Newborn Essentials

When I was pregnant with Brynlee I bought/ registered for a lot of unnecessary items. I thought I needed all the things with all the bells and whistle. What actually happened was a lot of clutter and a lot of things going unused. This time I tried to be smarter and only got or kept the items we truly needed. Below is a list of what I couldn’t live without for baby #2.

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Ergo Baby Nursing Pillow– if you are a nursing mama, this pillow is a must! It makes nursing much more comfortable. You are able to position your baby perfectly to nurse so your arms wont get tired from holding them at the right height. I’ve tried other nursing pillows before and this is by far the best one I have used!

Mamaroo– We used this with Brynlee and love it this time around too! Lincoln sleeps so well in it and I love that you can position it at a slight incline when needed. If you read this post you know he has had some congestion and the Mamaroo really helped him to be able to sleep at night without having breathing issues. It’s light enough to move from room to room if needed, but solid enough that if Brynlee or someone bumps into it he isn’t disturb.

Blooming Bath – This bath is so wonderful, especially for newborns. You can position the petals to provide the correct support for your baby and it’s so soft for them to lay on. To dry it after each bath you just have to wring it out and throw it in the dryer for about 20 minutes. We love this bath wash and lotion too!

Cat and Jack Sleepers– I’ve talked about these multiple times, but they truly are my favorite sleeper for Lincoln to wear. With Brynlee, I always preferred the snap sleepers. Even though they were a pain to get all the snaps correct in the dark, middle of the night feedings, I loved that I didn’t have to open the whole sleeper making, her cold and start to cry then having a hard time going back to sleep. These zip from the bottom up so you only have to undo them half way, keeping the top of your baby covered and warm. So amazing and at a great price point, I don’t know why someone didn’t think of these sooner!

Convertible Diaper Bag- A diaper bag that can turn into a backpack is a must for a mama of two. I can’t tell you how many times it has saved me have two free hands at any given time. I have this one in brandy and love it, but would also like to get this one in black.

Travel System with Stroller Board– We love our Britax and used it with Brynlee too. When we had Lincoln we were gifted the stroller board and Brynlee loves it! It makes going places so much easier! If we have to do a lot of walking, Brynlee just jumps on and is a happy camper. She hasn’t liked riding in strollers for about 2 years now, so I didn’t want to buy a double stroller just to have her refuse to ride in it, this was the perfect solution!

Breast Pump and Bra– If you plan on breast feeding or pump and feeding, investing in a good breast pump is so worthwhile. Most insurance companies cover breast pumps now, so make sure to call yours to see what your options are. I was able to get this Medela and love it! I pretty much nurse exclusively, but still pump to build up a reserve, just in case, and also so Landon can have the opportunity to feed Lincoln. I would also recommend getting a hands-free pumping bra, it makes pumping much more convenient. Since I nurse too, I was having a hard time finding the time to nurse and pump throughout the day, now I pump while I’m getting ready, working on blog posts or any other time that I can stay in one spot, but still have the use of my hands. When we do bottle feed we use these bottles, which conveniently attach to the Medela pump and these washable nursing pads are my favorite and much more comfortable than the throw away kind.

Solly Baby Wrap– This is pretty much the only way I get anything done these days. Lincoln loves to be held and protests quite loudly whenever I lay him down for too long. If I put him in the wrap, he is as happy as can be and will often fall right to sleep. I love it because I allows me to keep my baby close whenever I have other things I have to get done. I wouldn’t mind spending all day cuddling my sweet boy, but for some reason my family thinks they need clean laundry and food to eat (wink, wink). This is also the only way I get any sewing done, standing at my kitchen island with Lincoln wrapped to my chest. I’ve actually gotten quite good at sewing standing up lol!

Nursing Cover (not pictured)- I love having a full coverage nursing cover. Since it completely surrounds me I’m never worried about flashing anyone. It makes nursing in public much more comfortable for me. Make one here or buy one here.

