How to make a Long Tutu dress for under $5

Happy Tuesday lovelies!

Today’s blog post is a fun one! A do it yourself long tutu dress for any age! Jo’s birthday is coming up on Feb 12, and I wanted her to have something fun to wear without breaking the bank! And you all know how frugal I am. It’s super cheap and it’s very easy to make!

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I got all of my material from Walmart, but I am sure you can grab these items from any craft or fabric store. Total cost for this project was just under $5! So I would highly recommend creating your own versus buying one (they can be expensive). Plus there are endless amounts of colors to chose from! Creating something yourself even makes it that much more special ♡ Lets get started on this tutorial!

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Time: 30 min

What you will need:

  • tulle (I used 15 yards but you can use up to 30 yards depending on fullness you like)
  • 1/5 inch Elastic
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun or needle and thread
  • Tape measure

Directions:

  • With your tape measure, measure your daughters waist with an extra inch added. example: Jo’s waist is 19 inches long, and with an extra inch I got 20 inches.
  • With whatever measurement you came up with, cut the elastic that length. Then with your hot glue gun or needle and thread, close the elastic waist band with a half inch seam allowance. This creates the waist band for your tutu dress.

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  • Next, measure the height of your daughters legs, then with some simple math, times that by 2. Jo’s legs were 17 inches long, then I times it by 2 to get 34 inches. Whatever number you get, you are going to cut your tulle that long because you are going to fold the tulle in half and tie it to the waist band. I used 15 yards for Jo’s dress because I didn’t want it too full. but you can use up to 30 yards to have a big beautiful full dress.

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  • Next, you are going to fold each piece of tulle in half then fold a knot onto the elastic waist band. I ended up putting the elastic on the back of a children’s chair for easier assembly.

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  • Since I didn’t want to dress too full, I spaced each knot about 1 inch.

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  • Finish tying your tulle to your tutu dress and you are all done!

Since my tulle dress is not that full and somewhat see through, I had Jo wear white leggings, which I think looked super cute and comfy. Jovie loved her dress and did not want to take it off, so she wore it for the rest of the day ♡

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Hope you enjoy this simple tutorial, let me know if your tried it! Please like and share! And thanks for stopping by as always! xoxo

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Mommy Ramblings: Weekends

Happy Monday to my readers! And happy Chinese New Year of the Rooster!

Just some Monday ramblings from this mama as I have my coffee and Jo is enjoying her breakfast while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I try very hard to stay away from blogging and social media during the weekends because, in my family, the weekends are all about family, fun, and catching up on errands. But I am going to get back into weekend recaps for Monday blog posts to share more of our lifestyle on my blog.

One of my goals for 2017 is to blog more, so I’ve been learning new ways to accomplish that with this hectic mommy life, but it’s achievable! I do love blogging.

Nothing special this past weekend, it was a Bates Motel binge fest on Netflix! This show is super good, can’t believe I haven’t watched it sooner. It is starting to be addictive and I have a feeling it is going to make the rest of my pregnancy go by super fast haha. 34 weeks by the way, and still no baby name yet!

Anyways, this is it for Monday! Thanks for reading as always. Have a great and productive week!

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The Most Delicious Chicken Soup Recipe

I am finally sharing my chicken soup recipe! I make this soup all the time. You seriously cannot go wrong with this delicious soup. It does need some time to prep and cook, but I promise you, it will be so worth it!

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I found a chicken soup recipe a few years ago online, and overtime, it has transformed and evolved into this perfect soup for our likings. I always crave this soup, and I think it is so so good!! And it’s pretty healthy so that is a plus too.

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The secret to a good chicken soup is the stock! And the secret to a good stock is to use the bone in chicken with some skin. You can use a whole cut up chicken, or if you prefer white meat or dark meat, you can most certainly stick to those as well. As long as the chicken has bone and some fat on it, your good to go, or your broth will lack those delicious chicken flavors. Let’s get to the recipe!

