Do You Have a Collection?

As a kid, I had a rock collection. Whenever our family would go on vacations, I’d always check out the gift shop, picking out a piece of quartz or soapstone or obsidian, or maybe an arrowhead. I kept them in a wooden box with my name on it (hand painted with wooden letters) and I’d proudly pull it out of my desk drawer, open it up and marvel at my precious picks when friends came over. They probably couldn’t care less.

curio collector's box anthropologie

So, what is it with collecting stuff? I found this interesting article about why creatives tend to collect stuff and it turns out there’s actually some psychology behind it. Did you know that Tom Hanks collects vintage typewriters? How cool!

Mumbles and I buy Christmas ornaments whenever we go on trips, but I am usually less than enthused with my options and oftentimes must resort to a key chain that I later disassemble to turn into a suitable ornament. So now I’m thinking I definitely need to start a new rock collection…

What about you? Do you collect anything?
P.S. Isn’t it fascinating that the article also points out how some people use Pinterest to “digitally collect” things? Oh, and speaking of geology, here’s how Mumbles and I met.

 

[image via Anthropologie -- isn't it gorgeous?!!]

Baby Registry Favorites

Now that Declan is almost 6 months new (seriously, whoa) I’ve had plenty of time to put to use all the items I registered for.  Here’s a roundup of products we’ve gotten a lot of use out of these past few months:

Stick Girl JAM Baby Registry Favorites 1

 

1. Aden+Anais swaddling blankets are on everyone’s list and for good reason too. They’re soft from the get go and large enough to make swaddling simple. Yes, they’re expensive blankets. Get them anyway. Sevenly sometimes has them in stock, which is neat because $7 from your purchase will benefit a worthy cause.

2. Puj Tub — What a great design! Folds flat for easy storage, has magnets so it can stay hidden propped up between a shower curtain and liner (sneaky!) or if you prefer, it’s got a hole to be hung by a hook on the wall, and it conforms shape inside a sink to cushion your little babe for bath time.  Declan has now outgrown this but we used it exclusively for bath time up until a few weeks ago. If you have a larger sink, you’ll get longer use out of it. Now we sometimes use it underneath our knees as a cushion while we bathe him in the tub in this Primo EuroBath.

3. Even if you plan on breastfeeding, sometimes you need to give your babe a bottle. This was definitely the case for us and we were happy we had some on hand in advance. A lot of people like the convenience of the Playtex drop-ins but it also means you have to keep buying the drop-in liners since they’re a one-time use and throw away type of deal. Like the k-cups of the baby bottle world, if you will. We use Born Free glass bottles and really like them and we also have a few Dr. Brown’s plastic since we didn’t know if our daycare provider would allow for glass (she does).  I also still really love these Lifefactory glass bottles that can transition to a sippy cup top, but keep in mind that glass is heavier for littles to handle (hence the silicone sleeve to protect if dropped).

4. Wubbanub. It’s so fun to say. And a clever little thing too. It’s a small little stuffed animal attached to a soothie pacifier, which helps little ones hold on to it so you’re not constantly fishing it off the floor or the creases of the car seat. 

5. Zippered Wet Bag. This is one of those items I didn’t register for but purchased for my diaper bag after he was born so we could put dirty diapers and soiled clothes in it while on-the-go.  It’s either this or buy dog poop bags and keep a roll in your diaper bag and car. (But note that if you buy the ones specifically marketed as disposable dirty diaper baggies, they’re like 5 times more expensive than dog poop bags. You’re welcome. Check out Arm & Hammer, PoopBags.com (for real, that’s a legit website) or any generic brand.  If you’re like me and shop a lot on diapers.com/soap.com just click on the wag.com tab and buy them there and save yourself some money.) I have this wet bag and we love it. We also bought this multi-compartment wet bag for daycare so they could send home dirty clothes in a separate compartment than the clean ones.

