…….. Having clutter says a lot about the current culture that we live in. Many people believe that more is better, but I’m here to tell you that it is NOT. Having more stuff means you have more stuff to clean/clean around. It means that you have spent time & money on something that does not serve a purpose. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have nice things. Just remember: they are things. I hate cleaning to begin with, but when you add moving 50,000 things around just to dust, it becomes completely overwhelming!
This tiny living movement is encouraging, although, I don’t think at this stage in my life that I am willing to sacrifice that much space with a child and God-willing more to come. At least, it’s making people think about what is important and what can be relocated. Sell your stuff to make some extra cash, donate to a local thrift store, give to needy. The options are endless. And although it may be really difficult to get started, it is well worth the effort.
I think the hardest part of the home for me to get rid of was in my closet. I don’t know what it is about women and clothing, but man was that hard. Once I made the first step, it has become really easy and FREEING to scale down my wardrobe.
I read somewhere that everything we own holds a place in our subconscious mind. Whoa. Every. Single. Thing. I have moved several times, so I know how much stuff we have. Just that thought alone has made me more willing to let go of things that really have no purpose or meaning.
I encourage you to try it. Pick one room in your home and look around. Is there anything in it that doesn’t serve a purpose? Could you do without something for two weeks? Two months? Two years? If you don’t even know that you have it, shouldn’t it be used by someone else? I promise that once you start, you will feel so much better. If one room is too intimidating, try one area. I used to be big into scrapbooking, so I focused on my scrapping stuff. Start somewhere. This week. Challenge accepted?
So, here are my favorite products that we used with our first baby. Some of these are a true investment, meaning they cost a lot more than other products. We believe in spending more for the quality and do not want to cut corners when safety is an issue. Keep reading to learn about the best products we love!
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Phil & Ted’s lobster high chair. This thing is really expensive, but worth every penny. J is almost 2 and we can still easily use it….. I think we put her in it starting around 6 months. It clamps onto the table and is VERY secure. Trust me, as a first time mom I was a little skeptical about how safe this was until I used it once. Sold. Will never be without it again. It also travels very nicely, folds up & has a carrying case. It is worth the spurge for my family.
Lotus bed. Another pricy option compared to the Pack n’ Play. I especially liked this one because I nursed J and could lay next to her with the side zip closure. And for all of your worry wart moms like me, there is a secure closure with the zipper so the baby can’t get out. This is another thing that can be used well past the infant years. We recently stayed in a hotel and J slept in it without a problem.
Violet singing dog. This stuffed dog is made by Leapfrog and can be programmed with your child’s name, and you can select what kind of music it plays. We used to turn this on every time we wanted J to sleep: nap & bedtime. She is almost 2 now and turns it on herself. Great for travel also. We don’t stay anywhere overnight without it. I was leery about having a mobile for the crib, so we went without and used Violet instead (on the floor in front of the crib when J was really little). The boyish version’s name is Scout.
Baby Bjorn stool. I am short. We purchased a super nice convertible crib and dresser set before J was born. We were thinking long term and the dresser is very tall. This stool has been a life saver for me – invest in one if you are vertically challenged also. When J gets a little older, we plan to use this for in front of the sink. The other stools seemed to give a little when I stood on them – this stool seems like it could hold hundreds of pounds. We know that it holds at least 180 pounds. Another more expensive option, but remember: you often do get what you pay for.
Puj tub. My husband and I are not really into clutter (see other posts) and did not want to purchase those infant tubs. They take up so much room and we did not want to have to think about storing. This tub fits in the sink and travels amazingly! We used this until J was old enough to sit up on her own in the sink.
Chicco Keyfit car seat. Sadly, I was unable to find the travel system including stroller that we used. This car seat has amazing reviews and really makes transition from car to house / house to car easy on mom and baby. There were many times that J would fall asleep in the car and we could just unlock the car seat, set the car seat inside, and let her SLEEP. The base stays in the car and the seat can lock/unlock in place.
