Once Upon A Time With BabyLit

*This post may include affiliate links. This just means that if you were to make a purchase after clicking that link, I would make a very small commission (costing you NO EXTRA). This is an easy way to help provide for my family, while sharing content for you! I truly appreciate your support!*

In the last few months, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Greysley’s speech and messages asking how I get her to talk so much. As much as I really wish that I could take full credit for my chatty little monster, I have to admit that I’ve had some help.

I spend my days talking to Grey, encouraging her to repeat words and converse with me.. But I also spend A LOT of time sitting down and reading with her. I know that you always hear, “read to your kid,” “reading is magical,” etc. etc. But guys, it’s SO TRUE!!! BOOKS TEACH OUR CHILDREN. They teach our kids new words, help them to focus AND they allow us, as parents, to squeeze in some major snuggle time!

I’ve always loved to read and in the last few years, I’ve strayed from this love because well, life happens. Now that Greysley is old enough to WANT to read, I honestly think that reading WITH HER feels more special than reading my own books. 

I ask her to pick out a book. She’ll shuffle her tiny little legs (as quickly as possible), over to her book shelf, returning with not one, but a whole stack of stories. Her expressions and enthusiasm when I pull her on to my lap and start to read just light up my heart. She points out the objects and animals that she recognizes and we talk about the things that she’s unfamiliar with. 

I truly believe that she is so social and has such an extensive vocabulary for her age, because of books! 

Some of our favorite books to read are the BabyLit stories. I mentioned these books around Christmas time, because they were gifts that she received, but they are STILL going strong as a favorite in our house. The BabyLit books are spin offs of classic literature, which make them ADORABLE! From “Pride and Prejudice” to “Jane Eyre,” they have so many stories that they turn into fun “primer books.” Each book is different, but they teach numbers, colors, words, letters, etc. while still giving a quick summary of the actual literary piece. 

Greysley has the BabyLit version of “Alice in Wonderland” memorized and it’s probably the cutest thing ever to watch her sit and read it aloud to herself!!

Here are our top 10 favorite Babylit books!

  1. Alice In Wonderland
  2. Pride and Prejudice
  3. The Secret Garden
  4. The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
  5. Little Women
  6. Les Miserables
  7. The Jungle Book
  8. A Little Princess
  9. Romeo And Juliet
  10. A Christmas Carol

Although these are our top favorites, our “wish list” is growing and I try to add new books to our collection as often as possible!

What are your favorite books to read with your children??

 

xo,

Rachel Rowles

instagram.com/rachel_rowles

*This post is not sponsored by Babylit. I’m simply sharing my love for this amazing brand!

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What I’m Loving, Wednesday//July 11

First and most importantly, happy birthday to my mom and (day late birthday) to my mom in law!! We love you both so much!

*This post may include affiliate links. This just means that if you were to make a purchase after clicking that link, I would make a very small commission (costing you NO EXTRA). This is an easy way to help provide for my family, while sharing content for you! I truly appreciate your support!

I’m back at it, after skipping last Wednesday, with this weeks’ five favorite things! Just like my last post, these favorites are in no particular order and are not all physical products. I’m just sharing what makes me happy, in hopes that I can inspire you guys to really start noticing the little things in YOUR lives, that make YOU happy! <3 Again, please feel free to share what you’re currently loving in the comments!! 

