The Owlet and our other  SLEEP must haves

The scariest part for me about being a new mom was our baby sleeping at night. Even though I was delirious, I would get Price down and then lie in bed and listen to make sure I heard him breathing. If I didn’t hear him, I would then get up and check and make sure he was still breathing. To be honest when I heard any little noise (especially those scary newborn gasps) I would check on him. I would watch him to assure myself he was still alive and safe and then I would sneak back into bed and listen while I laid there.  No matter how hard I would try, I would repeat this process until I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open!!

In my crazy pregnancy baby research stage (it was ridiculous how obsessed I was with reading everything baby), I came across the Owlet and thought it was cool in theory but overpriced. With all the things we had to buy I decided to skip this added “luxury”.

Price was born on December 28th and by January 21st I finally posted on FB and asked my friends for advice on the Owlet. I had it!! I was not getting ANY sleep because I was so scared our LO would quit breathing. To be fair, right before Price I had a missed miscarriage which I think has made me more worried things will go wrong again. I will post more about that when we are ready.

I am so glad that I had friends who urged me to try it out.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Owlet! It was worth every penny and is probably the best baby item I purchased!!!!

While it does not prevent anything from happening, it gives you the peace of mind that if he were to quit breathing you would know and hopefully have a chance to help your LO. I can finally sleep which is not only good for me, but for my son!  I also found it extra helpful when our son caught RSV so I could monitor his oxygen levels.

**I do want to bring up FALSE ALARMS because that was my biggest concern purchasing the sock. When Price was a newborn we would get them quite often because the sock would slip off. I heard from a close friend that the newer versions modified sock style stays on a lot better. If you are interested in the Owlet I wouldn’t let this deter you because there are different alarms. The alarm to alert you that the sock is on incorrectly or has fallen off is actually a lullaby so it doesn’t scare you as much when it goes off.  The alarm to alert you of heart rate or oxygen level being low is a very different sound and turns red.

Good news!! The Owlet is now available at Buy Buy Baby!
https://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/owlet-smart-sock-2/1046938244?Keyword=owlet
Here is a link for more information on their FAQ about the Owlet: http://www.owletcare.com/faq/

 

Sleep sacks

If you are a swaddle ninja like my hubby, Aden + Anais muslin swaddle cloths are the way to go, but if you are like me, I needed something fast and easy. When Price was a newborn we used Swaddle Me swaddlers since they were so easy to use and stayed wrapped even though our LO was a wiggly little guy.

He has never liked his arms swaddled so at a really young age we kept them out. Once he was around 3 months we switched to Halo Sleep sacks and at 6 months we haven’t looked back! Since Price was born at the end of December we started with the thicker micro fleece version and a cotton one to wear over his one piece pajamas. Once we moved to the next size I bought the lighter weight muslin version because it was warmer weather (spring moving into summer).

Swaddle Blankets: https://www.amazon.com/aden-anais-Swaddleplus-Safari-Friends/dp/B002USE0Q0/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1498674782&sr=8-1&keywords=aden%2Bby%2Baden%2B%2B%2Banais&th=1
**I didn’t notice much of a difference in the Aden+Anais vs their cheaper version the Aden by Aden
Velcro Swaddler:  https://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/summer-infant-reg-swaddleme-reg-small-3-pack-xo-adjustable-infant-wrap-set/1060032317?Keyword=swaddle+me
Sleep sack: https://www.amazon.com/Halo-Sleepsack-Adjustable-Swaddle-Triangles/dp/B01LAG1TKM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498668201&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=halo%2Bsleepsack&th=1

 

Sleep Machine

There are so many options depending on your personal preference for sleep machines. From stuffed animal sound machine options, travel sized and a traditional sound machine. When I was pregnant I purchased the Marpac Dohm Sound machine because it had such great reviews. I was so excited to get it home, and when I told my hubby about it he suggested we try it out that night. We absolutely love the soothing natural sound this machine makes. We ended up using it the rest of my pregnancy and it really helped us to go to sleep faster and deeper. I did put it away for the first six months of our LOs life because I wanted to be able to hear my baby moving and breathing. I am really excited to start using it again now that I am comfortable with my LO being able to rollover and sleep safely.

