A More Efficient Beach Trip with Toddlers: Pacific Breeze Shelter & Lounger Review

A More Efficient Beach Trip with Toddlers

A Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter & Lounger Review

Last summer we did our first beach trip as a family.  It was a total blast – so much that we vowed to do it every year. What wasn’t as fun was: 1) figuring out what we needed to bring to the beach (in regards to sun shelter) for an extended visit and 2) lugging it all there a couple times a day.  We were the clueless family overpaying in beach town shops for crappy umbrellas that broke after a day.

I have been determined to figure out a simpler solution for this year’s trip (in August), especially in light of the fact that we will be having a baby join our crew this vacation.  Additionally, I was hoping to find some easy products that would allow us to take more frequent day trips to the shore without feeling like we were schlepping too much stuff.  So, I did my research and got several recommendations for the Pacific Breeze line of products.  The most important attributes were that they were compact, lightweight, easy to use, sturdy/safe, and of course, provided good sun protection.  The Pacific Breeze Sand & Surf Beach Shelter and Loungers seemed to fit the bill, so my excited three-year-old and I put them to the test!

You can see by the picture, that the very large beach shelter is quite compact (to be exact, its travel size is 39 L x 7 W x 7 H).  It also weighs only 9 pounds (but feels lighter).  My (strong) toddler could even pick it up!  Don’t worry, we won’t be putting her in charge of carrying it to the beach!

One of the obvious reasons I wanted to try it out before going to the beach is to see if it was as easy as it claims to set up.  I may be a semi-pro at installing car seats and putting strollers and baby products together, but this sort of thing is often out of my wheelhouse.  I have some funny memories of my husband and dad trying to get the cheaply made umbrella into the sand last summer, having it blow away 5 minutes later.  Well, the directions on the tag show three steps and that’s all I needed to get this up in the 30 seconds it promises (there are more specific directions inside the bag if needed).  It was seriously so easy and A was in awe of our fun tent for our “camping adventure” we had on our front lawn.

One opened, the tent is seriously huge.  The size is 94.5 L x 94.5 D x 59 H that comfortably fits 4 or more people with UPF 50+ sun protection and a large and airy feel with excellent ventilation.  The full tent is water resistant, and the bottom tarp is heavy duty

There is a sun shield you can move around, depending on the direction of the sun.  The open panel areas also allow for some great ventilation (and not feeling like you are in a camping tent all day).

One super cool aspect of this beach shelter is that it has a zip out floor that allows children to play in the sand while still having shade from the sun.  This is also perfect for adults (like me) who like to have their toes in the sand.  It allows for great versatility.

When we opened up the floor of the beach shelter, we immediately thought it was a great time to pull out the chairs.  I was very intrigued by their design when I saw them online.  When they arrived, I loved how lightweight they were (6 pounds), and their folding design allows them to pack down to 27.5 in tall and 21 in wide.  When you put it on your back, you can hardly feel that it’s there (especially if you are used to carrying a toddler around!)

The fully padded loungers have an adjustable back rest and also can adjust the footrest to be shorter or longer.

Two easily fit in the tent, with additional room to spare.  I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable and easy these loungers were.

The final test would be how easy everything was to put away.  The lounger chairs fold back together so easily and are ready to be worn as a backpack (or their slim design would also make them easy to put in a beach cart).

The beach shelter was just as easy to put away as it was to put up.  The directions that are sewn inside the storage bag make sure you are doing it right, but it’s seriously so easy.  I was easily able to put the folded up tent into the bag by myself.

I am so thrilled to find a system that I think will work great for us this summer.  I still will be in the market for a beach cart (for all the beach toys, floaties, wine ;), etc.) but knowing that we will be using this shelter and loungers takes a huge weight off my shoulders in advance of our big trip in August.  Stay tuned for some pictures then, but in the meantime, we certainly recommend you checking these products yourself!

With love,

LL

A More Efficient Beach Trip with Toddlers: Pacific Breeze Shelter & Lounger Review 2017-06-11T08:12:54+00:00

A Closer Look: Details from our White + Neutral Nursery Makeover

A Closer Look: Details from our White + Neutral Nursery Makeover

We are excited to share ‘a closer look’ at some of the details of our nursery – the details that help truly pull the room together and make it what it is.  As mentioned in our previous reveal post, we were excited to work with some brands we already had a high level of comfort with (i.e. buybuy BABY and Minted), but also learn about new brands in which we quickly fell in love!  By using a variety of brands at different price points, YouthfulNest’s lead designer Lisa Janvrin put together a beautiful white, neutral nursery that is anything but cookie cutter!  (We’ve had several questions about specific products, which are all linked at the end.)

The view I have every morning when I walk in the room. The natural light, coupled with the varying shades of whites and creams, makes me so happy! I wasn’t originally sure about mixing my off-white furniture (which I already had) with the bright whites of the bookshelf and other elements, but was quickly pleased when it started to come together!

I did help narrow down the beautiful baby lamb art via Minted, but when it arrived, I was scared. It looked SO big and thought it might be too much. I was so happy that YouthfulNest pushed me out of my comfort zone because without this piece, the room would not be what it is!

