I received an awesome 2 week supply of baby food from Raised Real in exchange for my honest opinion. Honestly, you’re gonna wanna check this out!
Y'all, I love getting things delivered to my house. My kid already gets it, she thinks it magic when those brown paper bags show up on our doorsteps full of treats! "Momma it's FOOD!" Pair that with the fact that anything she wants to watch on t.v. is ready as soon as she demands it, and never having to listen to the draining tune of dial up internet, and I have basically stripped her of three major character building experiences and she isn't even three yet.
But, seriously, I am a convenience queen. A serious CONSUMER. Is it going to make my life easier? Is the amount of convenience that it provides worth the price? When it comes right down to it everyday we choose in all areas are we going to spend time or money? This baby food delivery service is the peak of new world parenting in my opinion and I'm not mad.
We got our first box or Raised Real last week and my oldest was so excited to check out baby sisters special goodies. Up until now she wasn't getting any goodies delivered because I was hauling my but to the grocery store to get organic fruits and veggies to bring home and peel, and chop, and steam, and puree because the produce that was getting delivered by our grocery delivery service of choice was not up to par for my bouncing, baby, bundle. We have been slowly introducing solids a few days apart for the last few weeks and we are so ready to level up. So, that brings us here.
Here's why I love it:
1. Super Convient
-It comes to you, like to your door packaged all pretty on ice! You can also have it auto ship so it’s one less thing you have to worry about ordering!
-All of the ingredients are sourced from organic, sustainable, non-gmo farms and then flash frozen to lock in the nutritions, this is a serious level up from jarred food!
-Even though I LOVE making her food from scratch so that I know EXACTLY what she is eating there are ingredients here that I just wouldn’t have added naturally, when I am introducing I am doing one food at a time and not adding the spices and butters, and you can see all those wholesome ingredients in the bag, so it’s so nice for her to get things now that she wouldn’t have.
4. More than one meal per bag
-The cost per meal is $4.75, the meal fills a standard baby food jar to the top when puréed. For us this gives two if not three feedings because she is still getting most of her nutrition from breast meal, so it’s super affordable at her age.
5. No prep
-I choose which meal for the day, use my baby food maker to prepare them. So, I open a bag, ad water, steam, and purée and it’s ready. Then I store the remainder in old glass baby jars in the fridge for another meal. Barely any dishes or fuss!
...and baby Girl’s review, she can’t keep a bib clean, and is a frequent visitor to the clean jars club, we love it.
We had the 6 month check up this week I think this marks the end of the set of immunizations that she gets that are four at a time and a drinkable (poor babe!). Aside from all of the shots, this age is my favorite of the baby variety. Sitting, crawling, eating settling into a routine, I love it.
The whole food introduction piece has been really fun for us. She is really interested in eating and very open to trying new flavors and textures so in the new few posts I will be telling you about some of our favorite snacks and meals.
Up until last everything that she has eaten has either been literally MADE by me (milk) or bought prepped, cooked, and pureed by me. But, now we are at a "snacking" crossroads, she isn't quite to the point of consuming enough solid food that it eliminates some of the feedings, but she sees everyone else eating and wants in, all the time.
Right now she eats two pureed meals per day and then the rest of her nutrition is still milk. Between her meals and when we at eating and snacking we started trying out some baby snack foods. Melts, puffs, crisps, whatever is age appropriate. A sand our favorite has emerged. Baby Mum-Mum. Here’s why we love them
Of course my toddler wants to have everything the baby is eating now so having Mums that are appropriate for her was huge, plus the allergy piece keeps me sane. These dissolve faster than any puff or melt I have tried and are big enough for baby girl to hold and maneuver into her mouth on her own which is huge because we are not at the stage of picking up finger foods yet. I am so glad to have found these and they will definitely be a staple in my household going forward. Have you tried Baby Mum-Mum yet? Head to my post on Instagram for your chance to win a free box!
