Emmy’s 10 Must-Have Baby Items

Now that Emmy is O N E (!), I thought I’d compile a list of our top 10 picks from her first year. These items are the things we couldn’t live without, and are BOTH Emmy and Mommy approved! (I asked Matt for his input and said, “If you had a friend who was pregnant, what’s the #1 thing you’d tell them to get for the baby?” And he said “A really good mommy” #heispresh)

1. A Baby Carrier // Our favorites are the Solly wrap and the Wildbird sling. Vastly different (yet serving the same purpose–a close, cuddly baby and a hands-free mama or dada), we’ve used both in different stages. Only wanting to get one? I’d choose the Solly. It’s softer and has less of a learning curve. Matt personally loved the Solly and refuses to wear the Wildbird, even though they’re both neutral colors. #men

 

 

2. Footie Jammies // This might be obvious, but also might not be. Emmy has spent at LEAST half her life in footie jammies. And if she’s anything like her mama, she hates having her feet cold. Our top brand picks are Burt’s Bees (size up) and L’oved Baby (true to size).

 

 

 

3. Books // Also obvious, but there are some real hidden gems out there. Check out:

4. PBS Kids App & Netflix // Yes this is technically two things, but the use we’ve had for Emmy from both has been amazing. I think there’s some science about how every minute a baby watches TV an angel loses its wings or something, but Little Baby Bum (Netflix) and Super Why (Netflix & PBS app) have saved us both many times. PBS Kids App is free, Netflix is….however much Netflix is.

 

 

5. Promptly Childhood History Journal // This is so much MORE than a baby book. It covers pregnancy through age 18. That might sound overwhelming, but it’s got manageable prompts, and once they turn one you’re only filling it out once a year. Plus it’s beautiful. This will be such an heirloom.

 

 

6. White Noise Machine // Kid can’t sleep? Please tell me you’ve got a white noise machine going FULL BLAST. We have this one, and it’s the loudest BUT it’s broke after 9 months of use. Thankfully the manufacturer sent us a new one (like four weeks later, ugh). We also have this one and use them both. Don’t think you’re using white noise if it’s on the lowest volume setting. The white noise they heard in your belly is apparently equivalent to running a vacuum, so turn the dang machine up!

 

 

 

7. Solly Swaddle Blanket // This was gifted to us by my friend Madison and now it’s my #1 baby shower gift. They’re a little pricey so moms often won’t buy for themselves, but this is the most buttery-soft blanket EVER. It’s super lightweight (so great for Florida), and huge so you can legitimately swaddle a baby in it. I’m convinced I’m going to use it as a scarf or something once we’re done using it as a baby blanket.

 

 

8. Ingenuity High Chair // This has served the purposes of both a Bumbo and a high chair. The tray stores under the seat which is GENIUS and is also dishwasher safe.

 

 

9. Boppy Lounger // Emmy probably spent *too* much time in this, but whatever. It was great to put her on and feed her a bottle, or just for her to lounge while I cleaned up, did laundry, or took a shower. We literally just put this away for good like three weeks ago, so it gets plenty of use!

 

 

 

10. Love To Dream 50/50 Swaddle: This thing was the BEST and Emmy slept so well in it. It allows babies to keep their hands near their face for self-soothing, but is snug in the chest for them to feel like they’re still being hugged. Once you’re ready to start working on arms-out swaddling, you can unzip one “wing” at a time to allow baby to adjust. Seriously worth EVERY PENNY.

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Friday Faves #12

Hey friends! I’m back with a crowd favorite…Friday Faves! Here’s a list of what I’m loving this week.

1. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

This stuff is so good for you. Collagen is essential for joint, skin, hair, and nail health. It’s easy to mix into my coffee each morning and has no taste and no grittiness!

2. Stitch People

I’ve so loved getting into cross stitch! This isn’t your mom’s cross stitch, either. It’s a great way to create a keepsake that will be treasured forever.

