Friday, June 26, 2015

Travel // Au revoir Portland

image source

Happy Friday everyone! The day has finally come...we are headed to Europe! :)
The reason for our trip is that my sister is getting married in France next week and I'm so excited for her wedding! I'm really looking forward to traveling with Henry in tow, although it definitely takes longer to get ready and pack with a baby...hence the lack of posts this week! I know that it will be so worth it though and I'm really looking forward to our European vacation! (And I plan on blogging about traveling internationally with a little one once I get back as well, so stay tuned for that!)
We are headed to Paris today and will be spending a few days there before traveling to the Alsace region for the wedding next week. After that, we're going to Northern Italy to spend a few days at Lake Como before heading home. (Don't worry, I'll tell George Clooney hello...ha!) I think it will be the perfect mix of city vs. nature, but my sister's wedding is definitely the main focus of the trip! 
(We are also extremely excited to be missing out on the heatwave in Portland this weekend...)

Even though I'll be traveling, I've got a few posts in the works and hope to have those up over the next two weeks so it won't be totally silent around these parts, just FYI. But the best way to keep up with our trip will definitely be following along with me on Instagram (@inthepinkandgreen) as I plan on sharing as many photos as French wifi will allow :)

Finally, if you have any recommendations for things to do and/or places to eat in either Paris or Lake Como, I'd love any suggestions!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Motherhood // Momma Bear Magazine

Happy Monday! I've got something super exciting to share today :) 

Yesterday was Father's Day (obviously) and it was extra special this year since it was Cameron's first one! It's been so awesome watching him really embrace the role of being a dad these past 6 months, and seeing the love he has for our son touches my heart like nothing else. Yesterday, he got to spend a little "me" time doing something he enjoys (mountain biking) in the morning and then we had a barbecue with his family in the afternoon, and it was a nice way to celebrate! I'm so thankful for all the awesome dads in life - my wonderful dad in Michigan, my grandpa, uncles, father-in-law, brother-in-laws and friends with kids - they're all men that love their families and it mkes me happy that Henry will grow up around all these positive examples of fatherhood.

So yesterday was all about celebrating the dads, but today, it's all about that mamas!


I recently had the chance to make a new "mom friend" here in Portland and she's working on a project that I am so genuinely pumped about! My friend Mary is creating a magazine called Momma Bear that's all about focusing on all of the amazing, positive things about motherhood. I'm not going to try and go into a ton of detail explaining the concept here because she's done a really fabulous job of that on the Momma Bear website, but basically it so perfectly captures how I feel about my current season of life. 


She's striving to create a beautiful print version of this magazine and I know that as a mom, it's something that I'd really love to have. Not only that, but I think it's something that's so needed because I can't think of anything else like this out there in the market today.

Momma Bear is currently doing a Kickstarter to raise the funding they need to make this project happen, and they only have until the end of this month to reach their goal! Check out their lovely video for a better idea of what Momma Bear is all about...


Mary didn't ask me to write this post, I'm simply doing it because motherhood is something I'm so passionate about and I think the heart of Momma Bear perfectly captures how I feel. I'd definitely encourage you to give to their Kickstarter if you feel so inclined because I'd love to see this awesome idea become a reality!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer // Five Favorites

Happy Friday everyone!

I love writing lengthy blog posts with lots of info (like yesterday's post) but I don't want to feel like every post has to be some super wordy novel, so I'm going to work on interspersing more random, fun, short posts here and there! I used to do regular monthly favorites posts to share things I've been loving, but I haven't been doing that this year. That's why today I thought it would be fun to join in with two different Friday link-ups: Stephanie, Laura, and Cait for Can't Live Without It and April for 5 on Friday! And since we're nearing the first official day of summer, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite (really random) things from the past week that are getting me excited about summer!