  1. Miss Fong Mini Diaper Bag– I know that I’ve shared my love for the Miss Fong Bags in the past, but this one is a bit different. This company came out with a mini version a few months ago. I snagged one the day that they were released, but to be completely honest.. I rarely used it. Until now! Greysley is finally reaching the toddler phase where I don’t need to carry quite as many “necessities.” This means that I was able to majorly downsize her bag. I had purchased the mini version, with full intention to have Grey carry it with her snacks/toys inside. HOW CUTE would it have been if I had my full size bag and Grey had her mini?? SOOO CUTE! Except that she wasn’t going for it. She’s such a little shrimp that the mini is still too big for her back.. Soooo, it’s now mine! I can fit diapers, wipes, snacks, her sippy, my wallet, keys, etc. and I still have room. For being a much smaller version, it still holds a lot! I still use my full size version for trips that require a change of clothes or toys, but the mini version is PERFECT for running errands!
  2. Abercrombie Denim– I’ve shared this obsession on my Instagram a lot lately, but it’s seriously too good not to continue raving! I’ve removed all other brands of denim from my closet and slowly started replacing them with just Abercrombie. Here, here and here are three different styles that I’m LOVING. (*tip* NEVER purchase their denim at full price! They run sales constantly, usually BOGO 50% off) I’m not going to go too crazy over this one, but just know… MY BUTT HAS NEVER LOOKED THIS GOOD. You need to try them.
  3. Method Multi Purpose Cleaners– I’ve been replacing all of our cleaning products with more natural alternatives and this is a game changer. Every single scent smells like heaven. You don’t get that strong chemical stench, but they still do the job! My favorites are the clementine scent and the lime and sea salt. These actually make me look forward to cleaning!
  4. Drinking Two Bottles Of Water Before My AM Coffee- This totally would not have made the list when I first started doing it. I’m horrible at remembering to drink water throughout the day and challenged myself a few weeks ago to start making this part of my morning. I crave my coffee as soon as I wake up, so now I don’t let myself have any until I drink my water. It was super annoying to start but once I stuck with it for a little over a week, I started to have more energy! Now I look forward to my morning routine!!
  5. Citric Acid– This is a weird favorite, but it had to make my list. We have really bad hard water at our house.. It used to make everything in our dishwasher extremely cloudy. I tried different rinse aids and nothing would help, until l read about Citric Acid! This has saved my dishes!! I sprinkle about a tablespoon amount in with my dishwasher detergent and my dishes come out SPARKLING like they never have before! I ordered mine off of Amazon, but I’m sure that you can find it at your local grocery store!

Again, I know that these lists are super random, but they’re fun to put together! AND I love getting messages/comments from you guys, sharing what you’re loving, too!! 

Thanks for reading!

Xo, Rachel Rowles

instagram.com/rachel_rowles

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What I’m Loving, Wednesday//June 27, 2018

I’ve been wanting to get a little more organized with a blogging schedule, so I decided to start a “What I’m Loving” list. I’ll try to update my list weekly, sharing my current “favorites.” Some of the favs will be physical products and some may just be random things that make me happy. I think that this is the perfect way to get to know some of you and allow you get to know me! Let me know in the comments what YOUR favorite things are this week!! Maybe we love the same things. <3

This post may include affiliate links. This just means that if you were to make a purchase after clicking that link, I would make a very small commission (costing you NO EXTRA). This is an easy way to help provide for my family, while sharing content for you! I truly appreciate your support!

So let’s get started! (In no particular order, but Brandon was VERY offended that he took 2nd place.)

