Eco friendly Easter baskets

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Easter- no matter what you believe you probably at the very least give baskets. Growing up we always got baskets with so much candy, the occasional stuffed animal and little toys. Being a new parent means navigating holidays. What will your traditions be? Will you do what you grew up with? Will you make your own? It can be overwhelming. What I did know is this year I wanted to be more eco friendly with our traditions.

I got to thinking.. for Christmas we have stockings we use every year, so why couldn’t we do the same with Easter. Instead of buying new baskets, filled with candy and plastic why not buy a basket to use year after year?


Greener” Easter Baskets

I try to be as green as I can be. We use reusable bags, reusable straws, we recycle so why not let that carry over into the holidays?  A few simple swaps and you too can make a festive greener Easter basket.

The Basket

Instead of a plastic pail or even a flimsy wicker basket consider buying a good quality basket. I bought two at Home Goods for about $7 a piece. After Easter I will tuck them away until next year (just like I do with any other holiday decorations). You could be even more green and up cycle baskets you have around the house or find one at a garage sale.

This would eliminate using plastic or throwing away a cheap basket after only one use.

Better Fillers

But why stop with the basket?

The pretty grass and the Easter eggs that you use are plasticWhich is why I was SO EXCITED to find this brand of Eco Eggs and Eco Grass to share with you!

The grass is made from 100% recycled paper and is 100% recyclable It comes in 3 vibrant colors yellow, green and pink.  It’s just as pretty looking as the plastic fillers you have always used but better for the environment.

But what about the eggs?  Don’t worry I have a solution for that too.  This company also makes eggs!  Awesome right?! The eggs are made from 100% renewable content! (But if you are like me and plan to reuse them again anyways it’s a win win).  They look and feel just like Easter eggs that you have used in the past. They come in pretty pastel colors and are very sturdy.

So, now you have the basket, frilly grass and eggs- none which are plastic (air high five)! Pretty sweet huh? But if you know me I’m not stopping there.

The fun stuff

It amazes me how much stuff there is just to fill Easter baskets for 1 day! The entire dollar section of Target was packed with tiny toys (mostly plastic) that would be forgotten by the end of Easter weekend.  So, I sat down and tried to think of fun items that would also be “greener,” options for my boys’ Easter baskets.

Here is the list I came up with:

and …. of course candy. But you could even go greener there by buying candy that comes in bulk and is not individually wrapped to cut down on waste. 

So, there you have it.  A few super simple swaps you could make and your kids Easter baskets could be much more eco friendly without losing any of the fun.

Will you be going “green” for Easter?  Let me know below.

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The best place for gender neutral baby shower invites: Basic Invite Review

Waiting to find out the gender of your little one and having a hard time finding cute invitations that are gender neutral?  Look no further!

If you have been following along with my journey for any amount of time then you know that I like to do unique things like not finding out the gender of my babies (find out why here) until they were born and that I am a type A personality. I like to have everything just so. I love when things match, when I can make things just how I picture them in my head and when things are easy (because life is hard enough right?!).

So, when Basic Invite asked me review some of their products in exchange for my honest opinion I was excited.

(For more about how all that works see my disclosure statement)

They have themes ranging from classic baby shower invites to trendy events like Sprinkles.  But what I really wanted to find out was could this website make gender neutral shower/sprinkle planning… more fun?!

*Spoiler alert*

They absolutely could.


Photo by Basic Invite
Photos by Basic Invite

As unique as your little one

One of the biggest bummers of not finding out the gender of both of our babies was that when it came to planning the shower and the sprinkle (for our second) we were given maybe 5 options on any given website of “gender neutral,” invites.  By gender neutral I mean grey, blah yellow and white polka dots, with minimal options to customize. *wah wah wahhh* Just because we don’t want to find out the gender doesn’t mean we don’t want cute invites to celebrate!

This is not the case with Basic Invite.  If you’re like me and are planning to keep the sex of your baby a surprise but still want stylish invites, they have it. With so many theme options you can make any of them specific to your little ones big day even if you don’t know if they are a he or a she.