Caudalie Beauty Elixir 
I think I've mentioned this stuff before but OMG it's amazing. It's this refreshing mist that's sort of a mix of a toner and a serum that's just really great for your skin. You spray it on after washing your face and it just feels and smells amazing! It seems to have a lot of cooling properties and so it's perfect for spraying on your face after showering on those hot days that make you wonder why you bothered taking a shower. It's definitely more of a luxury but just try it and you'll be hooked!

Keith Urban Pandora
Recently, I've been on a country music kick; I love country music and grew up listening to it, but I seriously hate most of the stuff that's on country radio now. I think it's trashy and can't stand all these frat bro country singers who just sing songs about partying that literally all sound the same. But I love listening to 2000's and earlier country and so this station has been pulling up some gems from high school and earlier that I haven't heard in years.

Peach Popsicles
It's been hot in Portland this month and summer hasn't even technically started yet, so I anticipate stocking up on these popsicles. They have lots of other flavors of these that sound great, but the peach ones are just so refreshing!

Old Navy Workout Capris
ON has really been stepping up their game lately, and it seems like everyone from my fellow bloggers to the NYTimes is taking notice. Their activewear is especially on point lately and it's hard to resist buying all the things, especially when they have such great sales. I recently got these capris in the color "Embossed" and I'm obsessed with them. They're high-waisted and compression so they really help suck everything in and I love the black on black pattern.

Orange Is the New Black - Season 3
We just finished watching this last night, and I thought this season was OK. It had it's funny moments, I liked that it seemed a little less graphic than previous seasons, and I thought it was interesting how they started delving more into the back stories of the inmates. But I also feel like not that much happened? And then the last episode there was no real cliffhanger beyond the fact that it seems like they may be incorporating some new characters next season. I definitely wasn't in a huge hurry to binge watch this season like previous ones, but overall, we enjoyed it. But now that it's over, we need a new show to watch during the summer lull - I'm open to suggestions!



What about you, what have you been loving this week? Let me know in the comments (or feel free to join the link ups!) and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Baby // Traveling with an Infant (0-6 months)

Man oh man, I have been meaning to get this post up all week! But every time I'd sit down and try to finish it, I'd think of more info to add, get too tired, and then go to bed before I could put it up. But today I am finally getting around to sharing it and it's a post that's been highly requested over the past few months...my tips/tricks/thoughts on traveling with a baby!

Cameron and I both love to travel and we were fortunate to go a lot of places together pre-baby including Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as traveling (and moving!) all over the U.S. We knew that once we had a baby traveling might be a little more complicated, but we didn't want to give up something we enjoy so much. Since Henry was born, we've flown with him three separate times (6+ flights, there and back with connections) as well as traveled by car for weekend trips. So while I am by no means an expert, I thought it could be helpful to share the things that have worked for us so far!

Excuse this ridiculous picture - this was from our first flight with Henry when the plane was about to take off! :)
+Don't be nervous - Flying with your baby for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if they're fairly young, but I feel like the anticipation of doing it is the worst part and chances are it will go much better than you think. We flew with Henry for the first time when he was just under two months and it went super smoothly. Granted it probably would have been pretty tough to travel in the first six weeks postpartum since Henry wanted to eat all the time and we were still getting used to everything. But after that? I felt really comfortable and it was fine. But this is totally a personal preference thing though as every parent/baby is different, so don't try to travel before you're ready. But on the flip side, if you feel ok with it, don't let people make you feel bad for traveling with a baby under 6 months. A few people definitely gave us weird looks on that first flight when we said Henry was only 7 weeks old, but he did great! And if your baby cries, they cry. It's not the end of the world :)

+Wear your baby at the airport - This is definitely the way to go, IMO. It allows you to have your hands free, keep your babe close to you, and is just the easiest way to get through the airport. You don't have to take your baby out of the carrier when you go through security either, you'll just have to have you have your hands swiped after you walk through the metal detectors. (Also, most of the time they've let me go in the TSA pre-check line when I've been wearing Henry, which is super helpful. But I wouldn't count on this as a for sure thing so definitely wear shoes that are easy to get on and off!) As far as which carriers I'd recommend, I'd definitely vote for a wrap style carrier (the Solly Baby wrap is my favorite!) especially when your baby is small. Not only does it allow you to keep your baby cozy and close to you, but you can pull the fabric to shield their face, which is nice when you're in a crowded airport that feels like it's full of people coughing and sneezing. I also like that the wrap is easy to throw in your bag once you take it off. However, once Henry got a little older, I liked using our Ergo360 a little bit better just because I felt like it held him more securely once he started getting more wiggly, plus I like that it has the option for him to face out. But whatever carrier you choose, babywearing is the way to go when you're traveling.

