Friday Faves

Friday Favorites 2.3.17

We are doin’ the Friday dance around here! It’s been a LOOOONG week for us & I can’t even begin to explain how happy I am that it’s FriYAY. Here are some things that I’ve been loving this week..

I have been LOVING this moisturizer & this CC cream that my makeup artist bestie recommended. I told her I need to achieve a “put together” look in about 10-15 minutes. Mission accomplished!

Are you following @kalejunkie on Instagram? If not, you should be! I LOVE her healthy recipes, product recommendations & the inspiration she sends my way.

I started doing Orangetheory workouts a few weeks ago and it has quickly become one of my favorite workouts! I love the mix of cardio and weight training.. and I never find myself checking the clock to see how much time is left. The classes fly by!

I’ve been on the hunt for some cute small boutique baby shops lately because we love supporting small businesses in this house! In the meantime, I came across these leggings from Zara & just had to order them for Henry.

This week has truly been a whirlwind (I’ll elaborate soon) and I’m so ready to get my weekend on!

Friday Faves

Friday Favorites 1.27.17

WOOHOO it’s Friday! I LOVE the feeling of Friday. It’s just a cheerful day that always deserves some celebrating (too early for a glass of wine?). This weekend will be spent with friends & family and I’m excited for a relaxed couple of days with no crazy schedules! My favorite finds of the week are..

Henry is going to look SO CUTE in this outfit this summer! Who knew that dressing baby boys could be just as fun (maybe more 😉) as girls?! I shop for H way more than I shop for myself.

This mint + cacao smoothie blend from Daily Harvest. A good smoothie can really hit the spot – especially since it’s always a thousand degrees here in South Florida. Daily Harvest ships smoothie blends right to your door & all you have to do is add liquid and blend! Daily Harvest was nice enough to offer my readers three free smoothies delivered to your door, just use code MILESANDMIMOSAS.

These adidas sneakers have quickly become a staple item in my new mama wardrobe. They can be styled so many different ways and I love a versatile pair of shoes!

I have loved this activated charcoal mask for quite some time and didn’t use it while I was pregnant (just out of precaution). I found it in my drawer the other day and got SO excited! I’ll be using it this weekend.. and maybe I’ll get some time in the tub, too! Hopeful thinking.

If you’re a South Florida local, you NEED to try Bolay! They have a new location (opens TODAY!) in my hometown, Boca Raton, and it is delicious! I find that there aren’t enough quick & healthy options around – and now I have a new go-to. I love the concept of making my own bowl and their ahi tuna is so flavorful!

Have a great weekend, babes!

Eat Clean in 2017 - Get 3 FREE meals


newborn-three-months-image
Pregnancy + Baby

Henry’s 3 Month Update!

Henry has officially graduated from the “fourth trimester.” If you’re a new mama, you know exactly what the fourth trimester is all about – am I right?! For those of you who have never heard the term (or just thought it was a cute play on words), the fourth trimester is the first three months of your babe’s life when they are adjusting to the great big world around them. It’s the period of time when they need to be swaddled, feel the warmth of your body and are figuring out the whole day/night thing (more on that later). While time is flying by WAYYYY too fast, I’m so happy with where we are now and how much Henry has grown in the last few months. Here are our updates:

Stats:

Weighing in at 15 lbs & 24 inches
Sleeping 10 hours at night

New skills:

Big happy smiles, rolling from tummy to back, grabbing (ouch!) and making lots of new (baby dinosaur-like😆) sounds!

Loving:

Mornings, this Jumperoo (on sale!), drying off after the bath, this super soft & cozy swaddle (this company gives a swaddle to a child in need with every purchase!) for naps, the Noggin Stick, chatting it up with Mama, seeing Dad come home from work, spending time with the Grandparents & two Aunts and of course.. MILK!

Hating:

The carseat, being tired & overstimulated. Did I mention the carseat? 😐

Looking Forward To:

Our new Mommy & Me classes, the possibility of introducing solids in the next few months, more adventures out & about, planning our first family vacation & hopefully some big baby belly laughs!

We’ve come to learn and realize a lot about our baby in such a short period of time. It’s crazy to see how these tiny humans have preferences already, as well as strong likes and dislikes. Henry takes his longest naps when we’re out and about.. the louder the better! He knows when it’s not his Dad giving him his last feeding before bed & lets you know he knows. Henry is learning his routine just like we are. He yawns the minute I put him into his nighttime bath, every time! He’s not just a sleep-all-day newborn anymore.

