Friday, March 31, 2017

Sloany Woo and Phayre Bear

I started this post on March 10th and am just now sitting down to finish it!  Jeeze life gets away from me sometimes!  Time flies when you're having fun you know...

The girls have truly been amazing lately.  We have been through so much loss and heartache and their resiliency just astounds me.  I am so thankful for them.  For their smiles, giggles, and distraction.  Every few months I love writing about their current stages so that I can always remember just the way they are.  With everything that we've had going on, it seemed like a good time to do this.  I always gain a little perspective after writing these and I think I could use a nice dose of that.

Sloan Eloise . Three years & eleven months

One month until the big fourth birthday!!  Sloan LOVES her birthday (she gets that from me!) and cannot wait to celebrate!  She asks me every morning how many more days until her happy birthday.  We will be in Disneyland for her birthday this year, so instead of a party we're having dinner at Ariel's Grotto.  We've turned that into her "mermaid party" complete with mermaid party hats and lots of princesses to twirl with!  She is SO excited and so I am, I cannot wait to spoil and celebrate her!

Sloan is just old enough to almost understand what's been going on lately.  Old enough to feel pain and loss, but not old enough to really process it and understand it.  She misses her grandma and our dog Bailey so much.  She talks about them regularly and prays to God to give them back to us.  She's been really confused which has resulted in some angry outbursts.  We are working through these and she does seem to be getting better and better the more we work with her.  I hate that she understands just enough to feel pain, but has so many questions that I don't always have the answer for.

Sloan is strong.  She's been so strong lately, stronger than I wish she had to be.  She is the most loyal person I know, holding the ones she loves close to her.  She is cuddly and affectionate, if she could spend the entire day laying on me or at least holding my hand she wouldn't have a complaint in the world.  She loves making people laugh and is constantly saying, "Mama!  Watch me make this face!" and "Mama!  Watch me do this!" in hopes of making me smile and laugh.  She looooooves her sister and constantly demands kisses, hugs, and hand holding.  Even when P is feeling a bit smothered :).

Sloan is really into coloring, tracing, and writing her name.  I love how much she loves art.  She loves any type of small figurine type toy (that she will constantly lose and have me searching for).  Her favorite days are preschool and gymnastic days when she gets to see her friends.  Fun fact, she is the only girl in her gymnastics class.  Just a tiny little blonde thing in a sea of little boys and she is by far the least coordinated.  She doesn't care at all though, she tries so hard and has an absolute blast.  Her favorite movies are Moana and Trolls right now and she loves look and find books.

I just love my big girl so much!  She is such a wonderful big sister and I cannot wait to see her with the new baby.  She has fiiiiiinally come to terms with getting a baby brother and is no longer asking me to change it into a sister baby :).  She loves talking about what we'll do with the baby once he's here and what his name should be.  Sloan is convinced there is a girl baby in her belly and she will be naming her "baby Shimmer and Shine".  Never grow up sweet Sloan Eloise, you are just so perfect the way you are.

Phayre Golda . Twenty months

Phayre is at my absolute most favorite age!  Her language skills are exploding, she's experiencing many "firsts", and wants more than anything to be a big girl like Sloan.  She's our wild one, constantly climbing and running and getting into things she shouldn't.  But she's also the happiest, sweetest little explorer so she gets away with murder.  She is constantly our comedic relief and boy are we thankful for that.

P is the quintessential little sister.  Sloan is her idol and she would do anything to be able to do everything her sister does!  She loves copying Sloan, dressing the same as Sloan, and spends most of her days following Sloan around.  She loves the color purple because Sloan told her that purple is her favorite color (because obviously pink can only be Sloan's favorite color).  She loves Moana, Frozen, and The Little Mermaid (even though she's never actually sat through any of them in its entirety).  She LOVES baby dolls and stuffed animals and doesn't go anywhere without one under her arm.  She's the biggest book lover I know and is constantly bringing a book to me and begging for story time in my lap (which I love so much too!).

