Jack’s Nine Months Update

Jack’s Nine Months Update

In the past three months since his six months update, Jack has grown up so much. At half a year old he was just beginning to have a few tastes of food, had not yet started crawling and instead used rolling as his main form of transportation, and absolutely dreaded falling asleep… (well, I guess some things have stayed the same)! One thing that has gotten harder with time? Getting my boy to sit still for pictures. Oh my goodness was it difficult to snap a few for this post!

Jack's Nine Month Update

Jack had his nine months checkup yesterday and he weighed 20 pounds 10 oz and is 27 3/4 inches long. In the past few months Jack’s appetite has really grown from a simple diet of breast milk to all different types of vegetables and fruits. As I mentioned in this post, we are working on expanding his pallet by letting him try as many different foods as possible. When I am eating dinner, I try to give him tiny bites of whatever I am eating too. These items include chicken, grilled squash and zucchini, green smoothie, quinoa, edamame, and much more. I have been adding more spice to his food as well, whether that’s with cinnamon in his oatmeal or basil in his veggies. He really seems to love any foods that I am eating, so I hope that this trend will continue. As he continues to get older, I plan to try and serve him even more of what Tim and I are eating. We eat healthy the majority of the time, so I think this will be a great way to include Jack in our mealtimes and get him prepared for eating what we eat in the future. Currently he is having roughly 24-30 ounces of formula a day, and eats three small meals a day alongside his bottles. I am very slowly working on increasing his food intake and decreasing his formula. When I am prepping his meals and his bottles, I give him a few puffs so that he can practice his hand to mouth coordination for feeding himself.

At six months Jack had a tooth or two trying to break through, but now Jack has seven baby teeth. He has four poking through the top and three on the bottom. I know his mouth and gums have to be hurting terribly, but he has actually been really pleasant throughout the teething stage. He hasn’t had any fevers or been too grumpy, and has really only cried out a few times since he started getting them. I swear it all changed over night! He literally went from one tooth to seven teeth in a month and many more of his teeth are starting to show through the gums as well.

When it comes to mobility, Jack is a busy and moving guy! He does not like to be still, and instead wants to be on-the-go at all times. He is constantly playing and if he had it his way, he would be crawling all over the house nonstop. For a lot of the day, I literally follow him around while he crawls and explores. I like to be upstairs since there is carpet on the ground and I know that is a little easier on his knees than the tile and hardwood on the first level. He also loves to pull up on everything – from his crib to the play yard fence and everything in between.

Jack's Nine Month Update

He doesn’t like to be ‘tied’ down much anymore either, so time in the Snugapuppy Swing and ExerSaucer are getting more and more limited. Since I literally can’t walk away from him for fear that he will get hurt, we purchased a fenced and gated play yard. It isn’t the prettiest home decor purchase, but it sure gives me peace of mind that he’ll be safe. Thankfully Jack loves to play in his pen and can usually entertain himself for a bit while I make dinner or put away a load of laundry. I am not sure how I would get anything done without it!

Jack's Nine Month Update

One thing that we do still struggle with that has been a challenge for most of Jack’s life is getting him to sleep. Once he is down he is happy and sleeps like a baby, but he most definitely still fights sleep like crazy. Right now he takes an hour to an hour and a half nap in the morning, maybe a twenty to forty minute nap in the afternoon, and then he is sleeping about 8:30pm-6:30am most nights.

Jack Likes:

  • Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Being Tickled
  • Bath Time
  • Crawling
  • Singing Songs
  • Taking Walks in the Stroller
  • Puffs
  • Swinging!
  • Riding in the Shopping Cart

Jack's Nine Month Update

Jack Dislikes:

  • Being Confined in the Swing or Exersaucer
  • Being Sleepy and/or Going to Sleep
  • Not Being Allowed to Chew Whatever He Wants… (This includes the television remote, my cell phone, basically anything within grabbing distance, etc…!)

Jack’s Nine Month Must Haves:

Jack's Nine Month Must Haves

  1. Superyard Ultimate 6 Panel Freestanding Gate
  2. HappyBABY Superfood Puffs
  3. Sophie la Girafe Teether
  4. Baby Einstein Teether
  5. Carter’s Striped Tank
  6. Carter’s French Terry Shorts
  7. Beautycounter Sunscreen
  8. Nuk 5 oz. Learner Cup
  9. Hanna Andersson Swimmy Shorts
  10. Hanna Andersson Swimmy Sunhat
  11. Hanna Andersson Swimmy Rash Guard
What’s the Deal with Charcoal?

What’s the Deal with Charcoal?

If you follow beauty trends or read fashion and beauty blogs and magazines, then you may have heard about the current trend of using charcoal for banishing acne breakouts and producing radiant and even skin. I am reasonably skeptical about products claiming to produce miracle-like results. Even as a Beautycounter consultant, I still like to approach products with an open mind knowing that everything I try won’t be the best product ever. Needless to say that I went into the Beautycounter Charcoal Bar experience with an open-mind. After using the bar for five months though,  I can honestly say that it’s one of the best skin care products I’ve ever used.