What I’m Loving, June 27, 2018

  1. Dixie Chicks Radio Station on Pandora- I stumbled upon this a little over two weeks ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I’m not a huge fan of the more modern country music, but this station strikes so many happy feels. I just can’t help but smile when I’m listening to it. Garth Brook’s, “Long Neck Bottle” came on yesterday and it brought back so many happy childhood memories. I remembered my mom listening to this song with the windows open, while I played outside. We had a big rock in our yard that I stood on as my “stage” and I would belt out the words to the song (not having a clue what they meant!!). My five year old singing voice was probably MUCH better than what I’m working with now! Anyway, if you want some good nineties country, this is your station!
  2. Spending (no phone/no tv time) with Brandon- The weather has been BEAUTIFUL lately, especially around 8 PM. Brandon and I have started making a point to spend some quiet, no phones//no tv time together after Grey goes to bed. We sit out on our deck and just appreciate each other. It’s crazy how even just 30 minutes of sitting, listening to birds chirping and watching deer walk through the yard can make you love your life. (We got this affordable little 3 piece set and it’s super comfy for lounging and just hanging out. I wanted to find something that was modern looking, without breaking the bank and this was a major score! It also has pretty great reviews! We have it in the gray color, but I just noticed that the brown version is even cheaper than the gray!)
  3. Younger (the TV Show)- I became obsessed with this TV Land show months ago and binge watched it in an embarrassingly fast amount of time. Now, Season 5 started up and I’m invested all over again. It airs on Tuesday nights, but because we don’t have live tv, I just watch it the following day on TV Land’s website. The past seasons are available on Hulu and I promise, it’s good! I won’t give away too many details, but it’s definitely a “feel good” show.
  4. Aldi’s Knock Your Sprouts Off Bread- I’m the worst at making myself eat breakfast, but I always feel so much better if I do! We (almost) always get our groceries at Aldi and I recently discovered the Knock Your Sprouts Off Bread. It’s full of fiber and lots of other “good stuff,” so I figured it was worth trying. I really love it! I just toast it and then mash up an avocado to spread on top. Then I sprinkle a little bit of feta cheese and sliced grape tomatoes. It’s delicious, good for you and SO EASY! I can literally make it while my coffee brews and force myself to take a whole 5 minutes to enjoy.
  5. Fizzics Waytap– I know that I just shared this in my “Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide-Amazon Edition,” but it’s making this list, too! If you want to read all of the details you can head over to my last post, but this little gadget is actually the coolest! We use it a few times a week and it really helps to step up our beer enjoyment level. 

I feel like taking the time to acknowledge what makes us happy, ultimately helps us appreciate our lives. It’s the little things that build up and tend to make the biggest difference in our days. SOOOOO, I’d LOVE to hear what’s making you smile this week!! Please share in the comments!! <3

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Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Guide-Amazon Prime Edition

This post includes affiliate links, which just means that if you make a purchase through any of the links below, I will make a small commission through an affiliate program (without costing you any extra!) This is my way of supporting my family, while providing content for you. It doesn’t cost you anything, but I really appreciate your support!

If you’re anything like me (which I feel like you are), I’m a HUGE procrastinator. I work my best under pressure and that’s for EVERYTHING, including gift giving. If I wait until the last two weeks, before I’m supposed to give a gift, my mind typically gets the most creative and thoughtful.. Which basically just means that I panic and my brain thinks up the best ideas.

I decided to hold off on posting this until the last minute because I want my procrastinating friends to know, I GET YOU. Procrastinating is my life and we’re in this together!

I’m going to be honest, I waited until only a week before Father’s Day to get a gift for my husband and honestly, I have no shame because it was a pretty freaking good one!

I know that you guys are familiar with my love for wine but in the last year or two, Brandon and I have started experimenting with new beers and breweries. I can proudly say that I went from hating the taste of even the lightest of beer to loving some pretty bold IPA’s. 

The only problem with that is that we have a toddler and only have so much time to “go out” and “grab a beer.” Our local bars typically don’t carry IPA’s (which I now prefer) on draft. Draft beer always seems to enhance a beers flavors and I’ve really grown to enjoy it more than beer out of a can or a bottle (wowww. After not liking beer only a few years ago, I kind of sound like a beer snob). ANYWAY, sometimes it’s just a pain to drive almost an hour for a unique draft. SOOOOO,

When I came across the Fizzics Waytap, I was in awe. I knew right away that this type of gadget was something that Brandon would be obsessed with and my sneaky little self was pretty pumped that I would get to use it, too! 

You can order the Waytap through Amazon Prime, my life-saver. Ours was literally delivered yesterday (told you I waited until the last minute). I couldn’t wait until Father’s Day to give it to Brandon, so we opened it as soon as he got home. Oops! His first words upon unboxing were, “woah. That’s cool.” 

I agree. It’s pretty freaking cool.

The set up was super easy and the directions were a breeze to follow. It took less than 30 seconds to put it together (not even exaggerating). 