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Cook Time: 1 hour & 45 min

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 2 hours

Serving size: 4

What you’ll need

  • 1 whole chicken (cut into quarters)
  • water (about 2-3 liters)
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots (chopped and divided)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped and divided)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (roughly chopped)
  • 2 medium baking potatoes (peeled & cubed)
  • half a head of cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Cilantro (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns
  • 3 teaspoons of salt

Instructions

  1. To create the delicious broth! Prep your whole chicken by cutting it up into quarter chunks. Use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, but please be careful. Add the chicken to a large pot.
  2. Now to prep the veggies for the broth. Add the peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, the roughly chopped up onion, only one chopped up carrot, only one chopped up celery, and a small handful of cilantro leaves with the stems to the pot.
  3. Fill the pot with cold water, add to the stove top, turn heat on to high, bring to a boil, then turn heat to a low simmer and cover with a lid. These veggies will be tossed after the broth is done cooking, you’ll add the rest of the fresh veggies in the last part of cooking.
  4. Simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the simmering process, you’ll notice froth building up. You can scoop it out with a ladle, or leave it since we will drain the broth later anyways.
  5. While the broth is simmering, you can prep the rest of your veggies and set aside. Peel and cube the potatoes, dice up a half a head of cabbage into bite size pieces, one chopped up carrot, one chopped up celery, and roughly chop a big handful of the cilantro leaves.
  6. Once your broth is done cooking, take out the chicken and place it on a chopping board or large plate to cool down. Carefully strain the broth into another large pot and discard the leftover cooked veggies. Your broth should be a beautiful golden color filled with lots of flavor from the chicken and veggies!
  7. Add the bite sized chopped cabbage, potato, fresh chopped carrot, fresh chopped celery to the pot of broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat and cook for 15 min or until veggies are tender. While the fresh veggies are cooking, start shredding the chicken and toss away the bone and fat.
  8. Once veggies are tender, turn off the heat, add the shredded chicken and the rest of the cilantro leaves to the soup. Cover for a few minutes so the cilantro can infuse more flavor into the soup. And finally, add salt to taste.  Serve with some rice, noodle, or add a squeeze of lime!

And your soup is done! Enjoy this delicious chicken soup recipe, I am sure this will be a regular meal in your home once you try it out and taste how yummy it is!

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Thank you guys for visiting, let me know what you think about this recipe! xoxo

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5 Things I Would Tell My First Time Mommy Self

image-2Of course, I had my own idea of what kind of parent I wanted to be. But let me tell you, becoming a parent is so unpredictable. I am no where near the kind of parent I thought I would be. So, I created a list of 5 things I would tell my first time mommy self. And if your going to be a first time mommy too, I hope this post can help you as well!

  1. Accept each advice from other mommies with a grain of salt: I know it can be somewhat difficult, I rolled my eyes a lot at other people’s advice lol. There are tons of ways to parent and raise a child, but take in each advice. You never know, you may end up saying, “wow, she was right.”
  2. Don’t ignore your health: Be selfish with your health. Caring for a newborn can be mentally and physically draining! I was so sleep deprived, and ended up sick in the ER with mastitis. My Dr yelled at me to take it easy, and I am so thankful my Dr told it to me straight up. I felt so much better about getting the rest I needed and ignored cooking and housework for about a month. Don’t worry about anything else, pretend you are stuck in bed, paralyzed, and only care for yourself and for baby for as long as you can.
  3. Don’t judge other moms: Don’t compare yourself either, comparing is crap! Whether you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, a breast feeding mom, formula feeding mom, a bed sharing mom, who cares! Fuck the labels. I know before I had Jo, I for sure judged other moms. yeah, I can admit it. I even judged my own mom, like, “why would you take my baby sister to the movies when she was a newborn” Yeah, I did it. But truth is, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO BE A MOM. I have realized that every single person is different, everyone has their own preferences, their own reasons of why they did it. But deep down, we are all losing our shit! Oh, you had a beer in your 9 month of pregnancy? Cool. Oh, you leave your children at grandmas house every weekend? Thats cool too. Everyone is different, let these mommies be!
  4. Get help: Don’t deny help, swallow your pride and just accept it. Don’t be afraid to ask for it either. People are willing to help because they know having a baby is not easy. When Jo was first born, I tried to do everything myself. But caring for a new baby without any help was so difficult. This time, when baby girl is due in march 2017, I have family coming to stay, and Jo will be taken care of. This time around will be different, I will accept any help I can.
  5. Embrace what’s happening: Being a first time mommy is a learning process, don’t take it too serious. Things will change last minute that will be out of your control, so embrace it! It’s okay to cancel plans, be a hot mess, or want to stay home for dinner. Be true to yourself. You just had a baby and sometimes life can be unpredictable.

