Baby Faves: 2 Years

The time has come.

Clara is two years old.  And before you say anything, I fully realize and accept that she is no longer a baby. But like Mariah reminds us, she will always be my baby.

The following are a few items that we have found useful. We have also discovered several items that we thought would be useful, but turned out not to be useful at all. Because at the ripe old age of two, this human has a full-blown personality and has developed likes and dislikes (the horror!). Subsequently, one or two of her favorites are most certainly not mine. These include opening and closing drawers and cabinet doors. Dumping out the contents of my makeup drawers onto the carpet and selecting the brightest shade of hot pink lip stain to smear across her face.

Let’s move on to the things that we all agree work well.

First off, sleep – arguably the most important thing in both her and our lives.

You might know that we utilize the sleep sack as not only a wearable blanket, but it kinda sets the tone. We put that sucker on her, and she knows it is time for bed. And now that she is giant, the little versions for 24 months and under just won’t cut it. Enter Kyte baby!

This is the Kyte Baby Sleep Bag Walker in the color cloud. It is some of the softest material I have ever felt. I would easily wear this myself. All Kyte Baby items are made from buttery soft bamboo rayon fabric and it seriously feels cloud-like.

This sleep sack is labeled for sizes 18-26 months and is in the mid-weight option. I feel like this will fit her forever, due to the fact that it has legs! She still has mobility but due to the tapered leg, it keeps her warm and cozy.

It is also worth noting that Kyte Baby has sleep sacks for the little guys too. I MEAN.

And the color options, come onnn!

Onto the next category – potty training!

We got this little pink toilet for Clara when she was maybe 18 months old. It also “flushes”, i.e. makes the flushing noise and she loves it.

We are still not using this in any regular way. Per discussions with our pediatrician, we are aiming to keep potty encounters fun, light-hearted and positive. We have some successes and plan to get serious once she is ready.

We have also been using a portable potty and training timer. The Potette Plus is pretty cool – a collapsible, portable toilet with liners that folds flat. The 3 in 1 Potty Training Timer is a nightlight and it also plays soft music. You can set it for 30, 60 or 90 minutes and it will light up and play music when it’s time to try using the bathroom. We have been using it as a timer for all kinds of things, and we love it!

And now let’s address bathing!

We have been loving Earth Baby products on our sensitive-skinned little one! Their bubble bath is so great, because it is all-natural, organic and safe for sensitive skin. We also love their shampoo + body wash and conditioner + conditioner.

After her bath, we slather her in CeraVe Baby Lotion. In my experience, the more boring the lotion, the better when it comes to her skin.

 

Next up we have miscellaneous faves, which change week to week and range from K-cups  to ball point pen art installations on the side of my desk.

Also, the kid does love her some literature. Here are some of her faves:

No, David! by David Shannon books are everything. First of all, the main character…need I say more? And the mischief he creates is just so Clara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She is also very obsessed with Time to Pee! by Mo Willems. We can all recite it by now and the illustrations are too good!

We are also entering the phase of life when characters suddenly become their favorites. She LOVES Elmo, J.J from Cocomelon and most of all – Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

She requests “Hah-Dog TV” (Hot Dog TV) every morning, which translates to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (they sing a song called “Hot Dog!” at the end, hence the request).

So that’s it. We are in full-blown toddler mode and I do love almost every moment. The almost moments come and we try to take them in stride. Pretty easy when she lets me hold her like this:

*The products from Kyte Baby, KalenCom and Earth Baby were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

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Scentsy & Home Fragrance Reviews

I feel 400 years old writing this.

I mean, look at me. I am a woman writing about candles and wax melts ON HER BLOG. In 2021. Yeah…2009 called. It wants it’s jeans from The Buckle back. But it’s okay because like so many great trends of the 2000’s (hello Juicy suits!), candles, wax other smelly-goods are totally worthy of  this humbling effort.

