Thursday, April 28, 2011

ETSYfinds: Riley the Wool Felt Rhinoceros

While perusing Hoolaboola today, this lil' stephaniemonroe rhino jumped out at me and I immedately fell in love!  Seriously.  How cute is he!  Just the perfect somthin' somethin' to cheer up and personalize a nursery...I know he'd coerce a smile out of me every time!

I just wanna smoosh your lil' face!!!  Ugh, so fat and cute!

WIWHBT (If I Had Boys): Cutie Pie Kids Ties

Damn, stinkin' cute!  If I had boys, I would totally have snapped up these spicy lil' accessories today.  They'd be perfect for photos...and I obviously have a thing for Vegas (got hitched there, woot woot!).  I'm having a daydream fantasy sequence going on in my head right now about flying my boy twins out to Sin City for a photo shoot at the sign graveyard with Trish & Jared...

What..what's that?  My twinkies waking up from their nap?  Oh right.  Back to my wonderfully pink reality.  (But those are some damn cute ties!).

The Gambler and the Super Hero playin' it on the DL.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from the (Appaman) Bunnies!

Ruby & Scarlett hope the bunny brought you enough Reeses eggs to last 'till next Easter! 
Those adorable comfy playsuits?  They're from the Appaman collection for Target.  I friggin' LOVE Appaman's clothing and snag more of this boutique brand everytime it comes up on Gilt.  Their Target collection is the same high quality I'd expect (the boutique coveralls I have are just a bit thinner burnout-esque material than the Target stuff), but for rock bottom prices.  They fit true to size and I couldn't be happier.  I'm actually a little jealous of the boy prints....the lil' motorcycles are spiffy.  I pretty much cleared out the remaining stock (which was already pretty depleted) for the twinners and for baby shower gifts.

Target + Appaman = Awesome.  Soooo much better than the mostly fugly attempt at a Splendid for Target line.

   The Twincesses Are   |   7 Months, 7 Days Old   

Friday, April 22, 2011

WIWHBT: Bambino Land Swaddles

One of my all time favorite muslin swaddles are on Green Baby Bargains today.  I mean, I love Aden + Anias, but boring ol' white with patterns just gets kinda old.  Bambino Land's Stars and Stripes patterns makes me just swoon.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that I took ours with us to the hospital and nurses in the NICU adored them!  They loved to use these (and our Luna Lullaby swaddles) as bedsheets and baby wraps to cheer up the twinner's isolettes (booo to those faded n' stiff hospital issue flannel blankets).  So, I hold these swaddles very close to my heart for making me (and everyone else that came into their room) smile during a very nerve-wracking time.  Sometimes it's the little things that make a world of difference.

My only saddness is that GBB doesn't have the Bambino Land muslin bibs today.  I've been desperately wanting to try them!

UPDATE: Missed the GBB sale but want to snag yourself some sweet Bambino Land goodies? Use code TWINS to save yourself 40% off their entire store (plus right now they're offering free shipping on orders over $50)!  Hurry, this offer expires expires june 18, 201. 

Colorful swaddles also make great photo backgrounds when taking those monthly baby pics!
The twinners in their first girly "clothes".  They look like lil' bits of candy...just wanna eat 'em up!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WIWHBT: Peekaboo Puppets & Polaroid Wall Stickers

So here's a bit of randomness this evening.  These Cate & Levi puppets on Totsy are pretty freaking cute.  My kids are a pretty hard sell on the time-tested game of peekaboo, so I'm wondering if they'd think these critters are more funny than boring ol' mom hiding her face again.  They're not very impressed with my sense of humor...the dogs however, are always hysterical.  Critics.
BOO!   Laugh, dammit.  Laugh.
I also ran across some 8"x10" Wallcandy Arts Polaroid Frame wall stickers on Gilt.  They'd be pretty cool in baby's room with vintage b&w (or use Rollip to get that true Instimatic look) pics of mom, dad and grandparents as tots.  Slap 'em all over one of those huge tree wall stickers that are all the rage on Etsy and make your own pictorial family tree!  Even better?  They're dry erase so you can doodle everyone's nicknames them and the tape/pin details are optional.  These sticker frames are removable and reusable so, in theory, you could make use of them for years.  Just tear your teen girl's favorite boy band pics right out of Tiger Beat and slap 'em up on the wall (showing my age, I know).

