July 17, 2016

Cupcake Inspirations Challenge 366

So this is late... As in a whole entire week late... Oops!

The truth is I've had this card done for a while, but just never had the opportunity to photograph it! So the morning before I gave the card, I snapped a quick photo and called it done.

I used the colors for last week's Cupcake Inspirations Challenge. But obviously, I missed the challenge. Ahhh how precious time has become! LOL. Oh well. I still consider it a success that I got a card made. 

The card was actually made for my BFF who is getting married in August. We threw a fabulous shower for her last weekend and the theme was "Love is the Greatest Adventure." I'm hoping to have some more pics to share soon, so stay tuned...

Paper: Artist's Loft 140# Watercolor Paper, Strawberry Slush cardstock
Stamps: My World (Reverse Confetti), World Map (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, VersaMark
Embellishments: Clear Stampin' Emboss Powder
Tools: Heart punch, Kuretake Gansai Tambi

July 11, 2016

Currently... July 2016

Wow! It's JULY already?!? Here's this month's edition of "Currently..."

WATCHING: movies!
Now that it's summer and we can stay up late and sleep in a little (we're lucky that our little girl is a late snoozer), hubby and I have been watching a movie now and then after we put our sweetie to bed. Our most recent picks have been Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda 3. Really now, did you expect anything less of me? 

READING: Sophie la Girafe books
My girl is obsessed with this giraffe and it probably doesn't help that my family loves to fuel this obsession. LOL. We don't mind, because Sophie is adorable! We've been reading books to our baby girl since day one and she learned pretty quickly how to sit and look at her books with us. Now we've reached a new level where she is thrilled about what she sees, especially if it is something she knows, like Sophie! We only have a few of her books - First Words, Colors, Let's Get Counting! and Sophie and Friends - but they are all huge hits. The rest of the Sophie books are on our wishlist, and I can't believe it, but I'm actually pretty excited about the new titles that are coming out later this year and next.

LISTENING: to Taylor Swift
While my sweet girl was in the womb, she had quite a thing for Taylor Swift. Whenever one of her songs would come on the radio, little miss would start bopping around. It hasn't changed one bit. Our girl loves Welcome to New York and Shake It Off.  We think Shake It Off might have some magical qualities cause if we play it when our girl is upset, she stops crying almost instantly. Crazy, right?

EATING: Fiber One Cheesecake Bars Chocolate
I posted about these Fiber One Cheesecake Bars a couple of months ago. Well, now they've made a chocolate version and it is super yummy!

We're back on the water kick right now, especially cause Starbucks has changed their menu and the Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccinos are gone for the summer... So sad...

WEARING: too much black???
Recently my hubby and I went shopping and he said I could buy WHATEVER I wanted... As long as it isn't black, (or black and white), or navy... 
I found a dress that was black AND navy. He vetoed that too.
I couldn't find a thing... Sigh... 

MAKING: cards again...
Or at least trying to. I'm totally torn about how to utilize my time whenever it's nap time. I can't ever decide between cleaning the house, catching up on work, crafting, or taking a nap myself! 

YAY!!!!! We've been working on a surprise trip to Disneyland to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday in conjunction with Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. Perfect timing, right?! We finally spilled the beans to her, and we couldn't be more excited to finalize the plans!

TRYING: this Perfect Formula Gel Coat
My mom swears by it for strengthening and growing her nails. I'm trying it out too. 

WANTING: all the Minnie Mouse Dresses
LOL! I am desperately wanting to dress my little girl in Minnie dresses when we visit The Happiest Place on Earth.

FEELING: excited!
I can't tell you how often I am longing to take a Disney trip. I'm beyond thrilled.

ENJOYING: the festivities
We went home to Ohio for the week and put on a fun Bridal Shower for my BFF. It was so beautiful and we couldn't have asked for better weather! 

Tell  me about your July!

July 3, 2016

Cupcake Inspirations Challenge 365

Hooray! Hooray! I finally found time to play my favorite challenge... I'm lucky these girls keep me around! Today's theme is flowers - so easy to play... except for the fact that my Cuttlebug finally broke on me and the die cut that I was planning to use for the challenge wasn't going to work for me, so I had to dig out some goodies that my dearie Naki had die cut for me awhile back and work with what I had! Talk about a challenge!

If you haven't played Cupcakes before, this week is definitely the week to do so. Winnie & Walter is our sponsor and they are generously giving away a gift card to one lucky winner! Plus, this calorie free challenge is always beautiful and inspiring.

