6.22.2016

best of the nest | the baby cubby

I've shared my love of one-stop-shops many times in the past and am so excited to be featuring a new favorite of ours today in my Best of the Nest series, The Baby Cubby. Offering "The Best of Everything Baby" in one spot, The Baby Cubby is made up of a team of parents who have been there, know what it's like and are passionate about encouraging, inspiring and reminding all parents just how amazing they are and how important their role is in the lives of their children. The Baby Cubby specializes in carrying every item you could possibly want or need for your little ones, all by the top brands in the business, including so many of our absolute favorites -- 4moms, Little Unicorn, Boon, Freshly Picked, Briar Handmade, Uppababy & more. 
As a busy Mom of two, I love when I can get everything I need all in one spot, whether for my own girls or for gifts and expectant Mamas-to-be. With an easy-to-navigate website, all their products are organized by category so you're able to find exactly what you're looking for with just a few simple clicks. They also offer a Baby Registry, which I LOVE and wish I had known about the first time around back in 2013 when I was pregnant with Olivia. 

Below I've rounded up a handful of our all-time favorite products from The Baby Cubby with quick links to shop. And Blessed Nest readers can save 10% off your total purchase today through June 30th using the code ABlessedNest10 at checkout.
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve

The 4moms MamaRoo {one} & DockATot {two} were two must-haves during the first few months after Poppy was born and made life so much easier with a newborn. We have always loved swaddle blankets for how versatile they are -- not only for swaddling & snuggling but as a changing pad, nursing cover, carseat cover and more and the little unicorn swaddle sets are favorites in our home {four}. 

For teething, our go-to bibs are the little unicorn bandana style ones {five} and our favorite feeding spoons are the Boon swap {eight}, we've been using them since Olivia was a baby. Another product I've used since becoming a mom is the Boon grass drying rack {eleven}, perfect for bottles, pump parts, cups, bowls, spoons & more. We use ours every single day!

As many of you know, our love of children's books runs deep and The Baby Cubby carries a great selection of BabyLit Books {twelve} as well as tons of darling nursery products, like this gray pom pom bin I love {six}, gender neutral and a stylish way to stay organized! Two new products we've recently started loving for Olivia, our 3 year old, are the Puj Phillup Cups {seven} and the Boon Glo nightlight {ten}, perfect for middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom!

We also love their selection of Uppababy strollers and accessories. We have the Uppababy Vista 2015 and use it every single day. You can easily turn the original Vista into a double by adding a rumble seat. The original Vista here comes with a coordinating bassinet which I loved when Poppy was a newborn, not only for pushing her in the stroller but also to carry into the house for her to sleep in. These days we use our Vista with a piggyback, a convenient board that attaches to the back of the stroller, so Olivia can ride along when she wants but easily hop off. I love that it can be put on or taken off in just seconds and can also be folded up and kept out of the way if I'm not using it without having to fully remove it.


In addition to their online store, they have a brick and mortar retail location in Lindon, Utah and amazing customer service. Something else I love about The Baby Cubby is that they always price match {even with Amazon}, so you know you're getting the best deal out there. I'm all about getting a great deal ;) In addition, free domestic shipping is automatic on all orders over $49 and if you sign up for their newsletter you can grab an extra discount on top of that!

What really sets The Baby Cubby apart from other shops like it is their dedication to customer service and their commitment to only carry the best, safest gear & baby products, all of which have been thoroughly researched and tested, so parents can shop confidently. They've spent hundreds of hours researching the best of the best so as busy parents, we don't have to; they've taken the work out of finding just the right product for each family and instead strive to make your shopping experience simple and fun. No matter where or how they interact with parents, whether on their website, in their retail location, through social media or on their Cubby Community Blog, The Baby Cubby wants their customers to know they are not just another baby store; they don't just want to sell "stuff," but rather they have a passion for being a resource for them through the journey of parenthood with all its ups and downs. We have found so many items we love from The Baby Cubby and I hope this has given you just a few ideas of modern products that may make your everyday life with little ones a bit easier!