How sweet are these aden + anais linens as a crib sheet? It is that element of ‘baby’ that the room needs. I’ve kept out the beautiful Feltman Brothers take-me-home outfit – can’t wait to put the little guy in it!

The previous homeowners had the ceiling painted in clouds. We decided to keep it and it’s dreamy. We scored this awesome light from Target for less than $150! Can you get enough of the Kroma Carpets pelt? It adds such a softness to the room.

I’m pretty obsessed with this storage basket from Target Pillowfort, which looks much more expensive than the $25 I paid. The Saranoni blankets throughout the room add so much softness (and can’t wait to use them with baby boy).

One of YouthfulNest’s big goals is to create a functional nursery – hence the easy reading light and clock. I pushed back on the clock as I thought it looked too ‘girly’ online, but it’s been one of the most complimented elements from visitors (and my husband). I stand corrected!

The DaVinci glider is so beautiful, inviting, and comfortable… and such a great value! I couldn’t be more thrilled with the color and how it complements the room.

Admittedly, I wasn’t 100% sold on this LOOM throw pillow when YouthfulNest suggested it, but it is absolutely perfect in pulling all the colors of the room together, while also complementing the quasi animal theme. The Mary Meyer lamb stuffed animal is absolutely darling.. a brand we just fell in love with!

It’s still amazing to see the (repainted) furniture that Nick (my husband) and I had in our first place as such a big part of the nursery. I love it!

Another amazing plush toy by Mary Meyer! The elephant is adorable but also functional – it’s made by SkipHop and serves as a soother, as well as a nightlight (perfect for late night diaper changes)

I just love the Bear print (by Minted) – it’s the perfect piece above the chest of drawers!

Lisa (our lead designer) found these vintage swan book ends on Etsy for under $40 shipped! I love them too much – simple yet striking.

While this adorable SkipHop activity gym isn’t part of the finished nursery per se (rather a toy for baby to play on), it is such a nice pop of color in an all neutrals nursery.

Thanks for following along in our nursery transformation – we hope you enjoyed the before and after pictures.  Make sure to check out YouthfulNest and follow on Facebook for many more awesome reveals!

Product Links: Baby Sheep Art (Minted) // Crib (Franklin & Ben via buybuy BABY) // Mattress (Naturepedic via buybuy BABY) // Plush Lamb Rocker (Pottery Barn Kids) // Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt (aden + anais via buybuy BABY) // Glider (DaVinci) // Bookshelf (Pottery Barn Kids) // Stuffed Animals (Mary Meyer Toys) // Colorhouse Paint (Bisque .02) // White Rope Basket (Target) // Stuffed Giraffe (Mary Meyer Toys) // Colorhouse Paint (Bisque .02) // Elephant Nightlight & Soother (SkipHop) //Mirror (Overstock) // Diaper Bag (SkipHop) // Changing Pad Cover (aden + anais via buybuy BABY) //Bunny Clock (PBTeen) // Activity Gym (SkipHop) // Bear Art done by big sister Alexa and framed by Framebridge  // Diaper Caddy Basket (Homegoods in store)

Photo credits: Rich Alfonzo

We partnered with buybuy BABY on this post, but all excitement about the new nursery is our own.

With love,

LL

A Closer Look: Details from our White + Neutral Nursery Makeover 2017-06-07T09:31:34+00:00

Creating a Dream Nursery with YouthfulNest (The BIG Reveal!)

Creating a Dream Nursery with YouthfulNest (The BIG Reveal!)

So we did it, guys… we created my dream nursery!  Little did I know that when I created my Pinterest board to share with YouthfulNest during the design process, that I would actually love the room we created so much MORE than any of the images we used for inspiration.  If you haven’t taken the time to read a bit about working with a virtual interior design company, we certainly encourage you to start with this post!

As we near two weeks until baby boy is born, I can’t help but spend lots of time in his room.  It’s calming, serene, soft on the eyes, and most simply put: amazing.  I can’t even believe the transformation of this space in just a couple months.. and it really came to life over the past few weeks.

In hindsight, the process with YouthfulNest was so simple and the results were incredible.  (Well, I’ll let you be the judge as we share official ‘afters’ below!)  I loved the opportunity to work with such a talented lead designer, Lisa Janvrin.  One of my favorite aspects of this completed nursery are that it’s such a great combination of pieces we already had (i.e. the ivory dresser and chest, which we got painted a few years ago), as well as high and low budget pieces that add a certain ‘eclectic-ness’ to the room.  I was able to work with trusted brand favorites such as buybuy BABY and Minted and also be introduced to some brands I hadn’t had experience with such as LOOM Decor and Kroma Carpets.  I would have never been able to achieve a look like this without a little help… it would have been too “cookie cutter” and still wouldn’t have been the look I wanted to achieve.

