Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Nighttime Necessities

Nighttime can either go one of two ways in our house, usually there is no in between.  Ellie is either deliriously happy + giggly, wrestling us to cover our faces in slobbery kisses and enjoying every last second of stumbling around the house like a drunk person she has before she goes to sleep... or, she's the biggest grump ever.  I mean, complete meltdown city.  We've tried to make her nightly schedule pretty similar each day and have found a few things that have helped make what could be the longest couple hours of our day + overnight go a little smoother for both us and her.  Seeing as though my child is not the greatest of sleepers, you might want to take this post with a grain of salt. ;)  Regardless of that tidbit, today I thought I'd share some our nighttime necessities - things that we've been using lately as well as since Ellie was born.

Body wash - We're still operating a two baths a day schedule, which might seem a little excessive but we both seem to like it.  For her nighttime bath, it's usually pretty quick - just enough to rinse the day's dirt off her feet and dinner off her face.   I generally don't wash her hair or use much soap again at night unless I need to because I don't want her skin to get dried out.  I do, however, give her a back, neck + shoulder massage with a little of this body wash.  I know, rough life for Miss Ellie.  I don't know if it actually calms her, but I like to think it does a teeny bit.  Plus, it does smell really good!  More bath time essentials will be coming in a future post. :)

Baby monitor (out of stock, similar here) -  I'm honestly not sure how parents survived before the days of video baby monitors.  I check this approximately 17 times a night to make sure Ellie didn't somehow escape out of her crib or doesn't have her entire head covered in blankets.  It always scares me when I happen to look over and she's just standing around in her crib like it's no big deal. Obviously she's fine, but it definitely makes me wonder how long she's been hanging out there, especially when she's so quiet because that is so not the norm.  I also use our monitor during the day when she's napping, so I can be anywhere in the house or outside without worrying about what she's up to.  It's a lifesaver for sure!

Jammies - One of my favorite things in the world!  Ellie hasn't liked the adorable footie pajamas since around the time she started crawling (just before she turned eight months old).  They were so sweet for the first part of Ellie's life, but the two-piece jammies are equally as cute and even more functional when it comes to getting Ellie's diaper changed and getting her dressed.  Just the thought trying to wrestle Ellie into one-piece pajamas at this point is a little stressful. ;)  As far as jammies go, Old Navy and Gap are my go-tos!  If you wait for a sale, you can get some awesome deals and stock up.

Gloworm -  Ellie loved this thing when she was just a few months old and we recently brought her back into our daily lives.  We used to sing her to sleep (keep in mind, you will 100% not find us auditioning to be the next American Idol), but gloworm's music helps put Ellie to sleep like a charm and seems to go on for just the right length of time before automatically shutting off.  I turn her on for both nap time and bedtime, as well as when Ells walks up in the middle of the night.  It's super calming to her, plus it's so sweet to see her reach over and hug her gloworm! :)

 Fan - As I've mentioned before, I've grown so accustomed to sleeping to the sound of a fan year-round; therefore, Ellie is now accustomed to sleeping to the sound of a fan year-round! ;)  The white noise is so nice for sleeping and the circulation of air is a plus.  The sound of it also helps drown out some of the noise in the house while Tyler and I are still awake.  Ellie is not a sound sleeper by any means, so this enables us to still live our lives without tiptoeing around the house after she's in bed.  I know sound machines are very popular with babies as well.  I haven't gotten one yet, at this point I'm just going to keep the fan going for the summer since we don't have a/c, but am thinking of getting something like this one when the weather gets cooler again.

Books - I try to keep Ellie from completely bouncing off the walls after bath time.  Sometimes she'll need to run off a little energy between dinner and her bath; but afterwards, I'm all about trying to get her to keep calm-ish (as calm as an Ellie gets) until she goes to bed.  Books are great and she loves to grab one, bring it over to us and plop down in our laps to read.  She got "I Know a Monkey" for her birthday and I'm pretty sure we read it at least 528 times a day.  Toys that don't make a ton of noise (like some cute puzzles) are also good quiet play alternatives, but I guess anything that doesn't involve playing tag up and down the hallway works!

Nightlight - An obvious must-have for nighttime, especially when your baby isn't sleeping through the night (still)!  This one is really cute, but any one would do.  Overnight diaper changes are super rare these days, but a nightlight definitely beats changing a diaper by the light of my cell phone like I did when Ellie slept in our room every night.  Nightlights are also sleep stalking necessities and make it easy to see when you sneak in your babe's room to kiss them just one more time before you head to bed yourself. :)

Pacifiers - Oh, the binkies.  Ellie's most prized possessions perhaps.  Still no plans to ditch these things, although I wouldn't complain if we used them just for sleeping and not so much during the day.  Ellie loses her mind a little bit if she starts to wake up and can't find her pacifier in her half-asleep state.  They are a definite must for our nightly routine (and sanity)!  She has a few glow in the dark ones that are especially great for overnight use.

