Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And the winner is...

Congratulations to DazzleMea! You are the winner of my first ever giveaway hosted by Pyur! I think you'll absolutely love their nipple balm and I hope it makes feeding your little one easier! I'll be contacting you via email to give you instructions on how to claim your prize!
Thanks to everyone who participated! The more followers I get, the more giveaways I'll be able to do so I hope you will all continue to follow me and participate in the future!

Monday, August 30, 2010

4 Simple Goals in 2011

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and participate in the 4 Simple Goals project created by Elsie at A Beautiful Mess. I'm always getting myself involved in new projects and endeavors so of course I loved this idea. Elsie wanted to complete her goals BEFORE 2011, but with a new baby, work, school, and the holidays coming up I knew it would be a bit more realistic for me to give myself 1 year to complete my goals. So here you are folks... my 4 simple goals.

1. Find the perfect pea coat. I can't even begin to tell you how many pea coats I've purchased in my life, and yet I never seem to find the right one. They always seem to be a bit too long, a bit too tight, the wrong color, the wrong style, etc. This winter I'm determined to find that perfect black double breasted pea coat that's light enough for California winters, but heavy enough to keep me warm.

2. Start a family tradition. With the arrival of Cayden and the start of my own family I want to be sure to create special memories for him to fondly look back on one day. Growing up, I never really had family traditions. I was raised by a single mother raising 3 girls with no help so we couldn't afford to take vacations each year and she was usually too busy to do any sort of activity with us. I want to be sure to start a family tradition for Cayden so he can always have those memories and perhaps continue them with his own family someday. I'm not quite sure what I want to do yet, but some ideas such as renting a cabin in the snow or going to the pumpkin patch in the fall come to mind.

3. Start my own event planning business. Many of you don't know this, but for a short period of time I was pursuing a career in event planning and even worked as a wedding planner for a minute. When I realized the lifestyle and hours weren't for me (it included working every weekend in Vegas which wasn't ideal for someone who wanted to start a family) I quit that job and continued my degree in Child Development to become an elementary school teacher. However, the desire to plan events has never left me. I'm the person who plans the family birthday parties and baby showers and I love to throw a good party. Organizing and decorating just come natural to me and it's something I really enjoy. And although I don't want to make it my full time career at this point, I do want to start a small business on the side to plan events for friends, family, and neighbors. My mom gave me the idea to advertise in her neighborhood and just start out small with birthday parties and bridal showers and see where it takes me. Although it will be scary to put myself out there and try something new I think it would ultimately be very rewarding if it worked out. So I'm going to give it a shot and see what happens!

4. Make a baby book/scrap book for Cayden. I was so tempted to take the easy way out and just buy a baby book when Cayden arrived, but 1) I couldn't find one that wasn't the generic pastel/animal themed and 2) I knew it would be so much more special and memorable if I made it myself. This is a huge task because I'm such a perfectionist and each page takes a few hours to make, but I know I can complete it in a year and the end result will be so worth it!

So there you go! I will be updating whenever I complete one of these goals so be sure to stay tuned! Oh, and in case you were wondering what my reward will be whenever completing a goal... I've chosen a pedicure! Simple yet luxurious!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Crafty Mommies!

Ever since I was a little girl I have LOVED doing arts and crafts. I remember making stuffed animals with my sister by cutting my mom's sheets (oops!) into animal shapes and stuffing them with cotton balls. I used to make my own paper dolls by cutting models and outfits out of magazines. In 3rd grade we had a 'nuts and bolts' box filled with random things like pipe cleaners, buttons, glitter, paper scraps and we got 30 minutes every day to just create whatever came to mind. I was obsessed. (I actually plan to steal this idea when I become a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher in a few years). Needless to say, being creative has been a huge part of my life. I've recently started going scrapbooking every Wednesday (mommy's night off) with my best friends and sister and that creative outlet is like air in my lungs. I love it. I'm always scouring the aisles at Michael's just looking for the next thing to inspire me.

