Thursday, May 13, 2021

PACKING FOR THE HOSPITAL: WHAT YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO BRING IN YOUR BAG



If you're anything like I was, packing your hospital bag is looming on your to-do list.
I get it, you don't want to pack too soon, but also don't want to be in labor, contracting, and scrambling to grab last minute items!

I researched many blogs before making my list and officially packing. But I'm here to tell you that a lot of the stuff you're worried about not forgetting won't even make it out of the bag!
That's why I want to share a few key things that are essential in benefiting your hospital stay!


*Be sure to check your hospitals website and ask your doctor what all the hospital provides. My hospital provided quite a bit, which saved room in my bag for more important things.*



 PERI BOTTLE:
The hospital provides you with one, but I'm here to help your lady bits by telling you to bring your own. This will save you at the hospital and at home. Trust me, you'll want to use this during the first pee, and many postpartum pees after that!

*I'll go more in depth about this & other things that will bring relief during postpartum in my next blog.
*My hospital also provided Dermaplast & cold pads for PP relief.


SNACKS:
Baby making it's world debut and hours of the hospital cafe may not be aligned, so having a bag of snacks will be your saving grace. After hours of laboring (you can't eat once you're admitted), your grumbling stomach will thank you! Also great for your partner or support person if they get hungry during the stay too.
Bonus points if your hospital room has a refrigerator to stash drinks!


NIPPLE CREAM:
Remember that nipple cream I mentioned in my last post? Yeah, you'll need it during your stay at the hospital too. If you do choose to breastfeed, the nurses literally stick baby on your tit the moment he/she comes out! After that baby eats around the clock (every two hours), therefore sore and tired nipples are in your future. Nipple cream will relieve some of the pain, and make for a better breastfeeding experience overall.


PADS & PANTIES:
Let's face it, you can have a birth plan but God and your baby have a plan of their own. You don't really know what your postpartum journey will look like, so having different pad sizes and panty options is essential. 
 Personally, I liked the mesh underwear the hospital provides. It was comfortable and I didn't have to worry about ruining my own! The pads in the hospital are huge, but again, I didn't mind them and liked the protection they provided. As a result, I didn't even open my PP panties or pads until I was back home! You may feel differently about the hospitals options, so still pack your own.
*Be sure to ask for extra pads & mesh underwear each day. You can take home whatever you don't use at the hospital. I actually left in a pair of mesh undies, and had a few pairs for my first days at home!*


PHONE CHARGER:
This is a given, but don't forget it! 
Between family texts, overloading your camera roll with newborn pics, and FaceTime calls, you'll be happy you threw that extra charger in your bag.


TRAVEL SIZED TOILETRIES:
No matter how many hours you labor, a shower will feel amazing! Save room in your bag by bringing minis of your essentials. 
Face wash, body wash, lotion, and dry shampoo is all I recommend. 
Hats off to you if you want to wash your hair in the hospital shower. I styled mine before we left, and just touched up with dry shampoo.
You could totally bring your own towel too. Tbh, hospital towels aren't the most luxurious. Just keep in mind postpartum bleeding, and laundry once you get home.
Oh, and don't forget your toothbrush!


CHAPSTICK:
Birth and postpartum welcomes you to lots of things, one being extremely dry lips. You'll want to have a tube bedside for easy application!
 

BABY HATS, MITTENS, & SOCKS:
Babies need to stay warm and have suuuuper sharp nails. You'll want to have multiple of these items handy. The hospital will give you one of those nostalgic newborn hats, but if you're anything like me, you already have matching hats & mittens picked out for pictures!


BABY BLANKET/SWADDLE:
While the nurses at the hospital are swaddling experts, you will not be. Swaddling that noodle newborn baby is much harder than it looks! Save yourself, and Dad, the headache and pack different size blankets and swaddling options (velcro, zip-up, etc). Looking back, this is the one thing I wish I brought more of- especially bigger "swaddle" blankets. You will eventually learn your preference, and what works for you and your baby.
When all else fails, the hospital blankets and a few lessons from the nurses is all you will need!


SLIPPERS/ COMFY SHOES:
You'll eventually want nothing more than to get out of that hospital bed and walk around. Bring something you can easily slip on and off (you won't be able to touch your toes again juuust yet) and that feels good on those new mama feet!


NURSING BRA/ ROBE/ SLEEP-DRESS:
Just like the bed, you'll eventually want to get out of the hospital gown too! If you plan to breastfeed, changing into something easily accessible for baby is key. Being in your own clothes will help you feel refreshed, more relaxed, and ready for a new day with your new baby!


