I honestly don’t know why this sale isn’t getting more coverage! IMO it’s just as good as the NSale, but maybe even a little bit better for me bc it’s actually closer to a time wearing I’m wearing these cooler weather pieces. (During the Nsale, it’s always still in the 90s here! lol) If I would recommend shopping 2 things from this sale- it’s a good boot and a good cardigan! Those are 2 items I wear the heck out of in the fall/winter, and there are some incredible discounts! Check out the items I’ve linked below that I either have myself or have my eye on…
Hey y’all! Welcome to the reveal of my closet with Closets by Design and NEAT Method Tampa! Keep reading for a discount with both companies specifically for Luv, Bec followers!
This project was one of my favorites to-date because it was SO necessary for my sanity level. In our last home, J and I had separate closets and mine alone was almost the size of the one we now share. (Honestly, it was almost a deal-breaker but we wanted so badly to live in this neighborhood, so I overlooked it.) Over the years of living here, our closet just got more and more out of control, and it got to a point where I honestly didn’t even know what to do with it anymore. Even though I regularly clean out my closet, as a fashion blogger, I’m adding to it so often and it feels almost impossible to keep organized. I knew we needed a better system and I KNEW I needed some help…
August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! Now having 3 children, breastfeeding/pumping has been such a big part of my story as a mom. Over the last 4 1/2 months I’ve learned SO much about nursing/pumping. I’ve talked a lot about it in my Instagram stories, but I thought I’d give you guys an update here as to where I am in my journey and why I’m SO happy I persisted this time…
*Thank you to Motherhood Maternity for sponsoring this post. I’m honored to work with them to celebrate this very important month.)
The NSale is FINALLY open to the public!! Unfortunately, I’m hearing that Nordstrom has announced they will NOT be restocking items as they have done in past years. (ANNOYING!) But the good news is, there is still a plethora of items that people haven’t been talking about as much, so they ARE in stock and they are AWESOME! Here are some I have purchased, I’m thinking of still purchasing or just really LUV:
It’s that time again… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! OK y’all… I wanted to have this up for you last night, but… life. I went to Nordstrom today with a 3-month old and 9-year-old in tow and went on a shopping marathon to bring to you my favorite picks from the sale. Go to my Instagram tonight and watch my stories (which I’ll save in a specific NSale Highlight reel) to see videos of my thoughts of sizing, etc. In the mean time, get shopping quickly (I’m already a little behind here for ya) because these items are selling out fast! Below are my thoughts, try-ons and picks… Let me know what you think and what treasures you decide to get yourself! xxoo
(Also, ignore typos. I’m typing this FAST.)
(Also, also… enjoy the unedited fitting room photos. You’ll notice they start with baby in stroller. Em playing ipad. Then both are gone bc Em is walking the baby around to try to get her to sleep. Then… (that didn’t work) they’re both just hanging out. I mean, this is real life here, people.)
Here it is… The LONG-AWAITED nursery reveal! I promise I wanted to have these photos posted to you months ago, but as you know (if you follow along) things kinda haven’t gone as planned through this pregnancy journey of mine. BUT… we won’t discuss that again. (Search through my old Insta posts if you’re confused what I’m talking about.)
Speaking of not going as planned, this Instagram post was originally sponsored by The Mine, A Lowes Company. The plan was obviously to link all of the items to their site (as they are my FAV one-stop-shop for all things home! And I’m NOT just saying that because I work with them… I LUV’d them long before they were a partner of mine!) Here you can see the original design I created for the nursery. Unfortunately, during the time lapse between when we ordered all of the furniture and now, The Mine is no longer a stand-alone company. Their parent company (Lowe’s) is now transitioning all of their brands to their one Website. Which is GREAT in terms of efficiency of shopping all the brands under one roof. AND Lowe’s is a company we all know and trust, so it’s an extra stamp of trustworthiness for people who already respect this brand. HOWEVER, the brands have not yet all been transitioned to the Lowe’s Website, so these items are not yet shoppable with them as of yet.