I’m really trying to soak up every moment. Every time he falls asleep on my shoulder, I never want him to let go. And when he smiles, I just want to forever engrain that image in my mind. This, for me, is the hardest part of mamahood – trying to freeze time, moments and feelings. As much as I can’t wait to see the boy & man he will become, I want his little baby self to stay forever too. On that note, cheers to the next month!

If you guys have any questions about our new parenthood life, please leave them below!

South Florida Foodies

My Fresh Market Shopping List

If you’ve never shopped at a Fresh Market before, you are WAY overdue and totally missing out! Where I live, in Boca Raton, FL, we now have THREE locations to choose from. I’ve always been a huge fan of this supermarket specialty chain and am so excited to welcome yet another even bigger and better store to do my shopping in. My new favorite Fresh Market location offers more fresh, delicious food, an increased selection of local products, health-conscious items and everyday grocery favorites. What more could a girl ask for? Below I’m listing some of my favorite products that I buy from The Fresh Market.

Blooms & Bouquets:
I LOVE fresh flowers in the house. While hubs does a good job at bringing them home, I sometimes can’t help but pick up a beautiful bouquet every time I pass the gorgeous flowers at Fresh Market. Whether you’re looking for something romantic & classic or something wild & exotic, TFM has it all.

Hummus Heaven:
The Fresh Market’s hummus game is STRONG. Row after row, and shelf after shelf, they pretty much have every flavor you could ever possibly imagine! My favorites are Hope Foods Jalapeno Cilantro & Eat Well Embrace Life’s Tuscan White Bean Hummus.

hope-foods-hummus

Cheese Please:
I appreciate a good gourmet cheese selection. Whenever I entertain, I always have a cheese & charcuterie platter and love experimenting with new cheeses. The Fresh Market offers domestic & imported cheeses that even the biggest cheese snob would approve!

Dough(nt) You Want Some?:
The best park of baking cookies? The dough, duh! But it’s just not safe. Thank goodness for The Cookie Dough Cafe! I haven’t seen this item at any other grocery store and may or may not make a trip just for a jar of this stuff. They have a few different flavors available and my favorite is Cookies & Cream!

edible-cookie-dough-image

Olive You Lots:
As I mentioned above, I love making an impressive appetizer spread when I have guests. Cheese, meats, hummus, the whole nine yards! And what would a spread like that be without a big bowl of fresh delicious olives?! The Fresh Market has a great olive & antipasto bar where you can find all the fixins’!

With that being said, now I’ve got a hankering for olives & cheese! What are some of your favorite items from The Fresh Market?

*This post was sponsored by The Fresh Market.

Friday Faves

Friday Favorites 1.20.17

Happy Friday!

One of my goals for 2017 is to get back to blogging more regularly. Not only do I love writing and sharing what’s on my mind and what I believe in, but it’s very therapeutic! With that being said, I’ve decided to introduce something new called “Friday Favorites,” which will allow me to share recipes, products, blogs and really just anything that I find across the web or around town that interests me (and hopefully YOU)! This will also hold me accountable to blogging on the reg since hopefully you guys will be looking forward to that Friday post. 💁🏻 So without further ado, here is the first of many “Friday Favorites!” 🎉

*Friday Favorites will never be a sponsored post. All of the opinions below are my own.

Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s One Pan Healthy Sausage & Veggies:
I came across this recipe recently on Pinterest and immediately ran to Whole Foods to get the ingredients. I LOVE Bilinski’s organic chicken sausage line and needed a new easy recipe that would last a few days in the fridge (because #momlife). You can mix up the veggies in this recipe as well as the type of sausage you use, making it super versatile and never boring.

M Loves M:
I don’t even remember how I found Mara’s blog, M Loves M, but I’m so glad I did! Not only is she another new mama (to the cutest little guy!), but her style alone is worthy of subscribing.

Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookies:
When I found out that Henry couldn’t tolerate dairy that well, I had to make some dietary changes. Giving up dairy was tough, but I have done it in the past so I knew I could handle it. Simple Mills makes it so much easier! I am SO IN LOVE with their vegan chocolate chip cookie mix. I love adding cinnamon for an extra element of flavor.

Spiritual Gangster:
I love this brand! I find myself browsing their “shop” section probably too often. Lately, I’ve had my eye on this sweater.

Henry’s Friday Fave:
How could I write this post without including one of H’s faves of the week?! We all know how often our little one’s tastes change. Lately he’s been LOVING this rattle. I don’t get the allure – but it keeps his attention during tummy time! It came highly recommended and now I’m passing along the recommendation. ☺️

Thanks for following along, friends! Stay tuned for next week’s finds.

 

baby-sleep-schedule-image
Pregnancy + Baby

How Is He Sleeping?

