Savanna Says

Latest Diaper Bag Must Have: EZPZ Mini Mat

Before babies start to depend on solid food, preparing for a day out is pretty easy- just make sure you have plenty of milk/formula and your good to go. When kiddos start to eat it is so fun but also another thing to shove in that overflowing diaper bag.

When Savanna was around 9 months she wanted to eat anything we ate and loved food (she still does). Whenever she ate at home I would just put some food on her high chair tray and was lucky if half of it made it into her mouth. If we would go out to a restaurant or be at a friends it wasn’t so easy. One day I came across I found this plate in Buy Buy Baby that claimed to stick to most surfaces so baby couldn’t throw it in anyone’s face or smash it to pieces. It was small enough, dishwasher safe and came in its own little case. BINGO! Need this I thought. It was 20 bucks, a little much for a plate if you ask me, but I justified it with my 20% coupon and splurged.

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Mom Life · Snacks

No Bake Lactation Balls

With my first attempt at breast feeding I made it to 5 months. At about 3 months in my supply started to drop. Once I had to supplement, because my daughter was eating like a teenager, I didn’t see the point in continuing to pump that milk. I felt like I should continue, but I know in my heart it wasn’t best at that point. Also, I was tired and wanted to sleep! I give so much credit to those who do breast feed for a year or more!

This time around, I feel so much more comfortable with doing what’s best. We are breast feeding now, but if it doesn’t work out I am absolutely fine with that because I know it will be what’s best for me and my son.  With my daughter, I felt like I had no freaking clue what I was doing and everyone I consulted had a different answer. There was not clear answers when I looked for help or direction with my questions like, “When do I start pumping?”,”A I pumping long enough?”, “Is she eating frequently enough?”, “What do you mean I have to keep up my supply? Doesn’t it just keep flowing out??”. Ughh it was very confusing. Continue reading “No Bake Lactation Balls”

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Savanna Says

Baby Jogger City Select Review

I am what you call a self proclaimed stroller snob. Since I was pregnant with my daughter, I became obsessed with strollers and learning about each one on the market. I wanted to know what the difference was between these hundreds of strollers and what all the hoopla was with those that require a second mortgage. Everywhere we went my eyes would find strollers like magnets. Just like every baby product, it seems like there is a new stroller or updated model every other month! I’ve learned a lot but there is still so much to keep up with.

Along with my stroller addiction have come the purchases of the Chicco Key Fit Caddy, Baby Jogger running stroller, City Mini, and Uppababy Vista. All of these served great purpose but my utmost favorite was the Uppababy. I was walking by a garage sale one day and my stroller magnet eyes did not fail me. They beamed right to a shiny Uppababy Vista with toddler seat and bassinet. I immediately walked up the yard thinking it would be too expensive. Believe it or not, I walked away with that stroller which retailed for $900 at the time for a whopping $75 dollars. I was on cloud nine.

I loved having the bassinet option for my newborn as we took frequent walks in the summer. As I got to know this prized stroller more I realized it was about a 2010 or earlier model. However, even being over 7 years old, it was my favorite stroller. The joy of the Vista is that it can be converted into a double stroller with the purchase of a second seat and attachments. Turns out this model most likely doesn’t work with the second seat. I knew I’d need to purchase another stroller for when baby 2 came along.

Even though my heart belongs to the Uppababy Vista, I ended up going a different route for the double stroller! See, a brand new Vista with second seat and any extra attachments will run you well over 1200 dollars. That’s not always an easy purchase. I looked into purchasing a used one. There are tons of great deals on used Vistas. Then one day a dear friend (who is so savy with the baby stuff and actually the one who came up withe the name Hotmess to Homemade) sent me a text about a 30% off deal on the Baby Jogger City Select. I did like this stroller and was happy with the other baby joggers I owned. I didn’t look into it because I thought it didn’t come with the bassinet. But guess what, it does!

I immediately researched the different models and ended up going with the City Select Lux (of course the most expensive). The reason being is that this model comes with a bench seat attachment that I thought would be great for my stroller hating 2 year old. It was purchased from Albeebaby.com (frequently has 30% off) and shipped very quickly. Of course we had to give it a whirl right away. Here’s what we learned:

Pros

  • Super easy put together
  • Easy maneuvering
  • Looks similar to Uppababy
  • Bench seat attachment is unique and great for bigger ones
  • Hand break that is helpful when going down hill
  • Easy to clean fabric
  • Large under space for storage
  • Zipper pockets on back of seats for storing small items

Cons

  • Heavy! This is definitely heavier than the Uppababy even with just one baby. I almost went into labor pushing this bad boy up hill.
  • The tires are nice that they don’t ever need air, but it feels like it isn’t as smooth of a ride as it could be
  • It’s longer than the Uppababy, but not too inconvenient.

I haven’t yet used this with the car seat attachment or bassinet but I am thinking it will be relatively easy to set up. The Lux model does have a zipper on the back of the seats for storage, but I am thinking I will need the cup holder/storage attachment because we use it frequently.  Overall, I think this is a good deal for the money. However, if you have the extra to spend on the Uppababy I’d go with that. It would make most sense to purchase either stroller for your first child and just be able to add on as your family grows!

