This is cool!

Make a pillow from Instagram pictures.


What to do with Instagram pictures ...

I love Instagram. Who doesn't? Now that I have 500+ pictures I figure it's time to start thinking about what I'm going to do with all of them. New products are popping up everyday. Here are just a few of my favorite. Click the captions to get more info.

Printstagram Mini Book
Insta Canvas
Blurb Instagram Book
Canvas Pop
Keepsy Book
Printstagram Memory Box


Easy gift idea: Books

I put together a baby shower gift the other day - a collection of some of my favorite books.
I used a cardboard container from Ikea (they're right by the door on your way out), spray painted it, added some tissue and the books and it turned out kind a fun - and it wasn't very hard or time consuming to put together.


DIY: Paint Chip Art

This is one of those easy to do, self explanatory, inexpensive projects that doesn't take a lot of time. Here's what you need:

* Frame
* Paper
* Paint Chips
* Hole Punch
* Glue
* Yardstick
* Level

My frame came from Ikea, and I used the back of the paper that came in the frame for my background. You could use any color or size - I just used what I had.

First, punch out the circles from your paint chips. I used an assortment of colors I already had.

I took the easy route and used a yardstick and level to line up my dots. They aren't perfect, but I don't think you can really tell once they all get on.

Just go line by line until your dots fill the entire paper. I used a glue stick - but some of the dots have started to fall - so I'd recommend a stronger double sided tape or glue.

Once they're all on, stick it in your frame - and it instantly adds color to the room!


Newborn Necesseties

A friend, who is due in just a few weeks requested a list of my favorite items for newborns. I put this list together after Linley was born. I'm reposting it with a few revisions and 

ONESIES: white, short sleeve gerber are my favorite. PAMPERS SWADDLERS: my absolute favorite diaper because they're so soft. i also like the line down the middle that turns blue when it's wet. CIRCO SLEEPERS: get them at target. they're cuter than the rest and they're not very expensive. some of my very favorites were 5 bucks. don't tell, but my babies wear them during the day too! NUK PACIFIER: i like the nuk brand because they come in different sizes. BUGABOO STROLLER: it's one of the more expensive strollers (thank goodness we got it on sale), but i have absolutely loved it! it is so easy to maneuver. CITY SELECT DOUBLE STROLLER: the bugaboo donkey is my dream double stroller, but this one is way less expensive (even though its a bit pricey). it's great because it can be a single or a double and it's inline so it is easy to maneuver through stores. BOPPY PILLOW: it's definitely possible to nurse without it, but it makes it so much easier and so comfortable. a definite must have. BUMBO CHAIR: this doesn't come in handy until about 3 months, but it's great. JJ COLE BUNDLEME: this is so nice during the freezing cold winter months. blankets always fall off. i have the hot pink urban style. it's super soft and keeps her warm, sometimes too warm. i also picked up a tan polar fleece version at tjmaxx that's nice too. MEDELA QUICK CLEAN STEAM BAGS: these make sterilizing pacifiers and other suck toys so easy. you just have to pop it in the microwave with a little water. PETUNIA PICKLE BOTTOM BOXY BACKPACK: it could be a little bigger, but it's so nice to be able to put it on your diaper bag on your back when you're hauling the infant carrier around, and it has convenient clips for the stroller too. BIG DIAPER BAGS: i have a few diaper bags that i switch up. i like diaper bags that are easy to get in, and have lots of pockets. BABY MAGIC: i've said this before, but i think it smells the very best! BATH CRADLE: i've said this one before too. it makes bath time so easy. it's at wal-mart for 5 bucks. BEBE AU LAIT NURSING COVER: i have a few nursing covers, but this one is the best. it's made with the softest fabric and there's terry cloth in the corner to wipe up messes. SWEET IVY GIRL BOWS: so cute and modern. buy on etsy. KUSHIES BANANA TOOTHBRUSH: my babies absolutely loves this thing. we use it at bath time. KUSHIES CLOTHING: it's so soft and snuggly. TRICOT BLANKET: my grandma makes them. i don't know how we'd live without it. SASSY VIBRATING TEXTURES TEETHER: love this. bought it for 5 bucks. when baby bites down on it, it pulsates and massages the gums. FISHER PRICE VIBRATING BOUNCER: linley practically lived in this thing for the first 2 months. TINY LOVE GYMINI TINY PRINCESS PLAY MAT: i love this version because it does so many things. it lights up, makes sounds, plays music, and there's a play mode so that when your baby hits the mat it lights up. SLEEPY WRAP: it's made of jersey cotton. super soft and comfortable. so easy to tote the little one around in. BABY BJORN: the sleepy wrap is nice when you're at home (i think they're actually called cozy wraps now) but the baby bjorn isn't as hot to wear around. KUSHIES FUZZI HUG BUG: this toy was one of linley's favorites. i'm not sure why she liked it so much, but it does have different textures and colors. CARTERS SLEEPLIKELY GOWNS: these are the best for newborns. they are so soft and comfortable and nice for changing diapers. MEDELA PUMP IN STYLE: comes in a few different stylish styles. it works really well. i haven't used it as much as i thought, but it is nice to have. ADIRI NATURAL NURSER BOTTLE: it's the most breast like bottle i've seen. i've only given linley a breast milk bottle a few times, but it actually allows the baby to latch on like they were breast feeding. it's really quite cool. SALINE NASAL SPRAY: you can find it in the baby section, and it is magic when your baby has a stuffy nose. it really loosens everything up, and makes it much easier to suction. NOSE FRIDA: it seems to be a little gentler than a bulb - but a bulb is a must if you don't have a frida. NEWBORN KIT: these are everywhere - and they are so handy to have around. AIDEN AND ANAIS SWADDLERS: i like ordering them from the company because they're a little better quality. i like bundling my babies up before bed. i think they sleep better.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something on this list. Feel free to add some of your favorites in the comments!


