Baby Essentials… from a first time mom!

I don’t think first time moms give themselves enough credit!

Often times they think that because they’re “new” at the whole motherhood thing that means they aren’t qualified to give advice. But you know who helped me the most when I had my daughter and was leaning it all myself?

Yup– my friends who were new moms! They are IN it and living it everyday! Who better to ask?

All the suggestions my new mommy friends gave me were great, and I am so excited to share with you guys a few of my all-time favorite products. These are the things we use day in and day out, and the products that Audriana loved the most when she was a newborn.

B A T H   T I M E 

Baths have always been part our bedtime routine, even when Audriana was a newborn. This tub has been so easy to use and has a lot of great features. Our sink is kind of small and I was worried that it wouldn’t fit on top of it, but it actually fits perfectly (and would also fit a lager sink too– the design is genius).

IMG_1828

I love how there is a built-in thermometer which will beep once the water gets too hot or too cold. It even comes with a rinse cup (and cup holder)! The two chambers allow for clean water to flow in while the dirty water flows out. And you can plug both chambers to keep warm water in, especially once your babe discovers how to splash and play during bath time.

4Moms Infant Tub, White

81QrVNSC81L._SL1500_

Aiden and Anais Hooded Towel Set

c26-B002SXMMIU-1-l

One of my all-time favorite gifts that we received are these hooded towels. They are just the cutest, and super functional. The best part is that your baby will continue to use these as she grows since most hooded towels are oversized. I love this set by Aiden and Anais because it is fluffy and soft. If you don’t know this brand, look them up! Their entire line is perfection (and you will see some more from them below!)

For a less expensive option, I also really love the hoods on these:

Hudson Baby Animal Face Hooded Towel

 


B E D   T I M E 

The best thing I learned in my parenting class/during my hospital stay was how to swaddle a newborn! It makes them feel cozy, safe and secure, which helps them sleep better! There are all kinds of swaddles out there but I personally love these Aiden and Anais sets for a few reasons…

aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Plus, Baby Star

aden and anais swaddles

Not only are they adorable and come in tons of cute prints and patterns, they are also very soft and make great lightweight blankets for when your baby is too old to be swaddled (so you are not just using them for a few months). I use mine as stroller blankets and for naps. They also make bibs with the same material and patterns too!

This mobile has been a lifesaver for us! Audriana had a hard time falling asleep in her crib, but now she puts herself to sleep every night (and even reaches up to change the music on the mobile herself! EEK)!

Fisher-Price Smart Connect Deluxe Projection Mobile

71pwdVDg5wL._SY679_

It protects and it also turns while playing your choice of lullaby or soothing sound. Set up is easy and it connects right to the side of the crib.

 

 

D I A P E R I N G 

I think that diapers and wipes are very much a personal decision. You have to try out different brands and see what works best for you and your baby. We tried a few other brands, but I always come back to Honest. They are absorbent, don’t leak and Audriana has never had a diaper rash or a massive blow out, especially now that she is a little wiggle worm! The seasonal prints are also adorable and make me smile every time I change her diaper (yes– even if it is a big stinky one– you can’t help it!).

Check out A in her fireworks from 4th of July weekend… you’ll see what I mean!

FullSizeRender

The Honest Company makes it easy for you to always be stocked up. Their diaper and wipe bundle will not only save you money, it also comes automatically to your door step, so you’re never without! You can customize prints and sizes, and even change the delivery date if you need to.

You’ll receive 6 packs of diapers and 4 packs of wipes with your bundle.

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 3.04.55 PM

PS— look at their cute limited edition fall prints! I am in LOVE with all of them (we just got our September bundle yesterday and they are even better in person). Check them out here.

F E E D I N G 

When it comes to bottles, I feel like I could open up a shop. We have SO many because we were desperately looking for the perfect bottle that wouldn’t create any excess gas. I felt like Audriana was living on gas drop the first few weeks of her life because she was ALWAYS so gassy and uncomfortable. Then we tried Dr. Brown’s bottles, and she was a totally different baby!

c7174680a3959d2a80af9d040248051b--dr-brown-bottles-best-baby-bottles

Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle, 8 ounce, 4-Pack

Dr. Brown’s are specifically made for babies who are colic/gassy. They have an inside chamber that reduces the amount of air that babies suck while drinking. HOWEVER… and this is a total disclaimer… so don’t say I didn’t warn you… they have A TON OF PIECES! You will curse me when you clean them. BUT on the flip side, you will be happy that your babe is comfortable and smiley! #worthit

We are still using these, and actually just yesterday I learned that the 8oz “options” bottles (different from above– I will link them below) do not require the chamber, so if you get sick and tired of cleaning all of the pieces (ahem, ME!) then you can simply remove the chamber later on.

