Category: "Health"

Baby Gear: Carriers & Slings

September 21st, 2018 | no comments

Even before I had Emerson, I was drawn to babywearing. I loved the idea of keeping your baby close, especially in those first few newborn months. That delicious snuggle that comes with wearing your baby, knowing they’re safe and close to you, skin to skin, the bonding and connection that it breeds. It was ALL FOR ME. 

 

A few weeks old

A few weeks old

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Two Months Old

Before I started babywearing, I would see lots of mothers around Brooklyn with happy babies in carriers, slings and wraps and that is how I was first introduced to this idea. The notion that there is this “4th trimester” where babies are out of the womb but still need to feel that womblike closeness with their care really resonated with me. And thus, babywearing felt like a natural fit. 

5 Weeks old! Our dear friend made us this cozy newborn ring sling.

5 Weeks old! Our dear friend made us this cozy newborn ring sling.

Like all things motherhood, if this concept doesn’t jive with you or just naturally feel good…don’t do it! I truly believe that if there is tension and stress around any part of caretaking that gets translated to the baby and thus the beneficial affects are weighed down by the added stress = not worth it. 

Out for a walk cozy and close!

Getting to know each other ;)

In motherhood, I gravitate towards things that create MORE EASE, LESS STRESS for me and for Emmy. Things that make our life, journey or day flow with greater peace and presence and connection.
Two Months Old Napping at Brunch

Two Months Old Napping at Brunch

Okay, back to babywearing. This is another area that I get a lot of questions and I want to start by saying that there are A LOT of amazing brands and companies, big and small, on the market. The carriers and slings that I ended up with were either recommended to me, given to me or researched and all of these are items that I still use TODAY with my 16 month old. 

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At the Art Museum in the ring sling

Carriers and slings have made our lives MUCH easier in certain situations. For example, when we traveled to Florida, Hawaii and Colorado, it was a breeze to get through security while wearing Emmy in the carrier. I always pack a sling too since it folds up so small and love to pop her in there for a walk to dinner on vacation or when she needs some “chill out time” as  I notice that she gets very zen while being worn.

Our favorite place to be

Our favorite place to be

I started wearing Emmy at about 2 weeks old in a gentle cloth ring sling that was made for us by a dear friend. Since I am a first-time mom, and first-time babywearer, I wanted to get the hang of it in my own home and gain some confidence wearing her. She LOVED to be close and I LOVED having 2 hands free – win win! From there, we were sold. 

Apple picking at 7 months old!

Apple picking at 7 months old!

With Emmy, I have always try to do a mix of things like using the stroller AND babywearing so she was adjusted to all scenarios and that really worked well for her. Remember, every baby is different so always do what feels right for you. 

Napping on a catamaran in Hawaii

Napping on a catamaran in Hawaii in the Beco Cool

Disclaimer: You always want to make sure that YOU and YOUR BABY are healthy and well before trying anything new, so make sure your physician and pediatrician are onboard. Additionally make sure to read ALL INSTRUCTIONS, watch videos and get help if needed so that your baby is in the safest and most comfortable position possible for their height/weight while in any carrier or sling at any stage.
15 Months Old in the Beco

15 Months Old in the Beco Toddler

Now, for the GEAR we love: 

Beco Gemini – 

 

Cozy and Warm on a cold NYC day

Cozy and Warm on a cold NYC day

 

Beco Cool – 

 

Hiking/Napping Diamonhead on Oahu, HI

Hiking/Napping Diamonhead on Oahu, HI

WildBird Ring Sling – The ringsling is one of my favorite items because it is SO easy to do, so cozy and looks a little more stylish to me. It is extremely supportive and you can wear your baby from newborn to toddlerhood in the same sling, which is great. This company is US based and has mothers making the slings and I just LOVE that. There are tons of helpful tutorials on YouTube and their website that I found very helpful when I was gaining confidence in using this item. At first I threaded the sling and put her in it 

10 Months Old on the way to dinner in Hawaii

10 Months Old on the way to dinner in Hawaii

14 Months Old in Colorado!

14 Months Old in Colorado!

 

Whichever carrier or sling or wrap you chose, I am such a big proponent to adding this into your care-taking regimen because not only is it fun, a beautiful bonding experience and safe, but it is very effective for getting things done as a mama and giving you back a sense of freedom while still being close to your little one.

Bopping around SoHo

Bopping around SoHo

There are so many amazing brands and wraps and carriers now. Which ones do you love? 

Favorite Baby Gear: Strollers & Car Seats

July 23rd, 2018 | no comments

Hi again, 

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16 Months Old

One of the things I’ve noticed since becomming a mom, and it started during my pregnancy, is that babies come with a lot of STUFF. I’ve never felt like more of a consumer in my entire life. There  are gadgets for every scenario in life and it can cause a lot of stress to know what you really do and do not need as a first time mom (because marketing would like you to think you need everything, and that’s just not true). 

