Adelaide’s Wishlist

 

the baloney bug 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

It’s that time of year again.  Except if you’re a baby, it’s the first time.  I’m so excited for Adelaide’s first Christmas, for her first visit to Santa (will she smile or will she scream?) for her first time in our annual Christmas card.  I let her open a gift over Thanksgiving with my family thinking she would just love ripping the paper open, but instead she loved eating the paper.  At least she had fun, right?

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7-8 Month Favorites

the baloney bug

1. Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover- Bath time is Adelaide’s absolute favorite, so when she started scooting down to the spout over and over, we knew it was time for a cover.  I love how this is cute but not cutesy.

2. Alphabet Magnets- I was coming home every day from work with a pile on the counter of things Adelaide took off the fridge, so decided if I can’t beat ‘em, I’ll join ‘em.  So I removed all of the papers and pictures from the bottom half of the fridge and put these magnets in their place.  She loves sitting in front of the fridge and moving them around (and putting them in her mouth).  Endless entertainment.

3. Freshly Picked Moccasins- I’m not sure I can express how much I love these moccasins.  I bought Adelaide a pair a few months ago and then promptly bought three more.  The platinum color is my favorite and I may have bought it in multiple sizes.

4. Halo Sleep Sack- Adelaide wears a sleep sack every night (fleece for cold nights and cotton for warmer nights).  When she was a newborn we used the swaddle ones, and now she’s graduated to these.  They keep her cozy and warm, and most importantly, safe.

5. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags- I’m pumping a few times a day while I’m at work, and I love these bags.  I haven’t had any issues with tearing or leaking.  They also lay flat to freeze, which not all bags do.

6. Stacking Cups- When I first brought these home Jon was all, “Cups?  As a toy?” and then she played with them for the next hour.  Cups for the win.

7. Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You- I love the entire series of books from Nancy Tillman and often find myself grabbing one of her books for our bedtime story.  I think I enjoy them a bit more than Adelaide, because more than once she’s fallen asleep while I read to her.

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How to Save Money on the Things You’re Already Buying

the baloney bug

While I was home on maternity leave, I became a bit addicted to the show “Extreme Couponing”.  Basically, they’re organized hoarders who get unlimited amounts of barbeque sauce for free.  While I would never go that far, or be that dedicated, I’ve found a few ways to save money without clipping a single coupon.  I’m getting money off of the things I was already buying.  Winning!

1. Ebates- I’m listing this one first because it is far and away my favorite.  I’m literally obsessed.  Ebates gives you a percentage back from your online purchases.  In the form of a check.  It’s not a scam, it’s not a gimmick.  My biggest check to date was over $80.  All you have to do is go to Ebates.com when you’re shopping online.  You search the website you want to shop, click on it and Ebates will redirect you to the site you want to shop.  And that’s all you have to do.

I even got a $10 Target gift card just for signing up, and you get money for referring friends as well.  (cough cough, use my links!) 

We use Ebates when booking travel as well as shopping for baby stuff at a few of my favorites- Gap, Nordstrom and Target.  It’s free money.  Seriously, sign up.  I have the toolbar installed on my browser which makes it even easier!

2. Amazon Subscribe & Save- I’m also obsessed with this one, almost as much as I am with Ebates.  You add whatever items you would buy on a reoccurring basis to your Subscribe & Save.  You choose the date you want your shipment delivered and how frequently you want your deliveries.  I buy dog food, dog treats, dishwasher detergent, hand sanitizer, hair spray, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner.  You get a 5% discount off each item for subscribing.  However, if you have 5 items you get a 15% discount on each item.  And even better, if you are a member of Amazon Mom (which is free to join if you have Prime!) you get 20% off your Subscribe & Save items!!  That’s HUGE!!!  You can get diapers, wipes, k-cups etc at a major discount!  No coupon clipping required.

3. Target- I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Target.  Download their free app for your iPhone.  It lists daily deals as well as updates weekly with the new circular.  And you can download the free coupons and scan at checkout.  Last week I was shopping with my mom and she bought a Merona sweater.  I pulled up the app, the cashier scanned it and my mom saved $3.  Once I forgot to use it and went over to customer service with my receipt and they handed me a $5 bill back.  I mean, if that isn’t free money, I don’t know what is.  You can also use it with your Target REDcard which is a debit card that saves you 5% off all Target purchases.

