Choosing the right Car Seat for a first time Mommy

I am so close! Only a few more months until I finally get to meet my mini me. My little friend who I have been waiting so patiently for. I cannot wait to hold her little hands and feet, and kiss her little nose and cheeks! It’s crazy how my life completely changed once I found out I was pregnant, and I haven't even met her yet. I can't even imagine what it will be like once I actually get to know WHO she is!

Getting ready for baby has been so fun. Since it's my first, I literally have to get everything and learn about everything from scratch. It's not as simple as just going to any store and buying any bottle, or any stroller, or any car seat... there are so many factors to consider and as a first-time mommy, I have so many questions on what will truly be best for my little girl.

I have checked off a few things off my list already as I wrote about in my last post about Philips Avent bottles, sterilizer, and warmer. Now the next thing on my list was the car seat. It's tough because there are so many features to a car seat and different things to look for that I didn't know which one would be the "right" one. How do I know which one is the best brand? The safest? The most practical?

Not to mention, I have to choose a car seat that will also fit with the stroller I am getting, since it will make things (I've been told) a lot easier when transporting my baby around from one area to the next. This also made things a bit confusing for me, because I wasn't sure how to know which car seat would work with which stroller? (lol).

I did some google research, and I headed on down to the Snuggle Bugz in Kanata for some expert advice. I had read many reviews about the Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat by Maxi Cosi and had a few questions that I felt much more comfortable asking an expert in person, then to base all my decisions from google alone. I wanted to know if it was safe, comfortable, practical, and light.

Also, as mentioned, I wanted to make sure it would fit with my stroller (I am getting the Valco Baby Snap Ultra Trend stroller). Seriously guys, these things can be so confusing when you're a first time mommy, but after chatting with the team at Snuggle Bugz in Kanata and doing some research online, I think I am starting to get the hang of this!

So I decided to go with the Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat because it checked off all the things on my list. It's safe with Air Protect Side Impact Protection and an anti-rebound bar, comfortable with the Cozi-Dozi insert providing head and neck support for smaller babies, practical, light, AND I got a car seat adaptor that will allow it to fit perfectly into my Valco baby Snap Ultra Trend stroller!

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Thanks to the wonderful and super helpful team at Snuggle Bugz in Kanata, my little girl is going to look so cute and fashionable in her car seat, while of course being safe and comfortable.

Let the countdown begin!

You can find more about Snuggle Bugz' here:

Instagram: @snugglebugzbaby
Facebook: @snugglebugz
Website: www.snugglebugz.ca

More of Maxi Cosi here:

Instagram: @maxicosicanada

And more of me here:

Instagram: @CarlaMariaBruno & My Baby Girl Instagram
Watch our Travel Adventures on YouTube
Facebook: TravelWithMeTV
Blog: www.CarlaMariaBruno.com

Photography by: Bethany Amanda

Instagram: @bethanyamandaweddingphoto
Website: www.bethanyamandaphotography.com

My Pink, White, and Gold Tea Party Themed Baby Shower

Last weekend, May 20, I got to celebrate my Pink, White, and Gold Tea Party Themed Baby Shower with close friends of the family. Women who have been a part of my life for many years, some ever since I was born. I feel so special and lucky to have been able to share such a special part of my life with all of them!

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My sister, who now lives in California, flew down to Ottawa the night before the shower to celebrate with us. Of course she wasn't going to miss out on my first ever baby shower! I was so happy to have her here, since she is my one and only sibling, and best friend, I had missed her so much this past month so her being here this week was wonderful! 

She is staying the week because I actually had two baby showers (Baby Shower # 2: Tropical Baby Shower). 

My mom has been, as always, so helpful in every step of every journey I have always taken. She is my rock, and best friend. I love her so much - just writing this makes my heart feel so warm inside. I started planning my baby shower months ago, connecting with so many talented vendors in Ottawa to make it all come together. My mom was a part of each step, and spent weeks with me talking, discussing, brainstorming and planning over "mate" (a popular Argentinean tea).

She stayed up all hours of the night, days before the shower, designing and baking all of the different sweets for my dessert table. I cannot believe how gorgeous the stork cookies turned out. Each cookie took hours to make, and was made out of pure love! I am so lucky to have the best mom in the world, I can only hope to be as amazing as her one day. I look up to her, and love her with all my heart!

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My dad is the cutest! Of course he doesn't know much about how to plan a baby shower, but he was so helpful in any possible way he could be. We hosted the shower at my parents home which was originally planned for being outside in their backyard because they have a beautiful and big one, but the weather called for rain so we had to last minute plan for indoors (it ended up being a gorgeous day outside anyways, so we ate inside, but played games and hung out outside). 