+Check your car seat at the ticket counter - Each time we've flown, we've brought Henry's infant car seat and base with us and I personally think it's easier to just go ahead and check it at the ticket counter vs. checking it at the gate. You can check your car seat for free and they don't weigh it, so what I would suggest is ordering this bag. It provides some protection for your car seat vs. just sticking it in a garbage bag, but what's really nice is there is lots of space in the bag so you can stick in extra stuff like baby blankets, clothes, etc. because chances are you're going to be bringing  a lot of stuff :) The other benefit of checking your car seat at the ticket counter is you can just go ahead and give them your packed car seat bag, whereas if you take it with you to the gate, you'll have to put your car seat through the conveyor belt scanner and it's kind of a pain.

+Consider a car seat cart - This is what we've taken in lieu of a traditional stroller when we've traveled. We have the Chico Keyfit Caddy (which I mentioned in my 0-3 Month Favorites post) and not only is it super lightweight and convenient to keep in your car, it's also great for the airport. If you drop your car seat off at the ticket counter and you're wearing your baby, you can essentially just use it as a cart for your carry-on luggage while you're in the airport. And then it's super easy to gate check it because it's so lightweight. It's also relatively inexpensive, which is kind of nice if it were to get lost or broken, it's not the end of the world. Once you arrive at your destination, you can just clip in your car seat and use that as your stroller while traveling.

+Ask for a row with an open seat - I think there are pros and cons about being in an aisle seat and a window seat with a baby, but the most important thing is trying to get in a row with an empty seat. It's so nice to have a little extra room to spread out and makes all the difference in the world. Definitely ask the agent at the ticket counter if there are any rows with open seats that they can move you to, and even if they say no, it's still worth checking again with the agent at your gate. It never hurts to ask!

+Check a bag - Pre-baby, Cameron and I pretty much always traveled with just carry-ons and it has it's perks - not having to worry about the airline losing your bag, not paying ridiculous baggage fees, and no waiting at baggage claim when you land. But with a baby, we've come to accept that fact that we'll most likely always need to check a bag, even for a short trip. Plus, it's really nice to be able to drop your bag off at the ticket counter vs. trying to struggle through the airport with an overstuffed carry-on bag.

+Use a backpack for your diaper bag - When you're wearing your baby through the airport, I think it makes it a million times easier to have a backpack on so you can have your hands free vs. a traditional diaper bag, especially if you're traveling by yourself. The bag from JJ Cole that I featured in this post is great, and then I've also used a more traditional backpack in lieu of a diaper bag (I have this one and one similar to this one) and it's worked really well.

+Make sure your personal item is well organized - Make sure that whatever bag you're counting as your personal item (so a backpack if you take my recommendation!) and going to place under the seat in front of you is well organized and that the things you'll actually need while sitting on the flight are easily accessible. If your baby spits up and you need a burp cloth, you don't want to have to dig through tons of stuff to get to one. And if you're baby falls asleep and you want to get out your Kindle, chapstick, headphones, whatever, you need to make sure that you can get those things out of your bag without too much trouble. It's great to bring an extra change of clothes for yourself, extra clothes/blankets for the baby, etc. but I'd save that all that just-in-case stuff for a carry-on bag that goes in the overhead bin and save the room in your personal item for those things that you know for sure you'll actually need while in-flight.