That’s one of the most popular questions asked when you have a newborn at home. Everyone knows, whether a veteran mama or someone who’s only seen a diaper in a TV commercial, that a newborn baby doesn’t allow their parents much sleep in those first few months. However, I was determined for all of us to get a good night’s sleep. I thrive on routine, schedules and to-do lists. And while parenthood has taught me that things definitely don’t always (maybe “rarely” is a better word 😂) go as planned, I set out right away to get Henry on some type of schedule that shortly became our “new normal.” So when friends ask me, “How’s Henry sleeping?” I can answer them bright eyed and bushy tailed with “like a champ!” How did we do it? Keep reading to find out! 👇🏻

When I was pregnant, I was quite the bookworm (I am in general, actually). I was particularly drawn to the book “Baby Wise” and what they had to say about getting your baby to sleep through the night, especially the part where it said it would happen sooner than later! Babies, like myself, also thrive on routine and begin to learn “what happens next” in their day. That was music to my ears. Soon enough, I began implementing the Baby Wise principles paired with the “Moms On Call” schedule and Henry started sleeping ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Yes mamas, it CAN happen! For us, it’s all about our day & night routines which look like this:

**This routine/schedule worked for us but obviously might not work for every baby. I would recommend reading Baby Wise and Moms on Call for more information and tips! If you are a family with an unpredictable nighttime schedule (ie out until different times every night), this won’t work for you.

6:30-7am: Henry wakes up (like clockwork) & has his first feeding of the day. We let light into his room and change his clothes so he knows it’s not nighttime any longer.

8/8:15am: Henry hangs with Dad before he goes to work while I get ready for my day with him. So when hubs leaves for the day around 8-8:15, I take Henry on a stroll in the Baby Bjorn. We do this EVERY morning and I love seeing how much more aware Henry is of his surroundings as the days go by. He will typically take a cat nap between his first and second feedings of the day.

9:30am: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime. We do tummy time, read a book, practice rolling over, etc. If I have errands to run, I typically do them around this time with him and he will nap in the carseat/stroller.

12:30pm: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime.

3:30pm: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime. Usually after this feeding we hang in the nursery for a little bit and read & listen to music or he will watch me put away his clothes.

6:30pm: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime. Naptime is often shorter during this period. We start dimming the lights around the house at this time of day so Henry knows it’s not party time any longer!

8:30pm: This is when we begin our “nighttime routine.” At 8:30pm sharp, I start his bath. While the bath is filling, hubby hangs with Henry and I set out his pjs and clothes for the following day with their respective diapers (use an overnight diaper at night! That is KEY!), get the bottle ready (Dad feeds Henry before bed with a bottle) and get the swaddle in place & ready to go. Once the bath is all set, I bathe H for about 10-15 minutes and keep the atmosphere calm & relaxed (low voice and no excessive excitement). He starts yawning in the tub – it’s too cute!

After the bath, I get him diapered and dressed in his pjs. I turn down the lights, turn on the sound machine and the ceiling projector, and Dad knows that’s his cue. Henry gets swaddled in his Halo SleepSack (arms free) and fed while listening to lullabies (around 9-9:15pm). When all is said and done, our sleepy baby gets tucked into his DockATot (SO NECESSARY) and settles himself to sleep.

This routine has worked for us since Henry was between 5 & 6 weeks old. The first few nights we tried this consistently and had our DockATot, he gave us 6 hour stretches. So we knew we were on to something! We stuck with it and soon enough he started skipping that 3am waking time. The first time he slept until 6am we were SO HAPPY (and kinda worried – but the pediatrician reassured us this was okay based on his weight/age!). The important thing to do is keep the morning and nighttime feedings around the same time every day. So if H wakes up at 6:30 OR 7am, he still eats again at 9:30. Depending on the day, sometimes this schedule will fluctuate by a half hour — but I haven’t let it change much more than that. Soon enough, H should be transitioning to go even longer between his feedings and sleeping even longer at night. I’ll keep you updated if anything changes!

baby-boy-nursery-image
Pregnancy + Baby

Henry’s Nursery

One of my absolute favorite pregnancy pastimes was decorating Henry’s nursery and all the research and planning that went along with it. I spent countless hours on Pinterest, Instagram and blogs searching for inspiration and the perfect look for my little babe. When I found out we were having a baby boy, I immediately knew I didn’t want a typical blue or ‘boy themed’ nursery and felt more drawn to a neutral color palette. And let’s be honest, mom spends the most time looking at and enjoying the nursery that first year during all those late night feedings and diaper changes! When Henry is a bit older, he can have his Star Wars or football themed room – but for now, it’s everything mama wanted!

