I got all of this at cvs and target! less than $10.00 for a cute unique gift you can get for your kids class! I got the bags and paper at target. The mini airplanes, love stamps, and bubbles are from CVS. I will be making some cupcakes to go along with these as well! Happy Valentines Day!
I will just say this, the best you can give a guy is sex. I think thats pretty universal for every type of personality. If you want to do more than that I would suggest these things to go along with it :)
Also, Ive found out that guys love sentimental gifts just as much as girls do so write a sweet card, or make something sweet for him. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, just show them you put effort and thought into.
Im huge on Valentines Day as is the rest of the female population. Its one of my favorite holiday’s. I really make it known to Ben that it means a lot to me and he needs to get creative or think ahead.
You can’t go wrong with a planned out date night. Whether its staying in a cooking a romantic meal or going out to a fancy dinner. We usually switch it up each year. Last year I was huge pregnancy and didn’t feel like getting dressed up and going out. Ben turned out downstairs living room into an indoor picnic scene. He had a typed and printed menu and actually made all of my favorite foods in a 4 course meal. ( Cheese Board, greek salad, cheeseburgers, and creme brûlée) I was pregnant and ate all of it. We watched a movie and it was heaven. We have gone out to fancy dinners In LA dressed up and stayed out late as well some years. Both are great.
ALWAYS GET FLOWERS, always. Personally, Im not a chocolate girl, but I know a lot of girls that are so get some sort of candy or chocolate she likes too. Buy some new lingerie, lights some candles, go over the top. Its the day to do it.
I love Valentines Day, its one of my favorite holiday’s. Now that I have babies its even more fun! Who doesn’t love a day to focus on love? Growing up my Dad bought and sent all of my sisters and I flowers and my mom would make us little baskets with our favorite things in them… They both still do the same thing every year even though we are married. I made these little baskets for Luca and Leo to have this year. I got everything at Target! I cant wait to give them to them on Valentines Day! Ive linked everything Ive got below the pictures!
Hi mama! Getting ready to have a baby? Know someone who is? This list is everything I actually packed for myself during the hospital. First off, post-baby is pretty horrific. Not going to sugar coat it. Luca was 9 pounds 3 ounces. Yikes. I thought I was going to die, and pretty sure my vagina did die that day.
***TMI- Luca got stuck in the birth canal, and had to be suctioned out. Very scary for a few minutes, but my doctor was amazing and got him out. I ended up with a whopping 26 stitches. I am hurting just typing that. I was in so much pain afterwards. I lost a ton of blood so they kept me on a catheter and in the bed for 24 hours after. My mom came the next morning and gave me a shower… You feel like a baby giraffe trying to walk and your legs give out at any given time. After my shower I looked ay my naked body in the mirror and was mortified. I looked like I had balls. Yes, I said balls. Everything down there was so swollen and looked like a crime scene. I cried and cried, and then got a mirror and looked and cried even more.
No one tells you about what your body goes through after pushing the baby out. You would think the labor is the worst part but I personally found postpartum so much more difficult.
*** TMI PART TWO- 4 days after getting home from the hospital I was so weak, and bleeding heavily. I thought my pain was normal but turns out there was a large piece of my placenta left in… I had to go to my OB’s office, have all my stitches removed.. have the rest of the placenta removed and then stitched back up with a local numbing cream. Talk about pain.
Now that Ive scared all of you to death and shared more than what you probably wanted to read I have listed what I packed in my hospital bag that actually helped me so much in recovery.
*******This is the best tip a nurse taught me- layer in following order:
1. big granny panties
2. big maxi pad
3. tucks pads on maxi pad
4. spray the spray and dab the cream on your lady part
5. Most hospitals can make you an iced diaper to wear… this is incredible, wear that diaper. wear it with pride.
Pack a lot of comfy sweats…some people like to pack a cute outfit to come home in or take pictures in. I did that tried it on and it didn’t fit me. How depressing… I ended up wearing bens shirt and sweats with ugg slippers home. Don’t do that to yourself, pack something that you know will be comfortable to wear home.
Bring mini shampoo and conditioner and soap. I brought my face wash and makeup wipes. Hair ties, and something to keep my hair pushed back as well.
Bring an extra pillow/blanket- Hospitals can be cold.