TWO GOING HOME OUTFITS:
Shocker, but your stomach doesn't automatically shrink once baby comes out. Like I mentioned before, your birth plan may change in the moment and as a result your body may feel different than expected when it's finally time to go home. When packing think cozy and light. You may surprise yourself and feel more comfortable in a tighter, more secure option, so bring that as well.
Personally I did pack both, but ended up leaving my my trusty sweats and graphic tee.

Some good options are:
- Light, flowy sundress
- Loose fitting pj pants or sweats
- Oversized/ comfortable t-shirt
- Nursing tank (with comfortable bottoms) or Nursing dress

Just knowing that you have options in your bag will help to reduce in the moment stress.


MULTIPLE BABY GOING HOME OUTFITS:
While we're on the subject of going home outfits, let's talk about baby's too!
Doctors and sonograms can be up to 2 pounds off, so having newborn and 0-3 month size outfits in your bag is "crucial". You won't want to have all newborn, or all 0-3, and then have your support person rushing home to get options!
Packing a few cute onesies, or other outfits is nice as well. This way you can try them on baby before going home (and it makes for cute pictures).
This may have been my favorite thing to pack. I still look at what we brought Celine home in and can't believe how tiny she was!


*Take all, and I really mean ALL THE THINGS from the hospital. Don't be afraid to ask for extras.
I collected a stash each day, and by the end of our stay had a good amount of postpartum and baby items to take home!*


Frida Mom Peri Bottle-




Having your bags packed means that baby's due date is nearing!!
I know this is such a nerve-racking but exciting time!
The saying, "Your body was made to do this" is true. It's amazing how strong us women are, and what are bodies are able to do.
Enjoy the ups and downs of labor. It may be long, but it will go by quick.
And remember to breathe!



xo,



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

MOTHERS DAY GIFT GUIDE 2021



Mother's Day is right around the corner, and it can be hard to find a gift that truly shows how much you love and appreciate the Moms in your life.
 From new Moms to Grand-moms, and every Mom in-between, I hope this guide will make the gift giving a bit easier this year!



Jewelry:
From a personalized name necklace, to a beautiful piece she's had saved on her wishlist, this is a fool-proof gift every Mom will love!


Maternity/ Newborn Pics printed & framed:
I love this idea! While I personally did not have newborn pics done, I did do maternity pics and absolutely love them. Being able to have a way to enjoy those moments in time, not through a screen, is a such a special gift. Not sure of the type of frame she will want? Print the pictures and give Mom a gift card to pick the frames that best match her decor aesthetic!


Baby Book:
For all those firsts and tiny keepsakes. 
The new mom in your life will have a place, besides her phone, to document and cherish those memories forever.
Baby Books First Year Memory Book - Little Beach Babe Memory Book - Lucy Darling


Mommy Self-care Day:
Being a mom is the greatest yet hardest job in the world. No matter if you're a new Mom, or a mom who has transitioned to Grandma, all moms need a day to themselves! Gift the one in your life her favorite self-care activities.
Whether it be a gift card to a spa, or a basket of face masks and bath bombs to create a spa at home. Sunscreen and uninterrupted time outdoors, even her favorite snacks and time to catch up on reality tv, or watch her favorite movie! Some alone time to recharge and do the things she loves is the gift that keeps on giving.


Cozy Clothes/ New PJ's:
Perfect for the one who has become a stay at home mom during these quarantine times, or for the one who can't wait to change out of her work clothes! From silk pjs, a fluffy robe, even a new pair of lounge leggings, the mom in your life will be happy to have something besides her old sweats to come home to!


Mug Warmer:
If you're a mom, you know the struggle of pouring a fresh cup of coffee in the morning (or afternoon), only to enjoy a few sips before it's cold. Repeat the cycle a few times, and that cup of joe is good no more! Save Mom and her mornings with a mug warmer. Whether it be stationary or built in to the cup, either of these warmers will give Mom her cup of sanity back!


Personalized mug:
Speaking of mugs, why not make Mom's mornings even more special with a personalized one.
I gifted my mom a mug of all her grand babies for Christmas, and even though it was something so simple, its the thought behind it that makes the present so sweet. 
Together, the mug and the warmer will not only warm her cup but her heart as well.



