Zoo membership

Zoo membership

The first time I went to Woodland Park Zoo, with Ellie was in April 2019. A mom friend had a free guest pass and asked if we would like to join her for the day. Ellie had just recently turned 10 months, she didn’t care much for the animals that were far away like the giraffes or monkeys. She was however obsessed and in ore of anything that came close! We mainly got to see lots of different birds up close but we were also lucky enough to see the bears up close too.

We then went back as a family with some family friends and decide to purchase a Zoo membership. When we purchased them they were on sale for $39 each, they are usually $54 per adult and also offer different family and carer memberships. Often they have sales were the memberships are $10 or $15 off. Children under 3 are free so with Ellie still being a baby we only had to buy memberships for ourselves.

Since then we have been back several times, we’ve gone to halloween events, visited when family’s been in town. If we are ever unsure of what to do at the weekend but want to get out of the house for a few hours, the zoo is always a great option!!

We street park and pack a lunch so it’s almost free to go. Obviously there’s the cost of fuel and the original cost of the membership but once you’ve gone 3 times it more then pays for itself. You also get half of for up to 2 guests and 10% at the gift shop.

You can also buy tickets to feed some of the animals, we’ve fed the birds which is great as it’s up close but not to scary. With some of the bigger animals like and the giraffes we will wait until Ellie is older and only for special occasions, when and if she asks.

At membership you can now buy passes for feeding the animals or for the carousels and when you buy the passes you save a few dollars in the long run on those experiences or riding the carousel. I would highly recommend getting a membership! It’s great for playing and learning and a great few hours or day out.

Do you have a zoo membership? Or any other memberships for you toddlers that you enjoy? We hope to check out some of the museums in our area soon.

Face Mask Favorites

Face Mask Favorites

I love using a face mask when I have the time, I’ll only use them in the evening when Cameron’s home and Ellie’s sleeping. I would hate to be doing a face mask and tend to her and frighten her with a strange looking face. I also sometimes put a face mask on before I jump in the shower and wash it of at the end of my shower when I don’t have the time but if I feel my skin needs it.

My two favorite face masks to do, which are also the face masks I’ll do when trying to save time and use a face mask it the shower is Origin skin’s Retexturizing Mask With Rose Clay or Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask. I enjoy these most as I feel they leave my skin feeling firmer but also glowing.

I also really enjoy Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask and Origin Skin’s Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores. I don’t use exfoliating face mask often as I have dry skin and rosacea and find if I use these too often my skin will be further dried out and my rosace will flare up. So my go to are masks that hydrate, gently retexturize or that leave the skin glowing.

I also have these moisturizing “face masks” do you count these as face masks? Or what category would you put these into? I have the Origin’s Overnight Hydrating Mask and Origin’s 10 Minute Mask which I love as I have dry skin. If I’m going to use these I use them at night in place of my night cream as they have a thick consistency, which I personally love the way it feels but not for applying makeup on top off during the day.

What’s your favorite face mask? Or what do you like to do when you find yourself with a little extra time for self care?

Night time skin care routine

Night time skin care routine

I feel like a night time skincare routine is so important but while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all routine, I definitely think there are some steps everyone should follow. Here is the steps I follow for my night time skincare routine and a few tips

Step 1, removing my makeup

Sleeping in your makeup is so bad for your skin and a cleanser isn’t enough to remove everything. My first step is using a water or oil based cleanser. I like Clinique’s Take The Day Off Makeup Remover or micellar water like Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

Step 2, cleanser

A gentle cleanser to wash away any access makeup residue. If you don’t wear makeup in your day to day you can always skip step one and go strait to step two. I rotate between three different cleansers depending on sales, my top three are First Aid Beauty frothy face wash, Phiosphy’s Purity Made Simple and The Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil.

Step 3, toner

When it comes to toner people usually swear by it or think they’re totally useless, I personally swear by toner. It can take a little experimenting to find the one that’s right for your skin, I’ve tried many from Mario Bedescu. My current favorite that I’m using is is Mario Badescu Witch Hazel & Lavender Toner, I also really like Skin&Co Truffle Therapy Face Toner.