Additionally, I don’t think this nursery would have been done for months and months (as a part-time working/stay-at-home mom of a busy three year old, it simply would have gotten pushed to the bottom of the list, and poor little man would have an eye-sore of a pink nursery).  It’s been so fun going through the process and also getting introduced to some fantastic brands who have made this room quite possibly my favorite room in my home!  I also know that this nursery was created not only for beautiful pictures, but also for function… I feel that it’s set up perfectly for me as I soon become a mom of two!

Before: 

After:

Baby Sheep Art (Minted) // Typography Art (Minted) // Crib (Franklin & Ben via buybuy BABY) // Mattress (Naturepedic via buybuy BABY) // Plush Lamb Rocker (Pottery Barn Kids) // Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt (aden + anais via buybuy BABY) // Pelt Rug (Kroma Carpets) // Glider (DaVinci) // Bookshelf (Pottery Barn Kids) // Stuffed Animals (Mary Meyer Toys) // Pillow (LOOM Decor) // Table Lamp (Bed Bath & Beyond) // Bunny Clock (PBTeen) // Throw (Saranoni) // Colorhouse Paint (Bisque .02) // Pouf (Ikram Designs) // Curtains (IKEA)  // Curtain Rod (Target)

Before:

After:

Baby Sheep Art (Minted) // Crib (Franklin & Ben via buybuy BABY) // Mattress (Naturepedic via buybuy BABY) // Plush Lamb Rocker (Pottery Barn Kids) // Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt (aden + anais via buybuy BABY) // Glider (DaVinci) // Bookshelf (Pottery Barn Kids) // Stuffed Animals (Mary Meyer Toys) // Colorhouse Paint (Bisque .02) // White Rope Basket (Target)

Before:

After:Mirror (Overstock) // Diaper Bag (SkipHop) // Changing Pad Cover (aden + anais via buybuy BABY) // Crib (Franklin & Ben via buybuy BABY) // Mattress (Naturepedic via buybuy BABY) // Plush Lamb Rocker (Pottery Barn Kids) // Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt (aden + anais via buybuy BABY) // Stuffed Giraffe (Mary Meyer Toys) // Colorhouse Paint (Bisque .02) // Elephant Nightlight & Soother (SkipHop) // Diaper Caddy Basket (Homegoods in store)

Before:

After: 

Bear Print (Minted) // Vintage Swan Bookends (Etsy, ThePinkRoom) // Activity Gym (SkipHop)

Bunny Clock (PBTeen) // Activity Gym (SkipHop) // Bear Art done by big sister Alexa and framed by Framebridge // Giraffe Bank (Homegoods in store)

A big thank you to YouthfulNest and the companies we’ve worked with over the past few months to create this dreamy nursery for our little guy!  We can’t wait to share pictures of him in it!  Also stay tuned for some more pictures of our new nursery in a separate post (along with some favorite product highlights) for those looking to create a dream nursery of their own… along with a special offer from our friends at YouthfulNest!

Photo credits (for beautiful “after” shots): Rich Alfonzo

We partnered with buybuy BABY on this post, but all excitement about the new nursery is our own.

With love,

LL

Creating a Dream Nursery with YouthfulNest (The BIG Reveal!) 2017-06-05T21:03:44+00:00

Behind the Scenes with YouthfulNest + Nursery Redesign Sneak Peek

Behind the Scenes with YouthfulNest + Nursery Redesign Sneak Peek

If you’ve been following along on our Instagram, you know that a MAJOR nursery redesign is underway!  We couldn’t be more excited to be working with YouthfulNest on this project and are here today to give you some ‘behind the scenes’ on the experience thus far (before the BIG reveal)… and of course some ‘before’ uglies!  I’m almost embarrassed to show the ‘befores’, but of course, you can’t have a full appreciation of the transformation without knowing the initial room situation.  So, let’s start with one of the pictures I sent YouthfulNest for inspiration on my Pinterest board (more about that later)

And now that you can see where my mind was going, I will reveal the embarrassing ‘befores’!

So, you can see that the room (above and below) is suffering from a MAJOR identity crisis.  Adorable pink stripes and a hand-painted cloud ceiling – perfect for a kid… but then a more adult bed and decor situation.  So what gives? We moved into our house about four years ago and the owners had two little girls.  Both rooms were beautifully painted (A’s room is similar in purple) and as we are growing our family, we had no idea what the gender of our kids would be.  So, we decided to keep the rooms as-is until we knew what we were working with (in the meantime, we used this room as a guest room / playroom)!  When we found out in January that our newest addition to arrive in June is a BOY, my hubs couldn’t wait to paint over the pink.  But where to start?

Enter YouthfulNest.  I have used virtual interior design with great success a few times, so I was very excited to learn about a service completely geared towards children’s rooms.  I was super impressed with the rooms and design boards on the website and eagerly signed up to collab with the YN team to transform this space.  The process started with an easy questionnaire, phone call with a lead designer, and a Pinterest board I created with things I liked.  I could hardly believe it when I received the below ‘design board’…. YouthfulNest completely nailed my taste.

