0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Ulubulu Blog — Lifestyle

    Valentines Gift baskets for Kids

    Valentines Day is just a couple weeks away. Not only do I love Valentines day because of all the sweet treats, but I also love it because it’s the only time of year that I can put anything pink in the living room without a word of protest from my husband! I’ve always found it to be a fun holiday and while I prefer to pass on the $50 roses that on any normal day would be $10, I do think it’s a cute holiday to celebrate with my family.

    My husband and I aren’t fans of the Valentines day crowds so we like to opt out of the fancy dinner and instead put the kids to bed a little early, light some candles, order some food in, and watch a movie together. Parent life, am I right?

    Growing up, my parents always made Valentines day about us kids just as much as it was about them. Every year my siblings and I would come downstairs to little Valentines gift baskets full of goodies along with a special breakfast. I always loved this tradition and wanted to carry it over into my kid’s lives as well. I typically make heart shaped pancakes and  fill a basket full of a toy, a book, and a couple small treats. If you’re interested in putting together a basket for your kids as well and need some ideas, here is what I’m putting in my kids Valentines baskets this year. I've linked everything so all you have to do is click the link to shop the items yourself!

    1. Small Toy/Stuffed Animal.

    My son is getting a small lego set that he’s had his eye on for a while and my daughter is getting a stuffed animal that she keeps gravitating to at Target. I know neither of them is expecting a random gift in February so I’m really excited to see their faces when they see them.

    2. Books.

    For my son I bought the book “A Crankenstein Valentine”, which was one of the better ones I could find for a school aged boy. For my 16 month old daughter I got “Huggy Kissy” because she loves all of the books by this author, plus there is a dog on the cover and she is currently obsessed with “dagas”.

    3. Treats

    My son is five so he is getting a few of his favorite candies. Target currently has a great selection of valentines themed candy, so I got him some special Valentines colored gummy bears and Skittles. My daughter is still too young for candy so she is getting a pouch of her favorite Happy Baby food.

    4. Play dough.

    My kids are obsessed with play dough so this was an easy one. One container will last them each hours upon hours of entertainment. I bought them the “sweet colors” pack because the colors coordinate well with Valentines day.

    5. Something they need.

    For my son I got a fun new night light for his room because the last one went mysteriously missing. The new one projects a batman symbol up onto the ceiling and will hopefully be our magical solution to keeping him out of our bed at night (one can dream-right?). For my daughter I got a pack of Ulubulu pacifiers that are cute and match the Valentines theme perfectly.

    Hope these ideas help you with putting together your own special little basket! Wishing you all a very happy day full of love this Valentines day.

    3 Tips to Help you Keep Your New Years Resolutions

    Anybody else find that New Years resolutions are about 2000 times harder to follow through with when you become a parent?

    This year I’m going to eat healthier.

    This year I’m going to save more.

    This year I’m going to read more books.

    You create all these amazing goals for yourself and get all hyped… only to get so swept away in parenting and managing a household that your new years resolution is over before it even began.

    Trust me, I’ve been there.

    The last couple years however I feel like I’ve finally figured out some key things to do in order to actually follow through with the goals that I make for myself.

    1. Start the year organized.

    You know that stretch of time between Christmas and New Years where you forget what day it is and who you are? As fun as it is to sit back and Netflix binge with the family, instead use some of that time to get organized and gear up for the new year! Since that time has already passed this year, instead set aside the next weekend to get yourself together. The holidays leave us with more stuff than we started with, so now is a great time to de-clutter and get rid of everything you don’t use. The more organized your life is, the easier it will be to focus on your goals and resolutions. For me personally this year, I decided to de-clutter my pantry and laundry room. I got rid of a ton of random items that got pushed to the back of the shelves throughout the year and bought big baskets +  shelf organizers while Target had organizational items on sale. I can’t even express how much calmer I am knowing that everything has a place—and more importantly that I know where that place is! Knowing that everything is put away and organized means that I can focus my energy on my family and doing what I need to do to achieve my goals.

    2. Write down your goals.

    Whether you want to write them in your journal, in your planner, put them on a cork board, or even create a fun vision board, there have actually been studies done showing that this will raise the chances of your goals being achieved. I never used to do this however a few years ago my husband and I made a tradition of writing out our goals on New Years eve and ever since we’ve both had an easier time keeping sight of those goals as the year progresses. Not only does it keep you more accountable, but it’s fun looking back and reading your goals at the end of each year.

