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baby, best of

Baby Must Haves – Birth to 3 Months

Baby must haves vary from mom to mom. There is a lot of baby gear out there you guys. A lot. It is so overwhelming when you walk in to Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby for the first time. Not to mention the pumped in to the air system baby powder scent that assaults your nose and hurts your ovaries the moment you walk in the door. Am I right??? I swear if I hadn’t have already gotten pregnant when we went to Buy Buy Baby, that scent would make me want to hold a newborn stat! There are also a million blog posts out there of the must have baby essentials. What I have learned? Every baby is different, obviously. So what might be a must have for one mom could be a joke for another. I wanted to share with you what got us through the first three months with Zoe, and why it worked. So here we go!!!

Sleep – When you first come home with baby, you can pretty much kiss your sleep goodbye for the first several weeks. I don’t know a single mom who came home with a baby that slept through the night. What did finally help? The Rock n Play. The Rock n Play is the most amazing thing ever invented if you have a baby with acid reflux who cant lay flat to sleep. Other advantages? It can go anywhere. Your living room, bedroom, grandma’s house. Genius! If I could only have one baby item, the Rock n Play is it.

Feeding – If you aren’t exclusively breast feeding, you need bottles. Dr Brown’s worked best for us. I have tried four other kinds and none of them beat Dr Browns. All the others gave Zoe more gas, there were lots of bubbles and air when she took them, etc. I know that Dr Browns has about a million parts to clean, but it is worth it. Hands down.

Other items pictured: Boon Grass, Boon Flower, Boon Twig

Play – There are so many baby toys out there and most of them entertain the kid for about five minutes and then they are done. The ones that Zoe keeps picking up or wanting to look at each and every day? O-Ball, My Pal Violet from Leap Frog, Minnie Mouse and her The Very Hungry Caterpillar soft book.

Another amazing thing to have, a play mat like this one! Zoe can lay there for a long time just staring up at the birds spinning or trying to grab at the lower hanging toys. Most recently she has been rolling over and using the mat for tummy time too. This is another item you can find on sale often at  Target.

Bath – I have one of those tubs with the sling that I used for the first month. But honestly, it was such a hassle and Zoe hated every minute of it. I then discovered this bath seat and it is genius! Zoe loves it because she is more submerged in the water. (The sling left her freezing.) She can spread out a little and it is easier to clean her because I am not having to move her around on a sling. This thing is on sale at Target quite often for around $15 and that is when I grabbed it.

Other items pictured: Shea Moisture Shampoo/Bath, Honest Lotion, Rubber Ducky was a gift but um they are everywhere!

Travel – Obviously, you can’t leave the hospital without the nurse seeing that you have a car seat. After a ton of research, we decided on the Britax B-Safe 35 travel system. I chose this because it is near the top of every safety review I read. Safety was an absolute first priority for me. I also asked several mom friends and the ones who raved most about their travel system were the moms who had the Britax. What I like now that I have been using it? It is fairly simple to strap Zoe in. It is a breeze to click in and out of her base, and I can literally open or close her stroller with one hand. All the grandparents cant get over how much easier strollers are these days.

Also, there are several moms that have horror stories about how their babies hate being in their car seats and fuss the entire time. Zoe does none of that, she loves her car seat. She falls asleep in it easily and is happily amused when we are out just looking around from the safety of her seat. The only negative? On hot days, she is sweaty when I pull her out of it. But I am pretty sure that is the case with most car seats, no? Zoe doesn’t seem to mind.

Obviously from my pictures I share, you can tell we have a lot more things. These are just the things we had to have to get us by easily. Or as easily as one can get by with a newborn. Am I right? If you want to see what all we registered for, you can read my post on that from my Mommy Babbles blog that I sort of quit posting on here. We pretty much either received or purchased everything on the list except the bouncer. My SIL let us borrow the one she had for our nephew.  And if you want to see Zoe’s nursery reveal to spy some other items you can see that here.

So what items do you recommend for the next few months?


beauty, best of

Add These to Your List!

Linking up with Lauren and Bre again to talk about some more things I think you should check out! I have had so much fun saving things for this link up every month, and seeing what everyone else is loving. I still keep my book reccomendations for the Show Us Your Books link up though, so you wont see any of that here.


Have you tried the Chobani Flips? I have gushed about the Key Lime Crumbles one for at least a year or two now. But Target started carrying a ton  more flavors. My new favorites are Smores and Coffee Brownie Bliss!!! SO GOOD!


This Revlon Juice Peach Kiss Balm is so fun. First of all, it is under $5. It smells amazing!!!!!! And it gives the slightest sheer color and makes my lips feel super soft. It doesn’t last all day or anything, but I wasn’t expecting it to. If I am wearing this and my Too Faced Peach palette shadows, I smell peaches all day and I love it.

