our stay at the palomar, a kimpton hotel

last weekend, my little family and I headed downtown to stay at the Palomar Chicago, A Kimpton Hotel, in the River North Area of Chicago. This was something I had been looking forward to - a “staycation” and a night in the city! We moved to the Western Suburbs of Chicago about a year ago from downtown. Although the pace of the suburbs is much easier with two kids and a big dog, there are things I miss about the city too. Plus, it’s important to me and Christian for our kids to experience the great city we have right at our fingertips!

When we arrived at the Palomar, we were greeted by friendly staff and Finn was in awe. '‘It’s a HOUSE, maa-mee!” He ran up and down the hallways to every window and listened for firetruck and ambulances (sounds I had completely forgotten about since moving out of the city!) We met a dog in the hallway - how amazing is it that the Palomar invites dogs of all sizes? We didn’t take advantage of this amenity this time with Reddo, but will definitely keep it in mind!

Our spacious room was all set up with kids friendly items, including swim diapers, bath supplies, snacks, and the 4Moms PlayYard Breeze - a portable crib perfect for traveling! Finn hopped right in himself and Beesie wanted to play right along with him! The Kimpton Hotels are in partnership with 4Moms and make traveling with kids a breeze by providing items such as portable cribs, swings, and MamaRoos. They even offer a Nanny Service!

the 4Moms Play Yard was all set up for us and provided by the Palomar (in partnership with 4Moms!)

the 4Moms Play Yard was all set up for us and provided by the Palomar (in partnership with 4Moms!)

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The city views from the hotel were fascinating to Finn. He scanned for truck, ambulances, and fire engines. The only way we could pull him away was by telling him there was a pool!

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The pool facility had so much natural light, even on a gloomy day. Finn and Bee enjoyed swimming (maybe a little too much since Finn threw my phone in the pool, haha!) for about 2 hours before we headed in to meet their cousins for dinner on Michigan Ave (only a 2 block walk!)

We headed back the room to take quick showers/baths and headed to dinner. We walked up and down the Mag Mile and headed back for an early night. It was so nice to be able to have the 4Moms Play Yard Breeze set up and waiting for some tired babes.

Can’t wait until we visit again! Can’t tell you how nice it was not to have to lug the portable crib in and out and have all the kids accessories waiting for us! Such a luxury.


Shop the 4Moms Collection here.





hospital bag essentials

TRUST ME! you don’t need much.

check out my highlighted story for more info! under “mama” including what the hospital provides for you.

kate's household favorites

toddler snack bins below!

toddler + baby-proofing household musts

most of these items are self explanatory - but ALL of them i have found to be necessary with a crazy toddler and an almost-walker on my hands. many of these items i learned that i needed because of an injury or almost injury - so be prepared! as soon as baby starts to crawl, you’ll want to baby-proof your house.

luckily, amazon has all of these items (#momlife).

i like these clear corner cushions for coffee tables, end tables, and island ends - you can barely notice they are there!

the tub accessories - we had to purchase these after finn split his chin open TWICE on our tub. he stood up so fast and whacked his chin in the same spot. so the tub mat and guard are a must in our house.

seems redundant, but you will need two types of cabinet locks. i LOVE these hidden ones - you use a magnet to open (make sure to tell your babysitter ;) ) but for your cleaning supplies, i use the magnet lock and the classic outside cabinet lock for good measure (finn is very strong - found him about to chug goo-gone one time, this is a true story).

you’ll need to mount large furniture to the wall and this mounting kit is simple and easy. this includes dressers, chests, and anything large than baby could potentially pull themselves up on. this is a MUST for toddlers in their own room/big bed at night.

finn quickly learned how to open deadbolts as well as handles and knobs, so we have all three of these safety locks on our doors. interiors doors, such as to the basement, will need this too, especially if you have a toddler and a crawler - we don’t want anyone to fall down the stairs!

if you own your living space, i would highly suggest having someone to come and install custom gates. this is what we did once we moved into our house - it was around $175 per gate. this seems like a hefty charge - but the other adjustable gates were digging into our walls and monster-man-finn quickly learned how to push the gates completely over (and tumbled down the stairs).

there are baby-proofing services available in your area too.

non-toxic + kid friendly household items

kate’s cleaning spray:

3 parts white vinegar

1 part water

optional tea tree oil or lemon oil

Hello, World!

rock'n'play alternatives

as you know, the rocknplay was recalled due to over 10 infant deaths reported with use during sleep. the rock’n’play, along with many other “infant sleepers” are NOT safe for unsupervised sleep. what does this mean? you MUST be in the SAME ROOM as the baby and you MUST BE AWAKE!

