Muffinmeal: Innovative Meals and Desserts

What will you create with your set?As a product that is certainly the next big thing, Muffinmeal is going to wow you. As the next big Zing 2011 winner in the home category, Muffinmeal is recognized as a revolutionary bakeware accessory that will change how you bake from now on. This product creates endless opportunities for you to be innovative with your cooking and baking.

Muffinmeal allows you to bake cup-like holes into your muffins or cupcakes. This gives you the chance to fill your baked good with any filling you find desirable. Other products may scoop out bits of your dough, creating crumbs and a lot of food scraps. Only Muffinmeal creates a mess-free hole without wasting any mix.

Muffinmeal is a wonderful idea for any meal or dessert! Fill muffins or biscuits with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Try cornbread with chili for lunch or dinner. For dessert, make cupcakes and add fruit or ice cream. To get a look at some tasty recipes head to the website www.cupcaqe.com. While you’re there check out the videos about the product and find out how to order yourself your own set.The basic Muffinmeal set

Design your treat with easy to follow directions with the Muffinmeal. This product works with any size or brand of cupcake pan and are adjustable to a variety of heights. Muffinmeal locks into place, so there is no need to worry about any sliding issues during baking or any differences between individual cupcakes in your batch. The product is FDA approved and can be placed in the dishwasher.

For the best and most delicious results, get acquainted with the cup and base before using Muffinmeal. This will help you to flawlessly disassemble the piece in order to keep your cupcake or muffin from crumbling. Wait for your baked food to cool before gently removing the Muffinmeal pieces.

I received a set of six cups for the purpose of this review. I was really excited to get a product to kick things up a notch in my kitchen. I always end up in a rut creating the same dinners and desserts and seek out something new by eating out. Meals with this product is no more expensive than cooking in my own home. This product is a simple way to switch things up and make not only eating more exciting, but also the process that gets it to the table!

 

Boppy Pillow and Gia Breastfeeding Pillow Comparative Review

Boppy PillowMy husband and I recently welcomed our baby daughter into the world and we’ve been working hard to get into the swing of things as new parents. Breastfeeding is by no stretch easy, but it is very beneficial to baby and mom so I’ve embraced it wholeheartedly. In my experiences so far, I’ve used the Boppy Pillow, Simplisse Gia Breastfeeding Pillow, and also just sat and cradled the baby in my arms for feeding. Here’s a rundown of my personal opinion on each approach and on both breastfeeding pillows.

I received the Boppy Pillow and a replacement slipcover as a baby shower gift before our daughter was born. We brought the Boppy to the hospital with us, but I didn’t use it a whole lot there. As I was learning the ropes of breastfeeding, I tried out the side-by-side position lying in bed, the football style, and cross cradle. In the hospital, the side-by-side lying position seemed easiest, but I haven’t really done that since I’ve come home.

Upon coming home, I do use the Boppy when I am nursing upstairs in our room. The Boppy is shaped like the letter ‘U’ and gives your arms a break as you are nursing your little one. There are many different colors and styles of slipcovers to enjoy for the Boppy. (I have a purple one and a multicolored one with pink and purple flowers and nature accents.) The Boppy fits snugly but comfortably around my midsection and gives equal support no matter what side you are nursing from, with a rather lightweight stuffing that makes it easy to remove or tote around. I actually keep mine upstairs since I also have the Gia Pillow. You can get the Boppy online at Amazon.com or at any of your favorite baby stores, including Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, and even in Target’s baby section. The Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow retails for about $30.

Gia PillowI received the Simplisse Gia Angled Breastfeeding Pillow and a cute green monkey themed slipcover for the purpose of this review. This nursing pillow has its own unique shape, much like a comma or apostrophe – thinner on the one side and thicker on the other. This allows you to find the most comfortable fit for your newborn or growing infant. This breastfeeding pillow is denser than the Boppy, offering more support and cushioning. I like how I can position the Gia pillow directly across my tummy or off to the side if I’m going to do the football hold. The only thing I struggle with is putting the cover back on after I’ve washed it, but my husband thinks it is a piece of cake.

