product review










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just before you cross over the bay towards the westward peninsula, there's a dirt path that runs along the coastline, meandering through wetlands and marsh.  every time i cross the san mateo bridge (usually on our way to the airport), i look over that the vast open space of tall reeds and murky pockets of water and wonder what it's all about.  so one day, i decided to head that direction and with holden on my back, we set off to see what the salt marsh was all about.

holden and i spend a lot of time exploring areas where strollers won't make it.  rough terrain, up and down steep hills, and off the beaten path explains our adventures.  and although holden loves to run ahead and explore on his own for half the time, he usually putters out just before we've turned around to head back home, which is why carriers have been a saving grace for me.

now that he is almost two, it's not quite as easy for me to carry this boy of mine on my small frame and i'm always interested in trying different carriers to see what will give me the most back support.  we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out the stokke mycarrier.  while the mycarrier was a little more complicated to get into than some of the other carriers i've tried, it is well worth it because it was by far the most supportive i've ever worn (and i've probably tried every single carrier out there).  it's often hard on my body to carry around 25 pounds for an extended period of time, but i had no problem hiking through the wetlands for miles with holden high and dry on my back.  there's a steel bar that you insert into the carrier when putting it together and it seemed to make all of the difference.  he felt so much lighter in this carrier than others and my back didn't feel the strain i'm used to after ten minutes of toddler wearing.  holden was comfortable and content and it's just an added bonus that this carrier comes in a gorgeous, bold red color.



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bluum6 copy bluum7 copy i'm pretty sure most of us like receiving things in the mail.  i think i prefer shopping online just for the thrill of finding a package on my doorstep.  bluum is a monthly subscription service that sends you a box filled with fun products for both mama and baby or toddler right to your doorstep.  bluum just recently launched the toddler box and holden and i were lucky enough to receive one.

i was actually surprised at the amount of products that were included in the box and we really enjoyed each and every one.  the box retails at $24.95 and includes all full size products.  here is a list of everything that was in my bluum box (all for just $24.95!!).

  • little pim french: wake up smiling (disc 2) - 17.95
  • oogaa baby mealtime spoon - 5.99
  • wee can too veggie crayons - pack of 5 - 11.00 (my very favorite thing in the box! smelled like chocolate!)
  • smile makers assorted reward stickers - 75 stickers, 5.99
  • happy family happy tot - 4.22oz - 2.09
  • happy family happy creamies - 1 oz. - 3.59
  • boogie wipes gentle saline wipes for stuffy noses - 30 wipes, -3.79
  • brain rules for babies book - 15.00

and if i am being completely honest, i would purchase every single item in that box.  some of the items the saline wipes have been especially helpful during this cold season, the brain rules is one of my favorite child development books, and holden found a new favorite snack (we call them his treats).  the bluum box makes for a fun monthly surprise for you and your little one or an absolutely amazing baby shower gift (i already have a few expectant mamas in mind).  you can find out more about how it works and signing up here.

i interviewed the amazing and beautiful nicole gonzalez, who works as brand development for bluum and is mama to little lucas, on what it's like working for bluum.

How long have you worked for Bluum?

I have been with the bluum since it was just an idea. I consider bluum my "second baby"! Our one year anniversary was in October - this was such a rewarding celebration for our team. 

What is your favorite part about working for Bluum?

I adore being part of such an amazing community. Having an outlet where I can discuss products and day to day mom life has proved to be an immense benefit for me as a first time mom. 

What is your favorite product that has ever been included in a Bluum box?  What is your little one's favorite product that has ever been included?

There are too many to choose from! I absolutely adore Pinxav diaper cream. I have been using it every night since Lucas was a newborn and I've yet to experience a full blown diaper rash. Lucas's little tush is thankful! Another amazing product is Burt's Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash. It's incredibly gentle and leaves his skin so smooth and silky. I'm also pretty much obsessed with the sweet, honey smell. 

Has having a baby influenced how you view the Bluum boxes (i.e., do you have more of an opinion on what goes in them, do you think about your little one and what he would like)?

Absolutely. Every product is chosen with the greatest care. We are a team of moms, and we all test and use the products on our own children. We would never send out an item that we ourselves would not feel comfortable using. You can be sure that every box is mom approved! 

What is the greatest challenge for juggling work and being a mama?

To be quite honest, it's challenging at times. Lucas is at the age where he understands when I leave the house. It's heartbreaking to wait for the elevator and still be able to hear him cry. But I LOVE what I do. It is so rewarding knowing that I am able to help moms during the most exciting/nerve wrecking time in their life. One tip I have for working moms is making sure you have real, quality family time. This means no email, no cell phone, no computer. It's hard to let go of all these distractions, but it makes all the difference. When I get home I spend every minute playing and snuggling with Lucas until bedtime.

bluum supplied me with a toddler box, but i was not financially compensated.  these are all my own opinions.



one of my favorite things about the weather cooling down is getting to snuggle under giant, puffy blankets during the night with my two loves.  i love turning the heat off and letting the room cool down to arctic temperatures, rivaling the outdoor air, with a big down comforter bearing down on top of me.  i would leave our french doors open if possible, but dustin won't let me.  he's not as big of a fan of the cold as i am.

we co-sleep with holden and despite my best efforts to keep him covered up at night, he somehow always manages to wrangle himself free from all blankets and coverings.  i've even woken up to find his arms out of his sleeves, his pajama shirt just hanging loosely around his neck.  it only just got cold in the last week or so, but none of the pajamas we have seem to be warm enough and he's been waking up more and snuggling close into my side, his frigid toes startling me awake.

and then last week we received a merino kids sleep bag and i finally found my solution.

both of my parents being from new zealand, i grew up with merino wool as the main fabric in all of my winter clothes and honestly, you will never be warmer than when you are wearing something made from merino wool.  trust me on this.

i knew that a sleep bag made from merino wool was going to be the warmest and coziest thing that i could ever put holden into...and i was right.

we have been using it for every single nap and bedtime ever since it arrived on our doorstep and holden has been sleeping sounder ever since.  i know he still loves being confined to small spaces (a lingering memory of being in the womb) and i have a feeling that the sleep bag brings him a sense of comfort in the same way that swaddling did when he was a newborn.  plus, i don't have to worry about if he's getting cold in the middle of the night.

in the mornings, when i unzip the sleep bag and his tiny toes pop out from the bottom, they are so incredibly warm that i am now secretly wishing that they made a merino adults sleep bag so i could wear one to sleep.