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1 Week Old

Since we do live in a city where space is a premium we were very picky and choosy about the baby stuff that we wanted in our home.  We really believe that babies grow and develop perfectly without all the stuff. We tried to keep our footprint to a minimum in terms of thinking through the purchases to gear that we would really want and use and that fit OUR lifestyle. Keep in mind that every family needs to do what feels right for them and I’d start by thinking about where you live, what your life looks like (are you in and out of a car all-day or live in an urban place where you will walk a lot?), what your budget looks like and also what you care about in terms of materials (for example, we went with all organic for Emmy’s sheets, bedding and blankets since she’s immersed in them for 12 hours a night). 

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1 Month Old

Baby gear is the topic I probably get asked the most about these days so I thought I would start a series where I share my favorite baby gear by category. Again, this is what is working for us and our baby and where we live, our budget, our child, our parenting philosophy, yada yada yada…so keep that in mind! 

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3.5 Months

Before I start I just want to say that baby gear can get overwhelming and expensive and a trick I’ve learned a long the way is that most things that only get used for one simple phase can be bought second-hand in great condition to save you money. Early on I joined a few local “buy & sell” baby groups in my area on Facebook and it has been really helpful for trying out new products or purchasing things that we’ll only need for a short time second-hand. I have also been able to sell new, like-new and gently-used items we no longer need to other local moms. Win win!

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5 Months Old

First up, we’re talking about strollers. A LOT of people ask me what stroller we have and I’d say that this is one of the areas you want to do your research. As far as strollers it was important to me to invest in items that were multi-functional so having a stroller that was also a travel system where our car seat worked with it was important to me to lesson the gear and maximize the use of each item. Quality and customer service were two other areas I researched and that all led me to my ultimate choice which fit the bill on multi-use, great quality, ease of use and excellent customer service in the event I needed a replacement part. 

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14 Months Old

EVERYDAY STROLLERS
  • UPPAbaby Cruz/Mesa Travel System and Bassinet – In NYC the UPPAbaby brand is a holy grail and I kept seeing it ALL over when I was pregnant. Every mom I asked raved about the brand, quality and customer service and after 16 months with the products I can confidently recommend them. I am SO happy with this travel system. From Day 1, Emmy fit snug and safely in the Uppababy Mesa Infant Car seat and I absolutely LOVED the ease of taking her from the car to the stroller base. Once she was a bit older (around 3 months or so), I started using the Toddler Seat in the stroller with the Uppababy Infant Insert and I could not recommend this enough. Babies spend a lot of time on their back in the first few months and I loved that the infant insert kept her snug and cozy but also had room to keep her head supported and not just flat to the back of the stroller. There are two-sides to the infant insert for different weather needs and we used this for about 6 months or so while she grew. Lastly, our Cruz came with a bassinet insert and this qiuckly became where she preferred to sleep overnight. I had the bassinet right next to my bed in the Uppababy bassinet stand (that doubles as a hamper longer term) and I loved that I had the option to take this on-the-go if needed. We ended up using the basinet for overnight sleep until we moved her to her crib, so definitely got our money’s worth there! 
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15 Months Old

 

  • UPPAbaby G-LUXE umbrella stroller  – In keeping with my UPPAbaby theme, I went with their umbrella stroller because of how compact (and light!) it is, easy to fold, cozy comfy seat that reclines, great wheels for an umbrella stroller, large canopy for shade and nice size storage bin. Ems is a big stroller napper, even to this day, so this one perfect for us and the recline feature was very important to me. This stroller is pretty compact, however, it is not airplane overhead bin compatible, so if you do a lot of plane travel you may want to look at the BabyZen Yo-Yo which a lot of my friends LOVE. We travel with this stroller a ton and just gate check it right before we board and find that it’s super easy. If you do plan to travel a lot, I recommend investing in a travel bag or gate check bag just to keep your gear in tact.

 

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10.5 Months Old

SPECIALTY STROLLER:
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Saturday morning jog in our favorite park

  • BOB REVOLUTION JOGGING – When it comes to TRUE jogging strollers, BOB is the best! I call this my “active” stroller because its the one I reach for when I know I’m having a VERY active day. Even before I had Emmy, I knew that I wanted a jogging stroller so that we could stay active together in our new life as a family. However, jogging strollers can be an investment for sure so I understand if this isn’t your first priority. A great way to try out one of these strollers and make sure that you really want one in your life and will USE it is to buy it second hand. Sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace allow you to buy gently used baby gear second-hand and this would be my recommendation. I can not say enough amazing things about this stroller. It is SO easy to jog with, has a great push and this specific stroller has two modes “walking” and “jogging” where the front wheel adjusts for more comfortable use. I love that this stroller keeps me active and would be great on a hike. I take it to the park regularly and the wheels have NO trouble at all on rough terrain like grassy hills and jagged sidewalk.  
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15.5 Months Old

Double Stroller: 

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Cuties Side-by-Side!

