Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Pregnancy Must Haves

As I reflect on my first pregnancy, I am thankful for a few products that helped me through those 39 weeks. I am by no means an expert but I enjoy hearing about what works for people so I thought I would share a few of my pregnancy favorites! 

1. Home Fetal Doppler- I am an L&D nurse so I was pretty nervous early on and wanted to be able to monitor my baby's heartrate to reassure myself before I could feel movement. It takes a little practice if you're new to it and does NOT replace a qualified practitioner's assessment, but it helped me. I found mine on Amazon for $35 (make sure you order ultrasound gel too!) 

2. Belly butters & oils- just stock up on anything and everything. I used the belly butter and body oil from Burt's Bees Mama Bee line, Cocoa Butter for stretch marks, plain Coconut oil, and a homemade belly butter with shea butter coconut oil and frankinsense, grapefruit, and lavendar essential oils. My opinion on  preventing stretch marks is much more than what you slather on your belly, but I put on something every time I got out of the shower and every night before bed. Staying well hydrated and gaining weight gradually are also key! I avoided stretch marks until the last week of my pregnancy (grrr so close) 

3. Essential oils- I bought a Young Living starter kit out of curiosity two years ago and have never looked back. As a nurse, I believe there is a time and place for modern medicine. But for everyday needs why not replace over the counter medications with something completely natural? I loved using peppermint for nausea, lavendar to help me sleep, grapefruit & lemon oil for energy in my water, and stress away and peace & calming for the moments my hormones got the best of me. I also used a blend called Claraderm that I was told helped prevent tearing. I started using it at 37 weeks, sprayed it a few times a day "down there" and I delivered an 8lb 3oz baby with a 14 1/4 inch head only needing a few external stitches (that my midwife said would not have been necessary if I didn't want them) My sister and sister in law also used it and did not tear with their 2nd and third babies after having episieotomys and 2nd degree tears previously. I wouldn't be endorsing these things if I didn't believe in them myself. (Email me at if you have questions or are interested in ordering something at wholesale cost)

4. Long tank tops- simple I know, but I didn't want to invest in tons of maternity clothes so nice long tank tops allowed me to stay covered and comfortable but get more use out of my normal wardrobe. I can't rave enough about H&Ms 2/$10 camis and tanks and of course Motherhood Maternity for tanks made specifically for pregnancy

5. Maternity jeans- these were worth investing in! I did the whole jeans unzipped, hair tie across the button trick as long as I could, but when I finally broke down and bought a pair  I lived in my H&M maternity jeans. They are $40 for the cutest comfiest maternity jeans out there. (in fact their maternity section in general was my favorite) 
5. Glass water bottle- hydration hydration hydration. I always had a water bottle with me, especially at the end of my pregnancy on the heat of the summer. **When putting essential oils in water, only use glass cups and water bottles! The strength of Citrus essential oils literally eats through plastic!** and when it's cute it makes it more fun to drink right? I found mine at Target. 
6. Memory foam mattress topper- I didn't use a pregnancy pillow and can honestly say I slept great until the day I delivered. I refused to spend $70 on a huge pillow that took up half the bed and I wouldn't use after those 9 months. Some people love them. I however, invested in a $100 mattress topper from Costco that made our mediocre mattress 100x more comfortable and let me sleep comfortably on my side. My hip and shoulder sank into the memory foam and I put a normal pillow between my knees and hugged another one and voila! I slept great. And now 2 months out from being pregnant I am still enjoying a comfortable bed. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but these are at the top of my list! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Starbucks at home

As thrifty as I am with clothing, it is way too easy for me to drop $5 on a yummy drink at Starbucks. Do I know it's a ridiculous waste of money? Yes. Does it stop me from doing it over and over? Nope. The Cold Brew I made at home a few posts a go was a major success so I went on the hunt to recreate one of my go-to drinks. 

Especially over the summer, I can't get enough of this drink: Iced Green tea latte with coconut milk and only 2 pumps of classic. (my husband laughs at me for my complicated orders. One time I sent him to order one for me the barista instantly knew he was ordering for his wife) As I was grocery shopping the other day I noticed a matcha green tea concentrate so I had to try it! It was $3.99 for a 32 ounce container. Then I picked up coconut milk for $1.99 (unsweetened because the concentrate is already sweetened and I order 2 pumps of classic at Starbucks for it to be less sweet) So just $6 for all I need to make at least a few drinks equivalent to the grande size I get for just under $5. 

Put some ice in a cup, mix your desired ratio of concentrate to milk and it actually turned out pretty good! At Starbucks they use a powder so it's more creamy and concentrated than the at home version that is more of a tea concentrate. But for the money I save I'd say it does the trick! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fall Wishlist

Whether summer decides to end or not, I am more than ready for all things pumpkin and cliche fall. Fall fashion always excites me and this years trends are ones worth adding to my closet. I'm loving the cozy textures and vintage vibes I'm seeing in storefronts and magazines. Here are a few staple pieces I will be keeping an eye out for. My goal is to find them all at Goodwill or if not, for under $50. 

Sherpa Vest

Light wash distressed jeans

Timberland style boots 

Fringe purse 

Let the bargain hunting begin! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mommy Documentation Necessities

As a general rule, I tend to go overboard with documenting. Just as I expected, motherhood has amplified this x10. These three products have quickly become must haves for mommyhood documentation. I highly recommend them to all moms out there! 

1. Emily Ley Baby Book ($62) lets just say I did alot of research to find the perfect baby book and this one blew every other option out of the water. It is worth every dollar. 
Order yours here-->

2. Mom's One Line a Day Journal ($16.95)
this sweet journal is pretty and managlble, with a small space for a daily entry that spans over 5 years. Each page has 5 entries spaces that allows you to reflect on what happened in your little ones's life on that day over the years. 
Order yours here-->

3. Chatbooks ($6 for a 60 photo book)
I finally jumped on this bandwagon after hearing good things about it for months. Download the app and start getting printed books of your Instagram feed or make custom books. I am so excited to be getting all off my photos tangibly printed into books since I got Instagram in 2011. And you can't beat the price! 
If you use this promo code you will get your first book FREE! --> 3ULJFQW6