My 2017 Word of the Year

I’ve done typical New Year’s Resolutions posts in the past, and when a year goes by and I don’t end up ticking items off the list, it makes me feel meh. So, I embraced choosing a word of the year two years ago, and I really like having one word to sort of guide my intentions for the next 365 days. Without further ado, here is 2017’s word!

Move.

To move more and to be moved, emotionally. To find a new, spacious, and safe dwelling for my family. To put things in motion. To progress, to move forward, to break stagnant cycles and find a way to flourish in change. To put one foot in front of the other. To propel, to guide, to lead, to charge ahead, to be confident in the movement I set in motion in mind and body.

To trust the process. To trust the pain, the difficult parts, to see them for what they are, momentary lapses of contentment, momentary lapses of stability. To trust myself, in both intellect and spirit, to make decisions that move ME and not just those around me.

To move toward a greater good, for me, for my family, for my community. To move in action. To move in prosperity, in success, in seeking, in questioning, in advocating, in analyzing. To move toward what is right, to advocate and assert, to move confidently in confronting things I know are wrong. To move deeper into love, into gratitude, into reflection. 

JobsQuotte

What’s your word for 2017?

Oh Baby: Cyber Monday Deals on Amazon for New Parents

I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper, but as a child of the Interwebz, I am indeed a Cyber Monday shopper. Here are some Amazon deals for your munchkins that caught my eye as I was pregaming tonight.

My father in law bought this for Holly and she’s obsessed with it. It’s a steal at this price and perfect for kiddos 5 months and beyond. She’s played with this a solid six months now and is still going strong. The interactive panel pops off which is great to take into a restaurant or for long car trips.

Holly got this for her birthday from her friend Sam because Sam loves it. Well, I can see why. The ears and tail wag and dance, and the front lights up with different colors to the techno rave beats. Parents will be raving as their little one wiggles and grooves to this sweet little pup, now just $14.99, usually $20 when it’s on sale at Target, $29.99 not on sale.

If you’re a parent, you’ll eventually grow tired of A is for Apple, B is for Boy, D is for Duck, etc. B. Toys nails it with their quirky style – for example, on these blocks, Y isn’t for Yellow, it’s for Yak. These blocks are squishy and adorable and also getting lots of mileage on them and have been for several months. Usually they’re $14.99 on Amazon and today they’re just $8.87. Score!


I just ordered this, because less than $30 for a Little Tikes play kitchen is ridiculous. I used to work for Little Tikes and these products last frickin’ forever. Fun fact; they used to be owned by the Rubbermaid company, which is why everything is so durable! This kitchen comes fully assembled and arrives with 32 fun little accessories like plastic cups and plates. It’s meant for 2 years and up, so if your little one will be playing with it and is younger, you just need to keep a closer eye on them as it’s designed for slightly more developed kiddos. Safety first!

This is one of those things I never would have thought we’d need. Sure enough, kids are small spinning wobbles of mayhem, and one conk on the faucet and you’ve got a screamer. I love Boon’s design (we have their “grass” drying rack, too), and this faucet protector looks sleek, protects noggins, and dispenses bubble bath, too.


These things are awesome if you have a baby that likes to throw things. Holly must be practicing her pitching skills because she loooves throwing her pacifiers and sippies and toys, and we’re not always within easy access to a sink to rinse said item off. Enter water wipes! Just water, the wipe, and a tiny bit of food-safe fruit oil for preservation. My mama friend Lindsay turned me onto these and they’re a lifesaver. They’re spendy compared to other wipes but a package of these in the diaper bag is very helpful. Good price on them today, too!

Also, even if you’re not a new parent, don’t forget to check out the Pop Sugar Must Have box! I got my box this week and it’s PACKED with awesome things that retail for over $150 total in value. My favorite is a palette by Stowaway cosmetics that you can see here. Use the link here for $5 off! PopSugar MustHave sends me the box gratis in exchange for social media coverage. 🙂 You’ll love it!

PSSST don’t forget to use ebates when you’re shopping online today! It doesn’t work on Amazon, but it regularly has deals like 10% cash back at Groupon, etc. ebates is one of those things that sounds scammy but is totally legit. I’ve pocketed back $211 since I started using it last year. You can also install their quick and easy browser bar that will pop up whenever you’re on a site that gives you cash back. Sign up now – here’s $10 back to get you started!