This also necessitates a briefing on wax melts. First there’s Walmart wax, which offers a very wide variety, with prices ranging from .99  (Mainstays) to the $2 (Scentsantionals, Better Homes & Gardens) all the way up to bougie $4 and $5 bars from Yankee Candle and Woodwick.

I have tried all of these brands and there is definitely a difference. The higher priced waxes simply seem to last longer for me. Meaning, I can leave a Yankee wax melt in my warmer for 2-4 days (switched on for 8-10 hours) whereas the others will only throw for about 1-2.

Then there’s Scentsy, which is direct sales only. Scentsy wax bars tend to last the longest for me, about 3-4 days depending on the scent. They are also the most expensive at $6 a bar, but I have gotten some great deals from my Scentsy dealer Ashlee. Click here if you are interested!

Let’s start with this grouping, before I started ordering from Scentsy.

Yankee Candle Pink Sands – SUCH a nostalgic, holy grail scent for me. If you have never smelled Pink Sands before, get on it. Because it will change your life.

Yankee Candle Warm and Cozy – I thought this was going to be a dupe for marshmallow fireside and womp womp…it isn’t even close. It is woodsy, smoky and musky. Not my favorite.

Better Homes & Gardens Sugared Lavender Twist – I am not a huge lavender person, which is why I decided to try this “sugared” version. I actually did like it in the bathroom, but got a little  tired of it after awhile.

Better Homes & Gardens Vanilla Cookie Crunch – This is SUCH a great vanilla bakery scent. When I first melted this, David walked in the house and said, “Oh my god you are making cookies!” It was that authentic.

Scentsationals Iridescent – This smelled great in the packaging but was such a light performer. Would not repurchase.

And my first Scentsy order! *Notice the samples included here (the scent circle, bath soak and tester cubes). She also gave me extra bars to try for free.

Christmas Cottage – This is a lovely spicy, citrusy scent that is the PERFECT Christmas smell. I gave one to my sister for her birthday.

Silver Bells – I think this is my favorite Scentsy bar so far! It is a mixture of (brace yourself) candy canes, pear, vanilla and caramel. Sounds weird but is SO amazing. And this scent lingers for days.

Breakfast in Bed – This smells like pumpkin and raspberry pastries, cinnamon sugar and vanilla. SO amazing!

I’m Snow Over It – Definitely a winter-berry scent. I love this in the bedroom but it did not perform the best in a larger space.

Amazon Rain – Love this for the bathroom. I mostly get notes of melon , coupled with a soft floral. Very pleasant, soothing and perfect for the bedroom or bathroom.

My latest Scentsy order came with a new Spring/Summer 2021 catalogue and this adorable sparkly pen!

This time, I ordered:

Sweet Plum Pastry – I was not sure I liked this when I first smelled this, but it is amazing when warmed. It really smells like a plum tart baking in the oven and there is a slight coconutty finish. I am obsessed.

Cutie Pie Cupcake – This smells like orange dreamsicle cake with fluffy frosting. Makes you want to lick the air.

Dancing Sugar Plums – I am not surprised I love this. Basically, it smells like a rich plum mixed with cinnamon spice. Perfect for the holidays!

Next up are the candles we have tried out:

Bath & Body Works Cereal Marshmallow Bar – This has such a uniquely sweet scent to it. Yes it smells like a Rice Krispie Treat, but I also pick up a limey note. I also just noticed this candle is going for like $50 on eBay. Haha!

Thymes Fraiser Fir – Our Aunt Sandi had this candle going in her bathroom one night in December when we came over for dinner. I was instantly in love! I said “What is that amazing candle!?” and she pulled one out and gave it to me. It is a staple in her house each holiday season and for darn good reason. This is the BEST tree scent I have ever smelled. It is so lovely and if Aunt Sandi likes it, you know it’s good!

Which candles and wax bars should I try next?

It is a New Year.