  • CityMini GT Series  – Lots of moms in my area love the CityMini JT Jogger, I see this stroller on the streets A LOT. This is a bit of a friendlier price point and has car seat adjustments to be used form day one. There was a brief period of time that Emerson was in a nanny share with our good friend’s daughter. When at our house, the girls  (who were 4 months apart in age) used a CityMini GT Double that we bought gently-used secondhand off of a local mom’s group and ended up reselling once we no longer needed it. I LOVED this stroller so much. It was so easy and fun to push with both girls and it was very easy to manuever. The girls were VERY comfortable and I added a safety bar since Emerson was under a year old at the time. It almost made me want to have a second baby just to use the double stroller more often – haha!
Two Besties in the Double Stroller

Two Besties in the Double Stroller

INFANT CAR SEAT:
  • Uppababy Mesa – For reasons mentioned above, we wanted a car seat that was SAFE, comfortable and multi-purpose. I love that the Mesa fit into the Cruz base so I could easily take her from the car to the stroller if she was sleeping. It also got her adjusted to the car seat early on since we had her in the Mesa as her stroller seat for the first few weeks while she was still teeny tiny. As soon as I switched her to the toddler seat with infant insert we stopped using it as a stroller seat unless she was sound asleep in the car and we need to run an errand. Emerson grew out of this around 10 – 11 months old, so I feel we definitely had a good run! I really love this

CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS:

  • Nuna RaavaOur EVERYDAY car seat – When Emmy was about to grow out of her infant seat I started to ask around and do some research on convertible car seat, the seat she’ll be in until she’s ready for a booster. The Nuna Raava came up across the board for safety and comfort and I have to say, it does not disappoint. We have Emmy rear-facing and as soon as we switched her she was so comfortable and happy in this car seat. I love it! It’s a bit of a splurge in price but I try to evaluate the use and longevity of the item and having a great car seat is something I felt confident investing in. 
  • Cosco Scenera – Our Travel Convertible Seat - Our first plane trip after Emmy switched to the convertible seat had me exploring options for a travel car seat. If you’re renting a car at your destination, you could always rent a car seat from the car rental company. However, we wanted something that we could take with us on the plane too. For a travel car seat you want to go for LIGHT and safe (of course!) and this one kept being recommended to me, hands down. After taking this to Colorado I can confidently say I love this for a travel option. We had it on the plane and Emerson hung out in it and even napped in there. Once in Colorado, we did several hundred miles on the road all over the state and she was safe and comfortable. It was also very easy to carry around and install – a win win for a travel gear item!!

A quick note about customer service. I live in Brooklyn where I use my strollers every single day and I am very hard on them. I’ve had to replace my Uppababy base after 15 months and since it was under warranty, Uppababy sent a replacement overnight and it was the simplest and easiest interaction. That alone was worth the investment and my stroller is like-new. So, I always recommend registering your baby gear if the company provides a warranty!

What stroller do you have/love? What other Baby Gear posts would you like to see (Carriers, Bouncers/Rockers/HomeGear, On-The-Go Gear, Sleep Essentials, Bathtime fun)?

 

 

 

Fresh Lemon Hummus Recipe

July 19th, 2018 | no comments

Hummus is a staple in our house. It’s a convenient little super food that adds protein and substance to any meal. 

I love to put out a raw vegetable and hummus spread when guests are coming over or bring it to the park with crackers for a quick snack. Emerson LOVES hummus too and calls it “hum” which is pretty darn cute. 

There are lots of delicious store bought options and when I’m purchasing from the store I try to always buy organic. I strive for organic with any store bought, plant-based items to avoid any unnecessary toxins from pesticides and other chemicals. 

And while store bought options are super convenient in a pinch or on-the-go, I really LOVE a good homemade variety and having been making my own hummus for years. It’s the Greek in me! ;) 

This recipe can be made using a Vitamix or traditional food processor. I have both but tend to use my Vitamix since it gets used regularly and is already plugged in on the counter for easy access.

 Lemon Garlic Hummus

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You’ll Need

  • 1 Can Organic Garbanzo Beans or 8 oz of dried beans soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp aquafaba (which is the liquid from the can of beans) 
  • 1 tbsp good quality olive oil (more for drizzling at the end) 
  • 1/4 cup tahini 
  • 1 tsp organic dried cumin
  • 2 gloves fresh garlic 
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • Sprinkle of organic paprika to garnish

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To Make: 

In a high speed blender like a Vitamix or a food processor add your ingredients and pulse. With the tamper push down the ingredients and then blend on high. Add an extra tablespoon of aquafaba if you prefer your hummus a bit thinner. Taste before adding salt and pepper, then add, and taste again (adjusting to your liking). The same with the lemon, if you like it very lemon-y you can add the juice of half of a lemon extra, at a time. 

