6.27.2017

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom, Baby & Dad



Diaper Bag - Pottery Barn Kids 

One of my best friends just gave birth to her first baby. When she was pregnant she asked me what I packed in my hospital bag and all kinds of memories came flooding back. I remembered a time when I literally had no clue what to expect or even how to do it all again and I was happy that I kept my organized list (insert nerd emoji here) so I could help her out.

This is a list I started when I got pregnant with Ryder and hadn't had a baby for 8 years. Whether this is your first time having a baby or you just haven't had a baby in a long time this list is for you. I've adjusted and perfected it overtime. Also, I delivered all of my babies via c-section so some things may not be necessary or appropriate if you are not having a c-section.

As my list grew I organized it into four different sections. The first section became the things I needed to pack for myself, the second section were the things I would pack for the baby, the third section were things my husband was going to need and lastly miscellaneous things we would need. I'm sure you will adjust your list a bit but I think I covered all the basics and more!

For the actual hospital bag for me and baby I used this large diaper bag from Pottery Barn Kids. Bag pictured above.

Mom

  • Wallet - It is very important to have your I.D. and insurance card at all times.
  • Phone - Make sure all important numbers are saved and handy.
  • Labor Fast Pass - Our hospital provided us with a labor fast pass after we registered with them. If I were in labor I was to show it to admissions and they would send me straight up to labor and delivery.
  • Robe - Labor can be very long and you may need to walk up and down the hospital hallway a bit so a long comfortable robe is ideal and you can also wear it after birth. 
  • Comfortable clothes to wear in the hospital. Button down pajamas are ideal for breastfeeding.
  • Slippers
  • Flip flops for hospital shower.
  • Nursing Bras (2-3) - I didn't feel comfortable just sitting there topless 24/7 breastfeeding my newborns so I wore these nursing bras. They are super comfortable and affordable.
  • Nursing Pads
  • Nipple Cream -  This is the nipple cream I recommend. You can wear it all of the time because it is safe for baby.
  • Nipple Wipes (safe for baby)
  • Lactation Cookies to help your milk supply
  • Prenatal Vitamins - My doctor made sure I got prenatals every day while I was in the hospital but not every doctor will. It's important to continue to take prenatals even after birth and especially if you are breastfeeding.
  • Socks (2-3) - Hospital rooms can get really cold.
  • Underwear - the largest most comfortable ones you can find. Comfort is all you will care about.
  • Pads - The hospital should provide you with pads but they are super uncomfortable. Just know hospital's or not the pads should be large but try to find large ones that you are comfortable in.
  • Girdle - I did a ton of research when it came to recovery girdles. I ended up purchasing this c-section recovery girdle and it was the best. Made my recovery a lot easier the third time around.
  • Toiletries - All the regular toiletries for showering.
  • Hair brush and ties
  • Make-up - I really only packed my foundation, blush, chapstick and make-up wipes. 
  • Going home outfit - for c-section mamas: yoga pants sit above the c-section incision. A button down shirt for breastfeeding.


Baby

  • Nursing Pillow: I recommend the my brest friend nursing pillow. I honestly don't think I would have been able to breastfeed without it. 
  • Car Chair and Base - you can't leave the hospital without these.
  • Head support for car chair. Newborns are so tiny they sometimes need extra padding in the newborn chair. The one I have is no longer online but this will do the trick.
  • Receiving blankets (at least 2)
  • Diapers and Wipes - The hospital should provide you with wipes and diapers while you are there but if they don't then pack a few newborn size diapers and a few size 1 diapers. You never know how big or small your baby will be.
  • Diaper Cream of your choice. I prefer the clear diaper creams because the white ones are a nightmare to wipe off, especially if the baby has a diaper rash.
  • Long and short sleeve onesies to wear in the hospital.
  • Socks - (2-3) It can get so cold in the hospital.
  • Burp Cloths (3-4)
  • Baby Nail Clippers - Some babies are born with really long nails. You want to keep their nails short to avoid them from scratching themselves.
  • Mittens to help them avoid scratching themselves or poking an eye.
  • Going home outfit
  • Baby Book - Having this book handy will allow you to record stuff in the book while it's fresh on your mind and you can get the baby's footprints early on. Don't forget the ink pad!