As soon as it was set up, we opened up a bottle of Perpetual from Troegg’s Brewery in Hershey, PA. This is one of my favorites! And if you’re ever in Hershey, this brewery is SO FUN.

ANYWAY. To use the Waytap, you just push a button to lift the system canister from the system’s base. You place a can or a bottle of beer into the system’s base and then lower the system’s canister so that the “draft tube” is inserted into the can or bottle. Once the canister is firmly secured on to the base, you’re ready to go! 

Make sure that you tilt your beer glass while pouring! It even tells you how to pour correctly in the directions. 

Brandon is currently standing beside me and his direct quotes are, “It tastes smoother. I feel like it really opens up the flavors.” “I’m good at this. You should let me write your blogs.” Feel free to laugh!

You’re now officially ready to enjoy your draft beer, right in the comfort of your own home! 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

The Fizzics Waytap is battery operated, so it can be taken anywhere! Tailgating, cookout, picnic, WHEREVER. It’s so convenient and easy to take along! 

At under $100, the price point for the Fizzics Waytap makes it a perfect Father’s Day gift for the beer loving men in your life. And because it’s an Amazon Prime item, you’ll have it right in time for you man’s special day.. If you order tonight!! 

Already have a Father’s Day gift? Perfect! I’m proud of you!! The Waytap system is an amazing gift for any special occasion.. Birthdays, anniversaries, ANYTHING. It’s that perfect gift-giving price point. He’s going to love it!!  

Incase you don’t have a big beer drinker in your life, here are four other ideas that are all ready to be ordered straight off of Amazon Prime!

 

  1. Herschel Supply Men’s Roy Rfid Wallet
  2. Thermos Stainless Beverage Bottle
  3. LinkSoul Charcoal Trucker’s Golf Hat
  4. DotDash Kerfuffle Sunglasses

 

If you’re a last minute shopper like me, please comment below and let me know what you chose for the dads in your life! I’d love to add to my list of ideas!

 

Like always, thanks so much for reading! Please comment below with any questions!!

 

Happy Father’s Day!!

 

This post is in collaboration with Fizzics.com . I highly recommend their brand for not only the product itself, but also the extraordinary customer service team!

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Picking Flowers Over Fights – A Facebook Community For Women Supporting Women

HI. HEY. HELLOOOOO.

I’m officially back and I’ve missed you all! I have been in a major writing rut lately.. taking random breaks from social media, trying to find some sort of inspiration to get my creative thoughts flowing again.

I can be scrolling through Instagram one moment and feel super inspired, then the next minute I’m comparing myself to someone else in the most negative way. I feel like it’s so easy to fall into this comparison trap. Everyone does it.. And if you “don’t”, you’re incredibly strong and I NEED you to teach me your ways.

With all of the comparing and just general negativity via social media, I want to create a safe place. A few months ago, I created a Facebook group (Picking Flowers Over Fights) where women of any age/ religion/political view/walk of life could talk to each other, ask questions and just be supported. The group is specifically for women, simply because I want everyone to feel safe talking about anything and EVERYTHING. (Please don’t be offended, male population. This was the easiest way to run things smoothly.) The only rules in the group are that we have to respect and support one another and we don’t talk about politics/religion. (Again, please don’t be offended.)

Not everyone will have similar beliefs or views on every topic. THAT’S OKAY. Thank goodness for varying beliefs and views.. That’s what makes our world beautiful!! The point of the group is to show that we can still support, respect and love each other, DESPITE our differing opinions.

As of now, the group has been incredible. Every single one of these women have not only met, but majorly exceeded my expectations of what I hoped the group could evolve into.

This is why I’m finally sharing with my blog community… I’d like to personally invite all of you to join “Picking Flowers Over Fights”!

