Baby Stuff I Like

Belly-Jeans: Maternity Jeans Conversions

Recently I used a service to alter my old jeans in order to fit me during my post partum period. The company I used is has been in operation since 2002 and the owner, Cheryl Holst, another 'mompreneur', provides a service where she converts your old jeans into maternity jeans.  The changes to your jeans/pants/skirts are permanent. Cheryl will tailor your jeans using her 'Belly Band' invention and make your jeans wearable again at a very reasonable price!

I discovered Belly Jeans in July 2012 by accident when a person connected to my website from My Feedjit audience tracking software identified this person as being from India, which sparked my curiosity. Feedjit also identified the website that this person came from in order to connect to The person from India had come in from the 'Favorite Parenting Resources' tab on, where Cheryl listed as a parenting resource website.

Here is the link to her site:

Also, here is the link to her "favorite links" page where I am listed under "Parenting Resources":

Cheryl also has a Facebook page that you can check out as well:

You can also purchase Belly Jeans converted pants from her website or, if you have jeans that need to be converted, you can purchase tailoring services. In addition, Belly Jeans offers other tailoring services such as V-fly extension, patching and hemming. Below are pictures from her site of examples of her work as well as pictures of my recent Belly Jeans conversion:

Here is an example of the V-fly extension on her  'Half-DemiBand' style.  With this style, Cheryl uses her 'Belly-Band' on the front only.

I had the 'Full-DemiBand' style done for my jeans. The cost of these conversions are  only $20-$25!
If you scroll down you will see a picture of me with the 'Full-DemiBand' look

This is an example of her use of a patch with a colorful matching band (see picture to the right). I also used a colorful matching band for my Belly Jeans conversion (see the picture below).  As you can see below, the colorful band really adds a stylish and expensive look to the jeans.

This is how it worked:
I sent her my jeans by mail and had them altered with this colorful 'Belly-Band' that would match many of my clothes. Now, no matter what size I am, I will always be able to fit into these jeans!

Cheryl converted the jeans with the 'Full DemiBand' and shipped them back to me in about one week.

Once my waistline is back to normal, I will have more room in these jeans and the 'Belly- Band' will allow the jeans to adjust according to my body shape.

As far as my smallest jeans/pants/skirts are concerned, I am saving those for when my waistline is back to normal. It is more cost effective for me to have my largest jeans/pants/skirts converted with the Belly Jeans 'Belly-Band' instead of purchasing larger clothes, especially expensive jeans.

My suggestion is to have your larger clothes altered rather than your smaller clothes. However, depending on your body shape, you may choose to have all of your jeans altered. If you decide to use this service, please tell Cheryl that you read about it on!

Happy Jean Altering Everyone!

- Joy E.
Posted October 4, 2012
*Please do not use my articles and photos without permission from me.
** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.


 Monte Grano Glider/Recliner

This is the rocking chair that I chose for my baby's nursery.
I was searching for an eco-friendly, baby friendly rocking chair but was worried about buying one like this because of the harsh chemicals that are used in the glues, wood and, especially, the foam in normal furniture. Monte is a Canadian company that designs modern furniture specifically for nurseries.  They follow higher standards than what is used by furniture companies in the United States, so I knew that their furniture would be safer. Monte is an eco-friendly company and you can read all about their product materials here:

This particular rocking chair is a Glider as well as a Recliner. The recline lever is located between the main cushion and the armrest. A quick pull of the lever makes the foot rest pop up and reclines the chair for a very comfortable recline. I have actually slept in this chair and, for the first 4-5 months after my baby was born, I nursed my baby only in this chair because it supported my weight and hers without making me feel uncomfortable while still healing from her birth.  You can purchase this chair directly here:

The chair arrived exactly as you see it in the picture here. There was no assembly required. Since they do not use any chemicals in the material, the recliner did not off-gas any type of smell at all - it was like the chair had been living with us for a long time and had no odor at all (their fabrics are manufactured according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100).

There are a variety of colors that you can choose for the chair and the lumbar pillow (included with the chair). As you can see from the picture here, I chose the chair in the stone color and the lumbar pillow in pink. It has been a wonderful investment and, because we chose to buy it in a neutral color, it can eventually be moved into the living room and join our other furniture.  I can't say enough about this chair, I just love it! -Joy E., Posted July 7, 2012 (moved from "Cool Kids" Stuff tab) 


My Stroller Decision: Bugaboo Cameleon

Hello Moms,

I bought the Bugaboo Cameleon over the Uppababy Vista and the Orbit for several reasons:

1. The Bugaboo handles easier and I love the fact that you can change the handlebar and seat position. You can move the handlebar to the opposite side so that the bigger (rear) wheels are in front, making it easier to maneuver over tough terrain, like grass or a brick/cobblestone sidewalk.  Since the Bugaboo has an adjustable handlebar, my husband (who is taller) can push the stroller with more comfort. The stroller has 4-wheel suspension giving it a plush ride with no-pump rear tires (the tires are filled with EVA foam) - this is a very convenient feature.