Fragrance:
Everyone loves to smell good. There's something about spritzing perfume that truly changes your mood. However, this can be a gift no-one ever buys themselves. Replenish moms favorite scent, or the one she's been saving magazine samples of for months!
Bonus points if it comes with a rollerball she can throw in her bag.


Customized Phone Case:
I've said it once (maybe twice) but I'll say it again, your phone case is your best accessory- so why not show off your greatest creation?!
It's cute, silly, and will make you (or your Mom) smile every time you turn your phone over.



Skincare Set:
Again, moms need to take care of themselves too, and her skincare routine could probably use a little TLC itself.
 A thoughtful way to give Mom her daily dose of zen, even if it is just five minutes in the bathroom!


Picture Printer:
What good are all those thousands of pics if something happens to her phone?! This at home printer will give Mom the ability to create a tangible home for all her favorites! You can have fun helping her print and frame, adding them to a photo album (even the baby book I mentioned earlier), or sending them out to loved ones!



& when all else fails, a homemade card and some flowers. 💐


----------------------------------------------


links to some of my favorite sites/ items mentioned:

Jewelry

Pajamas


Robe

Mug Warmer 


Personalized Mug


Picture Printer


Check Moms favorite skincare brands site for Mothers Day deals & sets.
Sephora & Ulta also have great gift sets this time of year.
There's sooo many cute baby books on Amazon. You can really find one that fits Mom's (& baby's) personalities!


I'm excited to celebrate my first official Mothers Day this year, and may even treat myself to some things on this list!



xo,



Monday, April 26, 2021

30 OF MY FAVORITE BEAUTY & OTHER RANDOM THINGS



In honor of me turning 30 last Monday (🙀🙀) I thought this would be a fun post.
From beauty products, tv shows, and everything in between, here are 30 of my favorite things!


1. The color pink

2. Friends (the tv show)

3. Nude lipstick

4. Roses

5. Coffee

6. The Ouai: Leave in Conditioner

7. Perfume
Tom Ford: Black Orchid
Givenchy: Hot Couture
KKW: Body |||

8. Candles

9. Gold hoop earrings

10. Kate Somerville: Exfolikate

11. Sundays

12. Cozy blankets

13. Avocados

14. Books

15. ELF: Wow Brow gel

16. Clueless

17. Fun phone cases

18. Mini Cadbury Eggs

19. KKW Beauty: Lip liners

20. Waterless: Curl Milk

21. Legally Blonde

22. Kiehls: Avocado Eye Cream

23. Pink pens & cute stationary

24. Lancome: Genefique Serum

25. Fuzzy slippers

26. Bioderma: Sensibio Cleansing Water

27. Graphic T's

28. Fun Makeup palettes (to use & collect)

29. Colourpop: Lux lip oils

30. "Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday"




xo,





Tuesday, April 6, 2021

MUST HAVE PREGNANCY PRODUCTS- stretch marks, skincare, and more!!

 

Seven months later but here we are.
Post-partumn is a rollercoaster of emotions (but that's a story for another blog).

I'm giving you all the things I loved during pregnancy.
From preventing stretch marks, combating pregnancy skin changes, and keeping cozy here are 10 of my must have products!

*all products are linked*


Let's start it off with what you all came for- stretch marks.
While they may be genetic, there are ways to treat and prevent them

After using something different during my first few months, I soon saw a glimpse of what could have been the start of a stretch mark and knew I needed a product that was more "heavy duty". 
I'm here to tell you that what the reviews say are true! Earth Mama Belly Butter & Oil is truly amazing! 
Formulated with organic herbs and oils to help ease the appearance of stretch marks, and encourage skins natural elasticity. The belly oil also contains calendula, jojoba, borage, and orange blossom oils to give skin a comforting, hydrated feel. Both products have a light citrus scent and are non greasy. I personally used the butter every morning, and both the oil and the butter every night all over my hips, breasts, thighs, and of course my growing belly!



* I did get tiny stretch marks that appeared AFTER pregnancy, once my belly deflated. However, I continued to use this combo of products and no lie, they diminished within a couple of weeks! *



Just like your body, pregnancy skin is ever-changing. 
I've always had dry skin, but pregnancy took me to a whole new skin desert! I stumbled upon Kate Somerville's Delikate moisturizer and it truly is a "stressed skin saver". This cream provides immediate and lasting relief for dry, irritated skin, while not only reducing the appearance of redness but improves skins barrier. 
It honestly brought my skin back to life, and helped me find my pregnancy glow!




