Summer Books

Can you believe it’s time for a Summer Book post?! I feel like it was just yesterday I was posting my very first one of these…way back in October! I’ll be back again with a big old “Back-to-School” round up in August for you!

{And If you want to get ahead of the game and shop for next year, here are the links to previous months book picks: Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | March | April-May }

Since I’m crunched for time, I did not include in-depth book descriptions like I usually do. If you click on each link, however, it will bring you right to the Amazon item page and will give you a full description (and sometimes a peek inside the book) there!


And Then Comes Summer |Summer |Jamberry |We’re Going on a Bear Hunt |Her Right Foot (a longer book but a great read all about the Statue of Liberty) |The Watermelon Seed |Flora and the Flamingo  (picture book- no words)|The Penderwicks (fantastic summer novel)|Is it Warm Enough for Ice Cream? |Goldfish on Vacation |The Night Before the Fourth of July |The Truth About my Unbelievable Summer |Our Great Big Backyard |How I Spent my Summer Vacation |Curious About Ice Cream (an non-fiction book of ice cream facts- great for older kids)|Wave (picture book- no words)|Roller Coaster |Fire Flies |Flotsam



Let’s Have A Picnic |The Ants Go Marching The Teddy Bear’s Picnic |I See Summer |Summer |Just One More |Seaside |Uh-Oh!


Going on a summer adventure?! I highly recommend this travel journal for bigger kids!

Go! An Adventure Journal (comes in three cover colors)


Graduation Book

The general idea:

  • Chose a book for each child
  • Ask child’s teacher to sign it at the end of each school year
  • Present book to your child at a crucial point in their educational career (8th grade/high school graduation)


The Details:

So I found this idea on Pinterest forever ago and, having been a teacher myself, thought it would be so cute to implement when I had my own children. I started when Q was in preschool and so far, I’ve kept up with both her and Ardyn’s books every year.

I recently shared this idea on my Instagram stories and got SO many messages about it, I figured I’d do a mini blog post with all the info!

Again, this was NOT my original idea and of course, you can tweak this little project to best suit you & your children!

Here is what I do:

  1. I chose to do a different book for each kid. I started with the quintessential Oh, The places You’ll Go with Q. But then I started seeing other amazing books out there and thought- why not mix it up?
  2. I found this instructional poem on Pinterest– I DID NOT write it. But I did go ahead and retype it out for you on standard white background (the one I found on Pinterest was on an Oh, The Places You’ll Go background- which doesn’t exactly work if you are using a different book!
  3. I keep these books tucked away in mailing envelopes so the kids don’t see them throughout the year. At the end of the year I send them to school IN the sealed envelope, addressed to the teacher (again, so the kids don’t see). I’m sure one of these years the kids will catch on…but for now I’d like to keep it a secret. (NOTE: Please do not wait until the last day or two of school to ask your child’s teacher to do this. Teachers are super busy at the end of the year and 1. You’ll probably get a rushed messaged 2. it’s annoying)  😉
  4. I plan on doing this as long as possible (goal would be through high school) and giving the book to each child at their high school graduation. Again, once I give Q hers- I’m sure the other two kids will figure they are also getting one…if they haven’t figured it out already. I’m not sure-I haven’t let my brain travel down that road yet. Right now, we’re just focusing on Kindergarten graduation! Ha!


  • Add a small school picture from that year next to each teacher’s message. Someone on IG said they place the picture on the page they want the teacher to sign! One of Q’s teacher’s did this back in her 4-year-old class and it really is the sweetest touch! You can always go back and add a pic later.
  • Maybe “reserve” a special page for yourself/the parents to write on. Front cover, perhaps? I just put a post it note on the page saying “reserved for mom & dad”. You can perhaps write a dedication note before you give it. It’d be super sweet to write a note the year you start it, and then a note the year you finish/give it! Ok…I’m not crying, you are!
  • If your teacher forgets to write the date, make sure you do so, or add the grade level next to each note!
  • It’s never too late to start this fun project so don’t feel like you missed the boat- just start this year!


Books That I Like:


Oh, The Places You’ll Go  | The Knowing Book | Reach for the Stars |Wherever You Go | She Believed She Could, So She Did | I Wish You More | Whatever You Are, Be a Good One | Seuss-isms | Oh, The Thinks You Can Think | Dear Girl,


Instructional Poem:

I like to print it, laminate it, and paper clip it onto the front of each book! (You Should be able to click and download the links below!)


Downloadable links:




I also LOVE this poem I found on My Sister’s Suitcase (via Pinterest) for an older student! I tweaked it a bit so it could be gender neutral…I hope the original author doesn’t mind! If you’d prefer, you can head to their website and download their his/her versions directly!


Downloadable Link:


THE Baby Favorites Post

Here it is- finally! The Big Baby Favorites Post I’ve been promising!! I get asked lots of questions on Instagram about my favorite “this” or “that” or get asked to link an item Max is using. SO, I figured it’d just be easier to compile one, big, easy-to-navigate blog post with ALL the information I could think of! Now you can come back and reference it, or shop anytime you want!

A few things to note: this list is not a comprehensive registry check list, but instead a list of my personal favorite baby gear and products that I’ve discovered or used along the way! If I’ve left anything off, that you were really hoping for, please let me know! I did have some requests for favorite clothing shops and for baby toys/activities but I think for clothing just check out my instagram posts, I usually tag the shops I buy from! And I think “activities” apply more to older babies/toddlers and that’s going to have to be a separate post, seeing as how this one is already a full encyclopedia!

I’ve divided everything in categories below and you can shop/explore one of two ways:

1. By clicking the corresponding numbers under each collage    OR

2. By reading the “details” section under each collage and clicking the links found there!

I hope you find this post helpful!



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Feeding Details:

Boppy Covers- I love these beautiful linen covers by Madly Wish. The colors are so pretty and I never felt like my boppy was an eyesore when I left it out on the couch after nursing (which was always). They are soft and easy to clean. Max still uses his to drink his bottles! And guess what? They have so graciously offered to give you 20% off with code: JORDAN!!