STEAL ALL OF THE THINGS THEY LEAVE IN THE ROOM- my nurse literally told me to go into the bathroom and fill my bag with all the stuff they provide for you and you can even ask for me. trust me, your actually paying for it in the bed when you get your medical bill.
Bring your camera, and phone chargers, I was even extra and brought my oil diffuser with me.
This is so simple I almost didn’t want to post it. But we love it and eat it a lot in our house. You can use this recipe for a side dish along with chicken or meat of your choice or as main dish.
What you need:
fresh minced garlic
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Drizzle olive oil on a baking tray and set aside
Chop up all your veggies into bite size pieces and put on the tray and season with salt and pepper.
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon squeezed
I love to plan. For me having a plan for my day and my week is so important for my sanity. I am old school and like to write everything down with pen and paper. I also have my apple calendar but its not the same. I started using the post-it method because I hate the looking of pen marks or white out.
Its so easy- I color code everything! Each person in my family has a category and even my sweet nanny Evalynn has her own color too. ;) I categorize meetings, appointments, workouts, church events, personal like dinner’s or coffee catch up’s.
If something gets cancelled or moved to another date I can simply remove the post it or change it to another day. I like to organize even more by placing things in order by time for each day.
I have my personal calendar and a larger weekly calendar that sits on our kitchen bench with all of that weeks events.
Attached links for my calendars:
A few of my favorite pieces from the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale! Click the Image to shop!
I know they say, “Its the most wonderful time of the year.” And I get it but its also the time of the year when your kids get sick. This year we were blessed with not one, but two children who coughed, didn’t sleep, and covered our clothes with their snot. We’ve had both humidifiers running full blast in their rooms, steam sessions in the bathroom, and nice little essential oil rollers.
Thank God we are on the tail end, but we had a little scary moment the other night. I was taking a bath and Ben was on duty to give Leo her bath and put her to bed. I came downstairs after, both kids were asleep and I noticed Luca’s toddler cough syrup on the kitchen counter. Then it hit me, Ben gave her the toddler cough syrup instead of the infant one. Yikes.
I calmly asked Ben if he accidentally gave Leo the wrong medicine. That was a lie, I freaked out and screamed. Called my mom, because that’s what you do. She told me to call poison control and we both talked with them. I say both because we both literally called poison control and while I was talking to someone they say to me, “ Do you know a Cherise Franklin?” she was on the other line with someone else telling them her baby had taken the wrong medicine. Hang up mom. The scary ingredient was the honey but the dosage wasn’t a lot and she’s a big girl for her age. Thankfully they didn’t seem to think it was a huge deal because the medicine was all natural and advised us to watch her the next 24 hours.
Ben survived the night and Leo is okay too.
Afterwards I decided to organize the kids medicines. Especially since Luca is using medicines that are 2+ years old now. I ordered two containers off amazon and labeled them clearly because mixing them up could actually happen to anyone. (Ben is still in trouble though.)
All of Leo’s medicines, essential oils, and creams in one container and all of Luca’s in the other. I encourage everyone to do this if you have little ones, and even more if you have several little ones at different ages.
Fridababy SnotSucker & Nose Wipes https://www.amazon.com/NoseFrida-BreatheFrida-Fridababy-Essential-Moisturizing/dp/B07B8BM574/ref=sr_1_14_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1546015151&sr=8-14&keywords=fridababy+nosefrida+nasal+aspirator
Rainbow Light Multi-Vitamin https://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Light-Nutristars-Multivitamin-Food-based/dp/B000FIJ2VA/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1546015606&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=rainbow+light+kids+one+multivitamin&psc=1
Garlic Ear Drops https://www.amazon.com/Herb-Pharm-Mullein-Garlic-Ounce/dp/B00Y271VC8/ref=pd_sim_121_9?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00Y271VC8&pd_rd_r=48bdfd3e-0ac0-11e9-8b23-7f522031bab0&pd_rd_w=lKO00&pd_rd_wg=fAik3&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=N6JST4SJPKCMRC01CX77&psc=1&refRID=N6JST4SJPKCMRC01CX77
Maty’s Vapor Rub https://www.amazon.com/Matys-Petroleum-Relieves-Symptoms-Congestion/dp/B005X74DFS/ref=pd_bxgy_121_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B005X74DFS&pd_rd_r=916dc772-0ac0-11e9-a99c-25f61c0681a3&pd_rd_w=Z2TaB&pd_rd_wg=VAwdG&pf_rd_p=6725dbd6-9917-451d-beba-16af7874e407&pf_rd_r=8YHFG5S0MHCKEF7MDB3X&psc=1&refRID=8YHFG5S0MHCKEF7MDB3X
Steam Inhaler https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083F7LQA/ref=emc_b_5_i?th=1
(with the most insane tomato sauce you'll ever have.)
