10 Things I Love Sunday

I suppose I should say Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s kind of an odd holiday, but I can get behind celebrating LOVE! Love is the best. I hope you give it freely, I hope you feel it fully, and I for one am aiming to love and care for myself in this season as well.

In the above photo is the pink tile I am using on my faux mantle place project (in my back living room). More to come on the blog soon (once the project is actually done). Ha.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I shared this with my book club group and people were INTERESTED, so now I’m sharing it with you. A recent self-love purchase. I give it five stars ;).

Since becoming pregnant, I’ve noticed I have developed these little red veins on a few spots on my face and one on my collarbone. I googled and apparently it may be hormone/pregnancy related (I think?). I can try a laser treatment for them, but not until after I give birth and finish breastfeeding. So until then, I am using this full coverage concealer when I am sick of looking at them. Although I am self conscious of these little red spots, it’s a small price to pay for getting to be pregnant. But I’m signing up for the laser treatment once I’m able!

I am still obsessed with my Always Pan. Probably what I make the most is steamed broccoli (lame, I know, just being honest), but I feel like it’s casually showing up in about 50% of my food blog posts now too. Best non-stick pan, plus it’s cute.

This is very random but I recently bought a bunch of cheap nail stickers that you put over polish, but under a top coat. It’s very middle school of me, I know. But it’s sparking a lot of joy lately to do something extra with my nails, so why not?

I’m starting to think about baby gear and making a registry. It’s overwhelming (in a good way)! If you have children, what were the most used or favorite things you received? I am currently eyeing this stroller and dreaming of walks in my neighborhood with a tiny baby in it. Dreams come true!

Lately, so many people have said I have that “pregnancy glow,” which is SO nice and makes me feel like a million dollars. But, I sort of feel guilty that the secret is probably just my favorite moisturizer. 🙂

This month, I’ve been getting the mini split units repaired in the upstairs of my house (that has been a trip! #oldhouseproblems) and I’m dreaming of moving my office upstairs soon, since you know how I feel about an office with a door. Ha. I am daydreaming hard about swapping out the plain ceiling fan for this light fixture. I am digging the black and kind of thinking of making the space feel a little more dramatic than other spaces in the house, but I don’t know. Then I start second guessing myself on that …

In case you missed it, I finally shared my favorite sugar cookie and royal frosting recipe. These aren’t just for Christmas, if you ask me!

Winter isn’t over just yet, but so far the MVP of my closet this year has been this pink cardigan. I wear it TOO much. I just love the length and it’s warm (but not overly warm) for days that go from chilly to decent.

Take care of yourself, friends! Sending love. Emma

  • Emma! So excited for your sweet babe ☺️ I had my first the past June. I won’t overwhelm you with recs, but two things come to mind that have been great — the keekaroo peanut changer and the mushie silicone bib. Both are super easy to clean and don’t add to the laundry load. That’s especially valuable with the changer when you have a boy, and he decides to send up a golden arch when you open his diaper, lol. Just a quick wipe down and all is good! The mushie bib is great at catching food and spoons when my son drops them. Hope this helps… best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and delivery!

    • I was just thinking how glad I am that we got the Keekaroo peanut changing pad (as my 16-month-old daughter peed all over it tonight, and I was able to clean it up in seconds).

    • Yes to the Keekaroo peanut! Our daughter had awful reflux/digestive issues as a baby and it was a godsend to be able to wipe it down.

  • Thanks for sharing! I know Elsie has mentioned photo facials before and I would love to hear more about laser skin treatments. I’m 32 and starting to develop some lines that bug me…sigh!

  • Congrats on your pregnancy! A yoga ball for bouncing works wonders for soothing fussy babes. Worked like a charm for both my little ones, and you may already own one!

    • This x1000! We actually bought ours for labor but used it almost nightly during the peak fussing weeks. Still use it for a lot of bedtimes and naps, it is a real MVP for us.

  • Congrats on your pregnancy! I had my first and only 2 years ago. The time will fly. I couldn’t have made it through those first 6 months without the Snoo bassinet. Best investment ever and there is a robust resale market (bought mine used and sold it for the same amount). Also, if you have bumpy side walks or plan to stroll your babe on less than smooth surfaces, I highly recommend a Bob stroller. They have attachments for infant carriers for when your baby is tiny. I originally did not want one because my running time is my alone time. But it became obvious very quickly that it would be a better ride than my 4-wheeled stroller. And, last recommendation is to check out Lucie’s List if you are not familiar with it. They have great baby/kids product reviews and even lists of helpful things to have for a newborn. Best wishes!!

