Nov 27, 2017

The BEST Christmas Gifts for Breastfeeding Moms & Nursing Babies!



When we began our breastfeeding journey 15 months ago we really had no clue what we were getting into, we essentially we're just winging it... We have come so far since then.

Now that we've been nursing for over a year I feel like I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to what breastfeeding really takes. I mean, nursing really is just a part of who we are as a family right now and while our journey is likely coming to an end soon, I feel like I should share some of this knowledge and on that same note, it's gift giving season and I'm sure you're making a list and checking it twice. So, if anyone on your list is breastfeeding then I suggest you check out these items that every breastfeeding mama (and baby) need:


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The best gift you can give a sweet little nursling and mama is Evivo. This miracle in probiotic form is not only going to help baby's gut NOW but in the future, providing the right amount of "good bacteria" and helping to promote a healthy immune system for years to come.

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With almost 2 children in every Kindergarten classroom having food allergies, it's obvious why something needs to change... and that change should be Evivo! You just simply mix a little bit of milk with the packets and let baby get a dose of goodness, each day!

Want to learn more about Evivo? Click here and use the code 4201 to save $10 off an Evivo Probiotics Starter Kit of 4 weeks or more! 

 
A nursing cover for mama and baby is a MUST HAVE. We nursed everywhere from the market to amusement parks with our cover and I think we both found comfort in it, me being able to modestly nurse anywhere and her being nice and warm and snug within it - it really was a win-win item for both of us!

Wondering what else would make a great gift for the little nursling in your life? Punny breastfeeding t-shirts are always a hit! Personally I love sharing the fact that she's still breastfed and I let her wear it proud.

Lanolin is another item every mama needs in the beginning. This miracle cream makes sore nipples way less tender and helps heal cracks. During those beginning stages when a baby's latch is being perfected, this cream is lifechanging.


And lastly, a gift for your mama friend - a plate of homemade lactation cookies like these! When you gift a plate of cookies that not only taste delicious but up her supply, you can't go wrong!

So tell us, what gift would you give a breastfeeding mama and baby?

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Aug 22, 2017

Six Things We Wish We Had Known About Parenting...

So, we know a lot of things... or we think we do, hence the name of our blog. The thing is, sometimes you don't really know something until you've experienced it.




Case & Point? Parenthood.



We planned on doing things a little differently... but hey, we're all just winging it, right? We know Delainey knows she is loved. We know now that being a parent isn't always easy... some days are rougher than others. We also know the moment you feel those sweet little eyes admiring you after you've taught them something new; we know how incredibly worth every second of a tantrum is to feel that adoration... and I can only assume those precious moments intensify and repeat over the years.

Now that we're approaching Delainey's first birthday, we're stoked to be able to celebrate her one year here with us... but I have to admit, we're kind of celebrating making it through one year as parents too. This is all new to us, like most parents - the good news is, we've lived a little, we've learned a lot, and today we're sharing just a small portion of that knowledge.

Because as I said, we know a lot of things, but we had no idea what parenting would really be like.

So, we'll start here:

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Cloth Diapering - I'm going to start out by saying, I always thought cloth diapering sounded like a great idea but the actuality of doing it definitely intimidated me. Dealing with waste, washing them, knowing which snaps to use... I had no clue and for some reason, no matter how many times someone would tell me, I would still feel squeemish about it. The funny thing? I love cloth diapering now. It's easy, it's cost-effective, it's environmentally friendly... and if you are fashion conscious, it can even be a fashion statement. Plus, I think D prefers cloth as she's learning to toddle around... they seem to add a little needed cushion!

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Evivo - Speaking of adding just the right amount... Evivo is something we had no idea about when D first came into the picture. I mean, a probiotic for their tiny, growing bodies makes sense... but for some reason it wasn't at the forefront of our minds.

Then we did the research and found out how important it is for Delainey's gut health to provide her with just the right amount of probiotics. If you're interested in learning more about Evivo, click here to learn more.


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Comparison isn't fair - On that note, learning is a constant at this stage... but it's important to remember not to compare your child to another. Whether it's a sibling or a friend's kid, they all learn, grow, and excel at different rates. I like to say if her "pediatrician isn't concerned then I'm not concerned", while it sounds silly it's a good reminder not to stress the small stuff.