21105997_10209987988200602_6447447421960017247_n

Dr. Brown’s Options Narrow Feeding Set, clear

Now that A is a little bit older and can try more foods, I love giving her one of these Munchkin mesh feeders filled with frozen mango. It is perfect for babies about 6 months and up… they can teeth on something cold and enjoy tasting something sweet at the same time with any choking hazards.

Fresh Food Feeder, 2 Pack, Blue/Green

IMG_3098

 

 

P L A Y   T I M E 

I could probably post about 100 different toys that A loves to play with (mainly boxes and bins fill with my stuff that she likes to pull out) but I just picked one great item that she uses every single day!

Our Joovy walker was actually a recommendation from my friend Danielle, and it was one of the best things we received from our registry. This walker may seem “bare bones” because it doesn’t have anything attached, but I think that is what makes it so great!

JoovySpoon

Joovy Spoon Baby Walker

Since the surface is large and empty, your baby can play with any toy she is loving at the moment. I think this is smart— because her walker will grow with her! Right now I put teething rings and some musical toys on it for her everyday, and she keeps herself occupied as she rolls around our house. Suction toys (also know as “high chair” toys) are perfect for this!

The best part? If you are short on space it FOLDS UP flat! So you can store it somewhere when it’s not in use. Love that.

FullSizeRender 2

Some of A’s favorite toys to play with on her walker:

Baby Teether Toys 3-Pack by Infantino Sparkle Jinglin’ Gem Jittery Pal with Jittery Action and Rattle Sounds, Ideal Gift for a Baby Shower

Infantino Sparkle Lil’ Gem Chime Pal

Infantino Pat and Play Water Mat

 

 

D R E S S  U P 

One day I will do a full blog post on where I shop for A, but for now I thought I would link some of our go-to sites.

I buy a ton of pieces that you can mix and match from ALL OVER! Seriously! Target, Baby Gap, Old Navy, Denny’s and Janie + Jack are a few of my favorites. Here are some of her greatest hits (so far!) and where I shopped for them…

LEFT: Romper is from Denny’s, bow is from Babies R Us.

MIDDLE:  Dress is from Janie + Jack , bow is from Babies R Us.

RIGHT: Top is from Old Navy, leggings are from Cater’s, bow is from Angel Face Headbands. (Note: the top isn’t available anymore but I linked my most favorite pieces from Old Navy baby right now instead!)

I also like to buy a few things every season from Nordstrom. My favorite thing I have gotten her so far from there is a pair of baby Ugg boots!!! These are for both walkers and crawlers and they have a velcro opening to get them on and off easily. I love the bow!!! Perfect for her!

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 4.04.03 PM

I hope you love some of my recommendations and that if you are expecting or a brand new mom that this helped you! If you are neither, but know someone who is, all of these items would be fabulous gifts!

Did I leave out something you think is awesome? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear your favorites as well.

Advertisements

My Favorite Mascaras

As a makeup artist I get asked A LOT about my go-to mascara. Even more so now that my company just released a ground breaking serum that makes your lashes look longer. The truth is, I don’t have just one! I mix it up everyday depending on how I am feeling, where I am going and how many coats I want to apply.

A lot of times I will also apply one coat of one mascara and second coat of a different one. Some formulas and brushes are better suited for length while others are better for volume. The trick is to find a formula that come with a brush you love.

Here are my top nine picks to make your lashes look luscious!

Side note- expensive doesn’t ALWAYS mean better! I have found tons of drugstore mascaras that work just as well– and sometimes better– than high end!

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-7-34-16-pm

MAYBELLINE sensational 

I love the brush on this one– it really allows you to get into the corners and lift your lashes.

