Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Favorites: Mini Swimsuit Edition

In case you haven't noticed, we are definitely daydreaming about summertime over here... and all of the ridiculously cute swimwear hitting the virtual shelves is not helping!  I already ordered one bathing suit for Ellie, and of course had to try it on her even though there's snow outside.  It's super cute, but unfortunately (or maybe it's actually fortunately) I'm guessing she will outgrow it by the end of summer so we may need to pick up a second in a bigger size! ;)  I told myself I would only get her one (maybe two) because I'm guessing she will just be running in and out of her kiddie pool in her diaper.  Or nude... but I'm hoping she'll wear it for me on occasion.  Plus, I'm sure we'll be going over to my aunt's pool, and I'm dying to take her to the beach!  I'm imagining that taking a fifteen month old to the beach will likely mean that my day will be spent making sure she doesn't eat sand, seashells + cigarette butts, but that's not going to stop me from attempting to have a little fun. We live just about an hour away from some very pretty beaches so it's perfect for a quick day trip. I can't hardly wait to see Ellie's reaction to the ocean waves crashing on her tiny toes for the first time! :)

Since my mind is off somewhere sitting in a Corona commercial right now, I've rounded up a small fraction of the crazy cute swimwear and accessories for baby + toddler girls!

Some of these items are available for bigger girls as well - what are the odds that I could fit into those two dresses?! ;) SO adorable.  Rashguards or suits with sleeves are also great because they add a little extra protection from the sun if you're outside all the time like I'm sure we will be.  There are tons of cute ones, my favorites might be this striped one and this floral one.

For boys, I like these double-striped board shorts, this hat and these aviators.  I also like these camo board shorts because Tyler has a pair very similar to them.  Yes, if we ever have a boy I will totally be that mom to coordinate baby boy's attire with daddy's. :)

I also love this beach towel!  I could probably buy five at Target for the same price as one of those, but maybe it'll go on sale?

It's actually supposed to be in the mid-fifties here early next week, so kind of a little glimpse of spring?!  In the meantime, we'll be counting down the days until summer when it's too hot + humid to breathe or sleep at night.  Summertime is my favorite.

Hope you have a good weekend! :)

P.S. There is a HUGE sale going on at Baby Gap right now - up to 40% off everything (including sleepwear which never happens), plus an extra 20% off using code KBTREAT!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Your Guy

Tyler and I usually don't go too crazy in terms of Valentine's Day gifts, but we do like to get each other a little something special.  Sometimes I struggle to think of the perfect V-Day gift - I tend to overthink it, when in reality he is pretty easy to please!  I'm always on the lookout for new gift ideas throughout the year so I'm prepared when a holiday comes around... however, this year I was feeling a little stuck.  Needless to say, I was pretty happy when Tommy John asked if I wanted to share their gift guide with all of you!  So while I can't take credit for the ideas, I can say that they are definitely all things I think Tyler would love to receive as gifts, and am sure the same goes for the guy in your life. :)

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Clearly, bacon is a man thing - that is definitely true in our house! 

If you haven't heard of Tommy John, you should check out this short video as well as their website to see all of the other products that they sell - they're not just a men's underwear company!  Although, their underwear does look ridiculously comfortable.  Here's a little sneak peek at some Valentine's Day products that will be available on 2/1.  Would it be wrong to buy those socks for myself? ;)

If you're looking for a few additional gift ideas, you can check out my Christmas gift guide as well!

A Valentine's Day gift isn't complete without a card and I usually order one from etsy.  I typically go the funny route, and there are tons of shops that have some mildly inappropriate cards that might not be sold at your local Target.  I just ordered one from this shop, and some other top contenders were from this shop - both have more than a few that would be sure to put a smile on your man's face. ;) 

Happy shopping & a big thank you again to our friends at Tommy John for sharing their gifting ideas with all of us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Nine Months of Ellia