When I first got pregnant, I saw these little animal planters from Anthropologie on Pinterest and fell in love. These were the inspiration item that the entire nursery would be designed around. For me, that’s always how it happens. I find one item and work around it (which can prove extremely difficult sometimes!). Shortly after finding out we were having a “he,” I ordered the planters and the rest just fell into place little by little. The colors we chose were mint green, white, and gray with wood & safari animal accents and an overall mid-century modern feel. When all was said and done, I was so happy with the result — a calming & airy space that I enjoy spending time in with my little love. I’ve linked everything below if you happen to love it just as much as I do!

nursery-reveal-image

henry-104
Henry's Nursery

Henry's Nursery

henry-100

henry-110

henry-031

Henry's Nursery

Dresser | West Elm

Crib | Pottery Barn Kids

Rug | Target

Giraffe | Melissa & Doug

Rocker | Buy Buy Baby

Hex Shelves | Etsy

Animal Prints | Etsy

Nursing Stool | Amazon

If you have questions about any of the other items, feel free to leave a comment below!

 

Pregnancy + Baby

Top Newborn Must-Haves

Being a new mama is so many things – exciting, amazing, emotional, terrifying and overwhelming just to name a few of these new feelings. All of a sudden your mind becomes consumed by this tiny human that never existed before – and I’ve heard that that never goes away! I’m always wondering if I’m doing what’s best for Henry with every decision and I think I’ll do that for the rest of my days. When I was pregnant, I read so many articles and blog posts on the quest for the best products for new moms and newborns, but I never really felt like one single post had everything I was looking for. So now that I have (a little) experience under my belt and somewhat of a routine in our newly adjusted household, I figured this was the best time to share what products and gadgets are working for our little family!

newborn-must-haves-image

1. DockATot Deluxe:

I had seen this product on Instagram and around the internet long before Henry arrived but really couldn’t justify spending almost $200 on a “pillow.” But when Henry arrived and I realized just how precious sleep was, I quickly changed my mind! So when Cyber Monday rolled around, I bit the bullet and ordered our first DockATot. Let me tell you, this thing is a lifesaver and not just a “pillow!” The first night we used it, our little babe slept SEVEN hours straight at just 6 weeks old. I’m a believer!

2. Baby Bjorn Bouncer:

For Henry’s first five weeks of life, this chair sat in the corner collecting dust. Until one day, not even the Mamaroo could make the little dude happy, so we had to try something new. We pulled out the Baby Bjorn chair and it has quickly become our household favorite! While Henry can’t bounce it himself yet and we do have to sit there and bounce it for him, he absolutely loves it and is so peaceful when he’s bouncing away. When he has better head/neck control, he’ll be able to bounce it on his own. In the meantime, it’s a mini workout for mom & dad.

3. White Noise Machine:

Who knew that babies loved sleeping to such weird sounds like white noise and vacuum cleaners?! From the very beginning, after reading books like Moms on Call and the like, we knew we would need some type of sound machine. Not only does it comfort our baby, but it also drowns out any noise we might be making in the other room (ie a clumsy mama in the kitchen!). We use this one and it hasn’t let us (or Henry) down, but there are a ton out there.

4. Halo SleepSack Swaddles:

We all know how important it is to swaddle our babies when they’re born – it keeps them cozy and reminds them of their first home in our bellies where they had tight quarters to say the least. However, during those middle of the night feedings when you’re a total mombie, it can be tough to swaddle a flailing baby well. So whoever invented the Halo SleepSack, I thank you. You put your babe in and pull their arms through the openings, zip it up, and then use the velcro panels to swaddle your little one tight.

5. Audio Only Monitor:

Of course we purchased the fancy video monitor before our baby arrived just like everyone told us to. But what they didn’t mention was that if you use a white noise machine, either you have to listen to said white noise ALL NIGHT LONG while you’re trying to sleep or risk not hearing your little one cry by turning the volume down too much. After some research, my husband found this VTech audio monitor that allows you to change the sound sensitivity so that it will only alert you when your baby is crying and completely drowns out your sound machine! Genius! So now we can see him on the video monitor and hear him on the audio monitor.

6. 4moms Tub:

The 4moms baby tub takes all the guess work out of determining whether your baby’s bath water is too hot or too chilly because it comes with a built in thermometer! It’s a little on the large side, so we use it in the regular bathtub where it fits perfectly. We purchased this insert to go inside so it’s a bit more comfortable for him and it helps prop him up a bit more while he’s still small.