The Simplisse Gia Pillow is made from 100% cotton and it is designed to be comfortable for both mom and baby. The angle of the pillow aids with digestion for baby and takes some of the pressure off of mom as she nurses. The Simplisse Gia Angled Breastfeeding Pillow retails for $40. For more information, check it out on the Simplisse website.

 

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags Review

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags ReviewAs a new mom, I am certainly learning a lot about a lot. Breastfeeding didn’t come easy but it’s going much better now and our little one is doing great. I purchased a Medela Pump in Style Backpack to help me ensure our baby always has what she needs, even if someone else has her for a few hours. I have tried storing the pumped breast milk in sterilized BPA-free bottles as well as breast milk storage bags. I received a box of 25 Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags for the purpose of this review.

The Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags impressed me from the first use. I like the sturdy yet flexible BPA-free plastic bags and found them especially easy to fill, seal, and freeze. I did notice if I dropped a bag once frozen, or if one fell out of the freezer, sometimes the milk would leak when thawing or I might notice an “off” odor. This happened once in a while, but I thought it might be worth mentioning.

I found it insanely easy to get the air out of the bags before freezing. These milk storage bags have a double zipper, which allows you to be very sure your milk is safe and secure, separate from everything else you have in your freezer, and protected from leaking everywhere.

The bags hold up to six ounces, making them ideal for a single pumping session, as well as for infants of different ages. These bags are also rated as the #1 storage bag for breastfeeding needs, and are marketed as the strongest bag available. Each bag has an outer tab that allows you to write the date and time you pumped as well as the name and number of ounces in the bag.

Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags are free standing and can be easily stored in your freezer either standing up or placed flat. The bags come in a tissue-pack style dispenser and they are all pre-sterilized. Thorough instructions make it easy for even the newest mom (like me) to get it right on the first try – no fuss!

I am very pleased with my experience so far. We haven’t had to defrost any of the milk stored in the Lansinoh bags just yet – right now we are working on building up our supply until we have to leave the baby with a relative for a few hours. However, the entire experience so far has been flawless, and I expect I will continue to purchase these bags unless we opt for storing in breast milk storage bottles instead. (Our lactation consultant at the hospital urged us to use bottles rather than bags, but that came with a lot of extra work and we are still trying to find out if there is a legitimate need to do so.)

These milk storage bags are recyclable as well.

You can buy Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags at your favorite baby store or baby department of various large retailers, as well as online at Amazon.com. Depending on the number of bags in the package, Lansinoh Bags retail for about $8 to $20 per pack. You might also find coupons available to reduce your cost.

Cute Baby Photo Albums – Baby’s First Photos

Pink Baby Photo Board BookOur family is a bit scattered across the States, and some of us are within driving distance but don’t always see each other even once a month. A baby photo album seems to be a great way to help a little one learn all the immediate family members – grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Of course, you wouldn’t want those precious baby books and matching albums to get destroyed by curious little fingers… thankfully the Take Your Pix® photo album is designed especially with these destructive adorable little hands in mind.

I received a gorgeous My First Photos Take Your Pix Photo Album for the purpose of this review. It is a very lovely shade of pink, perfect for our new baby girl. The book has a slot for a nice sized photo on the cover and it has a pretty, fuzzy font on the front that says “My First Photos.” The entire book is a board-style photo album, making it just perfect for little ones who haven’t quite learned “careful” yet. The board book pages are smooth with a protective clear sleeve to ensure each photo is safely tucked away from little hands. The pages have small curved cutouts that scale down the length of the book so each page is very easy for even a young baby to turn one at a time.

Take Your Pix Photo Albums are a product of Board Book Albums, LLC, created by Laura Miranti, a mom of four (with #5 on the way) who designed these creative albums to help with her daughter’s speech development. Miranti’s daughter Lucia served as the inspiration for the books. Lucia’s speech therapist of four years suggested that her mom make a photo album of important people, toys, body parts, and other items that could easily be named upon recognition. The first album Miranti created didn’t last long in Lucia’s hands, so she created a more durable, kid-friendly product that rivals the board style books that her daughter loved so much.