Now that I'm a (working) mother, I realize that I might not have as much time to do crafty things, but I still think it's important to set aside some time to do the things I love. I came up with the idea to do a monthly craft club. With the holidays coming up (YES!!!!!) there's so many things I want to make... decorations for Halloween and Christmas, baked goods, gift baskets, Christmas presents, scrapbooks... the list goes on and on. I thought it might be fun to invite others to participate in a monthly craft with me! Every month someone can 'host' and come up with a fun craft for everyone to do. Then when we're done we can take pictures and share them and possibly link blogs in hopes of getting even more people to join. OR we can just submit craft ideas each month and vote on which one we would like to do. It doesn't have to require advanced skills, just something challenging yet fun for us all to do!

Also, another idea I had was a card trading club. My scrapbooking instructor introduced me to this idea a few months ago and I LOVE it! Basically, every month we create a handmade card. This can be for any occasion... Christmas, sympathy, get well soon, Mothers Day, thank you, etc. Then we trade the cards by mailing them off to each other (and we rotate each month). In a short time, we will all have a little collection of cute handmade cards for every occasion that we can either keep or use/give away! I love paper crafts so this is right up my alley. I even have a card making book that gives good ideas for templates and design that I can't wait to put to good use!

I've already gotten 3 people who are interested on Twitter, but I want to try and get 5-10 people who might want to participate to make it more fun. If either or both ideas sound like something you might be interested please leave me a comment and make sure to include your email address. I'm going to send out an email within the next few days to introduce everyone and go over the details. I'm so excited, I think this will be really fun!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My journey though motherhood... so far.

This Saturday will mark 4 weeks since I've given birth to my precious baby boy. In that time I have laughed, I have cried, and I have gone a week without showering. It has been an interesting experience to say the least. However, no matter how frustrated I get at times, every time those big brown eyes search the room to find my voice my heart melts and I realize that every second is so worth it.

With that being said, there are a few things about motherhood that I didn't expect. Sure, I always heard that you don't get any sleep with a newborn, but I don't think I fully comprehended the fact and I certainly wasn't prepared for it. Cayden is like any typical newborn... he sleeps for about 2 hours at a time. He is also still adjusting to the difference of night/day and at times he will wake up at 3am and be wide awake and alert and won't fall back asleep for 2 or 3 hours. This means that I've been running off of 2-4 hours of sleep per night. I've been trying to do the majority of the work and let Mando sleep since he's already back at work, but it's frustrating and there's been more than one occasion that I've snapped at him or resented him for not helping out more.

Cayden is also a fussy baby. When my best friend told me her baby girl slept through the night and hardly every cried, I admit I was jealous. Cayden has to be hold the majority of the time and definitely isn't sleeping through the night. On more than one occasion we've had to take him out of the crib and let him sleep in bed with us because he won't settle down and fall asleep in the crib. This means that either Mando or I will go sleep on the couch because there just isn't enough room for the 3 of us to sleep safely on our bed. I really miss cuddling with Mando and sleeping in bed with him. Co-sleeping isn't what I thought it would be and I don't think it's for us. I look forward to the day where he can sleep a few peaceful hours in his crib and feel comfortable there.

So yes... motherhood is hard. I knew it would be. But I know that we will all adjust eventually and Cayden will learn to sleep more in the night as he gets older. I also think that things will get easier once I'm back at work. Most of you probably think I'm nuts, but I am getting stir crazy cooped up in our apartment day after day and I'm not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I know I will miss Cayden like crazy and probably cry my eyes out when I have to drop him off at the nanny's, but my sanity will thank me. I have a whole new respect for you SAHM's who have little social interaction and who's day often revolves around diapers and housework. I just couldn't do it.

