Category: motherhood

3 Easy Steps for Storing Freezer Milk

So you have a freezer milk stash?

First of all, CONGRATS! Nice work, mama!!

Alright, time to walk you through a quick 3 step way to organize milk in the freezer in case your freezer looked like mine before organizing : D

1. Lay all the pumped milk out and sort by month that was pumped

2. Using a gallon sized freezer bag, place 10-12 frozen milk bags in the gallon sized bag and label with expiration date.

Example: Use by ____ (6 months from pump date). So if all the milk was pumped in January, you could write use by July 1st to keep it simple, but check the dates as it gets closer to that month.

3. Store in freezer under items for deepest freeze and least likely for it to thaw at all when getting items in and out of the freezer.

Then, use the freezer milk as you need starting with the milk that has the soonest expiration.

Hope ❤ nonstopmomlife

Must Have Baby Registry Items and Items I Regret Purchasing

A baby registry can be SO FUN to put together. It can also be A BIT OVERWHELMING to do and INTIMIDATING, as you might feel you won’t know what you’ll to definitely use.

When I was planning my baby registry, I ran across so many LONG lists of items that, looking back now, were unnecessary and were confusing! But don’t worry, I’ll break it down for you ❤

registry must haves

So here is a basic list of the most useful baby items to put on your registry:

1.Baby burp cloths and receiving blankets

2.Baby bibs

    • Cloth bibs are hands down the cutest and most effective way to help accessorize that adorable drooling baby. I also use them when feeding baby with a bottle so I don’t need to change onesies/outfits so often.
    • Personal Favorite:Baby Girl Bibs, Baby Boy Bibs

3.Sleepers (so easy to put on and take off)

4.Muslin swaddle blankets

  • GREAT for swaddling, tummy time on the floor, or as a catch all when holding baby.

5.Diaper pail

    • I didn’t get ONE initially for our first baby and we would take the diapers out immediately. After getting one, it has been AMAZING to just take the trash out every evening or every other day because the smell is contained so well!
    • Personal Favorite:Safety 1st Diaper Pail

6.Bottles and bottle brush

  • I put 4 oz and 8 oz bottles on my registry along with a few nipple sizes as the baby would eventually switch flow types. We used the 4 oz bottles for a few months and then switched to the 8oz. I would aim for 4-6 of each bottle size. And of course you’ll need some bottle brushes along the way. You can opt for a reusable one or one you replace every few months.
  • Personal Favorite: Brown’s Original Bottle, 8 Ounce, 4-Pack

7. Bottle drying rack

  • There are two layer drying rack and one layer ones, both do the trick! Consider how much counter space you have when picking yours 🙂
  • Personal Favorite:Boon Bundle Feeding Set

8. Microwave sterilizer

  • THIS IS GAME CHANGER with keeping your bottles, pacifiers, pumping equipment sterile! The alternative is boiling water and sterilizing the things in there instead for 5 minutes and I did that for a few months FOR NO REASON before buying the microwave version. Just go for the $15-20 sterilizer  : )
  • Personal favorite: Munchkin Microwave Sterilizer

9. Infant carrier (TECHNICALLY optional) but highly recommended.

  • Moby, Boba, Tula, ergobaby are all great brands! Ring slings (any brand) are also great!
  • Personal Favorites when baby is little: Ring sling or moby. Personal Favorite when baby is 6+ months: Tula.

10. Boppy

11. Sippy Cups/silicone bibs for eating/plates/baby spoons

  • This will come in handy with the baby is older and trying foods. The gifts that keep on giving!
  • Personal favorite:
  • Silicone Baby Bibs

12. Carseat and stroller

  • Either a standalone carseat or a travel system is a must for safe travel with an infant.
  • Two personal favorites: chicco bravo travel system AND baby jogger city mini

13. Diaper Bag

  • So easy for either parent to carry and comfortable to wear with one or both shoulder straps.

14. Diapers and wipes

  • The registry items you will definitely use. If you are having a diaper party, of course feel free to leave these off.