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Plate in a bowl and sprinkle with paprika and garnish with a slice of lemon. Enjoy as a dip for raw vegetables, seed crackers or pita chips. I like to add this to a brown rice tortilla for a hummus wrap for lunch. 

Yum!

Reflection: If you want to live happier, longer…

July 18th, 2018 | no comments

Becomming a mom makes you take a long, hard look at your values and actions. You are instantly catapulted into the most important teacher and role model because first and foremost, children learn by example. 

When I became pregnant I started to think about the kind of mom I wanted to be and it dawned on me that I should be focusing more on the kind of PERSON I wanted to be and the rest would follow. It does NO good if I am a great mother to Emmy and yet awful to my family and friends. Or if I provide healthy nourishing foods to her and yet fill my body with junk. 

My values became exponentially more important because LIVING OUT these values is how I will DEMONSTRATE and TEACH them to my daughter. 

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Seems so obvious. You’re probably like, “well, duh, DeAnna!” But, I’m telling you… this reminder is profound and I see those unideal scenarios lived out on a daily basis in my community. 

My recent birthday has me taking a long hard look at what truly makes me happy and how I will teach Emmy to cultivate happiness in her own life. Again, it’s simple.

The way I will teach her is to show her by living that out myself. 

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With that, I came across an interview by two people that I have long-followed their work and I can’t recommend this 30 minute clip enough! Life and business expert Marie Forleo (who I have followed for many years, fellow B-School grad here!) interviews happiness and longevity expert, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times Best-Selling author Dan Buettner (not to mention, an instructor for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). They discuss Dan’s research and concepts around happiness and longevity around the world, in what Dan refer’s to as  Blue Zones – “places in the world where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else on earth.”  It felt like all of my worlds were colliding in this one 30 minute clip and I just loved every, single minute of the wisdom here and couldn’t wait to share it with you. 

You may think 30 minutes is a precious time investment but just trust me. SO MUCH GOLD HERE! PRESS PLAY while you’re cooking or cleaning or on a walk, but I promise you – this 30 minute investment in your happiness is worth it!

Let me know what you think. Xx, D

DIY Diaper Pail Odor-Absorbing Tablets

July 16th, 2018 | no comments

A few weeks back I shared our favorite diapers and wipes that we LOVE to use on Emerson. But let’s be real, the diapering experience can get REAL stinky, real quickly. We change and clean our diaper pail frequently and also have an air purifier in Emmy’s nursery, but that pail odor sneaks in from time to time and it’s not pleasant.

Today I am sharing a quick an easy recipe for effective odor-absorbing tablets that you can use in your diaper pail or trash can (always make sure your diaper pail or trash can has a lid if you have little ones in the home so they are not grabbing things out of there). 

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A few years before I had Emmy I made a concerted effort to rid my home cleaning product routine of harsh chemicals and when possible, make a DIY version that was gentle on our body/environment but also effective (not to mention, affordable). When I was first pregnant, I was very sensitive to fragrance and noticed where even the gentler store-bought variaties still had a lot of unnecessary added fragrance and thought to myself, “if this is bothering ME, it will surely bother a newborn.” And with that, I started to use even gentler and more home-made household and toiletry products. Now, this is a BIG undertaking and we certainly are not perfect in the “clean household” department… but, we try out best and that’s all you can really do.

I find that as I “clean up our home” I am inspired to swap out more and more products for natural, gentler versions and when possible, make them myself. This is where essential oils come in! 

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I’m not an expert in essential oils but have been using them in my routine for years to make DIY Yoga Mat Spray, DIY Hand Sanizting Spray, All Natural Body Scrub as well as in my self-care and beauty routines. I’ve recently gotten more into making my own cleaning products and love the antimicrobial properties that essential oils add, making them great for disinfecting your home. Different oils tout various other properties and I’ve recently come across the DoTerra Purity Blend and really love the refreshing, clean and odor-absorbing scent that neutralizes bad odors… like…diaper pails!

Today I am sharing a quick an easy recipe that takes minutes to make (plus, overnight to set) and I hope you love it as much as we do!

DIY ODOR-ABSORBING TABLETS 

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You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup Baking Soda 
  • 3 – 4 tablespoon water 
  • 20 Drops Essentials Oils (I used the DoTerra PURITY Blend)
  • Silicone molds (shape of your choice, I like ice-cube size, similar ones on Amazon) 
  • Glass jar for storingIMG_3673

 To Make:

In a glass bowl, combine baking soda and essential oils drops (any flavor will do, I gravitate towards fresh scents or citrus blends with cleaning products). Once well combined, add in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you have a “wet sand” consistently that holds together in a little ball if you form one. You can adjust the water but adding 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. 

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Fill the silicone molds by patting the mixture in firmly and scrape away any excess. Let dry overnight, then gently pop out the tablets and store in an air tight container like a mason jar. 