I feel like this is the celebration 2021 deserves.

And honestly, it’s the Peacock app for me.

Yes, The Office moved to Peacock. And for us anxious people who despise change (especially when it comes to our #1 comfort show) liked Jim, Michael and Angela right where they belonged, on Netflix. The move to Peacock means we must now download a new app? Pay more for the no-ad versions? Dwight, you ignorant slut!

But it’s not just The Office. It is of course, the senselessness that went down at the capitol building too. And the turmoil that has ensued since. It is also my grow-out. The rain. The looming 89273 days of rain ahead. And the 40 more after that. My mom-guilt. The fact that my twice weekly trips to Goodwill are all I have somedays. Or at least, that’s the way it can feel.

But then I realize that my gorgeous husband downloaded the Peacock app for me. And maybe my grow out is a look. And oh! Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race just started! And there is a stash of E’s leftover Halloween candy in the way back of the junk drawer. And really, could Clara be sweeter?? See, things are ok.

And before we move allll the way into this new year, let’s review the holidays. Because while they were covidy and weird, they were awesome.

For starters, I tried these KISS Jelly Fantasy Nails on my birthday and they stayed on for like 10 days!

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day here in Portland. A pretty big change from years prior, but I have to say – it was SO nice being home. It was David and I’s first time doing the Santa thing and we had so much fun.

I received the below sweatshirt which is just *chef’s kiss*.

Then we went to the Tri-Cities to see my family!

We discovered Clara’s affinity for a pepperoni stick.

And then it was her birthday party! Mickey Mouse theme of course.

Check out my visor! An antique find from Auntie Amy & Shannon.

I did my first high pony in her hair and omg I die.

So far our new year has been spent hanging up our amazing holiday gifts:

Starbucks runs

The infamous matte black tumblers!

And donuts.

Happy New Year!

Clara is Two

This year on the birthday of our sweet Clara Jane, I decided my feelings would be best expressed in a song, from the motion picture “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little girl at play?


I don’t remember growing older
When did they?


When did she get to be a beauty?


When did she grow to be so tall?


Wasn’t it yesterday that they were small?


Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

 

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Happiest of holidays to you all!

This year has brought with it many a crappy thing.  Corona, Charli D’Amelio, wildfires. I am sure you are all aware. Today I would like to provide a list of what Martha calls “good things”. Items that warrant perpetuating good ol’ fashioned consumer-driven materialism. Sure to provide the giver with all the warm fuzzies  and the recipient with some quality goods.

Here we go!

Makeup/Beauty

Casablanca Eyelashes & Adhesive – $20, $15

  • Perfect for: That person who loves a false lash! This is a small brand and you are sure to impress.
  • My description: Lashes that are comfortable, fluffy and gorgeous and idiot-proof glue.

Formula 10.0.06 Soak It In Vitamin C Revitalizing Lip Balm – $4

  • Perfect for: A person living in a cold climate with lips!
  • My description:  It’s like a blanket for your lips, with a very subtle sweet orange scent.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil – $25

  • Perfect for: Anyone with dry skin.
  • My Description: This is the ultimate in moisturization for the bath/shower.

Lyda BeautyLydLyda Beauty Cleopatra Cat Eye Stamp – $25

  • Perfect for: The person on your list with chronic uneven winged liquid liner.
  • My Description: This eyeliner glides on like a dream and the cat-eye stamp on one end makes achieving the perfect wing a CINCH. I did my liner in the above photo in approx. 20 seconds.

Home

David Rose Travel Mug/Mug – $18, $11

  • Perfect for: The rampant Schitt’s Creek fan or someone named David or (in my case) someone married to David.
  • My Description: I hear Moira and Alexis’ voice every time I see this.

First Edition Little Women Framed Cover Art – $65

  • Perfect for: The literary!
  • My Description: How cute would this be in a lil’ reading nook? They also have Pride & Prejudice, The Secret Garden and several others. The site Uncommon Goods has some really neat stuff (yes, I just said neat).