7. Moms on Call:

If you’re like me, you thrive on routine. Getting my baby on a schedule was always a priority to me and I knew this long before I ever experienced my first 4am feeding. While Henry was napping one day, I downloaded this book to my iPad and started researching how to best get him on a schedule. This book, which relies on a beginning and end of the day set feeding time, combined with our new DockATot has really improved our sleep around here! Another helpful book is Baby Wise – whichever one works best for your family.

Some other tips I’ve found very useful:

Sleep ‘gowns’ are amazing. While the zip up pajamas and onesies are great and cute, the bottomless gowns are the best during those late night diaper changes when you don’t have to deal with zippers and snaps in the dark.

Don’t waste your money on a bottle sterilizer. Whether your significant other is helping out with feedings with your expressed milk or you’re formula feeding (or both!), you can simply use a large bowl and fill it with hot soapy water to clean your bottles. These sterilizer bags are also great and each bag can be used to to 20 times in the microwave.

You can’t have too many burp cloths.

Always have the next size diaper on hand. They grow out of that newborn size quickly! Our little guy is already bordering size two.

I’ve been peed on a handful of times already. Always cover your babe’s “spout” if you have a boy on your hands! Of course, it has happened twice in public. While many people said Peepee Teepees are a waste, I’ve found them helpful for this particular reason.

Keep late night feedings boring for your baby. Keep the lights dim (or off if you can), don’t change their diaper unless necessary (and use nighttime diapers that last longer!), don’t chat them up, etc. That way, they won’t be too riled and will hopefully fall back to sleep easily. If I have to change the diaper, I swaddle him right after instead of waiting until I put him back in the crib. Sometimes just swaddling him will wake him a bit and doing it ahead of time makes the transition from feeding to bedtime easier.

If you’re pumping, order extra pump parts! It’s so helpful to not have to continuously wash the parts. You can also keep them in the fridge and reuse them a couple times without washing them. I have a set for daytime and a set for nighttime. Anything that saves time is worth the investment.

Go for walks. During those first few months when you can’t tote your baby around Target, walks are a lifesaver. Not only will you get some fresh air and exercise, but your baby will enjoy it (or nap) too.

When friends, family and neighbors offer help, take it! We need it! If grandma offers to babysit for an hour just so you can get out and run an errand or hit your local Starbucks, do it. As much as you don’t want to leave your little one, a happy mom equals a happy baby. And cabin fever does NOT equal a happy mama!

I’ll be doing a post soon on my favorite new mama must-haves! Stay tuned.

Pregnancy + Baby

Henry Jax

Henry Jax

Henry Jax Ginzler // October 24th, 2016 // 8 lbs. 11 oz & 22 inches long

henry-121

I’ve gone back and forth many times about sharing our Henry Jax’s birth story (obviously – it’s been six weeks!). It’s something that of course is very personal to me and our families. At the same time, however, I remember reading other women’s birth stories while I was pregnant and feeling more at ease afterwards. Birth is truly a miracle. It’s scary, strenuous, exciting and beautiful all at once. The unknown is always terrifying and thrilling and since each birth is an ‘unknown’ per se, you never know what to expect ultimately.

The Friday before my due date, I had my weekly OB appointment. At that point, I was over being pregnant. I was swollen, tired and just downright uncomfortable. Not to mention I had about two shirts left that fit me and was about to move on to my husband’s closet. During my appointment, my doctor informed me I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced – which was great.. but still could’ve meant that I would be pregnant for another week or so. She asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes and I happily obliged. She said if I didn’t go into labor on my own over the weekend, she could induce me on Sunday night. I really wanted my doctor to deliver Henry (I’ve been seeing her for years), and in a group practice it’s whoever is on call that will deliver your baby. My doctor was on call Sunday night and then not again for another two weeks.  Since I was just about 40 weeks at that point and really didn’t want to go too far past my due date, I decided to go with it.

Right after I left, it hit me. I called my husband in (happy) tears that we would finally be meeting our baby boy so soon and it was officially our last weekend as a party of two. We went out with friends that weekend, had our last date night alone for awhile, and tried EVERYTHING (our parents read this so I won’t expand on what ‘everything’ means ha!) to go into labor naturally. Of course, I didn’t go into labor. I overanalyzed every little feeling wondering if it could be a contraction or whatnot (which I’ve learned since then, you’ll KNOW if it’s a contraction). The only progression I had that weekend was losing my mucous plug – which is gross FYI. So, at 8pm on Sunday night, we drove to the hospital to begin my induction.