Step 4, eye cream

It’s definitely best to get into an eye cream when you are young as a preventative step. The skin round our eyes is thin and can be tell tale sign of aging, I personally got into adding eye cream regularly into my routine a little later then I probably should have so am also working to try reverse the dark circles I’ve accumulated from late nights in college to late nights as a mom. My go to eye cream is Orgins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff, which I go into more detail about in my blog post – my first voxbox.

Step 5, moisturize

Moisturizing everyday can reduce the chance of developing problems such as access dryness or oiliness. Both extremes can be harmful for skin and can cause common skin problems like acne. At night time I like to use a thicker night cream such as Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream or Clinique Dramatically Different iD . Sometimes ill grab for my simple fix all moisturizer which is the Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty.

Step 6, lip treatment

I think lip balms are great all day long but before bed I like to use a lip mask. Currently I’m loving Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask in original. Which for how little of the product you need is such an affordable luxury product. Bite Beauty’s Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy is another great option.

Optional face mask

If you like to indulge in a little self care and find yourself with the time, applying a face mask once or twice a week can be a great additional step. I’d do this after cleansing and before the rest of my routine. You have different mask types for combating different skin care needs. Here’s a link to my blog about my favorite face masks – Face Mask Favorites

Skin care is so important for fighting age and for a base to makeup. Lots of makeup professionals will tell you if you have the extra money to put it into skincare before the makeup products themselves. A great base is going to allow you to apply lots of different makeup products and they will look better on a great canvas rather then buying expensive makeup products in hopes it’ll hide problem areas on your skin.

Don’t forget to drink water, its something our bodies need and can make such a difference to our skin and health. This is something I have to remind myself often.

What are some skin care products you swear by? Do you have any tips, tricks or things you do differently for your night Time skin care routine?

Overnight Oats and benefits to eating oats

Overnight Oats and benefits to eating oats

Recently I’ve really been getting into over night oats, don’t get me wrong I love traditional oatmeal. I actually have it almost every morning with a dash of honey and some fruit, most often organic blueberries for anyone wondering.

Though I’ve been experimenting with over night oats, I came across an article about the health benefits of oat. One of which was maintaining a low blood pressure if eaten daily, also oats are great for keeping you feeling fuller longer and if you’re breastfeeding it can help with milk supply, to name just a few benefits!

After reading this article and as someone who already eats oats daily, I wanted to implement them into my husbands diet. I wondered if he would have time in the morning to cook oats and allow them to cool down to eat before heading of to work. I then started search other way to incorporate oats into your diet in a healthy way, when I came across over night oats.

This I thought was great as Cameron could wake up and they’re ready to go, he could eat them in the morning or take them to work for a snack without having to spend time in the morning prepping. I also put fruit in his over night oats, one because it’s delicious and two getting extra fruit into your diet never hurts.

For myself I still love my regular oats in the morning however have been dabbling with over night oats to replace sweet treats its my life. I love all things sweet and chocolaty but have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake. I’ve found so many yummy recipes that give me that sweet or chocolaty fix’s without the added sugar or calories. Currently my favorite is adding coco powder and shredded coconut, sometimes I use oat milk or mix of the two.

These oats are so easy to make in the evening and then in the morning you can just give them a stir and they’re good to go!

Do you have any over night oat recipes you love? share bellow and ill do an update in future if I find more recipes I love! or let me know if you’d like an in depth recipe or tutorial.

Snow 2020

Snow 2020

Ellie was born the end of spring 2018, so this year was actually her second time seeing snow. However the first time she was 7 months and I’m not sure if she remembered it nut I wouldn’t think so.

Back then she would stand at the window and stare out. This year was different, when the first snow had settled and she woke up in the morning to it she was in ore! At first she called them bubbles, this was her reaction to seeing steam for the first time also. I let her know it was snow and every time I’d let the puppy’s out to go potty you could tell she wanted to get outside.

