Thursday, May 31, 2018

Beautiful Books to Teach Kids About Nature

We are pretty book obsessed in our home. Now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner, we've basically been living outside, so finding books that correlate to nature has been so helpful. Teaching kids about nature has so many developmental benefits and it is  important to me to help foster a strong relationship between my kids and the environment.  I want to do all I can to help them learn about the beautiful world around them. 

Outside Your Window: Each page is so beautiful- a perfect first book of nature.  It's sprinkled with facts and things to do outside.  

Rockabye Baby:  I love this one- it's the simple lyrics to the lullaby, with all of the animals that live in the ecosystem.  

Tree: Watch the tree change with each page you turn! Teaches all about the seasons.  

When Spring Comes & In the Middle of Fall: These sweet books are both by Kevin Henkes, one of my favorite child authors.  They're all about the change of seasons in the enviroment, and how the world transforms! 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Summer Wishlist

I thought I'd make a little list of my mom duty approved summer staples- and some things I've got my eye on! It helps curtail my actual online shopping during nap time problem.  I didn't include them in my collage, but these are my staple t-shirts- the knot adds a little something to jazz it up!

Shortalls- I have these in denim and want them in white! 
Ruffle tank- It works with everything.  
Embroidered dress- In my cart- I love everything and anything embroidered.  
Boater hat- It fits my giant head!  Highly recommend.  
Platform espadrilles- Budget friendly and so cute
Sunglasses- My favorites!  Only $9, and a perfect Karen Walker knock off.  
Midi sundress- I ADORE this! 
Denim shorts- My staple jean shorts.  
Jute bag- I love the shape of this bag, and it's big enough to fit all your mom belongings.  
Sandals- These are the most bought item off my blog!  So comfy and cute- I wear mine daily.  
Eyelet skirt- Dress it up or dress it down, it is so versatile.  
Tired floral tank- So cute and budget friendly! 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Great Protein Powder for Breastfeeding Moms

We've recently started making protein smoothies in our house.  For me, it's been great for a little snack or boost instead of eating junk, since I'm so hungry all the time.  For Ophelia, it's been an amazing way to sneak some great tasting nutrients into her picky toddler body.  If it were up to her, we would live off donuts, mac and cheese, and strawberries 24/7.  We are loving this powder- it's amazing!  The protein sources are plant based, pea, cranberry, sprouted rice, and hemp.  Hemp protein is amazing for adding those omega 3 fatty acids to your milk.  It also has superfood and greens blend- stuff like kale, blueberries, broccoli- and turmeric! All so good for you! It also has digestive enzymes- essential to good gut health and absorbing all the nutrients you are putting in your body. I'd highly recommend this stuff!

Our smoothie recipe is simple- for me, it's a handful of greens, half a banana, protein powder, and almond milk.  For Ophelia, it's the same, but with enough strawberrries to turn it pink :)

We also use it in this simple protein pancakes recipe- it has been such a great breakfast for the whole fam!

2 scoops protein powder
1 large very ripe banana
⅛ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 eggs

Mix it, pour them on the skillet, and flip 'em!  Just like regular pancakes.  

ALSO- just to note!  This isn't sponsored, I don't work for them, it's not a direct sales thing!  I just really like it.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Memorial Day Sales

I will keep updating this post as the sales keep coming!

J.CREW- 40% off everything with code GETAWAY
My picks: This t-shirt is so cute, I'm obsessed with this tank, and I love this swim cover up!

My picks: I love this one!
My picks: This tank is so cute, and I adore this pretty tee

J.CREW FACTORY- 50% off everything
My picks: I need this tee- and this dress for toddlers is so cute!

ASOS – 20% off everything with code EVERY20. 
My picks: This is the perfect tank and I love this jumpsuit.  

GAP – up to 50% off, every single thing- code PARTY.
My picks: This dress is AMAZING, I'm obsessed with this tank, and I need this top.  
H&M – 10% off everything!
I have this top in three colors, this is perfect for nursing, and I love this pretty blouse.  

Sunday, May 20, 2018

My Favorite Natural Sunscreens

Summertime!  It's the best.  I have to confess, I've been bad about wearing sunscreen in my life- as a Minnesotan those few months of sun we get just feel so good I want to soak it all up.  BUT it's the best thing you can do to stop the skin's aging process, and now that I'm thirty I'm noticing more and more pesky wrinkles.  Also, being a mom I want to protect my babies' precious skin, but finding sun protection with natural ingredients was important to me.  Here are my top picks!

FOR KIDS thinkbaby // or thinksport : this is my favorite.  It goes on smooth, like a moisturizer, doesn't cast a white glow, and is rated a 1 on the EWG.  There is also a thinkbaby stick, which I haven't tried but would like to!

FOR EVERYONE Coola Sport: I have wanted a spray sunscreen that wasn't harmful for a long time- and finally found one! This stuff smells SO good, and it doesn't hurt the environment. 

FOR ME Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen:  Since I hate the feeling of sunscreen, or anything on my face really, I was excited to try this and it has not let me down!  It truly feels like nothing- comparable to a makeup primer. 