Phayre is talking so much!  I love when she says trouble, daughter, scissors, flower, pretty, purple, and pepper.  They just sound so cute when she says them.  P loves cheering everyone on.  Whenever we get excited she throws her hands in the air, claps, and says "YAY!!".  She's gone pee pee on the potty a few times, thanks to Sloan deciding it was time to potty train her.  P has absolutely no interest in potty training unless Sloan is excited and initiating it.  Whenever I ask her if she wants to go potty she says, "No, baby!".  As in "no thanks mom, I want to be a baby!"  I am in no rush for her to shed her babyness so I'm not pushing it.

Phayre has become quite the mama's girl lately.  I'm pretty sure she's acting that way because she's copying Sloan though.  If Sloan asks me to put her to bed Phayre will start saying, "Mama nigh nigh!!"  Poor Eric gets his feelings hurt sometimes, but I keep promising him it's a phase.

P constantly sticks her tongue out, just a quirky little trait that I love.  She's super smiley and happy, you can't help but feel happy when you're around her.  She loves touching my belly and talking about the baby. She thinks that she too has a baby in her belly and is constantly pulling her shirt up, pointing to her belly button, and saying "BABY!"  I just love our littlest girl so much, she's a little ray of sunshine and I am so thankful for her.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Easter Basket Ideas!

I've always loved celebrating and decorating for holidays.  It's even more fun now that I have little people to celebrate with!  Sloan got her love of holidays from her mama and seeing her excitement makes all of the extra planning and effort worth it.

I tend to go way overboard on the girls Easter baskets.  Having a little mini Christmas in the spring is fun, but if I'm being totally honest... it's a little excessive.  I decided to scale back this year and give the girls each a small basket of goodies.  Their baskets will contain items that are useful and things that I would have probably bought anyways (no candy or random bunny figurines this year!).  They are each getting a few things for spring and our upcoming Disneyland trip.  These ideas are all great for boys and girls,  I hope that you find something for your little one!

I know that using a wire basket is the trendy "Easter basket" right now.  I think that idea is SO darling, but there is something so nostalgic to me about using a good old fashioned easter basket!  My girls have wicker baskets with a handle like I had when I was little.  I also love this little bunny basket (blue basket/pink basket), it would be perfect to fill with your child's Easter goodies and then use again as their egg collecting basket at an Easter egg hunt.

No Easter basket is complete without a fuzzy bunny rabbit!  We absolutely love the monogrammed jellycat bunnies from Peekawhoo!  All three of my babes have one and I know they are something we'll keep forever.  You can save 20% off monogrammed bunnies at Peekawhoo with code BABYBOYBROWN20 (through March 31st!).  Another must have Easter basket item is bunny ears, I love the ones from Little Blue Olive!

My girls love books, which makes my former teacher heart so happy.  I love buying them new books and growing our collection.  This year I bought Sloan, Breeds (girlfriend is obsessed with dogs!) and Princess Easter.  I bought Phayre, Bunny Roo I love you and Happy Easter, Pout Pout Fish (P is obsessed with the Pout Pout books, I highly recommend these board books for your little one!).

The girls also love arts and crafts so I bought them some fun chunky toddler crayons, chalk, and bubbles wands.  I also got them their favorite bath dropz (they change the color of the bath water) and some new bubble bath.

Sticking with the (mostly) practical theme, I got the girls some new sippy cups.  I love the Replay sippy cups, they never ever leak!  Summer is coming so I'm also going to include some sandals and short sleeve jammies.  I love Saltwater sandals and the new rose gold ones are the cutest ever!!  I think I need them in my size.  I also love these popsicle jammies for girls and these blue dinosaur jammies for boys.

Last, but certainly not least: I love the knee highs from June and January!  The girls are getting dot leos and knee highs in their Easter baskets and they'll wear them while we're in Disneyland next month!  Major bonus, knee highs are on sale right now!

Happy spring guys, have fun putting your littles baskets together!



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Seattle family fun!

Last weekend we escaped to Seattle and it was just the family refresh that we needed.  The last six weeks have been rough to say the least.  After losing my mother in law and then our family dog, I just have not been able to snap out of my sadness.  Eric and I knew we needed to get away and we knew exactly where we needed to go.  Seattle is so nostalgic for us, around every corner I see baby Sloany and Eric and I becoming parents.  It's our happy place, filled with happy memories, our favorite restaurants, and good friends!