+Wear your hair in a ponytail - Even if your baby isn't starting grab for things yet, it still makes things much easier to have it pulled back. This might seem like an obvious one, but it can be easy to forget when you're trying to get out the door :) A teething necklace (like the ones I mentioned in Henry's 6 month update) is also a great idea when flying because it's super convenient for the baby to chew on.

+Bring Ziplock bags - On our first flight to Michigan, Henry had a huge diaper blowout, and we ended up having to change his whole outfit. Having some Ziplock bags handy definitely makes it convenient to store the messy clothes until you're able to throw them in the wash. Since we were visiting family, we had a place to wash clothes, but if you're going to a place where you aren't going to be able to do laundry, I've heard that just dressing your baby in something you wouldn't mind throwing away (like a cheap white onesie) is another good way to go.

+Don't worry about bringing toys for the plane - For a baby under 6 months (which is what this post is geared towards) it's a waste of valuable carry-on space to try to bring a bunch of toys for the plane. Granted if your baby has a particular toy they feel really attached to that's one thing, but otherwise, you probably won't end up needing them. I know I packed a bunch of little toys and books thinking that I'd use them to try and entertain Henry in-flight and I never even ended up getting them out. He was much more interested in looking at the people walking around the plane and we were able to occupy our time by making faces at each other and stuff like that vs. playing with toys.

+Nurse at take-off and landing - I only have my own experience to go off of when it comes flying with a baby, and since I'm breastfeeding, I can't really provide any insight on bringing formula/bottles through security or on the plane. But I can tell you that nursing Henry when the plane took off and landed seemed to help soothe him and we haven't had any issues with the pressure bothering his ears.

Those are the things that have worked well for me over the past 6 months and are based off of my experience with domestic travel. I know I'll have to keep adjusting as Henry gets older and more active though! Finally, now I need your help! We're headed on our trip to France/Italy next week (!!!!) so I'd love any suggestions/advice you have for traveling internationally with a little one! Feel free to leave a comment with any tips you might have as they would be much appreciated!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Henry // Six Months

I can't believe it, but Henry is half a year old! He hit six months on Monday (6/8) and he is at such a fun age; he's really taking in the world around him and he's starting to develop the cutest little sense of humor. He loves to laugh, and I'm so thankful that he's such a happy boy! He is a joy to be around and as bittersweet as it is to see how fast he's growing, it's also really cool to watch him learn new things each week. Here's what he's been up to over the past month...

Gahhh, he looks so big here!
Stats:
At his six month well check up earlier this week, he weighed in at 18 lbs 7 oz and he measured 27 1/4 inches long - growing like a weed! His hair seems to be thinning out a little on top and getting lighter, but he also has a ton of really long wispy pieces that stick up all the time, which I love. As for his eyes, I was convinced they were turning brown but now all of the sudden they seem like they are getting lighter and looking more blue? Time will tell I suppose!

Health: 
Henry has been a very healthy boy! He does still spit up occasionally throughout the day, but it seems like it's definitely getting much better as time goes on. His cradle cap has gotten much better as well. The only thing I've noticed over the past month is that occasionally he'll a few little red bumps under his left eye, but it sort of come and goes. I think it's possibly a result of him just rubbing his eyes a little too much when he's tired and it doesn't seem to bother him. At his check up, the doctor said he's doing really great and she commented on how well he aced his eye test, along with how happy and outgoing he is.

Likes:
He is OBSESSED with sticking out his tongue right now and does it constantly. It was like he just discovered it one day and now he wants to stick it out all the time. He started doing it on his own but now that he does it, Cam and I will stick our tongue out and mimic him and he thinks that's hilarious. Also, I realized the other day that I think he may have initially started sticking his tongue out because he sees Lola do it all the time? Who knows! But it makes me happy to see him sticking his tongue out since he had a tongue tie when he was born that we had lasered at 3 weeks old...so glad to see it helped! He's super into Lola right now and it's so cute. He gets really excited when she comes over to him and loves petting her fur. One thing we've started doing over the past month is if we're holding Henry, Lola will bring her toy over to play fetch and a lot of times when she brings it over, Henry will reach to grab it out of her mouth and then we throw it and everyone is happy :) Although we did have an incident where Henry was really quick to grab the rope toy out of Lola's mouth and immediately stuck it in his own mouth...blech. Overall, what he likes most is just trying to stick anything and everything in his mouth!