click here to register your recall.

curious what safe sleep looks like? know your sleep ABCs!⁣⁣
⁣⁣
A - alone ⁣⁣
B - on back⁣⁣
C - in crib ⁣⁣

⁣⁣
bassinets are also safe as long as they are providing a flat surface and nothing is in the bassinet besides baby and a TIGHT swaddle. mesh bumpers are also safe for crib. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
NO:⁣⁣
•loose blankets ⁣⁣
•toys ⁣⁣
•loveys until 12+ months ⁣⁣
•pillows ⁣⁣
•bumpers ⁣⁣
•DocAtots or similar items (YES, it’s true!)⁣⁣
•rock’n’plays⁣⁣
⁣⁣
review safe sleep in my highlights under sleep. ⁣⁣

head to my sleep essentials for safe sleep options.

as for rock’n’play alternatives, know that these items are not meant for unsupervised sleep (see above). these items are meant for supervised sleep (as the only safe sleep places are in the crib or bassinet!)

this travel bassinet can be used in your room, on the go, or in the common area (safe for unsupervised sleep).

this baby dome is perfect for on the floor in the common room.

mini pack n play comes with an infant insert and great for use during traveling. adapts as baby grows.

this infant rocker is perfect for awake time! NOT safe for unsupervised sleep. i picked this rocker because it does not have any fabric inserts - these can be not safe.

swings are a great alternative to rock’n’plays for supervised sleep. there are MANY options available - look for the one with the LEAST amount of inserts.

i love this boppy lounger for the early days as well.

an all amazon easter basket

EASTER IS COMING! and being a working mom of 2, amazon has always been my best friend. so what’s better than having you easter basket shipped right to you?!

this adorable little xylophone bus is perfect for busy babies - i have a feeling finn will love it too!

this adorable little xylophone bus is perfect for busy babies - i have a feeling finn will love it too!

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bee is too little for the peeps shown here (they are just for decoration!) but she can enjoy a sweet treat with her favorite flavor of peter rabbit organics pouches with a pouch backflow topper.

bee is too little for the peeps shown here (they are just for decoration!) but she can enjoy a sweet treat with her favorite flavor of peter rabbit organics pouches with a pouch backflow topper.

this little rabbit rattle is perfect for grabby hands and will keep her entertained on flights or on the go. and who could pass up this sweet little bunny sippy!?

this little rabbit rattle is perfect for grabby hands and will keep her entertained on flights or on the go. and who could pass up this sweet little bunny sippy!?

this book is a bedtime favorite, and this pull toy will be in good use in a few weeks when she is walking!

this book is a bedtime favorite, and this pull toy will be in good use in a few weeks when she is walking!

are you kids puzzle fans? these matching shape easter eggs make learning fun!

are you kids puzzle fans? these matching shape easter eggs make learning fun!

the dino eggs will be a finn favorite! the dino fold up inside the eggs for a surprise.

the dino eggs will be a finn favorite! the dino fold up inside the eggs for a surprise.

blue bunny sippy for finn.

blue bunny sippy for finn.

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these bunny jammies are everything!

these bunny jammies are everything!

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busy toddler essentials - finn's favs

click below for finn’s kitchen helper!

we love it because he can be at our level without holding him. Keeps him busy washing his cars and trucks at the sink for hours, help me make his smoothies, eats meals at the counter, colors, as so much more!

is your toddler’s birthday coming up? this is a great gift!

banana spinach blender muffins

toddler approved banana spinach blender muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups paleo flour

  • 1/4 cup ground flax

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup baking stevia

  • 2cups fresh spinach

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • add milk as first ingredient, add additional ingredients and top with spinach. blend.

spoon mixture into baking molds listed below

bake at 375 for 17 minutes

YUM!

5+ month feeding essentials - bee's favs

i love this high chair for finn + bee because it clips right to the counter. having two kids and a small eating space, we don’t have room for two high chairs. plus, i like to strap finn in so he sits and eats!

you’ve seen this suction plate and bowl - it’s the best for new learners! they aren’t able to throw it on the floor, haha.

these “gootensils” are the perfect beginner eating utensils - grabs food easily and prepares her for the real thing.

zoli bot is great for learners - i put water in for bee to practice.

pouch toppers are a must! no back flow = no mess.

nuk sippy what we used for introducing whole milk - it’s basically a glorified bottle. offer with the spout upside down - kids like this better!

beaba plates are great too.

