Category: Baby/Motherhood

PLAYING WITH A 6 MONTH OLD

posted by Elshane on Oct 17 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

I'm having flashbacks to my perfectly curated home. The home that had every corner prop-styled and Pinterest-photo ready... Do you have similar flashbacks these days?

Fortunately (at least as of now), only one room in my house has been taken over by the baby storm. And double fortunately, toys these days are so darn cute that I don't even mind! 

My first step in baby takeover land was getting one of those foam mats -- that's sort of an entryway into motherhood, right? But, the thought of having one of those multi-colored ABC mats truly freaked me OUT! Instead, I found this SkipHop foam mat that I had so much fun putting together. The squares and circles are interchangeable so you can make the mat as wild or monochromatic as desired. I went for a middle ground!

 

Yes, let's now side note to Sunday's ridiculously cute romper. Have you ever met a baby butt you didn't wanted to squeeze? There's just something about little pockets on baby bums that will get me every single time.

The romper is by Mainio and you can't deny it-- you want one for yourself, too. I can read your mind.

 

This activity box has been an A++ learning toy for Sunday lately. It can flip to five different sides, each showing Sunday a unique hand/eye coordinating skill. And wooden toys are chic, so there's that, too...

 

Sunday's finally big enough to sit on her Yummy World pink donut chair. What this really means is that my Instagram is about to be bombarded by pink plush furniture photos. Can't wait!

You'll see a bunch of Apple Park toys scattered across the play mat. There's a purple musical turtle and a few adorable soft 3-D ABC blocks. A bunch of friends introduced me to the Apple Park toy brand when Sunday was a tiny tot because the toys are made of organic and eco-friendly materials. As someone who was never into the whole organic craze before baby, it's comforting to know that whatever Sunday is putting in her mouth is as safe as possible.

 

Lastly I have to give a shout out to my JellyCat unicorn. Why didn't we have stuffed animals THIS SOFT when we were growing up? If you've never felt a JellyCat stuffed animal, then I'm sorry but you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.

Part of me wants to take this unicorn to bed with me every night for a snuggle. Needless to say, Sunday is obsessed with all of her JellyCats! (She has a pink poodle, too.)

 

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FAMILY BEACH DAY

posted by Elshane on Oct 5 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

Being a beach babe never felt so REAL!

Taking babez to the beach can be a really fun experience-- if you're prepared! Fortunately, the Virgo in me had us packed up and ready to go the night before-- and it was an utter success.

Here are our beach essentials that I recommend not leaving home without:

1. Your baby carrier (I use a BabyBjorn). When schlepping all of the bags, chairs, tents, dogs {Wouldn't leave home without Homer, of course!} you need all the hands you can manage. Keeping baby on your chest is a safe and easy way to "set up shop"

2. A tent!!!! So necessary. Alternately you can use a pack and play and put a fitted crib sheet over the top for shade. The tent is necessary for 90% of baby's beach time. Sunday took her naps in the tent, did her tummy time, and we also changed her diapers in there. She was only outside of the tent for short intervals throughout the day since the sun was so bright and we didn't want her to get too much sun exposure.

3. BabyGanics SPF 50 sunscreen. No explanation needed.

4. Long sleeve clothing, a sun hat, a sweater, and extra changes of clothing. I'd rather have a hot baby than a burnt baby any day of the week! Sunday is wearing SkipHop's newest long sleeve collection which I have been loving now that the weather is cooling down a bit.

5. U-Line plastic drawstring bags. This is a classic stylist hack-- these U-Line plastic bags are my go-to for everything, from packing for a trip, to a day at the beach. They're drawstring, big enough to fit a stack of folded clothing, and perfect for everything from separating sandy/wet clothes from clean burp cloths, to organizing toys and accessories. They're durable and reusable!