Oxo Bibs- There are SO many cute bib options out there so let me tell you why I love these: The top is soft (so it’s not a big ring-o-rubber around babies neck) but the bottom (where the food falls) is the durable silicone, so it’s easy to wipe clean. Also, there is a little pocket down at the bottom of the bib to catch spills and crumbs. For the life of me, I can’t understand why all bibs don’t have these little pockets! Of course, I’m talking about bibs for when your baby starts eating food- not for just “milk bibs”. My fav cloth “milk bibs” are from Copper Pearl! Use code PEARL10 for 10% off Copper Pearl goodies!!

Spoons & bowls- Love Avanchy. I also love that they now have stainless steel options!

Bottles- I LOVE Como Tomo so much! We tried every brand of bottle for our fussy/colic babies and this brand has been our favorite we’ve found in 7 years! I love that they are silicone and squishy. They are super easy for baby to hold/squeeze and super easy to clean (the mouth is so wide, you can literally stick your whole hand in there to clean them!) I also appreciate that these bottles are only TWO pieces to clean as opposed to a million pieces, like many of the other “colic preventing” bottles on the market! (Stay tuned for a fun giveaway with Como Tomo coming soon!)

Bottle Drying Rack– We found this one was small and sleek enough for the kitchen counter and still had lots of room for several bottles and tops to dry at one time. Bonus points- if you use como tomo, your bottles only have two pieces that you need to hang! 😉

Formula- I don’t want to start a debate or go into detail here but let’s just say- I’ve done my fair share of research on baby formulas. I had grand plans to breastfeed all my babes for a long period of time, but my cards played out differently for each baby and I had to learn to go with the flow & remember that “Fed is best”! We’re all just doing the best we can! That being said, when I had to go the formula route pretty early on with Ardyn, I did extensive research. I looked into ingredients in mass marketed formulas and made lists and spreadsheets. No formula is perfect, but these are the ones I have used. Baby’s Only is my favorite, but it is marketed as a “Toddler Formula” so it apparently has extra macro & micro nutrients in it. Be sure to check with your pediatrician before using.

  • First Choice: Baby’s Only Organic (I buy mine at Whole Foods. They have several options so please look at the ingredients in each and determine which specific formula of theirs is right for your baby. I linked the one I used.)
  • Second Choice: Happy Baby Organic (they have different stages for different ages, so make sure you buy the correct one!)

Food- I made all the kids’ baby food for the first few months. But, then I switched over to pre-packaged when good ol’ life got in the way of whipping up batches of pureed carrots every week. Here are some brands that I like:

  • Happy Baby Pouches I love that the packages are clear and that the ingredients are organic and minimal. Certified USDA Organic; Non-GMO Project Verified; Gluten Free; Kosher; No added sugars or artificial flavors!
  • Nurture Life is a weekly meal delivery service that sends you fresh, wholesome, organic baby foods with several different “stages” to choose from. Use code JORDAN for $30 off your first order!

High Chair Bloom Fresco I know it’s (very!) pricey but we’ve had this same highchair for SEVEN years and it still looks good as new! The best part is- you can change out the seat cover color & buy spare parts off their website as things start looking like they need to be refreshed over the years. Plus it reclines & acts as a sort of “baby cradle” for those early months and then transforms with the baby as they grow. If this is your last babe, you may not want to make the investment, but if you are just getting started having babies- this high chair is highly recommended to last you through the years!


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Sleeping Details:

Binkies – I loved this brand so much, even though Max decided early on that he wasn’t a binky-boy. 😦

Gowns & Footed Pjs – Kickeepants will forever hold a special place in my heart and JUST when I thought it wasn’t possible to love them anymore, they went and came out with zippered pjs. Also, their newborn gowns are ESSENTIAL for those first few months. They make those middle of the night diaper changes SO much easier!

Sound Machine – My kids have always loved the “ocean” sound for their white noise at night and I love how compact this one is for travel.

Baby Shusher– This thing is AWESOME! We used it mostly as an on-the-go sound machine- on airplanes, in his stroller, carseat, etc.

Monitor– The Nanit is my favorite monitor we’ve ever used. It comes with your choice of a stand or a wall mount and it watches your baby from above. It connects with your phone and can alert you when there is sound/movement or when the temperature in the room is out of range. It tracks your baby’s sleep patterns and how many times you go in to soothe at night. It gives you a live feed as well as “recap” videos, insights, and activity summaries. You can sign up for a $10/month plan and get emails with full breakdowns of your child’s sleep habits and it gives you sleep training tips based on the activity it has gathered from the month. This thing is BOMB! My favorite part is when Ryan and I are out on a date night, I can open the app in my phone and watch a live feed of Max snoozing away! Also, the other night, our NEST thermostat went a little haywire and the Nanit alerted me immediately that the temperature in Max’s room had dropped below optimal temperature. We went in to check and his little fingers were so chilly! No wonder he wasn’t sleeping well!

Swaddles: Ok, I’m breaking this up into two categories, muslin swaddles and non-muslin swaddles. MY muslin favs are the “deluxe” ones from Little Unicorn Official. The “deluxe or bamboo” ones are the softest of the bunch and are SUPER lightweight- and the designs are SO cute! Max loves to snuggle with these and Ardyn still sleeps with all 500 of hers.|My non-muslin favorites, hands-down are the stretchy blankets from Copper Pearl. They are soft like butter and are SO good for getting a nice snug swaddle! We have quite the collection of these! Don’t forget to use code PEARL10 for 10% off Copper Pearl goodies!!

Sleep Sack- I’ve tried them all. These are my absolute favorite and I shouldn’t be surprised because they are by my fav pj brand, Kickee Pants. Max uses his every night and literally cuddles right into it the second we put it on him. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever felt and I’m working on getting them to make one in my size…

Bassinet – I loved this Monte Design Bassinet because it was sleek looking and was going in our bedroom. (Call me crazy but I’m not a huge fan of big plastic/brightly colored baby gear all over my house.) Also, the small Dock-a-tot fit perfectly inside and so did our Plum and Sparrow Moses basket. (I also always loved the Moba Baskets too!) Anyways, this bassinet was so great for those early months. I’ve passed it down to my sister because it’s just so beautiful and I NEED to see another baby in it! If you’re looking for a cheaper option- this Halo Bedside Bassinet is pretty awesome too! Or if you love the look of the rocker bassinet- THIS one is a really nice cheaper option!