2. It is ergonomically correct and in the bassinet is a breathable aerobed mattress (designed to help prevent SIDS should your child roll over).

3. The storage bag below has a drawstring on each end so it can be stuffed and closed.  The storage bag is made of a solid, water resistant, durable material (instead of a mesh) that allows you to store clothing and blankets without fear of them getting wet if you get caught in the rain or roll over a puddle.

4. The stroller chassis is collapsible with all of your storage in the bag. A lot of strollers this size can not collapse with storage in the bottom. Some luxury strollers need to have the storage bag emptied first in order to pack up the stroller.

5.  The front wheels have an adjustment feature to accommodate for your child's increase in weight (every 10 pounds, up to 40 pounds). This feature allows the stroller to continue to move easily even as more pressure is applied to the front of the stroller from your growing baby and, therefore, makes pushing the stroller less tiresome and difficult.

6. The available colors are much prettier than the other strollers and you can buy an additional color (for $99) and feel like you have a brand new stroller (especially if you bought or were given a used stroller). I bought my Bugaboo stroller canopy in the dark pink (seen above) and it is just beautiful.

7. I love the fact that the stroller chassis is compatible with the Maxi-Cosi car seat. However, you have to buy the adapters separately in order to attach it to a Bugaboo stroller. See link here for the pair of adapters (@$50):

The Uppababy Vista has become very popular and I think their best feature is that it can be expanded to accommodate more children. If you plan to have a second baby, the chassis can support a rumble seat that can attach to the front of the frame and a Piggyback Ride Along Board to accommodate an older child. 

Although, if you only plan on having just one child, or spreading them out over several years, the Cameleon is a great choice.

With that being said, I love all three strollers, but my decision was based solely on likes and dislikes. For me, the Orbit's biggest advantage besides the 360 degree seat turn was the fact that the car seat popped in and out of the car and stroller with ease.

I hope my fellow moms found this information helpful.  As far as picking out a new stroller, I suggest that you pick whichever one is going to suit your needs the best and fits with your lifestyle.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment, Facebook/Twitter me, subscribe by e-mail or join as a Fan/Google Friend using the gadgets to the right of this article.

Happy stroller shopping!

- Joy E.
Posted July 3, 2012
*Please do not use my articles without permission from me.
** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.

Hello Moms,

I just wanted to share a sweet keepsake idea that I think is worth every penny.

Salt Marsh Pottery is a group of artists who are 'mostly mothers', according to their website, who create all sorts of interesting pottery and commemorative pieces including these wonderful baby hands and feet tiles The tiles typically include the name, age and date of birth of your little one, if you prefer.

I purchased a tile from Heather, an artist at Salt Marsh Pottery, when she came to the Isis Parenting store in the Prudential Center Mall in Boston.  There were lots of customers buying tiles that day but she was very quick in putting the clay forms together for each person and handling the babies gently.  I am sure she and the other artists are very busy creating those tiles and I can't wait to see my daughter's tile!

Also, here is the list of the 2013  Baby Hand print & Foot print Events Calendar that they host in several states in New England.

In case you were curious about how the tiles are made, the process of producing the tiles is predictable, but quick and painless for your baby.  Here is a picture of a baby having her hand pressed onto the clay to make the hand print. The tile will later be placed in the kiln several times, hand painted, glazed and finished.

Each tile comes with tabs for hanging on the wall and you have a choice of a blue, pink, sand or green background.

As you notice from the green tile above, there are several little decorative design stamps that compliment the tile and add style.  Salt Marsh Pottery offers several design stamps that you can choose from (up to 4 per tile) to decorate your unique tile.

The design stamps can also be added with additional colors, or different colors, depending on how they look against the background color.

Salt Marsh Pottery also offers your baby hand print tile in the form of a coaster or, if preferred, as an ornament.  The process of producing this item is the same as the tile except you will need to choose which hand will be used for the coaster/ornament.  Lots of people like these coasters/ornaments because they make nice gifts for grandparents or other family members. There are also other examples of the tiles that they have on their website that involve two sets of prints i.e. parent and child or siblings on the same tile.

Salt Marsh Pottery also has a Facebook page if you would like to check out more pictures of their different pottery.

