Favorite Baby Products for the First Year

Nursery Details:

Hi y’all! Happy AUGUST!!

I can’t believe that over half of the year has gone by and my baby is now one.  Hopefully my experience over the last year can help any of the new mamas-to-be as you create your baby registry and prepare the nursery.  I currently have four pregnant girlfriends and their journeys have inspired this post.  I am also expecting my second baby later this fall [surprise!!], so stocking up on essentials is on my mind. 🙂

MUST-HAVES FOR 0 – 12 MONTHS

The products that I deem as necessities for the first year are listed below:

  1. Changing Pad: I use the keekaroo peanut in gray and love it.  Because it’s made from “Dura-soft” material, all I need to do to clean it is wipe it down.  Less laundry [aka a non-cloth changing pad] makes for a happy mama!  I place this disposable liner on top of it to make cleanup even easier. My only advice on the keekaroo is to put something underneath it, especially if it’s going on a white dresser. It stained my dresser a pale yellow and it did the same to my girlfriend’s dresser.  It doesn’t bother me because I plan to have that changing pad there for a while but just giving you a heads up! 
  2. Diaper Pail: We have the Ubbi and it’s great.  You don’t have to buy any special bags for it as it accepts regular trash bags.  Some of the other other pails require special bags which can rack up your monthly baby bill even more! It also does a great job of hiding any smells.  The only potential con is if you prefer to be totally hands free with your diaper pail. The Ubbi requires one hand to open it up (there’s no foot pedal).  So you’ll be bracing babe with one hand and opening the Ubbi with another. I had no issues with that but just fyi! 
  3. Wipes / Diaper Organizer: This is definitely not a necessity but it’s so affordable, efficient and looks sleek on your dresser or changing station.  It keeps all of my diapers, wipes, creams, paper liners and other baby supplies all in one place.  [P.S.  I do not think you need a diaper warmer.  We didn’t have one until last month because I never wanted the babe to get used to having warm wipes. We got it as a gift a month ago and have been using it.  I think it makes the changing process a bit cozier but it’s still a nice-to-have in my opinion!] 
  4. Nose Frida: I cannot stress this enough: this item is a MUST! There’s nothing worse or scarier than your baby not being able to sleep because they’re having a hard time breathing due to a stuffy nose. This little contraption gets out all their little boogers so that they can breathe easy [and mama can too!].  I would squirt some of this saline spray in my son’s nostrils and then use the Nose Frida. Once he got a bit older, i switched to the oogiebear booger picker to get the bats out of the cave, if you know what I mean. 😉 Both have been lifesavers!
  5. Baby scissors: cutting your baby’s nails can be terrifying at first. Their nails grow so closely to the skin and you have to be careful not to cut their little fingers. I preferred to use these scissors as opposed to clippers because I was more comfortable with them. We still use these to this day. 
  6. Aquafor: you will need this everyday. For the tushy during diaper changes and any minor irritation on the body. I still put it on my sons cheeks when they get red or irritated. [For more serious diaper rashes, I use Desitin and that’s worked great.]
  7. Babyganics Body lotion: my son has fairly sensitive skin and this lotion has worked well and not caused any irritation. We put it on him most nights after bath time. If he ever has dry skin on his legs or arms, I use this Aveeno lotion and it’s extremely soothing / moisturizing.
  8. Bath soap: it feels like we have tried them all and only two have worked well for him. The others have dried out his skin or caused irritation. This Honest company ultra calming body wash is a winner and comes at a great price point. There’s also the California baby body wash that is excellent but it’s SUPER pricey so I have switched to the Honest one. If we’ve been traveling and his skin has become extra dry, I’ll bathe him with this soothing Aveeno body wash and it’s super creamy and gentle.  He does great with it as well.  
  9. Bathtub: we used this bathtub until he was about 8 or 9 months old.  I always felt comfortable that he was secure in it [especially as a small, slippery little newborn] because of the liner.
  10. Crib: We got the Tanner Crib and I love it.  The reason I even mention a crib, since it’s an obvious necessity, is to tell you to be mindful of its height when you pick it out.  I didn’t even think about this but my MIL brought that up to me.  So many of the cribs I really liked were in the 40″ + range and were way too tall for me.  I’m 5′ 4″ and it would’ve been super uncomfortable to get the baby in and out of them.  So when you’re shopping for one, make sure you stand next to it and pretend picking up a baby and putting it back in multiple times.  This one has a height of 35″ and I’ve never had a problem with it.  
  11. Dresser: We did not get a separate changing table and just used our dresser.  I put the Keekaroo and diaper organizer on top of it.
  12. Sound machine: compact in size and it works!
  13. Stroller: the UPPABaby stroller (as part of their travel system bundle) has worked well for our family. [I also love that it came with leather accessories and white fabric. It looks chic and is super functional. I debated back and forth about whether getting white was a bad idea but it’s been totally fine.  This link shows the fabric in green because I’m not sure the white fabric with the light brown leather is still available.  We got it locally at BabyBliss in Dallas.  I did find this option one but it looks like it has the darker leather.] It’s a full travel management system in that it comes with a car seat that hooks into the stroller frame. Super easy for getting the baby in and out of the car when they’re still in their infant car seat. It also comes with a “disc” [my name for the stroller seat :)] for when the baby grows out of the infant car seat. In addition, there’s a bassinet that can hook into the stroller frame.  We never ended up using it with our son because he had some reflux and hated lying flat.
  14. Infant Car seat: Ours came with the UPPABaby travel system [see item above].
  15. Babybjorn bouncer: this was a lifesaver. A gf recommended that we register for it and she was 100% right. This was where the babe lounged and/or bounced while I showered, got dinner ready, etc.  You can also add this toy onto it whenever your baby’s ready and it will prolong the entertainment time. 🙂 
  16. Rainforest Jumperoo: a wonderful jumper and our son loved it! It has so many sensory objects, from a hanging toad and toucan, to a whole slew of other animals for him to touch and explore.  I still put him in it to this day if I have to finish something in the kitchen and need him stationary – ha!
  17. Babybjorn baby carrier: I never wore this but my husband did and does to this day. He loves it as an easy way to go places with the boy.
  18. Boppy Lounger: our child lived in this the first 3 – 4 months of his life. He would lay here while we would sit on the couch right next to him.
  19. Graco Pack n Play with fitted sheet: if you can only get one thing, this should be it. It can double as a crib and playpen for when your baby gets older. It’s also super easy to pack up and throw in the car for a road trip. Most hotels will provide a crib but sometimes they’re gross [I’m weird and am grossed out by them].  I also recommend you get the Pack n Play with the napper/changer because it’ll be nice to have when your baby is still a newborn.  We initially got it without the napper/changer and I ended up giving it to my parents and getting the other one.  The baby could nap in it more comfortably during the infant phase.  You can then remove the napper/changer once they grow out of it, which is what we did.  The mattress doesn’t come with a sheet so don’t forget to register for one of those as well!
  20. Humidifer: in the beginning months of your baby’s life, his or her nasal passages may get super dry at night (our son’s did), and this really helped with that. Anything to make sleeping an uninterrupted activity is golden. This is the one I registered for and it’s been great! 
  21. Hat: my two favorites are this one and this one. The iplay hat is both great for everyday and the pool / beach as it can get wet without any issues and covers the forehead and ears. The Durio is also wonderful for for everyday outings as it’s also protective of the ears.  It stays on easy even after he pulls it off. [The Durio is for 6 – 12 months.]
  22. Carter’s PJs: get a ton of these! I am always having to get more. They’re so soft and easy to put on.  Some of the other PJs on the market are tight around the wrists and ankles [i.e. difficult to get on and off] and also not nearly as soft.
  23. Whale pitcher: not an absolute necessity but makes bathtime [specifically hair washing] so much easier.
  24. Nursing Pillow: My two favorites were the Boppy and the Brest Friend.  I used the Boppy for the first 6 weeks postpartum when my stomach was still really bloated.  I used the Brest Friend once my stomach went down and I could wear it comfortably.  Throughout my time nursing, I would switch back and forth between the two depending on what I was doing.  The Boppy is super easy to use if you only have one hand or if you’re on the go.  The Brest Friend gives a lot of support and can even provide a base for you to set a book on while BFing.  Only caveat is that the Brest Friend pillow requires fastening, which you get used to!
  25. Bottles: I used the Avent ones with my son and had no issues, however it’s super common to have to try several brands to find the ones that your baby likes best!
  26. Earth’s Best Organic formula: once you start to supplement breastmilk, whether that’s right from the baby’s birth or later on down the line, you’ll want to find a formula you like.  I couldn’t stand the smell of the most popular brands of formula and found this one.  This most closely resembled milk to me in terms of smell.  It’s definitely not the cheapest option but what I ended up going with. 
  27. Bottle Warmer: We have used this one since our son started taking a bottle and use it to this day to warm up his milk.  We’ve liked ours but a bowl with hot water works fine too [if you’re trying to keep the baby gear at a minimum.]
  28. Baby Book: If you’re overwhelmed by all of the different baby books out there [I know I certainly was!], I recommend picking up this one by the Baby Whisperer.  It has everything you need for the first year from feeding/napping schedules to adjusting to your baby’s temperament and everything in between. It was my bible and I referenced it all the time.  I would read it while nursing.  I also think that Tracy’s child-rearing approach closely mirrors mine so it meshed really well with our family.  

