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Devon’s Discoveries: Diaper Bag Organization

The day finally arrived— Baby #2 was born about a week and a half ago and we couldn’t be more excited!  Baby G is a delight: happy, sleepy, and cuddly… and Bean is slowly but surely adjusting to big sisterhood.  I guess we’re all adjusting to becoming a family of four and we’ve already instituted some changes to make things run a little more smoothly.  One of my first orders of business was to get my diaper bag in order.  Juggling diapers, wipes, spare clothes and all of the other stuff you have to cart around with a newborn and a 21-month old is no laughing matter.  So I turned to zulily for some help in getting my diaper bag in tip-top shape.  I ordered two different bags, one for each girl’s diapers and wipes.

I also ordered this cool wet bag, which I’m using to store a change of clothes for each girl.  I love this bag because you can store wet clothes in here, which will come in handy when we have the inevitable accident.

My diaper bag may be a complete disaster in a few weeks, but right now it looks like a shining example of organization.  And hopefully it’ll keep me and my sleep-deprived brain from putting newborn-sized diapers on Bean!

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother two, former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Stroller and Car Seat

I can hardly believe that Baby #2 will be here in two weeks or less! Nursery is done, hospital bags are packed, we’ve read I’m A Big Sister to Bean a hundred times… in other words, I think we’re ready! 

Although the house was all ready, I had been putting off transportation methods because it seemed silly to get them ready too soon.  But with just two weeks to go, I figured that now was a good time to get everything unpacked and figure out (again) how to use it all.

We dusted off our trusty infant car seat, the Chicco KeyFit Infant Carrier, which is an amazing car seat.  It is easy to use, nice to look at, and the one that we have holds up to a 22-pound baby.  I’ll have DA install the base while I’m at the hospital, but it’s out and ready to go, so at least I don’t have to try to explain which closet it’s stuffed into while I’m in labor! 

When I found out I was pregnant with Baby #2, I also quickly jumped on zulily and ordered a Phil & Ted’s Black Promenade Buggy, which has the option of converting to a double stroller.  Bean would never tolerate her previous stroller for longer than twenty minutes, so the Phil & Ted’s stroller was a revelation… Bean will sit in this comfortable stroller for up to an hour without making a peep. 

Last week, I wanted to make sure I knew how to attach the Second Seat and the Infant Car Seat Adapter. Much to my happy surprise, it was super intuitive and I had the Adapter installed in about thirty seconds.  I popped the Chicco Carrier on the Adapter to make sure everything worked as planned and, in under a minute, saw my single stroller transform into a single-profile double stroller!  Hurrah!  The best thing that I learned while installing the Adapter is that I didn’t lose my storage space under the stroller.  I was worried that the second seat/adapter would take up the whole storage bin, but it actually leaves me with plenty of room for emergency diapers, a blanket, and even a small bag of groceries. 

 

All of our wheels are ready to go!  And next time I check in with you guys, Baby #2 will be here!  Wish us luck!

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: The Nursery

As of today, it’s officially T-minus 5 weeks until Baby #2 gets here.  I’m more than a little nervous, worrying over questions like: what will her arrival be like? How will Bean react to being a big sister? Will Baby #2 be a colicky baby like Bean? Will we ever sleep again?

But one thing I don’t have to worry about is the baby’s room, because it is done!  Bean is still using her crib and dresser, and although we thought we might be able to repurpose her glider for the baby’s room, we’re finding that we use it too much to be without it yet.  In other words, we had to buy all new furniture for the baby’s room.  Since we had such great luck with Bean’s furniture, however, we decided to stick with what we know.

Both girls have DaVinci/Babyletto cribs and dressers.  I can’t say enough great stuff about this brand—their furniture is affordable, great looking, durable, easy to put together, and stylish.  Bean’s room is done up in greens and browns, so we went with espresso-colored furniture for her room; Baby #2’s room is grey and peach, so we went with white furniture for her room.

 

Once the furniture was all set,  we also had to get Baby #2’s bedding squared away.  I am in love with this Oilo bumber and crib skirt set:

 

We also got a Little Giraffe super-soft blanket for tummy time and, once Baby #2 has reached the one-year mark, bedtime. 

 

The room is all set up… the only thing that’s left to do before Baby #2 gets here  is to fill that dresser up!    

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Bath Time Finds

As we prepare for Baby #2’s arrival at the end of March, my nesting mode has definitely kicked in.  I’ve been organizing and rearranging like you wouldn’t believe and my project this week (and probably for the next few weeks) has been to go through all of the bins of “stuff Bean grew out of.”  This is the first of many blog posts where I’ll talk about those gems that got us through Bean’s first year successfully, alongside the staples we’re still using. 

One of the first bins we pulled out contained our Puj Tub for infants.  This little foam tub was an absolute lifesaver during Bean’s first months—she was a particularly colicky baby, but baths seemed to calm her down and minimize the crying.  So we bathed her a LOT!  The Puj Tub fits in any sink which is helpful if you live in a small space, don’t have a bathtub, or have a hard time kneeling down alongside a bathtub.  The Puj Tub has an additional feature that I love—once you’re done bathing baby, you can collapse the tub to a flat position, which makes it super easy to dry off and to store. 

