Health, Love & Fire: April 2016

April Stitch Fix Reveal

Friday, April 29, 2016

I've been stalking other blogger's stitch fix reveals for a while now. Every time I saw a stitch fix post I would instantly click and read the entire thing! I loved the idea of a stylist picking out a few items tailored to you that you could then try on in the privacy of your own home and decide what to keep and send back. I mean honestly, what girl doesn't love a new cute outfit? So I finally took the plunge and ordered myself a fix. I wasn't in love with the first one, and many of the items didn't fit right so I decided not to document it in photos to share with all of you and everyone who reads this blog. But fix #2 was definitely more of a hit, so I'm going to share that with you today!

Before I get started, here's a little bit more about Stitch Fix if you've never heard of it before.

To start, you head to Stitch Fix and fill out a style profile. This helps your stylist figure out what size, styles and items would work best for you. It's also great if you link your Stitch Fix profile to your pinterest board so that your stylist can see exactly what kinds of pieces you'd love to see in your fix!

Once you've completed your profile, it's time to schedule your first fix. It costs $20 to schedule, and that $20 goes straight towards one of the items in your box that you decide to keep. If you end up loving every piece and decide to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off the entire box. So basically it's best if you keep at least one item, so you're not throwing away your $20.

Once your fix arrives, you try on all of the pieces and decide what to keep and what to send back. The box comes with a prepaid mailing bag that you put everything you're returning back in and just drop it off at the post office. You have three business days from the time you receive your fix to get it back to the post office. It's as easy as that!

So here's my second fix!

Nine West: Yippee T-Strap Sandal: 
I wasn't loving the leopard print or the structure of this sandal and unfortunately since having Harper, my feet have gotten larger so these didn't fit right, which is why you don't have a picture of my feet in them. I am fairly picky about my shoes, so I decided to send these back. - Returned

Skies are Blue: Galice Tulip Sleeve Blouse 
When I saw that this was coming in my fix I was really excited. Once I saw it in person, I felt like the colors and pattern weren't as amazing as I had anticipated. It was also a little tight in the chest area and just didn't fit how I would have liked, thanks again to Harper :). - Returned

Kut From The Kloth: Kate Distressed Boyfriend Jean
These were so comfortable and cut perfectly that I really wanted to keep them. Unfortunately they were a little too big and in just the few minutes I had them on they were already getting really baggy! - Returned

Creative Commune: Linea Sleeveless Cutout Blouse
I was pretty sure before this fix arrived that this was one of the items I would be keeping, and I was right. I love the cutout detail in the top and the color and pattern. This is the perfect blouse to dress up for work or wear out for a date night. - Kept

Market & Spruce: Careen V-Neck Dolman Knit Top
This top was so comfortable that I really wanted to keep it just to wear around the house, but with summer coming I felt like I wouldn't get much use out of it. I'm starting to wish I had kept it, but still feel like it would have sat in my closet for months. - Returned

So there you have my second Stitch Fix. If you're interested in trying out Stitch Fix too, just head on over to their site and fill out your style profile to get started!

What pieces would you have kept?

Mondays Are For Snuggles, Yoga Pants & Giveaways!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Monday! Today being my extra day off from work, I'm spending the day snuggling with the little one and hanging out with some friends at a workout class. Mondays in our little life are pretty great now that they've become an extension of the weekend. I love having that extra day off with my two favorite people and having one extra day to get stuff done, attend a fitness class and stay in yoga pants all day.

But I want to make your Monday great too, so I've teamed up with some fabulous ladies to bring you a chance to win a $170 gift card to Ulta! And I've even got a free entry for you, all you have to do is type in my blog's name in the free entry prompt and you're automatically in the running! And if you're anything like me, you can always use some free money to spend on products at Ulta!
ulta-giftcard-0416
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grow Your Blog - Using Online Groups & Communities

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Growing your blog following and gaining readers is something many bloggers strive for. Many start out with no audience and slowly gain a following over time. But when you feel like you've reached a plateau and you want someone other than just your family members to read, it can be hard to figure out where to turn to.

One of the best sources of increased traffic and engagement I've seen on my blog is through different blogging communities. Since my blog falls under the lifestyle category and a lot of what I talk about pertains to my family, specifically motherhood, here are a few blogging communities for lifestyle bloggers and mom's to help grow your following.

