Blogging Little Miss

Mom Essentials

First, we want to preface this by saying: you don't technically need any of these things. As moms or moms-to-be, we are literally bombarded with checklists and must-haves. I remember being 8 months pregnant and leaving one of the big box baby stores in tears because I was told I needed no fewer than 6 car seats.

At the end of the day, your baby needs a clean diaper and a milk supply. That said, having gone through two kids so far (#highfives), below is a round-up of items that made my life as a mom MUCH easier.

Anything essential we forgot? We'd love to hear - let us know in the comments below.

Sleep: Because this is literally the holy grail.

  • Pack n' Play- There are a ton of options! We used and love the Guava Lotus for its super lightweight frame, ability to pack into a backpack for travel, and a bassinet conversion kit. 
  • Bassinet- or somewhere for baby to sleep in the early months. With our recent addition, we tried out the Snuggle Me Organic and so far, so good. Safe sleep for infants is a hot topic, and one we don't claim to be experts on but instead are always researching and learning more about. From personal experience, this helps baby feel snug and secure, and eliminates the fear of them rolling over or a parent rolling over onto them (if placed in bed next to mom). Bonus points for being mobile and entirely organic.

Baby Monitor: You could probably research these until the end of time. So far, we've been really happy with this one

White Noise Machine: Again, there are tons of options. We've been happy with the cheapest version we could find on Amazon!

Crib: This is a given, and you can spend as much or as little as you want. If this is your first child and you're confident you'll have more, this can definitely be worth a higher investment. On the flip side, IKEA makes some fabulous minimalist, raw wood options as well. We're currently using and loving the Stokke Sleepi System for our smaller-sized nursery. (It's always a good idea to get two mattress pads, and at least two sets of crib sheets for those inevitable, middle-of-the-night blowouts/throw-ups/accidents. Some of our all-time favorites can be found on Etsy, from shops like Evie Baby and Little Anouk

Clothing: This tends to be the gift that friends and family LOVE to buy and gift, but it's worth hunting down a few items you absolutely love and add them to your registry. The options are endless but we are listing a few of our favorite small shops: 

  • Leggings: The way we see it, why waste money on leggings that only last a few months before they're outgrown? Stock up on Bear & Bunny Co. grow-with-me leggings and shorties instead. 

  • Adorable tees and onesies from Bebe Nourri.
  • This one is for YOU, moms: Our favorite #momlife tee from River Babe Threads (a staple with leggings, for those days postpartum when it's a victory just getting out of the house!) 
  • Socially conscious tees with messages we love, from Wire & Honey

Feeding: Whether you choose to breast or bottle feed, the items below will likely be in daily rotation!

  • Bibs: From dribbles to drool to first foods, bibs are essential. Anchored Arrow makes some of our very favorites. 
  • High Chair: We used and loved the Inglesina Table Chair, because it's tiny, it's portable, and it packs up between use. 
  • Teething Necklace & toys: Our favorites (and some of the cutest, and most popular) come from Little Teether

  • If you're breastfeeding:
    • Breastfeeding Pillow: We use the Bobby without complaints. If you go this route, definitely check Etsy for adorable, unique, interchangeable covers to match your nursery. 
    • Check out Aeroflow Breastpumps! Completely cost and hassle-free, they help navigate your insurance and provide you with a list of breast pumps covered by your insurance.
    • Our friends at Marley's Monsters make the cutest, reusable nursing pads (because, let's face it, things get messy!)

    • Ever heard of Nurselet? It's the handiest bracelet that helps remind you which side you last fed on, AND helps hold up your shirt while nursing. Such a smart and helpful mom hack. 

Keepsakes: Let's face it, you may never actually get around to filling out that baby book...and anyway, these options are WAY more fun!

  • Milestone Blankets: You've probably seen these take Instagram by story, but we're totally smitten with the milestone blankets from Batz Kids.
  • Birth Elephant: Display baby's birth stats with the most adorable embroidered stuffed lovey from Stitches By Natalie, made from baby's hospital blanket. Definitely a keepsake you'll have for years and years!

  • Don't forget mom! These gorgeous name bracelets have our hearts, from Candy Couture Shop.

Transportation & Travel: Because trust us, eventually you'll leave the house again. 

