Curated Subscription Review: Ecocentric Mom


As I get back into the blogging swing of things (slowly...) I am pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to a new curated subscription program, Ecocentric Mom. Ecocentric Mom is "a fun and smart way to discover healthy, natural and organic products, delivered monthly to your home, exclusively for moms, moms-to-be and baby..." They offer three box options--one for moms, one for moms-to-be, and one for babies--each at $17/month, including S&H. Very generously, they sent me two boxes to try--the baby box and the mom-to-be box.

Ecocentric Mom offers packaging very similar to other subscription boxes--it comes in a cardboard box with the items wrapped in tissue paper.

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The first box I opened was the mom-to-be box. Inside, I found:

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-Orgain Ready-to-Drink Nutritional Shake in Creamy Chocolate Fudge (estimated value $3.22)
-2 DivineMama Bars, Datey Apricot Cashew and Macnut Chocolate Chip (estimated value $2.99 each)
-TreeHugger Natural Bubblegum balls, 2 oz package (estimated value $2.99)
-2 Eat Cleaner Fruit & Vegetable Wipes (estimated value $8 for 10, $1.60)
-Earth Mama Angel Baby Earth Mama Body Butter, 2 oz (estimated value $10.95 for 4 oz, $5.43)
-2 Vaska Perfect Lavender Laundry Detergent, .75 fl oz each (estimated value $12.99 for 42 oz, $.47)
-2 Enzyme Fresh Home Naturally It's Clean Floors Cleanser, 1/2 oz each (estimated value $5.57 for 16 oz, $.36)
-Green Body Green Planet Energy Shampoo & Conditioner, 1 oz each (estimated value $24 for 8 oz, $6)
-Green Body Green Planet Revitalizing Shampoo & Conditioner, 1 oz each (estimated value $24 for 8 oz, $6)

Total estimated value: $32.05 (189% of cost)

I had mixed feelings about this box--some of what was in it was great, other things were less so. I loved the large sized Earth Mama Angel Baby product--it's a great company and 2 oz will go quite a long way. The shampoos and conditioners were nice, but I couldn't quite figure out why they'd include two from the same company. The small sample packets of floor cleanser and fruit and vegetable wipes didn't blow me away. The food and drink samples were nice sized, though not something I'm particularly interested in.

The baby box was more impressive:

-Bathtime Baby Baby Butter, 3 oz (estimated value $9.50)
-DivineMama Bar in Datey Apricot Cashew (estimated value $2.99)
-2 packets nurturme Dried Organic Baby Food, crisp apples & plump peas (estimated value $9.99 for 8, $2.50)
-Oogaa Silicone Train Spoon (estimated value $5.99)
-My Dentist's Choice Tooth Tissues, 10 ct (estimated value $4)
-Love Munchkin Newborn & Sensitive Skin Oil, 1/2 oz (estimated value $12 for 4 oz, $2)
-2 Vaska Perfect Lavender Laundry Detergent, .75 fl oz each (estimated value $12.99 for 42 oz, $.47)
-Episensical Sunny Sunscreen, .75 oz (estimated value $15 for 4 oz, $2.81)
-Enzyme Fresh Home Naturally It's Clean Floors Cleanser, 1/2 oz (estimated value $5.57 for 16 oz, $.18)

Total estimated value: $30.44 (179% of cost)

Even though the total value of the baby box was slightly lower, I preferred it, because it had several full-sized products in it (spoon, baby butter, tooth tissues, and snack bar) as well as larger sized samples (sunscreen, skin oil, baby food). I'm particularly excited to try the baby skin care products, and will save the food packets for a few months until Buzzy is old enough for them. The only weak points I saw were the small samples that were repeated between the two boxes--the floor cleanser and laundry detergent. I also enjoyed the variety of products included, and that the tooth tissues and sunscreen were the only ones with which I was already familiar.

I suspect the baby box is easier for Ecocentric Mom to put together, just because it's not as saturated or as vague a market as the box for future moms. Baby stuff also lends itself to small sizes/sample sizes, and there is a big trend towards green products. I'm not sure I'd recommend the mom-to-be box at this point, but the baby box seems worth a closer look.