Car Seat Canopy Cover (not pictured)- I made one of these when I had Brynlee and have since made countless others as gifts. This is definitely a must have! It keeps the light out when your baby is napping and protects against people touching or putting their face right up to your newborn when closed. Make one here or buy one here.

 

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Friday Favorites (and free Valentine’s printables)

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Soccer Saturdays- Brynlee started soccer a few weeks ago and it has been so much fun! She has practice, then a game every Saturday morning. We make it a family affair and all get up and go together (even if the previous night with Lincoln was rough) and Landon has even helped out with coaching a bit. Brynlee loves having us there and involved and we love watching her play. Honestly, I was quite surprised by how well these little 3 year olds play. I was expecting a lot of distractions and just sitting down in the middle of the field, but for the most part they are running and kicking the ball the entire game!

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Mini Chicken Bacon Ranch Pot Pies

These Chicken Bacon Ranch Pot Pies are divine! Super easy to make and the whole family will love them, even Brynlee said how much she enjoyed hers and she has been super picky lately.

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Have you seen BaubleBar’s new Target line, SugarFix? So many beautiful pieces, here are a few of my favorites. At a great price point too, these are all under $20!

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Speaking of beautiful things (and just in time for Valentine’s Day) how gorgeous and fun is this heart shaped Le Creuset dutch oven? I have been pining for it since the moment I saw it, I would love to add it to my kitchen.

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I finally got around to making Brynlee’s Valentine’s.

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For her to pass out to both her dance and preschool classes I made these bubble Valentine’s. Brynlee is really in to bubbles right now We are having some beautiful weather lately so everyone is spending a lot of time outdoors right now and I thought bubbles would be perfect!

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I just designed the tag (free printable below), printed then cut them and attached one to each tube of bubbles with curling ribbon I already had, so I was able to make 32 of these for around $6.

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I love that the bubbles have a heart on the top, making them extra festive!

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For Brynlee’s teachers I picked up some local olive oil while I was at Queen Creek Olive Mill the other day, they make the best olive oil and I always loving going and taste testing them. Plus they have amazing food there, I haven’t found one dish that wasn’t delicious.

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Anyway, I made a tag that said ‘”Olive” having you for a teacher!’ (free printable below)  attached it with ribbon and now we are all set for Valentine’s Day.

I love coming up with non-candy solutions for festivities like these. We only let Brynlee eat candy on rare occasions and even then she only gets one piece, so most of the time the candy just goes to waste.

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I hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo, Cassidi

Linking up today with Erika, Andrea and Narci for:

Recipe Roundup – Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day

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By now you’ve probably gathered that I love Valentine’s Day! I can’t wait to celebrate with my loved ones and it will be even more special this year since the arrival of our sweet Lincoln. To help make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet, I’ve rounded up some sweet treat ideas for you to make your Valentine.

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No Bake Oreo Cheesescake Bars / Red Velvet Whoopie Pies / Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs / Macarons /  The Best Sugar Cookies

Very Berry  Vanilla Cake Trifle / Vanilla Raspberry Cake Roll  / Valentine’s Day Popcorn

Enjoy!

What are your favorite treats to make?

xoxo, Cassidi

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and it has always been a holiday I truly love. I mean, how fun is it to spend an entire day reminding all your people just how much you love them. As a kid I always loved making Valentine’s Day cards and passing them out at school and to my family. I’m excited to sit down with Brynlee to make some special ones with her for her to give out this year, bring on the glitter, rhinestones and glue!

In case you are having a hard time coming up with something to give that special lady in your life, I am here today with a gift guide filled with things she’s sure to love!

Love Potion Tumbler– How cute is this tumbler, perfect for all the iced coffee or tea drinkers out there. I personally love having one of these for my water, cutting down on plastic water bottles and I prefer drinking out of a straw anyway. If your local you can pick on up here and not have to wait 2 days for shipping (you’re welcome).

Pink Travel Mug– If iced drinks aren’t her thing, never fear, here is an equally cute travel mug to keep those drinks nice and hot! I love the quilted texture on this mug.

Necklace and Earrings– Love these from Kendra Scott, there are tons of colors to choose from making them the perfect accessory for everyday wear.

