May 31, 2015

What's In My Hospital Bag // From a Breastfeeding Mommy

What to Pack for the Hospital // The Breastfeeding Mama

Hey there ho there! Sorry for the delay of this post, time just got the hell away from me this weekend! Who can of hands.

I'd like to first preface this post by saying this is by NO means a black & white list of things you need. There are so many obvious factors that will affect what you include/leave out of your own hospital bag when you go to have your beautiful babies. Things like: personal preference (duh), whether or not you have a vaginal delivery vs. cesarean delivery (after care is very different...again...duh), whether or not you formula feed vs. breastfeed (formula feeding moms are obviously not going to need nipple cream & shields....unless you're into that sort of thing which WHO AM I TO JUDGE?!) You catch my drift though, eh? I just wanted to share what worked really well for me the first time around, and any new things I'll be adding to my list this time around. Everything pictured above is currently packed away in my duffel bag as we speak (aside from my iPhone because we all know that bitch is permanently in the palm of my hand.) I tried grouping these items into little categories so that there wouldn't seem like a myriad of random items below. I will be doing an additional post for what's in my toiletry bag (i.e. what makeup (very little) I'm packing, deodorant, toothpaste, shower essentials, etc.) so stay tuned for that!

Here we go!

1 | Comfy robe // My mom bought me this robe in grey for the hospital when I had my first son and I still wear it constantly. I bought it in a really pretty lilac shade for this time around. Macy's always carries it. It is the softest, stretchiest material and it's cozy without being hot (which is a MUST for new moms because hot flashes are NO JOKE). It's stretchy enough that you can wear it around your baby bump and then it washes up like a dream so you can continue wearing it around the house after baby comes. Super easy for nursing, too.
Comfy pajamas // I had a cute flannel sleep shirt to change into last time and I just didn't like it. Too bunchy and warm (even in January). I found this nightgown for this time and I have to say IT IS SO DAMN SOFT! It's the lightest material, somewhat "cool" to the touch, and the top will be so easy to just pull down and pop a boob out to nurse. I got mine in the snake print because it matches my robe perfectly. Size wise, I'm 5'8 and at 35 weeks pregnant I weigh 178lbs and I ordered a size large to accommodate my chesticle region (34D). If that helps.
Granny panties // Alright first-time is not the time to try to be cutesy with your undergarments. Please trust me on this. I highly suggest utilizing the ugly mesh "panties" they supply at the hospital, at least for the first day because they are going to need to house the giant diaper-like pads you'll be wearing after you deliver. If you absolutely MUST pack your own cotton panties, I love these ones from Jockey (go with dark colors like black and charcoal, they wash up the best and won't show stains). Are they cute? Hell no. Are they comfy? Oh yeah. And they are plenty high enough to keep your pads in place AND if you end up needing an emergency c-section, they will not cut into your incision which is SO IMPORTANT to keep in mind.

2 | Your own pillow from home // The hospital obvi supplies you with pillows, but this is one of those things you'll be so glad you brought from home. Make sure your pillowcase is unique enough so you don't mix it up with the hospital's. I bought this 2-pack of jersey t-shirt material pillowcases from Target. They have cute little coral triangles on them and they are so soft!
iPhone or camera // For obvious reasons like communication and taking photos.
Charging cord // you don't want to it to go dead on you before you an tell the world your bundle of joy is here!
Portable Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker // SO nice to have if you want to pump your own tunes/playlist while in labor or at any time during your stay. This one is so small but works like a champ and is even waterproof! It's a killer deal on Amazon.

3 | Your own towel // The ones provided by the hospital are about the size of a postage stamp and are not soft. Treat yo'self and bring your own.
Flip flops for the shower // don't want your feet on the floor of a shower where you just don't know who has been in there before you (some things can't be cleaned by Tilex). Just grab a cheap pair of rubber ones from Target or Old Navy that can get wet. If you get them cheap enough, just toss them out when you're done so you don't have to pack them to come home.

4 | Going home outfit for you // I absolutely love having a nursing tank or two at the hospital. So comfy and so much easier than worrying about a nursing bra when you're just trying to keep it comfortable. I grabbed this 2-pack from H&M so I could have one for my hospital stay, and a fresh one for going home in. I also grabbed these super cute sweat pants that are totally comfy but not sloppy looking. I'll be delivering in July so I'm not too concerned about a jacket or sweater, but if you want to bring one, this is my current favorite hoodie from the men's department at H&M. I have it in light blue and mint green.
Slippers // If your feet are swollen after birth, these can also double as your shoes for heading home. I hate socks so I wore slippers when I was wandering the hospital hallways in my gown and robe. Make sure they have a non-slip sole. No one needs a pregnant broad falling in the hall! These are my favorite by Minnetonka.