MUST-HAVES FOR 6 – 12 MONTHS

Here’s are the necessities for months 6 – 12:

  1. Highchair – we have this modern one that I really like.  It’s easy to clean and has a piece that goes between the legs that keeps him in place when you unstrap.  My parents and in-laws both have the Graco convertible one and it’s super comfortable [the seating is made of cushioned fabric] and can eventually transform into a booster seat, etc.  It has a larger tray as well. We like both! 
  2. Silicone plates: Not all silicone is made equal so beware! You want to get the plates that are 100% silicone so that they’re safe for baby. These bumkin ones are and they’re great.  They also have a suction grip on the back so that they stick to the highchair.  That’s crucial once the baby starts eating as mealtime is messy enough! 🙂 
  3. Eating Bibs: I love these bibs because they’re lightweight and tend to catch most food [unless it’s dropped off the highchair purposely to feed the dog! ;)]  They also don’t rub on your baby’s neck which is important if he / she has sensitive skin.
  4. Toddler car seat: We switched our son to the toddler car seat at around 11 months and this one has worked really well.  It’s super comfortable and has two cupholders that can hold his water or milk.
  5. Toothbrush and toothpaste: We just started brushing his teeth with this set and he LOVES it! Probably because the toothpaste tastes so sweet! 🙂 

LOVEKSZ FAVORITES

Below are some “Nice to Haves:”

  1. “Month” Blocks: for all the boy mamas out there, I bought these blocks for his monthly pictures and love them. They are still displayed in his bedroom today and just say “1 Year.”
  2. Crinkly books: These Jellycat books have been hit since day one! A great source of entertainment and learning! These also make a wonderful gift.
  3. Hooded Towels: These things are pricey so register for one or two if you can! Not only are they so cute, but they’re convenient as well.  We were gifted a few of these and use them to this day.  
  4. Baby hangers: Do you NEED these? Definitely not.  Do they fulfill my love of a unified aesthetic that’s both organized and sleek? Absolutely! They also maximize baby’s closet space due to their thin size.  

This list is definitely not all-encompassing but I tried to pick what I found most helpful this past year.  I hope it helps any of the mamas-to-be out there getting nervous about their baby registry or nursery prep! Just remember, as long as you have the big stuff [i.e. changing pad, rocker, diapers, wipes and a crib], you can get everything else along the way! So, don’t stress!! [Easier said than done, I know!]

Let me know if I’ve missed anything that you’ve used for your kiddos and loved!

Nursery Details:

Tanner Crib | Tanner Dresser | Bookshelf | Baskets and Liners | Animal Prints | Changing Pad | Antelope Rug | Sheep Mobile | Mounted Ram | Glider and Ottoman | End Table | Floor lamp Humidifier | Sound Machine | Diaper Pail | Diaper / Wipes Organizer

Photography by: Julia Lauren Photography

Top 10 Tips for Public Speaking

 
Are you terrified of public speaking or do you enjoy getting up in front of a crowd?  If you happen to identify with the former, you’re in good company.  It has been stated that ‘Glossophobia,’ or the fear of public speaking, is one of the top phobias that individuals experience.  
 