Personal favorite wipes: Seventh Generation Baby Wipes

15. Bassinet/crib + mattress

  • Having a safe place to sleep for baby is essential. Some families do choose to cosleep safely but we felt more comfortable using a bassinet and then transitioning to a crib.
  • Personal favorite Bassinet: Arm’s Reach Bassinet

16. Baby swing OR bouncer

  • From my experience you don’t need both.

17. Exersaucer/ activity center

18. Onesies

  • I would have at least 8-10 of each size (besides newborn, just have a few of that size) so you don’t have to do laundry daily if you do not have to. A newborn can go through 3-4 a day easily. People usually get onesies and outfits for babies that they pick, but you can ALWAYS put onesies or  outfits on your registry that you LOVE.

19. OTHER items  (also optional to put on registry but useful to get before babies arrival)

  • Pacifiers, diapers (people usually will give you diapers but feel free to list them), specific outfits or accessories (bows/hats) that you are IN LOVE with and would like friends/family to get your little one, baby sling/tub.
  • If you are having a summer baby, I would strongly suggest a baby dome so baby can hang with you outside, either catch a quick nap or do some tummy time.
  • Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome

Items I regret purchasing or NEVER needed

      1. Newborn sized baby swaddles – Our first was so small and I just wanted him to be so cozy, but within a week we had moved up sizes! I remember ordering these off of amazon in the middle of the night.  I was very sleep deprived and made some impulse purchases on these.
      2. A second and third diaper bag. Not sure what I was thinking, but we really only use the first one that I bought. Sometimes I even just put a few things in my purse if we just run into the store. So crazy, I used to strategically overpack that bag, now I realize we hardly use more than 5 or 6 things (Burp cloth, swaddle, diaper, wipes, hand sanitizer, extra onesie).
      3. Bottle warmer – YUP. It’s still in the box. I do think I tried it a few times but was a hassle and putting milk in a warm water bath or running under warm water was much easier and worked better for us.
      4. WIPE warmer – babies are really okay with room temperature wipes.

Have a safe delivery all you mamas! Let me know what you think, what is your favorite must have baby item?

**Note: This post contains affiliate links to amazon products and I make a small commission on anything that is purchased at no cost to you.

Types of linens for baby: Receiving blankets, burp cloths, and swaddles

baby registry items

Burp cloths, receiving blankets, swaddles. WAIT, what are they each used for?

Let’s break it down really quick. It can be confusing, all this parent lingo!

1. Receiving blankets

blankets

  • These are thin blankets used when feeding baby, for spit up, swaddling a newborn, for diaper changes, or really anytime.
  • Not very absorbent but relatively large, which makes them easy to use.
  • Standard size is 30 inch x 30 inch, but depending on the company, can be smaller or larger than this.
  • Many are flannel, which makes them soft and warm
  • Machine washable

2. Burp cloths

burp cloths

  • Thicker and smaller than receiving blankets used primarily for feeding a baby   and burping a baby.
  • These can come in various sizes an shapes. These are more absorbent than receiving blankets and ARE MY GO TO WHEN FEEDING A BABY
  • Machine washable

3. Swaddles

swaddles

  • The largest of the three linens listed.
  • THESE ARE MY OVERALL FAVORITE
  • They can be used to swaddle a baby, for tummy time on the floor, feeding/burping, diaper changes when out, a nursing cover, a drape over the carseat, as a baby blanket in the carseat or when being held, to use on the changing table as a cover over the pad, to play peak-a-boo and more.
  • The term Muslin refers to how the cotton is loosely woven to make this blanket. So now you know when you hear the term Muslin swaddle they are referring to the light, breathable nature of the fabric.
  • This is the MOST VERSATILE and useful as the baby gets older. Though you can swaddle a newborn with a receiving blanket, these being larger make it easier as baby grows to swaddle or fully cover baby when holding them.
  • They are thin, very soft and prevent baby from overheating.
  • Sizes vary, typically between  44 x 44 inches and 47 x 47 inches.
  • Machine washable and do not quickly show signs of wear

Here is a picture comparing the sizes of a receiving blanket and swaddle.

muslin swaddles

IN SUMMARY, these three types of linen can ALL be used for feeding a baby, for diaper changes, and for any messes. When making a registry, all three are good to put on, as it is nice to have some of each. I would aim for at least 4-6 swaddles, 6-8 receiving blankets, and at least 8 burp cloths at the minimum. It really all depends on how often you want to do laundry. You can always have extras and you’ll be using them!