The funny thing is, she just starts doing stuff randomly. One day she isn't crawling and the next morning she is. One day she just doesn't even want to try to stand and the next she's cruising around our furniture. She's unpredictable and does everything in her own time, so instead of worrying about the rate that she's accomplishing things, we're just along for the ride and enjoying watching her.

With that said, we're still waiting on even a single tooth to pop through... teething is rough, y'all.

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Baby Led Weaning - This is another thing I had no idea about when I first had Delainey. I honestly thought baby food in containers at the grocery store was the only way to feed an infant... and while it's an okay way to give your kiddo food, you can offer them foods you eat.

But wait, I'm not suggesting you toss your 6 month old a steak and potato with a side salad, it's more of a gradual adjustment to the world of food. We started with avocado, then sweet potato, then some other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, mangos, etc... and now her list of foods she has tried could rival a picky adult eaters! HA.

Seriously though, Baby Led Weaning isn't about getting the baby off the breast (or bottle), it's more about allowing a baby to become part of the family meal at a younger age. We love sharing with Delainey and we've found she's a huge fan of unexpected foods like quinoa and jackfruit... we have also found that while she's waiting on teeth, she's able to eat almost anything - which is impressive!

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Buy/Sell/Trade - Speaking of impressive... BST boards are full of super impressive deals! We have clothed Delainey in some of the most adorable clothing at ridiculously low clearance k-mart prices thanks to finding the buy/sell/trade world on the internet. Interested in diving into the addicting and exciting world of cute baby clothes resell? I'm not even kidding when I tell you, you'll find the cutest clothes and the best of deals (and it's pretty likely you'll make a few friends too). Search for groups on Facebook featuring your favorite small shops! Also, keep an eye out for an upcoming post about our fav BST groups on LaurenPaints.com! I'll be sharing a great little list of our favorites as part of our current rep series!

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Time - This one we can't even claim we didn't know... because everyone told us it would happen. "Time flies" isn't just a cliche statement - it is the honest truth.We had no idea how quickly this last year would fly by. Maybe it's the fact that every day with Delainey is fun? Not really sure... all we do know is we are blessed to get to speed along side her in this crazy thing we call life.





On that note, if you're a more seasoned parent than us (or you think we missed something), leave a note letting us know what you wish you had known about parenthood below. We are still learning all about parenting this little nuggest so we can't wait to see what you have to say!

Dec 13, 2016

Starting Holiday Traditions and a BLACK+DECKER SMARTECH Stick Vacuum Giveaway!




This year the holiday season is a little more merry with Delainey in the picture. She's our little angel, everything we ever wanted, and so incredibly perfect... so obviously being chipper and full of cheer comes easily this year and every year from now on.

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It's pretty amazing experiencing the holidays with our child and we look forward to every year ahead... with that said, we're hoping to start some traditions in our house.

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One tradition we plan on having is gifting our little princess with a pair of personalized jammies and a book on Christmas eve. Another tradition we are starting is making our own ornaments... and today we're sharing this tradition and a little DIY with you in hopes that you'll make it a part of your holiday celebration as well.

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For this DIY ornament project you will need:


Clear Plastic Ornaments
Glitter in festive colors
Confetti (or colored paper to make your own)
Scissors
Glue
Gold tinsel wreath (or something similar from the $1 store)
BLACK+DECKER Stick Vacuum


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To get this project started, cut up your paper into long slices - these will be made into curly q's and confetti. You can make the curly q's by winding the piece of paper around one finger tightly and placing it gently into the ornmanet. Making confetti is even easier, just line the pieces of paper up and start using your scissors to make tiny little pieces!

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Next you'll start decorating the ornaments as you please. Placing glitter, confetti, gold tinsel, and more within the ornament and adding paper and little bits of fun to the outside.

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We used glue and glitter to make designs and an initial ornament for D. You could make a pattern, try to make a mountain landscape, or just add polka dots to your ornament. We also placed curly q's inside of one of the ornaments and that one may very well be the prettiest! Really though, the possibilities are endless and I look forward to making more ornaments with Delainey's helping hands next year!

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Now go ahead and grab your kiddo, some glitter and get creative with some ornaments of your own and start a new tradition in your home! It's true, decorating with glitter and glue and allowing little hands to help will make for a fun project... but a messy one, no doubt. That's where the last item in our supply list comes into play. Instead of worrying about glitter hanging around our house all week long, we just grabbed our BLACK+DECKER SMARTECH Stick Vacuum and cleaned up our mess in seconds!