This coconut oil OGX shower gel smells sooooooo good and has me dreaming of the beach! I don’t like to pay a lot of shower gels, so I grab fun stuff I see at Target. I am still loving my Soap and Glory one I shared last month too. I just like to switch it up with a few options because I get bored.


Image result for riverdale

Have you heard of Riverdale? It is based on the characters from the Archie comics. I never really read the comics growing up, but I knew the characters names and stuff. The first episode or two I was like ehhhh I dont know. But now? I am hooked. It freaking sucks you right on in to their messed up world.

Also, Season 3 of Grace and Frankie is here!!!! YAY!!!! I love this show. And this picture pretty much sums up the season so far…

Image result for grace and frankie season 3


Image result for think dirty app

Think Dirty is an app where you can scan beauty and body products in your home and see how natural or harmful they are to you. Which is what led me to pull the trigger on the baby items below. I have been scanning allllll the things in our house and when I am out at the store. It’s not 100% because some products (like the Aveeno baby lotion) weren’t on it. But when something isn’t on there, you can take a picture of the front and back of the item and get them to add it.


–I know that Johnson and Johnson isn’t known for the best ingredients in their products. My mom used that stuff on Tracy and I growing up and we turned out ok. And the smell!! Straight up baby. It’s what the hospital used on Zoe when she was there, and what I had on hand when I brought her home. Truth is? Zoe’s skin is still pretty dry. It’s so soft, but I have to lotion her up quite often. I picked up Shea Moisture Honey Lavender Soothing Shampoo/Body Wash and Honest Lavender Face and Body Lotion this past week and YES!!!! I can actually see a difference already. And she still smells amazing and scrumptious, as babies do. I feel so much better using these products on her instead.

Think Dirty says Johnson and Johnson is a 9 (10 is the worst) and this particular Shea Moisture and Honest product are both a 3.

So have you tried any of this? What do you suggest I add to my list?

beauty, best of, favorites

Go Ahead, Add These To Your List!

I decided that I wanted to play with Lauren and Bre for their new link up! I know I share some things on Friday Favorite posts, but any posts like this I do will be ultimate favorites. More than just my favorite for the now until the next best thing comes along haha. Anyways, let’s get to it!

Snack: Have you guys seen the Good Thins snacks in your cracker aisle yet??? I grabbed a  box of the Sweet Potato ones and yummmmmm!!!! This really hits the spot when I want something crunchy to snack on. I looked at the ingredients and nutrition facts and they really aren’t too terrible. Much better than chips, that’s for sure!

Image result for good thins sweet potato

Show: I have a lot of favorite shows, but I wanted to share one you maybe aren’t watching. Lucifer. Not only is the main guy a hottie with an amazing accent!!! (Who cares if he is the devil, right???) This show has the best soundtrack and it is action packed with some dry humor and fun plot line. Give it a try.

Image result for lucifer

Dish Soap: Raise your hand if you have super dry hands pretty much all the time. What makes it worse? Doing the dishes!!! I have been using Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap for over a year now and it has made a world of difference on my poor, dry hands! In fact, I hardly had any cracking this winter and I know it is because I am using this!!! Bonus for smelling amazing! My favorite is the Basil but I have used the Lavender several times as well and it is great too. It is made with all natural ingredients so I don’t mind washing Zoe’s bottles with it either. Which is basically what motherhood to an infant is. Washing bottles. All. Of. The. Time. So many bottles!!!!

Makeup Palette: If you can only purchase one eye shadow palette, get Urban Decay’s Naked Basics Ultimate. You can pretty much create any look you are going for without having to reach for anything else. There are great natural looking daytime colors, a few that you can use to spice it  up for evening…and everything in between. What I really appreciate is that they are matte. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good shimmer now and then but most of the time I want matte. The pigment is perfect and there isn’t much fallout. I use the Urban Decay Primer Potion under it, and every shadow. A holy grail for sure.

Acne Treatment: I really missed the Kate Somerville Anti-Bac Lotion when I was pregnant!!! You wouldn’t believe the difference this little gem can make with regular use. A bottle usually lasts me about six months, so it really isn’t a steep investment if you look at it that way.

Lip Treatment: My lips are forever dry and cracking. I have tried so many different things, but I always have Vaseline Rosy Lips on hand. I have been using this stuff for years and it is really the only thing that can bring some moisture to these lips of mine!!! I love the way it smells, it adds just a hint of color and is super cheap and found everywhere! I put it on every night before bed and I can still feel it on my lips in the morning. This also works great on days I don’t want to mess with lip gloss.