Don't forget that you can save 10% now through June 30th using the discount ABlessedNest10 at checkout {plus free shipping on all domestic orders over $49}. And be sure to follow along with The Baby Cubby below for sneak peeks, special offers & more!


Hope you have a wonderful rest of your week! Xo

6.21.2016

our favorite mom hacks

Last week on instagram I asked all of you to weigh in on your top mom hacks, you know...those little things you do on a day to day basis (maybe without even realizing it) that make life with little ones way easier?! I had so much fun reading all of them and of course had to share my favorites plus a few more we love around our home. I created a list below by category; I hope you find a few to add to your own bag of tricks! And of course, feel free to share more in a comment below.

organization
+ Use an ikea rolling cart (here) to organize things you access daily -- set one up in the nursery with wipes, diapers, creams, other toiletries, etc or place bedside if cosleeping or have your newborn in a bassinet beside you; we have this one in Penelope's room that is actually filled with toys, puzzles & blankets that the girls use all the time and this one is in our laundry room filled with all our laundry essentials as well as extra boxes of snack & sandwich bags, garbage bags, dish soap, hand soap, etc. When I run out of something I can just run to the laundry room to grab it instead of making an extra trip to the store! Plus they can be rolled room to room, so convenient!

+ We use a lot of bins and baskets around our house; Olivia's bookshelf is full of matching bins for different types of books and we can easily grab one small bin to bring outside to read or for snuggles in our bed in the morning. Almost all the girls' toys are in bins and baskets (kitchen toys & play food in a picnic basket, all our wooden blocks in a basket, wooden animals in another basket, etc) and it makes clean up for Olivia so easy plus prevents toys from being strewn all over my house, since I can fill a basket and hide it under our coffee table or in the corner of the room where it can still be easily accessed for playtime

+ I roll up crib sheets and swaddle blankets and place them in a decorative basket in the nursery; it saves time when I need them plus makes for pretty and functional decor

+ Use a 3M hook on the back of your high chair to hang bibs

in the car + travel
+ Create a bin for your car with everything you might possibly need; some mamas call this a "possibles bin"...you can find heavy duty black bins that are actually made for the car at Target. In ours I keep extra diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for both girls, pajamas for both girls, first aid kit, toys, books, box of kleenex, bottles of water, non-perishable snacks, small blanket, ziplock bags of different sizes, etc. If I'm running a quick errand and don't feel like lugging my diaper bag or something is missing from it, I have everything I need in my car

+ Pack for trips with ziplock bags: in each bag, fill with every item for an outfit (down to the bow & underwear!) so getting ready on vacation is a breeze

+ Always pack extra ziplock bags for traveling to put dirty clothes in, swimsuits, etc.

+ Use a cereal dispenser tupperware with a plastic grocery bag as a liner for an on-the-road trash bin

+ Put your wrap or sling on before getting in the car while you're still at home, then when you reach your destination you can slip your baby right in instead of having to put your wrap on in a parking lot or in the car

around the home
+ Layer your little one's bedding: waterproof mattress pad, crib sheet, waterproof mattress pad, crib sheet, etc. / I do this and love that I can just take the top layer off on laundry days without having to lift the mattress out of the crib, rush to get it washed and back on before nap time (you can also do this with a bassinet and it comes in especially handy for newborns)

+ Make cleaning up a race: for those with older kids, when it's time to clean up set a timer for 2-3 minutes and see who can clean up the fastest; Olivia loves when I do this, she thinks its a game and it makes a chore seem much more fun

+ We often do bathtime in the morning, since most nights we stay in the backyard or playing at the park until the sun goes down; this makes our bedtime routine quicker with just having to wash faces, brush teeth & get in pajamas before we read books; the girls love baths and doing them in the morning is a great way to get their day started, plus I'm not in a rush thinking about how quickly I need to get them to bed

+ Sometimes ice packs can be a little too cold for babies or young children; make your own by freezing large marshmallows -- soft and not too cold but just enough to reduce swelling 

in the kitchen
+ Meal & snack prep: on days that I do all my grocery shopping, I spend some time prepping food (especially fruits and veggies) so they're ready to go for the week and can easily be accessed when needed; ideas include slicing bell peppers or cucumbers, peeling & chopping carrots, celery or other favorite veggies, slicing strawberries, cutting pineapple, etc. I put each food in a glass container in the fridge and then for breakfasts & lunches, save a lot of time by not having to prep anything