Things I’m grateful for.

On Thanksgiving (well, everyday, really), I try to think about what I have in my life that I’m grateful for. They’re not all deep, profound heartwarming things, for example, I’m grateful for my body pillow, the longer battery life on the iPhone 7, and It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Hair Conditioner. Here’s a list of things that make me super grateful.

What things can you think about that you’re grateful for, too?

(Side note: I’ve been focusing on gratitude a lot the past few years. It’s an excellent way to move past feelings of anxiety or stress. Try it sometime — when you’re freaking out about say, your car having to go to the shop for another crazy fix (yes, it sucks – my AC is out), be glad you have a (usually) running car and access to a good mechanic. It can feel a little bit Pollyanna, but gratitude and the reminder that someone is ALWAYS unfortunately struggling more than you are can really help you turn around a sour mood.)

  • Holly and Matt. These two are my sun and stars and my biggest fan club. Baby giggles can turn me from Grinch to shiny sunflower, and my hubby is pretty much the kindest (and smartest) person I know. It’s been awesome turning into a parent with him as a partner. Plus, he has a great butt.
  • My parents (Lynn, Bill, Mike, and Angel Shirley). Seeing these three become grandparents has been a great source of joy. (And I know my MIL Shirley is around somewhere, watching over us.) Our parents are always hooking it up with babysitting and baby clothes and gifts, advice, and love. It takes a village to raise a baby and thank goodness we have supportive, loving parents.
  • My siblings April and Tommy. April would give you the shirt off her back with no questions asked in freezing weather, and Tommy is always the first to tell you he loves you and why. My parents did good… they have some amazing kids.
  • My bestie Katelyn. We’ve been pals since the sixth grade. She’s the funniest person I know! Even though I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like, we never struggle with reconnecting when we finally get together on the phone.
  • My dear friends. I am blessed to have several close friends (and I’m not calling them out by name because knowing me I’ll forget someone). These people have made our transplanted home in Los Angeles truly feel like HOME and for that I am so grateful.
  • My mommy tribe. I couldn’t have gotten through pregnancy and year one without the help of my girlfriends. There’s nothing in life like someone saying “Oh yeah? Me too!”. Plus, it’s nice to have people to text in the wee morning hours when your kid won’t go back to sleep and you’re four minutes away from losing your sanity.
  • My job. I’m approaching three years at Event 360, and being out on our 3-Day event in San Diego this past weekend was a heartwarming reminder that the work I get to do is not only super fun, it MATTERS. I work with a group of kind, talented individuals, and for that, I am grateful. I’m also grateful that I found a career path I love. Social media and copywriting are the bee’s frickin’ knees.
  • My blog. Blogging and social media has opened up so many doors for me, in terms of opportunities, endeavors, and padding my bank account. I never dreamed these little blogs would be a small source of income, and that’s awesome. THANK YOU for reading. You guys clicking links and reading just helped me pay for a root canal. (Nothing like a good cause, eh? Haha.)
  • My health. I’m always a work in progress, but despite some annoying small things like a heel spur, needing a root canal, and the persistent weight problem, I’m healthy. Working with a group of people afflected by a devastating disease is a sad reminder that health is usually taken for granted until it’s gone. This body of mine though imperfect, works, walks, moves, and celebrates life.
  • The Internet. From Reddit to cat memes to safety pins to mannequin challenges to Lightning deals, I frickin’ love the Internet. Yes, deep, dark harbored secrets and horrible things happen on the Internet but… for the most part, this is an incredible communication and information tool that has changed the way we live.

So those are the big things. I have A LOT to be grateful for.

Here are some of the smaller, sillier things I’m grateful for, too.

