new mom essentials

new mom essentials
After having my second child, I’ve come to discover that there are thousands of “must have” products for mom and baby. Everyone has different needs of course, but I like to keep the gadgets to a minimum and really stick to the tried and true basics. I don’t label myself with a certain parenting style; I just do what works for my kids and I.

Milk Snob Multi-Functional Nursing Cover– I was totally convinced that using a blanket to cover up was just fine. I rarely had to nurse in public with my first child so I expected the same for my second. I’d have no need for a nursing cover, right? Wrong. Enter Miss Priss who does NOT want to be covered with a blanket. On a whim, I entered a Milk Snob giveaway on Instagram and won! I figured I’d snag one of these multi-purpose covers even if I didn’t use it for nursing. I’m so glad I did! It’s the softest, stretchiest material and my wild child cannot escape it! I haven’t used it as an infant car seat cover since we had to switch to a convertible car seat but I do look forward to using it with grocery carts in the future. I love the functionality of this product and can attest to the fact that the design is well thought out. Created for moms by a mom–can’t beat that!

Carter’s Swaddle Blankets– Once again, baby #2 keeping Momma on her toes. I swaddled my first baby for about a week & neither of us noticed when we stopped. This second child of mine; however, is still going strong with the swaddle at 6 months old. She may still need me to swaddle her in college. Who knows… HA! But on a more serious note, I really loved these blankets. I registered for them thinking I’d use them as a car seat blanket but they ended up being the perfect swaddle size for my new babe. These were great for the first 3-4 months until she outgrew them and we moved to a larger Muslin blanket. I loved the stretch of this material that allowed me to wrap her super snug. We still use them often. I linked to the ones we got from Target, but these can be found at a number of stores. They’ve also held up really well to numerous washings…unlike the expensive Muslin blanket I bought on Etsy…

Nursing Tanks– Totally necessary for me. Available in all price ranges and styles. Comfy enough to sleep in and supportive enough to wear under a top in lieu of a bra. I have at least 3 of these that I rotate out.

Milk Barn Burp Cloths– Another one of those multipurpose items. I received these as a gift–something I would probably not have bought for myself–and have loved, loved them! I know you’re thinking “umm…its a piece of cloth..” and I’ll admit I felt the same until I used them. They have some of the prettiest patterns and get softer with every wash. When my babe was first born, I was actually able to swaddle her in them. Seriously..she’s wrapped in one in here newborn portraits! They were also a great size to use in the car as a light blanket. Now, she likes to hold them like a lovie and they aren’t as cumbersome as some larger blankets can be.

Yoga Pants- Just buy yourself a fresh pair. You deserve it. I bought a pair on a whim during my last pregnant grocery shopping trip at Walmart and believe it or not, they have been some of my favorites.

Solly Baby Wrap– Baby #1 was just fine in the car seat/infant carrier and rode in the shopping cart with no issues. Baby #2 made me wish I had never stepped foot inside the grocery store. Are you sensing a theme here?! This little gem of a wrap has been a true lifesaver in allowing me to get out of the house with my newborn. Because apparently staying home for the first 3 months of your new baby’s life is frowned upon. Weird. Some may view this as a pricey product, but I’d say it is worth every penny!

Button Down Dress– Buttons on a dress or top = easy access for breastfeeding. Bonus points for chambray.

Ju-Ju-Be Diaper Bag– If I’m going to give up carrying a cute purse in exchange for lugging all. the. baby. things. I’m going to do it in style. Black and white stripes are classic enough to look nice with nearly everything and trendy enough to make me not feel like a bore. This bag has been great: roomy with lots of pockets, pouches and compartments. It comes with a messenger strap but I prefer to use the backpack straps. The backpack style has been helpful in keeping my hands free and my bag from sliding off my shoulders. I can definitely support spending a good chunk of change for a quality diaper bag.


The extras
MAM pacifiers are the only kind of pacifiers my babies would take. We’ve gone through a lot of them in our household! Partly because I like to have extras laying around and partly because I love to find (and buy) all of the different designs!
I used this hospital gown and still use it at home as a robe. It’s so pretty!
This sound machine. Because we are not a quiet family. And because my sweet, precious baby is THE lightest sleeper ever.
Disposable changing pads are like gold to me because I spent more money than I should have on a pretty changing pad cover. I know, I know. But I bought what my pregnant hormonal soul wanted. There was no arguing with the hormones. I put one of these down on top of said expensive changing pad cover and use it until it gets dirty then I toss it. This is what I call laundry prevention.
I do not sell Young Living oils. I do use them for anything and everything. Love. Them. Some of my personal favorites for kids/babies are Gentle Baby, Lavender, SniffleEase, and TummyGize. I’ve currently been diffusing Gentle Baby and SniffleEase in the nursery and it’s the best! It’s helped both of us with our congestion.

Techniques

Swaddling. The normal swaddle works great for sleepy newborn babies. However, once they start moving those arms and deciding to be baby Houdini, you’ve got to step up your swaddle game. Enter: the double swaddle. There are several different ways to do this, but this one is fairly simple. It has exponentially increased the amount of sleep I get because baby girl can no longer play Ricky Bobby in her sleep.

Well, that was fun! This post has been six months in the making and I’m happy to finally be able to complete it! What are some of your new mom and baby must haves? Share them in the comments!

loving lately

I’ve been challenging myself to break out of my shell as far as home décor goes. I’ve always loved color but I also tend to stay in a safe little bubble of beige and neutral. Boring! I solved that problem when I painted the wall in our entry/living room a bright turquoise color and I’m so glad I did! I’m not saying go buy a gallon of neon paint, but I do think it’s nice to do something to surprise yourself once in a while. I’ve enjoyed incorporating more color into our home which leads me to the theme of this loving lately post: brights + metallics foreva!

Valerie Wieners Art Names of God Print Lat and Lo Cuff Bracelet Swim Zip Swimwear Swankaroo Kaleidoscope backpack Kris Nations Custom Stud Earrings Stay and Co Pillows

Valerie Wieners Art Names of God Print
Lat and Lo Cuff Bracelet
SwimZip Swimwear
Swankaroo Kaleidoscope backpack
Kris Nations Custom Stud Earrings
Stay and Co Pillows

 

1.) Valerie is one of the gals I love to see in my Instagram feed. Her artwork is gorgeous and SO unique {and she has an amazing testimony!} I love the way she illustrates and hand-letters scripture and want her work all over my home! This print doesn’t even show a fraction of her talent–it’s just one of the many on my wish list! If you’re one of those people that says “oh, I’ll check it out later..” DON’T WAIT! Go check it now because she’s having a HUGE sale that starts tonight! I’m also loving her instant printable coloring pages.

2.) Lat and Lo is not helping my jewelry obsession at all! These cuffs are such a great gift idea {hint, hint, husband!} for anyone. I love meaningful, custom jewelry. I also love the fact that if you don’t know the coordinates of your location they will find them for you! So cool!

3.) If you’ve read my post about sunscreen then you know how I feel about littles and sun safety! How cute and practical are these SwimZip suits?! A direct quote from the site says “all SwimZip swimwear styles provide 50+ UV Protection and block 98% UVA & UVB rays.” They have the cutest styles for boys, girls and adults as well. I just couldn’t resist this sweet watermelon print for girls!

4.) Is it irrational that these Swankaroo backpacks make me giddy like a schoolgirl? I really want one. I mean, Remi is the one that needs a backpack but I REALLY am looking for a good excuse to buy myself one as well. So far I’ve got nothing. I figure the camo one would be perfect for my little guy but maybe I should just get the cute Kaleidoscope print and carry it for him? ;)

5.) Yet another custom jewelry option…I may or may not have a jewelry problem! One of the coolest things about these Kris Nations stud earrings is that you can choose from symbols, letters and states. You can also pick your finish of gold, silver, or one of each. Just another thing to add to my ever growing wish list and gift idea list!

6.) I’ve been swooning over these Stay and Co. gold pillows for a few months, but since painting our living room wall and changing a few things up {namely, adding gold and coral as accent colors} I think they would look perfect in our living room! Stay and Co. is a mash-up of two successful stand-alone shops that grew exponentially and decided to join together, hire help, and develop a new brand. I love their play on words for “Stay Home” and “Stay Little“.

