Staying Ahead of Red with Desitin

Diaper rash is one of the things thats commonly dealt with as a parent. Life happens and sometimes baby might stay in a wet diaper too long or they might have sensitive skin in general and that can lead to a nasty, and painful, diaper rash! The common causes are: 

  1. Irritation from stool/ urine with prolonged wear of diaper
  2. Sensitive skin
  3. Chaffing and rubbing
  4. Irritation from new product
  5. Bacterial or yeast infection (fungal)
  6. Use of antibiotics

 

The best way to stay ahead of red is by using DESITIN! It’s the best diaper rash cream on the market and I actively use it to prevent rashes from occurring. Its gentle on your baby’s skin and works like a charm. Along with Desitin, you can also practice good diaper changing habits:

  1. Change diaper often
  2. Rinse baby’s bottom with warm water after each change.
  3. Patt bottom dry with clean paper towel.
  4. Don’t over tighten diapers

Diaper rashes can be such a pain (pun intended!), but you’re not in it alone! Desitin is here to help sooth your baby’s rash and to prevent future rashes. I encourage you mamas to try it out and see for yourself! 

 

Luli Bebe’ Monaco Diaper Bag


I had the most amazing opportunity to review the new Monaco diaper bag by LULI BEBE! Being a mom means always being on the go and always traveling with tons of stuff both for you and for baby. My daughter Emma is nearly two years old an
d I’m still shlepping around all kinds of stuff on our daily adventures. Here’s a list of all the things I normally look for when choosing a diaper bag:

 

  1. STYLE!- Honestly, I’ve seen some pretty hideous diaper bags in the past few years and there’s just no way around it folks, stay away from awfully busy prints and bad synthetic materials. The Monaco is a beautiful faux vegan leather with a quilted front pocket that’s easily accessible and has the convenience of a magnetic open/close feature. You can either show it over your shoulder or wear it as a backpack.
  2. Versatility- The best diaper bag is one that doesn’t really feel like your conventional bag. Its one that you feel like you can sport without having to also bring a purse along. I always love when a diaper bag has a designated “mama space”, where I can place my wallet, phone, keys, chapstick, etc…The Monaco has so many great compartments within the bag where I can store all my mama essentials.
  3. Comfort- As moms, we’re always carrying our babies and straining our backs and the last thing we need is an uncomfortable diaper bag to throw on our shoulders. The best kind of bag will give you the option to either hang on your stroller, wear as a backpack or quickly throw over shoulder for fast and short periods of time when you don’t have a second to wear it appropriately. Luli Bebe’ offers all three on these options with their Monaco.
  4. Easy accessibility- When your baby’s laying there with a poopy diaper, the last thing you need to worry about it opening and closing the diaper bag in order to get what you need. With the Monaco, you have two zippers from each side that open the top almost completely, offering easy access to all of your needed baby items.
  5. Easy clean up- The first day I used my Monaco diaper bag, I of course, spilled a sticky Caramel Macchiato all over it! Gosh I was so mad until I took a simple baby wipe and cleaned it right off! It was such a relief because I’ve had to throw an entire diaper bag in the wash before and couldn’t really use it until the next day, which was so inconvenient. The inside is lined with beautiful satin that can also be easily cleaned. If you’re a “Hot Mess Mom” like me then definitely get a Monaco!
  6. Storage- Last, but certainly not least, storage is KEY! I was so amazed at the sheer size and storage space that the Monaco offers. It fits multiple bottles, clothes, diapers, wipe, creams…you name it!

I’m thrilled to say that Luli Bebe’ meets all of these needs and more. It’s been a lifesaver and no-brainer for us. Definitely consider it if you’re a new mama or even a seasoned mama looking for something better for yourself. 

