Category: "Motherhood"

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!