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Moving On Up!

I hope everyone is having the beautiful weather and great weekend that we are! As you may have seen mentioned earlier on the interweb, Painting Sunny is in the process of moving over to a new server and transitioning to self-hosting, which is exciting but a little confusing and anxiety-inducing as well. I think things are going well, so if you type in “www.paintingsunny.com” it should take you to the updated little site! However, while I’m in the process of transferring the actual domain name (again – excited but anxious here) I’ve discovered most Pinterest pins and other saved hyperlinks won’t lead you to the update site but rather to an error message. I apologize for any inconvenience, and as soon as I can get my new host to accept my name they should be right back to working!

As always, please let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas, or commiserations. It is quite the process, but I am hoping will mean I can offer my blog friends & family (that’s you!) an awesome experience while we’re hanging out together.

Xo, Dani


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#Swag For The Little Ones

I hope everyone had an awesomely relaxing and happy holiday weekend, at least for those in the States celebrating it! For that matter, I just hope everyone on the whole globe had an awesome weekend. World peace would be awesome, you know? Anyway, I’m taking a pause from my big blog transitioning week to actually post something. Yes, you heard read correctly – this is the week that this blog gets a makeover. She’ll be a whole new girl by the weekend, fingers crossed all goes well! So far, I’ve been using WordPress.com for free hosting which has been A.Maze.Ing, and it was super nice of them to let me basically sleep on their couch for free while I got this whole endeavor underway; but it is long overdue for me to go out on my own. It also means moving over to a whole new server and getting a bit of a new look, as well. Stay tuned!

If things get weird and glichy, I apologize in advance and totally appreciate your patience. Please cross your fingers for me. #technologyisscary

Aaaaanyway, let’s talk about some stuff. Like, literal stuff. The kind we buy for our kids. I’ve always been fascinated when I’ve read bloggers writing about their fav baby and kid items (like Bower Power and Young House Love), because it’s interesting how some items are to-die-for-could-never-live-without for one parent… and yet completely useless for another. I thought I would contribute to the convo, so without further ado, here are my fav baby and kid items of all time. BTW, this post is not sponsored at all… just my humble opinions.

For the Preschool+ Crowd

#Swag For The Little Ones, Fav Kid Gear | Painting Sunny

  1. Crayola My First Crayola Triangular Crayons (16 count), $4.05. These are cute, so much less likely to break, and I’ve successfully washed them off walls. A few times.
  2. Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets in a Box, $11.99. The best part about these is that the whole back of each magnet is coated, instead of having a little magnetic choking hazard glued to the back like the old-fashioned ones I grew up with. They have held up for over 2 years for us, and still adorn our fridge today.
  3. Munchkin Shampoo Rinser, $6.00. We just moved into a place with two bathtubs, and the kids are reveling in it. Just a few months ago I picked this up and it is worth way more than the 6 bucks I paid for it. It is genius with no parts or grooves to get mildewy and need cleaned, a soft edge that bends against your baby’s head to direct the water away from their eyes, and even comes in pretty colors. Swoon.
  4. Nubby Super Spout Easy Gripper (2 count), $7.11. We are just transiting out of these and into straight-up water bottles, but I couldn’t even tell you how many Nubbys we owned over the years. They were so easy to transition to after a bottle, and the price is right too.
  5. mabel label’s Basic Kit, $34.95. I am def adding a new pack to my shopping list for this year, since I’ve never tried the shoe or clothing labels and am convinced they will change my life. We have used the little labels on school supplies, lunch containers, sports equipment, and countless other things. Who knows how much money it has saved me in lost sippy cups and rain boots?
  6. EasyLunchboxes (Set of 4), $13.95. If you’ve been around Painting Sunny awhile, you know that I have quickly become devoted to these lunchboxes. They aren’t just a lunchbox, they are a lifestyle. Affordable, well-made and kid-friendly… join me on this bandwagon.
  7. SweetPea3 2 GB MP3 Player for Kids, $84.88. This was a holiday gift a few years ago from the Grandparents, and although the price is an investments I also can’t imagine traveling anywhere at length without one. The kids use it in the house or on road-trips, and it’s a great break from DVDs to keep them entertained. The sound quality is good, they can work it themselves, and I’m pretty convinced it’s indestructible.
  8. Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Figure Eight Train Set, $22.96. Of all the wooden train sets out there, this one has my seal of approval. It beats out almost any competitor in price, is compatible with other brands, and the track is reversible which is awesome. Gotta love M&D, am I right?
  9. My Big Sticker Book of Nursery Rhymes, $19.10. We have a variety of these (courtesy of the grandparents) and I see our son toting them around the house regularly. The stickers are easy to move, the book is really well made, and the book itself makes good reading.
  10. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, $138.95. Our entire backseat is full of these right now. Literally. Both kids use them, with the 3.5 year old using it with the full harness still, and the almost-7 year old using the high-back booster option. It is seriously convertible, and the price is really appealing when you take a look at the car seat market. We’ve had one for 4 years now that is still holding up.