Paper: Crisp Cantaloupe cardstock, Market Street Ashbury Heights Designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye) Smoky Slate cardstock, Whisper White cardstock
Stamps: Bigger Blooms (Papertrey Ink)
Ink: Crisp Cantaloupe, Daffodil Delight, Pistachio Pudding
Embellishments: Winnie's Sparkly Shaker Selection (Winnie & Walter)
Tools: In a Word Hi Cutaway (Winnie & Walter)

June 27, 2016

Happy First Father's Day!

Last weekend, we celebrated my hubby on his First Father's Day. I've got to tell you that watching him these past 5 months has been one of the best things ever. He is such a wonderful Daddy to our sweet baby girl. He is so patient, caring, and selfless. I love the way she looks at him with those adoring eyes. I wanted to make a special card for him for this special occasion. World's Best Dad just about sums him up for my little girl.

The DEEtails:

The soft, starry sky was painted with my wonderful Kuretake Gansai Tambi, over an embossed star background using partially stamped sections of the star image from the Going Global Stamp Set. I also stamped the globe image and sentiment from the same set. The globe was die cut and mounted over a Baked Brown Sugar globe stand from Reverse Confetti. The sentiment was stamped with the Number of Years banner stamp and die cut with the matching die. Everything was backed with some Basic Black cardstock onto a Kraft card and sprinkled with some star sequins.

Paper: Artist's Loft 140# Watercolor Paper, Basic Black cardstock, Kraft cardstock, Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock
Stamps: Going Global (Stampin' Up!), Number of Years (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Baked Brown Sugar, Memento Tuxedo Black, VersaMark
Embellishments: Silver Mini Star Confetti (Pretty Pink Posh), Silver Stars Sequins (Pretty Pink Posh), Whisper White Stampin' Emboss Powder
Tools: Circle STAX 2 Dies (My Favorite Things), Globe Confetti Cuts (Reverse Confetti), Kuretake Gansai Tambi (colors 61, 62, 63, 64 & 95), Large Numbers Framelits Dies (Stampin' Up!)

June 6, 2016

Currently... June 2016

Here's this month's edition of "Currently..."

WATCHING: The Big Bang Theory
This is one of my favorite shows. I love the nerdy and my hubby loves the geeky (or is it the other way around?) We've been catching a couple of episodes here and there while baby girl is taking her longer naps.

READING: Motherly
I keep forgetting to mention this, but I started subscribing to Motherly e-mails a couple of months ago and really enjoy reading the articles each week. It's a weekly newsletter, tailored to your baby's current age (mine is on week 21 - YIKES!) that shares insight on balancing child, work, love, and life... I love how inspiring and encouraging it is, while giving me the gentle reminder that I'm not the only one trying to do it all!

LISTENING: to my baby babble
She's quite a chatterbox these days!

I know they don't sound very fun... but my milk production went way down recently, so we thought we'd give this recipe a try.

DRINKING: Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino
Hello! Have you tried the Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino at Starbucks yet? Don't! Because it's so yummy and totally addicting and you won't be able to get enough of it. LOL!

WEARING: this fun little teething necklace from Mama & Little
I got it for Mother's Day and am loving it! The colors are really quite beautiful!

MAKING: progress on our baby girl's nursery...
It might actually get finished and be ready to share before she is 6 months old! 

PLANNING: a bridal shower
My best friend from middle school is getting married! We couldn't be more thrilled for her! Her friend from elementary school and I are hosting a shower for her in the beginning of July.

TRYING: to make it to the end of the school year
These days seem to be dragging by and the kids seem to be crazier than ever...

WANTING: More time to work
Even though the school days drag on, I still feel like I don't have enough time to finish my work!

FEELING: Restless
Summer is coming! We still have lots of plans to hash out, but I can't wait to just relax and hang out at home with my sweetie!

ENJOYING: Time with family
We went home to Ohio just this past weekend and got to see so much family. My Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and Grandma from Hawaii all came for my Baby Brother's graduation and it was great fun to see them! We also got to see all the siblings, nephews and nieces on Hubby's side at a big breakfast that his parents hosted and our baby girl got to meet so many people! It's so nice to be around the ones we love!

What's going on with you this June? Any big plans for the summer?

May 16, 2016

Baby Survival Guide: Months 1 & 2

Now that our little girl is four months old (seriously, where did the time go?!?) we're feeling pretty good about having survived the first few months. I thought I'd start sharing a few things that have made our lives a little easier. So here goes... A survival guide for the first couple of months of parenthood!