People always ask me where to stay in Seattle.  Our favorites are the Grand Hyatt on Pine, the Westin (they have an indoor pool, great for kiddos!), and Motif Seattle (very central location, a bit closer to the stadiums if you're in town for a game!).

As we drove into downtown Seattle is started down pouring (thank you for the wonderful welcome Seattle!). After checking into our hotel, we jetted off to University Village because they have great shopping, a toy store, and a covered play area.  We let the girls play for awhile on the covered play structure, ate cupcakes, and then the girls had a blast playing and coloring at Land of Nod.  We met some friends for dinner at one of our favorite pizza places, Ballard Pizza Company.  We met at the Frelard location which I love because they have a little kids play area.  Plus the pizza is amazing (so is the rosè, but I didn't get to participate in the wine drinking this time).  We loved seeing my friends Michelle and Sara (and Sara's darling family!).

We spent the rest of our weekend eating, playing, and sightseeing!  A few favorites worth mentioning... our favorite breakfast spot is Caffè Lieto (locals call it Biscuit Bitch), but apparently it's become quite the tourist attraction!  The line was down the street so we went right to Bacco (it's right by the Public Market).  They have a great breakfast menu and their fresh squeezed juices are so delicious.  We walked down to the Public Market and stuck gum on the famous gum wall (the girls loved this!!).  Note: if you're really wanting to shop at the Market, don't go on a Saturday morning-it's too crowded!  But if you're just sightseeing and walking through, it's worth the crowds.  If you're looking for more shopping, walk up and down Pike and Pine and you'll find it!  Pacific Place mall (on Pine) has lots of great stores too!

If you make your way down to the Pioneer Square district (our old neighborhood, very close to the stadiums), make sure you check out Magic Mouse Toys.  It's just an old toy store that is jam packed with goodies.  Your kiddos will think it's Disneyland, there is so much to look at!  And if you're in Pioneer Square, make a quick pit stop in E. Smith Mercantile.  Grab a bottle of lavender bitters and mix them into some champagne or a vodka lemonade.  You can thank me later :).

Another super fun neighborhood is Capitol Hill.  We love lunching at Vios Cafe (another super kid friendly restaurant with a little play area).  Another must stop is Hello Robin, their cookie ice cream sandwiches are AMAZING!!  My best friend actually used to live across the street from Hello Robin and walking down 19th brought back so many wonderful memories!  Just Lauren and I, with our first babies in front-packs busy exploring the city.

If you go past Capitol Hill and make your way into Madison Park, go all the way down Madison St.  and to Lake Washington (if it's a nice day!).  There's a great little beach and the best park in Seattle.  We spent all afternoon there with the girls, it's so fun!  We love stopping at Cactus restaurant for happy hour (great Mexican food!).

A few other places we love (and are super kid friendly) are Green Lake and the Woodland Park Zoo.  If you're in the city during the week, try to catch story time at the Central Public Library (the building is amazing!).  And if you have the chance to see a game, do it!  We have been to so many Mariner games and it never gets old!  Check out this website if you're looking for more Seattle tourist attractions!

I hope these recommendations help next time you're in Seattle!  It's a wonderful city and we love visiting so much!  I spent most of our weekend trying to convince Eric into moving us back, but I don't think I'm going to get my way anytime soon ;).



And as always, a photo dump of my sweet ladies :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites!

HOORAY it's Friday!!  And not only is it Friday, but we are getting out of town this weekend and I am so excited!  Eric and I have been feeling like we need a family reset so we're heading to our old city, Seattle.  Seattle is so special to us and we're so excited to spend the weekend there.  It will be so nostalgic.  Every time we're there, all I can think about is my tiny baby Sloany.  I can't believe we're headed there with an almost four year old Sloany and a third baby on the way!  I promise to share all about it once we're home!

I have some great favorites to share today and even a few exclusive discount codes!

First up, low and behold the world's most convenient bib.  Of all time ever!  Simply Bibs makes simple vinyl bibs in a variety of colors.  They snap on and are pretty close to impossible for a toddler to rip off.  And the best part?  You can easily wipe them clean after your baby has covered them in food.  No washing machine, no stains, just an easy to clean and super convenient bib.  I always have one rolled up in my diaper bag and clean it with a baby wipe after each use.  Obviously I love the sparkle pink, but I definitely need to get a navy one for baby brother!!