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To Use:

You can drop one table in your diaper pail or trash can between the can and the bag as well as drop a tablet IN the bag before use and as bag is halfway full for maximum odor-absorbing. Switch out the bottom tablet when you change the bag. 

 

Life Update: Birthday Week

July 15th, 2018 | no comments

Hi Friends! 

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted…. #momlife. Good news though, I’ve been working on some recipes for you (similar to my All Natural DIY Body Scrub) and lots of website updates and newsletter content behind the scenes. 

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I’m a SUMMER BABY and since my birthday is on July 7th, this season tends to energize me a ton. This year I wanted a low key, outdoor, fun-in-the-sun celebration and was truly spoiled by a fabulous weather week, lots of outdoor time, sunset and water activities (pool, paddle boarding, beach) and evenings with some of my favorite people. I feel spoiled in gratitude right now and that is all I could ask for this year. 

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My birthday has that birthday-way of bringing on reflection and this time around the thoughts were DEEP. This was my second birthday since Emerson was born and WOW time is really going fast. This year I feel a little more clear headed in my reflections since I am out of the newborn vortex that I was in this time last year. 

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Now that Ems is 16 months old and is in a more independent stage, I’m finding that I have a bit more room to think about myself these days. I’m really craving the me-time, self-care and movement that I had put on the back burner while diligently taking care of a newborn and getting on my feet as a new mom. 

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I’m feeling more than ever that self care is NOT indulgent…it is VITAL. For me, it is as vital as food, water, air and all of the necessities of life because it is the fuel for my brain, creativity and motivation.

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Is it like that for you too? 

Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick life update before I jump into some recipes that have been keeping me busy that I can’t wait to share with you. 

Hope you’ve had a great start to the summer! 

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5 Minute DIY: All Natural Body Scrub

April 13th, 2018 | no comments

Hi Friends – 

As a busy working new mom I am always looking for quick, at-home and super easy SELF-CARE activities. That 10 – 15 minutes pampering myself daily makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE to my energy level and mood. When I don’t have that time for me I really notice a difference. 

The other day my friend Jenn and I were at Sephora and I was seeing body scubs on the shelf for upwards of $50 and $60. What the what?! People, please! You can make your own body and lip scrub at home with ingredients you already have in your pantry. It is sooo simple. And, if you have a cute jar and a little ribbon, you have a hostess or birthday gift in minutes. 

I love to keep a jar of this body scrub in my bathroom to exfoliate my hands, lips and body. Sloughing off that dead skin and stimulating new cell growth is just moments away when you have something like this on hand. It’s a small way to show yourself some love and luxury the next time you’re in the shower! 

Uses:

  • Exfoliator for hands, feet and body
  • Pre-tan or pre-wax exfoliator
  • Gentle lip scrub
  • Self-care ritual
THE EASIEST DIY BODY SCRUB RECIPE EVER!

Body Scub

You’ll Need: 

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 Cups Sugar (Brown or White Sugar or a Mix)
  • Airtight Glass Jar
  • Fragrance of choice:
    • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extra
    • 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil:
      • LAVENDAR for a calming scent
      • LEMON for an energizing scent
      • PEPPERMINT for an invigorating foot scrub 

 Quick Tutorial:

Follow m on Insta for more quick DIYs in my stories: @DeeLynn78

Want more PANTRY DIY SELF-CARE HACKS, try my Avocado Hair Mask or my All Natural Hand Sanitizer

My Favorite Clean Diapering Products

April 2nd, 2018 | no comments
None of the product links below are sponsored or paid ads. Just products I truly use and love.

Hi Mom Friends! 

I’d really love this blog to evolve with me into motherhood, so today I thought I would share all of my “clean diapering” favorites. These are tried and tested products that we absolutely LOVE. 

As a first time mom, I remember navigating the aisles or Target, BuyBuy Baby and Whole Foods in complete confusion as to why there were so many darn products to choose from. At my local CVS alone there are probably 10 different diaper brands. All of this had my head spinning!

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When it came to nurturing my baby I wanted to make sure she had safe, effective and chemical-free products for anything that touched her skin, especially her delicate areas. 

It wasn’t until Emerson arrived that I actually started to understand what it all meant and quickly found products that were right for our family. Keep in mind that I only have experience with my little girl and moms of boys might have a different experience. What’s nice is that for baby #2, we’ve got this all sorted out already! :)

Since there are endless options out there I thought I’d give you my quick run down of the products that we use on a daily basis and why we love them. Hope this helps you navigate the sea of choices!

Diapers

When we first came home from the hospital, Ems was in Pampers newborn diapers because that’s what they had at the hospital. I have to admit, the little wetness indicator was super helpful in the beginning because we quickly learned that she did not want to sit in a diaper for more than a few minutes. I had a ton of different diapers on hand… Bamboo, Earth’s Best and Honest were among my stock. In hindsight, I should have just chosen one and stuck to it because Ems has sensitive skin and the switching/trying wasn’t great. We quickly found our two favorite brands and we’ve never looked back!  