Blog: I plan to share one blog that you may not be reading each month! Have you met my IRL best friend, Laura? She blogs about awesome food and beer, DIY, recipes, being a full time working mom and everything in between. She is a real life blogger, which is something that is harder to come by these days. Find her over at Alabama Graffiti. Coolest blog name ever.

Let me know some things I need to add to my list!

best of, bloggers, book review

The Best Reads for 2015

Stephanie and Jana are giving us a bonus book link up today!

Life According to Steph

I basically copied my initial reviews of these books from throughout the year. All of these stuck out over the other books, but overall I have had a great year of reading!! I found a new favorite author, hello Liane Moriarty!!! I made it through a science book and it made the top of my list and didn’t make me want to shoot my brains out! I read a fictional history book and thoroughly enjoyed it (The Boy Who Dared). I read more this year than I ever have before. To say I was reacquainted with an old love is an understatement.

  1. The Martian by Andy Weir

    Words cannot describe my love for this book. And trust me, I was super skeptical when I read about what this book was about. I even saw others write about how the math and science talk was a little  hard to get through but they still loved it and I thought…no….there is no way this is for me. But Kristen recommended the audio book to me and I trust her tastes dearly. I became obsessed with the story. So much so that I madeLaura start listening to it, and I even told two of my co-workers that they had to listen to it too. This is hands down the best book I have read this  year.

    The first line will hook you right in.

    Bottom Line – Listen to this immediately

2.What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I read and loved The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lie’s last month, so I wanted to keep binging on my love for Liane Moriarty. What Alice Forgot was such an amazing read! I think it is my new favorite from Moriarty. I liked that you learn about Alice’s life through some of her memories, but more so through Elizabeth’s letters to her psychiatrist and Frannie’s letters to her fiance. This book really made me think about what would happen if I lost 10 years of my life. I share snippets here on this blog, but it has me wondering if I should start keeping a journal as well.

This book also has me thinking about relationships. Not just my relationship with my husband…but my family and friends as well. Every relationship we have has it’s ups and downs, and as long as your good memories out weigh the bad, then shouldn’t it be considered a success? It made me think about the little things that we can get caught up on that in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t matter. It also made me think about myself as a teenager and twenty something. What would my younger self think of my current self? Would she be proud?

Bottom Line: This was a great book! I did this via audiobook like I did the other two by Liane Moriarty. I highly recommend this author!

3.The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

To be honest, I had no clue what this book was going to be about. I remember seeing a few bloggers reviewing it and they always rated it really high, so I figured why not?! Basically, this book is just as the title says, it is snippets of AJ Fikry’s life. Fikry owns a bookstore and he is a bit of an eccentric guy who is living a depressing life after loosing his wife. One day his life changes when something is left behind for him. Now he has the will to want to be happy.

Favorite quotes and take aways from this book would be:

You learn everything about a person with the question – what is your favorite book?

Most people’s problems would be solved if they would only give more things a chance.

Things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the things we respond to at forty and vice versa.

Bottom Line – Absolutely read this book! I loved it!

4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

This is another book I consumed via Audible. Again, loved the accents and voices for each character! There are several characters to keep up with in this book, but once I got a few minutes in to it…I had no issues keeping them straight. I love the way that this author writes, and I think that is what draws me into her novels.

Since I don’t have kids, I never really thought about the politics that can occur with parents at a school. Especially with kindergartners! But my goodness, is there some politics, gossip, and drama!!! I really loved how each of the character’s stories were really built up. I felt like I knew the main characters on a personal level. Not to mention the secondary characters as well. This is my second Moriarty book and I feel like she always raises the question….how far are you willing to go for your family and friends. I like a book that leaves you questioning scenarios in your own life. They all seem completely plausible after you are wrapped up in to it!

Bottom Line: This was quite an enjoyable read, I highly recommend this book and the author! I loved the school politics, the small town drama and the twists on how everyone is connected.

5.Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This book. This book gave me all the feels!!!! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started. I knew the book was written from a dogs perspective and I guess I thought it was going to be happy go lucky. But no. It was so deep, thoughtful and honestly…I straight up cried a few different times.

Not to give too much away, but the book basically tells the story of Enzo’s life through his own eyes. Enzo is the dog, obviously. His master, Denny, is a race car driver and the book uses a lot of race analogies and vocabulary to understand how to drive through life. There are several twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting when I picked this book up. I sort of saw them coming once I got in to it, but that wasn’t an issue for me.

Some of my favorite quotes were:

“That which you manifest is before you.”

“No race has ever been won in the first corner; many races have been lost there”.

Bottom Line – Absolutely read this book!!! Especially if you are a dog lover, but even if you aren’t. Literally all of the feels.