Only half of what you can fit inside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So much space!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This post was sponsored by Luli Bebe’ but all opinions are always my OWN! <3

J’Adore Les Fleurs

Mamas, lets talk FLOWERS! I’ve honestly never met a woman who didn’t like reciveing them, and this weekend J’Adore Les Fleurs sent Emma and I our very own arrangements! From the moment I opened the door, my house flooded with the smell of these beautiful flowers and Emma was so excited to see that Mama wansn’t the only one being spoiled! They sent her her own little mini box that was identical to mine!  How sweet is that?!

This wonderful flower boutique is Los Angeles based and has three locations for your convenience. It’s such a great gift to take to one of your friends who recently had a baby or even to hint at your hubby for an upcoming anniversary, birthday, or “just because”!

  • Studio City: 11030 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 763-2989
  • Pacific Palisades: 542 Palisades Dr. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 (310) 463-8883
  • Glendale: 1100 S. Central Ave Ste C, Glendale, CA 91204 (818) 244-2233

Each arrangement is crafted with care and love with non other than the finest florals. They also specialize in a wide variety of event designs for weddings, showers, christening, etc.. You can phone same day or ahead of time and tell them exactly what color scheme you’d like and for what type of event and they will customize it to your liking. They have different sizes, styles, and textured boxes that you can choose from to make them extra chic! Next time you’re in the market for some beautiful, lush, extravagant bouquets, you know right where to go! 

 

 

Why I Won’t be Sleep Training My Baby

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Sleep training can be a tough topic to discuss since we all have different thoughts and experiences associated with it. I have friends and family members who’ve done the CIO (cry it out) method and have been very successful and I’ve had others (like myself) who haven’t been able to sit through the cries. I want to make sure to say that I respect every mothers’ decision to parent their child in the way that they want and see fit. This post is not about right or wrong, it’s just about what I’ve chosen for my child and what has been working for us. 

A little back story (don’t worry, I’ll keep it short not to bore you):

Emma wasn’t the worst sleeper in the world when she was a newborn, but she definitely wasn’t the best. I remember waking up every two ours with her for months. It was utterly dreadful and, frankly, I was turning into a monster. The lack of sleep was bringing out sides of me that I never knew existed and let me tell you, they were NOT pretty. Once she hit months three and four, it got a bit easier. I had transitioned her into her crib and she was only waking 3-4 times at night and I was able to put her down in about 30 minutes. The problem was that once I was up, I couldn’t get back to sleep for another hour or so. I’ve always been a very light sleeper and had similar issues before being a mom.  She hit month five and I decided to try the CIO method. I bought the book by Dr. Richard Ferber and began to read like a mad woman. It even had a nice chart to use during the training so you can log in your time spent listening to the cries. I buckled down and decided to try it. I won’t get into too much detail, but I will say that I spent an hour straight crying my eyes out with her to the point where she began to throw up. That’s when I threw in the towel. I decided it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t strong enough. I felt a huge sense of guilt and failure.

Everything I read and heard told me that doing this for my child would only benefit them and that you needed to, “give them the gift of sleep”. I love my baby like any mother does and of course I wanted her to have that “gift”, but it just didn’t work out. I read thread upon thread of success stories on all my Facebook mommy groups and the guilt just kept sinking in. I felt so bad for putting her through that sort of stress that night that I decided to bring her to my bed and have her sleep with me. Now, it wasn’t the first time that we had co-slept or bed-shared, but it was the first time I got to snuggle my girl to sleep. I remember her holding on so tight to me, like she needed my love in that moment and thats when I decided that I would never deprive her of that. Now a days, she starts off in her crib and when she wakes around 2 am, I bring her to our bed and sleep till morning. She gets a full 12 hours every night and I get some much needed rest as well. My husband doesn’t mind it much since he values my sanity. There are some nights where she sleeps in her crib uninterrupted till morning and always sleeps through the night in her Pack n’ Play with her DockATot when sleeping over at her grandmas. I know what you’re thinking…”Try putting her in the Pack n’ Play at home…maybe she doesn’t like her crib”. Of course I’ve tried that. I’ve tried everything!

