As we say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018 here at Abby’s Lane, the staff has been thinking of New Year’s resolutions and little ways we can make our lives simpler, happier and, well, new. We’ve taken a look at our shop and pulled out some must have items for a self-improvement arsenal. So whether your dreams for 2018 are lofty or small, we’ve got the gear to help you achieve them. Take a look and meet the new year with hope and purpose.
Are you living in a sea of chaos? Lost the baby in a mountain of clutter over the holidays? Dropped your teenager off at the dry cleaners and your work clothes off at orchestra practice? Time to get organized! A few simple shifts around the house can make for a simpler living space and more organized mind.
Re-Play Plates and Bowls ($2.75-$3.25). Let’s start in the kitchen. If you’re like us, you’ve got a cupboard that is overflowing with plastic plates and bowls. Maybe some were gifts, maybe some were bought in a fit of Moana-inspired enthusiasm, maybe you’re not really sure where some of them came from … time to clean them out! We love Re-Play plates and bowls for their excellent, smooth stacking and the wide variety of colors. If you’ve got enough rainbows and glitter in your life at the moment, choose a soothing palette like baby pink and aqua. Or if you need a little more sophistication in your life, black and white children’s plates are tres chic. Or embrace the happy cacophony of the family kitchen and get a mish-mash of all the colors. It doesn’t matter which colors you choose, they all stack beautifully together and allow you to finally close that stubborn cupboard door.
Skip Hop Corner Bath Organizer ($15). If you are awash (punny!) in bath toys and don’t appreciate sitting down for a nice long bath to find a plastic shark jabbing a place that no plastic shark should ever go, you are in need of bath organization. The Skip Hop Corner Bath Organizer saves space with its unobtrusive design and brings smiles with the happy Moby the Whale face. It’s machine washable and suctions easily to any tile finish. Put up a Skip Hop Corner Bath Organizer and have a nice, plastic shark free soak.
Planet Wise Packing Cubes ($5.40-$7.20). These clever cubes were designed with travel in mind, but we love them for a variety of organizational needs around the house: organizing stuffed animals, storing out of seasons clothes in a closet top, packing away cloth diapers between babies, hiding boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from the children in your closet…. just to name a few! The Cubes come in three sizes and five different looks so you’ll be sure to find the one that’s perfect for your organizational needs.
We are NOT talking intense, soul crushing, unsustainable weight loss here … we love you no matter what size you are and want you to be happy in the body you’re in. What we’re talking about is the desire many of us feel this time of year to improve our fitness. Maybe your energy level is at an all time low, maybe your mood needs a winter boost, maybe you got out of breath walking from your kitchen to recliner … whatever you’re reasons, if you’re looking to get fit in 2018, we’re here to help. We all know exercising with kids around is an American Ninja Warrior test of strength and planning, so here are some ideas to help you find a spot for exercise in your busy life.
Smart Bottoms On The Go Wet Bags ($18-$19). If you think wet bags are only good for dirty diapers, you are seriously missing out. Wet bags, and particularly the On The Go size from Smartbottoms, are amazingly useful for everyone in the family … including a mom or dad who is hitting the gym. Here is a convenient place to store damp gym clothes that will protect the rest of the items in your gym bag and might even inspire you to enjoy working out with a cute print. Maybe Sprinkles, seen above, to remind you of the donut you’re working off?
Smart Bottoms Beach Blanket ($49.99). If a home workout is more your speed, how about incorporating your kids into it? Might as well, since it’s not like they are going to leave you alone for 30 minutes to exercise anyway! A Smart Bottoms Beach Blanket makes for a nice, soft surface to lay baby next to you while doing floor work. It can also be a makeshift yoga mat for a toddler or preschooler who wants to exercise along with mom. Maybe try our exclusive Wizardry print to magically achieve your fitness goals.
Thirsties Swim Diaper ($14.95). All ages and all sizes can get great exercise in the water. If you’re thinking of signing up for a Mommy and Me swim class this year, or if you just want to hit the local Rec Center with baby, a reusable swim diaper is a great option (many pools even require them over disposable swim diapers). We love the cute prints and failproof fit of the Thirsties swim diaper. Available in two sizes that correspond with their Duo Diaper system, you’ll find the perfect fit for your baby but should be able to use the swim diaper for multiple seasons. Beach party makes us wistful for summer and is a fun gender neutral print that will get you and baby moving!
