Marlow’s First Birthday: The Non-Pinterest Party

Marlow’s 1st Birthday: The Non-Pinterest Party
Sometimes I feel the pressure to make things “photo worthy.” You see all these adorable kids parties and think ” I can totally do that!” I have about a million party ideas pinned on my Pinterest page. I have entire boards dedicated to DIY decorations that fit the perfect beautiful party theme! And I would LOVE to be able to say I’m featuring some crazy cool handmade, one-of-a-kind party decor for Marlow’s first birthday.. but that is just not the case! Ain’t nobody got time for that! 😂 And the party was absolutely perfect and turned exactly how I would have hoped!

Instead I took the easy way out! I hit up the dollar area at Target and stocked up on some adorable birthday decorations! They had an entire section of pastel, polka dot themes party decor that was PERFECT! They had banners, signs, balloons, and tiny party hats. I also grabbed a few things for goodie bags. Each bag had fruit snacks, a glow stick, a kazoo, bubbles, a bag of Pure Growth Organics popcorn, and these adorable handmade bows from Ivy & Simone!

I also used Pure Growth Organic for the party snacks as well. I got a few bags of chips, snack mix, and popcorn! Then I added some squeeze apple sauces, a fruit bowl, crackers with cheese, and drinks! That’s it! Super easy and everyone was happy!

When I say I took the easy way out, I mean I did it with every aspect of the party. I picked one main present and bought everything to go with it. I found this adorable Retro Wood Kitchen from Teamson Kids and knew that it was something both Maddox and Marlow would love! Josh and Maddox put it together the night before her Birthday. Which, by the way, was a genius idea! Maddox felt so special having such a big roll in Marlow’s Birthday! He really took pride in “building Marlow’s present.” I’m so in love with her kitchen. Check out the cute little chalk board front door and little ice maker below. Then I picked out some cute food/kitchen accessories on Amazon and I was good to go! Here are the links for the Melissa & Doug kitchen accessories: UtensilsPots & Pans, Food, Sliced Food

      

Next was entertainment. I knew we’d have kids of all ages so I rented a bouncy house that turned into a water slide from Jump and Slide rentals. It was a BLAST!

 

About the only “pinterest-y” looking aspect was her Birthday Chalk board. And I didn’t even make that! I have an amazingly talented friend here in Georgia that created this for me! If you need a handmade sign check out her company Bear & Bubba Design.


My amazing grandmother made Marlow’s cake. I wasn’t stressed trying to make decorations, put together some crazy present, or plan some elaborate entertainment. I actually got to relax and just enjoy the day! It was perfect! My favorite memory from the party was when Maddox fed Marlow her first bites of cake! It was so sweet. Here’s a few more fun pictures from our awesome day! I may have taken the easy way out and it may not have been “pinterest worthy” but it was a perfect first birthday for us!

     

And yes, that last picture is how the party ended…with Josh carrying me over his shoulder into the water slide!

 

 

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Sensitive Skin: HUSH SoCozy

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SoCozy. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor.

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Both Maddox and Marlow have very sensitive skin and I’m always afraid to try new products on them. Marlow has some eczema spots on her belly that flare up when I bath her too often or when she comes in contact with an irritant. Maddox has a sensitive scalp. He doesn’t really like having his hair washed or brushed because he has very thick hair! So I’d been searching for good products that would work for them. I decided to try SoCozy‘s new line called HUSH that is dermatologist and allergy tested. Just a heads up- I found SoCozy’s new hush line in the baby isle at Target and so far I love it! Since Maddox is super independent he wanted to try all “his” new products by himself.

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We got all 4 products of the Hush Sensitive collection to try:

  1. Hush Sensitive Scalp Serum
  2. Hush Sensitive Foam
  3. Hush Sensitive 2-in-1 Shampoo and Condiitoner
  4. Hush Sensitive Detangler- Ultra Gentle Leave-in

The 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner has been our favorite so far. We’ve been using it for both Maddox and Marlow and have had no flare-ups or irritations! Yay! It comes with a little brush on the end to help gently massage the scale while you apply it. Maddox really enjoyed doing this himself.

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We also loved the detangler. It made Maddox’s hair extremely easy to brush and didn’t leave any kind of weird residue like we’ve seen with other products we’ve tried. And though we’ve only used it a few times, Maddox loves styling his hair with the Sensitive foam. So far we are loving this new line! I’m so glad I found something that is safe, free of harsh chemicals, and gentle enough for the kids!

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If you want to try SoCozy’s new HUSH line head to Target asap!