The three amigas.

WIWHBT: John Deere Purple Cowboy Boots

How cute would the twinners look sporting these lil' grape purple cowboy boots with a skirt this summer?  I may have to dig up that Zulily coupon and pop on these (thanks for the borrowed slang, American Pickers).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FAVS: Toy/Sippy Leashes

If course those dandy little plastic links work awesome for hanging toys from baby gyms, exersaucers, and the side of your lil' one's crib.  But when it comes to leashing their prized posessions to their carseat and stroller, I love toy leashes.  I've made 'em and bought 'em, and here are a couple of my favorites.

The Little Lasso = stretchy goodness
Swanky Boutique Leash:  The Little Lasso is hands down my favorite for strapping that favorite toy or blankie to the car seat.  It's stretchy and can be hooked back onto itself to keep the length nice and short so I'm not dragging Scarlett's Winkel all over the ground when toting that heavy ass infant carrier.  I can also easily thread Ruby's a + a Issie right through the end and don't have to fear about losing it overboard.  It comes in stylish prints to suit your fancy...I nabbed the Cabana Stripe last time they showed up on Mamabargains, and the rainbow colored Multi-stripe this go-round.  You'll definitely want to snag them when they show up on a deal site for half off, because these suckers are $20+ a pop retail.

Could you make them?  Sure, they're basically a fabric tube (with elastic inside) with sliding beads that tighten everything down.  But they are very well made and honestly who has the freaking time.  If you add a link to the other end as well, you can thread the lasso through your kiddos' favorite gadget and stretch it across the car seat to make a makeshift toy bar.  Nifty.

Sure, it's not brain surgery.  Just thought I'd illustrate some options. 

NiNi Toy Bungee = Slobber-proof
Easy-to-Clean Leash:  NiNi Toy Bungee is nice because it is crafted of a durable, non-toxic rubbery material that is super easy to wipe clean. This makes this the leash of choice for teething toys and at sloppy mealtime. The queen drooler can nosh on this sucker for an hour and I'm not left with a soggy wet rope when she's done. The name "bungee" is a bit deceptive however, since this thing isn't stretchy at all. It does have a nifty clip in the center so you can leave the "anchor" piece attached to your stroller, but set the treasured item at the other end free. This will also make it easy to quickly attach the bungee to restaurant high chairs on the go (you can just loop the anchor and then snap on the sippy).

If I had one nit picky design whine, the NiNi company logo is butt ugly and printed in clashing colors prominently on the side of the strap.  I'm not sure when red and neon orange were the coordinating colors of choice to be printed on bubble gum pink...but someone's color blind.  But hey, I suppose function over form is the most important part here.

Crafty Homemade Leash:  Got about 20 minutes, a sewing machine, some spare fabric, and a snap or velcro?  Then you've got yourself a toy leash.  Need an even easier no-sew option in a pinch?  Just cut a length of ribbon to taste, burn the edges so it doesn't fray, and whack two snaps in place with a hammer.  You're all set!  (UPDATE now that the girls are older/stronger:  Use snaps for both ends or heavy duty gals have learned how to undo the easy stuff).

Ah Sophie, you are a feisty one.  You don't stand a chance against my crafty powers.
Oh, and If you need a good chuckle today, check out Tina Fey's Mother's Prayer for Its Child (an exerpt from her book Bossypants).  The last chunk actually made me tear up.  I must be hormonal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

WIWHBT: Ruffle Leg Warmers

I just spotted these adorable ruffled legwarmers on Fairytale Deals today.  So girly...and they seem like my gal's chunky thighs wouldn't look as much like stuffed sausages as they do in your run-of-the-mill baby legwarmers.  I like that they are a little dressier, and my only pout is that they come in creme and not white.

