Time is a Thief

Time is a thief. This line. This line is one I’ve thought of maybe every single day of this infant phase we’re in. Next week, we’ll have a 6 month old and it’s been a thought that’s been hard to stomach!

What’s hard is how quickly everything changes! Sure, watching Thomas grow up gave me a bit of insight to my his thief we call time, but as they grow older, the changes aren’t so quick. There are days I literally tell myself, don’t rush her to the next milestone, these days won’t be here forever. But are there days that feel extra long and extra hard that we want nothing more than to skip over a leap or two. Absolutely. I’ll say it loud and maybe not so proud, FU time.

It still feels like yesterday we were bringing our little Sprinkle home in her sushi onesie. What I also think about lately is that my original plan was to go back to work after just under 6 months. Almost a month after giving birth I had a talk with Joel and knew there was no way I could go back to work and give up being with Annabelle everyday. I miss working, I miss the day to day interaction with adults, and working with my kiddos, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to have this time and opportunity to be with her and get to see every moment. It’s also why I photograph and post almost everything. I don’t want to miss a thing! But pretty sure that transition won’t be any easier six months from now either.

I’ve thought about this concept of time in relation to childhood because this isn’t to say I haven’t felt the same way about Thomas growing up. But I missed Thomas as an infant. Infancy feels like its on hyperdrive compared to toddler years! There’s so many milestones in the first year, so many stepping stones to the bigger things later one. I always say, no stage is harder than another, they’re all so different with so many pros and cons to each. Although I am super partial to ages 3-4!

But here we are, almost 6 months later, out of the newborn phase and with a full on delicious baby. Almost 6 months and Annabelle sits by herself, is starting to eat food (already a foodie), sleeps through the night, looks for Cogs when you ask her, is not afraid to use her voice when needed and puts on the biggest smile when she sees her Papa and big brother!

To think that in this same amount of time I’ll have a one year old is daunting, also makes my eyes water every damn time. Stay tuned, soon next week I’ll be sharing my favorite products 4-6 months and before you know it we’ll be planning Sprinkle’s first birthday!

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2021

Does anyone else feel like father’s day is just kind of sneaking up on us this year?! Well that’s where I am! And as simple as Joel is, tech stuff right? Wrong. Do you know how hard it is to buy “tech stuff” for the guy that knows it ALL about tech. Yea, NOPE. Most of the time he picks out his gifts, sends me the link and I pick up the tab! Sometimes I get a few surprises in there! I’ve made this list based on a lot of things Joel already has and loves!

  • Sweatpants/Joggers-If you’ve seen my stories, you know that 1 Joel LOVES his sweatpants and 2 we debate on whether they’re sweatpants or joggers. Apparently they’re sweatpants, but I still call them joggers. Joel lives in these and perfect for working from home or lounging on the weekends!
  • Wine Tasting– Recently I was gifted by my great friend Chrissye, this at home wine tasting kit! It is packaged beautifully, the bottles are so gorgeous and you can choose from different types of flights! I love that it came with descriptions and pairing suggestions for each wine! Great gift for any wine lover!
  • JBL Speaker– I’m a sucker for anything personalized and I loved the idea of a quality speaker customized with a favorite picture! Super thoughtful idea!
  • Yeti Cooler– We have gotten so much use out of this yeti cooler. It keeps things ice cold for days, no lie, we left ice in there once and 2 days later, we still had ice! It’s light weight and perfect for a day out!
  • Flaviar-Joel has loved using Flaviar and I’ve enjoyed it too! We’ve gotten to try some great things and this makes a great gift for any whiskey lover!
  • Sony Noise Cancelling Ear Buds-I’ve posted about these before because this was one tech gift I was able to surprise Joel with that he surprisingly really liked!
  • Cocktail Smoker– I’m planning to surprise Joel with this, hopefully he doesn’t read this! We LOVE smoked cocktails, but truthfully we dont make cocktails at home. I’m hoping this will give us the kick star we need and you can even personalize it!
  • Truff Hot Sauce– You already know I’m obsessed with Truff and their sauces! I love that they make this gift set!
  • Beer Chiller– Casa Viera always has some great gift ideas and this one is so cute! Perfect for the dad who loves his beers and also comes with a can opener!

I hope this list helps you find something for the father’s in your life!

