A Few Favorites Lately!

This post is sponsored by Baby Cubby but all opinions are 100% my own. 

Baker 1

It’s been a while since I shared Baker’s newborn favorites so I’m updating my list of things that we couldn’t currently live without! All of these products were provided to me by Baby Cubby but most were products that we already had and loved and I just added to our collection…like these bibs.

rosie

Around our house, we go through 1-2 bibs (at least!) daily. Baker has been “teething” (drooling like crazy, gnawing on anything she can get her hands on) for what seems like months. It’s literally been like 4 months now and she still hasn’t popped a tooth through.

blush_flatFrom the very beginning, the bandana bibs have been a favorite and I’ve been swooning over these prints from Copper Pearl since I began buying bibs.

Baker 7

They are the softest bibs we own and so absorbent (they actually keep her clothes dry) plus the patterns are just so precious! With a drooling baby, you can never have too many bibs. AmIright?

 

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I actually bought Baker one of these Banana Teething Toothbrushes for Christmas and from the moment we gave it to her, she loved it!

Baker 9

Nana, as we termed it, became a necessity to keeping her entertained, especially during diaper changes. As I’m sure any of my fellow dog mamas can attest to this, our dogs love anything rubber like this and the first time I dropped it and it went unnoticed, Einstein snuck it away and chewed it up.

Baker 11

I was so disappointed but when I saw them in-stock on Baby Cubby, I knew I had to order Baker a new one. She will chew on this thing forever and not get bored, plus the little handles make it easy for her hands to hold on to!

ezpz_mini_mat_-coralOther than pureed foods, we’ve only given Baker just a few different solid foods like eggs, toast, cheese, noodles, and avacados. The other day, I spread a small handful of shredded cheese on the tray of her high chair while we were cooking dinner and when it was gone, I assumed she ate it all. The next day, Cory sent me a text asking why there was a “pound of shredded cheese in Baker’s seat”. Ha! Solid foods can be so messy but this EZPZ Mini Mat makes for a much cleaner eating experience. Plus, I really like that we can throw it in the diaper bag if we need it. The best thing about it though? She can’t throw it off her high chair! #winning

skip_hop_hedgehog_1A little known fact about my talented husband is that along with many other instruments, he plays accordion. When I saw this Skip Hop Hedgehog Accordion, I couldn’t pass up the chance for Baker to be twinning with her daddy.

Baker 4

How cute is it?

Baker 3

She hasn’t quite figured out how to make it play music, but loves when we play it for her and she loves to chew on it, of course.

Baker 6

When shopping for any child, let alone a baby, it can be so overwhelming with all the possibilities out there. Baby Cubby is a team made up of parents (they get it!) and they believe in families, laughter, and happiness. They have taken all the guessing out of shopping by spending hundreds of hours researching baby gear so we as parents don’t have to!

Baker 5

Their products have been tested and proved tried and true, in order to to provide the highest quality and safest gear. The best part? They even price-match and offer free shipping nationwide on orders over $49. You can’t beat that!

Baker 8

Baby Cubby also recognizes that parenting is hard (#truth) but also the most rewarding and important job in the world. Not only do they make shopping fun, easy, and quick but their blog is full of so many great topics to help make our jobs as parents just a tad bit easier. I highly recommend checking out Baby Cubby and their blog and only wish I had known about them earlier!

PinkBlush Maternity + A Giveaway

*This is a sponsored post. I received this dress for free from PinkBlush Maternity in exchange for my honest opinion. 

One of my biggest struggles since getting pregnant was finding cute maternity clothes at a decent price. As if growing a big belly isn’t enough, who wants to spend a small fortune on maternity clothes that they’ll only wear for a few months? Not me!

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IrresistibleMe Hair Extensions

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are 100% mine. 

Can I let you guys in on two little secrets? First, I’m definitely NOT a beauty blogger. I prefer posting pictures of my house and my dogs much more than I like to be in front of a camera. Second, ever since I chopped 10 inches off my hair a few months ago, I’ve regretted it every. single. day.

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A little back story to my hair…I have a lot of it.

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And it’s naturally this curly but it never looks this good unless I’m in Rwanda. What’s up with that??

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I got so tired of letting the color grow out that I decided to just chop it all off.

Why? Why do I do this to myself? I never like my hair short but always convince myself it’s a good idea.

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Hair Extensions 2

So after a few months of letting it grow, here’s me…in all my plain glory! And just so you know, I never straighten my hair anymore. Most days, my hair is air dried before I go to bed and I might spray a little sea salt spray in it before rushing out the door in the morning. I actually had to borrow my mom’s straightener because mine burnt up in Rwanda almost four months ago.

Hair Extensions

After missing my length so much, you can imagine my excitement when IrresistibleMe contacted me about trying their hair extensions.

Yes, yes, yes, please!

