Bytes of Love

Working mommy. Startup daddy. Rascal toddlers.

Category: Style

Mommy’s Must-Haves #3

When Dilan was 6 months, he broke four of my favorite necklaces while nursing. That boy has some serious arm muscle power. I haven’t worn any of my favorite jewelry since then. I’ve learned the hard (fun?) way and started mommy’s must-haves lists of useful products. This edition contains some of my current favorites. It’s funny how our tastes, attitudes, and preferences change over time. One thing I love about being in my thirties is that I’m so much more balanced, calm, collected, and easy going than I was in my twenties. It’s also a huge help to have a second child close in age to the first one. Your time becomes so much more valuable because of it and it really forces you to focus on what’s most important, and not care about what anyone else thinks (ok fine, this is still work in progress, but I’m slowly getting there…). So with that in mind, here are some products that have made my life easier and more fun lately:

  1. Honest’s Everything Cream Foundation. I’ve never been a big make-up person. I usually throw on some loose face powder and mascara and call it a day. I’ve never worn foundation, except for one or two big events over the last few years. One of them was my wedding. I think the last time I wore lipstick is over three years ago, at my sister’s wedding. Yep, that’s how low maintenance I am when it comes to make-up. I’m lucky to have a husband who is used to my bed-hair- and-yoga-pants look at home and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The bright spot is that when I do try to look nice, it makes a big difference. I’m also very cognizant of chemicals in make-up. With that in mind, I decided to try out the Honest Company’s Everything Cream Foundation. I love all their other products and got a $20 off coupon, so why not give foundation another try after all this time? Well, I LOVE how the almond shade looks on my face. It evens it out without having that “caked on” look. It’s not too greasy and not too dry. I’m a big fan. You can find the newly launched Honest Beauty line here:


  1. Teething necklace by Dimples and Grace. I found this one on Amazon and absolutely love it. Know who loves it more? Eight month old Asher, who is working hard on getting those first teeth out! He loves chewing on this and I love the fact that it’s easy to wash and doesn’t scream “TEETHING NECKLACE”. I love the emerald green as well. It gives a nice pop of color to my mostly black and gray sweater collection 😉


  1. Toms tote bag. What’s one thing I don’t like? All the prep and planning to just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE with two kids. It takes me at least half an hour on a Friday night to gather everything we’ll need to get out on Saturday morning. Enter Toms’ “YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT WHAT THIS BAG CAN DO” tote. It’s expensive, but by purchasing it, Toms paid for the materials and care needed to ensure that one mom somewhere in the underprivileged world has a safe birth. Now that’s awesome. By carrying around this tote with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, etc., I remind myself that I’m lucky to have two healthy kids to gather stuff for in the first place. I’ve never been an expensive purse person. I own two somewhat expensive purses, both bought on clearance, but that’s it. And you know what? That not-so-sexy Tom’s tote is way more attractive to me than either of the brand name ones.


Enjoy your weekend!!


Five Must-Have Pregnancy Products

I am one of those people who is super picky about what I put in and on my body during pregnancy. I have to admit that the second time around, I’ve let loose a little, but I’m still pretty conservative when it comes to what I eat and use. Here are my top five favorite pregnancy products. Some of these make great holiday pregnancy gifts as well (except for #1 and 5), so guys, take note for your future mamas:

1. Belli anti blemish facial wash & acne control spot treatment – You know those ladies who have that gorgeous pregnancy glow on their face? Yeah, I’m not one of them. I break out, way more than I normally do and I refuse to use regular acne products due to the scary ingredients in them. Sure, they *should* be fine, but I’d rather not take a risk and choose to go the natural route. The Belli skin care line was specifically designed for people like me and it actually does help clear up my blemishes. A bit pricey, but you can find it at Buy Buy Baby or Amazon, which means you can use coupons or get Prime Shipping 😀

2. Gap maternity pants – I have a neighbor to thank for these! I had not shopped at the Gap when I was pregnant with Dilan and now wish I did. These pants are the ONLY ones that fit right for me, without making me look larger than I already am. They’re pricey (I’m a bargain shopper when it comes to most clothes), but worth the splurge, especially if you have to look decent in the office or are looking for comfy skinny jeans. I bought a few pairs and will be wearing them all winter. A  great option for maternity tops that don’t cost a fortune is Old Navy.

3.  Honest Organic Healing Balm – I originally used this for Dilan’s adorable booty, since it makes a great diaper cream. The best part is that it’s clear, so it’s not as messy as some other diaper creams. Now that we’re entering winter (or at least, that’s what it feels like), I started using it for my own booty belly as well, and all over my skin really. It’s very thick and feels greasy at first, but then sinks right into your skin and makes it SUPER soft. I love it and you can now find all Honest products that I adore at Target.

4.  Honest Organic Breathe Easy Rub – Like Baby Vicks, but more natural and VERY soothing. I’ve had a stuffy nose since I got pregnant and a good night for me is when I can sleep past 4 AM because my nose isn’t completely clogged up.  This lovely rub keeps my nose clear for most of the night and I don’t have to worry about any chemicals that I’m putting on my skin. I use this on Dilan every single time he’s sick as well. Oh and for you Neti Pot lovers: yes, the saline rinse is wonderful, but not good enough to cut through all my snot. Pregnancy snot is a whole different ball game, y’all.

