Round Ups

5 Ways to Battle the Baby Blues

weight-someecardsI couldn’t help but laugh when I came across this image on Pinterest.  Because let’s be real…we care about our weight with or without a baby.  Weight (amongst other things) is what led me to this weeks post.  With the arrival of baby comes a whole new world that often times Mom’s don’t prep themselves for.  The Baby Blues affect almost every mom to a certain degree.  The perk of having gone thru pregnancy already;  I was familiar with the low’s I faced last time around, and I’ve made it a point to karate-chop the Baby Blues away from me using these tips.  With that said, I’m sharing 5 ways to battle the Baby Blues.

5.  Talk it out.  Seems simple enough, but any and all emotions you are feeling post birth should be addressed.  Talk to your partner, friends, mother’s group; shoot– anyone whose willing to let you vent.  Chances are they will be able to resolve issues, give advice, or just say something to make you smile.  If you are on Facebook, message your mama friend’s who are going thru birth and babies with you.  I’m sure they’d love to have someone to talk to during those early morning nursing sessions ;).

4.  Get help.  As much as you totally believe you are superwoman (red cape and all) it’s important to trust that delegating help is more effective than doing it all by yourself.  In the early weeks of getting used to life with a newborn, consider hiring a housekeeper, have a meal service delivered, and have visiting guests lend a helpful hand around the house; all in the hopes you’ll focus on baby and shut-eye.

3.  Waist train.  That belly doesn’t go back automatically and to help get your stomach back to normal, throw on a corset and wear it day and night.  It’s almost impossible to find time to workout with a newborn and if you have a c-section (like myself) you are restricted to working out after 6 weeks.  So turning to a compression band allows for your abs and your internal organs to return back to normal.  After all, if Jessica Alba can wear two at a time (yes, two corsets) post partum;  you and I can at least stomach wearing a waist-sincher around the clock.  I’ve been rotating between Maidenform and Bellefit.  Currently at 5 weeks post partum, I’m  very happy with my results.

2.  Eat your placenta.  Crazy sounding I know.  I was on the fence with it the first time around.  This time, I jumped in feet first and hired a Doula to make my magic placenta pills happen.  New to the placenta eating game, read this to get a run down.

1.  Perfection is unattainable…for now.  Used to your routine?  We all are and trust that you’ll get all your ducks sorted out…eventually.  For now, be cool with the fact that you’re taking a few weeks to bond with baby and wear yoga pants 24/7 ;).

Oh, and enjoy being part of the mama club :).

Sincerely, Kymberly

Nursery Design: style meets function

pottery barn nursery grey, white, woodI’ll let you in on a little secret, I am WAAAAYYYY more excited about my second baby’s nursery than I was for Harrison’s.  Much has to do with trial and error. Looking back EVERYTHING about motherhood was so new and my brain was constantly being overloaded with information, products, and advice of what to do and what to buy, that I made some mistakes in my purchases.  This time around I’ve applied what I’ve learned and will be making baby #2’s nursery functional without sacrificing style.

I’m a big fan of the Pottery Barn aesthetic of a classic and clean design, that it’s played a large factor in inspiration for our baby’s room.  I’ve mentioned before that his nursery will remain along the same color scheme as the rest of our home: grey, white, wood, and blue.  I find these colors to be calming for me.  When I know I’ll be spending hours on end in our baby’s room, I want to find some serenity when I’m in the thick of caring for a newborn.

I’ve paired all of these essentials with items from Pottery Barn to make your one-stop shopping needs easy.  But I do love me a bargain, so for a few of the items, I’m sharing alternatives that are light on your wallet.  Big YAY for savings!

Also keep in mind that this design board is of a neutral color palate, but the functionality remains the same for any color scheme you choose!  Here’s a round-up of the bare essentials you’ll need in a nursery:

Safe Crib

Dresser and Changing table combination

Rugs: one and two  (alternatively IKEA’s faux sheepskin rug is a steal at $12.99)

Design tip- by taking an oversized rug and layering it with a smaller rug on top you create dimension and warmth.  Layering rugs is especially key when you are dealing with a neutral palate in order to prevent a plain and texture-less space.  Added bonus- you’ll have plenty of cushion when doing tummy time and during those crawling months.

Nursing nook to include somewhere comfy to sit, comfy blanket for you (and a swaddle for baby), plus a side table to rest your nursing knickknacks.

Design tip- if you decide to purchase a glider or rocker, opt for a white fabric because there’s almost a guaranteed chance your little one will end up spitting up on it.  Believe it or not, cleaning up breast milk on a light-colored chair is much easier and tends to not show remaining residue.

