; World of Dennifer: August 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crazy week ahead!

Omg, I am already going insane with how crazy this week is & it's only MONDAY. As you can see, I'm blogging from my phone...that's how hectic my week has been/will be. Let's see, I am in class for work all week, I have to get munchkin's stuff ready for school every night, I have to work overtime every night (doing that now, ugh) & not to mention, I'm trying to work on my office/craft space makeover & plan Amaya's 1st birthday party (deets coming soon)! Can you say utter exhaustion?!

I also didn't get much sleep this weekend because the hubbs was out of town on a boys weekend in Vegas, so me & the munchkin braved Hurricane Irene alone:

We did fine - it was mainly just heavy rain & wind, everyone made a big fuss about it though. I totally get it, you can never be too careful, right? But in this case, it was no biggie.

BTW, the east coast earthquake last week scared the crap out of me. I work in a major federal building right next to major military installation in DC, so I had all kinds of things running thru my mind when that happened. Thank God it was nothing more...

Anywho, just wanted to check in with y'all to let you know I'm here, but I may be slightly MIA this week because of all the craziness I have going on...otherwise known as my life! 'Till next time!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 22, 2011

My top mommy must haves: 3-9 months

The original plan was to post this at 6 months, but as usual, time started flying by & now here we are! Guess that's what happens when you throw a baby into the mix...your "plans" somehow seem to slip, ha!

Anywho (can you tell that's my word?! I use it in regular conversation too ;), I hope this list will be useful to some of you! When I was pregnant with the munchkin, I always found similar product recc posts from some of my mommy blogger friends helpful...and I still find them helpful - geared towards older babies of course since this one:

{last weekend @ our lunch date to Chipotle...yes we go on lunch dates...minus the hubbs ::wink::}

...well, she's becoming such a big girl! <3 her!

So, without further adieu (sp?), here's a list of the top products I couldn't live without over the last 6 months:

1. The Summer Infant Video Monitor:

We moved Amaya to her crib early, a little before 3 months actually, and I'm so happy we did! Since she was so young, the transition really wasn't tough at all. The one thing she had to get used to was her limbs - she used to startle herself awake with them several times a night. Sometimes she'd be up until we put her back to sleep, but eventually she got used to them!

Anyway, one of the things that always gave me comfort was this monitor. I was skeptical about getting one b/c of the cost & b/c Baby Bargains recommended against it, but the hubbs insisted (I think he was thinking about how cool it was rather than the actual usefulness of it, lol), so I relented & added it to our registry. We used gift cards we received at our baby showers to purchase one & it's seriously one of the best baby purchases I've ever made!

2. Boogie Wipes:

I cannot say enough good things about this product! We were in the throws of our first cold when I stumbled across these at BRU one day & I picked a pack up wanting to try 'em out. Now I can't live without them! Anytime AJ becomes a little snot box, I break out a pack of these babies & her nose gets cleaned without getting all sore & raw. They are also perfect for getting dried on boogs or food off her face...awesome product!

3. Clean Shopper:

I had another shopping cart/high chair cover, but it didn't cover the sides of the carts, which didn't work for {germ-o-phobe} me...I hated seeing AJ touching the exposed parts of the cart then putting her hands in her mouth! Ugh, can you say germ fest?! I knew I needed another shopping cart/high chair cover & one day they just popped up on Zulily! Awesome. I cannot say enough good things about the Babe Ease brand of Clean Shoppers & Diners. They are GREAT - huge, soft & easy to clean...all the things busy mamas need & everything I was looking for!

4. Summer Infant Tiny Diner

This is another can't live without product for anyone who likes going out to eat at restaurants. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this mat. It suctions to most tables & contains A's messes like no other (see photo of munchkin above). It's also super easy to carry around & clean up - it rolls right up & fits in your diaper bag or purse, then when you get home, just shake the mess into the trash & either toss in the dishwasher or rinse off with soap & water. Easy peasy & such a great value - if you buy one, you definitely won't regret it!

5. Sophie the Giraffe teether:

Yes, I admit it - I bought into the Sophie hype & bought one for A for Christmas, or did Santa bring that?! he he he. Nonetheless, she has her, she chews her, she loves her. She used to spend 10+ minutes at a time chewing on Sophie's nose & legs! It is quite the expensive teething toy, but she has held up remarkably well so far & she's easily washable in the sink with warm, soapy water.