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I've been wanting to do this post for so long! I've reviewed a lot of beauty sample boxes, and while reviewing each in turn is good fun, I think it's more useful to compare them. After all, most people are only going to subscribe to a box or two, and a lot of people ask me which I'd most recommend. So, this month, I decided to do a comparative review of what I consider (as of this moment) the three best beauty sample boxes available: Birchbox, which, as far as I know, started this whole trend, and two newer entries into the market, Sample Society and Glossybox. This review actually compares the June Glossybox to the July Sample Society and Birchbox boxes, as Glossybox ships at the end of the month, Sample Society at the beginning, and Birchbox towards the middle. Still, I think the comparison is fair.

As I've mentioned before, Birchbox started this whole trend, or at least was the first of these sample boxes I ever knew about. I've been a subscriber since the first month. Lately, I've been a bit disillusioned with Birchbox, however, and this month, sadly, was no different.

First, the nuts and bolts:

Cost: $10/month, $110 for a year-long monthly subscription
Shipping: This month, I received a shipping notice for my box on July 10 and the box arrived the next day
Packaging: Birchbox is packaged in a small cardboard logo box, with products wrapped in tissue paper. I like the packaging and think the boxes are very reusable.


This month's box contained four products and two "lifestyle extras":
-Alterna Bamboo UV+ Color Protection Fade-Proof Fluide, .25 oz (full size 2.5 oz for $24, est. value $2.40): This product is reasonable and the sample size is not ridiculously small. However, it's a product for colored hair, which I don't have. I indicated this on my Birchbox profile, so I can't help but see the inclusion of this product in my supposedly personalized box as a fail on Birchbox's part.
-Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Bronze, .07 oz (full size 1.7 oz for $38, est. value $1.56): This is a great product, and one I've used before, but c'mon, a .07 oz sample?? One use, maybe two. That seems pretty chinzy to me. Doesn't matter, though, since the color Birchbox sent, Bronze, is two or three shades too dark for my skin. And yes, my skin tone is indicated as "light" in my Birchbox profile. 0 for 2, Birchbox. Making things even worse, this sample is a duplicate of one I already received in a previous Birchbox!
-Oscar de la Renta Live in Love perfume, 1 ml (full size 50 ml for $78, est. value $1.56): I hate perfume samples, so this was never going to be something I was going to get excited about.
-Stila Lip Glaze in Lights, .05 oz (full size 3-piece collection for $12, est. value $4): I love Stila Lip Glazes, so this was my favorite part of this particular box. The color is very neutral and I'll definitely wear it.
-Larabar Uber in Roasted Nut Roll, .82 oz (full size 5-ct for $12.69, est. value $2.54): Like almost all of Birchbox's "lifestyle" additions, this one left me cold. I just am not interested in this type of thing, and I am too picky to get much use out of it. I did try this one, and...yeah. Ick.
-Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds: Cheap neon ear buds. These don't, for me, add any value to the box.

Total box est. value: $12.06, or 120% of box cost

Further compounding my disappointment with this month's Birchbox, I logged in to the site to review the products and found that the products listed as being in my box this month and the ones I actually received are very different. The Stila gloss and the earbuds were the same, but the site had me getting Tea Forté® minteas, boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens, Gloss Moderne™ High Gloss Masque, and Juliette Has a Gun Vengeance Extrême perfume. I'm not sure whether I would rather have received these products or not, but either way I am put off by the discrepancy.

Sample Society
This month's was only my second box from Sample Society, which is a joint venture of and Allure magazine. This month, just like last month, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the products included.

The basics:
Cost: $15/month (price includes subscription to Allure magazine)
Shipping: This month, I received a shipping notice for my Sample Society box on July 2 and it arrived the next day
Packaging: Sample Society packages their boxes very similarly to Birchbox, in a small cardboard box with a logo. Inside, things are wrapped in tissue paper and/or shredded packing paper. Again, the packaging is very reusable.


