Favorite Baby Products

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The field of baby products is constantly changing, as are my favorite products. But I’m of the mindset that this phase of being a mother to a little one is short, so I’m all for trying-all-the-things!

With Paityn I used babyli.st as our baby registry instead of a large box store because of the ease of adding products from any online store, including Easy. With Hudson I used it as a way to stay organized for personal use, and to share with you guys what my favorite things are if you were shopping as well. This is not sponsored in any way, I really just love this site.

babyli.st/faulknerfavorites

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I’ve added the link to my menu and hope that we can talk baby products + this can be a place where you can ask questions about anything you see listed as my favorite. I love the fluid nature of the page — prices are constantly update, I can rearrange/organize, and change notes if they’re confusing or need clarification.

Of course at the end of the day, many of the products are just nice things to have to make motherhood sweet. All you really truly need for a baby is a place for it to sleep, your body to feed and cuddle, a way to contain and dispose of waste, and a proper carseat. And love.

 



 

The Hospital Bag

Right around 39 weeks I started thinking about the hospital bag. I was unbelievably uncomfortable, unknowingly carrying a 10+ pound baby in my womb, and hoped that doing so would help kick my body into birthing gear. We have the luxury of living just minutes away from the hospital which kept the pressure of having everything packed early on. Similar to Paityn’s birth,  Landon was free to head home during our stay for anything we’ve forgotten and to go on a TacoBell run or two. ;)

Now that Hudson is a month old and we’re getting settled in as a family of four, I wanted to reflect back on what we were so glad to have with us when we needed it. Each birth is different, so if you’re preparing to go into labor and want to know what you’ll need make sure to read a few posts and see what resonates with you and your style. But here’s what worked for me!

Landon and I packed three backpacks: one for Paityn with things she’d need while with family, one for myself and Hudson and then a third with things Landon would need along with electronics. I for sure did not want to be that mom in labor that comes in wheeling a suitcase.

Hospital Bag Blog Post

For Birth
Birth Playlist/Speakers
Camera
^but ideally a birth photographer if you’d like photos, because you know we ended up with 0
A doula by your side. Biased! You can read my birth story here.
Liquids to drink — apple juice (supplied by the hospital)was heavenly both times for me
Light snacks if you’re up for something, I snacked (nibbled) on rice cakes walking in and for the first bit in the hospital till the contractions required every ounce of my concentration

Clothes that I wanted to labor and birth in were laid next to my bag and the put on once I got out of the shower at home Wednesday night and knew it was the real deal. For reference I wore a soft tee, one of my normal underwire bras, VS basic undies and sweats. I had made a conscious decision ahead of time to not wear the hospital gown and chose to go for clothes that I loved over finding a gown alternative online.

For The New Mama, Recovery
Comfy Sweater — This one from Mulberry Press Co only seemed fitting
Cheapo Leggings
Cozy socks
Granny Undies No I take that back, take the nurses up on their offer of mesh panties, Tucks, Dermoplast spray or whatever else they suggest if it helps. Sorry mama.
Belly Bandit — I wore the Bamboo in a size S till I needed an XS at 4 weeks again like last time but didn’t want to shell out the $$. So grab two ahead of time if you can!

For Baby

Newborn Onesies — Carter’s are my favorite
Footie Pajamas
Aden + Anais Swaddles — so soft, perfect for pictures and making your babe feel like your own.
Hairbows
Goumi Kids Newborn Mitts and Booties

For The New Dad 
Toothbrush/Toothpaste
A few changes of clothes depending on your length of stay
Snacks/caffeine

Toiletries
Shampoo/Conditioner
Hair Dryer + Straightener
Moisturizer
Makeup
Makeup Remover Wipes
Hair ties
Toothbrush/Toothpaste

Misc
A RedBox or two to watch during downtime during your stay
A phone charger or two, don’t forget!
Laptop — for playing movies if your room doesn’t have a DVD player, uploading/emailing photos, etc
and socks and shoes for your toddler doe when she comes to visit and you realize you dropped her off in footie pajamas and forgot to add those to her backpack :)


I know this may sound like a lot looking over it, but I promise i was grateful to have everything with me and it really only took up two smaller sized backpacks. My mentality going into labor is to make it feel as much like home as possible without making the labor staff’s life difficult. If you’re pregnant and getting ready to meet your new babe, congrats mama! I’m getting excited just thinking about the point of life that you’re in. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Summertime Sandal Favorites

Happy Hump Day! I am excited to announce that I am back with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you the second installment of Hump Day Highlights. The hosts this week are myself, Misty, April, Shannon, Amanda, Danica, Candice + Kaitlyn.  Each Wednesday we will list some things or moments from the past week that we are loving. We would love for you to add your post to our link up at the bottom of this post of what you are loving this week, too.