I have to sort through and approve every request, so PLEASE make sure that you answer the questions when you send your request to join! This shows me that you understand and will follow the rules. If you do not answer the questions, I can’t approve you. (This gives me the right to remove anyone from the group who is not following the rules (I haven’t had to do this yet <3 )). We’ve had personal conversations about self care, beauty, babies, children, diseases.. SO MANY meaningful things that are hard to open up about through your normal Facebook Feed. We’re here to build each other up!

If you’re already a part of Picking Flowers Over Fights, this is a huge THANK YOU. I seriously love how sweet you’ve all been to one another. Our group wouldn’t be what it is, without YOU.

To join, CLICK HERE.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below!! <3

xo, Rachel Rowles

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3 Tricks To Grow Your Longest Hair, EVER

Having Greysley did some major damage to my hair.. So worth it, but so much hair loss. I lost clumps at a time and my once long, soft locks turned dry and brittle. Back in the fall, I decide to chop my hair and start fresh. My postpartum hormones were finally regulated and I felt like it was the perfect time to give my hair a healthy makeover. You know how when you first do something drastic to your hair, you kind of freak out? That was me. I was super pumped about my new lob, but it also didn’t take long for me to miss my belly-button-length mane. Since then, I’ve continued to take my prenatal vitamins (when I remember), but I just wasn’t seeing much new growth.

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to start (and stick to) a good healthy hair regimen. I’m on a mission to get my long hair back!!! Since I’ve started doing only a few new things, I’ve seen major hair growth.. I know that this seems far-fetched, but my hair has literally grown an inch in less than three weeks! So here I am, ready to share the hair growth secrets that work for me!!

Tip #1- Coconut Oil!! I’ve always been a major fan of coconut oil. I swear I use it more than any other product in this house! For years I’ve done a coconut oil hair soak that has always left my hair feeling amazing and so shiny afterward.. I don’t get fancy with mine, but you can always find cool recipes on Pinterest. I literally just wet my hair and then massage enough coconut oil all through it until my hair is a saturated greasy mess. Make sure that you massage your scalp and brush the oil down through your hair (get a cheap brush for this so that you don’t ruin your “good” brush). That’s it! I keep this in my hair over night and then in the morning, I wash it out. *Use an old pillowcase* When washing coconut oil out of your hair, “wash” it with conditioner first. The conditioner helps break down the oil and remove it from your strands! After this, you shampoo and then you condition AGAIN. I’ve been doing this once a week for the last month and it is making a huge difference!! (I linked the brand that I get ((in a big tub)), but you can find other brands in smaller containers!)

Tip #2-Collagen Powder!! I’m the worst at remembering to take vitamins or basically anything that involves a structured routine, but the one thing that I stay constant with is my morning coffee. When I started researching hair growth, I came across a lot of suggestions saying that collagen is a miracle worker. I mean, it makes complete sense.. Our hair, skin and nails are already made of collagen. When you add more of it into your diet, it can make make a huge impact on the health and growth of these body parts! After reading that you can simply mix a scoop of collagen powder into your morning coffee every day, I was sold! There’s no way that I will forget to make my coffee.. and guess what, haven’t forgotten a single day. I’ve been taking this for almost three weeks and I really think that this is helping! There are a ton of brands of collagen, but I chose this brand because it was cheap and it had amazing reviews!

Tip #3- Skip That Shampoo- This has been an on-going experiment for me and it grosses Brandon out like crazy! You really have to get your scalp used to this one (especially if your hair can be an oily mess like mine). I’ve been doing this since Greysley was born and at first it was just because I didn’t have time to shower. Now I do it for the health benefits for my scalp and hair. –Our hair needs the natural oils that our scalp produces in order for it to grow healthily. Because of this, I only wash my hair every 3 or 4 days. Depending on what I have going, I will either skip shampoo and just condition my hair or I will just completely not even wet my hair in the shower. Yes, that means that sometimes I go four whole days without putting shampoo or conditioner in my hair. Thank God Brandon is already stuck with me, AM I RIGHT?