Theres a huge stigma with co-sleeping and bed-sharing in the Armenian culture but I hope that that will change with the new generations to come. I feel like these early years are meant for attachment and love so why should I deny her (or myself) of that? Some will say, “Yes, but co-sleeping will put a distance between you and your partner” and my response to that is, 1. Worry about your own marriage, 2. If you’re so concerned with my marriage, Ill reassure you by telling you that we work hard for our relationship and ALWAYS make sure to spend alone time together weather it be on a weekend getaway or just a date night while Emma stays with her loving grandparents.

As she ventures off into toddlerhood, I will watch her to see when she’s ready and thats when Ill try to have her stay in her room all night. It might take until she’s 5 or 6, and if thats the case, so be it. Thats what I signed up for as a mom. I’ve dedicated my life to her and I know that one day, she will refuse to sleep next to me and that my heart will break a little, but until that day, I will soak up every single cuddle and hug I could get! 

You do you mama. Whatever works for someone else doesn’t have to work for you. We are all trying our best and as long as your little one is happy and healthy, thats all that matters!

 

Balayage Beauty!

Like many women in their 20’s, Ive been to A LOT of hair dressers. I’ve gone from light to dark many times and managed to fry it during the process. It sucks because you go to these supposed professionals with excitement about a new change, yet you leave with 60% of your hair chopped off since they burned it! Ugh, so frustrating! I’m so happy about my recent experience with Chris Pedroarena at Ballagio Hair Salon in Crystal Cove, CA that I had to blog about it!

I was at a Banana Republic one day and saw a girl with the prettiest hair. I stalked her for a little bit and summed up the courage to ask her who she goes by and quickly jotted down the info. A few months later, I decided I needed a change and that was the first time I met Chris. I have to mention how professional he is. When you sit in his chair, you get the best vibes and you just know that you’re in good hands…LITERALLY! He uses only the best products and works at such a great pace since you know how important that is for us moms. He has many years of experience and is also great at cuts and styling. I learned my lesson and will continue to see Chris for all my hair styling needs. Go ahead and check him out if you’re in the LA/OC area!

Here you can see the before on the left and the afters on the top and bottom right.

Armenian Teething Party

    It’s a time honored tradition in the Armenian culture to throw a party for your little one as soon as they cut their first tooth. An “Atam Hateek” or “Agra Hadeeg”, depending on the dialect, is a celebration of babies first tooth. “Atam” or “Agra” meaning tooth and “Hateek” or “Hadeeg” meaning kernel. Other than it being a fun celebration, it’s also a future profession prediction party! All the guests gather around the baby as he/she sits in front of a variety of toys that symboloze possible professions. Before baby is allowed to pick one of these symbolic toys, we place a piece of tulle above her head and sprinkle a bit of cooked barley for good luck. These kernels of barley are supposed to represent healthy teeth. After this is done, baby is encouraged to chose 3 of those toys that have been placed in front of her. For our party, I decided to order some chocolates from Chocolate Pops by Alice that were molded in the shape of:

  • Pencil (Teacher, writer)
  • Basketball (Athlete)
  • Book (Scholar, author)
  • Sewing Machine (Fashion Designer)
  • Violin (Musician)
  • Stethoscope (Doctor)
  • Scissor (Beautician)
  • Paintbrush (Artist)
  • Microscope (Scientist)
  • Computer (Techie, blogger [haha!])
  • Ballet slippers (Ballerina)
  • Gavel (Judge)
  • Prescription bottle (Pharmacist)
  • Clapperboard (Movie Star)
  • Lady Justice Symbol (Attorney)
  • Money Sign (Wealth)