  • Car Seats: From newborn to convertible to booster, one again, options are endless. We had the best luck with our Chicco Keyfit 30 for rear-facing newborns, and the Diono Radian RXT for rear-facing, forward-facing and beyond (bonus: it's super narrow and takes up less space in a smaller car!)
  • Baby Carrier: We couldn't love our Lillebaby Complete All Seasons any more! There are so many slings and wraps, and endless research to show the many benefits of baby wearing! (Plus, free hands to hold your coffee!)

Potty: Yep, it's inevitable. May as well embrace it.

  • Changing pad + 2 covers: once again, a zillion adorable options on Etsy. Our favorites are made by Ivie Baby. 
  • Diapers: This tends to be a very personal decision -- and for good reason! No two babies are alike, and only you know what you can handle. That said, if you're even remotely considering cloth diapers, check out our Cloth 101 to see how it might be easier than you think. 

Again, anything we missed? We'd love to hear which products made your transition to motherhood even easier - let us know in the comments below! Each mom and each baby is so different so there is no right or norm when it comes to this stuff. 

Written by Heather, of Bear & Bunny Co. --makers of the grow-with-me-leggins and shorties, handmade in the USA! Check them out and get more bang for your buck with the sizes that take baby through multiple ages and milestones: www.bearandbunnyco.com

Fun & Easy Fall Decorations

Fun & Easy Fall Decorations

I'm a sucker for Fall Decorations! Fall is one of my favorite seasons of all! Corn stalks, hay stacks, corn mazes, candy corn, apple cider, pumpkin bread, and a fall yummy scent in the air! I'm always on the look out for cute decor for my house and front porch. Here are some that I fell in love with! These are some ideas that are affordable and sure to bring Fall to your porch! 

1. A country Fall Themed Porch

source: ourvintagehomelove.blogspot.com

2. Cute Pumpkin Pallet

source: pinterest.com

3. Fall Harvest and Pumpkins

source: jeanierae.com

4. Pumpkin Crates

source: unknown

5. Golden Fall Porch

source: homestoriesatoz.com

 

I hope you were inspired by some of my favorite inspirations! Happy Fall Y'all! 

What your Kid's Lunch Box says about your Parenting

What your Kid's Lunch Box says about your Parenting

While everyone was gearing up for back to school with clothes, shoes, and school supplies, I was having major anxiety about what to pack in the school lunch box for my daughter. I'm pretty new to this whole school lunch box thing. We used to call it a "Brown Bag Lunch" back in my day. Why? You might ask! Well, because you literally packed it in a brown paper bag. Nowadays our kids are equipped with fancy Pottery Barn lunch boxes with their names embroidered on them and cool Bento storage boxes inside.

I'm a stay at home mom of three girls. With the exception of making sure things are natural or organic, I've placed minimum thought about what to feed my growing kids for lunch. My days are pretty hectic with the kids, and attempting to run my businesses. Now all I can think about is what the teachers will think about the snacks I pack, and more importantly, what other parents are packing in their kids' school lunches. Will all the kids have cute little Mickey Mouse shaped sandwiches, raw carrots, and raw celery? Will I be judged for packing one too many Oreos? 

 

For years before sending my daughter to school, my News Feed has been filled with mom friends posting their kid's school lunches. I've seen everything from sandwiches shaped like animals, to veggies made into a rainbow. There has been such a wide variety of what parents included in their kid's school lunch boxes.

It seemed to have been a silent lunch box war going on, involving who could pack the healthiest and most creative lunch box. Naturally, I felt inclined to join in. 

 

And so the lunch box war began in my head. I racked my brain about what to include. I struggled with several thoughts - how will I keep hot food hot and cold food cold? Do I use cookie cutters to make the sandwiches into shapes? What's the healthiest type of Juice Box? Suddenly, I realized I was turning this into such a bigger deal than it needed to be. I can do WHATEVER I want. There are no rules I need to follow or standards I need to live up to regarding what I feed my child. It is MY child after all. 