Having said all of that, they have been extremely understanding of wanting to get you guys shoppable links, whether with their brand or not, as we all understand you’ve been waiting on this reveal for far too long. So… for now… I’m linking all of these items for you wherever I could find them online. I also tried to find the items wherever they were the best price. If and when Lowe’s picks these items back up, I’ll DEFINITELY update you guys and give you some new links. I’d like to sincerely thank my partners at The Mine AND Lowes.com for working with me on this project and for all they did to help me find these items. (One example: the crib was on backorder FOREVER and they jumped through hoops to find one for me all the way around the world… and I LUV IT, so I’m super, super grateful!)
Lastly, I want to thank Bianca Merrell Photography for these GORGEOUS photos she captured of Dakota’s new room. This was my first time working with Bianca, but I promise you it won’t be my last. I’m OBSESSED with her light, bright photography skills and her style works perfectly with mine. If you’re in the Tampa Bay area, I HIGHLY recommend Bianca. Check out more of her work on her Instagram and Facebook.
If you’ve followed along, you know I was admitted to the hospital before I was scheduled to shoot my maternity photos. Well, actually, I was sick the week before being admitted into the hospital and was scheduled during that time to shoot the pics. So we had rescheduled for the week after, when I landed myself in for a long-term hospital stay. I’m so thankful to my good friend Kristin LaDriere Family Photography for coming to the hospital and shooting these pictures of me and my kids before it was too late. It was super important to me to have these photos taken with my kids before my surgery. These pictures will always hold a special place in my heart…
Also, thank you to Sew Trendy Accessories for providing these amazing dresses and flower crowns! They were just perfect…
(Edit: I wrote this post before an emergency that put me in the hospital at 31.5 weeks. I’m SO happy now that I had this bag prepared when my complications put me in the hospital without the ability to go home again. Having all of these comforts from home prepared and ready in a bag have made all the difference.)
You guys voted on my Instagram stories that you wanted me to share what’s in my hospital bag. While my situation definitely isn’t the norm, because of my placenta percreta, I’m sharing with you what I’M packing this go-round. With other pregnancies, some of the items may have looked a little differently, but here’s the breakdown of what’s in my bag with our third (and last) baby…
TOILETRIES: Pack the essentials that you’d want from home, in case you have a longer stay than expected. My first child I thought I’d be in and out, but after 39 hours of a labor to have a c-section, I ended up staying there much longer than I’d originally suspected. I ended up wanting my own shampoo and conditioner and all my fav toiletries from home. This time, I just packed some of the essentials I’d want and found these great, little inexpensive toiletry bags so it’s all in there organized and ready for me.
A BATHROBE, SLIPPERS AND COMFY (NURSING-FRIENDLY) SLEEPWEAR:
While a typical stay for labor & delivery would be around 1-3 days, I can’t anticipate how long I’ll be in the hospital this go-round. I’d say, with any pregnancy, I’d recommend bringing your own robe, slippers (with sturdy soles) and a nightgown or two of your own. Although some people may be comfortable staying in the hospital’s gowns the duration of their stay, (I did with my first pregnancy), I learned that after I’m able to be mobile again, I just want to be in my own comfy clothes. Especially when visitors are coming in and out. The hospital gowns have exposed backs, so there’s no moving around with guests in your room without your bootie hanging out! So, again, it’s personal preference. But my bag contains my own comfy robe, slippers, a couple nursing nightgowns, and a comfy lounging around outfit. (Make sure that your gowns are nursing friendly, if you plan to try to breastfeed. Meaning… the tops are easily accessible.) Below are some of the items I’ve purchased for my hospital bag and for comfy things to wear when I get home…
NURSING BRAS, POSTPARTUM UNDERWEAR, BELLY SHIELD:
If this is your first child, you won’t believe how enormous your breasts can become in what feels like “out of nowhere”. When your milk comes in, you’re going to want to make sure you have the right bras. You can either pack some sports bras that feel roomie enough to accommodate the new size or invest in some nursing/sleep bras. I like to have comfortable, soft fabric bras that area easily pulled down for nursing. I don’t like underwire or lots of clasps, so I just like to have comfy bras that can be used for nursing.
