What’s in the Hospital Bag: Newborn Edition

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

So I cannot make a blog post about what’s in my new Ella Dane diaper backpack, without highlighting the fact that I’m about to be a mother of trés babés! The last time I had to think about a baby bag and newborn essentials was almost four years ago! 

The first time around I had a Coach Baby bag, and it was almost the size of a weekend bag. Since I took very good care of it, I was able to use it 3.5 years later for my son. 

But that bag is long gone, and I wanted something cuter, allowed me to truly be hands free (My old bag always had to be shifted from shoulder to shoulder for comfort and basically got in the way). 

With my style changing over the last 3.5 years, I wanted something that was easy multi-functional, practical and had a minimal and classic vibe. The faux leather, which makes it wipeable is a plus! 

Thanks to the right hash tag, and the final search, I came across Lorenda’s perfect diaper backpack, Ella Dane Designs.  
From one Mama to another, and my love for small business’, I had to support. Literally, I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it! The reviews, were helpful, the bag looked (and once it made its way home to Mama) is roomy, and it has the leather-like look and style I was looking for! This bag comes with a strap to wear as a shoulder bag and an attachable zippered bottle holder (not pictured). 

Thanks to a couple of Pinterest post, here’s what I packed for baby boy in his diaper backpack. 

-2 hats
-2 mittens 
-3 socks 
-3 onesies 
-2 sleepers 

-1 burp cloth 
-1 going home outfit 
-1 receiving blanket 
-1 blanket 


The hospital has there own supply they encourage you to use, but I have my own preference. So these items and Baby toiletries (as far as shampoo etc is optional as well). 

Items that I packed temporarily for the hospital:
brush and comb 
soap and lotion for his first bath. 

Going home outfit! So cute, I can't stand it!

And then we can’t forget about Mama! 
Since your baby bag is basically meant to hold a few of your essentials as well, here are mine:

-breast pads (I’m sticking more than this in there, but these were samples, and they will be used!) 

I’ll have my own bag for the hospital, but afterwards I plan to place my phone, wallet, and a snack in here. 
I’ll pack an extra shirt in there as well and a shirt and change of underwear for big brother, in the near future. 

Every time I walk into the boys room and see my new diaper bag pack ready for use, the more anxious I get for Baby G3’s arrival. I cant wait to rock this backpack as a mama of 3, confidently and comfortably! 

-xo Natasha 

What I Plan to Do as a Mother of Three

Thursday, May 10, 2018

(habits, behavior, speech)... 

The fruitage of the spirit! (Galatians 5:22)
Be the best role model I can for them to follow, because they will always be looking. 
Teach them through love, discipline and action 
(speaks louder than words). 
Uplift my only daughter, encourage my middle child and first son, and guide my youngest, son. 
As a mother I will uplift, encourage and guide them all, 
but with their different age groups, 
and alignment in the family, 
I’ll try to cater to their needs as seems fit.

(take my time, plan more, self care)... 

I know there will only be so much I can do 

with an almost 8 year old, preschooler 
and infant whom I’ll be breastfeeding, 
so I will work at making the best use of my time. (Ephesians 5:16).
I’m already a planner and to-do lister, 
so I’ll continue to do that and more! I might as well 
become an ambassador for Post-It’s.  
And of course, I have to make sure I take care of me: 
Spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. 
I can’t pour out from an empty vessel 
and I talked about it in an old post how I already 
teach my first two children the importance of them having time 
to themselves and allowing Mommy to do the same. 
Maintaining my faith and spiritual well-being, eating healthy and resting, even when I want to go go go. 
Positive affirmations, and communicating my feelings and thoughts to my husband, children and others as well.

(let myself and the kids esp. make mistakes)...

 Give myself leeway for doing the best that I can, 

and allow the kids to grow into themselves as we transition and they figure out their new or heightened roles. 
I’ll have to keep in mind there will be more messes 
and  repeated mistakes. 
I have to make the effort to continue to be reasonable and patient with my babies 
and myself as well.
Be present, practical, and forgiving. 

I know I won't remember this all at once, 

but I know the best thing about journaling 
or writing things down, is that I can always come back 
to refer and reflect. 
I’ll keep trying and as long as my blood is in their veins, 
I will do my very best. 