Pack & Play – Loved this Nuna Sena play yard. We kept Max in our room beyond the point of him outgrowing his bassinet. This was a great transition crib. It has an higher insert for smaller babies and was super easy to fold up and put down. We still have it and use it if we are traveling to a friend’s house for dinner, or a day at the pool and we need a place for him to nap or play safely.

Air Sense Air Purifier This allows you to monitor and purify the air in baby’s room. “By detecting temperature, humidity, and harmful elements in the air—such as carbon monoxide, methane and ammonia—this smart air purifier releases negative ions and alerts you of indoor air quality using a free app. Two-way audio speakers connect to your Wi-Fi to play music or a recording of your voice to help soothe baby, while customizable light colors provide entertainment and sleep therapy.” This is by no means a “must-have” unless you are up all night worrying about baby like me. If so, this thing just gives you extra peace of mind.




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On-The-Go Details:

Cybex Carseat & Stroller System- I can’t say enough about this car seat! My only complaint was that it was heavy- but in my experience most of the car seats with the highest safety ratings tend to be a bit heavier. My favorite feature of this car seat was that it can fully recline when hooked onto the stroller base or out of the car. Perfect for turning your upright car seat stroller into more of a bassinet stroller and I loved it for when Max fell asleep in the car; I could transfer him into the house, recline the seat and not worry about him being all scrunched up! Go check it out and read up on it yourself!

Side Note: Can I just say, even though we didn’t buy it, I’m slightly obsessed with the idea of the Doona carseat/stroller. It’s a carseat that transforms into a little stroller- it’s one piece, you guys. ONE!

Diaper Bag & Organizer – If you saw my IG stories you will know that this duo is a match made in “diaper bag” heaven!

Travel Stroller | cheaper version – I LOVE the Pockit for travel because it is so light & folds up so small you can put it in the overhead compartment of the airplane! They just came out with a new version that reclines and has a rounded hood! I’ve linked them both!

Nursing cover/ Carseat cover/ Shopping Cart Cover – Copper Pearl is my Favorite!  I still use my covers for high chairs and shopping carts for Max ! Use code PEARL10 for 10% off any Copper Pearl goodies!!

Binxy Baby– Shopping Cart Hammock. Takes up so much less room than the huge carseats in the back of the you can actually fit, you know- groceries! I LOVED this, but unfortunately Max is too big for it now. I’d say this really only lasts until your baby can sit up and/or roll over.

Wagon- Carting around a whole family? Heading to the zoo, beach, or a million soccer games?! This Keenz wagon is LIFE! It folds up, has a fold down storage compartment that fits it’s very own insulated mini cooler, it has an attachable canopy that has fold down panels on each side, and even cup holders and phone storage! If you need to see more, go check out my “shop” highlight reel on IG. This wagon is life-changing! Totally replaces any “double stroller” needs for us! BONUS: Use code JORDAN18 for a discount! (They are restocking more colors next week!)

Baby Carriers-

  • Favorite Sling- Sakura Bloom super comfy & easy to get baby in & out!
  • Favorite Wrap- Solly Baby (takes a minute to learn to tie but then its super easy!)
  • Favorite heavy duty carrier- Ergo Baby wore this one for hikes or long hauls!




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Playtime Details:

Play Gym- This is a fun little toy for when baby is still laying down but is grabbing and chewing on toys. It’s great for when you need a few minutes to shower, do laundry, etc. Max even played with it once he learned to sit up. I liked how it wasn’t an eyesore to have around the house and that you could strap different toys onto it! Max lost interest in this around the time that he started crawling.

Jumper- This was a big hit once Max could sit up on his own. It’s great for leg muscle strengthening . I prefer this kind, where the baby’s feet touch the actual floor, as opposed to the jumpers with the plastic tray bottoms. I think it gives the baby more control over the bounce & movement.

Bounce Chair- Max loved this chair in his early months. I loved the sleek design and how it bounced itself with the slightest movement from Max.

Stuffed Animals- BlaBla & Jelly Cat ! All of my kids have loved these two brands. My girls still sleep with theirs from when they were babies to this day! And I’m SO excited to share that BlaBla has offered you guys a 15% off code!!!! Just use JORDANCO15 at checkout! K, bye…I’m off to shop!

Books – Even the smallest babies can be read to and BabyLit books are my fav because the pictures are bright and colorful and the text is so simple and direct. Max still loves to look through these books together!

Toys/Rattles Babies don’t really need a ton of “toys” but as they start gripping and chewing, I do prefer toys made of natural/organic materials for them to have in their mouths 24/7. The Tot and Banner Toys are two of my fav shops for finding  fabulous and safe chew toys and rattles! Great News: Bannor Toys is giving you guys an exclusive discount! Use code JORDAN10 until 5/31 for 10% off! (excludes bannor boxes, limited toys, and furniture)




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Diapering Details:

Wipes- I’ve been using these Water Wipes since the day they came out and I’ve never looked back! They are 99.9% water with a drop of fruit extract. Can’t get purer than that!

Babyganics Diapers- I’m all about the organic diapers. Diapers actually contain lots of junky chemicals and they are the one product that is touching your baby’s most sensitive skin 24/7. So, I go organic- just a personal preference. Another fav are the Seventh Generation brand. I waver between the two when I’m out shopping!

Diaper Cream- Honest brand is my fave because of the low EWG rating (1) and because it actually works. In “tough” rash cases, we use Baby Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Maximum Strength because of the high level of zinc oxide. I also love mixing coconut oil with a few drops of frankincense essential oil for a homemade rash salve.

Bum Spatula- If you don’t own one of these, click this link and buy 50 right now. Ok, maybe not 50, but enough for every diaper change station in your house. And one for your car and one for your diaper bag! These are diaper cream applicators. No more messy fingers…in places they don’t need to be! This little tool is washable and has a suction cup bottom so you can secure it in place without making a huge mess between applying cream and finishing the diaper change!