5 | A big weekender bag // You obviously need a big duffel bag to carry all this stuff in. I found the one pictured at Target but it's been so popular it keeps selling out (and getting restocked) online. You can probably find it in store if you do a search for it. I also almost bought this one which is adorable in real life.

6 | Nipple balm // Again, the hospital will provide (most likely) Lansinoh brand nipple balm, which is actually totally great and I highly suggest stuffing it in your bag so you have extra, but if you want your own, bring it. My favorite is by Zoe Organics which you can either buy on their website, or at select Target stores and online. I also adore Earth Mama Angel Baby if you can't find Zoe Organics.
Nipple shield // This is not a must but it was a LIFE SAVER for me when I had my first son. He had some latching issues at first and this ensured he was able to latch on and start suckling. This is a must-have for women with flat or inverted nipples. I am partial to the Medela brand over the others because it is thin enough and there is an area that is "cut out" where their little nose can rest against your actual breast as opposed to a plastic shield. One of those things you might not think about until you start nursing. They come one to a pack, so if you want 2, know that you'll need to buy two packages.
Fenugreek // Again, not a must unless you have supply issues, which you won't know until your milk comes in. I was freakishly paranoid that I wouldn't make enough milk which turned out to be the total opposite (I was like an entire farm of dairy cows) but I made sure to have a high quality fenugreek on hand if I felt like I needed some help in the supply area. I will warn you: it makes you smell like maple syrup. The scent will come out of every pore in your body. You might want to warn your husband ahead of time that you are not making pancakes or maple bacon, it's just your new "scent"....I speak from experience. You can find fenugreek at any health food store or in the vitamin section of most grocery and drug stores.
Nursing pillow // Once again, this is not an absolute necessity. I packed this one when I had my son and it was really helpful, especially for back support. But since I got to the point where I could literally toss a boob out and nurse anywhere, I'll probably save myself the room in my bag and skip it this time around and just use a pillow to put under him. However, I suggest having one at home. They make nursing on the sofa, a chair, etc. so much easier and keeps your back from hurting from being hunched over. A Boppy will also work, I just preferred this brand because it was a bit more "stiff" which was great for support, plus it had a strap to go around your waist so it doesn't shift and it also has a little attached bag so you can keep nipple balm, shields, breast pads, etc. tucked in there so they're always handy.

7 | Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray // This will be provided by the hospital (keep asking for it and tucking cans in your bag to take home, don't feel bad, this is the kind of shit your insurance pays for...UTILIZE IT) but I HIGHLY suggest picking up a couple more cans from your local drugstore before you get home from the hospital just in case they limit you. It is TOTALLY brilliant. It is a numbing spray that is so nice to have for your poor lady bits after delivery. You can either spray directly on, or if you're really tender, spray it onto your clean pads. It will help numb and reduce some of the pain which if you're like me and have a 3rd degree tear AND an episiotomy, will be your best friend while you're recovering. Oh also!! I forgot to include in the above photo, but Tucks pads are a lifesaver. The witch hazel in them are so soothing to your southern parts and you can also lay them along your pads for some extra cooling and soothing. Every time you change your pad, lay some fresh Tucks pads down until you start to feel like you're healing up.
Always Maxi Overnight Pads // You're going to get awfully tired of the giant adult diaper-like pads they send you home with from the hospital. You also won't need them after a day or two and will be ready to switch over to a heavy-flow maxi pad and then eventually, a lighter flow pad. But these are the ones I used and liked. Make sure you get the overnight ones because they are long enough in front and back to protect your underwear and keep you from leaking. I was very fortunate to be ready to switch to a lighter pad after a couple days and when I did, I used the Always Infinity Pads which are incredibly absorbent but so so thin you barely know they're there. 
Vitamins // I'm a huge advocate for vitamins. I've really been loving this new line from Target called Olly. If you're in the hospital for a few days (or more) you'll want to make sure you remember to pack your vitamins. If you don't want to lug the giant bottle with you, just make sure you pop out enough to fill a little pill container or Ziploc baggie. I picked up the Olly Postnatal kind.

I know this probably seems like a lot, but like I said above, you can read through and determine whether or not you think you'll be needing everything listed. Never underestimate the power of Amazon Prime where you can get free 2-day shipping or in times of dire need, overnight shipping is usually only $3.99. My husband and I utilized our Prime membership almost daily in those first few days home from the hospital, especially with nursing gear.