Simply Bibs is offering you guys 15% off with code "simplybibs15"!

Did anyone else realize that Easter is in just a few weeks?  Like holy moly, it's right around the corner!  The girls favorite Easter gifts from last year were their monogrammed bunnies from Peekawhoo.  Sloan especially loves that her name is on it now that she knows how to spell her name! Even though baby boy isn't here yet, he got his very first Peekawhoo bunny this year!  I cannot wait to put it into his nursery (ya know, once he actually has one).  I monogrammed it with "Baby Brown" and I loved that I got to see what it looked like with Peekawho's monogram maker.

I seriously love the monogrammed Peekawhoo bunnies, they're so soft and make such a sweet addition to an Easter basket!  You guys can save 20% off all bunnies and bunny basket combos with code BABYBOYBROWN20 (how generous is that!).  Discount expires March 31st, which is also the last day to order in time for Easter!

Speaking of Easter baskets and fun goodies, I am including some fun Disney items this year since we're going to Disneyland a few weeks after Easter.  I got the girls these distressed Mickey sweatshirts (pretty sure they were in the boys section, but I cannot get over how cute they are!).  I'm also throwing in the sweetest little vintage Minnie Mouse bows from The Splendid Bow (they'll be restocked on Monday).

I found the cutest (and super comfortable) sandals that I'll be wearing all summer long!  Mama's you need them, you deserve them!  I bought the glitter version, but there is also a plain leather version as well!

If you're looking for the perfect white summer maxi dress, look no further.  This white boho maxi dress is too good.  I just ordered it and I'm hoping it will work with my bump (it's not a maternity dress).

I currently cannot stop drinking green smoothies.  And the only person more obsessed with them than me is Phayre!  She begs for "moomies" all day and I keep saying yes because I love them so much too :).  I thought I'd share my favorite recipe real quick!  I'm totally guessing on amounts, I just throw stuff in (and it makes enough for P and I... and she drinks as much as I do).

1 cup of ice
1 banana
1 cup spinach (sometimes I throw in more)
1/4 to 1/2 cup pineapple
1/4 to 1/2 cup mango
1/2 cup orange (I unpeel and throw in two mandarin oranges)
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Blend until smooth and enjoy.  And you will enjoy it, it's soooo good!!

I don't watch the Bachelor, but I died laughing over this parody by What's Up Moms.  I'm laughing again just thinking about it :).

Alright that's it babes!  We are heading off to Seattle in just a bit!  Did I mention how excited I am to get out of town??  I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Brown Bumpdate / 18 weeks!

You guys I am almost half way through this pregnancy and this is my first bumpdate!  #thirdbabyprobz

Between life being loud and taking care of two toddlers, I don't have a lot of time to think about myself lately.  But I promise to be better about documenting this pregnancy, better late than never right!

This little guy is about the size of a bell pepper; head to rump he is about 5.5 inches long.  He is busy flexing his arms and legs and I feel his little flutters throughout the day (usually when I lay down).  The weeks seem to be flying by and I feel like baby boy will be here before I know it!  While I can't wait to meet him, this is definitely my first pregnancy where I'm wishing that time would slow down.

We haven't even started to prepare for this little guy (insert monkey emoji where he's coving his eyes and looks embarrassed).  Between our regular busy life and taking care of my late mother in laws estate, we certainly have our hands full.  I'm really hoping that we'll be able to start thinking more about and preparing for this little guy soon!  Oh and give him a name, that is priority number one right now!

Ok and now for that update that I promised!

Due date: August 25th, 2017

How far along: 18 weeks!

How many days to go: 153

Gender: BOY!

Baby's name: He's still no name baby Brownie.  Eric and I are having SUCH a hard time finding the perfect name.

Size of the baby: About 5.5 inches long (size of a bell pepper)

Movement:  I have been feeling his little flutters since about 14 weeks.  No big kicks yet, but I can definitely tell he is much more active than the girls were!

