My Dirty Child and Beauty Tips for Busy Mamas

This morning was a rough one for our household. Elle used to be such a morning person. She would wake up babbling and singing and was always so pleasant. But honey…those days are over. This girl is so anti mornings. She’s like her Daddy in that regard because me? I’ve always been a morning person. This morning she cried when I woke up her. She cried on the potty. She cried when I wiped her face. She cried when I brushed her teeth. She cried when I looked at her. She cried when I stopped looking at her. She cried while eating. She cried when I put her shoes on. She cried when I wouldn’t let her carry my laptop bag.

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It’s true, y’all. By the time I get to work I am just…emotionally DONE and I’m in that Watch what you say to me mode.. But, I can’t let it show because I don’t ever want to be “The Mom” in my office. I’m a business woman and don’t let the stresses of my crazy toddler get to me at work. Gotta keep it professional, baby. Can’t let ‘em see you cry.

Did I Tell Y’all That I am A Part Time Mommy Blogger?

Yep! I blog over at Mom.me and each week I toss up a post about…parenting stuff. I’ve been a mama for almost 2 years now (OMG!!) and it is the most time-consuming, hair pulling, stressfully rewarding experience ever. I mulled over starting a parenting blog but I didn’t like writing about parenting stuff THAT much. Being a contributor to Mom.me is great because it gives me a platform to share my thoughts and experiences without letting the entire world IN on our lives. Because y’all know how I hate sharing a ton of Elle’s pictures and experiences on the internet…

But from time to time, I think I will share a post over here with the Clumps family. I know that a lot of you all are parents (or parents to be) and knowing that you aren’t alone in the struggles is always so so helpful. That said, check out my most recent post

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I put my heart and soul into that post and did a lot of crying while writing it. I know. I’m a sap.

And while you’re at it, check out 10 facts about Elle Belle. It has been forever since I’ve written about her on Clumps so I’m thinking these facts will give you a clue as to what kind of character we’re dealin’ it. :wink:

  • Elle and I both have moles on our chins!
  • Elle’s name is mispronounced 80% of the time.
  • Elle’s bedroom is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom inspired.
  • Elle was born on the same day as Blue Ivy Carter.
  • 90% of Elle’s wardrobe are from consignment stores.
  • Elle is a picky eater and eats rice and eggs with spinach almost every day.
  • Elle learned her colors by playing with Mommy’s nail polishes.
  • Elle is the first and only grandchild on both sides.
  • Elle communicates with words and she also knows sign language.
  • Elle is almost 2 years old and barely weighs 20 lbs. She’s tiny but healthy!

Suzy Sew Crafty Whips Up An Amazing Gift!

Elle has gone to 3 birthday parties this summer. The kid is more popular than me which I’m finding both hilarious and…sad. Because we didn’t have a 1st birthday party for our girl (we plan to do parties when Elle is older), I am always stumped on what to get these wee babes. I’m not big on buying toys because…really? Don’t they have enough of those? They grow out of clothes quickly and they are too young for the really fun things. I usually opt for books because I feel that’s something that can grow with them but giving a book isn’t really a personal gift. I’ve been trying to do better and wanting to do more personalized gifts and that’s when I knew to reach out to the talented Suzy over at Suzy Sew Crafty.

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I’ve always wanted to be the woman that can knit, sew and create beautiful pieces with my hands. And yeah no. I can’t. But Suzy? Whoooa! She is the Embroidery Genius of Central Florida. This wife and mom of 3 works from home in her state-of-the-art studio (no seriously…it’s amazing!) and cranks out everything from fun shirts and bodysuits for the little ones celebrating birthdays to hand towels and beautiful designs for the grownups in your family.

More about what she whipped up for Beauty by Cat’s little one…

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Cat told me that her son Sebastian was a huge lover of trucks so I thought it would be very cool to get him a hoodie towel that he could use for years. I told this to Suzy and she came up with the idea of a dump truck that could dump out Sebastian’s name. Um…wow!

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I would have never thought of this. But you see…this is why I deal with pros. And within days, I picked up this gorgeous towel that, I thought, was the perfect usable and memorable gift for a sweet little boy who I’ve known since birth.

