What's in My Hospital Bag {with Checklist}

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


PIN ME!!




Preparing for labor and delivery may be the most overwhelming aspect of pregnancy, at least for me. Not only do I have the physical act of birth on my mind, but the thought of being at the hospital for any extended period of time puts me right into a tizzy. To be frank, I'm not a great patient. I'm terrified of needles, have a low pain tolerance and generally do whatever I can (even the unreasonable) to avoid medical treatment. Having a baby during a pandemic has pushed me to limits I never knew existed, but I guess that's also motherhood in the nutshell, right?

In an effort to try and calm my nerves, I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to curate the best hospital bag I can. My goal was to be inclusive, but not excessive, and I think I've struck a solid balance. I scoured the internet to find useful recommendations from my favorite bloggers and influencers. I'd say I took something away from each of them; however, I found myself at a loss because none were really comprehensive. So, I decided to try to fill that void. You can save/download my checklist HERE for current use or future reference. Please consider pinning to Pinterest to help share this post, as well, especially if you're not yet a mama. I sincerely hope you find it helpful! I won't go through my reasons for every item, but below you'll find some key points I felt were worth highlighting. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on Instagram (@thesassysuburbs) or via email (Lauren@thesassysuburbs.com). 

Baby 
- Shusher/Portal Sound Machine: I've heard nothing but good things about bringing either a baby shusher or portable sound machine to the hospital to soothe the baby during his or her first days. With COVID protocols, most babies are cared for bedside, as opposed to a nursery, so having the extra "help" given the low cost of entry seemed like a no-brainer to me! These are also great stroller accessories and would be ideal for travel (day trips, overnights or longer vacays).  

- Electric Nail File: The thought of having to clip the baby's nails with a standard metal clipper really gave me anxiety for some reason. We registered for THIS electric file, and I knew as soon as we received it, that it would be making its way into our hospital bag. It's pain-free for baby and super easy-to-use. Just make sure you take the right grit file for a newborn (instructions will tell you). 

- Going Home Outfits: Yes, you read that correctly - outfits - as in plural. Needless to say, my mom convinced me that we needed several options in multiple sizes, just in case baby was smaller or bigger than expected. I cannot recommend either Beaufort Bonnet Company or THIS Etsy shop enough. Just make sure to read the sizing descriptions and reviews before ordering, especially with custom options. 

Mom
- Beekman 1802 Wipes: You've heard me sing the praises of these wipes on many occasions (they were first featured in my January 2020 Must-Haves), and I still can't get enough. The Beekman wipes are pregnancy/nursing safe and can be used on both face and body. As I noted above, I, thankfully, have no idea what a hospital stay is really like, so I'm not sure I'll ultimately shower there; however, I want to be able to freshen myself up effortlessly. For me, these are a must. 

- Dry Shampoo: BUT, not just any dry shampoo...I'll be taking my tried-and-true Living Proof travel size because it literally cleans my hair. Again, I have no idea what's coming but I'd anticipate a lot of sweating during labor and delivery, and if I'm not inclined to shower, at least my hair can get a refresh. 

- Frida Mom Peri Bottle: I personally have the entire postpartum kit by Frida Mom and I think it was worth it. I opted to register for the set (peri bottle only comes in the large, hospital postpartum kit; all items are available for separate purchase), but if you buy nothing else, get the peri bottle. It's truly ergonomic, compared to the squirt bottle the hospital apparently gives you, which makes recovery that much easier.  

- Peanut Ball: Your hospital may have peanut balls available to you but I was not going to use a ball that was between someone else's legs. I'm sorry, I know it's sanitized and/or has a plastic over it, but there's no way in hell I was going to do that. For those of you who have no idea what a peanut ball is, it's supposed to be an incredible labor aid, particularly with opening the pelvis to ease the baby out. I've read this can be a game-changer for those who have an epidural and cannot completely feel what's happening. I purchased a child's version, given my height, and will be packing it deflated with the pump. 

