Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Favorites - the week in my life edition

One of my favorite things about reading blogs is all of the great recommendations & reviews I've read.  I can't keep track of how many tips and tricks, recipes, and products I've found through the suggestion of other bloggers.  In our modern world where few of us actually have another mom across the backyard fence to recommend a new laundry detergent while we're out hanging laundry, this is a pretty good substitute, I guess.  Here's 5 of my favorite things recently, which I will wholeheartedly recommend.  I wrote this post (in my head, of course!) last week since it gives you a pretty good picture of a week in my life right now ;)

You'll have to excuse the low quality pictures (or lack thereof).  If I wait until I get good shots of all these things, I'll never post it.

5 favorites


Anna got this Fisher-Price My First Dollhouse for her birthday, and she plays with it non-stop.  The first words out of her mouth 9 mornings out of 10 are "I ready to play dollhouse now," and almost every night when we tell her it's time for bed she asks, "play dollhouse a few minutes?"  I am always so impressed by how long she'll actually play with it, and Justin and I love to watch the scenarios she creates and the things she has the people say (it's hilarious the observations she has made about our own family that come out during her play!)

Anyway, if you have a 2 year old girl on your Christmas shopping list, I highly recommend this!  I originally wanted a fancy all-wood dollhouse, but I'm glad I went with this one.  Just a tip, don't buy it new - the price for the house itself isn't bad, but the different room sets are astronomical.  I found a great deal on eBay for the whole set.  Oh- apparently it makes sounds, but ours doesn't work, and I'm happier that way (and Anna hasn't missed any noises!)


I just looked through 12 months of photo files and I can't believe I don't have a picture of Anna reading these...but in the toddler gift department, I can't recommend the Highlights Hello magazine enough.  My mom has gotten the subscription for Anna for her last two birthdays, and I can tell you that they have been loved and well worth every penny that she generously spent!

The magazines are really well done - cute poems, stories, pictures.  They also have all sorts of smart features like non-rip/waterproof pages, rounded edges, no staples, etc.  You can transfer your subscription to the two other Highlights magazines intended for older kids whenever they're ready.  I switched Anna's because she met all the readiness suggestions they had for the next level, but she goes back to her Hello magazines far more often than she looks at the new ones, so I sort of wish I'd waited.  She loves, loves, loves these things, though - she has most of the contents memorized and can look at the cover and tell you what story is inside (I don't remember half the time what story she's even talking about, but she'll say "read itty bitty baby" and go to the shelf and find the right one!)


And in the mommy category, my current favorite toy is my Eureka cordless vacuum.  I have to wage a serious battle with dog hair now since our house-sitting gig includes a pet-sitting component.  This vacuum keeps me sane - because it's easy enough to use that I actually do it and not just let the dog hair tumbleweed drive me nuts!  It's ridiculous to say, but if I had to plug something in, I'd do it far less often.  I can just grab this and zip around the kitchen (even one-handed while holding Julia).  It does a good job picking up the hair and small crumbs.  It's not strong enough for larger crumbs (like a dropped raisin or piece of pretzel, for example) but I still recommend it.

I bought the one with 2 batteries so I can just swap them out and always have one charged.

Bonus: it's apparently fun for toddlers, and I figure she's sort of like one of those random automatic room vacs.  (This photo situation is deteriorating quickly - I had a shot of Anna using it but now I can't find it!)


I have finally found the perfect water bottle.  Especially with nursing, I like to call myself a "heavy drinker" (of water, of course).  Actually, that's my biggest tip for successful nursing that I share with my new mom friends.  Drink a ton of water.  And then drink some more.  (You'll realize how important it is when you empty the trashcan full of diapers and realize that all of that water weight has come through you!)  I'm pretty sure that the times I've had mastitis (which Justin describes as the worst shape he's ever seen me in, labor included) were times when I got out of routine and didn't drink enough water.

Anyway, the perfect water bottle: doesn't spill, can be operated one-handed, doesn't have a straw (personal preference), and holds enough for my heavy drinking standards.

I bought three (theoretically - one upstairs, one downstairs, and one in my purse, although it's more likely to be wherever I was last sitting, wherever Justin was last sitting, and behind whatever furniture Anna decided to hide one).

Tangentially related bonus favorite - I won't elaborate for the sake of my male readership, but nursing mamas, check THESE out.  Worth the (steep) price and far better than anything you'll find in a panic at Target.


Finally, a shout-out to my Ergo baby carrier.  I seriously don't know how moms of more than one kids do it if they don't ever wear a baby!  Actually, I'm not sure how moms of one do it without a carrier!  (That's probably why I ended up sitting on the couch frustrated that I couldn't do ANYTHING for so long with Anna ...we didn't end up getting this carrier until she was about 9 months old).  I wear Julia a lot while cooking, at night when she's fussy (Justin will also wear her and stand at the kitchen counter grading if she just wants to be bounced), whenever we go outside or out in public, to Mass....etc, etc, etc.  Bonus - it's really comfortable (far more so than pregnancy, at least in my case! ;))

Throwback photo to little Anna picking apples last year.

I was going to crop this picture, and then I noticed that my beloved water bottle made the shot ;)

Visit Jenna at Call Her Happy for some more favorites :)


  1. LOVE our Ergo! I'm not sure how people do this momma thing without babywearing either lol

  2. I'm off to eBay to look for the doll's house for my 2 year old BOY! :-) And I wear our baby twins in a weego sling, I agree, couldn't be without x

  3. Oooooh I'm super picky about water bottles and that looks PERFECT!! Can't believe I haven't seen it before in my extensive water bottle research hahaha...thanks for sharing!!!