  • I think everyone is different, and every baby is different so what works for some may not work for others (swing, pacifier, dock a tot). There are so many options and it’s such a luxury to be able to try a few but don’t feel terrible if your baby doesn’t have any use for something you’ve bought. Personally the most useful purchases are diaper caddy, play mat with toys hanging over, the baby bathtub with a hammock type deal inside. We also have a smaller stroller that I only keep inside and use it when I need to put baby down and move her room to room.

  • You’ll see a lot of “how to get a baby to sleep through the night” stuff, but I found it doesn’t matter what you do, babies will also though the night when they choose to!
    Even so, this white noise toy was great with my little one. When he was old enough to be sleeping though, if he grumbled it has a sensor that turns on the white noise and helped to resettle him. Doesn’t always work, but it does save a few times having to get up. I’d recommend looking at getting one!
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tommee-Tippee-Ollie-Rechargeable-Light/dp/B0825KK7JN/

  • Register for Sleep sacks!!! People will undoubtedly give you GORGEOUS swaddling and baby blankets, but babies are really only supposed to sleep in those sleep sack things, with nothing else in their cribs (the name brand type is about $20 apiece at Target, but they are available at all kinds of price points). My now 3-year-old would occasionally go through a couple of those in a night when he was a newborn, so unless you’re looking to do daily laundry, have SEVERAL on hand.

    • This is SO true, isn’t it? We got so many lovely blankets and swaddles but we use them so much less often then the sleep sacks. Would have registered for more if I had to do it again (although the swaddles are beautiful and we stl use them for all sorts of other things )

  • Congrats on the baby! The Uppababy Cruz is smaller and doesn’t convert to a double, but is much easier to get around with. If you can see them in person check them out to see the size difference. I went crazy picking strollers and then went with the Cruz, only to realize that every other new mom had made the same decision I had! Though now expecting baby number 2 I’m looking to get a Vista second hand, so it depends on how big/close in age of children you’re planning 🙂 still glad to have had the Cruz for the first 2.5 years.

  • Making a registry is SO overwhelming! I cried the first time I tried to make one haha. Much easier now with our second baby, due in April!
    I bet Elsie has a a lot of good recs for the older baby/toddler years, but for newborns the things I used the most are a nursing pillow if you choose to breastfeed (I like the Boppy, but a lot of people like My Breast Friend), a carrier (Ergo or Bjorn for a backpack style for when they are older, a Solly wrap or ring sling for newborn days-I’ve got my eye on a Wildbird ring sling), and the best travel crib that we’re also using as a regular bassinet is the Guava Family Lotus crib with bassinet conversion! It’s 10x better than a pack n play.

    PS I have those red spots too, and I’m pretty sure they went away last time after the baby was born? You’ll have to keep us posted though if you decide to go with laser treatment.

  • The baby gear overwhelm is real! I highly recommend this guide from Lucies List:

    https://www.lucieslist.com/baby-registry-basics/

    It breaks down each category and includes reviews and recommendations at each price point, and it saved me while I was in baby gear mode. My son is almost 3 and this site is still my go to resource whenever I need a product review or recommendation! My only piece of advice is don’t feel like you have to get everything just to cover all your bases before your sweet son arrives. As my dear friend reminded me, these days you can get pretty much anything next day, so it’s ok to wait on some non-essential things to see if you actually need it! So excited for you!

  • That stroller is great! Another recommendation that we LOVED is the Snuggle Me Organic. It’s great if you co-sleep and as a place to set baby when your arms need a break.

  • Thanks for normalizing vibrators! I see this too little in the blog world when, let’s be honest, most women have one. I always look out for your posts specifically, your style and sense of humor really speak to me.

  • Random question. What kind of mini splits do you have and do you like them? My daughters room has a very old mini split that I want to replace with something a bit sleeker and much quieter. Thanks!

    • Honestly no. I’m not sharing the brand because I’ve had a LOT of issues with them since purchasing (less than 2 years ago) so I def would not want to recommend them.

  • Hey lady! That pink tile is beautiful! I can’t wait to see the finished area

    As for baby gear, oh my gosh. You *actually* need so much less than stores/companies make you believe! I hope I don’t sound too counterculture haha. I have a feeling that you won’t anyway, but don’t register for anything that makes noises that you aren’t happy to hear seven billion times

    Take care!