You got this, mamas and papas! : )

Hope

❤ Nonstopmomlife

 

 

 

Packing the Hospital Bag

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Alright mamas-to-be and mamas who are having another baby, lets go over the essentials of what to put in the hospital bag!

I recommend packing the hospital bag before 36 weeks, but anytime before going into labor still works  ❤

  1. Tolietries (think toothbrush/toothpaste/floss/glasses/contact solution&cases/facewash/lotion/chapstick/shampoo/conditioner)
    • Have toothbrushes/travel sized items packed so you don’t have to scramble when you’re in labor grabbing those last minute things that could have been already packed well away.
  2. Nursing bra(s)
    • At least one nursing bra if you plan on breastfeeding to wear
  3. Cell phone charger
    • For all those adorable pictures you’re going to take of your little babe, along with letting family and friends know about the arrival of baby.
  4. One or two comfortable outfits for lounging in the hospital room and for going home
    • Yoga pants and a loose fitting t-shirt are my pick for going home, around the room I like to wear a nursing gown and cotton robe 🙂
  5. One or two outfits for newborn (at least one newborn size and one 0-3 size)
    • Most infants will fit into newborn clothes but it can’t hurt to have a 0-3 month size packed too just in case you have a nice healthy baby! Of course, feel free to bring a few favorites if you’re indecisive like myself.
  6. Fuzzy socks or comfy socks to wear in the room
    • When you are in labor, it’s nice to wear your own comfy socks or after that first shower at the hospital.
  7. Hairties and comb/brush
    • For brushing those gorgeous locks!
  8. Optional but NICE to have:
    • Nursing nightgown
    • Robe (in case the room/hallways are breezy)
    • Personal items for baby like muslin swaddles, headbands/hats, favorite infant outfits and an infant going home outfit, letter board to take a cute picture of baby’s arrival, personalized blankets/etc
    • Makeup – I always pack it but don’t always use it, but it is nice to have the option ❤
    • Headbands for mama when laboring or afterwards
    • SNACKS – most cafeterias are open 24/7, but having trail mix, granola bars, crackers or other favorite snacks can’t hurt if you are hungry
    • Gum/mints.
  • Note: You’ll need to have a carseat installed so you have a way to get baby home.

Happy delivery mamas!

❤ Hope, nonstopmomlife.com

A Letter To My Husband

I love this life with you.

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I love celebrating small and big victories with you. I enjoy our time together as a family at home, exploring, traveling, and making memories with you.

Thanks for making me comforted and supported when I am emotional and feeling overwhelmed.

Thanks for making me laugh even when I want to cry.

Thank you for being kind to me even when I am having a rough day and I often forget to tell you how much it helps to have your support.

You work hard at your job and then still have energy to take on house projects.

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Thank you for being so sweet with our child. I never knew how someone that I respect so much and has always been strong and stoic can also be so gentle and touching.

You are an amazing man. You are a great friend to your friends and an incredible husband.

Thanks for giving me space when I need it.

Thanks for being you.

THERE ARE DAYS I want to yell and cry. Or cry then yell. Life can have patches that can get you down. Thank you for helping me through those days and I’ll always be there for you when you have those same days.

AND when we have the INEVITABLE AND HARD discussions of our approach and opinions on finances, family goals, jobs, house and other decisions, thank YOU for being open to discuss what we desire. We argue sometimes. It can be difficult.

BUT HERE’S THE THING,

I love you.

We got this. I’d rather not have these discussions with anyone else but you. You are my person and I’m in it to win it with you, husband.