We love the Solly Baby Wrap! I did a lot of reading up on baby wearing before our little girl came into the world and we were definitely on board. One of the things that the led us to choose the Solly Baby Wrap over others was the fabric (a light stretchy knit) portability, close fit, and the fact that it can easily fit my hubby or myself. During the first couple of months, our little girl always wanted to be snuggled up close to us, so wearing her was the only way we could get her to sleep and allow us to get things done around the house. Plus, we kind of love having her close too! Another wrap that I'm interested in trying is the Happy Baby Wrap, which I hadn't seen prior to our baby girl's arrival. This wrap is very similar to the Solly Baby Wrap, but is made of bamboo and comes in an adorable black and white polka dot print - yes please!

We were loaned a Fisher Price Rock 'n Play from a family friend and it has been such a lifesaver! We actually were planning to purchase the newer, automatic version, but the price tag on this one was better! It's so handy to be able to put our little girl down when we need our hands free and the incline allows our curious little girl to be able to see what we are doing.

We hang all of our baby clothes and since we cloth diaper, we have quite a bit of laundry to hang. We have two clip hangers similar to this one that we hang on the shower curtain rod in our hall bathroom and it is super handy. We also secretly love that it's a bit of a brain teaser to evenly hang her baby clothes. Haha. We're kind of nerdy like that.

We had planned to exclusively breast feed, but after some complications during the first few days in the hospital, our baby girl had to be formula fed for a few weeks. I hate how formula stains everything, so we definitely wanted to use a bib to protect all our girly's cute clothes. These triangular scarves from H&M were the only bibs that were even close to fitting around her newborn neck. Sadly, they don't have the solid color 3-packs available anymore, but H&M is constantly bringing out new prints, so I'm sure there will be other prints and patterns soon enough.

If I'm being completely honest, I'm a bit of a germ-o-phobe. With a newborn in the house, my husband became one too. We were constantly washing our hands, washing everything in sight, and then washing our hands again. This Aloe Body Butter from The Body Shop is one of my favorites and we were glad that we had some around since it helped keep our hands from being chapped and cracked with all that slightly obsessive hand washing that we started doing. The Body Shop has lots of different scents, but I love the Aloe version because it is just clean and neutral and not all perfume-y, which can be irritating on sensitive skin.

Breast feeding is tough work! And it's tough on your nipples, especially in the beginning! I really wasn't sure what to expect in the nipple balm department - were they really necessary? were there really differences? were my nipples really going to hurt? I was pretty confused, so I just went with the widely recommended lanolin, which seemed the most common and easiest price point for something I wasn't sure I would need. I actually found that I liked this Boob-ease Organic Nipple Balm a lot (and maybe even the name more - hahaha!) I ordered some of the Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads (both regular and overnight types) because I liked the materials they were made of along with their cute heart shape. I was pleasantly surprised to find a sample of their nipple balm in my order and after reading the ingredients, it sounded like it was worth a try. If you want the truth, I tried it on my nipples and also tried to taste it (for baby's sake). For the record, it doesn't really taste like anything, even though one of the ingredients is marshmallow root, and I was half hoping for a marshmallow flavor... I  found that it soothed my nipples quite a bit faster than lanolin and was easier to apply because the texture is lighter and not quite as sticky as lanolin. I ended up buying a whole tub of this stuff, and believe it or not it works so well that I rarely need to use it, so my tub will likely last me FOREVER. Okay, that's enough talk about nipples! (Oh, and in case you weren't sure, the answers to the questions above are  yes, yes, and yes...) 

We don't actually use these for cloth diapers, (although we DO cloth diaper our babe) but instead use it for the many other purposes as advertised on the packaging. My mom actually ordered them online for us when we came home from the hospital and found that we didn't have nearly enough burp cloths. We ended buying another pack of them because we use them for that purpose, but also for nursing, for changing, for wiping milk spills, and for playing peek-a-boo. We keep them near the bed, on the dresser, near her rocker, near our baby-changing area, in the car, in the diaper bag, and in my pumping bag. So basically, we use them all the time, everywhere and for almost everything  (but have not used them yet for car-washing, waxing, or household dusting as mentioned on the packaging). I like this style better than the prefolds because they aren't bulky and get really soft after washing. If I had known that there was an organic version of these, I probably would have gotten them... 

I didn't register for these because I thought they were a little weird looking, despite all my mama friends raving about them. There are lots of different versions, but we were thoughtfully gifted several sets of the Summer Infant SwaddleMe (in the original, organic, and microfleece versions) and they turned out to be very handy. They are well thought out and easy to use. I love that there are places for the velcro to stick when the swaddle isn't wrapped around baby, which makes it easier for washing. And they are near impossible to do wrong, so even my hubby who always felt that I was better at swaddling could do it confidently. I can't say for sure if our little girl rested more peacefully in them, but we certainly did knowing that our baby was warm wrapped in the microfleece version on extra cold nights. We loved that we had different materials to keep our baby comfortable while Mother Nature was being very moody this winter. I didn't discover the Stage 1 Pods until it was a little too late, but I really would have liked to try them out when our girl was a wee one. We already have a Stage 3 WrapSack ready for when she is a bit older!