6. Evenflo Exersaucer:

Amaya LOVES her exersaucer - she loves to "bouncy bouncy" & starts jumping up & down as soon as we say those words, lol.  This is another example of Santa's infinite wisdom. :) I like that it keeps her entertained {& contained} while I get stuff done or when I'm getting ready for the day. She has the 123 Tea For Me version of the Exersaucer & especially loves the stacking cake, the mail/mailbox & the spinning wheels. It even has a small tray & a place for her cup!

7. Tomee Tipee starter cups:

We received these cups as a gift during one of our baby showers & when the time came for Baby AJ to start practicing with cups, I decided to try 'em out. She took to these surprisingly easy & it now a little pro at drinking out of her cup! Her teacher at daycare even commented on how good & advanced she is with the cup! I like the soft spout, small amount of parts + no spill feature, the handles & the top that closes over the spout...you know, for when your little one is over drinking out of the cup & instead wants to bang it on stuff & throw it around?!

8. Graco Blossom 4-in-1 high chair:

I love this high chair! One of my fave things about it is that it's not too baby'ish looking & it has so many features that keep growing with your child, like it's THREE {yes, 3!!} trays, the multiple seat levels & it even comes with a booster seat! I'm sure we will keep this for years & years to come! In fact, we won't ever need another one since it goes all the way thru the toddler age range. Amaya likes playing with toys or smearing food all over the large main tray. But don't worry, the tray is machine {dishwasher} washable & the straps & cover come off easily to wash if you need to.
9. Aquaphor:

This stuff is ahhh-mazing. We mainly use this to treat & prevent diaper rash - it's the only thing that has ever worked for AJ - we tried Triple Paste, Desitin, Butt Paste & none worked quite as well as good 'ol Aquaphor. And you don't need the baby kind (same as the adult version btw), nor do you need the brand name. I have used the CVS, Target & K-Mart store brands & they are all pretty awesome. When AJ is getting a little red or a rash down there, we slather it on thick (& have her daycare do the same with the Aquaphor we provided) & normally it's gone the next morning, or at the very least, markedly better! Love it. Want some more of it. :)

10. LOTs of storage baskets:

I recently bought a couple C&B baskets for our living room for toy storage & I'm so happy I did! Their baskets are stylish, affordable & large enough to hold a lot of munchkin's toys! I hate clutter, so at the end of the day, I just toss all her toys in the baskets & my living room instantly looks less like a playroom, lol. We also have a Pier One basket in our room where I put any toys that find their way into our room so that they are handy if we need them, but not laying around our room. Baskets are essential for those of you who crave a clutter-free, organized home.

11. Formula Dispenser:

If you use powdered formula, these are essential for trips out of the house. I bought one dispenser & each compartment holds up to 8 oz each time. I just fill this baby up before we plan to head out, fill a couple bottles up with water & head out. It makes it super easy to prepare the bottles when you're out of the house as well, just pop open the top, pour into the bottle, shake & you're all done. and for the price, you can't beat how useful this product is!

That's all I got for now, I'm SO tired so I'm gonna turn in for the night. Try some or all of these products, you won't be sorry you did! 'Till next time!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I wanna buy Wednesday - 08.17.11

Hi there friends!! Hope everyone's week is going awesome - mine is pretty good, just trying to get thru the next 1.5 months at work, then I'll {hopefully} have a lot more free time, which = more time to blog...he he. :) I am still hard at work trying to get one of my biggest projects more the office/craft space makeover done & am waiting on an order I placed on Etsy to reeeally finish it. Once it gets here, hopefully I'll be able to finish the project up & share it with y'all...in the mean time, I'm going to share some of my inspiration pics for the office/craft space makeover. Also, I will be posting Baby AJ's 10 month update, my top mommy must haves for 3-9 months, and finally, I wanna tell you guys about the big birthday bash we're planning for our little munchkin!!

Anywho, today I'm checking in with my latest installment of WIWBW! Here are the top 5 things I need wanna buy this week:

1. Fall clothes {for me}:

I've always loved the fall & everything about it - it's my favorite season!! One of the things I look forward to every year is seeing the new fall clothing trends! I love the comfy, stylish cardigans & sweaters, the dark wash denim & the muted colors fall brings! I can't wait to do some fall shopping - I need to clean out my closet first, lose about 5-10 lbs, then I'll be stocking up on some of the new fall items to supplement my {already pretty large} wardrobe. :)

P.S. - anyone who wants to get a deal on some great new fall looks, Gap is offering 25% off your entire purchase - TODAY ONLY - code: GAPGEM!

