Unexpected Diaper Bag Essentials

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When you leave the house with a baby, being equipped with everything you could possibly need could be the different between enjoying your day out, and having to come home early due to a fussy baby. We all know the usual items for a diaper bag - wipes, changes of clothes and DIAPERS! I wanted to recommend a few others that you may or may not have thought of and that will save you in any meltdown situation!

For starters, you need a good diaper bag. With Zane, I started off using one that I found at a regular retail store, but quickly learned that a good diaper bag has several essentials that you can’t find anywhere else.

1 - Stroller clips: A necessary feature is stroller clips, which allows the bag to hang from the handle of your stroller, freeing up the storage compartment underneath for shopping and other bags! Without stroller clips, you’ll be forced to put your bag under the stroller, leaving no room for jackets, shopping bags or groceries. It sounds like something silly now, but when baby arrives you’ll understand what I’m talking about!

2 - Insulated pockets for bottles and food: An amazing feature in some diaper bags (including this one!) is 2 insulated side pockets for bottles or other food. This means you can go to the park in the summer with a bottle of milk or water and it will stay cool! Or you can keep a bottle of water or formula warm. This is a lifesaver when you are somewhere (like the park) where there is no hot water or microwave in sight!

3 - LOTS OF POCKETS: This diaper bag from Elfe Juvenile products has 8 diaper different compartments. It means you can stay organized, find things easily, and most importantly, fit EVERYTHING that you need into 1 bag.

4 - BACKPACK BACKPACK BACKPACK: I can’t stress this enough. When you have a crying baby or one that just needs love, you need your hands free. Having a diaper bag that goes over your shoulder might look cute, but its super impractical. I can’t recommend enough to find one that’s a backpack. And there are so many awesome styles now, that you don’t need to compromise style for functionality.

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Next up on my list are a few teethers from Nuby. We used SO many of their products with Zane and I’m loving being able to discover even more of what they have to offer with baby #2! A teething baby is generally a cranky baby so with the help of the products below, you can help you mini remain soothed while you’re out and about:

1 - Fruity Chews: These unique teethers will help your teething baby find relief. Their unique texture will provide comfort and the small delicate grip is perfect for your baby’s little hands to grasp!

2 - Beaded PaciFinder: Thanks to this, you won’t lose any more pacifiers (or have your mini throw them on the floor!). This Nuby one comes with a silicone teether too so whether your baby needs to be soothed or needs to chew on something to sooth her gums, you’ll have it all!

3 - Happy Hands Teething Mitten: These mittens are perfect for babies that still can’t grasp a traditional teether and that tend to chew their fingers instead! The soft silicone will soothe their gums and you can easily clean it can even be machine washed!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, finding the right pacifier is crucial to a happy baby. I don’t think there’s a logic behind why some prefer one shape over another, so I recommend buying a few different ones, figuring out which one your baby prefers, and then STOCK UP!!! Always make sure to get the appropriate size - the nipple in the bigger sizes will be too big for your mini and will make them gag!

I love these NaturalFit pacifiers from Chicco:

1 - NaturalFit 2-Pack Soft Silicone Orthodontic Pacifier 0M+

2 - NaturalFit® 2-Pack Mi-cro™ Pacifier 0-2m

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of brining bibs! Lots. Of. Bibs. Babies drool, they spit up and they drop milk and food all the time. Unless you feel like packing 10 shirts, bring bibs! They’re small, light weight and can be easily switched! I love the Cheeky Chompers Neckerbib! They’re reversible, so soft, have easily attachable snaps at the back and come in an array of colours and patterns to match any outfit!

If you have any questions about the products, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below or send me an email! You can find them all by clicking the names of the products, or by visiting the Elfe website!

The Importance of A Great Planner from Lake and Loft

Every year I go on the hunt for a new planner. Not because it’s a task I particularly enjoy… but more so because I haven’t found one that has it all. Durable enough to last an entire year, equipped with enough tools but not overwhelming, a great layout, and gorgeous. This year I stumbled upon Lake and Loft, and they will now have a customer in me for the rest of my planner days!