6. Rescue Road by Peter Zheutlin

Sometimes I wonder if there is any humanity left in this world, and then I read a book like Rescue Road.  I love dogs and want to save them all. Talk about pulling at my heart strings. This book follows a man who drives a rescue trailer from Ohio, down south to gather dogs from shelters and rescues and brings them back up north to be adopted. You get to hear about his story, along with three rescue groups who are doing amazing things. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who touch the life of a dog before they find their forever home. All the nameless angels. It really is amazing.

My favorite quote from this book is “As the miles melt away so do a lifetime of bad memories” – Greg Mahle

Bottom Line – I cried, I smiled, and then I cried some more. If you are an animal lover in the least bit, this book is for you.

7.Reckless by Skye Jordan

This is the first book in Skye Jordan’s Renegade series, and this book was awesome!!! We meet Lexi, a couture wedding dress designer who has some pretty powerful and famous clients. Lexi’s best friend is a tech nerd who develops an app that she wants Lexi to try out while waiting for a flight to NYC. The same flight that the hot Jax whom she caught eye contact with in the drop off lane in front of the airport is on. Lexi starts to anonymously text Jax through this app and they hit it off. Unfortunately, both of them have been hurt in the past for being used. The love story that builds throughout this book is incredible. Sometimes being reckless reaps big rewards, sometimes it leaves you broken. I also loved that Lexi was a fashion designer. It was fun to read about her passion.

Bottom Line – I loved this book and highly recommend it. You get a risk, a love story, some hot passion, haute couture fashion and a bad boy. Probably one of my favorite reads this month!

8.Accelerate (Hotwired Series) by Tracy Wolff

This book started off at a drag race and Jordan looking for a guy to replace the interior of her 370Z that she bought at a police auction. I was sold. I used to love going to car shows and stuff like this when I was younger. It was so thrilling! Anyways, back to the book. Next thing you know, Jordan is being kidnapped by the man who is stealing her car. But there is a deeper story behind why the car is being stolen. Never has a kidnapping been so painful to read about as you feel sorry for the girl AND her kidnapper!

Nic Medina was in prison for seven years because a dirty cop put him there. And now the dirty cop had blackmailed  him in to stealing Jordan’s car. He didn’t mean to kidnap her too and now he is just trying to make it right. Nic carries a lot of guilt about what happened to his sister and brother while he was in prison. He would do anything protect his family and friends. Soon Jordan falls under his protection as well.

This book leaves off on a huge cliffhanger. I heard the next book doesn’t come out for another year. OMG!!!! I am like…

Bottom Line: Read this book!!! It was so good and I had the hardest time putting it down. I basically devoured it in about two days. Action, romance, hot cars, what is  not to love?

9.The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty

I consumed this book via Audible, and I have to say that I enjoyed the reader’s accent!  This book starts out going from character to character in each chapter, back and forth inter-winding the story. Cecelia discovers a letter that her husband wrote to her to be opened in the event of his death. How can you not read that if you found it sooner? This book basically follows how that one letter effects the lives of others around them. I enjoyed all three characters stories and plot lines and how they came together at the end. What I really appreciated was the epilogue to update where they were and what would have happened had that one major event not occurred. It really made you think.

Bottom Line:  Once I got a few chapters in and got to know the characters, I became very interested and had to know what was going to happen next! I would say that this is a must read. I laughed, I felt touched by the struggles these characters went through, and I was drawn in from the beginning needing to hear more and more.

10.The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

I listened to this one via audiobook. This book is based on a true story/experience. It changes perspectives from present day Helmut in jail to memories of his past that lead up to him being in jail. I immediately related to the character. While I obviously am not German nor did I live in the WWII era, I can appreciate how people felt back then. I loved how Helmut had his own thoughts. He was told that all the books he reads must be German, but he thinks that is ridiculous and loves his American Western novels. He sees Jewish people being treated badly and it upsets him. He tunes in to the BBC radio in the evenings to get the true story about what is going on around the world, not what is fed to him by the German government. Standing up for what you believe in at such a young age is a very brave thing to do.

When Helmut goes to jail for simply speaking the truth, it is rather eye opening to realize how many people this really happened to then. I insist that if you do read or listen to this book, you stick around for the author notes.

What I find the most interesting is that this stuff still goes on today. I am not so naive to think that our own government doesn’t hide certain truths from us, but even worse in other countries. Look at North and South Korea!! The people of North Korea were told recently that their astronauts landed on Saturn. Saturn!!! Last checked, Saturn is a gas giant planet. Only about 1,000 people (mostly North Korean government) have internet in that whole country. Just crazy, right?!?! They have no way of knowing what is really going on.

Bottom Line: I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction, or just want to understand more about Germany and the Hitler Youth. While all the events are not real, they are based on a real person and the author did extensive research to make the most plausible story.

What was your favorite book(s) this year?