2. A new iPhone cover:

I mentioned these cute iPhone covers sold by one of my favorite Etsy Shops, Pretty Smitten, in my chevron love post. Sigh. I really, REALLY want one, but I just can't bring myself to pay $55 for one...I mean, the phone itself was over $200! I follow the Pretty Smitten blog & last week, Elizabeth (the shop owner) hinted at the fact that there will be something coming up this week for those wanting an iPhone case (me, me, me!) - I hope it's a discount because I'll definitely jump all over that!

3. A couple long, white IKEA wall shelves:

I'd seen these shelves in IKEA before, but fell in love with them once I saw them in John & Sherry's living/dining room on Young House Love. When I was re-doing our living room though, I went for three small, dark brown wall shelves. After living with those for a couple of years, I'm ready to make a switch again to the IKEA shelves & I'm trying to talk the hubbs into the idea - I think it'll brighten up the space & provide a nice spot for family photos/decorating pieces that I own & have no other place to display. I'd LOVE to have these installed before the munchkin's first birthday party on October 15th (more deets on the big day later), so we'll see if the hubby will relent. :)

And speaking of IKEA...

4. IKEA's Tullsta Armchair:

I love the look of this chair & it would fit perfectly with the hubb's new furniture set in his mancave (pics coming soon). And have you seen the price?! $100 for a nice armchair & only $50 for extra covers if you'd like to change up the look - gotta love IKEA! We need to make a trip to our local one soon!

5. Fall clothes {for munchkin}:
{photo credits: sweater & outfit}

Y'all know I can't get enough of baby clothes! Sadly, my baby is about to be a toddler ::sniff, sniff::, but there is still an abundance of cute clothes for 12+ months! And her birthday is in the fall too, so maybe she'll get some cute outfits for her birthday?! Woo. The hubbs & I went to the outlets the weekend before last to grab a few things & I picked up some stuff for the munchkin, but there's definitely still more shopping to do!

So there you have it - my top 5 things I wanna buy this week. How about you?! What do you wanna buy today? 'Till next time!

Friday, August 12, 2011

What I'm loving right now: chevron pattern!!

PS - I totally started a WIWBW post on Wednesday, then Blogger went down for like an hour or so & then I fell asleep! I guess that's what happens when you have a kid - you go to sleep earlier because you're FORCED to wake up earlier!

Anywho, today I want to discuss my new{est} obsession - chevron patterns! It's something I've been seeing more & more on blog, online design sites & etsy! I absolutely L-O-V-E the look...I feel like it works in any room or item. Makes everything a little more modern, but not too contemporary (hard lines, etc.). I'm sure you'll be seeing some more of this 'round the Dennifer household sometime soon. :)

Here are some of my fave inspiration pics:

{DIY chevron framed print (free printable!!) via The Crafty Scientist}

{DIY chevron magazine holders via The Mustard Ceiling - found this awesome project on the DIY Show Off!}

{super cute chevron throw pillow by Etsy seller Pillow Throw Decor}

{pretty iPhone case & personalized serving platter by Etsy seller Pretty Smitten}

 {DIY chevron fabric covered patio table & ottoman cover via Tatertots and Jello}

{chevron shoulder bag by Etsy seller Deyitta}

I should stop here, otherwise I'll keep Googling & keep finding more cute stuff & this blog post will literally go.on.for.ever. ::wink:: Now I need to figure out how to incorporate this awesomely cute pattern in my newest Project Makeover Series - my office/craft space! I have a few ideas on that, but you'll have to wait until I get there to see what I come up with! Are you equally as obsessed with a particular pattern as I am?! If so, which one? And stay tuned...I'm currently working on one of the major projects for my office space makeover & will hopefully finish it up soon & hopefully be sharing it with all of y'all soon! 'Till next time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Amaya's Nursery featured on the DIY Show Off today!!

Hai! Just wanted to give a shout out to my good bloggy friend Roeshel over at the DIY Show Off.

Today she's featuring Amaya's nursery on her awesome blog, check out munchkin's nursery post here. And if you've never stopped by Roeshel's blog before - go check it out, it's one of my go to stops when I'm looking for DIY and D&R inspiration! Thanks Roeshel for featuring Amaya's nursery - as always, I'm so honored to be featured on your amazing blog! 'Till next time :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Amaya: 8-9 months!