I have done my fair share of public speaking over the last 10+ years and I know how debilitating it can be if you are anxious about the process.  I am an IT / Oil & Gas consulting executive and my job is to give sales presentations, software demos, execute the proposal response process, manage our client relationships and lead our team in the delivery of projects and client support.  There are a lot of opportunities to speak publicly to both my superiors and my team.  I am probably one of the few/weird humans who actually enjoys speaking in public.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still nervous every time I do it.  My heartbeat quickens, I worry that I’ll forget everything I prepared to say and I fear that I’ll be judged.  But oddly enough, presenting gives me a rush and I always feel energized after doing it. [Now, I will say that while I like to give presentations, speak at conferences and lead meetings in a professional setting, I can completely clam up in a social setting.  I think that with my work, I feel like I have a script to fall back on and that gives me the courage and confidence I need. However, socially I can get nervous and let the fear of people’s judgement shake me.  Interesting dichotomy, huh? But that’s a topic for another day. 😉 ]
 
Let’s get to the good stuff! If you have a presentation coming up, you’re going to be leading a team meeting or you’re just wanting to improve your overall confidence at work, here are my top 10 ways to do so:

TOP 10 TIPS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING

  1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. You will still be nervous when you speak but at least you know you did everything you could to prepare beforehand.  I’m so much calmer when I present if I know in the back of my mind that I prepared as much as I could.  Whenever I don’t prepare as much as I know I can, I mentally beat myself up during my presentation.  I’ll blame myself for anything that goes wrong and then kick myself for not preparing to the max.  Skip this whole cycle and do the work!
  2. Before your presentation / meeting / etc, go into the bathroom, raise your hands in the air in a V shape and say “I am so awesome. I got this. We’re going to connect and they’re gonna love me.” Give yourself a pep talk and say whatever will make you feel confident! This performer power pose has an awesome affect on your energy and presence when you walk into a room. 
  3. Dress the part.  If your presentation is live, make sure you pick out your outfit well in advance. If I’m speaking in front of a group, I’ll get my suit drycleaned a few days in advance so that I feel my best.  When I look my best, I feel my best! And what I am feeling my best, I’m more confident in front of an audience.
  4. Breathe. A critical item on the list!  When we’re nervous, we tend to forget to breathe. Crazy, huh?! And when we forget to breathe, we look and sound nervous and unsure of ourselves. Remember, slow down and breathe (and smile!! 😄)
  5. Smile when you pause.  At times, when you’re focusing so intently on what it is you’re going to say, you may forget to smile.  You can end up looking as though you’re miserable when you’re actually not! This happens to me all the time and I have to remember to pause and smile in between sentences. A smile does so much to ease the tension (if there is any in the room), it’s warm and inviting and allows you to connect with your audience in a more personal way. I find that a smile also humanizes you as a presenter.
  6. Film yourself – this is an invaluable step in nailing a presentation. If you’ve never done this before, it’s a game changer. Let me tell you, you have absolutely no idea what you look or sound like when speaking until you tape yourself doing it. I first did this in a women’s leadership program at work and I was floored. I fidgeted, I never smiled, I aimlessly moved around, I gestured with my hands without purpose, etc.  Once I saw what I looked like, I was able to fix the distractions that were taking away from my presentation. 
  7. Keep your hands by your side – oh man, do women (myself included) like to talk with their hands! It can become distracting and detract from your presentation if you’re doing it constantly and not intentionally. This was and is one of the hardest things to nail down for me. 
  8. Stand rooted in one spot. Do not pace! Now, if it makes sense for you to move from one side of the stage to another (i.e. it helps illustrate a point), then you can do it.  But just shuffling around from one area to another in a meaningless way will take away from what you’re trying to say.  Your audience will focus on you meandering about instead of on your message.
  9. Have fun! I mean, at the end of the day, even if you absolutely botch your presentation, will you even think about it 5 years from now? I doubt it! There’s some comfort in that, so have fun while you’re on stage!
  10. Put yourself out there…my old boss used to say this to us all of the time.  And what he meant by it was “put your heart and joy into it. Be vulnerable and let people see you.” He taught me a lot about connecting with others during presentations and he is one of the best at it.  He never left anything on the table and put his whole heart into everything he did.  I encourage you to do the same.
Public speaking can be terrifying, but it can also be fun, believe it or not! If you give yourself the right amount of time to prepare and don’t take yourself too seriously, you can watch yourself improve with each time that you do it.  Do you have any tips or rituals you do before speaking to your team or presenting to an audience? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! 
 