I am not much of a planner, this is just a fact. Even with kids I have tried to plan more ahead of schedule but it just doesn't happen. That brings us here to almost Father's Day one of his gifts IS actually purchased because it required some advanced planning, but we will get to that. Here are five things that y0u can get for the da-da in your life from your phone, now...
I know I know how cheesey right? My husband typically has somewhat of a "signature" scent so this makes it really easy. It's a great time to go online and take advantage of all of the deals they offer this time of year to restock him, grooming bags and extra products, travel size aromas, sometimes they even offer a freakin' duffle bag!
I didn't claim that these were totally orignal ideas guys. However, I got my husband a JORD Wood Timepiece for Valentine's Day this year and he has never recieved more compliments on a piece of jewelry, wedding ring included! They are seriously timeless pieces, you can find a watch to match any style and they even off iPhone bands now, so you can guess what he is getting from JORD for Father's Day. They even offer custom engraving to kick it up a notch. Use the code SHAUNAFD18 for $30 off of you order.
Most spas will let you schedule online from your phone and some will even let you prepay! Handle that gift like a boss from your iPhone. I DID schedule the hubs a massage already because he got me one for Mother's Day so I just made the appointment before I left the spa. Easy Peasy!
OK, you can't exactly order this, but you can get the canvas, mug or other art materials from your phone. Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have coupons that you can take advantage of listed right on their site. Paint, canvas, patience= beloved gift for life. If you were around last Father's Day you know that I don't recommend taking a toddler to paint pottery, just keep the crafts at home.
Flask, Cufflinks, Wallet
These all kind of go together, right? A custom trinket that is slightly elevated in class that he wouldn't typically buy for himself. My husband has engraved cufflinks and two custom flask and I think there is just a sort of classy swagger that comes with these.
I hope this helps all my last minute mommas out there! What are your Father's Day plans?
You can only truly "learn" to parent once your child is in front of you. All that BS we say to one another about what type of parent we are going to be is JUST that. You have not a damn clue. You can talk about what type of parent you aspire to be but you don’t really know until it happens, boom, you have a kid out in the world!
Three things my FIRST born taught me.
1. I know nothing.
"I was the perfect parent until I had kids."
Yep that was me, misses know it all with a list 10 feet long of "things I would NEVER do as a mom. Isn't that just freaking hilarious.
2. I can only parent the child I was given, er, made.
I had a billion list and ideas and things I would and wouldn't do and plans, ha plans! I had 'em. The way the I can parent is 100% based on my reactions and interactions with this small human, who is very different from me, but a mirror image of me all at once. I can not take credit for all that she is, I can choose how to react and how to parent her only, not an imaginary being I thought would appear that always listened and potty trained herself and would never misbehave in public. Not that child, this child I have that is a living breathing human I can not control.
3. Patience, Patience, Patience.
Nothing was happening on my timeline or my way anymore, this was a tough one to swallow but a very necessary lesson to learn. I was no longer the boss, this tiny human is in charge of me, when I sleep, when I eat, when she eats, I am simply the vessel.
Three things my LAST born taught me.
1. You HAVE TO say no.
Life is a whirlwind with one, its a Tsunami with two. There is no more yes to everything. There is no more accommodating. No is my new favorite word. No because they need naps, no because it's too hot, it's too cold, no because I simply do not want to. What ever is best for my village is what I shall choose.
2. You can do this.
It is fucking hard being a parent. It is hard everyday. But, I can do it and so can you. We do it everyday. When people compliment me on surviving, hell somedays even thriving with two I take it in grace, because the next day there could be a turd in the middle of my floor and barf in my hair. We are all hot messes but we can do it, we DO do it, somehow, everyday. Sometimes it is like I am living the life of one of my beautiful Instagram squares and some days it pure chaos and tears. Either way, I get it done.
3. You made the right choice.
When I look at my girls together sometimes I just tear up. This is it. Even though I was miserable at the end of my pregnancy, even though I am tired and sore down to my bones sometimes.
Every pound gained.
Every contraction felt.
Every late night wake up.
Every nursing session.
Every pump session.
Every single thing is worth it. Every. ONE.
Three things my NIECE taught me.