❤ Wifey

 

 

I CANT WAIT ….

Challenging myself to not say the phrase “I can’t wait until….”

….baby sleeps at night, baby walks, baby feeds himself, baby does this or that, or for me to work less or exercise more, have a clean house, bigger or better house, more money, more more more more more more

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TODAY is today. We are all works in progress and WAITING for this or that to happen takes away from the joy of today. So trying my best and making priorities for today, but also enjoying the little things and big things.

So I CAN wait.

Today is a beautiful day and is just how it is supposed to be. Who knows what tomorrow or next month or year will bring. Today is today. ❤

❤ Hope

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Why Journaling Is My Medicine

JOURNALING? AS an ADULT?

I know, I know. Some people do not think journaling is a legitimate way to spend time. I am not sure why people think it is a silly pastime. It honestly has changed by life. You might have never have written in a journal before or maybe you share the same thoughts as me and enjoy writing things down. All I ask is to not knock it before you try it 🙂 ❤

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Reasons why you should try journaling:

  1. It helps you reflect on how far you have come and how proud you should be about overcoming obstacles.

  2. From reading previous entries, you are reminded of things you have learned.

  3. It puts ALL things in perspective.

  4. It is relaxing to GET emotions out.

  5. Journalling helps you identify things you would like to WORK on and brainstorm solutions.

  6. It also allows you to DREAM big, no boundaries.

  7. It reminds you of what matters in life and what your priorities are. Is it family? Friends? Work? Traveling? Cooking? Hobbies? A combination? Are you happy with how you spend your time or do you want to change how the weeks and month are spent?

  8. It helps you GROW to become the person you want to be.

What do you think? What to pick up a journal and try to make it a weekly or daily habit? Or do you already practice journalling and enjoy it? Let me know, would love to hear from you!

Peace and love

❤ Hope

nonstopmomlife.com

Look me up on instagram  here

Being You: 4 Ways To BRING IT ON

Happy beautiful day internet world.

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Been thinking about the direction I want my life to go to and my past. Ive been feeling curious if anyone has felt the same.

  1. I am DIFFERENT from where I was 5 years ago.  I think before I talk and am more respectful to those around me.
  2. Friendships CHANGE. It is inevitable. I have been struggling with not beating myself up for not making old friendships a constant priority. TRUE friends can pick up where they left off and we will reconnect when we can.
  3. I am RESILIENT. A bad day at work or a rough day with the baby does not get to me anymore. I have a support system of friends, family, and coping mechanisms to help take a step back.
  4. I feel GRATEFUL for every single day. Not everyday is promised and I have been doing the best I can to cherish the day to day, even if there is not AMAZING things happening every day.

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SO, I challenge you to consider these 4 things:

  1. Accept that with time we are DIFFERENT than who we once were and that is NOT a bad thing.

  2. Friendships may CHANGE but true friendships will have flexibility.

  3. Be RESILIENT and do not sweat the small stuff. This too does and shall pass.

  4. GRATEFULNESS helps keep you centered. Try to make today the best day it can be.

What helps center you? How do you cope with rough days? Thoughts of friendships changing with time or phases of life? I would love to hear from you.

Hope ❤

Look me up on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/nonstopmomlife/ and Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/happynonstopmomlife/

 

 

 

 

To The Woman At The Bridal Shower

To the woman at the bridal shower

…that offered to hold my baby while I ate, thank you. I had told you he had colic. You said I still needed a break.

baby holding it s parent finger
Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

To the woman at the bridal shower, thank you for asking to hold the baby a second time considering the first time I said, “I’m fine” but was actually sleep deprived and exhausted. You knew I was pretending to have it covered. I’m glad you reasked and I said yes. You did calm him down so well and I was able to eat and drink some water.

To the woman at the bridal shower, who I didn’t know before that day and whose name I cannot even remember, thank you. I went to the bridal shower with my two month old and was so nervous he was going to be loud and take attention away from my best friend who was getting married.