  1. PG Tips Tea. I fell in love with this tea on a trip to London in 2000, and I’ve had a cup every morning since. It’s strong. Super strong. And it’s awesome.
  2. The smell of orange blossoms on a summer day.
  3. When you get in a tunnel with a bunch of other cars in traffic and all the cars start honking just because.
  4. Slippers.
  5. Purring cats.
  6. The Pantsuit Nation Facebook group.
  7. My blogging mastermind group.
  8. A good yoga class.
  9. Writing.
  10. When your jeans feel a little bit looser.
  11. Freshly washed sheets with freshly shaved legs.
  12. When people you don’t know start liking your comment on a friend’s Facebook post.
  13. Plums.
  14. Allergy medication.
  15. Busting the mental health stigma.
  16. Gel manicures
  17. Sunshine
  18. Sarcasm
  19. Back Up Cameras in newer cars. (I’ve been driving a lot of rental cars lately, and man, this is nice. Makes me want a new car… but not a car payment.)
  20. Browsing real estate apps for my future house. (Yep — hopefully this is happening in 2017!)
  21. Getting real mail.
  22. Extra percent off clearance sales
  23. Baby hats
  24. Tubing Mascara (You literally just pull the mascara off your lashes in the shower. Perfect for sensitive, runny eyes like mine, and no mess to have to rub off with soap or anything. This one is only $8.)
  25. My personal trainers who were mean yet simultaneously awesome because they demoted me from mayor of Excuses Village and got me into shape.
  26. Sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar and marshmallows.
  27. Silicon Valley (the show.)
  28. My neighbors
  29. The beach
  30. Baby babbling
  31. Clementines
  32. State Parks
  33. Doing a good parallel parking job
  34. That feeling of reading a book so good you can’t put it down.
  35. Dark chocolate chips with a cold glass of milk.
  36. The person reading this blog post right now.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend. Thank you so much for being you, for putting out into the world who YOU ARE and your own individual contributions. You rock.

 

All the things (kind of) – Pic’s Peanut Butter, Shiftcon Giveaway, Momming, etc.

I finally have five minutes to catch my breath so here I am – whewww! Being a working mama, blogger, wife, friend, and somebody trying to get in charge of their health means there’s barely any time for anything anymore. But, I’m not going to preach to the choir because I know we are all busy, busy, busy! I wanted to share a few things with you today that have been on my mind lately!

  • The first is, this article that my friend Melanie shared about being a mom. I’m almost one year into this whole being a mom thing (how is that even possible?!), and I love it, but it IS hard. You’re in charge of raising a person – and if you want that person to be kind, smart, sensible, curious, and funny, it’s a whole lot of work. This article is something I feel like every parent needs to read, and remember, that it’s ok if dinner is a mish-mash of whatever’s left in the fridge or if you relied on Sesame Street a little too much last weekend. It happens. Be kind to yourself. I’m seeing a lot of my friends tackle parenthood too, and we all need to remember it’s ok not to be perfect or not to know what the heck you’re doing. None of us do 🙂 Read and enjoy!
  • I walked the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s 5k Walk a few weekends ago with my dear friend AJ. I am humbled and overjoyed to say that with your help, we raised over $3,000 towards mental health awareness and suicide prevention in America. Heck yeah! You all know I’ve “come out of the darkness” about my struggles with anxiety, and now it’s time for me hold up a light for anybody who is struggling and doesn’t feel like they can come forward. You matter, you count, and you can do hard things.
  1. I shamelessly stole this from AJ's blog. She won't mind. Or maybe she will, but either way, her epic fanny pack and our beautiful team just must be shared.

I shamelessly stole this photo from AJ’s blog. She won’t mind. Or maybe she will, but either way, her epic fanny pack and our beautiful team just must be shared.

