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.

Versatile, Trendy Swimsuits by Hapari for Women and Men

As soon as the weather gets a bit warmer, we often start to dream of trips to the beach, pool parties, and other exciting warm weather activities. Stylish new bathing suits come to mind, and many of us start working harder to get “back in shape” if we aren’t already at our ideal body type. Thankfully, so many colors, styles, and patterns exist in many diverse swimwear collections, allowing us an easy way to accentuate our best features while playing down those we’re still working on improving. Hapari – a swimwear retailer offering something for everyone from adult women and men to junior boys and girls – has a full line of swimsuits for any body type, including plus size and even mastectomy patients.

Hapari offers a wide array of gorgeous and trendy swimwear for women of every shape and size, with fun patterns and colors available in bikinis, tankinis, one-piece swimsuits, and coordinating bottoms that can mix and match with the different top styles. Bathing suit tops range from bandeau styles to halter tops, and more, while bottoms include tie bottoms, regular bottoms, sarong skirt style bottoms, hot shorts, swim skirts, and Tummy Tuk bottoms. A number of cover-ups, cover skirts and shorts, and other beach apparel items are also available to coordinate with your new swimwear possibilities.

I received a complimentary voucher code to select a swimsuit from Hapari’s website for the purpose of this review. In browsing the many fun and gorgeous swimsuits for 2012 on the site, I finally settled on a Black Classic Bandeau Tankini Top with a white border at the top and a coordinating white tie bottom. The Black Classic Bandeau Tankini Top comes with removable straps that are well constructed with metal hook-style clasps, making them very durable and easy to attach and remove. These straps can be worn as standard straps or in a halter style, or removed for a fully strapless look. The straps are white, matching the white strip of stretchy fabric at the top of the bandeau while the rest of the tankini is dark black. Sewn-in cups and a shelf bra make this a more supportive top for larger busts while the long and smooth stretch of black fabric offers slimming qualities to downplay any extra inches in the tummy area.

As for the white tie bottom, this classic bikini bottom makes the perfect complement to the white band on the tankini top. This bathing suit bottom is fully adjustable and the ties on the white bikini bottom are long enough to tighten or loosen the fit according to your needs. The side ties add a nice touch of feminine elegance and flirtatiousness while the bottom’s shape and style offer just enough coverage to complete the look of the black and white tankini top. A lovely hibiscus flower is embroidered on the back of the swimsuit bottom, right near one of the side ties. It is understated yet a perfect touch for this simple yet fun bathing suit.

The black and white color scheme creates a classy look that works well with the style of this tankini. The top retails for $49 and the white bottom with side ties sells for $31.

I had a little bit of money left over on my Hapari voucher that I decided to treat my husband to a swimsuit, too. I had him check out the selection on the website and he selected the Men’s Blue Hawaiian Tribal Board Shorts. These boardies are currently on sale for $19, down from $23.  They feature a true blue, white, and black pattern that has a wave style and intricate patterns reminiscent of Tiki masks and surfboards. The HAPARI name is embroidered on the one leg and “Aloha” with a symbolic depiction of the Hawaiian islands on the other leg.

The fabric is soft, smooth, and comfortable. The board shorts have one side pocket that has two small eyelets to allow water to drain freely. In full disclosure, there does appear to be a faint blue stain on the white fabric on the back of the swimsuit, but I plan to see if it comes out in the wash, or with a little hairspray in case it is some kind of ink.

I am really looking forward to wearing my new tankini swimsuit on vacation this summer, whether we make it to the beach, the mountains, or even to someone’s pool. I honestly could have selected five or six different women’s swimsuits that I just loved, so I am confident anyone else browsing Hapari’s collection will find a great new bathing suit for this summer and any subsequent excursions.

For more information, please visit http://www.hapari.com.

 

Finally – Pink Doggie Clothing for Baby Girls! Margery Ellen Baby Gift Set

Ever since I found out my husband and I would be having a little girl, I’ve been stuck on finding puppy and dog themed baby outfits for little girls. You couldn’t possibly imagine how difficult it is! So many things come in blue puppies or outfits that say “tough guy” with a little doggie, or something along those lines. Pink puppies and pink doggies just didn’t seem to exist for baby girls…. Finally I stumbled upon the Margery Ellen Baby Gift Set, which has its own collection of adorable pink doggies on super soft pima cotton garments for baby girls.

The Margery Ellen Gift Set is beautifully packaged in a pink and white patterned box with handle, much like an old-fashioned lunch box. Polka dots and stripes add just the right feminine touch to your very first impression. Opening the latch and lid of the gift box reveals a too-cute-for-words set of pink puppy themed baby clothes, including a soft pink hat, pink footie pajamas with snaps all the way down from neck to ankles, and a wonderfully soft and gorgeous pink puppy dog blanket. The pink hat has a very cute stitch around the edges and a small, two-tone pink dog embroidered on the front.