Is there anything you would share with first time mommies that is not on this list? Thanks for reading! Please like and share, thanks for your support! xoxo

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Postpartum Recovery Must Haves + My Honest Experience (2017)

image-1As promised in my Newborn Must Haves post, I created a list of postpartum must haves, what to expect, and my experience.

As a first time mommy in 2015, I was so impatient, and so excited to give birth! I couldn’t stop thinking about it and couldn’t wait for my little jelly bean to make her debut into the world. I was so excited that I didn’t even think about the after math of delivering.

I thought I would just heal in a few weeks (yeah, no big deal right), then I will be back to my normal self again, get back into my gym routine again, and back to my normal life again in no time. But boy was I WRONG! Took me about 7 – 8 months to feel like my normal self, took me that long to workout again, and took that long to mentally and physically feel like I have everything under control again.

Below is a list of items that will benefit you tremendously during postpartum recovery after giving birth:

  1. Disposable mesh panties: Truth is, you will be bleeding A LOT after giving birth. The hospital most likely will be nice enough to give you a few mesh panties to take home. But if not, have a few on hand at home, at least for 1-2 weeks for the heavier days, so you don’t ruin any of your nice panties at home.
  2. Menstrual pads: The hospital may give you a few pads to take home as well, but they will be ginormous! Like from your belly button to your butt crack lol. Yeah super big ones! But bleeding will slow down so have a variety of pads available at home, from super heavy to panty liners. I bled for about 5 weeks!
  3. Puppy Pads: This item is kind of a funny one to me because when I went to bed, I was scared to bleed through my bed linens, so I thought, “PUPPY PADS!” I had some in my bathroom already and they helped a lot. But the funny part was I noticed other moms did the same thing! It is better to be safe than sorry, I slept on puppy pads for the first few days.
  4. Perineal Bottle: Or Perri bottle. My nurse gave me a perri bottle to take home after giving birth, and she stated to fill it with warm water + a tiny bit of baby wash, and after every time you use the bathroom, squirt the water to flush your self and dab with toilet paper but DO NOT WIPE!!!! Especially if you’ve got stitches, only dab the toilet paper! I suffered 2nd degree tear so this was helpful to keep that area clean down there.
  5. Stool softeners: Using the bathroom after giving birth is not going to be fun, it’s rather going to be hell. My Dr recommended I start taking these stool softeners before I gave birth, but I never did. I was all “anti medication blah blah blah” during pregnancy, but I wish I took them. Going #2 is going to make you strain and you don’t want to put any more strain on your bottom especially after just having a baby! This brings me to my next item!
  6. Hemorrhoid medicated pads: I remember having the most awful painful hemorrhoids after giving birth. So bad, that I was in tears everyday! During labor, I pushed for about one hour and put so much strain on my body that I was just all messed up down there. If your one of the lucky ones struggling with hemorrhoids, put these medicated pads on your menstrual pads or use them to wipe your bum. These pads give a cool minty like feel to calm those huge angry hemorrhoids.
  7. Dermoplast: A MUST have! Use this to take any discomfort away. This is a pain relieving spray for pain, itch, and cuts. And if you’ve had stitches, this is a must! Your hospital may give you one to have, but have one in your home just in case. This stuff is amazing!
  8. Ibuprofen: Your Dr will most likely prescribe you with a stronger dose of Ibuprofen than available in stores. Take it for pain relief! This also helped with the pain of breastfeeding for the first time.
  9. Comfy robe + Slippers: After birth, I was a complete hot mess of a mom. You’ll probably still be wearing maternity clothes as well. But to make myself feel a bit better, I had a cute and comfy robe to wear. It makes all the difference when your home all day catering to a newborn!
  10. Postpartum belly band: This is optional, I didn’t use one after my first pregnancy, but I plan on doing so this time. Especially since I will be getting surgery right after I give birth (I’ll talk more about what kind of surgery after it’s been performed). Your organs will take time to shrink back into place so this will help.
  11. Get help if you need it: Try not to be super mom and feel like you have everything under control. It’s ok to slow down and accept help! You just had a baby! I was so stressed out and emotional that a home cooked meal by a neighbor made all the difference, it really does! There is support out there, don’t deny the help. It’s ok to ask for help too. You think labor and delivery is tough, wait till after you give birth!

