new year, new baby: advice

This week I’ve had a few friends from online doing small guest spots on Small Fry’s Instagram Stories. I am so glad so many of you have loved it and I am brainstorming ways to make it a more permanent part of Small Fry’s offerings. I asked everyone the same question: How do you find happiness in your different roles when your mind, body or circumstances are working against you? The responses have been so awesome, I wanted to recap the messages here!

Sadie of Simply Sadie Jane:

Sadie Jane Sabin

Sadie gave 4 doable tips to help frame you for a joyful parenting experience.

  1. Start your day with an intention. Peace, joy, love.

2. One Day at at Time. Living presently in joy allows for stresses of the past and future not to cause needed anxiety or stress.

3. Trade shame for gratitude. There is nothing shame can do that gratitude cannot do better. Mom guilt is real but it doesn’t serve any of us. Re-frame your feelings to that of gratitude and everyone, especially you will benefit! You have to believe in yourself and that you’re a good mother before anyone else does.

4. Repeat “I love motherhood. Motherhood is joyful. Motherhood is simple.” throughout the day to help direct your feelings and energy toward joy.

Kelly of Studio DIY (finding a black and white was impossible but making any of her colorful photos that way was a tragedy. Ha!)Studio DIY

Kelly, an intovert in a super extroverted job that then switches to being present emotionally and physically for her young son Arlo creates space to recharge. No phone calls or interacting, just podcasts. You can find some of her favorites here.

Sydney of The Daybook, What the Eff Podcast and Actually, I Can course:Sydney Liann

Sydney shared about how NOT defining ourselves by our roles and only our divine nature and relationship to a power bigger than ourselves allows for true happiness. Her big truth bomb for me was when she said “If we do not define ourselves by our roles than we also don’t define ourselves by our learning experiences within those roles.

Sydney words it so sweetly but I couldn’t help but think about the rollercoaster of emotions within my roles. The learning experiences where I feel like I fail cause me so much pain and shame! I love that by taking a step even further within ourselves we can give ourselves some slack that we are more than our failures, because we are more than this one aspect of ourselves.

Sydney has done so much self exploration and learning this year and it has been awesome to watch! She has started sharing what she’s learned in a course called Actually I Can and if you use SMALLFRY10 you can get 10% off! Read up on what the course entails here.

Alison of The Alison Show, Awesome with Alison Podcast and the Build an Awesome Brand Workshop (which I attended and was just as awesome as it advertises!):Alison Faulkner

Alison also shared some amazing tips for the times when you physically cannot do the things that typically bring you joy. This story will be posted later today, don’t miss it! She says it so beautifully!

  1. Reassign your good habits. When Alison’s typical Gratitude RUN wasn’t a possibility due to actually being hit by a car she reassigned  her good habits and switched the run to a bath. As the water fills the tub she thinks or says all the things she is grateful for.
  2. Find joy in new things. Taking the time to pamper herself through getting ready slowly and at her own pace gave her a sense of normalcy in her temporary slowed down body.

new year, new baby: feeding

Today’s theme for New Year New Baby is all about feeding! I’m doing a cool giveaway on Instagram with Infantino and wanted to recap some awesome posts for whatever path you take with your baby!

New Year New Baby Banner

What to feed YOURSELF the first 40 Days + Great Meals to Bring to New Moms

Best of Breastfeeding. And tips from a Lactation Specialist.

Best of Bottle-feeding. And several Moms Share Why They Chose to Bottlefeed, including me!

Baby Food Recipes  // Baby Led Weaning // Tips for Traveling

nurseries: bright and bold

One of my favorite posts for New Year New Baby is rounding up nurseries. I only do it a few times a year so it always feels so inspiring to see what has come out since my last browse. Bold Nurseries might not be for everyone, but there is so much to take in in each, how can there not be something for everyone within each room!? If you check on today’s Instagram giveaway you will be able to win your own bold patterns to get a head start on your next space via Aelfie! New Year New Baby BannerThis was kismet because Kelly JUST revealed this amazing nursery for her son Arlo and she just so happens to be guesting on my Insta Stories today, too! Check out the rest of Arlo’s Nursery here! Isn’t UNREAL!?Bold NurseriesBold NurseriesIt’s a Small World Bold NurseriesInside Out Mag – Polka Dot RoomBold NurseriesInside Out Mag – Floral Wall

Bold NurseriesInside Out Mag – pink + red wall

Bold NurseriesInside Out Mag – Wire letter art

Bold NurseriesPetit and Small – Green Wall 

Bold NurseriesPattern Mixing – Boo and the Boy

Bold NurseriesInside Out Mag – Giant Pennant

Bold NurseriesZo They Say

Bold Nurseries

Find the NURSERIES archive here!

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aelfie!