More quality time
Let’s face it … the end of the year is one of a parent’s busiest times and relaxed quality time with our loves one is often pushed to the side. January brings a new chance to slow down, spend some time doing nothing much together and reconnecting. Of course, we’re assuming you’ve had enough distance from the holidays that you want to spend time with your children again. If so, here are some ideas to help foster a chilled out family time.
Fat Brain Off Bits Vehicles and Robots ($14.95). Fat Brain Toys offers a fun, new collaborative building toy called the Off Bits collection. Familiar parts are re-imagined to encourage creativity and engineering skills. These kits come with all the tools you need to make a vehicle or a robot. Designed for elementary aged children (we think 8 and up will love these the most) these are even more fun if a parent works with you. So clear the schedule for an hour and spend some time building together. We’ve heard some great conversations going on in our houses over a set of Off Bits.
bumblito Luxe Clutch ($19). It’s sad but true that alone time is often last on the list when you’re parents. Date night is often a quick bite to eat followed by a trip to Home Depot to discuss paint colors. Glamour, luxury, style are not words that spring to mind for most of us on a weekend night. So treat yourself to this fabulous little bag that will inspire you to go all out on your next date night and bring the romance. These clutches are water resistant and easy to clean because no matter how glamorous your date is, you still might end up with a dirty tissue in the bag at some point. We love the silver color for a sophisticated look and the $19.00 price point for making us feel like a fairy princess on a real world budget.
Onbuhimo from Soul Slings ($79-$99). This Asian inspired baby carrier is not just for babies. We know plenty of toddlers and even preschoolers and beyond who love to be carried. For some kids, touch is just easiest and best way to connect with the adults they love, and that need doesn’t disappear once they start walking. If you’ve got a two year old who seems a little temperamental (are there any other kind of two year olds?) and hasn’t been worn in a while, try taking a little walk around the neighborhood in a carrier. You’ll be surprised how calming babywearing still is for older kids. We love the Onbuhimo’s light, waist free design for easy up and much cooler baby wearing than a traditional soft structured carrier. Designed for back carries, this carrier could soon be part of some great memories spent walking together.
The big PT … those two little words that instill terror in parents everywhere — potty training. If 2018 is looking you in the eyes and saying we’ve got to say goodbye to diapers this year, then read on for some helpful potty training suggestions. Coming from a staff of 9 moms and over 30 babies (some of whom are definitely potty trained and embarrassed to be referred to as babies), we urge you to not rush it, look at your child for signs of readiness and do what you can to make it a calm and even fun process for everyone. And invest in some really good carpet and upholstery cleaner 😉
Lil Learnerz Training Pants ($20.99 – $29.99). The leap from diapers to underwear can be a big one, so some parents like to use training pants. We like Lil Learnerz Training pants, from the same company that brought you Rumparooz products. These trainers are sold in two packs, come in a variety of fun prints and are absorbent enough to contain a small accident. The smaller two sizes snap at the side to make solid waste clean up a breeze and all sizes are pull-up style to make your little one feel like a big kid. Make sure to look closely at the size chart on our web site and even bust out the measuring tape to make sure you get the perfect rise fit for your child.
Bixbee Backpack ($29.99 -$49.99). We have a friend named Brooke who is the mother of 4 and a potty training master. Her method … as soon as they are able to use the potty even sporadically, she gets them a cute backpack to carry their potty training necessities and then the child the carries the backpack wherever they go. The weight of the pack is a tangible reminder to think about going potty and since the kid is carrying all of his own gear, he can really take ownership of the process. We love the small size Bixbee backpack for carrying a change of clothes, some wipes, a wet bag (see below). A medium size would easily fit a portable potty seat as well. Choose an imaginative design like Rocket Flyer above to put the fun into potty training for your little one.
Lalabye Quick Trip Wet Bag ($13). This small wet bag is a great size for carrying a change of clothes which are a necessity because accidents do happen, will happen, just accept it now and be prepared. The waterproof material means you can store soiled clothes in it as well. We like the buckle strap that can easily attach to a stroller, mom’s diaper bag or a baby carrier. The small size makes it easy to stash in a child’s backpack as well.