Lastly, do not forget to take home a Peri bottle they should provide you with at the hospital. Ask your nurse before you leave for one. Trust me.

If you aren't having a baby anytime soon, feel free to "Pin" this or send to an expecting friend in case they need some pointers on what to pack!
May 20, 2015

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale Picks

 It's here!! The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale! Now let me just say....there is a LOT of merch on sale. I really tried to keep my picks to under 20 items as not to overwhelm you, but there is SO much more I could have included. Here are items I either already own, or have had my eye on for months that are now on sale. Enjoy!

I own this cardigan wrap in about 4 colors. It's one of Nordy's top sellers which is why it's always available and there are a freak ton of color choices. It is smooth on the outside and fleecy on the inside. Cozy and warm but because it is a fly-away style, you can wear a tank underneath so you don't get too sweaty.
Was $58 Now $39.90

I blame my parents for getting me obsessed with this bag. I own it in 3 different colors and it is just the perfect tote. As a mom, I love that I can fit all sorts of baby and toddler items inside of it and it still looks streamlined and chic. It doesn't close on top, but I like that so I can easily reach in for wipes or my wallet or whatever. This is a killer price and I'm so in love with this classic 'Peanut' color! Perfect with black, navy or brown!
Was $278 Now $166.80

This style sandal had to grow on me, but now that it has, I'm in love. SO comfy, so simple, and I love this warm pink color!
Was $60 Now $40.17

Here's another item I own in just about every color. I wish I would have discovered HUE leggings during my first pregnancy. The ones pictured here are the denim style. They have plennnnnnty of stretch without losing their shape. I love that the rear looks like real jeans but the waist is an elastic waistband. If you need a size reference, I am 5'8 and 140lbs (not pregnant) and usually wear a 'Small'. Right now I am 33 weeks pregnant and I'm wearing a 'Medium'.....and my bump is not small. I just shove the waist band below the giant crest ;)
Was $40 Now $23.98

Everyone needs a good classic maxi skirt. They look perfect with a slouchy t-shirt or a fitted tank. I love that this one is long enough that it's not an "ankle biter" and the ruching on the top sides is SO flattering.
Was $48 Now $19.90

Um....basically the most perfect sunglass style. Flattering on every face shape and the color is really pretty. The price almost made me faint. Snatch these up before they're gone. They'll go quickly.
Was $120 Now $67.76

My heart has always beat rapidly for anything tortoise shell. I own this watch in rose gold and it's just lovely. I need this one though because it's so classic and it matches literally everything.
Was $225 Now $134.90

How cute is this maxi dress?? There are a few different color choices and I think I like the grey tones best, but what a flattering cut! So comfy, too!
Was $68 Now $39.90

I own these sandals in the charcoal grey color and I get about a million and seven compliments on them whenever I wear them. I got mine at Macy's and I paid full price (UGH) but I think it's a sign that there are gold ones and they are on sale here. *grabs wallet* They aren't the most comfortable sandals, but they're worth it because they're so damn cute.
Was $48.95 Now $29.37

I am SO mad I didn't wait a week to pick up this bag! I really wanted it as my hospital bag when I go have my 2nd bambino this July! Herschel makes incredible quality backpacks and duffles and this print is to die for! Now that it's under $50 I may need it to have on hand for all those weekend trips we'll be taking (fingers crossed).
Was $80 Now $47.98

This is just a perfect slouchy v-neck boyfriend sweater. Everyone needs one. End of story. 
Was $59 Now $26.55

This bag also comes in black and white and I originally had my eye on it as a diaper bag. I ended up going in a different direction, but HOW CUTE would this be as a diaper tote?! Le swoon!
Was $198 Now $118.80

I really like how this brand of jeans fits. They sell them at Macy's also, but this style is so cute on all body types (skinny, straight, curvy, plus size, etc) and the price is so incredible. They can easily be dressed up with a cute heel or wedge boot.
Was $89 Now $53.40

I. Die. Seriously. Who doesn't need a leopard print wedge espadrilles? These are even cuter in person.
Was $100 Now $59.90

Okay......let's get one thing straight. If you don't have a "Cloud Robe" as they've been so affectionately nicknamed, you NEED one. My husband got me a baby pink colored one way before we were married as a Valentine's Day gift and I STILL wear the hell out of it. They are absolutely incredible.
Was $98 Now $65.66