  • A few weeks ago, I was gifted some Australian Pic’s Peanut Butter to try out and report back on. Pic’s stomps the competition (cough cough Jif and Peter Pan and Skippy) because they use hi-oleic peanuts. I can’t explain what that is very well, so I’m going to use the wonderful copy from their homepage: “Living, as you do, in the spiritual home of peanut butter, you can, if you poke around a bit, find an extraordinary variety of peanut butters and peanut oil. So why on earth should you buy peanut butter from the other side of the world? Because you won’t find any American peanut butters quite like ours. Despite the fact that our Hi-oleic nuts were developed in the US, they just can’t be grown in America. It’s something to do with cross pollination with ordinary peanuts that makes them revert within a season. The trick is to declare your whole country Hi-oleic, which is what Australia and Argentina have done. Argentinian Hi-oleics are, however, harvested younger than their Australian cousins, making them sweeter, but with a less intense flavour.” Ok, so that’s all well and good, but let’s talk about how it tastes! In one word: PURE. When you try Pic’s, you get that uncontested, 100% smooth and silky peanutty flavor. There’s literally nothing in this peanut butter other than peanuts and salt. That’s it! Two things! So when our pediatrician wanted us to start Holly on peanuts before her one year birthday to prevent allergy, we started with Pic’s. The lil’ dear loved it, of course, and now I’ve been having a delicious peanut butter toast for breakfast each morning. It’s non-GMO, 30% pure protein, with no preservatives, elmusifiers, flavorings, or weird stuff. The website is adorable, and you can score Pic’s for $8 a jar. I have a recipe I’ll share soon for no-bake Oat truffles made with Pic’s, but it’s not perfect yet, so you’ll have to wait  a bit. But you know what is perfect? Pic’s. Get you some!  (In the spirit of honesty, I was sent the three jars below for free, but as usual, I only write about stuff I actually like on my blogs!)

peanuts

  • I’m going to New Orleans in December for Shiftcon, and I’ve been chosen as a Shiftcon Leader. Basically, a Shiftcon Leader means I’ll bring people together at the conference and help us all make connections, because despite our ‘shades of green’ (I’m light green, for example), we all have so much to learn from each other. Leah, the founder of Shiftcon, is generously giving away one FULL CONFERENCE TICKET to a Double Chin Diary or Lalalyssa reader! You’ll have to pay for your own transportation and lodging to New Orleans (Dec 1 -3), but you’ll get paid back in tons of information, networking, amazing swag (my sister April still raves about the swag she got in 2014), and time to hang out with me and lots of other wonderful online people. Join us! Want your chance to win? Easy, folks – just tell me in the comments section why YOU want to go to Shiftcon! This giveaway will end at 12 AM on Saturday, 10/29. So that’s soon! Hurry up and leave a comment now!
ShiftCon

 

  •  I can’t wait for the election to be over. #ImWithHer, but if you’re not, fine, but make sure you vote! It wasn’t that long ago that women didn’t have the right to vote. Do your part, your civic duty, and make sure you go to your polling place or get your ballots in by November 8. (Also: My daughter will start the first day of her second year of life with a new president elect! Cool! I just hope it’s not Trump.

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  • Lastly, getting mail that’s not bills or store circulars is THE BEST! I laugh because my husband and I always ask “Did I get any good mail?”. Usually, we don’t, but once a month, I get a fabulous pink box and I know it’s my Pop Sugar Must Have box. The box is $39.99 and usually is filled with items that total well over $120. This month’s box came with a Lisa Sugar (founder of PopSugar) book, a Makeup Eraser, A Revlon Eyeliner, A Bath Oil, A tin of dark chocolate drinking powder, and an adorable mug. PopSugar sent me this month’s box to try, and if you’re interested, you can use code SHOP5 for $5 off by clicking this link. Here’s an example of what came in the June 2016 box, and I’m sharing some photos from this month’s box on my Instagram @lyssacurran. 175764eb_mh16_june_reveal_post_1456x1000

 

That’s all I have, friends! I’ve been wanting to put down a blog post about some of the things that helped us as new parents survive the first year of my kid’s life, so hopefully I’ll get around to that before another month passes. DON’T FORGET TO TELL ME WHY YOU WANT TO COME TO SHIFTCON! <3 Hope you’re all having the best October ever!

 

Alyssa

 

 

Four things Friday

So, I’m cheating because it’s actually the last hour of Thursday night, but chances are you will be reading this Friday morning, hence my four things Friday title. You know, a brilliant webby friend of mine once said I need to stop using cute catchy subjects and instead do SEO-rich titles. He is right and I agree with him usually but sometimes, you write something just because you want to and your SEO rank at that moment doesn’t matter. Like right now! But anyways, here’s four things on my mind:

1) #DescribeYourselfInThreeFictionalCharacters
I like silly memes, because that’s a large part of what the Internet is great for: cats sitting on Roombas and double rainbows. So when this challenge popped up, of course I had to contribute. Here’s me, in 3 fictional characters.
screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-11-16-50-pm

2. One of the things that I suffered from during pregnancy was major prego brain — and the little brain storage vault it affected most were my passwords to online accounts. I typically keep a spreadsheet on my computer, but now that I’m back and forth between laptop and cell phone and iPad so much, I decided I needed something handwritten. Enter this handy, inexpensive, and cute little solution: the password journal! Thank you, wonderful password journal maker, for helping a gal out. (And yes, that’s an affiliate link, so blah blah the usual gist about how I’ll make 1c if someone buys it.)