These board books offer a safe and sturdy photo album option for young children and babies, but they also work great for craft projects the kids can do with mom or grandma.

Take Your Pix Photo Albums have received numerous awards, including: Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Product Award 2011, Kidlutions Preferred Product Award 2011, and two Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards: the Best Book Gold Award 2009 and the Special Needs Adaptable Product(SNAP) 2009 Award.

Albums from Board Book Albums, LLC are available on Amazon.com, Sears.com, Diapers.com, TheBump.com and Overstock.com. A portion of proceeds goes to a variety of special needs organizations and events. Take Your Pix books retail for between $19.95 and $24.95. For more information or to buy an album, check out BoardBookAlbums.com.

Of course, I did also pick up a few pink baby photos books of my own, by Carter’s (it has an adorable pink bunny on the front cover), and you can bet these won’t be going into our little one’s hands any time soon. While precious for sure, they wouldn’t stand a chance against tiny fingers or tiny hands!

 

Gifts for a New Dad at the Birth of a Son or Daughter

Gift ideas for new dads or first father's dayThere’s a longstanding tradition of husbands picking out “push presents” for their wives as they prepare to give birth to a new son or daughter. But what about those brave new dads? If you are interested in getting your husband a sweet gift to mark this special occasion, the arrival of your first son or daughter, or a new baby in general, consider these sweet and creative gifts for a new dad.

Not all couples exchange gifts and not all moms-to-be select presents for the new dad. If it’s in the budget or even if it’s that important to you that you want to make it work out, do your best to plan a little bit in advance. This can save you from having to pay expedited shipping or other costly charges. You can also shop around for the best price and the most memorable and appropriate gift.

Here are some gift ideas for a new dad at the birth of his son or daughter. (You can also consider these gifts for a dad who is celebrating another birth in the family – a second child, third child, etc., or as a special first Father’s Day gift or a gift for any Father’s Day.)

Gift ideas for new dads or first father's day•    Cigar Gifts
•    Cufflinks
•    New Camera
•    Handheld Video Camera
•    Handwritten Letter or Sentimental Greeting Card
•    Keepsake Box / Men’s Valet Box
•    Personalized Keychain
•    Photo Album
•    Preplanned Date Night for the near future
•    T-Shirt and Onesie Combo
•    Watch or Timepiece

Daddy Scrubs can be a great, sentimental gift for the Dad-to-be. These classy scrubs give a new dad something to wear into the delivery room rather than getting stuck in a pair of hospital scrubs. Daddy Scrubs are available in a wide array of colors and sizes with different fonts available to proudly show off “Daddy” on the pocket and “I’m the Daddy” on the back. The scrub pants also display “daddyscrubs(R)” neatly down the leg. I received a complimentary set for review and for my husband to wear when our first child was born. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for him to change into them when our experience kicked into high gear. Hopefully we will be better prepared with the next child!

If you opt for cufflinks or some type of jewelry, consider getting your child’s birthstone as the focal point or a small accent. You can also find a wide variety of cufflinks at Amazon.com and at Etsy.com, where you can browse through literally hundreds of handmade, unique items designed by independent crafters. I actually opted for a lovely set of cufflinks for my husband – they are designed like word definitions, one says “Husband” and the other says “Dad,” symbolic to me of the merging of our marriage with the start of our family. My husband means the world to me, but now he is a daddy, too, so I wanted to recognize both aspects of our lives together as a family.

I also selected a few cigar gifts for him to enjoy with his cigars we chose for him to share with friends and family as keepsakes for our daughter’s birth. I picked out a gorgeous blue onyx cigar ashtray, a carbon fiber cigar cutter, and a matching carbon fiber cigar lighter.

To finish everything up, I picked out two cards – a thank you card to let my husband know how much it means to me that we’ve started a family together, and a love card to let him know he is still and always will be the love of my life. I hand-wrote a few lines from my heart and also let him know my hope is that our daughter can one day find someone as wonderful as him.