Something you also learn about when you have a baby are the BEAUTIFUL hospital post-partum underwear. Oh. My Gah! I HATE these things. Yes, they get the job done. And you don’t want to be wearing your own nice underwear bc they are likely to get ruined those first few days. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you soon will.) But this time, I purchased some post-partum underwear of my own on Amazon that were pretty affordable. I also purchased some other ones, that I like a little more, to wear in the weeks after when I get home. If you could have a c-section, or in my case, I’ll be having a c-section/hysterectomy with an incision all the way up my belly, keep in mind to look for underwear that are a soft, breathable material that won’t hurt being on your incision.
I also linked (in the carousel below) some post-partum belly bands. I used one after my son and it really helped me get back my shape. I started it as early as leaving the hospital, so you may want to consider either packing it or having it for shortly after you get home, if you’re going to consider using one.
If you do have a c-section, I found this great belly shield that is supposed to protect your incision from your clothing. I’ve never actually tried it, but thinking it might come in handy this go-round.
NURSING PAD/CREAM: As you’re getting the hang of nursing, there can be a lot of bumps in the road. It’s not often discussed how difficult the journey can be, but there’s lots of help out there to encourage you through the journey. Make sure to reach out to your hospital lactation consultant while you’re there for any questions/support. You can also find local consultants who will travel to your home when you get back after baby. I’ve heard this can be especially helpful, as they can point out the best places in your home to nurse, things to help make you more comfortable, and they’re there AFTER your milk has come in. (Because a lot of times this doesn’t fully happen until after you leave the hospital.) I’ve always used disposable pads, but I won’t lie… I’m not a huge fan. I have some disposable ones in my toiletry bag for the hospital, but I’ve also heard these ones are great, so thinking of giving them a try:
GLASSES AND EXTRA CONTACT LENSES/SOLUTION
A COUPLE PAIRS OF NON-SLID, COZY SOCKS
EXTRA PONYTAIL HOLDERS/BRUSH: I like my hair up and out of the way when I’m in the hospital.
PHONE CHARGER: I also recommend bringing an extra long phone cord, so that it reaches you from your hospital bed. Since I could be there a while, I ordered this one, in case I’m not very mobile (no pun intended).
PACIFIERS FOR BABY
BABY CLOTHES/SOCKS/SWADDLE BLANKETS/GOING HOME OUTFIT: Normally I would only pack a couple things, but again, because I don’t know how long I’ll be there or how long my baby will have to be there (she’s scheduled to be born at 34 weeks and 5 days), I have a little more than usual packed. I have several preemie sized onesies and footed jammies, several swaddle blankets, a “going-home” outfit and a couple things I might want to use to photograph her in while we’re at the hospital. I have this in preemie size for her to wear home. I also packed a couple cute headbands for her to wear with this and other items (for photos, of course). It’s super soft and comfy and comes in several colors. It also comes in a footed onesie version. Here are some of the items I have in my bag and some other thing I LUV:
COMFORTABLE GOING HOME OUTFIT: Again, think comfort. I plan to wear a loose-fitting top and comfy pants (with a comfortable waistband) home from the hospital. You could also consider a maxi dress or loose dress. Whatever you choose, I’d choose something loose and comfortable.) See the carousel I posted above (for robes/slippers/sleepwear). I posted a pair of comfy pants and a couple t-shirts. I’ve packed the blouse in the first photo below with these comfy lounge pants and easy slide-on sandals.
DON’T FORGET TO BRING BABY’S CAR SEAT: Finally, don’t forget to have baby’s car seat ready for going home. Hospitals will make sure they check the baby in the seat and make sure it covers all safety standards before they let you go home. We always have the car seat base setup and ready in the car when we know we’re close to baby’s due date. You’ll bring the actual seat in the hospital with you the day you’re ready to take baby home. Our car seat/stroller:
Everyone’s idea of what they consider necessary for a hospital stay can be different. I’ve just learned I like to have the comforts of home, and being prepared makes the experience much less stressful. This is simply what I’ve decided to pack, and I hope it helps give you a little direction when packing your own bag. Whatever you pack, my heart is with you as you prepare for the most exciting journey of your life… All my LUV…
Tell me in the comments below what else you pack and anything else you’ve learned with your hospital experiences. Feel free to ask questions, too!