The same little pink dog appears spaced throughout the super cute footie pajamas, which are sized for 3-6 months. The pajamas offer impressive attention to detail, with lovely stitching and trim on the neckline, all the cuffs, and edges. The snaps are shiny and click together with ease, but they stay fastened just as well. Even the long sleeves of this cute baby sleeper have the pink dog embroidered for all to see. If you could only imagine the cuddliest, cutest baby girl in the world, she would surely be even cuter and cuddlier in this adorable pink puppy pajama set by Margery Ellen, available at Michael C. Finain Manhattan.

The soft pima blanket features three rows of pink dogs embroidered on a baby pink pima cotton background. The quality of this item is evident, as well, with the pima cotton taking on a heavy enough weight to keep the baby cozy and warm while still light enough to enjoy using it in the warmer months of the year. The pink doggie baby blanket boasts a lovely stitching along all the edges, with cute rounded corners that add a feminine touch.

If you are lucky enough to receive this item as a baby gift – or if you happen to order it for yourself – you may want to bring along the blanket and hat to the hospital with you when your baby is on the way. This set is honestly one of the cutest I’ve seen and you’ll be sure to love storing your little girl’s keepsakes in the sweet gift box while she stays cozy and cute in her jammies, hat, and blanket.

The Margery Ellen Baby Gift Set with pink puppies retails for $135 at Michael C. Fina in NYC. This is an unforgettable baby gift set that would make the perfect present for a baby shower or a hospital welcome. The entire set is machine washable and features only the finest pima cotton. All garments are made in Peru.

I received this item from Michael C. Fina for the purpose of review. This adorable and cuddly gift set is just one of many wonderful gift items available in Michael C. Fina’s baby department. Michael C. Fina is a 75-year-old, family-owned retailer located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, NYC. For more information on this adorable pink puppy baby outfit gift set, please visit Michael C. Fina online.

 

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!

 

Blast from the Past – Retro Bathing Suits and Swimwear Styles

Watch out James Bond girls, retro bathing suits are coming back this summer, along with monokinis and bandeau bikinis. These throwback trends aren’t going away any time soon since they’re now being contested as classics to the hottest swimwear fashion. Besides, you can’t really argue with a woman in a bikini, just ask James Bond – he’s had ton of experience.

Originally developed during the 60s, the first bikinis were considered too risqué for the American audiences, but were a smash hit with the French. Since then, the original bikini design hit it off, and would even be accepted by the then ultra conservative public in the United States.

Women can surprise everyone now that retro swimsuits are back in style. One of the best things about the retro bathing suit is that it has that perfect balance. A bikini is very revealing, there’s no doubt about that, but as the years grew along with the design, it seemed the bikini grew smaller and smaller. Fast forward to now and we have the string bikini and many other designs that can be a little bit too revealing.

The original bikini design had the perfect balance between skin and cloth. At least with the original bikini, you could at least hide of those unwanted “assets.”

A few other looks that are coming back today are the tankini and the monokini. Waist cinching is becoming a thing recently with many designers. The monokini is a one-piece type of bikini swimsuit. You can find monokini style swimwear with lots of creative cutouts. Waist cinching is a style that ties a belt made of fabric across the waist. It’s also great if you’re looking for an illusion of the belt, without the belt itself. So you’d get the look of the belt, without the restraint.

Oh the applications of that. Waist cinching a bikini allows you to accentuate your figure more and make your waist look a bit more slender than it really is. Not to mention the way it’ll make your figure look smoother. Tankinis are a popular style of swimsuit for a more conservative girl, offering a top and a bottom that have a bit more coverage than traditional bikinis. Tankinis often look like tank tops with bikini bottoms, but sometimes they can be strapless or have a swim skirt or boy shorts for a bottom. What’s even better about the tankini style of swimsuits is that the designers have more space to add styles to it, which means more variety for you! Since retro is back in, expect to see ruffles, buttons, rings, and tons of other designs on this season’s selection.

The bandeau top is also in this season, which means a lot of mixing and matching. The great thing about bandeau tops is that you don’t really have to buy them in a set. Once you have an old set of bikinis, you can combine them with the bandeau tops to give your old sets a nice spin. Plus, like a tube top, the bandeau has that sexy look to it that will surely make you sizzle on the beach.

If you’re going to shop for a new bikini, try to watch out for these excellent throwback fashion finds. The great thing about them is, they’re such classic designs, even if they go off trend, they’ll still be a head turner on the beach.

 

7 Memorial Weekend Party Themes

Memorial Day weekend always sneaks up when time starts flying by faster and faster as the weather keeps getting nicer. If you are going to have a barbecue or outdoor party for Memorial Day, consider choosing from a few fun Memorial weekend party themes to give your event a special twist. You can keep your party casual or spice things up a bit, depending on your preferences. Consider these suggestions for Memorial weekend party themes you can use for your next Memorial Day gathering.