 

Stick Girl JAM baby registry favorites 2

6. I have a pretty floral nursing cover, aptly titled (and embroidered on the cover for all to see) Hooter Hiders that stays in my diaper bag. I love it because it has a wire open top to allow some air flow for the little guy. I also adore the Dria Cover, which stays in my pumping bag for work.  I have the Oslo style, though they’re all quite lovely and I wore it multiple times while pregnant. In addition to allowing you to nurse discreetly, both do triple duty as a car seat cover or blanket (but the Dria is much softer and more breathable fabric).

7.  The NoseFrida. Yes, the snotsucker. I know, I know. Sounds gross but it works. And no, you don’t get boogers in your mouth. Promise. Plus, it’s oddly gratifying to see that you’re actually getting gunk out of your kid’s nose. Especially since they’re screaming and wailing all the while.

8. Alba Botanica Multi-Purpose Un-Petroleum Jelly has become a magic elixir in our house. We use it to combat the tiny red bumps and chapped skin Declan gets from all the drooling and hand-slobbering, and to prevent diaper rash.  Even Mumbles and I keep one on our bathroom sink to use for cuticles (if your nail beds suck), parched lips, and dry skin patches.

9. Speaking of snot, Declan’s full of it. Poor kid has had a rough time getting rid of congestion so we run this cool mist humidifier almost every night to keep the air moist so it’s easier for him to sleep soundly and breeeeeaaathe. The machine is very quiet but it does provide a bit of peaceful ambient noise.

10. A Sound Machine. The rule in our house is that baby doesn’t go to sleep without some noise going on.  Because, if he’s put to bed with total silence, the smallest thing like a spoon scraping the first glorious bite of ice cream out of the bowl will wake him up. Not cool, bro.  We’ve got the cute Sleep Sheep from Pottery Barn and it does the job well, though it automatically shuts off after a while. Baaaaaa!

11. Halo Sleep Sack. Since blankets in the crib are a no-no, a wearable blanket is a must. We actually learned about the Halo from a daycare center we interviewed and it’s worked out really well for us.  We might need to get a lighter fabric for summertime, but it helps keep Declan’s feet corralled so he’s not kicking and flailing in his sleep. His arms are another story, however.  We gave the Woombie a try but once he was done with the swaddle phase, he really wanted his arms free.  If you’re looking for a swaddle/straight-jacket experience for baby, give the Woombie a go.

Stick Girl JAM baby registry favorites 3

 

12. Dressing up your kid is probably one of the most fun parts but the honest side of having a newborn is that you get really sick of changing diapers and outfits two minutes after you got your wiggle worm into the last clean one.  Enter zippered pajamas, aka the best things ever invented.  The most superb ones zip closed from the neck down so in the middle of the night when your baby is all snugly and warm, you can just unzip from the foot to belly and get that diaper changed quick. Genius!

13. I don’t know about your baby, but Declan is a spitty kiddy. I never registered for bibs because I associated them with eating food, but Mumbles and I had quite the “aha!” moment when we realized he should be wearing them for the constant drool and aforementioned spit up. Luckily one of my girlfriends gifted us this one from Cotton On, which quickly became the one we reach for first because of it’s large square size.

14. If you’re doing daycare, a backpack or tote bag (with or without your kid’s name on it) is necessary. The bag will carry extra sets of clothes, pacifier, teething ring, burp cloth, socks, diaper cream, lotion, sunscreen, etc. and if it is big enough, would also carry a cooler with bottles for the day. Throw in an empty wet bag so nanny can put soiled clothes in the wet bag and keep everything else clean. Here’s how we do it: we have this cooler lunch tote from Kipling with Declan’s name on it (so the bottles don’t get mixed up), and a wet/dry bag which has two zippered pockets – one for soiled clothes that’s empty at the beginning of the day and another pocket where we put his clean outfits).

15. Burp Cloths. Sure, there’s lots of fancy ones out there and some of our friends and family even made us some really adorable ones. Buuuut, my favorite go-to burp cloths to keep on hand are old school ones like these Gerber cloth diapers. Super cheap, absorbent and big enough to actually catch projectile grossness coming out of your baby’s face and onto the clean shirt you just put on.