FOR EVERYONE: Tarte Guard: This thing is awesome- powder sunscreen with a brush, so you can easily reapply and touch up while out on the go.  Would be perfect to throw in your diaper bag and have with you just in case!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Rainbow Montessori Baby Toys

It's almost time to bust out the toys for Ralphie!  While babies don't need much to keep them entertained (or anything, actually) it's nice to have some toys around to engage with- and to look pretty on the shelves.  

When shopping for Montessori babies, I like keeping materials as simple and as natural as possible. Avoid things that are too flashy, heavy or complicated. Instead, focus on beauty and function! I like "open ended" toys, or things with no noise or lights that allow the child to use their imagination for how to use the toy.  Many of ours don't get used in their intended purpose but they are all favorites!  

Shapes Puzzle - Ophelia still loves this!
Rainbow Ball-the perfect first toy. 
Clutching Balls - one of our favorites. 
Tree Rattle- so simple, but perfect for grasping.
ABC Book - this has the most amazing illustrations!
Hammer Toy- I love this one's colors
Silk Scarves - these are AMAZING- they're good for pretend, peekaboo, and tickling.
Activity Gym - the IKEA one is great too and much more budget friendly, but this one is so pretty!
Rainbow Teether - I'm ordering this for Ralphie. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

My Breastfeeding Favories

BOOBS!  Breastfeeding is about the coolest thing ever, in my very humble opinion.  Being able to nourish my baby from my body makes me feel so powerful.  The bonding and connection is one of my favorite parts of being a mother.  It's definitely something I've become passionate about, so I thought I'd share some of what I've learned.  

I have been very lucky to have two relatively easy nursing relationships, but I know there are a lot of struggles some moms go through.  For something that is natural for us mammals, for some people it doesn't come naturally!  If you are having trouble nursing, I urge you to reach out to a lactation consultant- if you are local to the Twin Cities, here are some good ones!

Aszani Stoddard
Enlightened Mama
The Boob Geek

That being said, once you have an established nursing relationship, there are a few things that are helpful to have- here are my favorites!  You will note I did not include a breastfeeding pillow, like the Boppy or My Breast Friend.  Personally, I think those are a waste of money- and some lactation consultants say that they can hinder a good latch because of how high they  put the baby.

1,  First of all, all you really need are your boobs.  That's one of the best things about breastfeeding is that you really don't need anything but yourself.  No bottles, bags, or accoutrement required.  

2.  These are my favorite nursing tanks- live in these in the beginning.  

3.  The very best pump- I had this one the first time around, but this one is seriously like light years better.  I only pump once in awhile, to relieve pressure, or to try and create a little in case I get hit by a bus stash.  Ophelia never took a bottle, not once, but maybe Ralphie will be different!

4. The best nipple balm- for the beginning.  

5.  I wrote about this here- but this thing is AMAZING for making every shirt nursing friendly.  

6.   Water. Lots and lots of water.  A pretty water bottle doesn't hurt. 

7.  The best nursing bra.  I've tried a lot.  

A lot of people recommend nursing pads too- I never used them much since they seemed sort of cumbersome and in those early days with lots of leaking I didn't really... care if I soaked through a nursing tank.  But these ones get great reviews!

Happy boobing! 

PS- this is the story of my life:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Best Summer Shoes for Toddlers

Ophelia is wearing these Native shoes.  

The right shoes make a big difference in our little ones' mobility and their ability to run around around like the crazy toddlers they are.  Ophelia is seriously a shoe fanatic- she changes at least 17 times a day.  Here are some of our very favorite brands:

1.  TOMS : Light canvas shoes that come on and off easily.  Obsessed with this strawberry print here.  

2.  SEE KAI RUN : Shoes designed based on toddler's foot movements and form, these are extremely comfortable... and cute! This pair is water proof too.   

3.  NATIVE SHOES:  Our warm weather staple, year after year.  Way cuter alternative to Crocs. I love this floral print

4.  NATIVE SANDALS: Cushy footbed and waterproof.  

5.  WATER SHOES: Have textured rubber soles- these flamingo ones are so adorable! 

6.  FRESHLY PICKED:  Water-resistant leather, durable rubber sole, and a custom buckle that makes sandals easy to put on and take off.  Pretty turquoise ones are here.  

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Summer Swim Picks

It has been amazing outside lately, and Ophelia is already wearing her "swim soup" almost daily.  Here are some great finds for hot pool and lake days in our future!  Don't forget the sunhats (this one has UPF 50) sandals (I love these water shoes!) and our favorite sunscreen!

G   I   R   L   S

B  O  Y  S

P. S. These hooded animal towels are seriously so cute! I also love tthese are so cute too, and budget friendly!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Undercover Mama- The Greatest Thing Ever

Okay, am I the last to know about Undercover Mama?   Just in case you too are in the dark about this nursing mom's dream I have to share this discovery!  This (slimming!) tank connects to any nursing bra (this one is my favorite) to turn it into a tank to cover your stomach.  Without all the layers!  It's getting warm out and I need all the help staying not sweaty that I can get.  It makes any shirt nursing friendly! I'm telling you, it's genius.

It's also available at Amazon here.