For more on baby gear I have ready when me and baby come home, see this post:
So, as a third-time Mom, I’ve learned through experience to sort through the items you actually need and those that you don’t. And then I’ve been able to decide what luxuries are MY must-haves. (Cute baby accessories, obviously.) I’ve learned what I like in a carseat and stroller, and what is unbearable. I’ve learned what are luxuries and what are necessities. Having said all that, things on one’s list will definitely vary from family to family, based on your lifestyle, budget and your baby’s personal needs. Here I’m breaking down for you the items I’ve purchased (or received, from the companies I’ve collaborated with) for our baby #3, what I think you NEED and the fun stuff I just LUV to have. I’ve broken down for you what I think about these items and why:
CAR SEAT & STROLLER: This is obviously the most important purchase and should be at the top of your list. Unless you never plan to get in a car, it’s something that you have to have, so obviously it’s at the top of my list. With our first child, we purchased the car seat based solely on safety ratings. It was ranked the #1 car seat on the market in safety ratings, but we quickly learned it was extremely heavy! Having had a c-section, I had a really hard time getting from place to place holding the baby in the seat (which you do pretty much everywhere you go in the beginning). This time around, I took several things into consideration…
I actually went to the store to check out/test out some car seats and strollers, and went with a specific brand in mind that I had researched extensively and thought I would get this go-round. I even was offered a collaboration with the brand, so I would have been able to have this stroller and car seat at no cost. However, when I got to the store, I discovered the stroller and car seat we ultimately ended up purchasing. Yes, we gave up a free $1,000+ set to purchase one, because I liked these ones I found SO much!
I remembered how hard it was to carry the heavy car seat I had with my daughter. (We even ended up buying a cheaper car seat for my son just so we didn’t have to lug that heavy one around again.) So THIS ONE I recently found appealed to me majorly, because one of it’s greatest highlights is that it’s the lightest weight rear-facing car seat on the market at just over 5 lbs. I’m telling y’all… it’s LIGHT! Knowing I’m going to be having extensive surgery this delivery, I was pretty much sold at that, but the amazing safety ratings were enough to sell me site on scene. Bonus, it’s not chemically-treated and it comes with certified organic cotton inserts.
THE STROLLER glides like an ice skate. The all-terrain wheels and all-wheel suspension make it a super smooth ride, in comparison to all of the other strollers on the market I’ve pushed. But one thing that has proved to be SUPER important to me in a stroller is storage space! I like to shop! (I know, shocker.) So it has to be able to hold a significant amount of shopping bags and my diaper bag. And it needs to be able to hold extra bags and souveniers, etc. for when our family of 5 is at Disney World, Busch Gardens or the other parks we frequent. Because the honest truth is, a stroller isn’t always just for pushing a baby… it’s for holding all of our stuff too! So I LUV how accessible and open the storage compartment is. The adjustable-height vegan leather handle makes it feel like the Cadillac of strollers, as far as quality is concerned, and it’s helpful for my husband, who is the one to push the stroller a lot.
