Category Archives: ballard

Baby registry items I’m actually using in the newborn stage

My favorite registry items that I’ve actually used in the first three weeks with my newborn:

1) Breastfeeding pillows: The Boppy versus My Brest Friend versus my Snoogle Pregnancy pillow for breastfeeding….For the first week post partum, the thought of clipping the tighter Brest friend  around my abdomen was painful however since my stomach has decreased in size I’ve found this is the perfect on-the-go pillow and have used it in the car, in an armchair and at other people’s houses.   The Boppy pillow has always been helpful however I usually need an extra roll or prop or two for my wrists and elbows so they don’t get overly tired. (I’ve been told to stack these pillows for the optimal height.) The pregnancy pillow that I’ve used every night since I was 20 weeks pregnant Product Details has been the best option to wrap around myself while sitting in bed and I don’t tend to need additional props to battle fatigue. In addition, the baby is best supported in this wrapped pillow too!  She seems pretty happy in all three as long as she’s getting fed.

2) Swing versus lounger: Boppy lounger is an absolute must have, especially when you’re making a meal and the baby is fast asleep!   I’ve been told that swings serve the same purpose and have straps to hold them in but so far we’ve dismantled the swings and have them in the closet so they don’t take up so much space. The down side of the Boppy lounger is that the cats think it’s for them, so we have to store it upright when the baby isn’t in it.

3) Strollers: Bumbleride Stroller versus the Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller Frame. A friend from college first told me about her Bumbleride that she received from her sister. She’s had it for several years and it’s in great shape, plus it’s made from recycled plastic! It’s great for trails with tires similar to a bike and folds easily. I love this option for longer walks and hills especially with the Summer Infant extra insert for my 2 week old.  However for grocery store runs and other short errands, the Chicco KeyFit stroller frame has been immensely helpful for a quick snap and go of the car seat. It was perfect for running around Costco the other day and I could add things to the bottom tray too! Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame

4) Swaddles of all kinds: I didn’t buy any newborn clothes so our baby has lived in swaddles for the first two weeks unless we’re going out of the house. I love the Burt’s Bees and Kate Quinn  blankets for their stretchy cotton, Aden + Anais are breathable lighter cotton muslin in adorable patterns as well as the brand, Oliver + Kit for their eggplant and gnome prints. 

How cute is this Loulou Lollipop print too?  

5) Socks: Hanna Andersson Best Ever First Socks were another suggestion from my college friend since others fall off so easily. I was able to find them on sale for about $2-3 a pair.  They really do stay on even if they are slightly too big for our little girl so far. I also really like SmartWool baby socks and have had great luck with them staying on but I’ve already lost one when it stuck to the Velcro on the Ergo.

6) Babywearing carrier: The baby K’tan, Ergo 360 with the newborn insert, and Nesting Days all serve different functions in our house. We were given a friend’s K’tan and it fits my husband perfectly but is a little too loose on me versus the Ergo Product Details can be adjusted for either of us and is much more supportive for walks around the neighborhood, like the ravine nearby that you would not bring a stroller on. I really like the Nesting Days carrier for around the house  (modeled by my sister) and if I need to hold my baby while I’m eating! I haven’t figured out nursing in it yet, but I’m game to try it soon.

6) Bathtub: We received the Puj Tub – The Soft, Foldable Baby Bathtub – Newborn, Infant, 0-6 Months, In-Sink Baby Bathtub, BPA free, PVC free (Grey)  and were given a Fisher Price and another tub but we really just rinse her bottom under the facet when it gets really messy. The Puj is nice that it fits in our sink without to much rigmarole too!

7) Crib versus bassinet: As I’ve blogged before, we really love the Snoo next to my side of the bed, but do plan to move her into a crib around 6 months and into her own room. One of my awesome besties gave us the highly rated Sealy Soybean foam mattress too! I also love the Little Unicorn narwhal print sheets.

8) Diaper rash cream: I was all for natural products like Burt’s Bees Daily Cream to Powder Burt's Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment, 3 Ounces which works well, but my sister who works at Seattle Children’s Hospital recommended Dr. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste which really makes a difference in preventing diaper rash.  We also have Destin which seems to be the classic standby too.

