The Perfect Diaper Bag

I’ve been trying to figure out how to pack the perfect diaper bag. I always over pack or I don’t pack enough. But that’s true for my day to day packing as well. I go from carrying a huge bag, to just carry a little diaper clutch. There’s just so many things you need, when you have a baby, and so many things that you could possibly need. You never know!

  1. Make a list. First thing I would recommend is making a list of the things you need, the things you think you’ll need, and the things you want to bring. I am an overpacker. I pack so much and I totally don’t need half the stuff I bring. So if you have a list, it makes it easier to cross some items off the list that you really don’t need.
  2. Designate locations. If your items have a specific spot, you’re less likely to overpack. Then you know where everything is, when you need it… And it will be easier to know when you need to replace something.
  3. Clean out your bag. Regularly clean out your bag. Half eaten food, old receipts — they aren’t necessary in your bag. Plus the bag starts to feel heavy and weighs down on your shoulder. Clean it out so you don’t have any unnecessary items in your bag! I also end up finding extra toys or things that my littles throw in my bag when I’m not looking.
  4. Efficiency is key. You don’t need the entire pack of 500 wipes. Pack only a few in a travel container or a ziploc bag. You don’t need 10 diapers. Keep it to the amount that you need.

I also keep little containers in the trunk of my car with a change of clothes, Huggies Little Snugglers, and everything else that I might need so I’m not lugging around a diaper bag that will rival my suitcase.

Hydration Goals

Let me just say – technology is amazing. It helps us in our every day lives, in so many different ways. Am I marveling over this? Why, yes, I am! There are so many things that we can do nowadays that we were unable to do a couple of years ago. I can text on my watch, a tiny little chip tells me how many steps I take a day… I can pay for a cup of coffee with my phone, and the Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid can tell me how many ounces of water I drink and the temperature of my water!

  
The new Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid really helps with fitness goals. You can now track so much more than just calories and steps. You now know for sure how much water you intake on a daily basis. This app is my new favorite thing.

  
You put in your basic information – age, height, weight and it outputs a goal for you. It even syncs to your FitBit (if you have one!). I’ve had a great time using this water bottle. It’s incredibly accurate. It connects to your phone via bluetooth. I can watch the counter go up while I’m drinking it. I think it connects from up to 75 feet away, so you don’t have to be right next to your phone at all times. I also like the reminders that you receive so you can stay hydrated through the day.

Thermos: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr

Born To Save!

Saving is so important. We tend to forget that this time of year, when the holidays are among us. We are Christmas gift shopping, planning dinners and having family over. Those things all start to add up. Sometimes it gets incredibly out of control – especially if you’re a part of this family. We like to go all out for holidays. With all the little ones in the family, we can’t forget to save. We need to make sure that their future is just as great – if not better.

I like to plan, for the most part. I don’t like to go into things, not knowing. I feel like it’s important to have some cushion, in case anything happens. I want our little ones to have a perfect future. I don’t want to leave them wanting for anything. My aunt has been really big on making sure that the kids have something for their future – she likes to send money for their saving accounts – when they were born, saving bonds were a big hit.

Do you know anyone born October 19, 2015? If so, they’re super lucky! Their parents have until December 18th to register on Voya’s Financial website — sign up for an account and Voya will put $500 in it!

If you’re interested in sending a child a gift this holiday season, maybe try for something like a savings bond or help with some money in their savings account. A little could go a long way. Maybe then they could even retire early!

Change Change Change

  
One thing that I definitely try my hardest to prevent is diaper rashes. I feel so bad when an itty bitty baby, or even a big baby has one! It makes me so sad. So I try my hardest to prevent them. Unfortunately, they do happen, but at least, you can fix this at home!

  
FREEDOM – Let that baby be free! Naked baby time is the best time, when dealing with diaper rashes. Sometimes a mess can occur, but they need air down there too. Lay them out on a towel, or let it be time to play on the hardwood floor instead of the carpet. But freedom is great!

CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE – Change diapers frequently! I try to change diapers every two hours.  Every time you think they’re wet – just change them!

DIAPER RASH CREAM – Sometimes you just need to use it when everything else fails. Baby Brother has issues with his skin – eczema and all that… DESITIN has been the brand that has not let me down. Love them!

Trust your intuition and if you feel like you need to go to a pediatrician, go!

There’s currently a 25% off coupon on Target Cartwheel right now! So if you’re a frequent Target shopper, I recommend checking it out and using the coupon if you need it.

Keep Them Safe!

  
I always thought I was pretty good at the baby proofing thing until Baby Brother came around. I guess Birdie just wasn’t about exploring as much. I’m finding new things that I need to move or fix so that he can’t get into. Birdie never even bothered!

