Baby Favorites – First Six Months & Money Saving Tips

This weekend alone, three different friends asked for baby registry recommendations as they are expecting little ones this Spring. While I’ve included our favorite items in each of my monthly recaps, I wanted to compile our favorite items in one easy-to-reference and share list. While this list is in no means exhaustive, these are the items that we’ve used daily and many of them have traveled with us to Vermont, Georgia and Ohio.

Registry Favorites

While we were lucky enough to receive many of the below items during our two baby showers, a few of these items we bought on our own after she was born. Baby items are often expensive and certain ones are only enjoyed for a few months – if that! Over the past few months, we’ve discovered a few ways to save money when buying baby items.

Money Saving Tips

  • Almost every item on this list is carried at BuyBuyBaby. Did you know that their amazing 20% and $10 off coupons can be stacked and can be used online or in-store? Every time you receive one in the mail or email you can add it to your app so that you can easily reference it the next time you need something! There are a few brands, like Uppababy, that aren’t always included in the discount.
  • Recently we discovered that Uppababy is included in many Macys,  Saks,  and Bloomingdales promotions! For example, a few weeks ago many of their items were 25% off! If you have your eye on Nuna products, one reader let me know that they were 40% off in the last Nordstrom Half Yearly sale!
  • Don’t forget about places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and outlets for great deals on baby items especially clothing and toys! We bought most of Katie’s pajamas and outfits from the Carter’s outlets and I recently saw that our local Nordstrom Rack carries an assortment of Skiphop, Little Giraffe and Fisher-Price items!
  • RueLaLa has a baby section on their site and this weekend BabyBjorn and many other brands are included for AMAZING prices!
  • Surprisingly, Amazon is often not the cheapest place for many of these items. Whether you’re buying a gift for someone or shopping for yourself, search the item in Google first before buying!
  • Check out your local mom’s group on Facebook to see whether people are selling lightly used items. While I’m not a fan of buying used teething items or toys, we were able to find bottles, humidifier and Bumbo on our local group. This is also a great way to sell items after you’re done using them!

Our Favorite Items

If you have any questions about the items below or there is a category I forgot, just let me know!

Your turn:  If you’re a parent, what was on your list of baby favorites the first year, or even better, what do you think Katie will love for months 7-12?

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Weekend Reading – January 14th, 2018

Katie and Maren

How is your weekend so far? I’m currently curled up on the couch, typing this post as I sip a glass of wine and look in awe at the pristine snow.  In New York, I feel like our snow is disgusting and dirty just hours after it falls due to foot and car traffic. But here, in the suburbs of Cincinnati, the snow is still bright white two days after falling! We are in Cincinnati visiting our good friends, Ryan and Amy, who are now the proud parents to two children, their youngest who is just a few weeks younger than Katie. It’s been wonderful curling up in their living room and watching the little girls play together while their older son reads to them. Our weekend has been relaxing as we’ve only left the house for a brisk neighborhood stroller walk and a hot yoga class. We cooked dinner in two of the three nights and tonight, we took the relaxing way out and enjoyed leftovers.