 All of these represent possible future professions for Emma. Our little darling picked 3 of these chocolates: Gavel, sewing machine, and a basketball!! She’s going to be a judge who plays professional basketball and designs couture dresses on her days off (insert hysterical laughing emoji!). It’s really all in good fun and the main purpose of this tradition is to send baby lots of  luck on her teething journey. After all this is over, the guests help themselves to cooked barley which they garnish with cinnamon, chocolate candy, walnuts, raisins, sugar, and cooked flour. Making the Hateek (also what we call the cooked barely) is a teedious task which has to be done the day before and involves boiling and drying for the perfect consistency. Since Emma cut her first tooth around 9-10 months of age, I felt it unecessary to do two big parties. Instead, we performed the Hateek tradition at her first birthday celebration. I am so thankful for my family and friends who were there to support Emma on her special day! Here are some photos from the teething ceremony:

This beautiful Tulle was also bough from Chocolate Pops By Alice!

Emma and her gavel!

 

Emma chose her future professions with a little help from Minnie Mouse!

 

These beautiful baskets were done by Chocolate Pops by Alice!
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Emma’s First Birthday

This past weekend, we celebrated Emma’s first birthday. It was such a bitter sweet moment. Ive been in a funk all month just thinking back and reflecting on her first year of life and my first year of motherhood. Ive learned more about myself and life in general in this first year than I have in all 27 years Ive been on this planet. To someone who isn’t a mother yet, this can be hard to understand. Before I was a mom, I didn’t get why people were so obsessed with their children and why motherhood was so important. Of course, I knew that it was a big deal, but always felt like there were other things in life that could come close to it. For example, your husband, your family, your personal quest for self-realization, but I soon learned that there was NOTHING (literally) more important than this role. In the first year I have been the most vulnerable, scared, happy, sad, excited, all at once. Its been a crazy roller coaster ride thus far and I cannot wait to see what the second year has in store for us. I love watching my girl grown and Ive never looked to the future more optimistically than I do now. She is the air that I breath and I can’t imagine what I did before her. I pray she stays healthy and happy for many many more years to come! 

Here are a few highlights from her big day! 

  • Venue: LaLa Land Indoor Playground
  • Desserts: Sugarspoon Bakery
  • Catering: US! (yes really!)

This beautiful cake, along with all the desserts, were made by Teni, owner of Sugarspoon Bakery.

My Little Family
Emma’s Grandpa surprised her with a Minnie Mouse appearance!

Cake Smash Tips and Tricks

With emma nearing her first birthday, I jumped on the cake smash bandwagon. How could I not?! Its so cute to see little babies covered in cake while enjoying sugar for the first time. I don’t want to go on and on about it, so here are some tips and tricks that can help you plan ahead and be prepared.

DO’s

  • Get a great photographer- Unless you’re an experienced photo taker and have an amazing camera and editing skills, I would highly recommend a wonderful and experienced photog. In my case, it was a no brainer. I had worked with Christina and her husband Andy for our maternity shoot and I trusted their experience and talent. Another great thing about having a professional photographer is that they usually bring props. You’re probably going to be in the middle of planning your little ones first birthday party and having less to do on the list with help with all the stress. If you’d like to contact Christina, you can do so at Info@chasingpleasures.com.
  • Have someone amazing bake your child’s cake. In our case, we went with Teni from Sugarspoon Bakery because, well, SHES THE BEST! I mean it people. You won’t find a more professional baker than her. She’s amazingly sanitary, skilled, and everything I’ve ever ordered from her has tasted like heaven. I asked for a pink ombre style which is hard to do and she nailed it! I also asked her about which frostings she recommends and was told that whipping cream is good because it stays soft and its easier for babies to smash into. Buttercream was not recommended because if left in the fridge too log, it can harden and thus become though for little fingers to dig into. I’ve also heard that buttercream can be quite slippery so stay away if your kiddo can stand and walk. Here is a link to the Sugarspoon Bakery IG https://www.instagram.com/sugarspoonbakery/
  • Get your outfit in advance. Most of these typical cake smash outfits are found on Etsy and are handmade. Unless you want to invest an extra $50 for rush shipping, give it a good 3 weeks. For our shoot, I was feeling super crafty and decided to make Emma’s tutu. I had a lot of fun and saved a ton of money as well. A similar tutu on Etsy cost $70 (although I saw a few cheapy looking ones for around $25-$30) but mine cost $4 and took about a hour to do. If you’d like a video on how to make one yourself or would like a blog post about it, please leave a comment and I’ll get one up ASAP.
  • Have tons and tons of baby whips and paper towels on hand for clean up. It gets real nasty folks. Don’t forget to bring an extra change of clothes for baby.
  • Have a backup plan! Our original plan was to do the cake smash session outside at a park, but once  year it rains in LA and that was the day it decided to happen. My backup plan was my moms house since she has the space and lots of good natural  light. It all worked out in the end and I was happy to have something I could fall back on.
  • Make sure that you schedule a time where your baby has napped and is happiest. If you have to bring a favorite toy or snack for bribes, do so. If baby is sick, reschedule. No one wants to catch your kid’s cold and you don’t want crappy photos anyway.
  • Have fun!!!! We had such a blast. I sang a million “Wheels on the Bus” versions and made all kinds of strange animal noises, but they all paid off!