Dad/Partner

  • Phone
  • Comfortable clothes to sleep in for at least 2 nights.
  • Change of clothes for 2-3 days
  • Toiletries 
  • Pillow
  • Blanket


Misc.

  • Any paperwork to give to labor and delivery - Your OBGYN's office should give you a set of documents with all of your records on your last pregnancy office visit. If you are having a baby that will need additional medical attention you should have a separate set of documents for the baby.
  • Camera
  • Phone Chargers
  • Large plastic envelope (9x11) - The hospital will provide you with their version of a birth certificate, social security documents, and so on. Place everything in this plastic envelope for safe keeping. 
  • Coins for vending machines - You'll be starving after labor and so will dad!
  • Cash for hospital parking
  • Big Brother or Sister gifts - When Ryder was born Ryan got all kinds of big brother gifts. I think this helps siblings feel like an important part of the baby birth story.
I know this is a long list and it can be overwhelming but most of all I hope it helps. Please feel free to ask me any questions. Best of luck to you on your very special day!

6.23.2017

Smock Top



Happy Friday!! Big plans this weekend? How about a little shopping right before you get your Friday night started!

This top is the bomb.com! I absolutely love the smock style, it is so comfortable. Although this exact top is no longer available online I've found some great similar ones with embroidery details. These cute and affordable alternatives are linked below.

1. Gingham Bell Sleeve Lace Trim Smock Top  - Gingham, $10, AND the lace trim on the sleeves is perfect! Run don't walk.

2. Vertical Stripe Smock Blouse - This one is a simpler option without the embroidery appliqué and the short sleeves are perfect for summer.

3. Embroidered Peplum Top - Okay so I do realize that this is a peplum top but it was too cute to leave out. The color combo is so cool and would be a great Fourth of July top.

4. Jungle Print Blouse - So fun!! This one is also not a smock LOL! Sorry. The pattern screams summer and I just had to share.

5. Striped Open Shoulder Top - This is a similar top but has open shoulders.

Happy shopping girlfriends!!!

6.21.2017

School To Career







Tunic Top: Old Navy || Denim: Old Navy Coral Shoes: Old Navy || Tote: Urban Outfitters 
Gladiator Sandal (Top Picture): Target 

Now looking back, when I started school I knew nothing about interior design. Everything I thought I knew was wrong. Honestly, I was solely after my passion to create beautiful interiors. I had absolutely no experience and when I think about the floor plan I drew for my entrance exam with the interior design department director, I cringe.

I could say I lucked out with my first job but if it weren't for my desire for experience I would have never applied for any job while attending school. Everyone around me was focused on school but I knew I wouldn't get far with just a degree. I landed my first interior design job two weeks after enrolling at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with ZERO experience and that is because I hustled. I applied to every interior design job I came across.

My first job was a dream job and I soaked in every bit of experience. I was hungry for design food so I didn't mind folding fabric samples. I got to touch the latest and greatest fabric samples from big showrooms at The Pacific Design Center. I loved the colors of the fabrics; I loved ordering samples over the phone because then I learned the names of the people who worked in each showroom. As I began pricing out fabric for projects I started to visualize the client's budget in my mind. If they were paying $95 a yard for fabric for an entire sofa I pictured how amazing that sofa was going to be! I imagined the coffee table, the rug and so on. Without knowing I was learning how to put projects together piece by piece. Then, I was asked to return bags of samples to the P.D.C. (Pacific Design Center) and you would have thought I had just landed my very own client. I was thrilled!! I picked out a cute outfit that made me feel like a professional designer and off I went. The entire time I visualized myself a full on designer. I was returning samples and loving it. Maybe I hadn't landed that dream client but, I had gained experience and that experience was priceless. I would have done it for free for the experience.

If you are offered a chance to gain experience, take it! Even if that task is not a paid one believe me when I sat the experience is everything. Take every chance to gain experience, be excited to learn and be humble because there is a whole lot to learn when it comes to interior design.