Dad
- Pediatrician Information: Our pediatrician's office told me that we were unable to pre-register for our first appointment, so we have to call to schedule it after the baby is born. Since I'm not sure what state I'm going to be in, my husband may have to deal with all that. I wrote out all information on an index card that he can easily keep in his wallet, and did the same for myself. That way there are no burdensome questions if I'm having a difficult recovery, but it can still get done as seamlessly as possible. 

- Bathing suit: The nurse who hosted our 2-day virtual birthing class highly recommended packing a bathing suit for your husband, and I found this rather surprising, but once she explained that some moms need extra help in the shower, it made perfect sense. If I can have my husband assist me, in addition to or in lieu of a nurse, that would always be my preference. Having a bathing suit on hand will keep him comfortable and covered, and able to help without a second thought. 

- Non-Perishable Snacks & Water: Since our world is overrun with COVID protocols, my husband won't be able to leave the room for any reason. How's the guy supposed to eat, especially with limited cafeteria hours? I snagged a ton of snacks from Costco that were pre-portioned and pre-packaged. Some items included Pringles, pretzels, mini oreos, protein bars and such. I also got a huge crate of bottled waters (for like $4, mind you - got to love Costco), so we'll be taking 10+ bottles with us to stay hydrated without much additional hospital staff interaction. 

Is Tula Worth the Hype? My Faves & Fails

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

PIN ME!




The new norm in advertising is no longer magazine ads, but rather social media marketing. You see a variety of products making their rounds on Instagram, Facebook and such daily, never really knowing if they are worth your time and money. Although I dream of turning this little corner of the internet into a full fledged business, which would involve more sponsored posts, I pride myself on being honest and upfront with my thoughts on the things I share. That would never change, even if I had the opportunity to grow. 

Given my passion for the space, I follow a lot of other bloggers and influencers (hate that word, by the way), many of which participate in similar brand campaigns on any given day. I've been suckered in on more than one occasion, but that thankfully hasn't been my experience with Tula. I originally discovered Tula through Katey McFarlan over at Chronicles of Frivolity, who although is someone I consider a "big blogger," I trust her opinions. That was probably 2 or 3 years ago at that point, and I've come to really love Tula's products...at least for the most part. 

If you've been around for a while, you've heard me talk about these products over on Instagram constantly (if you're not following, be sure to do so HERE - we have our own little girl gang, especially on stories!) in great detail. For one reason or another, my thoughts hadn't officially made their way to a blog post until now, so here's the scoop:

FAVES

Face Filter Primer - I use this almost every day as my foundation, but its primary purpose is to prime, blur and perfect the skin for makeup application. It has just enough color (no selection necessary - it does the work for you) to even out my complexion to where I feel comfortable without anything else. It's been especially amazing during the pandemic, since there's no mask transfer! I personally own the supersized version because it's an incredible deal and the bottle lasts forever, even with daily use. 

Triple Vitamin C Serum - This product has been a game changer for me. When I got pregnant, I had to say goodbye to so many beloved products (shop my go-to night cream HERE) that kept my skin issues as bay, while brightening and toning. This serum isn't exactly the same but has worked wonders at taming hormonal acne and evening out texture. What I love most is how quickly it absorbs, which can be difficult with a serum. It also isn't sticky at all! 

Rose Glow & Get It Eye Balm - It seems like Tula put the whole eye balm thing on the map, and boy, am I happy they did. Perhaps a balm for under the eye seems unnecessary because you can apply a traditional cream or just use a color corrector, but I find myself reaching for this every morning and multiple times throughout the day, if I'm not wearing makeup, although you can apply on top of concealer as well. There's a few variations available, which I'll discuss further below, but the Rose Glow balm is really the one I can't live without because of it's active ingredients, color and cooling nature. NOTE: if you have sensitive skin, this may not work for you. I've read that some people had adverse reactions to the rose hip oil. 

WORTH A TRY

Original Glow & Get It Eye Balm - If you're new to Tula and want to give one product a try, this would be it! It's personal how I got hooked. I still reach for it, and its cooling effects are amazing. 

Glow Hour Eye Balm - With dark hereditary undereye circles, I jumped for joy when this version came out because it was specifically formulated for that. I love the smaller size of the stick and how the orange color really brightens. It's almost like a color corrector and balm in one, so I find myself using it on those days where I wear concealer. 

