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Tipful Thursday

A Moving Must Have: First Night Box

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So we have been in this house a little over three months and this post is LONG overdue. Honestly, I thought I had already published it but as I looked through my drafts list I found it, almost complete, and decided it was better late then never!

In the last seven years I have moved seven times, six with Rob, and four with kids in tow. These moves included on campus housing –> townhouse –> single family home –> apartment –> hotel –> and now a rental. I have learned a lot about the dos and don’ts along the way that could make or break a move.

Even if you carefully mark your boxes it can be a little overwhelming once the movers have left and you find yourself boxed in. Two or three houses ago moving didn’t go according to plan and we were bringing in the last of the boxes close to midnight. As if moving all day wasn’t exhausting enough we had to spend the next two hours searching for towels, the remote for the bed, and toilet paper. From then on I always packed a first night box filled with items we might need before we are able to get any boxes unpacked.

First Night Box Materials

Make sure your first night box is sturdy and stands out from the rest. A clear plastic bin is a great option that can be used again and again. Your box may vary based on the time of year and size of family. If we are staying in the new place before the movers are scheduled to arrive we take it with us or use the above as a shopping list once we have arrived.  You can go one step further and secure a clear sheet protector on the inside of the box and make a list of its contents. It’s a nice visual place to check off items as you pack helping to make sure nothing is forgotten.

In our most recent move to Canada it was great after a long trip to open this beauty up, grab what we needed to settle in, and get a good nights sleep in our new home.

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Something else that has been really helpful the last few moves was a large Post-It outside each room. Each room had a letter so when someone came in with a box or furniture I could say room C instead of 2nd room on the left. I also listed the large pieces of furniture that would stand out from the rest so they knew where it went if I was temporarily distracted.

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Tipful Thursdays: Organizing Essential Oils

A few months ago I finally decided to take the plunge and invest in Essential Oils. I wanted to slowly replace all of our household cleaning agents and venture into some new uses.

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Shortly after receiving my first set of oils I wanted to find something to store them in that I could easily transport when we travel. Around the same time Thirty-One came out with their new catalog and the Baubles & Bracelets Case. I decided to get one and give it a try.

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You can fit about 15 oils inside which is the perfect amount for travel needs or even an emergency kit in the car.

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I also love that there is space for cards with some of the recipes I make often. There is also space for the pads for our travel diffuser.

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The Baubles & Bracelets Case goes for $20 and is currently available in five different patterns.


What’s In Our Diaper Bag – 11 Months

Iv’e been a bag lady ever since I was a little girl. My mom would give me paper bags and I would have them all around the house with different knick-knacks I found. My favorites were their keys, of course. I always knew exactly which bag everything was in though.

It took me awhile to find the perfect diaper bag for me. Should have known it would end up being a Thirty-One bag! I love that it is firm enough to always keep it’s shape and doesn’t close. I also love the outside pockets for easy access. The shoulder strap is long so it fits on my should nicely. This tote also fits perfectly in the basket under my Graco LiteRide Stroller with room to spare. I also have two of the Zipper Pouches that I keep the diapers and wipes in one and his change of cloths, bib and burp cloths in the other.

Wow, now that I am looking at everything I put into our diaper bag, I wonder how it all fits, lol. Good thing I have that awesome Thirty-One bag with plenty of room 😉 Some may think I go overboard but I like to be prepared and it makes for less stressful outings. A happy baby makes for a happy mommy!

Dapple – You don’t necessarily need to purchase a travel size bottle. I was using a squeeze bottle that I filled with a Dapple refill pack. I also had one in the bathrooms and kitchen when P was little and we were giving him several bottles a day. I am part of Bluum and the travel size was in one of there boxes, so I started using it for the diaper bag. 

Plum Pouch & Plum Spoons – These are perfect to have for the “just in case” situations where you end up taking longer to run errands or your hungry hungry hippo wants a snack. The spoons are amazing and I get compliments everywhere I go. It makes it easy to feed him in a shopping cart while I grocery shop. We decided not to let P learn to suck the puree out of the pouches after reading a few articles warning parents that they may cause cavities.

The Avent Formula Container makes it easy to make P’s bottles on the go, especially in the car. There are three dividers inside for 3 bottles. This worked out great in the beginning but from about 4-7 months, his bottle size varied between 2-6 oz. We took the divider out and put a scoop in. Now that he is consistent with 4 bottles a day at 6 oz each, we put the divider back in. I also keep Enfamil Packets in the car for those rare times I forget to fill up the container. We keep a Brittle Water Bottle so that we never run out of filtered water for P. We use to carry water bottles but they got heavy! Best idea my hubs ever had 😉 We have used Born Free Bottles since the beginning and love them.

P is getting really good with his Nuby Sippy Cup and we just started giving him an apple juice and water mixture. It’s a hit at play dates with all the other kids 😉 I have been keeping a bottle of Mott’s Individual Apple Juice in there when we are going to be out over lunch time.

We always have one of the Munchkin Suction Bowls in his bag filled with Graduates Lil Crunchies. We also started using Glad Cling Wrap at restaurants. We had the TinyDiner Portable Placemat and it does work great, until they learn how to pull it up. We were recently at a restaurant and the waitress brought us some. It worked great. I don’t mind just cleaning the table and letting P eat off it, but it usually makes a huge mess. I know, not entirely green but we only eat out 1-2 times a week.

I always make sure to have a few Burp Cloths, bibs and at least 1 outfit in there as well. Burp Cloths and bibs are no big deal if I forget, but an extra set of clothes is pretty important. I recently forgot to replace an outfit and my son had to ride home in a diaper. Yikes!