-xo Natasha 

Third Trimester Maternity Style

Monday, April 23, 2018

Finding things to wear in the end of the third trimester is a daily struggle. 
Even daddy’s shirts are barely cutting it anymore, and l want to be cute while l live out this preggo look, comfortably, before it quickly ends. 
This @shoppinkblush top is perfect for now, but also for later when l’m back to nursing again (multipurpose 🙌🏾 win) and a shirt from daddy’s wardrobe was not harmed and spared in the wearing of this top. 

The website offers several different colors: but this charcoal gray top will fit perfectly into my current and soon-to-be breastfeeding adjusted wardrobe. 

The chest area is very stretchy and able to be pulled down to nurse and then pulled back up with out stretch to its normal wear. 

I love how l have room to still grow in this top and l get to wear this later, all while trying to maintain 
my pregnancy style now. 
And I’ll let you in on a secret; these are my pre baby jeans, unzipped and free. 
Shhh, just let it fly (pun intended). 

What are some of your third trimester pregnancy style and/or maternity clothes favorites? 

-xo Natasha 

Tips on Packing for a [quick] family getaway.

Friday, March 23, 2018

We ended spring break with a little getaway as a family, but we couldn't leave without some packed bags! Even though the weather was playing tricks on us, packing light with all our essentials has become easier with practice, but is possible on a first try!
I actually like packing and checking off my list (Pinterest has countless, very helpful and even seasonal packing templates). The only thing I dread is unpacking. I can pack a bag in an hour, but then take a week to unpack it!

Here are some of my basic packing tips:

Always start with the basics!

-Underwear, pajamas and simple layering pieces 
(cami’s, tights/leggings etc. You know you need them, 
and they’re the quickest to grab).

Check the weather and be mindful of your destination!

-Pack two of any seasonal item you can rotate.
So for example: two bathing suits, two sweaters and then wear bulkier or heavier items whilst traveling (hat, coat/jacket).

-Don’t forget footwear as well.
Pack flip flops or slides and a nice pair of sandals.
A flat (you can dress up or down) and sneakers if you plan to do a lot of sight-seeing and then if the occasion calls for it, a dressy pair of shoes.

 Clockwise: Converse, Cat & Jack (Target Line) slides and rose gold glitter shoes, and Gymboree sandals.

Clockwise: Adidas Cloadfoam slides (comfort level = heavenly),  Dolce Vita for Target Animal print slip on shoes,  A New Day (Target Line) rose gold Gucci inspired slip on loafers, Chinese Laundry block sandals.

Top to bottom: Nike SB, Nike,  Gymboree strap sandals.

-Regardless of where I’m going, I’ll always pack a denim jacket 
or cardigan for myself and the kids. Denim jackets and cardigans can go with any outfit (dressy or casual), worn for indoor or outdoor traveling and can sub as a blanket if needed.

Left to right: Crazy 8 cargo jacket, Old Navy blush cardigan, Old Navy vintage denim jacket.

Pack light!

-Bring toiletries that can be shared or in small travel containers.
-Don’t over pack if it’s not necessary.
-Keep your wardrobe neutral with a few colors and prints to allow layering, interchangeable outfits and ease.
-Roll clothing for more room.

Bring your own snacks!

The airport snacks are always expensive, and the gas station doesn't always carry what you might be craving (and tend to be unhealthy)! You can easily knock off time by not having to worry about snacks every pit stop or while sitting on the plane, or before, with not enough to eat.

Children like to munch, and having a few of their favorite snacks already on hand will give you some peace and them pleasure. On a previous blog post, I mentioned the benefits of packing your own snacks and how economical it is!

I hope these quick packing tips can help you getaway a little faster with ease.

- Natasha xo


How to Boost Your Immune System During the Cold and Flu Season

Friday, February 16, 2018

So I finally have my first recipe to share for the blog and it’s perfect for the cold and flu season among us! 
It  has a little something for cough and congestion, immunity and toxin removal. 
This recipe will help build and strengthen  your immune system, and it can be enjoyed as a drink or made into a popsicle for kids. 

But before we get there, here are some essential tips for your overall health, especially during the cold and flu season.

Adequate amount of sleep at night helps keep your body operating at its fullest potential. Not getting enough sleep doesn’t allow your cells to renew and remove toxins efficiently (biology 101). 