My Favorite Baby Products (2-4 Months)

Dutifully reporting that the endless research on baby products doesn’t stop after baby is born. BUT I am hoping to make the process a little easier for you by sharing our favorite products every few months! Birth-2 months was all about basics and necessities. But Sprinkle is changing, growing and doing something new everyday, Mama has to keep her entertained! The last two months have been all about tummy time and play and our favorite products reflect that!

Our Favorites

  • Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags– I can’t tell you what a lifesaver these have been. Are they great for the environment, no. Am I thrilled about that, no. But at 3 AM when I’m done pumping, unfortunatley, that is the last thing on my mind. I’ve already gone through 3 boxes of these!
  • Ergo Baby Omni 360 Carrier-When Annabelle was smaller, I loved the solly carrier, especially to be at home, but out and about the ergo carrier is AMAZING! Her weight is distributed perfectly and she never feels like too heavy of a load, at least not yet!
  • Tubby Todd All Over Ointment– We’re huge fans of Tubby Todd products! I was a little skeptical of this all over ointment, but I tried it on myself first after I got a small burn. The burn was completely healed in almost 2 days! I was SHOCKED! I’ve used this for little scratches Annabelle has given herself and it has even worked on the baby acne she occasionally gets! With this link, you’ll get 10% off your order!
  • Sloth Soft Rattle– I bought this toy as part of Annabelle’s Easter basket, but she has absolutely loved it! She’s a big fan on chewing on soft things so she’ll hold onto the teething side while mouthing the sloth, hah! But this toy comes with us everywhere we go becaues it’s definitely one of her favorites and one she’ll spend a little more time with!
  • Tummy Time Water Mat-It is no surprise that Annabelle is not the biggest fan of tummy time. We’ve tried so many different things and this water mat has definitely helped! She loves looking at all the different under sea images! If you don’t follow Kinactive_Kids on IG, you need to immediately! This is also a toy she recommends for tummy time!
  • Boppy Pillow-I never used this as a breastfeeding pillow, but instead it is what helped Annabelle the most with tummy time. Little by little we’ve been able to fade it out, but on days that she’s having a little more trouble we still use it! Kinactive_Kids also had a great tip to use this for early sitting by placing it in front of baby as baby sits against you! Annabelle loves this!
  • Nano Bottles– In my first favorite product post, I raved about the nano bottles, Nano actually reached out to gift us this bottle and she immediately took to it! It’s been our favorite bottle to use! I’ve also found that it’s the most accurate at measuring milk. I often use this to measure milk when I’m filling my storage bags at 3 am!
  • Large Exercise Ball– Another tummy time hack brought to you by Kinactive_Kids! She gives a great tutorial on how to safely and effectively use an exercise ball for a super engaging and productive tummy time! This was a game changer for us!
  • Baby Einstein Musical Toy– I swear this toy is crack for babies. One of my awesome mama friends, here’s looking at you Meredith, recommended this and could never thank her enough! This has been helpful during tummy time, while out and about, or during Annabelle’s fussier moments!
  • Otteroo– If you’ve seen my stories, Annabelle LOVES this thing. I will admit, the first few uses are pretty scary and it doesn’t look very comfy, but she loves floating around in the tub! She also lets off so much energy using this! They offer two different sizes, so just make sure you’re buying the correct one for your babe!

Sprinkle Update

Last week we had our four month check up with the pediatrician and she is continuing to do great! We got the OK to start solids and we immediately went home to give that a shot! So far we’ve introduced rice cereal, old fashioned oats, whole grain oatmeal cereal, and pears. Tomorrow we’ll be introducing squash! Sprinkle is sleeping through the night, but if you checked out yesterday’s stories, our naps have been MEH. But Mama is doing better at letting that go and making the best of up time!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2021

Last week I put up some fun polls on my Instagram story about some shopping preferences and habits you guys have. Based on your results I was able to put together this year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide. I’ve come up with two lists for you, splurge items ($50 and up) and steal items ($50 and under) and I tried to feature as many small shops as I could, as per your requests!

I’m so excited for Mother’s Day this year since this is my first official Mother’s Day. Last year, we were in the thick of the pandemic, but it was so special because it’s the day we told our families I was pregnant! So much has changed and so looking forward to spending the day with Annabelle and our family!

Splurge Items

Ginette Photo Pendant

If you found this Gift Guide through my IG post, then you’ll see the necklace featured! While this was part of my push present, it would still make a beautiful Mother’s Day present! I actually started my mom’s collection a few years ago and added Annabelle to it for her this year! Ginette does not sell these on their website, but you can call the store in NYC and ask for Sam! Although this order probably won’t arrive before Mother’s Day, it is well worth the wait! On a side note, I have this ring and it is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry!