This week I have summer on my mind, and wanted to share the sandals I’ve been loving as I browse online for pairs to grab for future posts and Utah adventures. This search began as I tried to put together photos for our Growing Love Series that is coming back! Being 9 months pregnant just sounded like the perfect time to you know, start that back up.

Favorite-Sandals

 

Here’s the thing — it was harder than I thought to find something I loved! All I wanted to find was a pair of brown leather Gladiator sandals that zipped up the back and it turned into a huge process, probably partially due to how picky I can be. Along the way though I found a handful of sandals that I fell in love that I wanted to share with you this morning.

Budget friendly: BC Gladiators | Nine West Fischer || Italian + Quality made: Joie Bastia || Summertime Staple: Sam Edelman Gigi || Flashback to the 90’s: Teva Original Sandals || Colorful Options: Steve Madden Evict | Splendid Crete | ++ the Birkenstock Gizeh in Purple Nubuck

Seriously, try to tell me those Teva’s don’t make you want to go on all the summer adventures this year?? And shoutout to Barefoot Blonde for being the reason I’m now in love with the Pink Steve Madden sandals. Me and every other girl now, huh?


Please spread the love by following the other blogs in the link up/commenting on their posts. This is such a great way to meet like-minded ladies and make new friends, all while showing off your blog, too. I hope you link up and follow along!

Hello Hoop Art | Embroidery

I mentioned in my January goal update post that I’m currently working on broadening my view of art from just sketching to other mediums. Sketching regularly last year sounded like a great goal to shoot for but it wasn’t for me without the structure of an art class like I’d had a few years ago; so I didn’t make the time for it. So far already this year I’m making steady progress on teaching myself to knit but also started + finished my first of four craft projects  — an embroidery project.

Back in that day I learned how to cross stitch and worked on a few hoops as a 10 year old. I tried picking it back up a few years ago, working on a project for a birthday present for a friend, but it was just too time-consuming and felt never-ending. It honestly would’ve taken me months to finish. A typical cross stitch pattern is full of counted stitches, all in an x shape, that paint a picture. It usually includes items that are not only outlined, but filled in completely.

This go round embroidery designs appealed to me for how simple they were and for all of the white space. I looked around for a bit trying to find designs that were similar to an Instagram account that I followed: Cinder and Honey, and then realized I should just hit her up since I loved those the best.

Cinder and Honey Embroidery Etsy

I contacted Caitlin, the girl behind Cinder and Honey, explaining my goal, and asking if we could work together. I: purchase everything from her minus the stitches — the materials, the hoop, and the design predawn on the fabric. I was cautious to acknowledging that this could be overstepping artistic boundaries and no worries at all if it wasn’t something she was interested in! Thankfully she was game and said, “let’s do it!”

She typed up instructions and tips for me that she included in the package, and suggested I hopped on over to YouTube to fill in the rest. Here’s one of my favorite video that I found explaining 7 basic beginner embroidery stitches should you want to venture out on your own embroidery project.

Within a day of starting on the hello design, I had finished, and it felt so good. This included attempting to do the entire “hello” portion in the split stitch that you’ll see in the video I linked above. It didn’t turn out how I liked it so I carefully un-stitched it all, then used the same thread to do the hello again, this time in the basic back stitch. For a first timer, I love how it turned out!

Cinder and Honey Embroidery Hoop Art

All that is left to do now is to cut the excess fabric around the hoop, glue it to the frame, and hang near our door. Have you done an embroidery project before? Let me know if you have anything fun or designs to attempt next!