Because when it comes to baby legs, the puffier the better.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Me: A HopScout Stay-At-Home Millionare?!?

So one of the myriad of kids-deal-a-day sites that I follow religiously is Lilluxe. They recently shut down in favor of creating a new business model and are re-debuting as HopScout.  Part of the relaunch is a "contest" to find 5 stay-at-home moms who want a part time gig as an editor.  I was reading the job description and thought...hey, this is AWESOME.  Write some blog posts.  Check.  Test out products and make review videos?  Check.  Be a buyer and travel to kids trade shows on their dime.  Check!!!!  Seriously, my biggest pipe dream is to be a clothing or kids this opportunity sounds too good to be true.

The one catch?  You have to submit a video.  Blech.  Video isn't my best medium, and add on that it has to be one that involves self promotion and I get queasy.  But, I am rather proud of myself because I pushed forward anyway and managed to eek out something halfway presentable during the twincesses' naps yesterday.  Sure, my entry falls a little short on answering the required question of "How has being a parent prepared you for being a hopscout editor?"...and it isn't nearly as cutsy as some of the other entries.  But, hey, I got it accomplished and had the guts to throw my hat in the ring.  I'm feeling pretty proud of myself today.

If by some voting miracle I get to go on to the next round, at least I'll have done it being my goofy real self.  Besides, making it gave me a good reason to procrastinate sorting the rest of those outgrown baby clothes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Got A Wobbly Sitter? Get A Playring.

The luxurious Leachco TotPod
Playrings are awesome.  Especially if you have twins and are home alone with them all's like having an extra set of hands during floor playtime.  I'm a huge fan of LeachCo products (the Podster is my #1 must-have), so when the girlies were starting to try to sit up, I snagged myself a TotPod.  While a Boppy works ok for wrapping around their backs so they don't tip backwards and crack their noggins, I found I spent a ton of time readjusting it because it slides on the floor easily and just doesn't stay where I need it to keep them upright and playing.  The TotPod is awesome. The fact that it has a bottom is the key, since the kiddo's weight holds the whole thing in place as they push against the sides for support.  It has three velcro straps so you can secure toys within reach -- Ruby has discovered if she grabs one with each hand, she can then use her arms to assist her balance and give her leverage if she starts to tip.  Scarlett has discovered that if she tires of sitting, she can just scoot her butt forward and lay back in it like a lounge chair.  The ring is super soft and the plush cover is luxurious!

The inflatable Galt Playnest
Grandma saw the TotPod and was going to order one immediately for her house.  To save a bit of coin, she decided to try out the Galt Playnest, which serves the same purpose for about half the price.  Instead of fluffy pillow filling, it is basically a canvas-feeling printed cover (with a quilted bottom) which contains an inflatable ring.  The pros to this approach is you can adjust how firm you want the ring to be and it will deflate for storage when you are done with it (takes too much air to blow up daily unless you have a foot pump -- phew!), but the cons are it isn't as cushy soft.  I miss the toy straps too, but the girls don't seem to care one way or another and like them both!  (Purchasing Tip: The "gym" version of the Playnest is on sale on Amazon right now for only a few dollars more than the plain one!)

Jollybaby's Funshade Playring
A third option which I discovered on Totsy today for 50% off is the Jollybaby Funshade Discovery Playring.  It looks almost like the Playnest with a different theme, but it comes with a with UV 50+ sunshade that also doubles as a toy dangling device.  So, if you're the outdoorsy type this might be the one for you.