6. A monogrammed baby beach towel. Ok, you caught me. This is NOT an essential, but it should be. Sunday rocked her monogrammed unicorn beach towel and she meant business. I don't know about you, but I've never personally owned a monogrammed beach towel. And I'm pretty sad about it. Plus, they're on sale now here for under $15. Great baby gift idea!!

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BABY CARRYING 101

posted by Elshane on Sep 7 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

Although motherhood generally comes with the phenomenal development of a third arm, it's pretty cool to sometimes just be able to use the two you were born with to their fullest extent. Insert need for baby wearing here.

I've been big on testing carriers and wraps since Sunday's birth, and honestly, I've loved everything that I've tried (props to LilleBaby and Solly brands). So I figured the natural next step would be to try the biggest name in baby wearing, BabyBjorn.

I opted for BabyBjorn's Carrier One Air model because I had very specific requirements and this carrier fit the bill. Living in Los Angeles, I needed a carrier that was completely breathable, versatile enough for her to face inside towards my chest, out to the world, or on my back, lightweight, easy to figure out, and super safe for her hips. Oh, and my craving for everything colorful was met since they just introduced this new line of pastels, called the Watercolor Collection!  

I have to say-- this carrier is so user-friendly. Even my husband, who loves the ol' fashion-- who needs a handbook-- method of figuring things out, was able to prove successful in his "wing it" approach. ;) {Of course, I read the entire instructions manual to make sure we were doing everything right, but he doesn't need to know that!}

I chose the carrier in Ice Blue Fish so that it satisfied my craving for color, and yet it was also masculine enough for my husband to feel comfortable wearing it. He's been rocking it on Sundays (with Sunday, ha!) to the local farmer's market. #FAMILY!

 

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PUT A NAME ON IT

posted by Elshane on Sep 1 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

I always used to see mamas running around town wearing their children's initials around their neck, drawn onto their nails, and pierced in their ears. I questioned why they chose to sport their kiddo's names before their own? {Says the chick who rocks her ELSHANE necklace to the grave!}

I wondered if I would ever replace the ELSHANE necklace with that of another name... the name of my very own littles running around one day.

I'm slowly stepping into that territory and not looking back. The name you chose for your child has so much meaning (or no meaning at all, which is cool, too!), and I think that you have the right to shout it from the inner threads of your soul! Or the inner threads of your shirt, whichever you prefer. I chose the latter.

I was at an embroidery party (yup, they exist now), and I chose to embroider Sunday's name on my shirt. It's so special looking down at my chest and seeing that sunny, happy name starring back at me. It makes me think of her, and think of me, and think of who I want to continue to be. 

I love rocking Sunday's name and I suggest all of you mamas out there try it, too!

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THIS IS 4 MONTHS

posted by Elshane on Jul 25 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this sooner. 

This matching mommy- daughter moment is something I will never forget (oh, I know why... because I've repeated this outfit four times already...in different states... with different friends... at different parties).

I can't wait to continue to find ways to match my little one. Do you think my husband will ever get on board? That's a big, fat, NO! But I'm up for the challenge...

This entire matching lewk is available online! The baby romper is from GAP and my top is currently breaking the internet with coolness overload.

What do you think of the momma and baby matching moment? Would you do it? How about with your son? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

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WITH MY MINI

posted by Elshane on Jul 11 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

The ease of convenience dressing is as necessary for a new mama as ever. Like the boxer's satin shorts, the soccer player's shin guards, and the gymnasts leotard, easily washable and wipeable jersey fabrics are our tribe's uniform. 

Part of me misses my silk blouses, silk dresses, silk blazers... silk everything, I guess... but there's no turning back now. Trips to the dry cleaner for every little spit up and drool is just not the best way to spend my free time these days. So cotton or jersey it is. 

This DVF romper is the perfect compromise for me since it's flashy and sassy and fine, just the way I love to dress {dress UP all day, errrday!} and functions as an easy to clean fabric. It's the VIP dress code for every VIP fashion mama!