Another super cute maxi dress perfect for Spring and Summer. Again, this style is really flattering on all body types. Very "forgiving" without being slobby. Plus this rose color that's popping up everywhere is evvvvvvverything.
Was $58 Now $38.86

I have this t-shirt in a few colors and it fits like a dream. I recently found a pretty good knockoff at Target, but at this price, it's a better deal for the original! Again, very flattering and looks really nice in person.
Was $28 Now $9.90

May 19, 2015

Spring Lipstick Favorites // Oranges & Corals

I've really been into warm lipsticks lately. Let me rephrase that: I've really been into warm lipsticks when I have the energy to shower, do my hair, slap on some makeup and look presentable lately. I am always on the hunt for fun colors and I love seeing them on other people to see what they look like with different hair colors, skin tones and eye colors. It just makes lipsticks "come alive" rather than seeing a swatch on a hand (which don't get me wrong, is still super helpful). These 4 have been making their way into my Spring rotation more than any others from the orange/coral/warm pink family so I thought I'd give them a quick shout-out. Let me warn you that the BEAUTIFUL YSL Rouge Volupte shade you see in the bottom righthand photo (it's called 'Rose Paris 27') is discontinued (wamp wamp!) Don't you hate when that happens?? It is the creamiest, prettiest, warmest pink and I am cherishing it like it's spun out of gold because....well... this is it for this tube, baby!

Here are the swatches on my hand with and without flash so you can get a better idea of the color since they showed up a bit light on my face in my bright white bathroom.

Top to Bottom:
YSL Rouge Volupte 27 "Rose Paris" (Discontinued...but you can shop the other colors HERE. This is hands down one of my all time favorite lipstick formulas in just about every shade they make so you really can't go wrong.)
NYX Round Case Lipstick "Peach Bellini"
Revlon Colorstay Matte Balm "Mischievous"
NYX Butter Lipstick "Lollies" (I find that this one works best if you first use a lip primer like the e.l.f. Studio Lip Primer & Plumper or the Cargo HD Picture Perfect Lip Primer since this formula can be a bit patchy when applied.)
May 15, 2015

Favorite Nude Lipsticks for Fair to Light Skin

Hola my little Chiquitas! I bring you this blog post live from my couch while I lie here eating Sour Patch watermelons, Swedish Fish, and Grape Red Vines. I'm in my 32nd week of pregnancy and well, let's just say the cravings for everything gummy is REAL. I mean...grape Red Vines?! I've never even had them until tonight and suddenly I needed them like the deserts need the rain. Anyhoo..I tell you all this because A) I'm hoping the format of this post comes over okay since I'm plunking it out on my iPhone with sticky candy fingers...and B) I likes to keep it real y'all.

Let's move on shall we?

It's Springtime here in the PNW and we've actually been getting some awesome weather! Now, I'm a fan of a good nude lip year round, even with snow underfoot, but there's something about the climbing temps that prompts people to start thinking about a lightened-up lip. I thought it would be a great time to share with you guys my CURRENT favorite nude lipsticks (since we all know the list of favorites is an ever-evolving one and may be totally different next year!) Some of these are "true nudes" and others I'd consider a "MLBB" which in the makeup world stands for "my lips but better" shade. Something with a bit more color and oomph.

I will say that the YSL Rouge Volupte in "Nude Beige" will ALWAYS AND FOREVER be in my top 3. Even when I'm 95 years old. It's THAT perfect. If you've never tried YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick, get thee buns to a Nordstrom immediately if not sooner, and try one out. It's the creamiest, dreamiest, most pigmented, perfectly hued line of lipsticks this side of the Mississippi. You won't regret it.

Here's the lineup. We'll go from left to right top row first.

1 | MAC "Hue" $16

Now...I say these are MY favorites because they work on my skin tone which is fair to pale with peachy undertones. I have dark brown almost black eyes, no freckles, and strawberry blonde hair. If that sounds nothing like your coloring, there's a chance these colors may not be a good match. But if any of you have seen me rocking a nude lip and have wondered what I'm wearing, chances are its one of these 6. Another little tip when you're shopping around for a new nude, if you don't have the time or patience to go in person to try lipsticks on yourself, utilize Google image search and Instagram hashtags! There are always so many different types of skin tones and colors wearing various lip colors and you can usually find someone with similar coloring wearing the shade you're wondering about. It helps to have a specific color in mind so you can search for it.

I hope this helps at least a few of my pale sistas! We gotta watch each others' backs! What are some of your favorite nude lipsticks??

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