5 Month Old Favorites

A 5 month old doesn’t need much. A little milk, somewhere to sleep, love and cuddles and something to play with. That should do it right?. For awhile at least. At 5 months old they are just starting to discover the world and their abilities. The rolling over, sitting up, eating food, playing with toys and being loud is just beginning! Eventually it is nice to have something to entertain them and contain their growing abilities for a few minutes so you can cook supper. These are a few of our 5 month old favorites around here. We use all of these things daily!

All items are linked below!

5 month old favorites

1//Ergo. We love the Ergo around here. Ours is several years old but still works perfectly. We use it pretty much everywhere we go so that we don’t have to lug the car seat around.  If you follow me on Instagram you see pictures of Sera in the Ergo all the time. I even made a hashtag for it —>#serasergotravels

2//Summer Infant seat. We use this in lieu of the more popular Bumbo seat for letting her sit up like a big girl. I got this one so that it can also be used as a feeding chair and transition to a booster seat when she’s older. I liked that it can grow with her. It saves me money and space. It’s a bit difficult to get the tray on but nothing I can’t handle.

3//Teething bib. I picked this up in target because I was looking for a new teething toy. She loves this! She loves to chew on everything and gets drool everywhere. This helps with the teething and with the drool and she can’t drop it a million times. It’s great.

4//Zipadeezip. We love Zipadeezip in this house. I have used them since my 2 year old was a baby. If you want to read how I used it to transition a very swaddle addicted baby to the crib, read here. We use it for every nap and at night.

5//Activity Center.  We got this Oball activity center when the original Baby Einstein one we bought was defective. I wasn’t sure how I would like it but I must say it’s been great. The BEST thing about it and the reason I chose it is because of the assortment of toys on it. Baby’s generally love Oballs in my experience. I love having an activity center to keep her entertained and also to get her off the floor when my big girls are running around being crazy.

What are some things that your 5 month old loves right now ? Let me know in the comments.

Linking up here, here and here!

Gift ideas for a 2 year old girl

I made a very similar post to this one here . In fact it’s titled the exact same thing and is one of the most pinned posts on this blog. However, that post is over 2 years old and was made with a different 2 year old girl in mind. Now that I have lived through having a second 2 year old girl I thought a new list was in order. One with newer, fresher suggestions. I mean, at this point I’m basically an expert on what a 2 year old girl would want.

All these are linked below.

  gift ideas for 2 year old girl

1//First Words Book.  A very cool book if you have a little one that loves pointing and naming things. There are so many pretty object/animal/word illustrations in this book. They could spend hours looking at it..or you know… 15 minutes since that’s about their attention span. Here’s a post with more book suggestions.

2//Minnie Mouse Grocery Cart. Or as we Southerners call it, a “grocery buggy”.  To push around play food, stuffed animals and the random knickknacks that 2 year olds like to collect.

3//Cool plates.  I know it isn’t the most exciting gift but these plates are the most durable, picture friendly plates you will find (you know..for those lunchtime IG snaps) . We own lots.

4//Play food. For the girl who loves to cook. This is a great set with durable pieces. My girl loves the bread slices, mac and cheese and cereal bowl the best.

5// Little Bookbag. I love these book bags. They are small but not too small. Perfect for carrying on a road trip or just to the store with your little one. This same brand can be bought on Etsy too. We had ours embroidered with her name and that was the icing on the cake.

6//Play Kitchen.  I should have listed this before the grocery cart and play food. It would have made more sense. Every little girl needs a kitchen and this is a great one. It has 4 parts that open and close (oven, microwave, cabinet, fridge). It has a sink, a burner, a phone, a towel bar and the best part…a coffee pot. This is the most played with thing in our house.

7//Panties. Because it would be nice to think they will use them soon and they’ll be thrilled with the characters on them.

That’s all I have today! What are some things you think a 2 year old girl would love? Let me know in the comments.

Click here to read Gift Ideas for a 2 year old boy!

Lately

Happy April!

I haven’t done a Lately post since before Seraphina was born so I thought it was time for one. Today I’m linking up with Oh Hey Friday, 5 on Friday and Friday Favorites. I love these linkups and it’s an easy way to find more bloggy friends so check them out.