+ Repurpose tools for new uses; we love egg salad and Olivia loves using the egg slicer on the hard boiled eggs; did you ever think of using it on strawberries, bananas, kiwi or mushrooms?! Save time and some effort when slicing fruits & small veggies

+ We make a lot of smoothies for breakfast (especially being that we don't have a kitchen until our reno is over) and instead of throwing out the leftover smoothie, you can fill popsicle molds for a healthier afternoon snack or breakfast on the go; both girls love them and they're great for summertime!

+ Use a foil muffin tin liner underneath a popsicle to prevent dripping onto your little ones' hands (just poke the popsicle stick through it rightside up to catch the drips)

+ Sneak spinach, kale and other veggies into your child's smoothie in the morning

+ Not only is a dishwasher great for dishes, but it's an excellent way to clean and disinfect sponges, toothbrushes, baby toys, pacifiers, bottle parts & more

+ For s'mores, we put graham crackers, marshmallows and hershey bars each into their own large mason jar; it keeps everything fresh, looks cute sitting on your kitchen counter and you don't have to deal with opening wrappers and having extra trash when you're sitting around the fire


laundry
+ Use zipper mesh bags for laundry: perfect for washing socks & tights so they're easy to find and don't get lost in the dryer!

+ One mom shared that to save time folding towels and washcloths, find a cute basket (do you see a pattern here?!) they can sit in; I do something similar in that we have a drawer in our vanity for all our washcloths and towels at Olivia's level; she loves folding washcloths and it's a great way for her to practice folding laundry on a small scale. I throw them in the drawer fresh out of the dryer (without folding) and then when she has a few free minutes (usually before nap time), I find her sitting in there folding them, she gets so excited when she has folded a whole stack and then places them back in the drawer nice and neat.

+ Instead of using traditional dryer sheets (which are usually filled with yucky stuff that can irritate a child's sensitive skin), I use wool dryer balls (our favorite here) and put lavender essential oil on them before tumbling clothing dry; one set of 3 lasts 1000 loads plus everything comes out smelling amazing and I'm convinced it keeps the girls calm on our wildest days!


Do you have any mom hacks I forgot?! Be sure to share them below! 
Hope your week is off to a great start!! 

6.14.2016

lit list | top 10 counting books

Last Tuesday I shared ten of our favorite animal books in a post here and had so much fun putting the list together I thought I'd continue this week with ten of our favorite counting books. Olivia loves to count and each of these books make it so much fun with their beautiful illustrations. These days, Poppy enjoys flipping through the board books that Olivia stacks in front of her any time we sit down to read, even though sometimes I think she would rather eat them ;)


All these books are not only great for learning the basics of counting 1-10 or 1-20 but also for number recognition and understanding quantity, since many of them have representative pictures which accompany each number, which is really key to a child understanding the concept of numbers & quantity and eventually addition and subtraction.
one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten

Are any of these favorites in your home?! To see more of our favorites, be sure to follow along on instagram @blessednestblog with my #BlessedNestLitList series & check out the Lit List tab as well! 

Hope your week is off to a great start!!

6.10.2016

friday favorites

Happy Friday! Today I've rounded up a few Friday Favorites I've been loving lately, including one of my favorite gifts us girls are giving Dustin for Father's Day this year! It's hard to believe we're already 10 days into June. Poppy is 9 months old today and I still wonder how time could possibly be passing this fast. 


1 // We spend so much time outside during the summer, especially during the afternoon once the girls wake up from their naps and we have some downtime before dinner. Olivia loves trail mix of any sort (we call it "pup mix" because my dad always called me pup as a little girl and now he calls Olivia that) and it's been so much fun to let her build her own with a little trail mix station. I usually pack trail mix in Dustin's lunches as well, so I set up bowls with different nuts, dried fruit, etc and after Olivia fills a little bowl with her own creation for a snack, I let her fill a few containers for Daddy for the week. These mini latte bowls make it extra fun and are the perfect size for her little hands. 