early eaters - get the fruit/ice feeders. great for little grabby hands and for teething! the spoon pouch topper is a MUST - it locks so you can use the pouch later. no mess!

bee’s fav toys

this cloth busy book is a MUST! we play with it every day!

diaper rash remedy

spring has sprung! which means - diaper rash season! why? the cold and flu are at an all time high and these viruses cause a change to baby’s GI system, including inflammation and diarrhea. did you know that POOP is the reason for diaper rashes? diarrhea is generally acidic, which breaks down the skin barrier and leads to a rash. zinc-based diaper creams such as desitin create a barrier between the skin and the stool to help heal the diaper rash and prevent further damage.

bumblebaby diaper rash remedy:

  1. DO NOT WIPE! pat groin area with water-based wipe ONLY if there is stool. if urine, leave it alone.

  2. leave remaining diaper cream on skin.

  3. layer on desitin (THICK!)

  4. layer on aquaphor (THICK!)

  5. close diaper

must have items for diaper rash:

** if after 48 hours with no relief, call doctor. the rash could be caused by yeast (which you’ll need a prescription ointment called nystatin to cure. apply nystatin first before diaper rash regimen). if you see raised, red bumps scattered along the groin area, this is a yeast rash! call doc right away.

finn's smoothie!

finn’s smoothie:

1/4 cup milk

1/2 scoop vega protein and greens

1 tsp milled flax

1tbsp PB2 or nut butter

1/2 banana

handful spinach

1/4 avocado optional

ice

blend and serve in dino cup


melasma essentials

ugh. mustaches from melasma are the worst. here are my favorite products for reducing melasma!

ascorbic acid is a fancy word for vitamin c serum. i love this ordinary brand because it’s cheap, clean, effective and on amazon (duh). vitamin c is a strong antioxidant and is known for decreasing discoloration.

ferulic acid diminishes discoloration associated with melasma.

M61 powerglow peel pads - in general, topical glycolic acid and topical salicylic acid are safe for pregnancy, but always ask your doc. use once every three days and build to daily.

*all items safe for pregnancy and lactation, but always check with your doc!

travel essentials

travel must haves!

if you’re looking for a new stoller, the babyzen yo-yo is a MUST for traveling. it is about 13 pounds, fits in the aisle of the plane as well as in overhead compartment. adaptable with most car seats and offers a toddler extension on the back which Finn LOVES! the bike seat comes out as well so they can stand.

cosco car seat is PERFECT for traveling - SUPER light weight, inexpensive, and high safety ratings. the car seat bag will protect carseats from weather and wear and tear underneath the plane. car seats DO NOT count as luggage, but pack n plays do, just FYI.

the nuna pipa is my favorite car seat! compatible with yo-yo with correct attachments.

reusable zip locks are perfect for snacks, individual milks fit well and stay cold in the pack-it freezable lunch bag (great for formula and breastmilk too). dum dums are a travel must for us - we use them as bribery ha!

the joovy pack n play is HUGE - great for toddlers, gives them way more room.

if you don’t want to lug your sound machine, the ROHM is great and LOUD.

sleep essentials

Pre/postnatal essentIals for mom

It’s so important to have a prenatal with folate in it as opposed to folic acid. Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate that has been linked to midline defects such as tongue/lip tie and stork bites. MyKind prentals are made from whole food ingredients and contain folate - they are easily digested and absorbed by your body, making them great for early pregnancy. DHA is vital for brain and eye development in the fetus and helps mom replenish her omega 3s that are depleted by pregnancy and breafeeding. Taking these two supplements can help with post partum fog aka #mombrain!

formula essentials

did you know that pre-mixed, refrigerated formula is good for 24 hours? save yourself the hassle and mix it all at once in this pitcher! then just pour and warm! travel with your powder formula is this cute carrying case.

Baby’s Only formula is labeled for “toddlers” because they want to promote breastfeeding for the first year of life, BUT it is SAFE for infants too. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new formula. This formula is one that is closest to breastmilk and made in the US. I supplemented with this with my son, he loved it!

pumping essentials

LOVE this rosie pope 2-in-1 bra for pumping and nursing. it’s the best for on the go pumping because you don’t have to apply another bra! highly recommend, but size up.

I recommend a spare pumping part kit set just in case you lose a part and so you don’t have to do so many dishes!

the lansinoh baggies are the best in my opinion, they have a double zip.

can’t say enough good things about the medela sonata and flex flange. it’s quiet, efficient, and NOTHING like the pump in style (PISA - or should i say pisa-crap haha) which I hated. the sonata gentle and amazing. check with your insurance.