 

Savanna Says: 8 out of 10

Lifestyle

PediPed Shoe Review

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many adorable shoes out there for little ones. When your child begins to actually need shoes it can be overwhelming to choose the right ones. I had not idea that there was such thing as “first walkers” for babies or that those cute clearance shoes at target actually make it harder for my baby to walk and are actually crap.

After buying a ton of shoes that I thought would be great, I learned that they were not very practical for my daughter. I walked into a local kids shoe store one day and saw shoes I had never even heard of! These shoes for babies are like those shoes for seniors, except way cuter. Many of the brands in this store were labeled as being suitable for first time walkers, supportive of the foot and comfortable.

We went with PediPeds and I’m on my 2nd pair of sneakers! These shoes are not the cheapest, but they last. The quality is great and they really helped my daughter with walking and figuring out how to manage her feet. Did you know that the proper toddler shoe actually is supposed to curve up in the front raising the toes slightly? Yea, as anyone can see by the paper thin amazon shoes I originally got her I had no idea.

You can sign up on the Pediped website found here for 15% off of your first order. Even better, here you can find the Pediped outlet site! In New Jersey, there is a store call Jay’s Shoe Box in Denville which seems to be one of the last surviving kids shoe stores. They will measure your child’s foot, have a great selection and offer that you can exchange shoes if they don’t fit when it gets to the season you are buying them for. The store usually has 5 dollar off coupons that are provided after a purchase as well. Of course, everyone needs some of those cheaper shoes in their wardrobe, but these are great to add in a few quality pairs that will get you through a whole season and more.

Savanna Says: These are a 9!

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Meals

Tomato Lentil Soup

I’m not sure why, but I’ve really been digging lentil soup lately. There are so many fantastic ways to customize your own batch of lentil goodness. Sometimes I add curry powder and sweet potato for a twist. However, being pregnant has caused to me to veer in the opposite direction of those ingredients. Here’s a simple version you can cook a batch of on the weekend and enjoy all week. Try making it your own by adding in whatever veggies you have on hand.  Also, a great way to sneak some of that valuable nutrition into baby! Continue reading “Tomato Lentil Soup”

Everything In Between

What The Heck Is Rapeseed and Why Is It In My Daughter’s Oat Milk?!

As you all know I am a fan of oat milk and give it to my 20 month old instead of dairy milk due to a sensitivity. Aside from a brief shortage, all was going pretty well. Shes growing fine and appears nourished to the eye. However, I learned some information about an ingredient that is listed full fat Oatly and needed to share.

My best friend was visiting from Chicago and as usual most of our conversations veer towards food. She looked at me and said with hesitation, ” Caar, I have to tell you something about oat milk”. I knew it wasn’t good. A friend of hers had been doing some research on food for brain health and was an avid oat milk consumer. Unbeknownst to me, the full fat version of Oatly contains an ingredient called Rapeseed oil. I know, your thinking, “Is that a typo? She means grape seed oil. ” No, it’s rapeseed oil. Someone actually named a seed “rape”, wtf? If that isn’t a big red flag than I don’t know what is.

It turns out rape seed oil is actually very similar to Canola oil and the both are often confused. Canola was originally created from rapeseed by removing 2 ingredients from the rapeseed plant: glucosinolates and erucic acid. Erucic acid was removed because it was believed to be toxic in high doses. Erucic acid is regulated in foods today. However, Oatly comes from Sweden, and not US, where regulations are different. The label states there is less than 2%, which is the maximum allowed amount of rapeseed oil in a product.

I did some research and found conflicting information. There are many articles preaching the health benefits of rapeseed as a great oil alternative with good fats such as this one here.  It does seem to be used more outside of the US, or at least labeled more often as rapeseed as compared to Canola.

The scariest evidence I found was about a test done on animals “showing that ingesting oils containing erucic acid over time can lead to a heart condition called myocardial lipidosis. This is temporary and reversible. Other potential effects observed in animals – including changes in the weight of the liver, kidney and skeletal muscle can occur when higher doses are consumed” ( https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/161109). The article goes on to warn that there could be a health risk for children under the age of 10 who consume products containing erucic acid regularly over time.

Well that’s enough for me, since I have been giving this to my daughter every day for the past 8 months. Talk about mom guilt. I beat myself up a bit for not looking into the ingredients more. At the same time, I am still learning about this product and the conflicting research. Either way, I made the choice to not give her the full fat version of Oatly any longer. We don’t need any erucic acid up in here.

Good news is that many US based companies have recently come out with oat milk such as Silk and Quaker among many others, which do not contain rapeseed oil! The low fat version of Oatly does not contain rapeseed oil either.

Moral of the story, check your ingredients and do some research. I will be on the look out for rapeseed from now on! While we can’t believe every scary tale we hear or read online, I’m going with my gut on this one.

Snacks

Protein Banana Muffins

If you can’t tell, banana muffins/bread/anything you can bake a banana into are a fave in this house. Here’s a new spin on a nut free version you can pack for lunches or feel ok handing off for breakfast. It’s super simple and one of those recipes you can memorize. You might want to play around with add ins to make this recipe your own and see what works for you!

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