These are my go to meal. I usually make them for dinner and will use for lunch the next day as well!
1 pack of Ground Turkey
1 Tablespoon of Minced Garlic
1/2 Chopped Yellow Onion
1 1/2 cup of Bread Crumbs
1 cup of Freshly Chopped Basil
3 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder
Chop the onion and salute in pan with minced garlic on medium heat until cooked through. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients together with your hands until mixed all the way through evenly. Once the onion and garlic has cooled down add to mixture and mix through. Scoop out handful of mixture and form into patties.
In a pan on medium heat grill the burger with a little olive oil until cooked all the way. The meat will be a lighter white color.
Still in the pan add a slice of your choice of cheese on top of the burgers and place in oven on broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted on top.
This Sauce is unbelievable. My girlfriend Grace Allen came up with it and I use it on everything.
Fresh Minced Garlic
Red Chili Flakes
In a pan sauce the minced garlic with red chili flakes in olive oil on medium/low heat. Careful not to burn the garlic.
2. Add chopped cherry tomatoes and add 1/3 cup of white wine and let it simmer. Add handful of chopped fresh basil and squeeze a lemon in. Lastly zest the lemon. Mix together over turkey burger with fresh basil!
There is nothing better than a baby that just gets out of the bath, nothing. One of my favorite parts of the day is bath time because of the following two reasons.
It means that it’s almost time for the babies to go to SLEEP.
It means that it’s almost time for me to go to SLEEP.
I first found out about Earth Mama Organics when I was wondering around Buy Buy Baby one day. I may or may not have tried to open a bottle of lotion to take a quick smell and dropped it on the floor. It may or may not have splattered everywhere. An employee may or may not have told me to “ please not open products before I buy them.” followed by an obvious eye roll on her way to clean it up.
I ended up getting their Belly Butter mainly because I felt like I had to buy something at that point, but also because it actually smelled amazing. I also was happy about the fact that it had no artificial fragrance, artificial preservatives, antibacterial chemicals, phthalates, parabens or harsh sulfates. I got home that night, being about 5 months pregnant at the time and tried the belly butter on my huge belly. I was hooked. I went back to Buy Buy Baby later that week and stocked up. I bought their teas, oils, body wash, postpartum balm, postpartum spray and was so excited to try all of it for myself.
I didn’t even realize that they had products for babies until I turned the isle. It was all down hill from there. I filled my cart with everything. I love using these products on my babies, they smell amazing and they are safe for their sensitive skin.
(And I want to kick myself for not knowing about their postpartum products. Everyone who is pregnant and reading this, stop what you’re doing and go order their perineal spray and their perineal balm. As awful as you feel after pushing a baby out these products made it feel bearable. I felt healed after a week while using these two things. )
1/3 cup cornstrach
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups of whole milk
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 stick butter
Stir cornstarch, sugar, and salt in pot on medium heat. Add whole milk slowly and stir in until mixed. whisk all together until small bubbles appear.
Beat 3 eggs seperatly then temper them in with other ingredients and contuine to stir. Add in the vanilla once it thickens and 1/2 stick butter cut into small pieces. whisk in until melted completely.
Turn heat off and remove once it start to bubble over and cover with saran wrap. Place in fridge overnight.
2 cups of heavy cream
Confections sugar to your liking
1 tsp of vanilla
In a mixer, mix together all ingredients. This should be fluffy and thick.
Cover and place in fridge overnight.
When ready to serve the next day, layer in a large dish and repeat until you are out.
BELOW I’VE ATTACHED SOME OF MY FAVORITE SKIN & BEUATY PRODUCTS THAT WOULD PERFECT FOR GIFTS OR STOCKING STUFFERS THIS CHRISTMAS. CLICK THE ITEM TO PURCHASE.
I feel old just typing two under two. I seriously can’t believe that I have two children. I feel like it was just yesterday I was staying up all night watching 8 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy in a row, going to dinner at 9pm, and taking 30 minute showers.
