Monday, February 28, 2011

the trading post

so ladies, i just launched a brand new blog today!!

click here to check it out:

today i am giving away two pairs of handmade baby shoes
so head on over for a chance to win :)

one of the purposes of the blog
is to promote small businesses that i love.
if you, or someone you know has a cute little shop, send them my way!

otherwise, enjoy all of the free giveaways, trading, and auctions
that are coming your way!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sharing a Secret . . .

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to give you a heads up about the new web site—Bitsy Bug!

It is a deal site that gives moms big savings vouchers on baby stuff from the best online stores.

They launch Monday, Feb. 28 and will be helping moms discover the best places to buy baby/kids clothes, furniture, and gear online.

Happy Shopping,


Monday, February 14, 2011

Salt Lake Prenatal Massage Review

I'm always up for a day at the spa, but when I'm pregnant, I feel like it's a medical necessity :). Add to that some chronic pain issues I've dealt with for years that have sent me in search of a good massage upwards of a hundred times throughout my life, and you've got quite the connoisseur of fine massages. Although I (almost) always enjoy one, it's very rare that I'd give a five star rating or even go so far as to refer a therapist or practice to someone else. To me an exceptional massage therapist is one who can find tension and then listen to your body's signals to know how deep to penetrate to release it, while still making it a relaxing experience for you. That's a hard skill to perfect, so I'm always in search of someone who fits this description.

At the beginning of this pregnancy, I started having some especially intense pain and longed for an amazing massage that could help relieve my stress. I researched the benefits and dangers of prenatal massage and felt really confident that it would be beneficial for me and (as long as the therapist was educated in this area) perfectly safe. So I was slightly devastated when I was turned down over and over again by people saying they wouldn't work on anyone under 14 weeks along (Rebecca dispelled that myth for me - you'll have to ask her why when you go).

When I found Salt Lake Prenatal Massage (owned by Rebecca de Azevedo Overson, LMT) and read their website, I was almost in tears (sounds dramatic, but who isn't a little more emotional during pregnancy?). I was so relieved to have found someone who was educated and specialized in this area. The only problem- I lived in AZ (oh you lucky Utahns). So when we traveled up to UT for the holidays, I could hardly wait to schedule my appointment.

When I got to Rebecca's office, I tried not to be too hopeful, in case it ended up being a mediocre experience like so many pregnancy massages are. It is just hard to be relaxed when most therapists make you lie awkwardly on your side. I almost hugged her when I saw that she used orthopedic pillows that allow you to lie face down, safely & comfortably, without ANY pressure on your belly or breasts. And then I asked her if I could buy them for my own bed (how I miss sleeping on my stomach!). Too bad they cost like $1000 :(

It also bugs me when the massage turns into more of a backscratch because the therapist barely dares to touch you in fear that they might accidentally hit the 'magic labor button'. Really? I know there are certain things that should be avoided during pregnancy (deep work in the legs, for example), but I'm pretty positive that rubbing my feet will NOT send me into labor (believe me- I've tried). So I was really impressed when for one happy hour I completely forgot that I was even pregnant and just felt my muscles release one by one. It was amazing!

Although I won't be able to head up to Utah whenever I get a crink in my neck, you Utahns can go and see Rebecca whenever you like (I'm so jealous). She even provides child care (how cool is that?) so you can come pre or post baby. And check out this tidbit from her website for you pregos that are desperately awaiting delivery: "Past Your Due Date and REALLY don’t want to be induced? Come DAILY for only $50/session until the baby comes. (We’ve yet to see a client more than 5 days in a row… just sayin’…we can help.)"

So from all of us child-bearing women, thank you, Rebecca, for having the courage to address this section of the population. You are performing such a great service and helping us to forget about some of the woes of pregnancy so that we can just focus on all that is wonderful about having a baby.

You can check her out at:

And stay tuned for an awesome Salt Lake Prenatal Massage GIVEAWAY!!!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ah, sleep

Remember how nice it was to get a full night's sleep? Oh, you don't? Yeah, unfortunately those sweet, snuggly babies bring with them a whole lot of tiredness. However, there is hope. You will eventually get a full night's sleep again. I'm hoping to give you some tips that might make that time sooner, rather than later.

Now before I get into this, I need to say that I don't claim to be any sort of sleep expert. I only know what worked for me and my baby. And that may or may not work for you and yours. Every baby is different and every mom is different. You need to do what you feel is best with your child.