I honestly don't know a lot about baby monitors, because when we registered, hubby did all of the research on this. However, I can say that I'm pretty happy with his pick, which was the Infant Optics DXR-8. We had some problems with the heat in our house, and it was reassuring that this monitor has a built in room temperature sensor so we could easily tell if our babe was sleeping comfortably. The camera also has a zoom feature, so we can keep a closer eye on our little one, which we love. The two way talk feature has also come in handy when one of us in the the room with baby and the other is in another part of the house. There's an option for a wide angle lens as well, but we haven't purchased the additional lens for this feature. One thing I wish that this monitor had is a timer! It would be so handy to be able to know how long our baby is sleeping right on the monitor. Oh, and I do wish you could take screen shots. I know that sounds silly, but the camera/display on this monitor is so good and I just love taking photos of my baby girl!

We don't have a traditional changing table, but instead change our girl on the bed or on a quilt on the floor, mostly because we didn't want to have to be tied down to changing her in one specific place. These changing pads have been helpful for containing messes, especially with nighttime changes, when we are a little bleary eyed and maybe a little more careless. We also keep one in her bassinet, which makes for an easy clean up when she spits up.

We've gotten a lot of use of our Keurig lately, not necessarily for coffee, but for hot water. We've found our machine to be super handy for getting hot water quickly to warm up bottles of milk for our little miss. And yes, for coffee too... and tea... and hot chocolate... Mmmm... We don't actually have that Sandy Pearl version pictured above, but I had to use that photo because it's just soooo pretty and the one I'm dreaming of for our next Keurig.

While we were in the hospital and all confined to one room, and had no other responsibilities, we tracked all of our baby's activities with pen and paper. Once we got home, we found that it was a little impractical to continue the pen and paper method. This app was actually just the first one we came across when I was searching for options on my phone and we've been pretty happy with it. It's super easy to use, fairly thoughtful in it's design, and has made communicating our baby's activities between my hubby and I so easy. It tracks nursing, bottles, diapers, sleep, pumping, baths, medicines, doctor's visits, measurements, vaccinations, and once we are ready, solids... The only complaint we have is that when I replaced my phone (after a tragic accident during a walk around the neighborhood), we've had difficulty with syncing. Other than that, the app has been a breeze to use.

So there you have it! Our top picks for what has made life a little easier for us during our first couple of months. How about you? Do you have any must haves on your baby list?

May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Friends!

I'm going to tell you, being a mother on Mother's Day feels so... weird? I feel so much more grateful for my mama now that I have a tiny inkling of what motherhood feels like. I can only guess that my appreciation for her will grow even more over time.

Can you believe it??? I finally completed, photographed, edited, and had time to blog about a project! Hahaha! Time, oh how precious it has become!

 I was quite inspired by this card. The colors were all wrong, so I had to create my own version. If you know anything about my mom, she love love LOVES pink!


Nobody has time for DEEtails anymore! LOL! We're lucky we had time to even make a card!

Paper: Market Street Ashbury Heights 6x6 Designer Paper Pad (My Mind's Eye), Night of Navy Cardstock, Watermelon Wonder Cardstock
Stamps: Alphabet Rotary Stamp, Because You Care, Simply Wonderful
Ink: Night of Navy
Embellishments: Blushing Bride Cotton Ribbon, Blushing Bride Sequin Trim, Blushing Bride Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Blushing Bride Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, Crisp Cantaloupe Stretch Ruffle Trim, Pink Pirouette Striped Grosgrain Ribbon
Tools: Die-namics Emmitt Alphabet die (My Favorite Things)

Happy Mother's Day to the best mom I know and most wonderful grandmother to my baby girl!

May 2, 2016

Currently... May 2016

Oh my goodness... It's MAY?!? Seriously folks, I cannot believe that April is gone. May totally snuck up on me! It's crazy because the days and weeks seemed to drag on, but already, the month is gone! I'm sorry that you keep hearing my sad excuses every month... I promise you that I have some new content coming soon (I hope) because I've been working on projects and have started taking photos and writing blog posts... I just need to get my act together! Well, in the meantime, let's try another edition of "Currently..."

Just recently, Hubby and I started watching Good Mythical Morning again here and there in little bits. The show is still crazier than ever and cracks us up. 