Hatch Baby Changing Pad AND Scale! I wanted this SO badly for Max but we just didn’t spring for it. How cool would it be to be able to track your baby’s growth at home!? This is from the website: “the smart scale records baby’s weight and sends the results to your smartphone app. The app also tracks how many diaper changes baby is getting, so you can share with your pediatrician and see if baby is getting enough to eat at each feeding!”

Dekor Hands Free Diaper Pail – I forget what we had before this one, but I felt like it always stunk! I’ve never had that issue with this one. So it gets a thumbs up from me! Don’t forget your biodegradable pail refills!

Gathre Changing Pad– We have one of these sweet little leather mats in the living room and in my diaper bag! I also keep one in the back of my car for emergency changes!




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Bathing Details:

Baby Shampoo & Lotions – I’m a bit of a nut about safe ingredients in products- both mine and my kids! Tubby Todd has been my favorite for years now. The shampoos and bubble baths are gentle enough for the newest skin and they smell amazing as well! Their line has expanded so much since I first started using them, and now they have conditioner and detangler which I still use on my girls!

Bath support – I’ve tried all the bath supports- from the puj tub to the big flower cushion thing…and this one is my fav! I love it because it fit in my sink, was easy to clean (and dry!) AND once Max got bigger, I could also use it in our big bath tub!

For babies who are sitting up, but still slipping and sliding around a big bath tub, this Summer Infant anchored bath seat is pretty cool!

Baby Bath Towels- Can I just say, as a mom who has done this three times…skip the fancy hooded baby towels (or get one or two if you must), the regular towels you already own work just as good. Excess “baby specific” towels are just a waste of money. If you really want to get one for those early newborn days, I loved this Hands free Puj Infant Towel.

Bath Caddy– I used this one from Amazon to keep my Tubby Todd products, a few washcloths, and 1-2 baby bath toys in. I kept it stocked and ready for bath time.

Bath Toys for Baby- They don’t need much when they are tiny, just a few things to grab and chew on. Toys for older kids will need to wait for another post. But in general I stick with simple, mold/mildew free bath toys. Here are a few of my favorites for babies: ducks | color changing bath book |boats

Drain Cover- I’ve used this Boon Starfish since Q was a baby. Works in the sink & tub.





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Sunscreen Details:

Ok, this one’s a doozy. But, summer is upon us and there’ve been multiple requests for my favorite, most trusted sunscreens, so here’s my two cents:

There is such a great debate about sunscreen danger vs UV danger. I get both sides and am aware and have a healthy, respectful fear of the dangers of both. I guess it boils down to this- I try to use barrier protection (hats, UV rashguard swim suits, sunglasses, and shade) as my first method of protecting my kids from the sun. But of course, they also need sunscreen. So, by now we all know that I’m super picky about safe ingredients when it comes to the products I buy and put on my family. Amplify that pickiness by 100 when it comes to sunscreen. Sunscreen has some of the MOST dangerous and most toxic ingredients and reading about it makes my skin crawl.  I try to follow EWG guidelines as often as possible with all products, but especially sunscreen. EWG (Environmental Working Group) rates each product on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the safest and 10 being the most toxic. It also gives you a list of each ingredient in the product, rates each ingredient, and tells you why it could be a potential toxin OR why it is safe. I love this site and actually have the app on my phone for easy access and for scanning products when I’m out shopping! I also always try to read up on the “Best Sunscreens of the Year” lists they put out annually. If you want to read a bit more about sunscreen safety, HERE is another article for you. But if you just want to know my favorites (based on the guidelines of both articles), here they are:

And here’s the deal, we’re “not supposed to use sprays”. But let’s be honest…it happens. (With me anyways-especially on busy beach trips!). So here’s what I do. I look for the spray cans made by any of the above brands. Most of them are rated a “3” Which, in my opinion isn’t terrible for something you aren’t planning on using every single solitary day. A few of my fav spray brands with the best ratings that I’ve used are:

Note: When using these more “natural” sunscreens it is KEY to apply generously and frequently- especially when you are out in the sun all day and/or swimming!

*And since this post is all about BABIES- Please make sure you check with your pediatrician to see when you are allowed to start applying sunscreen on your baby. Most doctors don’t advise slathering on sunscreen before 6 months of age. More on that HERE.





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Monthly Marker Details:

  • You ALL know my absolute number one favorite are the numbered onesies by my girl Jen at Swanky Shank. She does SUCH a good job and they are customizable so you can get them in basically any color felt/onesie you want! And Woo-Hoo, use code FRIEND10 for 10% off!!
  • Another Fun option for monthly pics are these cool monthly milestone chalkboards  by Chalk Designs by Me. Use the code JORDAN10 for 10% off!
  • And I’ve always loved these milestone blankets from Batz Kids. They have so many different styles to choose from and they are just the sweetest! Use code JORDAN15 for 15% off- but HURRY code is only active for 48 hours!




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Baby Safety Details:

Can I just start by saying that if it’s in the budget, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a professional baby-proofer to come do this job. I thought it was going to be insanely expensive but you can have them do as much or as little as you want. For us, we had him lock all the cabinets/drawers downstairs, secure a few pieces of furniture to the walls, and cover the fire place. (We already had baby gates on the stairs!) It took all the worry out of wondering if we had done it right or covered all of our bases! If you or your hubby are extra handy & want to do it yourself, here are some products we love & use!!

Cabinet/Drawer locks: Magnet Key | Push Latch Both have pros/cons. We wound up mixing it up in our house. Super “dangerous” cabinets (i.e. cabinets with cleaners or lots of products or medicines, etc.) and cabinets we don’t go into very often (aka the tv boxes and electrical av gear) all got the magnet locks. I thought I would HATE these and lose the magnet keys day one- but I actually love them so much- they were SO easy to install (I installed all of these myself!)…and here’s a little tip for storing your key….they stick right to your metal outlet covers! We keep our “kitchen key” right on one of the outlets on the kitchen counter! The push latches are great for drawers and cabinets that don’t have dangerous items and are places you need to get into 25 million times a day & don’t have time to grab a key to open (like kids dishes, cups, pots/pans, etc.) I call these the “annoyance factor” locks as opposed to “safety factory” locks! 😉

Furniture & TV securing belts: super important and something I think often gets overlooked in baby proofing! We secured any tvs that weren’t on wall mounts and extra tall or heavy furniture (think dressers and bookshelves…which kids see as ladders!)