Total weight gain so far: 12 pounds.  
I gained 43 pounds with Sloan and 42 pounds with Phayre.  I'm hoping to gain a bit less this pregnancy, but we'll see!  At the rate I'm eating and not working out that might be a bit of a pipe dream.

Most recent doctor appointment: We got to see baby boy three weeks ago (when we found out he was a he!).  He was measuring a tiny bit big, had crazy long legs, and never stopped moving.  His heart rate was around 128 beats per minute.

Belly button in or out: in

Favorite maternity clothes right now: leggings, tanks, sweaters, and converse.

Stretch marks: So far none!  I use a special belly butter that I make myself.  Gah I have been meaning to share that recipe with you guys.  I'm adding that to my to do list right now.

Sleep: This little man lives on my bladder.  I have a really hard time falling asleep and I get up about five times a night to pee.  I pretty much always wake up feeling tired.  

Mood: Emotional.  Between losing my mother in law and then our family dog, I've been a bit of an emotional wreck the last six weeks.  I can't tell if it's just our circumstances or this pregnancy, but I have never cried so much in my life!

Food cravings: I cannot get enough food these days, I'm always hungry!  Lately I can't get enough green smoothies, mangos, green olives, chocolate chip cookies, the spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a, and these natural elderberry lemonade sodas that I can't stop buying from our local grocery store (they're like $2 each and Eric gets so annoyed when I buy them!).

Favorite moment this week: Chatting baby names with Sloan.  I hate to admit it, but Sloan still isn't very excited about getting a "brother baby".  She so badly wants another sister and often begs me to make the baby a girl.  But this week, we were sitting on her bed and I asked her what we should name her baby brother.  For the first time she didn't say, "But mama, I don't want a brother baby!"  She got really excited and chatted about names for awhile with me.  She hates all of the names that I like and suggested, "Rainer, Stammer, Water shimmer and shine, and Homeboy."  I've never in her life heard her say homeboy so that one gave me a good laugh!

I'm missing: Wine.  Ok I'll be honest and just say all alcohol.  Like I said, life has been really loud (and sad!).  There have been quite a few moments where a glass of wine would have been real helpful.

Biggest complaint: I don't have much to complain about right now... but check back with me when I'm a bazillion weeks pregnant and it's the dead of summer ;).

Recent baby purchase: Clothes, so so many baby boy clothes!!  Whoever says there aren't any cute boy clothes is a big fat liar!  I have had so much fun shopping for this little guy.  We also just got his Dockatot deluxe and some swaddle blankets.

Nursery:  So far I have lots of dreamy boy nursery plans in my head (and in this blog post), but I haven't actually purchased anything.  We are still trying to make some decisions on P's big girl room, so I haven't started clearing out our guest room just yet.  My goal is to start clearing that room out and making plans by May, after out Disneyland vacation.

Labor signs: none, thank goodness!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The new Intermix collection by Petunia Pickle Bottom

Shortly after finding out Sloan was a girl I bought my very first diaper bag.  I researched and researched and decided on the Petunia Pickle Bottom boxy backpack.  We used and abused that bag!  So many outings and travels were had with that trusty diaper bag.  I have actually owned a few Petunia diaper bags as my needs (and number of children!) have changed.  I am a long time fan and am so excited to share the new Putunia Pickle Bottom Intermix Collection with you!

The Intermix collection is a customizable system of bags and accessories that all fit within each other.  You can mix and match the patterns to make it your own and the monochromatic color scheme makes it easy to do.  I chose the birch and black backpack and I absolutely love the neutral colors, especially since I'm going to be a girl AND a boy mom now!  I think Eric appreciates the color as well since he's usually on bag duty on the weekends ;).

You can purchase several different accessories to go inside of the backpack.  I love the grid caddy because it fits perfectly in the bottom of the backpack.  The smaller accessory bags fit in the caddy or you can fill the caddy with other items and stack the smaller accessories on top of it.  I could see myself using the caddy outside of the diaper bag as well.  The accessory bags just make it so easy to stay organized.  You can separate items into categories like diapers, snacks, toys, etc.  There is also a cool pixel bag that is insulated and would be so perfect if you were traveling with breast milk or premixed formula.