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Britax B-Ready Stroller

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When I was pregnant with my first, Maddox, we started asking everyone we knew with kids what brand they recommended for car seats. After dozens of recommendations and tons of research we decided to go with Britax. We originally bought their travel system which came with the B-Safe infant seat and B-Agile stroller. This set was absolutely perfect for us at the time. We continued to use this set when Marlow was born but quickly realized we need a double stroller as well.

I knew I did not want one of those side-by-side double strollers because I felt like they were too big to actually take to the places we often went. And I knew I wanted one that could convert between two seats and one seat, depending on what i needed.

The Britax B-Ready was perfect! Had I known what I know now I probably would have just started with the B-ready stroller. However, at the time we only had one kid so I wasn’t even looking at double stroller options. Why do I love the Britax B-Ready? Here’s my top reasons:

1. Seating options: It has 12 different seating options that includes multiple seats, a bassinet, or infant car seat. I also got the stroller board attachment for even more options! (See 5. below) Below are pictures of the 4 ways we currently use the stroller. And then below that is a diagram of all the 12 different seating options.

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2. Top seat: Not only is it my favorite double stroller but also my new favorite single stroller as well. One of my favorite features is the reversible top seat that allows Marlow ride facing forwards or backwards. The seat has a 4 position recline. Marlow prefers to sit up but often falls asleep in the stroller and once she’s asleep I can easily lay her back for a long nap. The fact that it reclines so smoothly, so she doesn’t wake up, is a huge plus for me!

3. Easily converts between a single or double stroller. It’s extremely easy to put on and remove the bottom second seat attachment.

4. Adjustable handle bar: I’m only 5’1″ and Josh is 6″. By pushing the buttons on each side of the handle bar I easily adjust the height depending who is pushing!

5. Stroller board attachment: I got the standing stroller board and the double seat attachment. Depending on where we’re going I knew there were times that Maddox would not want to necessarily sit in a seat and the stroller board attachment is perfect because he can easily hop on and off as he pleases.

6. Size: For a double stroller this stroller is extremely lightweight. I can easily lift it in and out of my car on my own (usually while holding Marlow). I have a Honda CR-V and it fits nicely in the trunk with room to spare. I would a take picture to show you but that would mean I’d have to clean out my trunk ?. You just pull two levers on the side of the handle and it easily folds in half to compact size.

7. Super Cute: If I’m completely honest I love how sleek it looks.
My only regret is that I didn’t get this stroller sooner to use with the car seat or bassinet attachment.

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I apologize in advance for my terrible video skills! I felt like some of the things I was describing need to seen, rather than read.

Some products provided by Britax but all comments and opinions are my own.

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Baby Shoes

When Maddox was a baby I had no idea how important baby shoes were, more specicifically, good fitting flexible shoes that support them learning to walk. We went out and bought Josh’s favorite shoes, baby versions of adult athletic shoes. We had no idea that the fact that the soles were so clunky and nonflexible was a bad thing. But first kids are the tester babies, right?! Kidding. Anyway, with Marlow I knew from the start I wanted to find shoes that would encourage her learning to walk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed recommendations  to help you find shoes that are helpful and not harmful as your baby learns to walk. The AAP gives three specific tips to follow when shopping for your baby’s first pair of shoes:

  1. Shoes should be lightweight and flexible to support natural foot movement.
  2. Shoes should be made of leather or mesh to allow your baby’s feet to breathe comfortably.
  3. Shoes should have rubber soles for traction to prevent slipping or sliding.

So I did some research and I found a few brands that I liked, but Livie and Luca really stood out. Not only do their shoes fit all the guidelines above, the quality of the shoes is amazing, and I found so many that were super cute.

Livie and Luca’s baby shoes were the prefect “first” shoe! They are incredibly soft and flexible! Since Marlow had never worn shoes up until that time,  I wasn’t sure if she was going to find these uncomfortable or not. The second I put them on her feet, she took off around the living room as though she wasn’t even wearing them. Marlow has very wide, chunky feet and so far these fit perfectly! They have a really wide base with lots of toe room and they are so easy to put on! They are also really light weight (totally unlike the first pair we put on Maddox)!  And most importantly, they are SUPER cute!

Go check out their adorable shoes and use the code: KIRAMARIE to get 15% off your order!

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Favorites: The Shop Binxy

IMG_8580I had no idea how different shopping with two kids would be! Marlow doesn’t love her carseat so keeping her in her seat in the shopping cart isn’t really an option for us. Not to mention there’s no room in the cart for groceries if her carseat is in there! If she’s asleep, I can put her in her Ergo Baby carrier and carry her that way sometimes. However, if she’s awake she wants to be looking around and interacting with people!