After getting checked into our labor room, getting settled, and seeing my doctor, she decided to break my water rather than start me on Pitocin to see if I could labor to 10cm on my own. There was meconium in my water, so we already knew right off the bat that Henry would be see by a perinatologist before I could hold him. VERY soon after breaking my water (which isn’t painful at all) the contractions began. I tried walking down the halls to keep progressing, but after two laps I couldn’t do it any longer. At that point, I asked for an epidural because the pain was unbearable for me (I was 5cm dilated). Contractions are zero fun and the epidural was truly a lifesaver. The procedure was easy and painless and I realized I had been worried about that for nothing. Afterwards, I didn’t feel a single other contraction for the rest of my labor.

What seemed like forever later, around 12-13 hours and on Henry’s actual due date, I finally progressed to 10cm all on my own. However, my contractions weren’t strong enough to push Henry’s head far enough into my pelvis to be able to begin pushing and he wasn’t in an ideal position, so my doctor wanted to give me a smidge of Pitocin and try switching up my position in bed to see it that would help get him moving. More time went by and my team decided it was time to try pushing. Let me tell you, pushing ain’t easy! The position for pushing a baby out is like doing a crunch on steroids and super taxing mentally and physically.

Needless to say, Henry wasn’t budging after an hour of pushing. At this point, my OB informed me that his heart rate was dropping with each push, and she couldn’t foresee him coming out anytime soon. We had to make a tough decision. Keep trying with a lot of risks or head into surgery for an emergency c-section. I never planned on or wanted a c-section. I never even read the part of all the baby books that talked about c-sections. It was never ever part of my “birth plan.” But, like everything else in life, you can plan all you want but that doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll get. So, we headed into the OR after 15 hours of labor.

The surgery itself was relatively quick (even though it didn’t feel like it in the moment) and the team working with me was incredible. The anesthesiologist was amazing and always checking to make sure I was feeling ok (since he was up by my head). My husband was able to stay with me the entire time and he watched the entire procedure. Henry was a big baby and literally stuck in my pelvis (I have a small frame!) – that was scary. Hearing what was going on with the doctor, midwife and nurse trying to push him back through my pelvis brought me to tears, again. I was nervous, scared and terrified. I hated not being able to see or control what was happening. After what felt like ages (but was really only minutes), I heard a baby’s cry and knew everything was okay. Henry Jax, our beautiful and healthy baby boy, was finally with us and that’s all that mattered right then. My husband went to be with Henry right away and was able to cut the cord while I was being sewn up. Afterwards, they brought Henry to me to hold and I just couldn’t believe we made him and that he was ours! After a few minutes, I began shaking uncontrollably from the anesthesia (ugh!) and had to give him back until I was in the recovery room.

Once in the recovery room, I was reunited with my little man and able to snuggle him, begin the breastfeeding journey (more on that later), and spend some one-on-one time with my hubby and newest family member. After an hour or so, we introduced Henry to his grandparents and two proud aunts. Parenthood has been quite the journey so far with lots of ups and downs (more on that later too). We’re so thankful and happy to be Henry’s parents and can’t wait to watch him grow!

Stay tuned for more on my motherhood journey..
henry-046

Pregnancy + Baby

My Favorite Baby Prep Essentials!

With just a few weeks to go until our due date, I thought now would be a great time to share all of my favorite essentials that I’ve loved using & prepping during my countdown to Baby Ginz! I did a lot of research along the way – through mama friends, my Instagram mama community, and by reading reputable websites (like The Bump) and books. There are SO many lists out there for what you “need” during pregnancy and childbirth but I really tried to use common sense when it came to what I products I felt were necessary to have throughout these last almost ten months and in preparation for a newborn.

baby-prep-essentials-image

1. One of my best mama friends, Emi, bought me the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter when I first told her I was expecting and I’ve been using it ever since! The butter has a really thick lotion-like texture and I use it generously every morning. At night, I follow it up with the same brand’s Tummy Oil. So far, no stretch marks – woohoo! I know, I know – stretch marks are typically genetic but anything I can do to help, right?!

2. You know you’re in nesting mode when you get excited about filling your diaper bag! It took me a LONG time to figure out what diaper bag I wanted and I knew I had to get something that my husband wouldn’t mind toting around too. A few of my friends recommended the bags from Pottery Barn Kids and this lucky lady received the most perfect one at her baby shower. It’s almost packed and ready to go! (Thanks again, Emi!)

3. The Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics tea has helped me throughout every stage of pregnancy. In the beginning, I was gifted a variety box that included four different teas for morning sickness, heartburn, calmness & one specifically for the third trimester. I’ve given up caffeine during my pregnancy, so these have been a lifesaver (that and Starbucks decaf)! Currently I’m drinking the third trimester tea to prepare my body for labor. Any day now!