 

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loving lately

This post is dedicated to a little {big} holiday coming up soon. Nope, Easter was last weekend. I’ll give you a hint: you’ve got about 17 more shopping days for this special day. And trust me–you’re definitely going to want to buy something for your MOM! Let this be a little guide for that hard-to-buy-for Momma of yours. While you’re at it, have a listen to one of my all-time favorite Mom songs {With the exception of Mama Tried}. Blame it on my roots.

loving lately gift guide via this heart needs blog

1. Voluspa Baltic Amber Candle 2. Dolly and Frances Teepee 3. Custom Watercolor Home Portrait via Pattern on Pattern 4. Nena and Co. Crossbody Tote 5. The Painted Arrow print

 

1.) Indulge mom {and yourself} with one of Voluspa’s candle tins. If you’ve ever been to Anthropologie, you’ve experienced these candles! All of the scents are lovely and the packaging is gorgeous which is a win-win in my book. I’ve bought a few candles that smelled great but just didn’t sit pretty. I love that these are the best of both worlds. There are several different scents, but I chose the Baltic Amber. I’m beginning to love more complex, warm scents in lieu of sugar cookie and other sugary sweet scents I would have chosen a few years ago. You can read more details and purchase this from one of my favorite local boutiques, Ruffled Feathers.

2.) I know this isn’t exactly a mom-friendly gift, but what is a loving lately post {from–ahem–a momma} without something for the babes?! I’m all over the teepee band wagon. I think they are such fun gifts and really encourage imaginative play. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful handcrafted teepees, but never any this intricate. These are works of art! While I’ll admit they’re a little frilly for my boy, I think they would absolutely enhance a little girl’s room. I kind of want one. For my room. Dear husband, purchase here. HA!

3.) Not only would these custom watercolor home portraits make the perfect Mother’s Day gift–they would be great wedding gifts as well! This custom art piece comes on an 11×15 piece of watercolor paper and looks beautiful in a frame. I’m not even sure if our first home is still standing, but I definitely want one of the home we live in now! It’s meaningful to me since it’s the house that made us homeowners and holds many memories and firsts for our little boy. Another memorable option would be a portrait of the house your mom was raised in or the house she raised her family in.

*edit: Save 15% if you purchase here, but they’re selling like hot cakes so grab one quick!

4.) Perfection in a crossbody bag. I’ve been following Nena and Co. on Instagram for a few months now and have been coveting these gorgeous hand loomed Guatemalan patterns. Do yourself a favor and read about the “Peace Pilgrim” and SADEGUA projects that the company is involved in. I can’t think of a better reason to buy this fringed beauty!

5.) Another pretty print that’s gift-worthy for mom. Hillary of The Painted Arrow is immensely talented and I’m happy to say I have two of her prints in my home! I love the fact that you can either purchase a physical print OR a digital download to be printed in the comfort of your own home. Pajama shopping is the best shopping. Am I right? While you’re at it, why don’t you snag this recipe card on sale for five bucks. Perhaps with the intentions of learning the secret of mom’s famous banana nut bread? ;)

 

One last thing I’m loving lately is the American Blogger film by Christopher Wiegand. I can’t wait to sit down and watch it uninterrupted. Christopher’s wife, Casey Wiegand is one of my favorite bloggers. You may have heard of her. Casey, along with two other bloggers, dreamed up and brought to life HopeSpoken. I’m praying that God will work out the details and I can go next year. I need that kind of sister-to-sister fellowshipping in my life!

 

Ok, one last love: this sunshine!

 

Is your mom hard to buy for? I’d love to know if this gift guide gave you any ideas!

xo, Kelsey

loving lately

I don’t mean to brag if the temperatures where you live are still frigid, but isn’t this weather FABULOUS?! My coworker and I were recently discussing the weather/season/time change and how it affects our moods. She pointed out that this nice weather was “like Christmas” and I totally agree! We recently had a few rainy days and everyone was SO grumpy. It’s amazing how much more friendly people are when there’s a little sunshine! I think that’s part of why I wanted to do another {loving lately} post–I’m feeling light and springy and in LOVE with everything right now! Except cleaning. I’m not in love with cleaning.

this heart needs blog loving lately post

1. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black
2. Studio Mucci Peach Bellini Tassel Garland
3. Queenikathleni Hello Doll Phone Case
4. Slyfox Threads tee

1.) Ditch that winter fragrance in lieu of something fresh! Elizabeth and James recently launched two new fragrances that are exclusive to Sephora: Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. Nirvana Black (as pictured) has notes of violet, sandalwood, and vanilla. Nirvana White has notes of peony, muguet (lily), and tender musk. Pick your favorite or buy them both! One of the unique things about these fragrances is that they can be worn alone or layered together. I personally love to layer them because…why not?!