Don’t forget to pin this last photo <3

Tiny Prints Christmas Cards

     Tiny Prints has been my go-to for all things invites, birth announcements, and holiday cards. This year, I decided to make two different cards since it’s Emma’s first Christmas. We used Tiny Prints for Emma’s birth announcement in January as well and I love the quality, customer service, and designs to name a few. Their website is so easy to use and you can even submit your sample to one of their designers to make sure that all is well with your design. They have tons and tons of styles you can choose from and I don’t know if thats a good thing or a bad thing since I literally wanted every single design. Here, I’ve included a digital catalog for you to view TINY PRINTS CATALOG. Its important to pay attention to cut off dates as well so I’ve included them here CUT OFF DATES. 

I think its so important to share the joy of Christmas with all your friends and family. Its hard to keep in touch sometimes with such busy schedules, and sending a Christmas card is a sweet way to say that you are thinking of them during this wonderful time. Tiny Prints has been such a joy to work with, and I can’t wait for Emma’s first birthday invitations to be made through them as well! Here are some promotional codes to take advantage of TINY PRINTS PROMO. I hope you enjoy your Holiday cards as much as I have! Merry Christmas!!

This post was sponsored by Tiny Prints. All opinions are always my own!

Christmas Photo Shoot Session with Velvet Violet Photography

     Do you guys ever see those give-aways on Instagram and think, “Gosh I never win these things”? Me too, except this time, I WON! I was so excited when I was chosen to have a complementary photo session with Kay Anchante from Velvet Violet Photography. We choose to make it a Christmas session so that we could have professional pictures for our Christmas cards.

     We had such an amazing time with Kay. She is not only a skilled and talented artist, but also a wonderful person all around. She made us feel so comfortable and at ease and I feel that its so important during a photo session because you want to look your best. I have a huge level of respect for women who are juggling motherhood, womanhood, and a self made business. She specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraits of women and and the ones they love. Her professionalism was outstanding and I was seriously so in love with every single shot! 

naregiveaway-7

     Not only did she do this session for us, but she also educated me on the Do’s and Don’t’s of photography. One of the biggest things I learned was to NOT POST SCREENSHOTS! Even if you screenshot a high resolution photo you think looks amazing, the second you take that shot, the quality depreciated immediately! Can’t believe I never thought of this! She also taught me that photography is a skill beyond the common “point and shoot” idea. She meticulously takes the time to edit her shots to get the maximum effect. A lot of photographers just give you a C.D. with your unedited raw pictures but whats the point in that? I could do that myself! The next time you’re shopping for a photographer, make sure you ask the right questions.  Kay is having an amazing Black friday/ Cyber monday deal here:http://www.velvetvioletphotography.com