Monday, January 30, 2017

All the Details You Need to Host the Prettiest Baby Shower

This is the season of life where all of our friends are having babies, have newborns, or are newly expecting a little one.  Baby showers are one of my favorite events to plan and attend.  There's something so exciting about showering a mama-to-be, from all of the cute baby gifts and pretty decor to celebrating the upcoming new baby.  Today, I'm sharing my favorite shops to plan the prettiest baby shower that I just know you will love too! 

Baby Shower Invites - Paperless Post has hundreds of baby shower invites, each one prettier than the next!  I love that there is an option to send via email, as well as paper printed. Whatever your theme, Paperless Post has an invite for everything.  There are options for baby boys, baby girls, or a surprise!  Some of my favorites are below, including one for daddies-to-be!  They also have great invitations for birthday parties, holiday cards, and much more. 

I absolutely love this book themed one, so perfect if you chose to include a note for your guests to bring a book for baby's library!

You know a daddy-to-be would love this one to enjoy a day with friends.  

I love this floral themed invite - so pretty! 

I love the idea of a sip and see once the baby is born and this stork theme is too sweet!

Baby Shower Attire - PinkBlush has a great selection of maternity & women's clothing - so stylish and so affordable!  I love this polka dot dress for mamas-to-be and I'd love to wear this button sash dress as a guest. It's so fun to get all dressed up, isn't it?

Baby Shower Decor- I love party decorations and these sweet paper garlands are the perfect touch of color and can be used in the baby's nursery afterwards. Fun balloons and tissue garlands are always great options too.  I also love sweet favors such as these mini soy candles or sugar scrubs, just a little something that your guests can enjoy afterwards. You also can't go wrong with some pretty  floral centerpieces and a special diaper cake.

Baby showers are SO fun to plan! Thanks for reading along and I hope I inspired you to plan the prettiest one! XO

Monday, January 2, 2017

Simple Resolutions To Make Your Mind + Heart Happy

Happy New Year!  I hope you enjoyed your holidays with family, friends, and lots of yummy food!  I took a quick break to enjoy time with my little ones and I'm back feeling refreshed ;)  Today, I'm sharing some simple resolutions that are easy to keep while making you feel accomplished.  I'm not huge on resolutions and while some are thrown to the side at times, I normally try to be mindful of simple ones that make lives easier + more enjoyable. 

Be Organized 
Organization is something I crave and it makes my mind and heart happy.  Since having two busy little ones and being married to the most unorganized man ever (#truth), I have lost my ducks-in-a-row-mojo.  I'm striving to get it back and I know how much clarity and peace it brings to my life so this is my biggest resolution this year. My STARTplanner is legit, you guys.  There's literally a page and space for everything. Everything.  In the Hustle Daily Planner, everything from monthly finance spreadsheets, top three of the day to water goals are planned down to the hour in an organized, clean way.  This is exactly what I need to keep me on top of birthdays, groceries, tutoring schedules and everyday activities.  There's also a business edition, which would be so great for working mamas or those with their own small businesses.  Not only is it gorgeous, but the pages are so clean and organized in the best possible way.  You need this in your life!!  And one of you lucky ones get the chance to win one at the end of this post! 

Donate More

Ever since I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I've been inspired to donate more and get rid of things we don't use or need anymore.  Everything from toys to clothes to kitchen items, I've been taking car loads to the thrift store at our church.  Although at times I feel bad about giving certain things away (there's really no reason for attachment for most things but I always feel a tinge of guilt) I know they are going to someone in need and that makes me feel so good to help.  Afterwards, I feel like I can breathe so much easier.  I plan on doing a big purge of all of our clothes (hello eighty five thousand random t-shirts in Rob's drawers) and that alone will be so fulfilling.  I tend to be a "keeper" and really, who am I kidding?  I'm pretty sure I won't be wearing my going out tops from college anytime soon ;)  If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it!

Cook More

For Christmas, I got Daphne Oz's new cookbook, The Happy Cook and I'm loving it.  I really enjoy cooking and while I cook often, I fall into the habit of making simple meals for Olivia and I if Rob isn't home or meals that are thrown together because I'm rushing after tutoring or being out for the day.  My plan is to try to meal plan more = less wasted food, more money saved, and to enjoy the cooking process.  Olivia loves to help in the kitchen and I hope to include her more as well.  In my STARTplanner, there's even a meal planning section so it couldn't be any easier to start now!

Be organized, donate, and cook more - my simple resolutions to make the mind + heart happy!  

