Category Archives: belly + baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

One thing I knew even before Baby Ollie was born is that I wanted to make sure that reading was important in his life. Beyond the developmental components that reading to a baby delivers, reading was a big part of my childhood and I knew that I wanted it to be just as important in my little boy’s life. Additionally, being in the learning and development world, I know that readers tend to become lifelong learners and leaders, something else I wanted to promote for my kiddos.

In 2014, The American Academy of Pediatrics states that literacy promotion in the household is an essential component of primary pediatric care and advocates for reading to newborns.

Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.

So why would we not want to read to our little ones? Sometimes it’s just plain hard to make sure that it is our daily routine; however, I have found 5 easy tips to make sure reading is a part of Ollie’s daily life in hopes that he will love reading for the rest of his years.

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

Tip #1: Make it Part of Your Bedtime Routine

My absolute favorite time to read-aloud is right before nap or bedtime. It is a great way to tell Baby Ollie we are ready to bed and it is time to calm down. Plus I love the extra snuggles before we all go to sleep. Our nighttime ritual is typically bathing, lotion, pajamas, reading, and then feeding. We alway sit in the same rocker in his room with the lights dimmed and read by his bed stand light.

Tip #2: Read While You Wait

I always keep a few books in our diaper bag so that when the moment arrives, we have them on hand. They are great to pull out at a restaurant or at the doctor’s office to keep us company and include a unplanned story time in the moment. I also make sure that they are the type of books that I won’t get too upset if they disappear at a sitter’s house or at daycare. These two books with received free at his pediatrician’s office and they are perfect!

Tip #3: Sing and Read

You have a captive audience during bath time, so use these moments to play with language. Babies love songs and rhymes so sing the stories that you have learned from reading. This will allow just another time in the day to have your baby connect story, and song, to a pleasurable experience. Baby Ollie loves baby time and sometimes we will tell stories through his bath toy characters. This allows his to soak on more language and connect with words over and over.

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

5 Tips for Reading To Your Baby

Tip #4: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

I stumbled upon this article the over day and just fell in love with it. I know some parents hate reading the same book over and over to their kids as they grow into their toddler years; however, it is actually super beneficial. By repeating the same book over and over, it helps your children develop a better vocabulary and word recognition, pattern and rhythm, fluency, comprehension, and confidence.

Right now, we are reading one book a season every night as part of our bedtime routine. Pippin the Penguin is the most adorable rhythmic story about a penguin in the snow… perfect for winter and we’ve loved it so much we have continued it into summer. No judgement here. Ollie sits in my lap every night and holds his own Pippin as we read. As summer continues along, we will find a new book to read over and over every night. I look forward to our “bed time book” may more than even he does at this point!

Tip #5: Play with Books

Keep your baby books in your home where your baby can reach them and encourage them to play with books. We have books on a reachable shelf in his nursery and in his play room. I try to keep an assortment of board books for him to explore through and, of course, chew on. The nicer books with paper pages and ones that I want to keep nice are on high shelves but still visible in each space. Right now he loves turning the pages on his own!

Weaving stories into baby’s routines each day will help create a future reader and lifelong learner. Run, grab a book, and read to your little one today!

11 Months Old

Eleven Month

It takes a village to raise a little one… and Mr. Ollie Hayes, you are no different. Mom and dad left for a full week this month and thank goodness for our friends and family that love keeping you. You love everybody so it is easy. You joyously go into their arms and giggle and smile at all.

You have eight teeth now and are really working hard on your molars… so hard that you keep getting ear infections. You also may be allergic to the seasons changing. Don’t worry, we all are. It’s no fun.

You can walk and dance and you love doing both. The other thing that you love doing is opening up cabinets, which in turn required us to baby safety lock all of the cabinets in the kitchen. I thought I could get away without doing it… and alas, you win again. You walk around with a ball in one hand and a book in the other. I love it because it makes me think that you are equal parts of your father and me.

You have started sleeping really poorly at night for your first time in your life. If you could knock it off, we would appreciate it; however those ear infections, weaning, and teething are not necessarily helping you any. It’s okay though. You’ve learned quickly that we love cuddling with you in our bed…

You give the best kisses, all open mouthed and slobbery. But you have started biting too. You can’t be a biter so we’ll work on that. You still love food and are so happy. I love that you are my little one Mr. Ollie. I love it.