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We LOVE:

  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear - We love these cozy, chlorine-free, unbleached diapers and they are certainly our favorite. Of the “clean” diaper variety, we order ours in bulk from Target and they come out to about 36cents each. 
  • The Honest Company Diapers - Depending on what’s in stock or my mood, we’ll pick up these chlorine-free and no harsh chemicals added diaper favorite. I love Honest in the summer because they’re designs are so darn cute and sometimes baby just wants to hang in their diaper. We order these from Target as well and they come out to about 44cents each (Ems wears size 4 now). I have heard great things about their diaper bundle but have not tried it! Have you?
  • The Honest Company Overnight Diapers - At around 5 months old, we started to incorporate these night diapers and we have never looked back. Ems was always a solid sleeper and these just ensured that she did not wake due to a full diaper. These diapers are SO absorbent, one will last the whole night and she is always comfortable in them. Plus, for something she is in for (a lot of times) 12 hours straight, I like that the ingredients are super clean. 

Wipes

Coming home from the hospital we used wet washcloths with water for diapering and soon switched the Water Wipes. At around two months old, we incorporated a still-gentle yet more textured wipe and we’ve been hooked on the combination of the two ever since.

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We LOVE:

  • WaterWipes Sensitive Baby Wipes - 99.9% Water with a drop of grapefruit extract these wipes are sooooo gentle. They were perfect for newborn skin and later on became a favorite hand/face wipe because of how soft and gentle they are. The drop of fruit extract is naturally antimicrobial and helps clean hands and face. 
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes – These gentle and textured wipes get the job done well into toddlerhood. We love that they are made for sensitive skin yet super effective. They are free of alcohol, fragrances and parabans so you will not be transferring any chemicals to baby’s delicate skin. 

Diapering Products

Coming home from the hospital we learned that you want to keep the diaper area as dry as possible (may seem obvious to you but we were SO NEW to this!). So, we would clean Emmy’s bottom, let it air dry a minute and then put the diaper on… no creams or powder. This method ensured minimal diaper rash AND helped the products below be more effective when we actually used them. TIP 1: If your baby has a rash, stick to one product for a few days to allow it to work. TIP 2: Let baby go diaper free for some part of the day to “air out” the area. :) 

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We LOVE:

  • Spectrum Essentials Organic Coconut Oil - Coconut oil naturally clears mild yeast infections due to the properties in the coconut oil. 
  • California Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream  – When Emmy is teething hard she gets a bad diaper rash and we love the clean ingredients in California Baby products. This product is a holy grail for us!
  • Weleda White Mallow Diaper Cream – We were gifted this item and I love it. Very gentle and similar to the product above. 
  • The Honest Company Organic Talc-Free Powder – Occasionally baby will develop a “wet rash” that will be better suited for a powder to dry it up. The talc-free powder by Honest is perfect for that. I also use this for wiping off sand when we are at the beach
  • Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum, Multi-Purpose Jelly - I loooooove this product so much. It is a great alternative to vasoline or Aquafor. If either of those products are in your rotation, this UnJelly is a petroleum-free option that works perfectly. I end up using this on Emmy’s hands, chin and cheeks in the dry New York winters to keep her sensitive skin moisturized. 

A few more not necessary but much LOVED products:

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  • Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser & Bags – These bags are not necessary but they soon became a staple in my car and diaper bag. You just never know where you’ll be when a BIG stinky diaper strikes…ahem, the car! These odor-absorbing bags are great for blocking that stinky diaper smell until you can get to a trash. 

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Remember to engage your baby during diaper activities, tell them what you’re about to do, invite them to join the process, make it a special time for you and your baby to connect. <3 

Let me know which products are your favorites too or if there are any I need to try. Help a mama out! 

10 BEYOND BASICS – INFANT TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

January 31st, 2018 | no comments

You guys…

MAMA NEEDED A VACATION… BAD!! 

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We recently returned from a nice long family vacation to HAWAII. We visited Oahu and The Big Island and had a really wonderful time!

Several people had messaged, texted and DM’d while we were there and now that we’ve returned with questions about traveling that long and far with our 10 month old, Emerson Ava. To make it easier and share links (none of which are paid ads), I figured I would put together some of my “BEYOND THE BASICS” travel essentials for you. Gear or gadgets that helped us throughout our trip with a teething, on-the-go crawling, climbing, curious, chatty infant!

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And, the reality of traveling with an infant is that there just IS a lot of “stuff.” Even when you try to pare it down, like we did. Of course a lot of this stuff isn’t absolutely necessary but some of it made our travels go a lot smoother, so I hope this post helps you if you’re planning for your next trip with baby. Because it IS possible and now that we’ve done it I can say it is SO worth it! 

