Thursday, June 30, 2016

When Your Baby Just Won't Sleep...

Maybe I was spoiled with my first two kids.  Max and Ella were great sleepers from the day we brought each of them home from the hospital.

I actually remember thinking at one point, that Ella might be sleeping too much.  We would put her in her bassinet, and she would snooze for hours on end, day or night.

When Theo was born in early April, I was bold enough to think that he would be the same as his brother and sister... that we would bring him home and watch in awe, as he blissfully slumbered the days and nights away.

I couldn't have been more wrong...

I feel guilty referring to Theo as a "high maintenance" baby, because I know that it's pretty common for parents to complain about being sleep deprived in the early months, after bringing home a new baby, but if you're wondering what nights were like around here in the beginning, let me just say it wasn't pretty.

Theo would literally only sleep if I was holding him.  It was so bad, that I set up camp on our couch so that my husband could sleep, and M&E wouldn't be woken by his shrieking at 2:00 AM.  As if that wasn't enough, for while there, I even had to sleep sitting up, because it seemed to be the only way that he was comfortable.

All of this might have been bearable, if I didn't have a 2 year old and a three year old to take care of during the day as well.

I started to really miss sleeping... so I began desperately searching for solutions.

At first a tried swaddling Theo in swaddle blankets, but that was a big fat fail, because he's a pretty strong baby and he would break out in no time at all.  After that it was on to swaddle sacks... still no real improvement.

Now,  I know a lot of people are pro co-sleeping, but in all honesty, I'm basically just pro-sleeping in general, as in I'll do whatever it takes just to get in my precious beauty rest... so when I discovered the dockAtot, I was totally intrigued.

The dockAtot is a multi-functional spot made for sleeping, lounging, and playing, that you can take with you pretty much anywhere. DockAtot was designed in Sweden and is meant to provide a nurturing and cozy surrounding for your little one.

Everywhere I turned, parents were raving about this thing, and singing its praises as if it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to them

As I sat there in my sleep deprived state, large coffee in hand, reading people's reviews of the dockAtot, I began to want one desperately.  I truly believed that it would be the solution to all of my problems.

I am being 100% honest when I tell you that Theo's first night in the dockAtot was the longest he had slept, without waking, up to that point.  It was a bit of an adjustment in the beginning, since he was used to sleeping upright and in my arms, but thanks to the way that the dockAtot is designed, after a few nights, he got more used to it, and seemed to feel really snug and secure while sleeping in it.  We went with the deluxe size version, which is recommended for babies ages 0-8 months, and since it supposed to recreate a womb-like feeling, this seemed to be a great fit. There is also a Grand sized version, meant for ages 9-36 months. I should also mention that it comes with several options for covers in terms of  color and design, and they are all machine washable.

Theo is almost three months old now, and though he's still not 100% sleeping through the night every night, between the dockAtot and this amazing swaddle, he is only waking once or twice to nurse, and he immediately goes back to sleep, which for us, has been a huge improvement.

I love that with the dockAtot, I can sleep with Theo near me, but safely, and in his own little space.  We plan on transitioning him into his crib at night once he turns three months, but in the meantime, we have been putting the dockAtot in there during naps, and he has been doing great.  I think it will go really smoothly, since he is already so used to sleeping in the dockAtot as it is.

I also love that the dockAtot is so portable.  We recently went away for the weekend, and it was so nice not to have to lug a huge pack and play along with us to a hotel. It was so easy to bring the dockAtot along, and in addition to having a place to sleep, Theo also had a safe place to lounge, and I was able to throw a blanket over it and use it as a surface to change his diapers on while we were on the road.

We've also begun using the dockAtot for tummy time lately, and it has become a great place for him to play and explore things.

I've had quite a few people ask me at this point if I think the dockAtot is worth the price and I can honestly say yes, I think it is worth every penny.  I will likely purchase the Grand version when the time comes, because I truly believe that it is that good of a product!  The improvement in Theo's quality of sleep during naps and at night speaks for itself, and as someone who is exceptionally fond of sleep myself, any product that helps to provide me with that luxury, is worth any price!

Disclosure- I was provided a dockAtot to review for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fourth of July Style for Littles

It's a little last minute, seeing as the 4th of July is less than a week away, but procrastination is the name of my game these days!  Either way, I wanted to share a little round up of some of my favorite patriotic styles for toddlers and babies, just in time for the upcoming holiday!

All of these items are currently on sale, so if you hurry, you might just snag yourself a great deal!

The bomb pop dress pictured above is a personal favorite...

Happy Shopping!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Potty Training... Where to Begin

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PottyTrainTogether #CollectiveBias

When it comes to potty training, there's always the question of when?  When is the right time to start? When is your child really ready?  Where do you begin?  So, recently, when our two year old began showing interest, I knew it was time to head to Walmart, and pick up a package of Pull-Ups®Learning Designs®.