 Again, your skin during pregnancy is always changing. So just like my face, my under-eyes were becoming quite dry as well. 
This eye cream has worked wonders in providing hydration and improving texture, including those pesky fine lines. It also helps to de-puff and brighten under-eye appearance- because trying to sleep when a baby is kicking you in the ribs isn't exactly the definition of getting a good nights sleep before baby arrives! 
The creamy pastel green texture feels amazing once applied, and provides the most gorgeous glow to the orbital area. Plus, anything avocado is already a win for me.

Avocado Eye Cream
Sure, you're warned that your feet might swell, but never about how much your feet will hurt just from cooking dinner! Give your feet some much needed TLC, and get yourself a pair of cozy slippers. 
Not only are these comfortable, they're chic, and keep your feet the perfect temperature (hot flashes are another thing no one talks about).
Like a soft hug throughout the day, your feet will thank you!


Slippers for Women, Open Toe Fuzzy Fluffy House Slippers Cozy Memory Foam Anti-Skid Plush Criss Cross Furry Slides Indoor Outdoor




Keeping with the cozy theme, you'll want to have a robe around too. Having things that make you feel good is important when your body is going through so many (sometimes uncomfortable) changes. This one from target is literally the softest material, that just envelopes you into a heavenly place of cozy bliss. Made of 95% modal, it's the perfect weight to keep you warm without getting too hot in the summertime, but can be layered with long sleeved pjs or a blanket in the winter. The piping detail gives it that chic, hotel robe vibe giving you a touch of luxury around the house.
Oh, and did I mention it has pockets!



Does it really work? Do I reallllyyyy need it? The answer, YES!
By now you know that getting bigger everyday comes with it's comfort challenges. This pillow will help you get maximum rest, whether it's a quick cat nap, or a full nights sleep! Personally, I went with the jersey pillow case because hot flashes and night sweats were a thing I struggled with. This material was great for it didn't trap in heat, but was still soft and snuggly. I also suffered from leg cramps and horrible hip pain, and can honestly say this pillow helped me wake up feeling refreshed versus brittle.
If you've been on the fence about getting one, this is your sign to hit "add to cart".




Being pregnant during a stay at home order helped my wallet when it came to maternity clothes, but it was also summer, so I needed to trade in my sweats for something cooler. These bike shorts were a godsend. Comfy enough to wear around the house, yet trendy enough to style if you leave.
 Sizing maternity clothes can be tricky, tbh. So even though these are super stretchy, I bought a smaller size closer to my pre-pregnant size, and a size up. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was filling out the bigger size, but at a price point this affordable you won't feel bad about purchasing multiple pairs!




Your boobs change a lot! In fact, they're one of the first things to change when becoming pregnant, and you'll want to start taking care of your nipples sooner rather than later. 
After trial and error with other brands, I ended up with [another] Earth Mama product. This nipple cream is lanolin free (no stickiness), melts into skin, and helps heal dry, cracked, and sore nipples. Once baby arrives this cream can be used as a lubricant for more comfortable pumping sessions, or before and after nursing. Plus it's safe for baby, so no need to wash off before feeding! You can also apply to lips, elbows, and cuticles. Which, if yours are anything like mine- suffering from the constant hand washing!

Organic Nipple Butter



Another item that falls under the feel good category.
From helping you relax, to calming those growing aches and pains, baths are essential when you're pregnant. It's also amazing when your little one starts to enjoy bath time too with their tiny kicks!
This oil is the added luxury your bath time needs. The delicious blend of rose, hibiscus, and warm amber will fill your senses with a heavenly yet feminine mix. While the added cocoa butter leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated, no matter how long you soaked in the tub. The bottle also adds a rich flare among your other bath time essentials.




Okay, this last one is random, but you need them in your third trimester.
Dates are said to help with preparing the uterus and ripening the cervix for labor. There's tons of other benefits to eating dates during pregnancy because of all the good for you ingredients such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin k. They are also said to help with postpartum hemorrhage. Always consult with your doctor, but I started eating them around 36/37 weeks. 
Six dates a day seems to be the magic number, which for me was easy for I liked the taste. However, theres many other ways to incorporate dates into your diet if you're not into having them as a snack- think blending in a smoothie, or adding them to your oatmeal. 

365 by Whole Foods Market, Dried Fruit, Pitted Dates, 8 Ounce




I hope this helps all my soon to be mamas, no matter how far along in your pregnancy you are.
I have lots of things I still want to share, including postpartum must-haves, newborn necessities, and more!



xo,