Feel free to pick out a similar gift or card for your husband as your child’s birth approaches – mine went over very well and in fact he told me I had gone a little overboard. I think he really liked the cards, and he wore the cufflinks on his first day back to work after our little one was born. He used the cigar accessories the night after we came home from the hospital, so I am confident he liked everything I chose.

If you have any other ideas for a sweet and memorable gift for the daddy (a reverse push present if you will), please feel free to share your ideas or the gifts you’ve selected (or received) in our comments below!

 

Baby Changing Pad Cover Reviews

Pink baby changing padThe sheer volume of baby products available in stores and online can be truly overwhelming. Countless brands, styles, fabrics, colors, patterns, and options exist to suit every taste and preference. Changing pad covers are no exception. You can find fitted changing pad covers that coordinate with baby bedding sets as well as plain flannel or soft and plush minky fabric, organic cotton, and many other options when it comes to changing pad covers. Here are a few of my favorites….

I purchased a few changing pad covers and also received one for free from Kushies for the purpose of this review. I recently discovered that changing pad covers can be quite versatile, also doubling as fitted bassinet sheets (we have the Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet). This is amazing because the fitted sheets for the Co-Sleeper bassinet are very expensive compared to simple changing pad covers, and they fit about the same.

I currently own three changing pad slip covers but plan to pick up a few more to ensure something is available when I haven’t gotten to the wash yet. (Sidebar comment: I completely feel like all we do is laundry anymore!!) With the unpredictability of newborns and young infants, it’s common to have accidental spills while changing diapers. Changing pad covers can rapidly make it into the laundry pile, so it’s great to have some spares on hand. It’s also fun to change the design here and there so that you and your little one get to enjoy new colors or new animals, patterns, or designs.

I picked two of the Summer Infant Basic Comfort Ultra Plush Changing Pad Cover, one in pink and one in white. These covers are super soft and fit the changing pad and the bassinet mattress perfectly. The fabric is soft as can be (100% polyester) and is machine washable and dryable. These changing pad covers are advertised as being the softest change pad covers available and I don’t doubt it.White Changing Pad

These covers by Summer Infant fit standard changing pads of about 16” x 32” and have openings to allow most changing pad safety straps to fit their purpose. The super soft fabric is also stain resistant, a parent’s dream! I found the fitted changing pad’s edges to be stretchy and very easy to fit over the changing pad or bassinet mattress. For more information, check out www.summerinfant.com. You can also buy the Summer Infant UltraPlush Changing Pad Covers on Amazon.com in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, ecru, sage, and white.

Natural and organic products for baby offer a major selling point as well. We certainly want whatever is best for our infant’s skin and health. The Organic Change Pad Fitted Sheet by Kushies offers a soft cotton flannel option for your baby’s changing needs. I received a white change pad fitted sheet (17” x 33”) for the purpose of this review. I am impressed with the softness of the flannel and the construction of the elastic fitted edges and the openings for the changing pad safety straps.

The quality of this organic change pad cover is excellent. The fabric is soft and the fitted change pad sheet has finished edges to help it last the test of time and many diaper changes. This change pad cover is machine washable and dryable, making it easy to maintain as well.

Kushies offers just about everything for babies and toddlers, from bibs to swim diapers, toys, layette, and especially washable diapers, among many other products. For more information on this changing pad cover and the many other Kushies products (and where to buy), check out www.kushiesonline.com or visit Kushies on Facebook at facebook.com/kushiesbaby for special promotions, new product announcements, and more.

Life Love Beauty readers can take advantage of this code lifelovebeauty2012 for a 10 percent discount on any order from www.kushiesonline.com. Enjoy!