Oster Cordless Wine Opener – $17

  • Perfect for: The budding wino (read: all of us).
  • My description: Sadly this might be my most used household gadget. It also comes  with a handy dandy foil cutter.

SOi Alluring Amber Shimmer Candle – $18

  • Perfect for: Just about anyone who appreciates a good smellin’ home with a feminine touch!
  • My Description: A candle that smells amazing and doubles as a very nice Q-tip holder afterwards.

Kids

Scenties Hair Ties & Scrunchies – $7, $11

  • Perfect for – The scrunchie or hair accessory obsessed pre-tween.
  • My description – These are stretch and sniff hair ties y’all. A kid with some Scenties around their wrist is definitely going to MAD COOL.

Rainbow Suitcase Set – $33

  • Perfect for: Any child like mine who enjoys, wait for it… opening and closing things. And also…putting things inside of other things.
  • My Description: These are cute and functional! A gift that would please both the child and their parent.

Sleeping Beauty Replica Journal –  $30

  • Perfect for: The emotional, die-hard Disney enthusiast.
  • My Description: I audibly gasped when I saw this at the Disney Store. It is as stunning as it appears. And yes, it is a journal. Could there be a more majesty place to write down your T&F?

Hess Trucks – Prices Range

  • Perfect for: Any little kid (or big!) who appreciates trucks or cars or things that go!
  • My Description: These are top of the line toy trucks. So realistic and detailed.

Clothing/Accessories

Minnetonka Men’s Moose Hide Fleece Moccasins – $77

  • Perfect for: The man with huge-ass feet.
  • My Description: My husband wears a 15. Any shoes is hard to come by for him, but especially slippers. These go up to a 16X and he absolutely loves them.

Nordstrom Frosted Plush Robe – $79

  • Perfect for: Anyone who is ALWAYS cold.
  • My description: This is the the warmest, most buttery soft piece of robe I have ever felt.

Cath Kidston Pajamas – $54 (on sale)

  • Perfect for: Your mom
  • My description: The cutest printed pajamas I have ever seen. And they’re from the UK, cheerio!

Men’s Patagonia Nano-Puff Jacket – $199

  • Perfect for: Any male living in the PNW.
  • My Description: A wardrobe staple, this jacket is lightweight, warm and waterproof!

My Holiday Decor

Happy Christmas! And Hanukkah! And everything else!

And also – pretty please understand the reasons I share these photos of my holiday decor:

  1.  I friggen’ LOVE decorating for the holidays.
  2. I am very proud of the fact that mostly everything was purchased used, deeply discounted or was free from my mom.
  3. Nothing makes me happier than photographing my tree.

So without further adieu, here we go!

Here is our entry table. I would love to do more with this and put down a layer of that pillow-fluff fake snow but Clara can easily reach everything. She has already pulled down all the trees she can get her mitts on and it is a miracle she hasn’t scratched her cornea with all the glitter.

I got the big, realistic looking tree from a yard sale last summer for $2 and the other larger white tree from my favorite local boutique, Roger and Ives for $7 during their after Christmas sale. The two other gold trees were given to me by Nan and the smaller ones were Target Dollar Spot finds. Oh! And the little light-up sign is from Walgreens just a couple of weeks ago.

I was so excited to decorate our living room this year. I got the happy holidays pillow on the couch at Goodwill for $4 and is originally from Pier 1. Yes, I thoroughly cleaned and sanitized it.

My mom told me to add a pop of red this year and I am still working on it. I found the flocked garland at Goodwill for $5 and the two trees were yard sale finds for $2 apiece. The stockings are from Hobby Lobby for 50% off and the four angel stocking holders cost $5.50 TOTAL from Oriental Trading Company. They are ceramic and meant to be painted but I like how they look as they are! The candles stay out year-round, as do the mirrors.