I’m opting to keep our guest bed in the nursery as the bedding is already inline with the nursery look and I find it comfortable nursing/soothing baby while I’m sprawled out on a bed.  But if I do decide to make the last-minute decision to get a glider, I’ve eyed this affordable option as my go-to choice.

Lighting is essential because you’ll be awake and then sleeping at all hours of day.  So consider having blackout shades to counter the day and a lamp for night (I’m obsessed with this particular lamp since there’s a quick on/off switch on the bottom.  Genius.)

Storage to hide and keep clutter at bay.  Wicker baskets for the changing table are great to keep an organized changing table and woven baskets for toys and books are sturdy enough to overcome daily abuse.

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

 

HGTV Dream Home 2015 and Tips on How to Get the Look

HGTV dream home 2015 pinterest photoWhose with me with loving HGTV?  (Insert “hand’s up in the air” emoji.  Like, double tap.)

HGTV is one of my go-to channels to watch as I’m a sucker for beautiful homes.  Each year I’ve come to look forward to their Dream Home giveaway and I often end up entering for the chance to win just that–  a dream home.  However, this year I’m extra excited about the giveaway as the dream home is located in Martha’s Vineyard.  Before our recent trip to Cape Cod, I’d been in love with the lifestyle and homes in Massachusetts.  So it’s no surprise, I’m going to be entering daily for this coastal retreat.  From now till February 17th, you can also enter for the opportunity to win 2015’s dream home.  Oh, and I’m totally encouraging you to do so too!  I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a classic home on the coast?  Cue, me swooning over here…

Okay, okay…back to you, my friends…just follow this link to enter too!  (Don’t forget– you can enter DAILY!)

I’d like to obviously win the home, but how cool would it be to know someone who did?  Maybe you could invite my family over to stay?  Just a thought 😉 …

Here’s what the HGTV Dream Home looks like from the front and it’s backyard:
hgtv_dream_home_2015_front-yardhgtv_dream_home_2015_back-patio

Impressive huh?  Just wait till you see the interior…

But don’t worry your little heart if you don’t win the HGTV Dream Home giveaway.  You can still recreate the look for your own home.  I’m sharing with you 5 tips on how to get the classic coastal look:

1.  Start off with a blue and white pallette:  Set the tone with predominate blue and white tones in your furniture, paint, and decor.  You can then intermingle additional blue tones such as teal, light blue, or even green.

For a pop of color add subtle hues of orange, pink, coral or red to compliment a blue and white coastal home.  hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_view-toward-front-doorhgtv_dream_home_2015_master-bedroom_01_hero-shothgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bedroom_01_hero-shothgtv_dream_home_2015_kids-bedroom_white-dresser-armoire-with-green-chairs

2.  Texture is key:  the easiest way to accomplish this is by adding wood furnitures in darker shades with light/whitewashed furnitures.  I’m also a huge fan of mixing painted grey furniture and driftwood decorations to add to the coastal charm.hgtv_dream_home_2015_artistic_hardwood-flooring-great-room_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_sunny-hallway_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_rustic-ceiling-beams-closeup_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853hgtv_dream_home_2015_artistic_outdoor-seating-bedroom-patio_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_dining-room_table-detail_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bedroom_driftwood-sculpture_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920

3.  Adding nautical decorations: going literal with anchors, boats, fishes, and seashells (just to name a few) isn’t a bad thing at all, and in fact does define coastal living.  Just remember a little can go a long way so scale back or add more nautical accents as needed.  Also, think about tip #2 and adding different textures.  Metals and woods can easily go together when styling your nautical home.hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_alternate-DSC9646_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_artistic_framed-metal-fish-sconce-great-room_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bathroom_orange-flowers-counter-closeup_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_guest-bedroom_nautical-decorations_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_laundry-room_artwork-closeup_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_piece-of-the-dream_1-3-basket-guest-bedroom-DCP0090_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853

4.  Build up a book collection:  scattering stacks of books on your tables are decorations in itself.  Look for books on knots, sailing, beaches, etc  that you adore.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many coffee table books I’ve collected solely for its cover aesthetics.  (That’s code for I don’t read them, I just collect them.)hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_blue-urn-artwork_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_great-room_alternate-EPP6451_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920