 

Eco-Friendly Computer Bags and Sleeves – GreenSmart Markhor Mac 16” Laptop Bag Review

Greensmart laptop bagWe can all do our part to help the environment, from turning off lights and electronic devices we aren’t using to carpooling and buying green products. Did you know that even your laptop sleeve or computer bag can be designed in an eco-friendly way? GreenSmart laptop sleeves, computer bags, messenger bags, and water and wine carriers are all comprised of eco-friendly materials and were produced as a result of socially responsible labor. We received a stylish and functional Markhor 16” black laptop bag for the purpose of review – here’s the scoop….

As a company, GreenSmart places great focus and importance on making the planet a little greener. GreenSmart uses a green manufacturing process as well as eco-friendly materials, green packaging and shipping, to name a few. Perhaps the most exciting and most interesting factor, GreenSmart Bottles 2 Bags products give plastic bottles a second life – they are derived 100% from recycled plastic bottles. To achieve this, bottles are recycled and ground into chips, then spun into yarn. The eco-friendly yarn is woven into fabric, which is then sewn into bags.

The Markhor 16” black laptop bag is perfectly sized for a 16” laptop or Macbook. The case is fully padded with additional padding on the corners to be safe. Even the handles are padded! Two zippered pockets on the front give you some storage space for small accessories or your checkbook and bills while a full-width open pocket allows for paperwork and more. This laptop bag also comes with a shoulder strap (not as padded, though) for easy toting.GreenSmart laptop black laptop bag

One observation is that this bag is designed to be slim and portable, great for commuters and those with other things they have to lug around. Depending on your laptop and its accessories, it may be a bit tricky to fit all your items, power cord, and USB mouse, if they are on the large side. It can be done for sure, but what you can fit in the bag is directly related to the size of your computer, charger cord, and accessories. If you are the type who likes to lug everything with you, you may need to cut back on a few things. This stylish and portable case is meant to be lightweight and eco-friendly, not a complete carryall for everything you own.

I love the look and feel of this lightweight, durable laptop case. It is conveniently sized for commuting on the train or subway, through the airport, or on your daily travels to and from home. The green mentality behind its creation is reassuring that some companies are moving in the right direction to help us sustain the health of our planet.

This may be purely a matter of personal preference, but I also love the orange interior fabric and how nicely it pairs with the black exterior. (I am a Flyers fan at heart, after all!) Of course, this laptop bag is also available in ocean blue or gray if you don’t prefer black.

The 16” Markhor laptop bag retails for $59.95. For more information on this bag and other GreenSmart products, check out www.greensmart.biz.

Alternative Sheets for Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet

Pink baby changing padThe Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet gives new parents a wonderful way to keep their baby close at night. The Mini Co-Sleeper can operate as a miniature crib or as an extension of your bed so that your newborn can be only an arm’s reach away. We received this bassinet as a gift for our newborn daughter and we’ve been using it for the past two weeks since her birth. We found the actual bassinet sheets for the Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet tend to be rather expensive and we’ve read you can’t put them through the dryer. I started by trial and error in the hopes of finding a suitable (and more affordable) alternative to the Co-Sleeper Mini Bassinet sheets.

The mattress to the Co-Sleeper Bassinet is relatively thin and has Velcro underneath, making it a challenge to find a sheet that fits correctly. Since the reviews on the true Co-Sleeper bassinet sheets were not especially favorable, I opted to find something soft, washable and dryable, of high quality, and affordable.

We tried putting different sheets on the bassinet to see if we could get a good fit. Crib sheets were way too big so we skipped those. In a pinch we were able to fit Pack N Play sheets on the Co-Sleeper, but they were still a bit too big. When tucked in they worked okay, but they weren’t the ideal fit.Baby changing table

Finally in speaking with my sister-in-law, I learned that the best option she found for alternative bassinet sheets happened to be changing pad covers. I eagerly checked out her theory by putting a nice, fuzzy pink changing pad cover on the bassinet mattress and found it to be pretty much a perfect fit. Changing pad covers are more affordable than bassinet sheets yet they are soft and often still made of good quality fabric. (You can usually save a few dollars per sheet by purchasing changing pad covers instead of the bassinet sheets.)