4. I had seen the Solly Baby Wrap all over Instagram even before I was pregnant – and knew I HAD to have it when the time came. I’m all for ‘baby wearing’ and can’t wait to put Baby Ginz in his wrap all snuggled up. I wanted to practice with the dog.. but my husband nixed that idea! Ugh.

5. I absolutely adore my mama community on Instagram and all the guidance they’ve given me in the short time I’ve known them. I came across the Raspberriez brand through them and it was love at first sight when I saw their baby boat shoes! Every Florida baby needs boat shoes, right?! The brand is made up of a mom & daughter duo and they homemake every single pair themselves. They also have the cutest little booties! Washing & organizing little baby clothes, shoes and socks has definitely been a favorite past time lately. It’s definitely a relaxing way to prepare for baby.

6. I jokingly call my Snoogle pregnancy pillow the “third person” in the bed because when it’s tucked under the covers when the bed is made, it totally looks like there’s someone hiding in the bed. Sleeping has been ‘complicated’ and the Snoogle has been my saving grace. The pillow is fashioned in a very long “C” shape so it wraps around your body and can be used in several different positions and configurations. Hubs doesn’t know it yet, but I might keep using it after the baby is born!

7. After reading up on all the harmful implications of BPA (Bisphenol A) in plastic and how it can harm our babies, I switched to reusable water bottles early on in pregnancy. I love the Swell bottles not only because they’re beautiful, but they keep my water or tea hot or cold for the entire day! It was a seriously hot summer here in South Florida, and having ice cold water always on hand (even after accidentally leaving the bottle in the car) was everything.

8. Acai bowls have been a constant staple item for me throughout my entire pregnancy. Luckily, they’re made with all natural and organic ingredients! My favorite comes from a local smoothie spot and I love how they layer acai, peanut butter, granola and fresh fruit for the perfect refreshing snack or breakfast. It was a LONG & HOT summer here in South Florida and I’d like to credit acai bowls for keeping me sane!

Some honorable mentions are my Athleta maternity yoga pants, my Pure Barre workouts that I was able to do before I moved and was told not to workout anymore – BOO! (HEY West Boca ladies, miss you!), and coconut water to keep me super hydrated.

Are there any items that you found as must-haves during your prep for baby? Feel free to share them in a comment below! XOXO.

maternity-session-south-florida-image
Pregnancy + Baby

Third Trimester Bumpdate

I can’t tell if this pregnancy has flown by too quickly or dragged along too slowly, that’s a pretty weird feeling! What I do know, however, is that it has been a long hot summer here in South Florida and I’m ready for the (very) subtle shift of fall. As I type this, I’m exactly 34 weeks (WHAT?!) and starting to feel more ‘ready’ every single day. I haven’t talked about my pregnancy much, but figured now was a better time than ever to give a third trimester update for those interested!

How I’m Feeling:
Swollen! My ankles are not my best feature lately. After a brief and minor scare that left me dehydrated, I was made aware that I was having pretty strong & frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. That revelation lead my doctor to nix my Pure Barre workouts – boo! So other than feeling a little down about that, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I’m getting to the point where finding a comfortable position to lounge on the couch or sleep in is difficult, but I’m trucking along and nearing the finish line.

What I’m Missing:
Smoked fish dip has been on my mind constantly lately. You always want what you can’t have, right? All I dream about is a crunchy saltine cracker with a mound of fish dip and a slice of jalapeño on top. Who wants to volunteer to bring me some after I deliver?! I’ll also take a spicy tuna roll and a corned beef sandwich, please & thanks! I know the wine will have to wait a big longer, but it’ll be well worth the wait.

What I’m Excited For:
Besides the birth of Baby Ginz, the completion of the nursery! We just have a few more things to take care of and then it will be all set – can’t wait to share pictures. I never wanted a ‘typical’ blue boy’s nursery so we went with a gender neutral color palette of grays, taupe, ivory and mint green. I found these animal planters at Anthropologie and KNEW I needed them for the baby’s room and they fit in perfectly and gave us a ‘theme’ to work with. I’m in total nesting mode and will find myself just sitting in his room every now and then when I’m not busy washing his tiny onesies and socks!

What’s New With Baby G:
Baby Ginz (his name is top secret until he makes his debut!) is an active little guy and is measuring ahead in weight, although that’s just an estimate. He’s already head down and in position to make his way into the world, but of course we’re hoping he marinates for a few more weeks at least so that his lungs and nervous system are developed. Today, at 34 weeks, he’s about the size of a butternut squash. It’s so amazing and crazy that there’s a little human growing in my belly!

