Friday, January 30, 2015

Breastfeeding Essentials

Disclaimer: Post may contain affiliate links.

If I'm counting correctly, I've got 40+ months of nursing experience and I'm anticipating another 12+ with the new little one.  Whether you're a first time mom or a first time nursing mom, all the "baby stuff" seems overwhelming!  I wanted to share with you a few things that I found to be breastfeeding "essentials" that I wouldn't want to be without.

Medela Pump In Style Advanced with Free Accessories

1.  A good breast pump!  I've tried a few...handheld, automatic, they run the gamut.  My favorite (and a favorite of many moms!) was the Medela Pump In Style.  I like things that work, and this pump does a GREAT job.  I wasn't pumping to go to work, but my middle man seemed to have a significant lip tie and it physically hurt for weeks to nurse him.  The pump really saved the day, I could nurse him once or twice a day and then pump and feed him that wonderful breast milk from a freshly pumped bottle to keep some of the pain at bay.  It was a solution that worked well for us and probably kept our nursing relationship alive.

This is actually a wonderful deal on a fabulous pump, it includes all the essentials and $50 worth of accessories.  You can find them all in one place and not worry about forgetting anything important!

2.  Breast shells/Nursing Cups.  Who knew that these were even a thing??  They're amazing.  They keep your bra or nursing pads from touching or sticking to those sensitive nipples, AND they catch milk that may leak during letdown.  They're great, hands down, amazing little contraptions and I found that they eliminated the need for nursing pads.  I'm showing a picture of the o-cal-ette nursing cups so you can get the general idea, but Avent and Medela also offer similar versions.  It all depends on what works for you.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter
3.  Nipple Cream.  I've used Lansinoh in the past, that's what the hospital always seems to give and it seems to be a relatively short term need (for me anyway!).  I found this amazing natural nipple butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby that I think I'm going to try this time around.  It says it's not sticky and that was a pitfall for the kind I used before.
4.  Nursing Pillow.  I've only had experience with a Boppy, but it made things so much easier for the first couple of months.  There are a lot of varieties, it would probably be best to give them a try and see what works best for you!

5. Quality Nursing Bras and Tanks.  It may seem obvious, but nursing tanks are great to take to the hospital.  They're comfortable enough and you don't have to show off a bunch of skin if you're nursing with other people in the room.  Nursing bras are pretty necessary too, it makes it so much easier to feed.  Simple and easy to use, the variety seems to have grown significantly in the last couple of years!

What have you found to be the most useful in your nursing journey?  Do you have anything to add to my list?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Winter Day DIY Blanket Fort! #PopSecretForts

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Pop Secret for sponsoring this fun post!

Winter is getting long and it's only January.  What's a mom to do??  Head off to the store, pick up some Pop Secret popcorn (with $1 off coupon!) and some candy for our popcorn and candy bar, then head back home after preschool pick up to make a fort, of course!

My middle guy and I stopped by the store to pick out some popcorn on our way to pick up sissy from preschool...I let him do the honors, since all the Pop Secret flavors are delicious!

Next we headed home and got out all of our goodies and a muffin tray and cup liners for easy clean up.  (Not pictured is the ginormous bag of Sour Patch kids that I may or may not keep for preggo craving situations.)

The kids were anxious to get their fort going, so we hauled all the kitchen table chairs and bar stools out to the living room and they gathered the blankets they wanted to use.  The fort doesn't look the same from one minute to the next with renovations they've been doing.  They had such a blast and they're STILL PLAYING IN IT!  (Mommy is getting lots done!)

I caught them not in the tent, apparently the cat thought it'd be a safe time to check things out too.

They each helped pour some of the candy into the muffin cups while the popcorn was doing it's thing in the microwave, getting all warm and delicious for us to cover in sugary goodness!

It's been an incredibly successful and fun afternoon!  What are your favorite popcorn treats?  When's the last time you made a blanket fort?

Wordless Wednesday: Snow!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Redeem Your Gymbucks!

Disclaimer: Post may contain affiliate links.

It's that time again!  Don't forget to redeem your Gymbucks and save up to 50% off at Gymboree!  These are a few of my favorite things that I would totally spend mine on!  What are some of your favorites?  (Feel free to comment me some links so I can check them out!)

 Colorblock Bow Dress

 Ready to Retro Outfit

Drizzle Drazzle Outfit

National Hugging Day!

National Hugging Day,™ also known as National Hug Day, is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney in Michigan, USA. It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office. It was first celebrated in 1986 and has since spread to multiple countries. The purpose of the holiday is to encourage people to openly express themselves through hugging. Offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want but remember it is wise to ask first. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. For more information, visit

Monday, January 19, 2015

$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway - Blogiversary Celebration!

I have SO much appreciation for you, my awesome readers, that I wanted to thank you for the last 5 years.  You guys have read, commented, and won all kinds of goodies, and I just wanted to say thank you!  What better way to do that than with a giveaway, right??

This is an easy one with lots of possible entries.  It ends on February 5, the blogiversary for Cars, Trucks and Teething Rings!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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