The Standard Spa Day

If your a Miami local, I can’t recommend a day at the Standard Spa enough! Book your Mama a beautiful massage and then she can take advantage of all the amenities at the hotel! Stay for lunch at the Lido and take in the beautiful view

Amazing Graze

If you’ll be enjoying brunch at home with loved ones, a beautiful grazing board is a gift everyone will enjoy! Natalie from Amazing Graze put together a beautiful grazing board in the shape of the letter A for Annabelle’s baby shower and it was beautiful AND delicious!

Dr. Schell

I can’t recommend Dr. Schell’s services enough! Her one of a kind, post-partum concierge services should be mandatory for every new mom! Really ANY mom! She does offer gifting options for her services, this makes a PERFECT mother’s day present for a mama to be!

Sam’s Blooms

If you are local to Miami, I highly suggest checking out Sam’s Blooms! I have two dried arrangements from Sam at Sam’s Blooms and they’re beautiful! I love that they are literally NO maintenance. Sam also makes fresh arrangements that are just as stunning. Bonus, her mom makes the most delicious macarons!

Vana Chupp Studio

Formerly known as Le Papier Studio, if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I gifted my mom a custom silhouette print a few years ago. While this is another gift that won’t make it in time for Mother’s Day, it is definitely another one worth the wait! Vana offers much more than prints, but also silhouette pendants, jewelry, and gift cards!

E & E Project

If you pay close attention to some of my stories, you may be able to spot my E & E Project bracelet my mom gifted me for Christmas this year! I have an A for Annabelle and T for Thomas. I love how dainty and personal the pieces from E & E are!

Canvas and Confetti

Recently at my best friends wedding, she had Talia from Canvas and Confetti doing water color portraits of all the guests as a party favor! It was such a beautiful treat to go home with! While Talia does a lot of wedding work, her website does show other portrait work and does offer gift certificates for her work!

Sydney Evan Mama Necklace

Part two of my push present was my custom made “mama” necklace, but the inspiration came from this Sydney Evan piece! This makes a great mother’s day present with the perfect amount of sparkle!

Mackenzie Child’s Potted Orchid

You should know by now that I’m always going to include something from Mackenzie Child’s on my gift guides because it’s just my favorite! While it is an artificial flower, I love that there is hints of their famous pattern on the orchid! They also offer a variety of vases that can be gifted with beautiful fresh flowers!

Steal Items

Taudrey Mom Necklace

If you’re from Miami, chances are you’re familiar with Taudrey! I love the dantiness of items, but also the fact that they have so many personalization options. When in doubt, I always find something to gift! While this necklace is a little above $50 ($54), it’s a beautiful option and if not they have plenty of other items to choose from for all budgets!

CasaViera Dried Floral Arrangement

Another local Miami small shop! I am obsessed with all their home decor items lately. They recently released these wooden vases with a small dried floral arrangement and the cutest little wooden sign! They also have a few other mother’s day specific items! Also, the customer service is amazing!

Hotel Collection Candles

I am obsessed with the Hotel Collection candles, especially the My Way Scent inspired by the 1 Hotel in Miami! They have different options such as candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, even diffuses. With my code LLF20 you’ll get 20% your order!

Seasons and Seeds Art

I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Catie’s IG page, but I’m so happy I did. Her work and pieces are delicate, minimalist, yet personal and meaningful! I love that she offers digital files of her art as well!

Little Wooden Box “You’re Not Alone” Box

You already know how I feel about Dr. Schell’s services, but she has teamed up with Little Wooden Box to offer a beautiful postpartum box, perfect for any new mama! I love that these boxes can be used for so many different things afterwards and they’re beautiful!

Bow on a Box “Mother’s Day” Box

I’m a big fan of gift boxes! It’s such a great way to give meaningful gifts with more than just one item! Bows on a Box is a new small shop located in Miami, specializing in carefully curated gift boxes! They’ve put together a beautiful mother’s day box! While I’m not sure the exact price on this box, they do offer fully customizable boxes to fit your needs!

GT Stitchery “Mama” Travel Bag

I would take just about anything from GT Stitchery lately! But really loving these travel bags monogramed with “mama”. I love that these can be personalized however! I don’t think these would be ready in time for mother’s day, but still make a great gift!

