new year, new sleep with allswell

January 3, 2019

Happy New Year! 2019 is going to be the year of #HouseJohnston for us and now that we’re officially moved in, we have big plans on turning this house into our home. One of our big new purchases we knew we had to make was getting a new mattress. While we don’t bedshare with H, we knew we wanted a king-size this time around to fit him too. (He’s been in the 96-99th percentile for height his whole life, so a king was necessary.) The next question was, what brand to go with?

Enter: Allswell. I’m thrilled to be partnering up with them for this post to introduce their namesake hybrid mattress. It’s made up of memory foam as well as coils, so you get the best of both worlds with comfort and support. It also starts at $245, so compared to other mattress-in-a-box companies, this one has great savings. As far as comfort goes, I would say this mattress is about medium-firm level and J and I both agree we’ve had the best sleep since we received it.

When the box arrives, it’s best to unravel it and let the mattress “breathe” overnight AKA expand fully before sleeping on it. The morning after, we let H go wild on it for a bit before we put the sheets and linens on top. Did I mention Allswell carries bedding also? Everything you need for a great night’s sleep.

Where to get your own Allswell mattress? Hop over to their site www.allswellhome.com to shop or head to your local Walmart. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

This post was #sponsored by Allswell. All images and opinions are my own.


tubby todd

December 14, 2018

Choosing the right body care items for babies can be such a feat. There are so many brands to sort through and you’ll receive approximately three hundred recommendations from everyone. For us personally, I was on the search for something natural, smelled good and actually worked for their child. (I know, that’s just about every parent’s requirements.) Luckily, we found Tubby Todd that crossed off everything on our list.

We’ve been lucky with H and he hasn’t had any major skin issues or sensitivities to things. He has had a handful of diaper rashes though and any parent that has dealt with this, knows how awful they can get. It’s in those moments where you expect the products you have on hand to work and work fast. This is when a product like Tubby Todd’s All Over Ointment has been amazing for us because overnight things just disappear. Also, a little bit goes a loooong way as evident by our first tub lasting us for what felt like a year.

This time, I’ve teamed up with Tubby Todd and they’ve graciously sent H a box of The Regulars, which includes a bottle of their hair and body wash, everyday lotion (both in lavender and rosemary scent), and of course, the all over ointment which is fragrant-free. After a few bath nights, we’re officially Tubby Todd fans for life.


new house walk-through

September 13, 2018

Just kidding, this is nothing like our house… yet. This is in our community though and our lucky neighbors in this row have already moved in and are settled, while we are still waiting for our future home to finish up. We still have a couple of months left until completion, so we are anxiously awaiting for the day we get to settle in ourselves. In the meantime, it’s been fun shopping for home things because that’s really the fun part of adulting, isn’t it?

This is the current state of our home as of a month ago. You’re looking at the side of it where the garage will be and the front door is on the other side of this building, on the left. It’s missing a few things, but I’m just as excited for this stage. I’m so eager to later compare photos of the before and after.

Our front door is there behind all of the scaffolding. It will face the courtyard which I think will be so lovely.

The garage:

The view of the living room area from the kitchen:

The view of the kitchen from the living room area:

The dining area, which is right next to the living room area:

Stairs leading up to our bedrooms:

Our future double vanity aka the unsure pipes:

Future shower in the master bathroom:

Our bedroom:

Feeling incredibly humble and grateful we get to experience this whole process and cannot wait to make memories within those future walls.

baby / life

happy baby carrier

March 9, 2018

Pre-baby, the thought of baby wearing always looked incredibly intimidating: the amount of options out there, the daunting wraps, and choosing the right one. Almost 10 months into parenthood, and I must say, most of them still intimidate me, but learning about what has worked best for me and Harlen has been an incredible journey.

Looking back, I owe it to baby wearing for getting us through some tough days and nights. The fourth trimester was difficult for me to navigate and also for Harlen. It’s a tough time for babies to live life outside of the womb when their only existence was the comfort of mom. Baby wearing allowed him to still have that closeness, and for me to still function and not be stuck in one spot trying to console a colicky tiny human.

Once I fully embraced baby wearing, the intimidating part was navigating through the endless options of baby carriers. In the beginning, wraps were the best option for us, but once he started to get a little heavier, I knew something structured was the best way to go. The only thing that made this part difficult was my small frame. Many of the structured baby carriers out there are very bulky and required a larger torso than I’ve been given.