3. I’m still working out with a personal trainer and I have ALL THE SORENESS. Especially in my quads. Squat goals, am I right? Anyways, do you guys know the miracle of epsom salts? Cheap, fun to pour into the bath tub, and really helps soothe your aches and ailments. This is 31: extra creaky. Get you some.

4. I’m walking in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention “Out of the Darkness” Walk in Santa Monica on October 15. If you’re local, I would love to have you join me on the walk. Please also consider making a small donation (Even $5 is put towards life-saving treatment.) Let’s end the stigma: more now than ever, people need our open arms so that we can tackle this public health problem head-on.

5. BONUS! It was only supposed to be four things, and you get FIVE! Poor Harambe – but oh, Internet, how you just keep going with the jokes. By the way, my patronus is an otter. What’s yours?

Happy Friday, friends! Watch this space and the Double Chin Diary soon for a feature about PCOS (it’s PCOS awareness month!) and a yummy new recipe featuring Sambazon, Bob’s Red Mill, and Pic’s Peanut Butter.

 

Six Things Sunday

I just ate a super delicious dinner of ribs, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, and I’m lying in my bed thinking, “Hmm, what do I want to do with my Sunday night?” And then I heard this sad little voice call from the corner of my mind, “Blog! On lalalyssa!”. So here I be, regaling you all with exciting tales from my life. Or, six things on my mind this Sunday. Whatever works, right?!

1) You should enter to win a yummy little prize package of pot de creme and cookies from San Francisco based company Petit Pot! I’m hosting this on my other blog and believe me when I tell you these desserts are luxe and well worth every single “my jeans are tight” moment.

2) This meme made me LOL for real, not just in my head. It’s pretty much how I felt on Friday after a super busy week.

3) I’m seeing Radiohead on Thursday night! I somehow got lucky and was able to buy tickets in the lottery they held, and I can’t wait! I’ve never seen them before, and my dear sister is graciously watching our kiddo. If you haven’t heard any of the new Radiohead, here’s one of my favorite new songs. (The video is a little bit sinister, but it’s really cool claymation.)

4) I was one of the 215,000 people who bought an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker on Amazon Prime Day, and I am in love. I was skeptical before I hit the buy button and wondered if it would collect dust in the corner of my cabinet like the ill-fated panini press or even my industrial sized food processor, but this thing is magic. I made Spaghetti Squash in 8 minutes start to finish, sweet potatoes tonight in 7, Rice in 12 minutes, a bolognese pasta in 30 minutes (including meat), and a pot roast in 40 minutes. I’ll write a blog post later on about the full wizardry of this appliance, because despite initial fears about blowing up the house, this appliance deserves a spot in kitchens across the country. Thanks to What I Run Into for helping me make the decision to invest!

5) I had the opportunity to watch From Fat to Finish Line, and I was so happy to see a documentary about a team of people from all across America who lost a ton of weight running the Ragnar Relay together. (Side note: two of my blog friends have run the Ragnar, and it looks so fun! Maybe one day if I find enjoyment in running I’d consider doing it… today is not that day 🙂 )  I think what I loved most is that the group had two people on their team who were still in their “during” phase of weight loss, and they spoke candidly about how it felt to be on a fitness journey surrounded by “afters”. I found their stories to all be really inspiring when many obesity documentaries can come off too dramatic and sinister. The fact is obesity is a serious problem many of us are facing (yours truly) and while there’s no denying the health risks or dire state of emergency we’re in, I like it when a documentary or film can add some levity along with the overall “This is why you need to change” message. I’d highly recommend From Fat to Finish Line, especially if you’re into running!

Here's one of my favorite people from the doc, Carly.

Here’s one of my favorite people from the doc, Carly.