4. Starbucks- All you have to do is register a gift card online.  When you pay for your coffee (or food!) with the gift card  you earn points.  Every 12 transactions gets you a free drink or food item.  You can add the registered card to the Starbucks app (and in Passbook if you have an iPhone) so you don’t even have to carry the card with you.  Just keep reloading the same gift card (with the tap of a finger from your phone, or the barista can do it if you prefer) and keep racking up the points.  You’ll also get a free drink on your birthday.  Another helpful hint: you get points based on how many transactions, so if you’re purchasing a muffin and a coffee, ask the barista to ring them up separately!

What are your favorite money saving tips?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

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Three Month Favorites {For Baby}

the baloney bug

1. Look, Look!- I honestly thought books for babies was pointless, until I read amazing things about this book.  Babies see black and white best when they’re born, and then after a few weeks they can see red. I went ahead and ordered the book and lo and behold, she loves it.  It stays in the diaper bag for when we’re out and about and I need something to entertain her.

2. Honest Diaper Bundle- When I was pregnant I went back and forth trying to decide what kind of diapers to use.  I ruled out cloth pretty quickly, because as much as I’d like to be “eco friendly” it just wasn’t feasible for me.  My laundry is 3 flights down, and requires quarters.  To constantly have that many quarters on hand, plus the amount of trips I’d have to take down to the basement (1st wash cycle + 2nd wash cycle + drying + picking up = 4 trips to the basement) was just unrealistic.  Then I looked into a diapering service, which run about $140-200 a month.  That’s wayyyy more than the cost of disposables, so cloth diapering was officially out.

Since cloth was out I had to decide between eco friendly disposables and regular disposables.  I emailed some friends and asked how much they spent on diapers, and got answers anywhere from $50-80 a month (and found that some of my friends are seriously amazing at getting a good bargain.  Hello, Michelle!)

I quickly found The Honest Co. which is actually a company formed by actress Jessica Alba.  Everything is plant based, no harsh chemicals, and all diapers are biodegradable (well, if our landfills would allow for it…)  I ordered the free trial when I was pregnant and was sold.  The diapers are freaking adorable, delivered straight to my door for no charge and won’t hurt my baby’s bum?  Sold.

They cost $80/month AND include wipes.  That’s less than half the cost of cloth diapering and competitive to the cost of regular disposables (especially since this includes wipes).  I can feel pretty good about that decision.  Adelaide has been using them since birth and has not had one single diaper rash.  Consider it love.

Also, you get a $20 credit for referring friends.  Cough, cough use my link.

3. WubbaNub- Also known as the one thing I must never leave the house without.  The idea is the baby can hold the pacifier in their own mouth by holding onto the animal attached to the pacifier.  Adelaide didn’t really get the hang of that until she was about 2 months old, but it still helped hold the pacifier in regardless.  She’s not big on pacifiers in general, but she will take this one.  Currently she’s more interested in sucking on the giraffe’s ears than she is the pacifier, but whatever, it keeps her happy.

4. Swiss Dot Bow Sun Hat- This is one of the only hats that will fit Adelaide’s little head, and also keeps the sun off her face.  We have it in two colors and they never leave the diaper bag.

5. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym- This was one of the things I thought I wouldn’t need, so left off my registry.  Then I realized I needed somewhere to put my kid down for a few minutes so I could get stuff done.  Like go to the bathroom.  Most of the ones we saw were really obnoxious, so when we found this one we immediately ordered.  She loves playing with the toys overhead, and spends tons of time staring at herself in the mirror.

6. 4Moms MamaRoo- Our biggest baby splurge yet (besides the stroller), but seriously worth every penny.  She’ll sit and giggle forever at the mobile, the white noise puts her to sleep almost instantly (there are 5 different sounds to alternate between) and it swings 5 different ways.  It also has an iPod hookup, but I’ve yet to use that feature.  This thing is the real deal.

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Three Month Favorites {For Mama}

the baloney bug

1. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads- I actually won a huge box of these at the Big City Moms Shower, and they’ve been great.  I’ve tried a few different types and these are my favorites.  They have little stickies on the back so they won’t move around once you’ve placed them and are super absorbent.