Quilt - I was so scared of leaving Ellie with a blanket in her crib overnight at first.  In case you're new here, Ells slept in our bed pretty much every single night for the first nine months of her life; so, of course she had blankets on her all the time.  Regardless, leaving her alone with a blanket made me nervous so I would go in and take hers off before I went to bed every night.  After she turned one (and not a day before, because you know there is a huge difference between one year and 364 days old), I let her sleep with her poppy quilt overnight.  It's super breathable - you know I tried to see if I could breathe if my entire face was covered by it!  Plus, it's cute.  If it's hot, I put one of her Little Unicorn swaddle blankets on her instead.

Not pictured? The umbrella stroller that is sometimes the only way to get Ells to sleep!  This seriously might be the best $20 my mom ever spent on Ellie. Girlfriend needs to be moving to fall asleep most of the time and this has been a lifesaver.  Plus, it's better than taking a spin in the car or sitting outside in the dark on the hammock when nothing else works.  I honestly couldn't even tell you when the last time Ellie fell asleep having a bottle for me was.  Usually when she's super sleepy, I'll be able to cuddle her back to sleep when she wakes up during the night, but sometimes the stoller is a necessity.  Ellie might be just a little bit high maintenance when it comes to getting her to sleep. ;)

hair clip c/o Finn & Pines (use code JUST4YOU for 30% off) // lovey c/o Stella & Lu

Ellie has also really taken a liking to her new lovey.  She almost always has it when she's sleeping and loves playing with it when she's awake.  I've been waiting for her to have "that thing" that comforts her... something that's not human contact or her binky, and this may be it! :)

What are your nighttime necessities?  I'd love to hear! There's always room for improvement in that area over here. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Our Weekend

Happy Sunday, friends!  We are already wishing we could press the rewind button to the start of the weekend again, especially because this one was a pretty good one.  Some gorgeous weather meant lots of time outside, including a trip to the playground, lots of sidewalk chalk (everywhere you could possibly imagine) and a family cookout with lots of swimming - Ellie's first official swim of the year!  She was quite the little fishy and it was super sweet. :)

You know what lots of time outside in the sun means?  Other than the sunscreen application wrestling matches + excessive watermelon intake, of course.  It means a crazy exhausted babe with early a super early bedtime. ;)  It's a definite win-win situation for all.

Needless to say, we're loving summer already.  Hope you all had the best weekend! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Small Shop Spotlight: Finn & Pines

I'm so excited to share a little bit about Finn & Pines with you today!  Finn & Pines (formerly Little Finn Designs) offers all kinds of pretty hair accessories for your little ladies.  The shop owner, Cait, is super sweet and has an awesome story.   I love hearing about ladies who are able to turn their passion into their profession, especially when they're balancing it with being a mother and wife.  Cait's creativity definitely shows in her work and all of the dreamy accessories she creates!

At Finn & Pines, there are several different styles of headbands and clips available, including some amazing felt flower accessories!  You probably remember that I spent quite a bit of time working on some felt flower decorations for Ellie's first birthday party, so I can totally appreciate these beauties!!  Finn & Pines has the most gorgeous flower crowns that are perfect for birthdays + events, photo props, playing dress-up or even everyday wear.  As soon as I opened our package from Finn & Pines, I told Tyler I wanted to get a crown for myself! ;)

Ellie got to test drive a few of the items in their summer line, including the whimsical flower crown.  It is just too cute for words and the detail is seriously amazing.  Everything Cait makes is even prettier in person than it looks online, and this crown is definitely a beauty.

If you're looking for something a little bit more simple than the crowns, here are just a few examples of floral headbands and clips that are equally as beautiful.  Ellie got the fuschia flower headband and I love how wearable it is... especially for a one year old who constantly on the go. :)

If bows are more of your jam (and whose jam aren't they?), Finn & Pines also has you covered.  There are tons of fun colors to choose from, and some really awesome bundle deals!  They're available as headbands or clips, and offered in a selection of styles + sizes.  Now that Ellie's hair is getting longer and is always in her eyes, hair accessories have almost become a necessity.  Ellie has done so well with the Finn & Pines clips.  They're so lightweight that she barely notices they're in her hair, which is totally something we both love! :)

These are just a few of my favorite bow sets - I'm a little ombre obsessed, but there are plenty more colors on the website! :)

All of Finn & Pines' accessories are affordable, adorable and durable... as Ellie proved throughout the process of trying to get a few photos. ;)  Head over to their website to take a look at all of the gorgeous accessories, and use code JUST4YOU to get 30% off your purchase until 7/3/16!  Don't forget to follow Finn & Pines on Instagram and Facebook too - you might see some sneak peeks at upcoming products, like some pretty little snap clips that caught my eye earlier this week!