Show Your Blog Love:
This Facebook group is for bloggers and other social media influencers. It's a great place to share your posts, for daily follow threads, and to share information with people similar to you. I post on this group at least 4 times a week and have seen great results in my page views and Instagram followers. The group also has a Twitter and Instagram that you should definitely be following along with as well. Request to join the group via Facebook and fill out this form  (http://goo.gl.../forms/HNnm8tVePq) before officially being added and allowed to start posting.

Grow Your Blog:
This Grow Your Blog Facebook group is another group for blog growth with daily follow threads and places to promote your blog and other social media. On this group you will find daily threads for growing your audience on your Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. You can request to be added to this group via Facebook, and once added check out the description and all the rules of the group here: http://on.fb.me/1mSZvY8.

Bloggers of the PNW:
If you happen to be from the wonderful Pacific Northwest like I happen to be, this great group of bloggers have created this Bloggers of the PNW Facebook group to share posts, plan meet ups and support other bloggers from the same area. This is a smaller group, where I find more direct interaction and conversations happen on a daily basis. It's a great place to make connections and form relationships with other people in the same area of the country. If you don't happen to be from the PNW, check Facebook for other blogging Facebook groups local to where you live.

#Momunity:
This group is Pinterest based and provides a place for you to pin posts related to parenting, mom style, kid style, family life and all things related to being a mom. This group provides a great venue to meet other contributors and share your content. You're allowed to share up to two posts a day, and with this growing group, you're sure to get your content seen.

#Blogging Like A Boss:
Another Pinterest based, #Blogging Like A Boss is a group that is open to all bloggers. The main purpose behind this group is to help other bloggers grow and share their content, and with it continuing to grow in contributors, it's a great board to be a part of. Pinterest has been such a great traffic source for so many bloggers, and we are all looking for ways to capitalize on the opportunity a platform like Pinterest has, and this is a great way to start! To join, follow https://www.pinterest.com/bowsandbeaus & fill this form http://goo.gl/forms/KbGmM215aU to be accepted to the group board.

Casual Parenting:
If you're a parent and a blogger, then this Facebook group is absolutely for you. It's a newer group, but Casual Parenting is almost like a support group for Moms. In just a short time since it was created by the amazing Claire from Casual Claire, this group has become a forum for mom's to talk, vent, get advice and just share all about parenting. While there aren't any follow threads or blog related posts, it's a great way to meet other parents and share thoughts and ideas.

The Stylish Mama:
Also a Facebook group for Mom's, The Stylish Mama focuses on motherhood and fashion, and while by no means am I a fashion blogger, it's a great place to meet other mom's and share thoughts and ideas. Just from being a part of this group I have seen an increase in my Instagram followers from a Follow Friday I participated in and have gotten more page views on posts after sharing with the group. You can request to be added to the group on Facebook.
What are other communities you've found helpful in growing your blog or social media reach?

10 Favorite Blog Posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm loving this Tuesday link-up and reading everyone else's 10 things on Tuesday. I am so lucky and had my work schedule change after the holidays so that I could be home with Harper more so I have Mondays off. This also means that I try not to do too much blogging on Mondays so having a Tuesday post I can think about and schedule ahead of time has been awesome! And because I love Karli so much, and I LOVED her post last week, I decided to follow her lead and share my 10 favorite blog posts! 

I can't believe I've been blogging for close to 3 years. I have taken breaks now and then and definitely seen ebs and flows of the blogging world, but it's fun to look back on everything I've shared in this little space of mine!
Caribbean Vacation
I'm On A Boat - Our Caribbean Vacation
Basically the best vacation ever!! 
Adoption Story
Finding Answers: My Adoption Journey Part 1 & Part 2 
Homemade Pinot Noir & Blackberry Wine
Wine Making - Homemade Pinot Noir & Blackberry Wine 
You could say my husband has a slight addiction to wine, which has turned into not only helping at a winery during harvest, but making his own at home. I knew I should have never bought him that at home beer making kit for his birthday! (oh wait, what am I saying? I get to enjoy the wine too!)
Oregon Vineyard Wedding
Ceremony - Oregon Vineyard Wedding
Obviously our wedding day had to land somewhere in my favorite posts. Even if I wasn't blogging when we got married, I still had to share about our special day after the fact!
Gender Reveal Party
Finding Our Harper Was A Girl 
Our gender reveal party was just a small group of close friends and family. Both Dan and I had decided to wait till the party to find out what we were having with all of our favorite people. We both thought it was going to be a boy, so we were so excited and a little shocked when we popped that balloon and saw pink confetti! Such a special moment to share with all of our loved ones!
Maternity Photos
My Maternity Photos with Harper
We hadn't had any professional photos taken of Dan and I since our wedding day so it was so nice to be able to capture this exciting time in our life before our family of 2 became 3.
Newborn Photos
And of course next comes Harper's Newborn Photos
I mean how could you not love looking at how adorable and little she was. Now 8 months later, this day seems like such a long time ago.
Kitchen Reveal
 Kitchen Reveal
After such a long and stressful process of building our new home, I was so excited to share our kitchen reveal!
Goodbye Letter To The Neighbors
A Goodbye Letter To Our Crazy Neighbors 
Read the letter and you'll understand :)
Vegas Babymoon