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Are you interested in starting a family tradition in your home? Do you think you'll be using a vacuum to clean up your mess as well? Well, I've got good news... tell me in the comments below how you would use a BLACK+DECKER SMARTECH Cordless Lithium 2-IN-1 Stick Vacuum and you could be 1 of 20 lucky winners!

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BLACK+DECKER has other awesome gifts to reward yourself or a loved one with, with Picture Hanging tools, Cordless Drills, and more... you're sure to find the perfect gift for every DIY-er on your list! Check out the Holiday Handbook here and start making your list and checking it twice!

Dec 1, 2016

Tis the Season to Shop: Sharing the BEST Deals at Our Fav Tech Store, a GIVEAWAY, & a coupon code!

Okay, so, we have to know... After Thanksgiving day, did you celebrate one of the biggest shopping days of the year and indulge in the Black Friday sales or did you find any stellar deals while browsing the internet on Cyber Monday? We can't lie, our bank account took a huge hit over the weekend. While we stayed in on Black Friday, we went wild on Cyber Monday - in typical nerd fashion.

We bought for Delainey, we bought for our sisters, our brothers, our nieces and nephews, and the list goes on. We are nearly finished shopping for the holidays now and that feels fantastic. We found bargains everywhere and the rush of finding a deal was totally worth waking up a little early to find some deals on the internet.

With so many amazing deals on the internet, it was a bit overwhelming to figure out what we should splurge on, but when we saw that LeMall was also offering awesome deals, we gave each other the look and knew our little shopping adventure wasn't over yet! Little did we know, the best deal we found on cyber Monday wasn't just a deal for the day... it's a deal you could even score RIGHT NOW... You just need to visit LeMall.

https://ooh.li/bbf5c7b



If you're like us, you may not have heard of LeMall yet... but let me take a second to introduce you to this premier online shop that is now launching in America!  LeEco is a family of smart products, ranging from TVs to Smartphones and it's the high-end without the huge price tag!

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This ecosystem of tech products offers everything you could ever want, from unlimited cloud storage to VIP customer service and support, when you decide to buy from LeEco you join the family. You'll also receive a subscription to the EcoPass if you decide to grab a EcoPhone or EcoTV, which will grant you access to a variety of entertainment options, services, eco warranty, and discounts, and if you're interested up to 12 months of FREE DirecTV service!

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Not only are the perks insane, the deals are nearly mindblowing! With the LeEco Super4 X65 Ecotv it's easy to see why it's time to upgrade to the new age. This ecotv features a 4K Ultra High Definition display, Harman Kardon sound, a quad-core CPU, a multi-core GPU, and a fully-integrated and easy to navigate user interface! You can almost turn your living room into a cinema with this beauty... Learn more about this nifty, tech-friendly TV and all of the other awesome options at LeMall.

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Enough about TVs... let's talk about our favorite piece of technology, cell phones! The LePro3 Ecophone is on the top of our Christmas list this year. With a riveting design and rugged protection, it's the perfect mixture of amazing and durable and it's exactly what this couple of rough-housing-hooligans need so our phones don't end up broken. Offering the speed we need, a high MP camera, 4K video capture, extended battery for more playtime, and more, this is the phone you've been looking for.

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While we're dishing out good deals and good news, we suppose we should tell you some really good news. Actually we have two pieces of good news... We will start with a coupon, if you click here and use the code 2016BFTHANKYOU, you'll receive $150 off a LeMall Phone! That's a huge savings on something already so reasonable... Maybe they could even make good Christmas presents this year for family and friends!

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But that's not all the good news, hold your horses... We're excited to share that in celebration of LeMall's American launch, 10 lucky entrants will win a LeMall phone! To enter the #LeGiveaway, simply comment below with the LeMall feature you’re most excited about and why. Is it the rewards? Or the flash sales? Let me know!


The contest runs until December 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be notified directly by email or Facebook Messenger on January 6, 2017. Entrants must be residents of the US and 18+ only. Winners will be randomly selected. Comments must contain an email address, contain the entrant's Facebook username, or link to the entrant's Facebook profile.