I can wholeheartedly say that I have never had a design experience that has had this level of quality or expertise.  Of course I pushed back on some things (because that’s me), but ultimately put the trust in the design team (as I had seen their work) and have been blown away as items have started to arrive.  I think it was incredibly important to get pushed a bit out of my comfort zone or this nursery would be looking very cookie-cutter.  For example, Lisa (lead designer & CEO) thought a big piece of art (30×40) would be best over the crib.  I was nervous it was going to be TOO big… but as the room comes together, I am realizing it’s perfect.

In addition to the design board, I also received a shopping list of items.  Two favorites for amazing products at reasonable prices included buybuy BABY (some amazing quality options at reasonable prices… and can’t beat those 20% off coupons!) and Minted (I can’t get enough of their nursery art!!!)  Lisa worked with me to stay within my budget and also ‘shopped’ places (i.e. Pottery Barn Kids) which I had gift cards.  I loved that she gave me so many items to really fill the space (i.e. objets for the night stand and changing table) vs. leaving me to figure those out on my own.  I couldn’t believe that the curtains she recommended were $10 total from IKEA and even asked ‘are you sure?’ but I went with them, and they look amazing!!  Additionally, I welcomed some ‘splurge’ items that I know I will have for a long time (i.e a gorgeous pillow from LOOM Decor and an incredible rug from Kroma – pieces that really pulled the room together and gave it an extra ‘richness’). I was amazed (and thrilled) with the mix of high-low priced pieces and how well they look together.

The YouthfulNest team also prepared a Floor Plan for my space, which was focused around functionality of the room for an infant and child (based on how I shared I would use the nursery).  It’s made the vision much more of a reality as I start to set up the items in the places that the team suggested.  Additionally, I received a Room Installation Guide.  It’s a combo of the continuous designer notes I received via e-mail plus guidance on how and where to hang things like my curtains and nursery art… also the styling of small decor items throughout the room. It really gave me everything I needed to help you bring the room together myself (which is really the area I feel like I need the most help!!)

Additionally, the Color Consultation was a total lifesaver (as I was a bit lost with the pink walls and my off-white furniture).  The team went as far as to buy the paint color of the furniture and samples of Colorhouse paint before recommending a wall and trim color.  I am beyond obsessed with the paint we went with (Bisque .02) – so much so that I told my hubs that I want to paint our entire future new house’s interiors with it.  It’s so soft on the eyes and really pulls everything together.  It’s certainly money well spent!

You can see all of YouthfulNest’s services here and see what makes the most sense for your space.  The essential package starts at just $299 and you can add on additional services if you decide you need them.  We went with the premium package, which is $549 and it is certainly worth every penny (we have saved SO much time, money, and headache doing it ‘right’ from the start).

Feel free to leave any questions below on our experience, and follow along with us on Instagram before we publish the big reveal!!!

With love,

LL

Behind the Scenes with YouthfulNest + Nursery Redesign Sneak Peek 2017-05-17T16:47:00+00:00

Little List: 10 New Baby Essentials for Baby #2

Little List: 10 New Baby Essentials for Baby #2

 

As I near the 5 week countdown for baby #2 (OMG, how did that happen!), I thought I’d share my wishlist of new baby items. Luckily, we had some great products for A (which we did buy in gender neutral shades) ready to be reused (you can read our popular ultimate registry guide here!) However, as it’s been three years since we’ve had a newborn, there are some fabulous new products on the market… add this to the fact that our situation will be different as we’ll have a toddler and newborn this time around, and we are certainly figuring out our new list of essentials!

It probably won’t come as a shock that we are big fans of anything that will help improve sleep for baby (and therefore us) and also any items that will help to create as much continuity as possible for our toddler and ourselves (not missing out on the fun we’ve been having!) Additionally, we are loving products that transition with the baby so that we can use them longer and not be constantly switching them out (space, time, and cost savings!) So, without further ado, here’s our list of 10 new baby essentials for baby #2. Mamas with more than one kid, we’d love to hear your suggestions as well!