My life was forever changed the moment Luca came into this world. If I think about when they first laid him on my chest, I start crying. Overwhelming, all-consuming, love at first sight. I remembered the first night in the hospital holding him all night while he slept and just staring at him. I remember thinking, “I can’t believe they are going to just let us take him home.. we have no idea what to do.” You learn pretty quickly. If I am being honest, I don’t like the infant stage. I found the first few months with Luca extremely difficulty (as I’m sure most new moms do. ) No one likes to talk about how you feel after you have the baby. No one likes to talk about postpartum depression. No one likes to talk about the fact that your life changes overnight and nothing is your own anymore. Your entire world revolves around this tiny human who depends on you for everything. Talk about responsibility. The first few months were a blur, but i started to see a glimpse of hope once we started sleep training and he started actually sleeping.
I think one of the hardest realities for me was the fact that my life was no longer mine. I am a girl that loves a schedule and a plan. I look at menu’s before I arrive at a restaurant because I want to know what I am ordering. When Ben and I go on vacation, its guaranteed that each day will have an itinerary. This is how I relax, I love structure. That all went out the window with a kid. Your schedule no longer comes first, their’s does. Your plans no longer come first, whatever they need does. This was a major adjustment for me, and still is.
I feel like Ben and I were finally getting into a rhythm with Luca once he turned eight months old. He was pretty easy at this point, our lives felt back to normal…(well our new normal…) and then *BOOM* 3 positive pregnancy tests. I cried for days and days. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I am very aware that a lot of women would do anything to see a positive pregnancy test but I couldn’t be happy in that moment. I felt like I could have had/possibly really did have a breakdown in that moment. "Another baby? But Luca is still a baby. I can’t do this.” I waited three days to tell Ben because I was so scared of his reaction. But once I told him he made me feel a lot better. Ready or not, here we go again…
The second pregnancy flew by so fast. With Luca, I would nap when I was tired. I would take the day off when my body hurt. Not so easy when you have a 1 year old learning to walk and into everything he can get his hands on. I feel like I blinked and I was back at the hospital getting ready to deliver. Leo’s entrance into the world was amazing, so easy and so quick. ( 1 minute and 47 seconds to be exact. ) We got back to our room to recover and my parents brought Luca in... I sat there looking at Ben holding our little boy meeting our little girl and tears began to fill my eyes. I was so emotional, I felt like my heart could have exploded.
We have had two babies under two years old for almost 7 months now.
Is it crazy? Absolutely.
Do I feel like I’m losing my mind most days? For sure.
Do I spend an insane about of money on diapers? You bet.
Do my boobs look totally sad, deflated, and different? I don’t wanna talk about it.
Would I change having them so close together? Never.
I feel like we starting to get into a rhythm with them both. We have our bad days, and bad weeks but it really does get easier. I know that they will be the best of friends in a few months and I can’t wait to see them play together. Some of the things that have helped me these last few weeks:
Remember that it’s just a season
Someday’s I don’t get a shower until Leo goes to sleep at night. Someday’s my food consist of Luca’s organic pop tarts and coffee. Someday’s I cry. Someday’s I scream and lose my temper. Ive learned I have to give myself grace and give myself credit for the small wins during the day. I have to tell myself to calm down and just laugh multiple times a day. I know one day I will wish I could change another dirty diaper, or give Luca another bath and put him to bed. It goes by so quickly, and I want to remember this even though it is crazy at the moment.
It’s okay if they cry (and It’s Okay If You Cry too.)
This is so hard for me. When Leo cries, it does something to my head, I tense up and start to freak out immediately. When Leo starts to cry in the car, I want to turn around and go home. I can’t remember how many times I have said to Ben “ This is why I don’t like to go anywhere.” If they are fed, burped, changed, and not sleepy…..and they cry, that’s okay. They are going to be okay. Its not going to kill them or hurt them. And mama, If you need to cry… do it. Give yourself a few minutes, let it out and then get it together. You are stronger than you think.
Getting Help Doesn’t Mean You’re a Bad Mom.