Outlet covers : Love that these work OVER anything you have plugged in! And don’t forget your standard plug in covers for those unused outlets.

Fireplace Cover: This was “the beaut” that our baby-proofer put over our fireplace. It’s ugly as sin but it keeps Max from grabbing the tiny (choking hazard) stones that are in there & it’s pressure mounted so super easy to remove if you have guests over or want to light a fire! Be sure to measure your fireplace opening first!

Toilet Seat Locks: I like these because they don’t require adhesive.

Stair Baby Gates: I think this is SUCH a case-by-case situation. For our house, we have dark wood floors and wrought iron spindles so I wanted a gate that was dark & would blend in. I suggest matching your spindles when selecting a baby gate for your stairs. Also, consider your stair opening. The top of our stairs is pretty standard, but the base of our steps is super wide. We actually found this gate: North States Super Gate that worked perfectly for the bottom of our steps. It comes in white as well. For the top we used a standard sized baby gate. Both are screw in…because you don’t want to mess around with stairs. Especially tall, hardwood stairs like ours! But if you’d rather not screw into your nice banisters, they sell these awesome ADAPTERS now! So cool!!

Here’s another tip: on the top of your stairs avoid the gates that have the bar at the bottom. These are SO dangerous and are such tripping hazards- both for kiddos and for anyone who may be carrying babies down the stairs. Instead, get a SWING GATE like THIS ONE that bolts to your walls/beams and swings open…no bar at the base!

Regular Baby Gates: For baby gates around the house (like to keep Max out of a certain hallway of our house) I go pressure mounted gate all the way! No need to put holes in the walls for something that isn’t going to be a permanent fixture! I love THIS ONE because the size is adjustable with extensions and I love the auto close feature!!

Chokeable Items: Ok, this is a tricky one because it’s two-fold process for us: it’s about controlling new toys/items that come into the house and also trying to sort through old toys/items that you already have lying around! So, for ALL new toys that come into our house, I go through the packaging and remove any choking hazards before giving them to the girls. These tiny pieces get tossed or get put in special storage (more on that below). It’s easy(ish) to control new items that come into your house, but it’s hard to sort through the massive piles & bins of toys that you already have! So here’s what I did: I trained my girls to find “chokeables” and bring them to me. I’m not kidding! Ardyn was doing it the DAY we brought Max home from the hospital! I swear, train your older kiddos and they will be your biggest helpers in finding random chokables around the house. If need be, keep little smarties or m&m candies and tell the bigger kids they get one every time they bring you a chokable they find. You’ll be shocked at what they find, ahem…what you missed! 😉

Of course, sweeping your house for choking hazard items doesn’t mean your big kids can’t play with their smaller pieced toys anymore- it just means (in our house, anyways) that these toys/games are stored up high and are items that the girls need to get permission before playing with…which isn’t a problem because they can’t reach them anyways! Ha! This applies to small legos, LOL dolls, Barbie shoes & accessories, games with small playing pieces, etc. When the girls come and ask to play one of those things, I take them down, set them up at a table where Max cannot reach and I supervise play. Here are some of our favorite storage bins for chokeable toys! ONE | TWO




Shop 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Extras & Gift Ideas Details:

KiwiCo Newborn Pack – Such a cute and easy gift idea! All these sweet newborn items delivered right to your (or your recipient’s) door! Stay tuned for an awesome giveaway on my IG coming soon!

Paci Clips from Madelines’s Box are super cute for keeping those binkies clipped on to your baby! Use code JM25 for a discount, valid until 7/10/18

Don’t underestimating buying clothes/pjs in a bigger size (for your baby or as a gift item) There’s nothing like getting to six months and realizing your baby no longer fits in any of the newborn stuff you hoarded like a pack rat!

“First Bows” for baby girls – Zozu Baby and Ellia May Designs are two of my favs and they both have really cute “It’s a Girl” free bow gifting programs! ZoZu Baby even has little man bow ties for those baby boys! AND Discount codes for everyone!!! Use code JORDAN20 (at both ZoZu & Ellia May Designs) for 20%!!

Miracle Milkookies deliver yummy lactation cookies to new mamas. Right now they are local to Dallas, TX but they have a nationwide launch happening this summer- YAY!     Use code JORDANANDCO for 25% off your first order!

A beautiful baby book- I ADORE this Birthday Letters journal. I do birthday letters for my babes in generic journals I picked up but I would’ve loved to have had them collected in a beautiful book like this!

Cute Organic Teethers are always a cute gift topper! Tip: When the sole purpose of an item is for a baby to put it in his/her mouth and chew on it…I always go organic/natural !

Beautiful Personalized Stationary from Shop Joy Creative. It may seem funny to give a tiny baby stationary, but I promise it will come in handy- for those early thank you cards and as they grow throughout their first year! I LOVE my stationary for Max and use it often! Use code JORDAN20 for a discount!!

Personalized Wooden Toy from Banner Toys are so beautiful AND last forever! Don’t forget about your discount code: JORDAN10 until 5/31 for 10% off! (excludes bannor boxes, limited toys, and furniture)

I love gifting a pair of Kickee Pants pjs with a cute stuffed animal or book. Kickee Pants now has their own stuffed animals, books, AND wrapping supplies based on their fabric prints. How cool is that?!!? Use the exclusive code: YAY for 15% off all Kickee Pants Press products- expires 5/13 so hurry, hurry!

If there are big siblings involved it’s always nice to get them a little something too. I’ll never forget how happy it made the girls when visitors brought even just a tiny something for them to say “congrats on becoming a big sister!” I love THIS Art Set for a gender neutral idea!

For a few other fun baby gifting ideas see THIS post!