OMG my daughter is nearly TEN months! {begin slight panic attack} How did time fly so fast? What happened to my little squishy baby? I kinda want another one NOW...but, uh, don't tell my hubby that - he may leave me, hahaha. Kidding, kidding.

Anyways, as I mentioned, since she's almost 10 whole months, I thought it was about time I checked in here with her monthly bi-monthly post. I really do always have plans to post these updates every month & then, well...life happens & I don't get around to it in a timely manner. She'll be 10 months at the end of this week, so I may just do a really brief post for 10 months & then do the monthly posts for 11 & 12. That's the plan...but you know what happens when I make plans when it comes to Baby AJ! And of course, I'm hard at work planning her birthday party, woo - can't wait to tell you guys about it, but I'm gonna do a separate post for that b/c it'll be looong, lol.

And now, here are Amaya's 8 & 9 month photos:

{sloberrrrr box}

And her 0-7 for comparison...

{8 month outtakes}

{9 month outtakes}

She's always after the camera, ha! She is like a little lady now & I can't believe it! She literally changes or does something new everyday! It's so much fun & kinda bittersweet seeing my baby get SO big so quickly. :o/

She got 1 Hep B shot & they took all her official stats at her 9 month well baby appointment...she weighed 16 lbs. 14.5 oz. (20th %tile), was measured at 28.5 inches long (80th %tile) & her head circumference was 17 inches (25th percentile). So she fell in terms of where she falls on the charts for weight, but she is a tall little thang! As you can imagine, that makes it a little difficult to shop for clothes - difficult, but not impossible & it surely doesn't stop this mama! :) She's still in 6-9 or 6-12 months depending on the brand, but a lot of the 6-9 month stuff is getting kinda short, so she'll have to stop wearing those soon. Speaking of clothes, I just packed up a HUGE box of her cutest clothes that I couldn't bear getting rid of & put it into our storage unit. I'm hoping to break 'em out again one day. The hubbs still isn't completely sold on a sibling in the next couple of years for munchkin, but I think he'll come around! In the mean time, my older sister just found out that she's preggo & we are hoping for a girl this time!! Those clothes will get some additional use one way or another, ha!

Her night time sleep is still pretty good, but lately she's been waking once each night for a bottle. This was all over the last week or so - not sure if it's a growth spurt or if it's because she's getting congested/runny nose or what, but I hope she goes back to her old 10-12 hours a night. Tonight I tried adding just a wee bit of oatmeal cereal to this evening's bottle...just to make her just that much more full, so we'll see if it works. She's still going down for bed anywhere from 7pm-8:30pm...normally closer to 7:30, but it varies depending on how she naps at daycare. This past weekend, I noticed she has started staying up for longer stretches between naps, so I'm thinking right around 12 months she'll be doing just one nap a day. I don't think I'm ready for it! But, if it's one good, quality nap then I'll take it - I act as if I have a choice, lol.

As for naps, they are hit or miss unfortunately. For a little bit, right before starting daycare, she was taking two 1.5-2 hour naps a day. I was jumping for joy & signing oh happy day! But that was short lived b/c a week or two later she started daycare & obviously it jacked up her napping. She does nap there, but it's all over the place - sometimes 30 min, sometimes an hour or more. You never know what you're getting when you go pick her up in the evening. I'm hoping my poor pumpkin adjusts soon because she definitely needs sleep. She's never really crabby when she's sleepy, but she just looks so pitiful, ugh.

Speaking of daycare, {besides the erratic napping} she's really doing quite well! She L-O-V-E-S her two main teachers & also loves all the kids & toys. I think she gets bored here at the house on weekends because she's so used to all the activity at "school"! I am so happy she adjusted so quickly, it makes me feel like we really made a great decision to a) send her to daycare & b) start her when we did. She's just such an awesome, happy baby - everyone always says that & I agree {of course, I'm slightly biased ::wink::}!

