Keep The Babies Safe.

I hash tag this phrase quite frequently. Ever since becoming a mom, I’ve been pretty obsessed with safety, whether it be childproofing your home or correctly installing a car seat. My thought is, you made this perfect baby, so wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to protect them? The amount of incorrect installation of car seats and incorrect buckling of children in car seats astounds me. Sometimes I get into thinking that it’s ignorance, but it always leads back to one word – knowledge. I just think that a lot of people just don’t know how to properly install a car seat. I feel like it’s becoming more and more clear to me about what I’d like to do.

My goal this year is to register to become a certified CPST, which is Child Passenger Safety Technician.

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(top – Britax Roundabout 55 ; bottom – Britax Marathon 70 G3)

 

I’d say the worst things that I’ve seen are during the winter months. That’s when the JJ Cole BundleMe covers come out to play, along with the fluffy strap covers, and those damn snowsuits.

Did you know all of these are unsafe for car seat use? If your car seat didn’t come with an insert or strap covers, it’s not crash-tested with your car seat. In fact, it actually voids the warranty of your car seat in the event of a crash. Also, your child wearing a snowsuit ensures that there isn’t a tight fit for the harness, and in the event of a crash, they’ll slide right out of the harness and through the window. Look it up. It’s happened.

Did you know that to get the tightest install possible, you should be sitting on the car seat base, or in the car seat itself while latching it? Yes, that means you. YOU climb into your CHILD’S car seat or on the car seat base of infant seats, and put a solid amount of weight on it to get the tightest install. Your child’s car seat shouldn’t move an inch when you’re done. Bottom line: If your child’s car seat moves when you put them in the car, you’re doing it wrong.

Did you know that the chest clip isn’t a stomach accessory? No, really. They actually put the chest clip there to protect your child in the event of a crash. So, if it’s not at arm pit height, it does absolutely nothing to protect them. “The chest clip is a pre-crash positioning device, meaning it does its most important duty before a vehicle crash occurs. The clip, when used properly, keeps the car seat harness in the right place against the child’s shoulders, so that crash forces are distributed over the strongest parts of the child’s upper body.” Also, tighten those harnesses every time you buckle your baby in! If they can lean over and sleep on the side of the seat, it’s not tight.

Did you know that rear-facing until age 2 is becoming the minimum age in some states? That should say something right there. Also, as many parents get confused, most states have the same law: Forward face when child is one year old AND 20lbs. Not one or the other.

I would absolutely love to teach parents how to install their car seats safely, and teach them proper buckling. I had a friend who had recently offered to re-install a friend’s car seat because it wasn’t installed properly, and that week, her friend’s car was T-boned. Emergency crews on site said, “Thank goodness that car seat was installed correctly.” She literally saved that little girl’s life. If I could correctly install car seats, promote proper buckling and save just one life, that would be enough for me.

Who’s with me?

No Excuse.

(If you don’t like rants, just skip this post)

This post was sparked from what I saw at a local Target store this week. I suppose it’ll be more of a rant, but in all honesty, I’m curious.

Do you clean/clean out your car?

I don’t mean spit shine the outside, and shampoo the carpets. I mean, do you clean up after yourself? Your kids? Are there McDonald’s bags filled with garbage in your back seat? Dirty diapers tied up in bags? Stray goldfish, bread, cookies? This is what I saw at Target. Trash literally fell out of the car when the mom opened the sliding door of her minivan and instead of throwing it away, she stuffed it under the seat. Um, are you kidding?

What example are you setting for your kids?

I understand cleaning out your car and picking up after yourself might come second to being a parent, shopping for Coach sneakers and getting a case for your new iPad. I’m not saying to clear out your whole day to vacuum out your car and throw trash away, but it really isn’t that hard, is it? It kind of reminds me of the age-old argument of why people make excuses of not being able to work out. There are even car wash places that will literally clean out and vacuum your car for you, and wash the outside, AND dry it for what, $13?

Closing statement: If you can find money to pay for an expensive gym membership, Coach brand everything, and put your child in a Montessori school, I fully believe that there is no excuse for your car to look like that.

Judge away. My car is spotless.

Deviled Eggs

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Yesterday was the first day of Spring! Besides having free Rita’s, I would’ve never known. This weather needs to get warm, and fast. I’m so over my winter recipes, and I want to make crisp fresh foods and shop at the farmer’s market! So I’m going to start putting Spring/Summer recipes out because at this point, I don’t care that some days it’s only 29 degrees in March. I grew up with this recipe (it’s my mom’s) and to this day, I still haven’t found a deviled egg recipe to rival it. We always had deviled eggs when my dad would grill hot dogs and burgers outside for dinner or on the weekends for lunch.