 

These three tips are such small changes, but they make SUCH a HUGE difference! I swear guys, even if you just try out one of them and stick to it, you’ll see significant differences in your hair!! Mine is already SO much healthier!

 

A few other random hair products that I really love are:

Batiste Dry Shampoo (I get the dark hair version)- This is an absolute necessity for those no wash days!! It saves my life.

Chi Silk Infusion– Want super shiny hair?? This stuff is amazing!!! And a tiny bit goes a longgggg way, so it lasts forever!

Nume Curling Wand– I hate using curling irons and I feel like my flat iron majorly damages my hair, but this thing works wonders!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**These are just my personal results and items that I truly love and use. Results may vary. Please consult your physician before using products that may cause an allergy or any other negative reaction.**

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Orange You Glad I Said Better Skin

A week or so ago, I shared a recipe for a DIY facial moisturizer on my IG stories. I’ve had such amazing responses from others who have since tried/love this recipe and I’m still getting a lot of questions about it.. So, for anyone who didn’t get a chance to screenshot, here it is!

My adorable grandma made this lotion as a cute little stocking stuffer, so I can’t even take credit for it! It was intended to be a “body” lotion, but I decided to try it on my face and I fell in love!! It’s made my pores look much smaller and my dark spots fade dramatically. *One thing that I didn’t share in my stories and that I need to mention is that you just want to be careful when applying this prior to sun exposure. Citric essential oils make your skin very sensitive to sunlight.* Please also make sure that you are using high-quality, pure essential oils. I prefer Doterra or Young Living.

Orange You Glad Facial Moisturizer

½ cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup pure aloe vera gel

25-30 drops orange essential oil

Whisk ingredients together and store in lidded jar.

EASY.

A little goes a long way and I prefer to use my moisturizer before bed. My face is still typically oily in the morning, so I just apply my makeup or tinted moisturizer directly over my bed-time grease (gross, right?).

Obviously everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to various products. I’m sharing my own success with these recipe, in hopes that they will also help you!

 

 

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Doing The TwistShake

From the time that Greysley was just one month old, we struggled to get her to drink from a bottle. At the time, I was exclusively nursing, however, we would try a bottle at least once or twice a week. We hoped that if she figured it out, it would allow me to leave her with her dad while I had some independence (you know, like maybe a solo trip to grab groceries.) Week after week and one failed attempt after another, we pretty much gave up on the bottle. We tried again when she was about 5 months old and still, no interest. We tested different brands, different nipple-flows, EVERYTHING.. and still, nothing. At around 8 months, I started working a few hours a day and left Greysley with her grandparents. She still refused bottles and within two weeks, my supply tanked.

Finally, as I was getting desperate, Brandon’s saint of a cousin (shout out to Britt B) sent us a box of bottles that her daughters no longer used; inside the box was our winner. Greysley took an entire 6 ounces like it was nothing. This began our transition in to formula.

-The bottle that Grey finally took is linked below, but (at the time) was a $20 bottle and as much as it really did work, that’s just not realistic. SOOOO, flash forward to a month later:

Twist Shake Baby reached out to me about choosing one of their products to test and promote. After browsing their site and reading up on their reviews, I figured it was worth a shot. But would my picky baby be open to a different bottle? I was ready to find out.

Twist Shake offers a wide range of baby products; bottles, pacifiers, sippys, tableware, teethers and more. Their products come in a wide range of colors (EVEN BLACK!!! How freaking cute?!) and are BPA-, BPS- and BPF-free. The brand was created to provide safe products that are also stylish and practical. Their bottles, specifically, are created with an anti-colic system and offer a mixing net that helps break up the formula clumps.

I decided to test out one of their 9 oz. bottles and see if it could compete with our (ridiculous) $20 brand. After receiving our bottle in the mail, I washed and sanitized, then mixed up my formula.. The mixing process is incredible. Our formula gets clumpy and is hard shake up, but Twist Shake’s mixing net cut our shaking time in more than half. But would Grey take it?

YESSSSSSS.