6) It took me an embarrassingly long time to find this cat. See if you can do any better.

Find a cat from pics


 

That’s all, folks. Happy Monday to ya!

Reverse your Monday Meh

Hello friends! Here are a few things that made me smile from around the web last week. May they reverse the meh in your Monday, and make you smile. There’s a lot of ugliness happening in our world, and while those events shouldn’t be diminished or shadowed by frivolous stuff on blogs like this, there’s also something to be said for trying to recognize the good. Pretty much what Sandra Boynton said.

 

  1. Tiny harvest mouse climbs a dandelion

     

     

 

 

India planted 50,000,000 trees to combat climate change.

 

Oliver has been wearing his kitty convict collar for a few months now. I love the idea from the Oatmeal!

Cats and fitness. ‘Nuff said.

floof pool party

Floof Party!

And there you go. Happy Monday!

Haruhonpo Big Zipper Backpack Review: Mama’s New Diaper Bag

When I saw my friend Chris review a Haruhonpo Backpack and Toddler Backpack, I knew I wanted to try one out, too. Picking a diaper bag was a challenge for me, as I’m a one purse all year kind of gal. (Lots of gals swap out purses depending on seasons. I find one and love it until it’s tattered and frayed, like my current Marc Jacobs that I’ve had for… wait for it… five years.) I initially chose and received a Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag, and while it’s fine, it just didn’t feel right. I’m really into multiple pouches to hold items, and I love different pockets and zippered sections. This bag was a little more stiff than I’d like, but like I said, I’m super picky about bags, and the Skip Hop just wasn’t cutting it for me, but at the time I couldn’t justify going for a spendy Kate Spade or Coach diaper bag. (Which in hindsight was kind of silly, because I’ll hunt down my perfect purse and splurge, if I know I’ll use it for years — and let’s face it, my diaper bag is basically my new purse.)

I eventually stumbled upon a Kipling Diaper Bag marked down for $36 (Score!) and this became my default bag. The fabric is much slouchier and there’s several pockets and zipped sections, perfect for all my neurotic stockpiling which becomes highly necessary for the care and transport of a tiny human. I thought I had a pretty good fit for my new diaper bag until I received my Haruhonpo backpack. I chose this gorgeous print called Water Paint, which is feminine and springy with lots of coral pink accents.Haru Water Paint

Before I received it, I thought it looked nice, but wasn’t expecting what I got. Holy features, batman. In addition to being super luxe, soft, and LIGHT, there’s about ten millions hidden features jammed inside this soft pack. To list a few, we’re talking about an insulated section that will keep your lunch cool, two removable matching pouches, a total of 13 compartments, a key fob, chest strap, ultra-lined back straps, water bottle pockets, and a key fob. It’s also this slick fabric that wipes clean super easily and is fairly stain resistant — very important when you’re carting a baby around.

Back of the Big  Zipper Backpack - Note the secret zip compartment and plush straps.

Back of the Big Zipper Backpack – Note the secret zip compartment and plush straps.

We had a Mexican vacation coming up (spoiler alert: it was awesome), and we took this bag to Mexico for one primary reason: I knew I’d be doing a lot of babywearing in Mexico, and last time I tried to have Holly in the carrier and my diaper bag on my shoulder? Disaster. Hauling a 17 pound kiddo on your chest and a packed diaper bag on your arm is a pain in the you know what. So I knew a backpack would be ideal while baby wearing — making excellent use of my bod’s real estate for ultimate functionality. This bag truly was a win for us, and the size was just big enough to store all of my Bumkins Travel Pouches, blankets, toys, and formula. Matt even wore the backpack throughout the trip and didn’t even seem bothered by the girly print, noting its cushy comfort. (Pssst – I wrote a blog post about flights with babies here, where I list a couple other favorites.)

This backpack went international -- to Mexico! Loving my Haruhonpo Water Paint Backpack.

This backpack went international — to Mexico! Loving my Haruhonpo Water Paint Backpack. Photo by LynnetteJoyPhotgraphy.com. 

You can even score a matching mini backpack for your kiddo — and while the water paint print isn’t available yet for littles (I hope it will be in a year or so!), there are lots of other adorable Mommy n’ Me prints, like the chocolate sweetheart that Chris and her gal got, or the denim yellow dot that I almost got.