Shop Letters & Loops Jewelry Case

Letters & Loops is another amazing embroidery small business that I am loving! She has so many options of different customizable pieces! I love the idea of a personalized jewelry case, perfect for travelling!

Uncommon Goods Cocktail Soaps

This is such a fun idea to gift to a mama who loves herself a cocktail. Guess what, IT ME! This would also be a great addition to a gift basket!

Revlon All-in-one Brush

You’ve heard me rave about this brush before and almost a year later, I’m still raving about it! I don’t use it for an all over blow dry, I use my regular blow dryer for that, but I love to finish and add volume with this dryer! It’s also perfect for next day touch ups and cuts down any mama’s routine!

What are you shopping for this mother’s day? What is on your wish list?! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Family Weekend Getaway

This past weekend we had our first getaway as a family of four and since the pandemic began! Our last trip, pre-covid was our honeymoon. Needless to say, things look a little different these days!

We’re still not comfortable with air travel, so we decided to do a little road trip to Naples. Naples is about two hours away from Miami. This would let us see how Annabelle would do with a longer car ride since we’ll be driving to North Carolina in August. Spoiler, she did GREAT! Luckily, she enjoys being in the car!

We decided to stay at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. Overall, while we enjoyed our stay and the property, the service left quite a bit to be desired. Would we be back? Perhaps if the surge in hotel prices (happening all around Florida) stops and the prices go back to normal. But at the current rate, I don’t think we’d be back. Though the service was not the best, we had a great room and really did enjoy our time at the pool!

Here’s a run down of how our weekend went!

Friday:

Thomas had school on Friday, so we picked him up from school, snack and Nintendo Switch in tow, and went from pick up line to Naples. Conveniently, his pick up time coordinated with Annabelle’s nap time and a car ride always puts her to sleep! We were originally going to stop at Seed to Table (came highly recommended by a great friend) to get some food for the hotel, but the complete disregard for wearing masks and not to mention the sign outside the store on 10 reasons not to get vaccinated, we opted against it! But I can’t wait to check it out when things normalize a bit! We then checked into the hotel and headed right to the pool while Annabelle and Mama sat poolside enjoying the hotel’s champagne happy hour! Later that night, instead of doing room service we ordered delivery from Don Tequila and we could not get over how great it was! If you ever find yourself in Naples, we highly recommend!

Saturday:

Saturday was our only full day in Naples, so we decided to take advantage and make this our beach day. While the hotel itself is not on the beach, they offer a shuttle service back and forth to the beach. Whenever I know our day is going to deviate from our typical routine, I try to make sure Annabelle has a good first nap of the day. I have found this to be HUGELY helpful! Once she was up, we headed off for our beach day. We weren’t the only ones with this idea. Unfortunately, the beach is also open to the public, so it was packed! While on the beach we at no point felt unsafe or too close to others, but when ordering food from the hotel’s restaurant at the beach, there was no social distancing nor people wearing masks. This was pretty common in Naples. This was Annabelle’s first beach day, but baby girl was NOT a fan of the cold water! Her and I spent most of day on lounge chairs napping and I am not upset about it one bit!

That night we headed to dinner at Lamoraga. It was actually our first indoor dining experience since the pandemic and we were really happy overall! The food was delicious, yummy cocktails and Thomas tried so many new things! We have a rule that he has to try anything we give him, if he doesn’t like it he doesn’t have to eat it, but more often than not he ends up loving what we give him! His latest try, tuna tartare!

Sunday:

We started our day making sure Annabelle got a great nap in and then made our way to the pool. We were so excited because the pool was so nice and warm and perfect for Annabelle’s first dip! She LOVED it! I think this girl will definitely be a water baby! Before heading home we had lunch at the hotel. We timed our trip back home around Annabelle’s nap time and this worked great!

We couldn’t have picked or planned a better intro trip to traveling as a family of four. I was definitely anxious about Annabelle’s schedule, how she would do deviating from her routine, being away from home, and how all of that would impact Thomas and all the hopes I had for our weekend. Check out some of my tips if you’re going to be traveling with a baby:

  • If you’ll be using a pack and play for sleep, make sure to practice naps here so it’s not a completely new sleep environment!
  • If you have a bedtime routine, try to replicate it while traveling! Our routine is bath, pj’s, nurse, sleep sack, story, top off with a bottle and time for bed. Friday night we did the whole routine, Saturday, bath time was earlier in the day, but we kept everything else the same!
  • As mentioned earlier, we did the first nap of the day in the hotel room before starting our day. This may not always be feasible, but worked well for us!
  • Don’t stress if things don’t go according to plan, now this is coming from a type A, so it’s hard for me to just roll with it. But nothing a cocktail can’t help!
  • To make things a little easier, check out the packing list I’ve created, below! You can download and print to use for your next weekend getaway!

Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Leave me a comment and let me know where!

Yes Day Birthday Celebrations

Birthdays are a pretty big deal around here. Let’s be honest, any excuse to celebrate just about anything, we make a big deal out of! This year, Thomas’s 7th birthday would be no different, well maybe just a little!

While celebrating a birthday during a pandemic can be somewhat of a challenge, especially when it’s your second pandemic birthday, we had to get a little creative! Last year was the first year Thomas didn’t have a big birthday party, surely we thought by this year things would be different, yet here we are! So, a few weeks ago I got to planning! We knew it would be something small and just with our family. We definitely wanted to make it extra special for a few reasons. One, we wouldn’t be with him on his actual birthday two, so much attention has been on Sprinkle lately, he deserves his own time too, and three, we barely leave the house, we all needed a change in scenery!

We decided that we would celebrate all weekend long, from Friday to Sunday. Luckily, this would fall over spring break and Easter. When he got to our house Friday morning, everything was ready to go! We gave him a majority of his presents that morning and one of those presents would be a “yes day”.

Recently Netflix debuted their movie, “Yes Day”. Truth be told, I didn’t watch the movie with Thomas and Joel because I was taking care of Sprinkle, but they made sure to tell me all about it. I had also seen floating around on Instagram the “yes day challenge” and I loved the idea! You know who loved the idea more, Thomas!

I was ready for some pretty outlandish requests, but really there weren’t any! If you follow me on Instagram, then this past weekend you saw Thomas’s itinerary and were able to follow along for the day, but here’s what he planned:

  • Eat candy and drink Sprite for breakfast
  • Have a marshmallow fight
  • Take a nap with Sprinkle (really this meant watching YouTube while Sprinkle slept next to him!)
  • Go to Mima’s house and have a sleep over (his grandmother’s house-always an automatic yes day there!)

So, overall pretty tame, pandemic friendly and the best part…when we asked Thomas what his favorite part of the weekend was, his response, “spending time with you guys.” Doesn’t that hit right in the feels?! We ended up loving this idea so much we decided we would do this for every birthday. I love that we’ve found a new little tradition out of this!

While the yes day dominated the weekend, we can’t overlook the other small things we did to celebrate! On Friday we had set up the house with Minecraft birthday decorations, all from Amazon, and we gave him a majority of his gifts! We typically do one big gift and a few smaller ones, this year he got a Nintendo Switch! Another way we love to celebrate is getting him a themed birthday cake. This is definitely a splurge, but have found it to be so worth it year after year! Since our weekend also fell on Easter weekend it gave us the chance to relax and enjoy with family. On Easter Sunday we planned to spend the day with Thomas at his grandparents house. I made us our favorite brunch casserole dish, did a small egg hunt, we set up this fun slip and slide in the back yard, spent the day by the pool, and enjoyed some yummy cake!

While it may not have been the traditional party he’s grown up used to, this year gave of us the opportunity to create some new traditions. At the end of the day, I hope he looks back and remembers how loved he is and how special he is, not only on his birthday, but everyday!

Baby Blues

Monday, 3/1/21, the day my dream baby didn’t feel so dreamy.

After my recent bout of mastitis, things were off. The day before I got sick, last Wednesday, what was taking Sprinkle 10 minutes to nurse was now taking 30. Thursday is when it hit, it’s 4 in the afternoon and I tell Joel I feel like a ton of bricks hit me. Sure enough, I started running a temperature and within an hour, I was at 101.9. Tylenol was helping, but by the time it would wear off, I would spike again. Nervous about Covid, at 3 am Thursday night, I drove myself to urgent care. Covid and flu were negative, and at that point, my only symptoms were body aches, fevers and chills. We wrote it off as a cold and new mama exhaustion. Luckily by morning I no longer had a fever. Sprinkle was still taking significantly longer to nurse than her usual. During one of her afternoon feeds is when I noticed a red mark on my left breast, this led me to believe I had mastitis. Since almost all my symptoms were gone, I didn’t call my doctor or go back to urgent care, by Saturday I felt like myself again and the mark was gone, but on Saturday I started noticing a change in my supply, specifically when pumping. On top of that, Sprinkle was still nursing for such a long time, her naps weren’t lasting more than 40 minutes, sometimes I could get her back down, sometimes I’d have to nurse, sometimes we we’re just up. Side note, she is going through a “leap”. By Sunday night I was obsessing over my supply and her schedule. But Monday… Monday was THE day. Every time I nursed I cried. And not tears, sobs. I kept reminding myself these are hormones, my baby is fine and she’s healthy, but nothing. I immediately put a call into Dr. Schell. My package had expired, but she sensed my desperation and talked me through my options.