  • I had that uppababy set up for my first and I’ll be honest and say I never used the bassinet. I highly recommend investing in a wrap. I love my Solly Baby wraps. I just had my second kiddo last week and he’s spent the better part of the week lounging in his wrap. The keekaroo changing pad is my MVP too. If you’re planning to nurse, Arq bras are life. Pumping? Buy yourself the Elvie wireless pump and a comotomo bottle set up. And it sounds stupid but I bought a diaper cream spatula and have used it for every diaper change for my guy’s circumcision Vaseline. It’ll be useful for ordinary changes too. Anyway, I could go on and on about all of this!

  • Hi Emma,

    I got those little red spots too! One RIGHT in the middle of my forehead. 🤦‍♀️ Luckily, they went away on their own after I gave birth, so you might not even need the laser treatment!

    • One of them is almost in the center of my forehead too! That would be awesome if it ends up going away on it’s own. You’ve gotten my hopes up now. 🙂

  • I highly recommend the Cruz V2 stroller over the Vista – nearly the same stroller but lighter weight and slightly more compact. (Can’t convert to a double though.) I love mine! Also highly recommend the UPPAbaby bassinet and stand for baby to sleep in for the first three months, it is super stable, perfectly sized, excellent quality, two thumbs up!

    I recommend a simile cheap bouncer or two (for upstairs/downstairs) – they are easy to move from room to room one-handed and are CRUCIAL for when you need to put baby down (like to go to the bathroom, quick shower, etc.). Cheap ones are perfect. Best bang for your buck, for sure.

    I also strongly recommend a baby carrier or four 🙂 there are so many different kinds, try a few! It often takes a few wears to get the gang of it too but once you and baby are confident and comfy they are indispensable. My favorite are ring slings like Wildbird, and I love the baby ktan for when they’re brand new. Good luck!!!

  • I have to echo others on noticing your glow!

    Something I haven’t seen mentioned is the Ollie swaddle. Found it MUCH easier than others and STRONG for little houdinis! We only had 1 (didn’t have the issue of it getting dirty over night like another person mentioned, babies are so different!) but I will likely get another for our impending #3 coming this summer. I’m also debating the SNOO for #3 because mama’s gonna need sleep with baby + 2 toddlers!

  • Emma, so many fun things in this post! I’m so happy for this new phase of life for you! It’s a crrraaazzzyyyy ride with kiddos. 😝
    The best gift I ever got was from a friend who had 5 kids…she used a really soft towel she folded in half with batting in the middle and basically quilted it. It was the perfect thing to lay a baby on after a bath. Super soft and absorbent and easy to wash. Easy diy! I made one for my sister-in-law and it was a huge hit!

  • Unless you will only be on super smooth pavement I’d get a jogging stroller—makes for a very smooth ride. We love the Thule Urban Glide. Other top things we’ve used—play mat/gym, kitchen helper when they’re older, and soft carrier for when they’re newborn. Also a yoga ball! Bouncing on one really soothes so many fussy newborns!

  • I got those red vein things when I was a teenager and just want to say, the laser treatment works wonders! And no returning spots 🙂 good luck!

  • That second suggestion is 🔥 Emma! As a long time follower I have to say how much I’ve been loving the more personal subjects you guys have been approaching here and on the podcast lately. Every Monday feels like a chat with friends and it’s been great getting to connect with y’all on a deeper level! Much love to you guys!

  • The veins may definitely go away after birth. I had all sorts of odd skin stuff during pregnancy that luckily went away after birth (like skin tags and back-ne, fun times!) Happy Valentines!

  • Hi Emma,

    I have a 8 month old baby and here is my essentials for the first 6 months. Sorry if it’s long!

    Must haves (for me):
    -Large pilates ball (the best thing to use for a fuzzy baby, we still use it daily)
    -Babybjorn Bouncer (folds flat, looks good, works like MAGIC)
    -Soft carrier (we used an ergo embrace, but you can also do a soft wrap)
    -Structured carrier (for longer walks when more support is needed. brand will depend on what is comfy for you, try multiple)
    -Safe place to sleep (we loved our moses basket)
    -kimono style onsies and zipper sleepers
    -Diapers & wipes (we use cloth diapers and wipes and love it, and we are not very crunchy people)
    -white noise machine
    -video monitor

    Nice to have:
    -Electric nail file
    -Baby bum brush
    -Stroller clips (we use these to attach blankets/sunshade)
    -Activity mat with hanging items.

    For you:
    -Squattypotty and fiber gummies (trust me)
    -Softest yoga pants (i lived in my lululemon aligns all pregnancy and postpartum)
    -Soft sportsbra/bralette (i preferred this to nursing bras)
    -All the snacks
    -Breast pump and pumping bra (if you are hoping to bf. my baby took a long time to nurse well and needed top ups with bottles. to make sure supply got established i needed to pump multiple times per day. after 2 months we decreased the bottles and he is now EBF).