Ella has been watching her older brother use the potty for awhile now, so naturally it influenced her curiosity about using it as well... however, she is also our "wild child", like a squirrel, always on-the-go, and too busy to be bothered if something doesn't interest her, Therefor, I knew that getting started on potty training with her was going to require some creative tactics...

So, off we went to our local Walmart to pick up the necessary supplies.  We headed straight for the Baby section, where we found a package of 25 Pull-Ups, for only $8.97.  Then it was off to find some items to help make our potty area fun and exciting for Ella, because like I said, in order to slow her down, I knew we'd have to pull out all the stops!

This is why I love the fact that Pull-Ups feature fun character designs.  Ella loves Doc McStuffins, so getting to wear "big girl underwear" with her on the front, made her really excited.  This was a win for me, because while she was excited about wearing one of her favorite characters, I got to enjoy all of the great features that Pull-Ups have to offer.  Their new designs are more absorbent then they were in the past, which is awesome, because Ella tends to be a heavy wetter, and they offer 10% more coverage for protection and fit. I also love the fact that thanks to the built-in wetness indicator, character art is revealed when the Pull-Up is wet.

Another feature that I really enjoy is the easy open sides.  I prefer to treat the Pull-Up like regular underwear, to help promote the idea of it to Ella, so the stretchy (they are now 10% more stretchy then they were previously) and soft fit is great... but in a pinch, having sides that open, sort of like a diaper, can be really helpful.

My plan for working on potty training with Ella was to turn my kid's bathroom into an area that would make using the potty fun and exciting for her, so in addition to picking up some Pull-Ups, I grabbed some stickers, some of Ella's favorite treats, and some card stock, because I knew I would be creating a fun printable to hang near her potty to help encourage her to go.  This is why Walmart is so great, I can get everything I need in one shopping trip, which is essential when shopping with three kids!

The following are some great ideas for turning your bathroom into a fun area for your child to potty train in:

* Be sure that the toilet is accessible for your child, by using either a potty chair, or an insert for your full-sized toilet... If doing this, add a step stool, so that your child can reach the toilet.

* Create an easily accessible storage option to keep your Pull-Ups and treats/prizes close.  We keep a basket in the bathroom that holds stickers, a jar of "treats", and additional Pull-Ups for changing time.

* Use my free printable (included with instructions for printing below) or create a sticker chart of your own to keep near the potty... when your child successfully goes, they earn a sticker (let them put this on the chart themselves to add to the excitement), after successfully going several times, they earn a prize (some ideas for this are a small piece of candy, fruit snacks, or a small inexpensive non-food item/toy that they like)

* Be sure to praise your child and get really excited when they successfully go!

To print, click the link above and download printable, then print onto card stock, and hang near potty!

All of these steps should get you on the right track for beginning to potty train your little one.  You're putting the idea out there, by using Pull-Ups, and by making using the potty fun and exciting for your little one.

Find out which character your child is when it comes to potty training here!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Swoon Worthy

{bela bracelet - save 20% off your order with the code KozyandCo}

It was a totally crazy week around here with the kids, and this weekend is mine and Mike's anniversary weekend... That's right, we're celebrating 6 (crazy fast) years of marriage tomorrow!

So, I'm keeping things short and sweet, so that we can head to the lake today to beat the heat!

Here's what I'm swooning over at the moment...

1.  No link here, I just had to share my new warm weather beverage obsession with you (pictured above).  I can't get enough of sparkling water, infused with watermelon and fresh mint!

2.  Speaking of summer drinks, I like to enjoy them outside on the deck, which is why I love these "glasses" I picked up a few weeks ago!

3.  I'm still working on my summer glow, so I'll be using this stuff on my legs in the meantime!

4.  It's a little above my price point, but if a good sale comes along, I might just have to snag this beautiful romper.

5.  Speaking of rompers... is this one not the cutest?

6.  I  can't get enough of sweet corn at the moment, so I will definitely be making this amazing salad this weekend.

7.  There is so much good stuff on sale at Zara right now... these little overalls for Theo, dying!

8.  My love affair with cheap sunglasses continues!

9.  You guys know I love a good lettuce wrap recipe!

10.  This might be the perfect companion for evenings spent hammock lounging!

Also, I wanted to tell you guys that my friend Esther over at Cuteheads just dropped her latest collection, and it is amazing! You need to check it out!

Have a great weekend!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Favorites with Finn + Emma

I love discovering new places to find cute and unique clothing and accessories for my kids...

It's been awhile since I shared a "Friday Favorite" with you guys, and this week I'm talking about Theo's adorable new outfits from Finn + Emma, that I totally can't get enough of.

Aside from the fact that the stuff that Finn + Emma makes is super cute and about as soft as it gets, all of their items are made with organic cotton and non-toxic eco friendly dyes, which makes me feel good about the material that is close to my baby's skin.