1. It's not where you come from, it's where you belong.
I don't really have to explain this I don't think. ❤️
2. You don't get to decide when the time is right.
After watching the journey that led to her, I am amazed. It is just proof that we are not in control and what child comes to us when is not up to us. And now, here we are, basking in the joy of some of the most joyful children I have ever met.
3. Even though someone parents different than you, it's also perfect.
Just like I said I can only parent the kiddos I have the same goes for everyone else. My sister and her wife couldn't have a more different take on parenting than my husband and I. How happy are our girls? Like lil piglets in poop happy. Every single one. They are the perfect parents for her and are we for our girls. Let stop with the damn shaming already! I am 100% positive I would not be the right parent for my niece and my sisters aren't perfection for my girls. But, would we all lay down out lives and do whatever it takes for anyone of these ladies? You bet your ass.
Until I started blogging more frequently and dove way down deep into this Insta world I had no idea what really went into designing a beautiful, cohesive, esthetically pleasing feed. Now, I know the truth, and I am hear to share it because...
"Don't be a hey look at me girl, be a come with me girl"
-Cara Alwill Leyba
By now you have probably seen quite a few photos on my feed and a lot of other local blogger's feeds from this particular shoot. Allow me too explain. We did this shoot as a collaboration, in conjunction with sponsors to cross promote them and each other and as a form of blogger networking. It was my first experience doing a shoot like this and I will absolutely be doing it again. It gives you a ton of content for your blog and feed that is cohesive (if you are a blogger or influencer) and it was just a really good time connecting with local, likeminded, awesome women, and having it captured by a talented photographer Amanda Vick!
At least part of each of our outfits were sponsored by Wantable. I have to say mine was one of the more envied get ups because it ended up being a 44 degree day in May, which is a bit chilly for a rootop (The Astor Hotel) and beach (Bradford Beach) shoot. Plus how freaking cute? This is like the ultimate, effortless, cool mom outfit!
Champagne flavored cotton candy was spun up by Sugar Smith which is located in Madison and honestly one for the coolest sweetest setups I have ever seen and you may see it at my daughter's 3rd birthday party!
Cold beverages were provided by Cut Water Spirits. Now, this is a genius thing you guys, mixed dranks in a can, no fuss, boom!
Shout out to Lake Effect Co. for the adorable coozies that kept us sipping our drinks on the beach which protecting out fingers from frost bite. Yes, in May, thanks Wisconsin.
I am thrilled I had the pleasure to meet all of these amazing women and new friends!
There, the cat is out of the bag, sometimes you take pretty picture for the sake of Instagram and your Blog feed and amazing things happen. I always say to myself when posting, "pretty picture, better story." I am not trying to fool anyone into thinking that my like is "Insta-perfection" I want to share my story with you all, the raw the real. But, a picture itself is worth a thousand words and that photo, that moment of you scrolling, it's the first impression I have to give. Gotta make it good!
I hope you will take the time to check out some of my new friends, they are doing some incredible things on the interwebs y'all. Here's where to find them!
If you want more tips about beautifying you Instagram, let me know, I'll keep 'em coming. CHEERS!
The day that I sat in the specialists office and watched the peanut "scratch" on my daughter's back turn into a swollen mosquito bite looking bump in less than five minutes all I could think about it all the things that she wouldn't be able to have and how much of a nut job (pun intended) I would have to be for the next however many years until she KNEW what she could and could not have to eat.
The issue reached a new level when my niece was diagnosed with not only a peanut allergy but an egg allergy as well. Cue endless jokes about how dry and flavorless all of their birthday cakes would be for the rest of their lives. I searched tirelessly around the city to find a bakery that could make a cake in a facility that was not only peanut free but egg free as well. This is a BIG ask for bakeries, a lot of pressure for them to make sure that your baked goods could be guaranteed not to come in contact with allegen foods.
On a referrral I discovered The Pink Bakery.