I miss my little buddy this morning lots. Even if he was a tornado in every room he visited yesterday. 😂 #olliehayes

"I believe all of life is shot through with God’s presence, and that part of the gift of walking with him is seeing his fingerprints in all sorts of unexpected ways." @sniequist #olliehayes

So if he's standing here banging on the glass and yelling, "Da da da..." do you think he's ready for @dustn_b to come home? #olliehayes #daddysboy

The men in this family just can't hang. #olliehayes

month eleven: what I hope I never forget

how you can finally walk and you walk everywhere!

how you meow at Lucy when she meows

how you can eat an entire adult-sized meal while maintaining your petite-sized figure

how much you work at matching up your shapes in your toys

how much you love ice cream

the joy you get from being outside

your first week away from mom and dad

how happy you get on the phone when you hear our voices

your second and third ear infections

how much you love in cuddle in bed with us

10 Months Old

Ten Month

Baby Ollie, I don’t know what to say. Each day you are growing into a little person and so much less like a baby. We are starting to wean you which honestly breaks my heart. You are getting better at taking steps and are up to eight teeth now. You eat solid foods like a teenage boy and I cannot keep up with how fast you crawl. Please. Stop. Growing.

Baseball season. We are ready for you. #cardinals

Dude hates the sun, loves the bunny. #olliehayes #easter

Ollie meets baby chicks. 🐥 #olliehayes

I got myself some fine looking men. #olliehayes

A pretty satisfying Easter if you ask #olliehayes 🐰🐣

Always so deep in thought and Mr. Observation. #olliehayes

month ten: what I hope I never forget

This little boy turned 10 months yesterday! He's eating like a horse, taking up to 6 steps at a time, and really loves climbing the stairs (and giggling all the way up when he knows he's caught and in "trouble"). He has six teeth, working on his seventh, and does not sit still. #olliehayes you are awesome.

how hard you are working at walking

still more teeth (up to seven now!)

how you still love so much the color yellow and sucking on your two middle fingers

your little circle scoot on the floor to turn around

how well you can throw a ball

how much you eat and eat and eat, and don’t gain hardly any weight

your first easter day

our trip to louisiana

how much you adore your daddy

how much you are enjoying being outside

Shop Small :: Birdie’s Bubble

Thank you, Birdie’s Bubble, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Birdie’s Bubble; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Shop Small Spring Series

Is there that product that you honestly did not know existed before mommy-hood? For me, it was wet/dry bags and now I am obsessed!! I started with my breast pump bag. I needed something to put my pump supplies in so that they did not get everything else in my bag wet as I traveled for work. Then, as baby Ollie started have blow outs in the car, at the mall, and honestly, everywhere, another wet/dry bag was a must.

As Ollie is getting older, my need for wet/dry bags are even more important. Summer months mean pool time and outdoor fun. With such a messy and smelly boy (which I love), I need multiple wet/dry bags in my car and diaper bag to keep up with his fun! Thankfully, I found Birdie’s Bubble!

Birdie’s Bubble is packed full with handmade, custom gifts and baby items, including all shapes and sizes of adorable wet/dry bags! What I didn’t know prior to mommy-hood is how flexible these wet/dry bags really are. As a family, we travel a lot! Birdie’s Bubble makes the largest wet/dry bag that I have ever seen, which is perfect for all of my shampoo, conditioner, lotions, perfume, etc. (all of those things that explode or leak when you fly)! How perfect. Her larger bags are also ideal for my wet swimsuits and gym clothes when I’m not flying around.

She also carries a great medium sized bag, which is my favorite for all of my liquidy make-up and smaller leak-able items when I fly. It is super easy to fill with snacks and a drink and drop in my purse when I’m running around with Ollie. As well as this is a great bag to stick in my diaper bag to contain a blowout!

One of the things that I love about purchasing from Birdie’s Bubble is that she loves to recycle. She absolutely hates waste, so when you receive an order from the shop owner, Kara, it will probably come in a box or a padded envelope that she is “up-cycling”. She is always trying to reduce her carbon footprint by doing little things like that. How neat! It also allows her to keep her shipping costs low, and pass that savings along to her customers. Perfect!!

The best part about her is that she is giving something away to all of you. One lucky reader will win a $20 store credit to her shop. Head on over to our Facebook page this weekend to learn how to enter!!