On top of all of that, it’s like-flat reclinable. (If you’re a new mom, this is A MUST!). The UPF50+ canopy folds SO far over the seat that it makes for perfect dark napping and great sun protection when outside for long periods of time. (I live in Florida, so this is crucial.) There’s also a large, mesh peekaboo window on the top of the canopy so the air circulation is great, and you can see in to check on baby. OH!!! I also LUV that it has the cool little pocket on the back for your keys/phone, etc. so those things are easily accessible. There are even more features, but the last I’ll say is this… above and beyond all of this, it’s sleek and stylish. Total function with stylish appeal. Want to know more about it…? Read the reviews from users themselves… they’re all awesome…
2. HALO BASSINET SWIVEL SLEEPER: So, with our other 2 kids, we had a traditional cradle by our bed that we’d use the first few months after bringing them home. Again, having had c-sections, it wasn’t very convenient. I always wanted the baby right by me in the beginning, so I could easily look over and check on them… (You know that constant “are you breathing?” check we do over and over, in the beginning?!) So, I’d put the cradle right by me where I could see them easily. But because of my c-section incision, it was really hard in the beginning to get up and down and to bend over to get the baby in and out. It was also hard to get in and out of the bed with the cradle right up against the side of my bed. So, when I had to get up in the night to get baby supplies, go to the bathroom, etc., I had to do the awkward scooch all the way down the bed to get out of the way of the cradle without waking baby, WITH the abdominal pain from my surgery. It was just never convenient.
One of the main selling features of the Halo is that it can be right up against the side of your bed, but the bassinet can swivel a full 360 degrees so you can get in and out of your bed easily, without having to move anything, or scooch to the end of the bed. The other main selling point for me is the retractable sidewall that lowers. So, with major surgery, I can pull the baby right up next to me, pull down the sidewall, and easily get her out to feed in the night, without even having to get up. THAT, FOR ME, was 100% the selling point. I’ve never wanted to fully cosleep. But I do LUV that this has the benefits of cosleeping, having baby right next to you, without actually having to share the bed.
One con people have mentioned in reviews is that the base of the Halo is heavy, so it’s not easy to move it room to room. However, they’ve added a new option, where you can remove the bassinet from the base and get an extra, easily mobile base to attach the bassinet to, so you can use the Halo in any area. This feature makes it easy for travel and being on-the-go, too. I know, with this delivery, I’m going to require help from loved ones after baby comes. I LUV that this new feature makes her sleeping quarters easily movable. It also has a nice little storage caddy you can put on the side for diapers, etc. Another convenient feature that lets you stay put in bed more often. (Believe me, in the beginning, this is clutch.)
3. DOCKATOT: One item that didn’t exist when I had my other babies, but I’ve been told is the holy grail of baby gear these days, is the portable sleeping station called the Dockatot. OK… so when we brought home BOTH of our babies, we had issues with them not wanting to sleep in a big, open sleeper. If you think about it, babies are used to being fit snug inside your tiny womb and wrapped into their own little ball. Enter world… their arms and legs are out in the open and they’re supposed to sleep in this (to them) big, huge bed. So with our other babies, we’d either put them in the car seat to sleep and put that right in the cradle, or their portable swing chair, or anything that made them feel more nestled and not so wide open.
The Dockatot is created to feel like a comfy little nest, that keeps baby feeling snug all night long. Added bonus, I’ve been told it fits perfectly inside the Halo Sleeper. So, I’m hoping I can use it right in there. Say baby falls asleep on the sofa next to you, in the Dockatot. You can easily bring her in the Dockatot to the Halo/crib/etc. and put her down for sleep where you want her located for bedtime. It’s also ultra-portable and great for travel. AND… best part… when you’re ready to transition baby from sleeper to crib, you can use the Dockatot in the crib too, so they still feel equally as snug in the now even bigger bed.
Dockatot has also added an awesome bonus feature where you can add a toy arch with removable toys to the top of the station for baby play. So, if you’re trying to narrow down how many items you have to purchase, this serves as a playmat too. Kills two birds with one stone, so to speak.
4. DIAPER BAG: Obviously you’ll need a bag to bring around with all of baby’s necessities. One option I ABSOLUTELY LUV is using this diaper bag organizer. It comes in 2 sizes and can be used in your favorite tote that you already own, and keeps everything organized and compartmentalized perfectly. I plan to use the large version in my LV Neverfull and also ordered the smaller version for other bags I may use day to day. Some other options for diaper bags I think are super cute:
5. ROCKER: I’ve heard mixed reviews from different moms on whether or not their kids liked to swing. I, for one, can say BOTH of my kids LUV’d to swing! The swing was a Godsend when I needed to get things done or just needed to be hands free a little. (Note: Babies LUV to be held!). The Fisher Price Rock N’ Play didn’t exist when I had my other kids but I will say other moms have RAVED about this item! It can function as a sleeper (kind of like the Halo I spoke of above) AND has a soothing rocking/vibrating feature, so can be used for this as well. I am still unsure if I’ll use this, however, because of having the Halo for sleeping and also having received the 4Moms Rockaroo Infant Swing off my registry (also heard good things), but I’ll keep you updated on this.