  1. DockATot: This product is hot, hot, hot!  Most must-have baby products lists these days will contain it, as moms are swearing that it is helping their babies have better night sleep sooner.  This can be attested to the safe, snug and soothing environment it creates (similar to the womb) and can be used for lounging, play, or sleep (you can have it on its own or put it right on a bed or other safe place).  It’s also super easy to transport and can help in transitioning a baby to a bigger crib or bed.  We are so excited to try this one out!
  2. UppaBaby VISTA: When we realized this popular stroller converts to so many options for two (and three!) kids, we were kicking ourselves for not registering it for it the first time around.  Our friends that have the Uppa VISTA love it and we are finding that mamas of two love it even more (we can’t tell you how many mamas of two we see with this at the mall and they all have the same rave review).  We are big fans of the versatility and the non-bulkiness of it and can’t wait to take this one for a test ride (we will be reviewing it shortly, so stay tuned!)  We plan on starting with the bassinet and toddler seat, and graduating to the kickboard that easily hooks on the back.  The new colors are absolutely gorgeous too!
  3. SkipHop 3 Stage Activity Center: How many toys do you have that your kid was able to play with from ages 4 months to toddler?  We don’t have any that we can really think of off the top of our head… so we were really excited to see this new 3 Stage Activity Center by SkipHop.  There are tree stages of use: Sit, swivel, bounce & play; cruise & interact; and play table.  We are all about consolidating about three (very large) products to have this one easy option… and more bang for our buck!
  4. HALO Bassinet: This ‘co-sleeper’ bassinet came out shortly after we moved A to her crib.  We loved having her in our room for easy night feedings (and also a place to put her while I was showering, getting ready, etc. in those early days).  The HALO Bassinet immediately caught my attention because of its ability to do a 360 degree swivel (not to mention our total love for HALO sleep swaddles and sacks.)  We loved our previous co-sleeper, but it was very difficult at times to get in and out of bed in the first few weeks after delivery and recovery.  I can’t wait to try out this bassinet as we think it will prove to be an easier option that also is less of an eye-sore (and easier transportable between rooms).
  5. Nesting Days Baby Carrier: Our first was not a fan of the baby carrier, but we didn’t really push it.  This baby is going to need to like it (hehe)… as mama will now be chasing a toddler and will need both hands!  We can’t wait to try out a variety of highly recommended baby carriers (from the BabyBjorn Carrier One to the Solly Baby Wrap to the LILLEbaby) and see which work the best for us in different situations (we hear moms of multiples swear by several baby carriers!)  We were so excited to read about the Nesting Days Tank as an immediate (and easy baby carrier) for a newborn.  It’s a skin-to-skin, hands-free newborn carrier (as well as a postpartum body-shaper, bonus!) – you can also wear it on top of clothes as your baby gets older.  We plan on packing this one in our hospital bag!
  6. BOB Double Stroller: You are probably thinking… “really, another stroller?!”  If you’ve been following for a little while, you might realize I’m a bit stroller-obsessed.  I walk everywhere I can (it’s my exercise these days) and love taking long walks into our town and to the park or around new sights.  I can’t express my love enough for our BOB Single stroller (nothing we’ve tried beats its shock absorption or maneuverability), and plan on using the double stroller as our stroller we keep at home.  It’s not as wide or bulky as one might think and it has the flexibility of having an infant carseat facing you while a toddler can face out.
  7. BabyBjorn Bouncer Bliss: This was one of those products that we didn’t register for our first, and wish we had in hindsight.  Besides not being an eye-sore, babies seem to really, really love it.  We know that we will need a few more seats around the house for easy sitting for baby (when big sister is playing around).  This one is lightweight, has breathable (and washable fabric) and a real baby pleaser.  We also plan on bringing it to our office on days where we need to get some work done.
  8. Medela FreeStyle: For our first, I got the Medela Advanced for free through our insurance.  It did the job but it was incredibly annoying to have to be near an outlet every time I pumped.  I plan on pumping even more (and earlier) with baby #2, as I’m going to need my husband to get more involved with putting baby to sleep (as we will have two littles now!)  I can’t imagine being hooked up to an outlet with a toddler who is constantly moving.  You can often pay a little extra to your insurance for an upgrade to the FreeStyle… which is something we plan on doing 100%!
  9. Lulujo blanket: These blankets are just too cute.  I hope to document (at least half) as much as we did with A, but realize that it is a bit tougher with your 2nd.  When looking back at month sticker pictures from 1-4 months, we realized A would be much more comfy laying on a muslin blanket.  We love that this set comes with an adorable blanket (that can be used for years to come) as well as the number cards.  This is such a cute baby gift as well!
  10. Covered goods nursing cover: I’m not going to be the stereotypical 2nd time mama that pulls out a boob without cover in the middle of a public place. (not that I’m judging those who do!!)  I’m a bit modest and totally swore by my nursing cover with A.  While a swaddle blanket or standard nursing cover did the job, we are loving the versatility of this multi-use cover.  Not only does it cover from every angle, it can also be used as a car seat or shopping cart cover (it can also be used as an infinity scarf for those who are into that!)  The prints are adorable and the fabrics are super soft.

So, there’s our top ten!  We’d love to hear some of your favorite baby products (as always), which can make life a bit easier (and sleep a bit better) for us mamas!

With love,

LL

Little List: 10 New Baby Essentials for Baby #2 2017-05-10T16:04:44+00:00

Little List’s Easter Basket 2017

Little List’s Easter Basket 2017

You asked for it, and we are bringing it to you!  Little List’s latest list for Easter Basket favorites.  We know you will already fill your little’s basket with some of his or her favorite candy/food goodies, so we wanted to give you some great non-food ideas to add to the basket.  We ordered the giant PBK basket by mistake, but it ends up being great to fill with some bigger sized toys (vs. filling with all candy!)  Don’t forget to check out last year’s popular Easter list for even more ideas!