Oct 26, 2016

7 Tips to Help You Take Professional Quality Photos of Your Baby

Creating something everyday was a goal for us this year, from making new art to hang on our daughter's nursery walls to learning to take photos of her, 2016 has been a year of creating and most of those creations are centered around our daughter. She's our pride and joy and if you're also a parent, certainly you can relate.

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We love documenting her life and we cherish the time we have with her, at only nine weeks old we both agree that she's changed so much already. We love her being so tiny and can't help but document all the little things she does. The way she smiles, her eyelashes, it's all so precious and perfect - it's best to snap a photograph so we'll never forget it.

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We're not suggesting you spend your life behind the camera, but it is wise to snap a few photographs of the special moments. Today we want to share 7 tips to Professional Quality Photos of Your Baby!

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1. Keep things warm - We all know every baby is different, but most babies (especially newborns) love the warmth. Take baby to the warmest room in your home, like a sun room, and have your photoshoot there... or you could always just turn the air up a few degrees while you play with your camera.


2. Big full bellies make for big full smiles - Again, every baby is different, but a majority of babies are more content after a meal. Grab your little one and start photographing every little detail right after they finish "breakfast". We find that our little gal is the sweetest after she's had plenty of milk, making for some big, adorable smiles.

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3. Coffee for Parents - We couldn't have created anything without a little extra motivation (a little pep in our step, if you will)... and that pep came in the form of delicious NESCAFÉ® Taster’s Choice® (as we mentioned a few weeks ago). Coming in a variety of flavors like French Roast and Hazelnut, we're both able to enjoy our favorites while we are getting our shoot set up and we don't have to waste any time preparing it since we can whip up a couple cups of joe in no time with NESCAFÉ Taster's Choice! If you're looking for a little extra fuel for your next photoshoot, or just any day really, NESCAFÉ is the way to go.

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4. Follow the light - Don't let bad lighting be the reason your photos are professional quality. Start to notice which rooms are the most well lit in your house at what times and move baby into that location. We like shooting in the sun room (for warmth) and have found the lighting to be impeccable, but only at certain times of the day. Indirect, yet bright, is what you want for a great shot!

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5. Don't force it - Forcing baby into a certain position to get a shot you want will only frustrate you and her. Take a moment and let baby find where they feel comfortable, if they're learning to crawl, use that to your advantage and take a photo of baby looking determined on all fours. If your baby has started rolling over, start in tummy time and allow baby to show off their new skill via photos! Let your baby lead the way as far as posing goes and save yourself some headache.

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6. Wardrobe - Keep it simple, yet sassy. We dress little gal up in fairly simple outfits and then add little touches of cuteness so that her photos will always be timeless. For little girls, add a pinch of cuteness with bows and/or adorable booties. For boys, add a bow tie or some suspenders and really give your little gentlemen some extra pizazz!

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7. Take More Than You Think - People think we're photo-crazy but that's okay... we've learned that it takes about 10 photos to capture the MOST perfect one. It's not that every photo isn't great, because they all are, but that amazingly composed photo, with the perfect lighting, pose, smile, etc. takes a couple extra frames to grab. Try taking extra photos at your next shoot, several from the same angle, a few with the blinds pulled differently to allow different lighting, and we guarantee you'll agree - more is better than less, in this circumstance.






So tell me, how do you make each day great? Do you #CraftEachDay your own way? I'd love to hear the details below and feel free to share any tips on capturing the perfect shot of your tiny tot!

Five Fun & Festive Tips For Entertaining This Fall!



With November quickly approaching and a handful of holidays on the horizon, it's likely that you'll be doing a little entertaining sometime soon. We've been thinking ahead and trying to decide how we are going to set up the house for some fun fall festivities with friends and today we want to share FIVE tips to help you feel like the hostess with the most(est) this fall.

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1. Decorate festively! It's easy to get into the holiday spirit, whichever upcoming holiday that may be, with festive decor around. This time of year we decorate with pumpkins and fall tones, it makes the transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving decor a lot less of a hassle. We just add a few more items into the mix and the house is all set, until it's time to decorate for Christmas!