She's also doing really well trying new foods! I try to make sure has at least one type of table food everyday & try to introduce new foods every couple of days. So far she's had (either puree or small bits of table food): apples, peaches, pears, bananas, avocado, green beans, peas, mango, strawberries, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, all types of bread, several types of Gerber infant cereal, all types of puffs, Yo Baby yogurt, carrots, pasta (she's freakin' lurves mac & cheese), rice crispies, mum mums, black beans, rice, plums, egg yolk (scrambled & seasoned with a teeny bit of salt free Mrs. Dash), pancakes, mashed potatoes & I'm sure other stuff I'm not mentioning. She LOVES food, which is very exciting for me! I am also happy to say that I actually stuck with making her baby food homemade. My hubby didn't even think I'd hang in there, but I did & hopefully saved us a bit of money in the long run. I cannot wait until she kicks formula to the curb right around her first birthday, it'll be awesome...not only for the money savings, but because I hate washing/making bottles - it's so time consuming! Right now she's doing between 22-25 ounces of formula per day, but most times she doesn't want it at all. I think it's because she's had so many new foods that formula seems boring to her! She also water in her dippy cup at every meal & she's doing awesome with it - even holds it & tips it up to her mouth all by her self!

As for milestones, she's doing well. She's talking up a storm! So far she can say baba (1st word), dada, mama (yay!), lala, yay, hi & dog. When she says "yay," she smiles so big & claps her hands in excitement! And she waves when she's says hi! She also knows that our family dog is a dog - she only says that word when he's around, but she doesn't say it anytime we see other dogs! She rolls all over the place & gets up on her knees to rock, but hasn't quite started crawling. Her main way of getting around, though, is sitting on her butt & scooting to whatever she's trying to get to, it's SO cute! She can also bear weight on her legs & stands up against stuff with one of us standing right there supporting her. Her hair is growing too, I can't wait till it's long enough for pigtails...I used to hate when my mom put them in my hair, but now I understand why she did - they are super cute! I think that's all for now...'till next time!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Project Office/Craft Space Makeover: a sad "before"

Hi there friends! I'm finally ready to announce my newest DIY/D&R makeover project series...as I'm sure you can surmise from the title of this post, it's my office/craft space! It's a space in my house that has long been neglected & this revamp is WAAAAAY overdue. I originally planned to work on this space before the munchkin was born conceived, but clearly that didn't happen, so I'm starting now! Better late than never right?!

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things with crafting & decorating as much as I used to - I think I took a break because I was adjusting to my new life as a mama, but my daughter's starting to get older & get into more of a predictable routine, so I'm slowly {but surely} returning to my crafting roots ::fist pump::, lol. So, my office/crafting area is just a tiny area of the basement (aka my husband's mancave, which I'm sure he's thrilled to share with his amazing wife) in my very small house. Before the munchkin was born, I had my office & craft stuff in her room (the former office/guest/craft room), but once I got pregnant we had to clean it out & get it set up as a nursery. When we do buy a bigger house, I'm definitely making sure I have a suitable crafting room. Sigh. I *wish* that I had an entire room like some of you luckies out there, but alas, I do not & so I'm working with what I got....

Here are a few before shots of my very sad craft space (please excuse the photo quality, took them on my iPhone right before I started the desk cleanup):

I'm totally embarrassed to post photos of the sad, sad state of my office area, but the time has come! This is a view of the desk/printer area & a closeup of my cluttered desktop. Remember this post from oh, about a year ago, regarding my CL find. Got this desk for $25 last February & then I got preggo. The hubbs kept saying he would re-do my desk, but he never did (figures!) & now, over a year later, I'm finally gonna give some new life to this little beauty!

I'd also like to re-finish the side table we have the printer sitting on to match all the espresso/dark wood colors the hubbs has in the basement already.

And ideally, I'd also like to see some wall storage hung over my desk & I'd lurve to have those frames cluttering my desk come off & go somewhere else, which brings me to my next & final (told y'all it was a small space) before photo...

The misc. junk corner, which I have claimed as a part of my office/crafty space. In this area, I'd like to loose the chair; although, my original thought was to re-do that too, add a cute chair cushion & have a little coordinating chair for my desk. But, I have an awesome, comfy computer chair with wheels & I love it, so I'm gonna stick with that for now. And since I hate clutter {& we are running out of storage space}, this little guy's gotta go. I'll be Freecycling him sometime soon. After I get rid of the chair, I'm going clean up the space & add some storage, likely a book shelf, in that area.

I'd love to see the entire basement painted & am working on the hubbs to make it happen, but he hates painting, so it may take a little while! Or it may never happen because we wanna sell our casa...I'd love it if we just sold & never painted downstairs, but we all know how the market is! Anyway, I'm not letting that slow me down - I will finish this project & I will do it before munchkin's birthday party on October 15th. That means I only have a small amount of time to finish...follow along on my newest D&R/DIY project, won't cha?! And wish me luck, I'll need it!! 'Till next time!