So Poreless Blackhead Scrub - Consistency is key with any skincare routine, and I've found with continued use, this scrub does in fact reduce pore size. It also smells incredible! I like to leave it in my shower to increase the efficacy, since my skin is exposed to the steam for a while before washing my face with it. 

NOT A FAN

Purifying Face Cleanser - I wanted to love this, but just couldn't. It burned my eyes and just didn't remove makeup and debris the way I'd hoped. I'm honestly not sure why it's such a cult favorite, but that's just me. The only cleanser I'll ever use is, and will always be, Purity by Philosophy. If you haven't tried it, you're missing out. 

Balanced Beauty Hair, Skin & Nail Vitamins - Although not pictured, since I used them all up, these just didn't seem to do anything for me. The flavor was way too sweet and I did not see any results. I'll be sticking to Mary Ruth Organics for the foreseeable future. 

*All products, other than the scrub, are considered pregnancy-safe from my research; however, as always, please consult with your doctor to ensure it's safe for you!

SHOP AT TULA.com {Get 20% off your first order HERE}

SHOP AT ULTA

Amazon Finds: Winter 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Although our financial guy won't be thrilled, I'm back with another list of my top Amazon buys - Haha! You can check out my post from the summer HERE.


{1} Yeti Mug - Like many other brands, I never want to believe the hype surrounding them. Well, here I am again falling on the sword because I am obsessed with these mugs! The larger 20oz tumbler is a fave for water, and the 14oz handle mug (SNAG IT NOW FOR $18-22, depending on color) is ideal for tea or coffee. Both have become essentials with pregnancy brain being a very real thing, but anyone would love them. For that reason, they truly make amazing gifts. 

{2} Rug Grips - You know you're an adult when something like this brings you joy. We've struggled to keep our kitchen runner in place for MONTHS, but these $12 miracle workers changed that in a matter of minutes. Neither my husband's heavy step nor my crazy dog's zoomies have moved it, and that's saying something. Highly, highly recommend! We'll for sure be ordering more. You can get either a 4-pack or 8-pack, but in hindsight, the 8-pack is a much better value. 

{3} Water Bottle Cabinet Organizer - I'm a sucker for clear, acrylic organizers, but stopped myself from buying these water bottle organizers time and time again. I really don't know what took me so long, but I was just hesitant. Did we really need them? Would they make a substantial difference for us? Answer: YES and YES. I wish I took before and after pictures because I was honestly floored. Now, these may not fit perfectly in every cabinet, so I recommend measuring before ordering. I initially got the 4-pack, and have now ordered an additional 2-pack to complete the system. Maybe it's my nesting phase kicking into high gear, but I think we can all find great peace in an organized space. 

{4} Faux Leather Placemats - Talk about a dupe! William-Sonoma sells nearly identical placemats for $25 a piece. I love the look of these placemats, but more importantly, how easy they are to clean. For a while, we were using round placemats and I just felt like they weren't cutting it with the crumbs. They were basically too small for our plates, resulting in a constant state of countertop mess. I'm actually thinking of ordering the white set next for a lighter, brighter look for Spring.

{5} Essence Mascara - To round out my picks, I'm changing categories and switching to beauty. I'll be honest, I rarely, if ever, recommend cosmetics from Amazon because there are so many counterfeit products out there. Essence is a drugstore brand that sells directly through Amazon, so I feel more comfortable purchasing, which is why I'm sharing it with to you. So, this mascara is $5! Yes, you read that correctly. It's amazing for the price. It's not an exact dupe for my beloved iTCosmetics Superhero mascara, but it's pretty damn close. My only compliant is that it transfers when I apply it to my lower lashes; otherwise, it's my go-to work-from-home mascara. 

Bonus buys for all my soon-to-be mamas! I personally cannot live without these products, and I know I'll love them just as much once the baby comes. For more pregnancy content, click HERE and HERE.


ALSO, if you're on Instagram, be sure to give me a follow (@thesassysuburbs) and check out today's post to win $150 Amazon gift card! 
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan