A few of my favorite things: breastfeeding, pumping, and storing

nursing items

I've been nursing, pumping, storing and feeding frozen breast milk to 2 babies now.  Working (full time the first time and part-time this time), traveling, and just wanting to get out here and then - you can do it without any of these things.  But if you're like me, you'll find that they will make your life real easy.  If you have to pick only 2 items from this list, I say go for the pump and the handsfree bra.  Totally. worth. every. penny.     Simple Wishes hands-free pumping bra: I have no idea how anyone lives without this item.  I'm a working mom, which means that I spend a good amount of time pumping in order to continue to breastfeed even if I can't be home with my babies.  This simple, amazing bra allows me to do it hands-free.  Hands-free means that I can pump while driving (don't worry, I hook and unhook while pulled over), while working, and, yes, while browsing social media or Pinterest on my phone.  All hands-free. Medela Freestyle Breast pump:  My life.  My love.  Seriously.  I don't think I've ever been in love with technology as much as I am in love with this.  Tiny.  Quiet (relatively).  Hands-free.  Easy to assemble.  Runs on battery and has a rechargeable battery that lasts for sooo long (I've had my pump for 2 babies and used it heavily for almost 2 years now and it still lasts days, if not weeks).  It also has one of my favorite features - the times.  It knows what to do, when to do, and keeps track of how long I've been pumping, … [Read more...]

In my diaper bag – traveling with 2 under 3

whats in my diaper bag

  A diaper bag for one kid is one thing - but a diaper bag for two is a whole new story.  After a couple of weeks of digging through the diaper bag for the right onesie or the right diaper only to find out that I forgot to restock something, I had to get a new system.  My OCD organizational self couldn't deal. My new trick is to have two labeled ziplock bags - one for each kid.  This way I can quickly spot who's out of diapers, change of clothes, a burp cloth.  It makes it super easy to find the right size diaper in the bag.  It also makes it incredibly easy when I ask Jon to hand me something - he can just grab the labeled bag and hand it over without getting any dirty looks because he's giving me a size 2T shirt for our newborn.  And the best part is that it makes it super easy to swap bags if I'm just out with one kid or if we're grabbing a backpack. So here's what's in my diaper bag on a day to day basis: Taylor's bag: 4-6 extra diapers, 2-3 changes of clothes, burp cloth Peanut's bag: 2 extra diapers, 1 extra change of clothes OXO On the Go Wipes dispenser: this one goes from bag to bag and even fits on my stroller.  It's probably the best dispenser we've tried (and we tried at least 5) Some books: Peanut is all about Dora so we have these mini Dora books everywhere. Some tissues: why is it that toddlers always have runny noses? Hand sanitizer Lip gloss: that one's for me. Other random small toys that find their ways into the bag when … [Read more...]

My favorite things, make up

fav things make up

1.  Urban Decay Naked2.  Obsessed, you guys.  It's my favorite.  Like, ever. 2.  Benefit BENE TINT Rose.  This is the perfect blush for that pinched cheek look. 3.  Benefit High Beam.  I don't leave the house without this one if I'm going out at night.  It's like applying an after-hot-shower bright and shiny look to your face. 4.  Maybelline Great Lash mascara.  My every-day mascara.  It's perfect, never cakes, and doesn't give me a rash. 5.  Neutrogena Healthy Skin EnTancer.   My every-day face make-up.  Just enough tint to even out my skin tone but never feels like I'm wearing any make up. 6.  Neutrogena make-up remover towlettes.  When I can't wash my face properly, or we're going somewhere, this is my must-go-to item. 7.  Mary Kay Ultimate mascara.   My going-out evening mascara.  It seriously doubles the size and thickness of my lashes. 8.  Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss.  Love, love, love this lip gloss.   … [Read more...]

What’s in my camera bag

photography gear

1. Canon 5D Mark II: love of my life (well, you know, aside from my children, husband, etc). I upgraded to this body about a year ago and I have been absolutely obsessed with it. It's heavy which is a definite downfall but the full frame photos are spectacular. I bought this without the kit lens (the lens that comes with it) and instead use my lenses. 2. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. Ever look at a photo and can’t get over the way the subject pops right out while everything around said subject seems to be blurred in the background? That effect is called bokeh and this lens is among my very favorites to achieve that affect. The low aperture allows you to separate your subject from the background, while also giving you a ton of flexibility for lower light situations. Back when I bought this lens, it was the only option but now there is a 50mm f/1.4 - totally worth the extra $$. 3. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, the other (other) love of my life. After years of going back and forth I finally bit the bullet and bought this lens (I got it used on amazon) and since that day it barely ever leaves my camera, or my sight. I love the versatility, the quality of the images, the way I can be up close or just a little further away from my subject and get a number of different shots without moving. Add the speed, full-frame capabilities and I can’t think of a better lens. There is also a new version available. 4. 32GB Compact Flash card. I initially purchased a CF card at WalMart. It wasn't … [Read more...]

Our favorite things, stuff that keeps Peanut occupied right now

favorite toys 2 year old

You guys, we have a lot of toys.  We didn't buy 90% of them.  Let's just leave it at this: Peanut is the first grandchild on all sides and first niece for most of our siblings.  You get the picture, right? Here are the toys that keep our tot occupied for 15 minutes or more, leaving us to our own devices. 1.  Mess-free finger paint.  Okay, so it's not really "mess-free" except that it doesn't stain your furniture, hands, feet, etc all sorts of colors.  Which is a huge bonus.  It does let P use "dip" to color all over the special paper and, inevitably, herself.  I would recommend lightly supervising this one if your tot is like mine - after about 15 minutes of nicely coloring on paper she gets bored and tries to color her hands, legs, walls, etc. 2. Plan toys dancing alligator.  Don't even ask how something as simple as this little pull-along toy can entertain our tot but it does.  She loves to drag it around, chase the dog with it (who is not a fan of the wood making noise), and play with the little rope.  It's probably among her favorite toys. 3.  Melissa & Doug train set.  We don't keep this out all the time, which is maybe why Peanut still gets so excited about it and can spend an hour playing with this train set.  She loves putting the tracks together, taking them apart, making her choo-choo's go up and down, breaking it up and starting all over again.  And I have to confess, I love playing with it too. 4.   Melissa & Doug magnet puzzles.  We … [Read more...]