Author Archives: heather.bahorich@gmail.com

Baby Boy Fall Fashion from Old Navy

Although the Bahorich household is attempting to savor up every bit of summer that is left, there is a quickening sense this part of the season that fall is near. School supplies have taken over the seasonal area that pool rafts once stood and chili cook-offs and pumpkin picking is honestly right around the corner.

I always try to be very intentional about our finances and especially when it comes to how we spend our money on clothes. We definitely want to look nice, but we do not want to break the bank either! Thankfully, I can find pieces for Ollie and myself at Old Navy without much searching. They have a 40% off sale going on today and honestly, if you missed it, wait another week and you will be able to find a good deal for yourself. You just have to wait a day or two and keep your eyes out!

Here are some great finds that I am eyeing up for Ollie this fall. What are your favorite styles this upcoming season:

Old Navy Plaid Roll Sleeve Shirt For Baby Size 18-24 M - White/green plaid  Old Navy Plaid Roll Sleeve Shirt For Baby Size 18-24 M - Blue/orange plaid Old Navy Rip And Repair Jeans For Baby Size 6-12 M - Indigo denim  Old Navy Jersey Lined Pull On Hybrid Pants For Baby Size 6-12 M - Camelot Old Navy Canvas High Tops For Baby Size 6-12 M - Gray  Old Navy Color Block Slip Ons For Baby Size 12-18 M - Dark chambray

15 Affordable Summer Date Nights

15 Affordable Summer Date Nights

Dusty and I have date night pretty much every Friday night. I remind myself often not only how lucky we are that we get this on a weekly basis, but also how important it is for our marriage. Keeping our marriage first is the foundation of a healthy family. I know that this isn’t a reality for everybody all of the time; however, summer is such a fun time to have date nights and there are so many options of things to do without breaking the bank! Here are 20 affordable summer date ideas to do out and about or at home after the little one(s) go to bed! Be sure to check your local paper or website for fun activities in your area. In the summer, lots of towns have fun free events.

1. Go on a walk in a beautiful park or in your neighborhood

2. Play mini golf (you can normally find coupons in the paper or online)

3. Check your local summer events. Sometimes they offer free movies in the park or local outdoor bands. We just went to a local car show and showing of Cars last week in the field of a nearby church.

4. Check online for free concerts in your area. We have an orchard down the road that does free concerts every Friday and Saturday night!

5. Outdoor picnic – Grab your favorites at the deli counter (like ya know, sushi) and head to the park

6. Head to a nearby drive-in theatre

7. Play arcade games at a local spot. We have an arcade bar that is a blast

8. Go to the zoo (St. Louis Zoo is free!)

9. Go on an ice cream date

10. Day at the pool (We like to raid our neighbors!)

11. Check out local food trucks

12. Go to the driving range or a nighttime golf attraction. TopGolf anyone? We also have a local 9 hole course that is lighted on the weekend after dark that is super cheap!

13. Head to a museum. In St. Louis, most of our art and history museums are free and it’s a great option if the humid is high!

14. Grill out and have friends over for a game night (corn hole and ladder golf anyone?!)

15. Netflix and actually chill! We love digging out old Disney movies on Disney and beige watch them all day.

Photo used by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge use to be a dream far off in the distance for me. It was an out-of-reach resort that I longed to stay at. Thankfully, before Dusty and I got married, we became Disney Vacation Club members and now those African savanna balconies are not just a dream.

Dusty and I had visited the resort a handful of times prior to staying there. One of our favorite places to eat on property is Boma, and we love the architecture and lounge areas. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great Walt Disney World resort inspired by traditional African savanna lodges and brilliantly themed with the adjacent Animal Kingdom theme park.

About the Animal Kingdom Lodge

We found that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was a super family-friendly resort. This seems to be an obvious observation at the most family-friendly theme park on the planet; however, this resort stands out above the rest. Here, you’ll find family-friendly rooms with bunk beds, outstanding cultural activities and animal programs, and rooms overlooking four savannas with over 200 animals and birds.