Now, I can't wait to see who wins a brand new STARTplanner!!  Simply enter below and the winner will be notified by January 6, 2017.  Everyone who enters gets a free party download too!! If you're following along on Instagram, @thebirdsnestblog, be sure to comment with one goal for 2017 and score some extra entries on there as well! Winner must reside in the US. Good luck XOXO

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Britax Car Seat + Other Practical Gift Ideas for Little Ones

Hi friends! Is anyone else freaking out that there's only two weeks left until Christmas?! I'm just about finished shopping for the girls and can't wait to buy some goodies to fill up their stockings. Today, I'll be keeping with the want, need, wear, read theme while I'm sharing some practical gifts that are perfect for little ones.  

*Need* Britax car seat for children of all ages - Britax is rated the #1 brand in safety technology and is such a great investment for your child.  A car seat is something you will likely use every day (multiple times a day for us most days) and it's so important that your child is in a safe, reliable car seat.  With free 1-2 day delivery on most orders, you can't go wrong!  Psst...this is a great gift idea for grandparents or relatives who are asking for suggestions. 

*Want* Toys - Of course your little ones want something to play with!  Some of my favorite toys for my girls are from MASProductionArts.  These are Montessori inspired materials and Waldorf learning toys.  I love that these are technology free (read:imagination) and love supporting other mamas through their small businesses. This princess math sorting game is right up Olivia's alley. 

*Wear* I love pajamas!  Cozy pajamas are always on the top of my Christmas list and I love the tradition of opening brand new pajamas on Christmas Eve in anticipation for Santa's arrival.  These and these are some of my favorites for staying super cozy during the cold nights. 

*Read* We absolutely love books in our house and Olivia's closet is overflowing with all of our favorites.  I rotate them out according to season/holiday and we love getting fresh, new books to enjoy together. Bookroo is a monthly subscription service which features board books or picture books, perfectly curated for your little one. They also come wrapped.  A Christmas miracle ;) 

We met Santa today and these are secretly my favorite pictures!  I love looking back on them and know one day the girls will laugh, too! I'm going to leave this little gem with you...

Happy Shopping! XOXO

This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide - For Little Ones

Today I'm sharing my Holiday Gift Guide, specifically for little ones, and I can't wait to share some of my favorite small shops with you.  Sometimes it's so hard to know what to buy for infants, right?! I've complied a list of gifts that are both cute and practical...items that your little one will surely love! 'Tis the Season...

Joey Mae Handmade  - I absolutely love these bows!  All of the bows in Jennifer's shop are simple, classic and hand sewn.  Velvet and sailor bows are forever my weakness and these are so pretty.  Some of my favorites include the dark gold,  hunter green,  and red - perfect for the upcoming holidays! I love the sailor bows too, especially the berry,  chambray, and polka dots.  The quality is unsurpassed and each bow would be perfect the little lady in your life.  Joey Mae Handmade is also offering a great coupon code for 20% off your order - use code THEBIRDSNEST20 to stock up before the new year! 

Bannor Toys - Classic, hand crafted heirloom quality toys.  Each toy is made in the USA and created with organic wood, paint, and finish.  I love wooden toys and there's such a comfort knowing I'm giving my children something organic, hand crafted, free from chemicals and other harmful solvents.  Charlotte has this bunny teether and she loves it.  You can also throw it in the fridge or freezer for some cool relief for teething gums. My favorites for the holidays include their gingerbread rattle, wooden train ornament, and penguin teether.

Stella and Lu - The prettiest shop for blankets and lovey's for your little loves! You guys, there are so many gorgeous designs!! They have the softest backings ranging from minky, faux fur and llama! Some of my favorites for the holidays include the Christmas TartanSnow and Pine Triangles, and the Hot Pink Watercolor Floral.  The lovey's are the perfect size to throw in the diaper bag or snuggle up in the crib once they're a little older. A special little lovey is going in Charlotte's Christmas stocking.  Be sure to follow her on Instagram here for the cutest designs! 

Hemming Birds - A favorite shop of mine for bibs and burp clothes!  The cutest designs and they are so absorbent! The quality of their hand crafted designs shows and after multiple washes, they still look brand new!  I tend to put these on Charlotte as part of her outfit, not just for feedings, because they are just so cute.  My favorites include the little flamingos, honey bears, and the fairy dust.  Follow along with Hemming Birds on Instagram here.

Baby and The Fox - If your little one is teething, this is the shop for you!  The best quality teething necklaces and teethers.  I have this necklace and absolutely love it.  Charlotte loves it so much and will chew on it forever!  This teething toy is going in her Christmas stocking and I cannot wait until she sees it.  The beads are smooth silicone and vary in size and shape - perfect for little ones to explore and chomp down on.  Some of my other favorites include the hedgehog toy, silicone and wood teething necklace, and the sensory teether.  Follow along with the Baby and The Fox on Instagram here.  