With countless adorable themes like,

You can bet you’ll find an invite that is ‘so you.‘ From there your options are almost endless to make your invitations exactly what you pictured.

I decided to go with a fun baby sprinkle invite with clouds and rain drops.


This invite was PERFECT for a gender neutral sprinkle.  We planned the sprinkle for after the baby would be born but we still didn’t know the gender so, this was an amazing option.  I really loved the style.  Had I not have liked the original so much I could have changed so much more about it. But I decided to make only a few small changes.

When I went to design my invite these were all of the areas I could chose color options for IF I wanted to.

WOW! I could customize everything to my style down to the raindrops.

Once I picked a few colors, I got to edit every line of the text.

I really liked the wording for this invitation. Since we were going to have the party after baby was here I did choose to changed some of the words to fit my needs. The website makes it so easy for you to edit.  You just click the text box and all your options appear- text style, color, size, alignment.(You can see all the changes I made to the wording in the picture above).

It was simple and so quick to do. I could even edit from my phone!

All the extras you could want

Basic Invite doesn’t just do invitations though, oh no. They make sure every aspect of your stationary is just how you would want it, while making the process easy peasy.

Here are some of the other options you have when designing your invitations:

  • Envelope color– with 40 different color options I got to choose a bright yellow that would match other items at the sprinkle.
  • Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows you to order a printed sample of your  invitation so you can see exactly what it will look like before you ever have to place your final order.  Does it get any better than that?  Even if you don’t order a printed sample the instant updates to your invitation on the website are so cool.  As soon as you edit something you get to see a live version of that change.
  • Address Capturing Service – Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows you to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request your friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in your account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers address printing at no cost on all card orders.  For moms to be this is a game changer.  One less thing  to do before baby.  That’s a win in my book.

Conclusion?

If you are waiting to find out the gender of your little one but still want to have beautiful stylish invitations exactly how you picture them in your head… Basic Invites is your go to.

I wish I would’ve known about them for my first baby. From being able to customize almost the whole invitation to so many cute options beyond the norm, this company is it!

Want more Basic Invite in your life?

Plus Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51 so what are you waiting for?

You can find them here too:

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What are Silicone Breast Pumps? And Why You Would Need One

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If you are like me then you are always researching the latest products to make your life easier as a mom.  Having just recently had my second baby, I was on the hunt for any product to make breastfeeding easier. I knew I would be chasing a toddler this time around. That’s when I stumbled upon article after article about silicone breast “pumps.”

They were EVERYWHERE.  So, I did some research and decided I would buy one and try it out.  I bought a brand that was a bit cheaper than the name brand Haakaa I had read about. Many of the reviews had said both brands worked well but I decided to try out the Bumblebee.

So, what are silicone breast pumps?

First of all I had no idea that you could use these products as a ‘pump.’  Most of the articles that I read marketed these as ‘milk collectors.’ (Which you can totally use them for, especially if you are an over producer or leaker). But they are in fact pumps.  Not in traditional sense ,these will by no means be as efficient as your electric pump but they are pumps.

These types of pumps use natural suction pressure to ‘pump milk. It’s all hands free once your milk is flowing.

How to use it

It’s super easy to use one of these:

  1. First, flip up the cone shaped opening back.
  2. Then, squeeze the pump at the base.
  3. Place nipple in the opening and release the pump creating a suction.
  4. Finally, simply flip the opening back onto your breast.
  5. Voilà!  You are now hands free pumping.

A few helpful tips:

  • you might want to try and hand express some milk to get a letdown before placing the pump on.
  • using the pump on one side and nursing on the other can help achieve let down and get a stead flow of milk.
  • squeezing the middle of the base will get you the strongest suction, for less suction squeeze higher on the bottle.
  • using nipple cream makes for a more comfy fit especially if you have dry skin like me.

Once let down is achieved either by nursing on the opposite side or by hand expression you simply just leave it on for the feeding or until your milk stops flowing. It’s so simple!

