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Hello! So it's been a few months since I wrote a mommy blog post with the last post being the 5 things I had used the least months into motherhood.  This post will share the few items I have found myself using so much this first year of motherhood and this is just my opinion and not sponsored.  I should just start by saying Ella is now walking all over the place haha, saying some words like dada, thank you, oh oh, this, good girl (because I say it a lot) and it's so amazing to watch the milestones.  Here are some of the items:

1) Sterilizer: here

2) Drying Rackhere, here

Munchkin High Capacity Drying Rack, White
3) Bath Tub: We used this fisher price one here, here and I had liked it because it transitions from new born baby as they get months older.  When they are newborn, it has a net sling piece that you lay the baby in it but as they grow older, it has a sitting piece and then can be removed for just the bath.

4) Dock a tot sleeper: We got it from here and I'd thought this would just be a trendy item but Ella loves it and used it for months.  It is good to use when just spending time with them and they lay there even when in the bed because it gives a barrier.  Follow the recommendations by the dock a tot company though and always follow the recommendations of your child's doctor/provider.
DockATot Deluxe+ Dock (Pristine White) - The All in One Baby Lounger - Perfect for Co Sleeping - Suitable from 0-8 Months (Pristine White)

5) 8 oz bottles: For bottles, I have found that the Dr Browns bottles here, here, here worked great for us.  It has a middle fully vented piece in the middle which reduces air bubbles and reduces gassiness and fussiness in my opinion.  I would recommend to get the 8 oz bottles even when they are at 2 ounces because they can grow with the bottle with 3 ounces, 6 ounces etc.  Also it has a nice kit which can be purchased and includes bottles, nipples, a pacifier which Ella loves, a travel case for formula and other goodies. Dr. Brown's Original Bottle, 8 ounce, 4-Pack

6) Baby Monitors/Camera System: We have 2 different types including this here, here but some options are here, here, here and I feel these give you some slight peace of mind when baby is in another room sleeping and you are getting any other work done.  I do say it should never replace actually going to check up on your baby physically often but in moments when you aren't doing that, I have used these a lot.  Camera systems have become so advanced now that you can leave the house with someone while they are there and can watch through your phone app.
YI Home Camera, Security Camera Wireless IP Surveillance Camera with Night Vision Activity Detection Alert Baby Monitor, Remote Monitor with iOS, Android App - Cloud Service Available (2 Pack)

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Lifestyle: Ella's First Birthday Celebration!

 (please do not use my baby's pictures without my written consent, thanks)

Hello and thank you for stopping by! Thanks to all who liked or wished Ella a happy birthday and also to those who celebrated with us.  I'm choosing not to put a lot of pictures of guests for their privacy but very thankful for all who joined us.  These are just a few pictures from the party shot by a friend who does photography and another photographer/videographer.  I'll give a brief run down of the party.  I chose to have it on the Saturday following her birthday.  I sent out birthday card invitations in the mail as opposed to text or email just so they could have a picture of her to keep as a memory.

I had a fellow blogger friend Jordan from Jordan's easy entertaining (also on instagram) help me with the decor and although the pictures don't capture it well, I thought it was beautiful.  I chose to use blush pink, whites and rose golds color theme as opposed to a character theme since she is not quite into any one character yet naturally with the age.  A white tent was in the backyard next to the pool with some floating balloons, a lifeguard on hand, rose gold spray painted vases with pink flowers as centerpieces.  Also there was white tulle with flowers on the gated pool fence.  Inside, we had a beautiful dessert table with cake, cupcakes, candies, and cookies.  There were pink candy baggies so the kids could take candy home as their favor.  Ella had two birthday cakes, one with a rosette style matching her dress was made by Jordan from here and the other cake with her name plaque on it was by Tina's Treats Texas both beautiful and tasted great.  We used balloons, some with confetti, tissue paper pom poms, and paper fan decorations as well as white and pink linens and rose gold plates and cutlery.  It was not intended to be a pool party but towards the end of the party, a lot of the kids got into the pool with their parents and lifeguard watching.  We also had a lot of food, african cuisine, BBQ from Rib Hut, an amazing lit at night jumping balloon in the backyard by the tent, and a lovely vendor who did face painting, balloon animals and made cotton candy which the kids all enjoyed.

I could go on but ultimately I loved every moment of it because we got to celebrate my baby Ella whom Jason and our families are thankful for.  I loved seeing her smile and one of my favorite moments that night was when she joined the others to clap for herself standing and smiling after they sang happy birthday to her.  I pray to God to celebrate many many more future birthdays.
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