In honor of today’s theme of bright and bold nurseries I set up this fun giveaway with the ultra cool, unique Brooklyn based shop AELFIE! Named after the designer, Aelfie Oudghiri, of course. Bright, bold patterns mixed and layered just right, topped with quirky, cheeky and playful pillows and accessories.Aelfie Giveaway It makes for the most fun spaces I’ve seen in ages! Head to Instagram to win $125 to shop which is about the same amount as you’d need for a cool crib sheet + throw of your choice! Perfect starting point for a nursery!Aelfie Giveaway

Head to Instagram to enter!

new year new baby: nanit giveaway

New Year New Baby BannerMy baby is one and a half and I already feel like so many improvements have bene made to even the baby gear I bought for him not so long ago! I love being able to share the good news and if you need a monitoring system, Nanit has figured it out!! Also it’s 40% off until January 31st, so if you don’t like giveaways you can take advantage of one killer deal before it ends, too!Nanit Giveaway

First off, their insights are amazing!! So much of my brain space is taken up with my baby’s sleeping and eating schedule. This keeps track of all of that! When they wake up, how long it takes them to fall asleep. It tracks trends and patterns and of course you can save and send insights from 30 day archive, so it’s great to keep parents in the loop when they have childcare!Nanit Giveaway

They also send insights and tips to help your baby sleep better! Like reminders to put them down at the same time each night or to put them down awake. Letting you know if the room is too cold or hot. And so much more! It syncs to Alexa so you can ask your Amazon Echo for details from the Nanit as well without even opening the app! You can read up on all their amazing tips and how the y integrate into the app right here! With their guidance can you imagine how much easier healthy sleep habits will be?

First of all, it can easily be mounted right above their bed for the best view, or table side, too! Night vision, zoom, and the background audio plays even if your phone’s screen is off!

They have a gradually dimming nightlight so you can easily re-swaddle, find a binky or change a diaper without full blown lights.Nanit GiveawayIt monitors sound and motion, temperature and humidity so you can keep track of room conditions. Even better is the footage keeps streaming over Wi-Fi even if your internet connection goes down! Nanit Giveaway

Here’s what you can win!

1 Camera + Mount
1 Month of Nanit Insights
1 Multi-Stand

This is valued at $468! Amazing right? Just enter below and I’ll pick all our winners at the end of the week. Check back each day for something awesome to win!  

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A look back at New Year, New Baby

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Here are some favorites from the archives!

NEW MOM ADVICE from Ashley of the Shine Project // The Girls With Glasses // Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook // Liz of Say Yes! // Anna of In Honor of Design // Danielle of Sometimes Sweet // Little Baby Garvin // The Brickyard Buffalo Girls // And a whole slew of blogger favorites sharing what They Didn’t Expect When They Were Expecting! Essays on Postpartum Depression.Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 9.59.09 PM

BIRTH STORIES! Jenna’s crazy birth story, Emily’s crazy birth story and Callum’s birth video:

Cal de Lune // Frame family from Collin Kartchner on Vimeo.

HITS from our ADOPTION series, like this birth mother’s story, this woman was adopted and her story will break your heart and re-mend it.

FEEDING — Gear for Breastfeeding, Tips from a Lactation Specialist, Our Viral post “Why I Chose to Bottlefeed”, Feeding yourself and the first 40 days postpartum, Best meals to bring to a new mom, and baby led weaning.Screen-Shot-2015-01-08-at-8.28.02-AMNURSERYOrganizing it, The best shared bedrooms nurseries, nurseries that PACK a PUNCH!, Nurseries that are more sereneDIY hacks,  Tips from an Interior Decorator, Lolly’s Nursery, Raleigh’s Nursery, one of our favorite DIYs, still one of our favorite newer inventions,b604f94a85fb33c29f2177643ea370a0Check back each day for an awesome giveaway and a take over on insta stories by some of my favorite open-book mamas. You know the ones! Who get real, honest, genuine about their journey. I hope it helps give us all the boost we need to fight for our best selves in this role!

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new baby prep

This article lives on Wal-Mart.com in partnership with them! Check it out here!

When I think about having my first baby nearly eight years ago I look back at that girl so fondly. She was so uncontrollably excited to be a mom. I had graduated college only a few months before my due date and decided to quit my job about a month before my son came. I had been running at a break-neck pace most of my 4 year marriage. Full-time student, employed full-time and also working on side part-time projects and a business I had started. It all came to a halt a few weeks before I delivered and for the first time ever I could just sit around. No homework to be done, no deadlines at work, my entrepreneurial endeavors weren’t pressing. I didn’t know what to do with myself! And then he was born. Who knew the process of feeding and keeping a baby clean could take so many hours!? 