2. Boden Boyleg Swimsuit- I’ve been wearing one pieces for a few years now, but my mom boobs won’t fit into any of my older ones.  I think I bought and returned every one piece I could find online, and this one was my absolute favorite.

3. Xhilaration Lavada Slide Sandal- Seriously the cutest sandal and only $17.  No brainer.

4. Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF- I try to get out everyday and take Adelaide on walks, so I make sure to apply this every morning when I get up.  Then I don’t have to be worried if I forget to grab my hat on my way out the door.  (Because let’s be honest, I remember everything for the baby and always forget my things.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten my cell phone.  That would have never happened before baby!)

5. Motherhood Maternity Nursing Tanks- I’ve tried just about every nursing tank I could find and these are my favorite.  I wear them under my normal shirts so I don’t have to expose my belly when nursing.  They fit and feel so much better than some of the other expensive ones I’ve tried.

6. Baby Hawk Mei Tai Carrier- I recently added this carrier into my rotation with my ring sling and absolutely love it.  It makes carrying Adelaide around a breeze, and I’ve gotten tons of compliments on it.  You can even create a custom one.  How awesome is that?

m4s0n501

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Jon’s Wish List

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

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Wish List

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

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Favorites for Fall

1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8

Just a couple lovelies I’ve been lusting for fall.

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guest post: my favorite {and efficient} baby products, by my hope fulfilled

I am humbled daily reading Michelle’s blog, My Hope Fulfilled.  She is such an incredible woman, mom and wife and I think we can all learn a lot from this lady.  She’s known my husband far longer than I have, and I revel in her stories about him in high school.  It’s so special to me to know that my husband knew and was friends with this incredible woman long before I ever had the honor of calling him “my husband”. 

Hello Baloney Bug Readers! I’m Michelle, from My Hope Fulfilled and I blog about adoption, crafts, and everything in between. Jon and I go way back. No, that was not a typo. I’ve known the Baloney Bug hubster since the Bush I presidency but was pleasantly delighted to meet his baked good loving, creative, and fun friend-turned-wife, Joan (have you seen her new “About” Section?).

One of my favorite things about Joan is knowing and seeing how streamlined she keeps her life. If you’re not a New Yorker, like me, then the thought of two people and a dog living comfortably in a tiny one bedroom apartment makes you shiver a little. But Joan does this well – and so stylishly! I got a little taste of Joan’s reality last year when my husband, Herb, and our one year old, Levi, moved from an 1800 square foot, five bedroom townhouse, to a 800 square foot, two bedroom apartment. Can you say purge?!

If you’ve ever stepped foot in the Target baby aisle, you know the baby paraphernalia is ridic. At the risk of starting any rumors here at The Baloney Bug, or giving any future Grandmas fuel for the baby fire, I wanted to share my favorite baby things with Joan. I think New Mommas sometimes have a hard time figuring out what’s really important, but this is what has worked for us in a small space. So, Joan, shove this list to your back burner, and reference it when the time is right. I can’t wait to see a totally trendy Baloney Bug Baby Nursery some day, and your spin on my “so called” efficient, pared down list of baby needs. Here we go.

1. Say “No” to high chairs. Booster seats are cheaper, more versatile, and take up less space. This one  is my favorite – it replaces the high chair, bumbo, and infant seat.

2. Don’t buy a swing right away, some babies don’t even like them. If you decide later you need it, go for the travel version. The seat is the same size but the foot print and necessary storage space is much smaller. This one worked great for us.

3. Get a baby monitor, but pass on the video monitor and multiple receivers. In fact, you don’t even need an expensive monitor. Sometimes, my husband and I just called each other with our phones, put them both on speaker, and muted one. We put one phone in the baby’s room, and kept the muted one with us. With free mobile to mobile minutes, it totally works in a pinch! Monitor wise, this one is rated really well and is super affordable.

4. As far as baby bedding goes – STAY AWAY FROM THE PRE-PACKAGED SETS! Bumpers are unsafe, blankets can’t be used, crib skirts and valances are easy to make yourself, and sheets are pretty cheap! Buy a fitted sheet or two, get one or two nice fuzzy blankets, and use this tutorial to make an adorable crib skirt.

