Spring into Style with JJ Cole Collections {review}

5.21.2015

With spring comes warmer weather.. finally.. we've been wanting to have a picnic the past couple weeks but unfortunately the weather here has been awful.  Oh sure, it's been warmer - but the rain just.won't.stop.  It's muddy, flooding, and our grass is growing faster than we can cut it.  Tornado warnings are popping up left and right.. or so it feels.  So unfortunately our picnic plans have been postponed until we can enjoy it in the beautiful sunshine.

BUT.. when we are able to enjoy it at the park in the sunshine, we will be doing so with this lovely Prairie Blossom Parker Weekender Bag + Prairie Blossom Outdoor Blanket from JJ Cole Collections!  They are perfect to take along for some fun at the park, and you can be doing so in style.  ;)


The weekender bag is so spacious!  It's a great bag.. not only a diaper bag.. but can have multiple uses such as a bag to pack for yourself for a weekend getaway, or a picnic and a day out!  It has large interior and exterior pockets - great for organization.  The bag also comes with a few extras - stroller grips (love these!), a removable shoulder strap, and a changing pad.


Both the blanket and the bag seem easy to clean, which is SO important when you have young, messy kids.  ;)  I love that the blanket matches the bag.. and it's not cumbersome.  It folds up into it's own little bag when you're done with it.


These products are great to take when you're heading out for the day with your family.  They're great quality and of good style - I would highly suggest these JJ Cole Collections products to all my friends!  You can purchase the Prairie Blossom Parker Weekender Bag from Babies R Us and the outdoor blanket at buybuyBABY.  Send JJ Cole some love on their Instagram and Facebook!

Disclosure: I received free products from JJ Cole Collections for my review. The opinions are 100% my own.



Dreaming of my Dream Patio {with Wayfair}

It's warm outside and that's got my thinking about our backyard.  We have a decent sized backyard and a nice little patio.. that needs some serious sprucing up.  I did a few things here and there for it last year, but then things just kind of fell to the wayside.

Now I'm dreaming of my dream patio.

I want to be able to go out there and be relaxed.  Sit and watch Clara play in her pool or sandbox.  Eat breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner out there.  I want it to be a place where we can entertain friends.  So I made a wishlist.  A girl can dream, right?  Here are just a few things that are on my list..

Mini Globe String LightsBronze Outdoor Firebowl with Lattice

I think all of these things would make a back patio most inviting - what's your on your list for a dream patio?  You need to check out Wayfair - they have all sorts of fun things to add some life to your backyard!  If you need some more inspiration, check out my Patio Dream Idea Board!

This post is sponsored by Wayfair.  All opinions are my own.

One Month

5.05.2015

Okay, so this is a little late.  But such is life with two kids.


So Sam is one month old!  Well, now he's almost 8 weeks.. but, I have two kids and a husband. I barely have time to eat, let alone sit down at the computer for more than 5 minutes at a time.  He's growing so much and so fast.  I forgot how fast they grow when they're so little.

He's a good baby.. he eats like a little piggy.. doesn't cry too much.  And when he does cry, he's fairly easy to calm back down.  Note: If you can't get your baby to stop crying, trying holding them while vacuuming.  Sam loves that and almost immediately falls asleep.  Apparently I was the same way when I was a baby.  ;)

He's a Mama's boy, of course.. he just started smiling at me.  Normally when I'm making really weird faces at him.  But I would make myself look like a goon all day long just to see that smile.  Sleeping... he's getting better at it.  He naps well most days.  At night, he will start off with about a 4 hour stretch around 8 or 9 and then after that it's usually every 2-3 hours.  He does really well sleeping in his bassinet (Clara absolutely hated her bassinet for the first few months).

Next week I go back to work.  I'm ready, but not ready.. I'm going to miss being at home with my littles all day.  But at least I get to see them at work - that helps.  ;)

My Top 5 Favorite Grilling Recipes {with the Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal Grill}

4.29.2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Char-Broil for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

The weather is getting warmer and summer is nearing.. which makes me think about grilling.  Oh, how I love this time of year.  Brats, burgers, pineapple, peaches, pork chops.. you name it, I like it grilled.  We own both a gas and charcoal grill.. but we have a love for the charcoal.