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MY NEWBORN ESSENTIALS

posted by Elshane on Jun 22 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

They say 12 weeks is that threshold of pain... (sorry, I mean pleasure...) or whatever that sweet spot is that you call life with a newborn! It's the time when it all just starts making sense. It's the time when you can breathe a little more, sleep a little more, and shed a little more advice on your newfound territory of expertise. Oh, and become utterly obsessed with your baby! Hi Sunday! Mommy loves you!

As a blogger and influencer, I'm fortunate enough to celebrate Christmas nearly every single day, as a new box of something shiny gets delivered at my doorstep on the regular. The theme over the past few months has been baby products, and I have accepted all with open arms. That does not mean, however, that all baby products are created equal.

As someone who has received an arm and a leg of products, I feel I have an extra advantage on advising what is best and most necessary for you, your tot, and your wallet!

Here's my round up of my daily go-to's, and why...

The Pout Pout Fish Book.  This is my favorite book to read to Sunday. It's the story of a fish with a pout, or as the 2016 urban dictionary so appropriately calls it, a "resting bitch face." Disclaimer: at the end of the book, it's required that you shower your little tot with kisses... a win, win!

Lulujo Swaddling Blankets. These perfectly printed blankets are so much more than just a swaddle (considering I don't even use these to swaddle-- scroll down the page to see why). But, they're a must! I keep 2-3 on hand at all times. They turn into over the shoulder burp cloths, over the legs vomit protectors, spit up cloths, stroller blankets, stroller sun protectors, and rug protectors. Oh, and about 10 other things, as well. 

MUV Baby Stroller + Car Seat Package. MUV is a European company and this click-on, click-off contraption has proved "European" in every way possible.

The car seat is smaller than other car seats, which means it's lighter, easier to carry, and more handy to fit inbetween small restaurant booths. The stroller is as easy to fold as 1-2-3, and it drives like a European car. Oh, and it has a built in cooler... which I may or may not use for wine. I mean milk bottles! I mean wine.

Babyganics Stain Remover Spray. Babyganics baby products in general are my go-to's. (Shout out to the hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and bath shampoo and body wash!) But in particular, I find myself using their stain remover every.single.day. Whoever told me to buy beautiful furniture and rugs for a baby room obviously has never had a baby!

Babies spit up, throw up, projectile vomit, and pee all over the place at all hours of the day. Main targets? Your beautiful rug and glider chair. I keep a bottle of stain remover spray hidden behind our glider chair for easy spray access on impact. Baby in one arm, spray bottle in the other.

And guess what wipes up the mess (with my remaining 3rd arm)? Whatever handy Lulujo swaddle blanket is in near vicinity. Truth. 

Baby Brezza Formula Pro formula mixer. My greatest accomplishment in life is discovering this Baby Brezza Formula Pro. I can shout it from the rooftops! I stopped breastfeeding after 2 months and making formula on the fly leaves bottles filled with gas bubbles and babies filled with extra, extra, extra (as if there's not already enough) vomit and spit up. Houston, we had a problem. 

Sunday's belly was getting so upset from my DIY formula shaking... until I discovered this formula maker. My husband and I call it the "coffee Keurig" for babies. With the press of one button, this gem of technology perfectly mixes the powder formula and filtered water ratio into a bottle with NO gas bubbles left behind.

It was a game-changer for Sunday's belly problems. Doctor approved!!

SwaddleMe Velcro swaddles. Do not go into labor without owning a package of these. You'll thank me later.

Ok, fine, I'll tell you why now. At the hospital, swaddling looks so easy. The nurses wrap your little tot in the tightest, smallest burrito that lasts for hours. They teach you to make the perfect swaddle-- and you're confident that you'll get the hang of it when you're on your own, until...

You get home from the hospital and realize that no normal human alive can make a swaddle as good as those nurses. In comes the SwaddleMe, a swaddle with Velcro that secures your tot into the perfectly spicy burrito that s/he is destined to be.