5.  Lastly, lighten up a room with mirrors:  when you think of a beach home you think open living space.  Draw back your curtains to allow for light to be drawn in.  Then add mirrors to accentuate, creating a more bright and airy feel to your coastal retreat.hgtv_dream_home_2015_master-bathroom_01_hero-shot_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853hgtv_dream_home_2015_master-bathroom_artistic-mirrors-bathtub_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1920hgtv_dream_home_2015_laundry-room_candlelit-washroom_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.853Sincerely, Kymberly

 

A Mama’s Guide to Newborn Essentials

a mama's guide to newborn essentialsI’ve gotta admit it, I’m in nesting mode.  I’ve been re-arranging baby’s room, clearing away clutter, and gathering essentials necessary to make my first few weeks with baby a breeze.  The crazy thing is, I’m finding that I actually do need more baby stuff.  I’ve found with the second pregnancy you learn which products worked and which didn’t.

To help aide my fellow mama’s and to steer them towards some pretty ah-mazing products that are sure to simplify life,  I’ve put together a Guide to Newborn Essentials:

NURSING:

1.  Medela double pump:  The Pump In Style is great because it’s hospital recommended, fairly quite, painless, and gets the job done faster.  Good news- most (if not all) insurance companies now will pay for your breast pump.  Just contact your provider.  I already did so and the process is simple.  You pick your pump (yes, a Medela double pump is an option!) via their chosen provider and 30 days prior to your delivery, you’ll receive the brand new pump.  Now you’ve freed up $250 to spend on other baby items :).

2.  Medela Tender Care Lanolin:  just throw this ointment into your basket and trust me and a mass of many other mama’s, that this item is God sent.  Oh and your nips will thank you too ;).

3.  Hands free breastpump brabecause it’s nice to have your hands free and able to do things for the 20 minutes you are stuck pumping.  Just think, you can get in the Facebook and Instagram time you crave.  That’s what I call multi-tasking.

4.  Nursing pillow:  My only experience is with a Boppy pillow and it was a good one.  Although My Breast Friend (seriously who comes up with these names?) is a great option too.  I believe you will be fine with any type you register for.  The one helpful tip is to order an extra cover for those spit up’s and projectile vomits that will definitely occur.

Also, a favorite of mine is the Boppy travel pillow which is perfect for all Mom’s on the go (just stash in your stroller).  For a mama who had a c-section, this pillow made nursing easier when I was out on the town, as it didn’t put any pressure on my birth-battle wound.

SLEEPING:

5.  Halo Bassinest:  hands down this is my favorite item!  It’s new to the market and when it launched a few months ago I knew it was going on my registry.  Perfect for any Mom (regular birth or c-section) because it allows you to safely co-sleep with your child, the bassinet swivels which allows you to get in and out of bed easier, one of the sides lower to allow for pulling your child in and out of, etc.  Honestly, I could talk forever on this bassinet but instead, check out this video.

6.  Nuna Travel Crib:  I recently became aware of this product and have to say, where was it when I first was researching travel cribs/playpens?  I love it because it provides BOTH a baby crib and a toddler crib/playpen.  Most on the market only provide a low-to-the ground crib or are tacky to look at.

7.  Ollie Swaddle:  my relationship with this swaddle company began when they first started following me on Instagram.  I’m following them too and I’m so glad because I found out why this swaddle stands out above the rest.  Not only is there velcro to make swaddling easy, but the bottom portion opens easily to allow for you to change your babies diaper without having to unswaddle (and possibly wake up) your baby.  I picked up this swaddle because I know my future sleep deprived self will thank me.  Right now, Ollie World is hosting daily savings up till Christmas.  I’m sure your 2 am-sleep deprived self with thank you too, so treat yourself to one :).

8.  Aden + Anais:  the Holy Grail of muslins you can do no wrong with any of their products.  I personally love their crib bedding because of the soft and breathable material.

GADGETS:

9.  Fisher Price Cradle and Swing:  okay, so I’ll admit this swing isn’t one of the more modern looking and will take a decent chunk of space in your home, but it’s practicality out wins any con.  You’ll never know which swinging motion will sooth your baby to sleep and this swing provides both a side/side and front/back rocking motion.  Yay, for all-in-one features (and sadly a rare feature for swings out on the market.)

Carrier:  I can’t pick just one.  It’s like picking your favorite kid.  I just can’t go there.  Instead I’ll have to share why I’m loving these 3 carriers.

10.  Solly Baby wraps are a California-based and family ran business whose wraps are American made.  You gotta love supporting locally, right?  But besides that, their product are awesome!  The material is breathable unlike its counterpart, the Moby.  Not to mention, it comes in a rainbow of colors (I recently picked up 2 because I was that indecisive between colors), and when you’re not wearing the Solly Baby, you can store it in it’s attached pouch.