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I say “beyond the basics” because I don’t mean diapers, wipes, baby sunscreen, swaddles, lovey, clothes, PJs, sunglasses, sun hats, swim diapers, overnight diapers….you get it… we had all of the stuff! However, one of my tips, not included below, is to scout out your location for a store to stock up on diapers and wipes (especially for extended stays) and/or send some of those essentials to your destination ahead of time. We knew there was a Target in Waikiki, Oahu that would be easy to get to. We only packed enough diapers for about a day and a half and then made a quick trip to Target to stock up on our beloved Seventh Generation Diapers and Wipes and Honest Overnight Diapers (not necessary but we love these) for the week! That saved us a lot of room in our luggage too. 

I also knew that our villa had a washer and dryer so I brought a few easy-to-pack Seventh Generation Free & Clear laundry detergent pods in my toiletry bag and packed accordingly, knowing we would be able to wash clothes halfway through our trip. So think ahead if you’re going somewhere that you’ll have access to a washer and dryer – many hotels have options, so definitely ask! This helped us keep packing to a carry-on sized bags each plus Karl had a backpack and I had a diaper bag. Not bad for 12 days in Hawaii with a 10 month old! 

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Other BABY GEAR we traveled with(that isn’t mentioned below):

  • Uppababy Mesa Carseat – Ems is on the cusp of growing out of this but still fits comfortably. We did rent a car while in Hawaii so we could have saved space here and rented through the car rental company but it was easier to have it to/from the airports and she slept in it on the plane. Since she is within the safety limits and is still comfortable, we figured we’d get one more trip out of this carseat and it worked out really well. If you do bring your carseat and end up gate checking, a Gate Check bag will keep the carseat protected while under the plane. 
  • Uppababy G-Luxe Stroller - depending on where you are going assess whether you really need a stroller. We packed pretty light so opted for the stroller because Ems still naps well in the stroller and we knew it would give us some freedom, which was really nice on a vacation. Uppababy makes a similar stroller that is a tad lighter but we opted for this model because of the recline feature and I can’t say enough good things. It does not have a lot of storage so we added the SkipHop Traveler organizer which we love and it has a zip-off pouch for keeping cards and valuables with you. Lots of people love to Babyzen Yo-Yo because you can fold it for the overhead bin. We gate checked our stroller in the stroller bag and it was super easy, no fuss at all!

Now let’s get into some of the non-obvious travel essentials that were either shared with me by friends or other local moms, or that we found online. All of these items below aren’t absolutely necessary but they were VERY MUCH nice to have (if you know what I mean). I hope you find some new goodies to help ease your mind for upcoming travel!

10 BEYOND THE BASICS – BABY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS 

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  1. Disposable Placemats- We absolutely LOVE these and have a bunch in our diaper bag, car and in the stroller. They are GREAT to pull out and cover the surface in a pinch. We brought them in our carryon and covered the tray tables on the plane, it made it a lot easier for “meal times” on our 11 hour flight. We get them on Amazon
  2. Pacifier clip Hack - at this stage and in the thick of teething, we use pacifier clips to keep teethers connected to her/us/stroller while on-the-go. Worked great on the plane! Can use for pacifiers or teethers alike. 
  3. Sippy Cup Holder Straps - much like a pacifier clip that keeps your baby’s pacifier from falling on the floor, this is a clip for your baby’s sippy cup. A local mom in Brooklyn shared this with me and we love this item. It comes in a 2-pack and we have one clipped to our high chair and bring 1 on-the-go to restaurants to clip to the high chair. At 10 months old Emmy is in the “I can THROW things?” phase and even thinks its funny. This item keeps her sippy straw cup from smashing on the floor and nice and clean! Since I know folks will ask, we love the Munchkin Miracle 360 Cups and Lollaland Toddler Straw Cup(our current favorite!).  
  4. FizzWizz Cleaning Tablets – made with 100% food grade all natural ingredients, these easy-to-use effervescent tablets let you quickly clean a sippy cup, bottle or water bottle on-the-go with just a tablet and water. These are easy to pack and nice to have in a pinch rather than carrying around soap and sponge, etc., and especially if you won’t have a dishwasher (like in a hotel room). I got a sample from a baby event and was quickly hooked! Also on Amazon here, woo-hoo.
  5. Pack-n-Play Memory Foam Mattress Insert - we started using a Pack-n-Play while traveling at around 4 months old. I had a hard time understanding how Emmy would be comfortable sleeping on that super board hard insert that comes with the Pack-n-Play so we quickly looked for other options. Another mom told us about this Milliard Memory Foam Topper that fits perfectly in a pack-n-play and we’ve never looked back. Emmy will nap or sleep overnight VERY soundly with this inset and for us this is a must-have item. Another Amazon purchase, link here.
  6. Travel White Noise Machine – I picked this up as an impulse buy at BuyBuyBaby and it soon became one of our essentials that I always pack while traveling. Ems is a great sleeper and I attribute some of that to keeping things consistent for her. White noise being one of those things…it is truly Pavlovian for her! This affordable travel white noise machine is light and can easily be thrown into your diaper bag. We…take…this…thing…EVERYWHERE! Purchased at BuyBuyBaby (bring your 20% Off coupon!) and also see it on Amazon.
  7. Small Bag of Toys and Mini Board Books - I saved a few toys from the holidays that she had not seen before and threw in a few of her favorites (think one gallon sized ziplock full – so not a ton!). She loved to take the toys out of the bag, see familiar toys and books and enjoy a few new ones. Emmy is really into the Touch-and-Feel series, we LOVE the Wild Animals book and Colors and Shapes book and they’re small enough to pack in your travel bag.
  8. Baby Banz – Infant Hearing Protection Earmuffs - I’ve heard some people use these for the plane but our little Brooklyn gal can sleep through a bit of noise. However, you never know when you’ll need these. Our resort had a huge firework display one night and we got to enjoy them as a family due to these safety headphones. Amazon or BuyBuyBaby
  9. Baby Carrier – for this trip we were gone about 12 days so we did bring an umbrella stroller (UppaBaby G-Luxe – cannot say enough good things about this!) which was helpful but we also brought two baby carriers. It doesn’t much matter which carrier you use as long as you and baby are comfortable. I’ve used this ip for several airport trips and have got to say that carrying your baby through security is the way to go – trust me that you will need both of your arms! We used our Beco Baby Carrier for longer carries and a deliciously broken in WildBird Ring Sling for short carries throughout the day on our way out at night. 
  10. A positive attitude - this one may seem obvious (?) but you have to know that when you’re traveling outside of your home you WON’T be able to control all of the elements. It helps to go into the experience with those expectations. Depending on what stage your baby is in it’s best to know that even when you’re traveling without a baby there are elements out of your control. If nothing else, will make for some good memories and funny stories down the line! 