New Baby Prep
The advice came rolling in “Sleep when he sleeps” (YES, DO THAT!) “Enjoy every second” (Pretty sure that’s not possible but I guess with the right outlook, sure!) SO much of the advice contradicted other advice and it is so easy to become overwhelmed and ashamed that you can’t be the right mom for your baby. New Baby Prep
That is where we are wrong, ladies. No one is a more perfect fit for your baby than you. They’re the only ones who have heard your heartbeat from the inside, you know your intention and your desire to do things right by them. The best part is they will love you no matter what. That unconditional love that can only come by being a parent is the most healing, encouraging, motivating thing in the world.
Getting advice bombs dropped on you? Just smile and nod. Take in what feels right to you and let the rest roll off your back. Nothing can compare to your intuition, to your gut, it has proven itself to me in my parenting thousands of times. The best advice I ever got was to trust myself and that has made all the difference.New Baby Prep
Now for the fun part, THE STUFF! It is so fun to prepare a space for your baby. While there are loads of products you and your baby probably won’t need, here is what I swear by!
AT HOME
You’ll find with a newborn there is asleep and then there is eating, and then there is sleeping again. So here’s what I think are musts for those two important times of day. 😉
SLEEP:
Wal-Mart has such a great collection of Babyletto which has such great modern pieces and accessories. You can’t go wrong with this Crib and Bedding Set.  It’s such a good deal, too! Black and White a great a neutral starting point, add pops of color with the decor and other accessories and you can use it for either gender and for multiple siblings to come! Pro tip: You’re gonna want a second and third back up crib sheet. These are my favorites: HERE and HERE.New Baby Prep
I don’t like things to be too matchy-matchy, so I veer away from buying sets and try to collect pieces that all go together! This shelving and changing pad combo is so minimal and airy and goes great with this crib which is so on trend with the light wood details!
Perhaps the place you will spend the most time in in the whole house is your nursery glider. Make sure it’s comfortable! I love a swivel glider and have this one in my nursery. I still rock my one year old to bed each night so it gets A LOT of use! I wish I knew to skip the ottoman, I found it was always in the way especially at night when you’re stumbling around.
 New Baby Prep
Whatever decor you decide on make black out curtains a priority. Studies have shown that sleeping in total darkness or, at the very least, dimness allows for a deeper sleep. All three of my boys are stellar sleepers and I attribute this partially to a dark room with a fan to block sound. But what I wish I knew with this is that whatever environment you create for them at home you’re going to need to recreate when traveling. So yep that means we carry a fan everywhere!
AWAKE:
As your baby gets older you’ll notice they get very handsy, wanting to grab at everything and it gets especially trying while you’re chasing their diaper or getting them dressed. Lay your baby on something soft and tactile and you might get a few wiggle free moments. Love this small area rug for just that!
My babies live in sleeping gowns in those early months. So many diaper changes you gotta keep it easy as possible. Then since you’re not giving them a blanket in bed until a year old, sleep sacks are an excellent way to keep them warm and cozy!  I wouldn’t bother with too many outfits those first few months, I always just want them to be comfortable, so I say keep them in PJs as long as you can get away with it!
 New Baby Prep
For me, helping my babies find good sleeping habits from the start included a good nighttime routine. Something we did every night to help calm and settle them. Usually a bath, lotion and massage, lullabies. With those calming scents and sounds they seemed to fight me less! Since half my kids have had sensitive skin issues I just start out with all-natural products like California Baby. This makes a great shower gift, too! Also Butt Paste is my go to for rashes, stock up!
I am always surprised at how early my babies are ready for a little bit of stimulation. Having ways to soothe and also engage them are equally important and something I wish I knew! This rattle is a great starter! Shiny, bright, different textures and easy to grip!New Baby Prep
ON-THE-GO
I know this is an investment and it is really the only one I make for this stage. If you’re planning on having multiple kids it will easily last you and after trying other brands I won’t go back. I swear by the Uppa Vista System and wish I would’ve treated myself to the bassinet attachment for all three kids instead of just my last! So much of my mental health after having a baby is getting out of my cave. Whether it’s for a walk or a solo trip to the store for more diapers. The bassinet attachment makes it so easy to be outside, they’re so comfortable and it is everything to me as a new mom! New Baby PrepMy favorite way to carry baby outside of the bassinet is a soft baby wrap! If your baby is fussy and doesn’t like to be put down, this will save you. If you have other children, this goes from a nice thing to have to an absolute must. Once they outgrow their infant seat get a convertible car seat! I love this one.New Baby Prep
Okay mamas and papas to be, I hope this helps! You truly have got this, and I am here and all ears with any questions you’ve got!

10 Modern Nurseries

Its been awhile since we shared our favorite nursery trends, see our archive here! We’re including three trends we’ve been loving lately below and how they’re done well.