So when I saw the ShopBinxy I knew it would be perfect!It’s a baby hammock for your shopping cart! It’s soft and comfy, like laying in a hammock. She can still look around and be entertained. And it’s designed so I am still able to put groceries below her! Maddox also LOVES that he can turn around and play with her while he’s sitting in the cart as well. This awesome new inventions made shopping with two kids SO easy! Here’s a link to the website www.binxybaby.com Check out the pictures below of us shopping at Target!

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Favorites: Wooden Teething Toys

IMG_3624I wanted to start sharing some of my favorite baby things! First up on my list are Finn + Emma Wooden Teething Rattles.

I got these toys for Marlow but Maddox clearly loves him! He hasn’t even let her play with them yet! Not sure if it’s the cute animal designs or the soft rattle sound but he loves them! I know Marlow will soon too!

I’m obsessed with these teething rattles! They are made from Indian hardwood, finished with natural vegetable seed wax, and filled with beans. Check out this awesome organic company at  www.finnandemma.com! I love that all Finn + Emma products are made with G.O.T.S certified materials using fair trade labor practices.

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BONUS Get 15% off your order using this link: http://finnandemma.refr.cc/2HRN53H

 

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Lorena Canals Rugs

 

image2-2So I literally DO NOT buy rugs!

I love rugs, but with 5 dogs, a 2 1/2 year old, and one more on the way I had accepted the fact that rugs were the enemy! The one time I bought a rug, I swear my dogs had a race to see who could pee on it first and Maddox did his best to spill every possible drink, food, paint, you name it, on said rug. I can only spot clean so many things, and having rugs cleaned that often costs a fortune, so eventually I threw it away.

Then one day the rug fairies send me Lorena Canals Rugs!! First of all, their rugs are adorable! But most importantly they are MACHINE WASHABLE and they actually hold up in the wash! I kid you not. I got my new rug, waited for it to get dirty (I think it took 2 days) and poof, right in the washer it went! It came out looking exactly the same (but clean, of course).

Since Maddox still co-sleeps and Marlow will be co-sleeping there was really no need for separate bedrooms. We decided a shared bedroom for storing clothes and a shared playroom were better. So I wanted a rug that was gender neutral. When I saw this one with a boy and girl on it, I had to have it! Cute side note: When I first put the rug down he said “Look that’s Maddox, a heart, and Marlow.”

So I just had to share this rug from a great company that understands the needs of all the moms (and dads) out there who want good design in a rug they can enjoy using!

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My Nursing Favorites

Planning to breastfeed? If so, these are my favorite nursing must haves!

Nursing Pillow: I used Maddox’s boppy pillow. It doubles as a nursing pillow and positioning pillow for babies to lay on. Here’s the boppy pillow I used.  Extra bonus- They come with tons of super cute covers!

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Nipple Cream: Buy LOTS of nipple cream! I applied the cream immediately after nursing Maddox and reapplied throughout the day. Here’s the one I used: Nipple Cream

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Nipple Gel Pads: If I wasn’t nursing or pumping I was wearing these gel pads. I also used these  hot-cold therapy pads for extra comfort.

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Nursing tops: I literally lived in these nursing tank tops. They were super comfy, convenient for nursing and cute! It also has a soft, built-in bra. (I also lived in nursing maxi dresses and I have a follow-up post about my other favorite nursing friendly clothing company coming soon!)

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Nursing Bras: I wasted a ton of money on nursing bras before Maddox was born. I thought I wanted cute bras with underwire. I was wrong! I wore these comfy nursing bras almost exclusively for the first few months.

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Breast Pump/Accessories: If you’re planning to go back to work, or pump so your partner can join in feeding time, or just trying to increase your milk supply you need a pump. I got mine for free through my insurance at www.yummymummy.com. Check it out before you go buy one! I got the exact one I had planned on purchasing at the store and it was completed free! I got the Medela Pump in Style and loved it. I also got accessories like Medela bottles, milk storage bags (to freeze milk), and the Medela Calma Breastfeeding Nipples.

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WATER: Always keep it close by! The second I would start nursing Maddox I would be overwhelmed with how thirsty I instantly became! It sounds ridiculous but it’s true! (I always kept snacks handy too!)

I’m obsessed with Amazon so most of my links for products are from there but you can buy all these at most other baby stores or online.

 

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