 

Second Trimester Favorites

Whether you’re currently pregnant or curious what a pregnant mama finds to be a lifesaver in the second trimester, this post is for you. I’m not going to lie, the second trimester was easy for me. It was full of fun holidays, time with family and not a true spec of being uncomfortable the entire time {Except when trying to climb any sort of stairs}. Here’s what I found helped make this trimester an easy one :

Second-Trimester-Favorites
one | Now I still haven’t managed to fall in love with a normal bra that fits, but I found a sports bra that works perfectly in all my H’s For Heidi glory. It’s the Panache Sports bra and it’s also doubling as a swim top when we head to the pool. Because swimsuit shopping is so not happening right now. My favorite part of this bra, besides the fit + print, is the ability to hook the straps together in the back to convert it to a racerback style when wearing a workout tank. If you’ve been looking for a new sports bra, start here.

two | Comfy tees from Kickee Pants and Motherhood Maternity are making my life right now. Thank you sweet sister-in-law! The Kickee pants tees are made from bamboo fibers — so these are extra soft and can be found on Zuliliy on sale from time to time. Stock up if you find them there!

three | All the dark chocolate + sea salt in the world. But that’s nothing new.

four | These two books from Ina May, along with sweet birth youtube videos (like this one) really made a difference in feeling focused and uplifted in the second trimester. If you get only two books during your pregnancy, make it these two.

five | When I’m asked what I crave during pregnancy and I tell people water, I’ve begun to worry I’m trying to sound like I’m having just the fittest pregnancy ever. But here’s the thing —  chilled water is my only true craving. Everything else just comes and goes with my moods. For both trimesters I’ve kept the door of our fridge stocked, two rows deep with water bottles all across. And it makes this pregnancy that much easier.

six | My maternity style has been winter casual all the way. On any given day you’ll find me in a tee, leggings and a pair of comfy winter socks. I tell ya, winter is the best time to pregnant.



Here’s my post of what I was loving in the first trimester, and I look forward to sharing what worked for me these next 11 or so weeks! It’s about to get a bit cramped in this belly of mine.

Tiny House Dreaming

Lately I’ve finally started to really be on board with the idea of owning a home someday. For the first few years of our marriage I really thought that I wanted to live in a high rise condo til our littles were teenagers and able to beg for a normal life. The more that I’ve learned about myself I’ve realized that condos had the appeal of high end finishes without a necessarily high cost. But then I saw the Rowley’s post about their kids playing in their yard and I instantly knew I wanted land. And finally Landon and I were suddenly on the same page with dreaming about our first home.

Despite what our semi complicated journey with finances would lend you to believe, at the end of the day I am so anti-debt. A few months ago I calculated the amount that a homeowner pays in interest over a typical 30 year loan on a 300K home and nearly died. Since when are we ok with spending the majority of our waking hours working a job to pay a bank for the privilege to live in a home? With a 4.5% interest rate we’re talking $147,200 alone. all. to. the. bank.

Ew.

So my current goal for a home is to take out a $125,000 loan for a home when the stars are aligned, and for it to be a 15 year loan. The difference between a 15 year and 30 year loan at 4.5% interest rate for that amount is $55,000. Which is a lot of trips around the world. Next we would love for the home to be 1,000sq ft or less. Because, we’re tiny house dreaming. Should that amount not cover the cost of the home, I’d want to save in cash til we can cover the difference.

Wishlist:
Fireplace • Farmhouse Kitchen Sink • Kitchen Backsplash • Walk In Closet w/ Built in Cabinets • 3 Bedrooms {babies rooms being extra narrow} • Tall Tall Ceilings • Large/Tall Windows • Entryway Space • Hardwood floors • Outdoor Living Space • Garden

IMG_7030 IMG_7031 IMG_7029Now before you roll your eyes and think, oh c’mon girl, get real. Stick with me here. One of my favorite quotes lately is “people will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny harmless phrases like, ‘be realistic.’ I don’t want to be realistic! Because realistic means a hefty chunk of debt til we’re all 50+. So I choose to believe that there’s a better way. I’m a sucker for details, and think they can make all the difference between a small square footage home that feels lacking and one that feels like it has everything you need and then some. Here are some of my favorite interior inspiration photos as of late, all via Pinterest, which you can find my entire home board here. Enjoy!

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Christmas Favorites For a Toddler

Can’t stop won’t stop getting excited for Christmas. This is one of my favorite times of the year, and the snow that fell a few days ago tells me mother nature’s with me!

Here are a few of my favorite things for a toddler (or possibly a baby depending on sizing availability) with a few things for mom, because I couldn’t help myself. I’m picturing outfits to wear around the Christmas tree in the evenings, to wear on the airplane if you’re going home to visit family, and all things festive and cute.

Sweater | Fair Isle Throw | Fair Isle Tights | Merry & Bright PJs | Buffalo Hello Pullover + Adult Size | Socks | Deer Skirt | Candle | Sorel Boots | Sequin Dress | Snowflake PJs | One Piece PJsAdvent Calender

What are you eying this Christmas season?



“My mind says November but my heart says Christmas.”