I recently took the girls on a little road trip to visit my best friend and her daughter (who happens to be Sloan's bestie!) and I put the Intermix Collection to the test.  I separated all of our must have road trip items into categories and split them into the accessory bags.  I loved how organized the bag was, making it so easy to find things as I needed them.  I also absolutely love the exterior pockets.  They are super deep so I was able to fit the girls sippy cups and even a pretty large water bottle for myself.  The bag was great for traveling, but I honestly think it's a great everyday bag as well.  

The Intermix Collection is a great diaper bag system, perfect for the busy mom trying to stay organized.  I know that this will be my go-to diaper bag for travel, but I plan on using it as an everyday bag once baby boy gets here!  Tiny babies require SO much stuff, it will be so nice to be able to keep all of his little things organized.

You can learn more about the Intermix Collection here!  And make sure to take peek at all of Petunia Pickle Bottom's gorgeous bags, there's something for everyone!




Monday, March 20, 2017

Little lady hair care / SoCozy hair products

Luckily for me (but maybe not luckily for them?), my girls got my super straight hair.  It's super easy to take care of as long as I use the right hair care products.  While the girls hair is straight, it's also fine and tangles pretty easily.  I recently found SoCozy Hush sensitive hair care products and it has made doing their hair an absolute piece of cake!

SoCozy is a haircare line developed for babies and kids.  It is actually the first professional line of hair care products that is designed and gentle enough for little ones.  It's completely non-toxic and safe.  We love the Hush sensitive line, but there are actually several different lines for different hair types and hair needs.
When the girls are in the bath, I wash their hair with the SoCozy Hush 2in1 soothing shampoo and conditioner.  It creates a really thick lather and even has a massage brush for their scalps on one end.  Sloan loves using the massager on P's head and P loves the attention :).  In the winter months, I use the sensitive scalp serum balancing treatment.  This keeps the girls hair and scalps super moisturized. I follow that up with the sensitive detangler ultra gentle leave-in (only for Sloan because her hair is longer and actually tangles).  The detangler is super lightweight and doesn't leave her hair looking greasy, I even use it sometimes!

So Cozy offers products for different hair types and needs.  They even offer a "lice scaring" system, perfect for school age children.  You can purchase SoCozy in many salons and several drugstores, but I've also found it at Target!  And everything is better when it's at Target!  If you're looking for the perfect hair care system for your little ones, definitely check out SoCozy.

I partnered with SoCozy on this post, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My little woodland babies // Collaboration between Ele Story & Zozu Baby

I started my social media journey by opening a small handmade bracelet shop in 2014.  My shop grew super fast and I was so thankful for the success, but I quickly knew I couldn't keep up.  My shop had a good run, but I decided to close up shortly after Phayre was born.  One of the things I loved most about being a shop owner was meeting so many other creative women.  I have been so grateful that even though I no longer own a shop all of the relationships I had made have continued!  I have the utmost respect for small and handmade shop owners.  I feel so honored that I have been able to continue working with so many creative and hard working mamas!

Sandy Zucker of Zozu Baby and I became friends when Sloan was just a baby.  She was the first person to send me a surprise gift (of bows!) after announcing that Phayre was a girl.  Bottom line, she has become a good friend and I adore her!  Sandy is the queen of collaborations.  She works with the best of the best and makes the highest quality bows.

Sandy's most recent collaboration with Judy Jou of Ele Story is absolutely amazing!  Judy makes beautiful and timeless girls dresses.  She even makes mommy and me sets that I cannot get enough of!  The quality of her dresses are superb, definitely pieces you'll hold on to forever.

We were lucky enough to get a little sneak peek of Sandy and Judy's collaboration and oh. em. gee. you guys, the dresses and bows are even more beautiful in person.  My friend Lindsey of Lindsey Wiatt Photography ran around the park with the girls and I and took some photos.  The girls look like little woodland babies, I can't get enough of these photos!!  And as usual, Lindsey captured the girls just perfectly!

I am giving away a dress from Ele Story and a coordinating bow from Zozu Baby on my Instagram right now!  Make sure you enter, giveaway ends on Friday!

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