I currently have three changing pad covers that I originally planned to use with the actual changing pad. I plan to buy a few more rather than ringing up higher costs on the true bassinet sheets and frustration in not being able to run them through the dryer. My favorite changing covers to use for bassinet sheet alternatives (for the Co-Sleeper) are the Summer Infant Basic Comfort Ultra Plush Changing Pad Cover (available in a variety of colors), Kids Line Velour Changing Pad Cover Mosaic Transport, Kids Line Bella Velour Changing Pad Cover, and Kushies Organic Change pad fitted sheet.

If you have concerns about using other sheets besides the branded Co-Sleeper bassinet sheets, be sure to check with your pediatrician. You can find a wide variety of changing pad covers online at Amazon and in your local Target store, Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, and other favorite baby stores and mass market retailers.

 

Get a Fresh, Clean Mouth the Easy Way with a Compact Electric Toothbrush

Perfect SmilePeople who are constantly on the go often need to find innovative products to help them get the most out of their day.  If you want proof of this, just empty out your purse onto the table and take inventory. Unless you’ve had problems with frozen-shoulder syndrome (most likely created by toting around a six to eight pound stash of makeup products, styling tools, wallet, compact mirror, tissues, water bottle, toothbrush,  keys, sunglasses, and tube of toothpaste), you probably have one of the largest handbags available, and it’s most likely filled to the brim.

The Eluo ToothbrushIn fact, you’ve probably tried to minimize the number of items that you lug around to no avail. After all, you never know when you might need some of those items, right? While you may not be able to reduce the number of items, you can minimize the weight that you are carrying by selecting smaller items. Choosing travel sizes for as many of your items as you can is one of the ways to go.

Now that you are on the right track to minimizing what you carry around with you, why not also search for products offering high performance? One such product that comes to mind is the Eluo toothbrush by Cenoire.  Its compact size is perfect for women who already carry too much stuff with them, and its high-performing capabilities provide an easy way to maintain good oral hygiene.

Capable of lasting for as many as 23,000 brush strokes in a single minute, the Eluo toothbrush operates on a single AAA battery. You will need to buy a battery separately though, so put it on your shopping list.

Styled in a mascara-style case, the Eluo toothbrush offers an elegant oral-hygiene tool that is perfect for women with busy lifestyles. Its attractive styling means that you can easily slip it into your hand or purse and carry it with you anywhere.

You may already know that an electric toothbrush is one of the best ways to make sure that you have a fresh, clean mouth. In fact, you may even have one at home. Now, however, you can experience tooth cleaning without the embarrassment of carrying around your toothbrush for all the world to see.

Each Eluo comes with a replacement brush head and a protective cap that prevents germs from getting onto your toothbrush. A simple on/off button operates your sonic toothbrush. It is lightweight and comes with a one-year warranty. If you were to use your toothbrush twice a day, it would last 90 days.

Available at cenoire.com, the Eluo toothbrush is available in pink, red, white, black, and lavender. I received a free sample in pink, and I love it!

 

Tips for a New Baby Photo Shoot at the Hospital

new baby photo shootWhen your baby’s due date is rapidly approaching, you’ve surely got a ton of things on your mind. Is my hospital bag packed? Is the baby’s bag packed? Did I forget anything? Are the pets/other kids squared away for the time we’ll be in the hospital? What else am I forgetting? The last thing on your mind at this point is probably anything to do with what happens AFTER your son or daughter is born; for instance, the baby photo shoot they offer at the hospital. Here are some tips to help ensure you get some great photos, no matter if you plan to take them yourself or take advantage of the professional photographers at the hospital.

professional baby photosProfessional baby photos are something you should seriously consider, even if you are on a bit of a budget. Remember that you only get one shot at having your newborn’s pictures taken professionally while you are in the hospital. You can certainly set something up after the fact at your home, but there is something special about getting your baby’s pictures when they are only days old. You don’t want to look back later in life and wish you had at least gotten them taken. Usually you can have the photo shoot done with no obligation to buy and no sitting fee. Of course, if you feel strongly against having a professional new baby photo shoot, you can take your own photos that you will still cherish for a lifetime.

