Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Second Trimester Must-Haves

My second trimester is coming to a close in the next week. How that happened so quickly, I have no idea, but here we are, three months away from meeting this little lady who still has exactly 0 things ready or purchased for her arrival. What I have invested in--and rightfully so, I suppose--are all of the below items that made up my must-have list over the last 12 weeks. A little about each to follow.

1. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks: the holy grail for lessening the appearance of stretch marks. I’ve been genetically lucky enough to not have had any through each of my three pregnancies, but use this after every time I shower to keep my skin hydrated and soft. 

2. Pajamas: I LIVE IN THESE. I ordered up a size and fit perfectly over the bump with room to grow. These are coming to the hospital with me since they’re also nursing friendly with buttons that work.

3. Vitamin C Serum: I’ve gotten dark spots on my face, or melasma, during this pregnancy. The only pregnancy safe product that WORKS is vitamin C, and this serum has really helped with hyperpigmentation and reducing fine lines.

4. Bra Extenders:  These extend the life of my normal bras all the way up to when nursing bras are needed. 

5. Home Doppler: This has been everything in my pregnancy this time around. Before I felt movement, I’d use this several times a week to hear baby’s heartbeat for peace of mind, beginning at 9 weeks. Now, I check on her every other week or so, or on any days where I feel like I don’t feel her as much as I’m used to. There's still quite nothing like that whoosh/whoosh/whoosh sound.

6. Maternity Tank Tops: I wear these things under everything. They’re long and stretchy, and smooth everything underneath.

7. One Line a Day: The sweetest little book to remember my (last) pregnancy. This makes journaling so manageable. 

8. Metamucil: An absolute must-have for me in this pregnancy. The bloat has been real. The Targets or Walmarts of the world don’t have this Metamucil version made with real ingredients (no artificial dyes or sweeteners).

Monday, December 9, 2019

2019 Minimalistic Kids' Gift Guide

Hi friends! It's been busy around here, with both work and regular life, but I'm on a mission to finish all of my Christmas shopping--and wrapping--this week. We've really minimized the boys' lists this year and tried to stick to the old adage of "Something you Want, Something you Need, Something to Wear, Something to Read", with a fun twist of also adding in "Somewhere to Go", since experiences tend to really resonate with both of them. Still nailing down this last part and where to take them, but for all other categories, I summarized some of our 2019 finds, below!


Teeter Popper: This has been on nearly every gift guide for kids that I’ve skimmed through this year. It’s won the Best Toy for Kids Award, and serves as a unique and creative way to play. The board is covered with sturdy silicone suction cups on the bottom, and how it's used is up to the kids. Rock it, roll it, sit in it, or stand – there are endless ways to play. I feel as though my two perpetual movers would really love this thing.

Magic Set: Oskar, 5y, got a magic set last year and let me tell you, it’s still one of his very favorite things. He loves to wow people with some of the tricks he learned, and even took his whole kit into school when he was Star of the Week.

30 Second Blow Up Fort: This was on my list for August who loves to cozy up in home made blanket forts. This uses a box fan, which most people have laying around the house. It inflates in 30 seconds or less, and can be folded up neatly (and has a REALLY small footprint when deflated to keep it stored away.

V-Tech Watch: a huge hit for any kids 4-7. This comes with a camera, games, and a pedometer built in, all while teaching your kiddo to tell time.

Karaoke Microphone: Just look at the reviews on this thing. Simply connect the microphone via Bluetooth to the app on your phone and sing your little hearts out.

Marble Maze: Oskar has—and LOVES—his marble maze sets. He has this basic set, and then several add-ons (marble catchers, rails) that he’s gotten for birthdays or other occasions.


Bedding: August will be changing bedrooms in the new year to get ready for baby sister, and with this change, we're hoping to bring a big boy room to life for him.

Water Bottle: Always needed, I grabbed this one as well as some personalized stickers for Oskar to label everything he takes to school.


Hunter Boots: The kids are getting Hunter boots this year, and I love the variety with the pull-on handles. These last FOREVER, and are prime candidates for something that would be handed down to littler—or future—siblings.

Book bag: A great time to get bookbags for the following school year. I love this colorful print.

Underwear: Forever our favorite undies for boys, these are just like the pricey Hanna Andersson ones for a small fraction of the price. Girls’ version found here.

North Face Jacket: Built to last, North Face jackets are our boys favorites, and can be handed down year over year.


Still on the hunt for books to gift, I listed some of our absolute FAVORITES that we already own, here.

Nibbles the Book Monster

Interrupting Chicken

The Book with No Pictures

What Should Danny Do

Elephant & Piggie Biggie

Monday, November 25, 2019

My Favorite 2019 Christmas Book Finds

There's less than a week to December now, which means it's officially time for one of the things that sparks the most joy around here--children's Christmas books. Below are my absolute favorite finds from this year, all of which are illustrated beautifully and display almost like decorations in the boys' rooms. We have them out in baskets by their beds, easy to grab and flip through any time they want. For all of our other favorites, check out prior year posts here and here.

1. If Santa Didn’t Have His Sleigh: A sweet question and answer book about what would happen if Santa didn’t have his sleigh. 

2. The Story Orchestra: A beautifully illustrated, musical retelling of the Nutcracker. Press the buttons to hear 10 excerpts from the ballet’s music.

3. The Worst Christmas Book in the Whole Entire World: I thought this one would be right up Oskar’s alley, and I was right. Think “The Book with No Pictures”, but with pictures, this book had us both giggling when we read it.

4. Finding Christmas: A story about giving, bringing the Christmas spirit to life.

5. The Tree That’s Meant to Be: the prettiest book about kindness, generosity, and the true meaning of Christmas.

6. Tough Cookie: this sweet little story celebrates the joy of being accepted for who we are.

7. Samurai Santa : A story about an epic snowball fight, and whether the main character, Yukio, will land on Santa’s naughty or nice list this year.

8. How Santa Got his Job: a story about using all of your unique and special talents that make you YOU. 

9. Dasher: from the creator of Red and Lulu (one of our FAVORITES), a story about a reindeer with a special wish.

10. How to Catch Santa : We love this author, so I know this book is bound to be a hit. A New York Time’s best seller that’s a Christmas must-read.

11. The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold: the roles are reversed in this silly book about Santa not believing in a little boy named Harold.

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