No matter which one you pick, they really are a huge help once your wee one decides they want to sit up all the time but doesn't quite have the balancing act figured out yet.  With twins, this sucker helps me enjoy floor time more and frees the girls from the exersaucer/jumparoo if I can't be holding them both at the same time.  If budget isn't your primary concern, I'd still pick the TotPod hands down because it's so comfy and plush that I want one in my size (with a cupholder).

Lubies make excellent armrests.

WIWHBT: Karma Living Lampshades

Love, love, love, love, LOVE!!!  Sometimes you see stuff you could design an entire room around, and these Karma Living lamp shades on The Mini Social this morning fall in that category!  Hang 'em in a group to make a big statement in the nursery or pick your favorite to spice up your walk in closet.  Just adorable!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hair Bows Have Come a Long Way

I'll admit, I'm not very girly.  When I found out I was having twin gals, I got a little queazy thinking about the overwhelming amount of pink that was about to enter my life.  But, the prospect of actually being a mom quickly had me daydreaming of sticky sweet outfits, princesses, fairy dust and ponies.  Ok, maybe just the pony part.  Fast forward to the present and I'm all about hot pink...hell half my fauxhawk is magenta in tribute to the girls.

The one thing I have firmly dug my heels in about is headbands on my babies.  Nope, not gonna do it.  I detest them. Now, I know you're all saying, "But Heather, they can be cute photo props!  Tiny baby + giant flower on their noggin = adorableness."  Admittedly I agree.  However, the thought of essentially putting a rubber band (now matter how soft n' stretchy) around my sweet baby's cranium makes me grouchy.  I think I got one too many headband headaches when I was a kid and it scarred me for life.

Now that the twinners are starting to get their new crop of fuzzy hair, I have recently become quite fascinated by the new generation of crazy hair accessories.  Obviously the invention of a mom who had had way too much time and an endless supply of ribbon on her hands, they have become quite the little wearable works of art.  Come on, you know every stylish lil' girl needs to wear some crawdad bling every now and then.

I'll save my rant on the evils of baby tights for another day.

Bubbly Bows on Zulily today.  Someone's been locked up in their craft room hiding from the kids...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Photographic Proof: You Need a Bath Bucket

While I was "enjoying" my pregnancy, I passed the time researching the items I wanted on my baby registry.  One of the quandaries I had was which bathtub to get for the girlies.  Now, at this stage of the game the only baby anything I'd bathed before were puppies and monkeys.  From them I've learned that the most important part of the bath is making sure they feel relaxed and secure so actually learn to LIKE a bath... getting them clean is really a secondary concern.  If those varmints grow up hating a good scrubbing, then you're screwed and baths are always going to be an exhausting chore that's similar to wrestling a wet alligator.  Armed only with the additional knowledge that human babies are gonna be small, slippery and prone to getting chilly, I decided I wanted to get one of the european bath buckets that everyone seemed to be raving about.  So, I the Prince Lionheart's washPOD was added to the list simply because it was the cheapest.
Fits perfectly in one half of my divided kitchen sink.

When I was gifted this sucker and Amazon delivered it to the front door, the hubs took one look at it and rolled his eyes.  He was quick to point out that the pretty Pod was a waste of cash and that the orange Home Depot 5 gallon bucket he had out in the garage would have done just as good of a job for free.  Leave it to a dude to only see the practical and overlook the baby bucket's translucent, curvy design that would look much more attractive taking up space in our bathroom.  Needless to say I wasn't about to place my priceless newborns in something that was most recently used to mix up a batch of Quikrete.

The first time I tried to use the baby bucket was a nightmare.  Even though it was many weeks after bringing my 34 week old preemies home, they were still only about 7lbs a piece with negligible head control.  They were completely lost in the bucket and I spent most of my time with two hands on them trying to make sure their little floppy bodies didn't slump below the water level.  I gave up and the bucket went back into the closet in favor of the time-tested method of holding them over the sink for a quick sponge bath.