    3. Communicate your goals with those around you.

    I’ve always believed strongly that it truly takes a village. Not only does this apply to raising a child but it also applies to being successful. The more support and love that you can fill your life with, the more likely you are to follow through. I’ve found that by expressing my goals to my husband, family, and friends, not only am I keeping myself accountable but I also create a support system full of people who build me up and make it easier to achieve my goals. Make a pact with your loved ones to discuss the progress of your goals regularly and to see if there's anything you can do to help one another be successful in your resolutions!

    What's in my Diaper Bag

     

    Throughout my almost five years as a mom, I have had my fair share of diaper bagging mishaps. It took me years to stop forgetting diapers (although this may or may not have just happened a few weeks ago), I’ve wasted all kinds of money on products that I didn’t end up liking, I’ve overpacked, I’ve under packed, you name it-I’ve done it. That being said, I finally have a diaper bag full of contents that seems to thoroughly work for me and my little fam. Through research + trial and error, my bag these days is officially full of products that I truly stand behind and in hopes of maybe making it a little easier on my fellow mamas out there, I’m sharing my diaper bag and all of the good stuff in it.

    The bag: For my diaper bag itself, I use a Fawn. After trying multiple other bags that I was unhappy with, I finally decided to splurge on the Fawn during one of their rare sales and it has seriously been worth every penny. It can be worn as a backpack or as a shoulder bag, which is an especially convenient if you do a lot of baby wearing. It’s got all sorts of pockets both inside and outside and is one of the most durable bags I’ve owned.

    1. Diaper Changing supplies.

    We have been using the new Pampers Pure line of diapers/wipes and have been really happy with them. My daughter’s blow outs and diaper sensitivity have majorly decreased since we switched over, plus it doesn't hurt that the diapers have cute llamas on them. I typically keep 2-3 diapers in my bag + 1 set of wipes in the car and 1 set  for my bag... I have been in countless situations that have taught me that there is no such thing as too many wipes. Additionally, we use the Gathre changing mat, which I am a huge fan of. It’s a soft leather mat that comes in a variety of adorable colors/design options. It’s easy to clean and easy to fold up into my bag for convenient changes on the go.

    2. Feeding supplies.

    While I do have an official “nursing cover”, I’ve actually opted for a muslin blanket as the weather warms up. Not only does the muslin breathe easier, but I also like that I can use it as a light blanket to cover my baby in case we end up in a colder establishment. I also like to keep a silicone bib in my bag. I’ve found that the silicone is easiest because I can simply wipe it down with a wet wipe and put it back in my bag, rather than carrying around a dirty cloth bib for the rest of the outing.

    3. Hygiene supplies.

    As the mom of a very pale baby, I like to always keep a travel size bottle of baby sun screen in my bag. We like to use the babyganics mineral based sunscreen because it doesn’t contain a lot of the less desirable chemicals that many sunscreens do. I also like to keep the travel size Honest hand sanitizer in my bag. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also comes in the form of a spray rather than the typical goopy hand sanitizer liquid, which I think is easier when dealing with little hands. Lastly, I never leave the house during allergy or cold season without my Boogie Buster. My kids seem to be particularly snotty nosed (although I think every mom says that) so having a way to help them breathe easier on the go is always helpful.

    4. Snacks.

    As a nursing mom, I am hungry all the time and get hangry very easily. I like to keep granola bars in my bag at all times for those inevitable situations where I’m rushing somewhere with no food in my belly. I also make sure to have a small snack bag for my growing son who seems to be hungry every second of every day.

    5. Toy.

    As my infant daughter grows older, she requires a bit more in the entertainment department. I like to keep a small baby book in my bag for her to play with and will swap it out with a different one from home every other week so that she doesn’t get bored with the same toy.

    6. Baby Carrier.

    I never ever leave my house without either my ring sling or baby wrap. I’ve found that I can make an outing last twice the amount of time if I’m wearing my baby rather than putting her in a stroller or shopping cart.