The lobby captures the look of an African savanna lodge and the lodge itself has one of the largest collections of African art in the United States which is displayed throughout the resort. It is arranged in a horseshoe design, with rooms and public areas that overlook the 33 acre wildlife preserve where over 30 species of African species graze and roam about.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge has two sections: Jambo House, the original resort and main area, and Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club resort space. Resort guests can use the facilities, swimming pools and fitness centers, throughout both areas and a shuttle van goes back and forth.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Our Room

Although a Savanna View Room is highly desired, we chose for the lesser and cheaper option for an overlook of the pool area. We requested a high floor which granted us an amazing view regardless of our area. We also preferred staying at Jambo House over Kidani Village, as it is closer to many of the activities and restaurants. Although we are DVC members, we found that Jambo House was equally accommodating as Kidani Village would have been.

Our room included a queen sized bed, small couch with pull out bed, small table with chairs, a flat screen TV, a dresser with three drawers, a small refrigerator, coffee machine and a wardrobe with an iron, ironing board and small safe. The bathroom has my favorite Disney design, the split design, with the vanity and two sinks outside and a small room that consists of a toilet and shower with a bathtub.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Other Amenities

Dusty is super critical on resort gyms; however, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s gym passed his “test”. The gym is located in the Jambo House section, which was another reason for us to stay Jambo-side. It has all the basic equipment – cardio machines, some free weights and weight machines – to get a good workout during your stay. There’s a spa that offers a range of massages and facials and a free sauna and steam room.

Although nobody should have to do laundry on vacation, we always seems to. There are a few laundry rooms around the resort that are efficient and easy to use. They are free to use select ones for DVC members so it is really convenient for us. A standard guest would pay $3/load.

I was also impressed with the resort’s calendar of activities, which included African culture immersion, poolside games, wine tasting, cookie decorating, music sessions and animal programs. We loved that there was always a family activity going on in the main lobby of Jambo House, games and fun at the pool, and we really enjoyed watching the nighttime movies around the pool area and the nighttime animal viewing. Some activities have a cost, but many do not and are free to guests.

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Restaurants

The Animal Kingdom Lodge offers several dining options, from award-winning, African fine dining to quick service restaurants serving class American favorites. Our favorite restaurant is Boma, where they offer family-friendly buffets with a great selection of food from over 50 African countries along with typical American classics. We have yet to eat at the other two locations on property, Sanaa or Jiko; however, we did stop at the quick-service location a few times which also had African (and American) cuisine. We additionally stopped in for a drink at the lounge.

What is your favorite part of Animal Kingdom Lodge?

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Thank you, Smiling Tree Toys, for sponsoring this post, Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys. I was selected for this opportunity by Smiling Tree Toys; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

As Ollie is learning and growing, we continue to try and be intentional with his development the best we know how. Life is all about balance with the good and bad; however, with Ollie’s health and learning, we want the very best for him. When I looking for great things to gift Ollie for his birthday, I knew that a letter puzzle would be the perfect thing as we grow into his second year of life.

When I found Smiling Tree Toys, I just knew that their products just resonated our family’s beliefs. Smiling Tree Toys isn’t just a family business; it’s a defining part of their family. They keep the personal, the passionate, and the eco-handmade touch in every aspect of Smiling Tree Toys. From sustainably harvested American hardwoods, to their homegrown organic camelina oil/beeswax finish, to natural cotton drawstring bags made-in-the-USA, they ensure every aspect of Smiling Tree Toys is respectful of and gentle on mother earth and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Their wooden name puzzles are a timeless and classic gift that Ollie is loving to play with and learning in the process! Made of natural maple letters, it contrasts with the walnut base, and it is something that it honestly going to last him a lifetime! They also give back which is another way of our intentionality reaching beyond just our little home. Smiling Tree Toys donates to Peace Corps development projects in honor of every purchase. How neat is that?

Our Spell Well Name Puzzle is so well made and sturdy. It will honestly ask a lifetime. I know it is something that we are going to continue to use as Ollie further develops his eye and hand coordination, learn letters, and spelling of his name. It was the perfect gift for his birthday and I am so glad that I found Smiling Tree Toys.