Happy shopping, ladies! XO

Hair accessories provided c/o Finn & Pines.  As always, all thoughts, opinions + love for the products are entirely my own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Love List

1.)  SUMMER. Of course the first thing I've been loving lately is of course the fact that it's officially summer!  There's something special about the first day of a new season that makes everything feel a little bit brand new, am I right? :)

2.)  Homemade popsicles.  I made a few different kinds on Saturday so we could have them ready to eat on Sunday.  Tyler is a huge coffee drinker, so I knew I wanted to make some kind of coffee popsicle for him on Father's Day.

I made a cup of coffee like he normally drinks, added a little bit of chocolate syrup, mixed it together, poured it into our molds about 3/4 the way full and dropped in a few chocolate chips.  I froze them for several hours while we were out, but I think a couple hours would do the trick.  I added a thin layer of ice cream, froze, and filled the rest of the mold with another layer of coffee.  I popped them in the freezer again for a bit and they were good to go!  Super easy and Tyler loved them!  I also used raspberry yogurt, mixed with a few chocolate chips for Ellie and I to share.  Just like her mama, Ellie seemed to love the sprinkles the most and picked them all of the bottom before diving into the rest of the pop.

Looking forward to testing out some more recipes soon!

3.)  Not loving the fact that I already had to throw my succulents out.   Sometimes I don't know why I even bother because these thumbs are clearly not green... but, I really love this pallet planter idea.  So pretty, right?!  The candles are definitely the icing on the cake.

4.)  I've been keeping my eyes peeled for things for Ellie's new room so I can collect them over the next couple months.  These $5 printables will definitely be making the cut!

5.)  If you follow me on Instagram (@linleynoel), you might have already seen this photo.  Whitnie from Stella & Lu sent over this beautiful lovey for Ells, and I am obsessed.  They have loveys, blankets, boppy covers and crib sheets that are all so soft and so pretty.  It was really hard to pick just one fabric because they're all so gorgeous, but I went with the pink sprigs with a ivory faux llama backing and a pink ribbon (find the exact one here).  Whitnie welcomes custom orders and there are tons of options to choose from for both boys and girls.  You really can't go wrong with a print, but I highly recommend the faux llama backing! I actually picked it because I thought Ellie might think it feels like her kitties who she loves to pet, and it's just. so. fluffy.  Be sure to check out her shop - your floral loving hearts won't be sorry! ;)

6.)  Donut jammies.  Two of my favorite things combined on a messy-haired little girl?  Too much sweetness.  Adding those to the wish list!

7.)  This nail polish in "Sheer Ecstasy" that is a really pretty neutral.  Even though it's light, it only takes two coats to cover.  Plus, lighter colored nails make your skin look tanner! ;)

8.)  Target sales.  All of their clothes, shoes & accessories are buy one, get one 50% right now.  Perfect time to grab a few summery items because we all know the early fall stuff will be out not too long after the Fourth of July.  Anyone else cringe when they see the "back to school" displays taking over the outdoor furniture area just a few weeks after school actually gets out?!  Long live summer, my friends.

Hope your week is off to a great start! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Weekend

It was such a beautiful weekend here - warm days but cool nights that are perfect for sleeping... well, for those of you who do sleep. ;)  Not sure if it's teething since her molars are coming in, belly aches or both, but Ellie has been waking up so upset in the middle of the night almost every night for the past week or so.  It takes quite a bit of time to calm her down, and I've regressed back to the days of strolling her around the house in the dark a couple times.  Luckily, she's still been in good spirits during the day (for the most part), so there's still been plenty of time for fun!

We spent Saturday afternoon at my parents' house.  Ellie loved playing in their yard and I loved seeing their new baby kittens (heart eyes for days if you follow me on Snapchat, right??!).  I also got to enjoy a few uninterrupted moments relaxing outside, which was the cherry on top of a gorgeous day. :)


Today we just relaxed at home, per the man of honor's wishes! :)  Ellie and I ran out to get some caffeine + treats in the morning, and we spent the rest of the day playing outside, grilling and dipping one toe each in Ellie's kiddie pool before we decided the well water was way too cold for all that.  Tomorrow we'll be filling it up at 6 a.m. and leaving it in the sun to warm up for at least six hours before we give it another shot. ;)

You know I have to share some Father's Day wishes to my favorite guys in the world... :)

To my husband.  Sometimes I feel like we were 15 year old kids yesterday, and now here we are today with a baby of our own.   You've given me the biggest blessing I could ever dream of and I love sharing this adventure with you.  Thank you for all that you do for us and always putting a smile on our sweet girl's face.

And to my daddy.  Hands down the most hardworking guy I know and always willing to do anything for all of his ladies.  Ellie is the luckiest girl to get to call you her Grampy and I know she is going to learn so much from you as she grows up, just like I did (and still am).

I love you both so much.  Happy Father's Day!

© Life as a Noel. Design by FCD.