1. Baby gates – I am a fan of the fabric ones. I have one at the top of the stairs and at the bottom. They can still get through it but it takes time. That gives me 30 seconds to stop them. 

2. Outlet covers – Birdie never even bothered with these. Baby Brother tried to stick everything he can find in them – including fingers, keys, forks and his tongue. 

  
3. Cordless window treatments – Take the cords off of your blinds if you have little ones. This one is important. So many kids end up hurt and in the hospital due to strangulation. Take them down as soon as you get the chance or invest in blinds that don’t have any!

  
4. Double paned ovens – Never even thought about this but now both kids like to help me in the kitchen. With the double glass of the oven, it doesn’t get hot to the touch! Life saver, since there is no actual door way to the kitchen – I can’t stop them from coming in. 

5. Dial covers – Baby Brother can reach the dials on the stove and turn on the gas! I use the covers for these and I also just pop off the dials so he can’t mess with them. 

There are tons of ways to babyproof your home. You can get the cushions for the corners of sharp tables. Make sure you move chemicals out of reach – the go to place always seems to be under the sink. They can reach. Lock the cabinets. If you’re not sure what you need done, the easiest way is to let a baby loose and follow them. That’ll show you what you need done. 

Stop Leaks Before They Happen!

One thing that I wish someone told me about after pregnancy would be about bladder incontinence (SUI – stress urinary incontinence). Nobody told me that leaking would continue after I had the baby! I know that it is a common side effect of pregnancy, with all of the excess weight that is now on your bladder… But to continue afterwards? When the weight is gone? It would happen constantly – sneezing, laughing, near running water, during activities — when will it stop?

  

With Poise Impressa, I can take back my life. I can now go back to my daily activities and it’s marvelous! I don’t have to worry, and laundry has definitely cut back. I can also go on adventures again, without having to find a restroom every 5 minutes. One of my favorite adventures would be visiting the city.


How does Impressa help? It’s bladder support. It helps suppress leaks while you’re being active. It’s inserted into the vagina, and it helps to support your urethra. You can use the restroom while it’s in.  Each kit comes with 3 sizes – most people use size 1. If you have no leakage, you don’t need to move up a size. It’s good for up to 8 hours!

Interested in trying? Here’s a $2 off coupon for a sizing kit. Once you know your size, there is a coupon for your starter kit!

5 Autumn Activities

Autumn is my favorite season! It’s sweater weather y’all. Well, not in California. It was low 90s today, but I can’t wait until I can bring out all of my sweaters and hoodies. I also love layering up the kids. But enough about that, lets talk about all of the fun autumn activities that we can get into!

We have some fun activities that we do every year. I love getting everyone into the mood. I hate how stores essentially skip Halloween and Thanksgiving – they just put Christmas stuff up in their stores. So I like to make sure that we drag out the holiday and make sure that we can do everything possible to get us going!

  

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch – I love going to all the patches in the area. I like to support local businesses, so we go to actual farms. I love helping the kids pick out a pumpkin. We check out corn mazes and walk around for hours. We take pictures, play in the corn boxes, get on the train. It’s my favorite part. Birdie loves to read every single sign that she can get her hands on. We make sure that she learns about the different pumpkins and squashes.
  2. Do kids’ crafts – I go out of my way to basically have a craft to do every single day in the month of October. I love having the crafts and saving them for years to come. The kids love to participate. They “talk” back and forth to each other during the activity.
  3. Go apple picking – I love apple cider. I think that’s my favorite part. We go down to an orchard and just pick apples for hours. We read all the signs and sing every song that we can think of. Then we eat the sandwiches that we pack and drink up as much juice and cider that we can.
  4. Check out a harvest festival – There’s always a bunch in the area. So we try to go out every weekend.
  5. Baking – We use the apples that we get from the orchard and make everything and anything. We make juice, cider, sauce, pie… The list goes on. The kids love to help, and who am I to turn down help?

Check out some more activities by First 5 California. They have some fun ways to talk, sing and read with your child(ren). There are a lot of great resources.

 

Capturing Baby Brother’s Movements

It has been crazy seeing Baby Brother grow! He has been getting so big and this first year has been going by so fast. I’m actually in the process of planning his first birthday! I’m not ready for it, but he seems to be ready to do anything and everything. Capturing all of his movements have been extremely entertaining. It’s been fun. I just can’t believe he’s about to be a year old already!


He has just started the standing and almost walking. I turn my back for a second and he’s already into something else. I’m baby proofing everything that I can, as much as I can in a rented home. He is so active and he’s always chasing Birdie! I’ve been going on playdates with some of my baby wearing mamas, so he’s been getting a lot more social. It’s been really nice.