USE CODE MNMM35 for 35% OFF at Lake and Loft

Finding the right planner for me, is the difference between feeling overwhelmed with my life and feeling like I’m in control. It’s the difference between missing deadlines and being on top of all that I have to do. I’m going share my fave features of my new planner from Lake and Loft! For a limited time, you can use code MNMM35 to save 35% off yours! Click here to see it and the other colors available.

First off, the details. The gold corner accents and gold binding rings tug at my heart. This planner is such a piece, that it can sit on a desk as decor and doesn’t need to be tucked away when I’m cleaning up.

It comes equipped with pockets at the front and back so store loose papers and the fun stickers that come included!

The first section is Dream - pages filled with “Big Ideas” and “Minor Details” so that you can map out how to conquer the year and every idea, thought and inspiration that comes to mind. Whether it’s inspirational quotes, the next great business venture, or just some room decor inspiration, this section is where I would put everything that wanted to keep track of, but didn’t need to access on the daily.

The second section is Plan - self explanatory! It has gorgeous tabs that separate the months. Each month begins with the most important thing: DREAM, GOALS and PLAN OF ACTION. I love writing down my goals for the month. It helps keep me focused, on track, and when I feel discouraged, I can quickly look back and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.

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Each month also has a budget section where you can write down bills to pay and keep track of your money coming in and out. There’s even a section to write down what you’re saving up for!

A necessity for me is a monthly calendar view - I like to be able to see what’s coming up at a glance.

Finally, each monthly section is broken down by weeks, making it super easy to write down daily tasks, write weekly to-do lists and there’s even a little section for Weekly Wins. Not every week will be huge… nor super successful, but this weekly win section will help you focus on the positive and keep your drive going for the weeks to come.

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This yearly planner is filled with such cute extras, such as Thank You and Happy Birthday Post Cards at the end, making it super easy to send a beautiful note to someone special while you’re on the go and busy running the world! Click here to check out my planner along with all the other styles!

USE CODE MNMM35 for 35% OFF at Lake and Loft

Lake and Loft has so much else to offer besides planners! I also got my hands on the big ta-do™ weekly checklist! These tear off sheets have beautiful gold edges, tear apart by day so that you can bring one list at a time with you and are on thick cardboard, making it oh so luxurious to write. Writing to-do lists has never been so fun!!!

Lake and Loft also has note pads, greeting cards, coasters, recipe cards and so much more! Click here to visit their site and don’t forget to use MNMM35 to get 35% off your order!





Be the Hostess With the Mostest Thanks to TABASCO® Sauces

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FlavorYourWorld #CollectiveBias 

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Your friends will be lining up for game day when you decide to spice up your appetizers this year with TABASCO® Sauces. I’m sharing my drool worthy Cheese Dip, Guacamole and Bean Salsa recipes with an added twist: the TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce, Chipotle Pepper Sauce and Green Jalapeño Sauce. They can all be found in the “Sauces” aisle at your local Walmart near the other condiments.

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The TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce is made with only 3 ingredients: aged red peppers, salt and distilled vinegar. It can be used in almost any dish and adds a kick of spice that your guests will obsess over! I used it in all 3 of my recipes and it’s a staple in my kitchen, but depending on the type of spice or flavor you want to add to your dishes, you can substitute it for the other 2 as well! You can also leave the bottles out for your guests to add as they please to their food.

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Game Day Spicy Bean Salsa

You can make this salsa as chunky or as smooth as you want! Depending on the consistency you’re looking for, you can add the beans and tomatoes to a blender before adding the rest of the ingredients. We love foods with an aded kick of flavor so we were super generous with the TABASCO® Sauce.

  1. Add 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained to a bowl. (You can add to a food processor and chop or blend depending on the consistency you want your salsa to be!)

  2. Add 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced (for a chunky sauce) OR add to the same food processor as the beans and blend.

  3. 1 small onion diced

  4. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  5. 1 tbs lime juice

  6. 2 tbs TABASCO® Sauce of your choice (I recommend the Pepper Sauce or Chipotle Pepper Sauce!)

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Kicker Cheese Dip

Surprise your gameday guests with this fun twist on a classic cheese dip! You can mix in the TABASCO® Sauce while making it, drizzle it on top (OR BOTH!).