Dislikes:
Cold avocado (and he's not the biggest avocado fan in general, which is a bummer because I love them!), being too hot/having the sun in his eyes, when I try and pick little crusties from his nose (gross I know, but I'm sure all my fellow mamas can relate!), being overly tired, when I put his diaper on after his bath, and he sometimes fusses when we put him in a carrier. Also, when we were in Target the other day, I was looking at a few different toys that were for age 6+ months and I was showing them to him to see if he liked any of them. Well, he instantly grabbed the box of a couple and started playing, and then when I tried to take it away, he started screaming...ha! It was a little funny to me now, but I have a feeling it won't be quite as humorous down the road. But overall, he really doesn't cry all that much!

Wears:
The sizing for baby clothes is so all over the map, but right now, Henry's wearing 9 month stuff in smaller brands (aka Carters) and then still wearing some 3-6 month stuff in other brands, but primarily 6-9 or 6-12 month stuff at this point. He's also still wearing size 3 diapers :)

Eats:
Still 100% breastfed, and as time goes on, I feel like I just enjoy nursing more and more. Henry is a much more efficient nurser now compared to when he was younger and so it's a lot easier for me. Plus, he's so much more active now and always wants to be moving around so I really enjoy that nursing allows me to have some quiet time with him. (He still doesn't have any teeth yet though, and I'm a little nervous for when they do come in...) Right now, he's typically nurses around 4-5 times a day and that seems to be working just fine for us. We have introduced more solids and he seems to enjoy them! So far I've been doing a mix of "making" baby food myself and the organic pouches - I say "making" because so far it's been really simple stuff like avocados, baked sweet potatoes, and pureed squash and I haven't really done anything too complicated. When we were in Michigan, we used some of the organic pouches for convenience and I just fed it to him on a spoon; he's tried mangos, sweet potatoes, pears, and apples (I think? I can't remember exactly which flavors we got...ha) and so far he's liked it all! The only thing he has flat out really not liked is when I tried to feed him cold avocado - it was really hot out earlier this week and I thought it might be kind of refreshing? He hated it, ha! Now that he's 6 months though, I'm really excited to broaden the range of foods we give to him.

Sleeps:
Still sleeping really well thankfully! He sleeps in his crib at night and we usually put him down between 8:30-9:30 depending on the day. We've tried putting him to bed a little earlier and it didn't go very well, and honestly, I like having him up a little later so that way Cam gets to spend a little more time with him after he gets home from work. Plus, right now he usually wakes up between 7-8 am which works great for me so I'm not necessarily in a hurry to bump up his wake up time. Depending on the day, sometimes he'll still fall right back asleep after nursing in the morning and sleep for another hour or two, especially if he wakes up earlier. As for naps, he usually takes two naps a day and typically one will be longer (2+ hours) and one will be shorter. I try my best to have one nap be at home in his crib so that I can get stuff done around the house and then the other one is usually in the car, stroller, or carrier when we're out and about.

Favorite Things:
I shared some of our favorite baby gear in Tuesday's post, so be sure to check that out! The only thing I forgot to mention in that post is that we've been loving our teething necklaces - I have this one and this one and wear them both all the time!

Proof that he's not always smiling, sometimes he can be serious too!