2 // We have been spending a lot of time grilling lately being that our kitchen is under renovation and dessert for us these days is almost always our favorite popsicles. I really want to try making our own this summer, I know Olivia would love that. These blueberry rhubarb breakfast pops look so yummy and so do these blackberry cheesecake ones.


3 // This Father's Day is certainly the most special yet and I wanted to find something that Dustin would not only love but that would be memorable and practical so we're giving him a Daniel Wellington watch. I have a matching one and love the rose gold and blue hand detail. His is slightly larger the mine and can be shopped here. Mine can be found here. They are classy and timeless and I love the look of the weathered leather straps and the minimal face design. Being that he asked for a weed whip for Father's Day (thrilling, right?!), I'm pretty sure he's going to be surprised and love his new watch! You can save 15% off your DW purchase through June 30 using the code BLESSEDNESTBLOG at checkout.


4 // Olivia's favorite thing to wear every day is a dress, anything she can twirl in. I recently got this linen dress for her and love how classic and almost old-fashioned looking it is. It would be so darling paired with this one for us Mamas.

5 // Last but not least, I am always finding ways to add art prints to our walls and this floral one is a new favorite. No such thing as too much art, right?! ;)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! XO

6.08.2016

best of the nest | zozu baby

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far. We are staying busy with our kitchen renovation and enjoying some beautiful weather. As much fun as the renovation process is, I'm definitely looking forward to having it finished and being able to cook again in a brand new kitchen!
I'm so excited to be featuring one of our favorite shops for girls' bows today in my Best of the Nest series, ZoZu Baby. Founded and run by beautiful Mama of two, Sandy Zucker, ZoZu Baby was started after the birth of her daughter, Zoey, as a way to accessorize her own children and those of her friends. It quickly grew in to so much more than that and since Sandy made her first bow back in March of 2013, it still focuses on simple, classic pieces that complement babies and children of all ages.


ZoZu Baby offers a wide range of bow styles; our favorites are the Zoey bows, they're the perfect size for Poppy without being too big, just enough to make a statement. If you're looking for something a bit smaller or want a bow set for pigtails, the Scout collection is darling as are the Explorer bows. And if you're on the hunt for something festive, this 4th of July collection is so much fun. Each bow can be made on nylon elastic which grows with your child and is made to fit any age or it can be put on an alligator clip. Sandy also offers free domestic shipping on all orders over $30.


All ZoZu Baby bows are made with love in Northern California, with meticulous attention to detail and they arrive in the sweetest packaging. I love all her neutral bows that can be paired with every outfit. The Dalmatian bow {above}, Polka Dot bow {below} and Two-Toned Black and White are a few of our absolute favorites! 


In addition to the sweetest hair bows for your little ladies, you can also find bowties at ZoZu baby. All the accessories Sandy makes and sells are comfortable, classic and made to last. Sandy is always releasing new styles and I love her wide selection of colors and patterns. 


Because we love ZoZu Baby bows so much, I've teamed up with Sandy to give away FIVE BOWS of CHOICE to one of you! To enter, head over to my instagram @blessednestblog for details. Giveaway runs Wednesday June 8 through Tuesday June 14 and the winner will be announced on the original post on Instagram. For an extra entry, leave a comment below sharing which bows or bow styles are your favorites! 

Be sure to follow along with ZoZu Baby below for sneak peeks, special discounts & more:

6.07.2016

lit list | top 10 animal books

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

Joining in #toptentuesday to share our Ten Favorite Animal picture books! In our house, we all love children's books and I'm pretty sure even if I didn't have kids, I would have a collection because they are just so beautiful & reading them makes me feel like a kid again. Thankfully, both the girls love books and even though Poppy just pages through board books right now, Olivia is sure to teach her all about what makes a good book and how to read as she gets older!


A lot of the books we've been reading lately have been all about animals so I thought it would be fun to round up 10 of our favorites here. 
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

Are any of these your favorites as well?! 

Be sure to follow along instagram @blessednestblog with my #BlessedNestLitList series and check the Lit List tab here on my blog if you're in need of some new book ideas! XO

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