The July box contained four sample sized and one full-sized product:
-Borghese Tono Body Lotion, 1 oz (full size 8.4 oz for $36.50, est. value $4.35): This is a nice sized sample, and I love the smell of the lotion, so I'd call it a win.
-Jouer Cosmetics Luminizing Moisture Tint in Golden, .17 oz (full size 1.7 oz for $38, est. value $3.80): Same product as Birchbox, except that this one is over twice the size and is the correct color for my skin tone. Win-win!
-Sisley-Paris Hydra-Global Intense Anti-Aging Hydration, .14 oz (full sized 1.4 oz for $250, est. value $25): I get a kick out of samples of outrageously expensive products like this one, and I'm impressed by the size of this particular sample--a full tenth of the regular sized product! I'm also a sucker for moisturizer in general, so I really look forward to trying this one.
-vbeaute Eye Never Nourishing Repair Eye Creme, 1 ml (full size 15 ml for $85, est. value $5.67): Another expensive product! The sample size is small, but eye cream goes a long way. I was excited to get this, too, because puffy eyes are one of the telltale signs of my current sleep-deprived state, so eye cream is a must.
-Vincent Longo Duo Lip Pencil in Lavender Lite and Grape, full sized (est. value $26): I'm not huge into lip pencils, in general, but this is a very nice, full-sized product, and one I've neither tried nor heard of before. Both of the two colors seem pretty usable, too. I'll hang on to it.

Total box est. value: $64.82, or 432% of box cost

Clearly, I was a lot happier with my Sample Society box than my Birchbox. The products were just nicer--more usable, more tailored to me, bigger, higher value. Packaging and shipping were a wash, but Sample Society's box out-classed Birchbox in a big way when it came to what was inside. To top that off, each Sample Society box comes with a $15 gift code that can be used at, towards a product from any of the brands featured in that month's box--so if you like anything well enough to buy it, the box pays for itself!

Like Sample Society, Glossybox is new to me--this is just my second month as a subscriber. Though Glossybox has been in Europe for a while, they just started offering a US edition. So far, I like it a lot.

Cost: $21/month, $115 for six months, or $220 for a year
Shipping: This month's Glossybox was shipped on June 29 and arrived on July 3
Packaging: Glossybox has great packaging--it's a very subtly logo'd pink box made of heavyweight cardboard, and it's about half again as big as the Birchbox or Sample Society boxes. Inside, the products are very carefully wrapped in tissue paper and/or shredded paper filler and tied with ribbons.


The June Glossybox contained one full-sized product, four sample products, and one "bonus" sample product:
-Ahava Mineral Botanic Hibiscus & Fig Velvet Cream Wash, 3 oz (full size 17 oz for $22, est. value $3.88): This stuff smells awesome, and it's for sensitive skin, which is great. It's also a nice sized sample. I'll definitely use this.
-First Aid Beauty FAB Smooth Shave Cream, 2 oz (full size 6.8 oz for $16.50, est. value $4.85): Another good sized sample, and something I've not seen in any other box, which is rare when you get as many of these as I do! I'm not sure it's something I will use, as I tend not to use shaving cream, but it's fragrance free, which I love, so I may bust it out.
-Ofra Cosmetics Eye Shadow ICE in Goldilocks, full sized .47 oz (est. value $14.95): This is a cool product--it's a USA-made cream shadow with a built-in primer, from a brand I have never heard of, and it's full-sized! Unfortunately, the color I got is just...awful. It's far more yellow and far less gold and I just can't see wearing it. Bummer.
-Vbeaute Lite Up, Buying Time, & Eye Never, .033 oz each (full sized are 1 oz for $150, 1.7 for $135, and .5 oz for $85, est. value $4.95, $2.62 & $5.61): Recognize that eye cream from the Sample Society box? Yep! These little samples, however, are not just of the eye cream, but the face serum and daily moisturizer from the same line. The samples are very small--I'd bet the face moisturizer is only good for one use--but at least they included all three of them, and they are high value, due to the high price of the full-sized products.
-Wella Enrich Moisturizing Treatment, .84 oz (full size 5.07 for $12, est. value $1.99): I'm all about a hair moisturizer, though I'm not sure this small pot is going to go far with my hair length/thickness. This is another product I've never heard of, though, which I always like to see in these boxes.
-A Perfume Organic Urban Organic perfume, no size listed, est. .033 oz (full size .41 oz for $65, est. value $5.23): Yawn. Never gonna be excited about a perfume sample. That said, this one is at least something off-the-beaten-path, not one I'd find in a fashion magazine, and I'll give points for that.

Total box est. value: $44.08, or 210% of box cost

While Glossybox doesn't offer quite the same value Sample Society does, at least not this month, I still really like it. I like the inclusion of brands I have never seen before, and the variety of products. I also really like getting bigger samples, so I can use things for more than a day or two and see if I really like them. Glossybox does something a bit weird in that they charge your credit card for your box several weeks before they ship it out, and their shipping takes a lot longer than the other two boxes, but neither of these are deal breakers for me at this point.