All of their mixes as well as everything that is baked fresh on site if FREE OF THE BIG 8 ALLERGENS. The Big 8 foods are: Eggs, Fin-fish, Milk, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts and Wheat. You can rest easy knowing that none of the things your precious baby cant be exposed to have even crossed paths with any of the ingredients in these desserts. I know what you are going to ask? Do they taste like anything at all then? Yes! Decadent even! I didn't believe it myself until I baked 'em up and gave them a taste.
I used the "Not So Plain Jane Sugar Cookie Mix" with the added flavor or organic meyer lemons per the box suggestions and they were just the right amount of tangy. Be prepared to work this dough a bit more than a traditional sugar cookie before cutting it out. Once they were cut though, they held together and baked up nicely. I chose to top them with a organic meyer lemon icing and couldn't let them cool even before tasting. YUM!
This "Not So Frownie Brownie" and it is just that. Once the batter is mixed it looks like fudge y'all. FUDGE. It bakes up more of a cripsy outside and chewy inside, not cakey. Either way sweet tooth slayed with these.
Lastly, and most favorite was the "Mama's Favorite Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Mix." This you will be hard pressed to determine that this is an altered cake mix in any way. I topped them with an organic homemade vanilla bean whipped cream frosting and listen I could barely get photos before my husband and daughter jumped on these. My daughter typically doesn't get passed the frosting with desserts so when she walked up to me with just crumbs left in her cupcake liner I was shocked! The little surprise chips inside definitely take these over the top.
I am so excited to have found these baking mixes that I can have on hand that I KNOW will be safe for the kids in my life and also on playdates! So moms rejoice and get yourselves over to The Pink Bakery to soothe your allergy woes!
This post contains an affiliate link, there 's something in it for you too. All of the opinions are my own and 100% honest.
This pump is legit.
I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!
My world has changed y'all. Everything I thought I knew about pumping has been blow up! I have always associated my dedicated pumping time to be just that. Stuck in a chair somewhere in my house because I am not about to lug a block with me around let alone I would have to then plug it back in, in another room and make sure that it was at the same phase and when I unplugged, all while trying to time how long I have been stuck to this nipple yanker. Well fear not friends, this is no longer how I start my mornings and this beautiful little kit below is why. BEHOLD!
(Image from babybuddhaproducts.com)
Since the birth of my first daughter nearly 3 years ago the Medela Pump and Style has been my fave, my lover. I loved it, felt it got my breast empty, was powerful, and portable enough to take to work without breaking my back. I never really searched for anything else. Now that I have my Baby Buddha, I am just wondering where it has been all my life.
Here is everything that comes with the Kit. It leaves nothing to be desired! The two things that I really appreciated that I have not seen with other pumps are the covers for the pumps and the fact that the bag comes standard! It covers are so awesome if you are packing these in a bag that has things besides you pumping supplies, it keeps them from getting dirty!
Sure it's cute and all, but is it powerful?
The first day that I used this I got more output than I was getting consistently with my old pump in less time! I got 12 oz while dual pumping in 10 minutes! My old routine called for 15 minutes of pumping and only expressed about 8 oz on average! So, I was pretty much sold immediately.
WOW 12 oz, but is this before or after feeding?
For the first few days I wanted to have a controlled measurement of output, I pumped BEFORE the baby fed in the morning. These results were about 3.5 hours after the baby had most recently nursed. Here was my output for the days following.
6.5 oz (immediately after nursing)
7.5 oz (immediately after nursing)
As you can see my little bug got sick of waiting a few days in there, so sorry these are completely scientific results without variables guys, I'm just a mom. ;-)
What gives those results?
The rhythm that the pump has is different from any I have experienced it isn't just the two phase you typically see. I felt that it brought on my let down more quickly and giving a more effective pump session over all. I felt this was the most "empty" my breasts have ever felt after pumping.
Isn't it annoying that it hangs around your neck?
Nope. Not it the least. It is so light weight! Plus I love that it has the digital display that tells which phase it is in and how long you have been pumping, no guess work involved.