With my own being 3.5 and almost 7, this is definitely the stage we are in and loving it. I miss the cute little baby toes, but whole new worlds of toys, decorations, and adventures opens up with you hit that 3+.

Now, in reverse chronological order…

For the Baby & Infant Peeps

#Swag For The Little Ones, Fav Kid Gear | Painting Sunny

  1. Carter’s Fleece Baby Blanket, $29.95. Ours has duckies on it, and is one of the most valuable positions in this house. Blankie is a family member, and the couple times we thought he was lost I think I would have paid 1k to get him back. Our son still sleeps with his every night, it consoles him when he is sad or tired, and it was a major relief he began self-soothing pretty early on.
  2. Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo, $99.00. This thing entertained two kids for us, and still was in almost-new shape when I re-sold it to a consignment shop for almost what I paid for it. It was hard to believe, but it was just well-made and both kids loved it in that stage where they want to be up looking around but need some support. No lie, it takes up some square footage of your living room… but if frees up your arms, so who can be made at that?
  3. BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Original, $71.99. Okay, we had the plain old black carrier, but if they had this pretty option when I was pregnant the first time I totally would have sprang for it. Of all the carriers I’ve tried out, this tride-and-true version worked best with our little ones who always seemed like little furnaces and hated being snuggled up too close for too long.
  4. Vicks Behind Ear Thermometer, $29.89. When our son was 2 we reached that point that the cheap little armpit thermometers were just not doing the trick… and when you think your kid has a fever, it isn’t a time you want to be frustrated trying to work something with tiny buttons. This was a great investment for our whole family.
  5. Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back Diaper Bag, $139.95. Full disclosure, I did not have this actual backpack diaper-bag but I totally wish I did. We did go the back-pack style route with our diaper bag (which I can’t find online now) however, and were so glad we did. It kept our arms more free, saved us back-aches, and made organizing items much easier. Sigh – this one is so cute, someone please buy it so I can live vicariously…
  6. Philips Avent BPA Free Soothie Pacifier (2 count), $3.20. Our son was in the NICU, so came back with some of these famous green Soothie pacifiers. They were the only binkies he would use, and I loved that they were affordable, easy to clean, and didn’t have parts that would break easily.
  7. Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket, $3.82. I’d never lived in a home with a dishwasher until our son was born, and it was one of those moments when the sky opens up and you hear a church choir singing. This basket was ran through our dishwasher daily, and held an impressive amount.
  8. Panasonic Automatic 3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker, $29.95. Yep, you’re thinking I added this to the wrong list aren’t you? Well, HA! It totally belongs. I made all of our baby food at home for the kids, and it was much more healthy and affordable than buying the little jars. It was also super easy, which I think a lot of people don’t realize. But what made it affordable was that I did not buy one of those fancy baby-food making systems. In my opinion, they basically just do the same thing as a steamer. I used this Panasonic rice cooker (it also steams veggies) for both kids, and still use it for rice cooking today.
  9. Bright Starts Lots of Links, $4.99. Who doesn’t end up with a million of these? They are great for carseats, strollers, those playmat things… We had them everywhere.
  10. Jeep Liberty Sport X All-Terrain Stroller, $179.99. This is the piece de resistance. It has a built-in music player, can go on basically any terrain, it’s basket holds everything… It’s just amazing. I’ve owned a few strollers, but after we had this one I would never betray it. If my husband picked one favorite baby item, I’m pretty certain it would be this. Hold on, let me go ask him. Yep, he said the stroller.

Anyone else cook all their own baby food? Completely disagree with me about the fancy baby-food machines? Love your stroller so, so much you refuse to give it up? Want to label everything your kid owns?

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Links to products on Amazon may be affiliate links. Keepin’ it real.