However, I am taking advantage of every second I have with my baby boy. Cayden is finally at that fun age where he's starting to show his personality more and more each day. I still marvel at his strength... Pretty much since birth he's been able to lift his head up on his own and look around the room. He is so alert and his eyes are ALWAYS open and observing everything around him. He's a bit of a diva and whines if we are taking too long preparing his bottle and if he doesn't want to be changed he doesn't hesitate to pee all over us! He loves the bath and after he's all clean and snuggly in his jammies I can count on him to fall asleep immediately for a few hours. He smiles and laughs in his sleep which I love! He likes reading books with mama and really loves the color red. He hates the swing AND the bouncer, but adores his car seat and stroller. My love for him grows stronger every minute of every day and I can't wait to see the little boy he grows to be. (And of course he'll be a mama's boy!)

There's a few items I've realized I can't live without since becoming a mama. When we did our registry I became obsessive. I read every review, I sent the link to my friends and family, and I even posted it on a mothering forum to ask for advice and suggestions. I wanted to make sure I had everything I could possibly need and that I wasn't forgetting anything. I MAY have gone a little overboard. However, I'm glad I put so much time into it, because if not I wouldn't have found these things:

#1. Dr. Brown's bottles. OMG. I am obsessed with these bottles. I reviewed several different types of bottles online and it was clear that these were a favorite. The main complaint about these bottles is that they have so many different parts that can be a pain to clean, but I don't feel that way. It takes me about a minute to clean them completely and the fact that they greatly reduce gas and colic is so worth it to me. Even after being breastfed for the first week, Cayden had no problem latching on to the nipples and he always burps quickly and easily after eating. I seriously can't recommend them enough.

#2. Gripe water. As you know, after my breastfeeding fiasco I switched to formula. Unfortunately, Cayden had a tough time digesting the formula after a week of breast milk and became extremely constipated. It broke my heart to see him cry and push so hard just to poop. A few different mama's I talked to recommended gripe water. It's a safe, organic liquid medicine comprised of ginger and fennel and helps with upset tummies. I've given it to Cayden a few times and it definitely helps. It makes his poop like more like breastfed baby poop and I can tell it relieves the pain in his belly. I love that it's all natural and safe enough to give with every feeding.

#3. The Boppy newborn lounger. This is different than the Boppy pillow (which I also love). It's more of a cushion that the baby can relax and be comfortable in. This is the ONLY place where I can set Cayden down when I need to cook or use the bathroom and he'll fall asleep on his own. It's slightly at an angle which helps because he hates being flat on his back and the sides cushion him and make him feel snug. When he's being extra fussy and won't sleep in his crib I'll put this in bed with us and he'll fall asleep almost immediately. He LOVES it. Evidence is in my pictures.... almost every picture I've taken of him sleeping has been in his lounger!

**I wasn't paid to talk about these products. I simply love them and wanted to pass the information along to any other new mother who might benefit from hearing from my experiences.

So that's been my experience with motherhood so far. Although we're all adjusting, I do love being a mom. It truly is the most rewarding job a woman can have. How can you not love your life when you wake up to this precious face every day?

Also, don't forget to enter my first giveaway ending August 31st! Since my blog is so new there are low entries and your chances of winning are huge!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My first ever product review and giveaway! Win eco-friendly certified vegan Pyur skin care products!

Hi all! I am so excited to announce my first ever product review and giveaway on my blog! Luckily, I have had the opportunity to review and promote a GREAT product that I stand by 100%.

Pyur is a line of skin care products that are '100% toxin-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and free from all artificial preservatives, fragrances and dyes.' They also use eco-friendly recyclable or reusable packaging and materials. It's important to me to use products that are all natural because I have SUCH sensitive skin and I try to avoid using harsh chemicals, dyes, and scents on my body. I also love how they don't test this product on animals and they are certified vegan. And who doesn't love a GREEN, eco-friendly product? I think we are all making a consious effort nowadays to reduce our carbon foot print. The creator of these products, Marines, really did a great job in creating something that mamas, babies, AND our planet can benefit from. And she is SUCH a sweetheart!