 

Once we moved Bean on to the regular bathtub, we quickly invested in another Puj product: the Snug, which is an elephant-shaped foam cover that goes over your bathtub spout.  In the early days, it was just a really cute cover for the spout.  But once Bean started standing up, it became a wonderful safety measure as it saved her from bumping her head or her back on the spout when she stood up in the bathtub. 

Bean still loves bath time, so we also got a few toys to make bath time even more fun! Munchkin makes some great gear to entertain your little ones in the bath.  We are partial to the Bath Time Fun Set, which is a basketball hoop that suctions onto your bathtub wall, and three balls for your little one to practice their slam dunks with. 

Bean likes to shoot some hoops and follow up her on-the-court escapades with a little tub drawing.  Munchkin makes really cool Bath Crayons which we use to doodle all over the bathtub. 

Once bath time is over, Bean dries off with a Trend Lab hooded towel and we start getting ready for bed.  I’m not sure if Baby #2 will have a similar temperament to Bean, or if she’ll have the exact same bath time routine, but I do know that we’ve got all of the gear to make sure this baby is sparkling clean…just like her sister.  

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Kidkraft Retro Kitchen

I vividly remember Christmas, 1983, when my Dad and Uncle somewhat cluelessly put together my most wished-for gift: a shiny new bike.  There was some laughter, some running back and forth to the garage for various tools, and, admittedly, some colorful language when things weren’t going quite as planned.

I’ve come to view this incident—the “should be easy, but somehow takes three hours to put together this dang toy” scenario—as a parental rite-of-passage, and I’m proud to say that I’ve now got this one under my proverbial tool belt. 

We bought Bean a Kidkraft Retro Kitchen for Christmas this year and, once we got back from our holiday travels, it was time to put this baby together.  My husband offered to do it, but I always love to have some power drill time—it makes me feel like more of a woman! About three hours later, I had what was a really cute, full-of-realistic-details, kitchen.

It was worth the effort to get this kitchen that Bean, and surely her younger sister after her, gets so much joy out of.  And I’ll admit that it felt good to get this parental milestone accomplished, with a little power drill-Girl Power, no less!  

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Kid’s Shoes

Somewhere between one and a half and two years of age, I’ve noticed, most toddlers stop toddling and start running everywhere.  Bean has started jogging from place to place in the house, and when we’re outside, I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I have a little trouble keeping up with her!  It’s adorable to watch her run everywhere, but also a little terrifying… especially when cold, hard concrete is just a trip and a face plant away.  So I’ve been testing out different shoes to see which work best on my little track star.  We currently have a tie in awesomeness between Bean’s black and hot pink Pumas and her See Kai Run sneakers and boots. 

The Pumas are seriously too cute.  We get at least two comments from strangers every time she wears them out in public.  And Bean can really kick up her running in these shoes.  Shoelaces can be kind of a pain with a squirmy 18-month old, but they also have the benefit of keeping the shoes securely on her feet. So whether it’s a sprint around the playground or hitting up all of the stations at preschool, these shoes are a great fit.  So much so that Bean pretty much always wants them on.  Like on Christmas morning while she was checking out her stocking; and yes, she’s got them on with her Christmas jammies. 

The See Kai Runs are also fantastic.  The tennies are beyond easy to put on and take off, given the Velcro strap, and they look cute with both leggings and dresses. 

We also just got Bean a pair of See Kai Run boots which I love.  They have a durable rubber sole, but also look adorable.  She’s only had these boots for about a week, but if the three See Kai Run shoes we’ve had prior to these boots are any indicator, these are going to be a great addition to Bean’s shoe repertoire. 

With Bean’s feet properly outfitted, perhaps she’ll help DA and I keep our New Year’s Resolutions this year! 

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Maternity Wear

I keep thinking about the line in Twas the Night Before Christmas, “and a little round belly, that shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly.”  This is partially because Christmas will be here in a two weeks, but also because I’ve got my own “bowl full of jelly” right now.  That’s right, Bean is going to be a big sister come April!  At six months pregnant, my baby belly is definitely obvious and it really does shake when I laugh!

I thought I would be all set with maternity clothes the second time around, but since I had Bean in July, my seasons are a bit off; while I was only barely showing by the end of winter with her, I am full-blown pregnant this winter and it’s only mid-December (which means there are many more cold weeks to endure, still).  Thank goodness for zulily and the loads of cute maternity clothes they keep posting.

I have loved the Debbi O Maternity stuff, which is affortable and very functional.  I got some dark-wash skinny jeans, a couple of cotton tops, and some cotton leggings that have the best full-belly coverage I’ve ever seen on a pair of maternity leggings.  This is key, because if the top of the leggings doesn’t go all the way up, the waistband line shows under whatever you’re wearing on top…and that’s no fun!