I waited for Cameron to get home from work then we all bundled up warmly, we’ll mainly just Ellie as we didn’t plan to stay outside long. We took her into the front yard as the back yard is where the dogs go potty and we’ll you know…

Once we were outside, at first Ellie wouldn’t let me put her down. A few times I lowered her down and she just gestured to be picked right back up. I would pick her up and kept showing her the snow, eventually it was Cameron making snowballs that got Ellie down to play in the snow. They threw snowballs at the floor and soon enough Ellie was walking round in the snow exploring and wanting daddy to make all the snowballs.

Cameron and my hands got chilly from helping Ellie with the snowballs so we decided to head in. Ellie was so sad, she would have stayed out in the snow forever and played if we let her but unfortunately it was getting late and getting chilly.

During the week we set up snow on her high chair and gave her some paint brushes and food coloring so she could play with the snow and paint it. She loved this and it kept her entertained well into the snow melting and becoming a puddle on her tray.

Did you get out to play in the snow? For anyone who was house bound during the snow what were some activities you did at home to keep your babies/toddlers entertained?

My first voxbox from Influenster – Origins

My first voxbox from Influenster – Origins

I received my first voxbox from Influenster back in April 2017. Since then I have been lucky enough to receive a few voxbox’s. Mainly containing makeup but I have received food items also, recently I was actually offered a wine from them but it was a red which personally I don’t like drinking. I will cook with red wine but didn’t feel I would be able to give a fair review.

I really enjoyed all products sent to me in my first box. I was sent face wash, a face mask, an energy boosting moisturizer, a night cream and eye cream by the brand Origins. I have since brought full sizes of all of these except the face wash as FirstAid Beauty is still currently my favorite frothy face wash. I also brought a few other face masks from Origins.

My skin care routine is forever changing with wanting to try new product releases or recommendations, usually once I reach the bottom of one product I’m on to trying something new. However, when it comes to eye cream origins ginzing refresh eye cream has become a staple.

Origins ginzing eye cream to Brighten and Depuff” fortunately I don’t find my eyes being puffy but I am trying to combat dark circles, like most moms out there I never get enough sleep. With this eye cream I truly find my under eyes looking radiant and visibly brighter! I definitely would recommend this product for that reason! I have seen it on sale a few times at Ulta and recommend stocking up when it is, as a SAHM I love saving money when I can but also want a quality product that works and this eye cream works!

Do you have any eye cream recommendations?? Leave me your suggestions and maybe I’ll get around to trying something new. Hard to reach for another product when you find one that works so well for you.

If you love reviewing products, having somewhere to search recommendations or want the chance to receive free products you should check out Influenster here’s my referral link www.influenster.com/r/1414238

New Year’s Day 2020

New Year’s Day 2020

When we woke up New Year’s Day we wanted to go out and do something. One because Ellie is happiest when we get out and about and two because my husband had an extra day of and this is a rare occurrence. Whilst we were ball-parking ideas I came across a post on Facebook about Washington’s discover pass free days and that New Years was one of these days. My husband being a bit of a history enthusiast had mentioned wanting to check out the forts in Washington, so we decided upon a day trip to Fort Casey.

We got ready and planned to leave at Ellie’s nap time in hopes she would sleep on the drive. It was roughly an hour and a half drive but a lot of it was beautiful countryside and we went over deception pass to, it was such a beautiful clear day. Ellie luckily napped 3/4 of the way.

When we got there there were many signs to let you know it was a free pass day. We bundled up and headed out of the car, surprisingly for being January 1st the weather was nice, not warm by any means but not too cold. We even had to remove Ellie’s hat as she was actually getting too warm, we spent around an hour and a half meandering around. You could tell Ellie’s favorite thing we did there was watching all the people out flying their kites.

We decided to get a ferry back, it takes roughly the same time as driving but it would allow Ellie to walk around rather then be sat in the car. This was Ellie’s first time going on a ferry, she didn’t much care for the wind bellow deck but once were on the main level she gestured to wanting to go out side. We thought if she didn’t enjoy the wind we could just go back inside but this time she loved it!! Giggling when hiding from the wind.