It took me a while to finally discover Happy Baby, but I am so beyond happy I did. Their line of structured baby carriers was everything I was looking for and everything I could have dreamed of. Quick side story: I first bought one when we first moved back to SoCal, but it was stolen when our car was stolen. I was heartbroken because I had only gotten to wear it one time before it was gone. After trying a few different carriers, I finally reached out to Beth at Happy Baby, who graciously sent me a replacement for the one lost. If that isn’t the most amazing customer service, I really don’t know what is.

Now with Harlen being 19lbs and almost 10 months, our baby wearing adventures are still not over. Happy Baby isn’t bulky like most and is so lightweight and thin that it fits perfectly inside of our backpack—something I couldn’t do with other carriers. It’s even easy enough for me to cinch up and lock in by myself while with other carriers, I usually would have to get assistance, which was not convenient when I was solo with Harlen.

The important advice I can give with baby wearing is making sure babe is in a deep seat. What this means is, that their weight is entirely on their bum—their legs and bum will almost be in an “M” shape. Making sure this is met will make the experience for both baby and you safer and so much more delightful. Also, it really brings on the best sleepy vibes for baby. It is guaranteed that H takes a solid nap whenever he’s in it. See photos below for evidence!

baby / life

dockatot grand

March 5, 2018

Sleep is one of those truly delicate subjects when it comes to babies. Disclaimer: Please know this is just our own story and one I wanted to share to a) give insight and b) document as much as I can. The absolutely safest sleep setup for babies are as followed by the APA is as followed: alone in their crib, placed on their back, and in their parents’ room for the first year.

Ever since the day Harlen came home from the hospital, he has slept in a DockATot every single night (see: a tiny H in his first DAT.) As colicky as he was in the newborn stages, he consistently slept between 5 to 7 hours every night for the first stretch ever since he turned 1 month old. I realize now how completely lucky we were as first time parents that this was happening regularly.

We had removed the DAT around 4 months mainly because he outgrew it so quickly. (Hi, 99th percentile for height.) Between 4 months and 8 months, sleep regression, teething and a cold all happened and sleep his nightly sleep schedule was all over the place. We tried moving him to a crib during this as well, but good sleep was still hard for him. And us. Gone were the consistent 5 to 7 hour stretches we were so lucky to have. 

One sleepless night, I told John “we really need to get the DAT back into our lives.” Enter the DockATot Grand. He has so much room in this new DAT and still has room to grow with it. Would you believe he’s been consistently sleeping 10-12 hours every night now? We start our bedtime routine at around 7pm and is usually asleep no later than 8:30pm. He still wakes up for 1 quick feeding around 1/2am, but goes back to sleep quickly and sleeps in until around 6-7am, and even 8am a few times since the new DAT Grand.

It’s been such a learning experience (and still is) navigating through parenthood, so figuring out something that has worked for our family, especially sleep, is the best feeling. Fingers crossed his sleep stays consistent and only gets better as he gets older.

baby / life

baby must-have: 4moms mamaroo

February 5, 2018

Another addition in my “Baby Must-Have” series is a crucial one for the newborn stage—the 4moms mamaRoo.

There are a ton of baby rockers, seats, and swings out there in the market, and let’s be honest, a lot of them are loud and loud looking. Many also take up so much space, it’s hard to make room for anything else. Enter the 4moms mamaRoo, an infant seat that’s not only functional, but a baby item that doesn’t scream “Hi, a baby has taken over our household.” It’s light enough to transfer anywhere and fits perfectly in any corner of your room.

The 4moms mamaRoo comes with 5 different motions in 5 speeds to mimic the way parents rock and hold baby, and has 4 built-in sounds to help your little one rock to sleep. Did I mention it’s MP3 and Bluetooth compatible? This is the future, people! Harlen was and still is a huge fan of this just to lounge around and take naps in. He also adores the toy mobile attached to the 4moms mamaRoo. He’s more fond of munching on them now, but as a newborn he’d just sit and stare at them with such awe.

New parents, this one is a total must to add to your registry. A common complaint or question I get asked all the time is how annoyingly baby looking a lot of baby items are and I really think this one knocks it out of the park with simplicity.

baby / life

zara haul: stylish baby boy clothes

January 5, 2018

Pre-baby I used to think baby boys’ clothes were pretty horrendous (this is still partially true) and that only girls’ clothes were cute (this is also still partially true.) As fate would have it, I ended up with a little baby boy and now I’m finding that stylish boy clothes DOES exist! Aside from Insta brands out there, my favorite big stores to shop for H include: Zara, H&M, Cotton On, Baby GAP and Old Navy.