Photography: Sandie Alvarez

6.20.2017

Siblings and Joint Birthday Parties



Ryan 11 years old, Ryder 2 years old


My husband got the boys the biggest bouncer anyone has ever seen LOL!
Ryan - 12 years old

Ryder - 3 years old

We've had successful joint birthday parties for two years in a row now. Ryan and Ryder are 8 years and 11 months apart, one born in May and the other in June. I thought the age difference would be an issue but today I'll be sharing some advice on how to pull off a joint party even if your kids are not close in age. I'll be honest and also give you some pros and cons.

Before I decided to have a joint birthday party last year I asked Ryan how he felt about it. Ryan is really mature for his age and I knew he would be honest with me. He thought about it for about .5 seconds and then started suggesting party themes. I would definitely run it by your kids first and see how they feel about it. I was more selfish than Ryan growing up and the little diva in me would not have appreciated sharing a birthday party with my annoying little brother (sorry Ricky). Just being honest here. Ryan will be a teen next year so I might have pulled off my last successful joint party this year.

Picking A Party Theme - Let's face it, children's parties are all about themes. Having to come up with a theme for a joint party can put your creativity on a whole new level. If you're having a party for two different genders you can't just have a princess OR superhero party, you have to think of something a little more creative. This is the fun part for me. Our carnival party last year was both appropriate for different genders and ages. The possibilities for games and decor became endless. Ryder is obsessed with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so this year we went with that theme but since Ryan might be a little too old for such a theme we had to balance it out with a giant bouncer that kids of all ages could play in. My husband found the biggest bouncer ever made and good times were had by all.

Cons - I'll give you the cons first. I don't think joint parties are a good idea if one or both kids are celebrating a big birthday. First birthday parties for example. I think such birthdays should be celebrated separately but that's just my opinion. I like looking back and remembering how special each one of my kid's first birthday parties were.
Your party size will always be larger with a joint birthday party. The kids will have different sets of friends and so on

Pros - Who are we kidding, one party is so much easier than two parties back to back. So, that's always an upside. I love that my kids look forward to a party together and that when we sing happy birthday to them it's always a big laugh when everyone is screaming Dear Ryan and Ryder. Their names get all jumbled up with one another and it just always makes them laugh. I really try to keep my boys united and I hope that one day even when I am long gone that they continue to celebrate together and are as united as they were growing up.

I have a long list of joint party theme ideas that I can share with you if you are interested. Feel free to send me a message and I would be happy to send that to you. Here's to hoping I get the chance to host joint parties for years to come.


6.18.2017

Happy Father's Day

Custom Father and Son skateboards - 2013

Ryder learning how to walk - 2015
Reed's Birth - 2017
Christmas 2016
Ryan's Baseball Game - 2017
"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us Fathers and Sons" - Johann Schiller

We are the luckiest little family because our "Dada" is the best father, husband and best friend. Happy  Father's Day my love!

Also, happy Father's Day to all you men putting your family first. You make a world of difference. Enjoy your special day.

6.15.2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RYAN MY LOVE












My Ryan, I can't even put into words how perfect you are. I am the luckiest person in the world because you call me mom. May you always be kind, intelligent, healthy and hilarious. HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY!!! I love you! I love you! I love you!





6.12.2017

Father's Day Gift Guide





Father's day is a little less than a week away. What did you get your special guy this year? If you're like me you want to shower your your dad or husband with gifts on Father's Day and you mean well but, you are now last minute shopping. Yikes!!

Below is a quick little Father's Day gift guide. I hope it helps you find THE gift or at least inspires an idea for the perfect gift.

1. Apple Watch I personally own an Apple Watch and I absolutely love it. I'm sure my husband will love his too. He's been hinting since March that he wants it for Father's Day. LOL!

2. Fine and Dandy is a company I first came across on Instagram. The "Society of Motherhood" T-shirt caught my eye because it resembles a lot of the biker style t-shirts my husband loves. Imagine my excitement when I found out they have a Society of Fatherhood T-Shirt I've linked that specific t-shirt but check out all of their cool merchandise.

