Dear Wendy readers are some of the most intelligent, stylish, super-cool people around (it’s a proven fact), so it’s a no-brainer to feature some of their favorite products. Many of the recommended products happen to be affiliate products, which means I’ll receive a commission on any click-throughs or purchases you make through the affiliate links. As always, I appreciate your support! Today’s recommendations come from Addie Pray, who really needs no introduction if you’ve been reading DW for a while. Keep reading for her recommendations as well as pictures of her adorable dog… and a couple more of her son/Joanie’s maybe-future husband!
Hi, fellow dearwendiers! I’m here to pass along some readers’ recommendations for you. Though, admittedly, I’m generally not much of a shopper and specifically lately my shopping has seemed to be mostly non-existent, outside of your “can’t-live-without” stuff. Ever since I had my son (13+ months ago already, gasp!), I’ve been on an extra-tight budget. (Nannies are expensive, yo!) To that end, I’ve been using an app called Daily Budget and allotting myself, after recurring monthly expenses and what I want to put into savings, $35 a day to live off of, which must cover all my food, shopping for baby (diapers are expensive, too, and babies, like, grow and change, all the time, and need stuff, and more stuff, all the time, and that stuff costs money), and last *and* least whatever I may want for myself. I usually spend next to nothing during the workweek and save up so I can make my big purchases. And if my app says I don’t have enough money, I just wait a few weeks.
I know, all this budget-talk is boring, and it’s not exactly what I came here to do. But I guess I wanted to give you that background so you can go easy on me when you realize how cheap (most of) my recommendations are. I also hope you cut me some slack for all the baby-related recommendations. But looking back over my recent Amazon purchases, 99% of them are for my very loved (and spoiled? nahhh) baby.
For example, le bébé loves books, so I buy him a lot of books that cost $5 here, and $5 there. He loves books that rhyme and pop-up books. We have a lot of Sandra Boynton books. She’s really popular so anyone with babies likely already knows her and has a few of her books. There’s a nice rhythm to her writing that’s engaging, and she’s just quirky enough. Our personal favorites are But Not the Hippopotamus, Moo Baa La La La (the first three pages have my baby in stitches laughing; admittedly, his interest peters out fast after that, though), Hippos Go Berserk, and Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods (so sweet).
A friend gave him a pop-up book called CAT that he instantly liked and then I found the author also has published Dog and Moo that we bought and like just as much (if not more because cats are lame, of course….) [You can also get the trip box set here — wendy].
Another favorite is Goodnight Gorilla which has no words so you have to make them up, which is fun. (I know, “fun” is used loosely, here.) Oh, oh, oh, and I can’t forget Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes which is just too sweet.
And of course, there’s Goodnight Moon that even those without kids likely already know about. We love that one, too. But do you want to hear my big discovery about that book? Well, do you know about The Runaway Bunny? I love the Runaway Bunny, but my baby doesn’t — not yet, that is; I suspect it’s because it has too many words that don’t rhyme. Well, the mama and baby bunnies in Runaway Bunny are the “little old lady whispering hush” and the bunny in bed in Goodnight Moon! Who knew!?! (Everyone but me?). There’s even a framed picture in Goodnight Moon’s green room of a scene from Runaway Bunny. I was so excited when I made that connection! The same author wrote those books, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.
I could go on and on with baby book recommendations but I think that’s enough for now. I do have a couple of non-baby things for you. Like this Bento Box. Isn’t it cute? I’ve been bringing my lunch to work for the past two weeks in an effort to lose weight. My issue with food is that I overeat. I can eat MASS QUANTITIES, so this little box and it’s compartments help me keep the volume of food down, and it fits inside my purse so I don’t have to carry it separately to work.
Have you heard of mixbook.com? It’s one of those websites where you can upload your pictures into albums using pre-formatted themes, and you can order hard copies of the albums, individual prints, canvas prints, etc. I’m sure there are a lot of sites that do that, but I have really enjoyed using mixbook.com to create photo albums. It’s what I do to organize my pictures and preserve the memories for my baby. He’s been around for 13+ months and I already have nine albums! They’re fun to flip through, and the baby has even started to enjoy looking at pictures of himself “when he was a baby.” Also, I promised to make an album of MaterialsGirl’s INSANELY BEAUTIFUL pictures from her San Fran court-house wedding earlier this year. MG, I’m on it, I’m on it. That project got a little delayed because I “had” to first make an album of the baby’s 9-12 month pictures, another one devoted to his 1st birthday party, and yet another one of pictures from our beautiful fall day at the pumpkin patch last weekend…. But I’m on it.
Speaking of pictures, ever since I had my baby, I’ve wanted to upgrade my camera so I can have really good quality pictures. We had a professional photographer take pictures around the seven-month mark (see my profile pic above) – and if I had millions of dollars, I’d have her come take pictures every month! But I don’t, so I started to look into cameras. I have a Cannon Rebel DSLR similar to this one. I bought it five or six years ago. It turns out, I didn’t really need a new camera, I just needed a new lens. I wanted something that would take really sharp pictures with a blurred background. So I talked to a photographer friend of mine (who used a lot of words I didn’t understand) who ultimately helped me pick out this lens, and I love it! (Check out the pictures I’ve been taking with my new lens of my friend’s dog Elvis, my handsome dog Moose, and my super-handsome boy (at 11 months). Enjoy!
Thanks, Addie! You all look happy and gorgeous!
If you have some products you’d like to recommend to the DW audience, shoot me an email at [email protected] with links to five recommendations. (Write “reader recs” in the subject line, please.) Your recommendations can be from any store or website, but they need to be accessible online. If your list is a good fit for the site, I’ll ask you to write a brief description of each item/explain what you love so much about it.