Before we knew it we were pulling up to the ferry terminal, we got back into the car and we’re home in no time! We had such fun exploring a part of the PNW we hadn’t seen yet and will definitely take advantage of another free pass day if it correlates with another day my husband happens to gets off from work.

If your looking to visit state parks in Washington I’d advise an annual pass at $30 you can’t really beat that when usually it’s $10 for a day pass. However if you’re looking to save $$$ or only find yourself with free days to go exploring on national holidays, as this is when most of the free days are. You should check out which days are free with a free day pass and explore! https://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/136/State-Parks-Free-Days

Surviving babies first cold

Surviving babies first cold

My poor baby girl had just gotten over her first cold when I wrote this last summer. We frequently have play dates, go to story time and out in public in general, so how she caught a cold I’m not 100% sure out of the many places we go. Luckily it skipped this mama and I was able to fully look after my poor baby girl!

My two favorite products that got us through this time were the NoseFrida and baby Vick’s vapor rub. I was gifted our NoseFrida by my sister in law at my baby shower, now having used it I would highly recommend this for your baby registry or a must get for yourself. We had been using a traditional bulb that we had from the hospital when Ellie was born, though this didn’t seam to help clear her enough and was hard to clean. When my baby girl was still sounding like a little truffle pig and it was effecting her eating and sleeping. I then caring more for my daughters comfort then my own grossness level, I opened the box and gave it a go.

Just wow! I had no idea a baby could have that many boggers! The NoseFrida worked great, I could see everything it was getting out and that it wasn’t getting up the tube I was sucking on. Thank goodness!! I could tell her nose was clear not just due to visibly seeing the mucus but also being able to hear her breathing clearer. This was a great relief for this mama! My daughter does fuss a lot whilst I’m using the NoseFrida, however after reading several reviews it seams if your little isn’t fussy when you’re using the NoseFrida then you aren’t using it right.

After 3 days the NoseFrida was still doing its job great but my daughter still had the sniffles. She had now also developed a cough, me and my husband took it in turns sitting in the bathroom with her using the steam from the shower to hopefully loosen the mucus. But we couldn’t feasibly live in the bathroom all day. A mom friend of mine then suggest baby Vick’s. We rubbed this on my daughters back and chest before poping on her footsie pajamas before her bed time and nap times. After one day using this her cough seamed better and her nose wasn’t as runny though the NoseFrida would still be our best friend for a few days.

I would also suggest if it seams your baby has a cold if you don’t already do so ordinarily, is to have daily baths. You don’t have to use soap each time if you’re worried about drying out your little’s skin. My daughter is still young so unable to tell me if she’s ache, however she seamed happier after a bath. I used this time to clean her face better also, as the NoseFrida seamed to be giving her a slight aversion to having her face touch and she would have a few dried boggers I’d be spending the day wrestling to get. I think this is also because my little girl is very independent and doesn’t like anyone doing anything for her especially if she thinks she can do it.

But after a week and a half, but what had felt like forever! Her cold was gone!! I had taken her temperature regularly and knew this was nothing to run to the pediatrician about and these few things helped us, help her. What are some products you’ve loved when your little has had a cold, congestion or isn’t feeling well?

Edit: Now that Ellie is a year and a half she still fusses when I use the Nose Freda but says Thank you after, so I know she understands it helps.

Story Time

Story Time

My daughter and I have been going to story time since she was close to 4 months. We had tried a few different locations that hosted story time in our area and found the one that suited us best. Some others locations had been to crowded or weren’t at times that worked for us, Ellie NEEDS her midday nap and mama needs a happy Ellie.

I could tell she loved story time from the first time we went! In the beginning she would just baby watch and I could tell she was just raring to join in. I had posted many videos on my Instagram of Ellie sitting, on all fours, crawling and standing and had many moms messaging asking how I had been encouraging her to hit these milestones early.