Suzy also does…

  • Custom embroidery/appliqué clothes (including onesies, shirts, dresses, aprons etc.)
  • Custom embroidered home decor (including towels, robes, pillows, shams, Christmas stockings, etc.)
  • Monograms (including men’s ties, golf towels, polo shirts, wedding favors, etc.)
  • Nautical accessories (including flags, personalized fishing shirts, caps, towels)
  • Logos (embroidering logos on any apparel or clothing)

I’ve got a list of things I’m going to have her make. Some hand towels, t-shirts with Clumps logo on it, Christmas stockings, wedding gifts – the list goes on and on. I also have a giveaway coming up in the next month or so. Stay tuned but in the meantime, swing by her site and let Suzy know that Brittany sent you.

 

Disclosure: This towel was gifted to me in exchange of a blog post. Suzy is a personal friend of mine and we are big believers in the bartering system. :wink: But because I believe in supporting my local entrepreneurs, I will definitely be making purchases from her to support her flourishing business.

JOHNSON’S Baby Has Some Incredible News

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One of world’s favorite baby brands has been doing some serious work. JOHNSON’s Baby has recently reformulated many of their products. And why you ask? Because the consumer asked them to. What sounds like a simple request is really heavily involved and detailed. Remember when I told you about my visit to the headquarters in February? It was there where I got a chance to meet with some of the chemists and marketing professionals behind the brand. They were so candid and honest with us bloggers as they talked about how challenging it was to reformulate some of their most popular products.

But they felt like they had to do it. Because the consumer asked them to.

And before you get all “What GOOD! How hard is it to remove an ingredient or two or 10?” on me, think about your favorite skincare product. You use it because you love it, right? You like the way it feels and the way it performs on your skin. You’ve been using it for a while because it is consistent and you can always depend on its efficacy. You would flip if the formula changed, wouldn’t you? Especially if the scent was different or if wasn’t as moisturizing. JOHNSON’s Baby had the daunting task of reformulating their products without changing the consumer’s experience. Wow. Far from easy. But they did it.


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Because the consumer asked them to. They reformulated the following products:

o JOHNSON’S® Baby HEAD-TO-TOE® Wash
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thick and Curly Hair
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thin and Straight Hair
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo with Calming Lavender
o JOHNSON’S® Baby Soothing Vapor Baby Bath

Exciting, right? It’s a big deal and I can’t wait to see what loyal JOHNSON’S Baby fans are thinking about the products and if they can detect a change. Having played around with them, I can guarantee you that I haven’t noticed anything different. Which is a good, thing, right?

In honor of the new changes, JOHNSON’S Baby put together a lovely video that acts as an open letter to moms showing scientists and their families coming together to build an origami stork mobile, symbolizing the delivery of our promise. So sweet.

Ya gotta love a brand that actually listens. Check out the video and let me know what you think!


That Time Mama Fell In Love With A Stroller #sponsored

GB ZuZu Stroller

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for GB. I received a gift card to purchase a GB stroller to both facilitate my review as well as thank me for my participation. It has been quite awhile since I’ve done a post on something baby related and when I was given the opportunity to test drive the GB Zuzu Stroller, I could not have been more excited. Despite having owned more than 4 different strollers, we have never really regularly used them. We’re a babywearing family so when it comes to getting around about about, Elle is usually wrapped on someone’s back or hip. Which sounds sweet ‘an all and it usually works well except um…it’s summer. In Florida. Like her Mama and Daddy, Elle has those overactive sweat genes and babywearing is uncomfortable for all when we’re doing outside activities.

GB ZuZu stroller review

The GB Zuzu has been more than perfect for our very active babe who lives a very active lifestyle. We head to a splash pad and farmer’s market every week and we would usually grab our very large so big it don’t make no sense stroller. It’s a pain. I hate it. But Zuzu in all of her lightweight’ness has been delightful. Grabbing it out of the car has been a breeze.

Zuzu also gets points for being the only stroller that doesn’t take up MOST of my trunk space and actually stands up on its own after you take it out of the car. The latter is one of those features you don’t think really matters until you actually have a stroller that DOESN’T stand up upright. Oh, and I should also mention that it took less than 7 minutes to put together right out of the box. I would really label Zuzu has an umbrella stroller PLUS. It has many sweet features that parents would want in an umbrella stroller but have to sacrifice. Take the large canopy, for one…

GB ZuZu canopy

This is so so useful in the summer and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a canopy THIS large on a stroller this small. So yes, the oversized canopy with ventilated window is more than appreciated. Also appreciated is the durable material.


