Tiny Human Recommendations (6 Months+)

This is with double motive. First and foremost, lots of blog friends and internet friends and irl friends are having babies or have recently had babies. These are beyond-newborn-stage products that have been awesome for M. We still use and love the majority of them. (She’s a quarter past 2 y.o.)

I did a post like this once before and it was incredibly unpopular, but I don’t learn from my mistakes so fingers crossed this one does better.

Now for my second reason making this post… 90 days ago I was approved to be an Amazon affiliate and given an 180 day trial period to prove people wanted to buy my recs. Well so far I’ve had 0/3 people purchase anything- and that is for lack of trying. Oops. So this is my pathetic but honest plea to encourage you to use the links below if you do plan to buy any of these awesome products.

Ok. That was long winded. Let’s do this.

Sippy Cups

When you are a Type-A Enneagram 5 mom, you research the hell out of things. Like cups.

18 months and 4 days ago experts said it’s best for babies to learn to drink from a cup or from a straw- not tradition sippy cups. Why? I don’t know. They’ve likely changed their minds by now.

But regardless, M loves doing things on her own and this cups allowed her to consume a little water and create a terrible mess at the age of 8 months. The slightly less messy option, that we still use today, is this straw cup.

Why We Love It: The blue cup is shaped for small mouths, weighted at the bottom, and silicon for easy gripping. The straw cup is great because it’s easy to use, spill-proof, and the straw is weighted, so even if M turns it uptown drink it, the bottom of the straw shifts to the liquid and it works.
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No. 1 Stuffy

You know what’s weird? A baby who loves a stuffed octopus. But he’s cute. We named him Cal. He’s dropped a few ranks in recent months. Right now her favorite is actually a stuffed unicorn that was made to be a dog toy but now lives life as a two-year-old’s sleep buddy. Fortunately, we removed the squeaker so it’s less enticing to the dogs.

Why We Love It: Cal is easy to grab, easy to chew, and easy to wash.

Shopping Cart Cover

I registered for this before C*VID was a thing but holy cow has it been helpful since the plague began.

Why We Love It: It definitely gives me peace of mind in the store AND it catches all the crumbs/toys/sippy cups M drops while we’re shopping. Plus, it’s cute.
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Wet Bags

Originally purchased because we did cloth diapering, they’ve since been invaluable for many reasons. The big pocket is water-proofed and there is a smaller front pocket for other items. Plus the patterns are so dang adorable.

Why We Love It: These are great for dirty or wet clothes and bathing suits. They’re awesome to carry around while potty training. (I put extra clothes in the front zipper and anything that has been spoiled in the w.p. pouch.) They’re cute and they wash up so well!
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*I do not put mine in the dryer and they look like new. We started using them back in M’s newborn days.

Little Lamb Hat

First of all, my child actual kills me with how cute she is in this hat. That alone is reason to buy it for the child in your life.

Why We Love It: But really… there’s nothing cuter. And also it’s comfy and warm, easy to slide over their heads, and semi-difficult for them to remove while you’re turned away for 0.03 seconds.
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Closet Sorter

This item is 100% unnecessary but my eyes and brain loved them so much. Plus, you have a TON of baby clothes to sort through in those first two years and these help.

Why We Love It: They’re easy to hang in the closet, they keep clothes organized, and they’re cute. If you’re obsessed with order and organization, they’re fantastic.
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Admittedly, this is not my most exciting blog post, but I do swear by these items. And when I go to baby showers or recommend items to friends, these are always on my list.

Like I said, if you decide to get something from the list, pretty please use the links up there 😊 But if you don’t, I’ll forgive you and we can still be friends.

Do you have any must-haves for toddlerhood? I’m deep in the trenches and always looking for ways to keep my sour patch kid happy and safe.

-Aud

Amazoning in the New Year

Hello all. I love shopping small & local, but the convenience of Amazon wins out pretty often in my life. And I’ve finally stopped being lazy and registered for an affiliated link (woo!), so I will earn a penny or two for M’s piggy bank*.