Firstly this was not my doing she is a very independent baby when it comes to everything. I do feel a couple things did help to motivator her though. There’s also a few things to remember when it comes to milestones, firstly all babes are so unique and though your child may hit milestones earlier or later this won’t effect them in future, don’t worry they will still get into a good college! Enjoy each step for what it is, soon they will be running around and you won’t get a break! I miss the days of sitting on the floor and playing, now I’m running all over stopping my little girl from playing with things she shouldn’t be or from getting hurt.

I would definitely say if your looking to help motivate your little one go to story time or any outing that puts your baby round their peers. My daughter would see babies at story time and her friends at play dates moving in ways she hasn’t yet and I can see her watching and trying to figure out how to do it herself. I really think seeing other little people like herself doing these things makes her realize she can too!

I would say try a few story times out! They don’t cost, many library’s offer them so it’s easy to find one that works for you and importantly your little.

Story time I also think is great for moms, being a SAHM or even a working mum can be isolating. It’s nice to have others to talk to who understand what you’re going through with raising a baby and able to share in the highs and lows. It’s great to be able to share advise and tips, even if really we’re all just winging it and trying to do our best!

Where are some places you like to take your little to socialize and get out of the house? Swimming? Gymnastics? Music classes?

Baby products I wouldn’t recommend

Baby products I wouldn’t recommend

There are a few items we brought whilst I was pregnant or were gifted at our baby shower as I had ask for them on our gift registry. These were things I thought we would need or thought would make life easier with our new born. A few months in I realize a few things we could have done with out to save money, storage or simply because we found them useless.

I had wanted a Bottle warmer as a few moms I knew were unable to breast feed and I wanted to be prepared in case Ellie needed formula. I also thought that if I could breast feed I would pump so my husband or family could feed Ellie on occasion. Fortunately I was able to breast feed but the few bottles I did pump were easily warmed up under the tap and this was quicker then the bottle warmer I had chosen from the great reviews. I think weather formula fed or breast fed a bottle warmer isn’t needed. Most baby’s will take milk from the fridge or warmed under the tap and a bottle warmer is just an extra piece of equipment taking up counter space and needing to be kept clean and it isn’t like we don’t have enough to do with a newborn/baby. We just found the bottle warmer unnecessary and having a baby means you already have a lot of things all over taking up space, which is to be expected but we didn’t need to add to that with unnecessary items.

We were gifted a wipe warmer by one of my husbands co workers who’s children were older now. At first I loved the concept that the wipes would be warm and comfortable for my little girls toshy. I tried the wipe warmer for a few packs of wipes and again found this in unnecessary step. We like to keep our home fairly warm so the wipes wouldn’t really get to cold and on the odd chiller day I would just hold the wipes in my hands for a few seconds before use and and that would do the same job as this cumbersome item.

I had convinced my husband to spend a little extra for the Halo bassinet. Upon looking at reviews I liked that this could be pulled closer to the bed or pushed away from the bed without disturbing baby. I also like the feature of the push down side, I thought this would make it easier for getting Ellie for feeding during the middle of the night. I can probably count with my fingers the amount of time Ellie slept in this bassinet. It was so uncomfortable we assume as it was so firm, we even brought a mattress pad in hopes this would make it more comfortable and Help Ellie to sleep better. I the next time around would just go straight for a more conventional bassinet or I see some people using their pack and plays. Even just using a crib from the get go and having it in our room for the first few months.

The last item I regret getting are pacifiers. I think getting one or two make sense to see if your baby will take them makes sense, however I feel I always sore babies with pacifiers so assumed they would be needed. So I brought some and were gifted some and decided to was and sanitize them all, in order to be prepared. I now feel I wasted that time and over half a dozen pacifiers, as Ellie only took them a handful of times in the first few months.

These are the items I regret most, though there are some items we have that I know we could have got by without. I feel now having had a baby I know when people say you really don’t need that much they were right but as a first time mom I was determined to be prepared and provide everything I thought my baby would need. What are some items you regret or could have lived without? Click here to see the top five products I would recommend.