Friday, September 30, 2011

Funny Friday: Celebrity Baby Names

I found an article that lists the "Top 20 Most Bizarre Celebrity Baby Names"...It also gives you the reasons behind the names.  My favorite...

#18 Fifi Trixibelle, Child of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates

Reason:  The Irish singer and songwriter Geldof named his daughter Fifi after his aunt, and his wife was fascinated with the lifestyles of southern belles, hence the last part. But Trixi?

Click here to see the other 19 names.

Emily (Gigi's mom) told me this funny story about her husband the other night saying "husbands don't have a clue."

"My husband rolled over in bed the other night and asked me, 'Honey, would you rather have a full time chef/maid, a full time nanny or a full time masseuse?'  My response - 'A full time chef/maid.'  His response - 'I would want a masseuse!' Of course he would say masseuse … he already has a full time chef/maid and nanny … ME!"

Remember to enter the Pint-Sized giveaway!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Witching Hour

After L was born, I heard many people refer to the “witching hour.”  I have come to discover what this means: the 2 hours just before bed time.  L is just a little cranky during this time…some nights worse than others.  Seeing as this is the ONLY time I get to see her during the week (TEAR), I want it to be quality time.  Bath time is SO helpful during this cranky time of day.  L LOVES it and has so much fun!

In Rub-a-Dub-Dub, I offered my opinion on which bath tub to buy, but I didn’t offer up the accessories to go along with it.  (Did anyone figure out why there were three men in the tub?)  These accessories help make bath time fun and a stretch it out a little longer.  This is also a great gift idea…you can put them all together as a bath time basket. 

1. Bath toys - We have the ones pictured, but any bath toy will work.  These help stretch bath time an extra 5-10 minutes.  L especially loves the ones that squirt.

2. &Rubber Ducky - Duh!  Every baby needs one of these.

3.  Shampoo/Body Wash/Body Lotion - We received so many different kinds of these as gifts...we have yet to buy our own because of our abundant supply from our shower. We have liked them all...Noodle & Boo, Thymes Sweet Leaf, and Johnson and Johnson.  They all come in travel size packaging (as pictured) which works great for gifts.

4.  Spout Cover - We actually do not have one of these, but will include it in my next order.  Now that L is officially in the real bath tub, we have had many close encounters with her head hitting the spout.  

5.  Animal Towel - I have to say that I am a sucker for the animal towels!  I just love them!  You obviously don't have to have the animal one, but I recommend paying a little more for the nicer towels.  They are much softer and not as scratchy.  Specialty boutiques sell the nice ones along with Pottery Barn.  Don't forget to check to see if they come with a wash cloth.

6.  Toy storage - We have this lovely frog hanging in L's bath tub.  It is so nice to scoop up all her toys and let them drip dry.  The frog is not required, but definitely think about registering for some sort of bath toy storage product.  They make a lady bug now that is SO preshrunken!  

7. Pitcher - my mother-in-law bought this for L.  L actually plays with it more than any of her other bath toys, and it is great to have something to rinse her off with.

Let me know if you put a gift basket together!  Would love to see pictures!

Also, check out the new tabs at the top of the blog!  What do you think?  Anything else you would like to see?

Don't forget to enter the Pint-Sized giveaway!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby Library

While I was pregnant with GiGi I read numerous books, but I found "On Becoming Babywise" -  Garry Ezzo, M.D. & Robert Bucknam and "The Happiest Baby on the Block" - Harvey Karp, M.D. to be the most informative and the ones that I continue to refer back to.  

"Babywise" was great for helping me to establish a healthy sleep pattern for GiGi and it also helped me to stabilize my milk production ... yep, I'm a breastfeeding mamma ... and "Happiest Baby on the Block" was great for providing me with ways to calm a crying baby.  I did not have any experience with babies before having my own so I needed some tools in my toolbox for those nights when she would be crying and I would be at my wits end ... thank goodness for Dr. Karp's "Happiest Baby on the Block"!  