Things we didn’t use but others swear by:

1| The Dock-aTot– As soon as Max could roll over he was a tummy sleeper, so that made the Dock unusable for us…even though we had one! I was SO sad!! Also, we travel a lot and didn’t want Max to develop a sleep dependency and then have to travel with it everywhere we went. That being said, so many of my friends SWEAR by theirs AND travel with them everywhere they go.

2 |The Owlet– We bought one and tried using it but it set off so many false alarms, I found myself to be a nervous wreck all the time thinking something was terribly wrong. We stopped using it and had Max sleep in his bassinet (and then a pack & play as he grew) next to us, in our bedroom, for probably much longer than we should’ve. But again, I have friends and doctors who absolutely swear by these monitors! 😉

3 |Baby Brezza- For those of you who don’t know, this thing is like a Keurig for Baby Formula. Ok, here’s the deal with this product: we had a friend sell us hers when Max started transitioning over to formula and it was GENIUS! I was hooked immediately. It mixes your formula one bottle at a time and serves it at room temp all at the touch of a button. Now, if you breastfeed you obviously don’t need this and I didn’t need it until recently. It really was a game changer & made the transition so much easier. BUT. It says to clean it regularly- which I did. However, one day I was trying to fix something that wasn’t working properly and when the insides opened up it was filled with mold. I threw up, I cried, I called the doctor immediately. I was thoroughly disgusted. SO. I’m not sure what went wrong here- because I’m a neat-freak/germaphobe and cleaned it regularly, per the instructions. It could’ve been a fluke, but I was completely turned off from this product so I won’t even link it here.

4 |The Beebo – We bought one. Don’t ask me why. But never used it once. Maybe you can try it and let me know what I was missing?

5 |Newborn Mittens and Pee TeePees (for little boys)- bought both, never used either! We opted for the Kickee Pants pjs with the fold over hand mitts instead.

6| Amber Necklaces for teething. I just never really got into these little guys. I think maybe the potential choking hazard freaked me out? I don’t know. I know LOTS of people who use them and say they are amazing but I guess my kiddos were just never really bad enough teethers to warrant getting one.

Max’s First Birthday

“Wild ONE”


Some HOW, Some WAY this tiny newborn of mine turned a full year old. I’m just over here trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve known this sweet boy {on the outside} for 365 days. It’s pretty unbelievable- in the fact that I can’t believe how fast it went, but also in the fact that I can hardly remember life without him.

Anyways, all sentimental mommy emotions aside…here is what we did to celebrate our little MAX!

We went with the “Wild ONE” theme because, first of all his name is MAX and this  costume from last Halloween kind of set the whole thing in motion. And secondly- because this kid is pretty much the definition of WILD!image1(1).jpeg

We decided against a big party this year and just celebrated low-key with family. Of course I went over-the-top with decorations, but that’s just to be expected… 😉

Max’s birthday started the same way we start all the kids’ birthdays since Q was born: their “Annual Birthday Balloon Wake-up”! We all piled into the Birthday Boy’s room with a ton of balloons and sang him “Happy Birthday!”

He hated it.

No literally, he cried.


It’s always been a tradition to decorate the mantle for holidays & birthdays. So, of course, Max’s birthday was no exception! I’ll link that cute green “ride-on” bike below with everything else!


We had a normal day and then had all of our family members come over for a casual dinner that night. We ate, drank, open presents, and had cake– simple…like in the olden days. (But with a dining room decorated like the jungle, and goodie bags for the girls, and a million balloons. Ok.  So- NOT simple. But, simpler than a big old party!) 😉


2018-05-02_0011One fun idea I (and by “I”, I mean Pinterest) had was for everyone to write a little note to Max in a copy of “Where the Wild Things Are”. I’ll save it along with the birthday cards he received from anyone who couldn’t be here. 2018-05-02_0009

I decided last minute to give the girls tiny goodie bags. I filled them with fun trinkets like stickers, slime bath bomb (to use in the OUTDOOR water table- NOT in our bathtub), some surprise packs, and a few treats.) I figured it would make the “boring grown up dinner” a little more festive for them….AND keep them occupied for a bit, so that us “boring grown ups” could talk!


Another great idea that just kind of fell into place was the idea of this mini “photo booth”. I still had the piano room set up from Max’s cake smash shoot, so I just took out the high chair, replaced it with a bench and had my family take turns taking pictures there with Max. Turned into a cute idea! I think I’ll print the pics and put them in his “Wild Things” memento book!2018-05-02_0005

(Sidebar: For the animal party hats. I bought plain party hats and the animal ear headbands separately. I then just glued the animal ears to the party hats!! 🙂 )

In lieu of a party, (and also because I like to celebrate my kids’ birthdays for more than one day) we spent the next day at the zoo together. We had so much fun!


And we can’t forget Max’s “cake smash”! I had this sweet little “Wild Thing” cake made by a local bakery called  Fancy Cakes by Lauren and it was perfect…and delicious! (See ya, later snobby old Society Bakery! See HERE for why!) 😉2018-05-02_00202018-05-02_00212018-05-02_00232018-05-02_00222018-05-02_00252018-05-02_00262018-05-02_00272018-05-02_00282018-05-02_00292018-05-02_0030

Honestly, despite the smiles- Max HATED the cake smash. He was angry when his fingers got dirty and he didn’t get even a little bit happy until we gave him a spoon. He “tasted” the frosting once or twice but mostly just enjoyed hammering the cake with the spoon.2018-05-02_0031

And just because before and afters are fun….

Good work, Bud!


And then lastly, I took his final #ayeartotheMax picture. I delayed for a few days because I was NOT ready for these monthly pictures to be over. They were so fun to do and I KNEW how quickly it would all fly by. I may or may not have cried when I took this last one.

Fastest year of my LIFE!!!

But, also…the very BEST year with my little family of five!!!


Happy {WILD} O-N-E, sweet Max-a-roo!! We love you, Moose Man!


“One Wild Year”, “Wild One” and Animal Print Pendant Banners are all from my favorite, FAVORITE go-to spot for all my party banner & felt ball garland needs –Pearl & Jane!!