Milestones: 
-During the first week of June, Henry started sitting up by himself unassisted! He could only do it for a second or two at a time at first before toppling over, but now he's getting better and better at sitting up on his own for longer periods of time.
-He's not really scootching/army crawling yet, he tries and kicks his legs but doesn't really go anywhere...it's kind of adorable. But he's rolling all over the place and seems to be able to move around really well so I'm sure it's only a matter of time!
-He spent a part of this past month in Michigan with my family and added two more flights to his list of travel.
-He went in the bucket swings at the park for the first time - pretty sure he was spending the entire time trying to figure out how to get the swing in his mouth.
-He went to Book Babies at the library for the first time and seemed to enjoy it. 
-He went in the kiddie pool for the first time on his half birthday! 


This is definitely one of my new favorite pictures of him :) He is the silliest, happiest little guy and I love being his mama. I'm looking forward to a summer full of fun with him!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Baby // 3-6 Month Favorites

Our sweet Henry turned six months old yesterday! I can't believe half of a year has already passed since his birth but I have a feeling that the next six months are going to go by even more quickly. I'll be sharing his monthly update later this week, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some of our favorite baby gear from the past three months! We're still using many of the items from my 0-3 month post, however, there are quite a few new items that have been added into the mix as well!

3-6 Months

Play
Over the past three months, Henry has become increasingly aware of the world around him and so he's started to get more into toys - so much fun! He loves this piano (and I love that it buys me a little bit of time to do something like get dinner started) and then this colorful toy is another favorite. And of course, who can forget Sophie? Word of advice to all the moms to be out there: If you get multiple Sophie the Giraffes for your shower, keep them. Henry is already on his second one as his initial Sophie met an early demise after (I assume) being flung out of the stroller. RIP Soph.

Bath
I realized that in my last baby gear post, I never shared anything about bath time. We started using the Mustela Dermo-Cleansing gel when Henry was a newborn because it seemed like the most gentle, and we haven't looked back since. It's great on both his hair and his skin and smells absolutely heavenly. We've also started using this lotion after baths the past few months and really like it - sometimes I even use it for myself!

Eat
We've started experimenting with solids and so far, I really like these spoons! Their shape seems to help and so far, Henry has done really well with them. We haven't started using a high chair just yet, so for now, the Bumbo is typically where he put Henry when we're feeding him and it's worked well.

Outdoor
Although I still love using my wrap style carriers, now that Henry is bigger, we've started using our Ergo360 quite a bit over the past few months and I really l like it! I'm not crazy about the big velcro band around the waist, but other than that it's great,  plus it's great that Henry has the option to be front facing. We've also been using our BOB Stroller a ton over the past few months and have transitioned Henry to sitting in the main part of the stroller vs. using the infant seat/attachment. He seems to love being able to look out at the world and I love how smooth the stroller is to push and how well it handles any terrain. The only thing is the BOB doesn't have any cup holders so I have been using this stroller organizer and really like it for holding my water and my keys/phone so they're easily accessible when we're walking. With the nice weather, we've also been loving our outdoor blankets - we have this one from Skip Hop which is great, but I also really like this one from JJ Cole that I talked about in this post.

Sleep
Over the past few months, we've transitioned Henry from sleeping in our room to sleeping in his crib at night and it's gone really well! Instead of swaddling him, we just put him down wearing a Halo Sleepsack and I really like how easy they are to get on and off. (You can read more about them here) We have this sound machine in his room and I'm a big fan of the fact that it doesn't shut off after a set amount of time. Finally, we started using a baby monitor when we moved Henry into his crib at night - this one doesn't necessarily have all the bells and whistles and amazing picture that some monitors on the market offer, but for under $100, it does a pretty good job and we've been happy with it so far.

So there you have it, the things we've been using and loving for the past couple of months! Mamas with older babies - are there any baby items you really loved for 6+ months? I'd love to hear!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

In PDX // Three Days of Rain at PCS

Happy Sunday everyone! I normally don't post on the weekends, but I wanted to pop in and share some details about an awesome show going on now here in Portland...


This weekend, my husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary; we spent yesterday at the Coast (and hopefully I'll share a few photos from that soon!) with Henry and Lola in tow, but Friday we had the chance to go on a little date night alone. We went to see the play "Three Days of Rain" which is currently showing at Portland Center Stage and we both really enjoyed it! 