Our Vegas Babymoon
From $2000 room upgrades to fun shows and dinners this was a trip to remember!

What are your favorite blog posts you've written or your favorites from my list? I'm a sap for pictures and reminiscing so share away!

Tiptoeing Through The Tulips

Monday, April 18, 2016

One of our favorite things to do each spring is attend some of the local festivals. It's been on my to do list this spring, just like every other, but this year I was so excited to take Harper for the first time to my favorite one, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. We've gone the last 5 years, but this year I couldn't wait to sit her in the middle of some tulips and take her picture. Of course I realized that she would probably be more interested in grabbing every flower within reach than posing for the perfect shot, but I was still excited either way.
We decided to go on a Sunday morning as soon as Dan got off shift so we could be there right about when it opened. I figured it had been dry for the last few days, which is abnormal for an Oregon spring and if we got there early we could beat some of the crowds. And while I'm sure more people showed up after us, cause I saw the line of 400 cars when we left, we apparently had the same idea as everyone else. I guess in previous years we had always gone on a weekday and had been able to avoid the crowds, but I was still excited to be there.

The festival sits on 40 acres, not all of which are planted with tulips, but it's all gorgeous. If you're there on a clear day you can get some amazing views of Mt Hood from the tulip fields. You can also enjoy walking around their garden, shopping in the farm shop, trying out the food and riding some rides for the kids. Since Harper is so little and it was so busy, we opted to just enjoy the tulip fields and call it a day. I mean I was really only there for the tulips and the pictures anyways.

The day couldn't have been nicer! Even though it was busy we were able to find a corner of the field with very few people and get some pictures with Harper. As expected, she wanted to grab every flower she saw. I can just see her next year running through the fields!


What are your favorite spring or summer festivals to attend?

Friday Favorites

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Happy Friday! I'm so glad we've almost made it to the weekend and there's some Oregon sunshine in our future! I've been working to be more organized and meaningful in my blogging and I am hoping that I can start doing more of a recap of my week and my current favorites on Friday. Not only will it give me the opportunity to share some of my favorite happenings from the week but it will also allow me to showcase some of my favorite bloggers and blog posts.

Meals: 
Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Bowls:
Dan and I started a new challenge group of the 22 Hard Corps this week and have committed to doing this new program for the next 60 days, or 55 if we're counting (and we are). One of the things we're focusing on along with the workouts is eating healthier. The last two weeks we've made this meal twice and it's quickly becoming one of our new staples! We've made some changes to it for us, and I will share the meal on the blog soon! You can also check out some of my favorite 21 Day Fix Meals on my Pinterest.

Blog Posts: 
Pinterest Group Boards for Lifestyle Bloggers by Jenny at Breakfast at Lilly's. This post is full of some great suggestions for fellow bloggers who are looking for ways to grow their Pinterest and promote their blog.

Blogger: 
It may have something to do with the fact that she's a soon to be mom, or also that I'm hanging out on her sidebar this month, but make sure you go check out Becca's blog! Also, I'm offering 30% off my sponsorship spots this month with the code BECCA for anyone that's interested!

Throwback Post: 
After blogging for close to three years, some of the older posts get lost in the blog and never seen or thought about again. So each week I want to share a favorite throwback post from the blog for you to check out! So even though this is the most pathetic start to a baseball season ever for all Atlanta Braves fans, I still wanted to throw it back to our trip to Seattle a couple years ago to watch my braves in person!
Etsy Shop:
Since becoming a mom, etsy has become way more popular in my life! I'm constantly finding new shops to follow and purchase and Dan is definitely noticing more packages arriving! One of my favorite shops is Shop Stardell. Allison is also a mom and creates the most adorable onesies!

What are your favorites for the week? Have any fun weekend plans?