*her piggy bank is actually a fox

Most of these items are Christmas gifts, but some after post-holiday purchases and some are things I ordered for myself. As I mentioned, I make a tiny profit from sales through these links 🖤

New Books for M

Olya shared a bunch of marked down books on her IG last week. So naturally I stocked up for trips, holidays, birthdays, and just-becauses.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas | Home for the Holidays | Decorate A Christmas Tree | The Monster at the End of This Book | The Nutcracker

Gifts for the Critters

We like to spoil our pets and other people’s pets during the holidays. The vegetable squeaky toys were a big hit with our neighbors’ 6 month old puppy!

Automatic feeder | Doorbuddy | Buddy Biscuits | Chew Toys

Stuff for M

Both M’s big birthday gift and big Christmas gift came from Amazon. She got these awesome stepping stones for her b-day and this kitchen for Christmas. Both have provided hours of entertainment!

Stepping Stones | Step2 Kitchen | Sesame Street buddies

Stuff for Me

I decided to stop scrolling in bed and the easiest way to do that was to charge my phone across the room at night. But my phone was my alarm clock… so I needed a new one. I opted for this sunrise-simulating one. Way less $$ than a Hatch, but it’s actually been really nice.

The blue light glasses & cheetah flats were practical and beneficial purchases. The bag was purchased as a snack/toy travel bag for M. I actually keep it in my car right now, but it’s a great bag! Big, sturdy, tons of pockets!

Alarm clock | blue light glasses | cheetah flats | travel bag

We still have one more Christmas to go to, so I didn’t want to share ALL the things I’ve purchased. I’m linking up with Tanya for Prime Purchases.

What did you buy this month from Amazon? (Or Etsy! Or your local store!)

-Aud

Everyday Beauty Routine

“Everyday” is actually a stretch… I would say 4 or 5 days a week is more accurate. Before M was born, these products (and more!) were applied every single day. But still… these are my go-to make up items. I did a post like this in 2017. It’s funny how much I’ve paired it down. That said, there are still some things from 2017 that I use today.

Before I apply anything, I spray my face with Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 spray. I notice a difference in my foundations longevity and finish when I forget this step.

Next up is Bare Mineral Complexion Rescue. I love the SPF 30 in it.

I brush a little NYX Stay Matte Powder on my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Then finish it all off with It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Setting Powder.

I still use Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer when I’m feeling fancy. Also, if I plan to use eyeliner or eyeshadow I will apply Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer to my lids before I brush on the finishing powder.

*trust me when I say I, too, hate how expensive this stuff is… but if it works, it works.

Ok, that takes care of the basic foundation.

Next up are brows. NYX Tinted Eyebrow Mascara is the JAM. I love this stuff for quick brow definition. For mascara I usually stick to Essence Princess Lashes and Get BIG Lashes but my mom got me some fancier ones for Christmas: Tarte Maneater and Too Faced Better Than Sex.

When I use it, eyeliner of choice is NYX Matte Liquid Liner and eyeshadow is Urban Decay Naked3 Palette.

If I’m in a hurry/don’t care, I just do Complexion Rescue, setting powder, and mascara. M loves sitting on the sink counter and watching me. She pretends to put on lipstick and loves to have her face tickled with the brushes. Sometimes I apply make up just for the bonding time 😊

I imagine COVID has changed everyone’s make-up routine. It definitely put mine on pause and made me reevaluate what I really needed on my bathroom vanity. Do you have any tried-and-true staples that you use?

Pandemic Project # 348: PHOTOWALL

To be honest, the majority of our time at home this past year was spent keeping Moo out of trouble AND keeping the business out of trouble. We didn’t complete too many home projects. I am extremely jealous of the people who checked off task after task.

As such, we have plenty of shelves & pictures to hang, but when Photowall reached out for a collaboration I was not about to say no. All the printed canvases in our home are from Photowall and our newest print is just what we needed to reignite our home-decorating passion.

Have you ever paid hundreds for a professional photography session only to sit around on the final prints and use them as extremely expensive iPhone backgrounds…? Yeah, us too.