Tommee Tippee bottles. I nursed, but having bottles was a nice option. We used them when we were out for shorter trips and if we wanted to go out on a date. When I went back to work, obviously, bottles were needed. We bought smaller ones for when J was an infant, but I wish we had just purchased these larger ones from the beginning. These bottles do not leak like Dr. Brown bottles and they are shaped so babies can easily hold them. I’d recommend at least a three pack. You go through these things like crazy!
Nose Freda. Okay. Hear me out on this one. At first, when hubs showed me this, I was grossed out – which takes a lot because I’m a science teacher and usually enjoy weird things. But, this thing was the only way we could really clear J’s nose out. Forget those nasty bulb aspirator things that the hospital gives you. Talk about germ infested! How do you clean it? Anyway, this thing works. The only snag we have run into is now that J is older, it is hard to keep her still to use this. We use after squirting saline up her nose.
Dream Baby scissors. Another struggle we had in the beginning months of bringing J home was trimming her nails. It is absolutely terrifying when you have to trim those tinny tiny little nails! These scissors are slightly curved upwards, which is oh-so-helpful. The traditional nail clippers have a larger portion for you to grab ahold of which is also helpful. We actually got a different set with the toothbrush that came with three different ones. It helped when J was teething and helped get her used to putting something like that in her mouth.
Bibs. I know all of the stores sell those cutesy little fabric bibs that everyone wants to get. Especially for baby showers. Don’t you know what that little baby will soon be eating?! Squash, sweet potatoes, beets. Those stains were extremely difficult to get out of WHITE fabric bibs. I wish that we would have found these bibs sooner. I don’t know if I would have even wasted money on the tiny fabric ones. Ok, maybe a few when J was really young, but I got plenty of those from friends and family. These plastic bibs are the stuff. You can unsnap it so it lays completely flat – awesome for cleaning.
BONUS: Teething necklace. When J was about 11 months old, I found out about this baltic amber teething necklace that provides natural pain relief. I was a little skeptical at first and very nervous about putting it on her neck at night. But, we decided to give it a try. In between each bead is a knot, so even if the necklace broke, not all of the beads would fall off. We forgot to put J’s necklace back on one night after her bath and she was up several times crying. This momma was SOLD on the necklace from that point on. Now, J likes it so much, we just let her wear it even though she is finished teething.
Everyone’s experience is different, but I know that if we had to start all over, we would definitely purchase all of these items again. They may be a huge investment upfront, but the time and hassle they will save you is soooooo worth it. Besides, that little love bug of yours will soon be big & walking around, too busy for so much cuddle time with mommy. Snuggle while you can!
[Update: We are expecting Baby #2 and plan to use all of these products again – with the exception of the car seat; because of the age difference we wanted to purchase new. Excited to pull them out of storage!]
Einkorn flour is the purest form of flour, you know the stuff before humans get involved and modify/denature the plant. Although I love teaching science, I do not love scientists messing with the foods that I eat! My family prefers the closest we can get to natural ingredients. There are no long-term studies on all of these GMO that are used in foods and how it affects our bodies…… but I digress. That’s another topic for another post.
Above are the ingredients that I used to make my first ever Einkorn waffles. The batter’s consistency was thinner than I am used to, so I burned the first batch. Oh, and I forgot to read the directions before I started and realized that I had the temperature up too high. The back of the box gives you the recipe for pancakes / waffles. I added some flavor-infused olive oil and my favorite essential oil for breakfast recipes: Young Living‘s Orange.
Once I mastered the temperature and consistency, these came out great. They are not as crunchy as your typical waffle, but still tasted great. I think I added 3 drops of the Orange essential oil; next time I will add 6 drops. There was a hint of orange, but not too much flavor.
I haven’t tried the pancakes yet. We are currently doing a fast, so that will have to wait!
Update: The pancakes were SOOOO much better than the waffles! They were slightly denser than your brand name box mix, but had a great flavor.
Ok, so I’m new to blogging. I am a wife and mother to a sweet little girl. My healthy journey began over two years ago after deciding to have a baby. Having a child just brings a whole different perspective to life! My husband and I decided that we would try to address a few areas in our life including clutter, diet, products we use in our home and on our bodies and exercise. While we are nowhere near perfect, we have made some major shifts in our lives to help us live better. I’d love to share the lessons that we have learned along the way.