As a special precaution, keep in mind that Mother Nature can be a bit unpredictable, so it may pay off to have a backup plan for moving your party indoors if needed. You can consider an outdoor party tent or simply move your party inside the house if it looks like the weather may not cooperate. Regardless of the weather, here are some fun Memorial weekend party themes to consider.

•    Hawaiian Luau Party – pretty colors, hibiscus flowers on the deck, tropical drinks with little paper umbrellas, and food like pineapple chicken kabobs, rice, ham, and shrimp…

•    Memorial Day Potluck – Ask each of your guests to bring a covered dish, dessert, or snack. Once you know what people are bringing, you can fill in the gaps or simply make your favorite dishes.

•    Red, White, and Blue Party – Try to have as much food in red, white, and blue as possible, with at least a flag cake, and make a selection of red, white, and blue cocktails. Don’t forget to decorate in these patriotic colors, too!

•    Pool Party – If the pool is open, invite your guests over for a dip. Serve up some burgers and hotdogs, grilled chicken, and beer, as well as fruit salad, side salads, and ice pops.

•    Reggae Party – If money is no object, hire a reggae band to play at your party and decorate with reggae themed decorations. You can get away with beer and barbecue food or whatever you’d like to do, with the main focus on the music. As an alternative, make up a reggae playlist you can play on an iPod or stereo system.

•    Beach Party – Choose a few savory seafood items, decorate with some shells and beachy decorations, and play some fun tunes like the Beach Boys and anything with a steel drum band.

•    Basic Barbecue – Sometimes something simple is the easiest to plan, especially for a bigger group. If you are hosting a Memorial weekend party for many guests, consider keeping it a basic barbecue party with burgers, hotdogs, and all the usual sides, plus a few desserts and some beer and wine.

Your Memorial Day or Memorial weekend party can take on any theme you’d like – these are just a few examples of what might be nice for a warm weather party in late May. You can use these warm weather party themes as inspiration to help you find a theme that would be perfect for a Memorial weekend gathering of friends and family.

 

Plus Size Swimwear and Bathing Suit Styles

We all know that women come in all shapes and sizes. Whoever said that women should conform to only one ideal shape or size? If that was the case, then every man would have been bored from seeing the same thing over and over again. That’s why there’s totally nothing wrong with being a plus size woman. If you have that body, why not flaunt it? In fact, since it is the summer season, it’s the perfect season to show off those curves that some other women don’t have. And, what better wardrobe to kick it all off than a plus size bikini or swimsuit?

Since you already have the perfect season and the perfect piece of clothing, all you need now is the perfect place, which is obviously the beach! Yes it’s the summertime and going to the beach is the a great reason for you to break out that swimsuit and let your skin soak up that sun. Now usually plus sized ladies are hard pressed to look for plus sized swimsuits. With all the different styles out there, it can be quite confusing to choose the right one for you. Obviously, you’d want one that can emphasize the right assets and curves. Every woman knows that. In choosing the perfect swimsuit for you, different styles and colors should be considered.

When choosing a plus sized bathing suit, consider your physical features – everything from your skin tone, to your height, your hair color, and your favorite physical features. You can find plus size swimming suit styles that can complement everything , making your best features stand out in your favor.

If you’re one the shorter side of the spectrum, try to avoid those horizontal stripe patterns. They give off that illusion of stretching your figure horizontally, making you look even shorter. Conversely, vertical stripes do the opposite, which makes them ideal for the shorter gals. Since a lot of designers usually have this kind of knowledge, a plus size swimsuit with a horizontal kind of pattern would be a little bit more difficult to find. Thank God for that.

Another great tip is that black, and other neutral or dark colors, are always slimming. It gives that illusion of the contour of your figure to be a lot smoother, giving you a more slender and continuous form. If you feel a bit self-conscious, choose a black, chocolate brown, or navy blue plus size swimsuit to give you a slimming effect.

Women should never be ashamed if they have extra curves. It will always just be a matter of perspective about one’s body. But there is one other thing that makes women self-conscious about their figures: Pregnancy. Most women cringe or even dread the thought of having a baby bump at the most fun season of the year. Now the general thought about being pregnant is there’s so much that you can miss doing over the summer because you’re not allowed a to have or do a lot of things.

But hey, at least wearing a wonderful swimsuit isn’t one of them. Today, women can find a wide variety of plus size maternity swimwear everywhere. There’s no hiding the baby bump, so why not wear it proudly?

There are a lot of great designs to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits a pregnant you. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, you can start with stores such as Alwaysforme.com, Swimsuitsplussize.org, and Swimsuitsforall.com. You can find a wide variety of styles and designs to choose from, so go ahead and have some fun!