Looking to get your little one a great item for his or her upcoming birthday? Use the code “BAHORICH15” for 15% off their Spell Well Name Puzzles this weekend only! Also, use #SMILINGTREELOVE to tag your Smiling Tree moments on Instagram to enter their monthly giveaways!

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

Learning with an Infant with Smiling Tree Toys

What I Learned the First Year of Parenting

What I Learned the First Year of Parenting

Last week it happened. Mr. Oliver Hayes turned one. His birthday weekend has came and gone… it is such a blur.

Over the next month, expect a whole lot of sentimental posts as I reflect on the past year of this family. I may be a slight mess. You would expect this normally from a mom that is getting ready to have a one year old, but I was so consumed with finishing a few projects at work and getting the house ready to host folks for his party, I did not reflect enough for my soul. I know parenting is different for most. You can read a ton of blog posts, books, and articles on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. Living all of this is totally a different story. So here’s my account of what we learned during our first year:

Labor was not that bad. There are parts, but the actual pushing was not it for me.

Breastfeeding is laboring. It is a commitment and you have to believe in yourself.

A baby needs very little, not a registry full of items.

Swaddles are amazing.

So are pacifiers, and in hindsight, we would have given one to Ollie a bit sooner.

The first three weeks of parenting is a complete blur.

Do not be ashamed of loading your baby up in the car so that they will go to sleep.

Walks around the neighborhood are also the best for this.

Always have an extra, extra change of clothes, especially during the “blowout” phases.

You will laugh a lot.

You will feel overwhelmed.

You will cry.

All of this is okay.

Start a bedtime routine on day one and stick to it.

Don’t get too wrapped up in percentiles and developmental milestones.

Trust your gut on food, weight, milk, and the rest. You honestly do know best.

Summer babes do not need shoes. Figure out shoes when it gets cold outside, but don’t worry about them before then.

Take advantage of cuddle time.

If you have a local Children’s Hospital, go there first. Don’t mess with the regional one down the street (you’ll just get transferred).

Baby giggles are the best.

You will end up baby-proofing your life, not just your house.

Nothing is better than the snuggles.

Soak up every moment. The days can sometimes be long, but the year is so fast.

Ollie’s Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday

Thank you, Front Sight, for sponsoring this post, Ollie’s Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday. I was selected for this opportunity by Front Sight; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes is one year’s old! I cannot believe it and I feel like I’m saying this on repeat. This year just flew by and we had an amazing time celebrating this weekend!

Around here, we are Disney people. So I knew long before Mr. Ollie was born that I wanted to have a Mickey Mouse themed birthday party for his first birthday (and maybe every party afterwards). I wanted to keep the decorating simple so we could enjoy our time and worked bit by bit over the past month to keep that famous mouse in the details.

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!
Oliver Hayes turns 1!
Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Shirts | Banner | Chalkboard | Cake | Ears

One thing I really wanted to was have the best matching shirts for us. Knowing us, we’ll be rewearing these in the parks over and over for years to come. I found Front Sight on Etsy and instantly fell in love. Over at Ellie ‘n Ollie, we have opened up our own magically inspired tee shop; however, we don’t design matching shirts for the whole family. Front Sight was just the perfect place to have my whole theme come together.

Front Sight created a coupon code just for you for 15% off of their products at their Etsy shop through August 31, 2017. The coupon code is BAHORICH17. So if you are looking for the best birthday tees (or park tees) for your family to match, look no further their Front Sight!

Also, in celebration of Ollie’s birthday, I have partnered with Front Sight to giveaway a full mommy, daddy, and baby mouse set! Hop on over to our Instagram to find out more about the details!!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

Oliver Hayes turns 1!

A Letter to My Little Boy

His one year old photos are so adorable. #olliehayes

Little Mister Oliver Hayes,

I’ll never forget the day you were born; we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. We waited and waited for you and you very much decided to come late… and honestly, you’ve been running us late since you got here. You came in the world with a bang, making sure that you were the center of attention. You took extra care to make sure you arrived safely and a few extra days to make sure you were healthy. Those were such long days and all we wanted you to do was come home.