Hair Extensions 3

IrresistibleMe has a ton of different options from length, to color, to weight. I went back and forth between the Medium Brown and Chocolate Brown. I was worried that the Medium Brown would be too red and thanks to the help of Blair, she helped me decide on Chocolate Brown.

My extensions are 18 in length and 200 grams in Chocolate Brown.

Before curl front

As you can see, they don’t blend that well with my short, straight hair but like I said, I very rarely wear my hair straight.

So I added some curls.

Hair Extensions 9

And I love the results! They are still a little darker than my natural hair color but I like the way it looks!

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My mom came over when I had these in and I guess she’s just so used to seeing me with long hair, she didn’t even realize it wasn’t my natural hair!

That has to say something coming from my Mama!

After Front Hair Extensions 8

The back of my hair matches almost exactly to the Chocolate Brown extensions.

After Back Hair Extensions 5

As I was taking the extensions out, I took out the heaviest 4 clip weft and still liked the way my hair looked without it.

Hair Extensions 10

If you can’t tell, I’m really enjoying my long hair again, all thanks to IrresistibleMe!

Blog Book | Rwanda

*This post is NOT sponsored. I paid full price for this book. While I wouldn’t turn down a free one, I’m simply sharing because I enjoyed the company! 

Cory and I have made very few purchases in 2015 {as in three or four} in anticipation of our kitchen renovation, but after working on this little project for weeks, I couldn’t resist the temptation to get my Rwanda blog book in my hands. Every day, I checked the mail in anticipation that it had arrived early. I just love every single one of these faces, pictures and stories and couldn’t wait to have them printed forever.

Blog book

A few months ago, I started looking into a way to print my post about our trip to Rwanda. While I’d love to have my whole blog printed by year, I really wanted to do a book for just our trip.

At first, I thought about just doing a picture book but so many of the pictures only tell half the story. Plus, Cory and I worked so hard on those recaps!

Blog Book 3

After trying out a couple services that pulled directly from my website, I realized that, due to copyright laws, they weren’t going to be able to provide me with the customization I needed like being able to leave off the signature or change the layout of the pictures. So I did a little research to see if there was anything that would fit my needs and what I came across was this post and decided to give Lulu.com a try.

blog print

Lulu differs from other services in that it’s an actual book publisher and doesn’t just replicate your blog post. They have a formatted Word document that you download and then copy and paste your blog post in to. For me, this seems very tedious to do a full year’s worth of posts, but I didn’t mind it for the dozen or so about Rwanda. We’ll be using this book to share with future team members, sponsors, churches, etc. so I wanted it to look more like a book rather than my blog.

printing your blog

Rather than selecting a date range and then taking out posts I didn’t want in the book, I was able to copy and paste the individual posts I did want.

blog printing Lulu.com

I chose to do a 8.25 x 10.75 casewrap hardcover in full color. It is cheaper to do black and white and if I wasn’t printing this for presentation purposes, I might have opted for that route.

Blog2Print

What I liked most about Lulu was the customization it offers. I knew I wanted to keep my page numbers as low as possible {because 300 pages is a little intimidating} and I really liked the fact that I could rearrange and re-size different pictures and save on the pages. I also changed the font and the font size as well as going for full pictures on both covers. I wasn’t able to do any of this on the other services I tried.

Even though the customization was one of my favorite parts, it was also the most difficult part of the whole process. BUT it really wasn’t that difficult! Really, it was more time consuming than difficult. I wanted to make sure that every post started on a new page and there wouldn’t be just a few lines on the last page of each post. It took me a couple of weeks to get everything right but I would just work on it every now and again, when I had to time to fool with it.

book blogs

I was worried about the quality of the pictures since I was copying and pasting from my blog but I was really impressed with how well they look. It does help that my blog pictures, especially for those recaps, are pretty large.

publishing a book

The quality of the book was also really impressive. It reminds me of a small yearbook with a sturdy binding and thick pages. It’s just the right size to hold its place on one of our end tables, (if we ever finish this kitchen renovation) but light enough to take with us when we share about our trip.

blog printing

But, my favorite part about using Lulu.com, is the price! With Blog2Print, the total rang up at $126.57. Ouch! While I easily would have paid that much to have these memories printed forever, I was hoping to find something better. After I finished the customization, I was a little worried that I had just spent weeks working on it and it would be way over my budget but when the total popped up, I was shocked.

$43.40

That’s a 66% savings from Blog2Print, y’all! It totally made the extra time spent customizing it worth it to save that much money and get what I wanted.

blog to print

Of course, no post is complete without a puppy bomb.

print blog

I’m so glad that I went through with this purchase and will definitely be using Lulu.com again for future books. How cool will it be in 10 years to be able to look back each year and see all the different trips we’ve been on and memories made. Makes my heart happy!

Have you ever had your blog printed? Which service did you like the most?