Before I had my baby, I was determined to find the magic formula for getting him to sleep through the night from birth. I read a couple different books and asked around to every mom I knew trying to inhale any and all tips I could. I became somewhat frustrated because it seemed like everyone had a different opinion and that every book contradicted what the previous one had said. I knew it was possible though because I could clearly see through my associations (family, friends, co-workers, etc) that there were kids that were awesome sleepers and some, well, not so much. I was pretty desperate to help my child be one of those awesome sleepers because I'm a working mom and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it all if I was getting up multiple times a night for years on end.

So here's what I did. I took bits and pieces of advice from a couple different books (my favorite being Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child) and went from there.

-I knew a schedule was important so that's where I started. My baby pretty much put himself on a 3 hour eating schedule so I went off of that and changed the order of things a bit. He was falling asleep during or right after feedings and only sleeping for short spurts at a time, never really being fully rested. I did everything I could to keep him awake after he would eat, play with him, then when I noticed his "sleepy cues" I would put him to sleep. Which brings me to the next point....

-I feel one of the keys to having a good sleeper is teaching him/her to put themselves to sleep. Put the baby down when they are drousy, but not asleep. He needs to know how to soothe himself to sleep. That way, when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, he can put himself back to sleep instead of needing you to do it. For me, this involved some crying. It didn't take my son long to realize it was not so fun to be put in his crib, all alone, in a dark room. What baby wouldn't prefer to be snuggled and rocked to sleep? However, I knew it wasn't realistic for me to do that. I wanted to rock him to sleep because I wanted to occasionally, not becuase he demanded it. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy...I hated listening to him cry, but it only took a couple days and to this day he goes down for naps and nightime like a dream. You may be lucky and not have to let yours cry, but mine is a stubborn little guy and I knew it was the only way.

-For a long time (for me it was close to a year!) your baby will be ready to go to sleep after only 1-2 hours of being awake. When I first read this, I thought it was crazy. But sure enough, once I started paying attention, my boy started showing his tired signs after an hour and a half. This was the window of opportunity. If I waited too long to put him down, he was overtired and did not go down as easily.

-Babies thrive on routine and I honestly believe they have a happier, more pleasant disposition when they are getting all the sleep they need. Like I mentioned in my last post, I learned early on that when his schedule got rocked, I paid for it dearly the next day. His sleeping was off and he was much more ornery. Again, this makes total sense- think of how you are when you don't get the sleep you need?

-Create a bedtime routine. Things that you do everynight that cue your baby that it's time to go to sleep. We did bath, lotion rub down, book, singing, prayers, then down he went. He LOVED his bedtime routine.

-For the most part, keeping your child up later will not help him to sleep longer/later. I fought to keep my baby up around 7 pm every night because I wanted him to sleep as long as possible into the night. Finally I decided to just give in and let him go to sleep for the night then. Sure enough, that night he slept for the longest amount of time he had ever done since he was born. He still wakes up earlier if we try to keep him up later. It always backfires.

My baby is almost 18 months and he has slept 12 hours straight everynight (minus a few here and there due to sickness and teething) since he was about 4 months. He has always had a consistent and reliable nap schedule and he loves his sleep. He even asks me to go "na nights"! I definietly got lucky, but I honestly think the majority of it is because of the sleep habits I tried to instill in him.

I have to admit I was a little nervous to write this post. This is a very touchy subject for most people and there are SO many different opinions out there. I just wanted to share some of mine. Right or wrong, this is what I did and what worked for us. You may not want to put your baby on a "schedule" or you may not want to let your baby "cry it out". That's totally fine. This is just one of the many areas that we as mothers have to use our "mother's intuition". You do what you feel is right and I wish you all the best of luck. Sweet dreams :)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Baby Eczema Tips and Product Review


When I found out about miniOrganics, an line of Australian-made organic baby skin care products, I was excited. I wanted to try the Superfine Jojoba, an oil ideal for improving dry, itchy skin. My baby has eczema on her ankles and hands which can get very itchy and raw (poor girl) so I am always willing to try ANYthing that claims to help eczema.

miniOrganics sent me their "3-Step Prescription"—Calming & Hydrating Mist, Superfine Jojoba, and Infant Moisturizer. I love the smell of all three, and I love that they have only natural, safe ingredients for my baby's sensitive skin. I have definitely noticed that my baby's skin stays moisturized longer, and her eczema spots are healing. The improvement is almost instant when I put the Superfine Jojoba on. Although I secretly hoped these products would make my girl's eczema go away completely, that didn't happen. But I was really impressed with the results.