Friday Favorites ...

* I had no idea how good the selection of nursing bras at Target was until my Mom brought me home one right after Price was born. I like a better quality bra for daytime, but this Nursing Bra is great for sleeping - and there are other great options at Target.
* I love Aden + Anais products, but this Burpy Bib might just be my favorite product of all time.
* I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I can't live without Smashbox's Brow Tech To Go.
* Have you ever tried Meyer Lemons. They are so good!


Hospital Bag

When I took Bradley Method Birthing classe the birth of my first child, Linley - the instructor suggested we wait until the contractions started to pack our hospital bag. The thought was that it would force us to take our time laboring at home, and give us something to do before rushing off to the hospital. I spent more than 33 hours in labor with Linley - and had plenty of time to pack a hospital bag.

A month or so before my due date with my second, and in need of a bit of a refresher on what to take to the hospital - I started browsing the web. I found some good lists, and took notes - but all of them seemed to include items I knew I'd never use.

I was going to be so prepared with my second, but for some reason - I never packed my hospital bag. Part of me thought I could do it while I labored at home again, and part of me was so frustrated that I was still pregnant 7 days after my due date that I checked out. I didn't even want to think about it. Bad idea. 

My labor with Price lasted only 7 hours and my contractions were strong and steady the entire time. I was in no position to pack a hospital bag - so I didn't. My mom grabbed a pile of stuff I had set on the table in my bedroom as we rushed out the door - and my sister rummaged through my house to bring me the rest of the things I needed.

This is a pretty condensed list. Other lists suggest taking music, movies, and magazines. Others suggest taking snacks (I never have much of an appetite after I deliver, and the hospital brings meals and snacks) and things to keep you busy (I usually can only think about getting some sleep and my new baby). If you're getting an epidural you may want those things to pass the time - but in my experience you only really need a few essentials ...

There will be so much to document while you're at the hospital. Designate someone to take pictures so they get taken. Tell that person what kinds of pictures you want, maybe even make a list of the shots you'd like them to take so they don't miss anything.
I personally like wearing the hospital gown while I'm at the hospital: you don't have to worry about it getting dirty (which lets face it, happens because of what happens after birth) and it's comfortable and allows for easy access - for nurse checks and for breastfeeding. A robe is nice to put over the gown if you have visitors or if you leave your room.
If you want to wear something other than the hospital gown, I'd suggest a nightgown - and one with buttons so you can breastfeed. For the first few days, I don't like to wear pants - but that's just me.
Slip On Shoes
For the same reason I wear the hospital gown, I wear the hospital socks. Get them dirty, not your own - but it is nice to have a pair of slip on shoes if you leave the room, and even flip flops for the shower.
My sister-in-law gave me a blanket to take to the hospital - and it came in so handy. It was much better than the cardboard blankets they have there.
Pack a good shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I wanted to freshen up afterward, and having good smelling shampoo, conditioner, and soap made me feel better. I always like having good lotion - and vaseline for my lips. My toiletry bag also included makeup, a hair tie, a brush, a blow dryer, my straightening iron, deodorant, my toothbrush, and toothpaste.
Darin and I watched some tv shows at night, and I used my computer for a short minute to update my blog while I was at the hospital. We were both on our phones a lot, so keep your chargers handy.
I've never actually taken this to the hospital, but I'm including it on the list because it makes breastfeeding so much easier and comfortable.
They'll give you this at the hospital if you request it, then charge you an arm and a leg for it later. I'd suggest buying a tube before hand. Breastfeeding can make your nipples really sore for the first week (after that it gets better) and lanolin really saves the day.
Nursing Cover
This comes in handy when you have visitors.
Outfit(or 2)for Baby
I'd suggest something warm and something soft. This of course would include a cute hat or bows - and I always like to have a matching blanket to go with.
Outfit for Mom
I've always struggled in this area too. With both babies, I ended up wearing my nightgown home. What a fashion statement right? I just wasn't up for clothes yet. If I was more prepared, I'd spend more time finding an actual piece of comfortable clothing to wear home.
Nursing Bra
Your milk probably won't come in while you're at the hospital, but you'll want to have a nursing bra to wear home.
Infant Car Seat
For Baby 1 - we had the infant car seat installed and ready to go in the car. With Baby 2 - we totally forgot it at home, and my husband had to go home and get it later. Have it ready and in your car - or you won't be going anywhere.

Those are what I'd say are the essentials. Add or subtract items as needed. Everyone is different. 

The hospital usually provides diapers and wipes for baby and disposable underwear and pads for mom - and don't forget about our husband. He will of course need his own bag of things. A change of clothes, toiletries, a pillow and blanket, a computer, etc.

Hope this helps make packing easier.