 

First Overnight Trip

 
 
 
 

Traveling for Work with a Newborn

The first time I travelled after the baby was born was my first week back at work.  I took a day trip to Houston and that was ROUGH. I had never pumped on an airplane or an airport bathroom / pumping lounge. I mean, heck, I had barely pumped period! In addition, I was still so physically exhausted at 3 months postpartum, that travelling / pumping / working / getting home late at night was exhausting.
 
I share this experience to juxtapose it with the trip I took a couple of weeks ago, when I had a conference in Vegas. My babe is now 7 months old and everything was totally different.  First of all, it was an overnight trip so it was my first night away from him. And can I let you in on a not-so-secret secret? A part of me was actually looking forward to it! Getting to sleep uninterrupted in a hotel room? Yes, please! [Of course there was plenty of #MomGuilt that came along with that but that’s a topic for another day…]
 
I was also privileged to get to speak at the conference.  We recently won a large deal in the market and I got to talk about our success story with one of my colleagues.  

 

Lessons Learned

I was gone for a day and a half and here’s what I learned:
 
  • I needed a break and I had to remind myself that it’s OK to need one and to take one. We had just moved, the baby was still getting over his cold, I was trying to work without my mom/nanny [who also got sick], and things were just a little more amplified than usual.  
 
  • I felt like myself again. I texted my hubby from the hotel that I felt like the girl he met 5 years ago [but with so many more blessings for which to be grateful.]

 

  • I knew I had to figure out a way to slowly incorporate the things that made me feel like me back into my life. That includes working out, getting my hair done, mani/pedis, etc.  With a baby, it’s so easy to follow their schedule and put yourself on the back burner. But when I had some time alone, I realized how much I needed to do these things in order to also take care of myself.
 
Now that I’ve been back from that trip for a couple of weeks, I can report that I have by no means been able to do all of these things.  But I have made progress and that’s what I’m striving for! Doing a little something each day for myself, whether that’s a 10 minute dumbbell workout or washing and moisturizing my face.  Ha!  

 

Progress, not Perfection

Here are my recent accomplishments:
 
  • I went to a wedding where I was a bridesmaid and I made a commitment to pump during the wedding events so that I could be there for my girlfriend and also spend time with my college friends who I don’t get to see very often.
 
  • This weekend I worked out twice! The first workout, I went for a walk/run and it started to rain 5 minutes in so it only lasted about 10 min. But I’m counting it! The second workout was my first time in the gym since giving birth.  #BabySteps
 
  • I got a pedicure! If you follow me on instastories, you know all about it and that it took planning and coordination with the hubs.  But how worth it, it was!
 
I share these [what I consider] accomplishments to encourage you to try and make some time for yourself, regardless of what you have going on (i.e. work, family, etc.). I also hope it gives you support in knowing that if you’re struggling to find time to work out or just wash your face, you’re not alone. It’s important that we champion each other along the way.  It’s so easy to see the instagram highlight reels of other people’s lives and to feel like everyone else has it so much more together than you do.  However at the end of the day, we’re all just doing our best and taking it one day at a time.  
 
Lots of love!!
 

2019 Goals: January – March



Benjamin Hardy says that New Year’s resolutions don’t work and setting them for the whole year is a lost cause.  Instead, he recommends setting actionable goals for every 90 days.  This approach sits well with me as I have set quarterly goals in the past and feel that they are more realistic.  Below are my goals for the first 90 days of 2019:

Create a Business Plan

Something that I have wanted to do for a long time is start my own business [or side-hustle for where I’m at in my life].  I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs [my dad started his own company shortly after my parents got married, my mom had her own shop, my aunt and uncle run their own businesses, etc.] or if it’s just my inherent nature.  My intention for the first 90 days is to create a business plan and see where it goes from there.