Sleep Machine: https://www.amazon.com/Marpac-Dohm-DS-Natural-Sound-Machine/dp/B00HD0ELFK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498666276&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=dohm%2Bsound%2Bmachine&th=1
Sleepsounds App: Rain Rain Sleep Sounds

Decorating your nursery

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When I started brainstorming for nursery ideas I knew one thing, I didn’t want to go with a traditional theme, that’s just NOT ME. I also knew that I didn’t want to have to repaint the baby room many times so I decided I wanted to choose a neutral wall color that would work for either gender, so that I can revamp it for the next baby easily. I started with the idea of one grey and white striped wall as the focal point. My hubby and I did it ourselves, and while it had its moments of being challenging (prepping the tape definitely caused some small time bickering) we survived and ended up with a pretty good striped wall thanks to the HUBS!! I tend to be someone who likes to wing it, which would have resulted in really crooked lines that varied in width. For the most part, it was a relatively easy process.

Once we found out we were having a little boy I narrowed down my nursery theme to a couple of ideas but settled on a ROCKSTAR/music theme because Nick and I are really into music. To keep the theme from getting cheesy I kept the focus on a neutral color palette with some fun pops that were within the theme.

Here are some tips to style your nursery:

Start with a Vision Board

Before I purchased any items, I pulled a total millennial move, and hopped on Pinterest and made an inspiration board. I am a visual person so I found that having the board made it so much easier to see the look as a whole. If you want to see my board, check it out here: https://www.pinterest.com/msbrandylynn/future-boys-nursery/. Don’t be shy to follow my account for style ideas, decor, recipes’ and life hacks.

If you open my board, you will see that I ended up purchasing a lot of the pieces I pinned. I had to make some substitutions for items that were no longer available, and I did my best to find cheaper versions of pieces where I could.

If you are not into Pinterest no problem! You can build a board on a word document by saving images of pieces you love or you can even go old school and rip out pictures from catalogs, ads, or magazines and make a large collage.

Find Inspiration

While I was pregnant I loved researching on YouTube and following blogs. For stylish and unique nursery ideas, my favorite was this Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/posh_baby_/

Our nursery was actually featured on their account here:  https://www.instagram.com/p/BR_rg3YFQKt/?taken-by=posh_baby_

 

Don’t overdo the Theme

Add fun pops but don’t go too matchy matchy with sets.

Examples I used in my nursery:

*I keep the letter board musical themed (Letterboard: https://www.letterfolk.com/). My favorite so far has been this:

*In his picture wall I have 2 album cover frames that feature some of our favorite artists. Currently we have White Stripes and Leon Bridges (Price’s first concert in my belly) on display.

*Guitar frame and guitar hooks. I keep the hooks hung in the closet to give it some nice hidden detailing in that area.

*Marquee Lightning seemed really rock star to me so I found an amazing large lightning bolt as a huge focal point above the toy box. The other marquee light is a smaller star that was a nice addition to the gallery wall.

*For the rock star theme, I had to add stars so you will find star detailing all around the nursery. I have a metallic silver pillow and mobile which really complimented my gray color palette and the theme. I also chose grey stars for the print of some of his bedding, swaddlers, blankets and burp rags. The Aden & Anais twinkle collection was just too perfect to complement the room.

Last thing I hate to admit is you don’t need to style and complete the nursery before baby arrives (I hope my husband doesn’t see this, if he does, Ugh.. YOU WERE RIGHT BABE!). Our LO is almost 6 months old now and he hasn’t even used his room yet! That being said, it still is my favorite room in the house and it brings me unlimited joy and happiness.

REMEMBER: It’s all in the details..Happy Styling 🙂

Easy Date Night: Backyard Tent

 

Being new parents we realized real quick that we had to rethink our date nights. Now not only do we literally have a mini third wheel, but we needed to come up with some options for at-home dates that actually feel special. With the weather warming up I wanted to think of a fun way to utilize our outdoor space, so when I saw this pop up baby tent it was a no brainer that we needed it in our life!!