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Here is a little bit more about Kara, the owner of Birdie’s Bubble:

How did you get your shop started?
My very best friend called me one day and said, “Hey, you should make wet bags, they are super popular here.” She was living in Portland at the time. I said “Ok, but what is a wet bag?” After she explained them to me, I did some research and figured out how to make them. This took a little while, because it meant that I had to conquer my fear of sewing with zippers! Anyway, she loved them, and called me to say “You have GOT to open an Etsy shop! ” Me again, … “What is Etsy?!” I checked it out and thought, No way, I’m not good enough to sell my stuff, she’s crazy! But, I love to give handmade gifts, and people kept telling me that I needed to sell my stuff. So finally, after many talks with my husband, as my new years resolution, I finally opened my shop on January 6, of 2014.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
For me, right now the hardest part is finding the time, and making the time to sew! As a stay at home mommy of two, my babies come first. But I also have so many ideas! So that can be hard sometimes. I really want to be sewing, but mommy hood comes first. I’d love to have more time to put some more of my ideas into action, but I also know how important these young years are, and I don’t want to miss them.

What is one thing unique about you?
My husband taught me to sew! Yes, Seriously! in 2011 I was pregnant with my first “Birdie” is her nickname, and per my usual pickiness… I wanted the “perfect” baby bedding and decor. I didn’t like anything that was out therefor sale. This was a huge dilemma for me of course! So my husband says “Why don’t you just make your own?” He and I both love to do that kind of stuff. I’m the girl who doesn’t buy that cute thing because I’m always thinking “I could make that” I told him, “I can’t sew” He said, “Ok, so let’s learn.” My great aunt had recently left me a sewing machine when she passed away… and there it sat… all intimidating and stuff. He knows that I won’t sit down and read a manual to learn something like this. I’ll mess with it until I get stuck and frustrated… so while I did that, HE read the manual! He taught me how to thread the machine, how to wind a bobbin, reverse, and how to fix all of my messes. From there, we found some great fabric, a great tutorial, and together we made a ruffled bed skirt, crib bumpers, and receiving blanket for our Birdie girl.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
This shop supports my habit. It allows me to shop for beautiful fabric, sew and make things that I love and have fun making, and then I get to sell them and that gives me the money to make more fun stuff. It also pushes me to learn and try new things. People will request a custom item, and if I don’t already know how to make it, I’ll figure it out.

How did you get your shop name?
1- Birdie is my daughter’s nickname 2- Whenever the girls in my family get together we all end up squished in on one couch and we laugh and giggle until our tummy’s hurt and our eyes are watering- My dad and husband call it cackling .. but we call it “bubbling”… When we are all together we don’t go out and do a lot either, we hang out at the house and stay in our “Bubble” and catch up. … We Bubble. So I put those together and called it BirdiesBubble.

What is one way that you keep organized?
I write everything down! I make a lot of lists!

How do you balance family life and work life?
It’s definitely a work in progress. My family comes first. However, if I just communicate to them that I need some time in “the Bubble” , they always try to help me to work that out.

A New Way to Relieve Earaches with ClearPop Earache Rapid Relief

Thank you, Moms Meet, for sponsoring this post, A New Way to Relieve Ear Aches with ClearPop Earache Rapid Relief. I was selected for this opportunity by Moms Meet; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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It’s time to Clear the Ear! Let’s be honest, earaches are terrible. Ollie has only gotten one so far and I would be so excited if we never have to live that sickness again. Coming from a parent who was plagued by ear infections as a kid, I know that Ollie has truly little hope.

Did you actually know that children are more susceptible to earaches than adults because of their shorter, straighter, and more horizontally positioned Eustachian tubes? The journey for bacteria is therefore easier relative to the adult’s fully-developed ear, nose and throat area. A child’s Eustachian tube is also oppier, with a smaller opening that easily clogs. As children grow, the Eustachian tube slants downward, helping uids drain more easily. With my genes and Dusty’s sinus allergies, we are doomed to deal with ear infections throughout his infancy. I cannot wait until the day that Ollie is old enough to try out the newest and coolest solution to earaches on the market, ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief.

So what is ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief?

Unlike other solutions that attempt to mask the pain of an earache, ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief targets the source of the pain. In as little as 20 minutes, kids can find relief from the pain and pressure of an earache thanks to ClearPop’s unique biomechanical design and proprietary blend of ingredients. ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief uses a biomechanically designed shape similar to a lollipop to help the body clear fluid from the ear through the mouth, without medication. It comes in a form of a lollipop which conforms the oral cavity and is designed to maximize the negative pressure generated by the natural motion of the jaw as the child sucks on the pop. This negative pressure helps to drain the blockage into the mouth, leading to fast relief of the pain and pressure felt by the child.

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Does it work?