The red snowflakes, as well as the two prints on either side of the mirrors are from good ol’ Joann Fabrics! The store that gives my little sister PTSD.

I happened to stumble in there when they had their 1-day 70% off holiday decor sale and I really cleaned up. I got the two red snowflakes and these two large prints for $30 total.

And let’s go ahead and call me out for breaking my own decorating rule of only having one or two “quote” pictures in the house. Because apparently for the holidays, all bets are off. I have at least three now but damn, I love em!

I added more red to this little chiavari-style end table and had to follow this year’s trend of gnomes (they are everywhere!). I got this little guy at Target for $5 and just swapped out the photos in the frames for holiday ones.

And finally, our tree!

I am still working on getting more red in there…I know I need more. The snowflakes and poinsettia clips are from Dollar Tree. Mostly every other ornament is a Nancy cast-off.

I did not do much with this little table where E does her homework. The “Noel” bunting was $6 from Amazon and our menorah is another Goodwill find! These magnolias stay out year-round and are from Target. I got them for $1.50 a stem!

Here is my final Joann’s quote print. I HAD to. It is so pretty!

I put out a few little items on our buffet, including this Nutcracker from Hobby Lobby that we got for Clara’s birthday last year (it was a Nutcracker theme!). The gold harp is from Goodwill for $2 and they had several more. I am kicking myself for not getting at least two of them.

I decided that our family room would be devoted to Hanukkah. It works perfect because I already have some blue going on in there. The dreidel garland and Happy Hanukkah sign were purchased at full-price from Target because they were too cute to pass up.

Yes, I put a tree in our Hanukkah room but I love the glow when we watch TV! We have lots of family ornaments here and I have some star of David ornaments on the way.

That wraps up (get it!) our holiday decor for this year! So very excited to say goodbye to 2020 🙂

My 2020 Christmas List

DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH!

Alright, let’s see it! Who has put up their Christmas decor? Don’t be shy! Ours is going up this weekend and I am personally very proud of myself for holding off this long. I MEAN…(insert any 2020 meme here).

We need you, Christmas. We need you so bad.

To do my part, I will be sharing my 2020 Christmas list with you today. A time-honored tradition that, at the very least, will get me in the holiday spirit! Stay tuned for a holiday gift guide I plan to put together in the coming weeks.

And yes, this is my actual Christmas list. These are items I truly love.

 

  1. Elle and Emm Troop Beverly Hills Tee Shirt – Size Medium

Give me all things Troop Beverly Hills. It is my aesthetic. Or really, give me any clothing item from Elle and Emm because all their things are right up my alley.

2. Scentsy Cinderella Carriage Warmer

I want to put this in my bedroom and look at it everyday. It really is that simple. Also you can put wax melts inside to make your place smell nice. If you need to get any Scentsy products, you can buy them from my pal Ashlee, here!

3. Donna Karen Deodorant

 

Yes I have deodorant on my Christmas list. I have never tried this due to the price tag but always wanted to. Figured I would ask my loved ones for it instead!

4. AE High-Waisted Jogger – Size 8 XL

I love these joggers from American Eagle but need to order them in an extra long. They are really comfortable and I do not own anything like them.

5. Davines Oi Shampoo

This is a super bougie shampoo my sister-in-law Shannon got me hooked on. It smells amazing and there is just nothing like it. You can really only buy it at salons or order it from their website, but I promise it is worth every penny!

6. Old Navy Sweater – Size Medium Tall (light or dark gray)

I have had my eye on this quarter-zip sweater from Old Navy for awhile now. It comes in a tall version but must be special ordered. Love it SO much!

7. Target Candle Stick Holders

My sister Megan has convinced me that every mantle must have these skinny black candle holders. I do what my sister tells me.

8. Maison de L’Amour Sweatshirt – Size M/L

LOVE this sweatshirt and several others from Elle and Emm. Translates to “House of Love”!