 

Now my hubby and I are both foodies, so next was thinking about a fun outdoor meal to enjoy on our date that involved little to no cooking, that is easy to eat while sitting, and quick preparation. I instantly thought of finger foods and then thought it would be fun to make a charcuterie board. The hardest part was narrowing down what to put on my board… so for the first date I decided to go with two. I did a more traditional cheese and meat board and a Mediterranean themed board. Both were so simple to throw together and delicious!!

 

For ambiance we added candles and our favorite oldies mix (we prefer to listen from our record player). Our little guy loved being outside and being able to sit and chew on his teether while checking out the yard so it was a win for all of us!!

 

The best part of this date night idea is that the whole family was able to enjoy it (even our dog, Kingston) and it is really easy to customize to your families preferences. We’ve already redone this date with other themes and setups depending on our mood. The possibilities are endless!

 

 

Here is what you need for the boards:

Cheese and meat board:

Crackers

Meats: Prosciutto and Salami

Cheese Selection: Brie and Cream Cheese (I did this to add with the Peperoncinis to my salami)

Fruits: Grapes, Pear, Apple, Blackberries

**I would have added a nut, but I had that on my other platter

 

Mediterranean Board:

Hummus

Pitas (Fresh, cut into quarters and smaller bite size)

Pita Chips (you do not need both but I wanted a variety)

Feta Cheese

Olive Medley

Nuts: Candied walnuts

Red Bell pepper

Peperoncini

Basil, lemon, or fresh herb for garnish

 

Some other themes I plan on doing:

Game night with finger foods and yard games (large jenga, washers, ladder golf, corn hole)

Wine tasting with a cheese and chocolate pairing

Grill and Chill

Hot dogs and s’mores on the fire pit

Fondue Night

Pizza party

 

How would you do your tent date night??

Easy Buffalo Salad

I love cooking but working full time and being a mom means easy recipes I can throw together! During my pregnancy my hubby and I got hooked on Jack’s Urban Eats (for those Sacramento peeps) Buffalo Chicken Salad. After baby, once I was back into cooking I decided to throw together my own version with the modifications I enjoy. This recipe is super easy to use as a base for your own creation. Enjoy!

What you need:

Buffalo Chicken-you can buy pre-made boneless wings or I got this breaded version at Trader Joe’s which I baked and then coated with Frank’s RedHot wing sauce

Romaine Salad

Green Onions

Feta or cheese of choice

Bartlett Pear or Apple

Candied Walnut or nut of choice

Tortilla Chips or crouton

Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing

Frank’s RedHot wing sauce

Now that you have the ingredients you will start with the lettuce in a bowl. Then layer with the other ingredients. You can make this a single salad or huge helping just add in desired toppings and top with the dressing and a drizzle of extra wing sauce if you are saucy like me!!

You can make this a healthier salad by baking or slow cooking the chicken and tossing it in the wing sauce. You can then dress it with a healthier dressing like my personal fave the Bolthouse Farm brands.

Other great additions:

Avocado

Beans (kidney, garbanzo, edamame, etc.)

Olives

Hard Boiled Egg

Carrots

Celery

 

What is your go to salad recipe for an easy dinner?

5 Must Have Newborn Items

 

 

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First time mom here, and let me tell you to say that registering was overwhelming..is an understatement!! How do you know what you really need and what’s just useless crap? The real answer..you DON’T! I know how annoying it is to hear people say “every baby is different”, but you quickly learn they are right (ugh, I hate that).

While I would love to have the means to buy and try a million things to see what my baby loves, I don’t have the time or MONEY for that. Instead, while I was pregnant I asked my fellow mom friends, researched, and watched every YouTube I could find for advice and started with the most popular items. This is my list of must have newborn baby items. These are items I couldn’t function without.

For easy shopping I added a link to each item either through Amazon or Buy Buy Baby. I am NOT sponsored I just find these easy resources and I have Amazon Prime for free shipping, and free shipping through BBB for registering with them. Don’t forget you can get 20% off at Buy Buy Baby with a coupon (they also take coupons for Bed Bath & Beyond). Again all babies are different so what worked for my LO (little one) unfortunately may not work for yours, but I did try to go with universal items.