The day we got to bring you home was amazing. We felt such an empowerment from being parenting. You immediately fit right into our lives as if you were always there. You quickly became the heartbeat of our home. You cried a lot at the beginning as you were trying to figure out this crazy world, but day by day you grew into the most perfect happy, healthy, and easy baby. We could not have pictured it any better.

I spent countless hours nursing you, playing with you, taking you on walking, and just holding you. We had the best quiet time together in the middle of the night each night were it was just you and me as the rest of the world slept. It honestly was my favorite time.

We found the most perfect babysitter for you who loved you like her own and you quickly became the center of her world as well. You grew, became a world traveler, and became incredibly fun. You became my little sidekick. My favorite Target co-shopper. My little buddy. I have learned so much from watching you learn about the world. You have taught me how to savor moments more. You keep me on my toes and inspire me. You make me better.

I will never forget the first time you took your first steps and how it made my heart smile. Or the time you stood at the front door, repeating “dada” over and over while your dad mowed the yard. I will never forget the days we spent in the hospital just hours before Christmas morning hoping and praying that they had fixed your intestines and you would no longer bleed. How helpless you looked in that hospital gown and in your little bed… or how quickly you bounced back and learned how to crawl all in one swing.

We made it through your first year, baby Ollie, and you are such an incredible joy. I cannot wait to see what you are going to do for this world and what an adventure you will create.

I love you.

Mommy

Perfectly Packed :: Daycare Bag

Perfectly Packed Daycare Bag

Dusty and I both work full time; however, since my job allows me to work from home (which is awesome), many folks ask me, what do we do with Ollie? Can’t he just stay home with me? As much as I would love this, the reality of conference calls and a screaming baby (or even a happy baby playing) is that they just do not mix. We searched high and low, interviewed a lot of daycares and other options, and ended up with an amazing lady who runs an in-home daycare.

When he first started going at 12 weeks, he was the only little one in the house. Since then, she has taken on two more kiddos and Ollie just loves playing and entertaining both of them. I love the fact that he is spending his days in home with a family that loves on him. I also get the luxury of keeping him home with me on Fridays. I try to keep most of my phone calls during the week on the days that he is at daycare and work a bit longer hours Monday – Thursday. I still work on Friday with him here; however, a lot of it is reserved to nap time and I am lucky enough to be able to make up some of the work in the evening and on weekends as well.

It is a balance. Having Ollie stay home with me on Fridays always looks different from week to week. Last week, I still managed to have a ton of calls and meetings on my Friday. So we went for a drive, he slept really well, and I chatted with my coworkers. This week will be a bit more traditional, and Ollie will play a bit in his playroom while I’m on a call or two that is scheduled outside of his nap time. This allows me to work a bit while he naps as well.

With that being said, I am so grateful for a daycare that is close to our home and always me to work my full time gig. Getting ready for daycare however can sometimes be stressful. I suddenly found myself with another “to-do” in the morning beyond my typical roll-out-of-bed, grab coffee, check email. I know loads of mothers out there have to get out of the house and goodness gracious, bless all of them. I am not a morning person and just the standard feeding a baby, packing a diaper bag, and changing clothes is about all I can handle before coffee. I am so thankful for my husband that does drop off every morning so I can start working as soon as they are out of the house. Time in the morning can go by so fast if you do not have a plan, so I am excited to share with you how we perfectly pack our daycare bag.

I know loads of folks have a separate bag for daycare on top of their traditional diaper bag; however, since Ollie is right around the corner and my days are so flexible, we did not really need the “what-if” bag up until recently. This is the bag that you keep extra things in for what-if scenarios. Extra outfits, burp cloths, diapers, etc. It stays at our daycare and we restock it when needed. For us, our daycare just tells us when she needs more diapers or wipes and we make sure there is one extra outfit in the diaper bag at all times as well. Any “extras” are just communicated on a daily basis. If he needs anything the day of, I typically just run it over and drop it off (which has only happened once).