Drink 30 oz of Water Upon Waking 

You have to drink a ton of water when you’re nursing.  I’m so thankful Katey McFarlan [one of my fave bloggers] mentioned these hospital water mugs in her instastories because I wouldn’t have known to take them home from the maternity ward otherwise.  These mugs make it so easy to keep up my water intake because they are 30 oz. if filled to the brim. [My girlfriend recommended I drink one of these after each nursing session and that was great advice as it’s helped to keep up supply! Throughout this process I have noticed that when I drink a mug full of water on an empty stomach in the morning, I have less bloat and better digestion throughout the day. So my goal is to do that first thing each morning!

Write Down Your Goals Every Morning

Here’s another gem from Benjamin Hardy: Write your goals down first thing each morning. He suggests that this will keep you oriented throughout the day towards what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m going to try this out!

Read [or Listen to] One Book per Month

This was a goal I set last year and to be very honest, I only kept it through March.  Everything after that was baby books… [I track all of my books that I’d like to read and am reading on Goodreads.]  I’m hoping that this year, I will re-set this every 90 days and do better!

Do Pilates 1x a Week 

This year, instead of looking at fitness as an unnecessary cost, I want to look at it as an investment.  This is not an area that comes easy to me and I always push it to the bottom of my list.  One thing that pregnancy really brought to the forefront was my weak core.  There was one week where I could barely walk due to nerve pain shooting down my lower back and into my leg [caused by movement in a joint, essentially caused by my weak core.] And while you can’t always prevent that, I know that I need to strengthen my core to try and avoid that in that future.  So, my goal is to start a pilates regimen.

It’s hard to believe that we’re discussing 2019 plans and that the new year is in full swing.  [I remember writing out my 2018 Goals…] We are moving houses this week, I’m starting to travel for work A BIT and Baby Z has started solids.  I told my husband that I have a feeling this year is going to FLY by, just based on how busy I already feel.  So here’s to holding on tight in 2019 and enjoying every moment – the challenging along with the joyous.

I’d love to hear about your resolutions in the comments below. Let me know what you’re striving for in 2019!

Motherhood, Life and my “New Normal”

Get the Nursery Look Below:

Dear friends!

It has been a hot minute since I posted last and that is because 6 months ago (how has it been that long already?!) I had a baby and am now slowly starting to get back into the swing of things. [And by that I mean into my new swing of things, or my new normal.] Although I’m now doing the things I did pre-baby [working, spending time with family and friends, attempting to exercise 😛], everything in life has shifted.

What I Would’ve Told Myself 6 Months Ago

Before giving birth, so many people gave me advice, tidbits and to-dos. So much of what they said I had heard before, but none of it really sank in until my precious little guy arrived. If I could go back in time, here are the pearls of wisdom I would share with myself:

  • You will love your sweet little sugar bear more than you thought possible. Your heart will expand along with your belly, and it will never shrink back to its previous size. You are forever changed in this way and your ability to love has expanded tenfold. With all that love comes a physiological need to make sure your baby is thriving. Ensuring he is fed, warm, happy and loved is something you need to do in order to be OK.
  • You will miss binging on Netflix, snuggling with your husband on the couch, going to a movie, getting your nails done, sleeping in and through the night for that matter, etc. But it will be SO worth it. Every minute of it.
  • Despite all of the changes, you will still be you and you will still have the same dreams that you did before. You don’t have to give any of those up just because you had a baby. You might need to put them on ice for some time, but don’t feel like you have to shut off a part of you that you need to feel fulfilled.
  • Your priorities will shift completely and things that were once important may get filtered out because they no longer are. You will also realize how much time you had before and wonder what the heck you did with it!!
  • You will cherish your mama and all the other mamas that walk this earth more than you ever did before. You don’t understand now but you will soon. A mama’s love is endless and enduring, and she has given you more than you know – physically, mentally and emotionally.

My Favorite Products

Throughout these last 6 months, I have been able to compile a list of the most helpful products / hacks that I hope will help you in your day to day life.  [These are not all related to motherhood, so even if you’re a young professional on the go or a seasoned mama who’s been there, done that, there’s a little something for you as well.]  