Have a basket of these items in your bathroom or on your toilet for convenience.

My Postpartum experience:

Your hormones are all out of wack trying to get back to your normal self after giving birth, and if your breastfeeding too that can affect it as well. I got a second degree tear and had to get stitches. I ended up in the ER with Mastitis at 2 weeks PP because I tried to get back to my normal life too quickly, not getting the rest I needed. I even got a horrible reaction (probably from the medication from getting induced) after 4 weeks of giving birth. My whole body broke out into hives, huge itchy hives the size of pancakes! It lasted about a few weeks, and I could barely carry my newborn, it was painful. I honestly thought they would never go away, I thought my life was over lol. At 6 months PP my beautiful long hair was falling out by the chunks, I had to cut it super short, I was devastated. I was a emotional mess, I cried a lot! I cried everyday in the shower. I was sleep deprived, tired, and exhausted. When my friends and family asked me how I was doing, I just cried! I was super happy to be a mommy but my emotions were a huge mess. Sure on social media I was on top of the world, a happy first time mommy, but behind closed doors, I was struggling with PP recovery. It is hard!

What I am trying to get at here is, don’t ignore the idea of prepping for postpartum recovery! It is something you have to prep for…because the recovery is painful, lengthy, and very unpredictable. Take care of your health.

Something I will tell myself after having my second baby in March of 2017, “Slow down, take your time, seek help if you need it, you just had a baby!”

Thanks for reading! Hope this has helped you! xoxo

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What you really need for a Newborn (2017)

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When I had my first baby Jo in Feb of 2015, I had no idea what I needed for a newborn. Friends and family gave their helpful advice, but I was still so overwhelmed, and I didn’t even know where to begin. I did lots of research, TONS! Google ended up being my best friend, but in the end, I over prepared and ended up buying things that I didn’t even use, not once!

There were plenty of things I bought that Jo didn’t really need until she was about 6 months also (like a crib, crib mattress, crib bedding, and high chair). These things your baby won’t need right away. I don’t want you first time mommies to make the same mistakes I did, so I put together a list of items I definitely would have on hand before baby is born.

This list may seem like a lot. But I kid you not, this is a minimal version of newborn necessities to have before baby is born!

Newborn items you and baby will need:

  • baby wash cloths: I wouldn’t use any wash cloths, make sure they are for babies because the material is a lot softer for baby’s fragile skin.
  • Circo lamb baby towel: I got this towel as a gift at my baby shower and Jo still uses it! I just love it and it’s super cute!
  • Baby bath: Loved this bath for newborns up to 6 months (then you have to upgrade to a bigger tub). This one comes in both blue and pink!
  • Purex baby detergent: I really love the Purex baby detergent, it’s VERY inexpensive and works just as well as any other brand. I would stock up on baby detergent and keep a bottle in the kitchen as well. Lots of times, I found myself hand washing bibs and onesies from blow outs, yuck!
  • Cool Mist Humidifier: This is a product we didn’t even know we needed until after Jo was born. She was born in the middle of winter, and we were cooped up in the house. She was having a hard time breathing and was always stuffed up. This helped tremendously, especially at night time.
  • Target baby Wipes: When Jo was first born, I was all about the name brand baby wipes, but honestly, they all work the same. I wish I would have just saved the money and went with a cheaper brand. Target brand wipes works just as well and is a lot cheaper.
  • Up and Up Target Diapers: Another item I wish I could have saved money on. I only bought the name brand diapers, but Target brand works just as fine.
  • Aveeno Baby wash + shampoo: I really like the Aveeno brand baby wash + baby shampoo combo. But any brand is fine as well.
  • Aveeno baby lotion: baby lotion for a newborn is super important! Keep that babies skin away from dryness.
  • Target diaper rash cream: I got this diaper rash cream as a baby shower gift and loved it! Jo barely struggled with diaper rashes, so I haven’t tried any other brand, but this one worked well for us.
  • Changing table: A well organized changing table is a must! With the diapers, products, and laundry, you’ll want something with extra storage. I liked this one from Amazon.
  • Summer infant changing pad: This Summer infant contour changing pad is amazing, I didn’t use a cover for it either for easy cleaning.
  • Diaper genie + Refills: I was told this is a must, so I bought it. But honestly, I am on the fence about this one. We also just had small garbage bags to use for disposing dirty diapers and threw it away at the end of the day, and that worked well for us as well. But whatever works for you, I would try it out, it’s inexpensive, especially if you want to eliminate the smell. 🙂
  • Newborn onesies 5 pk: Jo lived in these plain ole white onesies during the day. Her dressier baby clothes were only wore when going out, and we barely went out unless it was for a Dr’s appointment lol. I would probably buy a couple packs of these to have in Newborn and 0-3 size. Blow outs and messes will happen so it’s always good to have extra.
  • Sleepers with zippers!: I cannot stress how amazing these were at night time. I can’t imaging changing diapers in the middle of the night half asleep while the baby is wearing button sleepers, I probably would have lost my mind! The zipper ones are the way to go!
  • Hats: Newborns love to be snuggly warm 🙂
  • Boba wrap baby carrier: Another item I didn’t buy until after Jo was born but realized I needed, a baby carrier! Jo had her moments where she only wanted to be held, and I had things to do. So carrying her in a baby carrier while cleaning and getting things done around the house was beneficial. Just don’t baby wear while cooking! Yikes!
  • Stroller + car seat system: When looking for a baby stroller and carseat system, make sure it also has the carseat base for the car.
  • Carseat cover: I really like this poncho from Milk Maid Goods on Etsy! It doubles as a carseat cover and a nursing cover! Amazing!
  • Britax carseat mirror: I got this car seat mirror as a baby shower gift and loved it.
  • warm heavier blanket for outings: Just incase it’s chilly out.
  • Diaper bag: Any diaper bag is fine, I bought this one from Mat & Nat and enjoyed it.
  • Changing pad Clutch: I would say this is a must! So many times I had to change Jo’s diaper on the go and had too many items in one hand and a baby on the other. A clutch is the way to go to stay organized!
  • Bibs: Definitely have lots of bibs on hand. Jo still uses her bibs after 2 years.
  • Burp cloths: You will be burping baby a lot, so these are a must.
  • Swaddle blankets: These were a life saver during Jo’s naps and bed time. Whenever she had her moments of discomfort and fussiness, and good tight swaddle just did the trick! She loved being swaddled up until she was about 6 months old.
  • Auto Rock and play: Jo lived in her Fisher Price Rock and Play during her first 6 months of life. I carried it to the bathroom when I needed to shower, carried it to the kitchen when I needed to cook, then at bed time I had it right next to me as we slept. I highly recommend it.
  • Rocking chair or glider: I loved my glider, I basically lived in it during the day. You’ll definitely need a comfy zone for feeding a baby 8 times a day and pumping.
  • Nursing pillow: a regular pillow worked for me, but I know lots of mommies who loved the Boppy pillow.
  • Play mat for tummy time: Jo didn’t really use her play mat until she was about 1 month old, but it is a must for tummy time. Find one with a tummy time pillow and overhead toys for baby.
  • Nose frida: I didn’t know this existed until we needed something to suction Jo’s nose after she suffered her first cold. This is definitely a must have!
  • Saline nose drops: We probably used these on Jo daily, it works well to flush out any boogies.
  • Gripe water: We loved using Little Remedies Gripe Water whenever Jo was suffering from hiccups or colic. This product works very well.
  • Infant tylenol: As much as you are a helicopter mom with your child, babies will still get colds or fevers. This was good to have on hand.
  • Vitamin D drops: Daily dose of vitamin D is mandatory for that first year of life.
  • Thermometer: Always good to have, I like the digital ones, great for the whole family!
  • Nail clippers + emery boards: Newborns nails can get sharp. I noticed I barely used the emery boards, but the nail clippers I used weekly. I like this set from Babies r us.
  • Baby mittens: A good item to have for that first month of life, even though Jo still found ways to scratch herself during her baths lol.
  • Baby brush + comb: You probably won’t need this right away if your baby is born with barely any hair. But Jo was born with a FULL head of hair (now I know why I suffered the worst heartburn during that pregnancy lol).
  • Pacifiers: Start out with a couple of pacifiers first to see if baby will like it or not, sometimes the hospital will give you some. Jo hated hers so she never used them (waste of money on us), but you never know, your baby may love them and it may be your life saver item.
  • Pacifier clips: If your baby enjoys the pacifiers, pacifier clips will be helpful to prevent them from falling to the ground and getting dirty.