When I first checked out their website, I was immediately drawn to the great colors and modern prints that they featured in their collections.

For Theo, I chose from both the Robot and Sailor collections, and went with the romper, coverall, and bandana bib styles.

I love how their clothes fit... not too big, but generous enough in size, that he will be able to wear them for quite awhile.

In addition to clothing, Finn + Emma also makes adorable toys, rattles and teethers.

{sailor coverall | deluxe dockAtot c/o dockAtot}

If you're looking for a new place to find quality made items for your babe or to give as gifts, check out Finn + Emma!

Disclosure- This post was sponsored by Finn + Emma, however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Babywearing with Solly Baby

I never really did much babywearing when Max and Ella were infants.  

When Max arrived, he was my only baby and I had just become a SAHM... At the time, it seemed that I had all the time in the world to hold him in my arms, and snuggle him for hours on end.  

By the time that Ella arrived, I was convinced I had a pretty good handle on our routine, and thanks to the fact that she was a very low maintenance baby, I never really felt that babywearing was necessary.  We would do it occasionally, but definitely not regularly.

Of course I had no idea about all of the benfits of babywearing (besides the fact that it is a lifesaver when you have more than one child), but when I found out we were expecting baby number three, I decided that I would need to do some research.  One thing I was certain of, was that I would soon be totally outnumbered, and that I needed to find a way to accommodate the needs of an infant, while keeping my hands free to tend to two busy and needy toddlers.

came across the Solly Baby Wrap on Instagram, and was instantly intrigued.  I loved the wide variety of color options, and what I read about how soft and lightweight the wrap was.

I began wearing Theo as soon as we came home from the hospital with him... it was a necessity for my survival as a mom, seeing as I was going to be home all day, every day, with three kids by myself... but I instantly fell in love with it, and I think that he did too.

Wearing Theo in the Solly keeps him cozy and snuggly, which is obviously comforting to him, but the wrap is also super comfortable for me to wear as well. It is just as lightweight as I had read that it was, and the material is super soft.  When I did babywear with Ella, I used a Moby wrap, and it always made me feel so hot.  The material felt thick and stiff to me.  I never feel that way with the Solly, and I have worn Theo on some pretty hot days.

I love the fact that I can still do so much while wearing Theo in the Solly, and still feel like I am keeping him close, since I don't have the time, like I had with Max, to just sit and hold him all day. Wearing him frees up my hands so that I am able to hold M&E's hands when we are out and about, and affords me the option of not having to always lug around our huge double stroller.

Theo generally falls asleep within minutes of being wrapped, even on days when he seems to be the fussiest.

We recently took a road trip as a family to the beach for the weekend, and I wore Theo the majority of the time we were away... I am 100% convinced that it was the reason that he behaved like such an angel for the entire trip. He slept in the wrap while were at the beach, and while we strolled around town and enjoyed both dinner and brunch.

Whenever I wear him in the Solly, I get stopped by women inquiring about it, and I honestly can't rave about it enough.  I know a lot of people are concerned that wrapping might be difficult, or that they won't be able to figure it out, but Elle, the owner of Solly, offers amazing tutorial videos on their site, and once I did a few times, it became second nature to me.  Now it literally takes me like 30 seconds to get the wrap on.

If we are heading out somewhere, and I know that I plan on wearing Theo, sometimes I will put the wrap on before we get in the car, so that when we arrive, it is that much easier to just put Theo in it and be on our way.  Even if I don't wrap ahead of time, the wrap folds up easily, so I always keep one on hand in my diaper bag.

If you are interested in learning more about the Solly Wrap, and babywearing in general, you can find more information here... but if you want my opinion, I think it's pretty clear.  I have become obsessed with babywearing, particularly in the Solly, and I feel pretty confident in saying that has saved my sanity over the last few months.  My only regret at this point, is that I didn't start regularly babywearing sooner.

Disclosure- This post was sponsored by Solly Baby, but I love the heck out of my Solly wraps, and all of the opinions you just read are 100% my own.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Swimwear for Moms

Gone are the days of teeny weenie bikinis...

Since I'm slowly learning to embrace my postpartum "mom bod" this summer, I went on the hunt for bathing suits that were suitable for a nursing mom of three, who just had a baby 10 weeks ago... "mom suits".

Thankfully, there are a ton of stylish options available at the moment that maintain some sense of modesty, while still allowing me to feel like I haven't completely lost my groove.

Beach trips are no longer for lounging and sunbathing.  These days, I need something that I can chase my kids around in, and build sandcastles while wearing.

I decided to compile a list of some of my favorites.  These suits come in various prints, price ranges, styles, and colors.

I'm currently loving both solid and floral prints, ruching, high-waisted bottoms and plunging necklines (that are nursing friendly).


