Thursday, July 31, 2008

Baby Clothes

I'm officially obsessed. Shopping has never been my forte and I've also never much enjoyed it. But now that I have a baby girl, I heart shopping for her. And since we're not infinitely wealthy, I'm perfecting the art of bargain shopping. So here's my latest take on baby girl clothes, and the stores that sell them.

The Gap
BabyGap is my current favorite brand. I can always find a good bargain at the Gap. And every Gap I go to has a different selection of clothes left in their clearance section. The quality is good, and I just adore their clothes, for every season,

Old Navy
I love the way Old Navy baby clothes feel. The cotton is SUPER soft. Bargains are a little tougher to come by in the store, but online, bargain selection is pretty good and size selection is very good.

I prefer to shop for Carters clothes at the Carters outlet stores, in my region, at Arundel Mills. They can be found at Target, Walmart, Burlington's Baby Depot, Sears, and other stores,too. I think the best sales are at the Carters store though. I do think their five-pack onesies are essential, as well as their sleep 'n plays for little ones. I got my baby's best sunglasses there, too. And for summer time, I couldn't live without the one piece sundresses.

I had heard about Gymboree being irresistable before I had a baby. Now, maybe for older kids it is, but for babies, I just can't see paying that much on a regular basis. Even their sales are too rich for my budget. But I admit, I have picked up some pieces there on occasion, and if you catch the right sale, you can get a few pieces that don't break the bank. I don't even have a picture of Jillian in a Gymboree outfit.

Children's Place
Fantastic deals if you wait for them. Regularly priced, their clothes aren't too expensive, but when you catch those end of season deals, they can't be beat. Just two weeks ago they had their clearance items ($7.99 and under) an additional 50% off. Seriously, we loaded up for next summer on bathing suits, cover-ups, dresses, and other fun stuff. Beyond that, their clothes are of decent quality, but for me, nothing to write home about in cuteness factor. I don't have a picture of Jillian in a Children's Place outfit either.

OshKosh B'Gosh
OshKosh scores big with me in cuteness, and they always have a good sale going on. They're great for buying current season stuff at below regular price. But their clearance sales aren't fantastic. But for tiny bathing suits, OshKosh was a lifesaver this year!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A New Way to Go Green

This blog isn't about a specific product, nor is it about anything actually "new". With this green "movement" in full swing, it's hard not to go a day without hearing about going green. So as I picked up our recycle bag yesterday, I realized it was a lot lighter than usual. Now, my husband and I enjoy beer, so by the day before recycle night, our recycle bag is pretty full of bottles, and heavy. So I had to think, "Why is our recycle bag so light?". The answer is...GROWLERS.

Last week I filled up a growler when I went to a beer release at DuClaw. And since then, we've been back for a few refills. A growler fills about five full pints or so. And refills are pretty inexpensive, at least comparable to a good microbrew six pack.

So next time you want to try a new brew, head to your local brewery. Order a sampler, most of them have them available, and get a growler filled to go. You can refill it often, and the best part is, you can try the beer before you buy it. And most breweries will refill growlers from other breweries. Notice my Old Dominion growler above - it's currently full of DuClaw's Blackout. You'll be going green AND supporting a local business!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


There are some products that, as a mother, you just can't live without. You wondered what on earth mothers did before them. Well, the Itzbeen Baby Care Timer is one of those products.

I would have never bought this for myself - I would have seen it in the store and thought, "What on earth would I need that for?". But as a first time mom, I received it from my best friend, a mother of one, and at that time expecting her second. I have since gifted one to a close friend of mine who is expecting their first.

While I didn't use it in the hospital, as soon as I got home, this thing became my best friend. As a new nursing mom, it became imperative to me to become aware of how often my newborn was eating. Especially since she "wasn't gaining weight fast enough". This start-time timer is great. It has a feature to start timing when you change your baby, when you feed your baby, when your baby goes to sleep, and when your baby _________________ (insert whatever you want to time here - I've used it mostly for medication). If you are nursing, it also has a feature to remind you whether your last feeding was on the L or the R, or whichever one you started on, if you offer both at each feeding.

At six months old, I'm still using it to keep track of baby's feedings. By habit, I track her changings. I'm now using the * feature to remind myself of when she last had infant Tylenol, as she is teething like crazy.

Seriously, new moms out there, you can't live without this one. When exhausted and sleep deprived, it just takes one thing you need to remember off your mind. And it has a belt clip. And a night light. Could they make it any more useful? As you can see from the picture, it's been four hours and twelve minutes since I last fed my baby. And last time I nursed, I started on the right. Seriously, an essential.

Baby Einstein

This is the Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper. Once my baby started wanting to stand more than lay down or sit, I spent a lot of time doing online research about jumpers, walkers, and excersaucers. Based on my baby's love of jumping, I decided that something with a bit of bounce would be good for her. But I loved the concept of the excersaucer, with their 360 degree rotating seats, and various activities for entertainment and learning.

Enter the Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper. At about 4-1/2 months I presented this jumper/excersaucer combo to my baby. With much success. She is now turning six months, and still adores it.

I like that it has various activities for her, and really like that it has loops from which to hang links with her favorite toys. Nothing like the ability to personalize a toy to your baby's liking. After some use (we did get ours used), the musical keys produce sound, but aren't very loud. I think replacing the batteries may rectify this, but it hasn't been that important to me yet. It does have a nice feature related to the music though - a volume setting - low or high. Nice for the parents. I mostly love it because she can spin around and play from "station" to "station", and jump like crazy, just like she loves! Like I said, I bought mine used, but it is totally worth the full $79.99 that it retails for. Hours of entertainment for baby, and just a little down time for the parent!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gentle Naturals by Disney Baby

My six month old has a problem with dry, patchy skin. It doesn't appear to itch her, but none of the creams I have tried seem to do anything to cure it, nor do any of them last for the claimed "24 Hours". Shopping at my local Target a couple weeks ago, I became determined to find something else to try for her skin. It's summertime, and that means pool season. Chlorine from the pool and baby sunscreen, no matter how gentle, are taking an even bigger toll on her skin.

I stumbled upon Gentle Naturals Baby Eczema Cream. I admit that I was skeptical of a product that featured Disney's Piglet and Winnie the Pooh on the front, to care for my baby's sensitive skin. I purchased it anyway, as it was the only thing on the shelf that claimed to be for baby eczema.

I have been absolutely thrilled with this product! It's a little greasy when first applied, and takes a few minutes to be absorbed into the skin, but it has worked wonders on her skin. At first I used it every day, now I am only using it after bathtime which is usually every two to three days, and when I notice an especially dry patch. I even catch myself using a little extra so I can rub the excess on my hands when I'm done!