    7. Back ups.

    I always always always keep a backup change of clothes and a backup pacifier/clip in my bag. My daughter is the blowout queen, so there is about a 50% chance that she will need a change of clothes on every outing. Tossing a onesie in my bag takes up such a minimal amount of space and it’s always nice to know that it’s there in case my lovely little blow out queen strikes again. I also like to make sure I have a spare paci/pacifier clip because there is nothing worse than when the one you brought mysteriously goes missing and there is no backup. My daughter’s pacifier is often the only thing that will calm her while we are in the middle of a store and without it  we would most certainly end up leaving the story in a screaming frenzy.

    Pregnancy Advice from a New Mom!

    During these long nine months of pregnancy, I’ve quickly found that people...well, people LOVE pregnant women. Who would have thought that growing a tiny human being in your tummy for nine months got you celebrity treatment? People offer up their seats to me in waiting rooms, tell me to cut ahead of them in line, sit me first at restaurants--I even had a manager pay for one of my meals! I find myself unable to go out in public without answering the same three questions multiple times: "When are you due? What’s the gender? What’s the name?"

     


    I’ve also found that people love offering up their own “pregnancy advice”.

    • Don’t go shopping for anything until after the baby shower.
    • Don’t buy maternity clothes until you’re further along.
    • Don’t use the internet to look up your questions, ask the doctor instead.

    These are all pieces of advice I’ve heard multiple times, and what did I do? Not listen of course!

    That's why I feel that I should share my experience and talk about it: Keep calm, and don't become a shopaholic! The first and truest piece of advice I wish I’d listened to was not to go shopping until after the baby shower. Thanks to my excitement and shopaholic nature, my baby has now ended up with more 0-3 month onesies than I can fit in his dresser. Every time I saw a cute clothing set, I insisted that I buy it. Every time I saw a cute blanket, I insisted that I buy it. Every time I saw a great deal, well of course-I insisted that I buy it.

    Well, what do you know, come baby shower time, I was showered with all of the above. From onesies to diapers to pacifiers to blankets, I received it all. Now, my nursery is overfilling with generosity and I find myself wishing I had simply held off on buying, and waited to see what I received! Be careful with Maternity Clothes Don’t buy maternity clothes until your further along is definitely another piece of advice that I wish I had taken more seriously. I’ve found maternity clothes to be much more expensive than normal clothes, and if I’d listened, I’d probably have a lot more money and a lot less unusable clothes. My problem was, around 4 or 5 months pregnant, I thought I was huge! I decided right then and there and there was no way I could wear any of my clothes any longer and that I needed some maternity clothes. Boy oh boy was I wrong. At 9 months, I look back at my 4 or 5-month self and laugh. The reality is, I probably could have fit in most of my clothes for another couple months, had I gotten creative with my outfits. Of all of the maternity clothes that I bought earlier on in my pregnancy, I now have two shirts that fit me. Even maternity clothes that I bought a month ago are now tight and a little small on me. What have I learned? Hold off on buying maternity clothes as long as you possibly can and when you do buy them, buy them big! Listen to your doctor! Lastly, don’t use the internet to look up your questions, ask the doctor. I heard this several times, and every time I chose not to listen, I certainly regretted it. The problem with the internet is that the internet does not care about your overly emotional pregnant feelings. Each time I had a question and would look it up on the internet, I would find forum after forum of women talking about the same questions that I had. At first, I thought it was great...until I realized that every pregnant woman’s experience was not the walk in the park that you hope pregnancy will be. Each and every time, I would come across horror stories that would keep me up at night. For days I would worry about the health and well being of the baby--that is, until I would go to the doctor, ask her my same questions, and be reassured that the horror stories I was hearing were incredibly rare cases that were incredibly unlikely to ever happen to me. I can’t tell you how many times the doctor lectured me on not using internet forums for advice. Finally, I have learned. When I have a question, I ask the doctor and needless to say, I’ve been much more relaxed ever since. Everyone likes to give advice, and everyone is also much less likely to take it. That's how humans are.. we want to try things for ourselves.


    " Learning the hard way is certainly not the easiest way, and is definitely not the cheapest way."
    During this pregnancy, I’ve found that advice from people that you trust, and people that have been there and done that, is usually good advice. While I have had to use my own judgment at times, there are also many times that I wish I had listened to those that have already been down my road. While being pregnant may send a lot of attention your way, it also sends a lot of advice... advice that both you and your bank account will be happy you listened to!