 

As stay-at-home moms, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves. We compare ourselves to what other stay-at-home moms are doing. And sometimes we draw the conclusion that we aren't good enough or aren't doing it right. I have friends with four children that make motherhood look effortless, while I have friends with one that make it seem like they're in the trenches of WWIII. There is no right or wrong way to do this thing called motherhood. We don't have to prove to anyone that our job is tough. It is 24 hours long and 7 days a week of mostly non-stop chaos. We hold it all together without thought or hesitation. It's just what we do. And somehow I run a small business in between the madness of parenting. So the next time you find yourself having anxiety about something as simple as school lunches, remember this - you are enough, you are awesome, you know what's best, and you are doing an amazing job. And for me, I will continue to slay motherhood in my own way, one peanut butter jelly sandwich at a time. (Okay, maybe sunflower butter because the school is nut free). xoxo

 

*Instagram photos courtesy of @summjen & @barnes_n_noble - mom friends killing this thing called Motherhood. 

Hear from Amy about becoming a mom, and adding #2 to the mix!

GUEST BLOG POST BY AMY! 

For whatever [crazy] reason, I thought being a mom would be really easy. I thought because I WANTED to be a mom so badly that I would just love it so much, which in turn would make it easy! And actually, I might even say it DID come really easily...until our second came! When we had our first, my son Ridge captivated my heart the very instant he was born. I was undone, completely smitten, and overcome by my emotions and how much I loved him. I loved waking up with him in the night, I loved that everyone handed him back to me when he was crying, I loved how much he needed me, I loved figuring out his schedule and his needs and his idiosyncrasies, I loved changing every single one of his diapers. I flat-out LOVED being his mom, and all it entailed. I thought I wanted 6 kids! (My husband wanted 1)! 

I talked my husband into another kid and was ecstatic when we got pregnant, until fear started creeping in, around week 4, ha. How would I love two kids? Ridge has had ALL my attention for almost two years -- how will he respond when he has to share me? How will I balance everything? For the majority of my pregnancy I was completely terrified. I felt like I couldn't savor my final days enough with Ridge as my only child. I prayed that baby number two wouldn't come early so I could enjoy every last moment with my best [little] friend. 

Navy decided to join our family a month early. She is the sweetest, most smiley addition to our family. I adore her - so much more than I thought I'd ever be able to. But parenting instantly became hard for me when she was born. All the mom things I loved doing with Ridge can now feel annoying with Navy. When she needs me, instead of feeling honored, I feel overwhelmed because there's also a 2-year-old who needs me. When she wakes up in the night, I'm frustrated because I need my sleep to parent the unending ball of energy who wakes up at 6am! When she's crying and people hand her to me, I can easily feel like I just can't do it all. And then the worst part is the mom guilt - the guilt that I'm not loving it the way I did before. The guilt of admitting that it's really hard, that I need help, that I'm not a super-hero mom, that I don't "have it all together". 

I quit my job as a Dental Hygienist right before Navy was born, because my DREAM Job was to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom. It was important to both my husband and me that I would get to live out that Dream. But boy is it hard to feel like I'm not contributing financially, I can't seem to get into a good rhythm with the kids, I'm terrible at keeping up with the messes or having dinner made or even getting out of my pajamas. It definitely hasn't been what I expected. But, in truth, I love that - I love that it isn't always easy and that I'm not wired to know their every single need, that it takes time to figure their unique personalities, that each day is a surprise, and that God thought there was NO ONE better on the planet to be their mom than ME! For every hard moment, there are 6,000 beautiful ones. Honestly, when I thought being a mom would be a Dream Job, I didn't realize just how good that dream would be. I didn't realize that very few things in life would bring me as much purpose and joy. I didn't realize how much pride I would feel that they were mine. It's so hard and it's so good! I hope I never wake up from this dream! 

 

Amy Kristen Wilt

Huge $850 Giveaway!

Happy Spring, Friends!

Little Teether has teamed up with 14 of your favorite brands to bring you a huge bundle of happiness. One winner takes it all... and it could be YOU!

The Oh Mommy + Oh Baby Giveaway is here, granting you an ultimate chance to win OVER $850 IN PRIZES! 

YAY!! We are as excited as you are and we know that you wouldn't miss this for the world. So, what are you waiting for, mamas? The mechanics and juicy deets are indicated below. Like, follow, tag, share away and don't forget to spread the word to all your friends. Let's do this!

ENTER HERE!

Participating Brands and Prizes:


Open to all mamas. Contest winner will be announced on April 17, 2017. Be sure to check back to find out if you are a winner and remember our basic rules apply. 

*PLEASE NOTE: If you are chosen as a winner, we will send you an email alerting you of your winnings. If we do not hear back from you within 48 hours, we will pick another lucky winner. Participants will be added to the newsletters of all the partner brands.