Planning to have friends over for some fun during football season? Check out these five tips for keeping things fun and festive during fall! #Sharethegoodness #GoodFoods

2. Keep things simple & serve GOODFOODS! - Its super easy to serve up delicious finger foods with GOODFOODS Tableside Guac and Feta Cucumber dip! We were browsing Publix this week and saw this deliciousnes on the shelf and had to snag some for game day! Served with tortilla chips and pita chips, these dips are refreshing and taste homemade in all the right ways! Now we don't have to miss a second of our get together, just open a few packages and appetizers are served! Ta-da!

Planning to have friends over for some fun during football season? Check out these five tips for keeping things fun and festive during fall! #Sharethegoodness #GoodFoods

And if you're feeling inspired, you could always mix GOODFOODS dips into your favorite recipes! From taco salads to sandwiches, I have a feeling this tasty goodness will end up on several dishes in our home.

Planning to have friends over for some fun during football season? Check out these five tips for keeping things fun and festive during fall! #Sharethegoodness #GoodFoods

3. Have a "game plan"! - Whether that means you're having friends over to watch the game on Sunday or you play a board game or two, have a plan regarding what you and your guests are going to do!

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4. Set the mood with music! - While watching the game may be a necessity for the men at the get together, that doesn't mean you have to listen to the football jargon too. Grab a small speaker and turn on some tunes that get you in the fall mood - we personally recommended using a music app on your phone to find the perfect mix!

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5. Keep calm and party on! - Keep things calm while entertaining with some soothing essential oils and a diffuser. Choose a calming scent, add a few drops, and set the vibe for the perfect party!

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Well, that's how we keep things festive during fall... but we'd love to hear how you indulge this time of year! Leave a comment (or tweet @wejustknew) telling us all about your favorite foods, fun, and traditions to follow during fall below!

Oct 7, 2016

Super Simple DIY Toddler Sensory Toy #GerberWinWin




While our babe is itty bitty right now, we both know how quickly she will grow. Watching our nieces and nephews grow up proves how quickly it really will happen... Prime example: I swear our youngest niece was just born yesterday and she's already over 6 months old! With her on her way into town for a little visit, we've been thinking of ways that we can entertain her active little mind and also exercising our creative parenting brain.

Keep your little one's brain active and their appetite satisfied with this Gerber Lil Beanies inspired DIY sensory toy! #GerberWinWin

We actually had some delicious Gerber Lil' Beanies on hand from our other niece's recent visit and since those didn't last long with her munching on them during her visit, we had a nearly empty container. You know all creative toddlers (and parents) love an empty container so we started thinking and that led to crafting up a fun little activity for our littlest niece.

Keep your little one's brain active and their appetite satisfied with this Gerber Lil Beanies inspired DIY sensory toy! #GerberWinWin

If you want to give your little one a snack, while also creating a fun activity to keep their brain engaged, this Gerber Lil' Beanies-inspired sensory play toy is the perfect mix of both.

Keep your little one's brain active and their appetite satisfied with this Gerber Lil Beanies inspired DIY sensory toy! #GerberWinWin

For this project you will need:

An empty Gerber Lil Beanies container
Items to decorate the container (scrapbook paper, ribbon, stickers, etc)
Scissors
Pipe Cleaners

This project is fairly simple but oh so fun for a little one to help you with. You'll begin by measuring the scrapbook paper to make it a perfect fit for the Lil Beanies container. You can cut while they decide on what to add to the paper, stickers, ribbon, etc...

Keep your little one's brain active and their appetite satisfied with this Gerber Lil Beanies inspired DIY sensory toy! #GerberWinWin

Once the paper is cut use tape or glue to adhere to the container and decorate until satisfied. I suggest while the kiddos are decorating you use a pair of scissors on the plastic lid of the Beanies container to make small holes.

Keep your little one's brain active and their appetite satisfied with this Gerber Lil Beanies inspired DIY sensory toy! #GerberWinWin

Now cut the pipe cleaners in half and start poking them through the holes. Threading them, poking all the same colors on one side, etc. There's several different ways to make this little "toy" a little learning game for a toddler.

Keep your little one's brain active and their appetite satisfied with this Gerber Lil Beanies inspired DIY sensory toy! #GerberWinWin

So tell me, do you have any DIY sensory toys or little activities you like to do with your little one? With Delainey growing up quickly we'd love to have a stash of craft ideas to make with her so please leave me a little comment about your favorite in the comments below! Also, don't miss your chance to save on Gerber Lil' Beanies - click here to redeem your Ibotta reward!