She slurped that bottle down with no issues and even tried to hold it herself (she’d never done that before). Saying that I was impressed is a huge understatement. I thought, ‘surely this is just a weird one-time thing.. Grey doesn’t take just any bottle.’ So we tried it again at our next feeding. She put it down in no time. Weird…

This continued a few more times, until I finally gave up my skepticism. She loved this bottle. Twist Shake is my daughter’s new favorite bottle AND it makes the formula shaking process super simple AND their bottles are under $10? HUGE MOM WIN.

(I’m always annoyingly skeptical, so I went back and tested out a few of the bottles that we had originally tried and she still wouldn’t take them. This finally proved to me that Twist Shake was seriously magical.)

 

If you’d like to give Twist Shake a try, they were sweet enough to offer my readers a 30% off discount code. Just go to twistshake.com and use “RACHELROWLES30” at checkout to save!!

 

xo, Rachel

 

*Grey had taken a bottle for us in her first month, it was only after that when she started refusing them. In her first month she liked Tommee Tippee and then after her strike/before Twist Shake, she took Minbie (was $20, now it’s about half the price).

 

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Cyber Monday Roundup-2017

 

Happy Cyber Monday!!!

I planned on having a list of Black Friday deals for you, but after having an amazing (but crazy busy) Thanksgiving with our family, I ran out of time… Luckily, the list that I had put together for Black Friday is not only still on sale, but most items are now even MORE ON SALE for Cyber Monday!!

Make sure to check out the coupon codes at each store and stack as many savings as possible! If you haven’t signed up already, almost all of these sales are shoppable via Ebates.. So you’ll want to create an account!! If you click the link below, you can sign up and get $10 cashback on your first $25 purchase. Ebates also organizes all of each stores coupon codes for you, giving you the easiest access to great deals!!

www.ebates.com/r/RACHEL48728

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Holiday Gift Guide- Baby/Toddler Edition

With this being our daughter’s first Christmas, my husband and I decided that we wanted to start the tradition of having a “minimal Christmas.” We both love the idea of treating our children to gifts and going along with the Santa fun, but we decided that only giving four(ish) gifts would be best for our growing family. Last year, I saw a blog post from a family who had a very similar tradition and I thought this was the coolest idea! The family gifted their children based on, “something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read. Plus, whatever can fit in my stocking.” I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

In this guide, I’ll be sharing all of Greysley’s first Christmas gifts, as well as some other ideas that I think are adorable and really make me wish that we hadn’t implemented the four gift rule! (Holding back from buying your baby everything that you think they’d love is the hardest thing, EVER.) Because babies change and develop so quickly, I didn’t want to base this guide off of a specific age/number. I chose to include ideas for both babies and toddlers, trying to find options that can grow with your child.