These snaps are all from my last two Zara hauls and they are insanely cute and affordable; I just had to share. Future mom of a boy out there, get excited!

baby / life

baby must-have: uppababy vista stroller

December 21, 2017

Confession: this post has been in the works for seven months! Basically Harlen’s age, but it’s for good reason, I promise. Since his birth, we’ve only had one stroller and it’s the only stroller we plan on having until we no longer need one. We rave about it to just about every parent we talk to. Our Uppababy Vista stroller has been an absolute dream and we cannot live without it.

Harlen first came home from the hospital in an Uppababy Mesa infant car seat and I cannot begin to tell you how easy it was to set up the car seat base. We knew by sticking with an Ub branded car seat, we would be able to take advantage of the entire system and click the car seat straight into the Vista stroller. Parents, this is a huge advantage because if baby sleeps, it’s so much easier to take them from car to stroller without waking them up. It allowed us to have some freedom when Harlen was a newborn because we could take him out and about without disturbing his sleep.

When we moved back to Southern California from the Bay Area, it became apparent how unprepared we were for travel with baby and all of his belongings. How in the world was I going to bring all of these things with me? After doing research, we learned that Uppababy carried Travel Bag with TravelSafe for their Vista strollers for their carseat and stroller, along with insurance in case anything was damaged. With so many horror stories about most airline carriers handle strollers, this was the best insurance to have. Luckily everything went smoothly with our flight and nothing was damaged, but we now have piece of mind the next time we fly.

Due to our car being stolen in July (this was completely devastating to us), we lost our Mesa carseat and ended up switching him up to a convertible carseat since he was already getting really tall to fit an infant carseat. It was also around this time we switched him up to the Vista rumbleseat. He was just a pound or so under the requirement, so we purchased the Infant SnugSeat so that was nice and snug. It was also then that we got to see the Vista stroller in action and trust me, it. is. incredible.

A short list with what we LOVE:

  • UV protection sunshade 
  • Extra large basket to carry everything
  • Handle bar extension for my husband
  • Complete recline without moving the baby
  • Smooth ride with great handle

Need I say more? New and seasoned parents, if you’re in the market for a new stroller, I cannot recommend the Uppababy Vista enough.

baby / life

baby must-have: owlet baby care

August 11, 2017

Being a first time parent, there were so many concerns that kept me up at night while I was pregnant. I’m going to be frank and I this is a trigger warning: the concern of my little one’s wellbeing during naps and at nighttime was always in the back of my mind and often in the very forefront. It’s something you always read about and that it never happens to you, but need to be informed about it regardless of how scary the subject may be. The wonderful thing about being first time parents in 2017 is the abundance of tech items that make the ease into parenthood that much easier, by providing peace of mind – working together with safe sleep guidelines (like the ‘ABCs’ of safe sleep—alone, on their back, in their crib.)

Enter the Owlet Smart Sock 2. This virtually invisible accessory has been one of the most vital assets to our lives and has eased our sleep-deprived minds night after night. It’s essentially a soft sock that we attach to Harlen’s foot (left or right) that helps us track his heart rate and oxygen levels when he is sleeping. It connects to a base station via Bluetooth that’s kept nearby and we are able to track everything on the Owlet app on our phones. If there is anything that isn’t the norm, the Owlet notifies us immediately if Harlen’s heart rate or oxygen falls outside the preset zones.

Having this peace of mind is absolutely worth every dime and has allowed J and I to sleep better each night knowing we have this set up. Since our first night at home we’ve slept soundly knowing the Owlet was a part of our team. New moms and dads—this is a MUST.

baby / life

baby must have: dockatot

August 4, 2017

OKAY. I know how terrible I’ve been about updating but you guys, colic is REAL and it’s such a drag sometimes. Finally getting back into the swing of editing, writing and updating, so I’m bringing out a series on our FAVORITE baby items that have gotten us through the newborn stage. We’re still in the thick of it, but we’re starting to see the light… I hope.

First up on our must-have list is the DockATot. For sleep or play, this thing has been with Harlen since day 1. It’s a breathable and lightweight bed that creates a snug environment for babies, and now that little man is starting to have a much stronger neck, we’ve started using it during tummy time as well. Seriously, it feels like a cloud and comes with some fun cover options as well.

One of the things we quickly learned with babies is that consistency is key, so when we were able to get our hands on a DAT, we knew it was going to be the bed he uses for night and naps. Since it’s so easy to carry around, we’ve been able to bring it to different places and homes and it’s still the same bed for him each and every time. While we don’t co-sleep, the DockATot is also a great addition to co-sleeping babes and their parents.

It’s crazy to look back at these shots because he was SO LITTLE then and the DockATot seemed overwhelming in size compared to him. I know he’s going to outgrow it in no time. Luckily, the DockATot comes in a grand size as well. 😉