As I was reading this book, I came across a list titled "Ten Ways to Keep Your Baby Safe in Bed With You" ... now, we do not "co-sleep" with GiGi in our bed, it actually TERRIFIES me -- be watching for a post about this terrifying topic -- but I almost threw this book in the trash after reading #9 on the list - "9. Always go to bed sober" ... REALLY!?!?!? ... when I read this I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever read and almost threw this book in the trash  ... I'm glad I didn't because the 5 S's have really come in handy!  

The 5 S's are five things you can do to calm your crying baby: 

1. Swaddling-tight wrapping, 
2. Side/Stomach-laying a baby on her side or stomach, 
3. Shushing-loud white noise, 
4. Swinging-rhythmic, jiggly motion and 
5. Sucking-sucking anything from the breast or finger to a pacifier (pg. 11).  

Numbers 1, 3 and 4 have been the most calming for GiGi ... she actually does not nap or go down at night not tightly wrapped in her Halo Sleepsack Swaddling Blanket.


She LOVES it and sleeps so much better and longer when she is swaddled! Dr. Karp discusses each "S" in detail and also provides a wonderfully comprehensive breakdown of colic ... all in all, this is a great book and a wonderful resource for all mommies and daddies-to-be!!!!

Gigi swaddled and in her swing ... double whammy!!  Also note that she's strapped in ... you can never be too careful! :)
GiGi so happy in her Halo Sleepsack Swaddle blanket!
Until Next Time,

Don't forget to enter the Pint-Sized giveaway!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stokke Xplory

I saw this pic recently of Selma Blair with a great diaper bag!

Mt first thought was, "It probably is way expensive."  FALSE!  This Stokke Xplory Bag retails for around $119 and comes in multiple colors.  Check it out!

Don't forget to enter the Pint-Sized Giveaway!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pint-Sized Giveaway

I have been waiting to announce this giveaway for a few weeks now!  Between facebook, blogs, and other social media, I have reconnected with so many old friends.  It has been so fun!  One friend, in particular, Lauren, contacted me to do a giveaway for Keeping it Simple.  I had no idea she had started a children's clothing line, Pint-Sized Clothing and Design.  As described on Facebook, "Pint-Sized is an online boutique offering items at affordable prices.  Everything is made by hand, just for you!"

I ordered L an owl onesie (applique pictured below) and was beyond excited when it came in the mail last week!  Not only was it adorable, but it was also great quality.  The only bad news is I intentionally ordered it a little big, so I have to wait for L to grow into it.  I guess I can contain myself for a few more weeks!!!  I will definitely share the pics with her wearing it when I have them.

Take a look at Lauren's fabulous designs below.  Her dresses are super cute!  I love the dress with ties on the shoulders because you can adjust the ties as your little one grows!

Here are a few of her MANY appliques for onesies including L's owl!

Are you dying to have your one-of-a-kind Pint-Sized outfit yet!?!?

Her dresses run from $38-$50 depending on the size and monogram, and her onesies run from $15-$22.  Her turn around time is around 1-3 weeks.

Today she is giving exclusively to Keeping it Simple a personalized onesie (or $22 credit toward an outfit).  We must earn Pint-Sized 50 likes to qualify for the giveaway.  If we reach the goal, I will announce the winner next Monday.

To enter...

Good Luck!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Funny Friday: The "It" Factor

Special K and I agreed not to find out the sex of the baby.  For 10 months (whoever said pregnancy was only 9 months must have been a is definitely 10 months) we referred to L as "It."  However, we were almost positive "it" was a boy.  So positive, I actually didn't even listen to what the doctor said when L was born!  They had to tell me  four or five times it was a girl.  Obviously, we were way off! 

Our ultrasound tech told us about 90% of the patients he sees find out the sex.  I thought is would be a little lower because I know so many people who don't find out.    Please answer the following poll to see if Keeping it Simple statistics match his.

Did/Will you find out the sex of your baby?

