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My Favorite Baby Stuff

10 Jun

Now that I’ve been a Mom for 10 weeks!!! I have some pretty strong opinions on baby stuff, including what the must haves really are. Spoiler alert: I definitely missed out on some crucial items when I created my baby registry.

Misconceptions I had regarding baby stuff:

The crib is the #1 thing to have! The crib must be ready before the baby comes!

Reality: My baby spends like 30 minutes a day in her crib (napping if I’m lucky). Newborns will want to co-sleep, be in a bassinet, and will basically sleep anywhere that is not a crib.

A newborn won’t care about toys. See this couch cushion, toy! This plastic cup, toy!

Reality: Babies like to look at things, especially things overhead. I didn’t register for a real activity mat, which now feels like a big mistake. We recently got one that doubles as a ball pit and now it’s fun time, anytime! Also, I no longer have to spend hours holding toys above my baby’s head.

There’s no way I’m turning my living room into a Babies R’ Us. My living room will remain posh and adult like.

Reality: Yes, my baby likes the classy Baby Bjorn bouncer that looks like a piece of Euro furniture, but she likes the used Fisher Price ‘Snugga Bunny’ rocker even more…. It’s totally OK to have baby stuff in the living room all the time. Also, babies like things that look like they’re made for babies vs. adults.

Baby wearing… not sure if I’ll do it… seems a little hippy-ish.

Reality: Baby wearing has been a life saver and overall is just a sweet fun thing to do. The $18 Balboa Baby Sling I found at Ross is used every day and lets me clean, write, exercise, and snuggle (on the go!). I only wish I would have found this sooner.

I’ll just buy medical stuff once the baby arrives.

Reality: While you can do this for some items, you’ll want to have a thermometer, diaper rash cream, lotion, etc. before the baby arrives vs. when you need it. No one wants to stress about buying a thermometer when you think your baby has a fever. I got the Kinsa and it’s really slick, but it takes time to set up. Give yourself that time.

I won’t register for any baby clothes because people will give me baby clothes anyways.

Reality: While this is somewhat true, I realized we were definitely lacking newborn sized clothes. A lot of clothes gifted to us were larger and sometimes not for the right season. Also, I learned quickly that I hated doing all the little snaps a million times per day for diaper changes. The zipper body suits were really the newborn clothes I wanted. In the early days, I definitely wanted function over fashion. Now that I have more experience being a Mom and am getting more sleep, I can handle the 3 piece outfits 😉

Looking forward to seeing what future must have items I’ll discover!

 

 

 

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What I Learned on My Japan Vacation :)

4 Jun

ImageI’m back from Japan! Actually I got back a couple weeks ago, but I’m back in the blogging spirit.

My recent trip to Japan was simply amazing and further reinforces my view that if you want to go somewhere and can afford it, just do it! In years past I was always nervous about going back to Japan due to cost, possible language barriers, and worries about getting around. Turns out I was wrong on all counts! It was particularly special getting to take my husband to Japan and show him some of my favorite things from my first trip some 10+ years ago. Some things I learned on this trip:

  • Japan isn’t as expensive as people make it out to be. Food in particular was very reasonable, even in the heart of Tokyo. We only spent maybe $3-$6 each on meals generally. One of our ‘expensive’ meals was $9. It’s not 5 star dining, but it was always delicious and gave the chance to eat a lot of delicious Japanese food. Udon, ramen, and gyudon spots were generally our favorites.
  • Some things are expensive….like Starbucks (400+ yen). Why not enjoy a 144 yen 7-11 coffee instead? Coffee also tastes sweeter in Japan.
  • The train and subway system is not as daunting as it seems. All the signage is in English which helps, but not all announcements are made in English so you still need to pay attention. The subway line which we were closest to (Marunouchi) was a great starting point for exploration. If you’re at a hotel that has wifi, bring an iPad or other hand device to map out which lines to take for where you want to go. This was extremely helpful and saved a lot of planning time.
  • Don’t buy the spendy JR Rail pass unless you’re going to use it (like going to Kyoto from Tokyo). We didn’t buy one and mostly walked places or spent $1.60-$2.20 each time for the subway or train. We still spent way less than the rail pass would have cost.
  • Tokyo is huge! You probably already know this but if you really want to explore Tokyo give yourself a few days. It’s much more similar to a state than a city. Every area is different and has its own special attractions. Shinjuku, Ueno, and Akihabara were our favorite areas.
  • If you like shopping, save room in your luggage or pack extra luggage. We found so many great things and great deals we ended up having to buy bags to pack home all the gifts and souvenirs. If you like Hello Kitty, video games, anime, electronics, or Japanese things in general your head might explode from the vast amount of stuff to buy. The elaborately boxed candies and sweets are particularly nice to get as gifts and will take up space.
  • One of the easiest ways to get from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo is the Airport Limousine Bus (don’t let the name fool you, it’s just a bus). It’s $30 per person, but definitely worth the 90 min trip. No dealing with luggage at the train station! The extra bonus? They accept credit cards!!!
  • Bring cash if you can get a good exchange rate or use the 7-11 ATM machines (I’ll save the full awesomeness of Japanese 7-11s for another post). Credit cards are accepted at very few places. Japan runs almost exclusively on cash so be prepared!
  • Lastly, if you have time learn some Japanese, it will help a lot. Not everyone in Tokyo speaks English (contrary to what friends/ websites/ etc.. will tell you). I am 100% sure you will use it! If you can memorize hiragana/katakana that’s even better! One of my favorite parts of Japan was getting to use the Japanese I learned in college. I feel even more inspired to keep up with it.

I hope these ‘learnings’ can help anyone who is interested in visiting Japan. I’ll be sure to add other Japan posts in the coming weeks!

Black Friday Deals

23 Nov

This year I got quite a few Black Friday deals and I didn’t even have to get up early! I’m not a huge Black Friday shopper, but it’s hard to say no on certain items. My top 3 reasons for indulging in some serious Black Friday deals:

  1. The items are generally at their cheapest vs. any other time of the year.
  2. Many of the deals are online so you don’t even need to leave the house.
  3. If you get serious buyers remorse, the items can usually be returned.

Yesterday: I bought 3 dresses from modcloth.com, all 50% off. I feel like modcloth has the same cute style as Anthropologie, but wayyyyyy cheaper. Plus they have free return shipping. 3 super cute dresses for $103 total is a fantastic deal in my book.

Today: 2 pairs of fleece tight for $7 each (50% off, hooray). The big purchase was a laptop: 17.3″ Toshiba Satellite for $399 (after rebates) from Staples. I purchased the very last one. My 4 year old HP is seriously breaking down, so much so that I have only turned it on twice this year. It will be nice to have a functional laptop again! So far, it’s been great. I’m hoping it might even help me blog more.

 

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