Perfectly Packed Daycare Bag

So this is what is in our daycare bag:

  1. Diapers
  2. Wipes
  3. Diaper Rash Cream
  4. Sippy Cup
  5. Formula
  6. Blanket
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Bugspray
  9. Extra set of clothes
  10. Bib
  11. Extra Snacks

Perfectly Packed Daycare Bag

So what do you think? To all my other working mamas out there :: Did I forget anything? What tricks do you have to make packing for a day at daycare easier on you and your kiddos? Let me know in the comments.
Perfectly Packed Daycare Bag

Perfectly Packed Daycare Bag

Transitioning to Solids with Earth’s Best Organic

Thank you, Earth’s Best Organic, for sponsoring this post, Transitioning to Solids with Earth’s Best Organic. I was selected for this opportunity by Earth’s Best Organic; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

So Ollie is officially eating solids now. He actually has for awhile. Honestly though, it took a bit. You see, Ollie is a runt. A 2 percentile kiddo. A little nugget. And although I love aspects of it, it is really rough. People feel free to tell you how much your kid needs more milk, how you don’t feed him enough, and in other words, how you are basically a terrible mom.

None of this was true though. I produced plenty of milk. He ate until he was full, and he was a happy, active baby. Nevertheless, I was excited to start solid foods. I was hoping that it would relieve some of the criticism of having a runt child, but it didn’t. Ollie did not like pureed foods. I was devastated. We tried a whole load of them from homemade avocados mixed with breast milk to wonderful organic Earth’s Best peas and carrots and apples. We tried for three weeks every night introducing new and different foods, the same food, doing everything the books said. Nothing worked.

Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food comes in three stages and I just loved their awesome lineup of organic foods for Ollie spanning stages 1, 2, and 3. Their foods have a vast range of fruits and vegetables to suit even a very picky baby, with Stage 1 options like sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, apples, bananas, and prunes. These were what we started baby Ollie with… but nothing worked. I started to think that it was not necessarily the taste (because honestly, I tasted them and they were pretty yummy), but the texture.

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

So we attempted Earth’s Best Organic Stage 2 options which are even more diverse, including even some exotic fruits and vegetables, fruit and veggie blends, and fruit and grain blends. These Earth’s Best products are all organic, which that means no additives, no preservatives, and even no added salt or sugar. These are some of the best on the market and we have been consistently impressed with the quality and taste like I said before. Highly recommended, yet still no luck.

Again the criticism started. How he was seven months old and shouldn’t he be bigger? How hard are we actually trying to get him to eat baby food? Why would he not eat baby food? What were we doing wrong? He was definitely interested in what we were eating, but he just would not take the food we were trying.

So we slowly started giving him our food from the table. Soon enough, we thought we were pretty much doing what the cool kids call “Baby Lead Weaning”. I’m not making fun. I did a bunch of research and we aren’t really doing BLW; however, we were giving Ollie only table foods and he’s really been a great eater every since. He loves table food and loves to eat… and still a runt.

Transitioning to Solids with Earth's Best Organic

But then I was posed another problem. Baby food. I bought loads of Earth’s Best Organic baby food along with a few others, trying to get him to like this kind or that kind. What do I do with it? I tried to give it away here and there, but now that Ollie is almost one years old we still have quite a bit. So I brainstormed and came up with two great ways that Ollie is eating all his purees and having a blast while doing it!

1. Baby Food “Ice”

As we learned, Ollie didn’t dislike the taste, but he hated the texture. I bought these great chocolate candied molds (in cool shapes and sizes) and freeze his food into bite-sized pieces. They are great to weave two or three of these in with a meal and it makes sure that he gets a varied a foods during dinner!

2. Baby Food Popsicles

It’s been a long time since I have made popsicles, but I found these great full sized popsicles containers to squeeze Ollie’s food into. He’s obsessed with ice cream so now while mom and dad have a snack, we can distract him with his own “popsicle” too — just carrot flavored! He is just as happy as can be as we are loving him eating a more healthier option than us!

So if you are having trouble with your little one eating baby food, don’t despair and keep trying. Go with your gut but allow others to help too! You have this momma!