5. Instead of a bulky exersaucer, we went for the Doorway Seat Jumper.  Same idea, less space, less money. Win win win.

6. We’ve tried a slew of things from a plastic three in one tub to a giant inflatable rubber ducky when it comes to baby baths, but when it comes to small spaces, I would go for this classic foam ditty. It’s really all you need.

7. Two facts – you will freak out about your baby’s potential fever, and as horrible as it is to do, a rectal thermometer works best. In our case, we use a freebie hospital digital thermometer labeled “butts only.”

8. You know how I said you don’t really need a lot of blankets (might I even suggest just having one?!)? It’s because having a sleep sack or two keeps your baby warm and safe. Life. Saver.

9. I have a love-hate relationship with the pack and play. It’s great for traveling, but not so great for transporting and storing. It fits perfectly under the crib, but hogs up precious under-the-crib storage space. Definitely not a necessity for the apartment living family. But if you get one – get one with bells and whistles like this.

10. I totally underestimated the grossness of feeding your baby food. I love these spoons because my hands can stay relatively free of mush. Now that my son is a little bigger, they are perfect for his little hands, too.

11. Two to four pacifiers. Try the brand of pacifier that is the same as whatever bottles you are using first. These worked great for us.

12. Target diapers rock. They are cheap, and if you get a Target debit card (free!), the diapers are an additional 5% off and ship free to your house.

13. And finally, my favorite things to stay away from. Read, you DO NOT need this crap: wipes warmer, changing table (use a dresser with a pad), bumbo, high chair, crib bedding set, bassinet in addition to pack and play (pick one or the other), vibrating/bouncy seat, and name brand diapers.

What about you – what are/were your favorite baby items?

Thanks for letting me blog-sit. Come by and see me at My Hope Fulfilled when you have a chance!

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guest post: my favorite ways to decorate for a party, by rachel’s nest

Rachel is the epitome of the do-it-all mom.  Since she’s had beautiful baby girl Audrey seven months ago (almost to the day!) she has seriously been mom on the go.  Rachel has managed to make a house a home and document it over at Rachel’s Nest all while being super mom.  What an inspiration!! 

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to be guest posting here at the Baloney Bug today! I’m going to share with you some of my favorite ways to decorate for a party! I love to entertain and these are my tried and true ways to do it with style! These are all pictures from parties I’ve thrown over the past few years! I hope you’ll enjoy the tips and try some of them for your next party!
Use containers and serving pieces in unusual ways
Think outside the box. Wine glasses of all shapes and sizes make great serving dishes for chocolate truffles, or small candies. I’ve even used them to display jewelry! Vintage silver pieces make everyday condiments look elegant. Use what you have, or check out your local thrift store to find unique pieces!
Use mirrors
Mirrors are a great way to glam up your table. You can buy them without frames, in all shapes and sizes, at most craft stores. Put them underneath a vase of flowers, or line up your wine glasses on top of them! Candles look especially great on top of a mirror since the light from the flame will be reflected!
Use fabric
Skip the plastic tablecloths and go for fabric instead! Fabric will make your party look luxurious and really help tie your theme together. You can use runners, tablecloths, scarves, curtains, you name it! Look around your house to see what you can find! The blue floral “tablecloth” below is actually a shower curtain, but it worked perfectly for my Royal Wedding Party, so I threw it on my table over an antique lace tablecloth (after washing, of course)! Don’t limit the fabric to the tabletop, though! If you’ll be taking pictures of your guests, consider throwing some fabric on a curtain rod to act as a pretty backdrop for photos, too!
Use real china, napkins and silverware 
Whenever possible, I always like to use real china (real, meaning ceramic or porcelain…not necessarily your fine china!), cloth napkins and silverware. I think it makes for an elegant party, and you can also use the dishes and napkins to add to your theme or color scheme.
Use picture frames
If applicable, use picture frames to display photos of the guest of honor. It will add a personal and thoughtful touch, and surely make the guest of honor feel extra special! There are plenty of other things you can frame too…quotes, song lyrics, funny memories written out. Get creative and make it personal!
I hope you find these tips helpful! Thanks, Joan for having me stop by!

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