A couple months went by and I dusted the fancy tub off and tried again.  This time it was a resounding, wonderful, magnificent success.  The girls fit perfectly, were well supported and just grinned from ear to ear.  When Scarlett peered up at me with her big, doey eyes for the first time, I literally broke out in tears it was so cute.  In fact, I pretty much sniffled through her entire first bucket bath because every moment was so heart-warmingly adorable.

The bath bucket has now become our favorite photo opportunity.  Seeing the girls in it is precious and the videos/pics will be cherished forever.  I take a lot of snapshots, and nothing brings out my little ladies' personalties and raw adorableness that this thing does.  I would buy it again for $1000 for all the smiles it has created.  All hail the bath bucket.

WIWHBT: Sweet Peanut Playsuits

Ruby & Scarlett rockin' their Sweet Peanut wear at around 4 months old.
Ooooh, these are one of my favorites!  I bought the girls their first striped Sweet Peanut playsuits when they were in the womb, and they quickly became one of my favorite 0-3 month outfits.  So much so, I bought the same one in bigger sizes...and the footie sleepers...and shorties for summer.  They popped up on Zulily today, but thankfully the Visa is safe since I've already stocked up.

They are are very well made and a bit thicker than regular t-shirt weight.  I like that you could roll the sleeves and legs cuffs up/down a bit if you need a little more or less length.  Cute cute cute!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WIWHBT: Mini Rotation Tees & Rompers

While most of the deal sites have been duds for me lately, Zulily and I sure have been seeing eye to eye. Maybe not over prices (considering some stuff doesn't seem that deeply discounted anymore) and I'm still pissy that they couldn't fulfill my order for swanky D6 bamboo loungewear, but there seems to be something adorable for the girls on there daily. Today my fav are a bunch of the adorable printed tees and playsuits by Mini Rotation. Now, last time Zulily featured this funky brand, I bought two of the most adorable little summer dresses for the gals and they are as cute as can be in person.  How cute would the twinners be in the little bike riding cherries onsie?  Too bad they don't want to wear long sleeves in the summer or I'd be snapping two up.

Anyone got a boy I can borrow to dress?  Seriously, someone needs the monster romper.
My dad's been filling the hollow tree outside his office window with about a thousand acorns for the neighborhood squirrels (long story).  Evidently, watching fuzzy rodents bury a thousand treats in the yard has become a new family hobby, and I'm sure the girls help grandpa monitor their nutty progress when they spend the day over there. I think getting the girls this "Stock Pile" playsuit would certainly help them cheer the lil' buggers on.

I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut to move your butt to the dance floor...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Bare Wall Problem (?)

The semi-bare walls in the nursery bug the hubs for some reason.  While I kinda like the calming effects of the cool gray walls in the girls' room, he feels that the two blank walls are just begging to be jazzed up.  I find the fact that he comments on it regularly interesting, since he rarely pipes up about decorating issues unless I'm shoving paint swatches directly under his handsome lil' nose.

Over the last couple of months, we've picked up several tubes of those removable wall stickers that are so popular (ahhh, instant decorating gratification) and I've thought about combining a few and doing something funky.  Well, the pile of sticker packs grows, but I have yet to find the time to have to sit down and noodle on a collage.  I think it's mostly because I'm worried that the room will end up too busy (or horrifyingly tacky). 

The only thing that has actually made it onto one of the blank walls is a funky, round metal mirror with about a hundred big acrylic jewels dancing around the outside.  I saw it crammed in a lower shelf at TJMaxx and immediately fell in love.  It had the same sophisticated, over-the-top girly attitude as the rest of the room.  One mega Command hook later and it was married to the wall (well engaged anyway...ahh the beauty of removable hangers).  