Whether your budget demands that you make some immediate changes or you are saving for an awesome extra like a dream vacation, a new year is a great time to embrace a new financial life. We have found over the years that small changes you can make in the home really do add up over the months and allow you to funnel money towards more important goals. You know, like a converting the garage into a Mom cave complete with on-call masseuse and extra-large wine fridge . Whatever your dream, here are some places to pinch a few pennies and achieve it.
Cloth Diapers: Osocozy Prefolds ($34.99/dozen Infant Size) and Thirsties Covers ($11.50). Maybe you’ve been considering it for a few months but not sure where to start or if it really will be worth it to switch to cloth diapers financially. We can assure you — there are many ways to cloth diaper and save lots of money versus disposables. A lot of families find they have a small surplus of money around this time of year, either from holiday gifts or when their tax return arrives. This is perfect for the initial start up investment needed. If you purchase 2 dozen Osocozy diapers in infant size (the recommended size for newborns to about 6 months), for $69.98, four Thirsties Covers (see website for size guidelines) for $46, a pack of snappies (elastic tethers that will hold the diaper on the baby) for $10.99, you will literally have everything you absolutely need to cloth diaper a baby for $126.97. No shipping fees to factor in either if you buy from Abby’s Lane. Don’t forget you will also earn an amazing 11% back in reward points, giving you over $10 to put towards an extra cover or a wet bag. Feel free to reach out to us for more budget cloth diapering tips!
Planet Wise Reusable Tinted Food Bags ($16.95 – $18.50) or Re-Play Snack Stackers ($7.25). If you are packing lunches for children and/or adults everyday, you are likely going through plastic sandwich bags at an alarming rate. Stop the trash and pick a reusable solution. The Planet Wise Tinted Food Bags we carry are sold in 3 packs, top rack dishwasher safe and available in two different sizes to meet your snack and lunch needs. We also like the Re-Play Snack Stackers for this purpose. These are sold in sets of two stackers and one lid (extra lids available), are machine washable and seal water tight. Both options will make the planet and your wallet happy.
Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag ($33.95). We have seen a big move towards “un-paper” towels in the kitchen recently and we couldn’t be happier. Paper towels are a major expense and a major environmental burden. However, you don’t need to shell out of a lot of money for custom un-paper towels (though there are many lovely options available from work-at-home moms). There are very economical options as well. Cutting up old towels is a free way to get started. Many discount stores sell “bar rags” for less than a dollar each and these make excellent kitchen rags. We do recommend a reusable, washable place to store them in the kitchen. The Planet Wise wet/dry bag is great for this purpose. The “dry” pocket provides a place to store clean rags and the “wet” pocket will store dirties until it’s time to wash. The whole bag is machine washable and available in a variety of cute prints.
If you are tired and stressed out, then maybe your number New Year’s resolution needs to be to take better care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, right? If you start to take even ten minutes a day to do something that simply makes you feel good, you’ll see a marked improvement in your mood and stress levels. And a happier, calmer parent makes for a happier, calmer family. So be nice to you and take a look at some of our self care suggestions.
SiliKids Coffee Cup ($14.95). These silicone coffee cups have been a huge hit in our chat group Abby’s Chatties over the holiday season as an affordable, fun and practical gift. But don’t forget yourself! Busy parents love that these cups are microwavable and dishwasher safe. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, treat yourself to a nice hot chocolate or herbal tea in this cute little cup.
Saranoni XL Lush with Satin Border Blanket ($99). Saranoni blankets were also a must-have gift this Christmas season. They are beloved because they are seriously the softest and warmest blanket on the planet. Sending one to a loved one is like sending a hug, but don’t forget to hug yourself! If you’ve ever looked at your snug little baby wrapped up in a gorgeous blanket and thought “That looks nice”, don’t wait any longer. A little warmth and comfort will go a long way towards rejuvenating your spirit.
Innobaby Smart Silicone Fish Scrub ($9.99). Innobaby has created an innovative silicone scrub that works wonders at exfoliating in the bath or shower. The adorable fish design was originally for babies, but we’ve heard of so many adults using this scrub that we had to give it a try. It’s amazing! Pair this with your favorite body wash for a invigorating bathing experience that’s sure to leave your skin glowing and smooth.
Whatever your hopes and dreams for 2018 are, we hope the new year brings them to you! Thank you for a fantastic 2017 and we look forward to serving you in 2018.