California

1//California. For years we talked about stepping out and doing something adventurous. Jonathan would always say the line from The Lord of the Rings when old Bilbo is talking to Gandalf “I want to see mountains again. Mountains Gandalf! “. It was our way of saying we wanted adventure, we wanted to see sights and do spontaneous things. We wanted more than what we were doing. Most days I can’t believe that we actually did it. That we picked up our lives and moved 2, 700 miles away from home. It has been 90% wonderful and amazing. I’m kind of falling in love with California. I love the weather, the amazing views, the fun adventures our family goes on (read here, here and here). The job opportunities have been unbeatable for our line of work and financially the best thing for us. The other 10% is that we do get lonely and miss our family terribly. We’re sad the girls don’t see their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles regularly. We miss home. But for now we are happy here. We can finally dream again.

sera

2// Seraphina. My baby is 5 months old. I have a new post coming soon with all of her updates and stats. But I really can’t believe how quickly the baby stage went by. I knew it was going to be fast but gee whiz. She is my little angel. Sweet and happy all the time. If I could only get her to sleep at night I would clone her and have 10 more. Speaking of sleeping at night. That is my mission in the next few weeks. Get her to sleep so I can finally sleep.  And all the moms that nurse/feed babies all night said Amen. Amen.

la croix water

3//La Croix water.  I don’t know where I’ve been the past…however long these have been around. Usually I hate drinks like this. Fake ones. I love my sweet tea and soda. However, it does not love me. I have been making an effort to eat healthier the past few weeks so I can drop the rest of this baby soda/sweet tea weight. I picked these up on a whim and fell in love. It still has the carbonation that I apparently love and a hint of flavor but not really since there is nothing in them. I drink one at night while I’m blogging or watching shows and it has helped curb the snacking.

daredevil

4//Daredevil. We just finished binge watching all of season 2 this past week. It’s a tad gory for my taste, I just look down during some parts but darn it if we’re not hooked on ol’ Murdock. Thank you Netflix for these awesome Netflix original shows. Here are 10 other shows and movies that we love.

Let it echo

5// I have this album from Jesus Culture playing on repeat. While I wash dishes, when I drive or even while I eat lunch with the girls. It is so so good. It brings a calm atmosphere when it gets chaotic. Try it, you won’t be sorry.

Thanks for stopping by!

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5 things that make my life easier

We all have those things in our life that make it so much easier. Whether it be a tangible product that you use or the way you do something (routines, schedules, habit) that make it easier. I’ve thought long and hard and narrowed it down to 5 products that without a doubt make my life so much easier and I could not do without. I truly love these things and I’ll tell you why. Just keep reading.

items that make life easier

1//Crock-pot liners.
I use my crock-pot SO much. (a post with my favorite recipes coming soon!) Maybe that makes me less of a Betty Crocker homemaker but so be it (Is it a coincidence that “crock” is in her name? I think not). My crock-pot it my best friend. She has my back when the 5 o’clock hour chaos rolls around and everyone is starving. The liners make my life so much easier. I truly hate scrubbing my slow cooker, just hate it. All that caked and baked on mess. The liner takes my anxiety down about 3 levels because I know I won’t have to spend my night scrubbing when I could be playing with the fam. I still have to rinse it out after I toss the liner but it’s just a simple rinse, not requiring elbow grease. My only wish is that more came in a box. If you have Amazon prime, it’s more cost-effective to buy them that way in bulk. Try them, you’ll see.

Slow Cooker liners

 2// Baby Video Monitor + 3 cameras. If my sister is reading this she is probably rolling her eyes at me because she knows this is true. Next to me is always my phone and the baby monitor. Let me say it…I DO NOT TRAVEL WITHOUT MY BABY MONITOR! Oddly enough when my oldest was born we didn’t use any sort of monitor for more than a year. We lived in a tiny apartment and didn’t need it. With the addition of more children we started using one. Let me tell you. This thing has saved me from waking up my kids so much. I don’t have to open the door to check on them and risk the outside noise waking them up. I don’t bother them when they sleep and keep the doors closed. With 3 kids there seems to always be someone sleeping in another room. Often in different rooms. Not a problem. I have 3 cameras set up and I put my kids down in their various rooms and grab my monitor and set it to scan. It scans between the 3 cameras unless I set it to stay on 1 camera. I take my monitor on vacation or anywhere I know my kids will need to nap away from me in another room. I take the monitor outside with us when the baby is napping and the girls want to play. I can’t say enough good. It sets my mind at ease and I could not have survived the last 3 years without it. Here’s a link to the one we use. We have purchased extra cameras obviously.