  1. In a medium sauce pan, warm over medium heat 3 tbs of butter and 2 tbs of flour

  2. Add 1 cup of milk, while stirring constantly

  3. Add 1 cup of shredding sharp cheddar cheese

  4. Continue to stir and mix until fully melted

  5. Add in 1 tbs of TABASCO® Sauce (the flavor of your choice!)

  6. Top with chopped chives

  7. Optional: Drizzle TABASCO® Sauce on top of the dish once ready to serve (I recommend the Green Jalapeño Sauce)

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Creamy Kick Off Guacamole

For a creamy guacamole add all the ingredients to a blender! For a chunkier guacamole, follow the recipe below!

  1. Add 4 ripe guacamoles to a bowl (KEEP THE PITS!)

  2. Add the juice from 1/2 lime

  3. Add 1 large tomato diced

  4. Add 1 large onion diced

  5. Add 1/4 cup of cilantro chopped

  6. Add 1 tbs of TABASCO® Sauce (I recommend the Chipotle Pepper Sauce or the Green Jalapeño Sauce)

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I would love to hear how you use the 3 TABASCO® Sauces in your recipes! Comment below so that I can give them a try. Don’t forget to visit the link below (click on the image!) to earn CASH BACK on your purchase of TABASCO® Sauces at Walmart! #FlavorYourWorld #CollectiveBias

Baby and Toddler Gift Ideas from Kidz District!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… good quality toys for kids is really hard to find. I was super lucky to discover some of my favourite brands when Zane was younger so I know which ones to stick to the second time around! If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that I’ve been getting toys from Kidz District since Zane was only a few months old! His first toy was the Dolce Musical Giraffe (read my full review here) and it’s made it through 2 years of love from Zane and will be passed along to baby #2 :).

I got my hands on a few more of their toys and think that these need to be on all of your holiday shopping lists if you don’t already own them!!!

VERTIPLAY WALL TOYS

You can say “bye!” to clutter on the floor thanks to this GENIUS line of Vertiplay Wall Toys that stick to your walls (without damaging the paint!). We tried out the Tree Top Adventure and the Musical Rail Track but there are many others! Appropriate for ages 2+, these toys will keep them busy and occupied while leaving your floors clear of toys! They’re stimulating, educational and fit in with any decor! Click here to see the entire collection.

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ORIBEL PORTAPLAY - WONDERLAND ADVENTURES

If you’re looking for an activity centre that can REALLY grow with your child, this is it! This PortaPlay is good for ages 5 months - 5 years! It easily converts from an activity centre with a ton of educational and stimulating toys, to a flat top table for colouring and other activities! Don’t forget to add on the matching stools (they come 2 in a pack!). A bonus? The activity centre and table have easily folding/collapsible legs so it can be transported and folded away. Check out the activity centre here. 

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Dolce - Pull Along Elephant

If you’re looking for a cuddly new entertaining bestie for your little one, look no further! The Pull Along Elephant from Dolce will help your mini develop relationship skills while walking and having a blast with their new best friend. The elephant has a squeaker in his tummy and crinkly ears that your toddler with love, along with a teether and wheels so that he zooms across the floor! Thankfully, the wheels easily come off, so your toddler can bring their best friend with them for nap time! Click here to learn more or click here to see the entire Dolce Collection.

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I only covered a few of my favourites from Kidz District! Click here to visit their website to see everything else they offer!

Only The Best For Your Little Ones From Aden + Anais

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Surprise a new mom in your life by gifting her the essentials this holiday season! Take it from me… I’ve tried A LOT of products and finding products that will last, are beautiful and will be loved by baby and mama is not as easy as it seems! Thankfully Aden + Anais is always coming out with new collections so you can fall in love with their products over and over again.

Their Seafaring Collection is a beautiful mix of dreamy ocean colours and whimsical waves and dots. Each pattern is more beautiful than the next and Aden + Anais never disappoints with the ultra soft and cuddly cottons.