If you are finding out or not, I ran across this article that details all the gender tests you can try.  Could be fun to test their accuracy.  I took a few of them when I was pregnant and here were my results:

1) Heart Rate: Girl
2) Sweet tooth: Girl
3) Chinese Birth Chart: Girl
4)  Potty Time:  Didn't take this one
5)  Even and Odd: Boy
6)  Key Test:  Didn't take this one
7)  Complexion:  Girl
8)  Ring Test: (We used needle and thread) Boy
9)  Morning Sickness: Girl

Not bad, 5/7 guessed girl!  What about you?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Stage of Life

I have officially entered the germ stage of life.  L's cold has traveled through this house quicker than you can say nose sucker.  This week I have cold remedies on the brain, so guess what today's topic is?

Monday after work we had quite the task trying to get L to go to sleep.  Every time we would put her in the crib she would scream bloody murder!  The harder she cried the worse the congestion got.  I talked to our nurse, scoured the Internet for suggestions, and called my parents for tips.  I gathered a list of things to try when you are in this situation.  I am not sure which one finally worked for us, but one of them finally did!

1)  Ask your doctor which decongestant they recommend.  Our nurse suggested a few weeks ago to use Baby Benadryl (Walgreen's brand) for congestion.

2) Baby Benadryl did not do the trick when we tried it on Sunday.  We tried the nurse's second recommendation, Baby Zyrtec (Walgreen's brand).  That helped a little bit.

3) My theory is with a sick baby, Babywise flies out the window.  I broke the no rocking rule.  We all want our mommies when we are sick.  I still call mine when I am sick!  So, we rocked and rocked and rocked.  She finally fell asleep, but would wake again when we tried to put her in the crib.

4) Putting her in the car seat in the crib so she was on an incline when she slept...worked for 30 minutes and then she was screaming again.

5) Weirdly, she normally likes the NoseFrida and laughs when I do it, but this was no ordinary runny nose.  We had to FORCE the NoseFrida upon her.  She did not want anything near her nose.

6) Rubbed Vicks BabyRub on her chest while steaming up the bathroom

7) My parents suggested Pediacare Fever Reducer Infants Drops because her throat/head might by sore

8) Let her chew on Sophie in my lap in case her teeth were also bothering her.  It did calm her down.

9) Placed the pack n play mattress on an angle in her crib for her to sleep on.

Somewhere between 5-9 we had some luck and she finally fell asleep for the night.  All of these worked for a mom out there somewhere, so definitely try them out when you are at a loss with a sick baby. Good idea to have the medicines ready to go in your cabinet...we made a couple 10pm trips to Walgreens this week.

Another suggestion a friend told me yesterday was to put a pillow or something underneath the mattress to prop it up on one side...same idea as #4 and #9 by letting them sleep at an incline.

What else have you tried?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Gigi's Mom

Exciting news to share today!

Half the battle of having a new baby is figuring out what works for your baby.  Some stuff I swear by may not be true for you at all.  Because of the need for another perspective to help you all, I have invited Emily (you may remember her from My Second Husband) to be a co-contributor to Keeping it Simple.  I am so ecstatic to reintroduce her to you!  Emily had a preshrunken baby girl in June.  She laughed when I asked her to contribute saying, "I am the exact opposite of Keeping it Simple and budget shopping." To which I replied, "That is perfect! It will be great to have a fresh perspective from another new mom.  Plus, Keeping it Simple is more about providing useful information in one place and being to the point."

SOOOO...Without further ado, please meet Emily.  She wrote an introductory post for us today.

I found out I was pregnant with "GiGi" on October 14, 2010 and my head immediately started spinning!  My type A, first born personality always has me asking questions in hopes of gaining as much information as possible about any and every situation I am in ... so that I am not caught off guard and essentially always in control.  Pregnancy took this compulsion for information and my need to be in control to a whole new level!!!  I researched products, read books, talked with other mothers, read blogs and websites, attended classes ... if it was available to me, I took advantage of it ... in hopes of being as prepared and informed as possible.  

GiGi is now almost three months old and we could not love her more!!!  I love being her mommy ... and luckily motherhood has come fairly naturally to me ... considering I had no memory of ever changing a diaper before GiGi was born.  I believe that my smooth transition into motherhood is a direct result of all the crazy things I did to prepare for her arrival and I hope to share those things with you every now and then!  So ... cheers to guest blogging and "Keeping it Simple"!!