baby video monitor

3//This Lunchbag. Now don’t laugh. I’m serious. My husband has taken a lunch bag to work every shift for as long as I can remember. I know lunch boxes. We’ve been through a variety of them but this one takes the cake and is worth the $20 bucks (which I think is a little much for a lunchbox). Here’s why. He is a float nurse which means he travels to different units throughout the hospital sometimes “floating” every 4 hours during his 12 hour shifts. This makes it difficult for him to keep up with his lunch bag if it’s in a fridge. Also, there is often not room for his lunch in the current staff fridge on whatever floor he is on since he is not part of that floor’s staff. If that makes sense. He’s like an “extra nurse” Trust me, it was a big issue until we bought this bag. It folds up when it’s empty and you stick it in the freezer, the gel lining freezes. Then you put your lunch in it and it keeps it cold for 10 hours! It solved the problem for us immediately. And since it has made his life easier, it has made mine as well. I ordered it from Amazon here.

freezable lunch bag

4//Yeti tumbler. I was gifted this 20 oz Yeti Rambler from my parents last summer. They sell them at their store and they gave both Jonathan and I one. We didn’t really know what they were or what the big deal was. Everyone else in my family was RAVING about them. We took them on vacation and fell in love. Never had I met a cup like this. I think voodoo is involved because it keeps cold drinks cold forrrreevver and hot drinks hot forrreevver. I mean…I’ll fix myself a cold drink at night and the next morning the ice will still be in the cup. But the real kicker is coffee. I drink coffee basically all day and this cup completely eliminates the need to reheat my coffee a million times a day. I don’t have to reheat at all. It has made my life easier. We use these constantly. They are sold in various places and online but I know that most places have trouble keeping them in stock because they are just that awesome. So if you come across one snatch it up. Yes they are pricey but if you are a cup/coffee/drink person. This cup is for you.

yeti rambler

5// Glitter Crocs. Last year I did a review on these Crocs, you can read that post here. I loved them then but I had no idea how much we would use those darn Crocs. I was never really a Croc fan because I thought they looked tacky but when I saw these glitter ones I was sold. I still don’t really like the plain ones but I like the glitter a lot. If you scroll through my IG feed you will see my girls wear their pink and purple Crocs time and time again. With everything and everywhere we go. With socks, without socks, with shorts, with pants, with bathing suits, to the beach, to the park, to the grocery store..You get it. When your kids can put on their own shoes it makes your life a heck of a lot easier. In fact just this past week we lost one of Alina’s beloved pink Crocs (it fell out of the van we think). When I told her, her eyes welled up with tears. They love those shoes. So I plan to order her some more very soon.

glitter crocs

That was quite the random assortment I know. But I proudly stand by my choices! If you have any questions feel free to leave me a comment. Hope you have a great day. Thanks for stopping by.

Linking up with Oh Hey Friday,

Five on Friday and Friday Favorites

10 movies and shows that my husband and I agree on

Today is an easy, fun post. I’m linking up with Karli for 10 on Tuesday again. I love this link-up. Last week I talked about 10 favorite kids books we are loving right now.

I think my husband and I have pretty good taste in movies and shows. I mean, some might think that a few of these are rather boring but we have our reasons for loving them. We each have movies and shows that we like to watch separately that the other doesn’t necessarily like. For example he loves Game of Thrones and I love When calls the Heart <3. We don’t watch those together. He would probably rather stick a fork in his toe. But this list is of those that we 100% agree on and have watched over and over. Enjoy.

1// Dan in Real Life. We are pretty much hard core Steve Carrel fans. This movie is mellow and fun with great music. We dream of having a cabin where our family can gather one day like this.

2//Robin Hood. The one with Russell Crowe obviously.

3//New Girl. We are on season 5 right now and it just keeps getting better. Those guys just crack us up. We watch them a few times to catch all the funny banter between Schmidt and Nick.

4//Music and Lyrics. We rented this movie from a video store when we were first married if that tells you how old it is. But it endeared it to us, and we watched it over and over and loved the songs. “Figuring out you and me is like doing a love autopsy”…10 points if you just sang that in your head in Hugh Grants voice.

5//Agents of Shield.  Big Marvel fans over here so this show is a no brainer. Phil Coulson can do no wrong.

6//Catch and Release. I loved it first and it grew on Jon. There is just something about it.

7//The Office. Duh. If these were ranked in order this would be #1. We have watched them over and over and over. Favorite forever. Watching the office is like coming home. A bit dramatic but true.

8// Interstellar. It is hauntingly beautiful and makes you feel small in this great big universe.

9//The Dark Knight Rises. I don’t really care about the other Batman movies but I really love this one so we watch it a lot since my my hubby likes the Batman movies.

10//Pitch Perfect 1 +2. I totally lucked out here ladies. He is always up for watching either of these hilarious movies.