3. Tuna Salad + Veggies

This recipe from The Defined Dish isn’t even really a recipe. It’s basically just eating tuna salad with carrot sticks, but I CAN’T STOP EATING IT.

4. It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInery Purmort

I think everyone needs to read this book. It’s not nearly depressing as it sounds, and it’s profound in the way Nora talks about losing a pregnancy, her dad, and her husband in a 6-week span. It’s the definitions of “you’ll laugh and you’ll cry.”

5. Beautycounter’s Volumizing Mascara

I am *really* picky about mascara. I’ve used the same mascara since I was like 15. Until now! Beaautycounter came out with their Lengthening mascara (bottom) a little more than a year ago, and, to be honest, I didn’t love it. But I was open to trying the Volumizing mascara (top). And I’m so glad I did!!! I highly recommend this if you’re used to a big, fluffy brush to apply with. (And–FYI–they’ve reformulated the Lengthening so I’m going to try that again!)

What’re you loving?

xo, Amanda

Friday Faves #11

Can you believe Friday Faves is back?! I definitely fell off the bandwagon, but waiting for your child to be born has a way of motivating you to find anything to take your mind off the fact you’re NOT in labor. So here we are!

As a reminder, each Friday (AKA random Fridays…) I’ll post five or more things I’m loving right now and links to where you can get them. Here’s what I’m loving this week!

1. Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Small Weekender (in Dove Grey)

You might remember that I posted about my old Po Campo weekender in a previous Friday Faves, but that got stolen (people suck), and I replaced it with this L&S bag. AND I AM OBSESSED. It fits SO much stuff, is durable, has a bottom shoe compartment (!!) and a side zipper situation that lets you slip it on a piece of rolling luggage to cart around the airport without it falling off. Can’t recommend this highly enough.

2. S’well Water Bottle (25oz)

My dear friend Katie gifted me this water bottle and I’m genuinely confused at the magic it uses to keep things cold. I can put ice in it and the ice is still there the next day. What?! How?! It can also keep things hot, but I haven’t used it for that since it’d never cool off enough to drink!

Grab a 25oz bottle and it fits a whole bottle of wine. You’re welcome. Chill your white or rosé and pour it into your S’well bottle and it’ll stay cold for basically ever, because “forever” isn’t long when we’re talking about wine since I just drink it all. #unashamed

They’re TOTALLY worth the price tag because they’re sturdy and steel and last. There are also SO many fun designs!

3. This Shirt from Print Liberation

I bought this a few years ago, and I don’t know if I’ve ever worn it and not had someone comment on it. I’m actually wearing it right now. It’s a true shirt, too. PS: This company has some other killer shirts. And they’re really soft.

4. Sweeter Than Honey: A Coloring Book to Nourish Your Soul

I love coloring, but most “adult” coloring books are way too intricate and time consuming for me to actually enjoy. Until this one! I’m a huge Lindsay Letters fan, and this coloring book is so well done. I’m about to finish mine and need to order another one! I color one page before bed each night and it calms me down. I love how thick the paper is, and that the pages are perforated so you can tear them out and use them as art in your home!

The signed edition is on sale for $10 on her website (link above), or you can grab it on Amazon.

5. Starbucks UPSIDE DOWN Caramel Macchiato 

Okay, tbh, I haven’t actually tried this. I’m addicted to iced caramel macchiatos right now, and the guy in front of me got an UPSIDE DOWN caramel macchiato. What?! What does that even mean? His drink looked decidedly different than mine, so I did a little research. This is what a “normal” caramel macchiato looks like:

A normal caramel macchiato is made in this order: vanilla syrup > milk > ice > espresso > caramel drizzle. It creates a “separated” drink, where you can see the milk on the bottom and the espresso on top. Some people order this “stirred”, because they want it to be more mixed from the beginning. But with an upside down CM, you get that from the get go! Weird!