NEW PASTELS:

This nursery has such a spot on use of color, every one is suitable for a baby’s room but still feels fresh. The combination of that chartreuse and deep yellows (not mustard, but almost!), mint or aqua, blush pink, orange pops. The combo is so fresh it hurts!10 Modern Nurseries

10 Modern NurseriesAnother nursery with chartreuse, coral. lime grinned that deep yellow. 10 Modern Nurseries

NEUTRAL GROUND: Neutral color palettes are huge in nurseries lately just as they are in homes. This one is more luxe but still has lots of great elements. Via Emily Maynard’s nursery tour!10 Modern NurseriesThis nursery has I would say no color as it is just black white gray and wood tones, but it still packs a huge punch, no? Not modern per se but still worth breaking the title rules to include. 😉10 Modern Nurseries Here is even more neutral… Just white and black and the green from the plant. Via Holy City Chic10 Modern NurseriesAgain mostly using neutrals but that wall is anything but demure. Via Project Nursery.10 Modern NurseriesNeutral palette with a completely different vibe. That white washed ship lap and southwestern textiles make huge impact. Just shows how styling can effect a room so drastically!10 Modern Nurseries

Stripes might seem like old news but this combo is so timeless. And if you’re over a trendy look this is for you.

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JUMBO ANIMAL PRINTS: One trend we’ve seen in several nurseries lately is the oversized animal portaits. It bring such a sense of wonder and sweetness – while adding that interesting pop without breaking the bank. Via YourHomeandGarden

10 Modern NurseriesThis nursery via the Animal Print Shop is the same as the yellow tassel image up top, click here to see the whole space its awesome!!The Animal Print Shop by Sharon MontroseAnd this image is from an Etsy shop filled with options!10 Modern Nurseries

MORE NURSERIES HERE!

New Year New Baby: Gear!

Now we get to the fun stuff. Over the next two days we’ll be sharing our favorite gear for babes and mamas and then on Saturday we’ll be sharing all the items you can win for yourself! So, read up today and Friday and then enter to win a huge package of prizes this weekend! Ready to read up?

NEW YEAR NEW BABY

Fawn Design Bag // We are absolutely obsessed with this bag, you can see how we style it here. It’s classy, chic and no one will even know you’ve got a bag full of binkys and cheerios.

Skip Hop Stroller Muff // This is the best accessory to cozy up your stroller and your baby. If you’re anything like us in a winter tundra….this is a must have!

Baby Brezza Bottle Warmer // Who DOESN’T need a Baby bottle warmer that is Bluetooth enabled? We know we do. This is awesome for bottle feeding but also warms breast milk in a way to preserve nutrients. Win, win no matter how you’re feeding your little ones!

Skip Hop Activity Center // It’s tough to find a bouncer that isn’t totally embarrassing and that’s why we LOVE this one created by Skip Hop. It’s so aesthetically pleasing and your kids will love it! It has a view window for them to peek at their feet while they play the musical keys, items to stack and flip and attachments that pop on and off with ease! It cleans like a dream too!

Tubby Todd Basics Bundle // We LOVE Tubby Todd! This all natural bath line made with essential oils and gentle ingredients is perfect for any kid but especially those with sensitive skin. Use this from newborn to adulthood, this stuff is top notch.

Check back tomorrow for more and then the giveaway this weekend! Wahoo!

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New Year New Baby: Nursery Art

If you ask me, the Animal Nursery Art trend can stick around forever! As you saw on instagram, that is what we chose for Dash and Sunnys room over the last couple of years. They have loved it, and so have I!

From the photo on Instagram, the Moose Art from Sunny and Dashs room can be found here. The Camel and Deer art can be found here. The Horse can be found here.

The art you hang in your new babies nursery is a big decision! Besides the little baby itself, it is the main focal point when you enter the room. It sets the feel of the room and represents the babies personality in a sense! Here are some pieces from around the web that I think are flawlessly done.

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Replacing art with an installation wreath, how stunning! I love this idea and hadn’t seen it before this. More details can be found here.

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This Geode by Amy Lighthall makes me drool. I bought it for Dash’s room when we split the boys into two rooms soon here. But I think it would be stunning over a crib or changing table.

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This nursery belongs to a friend of mine. Ive loved it since she first shared it. I adore the single color large water color piece. You can see more of this nursery and purchase the artwork here19232ef500ab0cc73bea32759ecf66fb

As I was saying, the animal artwork reins supreme! Details here.

Here are some other Animal Art Shops I love!

Wildbook, Vivid Atelier, Modern Nation Print Mix 

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I love this nursery reveal by Ave Styles. A clean midcentury style is always top on my list. This round wooden mirror is a gorgeous sub for artwork for us minimalists.

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Want even more minimal? No artwork at all, just a detailed mobile. By Decor Pad

Chair in Dash and Sunnys room here, rug here, lamp here!