Thankfully, Ollie has not had an ear infection since we received our ClearPops; however, in a Clinical Study ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief reduced the pain of the earache in 9 of 10 cases and eliminated it in 7 of 10 cases. It is formulated with all-natural Xylitol, shown to reduce occurrence of Acute Ottis Media (AOM) by 25% and is made up of ingredients like isomalt, citric acid, ascorbic acid, Xylitol, water, and lemon oil. ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief does not contain any antibiotics or analgesics. ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief is safe to use with any other medication, including analgesics, which is awesome because now I do not have to worry about mixing medications. It is something I always make sure I am aware of with myself, Dusty, and baby Ollie.

But do kiddos like it?

Personally, Ollie does pretty well taking medications now, but I know this will not last long as we travel into his toddler years. ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief lemon avor tastes great and encourages saliva production which helps drain the Eustachian tube. It is also super safe for little ones to handle. ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief designers sought to eliminate possible choking risks by placing a hole in the plastic base where the consumable portion of the pop joins. This causes the head to stay connected to the stick until it is almost completely dissolved. The spoon-shaped base of the stick cannot be swallowed and the stick itself is shatterproof and flexible.

It also seems really simple to use. First you have your kiddos lie down on their side with the painful ear facing up.

ClearPop step 1

From there, place flat side of ClearPop on tongue of your kiddo and have them suck vigorously until fully dissolved – which typically takes 15-20 minutes.

ClearPop step 2

Okay, now I want one. Where do I get it?

ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief is available at and in 1100 stores nationwide. To find ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief in your area, visit here for the full list of locations. Another way to get a chance to try ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief is to just enter the giveaway below! One lucky Bahorich Abode reader will win a pack of ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief for themselves! Entry is simple, just follow the prompts below. Open US only, must be 18+ to enter. Good luck!

ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief

To learn more about how ClearPop Rapid Earache Relief works, watch this video!

Shop Small :: True Mother Craft

Thank you, True Mother Craft, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by True Mother Craft; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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As a breastfeeding mama, I know the importance of some good quality nursing supplies. There are many of thins that you can purchase to make your life easier; however, having some great options for nursing pads is a must. Mama of two and shop owner, Andria of True Mother Craft also saw a need in the clothing industry for functional and fashionable nursing clothing. For her personal comfort, she prefers to be covered while nursing but had a difficult time managing a cover comfortably. She never enjoyed leaving the room to nurse with her only options for privacy to be a bathroom or my car so off to work she went!

Neither of those options were appealing to her or me and she wanted comfortable clothes that would reflect her style and allow her to nurse without feeling as though she were undressing. This gal speaks to my heart and I am more than excited to showcase her lovely designs to you! Her solution was a zip down nursing top with a privacy panel to allow for comfortable breastfeeding in a public setting, but now her shop has expanded to much much more.

I love the little weight nursing pads that she sent my way. They are comfortable, adorable colors, and absorbent. Check her shop out today for some unique gifts for your new mommy friends or baby showers!

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Here is a little bit more about Andria, the owner of True Mother Craft:

How did you get your shop started?
After breastfeeding two babies, I was so fed up with the clothing choices available at popular retailers. Nothing was my style and everything was unflattering on my post baby body. Instead of living with stretched out tank tops for the rest of my nursing life, I just made my own breastfeeding friendly tops. In the small groups I shared some pictures with, they seemed pretty popular. The shop took off from there.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
The hardest part of being a shop owner is deciding what goes in the shop! I make all kinds of things in my spare time and think “wow, this would be so fun to sell!” Then reality hits and I have to put it on hold until I work out the logistics. Sometimes I get too excited about a new potential product.

What is one thing unique about you?
I’m super sassy. I love nothing more than a witty conversation with puns and supernatural references.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
Working with the customers! I get a few custom requests now and then and I just love working with the customer on those. We both get pretty excited about the end result. I love to see how their personality shows through the design.

How did you get your shop name?
I was watching a 50’s period film and saw the words “Mother Craft” on a sign for pregnancy classes. Well, True Mother Craft seemed like a good fit for what I was selling.

What is one way that you keep organized?
Ziplock bags, a curtain rod, and post it notes. You can’t go wrong with keeping it simple.

How do you balance family life and work life?
Precariously. I work when the baby naps and the toddler plays nearby. I sew twice a day for an hour or so at a time. This is why my production time is so long!