Age: 9 months
Height: 29 inches
Weight: 18 lbs 2.5 oz
Clothing size:  Primarily 6-12, although I will put her in anything that I can make work.  I packed away almost all of her 3-6 month clothes this past weekend, with the exception of a few onesies she still wears like the coral one she wore on Sunday.  The sweater she's wearing in these photos is actually 18-24 months.  I bought it for next Fall but couldn't pass up the slouchy sweater look with those bloomers + knee socks! ;)
Diaper size: 3
Eating:  You can read a lot about her eating habits here, but she'll eat breakfast between 5-6 am, lunch between 11:30-12:30, and dinner around 5 pm.  She'll usually have a snack in the morning and one in the afternoon, plus three-ish 8 oz bottles a day (give or take? that's a complete estimate right there).
Sleeping: We've been doing bedtime at 7:30 if she's not already asleep by then.  We found that no matter what time she stays up until, she will be up by 6:00 the VERY latest, so 7:30 has been the cutoff and it's working out pretty well.  All of her toys "go to sleep" around 7:15, and she's usually down for the night by 7:45.  Of course there are some days where she doesn't nap at all and is asleep by 6:30, like last night.  She'll cry randomly throughout the night but typically goes back down after we put her paci back in her mouth.  Naps are all over the place - I can almost guarantee a nap early in the morning and one in the afternoon, but times vary and can range from 15 minutes to two hours (usually on the shorter end of things).
Favorite toys:  She got a ton of new toys + books for Christmas and she just kind of rotates them throughout the day so I'm not sure I can say she really has a favorite at this point.  A few that she plays with a lot are her cube (still!), her tea set (she loves the cheesecake the most for whatever reason), and her ball pit.  She loves throwing the balls around and has a pretty good arm on her when she doesn't accidentally throw the ball behind her. ;)
Loves: Her celeb boyfriend (Mickey) + the hot dog song, eating, her binkies, chasing kitties, crawling everywhere, standing any chance she can get, being outside, puffs, bath time, jumping in her crib, music/dancing, books, bare feet - taking her socks off is sure to get a giggle out of her!

Girlfriend continued to grow and learn so much more over the past month.  She officially has two teeth all the way in, which we just started brushing and are working on getting into the twice a day habit.  She crawls faster than I can keep up with her and I have worn my first holes in the knees of my leggings from following her cute butt around all day!  She still only says "mumma" and will just giggle when you try to get her to say things like "dada" or "kitty".  She's been known to give slobbery, open mouth kisses and still loves to be held.  She is standing like a champ and while she rarely lets go of whatever she's holding onto, when she does she can stand for a few seconds without assistance.  She is beyond curious and while she is getting better at playing with her toys solo, she now needs to be watched like a hawk because she's getting into everything. Her signature moves include throwing anything and everything over her shoulder that she's not interested in at that very second, dancing (bouncing up and down on her knees) to the hot dog song, and never sitting still for a diaper change or when we're trying to get her dressed.  Also, her hands never stop moving when she's having a bottle and she will definitely not shy away from punching you in the face while drinking.  She's got more nicknames than I can count, and even though I frequently refer to her as "Ellie" here, I do actually call her Ellia quite a bit in real life - usually "Ellia Summer" when she's doing something fresh. ;)

I am sure I'm forgetting some things but luckily I can always update you all more another day! ;)  We can't believe we have a NINE month old baby girl.  Time is flying and while I love watching her grow and seriously think she gets more and more fun every single day, of course I am a little sad that she's not a teeny tiny baby anymore.  She's going to be ONE YEAR OLD in just three short months, guys! Let the party planning commence! :)

Have I mentioned how difficult it is to get her to stay still for photo lately?  Most of them looked like this...

And then there was this one, which totally takes the cake - Ellie chewing on the nightstand's knob.  Teething is no joke, guys.

We love you more than words can say, Ells! Happy NINE months! XO  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Our Weekend

Hope you all stayed warm this weekend!  For anyone reading this who does not live where it snowed, I am a little bit jealous, but have to admit that waking up to a yard covered in snow completely untouched is kind of pretty.