  1. Teamson Kids Rustic Woodland Play Kitchen– I can’t even take the cuteness of this kitchen!!! This is Greysley’s “want” gift this year and I think I’m more excited than she will be. I loved to pretend and play house whenever I was little and I’m really hoping that Greysley has that type of imagination, too. Teamson Kids has the most adorable play kitchens and they are great quality. I love that this Rustic Woodland Kitchen is basically a miniature of our cabinets. It matches our home perfectly (major mom win). When I ordered this set, it was a bit more than I was willing to spend. This kitchen, in this color, is a new release for Teamson Kids and I found it on Hayneedle for $200. I then, found a $20 off coupon through Retail Me Not, which brought me down to $180. Now, the price jumped up to $280. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but if I see that the price goes back down, I’ll keep you posted!! Because I’m a freak and wanted to make sure that we had all of our pieces, my husband and I put this together last night. It took us a couple of hours, but it looks amazing! If the price does drop on this again, I HIGHLY recommend! If you’re not a fan of this style and are looking for less expensive options, here are a few of Teamson Kid’s other versions that are also perfect Christmas gifts!! Urban Adventure Grey. Urban Adventure Teal. Sunday Brunch Play Kitchen.
  2. EZPZ mini mat– These mats were featured on the show “Shark Tank” and since then, have taken off in the baby industry! They’re seriously brilliant!! EZPZ is a silicone mat, that replaces tableware for your child. These mats are dishwasher safe and stick right to the table or high chair, helping to keep you from having a super messy situation at every meal. This is Greysley’s “need” gift and I can’t wait to start using it. We got Greysley the blush color, but I’m loving all of their other colors and sizes, too. The mini mat can be rolled up, packed in the diaper bag and taken along anywhere… perfect for restaurants!!
  3. Baby Chuck Taylors– This one was a bit of a combo gift and isn’t even technically meant for Greysley, but we’re calling it her “something to wear.” My husband always complains that I have matching outfits for myself and Grey, so he’s been begging for a pair of shoes to wear with her. I found out that Nike.com lets you personalize a ton of their shoes, including Converse! Sooooo, I designed and personalized matching Chuck’s for Brandon and Greysley!! They are the cutest little sneakers that I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see Grey matching her daddy. (I’ll share pictures of their actual personalized sneakers after Christmas. I don’t want Brandon to see them yet.)
  4. Personalized Book by I See Me Books– I’ve used I See Me Books for gifts in the past and they have never disappointed. For Christmas, I wanted to personalize a book for Greysley’s “something to read.” I found this book called, “My Very Own Name” that tells an entire story, spelling out your child’s name. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and it’s the cutest little story!! *I also highly recommend their book, “If My Dog Could Talk.” We gave this as a gift to my dog-loving sister in law and made it all about her pet… Her reaction was priceless!
  5. Fisher-Price Classics Music Box Record Player– HOLY CUTE. I’m not letting myself buy this one, because we already have Grey’s four gifts.. but it is adorable!!! Fisher-Price came out with their Classics Collection and I love them all! They are remakes of some of their original toys, so they look vintage and cute. This record player is so fun!!
  6. Fisher-Price Classics See n’ Say Farmer Says– Another Classic, but it’s definitely a toy to grow with your child! There are other versions of this toy, but I’m loving the vintage look of this one. Perfect for teaching animals and their noises!
  7. Joovy Spoon Walker– I’ve talked about this product before, in my Neutral Baby Gear post, but we are still loving it and I think it would make a perfect “big” gift item for any baby! Greysley literally RUNS around our house in this walker. The tray is removeable and dishwasher safe, making it the perfect place to feed her snacks. The tray is also really big! I wasn’t sure how I felt about having such a big tray, until Grey started getting into everything. Now, this huge tray helps to limit her reach!!
  8. JellyCat Robyn Reindeer– I found this stuffed reindeer a few weeks ago and have been thinking about how cute it is ever since!! This would make the perfect gift alongside Jellycat’s reindeer book or any Christmas book.
  9. Old Navy Honeycomb Beanie– I scored this beanie on sale about a month ago and Greysley has been living in it!! I swear in the last two weeks, we’ve gotten at least 75 compliments on it. Every time that we go somewhere, she wears it and everyone is obsessed (me too). She keeps it on and it matches everything! Old Navy is always running some sort of sale, so make sure to use a coupon code!!
  10. Melissa and Doug Stainless Steel Pots and Pans– This is going to be a first birthday gift for Greysley, but I had to share! All of Melissa and Doug’s products are amazing quality, but these pots and pans are so fun for a learning baby. I’d rather not have Grey using my pots and pans to clang around, but these are perfect sized (and shiny!!).
  11. Babylit Books– I found these books on Amazon a few weeks ago and I am soooo in love!! I’m a huge reader and I’m a pretty big fan of (some of) the classics. These books are primers of classic literature pieces, made specifically for babies. If you already know the classic stories, you’ll think that these books are adorable! They typically only have a few words per page, but they’re focused on teaching colors/shapes/letters/animals, etc.

 

If you have any questions about any of these products, please ask in the comments!! Happy Holiday Shopping!

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