An upside down CM is made in this order (basically opposite): caramel > espresso > milk > ice > vanilla syrup. The result is a drink that is more mixed, instead of separated. So you don’t really have to stir as much. It looks more like a regular iced coffee with cream.

Regardless, they’re both freaking delicious, so you’re safe ordering either way.

Friday Faves #10

Helllloooooo 3-day weekend. Our friends are throwing a ‘Merica party tomorrow, but other than that we (I?) am looking forward to lots of naps over the next 3 days.

So, to kill time while you waste away your Friday afternoon in desperate search of the weekend, here are this week’s Friday Faves!

1. Humans of New York (Instagram & Facebook)

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I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to list this as a Friday Fave, but I LOVE these stories. My favorite recently has been the series he did at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The stories of the kids, families, and doctors/staff was so heartwarming. This is also the only social media feed that I dare wade into the comments section; luckily, people on HONY are 99.9% kind.

I think it is incredible the things people share with this guy, but it just goes to show you how much people just want to be heard.

2. Hash for dinner

This is the easiest make-at-home dinner I have ever stumbled upon, and it’s easy to make it your own, AND it is Whole30 compliant if you do it right. Here’s what I do:

  • Brown enough hash browns for Matt & me (I use Alexia frozen brand, W30 compliant)
  • In a pan, heat up Aidells Cajun Sausage (or Aidells Chicken + Apple Sausage for W30)
  • Once those are browned, add in anything–I usually wilt some spinach and chop up avocado, tomatoes, and dab on some hot sauce. You can also fry up some eggs.
  • Put it all together on a plate! Voila!

3. Olay® Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter

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This body wash has saved both my skin and Matt’s skin. We both have dry skin, and this is the ONLY thing that has worked. It’s amazing how quickly you will notice, too! Definitely grab a few of these heading into fall/winter–Sam’s Club sells them in packs of three for $12.

4. Emi Jay Tees

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They sell these at our local Pure Barre studio and it’s REAL HARD not to buy all of them. I want this one (above) and the TUCK tee. And, like, all of the other ones.

5. Coconut LaCroix with limes!

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Y’all–how in the WORLD I have not posted this as my fave yet I do not know. But maybe it’s just because these drinks are part of my blood now, so it’d be really meta to write about. Anyway, if you’re looking for the most refreshing summer drink, grab the Coconut LaCroix and a lime and sweet baby Jesus you’re welcome. It’s summer in a sip. AND IT IS WHOLE30 COMPLIANT. All the praise hands.

Have a happy and safe 4th!

Friday Faves #9

What whaaaatttt Friday Faves is back and since I’ve left you high and dry for so long, I’m doing TEN faves today. Enjoy!

1. Whole 30

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I did Whole30 last year right around this time and it was a total game-changer. (You can read about that here.) I lost a total of 11 pounds in 30 days, and felt like a totally new person. I felt SO GOOD. Which is why I am about to do it again: because I DO NOT FEEL GOOD. I am so so so tired and sluggish and my body just does not feel great. Let me know if you want to do it with me! (It’s free and not some sales-y thing, you just eat whole food for a month)

2. bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Free Spirit

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My mom gave my sister and I a crap ton of makeup to go through and take that she did not love. Somehow I ended up with two tubes of this stuff, and I am SO GLAD I DID. I’m picky about lipgloss since a lot of it leaves me with chapped lips, but this is minty and a great, has a lasting color and somehow is also kind of moisturizing? I also love this because it is kind of the shade that my lips naturally are, so I can wear it every day.
PS: Sign up for the bareMinerals email and you’ll get 15% off your first order!

3. Buzzfeed

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I cannot get enough of Buzzfeed. If I could get a job reading Buzzfeed articles or taking Buzzfeed quizzes, I’d jump on it. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

 

4. Starbucks Cold BrewScreen Shot 2016-06-24 at 2.13.19 PM

This is mainly a fave because I’m drinking it right now and it’s so effing hot outside. All y’all Starbucks haters can chill out, because I don’t care about any level of coffee-snob-ishness. Okay? Good.