It’s normal for your supply to drop for a few days after Mastitis, which by the way, I knew this (because of course I was googling every possible scenario), but it felt more reassuring coming from her. Her and Joel had similar suggestions, first breathe, but bottle feed her from the stash, see how she does, pump and most importantly call our doctors (Sprinkle’s and mine). Luckily, I already had an appointment with my OB scheduled for Tuesday. The rest of the day I took to nap with Sprinkle, made my current favorite dinner and have Joel help out a little extra. Oh, and go to bed at 9 PM.

Monday night Sprinkle slept until 5 am, I was so relieved, on top of that, her feedings were almost back to her 10-15 minute time frame and most important, I wasn’t crying! I didn’t call her pediatrician because my mama instinct didn’t think this was much other than a spurt combined with a change in my milk supply. At my OB appointment, I discussed all the symptoms related to mastitis I had experienced. He cleared me, but told me to keep an eye out, that sometimes your body can rid it on its own and a decrease in supply is very common. We were doing all the right things, feeding as much as possible and continuing to pump.

Something I gave a lot of thought to the last few days was the idea of the goal of breastfeeding. Goal, I now feel, is the wrong word to use. A goal is something you, for the most part, have control over in achieving. Breastfeeding is not something I have control over. While I set out with this “goal” of breastfeeding Sprinkle for a year, taking a hit with my supply really forced me to change my outlook on my “goal”. Instead, I have to look at this as something I get to do for as long as my body is able to and that’s ok!

While I’m so relieved things are somewhat back to normal, I can’t say I’m not a teensy bit scared of my hormones and feelings getting the best of me again. I’m so grateful and thankful for everyone who was so supportive the minute I opened up. It may not have stopped the tears or made me any less tired, but it was definitely less of a lonely place.

Reaching out to those around me was the best thing I could have done. It can be scary and daunting, but if you’re struggling and reading this, I encourage you to reach out! My inbox will always be a welcome, safe space!

My Favorite Baby Products (0-2 Months)

Hi guys! This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links provided (at no extra cost to you)!

I can’t tell you how overwhelming shopping for baby products is! By no means am I here to say the products below are the best of the best, but they are what have worked for us so far! So take it all with a grain of salt, what may work for my baby, may not work for yours and what may work for your baby, may not work for mine!

While pregnant, I can’t tell you how many hours I spent researching and talking to different moms about some of the very items below! You may see that some of the items I chose were maybe simpler items such as those without battery operated movement. Joel and I both believe that at a certain point in time babies didn’t have all these high tech contraptions and you know what, they survived. Unpopular opinion, I know. Anyways, below I’ll share our favorites so far and why. I’m hoping to share the products we love in stages because I fully recognize that while Sprinkle may love some of these things now, that may not be the case as she gets older.

Our Favorites

  • Lovevery Play Gym– We started using the play gym when Sprinkle was around 2 weeks and I regret not bringing it out sooner. She LOVES being on there! I love all the things the play gym brings like the high contrast flashcards and a little booklet to guide you in playtime with you baby! While it’s a little on the pricey side, I feel like it’s truly worth every penny!
  • Angel Care Bath– We were originally recommended this bath and even used it for the first week or so, but I can’t tell you how uncomfortable I was bathing her. The Angel Care bath is a no frills, light weight bath and it fits perfectly in our kitchen sink! Bathing her here has made all the difference on my back and neck and she LOVES bath time now! We both dreaded it before!
  • Haaka– This is another item I wish I would have gotten sooner! I learned about Haaka because I had been recommended and already using the ladybug milk collectors. As my milk was coming in and adjusting to Sprinkle I was a faucet. Using the Ladybugs I loved not having my milk go to waste! Then, after some research, I learned about the Haaka! This “pump” that does no pumping, but catches your milk as the other side is being occupied, has helped me create such a nice “stash” in our freezer for Sprinkle.
  • Boppy– If you’ve seen pictures of Sprinkle, you’ve definitely seen her on the Boppy lounger! Since day 1 she has loved this! Sprinkle loved the dock a tot when we first brought her home, but that didn’t last very long. She really likes to be propped up and in the mix of things which the Boppy has a nice little incline that lets her see what’s going on! As a newborn, she would occasionally fall asleep in the Boppy too, but not so much anymore.
  • Baby Bjorn– We were recommended a few different bouncers, but after some extensive research, this was the bouncer I felt best about. I cannot tell you how much Sprinkle loves this thing. She’s been hanging out on the kitchen counter while I cook daily as she’s in the Bjorn and often falls asleep in there! At the beginning she was to little to bounce it on her own, but she’s starting to now!
  • Newton Mattress– I am SO happy with our Newton Mattress. I knew we wouldn’t be using a bassinet with Sprinkle and she would be sleeping in her crib from day 1, so this was a big and an important purchase for us. The Newton Mattresses are 100% breathable and washable, as a new mom that gives you so much peace of mind! Luckily we haven’t had to wash it yet, but I thought it was so great that you can literally just hose the mattress down! If you’re interested, I have a discount code for you to use! Click on the link here and type in this code at checkout:  livelovefinds50
  • Halo Swaddle– I can’t tell you how many swaddle blankets we have because I convinced myself Sprinkle would be the cutest swaddled baby. She’s still cute, but Mama and Papa HATE swaddling. In a night of desperation, I placed a pick up order for the Halo Swaddle. This has been the best we’ve used in comparison to a few others!
  • Nanobebe bottle– Babylist.com offered a great bottle introduction pack that came with several different popular options for baby to try. The first two weeks that Sprinkle was home and wasn’t really breastfeeding, we did have to use bottles, the Nanobebe was Sprinkle’s favorite. In fact, whenever I’m not home and we leave a bottle for her, this is always our go to!
  • Nuna Pipa Car Seat– The Nuna Pipa car seat was a no brainer for us, the reviews were fantastic as it’s one of the highest rated car seats on the market. So far I love it, but then again we’ve used it a handful of times considering we don’t leave the house. I will say it does easily connect to the stroller, making it hassle free!
  • Nuna Mixx Next Stroller– I love that this stroller goes with our car seat. While I’ve only used it for walks around the block, it is so light and super easy to use! I also love the style!
  • Solly Baby Wrap– You’ve probably seen me wearing Sprinkle in the Solly Wrap. It is so soft and comfortable and perfect for when I need my hands, but Sprinkle needs her mama!
  • Baby Buddha Pump– Thank goodness for this pump! While pumping wasn’t necessarily my original plan, things changed when Sprinkle had a hard time breastfeeding the first few weeks. The Baby Buddha is so quick and amazing that it’s hands free!
  • Skip Hop Changing Pad– This pad is seriously the BEST! It’s waterproof and a special type of cushioned foam, so it makes clean up a BREEZE!

Some other favorites

Sprinkle Update

This week we had our two month visit with Sprinkle’s pediatrician and I am happy to report she’s doing great! She’s weighing in at 10 lbs and 22.5 inches long! We made the decision to space out her vaccines so we should be done with her first round in about 2-3 weeks. Next week she’ll be getting her ears pierced! For the last two or three weeks Sprinkle has been smiling and making all sorts of new sounds. I swear everyday I hear a new one and it just melts my heart! She’s not the biggest fan of tummy time, but everyday she’s at it a little longer and complaining a little less! We’ve been working hard on a daily routine and sleep training and I’m so happy at how successful we’ve been. You can check out more on my Instagram, but look out for a post soon! Can’t wait to see what new stuff she starts doing in the upcoming weeks!

Hospital Bag

As a blogger and new mom, I had to post my hospital bag! I asked around quite a bit and did some research on some staple items I should have. Let me tell you, I didn’t use half of it, more than half probably.

What you see pictured above are the things I did use minus a few and I’ll go into detail as to what those were and why. I’ll also be suggesting some things that I did see commonly suggested, but we didn’t have the need for.

The Bag Essentials

For starters, the bag you see pictured above, I LOVE! It’s the perfect travel bag and was packed for weeks before giving birth, but last minute Joel decided he didn’t want to carry so many bags and we put everything in one larger one.