Hot Bunz - Fresh, organic pants for little ones in oh so cute designs!! All HOTBUNZ pants are made with premium organic cotton that move with baby and stay in great shape.  Each pair is finished with a signature waistband and there are so many designs to choose from. I love that they feature a seamless front and back and are made from 100% certified organic cotton.  A few favorites of mine include the bee kind, sorbet onxy, and the twinkle - perfect for the holidays! Their luscious gift packaging makes this the perfect holiday gift!  Follow along with Hot Bunz on Instagram here.

I hope this holiday gift guide has inspired you to shop for some great gifts for your little ones and to shop small!  Would love to hear your picks! XO

Thursday, December 1, 2016

'Tis the Season - Cookie Swap Blog Hop

Ho Ho Ho! I'm so excited to be a part of this Cookie Swap Blog Hop! My friend Katie over at Mrs. Watkins has organized such a fun recipe swap and I can't wait to try all of them out! Today, I'll be sharing our favorite Cream Cheese cookie recipe that you'll want to make over and over for the holidays.  

Olivia helped me bake these and they are so moist, stay perfectly soft for days, and are just sweet enough to enjoy one, two...or four;)  We frosted them with a variety of colored royal icing (confectioner's sugar + milk + food coloring) and decorated with our favorite festive sprinkles.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did! Hint: Pin this chart for later! 

Now for the next stop on the Cookie Swap Blog Hop, head over to Christina's Blog to check out the recipe she's sharing for her Chocolate Crinkle Cookies - yum!!

Follow along with the other girls to read their yummy recipes, too!

Happy Baking, friends! XO 

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Best Teething Necklace + Giveaway

Hi friends! Happy Black Friday! Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving with friends and family and filled your plates with plenty of yummy food.  Thanksgiving is such a nice start to the entire holiday season and I am so excited that it's officially acceptable to be in full Christmas mode ;)  Every Black Friday, my dad and I go shopping and it's been our tradition for years.  My sister has also joined us the past few years and it's such a fun day.  I find myself finding tons of cute gifts for Olivia but I'm slightly panicking that I won't have much for the baby.  Babies are so hard to shop for, right?! I hope I'm not alone!  Charlotte is now seven months and teething like crazy so I knew I wanted to find her a cute + stylish teether, which brings me to the Baby and The Fox shop.  

You guys, there are SO many cute teething necklaces and teether toys in Kaitlyn's shop!  I'm picky about what I let the baby chew on and I was so happy to learn that all of the silicone beads used are made from food grade silicone, BPA and phthalate free, lead and cadmium free, and feature a break away clasp.  Cleaning is also a breeze and they are dishwasher safe!  There are so many different styles to choose from, each one featuring fun designs for your little ones to chew on and grab.  I was sent the neutral white nursing necklace and I absolutely love it.  It's simple and so pretty and would compliment any outfit for going out or staying in...including yoga pants ;) Some of my other favorites include the mint + marble silicone + wood, and wine + wood necklaces.   

[Follow along on Instagram @thebirdsnestblog]

Baby and The Fox also has the cutest line of teether and sensory toys.  How cute is this fox?! That is going in Charlotte's stocking - she is going to love it!  I also love all of the other designs available - elephant, hedgehog, whale, camera, and owl. How fun is this toy? So great for sensory development.  

I am so excited that Kaitlyn is offering to give away one of her beautiful teething necklaces to one of you!  To enter, simply head over to my Instagram (@thebirdsnestblog) and follow myself + @babyandthefox and tag some of your best mama friends! Giveaway will run Nov 25 - Nov 27, ending at 11:59pm.  Winner will be contacted directly.  

If you can't wait to get your hands on these, use code blackfriday20 to save 20%! Good luck!! XOXO

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Our Favorite, Easiest Baby Books (Psst...Free Book!)

Hi friends!

I'm the first to admit I'm awful at updating baby books.  Literally the worst. I feel bad that the girls will look back one day and realize this.  Poor Charlotte has about one page filled - oops!  I love looking through picture albums and to me, those are the best memories.  Which brings me to Chatbooks.

Chatbooks are little square books filled with the best memories.  I discovered Chatbooks when Olivia was a baby and they have been the best thing since well, baby books.  I love looking back through them and Olivia loves it too.  I make sure to include photos with their milestones and special days. 

Since the beginning, I've filled almost 12 books and I have so many more to order.  I chose the subscription service so I can just have a continuous order and I won't miss any!  I love to make them from my Instagram (@thebirdsnestblog) but you can also make them from photos you have on your phone or computer.  These will be great Christmas gifts for our family and friends.  

Chatbooks offers your first book free if you use this link, and I'll get a credit too.  Win, win! If you try it out, I'd love to hear how you like them!  Also, mamas unite if you are awful at updating baby books too ;) 

This post was in no way sponsored by Chatbooks.  I just love them so much and wanted to share! XOXO

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