Although I've already used my entire tub of moisturizer, I'm excited to keep using the Hydrating Mist and the Superfine Jojoba (I can even put it in my baby's bath or use it as makeup remover for myself.) 

miniOrganics also has a line for pregnant women and new mothers that I'd love to try.

Now, onto some other things I've found to help my baby's eczema . . .

Eczema Tips

I used to think baths dried out baby skin, but I learned that it actually restores moisture if you don't use soap in the water, and if you lather them up with lotion immediately after the bath.

Hydrocortisone Cream
I try to avoid using this very much because is a steroid, but it is the most effective way to take away itch, so when I put it on my baby's eczema spots, they have a chance to clear up without getting raw from bring scratched.

Heavy Lotion
Lotion for dry skin/eczema needs to be thick and greasy. I have tried a lot of kinds and my favorites are Eucerin, Cetaphil and Aquaphor. Never use a scented lotion or one with weird chemicals in it.

If your baby has eczema spots like mine does, lotion alone won't cut it. Get a skin conditioning oil (I love the Arbonne brand, Miracell and miniOrganics). Apply it right after a bath before lotion, and throughout the day as needed. Oil is great because it really gets absorbed into the skin and restores moisture.

Diaper Bag Remedy
I love having a travel size eczema solution for when I am out and about. My stepmom gave me this to try—it's an all natural first aid pocket stick with emu oil and other healing herbs in it. I know it's totally random, but it is awesome! But it helps you stay on top of your baby's super dry skin and it's so convenient to keep in a diaper bag.

If any of you have more eczema tips, please share! 


Thursday, February 3, 2011

A simple headband tutorial, just for You!

I L.O.V.E creating headbands for my baby girl. She always has a headband on, but usually 5 minutes later she discovers it and yanks it off. But, I tell her everyday "Girls always have their hair done." Little does she know, Mama isn't always keeping her own rule. But, she thinks I'm fabulous and really, no one is looking at me when we're together anyways :-)

So here you go.

The Perfect Headband
Start out by cutting out a piece of felt, probably 1-2 inches wide. The side of the base of the flower will depend on how big you want your flower to be.

Then, cut out your fabric. These pieces were about 2.5-3 inches wide. I wanted this to be a bigger flower. Probably cut out about 20-25.

Here's my stack.

Okay. Take one circle. Fold it in half.

Then, fold the first third.

Then, fold the other third the other way, so it makes an S figure when you look from top down.

A trick I found was to clip off the bottom. It helps keep the points together and sticks better to the felt.

Use your hot glue gun, put some on the end of the fabric, and press it to the middle of the felt circle. Then, just start adding more and more around the center one.

Here is mine. Almost done. There are a few ends that are longer than the others. Clean those up carefully just by cutting.

The best way I have found to make lots of headbands is to buy elastic bands. I found this great set of 3 different sizes from the dollar store for $1! Can you believe it!!! :-) I cut this one 15 inches long.

Glue down one side.

Glue down the other side.

Glue down another circle of felt to cover the back.

And there you go! It is SO gorgeous on your little baby. I seriously get compliments every time my daughter wears this style of headband. I even made a smaller one for myself, but then I realized that even though the headband fad for adults is cute, it is definitely not cute on me!!!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

baby names.

how do you name your child?
do you stick with family names?

do you have a theme (names that start with a certain letter, or names that are after somewhere on the map)?

do you wait until baby is born and then decide?

with both of our children we had a name picked out before they were born,
but then waited to make it official/announce the name until after we saw our baby at birth.

i always love to look at top names from the previous year,
so with that i now give you...

GIRLS:                       BOYS:
1.Sophia                                 1.Aiden
2. Isabella                              2. Jacob
3. Olivia                                3. Jackson
4. Emma                                  4. Ethan
5. Chloe                                 5. Jayden
6. Ava                                   6. Noah
7. Lily                                  7. Logan
8. Madison                               8. Caden
9. Addison                               9. Lucas
10. Abigail                              10.Liam
11. Madelyn                              11. Mason
12. Emily                                12. Caleb

source for top names found here...
they list all top 100 names of 2010 if you'd like to see more:)