Pyur currently has 2 product lines: Pyur Bebe is a line made for babies (and safe to use on newborns!) that includes hair and body wash, baby lotion, diaper balm, baby soap, baby oil, chest rub, and a gift set that is a great shower idea! They are specifically created to nourish and protect your baby's skin using shea butter, antioxidants, and essential oils. The Pyur Mama line includes belly butter, nipple balm, and a gift set to pamper moms and moms-to-be!

As you all know, I was recently 9 months pregnant. What most of you probably DIDN'T know was that I was blessed with stretch marks absolutely COVERING my belly. Not only that, but I was soon diagnosed with PUPPPS which is a pregnancy induced rash that causes intense itchiness and irritation of the skin. I tried everything to relieve the itchiness and sooth the skin... I hated Palmer's cocoa butter which smelled horrible and left my skin feeling greasy. I would constantly rub cortisone cream to try and get relief from the constant scratching. NOTHING worked. I decided to go on Etsy because I know I can always find all natural skin products there and I stumbled upon the Pyur shop. I immediately knew that I wanted to try this product after reading how great it was. I contacted the shop owner Marines and explained my situation. She responded back so quickly and reassured me that the belly butter really nourishes the skin and would work great on my stretch marks. I trusted her especially because she is a mother herself and knew what I was going through.

Just a few days later I opened my mailbox and was so excited to see that my package had arrived! I couldn't believe how quickly it had gotten to me! Not only did I receive belly butter, but Marines also included baby lotion AND diaper balm AND baby soap for when my Cayden arrives! How sweet! Everything came in a re-usable muslin bag with a sweet hand written note from Marines. I was so excited to try everything out!

The first thing I tried was obviously the belly butter. I fell in love with this product right off the bat. Not only was it rich and nourishing, but it smelled GREAT! It literally felt like it was melting right onto my skin and the itchiness of my stretch marks was instantly soothed. The ingredients in this product are chosen to promote elasticity and to soften the skin and it worked GREAT. Now, 11 days post partum, I'm still using the belly butter to hydrate my skin and to reduce the appearance of my stretch marks.

Now, with the arrival of baby Cayden, I finally had the opportunity to try out product from the Pyur Bebe line. As you mamas know, a newborn's skin is often dry a few days after birth. Cayden was no exception. His little hands and feet were especially dry and his skin started peeling soon after we brought him home. Now, the most important thing to me was to ONLY use products that were all natural and did not contain any chemicals or perfumes... I am just not willing to use that stuff on my infant especially if he inherited sensitive skin from his mama! I was so happy that I already had baby lotion that was all natural and so good for him. I would give Cayden a sponge bath and then we would have our special massage time where I would rub him down with the baby lotion. He LOVES it and it relaxes and soothes him instantly! After only a few days I've noticed that his hands and feet are softer and noticeable less dry. And once again, it smells great! It contains aloe, shea butter, vitamin E, and lavender, orange blossom, and chamomile so you know it's great for baby! I'm so happy to have found this great product that my baby loves.

I have yet to use the diaper balm or baby soap, but I am so excited to try it out. I just KNOW that they will work just as great as everything I've tried from the Pyur line. I just can't recommend these products enough!

Now that you've read all about Pyur products, I know you're dying to try them out! How you might ask? Well, there's 2 simple ways. You can visit the Pyur website here and shop online -OR- you can enter my giveaway to win a Pyur product of your choice (excluding gift sets)! How great is that?! Rules to the giveaway are simple:

Mandatory Entry:
-'Like' Pyur on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Pyurcare
-Visit http://www.pyurcare.com/ and tell me in the comments which product you want and why!
Extra Entries:
3 extra entries: Follow Domesticated Delight via Google Friend Connect on the left sidebar
2 extra entries: Add me onto your blog roll
1 extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway (1 per day)
"#WIN eco-friendly certified vegan @Pyurcare skin care products from @Johnna_Mama! http://tinyurl.com/27qgqfe"
1 extra entry: Follow me on Twitter @Johnna_Mama
Make sure you leave a comment for EACH entry including your name and email adress. Winner will be chosen via random.org on August 31st. GOOD LUCK!
* I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own and 100% sincere.