Monday, June 20, 2016

Beach Life

When Mike requested a weekend at the beach for Father's Day this year, I was all too happy to oblige.

For those of you who might be new around here, I grew up on the coast of Maine, so being near the ocean makes me feel complete.

From where we live in NY, a road trip to many beach locations can be accomplished in just a few quick hours, so this past weekend we opted to check out some beaches in Western Rhode Island, and for an overnight stay in Mystic, Connecticut.

Early Saturday morning, we loaded up the minivan with all three babes, and enough stuff for a month long vacation, and headed East.  The ride went surprisingly well in terms of the kiddos, minus one flat tire debacle on the side of the highway. 

We managed to still make it to the beach in plenty of time to set up shop, slather on some sunblock, and settle in for a day full of sand, waves, and naps.

M&E were in absolute Heaven.  At one point I even glanced over to find Max making sand angels. They frolicked in the waves, and their giggles were infectious.  It warmed my heart and brought me back to my own childhood, where summers were spent by the water.

Theo was amazing and slept strapped to me in the Solly under an umbrella, only waking up to nurse a few times.

{wrap c/o Solly Baby}

In the late afternoon we headed back to our hotel to let the kids get in a quick nap and to freshen up a it.

We made our way back out early in the evening for a casual dinner at a BYOB lobster joint on the water.

The weather was perfect, Mystic was adorable, and all was right in the world.

On Sunday morning we strolled around the town and chose to have brunch at The Engine Room... an amazing restaurant/bar that serves incredible "beermosas" and one of the best Bloody Marys I've ever had!  The hush puppies with spicy jalapeno mayo were delightful as well.

Once our bellies were full, and everyone was strapped back into their car seats, it was time to head home to catch the end of the US Open (Daddy's wishes, of course).

It's always hard to come home from the beach when you're having such a great time, but I am hopeful that since this trip went so well, there will be more like it in our near future.

Wishing you all a great week ahead!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Swoon Worthy

When I asked my husband if he would like to do anything special for Father's Day weekend, he simply replied with, "I want to be near salt water, and I want to watch the U.S. Open!"

Watching golf has zero appeal to me, but you don't have to twist my arm to get me to the beach... So that's where we are headed at this very moment.

We're only going to be spending one night away, yet it never ceases to amaze me, how much stuff is required when taking three kids to the beach.

So, even though I've been running around like crazy trying to get packed and organized for this last minute road trip, I still wanted to share with you guys the list of things that I'm currently loving/obsessing over/needing/wanting to try.

Here's what I'm swooning over at the moment...

1.  I can't get enough of strawberries and basil together, so when I came across this recipe, I instantly added it my must-try list.

2.  I picked up a few new books for our trip to the beach (not that I'll actually get to read on the beach).  This book made its way into my bag, and this one did too!

3.  If something has pom poms or tassels on it, you can pretty much bet that I'm swooning over it!

4.  Meet my latest drug store make up obsession.

5.  Rosé + sangria = my new favorite summer drink!

6.  Tunics are always a summer staple for me, and this one is perfection!

7.  Swooning over all of the things from this shop.  So good.

8.  I got a little too excited when I saw that someone decided to turn my favorite childhood cereal into an amazing dessert.

9.  A totally genius idea... I'm in love with the bracelets from this shop.

10.  Am I the only one who just dies when they take adult-like things and make the most adorable mini version of them?  These loafers are a prime example!

Have an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dark Chocolate Pretzel Sea Salt Bark

You know how there are just some combinations that seem like they were destined for each other?  Like peanut butter & jelly, and ketchup and mustard?

That's kind of how I feel when sweet and salty items are paired together... as though the sweetness of chocolate, paired with the crunchiness of pretzels and the saltiness of coarse sea salt are a match made in Heaven.

Recently, I was standing in the checkout line at Target of all places (shocker, I know), and I grabbed a bag of chocolate pretzel bark during a moment of weakness.  Naturally, it was so delicious, that I was hesitant to share it with my kids, and wanted to hoard it all for myself... but it got me thinking about how simple it would be to make my own version at home.

You guys, this "bark" could not be easier to make.  It is so delicious that you will want to eat it all yourself, but coincidentally, it would be great to package up and give as a gift... if you can bear it.


1 pkg of Ghirardelli dark melting wafers

2 cups of pretzels
coarse sea salt


melt the chocolate according to the instructions on the package (there is a microwave and a stove top option).

place pretzels in a large ziplock bag, and crush them with a rolling pin.
on a baking sheet, lined with a silpat or parchment paper, pour half of the chocolate, and spread it into a thin even layer with a spatula.
sprinkle the crushed pretzels on top of the chocolate while it is still warm.
top with remaining chocolate, and gently spread it, so that it coats the pretzels.
sprinkle sea salt on top (use as much or as little as you like).
allow to cool, and then break into non-uniform pieces.


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