Here’s what I’ve been loving these last couple of months that have made life so much easier:

  1. Babybjorn – Hands down the best baby gift we received. My girlfriend recommended this toy to add to it and it keeps the baby entertained while I shower or cook dinner. I can put him in there and place him right next to me to keep an eye on him. [Although now that he’s starting to sit up on his own, I know this bouncer’s days are numbered…]
  2. Cosabella PJs – my MIL bought me these while pregnant and they are some of the comfiest pjs I own.  They’re great for nursing because of the nursing cami and I love that they come with a robe.  Pregnancy and nursing are not pre-requisites for loving these. My mom got a pair and wears the pants and robe and loves them.  My other favorite PJs are these from Nordstrom. SO soft and cute, these are great if you’re staying over at someone’s house and need some presentable sleepwear. I wear these several times a week.  [The button down top is great for middle of the night nursing as well.]
  3. Moisturizing cream – I recently discovered that I’ve been moisturizing ALL wrong for my dry skin.  Add in a baby and make that SUPER dry skin.  I ended up trying THIS one after reading Annie Lawless’ post and my skin feels SO much better, and the redness has subsided tremendously. If you’re dry/sensitive, I highly recommend! [If you’re oily, this same brand makes this one but I haven’t used it myself.]  I have also been using this cream for the last couple of weeks [also per Annie Lawless’ recommendation] and I love it. It’s even more hydrating than the Belif cream – it’s thicker and soothes my dry irritated skin.
  4. In other news related to skincare, I just started using the the slip pillowcase and slip scrunchies.  The pillowcase is supposed to help decrease fine lines and acne breakouts, let your skincare products stay on your skin as opposed to getting absorbed into your pillowcase and also keep your hairstyle intact. So far I like it, but I’ll provide my thoughts on this once I’ve used it longer.  
  5. Crinkly books – y’all, these are the cats meow. Baby Z loves to play with these, grab the objects coming out of them and more importantly crinkle them for the noise. These would make a great gift if you’re looking for something for an infant / early toddler.
  6. Tory Burch coley slippers – I’m in these all day erryday. My mom got me these for Hanukkah last year and I saved them until recently. I started wearing them at home ever since we got home from the hospital and they’re so cozy. I found them on eBay and Amazon still carries a similar style as well.
  7. Lactation cookies – breastfeeding is an incredible experience for so many reasons. However, nothing is scarier than feeling like you’re low on supply. These (delightful, trick-myself-into-thinking-I’m-eating-regular-chocolate chip) cookies are the bomb! I’ve read some negative reviews where some people don’t like how they taste but I think they are delicious. I have them once a day after lunch along with my Mothers milk tea. Now the tea does have a unique flavor and took some getting used to. But now that I’ve been drinking it daily and have become accustomed to it, I love it!
  8. Decaf instant coffee – I limited my caffeine intake during pregnancy and one of the ways I did that was getting rid of my cup o’ [caffeinated] Jo. I love the feel of a warm cup of coffee in the morning so I knew I didn’t want to wholly get rid of this part of my routine. I was also so nauseous that I didn’t have the desire to grind beans and make coffee. So I scoured the grocery stores for instant decaf and couldn’t find anything. Thank goodness for Amazon where I was able to find these.  I’m still drinking the decaf and might continue to do so even after nursing ends. I mean JLO abstains from alcohol and caffeine and looks like this at 48 so she must be onto something, amirite?!

[Her mantra-filled home can’t hurt either. I am youthful and timeless at every age is one she repeats on the daily.  But I digress… I could fangirl over JLO all day long.]

All in all, I am beyond grateful for each and every minute of this new stage of life. I am loving being a mom and feel that this was one of my life’s purposes. I am just figuring it out one day at a time and will share my learnings in the hopes that they help you as well.

Wishing you the most magical and fruitful 2019!!

Nursery Details:

Tanner Crib | Tanner Dresser | Bookshelf | Baskets and Liners | Animal Prints | Changing Pad | Antelope Rug | Sheep Mobile | Mounted Ram | Glider and Ottoman | End Table | Floor lamp

Photography by: Julia Lauren Phography