Try These Top Baby Products For New Mommas

This post is for all the new mommas out there! I am no expert when it comes to motherhood, but I thought it would be fun to share a list of my favorite baby products I have used over this first year with Natalie. While my list is growing each day, I narrowed it down to the items I use on a regular basis. I hope this post is helpful for you or at least enjoyable to look through. Enjoy my top baby products for new mommas!

Diaper Bag Essentials

All mommas have their go to items for the diaper bag, so here are my “must have” items that I can’t live without when I am on the go with Natalie.

GroVia Magic Stick: All natural diaper balm stick. This is both my husband and I’s favorite baby item. There is no extra mess with it and works with all types of diapers (disposable and cloth!)

Seventh Generation Wipes: I have tried majority of the brands out there for wipes and these have been my favorite. I feel I don’t need to use an over abundance of wipes for each diaper change and they are safe for baby’s skin/ face and hands.

Philips Avent Pacifier: I know that each baby is different with this, but we have found this brand of pacifier to work well for Natalie. I always make sure to have one of these in the diaper bag and clipped on her carseat!

Aiden + Anais Silk Swaddle Blanket: These swaddle blankets are my favorite! I love the soft, silk material and how lightweight and breathable they are. They have become a must have item in the diaper bag and any trip.

Baby Toys and Books

These toys and books are just a few that Natalie has chosen as her favorites over this first year and ones I have personally fell in love with too.

Wooden House and Shape Sorter: A great find from Ikea. Natalie loves these blocks and loves placing them in the house. A great educational toy and colorful piece to have on the shelf displayed in the playroom.

Wooden Wagon and Building Blocks: Another great find at Ikea. Sometimes I have more fun with these blocks than Natalie, but these are great for her to build and be creative with.

Sophie the Giraffe: YES, this is a great teething toy and worth the money! I had several moms tell me about this when I was pregnant and how this was a life saver for them and their kids. I was at first hesitant because of the cost, but once Natalie was teething, I gave it a try. It’s a great toy for Natalie as she is teething and something for her to play with when in the car. It’s definitely worth the investment, you won’t be disappointed! At least I wasn’t!

HABA Soft Baby Doll: My mom gifted this to Natalie and she fell in love with it right away. She is able to teeth on it and it’s the perfect size for her to carry it around. Plus the fabric is soft and it is machine washable! Definitely a plus when toys can be thrown in the washer!

Fisher Price Playmat: This playmat is one of my best purchases ever! It was highly recommended on Amazon and I know why! It comes with a rainforest themed playmat with toys and a musical parrot, which is Natalie’s favorite. She has grown out of the playmat, but still loves to play with the toys and parrot it came with. Definitely worth the investment!

Taggies Stuffed Animal: This cute stuffed animal is the best!! I came across of it because of my mom. She noticed that Natalie would always find the tags on her toys and play with that instead of the actual toy. So when she came across this company, she knew it would be a favorite for Natalie. And she was right! This has become Natalie’s favorite stuffed animal to sleep with or snuggle with. Thanks mom for this amazing gift!

Jellycat Fox Stuffed Animal: I love this brand of stuffed animals and Natalie does too! This bashful fox is her favorite.

Splash Pad and Sprinkler: I love this splash mat. It is perfect for hot summer days and doesn’t require much work in getting it together. Plus this will grow up with Natalie over the years.

Munchkin Mozart Cube: We got this as a gift for Natalie’s first birthday and we love it!! It plays a variety of Mozart music and allows you to add or take away instruments while the song is playing. I personally am not a huge fan of toys that play lots of sounds/ music because I find them to be annoying, so this one is the perfect balance because it is educational, fun for Natalie to play with and not annoying for momma!

Books

Hippos Go Berserk: This book has been a favorite of ours since day one. First of all we love all of Sandra Boynton’s books, but this one is a must have.

Dream Big Little One: This book is a new favorite in our collection of books.

Little People, Big Dreams- Jane Goodall: I love this book series and hope to get Natalie all of the books. This series highlights stories of bold women throughout history and tells their story through beautiful illustrations. Natalie enjoys the stories and can follow along with the pictures. She loves animals, so looking at the chimpanzees in Jane Goodall’s story has become her favorite.

Soft Cloth Books: These are great for the first year. We got several of these as gifts, but Natalie has her two favorites: Peek a Boo Forest and Bumble Bee.