11.  Baby K’tan:  a strategically sewn “wrap” you simply throw it over your shoulders and with a quick tie with the sash, you’ve got yourself ready to carry your newborn.  Bonus points because the Baby K’tan comes in a “Breeze” and “Active” material to allow for more breathability and active lifestyle.

12.  Ergo 360:  it’s about time Ergo added the feature of forward-front-facing.  This is an overall good carrier that will be sure to last babies’ first year.

13.  Puj: the sleekest bath tub around because it can lay flat while stored.  Not to mention it’s plush foam-like material is beyond any comparison available.  If you are a frequent traveler, the Puj Flyte is even more compact but with the same amazing qualities as the original.

14.  Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy diaper bag: I wanted to desperately not love this diaper bag.  But after going through 2 other (not so bad) diaper bags, the Boxy bag fulfills all my check marks.  A combination of the carrying style (backpack/tote), wipeable material, magnetic closure, and plenty of storage space has been a lifesaver for this mama who is always out and about.  Having twins, two kiddos, or just need a bit more room?  Try the Abundance which is just a larger version of this top-quality diaper bag.

15.  Stokke Tripp Trappthis was another one of those purchases I made after my original high chair ended up not fulfilling my long-term needs.  I originally bought a Bloom high chair because of its contemporary look, but it failed to work for me past 18 months.  What makes the Tripp Trapp high chair superior is that it truly is functional for a lifetime.  It grows with your baby into an adult while still not sacrificing a modern style.  The other high chairs on the market can’t fit to slide up against the family table, leaving your child an arm’s length away.

TOYS:

16.  Wubbanub:  the simplest of inventions, this toy and soothie combination stops the soothie from falling out of your baby’s mouth.  You’ll no longer have to tediously bend over to pick up a soothie.  Trust when I say, pick up one or two of these.  Here’s a tip:  once your child has grown out of the pacifier phase, you can cut off the soothie and allow your child to continue to play with their cuddly little lamb.

17.  Sofie the giraffe teether:  another “it” item for your baby.  I don’t know of any other toy a baby loves more than this.  My son especially loved his and to this day I’ll catch him squeaking it around while he’s enjoying creative play.  It has become such a sentimental toy that I’m contemplating buying our new baby his very own Sofie to love.

STROLLERS:

Here’s another subject like the carriers (mentioned above) that I can’t just pick one.  Sadly, there isn’t a stroller that fulfills every need, but these strollers certainly are the best of the best and here’s why:

18.  BOB Revolution:  the perfect all-terrain stroller that is equally good for jogging as it is a city stroller.  I often wondered why they market themselves as a jogger when the BOB really does wonders in a city.  After all, not all streets are perfectly paved so this bad-boy of a stroller can handle cobblestone, gravel, and even my most relatable option- the beach.

19.  Uppababy G-Luxe: the best of the best when it comes to lightweight strollers, this glorified umbrella stroller shines bright (like a diamond).  One of its top-selling points is that you can start using it at 6 months rather than the usual year for umbrella strollers.  I use it traveling (see post here) and when I know I’m going to be in an area where the aisle-to-rack ratio is snug, I throw this stroller in the backseat of my car.  Good news for 2015 the Uppababy G-Luxe is releasing it also as a double stroller.  You can bet I’ll be getting my hands on one for sure.

20.  Baby Jogger City Selectif I was smart and asked myself if I was going to have more than one child fairly soon after my first, I would have bought this stroller 2 years ago.  I’m obsessed with the City Select because it’s slim (no worrying about moving through tight spaces), it can accommodate both a single and a double seat with plenty of room for both children, there is a large shopping basket underneath, and lastly the boogie board for your older child to hop on makes it my #1 stroller choice.  Oh, and if those features don’t win you- it fold down easily and is pretty lightweight.  Score!

21.  Doona:  coming to the US in 2015, this stroller is genius for combining itself as a car seat and stroller in one.  You simple pull out the car seat and with a push of a button the stroller wheels pop down!

(Want even more stroller options?  Honorable mentions go to: Uppababy Vista and the Bugaboo Donkey for their multi-use qualities.)