We have many more that we love but these are up there in the top.

Thanks for stopping by!

10 on tuesday

My favorite easy makeup

About a year ago I got interested in makeup, or rather interested in learning more about it and how to apply it. Up until that time I was the girl with the flawless skin and I never really cared about it. Until one day I looked in the mirror and realized a little makeup (or a little more effort) wouldn’t hurt me, I wasn’t getting any younger after all. I started watching tutorials on You tube in my spare time at night and I subscribed to Ipsy. I asked for gift cards to ULTA for my birthday and I haven’t looked back. I am still not that great at it but I really love finding new products and trying new things. I actually look forward to doing my makeup (which is NOT every day). It’s like my “me time”. I haven’t ventured into the high-end makeup realm, although I do have a few things on my wish list. I mostly stick to drugstore products and whatever comes in my Ipsy bag.

Here are 10 of my favorite makeup products that are my go to stash right now. They are all linked to Amazon but can also be found at Target, Ulta, Walmart or wherever you buy drugstore makeup.

favorite makeup

1// Smashbox Photo Finish Primer oil. Now I know I just got through saying that I use drugstore makeup, but to be fair I got this in an Ipsy bag. I love it. Before this I thought the notion of a primer was a waste of money. Until I tried this extremely moisturizing primer oil. It gets my dry skin ready for foundation so well.

2//Maybelline Fit me Foundation/Concealer. I’m a big fan of the Maybelline Fit me products. Both the foundation and concealers are fabulous for the price (I own 3 of the concealers). I didn’t buy the correct color in the foundation but I still love the formula. I’ll explain how I correct my foundation in a bit.

3//Physicians formula butter bronzer. The smoothest, creamiest bronzer you ever will find. It smells like a pina colada and has the prettiest packaging. I love this for giving my pale skin a little glow.

4//Manic panic dreamtone foundation color corrector in Virgin. No I did not go goth. I heard about this stuff from the you-tuber Kathleen Lights and I knew I needed it. See ..I have a problem buying the right color foundation. I have bought several bottles that are too dark. I mix a pump of this with those foundations and voila…perfect shade.

5//NYX micro brow pencil. Not all that exciting but this is a great, affordable eyebrow pencil.

6//Wet N Wild lash out loud MAX volume plus mascara. I have been on the hunt for a great affordable mascara for a while now. I tried a few pricier ones and then this one. This one takes the cake. I love it and will use it until I find something that can beat the price and quality.

7//Milani everyday eye shadow collection – plum basics. I recently fell in love with Milani products. I just love this palette and really its all I use nowadays for eye shadow. There are other color palettes in the collection I would love to get as well.

8//Milani baked blush in Luminoso– Another Milani product I adore. The color is peachy and fun. Perfect for everyday.

9//Mr. Write now eyeliner. I don’t wear all that much eyeliner but I got this one in an Ipsy bag and I really like it. It’s creamy and natural looking since it’s a plum color instead of black.

10//Meet Matte Hughes in Committed. I get more compliments on my lip color when I wear this matte liquid lipstick than any other. I got this one in an Ipsy bag and I’ve grown to really like this brand.

So, there are 10 items I have in my makeup stash right now that I use regularly. Of course, there are other items I use as well that I didn’t mention. But these are my favorites and I hope you enjoyed reading about them . What are some of your go to favorites? Let me know in the comments?

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10 on Tuesday/ My kid’s favorite books

Look who’s blogging today! What what! My baby decided she was okay sleeping unattached to me for a few hours so I jumped at the chance to blog a little. What better way than to link up with 10 on Tuesday.

Since I am home with my girls 9,445, 880 hours a week we have a lot of time to play games and read. Like a ton. They recently became very into having me read them books. Which I just love. There is nothing better than having their rapt attention for a few minutes seconds while they absorb a story. Seeing their eyes light up at parts they love and recognize is precious. I thought I would quickly list their favorite books and why they love them in case anyone is looking to add to their collection. {All books are linked to Amazon. }

Oh and by the way my girls are 3.5 yrs, 2 yrs and 5 months (not a huge reader that one).

fav books

 

1// Are you a Cow?.  If you have young kids and don’t own any Sandra Boyton books you are missing out. They are short, clever and extremely entertaining. We have LOTS. This one is a favorite because they love answering “NO” to each animal as the book asks “are you a ___” .

2// Big Preschool workbook. When I first flipped through this workbook I thought it was WAY above my 3.5 yr old’s head. Nope. Man, I am learning every day to let her try things I think she can’t handle. She can’t do all of the exercises but there are plenty she can do.  She loves the tracing exercises, the coloring and matching ones. Lots to do in this one.