I'm a little ashamed to say that we are still on the Chamber of Secrets... There were some busy days in April and we haven't been able to read as much as we'd have liked on some nights. But I'm pretty sure we'll be done with Year 2 tonight and moving on to The Prisoner of Azkaban

LISTENING: to Rachel Platten recently.
I really like her positive energy.

EATING: Fiber One Bars
I sound like an old lady! Hahaha! 
I recently discovered these Caramel Cheesecake Fiber One Bars and they are soooo yummy!

DRINKING: Starbucks Frappuccinos...
Oh, and water... still trying to guzzle it down!

WEARING: this Polka Dot Linen Pocket Tee.
My mom recently purchased this for me and I'm kind of in love. It's comfy, but not too casual, and I get a lot of compliments when I wear it - granted, it's usually from a bunch of 2nd graders during my lunch duty, but a compliment is a compliment! Plus I love me some polka dots and you know how much I love neutrals, so it's a win-win-win. :)

MAKING: lots of messes around here.
I've been making a lot of mess, but I don't ever feel like I'm accomplishing a whole lot other than that... 
But I did actually make a card the other day. FINALLY!!!! I'll be sharing soon... I promise!

PLANNING: our Ohio trip next month.
We never did make it to Ohio last month, and we're far to busy right now to even think about going... So, we're focusing on our trip in June for baby bro's graduation. It'll be our first plane trip with our little girl, and actually her first trip anywhere ever... so we're a little nervous... I think? Too busy to worry these days! I feel like it's hard to plan because she's changing so much each day I have no idea what she'll be like a month from now. It seems so close, yet also so far away!

TRYING: to balance things. 
I've really been struggling lately. I'm hoping things settle into a better routine now that testing is done at school and I finish my last iron infusion tomorrow - hooray!

WANTING: to be more productive.
Sometimes I feel like I'm just not getting enough done. I might be being a little hard on myself, because I'm actually getting quite a bit done, but I wish I could be just a bit more productive.

FEELING: appreciated.
This week is teacher appreciation week and our administration, PTO, and community do such nice things to show us we are appreciated. It's nice to be loved :)
 Have you thanked a teacher today?

ENJOYING: time with my family.
At night, when hubby get home, we all cozy up together in bed (hubby, me, baby girl, and the pup) to read our night-time novel and I just love looking at us as a little family spending time together. 
Wow. where did that sappiness come from? Sorry, my hormones are still a little wacky! LOL!

So, how's your May? did it sneak up on you too?

April 4, 2016

Currently... April 2016

So already a month has passed, and I haven't shared much here... Can you tell that motherhood is keeping me busy?!? Haha! Quite honestly, I have lots of baby stuff to share, but I haven't quite figured out how to share it without sharing too many details and images that I'm not comfortable sharing yet. Plus, we really have been BUSY! I went back to work last month and we have been learning new roles and routines as Hubby started his new work schedule and I have been trying to figure out how to not be a work-a-holic! So... here's this month's edition of "Currently..."

 WATCHING: absolutely nothing!  
I've got no time for it! LOL! And how ironic that a few weeks ago, we hooked up TV service for the first time in over 5 years... I honestly haven't watched a thing! 

Again! I don't know if you've caught on that I reread these books at the beginning of every year. It's like a personal race for me. I got a bit of a delayed start this year because, well, I was busy having a baby. Haha! We read baby books to her by day and novels to her in the evening. We're currently on the Chamber of Secrets. And I can't wait until the illustrated version comes out! We'll be long done with the book by then, but we're pretty sure it's one that we'll be reading over and over. 

LISTENING: to this song.
It seems to be stuck in my head a lot. I really wish Pentatonix would do a cover already!

EATING: Trader Joe's Chocolatey Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers.
Hello! Have you tried these before? I don't know if I've ever told you how much I love these cookies... A lot of chocolate, a hint of coconut, the perfect shape for dunking (hence the name) and just the right size for having one or five (not that I'm saying I eat five in a sitting!) We don't have a Trader Joe's nearby for regular shopping trips, but now that we have family visiting us all the time, er, visiting the BABY all the time, we demand cookies in exchange for baby snuggle time. Seems reasonable, huh?

DRINKING: water...
okay, honestly... I'm not drinking enough water. Bad mommy! :(

WEARING: dresses
I'm back to my regular work wardrobe of daily dresses. Of course I have to be a bit selective of what I wear to make sure I can pump during the day. I recently got this dress from Kohls and I'm pretty happy with it. It's a really nice material and fits well. Plus, the style and sleeve length is great for this weird transitioning from spring back to winter again weather. Not to mention it fits nicely in my mostly black and white wardrobe. 