My poor parents had to move everything out of the dinning room so we could arrange the gorgeous set up that I had all my vendors coming in to do the morning of. But it was no questions asked, my dad (just as much as my mom) wanted this day to be perfect! So he spent days moving all the furniture out, making sure everything was in order, tiding up, working with our gardener to make sure the backyard and front yard were perfect, cutting the hedges, opening the pool etc! I am so lucky to have such a strong and kind father, who has given his life for me and has done nothing but love and protect me! 

Alright so now lets chat about the design. Because I decided to have two baby showers (it was easier this way because of the large number of guests), I had to also come up with two themes. The first baby shower, hosted by my mom and sister, was a Tea Party Themed Baby shower. The colours were all pink, white, and gold (with a hint of green). My mom worked with Lara from Golden Apple Events who helped organize day-of scheduling, game ideas, execution of games, day-of set up, and kept the whole day running smoothly according to schedule! She was amazing!

We completely changed our dinning room into a Tea Party sit down. With the help of all the vendors who completely understood my vision, we created the set up even more beautifully than I had imagined! At the end of the room, right behind where I sat, Sage Designs set up a stunning white and pink fabric backdrop. They also provided us with gold chairs, and white linen which made the whole room feel so special. 

Monara Events supplied the chinaware, because what's a tea party without the tea cups and tea pots, right? Sticking to the white, pink, and gold theme, we set up each table with gorgeous sandwich plates, dessert plates, tea cups and saucers, tea pots, creamers, and sugar bowls!

The savoury sandwiches, scones, cheese and fruit was provided by Centurion Conference and Event Centre. They also provided hot and cold drinks, as well as the juice cups, cutlery and napkins for each guest. 

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I worked with Carling Flowers to create the stunning flower centrepieces for each table. Originally, when we thought the baby shower was going to be outside, we were going to have one long table, so it was going to be one large centrepiece in the middle, and then two medium ones on either side. However our last minute decision to bring the party inside meant we would have three separate tables, and therefore needed 6 centrepieces. Carling Flowers had no issue with this last minute change, and they were so easy to work with. They truly ended up creating gorgeous arrangements! The colours were perfect and so romantic!

Lettered it not only designed gorgeous place cards, but she hand wrote each guests name on each of them! They were flawless - it was the perfect touch to the whole set up. She also made me a beautiful welcome sign that was placed on the outside of the house for when my guests arrived. I was in love with everything! 

I was so happy with the balloon wall that Balloons N' Blossoms created on the outside of the house. Right at the entrance, they completely covered the brick around the front door and made a fabulous wall of small and large white balloons, which took them two days to create! They came the night before and the morning of, to finish it all. It turned out super cute, and was the perfect spot to stand and take photos!

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It was so easy to work with The Loot Bag Lady. I told her my Tea Party Theme, and Baby Shower colours of pink, white, and gold, and she took it from there. She spent a couple of days crafting the gift favours for my guests and presented me with the design. Of course, they were perfect! Little tea cups and saucers, with a tea bag on the inside, all wrapped up in cellophane, and tied with each guest name. 

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The Paper Florist hand-made each and every single flower that you see on the walls and around the dessert table! She is extremely talented and was an angel to work with. She worked closely with me on my design and completely understood my vision. We created a flower wall at the entrance where my guests and I could stand and pose to take photos. Of course, sticking to theme of pink, white, and gold. Then she set up a charming marble table with gold legs (which she made!!!), and a white and gold backdrop (also made by her) that was framed with more of her beautiful hand made paper flowers. Wow! 

As mentioned above, my mom made all the super cute cookies! Each hand made! As many of you may know, I started CarlasCakes 8 years ago, so of course, I am a baker. But my mom didn't want me to have to make my own baby shower cake so we split up the work! She baked family recipe cake flavours and I decorated! The top tier was a vanilla cake that was filled with Dulce De Leche and rolled up to create those lines when you cut into it! Then the top and bottom of the vanilla roll was our famous chocolate cake that we use for everything! The bottom tier is literally, the BEST carrot cake EVER! Picture a super moist cake, stuffed with walnuts, coconut, raisons, pineapple, and carrot, with a hint of cinnamon and layered with cream cheese frosting in the middle. Mmmmm, all of my guests loved it and couldn't have enough of it (including myself, I think I ended up having 2 slices lol)! Its been a family recipe forever, and will most likely stay that way for many more generations to come! We tied it all together with white macarons, and adorable chocolate and vanilla cupcakes that were filled with chocolate and vanilla cream and lined with a beautiful and classy white lace liner. 

As a thank you to my wonderful mother and sister, I got my Hostess Gift Baskets from Inka Organics. I wrote another blog with more detail about what each basket had because they are both so special and unique that I want to focus on each with more detail! Read Here They are organic and practical gift basket items each different and unique and perfect for each hostess!