Honestly, I didn't know much about the play beyond the fact that it stars two members of the cast of the NBC show Grimm, Silas Weir Mitchell and Sasha Roiz. Grimm is filmed right here in Portland and so we really enjoy watching it because it always features shots of the city in each episode. While on hiatus from filming, Silas and Sasha are staring in this three-person play and it was fun for us to see them in such different roles than the characters they play on TV. "Three Days of Rain" is a drama, but it definitely has its humorous moments. The first act of the play is set in the 1990s (so like 20 years ago now which is weird...) and then the second act takes place in the 1960s. The plot line touches on things like love, loss, legacy, and how relationships within families aren't always what they seem. The dialogue moves pretty fast (almost Sorkin-esque) but I felt it was extremely engaging and easy to understand. I don't always have the longest attention span when it comes to plays and sometimes find myself counting down the minutes until intermission. However, when the lights came up at the end of the first act I was surprised because I felt like it went really quickly, but I mean that in a good way :) 


Even if you don't watch Grimm, I feel like anyone would enjoy the performances of these talented actors. And if you are a Grimm fan, then it's a special treat to be able to see Monroe and Captain Sean Renard in such different roles. Here's a sneak peak at what the show is like:


"Three Days of Rain" is showing now through June 21st and so if you're here in Portland, be sure to check it out before it closes! You can purchase tickets here :)

Finally, my Title Nine bra giveaway closes tonight at midnight so be sure to enter if you haven't yet! :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Baby // Out & About in JJ Cole Style


Recently, I was contacted by JJ Cole Collections with an opportunity to try out some of their products. I try not to do too many product reviews here on the blog unless it's for something I'm really interested in and feel I'd actually use in my everyday life; these products from JJ Cole fit that description and so I was excited to check them out. As a new mom, I'm always reading other blogs to get the scoop on which baby gear is worth the money and so I wanted to share my honest thoughts on these products with you (along with a few photos!) in case you're in the market for any of these items...


The Blue Iris backpack is something I was super excited to check out because pre-baby I didn't realize how awesome it would be to have the option to wear my diaper bag as a backpack. I wear Henry quite often in various wraps/carriers and so having the backpack option is really convenient for me.


The backpack can also be worn as a messenger bag (and comes with grips to attach to the stroller) and it's super roomy. It has tons of interior and exterior pockets and so there is lots of space to store all of Henry's stuff. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was that the magnetic clasp on the front of the bag came unsnapped a few times since I had it pretty full. But the nice thing is that once you open it, there is another zipper so nothing will fall out. This diaper bag is available at Babies R US :)

 

I also received an Outdoor Blanket (in Blue Iris, to match the backpack!) and this product couldn't be more perfect for the age Henry is at right now. I love getting him outside in the nice weather but since he obviously can't run around or play on the playground yet, it's nice to give him the option to stretch out a little bit! The outdoor blanket is perfect for laying down at the park so he can do tummy time and play with his toys. It's really thick and durable, but soft at the same time. It's easy to fold and comes with a convenient carrying strap - we'll definitely get a lot of use out of it this summer for sure!

 

I happen to think it's super cute how it matches the diaper bag, but they have a bunch of different options for patterns. The blanket is available at buybuyBABY, and clearly Henry loves it!


 

We also received the Agility Carrier as well; I'm a huge fan of wearing Henry so I was excited to check this out. This way the baby goes in to the carrier is basically the same as with a wrap but instead of a giant piece of fabric that you have to tie, it's basically loops of fabric connected to a back panel. I think it's a little less intimidating to put on than the wrap, but it's still lightweight and easy to throw in your bag. The carrier is available at Target, Babies R US, buybuyBABY, and Amazon.


All the gardens in Portland seem to be blooming right now and so it's really fun to take Henry on walks through the city. The nice thing about this carrier is that the baby can be worn either forward facing or inward facing. Henry loves facing out so he can check out the world around him!