 

Aquaphor. It's the special sauce. My baby nurse turned me on to this magical item. It's an "everything" cream for babies. Literally. Everything. Daily uses include: 

Cover her bum bum in it between diaper changes. (Replaces the need for diaper rash cream.)

Massage her body with it after nightly bath time. (Replaces the need for baby body lotion.)

Lather her neck in it between feeds to avoid rashes from milk dribble. (Replaces the need for constant washing and explaining a sudden neck pimple breakout to your husband.)

Spike up her perfect Mohawk hair with it in the mornings. (Replaces her need for daily salon appointments...hehe)

Spread a dabble on my lips when I'm reminded that my lips have been chapped all day. (Hey, mom's need love, too!)

It's an everything lotion! I go through one huge tub every two weeks... 

BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light. Weighing in at 13 lbs, this pop-up tent-like contraption is perfect for naps or playtime on the run. Starting at just a few weeks old, we were toting Sunday around town on the weekends from friend's BBQs to pool parties with our travel crib in tow. It allows us to be mobile with her, while respecting all of her needs. 

Fridababy Windi gas and colic reliever. There are those dreaded moments when your baby is crying and you've gone through the entire "why babies cry" checklist so many times, to no success.

My Windi is one of those items I keep handy on my changing table for when Sunday is a little fussy and I know gas is to blame. Instead of dosing her up with tummy-soothing medicine, I prefer this natural route of "stickin' it to her"... ummm... literally.

It's a disposable, toxin-free plastic contraption that naturally relieves gas from a baby by sticking a (super safe) mini tube in your tot's bum bum to expedite the gas release. It makes you feel like a true hero when you hear that whistle blow! (You'll know what I mean when it happens to you...)

Boppy Tummy Time Pillow. Tummy time is a daily necessity for little tots. This handy Boppy pillow makes tummy time a lot more fun for Sunday because it provides her with a natural prop to propel the tummy time activity.

Bonus uses? I lay this pillow against my legs and have Sunday sit against it. I also use it to prop up her upper body on my changing table mid-feed if there's a diaper situation, instead of laying her flat, so that her milk stays down in her belly. 

Oh hey... I spy another Lulujo swaddle blanket. This time used as a floor cover. :)

Please leave a comment if you've tried any of these products, if you plan on trying something, or if you suggest a new product! Would love to hear your feedback!

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LOUNGING WITH LADY

posted by Elshane on Jun 15 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

I'm a total minimalist when it comes to baby products. We live in a small, but perfectly curated house in Los Angeles, so the idea of our decor being compromised by brightly colored plastic baby objects is an all-out nightmare to me.

Along came the BabyBjorn Bouncer Mini, my new favorite "third arm" for my 'lil Sunday. Its sleek and chic shape is not even remotely the reason why I love it so much! It's coined the #EatSleepPlay chair, as it ergonomically sits on two adjustable legs that allow for both a lounge position (that Sunday is shown in, here), and also a more vertical position to eat in for when she's a few months older!

But for now, we spend our time in our living room...me on my uncluttered couch (with my labradoodle Homer), and Sunday in her bouncy chair. The chair enables a natural, no batteries required bounce whenever Sunday moves-- almost like a mini trampoline effect. As the days go by, she has learned that the more she moves in the chair, the more fun she has (bounce, bounce, bounce)! Otherwise, if she sits still...she doses off... {Check plus!}

The overhead toy contraption (sold separately) is easily removable, and the chair is super safe and light as a feather.  Happy baby AND happy mama!

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HI! IT'S ELSHANE FROM LOS ANGELES, CA
(BY WAY OF NEW YORK CITY)

I STARTED MY BLOG IN 2010 AS A WAY TO ARCHIVE ALL OF THE ONE-OF-A-KIND RUNWAY PIECES THAT I OWNED FROM WORKING AS THE IN-HOUSE STYLIST FOR DIANE VON FURSTENBERG IN NYC.

THEN, IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST... BIO

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