Ten Things I've Learned Since Becoming A Mom

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

10 Things I've Learned From Becoming A New Mom
One: I need my alone time. This is something I truly never realized until both Dan and I were home a lot and constantly had visitors. You spend a lot more time at home with a newborn, or at least we did, and this was a huge adjustment for us. When you add the visitors and lots of time the three of you to breastfeeding every two hours, I just needed some time by myself. Whether that was just going in our room and laying down for a bit or taking a short bath, the time alone helped me feel more refreshed for the rest of the day.

Two: Going grocery shopping alone can feel like a vacation: I never really realized how great grocery shopping alone could feel until having a baby. Typically I would avoid the grocery story on a Sunday afternoon like the plague. Now I'm usually the first to volunteer to take a solo trip to pick up some groceries and be able to wander the isles at my leisure.

Three: I don't need 10 hours of sleep a night, although I'd like it! Before having children, I would be the first to tell you how much I love and need my sleep. And while I still feel absolutely the same, I have learned that I can function on far less than I used to.

Four: Spit, dirty diapers, and puke are totally different when your child does them. I don't really have any great explanation as to why this is, but it just is. For whatever reason it's less gross and more tolerable with your own child. Maybe it's the fact that it happens so frequently, it forces you to get over any weird aversions rather quickly.

Five: You can read all the books, blog posts or handouts in the world, but you end up figuring out a plan that works best for you and your child. What might work for other parents, may not work for your child. Instead of constantly beating myself up over Harper not reacting to certain things we tried, we just figured out what did work and went from there. There is so much to learn as a new parent, and for us it was important not to stress over little things and not be too tough on ourselves.

Six: Your body is truly not the same. (maybe it will be one day, but I sorta doubt it) My pre pregnancy pants all fit, but nothing fits the same.

Seven: Your life can become even more scheduled and routine, and you are afraid to divert from that schedule/routine. I know when nap time and meal time is constantly and will change plans around so that we don't miss or interrupt either of those things.

Eight: You can never buy the smaller iPhone again - the pictures multiply daily! I have such a hard time going through my phone and finding photos I don't mind parting with to free up more space. I want them all and don't want to forget any stage!!

Nine: It can be the most exhausting and crazy day, but as soon as she's asleep in her bedroom you miss her! I literally watch her on the monitor and just want to go get her and snuggle her, even if I'm completely exhausted!

Ten: Loving your child is so different than any other kind of love! It's unconditional. No matter how frustrated I feel or tired and emotional I get, I will love her no matter what!

Harper - 8 Months

Monday, April 11, 2016

Every month I am continually amazed at how quickly time is passing! I'll come home from work or go to get her out of the crib in the morning just so shocked at how big she's getting! Her personality is continuing to show through even more. Out of nowhere she'll just start laughing at herself and looking around to see if she's caught anyone else's attention. She's playing more independently and trying to hard to move on her own. She seems close to crawling and definitely moving a lot more, but she's not quite there yet. I'm sure by the end of this month she will be on the move!

Loves: 
Harper still absolutely loves to be outdoors. Thankfully the weather has been amazing the last couple weeks and we've spent many evenings on walks or sitting out back in the grass. It's definitely where she's happiest! She is also still fascinated by the cats and dog. Anytime any of them walk by, she holds out her hand to try to pet them. They sometimes oblige but are often leary of her little hands for fear that she will latch on and not let go. (which happens quite often)
Food: 
Little girl can eat! She is still taking a bottle every couple hours throughout the day and eating purees at breakfast and dinnertime. We are still working on getting her to eat solid foods. She loves any kind of puree, but is leary of anything with too much substance. If anyone has any recommendations on what worked well for them, please let me know.

Sleep: 
We are still going strong with her crib sleeping.

Photos from this month: 

Sleep Training: Making The Crib Transition

Friday, April 8, 2016

Sleep Training - Making The Crib Transition
Being a parent, you learn quickly that there are many different tactics and ways to do things, but you end up doing what works best for you and your child. Sleep training and sleeping behaviors are no different. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves trying to decide when was the right time to move Harper into her own room and into her crib, and finally we just decided to do what felt best for us. When I was trying to decide on the right timing or way to transition Harper from her rock'n play in our room to her crib in her own room I was reading anything and everything I could find on the topic.  We had read several sleep training websites and books and talked to friends about what they had done, and in the end we took advice from several different venues and created a plan that worked for us. We are definitely not experts on the topic and I know it can be very controversial, but I wanted to share what worked for us.