3. I got my husband a starter's kit from The Art of Shaving one year and he loved it. It's a great way to introduce their products to someone who has never tried them before. They have great Father's Day Gift Sets right now.

4. If your special guy is into cars or motorcycles an Amazon gift card is great for car/motorcycle parts.

5. An engraved pocket knife can be both very useful and sentimental. We gave my husband one for Father's Day four or five years ago that reads "I love you Pops". He uses all the time and always shows off the engraving. Check out The Knife Depot for yours.

You have a few days left and some great ideas now so you should be good. If you aren't a procrastinating gift giver like me I'd love to hear what you got your dad or husband for Father's Day.

6.09.2017

MDW at The Santa Barbara Zoo



Ryder feeding Michael the giraffe 




Chasing ducks through the gardens with Ryder
Since we started dating, my husband does this thing every single year the day before Memorial Day Weekend where he says to me "pack a bag we are going somewhere". Trust me when I say I love the spontaneity of this but, now that we have little babies it becomes packing panic central over here. You would think that by now I would just start preparing a bag the week before but I always think we aren't going anywhere and then we always do. Duh!

This year when he said that he didn't have a particular place in mind I suggested the Santa Barbara Zoo. We hadn't been there since Ryan was six or seven and I remember it being small enough that we could manage easily with an infant and a toddler in tow. We recently visited Disneyland and let me just tell you we were on the hot mess express the entire time! I'll have to share about that with you on another blog post because that mess deserves it's own. I'm cracking up just thinking about it. Anyway, he agreed to my zoo idea and off we went.

I remembered this place being easy to visit and it was. It is small, overlooks the ocean, has plenty of green grass for the kids to run around on, has a picnic area surrounded by luscious gardens and all the animal exhibits are great. We even fed a giraffe! That was by far our favorite part of the trip. Ryder is still talking about how he fed Michael (the giraffe) lettuce and how his tongue was so slimy. As he was feeding the giraffe and nervously laughing because the giraffe kept licking his fingers, I remember thinking to myself that it had to be a moment that I needed to engrave in my mind forever. A part of Ryder's childhood that I would remember always. I can still hear his nervous little giggle. When you find a place that takes your mind there you want to tell the world about it. I also recommend riding the little train that takes you around the zoo. There were no large crowds, getting in the zoo was really easy and the parking lot is literally outside of the zoo gates. They have a couple of restaurants inside the zoo and the one closest to the picnic area even serves wine! Wine ladies, wine! LOL!

If you live in Southern California or are just visiting The Santa Barbara Zoo is a must see. Parent or not I am sure you will appreciate how great this little hidden gem is. Downtown Santa Barbara is just a short drive away and the beach is almost across the street.

Gray Diaper Bag - Fawn Design | Ryder's Pants - Old Navy |

6.06.2017

Current Nordstrom Favs

As some of you know I hosted a giveaway to celebrate the launch of my blog. One lucky Instagram follower won a $50 gift card to Nordstrom. In honor of all that goodness I put together a list of some of my favorite current Nordstrom finds. I know their big annual sale is over now but my list includes items that won't break the bank and are wardrobe essentials.



1. Peplum tops are huge right now. My favorite thing about a peplum top is that you can truly dress it up or down. This peplum tee is perfect for everyday wear but can also be paired with a pencil skirt and a statement necklace to dress it up. This top is available in seven colors and is under $40. It has been selling out fast so RUN!

2. Distressed jeans anyone? These jeans have more of a boyfriend cut and these jeans are the perfect distressed skinny jeans. Both are under $100.

3. This dress is on sale and would be a great dress to wear to an outdoor wedding. I love the periwinkle blue and the cold shoulder. The open back is beautiful too.

4. I have been eyeing these block heel sandals for a while now. A blogger that I follow and love swears by them. They are cute, comfortable and on major sale. Need I say more?

5. I am a handbag kind of girl. I will take the handbag over the shoes ANYDAY! The details on this crossbody had me at hello. I love the size of it too. It's not as small as most crossbody bags are. It is under $75 and comes in four colors.

What's on your Nordstrom wishlist?