Pretty sure this is right when he started grabbing the rose petals and ripping them off...whoops!



A downside to this carrier is that it comes in sizes and isn't really adjustable. I wasn't quite sure what size to order, but after reading a few reviews saying it runs a little small in the chest if you're nursing, I ended up deciding to order a large. It fits just fine and the nice thing is this way Cameron can wear it too. However, if you and your partner are very different sizes, you may not both be able to wear it.


Also, I know that people have all different opinions on babies in forward facing carriers, and I realize there are potential legitimate concerns with this issue. However, my personal stance is just to use common sense; we only use the forward facing option for shorter outings and turn him inward facing if he's going to be in the carrier for a more extended amount of time, plus that way he can more easily take a little snooze if he's tired or overstimulated. But I personally really like having the option to face him out now that he's old enough because he really does seem to enjoy it!


Thanks again to JJ Cole for giving me the chance to try out these products and enjoy our family day in #jjcolestyle! As always, all opinions expressed here on this blog are 100% my own and based on my experience. And finally, thanks to all of YOU for your continued support of this blog that allows me to receive great opportunities like this!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

In PDX // FitFest at Title Nine + Giveaway



If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that last week Henry and I paid a visit to Title Nine. Today I'm sharing the details for their upcoming FitFest as well as a fantastic giveaway!

In case you're not familiar, Title Nine is a women's activewear company (with a store located here in Portland!) that's all about empowering women to get involved in sports and fitness by offering clothing that's comfortable and functional while still being cute! And when it comes to being active, a good sports bra is key. That's why Title Nine is gearing up to host FitFest events at their stores across the country to help women find the sports bra that are the perfect fit for their body and workout routine.



When I heard about FitFest, I was super excited because I personally was in dire need of a new sports bra. To be honest, I typically didn't wear a sports bra all that often when I worked out before Henry was born. Let's just say my pre-baby boobs didn't need a ton of support and so the little shelf bra inside my regular workout tanks was more than enough for me.



And then I had a baby. Whole different ball game. 



I actually wore one of my workout shirts that had a light support sports bra built into it to a bootcamp class recently and when we got to the part of the class where we had to do jumping jacks...let's just say...it wasn't pretty. (I really wish I could insert an emoji right here...ha!) I realized I needed a better sports bra ASAP, but I didn't know what size I was now or even what to look for.



Enter the "bravangelists" at Title Nine.



They are specially trained to help you find a sports bra that's the perfect fit, including taking your measurements and suggesting bra options from Title Nine's huge selection that will fit your needs. While I won't get into the specifics of what size bra I needed, let's just say that my flat-chested 7th grade self would probably be pretty shocked...ha! I was able to try on a bunch of different bra options, and have the bra experts at Title Nine assess the fit for me to make sure it was correct. Plus, as part of FitFest, they have a bunch of fun props you can try out to see how their sports bras work in action!



The FitFest event is being held here in Portland starting tomorrow, and then there's also one in Eugene next week. It's the perfect chance to get a great fitting bra, here are the details:

WHEN/WHERE:

 June 3-4, 10am- 8pm
Title Nine Portland
1335 NW Kearney Street, Portland

 June 10-11, 10am-8pm
Title Nine Eugene
5th Street Market
296 East 5th Ave. #229, Eugene

You can RSVP for the event at your local store, as well as visit www.titlenine.com for more information!


So which bra did I end up choosing?


After trying on a bunch of great options, I ended up going home with the 7 Wonders Bra! It provides fantastic support without creating a uni-boob situation and I loved the fun print. But my favorite part of the bra is the fact that it has the option to adjust the straps in the front...


So while it's not technically a nursing sports bra, it's nice to know that I could easily nurse while wearing it if needed. Plus, it fits great and will be perfect for any high impact activities this summer.


Now it's your chance to try out one of the many fantastic bras from Title Nine!


Win a Bra from Title Nine!
The giveaway closes Sunday (6/7) so be sure to get your entries in! Good luck! :)


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