9) Changing pad: Summer Infant versus Keekaroo. We initially had the super popular Summer Infant changing pad Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad, White but the plastic clip scratched deep grooves in our table, so we cut of the offending straps and also moved to the silicone based Keekaroo which is so much easier to clean.  We dramatically prefer the Keekaroo for its ease but it’s also 10 times the price.

We also use cloth diapers to soak up any moisture and spills on the changing table, as well as for burp clothes or a quick blanket/cover.

10) What goes in my diaper bag: I love having the  Skip Hop Grab and Go Wet-Dry Bag, Chevron and Skip Hop Baby Pronto Portable Changing Station with Cushioned Changing Mat and Wipes Case, 3 Pockets, Chevron. We’ve been able to change diapers on the go and take the dirty diapers with us in the wet-dry bag! I love all the extra compartments too.

11) Baby wipe and diapers: We tried Huggies, Honest and most recently the Seventh Generation wipes. The Seventh Generation wipes seem softer and more gentle on our baby’s skin. I’ve also been told to try Water Wipes. So far, we’ve loved Honest diapers too. We liked the Huggies Newborn Snugglers when Mallary was under 7 lbs and that’s what the hospital gave us too. The line that changes color when the diaper is wet is super helpful too. Ultimately we wanted something a like more eco-friendly and have also tried gDiapers but our first experiences led to near blowouts so we’re letting her get a little bigger before trying them again! Choose a Color of gPants

12) White noise for on the go: our neighbors use the SoundSpa in their car seat, so I got one too. Now Mallary sleeps almost immediately in the carseat too! 

13) Diaper bag: My preferred diaper bag is a backpack that I will use after our baby is out of diapers, so I picked the Patagonia Black Hole.  It fits several outfits a dozen diapers, the changing station and two wet dry bags, including a nursing cover by Oh Joy x Milk Snob with cute zebras from Target!

14) Carseat: We also love the Chicco KeyFit 30 Lyra that I was able to get through my work.

15) What to wear after the hospital….my college friend recommended Depends Silhouettes because they are easier than changing a pad repeatedly and they go over c-section incisions. They also don’t look too terrible. These have been very helpful for the week after the hospital especially if you’re bleeding a lot!

Nursing bras and tops: I’m really enjoying Gap nursing tops and LoveComma tops especially their bralettes. The Bamboobies are super helpful for leaks and while Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads stay in place better, I’m frustrated when I accidentally wash them and they make a mess of tiny gel beads everywhere.

I really love this LoveComma “Feedwear” dress, especially immediately after having Mallary. It’s also aptly called the Going Home Dress.  There are amazing hidden cutouts for nursing but it’s still roomy and cute! 

Items I haven’t tried yet but am very curious in the next few weeks:

Comotomo (silicone) Product Details and Pura Kiki bottles (absolutely no plastic, including lids and nipples)

Yoga/physio ball for bouncing her back to sleep

 

Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier, Black

Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair – Walnut

Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Playard Stratus

I can’t wait to read my favorite books to Mallary including, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A BabyLit® Fairies Primer (BabyLit Books), Barbar, Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Make Way for Ducklings among others.

A fun foodie and outdoor adventure day!

Today was pretty awesome. It started with a 7am swim with Mr F. Sunrise swims are always gorgeous with the pastel colors over the Olympic mountains to the West. Since I didn’t take a picture, I highly recommend everyone go to Golden Gardens beach in Seattle when the sun is rising on a clear day, however sunset in the summer is even more glorious at Golden Gardens.

After we went swimming, we went to one of our favorite yoga classes, which is a great slow flow at the Yoga Tree.  We love going to this class, especially after a long week of work.

Mr. F had to work today, so after lunch, I met my friends for paddleboarding in Shilshole Bay. I rented my favorite displacement paddle board from Surf Ballard and we decided to paddle through the marina. I’m so glad that we did because we saw a baby harbor seal!! (I really wish I had brought my waterproof camera.) It was chasing a fish and circled our boards. It also popped up next to us, repeatedly, over the course of several minutes, super curious and adorable. It was only about two feet long! We almost thought it would climb onto our boards! We also saw my family friends on their boat, the Arkenstone as we paddled through the marina. Before we got to the North end of the marina, the wind came up, pushing us backwards, so it made it pretty easy to be blown/paddle back.  As if this wasn’t enough exercise, I went for another swim after, since it was nearly 90.