Even though the winter storm didn't end up being half as bad as they originally predicted for our area, it was still pretty snowy out on Saturday.   Aside from a quick run for donuts + coffee, home is where we were at.  I am so happy to report that Ellie definitely had more fun in the snow this time around.  Obviously sledding down the hill was her jam - she is wild to say the least, as you might have seen in the video I shared on Instagram this weekend!  At only 18 degrees with a "real feel" of 4, we only stayed out a little bit, but it was still lots of fun.  Surpringly enough (because we are like big kids over here, in case you haven't noticed), Tyler and I had never tried sledding in our yard until this winter. Our front yard makes for a pretty decent track, so I definitely want to pick up an adult-sized sled before the season is over!

We (Tyler) also gave my bureau a much needed makeover this weekend!  It was still pink from when it was at my parents house, and we have been meaning to paint it since we bought our house... so, almost three years.  We used a paint sample that we got for Ellie's room and didn't end up using (I might like it even better than the color of her room now), and replaced the plain wood knobs with these acrylic ones.  It looks about one million times better than it did before and I'm so happy to finally have a big girl bureau. ;)

A few random thoughts:
1.)  I love breaking out my Sorel boots every winter!  I've had them for six years now and they're still in great shape and keep my feet super warm.  Plus, they're pretty cute for being so functional.  I highly recommend investing in a pair if you live in the tundra like we do!  Sometimes it's the little things like wearing a cute pair of snow boots that help make getting through the long winters a little (teeny tiny) bit easier.
2.)  I know it's early and I plan to share plenty of Easter basket ideas soon, but I have to share this find!  These sweet handmade bunnies are too cute and selling out fast.  I came across them this time last year and was this close to buying one for Ellie in the belly but decided that was cray.  So, one will be going in her basket this year instead. :)  I believe it's the last restock before Easter, so act fast if you're interested!
3.)  We made these turkey meatloaf muffins (we left out the carrots) Saturday night and they are really good.  They make the perfect portion sizes and I honestly don't think we'll make a regular meatloaf again.  The sauce is my favorite part, so don't skimp! :)
Meatloaf isn't very pretty, but I promise it tastes better than it looks! ;)

Hope you have a Happy Monday!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites

I am SO excited that it's Friday once again! :)

The other morning, I put our morning snacks in this little tray to have a picnic on our living room floor.  Ellie ate all of her snacks, demanded half of mine, almost Gronk spiked my entire mug of steaming hot coffee on both of us + the white blanket, and then proceeded to climb right into the basket and make herself at home.  Her extensive list of nicknames which include Ellie Tornado, Ellie-nado and Tornado Ellie (like Tornado Alley, get it?) are very fitting these days.

I grabbed the cutest leopard print slippers from J.Crew for Ells!  They are on super sale (originally $50..???), so I couldn't resist.  I bought the smallest size they have, which if I did my size chart comparisons correctly, is similar-ish to the 18-24 month size at Old Navy.  I'm hoping they fit her sometime next Fall/Winter, so really anytime between Labor Day and Memorial Day around here.  The best part?  Even Tyler said they were cute.  The gold glitter tote I pulled out of the box did not get the same reaction from him, go figure. ;)  I also got a few pairs of the cutest bloomers at a steal (less than $7 a pair) - perfect for summer time or wearing with tights in the cooler (freezing cold) weather! :) Use code GETSHOPPING for an additional 40-50% off sale items!

You can also get an extra 40% off sale items at Ruche (using code EXTRA40), which is one of my favorite stores to check out and always my go-to when I'm looking for a dress for any occasion!  They have some really cute and different things... perfect for those rare instances when I buy clothes for myself these days.

I mentioned having sparklers on Valentine's Day last week, and found a bunch of super cute sparklers here.  I am also keeping this place in mind for Ellie's birthday!  Since her birthday is on a Tuesday this year, I want to have a celebration just the three of us on her actual birthday and am thinking sparklers would be a fun addition.  The last time Tyler and I had sparklers, we used an entire pack trying to write things out with them (him) while taking pictures (me) - guess whose idea that was? ;)  He loves me, guys!

Since we didn't really have any plates or bowls for Ellie yet, I picked out this set and it came in the mail the other day.  I love all the different colors - perfect to mix and match for any holiday, or just fun for when she can pick out her own color for each meal! I'd also like to get a few of these equally fun + colorful divided plates.