Why use one

These pumps are amazing!  They can be great for a wide range of reasons.  So, why would you use one…

  • if you are an over producer and don’t want to waste precious milk (it’s liquid gold every drop is worth collecting).
  • if you get engorged easily.  These are great for keeping in the diaper bag and using to pump on the go to release pressure from a missed feeding or if you are away from your baby.
  • if you want to build a stash of milk. I read you can collect any where from a few drops to 4 oz a session.  ( I normally can collect 2oz).  By collecting small amounts at each feeding you could build a stash a little at a time and have milk frozen for others to feed baby.
  • if you want to increase your supply a bit.  As you probably know, breastfeeding is supply and demand.  So, if you use the pump on the breast you’re not nursing on, your body will continue to make that amount of milk if you are using it consistently.

Mom Approved

If you are nursing or are planning on nursing in the future then you NEED to have one of these!

Pros:

I have been using mine for a little under 3 months now and oh. my. gosh!  In the beginning it helped me collect milk
I was leaking.  But my favorite thing about these pumps are how much milk I could pump WITHOUT being attached to my electric pump.  IT gave me the freedom to pop this on, nurse my babe and chase my toddler if I needed to.

Cons:

I highly suggest you invest in one if you are a nursing mom my ONLY “con” which could be a pro for some is, watch how often you use it.  I started to produce WAY more milk than my little guy needed because I was using it every session.  If you need to increase your supply this may be a pro for you.  If your supply is normal then I would limit your use to once or twice a day so it doesn’t interfere with how much milk you are producing.

 

Let me know in the comments your experiencing if you have used one of these.

 

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What to Get a Mom to Be for Her Baby Shower?

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What to get a mom to be for her?

I don’t know about you but I am really big on handmade gifts or gifts that are helpful. So, when I got invited to my first baby shower since becoming a mom I wanted to make sure my gift would be helpful. I knew that this mom to be had lots of family who had made sure she was covered for baby essentials.  So, I wanted to make sure she had a few items that made all the difference to me. Which led to making a mom to be care box.

Making a care box

Once I decided to collect a few items for the mom to be and skip the traditional baby shower gift. I knew I wanted to add items that were useful.  So, I added the following “somethings”:

  1. Useful- an item that I used a lot once I was a new struggling mom.
  2. For self care- beauty, bath, an item that would make her feel good about herself.
  3. Sweey/cozy- who doesn’t need to feel cozy after baby is here.
  4. Helpful- an item that you wish you would’ve known about sooner.

Something Useful

Think of a gift that helped you get through those early days of being a mom.

For my something useful I went with this laundry backpack.  I was so sore after I gave birth and with our laundry on a different floor I couldn’t hold a basket against my tummy.  I found something similar to this on clearance when I was  postpartum and I LOVE IT!  It made getting laundry done so much easier.

Self care

At my baby shower a close friend made me a little hospital goodie bag of things to pack. It was a super sweet and useful gift and full of things I would’ve never thought of.

Two of those things were dry shampoo and face wipes. So, so simple but made me feel so human after delivery. These were my two self care items for this care box.

Just try and think of the thing that made you feel clean or fresh while at the hospital or when you got back home. What helped you feel “put together?” Include this as your self care item.

Sweet and cozy

This one was easy. What is something that would make your mom-to-be feel cozy or sweet? Maybe she likes a certain kind of chocolate or is she a coffee lover?

For my care box I got her a coffee mug that had a cute Mom saying on it. This is her first baby and I always love getting mugs that make me feel good when I read them. So this seemed fitting.

Helpful

Who doesn’t want something helpful as a first time mom? Think of an item you discovered or were introduced to when you were a new mom that you wish you knew about sooner.

My something useful was Mother’s Milk Tea. 

My friend wants to nurse and doesn’t have any moms around who have nurses so I wanted to include this tea.

This particular tea helped keep my supply up when my son and I were struggling with nursing. Such a simple gift but a game changer I wish I knew about before beginning my nursing journey.

Finishing touches

After I collected all my gifts I bought a super cute box that could be used after she opened the present and of course added a small hand written note explaining my gift.

There is something about personalized gift that always made me feel special and hopefully my friend I gifted this to felt that way. Small things can go a long way.

What would you include in your mom to be care box? Let me know in the comments.

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