GB ZuZu
Easy to wipe down and practically immune to minor staining, I found the Zuzu to do really well at the splash pad. It stayed cool in the sun and dried quickly when it got wet. Esposo was all excited when he saw this stroller but really it was the maneuverability that really pumped him up.

GB ZuZu wheels
And seriously…this baby can move. Our jogging stroller was always our preferred stroller (even when jogging wasn’t taking place) but Esposo and I both appreciated how easy this moved. It tolerates quick turns and bumps and it’s just one smooth ride. Random as it sounds, but I dig the handles, too.

GB ZuZu stroller handles

They aren’t only comfortable but helloooo, I can hang a bag or two on them. This is a big deal in the lightweight stroller world. Trust me on this. While Zuzu is lightweight, she still holds a lot of cargo.

GB ZuZu stroller in action

Count the bags. There are two in the nice sized basket, there’s a bag on one handle, and a cloth diaper wet bag on the other handle. That’s 4 bags of stuff on that tiny stroller. And that’s when I knew the Zuzu would definitely be passed on to baby #2.

Calm down, y’all. There are no plans for baby #2 yet. If you didn’t know it, toddlers are pretty effective forms of birth control. Just sayin’…

Zuzu Pros

-Easy breakdown and set up. I mean CRAZY easy.
-Small and compact. Perfect for small homes and cars.
-Self-stands when folded. Biggest perk evaaaa!
-Compatible with select infant carriers.
-Can last from newborn up until babes of 50 lbs.

Zuzu Cons

-May be pricey for some at $199.
-No cup holder.
-Pulling the handles up when opening the stroller may take some getting used to.

I can’t say enough great things about this stroller. I am thrilled. Elle appreciates it because she gets the ease of quickly jumping in and out. I love being able to haul our life in it and being able to store it with without it taking up my entire trunk. It’s the little things in parenthood. Fellow parents know what I’m talkin’ about. You can get more details about this baby and purchase it at Babies ‘R Us.

 

So, parental units with littles…what strollers are you rollin’ with these days? 

Dental Beauty…For Toddlers!

Beauty starts when you’re young, gals. It’s true. I am a stickler about healthy teeth and dental care and will raise my wee babelets to be the same way. Through PopSugar and Aquafresh, Elle and I got the opportunity to play with their Training Toothpaste and toothbrush.

Aquafresh Training Toothpaste

And I say “playing” because have you ever tried to stick a toothbrush in a toddler’s mouth? It’s hard stuff, y’all. Especially when you’re dealing with Little Miss Independent. Elle is a lot like me in that she always wants to take control. Even if she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Haaaa!!!

Baby brushing teeth

Hey parental figures, did you know that compared to your tooth enamel, your baby’s enamel is 50% thinner? Craziness, right? Since these tiny humans aren’t aware of this fact, it is our job to ensure that they not only take it easy on the sweets but that they keep those budding teeth healthy, strong and white. Brushing baby and toddler teeth should happen as soon as their teeth come in. Not only does it get them used to creating healthy habits but it helps their teeth get the best first start. Or so says The little mouth experts ™.

Aquafresh toothbrush

Elle is a big fan of her toothbrush. While she loves nomm’ing on the handle more than anything, I dig how soft the bristles are. The handle is eye-catching enough for even the most distracted toddler and it fits comfortably in her little hands. And she can’t get enough of that toothpaste. I also love how the paste is clear and free from random color dyes. Consistency wise, the paste seemed to be perfect for little mouths. A little went a long way and I appreciate that the paste is formula-free. If she could put together a complete sentence, I’m pretty sure Elle would agree that Aquafresh’s  Training Toothpaste is pretty stellar for a Kid’s 1st Toothpaste.

Aquafresh Training Toothpaste tube

And you know what? I’m a mint girl, myself but I’ve got to admit, the Apple-Banana flavor isn’t half bad. Mamas, papas, Aunts, Uncles, Grams and friends with babes, I’m thinking this toothpaste will be a major hit for the little one in your life. As always, please use product as directed on label.