What I’m Craving:
This changes daily, but for the most part I can definitely say sugar! Dessert is always on my mind. Now that I can’t workout (besides walking), I’m trying to keep the indulgences to a minimum or make healthy swaps that feel more indulgent than they really are. I’ve been using some of Leah’s Plate’s recipes, like her Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and those help satisfy my sweet tooth without all the extra guilt! Plus, hubby likes them too.

After an amazing baby moon spent in NYC & The Hamptons and a beautiful baby shower thrown by my friends & family (post coming soon!), I’m looking forward to taking it easy until Baby Ginz arrives. Lots of date nights, dinners with friends, and nesting before the little guy gets here and changes our world forever. Any tips from the mamas out there?

maternity-photos-boca-raton-image

carvel-dog-days-parkland-image
South Florida Foodies

The Dog Days of Summer with Carvel Ice Cream

Happy National Dog Day! I’m a proud fur mama of two amazingly quirky Brussels Griffons and what better way to celebrate their unconditional companionship than with their very own holiday? Life for them is certainly about to change and they have no idea what’s coming! I’m so thankful for them giving me a little taste of motherhood before the real deal heads our way in just a couple of months.

In honor of National Dog Day & this warm (understatement) Florida summer, Carvel Ice Cream (everyone’s favorite maker of real milk ice cream cakes) is hosting a “Dog Days of Summer” Dog Wash tomorrow (Saturday), August 27th in Parkland! Join Carvel, and loads of cute clean puppies, for some free deliciously refreshing ice cream cake and a free bath for your furry friends.

The deTAILS:

When: August 27th from 12-3pm
Where: Barkland Dog Park in Parkland, FL — 9245 Ranch Road
What: FREE ice cream cake & dog wash

Throughout the day, you can upload photos of your squeaky clean pup to social media for the chance to win some tasty prizes, like a custom cake with an edible photo of your pup, by using the hashtag #CarvelDogDays. See you there!

carvel-ice-cream-image

Get social with Carvel on Facebook & Instagram
Get social with me on Instagram

This post was sponsored by Carvel Ice Cream. As always, all opinions are my own.

sloans-ice-cream-image
South Florida Foodies

Sloan’s Ice Cream

It’s no myth or secret that pregnant women crave ice cream! I’ll be the first to tell you just how true that is, especially in this crazy South Florida heat. Sloan’s Ice Cream, with locations spread around South Florida (& California for my West Coast babes!), recently invited me to try their creamy cold concoctions – and how could I ever pass that up?! That decision wasn’t hard at all, the tough decision was choosing something to indulge in off of their ahhhmazing menu.

sloans-ice-cream-boca-raton

So what did I choose? Well being that I’m a true Floridian, I opted for the Sandcastle Sundae which consists of a REAL beach sand pail and shovel filled with 5 scoops of ice cream (of your choice), hot fudge, caramel, wet walnuts, any 2 dry toppings and a chocolate chip cookie on the bottom with lots of whipped cream and cherries. I was able to choose which flavors I wanted in my bucket and I went with Fresh Strawberry (my classic!), Almond Joy, Coconut Storm, Dulce de Leche and Fluffy Road. A bucket of ice cream in itself is a pregnant woman’s dream. But add in all the other goodies like an ENTIRE chocolate chip cookie, fudge, gummy bears and a mountain of whipped cream? That definitely calmed the mood swings for a bit!

sloans-ice-cream-south-florida

Not only does Sloan’s offer the best ice cream in town, but if you’ve never been inside a Sloan’s before – you have to see it for yourself. All Sloan’s locations standout with their iconic pink storefront and are every ice cream lovers’ wonderland with colorful whimsical chandeliers, retro candy and fresh fudge & cookies. You’ll definitely feel like a kid again!

dunkin-donuts-donut-image
South Florida Foodies

Dunkin’ Donuts: New Donut Flavors

It’s pretty clear by now that I’ve crowned myself the unofficial Donut Queen of South Florida. So when there’s donut news, I need to be in the know. Dunkin’ Donuts recently contacted me to let me know about three new items that I absolutely couldn’t wait to get my hands on: an OREO® & Raspberry Cheesecake Square and a Strawberry Croissant Donut. One of my silly fears during my pregnancy was that my tastebuds would change and I wouldn’t love the same things that I used to (that’s kind of a big deal for a foodie!). Donuts, thank goodness, are still my most favorite dessert & I love them more than ever! My title as Donut Queen is safe, in case you were worried. Continue Reading