I will say… since it’s been a while since we had our last child, I asked publicly on my Facebook what baby items my friends thought were the must-haves of today… and the 2 top products mentioned were the Dockatot and the FP Rock N’ Play.
OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER:
Swaddles: I’ve been told that Ollie Swaddles and Halo Sleeper Swaddles are the best, so I’ve ordered both. The Ollie Swaddles make great gifts because they come in the most adorable little boxes. They’re SUPER soft and have great reviews. Don’t believe me? Google them.
I also have an assortment of muslin fabric swaddle blankets. I say you can’t have enough of these because you use them all day for wrapping baby, burping baby, covering baby, etc. So… swaddles… necessity.
Cart Hammock: Ok, so this isn’t a NECESSITY! lol But if you follow my Instagram stories, you heard me talk about the Binxie Baby Hammock. One day (when we were TTC) I saw a baby in Target chilling in her little baby hammock, while her mom sipped her Starbucks and perused the aisles of every mom’s favorite store. Let me tell you… this baby was HAP-PY! So, bottom line.. I knew if/when we were to get pregnant, I was getting a baby hammock.
Clothes, Accessories, Blankets: The most fun part… wearables. There are tons of adorable onesies, gowns, accessories, shoes, etc. that I could speak of for far too long. But for now I’ll just link some of my favs below and will continue to post them on my Instagram as I get to dress my little doll. So stay tuned…
Some of the Fav Wearables, Blankets, Accessories:
To summarize, below are clickable photos (will take you directly to shoppable links) of my baby gear favorites and must-haves:
I’ll continue to update you after baby, as I’ve actually been able to use each of these items. So stay tuned to my Insta and other social channels! If you have any questions or opinions on any of the items I’ve mentioned, I’d LUV it if you’d comment on this post! Thanks for sharing this journey with me. I can’t wait to get to the other side of this difficult journey I’ve been on and just be able to enjoy the fun stuff and snuggle my little angel. Can’t wait to introduce you…
*Some items in this post have been sponsored or gifted, and affiliate links have been used with most of the items I have linked. This means I receive a commission if you purchase items at my recommendation. This did not influence my decision to pick the items I’ve mentioned, as I hand-selected what I wanted to use and endorse. Thanks, as always, for your support.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! I’ve scoured some of my favorite stores and gathered some gorgeous looks for all budgets! Whether you’re looking for maternity or non-maternity, I’ve got you covered…
My dress is on sale for $22!!! I mean, come on… you don’t get much better than that. I actually wore it to my husband’s Christmas party, and I got so many compliments on it. But it’s just perfect for Valentine’s day too! It hugs (and covers) all the right places. But hurry, because things sell quickly once they go on sale here! Oh, and I also sign up each year for their 2-day shipping program. I pay $19 a month and get 2-day shipping (and free returns) on all of my orders for the year. And let me tell you, I use it all the time!
My shoes are definitely a splurge. They were a birthday gift from my husband a couple years ago, but they’re still my favorite pair I own. They’re a splurge definitely worth making IMO… perfect gift to ask for this Valentine’s Day! My bag is not currently available in white, but it is on sale for under $100 in this awesome neutral color. (Click on the blue hyperlinks to take you to the links.)
Here are some other great options to consider…
Valentine’s Day outfits:
Happy Shopping & Happy Valentine’s Day, luvs!
*Affiliate links are used in this post, which means I get a commission if you purchase any of the items at my recommendation. Thanks, as always, for our support.