I am looking forward to hanging my baby's tile in her nursery and having it as a keepsake for our family to enjoy for years to come. If some of my readers find this keepsake interesting, pass it along to a friend - Salt Marsh Pottery still has many events during the summer that people can attend if interested!

Thank you for stopping by my website and feel free to comment, Facebook/Twitter my website, subscribe by e-mail or join as a Fan/Google Friend using the gadgets to the right of this article.

Enjoy your keepsakes everyone!

- Joy E.
Posted May 19, 2012

*Please do not use my articles and photos without permission from me. 
** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.

***UPDATEMy baby tile is here!  I just love it!  (Excuse the post-its, I had to block the information).

 *Note: I have not been paid to endorse this business.

Hello Moms,

I recently wrote below about the Weleda products but decided to share a couple of other ideas regarding the diaper station as well. 
First of all, the diaper organizer I use is made by Munchkin (this company has been named "Vendor of the Year" by Babies R Us in a recent press release) and is sold at Target here:
I really like this organizer because most wipes warmers fit on the top level and the pockets on the side are wide enough to accommodate full size bottles and tubes. It comes with a disposable bag dispenser on the right side for convenience (and is now sold in a white color).

I also use the Prince Lionheart wipes warmer. It has worked well with different brands of wipes and is easy to clean. It comes with a special sponge that must be kept moist (you must REPLACE the sponge every 2 months and clean the wipes warmer and sponge every week to avoid your child getting a rash!!! A thank you to Nikol of for this advice!). The heart (on the front) lights up adding a nice soft glow in the baby's room at night. Here is the link to the wipes warmer:

Again, like most wipes warmers, you have to remove the wipes and clean/disinfect the sponge every week as well as disinfect the wipes warmer (do not use regular sanitizer, it will destroy the sponge - I use BabyGanics Foaming sanitizer or liquid soap and a cloth!). Once every two (2) months, I replace the sponge to prevent the baby from getting rashes - ALWAYS replace your wipes warmer sponge every 2 months (even if the company recommends every 3 months). Here is a link to the extra sponges (known as 2-Pack Everfresh Replacement Pillows):

I hope this little tidbit is useful to some of you.  If so, feel free to comment, Facebook/Twitter my website, subscribe by e-mail or join as a Fan/Google Friend using the gadgets to the right of this article.

Happy changing everyone!
- Joy E.
Posted May 10, 2012

*Please do not use my articles without permission from me.
** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.


Hello Moms,

One of the biggest challenges that I have in dealing with diaper care is the occasional diaper rash.  I have tried several brands and the best, chemically safest brand that I have used is Weleda.

According to the Weleda website, Weleda is a 90-year-old company from Switzerland that started in 1921 during a health and wellness movement called 'anthroposophy' (an intellectual-spiritual based philosophy). This movement, stemming from the teachings of philosopher Dr. Rudolf Steiner who, along with other scientists, used this philosophy to ‘develop a personal approach to health care using natural ingredients that can holistically work with and support our own body’s healing tendencies.’

Steiner and his group created the world’s first gardens that were 'Biodynamic' (a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture), and Weleda still operates those gardens today.  The concept is not necessarily new, but was put into practice by the founders of Weleda.

Weleda boasts that ‘not once was a synthetic chemical or lab-made preservative used in the process’ of creating their products.

I bought the Weleda Baby starter kit for $13 at Whole Foods Supermarket and now love using Weleda products. Also, the travel kit has been great to have with me in my diaper bag for short trips.  The starter kit is also available at the Weleda website:                                                                                                                                                                                
The Weleda Baby starter kit includes all of these items:
  • Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash
  • Calendula Diaper Care
  • Calendula Baby Cream
  • Calendula Lotion
  • Calendula Face Cream

However, the starter kit does not include a baby oil. For just $2.00 you can purchase the Weleda Calendula travel size Oil from the Weleda website.   
I use the oil all of the time on my baby as a massage oil. Here is the link:

I hope my fellow moms find this suggestion useful and helpful.  Thanks again for visiting my website and feel free to comment, Facebook/Twitter my website, subscribe by e-mail or join as a Fan/Google Friend using the gadgets to the right of this article.

                                             Happy Parenting everyone!
                                             - Joy E.
                                             Posted May 4, 2012

 *Please do not use my articles and photos without permission from me.
** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.


To save your precious baby's knee skin during the crawling phase, you will need:
If utilizing this remedy, please share this article with your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace, WordPress and Tumblr friends:

1. Use a wet, warm cloth (or baby wipe) to wipe her knees, legs and heels until the skin is moist (the warm cloth should not be hot enough to burn the skin!) 