Mr. F came home for dinner and we got awesome barbecue at one of our favorite places, Bourbon and Bones. We love splitting a full rack of ribs there. We also got dessert at Cupcake Royale, specifically for the Blueberry Balsamic Goat Cheese ice cream. 14068465_799865805832_5280912603906593615_o The best part of this culinary adventure is, we know the goat cheese farmer!   13987441_799865077292_9053374230481843509_o Gothberg Farms makes the most amazing goat cheese and I HIGHLY recommend a trip to Bow to get cheese, or buying it at Metropolitan Market, or the Bellingham or Anacortes Farmer’s Markets.

That’s all for today! Tomorrow, I’ll prioritize packing more and hopefully get a few swims in, too!

 

 

Weekend plans=packing and planning!!

13882614_796362266952_3972238352145484534_n Seattle has been amazingly sunny and warm this summer, with only a few grey days. Our weekends have been filled with swimming and yoga. However, this weekend, we’re starting to pack our house, collect boxes, and run errands to complete our house buying process! We’re going to check out washer and dryers, mattresses and bed frames too! Hopefully, we’ll still have time for a few swims a day and at least, one yoga class!

Besides swimming, we’ve really enjoyed biking along the Burke Gilman from Fremont to Shilshole Bay and around our new neighborhood, North Beach. We’ve even challenged ourselves to bike up the Golden Gardens Drive NW, which is a steep incline, a mile long with about 300 feet change in elevation, and we made it! Our new house will be closer to our favorite swimming/wedding beach too! I can’t wait!

It’s my 9 year blog anniversary!

Wow, Facebook reminded me today that I started my blog 9 years ago! This was also a reminder to blog again, more consistently! 13781731_795487879232_5335226989507747335_n My summer has been filled with swimming, traveling, and spending time with family. We swim daily (when I’m not traveling for work) usually before work at 6am and after work around 5pm, at the beach where we got married. 13782277_795037392012_7205401646083701351_n

The last two weeks have been a big deal. We bought a house, my in-laws came to visit, 13934810_797357213072_3396477207083056595_n13962603_797375037352_2889578823968142161_n and Mr. F and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary!!   13879423_796614112252_3610660755778258583_n 13895406_796711222642_4474149117133207801_n  We will close on our new house, August 31st! I can’t wait to share more photos soon.

Between now and when we move at the end of the month, I’ll travel to St. Louis, San Diego, Pasadena, and Vancouver, B.C. for work!

Recent Seattle restaurant reviews

My next reviews are in the Seattle Frelard, Ballard and Eastlake neighborhoods, where I mostly frequent, and get to via bike easily. (I also wrote this post prior to Mr. F making dinner…so I was hungry…)

Tarsen I Jane

13198454_783543750362_6424228620012600562_o We went less than a month ago within a week of their opening night. They had awesome presentation, tasty bites (literally), and a cool atmosphere. We love their Spanish wine selection. The chefs are present in the open kitchen and friendly. However, I wish I had been brave enough to tell them that their food is way too expensive for the amount they serve, and that they need more than 5 bites in each dish, especially when it’s deemed an entree. Hopefully, the quantity to price point won’t put them under too quickly. They really pushed the tasting menu as the best deal, which we declined since we wanted little to no grain and the main entree was their paella. Overall, I’d go back if they increased their portions.

(This is right next to Frelard Pizza on NW Leary, which is loud and very child friendly. I prefer Ballard Pizza Company, which is the same restaurant group, but this space is more intimate and the pizza is better cooked. They also have a new location in South Lake Union.)