Matching Mommy and Me Backpacks by Haruhonpo

Matching Mommy and Me Backpacks by Haruhonpo

If you’re in the market for a super functional and cute baby bag, consider Haruhonpo. They also make travel bags, tote bags, and different kinds of backpacks. The Big Zipper Backpack retails for $135, which is a good price considering how multi-functional the bag is. This is pretty much the Birkin of backpacks, people. If you’re interested in having your own Haru’ one day, “Like” their Facebook page. They ran a 25% off sale on Mother’s Day, which is a great savings on a great bag. Hip hip hooray for Haru!

(PS word nerds will be interested to know that Haru means Spring in Japan. Perfect for these light and cheerful bags.)

Disclosure: I received a complimentary backpack in exchange for my honest review. There are also a few affiliate links scattered in here which means I might make 3c if you click on them. 🙂

Keep Your Baby Moving with Wellements Baby Move

Rice cereal. Pears. Bananas. Apples. Sweet Potatoes. Avocado. Oats. Peas. These are all of the delicious first foods that my daughter has tried; most, resulting in a very messy face and sticky fingers, and sometimes, screams of anger when the food is all gone. (Ah, like mother, like daughter.) While it’s been so fun seeing my baby discover the joy of taste buds, it’s caused one problem: constipation.

When you’re a new parent, you’re suddenly all about poop. Poop becomes this news-worthy event, because your pediatrician emphasizes at their many appointments to track the frequency, the color, the consistency. Yes, I know it’s gross and possibly TMI. However, as my mom used to say, even the Queen of England poops, and I also know that bowel movements point out the health and status of bodily functions in all of us – from newborn to geriatric. When my little lady started solids, her frequency slowed down and she started to strain, looking very uncomfortable as the days went on. My lovable angelic daughter turned into a certified crankmonster, and the timing of this event just happened to line up with her first flight, a very short (and I’m very sarcastic) four hour flight to Chicago.  We tried prune baby food with no luck. We tried diluted apple juice with no luck. We had some success with pureed peaches, but it didn’t do the trick. Enter Baby Move by Wellements.

Lalalyssa_Wellements_BabyMove

I discovered Baby Move at ExpoWest in March – a giant natural foods and products expo. I had been familiar with Wellements Gripe Water before; Gripe water saved our hides when Holly was a gassy newborn. They gave me a sample of Baby Move to try, and the timing was perfect. It’s made up of prebiotics and an organic prune juice, and can be mixed with breast milk, formula, juice, or water. It’s free of gluten, soy, added sugars, and artificial flavors and colors. Because I’ve tasted everything Holly eats (except breast milk or formula. No thanks!), I tried Baby Move. It’s just a slightly sweet prune juice taste – yummy and baby friendly.

WellementsBabyMove2

We used it two times in a two day period, mixed with Holly’s formula, and by the second day, the problem was solved.  My cranky, gassy baby was back to her sweet smiling self, thanks to no longer having a tummy ache.

WellementsBabyMove

You store the Baby Move in the fridge up to four weeks after you open it, and it’s in a sturdy glass bottle so there’s no confusing it with your soy sauce or anything like that. You should also look into the Wellements Organic Gripe Water and Teeth Relief. We just tried the teeth relief, and it’s basically clove essential oil; perfect for soothing irritated little gums.

Because it’s no fun to rave about a product and then leave you hangin’, Wellements has joined with Lalalyssa to give away one new parent starter kit. This kit includes a full-sized Baby Move, a full-sized Teeth Relief, a full-sized Organic Gripe Water, and an adorable “Birth: Nailed It!” onesie. Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below, and I’ll pick a winner in two weeks. 18+ and sorry, no Hawaii or Alaska entrants. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This product was provided to me free of charge for a detailed write-up on my blog in exchange for compensation. Compensation for review posts helps keep LaLaLyssa.com up and running by covering maintenance fees and expenditures. All opinions are my own.

Five Essential Tips for Baby’s First Flight

It’s happened. You need to go somewhere, somewhere you can’t get to by car, and you have a BABY. *Imagine horror music playing* Well; here’s the good news — it’s a little bit nervewracking, but with a few tricks, you’ll have a smooth little flyer, and can sit back in your tiny seat and relax, knowing that you’ve got the infant on an airplane skill on lock.