Here are some tips to help you either way, whether you opt for a professional baby photo shoot at the hospital or if you set up your own baby photo shoot with your personal camera.

  • Bring some of your favorite new baby items from home when you head to the hospital – a handmade blanket, cute booties, a favorite bib, toy, or other personal item.
  • Ensure the baby is fed and changed before the photo shoot. You can get much better photos with a happy, full, satisfied baby than you can with a hungry, cranky baby.
  • If you do choose to have a professional photo shoot, ask the photographer about buying a CD of all the images with rights. You can also ask that they throw the extra shots on the disk, not just the top 10 or 20. We paid $135 and got 99 photos on disk with full rights to reproduce the photos and use them however we’d like. We don’t have to buy our prints and portraits through the photo studio now, and we can share photos with friends and family – so totally worth it!
  • Try to get photos of mom and baby, dad and baby, all three together, and cute shots that focus on dad’s hands, baby’s hands, baby’s feet, etc.
  • Get a little creative with your shots – don’t feel you need to smile at the camera every time. Kiss the baby’s head, let her hold onto your finger, close your eyes and nuzzle up close. Gaze lovingly at your spouse while he or she holds the baby and looks at the baby.
  • If you opt to take your own photos, try to plan your photo session for a time when one of your visitors – a friend or family member – can spend a few moments snapping away.
  • If possible, plan your photo shoot toward the end of your hospital stay; not necessarily on discharge day, but definitely give yourselves some time to unwind and recover from the craziness of just having a baby. If your stay is too short to coordinate a later shoot, just plan it according to the schedule you’ve got.

These tips should help you prepare even just a little bit to get some special photos of your newborn. You will cherish these photos for a lifetime, so be sure you snap a bunch on your camera too, even if you do plan to have the professional baby photos done. If you have any other helpful tips to share related to new baby photo shoots, please feel free to share them in our comments below.

Wild Bachelorette Party Ideas

Who says men are the only ones who know how to party? Women can throw really wild parties too! Having fun at a bachelorette party is totally different from having to have to plan it all. It’s a completely different ball game when you can kick back and enjoy the fun instead of having to coordinate every detail. But the most redeeming factor of it all is the fun you’ll have during the party – well worth all the planning!

Always remember that the wild bachelorette party night is intended for the bride-to-be, so keep her personality in mind. The thought is that this is the last night she’ll be able to do all the wild things she won’t want do when she’s joined to her husband in marriage. With this in mind, you can draw some great bachelorette party ideas for a wild bachelorette night.

Here are some popular tips, games, themes, and party locations where the gals can have that one wild night before the bride-to-be enters into married bliss.

Wear your hottest outfit and try to see which among you gets the most pickup lines from the guys. This shouldn’t be all too hard. A nice LBD (little black dress) and classic high heels should do the trick. Try to choose an outfit that allows you to party hard, though. You don’t want any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions or painful blisters disrupting the party.

Choose your party location carefully. Nobody wants to party in a dead location or ghost town. Try to look for a city where the nightlife is vibrant and there’s no shortage of activities to do out and about. Places like Las Vegas and New York are always fantastic options, but try to look for cities that are rare gems when it comes to nightlife and you might be up for a nice surprise. You never know what you might discover.

If it fits with your crowd, you and the girls can go and enjoy a little striptease at a male revue or similar club locale. You can go out for dancing and drinks as well.

Have party games that are ready to play anywhere, any time. You never know what’ll happen in club or a bar when the party gets going, so to up the ante at a party, prepare games you can play out in a crowded scene. Add a little element of risqué behaviors into the mix as well. This may go without saying, but adding a subtle (or more pronounced, depending on your preferences) adult theme to the party can really spice up the heat of the bachelorette night.

One of the more popular games is called “Suck for a buck.” All you need is a white shirt and some hard candy. The bride-to-be wears a white shirt stuck full of hard candy in “strategic” locations. Try to approach men and dare them to suck out the candy using only their lips and tongue for a fee. The more “strategic” the location, the higher the fee.