I really like having a solid white comforter (although ours is permanently covered in cat fur) but this watercolor quilt set caught my eye.  It'd definitely be nice just to have an extra blanket to use around the house or on our bed, especially in cases where our child pees on our bed for the five hundredth time while trying to escape a diaper change.  It would also make for good fort building. ;)  Add in a couple matching pillows and you're good to go.  But let's be real, all of Target home goods are always awesome.  Code REFRESH is a tiered discount and you can save up to $25!

I've been asked about Ellie's nightlight a few items and it was out of stock for the longest time but is back now!  It'd be a perfect Valentine's Day gift for your littles.

On a completely unrelated note... We're trying harder (or maybe this should say are going to try because we're completely failing at it so far) not to swear so much around Ellie.  Somehow curse words have just become second nature and part of our every day (every conversation?) vocabulary.  While "mumma" is still the only word Ellie says, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if some of her next words include something mildly wildly inappropriate for a sweet baby to say... I'm sure my MIL would be horrified to say the least.  The other day Tyler said we should set up a swear jar and made the mistake of saying that the money would go to Ellie's summer wardrobe.  My response was "hellz yeah" (like the true gangsta that I am), which isn't that bad of a saying but I wouldn't want Ellie saying it so we'll count it for all intents and purposes.  "Hellz yeah" was quickly followed by "oh shit" when I realized what I had just said... and I think I racked up another five dollars within the next half hour without even thinking about it.  Tyler quickly changed his mind on the purpose of the swear jar to his future garage fund. ;)  Tips on how to learn to censor ourselves a bit are welcome because it's actually a lot harder than I imagined it would be. 

Happy Friday + happy (almost) weekend from this little cutie who looks so sick of my mama-razzi antics in this photo, it's not even funny. ;)


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Feeding an Ellie

It's been almost five months since we started our solid food journey so I thought I'd give a little update.  Let's dive right into the mess with our baby spoon + bib, shall we?

We gave Ellie her first solids just a few days after she turned four months when her pediatrician gave us the "okay" to do so.  She basically said to have fun trying whatever, but suggested we wait three days in between each new food in case of allergies.  We started with peaches first - we wanted a "p" food for a little digestive assistance, and peaches just kind of sounded good.  After that, we introduced a new fruit or veggie every three days with no real rhyme or reason to the order in which we did so.  How very parents of the year of us.  Also, I'm sure she will love me forever if she finds out I told the world she needed help pooping one day - sorry, baby girl.  We also gave her cereal (oatmeal - she's never had the rice kind come to think of it), and she seemed to think it was alright but really loved her fruits and veggies so we usually mixed it with other foods whenever she had it.  We ended up ditching the cereal after a month or so-ish (again, we needed a little more digestive assistance and that plus the combo of fully transitioning to formula was not working out well).  She quickly started eating breakfast, lunch and dinner all as solids with bottles in between.  Ellie is a really good eater and the only foods she wasn't crazy about alone were peas and green beans, so we just mixed them in with another fruit or veggie and she was good to go.

At her six month appointment, we got the "okay" to move onto Stage Two foods as well as pretty much any foods she wanted to eat that we were willing to give her - anything from puffs to pancakes and everything in between.  We stopped going by the every three day rule at this point because Stage Two foods include so many different foods in each meal, it seemed kind of pointless.  She's never had a reaction to anything (thankfully), and continues to love everything we give her.  Girlfriend is not a picky eater by any means. 

Since around six months she's been eating quite a bit of what we eat, but even more so in the past two-ish months, I'd say.  We share everything with her except for things she shouldn't eat, like cocktails + caffeine. ;)  But really, this girl will eat anything and will likely use her ninja skills to grab anything off your plate or from your hands if given even .275 seconds of an opportunity to do so.  Fruit, veggies, breakfast foods (pancakes, waffles, eggs, bagels, toast, we eat a lot of breakfast foods), macaroni, mashed potatoes, and a little meat (mostly just chicken) are just examples of the things she eats on a pretty consistent basis.  But like I said, as long as it can be broken down or easily gummed up, we give it to her.  
The one time I gave Ellie a whole teething biscuit to eat.  She lived to tell about it but I'm still working up the courage to do it again - HA.