Most of your success on the flight will be your attitude. Accept right now that you will be nervous and stressed. It’s hard for fully-grown adults to travel on a plane, so when you add a tiny human who requires tons of supplies for simple maintenance? Mega stress. Add to that a set of fully-formed pipes, ready to spout off at any minute or the slightest change in cabin pressure, and yep, you can see why it feels like you’re walking from the gate onto a personal flying tin can of Hell. But, in my experience, even though my five month old daughter made her fair share of noise, it wasn’t THAT bad, and I credited it with a few of these tips I pulled together from various sources.

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  1. 1. Pack your normal diaper bag supplies, and then multiply that times two. Do you normally bring two bottles of ready made formula? Bring four. Normally bring four diapers? Bring eight. You don’t want to be caught red-handed in the middle of the sky without enough food for your wailing baby, or worse, in the midst of a blowout. Be like the girlscouts, and prepare. Also, make sure you love your diaper bag. Nothing sucks more than having to rely on a bag you don’t love. (I’m rocking the Haruhonpo Big Top Zipper Backpack in Watercolor Flower) (Bonus tip: I was gifted these Bumkins clear travel pouches at an event and immediately went out and bought another set. It made digging through the diaper bag sooo much easier when I could just see what I needed. I used one pouch for diaper supplies, one for pacifiers and teethers, and one for food items like formula/crackers/bottles.)
  2. Plan to nurse or feed at take off. Little ears are very sensitive to the fluctuating pressure, and swallowing or sucking helps babies neutralize that pressure. If your kiddo uses pacifiers, bring like five. I’m not kidding. My baby loves pacis, and more than once, they fell on to the plane floor and I was so glad I had a back up. (The second flight home, I had gotten smart and bought one of these bad boys, a pacifier clip) If shit really hits the fan and you suspect ears are the problem, bring Baby Tylenol or Gripe Water.
  3. Buy an inexpensive new toy…and save it for the minute that the fussmonster emerges. Holly is really into crinkly things, and I found this cute little caterpillar at TJ Maxx for $4.99. It was worth every penny when the shrieking began and I was able to crinkle this little bundle of fabric into her face and elicit instant grabby coos. I’m also a big fan of the O ball, which is inexpensive and easy for kiddos to grab.
  4. If your kiddo is eating solids, bring something relatively new on the plane to feed them. Of course, you want to choose something the kid has already eaten because god forbid you experience an allergy up in the air, but, in our case, Holly had been eating rice cereal, so we tried dissolvable teething biscuits. She loooooved them, and though it was messy, it was worth the distraction to have her happily munching on her biscuits. I don’t think I’d do a jar of food because then would be an insane mess in such a tiny space, but maybe if your kid uses the squeezy pouches or a fresh food feeder, it’d be worth it.
  5. Have a sense of humor. Look, stuff is going to happen. Your baby might scream the whole duration of the four hour flight. He or she might accidentally pull the toupee off the kind gentlemen sitting next to you. He might scream and kick the person in front of you’s seat for the whole flight. But you know what? You’ll get through it. Have a sense of humor. When Holly shrieked, my mom and I were nervously hysterical, glancing surreptitious side eyes around our neighbors and feeling bad. But did we survive? Yes. Did anyone say anything? No. Babies cry. It’s a fact of life. In fact, on both of our flights, we were delighted how generally pleasant everyone was around us, interesting in talking to Holly or asking about her age. Everyone has been a baby at some point, so it is what it is. If you’re really nervous, make your sense of humor apparent. Dress your baby in a shirt that says “Congratulations! You have the honor of sitting by me!”, or pass out little packets of inexpensive ear plugs to the people around you.

Above all, have fun. Remember that your baby is experiencing the wonder of air travel for the first time. While the stale smells, cramped spaces, rumbling engine, and ear popping are all old hat for you, they’re new and exciting for your little bright eyes. Some airlines will even give your child a 1st Flight Certificate (Southwest) and wings. Now that’s cool!

Parents, do you have any tips that has helped you with kids on flights? Share in the comments, and BON VOYAGE!

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