We are thrilled to have you Emily!  Can't wait to hear more about your adventures with Gigi!  What a great picture of you two!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What's in your heaven?

My sister and I like to play this game where we ask people what/who would be in their heaven?  For example, in my heaven there would be spinach artichoke dip by the bath tubs served with thin tortilla chips, Tiff's Treats chocolate chip cookies, a constant stream of new release movies, and all my favorite people!

The baby shower my friends threw for me was so thoughtfully planned out and included lots of my heavenly things!  They had a menu planned perfectly for me with spinach dip and thin chips, all of my favorite people were there, the jungle nursery theme was used for the invitation/decorations, and they bought me my diaper bag!  They knew me well enough to know I would have never purchased a fancy diaper bag for myself.  I still LOVE it and obviously use it daily!  I have to say Special K looks adorable with it too when he gets stuck toting it around ;)

My friends did such a great job with the shower!  I wanted to get them something useful, but relevant for all the thought they put into it.  It is always a challenge to find something that a handful of people will like, goes with the shower theme, and won't break the bank.  I will share with you what I gave to them and two precious hostess gifts I received last weekend to give you some ideas.

Idea #1...My gift to them...I did some research and found the cutest idea!  Get them some shower/bath essentials and write on the card, "From my shower to yours!"  I went to Pier 1 and bought them animal print bubble bath, an eye mask, and scrubbing brush to match the shower theme, but you could obviously buy whichever bath products you wanted.

Idea # 2...One of my childhood friends is having a baby in December and gave us the sassiest coolers at her shower on Sunday!  I just love it!  All of our coolers are so is nice to have one I could tote to a tailgate.

I couldn't find this exact one, but found a couple other options for girly coolers.

Turner Tennis

Built NY

Idea # 3...On Saturday, a college friend of mine who is due in November gave us gifts and the card read...

If you are having trouble reading, "Janann, Thanks for helping me get ready for my bun in the oven.  Happy Baking!"  Inside the bag, the most adorable apron by Sugar n Spice on Etsy.

Super cute idea!!! This apron might actually get me in the kitchen!!!  Sugar n Spice has many other aprons to choose from or you could buy anything baking related...

Sprinkle Cupcake Mixing Set
Or take the literal interpretation of "bun" and give Williams Sonoma sticky buns... 

Sticky Buns
I think I may have just added a couple more things to my heaven!  Those sticky buns look yummy!  

What did you give as a hostess gift?  Also check out the Now Stylebook.  They did a great post on wedding shower hostess gifts that could work for a baby shower too.  

Now, please indulge me...What is in your heaven?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Three is a Crowd

Poor L was suddenly so sick yesterday evening!  The NoseFrida was no match for her runny nose!  Special K, L, and I were all crammed in her teeny-tiny (definitely meant for one, not three) bathroom running a steamy shower while wrestling her to apply Vicks BabyRub.  Lots of rocking later, she finally fell asleep.  I will be holding on to Starbucks for dear life today.  My normal Sunday blogging time did not exist last night!  Sorry for such a short, unhelpful post.  Tata for now.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Funny Friday: Bling Bling Baby

To echo my post on Wednesday about outrageously priced baby things or in case you are looking for a special keepsake for your little one, definitely check this pacifier out.  I am sure it is VERY practical!

You better hurry!  There are only 3 left on Amazon..At a cost of $17,000, I am sure they are gonna go fast!  This reminds me of the six million dollar Victoria Secret bra.  Why even make such a product?

I hope this Bling Bling kicked off your weekend right!  Do you think Beyonce and Jay-Z are going to get this pacifier for their new bambino???  Not sure they can afford it though...They got booted out of the top spot of the Forbes Highest Paid Celebrity Couples.  (Do you know who came in first? Answer at the bottom of this post) Poor things only took home $72 Million last year.

RECAP:  As promised, here is Special K and L heading down the aisle last weekend!  She was tired, but she made it through the ceremony!

I thought the white dress turned out very sweet! 

Hope you have fun plans for the weekend!  I have two baby showers, so I am hoping for lots of blog inspiration!