  1. Melissa & Doug gardening shovel and watering can: Spring is around the corner and our little ones are total explorers (like most kids tend to be)  We love M&D’s big selection of outdoorsy toys that are at great price points (most under $10) and perfect seasonal toys… also check out their binoculars, magnifying glass, bubbles, “fishing net”, and big selection of sand toys.
  2. Kinetic Sand: We got Kinetic Sand for birthday gifts and have not stopped playing with it.  It is addicting!  So much fun to play with – no smell, easy to clean up, and doesn’t dry up!  Our littles have not gotten tired of playing with it every day since we opened it.  This will certainly be on some of our future gift lists as well, for kids of all ages – so many fun themes too.
  3. Jellycat Stuffed Animals: An Easter Basket looks even more adorable with a stuffed animal.  If you’ve been following us awhile, you know that Jellycat stuffed animals are at the top of our list.  We recently got the unicorn (so hot right now!) and it’s one of our faves… and there are so many options to choose from, for girls and boys of all ages.
  4. Melissa & Doug Activity Books:  Where would we be without M&D activity books (and the mess-free markers) – especially in the car, in restaurants, and just for a fun activity at home.  This is a great Easter Basket stuffer as our kids get so excited to get them and they are an awesome price point – most around $5!  We also love Faber Castell’s selection of crafts for kids.
  5. Mash’ems: These are a popular toy right now, for a large range of kids ages.  Our 3 year olds love them – for the ‘surprise’ aspect, as well as the ‘squishy figurine’ aspect.  At around $3 each, with several themes (from Finding Dory to Little Pony) they are a great stuffer that will light up our kiddos; faces!
  6. Ubbi bath toys: There’s no better time than spring to refresh bath toys, and we are loving the new ones by Ubbi, as not only are they fun, but they also come snap apart/together and don’t get moldy inside (and they are dishwasher safe)!  The bright colors make a perfect addition for an Easter Basket.  Pair it up with some cozy bath towels or a robe from Just Born, and you have a great bath theme!
  7. Finn + Emma pajamas:  We love getting our little ones ready for the next season with some new wardrobe options (things we may have gotten anyways ;-)).  We love Finn + Emma pajamas as they are made with organic cotton and are SO soft and cozy.  The new spring designs (for both girls and boys) are the perfect colors for an Easter basket.
  8. Snapper Rock sunsuit: In our houses, a swimsuit is guaranteed to get our littles excited… they just love the beach and pool!  We love Snapper Rock’s options – as they are not only adorable, but also UV50+ SPF.  There are some awesome options for boys and girls of all ages.  We also love Hanna Andersson’s selection!
  9. Real Shades sunnies: Sunglasses are a great basket stuffer – and we are big fans of Real Shades, which block out 100% of the sun’s harmful rays.  This brand has all the ‘hot styles’ (for ages 0-12) with prices starting at just $12!
  10. Fedora or spring/summer hat: Another fun basket stuffer… keeping your littles stylish and sun safe for the spring and summer!
  11. KEEN Kids water resistant Moxie sandals: To go with the ‘beach/pool theme’, we love KEEN Kids’ selection of water resistant shoes for little adventurers. We’ve found these Moxie Sandals to be one of the most durable options, which also come in fabulous styles and colors. We also love the options by Tsukihoshi!
  12. SkipHop backpack or lunch box: We couldn’t resist putting this adorable bunny backpack on our list.  While it’s a bit early for ‘back to school’ theme, if your little one is in need of a new bag (for camp, the beach, or for sleepovers at the grandparents), we think an adorable zoo animal back pack or lunch bag is a fun and cute addition!
  13. Pura insulated water bottle: Do your kids get as excited about new cups as ours do?  We love, love, love this water bottle – it’s stainless steel, doesn’t leak, and comes in awesome colors.  It’s also insulated, which is perfect for upcoming warmer days (camp too!)
  14. Lush bath bomb (or other bath products): How cute is this chick bath bomb?  Lush makes such fun and great smelling products (although a bit pricey!!)  Bath products are a fave in our Easter Baskets – whether it be Crayola color tablets or bath crayons or Mr. Bubbles foam soap.
  15. I See Me! Personalized book: There are some great new Easter/Spring options at I See Me!  We love the packages that include activity books, placemats, and more.  Books are a favorite for our Easter Baskets.  If they are Easter-related, we pack them up with our Easter decorations to bring out each year during the season.
  16. Corolle Babibunny night light: This newly launched Corolle dolly night light is too cute – we couldn’t resist the bunny ears!  An adorable add for your little that loves dolls and also might appreciate the night light feature (ours would!)

What do you plan on stuffing your littles’ Easter Baskets with?  We’d love to hear in the comments below!

With love,

LL

Little List’s Easter Basket 2017 2017-03-30T14:55:14+00:00

Little List: 10 Must Haves for Mamas-to-Be

Little List: 10 Must Haves for Mamas-to-Be

As second time mamas-to-be, our pregnancies are flying a bit faster than our first.  We’ve pulled together a collective list of some of our maternity favorites to keep things as enjoyable as possible!