Mirror mirror on the wall...   "Yeah, yeah, you've got the world's cutest babies, already!"
In the last couple of weeks, though, I've seen a ton of references to Penny People Design Prints.  Maybe it's because I've spent too many hours pouring over font choices in my professional life, but I'm drawn to their clean design and cheerful color schemes.  Come on, what mom isn't a sucker for personalized baby stuff?  Would you like to showcase that which you spent so many pregnant nights painstakingly debating over?  Um, YES!   In a sea of blah, cartoony nursery art, these prints are a welcome breath of fresh air. 

So, maybe I'll clutter up those expanses of gray after all.  And the Penny People prints are so reasonably priced, I (ok, the hubs) would even pony up some cash for them instead of just whipping out Illustrator and making my own knockoffs. 

Playing favorites.  There's only so much Photoshop time I can squeeze in during a nap.
Photo © PennyPeopleDesigns  - edited for fun by me
Nikki guilted me into it.  :-)  Faking these for the blog makes me want to order!
Photo © PennyPeopleDesigns  - edited for fun by me

Sunday, April 3, 2011

WIWHBT: Koolaburra Haley Fringe Boots

So about a month ago Koolaburra boots showed up on Gilt half off and I almost lost my mind trying not to snag a pair.  I'm actually quite proud I never pushed the buy button, considering I had them in my cart several times and just stared at the screen until the hold time expired.  My only saving grace was that they didn't have the Taylors in grey, which I've been drooling over since they went on pre-sale at Singer22 6 momths ago.  I showed them to the hubs and begged for a early birthday which he replied "What?!? Are you a Viking?!?!"  Ok, so maybe his man-eyes don't see the same fringy, fuzzy fantasticness that I do.  Sigh.

Anyway, damn you Gilt for featuring your leftovers AGAIN.  And some bonus kid sizes to boot.  Now mom and the twins could look like we're about to pillage and plunder the nearest mall.  We'd be unstoppable.  After a long nap and a bottle, of course.

Ruby the Red & Scarlett EirĂ­ksson, Viking Explorers to the Stars.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

50% Zulily?!? YESSSS!

When I opened up my email this morning and found a link to a Groupon-like-thing for $25 for $50 of Zulily goodies I couldn't buy the deal fast enough (thanks, Lyn!).  Seriously?  Half off kiddie goodies that are already discounted (well, kinda cheaper anyway, Zulily's getting lazy lately)?  Yum, hells yeah!  Go get yourself one!

Now, I'm just trying to figure out how badly I want to violate the "one per person" rule....

If you could only see the embarrassing happy dance I'm doing right now...
Of course this led to me checking out the site to see what they had new for me this morning.  The Buckhead Betties bags are really not my style, but bothering to click the link and look through the selection paid off because these lil' Easter totes caught my eye.  That pink bunny is pretty sticky sweet and would look killer embroidered with the twincesses' names.  As a bonus, they'd collapse up for storrage until the egg-laying rabbit makes her return next year.  Cute, cute.

Sorry chickie, you're the weakest link.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Lawn, No Mowing Necessary. Thanks Boon.

I love my Boon Grass drying rack.  It looks adorable on my countertop, but it's always full to the brim with bottle parts, sippy cups, and Squirt Spoonparts...and let's not forget the old days of breast pump parts and breast shields.  I like to think I keep the bottle clutter to a minimum thanks to using Playtex Drop-Ins and rinsing bottles after each feeding, but I can still create a mountain of plastic crap that needs to drip-dry.  Come on, I have TWINS.

I guess enough people also have this problem, so enter Boon's new Lawn drying rack.  Just as cute, but with more lovely green space.  Sweet.  Just wish they had it 6 months ago.

WIWHBT: Sckoon Organics Ha-Ha Hero Organic Pants

I love baby clothes with a sense of humor.  These little monster pants on Zulily today made me chuckle and they look super comfortable to boot.  I really do need to figure out how to make my second-hand serger work or get a cheap interlock machine (or whatever they're called) so I can sew jersey.  These would be a fun lil' between nap project for a week.  Adorable.

Invasion of the booty scratchers.