2. Once the skin is moist, rub the Weleda cream on her knees, legs and heels.  This will soften the skin, correct any damage and prevent the skin from becoming rough and patchy (you may have seen adults with this problem on their knee skin). 

3. Once both legs are done, PUT ON her crawling pants and her leather soft sole shoes immediately. 

4. Make sure that you put on her crawling pants and her soft sole shoes before letting her crawl around the house.  

5. Repeat these instructions three times per day. If for some reason your baby crawls for more than 30 minutes without protection on her knees and heels, immediately use this system to preserve and protect her skin.
6. If you have rough skin on your knees/heels/feet/legs yourself, wet the skin and apply a layer of the Weleda Baby Cream in the morning. I have used this cream on my heels and knees and my skin is a lot softer and looks healthier. The Calendula has really helped with the dry patches on my knees.

Weleda contains Calendula, is a flower extract that is great for solving patchy, rough skin.  Calendula is has healing properties and can help the body re-manufacture certain cells and is wonderful for your skin and fingernails. 

This is a great remedy for solving the issue of damaged skin on your baby's knees and heels. hopes this remedy helps new moms with this issue.  Now we can all look forward to seeing our children with nicer looking knees and heels!

I hope that my friends will use these products and my remedy, just like I did with my daughter, and save your little one's knees from feeling sore!

Feel free to comment, Facebook/Twitter my blog, subscribe by e-mail or join as a Fan/Google Friend using the gadgets to the right of this article.

Happy knees everyone!
Joy E.
Posted November 8, 2012 (moved from "Cool Kids" Stuff tab) 

 *Please do not use my articles and photos without permission from me. Contact me at

** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.

Hello Moms,

Is your baby crawling yet?  My baby is not, but I know babies that are and I recently gave these pants as gifts to several friends. They are called Bee's Knees Crawling Pants.

 The pants were the invention of "mompreneur", Tammany Atkinson, who "created a soothing solution to one bruiser of a problem", according to her website.

When her first son, Jackson, started to crawl, she noticed that his stumbling around was taking a toll on his little knees. She came up with the idea of creating pants with neoprene pads sewn into the knees to protect babies during the crawling stage.

You can read about the company here:

I purchased these pants from this site:

Crawling Pants in Pink:

Crawling Pants in Tan:

Crawling Pants in Denim:

When my daughter starts to crawl, I will purchase several of these pants. Remember, the knees can get very red from rubbing the ground, especially carpet.

I also have a remedy to protect and treat the skin on your baby's knees from becoming damaged over time by the chaffing from rugs and hardwood flooring during their crawling stage (little bumps will appear on the damaged part of your baby's knees).
See my instructions below.

Happy knees everyone!
Joy E.
Posted April 18, 2012


Hello Friends,

In the Arboretum on Mother's Day, 2012

I had fantastic pregnancy photos taken in May 2011 when I was 6 months pregnant. My photographer is wonderful, lives nearby in Somerville, MA and is very friendly and reasonable. Her name is Bella Wang and here is her website:
(formerly known as

Our family at the Arboretum, May 2013
We have had Bella take outdoor photos in the Arnold Arboretum in May and on Lilac Sunday, which is every Mother's Day in the Arnold Arboretum. In 2011, along with our photos, we received a DVD that included a slideshow of our best pregnancy pictures set to music and fading one into the other (see below). The DVD was lovely and I set it to replay on my laptop for several hours at my baby shower!  
My lovely 2013 family photos: can be viewed here:
Here are the wonderful 2014 family photos:
We continue to use Bella Wang for our family photos in 2015 and 2016! If you want to check out information about this year's Lilac Sunday, on May 8, 2016 at the Arnold Arboretum, visit their website here:

Here is the 1:19 minute slideshow of our pregnancy photos taken on Mother's Day 2011, with music by Philip Wesley. The song is called 'Light and Shadow' from his 'Dark Night of the Soul' album (
Joy & Frank, Mother's Day 2011, 00:01:19

I hope you enjoyed our pictures and I will post again soon about my favorite baby stuff - but wanted to start with Bella first!

- Joy E.
Posted April 14, 2012
**Updated March 30, 2016 

By the way, I want to thank my international visitors for viewing my site!

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*Please do not use my articles and photos without permission from me.

** is not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.


  1. Aww thanks sweetheart!! :) What a lovely site you have going here and your baby is a cutie pie!! I love that picture. Things must be very busy for you right now so I am very appreciative of the shout-out on this site and the email I received. I will write you back ASAP. Just wanted to check out your new site!

  2. Thank you for stopping by Bella! We love our pictures and can't wait to have you take more of our family. I hope we have nice weather again this year - I love the outdoor shoots the best!

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Keep up the great work!!