Marine Hardware

13340111_786261314342_8284043810648416068_o This is a perfect date night spot. Marine Hardware shares the building with the Walrus & Carpenter, Barnacle, and Staple & Fancy. This new Ethan Stowell concept was a small space but it worked. They had cool 90s hits playing and every course of the tasting menu was tailored to our preferences. We loved their steak tartare almost as much as the Walrus & Carpenter’s next door. As I mentioned on my Instagram, I’m still drooling over the classic preparation with celery puree. I can’t wait to go back soon and try more of their dishes! 13308618_786339362932_7153069358778640991_o

Sushi Kappo Temura

13391545_786718044052_3708864163352142685_o The healthy Japanese brunch options are our favorite for chill Saturday and Sunday mornings. Mr F loves their sashimi and I love the non-rice fish selections too. We enjoy going here for dinner or brunch, but sometimes forget to go, since it’s not within easy walking distance of our house. It’s also a large restaurant and centrally located.

My most loved restaurant still remains, La Isla. We’re there almost every week. Mr. F and I enjoy getting the camerones during happy hour and I also like getting the pina colada. 13147761_782742580912_1018508227466323576_o My absolute favorite meal is the pernil pastleon, which is basically a healthier lasagna with plantains and Ma’s Lil’ peppers. We usually ask for the en Fuego sauce to accompany the garlic sauce too! It’s a perfect compliment to the cheese and pork.   11225414_755721815742_595450579947374705_o If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, it would be the pernil pastelon!

This time last week: my grandmother’s 90th birthday party!

11954633_750383663442_783602741328615995_n My grandmother is one of the strongest and most inspirational women I know. She turned 90 last week 11219590_750383813142_5356907322000921333_n and had a big birthday bash in Ballard. 11947452_750383713342_4317362701674074697_n She’s always the life of the party with a great laugh. Can you tell we’re related? 11990390_750368643542_7521988514563427063_n (From the left, my mom, me, my sister, Janie, Tootie, and my sister, Katie, who’s getting married next weekend!!!)

When I was little, I couldn’t say Lola Ruthie and somehow I said Tootie, like Tutti Frutti. I think my personality is most like Tootie’s! 11953285_750383703362_8083437616937537121_n My mom went back to work when my little sister, Katie went to Kindergarten so Tootie would come over before and after school, to take care of us, while my parents were at work. She was a social worker and a music teacher before retiring early to take care of me and my sisters! 11988639_750383673422_8769510400549549944_n Not only is she a wonderful grandmother, vivacious and lovable, she has a huge family and soo many friends. There were nearly 60 people at her birthday party! 11209672_750383748272_322475011495779311_n We all love Tootie so much! It’s so wonderful to celebrate her!

Happy Anniversary to the Fettbots

I’m back on the blog and in the city. Mr. F and I had a fantastic week of food for our anniversary!

This time a week ago, I had some flex time at work so we went paddle boarding mid-day! 11781630_744953989552_3144658921567849893_n It was the perfect weather and very little wind. We went to dinner at Joule where we had wonderfully seared octopus! 10955321_744954548432_2648654508483333812_n  Last friday, we checked out our favorite pizza spot, Delancey, with our friend, Kelly! 11782483_10102948382804048_3493444789919014028_o Mr. F and I haven’t been eating many simple carbs recently so the pizza was a big deal and an awesome treat. The white pie with ricotta, Zoe’s sausage and padrons may have been the best pizza I’ve ever had! 11105204_745119393082_7480890961241033014_o As if these meals weren’t spectacular enough, we went to Art of the Table for our anniversary dinner. It’s also in our neighborhood and very walkable. 11779953_745189218152_7017799219283008336_o On Saturdays, they have an amazing tasting menu and we loved every course, especially the duck foie gras with a poached peach, the Lummi island spot prawns, wild king salmon with eggplant and not to mention the lemon curd donut.

On Sunday, Mr. F made a picnic lunch and we took the ferry to Lopez Island. 11846735_745415429822_1145407087689804980_n We had fun swimming in the Pacific Ocean,11800277_745281892432_2870789443803870951_n (1)hiking,11794470_745663946792_1639333162658848791_obiking, and drinking great wine we brought with us in celebration.11802755_745663896892_4909764269445901459_o 11846756_745736172052_4541709067138893763_n  Today, we plan on paddleboarding, swimming and going wine tasting for our staycation!

Happy 7th wedding anniversary, Mr. Fettbot! 11846603_745223599252_8233005214982167103_n