Archive for September 2013

Look for Less: Valentino vs. Henri Bendel

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As you may know, I am Valentino obsessed. I love basically everything they make, and if I won the lottery, I would probably spend most of it on Valentino purses and shoes. However, their amazing designs do come at a high price, so when I saw this gorgeous Henri Bendel bag for a fraction of the price, I was thrilled. It is “inspired by” the Valentino Va Va Voom shoulder bag, and it almost even looks cuter than it’s Valentino counterpart (dare I say?). So can you guess which one is the Valentino. If you guessed #2, you are correct!

So if you don’t have $1600 to spend on a fall bag, go for the Hendri Bendel ($228). It comes in a beautiful chartreuse color as well. (p.s. I got the burgundy, which is perfect for Fall).

xo

Layla

Favorite Baby Products 0-3 months

I have been meaning to put together a list of my favorite baby products for a while now, but I’m actually happy I waited because I had the time to try and test everything to see what is really useful. If you are a new mom like myself, or a soon-to-be new mom (like many of my friends), I hope you find this list useful. You can click on the pictures to take you to the link, and I wrote a description of why I love each product below.

 

1. Ubbi Diaper Pail- the absolute best diaper pail on the market. Why? Because it is made of steel and it really keeps the odor in the can, without absorbing the odor like plastic pails. Also, you can use regular garbage bags, instead of having to buy special diaper pail bags like “diaper genie”. I have this in purple and grey. Love it!

2. Kiinde Kozii bottle warmer- I love this bottle warmer mainly because it takes up very little room on the counter, and it does a good job of warming up the bottles. The only down-side is that it takes about 5 minutes to warm a bottle. I work around that by warming Soraya’s bottle before she starts fussing. 5 minutes can feel like 5 hours if your baby is crying.

3. Wubbanub pacifier- I like this for a couple of reasons. First, the pacifier is the “Soothie” kind that Soraya liked more than the Nuk ones. Also, it has a soft toy attached which is genius! Now that she is 4 months old, she no longer likes pacifiers, but she loved this from 0-3 months.

4. 4moms Cleanwater tub- This is the only product on the list I haven’t personally used myself, but I have read hundreds of great reviews about it. I will actually be purchasing it soon, because the “tub” we are using now is not going to work much longer. Most people like this tub because it constantly refreshes the water, so your baby is not bathing in “dirty” water. It also has a temperature control.

5. Mustela Newborn set- I am a big fan of anything Mustela. Their products are gentle and smell amazing. I can spot a Mustela baby from a mile away because they smell so good!

6. Ergobaby carrier- Ok, I think baby carriers really depend on the baby. I tried the Baby Bjorn, the wrap-thingy (Moby wrap), and the Ergo baby. Soraya seemed pretty comfortable in the Baby Bjorn, but it doesn’t have much support for the parent because the shoulder straps were too narrow. Soraya hated her life in the Moby wrap, so that was an immediate return. She fell asleep in the Ergo baby, and it was extremely comfortable to wear, so that was the winner. It also comes with a hood in case of rain, and tons of pockets. I love it!

7. Aden and Anais bamboo blanket- Aden and Anais make beautiful and super-soft muslin swaddle cloths, but they also make amazing blankets. I love the bamboo one because it is very large and it is so soft that I used to sleep with it when I was pregnant. =)

8. Marc by Marc Jacobs Eliza baby diaper bag- I love this diaper bag because it is stylish and practical. Sure, Prada and Louis Vuitton make diaper bags, but do you really want milk, drool, and food crumbs on your $2000 bag?? This is a nicely priced diaper bag with tons of pockets and completely water-proof. In fact, today an entire bottle of milk spilled inside, and it wiped clean in minutes. I have the taupe one.

9. Manhattan Toy Mobile- I bought this toy because I read that babies like to look at black and white patterns and faces. It is true! She will sit and stare at this thing for an hour if I let her. It also helps their cognitive development early on. I also just ordered some black and white books from Amazon.

10. Boppy Pillow- This is one product that EVERYONE I knew recommended to me, and for good reason. When she was 0-2 months, she would sleep in it (supervised sleep), and I used it to BF her.  When she was able to support her head, we used it to help with tummy time. You can even use it as your own pillow. It’s just a must have for every mom.

11. Dr. Brown’s bottles- Once I started bottle-feeding, I used Dr. Brown’s bottles exclusively. They are great because the vent inside helps reduce the amount of air that your baby swallows, which reduces gas and fussiness. They also have wide-nipple ones which are great if you are combo feeding so your baby doesn’t forget how to BF. The only down-side is that there are more pieces to wash, but that is really nothing if it gives your baby comfort!

12. Little Me Footies- I have an entire post coming up dedicated to baby clothes, but in the meantime, I LOVE Little Me footies. They are so soft and comfortable, and I like that they make girl onesies in pale greens and blues, which is hard to find.

13. Mini Boden Dress- I love everything Mini Boden makes for girls and boys. Their designs are sort of hippy chic, and its a change from the frilly, pink baby girl clothes (which I have absolutely no problem with). This dress is ridiculously cute for Fall.

14. Nuna Leaf- I saved the best for last. This is Soraya’s #1 favorite thing. There are many reasons why this product is amazing. A. Unlike other swings, it doesn’t require a battery or an outlet. It uses a pendulum (remember high school physics?) so it swings back and forth until it loses momentum. B. It is angled so a newborn can lay in it.  C.It can support weight up to 130 lbs! So it grows with your baby. D. It can be cleaned easily. I have to say that Soraya didn’t like the Leaf until she was about 2 months old. Now, its her favorite spot in the house.

If you find this list helpful, please let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page. Also, if you have any products that you love, please let me know! As always, thanks for reading!

xo

Layla

 

The BEST Kale Caesar Salad You’ve Ever Had….I Promise

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Hi everyone! Today I want to share one of my go-to recipes that I probably make twice a week because I love kale and I love caesar salad. This recipe is another one of my Snap Kitchen inspired recipes (see another one here). I am addicted to the kale caesar at Snap Kitchen, and I think this recipe is pretty close to theirs, if not better. Here’s how you make it:

Ingredients:

One large bunch of Tuscan Kale- center stem removed and chopped

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

8 anchovy filets packed in oil

1 garlic clove- chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

salt/pepper to taste

croutons (I make my own gluten free ones)

1/2 cup golden raisins

Directions:

Add the lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, and dijon mustard to a blender and puree until smooth. Next add the olive oil slowly, and blend until you have a creamy dressing. Add half of the parmesan and salt and pepper and mix for just a few seconds. Now your dressing is done. You can make the dressing ahead of time and store it for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Add the dressing to the kale and toss together. Add the remaining parmesan,  golden raisins, and croutons. That’s it! Enjoy it as a meal or as a side. I love to just eat a large portion by itself for lunch. Try it and let me know what you think.

xo

Layla