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.

Life With A Toddler…and a Shaved Head.

African American baby

I just realized that I never wrote Elle a letter last month. I am severely slacking. Oh well. Not stressing it. Because that’s my new mantra in life “To not stress the small stuff.” So what if I didn’t write her a letter last month. That doesn’t make me a bad mama. Just a busy one. Whatever yo.

Last week was a crazy week. Between Matron of Honor duties, a sick Elle and lots of work at work, I didn’t have much time to run or sleep. But I’m hoping things are a little better this week. I’m attempting to take it one day at a time. Just one day. I think I’m going to start doing a list of weekly goals. Y’know…just a list of attainable, practical and simple goals. I NEED to feel accomplished at the end of each week.

I’ve also got wedding brain! Esposo and I eloped and I think it was romantic, and fun and cheap but I don’t know…after being in my cousin’s wedding, I’ve been thinking about how I too want to a rock a gorgeous dress and have all our family members surround us as they support our love. But I don’t want to plan anything. I kinda just want to show up and have a beautiful affair. For free. Doesn’t David Tutera do pro-bono work? Ha! A girl can dream.

Here’s hoping to a great start of the weekend! I’m totally missing that hour of sleep but I’m going to tryyyyyy to go to bed early tonight.

Oh and I shaved my hair off again.

Short natural hair

Esposo wasn’t happy. But girls, I ROCK the short cut. And it feels good to literally wash and go. I think I’ll keep it until the end of the summer and then grow it out…*sigh*

Let’s see if I can crank out 2 posts this week. I have SO much that I want to share with and I hope that I have the time to get it out.

Have a fantastic upcoming week!

I Hosted A Care Cards Party!

A few weeks ago, (Grand)Mama Clumps and my sister helped me with a very awesome project. As a Johnson Baby ambassador, I not only get the opportunity to introduce some of their newest and innovative products, but I also get to be a part of showing love to mamas by having a Care Cards party.

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A ginormous box of products landed on my doorstop and the task was simple. Organize said boxes and write sweet letters to expectant mothers. As a new Mom, I was all over this project because I know what it’s like to be a pregnant mama and be absolutely clueless. Sometimes the smallest bit of confirmation can make such a huge difference. And pregnant mamas need this kind of support.

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Plus, any day that I get the chance to play with markers is a GOOD day.

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So, it was quite the honor to be able to write little words of encouragement to so many mamas. We did this over Thanksgiving and chit-chatted away. It took a few hours to decorate the cards, write the sweet words and pack everything up.

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There are so many charities that I know would love passing these out to expectant mamas but I thought that the Beta House here in Orlando would be a great fit. The Beta House shows support to teenage mothers through residential programs, educational opportunities and just making sure that younger parents have as much support as possible. Charities like the Beta House work so hard to provide so much and I know that they are thankful for anything that they can get.

For more information about the Care Cards and to send your own, check out Johnson’s Baby’s Facebook page!

Johnson’s Baby Intense Moisture Cream – it’s not just for babies!

Johnson Intense Moisture Cream Since I live in Florida, I guess Winter really hasn’t hit us yet. I mean, anything under 60 degrees and requires a jacket and I am whining and don’t want to go out of the house. But for those of you who are already knee deep in snow, the lovely people at Johnson’s want to make sure that your skin stays hydrated and soft. The Johnson Baby Intense Moisture Cream isn’t just for your little one’s skin. You can use it to keep your skin soft during those harsh winter days. The cream is “clinically proven to improve dry skin after just one use and it seals in 24 hours of moisture for baby soft skin.”

Johnson Baby Intense Moisture Cream

I am usually skeptical about lotions that promise many hours of hydration, but as far as keeping your skin soft and hydrated, the cream does its job. Just like all of Johnson’s baby products, it has a wonderful light scent that isn’t overpowering like other lotions. The Johnson’s Baby Moisture Intense Cream is available everywhere and definitely worth the purchase. I already have gone through an entire bottle and keep one in my car. To me, nothing ruins an outfit more than dry skin.

Johnson's Baby

And then there’s my precious baby niece who suffers from really dry skin. I think it’s great that there’s a product out there that can not only help my skin, but that can work well on her skin too. I’m a nanny and watch a lot of babies and every time I visit one, I always make sure that I have a bottle of Intense Moisture Cream in my back. Juuuuuust in case.

Johnson’s is the best when it comes to baby skincare products and I’m just excited they have something that works for me too!

 

 

*Disclaimer: Brittany is a Johnson’s Baby ambassador and received this bottle of lotion as a sample.  

 

About the Author:

Courtney is the younger sister of Brittany and a 2012 graduate from Florida State University. Courtney loves listening to Katy Perry, nail polish, reading, and a good work-out. She hates peas, lima beans and negativity. She also ate deodorant once because her lovely older sister made her do it. [B’s Edit] Follow her on Twitter at @CourtNichelle.