 

3 Things I could live without and notes on other items:

My one big baby splurge was this Graham Glider from West Elm. I love it. It’s in our living room. It’s beautiful.  That said, if I was tight on space, I could probably do without it. Declan’s nursery is quite large so we had room to keep our full daybed in there to act like a couch/sleeping space for nights when little man needs some extra cuddle time.  It’s the perfect spot to nurse and do story time for us.  Speaking of nursing, I don’t use the My Brest Friend as often as I should. I should. I really should. And, I’d recommend you use one or the Boppy…or something.  I’ve gotten in the habit of just propping up my arm with pillows but what I can tell you is that my posture is total crap now. And my neck hurts from hunching down.  Lastly, everyone said that I must get a wipe warmer and while it’s a nice spa-like luxury on baby’s bum, truth is, Declan could really care less. When we’re on-the-go or at Grammie’s house, he’s not getting warmed wipes and he is just as smiley so I don’t recommend that one unless you find that your baby absolutely hates being changed and you need something to make the experience more enjoyable.

More…

Of course there’s a zillion things I didn’t mention like video monitors, diapers, wipes, cribs, bedding, changing pads + covers, toys, books, diaper pails, baby carriers, car seats, strollers…geesh! Little babies need lots of stuff!  If you want to pour over more baby registry roundups (I read blog posts and product reviews for hours on end!), clear your afternoon schedule to check out some of my favorites from Lucie’s List, The Wise Baby, Young House Love, 100 Layer CakeletA Cup of JoBubby and Bean, Oh So Beautiful Paper, and Mint Arrow.

 

 

Dog Days

Have you been following the recovery of Bruno, the Anaheim Police K9 who was shot in the line of duty? I’ve been tracking his progress via Facebook updates from here and here. I just love hearing about all the love and support this courageous guy is getting.

If you’re as super obsessed with your dog as I am (or looking to become a crazy pup parent), you might want to head on over to the OC Marketplace tomorrow and Sunday for Spring Pet Days. I got word from those helpful SoCal Honda dealers that they’ll be on site giving away some goodies like leashes and collars and helping you pick a furry new friend. Kevin has forbid that I attend because I’d probably come home with three. And Lord knows Baxter is already quite the handful (every morning I have to give him a quick bath because he goes out romping in the yard and comes back all muddy!) but sometimes I do think he’d love a companion to hang with while we’re at work. Maybe once we get a little better adjusted to life with a baby (read: more sleep). If you go, say hi to the dogs (and the helpful Honda folks in blue shirts) and let me know if you come home with a new furry family member!

Have you ever adopted or rescued a pet? Here’s how we met Baxter.

Happy Friday, friends!


I was contacted by SoCal Honda Dealers asking for my help in spreading the news about the event, which I’m happy to do because it sounds awesome. I did not receive payment or product in exchange for this post (though that would’ve been nice) and all thoughts are my own.

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Sweet Stuff: March Link Roundup

A few of my favorite finds from around the web this month:

How to wrangle a fitted sheet. Seriously, why is this always soooooo hard?

Give this kid a cupcake already!

The Milwaukee Brewers added a stray dog to their roster. Adorableness ensues.

The famous voice of the movies has passed away.

Do dogs react to magic?

I love when Humans of New York asks “”If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?” (here’s one of the best answers)

Soldier carries Flat Stanley for 10 years before returning it to student.

Bruno, the police K9, is getting lots of love while recovering after being shot in line of duty.

I tried my first cronut (cresnut, dossant, whatever you want to call it). Crossants + Donuts + Custard + Strawberries…how is it that these have only just come to be in the last year? I’m hooked.

dks donut cresnut via yelp
For more fun finds, check out my Inspiration board (then proceed to get lost on Pinterest for hours).