When we were planning out when to make the switch, I felt like the rock'n play was my nemesis. I almost wished we had never put her in it and felt like the transition would have been so much easier if we had started sooner. But there was really no sense in getting frustrated in something I couldn't change. So we set a date to officially make the transition and stuck to it. We chose a time that we both had a few days off of work in case she didn't sleep much and took turns staying up. Harper was just about 6 months when we officially moved her into her crib, and while everything I read said the transition would go smoother if we started earlier, this was when it worked out best for us.

The first few nights were tough, mainly the first day or two. We didn't stick to one specific method, but followed a few specific routines every night. The first thing we did was to set a bedtime routine. We start the bedtime process between 6:30 and 7 each evening. That routine consists of a bath, getting her in her sleeper, feeding her a bottle, reading a book, and then turning on her white noise machine and turning off the lights and putting her in bed. We stay in the room, sitting across the room from her crib until she's asleep each night, and still do that nightly. I feel like it helps her know we are still there with her and also gives us a few minutes to just sit and be. As soon as we are done putting her to bed it's back to doing dishes or cleaning up the house or getting a workout in and preparing for the next day, so it's nice to have some time to just sit in her room with her.

Before transitioning her to her crib, she had only ever slept in her rock'n play. Her first couple nights at home initially were in the newborn sleeper of her pack and play, but the rest of the time was in her rock'n play. We'd never let her sleep in our bed with us and never on us if we weren't awake. I think both of these things really helped make the transition easier. Once we were ready to start moving her in to her own room, we had her sleep in her rock'n play in her room for about a month. This way she was still in the same bed, but it gave her time to get used to sleeping in her room.

Since we were completely changing her environment, we tried to also create a consistent one in her room. We use a sound machine to help create some white noise and drown out some of the noise that we might make once she goes to bed. We also wanted to create some consistency from what she was used to because we always have white noise in our room and she had been sleeping with that near her since she came home. In an effort to mimic the rock'n play some, we added a wedge to her crib to keep her a little elevated and used a rolled up towel to help keep her in one spot in her crib. This only lasted a couple weeks and we first removed the towel and then the wedge, both she didn't really seem to need.

Her first night was the hardest. We had read a lot of different thoughts on what to do in this situation and ended up deciding to not pick her up if she cried once putting her in her crib. We would put our hand on her belly or her back to soothe her, but wanted her to learn it was okay to sleep in her crib and that we were close by. We also choose a saying to say to her every night before bed and that we would say each time we went in if she was crying. We decided on "We love you Harper, we're right outside". We would only let her cry for five minutes before we would go back in, each time repeating the same phrase. I know this is the part that can be controversial, and I'm not saying this is better than any other technique, it's just what worked for us. Never did she cry so hard or get so upset that she couldn't calm herself down, she would just cry and fuss because she was tired and because she wasn't used to her bed. After the first night or two, she would take a few minutes to settle in and then be fine the rest of the night. And I honestly think it was harder for us (or maybe just me) to hear her cry than it was for her.

Looking back now a few months after making the transition, it really doesn't seem that tough and it's hard to remember what those first few tough nights were like. In the thick of it all it seemed so tough and like she was never going to get used to it, but that really passed fairly quickly. Now she goes down fairly easily, although she's been fighting her nap time, but she typically sleeps all night in her crib. We have gotten our evenings and room back and can finally do more than go to sleep or read a book once she's in bed. Not only has it been a good transition for her but it's been a good one for us too. Having our room back and the ability to talk or watch a tv show before bed together has been so nice. I feel like we have some adult time back in our lives, and that has been a huge blessing.

As a new parent, I've really learned that it's important to do what's best for you and your child. Do some research, talk to others who have been there, but in the end, listen to your instincts!

Have you found anything specific that helped with your crib transition?

Mom Chats - What You Really Need For A New Baby

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. As always, all opinions are mine alone. #NurseryMusts #CollectiveBias
What You Really Need For A New Baby
We are in this really fun season of life where so many of our friends are either new parents or expecting their first children. Even my blogging feed is filled with fellow new moms and expecting mamas. As new parents ourselves, it's nice to have people who are close to you going through the same experiences you are. Whether it's text messages in the middle of the night with random questions or playdates at the park, it's so comforting to have people who get what you're going through. 

One of the things my best girlfriends did for me while I was pregnant was to help me figure out what I needed for our new baby. Looking at lists of registries and all the posts and Pinterest pins on things you can register for is so overwhelming. I remember sitting on my couch just staring at my computer wondering which baby item to start researching first because there are just so many to choose from. What crib do we buy? How many onesies do I need? What brand of diaper is best? You can question everything! And trust me, I did! 