So how does it shake out? I'd call Sample Society the clear victor, at this point, though I'd also recommend Glossybox. The quality of Birchbox, unfortunately, continues to slide, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable recommending it anymore, between the lesser products, smaller samples, and failing customer service/web service. Paying a bit more for one of the newer programs seems like a better bet.


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Pregnancy is hard on the skin, and since I got pregnant, I have been paying extra-special attention to how I treat mine. Products for stretch marks, for discoloration, for intense moisture, the whole 9 yards. Some have worked wonderfully; some have been completely worthless. Given this focus, though, I was stoked to get the opportunity to review a new product from Dove®, VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash. The body wash is designed to promote elasticity and strength in your skin (important when you're fighting stretch marks!) and promises "visibly more beautiful skin" in just one week of use. It contains Dove's highest concentration of "NutriumMoisture technology," including ingredients like Vitamin E, glycerin, and stearic acid.

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For me, there are three major components to whether I like a beauty product: accessibility, experience, and results. Accessibility basically comes down to cost and availability--can I get it somewhere I go often, or order it easily online? Is it cost prohibitive? Dove's body wash gets a gold star in this category--it's widely available and inexpensive, retailing at about $6.69 for an 18 oz bottle. Score!

Probably my most important criteria is experience--do I enjoy using this product? In the case of a body wash, the experience includes the fragrance, the feel of it on my skin, how it lathers, how clean it rinses, etc. The VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash did pretty well on this count, too. The scent, which is a "warm ylang ylang and delicate wood fragrance with robust citrus notes of mandarin and Italian bergamot," is a bit strong and long lasting for me--it smells nice, but it lingers in a way that I don't love, since I like to wear other scented products. The rest of the experience of using it, however, is very nice. It makes a soft, rich lather that feels moisturizing as you use it (I tried with a washcloth, a shower pouf, and my hands and got great lather every time). It feels rich, but it rinses clean and leaves no residue feeling. Using it feels like using a more expensive product, which is really nice.

Finally, the results: I wouldn't go quite so far as to say that my skin visibly changed with one week of use, but it is certainly looking and feeling nice, especially given that I started using it in advanced pregnancy, during a heat wave. Everything is soft and smooth and no stretch marks have developed, which is pretty high praise. The end of pregnancy is a hard time to feel pretty, and I think using this body wash has added, however slightly, to my ability to do so. I'd call that a win.

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c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

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As anybody who reads WINOW knows, I like stuff. I like to write about stuff. In part, this is because stuff is easy for me to get my mind around. Thinking and writing about it doesn't require a great intellectual or emotional investment. And let me tell you, on Day 15 of parenting, I'm all about not emotionally or intellectually taxing myself. So, I thought I'd do a post about the stuff we've been using in this whole transition to newborn parenthood over the past couple of weeks: what works, what doesn't, and the things I wish I'd thought to obtain earlier, or obtain more of.

Things that work
As I mentioned before the baby was born, Mark and I didn't go into this with the idea that we were going to be minimalists. We didn't go completely overboard (I don't think), but we did accumulate quite a bit of baby stuff before Buzzy showed up. And the truth is that so far, most of it has been of at least some use. However, there are a few things that are all-stars, so I'm going to call those out specifically.


Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper: Buzzy is currently spending his nights in an Arm's Reach Mini Co-Sleeper next to my side of the bed, and it's working out great. It allows him to be close enough to me for me to hear/see him, and for him to hear/see me, but keeps him out of my actual bed space. I doubt we'll use it long-term--I want to put him in his crib as soon as seems reasonable--but for these early weeks, it's perfect. Thanks again to my friend A for passing it on to us!

Summer SwaddleMe Swaddlers: So, new babies like to be swaddled, right? Yes, but my little boy likes to bust out of a swaddle more than anything, and thus far, nobody has been able to swaddle him in a blanket such that he can't break free. During the day, this doesn't much matter, but at night, it frustrates him and us. Enter the genius SwaddleMes, which look like little baby straight jackets, but definitely help him sleep less restlessly. Plus even with my regular lack of hand-eye coordination multiplied by sleep deprivation, I can manage to get him into them. Awesome.

Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Sleep Bras: These Gilligan & O'Malley nursing bras are supposed to be for sleep, I guess, but I'm wearing them all the time and they are working out great. Reasonably supportive, reasonably cute, comfortable, easy to clip on and off, and best of all, cheap! As in, less than half the price of most of the nursing bras I see around. They won't work for big-busted women, as my moderately-busted self is in the largest size (2X), but if you aren't big of chest, I'd definitely consider these.

(For bed, I'm actually wearing the less structured Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra from Motherhood Maternity, and those are working out great, too.)

Small Wonders onesies: I have a ton of 0-3 month clothes, 90% of which are hand-me-downs from my friend E and her twins. Some are higher end brands, some are not. The best ones, so far? The Small Wonders onesies from K-Mart. They are cute as heck, well-made, soft, and fit Buzzy perfectly, which makes me think they must run a little bit long. Since mine are all hand-me-downs, they've been pre-vetted for cute logos and bright colors, but I'm definitely going to check out my local K-Mart and see if the ones that are in-store now are as impressive.

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aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets: I know I just said we were having trouble adequately swaddling with a blanket, and we are, but I love these aden + anais blankets so much I had to mention them anyway. They're just cutest, softest, most versatile thing. They work great as swaddles for naps, they work to shade the car seat, they work as lightweight receiving blankets--they just work. For a summer baby especially I would totally recommend these as a shower gift. They're spendy--like $50 for 4 of them, I think--so they are something that a lot of new parents probably aren't going to buy for themselves, but they're wonderful.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo & Lotion: I'm sure it surprises exactly nobody that I have several types of baby bath products on hand to try out--that's kind of my thing. However, none of them have even been opened besides the Earth Mama Angel Baby Body Wash & Shampoo and the Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion. Why? Because they are awesome. They smell fantastic--orange and vanilla, but pretty subtle--and seem to work great, as well. I doubt I'll even attempt to use anything else anytime soon.

Munchkin disposable changing pad covers: An item I really had no idea would be useful, but has proved invaluable--these paper covers go over the fabric changing pad cover and when the baby excretes on them (several times a night, some nights...), you just throw them away. This is saving us having to wash the changing pad cover over and over again. Yeah, I know, disposable=bad, blah blah blah. I'll go back to worrying about the environment just as soon as my kid stops shitting ten times a night.

Baskets: I am a collector of baskets--I thrift them all the time, in all shapes and sizes, and I've always found it useful to have a lot of them around in which to carry and stow things. Never so much as right now. By my count, I currently have about a dozen baskets employed in baby-related tasks. It makes dealing with all of this new accoutrement a lot more palatable if I can feel like it's at least somewhat contained.

iPhone and iPad: I was told that I would love these devices, to which I was already viciously addicted, even more after the baby was born, and that was no lie. I am more dependent on them every day. My phone come everywhere with me, and I'm using a free app, Baby Feeding Log, to track nursing sessions (which side, when, for how long). My iPad now lives next to the glider in Buzzy's nursery, where it keeps me awake while I nurse and rock at night. I'm even considering making the jump into reading electronic books using it--never thought that would happen.

Things that don't work
Anytime you try to prepare for something like having a new baby, you're bound to make a few missteps. We're no different. A few of the things we bought beforehand, even those recommended as must haves, haven't worked out so far.

Wipes warmer: So far, the wipes warmer is the only thing on which my parenting guru, E, steered me wrong, and I suspect that comes down to my having a summer baby and a very warm house, and the non-warmed wipes not being cold enough to be shocking. The thing is big and awkward and not worth the space it takes up for little marginal utility, so it got unplugged and stowed a few days ago.

Receiving blankets: Again, probably this comes down to having a summer kid, but I haven't used a single one of the pile of flannel receiving blankets I have (mostly the Tiddlewinks ones). It's too warm, and they are too weirdly small to swaddle with anyway.

Baby hats, mittens, and socks: Once again, probably down to the weather, but I have an entire basket of these baby accessories upstairs that has not been disturbed. Buzzy wore a hat his first day in the hospital, when his head was still pretty misshapen from birth, but hasn't had one on since then, with the exception of his sun hat. Mittens and socks he has literally never yet worn.


Boppy: I don't hate the Boppy--I found it very useful for the first week or so. However, I then was gifted a hand-me-down My Brest Friend pillow, and I now know how well the Boppy wasn't working. Horrible name aside the the My Brest Friend is SO much easier to nurse with. It's a lot more solid and supportive for wiggly Buzzy, and it's larger and more comfortable for me. Plus, it can fasten around my waist, so that when we're done, I can pick Buzzy up and put him in his bed or the changing table or the Pack N Play without having to have one hand free to remove the pillow.

