some favorite baby products

Posted: September 17th, 2015

favorite baby products


Back when Evelyn was just a little bitty baby, I did a brief product roundup of some of our favorite things for the first three months (some of them are still things we use and love today).  I had every intention of coming back at six months with an update of things we love, but it didn’t happen.  So we’ll make-do with this: some of my favorite baby products and toys we’ve used from three months on.  So in no particular order:

1. Wubbanubs

We love love love our wubbanub pacifiers.  Once they are old enough, having the stuffed animal attached makes it easy for baby to find in the crib at night.  And when she was younger, it made it easier for us to catch if Evelyn dropped it.  I’ve also heard of people snipping off the pacifier and just giving their kid the stuffed animal once it is time to give up the pacifier, and so I have high hopes that might work for us one day.  Another pro: they have just about every animal you can think of.

2. Shopping Cart

We bought this for Evelyn for her birthday and I think it’s great.  It’s a great walker for her, and she’s starting to get the hang of putting things into it.  I’m sure this is a toy that will grow with us for years to come.

3. Bum Genius Cloth Diapers

We don’t cloth diaper all the time, but about once or twice a week when I know we are going to be home all day, I’ll pull out the cloth diapers.  I love the Bum Genius ones we have.  We have both all-in-ones and pocket diapers, and I think there are pros and cons to both.  The only one I don’t love is the velcro (non-snap) one–I loved it at first, but now Evelyn is old enough to undo it.

4. Jumparoo

This was only a hit for about 5 months, but it was a BIG hit.  We borrowed it from a friend and Evelyn loved it.  She would get in it and jump and jump and jump.  Shortly after she started crawling though, she realized that she couldn’t quite go where she wanted and she was not a big fan.

 5. V-Tech Sit to Stand Learning Walker

Ok, yes, the noises on this walker can be a little annoying.  But how much Evelyn loved this thing completely outweighed that.  She loves pressing all the buttons and figuring out how to manipulate everything on it, and she loves walking.  She has used this to just walk back and forth and back and forth across the room endlessly.

6. High Chair Seat

We bought a really expensive high chair when Evelyn was around 5.5 months old in preparation for feeding her solids at six months.  Even after all the research we did, I ended up hating it.  Instead we have constantly used this little high chair seat that we had originally bought for travel convenience/for me to have at the office.  I love it.

7. Pandora

Ok, so this isn’t really a product exactly.  But we love Pandora Toddler (and Raffi) radio.  Evelyn LOVES music and loves dancing, and this is on at our house pretty much every day.

8. Pedipeds

I have been worried about getting Evelyn to wear shoes for awhile now.  Back in the winter she was always taking off her socks, and over the summer we mostly went barefoot.  We had a cute pair of sandals that we put her in occasionally for looks, but she was not a fan of having something on her feet.  With her starting to take a couple of steps though, I knew I needed to get her shoes as soon as possible.  From the research I did, Pedipeds are an ideal first shoes: they have a soft sole, which is best for babies learning to walk.  And the best thing is she doesn’t mind having them on her feet at all!  Also they are so cute (and I have my eye on a pair for winter too…which as the weather cools down I apparently need to buy soon).

9. Lamb mat

We received this as a gift at a baby shower, and while I always thought it was adorable and I loved being able to lay Evelyn on it when she was a newborn, it surprised how much she loves it even now.  She crawls over to it all the time and just lays down on it to feel how soft it is.

10. Megabloks

I love these blocks.  They are a toy that we play with now, and that I’m sure we will use for years.  Right now our play consists of me building towers and Evelyn tearing them apart, as well as her just loving to pull all the blocks out of the bag.  But I know this is a toy that she will grow into and will just get more fun with age.

{Note: this post contains affiliate links}

No Comments

chocolate hazelnut biscotti

Posted: September 14th, 2015

chocolate hazelnut biscotti

I think if there is one talent I have in life, it is planning and logistics.  There are few things in the world more beautiful to me than a well thought out itinerary that can be smoothly executed or a calendar that is completely organized.  I love lists and schedules and plans.  When everyone else complained about the first day of school in high school and college, I secretly loved it because it meant I got to go home and put all of the project and test dates in my calendar and make a plan.  And if we’re being completely honest, part of the reason my husband graduated only one summer semester behind his peers after transferring into a five year dual degree program halfway through college is because I sat down with his degree requirements for an entire afternoon and made charts and did research about what classes he needed to take when.  Otherwise he would have totally missed that Spanish class that was only offered once every two years (that may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea). Read more »

No Comments

sausage stuffed mushrooms {updated}

Posted: September 11th, 2015

sausage stuffed mushrooms

So we are are officially in what is perhaps the favorite time of year in our house: football season.  Auburn football.  Tailgating.  And of course, family College Football Pick ‘Em (allow me to brag for a minute and say that I have won the past two years…the pressure is on).  I also have the goal this year of upping my game as far as football food goes.  I want things that a crowd can snack on and main dishes that are easy to make/can be made ahead of time.  And of course, it needs to have that fall feeling that certain foods just do (I’m looking at you, oven ribs).  I want things that are comfortable and easy, both appetizers and dinners. Read more »

No Comments

what i’ve been reading {summer 2015}

Posted: September 8th, 2015

{Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist}

I’ve loved all of Shauna Niequist’s books–they are always such relatable essays about life and faith–but this might have been my favorite.  Probably because it connects faith to life around the table and how important and renewing and spiritual it can be to gather around the table with people that we love.  It also has some great recipes in it.

{Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple}

This is such a fun and quirky read.  It is the story of a daughter trying to piece together what has happened in the disappearance of her mother, which sounds dark but it is not at all.  Most of the story is told through emails and newspaper articles, and it stretches from Seattle to Antarctica.  And while is the story of a lot of things–agoraphobia, disappointment in unfulfilled expectations, school politics, being a bit “different” and more–at its heart it is really a poignant story about the bond between a mother and daughter.

{The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan}

To me, The Royal We was the most fun book I read all summer.  It is completely a fictionalized version of the Prince William and Kate Middleton love story (although the “Kate” character is American here).  It is completely fluff, but also completely fun (although I did find the relationship between the royalty and the media fascinating, and I have a feeling there was a lot of truth to it).

{Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar}

This was one of my unexpected favorites of the summer.  Deep Down Dark is the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for months and then rescued back in 2010.  When it happened, they all agreed to share their story together with one person who would write the book, and this is that book.  It is absolutely fascinating, and Hector Tobar does such a great job of putting us both in the world of the underground mine and the world of the families fighting for their loved ones to be rescued.  What the miners went through is crazy, and the fact that they survived and were found at all is a miracle.  And even though you know what happens at the end, this book will still have you on the edge of your seat.

{Salvage the Bones by Jessmyn Ward}

This is what I’ll say about Salvage the Bones.  It is  GOOD book.  It absolutely deserves a good amount of the literary critical acclaim it received.  That being said, it was not the easiest book to read for me, and I think this has a lot to do with the fact that it put me a world that was completely different than what I am used to, and it is a world that I am not comfortable in.  It is the story of a poor family living in rural Mississippi in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, and in particular one teenage daughter who finds herself pregnant.  The story, paired with the literary style, made for a bit of a more difficult read than I expected.  But I’m glad I stuck with it because the ending, when the hurricane hit, was fantastic; and besides, I think it’s so important to read books that you aren’t always comfortable in.

{The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits}

This might have been my favorite book I’ve read all year, and it’s hard to tell you exactly why.  The Folded Clock is a diary of two years of Heidi Julavits’s life, but it’s not necessarily told in chronological order.  It sounds weird, but it works; it makes you realize how often the same themes seem to loop back around in your own life.  I think since I am a journaler, I especially loved this.  It gave me a fresh look at my own journaling and challenged me to be a bit more expressive in it instead of just making lists of things I did everyday.  I loved the variety of essays in this book, too.  Some were touching and some had me laughing out loud, and the style with which she writes them all just seems so comfortable.

{Note: this post contains affiliate links}

No Comments

a month of meals {august 2015}

Posted: September 1st, 2015

a month of meals: august 2015

Here’s what we ate this month.

{An explanation as to why I’m doing this can be found in January 2015.}

{Past months: January 2015 : February 2015 : March 2015 : April 2015 : May 2015 : June 2015 : July 2015}

Aug 1–fried rice with chicken
Aug 2–leftovers/scrounge/sandwiches

Aug 3–out to eat with my work
Aug 4–dinner with Gerrit’s parents–BBQ baked chicken
Aug 5–dinner with my parents–pizza
Aug 6baked chicken thighs, green beans with almonds, cous cous
Aug 7–Chick-fil-a
Aug 8–dinner with Gerrit’s family after Evelyn’s birthday party (where we had sliders, mac and cheese bites, watermelon, chips and dips, and of course, cake)
Aug 9–leftovers

Aug 10slow cooked oven ribs and leftovers (that we took on a picnic)
Aug 11–dinner with Gerrit’s parents–coconut curry chicken
Aug 12–dinner with my parnets–salmon
Aug 13–out to eat in Asheville
Aug 14–out to eat in Asheville
Aug 15–out to eat in Asheville
Aug 16–sandwiches

Aug 17–fried rice with chicken
Aug 18–dinner with Gerrit’s parents–pork tacos
Aug 19–dinner with my mom–rotisserie chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries
Aug 20roasted red pepper pasta
Aug 21pizza
Aug 22–cookout with friends
Aug 23–dinner with my parents (because my dad had been out of town and he wanted to see Evelyn)–BBQ, slaw, sweet potato fries

Aug 24–sandwiches (we had gone out for lunch)
Aug 25–dinner with Gerrit’s parents–chicken pesto pasta
Aug 26cheesy gnocchi (with store bought gnocchi), roasted broccoli
Aug 27chicken thighs, orzo pasta salad
Aug 28chickpea pasta
Aug 29–leftovers (I went to a bridal shower that afternoon, and wasn’t particularly hungry and Gerrit had his fantasy football draft)
Aug 30–coconut chicken curry, zucchini with almonds

Aug 31–rotisserie chicken, green beans with almonds, polenta

No Comments