2.) Are you planning a party or just in search of some really rad home décor? Studio Mucci has you covered with these gorgeous tassel garlands. The founder, Amina, is such an inspiration as a business owner and has one of the most colorful and happy Instagram feeds ever! I’m thinking my new turquoise wall in my living room needs a Studio Mucci original to keep it company!

3.) Another Instagram favie. Katie of Queenikathleeni is the coolest {and SWEETEST} fashion illustrator I’ve ever met followed on Instagram. Whatevs. I love seeing all of her illustrations but my favorite part is that she will customize. Like anything. She’s good. I’m loving this phone case she designed, but you really have to check out the rest of her work. Really.

4.) Oh, Slyfox Threads! They have the trendiest tees and other things for kiddos but I’m swooning over this “You Make Me Happy When Skies are Gray” shirt! My mom sang the song to me and I sing it to Remi. So clearly, he needs it. There are also some super fun prints available to purchase on the website!

And there you have it! My little bit of happy. I love finding fun things and sharing them with you and I’m especially passionate about supporting small(er) businesses!

Feel free to comment below if you’ve ever tried anything from these brands! Are you enjoying these {loving lately} posts as much as I am?

xoxo, Kelsey

loving lately

I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts for so long! I have always loved flipping through magazines and seeing what the “hot” new products were for the season. When Remi was brand new I couldn’t get enough of the “baby must-haves” articles. Now I love scrolling through social media to see what is trendy {whether I follow the current trend or not!} I hope you enjoy this new little series called {loving lately}. I’ve curated a little sampling of things that I think are beautiful, fun and just plain happy. I love things that bring a smile to my face each time I look at them.

1. Freshly Picked Moccs 2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings 3. Coconut Beach body scrub 4. Common Rebels night light 5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos 6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Freshly Picked Moccasins
2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings
3. Coconut Beach body scrub
4. Common Rebels night light
5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos
6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Can we just begin with a big fat *sigh*?! I have been in LOVE with Freshly Picked Moccasins from the very first time I laid eyes on them. The lady that founded the company is SO stinking inspiring. She was recently on the show Shark Tank! How cool is that?! The camo moccasins just launched and they’re already sold out. I’m thinking Remi definitely needs a pair!

2. There are only three words you need to remember for all of your future wish lists: Whitney Dobson Designs. Stunning, handcrafted pieces. I cannot pick my favorite. I seriously just can’t decide. I want them all! My flavor of the week is the Rutilated Amethyst with Mystic Clear Quartz Earrings I’m not quite sure what all of those fancy words mean but they look like an absolute DREAM!

3. With warmer temps fast approaching, I need something to get my dry winter skin in tip-top shape. I’m thinking this Farmhouse Fresh Coconut Beach body scrub I spotted in the Junk Gypsy shop will be the perfect thing for that! Who doesn’t need a little pineapple coconut goodness in their day? I’m dreaming of the beach already!

4. We are super lucky that Remi isn’t afraid of the dark but I don’t think I’d mind if he asked for one of these Common Rebels nightlights! I stumbled across the Common Rebels website a while back and I’m so glad I did. The nightlights aren’t just for the kidlets either–they have some beautiful designs that would be perfect in a guest bathroom or hallway!

5. Did every teen have a rebel phase? I know I did. Sort of. I mean I never actually followed through with getting a tattoo but I thought about it a lot. HA! I’ve always loved tattoos–tasteful, meaningful ones. I’m too indecisive to actually get one, so these tiny temporary tattoos by Pepper Ink were practically made for me. They’re so cute!

6. Last but not least, I’ve been loving Top Knot Goods. Their clothes have a fun, carefree vibe that I’m really loving at the moment. I’ve mentioned before that I have no specific style. I just go with what I like at the moment. Their No Rest for the Rad tee makes me smile. I’ve seen it dressed up and dressed down and it looks great both ways! I think all moms need this shirt!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Kelsey