ABC What Can She Be: This book is so fun and very creative in the different careers they go through. Natalie loves looking at the pictures and choosing her favorite!

ABC Baby Signs: This one is great when you are starting to introduce sign language to your baby. It covers all the basic words they will need to know!

Baby Wise: This book is for the parents!! I highly recommend you reading this when you are preparing for baby! If you don’t have a chance to read it, make sure to snag a copy at your local library to copy the pages on sleep schedule. I had so many friends tell me how this book helped their baby sleep hours within their first few weeks and through the first years. That’s all I needed to hear to sell me and it is totally true! Natalie transitioned to sleeping six hours by five weeks and continues to sleep 12 hours a night. I personally only read this book, but I feel like it prepared me well when Natalie arrived!

Nursery Essentials

Changing Pad Liners: These have become an essential item in the nursery. When was only a few weeks old, I would always have one of these in her dockatot or diaper bag. This has been helpful to cover the changing pad itself, so I am not always throwing it into the laundry. They are something you might not think of at first, but they are definitely worth having.

The Hatch Sound Machine: From the beginning I knew I wanted a sound machine in Natalie’s room. This company came highly recommended to me and I am so happy with it. It’s easy to set up and comes with a library of sounds and colors to program with it. My favorite part is how easy it is to travel with and how its all programmed through an app on your phone. No stress setting it up and Natalie sleeps like a baby through the night!

Digital Thermometer: This item has been helpful because we wanted to keep an eye on the temperature in Natalie’s room. It’s not a must have item, but it has been helpful for Matt and I.

Crib Sheets: I have found two companies I love. Brixton Phoenix and Mebie Baby. Both of these companies offer soft, muslin crib sheets with great design that won’t lose the quality after loads of laundry! They are my favorite.

Playroom Items

For Natalie’s first birthday, Matt and I created a space upstairs outside her bedroom as a play area. I am so happy we took the time to create a space where she can be creative in and where I can store all her toys at. I thought I would share a few of my favorite details from the play area and some of Natalie’s favorite toys.

skiphop playmat play room
skiphop playmat playroom with toys

Skip Hop Playmat: We were looking for a floor that would add a pop of color to the space and cover the entire room. One thing I love is that you can build your own pattern with these squares and customize the size you want. To give you an idea, we purchased four packs, as seen in the photos above.

Cube Storage Bin: I love this cube storage because it gives a space for all her books and toys. Plus Natalie will learn where her toys go as she grows up. It’s a win, win for momma and her!

Cloth Storage Bins: The cloth storage bins you see in the photo are a few years old, but they were purchased on sale at Target. I linked the closest ones I could find on their website. I love the cloth bins, because they are not to bulky for Natalie to pull down herself.

Kids 3 in 1 Tricycle: This tricycle is so well designed. It’s perfect for your child if they are just beginning walking all the way to learning how to ride a bike.

Crawl Through Play Tunnel: This was another gift idea from my mom. Natalie loves crawling through it and finding her stuffed animals on the other side.

Rollimate Educational Wooden Toy: This is not only a great educational toy, but it is well made. This is a 4 in 1 learning toy that includes, hammering and pounding, shape sorter, musical xylophone, and patterns/ number learning on the wooden cubes.

All in all, when it comes to baby products for your little one(s), it comes down to knowing what brands fit your lifestyle and having confidence behind what you research! You can easily become overwhelmed with knowledge from articles and friends, so take the time to discern what you are wanting and who you want to learn from. One great thing about parenthood is that everyone’s journey is unique. So as you enter this adventure of motherhood, know that you are not alone in this and you are going to find your own rhythm! You’ve got this momma!

Feel free to comment below or email me if you have any question or suggestions to share to other mommas!

Peronsal

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top baby products for your nursery and kids life

July 8, 2020

An Intimate Wedding At Gervasi Vineyard

What an amazing start to my 2020 wedding season! When Elizabeth reached out about her and Nicko’s day, I was so excited to capture it. It was an intimate wedding at Gervasi Vineyard. The ceremony took place in the conservatory during sunset and ended with a night of celebration.

One of my favorite moments on their wedding day was Liz’s walk down the aisle. Nicko and their daughter Spencer were waiting at the end of the aisle. While Liz was walking down, Spencer couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. It was the sweetest moment. From the personal details to the beautiful ceremony, Liz and Nicko’s love was evident. I am so excited for them to begin their marriage as a family and what’s in store for them!