Where to Buy Baby Clothes

I fell in love with this Jesus Saves, Bro shirt from Riley Clay Designs on Etsy (found via @modernminiresale and promptly ordered one for Declan in 12-18 months which he won’t be able to wear for a long while but I just can’t get over how cute he’s going to look waddling around in it learning to walk…I digress…) and came to learn that she sometimes sells goof up shirts like the one pictured below (@shoprileyclay on Instagram). Like I care that there’s a tiny white ink mark on the sleeve?  Honey, that thing is gonna be covered in spit up in no time!  Givvidame!  Also, her “Embrace Messy Hair” shirt for little ladies is adorable for moms who are just keepin’ it real. Another one on my list to buy? This Man Cub shirt and the Cali Cub tee, but I’m hoping to score them second hand because they’re pricey.  Oh boy am I in trouble if Mumbles is reading all this….

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That Tee via Riley Clay Designs @shoprileyclay on Instagram

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That Tee via Riley Clay Designs @shoprileyclay on Instagram

It’s probably not a surprise that I went crazy on the after Christmas sales at BabyGap.com (puhlease, I don’t leave the house anymore. Remember this disaster?) and JC Penney.  JC Penney??? Yes: JC Penney.  That Joe Fresh line has too much good stuff, I tell ya!  With the exception of the top gray sweater (H&M) and the white and blue pullover (from an Instagram shop), everything in the photo below is Joe Fresh.  That red & black buffalo check coat? $12. For realsies.

StickGirlJAM where to buy cute baby boy clothes

Other favorite brands to shop for baby are Peek, PrefreshSovereign Code (all available at Nordy’s), H&M and Zara — those gosh darn leggings are just toooo good! The J.Crew baby line is growing slowly but it’s still too expensive.

Where are your favorite places to shop for the bambinos?  Find more of my favorite little man styles on Pinterest

P.S. What are your thoughts on Freshly Picked moccasins?  I know, I know. They’re totally adorable and chic. But, come on! They’re $60! I want this pair but I just can’t knowing Declan will only be in them for like 15 minutes and then he’ll grow out of them. I’ll probably cave and get him a pair for Christmas this year. What do you think? Have ‘em? Love ‘em? 

Sweet Stuff: SuAmi Crochet Miniatures on Etsy

Okay, in full honesty I have no idea what you’d even do with these but @littlenuggetrepublic shared photos on Instagram of a lovely artist’s miniature crochet animals. And, they are just the cutest little things you ever did see. I mean, truly. Like throw pillows, they serve no purpose except to cause people like me to smile in pure delight. What intricate artistry! How do you even discover you have this talent? I’m riveted!  And good on her because over 2,700 people have purchased these miniature miracles in her Etsy shop and they sure aren’t cheap — the items range from $15-$220!

I think I should get this micro Baxter lookalike to keep on my desk at work, don’t you?

maltese SuAmi crochet miniature

You should get this tiny monkey guy to put in your medicine cabinet so when you get up in the morning and you reach in, bleary eyed and pissed off that it’s early and you’re awake, you see this little guy just hanging out, sitting on your dental floss, waiting to see you with a smile and a thumbs up to tell you to have a nice day.

monkey SuAmi crochet miniature

P.S. The pair of polar bears reminds me instantly of “On the Night You Were Born,” which makes me tear up a little. 

P.S.S. If Kristen Bell and I were friends in real life (let’s just pretend, shall we?), I’d get her this mini sloth to just hang out with her all the time. Because I’m a really thoughtful friend like that. 

Thoughts on The Bachelor – The Last Juan

Ay yi yi. What a way to go. And what a flop of a season, right? The headlines this morning are hilarious…
‘The Bachelor’ implodes in real time during most awkward finale ever, thanks to Juan Pablo”
Juan Pablo Makes His Pick And It’s Okay?”
“‘The Bachelor’ season finale recap: Bait and Ditch

Bachelor Final Rose

Here are some of my thoughts from last night’s finale…
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