WET N WILD max volume 

The cheapest and the BEST drugstore mascara I have found! The brush separates and this formula never seems to clump.

MAYBELLINE push up falsies 

This formula is thick– but I like it since it allows me to give two quick coats with great coverage. The brush also separates and lifts.

COVER GIRL supersizer 

The best thing about this brush is that it is small. You’ll be able to reach the inner corner lashes, which will make your eyes seem larger and more open.

BOBBI BROWN extreme party mascara 

Bobbi didn’t lie- this mascara is extreme for sure. The brush (and even the tube) and so thick and may feel funny when you’re applying. But two coats of this formula and your lashes will POP!

TOO FACED better than sex 

A cult favorite… for a reason! Try and and you’ll see why.

LANCOME grandiose extreme 

Doesn’t this brush look so funny? As strange as it may seem it is actually one of the best! You will be able to find every lash you have while lifting the out corners AND getting into the insider corner with ease.

BENEFIT they’re real 

An all-time favorite of mine. I love using this formula on my clients. It never clumps, isn’t too thick and the brush is just perfection.

L’OREAL superstar 

I use this one EVERY SINGLE DAY. My #1 current favorite. Sometimes I use side #1 (the primer) but most days  just apply side #2 and I find that this brush and formula gives great volume AND length.

What is your go-to mascara? Which one are you excited to try here? Tell me in the comments!

2700 in 2017– Join me in this fun savings challenge!

The daily latte.

The weekly mani.

The monthly shoe splurge.

Whatever you indulgence is, it’s adding up! I never realized how much I was spending on coffee until my husband and I sat and actually added it up this month.

Care to guess?

Nope, not $50. Not $100. Not even $150.

I am spending $200 a month… ON COFFEE!!!!! Doing the math was a total eye opener. I thought my quick stop to the Starbucks drive-thru was innocuous because it’s just a few bucks at a time. But when I figured out my yearly spending I almost spit out my coffee! $200 a month is $2400 A YEAR. That’s a lot of beans!

One of my resolutions is to stop spending so much- and find new ways to save.

Sure, a visit to Starbucks every once in a while is fine. But not everyday.

Today I bought myself a Ninja Coffee Maker and vowed to do something smart with all the extra cash I am going to have. Me and Starbucks and breaking up… for a better cause!

Saving can be hard, especially with a mortgage, bills, kids, and a life! But when we really look at where our money goes (seriously–I knew I was spending a lot on my daily caffeine fix but I had NO IDEA just how bad it was!) we can easily find pockets of cash we can funnel away into an emergency fund. Or a vacation fund. Or a fund to do something awesome with like pay off your home early, get out of credit card debt, pay cash for next Christmas or just splurge on something way cooler than coffee.

So here we go… I am committing to 2700 in 2017! Will you commit with me?? Here is how it works!

15731720_10208170055713426_1439304952_n

Every week we will put away a certain dollar amount into a savings account. We start off small and then increase by $2 every week. By the time we get to THIS WEEK NEXT YEAR… we will have saved $2700!!

If you and your spouse do this with BOTH your paychecks you will save $5400. What you save each week you will barely miss– it will be under $100 up until there last 2 weeks of the year. Everyone can find room in their budget to do this.

Ready?? Here is what you will save each week…

52aad1efa0e5c853ff16c83b9234973e

See how easy it will be?  Starting next week you’ll put away $2 in an account.

Then $4 the following week. $6 the week after that. See where I am going with this?

I can’t wait to get started. I am going to make a weekly reminder in my phone and also in my planner so I never forget.

Are you going to take the 2700 in 2017 challenge too?? Comment below if you’re with me!

Check back in January for more fun challenges and ways to get organized in the coming year!

Snow Storm 101

Time spent at college in upstate New York has prepped me for a lifetime of stylish snow storm dressing. It is tempting to throw on your rattiest sweatpants and sweater when the weather takes a turn for the blustery. But sometimes but you have no choice but to get on with your day and be a REAL person (you know, go out in public instead of watch 12 episodes of Rock of Love on your bed with a bag of bagel chips. Wait, no one else did this? Come on… just me??).

Here are my winter essentials for mastering the cold, the snow and the shoveling while still looking cute and staying warm.

snowstorm

ONE 

Just because it is snowing doesn’t mean you don’t need some fab sunnies. I find snow days to be more blinding than beach days. Also, these Quay sunglasses are perfect if you want to skip makeup and hide behind a rosy glow.