Things I wish we had/had earlier/had more of
There are, of course, a few things we couldn't or didn't predict wanting or needing. Some of these, we've already gone out for or ordered. Others we're doing without, for whatever reason. Some are even things we have, but could use more of. For me, this is the most interesting category of stuff, because I really had no idea at all what would fall into it before we started this adventure.

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aden + anais Sleeping Bags: I thrifted one of these aden + anais sleeping bags before Buzzy was born, and put it in on him the other night when our room was especially warm and even the cotton swaddle sacks seemed to be too much. It worked great. It was so lightweight and comfortable for him, and the zipper (zipping up from the bottom--genius!) made middle-of-the-night diaper changes tons easier. I wish I had a half dozen of these. Unfortunately, they are stupid expensive (though cheaper elsewhere than on the aden + anais site, I think). Still, I sucked it up and ordered two more from Amazon, since I think they're going to be our best bet for the rest of the summer.

Hampers: This is a no-brainer now that I think about it, but I never thought about it before we needed them--babies are a constant source of laundry, and having a place to stow that laundry before you do it is key. We started out with no hamper in Buzzy's room and no hamper downstairs where he/we spend the bulk of our time. That didn't work at all. A trip to Target fixed things, though--I got two inexpensive canvas hampers from the dorm accessories section at Target--one for Buzzy's room, one for next to his Pack N Play downstairs. Problem solved!

Second glider: This is a big one, and it's going to seem excessive, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway. We have a glider, generously handed down to us from a colleague of Mark's, in Buzzy's room, and it works great for getting him back to sleep after he eats/is changed in the middle of the night. However, it's not convenient to use it during the day when we're all downstairs. It would be SO nice to have another one downstairs. I have a wooden rocking chair downstairs, but it's built for someone much smaller than I am and not at all comfortable to sit in, so I mostly don't use it.

Swing: People were of very mixed opinions as to whether or not a baby swing is a necessity, a nice-to-have, or a complete waste of money and space. So, we didn't buy one. I am now wishing we had, since rocking seems to be among Buzzy's favorite things, and it would be great to be able to put him down and rock him electronically on occasion. We may end up buying one yet.

Breast pump: It made good sense, before Buzzy was born, to wait to buy or rent a pump until after I'd established that breastfeeding/pumping was in the cards. But man, it would have been nice to have access to a pump right away, especially in the few days of bad engorgement between when my milk came in and when Buzzy ramped up his eating to match. If I had it to do again, I'd rent a pump just before delivery and have it on stand-by. As it is, I'm going to visit my friendly neighborhood lactation consultant this coming week, and I'll rent a pump then. Then we'll see how it goes for a month or so and I'll decide whether it would be more economical to buy my own. Since the general, best-case-scenario plan is to BF and pump for a year (something I can't even fathom right now, honestly), it probably will be best to buy one if everything works out.

Diapers: Of course, we had diapers. Small packages of several varieties and sizes, as was recommended to me. What I didn't realize was that we would need a much, much greater quantity. Newborns go through diapers like woah. I haven't been keeping track, but would bet Buzzy gets changed 15-18 times/day (and not infrequently each change requires two diapers, because he pees or poops mid-change). So those little 32 packs of diapers I had on hand? Lasted for about two days each. Because his butt is still pretty skinny, even though he's about 9 lbs now (maybe more, we'll see at the pediatrician tomorrow), Buzzy is probably going to be in newborn sized diapers for a bit longer, and I finally just bought a bigger box of them yesterday. Were I to do it again, I'd start out with a couple of big boxes--the variety matters far less than the fear of running out of diapers when you have a tiny pooping machine on your hands. (For the curious, we are, so far, a Pampers family.)

Non-sucky lanolin-free nipple cream: This may be a pie-in-the-sky one, but I would give some non-essential part of my anatomy for a lanolin-free nipple cream that is actually effective. So far, I've tried Motherlove and Simplisse, and both are just short of worthless. There are a few more kinds out there to try, and I'm sure I'll work my way through them before too long, since little Mr. Buzz eats (no, I am not joking) about 16 times a day.


