Friday, May 23, 2014

5 on Friday {Favorite Things}

I don't often do a post like this, but recently I've used a few products that I adore and I thought others might enjoy them as well. So here are 5 items that I have been loving:

Red wellies
 In the throws of this dreadfully long winter I decided I needed some boots that could withstand the moisture. I also wanted something bright to make those snowy/rainy days a little brighter. I adore the Hunter Wellies, but I thought I could not justify the price for footwear I may only wear a couple of times a year (needless to say I was wrong about the frequency of use I used them nearly everyday this winter, especially taking Sawyer too and from school, and I continue to wear them several times a week during this wet spring weather). As I searched for a pair of wellies I wanted a bright color with a modern feel (i.e. not clunky rain boots) at a reasonable price and with some Christmas money I purchased the Kamik Olivia boots.

I adore them! I seriously wear them multiple times a week. They are comfortable and easy to slip on and off. Plus they are just plain fun!

Since Kolter is our 3rd child there wasn't much baby gear we needed. But one thing we have never had was a swaddle blanket and I thought it might be nice to have one in our baby paraphernalia arsenal. One day I read a review about the Woombie Air swaddle blanket and I was sold. 

This is hands down my favorite item for a newborn. I love it for several reasons: it's easy to get on, it allows some movement, and there is no way baby is breaking out. No more messing around with blankets and ensuring they are tight enough this simply zips up. My kids were always masters at breaking out of the swaddle, but with this design there is no way to break free. Also, it does allow for some movement, which is perfect because Kolter (and all my babies for that matter) likes to have his hands up (instead of pinned down like in a traditional swaddle). The Woombie allows him to have his hands up, but he is still confined enough that it doesn't startle him awake. I give it all the credit for Kolter sleeping 6-7 hour stretches at night.

My husband LOVES potatoes, but I HATE to cut and slice potatoes. I recently attended a Pamper Chef party and decided to purchase the Simple Slicer with the hope that this product would satisfy Kyle's potato cravings while also eliminating my distaste for preparing potatoes. And I'm happy to report we both love the product! We now have potatoes on a regular basis and I simply melt butter and add salt and garlic (and sometimes parmesan cheese). Then I pour the butter mixture over the potatoes and stir until everything is coated. Place the potatoes in 1 layer on a cookie sheet (I also add parchment paper so it's easy clean-up) and bake at 400 degrees until crispy.

It can be used for lots of food, not just potatoes. It would make slicing up a big salad super easy. Or if you liked to make dried fruits it would be the perfect tool to slice up the pieces. It would also make a pretty presentation of fruits or vegetables.

Photoshop Elements is the less expensive, consumer version of Photoshop (which is a professional level program). PS Elements may not have all the bells and whistles of Photoshop CS, but for a novice like me it is the perfect tool! It's not just photo editing software. In fact I rarely use it for photo editing. Instead I use it for creating graphics like those you see above plus many more. Some of the items I have created on PS Elements are christmas cards, blog designs, party printables (see above), family photo books (see above), invitations, birth announcement art (see above) and gift tags (see above) just to name a few. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but it is fairly user friendly and if you are unsure of an operation just Google it and there is bound to be a Youtube video to show you the process :) I love creating graphics Photoshop Elements has helped me have the tools I need to express my creativity.

When you have a child there are a multitude of doctors, nurses and lactation consultants checking in to make sure baby and mom are doing well. Some of the questions they ask repeatedly are: when did baby eat? How long did baby eat? Did baby nurse on both sides? Once I got home with my 3rd child I realized very quickly that remembering this information would not be an easy task. I often couldn't remember which side the baby nursed on last. It was a bit disconcerting. I had never had this issue before, but I guess when you're now responsible for the lives of 3 little ones it's easy to forget the small things. Then I remembered a lactation consultant mentioning a nursing app (which I totally blew off at the time, I mean who could possibly need that? :). 

There are many nursing apps available that will track everything from nursing to sleeping to bowel movements. Really my primary concerns were clear documentation of the time and side of the last feeding. I chose the American Baby Nursing app. It was free and super simple to use. I use it at every feeding. You can even set an alarm to signal it's feeding time, I don't use that feature because I've got a much more effective alarm and he will notify me when he is hungry :) Maybe I'm just being lazy, but it has been very helpful. As an added bonus you can see just how much time you have spent nursing your baby, which is kind of fascinating to me (in April I nursed Kolter for over 7500 minutes, wow that seems like a lot!).

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