TWO 

Nothing is better than a warm pair of cozy socks. I especially love these by Aeire because you can wear them with boots!

THREE

So you may have to shovel a little snow. No worries– your hands will be super warm with these gloves. The best part is that they have a storage pocket so you can keep your keys or chapstick with you at all times without having to worry if they will fall out of your coat and into the snow.

FOUR

I can’t imagine a cuter hat. Pom-poms make everything a little sweeter.

FIVE

I am OBSESSED with Loft’s line, Lou + Greg! It is an entire section of the store dedicated to cute, comfy and stylish sportswear pieces that look so much better than those ratty sweats. This top is SO SOFT and also really cozy. Perfect to layer under a vest as well or with a long sleeve tee underneath. It is lightweight so you won’t be sweating bullets but still warm enough to keep the chill out.

SIX

This scarf is a total splurge item, for sure. But just LOOK at how cozy the model looks in it. I can’t wait to wrap myself up in it.

SEVEN

A tank?? As a winter essential? I included this one from Old Navy because I wear one every single day– snow or not! They are the perfect weight and length for layering or wearing under an open cardi. Plus, there are so many colors to choose from and they wash really well. I am wearing an olive green one as I type. Stock up– at $12 each you can get a bunch and they will carry you through the next 3 seasons!

EIGHT

THESE LEGGINGS ARE $11!!!!! Let me repeat. SALE ALERT! $11 cozy, comfy leggings! I love this brand because everything they make is super warm but also insanely soft and buttery. You can snag these thermal leggings at a fraction of the regular price. You KNOW I scooped up a few. They are perfect for the winter because they are thicker than your regular leggings but won’t make you sweat or overheat. Can’t recommend them enough!

NINE 

Last but not least, my holy grail of winter footwear. Forget Uggs– seriously forget ’em! These are JUST as comfortable and roomy but are MADE for snow and rain. They are weatherproof, so you can wear them out in the slush and not worry if the suede will get ruined. They are about 1/4 the price of Uggs and come in a ton of cute colors and styles. I am wearing this pair right now. I wear mine with socks, but just like Uggs you can opt not to. They truly are the BEST winter “suede” boot I have found.

What are you winter essentials? Tell me in the comments!

Off to make some iced coffee and play in the snow. Because no matter HOW cold it gets in New York I will always drink iced. #guzzle

Nordstrom Fall Favorites

All things fall is what’s on my mind! I am obsessed with cozy fabrics, lush faux fur and lots of plaid! Check out some of my Nordstrom favorites here!

sgb

ONE 

The easiest top you will ever own. It goes with everything and is so comfy!

TWO 

How STUNNING are these colors? It’s like MAC knew which shades were my favorite and packed them all into one super affordable palette for fall.

THREE

Everyone needs a great tote they can throw their essentials in. I love the color! Would make a stylish gym bag. The pouch is great for cash, keys and your phone.

FOUR 

A style staple for every season. I love this long necklace– gorgeous with any necklace and can dress up a LBD or jeans and a tee.

FIVE

This wallet is so soft and buttery– and chic! I love the quilting an the soft blush color. I actually picked this one up in hunter green, which is perfect for fall.

SIX 

A winter staple! Cozy, plush and easy to throw on when you have to run a few errands quick!

SEVEN 

LOVE these leggings– soft enough to feel comfy but enough “hold” to make you think you’re wearing shape wear– without pain.

EIGHT 

My number one must have! This poncho is everything! So soft and cozy to wear. Would love it with riding boots once there is a chill in the air.

NINE

The perfect fur vest. Streamlined, not too bulky and looks great on all body types!

Which one is your favorite?! Tell me in the comments!

Summer Style Picks

I love how effortless summer style can be. Just a gorgeous print or a beautiful flowy silhouette can make your entire outfit. A pop of color or a punchy print on an accessory can elevate your wardrobe. Here are my picks for easy to wear summertime tops, dresses and rompers!

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 12.32.21 PM

Self Portrait Azalea Dress • Self-Portrait • $480

I know, the price tag is a little hefty, but would you LOOK at how gorgeous this dress is? Worth it for special events!