Changing station/diaper depot/organizer: This is something I never could have understood the need for until I tried to change a squirming, screaming baby in the middle of the night. All of our changing supplies (diapers, creams, wipes, etc.) are neatly arranged in baskets on the shelf under our changing table. Which made perfect sense to me before--I mean, it looks lovely! Now I realize that it's nearly impossible to reach everything while keeping the requisite one hand on the squirming baby. Live and learn.

Carrier: Right now, we have three carriers, all of which were gifts: a Moby, a handmade ring sling, and a handmade wrap carrier. Mark likes the Moby, but it's a bit complicated for me to try to use on my own. Same thing with the handmade wrap, which works pretty much the same way. The ring sling is the best option for me for around the house, since I can get it off and on on my own, but it doesn't feel as secure as I'd like. So, I'd like something that is sturdier and simple enough for me to use on my own. I'm thinking maybe something like the Belle?

Honestly, these lists just barely scratch the surface, and I'm sure I'll think of more things to add to them as soon as I hit publish, but I really want to get an actual blog entry up today, and that's been pretty difficult to do of late (this one has been under construction for several days), so I'm gonna go ahead and publish now. Yawn.


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Top 10 Great Things About No Longer Being Pregnant

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1. My gorgeous, non-swollen feet.
2. Losing 30 lbs in 11 days, like magic!
3. Nobody asking me if this baby has been born yet.
4. I can eat far, far more.
5. I pee far, far less often.
6. No ominous feeling of dread about labor.
7. Working my way back into my real clothes.
8. No heartburn.
9. Getting to use all the cute baby stuff I've been collecting.
10. Him.


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Buzzy's a boy!


Our son is here! He's very clearly not a Buzzy, so we're going to have to think about another Internet name for him. He was born at 6:33 am on Sunday, July 1. He was 8 lbs 5.6 oz and 22 inches at birth with a head of dark hair, and he's quite the looker. We had a few early issues with jaundice but I think we're past them and are all home and happy.

Regular blogging will resume as soon as I start getting enough sleep to form sentences.


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Beauty Blogger Sample Swap Haul!


You all, I just had the most fun. A few weeks back, I saw the call for participants in the Summer Beauty Blogger Sample Swap from Shannyn at Frugal Beautiful, and I scrambled to sign up. As you know, I get a jillion or so beauty sample boxes, and no matter how great they are, lots of the products in them are things that just aren't my cup of tea. So, I had a big box of stuff to give away, and the swap allowed me to send some of that on to someone who might like and to get a box of someone else's samples in return! Score!

I was partnered with swap host Shannyn herself, and I was really happy with the box I put together for her (see her reveal post on what I sent!). I was also stoked a few days later, when I got my box from Shannyn!

This was my haul:

beauty sample swap goodies.jpg

The rules of the swap called for sending "6-8 beauty & skin care samples and ONE full sized small beauty product"--as you can see, I got a lot more than that!

Shannyn sent:
-Mary Kay Color Cards in "Berries" and "Chocolates"
-Mary Kay Nourishine Lip Gloss samples in "Fancy Nancy", "Gold Rush", and "Sugarberry"
-Lauren Brooks Cosmetiques ColourFusion Lip Glaze sample in Guava
-a cute package of 3 Seedballz
-Sparklehearts Soft Conditioner sample
-Violent Lips Temporary Lip Tattoos
-Natural Newborn Bug Stopper Soap sample
-L'Oreal Kerastase
-WaterColors Water-Based Nail Enamel in San Francisco
-Beyond Coastal SFP 15 Daily Active Sunscreen
-Befine Daily Moisturizer and Befine Exfoiliating Cleanser sample packets
-Burt's Bees Radiance SPF 15 Day Lotion sample
-Trident Layers Juicyberry/Tangy Tangerine gum
-Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System & Treatment Cleansing Foam
-Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume sample
-ChapStick LipShield 365

A fun assortment, right? I liked that Shannyn included so many different types of products, including a few non-beauty items, like the fun gum and Seeballz! I haven't tried in Mary Kay stuff in ages, so the lip gloss samples and color cards will be fun to play with. The thing I'm most excited about, though, are the Amore Pacific skincare products--those look really promising. I also found it really fun to guess/remember which boxes originally sent certain products I recognized (like the lip tattoos and the water-based nail polish). All in all, I thought this swap was a great time and I loved participating. I'd even consider hosting a similar one in the future--would I have any takers?


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December 2012

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