When I was younger and would play pretend with my baby dolls I never handed the baby doll off to a nanny… I took care of that baby doll all by myself. When I had kids, I figured that I would do it all by myself and tried to do it by myself. I failed. I am the first to say that I NEED HELP. Hiring a nanny was one of the best decisions I have made as a mom. It has allowed me to work, to be able to go to the gym, out on a date with my husband, go to the grocery store alone, etc etc etc. Whether it’s family or someone you hire, help is good. It takes a village.
Make time for yourself.
Any mom knows the struggle with this. You feel guilty for needing a break. You feel guilty while your taking the break, but it is so important to take time for yourself. Maybe one day its going to get your nails done for an hour and maybe one day its having a 15 minute bath after everyone is asleep to just be in quiet. I don’t believe the actual time you spend is as important as just doing something everyday for just you. You can’t run on an empty tank. Fill it up day by day and you will be surprised how differently you will feel, how much more patience you will have, and how different your outlook on the day will shift.
I can be negative, I am working on that. I can assume the worst in the situation and let my mind go wonder down a rabbit hole. I read this article a few months ago and it said that if you end each day with a list of everything you are thankful for that happened that day you will wake up the next morning happier. I started writing it down in my phone at night on my notes app. So simple, yet so powerful.
These are some of the things I have written down over the last few months:
I’m thankful that Ben gets up with Luca in the morning so I can sleep an extra hour.
I’m thankful for my iced vanilla lattes in the morning.
I’m thankful that I have the means to provide both my babies with diapers.
I’m thankful for Monster Truck Youtube videos and how much Luca is entertained by them.
I’m thankful for my friends with kids, and getting to do life with them.
I’m thankful for my Mom and how much she has helped me.
I’m thankful for my body and everything its been through the last two years.
I’m thankful for peace from God when I feel anxious.
I’m thankful for eyelash extensions.
Two under two in no joke. But I am so thankful for my beautiful babies. Luca James and Leo Jacqueline have changed my life forever in the best way. They have opened up parts of my heart I never knew existed. Being their mom has given me purpose and more joy than I could have hoped for in life. It’s a wild ride but I am happy to be on it. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time but I also know that I’m not alone and neither are you. Mama’s if you are reading this and need a reminder: you’re strong, you’re beautiful, and you’re doing a great job.
“It’s okay if they cry (and it’s okay if you cry too) “
Everything That Was In My Hospital Bag For Leo
What I packed in my hospital bag! I’ve had a lot of mamas ask me what to pack for the hospital so I decided to share a few of my favorite things with you guys!!
I’m using the chic & functional @storksak Cabin Carry On bag! It has so much space and comes with an amazing hanging organizer so all your things stay nice and neat! Love that it has wheels as well so we can use it after for travel!
I’m packing the “Mama Bundle” from @francisandhenry! I love this brand so much. After giving birth I didn’t feel my most glamorous so I’m excited to have these pieces that are both gorgeous and comfortable! (It comes with the SOFTEST nursing gown, lightweight robe, a swaddle, burp clothes, and a Headband.)
@erbaviva products for both Leo and I! I found this company when Luca was a few months old and immediately was hooked. Everything is organic and smells amazing! ( I’m bringing their travel size body wash, deodorant, stretch mark cream, pregnancy massage oil, and lip balm for myself & for their baby lotion and cradle cap oil for Leo)
My new @willowpump that I am so excited to try! It is the first wearable Breast pump without a million cords and parts. You can literally wear it on the go which will come in handy for me while I still have to run around after Luca I will post again about how I like it for all you that have DM’d me!! Other things I’m packing: tons of blankets & swaddles, plain onesies, options for going home outfits for both of us, essential oils & portable diffuser, ugg slippers, nursing bras & pads, all my favorite face cosmetics & makeup, a bracelet I got for Leo with her initals on it from @stephaniegottlieb and a little gift that I will give Luca from Leo when he meets her for the first time
Lollipop Baby Camera
I always get a ton of questions about my favorite baby products that I use for Luca & Leo... and @lollipopbabycam is very high up on the list of things I can’t live without! I love everything about this baby monitor....
1. It’s beautiful.. actually looks cute in your nursery whether you mount it on the wall or attach to crib.
2. It has the best video/audio quality out of any other monitor I’ve used- (I can see them breathing, it’s that clear... even at night )
3. Connects to WiFi so I can check it right on my phone with the App & detects all sounds/movements/crying and sends you notifications.
4. Two way talk, which is amazing if I want to soothe the babies with my voice without going into the room