MAKING: lots of digital photo books of my baby girl.
I love the 8x8 photo books from Shutterfly and we've been able to create lots of free books (just having to pay for shipping). It's a quick and easy way for us to preserve memories and right now, I feel like I want to preserve every second of every day!

PLANNING: trips to Ohio to visit family. 
We're thinking of a trip later this month or early May. This will be our first long road trip. Then we have plans for our first plane trip in early June for my baby brother's high school graduation. I guess he's not quite my baby brother anymore... he has facial hair now - gasp! LOL! 

TRYING: to get everything done at work!
Work has been a challenge since I'm used to staying until 6, 7, or sometimes 8 at night. I have to rush out of there at 4:00 after the kiddos leave so I can switch off with my hubby, who starts work at 5. It's rough, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It is so comforting to me knowing that daddy is home taking care of my little girl. 

WANTING: a few more hours in the day... 
...and maybe a few more at night too. Haha! 

FEELING: a little tired
We recently found out that my iron levels are really low again. I had no idea, because I thought I was just tired cause we had a newborn at home. It was kind of reassuring to know there was a medical reason behind it, but it hasn't made it any easier. On top of my busy schedule, I'm having to fit in iron infusions which are just exhausting. We're hoping I'll be back to normal levels soon!

ENJOYING: watching my baby girl grow. 
She'll be 3 months next week. Where has the time gone?

So tell me, what are you up to this April?

March 14, 2016

My Hospital Bag: What Worked, What Didn't, And What I Wish I Did Differently...

Our baby girl is two months old now, so I thought I would share some pre-baby prep stuff here on the blog. So really, this blog post would be more appropriately titled "My Hospital BAGS: the ridiculous amount of stuff I packed still wasn't enough." Hahaha!

Before Baby Dee arrived, I read countless blogs for advice on what to pack in my hospital bag. I'm not going to give you the total rundown of what I packed, because you can go ahead and do the research yourself, but I thought I'd share some of the things that were particularly helpful (along with what wasn't and what I wish I had done differently). Mind you, I've only had experience with this once, so I'm no expert or anything... Keep in mind also, that I had a scheduled C-section, so my needs may have been a bit different from yours. I'm just sharing what worked for me.

What Worked:

1. Lots of Pillows!
Everytime we visited the hospital (for our tour, baby class, breastfeeding class, and other pre-baby procedures) it was emphasized how important it was to bring lots of pillows! We brought 2 pillows and a Bobby. I used a cute pillow case for my pillow, which helped cheer up the hospital room.

I took a Thirty-One Large Utility Tote (by the way, Thirty-One has changed A LOT since I last ordered from them!) which happens to be the perfect size for toting pillows. The bag also came in handy to carry all the freebies we got from the hospital too.

2. Extension Cord
One of the best tips I read during my extensive research was to bring an extension cord (and surprisingly, I only saw this tip once!) Hospital outlets are always situated in awkward places, so this was a brilliant idea ad helped us keep our various electronics (phones for me and hubby, laptop, and iPad) charged and conveniently accessible.

3. Travel Toiletries
This one may be a no-brainer, but usually when we travel, I just pack some of our regular toiletries (like I don't bother with travel size deodorant or travel toothbrushes; I just bring our regular stuff). This time, I went out and purchased a separate set of all of our toiletries to pack. This obviously didn't make much of a different at the hospital, but it was rather convenient not to have to worry about UNPACKING the toiletry bag once we got home. Just one less thing to worry about when you are sleep deprived and learning your new roles and routines!

I have a LeSportsac Travel Toiletry bag from ages ago (a gift from Hubby when we were DATING!) and sadly they don't make bags in this style anymore... If they did, I'd really love this one.

4. A Robe
A lot of "what to pack" lists tell you to take a robe. I was a little unsure about this tip because I'm just not a robe type of person. I decided I needed one because I remember during my last surgery recovery when I didn't want to wear any pants... LOL. I figured that this time we would probably have more visitors and that they probably didn't want to see me pant-less (you're welcome, by the way). I shopped around and ordered and tried on a ridiculous amount of robes. I chose this cotton robe with 3/4 length sleeves and a sash that was sewn in as part of the back of the robe. These features ended up being super convenient since I didn't have to worry about rolling up sleeves, adjusting sashes, or getting tangled up.

I also brought my "hospital slippers" which are just ordinary comfy house slippers, but set aside specifically for the hospital because, well, we've had quite a few hospital stays in the past few years.