    An Organized Home is a Relaxing Home: Tips For Managing Toys

    Let’s face it, having kids takes over just about every part of your life. Getting ready for the day takes at least an additional hour (typically jam packed full of negotiations and explanations as to why one must wear pants), you forget what “quiet time” even is, and you seem to be drowning under a never ending pile of laundry. While we love those little rascals more than life itself, it’s also important to remember to keep some parts of your life the way YOU want them. I have found that for me personally, this means keeping my home looking the way I want it to look, rather than like a neglected aisle of the toy store. I have found that the more chaotic my home begins to look, the more chaotic my mood begins to feel. A more organized home is a happier me. I absolutely love the feeling at the end of the night when my son has finally fallen asleep and I can cuddle up on the couch with a movie and my husband and look around loving what I see. Don’t get me wrong- keeping your home organized in the midst of raising a little human is not always easy. It has taken me years of trial and error to figure it out, but I have learned a lot along the way and would love to share some tips with you all on how to keep things a little more organized.

    Baskets

    Toy baskets are an absolute lifesaver. Since we spend most of our time in the living room, it makes sense that my son have plenty of toys accessible to him there. For a long time, this meant that we just had what felt like constant piles of toys everywhere and no matter how clean my house was, I never felt like it was truly organized or like things had their own place. I’d been thinking about adding some baskets for a while however it seemed like every basket I found was far too much money for something that my son could possibly end up breaking. Then I discovered the awesomeness that is Home Goods. If you don’t have a Home Goods where you live, I have also seen pretty good discounted basket sections at stores like Marshalls, Ross, and T.J Maxx. Even Target will surprise me occasionally with their basket clearance, you just have to frequent Target often (which you probably already do) and be ready to pounce when the clearance section has just been updated. The key to a good toy basket is that it has some movement to it. The stiff whicker baskets are far more likely to break on you (my son loves to pick at whicker and slowly/sneakily destroyed a whicker laundry basket piece by piece). I was able to find a couple of baskets that had a lot of give to them. My son will sit in them, roll around on top of them, do all of the other rough housing things that boys seem to do, and these baskets still keep their shape and are perfect in tact. They perfectly match the look of our living room and are big enough that you can’t even see what’s in them until you are right up next to them. Our son gets to keep his toys close and accessible, and we get to keep our living room clean and organized… it’s truly a win win.

    Utilize the space you have

     


     









     Got a coat closet? A little nook under the stairs? Landry room? Make the most of them! We bought a few of those little plastic 3 drawer storage containers and have them strategically hidden close to the areas where our son likes to play. We have one in the downstairs coat closet, one in his bedroom, and one in the laundry room, which helps to house the toys that won’t fit in the living room baskets. This helps our son to keep more of his toys easily accessible, while also keeping them put away so that we don’t have to see them if they aren’t being played with. Clean up at the end of the day is super quick and easy… any toy left out either ends up in the baskets or in the toy drawers, simple as that.

    Cycle your toys
    Between Christmas, birthdays, grandparents who love to spoil, and all of the other random events that seem to lead to endless piles of toys, it can get pretty overwhelming finding a space for each one. I’m willing to bet that your kids do not play with each and every toy every day. If they’re anything like my son, they have their main group of favorite toys that they play with for about a month at a time, then they move onto a different group of favorite toys. The unused toys are still sitting around getting in the way/taking up space, and often end up everywhere simply because they are there rather than because they are actually being played with. Solution: put them away and cycle them out! Get a big clear storage container (clear is best so that you can see what’s inside) and put in all of your child’s current least favorite toys. Store it in the garage or high up in a closet where they aren’t accessible to your children. Once your kids seem to be getting tired of the toys they have been playing with daily, cycle the toys out (be sure to keep the absolute favorite toys out, but put away the ones that seem to be getting played with less often). By doing this once every couple of months, you ensure less mess and your kids will be excited to be reunited with toys that they had forgotten about. Tip: Do the cycling out once the kids have gone to nap or bed for the night. If you cycle them out while they are awake they will try to convince you that EVERY toy they own is important to keep out (even the toys they haven’t touched in months).

    Hopefully these will help you get organized and feel good about the space you call home! It takes time to figure out what works for you and your family, so keep trying different organization strategies until you find what works for you. The process of organizing isn’t always fun, but at the end of the day it is SO worth it.