Max’s “Wild One” Tee | Max’s “Wild Thing” Tee | Max’s adorable “1” crown | Max’s adorable Monthly onesies  | Girls’ Zoo Dresses

Animal Face Plates | Leaf Plates | Striped Plates  | Snake Cups| Party Hats | Animal Ear Headbands | Green Fringe Garland |Small Animal Balloons: Lion , Panda Bear, Monkey, Tiger , Crocodile , Hippo|Flamingo Balloon- Target Dollar spot, similar one HERE | Large Zebra Balloon | Large Crocodile Balloon | Wild One Balloons | Fake Palm & Banana Leaves- Target Dollar spot | Snake Party Blowers | Max’s green “bike” present





Q’s Room Makeover

The decision to give Q’s room “a little facelift” started with my ridiculous desire to wallpaper every room in the house. Add in recent discussions we were having about switching out her queen bed for two twins and the decision to redo the ENTIRE room was basically made FOR us.


It was definitely all my fault idea.

Once I knew I wanted to do twin beds I started wrestling with the idea of which wall to wallpaper, the “window wall” where her queen bed originally sat, OR the big empty wall to the right. I “polled the audience” 😉 and you guys helped me decided to not only wallpaper the big empty wall but also to move the bed/s to that all. I was hesitant at first but I have to say- I love how the room flows now. It actually feels bigger and now Q & A can have their weekly sleepovers in Q’s room without complaining about who picked their nose and who-kicked-who in bed!

Ok I’ll stop talking now because I know ya’ll just want to see the pictures. BUT, if you’re interested in a “before” picture to compare what we’ve done and changed, here is the link to Q’s Orginal Room.

Here it is, Q’s “Big Girl” Room Reveal:


2018-04-23_0001 Notice how many baskets I’ve worked into the room? This allows Q to have (hidden) places to put all of her “stuff” (i.e. books, her prayer rock, mp3 player, giant yellow emoji pillow that doesn’t match the room, baby dolls, stuffed animals, pokemon cards, etc.) I think it’s important for kiddos to have places to store items they love- it also. makes clean-up/hiding things much easier & helps keep the room looking put together.

2018-04-23_0002I tried to take Quin & her interests into consideration as much as possible when picking out decorations. You can find traces of her love of mermaids, her shell collections, her love of dance, music, and reading, and her dream of one day going to Paris scattered around the room. Look closely…I tried to pick items that hold meaning to Q instead of just things I thought were “pretty”.  Even something as simple as putting reading sconces over the beds have made her little book-loving heart SO happy!2018-04-23_0004Who spotted the monitor camera hidden behind the golden elephant?! Yes, I still spy. 2018-04-23_0005Lots of people thought that door next to the bed was the door to the hallway, but it is actually Q’s bathroom & closet. I wouldn’t have put the beds on that wall if they were up against the main entrance like that. 2018-04-23_00062018-04-23_0007This record player has been one of my favorite purchases for her “big girl room”.  Q listens to stories and music before bed and on “sleepover nights” Q & A put on records and dance and act them out (everything is a “show” with these two!) Plus, collecting old vintage records has been SO. MUCH. FUN! Think The Greatest Showman soundtrack will come out on vinyl?!! (Update: it HAS, and I already ordered it!!!) 😉2018-04-23_00082018-04-23_0009I kept certain items from her “baby” room because she’s still only six- even if her room is a little more sophisticated now. Her little pink dollhouse and baskets of stuffed animals remind me that she’s still my baby. I know one day they’ll be replaced with “bigger girl” items. But not today! 😉 2018-04-23_00102018-04-23_0011This Petal Lane “being yourself” quote is actually a magnet board! I think it will be fun for Q to tack pictures to it as she gets older. And that DREAM sign stayed from her old room (it actually lights up and serves as a night light) and I just repainted the frame around it to pop against the newly white walls. (They used to be grey).2018-04-23_00122018-04-23_00132018-04-23_00142018-04-23_0015This gorgeous fiber art rainbow was the pièce de résistance for the room. It’s my a favorite thing EVER and I now need one for every room in the house! And how pretty is that gold foil Eiffel Tower print? (I love breaking up a book shelf with a pretty piece of framed art!) You should’ve seen Q’s face when she saw this. It’s her “dream” to go see the Eiffel Tower one day! Both items are linked, along with everything else, below.2018-04-23_0016Here’s a little TIP for decorating book shelves: If the highest shelf is out of reach for your kiddos try finding books with pretty covers and then ONLY putting the book covers on display on the highest shelf. Tell your kiddos what you’ve done so they don’t go reaching for them. Here’s why I do this: 1.Kids won’t get hurt trying reach for out-of-reach books (aka no heavy books will come crashing down on their heads) and 2. You can put the actual books in a bin somewhere at their level so they can still enjoy the books without them just being “decorations” up high on a shelf, collecting dust.2018-04-23_00172018-04-23_00182018-04-23_00192018-04-23_0020

Hope you liked her little room tour! Links and a collage for pinning are below!




| Wallpaper | Beds | Rainbow Fiber Art | Wall Book Shelves Hanging Chair |Fiddle- is real 😉 | Fiddle Planter | Pink Gingham Pillow cover | ottoman pouf | Gold rolling basket | Stuffed Mermaids | Floral Pillow Cases | Dalmatian Pillow Cases | All other accent throw pillows were found at Home Goods and Target | Book Shelf |Wicker storage baskets | Golden Elephant | Unicorn ipod speaker (Pottery Barn- No longer available) | Book Ends | Dresser | Pom Garland | Dream Sign | Giant frame found at Hobby Lobby & spray painted (similar one HERE) | Pink Dollhouse (Pottery Barn, not available online- similar one HERE) | “Beautiful” quote art | Mirror from Home Goods, similar one HERE, or HERE is a cheval option! | Big Basket |Pink Pom Throw blanket | wooden monogram | Record Player | Comforters | Gold Foil Eiffel Tower Print |Bulb Sconces | Ceiling Light Fixture |Rug is old PBK but here are two similar options: ONE & TWO | Pink Drapes | White Ruffle Blackout Drapes | Girls Play Gowns | Doll Strollers


Julia, Child | Gaston | Flora and the Flamingos |Someday |I Had a Favorite Dress   (w/cover removed)| Madeline | A Little Princess | The Book with No Pictures | Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet

pin meQsRoomCollage

“Sponge Cakes”, Tea Cups, and Bunnies…Oh my!