5. Toms Long Lasting Deodorant in Unscented – All-natural, aluminum-free deodorant that actually works pretty well, especially in fall and winter! You can find this at Target, Walgreens, all over the place really. It’s the only deodorant I found that’s both natural / chemical & preservative free and easy to find.

There ya go! What products do you guys love to you use when you’re pregnant or trying to watch what you wear?


Mommy’s Must-Haves #1

As many other moms, I’m constantly looking for new and nerdy items that make our lives a bit easier, healthier, and better. All with a nod to not breaking the bank either. Sounds like the start of a cheesy commercial, but I’m serious :-) Here are a few items that I’ve absolutely been loving lately:

Re-Play Plates & Bowls

These plates and bowls are made from recycled milk jugs! Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE green and eco-friendly products. These are totally in line with my tree-hugger philosophies and are a breeze to clean at the same time. Top rack dishwasher safe. Yeah baby. The best part is that they make Dilan’s food look even more colorful. They’re oh so hard to break too, which is great for when the bowls and plates hit the floor at the end of every a meal. Primed them from Amazon, of course.

re-play plate

Bumkins Super Bibs

We’ve tried many different types of bibs these past 17 months and these are definitely the best ones for when solids start. They’re flexible and soft, have pockets to catch all the little bits and pieces of food that are bound to fall when your little one is self-feeding, are waterproof and machine washable! Score. We even toss them in the dryer, though I don’t know if we’re supposed to. Oh well, it works for us. These also come in awesome Dr. Seuss designs. Cute and colorful. Don’t just buy 3 of them, though, buy a ton. You’re going to need them. I got mine from Amazon, but think other baby stores sell them as well. Adorable, right?

bumkins bibs

Clarins Creams

Enough about toddler meals. Let’s talk about mommy. After 31 years and a rascal baby, I still don’t have a single gray hair on my head. I probably just jinxed myself and will find one next week, but I will bask in the glow of youth while I can. I’m allowed to brag about this because the one sign of aging I do have are…wrinkles :-( About six months ago, my older sister and mom gave me Clarins extra firming day and night creams for my birthday. I’ve always had oily skin, so didn’t think I would need creams, out of all things. They’re pretty pricey too. I don’t spend much money on cosmetics and hardly ever wear make up. Not because I don’t need it, but mainly because I’m lazy. I switched over to completely natural cosmetics while I was pregnant, so had not used anything mainstream in a long time either. Clearly, I was skeptical about these creams, but six months later, I am absolutely loving how smooth and firm my skin and neck area are. They’re absolutely amazing and I would highly recommend them if you’re starting to show signs of…dare I say it…aging.


And with that…time for this old lady to hit the sack!

The Tory Burch Cocktail Flat

Spoiler alert: materialistic swooning about to commence. I want these!! I’m so not a brand person (rock on, Target), but if you’ve been reading the blog, you know how much I love my Tory Burch flats. Between Dilan and work, I expect to attend a grand total of maybe one holiday / cocktail party this year. But still! These Tory Burch Cocktail Flats would go with absolutely everything in my closet. Jeans, black long-sleeve dress,  slacks, blue pencil skirt, you name it. They may look over-the-top, but that’s why you keep the rest of your outfit simple, right? Please, Santa? I’ve been nice for like 40% of the year…



The Splurge: Tory Burch Caroline Ballerina Flats

You know that girl who is constantly on her iPhone at the grocery store? Yeah, that’s me. Sometimes it’s email, sometimes I’m texting or tweeting, but most of the time I’m on there for one thing: coupons. I clip e-coupons while doing groceries, hardly ever buy anything online without a trip to RetailMeNot, and buy clothes at Target. All the time. I’m a pretty frugal shopper and proud of it. Recently, though, I thought about stepping up my game and getting back into stylish clothes and accessories again. I lived in Target nursing tank tops during my entire maternity leave. I have four of them and wore them every single day during mat leave, and every single night while nursing. They’re super comfy and stretch nicely, so they’re perfect for what they’re designed for. But they’re not stylish.

Tory Burch Caroline Ballerina Flats

So after spending the last year and a half in unflattering maternity clothes, closing the breastaurant, and finally getting back into my original size clothes and shoes, I decided to splurge on something I really wanted. I like many designers out there, but in order for me to really connect with one, I have to connect with their brand as well. Enter Tory Burch. I’ve admired her for a while, but even more so when I read her story on the Lean In blog. She’s a female entrepreneur and a darn good one. I like the way she thinks, her hard work, and of course, her sense of style. My personal style is pretty modest. I like to look polished and professional, but often feel like I look too casual. Neutral colors work well for me in the workplace, but I will do some bolder colors, geometric prints, and larger earrings from time to time. Celebrating my mellow style this time around, I decided to splurge on Tory Burch Caroline ballerina flats in nude. Staying true to my inner geek, I downloaded the Tory Burch iPhone app (highly recommended!) and ordered the flats through there. Free shipping when you order through the app – hurray!

Just a few days later I was trying out the flats around the house, in between feeding Dilan bites of sweet potato. We don’t wear shoes inside our house, but these were brand new, so I put them on. When you first step into these shoes, it’s like entering a luxury car. The Tory Burch Caroline ballerina flats are amazingly soft and I felt no pinching or pulling anywhere! Incredible. They are true to size, fit exactly right, and go with pretty much any outfit. I own a few pair of flats, but this is by the far the most comfortable one. First win in the quest to get back into fashion. More to come!



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