5. Water Bottle
I packed a water bottle, just in case... It came in handy for Hubby. The nurses only bring the patients water, but we had access to the water cooler to refill for Hubby, which was convenient. We also brought along a case of bottled water (we left it in the car and brought in a few bottles at a time) which was handy to have for my mom and other visitors.

What Didn't Work:

1. Baby Hats and Headbands
I packed several of these for photos and such. I'm not sure why, but all of them were just way too big! We ended up just using the little pink hat that the hospital gave us (and continued to use it for a while) We're still struggling to find cute ones that fit Baby Dee's head so if anyone has any good suggestions, I'd love to hear which stores/brands are recommended.

2. Cardstock for Footprints
I packed pre-cut cardstock to get Baby Dee's foot prints for her baby book (I'm planning on doing Project Life!) but we totally forgot to get it out and give it to the nurse ahead of time. Oops!

3. Hubby's Toiletries
I packed Hubby's toiletries with mine, which seemed to make sense since that's what we do when we travel. My mom got a hotel room across the street from the hospital (since we live 45 minutes away) so Hubby would go there to shower and freshen up. Of course, he would be doing that at the same time that I would want to freshen up, but he had the toiletry bag with him... Fail.

4. Snacks
We packed lots and lots of snacks, but I really had no idea what I would want once Baby Dee arrived. Turns out, I didn't want much of what I packed. Hahaha. We ended up bringing home a lot of uneaten snacks and making several snack runs during the hospital stay anyway. I'm not saying don't pack snacks, you just may want to be more thoughtful about it...

5. Cards
This was actually my Mom's idea, and we had the best of intentions to take photos, print them out at a nearby drugstore and send a card via snail mail to our non-text-savvy grandparents, since they wouldn't get the official "she's here!" text when Baby Dee was born. Obviously, we were a little preoccupied in the hospital, so we didn't get around to sending the cards until after we got home.

What I Wish I Did Differently:

1. Hair Ties
Surprisingly, I didn't think about this, even though I had a similar surgery just over a year ago and quite possibly ran into the same problem. I forgot to bring a hair tie! I usually use a clip to pull my hair back, but since you can't have any metal on you during surgery, I really needed a rubber band! I rarely pull my hair back, but I like these flat hair ties when I do and I totally wish I had one!

I did take clips and headbands with me and used them. I think this headband is totally cute and I kind of wish I had shopped for cute headbands too, since they ended up in the photos - haha.

2. A Cooler
Although we packed lots of snacks, after surgery, I ended up wanting a lot of cold things! My hubby had to run out often to pick up whatever perishables I wanted at that moment. Unfortunately, hospital rooms don't have mini fridges, so we ended up tossing a lot since we couldn't keep things cold. I wish we had brought a cooler and requested that our visitors bring us ice packs when they came to see the baby.

3. Pineapple Juice
I read that pineapple juice is good for breastfeeding moms. I actually bought pineapple juice to take to the hospital, but totally forgot about it. Luckily, my mom is resourceful and was able to beg for some from the hotel where she was staying.

4. Blanket for Hubby
Several blogs suggested to bring an extra blanket for Dad, but I thought it was excessive, since we already had quite a growing mound of stuff to take to the hospital. The nurses brought up extra sheets for Hubby to sleep on the ultra comfy pull out chair bed, which seemed sufficient, However, I was super hot after surgery and the "guest bed" was positioned next to the air conditioner, so he was a little chilly! An extra blanket probably would have helped!

5. Packing Our Bags
I packed all of our bags by type - a bag for me, a bag for Hubby, a bag for baby, a bag for electronics, a bag of pillows, and a snack bag (I told you we brought a lot!) I think having things packed based on when we would need them may have been more helpful - a bag for things I needed BEFORE surgery, a bag for after, and a bag for going home. This probably would have helped us not forget the cardstock for the baby footprints, since those were packed in the bag for baby, which wasn't touched until AFTER the baby was born - again, Oops!

Okay, I lied... I will share a run down of everything I packed for all of you curious minds. Here we go:

In My Bag:

  • wallet
  • phone
  • my blankie (I can't sleep without it!)
  • pajamas (this night gown)
  • robe (this one
  • eye mask 
  • pretty socks
  • slippers
  • flip flops (for the shower)
  • small pouch with nursing bras, nursing pads and lanolin
  • hair clip & headband
  • lip balm
  • camera
  • toiletry bag with toiletries (both mine & hubby's)
    • shampoo, conditioner, & body wash
    • deodorant
    • face wash & moisturizer
    • razor
    • toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, & mouthwash
    • body lotion (definitely needed this since hospital air is dry)
    • contact lens solution, case, and extra pair of contacts
  • going home outfit 
  • back-up going home outfit