This week, instead of Friday Favorites, I’m sharing some weekend reading which includes recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • This Bon Appetit slow cooker recipe was a hit with everyone last night and perfect for the cold, blustery weather!
  • In light of the recent articles advising us to avoid romaine lettuce, I’m glad i’m not pregnant right now. During my first trimester, romaine was the only lettuce I could stomach and I found myself craving Cesar and Greek salads multiple times a week!
  • I love making a big batch of quinoa and keeping it in the refrigerator as it is versatile enough to be used at breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s an easy way to add protein to any meal. These 29 incredible quinoa recipes will be a delicious way to change things up while using one of my favorite refrigerator staples.
  • During my manicure on Monday I asked the nail tech to recommend a light pink and I immediately fell in love with her recommendation – CND Vinylux Romantique. which is a happy medium between gel and regular nail polish. I love the light pink color and am impressed that is hasn’t chipped yet!
  • Since our apartment tends to be cold during the winter, I’ve been wearing these cozy socks to bed each night.  After wearing them for a week, I fell in love with their warmth and weight – they aren’t as heavy or bulky as some of my socks but still keep my feet nice and toasty. In fact, I ordered two more pairs so I could wear them during the day with snow boots and then at night with pajamas!
  • After yoga yesterday, I realized just how much my body needs the practice. My back and shoulders were so tight from carrying and holding Katie and my hips are perpetually tight. I tried this 20-minute Yin Yoga class on YouTube that Grace recommended and felt SO relaxed afterwards. While my goal is still at least one hot yoga class per month, I’d like to try and do short but effective yoga videos like this more often.
  • After seeing these gold collagen eye patches on countless blogs, I finally ordered them a few weeks ago from Amazon. These 100% natural eye masks left my face looking more energized and reduced the fine lines after the first use!  I’ve been using them 3 times a week and love that they are affordable ($1.25 per use) and so easy to use.
  • Never did I ever imagine I could make my favorite everything bagels at home! But, this Easy Bagel Recipe makes me think that it may just be possible! The recipe only has five ingredients, all of which I have in our pantry at home. Since we’re not traveling next weekend, this may have to be a fun Saturday activity!
  • I’ve been searching for a pair of brown, leather booties and luckily my friend Amy introduced me to the most COMFORTABLE and stylish pair ever this weekend! Even better, they are on sale for less than $60 and the memory foam padding makes them not only stylish but also very comfortable. Amy loved her first pair so much that she immediately ordered a second pair in black. I just ordered these tonight, as brown booties or boots was one of the items on my list “to purchase” after last week’s closet purge.

 

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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2018 Recommended Reading List

reading

Growing up, reading was my favorite pastime. At one point, I had over 200 books lining the walls of my very small bedroom. I would stay up, far past my bedtime, reading under the covers and then, as I got older, would look forward to the weekends when I could go to the library and spend at least 20 to 30 minutes perusing the shelves, searching for the perfect next book.  Recently, I’ve returned to my original hobby and have been disconnecting each evening to read for 30 minutes before bed. Now I look forward to this time, typically from 9:30-10 each night, and have created a ritual that includes evening skin care, a cup of tea and a good book. In addition, any time we are on vacation or visiting family, my favorite way to relax is by enjoying fresh air and a good book. As you can see from the picture above, when we’re in Vermont, I love propping my feet up on the back porch, enjoying the sunset and a novel. These moments are far and few between now since Katie’s arrival, but this is still my preferred way to relax during one of her naps or when I have a helping hand.

Based on the feedback I received on Instagram and Facebook when I asked for book recommendations this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share it on the blog today and hopefully share it more regularly since I’m reading more frequently. I love getting book suggestions from friends and other bloggers, such as Grace, so why not share with you guys too?

If you’re looking for more inspiration or more frequent updates, you can follow me on Goodreads. My “to read” list is more than 100 books long as I find myself adding new books on a weekly basis; a far faster pace than I read a book these days.

The below list is a compilation of the recommendations friends, family and readers shared over the past few days. The ones with ** next to them are ones that I have read and each of the other books were recommended by at least 2-3 people, if not more. In fact, a few of them, such as The Light We Lost, were recommended by more than 20 people!

  • When Breath Becomes Air**
  • All The Light We Cannot See**
  • The Nightingale**
  • Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo**
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Lilac Girls
  • A Gentleman in Moscow
  • A Man Called Ove**
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
  • The Light Between the Oceans
  • A Tangled Mercy
  • What to Do About the Solomons
  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
  • Small Great Things
  • Present Over Perfect 
  • The Light We Lost
  • The Leavers
  • All the Ugly & Wonderful Things
  • Exit West
  • What is Not Yours Is Not Yours
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  • A Simplified Life

I will incorporate my thoughts on these books as I make my way through them, most likely via Friday Favorites posts and a few dedicated book posts.

If I’m missing your favorite, leave the title in the comments and I will update this post! 

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