Recipe

  • 6 eggs, boiled and peeled
  • 2 tbsp mayo (I’ve only ever used Hellmann’s, no fake mayo here!)
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (I use a heaping tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper

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*My mom’s way of boiling eggs is placing them in a pot and filling it with cold water until they’re just covered. Bring to a boil and set your timer for 10 minutes, and you’ll have perfect boiled eggs. I’ve always used this method, except for the one time I filled the pot with hot water and ruined all 6 eggs in 30 seconds*

 

Separate the yolks and the whites. Yolks go in a bowl, whites on a plate.

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Smash yolks, add all ingredients to bowl and combine.

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Using a small spoon, fill the egg whites with the filling and sprinkle with paprika for a garnish.

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Enjoy!

 

What’s your favorite Spring/Summer dish?

I’m a Horrible Eater.

It’s a fact. But let me clarify – I’m horrible at eating, as in eating three real meals a day. I usually eat one real meal during the day, and then snack the rest of the day. I know it’s bad. For example, we were in Stroudsburg for a baptism on Sunday. I had a glass of cranberry juice for breakfast, some food at the baptism luncheon, Dunkin Donuts coffee + Cheddar Fries on the way home from PA, and some SleepyTime Vanilla tea before bed.

And let’s be honest, I wouldn’t call the food at the luncheon a real meal, since I only had one plate, and I didn’t grab any food with meat in it. I love carbs.

So far today? I had coffee for breakfast, and avocado + sriracha on whole wheat toast for an early lunch. I suck at this.

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I do prefer to eat healthy foods, as a side note.

I also despise protein shakes.

 

How do you make sure you eat three solid meals a day if you aren’t hungry for them, or have the time?

 

(And, I’m not making meals to eat for the week on Sunday either. 1) There isn’t enough fridge space with Jay’s meal containers, and 2) I hate leftovers.)

Help!

Three Day Weekend.

This weekend became an impromptu three day weekend from our Monday ‘snow day’ last week. Both appointments Jason and Sophia had were cancelled and rescheduled. Three day weekends are so few and far between, and usually non-existent, so it was definitely a nice change of pace. Every Friday night we go food shopping. As long as they aren’t predicting a blizzard, it’s the best day to go food shopping. Most people are out to dinner at the time we go, so it’s perfect. 

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Usually by the time we get home, it’s Sophia’s bed time and then we clean up for the night and watch a movie. We’re old. We like it.

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Saturday was a shopping day, YAY! I shop the same as my sister Melissa. I go in, do a quick overview browse, and leave if I don’t see anything I like. I’m not one to walk around the same store for hours. I hate Forever 21. It’s huge, unorganized, and full of teeny boppers. IKEA is huge and I can be in and out of there in 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops, pending how many people are waiting for the elevator. I have a baby, remember? Which, also takes accounting for. Sophia is a great baby. But I mean, how long would YOU want to sit in a stroller watching Jason try on dress pants, or me browse for heels? Exactly. So, I have to bring things to entertain her. She’s in the stage where she doesn’t find toys amusing unless she’s on the floor playing with them. My next option? Food of course! This girl loves to snack. I admit, it’s a bit harder that I can’t bring some fruit snacks or Doritos to satisfy her… HA! Like I would give that junk to her ;) But in all seriousness, she wouldn’t eat it anyway, as convenient as it would be. She prefers cantaloupe, apples, mango, bananas and I’ll usually share a smoothie with her as well. My favorite one at the mall is strawberry mango, yum!

My diaper bag has two-insulated side pockets, so I just cut up fruit and veggies, throw in an ice pack, and we’re good to go, along with a straw sippy cup of water.

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About halfway through our trip, I could tell she was getting a little tired of being in the stroller. Jason took out the snacks for her, and I went to peruse the heels. No joke, I hear the cutest giggle ever across the shoe department, and there they are, playing in the aisle. I HAD to record it. Who WOULDN’T love that laugh?! The video is on my Instagram. She was getting quite the smiles from the people around us. We have the sweetest girl <3

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We headed home from the mall, and had some family down time, and then made a quick dinner for Sophia and watched Frozen for the first time as a family. It was such a cute movie! Sad at times, but cute. Disney seriously has a way of slaying families in their movies, and for that, I’m not a fan. We didn’t get through the whole movie, so we held off. It was 7pm and Sophia was just DONE. We got her ready for bed, ordered takeout and set up to watch the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. If you’re in the Belcamp/Riverside/Aberdeen area, I highly recommend Lee’s Asian Bistro. We’ve ordered from there twice now and it’s really great food, on-point delivery, and huge portions! Shumai are amazing also. Jason loves their Pad Thai. It’s a perfect Saturday night in meal :)

Sunday was a pretty quiet day. Jason let me sleep until past 9, and got up with Sophia and they were having pancakes when I came downstairs. They’re adorable together, I swear. We made a quick trip to Walmart and then stayed in for the rest of the day. Oh! And I baked cookies. That are half gone already. It’s Monday.