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Shop Small :: Blowfish Designs Co

Thank you, Blowfish Designs Co, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Blowfish Designs Co; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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How cute is this hat? I have been looking for something high and low to help with Ollie’s blonde bald head this summer and could not wait to share with you this adorable design by Blowfish Designs Company. Blowfish Designs started in Aspen, CO in the Fall 2011. Owners, Chris and Erin, had a very active lifestyle and there was a need for a hat that they could take on adventures and that was unique to each of member of their family. For us, we wanted to make sure the Ollie’s head is safe from sun and helped blocked his eyes from the bright sunlight this summer. We spend quite a bit of time out and about as a family, and wanted to make sure that Ollie was protected.

Their hats are so great and uniquely designed. I honestly think every kid should have one. They have a flexy fit so little ones will like the feel of the cap on his/her head and adjustable back to secure it on as they rally around. Their hats have been worn on the heads of adventurers, skiers, surfers, climbers, artists, and other vagabonds throughout the world. Their infant/toddler sizes fit from 6 months to 2 1/2 years; however, Blowfish Designs Co makes hats for all ages, children and adults included.

How cute would these hats look in a summertime-themed Easter basket or for a spring/summer birthday! I am so excited that Ollie will not lack in style (because that is truly important to all 9 month year olds!)!! Check out their Etsy shop today to order each of your family members one today! Also, something extra special — use the coupon code “Springhatlove10” for 10% off your entire order!!

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Here is a little bit more about Erin, the owner of Blowfish Designs Co:

How did you get your shop started?
We started the online shop in 2013, a couple of years after starting the business. We began to ramp up our inventory and found help through some stay-at-home moms in L.A. to help us sew so we felt more ready to get our hats out there beyond just custom orders. Etsy has been a great outlet for us to meet new customers and share in an online community of makers. It is continuing to evolve as we figure in more ways to show off the diversity of our products.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
Their are a lot of challenges in owning your own business (and a lot of perks!) so I would say it has been a journey. There are days where you wonder if you can keep doing it because of just the time and cost or just the overwhelm of it all. Then there are days that I feel we are moving forward and have a tool to express ourselves through our business and that is so rewarding! The hardest part on the top of my head is taking time away from work and not spinning out on it. There are many nights I stay up way too late sewing hats, finishing orders, and concocting new ideas for the business. It is hard to escape work when your business is out of your from home. A good challenge is to take time off and go to the woods with no internet service to re charge from it all. Creating boundaries between all of the ideas you have, what needs to be done in the moment, and taking time away is a complicated dance.

What is one thing unique about you?
I think a lot about how to make our hats have personality and how they can connect people and connect us to nature. This is important to me in this day and age. I want people to feel like they are supporting small business and find value in this as well as wear something that makes them feel happy. If our hats get out in nature and allow people to adventure, then I am doing something right. Something else unique is that I am always thinking of new projects of what to do with our scrap fabrics (off cuts from our hats). If I had more time I would create a whole shop with all these fun side products. It makes me happy to be resourceful and make new things that add color and creativity to people’s lives.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
I love seeing where the hats go when we ship them to places all over the country and seeing people post pictures of themselves, or their kids, wearing them on adventures and having fun! With our customized hats, it is great to create something that is individual to each persons style. I love product design, buying fabrics, and working with artists or people in our community to build fun caps.

How did you get your shop name?
My husband and our old business partner chose the name Blowfish Designs. It sort of organically came upon us. In retrospect though, it is very aligned to what we do. Blowfish’s camoflauge themselves in the ocean and can change colors and shapes like an underwater chameleon. Our hats are used in nature and each one is a bit different then the next and can reflect each person’s personality or mood.

What is one way that you keep organized?
I am getting better at this! We have a dry erase board in our office where we keep tasks and orders listed and meet weekly about this. I tend to get my best ideas at night so I try to make my to do lists then so that I know what I am doing when I wake up in the morning. When I sit down to fulfill orders, I cut all the fabric and prep the hats and shipping labels all at once so that the production moves faster. We have started organizing our manufacturing with our ladies in a way that keeps our inventory flowing. As we grow we are figuring out how to better sell our hats so that they are easier to buy online. This has been a step by step process of re thinking how we do things.