Trinket Dish– And how about a lovely little dish for her to store her jewelry in.

Nail Polish– Some about some pretty pink or red nail polish paired with a gift card for a manicure and a pedicure. I don’t know very many (okay any) ladies out there who would love the chance to pamper themselves.

Pens– How darling are these pens, the perfect addition to any desk top.

Gift Set– Speaking of pampering, how lovely would it be to receive this little set with a candle, body scrub and soap.

Cozy Robe– I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in the dessert, winter has finally decided to show up. Nothing is better than snuggling up in a cozy robe on those cold winter mornings and evenings, and let me just say, there is nothing cozier than this robe, it really is a dream!

xo, Cassidi

Lincoln’s Birth Story

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Our sweet baby Lincoln, 5 pounds 10 ounces, 18 1/2 inches.

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After battling preeclampsia throughout my pregnancy with Brynlee and having a due date of Christmas day, we made the decision to have a scheduled c-section for Lincoln on December 19th. If my body decided to go into labor early, we planned to try for a VBAC, but I really wanted to make sure I was home for Christmas with Brynlee. So many things would be changing for her, I wanted her Christmas to be as normal as possible.

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This whole pregnancy has been so different than my last, other than one bp scare in early November, my blood pressure has been great, I haven’t had any swelling and have overall felt pretty good. So after returning home from our last date night before the baby (special thanks to my sister in law for watching Brynlee), I was a little surprised, but not overly concerned when I started feeling the dizziness and nausea that comes with high bp. After checking it and verifying it was indeed high, I did as my Dr instructed and laid on my left side, rechecking it every 15 minutes. It steadily went down, until it reach a normal level and stayed there, so we just went to bed. The next morning I rechecked my bp and it was just bordering being high. I spent most of the day on my left side, trying to lower it, but all I was doing was maintaining it at those borderline numbers. Anytime I got up, it started to rise. After a phone call to my Dr, we decided I should head into OB Triage to be checked out. Between my last pregnancy and my scare last month, I have spent a lot of time in OB Triage, I went in fully thinking that they would monitor the baby and I for an hour or so, then send me home.

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But apparently my babies like to make dramatic entrances into this world because by the time I checked into OB Triage my blood pressure was 191/98, after that things happened so quickly that I’m pretty sure my head is still spinning. A bunch of tests were run and came back positive for preeclampsia. They called my Dr and the decision for an emergency c-section was made. All of this happened within about 20 minutes of me reaching Triage. Landon barely had enough time to make arrangements for Brynlee (again, a special thanks to my sister in law for dropping everything to come and get her) and get there before I went into surgery.

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Brynlee’s Scrubs

*Big Sister Brynlee, so excited to me her new baby brother*

I had an emergency c-section with Brynlee as well, I still need to share her birth story, but this time was completely different. My blood test came back indicating that my platelet levels were extremely low, which basically meant that I didn’t qualify for a spinal and would need to be put completely out during surgery. This also meant that Landon wouldn’t be with me, he would have to wait in the recovery room until I came out.

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It wasn’t but a few minutes that Lincoln was out and Landon could follow him into the nursery. I was 37 weeks 6 days, considered full term when I delivered, but since I needed to be put out and some of those drugs would make it into Lincoln’s system (it was less than 2 minutes from the time they put me to sleep and he was out) they needed to take him to the nursery for monitoring.

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Fortunately, all went smoothly and while I was pretty loopy waking back up, it was nice that I didn’t have to wait for the feeling to come back into my legs. And while my plan of having a family centered c-section and being able to hold my baby immediately didn’t happen, Lincoln was doing well enough in the nursery that he was able to visit me in recovery and I could nurse him. Sadly after about 30 minutes they had to take him back to the nursery, we were told he would need to stay for at least 6 hours.

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I was moved to my room, had some more tests and checks done to make sure my bp regulated and was put on a Magnesium IV. It wasn’t before long that the nursery was bringing Lincoln back to us. He was doing so well in the nursery and apparently protesting being there so much, they decided he could come to my room. As soon as I got him he settled down, I was able to nurse him again and amazingly we were able to get some sleep!