Char-Broil brought the first charcoal grill to the market over 65 years ago.  Their latest is the new Kettleman 22.5" Charcoal Grill (retailing at $129), which is and updated and improved.. and more efficient and easier to use!  Click here to learn more about the Kettleman grill.  It has some great features including:

  • Temp Control- Vents around the body allow air to fuel the fire from all sides, providing even heat for cooking.
  • Flare-Up Control- A porcelain coated grate allows charcoal flavor while keeping flames away from the food.
  • Charcoal Control- Designed to grill twice as many burgers with the same 50 briquettes as the leading kettle.
  • Ash Control- A slide-in, porcelain-coated ashtray is tight against the grill making cleanup easier than ever.
  • Stability Control- Wide and heavy steel legs add stability and easy mobility.

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This Char-Broil Kettleman Grill can be purchased at Lowe's or online at www.CharBroil.com.  If you're looking for some tasty grilled recipes, here are a few of my favorites!











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Safe Sleeping Tips {& the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper}

4.27.2015

Disclosure:  I was provided with product for review, however all opinions are my own.  I seriously love this thing.

One of the baby items I was more excited to use with Sam, was this HALO® Bassinest™ Swivel Sleeper Essentia Series.  I was kind of panicking towards the end of my pregnancy because a bassinet was one of the last things we needed to get - and since we planned on having him sleep in our room for the first few months, it was pretty essential.  But everything I looked at just didn't seem good enough.  We have a high bed and our room is kind of small, so we didn't have much space to work with.  It was proving to be a challenge.

But then I heard about this new Bassinest.  I hadn't seen anything like it before, and after looking into it further it seemed to be the answer for us!


It's very sturdy.  My husband put this together and it didn't take him long at all, however once you have it where you need it.. hopefully you won't need to move it.  It's heavy!  It has a sleek design and isn't bulky.. it fits nicely in the small space on my side of the bed.  The height is adjustable and it has a 360 degree swivel, so you can put it up next to you on the bed if you wish.  The mesh sides are safe and nice so you can be face-to-face with your baby while you're sleeping.  There's one storage pocket on the end - perfect for storing a few diapers and wipes for those midnight changes.  And one of my favorite things about this - the retractable side wall.  The side wall easily pushes down so you can get your baby out with ease while you're still in bed.  It's recommended for babies up to 5 months or 20 lbs (maximum of 30 lbs), so I know Sam will be getting some use out of it for a while!


I've also been loving their SleepSacks.  Sam won't sleep unless he is swaddled, and the SleepSack helps me get a nice and snug wrap on him.. which helps him to sleep longer.  Longer sleep for him equals longer sleep for Mama.. longer sleep for Mama equals happiness all around!


As a friendly reminder, here are some tips for a safe sleeping environment...

ALWAYS
  • Always use a crib or bassinet that meets the current safety standards - with a firm mattress and is covered with a tight-fitting sheet.  
  • Remove all toys, loose blankets, bumpers, pillows, etc, from the sleep area.  Use a wearable blanket if needed.  
  • Always place a baby to bed on his or her back.
  • Offer a pacifier when putting baby to bed.
NEVER
  • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep.
  • Never allow baby around any smoking or smoky area.
  • Never put baby to sleep on any soft surface such as a sofa, plush blanket/surface, etc.

You can find and follow HALO via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube.

Taking Care of Delicate Skin with Weleda

4.22.2015

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Weleda. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.”


At the very end of my pregnancy I started gathering all the last minute necessities that I was missing... you know.. paci's (which he actually doesn't care for.. unfortunately), newborn hair brush, wash cloths, another pack of diapers & wipes, breastfeeding essentials, baby wash, lotion, and diaper cream.  Remembering from when Clara was little.. she had a bit of eczema and some seriously sensitive skin.. so even though I love all the frou-frou smell-good baby lotion, I wanted to find something that would be beneficial to newborn skin in case he was like his big sis.

I heard about Weleda and took some time to look into it a little more.  Their products are natural and fragrance-free and were awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.  Perfect for that sensitive skin I was so sure he was going to have.

And wouldn't you know it, I was right.  ;)  His skin was very flaky on his hands and feet, as well as on his face and around his eyebrows.  He also had a little bit of baby acne on his chest, and the lotion didn't irritate that at all.  The diaper cream is great also.  It is made with pharmaceutical-grade since oxide and extracts of white mallow which is specifically known for being soothing/healing.  

I've been using these products on Sam since he was about 1.5 weeks old or so.  He's now 5 weeks old and his skin is looking great.  After bath time.. because that tends to dry the skin out.. I lather him up in some lotion, and he's ready to go.  I truly love these products and am happy they have worked so well for my little guy!  These products don't leave him feeling greasy at all, and they rub into the skin nicely.

You can find their products on their website, BuyBuyBaby, or at Whole Foods Market and other natural health food stores.  And good news!  Through June 30th, 2015 you can score 20% off your purchase on their website using the code WELEDABABY.