Ready for the cutest little bunny-filled craft idea EVER? Read the steps below for a simple “sponge cake” recipe for your little one’s next tea party! (bunnies optional)


  • Step One: gather your supplies. You will need:
  1. sponges of all different shapes, colors and sizes (you can always buy a big one and cut it into different shapes!)
  2. scissors
  3. craft glue (I prefer hot glue gun)
  4. paint
  5. kitchen supplies to use as paint brushes (cake scrapers, mini spatulas, tiny butter knives make your little crafter really feel like a chef!)
  6. trimmings: think cute pom-pom ribbon, red poms for cherries, glitter that resembles sprinkles, rosettes, etc.
  7. plastic to-go boxes for your guests to carry home their goodies!
  8. optional: Anything to help set a festive mood. Think tea set, doilies, flowers, and don’t forget some REAL edibles! 😉


  • Step Two: Invite some of your best buddies over for a “crafty tea party”.  Then, allow your crafters to get, well…crafty! Guide them if need be. I had a few “sponge cakes” pre-made for inspiration. Tell them to pretend they are making real cakes for a real fancy tea party! Show them how they can glue sponges on top of each other to create “layered” cakes, how to make roll-ups, etc.


  • Step Three: While the glue and paint is drying, serve some real snacks. We went with cupcakes, macarons, and “pink lemonade tea”. We also had little bunny visitors for the girls to play with.
  • Step Four: wrap the girl’s sponge cakes up in a plastic to-go box and send them on their way! Q keeps her sponge cakes with her fake kitchen food and to this day they are some of her & Ardyn’s favorite play food items!


Flower headbands from Fancy Free Finery

Images originally posted in Momazine Magazine: Issue 17 | May 2016


pin mespongecakespinLoveJordan

Master Makeover

I know I said I’d post this ages ago, but…life. Anyways, when we moved into our house we did the kids’ rooms and the living spaces first and just kinda left our bedroom hanging until recently. We didn’t do much to the bedroom, aside from a few new pieces of furniture, but we did gut the bathroom and redo that com-plete-ly. We finally have a place in the house that feels like our own….that is, until the barbies and sailboats make their way into the bathtub and I find teddy bears and Cub’s “frankies” buried under my bed sheets. Ah, kids.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.



The pillows on our bed are constantly changing…whenever I find new ones I love I change them out. And this little couch/reading nook is new. It used to be where we kept a mini crib for the babies and a little rocking chair…but times are a’ changin (sob!!) so we made this nook over so that it was a place we could lounge and drink coffee in the morning and read books and the newspaper. BAHAHAHA. Yeah right….three kids, remember? This couch will mostly likely remain un-sat-upon for the next 10 years. But, hey…it looks pretty! 😉

And yes, I know we need new family pictures…

Bedroom Links:

Juju Hat | Bed| Rug|Nesting Tables |Books 1 2 3 | Dragonfly |Knit Wool Blanket |Velvet Couch|White Pouf |Faux Fur Rug- Home Goods (similar one HERE) |Arched Floor Lamp |Grey Ruffle Throw Pillows on Bed- Home Goods (similar HERE) | Couch Throw Pillows – all from Home Goods (similar options Home, Rose, and Faux fur ) | Side Tables- Wisteria (out of stock) |Lamps (can’t remember, but similar style HERE) |Benches

(I’ve tried to link everything but if something isn’t linked it’s because we’ve had it for ages and I cant remember where we got it.)




The bathroom was really a gut job. Here’s a before picture:



The tub was my “project” and the shower was Ryan’s baby. He wanted to knock out all that unused space and make it all into one giant enclosed shower space. We installed an aromatherapy steam system so we could do fun things like “take eucalyptus steams after work-outs”. It’s great.  Now all I need to do is start working out….

The shower also has Bluetooth speakers so we can sync our phones and listen to music, etc. The girls think this is the best part and there have been many “Greatest Showman Dance Parties” in there. It is pretty great for bathing the girls at once, I have to say. There’s a giant rain shower head in the middle (which I think got cut off in the pictures) and then two regular shower heads. So the girls and I can jump in and I don’t need to share my hot water with anyone! 😉 So yeah, I guess I’m kinda happy Ryan was all about creating the ultimate spa shower. Although, the tub is really my happy place.

A note on the sinks. They look pretty but they are super shallow and really not conducive for things like, ohhhh brushing teeth or washing your face. The water splashes everywhere! I’d definitely have gone with something deeper if I were doing it again. I also would’ve gone with gold accent hardware. Oh well.

Oh, and yes, the Fiddle is fake (most asked question). I’m not a fan of fake plants (despite my black thumb) but the shades are almost always closed (because, privacy) so I needed something that looked pretty but could do without much light. I think this one looks pretty real. Plus, I don’t need to replace it every few months. Win-win!

As far as the rug goes, I know some of you might be confused because you helped me vote on Instagram between the blue one and the pink/orange one and NEITHER one of those is pictured above. The blue one was an Amazon order and the pink/orange one was from Turkey. Yes, as in- I ordered it from the country of Turkey. And guess where I wound up finding the rug I loved the most (the rug pictured above)? Freaking TARGET you guys!!! But don’t worry, the beautiful Turkish rug found a home in the laundry room…which gets much more action these days anyways. 😉

Bathroom Links:

Fiddle Leaf Fig| Rug | Light Fixture| Sinks & Faucets| Towel Basket- Home Goods (similar HERE ) | Dyson Blowdryer (warning: splurge pricing! Got it for Christmas last year!!) | Curling Iron | Pink Turkish Towel | Pink turkish hand towel |Candle and stand – Home Goods finds but similar one HERE! | Bath tray | Acrylic Vanity stool (Cheaper option HERE & HERE )| Acrylic Shower Table/Stools (Cheaper Option HERE !) | Bath Tub and here are some other similar styles: One Two Three | Tub Filler/Faucet| Hair Tools Caddy |Products…now THAT’S a post for another day! 😉

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