I order mine with a splash of whole milk (studies have recently shown whole milk is MUCH better for overall health & weight loss) and one pump of vanilla syrup.

 

5. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

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This is the best white wine I think I have ever had. Very tart, bright, light. Not sweet. Love it so much.

6. LOLA Tampon Delivery

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You heard me right. Here are the four BEST things about LOLA:

  1. They deliver tampons to your door.
  2. They are made from 100% organic cotton.
  3. You can MIX AND MATCH absorbencies. WHAT. Isn’t that all of our wish? Want 3 supers, 14 regulars and 1 light? Done. How about 7 supers, 7 regulars, and 4 lights? Done. All regular? Done. 8 super and 10 regular? You get that too. This is so crazy.
  4. You can turn off and on delivery. So if you don’t need a new box next month, just change the delivery date and you won’t be billed. Brilliant.

And, they aren’t that much more expensive than Playtex or Always or whatever other brand.

Start now! Get your first TWO boxes for only $9 (regularly $18) AND get a $5 credit if you use the code APURSER1

 

7. Catbird 

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I love Catbird jewelry if you’re looking for some timeless, dainty, long-lasting jewelry. In fact, this is where I got my wedding ring! I love it so much because their pieces are timeless and sturdy and don’t break the bank (although there are some incredible pieces that do break the bank).

In addition to jewelry, they also have beauty products, and home goods.

 

8. Loacker Quadratini Chocolate Wafers (I buy @ Trader Joe’s)

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All I need to say about these is that they’re light enough to easily trick me into eating a whole bag. God bless America.

I buy them at Trader Joe’s, but they’re also on Amazon and I think at Walmart and World Market.

 

9. Quinoa Apricot & Arugula Salad from Love and Lemons

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THIS is my salad. It’s my jam. It’s so filling and yummy and different and I love it. I roast the chickpeas for 15mins at 450 degrees to give them a little crunch and I don’t add the chives or almonds because they’re just unnecessary to me so why spend the $ on them? And OH the dressing. So good.

 

10. Pure Barre

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Y’all, I drank the Kool-Aid. The bright red Kool-Aid.

I didn’t think I’d enjoy PB as much as I do, mainly because of the cost ($$$). I didn’t think it would be worth it but YOU GUYS. It is.

I’ve taken barre classes before, but when I took a Flybarre class in Atlanta thanks to my cousinsisterfriend Joanna, I knew that I was missing something. There is something about a KILLER workout with fast paced music that is REALLY HARD that just fits my soul. The barre classes I had taken before were good, but lacked the energy.

Since we don’t have a Flybarre here, I just thought I was out of luck–because I did not realize that we have a Pure Barre. But once I found out that we did (!) and went to my first class–GAME OVER. Literally I signed up for the New Client Special (1 month unlimited for $100) after my first class and yesterday I signed up for a year unlimited.

A YEAR UNLIMINTED, YOU GUYS.

That’s a lot of classes. But it is so worth it let me just tell you. I usually go a minimum of three times a week, and sometimes more. It’s an incredible workout, and I usually reach muscle failure in each section we work (arms/thighs/seat/abs). They tell you to “embrace the shake” and BOY DO YOU SHAKE. I worked in the fitness industry for almost 8 years, and this is the bomb.com. It’s the real deal.

This 55 minute workout is no joke. Yesterday my instructor commented on how she loved how much I sweat during class. Because I do.

So–if you have a Pure Barre in your area, go to one class. And then promise me something….go again. The first class can be overwhelming; they move quickly and use terms you might not be familiar with. But guess what? EVERYONE in the room with you has had to be a first timer and not understand what was going on. No one walked in all chill and new what it meant to “bend stretch”, okay? So just go once, have a little fun, and then go one more time. You won’t regret it.

PS: BUY THE STICKY SOCKS. You are required to wear socks during class. Try holding a 90 second plank with regular socks on ON CARPET. #bless