Jealous Tomato Shoulder-Tease Dress • $29

Under $30, can you believe it? Wear it as a coverup at the pool or the beach and you won’t have to stop home to change before dinner!

L’atiste Print Tiered Romper • $45.99

This is easily my FAVORITE piece of this post. I love the print, I love the colors and I love that it is tired so you don’t have to be conscious of your belly.

Do & Be Pinstripe Off Shoulder Top • Do & Be • $42

Loving anything off the shoulder for the summer. This blouse is super popular and can be seen in a few high end stores. Here is a less expensive but just as cute version.

Reversible Voyage Tote – Denim/ Ikat • $79

This tote is reversible! Denim on the inside and this gorgeous purple Ikat print on the outside. Great for the beach!

Breezeblock Enamel Pendant Necklace • $39

This piece is ALSO reversible! Turquoise on one side, white on the other. Layer it with other longer necklaces and the looks will be endless.

Get Twisted Maxi Dress ~ White Cloud • MUMU • $150

Doesn’t this look so comfy? AND chic? The best combo.

Katy Halter Dress – Sea Lilies • MUMU • $136

I picked this for the print and I also happen to LOVE this brand. Their loose fitting, fun clothes are MADE for summer.

Amanda Uprichard Bohemian Off-Shoulder Romper • Amanda Uprichard • $215

Again- here is that off the shoulder trend. A more dressy romper that you can wear to a less casual party or event this summer.

Which one is your favorite? Do you love prints or do you tend to wear more solid colors? Let me know in the comments!

Old Navy Summer Sale Picks

Nothing says summer quite like the words “Fourth of July Sale.” Beach days are in full swing, the dog days of summer are almost upon on us and we are showing more skin.

Does your summer wardrobe need a reboot? I love Old Navy for casual, chic and classic style staples that won’t break the bank. Here are a few pieces I have my eye on– all on sale this weekend, up to 60% off.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.57.01 AM

Relaxed Pom-Pom Tank for Women • Old Navy • $12

Anything with pom-poms, sign me up!! I love this lightweight top and I love the price even more.

Neon Jacquard Scarf • Old Navy • $7.97

Add a pop of color to any outfit with a breezy scarf. You could even pair this with the pom-pom top above and white denim with delicate hoop earrings for a laid back but pulled together style that is great for summer parties.

Classic Flip-Flops for Women • Old Navy • $2.50

We all need a pair or two of these! I am obsessed with army green because it looks great with white. A fabulous alternative to basic black!

Cuffed Linen Shorts for Women (3 1/2″) • Old Navy • $11.50–14.97

How COMFY do these shorts look? I am the last person you will see wearing shorts for MOST of the summer. I hate them. But these are flowy with a great length so I know they will my go-to once the temps get above 90!

Faux-Leather Tassel Saddle Purse for Women • Old Navy • $34

Summer is made for relaxing, which is exactly why you shouldn’t be carrying around that huge work tote all season long. I love this cross body because it will allow you to be hands free for all your outings and adventures these next two months. Plus the color is gorgeous!

Wide-Strap Espadrilles for Women • Old Navy • $34

I have these– and I HIGHLY recommend them! They are SO comfortable. I feel like I could live in them. The classic saddle color goes with everything and the wedge is just high enough to give you heigh without being unbearable to wear for hours.

Cocoon Dress for Women • Old Navy • $29

This color!! You can see WHY I added this as one of my picks. It will look stunning with a tan. The casual cocoon silhouette is something you can just throw on and look effortlessly stylish.

Sleeveless Knit Swing Dress for Women • Old Navy • $8

This is here because… it is ONLY EIGHT DOLLARS!!!! I picked the royal blue color because it was my personal favorite but there are so many color selections on the site. Pick your own favorite… or two.

Off-the-Shoulder Tie-Belt Dress for Women • Old Navy • $24.97

Have you seen this trend all over??? I know I have. I love that this dress is a take on the trendy off the shoulder style that is in every magazine right now– without the large price tag. Under $25 and a style statement all on its own, you’ll live in this dress for special occasions this summer.

What are you picking up from Old Navy this weekend? Or what other sales are you shopping? I’d love to know– leave it in the comments!