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The Seafaring - Whale Classic Dream Blanket is a MUST HAVE in every nursery. It can be used as a blanket to sit on and play on on the floor, and as your baby gets older, it can be used as a blanket. We never go anywhere without ours and have a few in different patterns. You’ll LOVE how big and plush it is, and because it’s machine washable, your mini will never have to sleep without it!

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The Seafaring Collection also has a super soft 4-pack of their classic swaddle blankets. They are the softest 100% cotton muslin that will ever touch your baby’s skin! They come in so many colours and patterns, the hardest part will be choosing which ones to get!

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Finally, my last obsession in the Seafaring Collection is their Classic Burpy Bib. They drape over your baby’s shoulder and snap at the back to catch all drool and spit up that will escape your baby’s mouth! They are made from the same 100% muslin cotton as the swaddle blankets so you know that only the best is touching your baby’s skin.

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The other collection that I’m OBSESSING over is the Seaport Silky Soft Collection. It features a silky soft feeling like no other, with more abstract prints that will fit in with any decor. The Silk Soft Collection comes in a bunch of different colours and patterns so you can find one to match any nursery!

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The Silky Soft Dream Blanket is unique because it features four layers of luxurious viscose made from bamboo for THE MOST baby blanket. Your baby will love lying on it, cuddling on it and playing on it. It’s a great baby shower gift that any new mom will fall in love with.

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The Seaport Silky Soft Swaddles bring swaddle blankets to a whole other level!!! You need to feel one to understand what I’m talking about! You can use them to swaddle your baby or even as a light and airy blanket for their stroller!

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Lastly, the Silky Soft Burpy Bibs bring bibs to a whole new level. Made from bamboo fabric, it’s a bib that can go around your baby’s neck but also doubles as a burp pad! It’s shape also makes sure your shoulder is fully covered during burping, which is always a win!!

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You can shop the entire Aden + Anais Collection on their website. Be prepared to fall in love with every pattern and design. Whether it’s for a holiday gift, a baby shower, or your own baby, you won’t regret choosing Aden + Anais.

Gifts That Give Back All Year Round

With the holidays around the corner, I think it’s more important than ever to try to give back this holiday season and it can start with what’s on your shopping list! This year I’m making an effort to be very selective with the companies that I choose to buy gifts from and My B Toys is one that made the cut. For starters, they care about our earth (which is an initiative that I haven’t seen from any other toy company). They scrutinize every piece to ensure its impact on our children’s world is as light as possible - they use recyclable materials and their boxes and packaging are designed to be reused and some can even be reversed to become gift wrap! Even the ink on their packaging is soy-based and their varnishes are water-based. They then go a step farther and give a portion of every sale to Free The Children which has built over 650 schools in communities around the world, providing education to 50,000 children every day. If you still need another reason to support them, their toys are just THE CUTEST. Below are the items that we chose for Zane and for our newest addition that’s due in April! Their toys are available at Target and Amazon.

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Ribbit-tat-tat

Recommended for children 2 years +. it’s won multiple awards and is a frog inspired drum! There are beats from around the world, Ribbit-tat-tat from B toys is a frog-inspired toddler drum set and the winner of multiple awards! With its sturdy, toddler-proof construction, this frog toy drum is the perfect way to introduce music to babies and toddlers. There’s a retractable microphone where you can sing along, a voice changer and other games programmed in it! It will keep you and your mini entertained for hours :). Click here for more info!

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Fire Flyer

This isn’t your ordinary fire truck! It lights up, vibrates and moves on it’s own! It has an extendable fire hose and even a ladder that goes up and down! Zane looooves trucks and cars so this was a no brainer win for us! Click here for more info!

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Wonders Above

This is an acitivity that I am SO excited for. Whenever you shop for a new baby, there are always a few things you find that you can’t believe you lived without before. This is one of them! We had an activity for Zane but it was hard and often I felt he was uncomfortable on the floor when he was on it. This one is SO quilted and soft that your mini could even take a nap on it! It has 5 sensory toys hanging from the arc and it’s machine washable! Click here to learn more!