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Brynlee’s Scrubs / Stuffed Dog

*Meeting each other for the first time and Brynlee giving Lincoln the gift she made him, Marshall, the dog. At first Brynlee wasn’t sure what to think, but she quickly fell in love with her little brother and has become the most loving and caring big sister. She takes her new responsibility very seriously.

Lincoln has been such a good baby, nursing has been going so well, he’s a great sleeper and overall a very content and happy baby. He only cries when he is hungry or needs a diaper change and settles immediately when his needs are met. He is definitely a mama’s boy, his favorite place is sleeping on my chest, which I must admit is a favorite of mine too. He loves to be swaddled, cuddled and talked to and loves Eskimo kisses on the nose.

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Lincoln’s outfit / Blanket

*Lincoln’s going home outfit is a size Newborn, but he is still swimming in it.

We are so happy to have him home and are settling into our routine as a family of four. Thank you to everyone who came to our rescue while everything was happening so fast for us. And thank you for all the well wishes and congratulations!

xo, Cassidi

Men’s Holiday Gift Guide

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Bose Bluetooth Speakers / Amazon Fire Stick / Watch / Waterproof Phone Case (under $10)

Ninja Coffee Bar (on sale!) / Slippers / Every Man Jack Body Gift Set

Every Man Jack Shave Kit

I love giving gifts! And I spend a lot of time contemplating the perfect gift for each recipient, nothing brings me more joy than finding that perfect gift and seeing the surprise and excitement of my giftee when they open it! And so, with Christmas fast approaching and the holiday shopping frenzy in full swing, I thought I’d share some gift ideas in hopes that it might help a few of you out too.

Bose Bluetooth Speakers– Small, portable, with great sound that also lets you take phone calls and can hold a charge for up to 10 hours!

Amazon Fire Stick– We have these on all of our TV’s and love it! If you are a Prime Member, or gifting to a Prime Member, this is a must! We love finding TV shows on Amazon Video (like this one) and there is a ton of content for kids! I also love being able to play Amazon Music from it, but you can also access other apps like Netflix and HBO Go.

Watch– Always a great idea and these are stylish and extremely affordable.

Waterproof Phone Case– I own one of these, gifted one to my husband before a fly fishing trip and have gifted numerous more to family members! At under $10 this is the perfect gift/ stocking stuffer. It protects your phone, still allows you to talk and take pictures and  has enough space for your ID and a credit card. Perfect for pool days, lake trips or for any outdoorsy person in your life! Gift it with a gift card tucked inside and I’m sure anyone on your gift list will love it!

Ninja Coffee Bar– Truth be told, this is on my wish list too! I put in on my Men’s Holiday Gift Guide because it was my husband who initially said he wanted a programmable coffee maker (we currently just use a French Press), but once I found this one it was love at first sight! You can program it to have your coffee ready to go when you wake up on those early weekday mornings, you can brew iced coffee, lattes and even do single serve. It even comes with a milk frother, seriously, pinch me!

Slippers– A nice, comfortable pair of slippers with good, hard soles. Perfect for taking out the trash, grabbing the newspaper early in the morning or running out to unplug all those Christmas lights.

Every Man Jack Gift Set and Shave Kit – I gifted this to my husband a few Christmases ago and he’s been hooked on this brand ever since! The scents are all masculine and amazing and he especially loves the shave cream.

Now tell me, what are some of the gifts you are giving this year?

xo, Cassidi

Thankful

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I just wanted to pop in today to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are all enjoying time with your loved ones and fill up on delicious food!

During this busy time of year, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But this holiday is always a great time to take a step back to remember all that we have to be thankful for. And during this season of my life I have so, so much to be grateful for.

I’m especially thankful for those of you who continue to come to this little space of mine, even though my posting is scattered and infrequent. Thank you for reading!

Happy Turkey Day and if you are braving Black Friday shopping, have fun and stay safe!

xo, Cassidi