Thursday, April 23, 2015

my love for collage prints

Throughout our girl's first year, I took monthly photos of her in her crib next to a stuffed animal. (Usually her cute monkey or hilarious goat because they are my favorites.) It was a fun way to document her growth and watch her little personality emerging over the months.

I knew I wanted to compile these eventually, but I couldn't decide exactly how. (Indecisiveness is a terrible trait to possess). Once I saw this sweet little Framed Months print from Minted, I knew it was the perfect way to showcase her first year. There are twelve frames, so even if you don't take "official" monthly photos, you could just pick a favorite to represent each month of the year. I love how each frame is sweetly drawn and different from the others.

I am thrilled with how this turned out. If you decide to get this print, I would recommend at least an 11x14. I ordered mine in the 8x10 size and I think it would be even better a little larger so you can really appreciate the detail of each individual photo even from a distance.

If you like what you see, Minted currently has a 20% off sale on their Foil-Pressed line (use code SPRINGFOIL through 4/27/15). Just go ahead and try to pick a favorite. 

I received these products for review as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scout program. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

for the love of swaddlers & sleep bags


As brand new parents still in the hospital, it was practically magic to watch the efficient and skilled nurses swaddle our baby up perfectly every time (and I'm pretty sure it only took them .03 seconds). It calmed her and helped her sleep, a.k.a., MIRACLE OF MIRACLES. So for my own sanity's sake, I learned how to swaddle my baby girl effectively from the get go. My husband Brandon was never a great swaddler though, so we transitioned to fool-proof swaddle blankets that zipped or Velcroed fairly soon after coming home from the hospital. And let's be honest - anything that provides somewhat of a shortcut is always given an enthused thumbs-up by this tired mom.

Fast forward 14 months later, and we are still using a sleep sack every night!

Recently, we switched from a fleece sleep bag to the Love to Dream Inventa Sleep Bag for the warmer months. It took us a couple of nights to get the hang of putting it on quickly, but once you learn how it works it's really easy to use. (It snaps over one shoulder and then zips around the bottom and up the side.) The material is breathable, soft, and has a slight stretch which makes it extra comfortable. Plus - how adorable is this pattern? 

Some type of wearable blanket is a staple in our house primarily because it's a safe way to keep Aven warm, without the risks of loose bedding. And unlike regular blankets that get tangled or fall off, it stays on even when she moves and squirms all over the crib during the night. 

Since a swaddler or wearable blanket has been part of her nightly routine for as long as she can remember, it serves as an excellent cue that bedtime is coming. Once we zip her up, it's time for goodnight kisses, a bottle, and then sleep! She rests infinitely better with the extra layer it provides. (And when she sleeps, guess who else does!) 

One of my favorite things about this particular Sleep Bag from Love to Dream is that I can control the airflow and temperature by unzipping the breathable mesh vents. I usually adjust this based on whatever pajamas she's wearing that night and how warm or cool her room feels. There are also snaps along the bottom that can be unbuttoned for extended length as she grows. I can appreciate anything that will grow with my girl who came into this world in the 95th percentile! #legsfordays

It even has enclosures that a stroller buckle fits through, so you don't have to remove the Sleep Bag first. Perfect for naptime stroller rides.

If your baby is too small for this sleep bag Aven wears, there are other versions for various stages. You can read a review on the Love to Dream SwaddleUP for infants over on the Savvy Sassy Moms website, as well as enter a giveaway for a set of Love to Dream Sleep Bags! 

Disclaimer: I received this product for review as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

life lately + favorites

Over Aven's first year, I did monthly updates on her recent milestones, our current routines, & moments I wanted to remember. Rather than continuing to do these monthly, I'll pop in from time to time when we've had some changes in routine or recent updates I want to track and share.

She is now 14 months old, or the simpler and less annoying way of saying it: She is a little over one year old.

Most fun lately for me has been watching her learn new things practically every day and her growing vocabulary. She's a griper by nature - she always has to be making some sound and communicating in some manner. I'm encouraging her to use the words she does know whenever she can and I make sure to acknowledge quickly so she sees it's more effective than a gripe or a whine.

Most fun lately for her has been walking! She's so good at it now and face plants less often which we are all happy about. She is content to just toddle around whatever room I'm in most of the time. Usually carrying some semblance of a purse. Such a GIRL.