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Magical Mellow-Zzzs

This is mobile any expecting mom NEEDS this season. It’s a musical mobile with a magical light show that will have your baby soothed and calm. The light show covers every hue of the rainbow with the sweetest melodies. You can take it along and hang it from a car seat, an activity mat or a crib! The bonus? It’s SAFE! This baby musical mobile toy is BPA and phthalates free. Made of a Super soft and safe fabric! packaging is recyclable and recycled, with soy-based inks. Click here to learn more!

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Chewy Chews peace

This is the perfect firth teether for your little one! It has an adorable peace sign shape, is a beautiful color and will easily be held by your mini! It’s only available in stores!

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The Only Stroller You Need To Read About!

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I’ve been lucky enough to test out my share of light weight strollers, so I’d like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to choosing the best one! When I had the chance to test out another, I obviously jumped at the opportunity! With baby #2 due in April, I’m always looking to discover the best of the best baby products (plus it gave me an opportunity to play pretend-big brother with Zane and let him push around a stroller). I’ve been using the Bily Compact Easy-Fold Stroller for over 3 weeks - and there is not one thing I would change about it. My 6 fave features are below! If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear about yours! (scroll to the bottom of my post for outfit details - including my hat that you can use with a ponytail!)

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  1. You can fold and unfold it with only one hand

  2. It’s SUPER compact and light weight

  3. It has a HUGE storage space under the stroller that is easy to access (not the case in most compact strollers)

  4. It fully reclines so your kids can stay awake for the fun or take a nap while you shop lol.

  5. There is a handle bar that you can clip on toys to (none of the one’s I’ve tried before have had this)

  6. The lock and unlock feature for the wheels is easy to activate

This stroller is hands down my favourite. If you’re looking for a light weight stroller that you can easily carry with one hand, bring on a plane and push around for hours without getting tired, this is the one for you! Click here to learn more or to shop!

The hat I’m wearing deserves special attention too! It’s the first hat I’ve found that you can wear with a pony tail or mom bun! It has an elastic at the top so you can keep your messy mom bun in tact and still keep your ears warm (how cool?!). It’s from My Gear Online and is so practical and cute! It’s an awesome gift for the holidays for anyone in your life with gorgeous locks.

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One Kid Road Coat - the Patented Crash Tested MUST HAVE Coat!

GIVEAWAY LINK: https://manage.kmail-lists.com/subscriptions/subscribe?a=K9Mubq&g=QjAHyj

As a parent, safety always comes before practicality…. so to be honest, I remember dreading winter last year… until I discovered the One Kid® Road Coat. For anyone living with kids in winter weather, you know what a pain it is to run to the car with a jacket, take it off before putting them in their car seat, putting it back on before you go out side again. It’s what we need to do to keep our kids safe, and until I discovered the One Kid® Road Coat, I thought that was the only option! One Kid®  has a patented design that is safe to wear while in a car seat! Yes… you read that correctly! You can even watch videos of a crash test on their website to see how they work. No more taking off their jackets (or snowsuit onesies) before putting them in the car!

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One Kid®’s coats and snowsuits are crash tested and will keep your little ones warm in -25 Fahrenheit/-30 Celsius weather! We tried out the Road Coat® Down, which also comes in a vegan version, and a 1 piece snow suit version, and their Snow Pants which are soft, easily pulled on and pack-able! Despite being very warm, they are super light weight and they can be easily folded into a carrying pouch that's included, which makes travelling with them a cinch!

The One Kid® Road Coat® is designed in such a way that you can zip back the puffy outer layer when your little one is in the car seat, allowing the car seat strap to lie closer to your child’s body. There’s also a non slip surface on the front which prevents the car seat's harness straps from slipping, and it even comes with a red marker to help you identify where the chest clip should sit!

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The One Kid® Road Coat® and matching Snow Pants were a no brainer last year and remain one of our fave discoveries from last year.

GIVEAWAY!

I’m SO excited to announce that I’ve partnered with One Kid® to give away one of their Road Coats®! Visit the link below to enter! It’s that SIMPLE!

CONTEST LINK: https://manage.kmail-lists.com/subscriptions/subscribe?a=K9Mubq&g=QjAHyj

*Contest closes October 31, 2018 and the winner will be contacted by email. Open to US & Canadian residents 18 years of age and older.