the ground, with chalkboards and cubby holes and baskets. It will be around 800 dollars for the set that I am thinking to buy, but I will wait till Black Friday to see if I can get 20% discount.
Note: Now that we’ve had a day or two to use an actual gated-off playroom, oh.my.freaking.god, why didn’t we set it up earlier? This is seriously awesome! To have a full room, sans sharp corners, for her to crawl around, toys everywhere, convenient gate to pull up on, soft carpet to cushion minor falls, it’s just the best. I get to lay back and read on my phone when she is busy playing on her own, without having to worry about a thing. It’s amazing! If any of you have the room to make a gated-off play area, DO.IT.NOW!

Now speaking of home design…

FRETTE

I have been drooling over the bedding at www.frette.com. I have an unusual fascination with luxurious looking beds and bedding and have been on the hunt for that perfect bedset for our guest room for literally 2 years. We have a really gorgeous (read: massive) bed in our master with a fitting bedset, but for the life of me I have not been able to find the perfect duvet for the guest bedroom. Sorry, guests!

So I have finally found a bedspread that I love. It’s sunny and yellow and expensive as hell (but currently on sale).  I also love Majesty (I like it even better than yellow), and Cult and Millionaire. I have not splurged on it yet, but my cursor has hung over the check out button for a few minutes too long a couple of times.

Clek’s Foonf

I am a little bit ( No, a lot of bit) excited about Clek’s Foonf. Like, giddy that I get to try it out for 2 weeks. I am in love with our current car seat (Pria 70), but I am just very curious about Foonf. I don’t know if it’s going to beat Pria 70, but it might very well just blow my mind. I won’t bore you with details, but it’s a super cool convertible car seat. As in next generation of coolness. Look forward to the review.

Nununu

I tend to obsess over a brand or food or book or anything for that matter for a while and then cool down. Well, currently I am obsessing with NUNUNU. It’s a baby/child clothing brand that is just TOO COOL. You might recognize some of the pieces from my favorite photos of Lexi here. I first discovered them when they went on sale on MyHabit and ordered a few pieces, because I thought they looked cool. Well, they look even better in person, smell heavenly and are just THE SHIT. :) So this week they were on sale on MyHabit AGAIN (and will be till 10/17), so I couldn’t resist and I bought a pair of shorts and a skirt :) I love that they are such a departure from the typical store bought baby clothes and are completely gender neutral ( except for the pink stuff).


Little Board Books

This is Lexi’s obsession. As you all know, she’s a total bookworm, which makes me very happy. She would much rather play with books, read books, look at pictures in a book, be recited stories than do ANYTHING else. Usually, she prefers full length books, not the ones meant for babies, because she really likes to sit, listen and study pictures. But lately she’s been pretty much crazy over certain longer small sized board books. I carry them with me EVERYWHERE, because it’s THE thing that makes her happy regardless of how upset she is. It’d be too hard for me to list all the board books she loves, so here’s a link to the Amazon list of all of them. The ones that are her favorites are marked so. She loves the pictures and the stories, because they tend to be longer and more interesting and well, it’s Dr Seuss (mostly), who doesn’t like that?

Making my own cleaning supplies

I have a whole list of things I want to make, but it’s been going slow because it’s hard to get any time to do it when I am not with Lexi, since you have to handle essential oils and borax and other non-kid-friendly stuff. But the few things I made work fabulously: wood polishing spray ( Endust and the like, is sooooo toxic it’s crazy), multi-surface spray (works awesome on glass too), fabric softener and air freshener ( again, the commercial versions are incredibly unhealthy). On the list to make: gel air fresheners, laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, dishwashing detergent, hand soap, shampoo and a few more. And it saves money, we spend crazy amount of money on “green” cleaning products that aren’t really that green. This way it costs so much less to make them that I can pay for more housekeeping hours to help clean the house or continue feeding my unhealthy baby product buying habit. I will be posting a list of recipes I used, but in the meantime if you’re interested, most of them are on my Pinterest board: NATURAL HOME CARE

Herbal Animals

I saw these guys on Fab.com and thought it was such a good idea. These are organic toys stuffed with herbs for aromatherapy. They make perfect companions for children’s bedtime, as well as pregnant women and just plain old adults. Each collection of herbs has an effect on your body: calming/relaxing/exciting/etc.  I am obsessed with the concept and can’t wait till Lexi is old enough to use it (you shouldn’t get it until your kid is 3 y.o.)

Lexi is in love with the banana brush

We have been {almost} diligently trying to brush the three teeth Lexster has with gauze, like instructed by numerous baby books, but she has been hating the process. Well, it turns out it’s the taste of gauze that is so revolting to her, not the actual brushing process. So I decided to find a baby toothbrush. After looking at all the option, I ordered 3 different ones and now she’s OBSESSED with this banana brush. As in, uses it as a toy (thankfully, it’s safe), which means her teeth and gums get constantly brushed and massaged. It’s made of medical grade silicone, so it’s pvc/bpa/lead free. Lexi didn’t part with it for the first 2 weeks. Now she’s calmed down, but happily chews on it/brushes her teeth whenever given. I loved her reaction so much that I also ordered a toddler brush from the same company, for when we want to “officially” brush her  teeth with a non-flouridated toothpaste.

Rollerblading

As I mentioned in the postpartum body post, I am now rollerblading daily to help tone up and get in shape. I was using my ancient rollerblades from 7 years ago and it has honestly started getting scary to rollerblade with them, since the velcro has almost worn off. After searching for good blades online, I decided to splurge on these rollerblades (???)… I am not sure how much rollerblades are supposed to cost, but these were on the expensive side compared to some others. I am glad I didn’t go with the cheaper ones though, because THEY ROCK. They look good, feel good, are super secure, fast and just really good quality. I’ve been having so much fun rollerblading in them. So if anyone is looking to find an exercise that is not boring and doesn’t take much effort but burns a ton of calories, rollerblading is IT. I’ve considered trying to rollerblade with a stroller, but I need to look more into the safety aspect of it. For now, Andrew runs alongside me with Lexi in our Baby Jogger while I speed past them and then back to meet them again. I know that it is possible to rollerblade with a jogging stroller, especially if you’re a confident experienced rollerblader. Our jogger has a handbrake, which would pretty much make all the dangers of rollerblading with a stroller void. If anyone has any info on the precautions one has to take when rollerblading with a jogging stroller, please share.

Non-Toxic Brush and Comb

This is a bit silly, BUT…tell me if you have had this problem? You give your baby a bath, you go to brush her/his hair and all she wants to do is eat the brush or comb that you’re using. You can’t put it down, because inevitably she will go for it and put it in her mouth and you have concerns as to what contents that plastic cheap looking brush is made out of, but somehow you are almost positive it is NOT something you want your baby to suck on. However, you’re struggling to put a diaper on a squirmy baby and THE ONLY thing that will keep her still(and it’s NOT A TOY)  is that possibly toxic brush. UGH! That happened every stinking night, until I had the “BRILLIANT” idea to look for a safe brush and comb set, so that I could give it to her to play with, while I try to put pjs on a tired fussy baby. Duh! Why it took me 6 months to do that I will never know…

So after a bit of searching I found this: BRUSH AND COMB SET (bpa free, pthalate-free, pvc- free) in a shape of a cute bunny. I HAD to share it with the new (and old) mommies because that tiny purchase made our evenings 100% easier.

So here you go, kids!
Some very useful, cool and plain old fun things that have been making our family happy for the past month or so.
Feel free to pin it for future use.

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