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

 

5 tips for designing your Christmas card

Tiny Prints tri-fold christmas cardTiny Prints trifold holiday cardI’m excited to mention I just received our Christmas cards for this year!  This is the second year now where I’ve turned to Tiny Prints to design my cards.  When I opened up my box, I shrieked with excitement with how wonderful they turned out!  I think I even did a happy dance right then and there ;).  Although I’ve pictured in this post 2013’s Christmas card (I’m waiting to share 2014’s edition once I get around to mailing the cards out first), I continued the theme of picking a tri-fold template and once again upgrading to the pearlized paper.  But kudos to Tiny Prints because their  new letterpress, foil-stamped, and laser-cut designs are absolutely swoon worthy.  (Can you tell, I’m a paper-loving nerd?)

If you plan on working on your holiday cards this Thanksgiving week, take into account these 5 tips for designing your Christmas card.  Happy designing, friends! 🙂

5.  Whose on your list?  Start by writing down all the people who you will be mailing your Christmas card to.

As the years go by, you can streamline this process by having the names of your family/friends and their addresses already on file.   (Can I get a “that was easy” button press, please?)

On a personal note, I keep my holiday card list small to allow for me to splurge on the actual design of the card (see tip #4).  My reasoning is simple:  I use the help of social media to send out a virtual copy of my Christmas card via my blog, Instagram, and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.  Those that actually receive a copy tend to be family and close friends who don’t mind seeing our mug shots on their mantel all December long ;).  (Or in the case of my Mother, she keeps our card up all year long…thanks Mom!)

4.  Create a budget.  My husband would be proud to hear me listing this as a tip ;).  But it’s true.  That way when you’re searching the web and combing through the 100’s of designs, you’ll be able to narrow down what styles you can actually afford.  Keep in mind, some of your favorite paper companies have add-on options, so take those extra fees into account as well.  But on the same note, those same favorite paper companies almost always have a promotion going on to help reduce your cost.  So go ahead, apply that discount code, baby.

I’ve found that the best promotion codes allow for free shipping and a percentage off.  So if you can score one of those codes, you should complete your checkout ASAP.

3.  To have a photo shoot or not have a photo shoot?  If you decide to schedule a photo shoot with  your family photographer, do so in early fall (or earlier if possible)  to have adequate time to get your proofs back.

Or go the route of taking your camera out and snapping away some candid shots of your family.  Sometimes those can be the most memorable ones!

Is it just me, but I’m always a fan of the crying baby in Santa’s lap.  Classic.

2.  Consider your content.  I’m a big believer in customizing whenever possible.  Besides including a picture (or two) of your family, it’s always great to read a personal message from the sender.  This can be in the form of a lengthy letter,  highlights from the year, or a short one-liner that pertains to your family.

This year we enclosed our holiday card with a simple phrase of: “SEAS and GREETINGS.”  A play off of “season’s greetings;” it brings humor to my family’s love for coastal living.

1.  Don’t stress over your holiday cards.  Ideally Christmas cards should be sent out the first two weeks of December but if your schedule doesn’t permit, you can always send out New Years cards. Maybe you can make a tradition of sending New Years cards go forward.  Because after all, traditions are a great way to keep up a good habit :).

Sincerely, Kymberly

Maternity Style Hacks

maternity style

I’m in the East Coast for the next two weeks and packing for this trip really got me excited for fall weather since my California days are still spent in summer-like wardrobe.  Would you mind falling in line with the cold-weather movement, California?  Thanks, much appreciated.

With fall and winter weather just around the corner, I’m not only looking forward to the season of holidays, but the chance to dress this bump in accordance.  For my last pregnancy, my second and third trimester was spent during the spring-summer months which called for lots of dresses and dips in the pool to keep me from overheating.  However, I can finally get my chance to dress my bump in what is my favorite time of the year to be fashionable.

In order to stay stylish while intermingling my pre-pregnancy clothes with my newly purchased maternity clothes, I’ve rounded up 5 maternity style hacks  to help me look fashionable for fall thru winter:

1.  Wear loose fitting dresses.  For colder days throw on pregnancy leggings underneath.

2.  Take a button up shirt and knot it above the belly.  Looks super cute with a knotted t-shirt too.

3.  I’m totally loving a cape and every since I saw Burberry’s monogrammed poncho, I’ve been counting down the days till I can recreate this look.  There’s no denying the cuteness when you’ve a bump peeking out.

4.  When you’re pregnant you tend to get overheated easily, so layering is a must.  Especially paired with a vest.

5.  I’m the biggest advocate for hats all year round.  Whether it’s a baseball cap or a fedora, I usually have one donned upon my head.  The right hat can turn a plain or relaxed outfit,  into a chic Instagram-worthy outfit.

Sincerely, Kymberly