Or maybe you snapped an amazing picture, but it’s now trapped in your phone with no where to go and no one to admire it.

Enter: Photowall

It looks intimidating, but the assembly process is simple and takes less than 20 minutes.

Right now this gem is hanging in our bedroom, but our plan is to order more & hang them in the foyer. I ordered a 31.5 x 39.37 inch print. It’s huge and the print quality is amazing.

Photowall also has a huge selection of artwork and wallpaper. If you have a boring wall in need of something bright, bold, or unique, check out the designs on their website.

Shipping is free and SO fast. Such good people with great hearts.

This particular canvas was gifted to me, but I HAVE and will continue to buy from Photowall with my own hard-earned money. The people and products are truly top-notch. #sponsored

As I said, behind the Photowall name are some amazing people.

They’ve given me a code to share with you- good for 25% percent off anything on the site! Use audielou25 at the check out and treat yourself to some beautiful art!

If you have any questions about the company or code, please let me know!

Aldi Toddler Finds

Like many of you, I am a big fan of Aldi. Our town doesn’t have a Target or Whole Foods or Panera… but we have an Aldi. She may not know it, but M is a big fan of Aldi, too.

I’ve talked about Aldi before. I did a post about my favorites at one point. (I imagine some of those items are now discontinued.) Today I thought I’d share the non-baby things that my baby loves.

Before I launch into non-baby stuff, I want to share that my experience with their baby items has been remarkably great.

Their diapers, puffs, rice rusks, and fruit & veggie puree pouches are top notch.

I’ve had some issues with the wipes, but still recommend them as an okay option. (The packaging has fallen apart on me- nothing to do with M’s skin.)

Ok… on to other foods.

Freeze-Dried Fruit I think these are gross but M loves them. (Well, she did last week. This week it’s a no. So probably next week they’ll be in her good graces again.) I’ve seen mango, strawberry, and fuji apple. Mango was the favorite… who knows what it’ll be next.

Veggie Straws Unlike the fruit, M is still BFFs with these square tube healthier-ish chips. Girlfriend doesn’t love fresh vegetables and fruit right now so I’m considering veggie straws a mediocre alternative. Plus they keep her happy and who am I to deny her joy? (I know, I know. It’s literally my job to deny her joy.)

Avocado Dip These are just small cups of mashed avocado and sea salt. Lazy? Sure. But I don’t have to play Russian roulette with a fresh ‘cado and end up with a browned, rotten $2 stress ball.
*We also practice using our spoon with these cups because they’re thick enough they don’t spill out and soft enough for her to scoop.

Fish Sticks M isn’t sold on fish sticks yet but we’re going to keep trying. I also did the #lazymom thing and made them in the microwave when I know for a fact they’re 10xs better in the oven. So we’ll try this one again soon. She loves fish so I have high hopes.

Chicken Nuggets Love me a chicky-nuggy lunch. I make enough for Moo-Poo and myself because DUH. I cut these into small bite-size bits and give them to her or mix them with Mac n Cheese.

Grilled Chicken Stripes These are the bomb. And they’re a HIT with Moo. Again, I just chop them into small bits and she loves them. They can be mixed into pasta, too!

Mac n Cheese, Spaghetti, Ravioli My child is a carb-o-holic and will eat any noodle put in front of her. I’m going to try mixing tuna in with her Mac n Cheese at some point. And Aldi has such fantastic prices for all these items.

Whole Milk, Eggs, Yogurt Normal stuff for a toddler, but priced sooooo well at Aldi!

Lunch Meat, Shredded Cheese, American Cheese Again, normal toddler snacks but cheap cheap cheap. M loves meat & cheese, lol. She’s her father’s daughter for sure.

As I said, M isn’t into fruits and veggies right now. She actually nommed on some pineapple the other day but I think it was a fluke. We don’t do grapes or nuts or hotdogs, so I can’t speak to any of those items at the great and powerful Aldi.

What do you buy from Aldi for your mini garbage disposals (or yourself)??