To the woman at the bridal shower, you don’t even know how a simple gesture made such a big impact and I will always remember. Thank you.

To the woman at the bridal shower, thank you for lending a hand to someone who was a new mom and this was her first time around more than a few family members. I was nervous going into that day but you made me feel comfortable and powerful.

Thank you. 

Mr & Mrs Sign from Amazon

I will never how you reassured me so effortlessly that I was doing well and why you were so sweet and kind to help someone you didn’t know. I hope I can be this woman to another mother. Another stranger or another friend that didn’t know she needed help. This is what it is all about. Supporting one another and lifting each other up. ❤

Love,

A new mom that was impacted

❤ Hope

Look me up on instagram and my facebook page as nonstopmomlife

A photo of my friend and I on the day of her bridal shower

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Meal Planning Made Simple

Hey there.

I’m Hope. I love to cook DELICIOUS food and spend time crafting, exploring the outdoors, taking pictures, and enjoying time with friends and family. Check out the rest of the blog to navigate through easy and healthy recipes, along with motherhood  and parenting content.

shrimp linguinue

So, topic today is MEAL PLANNING. Ugh. I know, sounds boring.

BUT, it doesn’t have to BE and it does not have to be hard. It is a game changer with helping organize meals for the week so you don’t get in the rut of staring at the pantry or in the refrigerator, hoping something pops out.

I use a few easy tricks to plan meals and I wanted to share them with you.

Let’s get to it.

  1. Designate one day a week to consistently plan meals/grocery lists. When you get in the habit of planning meals once weekly, it becomes second nature. I usually spend 10-20 minutes planning the meals and making a grocery list on Saturday and then grocery shop on Sunday. Easy peasy.
  2. Plan 5-6 meals to make for dinners for the week and options for lunches
    • I personally prefer to have 5 weekday dinners set but not necessarily the day, depending on what we are craving that day.
    • I’ve learned to plan for what we typically eat, just so we don’t waste produce. For us, I plan on having enough for lunches and 5-6 dinners and extra frozen food in case we stay in, but we like to have flexibility if we eat with friends or family or go out to eat.
    • I usually cook a big meal on Sunday afternoon or evening, which always has left overs to start the week with. I also typically also try to make extra roasted vegetables or have vegetables ready for salads and a big pot of lentils, quinoa or pasta that can be thrown together for a quick meal or eaten as lunch.

I keep the meals varied – every week I try to include one of these types of dishes:

  1. One night I’ll make a Mexican dish – tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, or quesadillas
  2. One night I’ll make an Italian dish – vegetarian lasagna, linguine with vegetables, spaghetti, chicken parmesan, baked pasta, fetticini alfredo
  3. One night I’ll make an easy chicken dish – oven baked chicken, breaded chicken, barbeque chicken, chicken wings etc
  4. One night I’ll make a not otherwise categorized dish that are just our favorite random dishes– loaded baked potato bar, grilled salmon, salad bar, some type of sandwich (turkey burgers/ veggies burgers/ grilled cheese etc) a tasty ethnic dish (pad thai, ramen, sushi etc) or a second Mexican or Italian dish if we are craving that and I have the supplies.
  5. Homemade pizza or frozen pizza (yes, frozen pizza is a GREAT go to after a long day at work and I have NO shame admitting that! I like California pizza kitchen, Newman’s own, and also the simple truth brand of pizzas). It is also so quick to use fast rising yeast or pizza yeast and make from scratch, layer with sauce, mozzarella and your favorite toppings.
  6. During the fall and winter, I do soup usually once a week as well but not as often in the summer

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If you haven’t already, I suggest investing in a good amount of glass or microwave safe containers and locate their lids for easy food prep. It makes all the difference!

Pyrex Simply Store Glass Rectangular and Round Food Container Set (18-Piece, BPA-free)

I hope these tips come in handy. What helps you guys meal plan? Any tricks you guys use?  Note: The link above is an affiliate link to Amazon.

 

 

As always, happy cooking! ❤ Hope Look me up on instagram and facebook —-> nonstopmomlife

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