    What stroller is best will very much depend on your life style. I know many people love the uppababy, but for me I needed something that works on trails because I walk the dog on trails everyday.

    A baby will need WAY LESS than you think and you can wait with buying most things until you feel a need for them.
    You will be a great mom!
    Feel free to send an email if you have any questions 🙂

  • Congrats again Emma! I have three kids (7, 5, 10 months) and strongly recommend that Uppababy stroller…if you’re going to splurge on something, the stroller is it. I wish I had done so instead of wasting money on a few mid range strollers that didn’t fit my needs, and then dropping all the money on an Uppababy. For jogging, the BabyJogger Summit jogger is superior to Bob. BabyJogger City Mini is a good normal stroller, but get the upgraded version not the base one. That being said, Uppa has the best storage and is very easy to get around with….and you can add a glider board AND second seat if you decide to have more children.
    And for car seats, get the lightest one you can afford!

  • Congrats on your pregnancy- such an exciting time for you! I would echo what others have said- you don’t really NEED that much stuff. The uppa baby vista was well worth it for us. I would definitely try a few different baby wearing options as it’s hugely helpful to carry your little one while they sleep if they have a hard time napping those first few months. I really feel like there’s no ‘perfect carrier’s and it’s all preference but we use our sakura bloom carriers religiously. Also from a practical point the nose Frida will save you one day (trust me on this one, I’m a pediatrician!)

    Lastly I will say if you’re interested in going low waste, there are some great options before buying or registering for loads of brand new items. I would join local Mom and buy nothing groups where you can either buy second hand or just receive things others are no longer using. We also took the plunge and went for cloth diapers and while I was hesitant with all the work it looks like I am SO glad we did. I wrote a blog post on low waste parenting if you or others are interested. Huge congrats.:)

  • Love all of this! My only advice (because there is a lot of good stuff already) is to get a stroller with actual rubber tire wheels. The plastic ones do not work well outside. Solly baby wraps are also great! My daughter is 15 months, and I still wear her all the time.

  • Hands down the best thing I got was a Mountain Buggy pram – it started as a bassinet attachment , that could be detached and then you attach the rear facing (i.e. facing you when you’re walking) part, then that is detached and you attach the forward facing part. My boy is 2 and a half and I still put him in it when we go to the mall. Its slim and can go through doors so I could drive him straight in from the street into his room if he fell asleep on a walk. AND it packs down flat to go in the boot of the car!

  • Congratulations, Emma! What an exciting time for you 🙂

    I highly recommend that Uppababy Vista Stroller! Our kids preferred the stroller bassinet more than their actual bassinet to sleep in and it was great for walks all over town. Ours worked great for our family for over 7 years. When a part broke on it after 5 years, we called Uppababy and they fixed it right away for free and paid for the shipping both ways too! When we had outgrown it we still were able to pass down to another family. Totally worth it!

    Lots of simple flannel receiving blankets (I handmade mine with an overcast stitch on the edges) will work as burp cloths, extra warmth in their carrier and for playtime, and a Boppy is so incredibly helpful too.

  • Congratulations!! So excited for you to welcome your sweet baby boy. My favorite baby items are the Solly baby wrap, the baby Bjorn bouncer, and the Doona car seat and stroller!

  • The red spots will likely go away after pregnancy and what I most recommend for a baby is The Baby Whisperer book. Just do what the Baby Whisperer recommends for the first year and she/he will be babbling “mama” in no time.

  • Omg everyone talking baby gear but I’m loving the vibrator recommendation!!! Love it Emma.

  • I love that you’ve recently (re) discovered cheap nail stickers lol! As soon as I read that, I thought, ‘ooooh this sounds like a must-try’ lol! I’ve been doing my own gel nails for the past year and I quite like the idea of using the stickers underneath the top coat. I wonder if it will work with the UV lamp? I’ll have to investigate further!
    Best wishes,
    Suzy

  • I rarely comment, but have to throw my baby must-have on your list… I get every new mother I know a bottle of Infants Mylicon gas relief drops. They are life saving!! It can be SO hard to figure out what you are eating that is giving your little gas (while breast-feeding). Even when you’re not sure if baby is crying from gas or something else, it’s always a process of elimination and these drops help so much when it is gas and don’t hurt at all if it isn’t. I sound like I’m sponsored LOL, I just really found this to be one of those word-of-mouth things that I try and pass along.

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