In Hubby's Bag:
  • clothes - jeans, tees, button up shirts, underwear & socks for 4 days
  • swim trunks (to assist with showering)
In Baby's Bag: 
  • journal & pen (I ordered this personalized one)
  • cardstock (for footprints)
  • cards & postage stamps
  • blanket (to wrap baby in and present to our pup to share baby's scent)
  • cute hats and headbands
  • going home outfit
  • back-up going home outfit
  • back-up back-up going home outfit (one can never be too prepared! Haha)
In Our Electronics Bag:
  • laptop
  • iPad
  • chargers
  • extension cord
In Our Snack Bag:
  • cookies, chips, crackers
  • chocolates
  • mints & gum
  • hand wipes
  • water bottle
  • box of tissues
Other Stuff:
  • case of water
  • 2 pillows
  • Boppy
  • camera bag with camera and charger (yes, we took 2 cameras - you can never get enough photos!)
  • car seat

March 1, 2016

Currently... March 2016

Hi there! It's me again! I thought it might be nice to see what's going on with me lately. It's been a while since I've done one of these... here's this month's edition of "Currently..."

 WATCHING: Good Mythical Morning
This show is so ridiculous, but always gives me a good laugh. Plus, the short episodes and quick access makes it easy for us to watch in small spurts in our busy day.

READING: Spark Joy.
I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year and ate it up. I was so excited to finally get my hands on the sequel. Have you tried the Konmari method yet?

LISTENING: to the baby monitor. 
I always have one ear open to it. 

EATING: Shrimp Caesar Salad. 
Love it!

DRINKING: lots of water.
Gotta stay hydrated!

WEARING: leggings.
I live in these Mossimo leggings from Target. They go on sale regularly for $10, which I love.

MAKING: some surprise projects...
hoping to share them soon!

PLANNING: for family visits at the end of the month. 
My mom & step-dad from Ohio are coming at the beginning of spring break and my dad and step-mom from Japan are visiting at the end of the break. It will be busy here!

TRYING: to get myself back on a normal schedule.
Baby schedule is soooo different from my work schedule!

WANTING: another week at home...
I go back to work on Monday. I still need time to adjust...

FEELING: a lot of love. :)
I had no idea I would fee this way about this little lady who has completely captured our hearts.

ENJOYING: my last few days at home with my baby girl!

What are you up to this March? 

February 22, 2016

Welcome Baby Dee!

We have some overdue news to share... Six weeks overdue...

We welcomed Baby Dee into the world on January 11th!

You may have wondered where I disappeared to... Last month, I shared that the new year would mean a lot of changes for us. We recently bought a house, and welcomed our sweet little one into our world. Our lives are now filled with sleepless nights, a whole lot of wetness, an absurd amount of pink (even though we requested to have none!), and a ton of love. :) 

If you're a regular reader around here, you may have guessed that photos of our wee babe will be few and far between... (consider yourself lucky that you got to see this one!) I apologize in advance, but I'm selfish and I want to keep all this cuteness to myself! Giggle. Just kidding... I really just have insane anxiety about posting personal photos for the world to see. So, instead, we have started a private blog for our friends and family, so if you fall in one of those categories and have not yet received an invite to the blog, feel free to e-mail me. If you're not sure if you fall into one of those categories, just send me cookies and I'm sure we'll be friends soon. :)

And I want to warn you that I may be sharing a lot of non-crafty posts, just because a) that's basically my life now, and b) I kind of feel guilty about not posting ANYTHING, so you'll get what you get! Haha. But I promise to TRY to be on here once in a while... and eventually, I'm sure I'll get back into crafting...

For now, let me get back to snuggling my sweetie pie... 

January 4, 2016

New Year... New Me...

Happy New Year Friends! :)

Surprise! I'm back for a quick hello!

I'm sure you've guessed it, but there is a lot going on around these parts lately, which is why I've disappeared (yet again!)

My goal is to get back into blogging soon, but I want to warn you that the content here might be changing up a bit... We've recently moved into a home and are getting ready to welcome a little one into our lives in just one short week! YIKES! A lot has changed in a year! :)

With that said, I'm sure you can understand that I might be a little preoccupied and a little focused on other blogging topics. I hope you don't mind! Quite honestly, I haven't picked up my crafty stuff in a looooong time (except to pack everything away into moving boxes.) But I'm thrilled to share that our new home has a space just for my crafty things and I'm hoping to figure out some way to carve in a little me time, after our little one arrives!

I'm sure we'll see how things go... Hopefully you'll hear from me soon!