Once the sun goes down, which, sadly, is at about 4:15 p.m. in Seattle these days, I quickly don my HOTMilk pajama pants.  For some reason, all of the other maternity pajama pants I have are really ugly or really uncomfortable, but these manage to be both cute and super comfortable!

 

And to get into the holiday spirit, I also got myself a CafePress maternity t-shirt.  It, aptly, reads, “Christmas Cookie Taster.” 

Let me tell you… this baby loves her some cookies.  Or at least I’m saying it’s the baby that loves cookies.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I hope your holidays are full of cookies and laughter that will make your belly shake, too!

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Beyond Cyber Monday

Today is Cyber Monday and I’m sure that many of you are making some serious headway on your holiday shopping today!  We’ve got a fairly large family, so it is always tough to get ahead on my gift list… indeed, with twelve nieces and nephews alone, it seems like I’ll never make my December 25th deadline. 

With the best intentions, I started my shopping early this year and was able to snag some great pre-Cyber Monday deals on zulily.  For two of my nieces, I was hooked by Ruum’s adorable and hip clothes.  I mean, who can resist turquoise skinny corduroys or mauve skinny jeans?  Not me, and hopefully, not them! 

My other niece is a budding ballerina, so the Eurotard sale was a perfect fit!  I love all of the colors and various options.  While I settled on a separate leotard and skirt for my niece, I also liked all of the combo skirted leotards and the brightly colored gymnastics-inspired leotards.

For my nephews, I went nuts on the DC sale.  For the older boys, I went with socks and hoodies—a can’t miss!

Finally, for Bean, we bought her a KidKraft White Vintage Kitchen, which I am absolutely in love with!  I am mentally redecorating my own kitchen after seeing how adorable this kitchen is. 

Hopefully your shopping goes just as well as mine is going!  ’

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Sophie the Giraffe

She seems like any other infant toy out there—babies can chew on her, she squeaks, she’s a cute little animal.  And like other infant toys, I assumed Bean would be enamored for ten minutes and then be over this toy, like so many others.  But the mystique of Sophie the Giraffe—while it may elude parents who just think she’s a cute, squeaky, teething toy—is very real to little ones.       

Sophie the Giraffe isn’t just a passing fad toy, either.  I was shocked to read on the box that Sophie, a French toy, has been delighting children around the globe since 1961!  Despite being 52, she hasn’t lost an ounce of cuteness…she doesn’t look a day over six months old!

When we received two Sophies as gifts upon Bean’s birth, I thought I’d return one and get something else we needed.  But it turned out that Sophie was what we needed!  We kept one in Bean’s diaper bag and one at home; both became much-squeaked, well-chewed little giraffes in a matter of days.  We lost one along the way (perhaps pilfered by another entranced baby?), so we were thankful to have a spare.

It’s funny—even as Bean has rejected all her other “baby” toys in favor of stacking blocks and puzzles and things with wheels, whenever Sophie gets unearthed in the toy box, Bean will play with her for the rest of the day.  There’s just something magical about that small giraffe. 

I may not be sure what it is that makes Sophie such a hit in our house and houses the world ‘round, but I do know that if you’re looking for a great companion for your little one, or a birth or holiday gift for someone else’s, you can’t go wrong with Sophie the Giraffe!

zulily’s got them today through Friday!

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Devon’s Discoveries: Cuisinart Cast-Iron Lasagna Pan (Cardinal Red)

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We’ve been entertaining a lot this Fall, but with a hyper one-year old running underfoot, I rarely have the time or energy to prepare the elaborate, 25-ingredient recipes I used to.  Instead, I tend to stick to simple, quick and delicious recipes, and while my meals are rarely fancy, they’re generally pretty tasty!

About three months ago, DH insisted we buy this Cuisinart Cast-Iron Lasagna Pan from zulily.  I reminded him that we already had a Pyrex baking dish that did the job just fine, but he persisted, arguing for the awesomeness that is cast-iron cookware.  And let me tell you, I’m so glad he made me buy that pan!  I’ve now made two lasagnas and one baked ziti in the pan and all have turned out perfect and delicious. 

For the Baked Ziti, make your favorite homemade tomato sauce (about 48 ounces worth).  Meanwhile, sautee one package of mild Italian sausage (casings removed).  Also, cook one pound dried ziti and drain when cooked to al dente. Toss the pasta, sauce, ½ pound cubed fresh mozzarella, ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, one pinch of red pepper flakes, one egg, and one 15-ounce container of ricotta cheese.  Top with ½ pound sliced fresh mozzarella and ¼ cup fresh parmesan.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes and let stand for 10 minutes after baking.

And the best part (aside from the delicious Baked Ziti) was the easy clean up!  The pan is dishwasher safe, but it also cleans up in the sink in a jiffy!  That’s my kind of simple, quick and delicious recipe and my kind of pan!  

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother of a one-year old (“Bean”), former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.