I mentioned this before, but giving Ellie solids for the first time (and really every day) is a little stressful.  I probably break everything into pieces that are about half the size they need to be, so while it takes a bit longer to feed her, it's working out okay for the both of us. ;)  Even puffs and yogurt melts I was breaking up until recently (i.e. last week).  Tips on how to not go crazy thinking about your baby choking are welcome. I'm contemplating taking an infant CPR course or at least getting some up to date knowledge on the topic because I doubt sobbing while holding a choking baby would do much good.

As far as feeding herself goes, it was pretty nonexistent aside from holding her own food pouch and sucking the food out until a couple days ago as I mentioned in a previous post.  She's pretty good with puffs + yogurt melts now and will attempt to pick up anything else I let her.  Sometimes she's successful in feeding herself sometimes not so much, but she gets better at it every day.  Also, she still doesn't hold her bottle.  As far as sippy cups go, she'll drink an ounce or two of water out of them but again, doesn't hold them herself, or if she does she usually doesn't tip it up far enough to drink out of it.  She will, however, happily take sips out of my water cup.

Introducing new foods to Ellie is one of my most favorite things about watching her grow.  I love to see her reaction to different tastes and textures.  It's usually a somewhat confused look, followed by a big smile, reach to your hand to grab more, and a bounce up and down in her highchair in excitement.  Next up on our feeding agenda is making our meals hers as well, not just sharing bites off our plates.  I'm sure the baby food isn't going away completely anytime soon, but would like it if she ate half baby food/half "real food" at this point. The pouches are just plain convenient (my baby Magic Bullet is definitely still sitting unused in the package by the way), but she shows a serious interest in what we're eating and always needs to be eating right this second if she sees us eating anything.  I'm determined to plan our meals a little better and am always looking for new meals to feed both us and our babe, so please share if there's something special your family loves!  Here are a couple examples of Ellie's lunches from the past week (they're pretty similar since a trip to the grocery store was in order):
yogurt melts, puffs, teething biscuit broken up // plain pasta - yes, I took the time to spell out her name // bananas // pouch 

puffs // pasta with sauce // bananas // pouch
On this day she ended up eating about five times as many puffs that are there (she was eating them as I got the other things ready), half the pasta, all the bananas and two full pouches... all for lunch.  One meal.  I wasn't lying when I said she's a good eater.

Lastly, a couple videos of Ellie trying to feed herself, first a teething biscuit and second some puffs - just for fun and/or if you like to listen to my obnoxious voice. ;)

Hope this helps some of you! I plan on providing more "feeding an Ellie" updates in the coming months as things progress. :) 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ellia's First Snow Day

It has snowed here a little bit already this winter but either it wasn't really enough to play in, Ellie was sick or both, so yesterday was really her first snow day ever.  

We had a pretty slow start to our morning.  I usually don't go back to bed with Ellie when she takes her morning nap, but when she was down for her first one before 7 am, I decided to crawl in bed with her to cuddle... and was asleep within three seconds of my head hitting the pillow.  After a glorious hour and a half nap together (!!) and a pig pile wake-up call, we were ready to really start our day.

We had snowflake(ish) blueberry waffles for breakfast (this cookie cutter kind of blows), and got ready to head outside.  Ellie totally reminded me of Randy on A Christmas Story all bundled up, and was equally displeased by her snowsuit and inability to move.  We stayed outside for maybe fifteen minutes before she decided she was completely all set - there were a lot of "mumma"s and a couple tears shed that I thought might freeze to her face, so we headed back inside.

Although I'm sure she wanted to come inside so badly because of her attire and not because of the snow itself (girlfriend usually loves to be outdoors), we decided to spend the rest of the day having a "we wish it were summer" party for two.  First up, a pool party in the tub complete with a beach ball, sunglasses and Jake Owen's "Beachin'".  I dressed Ells in her "summer vibes" tee that surprisingly still fit her, we ate ice cream for our afternoon snack, and finished off our day together with a hot pink pedi. 

 While there wasn't a whole lot of playing in the snow, I'd say it was a pretty successful first snow day and had a lot of fun with my girl, E. Summer. ;)

"I've got my girlfriends
And when we get together
The summer never ends."
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