 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Aquafresh through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Aquafresh, all opinions are my own.

4 Reasons Why I Like Being On the JOHNSON’s Baby Cares Council

Okay, so don’t hate me for it but a few months ago I went to NYC and totally forgot to tell y’all about it. I know, I’m horrible. The JOHNSON’S Baby Cares family sent me to NYC to visit one of their home bases and while there I not only got the opportunity to hang with some of my favorite fellow bloggers, but also learned about the brand’s newest launches, got to speak with some of their scientists AND I got an idea as to what other cool things the brand had going on. It was an exciting 2 days and gave me more of a reason to be proud to be a member of the Council.

And yeah, I know I’m supposed to be that natural mama who had a drug-free birth, ate her placenta, pledges allegiance to coconut oil and drinks her greens and there’s just no way I should be supporting a brand like JOHNSON’s but give me a second to explain why I do support them, mkay?

They don’t mind changing

Recently JOHNSON’s has reformulated some of their products to remove many of the not so good ingredients. This a HUGE deal. Mainly because, helllooo…it requires the scientists to work diligently to provide the same product but use different formulas. Everything has to look the same including the color, scent and touch. It’s a gruesome job that many companies won’t even think about doing, but JOHNSON’S did and while many of the products still aren’t perfect to many, they are better.

They tell you what’s in the products

This is kinda cool because many brands don’t. Some brands will say “Natural ingredients”. Ummm….what? Excuse me but WHAT natural ingredients? Details are important. Especially when it comes to baby products. JOHNSON’s has nothing to hide and will lay out what each ingredient is and why it is used in a product.

Johnson's Baby

 

They have products for us crunchy mamas

Not gonna lie – I’ve never used the pink baby lotion on Elle because while it does smell good, we are a fragrance-free home. For me, fragrances trigger headaches. JOHNSON’s Naturals has products that remove the overpowering fragrances but still ensures that the pH level is where it should be for a baby’s delicate skin. So yes, I will firmly admit that it was this line that completely won me over for the brand.

They support women and mothers.

I know you’re all like “Whaaaatver B! All of these companies claim  tosupport women.” So maybe you’re right. Many may claim that they do but JOHNSON puts their money (literally) where their mouth is. From joining Save the Children to help babies everywhere, launching the Care Cards campaign and making the You’re Doing OK, Mom” video, at the very least, the company does a good job at pretending to love and support women and mothers. Of course, I know they are doing more than pretending because I have actually talked with the men and women behind the brand and I don’t know. I refuse to believe that they’d invest their time and lives in sending such a resounding message that women and mothers deserve help, recognition and love. I can’t be that naive. Right?

I could really go on and on but you can look forward to seeing more posts of different (not so baby-esqe) ways to use the products and some of the other awesome products that JOHNSON’s has that may appeal to my fellow fitness guy and girls.

 

If you still have questions about JOHNSON’s products and ingredients, visit here

The Woman With A Baby On Her Back

“Ohmigoodness…you NEVER feature Baby Elle anymore.”

I know, guys. Sorry, not sorry. I was serious when I said I wasn’t going to be posting a ton of pictures of her online anymore. This is why I can’t have a baby blog. Motherhood has brought about a new wave of paranoia, y’all. Law & Order SVU and Lifetime movies have already made me crazy but now knowing that I’ve got a cub to protect means that I am ready to pounce at any given moment.

Girasol Double Rainbow capitan

But what I will do is do a post on babywearing. Surprisingly, I get a lot of emails about this. Babywearing isn’t new, y’all. Mothers have been carrying their babies on their fronts, hips and backs since the beginning of time. If I can manage to catch Esposo when he isn’t working, I’ll have him photograph Elle and I in different carriers. Because Elle has never been a big cuddler, I’ve found that babywearing is the one way that I can snuggle her without much opposition. Oh, and then there’s that convenience thing. I’ve worked out, led meetings, shopped, traveled and worked in an office all with a baby strapped to my body. And since she was a newborn. I feel so ridiculously empowered when I wear my baby. It’s not just for us hippies. Epsoso has become an avid babywearing and so has Grandma Clumps!

Stay tuned for a post where I feature ring slings, a mei tai, soft structured carrier and wraps. You’re just so excited, aren’t you? I know. I know.