Elizabeth and Nicko: Thank you for letting me document your wedding day and celebrate alongside your family and friends! I loved being apart of your wedding day! Here are some of my favorites their intimate wedding at Gervasi Vineyard!

gervasi vineyard wedding details
gold glass frame welcome wedding sign at gervasi vineyard
mother of groom walking down aisle at ceremony
mother of bride walking down aisle at wedding ceremony
mother of bride
groom and his daughter walking down aisle
gervasi vineyard bride and dad walking down aisle
father of bride handing daughter off to groom at ceremony
gervasi vineyard conservatory wedding ceremony
bride and groom standing in front of guests at ceremony
gervasi vineyard ceremony with bride and groom holding hands
intimate gervasi vineyard wedding ceremony
intimate gervasi vineyard bride and groom ceremony kiss
post wedding ceremony kiss with bride and groom at gervasi vineyard convservatory

Thank you Liz and Nicko for letting me document your day! May God continue to bless your marriage. // With Love, Ana

Liz and Nicko’s Vendors:

Videography: Samuel Laurendeau | Venue: Gervasi Vineyard

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July 7, 2020

Your Reception Experience

Let’s talk about your reception experience and how you can create a fun and memorable evening for you and your guests! Today’s featured vendor, Art of Sucre, has become a leader in the wedding industry when offering a unique and custom experience for her couples and their guests. Emily is not only an amazing business owner and cotton candy spinner, but one of my close friends. We go all the way back to elementary school, think back to 7th grade gym class. It has been so fun to continue our friendship and work together in the wedding industry! Emily has so much to offer and I am excited for you all to learn from her and her new spin on cotton candy! Grab your favorite drink or even a glass of champagne as Emily walks us through the art of cotton candy and how it can elevate your reception experience!

Meet Emily

Hi All! I’m Emily and I am the owner of Art of Sucre, an Artisanal cotton candy company! Yes, you read that correctly, my whole job is cotton candy and you could say it’s pretty sweet. See what I did there?

Before I dive into the sweetness, I wanted to share a little bit about myself! I am married to my high school sweetheart, Drew, I am an avid reader, and I have the best pup in the world, Fitzgerald. When I’m not spinning cotton candy I am all about game nights with friends or relaxing on the couch with a book in hand. I also am a huge fan of traveling. Drew and I try to travel to someplace new a couple of times a year, even if it’s just for a weekend! You mostly can say that I am a homebody at heart, but lover of adventure!

Now onto the sweetness behind Art of Sucre.

The Sweetness behind Art of Sucre

At Art of Sucre we do anything and everything cotton candy based. All of our packages are 100% custom to fit the needs of our clients. Plus, all of our cotton candy is made in house and therefore can be dyed any color! From cart service at private events, to pre-spun containers, mannequin heads (think cotton candy hair), glitter drink bombs to beverage toppers, we have given cotton candy a modern and chic upgrade with fresh flavors, creative toppings and a classic aesthetic. We simply love creativity and customization! We do all different types of events. A few of our favorites are professional sport teams suites, corporate events, and, of course, weddings!

Champagne Toasts

One of our most popular services, and my personal favorite, is our champagne toppers. We spin fresh, champagne flavored  cotton candy and place it elegantly on top of glasses of champagne. When guests receive the glass they can simply pluck the cotton candy off the top and eat it alone or they can push it into the glass and watch the cotton candy dissolve. This is so fun because that means you can choose the color of your champagne toppers! This allows your guests to watch the color of the champagne change! Isn’t that fun!?!

Something else we are all for is edible glitter! This is one of our toppers that can elevate your reception experience. It has become one of our favorites and we think it adds something special to your glass of champagne! Just imagine dropping your pink cotton candy with edible glitter into your sparkling glass of champagne! It’s stunning and exciting to watch! These toppers are the perfect touch to elevate any wedding toast, signature drink or cocktail hour! Whether they are set at guests place setting or passed on trays they add a little touch of whimsy and elegance to any event. 

A few people we have topped glasses for are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Browns, Elton John and countless weddings! I love being able to add an unexpected and unique element to any event! I mean who doesn’t love sugar, glitter, and champagne, right?

All in all, when it comes to your reception, focus on your guests and creating a memorable experience! Whether that is with our champagne toppers or hand spun cones, we look forward to offering you a luxury experience! Let’s toast to creating an evening that honors you and your guests!

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couple kissing with art of sucre cotton candy

May 29, 2020