How do you balance family life and work life?
This is the biggest challenge I didn’t for see before I had a child. It is important to me to have intentional time with my son and husband where I am not distracted by the tasks that need to be done for the business. I really have to set my work aside and my husband and I have to really be intentional about having time where we don’t talk about work and I have to leave my phone behind so that I can be fully playful with my son. With an online shop, people contact you all times of the week and day and expect quick replies which makes it hard to ignore. The best way I balance it is creating date nights with my husband (even if it means no work or internet/movie time after our son is in bed) and also time everyday playing with my son and not trying to get stuff done. Childcare has also been a huge game changer this last year and I am so thankful that we are finally reaching out for help! Also, letting go of the need for everything to be “perfect” or done. My office is not always clean, dinner is not always made by 7 p.m. and the laundry is sometimes just gonna stack up. Letting go and finding time to slow down and meditate, dance, do yoga are ways where I can let go of that control a bit.

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Shop Small :: Charis Baby Designs

Thank you, Charis Baby Designs, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Spring series. I was selected for this opportunity by Charis Baby Designs; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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As a nursing momma, I have come to appreciate some of the smaller things in life… like good nursing pads. They need to protect me all day long from accidental moments, especially when I’m on the go working and traveling without my baby. Not only is it vital for controlling normal leaking issues on a day to day, nursing moms know that it is equally important to have extra protection from the constant moisture, so that thrush or other infections don’t grow.

After the first week or so of nursing, I was absolutely done with the disposable nursing pads! I felt like I was not only hurting the environment, but also I hated dealing with how bunched up they felt. I went through them really quickly and they never seemed to stay in place. So off I went on the hunt for good reusable nursing pads.

Thank goodness for Charis Baby Designs. She has adorable reusable nursing pads as well as a full line-up of other great products! If you are looking for a baby shower or coming home gift for a mama you know, then take a look around her shop! She offers custom listing and more.

I also have had a chance to use her new product line of reusable face cleansing pads! Her makeup pads are eco-friendly helping us become more of a zero waste household while saving money! It has really helped me jumpstart my face routine at night because I am super excited to use these beauties!

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Great news too! Head on over to her shop for Mother’s Day gifts, baby shower gifts, and more and use the code “BAHORICHABODE” at checkout for 10% off your order. How great is that?!

Here is a little bit more about Kim, the owner of Charis Baby Designs:

How did you get your shop started?
I started my shop in 2008 after my third baby. Before her birth, I made a fluffy stash of cloth diapers, diaper covers, and reusable nursing pads. I enjoyed making them and they worked great for me. I wanted to share what I had made with other mothers and their babies, so I opened up my Etsy shop. Here we are!

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
I find that for me the hardest part of owning a shop has been marketing what I make. Most of my sales have been from word of mouth from happy customers! If I could figure out how to share with new mothers what I have, then I wouldn’t think running a shop was hard at all!

What is one thing unique about you?
I guess sewing with solar power makes me unique from many people. It’s a small solar set-up. I pride myself on a fast turn around on custom orders. I don’t let my orders back up just because I use solar power, so sometimes I need to use a gas generator! Sewing using solar power does limit me a bit, because I would sew earlier in the morning and later at night if I used regular electricity, but I like that I can save more energy!

What is the best part of owning a shop?
The best part of owning a shop has to be creating new things. I also really enjoy seeing that others like that I made enough to buy them for theirselves. My weakness is buying fabric. I love that part of creating new items. I like being able to close shop when I need a break, but that’s not very often!

How did you get your shop name?
Well… we went sailing and cruised full time on our sailboat from almost 5 years! My business was very new when we rook off on this adventure and I took my sewing with us.

Our sailboat was named S/V Charis. Since Etsy was a part of our income while out sailing, I decided to use our boat name in it to reflect our journey/life on the boat. Then I added baby designs to the boat’s name and Charis Baby Designs was named! We use to sometimes walk 1-3 miles to get my packages to the nearest mailbox, post office, etc. It was part of who we were and what we did every day. It helped us burn off extra energy so we enjoyed our walks! I am so thankful now for land living, mostly because I just have to walk up to the lane to my mailbox to either sent packages or receive the fabric that I order!

What is one way that you keep organized?
I have a hard time keeping organized. We are currently building a small home so at the moment, I store my fabrics in totes. I feel like I’m looking for fabric all of the time. I have a tote for flannels and a separate one for cottons. I have a tote to separate all my items, but I get lost in my totes. Sometimes it takes longer to find what I’m looking for then it does to sew it up! When the house is finished, I will have a sewing room, and I will probably be a little OCD with getting organized after I finally get my own “space” to do so! I will be most thankful when I get into my new sewing room!

How do you balance family life and work life?
Since our children are getting older, it’s not a hard to keep up. They do not need me to make every meal or get them dressed. They pitch in really well when I get super busy with the shop. Since I sew with solar power, I am able to run errands on cloudy, rainy days!