Extra diapers, DesitinChanging WalletArm & Hammer Diaper Bags and Alva Wet Bags are crucial for diaper changes. Now that it’s summer, we also keep BabyGanics Sunscreen and BabyGanics Lip Balm. We always have a package of Munchkin Pacificer Wipes and Boogie Wipes that fit perfectly in the outside pouches of our diaper bag for quick and easy access.

We keep 2 Nuk Pacifiers in a Especially For Baby Pacifier Keeper along with a pacifier strap to help limit the number of drops 😉

I also have a few other Thirty-One items to keep me organized. I use the Large Utility Tote when we are traveling for all of P’s clothes. I love that it is light weight, holds it’s shape and doesn’t close. This maximizes the space for all of his outfits. I used the Mini Organizer to store his diaper changing items for easy carry between floors in the house. The Keep-It Caddy is used for day trips when he will be eating more than one meal. I throw all of his food in there which gives more room in the diaper bag for an extra set of clothes and diapers.

Phewww, that was a lot! So what do you keep in your diaper bags? What do you find are the most used items and what is in there for a rainy day? 


{Tipful Thursday} Bath Time Favorites

Bath time has become one of our favorite activities. Now that he is sitting up on his own, we had to transition him out of the infant bath tub. We just weren’t ready to put him in the bath tub with out any support. I started looking online for a bath tub seat, similar to the Aquababy Bath Ring but it was too pricey for the amount of time we would probably need it. A laundry basket works just as well, and makes it easy to collect his toys at the end!

Up until about a week ago, we were using The First Year’s Infant – Toddler Tub (with sling). We would fill it with water and put it on the changing table since P didn’t really move or splash, at first. The sling was perfect to support him as we learned how to bath an infant.

Around 4 months, we took the sling out and put the infant tub in our bath tub. I talked about the Bath Luv Frog in P’s 3&4 Month Favorites. This was really important in keeping P warm and happy during bath time. We used it up until a week ago when he started sitting in the bath tube in a laundry basket.

Of course, I couldn’t miss out on a opportunity to share our bath time favorites!

Since I love warm bath water, I love the Aquatopia Deluxe Safety Bath Thermometer to keep it at a safe temperature for P. While we are in the tub, the Especially for Baby Stacking Cups and Sassy Developmental Bath Toy – Catch & Count Net keep P entertained and happy. 🙂 He loves cups both inside and outside the tub. I wasn’t thrilled with him putting them in his mouth at first but there is no way to stop it 😉

I talked about the VTech Musical Bubbles Octopus in P’s 8 Month Favorites post. It is a really great price for the quality. As you can see, P really enjoys it too!

The Green Toys My First Tugboat is a great toy and functional when washing P’s hair. I found it new at a great price at one of our local consignment sales. They are recycled milk containers made in the USA.

We use Johnson’s & Johnson’s Naturals Shampoo and Johnson’s & Johnson’s Foaming Wash to keep him nice and clean. There are so many great products out there but these were the ones we went with. After we are done, we use hooded towels to dry him of and give him a little “free” time. We use Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lotion to keep him soft baby skin hydrated and silky smooth.


{Tipful Thursday} Easy Peazy Hard Boiled Eggs

Ahhh, I am back from a rather relaxing and unexpected hiatus! Fear not, I have been adding more and more fun topics, favorite items and tips to my ever long blog post to-do list. Now I just need 10 more hours in the day to get them all written!

In the meantime, I have a pretty awesome tip I found on Pinterest to share with you today!

I absolutely LOVE hard boiled eggs! Whether it’s in a salad, an egg salad sandwich or plain as a protein boost, it has always been one of my favorite foods. Second to my former obsession to Diet Coke and current obsession with pizza of course 🙂

When Rob and I got married we had a blast registering for all these fun gadgets at Bed Bath & Beyond. We saw and scanned it all! A waffle maker, griddle, donut maker, Soda Stream and more. I remember seeing a gadget that would hard boil your eggs for you. I thought it would be useful but my dear husband to be, who HATES hard boiled eggs I might add, thought it was a waste because you can do it yourself. So, I compromised and passed on that one.

I can’t tell you how many times over the next few years I wished we had registered for it. I know, it’s not THAT difficult to hard boil eggs. Yet, I never seem to have the urge or patience. I was recently mentioning this story to my sister and she mentioned seeing a PIN on Pinterest with instructions on how to hard boil eggs in the oven using a muffin pan. I didn’t believe it so I searched on Pinterest. Well apparently I missed the boat on this because there were tons of different pins from various websites. Don’t believe me? See for yourself! 

Well the wait is over, because this ACTUALLY works! I now have a true compromise to not buying that gadget oh so long ago. It’s simple, place the number of eggs you want in a muffin pan, bake on 325 for 30 minutes, submerge them in ice water until cool, peel & EAT! There maybe a few brown spots on the eggs but that is just from the pan and doesn’t affect the taste at all.


{Tipful Thursday} I xoxo OXO

I love many of OXO’s products but just recently came across one that has made its way to the top of my favorites list rather quickly. We were in the grocery store walking by the kitchen supplies when my eye caught an OXO Good Grips Palm Brush Storage Set. One of our goals this year to is simplify our cleaning supplies and make it as easy as possible to follow our cleaning schedule. I was pretty sure this would do the trick and decided to get it. Boy was I right! We keep this in our shower and it has been easy and convenient to scrub our shower.

When we got pregnant I knew I wanted to slowly do away with our cleaning supplies and use safer and ultimately more organic cleaning agents. As luck would have it, one of my amazing friends gave us a few Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products.

Between these two things, I have become an unstoppable cleaning machine! Factor in our awesome new cleaning schedule (coming soon) and our house is cleaner, smells nicer and makes for one happy Momma!

What cleaning products have you come across lately that are now you your MUST list?

Thanks for stopping by for another Tipful Thursday!