3//Go Dog Go.  A classic by Dr. Seuss. I don’t know what it is about this book but it captivates them. They ask for it over and over and they freaking love when the dog asks “Do you like my hat?” over and over. I even enjoy reading it.

4//The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Another classic. I will sheepishly admit that they had watched the Netflix version of this about a million times before I bought the book. But they love that they know what is coming every time (thanks Netflix). The illustrations are of course gorgeous.

5//First Words. Now this is a cool book. Both of my older girls love it. Basically it is a big, bright and colorful book full of illustrations of objects to help teach a child first words. But since my 3.5 year old loves it, it goes beyond that obviously.  They love me to point at an object and “call on them” to say what it is. I love that it pushes them to learn new words and concepts. Many of them they still don’t know but they seriously learn new words everyday with this book. It’s great.

6//I Love you Through and Through.  This is geared towards younger children and babies but they all like it. They mostly like to see what the kid is doing in each picture (crying, mad, playing…etc). Any chance to tell them I love you is good to me.

7//This Moose belongs to Me. I’m not going to lie, I was a little selfish when I added this one. The illustrations guys. Just gorgeous.It reminds me of our cross country road trip. I love to read this one to them. The language is above their level and definitely loses them a bit at times. But I like to stretch them and introduce bigger words. This is a good one for that. And they like that moose Marcel.

8//Snuggle Puppy.  Another Boynton book. This one is silly and sweet. You have to sing it like a song and they get a huge kick out of that. I like to change up the tune to keep them guessing.

9//Happy Hippo, Angry Duck.  Another Boynton. They’re just good. This one introduces the concept of different emotions very easily. For example, the first time I read it Emma asked me”What is Angry?”. Well thanks to this book she knows now.

10//Guess How Much I Love You. This one is also a show with episodes on Netflix. What can I say?We watch a lot of Netflix. They really like this one. It’s sweet and familiar because of the show.

Okay that’s all for today. I hope your kids will like these books. What are some of your family’s favorites? I love adding to our collection. Let me know in the comments.

Here is a post I made last year with some more of our favorite books! (There are 4 more Sandra Boyton books listed)

Favorite Kids Books

books2

When it comes to kids and books…at least my kids, I have found that there are stages. These are the ones we’ve been though so far.

First there’s the newborn stage where they lay quietly on the boppy pillow cooing at you softly while you read aloud and turn the crisp pages of your beloved collection of children’s books. Next comes the drooly, grabby stage. Where you still can read aloud to them but you must keep the book out their reach and away from their teething gums, its like a game. Once they’re mobile you either hide the books or only leave out the ones in which you don’t mind the pages being bent and  ripped . Any attempts to read a book to them will be met with the book being promptly taken from you and either eaten or thrown. There may come a stage after that where they are obsessed with a particular book and demand you read it over and over, often turning the pages before you can finish said page, then demanding that you read the whole thing over again.It’s a fun cycle.

For a small time books were forgotten due the influx of new toys and an exciting new baby sister. Finally…finally  we are at a stage where I can read a book out loud and she actually sits, listens and enjoys it! Of course at the same time I am playing keep away with my youngest. It definitely makes for an interesting story time.

Here are some books that Emma is loving right now, I can’t speak for Alina. I know she loves to eat them, but read …not so much. Click on the links below to see where they can be purchased.

books

1. Emeraldalicious//2. The New Baby//3.The Going to Bed Book

4. Moo Baa LaLaLa//5. Opposites //6. Blue Hat, Green Hat

7. I’m a Big Sister//8.Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

books 3

What are some of your kid’s favorites?

Meal time favorites

mealtime favorites

Most days I feel like we spend half of our day either in the kitchen or around the table. I’m always fetching snacks and sippy cups, wiping peanut butter from bibs and brushing crumbs from high chairs and booster seats. Toddlers and babies can consume a surprising amount of food and make a not so surprising mess doing it. I’ve comprised a list of my 10 meal time favorite accessories. I’ve tried many different brands and models of things but these are what works for us. If it’s complicated to put together or store I don’t like it. I think the easier to clean the better!

Click on the item names below to see where it can be purchased. Enjoy!

1. Snap Bibs no longer avail.//2. Munchkin Bowls//3.Soft tipped Spoons//4. Training Sippy

5.Straw cups//6.Cups for Smoothies//7.Spill proof cups

8. Target Dollar spot Plates //9. Booster Seat

10. Highchair (Similar)