Aside from the portability of courseThat would be a toss up. I love the cushy covers that are on the nozzles, delicate on the lady goods. But that is not the BEST thing. You can single handedly choose if you want to dual or single pump with the flick of a switch! This is a BIG DEAL! If you typically produce more that one standard pumping bottle full, you know with other pumps you have to unplug the tube from that side on the unit, and then cover the air hole so that the other side will continue pumping in the mean time. Not here. You push the switch over and the other side continues business as usual as you empty the bottle, or maybe you are simply done pumping on that side. Easy Peasy.
Is it loud?
With the power it is putting out I am surprised at how quiet it truly is.
How long does the charge last?
I have found it to last about 5 pump sessions, so just under 1 hour of active pump time. You can not pump with it plugged in so you do have to remember to charge it once the battery symbol starts to flash at you on the screen.
I used to want to set my pump a flame once I weaned my kiddos, I feel a little less pyro about it now. I am not kidding, this has totally changed the way that my mornings run and changed the tone for the day. There's something about being about to just live and not making pumping suck so bad that you dread it, AND getting real, amazing results. I can't say enough good things about it. Plus, look how freakin gorgeous it is! Do your boobs a favor and get this around your nips mommas, you wont regret it! Just for being here are reading,
use code: Shauna10 for 10% off of you're purchase!
Lets start at the beginning. First things first. The worst thing about breastfeeding is pumping. It's not latch or chapped nipples or waking up at night to feed. It the damn pump. Attached to you, draining every drop of gold, just for you to spill it on the counter because the baby is crying and you are rushing to transfer it into a bag to store. I HATE pumping, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone that found their roll as Bessy enjoyable. But, alas, we are not here today to dream about the moment we can finally set fire to are milk expression machinery. We are here to talk about the holy shit moment when I thought I had been wasting my life pumping and storing over 500 oz for my impending return to work all for...my baby to refuse a bottle. ALL THAT FROZEN MILK Y'ALL. Ready for the thawing. Waiting to nourish my sweet babe while I returned to the world of the living from Mombie land. Don't let this happen to you, don't be like Shauna.
Spoiler alert! I got a new diaper bag which was enough of a reason for me to FINALLY pot together this post about "what's in my bag?" Let's jump in...I solemnly swear this is really what is in my bag right now. #minimalist
Don't over do it, think of how long you will be gone and stock up just for that adventure, unless you are going to deserted island where you literally could not get something if you needed it. Remember that you have to carry this bag at some point so you don't want it to be too heavy. When choosing a bag style thing of what is most important. With my first I needed it to hang on the back of the stroller for easy access and it needed to be able to fit our entire lives inside because I was a first time mom. Now, I need to be able to comfortably carry it on my back while wearing a carrier if needed, while chasing a toddler, big shoes to fill. BONUS that this one has a fold out changing pad because getting a toddler to come into a bathroom stall with you while you change their sibling is basically impossible. I also typically but abigger toy in the car seat with the baby so that doesn't need to fit into the bag. Happy Packing!
I got the idea to make a play planter for my toddler after rewarding my daughter with two succulents from our Milwaukee Domes adventures. Of course, she does not fully grasp the concept that they are just to look at and care for, not to carry around the house and I would like them to actually stay alive, so that brings us here. First, I went over to Amazon to see if I could find what I was looking for, nope. Pinterest? No dice. So, off we went to the craft store.
Some sort of pots, whatever strikes your fancy (non-fragile)
Flowers of your or your child's choice
Burlap (this is burlap ribbon pictured)
Hot Glue Gun
Cut down the floral foam to about 1" thick slices.
Cut a piece of burlap, enough to cover the foam, about a 4" square.
Fill center of the foam with glue, continue to bring edged up, rotate and glue until all the burlap is secure.
Flip the disk over and poke a hole into the center with a pencil, pen, chopstick, whatever you have to make an indent for the flower.
Poke it in, secure with hot glue. I used a lot of glue at the base of the flower because I know my daughter is going to yank them out by the tops!
Let them dry! Then play the day away! Happy planting!
Shauna Hyler, mommy of two beautiful girls! Working, blogging, and adventuring with the hubby and my sweet girls.