  1. BeMaternity Tank: Basics are KEY, and this tank has been one of our absolute favorites.  It’s flattering (especially the black) and works perfectly alone or under a cardigan or shirt.  I like to stick to solids for the most part that can be dressed up or dressed down.  This is one of those staples for me!
  2. Smoothies: That looks pretty delish, huh?  I love smoothies when I’m pregnant (and when I’m not), and have found them to be a wonderful addition to our pregnancy diets (either as a breakfast, snack, or both).  I recently discovered Vega One to add to our shakes, which packs in the veggies (which is amazing, especially during the first trimester when I can’t stomach them too well), fruits, protein, and vitamins.  There are many great shakes on the market to research and ask your doctor about!
  3. Aden + Anais Pregnancy (+ Nursing) Pillow: Ahhh, this one is the BEST (and I’ve tried A LOT).  It’s the perfect size, super soft and cozy (with adorable muslin covers), and doubles as a nursing pillow once baby arrives.  I also got My Pillow as a Christmas gift and have been loving it in combination!  Sleep didn’t feel this good with the last pregnancy.
  4. Mama-to-be tea: I’ve continued to drink a cup of coffee a day throughout pregnancy, but sometimes you need a nice comforting beverage like a cup of tea.  I especially like Earth Mama’s selection, which offers organic tea for everything you could imagine (from morning sickness to stress to heartburn).  I was drinking up Raspberry Red Leaf tea at the end of our first pregnancy and have been drinking more tea throughout this one!  Make sure to consult your doctor before adding a new type of herbal tea to your diet.
  5. Probiotics: In my first pregnancy, I incorporated our pre-natal vitamin with a separate fish oil pill.  Since becoming pregnant a second time, I read a lot about the benefits of probiotics (from healthy gut function to immunity), and have added this pill to the mix.  It’s definitely been a help!  Please make sure to consult your doctor about your vitamin regimen and do not take this as medical advice.
  6. Bzees shoes: Comfortable shoes are a MUST!  I admittedly still wear heels, but try to slip into comfortable shoes (EMU slippers in the morning and Bzees shoes or sneaks throughout the day).  This brand has some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve tried (lightweight and breathable too)… which is so important to avoid foot and backaches!
  7. Glow Organics Peppermint Scrub: When you’re pregnant, you are most likely going to have scents you LOVE and absolutely can’t stand (I can’t even think of Mrs. Meyer’s lavender soap during this pregnancy).  My brother and his fiance got me Bump Boxes for Christmas (great gift!!), and it came with this peppermint scrub.  It’s amaaaaazing.  It smells so so good and is wonderful for a refreshed feeling in the shower.  I use it on my hands and feet, but also on my arms and legs.  I’m almost out!
  8. Trader Joe’s Lavender Scrub:  I don’t know what it is with pregnancies and scrubs, but this has been a favorite through both.  It’s so relaxing in the shower and I rub it on my baby bump.  I feel that the lavender keeps me (and baby) relaxed, and the oil left behind is good for hydrating skin that could be prone to stretch marks.  I get my favorite kind at TJs, but if you don’t have one locally, there are some great options on Amazon too.
  9. BellyBandit BDA Bra: This has been one of my very best finds for a bra that offers support and comfort.  It’s also a nursing bra (and can be used when you are not pregnant as well) – can’t beat the versatility!
  10. Leggings, leggings, leggings: We are loving newly found PreggoLeggings for comfort and style this pregnancy!  We cannot stress our need for comfy leggings that we can dress up or dress down throughout pregnancy.  We made the mistake of trying to squeeze into our pre-pregnancy leggings too far into our pregnancies, and were so uncomfortable.

What could you not do without for your pregnancy?  We’d love to hear in the comments below!

With love,

LL

Little List: 10 Must Haves for Mamas-to-Be 2017-03-07T09:41:00+00:00

Our Best BFF Gift List

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite gifts for your favorite females… whether it be your bestie, sister, mom, etc., we think this is a great list of crowd-pleasers!  There are some awesome gifts to help round out your shopping list, and most are under $60!  What has been a special gift you’ve given (or received)?  We’d love to know in the comments below!

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Monogrammed mug

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Wine gift set or subscription from Winc

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Fun makeup gift set (this one drops to $29!)

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diptyque candle (from $32)

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Blanket scarves (from $12.99!)

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Kate Spade thermal mug ($18!) 

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North Face pom hat ($30)

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Fab Fit Fun box (from $50)

 1014837-crm_1UGG fleece lined socks or slippers!

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Deborah Lippmann Nail polish set ($34!)