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Hello Monday! Jason and Sophia both had appointments today so he took the day off, and so did I. I typically watch a set of twins a couple times during the week. Sophia had her 15 month well-baby check up today, which she aced. Our doctor barely has to ask questions; Sophia does everything she wants her to before she even asks! She’s always been a bit advanced, but especially advanced in the teeth department. She has almost 15 teeth already! She just needs her bottom incisors, and then her 2 year molars and she’s done with teeth! HALLELUJAH. She took her 2 shots today like a champ. She cries harder when I tell her not to touch the cable box. Mommy win? I’d say so. Just one more shot at her 18 month appointment and she’s good on shots until she’s 4 years old! Again, HALLELUJAH.

Jason had another appointment this afternoon, and then he came to get us so we could have lunch together as a family :)

We went to Lemon N’ Ginger Asian Grille and had some sushi and Pad Thai, per usual. Their Passion Roll is so good, and this is coming from someone who never orders specialty rolls because I usually don’t like more than one thing in it.

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Then we went on the hunt for a spice rack. Random, right? We still haven’t found a functional one we like.

Do you love your spice rack? Would you recommend it to me?

 

And after searching yet again, we still haven’t found one. Fail. Maybe Amazon has some hope. We did get some new decor for the house, but I’ll save that for my next home decor post.

 

How was your Monday?

Baby Gates 101

We were thrown into the world of baby gates when we moved from our two bedroom, one floor apartment, into a 3 level house. I had pretty much demanded that once all boxes had been put on each level accordingly, that the gates be installed. Sophia had never had the option to be around stairs, and I wanted her to be as safe as possible. Also, her having free reign of going up and down the stairs at 8 months old isn’t an option, and it still isn’t an option, being 15 months.

I researched baby gates for about 2 months prior to us moving, and found ones that were the most baby-safe for our house and lifestyle. It obviously depends on your own specific taste, but if I have company over and they can’t even operate a baby gate, I know we’ve gotten the right one. We waited until Babies R’Us had their ‘Buy One Gate, Get One 50% Off’ promotion and purchased both gates at once.

Munchkin Auto-Close Metal Gate.

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We currently have this gate at the top of our stairs. I LOVE IT. The key to this gate is that not only do you have to slide the trigger, but you need to lift the gate up out of the frame and swing it either way to use it. There are some days that I feel like I struggle with this gate, so I know for a FACT that Sophia will not have the strength or coordination to open this gate. I’d say the only con is you need to step over the frame when you’re going up and down the stairs, which isn’t a problem for us. You just become accustom to stepping over it. If we have guests over, they don’t go upstairs in our home anyway, so it isn’t an issue.

It’s pressure mounted, which is great. We’ve had it installed since August 2013 and haven’t had any problems with it. Here are some pictures of it upstairs.

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That is definitely my favorite gate. But, it’s not the same gate we have at the bottom of our stairs. Unfortunately, banisters aren’t very receptive to baby gates. Since it isn’t a solid wall to pressure mount, it doesn’t get as tight of a fit as it should. Jay took it out so many times with his gym bag, carrying Sophia, and Sophia actually ripped it off herself too. So that gate is now pressure-mounted downstairs in the basement, to lock away the relatives ;)

The gate at the bottom of the stairs on our main level now is the Summer Infant Multi-Use Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate. That’s a mouthful. That’s what she said. I win.

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It’s more versatile as it gives you more or less gate pieces to help it fit wherever you need it to fit. But there are more cons than pros to this gate.

  • The frame seems sturdy but the gate door itself is much more flimsy than the Munchkin gate.
  • Sophia can already reach the top where that latch is. Crap. Stop growing.
  • It isn’t an auto-close gate so half the time Sophia sees that it’s open, and makes a run for it. (Even when we close it all of the way)
  • The actual gate opening is much smaller than the Munchkin gate, which is a big con for us.

 

Overall, it works. If I was to recommend a gate, clearly I’d recommend the Munchkin Auto-Close metal gate. I genuinely like Summer Infant products, but this gate just isn’t a winner in my book. Of course everyone has their own opinions as well. We even thought about getting the Dream Baby Retractable Gate, but it doesn’t have great reviews and I rarely have two hands to yank a gate closed. Also, Sophia would have way too much fun trying to crawl underneath it. For $100, I don’t see that gate working for us.