Beautycounter Charcoal Bar

My skin doesn’t break out very often, but Beautycounter’s Charcoal Bar has certainly helped in other ways by evening out my skin tone from any sun damage accumulated over time and acne scarring from my teen years. While I was pregnant, I went through a terrible breakout cycle during the early trimesters, and I only wish I would have known then about this safe-for-my-health and effective product.

The great thing about the Charcoal Bar is that it can literally be used by all ages and all skin types by adapting the usage individually to each person. My skin dries out easier, so I only use my bar 2-3 times each week max and am sure to follow up with a moisturizer and oil when I am done. When I was a teenager, I didn’t quite understand that moisture is good and that a key to healthy skin is finding that balance between adding and removing oils to the skin. I never moisturized and would use harsh products like astringents and toners so logically my skin would freak out and produce more oil to make up for what was being removed and not being put back in. It takes time to figure out what routine your skin likes best, and everyone is different. For example, my husband has battled adult breakouts for years and has literally tried every product for banishing acne that Sephora carries. He has used the charcoal bar since February and has literally not had a single breakout since. He also uses his bar every single morning. His skin can handle it and he’s found the balance that works for him.

Beautycounter is currently sold out of its Charcoal Bar after going through more than 26,000 in just four short weeks. It’s needless to say, but I think it’s pretty obvious this obsession isn’t going away any time soon. Charcoal is both detoxifying and purifying, and helps minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines. The Charcoal Bar’s ability to reduce the occurrence of acne breakouts is just one of the many reasons this product is quickly gaining a cult following. The Charcoal Bar is highly recommended for teenagers as well. We all know what hormonal skin looks like, and during this time is when we really need to promote safe beauty to our daughters, nieces and friends. Teenagers already have enough hormones to deal with, they certainly don’t need any hormone disruptors coming from their skin care!

I just sent out Charcoal Bar sample packs yesterday to a group of 20+ women who are interested in trying the product. I can’t wait to hear what they all think! Since the Charcoal Bar is currently not in stock, I wanted to give those interested the opportunity to try it so when it’s back in stock they will know whether they’re ready to place that order. I only had one bar at my home so I sliced it up and sent it to some wonderful people!

Beautycounter Charcoal Bar

Beautycounter just released its Charcoal Face Mask, which I’m sure is going to be another best seller just like the bar. If you are interested in the Charcoal Bar and/or Charcoal Mask, or have any questions for me, leave your email in the comments below. I would love to talk more with you about #safebeauty!

Safe Home Cleaning

Safe Home Cleaning

Until the start of this year, I can honestly say that I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into the products I was using. I was much more interested in what products work than whether they were safe for my health or not. What I’ve learned since becoming a Beautycounter consultant though is that safe does matter. Safe is possible. And, safe can be be effective. I encourage all of you to do your research, visit the Environmental Working Group’s website, and educate yourself on what ingredients you put on your skin. I am just beginning to realize that eating healthy and knowing what ingredients you put in your body is as important as what ingredients you put on your body!

Since I’ve now found a safe skincare and makeup brand that I love, I am slowly converting all of my products that use ingredients on Beautycounter’s ‘The Never List’ to those better-for-me-and-my-family alternatives.

Beautycounter Never List

Along with my skincare and makeup routine, I also want to ‘clean up’ my home cleaning supplies too! If I am going to take the time to ban toxic chemicals from my beauty supplies, then why wouldn’t I look for ways to transition my cleaning products too?

Norwex Microfiber Cloths and Bathroom Mitt Scrubber

I asked for recommendations on Facebook for safe cleaning products, and one that stood out to me was a company called Norwex. I received my delivery at the end of last week and couldn’t wait to put the products to the test! The products that caught my eye weren’t cleaning solutions at all, but were actually reusable microfiber cloths and scrubbers that require only water to clean up those dirty and dusty messes that seem to appear out of nowhere. The cloths are not cheap in the least bit, but a friend of mine uses Norwex cloths and swears by them. She told a story of being in her third trimester and finishing up her Master’s in nursing and her mom and sister came over and deep cleaned her entire house using only these Norwex cloths. After that review, I decided to test out the cloths knowing that they have a great return policy if they didn’t live up to my hopes. I purchased the following items:

I have only used my Norwex items once, but so far I am happy with my purchase. The Window Cloth is amazing and doesn’t leave any streaks using just water, which in my opinion pays for itself. It is so hard to get windows and mirrors clean without streaks, so the fact that this wipe does it without any cleaning solution is a miracle. The Envirocloth acted as a duster on all of my furniture and it shined my kitchen countertop without leaving streaks either. I like that the Envirocloth can be used wet or dry. When it’s dry, the cloth creates a static that picks up dust and any loose dog hair that is set on landing against my base boards!