Breastfeeding must haves:

  • Nursing cover: This is the same cover as the link above for the carseat cover. These Milk Maid Goods covers are so cute and versatile.
  • Nipple cream: I enjoyed the Earth Mama Angel Baby natural nipple cream and used it daily, I went through about 3 containers that first year of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing bra: Don’t skimp on a good nursing bra! I used some high end ones and low end cheap ones, but the cheaper ones were a waste. These ones from Target were amazing.

Pumping must haves:

  • Medela breast pump + pumping parts: As a first time mom, I wanted to save money and try to exclusively breastfeed, but I found that my breast were so engorge after that first week of giving birth that I needed to pump the milk out since Jo wasn’t eating that much anyways. So we ended up buying a electric breast pump about a week after I gave birth and I wish I would have bought it sooner. A manual breast pump will sort of work as well but not everyday, you’ll end up developing carpal tunnel lol. I even had a big stash of milk growing in the freezer, it was amazing!
  • Lansinoh storage bags: I LOVE these Lansinoh milk storage bags, they are a good size and easy to use. Don’t waste your time or money on those tiny Medela storage bags (Sorry Medela).
  • Dr Brown’s bottles: Probably the best bottles I have used, I love the filtration system, such a game changer. Jo’s feedings were a breeze and I noticed Jo wasn’t as gassy after her feedings too. The only thing about these bottles though they are a pain to clean, but I would use them again and again.
  • Munchkin bottle sponge: I have no complaints about the Munchkin bottle cleaner, I repurchased it twice already. I just used regular dish soap as well.
  • Munchkin bottle warmer: Compact and easy to travel with as well. Used it daily to warm up bottles and baby food too..
  • Munchkin drying rack: Definitely useful, used it daily.

Formula feeding must haves:

Some extras that helped me:

  • I kept a journal by my bed to keep track of feeding times, but there are apps for that as well. I like the Baby Tracker App.
  • Also, find a good playlist to have as background noise (I liked Baby Einsteins on Pandora Radio)
  • Finally, a good working camera with lots of storage. I took about 1,000 photos of Jo by the time she was one month old.

Our second baby girl will be here in a few weeks (March 2017), and this was a good refresher of what I actually need to have on hand. I hope this post was helpful for you as it was for me!

Of course having all of these things will help you tremendously, but one of the most important things I’ve learned is to take care of mommy too! (I’ve learned the hard way). I put my baby and husband before myself and ended up super exhausted, stressed out, and ended up in the ER sick with mastitis. So please mommies, please take care of yourselves and get as much rest with baby too.

My next blog post will be my must haves for that difficult postpartum recovery us mommies tend to not really talk about after having a baby. But lets face it; it takes months, even up to a year, to feel like your normal self again after giving birth 🙂

Thanks for reading! Is there any newborn must haves that you realized you needed that is not on the list? Let me know! xoxo

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