 

What baby gate do you use? Which ones have/haven’t worked for you?

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things.

I’m very picky with what I call a “favorite”. Most times it’s my favorite for a week, and then it either disappears or I’ve found something better. So far, these are my favorites that have stuck around or are new favorites that have made the cut and lasted over a week without getting lost! Hooray!

I’ve separated these favorites into my personal favorites, and my favorites for Miss Sophia.

 

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  • Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion. This has been my go-to face lotion/moisturizer for almost 2 years. I stopped buying it about 8 months ago because I couldn’t find it anywhere but Ulta, and then it disappeared from there as well. But now it’s back! I’m so excited, and so is my skin. It has 2% salicylic acid in it to help treat and prevent breakouts.
  • Growth Spurt Nail Treatment. I have yet to find a nail treatment that works as well as this polish. I’ve even splurged on the OPI Nail Envy, which retails for $17+. (You can find it cheaper on Amazon and eBay) It goes under my nail polish once a week, and I get amazing, strong, evenly-growing nails. Definitely recommend! You can buy it at Sally’s Beauty Supply.
  • Naked Basics Palette by Urban Decay. This was a spur of the moment purchase. It wasn’t something that I’d heard too much about. Most of the reviews were average, and listed it as not a necessity in your makeup collection. I completely disagree. I LOVE this palette. I’ve used it for over a year now and I’ve used it more than my original Naked palette. The matte shades are perfect, the highlight is beautiful and I can use the darkest shade for eyeliner.
  • Colgate Optic White Enamel Toothpaste. I’ve never been one to stray from my Crest 3D White Glamorous White Toothpaste, but I needed a change. So far I’m really enjoying it! It’s a bit more abrasive than other toothpastes, but if you know anything about me and my excessive exfoliating problem, you’ll know that I love things like this. Some people say, “Pregnancy ruined my body, skin, hair, etc”. Well, pregnancy really did a number on my teeth, especially because it was harder to keep up my calcium levels being lactose intolerant. So I’ve been trying to get them back to how they were pre-pregnancy.
  • Tangle Teezer. This has made me pack away every brush and wide tooth comb I own. My hair didn’t necessarily get “ruined” by pregnancy, but the texture definitely changed. It’s made it so hard to detangle, and I have super fine hair. I can sneeze and my hair will get tangled. This is amazing. Go buy one. The end.

 

Now on to my baby favorites!

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  • Sassy Disposable Diaper Sacks. I don’t believe in diaper genies or any of those fancy poop holders. The fact is, poop smells. If you put all in one spot, it’s going to smell even more. This isn’t even a debate for me. Since Sophia was born, we’ve used disposable diaper sacks of different brands, and disposed of her diapers in our regular garbage can. That 50 ct packet is $2 at my local Walmart. You can get a 200 ct box for under $8 on Amazon. I just don’t find the diaper genie systems necessary. Also, these bags are pretty big, and for the longest time, I could fit 4-5 diapers in one bag!
  • Water Wipes. These are from an Ireland based company. I’ll be doing a review on them shortly! We’ve always used Pampers Sensitive diapers and wipes. I love the diapers, and I will use them forever, even though they’re more pricey. I’ve always liked the wipes but even the sensitive wipes have a weird scent. These Water Wipes have no scent. They’re made with 99.9% water and 0.3% fruit extract. THAT’S IT. They’re the only wipes that contain no chemicals, parabans, alcohol, or perfumes. You can buy them on Diapers.com, Amazon or Walgreens.com.
  • Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Hehe. The name gets me every time. But I love this stuff as well. Sophia made it pretty clear early on in her little life that she hated Desitin. It’s very strong and often burns, and it made diaper changes a horrible experience. This diaper cream treats and prevents rashes, and has an extremely pleasant scent that you can’t smell on them from a mile away, ahem, like Desitin. They also make a Natural version of this as well, but we haven’t tested it out yet. We still use Aquaphor and have it all around the house.
  • Johnson’s No More Tangles. With the fineness of Sophia’s hair, I never thought I’d need a product like this. The way she sleeps as of late, is on her back. The back of her hair has turned into such a little rats nest! I needed to do something. Luckily she loves having it sprayed and combed out. So far we really like this spray! I want to get the L’Oreal Kids detangle spray as well – I loved the pear smell as a kid.

 

So those are our favorites so far! I think I’ll do this once a month.

 

What are your personal favorites? Baby favorites? Anything you recommend?