When it comes to the Bathroom Scrub Mitt, I liked it, but I am thinking that I was expected miracles! I do not enjoy cleaning my shower and tubs at all, so I was hoping this product would kind of do it for me! The Bathroom Scrub Mitt has microfiber on one side and a scrub mesh on the other. It did clean the dirt and grime from my bathroom, but it took a lot of elbow grease on my part. I am obsessed with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for cleaning my showers and bathtubs and sinks, but I could definitely see the Scrub Mitt taking its place or at least being a complement to it. Maybe every other time using the scrub mitt and then the eraser? We will see! I do really like the mitt though and it did a wonderful job of getting my bathroom clean. Next time I think I will just go into cleaning day with more realistic expectations!


  • Cloths and Mitt only need water
  • Cloths and Mitt are reusable
  • Cloths and Mitt don’t have to be laundered after every wash
  • Cloths and Mitthave BacLock™*, the micro silver agent in the cloth that goes to work with self-purification properties against mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours so that it is ready to use again
  • Cloths and Mitt last up to two years


  • Expensive
  • No ‘clean’ smell

Overall though, I would say that after my first use I was very happy with my purchases! There is a Norwex mop that I have my eye on too, as well as the makeup remover wipes that both only need water for use. Those are on my wish list for down the road, but today I am glad I bought the basic pieces to try.

Conversation Time.

  • Tell Me – Do you have any safe home cleaning suggestions?
  • What are your favorite products to use? Have you ever used Norwex products before?


Simple Strawberry Compote

Simple Strawberry Compote

There is quite a few festivals that takes place in southwest Ohio during the spring, summer and fall months. We certainly like to celebrate around here, especially when it comes to fresh food and seasonal ingredients.

Simple Strawberry Compote

Berry season is officially in full bloom, and last weekend was the annual Strawberry Festival. It’s one of my favorite local events and it’s always very popular, aka crowded, but for good reason. Everywhere you turn there are delicious strawberry treats like strawberry shortcake, strawberry lemonade, the ever popular strawberry donuts, and much more.

Simple Strawberry Compote

We didn’t go to the Festival this year, but in honor of strawberry season I made a simple and traditional strawberry compote for our Sunday morning waffles. This recipe calls for less sugar than most, and would be delicious on pretty much anything – waffles, oatmeal, ice cream, white and chocolate cake, or fresh pound cake. If you just so happen to have whip cream on hand too, it would be the perfect partner to this semi-sweet fruit topping.

Simple Strawberry Compote

Simple Strawberry Compote


  • 3 Cups Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp. Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp. Corn Starch


  • Over medium heat, bring strawberries, orange juice, sugar, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon to a boil. Carefully mash strawberries as they become soft. (I actually used a potato masher and it worked great!)
  • While strawberries come to a boil, mix corn starch with two tablespoons of warm water until dissolved. Whisk into boiling berries.
  • Turn heat to low and let mixture simmer 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Simple Strawberry Compote

Conversation Time:

  • What are your favorite local festivals to attend?
That Rosy Summer Glow

That Rosy Summer Glow

Since I only work in an office a couple times a week, I keep my makeup routine limited when I’m at home with Jack. For the most part I focus on skincare products to keep my skin as healthy as I can. Every morning I begin my skincare routine by washing with Beautycounter’s Routine Clean Cream Cleanser, followed by three drops of Lustro Oil #1 for moisture. Sometimes I will stop there and simply let my skin breathe and soak in all those good ingredients throughout the day and other days I will add Tint Skin to my routine. There are some mornings though when I wake up after a less than restful night and know that I need a little beauty pick-me-up to look alive! Enter Beautycounter’s Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus.

Beautycounter Color Pinch Cream Cleanser in Hibiscus

This two-in-one product is extremely beautiful, functional and easy-to-use. I like to swipe a bit of the product on my hand, and then I pat it onto the apples of my cheeks and up my jaw line, blending until smooth.

Beautycounter Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus

I then use a precision brush to apply it to my lips as well. All I have to do to complete my simple look is curl my eyelashes and swipe a coat of Beautycounter’s Lengthening Mascara on my top and bottom lashes. Talk about it a simple skincare and makeup routine, only four products are needed to create a look that’s pretty and put together.

Recently I sent my friend Ashley, fitness and health coach and blogger on her namesake website, ashleylwiseman.com. <– Formerly myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com! I got to chatting about Beautycounter with Ashley and offered to send her a product of her choosing. After we talked about her options, she decided to give the Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus a try and loved it! She tried it for the first time when she went to church with her family, and used it on both her cheeks and lips. Here is what Ashley said in her Instagram post:

This weekend I got to try a new-to-me makeup product that I am officially head over heels in love with! The Cream Blusher in hibiscus by Beauty Counter is the perfect touch of color to add to your cheeks and also your lips! I love that I can use it for blush AND lipstick … 2 in 1 baby! It’s moisturizing, easy to apply, and the color is so pretty.

Ashley Wiseman - Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus

Pretty great right? I love this product so much and just knew a fellow busy mama like Ashley would love it too. The Cream Blusher is one of my must have products for summer since it blends so well and stays put. Definitely an important feature to have in makeup for the warm months ahead!

Are you interested in trying Beautycounter’s Color Pinch Cream Blusher or any of our products? Simply comment below or email me at jana.antil@gmail.com and we will chat all things #betterbeauty!