Food IS fuel! If you’d give your car the best  gasoline to avoid mechanical issues, why not do your body the same favor. 

The more color your food has, the more nutrients your body has access to. Eating them raw or in a minimally cooked state helps with absorption as well. 
That ties into supplements; vitamins and minerals are optimal when they come from food sources. Lab-made and fortified substitutes can only help so much. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 
Water is healing, detoxifying and since your body is made up of more than half of H20, you need to drink up! 

Now on to the recipe: Pineapple Pinch 🍍
When the kids were sick recently, I whipped this up for them, but you can make this into a regular drink as well.
If you’re allergic to pineapple juice, like myself, you can substitute for orange or grapefruit juice. 

Pineapple is the key ingredient because it’s very effective for coughs, immune support and toxin removal (antioxidants). 

What you’ll need:

*Pineapple juice (not from concentrate, Trader Joe’s is the cheapest source, then any local health food or nutrition store).
*Apple Cider Vinegar (a.k.a ACV) 

In no specific order, mix 
6 oz of pineapple juice 
2 tbs of ACV
2 tbs fresh lemon juice 
Stir contents to combine and sip it down or pour into popsicle molds and freeze. 

Rotate your liquids (tea, soup, water) and add this in where you see fit into your appetite. 




Friday, January 19, 2018

What I’ve learned as a mother, with each child, has been an emancipating journey. Born again as l learn my newborn and life through their little beady eyes, centers me and gives me so much gratitude and love for life! 

Today I’m going to share some things that have helped me grow and appreciate my place in motherhood. No matter what, l know I will always be from this block, but l can’t forget that vessel l was before my body shared human life with others.

I can think it all, but l can’t do it all! 
I carried life, gave birth, but l am not thee Creator! Relying on God for my strength, my wisdom and my love to give, all comes from Him! 
Even when my children are right (yup, those little brains can comprehend a lot y’all)
l have to take accountability and apologize, to them.
Teaching them mistakes are given at any age, and age doesn’t automatically mean correct, helps them learn from my flaws, accept me as a growing human like them, and as a mother they can look up to. 

A moment of silence....
because we all lose it and could use some more of it.

When l first became a mother at 20, “slowing down” wasn’t an issue for me because l wasn’t old enough for “club hopping” and drinking anyway. But what l did have to learn, was accepting someone else’s schedule and having to basically focus on them. 

Think of it as physical or even occupational rehab. You can have goals and expectancies set for your patient, read the best text you feel will support your patient’s progress and well-being, but in the end, it take lots of your time, and a lot of effort to find exactly what level to successfully work with
that person to achieve their goals. 

The first child is always a trial-and-error experience and even when you get new tricks under your belt, if another child comes along. You have to modify and sometimes restart. 
With my second child, he taught me grit! My son is tender and loving, but boy he’s always up for a challenge. He always see another way of doing something, and if you tell him “no” he sees it as an opportunity, per say, to still work around that and accomplish his goal. 

Seems perfect to fall right after patience huh?
In our home, we believe in discipline and punishment. Off the bat, what may have worked for one child, will not always work for the other. Discipline helps them let understand boundaries, tolerance, and respect (for others and themselves). 
The same goes for me as a mother, l have to have discipline as well!
 l have to keep my word and mean what l say!
l have a tolerance level that has to be understood, but flexible if need be. Respecting my use of time, feelings, and mindful space of theirs (and others) allows me to teach them they are contributors to this world.  

Emotions are real, they may be expressed, but just like everything else, they have their place. Expecting them to be perfect will strain their confidence and leave you restless. There will be good days and bad days and sometimes that means a whole bunch of emotions all over the place. Taking time for myself and teaching my children early the importance of “alone time” helps me to keep grounded and helps them learn to be independent and find peace in their own company. I allow them to feel and express their emotions, but l teach them if it will harm them, others or if it lingers too long, that’s when it’s not good. You can be mad, but respectful, and so on. 

I could go on forever, but tip-toeing on what I’ve learned thus far as a mother and what l know l can expect with my third child, puts my mommy brain at ease. Even though this is my third time around, l still get a little worrisome at times of always being and giving my best to my children. 

Compared to what you expected and know now, what have you learned since you’ve become a parent? 

-xo Natasha 

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