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Monogrammed necklace (or statement jewelry) from BaubleBar

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Pretty stationery from Rifle & Co. ($16)

Fun hair ties ($14)

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S’well water bottle ($25-35)

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Special ornament for 2016 (new baby, marriage, or family)

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Jewelry box or roll (for travel)
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Mistobox custom coffee subscription (from $20)

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Pom-pom throw blanket

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Funny board game

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Bath salts or bombs

Other ideas:

  • One of your favorite books from the last year
  • A magazine subscription or cookbook
  • Local mani + pedi or blowout gift card
  • Giftcard for barre or yoga classes
  • lululemon headband or accessories
  • A pretty plant or flowers (bonus points if you are crafty enough to get it in something like this)
  • Make two friends happy: buy something from a direct-selling company (i.e. Beautycounter, Stella & Dot, Young Living, or Keep Collective)
  • Gourmet chocolates
  • A month or two subscription to Hello Fresh or Blue Apron
  • Booze 🙂

With love,

LL

Our Best BFF Gift List 2017-02-01T18:13:03+00:00

Our Best Gift List for Men

Men, men, men… how are you so hard to shop for?  And why do we always wait til the last minute for some of our very favorite guys?  We are definitely not claiming to be experts on this topic, but have rounded up some of our (and our friends’) favorite picks for men in your life… and we think it’s a pretty awesome list to have on-hand!  Please share any ideas you may have in the comments below!

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Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling – the gold standard!

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Subscription to Craft Beer of the Month Club (from $39!) – so many delivery options and a gift that keeps giving 🙂

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Cool pair of sneaks – classic and almost always needed!

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BeSpoke Post custom boxes (can buy one-time or subscribe) – SO many amazing options!

SprezzaBox for trendy picks (with guaranteed value over $100) for as low as $25/box.  Right now, get 1/2 off your first box!!

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Subscription to Birchbox Man – love that this comes with all kinds of products, including some clothing!

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FitBit Blaze Smart Watch – for those 2017 resolutions!

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UGG Cooke Slippers (Also love the Nordstrom version for $40!) – LIVE in our UGG slippers!

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Amazon Echo – such rave reviews

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Pocket Square set (just $45) from The Tie Bar (or tie or sock set!!) – such great styles at unbeatable prices

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Amazon Fire Stick – this is an amazing product and very cost effective!

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Patagonia Down Sweater (or vest) – a warm coat that isn’t too bulky!

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Dollar Shave Club Membership – great prices and a fun experience

 casper-gallery-04-mattress-naCasper Mattress – total mattress industry disrupter and receiving awesome reviews – the packaging is also very cool!

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Herschel Duffle Bag – love the sleek and manly style of Herschel!

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Kiehl’s Gift Set – always a crowd pleaser!

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Man Crates (something for every guy!!)
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Away Travel Carry-on – thoughtful luggage at great prices!

Other ideas:

  • Monogrammed cufflinks or some with your pet on it (Etsy has some great, unique options!)
  • Framed picture – we LOVE Framebridge!
  • Custom suit (for the businessman)
  • Nice umbrella
  • Planned date nights for the hubs (i.e. dinner and movie tickets)
  • Gift card for local craft brewery or winery (with money to spend for take-home goodies!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Favorite sports team apparel
  • Local massage gift certificate
  • Sports or concert tickets
  • Monogrammed glassware or Moscow Mule set
  • Alcohol is usually a crowd pleaser!

With love,
LL

Our Best Gift List for Men 2017-02-01T18:13:03+00:00

Sage Spoonfuls Product Review

We are so excited to welcome back Chrissy, mom of beautiful Cada, to review Sage Spoonfuls – the award-winning baby food making system!

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My baby was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of her life. I held out as long as I could to start my baby on solids because the thought of buying baby food at a grocery store and not knowing all of the ingredients really scared me. That is why I was so excited when I heard about Sage Spoonfuls. With the Sage Spoonfuls Glass Homemade Essentials Package, you can make homemade organic baby food right at home! It comes with everything you need – a recipe book, an immersion blender and food processor, 6 beautifully made 4oz leak-proof glass jars, biodegradable labels and a pocket guide for age appropriate foods.

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The recipe book has been my one-and-only go to guide since starting my baby on solids. It breaks down everything you need to know for each recipe –from what to look for when buying fresh vegetables and fruits, what foods go well together, what vitamins are in each recipe, how long the purees can be stored in your freezer or fridge and much, much more. What shocked me the most is how EASY every recipe is. I don’t even know why anyone would buy baby food from a grocery store. Not only is it easy and healthier for your baby to make homemade baby food, it’s also inexpensive. A recipe for butternut squash only cost me a few dollars, but made me 6 jars of baby food!

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The recipe book is also conveniently separated by age. I’ve made most of the recipes from the 4-6 months section and my baby has eaten EVERYTHING! You can buy the Sage Spoonfuls – Simple Recipes, Healthy Meals, Happy Babies book separately if you don’t need the immersion blender and food processor. Even though I have a food processor already, I only used the Sage Spoonfuls food processor because it is much smaller and way easier to clean. It’s also compact enough that you can even travel with it. I took a side-by-side photo of my Cuisinart food processor next to the Sage Spoonfuls food processor to show the difference in size. Sage Spoonfuls also makes these really cute reusable food pouches (as shown above).

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My baby is too young, so I haven’t tried them yet with her but I love how it’s made. It has a side opening that makes it easy to lock and load your homemade smoothie. I HIGHLY recommend Sage Spoonfuls to any parent who wants to make organic homemade baby food.

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With love,

CC

Sage Spoonfuls Product Review 2017-02-01T18:13:03+00:00
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