Comfy pajamas are a MUST! I loved this Eberjey Pajama because it is so soft, makes nursing super easy and bathroom trips a little more bearable. Target has a similar option for much cheaper! On the topic of nursing, bring nursing bras and pumping bras! The ones linked are the exact ones I’m using! I didn’t have a pumping bra on me and do I regret it! While it may not be in your plans, it wasn’t in mine, it’s good to have backup!

It goes without saying you’ll need a charging cable for your phone, but an extra long one is the way to go!

If you read my birth story, you know that having my hair done before going to the hospital was VERY important for me! Wasn’t sure when my next wash would be, so I wanted it to be as perfect as possible before checking in. Bringing my Revlon Blow Drying Brush and Dry Shampoo were lifesavers for touch ups and photos! This is part of my regular routine at home! While the hospital provided toiletries, it was nice to have my own things from home and having them organized in a little baggie definitely helps! I also brought shower shoes with me and I’m so glad I did. While our room and bathroom were clean, it’s just not your bathroom!

Mama also needs a coming home outfit, while a bit more thought went into Sprinkle’s, mama also needs to look cute! My suggestion, a loose comfy dress! This dress was one of my favorites while I was pregnant and love that it’s non-maternity so I can still wear!

Extras:

For Baby

The hospital did a great job at providing most of everything we may have needed for Sprinkle, such as diapers, onesies to sleep in, wipes, baby soap, bottles, a pump, and a pacifier. Really the only thing we needed was outfits for any pictures we wanted to take and a going home outfit. But here are the things I brought, or similar, for Sprinkle:

The Other Essentials

Some reminders of things to make sure are in order before going to the hospital!

  • Verifying with your insurance company what steps and documentation are needed to add baby on for coverage
  • Car seat installed, we have this one and love!
  • Any pre-registration information for hospital
  • Your insurance card and ID
  • Prenatal Vitamins

Nurse Baskets

While this totally isn’t necessary or required, I can’t tell you how much the nurses appreciated it! If you follow me on IG you know Joel was against it at first, but I think he changed his tune once he saw how happy the nurses were! I had two baskets, one for the labor and delivery nurses and the other for the post partum nurses once I was in my recovery room.

The baskets were simple to put together, found these bins at Michael’s and the Dollar Store and I filled them with non-perishable goodies. I had put them together about a week or two in advanced since we were on baby watch for quite some time. Definitely did not want to put these together at the last minute! I also made sure that all the goodies were individually packaged since it is Covid times!

Things That Didn’t Make the Cut

A lot of what I packed were things the hospital already provided and never even made it out of the bag. For example, diapers for me, pads, Tuck’s medicated wipes (god send), dermaplast, etc. Another common suggestion I hear is a sound machine, nightlight or fan. We haven’t used a sound machine for Sprinkle, so we opted out of this. As for a nightlight and fan, our room had different light options and we were in control of AC, so didn’t find this necessary. There were also a lot of suggestions for your own pillows and towels. While these things would have been a pure luxury to have (the pillows were AWFUL), I think Joel would have killed me if I had him carry one more thing!

Nursery Reveal

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately started planning a nursery. Truth be told, I started planning for a boy nursery. Part of me was convinced we would be having a boy and the other part of me found that planning a girl nursery was way more exciting and I didn’t want to get my hopes up in designing something that wouldn’t come to fruition. To Pinterest I went and planned away, for a boy and a girl.

When working on design and furniture for our house, I’ve always started with picking out the largest item for the room and designing around that. It was a no brainer to start with the crib. Although there were a few I liked, I kept going back to this one. I felt it was gender neutral and loved that it could serve her for years to come since it convers to a toddler bed and later on a full size bed. We actually just ordered the conversion kits!

Once we found out that Annabelle was a girl, I immediately started going through all my “girl nursery” pins and went a little crazy! If you know me, you know I like to get everything done ASAP. I wanted everything ready for when Sprinkle arrived, especially since we wouldn’t be using a bassinet and she would be in her crib as of day 1. As I started planning, I realized, this girl, or her mother rather, had a vibe. I didn’t want anything overly pink, but rather, all the mid-century modern boho vibes. I would say we executed pretty damn well.

I love that the pieces we chose can transition with her for years to come and hope she loves it one day as much as I loved designing it! Below I will link everything shown.