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Safe travels – it will be great! 

New Year’s Fresh Rosemary Vegetable Frittata

January 3rd, 2018 | no comments

Hi Friends –

H A P P Y   N E W   Y E A R!

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Can’t believe it’s 2018! How many times have you said that or heard that this week? But I truly can’t believe it. That may have been the fastest year of ALL TIME. 

2017 will absolutely go down in history in our house because it is the year we became a family. We welcomed Emerson Ava Weiss in March 2017 – ALL THE FEELS – and life has never been the same. Postpartum and new mom-ing was a whirlwind and I have another post planned for this month to share some of my reflections from the first 10 months with Sweet Emmy. 

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I’ll admit it though, it was hard to keep up with the blog this past year.  I’m excited to jump back with clean eating recipes, mom life/tips/gear posts and more wellness content in between. I have so many posts planned for you guys!

In the new year a lot of people reset their health goals. As a busy working mom, still nursing my almost-10-month-old, I don’t have as much time as I once did to spend hours in the kitchen but as you know I refuse to skimp on nutrition, freshness and flavor when it comes to meals. Easy, make-ahead meals have become my go-to and today I’m sharing a recipe that could not be easier and will give you breakfast ALL week!

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Also side note, and you know this if you follow me on Instagram, we do Baby Led Weaning with Emerson and I have so many good things to say about it! I plan to do a full post on our experience but I really attribute her skills to completely self-feed and “chew and swallow”, her passion for food, understanding of meals and ability to self-regulate consumption and breadth of palette to BLW. If you’re interested in learning more – let me know! OK that was a little off-topic (#momlife) but the point is to say that this is a well-loved recipe of my (almost) 10 month old and a surefire way that she’ll eat fresh spinach! Insert happy Mom dance!

 Healthy Rosemary Frittata

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You’ll need:

  • 12 cage-free organic eggs
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 handfuls (cups? haha! :)) fresh organic baby spinach
  • 1 medium organic onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cups fresh feta cheese
  • Organic olive oil for sautéing

 To make:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350*IMG_1539
  • Over med heat, sauté 1 sliced organic red onion in olive oil. After 3 minutes add 2 large handfuls of fresh organic baby spinach. Add the leaves of 2 sprigs of fresh organic rosemary. Sauté another 5 minutes – should be very fragrant and spinach mostly wilted and onion cooked.

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  • In a bowl scramble a dozen eggs.
  • Grease your baking dish and add cooked veggies and spread out evenly.IMG_1541
  • Crumble 1/4 cup of fresh feta cheese evenly over the veggie mixture then pour the egg mixture into the center of the dish and gently spread out over (and into) the cheese and veggies.

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  • Top with a few leaves of fresh rosemary and bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked in the center.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

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 *Gluten-Free *Vegetarian

 This dish is perfect for a make-ahead breakfast or serve over a bed of greens for an easy lunch. I hope you enjoy!