  
Is your little getting all big? Upload a photo or a video of your moving cutie using #SetBabyFree for a chance to be featured on Huggie’s social media. Check out Huggies on Facebook to learn more!

#BringComfyBack with U by Kotex!

Thank you to U by Kotex® for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try the U by Kotex panty liners! 


It’s all about being comfortable… and fresh. That’s why I love U by Kotex Liners. For someone who is always on the go, whether it’s a playdate, classes or for my shop — I depend on Kotex to help me along the way. Sometimes you get that unexpected surprise and need to be prepared. That’s why I keep multiple liners everywhere. I think I have like 5 in my purse, some in the diaper bag and I think there’s a few in my car. Just to be safe. You never know!

U By Kotex Curves and Lightdays are just perfect for daily wear. They’re thin and most of the time, you don’t notice that they’re there! Comfortable panty liners are important! You can get a free sample today, that includes: 2 U by Kotex Curves® Liners  and 2 U by Kotex® Lightdays® Liners – try them out and let me know what you think!

Lost that Undie Feeling? Get it back with U by Kotex® Liners– So comfy, they feel just like your undies. For this campaign, U by Kotex® is offering an exciting opportunity for you and your audience to win amazing monthly prizes, including one grand prize with the #BringComfyBack Contest!

To enter the #BringComfyBack Contest, visit bringcomfyback(dot)com and upload your creative pic or gif showcasing your best uncomfy face.

Each month, one lucky winner will receive a $200 Urban Outfitters gift card, a Go Pro Hero 3 white camera, a $100 Sephora gift card and U by Kotex products.

At the end of the contest, the most creative selfie will be chosen and the winner will receive a trip to L.A. with a girlfriend, an exclusive U by Kotex photo shoot to be their new social star and $2,000 spending cash!

Remember to encourage your audience to get creative because U by Kotex is judging entries based on originality, style and LOL factor!

Don’t forget to enter the contest yourself and showcase your uncomfy pic in your story!

Tips for Happy Babies

When the new baby arrives, I know things are overwhelming. Baby Brother arrived and it felt like I was starting from scratch all over again. Each baby is so incredibly different and unique. Things that worked for Birdie didn’t work for him at all. I was at a loss, but I came up with some ideas that worked for us. They work now for Birdie as well – some for when they were younger and some now that they are older. Here are some tips to my formula for happiness.

Read a book

We all know that baby has no idea what you’re talking about, but they do know the sound of your voice. It is so soothing to them. Take the time to sit there and read them a book. Use different voices and intonations. Make silly faces. Make it fun. They’ll just sit there and watch you, but it also helps start a wonderful (and healthy) habit for the future!

 

Plan something fun

It doesn’t have to be something crazy, off the wall, far, or expensive. A trip to the zoo is fun, but it might be out of the way. A walk to the local neighborhood park might be more feasible. Whatever it is, plan to go out. I like to make sure that the kids get to go outside for a minimum of an hour a day. We plan for longer, but the bare minimum is an hour. We need fresh air and the sun. They get a kick out of it. We walk to the park, we point out everything in whatever color we choose (yesterday was all the blue things!), we lay out a blanket, eat snacks and play. Doesn’t have to be overly elaborate, but they just love to go.

Pick them up

Sometimes they just need an extra cuddle. They just want to be comforted by you. Pick them up, cuddle with them on the couch. I wear my babies. I wear Baby Brother a lot more than Birdie, but sometimes she needs it too. I wear her when she’s tired, when she’s frustrated – or just needs some mommy time. You are their safe place.

Know their cues

I think this was the hardest to figure out, but it’s made life so much easier! Know your children. If you can figure out when they’re hungry and tired before they do, you can prepare and you won’t have the upset child. The rubbing of the eyes, the rooting at the chest, the snarky response — if you can catch the tell tale hint of what’s about to come, you can stop it before it happens. Baby brother never worked well on an exact schedule, but he was great at giving me hints. Once I was able to figure out the hints, he put himself on his own schedule.

Let them help

This goes two ways. 1. Let the kids help. I know, you can get it done a lot faster if you do it yourself, but they want to be included. They want to do the things you do. Folding laundry now takes 2 hours, but the kids love to help. One “folds” and the other eats the clothes and tries to crawls into the basket. But it works. Also, 2. let friends and/or family help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’ve all been there!

If you need any help in the first few months, Gerber has sleep consultants, nutritionists and a certified lactation consultants, that you can make a free appointment with to discuss.

I’ll be posting a lot of photos on our Instagram @bobaandpearls — I would love to see your formula for happiness, so please tag your photos #formulaforhappiness when you post!