 

Baby Brezza One Step Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer

This machine is a lifesaver!! It’s easy to use, fits a good amount of pieces per load, and runs for only 30 minutes. I find that I can prep and load 6 bottles and parts, or 5 bottles and pumping parts in about 3 minutes flat.

After reading various reviews, I saw that a lot of the sterilizers left bottles wet or with droplets of water while this one was said to do a complete dry. Which it delivers on!

The only downfall I have found is that for some reason it leaks a puddle of water under it, every load. I have asked friends and theirs does the same. As a simple fix, I place it over a cookie sheet to catch the water and empty that every couple loads.

https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Brezza-Sterliizer-Dryer-White/dp/B00MYRXSE2/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1497457796&sr=1-1&keywords=baby+brezza+one-step+bottle+sterilizer+and+dryer

 

TRAVEL SYSTEM

I highly suggest for first time parents (or all parents) a Travel System for their car seat and stroller option. It is so much easier to be able to pop your car seat out and throw it onto the stroller in one easy click!

There are many options in sets ranging drastically in pricing. I chose this set because it had really great safety ratings for the car seat and the stroller is really light, has a one hand quick fold and is easy to maneuver.

https://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/britax-b-agile-b-safe-35-travel-system-stroller-in-black/3319562?Keyword=BRITAX+2016+B-Agile+3+Stroller+in+Black

Note to weak armed Mamas: this car seat is a little heavier than others. My spaghetti arms got used to it pretty quickly though.

 

Graco Pack N’ Play

While most people get a pack n’ play for traveling and even to use as a sleeping option. The reason this made the must have list is because we set one up in the living room! Why? It’s the perfect one stop station for diaper changes and napping in our main living area of the house. Our son has a nice changing table in his nursery that is yet to be used because he’s not sleeping in there and it’s on the other side of the house.

https://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/graco-reg-pack-39-n-play-reg-element-trade-playard-and-bassinet-in-darcie-trade/1060924902?Keyword=graco+pack+n+play+metro

There are many options for Pack N’ Plays depending on your style preference. I do suggest getting one of the styles that features a changing table so you can get the multi use out of it. I do not recommend the more expensive version with the bassinet piece, as I am not sure that is a safe sleeping environment.

Boppy Newborn Lounger

THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER! It’s the perfect little spot for your little one to sit when they’re a mini little nugget. I think it was also a great way to get my LO used to sleeping on his back. I would use it to let them fall asleep in and then transition him to his bassinet as it is not a safe sleeping environment. It also served as a nice chair to lay in while we bottle fed him.

Wubbanub Pacifier

I know not everyone is into giving their baby pacifiers and that is fine by me. No judgement here either way. I also know that some doctors (and people in general) suggest waiting to start pacifying..again fine by me. I am ALL for not mom shaming (blog on this to come) and my mantra is if it works for you and your baby then do it.

If you choose to give your baby a pacifier, I definitely recommend the WubbaNub or a similar pacifier product. Say what?! We liked to just call it a Wubba. What makes it special?! It stays in place when your LO is mini because the little stuffed animal weighs it down which also keeps it in the babies mouth unlike regular pacifiers. It is also easy to find and the little animal gives your little one something to grasp on to. I hear that as your child ages they often bond with this little guy. Best of all it is really easy to clean the WubbaNub brand because you can literally throw it in the washing machine (Note: I have only tried this with this brand). We literally NEVER EVER EVER leave home without one.

Downside:Baby can’t sleep with this pacifier.

 

Whoop there it is! Let me know what other must haves I am missing!!? It takes a village..

About

us

Hello, I’m Brandy! I am married to my best friend, Nick, we have a fur baby Kingston, and a new baby boy, Price. I used to work as a Personal Stylist, now I am a High School Rep enjoying my days talking to students about their futures. I have a passion for all things fashion, playing in the kitchen, checking out new restaurants and places with friends and family, momming, and playing wife. I am having fun trying to balance it ALL and this is my spot to show things I’ve tried and get fun ideas from people like you!