Drinking games are always a staple, because, let’s face it, what’s a night out without some alcohol? These are easy to make up because you can do variations of different party games by just including alcohol. One example is “Truth or Shot” which is just truth or dare, with just dare replaced by a shot of any drink.

Always remember, try not to get things going too wild or else you might not be able to control it. The whole point of this is to have fun and not to find yourselves sprawled in someone else’s house, not being able to remember the night before. So enjoy, and try to keep things safe and fun at the same time!

 

Bestever Baby Mats – Lamb Baby Mat Review

Bestever Lamb Baby Mat ReviewI’m in love! From the first glimpse I caught of Bestever’s Lamb Baby Mat, I knew I had found a very special product that our little girl on the way is going to absolutely adore. When it arrived in the mail, I couldn’t even believe the little lamb is even cuter and even softer than I imagined. Excited to get my husband’s opinion, too, I waited till he got home from work and showed him the adorable plush lamb baby mat. He expressed that this is one of the best baby items he’s seen so far! (And trust me – he isn’t the type to get excited about baby gear!)

I had the pleasure of corresponding with Sandy, the vice president of Bestever, Inc., as I was looking for some unique baby products to share with our readers this spring. Sandy put Bestever Baby Mats on my radar and I’m so glad she did – these adorable products are just want I was hoping to find and share as one of the true baby gear must-haves! Sandy kindly sent me my very own baby mat for the purpose of this review, and has generously decided to extend a special giveaway for one lucky Life Love Beauty reader to win their very own lamb style Bestever Baby Mat!

The lamb style Bestever Baby Mat is a plush, creamy off-white, cuddly mat for your baby or young child to lounge or nap upon, crawl over, and enjoy for a long time to come. The mat is about 31” and has a circular belly as the majority of the mat portion, with an adorable lamb head, arms, and legs. The head makes a very soft pillow even an adult can enjoy. I adore the ultra soft fabric used for the entire baby mat, with the cuddliest part being the belly where your little one can lie and rest.

Every detail of the Lamb Bestever Baby Mat is meticulously designed, resulting in a product that you would be proud not only to own, but to gift as well. The lamb baby mat has adorable pink insides to its ears, and a different cuddly fabric for its face as compared to its head and ears. The face has lovely chocolate brown eyes with eyebrows and a cute pink nose and mouth. The underside of the mat has more of a canvas texture on the belly portion, giving better durability for longtime use. Baby mats are machine washable but should dry flat.

I so love this lamb style Bestever Baby Mat that I believe it may be my go-to photo prop for taking pictures of our baby girl during her “month birthdays.” I think it will be nice for context, to see how small she is at first and how she grows in size and finds new ways to enjoy lounging on her lamb as she gets older. I can already picture how much she will love resting upon the lamb even as a toddler or a young child. These clever plush animal mats are suitable for kids of all ages, so I am sure she will love it for many years to come! I know I will. And, I’m pretty sure my border collie saw me sneak this lamb mat up into our guest bedroom to await the little one’s arrival. She loves all things plush as well, and the fact that it is a lamb, well, you know border collies. Guess we will have to wait and see how hard it is to convince her that this lamb is for the baby, not for her use as a new dog bed or plaything! She’s a sweet pup and a good dog, so I’m not at all worried… (famous last words).

Bestever Baby Mats retail for $50 and come in a wide variety of animal styles that are perfect for little girls, little boys, and even when the baby’s gender is a surprise. Some of the styles include bears, puppies, a hippo, owls, a giraffe, a monkey, and a lion, to name a few. These items would make the perfect gift for a baby shower, a new baby, or a young child, and they are unique enough that you shouldn’t need to worry about multiple gifts of the same type. Even parents should enjoy these adorable baby mats – I am sure it wouldn’t be the first time an adult thought about resting their head for a quick catnap on these super plush and adorable animals.

For more information about Bestever Baby Mats, please visit http://www.shopbestever.com.

Stay tuned for your chance to win an identical Bestever Baby Mat in the lamb style!