Beauty in Mommyhood: Elle is 10 months old

Dear Elle,

I love that I’ve been writing you these letters. I love that when you’re older, you’ll get a chance to read my thoughts about what it was like to be your mama when you were just a wee babe. You’re growing up so quickly and it’s hard to remember everything. That’s why I make it my duty to document the basics each month.

10 month old

Look how pretty you are in your red Christmas dress! Unfortunately, you were more interested in eating leaves than smiling for the camera so we have to do a part II of attempting to get you to smile for your Christmas card photos.

You’re almost a year old and while in the past I’d get all weepy about this, I’ve decided to stop that. It is a blessing that you’re growing and developing the way that you are. There isn’t anything to be sad about. We’ve taken a few thousand pictures of you so we’ll always remember how teeny and small you were but to see you go from a tiny lil’ thang to this almost walking and talking little being…that’s sheer amazement! So no. Mama will not get choked up every time I think about how fast you’re growing. I will thank God that you ARE growing and that I get to enjoy this life journey with you.

Baby loves Christmas trees

Look at that. You’re not the only one growin’ up. Mama is too. Your 2 bottom teeth broke through this month and you didn’t cry one bit. In fact, your sore gums bothered me more than they bothered you. And it still surprises Daddy and me how quickly you went from scooting on the floor to crawling 30 miles per hour to now standing with no hands. Wow! You never cease to amaze us.

Oh…and you’re also talking. And A LOT! Some of your favorite words:

-Bob
-Butt
-Pop (you heard Daddy say this once and wouldn’t stop saying it!)
-Mum
-Dada
-Hiiiiiii
-Buh Buh (bye-bye)
-Pat, Pat, Pat
-Uh ooooohhhh
…and the unavoidable “NO”

I noticed you saying “No no no” a few weeks ago and I blamed myself because I got in the habit of telling YOU “no”. Daddy and me are trying to get in the habit of using words other than NO. It’s hard but we certainly don’t want you to go around saying NO! every minute of the day.

A few weeks ago we had a playdate with Sebastian and Cat. I’ve seen you interact with kids older than you but I’ve never seen you around kids smaller and younger than you. You were so sweet! It was as if you knew to be gentle wit him. You even gave him a kiss which just blew my mind!

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FOOD

Okay, mama will be honest. This food thing has me frustrated. Some days you’ll eat a ton of eggs and gluten-free toast. And other days, you’ll toss everything that we hand you. We offer you food multiple times a day but most days you just don’t want it. Mama has to practice patience because it’s a bit disheartening to give food for a baby that just won’t eat. You’re already petite and I want to get you on solids so that the breast milk train can stop a chuggin’ but it’s tough. You really are a picky eater. Daddy has been teaching me how to be patient and you keep developing beautifully so I’ve got to learn how to trust that one day, you’ll eat just fine. Can you believe that I’m still pumping? I’m so proud that I’ve been able to give you breast milk for this long!!

 

Duck face baby

SLEEP

I find solace in knowing I’m not the only mama with an older infant who won’t sleep through the night. It has become tougher since I have a grueling work schedule but I’m hoping that the end is near. Waking up every 3-4 hours at night is tough on your Mom and Dad. We’ve tried letting you cry it out but honestly, that just seems cruel and it’s heartbreaking to hear you scream “Mum” in dispair. Especially when a snuggle or milk is all that want. You sleeping through the night will change our lives for the better so help a family out, baby. Please?

Merry Christmas, baby
PERSONALITY

Girl. Your personality is so alive. You are hilarious. You do silly things (like go around screaming “butt”) that makes everyone chuckle. You also have your moments where you don’t want to smile. You don’t want to be bothered and you don’t want to be held. But then you have your needy days where you cry if someone puts you down. You’re so sweet. Sometimes when I carry you on my back, you rub and pat my arm. The most random things can make you giggle. We have learned to watch what we say because you repeat everythiiiiiing. And you want to get into everything too!

Happy baby

I’ve been learning to let go a little bit too. I’ve realized that I have become such a helicopter mama. I know hovering isn’t always a good thing so I’ve learned to let you play by yourself sometimes. And not always with baby toys. I stopped trying to block you from everything in the house and so you now have free range. That’s right, you’ve been known to dive right into mama’s stash of beauty products. I keep a close eye on you and let you play. Life is short. I don’t want to spend it limiting you to only playing with certain toys, in a certain room and at certain times.We started going to a new church and you’re not a fan of sitting still but you loooove the nursery. You’re such a social baby and I love that.

With every month there are different challenges, celebrations and I am just amazed at how much we are all growing. Daddy watched you for 3 days straight and he did such a good job! Some people call that just “parenting”, but hey…not every Daddy can go grocery shopping with a baby on their back. I am unbelievably proud of him and I love seeing how you can bring out the best of us. And I love the relationship that you have with your Daddy. It’s so beautiful to see you bonding with him.

Father and daughter

I love our little family so much. And we love you so much. You are the light of our lives and I thank God everyday for your health and happiness.

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Love you, baby.
Mama