Who did you guess for the Highest Paid Celebrity couple?  Were you right? I wasn't...I guessed Brangelina.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to...ARE YOU JOKING?

I recently went to a baby boutique because I had credit to spend.  I was on the hunt for a 1st birthday outfit for L.  I knew it is a couple months away, but I thought I would get her something super cute with the credit.  I found one of those HUMONGO pettiskirts and a cute top with a cupcake on it to match...I fell in love with it and had to have it.  Well, until I saw the price tag..It was pretty similar to the one below.  How much would you think this outfit costs?
La Bella Flora

I am walking through the store with the outfit in hand picturing L running around it while we sing Happy Birthday to her....Then, I see the price tag...$75...Wrong!  $125...Wrong!  $175...DING, DING, DING!  We have a winner!  It seriously made my jaw drop in the middle of the store.  I am sure the sales lady saw me since I was the only one in there at the time.  I have trouble spending that much money on a pair of jeans I will wear every day for two years.  I am still in shock over it.  Even with store credit, I just could not justify it.  I have been searching for a replica of it for less.  Any ideas?

I found one almost exactly like it at Zulily, but it was sold out!  What is Zulily, you may be asking?  If you are a expecting or new mom, you MUST know about Zulily

It is similar to Gilt that I posted about a few weeks ago, but it is ALL about babies, kids, and maternity products.  They post weekly deals from various companies.  Subscribe immediately for some super cute things with fantastic prices.  Here is the Bella Daniella skirt ($24.99) and top ($24.99) I found for a much better deal than the whopping $175.  I am sick I missed it!

Let me know if you find anything similar for a good price or any other preshrunken birthday outfits for that matter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Diary of a New Mom

When I was pregnant I would hear other mom's say things like, "I completely forgot about this or that" when I would mention certain products or infant things.  I couldn't understand how they could possibly forget about it all.

Well, I started this blog when L was 6 months old.  I tried my best to remember all that I could, but I am sure I forgot about things from those first few weeks.  I asked my good friend, Nicole, who had a baby just 3 weeks ago to send me her thoughts about the first couple weeks of being a mom.  Low and behold, I totally forgot about a few things like those "other moms."

Nicole's first suggestion...Make the most of your hospital stay.

"Shortly before my daughter was born, my husband and I were having dinner with some friends who recently had a baby. They went on and on about their experience in the hospital like they were describing a recent stay at the Ritz Carlton. We could not stop laughing about how serious they were when they told us to stay as long as we possibly can. Little did I know that my friends were right! Here are some tips on making the most of your stay at Hotel Baby."

The Concierge Service

"Reason number one to stay the full duration. I’m not sure if most hospitals are the same but we had a Nurse and Nurse’s assistant for both Mom and Baby. There were also lactation consultants that would come by several times a day to see how things were going and to answer any question. The nurses are amazing, they know everything there is to know about newborns and let’s face it, we knew absolutely nothing. They were amazing in the middle of the night when the hubby and I felt hopeless in consoling a crying newborn.  I thought she needed to burp after feeding but she was “cluster” feeding which newborns do their first few days (I had no idea…again clueless) the nurse told me to pop her back on the boob and problem solved, she immediately stopped crying. They show you amazing tricks (swaddling, waking a beyond sleepy newborn to feed, newborn sponge bathing…you name it) and they will bring you anything you could possibly need (Popsicles at 2am while I was feeding the babe). I learned so much from them and it just made me more confident in going home to the unknown! Make the most of your stay, ask tons of questions and I seriously recommend staying as long as you insurance allows."

Keeping it Simple side note:  Couldn't agree more...Yes, it is hard to get a good night sleep in the hospital when nurses are constantly waking you up, but it was SO worth it!  I went home feeling comfortable with the basics.  Had I gone home after day 1, I would have been panicked!  Also, our nurse told us "cluster feeding" was a baby's first growth spurt usually 1-2 days after birth.  I think L ate every hour for 6 hours in a row!  It was a long one!