I have been working with Bethany my photographer, for over a month now. I trust her 100% for all of my photos that she takes for my Instagram, and of course for my Baby Shower. She is so fun to work with. She knows my good side (lol) and knows what kind of photos I like! She is very professional in her work and takes stunning photos. I love working with her! She is truly the best!

I am blessed to have worked with such a talented and amazing team of women, who all came together to make this special day perfect! The attention to detail from each vendor really brought the whole event together and made it exceptional. 

Thank you again to everyone, I couldn't have done it without you!

Check out each vendor on Instagram:

Event Planner: Golden Apple Events
Fabric Backdrop, Chairs, & Linen: Sage Designs
Chinaware: Monara Events
Food & Drinks: Centurion Conference and Event Centre
Flower Arrangements: Carling Flowers
Place Cards & Welcome Sign: Lettered it
Balloon Wall: Balloons N' Blossoms
Gift Favours: The Loot Bag Lady
Paper Flower Wall, Marble Table, & Paper Flower Back Drop: The Paper Florist
Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies & Macarons: CarlasCakes
Hostess Gift Baskets: Inka Organics
Photography: Bethany 

Getting Baby Ready with Snuggle Bugz' and Phillips Avent

I can't believe, that after all of these years travelling around the world, and going on so many different adventures like flying over volcanos on helicopters, riding camels in the desert, and zip-lining over jungles, the best adventure has yet to come: Motherhood!

I am officially back in Canada and living in Ottawa (my hometown), after traveling with my husband for the past 6 years. I have been to over 30 countries, and him and I lived 4 months in California and 2.5 years in Dubai. Its been a crazy ride, but when we found out we were pregnant we of course decided to settle down near close friends and relatives and get ready to start our own little family!

I've always dreamed of the day I would fall pregnant with my own baby girl. Although 28 weeks in, and I still pinch myself to see if this is all real! My pregnancy journey has been so blessed, and preparing myself each day for the moment I officially become a mommy has been wonderful. 

Every week I watch as my tummy grows bigger and cuter, and feel as her little kicks and movements become stronger and more frequent. I can't believe a mini me is growing inside, and until the day I finally get to meet my little peanut I have started to prepare all the essentials that I will need for when she arrives into this world. 

Snuggle Bugz' - Canada's Baby Store in Kanata has been so helpful in my journey. Every pregnancy question I ask has always been answered with a smile and they have truly been so wonderful! I am so lucky to have Snuggle Bugz' location so close to home in Kanata as they specialize in literally all things baby! From strollers, to car seats (which, I find to be so confusing!! There are so many sizes and adaptors and everything else in between... but that's a different story), bottles, bouncers, etc. 

Like every crazy mommy-to-be I have been doing a ton of research on everything baby. It could be because I currently know nothing about baby products, or it could just be because I am obsessing over getting the perfect everything for my little girl. Either way, I can't stop (lol). 

One specific baby product I have been looking into a lot are bottles. There are so many brands out there that it started to get a bit overwhelming. I spoke with Snuggle Bugz' and they suggested the Phillips Avent bottle brands, as they come highly recommended. I dug a little deeper and did some more research and it turns out they have amazing reviews all over the internet, and many of my mommy friends have also told me that Avent Bottles are amazing. 

So, I went ahead and got myself some Baby Feeding Essentials which I can now happily check off of my list:

Philips Avent – Express Food & Bottle Warmer:

  • For days when you're rushed off your feet, this Philips Avent baby bottle warmer warms your milk quickly and evenly in just 3 minutes.
  • For the FUTURE: features a handy defrost setting and can also be used to warm baby food.
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Philips Avent – Natural Essentials Feeding Set:

  • Includes express microwave steam sterilizer, bottle and nipple brush, 2 4oz Natural Bottles, 2 9oz Natural Bottles, and 2 Soothie pacifiers
  • Cleans and sterilizes
  • Bottles for 0 – 6 months

Philips Avent – Dryer Rack:

  • Fits 8 bottles and accessories.
  • Sits nicely on your kitchen counter.
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Now that I have checked those things off my list... it is time to start searching for a good stroller and car seat (oh the dreaded car seat, I never realized how confusing these things could be!) - I'll schedule an appointment with Snuggle Bugz' so they can help me with that!

You can find more about Snuggle Bugz' here:

Instagram: @snugglebugzbaby
Facebook: @snugglebugz
Website: www.snugglebugz.ca

More of Phillips Avent here:

Instagram: @philipsaventrd
Facebook: @philips.avent

And more of me here:

Instagram: @CarlaMariaBruno & My Baby Girl Instagram
Watch our Travel Adventures on YouTube
Facebook: TravelWithMeTV
Blog: www.CarlaMariaBruno.com

Photography by: Bethany Amanda

Instagram: @bethanyamandaweddingphoto
Website: www.bethanyamandaphotography.com