So how do you decide what you really need and what do you actually buy in preparation for baby? Thankfully my girlfriends helped me out and sent me a list of things they used most often and sent me to Target, where I could find everything I needed. So in case you don't have friends like me who had just recently had kids, here are my new baby must haves for your first 6 months.

Sleepers - This is pretty much all Harper lived in for the first month or so of her life, especially the ones that have the hand covers. She would never wear the mittens you can get so that babies don't scratch her face, but the sleepers with hand covers that fold over worked perfectly! 



Playtex VentAire Bottles - While we didn't use these for the first couple weeks, after the first month, these bottles became my best friend! I was able to pump throughout the day to provide enough milk to make a bottle for one of the middle of the night feedings. Being able to sleep through one feeding and let my husband feed Harper was a game changer! We still use the Playtex bottles, we've just moved up to the Playtex VentAire Wide Bottle 9oz. Being that Harper has a fussy stomach already, it was important to us to find a bottle that wouldn't make things worse. The Playtext VentAire Wide Bottle is built in a way that creates fewer air bubbles so it upsets her stomach less. The design of the bottle also mimics breastfeeding which made for a smooth transition to bottle feeding. Our little one is quite the eater and never skips a meal, so having the option to use a bottle that not only helped her stomach but that she transitioned to easily made a huge difference. 

As a new mom, I worried about doing all the right things for Harper, and I worried initially about giving her a bottle at all. But after talking it over with our doctor, we decided to give bottle feeding a try. Playtex Bottles helped ease my mind and my worry and also provided this busy new Mom with a break! After getting her used to bottle feeding from time to time, I felt like a new mom and a new person. Sleeping through one extra wake up a night made my stress and exhaustion level go down immediately and I felt like I was able to be a better mom, and a more cheerful one for my new baby and for my husband and visitors too. When it was time for me to go back to work, I didn't have to worry about whether or not she'd eat well while I was gone because we had already started introducing bottles earlier. We still use these bottles for her feedings and love that even though she's getting bigger, I've found something that has worked for so many months! 
Burp Cloths - I really wanted to make something for our new little girl before she was born that could be used often, and since I'm no quilter and a friend of ours was already making her one, I decided to make some burp cloths. Honestly, if there's one item we used more than anything else it has been these! You can buy them at the store or make them yourself, but either way, they have been the biggest clothing lifesaver, especially if you're baby is anything like Harper and is spitty all the time! 
Since Harper was about a month old, you can always find a burp cloth either on our shoulder or somewhere within arms reach of her or either of us! Definitely time and money well spent!! 


Diaper Genie Complete- One of the things we really wanted after having our baby was to spend time in her nursery, so we made sure we changed most of her diapers in her room on her changing table. With the sleek design of the Diaper Genie, it fit perfectly next to the changing table and provided a clean odor free place to dispose of diapers in her room. It's easy to assemble and change out when full, holds up to 270 dirty diapers (which sounds like a lot, but goes quickly!)  and keeps her room smelling clean. 

I was worried at first about changing her diapers in her room and whether or not it would start to smell, but the Diaper Genie locks all the smell inside and keeps her room smelling great. I love that she can spend more time in her room and we can have everything we need at just an arms reach away! Especially now that she's rolling and moving constantly, I love that it fits right next to her changing table and that there's a foot pedal to use to open the lid and toss in the diaper so I can keep on hand on my rolling little girl at all times!! 

Target has been my go to with all things baby and really anything else for that matter. It was my first stop when registering and has been my most shopped at place for everything for Harper. I love that Target will even let you pay for things online and pick them up at the store. This became such a lifesaver with a newborn. Even the day we left the hospital we used this and had my dad pick up some more sleepers that were preemie sized since our little one was a couple weeks early and swimming in the newborn sleepers.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I always give my expecting friends is to lean on friends and family and others who have had little ones, because it really helped us so much. Having a parent who can come hold the baby so you can shower or take a nap, or a friend you can text with random questions really made everything so much easier those first few weeks and months. I honestly don't know how we would have gotten through that time without their support. Not only were they willing to drop off meals or run to Target for us, but having friends offer suggestions on what you really need or will use made the process of preparing for baby to bringing baby home so much easier!

What is something you couldn't have lived without those first few weeks or months as a new parent?