Nicole's second suggestion...taking advantage of the hospital supplies

The Freebies

"Okay, so maybe not totally free, but we all load up on the Keihls or Molton Brown bath supplies from our room when we stay at a nice hotel. The goodies at the Hospital may not be samples of products you can find at your luxury retail store but believe me they are much more valuable! What I wasn’t prepared for is all of the personal “cleaning” supplies that you will need after giving birth to your precious little one.  I‘m sorry if this freaks you out a bit, but it is what it is! The hospital will give you cleansing bottles, icepacks, and the most amazing mesh underwear in the world!"

"You can not get this stuff in any store so do not leave the hospital without it. I asked for new stuff each day when I took a shower and packed it up in my suitcase…I know I might sound like a crazy hoarder but I couldn’t imagine surviving the first week at home without this stuff, trust me on this one. 

The freebies also apply to the baby. Her little traveling bassinet in the hospital had a container underneath that had a supply of awesome baby goodies. There was about a week’s worth of diapers and wipes, extra hats and socks (we had nothing this small at home), tiny bath tub for sponge baths, thermometer, bulb syringe and hair comb (your baby may not need this but mine came out with a full Elvis Presley head of hair). Load up on all the goodies, after all you are paying for it!"

Keeping It Simple Side Note:  I COMPLETELY forgot about those underwear!  They take the term granny panties to a whole new level.  Nicole is right!  They helped me survive the first couple weeks.  What a fantastic suggestion by her to ask for a few extra pairs from the nurses!  I wish I had done that!  No one ever gave me an ice would have been good to have one...I found many different ones online, so I am not sure which one Nicole used.   Sorry, no picture for you, but definitely inquire about them during your hospital stay.

We had the same experience as Nicole regarding the baby rolling cart.  The nurses told us we could take everything in the cart with us except the blanket and the sheets.  We received various brushes in grooming kits as shower gifts, but the hospital brush is our favorite to this day.  It was especially useful fighting the cradle cap early on.  Nothing fancy, but very useful!

Thank you, Nicole!  I will share her other first week stories in another post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Urban Outfit Your Nursery

My friend, Kyle, over at Knight Moves is always posting the greatest finds from Urban Outfitters.  I FINALLY had the time to look through the site myself.  Definitely check out their home decor to see some unique items at great prices.  I love these curtains and think they would be so cute in a nursery!

Urban Outfitters $79

They, also, have a variety of knobs to help spruce up a dresser, changing table, door, or window treatment.

Urban Outfitters $6

Check out Anthropologie and Hobby Lobby for more knob options.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pump-a-thon 2

The original Pump-a-thon post has brought up multiple questions.  Someone asked me last weekend to write about the two different types of Medela pumps.  You may have noticed they are priced at $299 and $379.99, but it is hard to tell why one is more expensive.  I struggled finding the difference between the two myself. Here is a comparison of the two from the Medela website.

Pump Comparison

Choose a Pump Below by Clicking on the Name
Freestyle® Breastpump

Learn More
Pump In Style® Advanced - On-the-go Tote

Learn More
Type of Pump Personal Use - Single/Double  Personal Use - Single/Double 
2-Phase Expression Technology
LED Display  
Hands-Free Option  
Pumping Session Timer  
Pumping Session Memory Button  
Removable Pump Motor  
Removable work space    
Mesh Storage Bags    
Optional Vehicle Lighter Adapter
Removable Cooler Carrier
PersonalFit Breastshield Compatible
Softfit Breastshields Included  
AC Adapter Powered
Adjustable Speed/Vacuum
Battery Option Rechargeable  AA 
Daily Use
Weight < 1 lb   
Warranty 1 Year - Limited  1 Year - Limited 
Learn MoreView DetailsView Details

In short, the more expensive one includes breast shields, the actual pump is more portable and offers a few more features, it has a rechargeable battery, and it offers a hands-free feature.   It is completely up to you whether or not the additional $80 is worth it.  I bought the handsfree, but actually never used that feature.  I never wore nursing bras and you have to wear them to attach the pump.  Maybe next time I will!  (Reminder to buy the pump when you close out your registry to get the discount to save some money)

I promise to post a workplace pumping strategy soon!  Hope this comparison helped in the meantime!
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